Rich Aucoin
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Rich Aucoin

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | MAJOR

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | MAJOR
Band Alternative Pop


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



""This Cat Looks Good For His Age""

POP CANDY: Unwrapping Pop Cultures Hip and Hidden Treasures

"This Cat Looks Good For His Age"

by Whitney Matheson

Today marks the 50th anniversary of The Cat in the Hat. Why not celebrate by watching Jesse Jackson read another Dr. Seuss classic, Green Eggs and Ham? Thanks to Beth M. for the link.

Another Seuss-related item: Indie musician Rich Aucoin has recorded an album set to the animated classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, "the same way that Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is synched to The Wizard of Oz." You can watch the whole thing on YouTube, and it's quite amazing to hear how much effort he put into the project.

The concept seems a bit Sufjan Stevens-esque, and every nuance of the cartoon -- bells ringing, stars twinkling -- is incorporated into the tracks. This guy has made an epic album ... though he may need some tough lawyers if he ever takes it on the road! Thanks to Pop reader Zack S. for the tip.
- USA Today

""The Grinch is Back""

The Grinch is back
Rich Aucoin’s new EP may be late for the holidays, but it’s perfectly timed with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Matt Charlton discovers.

by Matt Charlton

February 01, 2007

February has come with its usual tidings. The ice on the sidewalks has settled into a seemingly permanent residence as wind cuts through the city with the bite of a sandstorm. Workplaces are full of idle complacency as the realities of seasonal affective disorder and the mid-year break of primetime TV takes hold. The festive spirit from just two months ago seems not only long forgotten, but looked back on with a chilled resentment.

Still, posters keep appearing all over the city for what looks like a showing of the Chuck Jones/Dr. Seuss Christmas classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Not the work of some hapless promoter who has lost touch with seasonal demographics, the posters are actually for a show by a musical artist named Rich Aucoin.

In One World Cafe, giving instructions to a group of musicians about what will be required of them at an upcoming show, Aucoin is hard to miss. Standing well over six feet tall with a puff of curly hair making him a few inches taller, he speaks about his music with a focused intensity usually reserved for someone in a more scientific discipline.

A re-occurring utility man for several bands in the past, including The Burdocks, The Hylozoists and Cuff The Duke, he has recently surfaced with his debut EP, Personal Publication. The work is simultaneously a concept album about the search for and acceptance of love… and bizarrely, an intentional sync piece to be played over the film of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

“I didn’t even start recording until I had watched The Grinch about a hundred times,” Aucoin says, now sitting in front of a neglected plate of vegetarian lasagna. “I put it on the first time and just hummed the melodies and strummed the guitar to see if it would work. My first list for the record looked like a timeline sheet, saying things like ‘This song needs to start at 4 minutes, 59 seconds.’”

The album was recorded solely by Aucoin on his computer, with these constraints in mind. Working with the painstakingly meticulous nature of an animator, he employed such techniques as cutting each drumbeat into the songs individually, going through each track, one at a time, until the work was complete.

The resulting album floats in a haze of passing instrumental lines and buzzing vocal effects. With little in the way of song structures, each track submerges the listener without the usual comforts of a pop song format. While certain moments lend themselves to Flaming Lips and Sufjan Stevens comparisons, for the most part the disc is a uniquely odd look at love…and then there is the whole Grinch thing.

“When you watch Dark Side of Oz”—the sync-up of Wizard of Oz’s visuals with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon—“the first time through the album you could really believe that it was synced up intentionally, but every time the album plays after that, everything seems more coincidental,” says Aucoin. “So when I started to think about doing this I was thinking of doing something shorter. The Grinch just seemed perfect and I was blown away that it was telling the exact same story that I wanted to tell with these songs.”

By showing clips of his creation via Youtube and MySpace, Aucoin’s Personal Publication/How The Grinch Stole Christmas merger has become something of a hit in the sync-enthusiast community. Which brings us back to the oddly timed posters lining the street of late.

