Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chris Page and A Date With a Smoke Machine

It's always fun when an artist steps outside of his/her box and dives into a musical endeavour that may seem surprising. Those making punk-inflected tunes especially - DOA going acoustic, Social Distortion's Mike Ness showing his love for old school country, and so on.

Chris Page might be most well known for fronting The Stand GT, but he's been putting out solo records (under the name The Glen Nevous Retraction and then using his own name) as well as working with his newer band Camp Radio for a while now. While The Stand GT made punk rock you could sing along to and Camp Radio bend towards indie rock pop, Page's solo stuff seems to lean into Joel Plaskett or Billy Bragg territory. If you've ever seen Plaskett on a solo tour, he can take a song from folky singer-songwriter terrain into new land just by trading an acoustic guitar for an electric. Bragg's most popular tunes, I would argue, are those in which he wielded an electric that he sometimes played like an acoustic (quietly, gently, sweetly) and sometimes like he didn't need a back-up band (loud, brash, abrasive). Robyn Hitchcock's another guy that in a live setting, can make his solo electric sound like he's got two or three guys behind him fattening his sound.

Page's solo music is like that; one foot in folk, one in punk, another dipping into pop...of course, it helps that he's got three feet. A Date With a Smoke Machine, his newest solo offering, sometimes gives listeners a Skydiggersish roots tune, sometimes a quick pop fix, and sometimes a Canadian take on Braggsian folk/punk/rock. An intimate affair, without a million overdubs and a chorus in the wings. Check it out here.

Chris Page - Two Twenty Twos

<a href="">Two Twenty Twos by Chris Page</a>


Coax the Ending Day

<a href="">Summertime Out by Chris Page</a>

According to Page's blog, a video will be up online in the coming weeks, and a digital only EP of Smoke Machine demos and other covers will be coming along soon as well.

Buy Chris Page, Camp Radio and The Stand GT here.


Pete Bilderback said...


chris yackoboski said...

Thanks! I love your blog. Robyn Hitchcock, R.E.M., Gumball - you've got me pegged.