Wednesday, 31 October 2012

New Music: Vinyl Williams- Open Your Mind

LA based psychedelic musician Vinyl Williams is quickly become one of my favourite new artists of 2012. Of course, I do have music ADD and that may change tomorrow, but that doesn't belittle the fact that this guy is good. I've already written a lot about Williams so there is no need to introduce him again-you can read more through my posts on his earlier singles, Higher World and Harmonious Change here and here- but I did learn something new about the artist today. According to The Guardian he is the grandson of Oscar winning composer John Williams (Star Wars). Cool!

Open Your Mind is the third track to be featured from Williams' forthcoming album, Lemniscate and probably the most sullen and dreamy. The beautiful track warbles for a couple of minutes before morphing into an M83 like three minute ambient fade out. Listen below

Lemniscate will be available November 13th via Salonislam.

New Music: Dot Dash- The Past Is Another Country

Dot Dash is an indie band from Washington DC who make some great post punk pop music. The members of the four piece band are all veterans of the indie scene, including guitarist Terry Banks who was in the Slumberland band The Saturday People and drummer Danny Ingram who did stints in both Youth Brigade and Swervedriver.

The band recently released their second album Winter Garden Light on Ottawa label The Beautiful Music. They have been working hard to get some attention and have played a lot of shows with a lot of veteran bands including The Drums, Allo Darlin' and The Chameleons which is perfect because their sound is similar to those bands. They have also been compared to the dB's, The Jam and Wire (Wire has a song called Dot Dash) and their new LP is reflective of that. You can stream the full album on Bandcamp.

Dot Dash also just dropped a brand new video for their single The Past is Another Country. The energetic track is two minutes of intensive, melodic, poppy, post punk and reminds me of the 80's band Teardrop Explodes. The video features some dude washing the window of someone's apartment which could of easily have been shot in my condo. Not sure if this guy knew he was being filmed. Watch and listen below.

You can buy Winter Garden Light directly from The Beautiful Music or download from iTunes.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

New Music: Thao And The Get Down Stay Down- Holy Roller

After a couple of years working in her side project Thao+ Mirah, Thao Nguyen has finally gotten back together with The Get Down Stay Down and recorded their third album. The album is titled We the Common and will be released in early February.

Meanwhile, the first single from the LP, Holly Roller, is a short but sweet, charming and upbeat little indie pop song. Listen below:

We the Common will be released on February 5th via Ribbon Music.

Father John Misty-Live at Lee's Palace

When my friend asked if I wanted to go see Father John Misty a few weeks ago, I was a little bit hesitant to say yes. Would I want to give up my Saturday night up to go see a folk rock band. Any other night of the week I would, but Saturday is usually not ideal to see live music that is so laid back. Plus it was the weekend before Halloween and there was sure to be all sort of fun parties to attend. Luckily my friend reminded me that Father John Misty was no ordinary folk rock artist. I had forgotten the man otherwise known as Josh Tillman is quite the wit and wanna be rock star. Then I heard that Vivian girls "Kickball" Katy Goodman was opening with her project La Sera and I knew I couldn't miss this show.

The first act on the night was a band called Jeffertitti's Nile, who's lead singer was also the bass player for Tillman's band. I had to giggle at the group's name (thinking like Beavis and/or Butthead). The band  played a really great brand of fuzzy reverb laden psychedelic rock with Tillman pulling double duty on drums.

Up next was the beautiful redhead, Katy Goodman, and her lo fi garage pop band La Sera. The singer came on stage with a red varsity high school jacket, a lacy white dress and her hair in an updo ponytail. After the first couple of songs Goodman explained that she was dressed as a valley girl for Halloween and promptly got rid of the ponytail because it was giving her a headache. She played mostly songs from her latest album, Sees the Light, including the bubble gum garage of the fantastic single Break My Heart. Unfortunately the sound was not very good for the first few songs and it didn't change until Goodman asked for more reverb on the mic. After that Goodman's voice was near perfect.

Last but not least, the five piece Father John Misty took to stage with singer Tillman brandishing a full bottle of Jameson whisky. Tillman loves to be a showman and acts more like Mick Jagger or Axl Rose than someone who is leading an band that plays Americana. Also a bit of a funny man, Tillman made jokes between songs all night. When he first got on stage he told the audience how much he liked hanging out in the back of the venue, Lee's Palace, where there was a big heap of trash and strangers offering the band pot and 'shrooms. He also, jokingly, gave respect to the concert hall for having the word "Palace" in the venue's name.

The band played pretty well all of the songs off of their debut album, Fear Fun, which had sounds that ranged between folk rock, country rock and psychedelia. Just before Now I'm Learning to Love the War, Tillman said that he was not wearing anything that represented Toronto, at which point an audience member offered the singer an Indian headdress ( I assume he was wearing it as a Halloween costume). Tillman took it and placed it on the hat that Jeffertitti was wearing, probably because the lead singer wandered about the stage like heavy metal cock rocker while taking swigs from his Jamesons for the extended jam and wouldn't have been able to keep it on.

The set ended with the first single from the band, Hollywood Forever Cemetery sings, which showed that the rest of the band could rock out as much as their lead singer. The psychedelic track ended with a chaotic flurry of grunge feedback which left the audience wanting more.

