Pine Tarts
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Pine Tarts

Band Rock Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Fuck the Stampede featuring: Hazard Lights / The Sub-Linguals / The Pine Tarts"

The Calgary Stampede is not what it once was; the celebration of Western culture, cowboy music singalongs, and horseback riding. Now, on the complete flipside it is all about getting completely wasted for 10 days, seeing how short of a denim skirt you can get away with on the midway rides, and getting your wedding ring tan airbrushed away. Since there are many of us in this city who choose not to partake in the free-for-all of the Stampede, Broken City Social Club and Bar decided to run an anti-Stampede evening.
Now in its second year of celebration, what better way to say f*** you to the Stampede, than to skip the fairgrounds and hang out with some of Calgary’s homegrown garage rock bands? Hazard Lights, The Sub-Linguals, and The Pine Tarts all shared the spotlight of this Wrangler-deficient evening.

Hazard Lights, a 3-man garage/punk rock line-up took the stage first. They were anything but cowpokes in their skin-tight red pants and David Cassidy hair. They began their set with some catchy noisy tunes that are over as quick as they started. Hazard Lights plays typically fun punk rock but I think they have a couple years to go before their set becomes technically solid. They are already booked for this summer’s Wild Weekend Garage Rock Festival in Austin, Texas which isn’t too bad for three young guys from Calgary. My only criticism is yes, everyone loves a good punk rock cover but it is original material that sticks with fans. The Hazard Lights, essentially, just need to put out a record quick to sustain this popularity they have reached in Calgary right now.

The Sub-Linguals climbed the stage next; a noisy four piece featuring Calgary’s long past favourite El Camino’s frontman Johnny Torpedo, a.k.a. local outsider artist Kamil Krulis. Revival is what is all about with The Sub-Linguals. A solitary green light bulb hangs from a cord in the middle of the stage, everything else complete darkness. Johnny Torpedo takes to the stage with a black leather cape, smeared red lipstick, and loud and rough vocals. Meanwhile, maniac Ace-Tone organist Ryan Sadler pounds the keys wildly, while the rhythm sectioned backed by drummer Eric Sadler and garage rock-veteran Pete Roe plays bass. They don’t waste anytime delving right into the hard-core rock outs; with the green light swinging and Johnny Torpedo screaming into the mic, the whole crowd gets into it. A mix of 1970’s punk rock, 1960’s garage rock, and a little 1980’s powerpop thrown in there, The Sub-Linguals come up fairly triumphant for doing something new in music in Calgary. They finish their set with the organist lunging into the crowd, Ace-Tone in tow, glasses flying off, only to be rewarded with admirable support of their fans. Each person leans in to help keep the Ace-Tone supported off the ground, as Sadler still pounds away on it, while another reaches for his glasses and tucks them away safely.

Powerpopping sweethearts, The Pine Tarts finished up the evening with the most hype of all. Green tinsel wrapped around mic stands and later thrown to the crowd brought back memories of a previous Pine Tarts show which involved Ring-Pops for the whole bar. Most songs are fronted by Jesse Powell, the perpetually shirtless guitar player, but when keyboardist Laurie Fuhr took over vocals for one song it gave the set a completely different feel. Her sweet-as-pie vocals combined with the mellowness that overcomes both the stage and the audience, prove The Pine Tarts to be truly versatile musicians. Of course, they had to disturb that peaceful moment by tossing an ex-girlfriends old Casio keyboard to the crowd for destruction. After the keys were significantly destroyed to the approval of Powell, they continued their set with several other rock’n’roll melodies. To keep up with the theme of throwing stuff to the audience they also passed out several free copies of their lime-green 7” vinyl record. I left before the end of their set, but heard it went out like a bang.

