Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An Interview: My Take On Twitter & Music

From September 28. 2009, with Rebekah H.

Q. As an avid music fan, critic and commentator, what do you think of bands using Twitter in building and staying in touch with their fan-base?

A. As Twitter's format allows updates via short bursts of information, bands and artists are able to build relationships with their fan base beyond your typical album release promotion, tour dates announcements, and major media mentions. Although, of course, those are common as well. But you're also likely to read from Twitter-prolific bands about their favourite restaurant in a particular city or a band they're currently into, for example.
You also get to see the relationships between bands; the camaraderie between various Vancouver-based bands and their mutual admiration and promotion is something really encouraging to see.
And of course, you have the opportunity to communicate with your favourite artists in a way that email and other social media simply don't allow.

Q. As one of those followers, has it been effective? How?

A. I definitely feel more connected and knowledgeable about the artists I follow, and feel more of a stake in helping them get the word out about something important by retweeting to my network of followers. So that in itself shows the effectiveness of Twitter as an informational/promotional medium. Via Twitter, I've also found out secret/last minute show dates, have the ability to be put on the guest list to shows, and whether or not to actually be on time for a concert. Once again, important information that just isn't quite ... "significant" enough to make it to an email broadcast or Facebook group message.
Also, as I review and take photographs of artists, Twitter provides an easy way to let them know that I've mentioned them. In turn, they often spread information about my coverage of them to the rest of their network, increasing traffic to my websites. It's mutually beneficial.

Q. How did you get onto Twitter? What were your original reasons for joining? Networking or following?

A. I was introduced to Twitter by a friend, and also after hearing about its usefulness at SxSW (South by South West). My original reason for joining was to get instantaneous information from artists and media publications such as CBC Radio 3. I actually have relatively few friends in real life on Twitter, partially because many don't have it, and partially because I have other media (Facebook, phone, face-to-face) to connect with them.

Q. What got you starting following bands on the network? Did you know of the band first or did you discover them via Twitter?

A. I originally started by searching band/artist names to see if any of them had Twitter. I wasn't really interested in many of the artists on the recommended follow list... And by following people, it's a snowball effect once you realize who they're following via their Twitter conversations (less creepy and stalkerish than you'd think), or things such as Follow Friday when you recommend who's worth following. I've definitely checked out bands because of positive hype from Twitter.

Q. As a music blogger/critic? How do you use Twitter?

A. Whenever I write a new entry or upload a set of photos, I would note that on Twitter and link to the page. A large chunk of my traffic is directed from Twitter. I also tweet via text messages from my phone when I'm at a concert, and after I chat with an artist. (It's almost like you're there!)
I also often retweet tour/album information from artists, articles and reviews I find interesting, as well as general announcements. For example, just today, a band that played a show in Vancouver announced that they were looking for gear that was stolen and I would pass on information like that as well.

Q. What do you think the future for Twitter will be?

A. I think Twitter has and will continue to democratize music journalism, much like the advent of personal blogs. There's an almost infinite amount of information sources. It allows individuals to decide whether or not content is worth following, as opposed to being dictated by your local paper's arts and culture section. Twitter is word of mouth, sped up and made more efficient.

Q. Why Twitter as opposed to other social networks like Facebook, MySpace, etc?

A. It's not a case where Twitter is superior than Facebook, Myspace, etc., and upon adopting it you can ditch the others. It depends upon what you use social networking for. Twitter is simpler (all text-based), less restrictive (information is limited to friends on Facebook), and thus a lot more public, allowing for more people to be exposed to your content. You don't even need to sign up to Twitter to read someone's tweets. Thus, if you're on Twitter, you're either a provider of information or an observer of those providers. It's not a place for discussions, mutual groupings, music displaying, etc. that Facebook and Myspace specialize in.
Following someone on Twitter is also a lot less "committing" than befriending someone on Facebook, which implies relationship, whereas following on Twitter implies you're interested in their information. That is the fundamental difference between Twitter and Facebook; Twitter is, for me, a public promotional forum, whereas Facebook is meant to be more in-depth and self-disclosing due to its more private structure. You could be the biggest social butterfly, but you still generally wouldn't befriend a complete stranger.
Also, Twitter tends to be a "means" kind of vehicle for information. Myspace is more of an "ends" vehicle. Twitter alerts you to information that you should check out, whereas Myspace, blogs, websites, or even Facebook events/groups contain the information that Twitter links to. Once again, different functions.

