THE INCREDIBLE CAROLYN MARK IS BACK WITH A NEW ONE: CAROLYN MARK: "THE QUEEN OF VANCOUVER ISLAND" (MINT RECORDS, SEPTEMBER 19th)!!
1. Poor Farmers
2. The Queen of Vancouver Island
3. Baby Goats
4. Not Talk
5. Best Friend
6. Flaming Star
7. Nobody('s Perfect)
8. Mellie's Book
9. Not Like the Movies
10. The Cereal is the Prize
11. Old Whores
12. You're not a Whore (if no one's paying)
WE ARE SO THRILLED to be working with Carolyn Mark again---she's one of our favorite ladies of all time. "The Queen of Vancouver Island" is her eighth album on Mint Records (ninth if you count the Corn Sisters, her collaboration with Neko Case)---and Mark just KEEPS GETTING BETTER. We have a great video to show you soon, as well as a batch of tour dates to announce.
Loose notes from Ms. Mark herself about the record: "Behold the latest album by in-famous West Coast Boozy Chanteuse Carolyn Mark- The Queen of Vancouver Island.
Recorded in four locations (Hollister, CA, Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver) in five sessions during the winter of 2011-12 with the tops in the field, one can't help thinking: THIS IS THE ONE! The album opens with the mysterious "Poor Farmers"- a voice coming through an old telephone at first then materializing in full with the advent of the acoustic guitar ; a rallying call for all drivers to return to their vehicles, beautifully sparse with only stand-up bass and sweet harmonies (Terri Upton). Do we smell a ferry theme here? I mean, the title and all? The second track is the title track. Laden with instruments, one gets the feeling that Mark just couldn't stop inviting people over to join in the fun. I mean, when was the last time you heard cello (Hank Pine), harmonica (Paul Henry Oppers) and viola (Rachelle Reath) together with a sha-la-la-la chorus and wailing guitar (Tolan McNeil)?
"Baby Goats" is a hit with its luscious production (Paul Rigby, John Raham) and repetitive chorus. "Best Friend", recorded by Victoria's meticulous Myke Hall, features The New Best Friends- Drummer Juli Steemson laying down a funky disco beat with both new and former touring guitar men (Joel Fernandes and Tolan McNeil) musically duking it out. "Flaming Star"- an Elvis cover? Why? Why not. It's a beautiful song about dying from the film "Flaming Star" with a bouncy bass-line (Dennis Siemens) and an almost Bollywood approach brought to you by Les Pauls- (aka Pigby aka Paul Rigby and Paul Pigat) Amazing banshee vocals were added later by Laura Freeman of Austin, TX. "Nobody's Perfect"--recorded solo (get it?) is a serenade to the perfect lover- Nobody! "Mellie's Book"- Let's say-Sarah Harmer meets Pavement? Sweet piano lines over a bed of Paul Rigby guitar layers. "Dangerously close to normal," says Mark. "Not Like the Movies", recorded and guitared upon by Jon Wood in Vancouver, is a tribute to the real life world of being a full time touring musician. In the movies they always omit the loading out and packing the van scenes. And dig that angular guitar line!
"The Cereal is the Prize"- which Mark refers to as her "philosophical swing tune", seems to be a post-modern light hearted examination of that old albatross ambition. The album ends with the inevitable descent from queen to whore. A pair of songs- "Old Whores"--a lament begging forgiveness of the former self for falling short of youthful expectations--and "You're Not a Whore (If No One's Paying)" (obviously/perhaps about the music business? Any business?)-- features not only tandem tasteful trombone (Allen Pleasants) and gargle solos but a children's chorus. Mark allegedly "borrowed" kids from her brother and Vancouver musical friends The Burnettes, stood them around microphones and had them sing "You're not a horse if no one's NEIGHing" and payed them in ice cream.