Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Funny Little Frog

While I already knew that The Gossip were playing in Toronto at X-Space on March 29th, I noticed over at Kork(the booking agency) that UK indie-poppers Comet Gain will be joining them. Or did someone over at Kork get asterisk-happy and mistakenly indicate Comet Gain to play in Toronto? The Kill Rock Stars site indicates that Comet Gain have a TBA show scheduled for March 29th.

Serena Maneesh has a show at Lee's Palace on March 30th. Is this the must-see show of the year, for a person whose music I haven't heard a note of but I've read the name on the 'net countless times?

Belle and Sebastian were in session yesterday January 30, 2006 on BBC Radio 2's Mark Radcliffe show. They performed four songs interspered throughout the hour and half show, including THE BLUES WILL STILL BE BLUE, TO BE MYSELF COMPLETELY, DRESS UP IN YOU, and FUNNY LITTLE FROG. Listen here(link up for a week only).

Update: B(oot)log alerted me in the comments that he's ripped the session(to mp3) and has graciously offered them for download at his site. Yay to B(oot)log once again!

NPR has the Colin Meloy/Laura Veirs solo acoustic sets for download which they originally broadcast on January 28, 2006.

Of Montreal will perform a live session for KEXP today at 3 pm EST(12 pm PST). Listen online.

The Chicago Sun Times think Feist is a bit unpolished live. Edit: I don't want to give the impression that the reviewer doesn't like Feist; on the contrary, the reviewer thought Feist's recent performance in Chicago had flashes of brilliance, but actually the reviewer is quite honest(but never brutal) about his criticisms. Having given it a more thorough reading, it's a good review and something I'd like to aspire to in my reviews of shows. I'm honest with my reviews(if I love or just only like a show), but sometimes I follow the "if you have nothing good to say, don't say nothing at all" motto too closely. I won't be spewing up bile about artists/concerts I've gone too anytime soon, but expect more balanced commentary in the future.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Back To The Lake

MK12 - Guided By Voices' 'Back To The Lake'It was such a pleasure to stumble across design shop MK12's animation piece for Guided By Voices' song "Back To The Lake". (Watch it here.) This motley bunch created one of the most satisfying combinations of digital effects, live action and music I've ever come across. Yes, I'm a little late to the party on this - the video was online months ago as part of a Coca-Cola multimedia experiment called M5. As MK12 member Matt Fraction explained, 5 design shops, including MK12, were chosen to take part in the project to design bottles and create animation pieces. The other design shops involved were Lobo, Designer's Republic, Rex & Tennant McKay, and Cavia. I was fortunate enough to have been unaware of the corporate strings tied to MK12's video so that I could appreciate it on it's own merits. Pitchfork was of course being droll when it expressed the following about M5:
'According to the M5 website, the soda giant approached five style-conscious design groups to create "visions of optimism" through forward-thinking Coke ad campaigns. Positive thinking via cola consumption? God, that's a depressing thought.'

Humour aside, is there any good that can come of corporate sponsorship? MK12's Matt Fraction explains,
'Coke was a sponsor, really: they made it all happen and left everyone alone to do the work. No product placement, no credit, etc. They didn't want a Coke commercial. They wanted to commission a piece of work from us.'

If the astounding quality of the "Back To The Lake" video is any indication(and furthermore without any visible signs of corporate logos), I think Coca-Cola has maintained a distance that is applaudable. Of course Coca-Cola has an agenda. Coca-Cola gets from the design shops creative designs for it's new line of aluminum bottles, but the M5 website and it's accompanying videos are works of art that the design shops can take pride in and add to their portfolio of work which I hope'll garner them more work in the future.
Watch/Download MK12's animation piece for Guided By Voices' "Back To The Lake" as well as the accompanying 'Making Of' video.

Jungle Life San Francisco neatly encapsulates the M5 project.

Computer Arts has a good article exploring corporate sponsorship and the involvement of big business in art and graphic design.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

You Belong To Me

chartattack reports that Fembots have shot a music video for their song "History Remade" using cellphones for at least 60% of the video.

The New York Times reviews the Broken Social Scene show from this past Thursday January 26th at Webster Hall in NYC.

Watch (sometimes)shaky videos(the videos themselves, not the performances) of Neko Case performing a cover of country standard "You Belong To Me", the original which was performed by Patty Page, then Neko performing "Deep Red Bells". Both performances were from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle in 2005.

