Vol. 20 No. 16 • April 17 - 23, 2014 In Our 17th Year Serving Greater Hamilton
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HAMILTON MUSIC NOTES



by Ric Taylor
December 5-11, 2002
It wasn’t long ago that Ripped Emotions were colouring the local landscape with their brash brand of gothic punk rock. Since 1994, various incarnations revolving around bassist/guitarist/vocalist Sandi Olender and guitarist Moody have taken shape. In 1998, they recruited full–time drummer Jamie Ferraro; this year, they streamlined the name, tweaked the sound a smidge and landed themselves a new recording contract. Ripped’s Sextant/EMI debut, Bloodshot, was recorded with producers Mike Hanson (Glass Tiger) and Jamie Stewart (The Cult) and recently hit racks around the country. The resulting attention with this increased exposure hasn’t changed the grassroots nature of the band. “We’re modern rock with a little metal, a little punk and a little pop,” Moody maintains. It’s a sound not too far removed from label mates like Robin Black and The Intergalactic Rock Stars, but Ripped’s haunting delivery and rocked up rhythms have garnered them as much attention as their visual presentation. A recent Canadian independent full-length feature filmed by producer/director Nigel Hartwell entitled Shivers showcases three songs (The “Haunting”, “Misery”, “Call Me”). Ripped’s sinister lyrical twist and shadowy music seems a natural fit for the horror/ghost story genre and it’s a theme they capitalize on in their own videos as well. With clips from the film, you can either catch Ripped in rotation on Edge TV on cable or right here in town when Ripped returns to The Staircase this Friday night for their first local show in over four years. Virgin Pornstar is also on the bill. Cover is $5. A recent Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer gets a tribute thanks to a couple of guys influential on the Hamilton scene for the last couple of decades. As part of The Dave Rave Conspiracy, Gary ‘Pig’ Gold has helped personally create a portion of the music some call Hamiltonia —and that’s aside from being a ’zine editor and, more recently, a record company mogul. His NYC–based imprint To M’Lou Music (run with Shane Faubert) recently put out a tribute album to Gene Pitney to rave international reviews and one of the stellar tracks is from local musician Rick Andrew. “Ever since first hearing The Shakers back in my Pig Paper days,” explains Gold, “I’ve been such a fan of Rick’s voice, his bass, and now his home studio too (where I had the pleasure of doing a session with Dave Rave earlier this year). So when Lisa Mychols [of Los Angeles’ The Masticators] first approached me about the idea of helping find artists by which to pay tribute to The Man Called Pitney, I immediately thought of Rick, and he immediately thought of one of his most treasured childhood B-sides, “Donna Means Heartbreak.” “After reviewing all the great Pitney songs I knew,” Andrew clarifies, “I started working out arrangements for one of his famous jazz–type tunes. I considered this jazz tune ’cause I know so many great Hamilton jazz musicians that I had previously not had an opportunity to work with. It was about the time I had the arrangement and which musicians worked out in my head that I received an email telling me what songs were already being done. Thus the end of my first selection.” Luckily, Andrew had inherited his older brother’s 45 collection when his sibling left home. “One of these 45s was a Pitney record with ‘True Love Never Runs Smooth’ backed with ‘Donna Means Heartbreak’. I played these discs over and over as a kid and enjoyed them all. I decided to do ‘Donna Means Heartbreak’. Not wanting to clone the Pitney arrangement, I tried to use a slightly different rhythm with harmonica fills instead of Gene’s classical Spanish guitar licks. I added a blistering guitar solo for contrast after a sweet harmonica solo. I had a great time doing the vocal and the musicians, a few of Hamilton’s greatest, were amazing.” “Of course he cut a great version,” beams Gold about the recording. “Most atmospheric and windswept indeed (Rick always did know how to capture perfectly Southern Ontario’s “tobacco belt sound”), and his employment of Hamilton’s very own young Neil, Doug Feaver, only further helped Lisa and I decide our album just couldn’t be complete without this track.” The album has a hearty mix of potentially unlikely partners including Gordon Waller of Peter and Gordon fame, Al Kooper, Billy Cowsill of the Cowsills, Sleeping Giant and The Sparkle Jets; geographically, it covers almost half of the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria — and Ancaster, Ontario. Two dozen artists from around the world pay homage to one of rock and roll’s pioneers on