Thursday, May 05, 2005

Broken Social Scene, by Lezah

Broken Social Scene

I just think that the whole concept of collectives is beyond cool.  Of course, in Vancouver we have the well -known Black Mountain art collective, and back east there are a probably more than a couple collectives, the best known revolving around God Speed You! Black Emperor and Broken Social Scene, and even there the lines are blurred.

I've seen both God Speed You! Black Emperor (a few years ago) and many of the Black Mountain bunch (more recently); with both, you get the idea that we're only scratching the surface - they're great, and yet they are such a powerhouse of talent that you can imagine them taking this to places no one else has gone. Likewise, Broken Social Scene is someone who keeps getting recommended to me, but unfortunately I've never seen them. I think I need to, though.

Recently, in Time magazine, Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene had a full page write-up about the Canadian indie music scene (April 4/05 Canadian edition, p. 50).  About indie music, he says "it cuts with an intensity that other music doesn't possess (or, as far as I can tell, even strive for)." Too true.

Broken Social Scene started in 1999 in Toronto's fertile and wildly experimental music scene. Canning and Kevin Drew are the band's core members; however, there is a hugely sprawling mix of musicians involved in BSS who also have other musical outlets - bands like Apostle of Hustle, Feist, Metric, Stars, and Treble Charger, to name but a few, have a revolving cast of characters who contribute to BSS.

BSS's eclectic (and award winning) 2002 release 'You Forgot It in People' earned them a 9.2 rating in (#9 album of the year) as well as recognition internationally - they've been called 'one of underground's most beloved bands'.

The mix of that much raw talent has helped produce a sound that is part ambient pop, part down tempo grooves, part drone rock dub with a low fi, emotional and textured depth that is still accessible to those of us with a brain. Powerful and affecting, it's music for the mind, the soul, the body.

The band themselves are said to be tireless, and I heard a rumour that they are planning to release three albums staggered over the next year. At this point, their label Arts & Crafts is only confirming one.

BSS is currently on tour in Japan, and from there they will spend mid-May to mid-June touring Europe.

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