Sunday, December 27, 2009

Canadian Olympics have Sex With Strangers

That's right, the lovely folks at Guttersnipe managed to get a hold of some high quality Canadian Olympic swag and outfit the crew of Sex With Strangers with their finest.

Check out the full story at

New Year's Eve gig: Kick Out the Jams

Combine the Victorious shall be performing on the change of the decade. December 31st at the Anza Club with Rat Silo, Northern Leadership, and Blind God.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Latest News from Sex With Strangers.

Redirecting you to the Sex With Strangers myspace for their latest news, reviews, exposés, and iterations.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sex With Strangers - New City Anthem Video

It is complete! And it is great! The new video for Sex With Strangers' song New City Anthem is quite amazing.

Please have a look:

BKS-Crew-Productions and Boutique Empire present Sex With Strangers - New City Anthem. The first single from their brand new The Tokyo Steel album (Boutique Empire BE09005). Featuring Carol Yuen as "The Unreal" with cameos from members of: Adjective, Accost, Girlfriends and Boyfriends, Danny Echo, Spotlight Carnival, and The February March.

Director and DOP: Brett Harvey, Editor: Stephen Green, Make for "the Unreal": Carey Williams. Shot on a Canon 5D MkII.

Music production by Sex With Strangers and Mark Henning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rob Edmonds "Fragments in RPM"

Robert Edmonds had another opening this past Sunday here in Vancouver. The man who is behind all the artwork of Boutique Empire created a series of prints that incorporated sections of his own past works (posters of shows that he designed) and placed them within a either a 12" or 7" vinyl impression. Titled "Fragments in RPM," the show was a hit and several pieces were sold immediately.

If you're curious to see more please drop by the Public Lounge (3289 Main St - Main and 17t Ave) here in Vancouver as they'll be up for the month of November.

You can read more about the process behind the creation of these works on Rob's own web page:

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Tokyo Steel Cd Release Party!!

The Tokyo Steel is launched!

Great party this past weekend, fantastic crowd, great energy and the new songs came over really well. It was good to hear them live! The Glory Days crowd was incredibly receptive, enthusiastic and the dance floor was constantly packed! It was hard to tell who was having a better time, the band or the audience.

Here's a few brilliant photos of the night, all courtesy of Lindsay of

(Thanks again for the excellent photos, courtesy of

Extremely fun night, thanks to all involved!

Don't miss the party on November 21st at the Media Club where we shall be unveiling the video for New City Anthem)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Tokyo Steel is out Today

Picking up the story where The Modern Seduction left off, Sex With Strangers and Boutique Empire are pleased to present The Tokyo Steel.

Available today at the iTunes Music Store.

Please check it out, we all think you'll love it.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

New City Anthem Video update

So far there've been three nights of filming for the upcoming video of New City Anthem - first single from The Tokyo Steel.

The house party scenes were a blast, over forty people showed up through out the evening and danced with the abandon only 216 cans of beer can provide. The BKS production team worked their respective asses off throughout that day as well as the following outdoor scenes that involved the face off between the two "unreals" which should become the finale of the video. Things are looking good.

A big thank you to each and everyone for attending and helping out. A great night for sure. It was a delight to see members of Vancouver band's Accost, Boyfriends and Girlfriends, Spotlight Carnival, and Danny Echo all in attendance.

The New City Anthem video is scheduled for debut on Nov 21st, as part of the Sex With Stranger's Media Club show, also here in Vancouver.

***** ******

The Tokyo Steel is set to infiltrate cyberworld on October 20th-2009. Sex With Strangers, are celebrating it's release with a big dance party on October 24th at the Biltmore Cabaret (395 Kingsway, Van, BC) - they are the featured band on the Glory Days evening, with resident DJ's My Gay Husband, and Sincerely Hana.

Monday, October 5, 2009

First single: New City Anthem

Sex With Strangers new album The Tokyo Steel is set for release on October 20th 2009. The first single is New City Anthem

Listen now on

New City Anthem

We are currently shooting the video for this track, and expect to have it for it's world premier on Now 21st in time for the Sex With Strangers Now 21st show at The Media Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Sex With Strangers is here

The Tokyo Steel is back from manufacturing and looks and sounds great. Robert Edmonds' artwork looks fantastic, I think everyone here is blown away with his interpretation of the music. A complete knockout.

