Playlist: Wolf Parade

Wold Parade is an amazing Canadian band. They’ve accompanied me on many many many late nights spent in the glaze room, large headphones on and giant mask obscuring my face happily mixing chemicals. The album I listened to on repeat was Apologies to the Queen Mary (2010). Thus when their next album came out in 2008 I couldn’t move on, my love affair with Apologies for the Queen Mary was deeply cherished and unsurpassable. It took me many attempts to appreciate the successor. Well, I have just discovered to my dismay, that their third album Expo 87′ was released in January of 2010. It has taken me no at all time to love this album. It has been the featured album reverberating through my cupola and the surrounding forest. It rises harshly and abruptly and settles pop laden and joyful. I love this band. I love this album. I am of course known to like a bit of rough fringes and layers, in both music and pottery. I laugh at the though of my ex walking into my studio seeing my head bobbing faintly in concentration on my task while some squelching thick beating thing with electro this and that here and there and a man’s voice cracking slightly and he sings seemly disjointed phrases fills the room. The general feeling being that of enlightenment and a trip up mind you nothing depressing, harshness containing much beauty to me. It is a rare band that can accomplish a happy upbeat feeling through the use of harsh musical undertones. Anyways, I can still seem him squinting catching my eye, me looking up and asking… a bit too much? Him smirking and retreating to other less audibly layered quarters. Wolf Parade was undoubtably the band playing. I can’t stress the joy this band brings me. Expo 86′ It is also the feature album on my radio show this week. You can download the show as an mp3 here and hear for your self as my words can wholly not convey the music to you.

I have included the lyrics below to possibly my favorite song on the album, Oh You, Old Thing. Full of lyrical wit. I can only grin at the noise both harsh and soothing that accompany the words. They seem incomplete as a poem, no backbone for framework. Like a pot without glaze. Now I am getting the urge to showcase the lyrics to another song the key line being sung… “Oh Teacher, love is never dead!” a line that could nicely  be construed as an artist’s mantra. Anyways, you can look at all their lyrics here on your own accord.

Oh You, Old Thing

Oh you,
old thing.
Still got vibrations
in your streets.
They move me to come down
from the chandelier
I have been watching you from.

Bon soir,
bon soir ma ville.
I’m gonna leave you now
in the arms of babes.

I’ve got a new way to live
through the storms you’re so famous for –
oh, that’s the sound of some new rocket
upon the door.

Who’s gonna steam up all your dancehalls?
Who’ll put your lilies in a vase,
when all the good men have had all their daughters, and
all the other men have fallen in with daises?
I don’t want to be the last one standing,
I don’t want to reach the bitter end.
As much as I have always loved your dancing,
I hate the sounds that come from crowds
that just don’t get
my moves.

From here,
in the sky,
I see rows of lights
as as violent web.
And I will miss
the way I got caught up in you.

Oh you,
old thing.

I’m gonna leave you now
in the arms of babes.
I’ve got a new way to live
in the storm, in the storm
in the storm.

As always I had never seen the members of this band until having to make this post, nor one of their music videos. I must say I think it is funny how we let strangers sing to us all day not knowing what their faces look like. I also think band portraits are highly entertaining. Like the one featured above. Yes we sit on railings in sunglasses….. I came across (on Sub Pop Record’s website) this little tale of how the band got together and decided to make the album Expo 86’….

At the World’s Fair held in Vancouver, summer of 1986, where five young boys first became friends, just outside the Cars of the Future exhibit, and made a SECRET PACT (whoa!) to meet up in the early 2000s (wha?)—somewhere cool, like Africa or even the moon by then—-to form a rock band! ROCK BAND! With guitars and guitar solos and synthesizers! They would call it Wolf Parade! What a bodacious name!

It went like this:

Li’l Spencer Krug, who was getting super into neon colors at the time, seemed to know even at that tender age that he would never be cool, and so volunteered to play piano, and let the other boys have the more radical instruments.

“But if I play piano then I get to sing,” he said.

“Okay, but I want to sing too,” said wee Dan Boeckner. “I’ll sing with you like Goose and Maverick in Top Gun. Top Gun rules.” And then, as if to enunciate his point, he pulled from his K-Way pouch a Lego fighter jet that was really well-assembled.

“I get guitar!” exclaimed Dante DeCaro, the youngest.

“No,” replied Dan, “I do. I get guitar.”

“But I’ll get really good at it!” Dante yelled up.

“Shut up,” said Dan, “You’re just little.”

In the end it was decided both boys would get to play guitar, on the condition that between then and the 2000s, Dante would practice “lots of wicked solos.”

The remaining two, Arlen Thompson and Hadji Bakara, used a nearby game of Whack-a-Future-Mole to decide who would make the better drummer. Strapping young Arlen won easily, and then just continued to lick his rocket pop with a devil-may-care attitude. But Hadji didn’t lose heart.

“I’ll just do cool sounds with a computer,” he said.

“Yeah, right,” replied everyone, “Music on a COMPUTER. As if you could ever even GET a computer.”

I have been aching to actually go dance around others for once and I dare say that last video will suffice for now. I reckon by all the enthused head tossing and throwing it would be an energetic show to witness! I have also stumbled across some interesting video takes of various Wolf Parade songs. It is always nice to see how artists interpret other artist’s art and these are two different takes on the same song:


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