October 31, 2013

The oOohh Baby Gimme Mores a.k.a. The OBGMs

The oOohh Baby Gimme Mores, a.k.a. The OBGMs, are serious. Serious about fun. They brought lots of fans to their October 18 show at Cherry Cola's, some of whom were amped up to dangerous levels. And then they progressed to the finals on October 20 at Tattoo Rock Parlour.
And the OBGMs do not disappoint. They fulfil their promise of loud aggression and fun. Almost every song makes full use of the glow sticks and light-up rings tossed into the crowd, along with audience participation designed to get us all moving and the mosh pit churning.
Check out some great tunes, starting with the uber-cool video for "Beat Up Kidz".

and their full album Interchorus.

Grab some tunes at their Bandcamp.

October 30, 2013

The 1975 poke fun at lots of stuff in their Girls video

I've really liked The 1975 since I heard the opening chords of "Sex". Here they are, poking fun at lots of pop video clichés, all while putting gorgeous girls in their video. Oddly enough, the song is "Girls" from their 2013 full-length début The 1975.

October 29, 2013

The Drop Dead Pin-Ups

The Drop Dead Pin-Ups played Cherry Cola's on October 18 for Indie Week. They are a Toronto band looking to put the edge and swagger back into rock music. They put tons of energy and attitude into their delivery, all while dressed to the nines.

Check out some of their fun tunes:

October 28, 2013

Little Foot Long Foot

Little did I know when I wrote a little post on blues rockers Little Foot Long Foot that I would be seeing them live in quite such short order. I saw them on the Friday night of Indie Week at a great little venue called Cherry Cola's.
What can I say about this band? Just listen to the tunes and catch them live. They are amazing. The songs, the sound, her singing, her guitar playing - it's all captivating and amazing.
The won the night at Cherry Cola's but weren't able to make it to play the Saturday night semi-finals at The Hideout so they had to concede. Really a shame as I would have loved the opportunity to see them again the next night.
I'll definitely be on the lookout for shows so I can see them again. Until then, I have their recorded music, available on their Bandcamp, to keep me satisfied.

Now for the music.
"Sell Out While You Can"


"Bridge Concerns"

"Kickface" featured in the Netflix show Orange Is The New Black.

October 27, 2013

RIP Lou Reed

Lou Reed, founding member of The Velvet Underground, legendary songwriter, acclaimed solo artist, difficult interview subject for several TV hosts, and recent collaborator with artists such as Metallica and Metric has died at the age of 71.

Here are some of my favourite Lou Reed tunes.

"Perfect Day"

"Satellite of Love"

"Walk on the Wild Side"

"Sweet Jane"

"I Love You, Suzanne"

October 26, 2013

Five-by-Five: The brilliant Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson has been around the Canadian music biz so long one could well take his contributions for granted. That certainly doesn't mean that one should. One listen to his amazing music will let you know, he is a massively talented artist. Check out some stuff below...

Junkhouse, "Out of My Head", 1993, Strays

Tom Wilson solo doing "Shine" from Junkhouse's 1997 album Fuzz

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings with "Stoned"

and "If I Can't Have You"

Lee Harvey Osmond with "Queen Bee"

October 25, 2013

The Fisher Kings

Name another three-piece where the drummer sings lead vocals. There aren't many. Windsor, Ontario's The Fisher Kings fall into that category. These guys bring groove, volume, blusey rock riffs with forlorn wails and blistering leads. It's quite frankly something we don't hear enough of these days.

Listen to "Get Behind Me"

and their entire Get Behind Me EP.

October 24, 2013


Later on October 16, I headed over to The Rivoli to check things out. I got there just as Scrapes were taking the stage. Scrapes are from Halifax and play a great style of power pop that I enjoyed very much. They managed to overcome some bad cable/pedal issues to make a great impression on not only me but on the judges, as I would catch them again in the finals on Saturday.
I have to say that I struggle with the "contest" aspect of Indie Week and I really didn't know that was part of it when I signed up. I've always felt that music is an expression of art and as such there are no "winners" and "losers". Everyone who wants to should feel free to make their music. Sometimes it will resonate with people and sometimes it won't, but selling more songs or having more fans doesn't make one band "better" than another. Having said that, the organizers did a great job of picking top-notch acts for this event, and the judges really did have their work cut out for them as there were so many great acts from so many diverse genres.
Now check out some great tunes from Scrapes. Starting out with the tune "Time With You".

And the entire album Lebaron.

October 22, 2013

Of Gentlemen and Cowards

Wednesday, October 16 was the first night of my first Indie Week. I headed down to The Hideout to pick up my wristband and media pass. The first band I heard was Of Gentlemen and Cowards. The only song I heard was this one, "You and I". It floated in my head as I wandered down Queen to check things out at The Rivoli.

Lots more Indie Week coverage, including every band I saw that resonated with me, over the coming days and likely weeks.

