Monday, January 31, 2005

Hello Sunshine

livin' it up at Coachella 2004: photo by Mike LigonThe Coachella 2005 lineup was confirmed today. Arguably not as good as last year's edition which me and my friend went to. As was the case last year, this year's Coachella has a great mixture of 'mainstream' alternative acts like Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, and New Order, and buzz-worthy indie/alt artists like Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, The Fiery Furnaces, and The Futureheads. There's a heavier Canadian content than in previous years(at least from what I recall) with this year's festival including appearances from Buck 65, k-os, The Arcade Fire, Sixtoo, Tegan and Sara, and Sloan! If that wasn't enough, there are bands reuniting including The Cocteau Twins, Gang of Four, and Bauhaus. I'm not quite sure if this year's lineup is enough to get me to go again, but it'll be something I'll be pondering for the next month or so.

On a Sloan note, their official site mentions that their Coachella appearance should coincide with the release of their new CD/DVD and they plan to begin a full Canada/US tour around that time. They will announce more tour dates as they are confirmed.

He can't, he won't and he don't stop: GBV's Robert Pollard has a multitude of releases and reissues planned for 2005. I'm exhausted(and excited) just reading about it. [link from Billboard]

On a GBV-related note, Bradleys Almanac has some mp3's of "Gold Star For Robot Boy", "Do The Earth" and "Glad Girls" taken from Guided By Voices live performance on Austin City Limits, which was broadcast this just past Friday night on WNED in the Toronto Area. Of course, I missed it.

Toronto's Sea Snakes are profiled over at Soul Shine Magazine.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

I heard you got action

Pony Up!Received an e-mail from BenLeeNews which said that Montreal band Pony Up! have released their self-titled EP. Seems the girls made an impression on Ben during their tour together last year. The EP is a joint release from Dim Mak Records and Ben's own Ten Fingers Records. The track list is as follows:

01 Shut Up and Kiss Me
02 Minstrel
03 Marlon Brandos Laundromat
04 Swans
05 Matthew Modine
06 Going Nowhere
07 Toy Piano

You can buy it here.

Funny how far a cover photo on eye can go to convincing me to check out an artist I've never heard before. If M.I.A. weren't such an attractive girl, I might have not considered even checking out her live Canadian live debut at The Drake Hotel this Wednesday. Unfortunately, Zoilus says the show's sold out. Aesthetics aside, Zoilus does offer some interesting thoughts about the artist. I was also quite intrigued with the article I read about her in eye. There's also an interesting older article about her over at Nirali Magazine.

Seems like controller.controller aren't wasting any time about performing live on their home turf. After coming back from their U.K. tour which runs through the first couple of weeks in February, a post at 20hz says the band'll be playing at Casbah in Hamilton, ON on March 2. Check out 20hz for other musical goodies(Apostle of Hustle, The Zoobombs, The Sadies, Shonen Knife) in Hamilton planned for the month of March.

And just an addendum to my Metric concert review I posted at the beginning of the week. I think I was wrong about the opener of that show being Jake Fairley. Actually, I think it was Two Koreas. But yes that was still Ian Worang of Uncut playing in the band.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

That's When the Ceremony Starts

Hidden CamerasIf I had hosting space, I'd want to post an mp3 of The Fiery Furnaces' song "Here Comes The Summer". I just picked up the The Fiery Furnaces' "EP". It has 10 tracks with over 40 minutes of music so it's more of an EP in name rather than length. But, to get to my point, I'd like to say that "Here Comes The Summer", in all its Abba-esque pop glory(or is that Blondie?), is the first great song of 2005!

The Hidden Cameras are in the midst of a short tour which, as we speak, brings them to the west coast of Canada and the U.S. for a series of dates. The band'll make their way back home with a stop in Chicago on February 17th. On February 26th(between 2-5pm), to celebrate the release of The Hidden Cameras' 10" "The Arms of his 'ill'", there will be a special event hosted by Art Metropole(788 King St. W., 2nd floor, Toronto). Artists Paul P., GB Jones, Luis Jacob, Will Munro, and Daryl Vocat who designed the cover of the apparently "beautifully illustrated" 10" will be on hand and The Hidden Cameras' Joel Gibb will be performing a special acoustic set.[photo from http://../]

So its with some sadness that I read in the recent issue of eye that Mr. John Sakamoto's The Anti-Hit List" will no longer be running in eye but will be moving to the A&E section of the Saturday edition of The Toronto Star. Does this mean that, at the very least, The Toronto Star will be publishing "The Anti-Hit List" on-line for our foreign readers? Well, I hope so.

Further news from the Ben Folds site: Ben Folds will appear as a special guest on the Steve Earle radio show "the revolution starts now" which airs on 'Air America' this Sunday night, January 30th at 10pm EST. You can listen online at airamericaradio.com if you don't live in the U.S. Also, Ben Folds Five's classic album "Whatever And Ever Amen" is being reissued on March 22nd with 7 bonus tracks.

I want to get this CD compilation that Urban Outfitters is releasing in conjunction with filter magazine. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to the UNICEF Tsunami Relief Fund. It will be sold exclusively at the 70 Urban Outfitter retail locations in the U.S. and on the companies web site at URBN.com. Apparently, there's an UO at 235 Yonge St. in Toronto. I wonder if they'll have it?

How long has that splash page been up at Feist's web site? Beautiful pictures of Leslie Feist with a high-quality audio stream of "Inside and Out" in the background. Yummy.

Update: The Arcade Fire will appear on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on Tuesday February 1, 2005. [from arcadefire.net]

Thursday, January 27, 2005

C'mon & Get Down

The ZoobombsJust a followup to The Zoobombs news yesterday. Just this past Monday, Dan Burke posted on 20hz all the info for the upcoming Zoobombs gigs. Along with their date at The Comfort Zone on March 5th, The Zoobombs will also have shows at The Silver Dollar on March 3rd and 4th. Each night will feature a different set of bands, with The Zoombombs headlining each night. Tickets are $10 and are now on sale at The Silver Dollar, Soundscapes, Rotate This, and Penguin Music. [photo from http://../]

Junior Boys will be headlining A Concert For Tsunami Relief which will be at Quarters(McMaster University Pub at the Student Centre) on Monday February 7th. Tickets $10.00. 7pm start time. Opening bands will include Whitey and The Caucasians, Cities In Dust, and The Rest. Worth a drive to Hamilton possibly. [info from 20hz]

Someone at 20hz said Buck 65 won't be making it to the Brampton Indie Arts Festival after all, but Jim Guthrie and The Rheostatics have been added. Yay! Check out the program.

