January 31, 2013

To post, or not to post? Prince's new song Screwdriver

Update: Looking for Prince's new song "Screwdriver"? You can see the live version from Jimmy Fallon in another post along with another new toon "Bambi".

So Prince has a new song out. And I can't say it's the most brilliant thing I've ever heard from the purple one, the former unpronounceable symbol. Sounds to me like something that came out of a party jam, but what the hell, here it is, if you haven't heard it yet.

And the clip will probably be taken down soon, too.

It does seem to be growing on me...

January 30, 2013

Japandroids and DIIV live at the Phoenix in Toronto

To cap off a very busy (for me, at least) year of concert-going, I caught a sold-out show by Japandroids with Diiv at the Phoenix Concert Theatre here in Toronto. It was an incredible night of talent that was the absolute perfect way to close out the season and allow me to put my earplugs up on the shelf for a few months of long, cold winter.
After walking in, backpacks in tow, setting up their own gear and doing a quick sound check, Diiv dove into their set. They played a solid set of tunes from Oshin while generally keeping to the shoegaze vibe with lots of energy. Definitely glad that I saw this band live.
Their Toronto stop marked the end of their tour with Japandroids. They left to head back to NYC for an appearance on Letterman. Check them out doing a fast-sounding version of "Doused" for Dave.

And here's the first song I heard from them, the great "How Long Have You Known?".

Confession time. I'm a cheater. I go to shows, I snap some uber crappy pictures with my hi-tech iPod Touch and I write up some stuff. I make certain assumptions. Like that someone is going to keep track of what they played and put it up on setlist.fm. Well, all you lazy slackers in Toronto, you let me down! So I'm assuming that they mostly played the same set as they did in Montreal the previous night. After all, they talked about how awesome the Montreal show was, and used it to whip the Toronto crowd into a frenzy by taunting them that they weren't going to let the Montreal audience be crazier than them, were they? Well, they didn't. Everyone in the room, along with those who took advantage of Brian King's offer to share the stage with them - for 10 seconds - made sure the Toronto show rocked.

They also told us what they thought of anyone's desire to go home early because the show was on a work/school night. Fuck that!

There were points in the show where I thought that if Scotty from Star Trek was running engineering for my earplugs, he would have been exclaiming, "Captain, they've got to turn it down! They can't take much more!"

As I watched this and many recent shows, I have been wondering whether smart phones and YouTube have made bands better. Since everything ends up recorded and up on the web, do bands have to pay more attention to getting it right when they know a concert flub won't be just a passing moment, soon to be forgotten by loyal fans?

Overall, it was a fantastic show from a couple of great bands. No doubt it was the last chance we'll all have to see Japandroids in such a relatively small room. Next time they're in Toronto, I'll bet they'll play somewhere like Kool Haus, or Sound Academy, and you won't see my ugly mug in the crowd. Good for them.

January 29, 2013

Favourites: Teenage Head with Disgusteen

One year ago today, I started putting up one post a day. If nothing else, it forced me to have a goal and some discipline. It forced me to listen to lots of cool music to keep up the string of posts. So I guess if that's the only thing that comes from having this blog - discovering lots of cool music - then that's enough. If someone else finds something cool, too, then that's awesome.

Here's a great song from a classic Canadian band. One of the original Toronto (well, they're from Hamilton, aren't they?) punk bands. The song is "Disgusteen", it's from their 1980 album Frantic City, and it features Frankie Venom doing lots of Exorcist voices/quotes.

"Nice day for a party, isn't it?"

If you're new to these guys, I'd suggest starting with their Teenage Head with Marky Ramone album, pictured below. It features songs from across their career, re-recorded with the legendary Marky Ramone on drums, and it sounds a lot more like the band sounded live - with those guitars right up front.

January 28, 2013

Mounties: Something cool and Canadian, in the form of a supergroup

According to the authority of the internet age, Wikipedia, "In the late 1960s, the term supergroup was coined to describe 'a rock music group whose performers are already famous from having performed individually or in other groups'." I'd say that a new project by Hawksley Workman, Steve Bays from Hot Hot Heat and Ryan Dahle of Limblifter (pictured above) and Age of Electric would qualify for supergroup status.

