Thursday, September 30, 2004

Warm Sand Underneath My Feet

Tina Dico: original photo from since The Arcade Fire is sold out and I'm not sure I'll be up to showing up early tomorrow at Lee's Palace to 'try' to purchase a ticket at the door, I'm thinking of checking out Tina Dico @ The Mod Club Theatre where she'll be opening up for some singer-songwriter named Teitur. (Never heard of him by the way.) Tina Dico is one of the vocalists from Zero 7. I saw her live back in the summer, both as part of the Zero 7 show at The Opera House as well as a solo artist at the El Mocambo. Her music is mesmerizing and she's a real cutie as well. Watch her performance(aired Wednesday September 29, 2004) on KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic where she performed 7 songs as well as chatted with host Nic Harcourt.

Hope of the States will be at HMV at 333 Yonge St. in Toronto on Monday October 4, 2004 at 5 pm. It's just down the street from my workplace office so I'll probably pop in and check out what all the fuss is about.

Supergrass Invade America...and Canada can only be next, we hope. For the moment check out Supergrass on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on October 1st(tomorrow), and Jimmy Kimmel Live on October 8th. Or listen to Supergrass' KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic performance(from Monday September 27, 2004) here. [news from filter magazine]

The Organ are recording a new 7" featuring their new song "Let The Bells Ring" which will be released by Go Metric Records in the fall.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Interpol: photo from performs on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Friday October 1 and on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on Friday October 8. [from The Late Night TV Page] The band will also perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live on October 28th. [from the offical band site]

The controller.controller site has updated the tour schedule section and the previous TBA dates of October 21 and 23 have now been filled in. The band(with The Organ) will be in Detroit on October 21st and Toronto(@ The Horseshoe Tavern) on October 23rd. So no Mississauga date as I hoped...But I'm thinking of going to BOTH the Hamilton(October 22nd) and Toronto(October 23rd) shows to make up for it.

popMATTERS loves The Trashcan Sinatras' new CD "Weightlifting"

Orch-pop outfit The Heavy Blinkers' new website is coming along quite nicely...although it's a bit slow in loading.

The Pretty Girls Make Graves site is currently going through renovations although the sole News item from September 28 says the band has a new keyboard player named Leona and the Tour section now lists the dates when the band will be touring with Death Cab For Cutie.

Watch the new Donnas' video "Fall Behind Me" over at NME.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad

Nancy Sinatra and MorrisseyThe International Herald Tribune reports on Nancy Sinatra's indie-rock comeback. Her new self-titled album featuring collaborations with artists as diverse as Morrissey, Calexico, Jon Spencer, Thurston Moore, Jarvis Cocker, and U2, looks like a real keeper. The new album was just released today! Check it out at

Tiny Mix Tapes reports that Death Cab for Cutie have added more tour dates to their Toronto date, OF COURSE! ...You guys suck.(ok, I didn't mean it...just come back to Toronto PLEASE! PRETTY PLEASE!)

chartattack reports that the release date for Rufus Wainwright's "Want Two" will be November 16, 2004. It was recorded at the same time as "Want One", and of interest, "Want Two" will include a DVD featuring 20 live tracks from a concert in San Francisco. The CD will include the four tracks that Wainwright released in June as an iTunes exclusive EP and will also include eight previously unreleased songs.

More cross-canada tour dates are up at the King Cobb Steelie site, with the lads at Sneaky Dee's in Toronto on November 7, 2004 for a post-tour party at Wavelength.

The Trashcan Sinatras have an e-card which features four streaming songs from the weightlifting album ("welcome back", "all the dark horses", "freetime" and "weightlifting") and a streaming video ("it's a miracle") from the weightlifting [deluxe release]. See and hear what you've been missing.

The news update dated September 23, 2004 at Ted Leo's site is particularly interesting as Ted Leo defends himself against a website that got all pissy at him for bailing on an interview he promised them but never got around to doing. Some people are so sensitive. By the way, anyone know the site in particular because Ted's not telling.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Wrapped Up In Books

  • booksWith the weather yesterday so beautiful, I decided to take a little bike trip through Toronto. I drove in my car with my bike to Sunnyside Beach, parked my car, and rode my bike along the Waterfront trail until I got to Bathurst St. I had already decided to head up Bathurst towards Soundscapes on College St., but along the way, decided to take sidestreets all the way up, which made for a lot more relaxed ride. At Soundscapes, I checked out the concert listings, deciding what tickets I should buy while I'm there. The Arcade Fire show was sold out, and I know Rotate This is already sold out as well, but the guy at counter said my best bet was to show up early at the venue the night of the show. I just might do that. Although in a sense, it's not that big of a deal as I saw The Arcade Fire at the Olympic Island Concert. Decided to get a ticket to the Interpol show instead. And the Rilo Kiley show will also be a possibility. Picked up the "A Girl Called Eddy" CD for $16.99. I like how the cardboard sleeve looks like a beat-up old record sleeve.

