December 11, 2008
November 20, 2008
"Life might seem good on the northern rim of Lake Ontario – the Loonie is strong, Cito Gaston is back in the dugout – but Toronto’s One Hundred Dollars are here to remind us that, at close enough range, things are shitty everywhere. For starters, the six-piece country outfit cites leukemia as its honorary seventh member; lead guitarist and co-songwriter Ian Russell was diagnosed while the group was prepping its first EP for release – the poignantly titled Hold It Together. Yet even without that weighty bit of back-story, the 12 songs on the band’s full-length debut are deeply expressive of frustration, ache and loss.
Singer Simone Schmidt – who’s got a raw, world-weary drawl akin to Freakwater’s Catherine Irwin – brings the listener unabashedly close in the first few seconds of the leadoff track, “Careless Love.” It’s been 10 years and a handful of failed follow-ups since critics first swooned over the opener to Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, yet this track feels like a worthy passing of the torch. Schmidt’s song – a weary lament about a sloppy lover – has the same profane, arresting quality as Williams’ masturbation fantasy, only it works to opposite effect; “I lie on my back and moan at the ceiling” has been supplanted by “I never come but it don’t matter / I could be any other girl / My head planted on that pillow my eyes fixed up above / Is this what they meant when they sang Careless Love?” If I can still hear the former at the grocery store 10 years later, the latter feels deserving of more than a sliver of the same attention.
From here, Schmidt and Co. roll through a cycle of hardscrabble ballads about killers waylaid by inclement weather (“Snow and Rain”), lesbian lovers on the run from bigoted eyes (“Hell’s a Place”), and long shifts in a northeastern Ontario gold mine (“Fourteen Hour Day”). I’m not sure whether Russell or Schmidt do the bulk of the writing, but the results are uniformly impressive – these are songs that avoid sweeping generalities, training their gaze on small details like a hitchhiker’s thumbs in Quesnel and sooty boot stains on a flight of porch stairs in Timmins.
Veteran producer Rick White (Eric’s Trip, Elevator) knows enough to keep the no-frills backing of acoustic guitar, bass, organ and drums low in the mix, but he’s pretty generous about Stew Crookes’ pedal steel, which offers Schmidt a worthy foil. It dips and swoons through the waltz-time “Nothing’s Alright” and blankets her vulnerable vocals in “No Great Leap” (“If being poor’s my life’s crime / My body’s prison’s eastern standard time”). Instrumentally, things get gnarled towards the record’s end – the droning, low-hanging psychedelic haze of “Tirade of a Shitty Mom” and the naked slide notes of “Snow and Rain.” Yet, One Hundred Dollars is a band that sounds best putting their downbeat, idiosyncratic stamp on traditional roots forms. Forest of Tears is unrepentantly bleak, but some bummers are better than others and this one’s among the best of the year."
November 17, 2008
November 5, 2008
October 28, 2008
David Eliade says it's sold out. Whatever, maybe you can get a ticket at the door. And go to the afterparty to see the two best rock n' roll duos in the city:
October 22, 2008
October 5, 2008
If you know of a good label in Saskatchewan, please let us know. Thank you.
September 30, 2008
September 29, 2008
September 19, 2008
September 15, 2008
THE DATES -
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 18 - PETERBOROUGH w/ Weird Weather + the Burning Hell
at Montreal House
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 19 - KINGSTON w/ Weather Station at the Artel
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 20 - GUELPH w/ the Burning Hell for Kazoo Fest at the Family Thrift Store
September 9, 2008
Websters defines it as two or more slices of bread or the like with a layer of meat, fish, cheese, etc., between each pair. But most of us know is as an easy and delicious choice when faced with that dreaded duo hunger and apathy. It is the most important food in almost every culture on the earth. Walk any street in any city in the world and ask aloud: "Does anyone want a sandwich?" and you will see that everyone rich and poor alike does want a sandwich. Songs have been written about it. Great art. Poetry. It's in the Bible! The average north american eats roughly 3 to 4 sandwiches a day. Chances are it was your first food as a baby and it'll most likely be the last thing you eat. You may be eating one right now.
To celebrate this most omnipresent of cuisines I will be eating my 100,001st sandwich at 7pm saturday night in the basement of Sonic Boom(huge record store next to the bloor cinema). Entertainment will be provided by Castlemusic and $100. Please join us in this historic event. Feel free to pack one for yourself. You probably already have.
September 8, 2008
I do not know how to go about my days. 95.3 isn't working for me- 820's mix of old country and new country, and all in between really drew me in. I was guaranteed "Four Strong Winds" atleast once a day, and usually a little "Rainy Day People." Now it is all Brooks and Dunn, and I find it hard to focus at my work.
I feel defeated- I know there is no way that 820 CHAM is coming back, but WTF? Do we really need more talk radio?
820 CHAM is dead to me.
September 2, 2008
August 31, 2008
August 26, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 21, 2008
Special Guest Matt Mason of Anagram
August 11, 2008
OTTAWA- the Toronto that couldn't. The city with no rocks but a lot of good targets. The place with a bar called cafe Deckuf where they don't give you any beer tickets.
$100 went on a really short tour where we played 3 shows. Here is an image of the last show we played with Quest for Fire & Deloro, courtesy of Tina. We also went to SAPPY FEST which was HYPE. And Montreal. Retrospectives on these will be along soon.
July 29, 2008
such was the nature of the form of the records we were keeping
Now we keep records here that too will be destroyed,
not by our next words, but the destruction of the internet when it gently comes,
till then we track ourselves, and you, dear reader, may track us too.
BY SAM SUTHERLAND AT THE EXCLAIM: THE DOCU-DRAMA of THE MAKING OF of THE SONG THAT FUCKED UP COMMISSIONED BY US called BLAZE OF GLORY