My Left Arm
Gig Seeker Pro

My Left Arm

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



" Review of SXSW showcase"

My Left Arm Strokes SXSW Audiences Hard and Fast

Red Paper's rogue told me he was hooking me up with this band from Chicago, specifically a buddy of his, Jim Gifford. In a drunken mistake of judgment, I had given my phone number to rogue and now he had passed it on to a rock musician. Shit.

Anyway, Gifford and his band, My Left Arm, were coming to Austin for the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) music festival and they were aiming to take advantage of the knowledge, experience and moxie of a seasoned Austin local who knew the music scene inside and out. Instead, they got stuck with me.

...I sat next to a surly grunge boy, Sebastian, an Austin rock and roller who dressed like he hadn't gotten the word Kurt Cobain died. He didn't look merely grunge, he looked like he got kicked off a ferry in Seattle. I struck up a conversation, since the Jack was taking effect.
"I heard about these guys on the Internet in a roundabout way."
"Really. What's the music like?"
"Punkish, I think. I haven't really heard them. I met them through this guy in Chicago, a guy named Dalton."
"Who's Dalton?"

...The band started into the first song, and I was instantly relieved. They definitely did not suck. Even grungy Sebastian took notice. By the third song, he turned to me and said, "Man, I've got to get a closer look at these guys."

Yeah, My Left Arm could rock all right. Gifford pelted the drums as if someone were holding a gun to his head, and held an intense, slightly panicky look on his face during the whole set. Bass player Chris Schuler kept up with Gifford's rhythm and provided a bottom so solid you could walk on it. Lead-singer/guitarist Marty Canniff had three things going for him. He could play a rhythm guitar like nobody's business, he didn't screw up the songs with gratuitous lead solos, and he could sing his ass off.

Only one thing disappointed me. From where I was sitting, it looked like everyone in My Left Arm had two arms. Couldn't they find a disabled midget ala Kid Rock to dance for them? I was at a loss. Wait! The guitarist is a lefty. Maybe that's where the name comes from.

By now, I had moved to the front of the club behind the sound tech (who was quite good at his job -- great sound) and by the time the band started churning out "Bulldozer," one of their crowd favorites, all eyes were glued to the stage. My Left Arm was definitely my surprise band for 2004's SXSW.

""Departure" featured on"

HoffmanPodcast: “Departure” by My Left Arm

Hi, my name is Dave. I’ll be your podcaster for this evening.

My good friend Dan Huff likes to reminisce about the days when bands consisted of more than a guitar, a bass, and some drums. It’s true that this trio of instruments has become the vanilla of music - once a unique flavor that has since become the norm. Plain. Bland. Boring. However, when a band takes this vanilla guitar/bass/drum combo and does something surprising with it, when an unexpected sound comes out and grabs your attention and there’s no gimmick or reason other than it’s just good music, then it becomes that much more refreshing to hear. The listener is left, how you say, rocked. My Left Arm is one such trio that achieves this.

Case in point: “Departure”

My Left Arm is going full throttle on this one, with singer Marty Caniff spewing out a stream of Beefheart-esque rantings while drummer Jim Gifford and bassist Chris Schuler drive the frantic backbeat of the song. Then, when Caniff’s frenzied first verse is exhausted, he lets everything cool down for a moment until the rest of the band jumps back in and the song resumes its breakneck pace. Very cool. My Left Arm’s format may be simple, but their music is anything but vanilla. Be sure to check out their Stolen Mix Tape profile.

-Dave Hoffman
- Dave Hoffman's Podcast

" Review of "Departure""

My Left Arm • Departure • self-released • My Left Arm is an indie rock band with a strong garage feel. Strong playing skills, powerful vocals, and infectious energy elevate this album above the crowd. (SJM) -

" Review"

“Departure by My Left Arm contains passion, catchiness and intensity. Better than top-shelf Dismemberment Plan, the tune is an eruptive mix of darting guitar slashes, goofy video game squiggles and the muffled, Casablancascized ranting of M. Canniff. Producer Brian Deck’s work on "Departure" is inspired. Give us more songs by the guys who wrote that one.”


"Nephilius Website from Norway"

My Left Arm: Departure

A powerful statement from this 3 piece

A powerful statement from this 3 piece rock band from Chicago. It's
driving rock. It's not clean and polished rock, but rock with an attitude
and dirtyness that I really like. Rise your fist and take a punch in the air
and let yourself be taken away into hardcore, indierock, garage, punk and even
a bit of lo-fi dreamishness in the beginning of track 5 before your are being
blown away by turbo rock, just let the music to the talking, no point in
giving it any label it has its own original approach. Cool stuff from a great group.


"Review by a Fan on"

Fabulously authentic alternative garage rock sound

I have been jones'n for a MLA album since I first saw them live. This first release does not disappoint one bit. I was already familiar with 5 of the album's songs that were available from their website, but the remaining 6 songs are just as good, if not better. There is a lot of distinction between the songs as well. Well worth the wait, but it leaves me pining for the next album! (btw, I have no idea what the title of this review means)

" Review"

My Left Arm



My Left Arm is a 3-piece rock band from Chicago. The songs here are great! This is an excellent up and coming band if you are into well-written edgy pop songs. Imagine Talking Heads era David Byrne with a hint of Blackball and a dab of early 90's garage rock like Poor Old Lu or Sonic Youth's more melodic moments and that should give you a good frame of reference. Like I said, the songs are strong here but the production seems to lack. It very well may be intentional (after all, this is the same issue I have with Sonic Youth's records most of the time) but the hooks get lost a little in the mix and I think it hurts them in the long run. All in all though, this is a band to watch, great songs, excellent lyrics, and heartfelt delivery. It's hard to ask for much more than that. Check these guys out because I have no doubt we'll be hearing more about them soon!

Key Song: "Change"

Reviewed by: Mark Fisher



New album, "Departure" recorded by Brian Deck is currently available.

"Departure" and "Chinese Checkers" appear on the 2003 and 2004 Hostage radio compilation CD.

Songs currently being played on XM Radio, and WLUW and Hostage Radio in Chicago.



My Left Arm is a 3 piece rock band from Chicago. Their blend of pop, punk, and garage keeps things simple and powerful. The band recently finished recording new songs with indie producer Brian Deck at Engine Studios. The songs are available here Brian has recorded and produced records for Modest Mouse, Red Red Meat, Liz Phair and many other acts. MY left arm has been invited to showcase at three Midpoint Music Festivals in Cinci, the Quadruple Bypass Festival during SXSW three years in a row and Mobfest in Chicago. MLA showcased at the Motor City Music Festival in Detroit. MLA has also played plenty of Colleges throughout the Midwest, including Beloit College, Northwestern and Loyola.


Chosen as one of the top 10 bands in Chicago by

My Left Arm was selected as one of the top 15 bands in the Midwest by Discmakers Independent Music World Series and appears on the 2003 compilation cd.

Mark Fisher with says "All in all, this is a band to watch, great songs, excellent lyrics, and heartfelt delivery. It's hard to ask for much more than that."

My Left Arm can also be found at if your on myspace, come and be our friend! We have over 2300 of them.

My Left Arm's new CD "Departure" is currently available at and at