In The Future...Greg MacPherson CD Release, B.B. King, A Haiti Benefit And More!

>> Thursday, 28 January 2010

Greg MacPherson extends Mr. Invitation to you all.

Winnipeg’s favourite gritty singer-songwriter Greg MacPherson (blog banner, far left) will launch his latest album, Mr. Invitation, at the West End Cultural Centre on April 10th. Mr. Invitation marks Greg’s first release under the Smallman Records banner and if you're curious what the record sounds like, there's a free track for download indie label’s site. Normally Greg’s killer live show packs ‘em in at the West End, so consider this a very early caveat to get your ticket on the asap. See you there.

Legendary bluesman B. B. King (#3 on Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest guitarists of all time) will bring his deft hands and well-worn battle axe to the Centennial Concert Hall on Remembrance Day.

Spend My Blood Valentine’s Day (February 13th) at the Pyramid with local favs Novillero, Haunter, Filbatross, and the My Bloody Valentine’s Day band.

The night after the Pyramid is hosting a benefit for Haiti featuring soulstress Flo, Hip-Hopper Fabian, and sets by DJ Hectic, DJ Kee$h, and DJ Disspare.

Acclaimed hip-hop pair Clipse will be at the Pyramid on March 15th.

Tech N9ne is there on March 16th.

And finally, on a completely unrelated note, R.I.P. J.D. Salinger. Thanks for the immortal Catcher in the Rye. Franny and Zooey too.

Infinite Playlist: Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain


In The Know...11 Q's With The Paperbacks

>> Saturday, 23 January 2010

Sometimes when you ask unusual questions, you get really fun and thoughtful responses.

It comes as no surprise that Winnipeg’s treasured lit-rockers, The Paperbacks, provided Painting Over Silence with such answers. After all, to release an ambitious, 32-song double-album like Lit from Within requires some serious deliberation, ardor, and self-discipline. And, oh yeah, talent. A bold indie-rock tome loaded with frontman Doug McLean’s clever and alluring narratives guided along by bassist/producer Jaret McNabb’s skillful production, Lit from Within is sure to win these fellows even more recognition across Canada (and Winnipeg). And did I mention it’s a double disc?

Translation: twice the tunes for 1.5x the price!

If you’re interested in winning a copy, shoot me an email (on the right) by Friday @ noon CST with “Lit From Within – Giveaway” in the subject line and your name in the body. I’ll draw a name randomly and contact the winner shortly thereafter.

Recently, I posed 11 Q's to founding members Doug (vocals, guitars, and words) and Jaret  (bass, keyboards, percussion, vocals, and production), and they provided me with 11 great A's. Proper nouns thrown around: every wordsmith’s favourite game (Scrabble), one of the hardest video games ever (TMNT for NES), Painting-Over-Silence-banner-gracer (Jack Jonasson), and literary heavyweight Jonathan Safran Foer’s first stab at non-fiction (Eating Animals.)

Catch them perform the just-released Lit from Within in its entirety tonight at the West End Cultural Centre, or pick up the disc at indie shops around town. Thanks to Doug and Jaret for taking part.

1. Where are you right now?

Doug McLean: I'm at the downtown branch of the Winnipeg Public Library, sort of
behind a plant.
Jaret McNabb: Winnipeg, in my studio.

Let's talk Winnipeg…

2. Who is the most underrated Winnipeg-based band?

DM: There's so many! The City Champs are a great band that has our friend
Andrew Filyk (who contributed some guitars to our new CD). Wolbachia
(who were previously known as Kursk). The Eardrums. The Ex-Girlfriends.
The Magificent Sevens. Tons more...
JM: Venetian Snares, not so much a band but an offendingly overlooked
electronic artist.

3. What is you favourite local venue?

DM: Any place that puts bands on is fine by me. But if I had to pick, The Lo
Pub is a nice place run by our old drummer, Jack has a
really diverse schedule in terms of types of music/events, ranging from
indie rock to DJ nights to film presentations. It also has a stellar
menu and Scrabble.
JM: The West End Cutural Centre.

4. Where do you shop for music?

DM: I know this is the wrong answer, since this is under the "Let's talk
Winnipeg" heading, but...on computers. I do pay! I would just rather
have the files than the discs/platters/etc.
JM: Making music is really expensive. I limit my purchases to vinyl
from artists I really admire and usually they are limited pressing not
carried in our local shops. That said I support all our local shops
whenever I can find some stuff I'm looking for. Into the Music, Music
Trader and War On Music.

