From Gods to kings

Roche Uhntraal on Burdocks’ hiatus.

Discouraged by bands with similar — or identical — names and anxious to put a year of hardship behind them, The Porcelain Gods aspire to freshness in 2006 with the same songs and a new brand. Halifax’s reigning kings of power-pop will henceforth be known as Their Majesties.

“It conjures images of grandeur, pomp and circumstance,” says guitarist and vocalist Andrew Erskine. “It masks our innate sense of insecurity with bluster and bravado.”

The fivesome will perform a number of dates around the city throughout January to help their followers adjust. “We hope to make 2006 a grand affair,” he says. “So we’re kicking things off with complete and utter market saturation.”

Their Majesties will kick things off on Friday the 13th at One World Cafe. Shows on January 20 at Gus’ Pub, a support slot for In-Flight Safety’s much anticipated all-ages debut on the 21st and a gig on January 25 at the Grawood will follow.

Caledonia returns

Members of groovy folk rockers Caledonia have re-convened in Halifax for the first time since last summer to complete work on their follow-up to 2004’s Lost Balloons. The record will be an EP, which bassist Zac Crouse says will be more of a rock effort than their debut.

“We’re trying to put something together for the record companies, probably five or six songs,” he says. “We hope it’ll be out by late spring or summer.”

The songs will be road tested this week in a low-key affair at Tribeca on January 12, followed by a short tour of the Maritimes. Before heading their separate ways once again, there is also “rumoured” to be a Gus’ Pub performance scheduled for January 18th.

What we do is on a break

One of Halifax’s longest running — and universally respected — indie bands is officially on hiatus. Burdocks are taking a break to focus on other projects, a decision frontman Seth Smith says was perpetuated by the departure of drummer Sean MacGillivray, who is off to concentrate on his plethora of other projects, including duties with Great Plains and Jenn Grant. While there is no timeline set for their return, Smith (who, along with guitarist Nancy Urich, also plays in Dog Day) is anxious to see the alternative group expand on its previous work when the time is right for the remaining members.

“We don’t have very many new songs yet,” he says. “We’re all making other records this time of year.” In other Burdocks news, fans looking to enjoy them on vinyl can now do so. What We Do is Secret was released in record format on December 20.

Under Controller

Toronto’s Controller.Controller may be back for its third and fourth shows in two-and-a-half months, but don’t expect another return visit for quite a while. The grunge-disco group, whose last pair of local shows were jammed, announced this week they would be returning to Halifax on January 31 before taking promotion of 2005’s X-Amounts to Australia and Japan.

They will be joined this time by Chicago’s OKGo (best known as the authors of catchy 2003 pop rock hit “Get Over It” and 2005’s favourably reviewed Oh No) for the latest pair of shows at The Pavilion and Stage Nine, with advance tickets for the latter on sale now for $12 at CD Plus and the venue. And let’s not leave out the local flavour — Sharp Like Knives will open the Stage Nine gig and Hotshotrobot will do the same at the Pavilion.

Never get over us:

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