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Showing posts from 2015

My Great Gatsby

This past summer I ordered a 50 cd's for $50 deal from Suburban Home Records (I love when labels are clearing out their old stock/distro [I hate the current US/CDN exchange rate / cross border shipping rates]). After all was said and done I figured that as long as I dug 5 of the cd's I received it'd make the $103 price tag acceptable..anything more than that was gravy. Shit ended up being a great deal, they sent 60 cd's including a lot of the Suburban Home back catalogue, a bunch of G7 cd's and just all around great music spanning most rock based genres. Among the 60 cd's was Two Cow Garage's Sweet Saint Me. Up until I popped the cd into my car's compact disc player I had heard of Two Cow Garage but never took the time to check em out (I think it was once again one of those "not feeling the name..I'll use my time to listen to other stuff" mixed with "ugh, might be on the shit side of country influence" type situations). Well gee

Sound Familiar?

Walkers Distinctively Salt & Vinegar (with real British vinegar)? I picked a bag out of my salty box tonight thinking I knew what I was getting into..Nope. I opened the [25g] bag and was greeted with the welcoming smell of salt and vinegar chips. So far so good. I tossed one in my mouth..what the what. A mouth full of potato, a pinch of salt and almost no trace of vinegar [distinctive my scrote!]. I thought, "Maybe it was just a dud chip". I was wrong. As I made my way through this little taster bag, I was met with disappointing crunch after disappointing crunch. The odd chip had a very light vinegar seasoning [just enough to make you think, "maybe this world isn't just a dark pit of despair", then you'd taste the next almost flavourless chip]. This was pretty much the equivalent of a lightly salted bag of Lay's that was sitting on the shelf beside a bag of salt and vinegar chips..just long enough for some of it's influence to rub off, but noth

Tending to Ruin

This is my second time writing about Blair's Death Rain chips. The first time I had just consumed the Death Rain Jolokia Pepper . They were pretty metals! Get ready for round 2. This time I munched on Blair's Death Rain Buffalo Wing cauldron-cooked potato chips. They come in the same (metal looking) bag [however with Buffalo Wing they switched out the black drop with a yellow (not as metal)]. These were a gift from the in-laws (as were the previous bag of Blair's if I remember correctly). When i peeled the laminated aluminum apart I was greeted with the smell of kettle cooked chips with a slight cayenne hit. I tossed one into my mouth and BAM! Nice crunch, not overly greasy. The bag says that they're a medium heat and I'd have to agree (if not a little more than medium [after all they are Blair's Death Rain]). You can taste the potato and at times you get a hint of BBQ..other times there's a touch of sweetness to the chips. As with all Blair's Death Rain

Paper Trail$

When something leaves a bad taste in your mouth it's hard to get over. Sometimes it's literally a taste..sometimes it's a wack name. A few months ago I mentioned the abomination that was Late Night all nighter Cheeseburger Doritos . Doritos didn't stop there with their Late Night line, they also released a "last call Jalapeno Popper". This post is however not about Doritos repugnant misstep, it is about President's Choice and how they once again took the same concept as Doritos and ran with it. Taking this into consideration I was understandably cautious when I picked up a bag of President's Choice Loads of Jalapeno Popper chips. They come in a standard PC bag with a 5 chili pepper heat rating. The background/wallpaper of the bag tips you that these are ridged chips. When I cracked the bag open I could see that these weren't the weakest link in the 'PC Loads of' line, there was a good coating of seasoning on these wavy lil potato slices.


Dude Ranch is one of my all time favourite albums. This may be due to the fact that it was a gateway album for me..or possibly it truly is great (I'm not sure if I have the ability to formulate an unbiased opinion). Blink 182 delivered 45 minutes of pop punk that was catchy as hell with lyrics that drilled themselves straight into your cerebral cortex. Whenever I put the album on, from the first note of Pathetic to the last note of I'm Sorry (I can do without the dog drinking urine 'skit' after I'm sorry) I'm transported to a happy place and can't help myself from nodding my head and singing along. Shit's rad. I celebrate(/ed) Blink's entire proper catalogue Cheshire Cat through their 2003 S/T (Buddha and They Came to Conquer.. yes, that live album no [man overboard was decent]). When I heard that they broke up after their 2003 album I thought it was a great choice. The self-titled showed some interesting progression (shit, they did a song with Rober

