Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sloan's One Chord To Another 20th Anniversary & Shows # 642, 643, 644

Following the release of 1994’s Twice Removed, which received little promotion due to a number of factors, Sloan broke up as a band. Sloan would still play shows periodically, but drummer Andrew Scott relocated to Toronto and the members of Sloan became involved in other music projects. Although Twice Removed has been critically acclaimed, due to artistic differences from Sloan’s label at the time, Twice Removed never received the promotion that it should have. Unlike 1992’s Smeared, Twice Removed did not have the “grunge sound” of that time period. Sloan wanted to move away from that and do something different. The idea came to record another Sloan album for their own label Murderecords with their own money and worry about the other details later. Without major label pressure, Sloan set about recording what would eventually become One Chord To Another in 1995. The album would be released on Sloan’s own label, Murderecords in June of 1996.

The album was recorded with Laurence Currie at Idea of East Recording Studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since drummer Andrew Scott lived in Toronto, the band would send Scott demos so that he would be familiar with them. In December of 1995, he recorded his drum tracks in Sloan’s rehearsal space to save money and time in Halifax. The drums were recorded on a 4-track cassette recorder to make them sound tougher, as opposed to the bigger, more produced drum sound of Twice Removed. This was a bit unorthodox to do at the time, but wound up giving the album a certain “character”, as stated in the booklet that comes with the 20th anniversary vinyl box set of One Chord To Another. Two additional tracks for this release, the songs written and sung by drummer Andrew Scott, were recorded in Toronto with Brenndan McGuire. Recording also continued into January of 1996. The sound of One Chord To Another differed in the fact that it pulled in more influences such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and featured a more power pop oriented sound.

Since each member of Sloan was a songwriter, One Chord To Another featured four different vocalists and different styles to make up its overall aesthetic. The album opens with crowd noise that was lifted from a videotape recording that was made at the band’s last show at the time at Edgefest in August of 1995. The song “The Good In Everyone” then kicks in. Penned by guitarist Patrick Pentland, it was inspired by bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Damned’s “New Rose” musically. The song, which has a certain anthemic quality, has since become a Sloan standard. “The Good In Everyone” is also notable for its music video, which features an extended intro that is a spoof of the 1969 film, Easy Rider. “Autobiography” is one of many Chris Murphy originals, filled with words loaded with double meaning and a sound that is very Beatles influenced. Lyrically, this song like many on this album, reference Sloan’s own history and struggles with being on a major label. “Junior Panthers” is a Jay Fergusson penned track that lends itself to a more mellow sound with harmonies reminiscent of The Beach Boys. “The Lines You Amend” is melancholic track reminiscent of CCR, with lyrics that reference a friend’s suicide and The Beatles’ Ringo Starr. This is another track on this album that is one of the standouts, not only by Jay Fergusson, but on the album as a whole.

“G Turns To D” is an up-tempo garage song sung and written by bassist Chris Murphy. Lyrically the song is about someone using the skills you helped them learn to put you down. This song was inspired by real life events featuring Chris Murphy and Laura Borealis/Chapo. “Everything You’ve Done Wrong” was another Patrick Pentland song that the band has been known for. The song was one of the first Sloan songs to feature trumpet/horn sections and is more on the pop/ballad side of things. Lyrically, the song seems to be about finding success on your own terms and not being put down by past mistakes. “Take The Bench” is a slower, T.Rex inspired song by Chris Murphy. Filled with puns and double meanings, the song tells a story of a woman who sits on the same piano “bench” in her childhood and as her parents get a divorce. “A Sides Win” and “400 Metres” each end one side of this album. In addition to this, both songs are written and sung by drummer Andrew Scott.

“A Sides Win’ features saloon-styled piano and strong Beach Boys vocal harmonies, along with dirty sounding electric guitar. “400 Metres” ends the album complete with woozy piano and 60s sound guitar licks. Musically the song is pretty much a one-chord jam with a few surprises. The theme of the band’s past, present and potential future situations seems to be referenced in this song. The words used in the lyrics such as “I know I said I had a good time/But now I’m sprawled across the finish line” and “The situation’s heavy and the competition’s thin/Now I’ve got to wake up so I can get back on my feet again” seem to serve as evidence of this. These themes pop up throughout all the songs on One Chord To Another, usually in subtle ways. But, after repeat listens the little details pop out at the listener.

One Chord To Another won a Juno award in 1997 for best Alternative album. It serves as a period in the band’s career where they could have stopped being a band altogether, but instead they found success without major label pressure and started to do things their own way, from the music right down to the artwork. As stated in the lyrics to “G Turns To D”, on this album Sloan really could “go from one chord to another” in terms of music and style for something that was retro-influenced, but completely their own. This was the beginning of the future of Sloan’s long career, which with eleven albums in their discography, still resonates to this day.