October 21, 2013

Whitehorse with Devil's Got A Gun

They appeared at TURF (although I didn't see them). They were nominated for this year's Polaris Prize (although they didn't win). "Devil's Got A Gun" is a cool tune from their 2012 album The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss. They are Whitehorse and they deserve your attention.

October 20, 2013

New music from The Jezabels: The End

Here's a solid new tune from The Jezabels. It's from their next album, which won't be out until 2014. The tune's called "The End". Listen to it. It's good.

October 19, 2013

Five-by-Five: Cool stuff from Ron Hawkins

When I was looking for Lowest of the Low videos to accompany my post on Steve Stanley's departure from the band, I found this cool video of Ron Hawkins, performing "Dead Man" from his 2009 album 10 Kinds of Lonely and talking a bit about song writing. I completely agree with his opinion that a song has to stand on its own when stripped down to acoustic guitar (or piano) and vocals, and that it should be able to resonate with people in that form. Ron's songs always do.

And once I found that video, I found another, and another and had enough for a five-by-five post.

Picture above is from Music Insanity!

October 18, 2013

New music from TOY

I enjoyed TOY's 2008 eponymous debut. They've just announced the December 9 release of their new album, Join the Dots. We get to hear the title track now. Check it out!

October 17, 2013

Innovative video from The Paper Kites - Young

It's hard to be innovative in a medium that's been around as long as the rock video. Here's a pretty innovative video for The Paper Kites' tune "Young". It shows a rapid succession of faces and what makes it different is the fact that they're singing along so seamlessly. Their album, States, is out now.

October 16, 2013

We've all done it: the Walk of Shame by Deap Vally

Deap Vally rock hard. And apparently they party hard, too. Andrew W.K. would be proud. Here they are with "Walk of Shame" from their Sistrionix album.

October 15, 2013

Nine Inch Nails ignite the ACC in Toronto

I had never seen Nine Inch Nails live before their October 4th show at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for their Tension 2013 tour in support of the Hesitation Marks album.

Overall: really good show. Certainly not great, not amazing, but good. Maybe it's my fault for not being as into Trent's more recent albums, but I found the show a little too "mid-tempo". Lots of slower songs and not as much of the manic anger I expected from a Nine Inch Nails show. At one point during the main set, I thought to myself, "...And Trent Reznor slips quietly into middle age..." Couldn't quite wrap my head around the back-up singers thing either.
The highlights of the setlist for me were "March of the Pigs" which appeared early in the set, "Wish", "Only", "The Hand That Feeds" and "Head Like A Hole" from the end of the main set. I also enjoyed "Survivalism", "Came Back Haunted" from Hesitation Marks, "Somewhat Damaged", and the last song of the encore, "Hurt". Overall, too much mellow stuff (never thought I'd say that about a NIN show), too much from Hesitation Marks and a way-too mellow encore. I wish I had as much fun as the guys standing behind me, singing out every word to every song.
The sound was amazing and Trent's vocals were great throughout. He put together a really good band for this tour and they played impecably. The light show was pretty cool too, with pods of lights over each band member for the first few tunes. Then a wall of mesh/lights descended between the audience and the band, displaying cool lighting effects including a nice 3D cubes effect. Top notch show from a light and sound perspective.

All in all, glad I saw them live, but I won't rush out to see them again.

And of course, now for some tunes:

Pictures in this post are mine. Happy for a big damn zoom to reach in from the nosebleeds!

October 14, 2013

Great blues/rock from Little Foot Long Foot

Getting your song in a TV show or movie has long been a strategy for bands to get exposure. Little Foot Long Foot did so with their track "Kickface" on the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black. They're a blues/rock band from Toronto who deliver a gritty, classic rock sound with lots of distortion and plenty of attitude.

Check out these four awesome tunes.


"Bridge Concerns"


"Sell Out While You Can"

You can buy their tunes at their Bandcamp.

October 13, 2013

Stephen Stanley leaves Lowest of the Low

One of my favourite bands, Lowest of the Low, recently announced the departure of founding member Stephen Stanley. Stephen was with the Low for 22 years, playing guitar, offering up melodic guitar lines, signature harmony vocals and lead vocals on a few tunes.

Here's the announcement:
Perhaps it’s because it ends in a 13, but this year has seen some unusual and unfortunate events. For instance-
After 22 years of rock n’ roll co-conspiracy, commitment and comradery Stephen Stanley has decided to leave the Lowest of the Low.
We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

October 12, 2013

Five-by-Five: Tunes to get the energy up

My main smart playlist has been in some kind of downtempo slow moaning hell this week. Here are some songs that hopefully form some kind of antidote.

Holy Fuck's "Lovely Allen"

"Echo Chamber" by Parts and Labour

The Twilight Sad with "I Became A Prostitute"

"Time To Pretend" by MGMT

Biffy Clyro's "A Whole Child Ago"

October 11, 2013

New Albert Hammond, Jr. tunes from new EP AHJ

Albert Hammond, Jr. of Strokes fame, has just released a solo EP called AHJ. Here's the first video, "St. Justice". Cool tune with a NSFW video.