Looking back on the rockstar-antic-filled evening, one can be wholly satisfied in saying that they did not have to deal with drunk yahoos during the evening, their sandle-d feet were not crushed by any cowboy boots, and their hunger for non-Nashville North tunes was fulfilled.
9/10 Bonus marks for free goods. - Kitschykoo! Subcultural Lifestyle Magazine

"Do the Holiday Weekend Right"

Hamilton, Ontario’s B.A. Johnston sings songs about getting drunk and playing Atari, being dumped for a 23-year-old “emo fuck” and how he still lives off of packets of Mr. Noodles in his mom’s basement. In other words, he doesn’t take himself particularly seriously — if he did, he’d probably be a whole lot more depressing, and not the acoustic guitar-bashing, Casio preset-using dork rocker we know and love. Catch him at Broken City on Thursday, October 9 alongside Calgary’s Ghostkeeper and Calgary blues-rocker Miesha Louie (formerly of BOGART! and Hogpuncher).

For those in a more worldly mood, there’s always Eliana Cuevas at Beat Niq, also on Thursday. Fusing salsa, Latin jazz and pop elements, Cuevas has earned worldwide attention for her unique songwriting. Check out for our interview with Cuevas.

The world music influence continues at Broken City on Friday, October 10 when Ottawa’s The Acorn takes the stage, along with Ohbijou and Calgary’s Beija Flor. The Acorn’s poignant mix of world rhythms and indie-pop sensibilities has earned them acclaim across the country, including a spot on the Polaris Prize long list. Tour-mates Ohbijou have evolved from Casey Mecija’s solo outlet into a full-blown pop project, anchored by Mecija’s swoon-worthy vocals but elevated by engaging arrangements. Beija Flor are a bit rougher around the edges, but their rusted kitchen sink approach is a big part of their charm.

Pine Tarts are another Calgary act worth keeping an ear out for. Their blend of ’90s alt-rock (more Rentals and Pixies than angst-laden grungers) and ’70s power-pop is positively infectious. They’ve invited a few friends to their Palomino CD release on Saturday, October 11 — The Sub-linguals, Calgary’s reigning manifestation of rock ’n’ roll anarchy, will be there, as will The Savants and Nightrocket.

Things mellow out on Sunday, October 12, when Kinnie Starr heads to The Marquee Room. The sultry singer’s blend of hip hop grooves, soulful melodies and rock attitude will provide a perfect soundtrack for turkey-stuffed post-Thanksgiving drinking — punk rock and tryptophan would be an awkward mix, after all. Let yourself get lazy and hazy, and bob your head till the holiday morning. - FFWD Weekly

"The Pine Tarts"

Jesse J. Powell is the type of lad about town who cuts a unique figure, instantly recognizable by his mod-styled bangs and de rigueur black leather jacket. The visual tie to old-school rock and roll is equally reflected in the music of his band, The Pine Tarts, whose newest EP, Faux Fauves, blends sock-hop-ready mod-pop hooks with the buzzed-out guitars of '90s garage-inspired indie rock.
The Pine Tarts' sticky vocal melodies reveal a needle-sharp lyrical wit shared between Powell and keyboardist Laurie Fuhr, whose lead vocals on both the frantic en français "Etoiles" and sugary-sweet "Come" display the group's soft, gleeful centre. "Hiver"'s "We're going to giver in the hiver / forever and ever," is the type of sly vocal hook that should be destined for Canadiana indie-anthem status, while the biting age-of-consent protest "16/14" leaves Powell breathlessly shouting, "She read all of Ulysses, then got into Proust right after that / She borrowed my Tale of Two Cities and loaned it to a kid she baby-sat," over fuzzy guitars and pounding piano.
Most striking, however, is the way in which standout opener "City" captures Calgary suburban ennui, the scene cleverly set by Powell's description of a life spent "in a green room / in a grey house / in a beige part of town," while still managing to rock out despite the commentary. If The Pine Tarts can maintain the energetic pace they've set themselves with Faux Fauves, Calgary's sure to start feeling all the more colourful for it.
The Pine Tarts' Faux Fauves CD-release show is Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Underground, 733 10th Ave. S.W. Hear more at
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Jesse J. Powell on the songs of The Pine Tarts' Faux Fauves
Track by Track
City "That's about the frustration I had with living in Calgary when I was going to ACAD. I just dropped out and took off to Banff. The mountains have always seemed like a refuge to me, and I grew up in the forest in northwest Ontario. I'm 30, but I'm acting like I'm 18 again."
Come "Laurie Fuhr wrote the lyrics to that one. It was kind of a scary one in the studio, because when I heard what she was saying I thought the lyrics were too pop. I even made her cry, but it was just the ego problem of having a cool riff that other people put words to and letting it go. I really want Laurie to continue to write songs. Even if she wants to play guitar I'd be happy doing something else like shaking a tambourine."
Etoiles "Laurie wrote the words and I wrote the music. I don't know it exactly word for word. She sings it in French and it's about kids who get eaten by bears under the stars and only the birds see it happen. It's part of our Canadiana schtick."
16/14 "It's sort of a diss on the madness that seems to have happened over pedophilia. I just thought it was something that needed to get poked in the eye. The way Stephen Harper changed the age of consent from 14 to 16 is ridiculous."
Hiver "It's an English joke on winter. It's got a simple sort of Beach Boys lyric about surfing, but it's more about Canadian sports like skating and snowboarding. I was thinking of A Hundred Years of Solitude, and the family whose farm is falling apart, so they crack a bottle of Champagne and it all turns around."

