This is the album cover for our latest effort, Darker Lights. It was designed by the amazing David Kleiser and now it’s been nominated for a CBC Radio 3 “Bucky” Award for Best Album Art. You can vote here:
As many of you may already know our video for “The Hedonist,” has been live on Youtube for about a week but did you know that we have been added to the MuchLoud TV station as well? People with Satellite TV Boxes be warned! In all seriousness, I’d like to thank Kerry, the crew all of our friends who came out to help us make this video shoot happen!
So what’s our take on the video? Well, I can’t speak for everyone but I feel it’s a great example of juxtaposition – the band versus the revelers.
When we were in Halifax back in early October our friends PIONEER VIDEO supported us by letting us play the middle slot between them and other local favourite, This Ship (who gallantly organised the event). We had no plans to play Toronto for a while until PIONEER VIDEO asked us to return the favour here on our home turf. Of course, we jumped at the chance. If you missed our CD release party last month (or if you simply love us) you should come out to the warm and cozy Cameron House (one of the coolest joints in town) Wednesday November 13 and to give a warm Toronto welcome to PIONEER VIDEO!
10:00 Marlon Chaplin (of Broken Bricks)
10:45 Pioneer Video
It’s amazing to think that (as I write this, weeks later than I should have) our first single, “The Hedonist,” from our new album Darker Lights is already #47 this week on the Canadian Alternative Rock Chart. From our perspective, any attention at all is just AMAZING in this current musical climate where the Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor” is about to blow up into the mainstream and bands like Yamantaka // Sonic Titan have a firm grip on the so-called underground scene. Truly amazing – and we thank YOU and the good people (music aficionados) out there in Blogoshpere, College Radio and Satellite Radio land (who give us the all our support).
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE who came out to our video shoot for “The Hedonist” – the editors tell me they should have a “cut” for us soon….
Way back on October 19th we had the pleasure of participating in this year’s CMJ Music Marathon in old New York, New York. We had a blast – not only playing our showcase which was at 12AM in a shifty little rock club in the Lower East Side called Left Field, but also running around the streets of Manhattan, hungry and sleep deprived all day long. There’s no better way to experience the hustle and bustle of the Village. For us, the Manhattan date represented the last official tour date of our first tour in support of Darker Lights and I couldn’t think of a better way to end it.
And now for the controversial portion of our post …. on this tour we spent over 64 hours driving between shows (that’s almost 3 days). We watched a few DVDs, talked about a number of subjects, both pedestrian and profound, and listened to a lot of CBC Radio3, but eventually, having exhausted our meager DVD collection and having heard every Canadian indie band currently working (including ourselves), we started listening to the nearly bottomless vernacular of classic rock. The topic of conversation turned to discussing the various echelons of rock. We developed a grading system, wherein a band such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd or Led Zep would represent the very top of the heap, these are examples of A and A+ bands, whereas a really good RnR band that didn’t quite deserve to be counted among these greats (but were still great and deserving) would constitute a B or B+ band. Also there was the tricky category of the B (cult A) bands – bands that were perhaps too singular to be true A bands but were nonetheless “A bands” to their rabid fan’s (thus forging their own sub-culture). This was an elucidating and healthy topic of discussion that provided countless hours of entertainment for us and produced such memorable quotes as: “there are two types of rock: topless rock and shirtless rock. You want to be in the former category,” etc. Below I present the fruits of our labour - the classic rock report card- volume 1. Here (in our opinion) are the very best (and worst) classic rock artists (classic Punk, New Wave, and proto-modern music excluded from the game, in order to keep the debates far enough from the heart as to not damage morale). Also, please note there are certain moves that will denigrate an otherwise A band to B status, such as the use of the “talk box” effect in any guitar solo or hosting your own TV variety show…
Rolling Stones A+
The Who A+
The Doors A+
Jimmy Hendrix A+
Janis Joplin A+
Pink Floyd A+
Frank Zappa A+
Led Zeppelin A+
Steely Dan A
The Kinks A
The Band A
Black Sabbath A
Neil Diamond A
Simon & Garfunkel A
Captain Beefheart A
Velvet Underground A
Lou Reed A
David Bowie A
Fleetwood Mac A
Beach Boys A
Credence Clearwater Revival A