NPR broadcasted yesterday the solo performances of Colin Meloy and Laura Veirs recorded live at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va. Check it out. Downloadable versions of both concerts will be available on Monday.

Don't Need Anything has a Cat Power John Peel live session for download.

B(oot)log continues with the great live music downloads, this time being The Constantines at Lee's Palace on April 8, 2005.

The Perm and The Skullet has a download available of Jens Lekman's 2005 US Tour EP.

The full lineup for the March 4th Chart Magazine CMW Showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern is as follows(as per Horseshoe Tavern):

Sylvie’ @1:00, ‘Wintersleep’ @12:00, ‘Jon Rae & The River’ @11:00, ‘Elliott Brood’ @10:00 & ‘The Diableros’ @9:00

This could be the best show of the whole festival.

Friday, January 27, 2006

It's A Major Minor Detail

Sondre LercheBillboard speaks with Feist about touring, as well as her new album which she plans to begin recording after her current round of touring. If you're still on a high after seeing Feist perform "Mushaboom" on Jimmy Kimmel Live, you can download a high-quality mpeg rip of the clip over at PureLiveGigs.[via Largehearted Boy]

The Fader Blog has reprinted their Cat Power cover story which they featured in Issue #34 of the magazine.

Torr points to Sondre Lerche's new music video. Mr. Lerche always had a penchant for easy-listening pop music, but this new song sounds too smooth.

Eye Weekly has a small photo collage from last week's January 21st Broken Social Scene concert at Kool Haus.

Final Fantasy, Gentleman Reg and The Two Koreas will be at Lee's Palace for a show on February 15th. Tickets $10 at Soundscapes and Rotate This.

The Canadian Music Week festival schedule is still being finalized but here are some lineups which I believe are part of the festival:

  • March 2 Republic Of Safety, Gentleman Reg, Paper Moon, Femme Generation, Vailhalen and Shoot The Moon @ Reverb [via chartattack]

  • March 3 Luke Doucet, Justin Rutledge, Great Lake Swimmers, Belinda Bruce and United Steelworkers Of Montreal @ Reverb [via chartattack]

  • March 4th The Diableros, Jon-Rae & The River and Wintersleep - Chart CMW Showcase @ Horseshoe Tavern [via The Diableros' website]

  • Download some mp3's from plus/minus' recently released new album "Let's Build A Fire", released in Japan through White Wabbit Records. As Versus UK fansite points out, a US release date is unknown but is thought to be soon. I'd have included the link to the mp3's in my recent Versus-centric blog post, but the link hadn't been working at the time. Well now it is. Enjoy the mp3's. Also, I recently received in the mail a copy of the new Whysall Lane album, which isn't actually officially out until next month. Yay!

    The New Pornographers will have an exclusive video interview with ManiaTV this afternoon at 3 pm EST. [via Live Net Music]

    Beth Orton performed a live session for BBC 6 Music's Gideon Coe this morning. Listen here[session about 1 hour and 40 minutes into the program; link valid for a week]

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    Living Proof

    Cat PowerCat Power's new album "The Greatest" was released officially yesterday. Although I've had her album "Moon Pix" for AGES, I've hardly given it a listen. However, with the Matador Records promotional machine as well as music blogger enthusiasm being in full gear the last several months, it's been difficult to ignore her. I finally broke down and listened to her new single "The Greatest"[mp3] a month or two ago(I even bought a copy of the 99 cent vinyl 7-inch) and it's a lovely lush piano/string-laden composition made all the better by Ms. Marshall's hush vocals. I sampled the album at the soundpost at Soundscapes today and decided to purchase it. It should me keep busy over the cold winter months.

    The new music video for Cat Power's song "Living Proof" premiered on MTV2[and I suspect that Muchmusic's The Wedge will premiere it this Friday] this past Sunday. Right now you can watch it online(click on 'Videos', scroll down to the video and wait for it to load). [via Tim O Thompson] I can forsee outcrys from both Muslims and Christians. (Do I hear the cries of "Blasphemy!"?) But really, it's not an offensive video by any means. Abstract, yes. However, you know someone's going to complain. ...Also check out the video(use same link/instructions above) of Ms. Marshall talking with MTV2 about some of the Memphis musicians who helped her out on her new album. [photo credit: Wendy Lynch - more photos]

    chartattack gives some press to Toronto's Wavelength weekly music series which'll be celebrating its 300th edition with a string of shows taking place at various Toronto venues from February 9th to 12th. The band lineups(plus panel speakers and topics) for each night can be read over at chartattack.

