Coast to coast

Joan of Arts learns to fly.

Toronto-based band The Coast will be bringing it to our streets for the first time this weekend. Formerly known as The July 26th Movement, the group recently switched identities following some uncertainty. “Ben likes to say that, first and foremost, The July 26th Movement wouldn’t fit on the drums. But our old name was a little too politically charged. That’s not to say that we’re not political guys, but our music isn’t at all political,” says vocalist and keyboardist Ian Forsbery. “Last year was also pretty rough for all of us. After we released the CD, it seemed that at some point or another throughout 2004, each of us really hit rock-bottom.”

While there have been drastic changes made to their personal lives, the group’s atmospheric pop sound has remained the same. The band, which notes influences including New Order and The Verve, will play the Khyber Club with Sproll on September 16.

Inspiration everywhere

One is certainly too lonely a number for comedic cowboy BA Johnston. Nine months following his fourth release, My Heart is a Blinking Nintendo, the Hamilton transplant is back with his second effort of the year, aptly titled Songs About a Stewardess. “It’s all songs about a woman I saw on an airplane,” he says. “She gave me sesame seeds and a headset so I could watch Martin Lawrence in Black Night.” Something of a concept album, Johnston says the “songs are about what I thought would happen, from nervous phone calls to dates to the inevitable platonic relationship. The best track is called ‘Fly the Friendly Skies’. It’s about crushes and airplanes.”

Johnston will grace 30 stages from Vancouver to St. John’s in support of the forthcoming record, with his Halifax Revenge of the Nerds-themed CD release party slated for September 16 at Stage Nine with Windom Earle, The Porcelain Gods and Oshawa’s Poor Pelly. He will also perform the night before at Gus’ Pub along with Laura Peek & The Winning Hearts.

Cash for Katrina

Several local musicians came together on September 11 at Club NRG to turn attention to recent devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in the southern United States. Local artists Don Brownrigg, Shobha Lee, Scribbler and Deerfield were recruited for the gig. “Charles Hsuen, the events coordinator at the club, put it together,” says Deerfield drummer Jeff Brown. “We were contacted by him about the benefit just before the Stones gig. It was the only benefit of its kind in the city and having seen the images it really hit home. We wanted to help out.” The proceeds from the suggested $5 cover charge added up to $200, which will be turned over to the Canadian Red Cross’s relief efforts.

Five and time

Nickelback probably won’t even leave the airport during their next visit. The band returns to Halifax October 13 on a 24-hour, four-city swing of the country. The Hanna-bred group will be travelling on a WestJet Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 for stops in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver that will include live performances and autograph sessions. More details — including how you can get a seat on the plane itself — will be released shortly.

Seven is magic

The Attic is celebrating its seventh birthday September 17 with Slowcoaster and Vancouver band, The Masses. The venue, which has showcased the burgeoning careers of now prominent names such as Alexisonfire and Buck 65, will also be kicking off year number eight by inviting former house DJ Stumpy 89 back into the fold for the evening. Cover is appropriately set at $7.

Party on:

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