Broken Social Scene are a Juno Award-winning Canadian indie rock band, a musical collective currently including nineteen members, formed in 1999 by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. All of its members currently play in various other groups and solo projects, mainly based around the city of Toronto. The band refuses the label "supergroup," based on size or the ubiquity of their members, claiming that in the indie scene everyone is involved in more than one project. The group's sound could be considered a combination of all of its members' respective musical projects, and is occasionally considered baroque pop. It is characterized by a very large number of sounds, grand orchestrations featuring guitars, horns, woodwinds, and violins, unusual song structures, and an experimental, and sometimes chaotic production style from David Newfeld, who produced the second and third albums.
Feel Good Lost
The band's core members are Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. This duo recorded and released the band's ambient debut album, Feel Good Lost, on Noise Factory Records in 2001, with contributions by Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, Bill Priddle, Leslie Feist, Jessica Moss and Stars' Evan Cranley. However, when they played shows to support the album, Drew and Canning found it difficult to put together an entertaining show based on their material thus far, which was almost entirely instrumental.
As a result, they brought in a number of friends from the Toronto indie scene—album contributors as well as Andrew Whiteman, Jason Collett, and Metric's Emily Haines—to flesh out their live show with lyrics and vocals. Over time, the band also came to include contributions from James Shaw, Justin Peroff, John Crossingham, and Stars member Amy Millan.
You Forgot It in People
All of the later guest musicians joined with Drew, Canning, Peroff and Spearin to record the band's second album, You Forgot It in People. The album won the Alternative Album of the Year Juno Award in 2003. The album also included musical contributions by Priddle, Jessica Moss, Brodie West, Susannah Brady and Ohad Benchetrit, but these were credited as supporting musicians rather than band members. On the supporting tour, the core band consisted of Drew, Canning, Peroff, Whiteman and Jason Collett, along with any other band member who was available to attend any individual show.
In 2003, the B-sides and remix collection Bee Hives was released.
Broken Social Scene's song Lover's Spit from 2002's You Forgot It in People has been featured in director Clément Virgo's movie Lie with Me (2005), Paul McGuigan's Wicker Park (2004), Bruce McDonald's The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess (2004), Showtime's Queer as Folk (2003) and the penultimate episode of the Canadian series "Terminal City." The version of "Lover's Spit" found on 2004's Bee Hives record was also featured in an episode of the third season of the FX series Nip/Tuck. Showtime's television program The L Word featured "Pacific Theme" "Looks Just Like the Sun" both from You Forgot It in People in the show's first season. "Stars and Sons" from You Forgot It in People also appeared in the movie The Invisible. Music from the band's albums were used to score the 2006 film Half Nelson.
Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene released their third full-length, Broken Social Scene on October 4, 2005, with new contributors including k-os, Jason Tait and Murray Lightburn. The inside booklet accompanying album also noted several new faces as part of Broken Social Scene including Stars members Torquil Campbell and David Newfeld, who produced this album as well as You Forgot It In People. A limited edition EP, E.P. To Be You And Me was also printed along with the album.
The group appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on January 31, 2006 performing "7/4 (Shoreline)". At the 2006 Juno Awards, they performed "Ibi Dreams of Pavement" at the show and their eponymous album won the Alternative Album of the Year award. In July 2006 the band announced a temporary hiatus following the conclusion of their November US tour while members work on their other projects.
Broken Social Scene were last minute replacement performers at North America's first Virgin Festival, at Toronto Islands Park, the weekend of September 9–10, 2006. Contacted on September 7 after headliners Massive Attack cancelled due to problems involving obtaining US visas, the entire band, just returned from a European tour in August, managed to assemble to close the festival Sunday night. Appearing on the main Virgin Mobile Stage, immediately following performances by international superstar bands The Strokes and The Raconteurs, BSS took the stage at 10:00 p.m., and played a set of over an hour. Through the performance the band was joined by part-time members, and stars in their own right: Leslie Feist, Amy Millan of Stars, k-os, and Emily Haines of Metric. This was the last show featuring the rare 15 member lineup of the band until 2009.
