Tag: grand prairie

New Canadiana :: The Royal Iguana Fur – Bright White Coat Hanger

The Royal Iguana Fur - Bright White Coat Hanger
Somewhere in an unassuming Grande Prairie bedroom, Alex Linfield is seated in a fort made of vinyl. He invites you inside, closing the door behind him, and launches a searing side-glance into the rock ‘n’ roll canon. There is something voyeuristic about being there to watch this bedroom dancer, with his headphones still on, plowing through damaged covers and uncouth originals; it’s as entertaining as a scurrilous rumor or indiscreet disclosure. This one-man psychogenic wrecking crew slams the door in the world’s face, and you are the only person allowed to be there with him. Bright White Coat Hanger sits on the same side of a topological barrier that you haven’t even been able to see since you were a surly teenager.

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The Royal Iguana Fur – Stifle

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The Royal Iguana Fur – Cesspool

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The Royal Iguana Fur – Louie Louie

New Canadiana :: Goose Lake – Wakewind

Goose Lake - Wakewind
One could be forgiven in thinking the scene revolving around Grande Prairie is the result of some kind of immaculate conception. The most salient feature of the region is transience, and the terminal moraine left in the wake of musicians coming and going is being documented like the points of some constellation half-familiar to anybody who grew up in a remote city; an abstract map in search of territory. Goose Lake, Alberta — located near the intersection of Highway 658 and Township Road 614B — stares up into this solar apex, with guitars and voices and votive offerings to the remote.

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Goose Lake – At The Gate

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Goose Lake – Roses Hallowed

Departures :: The Stonefield – Deep Shades of Blue b/w Morning Hours [1967]

The Stonefield - Deep Shades of Blue bw Morning Hours
Hailing from one of the most northernly outposts in Canada, The Stonefield remain an enigma within the Canadian garage-punk cosmos. An easy personal favorite and serious head-scratcher with its brutal fuzz massacre, dual piano weirdness, and bewildering A/B-side pairing. “Deep Shades of Blue” oozes an addictive, lysergic weariness with its mid-tempo somber organ stuck firmly in a minor-key while their drummer, seemingly in his own universe, augments the pacing with a complete disregard for drum pattern awareness. “Morning Hours”, the track that has grippers sweating this single pretty hard, is equally confusing, with a relentless bawdy piano swirling beneath the primitive fuzz lead, secondary organ (two keyboards?!), and bleary vocals (singer Joe Verheyden has stated that he had a flu the day they recorded). The pièce de résistance hits mid-way through “Morning Hours” when one of the most intense and ridiculous fuzz-guitar solos totally drowns out the entire track. I once drove to The Hub of the Peace (Rycroft) on a mission to uncover the mystery behind the band and their insanely obscure 7″ to little success. They recorded in Edmonton and later reformed as The Exit, leaving the rest of the world to ponder the sheer awesomeness and absurdity of their legacy. I’d like to dedicate this post to my very close friend Jon Murphy who has brought a much needed light to many unknown 60s singles throughout Canada, including The Stonefield.

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The Stonefield – Morning Hours

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The Stonefield – Deep Shades of Blue

New Canadiana :: Matthew A. Wilkinson – sSs EP

Matthew A. Wilkinson - sSs EP
Quick as a cricket, Grand Prairie’s holiest warbler zaps us through the post with his latest enchantment. The sSs EP picks up right where the spellbinding Namers left off, spiraling into black echoes for a series of cinematic miniatures, scraped strings, plucked banjos and touched electronics. The creeping horror culminates in “Cen eTe neR”, a nine-minute scorched earth awakening of cooing kitties and the post-rock dawn of its “secret song.” Discover Alberta.

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Matthew A. Wilkinson – yYy

New Canadiana :: Matthew A. Wilkinson – Namers

Surprise grip of the year. Softly diffusing from the northwestern margins of the Swan City (Grand Prairie), Matthew A. Wilkinson has upended Weird Canada HQ with his numinous folk incantations. Wordless murmurs melt into wasted drum circles, twinkling pianos and bent acoustic chant, as this boreal basement ritual summons malevolent deities of wavering gender. Songwriter, filmmaker and maybe even oracle, Wilkinson wields an unruly power. Lend him your ears.

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Matthew A. Wilkinson – Hand Over Hand

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Matthew A. Wilkinson – Like This

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Matthew A. Wilkinson – Yes, My Knees Say

New Canadiana :: First Nations – Wand

Stewing in the northern isolation of Grand Prairie, First Nations’ popular brew sharply morphed into an ambitious platter of cross-provincial musicalia after lead singer Derek Janzen darted westward. Derek’s dark velvet vocals are layered over ambitious mountains of rural mystics and sprawling piano pop while a dense harmonium and brooding kick hold Wand‘s ritual to pace. The album is a highly imaginative journey through Alberta’s north, British Columbia’s vacant island, and Canada’s penchant for immortalizing creative brilliance on crisp discs of plastic-wrapped digital mirrors. This really should have come out of Calgary.

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First Nations – Cathedral Bells

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First Nations – Skeletundra II