December 08, 2011
Year One In ReviewWhat a great first year this has been.
Back in January we finally released Modern Myths at the new Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. Couldn’t think of a more fitting joint to have the party – and we were joined by the fine This Hisses and Ian La Rue & The Condor.
We had a blast at SXSW, Reeperbahn, CMW, NXNE, Halifax Pop Explosion and JazzWinnipeg. At south-by in Austin, David rolled down a hill (well, a sloped street actually) and then threw traffic pylons down that street towards what would end up being police officers. And there was Mike running around with a water pistol at the Manitoba Music SXSW pool party while Kelly sunbathed and David & Adam cannon balled into the pool. Who doesn’t like a good water pistol, huh? Just trying to get the party started.
In Nelson BC, on our very first tour in the beloved van Harrison, Kelly’s precious Farfisa stopped working. And then Mike’s guitar broke. And we couldn’t finish any songs. And the whole set gradually fell apart and was one of the most depressing and frustrating shows of our lives, yet somehow the 10 people that were there seemed to appreciate whatever music we did manage to play that night. We’ll come back at some point and make it up to you.
On our way to that fateful gig:
In March we marveled at our waitress in a small northern Michigan town telling us she had always wanted to go to Canada and then asking us “So, what’s there to do in Canada?” How do you answer that?
We did a midnight photo shoot in Rattlesnake Lake, Washington with Steven Miller – the same great chap whose photos are the covers of Modern Myths. It was absolutely freezing cold. Kelly wore a wedding dress from Value Village. The boys looked like pallbearers at Elton John’s funeral. If he were to have a funeral, that is…
We toured Germany in September, doing some shows with Handsome Furs. At the end of that tour we took out the water main pipes of our hotel’s parkade in Hamburg. Lets just say our van was a little taller than we thought. That was several days after we spilled a bottle of red wine onto all of our merch t-shirts. Which was the day before we spent 2 hours on the autobahn going nowhere, stuck behind a million cars all stuck behind the Pope on his way to Berlin. Driving in his Popemobile, obviously.
In Halifax, David and Adam broke into an impromptu game of street hockey with a beer can and The Darcys’ hockey sticks. Apparently they weren’t impressed – someone overheard em saying “If they break those sticks I’ll fucking break them.” Its cool, guys! Relax! The prairies only breed excellent hockey players.
Lana Gay from Radio 3 called us the “Mayors of Fun” - an honour which we only humbly if prematurely accept. Just wait till next year.
Crossing the US border is always interesting. The first time between Seattle & Vancouver we had to wait a long time inside and they wouldn’t let us use the washroom so David went back to the van to pee into his water bottle. And then brought his water bottle inside, of course.
A month later when crossing from Windsor to Detroit the border guard brought down the gate prematurely on the back of our van and exclaimed a loud “Oh fuck!” which tenderly burst the otherwise serious and imposing aura he had created. You could see his face release all that border-guard-tension and just have a good chuckle. I hope he didn’t get in trouble. I hope the Canadian border guards don’t make fun of him now.
We made our first video for that song – directed by the talented Lena Franford.
And if that couldn’t be topped, we made this groundbreaking video involving samurai ninjas:
David – old enough to drink in Canada, not old enough in the USA – made friends with bar security guards while waiting entire evenings to be allowed to come inside, play a set, and then leave again. Shane at The Comet in Seattle promised to buy him drinks on his 21st birthday. So I guess we know where we’ll be in September 2012.
We made new friends across North America and Europe, and are excited to see you all again. Thanks for being so supportive and funny and a good cook and skilled at foos ball. Or even just one of the four. We’re easy.
Our most-played tour albums were some assortment of the following:
Tegan & Sara – The Con
Pavement – Terror Twilight
Aimee Mann – Lost In Space
Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites
Katie Perry – Teenage Dream
Bon Iver – s/t
Land Of Talk – Cloak & Cypher
We owe big thanks to our amazing team: Marcus Paquin, Ken Beattie (Killbeat), Frank Ehrmann (Instrument Village & Target Concerts), Shain Shapiro (CIMA), Adam Lewis (Planetary Group), everyone at Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film + Music, and everyone in the media who has written kind things about us. This year would’ve been impossible without you.
But most importantly – a special thank you to each and every one of you who has listened to our music and come out to a show. You are beautiful. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Kelly, Adam, David & Mike