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Top Roots Act Elliott Brood Friday Night at Bo’s

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5 minute read

For their fifth album,
Elliott Brood wanted to
break things.

We like this Elliot Brood video but don’t be fooled, this is no ukulele act.  They’re just having fun and making great music!

You are in for a treat on Friday night when Elliot Brood, one of Canada’s top Roots music acts, hit the stage at Bo’s Bar and Grill.

2008’s Mountain Meadows was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize, and the band’s last record, Days Into Years, won a 2011 Juno award for Roots Album of the Year, both co-produced with John Critchley. Now was the time to smash the precedents, break the mould. To withdraw to a farmhouse in Bath, Ontario, hammering out nine songs in two weeks.

For the first time, Elliott Brood decided to hand over the reins to a producer: Ian Blurton, who has helped make roaring records for the Weakerthans, Skydiggers and Cursed. And for the first time, the group’s two songwriters decided to mine the bare histories of their own lives: penning verses about the ends of relationships and the tests of adulthood, long drives, childhood retreating in a rear-view mirror. “Work and love will make a man out of you,” the Constantines sang; and so here is Elliott Brood’s Work and Love, their most personal album to date, the sound of a grown-up band searching their hearts for all they’ve lost and gained.

Casey Laforet, Mark Sasso and Stephen Pitkin recorded Work and Love in the cold spring of 2014, as the ice was coming apart on Lake Ontario. They deserted their families and holed up in the Tragically Hip‘s Bathhouse Studio, scarcely emerging – waking and playing and playing and playing, one song a day. The magic usually happened some time after midnight, when they were “just tired enough”. Blurton would come out and lure them into a new place: a different, even truer landscape. They called him “the Wizard”. Blurton the Wizard and engineer Nyles “the Mad Scientist” Spencer, filling the corners of songs with burred effects and tape loops. Elliott Brood had “played it safe” for four records, they claim: Blurton sharpened their sound, weathered and interrogated it, forced the three musicians to confront their own habits. And it made for a full-length that gestures toward the Hip and the Cons as much as it does to Richard Buckner and Whiskeytown. Adding dimension to select tracks on the album, the band is joined by Aaron Goldtein (City and Colour, Daniel Ramano) on Pedal Steel and John Dinsmore (Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Harmer) on bass (for “Each Other’s Kids”).

These songs are loud and quiet but mostly loud, and always reaching toward something. First loves, lost loves, fuck- ups and young men’s just desserts. Laforet has called Work and Love a “lament for youth”, but it’s also a eulogy for the moments that came just after, on the doorstep of manhood. It’s music of remembered abandon, new burdens, and those nights, years ago, when the moonlit fields seemed to go on forever. It’s Elliott Brood at their sheerest, facing forward and backward at the same time.

Formed in 2002, Elliott Brood (the name, a bastardized homage to the fem fatal character in the 1984 Baseball film The Natural) united teenage pals Sasso and Laforet over their grown-up love for Neil Young, The Band and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Pitkin was an accidental miracle: he fell into the group after working sound at one of their earliest concerts, offering to record their first EP. Tin Type was a college radio hit and soon this compact trio was making some big noise. Across five subsequent albums, sharing vocals and trading instruments – each of the band-members seems to play everything – Elliott Brood have become one of the premier acts in Canadian roots music. Work and Love is out October 21st, 2014 on Paper Bag Records.

Here’s a vintage piece of video from a performance at SXSW 09. This will be a great night of Canadian Roots music from one of our country’s finest.

 

To find out more about some of the great things going on at Bo’s Bar and Grill CLICK HERE.

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Taxpayers call on Trudeau to scrap Digital Services Tax as US threatens trade action

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Jay Goldberg

“Trudeau is determined to make Canadians’ lives more expensive and he’s willing to risk a trade war with the United States to do it”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Trudeau government to scrap its Digital Services Tax in the wake of warnings from the United States Trade Representative that the United States will “do what’s necessary” to respond to the Trudeau government’s new tax.

