The Liptonians
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The Liptonians

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Liptonians March Forward"

By now, the story of indie pop outfit The Liptonians is a familiar one among local scenesters: Bucky Driedger and Matt Schellenberg, two-high school pals from?Steinbach, moved into a house on Winnipeg’s Lipton Street and, with the help of a few of their friends, got to work on making a record under the name The Liptonians. A few years later, they emerged from the basement with their self-recorded, self-titled debut — a fresh-faced, rosy-cheeked charmer of an album that went on to snag a Western Canadian?Music Award for outstanding?pop recording in 2008.

Fast-forward to 2011, and Driedger and Schellenberg (along with new bandmates Mitch Braun, Michael Jordan and Levi Penner) are about to celebrate the release of another outstanding pop recording. Let’s All March Back Into the Sea, The Liptonians’ second album, is a sophisticated step forward, the result of Driedger and Schellenberg having a clearer sense of what they wanted — and how to achieve it.

"The process last time was more about exploration and figuring things out," explains Driedger over coffee.

"Or not figuring things out," Schellenberg chimes in with a laugh.

"There wasn’t a specific vision (for the first record)," Driedger says. "This one, there wasn’t a vision necessarily until the end, but each song got a lot more attention."

The evidence to back up that last point can be found all over the record. The songs that make up Let’s All March... boast lush, adventurous arrangements that require a small orchestra’s worth of instruments to pull off — but they never sound cluttered or worse, laboured over. These are still buoyant pop songs, no matter how dense the instrumentation.

"That was something I was worried about," Schellenberg admits. "I have a tendency to pile things on. One of my biggest influences was that?Pets record (2000’s Love and War) from years ago. It has tons of stuff going on and that was my first reference point. Believe it or not, this record is us paring things down."

Although it was largely recorded at Prairie Recording?Co. and MCM Studios by Michael?Petkau Falk (Les Jupes/Head In?The Sand Records) and?Matt Peters (Royal Canoe/Waking Eyes), the new album still has the DIY, experimental spirit that made The Liptonians’ first record so exciting. Many magic moments on Let’s All?March... were captured in the band’s rehearsal space.

"I’ve been known to have demo-itis," Schellenberg says with a laugh. "I tend to always love the first take, because that’s always the one that has the most magic. I think we’re attracted to that sound, and I think that’s what helped the DIY charm of the first record come through on this one."

"I don’t think having a studio made us more polished," Driedger adds. "I think it just gave us a bigger palette to work with."

Indeed, Driedger and Schellenberg weren’t looking to make a glossy studio record; they had simply outgrown the noise they were making and needed an environment that would allow them to tackle something slightly more ambitious than their lo-fi, basement debut.

"The last album, by late last year, it was a bit embarrassing to sell at shows, to be frank," Driedger says. "It wasn’t indicative of what we were doing anymore, and it almost felt too sloppy.

"With this record, it’s nice to have something that you’re proud of, and to know that you did the best you could for each song." - Uptown Magazine

"Let's All March Back Into the Sea Review"

The Liptonians’ sophomore outing, Let’s All March Back Into The Sea, is a much more polished affair than their 2008 self-titled debut — that little basement charmer that went on to snag a Western Canadian Music Award.?The new album still retains plenty of the lo-fi looseness and the DIY ethos that defined its predecessor. Standouts include the bombastic Growing Old in the City, the whimsical Ghosts in my Garden and the Beatles-era Britpop anthem Lesage (which boasts big shiny horns straight out of All You Need Is Love). Perhaps most impressive is the fact that these songs never sound cluttered or overwrought. A stellar second record. - Uptown Magazine

"Let's All March Back Into the Sea Review"

Cleverly written lyrics and ambitious sound are on offer from The Liptonians new album.

Out of the creative chaos and cross-pollination of the Winnipeg music scene, this new album appears. The Liptonians is a young band founded by and centred around Bucky Driedger (vocals, guitar) and Matt Schellenberg (vocals, keys). A re-vamped line-up emerged over the course of the development of their second full-length record, "Let's All March Back Into The Sea". Currently rounding out The Liptonians are Michael Jordan (drums), Mitch Braun (guitar, organ, autoharp), and Levi Penner (bass).

