Jul. 18, 2012 - Issue #874: Musician’s Survival Guide: Songwriters on Songwriting
Fri, Jul 20 (8 pm)
Pawn Shop, $10
Hot Panda is ready to tackle what lies ahead after a month of touring and adventures in Europe, including falling in a river, guitars snapping in half, van robbery and a run-in with fellow Canucks Cadence Weapon and Japandroids at 2 am in Cardiff, UK.
There's little rest for the pop-rock foursome, which recently released its third full-length album, Go Outside, and hit the road once more for a North American tour. Go Outside sees the band delve into some serious socio-political subject matter, but it's by no means a transition from its free-spirited, light-hearted roots.
Principal songwriter Chris Connelly describes the release as artful pop music, but played with a punk-rock spirit. He believes the world is on the verge of massive change, and while he wasn't around to see it, imagines this resembles how the '60s felt.
"As citizens of the world it's important to talk about it and speak up as to what you think about things because it is this time of change," he notes, adding that the subject matter formed quite naturally due to the recurrence of the topic within his day-to-day life.
Connelly, a self-described political lefty, believes the best way to approach the wrongs of the world is through a positive, open-minded, creative outlook rather than resorting to cynicism, jealousy or anger.
"When you put yourself out in the world, that's a better way to do it and I think by doing that it'll fix a lot of problems in the world," he adds.
The songs not only deal with broad scale social topics, like with-us-or-against-us extremism on the album's opener "One in the Head, One in the Chest," but also issues that hit a little closer to home such as possessiveness and jealousy in a relationship, as heard on the track "Boats."
The first single from the record, "Future Markets," written about the sad state of the market-based economy, now has a video to accompany it. The project was shot at the CBC catacombs by Vancouver-based cameraman William Minsky.
Aside from the music itself, the album is also grabbing attention for its cover depicting a naked man swan diving into a backyard pool. The photo caught Hot Panda's attention while the group was visiting the home of Vancouver-based photographer Robert Fougere. After checking with the subject, who enthusiastically agreed despite his lack of clothing, the photo became the cover.
"It was taken at a house party in Tsawwassen," Connelly says of the photo. "It was at that point in the night I guess where people wanted to take off their clothes and jump in the pool."vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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