    Young and Sexy will be making their way eastward through Alberta, the Prairies, and into Ontario and so far the only show in these parts will be in Hamilton ON on April 23 at Corktown Tavern. No word on a Toronto date yet. Listen to "Curious Organ" from their new album "Panic When You Find It"(released February 14th through Mint Records) over at their MySpace site.

    And by the way, Mint Records is FINALLY in the process of redesigning their website!

    The Brunettes(newly signed to Sub Pop) are opening the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show at Lee's Palace on April 8th. Although it's sold out apparently, Neiles Life points out the likelihood of this show moving to a larger venue, because well, CYHSY mentioned this on their MySpace site.

    According to Rotate This, Cuff The Duke have a show at The Mod Club on March 2nd. 19+ show, tickets $15.00. The Old Soul will also be performing. chartattack has a list of the rest of Cuff The Duke's tourdates which'll take the band through Ontario through February and mid March then westward from late March into early April.

    And lastly, the following news is really of no use to me since I'm NOT going to SXSW but Junkmedia report that they recently received a 'hot tip' that Superchunk are confirmed to play this year's festival. Those of you going to the festival, do with this information what you choose.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    I'm Going Under

    Just came home from seeing "Underworld: Evolution" and the last person I'd expect to see in it was Spirit of The West frontman John Mann as some covert military ops dude helping Kate Beckinsale's character Selene kill off some werewolves...well, not really. See the film and you'll know what I mean. Even stranger, I didn't know Mr. Mann has a film career(John played Satan in "Reefer Madness"; that I gotta see.)

    Thanks to a soundtrack for everyone for pointing towards streaming video of Metric performing "Monster Hospital" recently on Late Night With Conan O'Brien . And by the way, YouTube really rocks! There's already video of Feist's performance of "Mushaboom" on Jimmy Kimmel Live from yesterday!

    B(oot)log is on a roll with recent posts to downloads of live sessions by:
  • Feist [El Mocambo, Toronto, CBC Concert Recording, 11 June 2004 AND KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic, 21 June 2005]: link

  • Belle and Sebastian [BBC 6 Music Gideon Coe session, January 20, 2006]: link

  • Stars' show at the Paradiso Club in Amsterdam on December 3, 2005 is now archived over at Fabchannel.

    So OK Go! are no longer playing with controller.controller at Lee's Palace on February 10th. [via Emerge]

    Spinto Band are opening Artic Monkeys' gig at the Phoenix in Toronto on March 21st and Belgian art-rockers dEUS are scheduled for a gig in Toronto on March 26th at a venue TBA. [via Pollstar]

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    Fire Eye'd Boy

    concert review: Broken Social Scene @ Kool Haus(Toronto, Ontario), January 21, 2006

    Kevin Drew body surfing at Kool Haus, January 21 2006: photo by Mike LigonI have to consider myself lucky for even making it to the Broken Social Scene at the Kool Haus on Saturday night. Strangely, I picked up some sort of stomach bug after the Hard-Fi show on Friday night. Two beers drunk at that show then a late night binge of eating just didn't sit well...and well you can guess the rest. By Saturday morning I was out of commission and for pretty much most of the day(although it did give me a chance to get through "Napoleon Dynamite" finally). Fortunately(and with a little help from Advil Liquid-Gels to fight off my migraine and nausea) I mustered up enough strength to get myself down to the Kool Haus for the show. Even though I made it down to Kool Haus after doors had already opened, there was still a nasty lineup that seemed more unbearably long than usual. By the time I got in to the venue, I was just begging to buy a bottled water and curl up somewhere cozy in the back. No alcohol nor weasling my way to the front of the stage this time. Eventually I decided on a spot on the floor a little off centre of the stage and ahead of the sound guy's equipment.

