Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bang bang bang.

I am still trying to decide if I like TV Heart Attack or not... but this is really one bitching video.

I am thinking yes. Yes I do.
Anyone want to see them next Thursday (July 2nd) at Venue (fka Plaza Club)?
(Provided it's not postponed like WMM/Odds was... *grumblegrumble*)

I got a question for ya, i got a question for ya...

Franz Ferdinand
Sunday, September 6 Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park
Gates 6pm Show 7pm
Tickets are on sale Friday, June 26 at 10am PST and are $39.50 plus service charges

Exciting news! Last time I saw them, at the commodore, they put on a superb show, and malkin bowl is a beautiful venue. I am quite excited.

Update: Or, instead of purchasing tickets, I could win them. The Peak is awesome. As are my phone dialing skills.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Free Buck 65!

That's right, Buck 65 is giving away his latest project for free!
His new albums, Dirtbike 1-2-3, which is 70 songs across three albums, are yours for the grabbing right here
But don't listen to me, see what Mr Rich Terfry has to say about it himself:
I set out a task for myself, to put together three huge albums worth of music in three months - what I've been calling the 'Dirtbike' project. I managed to write and record approximately 70 songs. The three "albums" are each around an hour in length.

I think of Dirtbike 1-3 as a woodshed demo project. But I've wanted to share this work with anyone who was interested in hearing it. They've floated around a bit here and there, but now I would like to share them directly with you.

These 'albums' aren't for sale and never will be. Never-ever. It was just really important for me at this point in my career to act creatively without any consideration for money or press or anything other than art. I guess it could be said that this is just something I had to do for myself.

Finally, these recordings were made at home with crappy gear and were mixed in headphones that are 15 years old and were never very good in the first place. So they are pretty lo-fi. So for the few of you who will hear them, they're best heard in headphones.

Head on over to the website, http://www.buck65.net/dirtbike/ to check it out.
And, if you are unfamiliar with Buck 65, here are a couple videos for your auditory pleasure.
First, Wicked and Weird off his 04 album This Right Here is Buck 65

And next from 07's Situation is a live studio performance of Way Back When

I've not yet listened to it - I am in the middle of downloading it - but I just thought I would share. Hopefully a review/impressions will come.... eventually.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fantasies by Metric

Last nights appearance on the Craig Ferguson show reminded me that this was the next review I needed to do on my ever growing list of albums, so it's time to put a dent in the mountain.

Fantasies, the long awaited follow up to 05's Live it Out, is probably the most accessible Metric album to date. I am not sure if it's more mainstream, or if the mainstream has just shifted closer to their sound, but my first thought after listening to the album was that this would be the album that got them the recognition they deserve. And I don't think that's too far off.

As different from Live It Out as that album was from its predecessor Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, the album takes their sound and boils it down to everything that works about Metric and shucks what did not; yet not in a cold and calculated way. It does not seems like a play to be the next big thing, but rather a natural evolution in the bands sound. Nor does it feel stagnant and like a retread of old Metric.

The album starts strong, with their hit single, Help I'm Alive. Differing ever so slightly from the single released last year, it sets the stage for the whole album before diving headlong into some of the more frantic songs like Sick Muse, which I have no doubt could be a huge single, and Satellite Mind a very raw and emotionally frank song, which is not unfamiliar territory for Metric. Twilight Galaxy brings things down for a moody and almost eerie moment before they explode back with laser-like precision of Gold Guns Girls, the standout track of the album for my money.
Second single Gimme Sympathy starts the latter half of the album, which is a little calmer than the first. Which is not to say the album runs out of steam at the end, but rather settles with some more lush, piano and synth based tunes, like Collect Calls and Front Row. Blindness is another mellow and emotional number which builds to a somewhat subdued ending before the album ends perfectly, and on a more energetic note, with Stadium Love, a song that would make for one epic music video, given the lyrics.

My biggest nit pick about the album, and Metric in general, actually, is that they never really take full advantage of Emily Haines' voice. As seen (or rather, heard) in her solo work, or with Broken Social Scene, she has an incredible voice, and you get hints of that in Metric, but it's never really fully realized. Come to think of it, I have the same problem with guitarist James Shaw. When listening to his work on the albums, I am always impressed, but rarely blown away. It is not til I see him live, with Metric, electric or acoustic, or with Broken Social Scene, that I am reminded how brilliant a musician he really is. Not to say Metric is less than the sum of its parts, but perhaps they could be... better utilized.

