January 31, 2014

The Balconies Do It In The Dark

The Balconies album Fast Motions came out this week. I gave it a listen and love their groovy rock sound. I'm heading to Lee's Palace on Saturday to check out their live show. You should, too! I'll have more detailed opinions and pictures after the show.

For now, check out their video for "Do It In The Dark".

You can get Fast Motions at their Bandcamp.

January 30, 2014

Beliefs at The Horseshoe

Opening for New York's Spires and UK's Toy at The Horseshoe on January 14 were local shoegazers Beliefs. They did a great job of warming up the room and the crowd on a cold winter's night. 

I enjoyed Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe's vocal interplay, the swirling guitars and the cool tunes, and I wouldn't hesitate to see them again.

Their début album Self-Titled is out now and here is the video for "Lilly"

"She Comes Alive"

"Catch My Breath"


January 29, 2014

Spires bring Britannia to The Horseshoe

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Spires are from the UK. They are touring with UK band Toy, they have a certain British look and the singer has a John Lennon influenced delivery. They have a Beatles' Peace and Love 60s vibe that goes beyond the presence of a Hofner bass on stage. My ears describe it as, "Beatles filtered through Oasis/Britpop". They are from Brooklyn, New York and like tour mates Toy, celebrated their first Toronto show with us on January 14.
Check out some tunes and see if you enjoy their brand of cool.
"Candy Flip"

"Comic Book"

January 28, 2014

Toy resonate at The Horseshoe

Toy are a band from the UK with a love of volume and ringing guitars and atmospherics noise and aesthetic. They brought it all to the legendary Horseshoe Tavern for their first ever show in Toronto for a great night on January 14.
I had the band's début eponymous album in my collection and I knew I liked their sound even if the tunes beyond "Motoring" weren't embedded in my consciousness. Their new album Join the Dots had just come out so I did to have a lot of time for the tunes to become familiar, outside of the title track.

No matter, I had an awesome time. They played with attitude and enjoyment and I loved every moment.

And you can add them to your list of bands who really mean it when they say, "This is our last song". I mean, you do have a list of bands that don't do encores, don't you?
Their setlist was short in number of tunes but not in time. Check out some highlights:

"Left Myself Behind"


"My Heart Skips a Beat"

Show closer "Join the Dots"

January 27, 2014

New release from Kevin Drew on the way

Recently, Kevin Drew, co-founder of Canadian indie rock legends Broken Social Scene, announced the upcoming release of Darlings. It's due out March 18 on Arts & Crafts. Here's the tune "Good Sex" for our ears' pleasure.

It sounds like what we've grown to expect from Mr. Drew; a cool and groovy melodic experience with up close and personal lyrics.

January 26, 2014

New Foster the People album Supermodel coming out; Listen to Coming of Age

As evidenced by the 12-day string of low effort but good content offered by the live on KEXP posts, I've been a little tied up with the day job. I now turn to some posts that could be termed "old news" as they feature some of the cool releases and other stuff announced while I was non-musically occupied.

Foster the People are a great pop band. Everybody knows their numerous hits from their début album Torches. They recently announced a new album called Supermodel which hits the public on March 18. Here's a tune from it called "Coming of Age".

As you might expect, it's a well crafted pop song. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nice to hear the more up-front guitar hook. I've read that this is more of a guitar driven album. Looking forward to this release.

January 25, 2014

New Hold Steady tune: I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You

The Hold Steady are one of my favourite bands. Their new album, Teeth Dreams, comes out March 25. They've just let us hear a new tune. Here it is: "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You". Sounds awesome!

January 24, 2014

Small Black live on KEXP

And we're done! Made it! Last day of 12 days of work in a row. Certainly not the hardest anyone's ever had to work, but it definitely took me away from my music discovery and post-writing activities. Now watch out for a new feature I'll call "old news" where I post some of the cool things that are coming out soon that you'll already know about since they're old news now.