    It was an almost unbearable long wait before Broken Social Scene got started. As I'd overheard some people in the lineup, there wasn't any actual opener. It was Broken Social Scene, and the Saturday night show we got a whole 2 and half hours(almost 3 hours) of them. Normally I wouldn't be complaining, but in my condition I wished they'd cutoff by the end of "Lover's Spit"(about two hours into the set), which at that point felt like the end of the show anyway. However, my stomach was bothering me and I made a bee-line to the boys room, although nothing 'transpired' fortunately. Just a false alarm, but the walk-around helped because standing up for 3 hours plus wasn't necessarily making me feel any better.

    So how was the actual show, you ask? The setlist was a BSS-lover's wet dream containing all the usual suspects from "You Forgot It In People" and "Broken Social Scene". Loved the horn section. Leslie Feist rocked out on "Almost Crimes" and "Shorelines". Guest violinst Julie Penner added her lovely violin arrangements and background vox. Amy Millan was sublime on "Anthems For A 17-Year Old Girl"(renamed "...15 Year Old Girl" in honour of the senseless killing of Jane Creba on Boxing Day in Toronto). We were rewarded with both the slow AND fast versions of "Major Label Debut". The rhythmic "Hotel" was nice change of pace featuring nice vocals from Lisa Lobsinger. The intensity of "Ibi Dreams of Pavement(A Better Day)" , which felt like the band reaching out to audience with every last guitar strum, drum beat, and vocal scream, gave me a lump in my throat like nothing else that night. At Mr. Drew's prompting for requests, throng of song choices rang out but my choice, "Lover's Spit" reigned supreme. I was hoping for the all-Feist vocals version but had to settle for the Kevin and Leslie version. Still, it was awesome. As I mentioned above, the show could have ended there and I would have been happy but it went on for another four songs which decided to wait out at the back of the club. At one point in Kevin Drew's usual hippie love-in banter, he asked if anyone was in love, then asked the audience to hug each other, then kiss each other. He jokingly rethought that last request because of all the parasites and bugs going around. Mr. Drew, you don't know how true that was. (But I'm feeling much better today, sort of.)
    pop(all love) gives his unique perspective on Saturday's BSS show.

    suckingalemon(has a photo of the setlist), Rock // Paper // Pixels, ribbon_in_hair, The CJM, and a soundtrack for everyone have photos galore from the BSS show Saturday night. Damn, seems like everyone was so much closer to the stage than I was.

    More photos at lets get ourselves crunk.

    Just Keep Bloggin' nicely encapsulates the show. And don't you even try standing in front of her when Feist is on stage. ;-)

    chartattack reviews the show.

    Any other review/photo links that I hadn't link to, sorry to everyone.

    Just a reminder, Ms. Leslie Feist is on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show tonight!

    Sunday, January 22, 2006

    Hard To Beat

    concert review: Hard-Fi w/ Shawn Hewitt and The National Strike, Stop.Die.Resuscitate @ Horseshoe Tavern(Toronto, Ontario), January 20, 2006

    Hard-Fi @ Horseshoe Tavern: photo by Mike LigonFor the record, I've been sick all weekend and I'm just coming around to feeling better[fortunately, I mustered enough strength yesterday evening to make it to the Broken Social Scene show at the Kool Haus]. I was fine Friday night when I saw Staines, West England outfit Hard-Fi. Making up a previously-scheduled date, this show was sold-out. I made it in time to catch second openers Shawn Hewitt and The National Strike. With this being the second time I've seen the band live, not much has changed since my first impressions. He's got the soul-prog-rock vibe thing down pat, but the incongruity of that mix was sometimes too much for me. While Mr. Hewitt and The National Strike's extended jams( especially the ones featuring the double drum-kits assault) were impressive, in general I was rather apathetic about the set.

