Tag Archives: John Cassavetes

Ep. #279: U.S. Girls

U.S. Girls is the moniker of Meghan Remy who currently calls Toronto, Ontario home. Since moving there from Chicago in 2010, Remy has become a vital part of the city’s music scene and, along with her husband Slim Twig, plays in the excellent band Darlene Shrugg and runs the Calico Corp. label. She is likely best known for her stunning voice, pointed perspective, and startlingly great post-pop work as U.S. Girls, including her acclaimed and most recent album, Half Free, which is on the 2016 Polaris Music Prize short list and out now via 4AD Records. Remy and I recently caught up at Jules’ Café in Toronto’s Kingsway neighbourhood to discuss Jules Café and its wifi and its delectable croissants, just barely Etobicoke, Boxing Day 2010, Chicago and Toronto, Americans thinking about Canada and the rest of the world, facts and fiction and trust, not necessarily the news, overwhelmed by the world, free but only to consume, leaving America and loving Canada, military madness and taxes, health care, because Britain stayed and Canadian reserve, nice not friendly, Canada’s British accent, we’re smart, Toronto’s ahistorical aesthetic, many cranes in the sky, Chicago is grand, it’s hard to be America’s hat, grants and being driven to achieve, gross generalizations, the music media and scams, the regurgitated one sheet, disengaging, anti-intellectualism, being in a military family, John Cassavetes and Bruce Springsteen, cinéma vérité, Springsteen’s rise as an American superstar as he was criticizing America, Springsteen’s empathy and socially conscious gestures, her song “Damn That Valley,” why Meg doesn’t ever vote, the 2000 election and Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party doesn’t really get it, anti-war, the shades of evil, Hillary Clinton and women, revolution and protest and duty, social media’s distracting nature, the internet is everything but still new, MySpace as a touring resource, Silver Apples and Suicide and the Shaggs, the two-piece, when Springsteen covered “Dream Baby Dream,” the Devils & Dust tour, radio on, the Beatles Anthology, Bikini Kill, dealing with male music biz crap as a woman, sound people are cranky, frustrated musicians, the average white American woman, “First World Blues,” problematic self-esteem issues in a digital age, the requisite weirdness of receiving a Polaris Music Prize nomination, the infrastructure and its usual suspects, Darlene Shrugg is the best band and a record is almost done, Simone TB and Tropics, Ice Cream, word of mouth, the new U.S. Girls record with the Cosmic Range, Onakabazien, playing live at the Polaris gala on September 19, the song “Window Shades,” Gloria Ann Taylor, and then I got a croissant.

Related links: yousgirls.blogspot.ca vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #192: Marker Starling

Marker Starling is the moniker of Chris A. Cummings, an ambitious and gifted pop songwriter based in Toronto. Previously working under the name Mantler, Cummings has created a distinct body of work that treads the line between thoughtful melancholy and infectious joy. His new album as Marker Starling just came out this past March. It’s called Rosy Maze, it’s available via Tin Angel Records, and it’s prompted Marker Starling to play some shows, including one in Guelph on Thursday June 11 at Silence, as part of the 9 Years of Kazoo! celebrations. Here, Chris and I discuss living in the east end of Toronto, the frustrating housing market, working for the Toronto International Film Festival, Jem Cohen’s We Have an Anchor, Will Oldham and mystical connections, Mantler and Michael Mantler and Marker Starling, the letter M, the other Chris Cummings, stars on the rise, the Evan Solomon getting fired from CBC debacle, in-depth talks versus sound bytes, I can’t remember Amanda Lang’s name, depleting press outlets, doing well in Europe, things that influenced Rosy Maze, owning 5,000 vinyl records, listening not collecting, the Beatles mono vinyl reissues, the overall brightness within Rosy Maze, forthcoming Marker Starling records like the covers record I’m Willing, working with Lætitia Sadier, the song “Stormy,” learning languages via songs, another Marker Starling solo record of original songs is also ready to go and a band record is well under way too, parenting and creativity, the song “Husbands,” John Cassavetes, and that was it.

Related links: tinangelrecords.co.uk vishkhanna.com

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes. Now available via AudioBoom.

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