New City And Colour Album Features Gord Downie Cameo

New City And Colour Album Features Gord Downie Cameo

New City And Colour Album Features Gord Downie Cameo
Tuesday December 04, 2007 @ 06:00 PM
By: Staff

City And Colour
Dallas Green, Chart’s 2006 artist of the year and half of Alexisonfire’s vocal/scream team, will showcase more of his dulcet tones on the sophomore effort from his hugely successful solo project, City And Colour.

The 12-song Bring Me Your Love, coming on Feb. 12 from Dine Alone Records, was co-produced by Green and Dan Achen and recorded live off the floor at Hamilton’s Catherine North Studio.

Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie lent his distinctive vocals to “Sleeping Sickness.” Green’s friends and labelmates Dan Romano and Spencer Burton of Attack In Black also contributed to the cause.

City And Colour’s 2005 debut, Sometimes, exceeded Green’s commercial expectations and was certified platinum last year after selling more than 100,000 copies in Canada. It earned this year’s Juno Award for best alternative album and a 2006 MuchMusic Video Award for favourite Canadian artist.

Although no dates have been set yet, a cross-Canada tour is planned for the spring. City And Colour will perform at Soundwave in Australia in February.

Here are the songs on Bring Me Your Love:

“Forgive Me”
“The Death Of Me”
“Body In A Box”
“Sleeping Sickness”
“What Makes A Man?”
“Constant Knot”
“Against The Grain”
“The Girl”
“Sensible Heart”
“As Much As I Ever Could”
—Moya Dillon

Hip frontman talks rock, Rock

Hip frontman talks rock, Rock
Producer’s skills on new release impress band

The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie discussed the band’s new album at an Ottawa hotel yesterday.
Photograph by : Julie Oliver, The Ottawa Citizen

Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Tragically Hip’s relationship with legendary producer Bob Rock started with a phone call, singer Gord Downie explained yesterday, probably for the umpteenth time in the last week.

142921-55246.jpgDownie was in Ottawa for a day of what the industry folks term “press and promo” to drum up interest in the veteran Canadian band’s 12th album. In addition to newspaper interviews, he had an early-morning phone interview with a classic-rock radio station, a live question-and-answer session with fans at a mixed-rock radio station, and was an afternoon guest at a new-rock radio station.

Last week, there was a similar schedule in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. While promo tours are fairly common, this one is rare because Downie, the enigmatic frontman, isn’t usually the band member doing the talking when a new Hip record comes out. World Container, in stores today, is the Hip’s zinger of a 12th album, but it’s probably Downie’s first Hip promo tour on his own.

Intense and thoughtful in person, Downie was dressed yesterday in black cap, long sleeves, scarf and funky striped trousers when he came down from his hotel room for photos in the lobby and interviews in the lounge.

He requested coffee — strong, grande, double-double — and sat down to talk about working with Bob Rock and how the band plans to tackle the new songs live.

Why him in the hot seat? “The guys have done a lot of the heavy lifting over the years and it’s probably my turn,” he said.

Besides, it was Downie who made the first connection with Rock, the Canadian musician/producer noted for his work on some pivotal Metallica, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi albums. Thanks to Rock, World Container is the Hip’s most insanely catchy record since Fully Completely.

Rock was at home in Maui and Downie was outside an East Indian restaurant in downtown Toronto when the two musicians first made phone contact. They talked for an hour, Downie says.

“We talked very easily and effortlessly about music and our kids and the doves, and just different things,” he says, “and we just decided ‘why don’t you fly out here?’ ”

Downie visited, armed with a couple of CDs of Hip music. As they drove around in Rock’s pickup truck, the chemistry began to click. It fell into place when Downie invited Rock back to his “shack” to play music together.

“I wouldn’t have seen myself doing that but I just thought he should come and get a sense of these things, and I think at that moment, that was enough to convince him to get the band together in Vancouver, and that should be the next step.”

There were three different sessions with Rock to make World Container, with enough time between to reflect on what had been accomplished. The band members were awed by the producer’s instinct and abilities.

“I can tell you, he’s got the heart and soul of a painter,” Downie says. “He’s an artist through and through, more so than anyone I’ve ever met. He has boundless inquisitiveness and enthusiasm for the project. The work ethic is outta control.

“I’ve never met anyone like him. He’s a rock ‘n’ roller, a music lover through and through, and he doesn’t require any voodoo or mojo or incense to get it going.”

Downie says he was the “exact right guy at the exact right moment” for the Hip. He and guitarists Rob Baker and Paul Langlois, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay came together as a band in Kingston in the mid-’80s, and were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

“If you’re not thinking about it, and just making music with a reckless abandon, I think that’s a lot of what Bob is about. Build a song, make it more interesting. Get everyone so that you know what you’re doing, and then he comes on hard with ‘OK. Passion, emotion, performances. Let’s have it.’

“That might sound like it shouldn’t be a novel concept, but it kind of is. I think they probably have more rock ‘n’ roll good times at NASA developing something to blast into space than they do making records.”