They're called Mounties and they've put out a cool track called "Headphones". You should click below to listen.

And just so I can really justify sticking all those bands' names in the Topics section, here are a handpicked bunch of tunes by those artists.

Hawksley Workman "Striptease"

Hot Hot Heat "Bandages"

Limblifter "Tinfoil"

Age of Electric "Remote Control"

January 27, 2013

New tune by The Strokes: One Way Trigger

I never promised to grab a "scoop" now, did I? If you haven't heard it yet, and I just heard it a few minutes ago, you can check out the new song by The Strokes below. It's called "One Way Trigger" and it's about The Lone Ranger's horse. Or not. The nice guys that they are, The Strokes will trade your email address for an MP3 of the tune.

January 26, 2013

Lyrical Snippet of the Moment: Detachable Penis by King Missile

Back in the grungy early 90s, I got some compilation album and heard "Detachable Penis" by King Missile. It may be NSFW, but it's a classic.

"Even though sometimes it's a pain in the ass, I like having a detachable penis"

January 25, 2013

New Spacehog! Remember Spacehog?

When I saw the name Spacehog, I immediately remembered their great 1995 hit "In The Meantime" from Resident Alien. Now they've put out their first new track since 2001. The new album's out April 16, it's called As it Is on Earth, the new tune's called "Glad to Know" and you can take a listen here. It's got great gospel-style back-up vocals and a real classic vibe. It reminds me of something that's just staying there on the tip of my brain, not quite exposing itself. That's kind of intriguing in and of itself, innit?

Here's "In the Meantime". It still sounds great.

January 24, 2013

Ian Hunter at Lee's Palace

I guess it would be an understatement to say that Ian Hunter is something of a rock legend. He's 73 years old and has played with the likes of Mott the Hoople and had a long and illustrious solo career. His hits have included "All the Young Dudes", "Just Another Night", "Cleveland Rocks", "Once Bitten Twice Shy" and more than a few of his tunes have been hits for other artists.
He treated Toronto to a great show at Lee's Palace at the beginning of December. A friend and I attended the show, finding ourselves probably the youngest guys in the room. This was a great juxtaposition to the Japandroids show we would catch the next week where we were not quite, but pretty close to being, the oldest ones in the crowd.

Ian hit up a packed set with a band of obviously seasoned veteran players. He apologized for not having been back to Toronto in 11 years, and mentioned that "If you don't recognize the song, it's a new one".
Here's "Just Another Night" on American TV. Yee haw!

And I couldn't get away without putting up the David Bowie-penned "All the Young Dudes" by Mott the Hoople.

And here's the title track from his latest album When I'm President. It's his 14th album!

Devin Cuddy, son of Blue Rodeo singer Jim Cuddy, did a good but largely-ignored job opening the night with his solo-piano blues. Here's some stuff to check out.

The live pics are my own shots from the show. Not that anyone else would want them.

January 23, 2013

New Telekinesis!

I've featured Telekinesis on the blog before. They have a new album called Dormarion coming out soon and they've put out a new song called "Ghosts and Creatures" for us to check out. They'll be hitting up The Horseshoe in Toronto on May 12. I hope to be there.

If you don't know this band, here are a few tunes.

"Look to the East" from their eponymous 2009 release,

"Please Ask for Help",

"Dirty Thing",

And "Country Lane" from 2011's 12 Desperate Straight Lines.

January 22, 2013

New Blood Red Shoes!

Blood Red Shoes put out their last full-length, In Time To Voices, last year and yesterday they released a new EP. Titled Water, it features 3 new songs. You can get "Black Distractions" for free at their site and check out the video for "Red River" below. It rocks!

January 21, 2013


While I was away on vacation, I didn't listen to a lot of music, but the rental car had satellite radio so it was inevitable that I'd find something cool. And I did. It came in the form of "Cut it Out" by Kitten. It's from their EP Cut it Out, and from the magic of YouTube, you can check out almost all of it below.

"Cut it Out"

"Japanese Eyes"




And as a bonus, their cover of "Panic" by The Smiths.

