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Picastro began in Toronto in 1997 or 1998 as a acoustic guitar and cello duo. Since then, there have been a long list of contributors, some of whom still appear on recordings: Kurt Newman (guitar), Stephanie Vittas (cello), catl (guitar), Evan Clarke (drums, guitar), Zak Hanna (guitar), Rachel McBride (cello), Owen Pallett (viola, organ, piano), Ant Saunders (viola, guitar). Current members include guitarist/vocalist Liz Hysen, cellist Nick Storring and drummer Brandon Valdivia.

Recordings include contributions to Badaboom Grammaphone #4 (the Russian song “Ochi Chorni, 2001). Greg Weeks is also on it and Six Organs of Admittance. Before that “Gidali” an early Picastro recording appeared Eye of the Beholder vol. 1 on Tract Records. In 2005, “Towtruck” a collaboration with Dwayne Sodahberk appeared on the Wiretapper 13 (June 2005 issue of the Wire) and “Shorter Hard” appeared on Comes with a Smile, issue 19.

We released “Red Your Blues,” our first full-length on Pehr in 2002. Monotreme in the U.K. licensed the album in 2003. Then Winter Notes off the album was licensed by the show “24”.

The second album “Metal Cares” came out on Polyvinyl and Monotreme in Europe in 2005. Three of the songs were recorded at home, one of which is a Russian song I had been playing for years on my piano and finally recorded. One song features my friend Dwayne Sodahberk who has records out on Tigerbeat 6.


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