In The Future...Christine Fellows' CD Launch; And More!

>> Friday 28 January 2011

Presented by the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg singer-songwriter Christine Fellows is launching her fifth proper release, Femmes De Chez, at First Lutheran Church (580 Victor St.) on March 3rd. Advance tickets will ya $17.

Speaking of the WECC, Welsh songsmith Martyn Joseph returns there for a gig on March 23rd.

Resident electronic duo Beekeepers will perform a live glitchdump set at the Crescent Fort Rouge United Church on February 25th. Yes, I typed “glitchdump.”

Local blues-rockers The Root In Fluents are releasing their first full length album, Red River Flu, at the Pyramid on March 18th.

Can’t remember if I mentioned this one since it wasn't on the right prior to this post, and, if so, it’s definitely worth reiterating: Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few are at the WECC on March 8th.

And finally, West Coast folk-pop act Behind Sapphire is at Le Garage on February 5th.


In The Future...Sleigh Bells/Neon Indian Co-headlining Show @ The Pyramid

>> Monday 24 January 2011

Wickedly exciting double-bill going down at the Pyramid on May 21st: noise-pop makers Sleigh Bells (above) co-headlines with indie-dance purveyors Neon Indian. Definitely be seeing you there.

Also, Burlington’s Sandman Viper Command rock the Standard on March 26th.

And, lastly, one of Nick Hornby’s fave songwriter’s Jackson Browne cordially invites you to spend an evening with him on April 2nd at the Centennial Concert Hall.  By cordially I mean if you pay 70 or so bones for a ticket.


In The Future...Tiesto Returns!

>> Sunday 23 January 2011

Couple show announcements to throw your way:

Dutch DJ/musician/producer extraordinaire Tiesto returns to Winnipeg for a set at the Convention Centre on April 26th.

Common Grackle is at the Lo Pub on February 3rd.


In The Future...Pixes to play Doolittle @ The Centennial Concert Hall

>> Thursday 20 January 2011

They've been called all the important adjectives a band could ever dream of: omnipotent, influential, legendary, cerebral. Heck, I've even read unfuckwithable.

They are, of course, The Pixies, the reunited late 80s/early 90s alt-rock act led by incomparable frontman Black Francis, and best know, perhaps, for their seminal outing, Doolittle. And for fans of that mighty record, the Pixies are scheduled to play it in its entirety at the Centennial Concert Hall on April 27th.

Not sure when public ticket sales go down, but scuttlebutt has it some presale tickets will be served up this Friday morning on the band's website.


In The Know...11 Questions w/ Ingrid Gatin

>> Wednesday 19 January 2011

Over the past month or so, resident songstress Ingrid Gatin has been out and about charming audiences with her heartstring-tugging lyrics, soulful vocals, and characteristic musical style (she's known for rocking a mean accordion). 

But by out and about, I don't mean at your the venues and clubs. Instead, Gatin has been performing a string of shows while travelling on Canada’s treasured locomotive: Via Rail. And having just entertained passengers on the route across the prairies from Edmonton to Winnipeg, she is officially back in Manitoba for a concert this Saturday at the Exchange Community Church where it's a safe bet new material will be played. Look for her next release this May. 

I caught up with Gatin prior to her departing Edmonton and fired 11 questions her way. Topics discussed included: the seminal impact of Ace of Base’s The Sign; the can’t-miss album art adorning all A Hawk and a Hacksaw records; and, naturally, the feckless St. Boniface bus route.

1. Where are you right now?

We are in cold cold Edmonton.

Let’s talk Winnipeg…

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

I have played off and on with a band called Twin. They do this folk and experimental music thing, and I think it is totally great. It really gets me going.

3. What is your favourite local venue?

I have a penchant for shows in art spaces. I do a lot of different art projects, and I find it is a really good way to facilitate having other art going on in the same space.

4. Where do you shop for music?

I usual buy music at music shows!

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

Oh man, this list could go on! I love the West End for food! Amazing Vietnamese and Ethiopian, not to mention the Black Sheep Diner. The Falafel Place is always a favourite.

