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Recent Reviews

Can You Feel It / Jessi - 7
Bill Amesbury
Can You Feel It / Jessi - 7"

The man most remembered for his 1974 AM hit 'Virginia (Touch Me Like You Do)' was much more than just a one-hit wonder...and, as it later turned out, more than just a man. His talents were initially dismissed at Casablanca Records - in his And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records, Larry Harris wrote "to no one's surprise, the Bill Amesbury record ('Virginia') went nowhere". But the Kirkland Lake (ON)-born Amesbury was actually brimming with talent, ha...more

Cultural Envelope - Slight Birching
Slight Birching
Cultural Envelope

Sean Travis Ramsay goes by the name of Slight Birching and this is his first long-playing record. The Vancouver-based singer-songwriter trades in the same sort of lo-fi folk that made Bill Callahan's work as Smog so compelling, which is to say sparse, off-kilter songs that wallow in that beautiful sadness. Much of Cultural Envelope, the title of which riffs on Northrop Frye's concept of the envelope of culture, was written during the time of his mother's two-year battle with cancer, ...more

Visitors Parking Only / One Way Ride - 7
The Gentle Touch
Visitors Parking Only / One Way Ride - 7"

The Gentle Touch were formed in the Hammer - that's Hamilton to the tourists - roundabout 1965. The quartet of Jeff Snider, Alex Harrington, Ron Boyes and Bruce Ley were originally known as the Pharaohs but changed their name to avoid confusion with a similarly named band down in the States. The Gentle Touch's only piece of wax, the Kinks-inspired 'Visitors Parking Only', was issued by RCA in 1966. "That was written by Jeff Snider and Mark Shekter, and Mark produced the session, wh...more

Alvvays - Alvvays

The seeds of Alvvays began to germinate a few years back when Nova Scotia natives and childhood friends Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan teamed up with their high school mate Alec O'Hanley and started making music together. Though Rankin - who is a scion of Maritime music royalty the Rankin Family - released a solo EP under her own name in 2010, it is under the relatively anonymous umbrella of a full band that she feels most comfortable. "I'd rather not use my name," she told the Globe and ...more

The Subhumans EP - 12
The Subhumans
The Subhumans EP - 12"

No place in North America took punk more seriously than Vancouver. Anyone who has spent time in that west coast city knows full well the political anger that seethes beneath the picture-postcard vistas. In the late seventies, when the leather-jacketed rockers in established music centres like Toronto, New York or London had already tired of punk and were moving on to other genres like post punk, no wave or rockabilly, the activist punks out west were just getting started.


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