It was an amazing, unforgettable cd release show at the Media Club on Feb. 8. I knew it would be the last time we would be in the same room and play together. People who suddenly hate each other can’t stick together as a band for very long. So much work, so many sacrifices, and so much incredible music had been made and it all just disappeared, like it had never been.
The Feminists were:
Mike Zobac – drums, vocals, arrangements. He also managed our Factor grants. Mike took charge of all of the band’s projects still in progress when The Feminists broke up suddenly in February 2008 including a video for 21st Century Ghost and a live DVD of ‘Can’t Scream Loud Enough’.
Keith Grief – songwriter, lead vocals, guitar, arrangements. Keith did all the website design and maintenance and designed all of The Feminists album art and packaging. He designed our t-shirts, buttons, stickers, tour posters and postcards. He also organized and designed the live DVD show.
Ferdy Belland – bass, arrangements. Ferdy booked all of our local shows. He planned and booked most of our tours as well.
Alison Mara – keyboards, vocals, arrangements, blogs, bio.
The Feminists brand new album “Can’t Scream Loud Enough” Release Date Tuesday February 5/08
Look, here’s the deal. We made this smashing record that we’re all so very proud of. Well, I can’t speak for Keith – not much impresses him (which is good, to have at least one dark and mysterious artist to balance out the goofballs who are Ferdy, Mike, and myself) but I think he has recently said “I don’t hate it”, so that’s pretty high praise.
So. We made a record. We like it. We have been posting previews of each track on the new album, and you all have been very good at listening to them. But soon – very soon – you will not have to wait, anxiously wringing your hands each Monday morning as you wait for Zobac to post that week’s offering. Our release date is fast approaching. Tuesday February 5, 2008 is the magical day. “Can’t Scream Loud Enough” will be available at Scratch Records, and other fine local establishments such as Zulu and maybe even Red Cat. CSLE will also be available online at Zunior Records (www.zunior.com). Full digital release (Canada, U.S., U.K.) is happening through Scratch Recordings & Distribution. You can check their online store (www.scratchrecords.com) for more details.
But why settle for a crappy MP3 (unless you love MP3’s, that’s okay) when you can purchase the cd itself, with its trippy and wonderfully unusual packaging and artwork designed by our resident dark and mysterious artist? What you really should do is come down to our cd release show. Sat. Feb. 9 at The Media Club. We are thrilled to be sharing the stage with The Smears – if you’ve never seen them, you should be ashamed. Yeah, I said it. Shame on you. AND Portico. And embarrassment of riches, I know. AND Swan Vista. Swan Vista is some of the same people as Foster Kare (or are they Karen Foster again these days? I can’t keep up), specifically guitar god Chad McQuarrie, so that’s bound to be…ridiculous. Like ridiculous amazing, not ridiculous ridiculous.
I sort of got lost there, staring at all those ridiculous-es.
CD release show. I apologize for my lack of writer-ly focus. I’ve just walked in the door from teaching a seemingly endless stream of children how to not suck at playing the piano. This tends to suck the life out of me. I will bravely soldier on.
Come see us play our new record – live – we’re not just going to play the cd through the PA, although that would require far less rehearsals – at the Media Club on Feb. 9. And buy one afterwards, for the love of god. We’re out here in the wilderness, people. No record label to love us – and give us money – no management team (that would be me. And I need HELP, goddammit. A lackey to meekly carry out my bidding, or a high priced, high powered suit wearing group to rescue me from this DIY hell), just a rock band playing their catchy as hell rock songs with ferocious intensity. Bring your friends. Your cool friends. They’ll dig it too.
My goodness, certainly I have been wearing out my itsy bitsy delicate piano player fingers with all the hours I have been spending lately at my computer, tapping out messages (that seem to strike an interesting balance between humble/hopeful/slightly arrogant) to the Powerful People out there who might, maybe, possibly, be interested in helping my lovely band up to The Next Level. Well, you see we have this new record and all and I’ve been thinking hey maybe it would be nice to find someone else (who has more than $400 to their name) who’s willing to help us get it out there. Plus right now we only have 5 copies of said record and methinks that’s not enough, even for an indie band. How awesome would it be to convince some sort of corporate entity to press a few thousand copies for us. And then book us some killer tours and local shows, get us a ton of press…you see where I’m going with this. Into my too-often visited fantasy world. That beautiful place where musicians – brace yourselves – make a living by playing music.
I can’t help but notice that the real world is not set up this way. We have a real problem in this culture that devalues art in all its forms. Well, I guess it’s mostly a problem for artists. Come to think of it, I don’t hear businessmen lamenting the fact that it sure would be great to be able to make a living doing business.
What the hell am I talking about? I sound like my dad, who starts out with one story that reminds him of another story and pretty soon both he and I have no idea about what he was driving at in the first place. And now I have no idea what I was driving at in the first place. Thanks dad, for the rambling conversationalist gene.
Oh yes. I wanted to tell you all that we are playing a show tomorrow.