    From the record store, I headed down College St., to Word on the Street. I had a good 50 minutes or so to check out the going-ons there. Bought 5 issues of Chart Magazine for a buck. Bought an issue of Hive magazine(featuring articles on Broken Social Scene and The Arcade Fire) for $2.00. Picked up some free Elliott Smith and Jolie Holland postcards at the Eye booth. The girl at the booth also stuck an Eye sticker on my t-shirt sleeve when I wasn't looking which was funny because I didn't know what happened for a second. :-) I hit the motherload at a booth down near the Museum where they were selling magazines. The original price during the day was a $1 per issue but then towards the end of the day when I had sauntered by, they started selling 4 issues for a $1 or 25 cents per issue. At that point, things got pretty hectic. I grabbed a bunch of good stuff right away. However, things got even more hectic when they decided to GIVE away the magazines for FREE because they hadn't planned to have anything at the end of the day. I was grabbing things left and right, even taking doubles of some and at the end of it all I had issues of No Depression, Grand Slam Magazine, some mountain-biking magazines, various other music magazines, and even a paintball magazine. The disadvantage was having to carry all that stuff in my backpack WHILE I rode my bike. Actually, it turned out to not be that bad as riding a bike from Queen's Park(where Word on The Street was taking Place) to the waterfront is pretty much all downhill.

    Along the way, I stopped at Queen and Spadina to grab a bite, and happened to catch a street performance with this black guy with an Afro on guitar and vocals and his female companion on backup vocals and tambourine. They even had a mic and amp set up. I heard a song or two and I was surprised how much I liked it immediately. It was acoustic music that felt like soul music; in a lot of ways it reminded me of when Lauryn Hill picked up a guitar for her Unplugged album. I wrote my e-mail down for their mailing list so I hope they send out an e-mail because I forgot to get their name. They were selling CD's for $10.00 as well but I decided to pass for the moment and I just dropped a loonie in their guitar case. Hey, if anyone is down at Queen and Spadina and you see these artists, please stop and check them out. And maybe get their name for me as well. Thanks. ...Anyways, the ride back to my car was pleasant, but at that point it was getting dark and I don't have a light on my bike, so I rode back as fast as I could. Phew!

  • Shattered GlassCaught the film Shattered Glass over the weekend on TMN on Demand. It was quite an efficient movie about a young journalist and associate editor for The New Republic and who was found to have made up many of the events and persons in his articles. The film stars Hayden Christensen as Stephen Glass as it depicts his rise and fall in the world of journalism. On one hand the film can be looked at as one man's personal journey and, on the other hand, as a bird's-eye view of the whole print journalistic process. It was interesting to see how many persons an article goes through, from the writer, to lawyers, to editors, to copywriters, etc. before the article gets printed in a magazine. At the end of all, it still is flabbergasting that Stephen Glass got away with it for so long. Hayden Christensen portrays a quitequiet desperation in Stephen Glass, who seems to always be cool on the outside but is likely anything but in the inside.

    Resident Evil: ApocalypseAlso on the movie front, I went to see Resident Evil: Apocalypse last week. There are some interesting ideas floating around with regards to the scientific concepts. However, the acting and plot is every bit as over-the-top as you'd expect. There were some cool action sequences and special effects. Most interesting to Torontonians is that the movie was shot in and around Toronto and the film producers(or is that directors?) made no attempts to cover up the fact. I think that's a first, at least in my movie-watching experience. There are several distinct Toronto landmarks and locales in the movie. They didn't even bother to hide the CIBC symbol on the downtown CIBC building when they showed a shot of the Toronto skyline. I'm not saying they should have, I'm just saying that it's funny they didn't because Hollywood usually does. In any case, if Toronto ever gets overrun by zombies, I'll know not to go to City Hall. ;-)

  • Maplemusic features The Dears in its artists' spotlight as their live CD "Thank You Good Night Sold Out" will be released on Tuesday October 5, 2005. The CD features live performances recorded during sold out shows in Toronto and Montreal...The funny thing is I only count 9 tracks, but then if these versions are the 9-minute-extended-jam sessions that The Dears are known for, I guess that might be worth it.

  • Sunday, September 26, 2004


  • concert review: The Trashcan Sinatras w/ The Long Knives @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), September 23, 2004

    Trash Can Sinatras @ Lee's Palace (Toronto, Ontario), September 23, 2004: photo by Mike LigonThe title of The Trashcan Sinatras' most popular single "Obscurity Knocks" was befitting as the band made their long-awaited return to Toronto since playing the city back in 1993. The band, in retrospect, seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle in the 90's, never fitting into the grunge movements and britpop scene during the decade. The Trash Can Sinatras were very much progenitors of the Scottish tradition of pop music, sounding like a cross between Aztec Camera and The Smiths. My first experience of their music was back in the early 90's when I heard their track "Obscurity Knocks" on a cassette compilation which I think was called "Just Say Yes To Excess". The song was just such a breath of fresh air back then, full of ringing guitars, joyous vocals, and buoyant pop melodies. I've purchased their CD's over the years but have been neglecting their CD's lately, which I must admit. So to have the Scots come back Toronto after so long was such exciting news that I was not about to let the opportunity to see them live pass me by.

    For whatever reason, original opener and fellow Scotsman, Roddy Hart, did not perform and another band called The Long Knives took the opening slot. I only caught maybe three or four songs but I pretty much got the gist of their music from that. Their music had elements of glam and brit-pop, and with the band's brash guitars and androgynous vocals, reminded me of bands such as Suede and Placebo. On certain days, I might dig 'em but my mind was really only set on seeing the headliners that night.

