Friday, October 27, 2006

The LOLA Festival takes over downtown London on Saturday. LOLA stands for London Ontario Live Arts. It's completely free, great bands, and I'm assuming some interesting art stuff will also be on display/available for purchase. Check out their myspace for the band schedules and more info. I'm working all day Saturday but hoping I'll make it down there for Elliott Brood.

Has anyone else seen the teaser trailer for the new season of 24. Safe to assume I am entirely excited. Jack bauer is rocking a super sweet political prisoner super beard. Go here to see it. Start salivating for january's premiere.

My favourite band (and yours too right, right, RIGHT!!!!) The glorious Constantines are scheduled to play Call The Office November 30th. Cardiac arrest.

I was gonna post some friday Mp3's for you. Something to fall in love with. My file hosting is upgrading so we're out of luck for now. I'll update it when things are back online.

My hosting service was ezarchive. They are upgrading to a 3.0 version. Sounds swell enough except for the fact that the new service is shit. EZ is/was widely used by bloggers, but many folks are abandoning ship. It may be a few days while I look for a better file service before I can continue serving you fine folks with music. Stay patient and optimistic.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine featuring Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas is their annual Hot List issue. Under the heading Hot Anticipation the mag lists "Alt-Rock Reunions." Pavement, The Smiths, The Replacements, Husker Du, as well as a few other bands are listed along with a short writeup speculating on the likelihood of a reunion. The only rule is that all the original members of the band (or the original members from when the band was making their most important music) must be part of the reunion.

Following The Pixies, The Smiths, and the Smashing Pumpkins, Pavement is this year's rumoured high profile act to headline the Coachella Festival in May. Safe money seems to be on Malkmus and co. Morissey reported that he turned down a payday of 5 million for last year's Coachella.

Although not included in the list, Chavez has decided to beat everyone else to the punch. For those not familiar with Chavez you may be forgiven. The band existed for only a few brief years. The Band is/was Matt Sweeney, Clay Tarver, Scott Masciarelli, and drummer James Lo. Known for the excellent guitar work of Sweeney and Tarver, they released 1995's Gone Glimmering and 1996's Ride The Fader and then essentially disbanded. Sweeney was in Billy Corgan's post Pumpkins project Zwan. He also collaborated with Bonnie "Prince" Billy on 2005's Superwolf. I'm not too familiar with what the rest of the gang has been up to. Matador just released a 2-disc, 1-dvd box set, Better Days Will Haunt You. It compiles the original two albums plus some B-sides. All the tracks have been remastered for your listening pleasure.

The band has announced four dates with all four original members with more to possibly follow:

12/02/06-Baltimore, MD
12/09/06-Chicago, IL
12/16/06-Brooklyn, NY
12/30/06-San Francisco, CA

Chavez Website

Chavez - Ride The Fader
Chavez - You Faded

Monday, October 23, 2006

A couple months ago I was sitting in front of the television when an incredibly familiar song came roaring out of a Rogers commercial. That familiar song was The Deadly Snakes' Everybody Seems To Think (They got some kind of hold on me). Sadly, The Snakes are no longer. One of these days I might get around to a proper eulogy post, but I digress. I'm not one of those types that has a big problem with bands selling their music to companies who in turn use the music to sell goods. I've never called a band a sellout and I'm not entirely sure I ever will. There's a growing contingent of folks who have no problem with so-called Indie bands hocking their music to pay a buck. Obviously the record biz is exactly that, a business. No one is gonna fault anyone for trying to make a living. Part of me thinks this is somehow connected to the fact that the term "indie" no longer solely refers to bands who are on small labels. "Indie," today, refers more to a wide and varied sound. More and more it is being used as a lazy catchall of genre identification. The biggest indie band in the world, the Killers, is on the Island record label, which is a subsidiary of Universal music. Also on the Island roster: Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, and Sum 41. Clearly not independent.
The commercial I previously mentioned was the World Cup one where the trio of backpackers run around Europe. If you can't remember which one that was the song should jog your memory.

