Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Current Obsession : Diamond Rings

"Wow" is a term that Toronto's Diamond Rings should be used to hearing by now. That was the first word that stumbled out of my mouth when I first heard John O'Regan's solo project (he's also the frontman of The D'Urbervilles), namely the infectious electro-pop track "Wait & See." Butting heads with Sony/BMG for an unwarranted pull-down of his low-budget first video for "All Yr Songs" garnered shock and lots of grassroots support, eventually resulting in an apology.

Another surprise was in order when I first saw his press shots and music videos. O'Regan's voice is a soothing baritone which stands in refreshing and stark contrast to the synth blips and tricks that are pervasive in his singles. Unexpectedly, his persona, which is captured in its nascent stages in the aforementioned "All Yr Songs" video, is one of unabashed and colourfully exuberant androgyny. In a culture where androgyny is often portrayed as sex-less and dominated by masculine females, the lanky O'Regan dances confidently with both the guys and gals, looking every bit as comfortable in a basketball jersey or a pair of zebra print tights. The "Baby One More Time"-esque dance moves in "Show Me Your Stuff" warrants viewing in contemporary gender studies classes for its unashamed celebration of the kinetic male body. Again, wow.

After a series of EPs and singles, Diamond Rings will be releasing his debut Special Affections via Secret City Records on Tuesday, October 26. He will be stopping by Vancouver on November 20 at Biltmore Cabaret. Hope to see you there!

[Edit: stream the full album below!]

Diamond Rings - Special Affections by SecretCityRecords

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Current Earworm : James Blake - "Limit to Your Love" (Feist Cover)

I've been addicted to this beautiful cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love" by James Blake, a British producer whom frankly I knew nothing about. For the past week, I would open my browser, click on the link to the track and listen to it once or twice before carrying on in whatever work I'm doing. It's chill, it's moody, it's got a shoulder-dipping bass beat. And now there's a video to accompany it, which is below.

You can download the track from Jus' Like Music here (assuming it's still available).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

PHOTOS : How could I forget? Arcade Fire at Pacific Coliseum


Montreal's Arcade Fire blew the ceiling off the Pacific Coliseum when they took The Suburbs to Vancouver on September 28, 2010. The show was at once inspiring, spiritually uplifting, cathartic and a fucking riot. Simply amazing. There's a whole lot more I could say about the show, but this review of their LA show by LA Times summarizes pretty much everything I can say very succinctly and beautifully.

Also, Will Butler/Richard Parry is the most engaging and entertaining duo in rock right now.

Without further ado, the photos:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mix tapes-- just for you!

Hi lovely readers,

Despite taking a blog hiatus, I, of course, am still buried in the sheer immensity of Canadian music both new and old. And I've made some mix tapes while procrastinating from studying and my duties as a research assistant. If you have an idea for a mix, feel free to comment below, on one of the mixes, or drop me an email!

Here are 3 recent mixes I've made. These and other mixes are all streaming from 8tracks, which is a pretty cool free online playlist service. Enjoy!

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