    Of course, just waiting for The Trash Can Sinatras to make their entrance seemed like forever. Not knowing what the band looked like, I hadn't realized that it was some of the members of the band who had come on to the stage to do their own equipment checks. When the band finally made their official entrance onto the stage, they received a warm Toronto welcome from the crowd. I had my spot right up near the front of the stage and periodic glances over my shoulder showed that Lee's Palace wasn't entirely full. Of course, there was a good amount of people there but it would have been nice to have sold out the night. I read that the band had sold out a Los Angeles performance on a previous mini-tour before this current tour. I would have hoped Toronto could have done the same. Oh well. Neverless, me and the rest of the crowd there that night, ate up everything the band gave to us. The music pretty much alternated between upbeat buoyant pop songs and more sombre sounding ones. As I mentioned, the band continues in the footsteps of its Scottish cousins Aztec Camera quite nicely, with hints of The Smiths thrown in for good measure; "Leave Me Alone", for example, off "Weightlifting", just screams The Smiths' "Heaven, Knows I'm Miserable Now", especially in the vocals. What I also found quite surprisingly was that the band has an ever-so-subtle hint of soul music, especially in the some of the guitar arrangements. The band's music is quite danceable during upbeat guitar-pop songs like "Bloodrush", as evidenced by me and others near the front of the stage dancing (ok, maybe what I was doing wasn't 'dancing' per se, but it was close). "Obscurity Knocks" was the one song everyone wanted to hear and when the band left the stage after their encore, for a second, I didn't think the band were going to come back. I kept on thinking(and I don't think I was alone) that there's no way in hell the band comes to Toronto for the first time in 11 years and gets away with out playing their 'hit'. So the crowd was adamant that the band come back for a second encore, and our applause and shouting was pretty constant for a good 3-4 minutes before the band came back on stage for their second encore and finally played "Obscurity Knocks". Anything else after that was gravy; the fact of the matter is I don't even remember anything after "Obscurity Knocks" but it really didn't matter. Now let's hope the lads don't take another 11 years to come back.[see my photos here.]

  • Saturday, September 25, 2004

    Ben Lee Pony's Up

  • concert review: Ben Lee w/ Pony Up, Lindy @ Mod Club Theatre(Toronto, Ontario), September 22, 2004

    If you missed the Ben Lee show this past Wednesday in Toronto, well then you missed out. Either it was a show that slipped under the radar or else there wasn't as much interest as I would have thought, but I was surprised that The Mod Club wasn't packed that night. It was adequately filled but not the sort-of frenzy that I was expecting. The venue actually set up tables and chairs in anticipation of Ben Lee's partially-acoustic set. The set-up was more than a little annoying because it prevented myself and others from standing up near the stage which would have likely frayed the nerves of those sitting at tables getting a view of the back of my head. Even more annoying was to see people sitting on the floor, between the tables. Lazy bums.

    Pony Up @ Mod Club Theatre (Toronto, Ontario), September 22, 2004: photo by Mike LigonAs this was an early show, first opener Lindy came on early, and I missed the set because I had an evening class that night. After class I headed down to The Mod Club, in time to catch all-girl Montreal new wavey-pop band Pony Up. What's in the drinking water in Montreal? I can't believe all the good bands coming from there, The Arcade Fire being the most prominent at the moment. And with the Pop Montreal seeming to come into its own as a music festival after just three years, it's good to know Montreal still has a music scene to fall back on considering the diminishing status of its Film Festival. Pony Up are the first band on Ben Lee's new label Ten Fingers Records for which the first release was a split Ben Lee/Pony Up 7" single where Ben covers the Modest Mouse single "Float On" and Pony Up peform the song "Heard You Got Action". I'm biased because cute girl bands are already a plus in my books, but Pony Up got the tunes to back it up. The band has a undeniable new wave influence that melds quite nicely with their brand of indie-pop/rock. I was quite impressed with their songs which lingered around pretty melodies and solid instrumentation. The intrumentation was fairly straightforward, with solid, uncluttered drumming, uncomplicated basslines, and clean guitar arrangements. The vocals were stark, and never overly girl-y. The xylophone and accordion were a nice addition to the fold. Given the fact that the band is comprised of a group of attractive young females, there is an androgyny to their music that keeps the music being sickly sweet or overly testerone-fueled. The middleground is nice territory. I bought their split 7"(which I got Ben Lee to autograph at the end of the night) after their set and asked one of the girls in the band if they had a CD yet and she said they'll be releasing a CD on the Ten Fingers Records label in January of 2005. Circle your calendars.

    By the way, what was with the smoke machine night? The amount of smoke billowing out of the machine was just too much for liking, and it pretty much cast a hazy gaze over the stage which was none too pleasant especially for photo-taking. The lighting effects were however way cool, particulary seeing the band in silhouette (although considering how cute they all were, I would have preferred a less obstructive view of them!)