Deadly Snakes - Everybody Seems To Think (They've Got Some Kind of Hold on Me)

The song is off their beyond phenomenal 2003 release Ode To Joy. Your soul is not complete until you've heard it.

A month or two back my brother Derek started up a conversation that went something like this:

Derek: Hey have you seen those Yaris commercials?
Me: Absolutely.
Derek: You know that song they play in it? I think it's a Deadly Snakes tune.
Me: I don't think so. Just sounds like a little riff. I'm sure someone just hammered it out solely for that commercial. It's kinda funky though.
Derek: Oh Ok.

Fast Forward a few months later and D sends me a link. Turns out he was right. The "riff" is from The Deadly Snakes' Graveyard Shake off their second album I'm Not Your Soldier Anymore. Although the first two Snakes albums aren't immensely hard to find you do have to do a bit of legwork. I hadn't so I'm using that as an excuse for my not recognizing it. Thanks to Derek for following through and proving his brother wrong.

check out the Yaris riff here...
And compare it to the song: Deadly Snakes - Graveyard Shake

When it was reported that Jack White would be writing a song for a Coke commercial it created a bit of a stir. The usual "sellout" shouts were leveled. At the height of the "The" bands hype The White Stripes were famously offered a cool million
to appear in a Gap advertisement. This was turned down. Jack's involment with Coca Cola strikes some as hypocritical. As Jack sees it "To be asked to write something particular along one theme of love in a worldwide form that I'm not really used to appealed to me." The advert aired in Australia this past Spring. It is doubtful we shall ever see it played in North America. Regardless, it is on Youtube to check out for yourself. I personally enjoyed both the advert and the song. As you'll see the advert employs some of the same techniques as seen previously in the video for the Stripes' video for their song The Hardest Button to Button. The song is very Jack White and quite beautiful from my perspective. If your background is in the punk or ultra indie hipster ethos then your immediate disdain is duly noted.

Jack White and Coca-Cola

Jack White - What Goes Around Comes Around (Mp3)

Ever been sitting in front of the tv and heard a song you would never expect? Ever seen a company take a song and use it in some way that completely misses what the song is all about. Leave a comment and let us know.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Photo credit: Jacques Woodcock

Viva Voce has been clogging up my headwaves this past week. Comprised of the Portland based husband/wife duo of Kevin and Anita Robinson, Viva Voce just released their 3rd LP, Get Yr Blood Sucked Out. I came across the band less then a week ago. I was playing the 4 or so tracks I had all weekend looking for any flaw I could find. I was grasping at straws basically, anything I could do so I wouldn't have to go out and buy it and thus have to sit down and justify to myself buying another record. I went through an economic rough patch all summer basically and didn't buy an album for about 6 months. To make up for this I've bought atleast 12 in the past month. My way of evening things out I suppose.

Listening to Get Yr Blood.. there are a lot of influences to take in. A lot of motown and pop, definitely a psychedic vibe that comes across also. These kids are at home with quiet and smart, layered pop tunes, that are anything but the ordinary, or laying out fuzzed out spins that threaten to break off but are kept in place by Anita's deft guitar. The record hops from primal to achingly beautiful all within twelve tracks.

The album is out on Barsuk. You can pick it up there. Or amazon. Whatever your fancy be.

The band just passed through Toronto a few days ago. They are on tour with The Silversun Pickups. Currently somewhere around the mid-west and making their way over to Seattle and Portland. Check out the remaining dates over at Viva Voce's website.

Viva Voce - So Many Miles(MP3)
Viva Voce - Special Thing(Mp3)

If you'll go back a few posts I'm pretty sure I posted another track by these folks a few days ago. All tracks are off Get Yr Blood Sucked Out. Seek it out at your earliest convenience.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Shins will release their highly anticipated third album, Wincing The Night Away, January 21/07 on Sub Pop. This is old information. Yesterday the Shin folks kindly gave the dogs a bone with this little morsel. If tracklistings only feed your anticipation then stay away. First single, Phantom Limb, will get an Itunes release November 14th and on disc the following week. I don't know if The Shins ever "changed my life." Certainly enriched it in some way though. Looking forward to this baby.

