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The other website

In music on March 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hello all of those who follow us here, with the new moniker have migrated over to http://www.devoniangardens.com, please join us over there for all things blog related in the future.

Also, we now have a twitter, so if you do that, you can find us @devoniangarden, and find out what our jam cave looks like…

The End of the World Music Festival

In music on December 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Sometime in late 2011, as we were starting to embark on our next record, a specter arose and laid claim to our current moniker, throwing in a threat of legal action. Rather than continue to beat a Dead Horse, we took it as an opportunity to look for something new.

Then an entire year passed… no legal action occurred, and as we have always liked our name, it was easy to avoid making any decisions. The world is coming to an end soon anyhow, so perhaps avoidance is the best tactic:

As the universe crumbles around us we will yell out or new name into a churning black cloud, saving a mystical world from certain destruction………

Actually we were given a great opportunity to officially retire the name “Deadhorse”  in grand and ritualistic fashion as part of the The End Of The World Music Festival on Friday December 21st. After all, if it really is the end of the world, what better to send it off than at a giant party filled with alien ambassadors, strange rituals and a whole lot of wild caterwauling. We look forward to that night, and partying with you all as we spiral into the next dimension.

If we are still here on December 22, it will be a new era for bandkind!

Mini Winter Prairie Tour

In music on November 23, 2012 at 8:05 am

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One thing about being a Canadian band is that you just cannot avoid the influence of the winter. It can be felt over the many dark months as we fend off the cabin fever by making the blistering noises that float up from the basement, its in the shuffle over ice-slick ground hauling heavy gear into the back door of a venue as your breath steams the air. It’s there in those days when ice crystals recreate the familiar as surreal, and you write sunshine-tinged music to transport you to to the beach in your mind.

During the summer you try your best for a few short months to forget that it exists. But sometimes it’s the winter that really brings us together, once all the distractions of the summer have passed, it’s the best time to get down to business. Maybe there’s a reason why the last time I did a piece of writing for this blog it was also about the influence of winter, for a Canadian this is the definition of a recurring theme.

Sometimes the winter turns up unexpectedly, like the time it found us smack in the middle of the # 1 highway between Regina and Winnipeg in the middle of April, as we were trying desperately to make it to the next gig. Well, it may have been a while since our last attempt but we are not to be deterred, at least this time we have come expecting it.

We kicked off our mini tour at Costello’s in Calgary night, squeezed 5 of us onto the tiny stage and kicked off the tour in style. I’m writing this from our van, we are doing the long night drive, it’s 1:38am and we just passed Swift current.There is a fine art to passing out in a van that is inconsistently heated and driving though a prairie winter that I have yet to master. Here is to another 9 or so hours on the road, can’t wait to finally rock out in Winnipeg!

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Rainbow Faces

In music on June 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm

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MTT

In music on March 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Well I know it has been a long time since you heard from us.… mostly it’s been winter and we have been in basements making strange noises trying to keep ourselves warm. These days we are stirring up some delectable new sounds, and this happens to be an ideal weekend for you to come out and hear them.

On this, the first day of spring, we can give you some pretty good ideas about how you might go about thawing your brain. MTT Fest warms up Friday with our show at the Palomino. Saturday it’s full steam ahead at the Legion, with another show for us, then events spread to multiple venues on Sunday with a plethora of good things to hear. That wacky duck that has been Calgary’s fledgling psych scene might just become a big wild swan, with the help of some international heavyweights.

Here are some of the radical promo videos our friends have been making:

MTT Fest from Down Home on Vimeo.

MTT FEST | MARCH 24-25 | Promo 003 from Ryan Von Hagen on Vimeo.

Welcome to the West

In music on December 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Welcome to the West have been strong supporters of Deadhorse since our early days. We played their launch party during a snow storm back in December of 2009 at a basement venue called the Songwriters Club, under one of those historic East Village buildings next to the St. Louis Hotel. Collaborating for a video session had long been discussed, but being busy folks we didn’t get around to it until last summer.

