January 16, 2017

Best of: Top 30 of 2016: My favourite albums of 2016

Here are my 30 favourite albums of 2016. And, yeah, they're kind of in order this year. Best at the top!

The Zolas Swooner

July Talk Touch

Yuck Stranger Things

Wintersleep The Great Detachment

Sate RedBlack&Blue

Warpaint Heads Up

Bob Mould Patch The Sky

The Kills Ash And Ice

Public Animal Palace Arms

Dinosaur Jr. Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not

The Temperance Movement White Bear

Sunflower Bean Human Ceremony

White Lung Paradise

White Denim Stiff

Weaves Weaves

Split Single Metal Frames

Ron Hawkins Spit Sputter and Sparkle

Pup The Dream Is Over

Catfish & The Bottlemen The Ride

Sleigh Bells Jessica Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit Painting of a Panic Attack

The Balconies Rhonda

Marlon Chaplin Wanderer By Trade

Eagulls Ullages

TacocaT Lost Time

John Moreland In The Throes

The Joy Formidable Hitch

The Strumbellas Hope

Drowners On Desire

Viola Beach Viola Beach

January 15, 2017

The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern - Concert Pictures

The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Killjoys at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The last time I remember seeing The Killjoys live, I think it was the late 90s and I think it was at The Phoenix Concert Theatre. This was back in the day when I was slugging it out with my own band, and I'd have to admit I was looking at The Killjoys with some envy. They were playing earnest power pop tunes to a huge crowd at The Phoenix. We were playing earnest power pop tunes to a few scattered souls at Sneaky Dees or The El Mocambo.

But never mind all that. When I saw that The Killjoys were going to play The Horseshoe Tavern now, in 2017, I knew I wanted to be there. I love their tunes and wanted to experience them live again. It was great to see the original power trio on stage, knocking the dust off the old tunes, mixing in a bunch of new ones, and having a great time. The songs all sounded great, including some immediate hooks in the new tunes, and I'm looking forward to when their new release, bugs and all.

Here are a few of my favourites from their set:

"Dana"

"Anyway Now"

"Sally Won't"

"Headlong"

"Ungowa, Baby!"

"Look Like Me"

"Sick of You"

"Exit Wound"

"Rave and Drool"

"Soaked"

"Today I Hate Everyone"

The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern - Concert Pictures

The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Horseshoe Tavern January 13, 2017 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
I caught The Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern on Friday night. They were opening for 90s local legends The Killjoys and they did an awesome job of warming up the crowd with their tunes.

The music was a great blend of big power pop chords, vocals with a hint of twang, Neil Young inspired guitar solos and a rock-solid rhythm section. Great stuff!

Their set included a tune from Shannon's old band Strange Days called "Last Time I Cried" and a cover of Flaming Lips "She Don't Use Jelly". Cool stuff. I'd love to see them perform again.

Give them a listen:

"Last Time I Cried"

"Never Even Tried"

Closing tune "Mods Rule"

January 10, 2017

Best of: Top 50 of 2016: My favourite songs of 2016

I loved 2016.

Lots of other people didn't. And that's okay. There was lots to get down about. Lots of aging (and not so aging) rockers that dove into the inevitability and lots of pretty shitty human behaviour, just to name a couple of things.

But there was lots to be very, very happy about. Life was pretty damn good to me, personally. I spent much of the year bathed in art. Lots of real "me time". I attended more shows and saw more bands in 2016 than I have in any other year. I spent a lot of time with a lot of very cool people. It's a concert-going record I don't think I'm going to break any time soon. Or any time at all.

And there was great music. So much great music. This year, I probably listened to less recorded music than I have in many, many years, but I made up for it with live shows. This is reflected in the fact that my favourite songs of the year came mostly from acts I saw live. Many of them I saw multiple times, giving their tunes more time to wedge themselves into my consciousness.

