November 30, 2013

New album from Brendan Benson on the way

Brendan Benson's new album You Were Right is available right now in vinyl format for Record Store Day Black Friday and comes out in CD and digital formats December 10. Check out the new tunes "Diamond", "Swallow You Whole" and "Red White And Blues". There's a cool, acoustic-based Benson classic, an old-timey piano romp and a crunchy, rockin' guitar tune. Sounds good!

November 29, 2013

New City Kings

New City Kings are from Brentwood, Essex, UK and were in town for Indie Week as the winners of Indie Week Ireland. They're a polished rock band who entertained the crowd at Tattoo Rock Parlour while we waited for the announcement of the Toronto Indie week winners.
Here's their big single, "Swords & Cannonballs"

November 27, 2013

Here Below

Here Below are a post-rock band from Toronto. I caught their intensity during the finals of Indie Week at Tattoo Rock Parlour. I really enjoyed the band's sound, songs and energy. I would definitely catch them live again.
Check out some tunes from their Soundcloud.

"Sign ON/OFF"

"Deep Machines"

"Easily Scared"

And grab their album So, Still from their Bandcamp.

November 26, 2013

Smooth and groovy sounds from Maylee Todd

Maylee Todd recently crossed my consciousness with this retro cool funky groovy easy going tune "Baby's Got It". Indeed she does.

Her latest album Escapology is available at her Bandcamp.

November 25, 2013

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco are a Toronto based punk / metal band. I saw them during Indie Week at the Finals at Tattoo Rock Parlour. Little did I know when they stormed on stage and unleashed their musical onslaught that they would win Indie Week 2013. Great show!
Check out some of their tunes and videos below. They obviously have tons of fun with the video medium.

"The Ugly"

"Where Do We Go?"

"Loose Cannon"

"Who Do You Want To Be?"



November 24, 2013

The Xcerts ask Do You Feel Safe

Old tune. New to me. The Xcerts with "Do You Feel Safe" from their 2009 album In The Cold Wind We Smile. Grand power chords accent sweeping choruses sung in a Scottish brogue.

November 23, 2013

Half Moon Run

I wrote a post about Half Moon Run over a year ago. I never polished it off and hit "publish". Of course, I've seen the band's name around a lot in the year + since then. They recently released a video for a track called "She Wants to Know" from their Dark Eyes album. Here it is:

And here's the original post:

I just happened upon a great song by a band I've never heard of before. They're called Half Moon Run and they're twentysomethings from Ottawa and BC, forming in Montreal. Their début album is called Dark Eyes. Their video is for the first track on that album, "Full Circle". Great tune, and the snippets of other songs I sampled sound really good too. I'll definitely be looking out for these guys.

November 22, 2013

The Ending To This Story

The Ending To This Story is  Lance Eckensweiler from the small lakeside town of Port Elgin, Ontario. His guitar and voice are complemented by loops and backing tracks when he plays live, and he plays all the instruments on his recordings. I caught him at Tattoo Rock Parlour on the Finals night of Indie Week and came away impressed with his songs and presentation.

Check out "Oh Winter" from his latest EP The Phoenix.

November 21, 2013

San Fermin with Sonsick

I heard this song on XMU and really liked it. It's by San Fermin and it's called "Sonsick". They're from Brooklyn. The story goes that the band is Ellis Ludwig-Leone who, "wrote the album in six weeks while holed up in a studio on the mountainous border between Alberta and British Columbia" and utilized guest vocals, "from longtime friend Allen Tate, as well as Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius."

I sure hope they get the gear ($25K worth) that was stolen a few weeks back in Portland. That has got to suck huge.

November 20, 2013

Open Air

Open Air are a classic rock band from Calgary. They brought their guitar laden tunes to Toronto for Indie Week. I caught them twice. On October 19 at The Hideout and for the finals on October 20 at Tattoo Rock Parlour.

They put on great performances at both venues and came in third place overall. Good job, guys. All the best in your future.

"Snake Charmer"

"New Design"

"Golden Times"

November 19, 2013

Blondfire with some cool and groovy music

Blondfire are a cool-sounding indie-pop band from LA-LA land. Their latest EP Where The Kids Are is out now and here are a couple of their latest tunes. The aforementioned "Where The Kids Are" and "Waves". Groovy.

November 18, 2013

New Maxïmo Park

Maxïmo Park has new music on the way! They've just announced the release of Too Much Information which comes out February 3. Here's a tune to check out called "Brain Cells". It's a fun, danceable tune that I can really see growing on me.

And you can get the tune by trading in your email on their site.

