Friday, November 28, 2008

this is how i like my beats.



It's no mystery that I'm a sucker for a good electro beat, so my next share inevitably falls into the "remix" category.
This track comes from Terry Lynn's EP "Kingstonlogic: The Remixes." It combines Greg Kobe's electro beat with Terry Lynn's powerful lyrics that paint a picture of the harsh reality that defines the present state of affairs in Kingston, Jamaica. In my opinion, the end result comes up nothing short of brilliant.

Terry Lynn - Kingstonlogic (Greg Kobe Remix)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

i've got your number.

i'm sharing my song obession of the week.
i'll spare you the sickeningly sweet story of how this band came to be.
it's addictive. mostly happy-go-lucky with enough quirk that it's not annoying.
Passion Pit play the Horseshoe Saturday Jan 24.

Passion Pit - I've Got Your Number

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Snow/Fall


A playlist for November, right on time. Take a break from life/studying/work to dance in the leaves and frolic in the snow.

Tracklist:
1 // Elliott Smith - Rose Parade
2 // Broken Social Scene - Stars & Sons
3 // Mother Mother - O My Heart
4 // Salt - So
5 // Snailhouse - The Medicine Makes My Heart Beat A Little Faster
6 // Joan Baez - Here's To You
7 // Beirut - Scenic World
8 // Cold War Kids - Saint John
9 // White Stripes - Jumble, Jumble
10 // Green Go - Watch Your Step
11 // Shout Out Out Out Out - Procrastinator's Fight Song
12 // Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth
13 // Chinese Food - Red Head Heart
14 // Danielson - Bloodbook on the Half Shell


Download, as usual, here

Monday, October 27, 2008

rrrrrrrrremix

hello,

i wanted to share a little ditty that i just can't seem to get out of my head. the virgins on their own are fun and dancy, but when the twelves does a remix of one of their songs...well this is the result. enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the prettiest little cover i ever did hear.


Ane Brun is one of many gems to come out of Sweden.
her cover of 'true colours' is nothing short of magical.
she plays the el mocambo in toronto, november 7.

True Colours - Ane Brun
True Colours (live) - Ane Brun

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Change of Pace (October Playlist)


Hi friends,

Here is a playlist for the month. I believe this will be a good accompaniment to a nice, fall day. To be listened to on a short walk (leaf-kicking is a must), followed by tea and blankets and general coziness.

1 // Fleet Foxes - Your Protector
2 // Women - Lawncare
3 // The Lovely Feathers - Photo Corners
4 // Spiral Beach - New Clouds
5 // Of Montreal - For Our Elegant Caste
6 // Portual, the man - How the Leopard Got His Spots
7 // TV On The Radio - Dancing Choose
8 // Pixies - Break My Body
9 // Gowns - Fake July
10 // Rilo Kiley - Ripchord
11 // The Real Tuesday Weld- Apart
12 // Innocence Mission - Lakes of Canada
13 // Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip - Magician's Assistant

enjoy & download here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

just call it music...


Free Sol =
hip hop, soul and a little bit of rock.
kind of.
anti-typical,
i caught them at this year's Lollapalooza,
they were without doubt, a highlight.

the four piece includes:
Premo Danger on keys
(a very large and entertaining man)
Kickman Teddy on drums
(he opened up the show with a solo that lived up to his name.)
Elliot Ives on guitar and singing hooks
(a deceptively skinny-nerd type, with a whole lot of soul)
and, Chistopher ‘Free Sol’ Anderson on the mic.

an age old story of boy meets music,
boy falls in love with music.
boy gets signed to Justin Timberlake's label: Tennman Records.

i’m making it sound simple.
it wasn’t.
but they’re moving faster than the internet can document.

they’ve earned their stripes through relentless touring,
sharing the stage with a range of bands (from Talib Kweli to the Foo Fighters.)

i predict as they predict,
a rise to the top.

Rise To The Top - Free Sol

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Everything you need to know about Of Montreal...


a) Their new album is called Skeletal Lamping and hits the shelves on October 7th in an utterly creative fashion: click here to see how to score it (and get your very own Of Montreal paper lantern!)

b) The new single, Id Engager, is up on their MySpace for your listening pleasure.

c) They’re coming soon! Toronto on October 28 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Montreal on October 29 at the Metropolis...

d) Kevin Barnes is amazing.

And if you are one of those people who have a tendency to forgo band loyalty when your favourite musicians get too “big”, have a look-see at this
KB rant. It's old, but I still think it's pretty clever.
xo.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Conor's Conor.

I wasn’t completly sold on Bright Eye’s last album, Cassadega. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a complete fan, but since Digital Urn, there really hasn’t been much in terms of “going out on a limb” happening. So I got Conor Oberst's self-titled album expecting no surprises. I knew I’d like it, but as the kind of music that I’d play in the background to say, dish washing or paying of bills.

While these are precisely the activities I did while giving Conor a spin (does that sound dirty?), I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I genuinely enjoy this album. It’s diverse, kinda happy (Conor, are you ok?) and reaaaally folky.