6. What’s the worst bus route in the city?

I just moved to St. B and I can't seem to catch a bus. I've heard that the buses come early..? Maybe it's the St. B bus route. Although when I get on the bus, they are the friendliest bus drivers! Double edged sword.

And some hodgepodge…

7. What are some albums that completely changed your life?

The Sign - Ace of Base for sure. I was probably about 9 or 10, and it rocked my small town Saskatchewan world. Also Blue - Joni Mitchell. Realizing all the music my mom was listening to was actually amazing was a window to the new world. La Maison De Mon RĂªve by Cocorosie was an album that really opened up my head/heart musically.

8. Of the albums you own, which has the best cover art?

I've loved every album cover by A Hawk and A Hacksaw.

9. What TV shows are you currently following?

I actually have never had TV.

10. What's the last great film you saw?

 I just rewatched The Red Violin. What a dramatic film! It was incredible.

11. And finally, would you rather have the ability to fly or to turn invisible?



In The Future...PS I Love You/Diamond Rings Double Bill; Braids; Children's Rehab Rockout

>> Monday 17 January 2011

First up, great double-bill going down at the Lo Pub on March 25th: guitar-and-drums pair PS I Love You continue their tireless touring schedule in support of their excellent disc, Meet Me At Muster Station (#9 on my personal top ten records of 2K10 list) w/ lo fi indie-popper Diamond Rings.

Oft-buzzed-about indie act Braids release their debut disc, Native Speaker, tomorrow before embarking on a major North American tour; the massive trek includes a date at the Albert on April 2nd.

Resident singer-songwriter Ingrid Gatin performs at the Exchange Community Church on January 22nd.

Speaking of Winnipeg talent, the Children's Rehab Rockout – a local band competition/charity fundraiser featuring 5 up and coming Peg City bands – takes place on February 17th at the Pyramid. All proceeds go toward the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.

Also, The Bluebird North Songwriters’ Showcase – featuring Don Amero, Bean, Scott Nolan, and James Struthers – is being held at the Park Theatre on Tuesday, February 8th.

All ten members of Five Alarm Funk will bring their fun and relentlessly energetic live show reputation to the Pyramid on March 4th.

And finally, prog-metal act Protest The Hero return to town for a gig at the West End Cultural Centre on March 30th w/ Maylene and the Sons of Disaster & Tesseract.


In The Future...The RAA @ The Pyramid; Curran/Costelo @ Park; And More!

>> Thursday 13 January 2011

For the third time in just over a year, Painting over Silence banner gracers The Rural Alberta Advantage are rolling through town. But this time around, they’re changing up the venue (and the ticket price): they’ll be at the Pyramid on March 31st. Tickets will run ya $25.

Eastern Canadian folk treasures Amelia Curran and Erin Costelo make up a solid double bill at the Park Theatre on May 10th.

Winnipeg fav Del Barber performs at the Park Theatre on April 9th.

The 2010 Juno Award winners for Roots & Traditional Album (Group) were none other than the Good Lovelies; see the award-winning Toronto-based trio at the Park on March 7th.

And finally, for a good time, try Plants & Animals at the Pyramid on February 26th w/ Yukon Blonde.  


In The Know...Interview with Les Jupes

>> Wednesday 12 January 2011

To say Les Jupes' debut release, Modern Myths, was a long time coming would be a bit of an understatement.

The first seeds for Modern Myths were planted over half-a-decade ago, but it wasn't until three years later, after some lineup changes, that the rest of the album started to germinate. Flash forward two years to yesterday when, at last, Modern Myths came into being and finally hit stores. 

The end result is a well-executed and well-crafted set of thunderous, bombastic rockers and slow, deeply affecting soul-stirrers that really come to life under lead singer Michael Petkau Falk's sobering baritone.  Simply put, it serves notice that this Winnipeg-based band must be heard. Now. 

Yesterday evening I spoke with band founder Michael Petkau Falk and asked him about the album's beginnings; Les Jupes' current lineup; and the thematic connection behind such seemingly random topics as mathematics, Nikita Kruschev, and Chicago.

Painting over Silence: So I was wondering if you could walk us through the album’s inception and incubation. How long did Modern Myths take to write, record, and produce?

