Streaming Cafe

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Old Mare

by Malcolm Petch
Old Mare is the latest project/identity of prolific Abbotsford-based songwriter Chris Janzen. Having embraced many different genres and styles over the years, in this latest rendition Janzen hits the airwaves as an Alt. Country artist – or the Internet equivalent of airwaves, anyway (onlinewaves? digiwaves? webwaves?).

The words “old mare” conjur up images of a horse well past its prime. In a world where young and energetic is everything, an old mare would seem to be something good only to cast off – but in a world that knows horses, an old mare can be seen as a comfortable ride and a reliable friend.

I have no idea why Janzen has embraced the title “Old Mare” – but in checking out Old Mare’s music, I’d say the ‘comfortable ride’ imagery fits. The band has a couple of acoustic videos online, and each of the tunes I’ve heard so far is accessible and enjoyable right from the get-go.

Check out Old Mare at the Streaming Café on March 12 at 7PM Pacific time; and as always, if you can’t be there in person, you can always watch and comment (and ask questions of the artist) online. Asking why the band is called Old Mare could be a good place to start.

up and coming in march

   by Michael Donley
March is set to be another great month of independent music at Streaming Cafe. Here's a quick overview of what's up and coming this month. If you can't make it out to the cafe to watch these shows in person be sure to watch online. All the performances are streamed live at 7pm (pacific standard time) @ http://www.streamingcafe.net/

March 3Treelines hit the road for their “Lessons in Geography” tour, performing a rare acoustic show at the cafe, this Thursday, March 3rd. They are joined by Newfoundland’s The Mountains and The Trees (aka Jon Janes) for what Jon describes as Folk-N-Roll, backing himself with looping-pedals, some deft footwork and a little luck!
Treelines "Young Man" - Streaming Cafe

Goodbye Little Town - The Mountains and The Trees

March 5 - Newly relocated to TO from Vancouver JJ Shiplett performs his folk rock tunes on the 5th and debuts some new material that will be on his next album.
I'll Find My Way Home - JJ Shiplett

March 12 - Old Mare is one of abbotsford B.C.'s treasures, Chris Janzen lead singer of the band has crafted timeless Alt.country tunes. Story songs that take you to another place and time.
Early Morning Disaster by Old Mare

March 19
Up and coming singer/songwriter, Raquel Warchol has been traveling back and forth to Nashville writing music with successful songwriters such as country star Carolyn Dawn Johnson.
Raquel Warchol

March 26 - The Geese (formerly The Family Band) make their second appearance at the cafe having released a live album and an EP since that time. This indie-folk band The Geese are a collection of talented songwriters and instrumentalists intent on making the best of each other's songs.
The Geese "Reaching Through Human Being" -  Streaming Cafe

April 2 Looking a bit ahead Daniel Benjamin performs at the cafe early next month. Without having heard a single tone of their new record the German government has picked Daniel Benjamin and his fellow players from thousands of other bands to represent Germany at USA´s SXSW and the Canadian Music Week in March 2011.
Oh Oh Reputation - Daniel Benjamin

Germany's Daniel Benjamin

   by Malcolm Petch
If you Google “Daniel Benjamin”, the first hit is going to be for the American Ambassador-at-large in charge of counterterrorism. That’s not who we’ve got booked at Streaming Café April 2nd.

The Daniel Benjamin we’ve got coming is actually an international artist, hailing from Stuttgart, Germany. He brings with him a history of being in a punk band at the otherwise tender age of 14, having more than 150 recorded songs under his belt, having played at least 1200 concerts in at least 15 different countries, and having the need for a harpsichord when he tours Canada this spring.

Yep, that’s right. Benjamin is looking for a harpsichord to lug around as he tours the country! To quote Michael, our booking guy, “this man is true to his art!” None of those electronic piano/harpsichord thingies for this virtuoso!

Okay, then: Daniel Benjamin is a former punker who uses authentic harpsichord in his music; I think that tells you what he’s like right off the bat. Benjamin posts a regular video blog to his website, and in the videos, his music plays under clips from his latest journeys. It’s kinda cool. When viewing the blog you’re just as likely to find Daniel and Eleni driving along in their car with music blaring from the stereo as you are to see Benjamin lying in bed with a head cold, or tuning his wife’s harpsichord.

Over this last year, Benjamin has gone through a metamorphosis in his music. He talks of rediscovering the ancient virtues of German tradition, including baroque melodies and influential art and architecture. He and his wife have changed the name of their touring show from “Daniel Benjamin” to “SEA+AIR”, a cross-language play on words with ‘sea’ sounding like the German for “she”, and ‘air’ sounding like the word for “he” (it’s “She + He”, in other words). His tour bio ends with the question: “Are you ready for harpsichords instead of keyboards, timpani instead of drums, classical guitar instead of rock axes and an organ pedal instead of a bass guitar?”

Benjamin is signed to the indie Haldern-Pop Records, a branch off of the successful cult-like Haldern-Pop Festival in northern Germany. He’ll be traveling with his wife Eleni when he comes through Streaming Café April 2 on their Sea+Air tour, and I’m sure we’ll be able to expect innovative ideas throughout the evening. 

Daniel Benjamin - "My Cloud Has Lost It's Silver Lining"