Who are you calling a loner? An Op-Ed From A Guy Who Is Definitely Not an Ed.

By Tom Westoll

I don’t know how you consume the majority of your music, but I have been appreciating albums on vinyl as the main staple in my musical diet for about the last two years. The reason that I have renewed my interest in albums is in the experience. Listening to the whole thing from start to finish – honestly, what better way is there to actively listen to an album, than on vinyl?

For me, my preferred way to support artists I like is to buy their record. I barely go to shows these days. Why? Dunno.

I do know that I love listening to records though, and I love supporting the things I like. And one of the things I like is music made by fellow Canucks. It gives me a sense of pride, I don’t know why though. Perhaps it’s the same gene that makes me choke back a tear when I’m watching Hockey Night In Canada and the Timbits commercial with Sidney Crosby in it comes on.

I’ve got records by The Sheepdogs, Lisa Leblanc, Chixdiggit, The Crooked Brothers, The Sunparlour Players, Arcade Fire, The Creeps, Cold Warps, Doug & The Slugs, Michael Rault and of course BA Johnston, to name just a handful of Canadian albums, that I have and were not made by a guy named Neil Young. I listen to them all the time. I’m always on the lookout for more that will compliment my collection.

Which is the other reason I am thoroughly enjoying the Vinyl Renaissance. I love the experience (there’s that word again) of being at record stores and flipping through albums. I started this habit of frequenting record stores as a young teen, although in my small hometown, aside from the pawn shops, there were only two CD and tape stores. Going to The City was an occasion, and one that had to include two stops – the skate shop and the record store. I could pass hours at a record store. These days I max out at like, 30 minutes, but oh, what a glorious 30 minutes. Maybe I get some finds, maybe I come out empty handed. It’s the feeling of music stores that I like.

So as I scrolled through facebook today and saw the article posted by Exclaim.ca, “Vinyl Collectors Are Middle-Aged Loners, According to New Study” , I thought “Middle Aged Loner? Trend Hopping Teen? Not me!”

Then I got to thinking. Sure I own a Crossley record player, but I’m not a teen like the article suggests. Far from it. I’m also not a perpetual bachelor (I’m quite happily married, thank you) with a record collection that encompasses half an entire living room wall like one of my best friends (Love you man). So I can’t be a middle aged loner, can I?

Maybe I am, increasingly so. Which is why I’ve taken to buying records rather than going to shows for the most part. Loner is a harsh word though. I can handle middle aged (although I would love it if my mathematical middle age didn’t come for another 10-15 years). But loner? C’mon!

How do you consume music? Are you a record collector? Why do you like it in that format? Are you nostalgic or forward thinking? Live music over records? Tell us all about it in the comment section.


Slow Down Molasses releases “Moon Queen”, first song from upcoming record

By Regina Sienra

It looks like Slow Down Molasses, the Saskatoon dream-pop band, never really stop working. Just over a year after the release of their third album, Burnt Black Cars, the five piece have announced the release of a new record, 100% Sunshine, on Sept. 2. In the meantime, the five-piece have released “Moon Queen,” first track off the new album.

“Moon Queen,” which was mixed by Tony Doogan (known for his work with Mogwai and Belle & Sebastian,) is a strong statement from a band that has reached the balance between a hazy and forceful sound. By bringing the two together, this first song from 100% Sunshine fittingly represents the moving force behind the album: The extremes that come by being born and living on the Canadian prairies – a blissful summer dream and harsh winters – that need each other despite their antagonism. Through their new music, Slow Down Molasses acknowledge the trick is to always bring out the most of both, despite the tongue-in-cheek feeling this thought can instill.

The upcoming album is the first to be released with a steady lineup, rather than a coming-and-going of musicians that earned them the “Broken Social Scene of the prairies” nickname from Exclaim!. “As a result there was some serious live energy to the writing and recording of this album,” singer and guitarist Tyson McShane told OurBasement.

Joining McShane are bassist Chris Morin, Jordan Kurtz on drums, guitarist/keyboardist Aaron Scholz and Levi Soulodre on guitar. Keyboardist Jeanette Stewart will not join the band in the supporting tour for 100% Sunshine, but she was part of the recording process and provided the last track on the upcoming album.

100% Sunshine – the artwork for which was created by Mike Dawson of Library Voices – is available for pre-order via Noyes Records. If you feel the need to have a piece of physical music on your hands before then, Slow Down Molasses are throwing a sale on their Bandcamp, where you can find vinyl for $10, CD’s for $6 and a bundle with four releases for just $20.


Picture by Lindsey Rewuski