First up is the video shoot for the song "New City Anthem" - if you're curious please check it out right now on

Everyone is incredibly excited about this new album, we all have very high hopes for it!

The Tokyo Steel
is out October 20th 2009.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Tokyo Steel out October 20th 2009

Yes that's right, the official release date for Sex With Strangers new album is October 20th 2009.

Sex With Strangers presents: THE TOKYO STEEL

Track order is;
1] Tokyo Steel
2] New City Anthem
3] We Want the Fire
4] Shibuya 10;13PM
5] Sharpen the Knife
6] Last of the Unreals
7] The Dawn of Sexy
8] Asakusa 12:13AM
9] (The Part Where You) Surrender
10] We Are the Ones
11] Only Where Night Allows
12] Shinagawa 2:13AM
13] I Will Be the Last One

More information to follow as we near the release date.

Monday, August 10, 2009

First Anniversary Party- Result are in!

Another brilliant night of music, comedy, dancing and well... more music! Lot's of drinking was had as well, judging from the crowd as they exited the Railway Club in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Our first anniversary was a success! We had a fantastic crowd, seemed as though everyone had a great time and both Combine the Victorious and Sex With Strangers played inspired sets.

The evening began with a solid and professional set from up and comers Accost. The four piece performed songs from their debut EP, and opened the evening with a confident stride. Expect more from them, they have a strong style already.

Combine the Victorious followed with their debut performance as an electronic duo. Isabelle showed off her new keyboard chops and sang more beautifully than ever. Mark was busy playing, singing, and drumming, they both had a great time transforming the songs from The World Over and Disagreements into their new minimalist set. Harmonies came to be the feature of their sound, and the guest violin of Mr. Hugh Ellenwood allowed them to create an allusion to electronic chamber music. Both were pleased with their performance and the resulting new sound. Hopefully new music will be forthcoming soon.

Vancouver comedy troupe The Skinny joined the fun, and entertained the excited crowd with a droll set of sketch comedy: all part of their X-Ray Theatre set. Despite battling sound problems they had the crowd laughing and left the stage buzzing.

After a brief setup Sex With Strangers pumped up the volume with their enormous and exuberant brand of robot rock. They had the people dancing and throbbing to the songs from The Modern Seduction as well as a few sneak previews of tracks from their forthcoming new album The Tokyo Steel. The audience was packing the front of the Railway, absorbing the energy. In a switch up they even managed to exit the stage without breaking between bands, as The Keeper, up from Seattle for the night, immediately transitioned onto their gear and began a humongous set of grooving metal. No shortage of enthusiasm in their set!

We'd like to thank everyone for coming out and sharing in the fun. The vibe was great and from the feedback we heard apparently it was a success on every level!

Stayed tuned for more information about the new Sex With Strangers album: The Tokyo Steel. Expected to ship in October 2009!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tokyo Steel - story preview

This is the unofficial story behind the upcoming Sex With Strangers "Tokyo Steel" full length. Please send all questions to Hatch Benedict over at:

The backstory:

In this story, there are two generations of “The Unreals” that walk the streets of Tokyo. The first generation of these beautiful androids were developed to as an offering of sex, submission and tolerance to the rich and lonely who sought an expensive alternative to human companionship.

Unfortunately, word of these she-bots soon reached the all-knowing ears of the New Persuader. Having eradicated dancing and desire from the metropolis of New York, the New Persuader was now setting its sights on the Pacific Rim - a long outstanding haven for those seeking the “Live Forever Lifestyle”. Bowing to new influence and persuasion, the manufacturers of the Unreals struck a deal with “The Requester” (the New Persuader’s dealer) to produce a new army of “super-synthetics”, complete with new and disturbing motivations.

