It’s a long Hitchcockian zoom-in, the omniscient clouds part, the sleazy waterfront scene is set. Like Steve Zissou’s Belafonte cross-section, we can see a number of little hives of activity: a young man loiters behind a cramped bar; faces light by low lights listen intently while one speaks, gesturing wildly; a captain barks orders at his crew to hurry the fuck up; someone throws flowers into the sea; a vintage jukebox amuses the hipsters on a crawl. Welcome to the borough of a possible nowhere.
Apostle of Hustle first took shape after a two-month sojourn in El Barrio Santo Suarez, in Havana, in 2001. This experience was mind blowing for Apostle of Hustle’s lead (Andrew Whiteman) from the ground up: the community, the fashion, the speed and the music. Whiteman returned to Toronto invigorated about a possible music that did not yet exist. Knowing he wanted to create it, Whiteman took up residency at a local dive as Apostle Of Hustle, a quartet. The band played Brazilian and Cuban folk songs, as well as Tom Waits/PJ
Harvey/Marc Ribot covers. Whiteman played guitar and tres; plus he recruited Dean Stone on drums and Julian Brown; an old buddy from the mid 90’s indie scene – on upright bass. The fourth position was a kind of ‘open
door’ to whomever might show up on their nights. Anyone from Bryden Baird (Feist) on flugel horn to Daniel Stone (cache) on percussion.
Apostle of Hustle’s first endeavor, Folkloric Feel, was released in July of 2004. It was a Frankenstein of a record – recorded in over four different locations at different times. By this point, Whiteman was almost completely consumed with recording and touring with Broken Social Scene and finishing the Apostle of Hustle record could only happen in between tours. A collection of tracks and mixes and ideas was brought to BSS producer David Newfeld’s door and he somehow was able to create the psychedelic debut that came out on the Arts & Crafts label.
National Anthem of Nowhere was recorded in Montreal at Studio Masterkut in March of 2006. This time around the band sought the production talents of Martin Davis Kinack (BSS/Sam Roberts front-of-house man, as well as
Sarah Harmer producer) National Anthem of Nowhere was finished in Whiteman’s bedroom in September and mixed in the woods at Marty's secret studio locale. The vibe was almost completely vin rouge, even after the Montreal stint. A few guests lurk: Liam O’Neil from the Stills, Evan Cranley and Chris Seligman from Stars, Lisa Lobsinger who sang with BSS on their 2006 tours. Daniel Stone is present on almost all the tracks playing conga, bongo, and especially caja. The record sounds so good, he even decided to skip part of the salsa season to tour
with Apostle of Hustle in 2007. Nice one, compañero.