September 28, 2009

Late to the Party

I'm often late to the party, so to speak, when it comes to new music. Like many people, it can take me some time to get into new music. It can take some time for new music to grow on me. When I first heard Oasis, I frankly didn't think much of them. I was, admittedly, a recovering metal-head and BritPop was not exactly the music that sounded too familiar at first blush. When it did, it sounded a bit too much like The Beatles for my taste.

Do you remember that scene in Pulp Fiction when Uma Thurman's character and John Travolta's character are sitting outside of Jack Rabbit Slims? Uma describes how everyone is either a Beatles man or an Elvis man? I disagree with this. I think that everyone is either Beatles or Rolling Stones. I think that those two bands are much more comparable and are much more contemporaries than the Beatles and Elvis. I've always ended up on the Rolling Stones side of the equation, which explains my reaction to the Beatles-tinged rock of Oasis.

But that was then. A couple of years after What's the Story Morning Glory and Definitely Maybe were released, I found my appreciation for Oasis. About 5 years ago, I had one of my most enjoyable moments on stage playing lead guitar on the track "Morning Glory".

This scenario repeats itself for many other bands. Either I manage to miss their emergence completely or I take a listen, am not really grabbed by what I hear, only to discover months or years later that I really like the band.

Although I'm late to several parties, I'm not usually last to the party. Mention of many of the bands that I've been listing to for quite a while now still elicits blank stares from many friends and acquaintances, even from those who try to keep their ear to the ground for new music.

What does this mean for this blog? Well, it means that there will be many times when I cover an artist that is new to me that may not be new to others. I don't profess to be first to the party, but I hope I'm not last too many times.

September 25, 2009

Boy Kill Boy - Great Band that's No More

Boy Kill Boy seemed to have got a lot going for them, in my books, which is why I’m baffled that they didn’t make a greater impact. They are a straight-ahead guitar rock band with tons of energy and great catchy songwriting. Their first album, Civilian, is pretty much back-to-back awesome songs. "Suzie" tops the list. As far as I can tell, their latest release, The Sun and the Sea, was never released on this side of the pond, as they say.

Sadly, the band broke up in October of last year. At least we got a couple of great albums out of them.

Here's the video for "Suzie":

And the video for "Shoot Me Down"

Video for "Back Again"

And the video for "No Conversation" from the second album


September 22, 2009

New Built to Spill Songs, Indie-Rock Nuptuals and New Releases

As I posted previously, Built to Spill has a new album coming out and is coming through Toronto on their tour. The release date is October 6, which doesn't give me a whole lot of time to familiarize myself with it before their date at Lee's Palace that I'm attending on the 7th. Stereogum is featuring two tracks from the new album There is No Enemy. The songs are called "Things Fall Apart" and "Hindsight". I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those bands that absolutely shines in a live setting.

Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and Zooey Deschanel (pictured) of movies and She and Him got married this past weekend. Good for them. And any excuse to look at Zooey Deschanel pictures is good with me.

Spiral Beach's new album The Only Really Thing is out. The album is streaming on their site. Listening to it now and it sounds goooooood. ExploreMusic has got some free songs, too. I've got to see these guys live.

Here's the video for "Made of Stone" from Ball.

And the video for "Domino" from The Only Real Thing.

As I posted previously, The Twilight Sad is on tour and has a new album called Forget the Night Ahead. It's due out today in North America and on October 5 everywhere else. You can listen to the album courtesy of Fat Cat Records. Another band that I suspect would have to be seen to be fully appreciated. I'm still toying with attending their October 10 show at the Elmo.

Here's a new track called "I Became A Prostitute" from the new album.

F*cked Up Win Polaris Prize

And the winner is.....

F*cked Up

The hardcore band has won the prestigious Polaris Prize, much like the Mercury Prize for Brits, but this one for Canadians, for their album The Chemistry of Common Life.


September 21, 2009

Free Metric Song!

I recently found an email from Metric in my inbox offering a free MP3. Well, I like free just as much as the next guy, so I headed over to HypeMachine and traded my email address for the tune.

My First iTunes LP: Muse's The Resistance

Well, I've purchased my first iTunes LP. It's the latest release from Muse, The Resistance.

What do I think of it? I think it's pretty cool. A lot of my friends like buying physical CD's over digital because of the booklet - they want to have something tangible in their hands to look at and read lyrics. iTunes has been offering digital booklets on some albums, but this is definitely a step up.

I compare it to a DVD menu. When you open the iTunes LP, a nice screen appears (shown above) and some music plays. There are links to listen to the album, view the song list, read the lyrics, view videos and view pictures. For The Resistance, you can listen to the album, view the song list, which contains descriptions of the inspiration for each song, view photos, videos and credits. There are no lyrics with The Resistance.

Overall, it's a cool experience, but I wouldn't pay extra for it.

