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ROCK

  • Ghostkeeper
  • Ghostkeeper
  • Flemish Eye

Scratch out the history of rock 'n' roll with a sharp stick. Now do it over, starting with Robert Johnson and skating along the edge of everything else, rocking it hard without taking it too seriously. You're from a place most people consider part of nowhere (reserve country, northern Alberta), so you know tricks most people don't. You twist your bent Elvis Beefheart new-wave thing round the neck of your guitar till it snaps, and you call it a song, though sometimes it's more like you're talking in melody. You keep it wired and unpredictable, shift left when we expect right, and end your tunes as abruptly as a slap. "Oh yeah, you think so, huh?" you say in Don't Come Knocking, like Leadbelly turned Métis trickster. You have our number and we want it back, but it's stuck under the strings of your nervous fiery guitars. We don't know much about you yet, but we will soon, yeah, we will.

Robert Everett-Green

Ghostkeeper plays the Casbah in Hamilton on Mar. 16, the Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield, Que., on Mar. 18 and Montreal's Le Cagilbi on Mar. 19.

POP

  • Foot in Heart
  • Colleen Brown
  • Dead Daisy Records / Outside

"Boyfriend, read my lips and not the words that I spout," sings Colleen Brown, in her album-long role as the straight-talking independent woman who's struggling to act the part. Unsteady as she may look in the heart's own mirror, the talents of this Calgary-based musician shine like a beacon. Her boldly written originals (self-released in 2008, now out on Emm Gryner's label) have the good bones and great melodic rhythm of classic big-screen pop songs from the sixties and seventies. But nobody back then wrote clever songs based on an Oprah Winfrey interview (in Ain't Got No Man) or on a kind of desire sustained near and by the oil patch ( Gasoline). Brown's big soprano voice seems to fuel her songwriting, sometimes taking the tune where a lesser set of pipes may not go. "Something is happening, something great," she sings in Fantastic Feeling, and it's happening here on this record.

Robert Everett-Green

Colleen Brown plays Calgary's Epcor Centre on Mar. 17.

CLASSICAL

  • Giacomo Carissimi: Oratorios (Jephte, Jonas, Ezechia, Job)
  • Les Voix Baroques
  • Alexander Weimann, musical director
  • ATMA Classique

The members of Les Voix Baroques - including countertenor Matthew White, sopranos Suzie LeBlanc and Catherine Webster, tenor Colin Balzer, and baritone Tyler Duncan - are among this country's best early-music singers, and the vocal solos of the four mid-17th century Latin oratorios recorded here are exquisitely sung. But the choruses, particularly the laments at the emotional core of Carissimi's subtly dramatic settings of Old Testament stories, are finer still. Harmonic progressions open like flowers in slow-motion photography; pungent dissonances, perfectly tuned, arch and resolve. One also relishes the delicacy of instrumental entries and an elegant continuity within each piece.

Elissa Poole