Michael Petkau Falk: Sure. The oldest song is “This Place Owes Us” which was written in 2005. Then, most of the songs came in the last six months before we started recording. Well, six months to a year. So most of 2008 is when most of the songs came. We started recording in February of 09 and Marcus was here for a little bit - we did all the bed tracks - then he went back to Montreal. I started doing overdubs and puttering away on it until spring of this year, and then I went to Montreal in July to mix it.

So it was done in July. *laughs* It’s a bit of a long arc for this one.

PoS: Producer/engineer Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs) helped record Modern Myths. How did you originally get together with Paquin?

MPF: He’s an old friend of mine. We got to know each other through playing shows and whatever else in Montreal. When it came time to think about doing a record, we really wanted to do it right and we really wanted to find the right person for the songs and the sounds. He was kind of the obvious choice. 

PoS: As the band’s principle songwriter, which musicians/albums had a profound impact on your songwriting style?

MPF: I've obviously listened to a lot of music over a long time. I grew up in high school listening to Red House Painters, Catherine Wheel, Sonic Youth, and Smashing Pumpkins. In recent years, it’s been The National, Interpol, Iron & Wine, Land of Talk. All of that stuff has been pretty constant in the player.

PoS: So registering more on an unconscious level?

MPF: Yeah, exactly. In fact, the stuff I listen to now is probably more influential than all the R.E.M. I listened to years ago. Who knows? Maybe not. *laughs* Maybe that comes through just as much.

PoS: I guess it’s a tough thing to pinpoint.

MPF: Yeah, it is. Every now and then I hear a chord change as I mix and I think, “Oh, that’s totally what R.E.M would’ve done.” And every now and then, “there’s a lot of F sharp minor on this.” F sharp minor is a good Interpol chord.

PoS: Now along the way Les Jupes underwent a lineup change.

MPF: Yeah, multiple.

PoS: And the current band is David Schellenberg (The Playing Cards), and Kelly Beaton (All Of Your Friends), and yourself.

MPF: And Adam Klassen, who is now our drummer.

PoS: What was it about these three that made them the right fit for Les Jupes?

MPF: As I started putting the next wave of the band together I wanted people who weren’t just good musicians, but also good people – people that were also pretty passionate about wanting to do this, dive in, and do the work that is necessary. I wanted to find people who were excited about it and not just doing it out of friendship.

David’s been awesome. He came on board just over a year ago. We sat down and talked about music for awhile. I think we’re both really hard workers and we see eye to eye on a bunch of different things. It just felt like a natural fit.

Then when Jesse Warkentin was leaving, he brought Kelly to my attention and Kelly was totally the right fit again. She is a great musician and it’s great to have a female voice back in the band and be able to sing those parts on the record.

Adam is the newest one. Good drummers are hard to find. You want someone with good technical chops and who can keep a steady beat, but also someone who’s creative and not just in it to play for themselves, who can see the bigger picture. He understands songwriting and arranging and can play other instruments. He gets the bigger picture of what’s going on, and that’s been really important and really helpful.

PoS: So it’s safe to say there’s a pretty excited vibe going on at rehearsals these days?

MPF: Yeah! It’s been awesome. There’s more yesses and high fives than ever before. It’s pretty cool.

PoS: I’ve been listening to the album over the past couple days. It strikes a pretty judicious balance between the number of big, ambitious rockers and slow, affecting songs. Was this by design, or did your creative output seem to be naturally divided this way?

MPF: It’s kind of naturally been divided that way. It’s a reflection of who I am. I’ve always really enjoyed highly personal songs that go right for an emotional core. I spent a lot of time being affected by those kinds of songs when I was growing up, so that influence is pretty strong.

But I also like to lay it all out every now and then. It’s fun to play something really big with some bombast that punches you in the face every now and then. It’s an ‘I love you, I hate you’ kind of record. There’s a little bit of push and pull; there’s a kiss and there’s a punch. That’s how I am I guess, so it’s kind of natural that that part comes out on record.

PoS: There are some seemingly random topics and ideas addressed on Modern Myths.

