Drama - Loneliness (LP)
Loneliness, despite its title, is an album with a warm (if somewhat warped) heart of wires. At its core is the long-term musical friendship between Don Stagg and Eric Simpson. The duo formerly recorded epic home-baked prog under the name VIIth Temple, releasing one shamefully rare burnt-orange LP, and a scarce 45 as Majik. On Loneliness, the pair traded in their velvet and chord charts for thin ties and a cheap drum-machine. The LP still carries a whiff of patchouli, but the sound stings of solder and electricity, and inhabits a nascent zone somewhere between krautrock and new-wave. The vocal cuts are all clustered on the A-side, starting with an ode to the inefficiency of the Toronto Transit Commission - some things never change! The dystopian sci-fi themes are par for the League, and highlights are the love ballad “Anna King” and the charming “Feable”. The instrumentals on the B-side feel decidedly more Teutonic, and have a certain CBC charm that sounds like JP Decerf recording for Parry Music. It even opens with a slinky stoned Pink Panther. The loneliest thing about this album is the incredible cover photo. Don Stagg told me that he climbed up on the rooftop of his St. James Town apartment (where the album was recorded) to take a photo for the sleeve when to his surprise someone was already up there, sniffing glue. The man was surprisingly obliging and Don snapped this evocative photo as night fell over the cold city.
EX - Unplayed vintage stock, some minor wear on cover