Tag Archives: Canadian

Video Clip of The Week: CROSSS, “Dance Down”



OK, I realize that this is asking a lot (i.e. too much) of those out there who are wantonly ignorant of all music recorded before 1995, but imagine if you can a mash-up of Jefferson Airplane’s “Lather,” The Zombies “Beachwood Park”, and any Sid Barrett-era Pink Floyd tune that teeters on the precipice of sanity, only one million billion times creepier, and that’s what “Dance Down” by Canadian trio, CROSSS (yes there are three “S”s) reminds me of.

“Dance Down” is a song that is mastered so loud that I bet when the volume is on zero you can still hear it, and it is Fucking Amazing. Visually, the no-frills (and yet, highly stylized) Monty Pythonesque animation resembles a series of Edward Gorey drawings come to life. This my favorite thing I’ve seen or heard in months, though I admit that the first time I played the video I had to stop and re-start it three times to make it to the end, because it freaked me out so Intensely.

“Dance Down” comes from CROSSS’s sophomore LP, LO, which was released on June 16th, 2015. Take some drugs and listen to this one in the dark. Enjoy!

CROSSS LO CD Art

Video Clip of The Week: Big Wreck, “Come What May”



I’ve got a story about the band Big Wreck – specifically involving lead vocalist/ guitarist Ian Thornley — and it goes all the way back to 1997. In those glory days, I was writing about Rock music exclusively and interviewing bands at a pretty steady clip. Big Wreck had signed to Atlantic Records and their debut, In Loving Memory Of… was creating a pretty respectable buzz (radio hits, etc), so I was assigned to Interview Ian for I don’t even remember which outlet. Since Big Wreck had a gig booked at NYC’s Irving Plaza, the interview was scheduled to take place at the venue during sound check the evening of the show. Pretty standard procedure.

Aside from the fact that Ian was a cool and candid guy who did a hilarious Eddie Vedder imitation (plus, I was a fan of the record), what makes this incident stand out in my memory from hundreds of other interviews is that it took place in the ladies restroom. This was pre-renovation Irving Plaza, so the place still had tons of character and the Ladies Room had a big, antique velvet sofa, so we had a nice, quiet and comfortable place to chat. Plus the acoustics were insane. Ah, Big Wreck. What a good Rock band.

Big Wreck has been through some changes in the 17 years since Ian and I hung out together in the bathroom. The group’s original lineup disbanded in 2002. Ian went on to have a very successful career in his native Toronto with his band Thornley, and in 2010 he and original Big Wreck guitarist Brian Doherty reformed the band, absorbing the members of Thornley into the new Big Wreck.

Big Wreck’s fourth album, Ghosts, was just released in the US on July 15th, 2024 (on Rounder Records) and the biggest compliment I can pay it is to say that Ghosts – represented here by this amazing performance of “Come What May” – proves that Big Wreck is still a force to be reckoned with, both in the studio and live. Obviously, Ian Thornley knows that he can let the music do all the talking. Enjoy!

Big Wreck Ghosts
Ian Thornley (Far Left) and Big Wreck

Video Clip of The Week: “Gun Shy” By Weed

Weed Deserve Cover

See Video at This Link Because it won’t embed on my site! Aargh!

Here’s another example of a band successfully going back in time in order to appear forward thinking, as Canadian noise rockers Weed make use of VHS Cassette-quality technology for the visually disquieting clip accompanying a decidedly brilliant post-apocalyptic tune they call “Gun Shy.” While this is possibly the most deliberately lo-fi recording I’ve heard in years that did not involve Guided By Voices, I find what Pitchfork described as the “familiar yet wonderfully warped sound of a mix tape that had been decaying in the glove compartment of an abandoned car since 1991” to be an odd combination of exhilarating and comforting. I believe the aesthetic is what we used to affectionately refer to as “Punk Rock” before that phrase ceased to have any meaning in a modern context. Also, the singer’s vocals remind me of Wire Train (Google them).

Although Weed have been around for a decade, this track comes off of what is, surprisingly, the band’s debut album, Deserve. Find out more about the World of Weed by visiting their awesome website and blogThis Link. Enjoy!

Movie Review: Anvil, The Story of Anvil!

anvil movie poster
Robb Reiner and Steve “Lips” Kudlow Star in Anvil: The Story of Anvil

Yesterday, Geoffrey and I celebrated the first day of really nice NYC weather in over six months by sitting in a dark theater, enjoying the fantastic new documentary, Anvil: The Story of Anvil. You may have heard this film being referred to as a “Real Life Spinal Tap,” but I assure you that the story of this Canadian Metal band that grasped for fame only to fall into obscurity is all too true. A few of the metal drummers I’ve interviewed in my career have cited Anvil drummer Robb Reiner as an influence, so I had heard of them, but only by name.

Anvil: The Story of Anvil tells an unintentionally hilarious and truly emotionally-moving music industry tale that I am sure a gazillion other bands can relate to, yet Anvil imbue this film with so much heart, I can’t imagine any other “almost was” metal band creating an experience quite like the one you get in this film. Back in the ‘80s Anvil were poised to be the next big thing; touring Europe with supporting gigs for Iron Maiden and The Scorpions, and inspiring peer-group fans that included members of now legendary bands like Metallica, Anthrax and Guns ‘N’ Roses. But where those bands continued on to achieve great commercial success and global fame, it didn’t quite work out that way for Anvil. What went wrong? This movie untangles that web.

There is no doubt that the music is strong and these guys are great musicians, and certainly they did not lack anything in the passion-for-what-you-do department. Anvil is both an incredible inspiration and a highly entertaining cautionary tale that I absolutely loved every minute of. Definitely add it to your list of films to see in the theaters before it comes out on DVD in a few months.

New Song Reviews Up Now in The Critic’s Corner at Starpolish.com!

star polish logo

This month’s victims in the Critic’s Corner include Gerardo Wanna-Be Eduardo Renta, NYC Soul Diva Ladybug and Modern Rockers Radial Angel.