Among the extra dimensions that Rock brought to the Hip’s music are multi-tracked sonic flourishes and many layers of instruments, including piano. If the Hip wanted to created an exact replica of each studio song on stage, they would have to tour with an extra load of gear and a few more people.

But that’s not their style. True to Hip form, the same five guys played the same instruments at concerts over the summer.

“The songs are different than the record, which is good,” Downie says. “We have to make them wild and woolly and disrespect them a little bit, or at least, just try and lose that need to emulate the record. It’s rock ‘n’ roll. I’m looking forward to that.”

A cross-Canada arena tour is expected this winter.

Canadian Rock’s Poet Laureate Returns

The Tragically Hip have a new album, a new producer, a new tour — and a meatier sound

Vancouver Sun - October 14, 2006

Judging by his animated onstage antics and offbeat lyrics, you might expect Gord Downie to be a jocular sort, full of jokes and hilarious stories.
But no. The tall thin guy in the Andy Capp hat sitting in the coffee shop of the Coast Plaza Hotel on a glorious Tuesday morning is surprisingly subdued, with more of a Commercial Drive poet vibe than a small-town Ontario rocker feel.
Downie is in town for a press tour to promote the new Tragically Hip CD, World Container. If you count the hit CD/DVD Hipeponymous, it’s the band’s 14th album. But with the help of erstwhile Vancouverite Bob Rock, it sounds as fresh and invigorating as anything the band has done in years.
Rock is famous as a hard rock producer who helped bring acts such as Metallica and Motley Crue massive mainstream success. Rock has a rep as a demanding producer, someone who drives musicians nuts by doing things over and over and over again until they get it right. But Downie said the band went in without any preconceptions, and were gratified with the results.
“I don’t know a lot of the [Bob Rock] mythology,” Downie said.
“I didn’t see the films, and I didn’t read the books. What I found was a warm, engaging, interested, enthusiastic, inquisitive 16-year-old, with great hair and an incredible work ethic. He was the first one there and the last one to leave, and he was easily the most enthusiastic person on this project. A revelation is what I called him then, and it’s what I think now.”
The record definitely sounds like the Tragically Hip, but it is a bit different. The crunch of the guitars is a bit meatier, and there are some very poppy melodies.
Downie said Rock wasn’t shy about making musical suggestions.
“He would preface it with ‘Call me crazy …,’ ‘This might be nuts …,’ but they were constant,” Downie said.
“I think he was very impressed with the group, as I was, at their ability to conjure up what he needed almost instantly. That’s something about the Hip that maybe a lot of people don’t know, that these guys could do almost anything he asked them to do.”
One of the most intriguing songs is The Lonely End of the Rink, which has an opening guitar riff that is very Coldplay or U2. But the lyric is very Canadian: the phrase came out of Downie’s days as a hockey goalie.
“That’s an interesting story,” Downie said.
“My brother suggested I write a song called The Lonely End of the Rink, based on a letter that he found that I had sent to my dad at some point, maybe for a birthday or something. I had said to my dad in that letter, ‘Thanks for being there at the lonely end of the rink with me.’
“I was a kid growing up in a small town, all there is to do is play hockey, and I was a goalie. He wasn’t a hockey dad: he had five kids and he was a salesman, so he could rarely attend the games. But I would look up and he would be there, and he would hold his fist in the air. And that would say to me ‘I’m here, but I can’t come down there, you have to play the position, I can’t.’
“My brother suggested that to me, and I went home and wrote the song in about 20 minutes. It debuted on Hockey Night in Canada last Saturday night with a full video montage underneath it of goalies being scored on. Goalies playing the most noble position in all of sports.
“But in and of itself it’s not just a hockey song. I think it’s really a song about that voice, that person that we all have, that we all carry with us into whatever it is we need them for. The person we use for the hard stuff.”
You might be able to glean the meaning of The Lonely End of the Rink without an explanation, but some of Downie’s lyrics are a bit more … obtuse. There’s a great line in Fly (“coastline rising out of the ocean, coastline rising like a pair of glowing thighs”), but frankly I had no idea what the song was about. So I asked Downie, who said the song was “loosely inspired by the plight of the refugee in this country.”
“The person that comes over very qualified to make a very positive contribution to Canadian society, let’s say, and ends up driving a cab or pushing a broom, you know?” he explained. “If there’s anything holding this country back, it might be the under-utilization of some of our finest citizens.”
Agreed, but frankly I’m still confused about the glowing thighs … maybe that’s the vision new immigrants have of B.C. or Newfoundland when they fly in from abroad.
In any event, the Tragically Hip will be promoting the record with a cross-Canada tour of smaller venues; the current plan is to take it to the hockey rinks in early 2007, then go to the States and Europe.
The Hip have a famously fanatical fan base. There’s a fan website called Hipbase that keeps track of every show they ever play (the total to date is 755 concerts, 453 different venues, 227 different cities, and 159 songs in the band’s catalogue).
Given their fanatical fans, it isn’t surprising that the Tragically Hip sold out all four Vancouver shows at the Commodore Ballroom (Nov 3, 4, 6 and 7) in something like 12 minutes.
Downie loves playing the historic Commodore, which is steeped in rock and roll history.
“It’s to be part of a great chronology of live entertainment, a great lineage, to be part of that line of performers,” he said.
“You want to honour the tradition, you want to live up to your calling or something. You want to be great. Like the greats before you.” Gord Downie is Hip to saving Earth

