March 31, 2013

New Peace album In Love

I posted the great song "Follow Baby" back in May of last year. I liked the tune so much, it ranked number 46 on my top songs of last year.

Now Peace have put out a full-length album called In Love. What's the first video? You guessed it, the amazing "Follow Baby".

This band's debut has been getting mixed reviews. There's a lot of flack for wearing their influences on their sleeves. There are a lot of kudos for doing an awesome job at it. I think they rock and sound great and that's what matters. We all have our influences.

March 29, 2013

New song from Wavves: Afraid of Heights

Here's a cool track from a band that I've never posted about before. The song's called "Afraid of Heights" from the album of the same name. The band is Wavves.

March 28, 2013

First comes the song, then comes the video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs with Sacrilege

Yup, that's the way it goes. The album announcement, followed by the preview song (sometimes with a teaser, a lyric video and/or an album trailer), followed by the official video, followed by the album release. It's the start of the album circle of life. Hopefully not ending in the delete bin.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new album Mosquito comes out April 15-16. The first official new song was just released last month. There were a couple of tunes put up on the web from a live show in Ponoma.

Here's the official video for the song "Sacrilege".


Who knew Sacrilege could be so sexy!

March 27, 2013

Cool cover of new Phoenix tune Entertainment by Dinosaur Jr.

This tune keeps getting called a remix. To me, it's a cover. Really different things. Maybe it's just me. Whatever.

It's Dinosaur Jr. doing the new song "Entertainment" from Phoenix's forthcoming album Bankrupt!

Check it out and download it below.



Surf on over to this post to hear the Phoenix version. Bankrupt! is out April 22-23.

March 26, 2013

Check out some great blues-rock from StillNative

Just another guitar-drums, blues-influenced duo? I don't think so.

StillNative are a hard-driving blues duo from Ottawa. An initial listen will certainly prompt comparisons to The Black Keys for their configuration and blues-based rock. However, to me, there's quite a unique groove going on here. I listen to a lot of new music and I think these guys have something very cool going on. There's something about their honest delivery and passion that shines through. I think they'll be able to carve out a nice niche for themselves.

Check out the live version of "Shake Your Boots" below - great song, great playing, effective use of dynamics. Watch out for the full length DVD coming soon.

Their début album is available on their Bandcamp.

March 25, 2013

Awesome Iron Maiden cover by Ryan Adams

I was watching an episode of Californication from a few weeks back and over the last scene and credits came a cool sounding acoustic, singer-songwriter style track. But there was something about the guitar part and lyrics that was oddly familiar.

Then it struck me. It's Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years" from their 1986 album Somewhere in Time! I remember learning to play that tune. A quick Google later and I found out the cover was by Ryan Adams.

Check out both versions below.

First, Ryan Adams' version


And the original.

March 22, 2013

Favourites: Esthero

Back in 2012, in the clip in this post, Dallas Green, a.k.a. City and Colour, mentioned Esthero in comparison to Kimbra. Esthero puts out fun, poppy, sometimes mellow and trippy tunes. I somehow managed to miss the release of her latest album Everything Is Expensive late last year. Here are a few great tunes, starting with "Never Gonna Let You Go" from her latest.


"That Girl" from 1998's Breath from Another.


"Everyday Is A Holiday (With You)", a song that popped into my head out of nowhere the other day. It got stuck so deep that I had to seek it out and listen to it. So beautiful. It was on 2005's Wikked Lil Grrrls.

March 21, 2013

Favourites: Skinny Puppy


I saw this great article on the Domino. It was a legendary club that closed before I was old enough to go to clubs, but I remember hearing it talked about on the radio and I remember a lot of the bands that were part of that scene.

Skinny Puppy were definitely part of that goth industrial scene in the mid to late 80s in Toronto. I remember when I first heard Nine Inch Nails years later and instantly thought. "Wow. That sounds a lot like Skinny Puppy's sound."

"Smothered Hope" from 1984's Remission.


"Assimilate" and "The Choke" from 1985's Bites.



"Dig It" from 1986's Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse.

March 20, 2013

New song from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

I really enjoyed The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's eponymous 2009 début and their 2011 follow up Belong. Now, in this MTV video that I'm truly surprised isn't geoblocked, they perform a new song called “Until the Sun Explodes”.

Sounds great! Looking forward to a new ablum.

March 19, 2013

The Joy Formidable release clip for Little Blimp

Oh, the old camera-on-the-guitar-headstock trick, eh? How lovely.

Here's the latest video from The Joy Formidable's recent release Wolf's Law. The song is "Little Blimp" and like most TJF songs, it rocks.

It's getting me amped for their April 12 show at The Phoenix here in Toronto. They are a fantastic live band.




