April 30, 2014

Dum Dum Girls' Rimbaud Eyes - Cool clip, great song

I've been digging Dum Dum Girls' latest album Too True and I loved their live set at Lee's Palace. They've just released a video for a cool song called "Rimbaud Eyes". So, I guess you could say things are going pretty well for me.

April 29, 2014

New Bob Mould song: I Don't Know You Anymore

Bob Mould's new album Beauty and Ruin comes out June 3. We got to hear "Hey Mr. Grey" a while back, and now we get to hear the first single, "I Don't Know You Anymore". It's classic, straight-up Mould, which means it's energetic and crunchy and amazing and perfect power pop. Love it!

April 28, 2014

Band of Skulls annihilate The Phoenix

Last Thursday, April 24, Band of Skulls hit up Toronto's Phoenix Concert Theatre on their tour in support of their just-released album Himalayan. The brief review is that they were absolutely amazing. They have an effortless power and grace about them that makes the glorious noise that the three band members make look easy.
Singer and guitarist Russell Marsden makes his own brand of classic blues-rock riffs and leads soar from his fingers with great fluidity. Bassist and singer Emma Richardson, and drummer Matt Hayward are amazing to watch as they hold down the rhythm. Both Russell and Emma's vocals were brilliant and their voices both complement the band's music so well. The band sounded amazing, they had a cool light show and they played an amazing set.
Their set pulled from all three albums in their canon, from their 2009 début Baby Darling Doll Face Honey through 2012's Sweet Sour and their latest, Himilayan. Some of the highlights for me were "Asleep at the Wheel", "You Aren't Pretty But You Got It Goin' On", "Toreador", "Brothers & Sisters", "Bruises", "Nightmares", "The Devil Takes Care of His Own", "Hollywood Bowl", "Sweet Sour" and "Death by Diamonds and Pearls". The fact that there were so many highlights shows how much I like these guys.
Check out some of their tunes, and if they're hitting up your town on this tour, do yourself a favour and go see them. They glow on record but they shine on stage.

Show opener "Asleep at the Wheel" from Himilayan

The title track from Himilayan

"You're Not Pretty But You Got It Goin' On" from Sweet Sour

"I Know What I Am" from Baby Darling Doll Face Honey

"Brothers & Sisters" from Himilayan

"Bruises" from Sweet Sour

"Nightmares" from Himilayan

"The Devil Takes Care of His Own" from Sweet Sour

Main set closer "Hollywood Bowl" from Baby Darling Doll Face Honey

Encore starter "Sweet Sour" from the-album-of-the-same-name

Show closer "Death by Diamonds and Pearls" from Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. This tune is the very first Band of Skulls tune I ever heard and it's an absolutely perfect way to close out the night. Awesome!

April 27, 2014

By Divine Right at The Horseshoe

I love music. But I have a shot memory. And I feel conspicuous taking notes in front of a band. What if they think I'm texting or updating my Facebook? How insulting, right? Not a good combination.
So I listened to a bunch of By Divine Right before going to their show opening for Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins at The Horseshoe back on March 13. And I heard their music live. And then I have to write up a post and match up what they played with what I post. I guess this post is a little bit like those songs with lyrics about writers block or finding rhymes.
I had a great time listening to their tunes, and they were fun to photograph. So, now on to the music.

Here's their latest clip. It's for the tune "Mutant Message" from their latest album, last year's Organized Accidents.

And here's a smattering of other BDR songs:

"Past the Stars"

"More Thorns"


"I Love a Girl"

"Cupid in Oilskins"

"Soft Machine"

"Come for a Ride"

It looks like they're opening for July Talk at Lee's on May 2. It would be cool if they were also playing on May 3 when I'm going to be there.

April 25, 2014

Ladyhawk at The Horseshoe

Ladyhawk fans like to party.

They like to have fun.

They like to drink beer.

They like to spray beer on each other.

They are guys with beards.

They are drunk girls who are getting married.

They are drunk girls who don't give a fuck about my pictures.
Ladyhawk like riffs.

They like swampy grooves.

They sound like classic psych rock.

They write big choruses.

They might come out with a new album.

They are from Vancouver.
Vancouver has fried chicken,

and ribs,

and mountains,

and gas bars.

Everything really.

We should go visit.

Vancouver has a place call Chronic Taco?

What's that all about?

In Vancouver?

No shit.
And I need to learn more about bourbon.

"No Can Do"


"Window Pane"

"You Read My Mind"


April 24, 2014

Carleton Stone at The Rivoli

Carleton Stone from Cape Breton Island opened up for Emm Gryner at The Rivoli on April 17. He played with passion and energy and was treated to an "attentive" Toronto audience response, as opposed to the usual chatter and treating the performer as background music. He's a very entertaining storyteller and singer-songwriter and his album Draws Blood is out now.

