Wednesday, 13 June 2012


Article By Drew Skitt

Two weeks ago, I got an email from Pat explaining that Handsome Furs (the band) had broken up. The news felt like learning that someone from your high school who was really cool and who had cool parents, you know, the high school sweet hearts (can you see your version of them?) had suddenly decided to call it quits.  Pat's tone made me think that he had lost his cat.   In true Pat form, there was still room for a laugh. After positioning his punch line, a few days later Pat ripped me on gmail chat, writing that our season had taken so long to post that our feature bands were already breaking up. I thought about it and had to laugh – like out loud.  Handsome Furs are road warriors and when we met up with them in Toronto and then in London a couple weeks later, it was obvious that they pour all they have into their music even when there is hardly any to give.  They also like to smoke cigarettes.

Getting back to Pat's email slash gmail chat dig; some of us were raised on Wolf Parade.  I remember introducing friends from Chicago and Ohio on a cruise ship to the album Apologies to the Queen Mary near Mexico and I know these people sought out more Canadian rock since and are most likely onto early Zeus.  Apologies to the Queen Mary gives the impression that it is under-produced and and it's as serious as co-front man Dan Boekner.  The album is full of calculated riffs and lyrics that haunt you and your speakers. That's why when Dan Boeckner and wife Alexei Perrie were crafting Handsome Furs back in the Plauge Park era, those following the band knew they were building towards something part rock and something interchangeable - be it electro, hip hop, or far out east as is the case with their newest and (maybe) their last Sound Kapital.  For me, Face Control is that sonic booya coming to fruition.  I wish I could listen to their new stuff for a solid 45-50 minute dance party,on the flip side the record is hard, yet thoughtful and playful, but mean.
Handsome Furs, like other great bands, take from what is around them and re-purpose these sounds and scenes directly into their work, and often, more so into their live show.  After spending months in Asia, the two-piece unlocked a pile of pop sounds that made their way into Alexi’s sampler. When Pat and I chatted with the band they were thrilled about the new sounds coming out of this busy continent. Tracks like 'You Don't Serve the People' and 'When I Get Back' speak to their open mindedness on tour and to their tolerance and acceptance for human kind. The album has a certain disdain for international leadership - something liberal minded Canadians will vibe off of all summer.

When we met up with Dan and Alexi at Trinity Bellwoods in Toronto (Queen St. West) to shoot the interview, the bands publicist admitted she thought we were from London, England. Pat and I looked at each other and realized we had stolen one.  I felt like Cabbie circa 2003. Since that day, I don't think Pat has missed a single interview request.  Maybe we should specify that we are from London, Ontario...
Naw forget it.

Also in this episode, tent rapping / beat box special with Casper the Ghost and a very insightful slash practical chat with Paul Saulnier, leader of P.S. I Love You.  Oh, and Pat holds down the camera for the Handsome Furs and is crafting his ‘awkward’ segment for episode three.