For now, lets groove with Small Black and their great tunes and cool sound.

Their set is:
No Stranger
Only A Shadow
Free At Dawn

And on the flip side, I have a bunch more KEXP performances bookmarked that will get posted over the coming months.

January 23, 2014

Nada Surf live on KEXP

Day 11 of 12. Almost there.

Check out this KEXP performance by Nada Surf. Recognize anyone from yesterday's post?

The set:
Clear Eye Clouded Mind
Waiting For Something
Whose Authority
Jules And Jim
The Future
When I Was Young
See These Bones
Always Love
Looking Through

January 22, 2014

Minor Alps on KEXP

Matthew Caws and Juliana Hatfield are Minor Alps. Great stuff. Listen up:

Their set is:
I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands
If I Wanted Trouble
Far From The Roses

January 21, 2014

Portugal.the Man live on KEXP

So just three more days left. Portugal. The Man are a cool sounding band that I keep meaning to spend more time with. This performance helps.

This is a long set:
Purple Yellow Red and Blue
All Your Light
Evil Friends
So American
People Say
Sea of Air
Modern Jesus
Creep in a T-Shirt
Sleep Forever

January 20, 2014

Haerts live on KEXP

I'm so tired I don't even know what day I'm on. Here is/are Haerts performing in Judson Memorial Church.

January 19, 2014

Cayucas live on KEXP

I'm interested in seeing Cayucas when the hit up Toronto March 2 at The Garrison. For now, I can enjoy this KEXP performance.

They play:
East Coast Girl
Will "The Thrill"
High School Lover

January 18, 2014

Chvrches live on KEXP

Day 6. It's the half-way point in my day job workapalooza.

This is Chvrches. One of the big misses in my concert attendance in 2013. Doubly cursing since I'm sure they will be big enough for a venue too big for me to want to go to.

At least I can enjoy this performance.

The set is:

We Sink
Under The Tide
The Mother We Share

January 17, 2014

The Joy Formidable live on KEXP

It's day 5. Tomorrow's the weekend. Not for me and my day job.

The Joy Formidable is one of my all-time favourite bands. This is an astounding performance on KEXP. The mix and sound is a bit off at the beginning, but they get it all together...

The set:

The Ladder Is Ours
Little Blimp
Maw Maw Song

January 16, 2014

Frightened Rabbit live on KEXP

Day 4. Eight more to go.

Here's Frightened Rabbit's KEXP set. I love them.

The set is:

Backyard Skulls
December's Tradition
State Hospital
The Wood Pile
Oil Slick
Old Old Fashioned
Living In Colour
Acts Of Man

January 15, 2014

Gary Numan live on KEXP

Day 3, people.

All it took was a few seconds of the rocked out version of "Cars" in this set for me to comit to posting this set. Very cool. Gary Numan.

The set list is:

The Fall
Everything Comes Down To This
Love Hurt Bleed
A Prayer For The Unborn

January 14, 2014

Superchunk live on KEXP

Here's day 2 of 12 KEXP performances. This one's from another veteran alternative band, Superchunk. See if anything looks familiar from yesterday's post.

January 13, 2014

Bob Mould and band live on KEXP

So I'm heading into 12 days straight at work. Not gonna be a whole lot of time for writing.

I was trawling through KEXP's YouTube channel and noticed lots of cool performances. So I'm going to honour 12 days of work with 12 posts of KEXP performances.

Here's the first one, one of my favourite songwriters ever. Bob Mould.

The band performs:

The Act We Act
A Good Idea
Hoover Dam
Star Machine
The Descent
Steam of Hercules
Flip Your Wig
Hate Paper Doll
Makes No Sense At All

And look closely at the drummer and see if he looks familiar in a future post of another band.