Only Oberst can write a song about palliative care (I Don’t Want to Die), pair it with a cheerful and frenetic piano melody and make it work. These new songs are not reinventing the wheel, but Conor sheds his whining along with the Bright Eyes alias. As poetic as always, this eponymous album is less self-deprecating, more big picture.

Some choice picks include Get-Well-Cards, which has a definite Dylan vibe (and vocabulary), and NYC-Gone, Gone, which is completely random and sounds strangely like a hoedown chant or a sports cheer. I must admit that my favourite song on the album is Lenders in the Temple, which just happens to be the most reminiscent of the good ol’ tortured days of early B.E.

Here is a little Conor, from me to you.

xo

*As an aside, while trying to find a picture for this post, I kept disqualifying images because Conor Oberst looked too much like that crazy little brother in Wedding Crashers. Anyone ever notice that??

Conor Oberst - Lenders in the Temple

Conor Oberst - Get-Well-Cards

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ramblings.


I just had a very organized and regimented day of work, gym and chores. Totally the brutal return to the grind after a week off from work, sauntering about, going to shows and enjoying the rain (italics don't really convey the tone too well, but I'm sure the sarcasm is interpreted?) So I got to wishing that today had been less The Office meets Martha Stewart and more John Cusack movie, please. The cute stuff, like High Fidelity, not that weird Identity one where he's actually a psycho serial killer.

Ok, end rant. I would like to take this moment to provide you with a band that I am quite enjoying right now. Thank you Sylvain, who after various attempts at making me like his electro remixes, finally found a MySpace page that I loved immediately.

Their name is Winterpill, and they're a 5 piece band from Massachusetts. They're not super new, they're not super edgy, and hey, most of this post is not super pertinent. But at least you're being entertained and you'll score a new song out of it. So no one's losing. I'll even throw in a sweet High Fidelity scene, just as a bonus.

Winterpills - Broken Arm

xo.

Monday, August 11, 2008

copyleft infringement.


Gregg ‘Girl Talk’ Gillis received a fair bit of attention in today’s edition of The National Post (reprinted from The New York Times).
regarding copyright laws, and his knack for skirting them.
a subject i find intriguing, and have discussed on a few occasions...

just how does he get away with sampling so many artists and songs?
he doesn’t.
the Fair Use laws which he operates under don’t really apply to his means or ends.
but he does have the fear of setting precedents on his side,
hense the lack of major legal action to date.

i have yet to hear of an artist that is appalled by the representation of their music.
everyone seems to just want a cut of the profits.

i love Girl Talk
listening to his music doesn’t affect my feelings or spending behaviour
towards any of the artists he uses.

bottom line if i want to see Radiohead,
i’m not going to go to a girl talk show to hear the few samples he uses,
i’ll attend a Radiohead show.

i appreciate the controversy being stirred up.
i have a rather entertaining picture of middle aged lawyers,
filing through tall stacks of paperwork late at night,
while hundreds of people dance it out at a club alongside Gregg.

an ambiguous thought on art vs. money:

“everybody has won, and all must have prizes.”
- Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.

Steal This Hook? - Robert Levine

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Advice.


I have yet to identify what strange occurence lead me to dig up this far-gone memory, but remember Baz Luhrmann? He was the dude who waxed poetic on the merit of sunscreen, shimmying his way to the top of the charts. Yes, I am talking about Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen), that video that was on constant rotation in the late late nineties.

So about Luhrmann. Did you know that this dude directed both Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!? I sure didn't, but IMDB just informed me. What a weird side project that song must have been, eh? I can just picture him, during a family dinner, abruptly dropping his fork in his plate full of Mrs. Luhrmann's homemade ratatouille to declare: "I know that Romeo and Juliet was a huge success and all, but I've been thinking that it's time for me to follow my dream of crafting a one-hit-wonder". Or so the legend goes...

But seriously, this song is associated with all kinds of mysteries. First off, Luhrmann gets no credit for the lyrics: the words are from an essay entitled "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" written by Chicago Tribune Columnist Mary Schmich, who allegedly ripped this wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut? Ok, I am dwelling and you don't care. Here's what you want to see:
Wow, that totally made me all misty-eyed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Loveapallooza + Muxtape.


This weekend, Girls 1 through 4 headed to Lollapalooza for a long weekend of live bands, love and sandal tans. It was an incredible line-up, with headliners Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Kanye West and Nine Inch Nails.

Chicago was beautiful, the weather was amazing, and the festival was one of the most well-organized events I have ever seen. Well done, Illinois.

My personal favourites:

Girl Talk – While I was sceptical about the kind of show a man with his laptop can put on, this dude blew me away. On a secondary stage, he gathered thousands to watch and dozens up on stage to dance to his mash-ups. People watched from trees, Spider Man crowd-surfed and toilet-paper and confetti were propelled into the audience. Not the most eco-friendly of performances though :(

Radiohead – Thom Yorke + fireworks + insane lighting + Idioteque = sheer and utter brilliance. Totally bought their overpriced t-shirt.

Hammock Haven – An area in Grant park located under lush trees, this oasis contained a plethora of hammocks inviting tired concert-goers to rest and avoid heat exhaustion. The greeting crew welcomed you with water guns, for an extra cool bonus. But be warned : swingy hammocks make for spilly beer.