During the construction phase, these 2nd generation Unreals were infused with an elusive and mysterious material know as the “Tokyo Steel”, making them indestructible in the eyes of most. Not only did this silver fabric prove impenetrable, it had the power to influence the minds of anyone that came in contact with it – The perfect, textural extension of the New Persuader’s vision. Only a select few scientists had knowledge of the material, all of whom were dissolved by The Requester. The 2nd generation Unreals possessed all of the beauty and poise of the first generation models, which made them hard to distinguish. With one touch, however, the difference was unmistakable.

With Tokyo quickly falling under the influence of The New Persuader, word of this new army of synthetics soon reached an elite band of rebels known as The Formers. Although victorious against the original Persuader and his army of primitive robots known as the “Dance Police”, they were not prepared for one of their own to sip from The Modern Seduction and turn over as the New Persuader. Reeling from the unforeseen actions of the Traitor, The Formers once again found themselves battling a new enemy and defending the Liver Forever Lifestyle. When word came that the Traitor had set his sight on eradicating Tokyo of all who dare to dance, The Formers would too rise…
The band of rebels, armed with new purpose and vigor made their way to Tokyo with the intent of dissolving (literally) the new army of Unreals. Upon their arrival, they were quickly befriended by a scientist named ________ , who was an original advocate of the Live Forever Lifestyle in Asia. Part of an elite team of chemists known as The Enablers, ________ had unknowingly created a material that would come to be known as “The Tokyo Steel”. Initially unaware that she had created something so far-reaching and dangerous that it would change the world forever, _________ was determine to make things right.

Like every good poison, she had developed an antidote…A synthetic fire that would weaken the “Tokyo Steel”, and thus the Unreal. ________ wasted no time in providing The Formers with what was left of the formula for the repellent (an explosion had burned much of The Enablers lab down). Conversely, The New Persuader wasted no time destroying _________ upon hearing this.

The Battle of Tokyo would rage on for many weeks. Unable to fully realize the formula for the antidote, the Formers were unable to fully match the sheer power of the Tokyo Steel-infused Unreals. In a situation that mirrored the one they had witnessed in the Fall of New York, The Formers scrambled to find another weakness in the army. Fortunately, one would present itself in the form of the one they call Hashimoto.

When the original Unreals were constructed, they were formatted with a special code in their heads that signaled it was time to seek assistance whenever damage was sustained. If an Unreal was damaged in any way (I.e. a “John” attempted to harm them following an encounter), the system with would re-boot and an auto-pilot mechanism would take over, instructing the Synthetic to seek the nearest “Docking Station”. These docking stations were erected in secret locations across Tokyo and contained all of the technology required to repair a damaged unit.

Note - It was at these docking stations where the New Persuader secretly injected the first generation Unreals with the “Tokyo Steel”.

Sharing a similar desire to live free, Hashimoto sent a secret message to The Formers, advising them of this construction quirk - The thought being that they would seek out these “docking stations”, wait for damaged Unreals to arrive, and then destroy them with their nearly realized antidote. Every station would be set ablaze.

It was his hope that he and his original Unreal could remain underground until the 2nd generation units were destroyed. Unfortunately, The Requester was also hunting for answers, specifically the secrets contained in the original Unreal.

Eventually, The Requester and his hench-women “The Seekers” would force Hashimoto and his Unreal from their underground hideaway. Knowing that all of the answers could not be accounted for if they were to separate, the two lovers agreed to flee apart, to a secret hideway just outside the city limits and the influence of the New Persuader.

Friday, July 10, 2009

First Anniversary Party

Boutique Empire is one year old. And to celebrate we've booked The Railway Club on August 8th to hold a party.

The night shall feature our fearless and heroic Sex With Strangers as headlines and have Combine the Victorious opening. Friends in the sketch comedy troupe The Skinny shall make an appearance and then to rock out into the wee hours The Keeper shall come up from Seattle to join us.

There is talk of a video shoot being done as well, but the concept is relatively guerrilla style, so wear your best party clothes, as you may end up on camera!

It should also be noted that Sex With Strangers has been asked to perform as part of the OLIO festival on August 13th here in Vancouver and shall be part of The Big Chill festival (which is headlined by Sam Roberts and Mother Mother among others) over in Cumberland on Saturday August 15th. Combine the Victorious will also be a part of the International Pop Overthrow festival on August 29th (once again held at the Railway Club).