Rotate This lists Death From Above 1979 playing a gig at The Opera House in Toronto on March 8th, tickets $15.

The Frontier Index are featured over at Soul Shine Magazine. They'll be playing in Toronto on February 4 at El Mocambo (along with The League Champs, Beneath Augusta) as well as in Toronto on March 5 at Healey’s (as part of the Canadian Music Week showcase with Telepathic Butterflies, and High Dials)

Pitchfork reports that Ben Folds will be releasing his new album "Songs For Silverman" on April 26th. As much as I love Ben Folds' music, the news of Weird Al Yankovic singing back-up on one of the tracks("Time") isn't a selling point. Tracklisting is as follows:

01 Bastard
02 You To Thank
03 Jesusland
04 Landed
05 Gracie
06 Trusted
07 Give Judy My Notice
08 Late
09 Sentimental Guy
10 Time
11 Prison Food

Canadian Press reports that Jay and Silent Bob will appear on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Kevin Smith boasts "I got to make out with Caitlin Ryan. . .for hours!". Ok, not really. But it was a funny quote. [link from Largehearted Boy]

Largehearted Boy also points towards a torrent of a Wilco show which took place in Toronto at Convocation Hall on April 21, 2002 and by the looks of the tracklisting, a show I wish I had been at.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Wondrous World of...

Damon and NaomiPicked up the new issue of Exclaim![February 2005] today which features a cover photo of Mr. Bright Eyes Conor Oberst. Ahem. That aside, the new issue is a veritable source of good news, including the following:

-> Damon and Naomi along with Raising The Fawn, A Northern Chorus and Sleeper Set Sail will be playing the Sonic Unyon, Canadian Music Week showcase @ The El Mocambo in Toronto on Thursday March 3rd. Damon and Naomi will also be touring in Canada in April though the official site hasn't confirmed dates yet. [photo left from http://../]

-> Stars will take part in the 13th Anniversary edition of the Exclaim! Cross-Canada Concert Series, which'll feature stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. Yay! More bands to be announced.

-> And as chromewaves already posted, The Weakerthans and The Constantines will be touring Canada beginning on the east coast the last week of March and touring through April towards the west coast, ending up in Whitehorse(!) on May 1st. Toronto fans will have two dates(and specifically three opportunites according to chromewaves, because of a matinee performance on one day), April 8th and 9th at Lee's Palace, to catch the tour which has been dubbed "Rolling Tundra Revue 2005".

Yet another Arcade Fire torrent, this time of their show in Austin, Texas on January 21, 2005. [link from Largehearted Boy]

A couple of tasty Death Cab For Cutie mp3 downloads over at Bradley's Almanac, including a cover of Julian Cope's "World Shut Your Mouth" and the original (and fuller) studio version of "Title And Registration". Yowza!

chartattack's reporting that The New Pornographer's follow up to "The Electric Version" is currently in the works and should wrap up by mid-March, which'll likely mean a summer or early fall release. Matador Records[scroll down] has a letter from Mr. Carl Newman stating all the facts.

melodynelson, by way of productshopnyc, by way of Ambitious-Outsiders are confirming that Nine Inch Nails, Coldplay, New Order, The Killers, Gang Of Four, Doves, The Futureheads, Radio 4, The Arcade Fire, and Fiery Furnaces have been confirmed for the 2005 edition of the Coachella festival. Ambitious-Outsiders[see their post on January 25th, 3:50 pm update] admits jumping the gun when he said that Portishead and Massive Attack were going to play this year's festival, which is apparently NOT true. The confirmed lineup will be announced January 31st. The word for today people is "PATIENCE".

And according to Ted Leo's site[see his SHOWS column], Toronto college radio station CKLN 88.1 FM will be broadcasting his Mod Club show from December 5, 2004. It'll broadcast at 12 am EST on January 29th but you'll also be able to stream it online at http://www.ckln.fm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Succexy

  • concert review: Metric w/ Jake FairleyTwo Koreas @ The Mod Club Theatre (Toronto, Ontario), January 24, 2005

    Emily Haines of Metric: photo by Mike LigonThe Mod Club yesterday was exuding an energy I wouldn't normally feel on a Monday night. I would never have guessed that Metric were popular enough to sell out four nights at The Mod Club, but there you had it. I missed the beginning of the opener's set. That was Jake Fairley, right? If I'm wrong, someone please correct me. Well, I'm assuming that was Jake Fairley because I recognized Ian Worang of Uncut playing as part of the band, and I've read about the Fairley/Worang connection in the past. I was quite taken with his Mark E. Smith-style vocals and post-punk beat-driven tunes. A sizeable chunk of the audience didn't seem to be into the music, which is a shame, or maybe everyone was just too excited to see Metric. Nevertheless, it was a good dance-punk warm up for Metric's set. Too bad there wasn't any merch for the opener. Update: I think the openers were actually Two Koreas.