    Against the back wall of the Horseshoe's stage was draped a large banner declaring 'Hard-Fi in operation', and I'd say that for their Toronto debut they lived up to some expectations. With the group of UK expats(or tourists?) in the audience I'd say that Hard-Fi were already halfway there to impressing the crowd, but it didn't take long to impress the rest of us. Having heard only a couple of singles previously, including "Cash Machine" and "Hard To Beat", I was hoping for a set full of such tuneful songs. With only a debut record to work off, the set seemed quite short but overall had it's share of enjoyable songs. I thought there were at least a couple of clunkers(a song or two which were kind of Clash-y but melodically no-where) but overall I'll have to agree with silence is a rhythm too that there's definitely a 'singability' about their music. Lead vocalist Richard Archer seemed like the consummate frontman reminding me physically of Liam Gallagher but without all the piss-y attitude. I enjoyed him most when he put down his guitar and just sang. Occasionally he picked up the melodica to play a bar or two, but singing and playing up to the crowd was what he excelled at. The Clash, ska, dub influences in their music was quite apparent nonesomuch than in their decent cover of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army". I thought "Hard To Beat" was the pinnacle of the entire evening: brash, British, and infectiously catchy. A decent Toronto debut overall for this young UK band, who are not from London. Let's see if they can put Staines on the map. [photos from the show]

    ps. y'know all the smoke in the above photo? I think that was smoke from all the people smoking pot.

    Friday, January 20, 2006

    Let's Build A (Forest) Fire

    plus/minus - 'Let's Build A Fire'[music video]I've been on a little Versus kick as of late and specifically have had their 1999 album "Two Cents Plus Tax" on repeat all week. I can't get enough of pop gems like the sugary indie-rock of "Atomic Kid" and the countrified melodicism of "Spastic Reaction". Versus have always had a knack for keen songwriting, then fleshing out songs with lovely boy/girl vocals, interesting, melodic guitar arrangements and solid backup rock instrumentation. I won't bother getting into band history or discography but if you're interested in reading up on them, start off at this UK fansite, then continue over at Epitonic, Merge Records, and Teenbeat Records. Also, Metro Times Detroit published(on October 10, 2005) a great article on Versus. I've been a fan of them since the mid-90's, intrigued immediately by their music but also for the fact that Versus' Baluyut brothers and I share the same ethnicity(ie. Phillipines). A Versus show was actually my first real 'indie-rock' show I ever went to. I saw Versus in 1995 at the El Mocambo as part of the 'Ear of The Dragon' tour which also included fellow Asian(well more like part-Asian) indie-rockers Seam, Aminiature and Toronto's now defunct Venus Cures All. You can read my review over at Indie List Archives. Yes I've been rocking the indie-rock since the early to mid 90's. (BTW, listen to audio samples from the "Ear of The Dragon" CD compilation.) While Versus are on 'hiatus' for the moment it was nice to see a glimmer of hope when Urban Jetset spoke to Fontaine Toups(in 2005 around the time Versus 'reunited' for the Teenbeat Records 20th anniversary celebrations) and she expressed that Versus might possibly record in the future and even play some shows, just not nearly to the extent as during the band's heyday.

    I came across an old article(dated May 2, 1996) about Versus at The Daily of The University of Washington and was surprised to read that at the time bassist Fontaine Toups was 32 years old and singer/guitarist Richard Baluyut was on the cusp of his 30th birthday, which if you do the math, makes them, well older then I thought. I'd never have guessed it at that time. I am glad though that there are still signs of life in the Versus camp. Whysall Lane(Richard's most recent project) will release their long-awaited debut album in February 2006 through Blackball Records. Younger brother, James Balayut's band plus/minus just released their new album "Let's Build A Fire" in Japan/Taiwan on December 14, 2005 and while a US date is unknown, it is thought to be soon. I believe Fontaine Toups is still continuing with her own project The Fontaine Toups, although the band website is currently under contruction and I haven't read any news about them recently. Last heard from Ed Baluyut, Enchante Records(see news update January 2005) said that Ed was busy 'raising kids and writing books'.

    marathonpacks has a link to a download of plus/minus' music video for their song "Let's Build A Fire" "Steal The Blueprints".

    Listen to samples of Whysall Lane's upcoming album over at Midheaven Mailorder or download an mp3 of their FANTASTIC song "The Way Back" over at their perpetually-under-construction official web site.

    Whysall Lane also have a MySpace site where you can hear several streaming tracks.

    Listen to samples of plus/minus' album "Let's Build A Fire" over at & Records.

    And rounding out my week of Versus, I purchased the vinyl album of Versus' "Hurrah" for 10 bucks yesterday!

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    The World According To Robin

    Robin Williams @ Oasis in TorontoWith the last concert I went to being the Stars show at Lee's Palace on December 15 '05, it's been a long month so far. I'm looking forward to the Hard-Fi show at the Horseshoe Tavern this Friday and the Broken Social Scene show at Kool Haus this Saturday. ...And then maybe I'll have something original to write in this blog. In the meantime, here come more links!