CANOE — JAM! Music – Artists – Tragically Hip, The: Gord Downie is Hip to saving Earth
Gord Downie is Hip to saving Earth
By YURI WUENSCH — Edmonton Sun

Gord Downie

What Gord Downie wants is a nice, clean Bath.

gd256.jpgThe Tragically Hip’s lead singer was in Edmonton at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald last Wednesday on a press stop for the band’s 11th full-length album, World Container. It’s out this Tuesday. But, in talking about the new LP, his thoughts drifted back to Bath, a hamlet on the shores of Lake Ontario, roughly a 15-minute drive from the band’s native Kingston.

In Bath, the Hip has a recording studio, dubbed “the Bath House.” But from out the studio’s back window, the otherwise scenic horizon line is in doubt.

“There’s a cement kiln beside our studio that wants to start burning tires as an alternative fuel,” says Downie, “but it’s really to save a couple million dollars.”

Downie grew up around the lake, so he has a vested interest in seeing it protected. He’s also one of its three trustees via Waterkeeper Alliance, a grassroots organization committed to protecting the world’s waterways.

While he’s happy to answer questions about the new album, Downie seems happiest when asked questions about the environment – he brightens with one of those “I’m glad you asked” expressions when asked about his Waterkeeper Alliance hoodie.

Fortunately, when you’re talking up environmental-related issues and World Container, you tangentially end up talking about the same thing.

Never obviously, though, and never, as Downie says, in a “pedantic or overbearing way.” Recorded in Hawaii, Vancouver and Toronto with veteran producer Bob Rock, the album sees the band tackling new instrumentation (glockenspiel, Moog, harpschichord and epic keys courtesy of Jamie Edwards) and another topic Downie has, to a degree, avoided in the past: love.

“I decided I’d avoided the elephant in the room – love in general – long enough,” he explains. “It’s some dogged pursuit of the non-cliche or the unique thought. I’d just ignored it, because love’s been done to death. When you start poking around, though, it’s the taking a crack at it – that’s the thing. I had to find out what it meant to me.”

But the album does reflect the growing sense of urgency and frustration Downie feels towards environmental preservation. From the ozone-iconography pictured on the disc itself to the album’s very title, which Downie says could have a double meaning of “World: contain her.”

“Ron MacLean (of Hockey Night in Canada) mistakenly called the album Container World and I like that even more,” says Downie.

The album’s title track is also damning of our current environmental trajectory. With lines like “What we have here are all flaws in progress” or, pointing a finger at Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, “When the country quits on you, it must be dinner.”

“The status quo is not even close to good enough anymore,” laments Downie. “Canadians are clamouring for more and Harper is going backwards.

“They keep talking about rolling out a Made-in-Canada plan to reduce emissions by consulting between industry and government for the next year and they take even longer to implement a plan to cut CO2 emissions. We already have something called the Environmental Protection Act sitting right there to be used – just enforce the rules.

“Pretty soon, people are going to start looking at Canada and going, ‘What the hell is the matter with you guys?’ ”

It’s a question, realizes Downie, that the Tragically Hip’s zealous Canadian fan base has also faced over the years. And it’s a topic that makes him uncomfortable, because he dislikes the idea of a Tragically Hip fan being so easily defined.

The diverse ways the band reaches people, either through his songwriting or in performance, are being reflected on the Hip’s website through the Hip Story Project, inviting people to share their sometimes life-changing TTH tales online.

“The allure of the band is a mystery to some people and as hard as they might try to crack that allure, they kind of end up with this one slightly discriminatory idea that they’re an underclass of people who don’t know any better.

“I think that’s always been the thing that’s sort of been raced over by people who take a view of the group and what it means to people. I’ve watched them painted with one brush and it never quite covers the whole canvas.”

Review: 2006-09-18 – Whitby, ON – Waterkeepers

Heart Of A Lake tourI just got in from the Whitby event; what a great evening.

First off, visit and learn how you can help.

Secondly, if you can go to one of these events, do it.

After a interesting and educational talk by two of the Waterkeepers the stage was turned over to Gord who strolled to the middle of the stage, sat down and picked up a guitar. He was funny and insightful, chatting with the audience rather than making a speech. In between his chats there were a couple of poems read by another artist (Tanis Rideout) and some interpretive dancing (Andrea Nann).
The following songs were performed:

Into The Night
My Name Is Figment
Willow Logic
Goodnight Josephine
The New Maybe
Christmastime In Toronto

After the show all of the performers gathered in the lobby to discuss the issues with those in attendance.