The album starts off with a 46 second piece called "Terrell's Dream", a tribute to the drummer who left the band to join another before the recording of this album. The prelude is discordant and confusing enough to make you wonder what is to come, but then flows nicely into "You Know I Did" (listen below), a song which utilizes every musical instrument in the catalogue of the album and vocals reminiscent of Beck. There's a liberal scattering of "ooh ah" choruses for ease of singing along, but there’s also some thoughtful reflections, such as "the misunderstood forgetful dreamers, a bouquet of puzzle pieces that don't fit in."

Occasionally, the music fans are treated to a glimpse into the creative process by way of a song. Such is the case with "Lesage", a song about the relationship between the musician and the instrument, specifically a Montréal-built upright piano. The tune is catchy and the lyrics are amusingly crafted. Listening to this song intently, one may feel as though they are sitting on the piano bench while the song emerges from the keys.

"Growing Old In The City" features a so-called "exotic harmony" found in an old book on "How to write songs". I'm not convinced that the band requires this particular tutelage, but this little experiment results in a song that conflicts me. On first pass, I was caught up in the drama of the song: the zombie beat, horns and accordion transporting you to a funeral march in New Orleans. Listening to it a few more times, though, it morphed into a combination of Three Penny Opera and a Tom Waits experience (think "Alice"). I'm unsure that this song will ever settle into a proper category for me, but also think that this is the song that will have me cheering the loudest at the first indication during a show, or put a smile on my face after hearing it years from now.

My other favourite on the album is "Ghosts In My Garden", with all of its references to famous people like Abe Lincoln and Babe Ruth. There are two things in particular that I enjoy about this song. First off, I've always been a sucker for a waltz and this is a fine modern example. Secondly, up until this point in the album, there is no noticeable electric guitar. It's introduced about two-thirds of the way into this song, with great effect. As an added bonus, once you've committed the lyrics to memory (fun things like "float through the carrots"), it's a great little ditty to sing along with.

Leading an evolving band, Bucky and Matt are successfully experimenting with various orchestrations and arrangements. The album they’ve created is a mix of styles and sounds, featuring horns, a jazzy baritone sax, a reed organ (a domesticated version of a church-resident pipe organ), an accordion, strings, male and female choruses and several delightful percussion treats. Given the plethora of instruments and choruses, it will be interesting to see how this band manifests itself in a live show.

The album "Let's All March Back Into The Sea" will be released February 8th, and is worth the purchase. You can then catch The Liptonians in Toronto when they play the Horseshoe Tavern on Tuesday, March 8th (free) or a couple of days later at The Garrison on Friday, March 11th as part of Canadian Music Fest (wristbands available for $10 off for a limited time, buy now).
- Sticky Magazine

"Show Review"

After listening to the recently released album Let’s All March Back Into The Sea, a live gig by The Liptonians was highly anticipated. The album features songs that are complexly orchestrated, featuring a variety of styles and sounds. To see this type of music recreated live could be a real treat or a disaster.

Not surprisingly, The Liptonians pulled it off with style. Bucky Driedger (vocals, guitar) took centre stage with Matt Schellenberg and his keys and reed organ on one side and Mitch Braun with more keys and the auto-harp on the other. The rhythm section of Levi Penner (bass) and Michael Jordan (drums) filled out the cozy stage at The Garrison. Although there was evidence of some early Liptonians fans in the crowd (shouts of "Bucky forever!"), the majority were experiencing the band for the first time.

The Liptonians recreated the album, almost track for track, for their 2011 CMW experience. "Terrell's Dream" was piped in while the guys assembled on stage, and led straight into their most well-known song, "You Know I Did". By the first few notes of "Hey! Hey! Help Is On Its Way", people were migrating towards the stage to check out the source of this novel and fascinating music.

