Apostle reaches to Kingston believers

Old-fashioned Andrew Whiteman kicks off Grad Club residency tonight

Andrew Whiteman does double duty in Apostle of Hustle and Canadian indie super-group, Broken Social Scene, whose hiatus is finally allowing Apostle to tour.
Andrew Whiteman does double duty in Apostle of Hustle and Canadian indie super-group, Broken Social Scene, whose hiatus is finally allowing Apostle to tour.
Supplied photo by Geoff Wiebe
Apostle of Hustle performed at the 2005 Wolfe Island Music Festival.
Apostle of Hustle performed at the 2005 Wolfe Island Music Festival.

Interview: Apostle of Hustle @ The Grad Club Saturday, Feb. 3 and 10

In today’s warp-speed music culture, the idea of keeping a month-long residency of shows seems almost romantically old-fashioned. But that’s just fine with Andrew Whiteman, who characterizes his Apostle of Hustle bandmates as “backward-looking people.”

Apostle of Hustle begin their takeover of The Grad Club tomorrow night and continue with gigs on the following two Saturdays. The band will play two sets each night, and they’re doing the same thing each Friday night at The Rivoli in Toronto.

For their Kingston residency at The Grad Club, which has been dubbed OUIJA, Whiteman hopes to conjure up “the romantic feeling of going to a club and seeing jazz musicians [who] would play three or four sets a night.”

“My other band,”—Canadian indie all-star team Broken Social Scene—“is an amazing big, huge, we-can-rock-five-thousand-people kind of band. I just wanted to do something a little different,” said Whiteman. “I like to connect with people and be in a smaller situation, a little more intimate situation.”

To that end, all three shows will be in the cozy environs of The Grad Club. Apostle of Hustle, who have played only two short tours between Whiteman's commitments to Broken Social Scene and multi-instrumentalist Julian Brown's tour with Feist. The last show Apostle played in Kingston was for a packed house at The Grad Club two years ago.

“I didn’t really expect it,” Whiteman said of his last appearance at The Grad Club. “But a lot of kids came out and it was awesome ... and then we played [the 2005] Wolfe Island [Music Festival] and there were a ton of people there, so I don’t know, maybe there's something going on between Apostle of Hustle and Kingston.

“We’ve done maybe twenty gigs in the past five years. Two of them were in Kingston and they were both great, so I thought ‘Let’s go do this at The Grad Club … [we’ve had] such a great response and everyone had a good time.’”

The residency marks the debut of the new, five-man lineup of Apostle of Hustle. Whiteman is especially excited to have long-time friend Daniel Stone on board playing percussion.

“People are gonna flip out when they see him. I mean, this dude ... you won’t see him in the drum circle in Montreal on Sunday afternoon,” Whiteman said with typical sideways enthusiasm. “He knows his fuckin’ shit, he’s a great musician and he’s really fun to watch.”

Stone also plays on Apostle’s second album, , which comes out February 6 but showed up online two weeks ago.

Whiteman said he takes the leak in stride.

“I didn’t really get burned by it because you kind of expect shit to get leaked at this point, and because it only leaked about a month before the release. The only thing that I would say is a drag is that they don’t sound as good as the record does. I’ve listened to the leak, and from an audio perspective it just doesn’t cut it, but what are you gonna do? That's the way it is.”

However, Whiteman is somewhat wary of the modes of thought that are encouraged by the Internet.

“There just seems to be a lack of discrimination, because you have so many choices. [Destroyer’s] Dan Bejar wrote [‘Beggars Might Ride’] where at the end he said, ‘stay critical or die,’ and it’s so true ... If you don’t have any critical facility, if you don’t have the ability to discriminate—for yourself, I’m not saying there’s some universal good and bad—you’re fucked. You’re adrift.”

Though Whiteman himself says that he’s “maybe out of touch,” he’s not a Luddite. In a tidy reconciliation of their backward-looking ways with modern technology, Apostle of Hustle is taking requests for songs to cover via their MySpace.

To stay fresh, they’ll be playing a different cover each night.

Those of you looking for something unconventional to request should note that Whiteman calls Clipse’s recent bullet-strewn, coke-rap opus Hell Hath No Fury “one of my top five all-time hip-hop records,” raising the intriguing spectre of a Cuban-tinged run through of “Mr. Me Too,” the album’s first single.

Apostle of Hustle bring their eclectic sound, which their MySpace describes surprisingly well as “Ry Cooder meets Yo La Tengo meets Roy Orbison,” to The Grad Club on Jan. 27, Feb. 3, and Feb. 10 with openers The Besnard Lakes, Woolly Leaves and Chris Brown respectively. Tickets are on sale at The Grad Club and Destinations for $10.

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