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Some four or five years since they stopped being an active band, Toronto's Royal City are back in the news, as their long-awaited, career-spanning b-sides and rarities compilation is finally scheduled to see the light of day on June 23rd.

The official announcement began circulating this week but I was lucky enough to catch wind of it earlier; in my capacity as the band's occasional, unofficial roadie/loyal fan/friend, I was asked to pen this new record's promotional bio this past July. In any case the record's finally done, a lot of people are really stoked about it, and rightly so; it's a cool collection of lost and alternate songs and Royal City fans are in for a treat (and likely an occasional, "What the--where's ___?! That was always my favourite song!").

It seems as though the founding members of Royal City aren't particularly keen to talk a whole lot about this release; to be fair, Aaron Riches, Simon Osborne, and Jim Guthrie have been separated by miles of asphalt, oceans, and budding families/careers for the past few years and their band is a bit of a fond but distant memory. I'm pretty excited because, if all goes well, I have something of an exclusive interview with Simon scheduled for today's show and we'll chat about this record, the band's status, and whether a Royal City reunion could ever happen. I think we might be able to get some dirt on Jim's new record too, as Simon plays bass in his band, so stay tuned!

UPDATE: Hear this interview with Royal City's Simon Osborne:

 

Are you a fan/collector of b-sides by any particular artist? Do you or have you ever collected singles just for the 'extra' songs? I do.       

Photo: Royal City (circa October 2000): l-r; Nathan Lawr, Jim Guthrie, Simon Osborne, Aaron Riches); Raleigh, North Carolina, shot by Vish Khanna.  

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Wrath of Khanna: Royal City and the Beauty of the B-side!

Some four or five years since they stopped being an active band, Toronto's Royal City are back in…

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tb3
#1 posted by
tb3
on Apr 02, 2009
I once bought a UK Teenage Fanclub 12" because it came with masks of each of the band members you could cut out and wear.

So, yah I sorta do.
Vish Khanna
#2 posted by
Vish Khanna
on Apr 02, 2009
I own every Pavement single and some of the b-sides are my favourite songs. Of course, they've subsequently released all of them on those album re-issues...which burns me up...
suckamc
#3 posted by
suckamc
on Apr 02, 2009
I got the Shout Out Out Out Out / San Serac Split Single when it came out, Immaculate Machine's Won't Be Pretty single... so yeah, singles I definitely dig. B sides? I'm not sure if I'm really aware of any of them? Besides the Royal City one that I have just been made aware of.

Martin
tb3
#4 posted by
tb3
on Apr 02, 2009
When CD singles came out it sort of defamed the specialness of 7", the split 7", and 12" ep. And then came the re-issues too. It was sad there for quite a while.

But I get a sense with this resurgence of records, that limited edition and special vinyl only releases may get comeback! I just listened to the Sessions episode with The Tranzmittors and the singer guy was talking about this very phenomenon and it was great news to me.

Another favourite of mine is Twice Removed on clear vinyl, that I bought despite having the CD copy already. And then I can't even remember who's ep it was, one I have is on red. I just remember buying it cause the vinyl was red.
metsamies
#5 posted by
metsamies
on Apr 02, 2009
Speaking of b-sides and rarities - Smothered in Hugs' song "Ghost Believah" makes me think of R.E.M.'s album Dead Letter Office. It's full of goodies like a (very) drunken cover of King of the Road and Toys in the Attic by (lets face it) a band that's been making music as long as many of us (me et al.) have been alive.

Cheers
Al
Vish Khanna
#6 posted by
Vish Khanna
on Apr 02, 2009
Yes! There you go, that's a great example of a record like this. I mean, I think some bands use these kinds of collections as loopholes to fulfill the releases they owe on their contracts, but you often get great, unknown songs and performances out of the deal so it's all good.
Colin Medley
#7 posted by
Colin Medley
on Apr 02, 2009
DID I MISS THE ROYAL CITY INTERVIEW?!??!?!?!??!

PLEASE POST IT!!!!!!!
tb3
#8 posted by
tb3
on Apr 02, 2009
Hopefully this technical person is there to fix the host volume levels?
Vish Khanna
#9 posted by
Vish Khanna
on Apr 02, 2009
Are they still too low?! I don't understand, nothing is different. Are they always too low?
mattyjames2001
#10 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Apr 02, 2009
YES. I own every Cons EP/LP... minus one that I only recently found out existed, but I'm not sure if I want to spend $10 for one 6 year old song. But yeah they have a B-side with Feist doing "islands in the stream" and it's the cat's pyjamas.

I've also got every single Hold Steady song, b-sides and all!

-matt
Vish Khanna
#11 posted by
Vish Khanna
on Apr 02, 2009
See, I appreciate that. I don't do this nearly as much as I used to but I always got everything I could. Hell, I remember Chris Murphy making fun of me once because I was in the front row, singing along to a Sloan b-side called "Laying Blame." He made a nerd face at me and smiled. Now I'm scarred for life....
Colin Medley
#12 posted by
Colin Medley
on Apr 02, 2009
Do you have the Young Lions single? I missed my one opportunity to buy it at a show back in '04. Never seen it since.
Vish Khanna
#13 posted by
Vish Khanna
on Apr 02, 2009
I can prolly get you a copy of that if you want Medley.

Also, I definitely have a copy of At Rush Hour the Cars on vinyl for you. It'll be $10 I think.
mattyjames2001
#14 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Apr 02, 2009
THAT WAS IT!!!

Six Shooter had a copy a few weeks ago...
Colin Medley
#15 posted by
Colin Medley
on Apr 02, 2009
VISH:

WICKED!!!

Also, I went away and missed he Royal City interview I think. Will it be posted?
Vish Khanna
#16 posted by
Vish Khanna
on Apr 02, 2009
Whaddya mean you "went away?"

Yeah, I'll post it...
slennie
#17 posted by
slennie
on Apr 02, 2009
Yeah, the volumes are basically always too low. Not AS low with Craig (maybe he just shouts?) but pretty uniformly low all the time.

All we R3 listeners just love hearing the commentary so we turn the volume up, and then forget to turn it down again and jump out of chairs when startled by the loudness of the next song.
Colin Medley
#18 posted by
Colin Medley
on Apr 02, 2009
I was away from the computer for a few minutes!

Looking forward to hearing it. I should meet you one day so I can exchange money for goods.
nfrancis
#19 posted by
nfrancis
on Apr 02, 2009
I have a few B-sides and rarities, but I must admit the rarities album by Cake is great. It has a bunch of covers, but I get great confused looks when theirr version of Stranger in the night or Muhnamuhna comes on the stereo.
Colin Medley
#20 posted by
Colin Medley
on Apr 02, 2009
OMG - You've heard (parts of) the new Jim Guthrie record? I am SO jealous.
tb3
#21 posted by
tb3
on Apr 02, 2009
Vish! I told you that hot tub invitation was for you, me and our respective Speedo's ONLY, and not for the public domain.

You ruined a perfectly good romantic er… friendly gathering in a pool of lukewarm skin cells and oils!
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