Department of Foreign Affairs
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Department of Foreign Affairs

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Few bright spots at NXNE"

TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 2006 - ISSUE 2, VOLUME 134
Few bright spots at NXNE
Review: NXNE music festival, June 8-10 @ various venues in Toronto
S T O R Y - By Meghan Harrison, A&E Editor

The band I always hope The Old Soul will be, which means they kick out the ’60s revivalist jams like it matters, complete with triangle flourishes. Keyboardist and sometime vocalist Brennan Pilkington’s black suit, black hat and sardonic, lounge-y singing brought to mind Ben Folds giving a cabaret tour of hell. They also singlehandedly created the category and won the award for most peppy use of four-part harmonies on an anti-war song with “First They Hit Manhattan.” Hopefully, this Ottawa troupe will treat Kingston to a trip down Highway 15 sometime soon.

check out full article at this link: - Queens University journal

"The Department Of Foreign Affairs"

Press Article from:

June 21st, 2006.

The Department Of Foreign Affairs fit in just fine around here. Mixing a country twang with rock and the occasional pop hook, their music can be excitingly diverse, but it's all rooted in toe-tapping, head-bobbing melodies and catchy choruses featuring pedal steel, strings, spot-on harmonies, and a piano that, a little surprisingly, fits right in with the rest.
DOFA keep their tracks wonderfully tight and clean, a reflection of the sleekness and professionalism in their songwriting and production.
The tunes are nice and simple, letting a listener get right into a song the first time around, but there are still plenty of layers left to dig through over repeated listens.
The end product is a sound that's perfect for a hot, sunny day... but one where you turn down playing volleyball (or checking out the ladies) at the beach in favor of climbing into a 4x4 and heading for a drive down a dirt road off Highway 7.
The band has kept busy playing shows, including a scorching set just the other week at NxNE, on the strength of their first two albums (Stories Up High and For Whatever Ails You) which were both released in 2004.
But listen for some new material in their coming dates, because they'll be releasing their third record sometime this summer.
Go see them live this Saturday at Zaphod's with The Diableros.

Posted on blogger site : -

"NxNE Chart Attack Review"

NxNE Chart Attack Review

Monday June 12, 2006 @ 02:30 PM
By: Staff

rcimage Band: The Department Of Foreign Affairs
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Venue: Holy Joe's
Date: June 10, 2006
Reporter: David McDougall
Background/Composition A mishmash of members from Ottawa indie staples The Pop Shove Its and Paperjack.

Grade: 92

Comment:The sample songs on The Department Of Foreign Affairs' website were promising and all, but no indication of just how good these guys would be live. Outside of The Golden Dogs' onstage insanity, this was easily the best set I saw all week. Normally having three drunk fangirls twirling around in front of the stage during one song would have been totally annoying, but with the band's upbeat brand of rock-pop, you almost wanted to join in.

Achievement of Rock 'n' Roll Expectations
80-100: Exceeds skill and knowledge expectations, i.e. rocked us so hard we peed our pants.
70-79: Achieves required skills and knowledge. Meets rock 'n' roll standard.
60-69: Demonstrates some skills. Approaches rock 'n' roll standard.
50-59: Demonstrates some required skills and knowledge in a limited way.
00-50: Has not demonstrated required skills or knowledge.

Learning Skills: E=Excellent, G=Good, S=Satisfactory, N=Sad Really

Oral And Visual Communication
Eye Contact: G Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Pronounciation: E

It's hard to dock a band points for not talking much when you really just want them to keep playing. Plus they referred to the festival as "en ex en ee," which was phonetically endearing.

Stage Presence: E
Stage Banter: S
Image: E
Appearance: E
Use Of Stage: E

Musical Analysis
Level Of Participation: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:E
Problem Solving: G

The Dept's songs were uptempo rock-pop romps with a bit of an kick, which quickly had the audience on their feet. Think Fembots, Old 97's and Cuff The Duke at their rollicking best. Of course lots of bands are fun, but these guys didn't sacrifice any of their songwriting skills to achieve it. Yes, it's a bit weird to have a springy, danceable song about the war on terrorism, but who knew "catchy" and "lyrically substantial" weren't mutually exclusive? Well, apparently these guys do.

Teamwork: E
Work Habits: E
Organization: E
Audience Participation: G
Sound: E
Composition: E
Songs: E

Other Skills And Areas Of Interest
Charisma: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Problem Solving: G Kudos to the band's very democratic approach to the microphone — with Rob Skitmore and Brennan Pilkington trading off frontman duties, the drummer piping in on back-up vocals, and all four members singing their hearts out on one or two rowdy choruses.

Teamwork: E
Sexiness: E
Haircut: G
Indie Rock Footwear: G
Nods To Disposible Fashion: E
Cool Equipment: E
Level Of Inebriation: G
Actual Ability: E


Stories Up High 2004
For Whatever Ails You 2004
Northern Living Northern Lights 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Started in late 2003 as a spin off of two of Ottawa's notable indie bands Paperjack and the Pop Shove Its, the Department of Foreign Affairs began as a side project and then turned into the main gig when one band imploded on tour while the other band quietly retired. They have always been heavily influenced and intrigued by the perfect song and are on the never ending carnival tour of finding that perfect song. Growing up in the nineties heavily influenced by the likes of Matador records and Merge Records heroes like Pavement and Superchunk. Idolatry of Seattle turned into that of Superchunk and Pavement, then Wilco all the while soaking up the music that swirled from other eclectic places. A harkening back to The Beatles, The Band, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Early and everything Tom Waits, was a necessary detour in their education of the core and spirit of Rock'n'Roll. Three records, three years, making records for the sake of making records, and loving it. Freaking out on stage and getting their YaYa's out. This is the Department of Foreign Affairs, and this is their blood.