Monday, August 31, 2009

Rifflandia Anticipation

Gahhhh!!! So much musical awesomeness crammed into a weekend!!! I don't even have words for my excitement, only noises. eep.

A select list of artists that I'd looooooove to see: (complete line-up here)
Holy Fuck, Final Fantasy, Mother Mother, Tegan and Sara, Pink Mountaintops, Hey Rosetta!, Said The Whale, The Dudes, The Most Serene Republic, Shad, Basia Bulat, Jets Overhead, The Raccoons, Dan Mangan, Jon-Rae Fletcher, The Pack AD, Zeus, In-Flight Safety, Hannah Georgas...

and I had to narrow that down a bit too.

Sitting, waiting, wishing...

Dan Mangan at the Cultch

Dan Mangan took to the Cultch in East Vancouver for the CD release for his latest Nice, Nice, Very Nice. He played 2 nights; these are some shots from the Friday night show.

Mangan's album title makes reviewing the show easy, easy, very easy. There's a certain magic and energy that is inadequately captured on the disk, but comes tumbling through in vaults when playing live. His phenomenal three-piece band were my surprise gem of the evening, providing tight harmonies, and injecting new dynamics into the songs.

The Cultch is a newly renovated venue, and the acoustics and lighting were phenomenal. Judge for yourself (lighting-wise) below.

Aidan Knight (Victoria, BC) opened Friday night, with his band the Darlings

Dan Mangan and his very talented band made Nice, Nice, Very Nice come to life.

Special guest Shane Koyczan joins Dan on stage for some spoken word on the song Fair Verona.

Dan invites his friends on stage for the encore-- Ashleigh Ball of Hey Ocean!, Hannah Georgas, members of Said the Whale, Aidan Knight and the Darlings.

For more shots of Friday evening, visit my Flickr.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tune(s) of the day, et al.

Two songs for the Tune(s) of the Day for Aug. 23, both by female Canadian artists.

1. I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Amy Millan, a cover of Death Cab For Cutie. It will appear on her upcoming album Masters of the Burial, due to drop September 8th.

If you like what you hear, she's coming to the Biltmore Cabaret on October 24th.

The song is a beautiful little love ditty, and Millan's take on it is light and airy. Download the track for free below.

Amy Millan - I Will Follow You Into The Dark
Love of mine some day you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark

No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
(FYI: them Catholic nuns need some re-education.)

2. Misstress Barbara (ft. Sam Roberts) - I'm Running, from her debut album I'm No Human.

What happens when you throw one of Canada's best electronica DJ with one of its best rock front men? You get this song, of course!

The video's pretty trippy actually. And what do you know, it's filled with... running.


I'm running from the past and from all my mistakes

I'm running and im sorry if I cant stay in one place
There's no where I can go that can stop me from running
And I'm running, I'm running to you

The Peak 100.5FM in Vancouver has launched a project called The Peak Performance Project, meant to prepare and launch local bands into the limelight. The winner will be awarded $150,000 to assist the artist's business plan. That, is a decent chunk of change.

Local favourites in the top 20, who are currently preparing for an extensive music biz boot camp next week, include Adaline and Bend Sinister.

Check out the Vancouver Sun's thorough piece about the project here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Driving home singing at the top of my lungs

There's a few pleasures I enjoy in life, and one of those is belting out songs in the car, after having an awesome meal at the Templeton consisting of veggie poutine and a root beer float. Tonight's soundtracks of choice:

Dan Mangan's newest - Nice, Nice, Very Nice
Joel Plaskett Emergency - Truthfully Truthfully

True love is sharper than stones and sticks
Louder than bombs and clocks that tick
I feel as deep as the ocean blue,
when I'm standing here with you
and the world keeps spinning faster
What am I to do
in the face of our disaster
I've been here before
but I don't know what comes after
The night's a lonely place to be
When the lights go out
I want you here with me

When I could not trust myself
I put my trust in someone else
But she led me astray
and then she went away
All my lessons learned
after all my bridges burned
Everything felt wrong
until you came along

It's quicker than sand, thicker than blood
It's like a slight of the hand, a stick in the mud
It's as deep as the ocean blue
What am I supposed to do
now that all your fire's gone
How do you want me to play along
I know it's true, somewhere we went wrong
But tonight's a lonely place to be
When the lights go out
I want some company

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking at the slew of upcoming concerts

This music habit is expensive!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hey Ocean! - Alleyways

Watch this video and see why Vancouver's Hey Ocean! is nominated for WCMA's best pop album of the year.

