April 30, 2012

A new video from The Twilight Sad

Here's a new video from The Twilight Sad from their latest release No One Can Ever Know.  The song's called "Dead City". Cool.

April 29, 2012

Favourites: Five 5-star songs

Here's a curated list of five songs all rated 5-stars in my iTunes library. I just might make this a regular addition to the blog.

LCD Soundsystem with "Daft Punk is Playing at My House". It's the first LCD Soundsystem song I heard. Instant addiction.



Storm Large with "Thank God". The Rockstar reality program was a guilty pleasure for me. It focused on harder edged music than the pasturized pop of shows like Idol, X Factor and The Voice. You got some actually talented singers who had experience doing their thing. Storm Large was one of the most unique artists on the show. This is one of her early songs from when she was going by Storm, Inc. If you get the chance, see her live.



Feist with "Inside and Out". I took some time to really get into Feist. This amazingly cool cover of the Bee Gees song certainly didn't hurt. It's from her 2004 album Let It Die.



Here's one thing from the early 80s. Romeo Void with their big (only?) hit "Never Say Never". I never get tired of this song.



"Untouchable Face" by Ani DiFranco is one of the most incredible songs. Listen to this song and try to deny Ani's talent. Just try. Her guitar playing, her singing, her songwriting are all awesome. Her coy use of the f-word makes it art.



Okay, I can't resist sneaking in another incredible Ani song. "32 Flavours". Gives me shivers.



Okay, Okay. Just one more. Here's "Two Little Girls".

April 28, 2012

New Feist video

Feist has released another video from her Metals album.  This song's called "Bittersweet Melodies".



If you're interested in the photographer, Irina Werning, and her work, you can check out more at her site.

April 27, 2012

Yukon Blonde

I've been seeing the name Yukon Blonde on some other blogs and finally gave them a listen.  Good, solid, classic rock from some hairy Canadian boys.  What's not to like?

Here's the video for "Stairway".  A fun song from their recent release Tiger Talk.


And here's "Wind Blows" from their eponymous début.

April 26, 2012

New Dan Mangan video for Post-War Blues

It's an old message that never seems to get old. The latest video offering from Dan Mangan, "Post-War Blues" from Oh Fortune.

April 25, 2012

Another new Maximo Park song - Hips and Lips

Yes, indeed, it's another new song from the forthcoming Maxïmo Park album The National Health. It's called "Hips and Lips". Get the album June 11.



Nice one!

April 24, 2012

Blunderbuss is out today!

Yup, it's April 24 and you know what that means. Jack White's Blunderbuss is out today. In honour of that, I'm gonna eat "Sixteen Salteens".

April 23, 2012

New album from Butterfly Boucher

Butterfly Boucher has a self-titled new album out. The first video is for the first track, "5678!". Great song!



Here's a very different, intimate take on the same song. It's Butterfly Boucher and Missy Higgins in bed. Very cool.



You can listen to the whole album below. It sounds like a really strong album that will grow and grow.




April 22, 2012

Happy Pills - Norah Jones video

I posted the new song "Happy Pills" from Norah Jones upcoming album Little Broken Hearts a while ago.  The album's out May 1 and you can stream the whole thing here and check out the official video for the great song "Happy Pills" below. Beautiful.



April 21, 2012

Hard Core Logo 2 - Die Mannequin

A Canadian-made movie called Hard Core Logo, directed by accomplished Canadian director Bruce McDonald, came out in 1996. It starred, among others, Hugh Dillon, the singer for the Headstones, who was branching out into acting. He's done a lot of acting since then, including starring roles on TV's Durham County and Flashpoint.

Bruce McDonald is back with Hard Core Logo 2.  This time, starring Care Failure, singer of Die Mannequin. Here's the trailer.




Here's Die Mannequin with two great tracks, "Do It Or Die" and "Saved by Strangers" from Unicorn Steak, in case you're not familiar with them.





This is the vid for "Miss Americvnt" from Die Manneqiuin's 2009 album FINO+BLEED.  Depending on where you work, it may be NSFW.



Their new album Danceland is out in May.