The encore saw Tillman and his guitarist take the stage, where the singer did a pretty good version of crooner Dean Martin's standard Nevertheless, I'm in Love With You. The rest of the band joined Tillman for the last song of the night, which was an extended jam of the Canned Heat country rock classic On the Road Again.

Would I see this band on a Saturday night again? You bet.

Set list:
Funtimes in Babylon
Only Son of the Ladies Man
Nancy From Now On
I'm Writing a Novel
Misty's Nightmares 1 & 2
This is Sally Hatchet
Well, You Can Do it Without Me
Now I'm Learning to Love the War
Tee Pees 1-12
Every Man Needs a Companion
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Nevertheless, I'm in Love With You  (Dean Martin cover)
On the Road Again (Canned Heat cover)

Thanks to Jacques Hung for the video.

Monday, 29 October 2012

New Music: Bleeding Rainbow- Drift Away + Music Video

Wow.... I can't believe I missed this song when it came out earlier in the month. Luckily Bleeding Rainbow released a video for their single Drift Away, or this track would have totally slipped by me. Really nice catchy song that is a mix of noise pop and post punk, and features a wall of guitars that add several layers of fuzziness. Great track.

Bleeding Rainbow have brought that fuzziness in to visual form with the music video for Drift Away. The clip sees the band performing in alternating scenes of fogginess and clearness, plus there is a stop motion sub-plot that involves a mad scientist elephant man. Watch below:

Bleeding Rainbow will release their new album, Yeah Right on January 29th via Kanine.

New Music: White Lung- Two Of You + Hunting Holiday

I'm falling in love with the music of Vancouver punk rockers White Lung. The band released a really great album, Sorry, in the summer and I kind of wish I did a post on them earlier this year. Maybe I will do a story about White Lung in one of those re-cap posts where you write about overlooked songs from the past year.

The band recorded a 7" on their recent tour and both songs are now available at Bandcamp for you to stream. The riotous songs, Two of You and Hunting Holiday, remind of the punk of the NorthWest  riot grrrl movement that ruled the 90's indie rock airwaves.

The seven inch is available via Sabotage Records.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Five Star Songs- Depeche Mode- Fly On The Windscreen

Depeche Mode held a news conference last Tuesday in Paris, in part to announce the European leg of their 2013 world tour, but also to tease their fans (including myself) with a new song from their forthcoming new untitled album. Martin Gore stated that the band had just finished the album about a week ago and that the songs feel like a cross between the sound of Violator and the sound of The Songs of Faith and Devotion. The new album will be out in the spring. The new song is rumoured to be titled Angel of Love (not confirmed). Listen to the new song below along with a video showing the band preparing for the new album.

The track is okay, but once again David Gahans' raspy voice kind of brings it down. After years of drug abuse and near death experiences the lead singer's voice is not what it used to be.

Also, after he worked with Martin Gore on the techno VCMG project, there was great hope that original member Vince Clarke might be somehow involved on the new album. Judging by the news conference, there is no sign of that happening.

In high school me, my brother and my friends worshipped Depeche Mode. There were a couple of years where we had to attend summer school in Peterborough, Ontario. The drive from my hometown of Lindsay to Peterborough would take 45 minutes and it was always soundtracked by Depeche Mode-singles, albums, extended mixes, remixes, you name it we played it.

We saw them in concert twice in that time period, once at Kingswood Music Theatre at Canada's Wonderland for the Black Celebration tour and the other time at Maple Leaf Gardens (Yes, the place where I now buy groceries!!!) for the Music For The Masses tour.

The chameleon like band started out as a synth pop new romantic band, before going in a slightly darker direction with Some Great Reward, and Black Celebration. The band then exploded in popularity with the release of Music for The Masses and Violator, with the help of slick videos directed by Anton Corbijn, they became one of the best selling concert draws of the late 80's.

The band started to add more guitar to the repetoire in the 90's and became an alt rock group. This is when all of the trouble started for Gahan and his well documented battle with drug addiction and near death experiences. The guy wanted to be the biggest rock star in the world. lived in Los Angeles and would party with Guns 'n Roses and Janes Addiction. There was also an ill fated tour with Primal Scream where Gahan was involved in numerous drug binges with Bobby Gillespie's band. At this point, sick of Gahan's shenanigans, original member Alan Wilder left the band and never returned.

Their latter years have seen the band release some terrible albums including 1997's Ultra. Although, I did slightly enjoy their last couple of albums, Playing the Angel and Sounds of the Universe, as the band started to get back to their roots in synth pop.

My favourite period for Depeche Mode music was their dark wave era albums, Some Great Reward and Black Celebration. In my opinion the singles that they released in this period were by far their best songs. These include classics like Blasphemous Rumours, Master & Servant, People are People, Somebody, A Question of Lust, Stripped and my favourite track Fly On The Windscreen.

Fly On The Windscreen was originally released as a B-Side on the single It's Called a Heart. The dark and disturbing imagery of the song was the total opposite to the crappy A-side track. The Martin Gore penned song dealt with the issue of death and desire and was foreboding to the troubles that lead singer David Gahan would have in the decade to come. The song was also included on the Black Celebration album.

