Philly guitarist Bill Nace and I have been collaborating for the last year. This 7″, released on Bill’s Open Mouth Records, is our first offering. We hope to follow it up with an LP next year.
There were only 150 copies of this thing made. Bill sold out right away, as did the couple of distros that carried it. I likely have the last copies. I wasn’t going to do mail order because it’s so expensive to ship outside of Canada (and I hate taking your money). But people keep asking, so I figured I may as well sell a few on here. I will have copies at my shows this fall, but if you’d like to order through the mail, send funds to my paypal. I’ll get your order off in 2 to 3 days.
$15 ppd Canada
$20 ppd rest of world
paypal to darcyspidle(at)outlook(dot)com
The European tour went well. Much thanks to Kraak Records and all the other presenters for showing me such fantastic hospitality. After getting home, I dove back into a number of screenplay projects. Most notably, my partner Seth Smith and I finished the final draft of Tin Can, a bio-sci-fi thriller set inside a cyro-preservation chamber. The script immediately went to production — and we wrapped this month. Besides co-writing Tin Can, I also put my acting hat back on for this one — in fact, I played three different characters/creatures. What a ride! Other cast members include Anna Hopkins, Simon Mutabazi, and the great Michael Ironside. We’re all very excited. Tin Can will premiere in early 2020.
I’ve been busy with music-related endeavors as well. In December, Musicworks Magazine published “Trauma of My Mouth”, an extensive essay that I wrote about jaw harps, dental pain, and paranoia. I’ve also been working on a collaboration with Philly guitarist Bill Nace; we’re about to release a 7 inch. And I have a cassette on the way with Toronto vocal improviser Xuan Ye.
I’ve taken a break from performing for the last few months, but I have a festival date planned for September. I’m also putting together a Canadian tour for late 2019 and a European tour for spring 2020.
“their faces closed is a collection of live recordings from my fall 2017 cross-Canada tour. I didn’t sleep well and my thoughts were uneasy for much of the trip, yet the beauty of the country, especially the mountains out West, put me in a reverent and contemplative mood. I had a lot to work through each night on stage. The tracks I chose for this release all felt earnest and whole when they spewed forth—a mix of comedy and confusion for the spectator, no doubt. But know that I tried my best to acknowledge what was flowing through me in each moment. I was attuned to the jaw harps as well.
The sounds at the end are from a cassette of ocean recordings that I had buried in a salt flat for awhile. It’s a bit gnarled. I took this recording of my home with me on tour and used it as part of my set only once—when I reached the Pacific in Victoria, BC. Eventually it’s all washing over.
Thanks to the folks across Canada who indulged me during this time. And thanks to Dylan for giving these weird introspections a home.”
In other news, my raft recordings from economy cassette on Notice Recordings made Wire Magazine’s Size Matters 2017 Top Ten. The cassette is long sold out, but you can stream/purchase the digital version on Bandcamp.
Also, for those of you interested in the ruminations of chik white, I did a fairly extensive interview with Slovenian magazine It’s Psychedelic Baby. Check it out here.
And that’s it for now. I am firming up a European tour for later in the year, and there are a few Canadian dates in the works as well. So check back soon for details. Thanks!
I have a new chik white LP out on the mighty FEEDING TUBE RECORDS! The label has released albums by so many of my favorite artists — Joshua Abrams, Kim Gordon, Chris Corsano, Michael Hurley, Thurston Moore, Tashi Dorji++. An insane roster.
stranger calls to land is a compilation drawn from past tapes and unreleased material. My favorite music writer, Byron Coley, curated the track selections and wrote the liner notes. The LP is available now. I’ll be touring Canada to support it. Dates below.
chik white – stranger calls to land LP
Over the past few years, we started hearing solo jaw harp cassettes by a Canadian musician who called himself chik white. Some of them were straight-forward somewhat-folky blasts of righteousness, others used studio effects to emphasize the psychedelic qualities of the instrument (or so it seemed), and others were nature-based explorations of the jaw harp’s drone possibilities. Heard individually they were striking, but listened to as a group, they went way beyond that.
We got in touch with chik (the soubriquet for Darcy Spidle when he’s playing in this format) and suggested doing an LP that would provide a thorough overview of the work he’s done thus far. He sent tapes of material that had been out previously, as well as a bunch of never-before-heard work, and we dove straight in. stranger calls to land is the quite amazing result.
The jaw harp is such an ancient, basic and humanistic instrument it has a strangely organic quality no matter how it’s played. But many of chik white’s sessions take this essential element in extreme directions. This is particularly true for the two tracks we lifted from raft recordings from economy (Notice Recordings MC), which was taped while floating on a homemade raft-cum-instrument in the Bay of Fundy. The sound, the concept, the whole gestalt of this project defy logic so utterly we’ve found it impossible to not be swept along by the waves, the wind and the weirdness of the entire process.
While operating in Spidle mode, Darcy played in punk bands, ran the Divorce record label and founded the annual OBEY Convention up in Halifax. But we like to think his heart belongs to chik white. There is, after all, something ineffable about a man and a jaw harp. If you don’t agree after giving this LP a spin, we will eat a shoe. And that’s not something we ever plan to do. -Byron Coley/Feeding Tube, 2017 – ORDER VINYL OR DIGITAL
Canadian tour fall 2017
Nov. 7 – Montreal, QC @ Casa del Popolo w/ Skin Tone
Nov. 8 – Ottawa, ON @ General Assembly
Nov. 10 – Toronto, ON @ Less Bar w/ Smomid
Nov. 11 – London, ON @ 42 Adelaide (Upper)
Nov. 13 – Calgary, AB @ EMMEDIA Screening Room w/ Colin Fisher
Nov. 14 – Kelowna, BC @ Kettle River Brewing Co. w/ Colin Fisher
Nov. 15 – Vancouver, BC @ Selectors’ Records w/ Maskara, The Nausea
Nov. 16 – Nanaimo, BC @ private event w/ Colin Fisher
Nov. 18 – Victoria, BC @ James Bay United Church
Nov. 23 – Halifax, NS @ The Khyber Centre for the Arts w/ Kira Daube
Last summer I wrote a feature-length screenplay for The Crescent, an existential horror story conceived by my partner Seth Smith. A few weeks after I finished the script, Smith and producer Nancy Urich shot the movie, using their two-year-old son as the lead. Our film premiered last month at the Toronto International Film Festival and the next week screened at FIN in Halifax, where we won three awards–Best Atlantic Original Score or Song (Seth Smith), The Joan Orenstein Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress (Danika Vandersteen), and The Michael Weir Award for Best Atlantic Screenwriting (Darcy Spidle).
The Crescent has recently earned praise from The Globe and Mail, The Film Stage, Screen Anarchy, Cinema Axis, among many other international outlets. It screens this month at VIFF (CA) and Sitges (ES).