January 2007


A brief bio of your label: Who started it? When? First band signed and/or first release?
Founded in the late ’90s by friends and bandmates Josh Rosenfeld and Christopher Possanza as a way to put out music by their own band (This Busy Monster) and their friends’ bands (Death Cab for Cutie, Little Champions, Abigail Grush, et al), Barsuk Records has grown and flourished over the years. Focused not on any specific genre, but simply on supporting quality songwriting and unique creativity, Barsuk has helped introduce the world to such phenomenally talented artists as The Long Winters, Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, Aqueduct, John Vanderslice, Rilo Kiley, and Nada Surf. Barsuk Records continues into 2007 with upcoming releases from Menomena, Aqueduct, and Rocky Votolato, and promises to be a bastion of quality music for years to come.

Where does your label call home? Describe your headquarters.
Lovely Seattle Washington, where coffee-drinking Salmon leap up pristine
waterfalls in search of their ancestral spawning grounds.

Download: Menomena – Wet And Rusting
Your name? What are your primary duties for the label?
Ever Kipp / Publicity Fella

Who are a few of the bands on your roster? Most recent signee.
Menomena, Aqueduct, Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, Rocky Votolato, Nada Surf, Mates of State. We’ve most recently been honored to begin working with the exceptionally talented Menomena.

What is the best method for an unsigned band to capture your attention?
Hrm well our methods for finding new artists are strange and mysterious, and involve teaching Salmons to drink espresso.

Any upcoming release(s) you’d like to plug?
We just released “Friend and Foe” by Menomena. Check out the whole record: click here

There’s a lot of great music to download on the Barsuk Records site. Here’s a few that I’d suggest trying and proceed from there: Starlight Mints – Inside Of Me, The Long Winters – Pushover, Death Cab For Cutie – For What Reason, Nada Surf – Do It Again. Click here for the Barsuk Records media page.

If you were making a mix for our readers, what would be the first three songs you’d select?
Smothered in Hugs – Young Flare
From Charlottetown, these guys will be enormous. Hookiest band ever, incredible live show, great friends. Really catchy.

The Danks – In Alright
Alec plays guitar and synth in this band. Half Strokes, half Weezer, half Buzzcocks. Again, very catchy.

Mardeen – Telephones
Our favourite Capers. Catchy-core.

Name any musical influence(s)?
Difficult question. Everything we’ve ever heard. Bands we’ve played with. Anything that makes your toe tap or your head bob. Teenage Fanclub, Sloan, Big Star, many many others.

What new music are you currently listening to?
The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine
Shotgun and Jaybird – Trying To Get Somewhere
The Shins – Wincing The Night Away


Name a band (current or defunct) that would be your dream act to open for on a major tour?
We’ll start with defunct, because those are more fun. Guided by Voices would be sweet, we’re kinda really jealous because Plaskett got to play with them in the Alien Lanes days. Fleetwood Mac or the Clash would be fun too. As for current Canadian bands, touring with The New Pornographers or The Constantines would be an absolute treat.

Who, if anyone, would you like to collaborate with?
We’ve all been obsessed with Nick Lowe lately who, aside from making some fantastic albums himself, also produced a number of Elvis Costello’s best records. He’s the king of pop. Not sure what he’s up to these days, but if he’s still producing…

Tell us something about you that we can’t find on Google.
Whilst in Toronto, we may or may not have found a label and a manager.

Band
MySpace

A brief bio of your label: Who started it? When? First band signed and/or first release?
Novoton was started 2004 by Daggan. The first band signed was Novak (now Antennas) and the first release was their single “It all works out in the end”. But I have been running various labels since 1998 (Frequent Frenzy, Beverage and Origin).

Where does your label call home? Describe your headquarters.
Visby and Stockholm (Sweden). Our headquarters looks a lot like my laptop where all concerning Novoton is stored.


Your name? What are your primary duties for the label?
Daggan, A&R and owner. I do everything needed to make the label move forward, or in any direction at all.

Who are a few of the bands on your roster? Most recent signee.
Antennas, Black Belt, Existensminimum, Pascal

The last band in is Pascal.

What is the best method for an unsigned band to capture your attention?
Make original and cool music. Be a great live band if they play live.

Any upcoming release(s) you’d like to plug?
Black Belt’s upcoming, second, album “Two Minutes To Midnight” is awesome.
If you dig big fuzzy guitars, fat ass bass, rolling drums, dirty denim,
sweet soul and tons of swagger you really must check it out.

