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Fast Romantics Release Debut CD

Posted by cristóvão On March - 5 - 2009

fastromanticsAt long last, the Fast Romantics have released their debut album this week. The Calgary group has been working on this for well over a year and are celebrating the release with a tour across Canada, dubbing it “the Seven Men in One Suburban tour”.

The self titled album, containing 11 tracks including “Spooning the Gorilla“,  “Sleepy Jean“, “Stop Me” and “Gravity Pope“, was released independently on iTunes Tuesday and can be found at this link.

They “kicked-off” their tour on February 21st with a show at the Marquee Room in Calgary but the road dates start tonight with a show in Saskatoon. From there, they stop in Winnipeg on March 6th, Thunder Bay on March 7th, Sault St. Marie on March 10th, Toronto on March 13th for Canadian Music Week, Kingston on March 16th, return to Toronto on St. Patrick’s Day for another gig at the Cadillac Lounge, Brantford on March 21st and return to their native Calgary for a gig at MacEwan Hall on March 28th.

33 Things You Should Know About the Fast Romantics

Posted by cristóvão On February - 6 - 2009

fastromanticsYou know all those chain e-mail messages you get asking you to fill out several questions about yourself? You know which one’s I’m talking about…they’re often terribly annoying and hardly thought-provoking. So what happens when a band answers the call of these chain e-mails, on facebook no less? Well, when that band is the Fast Romantics, you get interesting information that you’d be hard-pressed to find in most standard interviews.

The Calgary act have been hard at work for more than a year working on their soon-to-be-released debut album, playing countless shows around their hometown, winning a local radio station contest and getting drunk whilst playing poker and eating pie. So here’s everything else you need to know about them as written by guitarist Matthew Kliewer;

