The title of folk pop troubadour Jason Bajada’s sophomore album, Up Go the Arms, holds a variety of emotive interpretations on the surface. It could be conveying celebration, exasperation or anger. Bajada explains his effort as positive.
“Mostly celebratory...I think I wanted people to notice the hopeful side in a Jason Bajada song,” he says from his hometown, Montreal. “With the first album”—2003’s Puer Dolar—“translating to LittleBoy Sadness, and writing so many sad songs, I guess I wanted to show that I always leave a bit of hope.”
Bajada has had help on MuchMusic, and explains part of his recognition in his home province of Quebec as being due to television.
“I am participating in a hugely successful Quebecois soap-opera called Les Invincibles. I had a song in one of last year’s episodes and this year the director offered me a part,” he says. “I actually have the honour of playing in the same episode as Frank Black from The Pixies, which has me psyched out of my mind.”
Jason Bajada plays his first set of Halifax dates on November 4 at Stage Nine with Jon McKiel and The Robots followed by Gus’s Pub on November 5.
A succession of exciting things has happened to Toronto-based rock/reggae act illScarlett since its last east coast visit. The quintet, who played three gigs in Halifax in July, became the first indie act to perform on the Edgefest mainstage, took its high-energy stage presence to Warped Tour and Virgin Festival audiences and has most recently been nominated for a pair of CASBYS in the Favorite New Artist and Best Independent Release.
“We stay grounded by not having any money,” says frontman Alex Norman. “Every show is just as important as the other. We won’t be eating lobster this trip, just second rate sub-standard shwarma.”
The band, also comprised of drummer Swav Pior, bassist Jonny Doherty, guitarist Will Marr and turntablist Pat Kennedy, was pursued by several major record labels and recently decided to drop the indie tag in favor of representation with SonyBMG. Its label debut, EPidemic, will be released on October 31 in its hometown. illScarlett is hoping to increase their Atlantic Canadian appeal with another three shows this weekend.
Catch illScarlett at the Gorsebook on October 27 and The Pavilion on October 28.
Musical scares aplenty (the good kind)
Halloween, evidently now a six-day event, begins at some venues as early as October 26 and caps off on October 31. Check your local listings, but appearances for the festival which runs longer than last week’s Halifax Pop Explosion include those by locals Shad Casey (Gus’), members of the Hourglass Class (Gus’), Jon McKiel (Gus’), Spincycle^2 (One World), The Grass (Stage Nine), The Whiskey Kisses (Stage Nine), City Field (The Grawood), Jonny Stevens (The Grawood), Gilbert Switzer, Terratomb (The Attic) and DJs Brett Johnson and Kenny Glasgow (Rain). Those holding tickets to see Stabilo at the Marquee on October 27 will be disappointed, as the band has announced plans to scrap the remaining dates of its Canadian tour due to illness.
Looking ahead, Wintersleep will support Sam Roberts Band November 4 at the Cunard Centre, and Sarah Slean is at the Cohn on December 1.
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