- Calgary Herald

"The Pine Tarts: Scrumping Season"

On a perfect, cloudless thursday afternoon, I found myself sitting sprawled on a patch of grass just off 17th avenue with Jesse Powell and Jester Suzuki of the Pine Tarts, sipping on a (miraculously cold) beer that Powell had just produced from his backpack. We were mustering near Beano, waiting for another member of the band to arrive, so we could set off scrumping. It's not normally how I conduct an interview, but I wouldn't have changed it for all the vodka in Novosibrisk.

For the uninitiated, scrumping refers to the process of liberating unused fruit from local residential and semi-public green spaces, and using it to make wine. I've no idea of the etymology of the term, but I can't help but think of an association between "scrumping" and "scrumptious."

"Scrumptious" always struck me as one of the sillier synonyms of "tasty," but in this case it seems to suit particularly well, since the act amounts to crafting a road map of the delicious in one's immediate surroundings. I couldn't tell you street names, but I could draw you a route from one taste to another, as we discovered apples, choke cherries, currants, raspberries and saskatoons within a few minutes' walk of 17th Avenue.

Our first stop was an apple tree on Eighth Street. Our target: a tree brimming with apples in the backyard of a bungalow-cum-business. Outside the fence, we paused momentarily to prepare. We donned Christmas garlands, fur collars, and other gaudy bits guaranteed to make the act of stealing fruit in broad daylight all the more outrageous. We shotgunned beers, hopped the fence, and went to work, as Powell's ghetto blaster shouted out garage-rock marching orders. We ran, we climbed, we flailed, we threw fruit, we triumphed.

After our first frantic episode, we settled into a rhythm, scouting fruit trees and bushes, plundering, savouring, and moving on. As I was giving Powell a hand up over a hedge (and ended up throwing him into the thing; I was never very good at that), I got a chance to listen to the Pine Tarts' new EP, Faux Fauves, a tape of which had just made its way into the ghetto blaster. It struck me that their music was almost a perfect encapsulation of the kind of afternoon we were having; exuberantly crashing about, having a great time, and with a more highly evolved plan for things than what might immediately appear to the eye (or the ear). They've cultivated a sound that's a little rough around the edges, and its inherent musicality, from smart syncopation to wry lyrics, is all the more surprising and welcome for it.

Our tastebud tour of Calgary's fruit bushes ended on the banks of the Elbow river, where we uncorked a bottle of an old scrumping vintage and downed (don't hit me) the fruits of our labours. I couldn't help but think of the little explosion of life and serendipity I'd just experienced as anything but emblematic of the Pine Tarts, and with an open ear, you can hear that same vivacity in the music they play. And I have to thank them personally; it was a hell of a diem, and they helped me carpe the hell out of it.

