Have you heard the news???

Halifax Rocks! on iTunes

Halifax Rocks! on iTunes

Welcome to the weird and wonderful North Atlantic coast — a Nova Scotia melting pot of great bands, best enjoyed with beers and a bellyful of signature Halifax donairs. Even though the city never quite turned out to be the “next Seattle”, as the hype-mongers hoped it would in the mid-’90’s Halifax has always rocked heartily on its own inventive, eclectic, and deliciously salty terms. In various guises, the Halifax Pop Explosion festival has been showcasing the city’s finest for the best part of two decades, but here — in the digital ether — we bring you the rock of Halifax in all its glory, from trailblazers April Wine to global superstar Sarah McLachlan, plus a hot stew of indie/alt groundbreakers including Thrush Hermit and the Trews. Halifaxion guaranteed.


Halifax Podcast Explosion

CBC Radio 3 has posted a podcast of Saturday night’s Marquee show featuring The Ruby Coast, The Got to Get Got, Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains, and Islands.

The Got to Get Got play Tenerife around 16:30 into the podcast and Let’s Roll Around Our Graves and Get Dirty in the Afterlife around 22:36.

Here’s a creepy video of Mark Mullane:
TGTGG – Blood Test

HPX 08 Highlights

Starting HPX with Jay Reatard set the bar high for memorable performances, but the energy of that show was maintained throughout the week at most of the shows I went to.

I was unprepared for The Monotonix insane antics at Gus’ Pub on Wednesday. The show was inspiring and their chaotic crowd participation put smiles on a lot of faces in the crowd. So many highlights from this show, but luckily I managed to capture one of my favourite moments – an impromptu street party outside Gus’ Pub around 1:30 am that ends with a stage dive off a traffic light:

We played at the Marquee on Thursday with Instruments, Murder Sounds and Holy Fuck. It was a joy to share the stage with those bands, and we managed to have an awesome set thanks to an audience armed with 20 dodgeballs, and a wireless keytar.

photo by Scott Blackburn

photo by Scott Blackburn

Friday I did sound at the North St Church for the 6015 Willow St DVD launch. Play Guitar sounded great with Jef Simmons on drums. The Maynards played a lot of great new songs from their upcoming album. The Got To Get Got did a stripped down set. VKNGS were loud and awesome. This guy liked them so much, he did a cart wheel in front of the sound board:


Photo by Rebecca Young

I rushed over to the Marquee to catch Ghettosocks and The Gza expecting it to be sold out. It wasn’t. Ghettosocks was great and DJ Cosmo demonstrated why he won the DJ Olympics. The GZA was disappointing. He was sorely lacking a hype man to finish his lines for him. Things picked up when he jumped into the audience, but it must have taken a lot of energy out of him because he sat on a stool for much of the remainder of his set. He seemed a bit confused and tired.

Saturday started off great with manwiches and music courtesy of Just Friends/Let’s Get Baked at Gus’ Pub. The bar was packed, and Mike Evin was working the crowd with his gospel pop. After finishing breakfast, I headed to the Zine fair which was also packed. Great selection of zines and posters, as well as tarot card readings, caricature artists, and crafts.

I popped into the Pavillion to see Special Noise play a great set then headed to the Music Room for a sound check. I was lucky enough to be doing sound at a venue with the best acoustics in the city for some of the nicest acts of the festival.

Brian Borcherdt was playing his first solo show in months. Ever since his side project, Holy Fuck, started taking off, he has barely had a chance to sing or play a guitar. So this show was a treat to the sold out audience. Polaris-prize nominee, Basia Bulat, headlined the show playing autoharp, ukulele, a Steinway piano, and acoustic guitar. She rocked the autoharp and charmed the crowd.

Afterwards I checked out Islands at the Marquee. This show was packed and Grant Lawrence did a great job hyping the crowd introducing the bands. I wasn’t really into Islands’ newer material, but the tracks off Return to the Sea had everyone singing along.