November 30, 2009

The Bravery's New Album out December 1st

The Bravery have a new album coming out on December 1st. It's called Stir the Blood and here's the video for the first single, "Slow Poison". You can also check out some tunes from the new album at their myspace.

Slow Poison

The Bravery | MySpace Music Videos

While their second album The Sun and The Moon didn't really grab me, I did enjoy several tracks from their first, self-titled album including the great retro single "An Honest Mistake". This new tune sounds good and I'm looking forward to hearing the whole new album.

I wanted to post the video for "An Honest Mistake" too, but The Bravery's record company obviously doesn't want peon's like me promoting their bands for free. The video isn't available on myspace video from Canada and the video on youtube won't allow embedding. I guess Universal Music Group is intent on being another dinosaur record company that deserves to die.

Enjoy The Bravery through whatever means your conscience tells you to!

November 18, 2009

Fat Cat artists The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Brakes Shine Under the Neon Palms at the Good Old El Mocambo

Fat Cat Records’ tour hit Toronto’s El Mocambo on Saturday October 10th and I was lucky enough to be there. The El Mocambo’s changed quite a bit since I played there more than 10 years ago. It looks good, and sounds good, although I personally found their sound system pushing way too much bass.

Brakes, or BrakesBrakesBrakes as they are known in the US, hit the stage first. For some reason I thought that We Were Promised Jetpacks were going to be the first band on, so while I got over my feeling that I may have missed We Were Promised Jetpacks, I got on to enjoying Brakes.

There are a couple of common elements to both Brakes and Jetpacks, so I’ll mention them up front. Both bands are tight and energetic live performers, and both bands seemed pleased as punch that people on this side of the Atlantic had heard of them, had heard their music, and had come out to see them. Brakes’ singer remarked at one point that this was the best show that they had played. The audience was attentive and enthusiastic in response to all three bands. So much for the stereotype that Toronto audiences are reserved and hard on newcomers.

Brakes played a tight set that covered all their albums – Touchdown, The Beatific Visions, and Give Blood. All are available on emusic if you’re interested, although Touchdown and their live album Rock Is Dodelijk are listed under BrakesBrakesBrakes and The Beatific Visions and Give Blood are listed under Brakes.

Highlights of the Brakes set included "Don't Take Me To Space (Man)", "Spring Chicken" and "Hey Hey". They even through in a couple of covers – of Camper van Beethoven and Johnny Cash. They played a good mix of up-beat songs and more mellow tunes, including a solo acoustic number to fill time while the electric guitar player changed a string.

Here's the video for "Don't Take Me To Space (Man)". Great song.

We Were Promised Jetpacks were up next. I gather from the increase in the number of folks right in front of the stage, these lads are better known around here than Brakes. Singer Adam Thompson has quite the powerful voice, which he demonstrated through his seeming desire to sing loud enough to be heard above the band without the need for his microphone. They hit the highlights from their album These Four Walls, which is on emusic and includes the great single "Quiet Little Voices".

Here's a video of them doing "Quiet Little Voices" from the Elmo show.

The Twilight Sad were the headliners. They thanked everyone for coming, mentioning that they’d been through town with Mogwai some months ago, and thanked their two very impressive openers and began a near-relentless pummeling of the audience’s eardrums. I had mentioned previously that I thought that this band would really shine live. They are a good live band, and I think I have more appreciation for them than I did when I walked in. On the other hand, their singer seems to like to engage the left side of the stage more than the audience, and their overall lack of dynamics becomes a bit like being hit in the head with a rubber mallet for an hour.

Songs from their latest album and a few that I knew from Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters shone through the wall of noise. Overall, I’m glad I saw them, but will rush out to see Brakes and We Were Promised Jetpacks well before I’ll go out of my way to see another Twilight Sad show. In short, for a band that I thought would win me over with their live show, I enjoy them more on album.

Here are a few videos. First up is "Reflection Of The Television" which opens the new album Forget the Night Ahead and opened their show.

Then we have "I Became A Prostitute", Also from Forget the Night Ahead.

And after that, check out the acoustic version of the same song. This one is from Laundro Matinee and shows off what a great song this is. You can always tell if a song is truly great by stripping it down to acoustic guitar and vocals.

And here's "That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy" from Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters.

Frank over at Chromewaves has a review and some great photos from the gig.

Photos in the post are mine.

November 15, 2009

Ron Hawkins Playing a Full-Band Show this Week

On Friday I received the following email from Ron Hawkins:

"Hey Folks,
Well, here it is... again.
The release of 10 Kinds of Lonely!
Only this time it's with the whole band.

Thursday, November 19, 2009.
That night, my band will feature Jason Tait (drums), Dylan Parker (Bass), Alex McMaster (cello, vocals) and Bob Wiseman (piano, organ and accordion).

Come on down and enjoy two sets -

The first a smattering of back catalogue songs from Shakespeare... My Butt, Crackstatic, Greasing The Star Machine, Sordid Fiction and Chemical Sounds.
The second, 10 Kinds of Lonely presented in sequence and in it's entirety.

Openers the Benvereens will start things off around 10:15.

Tickets available at and

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Dakota Tavern,
249 Ossington Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario.

AGE: 19+
DOORS: 9 pm"

Time to go order my tickets!

Photo from

November 9, 2009

A few new tunes from Spiral Beach, Hockey, Rubik and Pinup Saints

Here are a few tunes that hit my ears the right way recently.

Spiral Beach's tune called "Kind of Beast" from their previous album Ball

Hockey, with "Song Away" from their appearance on Jools Holland. The album's called Mind Chaos.

Rubik with "Wasteland" from their emusic-availble album Dada Bandits

Pinup Saints (myspace) with "Mister". Their album Golden is available on emusic.

November 2, 2009

Built to Spill Jam Lee’s Palace

See what I did there? There was a big crowd out to see Built to Spill at Lee’s Palace on October 7 hence they jammed Lee’s Palace and Built to Spill love to jam and they certainly did a lot of jamming at their show. Ha ha ha. Corny.

This was my first time seeing Built to Spill. I managed to completely miss them during the 90’s and only really knew You In Reverse going into the show. This is one of those bands that I guessed I would truly appreciate once I’d seen them live. This guess turned out to be true and I’m glad I dragged myself out on a Wednesday night to see these guys perform.

Here's the band's video for "Conventional Wisdom". It's from You In Reverse and has one wicked guitar hook. Love it.

Disco Doom
opened the show. While my friends and I missed most of their set, their last two songs sounded good. I’ll be seeking out more of their stuff in future. Check out their myspace for some songs.

When Built to Spill took the stage, my friends and I thought that a final sound check was being performed. The singer/guitarist and drummer took to the stage first and over the next number of minutes, a magnificent jam ensued, with band members joining the beautiful noise.

The guys in Built to Spill take a different approach to stage presence than many bands. They take a few minutes between each song to tune and converse amongst themselves. At one point, a guitarist approached the mic and said, "Hey". Other than an occasional "thank you" that was about it for stage patter. Until the singer invited everyone to join him at a DJ gig at Sneaky Dee’s after the Built to Spill show. Being a work night, I didn’t take him up on his offer, but would be interested to hear what his DJ gig was like.

Frank over at Chromewaves has his take and some great pictures of this gig.