- Shotgun Jimmie is alone now, but he’ll be surrounded by friends at the Khyber.
Nostalgia is complicated. Not just because our economy is very good at selling our past back to us. It's also that nothing deceives quite like a good memory. Just how awesome was that favourite concert of yours anyways? That long-lost boyfriend/girlfriend? That one summer? Is anything about our recollections objective at all? See? Complicated.
Shotgun Jimmie's new album is not complicated.
Heck, Transistor Sister---the Sackville, New Brunswick artist's third solo LP---may be one of the most effortlessly enjoyable Canadian records you'll hear this year; part garage rock, part power pop, joyously recalling classic '90s records from Pavement to Thrush Hermit. The record's lyrics are full of nostalgic reflections on loves, parties and friends. It looks backwards, but rather than this complicating things, it's just so inviting and spirited that it's hard not to be instantly won over.
"I think it has to do with being at this point in my life where everything is so exciting and amazing right now," explains Jimmie AKA Jim Kilpatrick, on the phone the day after an admittedly "raucous" show in Sudbury that doubled as his birthday party. "I'm just feeling the same type of excitement that I felt when I did a lot of things for the first time...those times when I was wide-eyed and amazed by the world."
Kilpatrick started his month with a series of solo dates out west before hooking up with friends Ian Kehoe (drums) and Jay Baird (bass) for the Ontario leg of his tour. The trio brings its show to the Khyber on Friday night for a proper Transistor Sister release party.
"I'm just so excited about this record," says Kilpatrick, and he should be. His first album recorded in a proper studio, Transistor Sister maintains his trademarks: short songs; ambient noise; raw-from-the-floor performances, while taking a big leap forward in both sound and songwriting. The highlight may be "Swamp Magic," recalling Neil Young at his noisiest with a gorgeous piano interlude in the middle. It's a song that Kilpatrick wrote as an ode to his favourite hometown music festival.
"The slogan for Sappyfest last year was 'swamp magic,' so that's why I gave it that title. It's about these parties at the farm in Sackville, when everyone comes over and you start to see the sun coming up and go, 'Woah, we did it,'" he says. "That's the one we've been using as the closer. It's fun to play last because it's kind of long so it seems epic and it's a real banger."
Friday's show seems likely to replicate that Sappyfest sentiment, as Jimmie will be joined by friends including Jon McKiel, Klarka Weinwurm, Baby Eagle, The Prospectors' Union and Construction and Destruction. They'll each be playing some of Jimmie's older songs alongside their own material before Jimmie and his band take the stage.
"There was this young guy who came up to me in St. Catharines at the merch table, asking how I found people to play with. And I thought about it for a second, and wished I had a better answer for him," says Kilpatrick. "Because basically, I just get my friends to play with me---they gotta be buddies, and it's gotta be about friendship. Even if they're not the most compatible musicians in the world, if they're compatible friends, it's gonna work out for the best, every time."
Shotgun Jimmie CD release
w/Jon McKiel, Construction and Destruction, The Prospectors' Union and more
Friday, March 25 at The Khyber ICA, 1588 Barrington Street