Check out some tunes:

"When You Come Home" A fun song with a cool story about how writing a song for a friend can end up getting that friend laid.

"Signs of Life"

"What I Want" Carleton got very emotional writing the new record, hence "Even my feelings got feelings"

"Love Into the Light"

"Blood is Thicker than Water", a dark song about killing your parents because they grounded you and your sister.


April 23, 2014

Blouse at Lee's Palace

Blouse opened for Dum Dum Girls at Lee's Palace on March 29. Their songs were eagerly received by the crowd and they seemed genuinely appreciative of the attention. Their light show consisted of interesting coloured projections, which is a bit of a change since for most of the shows I've been to lately, the lights are just "on".
 Check out some groovy, shoegazey Blouse:

"Happy Days"


"A Feeling Like This"

"No Shelter"

April 22, 2014

Blood or chocolate sauce: A new video from Blood Red Shoes

I've heard that if you film / photograph in black and white, you can use chocolate sauce as blood because it comes out the same shade of grey. Do you think Blood Red Shoes used chocolate sauce or something red in their gross out video for "Speech Coma"?

Blood Red Shoes' latest, a self-titled album, came out earlier this year. They're at The Garrison in Toronto on May 16.

Check 'em out. I love this band.

April 21, 2014

Emm Gryner at The Rivoli

This site that you're reading is about the music I like. So, by definition, I'm a fan of the music I feature and the bands I shoot live. Emm Gryner released her latest album Torrential on April 8. On Thursday, April 17 she played The Rivoli for an attentive and enthusiastic audience. I've been a fan of Emm Gryner since I first heard "Summerlong" from her 1998 album Public and this is the first time I've seen her perform live other than the Songwriters in the Round event last month.

I was pretty excited.

I've never seen the back room at The Rivoli done up with tables and chairs - dinner theatre style - before. It was a nice set-up that suited the performances well.
As I waited for the show to start I saw a man with a moustache. I thought, "Is that Chris Hadfield sitting over there? Maybe not... Couldn't be... Although he and Emm have sung together before, and Emm wrote a song about him, so it could be." I guessed I'd find out when and if she decided to play "So Easy" from Torrential, which is a duet with Chris.

Emm started her set with a few songs on guitar, then moved to a few songs on piano and so on. She played tunes spanning her 14-album discography. I thought I had them all, but I found I'm missing three.
Emm kept the crowd in rapt attention for the entire show. I thought it was fantastic and judging from the enthusiasm of the crowd, I wasn't alone.

Highlights of the show for me where the opening number "Serenade", "Good Riddance" and "Stardeep" from 1999's Science Fair; "Pioneer", "So Easy" (which she performed as a duet with opener Carleton Stone since Chris Hadfield couldn't make it - yup, that wasn't him), and encore tune "Math Whiz" from her new album Torrential; "Girls are Murder" from the 2006 release The Summer of High Hopes; her magical version of Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and heavy-emotional show closer of The Clash's "Straight to Hell" from her 2001 covers collection Girl Versions.

Overall, I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the entire performance. If you're not acquainted with Emm's music, I suggest you take a listen to the tunes here and take any opportunity to see her live.

She's playing May 21 at Hugh's Room with Trent Severn in support of the Toronto Wildlfe Centre.


"Math Whiz"

"Ciao Monday"

"Pour Some Sugar on Me"

"Straight To Hell"

April 20, 2014

Controversial new video from Sky Ferreira: I Blame Myself

Controversy sells music. This is the way it's been since the dawn of rock and roll. No stranger to controversy, Sky Ferreira is catching heat over the racial elements of her video for the catchy "I Blame Myself" from her album Night Time, My Time.

I'm not going to weigh in on the controversy, but I'll play the clip because I like the song.

April 19, 2014

Ablebody with After Hours

Christoph and Anton Hochheim are involved in The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They used to be in Depreciation Guild. They are also Ablebody and are on tour with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They'll be opening up the show at The Horseshoe on April 26 with Fear of Men.

Check out their latest tune "After Hours". The 7" is out May 20.

April 18, 2014

New track from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Eurydice

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have a new album called Days of Abandon coming out May 13. They're in Toronto at The Horseshoe on April 26.

We got to hear "Simple and Sure" and now we get to hear the track "Eurydice".

Fun, bouncy tune. Check it out.

And here's the official video for the bubbly "Simple and Sure".

April 17, 2014

New Yuck EP Southern Skies - check out two songs

Yuck have released a new EP called Southern Skies. The title track is a quiet, delicate song with a skipping guitar line and subdued vocal. "Another One" features more of the wall-of-guitars and upbeat delivery that the band is known for.

Engage your senses:

April 16, 2014

Jesca Hoop at The Horseshoe

I caught Jesca Hoop opening for Shearwater and Death Vessel at The Horseshoe on March 27. She's from Northern California and she's been releasing music since 2004.
I enjoyed her solo performance and songs. Later in the evening, she joined Shearwater on stage for their performance.

