Tag Archives: Frank Sinatra

Ep. #288: DIANA

DIANA is an electronically inclined pop band from Toronto whose primary members are Kieran Adams, Carmen Elle, and Joseph Shabason. After their 2013 album Perpetual Surrender earned them accolades from the likes of the New York Times, the Guardian, and NPR, DIANA toured a lot and then got back to work on new songs. The result is an excellent, emotionally raw yet playfully fun and infectious record called Familiar Touch, which is out now via Culvert Music. DIANA are gearing up to tour with a giant version of their band and are playing select Canadian and American cities in November and December. They were just in Guelph to play a show so we met up at CFRU for a conversation about studios with carpeting and linoleum, parquet and Parkay and margarine, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, nothing but margarine, a culture of butter in Newfoundland, hardcore butter people, Counting Cows, swimming lessons at a dairy farm, Nutella and honey, peanut butter and butter, Triumphant Schmeer, sweets, throwing out our lunches, ruining my parenthood, all-day cans of soda pop, five Pepsi’s a day, DIANA Googles Stuff On-Air, Caledon and Toronto and St. John’s and Cambridge, union stories, coffee vs. cola, Carmen growing up with all of the things in the Annex in Toronto, sushi, Trinity St. Paul’s Church, Gowan, the ROM and Raffi, decanning, children’s musicians and entertainers, Fred Penner’s indie-rock festival circuit, Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, a four year-old and AC/DC, band merch for kids, Joseph growing up in Caledon with past guest Mike Deane, punk and emo bands like Sinclair, the Irish Centre in Brampton, small town bring downs, Bluetip in a basement, the Pete Best of southern Ontario post-hardcore, Who’s Emma in Kensington Market, when Carmen drove me around St. John’s, Kieran and Joseph end up going to the University of Toronto for music at the same time, percussion profs, living in St. John’s, fact-checking the DIANA bio, Carmen tells it like it is, synthesizer patron-saint and producer Roger Leavens, Kieran and Joseph singing, tweaking together, lyric editing for singing, Carmen’s passion, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, Carmen’s a great vocal interpreter, what’s eating Kieran, a keyword, the song “Confession,” synthesized pop and comparisons to 1980s sounds, touring in President-elect Donald Trump’s America, the great political divide, smugness and hatred, Make America Great Again is now a hate crime, no surprising but life-altering, red and blue states, sadness, white folks should recognize their role in this new reality, Culvert Music in Toronto, the web is worldwide, the song “Cry,” and then it was like butter baby.

Related links: dianatheband.com culvertmusic.com vishkhanna.com

diana

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Ep. #111: Hamilton Leithauser

Hamilton Leithauser is a very talented singer and songwriter who is best known for fronting the acclaimed New York City band, the Walkmen. Last year, the Walkmen announced they’d be taking an extended hiatus after releasing a string of wonderful albums. Before long, members of the band began releasing solo material, including Leithauser. His new album is the startling and wondrous Black Hours, a timeless star-studded pop affair that was released on June 3 via Ribbon Music, and has prompted him to tour including a stop at Hamilton, Ontario’s Supercrawl this September. Here, Hamilton and I discuss NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, that time I saw the Walkmen play one of their last shows together in Halifax this past October, knocking a tooth out on a microphone, when work on Black Hours first began, why he made a record under his own name, who helped make this album a star-studded affair, the relationship between the conception of this solo record and the end of the Walkmen and why the band is taking a break, Frank Sinatra records, songwriting reversal, a nightclub, night time tone within the phrase “black hours,” Danzig, Self-Pity, growing up in Washington D.C. and seeing Minor Threat, Nation of Ulysses, Fugazi, and other Dischord Records bands, playing punk, working as a studio assistant at Inner Ear studios while Fugazi was recording Red Medicine, not making it into Instrument, being young and apolitical, loving the Make-Up and Ian Svenonius, the Cramps and the Modern Lovers, lead singers versus bands, Chain and the Gang, being in a band or being on your own, not sounding like the Walkmen, the new record’s weird storyline, the bizarre circumstance of the Walkmen’s “extreme hiatus,” trying new things but the Walkmen will likely be back, it’s fun to play, there are already new songs written but there was some writer’s block, working well with others, playing “Mr November” with the National, Hamilton playing Hamilton, Ontario, the song “The Silent Orchestra,” and then Hamilton out.

Related links: hamiltonleithauser.com vishkhanna.com

hamiltonleithauser

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