Announcing, this friday August 18, @ the Horseshoe Tavern....A roots rock and heavy souldouble release show featuringThe Mercy NowRooftop Love ClubBrendaThe Two Timesand The Electric Spoonful
Russel Fernandes is waiting for me on Queen west at my“I should have brought my daughter!”weekly Mixtape party. I am 42 minutes late and have found a vcr along the way. For some reason i think of Nicole and our third date, slam dancing to the Mercy Now at the El Mocambo, just like my aunt Fiona would have done at the Ramones, except she would have knocked over a table. This is the buzz old timers told me reminded them of mescaline, that noise in the boxcar sized room of a bar formerly known as Not My Dog. These are the kind of hijinx we used to get up to, in the beginnings of the Signal. It was on the back patio that Russ insisted these were “the good old days”. He was married then, and his daughter barely toddling. His wife Tanya tended bar at NMD, and they`d run the scruffy little dive for a few years by the time i wandered in, chasing dreams in some shadow of downtown Weeniepeg, of HaMiltown, or Sault Ste Murray. Sometimes, when i see Russ play with the Mercy Now , i smash a tambourine against my hand until it hurts. I bounce around the floor saying Hello Toronto, do u wanna dance?Are u here tonight to rock some soul tunes and exhaust yourself in sweaty fumes of bliss and kicking off that stress to some angry rhythm and blues?“We're less angry now.” Russ assures me.Because of You is the fresh single by the band off their new, self titled album, the first release in six years. It features Russ` trademark vocals and visceral bass work, both of them raspy and relentless. The textures are clear and crisp on this self produced LP, with drummer Lee Rogers providing airy, swinging grooves and precision fills, and Dave Kirton deftly handling all guitar parts.27 hours later I find Russ near the bar at the TO Lounge, full of rage and hot to jam. What are the themes of this album? I ask him. “Rascism, death, and parenthood. We're all Dads now.”
The piano from Not My Dog can be found at the Skyline Restaurant where i work. Children come and touch it, a tactile relic of the history that their very prescence is overtaking. Parkdale is changing? Parkdale is change itself.