Thursday, November 30, 2006


It's snowing like crazy here in the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area. Snow like we don't see very often here on the left coast of Canada. I was thinking about heading out to my studio in my garage this evening to do some recording, but damn, it's too cold. So maybe it's the snow, or maybe america's next top model, but I started thinking about songs with snow like, Snow Blind by Black Sabbath. You know Snow Blind had nothing to do with snow? I do believe The Prince of f&%*ing Darkness is speaking of cocaine.

I just got back from the store, a walk I wasn't looking forward to, yet made it back and played with my roommates dog in the in the snow for a while. It feels so peaceful with the air filled with the clear, fresh, scent of snow. The busy city is almost completely silenced by the snow covered ground absorbing it's nightly racket. I suppose sometimes the lack of sound, including music, can be just as powerful as a great song.

John Simmonds
Worn Records - Indie Bands

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


What do you get when you take Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Gerry Rafferty and one of the best movie soundtracks ever? Well, minus a saxophone and you have the sweet sounds of NatureDevil.
Part of the magic of music is that it can trigger memories. As was the case with the song We're Big In Europe. No more than a few seconds into the song and I'm having visions of a young Michelle Pfeiffer and Adrian Zmed trying to figure out who this guy is riding his motorcycle all over cars in a bowling alley parking lot. Don't ask me why I am revealing my love for the movie Grease 2, but I guess thats part of the magic of music. But all that is forgotten when I find myself banging my head along with the gut churning vocals and buzz saw guitars from Nothing I can Do. Next up is a staple of the bands energetic live show. A cover of Gerry Rafferty's or should I say Foo Fighters, Baker Street. One might ask why cover that song? Well, probably because it kicks ass!
Without an official release for this 4 piece from Chicago, the best bet is to check out the bands website It has all sorts of goodies, from demo recordings and live videos to an acoustic set off of fearless radio. These guys better watch what they ask for... They may end up being big in Lithuania.


Snowy Times

Snow covers the ground here in the Vancouver B.C. area. We don't get snow like this every year, and it makes for unruly driving conditions, and chaos around the city. I commented yesterday to a friend on our way home that it kind of looks likes a Tim Burton film the way the snow is sticking to the street lamps, and sagging the tree branches. These are great conditions for staying in, putting on some records, and having a few. Speaking of which, The Steamroller will be launching "phase 1" of it's new indie band review feature today. The indie band contest that readers will vote on will start next week, and the first winner will be announced the following week. So keep warm, and enjoy the winter.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Do you ever find your self wandering around a musical instrument store looking, drooling, dreaming? I found myself with some time to spare the other day, and near a store of said type. I have spent absurd amounts of money on musical equipment over the years, yet I still always need, or want more. And when I go into a store to look around it's not like I can go into just one department and check out the newest or coolest product. I play several instruments, and have a recording studio, so I have to go look at the guitars and amps, then the drums, then the recording equipment like software, mixing boards, speakers, doo-hickeys, gadgets, and so on. There is no end to the list of toys I want, which brings me to my point, and maybe someone out there can offer me their view. Do I just "want", or do I "need"? I know I can go my whole life without that spectacular brown Gibson SG they had hanging on the wall. My Blue Epiphone Les Paul works just fine, and it's bought and paid for. Yet I feel as though a part of me is incomplete without the SG. I have never bought a drum kit in my life, many drum accessories, but never drums themselves. The set I have is a hand me down collector set that many would die for, and the other set I use is pretty smokin' hot too. I still look at the shinny new Sonors or Gretschs or Ayottes and contemplate how much space I have left on my master card. At this point I haven't even been over to the recording gear yet. What's worse is that this department justifies buying all the previous stuff I just looked at. I mean why record using old instruments when I could have a new Vox rig for my hollow body 335. Or that amazing sounding wood rim snare. Hey why not pick up an acoustic bass? And of course no studio is complete without a wicked sounding Korg Synthesizer. Eventually I convince myself to leave the store without purchasing anything. Fortunately the salesman I was talking to in the pro audio department was a bit of a jerk. I have lot of cool stuff now. I can go into my studio and record a pro sounding record by myself with the equipment and instruments I have now. I know I don't "need" more, but I think it lies deeper than just having stuff for use. I am a fan of rock history. To own your favourite guitar, or that vintage amp is like owning a piece of history. Jimmy Page with his red sunburst Les Paul, the Stevie Ray Vaughn's tobacco Stratocaster, Pete Townsend's old Hiwatt Custom 100 watt Lead head, I could go on and on. However, the difference between me and a collector is that I wouldn't spend thousands of dollars on something meant to be played, and have it sit in a glass case. I also couldn't see myself buying a "signature model" of something. So why the desires? I don't think I will ever stop wanting more gear. It's just something I love.

