Published Jan 31, 2011In the 2005, friends Adam Locke-Norton and Jeff Cunningham got together in Locke-Norton's Vancouver basement and started toying around with some instruments. Quickly, they gave birth to the Bloggers, without question one of Vancouver's strangest, most divisive and least appreciated bands.
The group had a constantly shifting lineup of about 17 people that included most of B-Lines, along with a slew of other Vancity musicians. In the Bloggers' five-year existence, they wrote and recorded around 1,300 songs, "but only 500 that anyone might in theory want to ever listen to," Cunningham admits. Though they're mostly inactive now, Geographing Records has revealed plans to release a new album as a CD and DVD anthology at the end of February.
The band's sheer amount of material stems from the way they write songs. "None of us enjoys sitting down and writing songs as a group. You get into dumb arguments like, 'What should the chorus be? Is this riff good enough to carry eight bars?' or whatever," Locke-Norton explains in a recent Exclaim! interview. "Right from the beginning, our method has been to just press record and not discuss anything in advance. Two hours later, you have 20 songs. We call it a jam, but we don't 'jam out' on a riff forever. Everything has a beginning and an end and nothing goes much longer than two minutes. Also, every recording is the song being played for the first time, so even if it's messy, it has energy."
While the impromptu "jam" nature of the Bloggers' recording process suggests that these are Phish-ready hippie anthems, the band actually stumbled upon a haphazard, noisy distortion of '90s indie rock. "Initially, we were happy to try to operate in a shitty-charming version of Pavement/Guided By Voices/Shaggs/Troggs space," Cunningham adds. "Since way back then, we've developed a better sense of our own character, and become more ambitious in terms of songwriting within the same structure, but the sound is mostly just us getting together and playing what comes naturally... Recently someone mentioned 'slop pop' -- that might be what we naturally tend toward."
The Bloggers officially disbanded in 2009 when Locke-Norton moved away for school, but Geographing head Jarrett Samson couldn't rest knowing that, aside from their self-titled CD released in 2007, they had hundreds of unreleased songs. "They were, and are to this day, the strangest, most mysterious band I know," Samson explains. "They were a completely unrecognized, unsung band and they deserved to be huge and they still do... If I was being glib, I would ultimately boil it down to this statement: Vancouver likes bands that they want to dress like, and nobody wants to dress like the Bloggers."
Despite their lack of appreciation, Samson decided to put together a DVD box set containing every recording the band ever made alongside an 18-track CD called Part of the Problem. "My idea initially was completely different. I wanted to do a CD box set of the jams and then release an 100-run seven-inch along with it," he explains. "The band were into the jam, didn't want to do a seven-inch and wanted to do a proper second record. So, the product we're getting is sort of directly in the middle of my vision and theirs."
Part of the Problem will be released at the end of February and will come packaged with a DVD-R that features every jam ever recorded by the band. The tracklisting for Part of the Problem is below, while the 600-plus songs on the DVD are still being finalized, as the band got together and recorded 50 more tracks while Adam Locke-Norton was visiting Vancouver over the Christmas holidays.
For a sample of the Bloggers, you can listen to a handful of tracks of their MySpace.
Part of the Problem:
1. "Colour Bars"
3. "Fat Camp Soldier"
4. "Part of the Problem"
5. "Prosthetic Limb"
6. "Kiss You Goodbye"
7. "Golden Boy"
9. "We're Upstairs"
10. "Blank Stare"
11. "Sign of the Times"
12. "Willing to Wait"
13. "You Can Dance"
14. "Nuclear War"
15. "Bubonic Plague"
16. "Inspirational Man"
17. "Clean Sweep"