We have also started recording the Pascal’s next album and it is going be
absolutely fabulous.

Download: Antennas – Adapt!, Black Belt – Road Crew, Existensminimum – One Day, Pascal – Jonnie

Where do you call home?
That would be Sweden.

What was the first concert you attended?
To be honest – I’ve never attended a proper concert other than those at school, and the ones I’ve performed in myself. My sister was attacked by a smoke bomb at a concert when I was a kid, so that kind of put me off…

What was the first record you bought?
Oh God…I think it was the “Vogue” single by Madonna. My sister and I bought it together; she kept it while making me a taped copy since I didn’t have my own record player.

If you were making a mix for our readers, what would be the first three songs you’d select?
The Fiery Furnaces – Waiting to Know You
Amanda Ghost – Silver Lining
Cocteau Twins – Pearly Dew-Drop’s Drop

What new music are you currently listening to?
Loto, Keith, Boy Kill Boy, Linda Sundblad, The Fiery Furnaces, Helen Love, Asobi Seksu, VHS or Beta, Apartment – too many to mention really!

Using lyrics from a song or two, what are some words you live by?
Woke up this morning with the world on my chest
What a silent world, what a silent world

– This Morning by Strip Music

I don’t wanna be like other people are
Don’t wanna own a key, don’t wanna wash my car
Don’t wanna have to work like other people do
I want it to be free, I want it to be true

– Turn My Way by New Order

Tell us something about you that we can’t find on Google.
– I’m allergic to raw carrots and potatoes.
– I have a metallic heart valve.
– I hate shoe shopping.
– With age, my dad has morphed into looking like David Letterman. Which is quite scary.
– My dream is to become a published author. Oh, and rich. A rich published author. Yeah.

If you were making a mix for our readers, what would be the first three
songs you’d select?

Do we get royalties from this?
If so, Steal the Blueprints, The Important Thing is to Love & Fadeout by +/-.
If not, Steal the Blueprints, The Important Thing is to Love & Fadeout by +/-.

Name any musical influence(s)?
See above + The Beatles, The Smiths & Motley Crue.


What new music are you currently listening to?
Ghost Face Killah, The Rosebuds, Beirut, Mates of State, Au Revoir Simone, Cornelius and Dragonforce “Through the Fire and Flames”.

Name a band (current or defunct) that would be your dream act to open for on
a major tour?

Just one band?
James: Pale Saints
Chris: The Police
Patrick: The Smiths

Who, if anyone, would you like to collaborate with?
John Lennon.

Tell us something about you that we can’t find on Google.
+/-

Band
MySpace

Download: plus/minus – Steal The Blueprints

A friend told me today that she was pleased to see Big Star’s “Thirteen” in our playlist. In case you missed it, that was your cue to locate it in the player before enjoying the slideshow below. This entry is for her.

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Big Star at the Taste of St. Louis Festival this past October. Here are a few of the photos I snapped:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Big Star, the best pop culture reference I can give you is they wrote the theme song of That 70s Show. The version of “In The Street” that can be heard in later seasons of the show was re-recorded by Cheap Trick.

Well folks, it looks like CBC Radio 3 has a new fan! I’d like to take a brief second to announce the arrival of Emelia Lorraine Teeter…the little bundle of joy is John and his lovely wife D’s first!

I would’ve shared a photo, but I think that’s the Father’s department (hint, hint).

Our friends at Fanatic Promotion had an introduction of their own today…The Makes Nice.


Following his exit from Bay Area rock heavyweights The Fucking Champs and Drunk Horse, Josh Smith (guitar, vocals) set out to strip things down in search of the perfect synthesis of pop melody and rock muscle. Enter Aaron Burnham (bass, vocals) and Jack Matthews (drums). What was originally intended as an instrumental R & B outfit evolved into a refurbished vintage project. Drawing from freakbeat influences (i.e. The Creation, Small Faces, et al.), The Makes Nice brings Smith’s impeccable musicianship and traditional power trio rollicking to catchy, sing-along pure pop. Where many vintage-based acts leave listeners nostalgic for the old days, The Makes Nice draws from old styles with an entirely new angle. For its first release, the band called on Phil Manley, best known for his stellar guitar playing with Trans Am, to lend his engineering prowess.

Download: The Makes Nice – Candy Wrapper

If you like their sound, you can stream their entire album by clicking here.

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