I’d like to introduce Patrick Gregoire of Sister Suvi.
Here’s some info on the band…..Formed in 2005 with a strong DIY ethos, the Montreal-based trio began touring immediately and released The Colour EP in 2006 with engineer and friend Mark Lawson (The Unicorns, Islands, Arcade Fire), which resulted in a tour w/ guitarist Patrick Gregoire’s other band, Islands. In 2008, the band self released The Mandala of Power, a mini-CD which landed on many year-end lists and ultimately found the band performing w/ the likes of the Dirty Projectors, Daniel Johnston, and more. Sister Suvi plans to release their debut full-length, Now I Am Champion, later this year (recorded again with Mark Lawson).
1. Kate Bush – “Running Up That Hill”:Â this is a song from the album Hounds of Love which has a whole slew of really amazing songs, but this one is the clincher.Â I fell in love with it immediately, which isn’t surprising for Kate because I think that she’s one of those artists that inspires an instant and nearly maniacal fanhood.Â In Montreal someone even has a zine called “Only Listen to Kate Bush” and I don’t think it’sÂ a clever title or anything. I think it’s for real, I think that girl real only listens to Kate Bush.Â Maybe it’s the drums, maybe it’s that it’s a “sexy” song (needed to put that in quotes to feel okay about saying it), or maybe it’s that it reminds me of the CBC 1980′s cartoon The Raccoons.Â If you are an American, or just a non-Canadian for that matter, that probably means nothing to you, the same way you’ve probably got a bunch of things that are near and dear to your heart from childhood that mean nothing to me. But The Raccoons rules.Â Perhaps not enough to give it no. 2 on this list, but I will at least hyperlink the theme song as a footnote to “Running Up That Hill”.
2.Â Okay, I rambled on a little in No. 1, so I’ll try and edit myself a little for this one (perhaps not doing a good job so far)…Â No. 2 is the band Prussia.Â They are from Detroit and their album “DEAR EMILY, BEST WISHES, MOLLY” is by far one of my favourites from last year. Trying to describe them to someone else once I did that “band cross” thing where you say what their music intersects, which is always one of those cheeky things that journalists do to sound well-informed and also avoid actually describing what they are hearing, but what the hell. I told my friend Avery that they sound like The Unicorns produced by King Tubby and Phil Spector battling it out at the mixing board.Â Ryan is also very funny, and i sort of have a crush on him (shit, i guess it’s out of the bag now…).Â Please find their music here: http://www.myspace.com/prussiamusic
3. tUnE-yArDs – “Hatari”: I guess this one is a cheater, because it is the side project of Merrill Garbus who plays in Sister Suvi with me, but I love her and her songs so much that I will compromise the integrity of this column to plug her. Though do not be fooled, this is not just some “inside job”; she is the real deal and one of the biggest influences in my life both musically and ethically.Â And her songs are carving into the future. “Hatari” is on her album Bird Brains, out on Marriage Records this spring.Â I think it is the future of pop music.Â Check it on out!: www.myspace.com/tuneyards
4. Angel Deradoorian – “Grey Teeth”: I cheat again with another friend, but I liked her music before I knew her, so I guess it’s not so bad.Â She is a singer from NYC and does amazing things with Garage Band, which you can hear on her myspace: http://www.myspace.com/angelderadoorian.Â Like tUnE-yArDs, Angel took the “arist sidestepping the established industry” thing one step further by making her music at home and (presumably) for free.Â It’s been going on for years now with all this internet piracy business, but now we don’t even need to pay for studios any more because our computers let us record and distribute our music pretty much as effectively as any label can.Â And there are no financial pressures to impede the creative process, so the music is better anyway.Â I really respect the politics of doing your art without any dependence on anyone except yourself.
5. Carl Spidla - “Blackfly Rag”: Carl is an amazing musician for his ability to emote with almost no effort at all.Â The place that some people climb mountains to get to, have babies to get to, see before they die, Carl just closes his eyes and opens his mouth and goes there, right in front of you, every time.Â And he takes you with him, just as effortlessly, because he is such a generous spirit.Â Here’s a live recording of him playing that song: