Published Jun 07, 2013Tomorrow (June 8), Arts & Crafts will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the all-day Field Trip festival. We're taking part in the party, too: below, we've compiled 10 notable moments in the Toronto label's history, some of which intertwine with our own.
Ten Notable Arts & Crafts Moments:
10. March 1999 - A Cover Story
Leslie Feist and Brendan Canning appear on the cover of Exclaim! together, in bed with their bandmates in By Divine Right.
"We were about to open up some 'surprise' Tragically Hip shows in southern Ontario," Canning says of his tenure in By Divine Right with Feist. "Like any band experience, you have your ups and downs. If I can speak of the ups at that particular time, I think everyone in By Divine Right felt like we had something special — just not special enough to keep it together, I guess."
9. 2000 - Connected Social Scene
After Kevin Drew and his friend Canning begin experimenting with Tortoise-influenced instrumental music, songwriter Jason Collett mentors Drew, encouraging him to write lyrics and sing songs.
"When Broken Social Scene first started gathering in Kev's basement, it was all instrumental jams," Collett recalls. "Kev had asked me to come along, but I wasn't interested in instrumental jams so much. He'd come by my place, though, and sit in the kitchen spitting out these nuggets of made-up songs on the fly, silly stream-of-conscious lyrics chock full of hooky melodies. He didn't take it seriously at the time, but I really liked his voice and told him I'd come jam if he was singing songs.
"The thing that most impressed me about the band when the singing began was how the vocals were treated like just another instrument. Coming from a very traditional place as a songwriter, this struck me as very freeing. Lyrics are often clunky and can get in the way of the music, especially when you start thinking about them, which is hard not to do. There was no time for this in BSS; the train was already leaving the station. Those first songs articulated from the gut, they were never afforded the luxury of second thought. I think this was key to how those songs resonated with people."
When asked to contemplate Collett's role in the early days of BSS, Canning is momentarily puzzled. "If I could remember his famous advice maybe we'd be further ahead of the game," he says. "As far as what Jason added, you can't really measure that kind of thing, because we were becoming such a tight unit in the early stages that you just wouldn't want to fuck with the formula."
8. Saturday April 14, 2001 – Finally Broken
At Exclaim!'s ninth anniversary party, an early incarnation of Broken Social Scene performs a set at the Big Bop.
"It was definitely an early incarnation but wasn't our first gig, to be certain," Canning explains. "Or do you mean the first gig using the name Broken Social Scene? That could be true. It was John Crossingham's first gig; that much is true. Dan Snaith from Manitoba, who later became Caribou, was DJing.
"It was probably our most space-rock-y type of show. We may have been playing behind a curtain for some of it, with Christopher Mills doing visuals, as he was known to do at a few of our gigs back then. What later became 'Late Nineties Bedroom Rock for the Missionaries' and 'Shampoo Suicide' got their first run at this show. There was another tune called 'Give 'Em Something to Work With, Boys' that never saw the light of day past that gig. Oh yeah, at some point in the evening, a TTC bus shelter was smashed."
7. Saturday, April 1, 2000 – Leslie "Bitch Lap Lap" Feist
A year earlier, Feist plays the role of hype woman, Bitch Lap Lap, for Peaches.
"Bitch Lap Lap was a non-stop erotic hyper lil' sister-type hype girl," Peaches says. "Her make-up was one black eye and a teenage tracksuit. All the pics for my Teaches of Peaches album artwork, which include pics of Taylor Savvy and Bitch Lap Lap, were taken at that show. It was extreme chaos! Shary Boyle also got on stage with red boxing gloves and just pummelled us all."