The first snowfall of the season and the Urban Surf Kings’ holiday bash are telling signs the holiday season is upon us. The former has already happened, and the latter’s 10th annual is on December 9 at the Khyber. It’s a time of year the band gets especially excited about.
“It’s our once a year chance to play our Christmas surf songs, and to have some of our favourite musicians in Halifax sitting in doing their renditions of holiday favourites,” says guitarist Mike Diabo. “Most of the artists will be doing their own set, and at the end of the night being backed up by USK.”
For this edition, the Surf Kings have invited The Stolen Minks, Jesse Dangerously, Jon Epworth and members of Death by Nostalgia.
“I think we’ll wrap the night off with a big Christmas sing-along,” says Diabo, whose band will kick things off at 10pm. “We will probably be handing out letter sheets to people in the audience, get everybody singing.”
An album titled Rocking the Stocking Vol. II will be available for purchase featuring some of the artists on the bill with all proceeds going to Feed Nova Scotia.
All clear for takeoff
Few albums receive the amount of meticulously calculated art direction as In-Flight Safety’s full-length The Coast is Clear, and the band is “elated” to have Dead Daisy Records and Outside Music on board as label and distributor.
“That’s the word I like to use, elated,” says lead vocalist and guitarist John Mullane. “There was some other label interest from other people, I won’t say who, but nothing that appealed to us in a way that would give us the creativity and control we want to put this record out.”
After having their EP distributed on Universal Music in 2004, In-Flight felt the major label wasn’t right for this particular project. Instead, the foursome — also including bassist Brad Goodsell, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Ledwell and drummer Glen Nicholson — opted for the flagship their friend Emm Gryner put together to have a more free approach to releasing her material.
“We’re still a young band, there’s no room for developing acts on major labels anymore. That era is over,” Mullane says. Universal “is still fans of the band, we’re still friends with those guys, but it wouldn’t have worked out for this record. I don’t think we write the hit songs major labels are looking for.”
The album, featuring entirely cohesive artistic elements binding the music and its title theme to everything right down to the layout of its liner notes, will be released locally on January 21 at Stage Nine. The 10-song romantic ode to what it is to live in our small pocket of a seemingly immense country will be available on shelves across the country the following Tuesday. Release festivities aren’t for another month-and-a-half, and Mullane remains stubborn on dishing out the details.
“Not a lot of information I want to give out yet, but we’re going to try to do something special,” he says. “We’re going to put on a bigger show than we ordinarily would, and we’ll have some guests and things like that. I won’t say too much, but we’re going to make it a special night to thank all of our local fans for their support.”
Many will find it hard to believe it slipped by them, but Matt Murphy’s latest album has very quietly found its way into stores. The soundtrack to his debut foray into cinema, The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terriffico, is available at select outlets.
The album features songs composed mainly by Murphy and the film’s director Michael Mabbott, the country album includes notable Haligonian contributions from Dave Marsh, Ruth Minnikin, Chris Murphy, Dale Murray, Tracy Stevens and Al Tuck.
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