Sloan's 20th anniversary vinyl box set edition of One Chord To Another has now sold out. A single LP edition of One Chord To Another is currently available via the Sloan Store.

Playlist For Show 644 (Originally aired on December 17th, 2016):

1. The Black Angels - Watch Out Boy
2. Pink Floyd - Flaming (BBC Session 1967)
3. South River Slim - Dirty Pool
4. Lost Patrol - So Strange (The 1991 Sessions)
5. Tea With Lincoln - Space Between The Defect
6. Pissed Jeans - Romanticize Me
7. Hot Snakes - Audit In Progress
8. The Ripps - Loco
9. Propagandhi - This Is Your Life
10. Mystics - Can't Be Happy
11. The Rationals - Feelin' Lost
12. Pet Sun - Web Of Man
13. Paul Jacobs - Born In A Zoo
14. Tea Leaves - I Want To Live In The Dirt
15. Merle Haggard - California Blues
16. Neil Young - Can't Stop Workin'
17. Cass Mccombs - Cry
18. Headache24 - Big Star
19. The Feelies - The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness
20. The Gories - Queenie (LIVE At CJAM 1989)
21. The Gories - Hidden Charms (LIVE At CJAM 1989)
22. The Dirtbombs - Chains Of Love
23. Danny & The Darleans - Soul On Ice
24. Danny Kroha - Cannonball Blues (CJAM Session 2016)
25. Jeff Rosenstock - To Be A Ghost…
26. Oromocto Diamond - Gold
27. The Nature Boys - Can't Think
28. Tim Presley - Underwater Rain
29. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Ain't No Chimneys In The Projects

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 17.

Playlist For Show 643 (Originally aired on December 10th, 2016):

1. Tuns - Mixed Messages
2. Sloan - Nothing Left To Make Me Want To Stay
3. Sloan - 400 Metres
4. Gloria - Shelter
5. Permanent Mistake - Device
6. Holy Void - Climb
7. James O-L - The Pollution Is Killing Me
8. Colleen Brown - Try It Again
9. Toy - Another Dimension
10. Wolves From Dogs - Disappear Completely
11. Kestrels - Suspect
12. Thee Rum Coves - Over And Over
13. Wreckless Eric - Grown Ups
14. The Pandoras - It’s About Time
15. Cheetahs - Dynamite
16. The Future Primitives - Have You Been To Mars (Bo-Weevles Cover)
17. The King Khan & BBQ Show - What’s For Dinner?
18. The Iguanas - Walk Don’t Run
19. The Black Lips - Cruising
20. The Cramps - Can't Find My Mind
21. The Evaporators - I Can’t Be Shaved
22. Public Image Limited - Fodderstompf
23. Mission Of Burma - Fame And Fortune
24. Fugazi - Target
25. The Black Angels - Bad Vibrations
26. Knots - Rhythm and Motion
27. King Khan - Strange Ways
28. Danny & The Darleans - Bug Out Bag
29. Danny & The Darleans - Let’s Stomp

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 10.

Playlist For Show 642 (Originally aired on December 3rd, 2016):

1. Lost Patrol - Mister, You're A Better Man Than I
2. The Only Ones - Lovers Of Today
3. Fire Engines - Plastic Gift
4. The Haig Trading - In My Dynamite
5. Lesbo Vrouven - LL
6. The Pixies - Plaster Of Paris
7. The Seams - Hung Up
8. Sloan - Imagine All The Songs
9. Sloan - Flexible Flyer
10. Howlin' Wolf - Just Like I Treat You
11. The Rolling Stones - Hate To See You Go
12. The Rolling Stones - I Gotta Go
13. The Rolling Stones - The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man
14. Chuck Berry - Louis To Frisco
15. The Gories - Give Me Some Money
16. The Monkeywrench - Bottle Up & Go
17. Bralizian Money - In The Real Worldl
18. Foxhart Fishman - Hwy 26
19. Women - Shaking Hand
20. Tim Presley - Solitude Cola
21. Thee Oh Sees - Gelatinous Cube
22. Thee Oh Sees - You Will Find It Here
23. Pistol Rays - Enforcer
24. Nevegans - Downey Surf
25. Jimmy Reed - Little Rain
26. Magic Sam - All Your Love
27. The Rolling Stones - Dandelion
28. Mark Sultan - If I Had A Polaroid
29. Mark Sultan - Blodd On Your Hands

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 3.

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