Depeche Mode recently re-issued Black Celebration and you can pick the vinyl up on Amazon or check your local record store.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Music Video: M83- Steve McQueen

Almost a year to the date of the release of M83's dreamy synth pop masterpiece LP Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, we get a new music video for arguably the best track on the album, Steve McQueen.

M83 continues the trend of having weird children star in his videos. This clip shows a curious young boy experimenting with mad science experiments that include having a parade of levitating toy animals in his backyard. Watch below:

Friday, 26 October 2012

New Music: Diamond Rings- Runaway Love + Music Video

Electro pop artist Diamond Rings, aka John O'Regan, just released his sophomore LP, Free Dimensional, and judging by the excellence of the album, he is trying to fill the void left by the retired David Bowie. The native of Oshawa-or The Shwa as the cool kids call it-is becoming a bit of a pop sensation in his adopted Toronto and even has a fan of Elton John who invited him to play at a benefit concert in early September.

O'Regan just released a music video for the track Runaway Love that is very uncharacteristic for a glam pop star, as it shows him enjoying a day at a drag race course.. Then again, O'Regan grew up in a very car friendly suburb of Toronto and has never been shy about his love of sports. Watch as he hangs out with some crazy looking friends, while some of the small town locals prep their muscle cars and motorcyclists do donuts around the mohawked singer. O'Regan eventually gets in on the action as he dons a racing suit and takes to the racing strip in a blue Mustang. Not sure if he won the race.

Diamond Rings new album Free Dimensional is out now. Buy it on iTunes, Amazon or check your local record store.

Diamond Rings is currently on a North American tour and will play the Mod Club in Toronto on November 29th. Check your local listings for a tour date near you.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

New Music: Christopher Owens- Here We Go

I will not delve into the history of Christopher Owens and his time spent with Girls; I did that a couple of weeks ago which you can read here. Today, the singer/songwriter released the song(s) Lysandre's Theme/Here We Go that doesn't stray too far away form his previous band's Father, Son, Holy Ghost LP, except for the flutes.  Lysandre's Theme is only about 30 seconds long, so this should only be counted as one song. Here We Go is gorgeous. Listen below:

Owens also released a press statement about the making of his new LP, Lysandre, and how it was influenced by a girl he fell in love with while on tour with Girls.  I won't bore you with the details. If you want to read the statement, head on over to Stereogum. Even though I love a great love song-and Here We Go is a great love song- I am not one who enjoys a sappy written love story. Does that make sense?

Lysandre is out January 15th via Fat Possum.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Music Video: Wild Nothing- Paradise

Wild Nothing has just dropped a new music video for the song Paradise which is a track off of his excellent new album Nocturne. The video stars indie it girl Michelle Williams ( Take This Waltz, Dick) and shows her on an airplane travelling to Niagara Falls. Once in the Honeymoon Capital of the World, the super cute, pixie haired Williams does the usual tourist routine including taking the Maid of the Mist boat tour and viewing the falls from the top of the Skylon Tower. The dream pop track is somewhat modified in the video to allow Williams to do a voiceover reading of a passage from the Iris Murdoch novel A World Child. Watch the super hip video below:

New Music: A Shoreline Dream- 103

A Shoreline Dream are an indie rock band from Denver Colorado who describe themselves as melodipsych night dreamers. The band just came out with their latest album titled 333, which is sort of a concept album, where they released digitally 3 EPs with 3 songs each over the course of 3 months, eventually stitching together to become one whole album. Each release was a reflection of the band's lives and what was going on during their secluded recording sessions.

The first EP, Three, brings to mind open landscapes, dune inspired within epic environments. The second, 3, sets its tone to the night, and to Barnum itself, with it's vibe being set by the studio and the circus neighborhood it was recorded in. The third and final EP, III, was written with driving in mind, as each song is dedicated to the roads the band uses to test their tracks.

The final track on the EP III is the epic song "103", actually being written as a soundtrack to the drive up the highest paved road in North America, to the very top of Mt. Evans. Download the lush, hypnotic gazed-out track below:

This unique collection of songs is available through toneVendor exclusively, in a quantity of 100 only and then they will be gone for good. What you'll get is a set of 3 custom digipak CDs, in a O-card wrapped box, and each copy will be hand numbered and signed by the band.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

New Music: Vinyl Williams- Higher Worlds+ Music Video

Back in September, we first profiled Los Angeles based psych rock artist Vinyl Williams and his brilliant single Harmonious Change, which will be part of his re-released 2011 album Lemniscate. Now Wiiliams has come out with another track from the album titled Higher Worlds and an accompanying music video. Unlike the first single, this track features simple guitars backed by a krautrock machine gun beat.

The music video features various religious symbols and Williams made the video look antiquated by passing VHS filters over 3D animation. Watch and listen below:

Lemniscate will be available November 13th via Salonislam.

New Music: Chromatics- Looking For Love + Music Video

Great new icy cool, Italo Disco tune from Johnny Jewel electro project Chromatics. The track titled Looking For Love is the follow up to the excellent Chromatics album, Kill For Love, released earlier this year. I guess you need to find love before you kill for it, so essentially this song is a prequel. The extended 17 minute version of the song will be available on the After Dark 2 compilation that will be released via Italians Do It Better (TBD).