And here's some Headstones.

April 20, 2012

Santigold's Disparate Youth

Santigold's latest single, "Disparate Youth", is one of those songs whose charms only reveal themselves after a few listens.  Try it and see if you agree.



And Happy 420!

April 19, 2012

New Yuck

I've always meant to write a post about Yuck. This is not that post. This is a new Yuck song. It's called "Chew".

April 18, 2012

Imagine Dragons with It's Time

I happened upon the band Imagine Dragons recently.  I decided to wait a bit to post because they were going to release their first video.  Well, it's happened.  They just premiered their official video for "It's Time" yesterday.  Check it out!



They also have an acoustic version from SXSW 2012.



Here's an older tune called "Amsterdam".




April 17, 2012

Tanlines with All of Me

A friend of mine posted this video and I rather like it.  The band's called Tanlines and the song's called "All of Me".



And while I'm at it, here's another tune. This one's called "Brothers". The video's panoramic. If you like the tune, get your very own MP3 for free on their site.

April 16, 2012

Two classic 80s tunes that go great together

For some reason, these classic tunes from the 1980s always go together in my head.  The Murray Head classic "One Night In Bangkok" has such a great hook, and the Jon & Vangelis track "Friends of Mr. Cairo" was the perfect song to come out while I was just discovering old radio dramas on CHUM-FM's Theatre of the Mind.

Take a trip down memory lane with me.

Murray Head "One Night In Bangkok"


Jon & Vangelis "Friends of Mr. Cairo"

April 15, 2012

New Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups have a new album called Neck of the Woods coming out May 8. They've put the first song out for our listening pleasure. It's called "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)" and it sounds good.



And here's the first Silversun Pickups song I ever heard "Lazy Eye".

April 14, 2012

New Said the Whale

In March Said the Whale put out a new album called Little Mountain. They've released a butt-load more videos for the album. I guess they figure that there's a huge audience who finds their music on youtube instead of radio.

Here they are:

"Heavy Ceiling".



"We Are 1980"



"Jesse, AR"



"Lover/Friend"



"Hurricane Ada"



"Big Wave Goodbye"



"Seasons"



"Big Sky, MT"



"O Alexandra"



Good stuff!


You can stream the whole album on their site if you want to hear the rest.

April 13, 2012

New Arctic Monkeys

I guess it's hard to come up with new concepts for an art/advertising form that's been around for so long. Arctic Monkeys latest vid was filmed while they listened to the radio début of their new song "RU Mine" on Steve Jones' (of Sex Pistols fame) radio show.

April 12, 2012

The Joy Formidable, A Place to Bury Strangers and Exitmusic at Lee's Palace

Spring is in the air (and frankly has been pretty much all winter here in Toronto) and I'm starting to venture out to some shows.  I saw The Joy Formidable, A Place to Bury Strangers and Exitmusic at Lee's Palace.  They put on an excellent show at one of my favourite venues.  I can't wait to see The Joy Formidable again on their next trip through Toronto.
Exitmusic definitely has the atmospheric and quiet-loud dynamics elements down. Not so much for crowd interaction but that's certainly not a deal breaker. Although I couldn't hum one of their songs today, I'll definitely look for more of their music online.
The guitar player from A Place to Bury Strangers should get some kind of award for coolest sound check. Turn up guitar. Let a wail of feedback and groan of discord ring out and we're good to go.

A few minutes later their set started with the band positioning their own lights and getting the aural bombast started. They do bring the noise. And what an enjoyable noise it was. They don't sound as "gothy" live as they do on album. At least to me. Unfortunately I didn't pick out "So Far Away" which I found to be their most accessible song in my pre-show listening. Good stuff from these dark noise-makers.
After a long harp tune-up and set change, the main attraction took the stage. Besides a few festival gigs they have set for this summer, this was the final show of their tour in support of The Big Roar so they let us know early that they planned to go out in style.