Party On The Moon

In a city not too far away there exists three rock and roll surf punks. Do these punks have names? Yeah dude, (buy the album or look at their bandcamp if you really want to find out their personal information ya creep) these fellas collectively go by the name of The Thrashers . This past spring The Thrashers released a stellar album on Transistor 66, ROBOT INVADERS FROM THE DEATH GALAXY featuring music by THE THRASHERS. Robot Invaders opens with a  instrumental surf track then proceeds to lyrically (and musically) delight and amuse. Musically, as mentioned above this is a rock and roll album with heavy surf influence. On top of that there's punk energy all over the place. The vocal delivery is fairly animated with spurts of 80's hardcore. Lyrically (on the surface) this album is [as the title may lead you to believe] a B-movie (mixed with the musical tone that gives me a real psychobilly vibe). Robot Invaders finds The Thrashers blending their musical influences together perfe

I don't want to dance with you tonight

A month? or so ago the mysterious Ri cky left a present in my mailbox; a lil bag of MACKIE'S of Scotland haggis & cracked black pepper (naturally grown & seasoned) Potato Crisps. I've been intrigued as shit ever since I laid eyes on the bag. A quick skim revealed that these are 'thick cut potato crisps' (lets see if they hold up to standard set by Brannigans for thick cut perfection). As soon as I cracked the bag I took a whiff..animal feed? Visually they look like a nice slab of off-white potato goodness with dark specs of flavour. Snatch, chomp..they're on the puffy side of crunchy (I personally would've liked them cooked slightly longer. That said, they're a 3.5..maybe 4 out of 5 on the Brannigans thick cut scale [so not too shabby]). From chip to chip the flavour varies somewhat. Some have a strong initial black pepper..some the pepper doesn't come on until the 2nd half of crunchtime. Either way there is a lot of black pepper in the seasoni

Dislikes: Anyone Who Drinks Pepsi

If you listened to punk in the 90's I assume that you're at least aware of the "Short Music for Short People" comp that Fat Wreck put out in '99. I'm also betting that you assumed the joke died with that cd.  Well, This past spring when I was going through used 7"s at Sloth Records in Calgary I came across a 45 (from 2006) that I vaguely remember hearing of before; Short Attention - (This isn't written anywhere on the jacket, it's only shown on the actual record label...or when you purchase it digitally) Clever, Maddening & Annoying. Yes, short songs are a novelty..but when done right can be quite enjoyable. Short Attention is an east coast pop punk all star team consisting of (now mostly) former members of Dirt Bike Annie/The Slaughterhouse Four/The Ergs/The Unlovables and The Steinways. Short Attention takes short songs to an extreme delivering 29 pop punk blasts in less time than it takes to finish a bag of chips (or 8 minutes and 8 secon

Paid in Full

BURTS, THICK CUT HAND COOKED POTATO CHIPS...GUINESS FLAVOUR. The bag's black and the overall design makes me think of a basement beerhouse [like one with those rustic wooden tables made out of massive wooden that you might find a boot at]. When I opened the bag I found some tasty lookin' chips that didn't appear to be very greasy with visually generous powdercoating of 'Guiness' flavouring. I popped one of 'em into my mouth not really knowing what to expect. What I got was..sort of bland. I'm not a huge fan of Guiness, I'll drink it if it's there but I won't go out of my way to partake in consumption. Luckily for me these chips taste more like a salty beef broth flavour. Every few chips I think I get a faint bitter taste. Once in a while it seems like Mr. Sweet, who wasn't invited to the party [and hasn't showered in a week] but found out about it and is lingering outside the window allowing his b.o. to waft by without really

Don't do something, just sit there

As I stepped out into the bright hallway from the darkness of the chip cellar I had only two things on my mind: Skinny Genes and salt and vinegar chips (Covered Bridge Sea Salt & Vinegar Old Fashioned Kettle Cooked [Dark Russet] Potato Chips [to be exact]). It was only a week ago when I opened my most recent (at this point it seems like quarterly if not bi-monthly) package from It's Alive Records . It contained two 7"s: B-Sides 4 Way Split [a cleverly themed/titled lil' guy from Rad Girlfriend Records] and IAR 's most recent release, Ugh [I can't currently find a stream of it] from Skinny Genes . I enjoy being relatively blind when listening to new music so the only thing that I knew about Skinny Genes was that they released an EP on IAR. When I put on UGH I was treated to some absolutely top notch pop punk..some of best songs that I've heard thus far in 2015. I had no choice but to keep flipping the record when the needle returned to it's resting pla

Have you ever seen a turtle get down?

