The Paper*Kites

Retro Download: The Paper*Kites

Some things never change. The Paper*Kites were one of my favourite bands. Even better, I wrote the songs. With the much-needed help of two awesome people, of course.

We recorded our last album, Beware of This and That, when James Reimer, the bass player, lived in Edmonton while taking library studies. On a rare weekend off – maybe Christmas – we took our gear down to Steve Reed’s basement and fired off the last five songs we would ever write together.

The Paper*Kites were always a band that was likely minimal to a fault. Again, some things never change. I remember when Steve suggested doubling vocal tracks and insisting on us using a fruity-looking chime for one of the songs – shit kind of felt weird. But Steve generally knows what he is doing and punk rock be damned – the chime sounds kind of cool. Whatever.

Beware of This and That will always be my favourite Paper*Kites album – this will never change. My lyrics were typically cobbled together from scraps of poetry, drunken mantras and, hilariously, found notes from a hobo who would tuck scraps of cigarette packages into payphones. On earlier CDs the lyrics more or less sucked. I wish this could change, but, again, some things never change. Oh well.

The Paper*Kites

But on Beware… some of the lines I came up with – to be even more candid, I wrote several of them the morning of recording – actually still give me shivers years later. Check out “It’s Just a Simple Trick” – “our city is being swallowed/can you ch-ch-ch-change it/are our prayers blindly followed/can you sh-sh-sh-shake it” will forever stick out to me as both a much-needed critique against Saskatoon’s poor city planning as well as kick in the ass to our punk scene and probably a dig against my girlfriend at the time, who I was likely overly mean to. Sorry about that dude.

But my favourite thing about the Paper*Kites was that I got to play with Chris and James Reimer, two boys that I grew up with since I met Chris at Caswell Elementary in grade 6. Not a lot of people get to say that they have a best friend since grade 6. And, even better, not a lot of only-children get to grow up with two brothers as their best friends.

Some things never change – James and Chris were always challenging me. I would write a punk rock riff and show it to them – five minutes later it sounded completely different. Sort of infuriating, but something I appreciate now, years later. I miss playing with them a lot, but, you know, sometimes things do change.

James is getting married this summer. Which makes me happy that the band doesn’t exist anymore – when you have something good odds are that if you bust it open something even better is inside.

Change is good, even when it means your favourite band had to break up.

The Paper*Kites – Beware of This and That

[audio: Paper Kites – Beware of This and That/01 There’s No Trick to It.mp3, Paper Kites – Beware of This and That/02 It’s Just a Simple Trick.mp3, Paper Kites – Beware of This and That/03 Ian Potts Vs. The Red Twist.mp3, Paper Kites – Beware of This and That/04 Transients Go Home.mp3, Paper Kites – Beware of This and That/05 We Need This to be Big.mp3|titles=There’s No Trick to It,It’s Just a Simple Trick,Ian Potts Vs. The Red Twist,Transients Go Home,We Need This to be Big]

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— Photos by Ryan Jackson