    With the exhuberance of Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop, the sensuality of Debbie Harry, and the art-rockiness of a member of Devo, Emily Haines tore it up yesterday, leading her Metric bandmates through arguably the best show of the 4 night run they had at The Mod Club this past weekend. (Well, I'd like to think it was the best show.) I can positively say that this show'll definitely be in my top 10 for 2005. I can't believe it took me this long to see Metric live, but that's probably all for the better. The extensive touring they've done over the past several years has likely paid off as they showed themselves to be an extremely tight and confident band. Making all the male hearts(and several female ones) go a flutter, Emily was sexily dressed in a black tight-fitting mini dress. From my vantage point, I couldn't see how drummer Joules Scott-Key was dressed but guitarist James Shaw and bassist Joshua Winstead looked sharp in their Hives-inspired white ties and monochrome shirts. I was quite impressed with Emily's stage persona which teeter-tottered between playful frontwoman and drama queen. Even moreso, I really enjoyed watching her tear it up on the keyboards, with a ferocity that reminded me of early 80's power pop bands. Not to stop there, the multi-talented Ms. Haines was spot-on vocally, giving vocal interpretations of songs off "Old World Underground, Where Are They Now?" with glaring accuracy. So if the renditions of such favourites as "Combat Baby", "IOU", "Succexy", and "Wet Blanket" weren't too different from the CD, the energy of the live show more than made up for that. Thankfully the band threw in some interesting instrumental arrangements on some songs to change things around, such as the extended jam session on "Dead Disco" during the encore. It was good sightlines all around as I managed to ease myself close to the front of the stage for Metric's set. In particular, it was good for witnessing the stage-diving incident which ensued. Like it was 1995 all over again, Emily dragged an audience member onto stage and encouraged her to stage dive into the audience. And then with maybe a little bit of encouragement from the audience, Emily followed suit. Priceless. A shame that as the audience guided Emily's body back to stage, I only managed to get a pinky on her. Oh well. At the end of it all, it was all about the music man. New Wave. Pop. Post-Punk. Art-Rock. Metric are no mere imitators, mind you, but are rather unique-sounding in my opinion, managing to find a respectable balance between art and accessibility...as much ready for ZedTV[click for Metric content] as they are for The O.C., which in the end means intelligent pop songs that you can dance to.

    [my photos from the show (be forewarned, quality of photos varies)]


  • In other news, Femme Generation will be playing a show with Shikasta, Boy Ballz, Gentleman Reg, Two Koreas, and Japan's The Zoobombs on March 5th 2005 @ Comfort Zone during Canadian Music Week 2005. Doors 7:30PM $10 (CMW wristbands/passes accepted).


  • Ben Lee has a newly-designed website. He also has a blog.

  • Monday, January 24, 2005

    Let's Bottle Bohemia

    The ThrillsOver at DemoDaze Live, there's streaming video of a live session The Thrills did for them, including some lovely acoustic versions of "Not For All", "Saturday Night", "Big Sur", and "The Curse of Comfort". [link from The Thrills message board]

    According to a post at 20hz, the Wavelength Zine will no longer be available as a print publication but will continue as an online entity starting March. I've never gotten that attached to it since I've rarely had the opportunity to pick it up but for the times I did get to pick it up I was fond of its simplicity and the sheer enthusiasm that seemed to go into every issue. It's a shame I haven't had the chance to attend one single show of the Wavelength series. Que sera sera.

    Due to demand and the unavailability of import copies in the U.K., The Arcade Fire's "Funeral" will be released on iTunes tomorrow, a full month before the CD is scheduled to be released in the U.K. [from NME]

    Death From Above 1979 are interviewed over at twenty/forty.

    Word is that the new Broken Social Scene disc will be released this fall, instead of Valentine's day as I believe it was originally planned for. ...It's gonna be a long winter, spring, and summer.

    Sunday, January 23, 2005

    Six O'Clock News

    Kathleen EdwardsWith the release of Kathleen Edward's new CD "Back To Me" on March 1st, I'm feeling disappointed in myself for not supporting her from the beginning. Although I thought the first single "Six O'Clock News" off her first CD "Failer" was a terrific slice of country rock, I never made the jump to purchasing the CD. I hope to remedy that in the near future. Today as I listened to song samples on the 'net of her first CD I realized that it combines the best elements of Sarah Harmer's folkiness with the ballsy ruggedness of early Wilco and Son Volt, with Ms. Edward's rootsy vocals carrying along subtle yet delectable melodies. The wonderful Ms. Edwards will be on Late Show With David Letterman on March 2 to promote her new CD. Before that appearance, she has several live dates including February 23 at The Casbah(Hamilton, ON), and February 25 and 26 at The Black Sheep Inn(Wakefield, QC). (thanks to 20hz for tipping me off on the Hamilton, ON live date, which I'm highly considering going to) [photo from HoustonChronicle.com]

    The tracklisting for the thirteenth Comes with a Smile CD, "Every Minute A Mystery", has been finalized, and for Canadian content, includes a remixed version of The Heavy Blinkers' "Gentle Strength". The CD will be accompanying issue #18 of Comes with a Smile, which'll be the first all-colour issue. The new issue will also feature an interview with The Heavy Blinkers. The new issue should be in finer stores this week.

    Through a bit of web surfing, I came across the blog, wedge-esque which has taken the task of posting the weekly The Wedge music video playlists as well as providing (some)links to streaming versions of the music videos. Awesome.

    pop77's rockin' da house with a great electro-post-punk-pop-house mp3 mix, including the 'Girls Are Short Mix' of Death From Above 1979 's "Romantic Rights". [be forewarned, the file size is 107 MB]

    Johnny, good night.

    Saturday, January 22, 2005

    Coachella, Man!

    Coachella ManLet the madness begin! Yesterday Goldenvoice.com sent out an e-mail(which I must have subscribed to at one point last year) that the Coachella presale has now begun. The presale will last until Sunday, January 23rd at 9 PM PST. Given the brutal heat, pain-in-the neck parking situation, expensive concessions, and hard-to-find accommodations[well, this last one's sort of my fault since I left it to the last minute] when my friend and I went to Coachella in 2004, I'd still want to do it again. There was something about being a Canadian on California soil which made it quite a transcendental experience...ok, maybe it was just the heat. Although it did help also that I got to see The Pixies, Radiohead, The Cure, Belle and Sebastian, Death Cab For Cutie, Broken Social Scene and others all in one weekend. I haven't made up my mind about going this year but the full line up will be announced on Monday January 31st. For now though, Burned By The Sun's doing a good job of making a list of rumoured/confirmed Coachella participants. The dates of this year's Coachella are Saturday April 30th and Sunday May 1st. The photo here is one of mine from last year's festival. Ain't it pretty?