The music video has the short version of the song and features the band performing at a Paris fashion show that includes plenty of doe eyed sexy supermodels. Watch below:

Monday, 22 October 2012

New Music: Local Natives- Breakers

Los Angeles indie band Local Natives announced last week that will release the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2009 LP Gorilla Manor. Their sophomore album, Hummingbird, is co-produced by The National's Aaron Dressner and his influence is all over the track, Breakers, the first single released from the album. Stream the track below.

Hummingbird will be released on January 29th via Frenchkiss.

New Music: Empress Of- Don't Tell Me

Empress Of is the new electronic project of Brooklyn artist Lorely Rodriguez, who introduces herself as "the project of sight + sound", that has a really cool Craig's List type website. Before releasing her debut single to the world, Rodriguez teased us with a bunch of anonymously uploaded  "colorminutes", which are little minute long colour themed musical previews of her beautiful pop music. The mystery of Empress Of was revealed earlier last week and it came in the form of the gorgeous electronic dream pop song Don't Tell Me. Stream the track below:

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Five Star Songs: The Zombies- Tell Her No

Halloween is fast approaching, which means a lot of scary happenings are starting to occur. Yesterday afternoon I was out for a walk in downtown Toronto when I happened upon the city's annual Zombie walk. They have been having this march since 2003, but this was the first time I have seen it. In prior years, the parade was always held in the west end of the city. This year the host's decided to make a festival of zombies at Toronto's city hall and have the undead lurch around the downtown streets.

No, these two hippie zombies didn't eat that old Chinese man. They were probably peace loving zombies and didn't snack on anybody. I bet I know who their favourite band is......60's English psychedelic rock band The Zombies??

The Zombies were anything but scary. They had three U.S. number 1 hits including my favourite song, Tell Her No. Love the chorus of backing harmonies of "No-no-no-no". Great pop tune that was inspired by songwriters Hal David and Burt Bacharach; but in mind sound more like Lennon and McCartney.  Watch them perform the track below when they appeared on the old TV show The Hullabaloo.

Available on the band's debut self titled album which you can buy at Amazon of check your local record store.

Music Video Mix- Featuring La Sera, Young Rival, Poor Moon, Die Antwoord, Killer Mike And Off!

Below are a few music videos that have caught my eye the last couple of weeks.

La Sera- Break My Heart

Hey!!!... its The Vivian Girls Katy Goodman and her side project La Sera. A word of advice to Katy after watching this video: When your clothes start attacking you, maybe its time to put them in the wash.

La Sera - "Break My Heart" from Hardly Art on Vimeo.

Young Rival- Two Reasons

Great new Canadian indie rock band and the video for their new single Two Reasons featuring lots of colourful characters including monkeys singing out of their butt.

Poor Moon- Holiday

The indie folk band featuring Christian Wargo and Casey Westcott of Fleet Foxes seem to have a lot more fun with their group Poor Moon. Here, the guys play mental hospital employees who take care of an old guy who just checked in. Is that actor Tom Skerritt?

Die Antwoord- Fatty Boom Boom

I really don't like these guys, but have to admit their music videos are pretty entertaining. Plus the fact they like to shit all over Lady Gaga.

Killer Mike- Reagan

Not sure why rapper Killer Mike is obsessed with Ronald Reagan so much. Maybe he is trying to warn the American people about what might happen in a couple of weeks if they elect Reagan acolyte Mitt Romney. Excellent song and the video features a killer robot.

Off!- Wrong

Finally, watch the ubiquitous Jack Black rip someone's heart out in the music video for the track Wrong from punk super group Off! Blink and you might miss it.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

New Music: El Perro Del Mar- Walk On By + Music Video

Beautiful Swedish singer Sarah Assbring, aka El Perro Del Mar, has returned with a new trip hoppy new single, Walk on By, from her forthcoming new album Pale Fire. The singer stated on her blog that the song was an homage to to the songs she loved in the early 90's. The song seems inspired by trip hop legends Massive Attack and by English soul band Soul II Soul. Even the music video has retro feel that has Assbring dancing to the song in oversized clothes. Watch and listen below.

Pale Fire will be available November 13th via The Control Group.

Bonus: British dance act Saint Etienne has now released a re-mix of the track. Stream it below.

Friday, 19 October 2012

New Music: Johnny Foreigner- 3 Hearts

I saw Birmingham four piece Johnny Foreigner open for Los Campesinos a couple of years ago and they put on a really good hectic live show. Judging by their new single, I think Los Campesinos may have rubbed off on them because their sound seems indistinguishable from the Welsh indie pop stars.

Johnny Foreigner posted the new single, 3 Hearts, on their Soundcloud the other day that will part of a new EP titled NAMES. The track is a chaotic and messy (in a good way) and a really, really great noisy, twee pop song. Listen below:

NAMES is available now on Alcopop Records and will be available on October 27th in North America via Swerp Records.

New Music: City Reign- Ahead of Ideas

City Reign is a fairly new indie rock band from Manchester who just released their new single, Ahead of Ideas, from their forthcoming debut album titled Another Step.

