Full of sardonic bite and heartfelt sadness, the new james clark institute record is an exorcism of emotions felt after a long term relationship went south. What began merely as a therapeutic exercise, ‘Sideshow Unattraction’ took shape after 25 songs had been written. Conjuring up the same spirit as John Lennon’s ‘Walls and Bridges’; Frank Sinatra’s ‘In The Wee Small Hours’; Beck’s ‘Sea Change’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’, this farewell record was finally released in late spring 2008. During the previous late winter months, James found himself painting a full size 9’x 6’ sideshow banner reminiscent of the ones used in the vintage days of the carnival freak shows. It is currently being used as a backdrop during James’ live shows. It was also photographed and included on the CD insert. In 2008, ‘Sideshow Unattraction’ received airplay and charted on Canadian college radio as well as internet radio stations operating out of the U.S. ‘Monstrous’; ‘Kangaroo’; ‘Lake Monona Last Night’ and ‘I Wonder Where You Are Tonight Jennie Lee’ were all favoured tracks.
With a wink and a nod to Toronto’s Infamous Clarke Institute Of Psychiatry, singer/songwriter James Clark confronts the ghosts from his past, puts them to song and twists and turns them into witty pop tunes. His strong songwriting sensibilities have been compared to John Lennon; Elvis Costello; and Neil Finn.
While spending six years as the drummer for Toronto’s western
Surf band The Sin-Tones, James was also busy writing songs of his own, some of which would eventually end up on 2004’s ‘Home is Where the Heart Attack is’. In 2005 that record received airplay on campus radio across Canada and charted in Ontario. Tracks from the CD also received considerable airplay and widespread recognition on internet radio stations around the world. The song ‘The Worst Photograph Ever Taken Of Me’ hit #5 on MP3unsigned.com operating out of the U.K. and the CD reached #3 on the Pop Album charts of MP3.com.au based in Australia.
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