March 31, 2014

New video for Palm Trees by Lowell

I caught Lowell opening for Cayucas a while back and took a bunch of pics. Good time.

Lowell's got lots of exciting stuff happening, like a new video for the tune "Palm Trees" and she's playing the Arts & Crafts Field Trip. Very much looking forward to that gig. Let's hope it's not -5 for that show.

March 30, 2014

More new Lykke Li tunes

Lykke Li's new album I Never Learn comes out May 6. I posted a couple of new tunes and now here's another one from the new album and one from the soundtrack of the movie Tommy, which she also acts in. Check out "No Rest For The Wicked" and "Du är den ende".

I'm definitely looking forward to the new album and would most certainly take the opportunity to see her perform live.

March 29, 2014

Eagulls rock. Loud.

So I've been seeing the name Eagulls floating around a lot. And I just listened to "Possessed" and "Tough Luck" and "Nerve Endings". All I can say is I love this band's intensity. The throat-shredding vocals, the amp-melting guitars and relentless beat. Nice!

March 28, 2014

New tune by Morakoza

I caught the energetic and inventive Morakoza a while back and posted a bunch of pics. They recently released a new tune called "February Politique" that demonstrates how diverse these guys are. They put on a fun live show, too, so if you get the chance, go see them.

If you like it, grab it for free over at their Bandcamp.

And if you missed it, check out the more rockin' "Skeleton Hands".

March 27, 2014

Happy Days and more with Blouse

I'm off to see Dum Dum Girls at Lee's Palace on March 29. Blouse is opening that show. They've just released a video for "Happy Days" from Imperium. Engage your senses.

And here's "A Feeling Like This"

March 26, 2014

New tune from Haerts called Call My Name

Here's a new tune from Haerts. It's beautiful and soothing. It's called "Call My Name". I like it.

March 25, 2014

The Fandemics début at The Rivoli

I caught a great début from local hard rock band The Fandemics at the Rivoli on St. Patrick's Day. They crank up the guitars and the energy delivering a tight set. Their lead singer/guitarist Paul Thompson sweats it out while belting out strong vocals and powerful guitars.
Their second guitarist Adam Narraway lurks in the dark shadows and produces a glorious noise. The powerful duo of bassist Chris Bell and drummer Dean Glover hold everything down and propel everything forward. Check out some tunes and go see these guys next time they play.
"Behold the Man"

Great cover of The Replacements' "Kids Don't Follow"

March 24, 2014

New Black Keys track Fever from forthcoming Turn Blue

So Mike Tyson tweeted out info on The Black Keys new album Turn Blue. That's an original marketing idea. The album comes out May 13 and was produced by Danger Mouse.

Here's a new tune called "Fever". Love the keyboard hooks. The Black Keys always seem to be doing something different but it's always got a great hook and expands on what you thought the band was. Looking forward to this release...

And if you haven't seen it, here's the clip Mike Tyson tweeted out...

March 23, 2014

Darcys' catch up

Well, The Darcys don't catch up per se, it's more like me that catches up with The Darcys. Their most recent album Warring has yielded quite a number of videos. I've posted a bunch including "The River", "Muzzle Blast", and the lyrics video for "Horses Fell". Now I bring you "Itchy Blood", "The Pacific Theatre", the official clip for "Horses Fell", a live version of "Hunting" and "Warring: A Short Film".

Go catch them live March 25 at Lee's Palace.

March 22, 2014

Songwriters in the Round: a benefit for the music program at Westacres Public School

On Friday night, March 21, the Songwriters in the Round benefit that I wrote about in February took place at Cawthra Park High School.

For the third year running, community member and songwriter Rob Wells brought together a diverse group of artists for an informal, relaxed evening where songwriters tell the stories and inspiration behind their songs and deliver stripped-down performances, all while raising money for a great cause.

This year, the songwriters were Gowan, Emm Gryner, Rob Wells, Divine Brown and Dan Kanter. They were joined by Katia Zuccarelli, Jesse Weeks, Tyler Kyte and Jefrey Danger for an amazing night of stories and song. The format of the night was that each songwriter took a turn introducing and performing a song, followed by a second round, an intermission and two more rounds.
Gowan was the big star of the night this year (Dan Hill fulfilled that role last year and Randy Bachman was in for the inaugural event). Not only is Gowan a huge Canadian star, but he hits the age group of many of the parents in attendance just perfectly. I myself fondly remember seeing Gowan at the Ontario Place Forum when I was a teenager.

