blueprint gallery
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blueprint gallery

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The best kept secret in music


"Album Review"

"Blueprint Gallery
of love. lived and failed.


The cover art is a clue to the music inside. It’s the blank, lifeless movie screen at the Odeon Drive-In, which has been illuminated and brought to life by thousands of movies, bad and good, over the years. Working with their own blank screen, Ray Chan (vocals, guitar), Russell Chan (guitar; no relation), Mike Perrin (bass) and Mike Shawcross (drums) manage to create an illuminating, inviting world of progressive pop and rock, drawing from the likes of Radiohead, Coldplay and others who favour expansive, passionate sounds yet aren’t afraid of a few left-field twists. First track Wave will draw you in immediately with its intricate, rhythmic hook, a propulsive, herky-jerky riff that leaves you wanting more. More is what you get, too, with the big acoustic pop of Put It Away or Escape, while the falsetto chorus on Empty River of Thought will be the one thing that stays with you for the rest of the day. Good Nite, Good Bye, Fare Well rises to an irresistible swell in its chorus. Watch out for this band. I know I will. — JK" - Uptown Magazine

"Concert Review with Fog at the Albert"

"Blueprint Gallery poised to “Endear” themselves to Winnipeg

Local band to headline the latest Thursday Night Pop Series show

Michael Elves, Revue Editor

Last fall I went to the Albert to take in the latest (at the time) Ninja Tune recording artist, Fog, from Minneapolis. While I thoroughly enjoyed Fog’s performance that night, I came away from the evening more impressed with one of the opening bands. It was a local act that I had neither heard nor heard of prior, but they struck me as a band to watch out for on the local scene.
I was pleased then to note the inclusion of that band, Blueprint Gallery, in the line-up for the well-conceived and well-received Thursday Night Pop Series. It would seem that the arbiters of sonic-style at Endearing Records had drawn the same conclusion about the band that I had. Speaking with band member Ray Chan confirmed this, “we happened to have a show with [Endearing artist] the Waking Eyes and the label folks caught us and just liked what they heard I guess.”
Blueprint Gallery’s sound is decidedly different from both the ’70s rock of the Waking Eyes and the pop-rock of Paper Moon (with whom they’ll be sharing the Thursday Night bill), with dense atmospherics and a sharp rock approach to song-craft. The band is certain that they’ll be accepted by fans of the series though as “elements of our music will appeal to [their] fans,” Chan stated confidently.
Chan and I had a lengthy discussion about musical comparison points for the band and we both disagree with the Radiohead/Coldplay name-checking that has become almost de riguer in the shorthand of critics lately. “I’ve heard it said … and it’s great to be compared … but I disagree with it,” admitted Chan. He struggled however, to come up with alternate comparisons and eventually pressed me for my own opinion. Readers wishing to make up their own minds on this subject are strongly encouraged to catch the band this Thursday, March 13 at the Times Change, or March 29 at the Orbit Room because the live experience is all that’s available at the moment. The band is working on an album and already have three tracks completed for the effort, but they’re unsure as to when exactly this disc will be completed. “Definitely within the year though, for sure,” Chan earnestly assured me."

- The Manitoban

"Under the Needle"

Blueprint Gallery


Blueprint Gallery is not your standard prog-rock band. BPG creates intelligent and challenging atmospheric rock that is aesthetically pleasing. If you don't want to hurt your brain with thought, then just float along to the sublty-psychedelic melodies. Their debut, Of Love Lived and Failed, is a little difficult to get into, but well worth the investment. In but a few listens, the little details that BPG toiled to perfect will percolate to the surface and wash you in an ocean of clean sound, chaos ebbing in and out of unison. - Broose Tulloch - Stylus Magazine

"Album Review"

Blueprint Gallery
of love. lived and failed

Musical style - moody Britrock with dashes of prog and psychedelia for colour.

Sounds like - Radiohead covering Coldplay (with Bono on the mike), and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante on guitar.