    Ben Lee @ Mod Club Theatre (Toronto, Ontario), September 22, 2004: photo by Mike LigonAfter the usual between-set wait, Ben Lee sauntered onto the dimly-lit stage with his acoustic guitar. I thought for a second he was a roadie. It's surprising how much the 'dude's shot up in height. He's also chosen to grow a shaggy head of hair. He's not the scrawny kid we all remember him to be. Although, considering he'll be 26 years old in November of this year, his appearance still gives off a youthful vibe. However, Ben Lee's live performance that night showed that he's grown in to a confident performer, able to keep the audience at bay/entertained with his stage banter on one hand and, on the other hand, displaying his musical prowess both through his solid guitar accompaniement and his smooth vocals. I've only had his solo CD "Grandpaw Would" and his Noise Addict CD "Meet The Real You" and have only ever been partially familiar with the songs, so in reality, that night was like hearing Ben Lee for the first time. So I knew, "Away with the Pixies"(which I LOVE) and "Pop Queen" which Ben both played during the encore, in a band setting that gave the songs a fuller sound than the CD versions. It was interesting to see Ben alternate between peforming as a duo(with an attractive female friend of his on keyboards), then perform as a band(with some of the girls from Pony Up), then peform his solo folky troubadour thing. It was all good. His songs are lyrically full of love, loss, and humour, but most of all hope. So when Ben ended the night and his encore by putting off his mic, monitors and amps and played his last song without the benefit of the sound filling the room, there was something very 'naked', very honest about him. To hear him continually utter the phrase "We are all in this together" as he lightly strummed his guitar to a room so quiet you could hear the air-conditioning unit humming in the background, was magical.

  • Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    Nothing Much

    Considering, I'm hoping to go to the Ben Lee show at The Mod Club Theatre right after class tonight, this'll be an early post and a short one.

  • The cover of the new issue of MAGNET is up at their site and Guided by Voices is the featured artist. Tom Waits graces the cover.

  • I just realized that the PJ Harvey show in Toronto on October 15th which I've already bought a ticket for is the same night that The Libertines will be in town at The Opera House which I was hoping to go to as well. Any chance you think I can go to both(I think the PJ Harvey show is an early one anyway)?

    That's it for now.
  • Monday, September 20, 2004

    Danny The Dog

    Massive Attack: photo from,doc/Archiv%202003/massiveattack/LAUNCH reports that Massive Attack will return with the soundtrack to the new Luc Besson film, "Danny The Dog". The soundtrack will be released on October 11th. The soundtrack consists of 21 separate pieces of music that will run chronologically throughout the film. This hopefully will be some wicked mood music!...Why not checkout the "Danny The Dog" jukebox here.

    Billboard reports on the ten finalists set for the Shortlist Prize. The Franz Ferdinand and Wilco albums are my bets, but from left field I could also see Loretta Lynn's album taking the prize.

    The TBA tourdates on controller.controller's site for October 21 and 23 look mighty promising for shows in and around my neck o' the woods of Mississauga[ON], considering the October 22 show is in Hamilton[ON]. Hey, and controller.controller HAVE played Mississauga once before which I unfortunately missed. And controller.controller are touring with The Organ. So perfect!

    Belle and Sebastian will be selling their own calendar shortly and it will be available for pre-order from soon. Check out the spiffy photograph that is currently gracing the splash page of their site.

    Elvis Costello will be making the rounds this week on the talk show circuit including Sept 22 with Letterman, Sept 23 with Regis and Kelly, and Sept 24 with Conan O'Brien, while The Thrills will also make the rounds appearing Sept 21 with Leno and Sept 24 with Craig Kilborn. Oh, and Wilco with Conan O'Brien, Sept 29. [Info from The Late Night Tv Page.]

    I tend to undervalue my own web skills considering how much better other people's sites compare to mine. However, during my first Continuing Education HTML class tonight, I felt like a downright genius compared to others in the class. No, I'm not boasting, just wallowing in the ease of which I coasted through the material covered tonight. Although, I'm sure it'll get more difficult as the course progresses. As I said yesterday, hopefully this'll lead to a career change down the road for me...and also to finally modifying this damn Blogger template! My second class of the course each week will be on Wednesday, so I'm definitely thinking about checking out the Ben Lee show at The Mod Club Theatre after that class.

    Sunday, September 19, 2004

    Noise Addict

    Ben Lee(in silhouette): photo from'm still pondering about whether to go to the Ben Lee show this Wednesday at The Mod Club Theatre. It all depends on whether my Continuing Education course starting this week falls on a Wednesday as well. My first class is tomorrow and the course supposedly is two nights a week, so we will find out tomorrow what day the second class will fall on. (The course, by the way, is on HTML and I'm considering a career change to Web Development from my current job in client services within the Ontario provincial government.) ...But for now check out the spiffy cover of Modest Mouse's "Float On" performed by Ben Lee, which is by way of Stereogum, by way of Music for Robots.

    I'm looking forward to The Trash Can Sinatras show @ Lee's Palace in Toronto this Thursday September 23. I plan to reacquaint myself with their CD's over the next several days which I've neglected for far too long. According to their website, the band will also be making an appearance on Canada A.M. @ 8:30 AM on September 24th.

    Not much happening today but did manage to snag some bargain finds at the Orchestras of Mississauga's Annual Used Book Sale, including a vinyl copy of The Housemartins' "London 0 Hull 4" for a $1!

    Saturday, September 18, 2004

    Vacation's all I ever wanted

    CN Tower: photo by Mike LigonAre you coming to Toronto for vacation? Besides all the tourist-y things you'll be doing likely taking pictures[ad nauseum] of the CN Tower and City Hall at Nathan Phillips Square, you'll also want to do some shopping while you're here, right? The most recent issue of NOW presents it's guide to cheap shopping in Toronto! I probably haven't been to about half of these places since I live in the suburbs of Mississauga(just outside of Toronto) but a cursory glance of NOW's picks reveals some places I haven't heard of before, like some of the record stores.