The band's producer, Sam Jones, chose a church in Salford to record the new track because he wanted to use the venue for its rich natural reverb which helped bring depth to band's classic guitar sound. Great song with beautiful melodies that takes inspiration from 90's American indie rock. Download the single below:

The album is a follow up to their EP, Numbers for Street Names, which caught the attention of BBC radio tastemaker Steve Lamacq who listed them among his favourites new bands in 2010. Another Step will be available early in 2013 via Car Boot Records.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

New Music: The New Division- Night Escape (Featuring Keep Shelly In Athens)

A couple of nights ago I was doing my usual evening routine of scrolling aimlessly through a thousand tweets looking for something interesting to read when I happened to come across a rather ignorant opinion that was re-tweeted by one of the people I follow. The tweet stated that today's synth pop artists only make this type of music to make 80's bands sound good. Even though I do believe that 80's electronic new wave music artists and groups will always be the best at what they produced, that does not belittle the fact that there is some really good electro pop on the scene today. Case in point is the song that I am going to feature now.

The New Division are bunch of L.A. guys that make big, 80's inspired, dream wave music that could be considered a cross between Johnny Jewel and M83. On their majestic new track, Night Escape, the band soars into the synth soaked stars with the help of sugar sweet chillwave artist Keep Shelly in Athens. Great track!!! Listen below:

Night Escape is the title track from New Division's new EP which will be available on November 13th.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

New Music: Ducktails- The Flower Lane

Another post, another side project......

Ducktails is the alias of Matthew Mondanile, guitarist for indie rock band Real Estate. Mondanile has three previous albums already under his belt with Ducktails and he is getting ready to release a fourth LP in January titled The Flower Lane. To take us there, Ducktails has released the title track to the album, which does not sound too different than the sound of his other band- that definitely isn't a bad thing. Ducktails is no longer a solo effort, as the former bedroom artist has put together a band for this album. The result is the production is less lo-fi than his previous work and moves his sound closer to 80's indie pop. Listen below:

The Flower Lane will be available January 29th via Domino.

New Music: Nightlands- So Far So Long

Nightlands is the side project of one David Hartley, better known as the bassist of the indie band The War on Drugs. So Far So Long is the first single from his forthcoming sophomore album, Oak Island, which will be released January 22nd via Secretly Canadian. The beautiful, hazy track features Hartley's sweet harmony interspersed with synths and a haunting trumpet. Seriously, artists should use more trumpet in their sounds-Destroyer uses both the trumpet and the saxophone to great effect.

If you are a basketball fan check out Hartley's Impose Magazine column, Death Dunk.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Beach House- Live at Kool Haus

Midway through Beach House's concert at the Kool Haus in Toronto on Saturday night, singer Victoria Legrand proudly proclaimed that this was the 12th time the dream pop duo have played Toronto. At that point I thought to myself, why the hell is the first time I've seen them in concert. A lot of conflicts and missed opportunities.

Show openers were the folk rock band Poor Moon, who count Christian Wargo and Casey Westcott of Fleet Foxes among their ranks. When Wargo was on vocals, the group sounded similar to Fleet Foxes and they shared many of the same attributes that make that band so good. They played a solid set even though they were sort of sarcastic when they tried to converse with the timid crowd.

The Beach House gig in Toronto has long been anticipated and the city rewarded the duo by selling out the large warehouse space that is known as the Kool Haus. Even though the pair have been touring since last May they did not look the least bit tired.

Normally when you write something about a concert you would talk about the band's instrumentation and discuss the guitar playing or the drummer etc. In this case, the guitars and drumming were an after thought as the band kept the noise to a respectable level of decibels to showcase Legrand's big beautiful voice. The 2 hour set featured most of the songs from their brilliant new album Bloom mixed with a healthy dose of hits from previous albums. Legrand's vocals soared through the cavernous space on crowd favourites like Norway, Lazuli, Zebra and Myth, while Alex Scally complimented her voice with his jangly guitar and newly added drummer Daniel Franz backed the duo with his intense tribal drumming.

As mentioned earlier, Legrand stated that this was their 12th appearance in Toronto and reminisced, with the help of Scally, about playing earlier gigs at the El Mocambo and Tranzac. They also thanked Kensington music store Paul's Boutique for providing the piano for that evening's show.

The highlight of the concert came in the encore when they played the epic Teen Dream track Ten Mile Stereo. As the song reached a crescendo, Legrand could be seen behind a fog of dry ice and blinding flashing lights playing her keyboards like a mad scientist, her voice never wavering. The performance of that song sent chills down my spine. So good....

Set List:
Water in the Park
Other People
Take Care
Silver Soul
The Hours
On the Sea
New Year

Real Love/Turtle Island
10 Mile Stereo

New Music: Ethereal And The Queer Show- Horse

Ethereal and the Queer Show is the electronic dream pop project of Portland Oregon duo Daniel Hill and Juliana Dieterich. The pair have just released a really great new single titled Horse, which features an electronic krautrock beat enhanced by the dreamy, sugar sweet voice of Dieterich. Download the single below.

Ethereal and the Queer Show will release their new album, Cosmotopia, October 30th via Pour Le Corps Records.

Download: Ethereal and the Queer-Show- Horse

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Five Star Songs: Girls- Morning Light

Been meaning to this post since last July but now may be more appropriate......Recently, I watched a couple of great movies which had plots that were focused on being in a cult.

A couple of weeks ago Paul Thomas Anderson released his latest film, The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The excellent film is loosely based on Scientology and features Hoffman playing an L. Ron Hubbard type character who meets and is attracted to an alcoholic drifter characterized by Phoenix. It is a great comeback film for Phoenix after his disastrous mockumentary with Casey Affleck, I'm Not There. Phoenix probably deserves an Oscar nomination for his role.