Have a great summer and see you in August.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sex With Strangers Music Waste Performance

After an incredibly fun evening performing as part of this year's Music Waste festival, we wanted to repost a few photos taken by the one and only Lindseysdiet photography. The night was a blast, the event organizers were great, the bands all played well and Sex With Strangers had a brilliant show! Sure the sound could have been a bit better but for a makeshift venue it had excellent atmosphere and a great crowd. Cheers to Petroleum Byproducts and Adjective for making the evening complete!

Here's a couple photos taken by Vancouver's own Lindseysdiet, you can see more at her page:

Once again, extra special thanks to Lindsey of for the photography, and kudos to the people of the Music Waste festival. An extremely fun night!

Stay tuned for information regarding our first Boutique Empire anniversary party coming up in August,

Friday, June 5, 2009

internet radio

Just a quick note that Combine the Victorious has just starting playing on Jango, as well as and iLike. Please check them out if you use any of those services. Guilty About Girls and Sex With Strangers soon to follow.

Please follow this link to have a listen:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sex With Strangers on KEXP!

This Saturday, April 26th, Sex With Strangers shall be recording a live performance on KEXP, Seattle, for their American radio debut. Please tune it locally or via the link on their site:

Also, later that evening they'll be sharing the stage with their friends The Keeper on at the one and only Rendezvous, Belltown. Saturday April 26th, 2009. :D

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April Events

A couple fun things this month to note from our crew.

Friday, April 17th, Combine the Victorious joins Danny Echo at the Backstage Lounge to perform songs from their latest ep Disagreements. Show opens with The Rights, Combine the Victorious is on about 10:30, Danny Echo about 11:30 and the night closes with The Control.

Saturday, April 25th, Sex With Strangers is returning to Seattle to do an in studio performance on KEXP (tune in around 8PM) and following their American radio debut will be performing at the Rendezvous that night as well. If you're in Seattle please tune in and come on down!

Sex With Strangers
also has a formidable show coming up on May 21st at the Biltmore: Lillix, SWS and Accost shall be on stage with Guilty About Girls providing DJ sets on the evening. No official invite yet, please stay tuned.

And finally, Guilty About Girls has their new EP coming out May 5th-2009: "VRGN ANGL MTRL LUV." You may preview the entire thing on today, or wait until it hits iTunes on May 5th! Massive thanks once again to Rob Edmonds for his fantastic cover art! (a show from him is well overdue... right Rob?)

Cheers and have a good week. Hope you can make the show at the Backstage. If not, hope to see you in May.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Modern Seduction review in The Georgia Straight

March 12-2009

The Georgia Straight

Sex With Strangers offers dystopian thrills

Local Discs
Sex With Strangers
The Modern Seduction (Boutique Empire)

The official word is that The Modern Seduction is a concept album that, according to Sex WIth Strangers, chronicles "a dystopian future where the free thinkers and libery-seeking rebels...are forced to take their 'live-forever lifestyle' to the underground". If that sounds like too much to wrap your vacant little head aorund, don't worry, because Sex With Strangers has packed so much thrilling sonic mayhem into the album's 10 unrelentingly inventive tracks that following the story like will be the least of your concerns.

The quartet's great accomplishment is sounding like it's transmitting from someplace far more exotic than rainy old Vancouver. Forget indie-rock guitars and old fashioned drums; The Modern Seduction is built on deep space synth bombs, glitched-out percussion squelches, and rise of the extra-terrestrial-robots vocals. Two songs in - which would be the throbbing bass-bombed nightmore "Moment 12" - you'll be wondering why the hell Sex With Strangers isn't fielding offers from Lollapalooza and the snotbags who run Vice Records. From there, the band manages to reference a long list of groundbreakers, from the Fall, to Caberet Voltaire to Does It Offend You,Yeah?, without actually sounding like any one of them. among the standouts, "Pledge of Allegiance" plays out like an unholy marriage between Ministry and April March, and "The Turning Point" gives you a good idea what direction The Cars mights have gone in if they'd roled off the new assembly line in 2034.

