Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew, Kind of …

They scheduled this interview and I’m on vocal rest … I’m not supposed to be talking,” a tired Kevin Drew said on the phone from the West Coast. Drew, a founding member of Canadian super-group Broken Social Scene, started his North American tour this past Monday night in San Francisco. The tour, in support of Spirit If … Drew’s pseudo-solo album, will stop at the Canopy Club this Monday, Nov. 5th. Coughing, Drew passed the phone over to fellow broken scenester and touring buddy, Brendan Canning.
Much like this interview, the logistics of this particular tour, as well as the album it’s in support of, is confusing. The album is entitled, “Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew” and the tour is called “Broken Social Scene Plays Kevin Drew’s Spirit If …” on the Web site of the band’s label, Arts and Crafts. Canning agreed that it is wordy.
“Sometimes the full name doesn’t fit on the marquee,” Canning said. “It might be abbreviated to “BSS” to avoid the syllabic mouthful in the future.”
Though they play some older Broken Social Scene material, the tour differs from what is expected from the band. With six touring members, the band is
a modest fraction of what it is generally known as. “There are no big horns … not what you’d normally expect,” Canning explained. The stripped down sound, still complete with a horn player, keyboards and multiple guitarists, has been received well on their recent tour through Europe.
“In Vienna we’re on a roll,” Canning said. “No one’s been too confused either … people want a good show, we deliver.” Feist played with the band during their stay in Paris, and Emily Haines of Metric appeared for some shows as well.
With guest appearances and a rotating cast of band mates — guitarist Bill Priddle left after breaking his collarbone from, as Canning put it, a bizarre “basketball-soccer-cigarette accident” — the collaborative and community aspect of BSS is still present in the record and the tour.
“It still sounds like a Broken Social Scene thing because it’s the band playing Kevin’s songs.” Canning is interrupted, Drew coughs in the background. “Yeah, my hands are clean,” Canning laughs, “I’m touching my girlfriend and she asked me if I washed my hands.” Murmuring ensues.
Throughout the interview, an incalculable amount of musicians from Justin Peroff to Ben Gibbard were mentioned, but always referred to as friends. It’s that environment that makes BSS and its related releases what they are. Solo albums become collaborations and everything is connected, which could be shown through the popular bands and artists connected to Drew and Canning. That was also a big reason for starting this new project.
“There’s Apostle of Hustle, Stars,” Canning remarked of other bands BSS members are involved with. “Social Scene is all Kevin and myself have. That’s where the idea for the solo albums came from.” Next year, Canning will release a solo record under the “Broken Social Scene Presents” moniker.
Will Drew’s throat be totally rested by next Monday? Will his tired vocal cords create an even better, raspier, Louis Armstrong-ier voice for the Broken Socialite? Don’t miss the show at Canopy Club on Nov. 5.

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