Friday, 10 October 2008


That’s right, I’m in a band. Sort of. My friend Rob MacDonald (visit him at my Annekenstein link) and I started a duo called Chimp (visit us on my Chimp link) about 10 years ago. Rob plays guitar, I play bass, we both share vocal duties, and a drumbot (basically an old keyboard) provides the drum tracks.

Rob and I have known each other since the early 80’s. We’ve been involved in lots of projects together – theatre, short films – and when “And Yet I Blame Hollywood”, a movie review in a cartoon strip I draw for a local arts and entertainment paper called The Buzz, was turned into an animated series of shorts for CBC television, Rob provided one of the character voices.

Shortly after deciding to become Chimp, Rob and I wrote a few songs, rented a 4-track system and recorded them. Then we didn’t know what to do with them, so we did nothing.

Cut to 2008. Technology has changed, allowing Rob to put the songs onto his home computer. That means that we were able to de-hiss them a bit, cut and paste sections of songs, drop out certain tracks, etc. What we ended up with is very much in the lo-fi, DIY category, but that pleases us since a lot of the people whose music we like share the same aural esthetic. I’m talking The Velvet Underground, Hüsker Dü, The Breeders, The Cramps, X, Nirvana, etc.

In the polish department, we got our friend, Jason Rogerson, to go through the songs with us to help get them ready for CD on the production end, and another friend, Laura O’Brien, did the graphic design for the CD, making it look like the real deal. We told Laura to listen to the music and create any design she wanted that she thought looked like the music sounded. Her visual equivalent of our music is at the head of this post. Laura used a Chimp logo that my father, Russell, designed for us based on the font used on Jonathan Demme’s “Caged Heat” movie poster.

Our CD is called “Thundercrack!”, after the great Curt McDowell/George Kuchar flick. We chose the title because it seemed to sum up the 12 songs on the CD: short, naked, and speedy. Our CD is out November 18, and we’re having a big launch at the best bar in town, Baba’s Lounge, on November 15. We won’t be playing, but 8 other local artists are going to be covering our songs from the CD at the event. If you’re in the area on that date, stop by.