Who: The Pine Tarts
When: September 13th (EP release show, The Underground)
When: September 17th (Vern's)
When: September 20th (Single Onion Poetry Fundraiser, Carpenter's Union Hall) - Beatroute

"The Pine Tarts: Ready to sexy up your stereo"

Lock up your daughters, and your sons too. The Pine Tarts (Jesse Powell, Jester Suzuki, Adam Scott and Jenn Pauli) have been relentlessly hitting on Calgary since May 2006. With a passionate vocal delivery, mesmerizing performances, and heavy, punkish rock that you can feel, they’ve been successfully seducing the scene. They were also named one of BeatRoute’s Best New Bands of 2006. Now, The Pine Tarts are ready to sexy up your stereo with fresh recordings in September.

BeatRoute: The Pine Tarts are coming out with a self-titled EP, but you’re also releasing a 45, right?
Jesse Powell: The EP will have five songs on it, and the vinyl will have two songs off of the EP. I wanted to start things off with something sort of iconic, like this forest green emerald vinyl. Also, it’s just a lovely piece of art, something of that size. A friend of ours who went to ACAD with me, my best friend Mike, did the cover art for it.

BR: What about Foolish Records. Does that label still exist?
JP: That was me and Jester, my bass player. We had the idea we’d have a production company. Now we’re more concerned with trying to hone the performance aspect. For ages I was just trying to will it to happen by creating an intimate existence of it before the band actually existed. I ended up booking shows before the band was really a band, so we had to make the band happen out of that. I didn’t really see any way to make people practice unless I sort of put the hammer down. It’s a good motivating tool to have that pressure.

BR: Your song Fire Escape is one of my favorites. Will it be on the EP?
JP: That’s on there for sure. In the studio we weren’t really happy with the vocal performance, something about it didn’t reflect the original feeling of it, but just the other day we actually nailed it. It was like take number 30, and my friend Alex said something and I just sort of crack up. I was singing while I was half laughing with this big grin on my face. You can actually hear the smile on my face in the vocal performance. I always want to capture the moment, but sometimes God likes to take moments for himself. So many times you record something and you’re like, whoa! And then you realize it wasn’t recording, and you just have to be like, ah, I guess God wanted that one.

BR: You and Jester form the core of the band. How did you two meet?
JP: Me and Jester met in Banff at Gingerbread House, which is where really young broke people live, or really old crazy Banff cronies live. The old hospital changed to the YWCA, and the nurse’s residence changed into that place (Gingerbread House). It was like $80 a week to live there.
BR: Did you hear each other through the cookie walls and realize you were both musicians?
JP: I don’t think we’ve ever realized we were musicians. We still don’t use that word to describe ourselves. Anytime we’ve lost a member, we were thinking about putting an ad out, and always the stipulation was “no musicians need apply”.
Jester Suzuki: We’re not musicians. We’re magicians.

BR: Jester, how do you feel about the CD? Is it magic?
JS: Yes, I feel excited. I’ve never released anything before. Just animals. - Beatroute

"Beatroute's Best & Worst of 2006" - Beatroute

"Alberta Boom: Provincial Punk Rock Four Strengthens Civic Ties"

A music scene is usually thought of taking place within a city, not a province. If these scenes are not directly competing with each other, they tend to be insular. The Alberta Boom tour, taking place at the beginning of December in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge, aims to unify the Alberta scene as a whole.

All three stops feature power-poppers the Pine Tarts from Calgary, surf punks Los Cremators from Edmonton, and lo-fi rockers Endangered Ape from Lethbridge. In addition, each stop will have an additional local opener from the host city. Calgary will have Thee Thems, Edmonton will have the Wicked Awesomes, and Lethbridge will have Menehume.

To encourage attendance at every stop, those who come to all three shows will receive a free cassette compilation featuring unreleased music from all bands playing on the tour as well as a set of the three show posters. However, all of this is secondary to the show itself – it’s a chance to see Alberta’s music scene shine as a whole.

