Dispatches from the road

Roche Uhntraal has news from near and far.

Many of our busiest touring acts are out on the road, and a pair checked in this week. Wintersleep was reached resting in Ottawa following South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, where, affable bassist Jud Haynes reveals, the band met a musical hero.

“We met Thurston from Sonic Youth. Loel snuck him into a sold-out Animal Collective show,” he says. “Our friend Dounia, who travels with us 80 percent of the time, met her idol Neil Young; we saw Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Spoon and Echo and the Bunnymen. Wow, Austin was fun.”

Headlining the Dependent Tour since the beginning of the month, Wintersleep has played alongside familiar company, including Contrived, Jill Barber, Brian Borcherdt and Holy Fuck. While the string of dates has been eventful, it would be too perfect if nothing went wrong.

“Probably having some idiot smash a window out of Contrived’s rental van to steal my portable DVD player,” says Haynes of the lowest point so far. “We got a new van right away, but the DVD player is gone forever.”

Wintersleep will return home in mid-April, missing Juno festivities to record in Vancouver. But a band that will see our city streets again in time for the March 30 Juno kickoff is In-Flight Safety.

“I am excited mostly because everyone else seems to be…I guess I am caught up in the hype,” says frontman John Mullane, en route to Calgary from Medicine Hat. “It’s going to be good for the city and I hope some of the Juno-goers take notice of some of great bands that we have in Halifax: Dog Day!”

IFS’ two-week western Canadian jaunt with The Most Serene Republic and The Acorn comes to a close this week. Mullane says they’re looking forward to coming home, but he’ll miss some of the tour’s most outrageous moments.

“The funniest thing that happened on tour was the massive sing along we did with The Most Serene Republic and The Acorn in our Stephen King, Shining-esque hotel in Saskatoon,” he says. “We sang the hits of the early ’90s and no one was embarrassed about the ridiculous songs we all happened to know the words to. Use your imagination.”

In-Flight Safety’s JunoFest appearance finds them at the Seahorse on April 1 at 11pm.

Cover up

For his latest release, Wakefield’s Craig Cardiff conveys new interpretations of some of his favourite work—by other artists. Fistfull of Flowers is a cohesive meld of songs by musicians who are otherwise divergent.

@body alt:“Throughout the day recorded at the University of Waterloo we had about 30 songs that were cover songs. Of the cover songs they were the ones that fit together the best,” he explains. “I think there’s something neat to move between Fleetwood Mac to Pumpkins to Suzanne Vega.”

Cardiff jokes about his stab at impressing audiences by having made his heroes’ work his own. “Yeah, and the thing for me that’s exciting is when I’m playing it for people and they’re like, well, I thought that was one of your songs,” he says. “This is sort of the hard part where I have to fess up say I didn’t write it.”

A sure bet to fill Ginger’s Tavern, he’ll return there March 30. Cardiff will be joined at next Thursday’s performance by Jess Clemons on keys, Paul Cressman on double bass, snare and beat box, and surprise guests.

share your sure bet: scene@thecoast.ca

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