March 18, 2013

New Strokes video for All the Time

I noted on my Twitter that I really liked the tune "All The Time" from the forthcoming Strokes album Comedown Machine. They've just released a nostalgic clip for the song. Great tune.

The album comes out March 26 and Stereogum has a link to 30-second previews of every song on the album. They say it's the "funkiest Strokes album". Cool.

UPDATE: Now you can stream the whole album from the band's site.

March 17, 2013

March 16, 2013

Lyrical Snippet of the Moment: Synchronicity II by The Police

Every time I'm coming home from work on the subway I hear Sting singing the lyric "Another working day has ended. Only the rush hour hell to face. Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes. Contestants in a suicidal race" from "Synchronicity II". That song was on their last album, 1983's Synchronicity.


I also think of a friend's father who told a story about a particularly unhinged individual who approached him on a subway platform and urged him, "Don't have a mental moment!" and decide to jump!

March 15, 2013

The musician comes first: Dave Grohl's SXSW Keynote Address


I don't post too much on the state of the music industry or conferences or speeches, even though I used to be part of the industry, and I guess, in some small way, I still am. Here's Dave Grohl at SXSW giving the Keynote Address. It's a funny, entertaining, inspiring, unflinchingly honest look at Dave's experience with the wondrous gift of music.

Dave fronts one of my favourite bands. Foo Fighters are a band that sound like what I always thought perfect hard rock with a good pop sensibility should sound like. It's probably in part because we grew up with the same influences. I even remember the sister of a childhood friend when she got a mohawk. And I loved 70's KISS. I even liked Foo Fighters before I knew that "the drummer from Nirvana" was Foo Fighters.

The main idea: the musician comes first.


Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein", the song that changed Dave Grohl's life.


What was mine? There were so many, but this one came to mind first. Manfred Mann's version of "Blinded by the Light".


And I can't forget KISS. I wanted to be Ace Frehley when I grew up. Here's "Shock Me".


Here's one of the tracks from the début Foo Fighter's album "This is a Call".


Wow, Dave. You've made me nostalgic and made me remember how much I love music. I think I'll dust off the guitar and start building some calluses.

March 14, 2013

Clive Burr, RIP

Clive Burr was the drummer for Iron Maiden from 1979 to 1982, providing the solid backbone on their self-titled début, Killers and their breakthrough album Number of the Beast. He passed away this past Tuesday at age 56. RIP.

I love Maiden's tunes and remember learning how to play many, many Iron Maiden songs on guitar. Thanks for the relentless, driving beats!

"Number of the Beast"

"Run to the Hills"

March 13, 2013

New track from Tribes


Tribes have a new album Wish to Scream out on May 20. Here's the video for the single "How The Other Half Live". It's a mid-tempo, groovy, slightly swaggering track.


If you like what you hear, check out my other posts on Tribes for more. They even came in at number 59 on my Top 60 Fave Tunes of 2012.


March 12, 2013

NSFW video for Foals' Late Night


Here's the latest clip from Foals' Holy Fire album. It's dark, intense and definitely NSFW. Don't click, kiddies! The song is called "Late Night". Check out this post if you missed their video for "Inhaler".


And here's the clip for "My Number".


I am quite enjoying this album.

March 11, 2013

Chvrches release Recover video

I posted the new song "Recover" by Chrvrches from their new Recover EP that is out March 25-26. Now they've released a video. Beautiful clip for an awesome song.

March 10, 2013

California X bring the guitars!

California X are an American alternative rock band. They progress right through the checklist: loud guitars? check! pounding drums? check! loud guitars? check! growling bass? check! loud guitars? Well, you get the ideas. These are guitars with the thickness. The thickness that would make Dinosaur Jr. proud.

Check 'em out!

"Spider X"

"Sucker"



March 9, 2013

I'm late, I'm late, for a post appreciating Solange

Yeah, so what if I'm the last blogger on earth to post about Solange? I was just going to let it sail by, but the song is so catchy and wonderful I just have to post it. If you haven't heard it, or just want to hear it again, click below for Solange's "Losing You" from her album True.

March 8, 2013

Lyrical Snippet of the Moment: Soul Coughing

"When the gas runs out just wreck it, you insured the thing"

"Circles" by Soul Coughing

Love the off kilter vibe these guys produced.

March 7, 2013

Prince defines "asshole" on Fallon

Update: I thought this was a cool performance. Smashing your guitar can be a cool rock and roll move. Smashing someone else's guitar, especially a prized vintage instrument such as this 1961 Epiphone Crestwood, provides indelible proof that Prince is an asshole. He borrowed The Roots' Captain Kirk Douglas' guitar for his performance of "Bambi" and then he smashed it. What a dick!
Here's the rest of the original post:

Did you catch this? Prince on Fallon. Even better than Prince presenting an award to Gotye.