The confidence of the band grew from song to song. By the time Bucky approached the vocal distortion mic for "Calling You Out", there was a lot more swagger and eye contact. For Matt's showpiece, "Lesage", the momentum built throughout the song, with Matt lifting off his seat and belting out the lyrics with infectious enthusiasm. It was spectacular.

Both Bucky and Matt give the appearance of being very serious artists, but they still managed to get a few laughs from the crowd with their between-song banter. Before playing "Ghosts In My Garden", Bucky mentioned a song with a similar theme played earlier that night by Del Barber, ending with "Sorry, Del, but we'll see who wins!"

The only song not played from the album was "Roller Coaster", a Winnipeg Free Press My City / My Song contest finalist, which perhaps the band deemed to have too little relevance in this scenario. The Liptonians bravely ended their set with "March Back Into The Sea", a song that showcases many of the band's talents with creating moods and soundscapes. The nine-song set was brilliantly presented and left new fans eager to see them again. - Sticky Magazine

"Let's All March Back Into the Sea Review"

This Winnipeg quartet's name makes them sound like a cadre of rock stars from The Jetsons, and sonically speaking, that gig wouldn't be far out of their reach. Opening song "You Know I Did" (the second track, but it follows a quick intro) is teeming with all the outer-spaciness and ethereal qualities possessed by Spiritualized or an early Air.

It's also a clear proclamation that Let's All March Back Into The Sea is going to be a substantially British album, or at least as British-sounding an album as four dudes from Winnipeg have ever pulled off. The Liptonians (whose ranks include members of Royal Canoe and Les Jupes) alternately touch on Justin Hawkins-era The Darkness, The Big Pink and Pink Floyd. They even come to the table with their own "Another Brick In The Wall" stomper, "Growing Old In The City." They succeed in all of these emulations with an aplomb that's usually reserved for eccentric solo artists like John Southworth.

Let's All March Back Into The Sea's midsection lacks the verve of its opening and closing ends, but when The Liptonians' stuff is catchy as hell when they hit full stride. There'll be a lot of comparisons to Zeus in their future, and they'll be warranted. - ChartAttack

"Let's All March Back Into the Sea Review"

The Liptonians are holding a cd release bash at the West End Cultural Centre tonight for Let's All March Back Into the Sea. Opneing will be Rusty Matyas (Waking Eyes, Imaginary Cities). The album's an undeniable mix of well-crafted pop melodies, insistent keyboards,dynamic percussion, vocals both delicate and invulnerable, and well-placed horns, as well as some unpredictable noises. This one will go down as one of the great records ever created in this province - I predict it's going to grace some best-of-the-year lists. For more info, check out an interview at Painting With Silence, and if you like it, vote for that blog on the Searchlight Best Music Website polls (Scruffy has been kicked off that island). - Scruffy the Yak

"Let's All March Back Into the Sea Review"

A collection of lurching folk-pop (folk as in "enduring," not finger-picking) like Let's All March Back Into The Sea is hard to sustain. Luckily, some roiling creativity helps things along in the case of the Liptonians, who are not merely content taking food out of the mouths of the inexplicably popular Edward Sharpe. Opener "You Know I Did" is just a peek at things to come. The record really gets going on "Hey! Hey! Help Is On Its Way!," a point where "infectious" starts to scuttle its way across your head, the repeating keys and vocals coaxing a welcome sing-along. "Growing Old in the City" is an accordion-driven dirge with the sinister excised, echoing through a quieter second act and prefacing lyrical fireworks in "Perfect Swimmers." Things drag a bit in "Ghosts in My Garden" and then pick up mightily for the marvellous "Lesage," again with keys and trumpets that would make Nathan Johnson smile broadly. The Liptonians haven't reinvented any genres with their latest LP, but by treating pop as a shape rather than a restriction, they display an intimidating talent and demand your attention. - Exclaim Magazine

"Let's All March Back Into the Sea Review"