MPF: *laughs*

PoS: We’ve got mathematics as a universal language; Nikita Khruschev (Stalin’s Ukrainian heir); depression and eating disorders; Chicago, etc. What’s the thematic connection between these ostensibly unrelated topics?

MPF: I think the thematic connection between all of them is people trying to get past the barriers in their lives. It's a story of people trying to deal with the things that have been bothering them for awhile or dealing with the things that hold them back. Whether its Kruschev dealing with Stalin looking over his shoulder and how at any second the whole thing can crumble and blow up in his face, or whether it’s someone fighting with an eating disorder, or, even on “Ghost”, about people dealing with suicide, the record is about people who are tying to get past these things and move on with their lives.

Getting over hurdles is the connection.

Catch Michael Petkau Falk and the rest of Les Jupes this Saturday at the Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art as they officially launch Modern Myths. And don't forget, you can win a pair of tickets to the show by simply sending me an email. Details here


In Giveaways...Two Tickets To Les Jupes CD Release Party

>> Tuesday 11 January 2011

I've got a pair of tickets to attend Les Jupes' much anticipated cd release party going down this Saturday at the very new, very chic Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (across from the U of W).

To enter, shoot me an email (located on the right) by Friday @ noon CST with the subject line "Les Jupes' CD release ticket giveaway" and your name in the email's body. I'll draw the winner shortly after noon and contact the lucky entrant immediately.

Check back tomorrow night for an interview with Les Jupes' frontman Michael Petkau Flak.


In The Know...Interview with Jon Cohen

>> Monday 10 January 2011

For his current musical odyssey, Jon Cohen (of the Jon Cohen Experimental) decided to leave the Experimental at home. Instead of bringing along the band, he's doing the one-man show thing for the entire trek, a three-month "personal pilgrimage" that required Cohen to sit down, construct a completely new set, and revamp song after song.

But the purpose of the pilgrimage isn't some sort of end goal: it's to bring the songs off his terrifically thoughtful and well-written sophomore disc, Behold, to as many receptive ears as possible.

I caught up with the Montreal-based pop-rock artist over the weekend and asked him about the challenges of preparing for a solo tour; how members of the Stills, Stars, and Dears came to guest on Behold; and what his New Year's Resolutions for 2011 were.

Painting over Silence: In the past you’ve been a member of such high profile bands as the Dears and the Social Register. What made you decide to form your own musical project?

Jon Cohen: The need to express myself, do my own music and take charge of my own affairs. I can write music – I don’t only play instruments – and if you put that away, it’s okay for awhile; but, after awhile it going to affect you unless you let it out of the closet.

PoS: How did your time and experience playing with these acts help ultimately shape the Jon Cohen Experimental and your personal songwriting style?

JC: Well, the amount of time that was spent playing music with so many different members and just being out there, touring a lot and just trying out all these different styles of music has not gentrified me in any way. It’s kept me pretty open to any possibility, and I take that spirit into my own music. It’s taught me to have an open mind to try anything.

PoS: Behold features some A-list cameos from the likes of Evan Cranley (Stars), Murray Lightburn (Dears), and Liam O’Neill (Stills). How did these musicians get involved in the album?

JC: I asked them! *laughs*

I called them up, and I said I’m working on a record. It wasn’t the easiest thing. Obviously these guys are pretty high caliber musicians and busy guys, and I’m just another friend who was making music. But they were really supportive, and they really got behind the music. It was definitely a concerted effort - I wouldn’t have done it unless I felt the music was up to par. It was just a question of approaching them and seeing to what extent they’d like to be involved.

PoS: Behold is your second release under the Jon Cohen Experimental moniker. What changed this second time around, in terms of your approach to writing and recording?

JC: Both records have their pros and cons. On the one hand, with the first record, there’s a sort of naive approach and just this kind of raw energy of jumping into something and doing it fast. There’s an innocence there that is definitely undeniable, and although the music is not quite as developed, it still contains something that is hard to capture otherwise.

With this record (Behold), it’s the opposite. It was two years of intense labour, working and reworking the music and trying to capture it at its best moments. There’s also the age factor – a little older, a little wiser as they say – and just wanting to have a totally different experience when making the record. That’s not to say the next record won’t be done in a weekend. For me, it’s more about the process - the process dictates the outcome so much more than anything else.