5. Where is the best place to catch a bite?

DM: Lo Pub, Falafel Place, Mondragon, Delicious Vegetarian.
JM: The veggie burger and the North Star Drive In is amazing. If I
wanted a beef burger, my loyalty will always be with Superboys. Two
North End monuments.

6. What is the worst bus route?

DM: In Winnipeg? All of them. There's a mythical one known as "The 76" that,
despite what it says, goes directly from the University of Manitoba to
Everywhere On Earth That You're Not Going.
JM: The Winnipeg Transit System.

And some hodgepodge…

7. What is one piece of equipment absolutely essential to your live show?

DM: Judging by how it goes when I don't have one of these, I would say
tuning pedal.
JM: Doug is the essential piece of the puzzle, if he didn't show up
there's be no point. He can do what he does on a $2 pawn shop acoustic
and it would have some merit.

8. What are your top-five, all-time, desert-island records?

DM: I'm not good at this! If you ever want to do a top 800,000 desert island
records sometime, I'm your guy. But, okay, here's a try:
Joni Mitchell - Blue
Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
Des Ark - Loose Lips Sink Ships
Archers of Loaf - All The Nation's Airports
Rainer Maria - Catastrophe Keeps Us Together
...and all I can think of is what I'm missing! My desert island would
suck. I would just stare at my 5 records and whine about not having,
like, Prince bootlegs.

JM: Today, under all this pressure to spit out an answer, um, I grab for :
John Frusciante - The Empyrean
Last Step -1961
The Mars Volta - Amputecture
The Beatles - Does the new box set count?
Superchunk - Foolish

9. What book(s) are you currently reading?

DM: On the go: "Cecil and Jordan in New York" by Gabrielle Bell, "Notes From
the Air" by John Ashberry, "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer
and, for about the fifth time, "No One Belongs Here More Than You" by
Miranda July.
JM: I just finished "American Woman, the Story of the Guess Who" by John

10. What is your favourite Winter Olympics sport?

DM: Is there anything synchronized? Synchronized skating or skiing or
something? If so, that.
JM: Free Ross Rebagliati !!!

11. And finally, a toughie. Who is your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael)?

DM: Donatello, for his calm introspection. And also, in the original NES
game, his attacks did the most damage. Dichotomy!
JM: Raphael, dude!

Infinite Playlist: The Paperbacks - Lit from Within


In Review...Vampire Weekend, Leif Vollebekk

>> Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Vampire Weekend

Sorry, naysayers. With Contra, the kids from Vampire Weekend stand a chance. For further prominence. Partially christened after the popular 80s Nintendo game, Contra immediately distinguishes itself from its titular predecessor. The instant accessibility and familiarity of their stunning afro-pop debut has been replaced with smarter, more mature and muscular songs. This time around the preppy lads from the Big Apple dabble in airy calypso “Horchata”, glittery synth-pop “White Sky”, turgid punk “Cousins,” and tender ballads “Taxi Cab”. Frontman Ezra Koening’s pliable pipes are stretched even further while the deft arrangements of Rostma Batmanglij see the band scale back the strings in favour of Marimbas, a VSS-30, shakers, hand drums, an M.I.A. sample, and, good golly!, an acoustic guitar. Load it. Play it. Enjoy it. The first great album of this fresh year.

-Mykael Sopher

Choice Cuts: “White Sky,” “Cousins”, “I Think UR A Contra”
R.I.Y.D.: The Very Best, Paul Simon’s Graceland, Phoenix
Label: XL Recordings

Leif Vollebekk

There is a certain something about Canada that helps bring into being the most thoughtful of singer-songwriters. Maybe it’s the long and harsh, isolating winters. Perhaps it’s the enchanting wilderness (have you ever you seen Hoarfrost?) Or it could even be the endlessly fascinating cultural diversity. Whatever his muse was, Montreal-based musician Leif Vollebekk now ranks amongst the country’s talented introspective folk artists. His independently-launched debut, Inlands, released this month via upstart label Nevado Records, is a winning collection of achingly gorgeous ballads set to skeletal arrangements. Vollebekk’s gentle acoustic strum and stately piano invite listeners to lean in and fully absorb his polite tales about the consequences of unrequited love. On “Quebec” he laments: “when a woman leaves, it’s best to just move away.” Wherever Leif lands, audiences will follow.