This past week I was going through a drawer in my house and I came across an old CD binder. There was a bunch of burnt full albums in it with a few mixed cd's. One of the mixed cd's was a rap compilation that I culled together in...99..2000. I thought, 'I don't remember this being my best work, but why not take a stroll down memory lane' and popped it into the cd player in my car [it's sad that in the digital age of smart phones/ipods that kids won't get to experience the joy of narrowing their music selections down to an 80 minute masterpiece that will last for years..decades..probably not centuries..and can't be altered to suit their ever-changing taste]. Opening track; Busta Rhymes - Gimme Some More. This was followed by a Wyclef track, Black Rob's Like Whoa, some late 90's quasi-mainstream rap and then..Ice Ice Baby. Ice Ice Baby is an odd track; if you drop it in the middle of a bunch of disposable pop [say at a dance/social/etc], it can be

Sarah, Send Your Driver

I've had a bag of Kettle Brand Sweet Onion chips in the salty cellar for a while. It took me a while to get to them because, through writing these blogs, I've come to the realization that I'm not super into Kettle Brand chips as a whole..they're generally too greasy (in both touch and taste). When I cracked open the wine coloured bag, to my surprise the chips weren't glistening in standard Kettle Brand fashion. I stared upon the "kettle cooked" slices of potato. I grabbed a crispy little one from the bag and tossed it into my mouth. [I didn't have any preconceived notions as to what the flavouring would taste like] When I got to the crunching I was greeted with a familiar taste...sour cream and onion [I've come to the conclusion that sour cream and onion chips are basically just onion but the creator didn't want them to sound that plain so they added sour cream into the name just for kicks {it should be noted that I haven't eaten sour cream

Lost in the Supermarket

A few months ago good ol' Ricky was in some store in Winnipeg and he stumbled across bags of Tyrrell's Hand Cooked English Chips; WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE & SUNDRIED TOMATO FLAVOUR. He was nice enough to snatch me up a bag of these delicious sounding salty treats. The bag looks like it's trying to evoke a feeling of days gone by. The front of the bag refers to England and the back explicitly states "MADE IN ENGLAND" but they refer to the chips as, well, chips (this confuses me, if anyone from England/UK reads this, please explain to me why they wouldn't refer to them as crisps). Anyway, today I went downstairs and grabbed my bag of Worcestershire Sundried Tomato out of the salty stash..continued on to the beer fridge and pulled out a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (because when in England, amiright) and popped a squat on the couch. I opened the bag; yep, kettle cooked lil' things, the seasoning is pretty light based on visual inspection. I gingerly tossed a &

Everybody Want's Something

The wheel, man. There is no need to reinvent it. If one alters a wheel slightly, the change can be very welcomed in my opinion. Throw in a spoke or 2, maybe make parts spin that didn't use to. Slightly altering the wheel is exactly what The Zits (formerly The Zit Remedy) did in the late 80's..early 90's. The Zits took the standard 3 piece rock band lineup, dropped the drums (replacing them with keyboard) and included just the right amount of pop. With the use of bass, drums and keyboard; Joey, Snake and Wheels created one of the greatest pop-rock songs of the 80's; Everybody Want's Something! A simple guitar/bass line married with Joey's lively fingers tickling the (plastic) ivory. The lyrics contained just the right amount of brovado without coming off as egotistic. The chorus rivals anything on the radio today. Everybody definitely want's something, like a good bag of chips. You know what's a good bag of chips? Doritos Dinamita Nacho Picoso rolled to