Everly Brothers A
Roy Orbison A
The Zombies A
King Crimson A
George Clinton A
The Birds A
Hall & Oates A
Neil Young and Crazy Horse A
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers A
Spinal Tap B with A potential (Portrayed as a C band in the Movie)
The Animals B+
Van Morrison B+
Judas Priest B (Cult A)
Deep Purple B
The Eagles B
The Turtles B
Mott the Hoople B
Grand Funk Railroad B
Blue Oyster Cult B
Peter Frampton B
Jethro Tull B
Doobie Brothers B
The Monkeys B
Alice Cooper B
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young B
Jeff Beck B
Traveling Wilburys B
ZZ Top B
Humble Pie B
Steve Miller B
T Rex B
Grateful Dead C (Cult A)
Ted Nugent C
Jefferson Airplane C
Bay City Rollers C
King Diamond C
Joe Walsh C
James & the Gang C
Ten Years After C (first C band ever)
Sorry we’ve been so slow to blog, but we’ve been so BUSY. We’ve got SO MUCH to cover here – I want to rely on pictures and links mostly. First off, I’d like to give a BIG THANK YOU to the folks of Beserker Lion (Bethany and the people of the amazing band, This Ship) for putting on such a great Hali show for us! This Ship are an amazing Halifax-based pop band and we can’t wait to do something with them here in T-dot ville and we also really enjoyed the math-rock styling of Pioneer Video. Either band is welcome on our turf! While in Halifax a bunch of things happened – like this NYC Blog started streaming our entire album (http://www.blackbookmag.com/music/blackbook-exclusive-stream-papermaps-gritty-darker-lights-1.65667) and we learned that we got into the 2013CMJ Music Marathon in NYC (Saturday Oct 19 @ LeftField Bar). Pretty cool. We also found an awesome comic book shop with awesome friendly (and cute) staff in Halifax called Strange Adventures where we more treasures like this:
We also played Fredericton on our way out of the Maritimes and hit up Belle Montreal where we played an excellent show with the very excellent songwriter/guitarist Patrick Krief (fans of the seminal act, The Dears should pay particular attention). In Montreal we found an excellent Mexican Restaurant
I wish I remember the name, but it was only a block away from the Divan Orange. Please note the apple-pop. Very authentic!!! I had a great vegan salad, myself…
When we got back from Montreal we had several video shoots to do. One was in our own studio with the people from Toronto’s newest radio station, indie88. This will be seen very soon on their website (where you can vote to hear our latest single, The Hedonist, BTW).
The other video shoot took place at a semi-secret location on/near the University of Toronto St. George Campus. A real-live FRAT HOUSE to be exact. This was the principal photography for our the official “The Hedonist,” music video. We had an open call for people to come out, dress up, appear in the video, drink bear, shake booty and jump around on a mattress. WE THANK EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT!!!
I’m not sure when the video will be released – probably sometime next week!! Stay tuned!!!
While this was happening, we learned that the very same song had entered the CBC Radio 3 R3-30 chart at #7!!!
We will be playing with Betty’s other band, Burn Baby Burn, the excellent The Effens and Locomotive 8. Our set time is 11:20 but COME EARLY and the cost of admission is $7 without CD and $15 with CD (that’s a $2 discount on the CD).
We’ve only played two shows but we’ve been on the road for going on 4 days…
We finally made good on our promise to visit the Big Apple in Colborne. I ate some pretty gross fried apples. It was worth it for this:
The Avante-Garde Bar (Ottawa) is an interesting place.
It’s an East-Block/Communist-themed cafe/restaurant/bar/concert venue. Bobby had some tasty Russian dumplings which I could not sample because I’m Vegan. I had a salad…Ottawa is a party town without any want for scantly drunk scantly clad women, cars that sound louder than our PA and public vomiting. Greg McEvoy and his band were great. I had no idea they were Torontonians until we got talking. There were zero native Ottawa bands on the bill.
Because they are nerds….
Later we threw in the “Live at Pompeii” DVD and that got us all the way to Moncton.
Moncton has a great comic book store called The Comic Hunter. I can’t stress how much of a nerd mecca that place is!
Plan B is a great little venue with some great people – really friendly staff who were appreciative and generous. Thanks Moncton!
We’ve been busy. You know how you can tell? No blog post for weeks – no words here at the HQ – even as our newest album, Darker Lights is about to drop. All the work that goes along with releasing an indie record these days has gotten in the way… our apologies.
So there’s a lot going on…
First, the very first sound to be leaked from Darker Lights can be found and listened to here at: exclaim.ca. “The Hedonist,” just happens to be one of our heaviest selections from the new album…there’s more to it than that.