Endangered Ape

Starting out as bassist Paul Lawton’s solo bedroom project, Lethbridge’s Endangered Ape has since gone through several line-up changes before settling on its current incarnation: Lawton on bass and songwriting duties, Adam Munro on vocals, Jane Edmundson on the synth, Jeff King and Kent Aardse on guitars, and Stu Bota on the drums.

Most solo bedroom projects that become full bands lose the intimacy that a solo project provides. However, Endangered Ape’s lo-fi production gives them the best of both worlds. At the moment, they can sound like a post-punk version of Simply Saucer if they want to (and they do). Their aesthetic ensures continuity between their past, present, and future. No matter what they choose to sound like, they will always maintain at least some singularity.

They have garnered an excellent reputation through their dynamic live shows. Out of all the bands playing Alberta Boom, Endangered Ape has the most electrifying vocalist with Munro. With the same spirit as Fucked Up’s Pink Eyes or Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington (but without the bulge of either), Munro manages to be confrontational and entertaining. Fittingly, the rest of Endangered Ape is as forceful as their frontman. With the recent addition of two new guitarists, the band finally has enough musical firepower to face the audience head-on as much as their vocalist. (KL)

The Pine Tarts

The Pine Tarts’ line-up has been given the same treatment as their drinks, drugs, and love affairs. Things are taken in, adored, cursed, and promptly disposed of. Now that half of the members who recorded their latest EP, Faux Fauves, are now gone, Pine Tarts is a formidable power trio: JJ Powell on vocals and guitar, Jester Suzuki on bass, and Mike “The Nuder” Bressanutti is on drums. Together, they put more blood, sweat, and suspicious white stains into their shows than ever before.

From smashing pints over each other’s heads to putting ring pops on tree branches and encouraging the audience to lick the candy before sticking it to Suzuki’s ample chest hair, Pine Tarts never fail to entertain. They’ve amassed one of the most loyal groups of fans in the city. While onstage, Powell’s hyperactive cantillations and propensity for falling over (often with the aid of several amorous friends) keep the energy levels at an ecstatic near-rapture. The stolid cool of Suzuki (dressed in a cape and not much else) and solid beat of The Nuder keep things at a mostly coherent level. Pine Tarts’ shows are disorienting and exhilarating. They’re a band so accustomed to chaos that they can make the most inadvisable night of debaucheries feel absolutely routine.

Dirtied punks and soulful indie poets, the Pine Tarts will pull you in with catchy hooks, clever lyrics, and hold you close with audience participation drinking games, love songs about dolphins, and sudden mass snogging sessions. A show by these deviates is not one to be missed. (CS)

Los Cremators

Los Cremators are revered as one of the great Edmonton teen heartthrob combos of all time. They started two years ago under the moniker The Cremators with John Richards (guitar and vocals), Ryan Dufoe (drums) and Carson Thomas (bass). Realizing their good looks overshadowed their artistic vision, Luchadore masks were instituted and Los Cremators were born. Loss Cremators’ sound is a three-way bastard hybrid of punk, twang, and lo-fi ’60s surf. Got it so far? Now add The Queers, Satan's Pilgrims, the Ghastly Ones, Teenage Bottle Rocket, Link Wray, and Dick Dale. Song topics may include, but are not limited to: nihilism, monsters, substance abuse, rock ‘n’ roll and more monsters. Los Cremators’ debut was recorded by Edmonton's Nick Kozub (Shout Out Out Out Out) and mixed/mastered by Rene el Brain de la Muerte (from Montreal’s The Brains). Covering all aspects of debauchery, Los Cremators have abandoned any trace of middle ground leaving the audiophile either completely satisfied or utterly disappointed. To find out which category you might fall into, catch the masked heartthrobs on the Alberta Boom tour coming to a town near you. (MH) - Beatroute - Kallen Law, Caitlyn Spencer, Mark Horne

"Cabin Fever"

Cabin fever. Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, confined indoor area. This sounds like, essentially, what Calgary’s rocknrollers have been suffering from after an extremely long bout of holiday shows in dark wooden Canadiana-inspired venues such as Broken City and The Palomino Social Club. This past Saturday, the HIFI Club opened up its doors to those “bohemian hipsters” which normally frequent the bars mentioned above. Featuring fantastic inspirational wolf projections, the disc-jockey stylings of the evercurrent Noah York, and the club kid photographs of New York’s Scott Furkay, Saturday night’s partiers were treated to an entirely adult downtown atmosphere. Which, of course, one should enjoy once and a while.