Amadou & Mariam – This adorable West African couple had the entire audience dancing, clapping their hands and singing in French. Who doesn't enjoy a bit of that? One of the most original acts of the festival, by far.

Honorable mention goes to the two story Chicago McDonald’s, which left me in awe of its escalator, velvet ropes and ice-cream counter. There were even leather couches and a 'please wait to be seated area'. I totally ate Big Macs daily, just so I could keep revelling in its glory.

And now for the important stuff: here is a playlist I made for all of you who couldn’t make it to this unbelievable event. Suckers.

Sweaty Chicago Muxtape

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gosh!

Interrupting my work day to bring you this:


Menomena's Danny Seim = Lackthereof.

So excited.


xo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dear Spencer Krug,


Just because I think your name is Stanley 67% of the time doesn't mean I don't love you. And if you let me play the keyboard whilst sitting beside you in a taxi, I promise I won't wear a strange pink neckwarmer, or whatever that thing is.

But seriously.

Write back,

G3


xo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

for you and me, forever ago.


a friend violently demanded i listen to Bon Iver.
i obliged.
and i hate myself for not doing so sooner.
vocals reminiscent of TV on the Radio.
sung passionately enough, that at times i swear i can feel Justin Vernons heartbeat in the songs.
the words are what lyrics should be, poetry.
the entire album "For emma, forever ago" is immaculate
and in one listen has launched itself into my top 10 for 2008.
i've heard nothing that compares to date.

listen. and if you feel nothing after listening to the album,
you are probably a robot.

the play Lee's Palace this coming Tuesday, July 22.

Skinny Love - Bon Iver

Re: Stacks - Bon Iver

Friday, July 11, 2008

Brit Mix!


Because "petticoat", when said with a British accent, is possibly the greatest word in life. Listen to The Kooks to better understand this - because of Ooh La, I've been muttering this specific word to myself for the past few days. Out loud, you ask? Yes, sadly.

Here are some bands and songs that I fancy:

The Kooks - Ooh La

Art Brut - Sound of Summer
Last Shadow Puppets - My Mistakes Were Made For You
Babyshambles - Unstookie Titled
The Kooks - Seaside
Foals - Olympic Airways

xo.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Weekend update!

(NOTE: This is a bit late and has been sitting in our drafts for a while, waiting patiently to be spell-checked. Yeesh.)

Friday kicked off the weekend quite early – I don’t even think it was 10am when my brand new Zune was delivered to my office! So I spent the rest of the day excited to go home and play with it (which happened at 1:30 because my job is awesome). Upon getting home, I briefly charged my new toy, threw the new Girl Talk album on it and bolted outside for a run.

At this point I must mention that the Zune comes with these amazing noise-reduction earphones – so as I left my apt, I was convinced that the strange men drinking beer in the alley had just told me to “throw some D’s on that bitch”. Frightening.

Alas, this line was but a snippet of Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis’ new album, Feed the Animals. Possibly the best sound to run to, Gillis’ work consists of sample-based remixes ⁄ mash-ups. In his fourth LP, he continues to seamlessly mix old gems and current hits, combining genres and pairing up top-forty songs to indie tracks. For those unfamiliar with Girl Talk, it’s like being at a super-tight iPod battle, with songs popping up that have you going ‘yesss...’ (fist pump suggested). Think track after track of your favourite guilty pleasures mixed with the artists you’re not embarrassed to list on your Facebook profile. Ok, I’m sure I’ve made my point. It’s pretty good.

Now for the Zune. It was free in exchange for me talking about it on here. Which is a fair bribe, because it’s effing fantastic! Full color video screen, two pairs of earphones, wireless sync to your computer, FM radio... My co-worker and I have been sending each other songs at work, without having to get up or plug in silly wires. Craaaazy. For someone who has an unjustifiable aversion to Apple products, it’s the perfect mp3 player. So yes, check it out!

Oh, and on another note - I spent most of my weekend roasting in the sun at the Toronto Harbourfront for the Beats, Breaks and Culture festival. Amongst the artists on the lineup were Ladytron, Woodhands and headliners Crystal Castles. I must say that while Woodhands was spectacular and awkward and all kinds of wonderful, Ladytron and Crystal Castles were huge letdowns. Fine, the venue doesn't allow for the kind of loud sounds these bands need to sound cool, but Ladytron was simply boring and Crystal Castles were DICKS. Allow me to summarize my interpretation of their show:

9:30 - Huge crowd forms for CC show
10:15 - CC hit the stage to play a subpar set with next-to-no vocals
10:35 - Frustrated with their own mediocrity, CC leave the stage (perhaps to investigate the no-vocals problem)
10:36 - Ontario Place fireworks begin in the distance and entire crowd is distracted, turning around and completely forgetting to coax CC back onstage
10:43 - Defeated, CC come back (surely because of contractual obligations), play one more song and ruin their drumkit.

The End.
Jerks.

That’s it for now! More to come soon!

xo.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fairy Tales.


