June 29, 2007

Like Vinyl? Like Neko Case? Well, our pal Jack at Lance Rock Records in Nanaimo is releasing most of Neko's back catalogue on limited-edition, collectors LPs, and we're lucky enough to have a few to pass on to you.First up is Blacklisted, and copies are available now for pre-order at MapleMusic. It's a gorgeous album and the pristine 150 gram vinyl comes in a gorgeous gatefold package. Visit our friends at MapleMusic here for a copy of your own.

And while you're there, check out our latest 7" releases: One Woman Show from Nick Krgovich of P:ano and Volume One of our split 7" series, featuring The Awkward Stage and Young and Sexy.


June 15, 2007

Our resident rocktologist/cremationist Shane Nelken is preparing to pack up the van for another tour. This time, The Awkwward Stage is heading South of the Canadian boarder to play in fine cities such as Seattle (home of the world's largest glass of orange juice), San Francisco (home of the world's largest baseball glove) and many, many more! Click here for The Awkward Stage's complete tour schedule.

Also Shane will be on MuchMusic's Going Coastal this Sunday for part II of his appearance... Stay tuned for Part III yet to come! And don't forget to check out the latest CBC Radio 3 Podcast (#108) for another dose of rock 'n' roll advice on Dear Shane.


June 5, 2007

Yes, that's right folks, just a few days until Immaculate Machine's Fables is on those record store shelves on Tuesday, June 12. If you haven't had a chance to preview the record, the entire thing is available to stream here. Thanks Quicktime! And, our pals at Pitchfork are up on the Immaculate fun too, here's what they've said so far. We know, we know, Ian Danzig said it first, but, hooray for Tuesdays indeed!!!


June 5, 2007

Have you heard of our friends Bella? Well, they're taking Vancouver by storm and just finished recording their first Mint full length album coyly titled, No One Will Know. Well, this is just in - Bella's No One Will Know shall be out on September 18th.

In other Bella news, the band's early 2007 pre-album version of Camelot is being featured by Seattle designer Lizzie Parker on her website and will be a key tune for her upcoming Spring 2008 collection, to be launched at Seattle Fashion week in October 2007!

Be sure to check out Bella's free show on Main Street on June 16th. If last week's renegade performances were any indication of what's to come; Bella will probably be performing on the back of a truck! We'll keep you updated with further details. Fun!!


May 29, 2007

May 29th is a big day for us at Mint Records. Not only is our Fancy New Website up and rolling (Hooray!!), but today, our pals at itunes are offering Immaculate Machine's single, "Jarhand" for FREE!! Get it here. It's the illustrious single of the week!

Then, on May 30th, download all of Fables on itunes, it's specially priced (and you'll have it two weeks earlier than your friends). If you'd like a physical copy of the CD/LP for your collection, visit a record store (It's out on June 12th), or if you live in the woods, order it from our friends at Maple Music.

Vancouverites! Be sure to visit us at Red Cat Records (4307 Main St.) on June 1st; we're having a little advance listening shindig and showing off some Immaculate artwork by the band's resident artist, Caitlin Gallupe. Afterwards, we're marching across the street to The Main for some late night eats and a performance by Victoria's Vincat!

If you're busy that night, stop by the Ukrainian Hall (805 E. Pender) for the CD Release Party on June 16th. Immaculate Machine, Meatdraw and Victoria, Victoria will be there. We'll be there. And you should be there too.


May 11, 2007

We are pleased as punch to announce it, Miss Carolyn Mark is ready to show off her latest country fair creation. Nothing is Free shall be out July 3rd in Canada and a little later, September 18th, everywhere lse. Like those delicious Frosted Mini Wheats, there are two sides to Miss Carolyn Mark. At a recent Railway Club performance, Carolyn compared her fifth record (sixth when you count our Party Girl's gig with Neko Case in The Corn Sisters) on Mint Records to that tasty bipolar breakfast cereal. And she's right, Nothing is Free has a funny frosted side, but is also packed with healthy goodness, psyllium fiber and will make your heart ache (but in a good way). Hungry? Well, you're in luck. On July 3rd, Carolyn Mark's Nothing is Free, is ready for your rapid consumption.