In the end, it's a solid album. Energetic, raw, emotional, thoughtful, and insanely danceable; before long you'll be humming songs without even realizing it. While their albums are hard to compare against each other, they seem to be doing nothing but getting better. Now here's hoping there's not another four years before the next new album.

Download Gold Guns Girls

Download Blindness

Download Stadium Love

Clicky here to exchange monies for music

Monday, June 15, 2009

Polaris long list.

The Polaris Music Prize announced their "long list" today! This list will be culled down to a short list of ten albums on July 7th, then a winner announced at a gala on Sept 21st, where they will get a $20,000 prize. The award is annually given to the "best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label" and any album out from June 1st 08 to May 31 09 is eligible.

And so here is the 2009 Polaris Music Prize Long List:
Albums that I want to win, or at least make the short list, are boldified.

Arkells - Jackson Square
Jill Barber - Chances
Beast - Beast
Bell Orchestre - As Seen Through Windows
Bison B.C. - Quiet Earth
Bruce Peninsula - A Mountain Is A Mouth
Coeur De Pirate - Coeur De Pirate
Leonard Cohen - Live In London
D-Sisive - Let The Children Die
Elephant Stone - The Seven Seas
Elliott Brood - Mountain Meadows
Fucked Up - The Chemistry Of Common Life
Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels
Handsome Furs - Face Control
Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country
Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs
Japandroids - Post-Nothing
Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care
K'NAAN - Troubadour
La patère rose - La patère rose
Land Of Talk - Some Are Lakes
Lhasa - Lhasa
Malajube - Labyrinthes
Metric - Fantasies
One Hundred Dollars - Forest Of Tears
Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love
Joel Plaskett - Three
Snailhouse - Lies On The Prize
Charles Spearin - The Happiness Project
Rae Spoon - superioryouareinferior
The Stills - Oceans Will Rise
Think About Life - Family
Timber Timbre - Timber Timbre
Chad VanGaalen - Soft Airplane
Martha Wainwright - I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too
Patrick Watson - Wooden Arms
Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
Women - Women
Woodpigeon - Treasury Library Canada C/W Houndstooth Europa

And now some albums that I feel should be on the list, but were overlooked:
A.C. Newman - Get Guilty
The Awkward Stage - Slimming Mirrors, Flattering Lights
Bend Sinister - Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers
Brendan Canning - Something for All of Us...
The Dears - Missiles
Matt Mays + El Torpedo - Terminal Romance

Friday, June 12, 2009


Originally I wanted to review every album I bought/otherwise listened to this year. Clearly, I've slacked on that. Partially cos there have been a lot of albums that, for whatever reason, I don't feel like writing a full review for. So what I have decided to do is give a few really quick reviews all at once.... in haiku form. Here we go!

Enemy Mine by Swan Lake
Bejar, Krug, Mercer
Less than the sum of its parts
Yet still quite awesome

Reliquiae by Carbon Dating Service
Best band name ever
Puts free album on the web
Superb indie pop

The Open Door EP by Death Cab For Cutie
Some left over songs
Exactly what you'd expect
For better or worse

Everything is Real by Leeroy Stagger
Very well written
If a little too "twangy"
Some great alt-country

Thursday, June 11, 2009

random top six

Here's something I haven't done in a while. Some of you may remember my Random Top 6 lists. If not, here's the deal: every week whenever I feel like it, I will choose a random category and choose the top 6 songs fitting that criteria. OR! I will ask for suggestions of what to make. And sometimes, like today, I will post six songs in which you, dear reader, have to guess the connection, and then win a prize!*
*prize not guaranteed to be good. or real.
Maybe the songs are connected somehow, maybe the artists, maybe neither! It's up to you to figure out.
So without further ado, I give you

The Top 6 __________________

I Love You, Hipster Darling by The Awkward Stage

Leave Me With the Boy by P:Ano

Demon Dreaming by Young & Sexy

Come and See by Young Galaxy

Queens Will Play by Black Mountain

3000 Flowers by Destroyer

Good luck!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Oh, Sam Roberts is coming!

Sam Roberts Band and Arkells? At Deer Lake Park?
Yes please!
Aug 3rd, $45
Mother mother is part of the show, too, but I don't really care all that much about them...

And in perfect timing, Arkells just released a new video the other day, for The Ballad of Hugo Chavez, which I now present to you, kind reader:

Friday, June 5, 2009

"until you have to put cornstarch in your underpants, it's not a heatwave" | Neko Case @ The Vogue -- 06/03/09

Wow, this show marks the ninth show I've seen in a six week span. I don't know what I'm going to do now that I don't have another one lined up for almost three weeks...