Having recently done the mother of all groceries, I invited a few friends over for a lovely backyard BBQ, which we ate on my living room coffee table in the jungle that has become my backyard. While bbby kmbrly provided the hamburgers, I made a pretty badass pasta salad (opinion not shared by M.A., who has a debilitating fear of cold cheese but who politely ate most of it whilst hiding the remnants underneath his cob of corn).

This meal was followed by a trek to Rancho for Shameless Thursday’s first performance in the new venue. Walking up the stairs to the venue was eerie because a) Rancho Relaxo gets to feel like a pizza oven when it’s packed and b) people were sitting in front of the stage, cross-legged on the floor. I must say that sitting at a concert is a strange concept to me, and until now, only two factors have lead me to do so: exhaustion and Conor Oberst. To add to this list: Ghost Bees.

Tiny twin sisters from Halifax, Ghost Bees took the stage with a mandolin and painted faces. Their whimsical lyrics, tiny voices and delicate sound made them seem like some kind of forest elves, and their songs were inspired by folk tales and past eras. While the cutesy twin banter led to an inevitable Tegan and Sara comparison, I would say the sound was similar to a Joanna Newsom and Marissa Nadler hybrid. Regardless of comparison, their set was completely entrancing: the audience sat there, enchanted and open-mouthed, like kids at a kindergarten storytime.

Ghost Bees were followed by Laura Barrett, who is a classically trained musician from Toronto. Adorable and quirky, she took the stage accompanied by a bassoon player dressed like a pirate and a shaggy banjo player. She's very interesting to watch in action - she plays the Kalimba, which basically looks like a giant Gameboy from the audience's point of view. I can’t say I stayed for her whole set, because it was getting late and I am lame, but I would definitely recommend seeing her live if you get the chance.

Happy Friday!

xo.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sharing is caring, no?


You know when someone tastes something really unpleasant, winces, and then tries this golden line? “Ew, you have to taste this, it’s disgusting”. Well consider this post the blogging equivalent. I’m warning you that I’m doing this to get rid of a song I’ve had in my head for days now, and I kind of want you to check it out too. Misery loves company, or something like that. Ha.

I was bargain hunting in Your Favourite Discount Store (which shall remain nameless) when I noticed that the music playing was targeted towards a very specific mom-type demographic. Granted, they’d hit the nail right on the head (as I was with my mom and surrounded by others’ moms), but being immersed in that kind of easy listening can only result in you humming Phil Collins to yourself for the rest of the day. Which is what happened this time, only worse.

Seal: Kiss From a Rose.

Oh, I know. This came on as I was trying on shoes and EVERYONE in the aisle started singing along under their breath. And I realized rather quickly - does ANYONE know the correct words to this song?? It’s catchy, it stays in your head, and we have ALL hummed it at some point (unless I’m particularly deranged) but wtf are the lyrics?? So while the ladies around me strolled along the aisle muttering nonsensical words, I told myself that maybe I should figure out what I had been singing before judging these women. (Disclaimer – I didn’t speak English that well when this song came out).

Here’s what I came up with:

Nananaaa nanananananaaaa , nanana.

...

But did you know, that when it shows, my eyes become larden,

The light that you shine can’t be sealed...

Baby, I’d like to be into a kiss from a rose on the range,

Oooh the more I get to feel strangers it feeeels yeah

Now that your rose is in bloom, my life hits the home on the grave...


Not bad eh? I had never even questioned it, not even the part about feeling up strangers. Here are the actual lyrics... Have fun humming this all afternoon!


Oh, and happy Canada Day!

xo.


Friday, June 20, 2008

The Return of Girl 1 feat. The Wooden Sky, The D'Urbervilles, and Leif Vollebekk

Although I have lived in the National Capital Region for almost four years now, last night marked my first-ever venture to the notorious Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, Quebec, located a mere 45 minutes from Ottawa. Even though I was upset to have missed out on what I think is one of the best music venues I have ever been to, with the outdoor patio looking out onto a beautiful lake and the Gatineau Hills and the inside atmosphere so inviting and entertaining as the owner’s pet pug runs between the legs of concert-goers and locals, the spectacular performances from Ottawa’s very own Leif Vollebekk, Guelph, ON’s The D’Urbervilles, and Toronto’s The Wooden Sky were enough to make me forget my initial disappointment.

Vollebekk took the stage as the majority of the crowd grabbed seats at candlelit tables with pitchers of local beer close at hand. A sense of awe could soon be felt as Vollebekk’s soothing voice, strikingly reminiscent of Patrick Watson, and his mesmerizing stage presence left the audience staring at the modest musician before them with complete admiration. Vollebekk played the first few songs with the help of his acoustic guitar, some beautiful finger picking, and occasionally his harmonica, switching to an electric guitar, the piano, and even the violin with much ease. Vollebekk also made fine usage of his looping pedal to layer the many instruments, creating the lovely music that accompanied his thoughtful lyrics. Vollebekk takes up little room on the stage, but the sound he creates is big enough to fill any room.

The D’Urbervilles were up next, and the quartet’s usual high-energy performance, though slow to appear, was very present by the end of their set. With their catchy hooks, driving percussion, and keyboard-playing that makes you want to get off your ass and start dancing, The D’Urbervilles easily entertained the crowd with songs off both their EP and their full-length, We Are The Hunters. By the end of the set, the band had left us pumped and ready for more rock, soon to come from The Wooden Sky. Props go out to D'Urbervilles lead singer John O’Regan for wearing a shirt commemorative of my conception (Spring Break ’86 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL).