  1. www.fastromantics.com
  2. We are about to go on a Canadian Tour, including a stop at CMW in Toronto. We are neglecting British Columbia, Quebec, the Maritimes and of course ‘the territories.’
  3. We were nearly called the Sleep Eaters.
  4. I’ve used only one guitar throughout all of our performances, a 2002 Fender Deluxe Telecaster that has had a customized, “good for life” setup which included the neck being shaved down and rubbed over with gunpowder for a slicker slide.
  5. During the demo process (nearly 5 years ago) Matthew Angus and I locked ourselves into a tiny room in his parents basement with a ton of instruments, dedicated to writing a new album. I played the drums, guitar, percussion and occasional bass while Angus played the keys, vocals, guitars and bass. “Sleepy Jean“, “Stop Me“, “Modern Eyes“, “I See You Coming ‘Round” and “Gravity Pope” were written out of these sessions.
  6. During the demo process Angus and I nearly gave up on Calgary as a home-base and were prepared to convince Jeffy Lewis to move to Montreal to find the perfect drummer. Then came along Alan Reain.
  7. We are truly obsessed with pie. We had a “Plastered Poker and Pie Party” to reward ourselves for several months of hard work in the rehearsal process. We got plastered, we played poker and we threw pie. I slipped on some pie, sliced open my right eye and had a shower with Jeffy in my pants. Then I wept in a corner, shivering and scared.
  8. We’ve had many arguments. We’ve had just as many make up sessions.
  9. After a Fast Romantics show, I cheered Bob from the Dudes saying, “here’s to bad guitarists who look good on stage.”
  10. The song “Casablanca” is a very dear song to me. And during the recording of Alan’s drums on this track, I grew very tired and decided to leave early. I saw three dead rabbits on my way home and was then t-boned by a semi-truck running a red light. The lesson? No matter how tired you are, always be there for your band-mates. PS: I sued the bitch that hit me.
  11. When the Fast Romantics were told that we won $15,000 and a slot at Virgin Music Festival from X92.9, we couldn’t tell anyone that we had won because it wasn’t officially announced yet. We ended up getting very drunk at the Ship and Anchor and shouted “Happy New Years” to strangers in an attempt to get our good feelings off our chest. Unbeknownst to me, one of the people I shouted this to was Malissa Dunphy, the very lady from X92.9 who had given us the good news over the phone earlier that day.
  12. Jeffrey Lewis is THE best bassist in Canada, living or deceased.
  13. We are constantly playing alongside our pals in Secret Broadcast and hope to one day do a European Tour with them.
  14. Mike Fraser mixed our upcoming album. He has also mixed Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello, Franz Ferdinand, Sam Roberts and AC/DC.
  15. Official, pertinent, well executed meetings always take place at the Ship and Anchor.
  16. The upcoming album was recorded at Post/War Studios, owned and operated by Matthew Angus and Jeffrey Lewis. And they did a bloody good job.
  17. Tim Todd has more dirt on the Fast Romantics than anyone else and will one day share all of this dirt with you in the form of a documentary.
  18. Our girlfriends are the best girlfriends ever; supportive and truly appreciative of our music and lack of money. They’ve baked us pie and stroked our egos. Nadine earned 2005′s Girlfriend of the Year Award for letting us rehearse in her basement for several months. Not once did she complain, even when she was trying to sleep.
  19. Nadine was stripped away of the Girlfriend of the Year Award when she said that she likes Secret Broadcast more than the Fast Romantics.
  20. We hugged Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots backstage at Virgin Fest. He spoke to me for a couple of minutes, not one word of it in English. He also had crusty white stuff on the corners of his mouth.
  21. The Soup Song” was given its title when we needed a quick name for the track. Matthew Angus had a Campbell’s soup ad in his home studio, and that’s where we got the name.
  22. How Do You?” was given its title just a couple of days before we released it to X92.9
  23. Alan Reain will eat all of your chocolates.
  24. We’ve added Gene Genie, Joshua Hughes and Mike Rowland to our lineup for live shows. They are each incredibly talented and have become very close friends. They deserve recognition, so buy one of ‘em a beer at a show ok?
  25. Each of us has a different opinion of our best show. But we all agree that the Palomino was by far our worst show.
  26. Joel Tobman, bassist for Heat Ray has saved our asses several times. But we can’t buy him amaretto to show our appreciation or else he’ll die.
  27. Chris Hartigan, Christopher Dowsett and Shawn Ralph are unofficially the unofficial photographers of the Fast Romantics.
  28. I denied Carolina Liar‘s singer access to his own beer saying it belonged exclusively to Secret Broadcast.
  29. A store called Worth dresses us up like rock stars.
  30. Matthew Angus can do anything. He found the artwork for our record, he designed our website, he found Mike Fraser, he recorded our album with Jeffy, he co-wrote all of these songs and he’s the best front-man a band could ever ask for. Ladies, this man is single, why??
  31. Our album is finally being released… very, very soon.

Make sure to check out the Fast Romantics at the Marquee Room on February 21st with These Estates and Thee Hoolies.

2008 Concert of the Year

Posted by cristóvão On January - 3 - 2009

Since we started doing this, it seems like every year gets better and better for concerts in Calgary. Although 2008 seemed to fall a bit short, there were still plenty of great shows to take in and marvel despite many of us failing to venture out as much as we have in the past.

The year started with Vancouver’s Gob delighting fans at the Gateway but the first excellent concert came from Serj Tankian at MacEwan Hall in March. Later in the month, after having been held up at the border and losing an opening act, Ministry played the Whiskey Nightclub on it’s C U LaTour.

In April, Wintersleep returned to Calgary with an excellent opening set from Clinton St. John at MacEwan Ballroom. By the end of April, we finally took in our first local show as Damn Dirty Ape delivered their new CD at the Palomino.

May roared in with a trio of fantastic shows; Queens of the Stone Age returned to play the Stampede Corral again while NOFX punk’d out MacEwan Hall complete with sombreros, bear trimmings and insults.The Mars Volta wrapped up the month with a marathon show that proves these guys move to the beat of their own drum.

It wasn’t until July that we ventured out again to see a phenomenal performance from Nine Inch Nailscomplete with musical mastery and visually stunning displays. Yet another lull occurred through the late summer months and the wait was well worth it as Gogol Bordello blew us away at MacEwan Hall in October. Although Henry Rollins didn’t rock us out with the music of the Rollins Band or Black Flag, he rocked us with his words on his ‘Recountdown’ spoke-word tour later in October.