Railway Club, Wed. Aug. 29, 11:30pm. As part of the International Pop Overthrow Festival. My favorite Vancouver bands are playing that night as well, The Parlor Steps and Pepper Sands. Can you imagine? It’s going to be very awesome. We are going to play a new song too. So there are ample reasons to bring yourself and all your friends to cover thyselves in the glory of rock.
See you all there. I will showing off my new muscles.
Need I say more? Tonight we are playing at The Red Room, 398 Richards St. 9:15-9:45. With A Ghost To Kill Again and Karen Foster. I’m trying to decide if it would to be too uncool to wear my AGTKA t-shirt tonight. Probably yes.
In the meantime, I am quite delighted, as always, to keep you the people up to date about what the heck we are up to and of course, how I feel about it.
Right now I feel, tonight we are going to explode with a blast of rock and roll intensity that will overwhelm your senses (all of ’em) and leave you spent…but completely satisfied, hmmmm?
Hope to see you all there. Come for Ghost @ 8, stay and watch the rest of the prog rock unfold in all its proggy glory.
Once again our kind friend Stokely has helped us out with our visual presentations. He has started a The Feminists youtube channel. Already it is the biggest collection of us on film on the entire internet! (That’s not as impressive as it sounds. We are, after all, a relatively obscure – but incredibly hip – indie rock band)
Anyway, there’s videos for Brand New Common Sense, Sudden Departure of T, our live television performance, and even some footage that somebody filmed and posted when we played in Red Deer during our last tour.
Anyone out there who has filmed us and would like to post it, please do so. Unless we’re playing badly and/or sound like crap. Then, just send it to us. Immediately.
On May 29, 2007 in the late afternoon, a small team of determined musicians, producers, mixers and masterers pushed a new rock and roll record out into the world. As yet unnamed, this little beauty contains ten new Fem-anthems of epic proportions.
The next step is to somehow get the music out to you, the people. We’re working on it. As of now, there are only a small handful of copies in existence. When we got ourselves a giant handful, you’ll be the first to know.
I listened to it the day it was born, mere hours after we mastered. To be honest, I don’t know what to say about it yet.
Speaking only for myself (because really, I am woefully unqualified to speak for anyone else since I sold my clairvoyant powers to the devil) I am thrilled to have had the chance to work with three fantastic professionals who really made this album sound great. Mike Southworth, Doug Fury, and Jamie Sitar. You guys are ridiculously skilled, have ears of steel, incredible musicality, intelligence, and a ferocious work ethic. It was an honor for me to work with all of you. It was easy and fun to work with all of you. I am very grateful to each of you for the hours and hours and hours you guys sunk into this project.
After my last session, I realized that the happiest hours of my life – ever – were spent in the studio these past few months recording my keyboard parts with our producer/engineer Mike Southworth. I didn’t expect this level of bliss and satisfaction during the recording process. All I know is, I want to do it again. That is the job for me. Get up, go to the studio, write and record keyboard parts all day and all night. I have no expectations about the four of us making another record. Although I will say, in writing, in public, that I’m sure looking forward to working on that new song again.
A couple of weeks ago we played at The Cobalt (“Vancouver’s Hardcore Bar”). Goodness gracious, we were generously received. Remember I told y’all a awhile back that we were totally hardcore enough to rock your face off at The ‘Balt? Well, we are and we did. Every so often we play for a receptive crowd whose mouths open further and further towards the floor in slack jawed amazement as our set progresses. To my great satisfaction, this happened at The Cobalt.
The people seemed to be reserving their judgment somewhat as we began to play. Oh sure, they pointed their faces towards the stage but there was a coolness in the response as they evaluated our rock ability. I think the turning point was provided by (who else?) Mike Zobac during his drum solo on Kohotek, during which I screamed uncontrollably in admiration and delight. After that, all the hardcore kids embraced us with fist pumping, howls of approval and much arm waving. We finished and started tearing down, but they demanded an encore. At the Cobalt. Go figure.
It’s not that surprising, though. Punks and hardcore people are usually quite open-minded I find, and those are the best kind of people for us to play for. Plus, they really love their music and are more discerning than lots of your typical indie rock hipsters who are frequently more concerned with who else is at the club than what the bands sound like. Oh I’m sorry. Did that strike a painful nerve, ironic trucker hat wearers?
After the show, there was a nice dose of glory. Sometimes we get that, when lots of people come up afterward and express their gratefulness to us for having rocked them utterly and blown their minds to pieces. Kind of makes all the horrifically awful shows with terrible bands in empty rooms after an 1100km drive fade somewhat into our collective subconscious. I signed my first autograph. I mean, I’ve signed cd’s before, but this was…a bus transfer. I was embarrassed – was he serious? was he making fun of me? – but kinda flattered. Ah, the glamorous life of a rock star.
So, tomorrow we are going to play a show I am quite excited about. At The Media Club, with The Parlor Steps for their cd release show. I do love the Steps. They are pretty much my favorite Vancouver band these days, along with A Ghost To Kill Again but that’s another story.
Please come down if you can to see some really good music. That’s not something I’m confident enough to say very often, but the Parlor Steps are a special band. And so are we.