The Wooden Sky, formerly known as Friday Morning’s Regret, produce a brand of what can be described as alt-country that makes most crowds take notice, and last night’s show was no exception. Lead vocalist Gavin Gardiner has both a strong stage presence and powerful lyrics, and having seen them many times over the past six years, it is evident how the band has evolved in terms of songwriting -- and as a whole -- making a name change very understandable and necessary. The band played songs from their LP Lost at Sea along with some new tracks that were easy to enjoy upon the first listen. Gavin and bassist Andrew Wyatt even humoured me when I asked for an old Friday Morning’s Regret song from their 2004 self-titled release by playing what they remembered. And last, but certainly not least, the set was topped off with a rockin’ cover of "American Girl" by Tom Petty. What more could the Thursday night show-goers ask for?

It is safe to say that the packed Black Sheep Inn crowd left that night knowing they got their money’s worth. Along with a few new cds and band t-shirts, hopefully.

***photo by Tyler Ross

Wooden Sky - The Wooden Sky

We Are The Hunters - The D'Urbervilles

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Things I like about today.


1. Getting to work and discovering that the entire office is playing an online game where you get to paint Miley Cyrus' nails.
2. Painting Miley Cyrus' nails.
3. Eating two Egg McMuffins and Nibs for breakfast.
4. Getting Sylvain in trouble for sending me the world's longest email consisting only of happy faces.
5. Woodhands (and their quirky band photos).

Woodhands - Dancer


xo.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It’s pronounced Dah-veed.


I’ve been meaning to update my mp3 player for some time now, and I think it’s actually been on my floor charging for a week, untouched. I just haven't gotten around to it, and since it’s been a while, I know that the update will be quite the upheaval. I’m simply not ready to deal with that much change, plus it's old and dingy and that makes the whole operation even more unmotivating.

So to compensate for this lack of a constant soundtrack, I’ve resorted to listening to online radio at work (sadly, since my commute has become a bike ride, there is no listening to music in transit for the time being – I would most certainly perish).

I’ve been finding this web-radio experience suprisingly enlightening, because every once in a while something totally new comes on that kind of blows me away. So I write it on a Post-It, come home and dance to it.

This is an example of such an occurrence.

David Ramos (see above for correct pronunciation) is completely random in the coolest way. Last year, he was named one of Modern Drummer Magazine's Top 10 Progressive Drummers of Today for his work on the Toca album. He also dabbles in hardcore metal, indie folk and rap. Sceptical? I hear you.

Surprisingly enough, his diverse mix of musical skills all come together, right here. It’s kind of drone-y or straight up weird at times, but then the synth stream gets interrupted by random instruments or Ramos’ own brand of awkward yet endearing rapping. Try it out with an open mind – this album sometimes sounds like it was self-produced in a basement. But that’s only because, well, it WAS.

I recommend Pulse Myopathic Scubacop RMX and Face Full.

This video for Kings and Queens is pretty haunting too, though I'm not a huge fan of this song.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

dear Coldplay haters,


lets talk about how much we all hate Coldplay.
lets talk about how infinitely better all the other bands we listen to are.
lets compare every word Chris Martin has ever written and sung,
to every other word written and sung by every other artist in the world.

after that, we should critique every note and melody for being unoriginal.
because no true musician or artist would ever let themselves be influenced by artists that preceded them. (or be honest about it, ahem Daft Punk.)

and when we’ve run out of negative things to say about the music,
we should probably extend our dislike to personal attacks on their front man.
we can all discuss how <> he is, not only for making music,
but for existing as well.
how dare he.

or, and please bear with me, because this is only a suggestion,
we could not take ourselves so seriously.

and maybe,
we can choose not to listen to music we don’t appreciate,
without being judge jury and executioner.
(i don't remember Ms. Spears's album getting such subjective reviews...)

just a thought.

i know how rare an occasion it is for us music snobs to prove how much more pretentious we are than one another…so by all means, if it’s too tempting, don’t let this chance pass you by…
tear them to shreds…

p.s. Chris Martin sends his love.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Writer of fictions...


About a week ago, I decided to change my desktop background to a picture of Colin Meloy. Not so much because he’s a heartthrob, but because he is a poetic genius and maybe if I look at him more I might absorb some of his witty eloquence. Sigh.

To my chagrin, my computer did not agree with the picture’s dimensions and /or resolution, so The Decemberists' frontman's face became grossly stretched out and disfigured. Still, I left it there.

This being said, today I have decided that it’s time for a change of scenery , as I feel I might begin to experience nightmares in which Colin is a) some kind of deformed, blood-thirsty monster or b) being stretched to a gruesome death because of me. To avoid this, his prestigious desktop spot will soon be lost to a picture of wiener dogs. Um, I mean, a cool Banksy print...

To feel better about my decision, I’ve decided to share my love for all things Colin Meloy here.

Here are my preferred tracks off Colin Meloy Sings Live! (an album I believe everyone should own, en passant).

xo.