    According to chartattack, Joel Plaskett's releasing a new solo CD soon, without The Emergency, and also had planned to film a live DVD at The Marquee Club in Halifax on September 17(yesterday). There were rumours that the two-set performance was to have some special guest...Anyone in Halifax go to this yesterday? Please tell!

    Yahoo repots that ex-Fine Young Cannibals David Steele has found a a vocalist for his U.K.-based neo-soul act Fried. It is 24-year-old ex-gospel singer Jonte Short who Steele met two years ago, when Short was performing at a club in her hometown of New Orleans. I'm particularly excited because Fried's new CD features a guest appearance by Portishead vocalist Beth Gibbons!...Fried apparently have not made it to North America yet, but check out the CD review at

    Purchased my ticket for the PJ Harvey show(happening on October 15 at the Phoenix in Toronto) through yesterday. (Yes, I've accepted the fact that I won't be able to get a trip together[ie. getting friends to go, making arrangements, what-have-you] to go to the CMJ Music Marathon this year, but I'll have to compensate by going to a shitload of shows in Toronto in October!)

    Thursday, September 16, 2004


  • The Organ: photo from PERFECT bill: chartattack reports that The Organ AND controller.controller are going on tour! I've known about this ever since the controller.controller site went through a redesign, and they posted a whack of upcoming shows. I've already stated in the past that controller.controller's "History" EP will definitely be in my end-of-year top 10 list, and The Organ's "Grab That Gun" LP will most definitely be in my year-end list as well. It is a damn fine record! I'm still in the process of absorbing the album but the CD starts off super-swell with the totally amazing "Brother" with its distinct, sharp guitar arrangements. Alot of reviews make comparisons to The Smiths and Joy Division. I guess those comparisons are true but there's still something very fresh about The Organ's songs.

  • Chromewaves beat me to posting this, but at least I know now that Ted Leo's coming back to Toronto for a show at The Mod Club Theatre on December 5. Tickets are $12...But I did predict[more like hope] that Ted might possibly come back to Toronto considering the path his initial tour dates were taking...Three times in Toronto in one year. Ted is the man!

  • Someone at 20hz posts that The Deadly Snakes will be playing Club OV's in Toronto on Friday October 15th, doors at 10pm, tickets $10 at the door.

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2004

    Fans, first and foremost

    Matt Sharp:photo from it's just trendy, but it seems like every band is releasing a DVD nowadays. Now it's The Fall, Blur, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and in the planning stages, The Libertines. Pitchfork reports on the upcoming The Fall DVD, chartattack on the Blur "Starshapes" DVD, Soul Shine Magazine on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' DVD, while the news update today at The Libertines' site, is asking fans with any video footage, etc, to submit footage for a planned DVD release in the future.

    Matt Sharp of Weezer and The Rentals will be at the Horseshoe, October 13! Tickets, $10, at Horseshoe, Rotate This and Soundscapes.

    Using The Arcade Fire and their earliest mention in the music blogging community as a barometer of 'coolness', 10:51 am Toronto declares itself to not be as cool as they once thought after finding out several blogs have mentioned The Arcade Fire much earlier, most notably Tiny Mix Tapes in January 2004 and Said The Gramophone even earlier than that. ...Hey, I've been on The Arcade Fire tip since seeing them at last year's(yes October 2003) Pop Montreal festival, and I even declared their indie e.p. as one of my favourite CD's of 2003. So who's the coolest now? ;-)

    There's a Julie Doiron article over at Soul Shine Magazine. She talks about moving to the suburbs, the recording of the new album, and the possibility of another Eric's Trip reunion in the future.

    The Thrills' web site has undergone a redesign. For the better? I think not. I miss the streaming audio that launched automatically with their old site design. :-(

    Iain Ellis at Popmatters writes a flattering and condensed history of Guided By Voices' career.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    Mysterious Ways

    ...Mysterious computer problems plagued my Internet connection yesterday which neither I nor Rogers tech support could remedy but with glee I found that my 'net connection was working perfectly this morning! Noticed that Yahoo has changed it's main page interface slightly, noticably in the size of the font of the text. What gives?

  • Sam The Record Man storefront: photo from'm working at the DOWNTOWN office of my employer[the Ontario government] again which is like putting a crack addict in the middle of a crackhouse. Being in the vicinity of the flagship stores of Sam The Record Man, HMV, and Sunrise is too good to be true! Today's music releases are mighty tempting including releases from Paul Weller, Pete Elkas, The Thrills, and The Arcade Fire. But it's pissing me off that the ones I want to buy are never the discounted new releases ie. the CD's priced at $12.99 or less. [Okay recently Futureshop has[had?] The Libertines new CD for $12.99, but other than that I don't come across the new releases I want to buy, for that price]. But on tap for today, I picked up at HMV, 2 CD's for $25.00, including The Cure's "Disintegration" and The Organ's "Grab That Gun"!

  • Mishie DJ's a great Indie Shop Radio set! I caught a good portion of it online tonight and am reeling with all the wonderful music I heard. And she'll be doing a university radio show starting next week, and it will be available in streaming format on the 'net, so check it out, which I'm hoping to do during work hours. ;-)

  • Up at the official band site, Constantines' tourdates, from Sept 24 to Oct 3, starting in the east coast[of Canada] and leading back to Ontario...although nothing in Toronto unfortunately.