To prevent interested parties from having to experience the sync in a dank, pot-hazed basement, Aucoin is regularly performing it throughout Halifax with The Grinch’s visuals being projected behind him as he plays each track. With word spreading quickly about the project, and plans developing to tour with the idea, this Grinch could keep lingering until it comes right back into season again.

Rich Aucoin releases Personal Publication (with a screening of The Grinch) with guests Jason Ball, Brent Randall, Jess Lewis and Laura Peek, February 3 at St. Matthew’s, 1479 Barrington, 8pm (doors 7pm), $10, 423-9209. - The Coast (Halifax's Weekly)

""Meet Rich Aucoin""



Rich Aucoin, multi-instrumentalist and Haligonian. Composer of unofficial scores to Dr. Seuss movies. Younger brother of The Hylozoists' Paul Aucoin. Oh, and novice cyclist – who just happens to be midway through a cross-Canada tour by bicycle.

Since self-releasing his album Personal Publication – on which he plays over 25 instruments arranged to sync up with How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Aucoin The Younger has embarked on a tour from west to east, hauling behind him his music gear, a Grinch costume and a video projector. Prior to setting out from Victoria two months ago, his longest bike ride was a leisurely 20 km jaunt around Halifax. He consulted with a few distance cyclists prior to mapping out the route and chose to ride west-to-east to take advantage of favourable winds, but didn't anticipate timing his journey through the Prairies to coincide perfectly with the tornado season. The good-hearted folly of such an undertaking is reason enough to donate to his chosen charity, the Childhood Cancer Foundation.

For those of you following along at home, the start of track three syncs with the opening credits. “I did it like that because of the trouble I had figuring out the [inadvertent] synching of The Wizard of Oz to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon,� he explains. “I chose instead to start the visual to an audio cue, rather than the other way around.� Composing and arranging his alternate narrative and score took over a year and a half. Aucoin plays all the instruments on the album, in part because he was reluctant to ask others to suffer through the process. After mapping out the potential visual and musical cues on paper, he worked out the melodies by watching the film hundreds of times with his keyboard at the ready. Aucoin's tip: “If you have any sort of musical inclination, you can figure it out by listening for the buildup at the end of track two: there is a direct count into the third song.� Got that?

“At one point, actually, I was listening to The Hylozoists, and as the music came to a crescendo, I looked up above me and saw that the clouds were going in opposite directions.� Despite this ominous sign, Aucoin later discovered he missed the tornado by a day, though he did endure three hailstorms, which he likens to being hit repeatedly by paintballs. He is similarly stoic about the feat of crossing the Rockies without any prior athletic training. “The only moment where I seriously doubted the logistics of the whole thing was during the first mountain I climbed. I had to stop twice and I was just so utterly exhausted, and I knew I had so many more mountains to go. But after that mountain, I never had to stop again. It was definitely difficult, but it wasn't that mind-shattering ‘what am I doing?!' kind of feeling.�



""SPIN : Buzzcatcher : Artist of The Day""

Catch the Buzz: Rich Aucoin

Canadian wunderkind orchestrates his own lo-fi indie-pop symphony.

By Larry Fitzmaurice 07.23.08 11:21 AM

Who? Yes, it's another Canadian musician -- but not the kind you'd expect. First off, singer/songwriter/downright maestro Rich Aucoin isn't from Montreal like those other guys; he hails all the way from Nova Scotia. Secondly, rather than practicing in the wound-up, nervy rock sound of his country's peers, Aucoin specializes in light-sounding, harmony-heavy, impeccably arranged indie-pop in the vein of ELO and Dr. Dog -- with enough glockenspiels to shake a copy of Born to Run at. He may sing about how "now, the lakes are frozen," but Aucoin's candy confections are enough to melt all of Halifax.

His Latest: Rich Aucoin's debut EP, Personal Publication, is out now.