Colin Meloy – The Engine Driver

Colin Meloy – California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Wolf Parade!


Fighting the urge to simply write “weeeee!” and post the songs, I will take a time out from the tedious apartment renovation projects I am undertaking and write a few words about this.

At Mount Zoomer is the long anticipated new album from Montreal’s Wolf Parade. It officially comes out June 17, almost 3 whole years after the bands first LP, Apologies to the Queen Mary. Although Sunset Rubdown, Handsome Furs and the band members' numerous other side projects have managed to tide us over until now, I’m REALLY stoked about this album. Note that I would never say, nor have I ever said ‘stoked’ out loud. But it looks good written down, no?

I was anxious to see what the band would put together after its members strayed in almost every possible direction with other musical aspirations, and I’m glad to report that it’s pretty tight. Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner still have the sobbing voices we’ve grown to love, and the melodies are much more complex, with a decent amount of their signature dissonance. I was disappointed to notice that raw, dance-seizure-inducing tunes such as Shine a Light seem absent, but I see it as a necessary evolution. Producing a sophomore album after an acclaimed debut is kind of like going to high school after a supercool older sibling – you’re going to be judged pretty harshly if you try to be a carbon copy.

All in all, I'm happy these guys are back. Watch for a tour starting in July, with Canadian dates as of August.

Here a few ditties (another word I write but do not say) for you.

Wolf Parade - California Dreamer

Wolf Parade - Language City

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NXNEeek!


This festival is overwhelming my life right now. There are so many shows and venues to choose from, and every night out has to be planned carefully around location, talent and proximity to a McDonald's. Plus, like any such festival with wristband admission, you run the risk of not getting in, remaining stuck outside listening to the droning echoes of what could have been the best show of your life. Whatever, at least there’s no snow this time, although these thunderstorms are promising. (PS have you guys been following the stories about all the crazy tornadoes?)

Here are my picks:

Thursday, June 12th
The Horseshoe only, because I work at 8:30am on Friday. Aaand because the bands are sweet.

9pm – The Coast

10pm – The West Secret

11pm – Small Sins

12am – Money Mark

1am – Flash Lightnin


Friday, June 13th

Drake Hotel

9pm – Ruby Coast

10pm – Winter Gloves (or Great Lake Swimmers at the Reverb)

11pm – probable McDonald’s break


Cameron House

12am – Orillia Opry (or EVAN DANDO at the Horseshoe)


Supermarket

1am – Opopo


Drake Hotel

2am – Jokers of the Scene (Ottawa’s very own)


Saturday, June 14th

Silver Dollar

11pm – Elfin Saddle


elMo

12am – The High Dials

1am – We Are Wolves (or The D’Urbervilles at the Horseshoe, if time allows)


That’s all I’ve got so far. You can find the lineup here. And feel free to make recommendations!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This week’s band-crush.


The Republic Tigers believe that music is the career they were destined for (I’m actually laughing at how cliché this first sentence is, but I’m going to leave it here for my own amusement). In their late twenties and early thirties, these guys are hardly starry-eyed youngsters with rock-star dreams; they’ve had the time to think about it, experience crummy jobs and other failed musical efforts to finally make a well-planned out decision to ‘go for it’. And they’re still cute, despite the old age...

Aww, I kid.

Seriously though – their bassist left (read: got fired from) his job at RadioShack to devote himself to the band. So you know they’re serious about making music.

The band has just released their first LP, Keep Color (Chop Shop Records) and appeared on Letterman last week in their very first televised performance. Things are looking promising, I must say! I stumbled upon their album and have been obsessed with its opening track Buildings and Mountains ever since. And when I took it off ‘Repeat’ and gave the rest of the album a chance, I was very pleased.

Keep Color is happy and smooth, with an exaggerated amount of layers that just so happen to fit together seamlessly and give the whole album a cinematic sound. There’s a little bit of rock, a lot of synth and a crazy pile of vocals. In my opinion, if The Republic Tigers was a food product, they would be Orbitz: fizzy, sometimes heavy, and constantly shifting with an excess of strange bubbliness, but so pleasant and gratifying that you don’t ask questions. Was that analogy just an excuse for me to include yet another ‘90s throwback into my post? Perhaps.

Hopefully, The Republic Tigers will have a longer shelf life than this now-defunct soft drink. Keep Color seems to convince me that this could in fact be the case. Some of my favourite songs: Fight Song, which is pleasingly upbeat with an impressive variety of percussion and a funk influence, and Air Guitar, which is not as solid musically, but is good in that its lyrics paint a hilarious portrait of the sport that is, well... air guitar: ‘I don’t care if you are tall, black or white or very small, grab your axe and play guitar’. Written as a joke and combined with an overdramatic melody, this piece is smack in the middle of the album and quite enjoyably breaks up the album with humour.

