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Old 06-27-2005, 01:17 PM   #1
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the most serene republic

hailing from Milton, Ontario, and newly signed to arts&crafts, home of broken social scene, stars, et al., comes the most serene republic. think death cab meets broken social scene and stars. their debut album ‘underwater cinematographer’ jumps around a bit, stylistically, and i had to get past the lead singer’s voice, but they’ve got a geeky charm that i find kind of endearing. and while they may lack the polish and sophistication of their labelmates (on ‘proposition 61’, he stops halfway through singing, goes ‘oh wait, sorry, what part am I supposed to be singing?’ and then continues), there are many moments of prettiness to balance out the immediacy and um, emo-ness. they’ve gone from touring with get-up kids and straylight run, to now touring with stars, reflecting their new-label status, as well as hopefully heralding things to come. an auspicious debut.

released in canada on june 28th.

those of you south of the 49th parallel will have to wait until july 14th, though if you’re lucky, you can catch them live along with stars.

for now, check them out here on the arts&crafts site. there is also an mp3 for ‘content was always my favourite colour.’

enjoy.
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:58 PM   #2
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and no, they don't sound like the killers.
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:45 PM   #3
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Their label pedigree is quite promising. Good post.



Unfortunately, the links on their site do not seem to be working... for me at least.
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by cujo
Unfortunately, the links on their site do not seem to be working... for me at least.
damn.

i ysi'ed 'content was always my favourite colour' for anyone who's interested.

http://s4.you sendit.com/d.aspxid=2944NMYIFQVV11MT8FIRTAB0K4
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the thought.

I am a lost cause. The link has expired pour moi.

I will seek it out with the vendetta stylings of a blind pornographer.
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:33 PM   #6
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that's weird, cujo. i just tried it and it worked. wtf??

anyway, it's out tomorrow. just find it and check it out.


and that goes for all of you, too!

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Old 07-25-2005, 09:30 PM   #7
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Your review is quite well founded, lmj.

I finally stumbled across this record today. My initial impression is that of underwhelment (seeing as the artistic perspective of The Most Serene Republic is rooted so heavily in the Scene of their peers), but that is not an unexpected result for this band considering where they are placed at the moment. There are some interesting tunes on the album that feature scat drum rhythms... strong as the taste of drinking Hawaiian Punch in the middle of a swimming pool on a balmy day. However, upon reflection it doesn't leave much of a memorable aftertaste. Makes me hungry for other Canadian bands though.



"I think we all know the words" is a nice self-parody lyric, and a theme that entered my mind a few times while listening to Underwater Cinematographer (great title, by the way). It is albums like these that make me nervous for the potential pigeon-holing of an overall Canadian sound. In the field of Arts and Crafts artists, The Most Serene Republic have not established much of an individual grounding, which may be to the detriment of their explorations and those of their label. If it is TMSR's intention to become associated with a style and a group of progressive artists, then they will definitely benefit from the communal and almost incestuous atmosphere of the Toronto and Montreal music crowds. By the same token though, if they wish to contribute to the growth of the scene, they should be cautious not to promote an "indie" Canadian sound. I fear that if other artists converge into a monotony of style (similar to Underwater Cinematographer)... that Arts and Crafts will be treading into the derivative and easily referenced waters that Seattle Grunge formerly occupied. I await the clothing lines and catch phrases while Win Butler prepares to pose for his next magazine cover.

I love the sounds... I just don't want the music to get lazy and melt into nothing. Labels and close-quarters tend to breed a dated trend.

Standout Tracks:

Where Cedar Nouns and Adverb Walks
In Places, Empty Spaces
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Old 07-25-2005, 11:02 PM   #8
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nice, cujo. i'm glad you gave it a try AND you chose two of my favourite tracks off the cd.

i do agree with you that arts&crafts need to diversify their roster if they want to maintain any kind of longevity if/when/after the canadian indie scene peaks.

i think i've become so (read: too) enamoured with that sound and those bands that i'm overlooking their similarities. i'll admit, the songs that i like on underwater cinematographer are the ones where they are at their most bss/stars-ish. and this is where i see the most promise in terms of their developing sound. so yeah, i guess i am biased in that sense.

that being said, i'm still superexcited about the new bss and wolf parade. it's just nice to finally have canadian music to be proud of.
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Old 07-25-2005, 11:11 PM   #9
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Originally posted by lmjhitman
that being said, i'm still superexcited about the new bss and wolf parade. it's just nice to finally have canadian music to be proud of.
Most definitely agreed on all fronts there.

I full on subscribe to the romance of the BSS/Stars collective of sounds, and I invest myself in every minute of it. The cynic (asshole!) in me just wants that feeling to stay fresh... nothing but great potential to be harvested as long as it keeps growing.

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Old 07-28-2005, 08:27 PM   #10
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as much as i dislike spin...

Quote:
It's nice to have a band that's as unabashedly nerdy as the Most Serene Republic. Visually, they are the co-ed equivalent of They Might Be Giants: Glasses and earnest smiles abound in their press photos. Aurally, they are a lush, spacey hybrid of the Postal Service and the Broken Social Scene, and all the hype they've been getting because of their connection with the latter (Most Serene Republic and BSS are on the same label, Canada's Arts & Crafts) is more than warranted.

Underwater Cinematographer, the band's debut album, is told like a story. The opening and closing tracks are otherworldly instrumentals called "Prologue" and "Epilogue," respectively, and the penultimate track begins with a voice shouting, "Wait! There's just one more thing!" The highlights of this very ambitious album are "(Oh) God," an uptempo song where the band cops to its nerdiness with lyrics like, "Even this overpass sees more traffic than us," and the excessively titled "The Protagonist Suddenly Realizes What He Must Do in the Middle of Downtown Traffic."

The whimsy and precociousness of this first effort recall the same spirit as Wes Anderson; the record posseses a narrative that seems to be an analog of The Royal Tennenbaums. Needless to say, a comparison to that bard of the new millennium ranks among the highest hipster praise imaginable, and the Most Serene Republic -- six friends from Milton, Ontario -- deserve no faint praise for their ambitions.

The Most Serene Republic is currently touring their native Canada:

7/24, Guelph, ON (Hillside Festival)
8/10, Vancouver, BC (The Media Club)
8/12, Calgary, AB (The Warehouse)*
8/13, Edmonton, AB (The Starlite Room)*
8/14, Saskatoon, SK (Louis Pub)*
8/15, Winnipeg, MB (West End Cultural Centre)*
(* with Pretty Girls Make Graves)
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:22 PM   #11
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alright

these guys are flat out awesome.

this video and song will make the coldest of hearts feel good if only temporarily.

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Old 12-29-2006, 06:23 PM   #12
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by the way, hitman do you have an mp3 of the version of the song they use for the video? the album version is quite a bit less energetic... still good, but not the same.
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Old 12-30-2006, 04:12 AM   #13
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took you long enough to come around on this one, bear. i knew all my haranguing would win you over sooner or later.

the only version i have is the album one, i'm afraid. the video version is certainly punchier though, isn't it?
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:07 PM   #14
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yeah, with kickass piano in for good measure.

i always liked stay ups though, so it's not like i hated them.

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Old 12-30-2006, 12:53 PM   #15
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Hey lmj,

Good times.

If you ever venture out to Toronto, I implore you to visit a store called Criminal Records on Queen Street near Augusta Avenue. The store is probably the only place in the world that boasts merchandise for the entire Arts and Crafts label (as well as Asthmatic Kitty)... from t-shirts to vinyl.

What do you think about our earlier conversation in this thread? Has Arts and Crafts diversified?
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