Arts & Entertainment
3 min

Heroes of Ottawa’s indie universe

Download a free mixed CD of local queer artists!

EVALYN PARRY. Credit: Wayne Sujo photo

To celebrate our 200th issue, Capital Xtra has prepared a free mixed CD of local queer artists. For a limited time only, download the tracks here!

Evalyn Parry

Please Stop Following Me
» Please Stop Following Me
Please Stop Following Me clobbers you with a sugary vocal line and reels you along with a dark story of harassment. Maybe, just maybe she’s telling you something through her polite, apologetic narrator. “This story uncovers the danger of taking a lover who tells you her exes have all gone crazy,” she sings toward the end of the track. “In retrospect, you think maybe they’re not the problem.” Um, yeah. Delicious double irony: this song is impossible to stop humming once you’ve heard it. Now who’s stalking who?

Glenn Nuotio

Crazy in Biloxi
» Crazy in Biloxi
A gifted piano player arriving in Ottawa via St John’s, Montreal and Oxford, Glenn Nuotio nurses the fear, somewhere in the back of his head, that nobody’s listening. His songs are part gossip, part tantrum — and he will beat his keyboard to a pulp if he’s not careful. Every Nuotio song has a story. This one involves a hangover and a shrill televangelist on 100 Huntley St, set in the days after Hurricane Katrina. Listen carefully for backup courtesy of indie heartthrobs Marie-Josee Houle and Patrick Dedauw.

Amanda Rheaume

Collision
» Collision
Head bobbing be damned. In a group setting, Collision will lead to moshing. Alone, you will find yourself doing pinwheeling air guitar. Pump this song through your car stereo and you’ll be forgiven if your gas pedal begins to sink a little. In 2008, Rheaume picked up $40,000 from the Big Money Shot, confirming what we’ve always known about her: that she’s Ottawa’s chief rock chameleon and a monster talent to boot.

Tara Holloway

Red Light
» Red Light
Tara Holloway’s throaty vocals have been teasing Ottawa ears for years. Her kitteny Boyfriend is a perennial Capital Pride hit for the bixsexual 20-something. Here, Holloway trains her attention on a country-tinged arrangement of Red Light (“I don’t want to be your factory red light”), proving she’s got enough chops to enchant even the brassiest of chicks.

The Peptides

Big Bang
» Big Bang
Agile smiths of wall-of-sound overload, The Peptides are at turns haunting and kitschy. Big Bang is a simmering mix of synth, guitar, drum loop and doubled vocals — courtesy of the odd couple of Ottawa’s indie universe: Gatineau pair Claude Marquis and Pam Kapoor. “I don’t ask much, just tell me more,” they croon on Big Bang, with characteristic deadpan.

Mackenzie MacBride

This is My Story
» This is My Story
In 2008, Mackenzie MacBride was threatening to become a hermit. But, more than a year after the break-up of the Supermodel Syndrome, solo MacBride is back with an EP, An Outsider’s Heart, (a mix of brand-new songs and a couple of old favourites). This Is My Story, a staple of the Supermodel Syndrome set list, trades on her distinctive voice, instinct for melodic construction and brimming sense of humour. “If you want tragedy and glory, then this is my story.” Indeed.

Dan Valin

Lose Your Love
» Lose Your Love
You’re leaning over the bar, waiting to talk to the bartender. Then, from somewhere behind you in the club, a handsome fellow leans in. Lose Your Love hovers in beat-backed electronic limbo for almost a minute, then — whoosh! — a voice begins to whisper in your ear, telling you exactly what you want to hear. Dan Valin, a none-too-retiring member of Ottawa’s favourite queer music collective The Habit, is striking out on his own. Expect him to drop a club-friendly disc in 2009.

Luna Allison

Don’t Date to Domesticate
» Don’t Date to Domesticate
A veteran spoken word poet from Montreal, Luna Allison relocated to Ottawa last fall; trailing behind her were anthems to lesbian liberation and hymns to independence. “Only love me,” she begins, tongue in cheek. “Only be attracted to me. Only spend time with me. Only be comforted by me. Only fight viciously with me. Only show your worst side to me. Dump your friends for me.” Backed by beatboxer Michael Sheely, Allison’s on a mission to fight the urge to merge and, aided by her swagger and bravado, we’re right there with her.

The Habit

Previously
» Previously
The Habit may be Ottawa’s biggest-hearted band. Frequently tapped to play benefit shows and fundraisers, this mixed-gendered, mixed-orientation octet has been hustling us for a good cause for years. And every The Habit show is an occasion to cheer. Aided by the infectious good humour of singer Darren Rogers — why is he always smiling? — The Habit leaves audiences cheerier than when they arrived. The track included here, Previously, showcases Agatha Alstrom on vocals. Look for a new disc from the Habit in 2009.

Lyndell Montgomery

Easy
» Easy
A year after her triumphant return to performance at Ottawa’s Westfest, Lyndell Montgomery is motoring along. As Ember Swift’s onstage and offstage ex-partner, Montgomery has sidled out of the shadows and onto centre stage. We’re glad she did. In the bass-driven, mid-tempo rock lament of Easy, Montgomery introduces us to her smoky vocal register in a way that’s both reassuring and seductive.

BONUS TRACK: Dan Valin

Do It All The Time – Crank The Stereo (Big Gay Club Mix)
» Do It All The Time – Crank the Stereo