Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Hidden Cameras

A mix of queer politics, explicit sexuality, symphonic indie pop, and theatrical spectacle that borders on the religious, Toronto's the Hidden Cameras are the brainchild of singer/songwriter/guitarist Joel Gibb. The 2001 debut album Ecce Homo -- a collection of four-track demos released on Gibb's own Evil Evil imprint -- introduced a stripped-down version of the Hidden Cameras' witty, acoustic-based songwriting, which drew comparisons to the Magnetic Fields and Belle & Sebastian. Ecce Homo also caught the ear of Rough Trade, whose signing of Gibb made the Hidden Cameras the first Canadian artist on the label in its 25-year history. Meanwhile, the group's elaborate live performances, which include up to 30 go-go dancers, strippers, and musicians, as well as videos, projected lyrics, and heavy audience participation, won the group a widespread and devoted following in Canada. 2003's Rough Trade debut, The Smell of Our Own, reflected some of the group's more elaborate sound more so than Ecce Homo did and spread the Hidden Cameras' subversively catchy music further afield. In 2004, the band released their long-awaited follow-up, Mississauga Goddam, named for the Toronto suburb of Gibb's youth.

Awoo, which presented a slightly tamer version of the Cameras' "gay church folk music," arrived in 2006. Produced by Hidden Cameras frontman Joel Gibb, AWOO was recorded by Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith) and Ohad Benchetrit (Do Make Say Think) at the Gas Station on Toronto Island. The whole 13 track affair was made available in the US this week by Arts&Crafts, the Cameras own Evil Evil label has made AWOO available in Canada. The Hidden Camers are touring US in November. Be there!

The Hidden Cameras - Death Of A Tune (from AWOO)
The Hidden Cameras - AWOO (from AWOO)
The Hidden Cameras @ MySpace

Bonnie Pink - Golden Tears
Rock/Alternative/Punk Albums
Eva Cassidy - Songbird
Lilly Allen - Alright Still
Avant - Director
VA - Big Mike And Evil Empire - Interstate Trafficking 3.0
Ginuwine - Back II Da Basics
Matisyahu - Youth + Live At Stubbs
Lostprophets - Liberation Transimission (2006)
Emberghost - The Anti Scene [EP]
Saosin - Demos
Saosin - Saosin + Translating The Name


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