Bang the DrumGreetings, Earthlings! As luck would have it, we’ve got music from Canadian dudes for you this week–though curiously, nothing from The Dudes. If you’re not sick of hearing from Canadian dudes yet, you probably will be by May 2 (remember when there were prominent women in federal politics?), so let’s do this now before it’s too late.

Royal City got a shout out from the Arcade Fire last night at the Junos. The band was a vehicle for singer-songwriter Aaron Riches. They released three albums on Toronto’s short-lived (1999-2004), but influential Three Gut Records, who also released early music from essential Canadian indie acts Gentleman Reg, Cuff the Duke and the Constantines. Before Riches shut the band down in 2004 to go off and study Radical Orthodoxy (a post-modern branch of theology), he invited a then unknown group from Montreal to open for Royal City on several dates of a tour. That band was the Arcade Fire. In 2009, Sufjan Stevens’s label Asthmatic Kitty released a collection of Royal City B-Sides called Royal City. If you like the current state of Canadian music, in a lot of ways you owe a debt to Royal City and Three Gut. The bands of Three Gut and, even more so, the two women who ran the label, Lisa Moran and Tyler Clark Burke set the tone for Canadian indie music in the 21st Century. Three Gut came into being at a time when nobody, not even Canadians were that interested in Canadian music. It was a weird fallow point that came after the great alternative breakouts of the early 90s like Lowest of the Low and Sloan but had yet to hear from the New Pornographers or the Arcade Fire. Things were happening on a smaller scale than they had in a while, and Three Gut not only filled the gap, but started getting people excited about Canadian music again–especially with the arrival of the Constantines in 2001.
Go watch Royal City’s video for “Bad Luck” from the 2002 album Alone at the Microphone.
mp3: “A Belly Was Made for Wine” by Royal City

A few weeks ago we peeped you to the fact that Snailhouse, AKA Mike Feuerstack, has a new album out this spring. Well, now we have the title track to Sentimental Gentleman in convenient, downloadable mp3 form.
mp3: “Sentimental Gentleman” by Snailhouse

Finally, get yourself some rad music and contribute to relief efforts in Japan at the same time–all the more important after yesterday’s 6.5 magnitude earthquake. Calgary freak-pop wonder Chad VanGaalen has released a 5-song EP teasing his forthcoming Diaper Island long-player (due May 17). All proceeds from Your Tan Looks Supernatural go to the Red Cross in support of relief aid in Japan.

Emmet Matheson is a hunter/gatherer of online diplomas & Mexican detective novels who blogs at A Bulldozer With a Wrecking Ball Attached. You can e-mail him at: bulldozerDOTwreckingballATgmailDOTcom