The other movie I caught was the brilliant Martha Marcy May Marlene which was the breakout role for actress Elizabeth Olsen (sister of the Olsen twins). The movie's plot dealt with a girl who escaped from a weird sex cult and her pains trying to re-assimilate with her sister and brother-in-law. This is a must see and is now playing on Netflix.

After watching these flicks it got me thinking about the break up of the band Girls and it's enigmatic front man Christopher Owens. If you don't know Owens story, he grew up living in the Children of God cult in Slovenia where the members lived without technology and believed that the end of the world was near. He escaped the cult and became an assistant to a billionaire in Texas for four years. After he quit that job, he moved to San Francisco, formed a relationship with a girl and became a drug addict. Then he met bassist Chet "JR" White and formed the band Girls, made two excellent albums and an EP, and recently split the duo up back in the summer. The story of Owens is great biopic material and could rival the two featured films above if done right. Somebody make a movie about this guy!!! Owens announced the break up of the band via Twitter, but also stated that he was not quitting music. I'm hoping that whatever musical endeavours he pursues will be equally as great as the artistic output of Girls, and hope the same for White.

Of the three records they made, their eponymous 2009 debut album is my favourite. The Father, Son, Holy Ghost record may have gotten better reviews but it's influences in classic rock made it a little less appealing to me. I remember when I used to run, I would play the debut LP on my iPod over and over. The one song that was tailor made for my long runs was the dreamy Morning Light track as it would re-energize me every time it played.

R.I.P. Girls. You will be missed.

Girls debut self titled album is available on Amazon or download from iTunes.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Garage Rock And Strippers- Music Videos from Diamond Rugs and Thee Oh Sees

Two new videos released this week from garage rock bands Diamond Rugs and Thee Oh Sees, and both feature strippers. Is this going to be a trend? Are garage rockers trying to emulate rappers by putting lots of scantily clad women in their videos? Although, the second featured video in this post ends with a surprising twist.

First up is the garage rock super group Diamond Rugs that features the Black Lips Ian Saint Pe as it's leader. The band also counts members of Deer Tick, Los Lobos, Dead Confederate and Six Finger Satellite among it's ranks. Watch as the band of brothers perform their track Blue Mountains at a Coors Light party (Really?! Yuck!!!) while strippers dance in the background.

Not to be out done Thee Oh Sees came out with a video for their single Lupine Dominus that shows a more realistic portrayal of what a peeler bar is really like. Just a bunch of guys sitting around drinking beer and watching girls. However, in this scenario one of the bar's customers, while watching the women take their clothes off, comes onto a biker dude and ends in a sexual tryst with him in the bathroom.

New Music: Coves- Wicked Game (Chris Issak Cover)

Chris Issak's Wicked Game was a guilty pleasure when I was growing up. Not only was it a really beautiful, haunting song, but the music video with a half naked Helena Christensen running around on an exotic beach made for a pre-internet treat, with MuchMusic playing it in heavy rotation.

There have been a number of covers of Wicked Game over the years and now British band Coves have taken the track and turned it into a dreamy, psychedelic haze of guitars, building on the haunting beauty of the original song. Listen to the track below:

Coves play an ATP show at the Sebright Arms in London on October 29th. Coincidentally, Chris Isaak plays Massey Hall in Toronto on the same night.

Friday, 12 October 2012

New Music: Fidlar- White On White

Los Angeles band Fidlar have released another great punk rock song that is perfect for a Friday night. We've already heard the band's Thirsty Thursday anthem Cheap Beer and now the group that is affectionately known as Fuck It Dog, Life's A Risk have come out with a hard charging follow up titled White on White. Punk rock at it's best. Listen below:

Fidlar's new self titled album is out on January 22nd, 2013 via Mom & Pop.

New Music: The Rolling Stones- Doom And Gloom

This post is for my sister......

Not a bad single from the old buggers. Watch the lyric video below.

The Rolling Stones hits compilation GRRR! will be available November 26th.

New Music: The Child of Lov- Heal

Funky new tune for you on this Friday night. The Child of Lov is a secretive new artist who somehow has gathered a serious list collaborators including DOOM and Damon Albarn from Blur. Apparently The Child of Lov makes his home in Atlanta, so maybe he is associated with the Dungeon family.

The producer has just released a new single and accompanying video, Heal, with the help of the aforementioned Mr. Albarn on bass. The single will be available on November 26th via DoubleSix.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

New Music: Saskatchewan-Venom

I think it's sad that a band from Orlando Florida can name itself after the province of Saskatchewan, while an artist from Canada cannot call himself after it's provincial neighbour of Manitoba. I guess there are no old selfish punk rockers naming themselves after Canada's wheat province. Adding to that, there is actually a wrestler from Saskatchewan named Jack Venom. Watch out, maybe he will sue for copyright infringement.

Anyways, I don't think the guys in the band Saskatchewan have ever drank Pilsner beer, ate Old Dutch potato chips, cheered for the Roughriders or watched an episode of the terrible TV show Corner Gas. The number of musical acts emanating from the province are pretty sparse ( The Sheepdogs, The Northern Pikes, Wide Mouth Mason, Age of Electric, Library Voices) and judging by their 80's musical style, I am betting they have neither heard of, or are a fan of any of those bands.