When they opened with "A Heavy Abacus" I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. One of my favourites for sure. They played "Cradle" fairly shortly thereafter. The singer was a dervish on stage. Bouncing from drummer to bassist to mic to gong and back again.  Overall, it was a truly solid main set.
The band really show how great a time they are having up there.  The drummer has tremendous energy and enthusiasm, the singer is almost boundless and seems as though she'll break free of gravity at any moment, and the bass player does his best to hold it all together while grooving out.
For the encore, they treated us to a song from their recently-completed new album with the quiet "Silent Treatment". The new album is due out in the fall. Can't wait. Except for the whole another-summer-will-be-over-by-then thing.


Then we got a marathon "Whirring" for their final song of a fantastic evening.

Young bands remember - trashing your gear at the end of the show means not having to play another encore.

I've posted tons of The Joy Formidable videos before so here are some different ones.

"A Heavy Abacus" live from London Koko


"The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie" live from Sarm Studio


A live version of "Whirring".  Eight minutes of joy.  Who could ask for more?


"Greyhounds in the Slips"


"Cradle" from Glastonbury 2011


And "Austere"


A Place to Bury Strangers have just released this tune, "You Are The One", from their forthcoming album Worship which is out June 26.



And here's Exitmusic's video for "The Hours"



The photos in this post are original pics by me, not the usual professional pics stolen from some other web site.  You can tell the difference original art makes.

April 11, 2012

Rows of Houses by Dan Mangan

Congratulations to Dan Mangan on his Juno win. Overall, it wasn't too bad a Junos this year. We got wins from Dan, Feist and City & Colour. Too bad about a christmas album winning best album. Seems to me it's an indicator of a dismal year in music and/or a really bland voting pool. I haven't heard it, but I can't imagine a christmas album being the best thing released in the entire year in Canada.

Oh well, at least we get a great song from Dan - "Rows of Houses" from his latest, Oh Fortune.

April 10, 2012

Kasabian melt the Kool Haus

Kasabian put on a fantastic show. They were originally supposed to play The Phoenix here in Toronto. That sold out so fast they were booked into Kool Haus. That sold out as well. I was lucky enough to be a ticket holder from the Phoenix show.


And they did not disappoint. Even for a short guy near the back who could only catch glimpses of the band when the tall people's heads aligned to give me a sight line they were thoroughly entertaining. They had a good light show, they displayed the tight playing of a seasoned band, and they squeezed really good sound from a concrete box of a venue. I should mention that based on past experiences, I usually try to avoid the Kool Haus for the venue's many not-so-stellar qualities such as the sight lines and not-so-wonderful sound.


They played a great mix of tunes from across all of their releases and were so engrossing that when they wrapped up the main set, I remarked, "Wow. Short set". In fact it wasn't a short set, it was just so well paced and performed that went by effortlessly. The lads came back and rocked us through an encore and the night was done.

I would definitely see Kasabian live again.


We only caught the end of the opening act Hacienda, but I like this song on their site.  It's called "Savage" and it's from their upcoming album, expected this spring.


Here are some of my favourite Kasabian toons.  One from each album.

"Club Foot" from their eponymous début 

"Shoot the Runner" from Empire

"Underdog" from West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

"Switchblade Smiles" from Velociraptor!


The photos in this post are original pics by me, not the usual professional pics stolen from some other web site.  You can tell the difference original art makes.

April 9, 2012

Great song by Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka delivers a great song with his soulful voice and simple instrumentation. He's well deserving of all the praise he's been getting.

"I'm Getting Ready"

April 8, 2012

Hey, look up there! On that rooftop! It's a band!

While Tribes are certainly not the fourth or fifth band to film a video of them playing on a rooftop, they are the most recent band I've seen playing a cool song on a rooftop, so here they are.  The song's called "We Were Children" and the album's called Baby.  Infections little chorus on this one.  You might get hooked.



Here's another track called "Corner of an English Field"



"Sappho"



And "When My Day Comes"

April 7, 2012

Listen to Lissy Trullie's new album

A while back, I posted about Lissy Trullie and at the time I heard that her new album was coming out imminently.  Now I hear it's out this Tuesday, April 10.  You can listen to it here.  Sounds good.  Cool cover, too.

