Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/4/2009 (4456 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
What else is there to do but make an album?
With that in mind, the spring CD release rush is starting. As the ground thaws and the river threatens to flood, Manitoban musicians are getting their records out, booking their tours and angling for airplay.
This Friday, music fans have a couple of album release parties to choose from. Indie-popsters the Perms will unveil Keeps You Up When You're Down at the Cavern; meanwhile, just down the street, punk veterans High Five Drive will release their newest, Full Blast, at Ozzy's.
The latter act is on the road right now, plying riffs in northern Ontario. But the Perms are still at home -- for now -- and ready to show the city what they've been up to in the four years since their last effort, Better Days.
"It's way too long between records, I think," says Perms bassist Shane Smith. "If it was up to us and we had enough money, I'd want to release something every year."
Self-pressure, much? After all, the band's got other things going on. After unleashing Better Days in 2005, a busy tour schedule slowed the Perms' normally prolific writing pace. And then more mundane hang-ups got in the way -- jobs, family, bills.
As a result, for Keeps You Up, "we had to book time off work to write, which we've never done before," Smith says of the process, which included some input from producer Phil Deschambault, who recently signed a songwriting deal with EMI.
"We wanted to write the 12 best songs we've ever done. When we recorded our first album, it was like, 'We have 10 songs! Let's release them.' Back then we were 19; we weren't really thinking.
"This time we actually cut a few tracks that we didn't feel fit the album. We've never done that before, either."
Hey, it's a fresh experience all around. For the new record, the Perms let their two-man horn section go, which pared their lineup from five to three and brought the band back to its trio roots.
"It was just time for a change," Smith says with a shrug. "And it became difficult with everyone's schedules. A five-piece band trying to find time to rehearse? Even trying to tour, it was tough near the end."
The benefit, though, was a tighter live sound for the album -- one which Smith says will be replicated perfectly at the Perms' CD release party tomorrow at the Cavern. Cover is only $5, and DJ Penny Lane is warming up the gig.
And while you're in the Village, don't forget to hit up Ozzy's to catch the High Five Drive release too. This could be a breakout year for the band, who recorded Full Blast with producer Jon Paul Peters (Comeback Kid) and are releasing it on a series of European labels, with some big tours planned across the pond. Austrian punk outfit Rentokill is kicking off tomorrow's show; tickets at the door.
Melissa Martin reports and opines for the Winnipeg Free Press.