    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    Switched On

    StereolabBillboard reports that Stereolab will be returning to Too Pure, whose plans include reissuing their 1992 compilation "Switched On" on February 22 and releasing vocalist Sadler's project Monade's new CD "A Few Steps More" on March 8. They will also be releasing Stereolab's three-disc boxed set, "Oscillons From the Anti-Sun" sometime in mid-year. The band has also begun working on its next studio album which should arrive in 2006. [photo from http://../]

    Largehearted Boy points towards a torrent of The Arcade Fire's show in San Diego just this past January 17, 2005.

    Check out the program for 2005 Brampton Indie Arts Festival which will be taking place between February 2-6 at The Heritage Theatre in Brampton, Ontario. Not too shabby. It'll be featuring some fine musical acts including Buck 65, Ron Sexsmith(in a solo acoustic performance), Cuff The Duke, and Bob Wiseman. Passes $25(only 100 passes are available), nightly tickets $12 at the door, advance nightly tickets $10.00. Scott Thompson of Kids in the Hall will also make an appearance the night of February 6 to do some improv and perform some sketches! As a resident of Mississauga, all I have to say is Mississauga Goddam.

    pop(all love)[via Popdirt] points us towards Feist's new video for "Inside and Out". Sexy.

    Here's a torrent of the Wilco / Bright Eyes performance on Austin City Limits. [link from andy's livejournal]

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    Bloc Party

    What has been dubbed The Stopping and Shipping Tour 2005!, Carolyn Mark and Lederhosen Lucil will embark on a tour beginning at The Drake in Toronto on March 1st. Tour dates over at Mint Records.

    Largehearted Boy points towards a torrent of a New Pornographers live show in Chicago on 23/02/2002.

    I have no idea who they are or what they sound like, but I've heard Bloc Party's name bounced around the blogosphere. Morecowbell reports that the band's going on tour and will be making a Toronto, Canada stop on April 2, 2005 at The Mod Club. Which gives me a couple of months to catch up to the rest of you music geeks.

    Picked up the new issue of NOW which had a little blurb on the film "D.E.B.S." which will be opening on March 8th. The film is based on a short film that debuted at Sundance in 2003 and is about 4 plaid-skirted highschool girls who join an underground academy called D.E.B.S, which stands for DISCIPLINE, ENERGY, BEAUTY and STRENGTH. Apparently, it's a send up of such films as "Charlie's Angels". Who wants to bet that every male horny bastard will be at the theatre on opening day.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    Thanks a Lot

    concert review: Neko Case and The Sadies(featuring Kelly Hogan) w/ Johnny Dowd, The Phoenix Concert Theatre(Toronto, Ontario), January 16, 2005

    Neko Case: photo by Mike LigonI promised myself I'd be more punctual with posting reviews of shows I've been to and I'll be damned if I don't post something about the Neko Case show which happened this past Sunday night. Didn't make it for opener Johnny Dowd. It was all about Neko for me. Since it was the first time I'd be seeing her live, I was pretty excited about the whole thing. Fortunately, even with arriving at The Phoenix only about 15 minutes before Neko's set, I was still able to grab a nice spot almost right up near the stage, at the very right. Decent view, although I would have preferred something more central. (Hey Frank, I saw you got a decent spot up at the front as usual. Nice pics, btw.) Neko was accompanied with Toronto hometown boys, The Sadies, with the talented Kelly Hogan on background vocals.

    With Neil Young's "Tonight's the Night" preceding Neko and the band making their entrance onto the stage, I was really hoping for a barn-burner of a show, but was left somewhat disappointed. I wouldn't necessarily put the blame on Neko and her band. They played a delectable selection of teary-eyed country ballads and more raucous country rock tunes(with some tasty guitar work from the incomparable Dallas Good). Kelly Hogan provided some lovely 'oohs' and 'aahs' and background vocals that combined quite nicely with Neko's beautiful vocals. My only complaint of the night was that the Sunday night crowd was just too mellow(pot-smoking, momma-calling, chickee at the front of the stage excepted). Otherwise, I was enamoured with Neko that night. With her fiery red hair(almost crimson like Dallas Good's suit), Neko enchanted the audience with lovely ballads like on "Make Your Bed" which ended on a series of 'ooohs' that gave me goosebumps. Travis Good led the band into a rousing rendition of The Band's "Evangeline". Neko charmed the audience between songs as her spontaneous stage banter led into school-girl like rambling and still managed to make us laugh. So there were no tales of drunken road trips, groupies and such. Just funny stories of Kelly Hogan's dog, Neko getting The Sadies to perform "Happy Birthday" for birthday girl Kelly Hogan (which The Sadies gladly obliged), and alot of shout-outs to friends in Toronto for putting up with her and giving her a place to practice. My impression of Neko that night was that she might look like the kind of girl you're mom might not approve of, but once you get to know her, she's just really NICE. So NICE in fact, I would've sworn she was Canadian.

    [photos]

    Sunday, January 16, 2005

    High On Cruel

    The DearsJust came back from the Neko Case and The Sadies show(featuring Kelly Hogan). It was my first time seeing her live and it was a good time all around. I'll try to post some pictures and a review tomorrow.

    brooklynvegan's posts have been kicking some major ass recently. As he points out, the New York City blogosphere was out in full force for The Dears show @ Mercury this past Saturday and he's conveniently encapsulated in one post links to other blogs of persons who were also at the show. That said, I'm disappointed in the (mostly)negative reviews of The Dears performance that night that the New York City bloggers have given the band. GIVE THEM A CHANCE, NEW YORK! I love The Dears. They've put on some of the best live performances I've ever seen. And yes, I think they deserve as much adulation as you've given Canada's The Arcade Fire. [original photo left from Daily Refill]

    Just a reminder that The Arcade Fire will be appearing on Morning Becomes Eclectic, tomorrow January 17 at 11:15am(which would be 2:15 pm EST). Of course, you should be able to check this out online at KCRW. [info from Neighbourhood #1 message board]

    So I gave in yesterday and finally watched "Daredevil". I wanted to watch it before I go see "Elektra". And whaddya know..."Daredevil" didn't suck. It's not perfect but it entertains, looks fairly good and maintains a suitable dark atmosphere(a la "Batman") that gave the film some presence. My main criticism of the film(had I seen it when it originally came out) would have been the lack of character development with Elektra(played by Jennifer Garner). I guess that problem's solved now that she has her own movie. So why is it that when I watch the trailers for "Elektra", there's a chilling similarity to "Kill Bill"? Coincidence? I think not. Okay, maybe it is. Who cares anyway. It's Jennifer Garner!