Pointed comments - understatement is a rare commodity in music, especially among young bands. To their credit, Blueprint Gallery resist the urge to bludgeon us with their obvious technical skills or overwhelm us with their clearly artful tunesmithery on this distinctively titled disc. Instead, they lay back in the shadows and let these 10 quietly powerful cuts lure us in and envelop us with their hazy vocals, melodic melancholy and warm, cocooning guitars.

Standout track - The smartly crafted opener Waves, whose syncopated 7/4 gait churns along before giving way to a swelling, soaring chorus. - Darryl Sterdan - Winnipeg Sun


2003 - 'I've made it this far' - 3 song CD sampler
2004 - 'of love.lived and failed.' - full length debut lp


Feeling a bit camera shy


Blueprint Gallery’s recent album, of love. lived and failed., is a compelling statement from four indie musicians who push themselves beyond the stylistic limitations of “indie rock”. “It’s funny; we’ve been getting tagged as a ‘prog-pop’ band, I guess because we like to stretch out with our songwriting,” laughs guitarist Russell Chan. “We get a lot of compliments from other musicians, but luckily, we also seem to be really hooking people who just like music.” The four musicians’ collective willingness to experiment, combined with fluency in many musical styles, helps to push the band’s writing beyond conventional rock arrangements and clichés.

The band’s highly original songs showcase Ray Chan’s thought-provoking lyrics and powerful voice, rather than merely providing a platform from which each member can “wank”. They also form the centrepiece of a compelling live show, one that is steadily earning the band new fans.

2001: the birth of Blueprint Gallery. The initial spark came from Ray Chan's interest in the UK electronic and shoegazer scenes, as well as his love for the heartfelt music of U2 and Radiohead. He is first and foremost a songwriter and lyricist, but truly shines as a vocalist and frontman. Always at ease with himself on stage, Ray commands the attention of an audience the way few others can.

Russell Chan (no relation to Ray), who tends towards North American acts like the Pixies, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jane's Addiction, adds color and atmosphere to the music. This "east meets west" aesthetic forms the basis for their collaboration. Russ has now established himself as the band’s de facto musical director, with a fierce resolve to continually push himself and the band into unfamiliar territory.

Drummer Mike Shawcross’s role is to tastefully create structure and form around the soundscapes brought to life by the Chans. Drawing on the skills acquired through his combined education and experience in alternative rock, jazz, and twentieth-century classical music, he provides an always-solid foundation with plenty of power and flash to spare.

New bassist Patrick Farr is a Conservatory-trained musician and a veteran of the Winnipeg Music scene. Artists such as Dan Frechette, Jamoeba, One Day September, and Cat Jahnke have benefited from his strong groove and relaxed, flowing delivery.

The band gigs around Winnipeg tirelessly, and gains more respect from Winnipeg's musical community with each show. Notable performances have included opening slots for Spookey Ruben (TVT), the Waking Eyes (Universal), Duotang (Mint) and Fog (Ninja Tune). Other highlights have been Endearing Records' Thursday Night Pop Series, Music Trader’s annual Canada Day showcase, a live-to-air performance on UMFM’s Free Range Radio, and a trip to the 2003 NewMusicWest conference in Vancouver. As well, the band has performed on the A-Channel’s Big Breakfast morning show, and played to appreciative crowds at the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and Red River College. They are currently receiving regular rotation on RRC’s 92.9 CIKC FM, the U of M’s 101.5 UMFM, and the U of W’s 95.9 CKUW, and FREQ 107.1 Winnipeg's Alternative Rock station.

Blueprint Gallery recorded their full-length debut, of love. lived and failed., with producer Mike Daher at Goodfellas Productions. The album covers a wide range of musical styles and moods – the jolting odd meter and psychedelia of ‘Waves’ contrasts nicely with the Coldplay-esque beauty that is 'Good Night, Goodbye, Farewell'. Other standout tracks include the introspective slow-burning 'Escape' and the irresistible alt-country pop of ‘I've Made It This Far’. The album was launched on November 6th, 2004, with a CD release party that drew nearly 400 people to the Pyramid Cabaret. It’s been selling steadily ever since, and the band are planning to hit the road later this year to spread the word across Canada.