  • Metric's live performance of "combat baby" and "dead disco" will air on ZeD TV in canada on October 4th at 11:25 pm on CBC. [info cut and paste from Metric's site.]

  • Team Canada wins the World Cup of Hockey. Congrats!

  • Sunday, September 12, 2004

    Party of One

  • Peter Elkas: photo from Maplemusic.comThe Local Rabbit's Peter Elkas' solo LP "Party of One" drops this September 14. Maplemusic is currently presenting Peter Elkas as one of their 'breakout artists'. I've lost touch with the 'Rabbits over the last several years and I never got around to purchasing the Local Rabbits last CD "This Is It, Here We Go"[which I hope to remedy soon] but was fortunate enough to catch Pete[solo] open up for the Superfriendz' reunion concert in Toronto a couple of years back. Pete's music continues along the same lines of the Local Rabbits' unpretentious pop rock music. Smooth as butter. Peter Elkas' site has some mp3's[studio & live] for your perusal.[and for the unintiated, please go out and get a copy of the Local Rabbits' "Basic Concept" which is just a pure pop/rock Canadian gem.]

  • The Donnas will release their new album "The Gold Medal" on October 26 through Atlantic Records. The first single will be "Fall Behind Me" and is available for download if you signup for their mailing list at their site They are touring in November with the Von Bondies but unfortunately there aren't any Canadian dates. [info from Soul Shine Magazine]
  • ...For anyone in Canada, this might be a good time to pick up The Donnas' "Spend The Night" CD which is currently part of Sunrise Records' "2 CD's for $20" special.

  • Ivana Santilli will be @ Revival (Toronto, Ontario) September 21, 2004...Heard from a friend that you can get 'free' tickets for the show through ...Be sure to read the fineprint.

  • Saturday, September 11, 2004

    Girls Can Really Tear You Up Inside

  • Erin Moran[aka A Girl Called Eddy]: photo from anyone checked out the new A Girl Called Eddy CD? I know absolutely nothing about her, born Erin Moran[and no, not the one from Happy Days], but was tempted to check out some songs on the 'net after seeing the cover of her CD. So after checking out the song samples on her official site, the mp3's at her record label site, ANTI-, and the mp3 at Dave McGurgan's blog, I've found myself quite enamoured with her music and vocals. The editorial review at[written by Thom Jurek of All Music Guide] says,

    "Moran[aka A Girl Called Eddy]'s songwriting approach is unabashedly romantic; it's torchy yet sweet, and her love of songwriters from Scott Walker to Burt Bacharach to Brian Wilson to Jim Webb is everywhere evident. In addition, her voice is a dead cross between Chrissie Hynde's and Karen Carpenter's."

    Does that tickle your fancy? I need to run out and buy this now!

  • Billboard reports that "The Wilco Book" being released on November 15 will be bundled with a CD containing 12 tracks culled from the "A Ghost Is Born" sessions.[Canada] site shows the release date as December 2004 while states November 15. So which is it? In any case, I guess you can always buy online.

  • The Toronto Star rates a selection of famous star's blogs including Zach Braff, Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Ian McKellen, Jeff Bridges, William Shatner, Rivers Cuomo, Fred Durst, Avril Lavigne, Alicia Keys, and Quentin Tarantino(?).

  • Weezer's Rivers Cuomo's version of "The Star Spangled Banner" is particularly moving today, September 11. Please check it out.

  • Thursday, September 09, 2004

    Uh Huh, Her

  • PJ Harvey: photo from Harvey is going on tour...and she's coming to Toronto on Friday October 15, 2004 at The Phoenix! On-sale Sept 17th from Ticket Master, Stone Temple Record Store & Rotate This Record Store. [I got this info off the PJ Harvey site. Stone Temple Record Store?...never heard of this store in Toronto.] This is sure to sell out fast. Check out the news update dated September 9th at PJ Harvey's site for more tour date on-sale dates...I must be on some psychic connection, but today was the first day since I got her newest CD "Uh Huh, Her" back when it was first released that I really listened to it. Spooky. ;-) Tour dates so far confirmed are:

    ->Sat Oct 02 CHICAGO, RIVERIA
    ->Sat Oct 09 BOSTON, AVALON
    ->Mon Oct 11 PROVIDENCE, LUPO’S
    ->Wed Oct 13 WASHINGTON DC, 9:30 CLUB

  • MP3: Wilco bootleg [mp3 format] available at Glide Magazine. Get it while you can. [link from Burned By The Sun's post from Tuesday, September 07, 2004]

  • Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    Planet Tokyo

  • Puffy Amiyumi: photo from Amiyumi have annouced a 3-city U.S. tour as follows:

    ->October 8, 2004 - NEW YORK
    Webster Hall, 125 East Eleventh St.

    ->October 10, 2004 - LOS ANGELES
    House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

    ->October 11, 2004 - SAN FRANCISCO
    Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd.