    Saturday, January 15, 2005

    Bananas


  • bananaMyself being of Filipino descent, but being born and raised in Canada, I found Jocelyn Chan's article over at CBC Radio 3(with photos by Kemp Attwood) where she explores her own issues of being a Chinese-Canadian, banana, jook-sing, what-have-you, really quite(and unfortunately) relevant to my own experience of growing up as a Filipino-Canadian. The emotions stirred by Ms. Chan's article, reminds me of the film "The Debut" which explores the issue of being Filipino and growing up in the United States. In that film, the character who plays the family's son is quite entrenched in the American lifestyle, his friends are caucasian, and he doesn't speak Tagalog, while his sister in the movie(who's in preparation for her debut) is quite the opposite of her brother, as her friends are all Filipino. [My own experience has actually been somewhere in the middle, but I don't speak Tagalog.] There are various aspects of cultural identity and relationships explored in the film but in the end has quite an optimistic outlook. If I can take comfort in anything from Ms. Chan's article, it's that I'm not alone in those feelings. Maybe we can start a support group? Ok, I was just joking about that last part.;-) Ms. Chan's article ends on an open-ended note as she ponders whether her disconnection from her Chinese heritage is part of her cultural identity; whether she'll always be separated from "Chinese" with that hypen[attached to Canadian]. My question is, is being a(an) [insert you own ethnic heritage]-Canadian such a bad thing?


  • From Portishead's official site:

    We are playing live for the first time in 7 years as part of a fund raising concert for the Tsunami Crisis in Asia at the Bristol Academy on February 19th - we'll also be sharing a stage
    with Massive Attack for the first time. And more artists will be added to the bill very soon.

    We'll each play a short set, around 20 minutes and we'll be performing songs you know - very
    nearly unplugged. As so many of you are based outside of the UK the whole event can be viewed
    as a live web-cast and we'll be posting more details of this here so keep checking the site.


    Go here for details about the benefit show.

    Also, just before Christmas, Portishead announced plans to finish recording of their new album by the end of 2005.


  • chartattack reports on the 'reunion' of Wooden Stars.


  • Just a reminder for anyone in Toronto, but Sam The Record Man on Yonge St. is having a 99 cent sale on a selection of CD's. Ok so alot of it is garbage, but you'll find some interesting finds buried there such as The Soup Dragon's "Hang Ten" , The Hope Blister's "...smile's ok", and Six By Seven's "The Things We Make". Worth a look.

  • Friday, January 14, 2005

    you are truly special, I like you

    SloanThe Sloan article at chartattack today starts off "Feeling a Sloan withdrawl as of late?". Well, that was exactly what I was feeling while I watched Sloan perform "Penpals" on CBC's broadcast of the CanadaForAsia tsunami relief concert. chartattack reports that Sloan will be going into the studio soon to record a couple of new tracks(!), which will be included on an upcoming greatest hits package that'll hopefully be released this summer. There are plans to include some DVD video along with the CD compilation. Yeh! (chartattack says the news was announced on Sloan's official site recently, but the site seems to be mysteriously down at the moment) [photo from http://../]

    Took long enough, but there's finally a torrent of Broken Social Scene's free show at Harbourfront(in Toronto, ON) which took place on August 27, 2004. As I indicated in a previous post this was one of my favourite shows of 2004. [torrent link from Largehearted Boy]

    Stereogum(via Golden Fiddle) points towards a link to the Luna show at Lee's Palace in Toronto on November 7, 2004, in mp3 format. Yet another one of my favourite shows of 2004.

    The Wily Filipino posted a link to some videos of Guided By Voices' show, from the day before their last-ever Chicago show. (man, did that sentence sound ugly.)

    And as promised, Pitchfork relaunches! (although at a higher resolution than 800 X 600 pixels, which means for me, damn scrollbars at the bottom of my screen; time to get a new monitor)

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    Inside And Out

    I'm mentally tired(or maybe just mental) so most things Zoilus have inspired this post today. I'm glad at least one of us can form some coherent thoughts, but I'll try.

    FeistZoilus responds to pop(all love) with regards to Feist. If I understood Zoilus' arguement correctly, its that he thinks there's something overly self-conscious with Feist's approach to her music; that in her attempt to create something musically uniqe in the Canadian music landscape, she's chosen to play it safe. Or as Zoilus puts it "there ain't enough ballast or swagger or in general physical presence (even the presence of wispiness) to suggest that most of these songs have anywhere to go or anything to do." I can't say I agree. And I guess its all a matter of perspective. For someone such as myself, whose musical tastes(at least currently) mirror the pages of Magnet and Exclaim, ie. indie rock, buzz bands, etc..., Feist's "Let It Die", while lumped in with the indie rock scene by her association with Broken Social Scene, was a wholely non-indierock sounding album. By MY standards, it WAS adventurous, refreshing, and quite a bit out of my usual music realm. Maybe, its her association with Broken Social Scene that really made me check her out in the first place but the end has justified the means, as its been a rewarding experience thus far. [photo from http://../]

    Zoilus also gives us the goods on the brilliance and upcoming album of Martha Wainwright. I'd count her(along with Paula Frazer[ex-of Tarnation]) as a vocalist who caught my attention immediately after hearing just one song. (Paula Frazier did it for me after I heard her sing on Cornershop's "Good To Be On The Road Back Home".) To hear Martha's enchanting background vocal's on her brother Rufus' "April Fools" was exhilirating. Hearing "April Fools" the first time introduced me to two great artists at the same time, and Martha's own greatness has been long overdue to the public at large. I remember reading she was doing some residencies in some dark, dank piano bars in New York City and her Toronto appearances have been infrequent(I unfortunately missed the few she did make). Tracking down her independent releases(EP's?) in Toronto has been unsuccessful. The new album will hopefully meet all my high expectations.