John Simmonds
Worn Records - Indie Bands

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Features - New Look

Starting next week, The Steamroller will be launching a new feature consisting of indie band reviews, and a "Battle Of The Bands" contest. A new team of writers has been assembled to get more diverse reviews and opinions. Weekly, 3 great bands will have a song posted to be voted on by "you". The winning band will have the Honor of being The Steamroller "band of the week" and have their song featured for another week.

Also, watch for a slightly new look to The Steamroller as we will be making some changes to the layout. But not to worry, we will be sticking with the same basic design that's become so popular with our readers.

For Bands/Artists and Writers:

Want us to review your music or would you like to join The Steamroller team?

email us for more information

Radio Corruption

Does anyone else feel like it's time for a real Rock Revolution? We need to take the power back and reclaim the airwaves. I mean I'm only 30, born in 1976, and grew up listening to Corey Hart, Bryan Adams, Men At Work, Journey, ect... I mean my parents didn't even listen to rock music. My older sister however did listen to some cool music. To be honest it was her that originally introduced me to punk music. But my point is it seems that once you hit a certain age it becomes more difficult to get introduced to new music unless you really want to. And it's not hard to find, so why is it that so many people still fall into the marketing trap of radio selling advertising space. I listen to lots of radio and my god, some days I truly look forward to the commercials more than the music. The station we have on at work (mainstream new rock format) plays a show at noon called the nineties at noon. And they do actually play some cool stuff from time to time. And by cool I just mean stuff you don't hear very often. In fact a lot of the cool stuff like Bad Religion, Dinosaur Jr., and Social Distortion, I can't recall them playing those bands when it was current. Or here's a great example of mainstream rock radio having no clue what's going on. Sublime? If you were to put the radio on for an 8 hour period, you would hear 2-3 sublime songs. Now thats not as many times as you would hear the latest Killer's single, but considering how long the singer has been deceased and the band has been none existent, you would think they are the biggest thing today. I love Sublime and I do enjoy hearing them at work, but where were the programmers 10 years ago!!! Get it together! Think outside the box, and let's attack mainstream radio and force them to play lesser known indie bands without major label corruption.....I mean backing.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Merch Now Available!!!

We now have shirts, baby t's, mugs, hoodies and much more available featuring Earlstown Winter, The Assassination, and Worn Records! Go here now to be one of the first to get your new Worn Records merchandise!

Worn Records Merchandise


It's 2:00am wed night/morning. nobody told me putting out the Earlstown Winter record was going to make for such late nights. But anyway, the artwork and CD masters have a flight booked to Ontario tomorrow (today) to be pressed. You can always get a head start and reserve your copy now, or, we are very hopeful that we will have them in time for the show on December 7th at The Main in Vancouver where you will be able to purchase them. Either way, the wait is nearly over and this much anticipated release will finally be in our hands. Now I must sleep......zzzzzzzzz

John Simmonds
Worn Records

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So Divided

So Divided...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead's new album, So Divided, is another one of those records that, when you listen to it, you just can't wait to see the songs performed live. AYWKUBTTOD, as we shall refer to them from now on for the sake of carpal tunnel syndrome prevention, is good at releasing records like that. Every track just brings flashbacks of the last time you saw AYWKUBTTOD live in concert. I could almost taste the Molson Canadian in a plastic cup and feel my damned ear drums convulse unnaturally as little emo boys who haven't showered in a week, spray their sweat on me in an AYWKUBTTOD-induced seizure. Seriously, I cannot wait to see the songs on this album performed live. Especially Stand in Silence, Eight Day Hell, and Sunken Dreams.