    I can only hope the gals come back to Canada, and Toronto in particular. Their music is such a delectable mix of all types of music, from Beatle-esque pop, to swing, to punk, to Who-styled rock, and so on. My friend and I caught their last show in Toronto @ The Opera House[which by the way was the final stop on their last tour] and it was such a blast! And Puffy Amiyumi [along with Sloan, and The Weekend] is one of the few bands I've successfully converted my friend to, so that's saying something about them. [ok, it doesn't hurt that they're a couple of cute Japanese girls. ;-) ]

  • There's a brief Buck 65 interview over at the beat surrender.

  • They may be shamelessly copying are favourite New Order, Joy Division and Cure records, and even more shamelessly vying for mainstream success in the alternative music scene, but when The Killers can write a song so infectiously catchy as "Change Your Mind", I don't give a fuck. [Yes, after teeter-tottering on whether to purchase The Killer's "Hot Fuss", I finally gave in and bought it, partly due to their single "Somebody Told Me" playing on Edge 102.1 FM ten times a day, and the $9.99 sale price of the CD at Best Buy Canada over the weekend didn't hurt either.]

  • Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    Labour Day

  • movie review: Hero[2004]

    HeroI can't remember the last time I went to the movie theatre twice in one weekend, but on top of Collateral which a friend and I saw on Saturday night[speaking of which we saw the film in a theatre which had only about thirty seats!], another friend of mine and I saw Hero Sunday night after a last minute decision. I've been seeing the trailers for several weeks and was very impressed with the visual scenery. The trailers themselves were already quite the eye-candy. Having seen Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon, I probably should have anticipated that Hero would have English subtitles, but I didn't. I have no problem reading subtitles but there is a process of adaptation until you reach the point where reading the subtitles, while trying to concentrate on the visuals on screen, becomes second nature. Thankfully, Hero was an interesting story both visually and story-wise. Jet Li plays the title role and is apparently the individual who has successfully killed the three assassins who stood the most chance in assassinating the King. Jet Li's character is brought in the presence of the King in a conversation to tell the story of how he killed the assassins, Sky, Broken Sword, and Snow. In a series of flashbacks, the story is told but as it unfolds, truths are revealed. And those truths are revealed in a series of layers. There's a dream-like quality to several scenes in the film, and the use of colour is quite interesting. Colour is not just a visual effect to make scenes more attractive but seems to have an identifying purpose, which after seeing the film, you might understand. Fighting scenes were spectacular if somewhat familiar if you've already seen Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon. Otherwise, it was fun to see fight scenes as characters ran through tree tops or walked over water. Weapons were utilized but scenes were made more palatable for the noticable lack of blood which in my opinion, had there been more, would have detracted from the clean visual imagery. The acting was neither here nor there for me. It was entirely adequate but there wasn't anything particularly nuanced about the actors' performances. The pacing of the movie, alternating between action sequences and storytelling, was done quite well to hold my attention until the very last scene. Overall, I recommend Hero as film to immerse yourself in for a couple of hours.

    ps. I was a little disappointed at first that some people were walking out on the film, especially some families with children. But then it was probably not fair to the kids, who were unlikely prepared for the subtitles, and who I could audibly hear complaining about it.

  • Beautiful Labour Day yesterday down at the lake so I decided to take out the mountain bike, catch some of the Canadian International Airshow and check out Mix 99.9 FM's Beachfest. Caught the Canadian Idols finalists, Hawksley Workman, Jacksoul and Fefe Dobson. I'm not particularly fanatic about any of those artists but I really enjoyed Hawksley's song which had lyrics along the lines of "...last chance to be sad..." which had a surprisingly Ben Folds bounce to it. The Canadian Idols finalists are good singers but other than Theresa Sokyrka's dreamy version of "Cruisin", didn't really do anything for me. Jacksoul brought out some funk, soul pop tunes and their last tune in particular was warm, breezy, and soulful. Fefe Dobson ...well she's Fefe Dobson...the new-wavey bouce of "Don't Go" was fun, and I give her props for being a girl and bringing out the rawk. Photos to come soon.

  • Sunday, September 05, 2004


  • movie review: Collateral [2004]

    CollateralStarring Tom Cruise as a mysterious hitman named Vincent, Jamie Foxx as a taxi driver named Max, and Jada Pinkett as Annie, a lawyer, Collateral intertwines the lives of these three characters on one characteristically warm Los Angeles evening. Michael Mann has done an admirable job of directing, bringing out tough-as-nail performances from each of the actors. I thought the dialogue was grounded in reality for the most part and avoided anything embarassing. The director of photography captured picturesque images of Los Angeles that at once showed it as a vibrant city and as a lonely one. Tom Cruise, with a grey hair-dye job, is transformed from his usual pretty-boy self, to his character Vincent, a mysterious psychopathic stranger that Jamie Foxx's character Max picks up one evening in his taxi, unbeknownst to him what is in store for him that evening. Vincent is brutal and unforgiving, but also shows himself to be intelligent and determined. Jamie Foxx's character Max is full of dreams of a better life for himself but without the self-confidence or motivation to back it up. Jada Pinkett's character Annie straddles the line between confidence and vulnerability, beautifully revealed in the opening scenes during her conversation with Max in his taxicab. Overall, I was really satisfied with the character development in the film. On the backend of the film, there is a familiar plot guiding the characters and the conclusion of the film somewhat falls into more conventional territory for a film of the 'thriller' genre. I really enjoyed how subtly the film unfolded, slowly revealing details that made the film 'make sense', and avoiding the 'rollercoaster ride' aesthetic that some Hollywood thrillers aspire towards. Overall, it is an impressive film visually, and violent subject matter aside, it is a film that patiently and beautifully develops its characters.