Q. Any further insights/comments?

A. A friend asked me yesterday, "how do I be successful on Twitter?" And I told him to find something he's passionate about, and tweet the heck out of it. You probably wouldn't do that on Facebook either... it'd be a lot more annoying.
Also, with the protests in Iran over the highly contested elections, it's easy to see how Twitter is an effective way to communicating to a large audience via snowballing word-of-mouth/tweet under extreme time pressure. Twitter's simplicity (text-based) made it nearly impossible to block or shut down by the authorities, and its seamless connection to cell phones and smart phones allows it to be updated anywhere. Many Iranian tweets involved which sections of cities to avoid, whether the militia were using tear gas, etc. In this way, I can see Twitter being a very effective early warning system in times of emergencies.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rifflandia Weekend Recap in 5 words or less

As pictures are worth a thousand words each, I thought I'd keep it short.

Longest line-up: Mother Mother
Most improved: Aidan Knight
Best banter: Tegan and Sara
Grooviest: Zeus
Worst venue: Sugar Night Club
Best venue: Alix Goolden Hall
Best word-of-mouth: Holy Fuck

Most photogenic: Zeus (/Hey Rosetta!)
Surprisingly awesome: Timber Timbre
Most mesmerizing: Champion
Shortest set: Hey Rosetta!
Must see: Pink Mountaintops
Regrettably absent (sick): Final Fantasy
Regrettably missed: The Pack A.D. (friend's text: "Holy moley rock and roll just happened")
Rifflandia worth your money?: YES

Photos of each night at Rifflandia:
Thursday Night: Hannah Georgas, Timber Timbre, The Racoons, Shad, DJ Champion and his G-Strings
Friday Night: Aidan Knight, Tegan and Sara, Zeus, The Most Serene Republic
Saturday Night: CHAR2D2, Jon and Roy, Jets Overhead, Hey Rosetta!, Pink Mountaintops

Friday, September 25, 2009

Concert Review: Basia Bulat at St. James Hall

My musical weekend began Wednesday night in Vancouver with Basia Bulat's show at St. James Hall. She also played last night at Metro Theatre in Victoria.

2009 Polaris long-listed Woodpigeon opened. He had a lovely high voice which contrasted his low speaking voice. That voice floated over some nifty electric guitar-picking. He sounded hesitant and nervous throughout a good chunk of the set, and combined with the hot and stuffy atmosphere in St. James, made it difficult to stay awake, much less concentrate, unfortunately. He did cover Lay All Your Love On Me by ABBA; along with a song complemented by an audience member (?)'s soaring harmonies, those were the highlights of his set for this reviewer.

Those of you who have seen Basia live (or if you haven't yet-- you should!) surely remember being surprised at her small frame and her large voice. Her warble-y, occasionally breathy yet strong voice convey at once strength and vulnerability, intimacy but enough force to blow the roof off of wherever she may be playing.

She also has a way of making the crowd fall in love with her instantly, as was the case Wednesday when she mentioned that the audience is not at the "stage in our relationship" yet to see her in her glasses, which she was wearing.

Basia plays music to dance to, such as the waltz-able The Pilgriming Vine, and she herself sways her dress to and fro, stomping her boots while strumming her guitar or autoharp.

Basia Bulat has a new album coming out in the new year (January 26th) called Heart of My Own. Many of the songs she played Wednesday night were from the upcoming LP. The set list for that night is to the right.

Go to Basia's website for a free download of a track off her upcoming album called Gold Rush.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Polaris Prize 2009 goes to Fucked Up

After 4+ hours of ears glued to CBC Radio 3, 10 performances, several drunk speeches and a food fight later, the winner of Polaris Music Prize 2009 was announced -- Fucked Up.

What's a man gotta do, make a quadruple disc?
I'm upset. It's not hidden.
Really, any other band would've been fine. Why did it have to be the one with the screaming?

