February 27, 2011

Gang of Four: Still relevant after all these years

When I was but a young lad, listening to The Mighty Q107 here in Toronto, I heard this great riff. It was used as background music for a concert listings piece that Bob Mackowitz used to do called "Street Beat". I eventually called into the station and asked Bob himself what the song was called. He told me "Naturals Not In It" by the Gang of Four. It was on their 1979 album Entertainment. It's still a great riff to this day.

And it's in a Kinect ad.

And here's "You'll Never Pay for the Farm" from their new album Content.

February 24, 2011

John Grant: Powerful with a Light Touch

Continuing in the spirit of my post about Dan Mangan, here's a quick one about John Grant, who I was lucky enough to see with Midlake at the Mod Club last year. I found him quite a powerful performer with great songs. Here are two of them from his album Queen of Denmark.

Here he is performing "I Wanna Go To Marz" on Jools...

... and him performing "Where Dreams Go To Die" in a Parisian Cafe. Somehow perfect.

February 23, 2011

New Radiohead. Amazing.

Cool. The new album from Radiohead is out. It's called The King of Limbs and here's the first video.

February 22, 2011

Dan Mangan: I sometimes like it mellow

Dan Mangan plays a type of music that's usually a little mellow for me. However, as you know, I'm all about the passion. And Dan Mangan does exude a certain understated enthusiasm that I enjoy. Here are a couple of videos from his acclaimed album Nice, Nice, Very Nice. I'd have to agree that it is.

Here's "Road Regrets"

And "Robots"

February 20, 2011

Chikita Violenta, Indeed

Just found a cool new band by way of a free song of the day from emusic. They're from Mexico City (worst traffic in the world, but that's another story) and they are heavily influenced by indie rock. The first comparison that comes to mind when I checked out their new release TRE3S and their 2007 release The Stars and Suns Sessions is Broken Social Scene. Who knows, maybe they named it after the track "Stars and Sons" from You Forgot It In People. Anyway, they're called Chikita Violenta and I think they're pretty cool.

Check them out and see what you think.

Here are "Laydown" and "War" from The Stars and Suns Sessions

And here's "Tired" from TRE3S

They even do a cover of "Eight Miles High"

February 17, 2011

Skins: There are definitely some cool tunes here. And the show's not too bad either.

Have you seen the TV show Skins? It's on The Movie Network here in the Great White North. I've been watching the first few episodes and I've been digging the soundtrack. Here are two tracks that I've particularly enjoyed from the show.

Here's Randa and the Soul Kingdom with "Not Gonna Let You" from their self-titled album.

That particular YouTube user has put up all the songs from all the episodes for your listening pleasure.

Here's Emily Warren and the Betters with "Not at All" from their self-titled EP.

February 13, 2011

The National

What can I say about The National that hasn't been said by anyone with a rock/alternative/indie music blog. Nothing.

Their stuff probably won't grab you from the first listen but after a while, you just won't be able to stop listening to their stuff.

Here's "Anyone's Ghost" from High Violet. Maybe my favourite album of 2010.

Hey, Pretty Boy!

And a recent performance of "Conversation 16" on Letterman.

"I was a afraid I'd eat your brains because I'm evil"

I have GOT to see these guys live!

February 10, 2011

Can't........... Stop.......... Moving..........

Blood Red Shoes with "Heartsink" from their 2010 album Feel Like This.

Their drummer is a hi-hat artist.

And that riff. Oh, that riff!

"Can you feel your heartsink? I can feel mine"

February 8, 2011

Great new tune from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have a new album called Belong coming out on March 15 or March 29, depending on who you believe, and they have released a stream of the song "Belong".

Check it out. I think it sounds really good. Loud churning guitars, pounding drums and soothing vocals. Quite a combination and overall a more polished, produced sound for the band. I'll be watching for the album's release.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart "Belong" by Slumberland Records

If you're not familiar with their first, self-titled album, check out "Come Saturday" and "The Tenure Itch" below.

February 7, 2011

Guitar Great Gary Moore Passes Away at 58

I was saddened to hear that Gary Moore passed away yesterday at age 58. I found guitar inspiration from Gary both as a solo performer and as a member of Thin Lizzy. The Guardian has a detailed obituary.

Here are two great tunes from Thin Lizzy - "The Boys are Back in Town" and "Jailbreak"

and a solo cover of The Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things".

Rest in peace, Gary.

February 6, 2011

Hold Steady, I say, Hold Steady

Classic rock is alive and well in the land of The Hold Steady. They've been crankin' out great rock songs in the tradition of blah, blah, blah, and well they're from Brooklyn, which is close enough to New Jersey so Bruce Whateverthefuck. Just like The Gaslight Anthem. Only less Green Day.

They put out a new album in 2010 called Heaven Is Whenever. And it's good. Let's hear it for consistency. In a time when so many bands can't deliver a second good album, they've delivered five great ones. And a killer live album. And then there's Lifter Puller.

Here's "Our Whole Lives". At first I couldn't get past the singers slur-shouting. Now I can't get enough of it.

She said, "It's good to see you back in a bar band, baby."
I said, "It's great to see you're still in the bars."
She said, "It's good to see you back in a bar band, baby."
I said, "It's great to see you're still in the bars."

And some more...

February 3, 2011

Nothing's better than Frosting on the Beater

I really, really love The Posies' Frosting on the Beater album. And then I got to see them at Lee's Palace when they played pretty much the whole album.

They've got a new one out. Called Blood/Candy. I suffered the annoyance of buying the album from iTunes only to find it on emusic a few weeks later. At least a bunch of cool guys got paid a little extra. ;-)

Here's a great track, called "Glitter Prize".

February 1, 2011

Mumford & Sons. Really?

Did you catch the Wedge with Pink Eyes from Fucked Up? I haven't seen it yet. (i love you pvr) But I am glad that the Wedge is back. I found lots of good bands on Wedge. I missed it.

Here's one that I didn't like the sound of when I first heard it on the Wedge. I think I gave it about 23 seconds and then moved on. And then one lazy morning, I was waking up to The Edge (cfny to us old guys) on my clock radio and I couldn't turn it off. Some songs need to germinate. Or hit you at the right moment. Or whatever.

"Little Lion Man". Bad language and all. Cover up the kids' ears.

And as much as so many comments on YouTube can be just stupid, this one caught my eye.

"No autotune?! Where's the fake singing and dancing whores? Wow, are they actually playing instruments? Holy. Shit. Finally good MUSIC. Yes, actual music-- the way it should be. Real"