More music this week

The Nods.
The Republic of Champions.
Joël Fafard.


After a long hiatus, The Nods will be returning for a series of shows since the band’s break up, the first being Friday, Nov. 12 at The Cavern.

The Nods haven’t performed together since last April. Their last release was the 2007 album Static Pop and they are currently sitting on Roar, the album that was supposed to be released in 2009, but, at this moment, is still waiting in the wings.

“[We’re playing] for our fans to get to see us again and to satisfy our urge for performance,” Nods lead vocalist Jonathan Broeska said after a recent band practice.

“We just had our first practice today and it went really well. We went through a few from Static Pop and a couple off of Roar and we have a few new songs,” he said, denying any rust playing the old songs.

New material includes the songs Cars and Citizens, which The Nods will unveil live.

“I haven’t been able to hit the stage in a fury in a while,” said Broeska. “I think it’s going to be spectacular.”

The Nods will be opening for Jicah, the band formed by Nods lead guitarist, Micah Braun and drummer Jeff Bruce, who will be playing sets with both bands.

Will the two sets be too much for Braun and Bruce?

“Nah, (the members of Jicah) are all working out now. They got a personal trainer at Brickhouse Gym,” Broeska said.

See The Nods and Jicah live, along with opening act Salinas, Nov. 12 at The Cavern. Visit

-Samuel Swanson


The best part about being involved in a local music scene over a period of time is seeing the determined and the talented merge in a struggle to stay relevant and keep playing the music that makes this city tick.

Andrew Filyk is one of those dudes that could easily be thought of as both.

Filyk’s evolution in Winnipeg’s scene has had him manufacturing riffs for pop-rockers Anthem Red, grindrock speedfreaks Human Garbage and drunkcore punks Everyone’s Fired, so it’s nice to see him turn that corner and come back to The Republic of Champions.

“While our feet are still firmly planted in punk, it’s naturally become more refined,” he says of the band’s sound.

And you can tell – his performance is heartfelt and powerful without raising his voice or trading melody for chaos.

Eleven months and two production teams later, this newly trimmed quartet has produced a stellar debut five-song EP, Notice of Termination, that heralds an evolution in Fylik’s songwriting.

Maria Bromilow’s harmonies and keyboard lines charm the listener, while the rhythm section is balls heavy and super-tight.

“This (CD release) is a long time coming. A few of us in this band have records finished and sitting on the shelves that have never been released,” says Bromilow. “We couldn’t be prouder of the outcome.”

Campbell pipes in: “This is a new start for our band (with the departure of their second guitarist) – I think our name change represents that. We’re still the Champs, but we’ve turned over a new leaf.”

The Republic of Champions release Notice of Termination Friday, Nov. 12, at the Royal Albert. Visit

-Lee Repko

Joël Fafard

It’s not that Joël Fafard can’t sing – he just doesn’t like the sound of his own voice, instead preferring to craft intricate instrumental songs and letting his acoustic guitar do the singing for him.

That may no longer be the case as the 41-year-old Saskatchewan native finally put his voice to tape on his latest release Cluck Old Hen, a collection of Southern roots and blues covers.

“Touring all my instrumental records, my voice developed and I started to like it and I never liked it before,” said Fafard by phone from his Pender Harbour, B.C., home. “People were starting to comment on the sound of my voice as much as the sound of my guitar. It made me feel more comfortable, and I just thought that would be a fun way to get back into singing again.”

Among the tracks Fafard covers on Cluck Old Hen are Muddy Waters’s I Can’t Be Satisfied, Willie Dixon’s Spoonful and Richard Thompson’s Vincent Black Lightning.

With a Western Canadian Music Award, a Juno nod and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations to his credit, Fafard hits the road across Canada in November.

“With each son it gets harder… you’re leaving more behind each time,” said the father of three. “It’s a little heartbreaking. But you know, when I get back I have all the time in the world for them.”

Watch Fafard perform Tuesday, Nov. 16 at the Park Theatre. Tickets $10 at the door. Visit

—Matt Preprost

Published in Volume 65, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 11, 2010)

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