They have also composed and recorded an original score for director Marc Evans's film Snow Cake, as well as scored his 2007 film adaptation of Maureen Medved's novel, The Tracey Fragments. In 2009, Bruce McDonald directed a short documentary episode of IFC's The Rawside Of... that focused on the making of Brendan Canning's solo album Something for All of Us.
Broken Social Scene Presents...
On June 8, 2007, music website Pitchforkmedia.com reported that BSS founder Kevin Drew was recording a solo album, which was to feature many other members of BSS and produced by Ohad Benchetrit and Charles Spearin. The album is entitled Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew, Spirit If..., and is intended to be the first in a series of "Broken Social Scene presents..." albums. The album was recorded throughout 2004 and 2006 in Ohad Benchetrit's house while the band was not on tour. Although billed as a solo project, nearly every BSS member, from drummer Justin Peroff to Leslie Feist, Emily Haines and Amy Millan, makes a cameo appearance. The sound itself is BSS’s familiar mix of rough and ragged, sad and celebratory. It is prone to psychedelic swells, acoustic jangles and features a cast of friends and associates (including Dinosaur Jr’s J. Mascis and Canadian rock icon Tom Cochrane) playing and singing and handclapping along. The album was released on September 18, 2007 and a tour billed as Broken Social Scene Performs Kevin Drew's Spirit If... was engaged in late 2007.
The second "Broken Social Scene presents..." record, by Brendan Canning, is entitled Something for All of Us and was released on Arts & Crafts on July 22, 2008. In a recent interview, Canning said the group would be working on a full Broken Social Scene album before another in this series would be produced.
In March 2009 it was announced that Arts & Crafts, with association from Anansi Press, would release This Book is Broken written by Eye Weekly editor Stuart Berman, who confesses his close personal involvement with the band in the opening chapters. The book includes artwork, concert posters and photographs (professional and amateur) of the band. Most of the narration is provided by interview material of the band and related persons, arranged by subject and chronology. The book was released in May of 2009, and has been described as a "visual/oral history" of not only the band, but of Toronto itself.
On April 29 2009, Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning guest-hosted 102.1 The Edge's program The Indie Hour to promote a concert on Olympic Island that was later canceled due to poor scheduling and slow ticket sales. On this show they said that they had booked time in the coming summer to record the next album. This album will be recorded in Chicago, with John McEntire producing.
On June 17 2009, the band appeared during North By Northeast as "special guests" at the Arts & Crafts launch of This Book is Broken. During their short set, they played a mix of new songs from the upcoming album and old favourites. Despite press reports earlier in the year that she would not likely play with them again, they were joined in this performance by Feist.
During the band's free performance at the Harbourfront Centre on July 11, 2009, they were joined by nearly all past contributors, including Feist, Emily Haines and James Shaw, Amy Millan and Evan Cranley, John Crossingham, Jason Collett and Julie Penner. This revue-like show celebrated other projects by members as well as including new material. They were introduced at this show by Bruce Macdonald, who announced the filming of a movie directed by him and written by Don McKellar called This Movie Is Broken. This documentary will include concert footage as well as film submitted by fans that documents Toronto in the summer of 2009.
On August 8 2009, the band will be playing the Free Press Summer Fest in Houston, Texas alongside Athens, Georgia indie-rock band, Of Montreal.
Touring lineup history
From 2002 to 2004 female vocalists Emily Haines, Leslie Feist and Amy Millan rotated between availability from their own bands, until a full time replacement was found in 2005 with Lisa Lobsinger. From time to time (most notably at hometown shows in Toronto) any one of the women will usually resume their role on their trademark songs, and appear unannounced prior to the show.
- 2001: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Brodie West
- 2002: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, Jason Collett, Emily Haines, Leslie Feist, Evan Cranley
- 2003: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, Jason Collett, Leslie Feist, Evan Cranley
- 2004: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, Jason Collett, Amy Millan, James Shaw, Evan Cranley
- 2005: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, Lisa Lobsinger, John Crossingham, Julie Penner, Ohad Benchetrit, Leslie Feist
- 2006: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, Ohad Benchetrit, Julie Penner, Lisa Lobsinger, Amy Millan.