And how joyful music can be, when made with friends. (and love.)

15 Sept - Victoria, BC - Element
16 Sept - Nanaimo, BC - Queen’s Hotel
17 Sept - Vancouver, BC - Chan Centre (All Ages)
18 Sept - Calgary, AB - The Gateway
19 Sept - Saskatoon, SK - Louis’ Pub
20 Sept - Brandon, MB - WCMA Awards
23 Sept - Windsor, ON - Phog Lounge
24 Sept - London, ON - Call the Office (All Ages)
25 Sept - Waterloo, ON - The Bombshelter Pub @ U of W
29 Sept - Ottawa, ON - Algonquin College (Students Only)
1 Oct - Montreal, QC - Club Soda w/ Joel Plaskett (Pop Montreal)
2 Oct - Wakefield, QC - Blacksheep Inn
3 Oct - Peterborough, ON - Montreal House
7 Oct - Philadelphia, PA - M Room (Manhattan Room)
8 Oct - New York, NY - Piano’s
14 Oct - Philadelphia, PA - M Room (Manhattan Room)
17 Oct - Toronto, ON - The Rivoli
21 Oct - Philadelphia, PA - M Room (Manhattan Room)
26 Oct - Minneapolis, MN - Uptown Bar

Sunday, August 16, 2009

North By East West Shadow Polaris Short-list

It's now down to the final 10 from the semi-short list of 20! Go vote for your favourites here. The list also includes a single from each album should you wish to sample all the finalists before casting a vote.

Super pleased that Great Lake Swimmers and Joel Plaskett made the list. But of course.

Remember! Vote now, and vote often!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The one song getting me through wedding and coupling season

There's love in the air... BUT I'M ON THE GROUND!

Joel Plaskett Emergency - There's Love in the Air

Call this my Tune of the Summer.

I'm not bitterly single, I swear! It's just so satisfying to sing those two lines, then launch into an air guitar solo complete with humming the wicked guitar riff. Totally. Awesome.

Tune of the Day

So my weekly-ish recommendations kind of fell through after two editions... No matter, I press on to bring you the Tune of the Day for August 13, 2009! Written on my last day at my summer job. In fact, writing this blog entry might be the last thing I do before leaving.

Joel Plaskett - Shine On, Shine On, Shine On (I'm not sure if the link works or not)
Three (disk 2), 2009

Why I picked this song:
Really, who's surprised that Mr. Plaskett's my first pick?
The longing for home in this song is palpable and almost envelopes you as you hear him croon about his loneliness while touring down in Australia. Also, the lyrics have been stuck in my head all day.

Why I love this song:
It plays like a narrative, like a letter written to Plaskett's wife from Scarborough Beach. It's not until the last verse that the song title enters, in a delicate crescendo, framed by traditional folk whistles. (that's a good interview, btw)

His gift is his burden, his home propels him forward, and his motivation is always rooted in the love waiting with the front porch light on.


I set my sails for the New South Wales
Trying to get ahead of the sun
The day I left for the New South Wales
You said, “Babe, don’t forget where you’re from.”

Wading in the water on the Scarborough Beach
Taking pictures of my feet in the sand
I should be writing you a letter from the Scarborough beach
Saying, “Babe, you won’t believe where I am.”