Here are some tracks for your listening pleasure! Also – if you are interested, I found a petition to bring back Orbitz, just because.

xo

The Republic Tigers - Buildings and Mountains

The Republic Tigers - Fight Song

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

animal kingdom.


i gave my heart to two bands this week…

Frightened Rabbits for their latest "Midnight Organ Fight,"
and The Golden Dogs.

the former consists of unapologetic self-deprecating lyrics through thick Scottish accented vocals. the words sung are not the deepest i’ve ever heard, and some tracks are more radio friendly than others; but overall, a beautiful record that i keep coming back to despite the other 5497 songs calling my name. (i am currently listening to my entire digital collection. iTunes is doing most of the work for me, by keeping track of which songs i’ve played. when i have finished, nobody will be able to tell me having 11 000 + songs is ridiculous because i will be able to curtly reply. “i have listened to them all.”)

seconditively, The Golden Dogs are Canadian and independent. (my two favourite qualitites in a band…and a person.) from what i’ve heard, they put on a fantastic live show (you can hear a live CBC Radio 3 session featuring them). it was a task and a half to track down their most recent release “Big Eye Little Eye,” but entirely worth the effort. the video for “Never Meant Any Harm” is cute, pretty and fairly reflective of the band and albums sound. although my favourite song of the album by a long shot is “Saints at the Gates” for the fabulously raucous vocals.

aside: the broken piano in the photo has nothing to do with either bands. it was taken by a tres wicked photographer named Chris Jordan who’s latest solo exhibit addresses mass consumption on a very literal large scale. this is an earlier photo, taken for a series titled “In Katrina’s Wake” where he looks at the merits of unnatural disaster. he catches beauty in destruction, then shares in hopes of awareness. i say admirable.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bonjour l’été.



It’s about time.

Today was all about summer events: sleeping in, patio beers, sunshine and music. I finally got the chance to wear my straw hat, something I had been excitedly anticipating for a while now (though after almost losing said hat to an untimely streetcar-related death, I learned not to wear it while biking). After a few hours of aimless wandering, shopping, chatting and a tragedy involving a fudge Drumstick, we went to see our friends’ band, Macro Fiesta. They were playing at the Steam Whistle Brewery for the Toronto Doors Open 2008, a cool architectural festival. While the music and cheap beer were a sweet deal, this afternoon bash was also the choice scene for a bachelor party of frat dudes, a bunch we affectionately named the Bro Show. Oh backwards hats and popped collars... Thank you Macro Fiesta for the sweet Dance Mix 94 Medley – so fantastic.

Oh, and I got my first sports injury of the season in a skateboarding accident... Well, what aaactually happened is that my friend dropped his long board on my sandal-clad foot, but that sounds so much lamer. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty badass bruise, which is great considering I’m going to be wearing flip-flops for the next 4 months.

Here is a mix of my favourite songs of the moment to kick off the summer. I would also like to recommend a visit to this website (one of my favourites) to which I owe this post’s photo (it's Dundas Square!!)

xo.

Girl 3 - Mix Tape.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nose Dive.


N.E.R.D.
's new video for 'Everybody Nose' looks like a live-action American Apparel ad. Quick, how many sweaty hipsters can we fit into this 3 minute clip!!? Let's split the screen up into a grid and maximise that amount!!

Oooh, and Lindsay Lohan makes an appearance. The tune IS about coke, after all.

It's a lame-ish song, but in a kind of catchy way, and I do predict there will probably be some sweet remixes (the version on their MySpace is already an improvement). Hey, you can do a lot chanting a line like: "All the girls standing in the line for the bathroom". I also think it sounds like they're sneezing repeatedly, in different styles. But maybe that's just me.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

going on. don't follow me.

Gnarls Barkley released the video for "Going On" (the latest single off The Odd Couple, their 2008 release) yesterday.

the video for it: wicked. (as in, is…)

i don’t dance. but If I did i would dance like the dancers in the video.

also worth a listen: elpuocddoeht.
the entire Odd Couple album as one track, backwards. i know, it sounds ridiculous. but it’s actually quite cool. you have to listen to understand. and you have no excuse not to, since it’s free:

http://www.fronttobackbacktofront.com/

Friday, May 9, 2008

Another flashback!



I’m sorry if I seem to be clinging desperately to the nineties... I think it’s because I’ve recently graduated into the ‘mid-twenties’ category, which brings me closer to 30 than I am comfortable with. Or I am secretly trying to legitimize a large part of my CD collection by making it sound cool again. Either way, I have faith that you’re going to appreciate this.

If the name Jyoti Mishra rings any bells, I’m thoroughly impressed. But an alias you might be more familiar with is White Town.

Still nothing? Well, this one-man-band is the genius behind the 1997 beauty “Your Woman”, a one-hit wonder which had rendered my thirteen-year-old self completely confused. Oh Jyoti, why would a man serenade another man about how he can never be his woman? Even now that I am older and consider myself more informed about gender identity issues, I still don’t quite grasp the message. And the lyrics... “So much for all your highbrow Marxist ways, just use me up and then you walk away.” Clearly the tragic tale of a doomed love affair. Uh...

Anyhoo, the album was called Women in Technology and the song was White Town’s only memorable release. But don’t be sad, it managed to reach #1 on the British charts that year, and dude’s probably still living off the royalties.