Now, to see them live!

November 17, 2013

Sleigh Bells elude gunfire and rock Toronto

Sleigh Bells had an eventful day before they played an amazing show at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. During the afternoon, Toronto Police had a standoff with an armed gunman on the street outside the venue. The man was eventually killed by police. Alexis Krauss even mentioned the shooting during the show and concert-goers were greeted by police cars blocking off a section of Sherbourne Street and police tape right to the club entrance.
But the show was what we came to see. Sleigh Bells did an awesome job, putting 110% of their energy into the performance, looking and sounding great. I was happy for my earplugs as they were loud. Some audience members stood and watched the band with their fingers fully implanted in their ears. As I left the venue, I heard a fellow attendee exclaim, "I can't hear shit!"
The core of Sleigh Bells is singer Alexis Krauss and guitarist/producer Derek Miller. The live band is fleshed out by guitarist Ryan Primack and drummer Chris Maggio. Sleigh Bells played a great set covering a cross section of tunes from across their discography. Here are some of my favourites:

"Comeback Kid" from 2012's Reign of Terror

"Bitter Rivals" from the 2013 album of the same name.

"Demons" from Reign of Terror. Love the whammy bar use in the guitar lead part.

"You Don't Get Me Twice" from Bitter Rivals.

"Riot Rhythm" from Treats

Main set closer "Infinity Guitars" from their 2010 release Treats:

They returned to the stage for their three-song encore and we were done. Great show!
They didn't play it live, but just because I love it, here's "Rill Rill" from Treats.

November 16, 2013

Five-by-Five: a peek into my musical psyche

I love music. I love discovering new music. I love listening to tunes that make me feel a bit better about the world, that make me sit up or stand a little taller, that bring me joy, that make me escape. Here are five tunes that answer to that description.

The Hold Steady have so many incredible tunes. And they're every bit as amazing live as you'd expect. I absolutely love the horn parts on "Two Handed Handshake". A somewhat hidden tune on 2008's Stay Positive.

Goose with "Black Gloves" from their 2006 album Bring It On. Damn, that riff just gets me moving.

It was only a few months ago that I posted the song "Crank" by Catherine Wheel. I promised that I'd post the Rob Dickinson acoustic version and I guess now's the time.

Alice Cooper "Clones (We're All)" from 1980's Flush the Fashion

The Jam. I had a really hard time picking one tune, but I went for "Town Called Malice" from their 1982 release The Gift. I guess that means that I'll put up more Jam in the future. Strawberry or Blueberry maybe.

November 15, 2013

The C'mons

This is one photogenic band. It was hard for me to limit the number of photos in this post. And they sound great, too. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of The C'mons October 19 performance at The Hideout for Indie Week.

Now don't confuse The C'mons with Ian Blurton's now-broken-up hard rocking band C'mon who I featured on the site. The C'mons singer is Stephanie Bosch, petite with a blonde pixie haircut and a voice that goes from soft to powerful in a heartbeat. The band features violin in addition to the typical two guitars-bass-drums combo. And the songs... The songs were wonderful. Of course, you can check out some below, and if you're like me, you can look forward to their next shows and more music being released.
Check out some tunes:


"Go Go Go"

"Paper Walls"


"Alone Eventually"

November 14, 2013

Frankie McQueen

I would see Frankie McQueen and his band perform again in a heartbeat. I caught this hard rocking Calgary band on October 19 at The Hideout for Indie Week. From the moment the band took to the dark edges of the stage, I was instantly enthralled with the sound of Frankie's vintage Gibson through the Orange/Marshall half-stack that was on hand for his use. Their opening tune took us on a unique voyage on the "La Grange" riff and the remainder of the set kept the classic rock/blues vibes on high alert. Great stuff!

"Drown the Sound"


"Black Horse"


"When You're Gone"

November 13, 2013

The Naked and Famous Kill Giants

I wanted to see these guys when they played The Phoenix last month but couldn't make it work. Next time.

Check out the latest video from The Naked and Famous' latest ablum In Rolling Waves. The track's called "I Kill Giants" and it sounds like this:

Great tune!

November 12, 2013

Chvrches release video for Lies

Sometimes, it seems like Chvrches has been around a long time. I posted the track "Lies" back in October of 2012 and I posted the original video back in May. Since then, they've released EPs and a full-length album in The Bones Of What You Believe. And they've put out videos for the tracks that we've been enjoying for a while now.

Whether this is new to you or not, "Lies" is a great song and Chvrches is a great band.