The Shins - Mine's Not A High Horse(Mp3)

Also, Jeff Tweedy decked a fan. When he was here in the Summer he seemed like such a fine upstanding lad. While it's not like Wilco and Mr. Tweedy are exactly scraping for press or accolades does anyone else agree that his songwriting is criminally underrated. For the level of talent his compositions show his level of fame should be more on par with that of a U2 or a Coldplay. Anyone?

Wilco - I Got You (At the end of the Century)(Mp3)

The Monday news cycle brought news (and later videos) of an altercation that Saddle Creek band, Two Gallants, had an altercation with the law in Houston that ended up in somewhat of a melee onstage and later on outside. Punches and accusations were thrown, several people were tasered (and I thought only resourceful teen detectives did that). In the end a few members of the opening bands spent a night behind bars. Pitchfork talks with Two Gallants' Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel who offer their account. Stereogum also reports. You can watch some fan videos of the action here and here.

Two Gallants - Las Cruces Jail(Mp3)
Two Gallants - Long Summer Day (Mp3)

Where's that Mp3 of Fuck Tha Police or I Fought The Law when you want to sonically drive the point home. Maybe its hanging out with our copy of Body Count's Cop Killer.

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's Monday. Sure enough. I got no hate in my heart for Monday.
Upcoming Shows:

Matt Barber & The Union Dues w/ The Spades - October 24
@ Call The Office - $10

Bob Dylan w/ The Foo Fighters - November 3 @ John Labatt Centre - Tix various $$$

Shout Out Out Out - November 9 @ CTO

The Joel Plaskett Emergency - November 24 @ CTO - $12

The Dylan show is looking more and more unlikely. Pricey and I believe tix might be sold out anyways. Shout Out Out Out just played here a short while ago. Don't hold your breath for Joel. He's been scheduled to play atleast three times the past year and each time it has ended up cancelled. Also,

London Ontario Live Arts (L.O.L.A) is a new organization launching this month with free music and art festival. Its free and takes place October 28th on Dundas street. Performers include: Cuff The Duke, Elliott Brood, The Wooden Stars, Jon Rae & The River, Tokyo Police Club, A Northern Chorus, The Hylozoists, and Born Ruffians.
Festivities kick off round 1pm. More details to come.

Other than that..... Stop reading. Get out and shake your ass.
Viva Voce - From The Devil Himself (Mp3)

Elliott Brood - The Bridge (Mp3)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Welcome back kids. We hope your turkey weekend was delicious. We hope you had things to be thankful for. Around here we've been reading Benjamin Franklin's autobiography. Ben did lots of cool things beyond his little experiment with that kite. Ben was also big on being industrious. Work, Work, Work. That's what he said. It worked for him. What does this have to do with the photo above. Absolutely nothing. We just fancy dear old Ben and thought you should know. If he was still alive we'd ask him to be our friend. Anyone crazy enough to tempt lightning is pretty cool in our books. Another person we'd like to be our friend is The Flints. Earlier this year we asked the band to be our internet friend on Myspace. They accepted. Normally our friends share their cookies with us. The Flints haven't offered yet. We don't mind because they make rock and roll music. Rock and roll music is marginally better than cookies. This Toronto-based band put out an Ep entitled There Used To Be A Time last year. The EP's breezy pop has been melting our hearts since. The band is the brainchild of Stan Flint and Al Huizenga. Rounded out by a few friends, when The Flints are not playing my sister's tea parties they also play real shows. By real we mean in front of an audience at places like The Alex P. Keaton. This Saturday in fact.

The Flints were in town in June and played The Alex P., as well as a fun in-store at Grooves Record store. Not a big turnout so I'm hoping that you folks here in London may make the band's return visit a warmer welcome. Besides being named after our favourite Michael J. Fox character besides Teen Wolf, The Alex P. is a nice small venue. This makes it easier to snuggle up with your pretty girl, or perhaps Stan Flint if you ask politely.

