the spirit of giving
i'll make you a tape, vol. 9
I've been toying with the idea of compiling some sort of mix of Vancouver artists for awhile, but there was never really a good excuse to get something together. Then, shortly after Radiohead released In Rainbows and everyone was all aflutter about "paying what you want," this idea popped into my head: if you (in the broad sense) were willing to pay for music when given the choice, surely you'd be willing to donate to a great cause when given the choice. I suppose I could have chosen a "less controversial" charity, but I've never been one to shy away from my beliefs, and the cause was "less controversial" enough to get some of my very favourite local artists to sign on and donate their talents.
So, with that, I present Four Pillars: A Mix for Insite.
I'm pretty sure that the VPD, Sam Sullivan, Sean Orr, the Vancouver Sun Editorial Board, and Noam Chomsky don't all agree on a lot of things. But I do know that they're all behind Insite. If you're from Vancouver, I likely won't need to say anything more, but if you aren't familiar with the first legal, supervised, safe injection site in North America you might want to do a little reading about it.
All the lovely people featured on this mix donated their music for you to download for free, and all they're asking in return is that you throw a little money the Portland Hotel Society's way (they manage Insite). And if you're short on funds (or even if you're not), you can can spend some political capital by writing your MP, Federal Health Minister Tony Clement, and the Prime Minister, to tell them that Insite is an election issue, and that it should stay open. There's also a pre-written letter of support that you can send off here.
Download and donation links after the write-ups below...
1. L. Abramson - "Trucker's Prayer"
Leah's solo debut, Bedroom/City came out a few years ago, but I just picked it up a few months ago. It just might be my favourite music purchase of 2007, which is saying a lot, since it was a pretty great year for new music. In addition to donating her talents to this project, she's also organizing a music lessons program for women in the Abbotsford correctional institute, and is lending her time as a songwriting mentor during Youth Week. Basically, she's your new favourite singer-songwriter and also a stand up lady. The as-yet-unreleased "Trucker's Prayer" features her handling guitar and vocals and Tyson Naylor providing the accordion.
see also: the Abramson Singers, Dyad, Octoberman, the Crooked Jades
upcoming shows: January 24th @ the Media Club (Dyad & the Abramson Singers)
2. Fanshaw - "Nobody"
I've known Liv for awhile now, but our introduction - at UBC - wasn't in any sort of musical context. So while I've known that she's a lovely human being for quite some time, I had no idea that she had such lovely songs inside her until relatively recently. If you didn't catch her at Shindig, where she even swept the sarcastic crew over at Only off their feet on her way to winning top prize, you can start making up for it by enjoying "Nobody." Johnny Payne and Larissa Loyva joined Liv on drums and backing vocals, respectively, to make up this version of the ever-rotating Fanshaw line-up.
see also: the Choir Practice, Kellarissa, Victoria, Victoria!
3. Anemones - "Vicious Attack"
Anemones now call Montreal home, but they'll always be "one of ours" in my eyes. In addition to becoming one of my favourite local bands, before they left, Jason, Steven, and Kathy (the Vancouver ex-pat contingent of the group) were an integral part of Vancouver's music community. In fact, unless you just moved here or just started checking out local shows, I pretty much guarantee that you've seen one of them play. Their departure left a sizable gap in the scene, but they were kind enough to lend my favourite track from their now-sold-out self-titled EP to help fill the void.
4. Bend Sinister - "Happiness is a Warm Gun (the Beatles)"
Some bands seem like they're always on the cusp of something big, and so it is with Bend Sinister. They've yet to finally reach that tipping point, but in the meantime, the residents of Terminal City can hold onto them as one of our local secrets. They have a brand new EP out, but they graced us with something a little special: a cover of a Beatles classic. Jon sounds so great singing this.
see also: Small Fame, Karen Foster
upcoming shows: January 25th (for 1/2 Alive) @ Richard's
5. Taxes - "The Suburbs Are Killing Us"
So, if you're ever trying to think of a recipe for a band, here's a good one: take three of Vancouver's hardest working musicians, team them up with one of the Terminal City's best known mouths, stir in some aural chaos, and then give them one sweet ass band name. The entire Crystal Gravy EP is worth your attention (so go cop that), but since the suburbs almost killed me for over two decades, I decided to pick this track for the mix. Like JPDNRDS, the sweet guys in Taxes gave me their whole EP and let me do the picking.
see also: Ghost House, Plus Perfect, Safety Show, Weathered Pines
upcoming shows: January 24th at the Plaza, February 22nd at the Astoria
6. Nu Sensae - "Brain Aid"
The first thing that grabbed me about Nu Sensae was their cover of "12XU," which is sort of fitting, because they share one of Wire's best qualities: they don't waste anytime getting to their musical point, driving that point home, and stopping before you're mind even has time to think about wandering. "Brain Aid" is a minute and a half of evil rhythms, menacing voices, and baaaaddddd viiiiiiibbbbbes. I love it.
upcoming shows: December 29th at the Cobalt, January 19th @ the Astoria
7. JPNDRDS - "Darkness on the Edge of Gastown"
I think I rave about Japandroids about once every two weeks, so you can probably understand that I was thrilled when they sent over their forthcoming sophomore EP, Lullaby Death Jams, with the generous instructions to "post whichever song you want." It's stellar from front to back, but "Darkness on the Edge of Gastown" is my favourite song right now, period. It might be yours soon too.