Let’s All March Back Into The Sea is the second offering from the Winnipeg-based Liptonians, and on it, founding members Matt Schellenberg and Bucky Driedger have surrounded themselves with a roster of various other musicians. This revolving door-policy gives their music a wonderful depth that is both engaging and stimulating. “Growing Old in the City” is a swaying, drunken mess of a song that conjures up memories of stumbling home after a night on the sauce. “The Privatest Parts” is a lovely, dream-like track with divine vocals courtesy of Driedger. The final track, “March Back Into The Sea” has a similar feel to The National, with it’s epic piano based soundscape.
Let’s All March Back Into The Sea oscillates between beautiful pop-driven melodies and raucous mash-ups, but it always maintains an element of integrity. It’s a pleasure to listen to. The tiny nuances found within each song are a trainspotter’s delight. See if you can figure out which track features the sound of a railroad spike (and no cheating by looking at the album notes). This is the band to get into before all your friends do. - Discorder Magazine

"Let's All March Back Into the Sea Review"

Landlocked in Winnipeg, the Liptonians ponder the sea as a lethal, life-giving element and multi-purpose metaphor, on this album of thoughtfully reckless experiments in songwriting. The Privatest Parts is an ocean-going waltz with reed organ, Growing Old in the City shouts its gut-bucket complaints like a rant from a rusty fire escape, and Hey! Hey! Help is on the Way! muses on floods and locusts while Bucky Driedger and Matt Schellenberg (who wrote the album) sing two independent vocal lines over a sauntering pop beat. Calling You Out is a vivid atmospheric rocker, with a stalking beat and Driedger’s vocals scrubbed raw. In Ghosts in My Garden, he sings a delicate waltz about finding the glowing talkative heads of famous dead people stuck between onions and radishes. This is brainy, entertaining stuff, from a band that can do it all, and very well. - Globe and Mail

"The Liptonians CD Review"

The Liptonians (Independent)

It's fitting the "Lipton Street Singers" provide backing "merriment" on the debut disc by The Liptonians since there is plenty to be found here. The collective, led by Matt Schellenberg and Bucky Driedger, revels in playful pop, such as the horn-fueled Charlie's Back! and the rock swagger of Twenty Dollars. The 11 tracks shift dynamics several times during its 42-minute run time but wind down near the end with too many down-tempo numbers, fortunately the songwriting never falters and is strong throughout. An impressive opening salvo from a new band worth keeping an eye on no matter what street you live on.

3 and 1/2 Stars out of Five.

-- Rob Williams

- Winnipeg Free Press

"The Liptonians CD Review"


In 2005, The Liptonians' founding members Matt Schellenberg and Bucky Driedger moved into a house on Lipton Street, dubbed it 'Liptonia' and got to work making music - and thus, The Liptonians was born. Although a fairly obscure name in the local music scene, this quirky indie outfit will undoubtedly enjoy a higher profile thanks to this earnest little pop-rock gem. Peppered with plenty of cheeky keyboard hooks and punchy horns, opener Charlie's Back is totally adorable, while the more serious Sing the Songs is a subdued, stripped-down affair. Musically diverse and lyrically sharp, The Liptonians is worth keeping an ear out for.
— Jen Zoratti - Uptown Magazine

"The Liptonians CD Review"

“Smooth” is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the opening chords of the self-titled debut from the Liptonians, a collaboration by multi-instrumentalists Matt Schellenberg and Bucky Driedger. What follows is an interesting combination of upbeat and mid-tempo piano-driven folk-pop songs, like the punchy “Charlie’s Back!” and the somber, stripped down “Sing the Songs.” Recorded at the Lipton Street house they rent (dubbed “Liptonia”), the album integrates horn and string ensembles, giving off a ska-like vibe at times. Schellenberg and Driedger trade off standard pop vocal duties to deliver the album’s earnest lyrics. Although the album slows down midway through, the Liptonians have been nominated for Outstanding Pop Recording at the Western Canadian Music Awards — an impressive achievement for this debut album. Recommended if you like: The Weakerthans, Wilco and The Hush Sound.
—Matt Preprost - The Uniter

" CD Review"

When we first stumbled upon The Liptonians, it was courtesy of the bouncing piano pop track Charlie’s Back. That song was one of the last entries on our Manitoba mixtape and after soaking in the shimmering piano ditty, we waited patiently for the band to send over their self-titled release. I kind of expected a collection of twinkled ivories, boomed horns and energy that topped the meter, and while the instruments that make up the tracks are pretty consistent, the record is more subdued and measured.