    Isn't Emm Gryner on the cover of this week's issue of eye looking like a cross between Bjork and Feist? Bew-ti-ful! Read the cover story. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to make it to her Monday show at Top o' the Senator because I have an evening class that night. And I'd probably be too tired to go after class anyway. Although, its just down the street from Ryerson. Hmmm? Well anything's possible.

    The Rotate This site's now listing ticket info for the following:

    -> Shonen Knife are @ Lee's Palace on March 12th, tickets $10.50.
    -> Keren Ann tickets @ Horsehoe Tavern on March 6(tickets $12.00) are now showing to be onsale as well.
    -> Japan's Guitar Wolf and Kingston, ON's Cuff The Duke will be @ Lee's Palace on March 3rd. Tickets $10. I believe that this show is part of Canadian Music Week.

    And yeh! to chromewaves to tipping us off that Tahiti 80 has been confirmed to play the Reverb in Toronto on March 4 during Canadian Music Week, as part of the "French Music Export Showcase", along with Sebastien Tellier, Ghinzu and Vegomatic. Admission is $10 at the door or with wristband.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    There's something about you, got me down on my knees

    MetricThose Metric show tickets for The Mod Club have been selling like hotcakes, so much so that the 21st and 22nd dates are sold out and they've added a third one for the 23rd(which is a Sunday) and in all likelihood will be an early one. [photo from Exclaim]

    From Endearing Records: "Julie Doiron's live performance of "Snow Falls In November" will air on ZeD's "All Music Monday" episode on Monday January 17th. ZeD airs weeknights on CBC Television at 11:25pm after The National."

    Cha Cha Charming, of all things girl-powered and pop-atastic, has added some new feature articles including one on everyone's(well some of us at least) current favourite 'it' girl, Keren Ann. Sheila at Cha Cha Charming also links to an mp3 of a cool little tune by Marxy, called "We Won't Be Sold" which sounds like a mixture of a lower scale-Polyphonic Spree and The Partridge Family. No, really it's pretty good.

    Went by Rotate This after work to pick up a ticket to the Neko Case show at The Phoenix on January 16th. I also tried to pick up a ticket for the Keren Ann show at the Horseshoe in March but they weren't on sale yet. Patience folks, sooner or later, although tickets are already available through Ticketmaster.ca if you just can't wait.

    20hz folks point towards a torrent of Broken Social Scene show in Switzerland.

    I wish I had come across these fun Weezer-themed x'mas tunes in time for Christmas.[from weezer.com news update 12/25/04] In other Weezer news, the new single will be called "Beverly Hills" and is slated for release on March 21st in advance of their fifth album which should be released this spring(hopefully).[from weezer.com news update 01/11/05]

    I came across Little Radio via a banner over at Pitchfork(who, btw, have returned from vacation). They are a Los Angeles internet-based radio station. There's some good streaming radio over at little radio that I was sampling tonight.[At the time of this post I was listening to Teenage Fanclub!] There's a radio program(Sundays 7pm-9pm [rebroadcast Fridays noon-2pm]; LA time) by 14-year old Zoƫ Rogers that I'm tempted to check out, especially after reading an article about her over at Spin. Shit, she's only 14 years old and she likes Ted Leo, Guided By Voices, Wilco and Pretty Girls Like Graves. How refreshing. Now, if only more young people could follow suit and lay off the Britney Spears and Ashlee Simpson. Over at Little Radio you'll also find some games to pass the time, as well as mp3 downloads(including a download of Toronto band The Bicycles' "Cuddly Toy").

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Blue Jam


  • Bonnie PinkAm I missing the point of Canadian Music Week, when the only acts of the one's invited drawing my attention so far(aside from some of the familiar Canadian artists) are the foreign artists? I already spoke about my excitement for the possibility of seeing Tahiti 80. Today, I was checking out web sites for Bonnie Pink(from Tokyo, Japan) and Sebastian Tellier(from Paris, France) in particular.

    I heard of Bonnie Pink[for some info in English check the BP fanlisting] a couple of years back when I was getting into jpop bands like Puffy Amiyumi and The Brilliant Green. I never got around to Bonnie Pink's music however. Check the [defunct]Evil and Flowers site for an mp3 of her song "Do You Crash?". (If the site's exceeded its transfer quota, check back later.) The song combines Japanese and English lyrics, starting out softly with some nice acoustic guitar, then builds slowly towards a semi-orchestral conclusion. The vocals bypass the stereotypical cutesy Japanese female vocals for female vocals which were surprisingly stronger than I expected. Good song that I'd like to check out more of. The editorial review of her 1999 debut CD "Blue Jam" over at Amazon.ca makes it all the more tempting. [photo from Bonnie Pink official website]

    Sebastian Tellier is the first signing to Air's Record Makers label. I listened to a couple of streaming tracks at his site which piqued my interest in his music. His music seems to maintain the ambient, cinematic quality of Air's music but with less emphasis on beats. Check out "Universe". Really quite moving in my opinion, but I'm wondering whether a whole set of this could be too sedate.


  • In other news, former Afghan Whigs/current Twilight Singers frontman Greg Dulli has yet another band to get his ya-ya's out. This times it's in the form of Uptown Lights which comprises past and present members of The Twilight Singers. And as thetwilightsingers.com states:

    Formed primarily to throw house parties in their hometown while they work on their respective individual projects, Uptown Lights revisits the days of dressing uptown and throwing downtown. Armed with a setlist featuring the songs of their heroes, like O.V. Wright, Joe Tex, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and many, many more, this show is not to be missed...

