Four punks and a baby 

Drummer Stepha returns with new babe on The Rebel Spell’s latest North American tour

Who: The Rebel Spell

What: Punk Night

When: Sunday, Nov. 4

Where: Garfinkel’s

Bringing a baby on tour?

Chris Rebel of The Rebel Spell wasn’t really thrilled with the idea at first — a punk band crisscrossing Canada and the U.S. sustained only on Taco Bell and the belief that their political music could make a difference wasn’t exactly an ideal nursery.

But if it meant the return of mama Stepha on drums and that baby Isis would be cared for by everyone but him, celebrating the baby’s one-year-old birthday on the Chicago leg of their tour wasn’t all dirty diapers.

“It will be six or seven of us and a baby,” Chris said of Rebel Spell’s upcoming North America tour, adding “And a nice big vehicle.”

Not exactly the makings of a Three Men and A Baby part two, but then again The Rebel Spell has never adhered to the norm.

Since 9/11 woke up the Super Mario 3 dazed and confused foursome of Chris, Stepha, Erin and Todd (all miraculously touting the same last name Rebel), The Rebel Spell has made it their mission to smash down universal towers built on fairytales and Tooth Fairy yarns.

“Our message is just live free,” Chris said.

The sentiment is expressed in The Rebel Spell’s latest EP sound bite, called Four Songs About Freedom, released on the G7 Welcoming Committee label out of Winnipeg this summer.

One of the songs most aptly identifies what Chris described as a false sense of freedom.

“They say love these walls cause without them we’d fall. But this thinking’s so small. We only live, despite them all. Your cages won’t save us; they’re no help at all. We know you’re fucking wrong.”

“That’s the way the world is going now,” Chris said of the lyrics. “People believe we are free, but we actually are not because a higher order is completely dictating what we do. Look at the States with changing the new World Trade Center Tower name to the Freedom Tower. It should be called the Freedom Fries Tower… The word has been used so much in the wrong context. I babble way too much about this.”

But The Rebel Spell is more than just talk. Minus the holier than thou pretentiousness, these boys and girls are trying to make the world a better place, one less CD at a time.

Four Songs About Freedom was originally released on digital download only. While a limited hard copy CD will be released next month in response to grumbling fans, the foursome are currently working on a project they hope will satisfy fans with something in hand, but minus the CD plastic.

This green music wave is being exercised in mainstream music, but Chris doesn’t hold it against them.

The Barenaked Ladies released their new music on memory sticks where songs and artwork could easily be swept onto a desktop and MP3 player. Radiohead released their newest album by digital download only.

“You end up with a 212 memory stick,” Chris said of the Barenaked Ladies music shopping. “I use it for posters and pictures and transporting, so at least this plastic device is being reused.”

The Rebel Spell likes keeping company with like-minded anarchists, including Joey Only Outlaw Band and Frasier, who will all come together for Punk Night on Sunday, Nov. 4 at Garfinkel’s.

“(Joey Only Outlaw Band) shares the same politics we do, even though they have a different style of music,” Chris said. “Our message is the same, minus the hockey part. They love it. We hate it… People should be there early to see Frasier, most definitely. The first time I saw him play was at an open mic night on Commercial Drive on a Casio keyboard. He just blew me away.”

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