April 6, 2012

New Gossip track called Perfect World

Gossip in a church. Who would have thunk it?

A new album is on the way, called A Joyful Noise, which will be out May 22. Seems to me to be a perfect description of the kind of music this band makes.  Here's the first tune - "Perfect World".




April 5, 2012

R.I.P. Jim Marshall

The father of Marshall Amplifiers, Jim Marshall, "The Father of Loud", has passed away.  Rest in peace, Jim, and thanks for the great sounds, and the constant ringing in my ears.  I love my Marshall preamp.


April 3, 2012

More Garbage

Okay, just because I'm slacking a bit while I put together posts on the Kasabian and The Joy Formidable shows I recently attended, I'll post more Garbage.  Here's the official video for "Blood for Poppies" from their upcoming album Not Your Kind Of People.  It's out May 15, if you didn't already know.

April 2, 2012

New J. Mascis - Heavy Blanket

J. Mascis, alternative guitar god and singer/guitarist from Dinosaur Jr., is releasing a new project on May 8.  It's called Heavy Blanket and is an instrumental power trio album.  Here's a teaser video and the announcement from J's web site.  The teaser track "Dr. Marten's Blues" has a great groove.

   


It was the summer of 1984, and a teenage J Mascis was bored. Sure, his band Deep Wound were still playing shows and melting faces. That band would prove to be one of hardcore’s seminal influences, but J didn’t know that then. Disillusioned with the direction that most of his hardcore heroes had taken, he wanted to start something new. He wanted to shed the pretentiousness and elitism that had risen around him  – to slow things down and turn the volume way, way up. This new band would influence generations of disenfranchised youth while tipping their hat to their heroes of years past, before punk existed. And so: he needed a band.

He remembered a couple kids from his early high school days – stoner kids he’d always admired for their “who gives a shit” attitude. Those kids, Johnny Pancake and Pete Cougar, had been kicked out of marching band for smoking weed out of a tuba. Way better musicians than the marching band deserved, they’d formed a duo that was all rhythm section – no vocals, no guitar, a sick, punchy brew of Band of Gypsies and Japanese hard psych (Johnny’s uncle was a US Marine stationed on Okinawa in 1973. From his frequent visits to Tokyo, he brought home a killer psych record collection. And a mean dose of the clap). These were the guys he needed. He rounded them up and it soon became obvious that the heavy rhythms they created were the perfect backdrop to young Mascis’ insane, fluid ability on the guitar. The trio came up with six blistering tracks, named themselves Heavy Blanket, and set a date to record.

But then, tragedy struck. Johnny hit his head and nearly drowned while swimming in an old stone quarry in southern Vermont. His recovery was… incomplete. He gave up playing altogether and became something of a recluse, retreating to the relative safety of his grandmother’s basement. Disheartened by Johnny incapacitation, Pete moved out to Ohio to work in his uncle’s second-hand furniture store. He later did a stint in federal prison for repeatedly passing low-denomination counterfeit bills at the local Stop’n’Shop. Mascis went on to form Dinosaur jr, and the rest is history. The boys lost touch, and those blistering tracks were lost to history.

Fast forward to the winter of 2011. While on his semi-annual ski retreat, Mascis runs into an old friend. Johnny had emerged from his grandmother’s basement (having been forced to, once her demise stopped the flow of milk and sandwiches to his underground lair) and taken a job grooming the ski trails with a Snowcat. Convinced his long-ago accident was the handiwork of those schemers in Pearl Jam, Johnny begged J to reform the band. It was the only way to get back at them, he insisted. A quick search of Ohio prison records turned up Pete, living in a halfway house in Columbus. After securing the proper permissions from his parole officer, Pete boarded a Greyhound with the only recording of Heavy Blanket in existence – an old practice cassette. Building off those old tune structures, the boys – now men – have finally succeeded in fulfilling the promise of that long past summer.

April 1, 2012

Another new Garbage track

Not Your Kind of People is coming out May 15, and Garbage keep teasing out new tracks.  This one's called "Battle In Me" and, like the other tracks they've released, it really brings me back to their classic albums and make me want to pick this one up when it's released.