And how about the new Muse album? It's pure Muse, but they are stepping up their game from album to album. There are some really good rockin' tunes, like "Uprising", "Resistance" and "Unnatural Selection". The more symphonic tunes, like "United States of Eurasia / Collateral Damage (Excerpt from Nocturne in E-Flat, Op. 9 No. 2)" and the three-part "Exogenesis: Symphony" will take some time to grow on me.

Here's a video for "Uprising" from the new Muse album for your viewing and listening pleasure.

And if you're interested in seeing the band live - I saw them on their last trip through Toronto and they were absolutely fantastic live - then look for dates on their web site. Their first string of dates has Biffy Clyro and The Big Pink supporting.

September 14, 2009

I Knew Music Was Good For You!

According to a study referenced in this article at CNET, music lowers blood pressure, among other health benefits. So crank up some tunes and get healthy!

September 12, 2009

Scarlett Johannson & Pete Yorn, Minus the Bear and more Cool Stuff

Spin has got Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn performing Relator. As I posted previously, I rather like this tune and I'm looking forward to hearing more of their songs. The album is called Break Up, it's scheduled for release on September 15, and it's available for pre-order on iTunes.  I've got to pick up some Wayfarers.

Details on Minus the Bear's new album are available from Brooklyn Vegan. Here's "Knights" from Planet of Ice. If you like their stuff, it's available on emusic.

Also posted on Brooklyn Vegan is a peppy new song from Land of Talk. It's called "You May Never" and it's from their forthcoming EP Fun and Laughter. Their past releases are on emusic. Exclaim's got some news on the EP as well including the October 13 release date.

Stereogum shows off the new video from Sondre Lerche called "Heartbeat Radio". I love the counterpoint of the happy-sounding melody against the lyrical content. It's from his new album, also called Heartbeat Radio, which is out now and available through iTunes. Sondre's performing at The Mod Club next week on the 16th.

September 11, 2009

One Fun Song - Bright Red Chords by Loomis and the Lust

I was checking out the past few weeks' episodes of Wedge on my PVR when this gem caught my ear. From their EP Nagasha, which is available on emusic, it's Loomis and the Lust with a groovy, catchy, funky, fun, retro-sounding song called "Bright Red Chords". The rest of the EP sounds promising too.

Here's "Bright Red Chords"

And another tune called "Break on Love"

September 8, 2009

Speech Debelle Wins Mercury Prize

Well, I have to admit I know nothing about Speech Debelle, but her album Speech Therapy just won the Mercury Prize. Congratulations!

If you're interested in checking her out, here's a video.

Mercury Prize to be Awarded Tonight!

I posted before about the Barclaycard Mercury Prize nominees. Well, if you follow such things, tonight is the night. The prestigious Mercury Prize will be awarded tonight.

Who do you think will win?

September 1, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures, Polaris Prize, new James Song, Pearl Jam and more cool stuff

I had seen the band name The Big Pink floating around the Interwebs recently, but hadn't heard any of their music. I saw a post over at Artrocker that echoed my feelings about the name and its origin with The Band. Artrocker posted this video and I think it has a great sound and a great hook. Go to The Big Pink's site and they'll trade your email address for an MP3 of "Dominos". The album, A Brief History of Love, is due out September 15. Emusic has some singles, so I'm hoping they'll get the full album.

Spinner has the ten Polaris Prize nominated albums available for streaming until the prize is won on September 21. Go check it out.

James has recently put up a free mp3 on their site. It's for a song called "Not So Strong" and they say it's semi-legendary. "Not So Strong was first performed during a low-key gig at Hoxton’s Bar and Kitchen in June 2007, and became a regular feature on the setlist throughout the rest of the year. It quickly established itself as a fan favourite, and many of you expressed shock and disappointment when it did not appear on Hey Ma." Great song.

If you're interested in the history of Canadian music, you may be interested in two new documentaries from the CBC. By the time of this post, you've missed the first airing of the first episode, but it looks like there are repeat airings on CBC Newsworld.

I've been enjoying the new single, "The Fixer" from Pearl Jam. They have another new one called "Supersonic". I kind of lost track of Pearl Jam around the time of No Code but it looks like I'm catching up with them again. Backspacer is out September 20. If you pre-order the album from iTunes, you get "The Fixer" right away.

Well, everyone's been freaking out about Them Crooked Vultures (pictured above). They are the newest supergroup comprised of Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones, and based on the videos linked below, a couple of other guys. Youtube has bits of a couple of songs from the official TCV channel. There's one called "Elephants" and a short and long version of "No One Loves Me and Neither Do I". Stereogum has live videos in features 1, 2, and 3. After listening, I can hear what the fuss is about. They rock hard. They also played with Arctic Monkeys. Spinner's got the scoop on that show.

Think it's too early in the year for lists? Never. Pitchfork has a feature "P2K: The Decade In Music". Highlights include the "Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s" and the "Top 50 Music Videos of the 2000s".  Stereogum's got some good analysis.

And R.E.M. has a great sounding live version of Accelerate's "Living Well's the Best Revenge". More info on the coming live album on

Living Well Is The Best Revenge

Photo from