    Watch a video of Robin Williams(who's in Toronto for something; work?) performing some impromptu(?) stand-up comedy recently at Oasis in Toronto. The self-deprecating humour bits were the best parts of the video, especially the part when he says, "I'm ok with my career...working in this club tonight has made me aware that I, I really need a job..." I'd thought I'd grown tired of his humour, but no, he's still got it. [via Stille Post]

    Mocking Music has its Top Ten Most Interesting Indie Covers & Remixes...Ever!, complete with mp3's for download.

    Ted Leo/Pharmacists have been added to the Live Music Archive so expect some live shows to be added in the future. [via Largehearted Boy]

    Thanks to Neiles Life(via superfriendzsite) for bringing to my attention that The Superfriendz will finally return to the studio later this month to record a new record!

    The Village Voice speaks with Nellie Mckay about her 'liberating' feelings towards her 'departure' from Columbia Records.

    Amore Music speaks with Natalia of The Dears. [via The Dears Message Board]

    Toronto-area concert announcements:
  • Tina Dico @ The Drake Hotel, March 4th [via Emerge]

  • Howe Gelb @ Horseshoe Tavern, March 5th [via Pollstar]

  • Liars @ Lee's Palace, June 21st [via Pollstar]

  • Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    Standing In The Way Of Control

    Beth Ditto of The GossipJust when I thought the disco-dance-punk sound had been played out(with the exception of Toronto's controller.controller), I find myself bowled over by The Gossip's "Standing In The Way Of Control", mostly because of the super, awesome, soulful vocals of lead singer Beth Ditto. Check the song out for yourself(if you haven't already) and download the mp3(courtesy of Kill Rock Stars). Their third album "Standing In The Way of Control" will be released through Kill Rock Stars on January 24th. (Yeah third album...I'm late on this 'band'-wagon, but better late than never.) They have a show at X-Space in Toronto on March 29th. Anyone want to confirm their live-show worthiness? [photo from http://../]

    The San Francisco Bay Guardian profile The Gossip and their new album "Standing In The Way Of Control". The SFBG also interviews Beth Ditto and takes a glance at their discography.

    Watch streaming video of The Gossip performing "Standing In The Way Of Control" from their September 16, 2005 show at Knitting Factory in New York City.

    And of course The Gossip have a MySpace site.

    Monday, January 16, 2006

    Let There Be Love

    OasisAccording to Pollstar, Oasis have a show in Toronto at Air Canada Centre on March 20th. Ticketmaster.ca shows that there'll be a presale starting January 18th at 10:00 am. Edge.ca(under concert listings) shows that the ticket price range is $47.50 to $69.50 CDN.

    When I first read the news today about the Oasis show, I remembered pop(all love)'s post from New Year's Eve wherewhen he expressed Oasis' "Let There Be Love" as beautiful, and with 2005 being 'messed up' as it was, we "Could have probably used a few more overly earnest British rock bands singing overly earnest odes to completely uncynical notions of love." Having listened to the song after that, it reminded me, at least for a moment, why I liked the band in the first place. Yes, their music refuses to progress with the times, but doesn't my generation(me being in my thirties) need our own version of The Rolling Stones? Am I going to try to purchase tickets to see Oasis? Well, the ticket price is a bit steep, but I will ponder it. Their show several years ago at The Molson Ampitheatre was a good one, and hearing "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" was damn beautiful. Really. [photo from http://../]

    While the Canadian Music Week schedule is still being finalized, I noticed over at Jon Rae Fletcher and The River's MySpace site that they're scheduled for a show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on March 4th, I'm assuming which is a Canadian Music Week showcase.

    According to Emerge, Toronto musical acts, Shawn Hewitt and Stop.Die.Resuscitate will be opening for Hard-Fi's upcoming show at the Horseshoe Tavern on January 20th.

    New York Magazine speaks with Chan Marshall/Cat Power.

    B(oot)log has a download in mp3 format of Broken Social Scene's show at Grant Hall in Kingston ON from October 19, 2005.