Don't forget that there is a story somewhere in all the scarily accomplished goodness. Too bad you'll be too busy dancing - and having your mind blown - to notice.

Mike Usinger

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Artists are afraid of Peace

"Artists are afraid of peace."

At our/my heart we are afraid that without the chaos of war, inequality, famine and injustice we won't have enough impetus to continue to create. Perhaps the state of the world is due to the state of its artists: not the faceless multinational corporations that excuse bloodshed in order to ensure profits. Nor the pervasive banks that have turned debt into infinite profit ensuring nearly the entire world is enslaved to their visas have anything to do with it. No, it must be the artists to blame. For we owe it to ourselves to create a vision for a better world: and it seems we have come up short... very, very short.

Can anyone deny the influence of one great song?

No excuses, no denials: one great song. A song that says something about its time. For me, I'd have to say "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the single most influential song of my adult life. My old band changed direction because of Nirvana. These guys mattered, undoubtedly - however, what was the message? I mean Cobain killed himself. What could he had thought of the world?

Which is why I suggest artists must not truly love peace. Why aren't we depicting visions of unity? Why can't we see past the despair and inequality, the oppressive messages, and actually create something greater, something to aspire for.

Make the world better. Create a superior mirror to hold up to society.

This is our century. The free marketeers had the 20th Century and they made quite a horrible mess of things. Shouldn't a new thought prevail? New concepts, new vision, new hope. If our leaders can't lead then we must do it ourselves. The way it's always been done.

It's time to write new myths for the new century.

We are only going to make it if we become sustainable. As in: there is enough here to keep us going if we get in harmony with our environment. Not as in: we can keep acting like senseless rabbits, ignorant of our surroundings and expect to continue multiplying!!! What?!? Massive populations only mean a cheap labour force ready for exploitation. Infinite growth is an impossibility in a finite world. Why do banks insist a company show growth in profits each year? You made a profit, that's good right? You employed people, that's good too. Every body should be happy. Why is it expected our economy should grow each year? How can it? Sustainability isn't about growth, but balance and harmony. We require a shift in our thinking.

Let's ALL live amazing lives. Not just a minuscule few.




Saturday, February 14, 2009

Major Labels vs. Youtube

So I just got a note from Jordy stating the Anna is a Speed Freak video has been removed from the Youtube site. Checking, it has indeed been taken down, with a message that reads "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by WMG." (Warner Music Group). Kind of a shame really as the label hasn't done a thing for Pure in the past decade and an inspired fan posted a decent copy of our best video up for others to enjoy. The small mindedness of this decision - of which I've read MANY thousands of videos by many other artists have also been taken down - seems to be in line with the way the major labels have reacted to almost every aspect of the internet age. They tried to close down Napster and instead created hundreds of smaller file sharing sites that they could never contain. Now they want their rewards from online video sites too. Hey, I understand it's a business but videos are almost always just commercials for the recorded music anyway, agreed that there have been works of art over the last thirty years or so, but generally they are nothing more than ads for the songs.

Ignoring the relevance of videos for a moment, I'd like to firstly say thank you to the person that had originally uploaded the Anna video. Never knew who you were, but thanks. That was a Floria Sigismondi directed clip and it looked great. She is a brilliant director, who's made lovely videos for Sigur Ros, The White Stripes, The Cure and many more. Almost everything she does is a step above and has true artistic merit (well in my opinion anyway), so it was good to see that one again. The original edit of the video was rejected by Much Music because they found the images of the girl lying in the bathtub too disturbing: I guess promoting ODing to children might be considered bad taste. A re-edit was made and the video received medium rotation on the nation's music station, however it was never really shown to any great amount. Which is a shame as it was our best video. That's why it's upsetting that Warner's has opted to remove it. I mean there had only been around 20 thousand viewings on the Youtube page anyway, could that truly have amounted in a loss in revenue? I think the argument could be made that the videos were the only possibilities of promoting the music once the band stopped performing, so why stop it? The albums are finally up on iTunes, but only after David Hadley personally contacted the label from Australia, and I think I can state the company wasn't too bothered with our back catalog up to that point (ask anyone looking to find a copy of either of our Warner/Reprise records - they just aren't anywhere!).

