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(fwd) The Failure of Halifax

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Newsgroups: alt.music.independent
Subject: The Failure of Halifax
Message-ID: <39bpa4$15ee\!/quartz.ucs.ualberta.ca>
From: ckennedy\!/gpu.srv.ualberta.ca (Cameron Kennedy)
Date: 3 Nov 1994 22:47:32 GMT
Organization: University of Alberta
Summary: Disappointment and Griping
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     Unfortunately, the Halifax scene is only running at about 50/50 so 
far.  There are so few bands from Halifax which tour Western Canada, and 
so far the majority are major disappointments.  There are two in 
particular: Sloan and Thrush Hermit, which will not be played again on my 
morning show.
     Sloan's first album, whatever it was called, was at least 
interesting.  Some cathy hooks, some hard guitars, I even considered 
going to see them in concert.  What difference a year makes.  I must say 
that I was excited to hear that Sloan had a new album coming out this 
year, that was until I saw the video for the first single off of Twice 
Removed.  In the space of a year, Sloan decided they wanted to be the 
Beatles, in both an audio/visual capacity.  Wanting to be the Beatles and 
actually achieving that status are two different things altogether.  
However, holding out hope, when the album came into the station, my 
co-host and I were still excited, and played it.  That was a mistake.  
Sloan was relegated to our crap pile, another naive Canadian band 
thinking that a big time record deal and huge promotion will save even 
the worst of garbage.  No wonder Sloan are so bored.  In an interview, 
the lead singer indicated that his favorite videos were those where you 
could watch your band play.  I think Sloan went a little to far.  I don't 
have the time to listen to music which bores the hell out of me to the 
point where I can't even remember the name of a song.
     Then, much to my chagrin, I find out that DGC has released a 
"rarities" package.  Naturally, Sloan has a track on the album.  Sloan, a 
band of a few short years writing songs so good that they are considered 
rare?  I don't think so.  You have to congradulate DGC for trying to 
raise Sloan's record sales.  Nothing by Sloan could ever be considered 
"rare"  so soon.  Maybe it refers to the fact that the latest album will 
be rare on account that no one bought it.  
     Sloan's detrimental influence on the Halifax scene runs right 
through their record label, Murder Records, with the likes of Thrush 
Hermit, Sloan Jr..  Thrush Hermit's 7" was good, just like Sloan's first 
album.  However, Thrush Hermit's CD debut was less than satisfactory.  
I played the album once, and won't do so again.  I hope that my listeners 
would be more interested in inovative music, rather than the same old 
same old.  If Thrush Hermit ever goes far enough to release a second 
album, they should have mastered the format by then.  Of course, who 
toured with Sloan but Thrush Hermit.  I always wondered if there was an 
album which could be so forgetable.  Now I know.
     Then there was Jale.  I had heard the hype about this band for a 
long time, but refused to play them, lest suffer the disappointment of 
Halifax again.  With the release of their new album "Dreamcake" I was 
pleasantly surprised.  I like this album.  I can only congradulate Jale 
for not following in Sloan's major label footsteps when they refused to 
sign with Island.  Maybe that way they will be more that one hit wonders.

     I certainly don't want to lunk all of Halifax scene into one big bag 
of disappointment.  Hopefully, the scene will grow.  However, after 
watching a special on that most wonderful 'alternative' Much Music, it 
sounds like Newfoundland has artists more interesting than those Halifax 
has to offer.

     Besides Jale, there is only one artist from Halifax who produces 
consistently amazing records, and that is Sarah Mclaughlan.  Thank 
goodness she signed to Nettwerk and not Murder.

                                                        C.  Kennedy
                                                        The Chelsea Hotel
                                                        CJSR 88.5 FM