- 2007: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Kenny, Bill Priddle, Sam Goldberg (eventually Priddle was replaced by James Shaw, and then Mitch Bowden)
- 2008: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, Sam Goldberg, Leon Kingstone, Amy Millan, Evan Cranley, Lisa Lobsinger, Elizabeth Powell, Jason Collett, Emily Haines, James Shaw.
- 2009: Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger, Leslie Feist, Evan Cranley, Amy Millan, Emily Haines, James Shaw, John Crossingham, Jason Collett.
Collett took time off to promote his solo release Idols of Exile, and to attend to his family, prior to the 2005 fall tour.
During the 2007 tour, Bill Priddle broke his collar bone, just before the 16th October gig at the Birmingham Academy II. According to Kevin Drew, "the last few days have been hectic." He also mentioned that Bill was in a hotel room in Glasgow. They were joined on tour by James Shaw from Metric, who had "flown in that morning" from Toronto.
Most of the musicians who have worked with Broken Social Scene are members of other bands as well, or perform as solo artists. These include:
- Apostle of Hustle
- Jason Collett
- Do Make Say Think
- Leslie Feist
- Junior Blue
- Land of Talk
- The Priddle Concern
- Raising the Fawn
- Reverie Sound Revue
- Valley of the Giants
- The Weakerthans
- Don Vail
- Charles Spearin
Canning was previously in the bands hHead, Len and By Divine Right (with Feist). Priddle was previously in Treble Charger. Drew and Spearin were previously in the band KC Accidental. Whiteman was previously in the bands Que Vida and Bourbon Tabernacle Choir. Collett was previously in the band Ursula with Andrew Cash.
- Feel Good Lost (2001)
- You Forgot It in People (2002)
- Bee Hives (2003)
- Broken Social Scene (2005) (US #105, UK #80)
Broken Social Scene Presents...
EPs and singles
- Stars and Sons/KC Accidental b/w Do the '95 and Market Fresh (2003, Double 7")
- Cause=time b/w da da dada (2003, 7")
- Cause=time b/w time=cause & Weddings (2003, CDS) (UK #102)
- Live at Radio Aligre FM in Paris (2004, EP) (Digital Only EP)
- EP To Be You and Me (2005, EP) ? originally released with Broken Social Scene
- Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day) b/w All the Gods (2005, 7")
- 7/4 (Shoreline) b/w Stars and Spit (2006, 7")
- 7/4 (Shoreline) b/w Stars and Spit and Death Cock (2006, CDS) (UK #94)
- Fire Eye'd Boy b/w Canada vs. America (Exhaust Pipe Remix) (2006, 7") (UK #192)
- Broken Social Scene: 2006/08/06 Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL (2006, EP iTunes exclusive)
- The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
- "Stars & Sons" (August 2003, directed by Christopher Mills)
- "Cause = Time" (December 2003, directed by George Vale and Kevin Drew)
- "Almost Crimes" (2004, directed by George Vale and Kevin Drew)
- "Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)" (November 2005, directed by Experimental Parachute Movement)
- "7/4 (Shoreline)" (2006, directed by Micah Meisner)
- "Fire Eye'd Boy" (2006, directed by Experimental Parachute Movement)
- "Major Label Debut" (2006)
- "Anthems for a Seventeen Year-old girl"
- "Lover's Spit"
- "I'm Still Your Fag"
- This Book is Broken (May 2009, written by Stuart Berman)
|2003||You Forgot It in People||Alternative Album of the Year||Won|
|2004||"Stars and Sons"||Video of the Year||Nominated|
|2006||Broken Social Scene||Alternative Album of the Year||Won|
|CD/DVD Artwork Design of the Year||Nominated|
Polaris Music Prizes
The Polaris Music Prize is awarded annually to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit. Broken Social Scene has received one nomination.
|2006||Broken Social Scene||Polaris Music Prize||Nominated|
Biography from Wikipedia