Recommended If You Like: ELO, Dr. Dog, the Unicorns. - SPIN Magazine

""Concert Reviews""

Rich Aucoin
Gus’ Pub, Halifax NS August 17
By Pras Rajagopalan

The culmination of a cross-country tour that saw one-man band Rich Aucoin bike across Canada, gear and all, to raise money for the Childhood Cancer Foundation, this show was a triumphant homecoming for the Haligonian. It was also be the last show where he would perform his Personal Publication EP in synchronisation with the cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, due largely to a cease and desist order he received from the Seuss estate. Unlike the other shows on the tour, Aucoin received some help on stage from a drummer, and for a couple of songs, a full band. They might have been hastily put together and a little sloppy, but they filled out his kaleidoscopic tunes admirably. After an opening salvo with the band, Aucoin donned a Santa suit and a Grinch mask, and with drummer in tow, flew into the synched set. All fears as to how the experiment would translate in a live setting were quickly allayed once the set began. Both Aucoin’s rainbow-hued sound and this wonderfully ridiculous concept immediately brought comparisons to the Flaming Lips. However, with titles like “At War With The Cynics,” it is to Aucoin’s credit that he wryly acknowledges this influence, rendering it more tribute than gimmick. More importantly, Aucoin exuded the likeable sincerity of a man having a great time and happy to be reunited with his friends. The bar’s patrons were more than happy to reciprocate Aucoin’s good vibes, singing and dancing with irrepressible glee. Even amongst all this merriment, the emotional crux of the show wasn’t felt until the Grinch saved Whoville’s presents from teetering off the cliff, which coincided perfectly with a rousing crescendo in “10,342 Cuts for the U.S. (An Exploding).” The band returned for the encore, noticeably more inebriated, and bashed out a jubilant sing-along that was all too appropriate a conclusion to the night’s festivities.
- Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority


Rich Aucoin's cross-Canada bike tour ends back at home this week. In his own words, he talks about his remarkable trip.
by Rich Aucoin

Who-ville revisited Rich Aucoin, Halifax's favourite Grinch, hits city limits again next week. (click for larger version)
"Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. A quest may not simply be abandoned; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever; a happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story."

—Peter S. Beagle

About a month-and-a-half ago, this quote would have come quite in handy, as sickness overcame me and cycling the other half of the second-largest country in the world seemed quite daunting. But it was a month-and-a half-before that that the hardest part of doing a cross-Canada music tour on a bicycle actually took place.

Starting on May 12 in Victoria, British Columbia, with no previous cycling experience other than peninsula commuting in Halifax, I began the enormous New Year's resolution/quest that I had made some four months previously. This "hardest part" was not letting go of my silly/whimsical/fantastical idea and taking that first step to plan for it. First steps, as simple as they always are —calling that student advisor, putting in that resume, making that plane ticket reservation—are the hardest part; we keep these "plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines." This is because turning these "one days" into "todays" takes more than that phone call, application and mouse click; it takes sacrifice and leaving family and friends and/or losing things we already have.

Once the hardest part is over, though, all that stands in your way are trials and tribulations, which are to be expected and enjoyed or overcome, as they are the stories and adventures from your quest: "at every moment life is beautifully tragic, retrospectively comic or mundanely fantastic."

In my situation, starting to bike across the country for my tour and the Childhood Cancer Foundation (, I was met with ominous mountains lurking on the horizon, saying, "Hey buddy, you can't get to Halifax without going through us!"—only to reach them and nearly break down both physically and mentally because of the utter exhaustion biking over a mountain induces.

Sheets of rain were the next trial, which diminished over time—biking for 100 to 150km in eight hours of pouring rain became somewhat of a standard (especially by the was really hard to keep going after being offered a ride from Saskatoon to Regina by the In-Flight Safety boys).

Outside of Edmonton, when this rain turned to hail, a new experience of what could only be called wet-pain was obtained; this was also the beginning of cycling through thunder and lightning storms with only "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" as a comfort song to keep company since my cellphone chose to give up only a week in. Breakdowns, hitchhiking to gas stations, bike repair shops, botched personal bike repairs (I'm not really a cyclist in any respect), and one hell of a head cold bring us back to where this started.