I hadn't read anything about what to expect prior to listening to So Divided, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear a cover of Guided by Voices' Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory in there. I had to pull out Bee Thousand and listen to it when So Divided was over.

In short, I loved the album, I love Trail and I can't wait to go see them live the next time they're in town. Which I've heard should be on December the 10th at the Croation Cultural Center.

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Hopeful for Dec 7

It's 2:00am wed night/morning. nobody told me putting out the Earlstown Winter record was going to make for such late nights. But anyway, the artwork and CD masters have a flight booked to Ontario tomorrow (today) to be pressed. You can always get a head start and reserve your copy now, or, we are very hopeful that we will have them in time for the show on December 7th at The Main in Vancouver where you will be able to purchase them. Either way, the wait is nearly over and this much anticipated release will finally be in our hands. Now I must sleep......zzzzzzzzz

John Simmonds
Worn Records

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Music Teaching Technology

In the cacophony of mashups, widgets and collaboration tools demoed at the third annual Web 2.0 Summit here, one rang out as the biggest crowd pleaser: a musical instrument instruction web app with a golden ear and infinite patience.

Called In the Chair, the application encourages music students and budding guitar heroes to play along with real musicians by syncing scrolling sheet music with a prerecorded video of a band playing the song. The app monitors your playing through your computer's microphone, and gives you instant feedback on whether you played the right note with the right timing.
Wired News: Web 2.0 Replaces Music Teachers

Computers replacing music teachers? Heck, screw the musician too, we could just have computers sense what it is we like to hear and compose music on the fly for us. Face it, resistance is futile and Picard ain't gonna save us this time. Go listen to some great human-made music before it's too late:

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Easy Roads, Easy Skies

Mastering has been completed as of yesterday for Earlstown Winter's, "Easy Roads, Easy Skies" album and the artwork will be completed today. We should be ready to send it off for pressing this week, and are looking at announcing an official release date very soon. You can preview four of the albums songs here.

John Simmonds
Worn Records/308 Productions

Now I can play guitar, too!

Developed by the mad scientists over at the CSIRO's Textile and Fibre Technology in Geelong Australia, the t-shirt has textile motion sensors integrated into the shirt that track elbow movements. The upshot of this is that the shirt translates your legendary air guitar stylings into music
Bad news: T-shirt makes your air guitar real guitar - Engadget

Look out Assassination, here I come!

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National Product? National dullsville...

National Product draws the listener in with warm, acoustic stylings, strings and heartrending hooks. My favorite song is "Allison" one that lyrically goes deep into the eye the hurricane of a heart's ache, for in that eye, the heart is filled with hope, surrounded by the complexities and shades of gray that are often evident in unhappiness and unsuccessful love. Product

Now let's be fair. I am not a huge fan of "radio-friendly rock", but I am forced to listen to it most week days while selling electrical supplies at work. Therefore I may not be the most qualified to comment on bands of this sort but hey, this is my E-Zine and I'll do what I want (nee-ner-nee-ner-nee-ner). But anyway, I came across this review of the Florida band "National Product", and I figured, "hey I know a lot about radio-friendly rock, and I know that 90% of it that I hear I hate, and therefore I'm going to write about it." This band is no exception. They are very well produced, they sound like competent musicians, and they have lots of hooks in their song writing. The only problem that I have with their music is that it SUCKS! It's boring, mediocre, and extremely unoriginal. I realize this may be a wasted argument, but when will mainstream radio get it? Give the listener an uninfluenced choice and they will make the right one. I don't mean to pick on National Product exclusively, but I just happened across this review on them while on a day off from my regular job, thus not requiring me to listen to the mainstream radio bull shit I normally would be. I could probably go on and on for about 16 pages about this topic, but I will end my rant here. I gotta save some for future articles.