January 12, 2014

New music from Bombay Bicycle Club

Bombay Bicycle Club are an English band that have been putting out stylish indie rock for several albums now. They have a new album coming out February 3. We can listen to "Luna" and watch synchronized swimming in the video. We can listen to "Carry Me" and watch the dancing, animation and blinking lights in the video. The album will be called So Long, See You Tomorrow.

January 11, 2014

Cayucas warm me up

So I'm sensing a theme here. Ever since fall started, and now as Toronto is gripped in a cold snap, I've been seeking out or just happening upon very sunshiny tunes. Not so hard to figure out what's going on here.

So now I turn to Cayucas who, of course, hail from sunny California and they don't try to hide that influence from their songs at all. Their album, Bigfoot, is out now.


"High School Lover"

"East Coast Girl"

January 10, 2014

Pretty Green White Denim

White Denim released Corsicana Lemonade just before Hallowe'en. I'm just getting around to appreciating the re-energized classic rock and blues tinged sounds they produce. Here's "Pretty Green". It'll make you feel good.

January 9, 2014

Two new Young Galaxy clips: Fever and Hard to Tell

Here are two more videos from Young Galaxy's Ultramarine. They are for the tunes "Fever" and "Hard to Tell". This album was very deservingly nominated for this year's Polaris Prize. And I do recommend seeing these guys live. They put on a fun show.

January 8, 2014

New music from The War on Drugs

I've heard of the band The War on Drugs for a while now. They've got a new album called Lost in the Dream coming out on March 18. Here's the very cool sounding tune "Red Eyes".

January 7, 2014

Another new St Vincent track: Digital Witness

Here's another new track from the exquisite St. Vincent. It's called "Digital Witness" and it's from her forthcoming eponymous album that hits the web February 25.

In case you missed it, I posted "Birth In Reverse" a few weeks back.

January 6, 2014

Those Dancing Days

I think I've had Those Dancing Days on a list of bands to post about for a few years now. Sorry. In truth, I did put the clip for "I'll be Yours" in a post from this past summer, but I want to post more. And I'm pretty forgetful and half wrote this post before I remembered. There's just too much to remember. I have lists upon lists upon bookmarks upon links saved in Pocket to last me years. The only thing stopping me from posting and posting and posting is time.

So at long last, here's some more stuff from Those Dancing Days. I think they sound great. Dance-y and energetic with great hooks.

"I'll Be Yours" from Daydreams and Nightmares

"Fuckarias" from Daydreams and Nightmares

"Can't Find Entrance" from Daydreams and Nightmares

"Reaching Forward" from Daydreams and Nightmares

"Those Dancing Days" from In Our Space Hero Suits

"Hitten" from In Our Space Hero Suits

"Run Run" from In Our Space Hero Suits

January 5, 2014

New Dum Dum Girls on the way

Dum Dum Girls have a new album coming out January 28 called Too True. Here's the video for the tune "Lost Boys And Girls Club".

See you at their March 29 show at Lee's Palace.

January 4, 2014

Relax, it's Louise Burns

Louise Burns put out her latest album back in the warm and sunny days of July. I just discovered this track and am rather enjoying the reverb laden guitars and soothing melody. The track is "Emeralds Shatter" and it's from the album The Midnight Mass.

January 3, 2014

Five-by-Five: Classic Canadian Tunes

Today, the radio proclaimed it was playing Supertramp. Well, in fact it was the Spoons. A fine, fine Canadian band. So I have been inspired to write a Five-by-Five post on awesome Canadiana. Here we go:

"Flesh Under Skin" by National Velvet

"Underwhelmed" by Sloan

"Answer" by hHead

"Nova Heart" by Spoons, and

"Shine" by Doughboys

January 2, 2014

Band of Skulls' bonus track Be Mine

Band of Skulls have a new album called Himilayan coming out April 1. If you buy it from iTunes, you get a bonus track called "Be Mine". I previously posted the track "Asleep at the Wheel" which now has a video. So here you go, two cool tracks/clips from Band of Skulls:

"Be Mine"

"Asleep at the Wheel"