see also: Trembling
8. Mutators - "Paper Words"
My love of Mutators is no secret. Rather than filing the band's self-titled 7" with the rest of my 45s, I just leave it on my turntable. "Paper Words" has been on constantly at my place, and not just because of the vinyl's infinite run out groove. An opening shriek from Leif brings in the crashing drums and some hyper-frenetic guitar, and for two blissfully heavy minutes, they don't let up for a second.
upcoming shows: December 28th at Pub 340
9. Shearing Pinx - "South Dakota"
I always envisioned South Dakota as one of the most boring places imaginable, until I heard this song (that originally appeared on Ultra Snake). I don't know exactly what they're doing to coax the sounds out of those guitars, but I imagine that it may be illegal in certain US jurisdictions. At any rate, the beautifully chaotic outcome is worth some serious jail time.
upcoming shows: December 29th at the Cobalt
10. Twin Crystals - "Night Family"
For most bands, it's hard enough to perform a particular style well enough to even qualify as a one-trick pony, so it's sort of unfair that Twin Crystals have so many perfect angles of attack at their disposal. I just talked about how they can bring the noise with the best of them, but on "Night Family" the volume gets turned down a notch on a track that sounds like Coltrane on really good acid.
see also: Channels 3x4, Cheerleader Camp, Modern Creaturs, Owl Owl Pegasus... and there's a distinct possibility that I'm missing something (apologies)
upcoming shows: February 22nd @ the Astoria
11. The Clips - "Kassel"
It sort of weirds me out to think that the first time I saw the Clips was a mere 8 months ago, because if you asked me about them today, I wouldn't hesitate to tell you that they're one of my favourite live acts (local or otherwise). It's impossible to replicate being crammed into a sweaty warehouse with a couple hundred dancing strangers (and friends) while the guys do their thing, but "Kassel" stands on its own as one of the best dance tracks of 2007.
see also: Brasstronaut
12. My!Gay!Husband! - "Feist Hearts Hollywood Holt"
Jason really needs no introduction. The Sun tipped him for an article on dive bars, so their writer wouldn't look completely out of touch, and the Onion AV Club shouted him out as having one of "the worst band names of '07." If you get out at all in this city, he's either soundtracked your party or he's partied with you. And if you want to get your party started before you head out from now on, you can bump this mashup of Hollywood Holt and Feist. Imagine if Leslie had a little more junk in her trunk, and you'll get an idea of what to expect.
see also: Half Alive
upcoming shows: Blastramp at the Bourbon every Thursday, 1/2 Alive at Richard's every Friday.
13. Piper Davis - "Academics"
You know, you might describe Piper's music as "neo-soul," except I hate anything called "new-soul" and I love Piper's self-titled EP. I love "Academics" so much that I asked her to let me remix it, and she's such a sweet woman, that she even said "yes." Rather than torment you with my production, here's the original in all its ass shaking glory.
14. Expendable Youth - "Maniac"
You might be more familiar with Matt and Mike from their work with Chalked Up, but when they're not busy doing things like interviewing the Godfather of Baltimore Club, they're usually busy behind the decks. You may have already copped their mix that featured on both Radio Zero and Mad Decent, but here's an original production (with a few familiar samples) that absolutely slays.
see also: Chalked Up
upcoming shows: NYE at Shine with the Ice Cream Social (Mike)
15. The Eurythmics - "Sweet Dreams (Tony X's 1/2 Alive Edit)"
Like his 1/2 Alive partner in crime, if you get out and party, you know this guy too. In fact, your eyes probably recognize Tony from his trademark uniform alone (white-t/black jeans/bandana). Your ears will recognize Tony on this edit of a ubiquitous dance floor classic via all the elements he brings to his live sets: slick beats, sick rhythms, and enough disco to get the most firmly planted wall flower moving.
see also: Half Alive
upcoming shows: 1/2 Alive at Richard's every Friday
16. gr8-2000 - "Kevin Drew Presents Broken Social Scene"
Tom could get by strictly on his sheer enthusiasm for music. While his boundless energy and willingness to work with anybody means that I'm not always 100% into (though always 100% supportive) of projects that he's part of, he's never bad, and sometimes he strikes pure gold. This BSS cut-and-paste is 24-karat and rock solid, distilling what sounds like the Scene's entire catalogue into just over 5-minutes of dance treasure.
see also: Technotown Boogie Down
upcoming shows: December 27th at Meme Lab, and probably your house party if you ask him nicely
There you have it.
An enormous thank you goes out to all the wonderful people who donated their work for this. And a big advance thank you goes out to you for enjoying it, and hopefully donating a little of your money and a few of your words to a great cause. It also goes without saying, that while your supporting stuff, you can support all these bands/DJs/artists at their shows and by buying their albums.
And finally, here's the really important stuff:
download: Four Pillars: A Mix for Insite
mirror: at zshare
And the link to donate to the Portland Hotel Society (via CanadaHelps.org):
No really, pay whatever you want.
Notes: Everything is in mp3 except for "Nobody." The download is a .zip file. I opted not to do individual track downloads, because it's cool to hear music that you might not go out of your way to listen to.
Unless something crazy happens, that'll probably be it until Christmas, so have a happy one (whether you observe it or not).
now playing: this mix, of course
This is a great idea.
By 7:33 PM, at
Great idea. great tracks.
"Imagine if Leslie had a little more junk in he trunk" Um, I'll be right back...
I didn't say this last night, but this is pretty much the best local music mix I've seen come out of Vancouver. Quinn you have out done yourself.
By 2:48 PM, at
brilliant. thank you.
quinn, you are a man amongst men.
great great great!
ive been listenin to it all day.
thank you quinn!!
i will help you do benifits, and get some cash to put this out for reals!!
By 9:08 AM, at