You can go over to CD Baby and buy a copy of There Used To Be A Time. Or come out Saturday and buy one from the band.
I'll leave you faithful reader's with a few tracks from said EP. Don't they make you feel warm and fuzzy. Whats that, you only feel warm? Maybe you're coming down with the flu. Straight to bed you little sickie. Remember, lots of fluids.

The Flints' Myspace
The Flints' website

The Flints - Empire Hotel(mp3)
The Flints - Girl(mp3)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Yesterday was some kinda logjam at the record stores. Loads of new albums were dropping. A couple of higher profile discs that on any other week would have been the focal point of attention. I thought I'd give a run down of a couple of the notable releases, so here goes:

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

This marks the major label debut for the band. Snatched up by Capitol Records when the Portland buzz was at its apex, it finds the band up to its usual literary rock bag of tricks. Atleast that's what everyone else is saying. Why "literary?" This is because The Decemberists can read. They also write songs that deal less with copulation and more with Civil War-era romance, or 18th century chimney sweeps, or Antebellum riverboat gamblers. Or something like that. I've never really been a fan of Colin Meloy and his merry band of nerds, however, this summer I turned a new leaf when I heard the tune "16 Military Wives" off their 2005 album Picaresque . I hadn't intended to purchase this yesterday, however, with the tune knocking around in the back of my head, I instinctively grabbed it as I strolled past the D section at the record store. After a first listen I am incredibly surprised I love it. Sometimes the sheen wears off quickly. I'll get back to you on this one. There was a lot of hype when the Capitol signing was announced sometime in the early summer. I just hope Capitol doesn't have high hopes for the band moving a lot of units. I haven't seen a lot of advertising or marketing regarding the album so we'll assume that the label is being realisitic. Lots of potential.

The Decemberists' Website
The Decemberists - Sons and Daughters(Right click and "save target as" for tracks) off of The Crane Wife
The Decemberists - 16 Military Wives off of Picaresque
Buy The Crane Wife on amazon

Beck - The Information

Beck's newest release follows his Summer 2005 release of Guero. The album was seen as a return to form for Beck who teamed up with the Dust Brothers as he had on the success solidifier of Odelay. On any other week this record probably would have been big news. The album comes with a set of stickers and a blank album cover, letting the buyer design their own cover art. Each track on the album also has a video. 15 new Beck tracks, 15 quirky videos, all for 15 bucks. Beck is also playing the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto October 16th. Check your usual ticket outlets if you're interested.

Beck's Website
Beck - Cell Phone's dead off The Information
Buy The Information on amazon

The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

This album has been the most highly hyped around the indie world the past few weeks. In a world where leaked records often appear months in advance this one managed to stay under wraps. The title of the album comes from Jack Kerouac's On The Road; "boys and girls in America have such a sad time together." Pitchfork media set the bar high with a 9.4 rating. Rolling Stone magazine (as prominently displayed on the shrink wrap) asks "how can any band be this good?"
I've been a fan for awhile. Their previous effort, Separation Sunday instantly grabs you. However, the basic guitar riffs, suited for a band who garners E-Street and bar band comparisons, can be grating and ultimately take away from the finished product. The standout are leadman Craig Finn's lyrics. He crafts epic narratives that recall both Dylan at his most rambling and Springsteen at his most brilliant(Greetings from Asbury Park anyone). As you can see I've joined the circle jerk of critical praise. It is hard not to. Off first listen The Hold Steady have changed. Although the lyrics and storytelling still prevail, the band has matured into something other than just a riff-maker. As I mentioned previously ther was a lot of hype surrounding this album. The fact that the band had moved from French Kiss records to Vagrant led me to believe that it would be getting a fair push from the marketing lads. Incredibly telling is the fact that I was up at the mall today (3 big box record stores under the same roof) and not one of the chains had the record in stock. We here in the Indie world sometimes get ahead of ourselves. Little details like this remind you that the music universe hasn't been altered as much as we might believe. Look for this disc. It'll be topping best of year end lists everywhere in a few months.

