CALEDONIA-“We Are America.”

“We Are America” is to music what “I Am America” is to comedic literature.  Both are statements by Canadians (Caledonia and Stephen Colbert, respectively) and both are better representations of the U.S. than most similar projects being cultivated South of the border.

Caledonia is a fivesome that have been around for two previous records, neither of which I’ve had the good fortune to hear, who do Americana with a decidedly indie-rock slant.  Caledonia don’t have the Tex-Mex influence of Calexico (except perhaps on the incredibly catchy “The Plague”) and they aren’t as experimental as Califone (except perhaps on “Winter Drips from Trees,” featuring spoken-word star Tanya Davis) but they’re somewhere on the same spectrum.  The album is gentle, with a folk-rock feel, and features well-crafted, subtle songs.  You have to really listen to “get” this record, but it’s worth the effort.  Each song pulls in a slightly different aspect of America’s musicultural stew, from today’s indie rock to the folk rock of early Jefferson Airplane, and even some jazzy stuff on “Leaving Ian in New Orleans” (Ian being musician Ian Bent, the band’s extraordinary keyboardist).  Steven Gates, the band’s lead
guitarist and singer, deserves special mention for his lyrics, which combine humor and pain with irony and genuine emotion.  It’s not an easy task, for example, to begin a song by calling yourself an “art fag” but end it with every listener on your side.

This gets a high, high, high recommendation.  Check it out.

Friday Night Rock-Caledonia (YSI)


More Than a Feeling (Boston)-Of Montreal

R. Kelly vs Broken Social Scene – I’m a Flirt (Shoreline)

Rehab (Amy Winehouse cover)-Hot Hot Heat

Caledonia’s “We Are America Tour Dates”

May 29 – Halifax, NS @ The Paragon Theatre
June 03 – Montreal, QC @ Zoobizarre
June 05 – Quebec City, QC @ Saint Alexander Pub
June 06 – Ottawa, ON @ Irene’s
June 09 – Burlington, ON @ The Red Rooster
June 10 – Peterborough, ON @ The Spill
June 11 – Windsor, ON @ The Phog Lounge
June 12 – Guelph, ON @ Jimmy Jazz
June 16 – Montreal, QC @ Le Divan Orange
June 17 – Wakefield, QC @ The Black Sheep Inn
June 18/19/20 – Toronto, ON @ NXNE
June 26 – Charlottetown, PEI @ Hunter’s Ale House
June 27 – Fredericton, NB @ The Capital
July 03 – Sussex, NB @ Mason Jar
July 04 – Saint John, NB @ Blue Olive
July 17 – St. Margaret’s Bay, NS @ Paul’s Hall
July 18 – Antigonish, NS @ Evolve
July 23 – Moncton, NB @ C’Mon Hostel
July 25 – Palmer Rapids, ON @ Paddler CO-OP
July 29 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON @ Loplops
July 30 – Brandon, MB @ Double Decker Pub
Aug 01 – Regina, SK @ Gaslight Saloon
Aug 03 – Edmonton, AB @ Black Dog Freehouse
Aug 04/05 – Edmonton, AB @ O’Byrnes
Aug 06 – Calgary, AB @ Broken City
Aug 07 – Calgary, AB @ The Palamino
Aug 08 – Canmore, AB @ The Canmore Hotel
Aug 10 – Banff, AB @ Rose and Crown
Aug 11 – Saskatoon, SK @ Bud’s On Broadway
Aug 13 – Guelph, ON @ Van Gogh’s Ear
Aug 14 – Toronto, ON @ Rancho Relaxo

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