Tag Archives: Jimi Hendrix

Ep. #160: PS I Love You

PS I Love You are a tremendous, melodic noise-rock two-piece band originally from Kingston, Ontario. This past October, Benjamin Nelson and Paul Saulnier were at the Halifax Pop Explosion touring behind their latest PS I Love You album, For Those Who Stay, which is out now via Paper Bag Records. Over the next two weeks, they’re wrapping up some support dates for Death From Above 1979 with METZ and so this seemed like a good time to share our conversation while we were both at the Halifax Pop Explosion. Here, Benjamin, Paul, and I talk about wandering around Halifax, how Ben loves Chad VanGaalen, O.M.D. and Black Buffalo Records, how Paul thought he’d live in Halifax, how Ben loves Mike O’Neill, Jerry Granelli, the Creative Music Workshop jazz camp, directions to Gus’ Pub from a woman with kale, massaging the kale, the Inbreds, Randy’s Pizza, Seafood, and Donair, running into the band TEEN on the street, kitsch, garlic fingers, living in Toronto, how Ben ate donkey, eating and not eating meat, the boar in First Blood, the story of Ben and Paul, David Bowie, Stephen Morris of Joy Division, Jon Wurster’s touching tribute to Tommy Ramone, how Paul wanted to be like the late Cliff Burton of Metallica, really getting deep into Jimi Hendrix, the latest PS record For Those Who Stay, health talk, Bad Brains, David Lynch documentaries, touring with METZ and DFA 1979, the song “Hoarders” and that’s the end of pizza time.

Related links: paperbagrecords.com/artists/ps-i-love-you/ vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #129: Scott Merritt

Scott Merritt is a very talented songwriter, musician, singer, and producer who lives in Guelph, Ontario. He has been creating and occasionally releasing inventive pop music for close to 35 years and has collaborated with people like Daniel Lanois, Adrian Belew, Willie P. Bennett, and Fred Eaglesmith among others. He also keeps himself busy on other people’s projects in his studio, the Cottage, which might be one reason why he hasn’t released a new album since 2002’s stunning The Detour Home. On Thursday September 11, Scott headlines an Eden Mills Writers’ Festival event dubbed ‘Taste and Transmission’ at the Ebar in Guelph. On his back deck a couple of days ago, Scott and I talked about the Cottage, leaving Brantford for Guelph for his son/my friend John, the Barmitzvah Brothers, ages and grades, John’s Cafe at the top of the stairs, imaginary worlds, banning kids’ music in favour of the music you actually like, Van Morrison, the Beatles, Dean Martin, Ramones, my parents put me in tennis lessons, pie plates and elastic bands, his first musical mentor Stanley, “Foxy Lady” and “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix, fantastical and observational lyrics, strange sounds, if you can say what it is, don’t do it, fussy exploration, my obsession with Wayne Gretzky’s Brantford and sprinklers at the Woolco, Alexander Graham Bell, the manufacturing sector of the 1970s and 1980s, seeing Rush, Max Webster, and Breathless play at his high school, Spalding might’ve made basketballs in Brantford, giving music a try instead of going to school, parental guidance, playing better, garage bands and blood donor clinics, Max Rat, Leo Kottke, the record store in the mall, Bitter Grounds in Kingston and other coffee houses for songwriters, pay or play in Hamilton and a life-changing night, making Desperate Cosmetics, Duke Street Records, labels and DIY hardship, I.R.S. Records and Miles Copeland, making Violet and Black, making Gravity is Mutual with Roma Baran, Adrian Belew’s chaos management in the studio, Scott’s first new album since 2002, which he finished just last Friday, the new song “Everwill” and the idea of a parade that has no beginning or end, and then this podcast with a beginning also has its end.

Related links: maplemusic.com/artists/sco/default.asp edenmillswritersfestival.ca vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #71: Alden Penner

Alden Penner is a respected and idiosyncratic singer, songwriter, and musician based in Montreal. Penner was a key figure in the influential bands the Unicorns and Clues and went on to make heartfelt, enigmatic, and questioning music in a project called Hidden Words. On Feb. 11, he quietly released a lovely new album under his own name; it’s called Exegesis and has prompted him to play at the Silver Dollar in Toronto for the Wavelength festival on Thursday Feb. 13, Montreal’s Le Cagibi on Friday Feb. 14, and the Le Pantoum in Quebec City on Feb. 15. Here, Alden and I discuss my issue understanding release dates, the fact that Exegesis is a personal compilation of sorts with at least one song that was partially conceived by Nick Thorburn when the two were in high school, the self-reflexive nature of putting this record together, Penner’s evolution as a songwriter and the distinction between his simpler and more intricate work, his earliest days learning how to play music in his teens and the impact “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” had on him and his guitar playing, jamming with his geography teacher, meeting and collaborating with Thorburn for the first time, the influence that Jimi Hendrix, Reverend Gary Davis, Elizabeth Cotten, and Fugazi had on his guitar playing, interesting guitar teachers and Syd Barrett, playing every instrument on a record yourself, the importance of band chemistry and the Avengers, the multiple meanings of the album’s title, which came to Penner in a dream, how religion has impacted Penner’s ability to find his own voice and feel bolstered by his community, the importance of self-assertion in the face of confrontation, Laura Crapo’s role in producing Penner’s new album, the mysteries of mysticism and psychic surgery, having faith, his upcoming shows, why the Unicorns must reunite to play shows and maybe even reissue Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? in 2014, the song “We Seek,” and more.

Related links: facebook.com/aldenpennermusic vishkhanna.com

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