And, Keep your eyes peeled, for the sassy Victoria songstress may be visiting a folk festival near you.

Check here for more of our favorite Terrible Hostess’ party dates!!!


May 10, 2007

Cuddlecore pioneers, cub, and their recently remastered and rereleased Betti-Cola and Come Out Come Out were recently reviewed by the illustrious folks at Pitchfork. Here's what they had to say:

"Like most artists, 1990s cuddlecore queens Cub resented being pigeonholed. In a way, that's kind of a shame. When I say the Vancouver-based trio's early recordings are among the cutest things I've heard, I'm giving some of my highest praise, but to most people, "cute" probably means something less, well, substantial. Especially when applied to three young women with only modest technical chops, the term could seem both confining and condescending. Sure enough, Cub were moving in a noisier direction by 1997, when they called it quits. In interviews, singer/bassist Lisa Marr would emphasize her smoking and drinking, two very grown-up vices; at another point, then-drummer Neko Case shocked an unruly audience member with a roundhouse right. Twee as fuck, maaan.

Cub may have been understandably uncomfortable being written off as cute, but their music-- mostly punky three-chord twee-pop similar to Sacramento's Tiger Trap or a Pacific Northwest all-girl Ramones-- was often more memorable, emotionally affecting, and flat-out fun than so much of the self-serious, middlebrow cock rock that tends to top year-end lists. Their 1993 collection of EPs and new material, Betti-Cola, which features future New Pornographer and solo songstress Case behind the kit on a couple of tracks, shows Cub finding their ramshackle, sweetly innocent voice. When they began to toy with their squeaky-clean image on 1995's Come Out Come Out, a good band got even better. Both albums, recently given the deluxe-reissue treatment on original label Mint, come as endearingly awkward reminders of a free-spirited enthusiasm too often missing in today's crop of licensing-ready indie-pop upstarts. At least cuteness can be controversial.

Featuring cover art by Archie Comics artist and Josie & the Pussycats creator Dan DeCarlo, Betti-Cola compiles Cub's early Mint EPs, Pep and Hot Dog Day, and adds 15 newer songs-- plus, on this reissue, four previously 7-inch-only tracks and one live "Wipe Out" goof. Girly and unabashedly juvenile, Betti-Cola lets Marr, guitarist/singer Robynn Iwata, and a rotating cast of drummers breeze through songs about chinchillas, dolphin boys, flying carpets, and eventual Destroyer guitarist Nicolas Bragg; like Jonathan Richman post-Modern Lovers, Cub prove that childlike whimsy can be, in the words of Joe Harvard, "a purer form of rebellion." As with most proudly amateurish bands, Cub actually improved given practice, so jangly mid-album tracks like lonesome "Pretty Pictures" and popsicle-packing "A Picnic" are among the best here, charming and melodic. "It's true, the world is ugly/ But everything could change," Marr sings on "Someday", a wrenchingly optimistic love song for no one. The covers-- the Beach Boys' "Surfer Girl", Beat Happening's "Cast a Shadow", Daniel Johnston's "Tell Me Now"-- are well chosen, always neatly suited for Cub's powerfully light-hearted delivery.

Cub tighten up as a band still more for Come Out Come Out without losing their appealing simplicity, thanks in part to increasingly confident songwriting. Having a full-time drummer, Lisa G., probably also helped. The reissue tacks on an alternate version of adorable watching-you-sleep song "Your Bed", a silly live version of "Cast My Shadow", a sillier radio rendition of the debut's "My Chinchilla", and an, uh, ambient-house mix of early song "Go Fish", but the original full-length itself still stands as one of the better twee-pop albums from an era that also brought us great material from the Pastels, the Softies, Rocketship, Tullycraft, and others. "New York City" captures the joy of being young and in love in a big city, with fuzz-tone guitars and girl-group melodies, while organ-accented "Everything's Geometry" goes for jangly guitars but fuzzy math: "If 1 is 3 and 3 is 9, then we can be happy all of the time." Here, pumpkins turn into princesses, and a "flaming red bobsled" can be a thing of menace. A closing Go-Go's cover, "Vacation", is as deceptively exuberant as you'd expect.