He’s A Rebel: The Gene Pitney Story ...Retold. The disc is currently available through the To M’Lou website: www.tomlou.com “I understand Phil Spector heard it on an L.A. radio station and immediately ordered a bunch of copies,” laughs Andrew. World-class music emanates from the area and in particular out of Andrew’s Valley View Studios. The facilities are becoming a haven for up–and–coming area bands throughout the year, but the holiday season has become even more special for Andrew and his son Jamie. For the last couple of years, Valley View Studios has unofficially released a compilation album featuring great talent performing spontaneous takes of some heralding Christmas music. But the catch is, the project has eluded any real commercial nature and acted more like an honest expression of seasonal sentiment (or, at worst, a stop–gap result of gift–getting frustration). “The first Valley View Xmas compilation was in 2000,” explains producer Jamie Andrew, “and I came up with the idea for it exactly one week before Christmas.” More of a family project for the studio and their friends the compilation offered seven mainly acoustic takes by the likes of Doug Feaver, Ray Materick, Tally Hum Orchestra and other artists working with Andrew at the time. “The tracks were quickly produced and recorded during that week. I made about 50 copies through the night of the twenty-third and dropped off at about 35 to people’s houses the next morning.” “It was mainly intended to be a gift for friends and family, but it turned out to be a good promotion for the studio as well.” The second edition helped make the compilation more of a tradition and its release was a tad more organized. “I think it was planned about three or four weeks in advance,” recounts Andrew. “It has 16 songs and features Trickbag, Little Red Blues Band, Jesse O’Brien, Sheanderthals, Linda Duemo, Ray Materick and Doug Feaver. This compilation had a lot more distribution, [and] I think we made over a hundred CDs.” With the third installment upon us and the increased activity of late at Valley View, thoughts of the new compilation may come to mind but Andrew likes the urgency involved in the previous recordings, a facet he likes to foster in his own band, The Battleship, Ethel. “I think the hasty production of these Christmas projects captures the spirit amazingly well. The closer you get to Christmas the more it actually feels like Christmas. I think my approach to it is very similar to the way I approach The Battleship, Ethel. Spontaneity is key. It’s fun, it’s free, and it brings together many musicians who wouldn’t otherwise be involved in projects together. “I haven’t given this year’s compilation too much thought yet. I can’t really speculate who’s going to be on it, but I’m hoping to at least have Mark Brenzil record “Feliz Navidad”. Some of the musicians from last year’s compilation have expressed interest as well but I’m not too concerned about making a giant production out of it. There’s no money involved; everyone’s time is donated and the CDs have all been free.” Globetrotting singer Scarlett Antaloczy has been getting back to her roots and to her dogs recently. The singer is probably more popular in the U.S. or England for her vigorous vocals and sensual songs but Antaloczy still calls Hamilton home and she returns for her first area performance in eight months. “I’ve been practicing and my dogs are singing in the same pitch now, not just howling,” she laughs. “I might be thinking of incorporating them in the show!” Perhaps better known locally as the woman who helps heal people with their own voice (www.lifesoundz.com), Scarlett is incorporating her musical and medicinal sides more and more every day. “I’m really excited. My first Canadian tour is set to begin in late spring. The show will be bigger — more effects, screens, multi-media — in bigger venues. But I have one year to go on my Doctorate in Traditional Chinese medicine and I have a company called Music and Medicine International. My goal is to integrate the two.” Antaloczy begins recording her new album next year, but should be debuting some of her new global–trance-flavoured tunes as well as recounting some previous jazz and pop classics as her one woman extravaganza returns to Hamilton this weekend. Scarlett Antaloczy performs Sunday, December 8 at the Studio Theatre. Doors open at 7:30 and tickets are available at Copps Coliseum box office and all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketsmaster.ca or charge by phone 905.527.7666. MAKE THE CUT: To be elegible for consideration in HMN, e-mail Ric Taylor at musicnotes@viewmag.com or drop a package off to View's offices no later than 5 p.m. the Thursday before publication.
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