We made up for the horribly laxed attendance of local shows late in the year taking in the ever-important showcase show for the Fast Romantics at the Marquee Room in November and the highly entertaining Alberta Boom! Tour launch in December featuring the stage antics of Endangered Ape, Sharp Ends, Thee Thems and the Pine Tarts.

Radiohead ~ Live in Toronto 2008

Yet with all these great shows, the Concert of the Year occurred not in Calgary, but in Toronto when I traveled East to see RadioheadThe U.K. act put on a stunning performance in August at the Molson Amphitheatre after a summer rain-storm and an appropriate rainbow emerged moments before they hit the stage. They were as good musically as ever and the visuals rivaled those of NIN. Simply put, it was the most impressive performance of the year, one that no fan should have missed and thusly earned this year’s highest nod.

Live Review: the Fast Romantics @ the Marquee Room

Posted by cristóvão On November - 26 - 2008

~ with Heat Ray, November 21st, 2008 (with notes from Andy Stewart)

Last Friday, Off the Dial contributing writer Andy Stewart an myself ventured out from our responsibility-laced lives and embarked on an evening of indie-music frivolity. Of course, we’re referring to the Fast Romantic‘s gig at the Marquee Room with guests Heat Ray.

Having recently finished the recording of their debut album, the Fast Romantics decided to celebrate with this gig which also served as an opportunity to court some record label scouts. Heat Ray put on a relaxed yet screaming (can the two go hand-in-hand?) set which primed the crowd nicely. Not bad for a group made up of a lawyer, a fourth-grade teacher and guitarist from Hot Little Rocket.

Of course, all eyes were on the Fast Romantics and they did not disappoint. They had excellent stage presence with vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Matthew Angus joyously hopping around the small stage alternating through his various musical duties while lead guitarist Matty Kliewer made the best of his tiny piece of real-estate. It was a tight, very polished set and they seemed to have control of all things at all times. Plus, they ripped up an Elvis Costello cover (“Pump It Up“) like nobody’s business and delighted fans with a one-song encore, paying homage to Iggy and the Stooges with a very nice rendition of “the Passenger“.

Look for their debut album to arrive by the latest, February. Click below for more photos from the show;

We start off this podcast with the music of Veritas before celebrating this year’s x929 Xposure winners, playing tracks from the Fast Romantics, Secret Broadcast, Kilbourne and the Summerlad (Saved By Radio). We also go back to a couple of last year’s winners, Hot Little Rocket and Cranston Foundation. We then play the ska music of Toronto’s Stop Drop N Skank and Kingston, ON’s Bedouin Soundclash (SideOne Dummy Records) and close off with Winnipeg’s Sylvie and Portugal’s Bildmeister (Switch On Records). Direct Download: MP3 Format ~ M4A ENHANCED Format; iTunes iTunes ; RSS Feed RSS Feed

Calgary’s x92.9 Announces 2008 Xposure Winners

Posted by cristóvão On May - 26 - 2008

Since x92.9 launched in Calgary last year, they’ve promised to showcase local bands. Although they could certainly do better by playing more local musicians during regular rotation (rather than during dedicated time-slots), they have been running their Xposure contest which selects five acts for inclusion on a CD, $15,000 and a pretty sweet spot on a big festival this summer.

Last year’s winners included Hot Little Rocket and my personal favourite, Cranston Foundation but this year’s winners are very impressive. The Fast Romantics, Secret Broadcast, Kilbourne, the Summerlad and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald have all win this years competition. The Xposure ’08 CD will be available at Music Centre Canada starting in July and each group will be playing Calgary’s Virgin Festival at Fort Calgary on June 21st and 22nd.

Congrats to all five acts (especially our friends in the Fast Romantics and Secret Broadcast, who along with the Summerlad are definitely deserving of the win) and hopefully this means we’ll be hearing much more from all of them!

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