September 30, 2013

Pup the band, from Toronto

Pup are a loud Toronto punk band that's been getting some buzz lately. This is the clip for their tune "Reservoir".

And here's "Lionheart".

Their album comes out October 8.

September 29, 2013

New Young Galaxy video for Sleepwalk With Me

I feel like I've been writing about Young Galaxy an awful lot lately. They teased out some new tunes, then they released Ultramarine, then they were nominated for the Polaris Prize, then they released a deluxe version of Ultramarine, and now they have a new video for the tune "Sleepwalk With Me".

I invite you to check it out below. It does indeed sound like it could be the soundtrack to sleepwalking.

They're playing November 22 at The Hoxton in Toronto. Look for yet another post after that gig.

September 27, 2013

New video from Small Black for Breathless

Small Black released their album Limits of Desire earlier this year. I posted a couple of songs early in the summer. They've just released a video for "Breathless".

I miss summer already.

September 26, 2013

New Sky Ferreira tune You're Not The One from new album

Back in the deep, dark, winter days of January, I posted a bunch of cool tunes from Sky Ferreira's Ghost EP. She's got a début full-length album called Night Time, My Time coming out October 29. Check out "You're Not the One". I've heard those words before.

September 25, 2013

Godspeed You! Black Emperor win Polaris Prize 2013

Like everyone else in the indie-alternative blog universe, I was interested in who was going to win the 2013 Polaris Prize. There was an amazing set of nominees and the field was extremely diverse, featuring artists performing pretty pure pop music all the way through avant-jazz, R&B, native-hip-hop mash-up, electronic and loud, aggressive rock. Who would win would be anyone's guess and I think the judges had a very difficult job in picking the winner. It could have easily gone to any of the nominees, and I didn't read anyone who predicted the actual winner. I put up a little post on some of the nominees I was already familiar with a while back.

At the end of the gala, it was Godspeed You! Black Emperor who were given the Polaris Prize for 2013 and the $30,000 that goes along with it. Of course, they were not in attendance to perform or to accept the prize. Their record company spoke for them at the gala and they wrote this press release that was distributed yesterday. It's a not-ungrateful thank you along with a jab at the lavish, corporately sponsored ceremony that surrounded the award, which has been making the social media rounds.

hello kanada.
hello kanadian music-writers.
thanks for the nomination thanks for the prize- it feels nice to be acknowledged by the Troubled Motherland when we so often feel orphaned here. and much respect for all y'all who write about local bands, who blow that horn loudly- because that trumpeting is crucial and necessary and important. 
and much respect to the freelancers especially, because freelancing is a hard fucking gig, and almost all of us are freelancers now, right? falling and scrambling and hustling through these difficult times?
so yes, we are grateful, and yes we are humble and we are shy to complain when we've been acknowledged thusly- BUT HOLY SHIT AND HOLY COW- we've been plowing our field on the margins of weird culture for almost 20 years now, and "this scene is pretty cool but what it really fucking needs is an awards show" is not a thought that's ever crossed our minds. 
3 quick bullet-points that almost anybody could agree on maybe=
-holding a gala during a time of austerity and normalized decline is a weird thing to do.
-organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn't serve the cause of righteous music at all.
-asking the toyota motor company to help cover the tab for that gala, during a summer where the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet, IS FUCKING INSANE, and comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise.
these are hard times for everybody. and musicians' blues are pretty low on the list of things in need of urgent correction BUT AND BUT if the point of this prize and party is acknowledging music-labor performed in the name of something other than quick money, well then maybe the next celebration should happen in a cruddier hall, without the corporate banners and culture overlords. and maybe a party thusly is long overdue- it would be truly nice to enjoy that hang, somewhere sometime where the point wasn't just lazy money patting itself on the back.
give the money to the kids let 'em put on their own goddamn parties, give the money to the olds and let them try to write opuses in spite of, but let the muchmusic videostars fight it out in the inconsequential middle, without gov't. culture-money in their pockets. 
us we're gonna use the money to try to set up a program so that prisoners in quebec have musical instruments if they need them…
amen and amen.
apologies for being such bores,
we love you so much / our country is fucked,
godspeed you! black emperor

In case you haven't heard it and are interested, here is the winning album Alleluja! Don't Bend! Ascend!, their first in 10 years. Four compositions of musical ambition realized in dynamic and powerful form.