Ok. One more. "Chinatown"

I think I've got to see this band live.

January 20, 2013

New Yeah Yeah Yeahs!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have announced that they have a new album on the way on April 16 called Mosquito. Two songs captured at a live show in Pomona CA have surfaced on the web. Check them out!

"Suck Young Blood"


Pitchfork had a chat with Karen O about the new album.

January 19, 2013

Ahoy! There be pirates. Tom Waits and Keith Richards sing Shenandoah

Here's an inspired duet by Tom Waits and Keith Richards on the song "Shenandoah" from the album Son Of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys.

Yup, definitely sounds like a bunch of pirates wailing over a pile of pints. Just beautiful.

And if you liked that, here's Shane MacGowan with Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski with "Leaving of Liverpool" from the same album.

January 18, 2013

Forgive me, I've been away - New David Bowie track called Where Are We Now?

So I took some vacation. And the great David Bowie released a new song from a forthcoming new album that surprised everyone. Now I can't just sit back and pretend it didn't happen and not put up the track, can I? Definitely not.

The song's called "Where Are We Now?" and it's a beautiful, slow number featuring David's plaintive vocal performance, as emotive as ever, over a drum and piano mix that grows in intensity. And a kind of creepy video. To me, it's like seeing an old friend after years and years apart and realizing that they're still really fucking cool; just a bit older and more laid back.

David's long-time producer, Tony Visconti, has said that there are some more rock numbers on the album. We'll all have to wait and see.

If, by some chance, you haven't heard the song before, check it out below. If you have heard it, I think it's worth another listen.

The new album The Next Day is out March 12 in North America. I'm pretty excited to hear more now music from a wonderful artist who I thought would never release another album.

January 17, 2013

Classic tune: NERD's Rock Star

You might not think that this tune fits with this site. If so, you'd forget the one thing that drives this web site: Songs that I like. And since I like this song, it fits with this site.

It's N*E*R*D with "Rock Star".

The original version:

The Jason Nevins remix:

January 16, 2013

Rain Will Fall by I Mother Earth

Back in the olden days we had to go up to club DJs to ask what a song was and who it was by. Just like I asked the guys at the Phoenix for the name of "Rain Will Fall" by I Mother Earth or when I called up Bob Mackowitz to ask about the theme song for a Q107 radio segment called Street Beat - "Naturals Not In It" by Gang of Four.

Yup. First world problems and life before Shazam. The application. Not the super hero.

January 15, 2013

The Balconies with Kill Count

Here's another in the "not exactly new, but new to me" category. The band is The Balconies. They're from Ottawa and they rock.

Here's "Kill Count" from their Kill Count EP.

January 14, 2013

Changes Is by Wheat

This song came up on the iPod and I was reminded of what a cool track it is. Lots of fun sounds and a cool chorus. Sounds like they could have been a precursor/influence to bands like Grouplove and Foster the People. The band is called Wheat, the album came out in 2009 and is called White Ink, Black Ink, the song is "Changes Is".

January 13, 2013

Reggie Watts is a genius

It hasn't been news to me for a long time now, but I've never said it publicly until now. Reggie Watts is a genius. Here are two videos that demonstrate this genius. Hope you enjoy.

Here's Reggie speaking to the TED Conference earlier in 2012.

And here's a NSFW video from Reggie at Just for Laughs, which is incidentally the first clip I ever saw from him. The song also gets stuck in my head for days and days and days.

January 12, 2013

A Place to Bury Strangers, and destroy toys

A Place To Bury Strangers put out a new video from their album Worship a little while back. It's captivating to watch the toys at war in this clip.

January 11, 2013

What's this song called?

Awesome ska tune by The Selecter. I just can't figure out the title.

January 10, 2013

Missed it by that much... Myth by Beach House

Here's one I certainly missed last year. It's called "Myth" and it's from Beach House's album Bloom. It's on lots of "best of" lists and it is indeed a cool tune.

If you missed it, too, it's time to check it out.

And while I'm at it, here are some more from Bloom.