So, sorry to those of you who may be looking for that video, sorry to those of you who never saw it - it was a nice looking clip - and sorry to Warner Bros for being so damn short sighted on this issue. It never ceases to amaze me how the major labels keep making small minded decisions, still, even after all the mess ups they've made in the past decade. Oh well, what's one more misstep, it only really hurts the artists right?

Good luck to everyone out there, hope you're doing well. If you've still got a job you're probably going to do alright, if you've lost a job, you've got my condolences, but just remember, you're all doing better than 99% of the musicians out there, because we've been in a recession since 1999!

Ciao for now.


p.s. Please buy your music: out of every 99 cents you spend on a track at iTunes the indie artist gets 61¢. That is a better percentage than has ever been offered to any recording artist - ever.

Friday, January 30, 2009 royaties

Alright, the following may be either depressing or inspiring for our fellow recording artists. We, as in Boutique Empire, just received our royalties for the 4th quarter of radio play on the site. There were something like 2700 radio plays accumulated over the past few months and the royalties came in at $1.70. So while this represents a payout of approximately $0.0005 per play, you can see how it might add up if the acts were to attain widespread popularity.

Consider that is a free site: free to the user, and free to artists to upload their songs onto. Now consider it's revenue is mainly gained through advertising and you never Hear an add, you only have to avert your eyes from the one's displayed on the page. There are no announcers pressing their false sense of enthusiasm on you, there are no insipid commercials to drain your consciousness, and thankfully there isn't any music you have to endure if you don't like it. (that skip ahead button is quite handy!) While we may consider $1.70 quite paltry compared to commercial radio play, it still represents a minuscule revenue for the indie artists and labels out there. Nobody's paying their rent, but these are the early days, and perhaps we're starting to see models appear on the Internet that offer solutions for the modern musician. I know is offering something similar on their site as well.

Saying all this, please check out Feel free to start at the Boutique Empire page and wander from there. It is a wonderful resource for finding new and old music. Just imagine it as a radio station rather than a site like myspace. Enter a group or artist that you enjoy into the player and then allow the software to start choosing other "like" music for you to enjoy. At first it may seem a bit obvious or weird, but the software learns your tastes and starts making more informed decisions of what to send you as you listen longer. Try it out, you may really enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sex With Strangers review in Exclaim!

Wednesday Jan 28th-2009:

Canada's Exclaim! magazine has just reviewed Sex With Strangers The Modern Seduction album: proud to say it seems a very favourable article!

It reads:


Sex With Strangers
The Modern Seduction
by Romina Wendell

A full-length follow-up to their debut EP, A Future Tragedy, The Modern Seduction is another dose of Sex With Strangers' raw new wave sound. Their effects-soaked kick drums and vocals further their tale of a dystopian future where partiers are forced underground by a totalitarian regime. Lead vocalist and keyboardist Hatch Benedict and bassist Magus Magnum are joined by guitarist Cory Price and vocalist Isabelle Dunlop, and the anthemic push of most of their tracks and Benedict's punk-edged delivery set the mark for a vigorous live show. Impressively, their lyric-less electronica numbers, such as "The Turning Point," offer the same rhythmic push as the group's thrashier rock outs, illuminating a wider breadth of potential beyond the robot rock niche the group have currently carved out for themselves. (Boutique Empire)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Disagreements Review: The Vancouver Province

Tuesday January 2009: The Vancouver Province newspaper.

Combine the Victorious
(Boutique Empire)

Combine the Victorious released one of the better locally made CDs on the past two years, being at once epic-scaled in a '70s vein and forward-thinking. The success of that album on iTunes has prompted the band to make this EP available only in the digital format. Disagreements might be an accidentally insightful title in that the record seems to be pulling in two different directions where the conventionally melodic butts heads with the darker, more provocative. As such, Disagreements isn't so much a progression as a sidestep. B - T.H.