Thursday 05 December 2013
photo: Marla McKenna
This is about as “live blogging” as Quick Before It Melts is ever gonna get:
Montreal’s Archery Guild just followed me on Twitter.
I check out their profile; their last tweet had a link to their new song “Blood Comfort” on Bandcamp.
I click the link.
I click the player and started listening to the song.
I check out their Bandcamp blub: Archery Guild (currently) is Michael Cota on vocals, Marshall Vaillancourt on drums, Tristan Giardini on bass, Mariah Andrews on synth, vibraphone and trumpet, Ian Gibbons on cello, Huei Lin on sax, and synth and Casimir Kaplan on guitar.
“Blood Comfort” is a impish pop song pitched somewhere between Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire, swelling with cacophonic delight has snippets of melody and rhyme rise from their sonic experimentations. It comes just seven months after the release of their full length debut, DIN. They’ve got another track and an EP out as well, dating back to June 2012. On the strength of ”Blood Comfort”, these other releases will be worth checking out, and I plan on doing so as soon as this track is over.
I follow them back on Twitter, head over to their Facebook page, and become their 1082nd Like, and get to work at writing this post about a super-cool Montreal band who’s new track I’m recommending you all check out today.
I click Publish.
You click play.
Bandcamp: Archery Guild
CBC Music: Archery Guild
Facebook: Archery Guild
Twitter: Archery Guild
Tuesday 03 December 2013
Though neither bang nor whimper, Bryan Acker and Shane Nadeau at Herohill posted for the very last time yesterday, and the silence of the void they leave behind is deafening. It was with a huge lump in my throat and a moistening of the eyes that I took in the finality of it all, for as a fellow blogger and compatriot, I saw myself reflected back in their decision.
It takes a profound courage to be able to say, “That’s enough of that,” after 10 years of reviewing music, sharing your thoughts and opinions, and shamelessly promoting the bands and musicians you love. I know for a fact how easy it is to become a slave to your site. Troll back through the archives of this site and it won’t take you long to find a post that makes me cringe with regret. There are words out there that I’ve typed and I can never take them back, no matter how much I want to. There’s many artists who’ve I’ve written about to either fill a hole in the posting schedule and/or to get their PR people off my back so they’ll stop emailing me.
Still, it becomes a part of your life, an extension of who you are, and the thought of putting an end to this site scares me more than you can ever imagine. What fills the void when it’s over? How will I know it’s time? These are all questions I contemplate on a regular basis as I figure out my exit strategy here, so I know that the decision to end Herohill isn’t one that was made lightly or easily.
For the last decade (10 years! Holy shit!), Bryan and Shane have been vanguards in promoting and celebrating Canadian music. That’s no hyperbole, that’s the god’s honest truth. Herohill is the blog that influenced my decision to focus exclusively on Canadian music. I can probably rhyme off a dozen or so other sites that will say the same. Theirs has been a tireless crusade to bring both the East Coast music scene and the Canadian hip hop music to as many people as possible. I sometimes think of Shane Nadeau as Herohill’s silent partner, working away in the blog’s back end managing the mechanics of the site, but he has single-handedly exposed me to more great Canadian hip hop than any person or music publication has. Shane’s passion and fire for music is matched only by his partner’s. There have been times when I’m reading what I think is an Acker-penned post on the ‘Hill, only to realize at the end that it’s a “Naedoo nugget”.
And about that Acker character… I’m uncharacteristically at a loss for words here. For some, there’s a partner in crime behind the computer screen, but for a lot of bloggers like me, it’s a solitary, and isolated pursuit. It meant a lot to me when a lone voice from out Halifax way reached out and connected with me back in ’08. When I posted a particularly personal and emotional post a few years back, Bryan dropped me a line to check and see if I was doing alright. That told me two things: a) that someone out there is actually reading what I’m writing; and that b) someone out there cared enough to ask if I was okay. That’s the kind of guy he is.
And that’s the kind of ship they ran at Herohill. Their blog celebrated community. Like ever expanding circles, they reached out to the locals of Halifax and Nova Scotia, the other Eastern provinces, and then to the country at large. They made us mixtapes from based on the provinces. They made us the best Advent calendar ever. They made us fall in love with Hall & Oates all over again. Best of all, they made us their friends.
Shane and Bryan, my wish for you both as you end this leg of your travels is that you leave Herohill knowing your efforts and hours of work have not gone unnoticed; that your passions have sparked fires across the country; and that your absence is going to be deeply felt.
They were yellin’ it cuz no one else is tellin’ it, and no one is ever going to tell it the way they did.