Also known as Dave Plowman, MC Apt left Halifax for greener pastures in Toronto this fall to attend sound engineering school. The intellectual rapper officially released the semi-concept album Canvastripper — inspired by reading Dante’s Inferno as a university student — early in the year. Apt has been back in Halifax for shows in the past few months and has plans to start self-recording his fifth album with partner in crime and DMC regional champ DJ Cosmo on the decks.
CaledoniaAfter re-releasing their album Lost Balloons, members of the roots-rock quartet Caledonia decided to take time off to concentrate on personal pursuits. But not before they played to a packed Marquee audience in August after a year that saw them sign a national distribution deal with MapleMusic, as well as play showcases at the ECMAs and Canada Music Week festival. The band plans to record an EP and play a handful of east coast dates this winter.
Folds of PolicyFolds of Policy followed the September 2004 release of their well-received album Stay in Your Homes with a year of steady gigs, opening for the likes of the Rheostatics, the Constantines and Wintersleep. Lead singer Jon Landry won a showcase in Toronto last January when the Folds song “Victims (of this)” was nominated as the best regional song in the Canada Music Week National Songwriting Competition. A new record is in the works but no release date is scheduled.
The Holy ShroudThe Halifax supergroup consisting of North of America’s Mike Catano and Jim MacAlpine and Wintersleep’s Mike Bigelow and Loel Campbell has been on a brief hiatus while the members’ other bands hit the road. The Holy Shroud triumphantly played to Canadian and American audiences last February and March and will soon start on a follow-up to the critically acclaimed Ghost Repeaters LP, along with a few shows scheduled around Christmas.
MardeenAn excellent self-released Friends Don’t Love EP last March preceded nominations for three MIANS awards, a showcase at Canadian Music Week and high chart placements on Canadian college radio. The three members of Mardeen — the group lost drummer Jody MacPhail — are back in school at Saint Mary’s, but the power-pop act is in the studio recording demos for their debut full-length with Charles Austin. Guitarist Jon Pearo takes over drummer duties for the project. Expect a spring release.
Laura PeekThis Just Friends artist has been one of the busiest musicians in Halifax this past year, touring behind her Sneak Peek EP with her backup band the Winning Hearts. Besides playing NXNE in Toronto, she’s been active in her other groups, performing at Pop Montreal with Brent Randall and the Pinecones, and tinkling the keys for the Sweet Tenders and the Maughms. The tireless Peek plans to record a full-length with the equally busy producer Charles Austin at Ultramagnetic Studios this winter.
The Porcelain GodsWhen the Porcelain Gods released Emergency Band Meeting EP in October 2004, they didn’t realize that the title of that record would prove prophetic. The band lost their drummer Jeremy Stewart when creative differences came to a head while on a tour this past summer. A van in a constant state of disrepair didn’t help. With new drummer Niall Skinner in tow, the P-Gods are in the studio recording a full-length set for a late-winter release.
David StilesThe hip-hop and old-school funk-influenced DJ spent the past year playing a residency at Pitchman’s Pub and his current slot at Peddler’s on Thursday and Friday nights. He has also been hard at work improving his skills and playing with local performers, including Taichichi with whom he’s in the process of making a mix tape. Stiles hopes to release the project within a month.