More music this week

Basia Bulat.
Sue Foley & Peter Karp.


The multi-talented singer-songwriter from Toronto (who pronounces her name Baw-sha Boo-lot) has been at the piano since she was three years old, but she’s also picked up guitar, autoharp, banjo, ukelele, saxophone, flute and upright bass along the way.

Bulat’s first album, Oh My Darling, was the result of a session with Howard Bilerman (Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor). It was originally meant to be just an “audible memory” of her time with friends in London, Ont. and Montreal.

But Bilerman was so impressed with the demos that he got her signed with Rough Trade Records, who released Oh My Darling in 2007. It garnered Bulat a Polaris Prize nomination in 2008, and rave reviews across the music press.

Bulat spent over a year on the road, which inspired her second album Heart of My Own, released in 2010. In an interview with in January 2010, Bulat said that what’s important is capturing the sound of people playing together live.

“That’s something that I’ve done with both records, recording to tape as much as possible, recording as many people playing together as much as possible and not overediting, overphotoshopping things, so to speak,” she said.

Bulat’s on tour co-headlining with The Acorn on some dates, and opening for Josh Ritter on others. You can see her Thursday, Oct. 28 at the West End Cultural Centre. Tickets are $22 in advance, or $25 at the door. Visit

—Robin Dudgeon


Canadian indie popsters Stars have been on the map for nearly 10 years now.

The band has worked with Broken Social Scene (bassist Evan Cranley and vocalists Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell all received credit on the band’s 2005 self-titled album). They’ve also been nominated for high-profile awards, including two Juno nominations for Heart and Set Yourself on Fire, and a Polaris nod for In Our Bedroom After the War.

Singer Amy Millan said in an interview with BlackBook magazine that the changes in their latest album, The Five Ghosts, had a lot to do with the band giving up control.

“The biggest thing we did was we brought back in Mr. Tom McFall who co-produced Set Yourself on Fire,” she said. “This was the first time we just said, ‘Let’s not just co-produce, let’s let Tom do the album.’ We just kind of gave up some of that control and just trusted in him to bring the music to another level.”

Millan said Stars also brought back a lot of electronic equipment including a synth bass, new keyboards and programmed beats.

You can see Stars on Friday, Oct. 29 at the Burton Cummings Theatre at 8 p.m. Tickets are $41.50. Visit

—Robin Dudgeon


Some might call it fate that the big city girl from Toronto found herself mixed up with the small town man from the dusty state of Tennessee.

The musical partnership between Sue Foley and Peter Karp is indeed strange, their collaborative concept CD He Said-She Said born from an exchange of letters and emails the two artists shared while touring their respective solo albums.

“I think in my life there was so much that was wrong that the only thing that was right and made me feel good and that I could be really straight about was talking to Sue through the letters,” Karp told

Added Foley: “We didn’t really know each other but we were able to express and open ourselves up to each other through letters and it became very cathartic and we started to rely on that.”

The result has been making the mouths of critics everywhere drool with delight.

“It’s not a concept you see every day – two artists chronicling their growing relationship in song. Make those artists as gifted as Peter Karp and Sue Foley, and the results are as compelling as they are candid,” raved the Philadelphia Enquirer.

“The result is a set of 14 tracks of some of the sexiest, steamiest, dramatic and comedic tunes I have ever heard from two very different artists,” offered “It could have only been fate that these two were brought together.”

See Foley and Karp perform at the Park Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Tickets are $15 advance or $20 at the door. Visit

—Matt Preprost

Published in Volume 65, Number 9 of The Uniter (October 28, 2010)

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