Orlando is not really an indie music epicentre either, but Saskatchewan hope to change that perception. The band have followed up their  2011 EP, Skinny Dipping, with a great new dark synth heavy track titled Venom that wouldn't be out of place on the Drive soundtrack. Download the track below.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

New Music: Tame Impala- Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Just finished listening to the brilliant new album, Lonerism, from Australian psych rock outfit Tame Impala. Hard to believe that these guys reside in the same land as Wolfmother and Jet. I'm probably being ignorant when I say that and there are probably a lot of good guitar bands from down under. If there are, they don't get the publicity in northern climes. The best North American music site to check out Australian music is probably Indie Shuffle.

My favourite track off the album is Feels Like We Only Go Backwards which, coincidentally, is the band's new single. The title of the song suggests a nightmare where we live under some regressive right wing government, but the lyrics are more personal than that. The song is simple but oh so psychedelic. Listen below:

Lonerism is available now. Buy it on iTunes, at Amazon, or at your local record store.

The single Feels Like We Only Go Backwards will be available November 20th via Modular.

Tame Impala are currently on a world wide tour and they will be playing The Phoenix in Toronto on November 12. Check your local listings for a gig near you.

New Music: Generationals- Sale City

New Orleans electro rock duo Generationals have a new EP titled Lucky Numbers, and it is out now. The third track from the album, Sale City, is a feel good, synth heavy, electro pop, sexy, sexy song. Listen below:

Buy the EP on iTunes.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Music Video: The Vaccines- I Always Knew

The Vaccines just released a new music video for their hit song I Always Knew and it looks suspiciously like a scene from Sarah Polley's film Take This Waltz. If you haven't seen the movie, there is a part where the character played by Michelle Williams takes a trip to Toronto's Centre Island with her love interest and they end up going for a romantic whirl on an amusement park ride called The Scrambler. The scene is soundtracked with The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star. The Vaccines new video has lead singer Justin Hayward -Young enjoying a very similar amusement park ride called The Sizzler with model-and great granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway-Dree Hemingway. Hmmm....

Compare the two similar clips below.

The Vaccines new album, Come of Age, is available now and you can pick it up on iTunes.

New Music: Cold Pumas- Fog Cutter

Cold Pumas are a Brighton band that came out of the same underground London DIY scene as Male Bonding. The band has stated that they are all about repetition and their new single, Fog Cutter, backs that statement up. The track chugs forward like a post punk version of trance music and comparatively it is something that The Fall are/were really good at doing with their music. Download the song below:

Monday, 8 October 2012

New Music: The Babies- Get Lost

The indie rock band The Babies are set to release their sophomore LP, Our House on the Hill, in November and they have just introduced us to the first track from the record. The four piece garage crew are a side project for both Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls and Kevin Morby of Woods. Listen to the addictive new single, Get Lost, which features the chorus " I want to get high with you."

The Babies new album, Our House on the Hill will be available November 13th via Woodsist.

New Music: Isle- Bayview

I don't know much about Pensacola Florida, but I did learn something about the city today, I learned they have a really good new band called Isle. The group have recently released their debut single, Bayview, which is available on Bad Panda Records. The song is a unique mix of chillwave, folk and dream pop that makes you want to travel to Florida, relax on the beach with a few beers and watch the waves crash along the shoreline. Download the song below:

Music Video: Echo Lake- Another Day

Damn!!! A soon as I write a post about how Autumn is a great time of the year for music, along comes English shoegazers Echo Lake with a video that will make you long for summer again . The music video for the blissful Wild Peace track, Another Day, features a group of young people enjoying a hot summer's day. The scenes of swimming in the lake and watching fireworks will make you wish it was July forever.

Go buy Echo Lake's Wild Peace album as it is one on the best of the year. Available on iTunes or look for it a your local record store.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Autumn Music Mix

This weekend is the first long weekend of the fall (Canadian Thanksgiving) and in honour, I have put together a mix of songs to celebrate the season. Meanwhile I will be travelling this weekend and will be back Monday.........

Neil Young- Harvest Moon

Yo La Tengo- Autumn Sweater

The Olivia Tremor Control- I Can Smell the Leaves

Ummagma- Autumnmania

Jens Lekman- Maple Leaves (Live)

Kings of Convenience- Mrs. Cold

Teenage Fanclub- Fallen Leaves

The Wedding Present- Gazebo

The White Stripes- Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

The Kinks- Autumn Almanac

Van Morrison- Celtic New Year

Dream Academy- Life in a Northern Town

U2- October

Hall & Oates- Fall in Philadelphia

Kate Bush- Cloudbusting

Manic Street Preachers- Autumnsong

The Moody Blues- Forever Autumn

Red House Painters- Song for a Blue Guitar

Magnetic Fields- Sad Little Moon

The Smiths- There is a Light That Never Goes Out

The National- Apartment Song

The Shins- September

Donna Summer- Autumn Changes

The Verve- Stormy Clouds

Belle and Sebastian- The Rollercoaster Ride

Julie London- November Twilight

Phoenix- Sometimes in the Fall

The Raveonettes- Last Dance

New Music: Girls Names- The New Life

Girls Names are a Northern Ireland indie rock band who excel at 90's era jangle rock. The band have just put out a new single, The New Life, which expands on the excellent 2011 single, Black Saturday. The 7 minute plus track can be described musically as listlessly beautiful and somewhat epic. Take a listen below.

