There are bands that spend years piecing together albums for a variety of reasons—for Toronto's The Bicycles, the challenge was recording fast enough to capture all the material the band was writing. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Scott (of neither Sloan nor Meligrove Band fame) explains the debut LP The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly was an arduous process of pulling the reins slightly on the musicians' flow of creativity.
"Even at the point where I joined, which was five years ago now, they had done a bunch of recordings and had a bunch of songs done. But no record," he says. "The band kept evolving and writing new songs...and we decided to kind of forego the old recordings, some did end up on the record."
The full Bicycles six-piece invades Halifax with on-stage enthusiasm and infectious alt-bubblegum pop leanings for a pair of shows this weekend. Scott says he hopes to have another release prepared for the trip.
"Our latest project is an interactive DVD board game version of our record," he says. "We're crossing our fingers we're going to have it in our pockets to bring with us if we get it back from the pressing plant."
The Bicycles play at Lost and Found on May 11 followed by Gus' Pub on May 12.
Before booking your summer road trips outside of Atlantic Canada, be sure to refer first to what's happening within close proximity first. Canso's annual tribute to late local folk hero Stan Rogers announced its line-up for June 29 to July 1 including performances from some of the most accomplished names in Maritime music of the past year. The Stan Rogers Folk Festival will feature Grammy winner Gordie Sampson, ECMA winner Jill Barber and buzz band the Tom Fun Orchestra. If you're a particularly fervent Barber supporter you can follow her to Rollo Bay, Prince Edward Island, two weeks later for the resurfacing Shoreline Festival. The names of performers have started to trickle into the media, and so far planners have locked down Barber, the Joel Plaskett Emergency (recently featured on perezhilton.com) and celebrated singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith. More to come, but closer to home, certain options are no longer available to music fans: Air Supply's performance at the Halifax Forum has been axed. Also, tickets to The White Stripes have doubled in price since the Cunard Centre date on July 13 sold out, and are now only available on eBay.
While this may come off as a formality, I want to communicate with sincerity—and in as least a self-righteous manner as possible—how much of a pleasure it has been bringing readers this column for the past two years. Having completed my studies, I have decided to join the exodus to the land of opportunity, or whatever they call Toronto these days. I hope these efforts will be wildly successful, but I know I have a welcoming community and, in my opinion, the most compelling arts scene in Canada to return to. Final thanks to Greg Wright at the Dalhousie Student Union for affording me the opportunity to prolong my stay in Halifax, as well as Jud Haynes of Wintersleep and John Mullane of In-Flight Safety for taking my eleventh hour phone calls before column deadlines—and editor Tara Thorne for demonstrating patience in accepting them two days tardy. Keep in touch.
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