Regardless, congratulations to Fucked Up. I will lick my wounds until next year. Or the next Plaskett album.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Polaris Prize Jitters-- or, not a prediction, but a vote

I have never been so anxious and nervous on someone else's behalf. There are so many excellent albums from the short list that I've loved, but all in all, there is no doubt that I think Joel Plaskett's Three is the most deserving of this year's Polaris Music Prize.

Those who have even briefly glanced at this blog since its inception will no doubt call me out on my bias. But keep this in mind-- music, and its merits, are highly subjective to personal experience. No doubt my attachment to Three is amplified due to my life events. This album has held my arm through the slow dissolution of a relationship, moving out, and being left behind; it has at times made me laugh, coaxed me through my loneliness, and made me yearn for a love that leaves on the front porch light. He put on the best concerts I've seen so far - ever, and is a major reason why I am passionately in love with Canadian independent music, writing about it, attending concerts, buying music and merch, etc.

But objectively-- when it comes down to it, Plaskett was able to weave three albums -- 27 tracks, or 30 including the Three More outtakes EP -- cohesively, coherently and beautifully. Not to mention the links and throwbacks to his music all the way back to when he was with Thrush Hermit back in his teens. I know some critics think that his music all sounds the same; I think it's laudable as an artist to be informed and expand from a thematic core.
And does all his music follow a predictable pattern? By no means!
Disc 1 is playfully defiant, with the horns-infused Through & Through & Through, the Salvation Army keyboard "original rhythm track" on Wishful Thinking, and the sultry longing in the R&B/blues-inspired Wait, Wait, Wait. The album ends with a question: "Won't you meet me at the station when the train comes in?"
Disc 2 answers the question with lessons we often learn in pain and waiting. In this aching, downbeat and contemplative disc, Shine On, Shine On, Shine On is drenched in loneliness, Heartless, Heartless, Heartless stung by betrayal, and In The Blue Moonlight with its eggshell-crunching percussion, provoking at once the imagery of someone shuffling along a gravel road under a lonesome moon.
Disc 3 has regained a weathered brightness. It has forgiven but not forgotten, and in the beginning 3 tracks, the wandering traveller returns, and quickly realizes that past hurts cannot be undone. The following tracks follow a struggle between letting go of the hurt and loneliness and recognizing the love that overcomes these trials, and the rollicking Rollin', Rollin', Rollin' and On & On & On twist the previous neat conclusion, as travellers must travel, musicians must tour, and through all this, love goes on (and on and on).

So I guess consider this my very belated Three album review, one that grew on me over time, and informed by my experiences which had been spoken into by this album. Thanks for bearing with me. These points may not be valid for you-- they are my lived-out truths. Best of luck Joel!

For the Polaris Prize Gala, tune in live September 21 at 5pm PT on CBC Radio 3, Sirius 86 or on MuchMusic. There will be performances by all 10 short list artists, and the winner of the $20,000 and designation of the best album of 2009 will be revealed!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Constantines with words to live by

I wish you twelve lanes of peace and quiet
And all speed away from human sorrow
You and I, we're gonna break even
Two animals on the road to animal heaven

You do what you can do with what you got.

But I was also born and raised
To always speak and listen clear
To know the last sound that I make
Could be the last sound that I hear

I will not sing a hateful song.

Hey Ocean! at Telus Studio Theatre

Tonight (September 17), Hey Ocean! played at the Telus Studio Theatre at University of British Columbia's Chan Centre. The show was phenomenal as per usual.

More polished than the 3-4 previous times I've seen them... as the set was being recorded by CBC Radio 2; The beautiful albeit somewhat formal setting of the theatre must've helped as well.

The mood was somewhat subdued compared to other shows of theirs. The amount of dancing was about 87.43% less (approximately) and the cat-calls as well. Except for of course, me, who should really be carted around from show to show to make loud noises when it is lacking.

David Beckingham, the guitarist, even mentioned that it was a huge change from playing bars on their tour, to a quiet (but really appreciative) audience in their hometown.

Ashleigh Ball was in top form tonight, lilting her playful voice high and low, spitting rhymes interspersed in their West Coast-inspired set harder, better, faster, stronger. (thought I'd use a more positive Kanye reference.) Her family was in the audience cheering her along, as well as at least one member of local band Said The Whale, whom can be expected to be at any given show in Vancouver.