"New Year"

January 9, 2013

Purity Ring with Fineshrine

While the name Purity Ring was certainly ubiquitous during 2012, and I did hear the single "Fineshrine" from last year's Shrines, it didn't really seep into my subconscious until quite recently. If you haven't heard it before, or if you never really paid close enough attention before now, take a listen to the ever-pleasant sounds this Canadian band puts out counterpointed against the lyrical content.

Love it!




They'll be in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on February 1.

January 8, 2013

Cool tunes from Sky Ferreira's Ghost EP

Sky Ferreira hasn't even released her first album and she's already garnering lots of attention. Check out a bunch of cool tunes from her 2012 EP Ghost. Be on the lookout for her full-length album coming in early 2013. Hey, wait, that's like, now.

"Sad Dream"

"Lost In My Bedroom" starts off sounding like it's going to be Muse's "Uprising" but then it turns into a cool pop song.

"Red Lips"

"Everything is Embarrassing"

January 7, 2013

Adam Ant: For those of you old enough to remember

Adam Ant put out a well-know and rather huge hit called "Goody Two Shoes" back in 1982 on the album Friend or Foe. He released quite a bit more music over the years between then and now, and he has always been open about the mental health issues which had him hospitalized in the early aughts.

Now Adam's back with his first new tune in 18 years with “Cool Zombie”. It's the first, twangy track available for our listening pleasure from his new album Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter. The album's out January 22.

And just cuz I can, here's "Goody Two Shoes".

January 6, 2013

Songs of the iPod: Another weird mix

Okay, I get that it's my own fault for having an iTunes library with these songs in it, but sometimes I've got to laugh at the juxtapositions my smart playlists serve up. Here's a recent set of tunes:

Frente, with their cover of New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle"

ZZ Top "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers"

Stereo MC's "Deep Down and Dirty"

Ram Jam "Black Betty"

Dan Mangan "Road Regrets"

Bloc Party "Banquet"


January 5, 2013

Party with Bat for Lashes

How many of you felt or acted like Bat for Lashes and her friend on New Year's Eve? I know I was a good boy.

This is the new clip from The Haunted Man. It's called "A Wall".

January 4, 2013

Lots of new videos by Mother Mother

Mother Mother have been busy video-makers recently. Here are four clips from their latest release, The Sticks. The first clip, "Let's Fall In Love", is here.

"Bit By Bit"

"The Sticks"

"To The Wild"

"Dread In My Heart"

January 3, 2013

Free Frank Turner

Yeah, so I'm not gonna make the whole "free Frank Turner" joke. I'm just not gonna do it.

Frank Turner put out one of the best albums ever in 2011's England Keep My Bones and put out some amazing stuff before that. And he's left us waiting for something new for almost two years now.

Well, he's just decided to give away the track "Four Simple Words" (I posted a live video a while back) from his new album, which will be out in Spring of 2013. Woo hoo! You can get the song by trading your email address at Xtra Mile Recordings.

January 2, 2013

New songs from The National, but some are still kinda old

I love The National. They were one of those bands that took a while to get into my brain, but now that they're there there's no getting out.

It's been over two years since they released High Violet and I don't think I'm alone in wishing they'd release their next album.

In the meantime, they have been teasing out some songs. Yes, most of these were actually from 2011, but I haven't put them up before so I'll feature a bunch here, from oldest to newest.

"Think You Can Wait" from the Film Win Win

"Exile Vilify" from the game Portal 2

Here are "Rylan" and "I Need My Girl" recorded in December 2011 for Q on CBC Radio.

They've also been busy doing songs for TV shows:

"The Rains of Castamere" for Game of Thrones

"I'll See You in My Dreams" for Boardwalk Empire

"Thanksgiving Song" from Bob's Burgers.

And most recently, they played three new songs at All Tomorrow's Parties:




January 1, 2013

New album on the way from Tribes

Tribes have a new album called Wish to Scream coming out May 20. You can check out a taste, in the form of a tune called "Wrapped Up In A Carpet" by signing up on their Facebook page. The song is a laid-back acoustic slide-and-strum number with some tasteful organ shots. Nice.