We set out on a hot night towards a patch of land belonging to the family of one of Danny’s best childhood chums. The caravan of friends, fellow bands and film crew snaked its way down the dusty valley track of Willow Creek and ate a hasty snack of sandwiches and red wine amidst the sagebrush. A roaring fire was built and gear was hauled into the hoodoo hills. People pulled up their cars and pointed the headlights at our makeshift stage. We fired up the generators and plugged in.

Deadhorse – Cushion from Welcome To The West on Vimeo.

Playing live has always been an important part of who we are and why we make music. Getting the opportunity to do the song “Cushion” for film, in a place evocative of the sounds we were making at the time, was really a treat.

There have been a lot of changes in the band since this video was made, most notably the departure of Eddie who left us in the fall to aim his solo project Sons of Bullwinkle on the world of radical drone. We were lucky to have him for the time we did. Change is the best thing for artists, and we like to think we’ve got some pretty good changes rolling out before too long. Here is to the band we’ve been, and  here’s to the FUTURE.

Halifax Pop Explosion

In music on October 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm

It was a whirlwind of explosive drinking, fleeting from show to show and sampling delicious meals and dining. Halifax is one city in Canada that knows how to treat its guests. We had spent our first day encased in twilight, from waking up at 5am, to landing to a setting sun. Confused and a bit delirious, we were taken in by that lovely east coast hospitality at every turn, and it makes us fall in love with you maritime provinces. JB you know it, Hally likewise.

After some naps and some Propeller beers we were basically ready to go: and by that we mean do flips onto hotel beds, find the cheapest drinks in the city, chow late-night seafood, lip each other off a lot and play three shows of varying success.

The first show was our only official Halifax Pop Explosion showcase, and was probably the best show for promoting who we are and what we do. Tribeca is a gritty little upstairs venue, a tunnel of chipped brick with a rustic cave-like stage. We had the matching outfits, we had the stoke, we rocked it and others seem to agree.

Our Saturday shows were a bit more random. The unofficial Saved By Vinyl/Kelp/Herohill showcase, presided over by our lovely label-mama Dawn, had free drinks and tasty home-style food along with Jon Mckiel, Chris Page and our own Ryan Bourne all in it’s favour. We  however, were somewhat out of sorts – the mellow vibe of a BBQ party, low sound wattage, and unfamiliar gear being not the ideal situation may have contributed to the impression some had that we are a bunch of random hippies. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you get the fear, and it stays with you all through a show, even when all the elements are right, all the more so when you feel like your show is happening in a coffee shop for a bunch of hangovers. It’s just our luck that all the Toronto hippie haters who cant appreciate a little boy/girl music were at that show eating the free BBQ and having opinions. They should have been at Tribeca or the house party we played later the night for the real taste. Them’s the breaks I guess. On the bright side our banter about the Calgary Stampede had us taken seriously by at least one other appreciative audience member.

If you are going to find yourself in a random and somewhat dodgy situation, it might as well be because you are following Chixdiggit at four in in morning with borrowed amps and a single mic in a living room full of people determined to make the most of their festival by willingly punishing their ears further with noisy jams and random sweltering blues. Sound about right? See you at the next show.

Damn if we didn’t see some magical sets too: Thee Oh Sees, One Hundred Dollars, Snailhouse, Jennifer Castle (and thanks for picking up our cab fair too), Hind Legs, Cousins, fellow Calgarian Chad VanGaalen and local hero Shotgun Jimmie.

Halifax, your people are warm and your festival was just the right size.

Sister Cities, Fundraisers and the Far East (Coast)

In music on October 12, 2011 at 10:39 pm

After having a total blast in Moose Jaw and Saskatoon, being treated so well that we still feel the glow, we just can’t seem to slow down. We are going to keep that ball rolling all the way to Halifax Pop Explosion, and record another album in Nova Scotia while we’re at it. We must be crazy.

