“It wasn't so much that The Scenics were ahead of their time in 1977, it's more that almost everybody else didn't even know what time it was. New York had Talking Heads, and England was blessed with XTC, but here was their equal in Toronto...” Bob Mersereau, author, "the Top 100 Canadian Albums"
The Scenics' recordings are available at: Dream Tower Records
You can stream all the tracks from Sunshine World here.
The Scenics are are a Toronto proto-punk band that played between 1976 and 1982, and again since 2008. "the most creative, the most original, the most daring, and the most misunderstood band in that scene" Colin Brunton, film-maker, the Last Pogo, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
The Scenics were formed by prolific songwriter/guitarist/vocalists Ken Badger and Andy Meyers. Starting in the summer of 1976, they managed to catch all of the inspiration of the early indi 45 rpm single recordings by Television, Patti Smith, Pere Ubu, as well as earlier acts like Big Star, Velvet Underground, Roxy Music. Starting in '76, they also managed to avoid the limitations that the idea of 'punk music' imposed a year or two later.
"it's not so much that the Scenics were ahead of their time in 1977, it's more that almost no-one knew what time it was." Bob Mersereau, author "The 100 greatest Canadian albums"
The Scenics played, wrote, and recorded throughout their 6 year life- gaining a modest but rabid following and confusing and disturbing most Toronto scenesters.
They appeared on the Last Pogo LP and film, recorded an LP for Bomb Records (Underneath the Door), and released an indi 45 (Karen/See me Smile). They broke up, slightly disgruntled, in late 1981. They got over it to play one last gig in the spring of 1982.
Lives were led.
In 2008 The Scenics released the CD "How Does it Feel to be Loved: The Scenics play the Velvet Underground." This CD was very well rec'd (top 30 Canadian campus radio, Top 10 CDs of 2008 on Critics lists in the Village Voice and Detroit Metro Times, scads of strong reviews.)
In October 2008 "The Last Pogo" DVD was released on their Dream Tower Records label, featuring the original film, and a 25 minute special feature of the Scenics playing in 1978.
The Scenics began playing together live again in the spring of 2008 (with original Scenics Mike Young on bass and Mark Perkell on drums.) in October 2009 the Scenics released their second CD "Sunshine World" -studio recordings from 1977/78.
At the same time they embarked on a tour of Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, London, (Ontario) and Hamilton.
(l-r) Ken Badger, Mark Perkell, Andy Meyers, Mike Young.
The Scenics are currently working on a CD of new recordings recorded in November 2008. They have also launched "Punk Haiku"- bi-weekly proto-punk downloads along with excerpts from Andy Meyers' memoir of the Scenic years. It is up and running here. Enjoy!