The album takes a darker turn on songs like bloodstained "Life of Crime", but it never loses its spirit of fun. Where Betti-Cola seems assured of the modern ideal of romantic love, Come Out Come Out interjects playfully self-aware anxiety next to the giddiness of tra-la-la love songs like "I'm Your Angel". On "Tomorrow Go Away", Marr sings (with some irony): "We never talk of love/ 'Cause I'm much too cool for that now/ And you fuck me on the floor/ 'Cause there's no room for a bed... We eat lunch with your parents while you're wishing I was dead." It's been said that you can reason someone into believing in God, but you can't reason them out of it, and I wonder if it's the same way with true love: Once you've taken that leap of faith, does everything change? Bad as they may have wanted to be, Cub landed squarely on the side of the angels. And that's totally punk rock." -Marc Hogan, May 10, 2007,

May 3, 2007

Thanks to everyone who those who helped score The Choir Practice an opening gig for Jarvis Cocker. The gods of indie pop salute you!

On May 15th, Choir Practice’s debut self-titled album is out! Our non-compulsory chorus line, made up of Vancouver indie veterans, includes Coco Culbertson (the Gay), Larissa Loyva (P:ano) and ten of their friends!

And, be sure to stop by the Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir Street) on May 18th for The Choir Practice CD release party with Victoria Victoria and The Greenbelt Collective!!"In last week's Straight, we reported that Jarvis Cocker was advertising on his MySpace page for local bands to open his shows during his current tour. When that was written, the former Pulp frontman hadn't yet selected an act from Vancouver for his May 1 Commodore appearance. But a couple of weeks ago Cocker's label, Rough Trade, e-mailed the Choir Practice with the good news."We were pretty surprised," says singer-bassist Shane Turner , who also plays in Love and Mathematics. "I was saying to a couple of the people in the band that he wasn't going to check our MySpace page. Then we got an e-mail a week later saying he wanted us to open. It's a good feeling because three of us are huge Pulp fans. Which is kind of funny, because he said in the interview that he's avoiding bands that are influenced by Pulp. Luckily, we don't sound like we are. But This Is Hardcore is one of my favourite albums."The Choir Practice was formed about a year ago by the Gay's Coco Culbertson "as an excuse to drink wine and sing with friends", says Turner. Featuring anywhere from eight to 12 members, the group's vocal-heavy pop is showcased on a Mint Records debut due out May 15. The band plays a CD-release party at the Railway Club May 18." - Shawn Conner, The Georgia Straight

May 3, 2007

That's right! The summer issue of our little artist driven zine shall be out and in a record shop near you on (or around) June 1st. I'm not going to spoil it, but soon, secrets shall be revealed, comics shall be doodled and recipes shall be shared. Friends such as Carolyn Mark, Immaculate Machine, The Awkward Stage, Novillero and P:ano, to name a few, write 'em. Then, you read 'em. Hooray!

Also, we are still accepting advertising submissions. The deadline is May 25th. Heckle Shena for more details.


May 2, 2007

Have you heard about our Double A-Side 7” Series? Think that’s a mouthful? Well, on May 15th, Volume 1, featuring unreleased treasures from The Awkward Stage and Young and Sexy, kicks off the party. The series is limited to the 500 and, for the serious collector, includes a fun Mint Records merit badge! Keep your eyes peeled for future records in the series; they shall include surprise non-labelmate appearances. We’re celebrating the start of this series with a night on May 25th at the Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir Street) with our chums, Young and Sexy, The Awkward Stage and The Huge Manatease. You should come. May 15th also marks a 7” release date for P:ano frontman, Nick Krgovich’s One Woman Show.