    The lineup is as follows: Greg Dulli/Vocals, Scott Ford/Bass, Mathias Schneeberger/Keys, Jon Skibic/Guitar, and Brian Young/Drums. The band'll play their first show on February 19th at Spaceland in Silverlake, CA. The band has a myspace page. The band answers some of the questions that inquiring minds want to know such as whether there'll be a tour(response: probably not but possibly some sporadic shows), or whether there will be any live recordings(response: to quote them, "You bet your ass there will be").

    I'd love to see the band come to Toronto, but that seems like a longshot. Seeing as I missed the opportunity to see The Afghan Whigs live, maybe The Twilight Singers will come to Toronto and Mr. Dulli can throw some Uptown Lights and/or Afghan Whigs selections into the set list. [info from Summer's Kiss, via thetwilightsingers.com]

  • Sunday, January 09, 2005

    Heads Up

    A Girl Called EddyFoxymoron gave us a heads up on the upcoming Esthero/Ivana Santilli gig at The Opera House on the 20th.

    Chromewaves got the jump on the news of the Keren Ann/A Girl Called Eddy show on March 6th at the Horseshoe. (By the way, thanks for the e-mail!)

    So other things to look forward to:

    >Douglas Coupland @ Isabel Bader Theatre, January 12, $10 @ Ticketmaster.ca (ok, I won't be going to this since I have an evening class, and Mr. Coupland's reading starts early)
    >Microbunny @ El Mocambo, February 11
    >Ruth Minnikin w/ Kate Maki, Nathan Lawr, Dale Murray, Ryan Bishops @ El Mocambo, February 12 - Actually, the artists have dubbed this tour "A Midwinter Night's Dream" and they will be playing as a band, backing each other up on each other's songs. I only have superficial knowledge of these artists but this one sounds interesting.

    Saturday, January 08, 2005

    Wallpaper for the Soul

    Tahiti 80I was reading the Canadian Music Week site yesterday and was excited to see that France's pop revisionists Tahiti 80 were invited to play this year's CMW festival. The band's official web site makes no mention of whether they've confirmed to play the festival but I'm so hoping they agree to come to Canada. (I posted a message on their message board yesterday, asking whether they've decided to play CMW and I hope they say yes.) Their debut CD "Puzzle" released on Minty Fresh in 2000 was a spectacular pop record full of sophisticated pop melodies, winsome vocals, airy guitars, and spacey keyboards, with flourishes of disco rhythms, Bacharach-esque horns, and Beach Boys-ish background vocals. Succinctly, a pop music lover's dream. I was late in catching onto the band's music when they played in Toronto at Lee's Palace in 2000. [Read a review of that show @ chartattack] I don't believe Tahiti 80 has played Toronto ever since, even though the band's had a couple of releases including 2002's "Wallpaper for the Soul" and 2004's "Piece of Sunshine" which contained eight new tracks from the "Wallpaper" sessions plus a DVD of promo videos. Shame on me, but I haven't bought either, mostly due to my reluctance to pay the outrageous import prices. Maybe I'll remedy this soon. According to the most recent news update at the band's site, their third album "Fosbury" will come out late-February in Japan, in Europe on March 21, and then in the States shortly afterwards. For the uninitiated, download an mp3 of "Get Yourself Together" (from 2002's "Wallpaper for the Soul") or watch the music video for "Heartbeat" [streaming music videos are also available at the band's web site under "Media"]. In the meantime, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Tahiti 80 will come back to Toronto. [photo from http://../]

    Speaking of Canadian Music Week(which runs from March 2-5), the CMW site also lists The Zoobombs as being invited to perform at this year's festival. Someone at the Zoobombs Yahoo Group says that The Zoobombs will be playing in Toronto tentatively on March 3, 4, and 5. Japanese blog, memo from Bomb Freaks, which linked to an older post of mine on the subject also seems to indicate that they will be playing the festival.

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    We all need to be the cause

    Broken Social SceneMissed out on Broken Social Scene tickets this morning for their benefit show @ Lee's Palace to raise funds for tsunami relief efforts. I was at work this morning and got all caught up with work and such and I forgot to go online at Ticketmaster.ca at 10 am to purchase tickets. Bummer. Comments over at Torontoist from Travis offer a bit of hope who says that maybe the show will be moved to a larger venue since it sold out so quickly(at a ticket price of $30 no less!). [photo from http://../]

    The Libertines have broken up. The band was cursed and the breakup seemed inevitable, but damn, it was way too short of a career from such a great band. [from chartattack]

    PopMatters presents the best film and television of 2004.

    Wilco will be releasing an expanded version of their album "A Ghost Is Born" on March 7. [from NME]

    After a short American tour until mid-January, The Constantines will return to the studio to record their new album. The band also have plans for a Canadian "coast-to-coast-to-north" tour this spring. [from Three Gut Records]

    Lal will begin an extensive tour shortly which will take 'em from Ontario, to Quebec, towards the West Coast, then over to Europe for a series of dates through to February. In these neck of the woods, they'll be playing The Drake Hotel in Toronto on January 19th and The Casbah in Hamilton, ON on January 20th.

    The Barmitzvah Brothers, with openers Spiral Beach, will be playing the Edward Day Gallery in Toronto(952 Queen St. West) on January 21st. Tickets $5. [from eye]

    Wednesday, January 05, 2005

    Electrifying Conclusion

    Guided By VoicesTravelers Diagram points the way to several Guided By Voices related items:

    - someone's personal account of going with Jim Greer(a former member of GBV) to GBV's final show.
    - Nude as the News posts their list of the top 100 GBV songs.
    - some video clips from GBV's 12/31/04 "Electrifying Conclusion" show in Chicago. [photo from http://../]

    Caught part of Stars' music video for "Ageless Beauty" this evening on Muchmusic's "Takeover". The performance shots of the band are artistic and lovely but seeing the shots of the teenage girls almost made me think that this was a new music video for Avril Lavigne. That is, until I heard the song. Watch the video. By the way, George Vale, who I believe is the video director has directed some other interesting videos for the likes of Broken Social Scene, Feist, Uncut and more. Check out full length samples over at http://www.magnacyd.com/.