So what’s this mystery man’s deal? According to my friends at Wikipedia, Mr. Mishra is a follower of the straight-edge movement and a reformed Marxist. He is still making music, having produced a few more albums, including Don’t Mention the War (2006) released under his own record label, Bzangy. Oh, and he looks like this:

Here’s the video and the song, for you to add to your library of ‘90s one-hit-wonders.

Right before Right Said Fred’s “I’m too sexy”.

xo

Thursday, May 8, 2008

one thing led to another...

get your mind out of the gutter.

i’ve had a mystery song in my head since seeing The Constantines put on a sick live show in Ottawa last Friday. i am a bit closer to figuring out the unknown track. i believe it is originally par The Sadies, covered by Bryan Webb in a secondary solo encore. …whilst searching for the original version of the mystery song, i came across The Sadies/Cons collaborative album. it in turn, led me to another side-project/super-group called: The Unintended (oh hello irony...) the self-titled album was released in 2004 and seems to be channelling Joy Division through a folkesque lens.

i hope “Controller Awake” haunts my dreams...
...and yours…

Controller Awake - The Unintended

and if you recognize The Sadies track, help a girl out please.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The medium is the message.


They call us the MTV generation. Kids who would rather watch The Hills than the news; people who are more affected by the Brangelina babies and the release of GTA IV than by the recent disaster in Burma. It’s not necessarily that we’re apathetic - we are exposed to more media than any generation before us, and we must filter through inconceivable amounts of content in order to get to the stuff that matters.

Thankfully (or not...), corporations have figured out that this is a major social concern and are now trying to capitalize on our “ignorance”. Ad campaigns and gimmicks legitimize their profit mongering by taking on socially responsible or political messages. Turn world issues into a consumer product and voilà, informed citizens. And while this consumerism + altruism equation can often be a double-edged sword, certain industries have mastered the art of getting through to media-crazed youth. Ironically enough, MTV is one of them. Watch this new Radiohead video for All I Need, and don't miss the ending:



Radiohead - All I Need
Amplive - All I Need (Remix)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Of course.


Jim Noir would probably take me on a road trip. I would buy us blue slushies and red licorice and we’d listen to the following song on repeat.

Jim Noir – Ships and Clouds

Then I would laugh at his sweater vest and he'd get mad.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ugh, another one.

So Scarlett Johansson makes music now. I'm still completely torn, because unlike waaay too many actors who attempt to cross over into the music business, she kinda has a bit of cred. Here’s why:


a) Her entire album consists of Tom Waits covers, which is a cool concept.
b) "Falling Down" features David Bowie, who is supercool.


I first heard “Falling Down” without knowing these tidbits, and was thoroughly embarrassed for Ms. Johansson. Her voice is so monotonous and the lyrics are pretty repetitive, not to mention that this video is pretty narcissistic. It’s like these all these actresses turn to making music so they can make 4 minute video clips focusing strictly on them.

But now that I’ve read a bit more about the project and the amount of cool people involved in creating this, I guess I feel a bit more forgiving. But I still wouldn’t buy the album. Well, maybe in a few years, when it’s being sold for $5.99 on those rotating racks on the counter of small town convenience stores beside the beef jerky and the penny jar raising money for the local fiddle festival. Too harsh?

Needless to say people are quick to express their dislike for this project – this video alone has had over 50 000 views, and over 300 comments from viewers expressing their disapproval.

I don’t know, I’m at a loss. And now I made myself kinda crave beef jerky, which is upsetting.

Judge for yourself...


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Newton Rush.


Originally, this paragraph started with “not to hate on Jack Johnson, but...” But then I decided that hey, I do hate Jack Johnson. Well, hate is a strong word, but I find him incredibly boring. Not to mention that Bubble Toes sounds like a gross disease, not an endearing romantic term.

So when I was offered free tickets to the Newton Faulkner show last night, I was really torn, because:

a) I wanted to sleep.

b) Someone told me he was like a cooler Jack Johnson, and that doesn’t up the ante too much for me.

But I went, because I like my friends and I enjoy free things. Am I ever glad.

Yes, Newton Faulkner is someone your mom would like. The songs are safe and radio-friendly, but man can that guy keep a crowd happy.

If you’ve seen August Rush (the music movie with Felicity and a creepy homeless Robin Williams), Newton Faulkner makes you think that maybe the guitar prodigy kid grew up and developed a British accent. Oh, and acquired some serious ginger dreadlocks too.

On stage, you realize that most if not all the sounds that you hear in his songs are produced by Faulkner alone, with intricate guitar handling and a bit of help from some fancy pedals. It’s incredible to watch him, and you forget that the percussion comes from his rhythmic tapping on the guitar body rather than an accompanying band. He played a version of Teardrop that put Jose Gonzalez’s cover to shame aaaand played his own songs impersonating other bands – the man does a perfect Caleb Followill impersonation. Well, a Kings of Leon impersonating Newton Faulkner impersonation, rather. I know.

He had the crowd singing and clapping, and I even caught myself staring at the stage open-mouthed with my head tilted in admiration. Oops. But the highlight of the night was his rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, which he breezed through, alone with his guitar.

So yes, I am a fan, and no, I will never use the name Newton Faulkner in conjunction with Mr. Johnson’s. Leagues apart, I tell you.

Here’s a sample.

xo.