His playful sense of humour came across throughout the night. First, he pulled his chair up beside Emm Gryner and intently stared at her when she mentioned being intimidated by Gowan's presence and by using his keyboard. He later snapped a selfie with Katia, used Emm's bass-drum-like stomper pedal to lead us on an impromptu rendition of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and roasted Dan Kanter's story of the love song he wrote for his wife by doing an improvised version of Elton John's "Rocket Man" changed up to "Lonely Dan".

His musicianship and songwriting came through in the musical performances. He kicked things off with "Strange Animal", the title track from his second album, by telling us that the various rumours about what the song is about are way more interesting than the truth. Later in the night he performed, "When There's Time (For Love)" from his 1993 album ...But You Can Call Me Larry. He fulfilled Divine Brown's request for "Moonlight Desires" with Divine performing Jon Anderson's parts and finished up with "A Criminal Mind". He demonstrated his songwriting skill, musicianship and down-to-earth personality. He had the crowd, including myself, in rapt attention. Amazing.
I'm a big fan of Emm Gryner. As I have mentioned before, I've been a huge fan ever since I first heard "Summerlong". First round, Emm performed "Ciao Monday" from her 2011 release Northern Gospel. In the next round, she talked about being from Sarnia and the famous folks from Sarnia including astronaut Chris Hadfield, for whom she wrote "Christopher". Later on she talked about using Pledge Music to fund her upcoming April 8th release Torrential. She brought one of her Pledge Music Supporters, Jefrey Danger, on stage to perform the Gowan tune "Cosmetics" with her. To finish off the night she took to the piano to perform "Symphonic" from 2003's Asianblue. She described it as one of only two happy songs she's written. Her performances were magical. I can't wait for her show at the Rivoli on April 17.
Rob Wells has been the driving force and organizer of this great event for the past three years. Being worried that we were going to get bored with his stories after three years (not gonna happen, Rob), he brought Katia Zuccarelli and Jesse Weeks on stage to perform two of his songs and to perform one of their own each. It was a great way to add some variety to the format while introducing us to some up and coming pop performers. All three were wonderful to watch and listen to.
Divine Brown told us about how love and loss have inspired her songs. She showed off her incredible vocal range and wonderful sense of humour. I think she amazed some people who weren't familiar with her music as she performed tunes including "One More Chance", "Sunglasses" and "Old Skool Love". Great performance!
What Gowan is to the parents in the crowd, Dan Kanter is to a lot of the kids. He's the right hand musical man of many pop performers including a little-known Canadian named Justin Bieber. He told stories of his very early songs, a love song for his wife, and his co-write of "Be Alright" with Bieber. Dan brought Tyler Kyte with him to provide lead vocals.

All the songwriters graciously hung around to meet the audience, sign autographs and pose for pictures until we had to leave.

Overall, a truly great night for a fantastic cause.

Check out a smattering of tunes that were performed on Friday night.

March 21, 2014

Split Single deliver power pop goodness

Jason Narducy, Britt Daniel and Jon Wurster have put together a power pop supergroup in Split Single. These guys are indie rock royalty. Narducy plays bass for Bob Mould among others. Wurster plays drums for Bob Mould, Superchunk and others, in addition to having a pretty hysterical Twitter. Daniel sings and plays guitar for Spoon and Divine Fits. He handles bass duties for Split Single.

The album Fragmented World comes out April 1. Can't wait to hear more!

Check out a few tunes:


"Waiting for the Sun"

"Last Goodbye"

March 20, 2014

The Districts leave it all on stage

I caught the amazing White Denim at The Horseshoe on March 3. The Districts opened the show and certainly did an awesome job of kicking ass and warming us up. They play super dynamic blues rock that moves from soulful whispers to mad intensity.
The Districts have an album called Telephone up at their Bandcamp. Although I know that the band I saw is the same band that you and I hear in recorded form, I have a hard time reconciling the two. The band that was recorded and that I can listen to now through my computer is good; very good, in fact. The band that I saw live on The Horseshoe stage was incredible. The dynamics and intensity of the live band are not done justice by Telephone.
Rolling Stone has their new EP up for listening. Tunes such as "Rocking Chair" and "Funeral Beds" come across more intensely on the EP than on Telephone and come closer to the live sound of The Districts. It's great that something that sounds a lot closer to the live magic of The Districts is now available in recorded form, for that magic should be made available for everyone to experience.

The singer for The Districts could never be accused of giving less than 100%. I know it's one of those rock and roll clichés - leaving it all on stage - but that's what he did. The whole band gave it their all and I don't think I was the only one that was blown away.