    ... So, I think I'll try to buy a ticket tomorrow morning to the Broken Social Scene tsunami benefit show @ Lee's Palace on January 25th. Tickets $30, onsale on January 6 at 10 am at Ticketmaster.ca, Rotate This and Soundscapes. All for a good cause, right? [from pop(all love)]

    Foxymoron posts a copy of an article from today's Globe and Mail on the topic of the lack of CanCon tunes available through Canada's iTunes, by artists such as Arcade Fire, Feist, and Broken Social Scene.

    If we don't necessarily agree with Zoilus' opinion on Feist[read @ pop(all love)] he makes an eloquent case for Joanna Newsom who I've yet to hear a note of.

    Paperbag Records artists Magneta Lane are going on a Western Canada tour while Uncut will be recording an EP follow-up to their debut CD "Those Who Were Hung Hang Here". Along with those artists, controller.controller and Fembots will be playing the label's showcase at this year's SXSW. [see Paperbag Records news update January 3, 2005]. By the way, Magneta Lane are profiled over at Soul Shine Magazine.

    twenty/forty's interview with Midnight Movies is now accessible(after what seemed like a month of being in bad HTML code limbo). Midnight Movies opened for Clinic and Sons and Daughters in Toronto @ Lee's Palace this past November [read my review] and were one of my nicer musical discoveries of last year, sounding like a cross betwee Stereolab and Yo La Tengo.

    PopMatters gives us its concerts highlights of 2004, and Canada even makes it to the list with the April 22, 2004 Sebadoh/Raising The Fawn show at The Underground in Hamilton, Ontario.

    In these trying times, there's nothing more uplifting than watching U2 perform live on a flatbed truck, rolling through downtown New York City traffic. Uplifting, not so much for U2, but rather to see exhuberant fans running trying to keep up with the truck. Almost as good as U2's surprise downtown L.A. music video performance for "Where The Streets Have No Name". Too bad the new song isn't just as good. Watch U2's video for "All Because of You". [link from Stereogum]

    Monday, January 03, 2005

    The Stars are Insane

    StarsStars will be going on a mini-tour(in Canada) in January teaming up with In-Flight Safety for a series of dates in New Brunswick on the 18th, 19th and 20th. Then Stars heads to Halifax for a couple of dates on the 21st and 22nd with Broken Social Scene. At the end of the month, Stars will be playing some dates in Ontario with Gentlemen Reg, including a date in Hamilton, ON at The Casbah on the 27th. [from Soul Shine Magazine...also check out Arts and Crafts] [photo from woxy.com]

    And according to Kingblind, "Broken Social Scene, The Dears, Death From Above 1979, and Stars are planning a tour of Japan for May. BSS is also preparing for the release of its third album in March or April, while Stars releases Set Yourself on Fire on March 8 in the US." Can anyone confirm the tour date info? I've checked the artists' site but have turned up nothing to confirm this info. Not like I'd be going to Japan but the lineup just seems too good to be true.

    Splendid gets 21-year old Londoner, William B. Swygart, to list his favourite singles released in the U.K. in 2004. I guarantee that you haven't heard half of these (ok, so I haven't heard of half of 'em).

    Ben Gibbard lists his favourite music releases of 2004. [from Death Cab For Cutie official site(see Ben Gibbard's January 2, 2005 journal post)]

    I'll probably end up buying the "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (Ltd Collector's Edition) DVD tomorrow but the "Harold and Kumar" DVD is also being released as well. And since it's my first day back to work after the holidays, I think I'll need the laughs.

    So today I did end up purchasing the recent issue(Fall 2004) of Comes with a Smile at my local Chapters. It is really an attractive publication with a nice layout and beautiful photographs. The $16.95 CDN price tag is a little high, but it does come with a CD of mostly unreleased tracks.

    Sunday, January 02, 2005

    Comes with a Smile

    Comes with a SmileComes with a Smile(the print publication) is going through a redesign in 2005. I've been looking for this publication on Canadian shelves for the past several years and even looked for it in several shops in California when I was down there this past May, but I hadn't had any luck in finding it. I was primarily interested in it for the CD compilation that comes with each issue. Of course, proscratination prevented me from ever ordering a copy through the mail. Last week, I was surprised that the local Chapters(in Mississauga) had several copies of the current issue of Comes with a Smile, but at a hefty price tag of about $16.00 CDN, I passed at the time. Eh, I think I'm going to go back tomorrow and see if I can pick up a copy. The CD compilation with the current issue has a couple of rare/unreleased tracks from Jim Guthrie and Royal City. How's that for your Can-Con?! Comes with a Smile, from my recollection, includes Canadian artists(eg. Sloan) almost on a regular basis on its CD compilations. Surprising since the publication is from Britain. [photo from Comes with a Smile]

    brooklynvegan has put together a list(including photos and mp3's) of his favourite shows of 2004. Many of the same acts have passed through Toronto, but still I'm very jealous of New Yorkers for getting the chance to see The Hidden Cameras OPEN for The Arcade Fire, AND to see Broken Social Scene play THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW.

    Jen at daily refill dot com points the way to a great video of a live Arcade Fire performance from a July 28, 2004 show in New York City. Jen also reminds us that Wilco will be on Late Show with David Letterman on January 8 and Austin City Limits on January 9. And speaking of Wilco, Largehearted Boy points the way towards a torrent of their show at Madison Square Gardens in New York City on New Year's Eve just a couple of nights ago. Only Wilco's and Sleater Kinney's sets are seeded but the Flaming Lips'(who also played the show) set will likely follow soon. Again another reason to be jealous of New Yorkers. Grrrr!

    Every now and then my 13 year old nephew's musical tastes(ranging from Keisha Chante, to 50 Cent, to Usher) borders on tolerable, if not downright enjoyable. Case in point: Young Buck's "Bang Bang" which creatively samples Nancy Sinatra 's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)". The ultimate mashup and purely sublime.