Hey Ocean! played hits from both their debut Stop Looking Like Music and their sophomore album It's Easier To Be Somebody Else. Their set was also interspersed with new material for their upcoming album, which is still in the process of being written.

Particular favourites from the set for myself included Uh Oh, a new song which I've heard live a couple of times, which is a catchy tune that references hipsters and the infamous Adbusters article about them (or us?). 15 Words is great when Beckingham is sober enough to get the riff right, which was the case tonight. Bicycle is a stripped down little ditty about love and love lost. Beatboxer is always fun and infectious, and Jolene had fantastic harmonies. (Is this the same Jolene who also haunts Jeremy Fisher?)

Another point of note is the new drummer. They've got one, at least temporarily. The last time I spoke with bassist Dave Vertesi (also of local band Topless Gay Love Tekno Party) he had mentioned that this one has promise, and is currently their touring drummer. Unfortunately, I didn't catch his name, but he seemed quite in sync with the rest of the members. After showing off his chops in an extended drum solo, he also proved that he can match the rest of the formidable band in terms of musical skill. This is important, as the biggest draw to Hey Ocean!, besides Ashleigh Ball's captivating presence and singular voice, is the driving and diverse rhythms that compels shoulders to sway and feet to dance. Here's hoping the band will find that percussive match soon, if they have not already found it in this current drummer.

Hey Ocean! is coming to a city near you! Below are some upcoming tour dates, including a stint in the United States. (Playing with Joel Plaskett in Pop Montreal?! Nicely done! Stacked show.)

18 Sep 2009
The Gateway
Calgary, AB
19 Sep 2009
Louis’ Pub
Saskatoon, SK
20 Sep 2009
WCMA Awards
Brandon, MB
23 Sep 2009
Phog Lounge
Windsor, ON
24 Sep 2009
Call the Office (All Ages)
London, ON
25 Sep 2009
The Bombshelter Pub - U of W
Waterloo, ON
26 Sep 2009
Paddy Flaherty’s
Sarnia, ON
29 Sep 2009
Algonquin College
Ottawa, ON
30 Sep 2009
The Ale House w/ Joel Plaskett
Kingston, ON
1 Oct 2009
Club Soda w/ Joel Plaskett (Pop Montreal)
Montreal, QC
2 Oct 2009
Blacksheep Inn
Wakefield, QC
3 Oct 2009
Montreal House
Peterborough, ON
7 Oct 2009
M Room (Manhattan Room)
Philadelphia, PA
8 Oct 2009
Piano’s (10 PM)
New York, NY
14 Oct 2009
M Room
Philadelphia, PA
15 Oct 2009
New York, NY
17 Oct 2009
The Rivoli
Toronto, ON
21 Oct 2009
M Room
Philadelphia, PA
26 Oct 2009
Uptown Bar
Minneapolis, MN
7 Nov 2009
Portland, OR

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Plotting & Planning for Rifflandia

Exciting times; new school year (with new research endeavors), new bachelorette pad (with the sister), new job, new breath of fresh air. And through all that, concert / festival season continues!

Next weekend (Sept. 24-26) I'll be in fair Victoria, BC to cover the Rifflandia Music Festival for NxEW. Likely lots of tweets, lots of pictures, and lots of setlists (I've gotten pretty good at grabbing those).

Next Wednesday night before I depart for the weekend, I'll be going to Basia Bulat's show at St. James Hall, hosted by the UBC Alta Mater Society. This saves me the grief of missing her set in Victoria.

I love her Facebook fan club page name the more I think about it -- Basia Bulat Fan Club: We Love These Woodland Nymph Songs! (It's pretty descriptive.)

So here's my tentative game plan, not taking into consideration how I'll get around ...

Thursday Sept. 24
Hannah Georgas @ 8:00 @ Metro Theatre (1411 Quadra Street)
Final Fantasy (picture, left) @ 9:30 @ Alix Goolden Hall (907 Pandora Avenue)
Shad @ 10:15 @ Market Square (560 Johnson Street)

Friday Sept. 25
I'll likely just stick around at either Sugar night club or Market Square. Most likely Sugar. (Choices, choices...)