The majority of the record plays to the grays in life; internalization, heartbreak, and melancholy but The Liptonians never let the record fall into the rut of sadness. Front man Matt Schellenberg and multi-instrumentalist Bucky Driedger drive this Winnipeg based band, but get tons of support from some talented friends and splice in horns, bass, and a myriad of noise makers and backing singers. They take the time to kick start slow movers like Write Your Name in the Sand and Twenty Dollars with blasts of guitar, distortion, but are just as successful when they let a sad sorry speak for itself (on the rootsy Our Better Days) or venture into quirky numbers like Miss Unaffected.

If you heard Charlie’s Back! and rushed out to get your fill of piano pop, you might be caught off guard by this record, but really, the strength of the band is the subtleties and a mature confidence. Instead of songs that jump out of the speakers, you are treated to a collection of songs that are consistently enjoyable. The Liptonians opt not to overreach for those soaring heights, and as a result never stumble into unrecoverable lows and give the listener eleven solid tracks. -

"Award Winning Basement Tapes"

In February, The Uniter featured The Liptonians in an article about five bands to watch in 2008. Well, the group has delivered on the early promise it showed.

Last month in Edmonton, the local pop-rock five-piece won Outstanding Pop Recording at the Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA).

The win came as a surprise to singer-guitarist Bucky Driedger.

“Not to over dramatize, but we’re sort of an underdog. We’re not very well known [and] we recorded our album in our basement,” Driedger said over a Fort Garry Dark at Cousins one Saturday at the end of October.

The band sent their album to the WCMA nomination committee on a whim. They didn’t expect to be nominated, let alone win. Up against the likes of Vancouver pop singer Elise Estrada and Hawksley Workman protégé James Murdoch Band, The Liptonians were in tight competition.

Now, they couldn’t be happier.

“We’re going to ride this wave until we crash,” said Driedger, who turns 23 later this month.

Not to over dramatize, but we’re sort of an underdog. We’re not very well known [and] we recorded our album in our basement.”
–Bucky Driedger

He added that his mind has been going “a million miles a minute,” since the win, but has the award changed anything? For Driedger, the recognition and the hope that it might lead to something more is incredible.

“I never wanted to make tons of money off music. I’d be happy making it a career or just paying the bills.”

Released independently this past March, The Liptonians’ self-titled debut CD is the product of many years of close collaboration between Driedger and his long-time friend Matt Schellenberg. The two moved into a house on Lipton Street four years ago, dubbed it Liptonia and began writing and recording the disc’s 11 tracks by themselves.

Schellenberg has since gotten married and moved out of the house, but is no further than two blocks away from where it all began. Guitarist Mike Petkau, bassist Darren Grunau and drummer Terrell Froese – all of whom were added to the band after the CD was finished – aren’t far away either.

Awards like the WCMAs are typically bestowed upon well-established bands that have recorded in studios and are signed to a label. The Liptonians’ win in Edmonton will be a beacon of hope for all musicians recording at home, whether it be in their basement, bedroom or bathroom.

Driedger said the band is looking forward to playing around Winnipeg for the near future. With the sort of recognition they’re receiving, it may be hard to believe that they’ve played less than ten shows in the city.

Driedger can hardly believe the band’s good fortune.

“I’m super, super, super giddy.”

- Ian McAmmond - The Uniter

"The chronicles of Liptonia - Local pop/rock act The Liptonians discuss their Western Canadian Music Award-winning debut and the basement it was made in"

In 2005, high-school pals Bucky Driedger (vocals/guitar) and Matt Schellenberg (keys/vocals) moved into a house on Lipton Street, affectionately dubbed it 'Liptonia' and, under the thematic moniker The Liptonians, started making a record.

Almost three years later, they emerged with an impressive self-recorded, self-titled debut album.

