A while back we decided it was time to update our band photos. The old ones were great, but it’s been over a year since they were taken and, with the new album coming out next month, we figured some freshening up was in order.
It helps that we can count some very talented photographers amongst our friends, including Karol Orzechowski of Decipherimages.com.
Karol had one stipulation: he would shoot us the way we wanted, as long as we indulged him in a second round of shots as a black metal band (I’ll let you pick which set is which). Suffice to say that we ended up liking the latter the most and had to include them—that’s a real medieval weapon of Laura’s, by the way (she’s full of surprises…)*.
You might recognize the teeth paintings from the Tortoise album cover we posted recently. It’s from a series that Laura was working on. Two of these shots will grace our album art (if you can pick which ones, drop us a line and I’ll give you a prize).
* I wore very poorly chosen footwear for this outing and ended up getting stuck down a hill in the Don Valley. I was left to crawl my way out of the snowy landscape, battle axe in hand. It must have been quite the sight for those potentially watching from their condos…
Quick update: we’re back from recording at the House of Miracles!
We made the snowy drive late Saturday night for a few days of recording with Andy Magoffin. Our car was so crammed full of gear I thought it might burst, but we still managed to fit Anna Atkinson between guitars in our backseat.
Suffice to say, we had a great time in the studio and we’re incredibly happy with the way the album is coming together. Here are some quick teases and tidbits for what you can expect:
– 8 of the 10 songs were predominantly recorded live off the floor.
– In contrast to …Makes Ghost Noises, acoustic guitar is the main instrument on only one track so far (in fact, that’s the only song it appears on at all at the moment).
– Our 6-string banjo is the lead instrument on 2 tracks (one of which being “Laura’s Song” ).
– Anna Atkinson is the 5th Beatle. She contributes viola, accordion and backup vocals (not to mention that she and Laura sound amazing together).
– The word “raunchy” was thrown around a lot in describing the guitar sound.
– I sound like I’ve never said the word “fuck” in my life.
– Laura’s biggest screw up might be the albums best moment.
Stay tuned for more important updates concerning the release of Tortoise (a word Andy had a lot of fun saying, by the way) as well as a tour to support it! In the meantime, here are photos from the session (we brought a video camera too, but I forgot to pack any tapes…).
The idea was simple: pare down the excess (re: no light rings or huge pedal board) and collaborate with our good friend and ultra-talented multi-instrumentalist Anna Atkinson. The result consisted of a quick set by each act before joining forces for what Anna called “the mega set.” “Mega” in this case meaning unrehearsed and haphazard—something that in the wrong atmosphere would have crashed and burned, but in the dimmed lights of Broadview Espresso, amongst an attentive and interactive audience of familiar faces, was welcomed with an air of mischief and fun.
It wasn’t fun and games at first though, as our trusty Korg Polysix seemed to have a mind of its own, bending notes all over the place (turns out it was just cold from having spent the night in the trunk). Thankfully, one of the many perks of living across the street from the venue was being able to run back and grab our Roland Juno 106 as a stand in*. Also, just like the previous show, we didn’t write a set list and forgot to play “Young Enough,” a song we had actually rehearsed with Anna prior (look for a new version of that tune at some point).
Thankfully, the slap-dash set seemed to still go over well (our new Twitter friend Matt, who also helped us name “Little Dragon Slayer,” tweeted: it was probably one of the coolest musical experience I’ve had. follow him–he’s clearly a smart dude).
Speaking of Twitter…one of our favourite online personalities, Louise Andre, took some great photos:
I’ve been doing these paintings based on the …Makes Ghost Noises album cover for a while now. We sell them at shows and they include download codes for both of our releases. Most are sold, but I’ll be doing more soon (and Laura will be doing a series based on our upcoming album cover).
Song Written Upon Getting Cut by the Argos (CFL Sessions cover)
Stan & Georgie
Aren’t You Glad (Beach Boys cover)
Ahh, Project 165. Our home away from home. We’ve played there 4 times and at least thrice have brought far too much gear for the intimate space. This time we finally got it right: acoustic guitar and small keyboard rounded out by tambourine and glockenspiel. No PA, no soundcheck, no blinking lights.
There’s something intimate about performing without a microphone. Aside from not having a mic stand in your face, its’ like a middle-man has been removed and you can communicate with the audience directly—no disconnect. That’s what this night was all about, as other Project 165 regulars, Tiny Mountains, and travelling troubadour, Pat LePoidevin, all made excellent use of the intimacy.
Of course, it’s also amazing when you don’t have to worry about your half-broken amp conking out, homemade pedals not doing what they are supposed to, or keeping time with loops recorded on the fly. We really ought to do this more often…
Here are some photos taken by Joey Bruni (check out that stage!):
This photo was taken at 7am on Oct. 3, 2010 at Project 165 in Toronto’s Kensington Market. Holding the camera is gallery/venue founder Ryan Ringer*. We had played at 2am that night as part of Nuit Noir II (an all night art/music event that happened to coincide with Nuit Blanche) and were deliriously ready for bed.
It might just be our favourite band shot yet.
*Fun fact: I traded Ryan a vegetable steamer for his winter coat. Hidden inside the lining was a small bottle of moustache glue. Supposedly it’s expensive and he was very happy I found it.