Hal Johnson Smokes Cigarettes

Tart and somewhat sweet my socks make for a napkin Now they are dyed red Shouldn't just be North flavour is too good to pass soon they will agree Bag opens, search begins Red powder covers greasy potato chunks perpetual search for perfection Almost burnt but not quite, *snatch* Crunch! I think I see a better one Mouth watering Time to shotgun crumbs Will the search ever end Nope Another day, another bag Happy Canada Day, Marc

Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight

Lets keep the train from last week chips this week are: BRANNIGANS PROPER THICK CUT CRISPS; ROAST BEEF & MUSTARD. Lets start off saying that the potato portion of these are the same bomb ass chips that I described last week . At this point in time, Brannigans Proper Thick Cut Crisps in my opinion are King. That out of the way, lets move on to the flavour. When I opened the bag there appeared to be a brown powder generously covering these perfect potato chips. There was no distinct smell coming from the bag (regular potato yadda yadda). When I popped the chip in my mouth I was a little surprised. I was expecting some sort of yellow mustard type flavour..what I got was a big ol' slap of hot horseradish. These chips had more bite than Deep River Snacks Aged Cheddar Horseradish . I taste no mustard flavour at all. The horseradish lasts for a few seconds then the bite dissipates leaving a very small hint of faux beef flavouring along with potato. The 40g bag is the perfec

Lean On Me

I first saw The Flatliners on May 9, 2003. They were opening for Bigwig/The Planet Smashers on the grind tour and kicked ass. Their sound has changed since that date but it hasn't stopped them from becoming one of my favourite bands both recorded and live. Because of my affinity for The Flatliners I was drawn to The Warehouse (Calgary) on September 26, 2007. Having never heard the other bands that were to be playing that night I had very few preconceived notions (I did very little, super lazy, research), I was just there to see The Flatliners and hoped the other bands didn't suck. To my absolute surprise and amazement, the opening? band (might have been 2nd of 4, I can't remember for sure [it really doesn't matter]) The Peacocks absolutely slayed. This 3 piece punkabilly band from Winterthur, Switzerland owned the stage. There was no fancy lighting, costumes or pyrotechnics..just three guys in jeans and black shirts rocking out. When they played there was pure uncut en

I Love Religion

A couple months ago my mom was in Winners and saw a bag of Deep River Snacks Aged Cheddar Horseradish Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, being the thoughtful lady she is she snagged a bag of them for me. A couple weeks ago my friend Ricky was at a different Winners and sent me a picture of the same chips. I guess it was a sign that it's time to crack em open and get my crunch on. This evening I went to my chip cellar and grabbed the flat orange bag of salty goodness. I've been anticipating these chips since I was gifted them, I love me some horseradish. I opened the bag and surveyed; orange tinted chips with a little white powder on em, not overly shiny..promising. I got my chipping hand ready and snagged the most flavourful looking chip. Pretty much as soon as it touches your tongue you're hit with a distinct hot horseradish zing..which dissipates fairly quickly. The aged cheddar flavouring is very faint (as in barely there). The seasoning on these chips is very light, you get a

Get Down..

Given enough time, 7 Eleven ruins everything. I have always been a huge fan of nacho cheese that is dispensed from the little (usually) white heat boxes. You know the stuff, the viscous orange/yellow liquid that flows like lava, has a bit of a kick and fills your dreams with sunshine and rainbows. I was lucky enough to have a summer job at an ice cream parlor when I was in high school, and they had one of these fantastic little boxes. I'm not afraid to admit it, every once in a while I'd grab a spoon, press the button and consume a mouthful of my favourite chip adjacent salty goodness. Right around the time I was nearing the end of high school, I was introduced to the most amazing lifehack; as long as you purchase something at 7 Eleven you can cover it with as much nacho cheese and chili as you want. This wasn't just limited to hot dogs and nacho trays, you could get a bag of Doritos and go to town filling the bag to your hearts content. After trying out a few different c