-Mykael Sopher

Choice Cuts: “In the Morning”, “Quebec”, “In the Midst of Blue and Green”
R.I.Y.D.: Timber Timbre, Bahamas, Jeff Buckley
Label: Nevado Records

Infinite Playlist: Bahamas - Pink Strat


In The Flesh...Tegan and Sara w/ An Horse @ The Burton Cummings Theatre

>> Saturday, 16 January 2010

“They should have seatbelts,” declared An Horse frontwoman Kate Cooper Thursday night while gazing wide-eyed up at the Burt’s terrifying second balcony.

Perhaps. But if they get seatbelts, us first balcony lot should get helmets. Just ask the hapless young woman next to me. A 3/4s full plastic bottle of iced tea landed smack on her head, tossed down by some thoughtless (or careless) second balcony rube. Don’t worry. She was okay. Just shaken up.

Overall though, Thursday night’s Tegan and Sara sold-out show at the Burt was a sure-fire thrill. The Quinn twins proved themselves confident and winning performers, easily confirmed by all 1600 of the youthful, highly excitable, and largely female crowd.

Now I’m a self-confessed late attendee to the whole Tegan and Sara soiree, showing up just in time for Sainthood. Despite my prominent unfamiliarity – it felt odd and, well, wrong not whooping and hollering when a hit materialized – the many arena-ready power-pop tunes were hooky, familiar and instantly likable. The global themes of love, caring, and relationships the girls explore in their stylings are handled with tenderness and thought. No lazy clich├ęs here.

Not one to shy away from the microphone, the quirky Tegan often entertained with stories that served as segues into the next song. These brief tales about the girls’ creative process, first visit to Peg City 12 years back, or mother’s reason for not wearing green (it’s a young person’s colour), were fun and confessional, a tip of the hat, if you will, to VH1 Storytellers. Unfortunately, this rest in between songs encouraged the teenaged attention-magnets up front to repeatedly interrupt Tegan’s winsome storytelling. “You guys are so annoying,” she blurted before tactfully adding, “but I love your energy.”

It’s clear why the Tegan and Sara fan ranks have swollen with each return visit.

Australian indie-pop pair An Horse – singer/guitarist Kate Cooper and singer/drummer Damon Cox – jumpstarted the evening. Despite their economical two person drums ‘n guitar set-up, the Aussie’s dynamic sound filled the Burt to its meniscus, often sounding large and loud enough to be the product of three-to-four band members.

One could almost say the event required a seatbelt.

Infinite Playlist: The Cure - Show


In The Future...JasonCollettZeusBahamas United, Woodhands, An Important Fundraiser And More!

>> Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Jason Collett, Zeus, and Bahamas will stage an inventive, bold, and possibly unprecedented show at the West End Cultural Centre on April 3rd. Instead of the conventional route of three separate performances, the trio of acts will combine into one ridiculously talented powerhouse unit and play songs together, alternating amongst discographies. Consider my curiousity piqued.

Synth ‘n drums electro-poppers Woodhands bring their live show to the Lo Pub on February 27th, touring in support of their soon-to-be-released second album, Remorsecapade. Said record drops January 26th.

Boats! will dock at the Lo Pub on January 23rd w/ Ultra Mega and Not Animals.

Lucie Idlout is at the West End on February 18th.

And last, but certainly not least, the West Central Women’s Resource Centre (WCWRC) is holding a fundraiser at the West End on February 5th featuring Winnipeg roots heroes Nathan in the headline slot and Nova - a threesome comprised of PoS banner-gracer Greg MacPherson, Hogue and Molly McCracken - kicking the show off.  The entire soiree will be MCed by local performance artist Shawna Dempsey, with all proceeds going toward renovating WCWRC’s new and much-needed office space on Ellice. There’s a silent auction too! (Much thanks to Aaron for the heads up).


I’ve received a few emails lately from readers wondering if I’m looking for site contributors. The answer: "yes, definitely!" Starting next week, I’ll be running album reviews on a bi-weekly basis. If you’re interested in penning a review from time-to-time, fire me an email and we’ll dialogue.

Also, for the photo buffs out there, I’d love to post a “photo review” of any live shows you’ve recently snapped with your camera. Email me for details.

