Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunset Rubdown: Dragonslayer (and other things)

I picked up Sunset Rubdown's new album in early October and I really enjoyed every song. The highlights of the album are the beautiful and somehow sad sounding "You go on ahead" and the hard driving "Black Swan" but the entire album is exceptional and should have wide appeal for fans and new listeners alike. For those of you who don't know about this excellent Canadian band, they started as a side-project for Wolf Parade (another great Canadian band) front-man, Spencer Krugg but are now a full time group and have released five LPs and two EPs since 2005.

I love Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Swan Lake, and Sunset Rubdown; all are related to Krugg. Sunset Rubdown is by far the quirkiest with songs like "The Courtesan has sung" which is an otherworldly round being sung by Krugg overdubbed a few times accented by strange lyrics, super-simple guitar and almost tribal percussion.

A classmate of mine, Kevin Connell, introduced me to Wolf Parade in the fall of 2007 while I was attending Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. I received six mix CDs as gifts for our customary week-long, secret santa activity and learned at the end of the week that my gifts were from Kevin. He had an excellent taste in music. He introduced me to Wolf Parade, the Handsome Furs (another Krugg side-project) and countless other bands I'd never heard but now enjoy listening to all the time. We even attended the same Wolf Parade concert later that summer in Boston.

On the 13th of October, 2009, Kevin Connell was struck by a car and killed while riding his bike home from his work in Montreal. He was a brilliant writer, student, and musician. He planned to pursue music in Montreal but his life was cut short by a reckless, possibly drunk, driver. Whenever I listen to any band fronted by Spencer Krugg I'll always think of Kevin.