    Belle and Sebastian performed a live session on January 12 '06 for BBC Radio 1's Vic Galloway. Listen here(session starts about 36 minutes into the program and the link is only valid for a week). B & S were interviewed and also performed a couple of acoustic takes on new songs 'Sukie In the Graveward' and 'Mr Richard'.

    Update: Thanks to B(oot)log for ripping the B & S mentioned above to mp3. Now go and download it. You know you want it.

    Just a reminder that Belle and Sebastian will be BBC 6 Music's Gideon Coe's guest in session on January 20th.

    Sunday, January 15, 2006

    365 Tunes

    365 Tunes Page-A-Day Calendar(2006)I couldn't resist but purchase the 365 Tunes Page-A-Day Calendar(2006). Even better, it was 75 % off the regular price. I bought mine at Coles, but you should be able to pick it up at any of your local Chapters/Indigo bookstores in Canada. Americans and foreigners, I leave it up to you to track it down yourselves. Nicely compiled by Michaelangelo Matos(check out his blog), author and music editor for the Seattle Weekly, the daily song/playlist recommendations run the gamut from indie rock, motown, punk, soul, r'n'b, hip-hop, country and so-on. An excerpt from the back of the box that the calendar came in gives a nice preview of the pages contained within:
    "Crunk, power pop and The Marvelettes, Delta Blues and Joey Ramone, DNA, Dillinger, Neko Case and Portishead, Atmosphere and acid rock, Jimi, Bruce, Miles, Sly, Smokey, the Velvets, U2 -- and a gorgeously chilling country ballad by Patty Loveless, 'You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive'."

    I'm tempted to read the whole 365 days at once because from my cursory flip-through it's really interesting. Even with all the music CD's I buy, the calendar makes me think how narrow my musical tastes really are. Well, here's to a broadening of musical horizons in 2006...and yes, I will be patient and read each page as each day comes.

    Saturday, January 14, 2006

    Our Love Will Make The World Go Round

    I hope the Meligrove Band CD release show at The Mod Club in Toronto yesterday was great. Of course, I only made the last minute decision to drive down from 'Sauga around 10:30 yesterday night, then line up at the doors for about 5 minutes, before realizing that it was one of those lineups that people were hoping they'd be let in still. In the end, it was all a fruitless attempt. Damn, thing had sold out. Disappointment, yes. However, great for Meligrove Band. And I noticed yesterday on the band's website that they're going to SXSW. Congrats Meligrove Band, you've hit the big time.

    Rock // Paper // Pixels, suckingalemon, and Zoilus review the Final Fantasy, Akron/Family, Great Lake Swimmers show(part of the Over The Top Fest launch) from this past Wednesday(January 11th).

    Toronto-area concert announcements just keep on comin':
  • Art Brut @ Horseshoe Tavern, April 1[via Brookly Vegan]

  • Beth Orton @ Carlu, April 6[via Indie Blog Heaven]

  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ Lee's Palace, April 8[via Villains Always Blink]

  • Yay! Feist's "Red Demos"....Download at the Feist LiveJournal. [via Just Keep Bloggin']

    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    Planets Conspire

    Meligrove BandHometown 'Sauga boys Meligrove Band, in advance of their CD Release show at The Mod Club in Toronto on January 13th, for their newest disc "Planets Conspire" are profiled in Toronto weeklies, Eye Weekly and NOW. JAM! also spoke with the band. "Planets Conspire" comes out in Canada on January 17th, with US, UK and other places to follow. Check the band's website to stream songs from the new album. I've actually had the album for a while now when I picked up an advance copy when they opened for Cuff The Duke at Lee's Palace some months ago. Haven't actually had a chance to listen to it much, although my first impressions are good and it feels like a more mature album than their first two. Definitely a progression from their power-pop beginnings. If old Meligrove was like Patrick/Chris-Sloan, then the new Meligrove album definitely feels like an Andrew/Jay-Sloan album.

    Just Keep Bloggin' speaks about the influx of videos online of kids/teens lip-syncing and dancing in front of their webcams. I just think some of them are damn hilarious. But videos like the one I linked to last week(ie. of a girl lip-syncing to Bloc Party) make me smile. The youth lip-synching to indie rock is alright; but I NEVER want to see another video of anyone lip-syncing to Backstreet Boys.