Opening act for the night was Jason Lytle, of Grandaddy, and he was... decent. Musically, it wasn't bad, if a little on the generic side, but his stage presence? You would have thought this was his first time on stage and not that he's been a musician for over 15 years. At first he joked about jet lag and humourously exclaimed "that's why we're the opening band!", but when you're sitting on stage trying to tune for what feels like an eternity of silence... at least say something, so you don't lose the audience, or have another member play some random jams. Even Spanish Flea. Again, the music was good enough, and he threw in some Grandaddy songs, so the performance wasn't terrible, but it was almost as if he didn't know how to work a crowd at all.

Speaking of the crowd, I am going to take a brief moment and mention the crowd. Or rather, the person directly behind us who had no notion of the concept of an "indoor voice". Highly amusing bits of conversation filtered forward, such as seeing George Micheal live (and almost seeing Britney Spears), her disgust with facial hair and beards (especially neck beards), side burn tattoos which looked like dragon and/or bat wings, Mark The Man-Whore ("why does everyone sleep with him [except her, of course]) and the quote of the night: "Friday should be fun; Friday is the holocaust!"
Pretty sure she was a teacher (the prospect of which is frightening) and is teaching about WW2... but if anything goes down today, you'll know why.

But I digress. During the break between sets a CBC Radio 2 (not 3) host came out to inform us the concert was going to be recorded and hosted on their Concerts on Demand section of their website, which is pretty cool. As soon as it goes up, I'll share the link so everyone may partake.

At this point the stage was set for Neko Case to come on, and what a stage it was. With various instruments, ranging from lap steel to upright bass to a banjo to a hand-cranked music box, everything was in front of a giant projection screen, flanked by two tall trees painted on either side and being held up by a giant owl. Seriously, on the screen were two wings holding on to it, and above a giant cutout of an owl head. With eyes that, during the show, lit up (and may or may not have peered into your very soul). When Case finally did come out, she kicked off with Maybe Sparrow and People Got A Lotta Nerve, setting the tone for the whole show. Songs were mostly from her latest two albums, but she had no problem going further into her backlog to play some older hits. The projection screen mostly showed random images that were related, literally or symbolically, to the songs at hand -- with the exception of People Got A Lotta Nerve, which ran the video for the song. She played for about an hour and a half, in total, and every time I see her (twice solo, twice with the New Pornographers, I think the count is at) I am constantly amazed by her incredible voice. And, of course, her backing band did a great job as well. Case was also her usual self, joking around with band mates and the crowd between songs (see: entry title). She is one of those performers that, while on stage, you can just tell she is thrilled to be up there, and that kind of energy translates into a superb live show.
Well, except for one major factor, which was no fault of Case or anyone else on stage...

I may go off on a little bit of a rant here, but that reason was The Vogue Theatre. When I saw the Jingle Bell Rock show (Metric, The Dears, Tokyo Police Club & Sebastien Grainger ) back in December, it was a freezing and snowy day. You'd think being in a live music venue would be granted some respite from the cold, but no. It was as cold, if not colder, in the venue as it was outside. The other night was the exact opposite. It was pretty damn hot outside and indoors was even worse. With a sold out crowd all packed in, it got so hot and muggy that it was pretty dang uncomfortable. When you have the on stage performers talking and joking about how hot it is in the venue, and they themselves almost looking uncomfortable at some points, you know there is something wrong.
I like the vogue. It has a really good sound to it, and I don't mind how grungy it looks, or the holes in the ceiling or anything. But they have got to get some sort of climate control in there. It's to the point where I am almost dreading going to see The Decemberists in late July.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

have the time of your life til you're dead.

It was way back ought-four. November the tenth at the Commodore, opening for The Trews, when I first heard Matt Mays and his backing band El Torpedo. I have been a fan ever since.
Alas, it seems today El Torpedo is no more. After two members recently departed the band, one being drummer & producer Tim Jim Baker, Mays has decided to let the name El Torpedo go.
It is a sad, sad day in Canadian music indeed.
True, Matt Mays will continue making music. He has solo albums as well as with El Torpedo, and the new(ish) backing band will, no doubt, be pretty swell... but it's still sad to see any band dissolve, especially when a core member like Baker leaves.

In their honour, here is the title track to their release last year, Terminal Romance. It is almost definitely my favourite song of theirs.

Download Terminal Romance

Monday, June 1, 2009

gonna teach you tricks that'll blow your mongrel mind

Oooh! According to the Rock Band Forum, one of the upcoming songs they are releasing for download is...

Wolf Like Me by TV On The Radio! Excitement!