And check out that tight band. With local Toronto guitar goddess Donna Grantis rippin' it up! Awesome!

"Bambi"

"Screwdriver"

March 6, 2013

New Frank Turner track called Recovery

Tape Deck Heart, the new album from Frank Turner, comes out April 22. I posted the first teaser track "Four Simple Words" a while back. Here's another great song, the first official single, "Recovery".

March 5, 2013

Bob Mould heats up the Horseshoe Tavern

What do you get when you cross a punk/alternative rock legend, two assholes, one guy who smells like kielbasa, one who smells like an ashtray, 341 guys and 5 girls in a packed, sweating room? A night with Bob Mould in Toronto at the 65-year old, legendary, Horseshoe Tavern.

Last Friday, March 1, 2013, on a cold winter's night, Bob Mould came through Toronto on tour to support his latest release Silver Age. I've been to the Horseshoe for many, many shows over the years and I don't remember it ever being this packed. I think everyone wanted to be as close to the stage as possible.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Bob. From Hüsker Dü, through Sugar and throughout his solo career, I've loved Bob's music and he's been a huge influence on my own song writing. His latest album, Silver Age, is fantastic. It featured on my Favourite 20 Albums of 2012 list and the song "The Descent" came in number 2 on my Top 60 Songs of 2012 list.

Here's a fan video of the opening song from the show: "The Act We Act", from Sugar's monumental 1992 album Copper Blue.


And here's a rip from the DVD Circle of Friends of the second track they played, "A Good Idea", also from Copper Blue.


While Bob didn't make it through Toronto on his Copper Blue tour where he played the entire album front-to-back (I did get to see Sugar at the Concert Hall back in the early 90s), he did open this show with the first five songs. He then spent some time with Silver Age before moving on to an assortment of great tracks from across his career. The whole setlist is here. Thanks for not slacking, Toronto.

I love the energy that Bob, along with Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster, put into a show. Whether it's rocking out on the late-night circuit on Letterman or Fallon, or at Austin City Limits, or in Toronto at The Mod Club or The Horseshoe, Bob and the band bring incredible energy and enthusiasm to rocking our faces off and heating up the room.

On the subject of heat, and as a Canadian, I would like to send out an apology for the guys in the band that we didn't have enough heat on to make up for the cold outside. I'm joking of course. It may have been frickin' freezing outside, but it was a sauna inside. It was so hot that Bob's glasses were fogged for almost the whole show, and condensation was beginning to drip off the ceiling.

Sam Sutherland, author of Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk joined Bob and the band on stage during the second encore for an inspired version of the Viltones' "Screaming Fist".

For more great music, check out my posts featuring Bob Mould, Sugar and Hüsker Dü.

Overall, Bob Mould and the band played a perfect blend of the old and the new with awesome energy, great sound and a great crowd. See you next time you swing through Toronto, Bob!

Here's a pair of songs from Silver Age: "The Descent" and "Star Machine".





Now Now from Minnesota opened the show with easy-on-the-ears melodic indie pop. You may remember them by the name Now Now Every Children. Too bad most of the audience was chatting so much through their set. I would definitely see this band again.

Here's the song "Thread" from their album, Threads.


One of the photos in this post is mine. I bet you can tell which one. Hint: it's not the one that actually looks professional.

March 4, 2013

New John Grant

Well, this isn't up-to-the-minute new John Grant. The clip came out in December. But the album, Pale Green Ghosts, isn't out until March 11, so this is still news, right?

Here's a cool tune; the title track from the new album.


And some older John Grant for those not hip to his brilliance.

"Chicken Bones" Love the lyrics in this one!

"Marz"

March 3, 2013

New Lisa Loeb

I happened to catch Lisa Loeb's performance on Conan and was quite impressed with her new tune.

Does anyone else think she was so ahead of her time with the heavy-framed hipster glasses look? I notice on her web site that she has her own eyewear line.

Here's the lyric video for "No Fairy Tale". Her latest album, also called No Fairy Tale, is out now.

March 2, 2013

Lyrical snippet of the moment: Thomas Dolby Dissidents

Thomas Dolby is one of those artists who had a giant hit in the 80s and some might assume he was a one hit wonder. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. He's never stopped releasing wonderful music.

Here's one of my favourite tunes from his early days, "Dissidents", from his 1980 album The Flat Earth.

"There's an iron fist, in a glove full of Vaseline, dip the fuse in the kerosene, I too became a Dissident"

March 1, 2013

Favourites: I Got You by Split Enz

Split Enz was a great 80s band. And, yes, they spawned Crowded House, who you may have heard of.

This tune counts as one of my favourite pop tunes ever. "I Got You" from 1980's True Colours.