First we’re going back up to Edmonton and to our favourite Wunderbar for a dizzying array of psych-rock doled out by hometown heavies Krang along with Sir Ma’am Ma’am. Beers of every shape and description + wall of radical noise = not to be missed good times.

The next night we will be back in Cowtown for our fundraiser; bringing Krang with us, adding a bit of LUNGPUMA! animalskulls and stirring it up with Vermillion Pleasure Hour. Where can you get chocolate espresso dinorsaur cookies, cheap beer, eats and other surprises? Who is the  man with no face, and have you seen enough dudes with moustaches lately? Look no futher than The AREA on October 15.

Heading to Saskachewan

In music on September 16, 2011 at 3:58 am

The band is setting out across the prairies to our neighbouring province of Saskatchewan this weekend. We played in Saskatoon and Regina at the beginning of the eastern leg of our tour back in the spring, and now we are returning for CFCR‘s FM-PHASIS funding drive with a show at Amigo’s alongside Shooting Guns & The Switching Yard this Saturday.

Melissa’s  hails from Prince Albert Saskatchewan, so we can happily claim our fellow prairie province as a home away from home. CFCR has been spinning our record consistently since we released it in January, it’s great to have their support. Apparently being well-regarded in Saskatoon is a big deal… if you have been following the fate of the The Sheepdogs lately.

Canada is such a big country that it can be bittersweet to meet so many great people on the road and know that it might be a while before you can make it back for another show. When relatively close to home means an eight-hour drive, you  come to really appreciate  the people who go out of their way to offer support.  This time we will be hitting up Moose Jaw on the Friday to play a show at Chillers organized by a member of  Brain Sauce; those guys drove all the way up to Regina to see us play last time we were through. We will also  be happy to see Brenda  from the all lady bluegrass band the Seahags, she lent us her floor in Saskatoon and we cooked up an epic pancake breakfast the morning after our show.  Here’s to a road well-traveled.

The End of an Era of Sorts

In music on August 17, 2011 at 3:16 am

Photo by Duncan Kenworthy

After spending months in a dank basement Deadhorse went out on our very first tour with the Psychic Alliance in the summer of 2009. That was quite the hilarious and ramshackle ride. We cut our chips at wing nights, campgrounds, public parks, and one impromptu appearance in the woodcutter cottage at the popular B.C. roadside attraction known as  The Enchanted Forest.  The van broke down, we cooked wieners and beans in parking lots, there was bear stew and camping on the beach. It was epic, and it’s interesting to reflect of all that has happened since that summer.

The Alliance has decided to make the move en masse out to the west coast this fall, and in so doing we are deprived of one of our most formidable musical rivals/allies. We are playing with them for one of their last shows before they head out west at Vicious Circle’s appropriately titled Torrid Thursday (August 18). For those of you who are familiar with the Handle, that freakish beast will also be sent off with style; they  join Whiskeyface and Treeline for a show at the Palomino the night after.

The aforementioned dank basement where Deadhorse took its fledgling steps was of course that of  HausHome, Calgary’s psych music vortex of sorts. It is undeniable that our scene as we know it owes several of its most colourful blossoms to the environment of HausHome, where both Deadhorse and the Psychic Alliance originally practiced. HausHome has been the source of many musical experiments, The Starcleaner reunion, Bohemian Waxwing and the Great speckled Fritillary to name a few. Danny and Jennifer played their first show as a duo during a particularly raucous and sparkly party. It is hard to imagine Deadhorse’s roots without that colourful house and it’s cast of characters, of which Marie is the longest standing continuous member.

While the ride in a shared house full of stubborn and opinionated artists is never smooth, it has definitely been interesting for those brave enough to have called it home. HausHome marches on, to the beat of it’s own special drum, but the end of the summer marks the end of a certain era and a parting of ways. Remembering a complicated and productive musical time, it’s with some sadness that we bid The Alliance (and the Handle) adieu for now… no doubt our paths will cross again sooner or later.