"Free music for the People :: free People for the Music"

[est'd 2004 A.D. :: New Jersey]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CANARIES :: RETROSPECTIVE/UNRELEASED TUNES

It's been a while since Canaries broke up. It's definitely been over a year and there's definitely no sight of (or need for) a reunion of any sort so I figured I'd put together all the Canaries-related material that we were either too discouraged, ignorant, or broken up to think about putting on the internet. We should probably start at the beginning, huh?

the Canaries were born out of the needs of young musicians to write and play loud music following the dissolution of their high school bands. From the Pidgeons were Conor Meara (bassist) and Alec Gabin (every bunny welcome, Pidgeons vocals & rhodes piano, Canaries vocals & Left guitar.) From the Flemington hick-punk heroes At Any Cost was Joe Plourde (Right guitar), whom Conor met one fateful night in a Pennsylvania diner (post-NJ indoor smoking ban) when they were introduced by a girl who they both thought they were on a date with. These three then invited Rob Lundberg, an upright jazz bassist (and at-times-rock-bassist with Milwaukee-based Bob Gun) studying at the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music (and roommate of Conor) to join on drums. Why? Nobody knows. We all liked each other, had absolutely nothing to lose, and Rob wanted to try playing the drums.

One weekend Conor, Joe & Rob took the train down to meet Alec at Joe's parents' basement, where Joe had recorded all the At Any Cost records in high-school. We recorded our first demos, played a high-school battle of the bands as our first gig (we won) and the result was the sloppily recorded, no-holds-barred experimental untitled demo record. it was like this ::





We kept writing and playing live when we could, rehearsing everywhere from Washington Heights to a New School Dormitory bathroom to a New School dormitory to Joe's parents' basement, to Conor's parents' garage. After Conor dropped out of the New School, he moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Jersey City, NJ where he would soon be joined by roommates Alec and Joe (and for a short time Rob and for a longer time Eskimeaux). We then repackaged the demos as something we could actually hand out to clubs, cut some tracks and added a crappy rehearsal recording of a new song called "Beefeater" (which is now lost forever.) It was like this ::


Following the death of my step-grandfather, my grandmother wanted to move and soon enough she bought a house for herself. The house she lived in with her husband in Bordentown, NJ was now vacant, unsold, clean and furnitureless. the Canaries set up shop one weekend and recorded what we would refer to as the "2007 DEMO." It was like this ::




We continued to write and rehearse in central NJ while living in Jersey City and after meeting a 50+ year old coke-head bassist realtor who was in love with the Dead Boys, we began looking for a house where we could load in all of our recording and rehearsal equipment. Around this time we performed on Manhattan Neighborhood Network's "the Colors Project," a live television show where people do drugs, paint eachother different colors, assume alternate personalities based on their colors and then wing it. it was a fucking mess. Alec played drums for Eskimeaux & Stella's project the Duchess of Lightning and then the Canaries performed a couple new songs. It sounded like shit, looked like shit, was unbearably stupid, but somehow fun ... but maybe just in retrospect. the whole episode is still online, streaming HERE.

We finally found a house in North Bergen NJ, terminated our lease in the Jersey City apartment early & moved in. It was christened "1331." Conor, Joe, & Alec moved in with Eskimeaux [she created this video from some of the experiences] while Rob moved to an apartment in Harlem with fellow jazz students. We then began work on a full-length album, tentatively called "Healthy Young Canaries." The original artwork concept looked something like this ::


or maybe this was better received by the group ::


I can't remember. Either way, Alec didn't like either of those (or the name) and we were all frustrated by Rob's slow right foot. After all, he was a bassist, not a drummer, and as far as the technical aspect, it added a lot of time to rehearsal and recording. We loved Rob, we still love Rob, but in order to record at the pace we wanted to, Alec filled in on drums to complete the full-length album titled "Poke the Machine." It was like this ::



OUTTAKES ::



We made about 200 physical copies through Sire Press, sold almost all of them to friends & family and started work on a split EP with Michael Jordan. We never finished our half [READ ABOUT THE DISINTEGRATION!] and then broke up. the unfinished tracks are currently being dug out of the grave somewhere in Joe's hard-drive... we'll see what he comes up with...

Conor joined Le Rug, Alec began recording solo Every Bunny Welcome recordings, and Joe started a band called Popsicle. They were later renamed Tom Blacklung & the Smokestacks. Rob disappeared into the mysterious world of JAZZ!

THIS HAS BEEN A SYNOPSIS! Feel free to fill in the gaps in the comments....

2 comments:

michael alexander sheffield 1 said...

fucking overdue! sweet!

bunny1 said...

music was easier before mushrooms