Stopping on the highway at the side of the road
Staring at a whole new set of stars
I go where I go and I do what I’m told
But it’s easy to forget who you are

Oh, you read my mind
Your beauty can leave me blind
The truth can be cruel and so unkind
But I can’t lie to you
Sometimes I get so blue
I don’t want anything to do with myself

I set my sights on my front porch light
Trying to shake this feeling that took hold
Dreaming that you’re leaving on the front porch light
Maybe turning lead into gold
Singing, “Shine on, shine on, shine on traveling light”
Sing a song, sing it for all the right reasons tonight

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I maintain

the scariest non-life threatening thing I've experienced in my life thus far -- sitting beside two 20-something girls passionately belting Taylor Swift songs at the top of their lungs. Good Lord. It's like watching the feminist movement (and common dating wisdom) regress by about 30 years.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Since Twitter is down

Twitter-like music updates:

Not the greatest shots from @samrobertsband, @mothermother & @arkellsmusic concert @ Deer Lake, but heck of a concert :)

Check out my phone interview with @GrantLCBCR3 on @CBCRadio3 about the above concert

Just got 25 free songs off eMusic (just cancel plan after trial). Including Peter Elkas' Poor Young Things. Not all of us have record player.

Vancouverites: anyone else going to Basia Bulat and/or Final Fantasy shows in September? Almost back to back (to school special).

Don't forget to sign up for @CBCRadio3's email newsletters! Free mp3 from @saidthewhale this week.

Check out the latest Green Brief about the situation in Iran. Greatest shame about #twitterfail is the lack of communication.

Just pre-ordered @danmanganmusic's Nice, Nice, Very Nice and you should too if you like talented husky-voiced singer-songwriters!

RT wowow @Sojourners A Meditation on Christian Extremism: Blackwater and the Bonhoeffer 4 #FF #Follow Friday

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

50 bands I have seen live (I'm on my way)

Test your memory and your love of live music by listing 50 artists or bands (or as many as you can remember) you've seen in concert. List the first 50 acts that come into your head. An act you saw at a festival and opening acts count, but only if you can't think of 50 other artists. Oh, and list the first concert you ever saw (you can remember that, can’t you)?
Should you choose this challenge, here's what you do: Copy my note. Click on “notes” under tabs on your profile page. Select "write a new note" in the top corner. Paste the copy in the body of the note. Make your list. Change the number at the top, and add your title. Once you've saved, don't forget to tag friends (including me) on the right.

(I didn't distinguish between opening acts, festival acts, one-off performances and proper concert sets because I'm lazy and it buffs up my list)

1. Sam Roberts (x3)
2. Mother Mother
3. Arkells (x2)
4. Great Lake Swimmers
5. Rock Plaza Central
6. The Breakmen
7. Basia Bulat
8. Dan Mangan (x2)
9. The Weakerthans (x2)
10. The Constantines
11. Joel Plaskett Emergency
12. Joel Plaskett with family and friends (3 tour)
13. Veda Hille
14. Geoff Berner
15. Immaculate Machine
16. Lightning Dust
17. Coldplay
18. Snow Patrol
19. Howling Bells
20. Metric (acoustic)
21. Jeremy Fisher
22. Hey Ocean! (x3)
23. Hey Rosetta! (partially)
24. Stars
25. Michael Buble (the first concert I paid for with my own money)
26. Starfield (x2 or 3)
27. The Stills (x2)
28. Hawksley Workman
29. Kathleen Edwards
30. City and Colour
31. Sarah McLachlan
32. The Trews
33. Hannah Georgas
34. Matthew Barber
35. TFK
36. Reset to Beautiful :)
37. Abel
38. Bria Skonberg
39. Shad
40. Tokyo Police Club
41. Naturally 7
42. The Roots

eh, I'm really stretching it by now. :\

Artists that I love (or have loved) that I have yet to see live (or play a proper set):
43. Kathleen Edwards
44. Matt Mays (& El Torpedo no more, sadface.)
45. Alicia Keys
46. K'naan
47. Shad
48. Jason Collett
49. Jill Barber
50. Metric (full band)
51. MGMT
52. Foo Fighters