New Video: Tortoise Live In Front of a Woodpile

A few weeks ago we went to our good friend Joey Bruni‘s family farm to shoot some performance videos. Here’s the first— “Tortoise” live in front of a woodpile in a cellar.

I love that trusty little Casio—not to mention Laura’s uncanny ability with an egg-shaker. Oh, and that cowboy hat is a real Stetson that belonged to Laura’s dude rancher grandfather.

Stay turned for more!

Tortoise: New Album Track Listing and Release Date!

Dog Is Blue - Tortoise album cover***UPDATE: Zunior’s got an advance digital release of Tortoise for sale right now! Get the MP3 download of the album here for $8.88 or choose the CD with MP3 option to get the best of both worlds! ***

We’ve taken our sweet time announcing this, as we wanted to make sure all our ducks were in a row, but we’re excited to finally spread the news that: our sophomore full-length album, Tortoise, is ready!

The official release date is tentatively set for May 17 2011 and will coincide with a tour of eastern Canada to be announced shortly featuring the likes of Pat LePoidevin, Construction & Destruction and Laura Peek, and culminating in a joint Toronto CD-release party with Anna Atkinson (who played on a lot of our album and will also be celebrating the release of her own debut)!

If you’ve been poking around the site over the last few months you might have come across demos for half of the songs. Here’s the official track listing:

  • Dusty Bones
  • Slow Boat to China
  • Southern Ontario
  • Tortoise
  • The Way It Goes
  • People
  • Stan & Georgie
  • Handcar
  • She Said
  • Laura’s Song

Keep up to date with release details and the odd free track by checking back here, as well as on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Suffice to say that the album will be available at all fine digital retailers (especially as well as phyiscally through various independent record stores and mail order right here.

Thanks for all the support. We’re very proud of this album and can’t wait to get it out there!

Album Notes: Almost There

Album Notes for TortoiseHere’s a page of chicken scratch album notes from my dog-eared, coffee-stained notebook.

It probably looks like nonsense, but here’s what I can tell you for sure:

One of those two sketches represents a painting by Laura that will be the actual cover of the album. Also, all the track names with check marks beside them will definitely be on the album (barring two name changes), though not in that order.

Rounding out the 10 songs chosen will be 2 tracks not on that list in any way (one being She Said and the other, Laura’s Song).

The scribbled black shapes are just my way of working out composition visually (that’s what a BFA gets you, kids).

Stay tuned for a big announcement including full track listing, cover, new press shots, release date and a tour! Holy crap!

Album Update: Fun with Bass

Univox Bass GuitarHere’s a strange admission: None of our previous recordings have featured a bass guitar.

The low-end was always supplied by either a synth (the Realistic MG-1 is a personal favourite) or an electric guitar EQ’d down an octave.

That’s all changing on Tortoise, as a while back I stumbled across a real beauty of a bass guitar. It was a gamble, as the price reflected that it didn’t actually work, but that’s never stopped me before. A wire connecting the pickup windings had disconnected, which made for an easy fix.

The end result is a real nice 1970s Univox quasi-P-Bass copy that plays like a dream (not that I know much about dreamy bass guitars…).

Get yourselves acquainted, as this bad boy provides the bottom thump for half the songs on the new album…

Univox Bass GuitarUnivox Bass GuitarUnivox Bass GuitarUnivox Bass GuitarUnivox Bass Guitar

Dog Is Blue At The House of Miracles

The House of Miracles

We’ve got lots on the go over the next few months, so stay tuned for a bunch of announcements. Suffice to say the biggest news is that we just booked studio time at the famous House of Miracles in London, Ontario. We’ve wanted to record there since becoming a band, so we’re pretty damn excited. We’ll be there for a few days putting finishing touches on our new album, Tortoise, which we’re hoping to have out in April!

Expect more demos in the meantime, as we’ll need help narrowing down which new tracks make the cut. So far we know that “Tortoise” will be the title track, and “Southern Ontario” is a must, as it’s become one of our most requested live songs. “Little Dragon Slayer” is up in the air at the moment, so take a listen to all three and let us know what you think (on Twitter, Facebook, or via email: paul at!

Also keep your ears out for some pretty wild collaborations and covers coming down the pipeline before then…

New Demo: Tortoise

Fostex R8 reel to reel and 812 mixer A few months ago we came across an old Fostex R8 1/4″ reel to reel recorder with matching mixer for a great deal. I’ve been wanting to try analog recording for a while, so this was perfect—there’s something just so damn satisfying about hitting a big “record” button and watching reels spin instead of clicking a mouse around.

We set it up in our apartment a few weeks ago and recorded an entire tape of live demos with a bunch of mics strewn about the room. “Tortoise” is the best of the bunch. It features Laura on backups and Korg Polysix/shaker and myself on hollowbody guitar through my little homemade Fender Princeton with a tambourine on my foot.

“Tortoise” is a live staple these days and also likely the title track for our next album.

Tortoise (Demo) by Dog Is Blue