The New Life will be released on 12"on November 12th via Tough Love Records.

The Raveonettes with Melody's Echo Chamber: Live at The Phoenix

I have this lingering cough that I contracted a couple of weeks ago which I can't seem to shake. That was not going to keep me away from The Raveonettes show on Tuesday. I have seen the band twice before and I know they are too good to pass up. Even better, the much hyped band Melody's Echo Chamber, who the Aural Report helped introduce to the world, were the opening band.

Melody's Echo Chamber is a band, led by French pop artist Melody Prochet, that play a brand of dream pop that is is underscored with psychedelia. They recently released their self titled debut album that was produced by Kevin Parker of Tame Impala. The band's set was a swooning collection of songs from their debut album that had the lithe Prochet dancing in a hippie trance with her hair covering her face everytime there was a guitar or synth solo. The highlight of the band's performance is when they played the track Crystallised, which is a song that starts out dreamy, like most of the other songs on the album, but ends with a total crush of electro synths and psychedelic guitars.

The Raveonettes took the stage to a venue that was only three quarters full and the audience was enthusiastically quiet (No oxymoron). That changed when the group launched into the Lust, Lust, Lust track Hallucinations and it's classic jangle guitar sound.You know that a concert is going to be a total array of different guitar sounds when the fourth member of the band is the technician. The Raveonettes' technician was actually standing on the stage ensuring Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo had the right axes to wield for the rest of the night. The diversity of the Raveonettes music is quite vivid and is a sound that features surf guitar, 60's pop, garage, dream pop, psychedelia and most notably an aural assault of deafening shoegaze.

The band played a a set that was infused heavily with songs from their recent release Observator, their debut record Whip It On, and their 2007 album Lust, Lust, Lust. They only played three songs that were not from those albums. It was nice to hear the old Whip it On garage-gaze tracks Bowels of the Beast, Chains and the wrecking ball of a song Attack of The Ghost Riders which had Rose Wagner launching into a screeching guitar squalor after each musical directive "It Goes Something Like This....."

Finally, as every fan of the band knows, it wouldn't be a Raveonettes show with out their blistering 2008 hit Aly, Walk With Me. The band didn't disappoint, as they ended the pre encore set with the shoegaze classic.  The performace of this song is a "must see" for any shoegaze fan as it features Rose Sun and Foo at their Mary Chain inspired best. With a plodding drum beat and Foo's musical chants the song explodes into a wall of feedback, that is backlit with flittering strobes, and has Rose Wagner and Foo converge into a battle of furious guitars that is played for maximum volume. See example below.

Set List:
She Owns the Street
Dead Sound
Curse the Night
The Enemy
Gone Forever
Young and Cold
Attack of the Ghost Riders
Bowels of the Beast
Aly, Walk With Me

Sinking With the Sun
Cops on Our Tail

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

New Music: Devon Williams- Savor

Last year, Slumberland artist Devon Williams released the beautiful and aptly named album Euphoria. The one time Epitaph brat punk and indie folk musician followed that up this week with a new track, Savor, that musically follows in the same footsteps of that delightful 2011 LP. The 7" single will be released on November 20th via New Images.

Williams new LP, Bathos, will be released in the spring of 2013.

New Music: The Amazing- Flashlight

Swedish artists are probably the best at making perfect pop music so it is only fitting that one of that country's newest bands is named The Amazing. The group's sound can be best described as a mix of psychedelic rock and folk-pop that is inspired by the sixties and seventies Laurel Canyon music scene. The Amazing can also boast that they have Reine Fiske of acclaimed neo psychedelic band Dungen as part of their lineup.

The Amazing have just released Flashlight which is the second single from their forthcoming album, Gentle Stream. The LP will be out on October 23rd via Partisan Records.

The Amazing are currently on tour with Tame Impala. You can check the concert dates here.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

New Music: Flock of Dimes- (This is Why) I Can't Wear White

Flock of Dimes is better known as Jenn Wasner, one half of indie folk duo Wye Oak. She has been busy recently releasing 7 inches under her new moniker and just recently came out with her third single,  (This is Why) I Can't Wear White. (No, the song is not about eating messy food or having a fashion dilemma around Labour Day). Listen to the guitar on the song and you will definitely here a Cocteau Twins influence.

The dreamy single will be available on 7" November 20th via Frenchkiss.

Monday, 1 October 2012

New Music: Still Corners- Fireflies

Still Corners are one of those bands who are really good but do not get a lot of hype-as evidenced by my own forgetfulness. When the band came out with their new single, Fireflies, last week I went to my iTunes library to re-visit their great album 2011 album, Creatures of an Hour, but found nothing.  I had streamed the album on Rdio when it came out last year but had neglected to buy it. Now I have put it on the top of my list of "must buy" albums and I intend to pick it up on vinyl.

Meanwhile, Still Corners will be releasing Fireflies on 7"which will only be available on their European tour.  However, the swooning icy cool synth pop song is available for download via Soundcloud. Expect a new album sometime in 2013.