New Music: Thirteen – Big Star Cover

Dog Is Blue - Thirteen (a Big Star Cover)Boom. Married. We’re now officially “Canada’s garage-folk power couple” (I can put things in quotation marks that only I said, right?). In honour of our recent nuptials (held at the amazing Daverne farm house where we did some recording last year), we covered our favourite song/first dance— Big Star’s “Thirteen” (originally released on the amazing album #1 Record in 1972).

It’s been recorded over the years by some amazing bands and we’ve always wanted to put our spin on it. In this case, that involved the usual amount of homemade guitar pedals, weird old drum machines ($10 Yamaha RX17 mostly) as well as throwing the entire thing through a hand-me-down Yamaha MT-8X cassette recorder with some homemade delay and wah for good measure. Of course, as usual, Laura’s voice is the real standout here…

The result is something we’re really happy with, as it’s different than any version we’ve heard.

Listen by clicking the “play” button below, or download it for keeps by clicking the arrow on the right side. Thanks for listening!

Thirteen (a Big Star Cover) by Dog Is Blue

New Music: Happy New Year, Little Dragon Slayer

The Daverne Farm at Night by Joey BruniEveryone’s always optimistic in early January. After all, there’s a shiny new year ahead of you brimming with potential. Of course, you have to wonder what became of the promises of the year before, and the year before that…

This notion was heavy on my mind in November when we spent a few days in the countryside plumping around playing music (and eating very well) at the Daverne Farm in Adolphustown. Hoping to do some recording, all priorities were adjusted when confronted with an amazingly full-of-character, but out of tune piano in the living room.

The result is a first attempt at “Little Dragon Slayer,”* a song based around a guitar progression somewhere between Stan Rogers and Velvet Underground, but haphazardly arranged on the spot for the keys. Laura’s backup vocals and Anna Atkinson‘s viola give a much needed classy contrast to my club-fisted and graceless bashing of the piano.


Little Dragon Slayer by Dog Is Blue

*We couldn’t decide on a name for this one, so opened it up to our friends on Twitter. Their great suggestions (almost went with “No Treasure”) turned us away from the obvious and also helped decide whether “Dragon Slayer” should be one word or two.

Best of 2010: Favourite Band Moments Pt.2

Dog Is Blue Band Photo By Luther Mallory

Picking up where we left off earlier this week, here are the rest of our favourite moments of the year (in chronological order). Oddly enough, these all take place in the final stretch of 2010…

5. Going Analog

This one may sound like a vague hippie sentiment, but it’s not. Digital is great—we sometimes just like to get away from the computer. Case in point, this year we started demoing on an old cassette 4-track, but then came across a great setup including an 8-track Fostex R8 reel to reel recorder with tons of tape and a huge matching 812 mixer. A bit of crazy glue later and we had an entire reel of new demos, including the live demo of our new song, “Tortoise.” Most of this is probably gibberish to you non-gearheads (like Laura), but I assure you, it’s awesome.

Continue reading “Best of 2010: Favourite Band Moments Pt.2”

Farm Life: Live Donovan with Anna Atkinson

Here we are with Anna Atkinson performing Donovan’s “Colours” live for the owners of the farmhouse in Adolphustown. I don’t think I’ve ever made it through this song without messing up the lyrics—so close this time…so close.

There are a few more recorded artifacts from our time in the country—made between over-indulgences of homemade lasagna—that I’ll try to post later (including a brand new song recorded on a real piano).

Thanks to our friend (and excellent painter) Joey Bruni for filming/posting this video.

Adolphustown Session: Farmhouse with Anna Atkinson

Anna AtkinsonAdolphustown!

We’ve Generously been given the opportunity to relax/record in a nearly 200 year-old farm house just off the Bay of Quinte for a few days. Cramming our untrustworthy lemon full of as much gear as we could, we left Toronto in the dust and arrived in Adolphustown late last night.

So far we haven’t done much but set up instruments and tune down a half-step to match the amazing old piano—Oh, and Laura beat me pretty badly at ping pong. However, tonight we’re being joined by the wonderfully talented Anna Atkinson (as well as an awesome ragtag crew of Laura’s friends in the visual arts).

We’ve played a bunch of shows with Anna in the past and she blows us away every time. Unbeknownst to her she’s slowly being assimilated into our band. One day, years from now, she’ll wake up and not remember how she became part of Dog Is Blue, but┬áby then it will be too late to argue…

Anyway, enough creepy ramblings. Check out her music for yourself and see what we mean.

Not sure what these sessions will become—demos for the next album? A farmhouse EP? Extreme ping pong grudge match? Whatever the case, we’re in Adolphustown (I’ll never get tired of saying that name) working out the kinks on some new tunes.