Second, we have a tour coming up (8 Shows in two weeks, plus 2 video performances). Here are the dates (also on Exclaim.ca). I was toying with naming this tour the “Follow Us Around Tour,” but opted to call it the “Autumn 2012 Tour” and to make some blog posts under that title instead. So stay tuned for my tour diary as it happens from the road (complete with photos, etc.). Meanwhile, here are the details:
Third, expect more “leakage” in the coming weeks. The album officially drops Tuesday October 8 but astute followers will be treated to more sights and sounds before then…meanwhile we’ll start packing for our trip…
First, I want to state for the record that I LOVE the city of Montreal. And the two times that Papermaps played Montreal (March 8, 2012 at Sala Rossa and August 11, 2012 at Divan Orange) were great experiences. Notice that I’m not counting our Pop Montreal appearance on September 20, 2012 at 3 Minots – although we did have a great time…Let me explain…
You see, way back in the 2000′s, I was plugging away releasing music independently under the (awkward) moniker EX~PO. I had heard about this great festival based in Montreal (POP MTL) and wanted desperately to play it. At the time I was knee deep in a very involving project (I think it was the Elephant Shell album by Tokyo Police Club) working non-stop in my studio, Chemical Sound and it was getting dangerously close to the application deadline. It really got down to the wire – to the point where I couldn’t even courier my application without it arriving late – that day I decided to bite the bullet and drive to Montreal to deliver my application by hand. I was that desperate (this is before they started using Sonicbids). Anyway, in addition to the usual stuff my application package included a beautiful hand-drawn jigsaw puzzle depicting a surreal landscape not unlike the cover of the 2008 EX~PO album, Central Meaner Street. I wish I took a photo of it before I dropped it off at the POP MTL offices – handing it off, sweat dripping from my furrowed brow, to a very perplexed, possibly frightened intern…
I didn’t get in that year. But that didn’t stop me from applying year after year. Finally, in 2012 Papermaps was accepted into the festival. Great! But there was a problem…We couldn’t do it – not as Papermaps, anyway. September of 2012 happened to be an awkward time for us. The previous month we had just released and toured the Inferior Ghost EP, our half-abandoned, nearly orphaned sophomore release meant to follow up our eponymous 2011 debut. Don’t get me wrong. I love and stand by Inferior Ghost – but a wrench got thrown into the project when I found myself in the position of having to shut down my recording studio right in the middle of its creation. We had to stop writing, finish up what we had and mix the album in other studios. So what was slated to be a full-length album instead became a 6-song EP. Then, a few weeks after the release and tour for Inferior Ghost, both Todd Harrison and Wendy Leung decided it was best they leave the band. In retrospect, it was the right thing for both their personal lives and Papermaps but at the time it left Bobby, Betty and I unable to play most of the material from both our albums. So when our record label expressed the opinion that we ought to put in an appearance at the festival despite our personnel problems we just felt, well not ready. Then I had an epiphany. A crazy idea…
Let me state for the record I despise irony in music. The smell of irony, especially parody, sends me to the back of the room or to the bar every time. Pastiche can do the same thing too if not done well or interestingly. I pride myself on the fact that there is 0% irony in our music. So when I decided that I and a hastily formed pick-up band would perform no original material at the official Papermaps POP MTL showcase at 3 Minots at the ungodly and unforgiving hour of 2AM it seemed, in my deranged and fragile state, to make perfect sense at the time. I chose the material that best reflected my mood. We decided to play one of my all-time favorite albums: Iggy Pop‘s, The Idiot. We played every track off that album except “Sister Midnight” and “Mass Production.” We had a blast but it was certainly not a Papermaps show. We played it earnestly, loud and violently and in our own way – as a cathartic tribute. BTW, the pick up band included our very own Bobby Lee on drums. Brandon Lim (of HUSSY) on bass and Henry Shi on lead guitar (thanks for a great time, guys). We ended up doing a second performance back home a few weeks later, just for “old times sake.”
Anyway, I’m sure the organizers over at POP MTL are either oblivious to or have forgotten about our blatant abuse of their festival last year. Maybe not. Either way, for whatever reason Papermaps are not in the festival this year but we would love to come to Montreal and play some original Papermaps material from our new full-length album, Darker Lights (out October 8 on Sparks/Universal Music Canada). Any Montreal promoters out there? On September 28th we begin an East Coast tour in St. John NB. We’d love to drop in the night of 27th or maybe do something, say, in early October. Drop us a line!