Now, this feat in and of itself isn't really that remarkable - fledgling indie rock bands make basement records all the time, and many of them are good. But, unlike The Liptonians' DIY effort, those albums don't usually win awards.

Indeed, much to the shock of its creators, The Liptonians snagged the trophy for outstanding pop recording at this year's Western Canadian Music Awards, held last month in Edmonton.

"We were very surprised," Driedger says. "We were sitting at the back of the theatre, and we kind of thought they put us back there because we didn't win. When they called our name, we just sort of looked at each other. There was a lot of stupid grinning."

The Liptonians have every right to be excited. An industry award is a nice feather for any band to have in its cap - but it's especially nice for a new band looking to build a buzz.

"Just like getting experience for a job resumé, this is great for a gig resumé," Driedger says.

Still, it's not like the indie pop outfit - which has expanded to include Terrell Froese (drums), Darren Grunau (bass) and local production whizkid Mike Petkau (guitar, keyboards, vocals) - wasn't taken seriously prior to the WCMA win. Since its release in March, The Liptonians has received plenty of love from local music scribes and plenty of play from radio stations across the country. The band was also recently accepted to showcase at Canadian Music Week in Toronto early next year.

Not bad, especially considering the group's humble beginnings. According to Liptonian lore, the story goes something like this:

"Bucky and I worked at a golf course after high school," Schellenberg says, explaining that the pair grew up together in Steinbach.

"He came up to me on his mower after listening to an album by The Pets - who are The Waking Eyes now - and said 'I have a plan for our lives,' and explained what we were going to do sort of casually."

"I said, 'We're going to move into a house and make music," Driedger says.

And so, inspired by The Pets and their 2000 psych-pop debut, Love and War (another unusually successful basement recording)Schellenberg, now 23, and Driedger, now 22, moved into their now-fabled Wolseley digs and got to work.

Making music is one thing. Recording it is quite another.

"We did a little research and bought ProTools," Schellenberg says. "Basically, all we knew how to do was open a new track and press record. Nothing we did that year ended up on the record."

Though the process of self-recording proved frustrating (or "slow and painful" as Driedger describes it), it allowed the pair to have plenty of creative freedom.

"Because we didn't have any deadlines and because there were no expectations on us, we were able to take our time," Driedger says.

"But one thing I found discouraging was having a sound in my head and not being able to replicate it on a record," Schellenberg says.

"And the things that were in my head didn't end up on the record, but I liked what happened better, if that makes sense."

"By recording it ourselves we stumbled upon sounds we wouldn't have found otherwise, just because we didn't know what we were doing," Driedger adds.

That said, there's nothing novice about the end result. In fact, it doesn't even sound like a first album. Liberally sprinkled with singalong choruses, ear-worm hooks and playful lyrics, The Liptonians is a refreshingly gritty pop/rock record - and its little imperfections only add to its rosy-cheeked charm.

"I wouldn't have been happy if it was a clean, polished record," Driedger says.

Clean and polished, no, but The Liptonians can now add 'award-winning' to the list of modifiers used to describe their basement opus.

"That's really weird to us," Driedger says. "When we made it, we had no expectations for it. We knew we wanted to put it out and get it into as many ears as possible. It makes us want to make another record."

Don't expect anything new for a while, though. The band is turning its attention to its live show.

"We've played less than 10 shows in Winnipeg," Driedger says. "We started recording before we even started playing live, so that's the focus."

And maybe now, people will recognize the name on the gig flyer.

"You know, I tear up a bit at underdog sports movies - I'll admit it," Driedger says. "I think we have our own little underdog story. The little guys in the basement are doing all right."
- Jen Zoratti - Uptown Magazine (Cover story)

"Local Lookout: The Liptonians"

Walking down Lipton Street, between Wolseley and Westminster, you might notice the names of children written in the sidewalk. Perhaps a dozen or so, all scrawled into a single panel of pavement. No one knows for sure how long ago it was that jagged fingers happened upon wet cement, but the fading pavement holds them there invariably. It is a kind of manifesto to existence, and it’s signed collectively, “The Liptonians.”