Sugar (858 Yates Street)
Library Voices @ 9:30  
Zeus (picture, right) @ 10:15  
Cuff The Duke @ 11:15 
The Most Serene Republic @ 12:00am

Market Square

The Dudes @ 10:30
Mother Mother @ 11:30

Saturday Sept. 26
A toss up between Market Square or Metro Theatre. If it's possible logistically I'd catch Char2d2's set then get to Jets Overhead after.

Market Square
Jon and Roy @ 9:00
Jets Overhead @ 10:00
Hey Rosetta! @ 11:00
Buck 65 @ 11:45

Metro Theatre
Char2d2 @ 8:45
Jon-Rae Fletcher @ 9:45

And now I gotta run this schedule past my good friend Roger who is graciously housing me for a weekend, entertaining me while putting up with my relative absence. He'll be able to tell me if my schedule involves running across town in an impossibly short amount of time...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tune of the Day - Sept 15, 2009

Hey Rosetta! - Holy Shit (What A Relief)

Off their lush, orchestral and haunting Polaris-nominated disc into your lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood).

I can't find a Youtube clip or an audio clip anywhere (it's not even on their MySpace), so you'll have to take my word for it that this is a song that really, truly is excellent. It exemplifies the load-off-your-back feeling when you shed one of your long-lurking, dark demons, and you feel a relief that courses through your body. Try finding it off their website on the mini player in the top right hand corner...

Holy shit, what a relief

I pulled myself apart, couldn't breathe, tore my hair, bit my skin
I thought of all the dark, all the ash, all the blood, all the grief
I told myself look up - told myself look up and believe
and now this peace - like a blanket - enveloping me.
and holy shit
what a relief...
the worst has come
and turned to leave
and holy shit
what a relief!
all that weight falling from me
and all that breath finally free

This is another song I really like from them - I've Been Asleep For A Long, Long Time. I'm hoping that indirectly, you'll really enjoy this song and check out Holy Shit, which is really a song to heave a large sigh to after a long, difficult time in your life.

(thank you, God.)

Musical Updates From Twitter - Sept 15

To make life a lot simpler and a lot more internet-addiction-free, I'll try to sum up some notable things to save you time and browsing energy. You're welcome!

K'naan and J.Period team up for another collaboration called The Messenger #3, which apparently features Bob Dylan? Download for free here.

Another free download: Chad VanGaalen offers up a free B-Sides EP to complement his Polaris-shortlisted Soft Airplanes.

Joel Plaskett records an iTunes Original Session which is available for purchase here (leads to iTunes Store) and is being broadcast tonight (Sept 15) at 5pm PT / 8pm ET on CBC Radio 3.

Vote for your favourite songwriter at for the ECHO Songwriting Prize. (I think it's pretty obvious whom I've already voted for.)
Nominees -
Joel Plaskett Through & Through & Through,
Sebastien Grainger Love Can Be So Mean,
Timber Timbre Lay Down In The Tall Grass,
Land of Talk Some Are Lakes, and
D-Sisive Nobody With A Notepad

A great piece on Herohill regarding how Metric has to fight both relative obscurity in the global music market and the shunning of the indie crowd.

After tweeting about seeing Immaculate Machine at the Biltmore, Grant Lawrence of CBC Radio 3 informed me via direct message that Kathryn Calder is no longer part of the Victoria band. Not to say that the show was any less enjoyable, but I was a bit disappointed to hear that...

Some upcoming Vancouver concerts on top of what's listed at my sidebar: Corb Lund @ Commodore Ballroom Nov 12/14, The Swell Season @ Vancouver Centre For Performing Arts Nov 5. Mother Mother is opening for Matthew Good for 2 shows at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts on November 10 and 11.  Tickets start at $32.50 and are on sale this Friday.

And to wrap up the entry, here's my concert and EP review for Vancouver's Char2d2 on NxEW. Below is their single Take & Send.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Plaskett Polaris Posters

I will soon have this up on my wall after just over a month of hunting, thanks to various helpful tweets (#twitterwin!), Steve Jordan at Polaris Music Prize and for Mike Holmes, the artist. Below is the Polaris shortlist poster for Joel Plaskett Emergency's Ashtray Rock from 2007. For those who are not familiar with JPE's work, the poster illustrates the lyrics to their single Fashionable People off Ashtray Rock. It's a fun song, and the poster reflects that playfulness really well.