September 24, 2013

Mike Doughty revisits Soul Coughing songs; releases video for Super Bon Bon

Mike Doughty separated from Soul Coughing in 2000 and never revisited their tunes. Until recently.

Here's a video for the new version of "Super Bon Bon" from his new release of revisited Soul Coughing songs called Circles Super Bon Bon...

And here's the original version from Soul Coughing's 1996 album Irresistible Bliss.

September 23, 2013

Video for Pearl Jam's Sirens

Pearl Jam's new album Lightning Bolt comes out October 15. We already heard the rocker "Mind Your Manners" and now we get the solid ballad "Sirens". Check out the official video:

September 22, 2013

More new Young Galaxy tracks from deluxe Ultramarine release revealed

On September 24, Young Galaxy will release the deluxe version of the Polaris Prize nominated album Ultramarine. I previously posted the track "Crying My Heart Out" and now we get to listen to two more: the cool and slick "Talk to Her" and the uber easy going "Sea Drug", all of which are on the new release.

Cool tunes!

They're also performing at The Hoxton in Toronto on November 22. Hope to see you there!

September 21, 2013

Five-by-Five: Five Recent Five-Star Songs: Pearl Jam, Hanoi Rocks, DIIV, Mike Doughty and N*E*R*D

Just five amazing tracks that came up on iTunes recently. Hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Pearl Jam "Rats" from 1993's vs.

Hanoi Rocks "Tragedy" from their 1981 album Bangkok Shocks Saigon Shakes Hanoi Rocks

DIIV with "Doused" from last year's Oshin

Mike Doughty "Ossining" from 2003's Rockity Roll

And N*E*R*D with "She Wants to Move" from 2004's Fly or Die

September 20, 2013

Mark Kozelek and Dayglo Abortions Killed their Mommies with Automatics. Coincidence?

In breaking news, the scourge of domestic violence spreads across North America. First afflicting Canadian punks The Dayglo Abortions and revealed on their 1986 masterpiece Feed us A Fetus, American singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek has now confessed, on his most recent album Like Rats, to the same family history. The similarity of these horrific acts is uncanny. Listen below for more on this developing story.

September 19, 2013

New We Are Scientists song Return the Favor from forthcoming Business Casual EP

I wrote about my love for We Are Scientists' début album With Love And Squalor. They now have an EP called Business Casual coming out October 15 and they've released the quiet-then-loud, mid-tempo rocker "Return the Favor" for our listening pleasure.

Sounds good. Check it out!

September 18, 2013

New music from The Blow

The Blow are releasing their self-titled second album on October 1. Their first album Paper Television came out in 2006. Here are a couple of cool and quirky tracks: "Make it Up" and "From the Future".

September 17, 2013

Catching up on Biffy Clyro

Biffy Clyro released their latest album Opposites in March in North America. They've been busy putting out videos and I haven't done a great job of keeping up since I posted videos for "Stingin' Belle" and "Black Chandelier". This post should catch us up.

"Victory Over the Sun"



Ambitiously, I'm hoping to go catch Biffy at The Opera House after Nine Inch Nails show on October 4. Wish me luck and caffeine!

September 16, 2013

Great cover of Biffy Clyro's Who's Got A Match? by Frank Turner

I'm a big fan of both Frank Turner and Biffy Clyro. Here's Frank Turner's great cover of Biffy's "Who's Got A Match?" from their 2007 masterpiece Puzzle.

And the original.

What do you think the chances are that I can get over to Biffy's Opera House show after the Nine Inch Nails show?

September 15, 2013

Lyric video for Night Still Comes from Neko Case's new album

Neko Case's new album The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You came out September 3rd. Here's the lyric video for "Night Still Comes" and in case you missed it, the great tune "Man". What a great singer and song writer. I'm sorry I missed her this year at TURF, but I'm not sorry I missed standing around in the rain.

September 14, 2013

Flashback to the 80s with Metallica's Master of Puppets

I was a teenage metalhead in the 80s. I saw Metallica on the Master of Puppets tour. Metallica have an IMAX 3D concert movie, Metallica Through the Never, coming out September 27. Here's a pretty killer version of "Master of Puppets" from that film.