  • Friday, September 03, 2004

    And This Just In

  • still from The Organ's 'Brother': photo from Mint Records website( music videos for The Organ's "Brother" and controller.controller's "History" are now available for request at Muchmusic...and yes, apparently, they take requests seriously. How serious, I'm not sure. But it doesn't hurt to try. E-mail addresses below: -> Put the title of the video in the subject line

    other email addresses you can use too:
    The Wedge -
    Going Coastal -
    PowerShift -
    MuchDedications -

    [info from Mint Records(News update[September 2, 2004]) and controller.controller's web site(News update[September 1, 2004])]

  • In anticipation of his new CD "Shake The Streets", out October 10th, Ted Leo is heading out on tour [does this man ever rest?]. Ted Leo and his Pharmacists will start the tour on the east coast, then head to the west coast, go through the midwest then finally end up in Detroit...which is just a hop, skip and a jump to Toronto! [crossing my fingers!] Ted, are you reading this? :-) [news courtesy of Tiny Mix Tapes]

  • An e-mail I received yesterday from the "You'll Never Walk Again" e-mail list which is devoted to Brit band, Gene, reports that "...Gene's latest DVD release, a live show recorded in Sheffield earlier this year, is scheduled to reach shops on November 15th in the UK. The release will be a double DVD, with the live show recorded in 5.1 surround sound, interviews with the band and a few other special extras...". Subsequent e-mails from the list put the release date as October 25, and this appears to be the UK version of the DVD [ie. unless you have a DVD player that plays all regions, it'll probably not play in North American DVD players.]

  • Metric's fall tour dates are now up at their site, including a date in Toronto on October 8 at The Docks! ...I still can't believe I've never seen them live.

  • If you're not already acquainted with the lovely, hush music of Julie Doiron what better way to then to check out Brave New Waves, who will be doing a profile on Julie Doiron on the official release date for her new album, "Goodnight Nobody". Tune in at 1 am on Tuesday September 7, on CBC Radio Two, 94.1 FM in Greater Toronto Area [for frequencies in other parts of Canada, well, uh, you're on your own]. [news from Endearing Records site]

  • Wednesday, September 01, 2004

    Punished By Funk

  • concert review: King Cobb Steelie @ Harbourfront (Toronto, Ontario), part of Gobsmacked festival, Sunday August 29, 2004, 4:30 pm

    Kevan Byrne of King Cobb Steelie @ Harbourfront (Toronto, Ontario), part of the Gobsmacked festival, Sunday August 29, 2004: photo by Mike LigonAfter a couple of days of stellar concerts at Harbourfront for the Gobsmacked festival, it was nice to wrap up the weekend with a performance from Guelph's very own King Cobb Steelie who were playing an afternoon show to wrap up the festival. Considering the packed and near-packed audiences for the Broken Social Scene and Hidden Cameras shows respectively, it was kind of a letdown that more people didn't come out for the King Cobb Steelie show; maybe it was the rain, but hey, that didn't stop me. King Cobb Steelie are definitely unique, carving out its own niche in the Canadian music scene with its brand of groove-based, dub influenced, funk-rock music. The band played a stellar set at Harbourfront this past Sunday with songs, mostly instrumental, ranging from funk-based jams, to dub-influenced soundscapes, to Gang of Four-ish funk-rock workouts, with at least one vocal dub-based rock tune("Rational" from "Junior Relaxer") thrown in for good measure. Most of the songs I didn't recognize so I was assuming that most of the songs were from their new CD "Destroy All Codes", which I purchased after the show at the merchandise kiosk. I don't remember the band playing anything off "Mayday" which is a shame because, in my opinion, I think it is their masterpiece. I was a little disappointed that there was only one song with vocals on the new CD, in comparison to "Mayday" which was very much vocal based, and all the better for it. I was also disappointed that the band hadn't performed more songs with vocals at Harbourfront; I was hoping that Tamara Williamson, who sang on "Mayday", would have made it down to the show to peform since she had performed in Toronto at the Rivoli just a couple of nights before. Otherwise, the band's extended jams frequently achieved almost hypnotic states as throbbing basslines, and almost-tribal percussion and drumming sounds rippled through the venue.

    The band, whose gone through numerous lineup changes, remains at its core, Kevan Byrne and Kevin Lynn, the founders of the band, with a rotating lineup of additional musicians. The website says it's been about 15 years that the band's been around in one form or another and I've been a fan of the band since at least the mid-nineties. In my books, they are a Canadian institution.

  • Speaking of Tamara Williamson, she posted on her web site a Quicktime video for a Fred Eaglesmith song she recorded on her own for fun up at her farm. The video was shot up at her farm and on the drive into Toronto, over the 25th and 26th of August 2004. The song has a rustic, solemn, stripped-down quality to it, like Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around" and Tamara Williamson's vocals just ache with passion.

  • The Dears have sold out to the man! I just heard The Dears' "This is a Broadcast" in a Sola-Nero commercial. ...Well, at least they aren't hockin' cars or some other random product. And at least it's not a beer commercial.

  • controller.controller have done a redesign of their website. Quite nice if I may say so!