[Edit Sept 16] Got the poster in the mail today! It has a few colour and font changes but the essence (and the awesome) remains. So good things do come to those who wait =)

Also in communication with Wendy Wan, the designer of Joel Plaskett's Three shortlist poster for 2009. Considerably more understated than the comic style which reflected Ashtray Rock's adolescent theme, the Three print shows the journey from "away" to home. I almost expected it to be a lot darker and less ... "pretty." All it's missing is the front porch light.

Make sure you get in contact with Wendy if you'd like a copy of the poster. There's only going to be a run of 30.

Guess who's going to Rifflandia?

This girl!

Follow my tweets over the weekend of Sept. 24-26 to catch a textual update of my aural pleasures.

Was that meant to sound sexual? Well, tell me, when you hear Mother Mother, aren't you turned on just a little bit?


Then I've got nothing more to say to you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Char2d2 Setlist

For those of you who were at the Biltmore Cabaret last night (September 12, 2009) and enjoyed Char2d2's set, below is the set list of songs that they played, mostly off their Small Vampires EP (except for the starred ones):

Only Man For Me
You Are A Small Vampire
Don't Want To
I Am Safe
B-Day Girl**
Some Will Have To Go
Torn Apart**
Take and Send

By the way, Char2d2 is pronounced with a sh- not a ch- sound. In case you were wondering.

You can find Charla of Char2d2 on Twitter!

Concert and Small Vampires EP review for NxEW here!

What is in our water?!

Tyler from Said The Whale put it best when he tweeted, "Vancouver is the new Montreal," then proceeded to list off a litany of amazing artists who have either called Vancouver home relatively recently (Jill Barber), as well as those who have grown up here (Dan Mangan).

After hopping cross-town last night to go to both the Immaculate Machine/Char2d2 show and the UBC students-only Hannah Georgas/Said The Whale/Mother Mother show, it struck me how lucky the inhabitants of our fair city are. I was able to hop from East Vancouver to UBC campus within half an hour and catch the beginning of Mother Mother's set, thanks to an early 11 pm curfew at the Biltmore.

The all-Vancouverites (except for I.M.) lineup did not disappoint; in fact, it was exhilarating to see Char2d2 fill up the Biltmore dance floor as an opening act, and its red-lit lounge with sounds much too filling to have been produced by two musicians alone. It was simply fun to see Brooke of Immaculate Machine swaying his massive head of reddish hair to their infectious pop-rock, like some kind of indie shampoo commercial. And it was mesmerizing to get completely absorbed by Mother Mother, who took a hold of an entire pub of college students, and make fanatics out of casual fans.

Immaculate Machine sings of their hometown Victoria,
Streetlights - darkness is unthinkable
It's dirty and the water isn't drinkable

Thankfully, we Vancouverites can rest assured that whatever is lurking in our water, its musical results are undeniable.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tune of the Day: Great Lake Swimmers - Still

The Great Lake Swimmers have just released their music video yesterday for the ethereal Still off their latest, Polaris-short-listed album Lost Channels, easily one of my favourite songs seen live this past summer.

I'm still turning myself on to the great key, I'm still, I'm still
I'm still mining for light in dark wells, I'm still, I'm still
I'm still a frequency swaying, a leaf in the wind, I'm still, I'm still
I'm still searching for whispers in between yells, I'm still, I'm still

I'm still swimming in harmony, I'm still dreaming of flight
I'm still lost in the waves, night after night

I'm still an arrow unshot, fixed in a bow, I'm still, I'm still
I'm still a fire unlit, ready to go, I'm still, I'm still
I'm still loaded and waiting, with anticipation to fly
I'm still studying the patterns in the night sky

I'm still a note that's unplayed, ink on a page, I'm still, I'm still
I'm still a cry in the night, lonesome and high, I'm still, I'm still

I'm still tuned to an instrument of greater and unknown design
I'm still looking for direction, some kind of sign

I'm still tuning myself to the great key, I'm still, I'm still

And here's my live recording of Still from the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, featuring members of The Breakmen and Rock Plaza Central providing back-up.
(Please pardon the slight garbles; my point-and-shoot is not great with picking up bass.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tunes of the day - 09/09/09

It's technically past midnight now, but who's complaining?