And here's the more guitar-heavy tune "Rude Customer".

October 10, 2013

Cool tune from Bed of Stars

I keep my TV tuned to Galaxie's Alternative station while I'm watching shows on the PVR. I usually like the tunes and it's better to hear music between shows than the blaring of another show or, worst of all, commercials. Once in a while I hear a cool tune I'm not familiar with.

This happened last week with this tune, "Nothing Left to Lose" by Bed of Stars. It's a pretty straight up alt-rock tune with a soaring chorus. Their début album I Fell In Love In The City is out now.

Here it is:

October 9, 2013

New Minor Alps tune Far From The Roses

Minor Alps, who is Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, have an album called Get There coming out October 29. I featured the tune "Buried Plans" back in August. Here's a new tune called "Far From The Horses". It's a driving indie rock tune with great vocal interplay.

October 8, 2013

Drift away into Mother Mother's harmony cloud

Mother Mother have been a long-time favourite of mine who I've featured on the blog a number of times. I recently came across this stripped-down version of "Simply Simple" from their 2011 release EUREKA. Bathe in their lovely harmonies.

October 7, 2013

Official video for Cults' High Road

Cults' new album Static comes out next Tuesday. They've just released this video for the beautiful "High Road".

Looking forward to seeing them live!

October 6, 2013

New music from The Darcys' latest Warring

The Darcys are a band that I've heard of for a long time, but didn't really penetrate my consciousness until their cover of Steely Dan's Aja album last year and specifically the track "Josie". They've got a new album of cool, dark, original material out now called Warring. Here are a few tracks:

"The River"

"Muzzle Blast"

"Horses Fell"

They're playing in Toronto at the Adelaide Hall on October 11 and Sherway Gardens (the mall? WTF?) on November 16. I think these guys would excel live.

October 5, 2013

Franz Ferdinand's video reminds me of Death From Above 1979 video

Franz Ferdinand released their latest album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action earlier this year. Last month, they released a clip for the tune "Evil Eye" that features some gruesome horror movie type effects and singer Alex Kapranos' face shows up on a rather obese man's belly. This reminded me of the no less disturbing but more attractive effect in the video for Death From Above 1979's "Sexy Results". Both are probably NSFW.

Check them out below for comparison purposes.

October 4, 2013

Intense, orchestral, instrumental post-rock from Caspian

I'm not usually one for instrumental music. I love a good vocal hook and melody. Maybe GY!BE's winning of the Polaris Prize softened me up.

No matter how it happened, Caspian's album Waking Season crossed my path and I like it.

Check it out below:

October 3, 2013

Beautiful new song from Mazzy Star

Following in the theme of yesterday's post on Luscious Jackson, I bring you the new video from Mazzy Star. Their biggest hit is "Fade Into You" from 1993's So Tonight That I Might See. Their new album Seasons of Your Day, their first in 17 years, came out this week.

Here's the lovely "California".

October 2, 2013

Luscious Jackson's new album Magic Hour on the way

Luscious Jackson's 1996 album Fever In Fever Out has got to be one of my all-time favourite albums. There are just so many great tunes on that album.

They broke up in 2000 and got back together in 2011 to make new music and release a new album. That album is called Magic Hour and comes out November 15.

Check out the video for "Show Us What You Got".

You can get "Are You Ready" over at their web site and you can check out "So Rock On" at All Songs Considered.

Sounds like they're having fun.

October 1, 2013

MS MR and Wildcat! Wildcat! at The Phoenix in Toronto

MR MR hit up the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto with Wildcat! Wildcat! on September 17. They're touring behind their début full-length album Secondhand Rapture.

I put up a few posts (123) on these guys, starting back in December of last year and was happy to take the opportunity to check them out live.
Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow have a bassist/keyboardist and drummer with them on tour to provide a more "live" sound and band dynamic on stage. It serves them well as they present their fun tunes. Lizzy's day-glo green hair and groovy moves combine with the other band members' energy to create a fun show. Max even breaks free of the keyboard to bust some moves on a couple of occasions.

They played pretty much all of Secondhand Rapture, saving "Hurricane" for the big ending. We can add them to the list of bands whose last song is actually their last song. No encores here. For now.
For your listening and dancing pleasure, here is a trio of tunes from Secondhand Rapture, starting with my current favourite, "Think of You".



Love the Animotion keyboards in this Chvrches remix of "Hurricane".

Now they didn't play this track at the show, but I found it while searching through old saved-for-later stuff and thought I'd share it.

Wildcat! Wildcat! did a good job opening the show with their mellow tunes and high harmonies. They have a very current sound which should do them well. I personally could use some more up-beat and energetic tunes in the mix.

Their début EP was released September 10. Check it out below.

And here's the video for "Mr. Quiche".

I took the pictures in this post. I wish I had taken the last MS MR picture with my good camera rather than my iPod Touch, but, what can you do?