“Those kids were the true Liptonians,” acknowledges Matt Schellenberg, singer and keyboardist of the local pop quintet who took their name from that sidewalk scrawling. Apart from the children’s names, he knows nothing about them.

“Who knows,” he mused. “Maybe they're all really old arts contributors now somewhere, and we're just the new generation following behind.” Since 2003, Schellenberg and Liptonians singer/guitarist Bucky Driedger have used a two-story Lipton Street residence to craft musical mythologies. This might seem a heady task but as anyone who has read Dubliners or listened to Waterloo Sunset understands, art can often capture the essence of places to transcendent effect.

“We definitely tried to up the mythology behind it,” Schellenberg concedes. “We even began to sign all return addresses on our mail with ‘Liptonia’ and stuff like that.”

Perhaps the Liptonians are living proof of that ancient maxim, “You've got to believe in yourself before anyone else will.” Indeed, their self-titled debut, a self-produced slice of lo-fi pop Valhalla, has just been nominated for Outstanding Pop Recording for the 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards.

The band, which includes bassist Darren Grunau, drummer Terrell Froese, and local production kingpin, Mike Petkau, on guitar, will be in Edmonton on Oct. 19 to challenge the likes of Hawksley Workman protégés the James Murdoch Band for the award. For Schellenberg the competition is a little unsettling.

“They're polished, produced artists. They're pop, in the mainstream sense of the word, and we're not,” he said haltingly. “I just feel like we don't fit in. They sound like something I might hear on FM radio, and I don't think I'll ever hear myself there.”

Regardless, Schellenberg considers the nomination a “huge validation” for an album that was recorded entirely amidst the piss-stained landscapes of the band's living room. Consider for a moment of all the “awesome” things you do in your living room. Drink beer? Walk around in your underwear? Chances are no one has ever considered giving you an award for doing any of these things. It turns out the Liptonians are just a little more ambitious about their domestic pursuits than you are.

“We decided we wanted to make a record in our house and bought all this equipment we didn't know shit about, so we invited somebody over who knew where the record button was, and how to press it, and tried to build it from there,” Schellenburg said. “The first year we just recorded a bunch a shit that didn't work because we just didn't know what we were doing.”

Still, these nascent Liptonians, ripe as they were with mythologies, wouldn't be denied by early failures. They persevered, through challenges including chronic inability to get a good guitar sound and a certain band member's somewhat unnerving insistence on recording vocals in the nude.

The finished product is a showcase of consummate songwriting falling somewhere between Abbey Road-era McCartney and the Silver Seas, and is deserving of pretty much any award the Western Canadian Music Awards wants to throw at it. Schellenberg recognizes the opportunities.

“You don't get a lot of chances [in this industry] . . . and I'm very surprised how quickly we became nominated for something like this,” he says. “If we win perhaps that will be a good way of getting into some label support and distribution.”

Ah, yes, the cold, hard business-end of crafting mythologies. The band won't distribute themselves. Whether or not Schellenburg and company have succeeded in authouring a definitive mythology of ‘Liptonia’ is, of course, open for debate. But you can decide for yourself by picking up The Liptonians or catching the boys live when they play The Academy on Nov. 8. By that time they might even be Western Canadian Music Award winners. But you'll still be walking around pantless in your living room. - The Manitoban


Let's All March Back into the Sea (February 8, 2011)

The Liptonians - Self-titled full length (March 9, 2008)

Check out:

We have charted on the following stations:
* CBC Radio 3
* KICK FM 92.9 (Winnipeg)
* UMFM 101.5 (Winnipeg)
* CKUW 95.9 (Winnipeg)
* CKMS 100.3 (Waterloo)
* CFUR 88.7 (Prince George)
* CFBU 103.7 (St. Catharines)
* CKXU 88.3 (Lethbridge)
* CJSR 88.5 (Edmonton)
* CJSW 90.9 (Calgary)
* CFBX 92.5 (Kamloops)
* CHUO 89.1 (Ottawa)
* CIUT 85.9 (Toronto)
* CKLU 96.7 (Sudbury)
* CFMU 93.3 (Hamilton)
* EVOLUTION 107.9 (Burnaby)
* CILU 102.7 (Thunder Bay)
* CIVL 101.7 (Abbotsford)
* CFMH 107.3 (Saint John)
* CHMA 106.9 (Sackville)
* CHRW 94.9 (London)
* CHLY 101.7 (Nanaimo)

