Ottawa, his parent's garage.
Four inverted metal garbage cans,
lids for cymbals.
Wood dowels for drum sticks,
banging away for hours at a time.
Begged the parents for a pair of sticks
mother surprised him with the real mccoy
a star sporting those gleaming white nylon ends.
First record ever purchased was Magical Mystery Tour.
Every week added another album to the collection
first pair of decks from a garage sale
right around the time of disco.
Taking piano and guitar
pocket money on Rock and Funk records.
Best friend and he
DJ unit in a wood box
accompanied by three crates of records
weddings, or special events.
Moved to Toronto in 1979
Ontario College of Art
started at the recently-constructed Cornucopia Lounge
music format was disco
disco was starting to suffer
attendance numbers dropping off considerably
disco was dead
Nuts and Bolts was born.
Breaking attendance records,
fans in excess of hundreds waiting to get in.
Renovate in order to double the capacity
Nuts and Bolts became the most notorious club in the country
the renovated club had a legal capacity of twelve hundred
packed solid every weekend for years.
a small room surrounded by gear,
first studio working diligently
gave way to a Chicago sound.
continued to experiment in the studio.
House project duo, Boy's Life,
new studio in a funky Toronto downtown loft.
Finally a control room with good acoustics and an isolation booth, fully equipped for writing and recording. JL Studios.
The Return Of The Punk
Several projects followed,
each fostered its own direction
each adopted its own guise/mantle
Black vs White
explore harder underground techno in Monogamy.
Brand New Day
1999. A new House project. Solo.
The sound took on driven beats
underpinned by earthquake basslines
cool and funky grooves conspired
people began to respond.
Branding himself as Shirtlifter, it felt right.
Two CDs, Dirty Funky House and Fuel and several singles
"Gid Up [A-Googa-Maha]" from Dirty Funky House selected for distribution by Klublife Magazine within their Locked In compilation under the sponsorship of Smirnoff.
Forty thousand copies in circulation.
It’s all about broadcast. Terrestial and Internet. Mission accomplished...
Across The Worldwide Web Shirtlifter music became exposed through more than 300 music provider sites.
Each month, in excess of 200K hits are landed on Shirtlifter.ca.
So far... over a million downloads of Shirtlifter music.
StreamCast Networks, creators of Morpheus, launched an independent music promotion page titled MusicCity.com which initially featured eight selected artists. Among them...Shirtlifter.
In recent times, Shirtlifter music has been licenced to Music for Brands, Pump Audio, The Next Big Thing and Player’s Server.
The track "Tear The Roof Off" was featured on Driven, produced in Britain for VH-1.
The tracks "Sweet, Sweet Energy", "Dance Psycho" and "Growler" have charted on CBC Galaxie Electronic’s Top 40. Meanwhile both "Turn My World Around" and "For Your Mind (Body & Soul)" have charted on the same network’s Galaxie Dance Top 40.
Across the universe of the Internet, tracks from Shirtlifter’s constantly expanding discography are being ranked on Top 10 Charts posted by...
Get Me Music
New Music Canada
Made in Music
Electronic Music Scene
Shirtlifter music has been broadcast over the country’s air waves via CBC ‘s Radio 2 and Radio Winnipeg and also on Global Groove Network’s Saturday Night’s Sessions.
Overseas, Shirtlifter has been heard on the BBC’s Radio 1 (Judge Jules) along with BDS (Billboard), Fun Radio-Bucuresti (102 FM), KJAG Radio (James Lowe), National Media Network (Kevin Amstutz), Nekkid Radio (Dan Brewington) and NMW (New Music Weekly) as well as on PBS 106.7 FM (Claire Stuchbery).
With such a prolific output from Shirtlifter, one might wonder how there might be room for listening to the work of other artists. Shirtlifter found that a continually refreshed outlook helps keep the muse within reach. A glance across the shelves of Shirtlifter’s own music collection reveals a virtual spice rack of influence....
Kraftwerk. Con Funk Shun. Parliament. David Bowie. No U2 .William Orbit. Robert Fripp. Brian Eno. Roxy Music. Talking Heads. Some Soul. Some Motown. Nile Rogers. Thompson Twins. Culture Club. Duran Duran. Edwin Starr. Morris Day. Prince. Bootsy Collins. Robbie and Sly. Cerrone. Dan Hartman. Captain Beefheart. Harry Partch. Jah Wobble. Run DMC and The Beastie Boys.
Shirtlifter’s aspirations have shifted since the original inception. The decision to go solo was a hard call to make. What had begun, alone with four garbage cans in a neighbourhood garage in Ottawa, had blossomed into a seasoned, music artist working in Toronto. The various collaborations with others had brought a welcomed variety of musical instruments to the music and lyrics of the club music composer. However, from the point of view of biography, it would be lyrics, which would most confidently inform the thrust behind the developing style surfacing within Shirtlifter’s solo music releases.
To the musician, both as an indie recording artist and as an independent person, the rediscovery of notebooks stashed away from the early days in Ottawa almost bordered on a ‘deus ex machina’ for the wealth of words and images provided towards the building of the vocal tracks in the new music. Being an indie recording artist is characterized by more than one edge. Privacy versus solitude and the resulting tradeoffs among freedoms and restrictions are familiar themes to many.
In the case of Shirtlifter, the inherently risky decision in going solo has proven to be a wise one. While taking on the ultimate responsibilty for everything, one secure footing came courtesy of the stash of newfound notebooks. The facility to freely alternate between the creation of original instrumental parts, and the laying out of secure lyrics, led to the opportunity to simultaneously focus on completing and recording several arrangements at one time. The result is not only an impressive crop of material which displays consistently fresh approaches toward a variety of themes, each track embraces more than enough depth to encourage repeat listenings. LM