And finally, congrats to Kimberley and Saralyn on winning the Tegan & Sara discs. I’ll mail those out on the asap.

Infinite Playlist: An Horse - Rearrange Beds


A Giveaway/11 Questions With...An Horse

>> Monday, 11 January 2010

If you’re hitting one (or both) of Tegan & Sara’s gigs this week at the Burt, try and catch their supporting act, Australian indie-pop duo An Horse. Impossibly earnest and executed with aplomb, the songs on the Aussie pair’s debut Rearrange Beds are texturally simple – mostly drums/guitars/vocals – yet arresting while packing a real punch.

And I’ve got not one, not two, but three copies of their cd for giveaway courtesy of my kind and giving pals over at Maple Music. If you’re interested, fire me off an email (on the right) by Monday the 18th @ noon with your name in the body and “An Horse – Giveaway” in the subject line. I’ll draw the winners from a touque shortly after and contact the lucky trio.

Vocalist/guitarist Kate Cooper answered 11 Qs for me recently and her responses are definitely in the fun and thoughtful category; and surprisingly feature two artists of a Winnipeg flavour: Neil Young and Marcel Dzama. Oh, and if you’re not making your way to the Tegan & Sara shows, An Horse are playing a free in-store set at Music Trader on the 15th @ 3:30 p.m.


1. Where are you right now?
Montreal, QC at the kitchen table.

2. Where is your favourite place in Canada to play a gig?
We played at the Metropolis with the Silversun Pickups in Montreal. It was the best sounding show of the tour and maybe even my existence. Such a beautiful venue to play for so many reasons!

3. Whats one piece of equipment absolutely essential to your live

4. What are your top three, all-time, desert-island records?
Woah. Today they are: Harvest - Neil Young, PJ Harvey - White Chalk, Gillian Welch - Time (The Revelator).

5. Whats your pick for album-of-the-year so far?
T&S Sainthood. Easy.

6. What was the last great concert you saw?
I saw Brand New play a week after I got off tour. They blew my mind and really inspired me to just get BETTTTTER!

7. Of the albums you own, which has the best cover art?
Well I love everything Celeste Potter does (she does all An Horse's art). She plays in a band called Ouch My Face. She did the artwork for her album and it is amazing. Also Marcel Dzama's cover for the Weakerthans Reconstruction Site is undeniably amazing.

8. PC or Mac?

9. What's your favourite winter Olympics sport?
I am not really sure! It's not a big thing in Australia. We don't get much snow and to be honest I have never watched any. That's probably a really sacrilegious thing to say in Canada.

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Blink - Malcolm Gladwell, Ransom - David Malouf AND for christmas I just unwrapped Marcel Dzama's - Even the Ghost of the Past.

11. And finally who's your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

(Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?
Donatello but also I am a huge Splinter fan.

Infinite Playlist: An Horse - Rearrange Beds


Giveaway: Tegan And Sara's Sainthood

>> Thursday, 7 January 2010

The good and generous folk over at Warner Music Canada sent along two copies of Tegan and Sara's Sainthood for giveaway to readers of this here blog.

The twin sisters' Quin , if you didn't know, have booked a two-night's stay at the Burt next week for Thursday and Friday where they'll play many of the thoughtful and delectable tunes off their well-received latest release, Sainthood, quite possibly their strongest album to date.

If you're interested in a copy, flip me an email (address on the side bar) by Tuesday @ noon with the subject line "Tegan and Sara Sainthood Giveaway" and be sure to include your name in the body. One entry per person please. I'll draw the winners randomly on Tuesday afternoon and contact them shortly after.

Infinite Playlist: The Lytics - The Lytics


Wandering Suns

>> Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Happy New Year/Decade! I'm planning some exciting new changes to Painting Over Silence this month, so I apologize for the week-long gap between posts. I've been busy researchin' and learnin' and brainstormin', all for the benefit of this blog (I hope) and am in the process of implementing my designs. More about this in posts to come.

There's not a lot of new happenings round Winnipeg these days, but here's a trio of show announcement to tide us over:

Punk vets NOFX play the Burt on April 26th.

Local singer-songwriter / 11 questions participant Todd Hunter is officially launching his much lauded disc Star into local orbit at the Academy on January 21st w/ Les Jupes.

Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dolls drop by the Pyramid on April 12th.

Infinite Playlist: Portishead - Dummy


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