Bring da Ruckus

There are people under 35 that don't know what the Wu-Tang Clan is. That statement absolutely astounds me. It's not so much teenagers not recognizing their elders/classic albums that blows my mind; they were potentially born after the release of 36 Chambers/Wu-Tang Forever and therefore have an excuse..maybe they just don't like rap..or history. However, when I speak to a fellow human being that is in the 25 to 34 year old demographic, that grew up in North America and had access to Much Music/MTV/Radio/didn't live in a cave and doesn't have a clue who Wu Tang is, it blows my mind. Up until a couple years ago I actually didn't know people like this existed. There I was, at a wedding trading small talk with a 28ish year old girl that was sitting at my table, yadda yadda, "Wu-Tang", girl, "What's that" *crash* [my jaw creating a softball size hole in the floor as it fell straight through it]. How the shit? Wu Tang was literally

Grown Folks Business

I mention It's Alive Records a lot in my tales. It's a killer label (IMHO) and has released various LP's/7"s from two of my favourite bands; The Dopamines and The Copyrights . If you actively follow the current pop punk scene you may be familiar with these bands..if you don't know either of them..well, your loss I guess? I started listening to The Copyrights with their 2008 release Learn the Hard Way (Great album). Not long after Learn the Hard Way, The Copyrights were paired with The Dopamines (my introduction to this fantastic band) on a split 7" put out by It's Alive Records in 2009 titled Songs about Fucking Up . The album jacket for SAFU is light (almost lime) green with a cartoon face of a guy not having a good time (the album title and artwork is a tribute to the Big Black's Songs About Fucking). On this split EP, both bands dole out upbeat music with lyrics that are a little bitter and/or self-deprecating (hence the EP title). Everything eith

What's Myage Again

Is the concept of 'hot wing' chips a new idea? No. Is that a bad thing? Shit no. Almost every major, and not so major, chip company has at least one hot wing chip flavour (some companies produce more than one option). I, for one, love this. Every company puts their own spin on it, some work out, some are duds. At the end of the day, variety IS the spice of life; whether it's on a micro or macro. A couple weeks ago I cracked a bag of President's Choice Kettle Cooked Spicy Wing chips. Original flavour, na, but I didn't buy them expecting that. I peered into the bag upon opening to view a medium thick ridged chip with visible seasoning. This wasn't my first time trying these chips, it was however my first time critically eating them, hah. I picked up a chip and to my surprise, for a kettle cooked chip, it wasn't overly greasy. With my mind sending a stat order to my hand I shoved the chip into my mouth, *crunch crunch* not bad *crunch* the seasoning is on th

Total Juicehead

This past Easter Sunday there was an all ages show in Brandon. The opening bands consisted of Mobina Galore , The Bumpin' Uglies and Elder Abuse with The Isotopes headlining (who are just finishing up touring Canada in support of their new LP/cd Nuclear Strikezone ). I was pretty stoked for the show because this was a killer lineup and doors were at 1pm which allowed my daughter to go to her first punk rock show. The opening bands all slayed, this was my first time seeing The Bumpin' Uglies (somewhere between hXc, skatepunk and pop punk) and I was certainly impressed. Soon enough it was time for the headliner to take the floor. The turnout wasn't the greatest but that didn't stop The Isotopes from ripping through a dozen or so absolute burners. For those unfamiliar with The Isotopes, they're a Ramonescore band from Vancouver who's lyrical subject matter is solely rooted in or around baseball. Their set was straight forward punk rock, no fancy lighting or danc

2, 4, 5 Trioxin

I recently went on a road trip with my wife (Teresa) and daughter. Covered thousands of km's..Saskatoon -> Fort McMurray -> Calgary -> Home. Throughout this trip we stopped in at 4 record stores, 1 British food import store (to grab some of them uk chips, one of the many flavours was mentioned in The Letter F ) and stayed with friends/family in each city. This trip also resulted in at least 2 gifts that become tales in this here blog in the paragraphs below. The first record store that we ventured into on this trip was the Vinyl Diner in Saskatoon. Whenever Teresa and I go to record stores she usually leaves me to my business and finds a store nearby to browse or just hangs out at the front while I get into the zone. This time however turned out to be different. A few days after we arrived home from Calgary, I found out that with this particular visit to the Vinyl Diner Teresa was doing her own browsing, with the stealthiness of a ninja, that went completely unnoticed b