See these guys live. Seriously.
"Long Distance"

March 19, 2014

New music from The Faint

I've been diggin' The Faint since I first heard the riff from "Dropkick the Punks" from 2004's Wet From Birth. They've just announced the April 8 release date for new album Doom Abuse and let us in on a song from it called "Help in the Head". It rocks with its relentless beat and thick soundscape.

And you can check out "Salt My Doom" over at Consequence of Sound.

And here's "Dropkick the Punks" just cuz I can.

March 18, 2014

Cool tune from Vertical Scratchers

Here's a powerful number from Vertical Scratchers. It's called "Kingdom Come" and it's from their album Daughter Of Everything. It's full of energy and melody and distortion - some kind of holy trinity of indie rock.

March 17, 2014

EMA plumbs The Future's Void

EMA has a new album on the way. It's called The Future's Void and it's out April 8. Here's the clip for "So Blonde" where EMA hangs with video game characters. Catchy number!

And here's "Satellites".

March 16, 2014

Head of the Herd

The soulfully hard rocking Head of the Herd have been on one of my never ending lists for a while now. I just saw the announcement that they're heading out on tour with the incredible Balconies. Both of these bands deserve your attention for their passion, energy and songs.

They're also going on my "gotta see them live" list.

"We Could Get Together"

"By This Time Tomorrow"


March 15, 2014

Taylor Hawkins' The Birds of Satan bring the rawk with Thanks For the Line

Do you remember the Charlie's Angels movie with Drew Barrymore and she fights all these guys with her hands tied and then says, "That's kickin' your ass!"? Well Taylor Hawkins is doing something similar with The Birds of Satan. Kicking ass, that is. Without his hands tied, presumably.

The Birds of Satan's self-titled album comes out April 15 and we get to hear the rocker (with the soft piano interlude) "Thanks for the Line". Love that classic metal guitar solo, too!

March 14, 2014

Another new Kevin Drew track from Darlings

Darlings, the new album from Kevin Drew, comes out March 18. We heard "Good Sex". Now take a listen to the laid-back "Mexican Aftershow Party". I'm looking forward to catching his set at Arts & Crafts' Field Trip this summer.

And here's the official video for "Good Sex". Caution: contains kissing and skin.

March 13, 2014

New PAWS: Tongues from Youth Culture Forever

I caught on to Paws in late 2012 when I heard their album Cokefloat! They've got a new album called Youth Culture Forever coming out May 6. Check out the clip for "Tongues". I'm loving the chaotic energy and melodies.

Caution: contains kissing

March 12, 2014

The Pack A.D. bring Vancouver crunch to The Horseshoe

You can't have a rock band without a drummer. And you can't have a rock band without a guitarist. But a bass player? More and more the answer seems to be no, you don't need a bass player.
The Pack A.D. from Vancouver rolled into Toronto's The Horseshoe on Saturday March 8 to melt faces. They played a great set, including a Cramps cover and an encore of Split Enz' "I Got You".

I suggest you look at the photos I took and listen to the songs below and either pretend you were there to take in the rock first hand or relive the experience.

Here's a gaggle of tunes they played:

"Deer" from 2010's We Kill Computers,

"Haunt You" from 2011's Unpersons,

"Positronic" from Unpersons,

"Big Shot" from their new release Do Not Engage,

"Cobra Matte" from We Kill Computers,

"Battering Ram" from Do Not Engage,

Set closer, the amazing, "Sirens" from Unpersons.

March 11, 2014

Solo album from Doves' Jimi Goodwin

Jimi Goodwin, singer of the magnificent Doves, has a solo album called Odludek coming out March 24. Check out this beautiful song from it, called "Oh! Whiskey".

March 10, 2014

New music from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have a new album called Days of Abandon that comes out April 22. They've let us hear a stream of the sticky sweet treat "Simple and Sure". Take a listen:

They're in Toronto on April 26 at The Horseshoe.

March 9, 2014

Lowell gets The Garrison crowd going

I saw Lowell opening for Cayucas on March 2 at The Garrison. The band provided lots of good dancy fun with tons of energy. Great way to warm up the crowd. Lowell puts out great vibes and really wants to make sure we all have a good time. Mission accomplished.
And I have to say - great kimono. I just wanted to write that. I might never get the chance again.

Check out some tunes from Lowell. Her EP I Killed Sara V. is out now on Arts & Crafts.

"The Bells"



"Cloud 69"

March 8, 2014

Beau warm a cold night

I arrived at Tattoo Rock Parlour on February 28 while opening band Beau were on stage. I only caught a few song but I enjoyed their mellow harmonies and Fender Rhodes style keyboards.
I can't seem to find any music by Beau to share with you, so I hope you enjoy the pictures. I'll feature some tunes when they come my way.