Below are some songs that I saved in my CBC Radio 3 personal playlist. As I was looking through the playlist and deleting songs that have since been purchased, I came across a few gems. So this is not only for your listening pleasure, but to remind myself to look even more into these artists!

So below are a sampling of songs that have caught my ear over the past couple of months, with short introductions. Enjoy!

P.S. I've turned off the autoplay, which should make things a lot less annoying.

1. Jesse Matheson - The French Song
Can't catch the lyrics? You should've paid attention in French class.

2. Handsome Furs - I'm Confused
Sex appeal oozing Polaris long listers make undeniably danceable track.

3. K'naan - Soobax
An infectious track from the debut album of this twice Polaris short-listed Somalian-Canadian MC.

4. Peaches - Talk To Me
An electro-dance track. Songs that trigger involuntary hip swaying seemed to have grasped me over the past couple of months, apparently.

5. Doug Paisley - Broken In Two
And now, to slow you down after the twitching dancing the past couple of tracks may have induced.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No stadium love this time

First time I let the price tag turn me away from attending a concert I intended on going: Metric playing the Orpheum November 3rd in Vancouver. After service charges and all those other B.S. charges, I simply cannot justify it on my starving student's budget. Bummed... their acoustic set back in April will have to tide me over until I've got a more stuffed wallet. Which gives me plenty of time to catch up with their discography.

Below is a in-depth interview with the band. I love Emily Haines' voice... it's so sensual, erotic yet precise. I've tried mimicking it and nope, cannot pull it off without feeling like a total creep stalking you while you're walking home. How does she make that sound sexy anyway?

(She reminds me of Uma Thurman a bit, actually.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mother Mother - Touch Up

is a dark, dark album. I'm pretty sure the ending track (Little Hands) talks about a miscarriage/abortion. So ominous that it's almost un-West Coast-like.

I finally got this album after trolling for it in local record stores. As I had bought their sophomore (and latest) album O My Heart off iTunes, I wanted to make sure I had a physical copy of this album. It took a while to find.

Touch Up was released with Last Gang Records back in 2007. The line-up of Mother Mother has changed since its release, most notably the departure of Debra-Jean Creelman and the addition of Jasmin Parkin. As I had been introduced to the band via O My Heart, hearing Debra-Jean sing lead on Love and Truth off Touch Up really highlighted the change in lineup, since Ryan Guldemond rarely lets go of lead vocals in O My Heart.

In conclusion, Touch Up makes me wonder why this incredibly talented young band was so angry with life, and how the heck they manage to coat them with such melodic hooks and tangy, tight harmonies that they're actually appetizing.

So far, I like...
Dirty Town and the title track are instantly catchy.

Mother Mother is playing at the UBC Pit Pub this coming Saturday (September 12), featuring guests Said The Whale and Hannah Georgas. It's open to UBC students and guests... so better start bugging your student friends if you want to see these amazing artists this weekend!

Tune of the Day (with a sunny video for a rainy Vancouver day)

Immaculate Machine - Only Love You For Your Car
Off their latest album High on Jackson Hill

Victoria-based Immaculate Machine is playing at the Biltmore this coming Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing the full band, as when I attended their CD release for HoJH, they were missing female vocalist Kathryn Calder (who happens to be A.C. Newman's niece.) Opening for them for this show is Char2D2, whom I'm not very familiar with. I'll have to wait and see!
Only Love You For Your Car is a short & sweet tune; pop rock that's meant to get stuck in your head. Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tune of the Day: Rah Rah - Duet for Emmylou and the Grievous Angel

Rah Rah, a band from Regina, Saskatchewan, have this little gem in their latest Going Steady that I almost forgot about until a fellow blogger at NxEW brought it up... The lyrics are pure gold, and it's definitely the most refreshingly blunt "see-ya" song I've heard in a while.
Rah Rah - Duet for Emmylou and the Grievous Angel
To listen to the song, go to their MySpace.
I don’t miss you now but I will when you’re gone
And this is the reason I keep holding on
Because you are lovely and because you are old
And these are the most desirable traits to be found in a woman I am told

