Music + Concrete Discs
Concrete Discs was formed in the early 1980's by the Calgary punk slash whatever-we-felt-like-playing band the Rip Chords. After we disbanded the label floated in the ether until I reclaimed the name to use as a freindly reminder of the past and as a cover for many projects since.
I live and work in Calgary, but travel about as the drummer for Kris Demeanor & His Crack Band, and on occasion The Whip It Out Ensemble (Calgary’s Zappa Ensemble), and then sometimes with friends Kim Barlow, Carolyn Mark, Anne Loree, Alejandro Escovedo, Lester Quitzau, and very early on (think mid ‘70s to mid '80s) Eugene Chadbourne, Rip Chords, The Bill Smith Trio, CCMC, and one wild-whack day playing with Gil Scott-Heron; that’s the musical front.
On the theatre front here's some stuff from the not too distant past - One Yellow Rabbit; Dream Machine, Mata Hari, generic theatre’s DeadRats trilogy; DeadRats in Garargeland, DeadRats On Arrival, DeadRats In Hell, and Catalyst Theatre’s Hunchback. Those were all live playing gigs.
Here’s few musical projects that I’ve put out over the years
Peter Moller & Mark Bandola Interpret The Songs Of The Sacrificial Leaves
Concrete Discs 004, vinyl
A tip-of-the-hat to the somewhat obscure 1980s Danish band The Sacrificial Leaves, who either existed, or possibly did not exist–or possibly did not exist for very long–in Copenhagen.
Mark Bandola and Peter Moller met and became fast friends at Lord Beaverbrook Senior High in Calgary during the early 1970s. They spent their weekends exploring and improvising with rented gear in the booming concrete enclave of Moller’s father’s sign shop, gladly falling into the music-abyss.
In the late 70s Mark left Calgary for London to eventually help form new wave/rock band The Lucy Show in 1983. Around that same time Peter was the drummer for Calgary’s Rip Chords who, along with bassist Richard McDowell help to start and run 10 Foot Henry’s, the alternative cultural hot-spot in those down-turn years.
Peter Moller & Mark Bandola Interpret The Songs Of The Sacrificial Leaves is the result of a back-and-forth interplay between friends on separate continents tethered by music and aided by the world-wide web.
Created with the additional talents of Calgary musician’s Allison Lynch, Chantal Vitalis (Kris Demeanor & His Crack Band) and Janine Bracewell (Same Difference.)
Available online at iTunes, CD Baby, Spotify or all the usual suspects or in Alberta from: Hot Wax Records 114–10 St. NW, Calgary • Melodiya 2523A–17 Ave SW, Calgary • Blackbyrd 1126–17 Av. SW, Calgary • Blackbyrd 10442–82 Avenue, Edmonton • Sloth Records 736B–17 Ave SW, Calgary
'The Shrine of Impossible Love' was scrawled on a bedroom door at the Hotel Moutin Noir in Wakefield, PQ. The beauty in these simple words presented me with inspiration and opportunity. Found art.
Over time this spark developed into sixteen sound experiments. Sound tracks for a creative and emotional journey. With love in all its intricacies as the base of this creation, art, war, peace, culture, perception, friendship, thunder and rain followed.
The Shrine of Impossible Love became a project of reflection that took on a life of its own, evolving into a live collaborative performance.
On January 18, 19 & 20, 2006 The Shrine of Impossible Love was presented at One Yellow Rabbit's 20th annual High Performance Rodeo. The band line up included many veterans and bright lights of the Canadian alternative music scene: Dave Clark, Brigitte Dajczer, Kris Demeanor, Onalea Gilbertson, Diane Kooch, Keri Latimer, Carolyn Mark, Dan Meichel, Lester Quitzau, Chantal Vitalis and Rachelle van Zanten.
The live presentation was based on the CD, but expanded to include improvisations under the guiding hand and original mind of Dave Clark that responded to 3 new films created specifically for the Shrine shows. These films were created by Cam Christiansen, Sandi Somers and Richard McDowell.
Rip Chords existed from 1979-1985 during the heyday of Calgary’s punk-influenced music scene. They were birthed by Rodney (Max) Brisson and Adele Leger. Peter Clarke, Fred Holliss, Paul Lukeman, and Kim Solar played with Max and Adele in early versions of the band. With the inevitable partner swapping that any such musical scene inspires, the line up eventually solidified with Max on guitar, Adele handling the lead vocals, Kevin Labchuk on keyboards, Richard McDowell on bass, and Peter Moller on drums.
It seemed an ideal time to get with the Sex Pistols-inspired global movement of musical rebellion that often took the form of drinking and drugging oneself into a state of, at worst, self denial or, at best, creative exploration.
Calgary’s economic bust of the early 80s seemingly bestowed the Calgary arts and music scene with golden opportunities. The combination of disaffected youth, cheap rent, and the feeling of ‘anything goes’ propelled many toward an inspired DIY ethic.
In 1982 Richard McDowell created and opened a club in Calgary called 10 Foot Henry’s. This tiny space (which today exists as a transmitter station buried under the LRT tracks at 10th Street and 6th Avenue SW) ran until 1985 and became a nexus for the burgeoning Calgary music scene. It was also a stopping off point for hundreds of musicians touring the circuit that the Rheostatics Dave Bidini captured so brilliantly in his book On A Cold Dark Road.
As McDowell was the bass player for the Rip Chords, the club became the Rip Chords defacto rehearsal space. Many of the recordings on these discs are from Henry’s.
Dennis Burton, one of the founders of Radio Cora (eventually renamed Radio Radio, and still broadcasting today) is responsible for spearheading this Byzantine compilation. In their time the Rip Chords produced three vinyl records and hundreds of hours of live gig recordings. Burton subjected himself to an inordinate amount of work by compiling and then yanking these tunes out of their magnetic tape dungeon, freeing them into the light of the digital realm; a truly difficult journey due in no small part to the ephemeral nature of magnetic tape. Often when played back, after years of being stored in basements and garages, some of the tapes produced no sound. The solution? Put the old tapes into an oven and bake them at a prescribed temperature for a certain amount of time and... poof! The sound magically returned. What else would you expect?
These tunes represent a certain time in our lives. It was a crucible that produced many fine bands; The Verdix, The Breeders, The Golden Calgarians, The R&B Keepers, Ohama, Same Difference, The Church of Doug, The Mules… and, obviously, many more. I’ll wager that there’s some recipe or equation to be realised from it all. Mix bored youth, hormones, right-wing politics, left-wing reactionism, drug and alcohol (ab)use, stir vigorously with righteous indignation and voila! A musical-multi-car mishap on the #2. A beautiful and gnarly result.
Dead Rats in Garageland
Dead Rats in Hell
Dead Rats Rarities