Here are some tunes:

"Feast of the Heart"

"Murder of Birds" featuring Guy Garvey of Elbow

"Tulip" with Heartless Bastards' Erika Wennerstrom

"City Bird"

"Born To"

April 15, 2014

Death Vessel at The Horseshoe

Death Vessel are from Rhode Island. They've been touring with Shearwater and Jesca Hoop and that's who they were playing with when I caught their show at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern on March 27.
I liked them a lot even though on paper, they're not the kind of band I usually appreciate. Hope you take the time to listen to their tunes and see if they don't hit your ears the right way, too.
 "Mercury Dime"

"Ilsa Drown" featuring Jónsi from Sigur Ros

"Circa" from 2008's Nothing Is Precious

April 14, 2014

Righting a wrong: A post on July Talk

I honestly don't know what the hell's wrong with me sometimes. Toronto-based blues-influenced alternative rock band July Talk are frickin' awesome. They opened for Stars at Indie 88's Power Party. They've sold out two nights at Lee's Palace on May 2 and 3. They've just been added to the line-up for the Toronto Urban Roots Festival. They were nominated for a Juno. And they've never graced the hallowed pages of this blog.

Now I'm going to rectify that.

"Guns + Ammunition"

"Paper Girl"

"The Garden"

"Let Her Know"

April 13, 2014

Royal Blood rock

Guitar rock will never die. It may evolve from style to style, but it will never die.

Royal Blood are a riff-heavy rock band in the duo form with drummer and bassist/vocalist. And yes, I'd still call it guitar rock even if they don't have a six-string guitar.

Check out "Little Monster" and watch out for these guys in the future.

April 12, 2014

Ska will make you feel good: Step Lively

Ska feels so damn good. Here's Step Lively with "Price I Pay". Those horns! That beat!

April 11, 2014

Official video for Lykke Li's No Rest for the Wicked

Lykke Li's new album I Never Learn comes out May 6 and the official video for "No Rest For The Wicked" is out. Enjoy.

April 10, 2014

Great new rock from Dinosaur Pile-Up

Dinosaur Pile-Up - great name. And they deliver some great rocked up tunes that'll getcha goin'.

Check out three tracks from their latest album Nature Nurture.

"Nature Nurture"



April 9, 2014

The Mad Ones at The Horseshoe

Continuing my trip into the not-so-distant past, here's a feast for your senses from Toronto's The Mad Ones. They kicked things off the night I saw The Pack A.D. and Pkew Pkew Pkew (Gunshots) at The Horseshoe.
This duo puts on a great show with a familiar guitar-drums sound. They've got some great tunes and I'd recommend them. You can pick up their music at their Bandcamp.
 Here are some tunes:

"Face of Love"

"Burning Window"

"Miracle Intention"

"Out of Love"

April 8, 2014

New video from The Hold Steady for Spinners

The Hold Steady are appearing in Toronto at The Phoenix Concert Theatre tomorrow night. I'm going. I'm sure it's going to be an awesome show by one of my favourite bands.

I know I posted this song before, but they've got an official video, you know?

Teeth Dreams is out now.

April 7, 2014

The Balconies release video for Boys and Girls

A while back, The Balconies put out a call on Twitter, etc. for extras for their new video for "Boys and Girls" from their brilliant Fast Motions album. Well now we get to see the fruits of their video labour.

The result? A fun video for a cool song that comes about as close as one could come to capturing their live energy in a video. Hot stuff!

I can't wait to catch The Balconies live at CMW.

April 6, 2014

Post 1,000: Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins at The Horseshoe Tavern

Humans like round numbers. We like milestones. We like to mark the passage of time and the number of things we do. We like anniversaries.
This is the 1,000th post that I've posted on this web site. 1,000. That's a round number. It's got to be some kind of demonstration of my love of music. Or persistence. Or commitment. Or insanity. Or something.
For post 1,000, I've decided to put up my pics of one of my favourite songwriters ever, Ron Hawkins, along with his latest band, The Do Good Assassins, from their March 13 show at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in the heart of scenic Toronto.
These guys (and gal) are amazingly fun live. Last time out, I wasn't familiar with The Do Good Assassins. I knew The Lowest of the Low, The Rusty Nails and Ron solo but not The Do Good Assassins. So I was treated to a bunch of new and cool tunes from one of my all time favourite songwriters and his new (to me) band. Since then, I've picked up Rome and enjoyed the tunes within. Because of that, this show was even better than the last.
So here are some tunes, and a toast: To the next 1,000 posts!

"Kingdom of the Sun"

"Bite Down Hard"

"Dead Man"

Set closer "Rome"

One of the encore tunes, "Rusty Chain"

Final encore tune, "Propellers"