Those spontaneously combusting meatpackers, Exploding Pigs opened the night up with classically gyrating hips, winks to the crowd, and incredibly distasteful lyrics. Front man Mark Igglesden’s use of percussion instruments really is quite impressive. Everything from a mariachi, to a tambourine, to a kazoo that apparently doesn’t work but is brought along to every show relentlessly, is employed to create a hilarious stage show. However, the average audience member doesn’t always realize the mass wisdom and musical genius behind each and every Exploding Pigs song. For cryin’ out loud, “Kooky Kooky” is more than just a one-hit wonder. It’s truly an iconic testimonial of the unending appreciation and love men have for homemade porn videos.

Recently turned all-boy band, the glorious Pine Tarts hit the velvet-curtained stage next. With pulsing guitar riffs and sweet-as-salt lyrics, lead singer Jesse Powell fiercely plowed through their set list, as well as the hearts of the superfans that littered the crowd. Not looking back once, the Tarts played a couple older favourites, some instrumental splendors, and some brand spanking new sonnets hopefully due out on their next release. As per usual, man-about-town Scott Macklam crawled on stage to hand deliver Pine Tarts records and handcrafted t-shirts to the merch-hungry mob.

Heartthrob rockers The Ex-Boyfriends started their set in a rather shy subdued manner, only to break out moments later into crowd-engaging movements. Djewel launched himself several times into the crowd serenading them blindly whilst the backing band posed in various erotic stances. The phrase “Be my boyfriend again!” was uttered several times during the rock explosion, but I could never quite get a glimpse of whom this regretful dumper was. The evening finished off with a rambunctious dance party when all HIFI guests who held back during the live portion of the night descended en masse to the dance floor. All in all, the HIFI provided an elevated sense of sophistication to a crowd most accustomed to a splintered wooden floor, bartender flare, or a cider splashed in the face. - Kitschykoo! Subcultural Lifestyle Magazine


Untitled LP (forthcoming) || TBA

Faux Fauves CD EP || Sept. 2008

Aurora Borealis/Lit A Path b/w Goodbye Kitty 7" || Oct. 2007

Pine Tarts self-titled EP || Sept. 2007



Pine Tarts are a band from Calgary, Canada. They make punchy tunes and jump around and knock bottles over. They crash heedless through the bush and show up at Broken City with bleeding palms. They are found brooding, pupils wide as saucers, in a corner of the Ship & Anchor, speaking in tongues some nights. People do double-takes when they see what Pine Tarts are wearing. They have been spotted on midsummers eve, when the green aurora is bright above Cascade, on Banff Avenue with an elk skeleton.

One of several bands making waves in Calgary’s burgeoning garage-pop/weird-punk scene, Pine Tarts are plotting a trajectory towards a punky new-wave Pet Sounds with the some of the catchiest, fuzziest, and unabashedly “pop” recordings ever to come out of the city. Inspired by Pixies, Misfits, T. Rex, and the Beach Boys, Pine Tarts sound like wilder, primitive relatives of Weezer, The Quick and Arcade Fire, while in terms of performance and theme, Pine Tarts come across like The Stooges crossed with Leonard Cohen.

"Their blend of ’90s alt-rock (more Rentals and Pixies than angst-laden grungers) and ’70s power-pop is positively infectious" (FFWD Magazine)

"Calgary's most treasured garage-pop band" (FFWD Magazine)

"Pine Tarts sticky vocal melodies reveal a needle-sharp lyrical wit" (Calgary Herald)

"...disorienting and exhilarating...A show by these deviates is not one to be missed" (Beatroute Magazine)