Old Dreams (2018)
The WP’s latest release is a lean & mean 5-song EP, produced by Murray Lightburn and featuring appearances by old pals Chilly Gonzales, Nick Fraser and Steve Raegele. Released on limited-edition 10″ vinyl (all sold out), as well as on Bandcamp or wherever you get your music.
Murray Lightburn produced this 6-song EP in the old rehearsal space that the WP shared with The Dears near the Metropolitan Highway in Montreal in the winter and spring of 2014. His stated goal was to recapture the “classic” WP sound with a more focused song structure approach. Adrian Popovich mixed it and we had it ready that summer. In the fall, we released “Pam Pam” as a single and just when we were getting ready to put out the record… our son was born and we took a year off. We ended up releasing the record in the spring of 2016. Check it out on our Bandcamp page.
History of Pain (2011)
Produced by Murray Lightburn of The Dears, the WP’s fourth full-length finds us (mostly) setting aside our arsenal of cheap keyboards for a stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll sound. Inspired by a Murray’s vision of us as a latent garage band as well as our own longtime love of garage rock and power pop, we spent a year on and off recording these tracks in Murray’s basement studio. Despite the lo-fi approach, many have said this is our best-sounding record… go figure.
Released on the WP’s own Imperial Arts & Letters label, the album can be bought on our Bandcamp page or in Montreal’s finest boutiques.
Hard Feelings (2008)
Released on the WP’s own Imperial Arts & Letters label! Including “Valentine” (featuring Feist) and two other tracks from the Lost Illusions EP plus nine previously unreleased songs, the album also comes with a 24-page Super Fun Activity Book featuring puzzles, cartoons, jokes and skill-testing questions from the WP and friends.
Toronto’s Now magazine says the record is “really, really fun” and “has easily the best accompanying packaging in ages” in a 4-star review.
Hard Feelings has recently been reissued on the WP Bandcamp page with two bonus tracks from the long-out-of-print Lost Illusions EP. Get it here.
Lost Illusions EP
An experiment in higher-fi, including “Valentine” featuring Feist, which is more popular than any of our other songs for some strange reason. Rare limited-edition CD version also features the WP’s electro-house cover of Pavement’s “Kennel District.”
Stacey and I moved to Montreal in the fall of 2001. Sometime the following year, I started recording my first “official” album with Jace Lasek at the old Breakglass Studio on Bleury (in the old Southam newspaper empire building, which is now, of course, a condo). I had no idea what I was doing and I suspect that Jace didn’t know that much more, though he never would have let it on. It was great fun, though. After recording only lo-fi style, a real studio was like a candy store. So many tracks… We recorded on and off for a year and a half, doing sessions whenever I could scrape together the money. Shortly after we were done, Patti Schmidt approached me about putting out something on her new label, Ta-Da. Features some well-liked tunes like “Big City Girls” and “It Won’t Work,” a cameo by Bitch Lap Lap (look her up) and hilariously awesome cover art by Philippe Blanchard and Lee Towndrow. Exclaim called it “a memento from a happy experience, a reminder of an innocently joyous childhood fantasy” and “a suitably grand entrance for a personality so wide it has to fit through the doorframe sideways.” 10th anniversary edition with bonus tracks available on the WP Bandcamp page.
Deep Inside The World Provider 3” mini-CD EP
(Perfect School, 2003)
This featured three of the Enabler tunes, plus a couple of alternate/demo/remix versions and a cover of the folk standard “The Wagoner’s Lad” that I’d recorded in the studio but ended up concluding wouldn’t fit with the Enabler vibe (note: these are now available on the Bandcamp reissue of Enabler). It came out in a limited edition of 200 and has some really cool artwork by Philippe Blanchard.
The Elements of Style (self-released cassette/CD, 2000)
The WP’s semi-official debut is an extremely lo-fi affair, recorded and mixed by Taylor Savvy on his 4-track in his basement. It was released on cassette, right in between the time when that was a legitimate medium and its present status as an obscurist hipper-than-thou status symbol. I put it together pretty quickly to hustle around when I toured Canada as part of the Feist band in September 2000.
Prior to the Savvy sessions, I’d done a recording with Peaches at her apartment, the famous 701, which produced two tunes, “You Belong in the Show” and “The Oligarchy”. For reasons that remain ever obscure, the original cassette version didn’t have these two tunes, but I added them when I re-“released” it on CD the following year. I would print up CDs as needed without keeping track of numbers, at first getting them pressed at a plant and then just burning CDRs on my computer, until I got tired of it a few years later, so I have no idea how many of them are out there.
But, it’s now available on the WP Bandcamp page!
The World Provider
(self-released cassette, 1999)
This hardly counts as an official release, but I’ll include it just for the historical record. It contains the two Peaches-produced tracks that ended up on the CD version of Elements of Style plus, believe it not not, two hi-fi, stoner rock anthems produced by Gonzales and featuring Taylor Savvy on drums and Gonzo on bass. I printed up an extremely limited run of… 8 copies. I can remember every individual person who I gave it to, I’m sure none of whom have kept it to this day (especially as it has the same cover art as Elements of Style). Later on, when I was doing Enabler, I pulled the rock tunes out of mothballs, thinking they might fit in. I still like the tunes and the production, but my singing voice was so crappy back then that I decided to leave them in the vaults.
Bleeding Light: The Original Soundtrack (2021): Noted musician and writer Rob Benvie had the idea to compile a “soundtrack” to his novel Bleeding Light, and kindly asked me to be involved. I was very flattered—and later, when I saw the other artists involved, even more so. Master tunesmiths (Marker Starling, TUNS), Gen X indie-CanCon icons (Sook-Yin Lee, Buck 65, Joel Plaskett) and beloved friends (Murray Lightburn, Charlotte Cornfield)… it’s truly great company to be in. I’m joined by my brother, the sublime drummer Nick Fraser, on my own contribution.
You can listen to the soundtrack on all platforms, or buy it here—all proceeds go to Encampment Support Network, an organization doing important work to protect the rights of homeless people in Toronto, a cause dear to my heart. And, of course, check out the book.
Love to Patty (Top Quality Rock ’N’ Roll, 2007): a Patty Duke tribute CD. I’d never heard of 60s-era singer/actress Patty Duke before being approached for this comp, but Detroit-based compiler Mike D sure likes her. I said yes because I was flattered to be asked, and later found out that she’s the mother of Sean and Mackenzie Astin, among other accomplishments. I appear alongside Stereo Total, Kevin Blechdom, His Name is Alive and dozens of others, and perform “I Want Your Love” accompanied by Warren Auld.
Nuvo (Robosapien Recordings, 2004): Montreal music scene elder statesman Jon Acensio put together this comp intended to showcase the local avant-pop community, featuring Les Georges Leningrad, Krista Muir, The Unireverse, We Are Molecules, Pony Up and others. I’m represented with the Enabler song “The Future of Our Kind,” although on the comp it’s just called “Future” for unknown reasons.