And have been played on these stations:
* HOT 103 (Winnipeg)
* CURVE 94 (Winnipeg)
* CBC Radio One
* CBC Radio Two
* KOOP 91.7 (Texas)
* CFAM 950 (Southern Manitoba)
* POWER 97.5 (Winnipeg)
* MIX 96.7 (Steinbach)
* MIX 97.7 (Calgary)



"This is brainy, entertaining stuff, from a band that can do it all, and very well." - The Globe and Mail

"This is the band to get into before all your friends do." - Discorder Magazine

" treating pop as a shape rather than a restriction, they display an intimidating talent and demand your attention." - Exclaim

"...all the hype about them being a fantastic live band [is] completely true." - 3AM Revelations

An "undeniable mix of well-crafted pop melodies, insistent keyboards, dynamic percussion, vocals both delicate and invulnerable, and well-place placed horns...this one will go down as one of the great records ever created in this province..." - Scruffy the Yak

"Alternately touch on Justin Hawkins-era The Darkness, The Big Pink and Pink Floyd...They succeed in all of these emulations with an aplomb that's usually reserved for eccentric solo artists like John Southworth...The Liptonians' stuff is catchy as hell when they hit full stride..." - ChartAttack

"Musically diverse and lyrically sharp. . . [an] earnest little pop-rock gem." - Uptown Magazine

"The songwriting never falters." - Winnipeg Free Press


In 2008, completely unheralded, The Liptonians emerged from a basement in Winnipeg with an "earnest little pop-rock gem" (Uptown Magazine). Much to their surprise, the album picked up a Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Pop Recording, garnered rave reviews, charted on college radio across the country, became a regular on CBC Radio and paved the way for three cross-Canadian tours. The strength of their dynamic live show scored them opening slots for bands like Silver Starling (Last Gang Records) and Chicago indie rock legends, The Sea and Cake.

After two years of playing shows, Matt Schellenberg and Bucky Driedger – the band's founders – took leave to a rural cabin to mull over their catalogue of demos and write some new songs. Bringing the tunes the rest of the band and their talented community of musicians, the arrangements became more adventurous – experimenting with lush horn arrangements, dumpster-dived percussion, accordion, reed organ and live-off-the-floor soundscapes.

Produced and recorded by Mike Petkau, Matt Peters and The Liptonians between Prairie Recording Co. (The Weakerthans, Christine Fellows), MCM Studios and various basements, offices, rehearsal spaces and lofts, the new album, titled Let's All March Back Into the Sea, is a step forward in songwriting, arrangement and production while staying true to the band's roots as DIY pop songsmiths. Songs about talking pianos, dying cities and garden-haunting ghosts find life in dirty piano romps, electro-folk grooves and pop-rock sing-alongs.

In addition to writing and recording as The Liptonians, Schellenberg and Driedger are active members of Winnipeg's Head in the Sand music collective, playing and recording with Royal Canoe, Courier News, Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers and Les Jupes. The band's song "Roller Coaster" was a finalist in the Winnipeg Free Press' "My city, my song" contest. They've also had their music featured in Zooey & Adam, a film that screened at independent film festivals across North America.

Let's All March Back Into the Sea, distributed by Universal via Sonic Unyon and publicized by Killbeat Music, was released on February 8, 2011 on Winnipeg's Head in the Sand Records. A cross-Canadian tour followed the album's release, including stops at Canadian Music Week and SXSW.

The band is back to writing for the summer, prepping for the release of a 7 inch single this fall and a performance with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Management: Bucky Driedger (Cityscape Artist Services) -
Publicity (Canada): Ken Beattie (Killbeat Music) -