Sometime after Thunder Bay and before Wawa, Ontario, I got the cold that would rival any of the annual colds that put me in bed for a week. Still, I had to keep performing, biking and enduring. But what happened that week was a perfect example of what has been shown to me time and time again on this trek—when things get rough, people come to the aid of other people. At the peak of my illness, a couple took me in, gave me a place to sleep and arranged a 200km drive for me so that I could rest before my next show. Across the country, I have seen examples of what Paulo Coelho meant when he said that if you follow your dreams, the universe will conspire to help you achieve them; no amount of thunderstorms and breakdowns will get in your way.

So, in the middle of the story, with more breakdowns, life-threatening hailstorms and the second half of the country to come (read all about it here!), I had complete faith that things would work out, thanks to the support of everyone I had met, people who came together to make this cycling/fundraising/music adventure happen. Thanks very, very much to everyone to has contributed, pledged and given their support.

"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way!" —Dr. Seuss

Rich Aucoin's final performance of How The Grinch Stole Christmas w/The First Aid Kit and Jason Ball, August 17 at Gus' Pub, 2605 Agricola, $5. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Childhood Cancer Foundation visit - The Coast (Halifax's Weekly)

""How Rich Aucoin Stole Christmas""

How Rich Aucoin stole Christmas

There's no shortage of hooks to use when it comes to talking about Rich Aucoin. There's his part-time membership in Hylozoists, Cuff The Duke and FemBots. There's his legitimate claim to being a one-man band, as he plays twenty-some instruments on his new EP, Personal Publication. There's the fact his album syncs up with How The Grinch Stole Christmas, a claim proven in the videos on his Myspace. Best of all, there's the fact he's biking across Canada to raise money for the Childhood Cancer Foundation.

It's only natural, then, that Personal Publication is also full of hooks. It nearly goes without saying that he's a creative guy, and there's a half-hour of fun, catchy pop on here to back that up. Whether it's '70s-inspired rock ("At War With The Cynics", the '80s-tinged "Behold The Lamb! [Muffled By The Noisy City] (An Offering)", or the Sufjan-esque "10,432 Cuts For The US (An Exploding)", Aucoin is never lacking for an engaging melody or a memorable line. It all helps ensure that Personal Publication stands up on its own merits, rather than relying on its creator to give it character. -

""Best Shows Of The Year""

Show Me Love

BY Nick Flanagan
You probably didn't see all of this year's best concerts, but our critics are more than happy to tell you what you missed.

March 9, Music Gallery

March 10, Horseshoe Tavern (Canadian Music Week)

April 30, Massey Hall

May 4, Whippersnapper Gallery (Over the Top)
Seeing Haligonian and multi-instrumentalist Rich Aucoin step unassumingly onto a stage is like opening a box from Ikea: you think you know what you're in for, but there are a lot more pieces to the puzzle than you expected. Synching his Personal Publication EP to a video of How the Grinch Stole Christmas couldn't have been an easy task, and seeing Aucoin rush around to instrument after instrument, sometimes while wearing a Grinch mask, proved it. I'm never sure whether I should be more fascinated by his knack for keeping up with the movie or by his ability to switch so effortlessly — and sometimes breathlessly — from trumpet to keyboards. Without a doubt, the most entertaining holiday special going. JILL LANGLOIS

May 27, El Mocambo

May 11, Lula Lounge

May 19, Tonic

May 22, Massey Hall

June 29, Four Seasons Centre (TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival)

July 21, Tranzac

Aug. 5, Arrow Hall

Sept. 8, Virgin Festival

Sept. 25, Lee's Palace

Nov. 26, 27, 29, Massey Hall - Eye Weekly (Toronto)

""Pop Rocks" Review"

