DAN MANGAN ANNOUNCES 10TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION OF NICE, NICE, VERY NICE INCLUDING UNRELEASED MATERIAL
10th ANNIVERSARY DOUBLE-ALBUM OUT NOVEMBER 15 VIA ARTS & CRAFTS
In 2009, Dan Mangan released Nice, Nice, Very Nice, an album that established him as one of this generation’s most thoughtful songwriters and lyricists. Hear Ya called it the “most pleasant surprise of 2009”, while Exclaim! predicted the future saying the album “knocks you flat on your ass…Mangan’s career is clearly on the rise. Hop on board and enjoy the ride.”
Now, ten years later, Mangan is celebrating that pivotal album by releasing a deluxe edition double LP that includes a second album of previously unreleased material, b-sides, demos, and alternate versions from the original sessions. The album is available to pre-order today and is officially out on November 15 via Arts & Crafts. For a preview of what’s on the second disc, Mangan is sharing “A Tragic Turn Of Events”, a 2008 demo of a deep cut that only some fans might be familiar with.
“I remember the months prior to recording this album were complicated,” says Mangan in an essay about Nice, Nice, Very which can be found in the deluxe edition’s liner notes. “I’d cut ties with my manager and my relationship with my record label was uncertain. I had been denied every recording grant I could find.
I remember going for a long walk with my mom and step-mom. I knew I’d written some decent songs, but I was terribly broke and scared to move forward. We came up with a plan – that I’d draw up a proposal and reach out to people in our community, asking for contributions toward the production cost. I’d pay everyone back with interest. ‘There are people who would love to support you’. This was before crowd-funding was a thing, but we’d inadvertently stumbled upon it.
I remember telling John Critchley that I wanted the album to be thoughtful, but that it should still feel like a party at times. John had recorded some albums for Elliott Brood, who I’d toured with in Australia. I emailed him the demos and we had a few long-distance chats. He believed in the songs and I was excited to work with him. I was also excited to work with someone in Toronto – it seemed like a world away from Vancouver.
I remember staying in the east end of Toronto with family-friends and riding the Queen St streetcar from The Beaches to Parkdale – an hour commute to and from the studio each day. It was just enough time to obsessively over-analyze everything we were working on.
I remember running in to Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene at Poor John’s – where I’d get my coffee each morning. That was exciting. I was in love with his band and also with his record label, Arts & Crafts.
I remember Justin Rutledge was very hung over, but I convinced him to come in anyhow, and he still sang like a bird on “Tina’s Glorious Comeback”. Mark Berube played piano on “Robots” and “Sold” and even took a verse on “Some People”, and those piano melodies lingered in my head for years. Mark Sasso screamed the high notes on “Robots”. Ryan from The Warped 45s played mandolin on “Road Regrets”. Jean-Olivier and Rachel Prince came in from Quebec City to play violin and trombone. It was to them that I said ‘Allons y’ at the beginning of “Et Les Mots Croisés”, which prior to that moment had been called “Tea and Crosswords”. Anne Bourne was an old friend of John’s, and she improvised cello lines. Shaun Brodie was a new trumpet friend. To me, he was famous because he’d played with Hayden.
I remember gathering a ton of pals from the Vancouver music scene to sing the gang vocals on “Robots”. Said The Whale, Hannah Georgas, The Zolas, etc. None of us knew then what that song would become for me. I don’t remember which of us started applauding at the end, or why – what a bizarre thing to do… but for some reason, I think that little closing group-clap is integral to the recording’s sardonic tenderness.
I remember when “Robots” was added to Grant Lawrence’s CBC R3 Podcast. At that time, it was the greatest bit of promo you could hope for in Canadian indie music.
I remember the first time somebody showed up to a concert head-to-toe in a robot costume. The song wasn’t even mine anymore. “Robots” had taken on a meaning far beyond what I think I had intended. It just couldn’t have been planned in some board room, which made it all the more beautiful and real. What was even more bizarre was that it started to happen more and more frequently. I’d invite entire groups of robots on stage to dance while we closed the shows. It was ludicrous. It was a carnival. I was the ringleader.
I remember selling out The Horseshoe in Toronto and feeling like I’d climbed Mount Everest. The next morning, The Globe and Mail published a scathing and mean-spirited review of the show. I was devastated. They will crown you, then they will take your legs. My brother Neil, who was tour managing, looked for a silver lining. He said, ‘You’ve made it! You’re popular enough to trash!’.
I remember my boss calling me from my restaurant job in Vancouver: ‘You’ve been touring for six months, and every month you’re gone, I have to fill out a form explaining why you’re still on the payroll. I don’t like paperwork – so I’m letting you know that you’ve quit.’ I might have never pulled that trigger if he didn’t do it for me.
I remember receiving an email from Arts & Crafts while on tour in Amsterdam with Kirsten. They wanted me to join their management roster, and potentially their record label. I closed the computer. I could barely even handle it and worried that if I responded too quickly, they might rescind the offer. We went for dinner.
I remember wanting to be a troubadour. I wanted to add my sweat to the walls of every dive bar in the world. I loved the fantasy of it all. Chasing somebody else’s dragon. Now I care less about being seen in that light. I’m not a mysterious kind of artist, lurking pack-to-pack in the moonlight. I’m a guy who wants to write songs that articulately discuss how the pros of existing might outweigh the cons. I’m a guy who takes the early flight home so I can eat lunch with my kids. I hope that’s enough.
I used to be so young. How did I get so old?”
Nov 2 – Red Deer, AB – Bo’s Bar And Grill
Nov 19 – London, ON – London Music Hall
Nov 20 – St. Catharines, ON – FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
Nov 21 – Peterborough, ON – Market Hall
Nov 23 – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre Southam Hall
Nov 25 – Kingston, ON – The Grand Theatre
Nov 26 – Creemore, ON – Avening Hall
Nov 27 – Bayfield, ON – Old Town Hall
Nov 28 – Bayfield, ON – Old Town Hall
Nov 29 – Barrie, ON – Maverick’s Music Hall
Nice, Nice, Very Nice 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
(Arts & Crafts)
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Nice, Nice, Very Nice 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Track Listing
- Road Regrets
- The Indie Queens are Waiting
- Fair Verona
- You Silly Git
- Tina’s Glorious Comeback
- Et Les Mots Croisés
- Some People
- Pine For Cedars
- Set the Sails
- The Indie Queens Are Waiting (Ellis Demo)
- Set the Sails (Ellis Demo ft. Leslie Alexander)
- Robots (Ellis Demo)
- Et Les Mots Croisés (2008 Demo)
- Tina’s Glorious Comeback (2008 Demo)
- One of Many (Ellis Demo)
- ‘Til I Fall (Roboteering EP)
- Tragic Turn of Events (2008 Demo)
- Kerouac Spelled Wrong (2008 Demo)
- Garçon Means Boy (2008 Demo)
- Something To Do (2008 Demo)