AM/FM Dreams – “Flying Machine”:
Hey gang. Damian Lethbridge is goofing off from his ridiculously relentless Track of the Day schedule and is on vacation or something, so you’re stuck with me for a few days. Since he’s gone I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about Damian behind his back and explain how he started writing the Track of the Day for The Scope.
The short answer: Damian is awesome! He’s a stand up guy! He works super hard! He plays vocals, guitar, drums, and keys! He knows and loves local music!
The long answer: I met him a bunch of years ago when The Scope was trying to coordinate the first local RPM Challenge . Because it was kind of a new idea around here, we needed to get in touch with musicians to encourage them to do it. Earlier that year I stumbled onto the MySpace page for AM/FM Dreams — a band from Mount Pearl I knew hadn’t played a show before but had a million really great, completed albums available online — so I got in touch with them. At the time the band consisted of Damian, his sister Danielle Poirier, and her husband, Marc Poirier. I think at the time, Damian told me he wasn’t sure if they’d be up for it because they just recorded their album Flora and Fauna in January and it was already a little ways into February…
Then, at the end of the February, we received a copy of How the Aviator Sees the Rainbow in the mail. It was one of the 22 new local albums that were recorded as part of the Challenge. I remember popping it in the computer to listen to it, hitting play, and being blown away in the first few seconds of the first track, “Flying Machine”. That record ended up being one of my favourite records of the year, local or not. It’s accessible, gritty, urgent. The lyrics are poetic, the stories are passionate. At times it’s dark, funny, funky, heavy, and beautiful.
Since that first year in 2008, Damian and the gang — Ken Primmer joined on guitar a few years ago — have recorded eight more albums. Many of which were done as part of the RPM.
As well, they had so much fun making music together in February that the band became a huge advocate for the RPM Challenge, and they agreed to come on Out of the Fog with me to talk about it. Damian and I were also on the Weekend Arts Magazine to talk about RPM albums last year.
Last year I asked if, as a way of giving people a chance to listen to more RPM albums, Damian would be up for writing a few track reviews for the site. Eventually this ended up being the Track of the Day. And here we are, 408 posts later. I think in the past year the only day Damian’s taken a break from Track of the Day was Christmas.
As an added bonus today, I thought I’d post an excellent instrumental track that Damian put together earlier this year. I was recording a rap album for RPM Challenge (yeah, don’t ask) and was looking for instrumentals so I asked Damian if he’d be up for recording something. A few days later he sent me two tracks, including the one below. I didn’t get a chance to write or record anything for this one, but it’s a super-tight groove and shows off his chops on a bunch of different instruments. Huzzah! The ending is my favourite.
Three cheers for Damian!