I started drafting a post on Thao & The Get Down Stay Down about a year ago. I guess I was waiting for something newsworthy to post along with the lovely music.
Well, as luck would have it, Thao is releasing a new album this February. It's called We the Common and it's out February 5. For now we have a preview track. It's called "Holy Roller" and it is, like all of Thao's music, Lovely, Quirky, Heartfelt, Fun, Funky, Danceable, Emotional, and Pretty.
Enjoy the new song along with some from their previous release, 2009's Know Better Learn Faster.
"When We Swam"
"Body" The video itself starts after about 3 minutes...
And "Bag of Hammers" from We Brave Bee Stings and All, which was released simply under the artist name of Thao.
The Gaslight Anthem have released a video for "Here Comes My Man" from Handwritten. Yes, that's Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert of such movies as The Girl Next Door starring in the video. There's also a new iPhone/Android app out if you're into that sort of thing.
I guess the nostalgia of handing down physical music is coming to an end...
And it looks like I missed this vid for the song "Handwritten".
Ellie Goulding has a new album called Halcyon out. In case you're not sure who Ellie Goulding is, she released a fun album called Lights in 2011. The title track is a great song that has reached huge levels of popularity. You've probably heard it. It's got just shy of 30 million views on YouTube. Her cover of Elton John's "Your Song" is up there too.
Here's the track "Anything Could Happen" from her latest.
Bootsauce's The Brown Album was one of the first albums I played on my college radio show. I remember them being one of the bands that started breaking me out of my mainstream rock / metal / hardcore / pop norms and broadening my musical horizons. I also remember thinking, "that album's not brown, it's definitely orange".
I guess Bootsauce's music hasn't aged overly well and their later albums were pretty widely criticized, but I still find lots to enjoy on The Brown Album and Bull. Check out "Masterstroke", "Scratching the Whole" and "Touching Cloth".
Here's one of their best songs, the laid back "Play with Me". Check out the great fretless bass work at the end. Classy!
Divine Fits are a modern day indie-alternative supergroup. Britt Daniel from Spoon, Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and Sam Brown from New Bomb Turks. Here's the official video for "Would That Not Be Nice" from their début album A Thing Called Divine Fits. Solid stuff.
This great track by Steel Panther called "Death to all But Metal" goes out to the guy with the mirrored aviator shades, mullet and leather jacket, and his buddy in 80s vintage Adidas pants that I saw on the subway the other day. Long live the 80s! And death to all but metal!
NSFW for language. If you liked that, head over to the videos page on their site for more.
Here's a song that you may have heard already. It certainly would have been a lot more current back in June when I first heard it. It's Wolf Gang with the song "The King And All Of His Men" from Suego Faults. It's got a strong chorus, driving beat and smooth, synthy hooks. Definitely easy on the ears.
I don't know how official the Family of the Year designation is, but these LA-based musicians have formed a family of their own. This is a tune called "Diversity". Something besides music that families can benefit from. Hope you enjoy this happy, if repetitive, little tune.
Have I talked before about how much I love the first We Are Scientists album With Love and Squalor? Have I mentioned how their subsequent albums have absolutely paled in comparison? Oh, yeah, I did? Well, what's up with that anyway?
At least we have their great 2006 album and videos for each and every song on it.
I love bands that break out of the traditional rock band instrumentation mould. Two piece bands seem to be quite popular now, with most of them going for guitar and drums, bypassing that constant challenge of finding a bass player. Parts and Labor go about it a different way with a three-piece drums-bass-keyboards approach. They still deliver a powerful, propulsive sound.
Here are a couple of songs from their most recent album, 2011's Constant Future.
They're a band comprised of some members of Broken Social Scene and The Stills. They're called Eight and a Half and this is the song "Go Ego" from their eponymous début. It took a while for this song to seep into my consciousness, but seep it has.
You'd be right if you detected that I rather like The xx. You'd also be right that this is the third time that this song has appeared on the blog. And they don't even have an official video for it out yet.
Oh well. It's a good song.
Here's The xx on Later with Jools Holland performing the beautiful "Angels" from their latest album, Coexist.
Zeus are an all-powerful and godlike rock band hailing from the Great White North, eh. They deliver a classic rock sound with plenty of loud guitars and more cowbell. Their latest album is Busting Visions and this song is "Are You Gonna Waste My Time?"
The new album Free Dimensional from Diamond Rings is out October 22. If you haven't heard it yet, here's the first power-synth-pop song "I'm Just Me". It's all any of us can be, really. Enjoy the 80s flashback video, too.
I've also heard that Diamond Rings will be appearing on David Letterman on October 26, so if you like what you heard, check that out.
I don't get out to nearly as many shows as I would like to. Every time I do, I think to myself that I should get out more often. I'm resolving to do a better job of that. Let's see how that works out for me.
The most recent show that I attended was last Wednesday, September 26 at The Drake Underground in Toronto. The bill was England's Blood Red Shoes with Australia's DZ Deathrays opening. They're both guitar-drums duos that continue to make me wish that my old band had gone for a two-guitar and drums configuration over the frustration of looking for bassists. When I walked in, I saw DZ Deathrays' drummer sitting behind the merch table and almost said, "Hey, I've seen you puke on YouTube!" Somehow I held myself back.
DZ Deathrays hit the stage to a small but enthusiastic crowd. They did a great job belting out their heavy alternative sounds, which they acknowledge can be compared to DFA 1979. Singer and guitarist Shane Parsons uses his voice and guitar effects to great advantage to thicken out the duo's sound. The bombast and heavy cymbal use of drummer Simon Ridley did the same. The songs are fun and have enough hooks to reel in a listener largely unfamiliar with their tunes. DZ Deathrays' album Bloodstreams is out now.
By the time Blood Red Shoes hit the stage, The Drake Underground had filled up considerably, although I don't know that the show was sold out. I was actually surprised that on their third great album, Blood Red Shoes wasn't selling out much bigger venues. Singer Laura-Mary Carter mentioned that the last time they played Toronto, there were only about 10 people at the show.
They belted through a set that spanned their three album history pretty evenly, keeping the energy level high and all our heads bobbing. I was happy to hear some of my favourites like set opener "It's Getting Boring by the Sea" and "You Bring Me Down" from their first album Box of Secrets, "Don't Ask", "Light It Up" and "Heartsink" from their 2010 release Fire Like This, and "Cold" from their latest In Time To Voices.
If you're not familiar with these awesome bands, check out some tunes below.
From Blood Red Shoes:
"Light It Up"
"It's Getting Boring by the Sea"
"You Bring Me Down"
From DZ Deathrays:
"The Mess Up" Jager!!!
"Play Till You're Dead"
The photos in this post are original pics by me, not the usual professional pics stolen from some other web site. You can tell the difference original art (and a POS BlackBerry camera) makes.