Kevin Drew is an indie-rock All-Star from Toronto who has been putting out records since 1998. He and Charles Spearin formed the post-rock band KC Accidental, and that set the stage for them to found the indie rock collective Broken Social Scene. Although there was never officially a “bandleader” of BSS, everybody knows that it was Kevin Drew.
Kevin Drew grew up in Toronto and went to the fancy Etibocoke School of the Arts for high school. Some of his classmates included Emily Haines from Metric (and an occasional member of BSS) and Amy Millan of Stars (and an occasional member of BSS). All three actually studied drama. Another classmate at Etobicoke was novelist Ibi Kaslik, whose second novel The Angel Riots is loosely based on Broken Social Scene, and for whom the BSS song “Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)” was named.
This record is “sort of” a solo record and “sort of” isn’t. It’s technically listed as “Broken Social Scene presents: Kevin Drew Spirit If…“. All of the songs were written by Drew, but he gets a lot of backup from the various members of BSS. This was the first in what was supposed to be a series of “Broken Social Scene presents” records. The idea was that each member would get his turn at the “front” of the band. I think it was supposed to be for the people like Ohad Benchetrit who put a lot in but never got their name in lights. Unfortunately, while the plan was well laid, it never really came into execution. The only two in the series were this one and the one by Brendan Canning. Something about mice and plans.
Just about everybody who was ever in BSS gave a helping hand on this record. There really are too many to list. There were also a ton of other indie-rock All-Stars who helped out. J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, Chilly Gonzales, Andrew Kenny from The American Analog Set, Scott Kannberg (aka “Spiral Stairs”) from Pavement, Joules Scott-Key from Metric, and Tom “Life is a Highway” Cochrane.
On today’s song, the guests include J Mascis and Joules Scott-Key. This is that song.
“Backed Out On The…” by Kevin Drew
After it messes around for a short while, I love how big and fuzzy it suddenly gets at 0:27.
The official title of the song has those ellipses, and while some people want to debate the lyrics of the chorus, the official lyrics are:
Backed out on the cocks
A lot of people think it says “cause” there, and I get that, but it’s in the lyric sheet as “cocks”. Kids these days wouldn’t know anything about a lyric sheet, though, since they download all of their music, and do most of it illegally. That’s my “old Rodger” rant of the afternoon.
While there’s really no way to make sense of the lyrics, I sure do like this line:
Everyone can write this song
But they can’t write you and me
I also love the layers and layers Mascis guitar, particularly that bit that goes from 1:25 to 1:40. Check it out. Play it loud.
For one extra credit point, here’s a video of Kevin Drew discussing the “hiatus” that BSS is on and the ridiculousness of making a big deal about a “last show”.
For another extra credit point, here’s the official video for today’s song. If you look closely, among all the chaos, you’ll see Murph of Dinosaur Jr playing one drum kit and Joules Scott-Key on the other. You’ll also see J on the drums. And you’ll see Lou Barlow playing guitar in there too.
Get Spirit If… from the Arts & Crafts web store here.