The bonus that comes with this post is that you're also getting a preview of my favourite albums list if you notice the number of repeat songs by certain artists that appear amongst my favourites. It'll be coming soon. And so will a post of my favourite concert photos of 2016. Which comes with a special announcement.

And so, here they are, at long last, my latest ever best of list, except for the ones for my favourite albums and favourite concert photos, which are still in progress... These are my favourite fifty tunes of 2016:

50. "Break My Heart Sweetly" John Moreland

49. "In Stars" Marlon Chaplin

48. "Radio of Lips" The Joy Formidable

47. "Blank Ribbons" Split Single

46. "We Had Everything" Broods

45. "Personal Weekend" Partner

44. "City Club" The Growlers

43. "Molotov Girls" The Zolas

42. "Voices In My Head" Bob Mould

41. "Kiss Me When I Bleed" White Lung

40. "Coo Coo" Weaves

39. "Cannonball" Yuck

38. "Fossils" Marlon Chaplin

37. "Money Money" The Balconies

36. "Easier Said" Sunflower Bean

35. "Swooner" The Zolas

34. "Beautiful Girl" Ron Hawkins

33. "Santa Fe" Wintersleep

32. "Goin' Down" Dinosaur Jr.

31. "Doing It To Death" The Kills

30. "Lemontrees" Eagulls

29. "White Bear" The Temperance Movement

28. "Miracle" The Darcys

27. "Silence" Sate

26. "Beck + Call" July Talk

25. "Swings and Waterslides" Viola Beach

24. "CV Dazzle" The Zolas

23. "Cruel Ways" Drowners

22. "DVP" Pup

21. "Pen to Paper" Modern Space

20. "Wall Watcher" Sunflower Bean

19. "Soundcheck" Catfish and The Bottlemen

18. "Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)" White Denim

17. "Human" Weaves

16. "Blood In The Cut" K. Flay

15. "Give It Up" The Beaches

14. "Get Out" Frightened Rabbit

13. "It Don't Seem Right" Public Animal

12. "It's Just Us Now" Sleigh Bells

11. "Hold Me Closer" Yuck

10. "Tiny" Dinosaur Jr.

9. "The End of Things" Bob Mould

8. "Heart of a Dog" The Kills

7. "Warrior" Sate

6. "Amerika" Wintersleep

5. "Invisible" The Zolas

4. "Hearts In Motion" Yuck

3. "New Song" Warpaint

2. "Spirits" The Strumbellas

1. "Push + Pull" July Talk

December 21, 2016

Stars at The Danforth Music Hall - Concert Pictures

Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
Stars at The Danforth Music Hall December 20, 2016 Photo by John at  One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures
I think that every time we see Montreal-Toronto band Stars, we should share the best quote from Torq for the night. For their Danforth Music Hall show on December 20, that quote would have to be, "Fucking kill fascism with love and beauty! Keep doing it for Gord!" Do it!

Stars filled The Danforth Music Hall for the first of two nights of fantastic Christmas celebration. The set was filled with favourite songs like "The Night Starts Here", "Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It", "Take Me To The Riot", "From The Night", a cover of Erasure's Christmas tune "She Won't Be Home", "Ageless Beauty", "Trap Door", "I Died So I Could Haunt You" (I love that concept), "Elevator Love Letter" (a personal favourite that goes through my head so often when I'm waiting for the elevator at the end of a long work day), "No One Is Lost" (an rousing tune of gaining strength from insecurity and doubt), and an encore that included "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" and finished with their amazing cover of "Fairytale of New York".

Stars are one of my all-time favourite bands and they prove why every time I see them perform and listen to their music. Here are a few of my favourites from this set.

"Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It"

"Take Me To The Riot"

"Soft Revolution"

"Ageless Beauty"

"I Died So I Could Haunt You"

"Elevator Love Letter"

"No One Is Lost"

"Your Ex-Lover is Dead"

"Fairytale of New York"