The trailers for this film are pretty crazy. And, yes, I probably will go see it.

September 13, 2013

New video for Graceless by The National

The National released their latest masterpiece Trouble Will Find Me in May. They graced Toronto with a free show as part of NXNE and they've released a video for "Graceless". Looks like they're having lots of fun. Good goin', guys!

September 12, 2013

New tunes from TV on the Radio

TV on the Radio haven't released a new album since 2011's Nine Types Of Light. Since then, we lost the band's bassist Gerard Smith. Here are a couple of new tunes from the band, sounding quite impressive with two very diverse tunes, "Million Miles" and "Mercy". Check out the videos below.

September 11, 2013

New clip for Team Spirit's Phenomenon

Team Spirit rocked the Phoenix when they opened for The Joy Formidable, and I've been tracking them ever since. Here's the latest clip from their eponymous EP. The song is "Phenomenon" and the video speaks for itself.

That awesome picture above is mine.

September 10, 2013

Wicked cover: Yuck do New Order's Age of Consent

Yuck are a great band. They're coming out with a new album Glow & Behold on October 1 and I posted "Middle Sea" and "Rebirth". Here's Yuck doing a blistering cover of New Order's "Age of Consent". They also get to show off new guitarist Ed Hayes. I have got to see this band live!

September 9, 2013

Another new Cults tune from Static: High Road

A few weeks ago, I posted a new tune called "I Can Hardly Make You Mine" from Cults' forthcoming album Static. Here's another new tune, this one called "High Road". They're playing in Toronto on November 25 at Lee's. I'm hoping to see them there.

September 8, 2013

New Sleigh Bells: video for title track from Bitter Rivals

This duo are masters of consistency and uniqueness. Sleigh Bells' new album Bitter Rivals comes out October 8. Here's the title track. Their sharp-edged guitars and distorted vocals never seem to obscure the hooks and melodies within.

September 7, 2013

Five-by-Five: Neil Young

Five of my favourite Neil Young tunes:

"Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)"

"Cinnamon Girl"

"Mr. Soul"

"The Needle And The Damage Done"

"Like A Hurricane"

What an amazing songwriter.

September 6, 2013

Butter the Children

I'm going to come right out and admit that Brooklyn's Butter the Children's name is what caught me and demanded that I give their shoegaze tune "Spit It Out" a try. It's a pretty cool tune, but I don't know if it's as intriguing as their name. You can get their True Crime EP now.

September 5, 2013

Radiator Hospital

When I heard the opening vocals on this tune, I cringed. I almost turned it off. But I didn't and I was rewarded with a great garage-indie-power-pop-rock tune. Check out "Our Song" by Radiator Hospital. Lots of fun!

September 4, 2013

Deluxe version of Ultramarine from Young Galaxy on the way

Wouldn't it be cool if Young Galaxy won the Polaris Prize with their Ultramarine album? It sure would.

The day after the Polaris gala, on September 24, Young Galaxy are releasing a deluxe edition of Ultramarine. This tune, "Crying My Heart Out", is on it.

And in case you missed it, like I did, here's the video for "Fall For You".

September 3, 2013

New Kitten tune Like A Stranger

I really enjoyed Kitten's Cut It Out EP when I heard the title track this past winter. So when I heard they had new music on the way, I had to click play.

Here's "Like A Stranger". It's a catchy, polished sounding pop tune. I like it! The Like A Stranger EP is out now.

September 2, 2013

Mikal Cronin

Sometimes I hear an artist and I think that I want to research them and write a big post about them. And pretty much all that means is that the artist's name stays on a list for a long time and I end up writing a short post. Like this one.

I was impressed when I heard Mikal Cronin's power pop gem "Changes" from this year's MCII. I think it's a great tune. I hope you like it, too.

September 1, 2013

New video for Frank Turner's Losing Days

Back when I posted my coverage of Frank Turner's performance at TURF, I put up a clip for "Losing Days" from Frank's latest, Tape Deck Heart. Looks like that wasn't the "official" video, cuz this one has now come out.

No matter the visuals that accompany it, "Losing Days" is a great tune.