I want to try to change it up as much as possible from album to album, and that not only refers to how I approach it, but also where I want to record it and with whom I want to play with.

PoS: The word “behold” means much more than seeing – it refers to observing, processing what you see. What made this particular word a good fit for the album title?

JC: Well, lyrically this album is focused on introspection; it’s focused on my own personal journey of self-discovery. The word ‘behold’ generally refers to this idea of revealing something to yourself - of revealing yourself to yourself. An aspect of yourself that you may not have been aware of before. Or somebody reveals something to you as well. It’s a kind of “a-ha” moment like “ah. This takes me to the next stage of my experience.”

I think lyrically this album asks listeners to not just listen on a superficial level or not just do things in life on a superficial level, and try to look for a deeper meaning and try to have a bit more insight into your daily thoughts and actions. It’s a message, really, to myself; but, like all music, it’s a personal thing, and depending on how honest it is, it can really translate to a lot of people. The title word was carefully chosen. It really is about this idea that we live in a society where we don’t behold.

PoS: So the current tour is just Jon Cohen solo, without the Experimental.

JC: That’s correct.

PoS: How does preparing for a solo tour compare to preparing for one backed by a full band?

JC:  It’s very different. It’s obviously more isolative. I had to understand that I couldn’t rip my band away for three months of their lives to follow me on this personal pilgrimage. So, I had to seize this opportunity to experiment with a whole other side of myself. I had to create a completely new set and take these songs from behold and reinvent them.

One thing was for sure: I didn’t want it to be the singer of the band who goes solo, just has an acoustic guitar and plays the songs bare bones. I took it as an opportunity to reinvent myself and while I’m not fully there, I’m working out the kinks. I’m definitely on my way.

By the time I hit Winnipeg and the prairies, this thing will have morphed into something I can negotiate with.

PoS: Last question: 2011 just kicked off, which means New Year’s resolutions are being bandied about left and right. What are Jon Cohen’s New Year’s resolutions for 2011?

JC: To work hard! To push and to get myself out there and to give more. And try to be more honest, more outgoing and try to do what I believe I was put here to do.

Which is to make music and give it to people.


He means that literallyCatch Jon Cohen this Friday night at the Cavern. The first ten or so people receive a free copy of his latest record, Behold


In The Future...Destroyer @ The WECC; Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans @ The WECC; And More!

>> Friday 7 January 2011

After the annual December show announcement lull, exciting concerts are starting to materialize all over Peg City:

First up, Destroyer (aka Dan Bejar) returns to Winnipeg for the first time since appearing alongside fellow New Pornographers early last year. The accomplished songwriter is at the West End Cultural Centre on April 13th, touring in support of his latest offering, Kaputt (street date: January 25th).  Tickets went on sale earlier today. War on Drugs kick starts the evening.

After announcing a full slate of cdn tour dates that surprisingly did not include a Winnipeg show, Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans have added one: the collective will be at the WECC on Saturday, March 5th. Presale password is falconlake. SISKYOU is also on the bill.

Local songsmith Matt Epp is releasing his latest record at the WECC on April 23rd.

Add indie-popper Gentleman Reg to the January22nd Sarah Harmer bill at the Garrick.

Speaking of openers, Sweet Thing open for Down With Webster, March 5th @ the Burt.

And last up, Toronto-based indie-folk artist Rob Moir plays the Lo Pub on February 12th.


In The Future...Born Ruffians, The Fugitives @ The Park Theatre

>> Saturday 1 January 2011

Editor's note: I'm currently out of the country on vacation. Regular updates to resume January 6th. 

Cheerfully off-kilter indie-rockers Born Ruffians return to Winnipeg for a March 19th date at The Park Theatre.

Vancouver's The Fugitives have cobbled together a short Western Canadian tour, a series of dates which includes a stop at the Park on March 11th.

Old news that's still worth repeating: Motorhead plan to blow the roof off the Burton Cummings Theatre on February 12th.

And finally, Happy New Year! Thanks for reading and following Painting over Silence, and cheers to the upcoming year.


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