Posts Tagged ‘cowboy junkies’

No Depression – Demons review

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Jason Lent has weighed in on Demons from his hutch in the desert. Check out his review on the No Depression website.

Tuesday (Jan 18th) is the last day for pre-order savings…make sure to check out the different bundles that we are offering.

Also, if you haven’t kept up on the Demons blogs, here they are:

Introduction – Wrong Piano

West Of Rome

Marathon

Sad Peter Pan

Old Hotel

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Last few days to pre-order Demons

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

A final reminder that the pre-order period for Demons ends on Tuesday (January 18th). So all of those awesome discounts will disappear (the various bundles will still be available and they’ll still be discounted, but the discounts won’t be as awesome). In any case, if your interested in the album, now is the time to act and to save a few coins.

In case you haven’t kept up on the Demons blogs here are the links to past blogs, which include some thoughts about Vic and his songs as well as lots of music:

Introduction – Wrong Piano

West Of Rome

Marathon

Sad Peter Pan

Old Hotel

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NYC in February

Monday, January 10th, 2011

It’s been our experience that the best time of year to visit any city in the North East is February….so we have a little jaunt planned to NYC for the second week of the month. We’ll be performing full shows at the very intimate City Winery on Feb 7th and 8th. We’ll be performing on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on February 9th and we’ll be part of a much larger celebration of Neil Young’s music at Carnegie Hall on February 10th. So if you love those bleak, grey, cold as heck, deep-winter months as much as we do, plan a trip to NYC and put us on your itinerary. Bring your woolies.

Also, remember to pre-order your copy of Demons…the pre-order sales end on January 18th.

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Demons pre-order available for 2 more weeks

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Just a reminder that our new album Demons is now available for pre-order. There are a lot of different packages to choose from and some of the special items that we are offering are; a seven song Bonus Track digital EP; a limited edition Audiophile vinyl edition of the album; and a limited edition Demons t-shirt. All of the packages are discounted and no matter which package you choose you will receive a digital version of the album on January 18th, which is the day that your order will be sent to you. The street date for the album is February 15th, so by ordering through us you will be receiving the album a month earlier than the fool next door. Also, be sure to check out the Clubhouse Subscription that gets you all of the downloadable music on our site, including Demons, and much more.

Here is a track from Demons to tweak your interest….this will be the big number one smash hit radio single…I’m pretty sure that the cast of Glee will be including it in their next season:

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DEMONS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

We are now taking pre-orders for our new album Demons (Volume 2 of The Nomad Series). We will be shipping all pre-orders on January 18th (any vinyl orders will be shipped one week later). All pre-orders, of any format, include a free digital download of the album which will be available to all pre-order customers on January 18th. There are a few pre-order packages to choose from (all of them will save you money) and you can also choose to include the limited edition Demons t-shirt as well as the digital only, seven song bonus track EP. So please check out the pre-order page and choose what is best for you…and thanks, once again, for paying attention.

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Demons, Volume 2 – available really soon…(kind-of)…

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Okay…here’s the lowdown. We finished Demons before we headed off to Europe and it’s all set to be unleashed on the world through the website. The good news is that our current partners in North America and Europe are excited about it and want to release it through their distribution systems as well, but the bad news is that they have certain lead times that they need to adhere to and the earliest that they can get it in to their systems is February 15th. They strongly feel that if we release the album through our site three months before they do, it will take away a bit of the momentum that they would like to try and build up before its release. So we are following their wishes.

But we will be releasing the album (digitally and on CD and vinyl) through the site on Jan 15th, one month before the official release, and we will be starting a pre-sale on the album with all sorts of pre-sale incentives (including a seven-song bonus EP) in the next couple of weeks. Also, in the next few days, we will be making the album (and the seven song bonus EP) available, digitally, to our Clubhouse Subscription holders. Yes, we know that this isn’t exactly fair and that it favours those that can afford the subscription fee, but we, like every other band out there, are trying to figure out how to keep afloat in this crumbling business and, for now, the Clubhouse Subscription is a large part of our business model and we are trying to come up with some shameless ways of enticing those on the fence to leap off and buy the subscription. It’s not a perfect plan but we are floundering around in this new digital world just like the rest of you and we trying our best. In the meantime, we will continue to blog about the album and post music from it and hopefully keep you all interested until January 15th….ok, let the recriminations begin…..

