Step 1: Hit ‘Play’ on the video of Parlovr live I found. Aren’t they great?

Step 2: Once that’s done, for the consideration of this generation, I have compressed the entire festival of North By Northeast into an accessible tl;dr format. Because, you know, Too Long = Didn’t Read.

Army Girls – Came out and levelled the Supermarket, but singer Carmen Elle seemed pretty uneasy, probably due to all the Paparazzi. Paparazzo? In the future, when covering Army Girls,

make sure you know the difference between a Paparazzi and a Paparazzo.

A Friend In London – Toured with the Backstreet Boys last year. They wrote a song about it. I know because they told us.

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Big Sugar’s Revolution Per Minute

I’ve long thought of Big Sugar as having a lot of reggae influence. But now, I’m wondering if they might simply be the BEST, DIRTIEST SOUL BAND IN THE WORLD.

On Tuesday, June 28th, it’s going to be a good day for stereo systems everywhere. Revolution Per Minute, the first album Big Sugar’s put out in 8 years, is hitting stores, and it’s going to make some noise. Here’s the first track, “Roads Ahead.”

In the intervening years since we’ve had a new Big Sugar release, singer Gordie Johnson—for my  money, one of the best frontmen working—has been busy co-writing and producing hit songs across North America and playing in his country-metal outfit Grady. Continue reading

Live Music: Big Sugar

photos by Jay Davy and Bernadette Connors.

Everyone has their list. The Bucket List. The If I List. The Lottery List. Whatever you call it, that list of things to do before you shuffle off this mortal coil (and what dreams may come after, har har.) Mine is–and has been for a long time–mostly comprised of artists that I wish I could see perform. They include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Big Sugar. Of course, there’s a gigantic list–Miles Davis, Return to Forever, Blind Melon, Lenny Breau, Zappa–but top 3 are probably going to be Jimi, Janis, and Gordie (Johnson of Big Sugar.) Two of them are dead, and I had given up hope of ever seeing Gordie play with his original lineup again, given his complete rejection of the Canadian music industry and his flight to Texas some years back.

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Range (and Homes Thereupon)

OR, Why Gordie Johnson is the Best Musician Working Today

Here’s Gordie with his band, Big Sugar, in 1994, back when he was the best-dressed man in Canadian rock and roll.

And here he is in 2005, after moving to Texas and putting on a vest (and about 30 pounds–seriously, look at his arms in this video. He’s like the Terminator with a trucker’s moustache:)

Gordie spent the first two Grady records rerecording and covering his own songs from the Big Sugar days with this new southern twist. Now, the reason this is interesting: normally you need to have at least two separate groups or people performing a song to get a different take on it.

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