Wednesday, August 19, 2009

News:: Friends in Bellwoods 2

Go to any city, and you will stumble on little pockets of musical camaraderie. Whether it’s a group of art school friends that start playing music or an old house with gear piled in the basement, the creative energy is tangible. Here in Halifax, I guess you’d go with 6015 Willow St, but in Toronto, I’d say that honor goes to Casey Mecija’s house on Bellwoods Avenue.

With fellow Ohbijou member James Bunton, they collected songs from their friends and put out a charity record that featured some of the best indie rockers/folkers in the Canadian scene. Not only was Friends in Bellwoods an embarrassment of riches (Forest City Lovers, Bry Webb, Ohbijou, The Acorn, The Meligrove Band, Sebastien Grainger, The D’Urbervilles, Snailhouse), it also raised over 10 grand for charity. All in all, a pretty amazing success.

Remarkably… Bellwoods 2 puts the original to shame. Forty rare and unreleased tracks from the best talent TO has to offer, including Sandro Perri, Timber Timbre, Great Lake Swimmers, Ohbijou, Final Fantasy, The Acorn, The RAA, The D’Urbervilles, Basia Balat, Evening Hymns, Gentleman Reg, and tons more but more importantly, you can tell the people involved really believed in the project. The songs are spirited, and for so many of these talented artists to donate their time and music is special.

I don’t want to start analyzing the tracks - half of the fun of this record is just hearing what some of your favorite bands offer up - but hearing The D’Urbes totally transform the ghostly Timber Timbre jam, Magic Arrow into an energetic romp, the ear pleasing jangle of The Great Bloomers or the beautiful picking dance around Rolf’s voice on Slippery When Wet are three of the big standouts for me.

Truthfully though, on a compilation where fantastic bands like Forest City Lovers, Tusks and Snailhouse barely catch your eye on first glance of the track list, and new material from Ohbijou (with an absolutely perfect string arrangement), Polaris short-listers Great Lake Swimmers, Bruce Peninsula, The Wooden Sky (!!!!) and The Rural Alberta Advantage seem standard, you start to see the power of this project.

Throw in the fact the proceeds go to The Daily Bread Food Bank and it’s pretty well a given that you should be rushing to pick up this 2-disc set on August 25th courtesy of Out of This Spark. The label is offering up a few songs - and as good as these songs are, the gems you will find when you actually purchase the record are staggering - so take a listen, but please donate to this great cause.

MP3:: The D'Urbervilles - Magic Arrow

MP3:: Tusks - New to Old Money


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Posted at 8:01 AM by ack :: 4 comments

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