“Canadian consumers know that Trudeau’s Digital Services Tax is nothing more than a tax grab, plain and simple,” said CTF Ontario Director Jay Goldberg. “With providers virtually certain to pass along increased costs to consumers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sticking Canadians with higher taxes and risking the possibility of a trade conflict with the United States.”

The DST targets large foreign companies operating online marketplaces, social media platforms and earning revenue from online advertising, such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and VRBO. It is a three per cent tax on all online revenue these companies generate in Canada.

The Trudeau government pushed its new DST through Parliament last month and plans to apply it retroactively to as far back as 2022.

Since the Trudeau government first explored the idea of imposing a Digital Services Tax three years ago, the USTR has repeatedly warned the United States would retaliate.

“Should Canada adopt a DST, USTR would examine all options, including under our trade agreements and domestic statutes,” said the USTR in 2022.

USTR Katherine Tai is now warning that the U.S. is looking at “all available tools” to respond to Trudeau’s new tax.

“Trudeau is determined to make Canadians’ lives more expensive and he’s willing to risk a trade war with the United States to do it,” said Goldberg. “It’s clear the Digital Services Tax must go.”

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Internet bills should itemize Justin Trudeau’s new streaming tax

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Jay Goldberg

If streaming services want to fight back against the Trudeau government’s new streaming tax, which will cost them five per cent of their revenue each and every year, they need to be honest with customers and put the tax right on the bill so subscribers see it and understand how much it’s costing them.

The truth is this is a tax. It will cost Canadians money. And everyone knows it, including the prime minister. Maybe not the prime minister of 2024 but certainly the prime minister of 2018, when, in response to NDP pressure to tax streaming services, Justin Trudeau sensibly refused, saying: “The NDP is claiming that Netflix and other web giants are the ones who will pay these new taxes. The reality is that taxpayers will be the ones to pay those taxes.”

Well, that was then and this is now. Trudeau’s 2018 logic has been thrown out the window. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced last week it is “requiring online streaming services to contribute five per cent of their revenues to support the Canadian broadcasting system.” That means streaming services like Apple Music, Netflix, Spotify, YouTube and Disney+ will be hit with a new tax. And, as Trudeau pointed out in 2018, Canadians will be the ones paying the bill.

The government’s own analysis says the new measure will cost Canadians $200 million per year. When businesses are forced to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars to the government, they can’t just eat the cost. As Trudeau himself said, this streaming tax will be passed onto consumers. The industry agrees. Canadians should be “deeply concerned” with the government’s decision to “impose a discriminatory tax,” said Digital Media Association President and CEO Graham Davies, adding the move will only worsen the “affordability crisis.”

Translation: prepare for higher prices.

The streaming services targeted by these new measures shouldn’t take them lying down. They shouldn’t cooperate with the government’s plan to hide the new tax. Netflix, Spotify, Apple, Disney, YouTube and all the rest need to be honest with their customers about why prices are going up: the Liberals’ streaming tax.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre recently wrote an op-ed in this paper telling corporations not to rely on lobbying behind the scenes to influence policy. If businesses want policies to change, they need to convince voters so voters will in turn convince politicians. Canadians have to understand why it’s going to cost them more to watch movies and listen to music. They are fed up with tax hikes. But only if they know what’s happening can they make politicians change course. That’s the right way to stop the streaming tax.

In case it’s not already obvious, simply sitting back and waiting for the next election isn’t good enough. “Obviously, my future government will do exactly the opposite of Trudeau on almost every issue,” wrote Poilievre in his NP op-ed. “But that does not mean that businesses will get their way. In fact, they will get nothing from me unless they convince the people first.”

That’s precisely why these streaming services, from Apple and Google to Spotify and YouTube, need to be honest with their customers about the streaming tax. They should add a separate item on every subscriber’s bill showing exactly how much Trudeau’s streaming tax is costing. They should direct angry calls to MP offices instead of customer service lines.

When everything feels unaffordable, a night in with a movie or a walk with a favourite album shouldn’t get hit with yet another tax hike.

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