Published Jun 28, 2010Over the past couple of years, you may have been watching Toronto songwriter Spookey Ruben's bizarre TV show, Spookey Ruben's Dizzy Playground, right here on Exclaim.ca. In that time, the musician also found time to release an LP, 2009's Mechanical Royalty. Now, Spookey has yet another new release, the limited-edition Shackleton EP, which is out now via Hi-Hat Recordings.
The four-song collection was inspired by explorer Ernest Shackleton, who made a failed attempt to cross the Antarctic between 1914 and 1917. The songs range from an epic baroque rock suite ("Shackleton") to a 52-second collage of folk pop strumming and meowing sound effects ("Feline Diary Entry").
As for his choice of songwriting subject, Spookey said in a statment, "Although his mission ultimately failed, Shackleton was famous for not leaving one single man behind. As a band leader it's important to keep the morale high as we face heavy weather, bad hotels and questionable nutrition."
Shackleton is available in a limited-edition run of 50 - yep, just 50. The packages were handmade, with a signed and numbered CD-R that comes with an original drawing, a lyric sheet and a beaded bracelet made by Spookey himself. This deluxe set costs $45 and can be purchased here.
Spookey will touring for a next two weeks, playing a handful of dates in Ontario and the Prairies, including a performance at Sled Island in Calgary. He will also be making a brief excursion in the U.S. See the dates below, along with the Shackleton tracklist. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can see the latest episode of Spookey Ruben's Dizzy Playground, which features a guest appearance from Feist.
2. "I Care About You"
3. "Feline Diary Entry"
4. "Dales on the Lime"
6/29 Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Rockstar Bar
6/30 Thunder Bay, ON - The Office *
7/1 Winnipeg, MB - Ozzy's/The Zoo
7/2 Regina, SK - Gaslight Saloon
7/3 Calgary, AB - Republik (Sled Island) ^
7/4 Bozeman, MT - The Filling Station
7/6 Fargo, ND - Red Raven Espresso Parlor
7/7 Minneapolis, MN - Kitty Cat Klub
7/8 Chicago, IL - DarkRoom
* with Library Voices
^ with the Thermals