Letter F

In the spring of 2010 I saw a notification that Brother Ali was to tour through the prairies. Since this was the first chance I had to see the black albino since I got into his music I jumped at the chance to see him perform. Initially I could find no mention of a Winnipeg show, there was however a Saskatoon date. My sister was living in Saskatoon at the time so what better excuse to visit than what I could only assume would be a stellar rap show. The opener for the tour was listed as Fashawn, I had never heard of him before but that wasn't overly surprising. I took it upon myself to check out Fashawn's myspace in the weeks leading up to the show so I would at least be familiar with a few of his songs. Upon first listen of Boy Meets World (his Oct 2009 debut album) I was hooked. The production (from Exile), lyrics, flow.. everything was absolutely top notch, dare I say flawless. Fast forward to April 6, 2010..Brother Ali, BK One and Fashawn blew me away. I was now hooked on Fa

Nothing is Cool

Peanuts and Corn is one of the most important labels in Canadian rap/hip-hop/(whatever you want to call it). Shit, they're one of the most important labels in independent music. Rod Bailey has consistently produced/released some of the most top notch rap albums that North America has to offer. If you are unfamiliar with P&C you should try to change that and celebrate their entire catalogue. With that said, today I am specifically focusing on one release from Peanuts and Corn, 2004's Nothing is Cool from mcenroe and Birdapres . I am not a rap aficionado, I dabble here and there, but I honestly believe that this is a Classic album. This masterpiece was produced by mcenroe with co-production from Birdapres and cuts from DJ Hunnicutt. The beauty to this albums production (as with all P&C releases) is that it's timeless. There was no trend hopping, just perfectly curated beats from music lovers who have obviously seen a crate or two in their time. The lyrics througho

We Came to Dance

The Gaslight Anthem is boring. If you asked me in 2010 to recommend a band, I would have very enthusiastically directed you towards The Gaslight Anthem. Sink or Swim, Senor and the Queen and The '59 Sound were damn near perfect. They had energy, heart and were catchy as hell. American Slang was a slight departure with an overall slower tempo than I had grown accustomed to however it was still a very strong effort. Since then, each subsequent album has grown slower and more subdued. About 3/4 of each of their last 2 albums seem to be dedicated solely to slow dances or meticulously inspecting your shoes. To me it doesn't even feel like the same band. What was The Gaslight Anthem now feels like the Brian Fallon vanity project; it feels like one mans vision masquerading as a band. What's left of a once majestic beast is the bland shell of a band that had so much potential. The energy is all but gone, majority of the songs feel's time for a name change.   My ba

Pieces of You

Winnipeg is starting to develop a fairly solid pop punk/beard punk/orgcore (whatever you want to call it) scene. Every once in a while the bands brave the shitty highway for a couple hundred kilometres and play Brandon. This doesn't happen often (and when it does I usually don't hear about the show until it's too late). This past January I saw a poster that billed both Dangercat and Elder Abuse (2 bands that in my opinion slay). I didn't recognize any of the other bands on the bill but just seeing those 2 names on the poster made me want to brave the frigid early January temperatures (it ended up being around -30°C that night). I convinced a few other people to come with me and made sure that I arrived reasonably early so that I didn't miss any of the Winnipeg bands. The first 2 bands happened, didn't leave much of an impression on me. Next up was a band that goes by the name of Mobina Galore. Mobina Galore consists of 2 people; 1 plays guitar and sings lead whi

State-Sanctioned Murder

The great thing about independent record labels is that they're run by music lovers..and generally don't have very many cooks in the kitchen.The result from this is that the owner usually curates a specific sound or ethos, not because it sells a nutload of units or is popular but because it's what they dig (within reason). When you find a label that jives with your musical taste it's a glorious day. For me one of these labels is It's Alive Records. It's Alive has released some of my favorite albums from the past 10 years (if you want any recommendations hit me up) and hasn't released a single dud. I will purchase anything that they release without even hearing a note, let alone a song. It is because of their track record that this past September I ordered The Capitalist Kids - at a loss. With the name of the band I was expecting something with skatepunk/crusty leanings..nope. The Capitalist Kids, surprisingly, have a mid to late 90's sound somewhere betw