It is fashionable
To be single
In big cities
But not in small towns
In Regina
I fell in love
With her frown
I won’t miss you now but I will once we’re done
Sometimes I strain myself trying to recall the last time we had fun
‘Cause you’re soft as smoke and you got no fear
And these are the most desirable traits to be found in a man I hear
I won’t kiss you now but I will once you’re gone
I won’t miss you now I won’t miss you at all
I won’t kiss you now too afraid that you’ll cry
I won’t miss you now and I won’t give a shit if you die

Some upcoming tour dates:
Sept 17th – Vancouver, BC – Wise Hall
Sept 18th – Kelowna, BC – The Habitat
Sept 20th – Calgary, AB – Broken City
Sept 23rd – Regina, SK – The Club
Sept 24th – Winnipeg, MB – Lo Pub
Sept 25th – Thunder Bay, ON – Black Pirate’s Pub
Sept 26th – Sudbury, ON – Adenac Ski Lunge
Sept 28th – Toronto, ON – El Mocambo
Oct 2nd – Montreal, QC – Bar St. Laurent II
Oct 3rd – Montreal, QC – 3 Minots
Oct 10th – Fredricton, NB – The Capital
Oct 11th – Halifax, NS – Gus’
Oct 16th – St. John’s, Nl – The Rockhouse
Oct 17th – St. John’s, NL – The Ship
Oct 22nd – Toronto, ON – El Mocambo
Oct 23rd – Hamilton, ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
Oct 26th – London, ON – Black Shire Pub
Oct 27th – Windsor, ON – Phog Lounge

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Unconventional Holy Fuck Interview

Joe from Breakfast at Sulimay's interviews Toronto's Holy Fuck. It's hilarious in so many ways...

Matt Mays, Sam Roberts go surfing

As the summer's coming to an end, in many parts of the country seemingly before it even started, here's a video full of that feel-good warmth to cheer you up. Complete with surfing, rock and roll, buddy jokes... and Sam Roberts in a wetsuit.

The video wraps up with Matt Mays & el Torpedo's Terminal Romance, both in the background of the surfing footage, as well as live concert footage before el Torpedo disbanded.


Sam Roberts' tour dates:
Sept. 18 Albany, NY @ Northern Lights
Sept. 21 Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
Sept. 22 Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
Sept. 24 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
Oct. 3 Austin, TX @ Zilker Park (Austin City Limits Music Festival)

and it appears that Matt Mays may have a new album coming up in the fall of 2009, if his website is any indication...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tune of the Day: Peter Elkas - Sweet Nancy

This is an oldie but a goodie... Peter Elkas and his sweet, sweet soul. A short description by New Scotland Records:
For fans of The Boss, Tom Petty and Sam Cooke. Peter used to play in The Local Rabbits while delivering ice cream for Nestle in Montreal.
Also, watch the video below and see why he was given the CBC Radio 3 Bucky award for Sexiest Musician. He has a smile that could make mermaids swoon... and he writes songs accordingly. His music is earnest and warm, and incredibly charming. I'm looking forward to digging more into his discography.

Peter Elkas - Sweet Nancy
Album: Wall of Fire

Sweet Nancy we gotta stop dancing
This song is getting much too long
And all our friends can’t be wrong
Sweet Nancy we gotta stop dancing
All these people cutting in
They’re deepening the rut we’re in

I know you don’t believe me
But I think it’s time you leave me now

Sweet Nancy we gotta stop dancing
Don’t tell me you don’t know it’s true
I found a love with someone new

Sweet Nancy we gotta stop dancing
Though I could never be your man
There’s someone out there who can

And I know you don’t believe me
But I think it’s time you leave me now

And I’m tired of being sorry but I’ll always be
Sorry for the times I should’ve set you free
And when you go away you know I won’t write
But I hope you find someone who wants to hold you every night
I hope you find someone who wants to hold you every night

And in another video with CBC Radio 3, where Elkas reveals his day-time occupation...