The Hold Steady on the web
The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy
Buy Boys and Girls In America on amazon

The Killers - Sams Town

Remember The Killers. They had a boyfriend, that looked like a girlfriend, that looked like... The album is inevitably going to be named a failure. Various reasons at play. The sophomore slump is a given considering how out of the blue the success of their first was. It doesn't help that Brandon Flowers is annoying and also described the album, pre-release, as going to be the best album of the past 20 years. Don't set the bar too high Mr. Flowers. This is basically the biggie of the week and/or month and/or year. Expect this to be played at your next college party. Also expect it to be played by that friend of yours with the "hip" dad (inappropriate knee touch) who is still down with O.P.P. You know, street style yo!!
Anyways, judging by the hype and big money marketing pushes this album will probably find itself atop the charts come next week. The Killers kicked off the season premiere of SNL last week as the musical guests. Although I mock The Killers often, I also have a soft spot for them. "All These Things I've Done" off their debut, Hot Fuss,is one of the best songs, dare I say it, of the past 20 years. Pure pop genius as i'll begrudgingly admit every now and again. The SNL appearance saw them perform lead single "When We Were Young" and "Bones". Apparently gone is the dandy/new wave image the band crafted first time around. replaced is the more american/western vibe of their second release. I found the SNL performance of "When We Were Young" completely irresistable. It made me love a song I had already trashed from my periphery. I've decide to go ahead and post the video( can't post it. check out the links for "When We Were Young" and "Bones" on SNL). My favourite part is the completely "natural" yelp about 2:20 in. The awkward lyrics( a Killers trademark) are made more evident while viewing. Something about the performance just really grabs me though. I've heard horror stories about The Killers live performance before. If their shows are anything like this though I might consider going. Once you get over the realization that these guys are pure image you can settle into a nice appreciation of the awesome pop music they churn out every now and again.

The Killers go to the internet
The Killers - When We Were Young
Buy Sams Town on amazon
Rob Sheffield gives a pretty fair review of Sams Town over at Rolling Stone

Besides the four listed above, October 3rd also saw the release of Akron/Family's Meek Warrior, a new Sean Lennon disc, a new Evanescence album for all you mainstream goths out there, as well as Jet's Shine On which is "reviewed" over at Pitchfork.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The above picture is of David Thomas Broughton. David Thomas Broughton is a 24 year old singer from Leeds in Britain. David Thomas Broughton has invaded my ears.

His (to my knowledge) debut recording, The Complete Guide To Insufficiency, came out sometime last December. While it may be only five tracks and might, by this fact, technically be called an EP, it spans over 40 minutes. Somehow, somewhere in this crazy ramble I came across the track 'Unmarked Grave' (Which I'll include below for you). Me and the track played around like new lovers, unable to part, until I broke down and orded the full album via some internet type record store. My compatriots in this thing increasingly being referred to as the "blogosphere" have pointed out previously how Mr. DTB can be described as a kin member of the likes of Devandra Banhart and Joanna Newsom. For you math types: David Thomas Broughton = that folky music floating around the sub-sect of the music world (sometimes referred to as "freak-folk" or *gasp* "Weird Beard." DTB might be construed as sounding "folky." Atleast in the same vein of "folky" as the previously mentioned comparable artists. In my own words, DTB sounds like music. The album is a haunting and atmospheric endeavour. Each song on the album bleeds into one other. It is quiet yet permeates your entire reality, taking over your ears. The album works well with long walks you meant to take to clear your head, yet inexplicably took your Walkmen/Discman/Mp3 player along for. It is heavy, not necesarilly in a negative way, but simply heavy, as if DTB conveys the weight of his mind onto the recorded material. Believe it or not this is entirely rare.

I've include two tracks for your perusal. I highly recommend going out and buying the entire album.

David Thomas Broughton - Unmarked Grave
David Thomas Broughton - Walking Over You

David Thomas Broughton on Myspace
Buy The Complete Guide To Insufficiency