THE ORGAN (10 pm), with Cheerleader (1 am), BIONIC (midnight), Tangiers (11 pm) and the MELIGROVE BAND (9 pm), at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Saturday (March 1). $8 or wristband. 416-598-4753.
In just a matter of months, the Organ has gone from a novel five-woman project based around the sexy purr of a vintage Hammond x123 "Romance Series" keyboard to the most hotly pursued act on the West Coast.The next-wave quintet were a popular Vancouver club attraction for close to a year when label interest suddenly erupted around the release of their Sinking Hearts (Global Symphonic) debut disc, which underscored the inspiration of 80s Manchester bands the Smiths and New Order.
Suddenly, the Organ were no longer merely an intriguing bunch of dark-haired fembots centred around an arcane conversation piece, but a highly marketable answer to currently popular electro-geeks like Ladytron, Simian and Interpol.
The Organ certainly aren't the sort of group you'd expect to have anything to do with permed power-ballad blowhards Nickelback. That's precisely why their decision to sign a co-op deal involving Chad Kroeger's 604 label and Mint Records seems so strange.
According to the Organ's vocalist, Katie Sketch, there are no closet Nickelback fans in the group. In fact, when quizzed about her favourite Nickelback tune, Sketch admits she only knows their hit You Remind Me, and apparently it's not a favourite.
"When 604 first approached us," recalls Sketch from her Vancouver home, "some of the band members said, "No way! We're not doing anything with the Nickelback label -- that's so dumb!' But I didn't think we should rule out any offers based on the coolness factor.
"That proved to be a good idea, because the deal we worked out with 604 and Mint is working out really well. The 604 label is mainstream-oriented, while Mint has an indie approach, and because they both have to agree on what we decide to do, there's this great checks-and-balances system in place."
It'll be interesting to see how the relationship develops between the labels -- operated with different philosophies and priorities -- once the Organ's highly anticipated new disc comes out this fall.
So far, they've just completed the bed tracks with producer Kurt Dahle (Limblifter, New Pornographers) and plan to finish up after their current eastern swing. There are no plans for any duets with Kroeger.
"Oh gawd, nooooo!" roars Sketch. "The people at the label jokingly suggested that Chad should produce the sessions, and we all had a good laugh. I've actually never met Chad or even spoken to him. His partner, Jonathan Simkin, signed us.
"I don't think Chad likes our stuff. I heard that he listened to our Sinking Hearts disc and thought it was catchy, but he didn't really get it -- which is funny, because I'd say exactly the same thing about Nickelback's music. "firstname.lastname@example.org