"Pop Rocks" Review - Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority

Rich Aucoin
Personal Publication
By Vish Khanna

Add Halifax native Rich Aucoin's name to the list of contemporary artists taking the concept of DIY, pumping it up with steroids and pushing it for all its worth. Admire the fact that he's attempted to pull a Sufjan by writing and recording parts for over 25 distinct instruments he plays himself. Ponder the quirky fact that he's synced this new EP up with the cartoon adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas on his MySpace page. Do a double take when you discover that he's somehow touring across the entire country this summer on his bicycle, with all proceeds benefiting the Childhood Cancer Foundation. (Forgive him if he's slightly late for some of these shows.) All of these details would be moot if Personal Publication wasn't worth a damn but, thankfully, it is. Learning some things from a stint in big brother Paul's Hylozoists, Aucoin creates bombastic, orchestral indie pop soundscapes crafted around abstract lyrics and narratives. It's not all that sugar-coated, as the songs bob and weave with different textures and feels. Difficult to process, Personal Publication is a fine introduction to the young Rich Aucoin, and his ambitious work is certainly something to keep tabs on. (Independent) - Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority

""Rich Aucoin Is The Grinch At The End Of The Story""

Rich Aucoin Is The Grinch At The End Of The Story
Thursday April 12, 2007 @ 06:00 PM
By: Staff

HALIFAX — Oh, the places he'll go. Halifax's charming Dr. Seusster, Rich Aucoin, is nostalgic for childhood. The artist recently released his Personal Publication debut EP, which syncs perfectly in time to How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

In addition to his slightly anal-retentive precision, the kooky mastermind is widening eyes with his upcoming cross-country bicycle tour, appropriately coined "Oh, The Places You'll Go."

"I started thinking about things at length that have had a great impact on me," Aucoin says over a glass of red wine at Tom's Little Havana in Halifax. "And The Grinch sprang to mind almost immediately."

Aucoin has a heart of gold. He aspires to criss-cross the country on a two-wheeler with all of his eclectic instruments in tow, while allowing audience members to shave snippets of his curly locks to raise money for cancer research en route. The lanky wannabe Who will roll into town on his bicycle, set up for a gig and proceed to perform his layered and artful album in sync to the Dr. Seuss Christmas classic. Post-show, once he undresses from his lime-green Grinch costume and Santa Claus suit, Aucoin will request the help of an avid patron to buzz a chunk of his hair.

"The Grinch fantasizes about taking love away from the Whos and keeping it all to himself," says Aucoin. "I compare this to what goes through the club-goer's mind in the fictional world that is created in a dance club environment.

"Then it is romanticized in songs that are completely full of shit like 'Promiscuous' by Nelly Furtado. No one really cares about the other person's wants in that scenario. It's all about taking, which is just what the Grinch fantasizes about — taking love."

One might recognize Aucoin's familiar mug from performing in such acclaimed acts at The Hylozoists and Cuff The Duke. His brother, producer and Hylozoist Paul Aucoin, has played an integral role in his personal and musical development.

"Paul has helped me every step of the way," says Aucoin. "After recording with the Burdocks and on The Hylozoists' first record, my brother invited me to come on tour playing vibraphone and glockenspiel, which led to the other bands on tour [FemBots and Cuff The Duke].

"The tour was incredible. I couldn't have hoped for a better set of musicians to perform with and guys to hang out with."

—Shannon Webb-Campbell - ChartAttack (Canada's Online Music Zine)


Personal Publication EP (2007)
Public Publication EP (2010)
We're All Dying To Live (2011)



Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower.

On a mission to create a euphoric communal experience, Rich Aucoin writes music with emphasis on the feelings and happiness that it creates. With his first commercial release, Public Publication EP, Aucoin has created an anthemic pop EP, breaking the barriers between audience and performers, inviting everyone to create this lush-yet simplistic, electro-pop music together. The focus of Public Publication is simply to contain as much of the country as possible. Featuring more than 500 musicians and recorded locally from Victoria, BC to Saint John’s, NL (and as far north as Dawson City, YK), the album was made in professional studios, bedrooms and churches. Performers include members from some of Canada’s biggest bands and then Canada’s passionate musical hobbyists. It took over two years to travel and record/arrange all these individuals. The amazing part is that Public Publication still feels like a simple, well written pop album…but deep within lies the inspiration that encourages Aucoin to follow through with these ambitious ideas.