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flag Canada - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 15 - 01/12/98

Canadian Rawk in 1997
Guided by Laura

Well, since this is the first issue of the Kafé in '98, I made a quick list of highlights for 1997:

Overnight success:
Toronto's By Divine Right can hardly be called a new band, as they've been around for years. But ever since they released All Hail Discordia on Squirtgun Records earlier this year, the stars have been shining in their favor. They are now happily signed to Nettwerk Records, and thanks to Lee Maslin, and their strait-ahead rock'n'roll style, they just seem to be more and more successful as time goes by.

Most baffling overnight success:
Neko Case and her Boyfriends - Ok, tell me what is so exciting about Matt Murphy in a cowboy hat dancing to the squawks of former members of MAOW. It gets old fast, but she's making more money than I ever will.

Great records this year: coverpic
Radioblaster: Listen Closer (Squirtgun), this sophomore release from Toronto popstars, was more mature, and darker, but also reached new levels of intensity for the band. Great job.
Plumtree: Plumtree Predicts The Future (Cinnamon Toast) is also a sophomore release from these Halifax pop girls. I think it is a great addition to the record collection, way to go!
coverpic Noah's Arkweld: Fun (Squirtgun) - this album is one of the best this year for sure, so many interesting things happening in it. I would also have to say that Noah's Arkweld live is just getting better and better.
Elevator To Hell: Eerieconsiliation (Sub Pop) - yet another masterpiece from Rick White.
Change Of Heart: Steelteeth (Virgin)
Eric's Trip: Long Days Ride Till Tomorrow (Sappy/Sonic Unyon)
Thrush Hermit: Sweet Homewrecker (Elektra)
...and tons more!

Best Canadian band, live shows this year:
Thrush Hermit certainly take the cake in this country for pure rock'n'roll attitude, sorry Local Rabbits, you just can't touch the Hermits. With that neon rock'n'roll sign, and wacky bassist Ian Mcgettigan you just can't loose. A tough act to follow anytime, anywhere!
Tristan Psionic - as always, nothing beats a good Tristan Psionic show. They make you want to move to Hamilton.
Poledo take the cake for heavy rock, this year saw their last tour, an amazing thing.
Wooden Stars are an amazing band, with jazzy melodies, haunting sounds. I saw a lot of great shows this year, honorable mention would have to go to Orange Glass, Noah's Arkweld, and Elevator to Hell.
And the best foreign acts that came here this year would have to be Superchunk, Stereolab, Radiohead and Yo La Tengo.

The most disappointing shows this year:
Sloan - I think the Varsity Arena show sucked large, although, I do not feel Sloan are in any way becoming a bad live band, smaller venues, and lower ticket prices would be cool.
Radioblaster - Now don't get me wrong, Radioblaster are really great, but I think that the kid-following is lacking here. I'm not criticizing them, I'm criticizing their fans for not rocking out to them like they should, it makes the show better you dorks. What's with all this "I'm too cool, to act like an idiot" stuff?
The Monoxides - HELLO, what did you think you were doing when you ditched the 666 shirts?
Treble Charger - I have never been so bored in my life as when I saw Treble Charger at Mel-Lastman-Square. Remember your roots, boys.

Biggest label screw-up:
That would have to be the closing down of the Enclave, that was the most confusing thing on earth. What is to become of Scratching Post? And next would have to be the sudden deals between Squirtgun and Nettwerk. Don't forget Jale and Chixdiggit getting the boot from Sup Pop either!

Coolest indie cred:
Midnight Owl Records in Coquitlam BC is the most hard-working, honest label in the country, and don't you forget it.

Indie gone corporate:
I am counting down the days until they rename Sonic Unyon Records, "Sonic Unyon Marketing And Distribution Corporation". How many billions of labels they distribute I cannot really say. But the number just seems to get bigger and bigger. Watch out, or that Unyon will have your ears crying soon.

Most pointless evolution:
This prize was invented in honor of Jale, who re-named themselves "The Vees" because the "initial thing" didn't work anymore. It must feel like a sentence being in Jale.

Most upsetting breakups:
This year saw the last notes come from The SuperFriendz, hHead, and Poledo, all were long-time mainstays in the Canadian scene and will be missed.

Copyright © 1997 Laura Bowman e-mail address

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