Bone Soldiers

February 7, 2012 | Posted in: Baby Eagle, Steven Lambke 0

“I dealt myself the winning hand: the lizard and the bleating goat, the eight of bones. But if I could choose the type of beast that I would most happy be, I’d be a man, my love, short, fat, and strong.” – Hurricane Weather

If there were such a position to be held, Steven Lambke would be the rock and roll poet laureate.  Putting in ten years as a guitarist and vocalist in The Constantines, releasing three, now four records as Baby Eagle, and co-founding scrappy independent label You’ve Changed Records (Daniel Romano, Shotgun Jimmie, The Weather Station), Lambke’s output has been ceaseless.  No wonder that Bone Soldiers, his fourth record as Baby Eagle, abounds with military metaphor.  It is the work of a veteran.  Loud, brief, and incendiary, it’s both a return to his punk roots and a continuation of his increasingly sophisticated work with lyrics.  As with the critically acclaimed Dog Weather, the record is a perfectly interconnected narrative.   Lines that casually mix thorny questions of purpose and meaning with rich imagery and seemingly minor incident.  Gorgeously bent guitar solos face up to Lambke as grinning narrator, wheezing, shouting, and whispering his way through a rich stew of rhythmic precision and pop decadence.

Decamping to Toronto’s vaunted 6 Nassau with Constantines producer Jeff McMurrich at the helm, Lambke enlisted an all star team of friends and bandmates to be his Proud Mothers; Will Kidman (The Constantines), Ian Kehoe and Spencer Burton (both of Attack in Black), and Nick Ferrio (of his Feelings).  They recorded the whole thing live off the floor in a couple days at the tail end of a long tour.  The band sounds determined, bound in lockstep by time and meter yet taking every opportunity to slip out the sides, falling over into freewheeling solos, simple melodies with a few notes out of place, like a square that’s been hit by a hammer.  At times gentle, at times joyfully deranged, the disc never fails to be vivid, as Lambke talks duty, dischord, and tangled connection.  ‘We know love is a mongrel thing; a mix of chance and cross spirits’, he shouts in the pop laced Marching Orders.  By the last song, the crackling Hurricane Weather, we can hear the accumulated hum of four amps, brothers and bandmates standing in a room, listening to a final note of feedback oscillating and wobbling to its foreshortened conclusion.

– Tamara Lindeman

New Release: Baby Eagle – “Dog Weather”

New Release: Baby Eagle – “Dog Weather”

August 27, 2010 | Posted in: Baby Eagle, Steven Lambke 0


Dog Weather is the next great novel of my generation.”
– Paul Henderson, Chairman of the Board

Dog Weather is the new album from Baby Eagle and the latest release from You’ve Changed Records, a small Canadian label steadily building a reputation for the collaborative nature of it’s roster and the high quality of it’s product. YC co-owner and Baby Eagle songwriter Steven Lambke (Constantines) is back with a rock band featuring lablemate/co-owner Daniel Romano (Attack in Black), Shotgun Jimmie, and David Trenaman and Colleen Collins (Construction & Destruction).

The story of this record isn’t all that different from a thousand others out here. Songwriter forms a scrappy band of talented friends when their schedules allow. At the tail end of winter the aforementioned band heads to a big rural house overlooking a vast body of water. Wood is burned, dogs shit, wind howls. Meals are cooked and people sing, play instruments, and a record gets cut. Serendipity trumps bad luck.

What is different on this record, is the way its stories are told, what they describe, and the undeniable joy with which they’re played. It is a record full of natural imagery, domestic narratives and ragged characters trying to patch a wound of meaning on the world. This is a rock band shaking its wet fur dry, pulling its boot from the mud and driving another mile.

Dog Weather is the third record from Baby Eagle, and its very much of its time. Its characters standing on the other side of some fast and reckless youth, some shitty day jobs, a little scarred but settled, holding very little, outside enough love to matter. Guitars come and go like flyweights in a barnfight, the drummer is a steady, smiling underdog. “What the hell did you expect from us? What more do you want?”

Biography in the First Person:
Baby Eagle is the songs of Steven Lambke, that’s me. We discourage the term solo project and are happy in collaboration. This is something we have to do together! We, slippery devils and shadow lurkers, are not easily photographed or described. When pressed to settle upon a description we say “garage folk”. One imagines both the dusty uncovered stage in a distant corner of the folk festival, listed somewhere down the bill, misspelled, and the beer can littered basement of the punk rock show where the words are lost but the spirit remains, encoded in the noise and the having been there. We say roots, and include the protest song, the beat, and the all-ages show. (We avoid all reference to the cultural toxic of classic rock radio but are sure it remains, somewhere. That’s okay, we like that Neil Young/Bob Dylan/John Lennon song).

Steve Lambke has been in Constantines, Daniel Romano has been in Attack in Black and Daniel, Fred, and Julie, Shotgun Jimmie is Shotgun Jimmie, David Trenaman and Colleen Collins are Construction and Destruction. Together, for 3 days in January, in a house in Port Greville, NS called the Quarantine, we were Baby Eagle, one and all.

Steven Lambke and Daniel Romano are the owner/operators of You’ve Changed Records.

Dog Weather is broken bones, the public radio, the long road, the grown tall and gone to seed, the wind whistling on the lip of a bottle, the monkey in your dreams, and the two between the sheets. Dog Weather is the here and now. There ain’t no road sign at the corner, kid. You just have to know the way.

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