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Demons, volume 2 – Sad Peter Pan

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

The best of Vic’s lyrics takes the listener on a journey filled with unfamiliar signposts, during the ride one is never quite sure where one is. There are puns, fictional characters, real characters, humorous asides, cries of anger, bouts of self loathing, joy, despair and, sometimes, resolution. Vic keeps the listener slightly off balance at all times, but more often than not, there is a moment in the song where it all falls together in a line or two that strikes deep into the heart of the matter, that crystalline moment that makes one pause and say, “now I know where I am, because I’ve been here before”.  Sad Peter Pan is such a song. For the first couple of verses you might not be sure of what is being discussed, although you can’t help but smile at a line like, “I’m a reluctant rebel/I just want to be Aaron Neville/with a crown upon my head/and my denim shirt all soaked with sweat”. But when the last verse is delivered: “ I’m just pushing the paint around/on advice from your lying mouth/You touched me and then you ran/and left some Sad Peter Pan/all alone and awkward/but a transformation, I swear it will occur.” That hopeless, empty, lost feeling of The Jilted, the only recourse, the only defence, is that last desperate plea, “I’ll change…”. You look around and you know where you are.

We asked our good friend Henry Kucharzyk to add his sensibility to this track and Henry came up with a clarinet arrangement which dances delicately throughout:

Henry did an arrangement for another song as well, below is the arrangement by itself. Ten points if you can figure out what song it is (no cheating by looking at the song title):

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Chris Lukaszewski

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

We received some very sad news this past week about the death of Chris Lukaszewski, a very good and old friend of the band. He was a gentle and empathetic soul of which there are far too few these days.

Before there were any “official” llamas, there was Chris. Over the past fifteen years he appeared at many of our gigs around Southern Ontario and he always brought his camera and prints of the photos that he had taken at the previous gig. It wasn’t unusual for Chris to show up at a gig bearing gifts: snow-globes with pictures of each of us (that he had taken) encased inside; homemade Christmas ornaments; and one of his most imaginative gifts was a Scrabble board on which he glued all of the tiles, like it was a completed game, and every word was from one of our song titles. All of these gifts and more have been proudly displayed in our studio for the last ten years. Chris loved words. He once gave me a beautifully written children’s book, Black Sky River. The book centers on a childhood memory of watching the annual bird migration and of the town’s attempt to kill off the birds because they were deemed a nuisance, too noisy, too messy. Between each page he had inserted small slips of paper, and on each piece of paper he had typed a line from Small Swift Birds: the song, the narrative and the images danced along, hand-in-hand as you turned the pages. He told me his favourite line from the book was, “I miss the mystery, the wondering of things without beginnings, without end.” I can’t remember if I ever had the chance or took the time to properly thank him for his gift and to tell him how truly beautiful and inspiring I thought it was. But the greatest gift that Chris gave to us was his attention to our music. He listened and it, in turn, inspired him to create and, if you’re a musician, you really can’t ask for a better gift than that. He bought a ticket for this week’s Toronto show; we will be thinking of him as we play. He will be missed.

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Tour Diary – Turnhout, Belgium (Nov 14, 2010)

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

bus 1

Kevin got the bus moving last night but he didn’t exactly fix it. Throughout the night we made our way across Germany with only two operational gears, 45mph was our top speed, our scheduled six hour overnight drive turned into an eleven hour odyssey. We arrived in Turnhout at around 3:30pm, it was raining and already getting dark. From the little I saw of it, Turnhout looks like your typical Belgium town: neat, tidy and efficient with a healthy scattering of artefacts from its medieval history and plenty of looming reminders of its dark Catholic spine. I’ve always liked Belgium, there is mystery here, I think it is mystery stewed in death and blood, but it is mystery nonetheless.

The gig tonight was at a very nice modern theatre, a much needed respite from the insanity of the previous couple of days. It was a beautiful sounding stage and a very keen audience. We had a pretty good show, but I think we slowly lost steam as the night wore on. The double dose of Christiania and the Rolling Stone Weekender pretty much sapped the little energy that we had left. It turns out that Alan doesn’t have the Baltic Plague, but he does have strep-throat, so he is running on fumes and isn’t the bouncing energetic bundle of joy that is his norm. This has been a tough tour on us all, but especially on Jared and Tim, our crew. Road crews generally depend on a certain amount of cooperation and support from promoters and local crews to get the job done. It only takes a couple of disinterested promoters or a lazy local crew or two to make the life of a road crew miserable. Jared and Tim have had a couple of those on this run, along with all of the other pressures and stresses that come with being on the road (especially if that road takes you through Europe). They are both completely beat, but still maintain their sense of humour and still take pride in their work: they are the absolute best at what they do, we can’t thank them enough. Despite all of the drama, and the unbelievably bad weather, spirits have remained high throughout this tour. This has been a very tough, but strangely fun run. Europe never fails to entertain.