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear your opinions.

Friday, November 10, 2006

You know Blue Rodeo is one of Canada's greatest when...

When you think of Blue Rodeo frontmen Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, it's easy to picture Cuddy as the Paul McCartney to Keelor's John Lennon. Cuddy is best known as the sentimental crooner of the pretty hit ballad "Try", whereas Keelor is most recognized as the wounded, cynical voice of the moody "Diamond Mine". As Cuddy explains from his Toronto home, he's heard the Fab Four comparison before, and he's okay with it-as long as he doesn't drop down to Ringo status. Rodeo's Jim Cuddy broadens his solo scope

I mean wow! I love Blue Rodeo! Lost Together has got to be one of the greatest Canadian folk/rock, alt-country, (or whatever they call it now) albums of all time. Or maybe just one of the best Canadian albums period. However, I don't take kindly to anyone being compared to The Beatles. Abbey Road, hands down is the best album ever. You can argue with me all you want, but I have yet to hear a more complete or better written album as a whole. But back to Blue Rodeo. I can't think of another Canadian band who has been as consistent with releasing great records for so long. I suppose you could argue Neil Young or a few select others but they are few and far between for sure. I haven't listened to Jim Cuddy's latest solo effort, but I'm sure it won't disappoint. In fact I'm going to pick it up this weekend.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Holy Crap, Christopher Walken to play Ozzy?

Ozzy Osbourne will become a lot creepier, as Christopher Walken's set to play the singer in an upcoming film.

Walken will portray the reality television star and rock icon in an upcoming biopic about Motley Crue. Vince Neil announced that Walken would make a cameo in a film version of the Motley Crue biography, titled The Dirt. Filming has yet to begin on the project, which is slated to hit theaters sometime in 2008. Walken to Play Ozzy Osbourne

WOW! The prince of f*&@#ing darkness being played by one of the greates movie actors of all time!!! This is incredible! I mean to hell with Motley Crue, just make an Ozzy movie with Christopher Walken. "this watch......this watch, I wore this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass for two years." I want to speak with the casting director of this film because I have some great casting ideas for them:
Vince Neil - that Zack guy from saved by the bell
Nicki Sixx - Mickey Rourke
Tommy Lee - Ron Jeremy
Mick Mars - Elijah Wood
I know I'm dreaming, but that wood be pretty cool.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Earlstown Winter Update is up and running. Make sure to check out the new site for all the information on the latest Worn Records recording artist. 308 Productions and Earlstown Winter have been working together, putting the finishing touches on the soon to be released "Easy Roads, Easy Skies" album. We have designed a very classic looking album cover to accompany this incredible record, and are optimistic that we will have a release date set before the end of the year. Look for an Earlstown Winter profile here at soon.

Mogwai - Zidane Soccer Film Soundtrack

Mogwai's soundtrack to a soccer game turned into a feature film hit stores in the United Kingdom this week. soundtracks Zidane film

I saw Mogwai live earlier this year. I figured they were passionate about soccer being that they were all wearing the same soccer jacket when they took the stage. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait will be showing at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and The Observer called it "the finest film at cannes". I'm not much of a soccer fan myself but I can certainly appreciate the passion soccer fans have for the sport. Further more being that I am a musician I can most definitely respect a band who combines one passion with another. They must be super pumped about this project. Even if they aren't fans of the French soccer team!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ladybug Transistor Records Covers EP

Ladybug Transistor is in the studio working on its next full-length, but fans can catch up with a four-song EP courtesy of a Spanish record company. Read at Aversion