November 11, 2013

Sue Newberry and the Law

Sue Newberry and the Law hail from right here in Toronto and they are tagged with terms like "funrock", “Dusty Springfield fronts Metric” and “Patti Smith meets Peggy Lee”. To truly appreciate what they do, you have to listen to the music. I caught their show on October 19 at The Hideout for Indie Week and thoroughly enjoyed their tunes.
"The Ledge"



"King's Horses"

You can grab some tunes at their Bandcamp.

November 10, 2013

New Broken Bells track Holding On For Life

Broken Bells, the collab between Shins' James Mercer and Danger Mouse, have a new album called After The Disco coming out January 14. Here's the Bee-Gees-ish track "Holding On For Life". Groovy!

November 9, 2013

New Warpaint tune Love Is To Die For

As regular readers may recall, Warpaint was a soundtrack to assault for me (fortunately not an assault of me). The band have a new, self-titled album on the way for January 21, 2014 release. They've let us hear this new tune "Love is to Die For".

November 8, 2013


Via Consequence of Sound, I just heard the amazing track "If You're Leaving" by Mansions. Their Doom Loop album comes out November 12 and I'm definitely getting it. Wow, this stuff sounds awesome! All pounding drums and dirty tones and sometimes whispered vocals and great hooky melodies.

Here are "If You're Leaving", "Climbers" and "Flowers In My Teeth".

Bet they're great live, too.

November 7, 2013

New DZ Deathrays track Northern Lights

I caught DZ Deathrays back in September 2012 opening for the incredible Blood Red Shoes at The Drake Underground. They impressed with their grimy guitar and drums assault and had some good tunes to boot.

They've got a new album coming out in 2014 and they've released the first single, "Northern Lights", to whet our appetites. They describe it as, "A slower number kinda like the calm before the storm." I think I hear them developing their own unique sound, too.

November 6, 2013

Frightened Rabbit release video for Holy

I don't have to tell anyone who reads this site on a regular basis that I love Frightened Rabbit. They've released a video for the track "Holy" from their most recent brilliant release Pedestrian Verse.

November 5, 2013

New song from Band of Skulls Asleep At The Wheel

Band of Skulls are putting out a new album called Himalayan in spring 2014. Here's the first track we get to hear called "Asleep at the Wheel". Love the classic raw guitars, ringing ride cymbal and overall powerful sound. Looking forward to this album for sure.

November 4, 2013

Sons of Revelry

Sons of Revelry played The Hideout on October 19 for Indie Week. They brought some enthusiastic fans, some funky riffs and lots of energy for us. They call Hamilton/Brantford Ontario their home town and their singer's originally from Ayr Scotland.

Here's their video for the driving "Time" from their Born With a Bigga Goal Live EP,

And the title track "Born with a Bigga Goal".

November 3, 2013

The Rathburns

I caught The Rathburns on October 19, the Friday of Indie Week this year. I decided to stake out The Hideout for the night and they were the first band I caught that night. They deliver a unique brand of blues-rock with a tight band and powerhouse vocals.
Check out some tunes:

"Oh Lord"

"Sub Divisions"

"The Panic"

"One More"

Grab their album at their Bandcamp.

November 2, 2013

Five-by-Five: The legendary Ian Blurton: Change of Heart, C'Mon, Public Animal

Ian Blurton has been a legendary fixture of Toronto's music scene since the early 80s. He first came to my attention with the amazing Change of Heart and their Tummysuckle album. One of my all-time favourite albums for sure. I'm going to feature three of his many bands/projects: Change of Heart, C'Mon and his latest Public Animal.

Change of Heart - Trigger (LIVE at Supercrawl 2012)


C'Mon put out many awesome albums including : Midnight Is The Answer in 2004, In The Heat Of The Moment in 2005, Bottled Lightning Of An All Time High in 2007, and Beyond The Pale Horse in 2010. P.S. if anyone can tell me how I can get a digital copy of Beyond The Pale Horse, I would be eternally grateful. All I can find is the Bandcamp where I can't download.

A teaser of Bottled Lightning...

"Psychotic Retraction"

I was already pretty excited to see Monster Magnet at Lee's Palace on December 10. Once I saw that Blurton's latest band, Public Animal, were opening the show, I became super stoked. Can't wait to have my face melted by this latest Blurton project.

Public Animal "Vault Doors" and "One Way Ticket"

November 1, 2013

Glasvegas would rather be dead than be with you. Nothing personal.

Glasvegas released their new album Later... When the TV Turns to Static last month. Here's the brilliant tune "I'd Rather Be Dead (Than Be With You)". I just love lyrics like that.