We thought we were through. The bus was loaded up and we only had a short fifty mile ride to the airport hotel in Brussels, nice and close to our flight home tomorrow. But…no, that wouldn’t be a fitting end to this adventure. The address that we had for the hotel was wrong as was the phone number. We drove around the airport in circles for a good forty-five minutes looking for this ghost hotel. Finally someone steered us in the right direction and we found it looming, like the Promised Land, attached to the terminal, but just like the Promised Land, we couldn’t quite reach it. As we drove up the airport road we were pulled over by the airport police, barely 100 yards from the hotel, apparently our bus, the piss-mobile, was too high to get underneath one of the overpasses. So we backed up and pulled out of the airport. In desperation Jared decided that he was going to run the half mile back to the hotel to try and get some help ferrying us and the gear to the hotel. About forty-five minutes later he arrived back at the bus in a car with a hotel employee. We followed the employee back to the hotel (but not before he stopped for gas) and he took us back on the same road from which we had just been turned away. A heated discussion took place in front of our 4 meter high bus, between Kevin and the hotel employee, with the both of them gesticulating wildly at a sign that read “maximum clearance 3.5 meters”. The argument was finally resolved, it was decided that the bus was shorter or the overpass was higher than posted and we finally arrived in our room at 2:30am, three and a half hours after we left the gig. And so it ends.

We fly home tomorrow, we have the Toronto show on Friday and then we begin our cold turkey attempt at staying off of the road for a year. I think deep down we know that we won’t succeed (we already have a couple of NYC one-offs scheduled), but the idea of getting at least some extended time off the road definitely has some appeal. We have finished Demons, it’s mixed, mastered and ready to go. There will be more news on the release plans in the next couple of weeks and there will be more blogs posted about the making of the album as well. And then we’ll start work on Volume 3, Sing In My Meadow…more news about its content is imminent. We’ll see some of you at the Toronto show…make sure to stay in touch through the website. Keep safe.

outside of bus

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Tour Diary – Weissenhauser, Germany (Nov 13, 2010)

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Baltic resort

From the sublime, to the surreal, to the ridiculously surreal: this seems to be the arc of this week’s narrative. We woke up in the parking lot of a low budget resort-hotel on the shores of the Baltic Sea. I haven’t had a chance to do any Googling but this place had a distinct Eastern Bloc feel about it, very bare bones and hard edged. But I think we are too close to Hamburg for this area to have been in the East so perhaps this is just the way the German hoi polloi enjoy their vacation time. Today was Day 2 of The Rolling Stone Weekender Festival. A two day event that brings dozens of bands to this odd little enclave and spreads them over three stages; one main stage under a huge temporary tent, a second stage in a low ceilinged convention room inside the shopping complex that is part of the resort and a third stage (which is where we played) inside an odd little room, next to the mini-putt. The promoter made all of the right sounds in apologising for putting us on the smallest stage, saying that we were so late to confirm the gig that ours was the last slot available. Not only were we scheduled for one of the smallest stages that we have ever played, but we also had the much coveted 12:30am slot. So when I woke up in the parking lot at 8:30am this morning, I only had sixteen hours to go before show time. It was a tedious day, but not a bad place to be marooned. We had a couple of rooms in the hotel that we used, so we could escape our multi-wheeled urinal; there was a beach and a boardwalk to stroll along if you could handle the bone chilling winds peeling off of the Baltic; there was this odd little retail mall with a bakery, restaurant, pub and vendors in stalls selling vinyl and other indie-rock wares; there was a wireless internet room in which the network was down all day; a cafeteria which served up some very good food and, of course, starting at 5:30pm there was live music. I saw the Black Keys; John Hiatt; Tindersticks; Blittzen Trapper and an assortment of other bands that I had never heard of and will probably never hear from again.

The biggest drama of the day was supplied by Al who has contracted the Baltic Plague and was bedridden all day with a very high fever. It was touch and go, right up until gig time, whether he would be able to perform. The last thing that we wanted to do after a day of waiting around was to do an acoustic set, we needed to get some ya-ya’s out. But he rallied right before show time and did the show semi-comatose, sitting in chair. We had a jam-packed little venue to play to and they seemed to enjoy the set. On stage it was a little difficult from a sound perspective, but we did our best. We were the last band to finish playing at the Festival so when it came to load out the gear, most of the local crew had disappeared and the key to the small cargo truck that had carried the gear to the venue was nowhere to be found. It was a long load-out for Tim and Jared. When we finally got rolling at around 3am, we pulled out of the parking lot, drove for about 100 meters, there was a loud crunching noise down below, the bus rolled to stop and the interior of the bus went completely dark. We all simultaneously broke out into howls of laughter: there just wasn’t anything else one could do. The final turn of the screw was that all of the gear had to be loaded out of the bus (it is travelling in the bus bays), because Kevin had to get to the transmission which was accessed through a panel in the bottom of the cargo bay. Fortunately he was able to fix the problem, and once the gear was re-loaded, off we went on our little “Carry On Touring” adventure.

Festival venue

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