    Watch a video of The Replacements performing "Bastards of Young" on their one and only Saturday Night Live appearance sometime in the 80's. So good...the music that is, not Paul Westerberg's hair. [via Waved Rumor]

    To further my recent Neko Case obsessiveness, I've been enjoying Mike Whybark's live videos of Neko performing some songs at Neumo's in Seattle in 2004.

    Feist reflects back on her Nova Scotia roots, with Halifax weekly, The Coast.

    Angry Robot reports that OMD are reforming.

    Thanks to Villains Always Blink(via The Late Night TV Page) for pointing out a couple of worthy Can-con late night television appearances including The Constantines, January 24th on Carson Daly Show, and Broken Social Scene, January 31st on Late Night With Conan O'Brien.

    Gene fansite You'll Never Walk Alone has posted for download the 1999 promo music video for Gene's "Fill Her Up".

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    Canadian Amp

    Neko CaseI'm a litte surprised that up to this point, Neko Case's new album "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"(scheduled for release on March 7th) hasn't leaked. For the most part, I've given up downloading album leaks of the artists that I most cherish. It'll be that much sweeter to hear Neko's album when it's officially released. Still, other than the "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood" EPK which had audio snippets of a couple of the new songs, I haven't heard any other of the new songs. So to tide everyone over, thanks to Kofi's Hat for providing a download of Neko's new song "Star Witness" which is included with the sampler CD that goes along with the February 2006 issue of Uncut. I listened to "Star Witness" several times and have come to the following conclusion...March 7th feels like an eternity away.

    As an added Neko bonus, and only because her 2001 EP "Canadian Amp" is difficult to come by, I direct you to That Girl Needs Therapy who's provided a download of the EP. I highly recommend it and I also recommend everyone picking up a physical copy whenever you come across it. [photo from http://../]

    I surfed across the Yeti Magazine website yesterday and decided to order a copy of the new issue(#3). The new issue is a 240 page book and includes a 27-song CD. The new issue includes a Neko Case article which I'll be interested in reading and the CD compilation looks great also. With the US exchange rate, it's about $15.00 CDN and you can order using PayPal.

    Watch a live video of Feist performing "Mushaboom" at an instore at Good Records in Dallas Tx.

    In my quest for 2006 to listen to more new artists, I direct you to Yer Mam!'s NEXT BIG THINGS FOR 2006 MIXTAPE...well actually mp3's, but you no what I mean. Some artists we've heard of, others I haven't heard of. I'm sure some of it's interesting. And you can download Guillemots' "Trains For Brazil" too! If you saw my previous post, you already know how much I love that song!

    Productshop NYC has available for download the Beck-covering-Nick Drake session(ie. three songs, "Which Will", "Pink Moon", "Parasite") which are(were?) currently streaming at Beck's official website.

    silence is a rhythm too spotlights Hard-Fi, with a download of their b-side "Sick Of It All". I mentioned back in July 2005 that I was impressed with them, so I'm looking forward to confirming that impression when I check them out at their Toronto debut on January 20th at the Horseshoe Tavern.

    Watch the video for Belle and Sebastian's new song "Funny Little Frog". [via Villains Always Blink]

    Monday, January 09, 2006

    Trains For Brazil

    GuillemotsUK upstarts, Guillemots first came to my attention when Chromewaves made a reference to them several weeks ago.(Just to let you know Frank, like you mentioned you'll miss them in Toronto when they play the Horseshoe Tavern on March 15th, but you'll have a chance to see them at SXSW on March 16th, according to their MySpace site). Thanks to Take Your Medicine for leading me towards BBC News website's Sound of 2006 survey which asked more than 100 critics and broadcasters for their favourite up-and-coming acts, where Guillemots made the top 10 with a respectable ranking at #5. As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, so I vow to seek out more new music in 2006, and Guillemots are the first band this year that I'm really excited to discover. My impressions are really only based on a couple of songs so far, but if they're any indication of the band overall, look out. Check out their MySpace site to listen to audio streams of their songs "Trains For Brazil" and "Made Up Love Song #43". The former is a sprightly performed pop song that grooves along like classic Motown, embellished with bright horn arrangements and energetic vocals, but also echoes the now-classic early 80's Scottish pop of Aztec Camera. The Scottish pop comparisons continue on with the more subdued "Made Up Love Song #43" but the song's subtle urgency also reminds me of a less cloying James. Making up the band are members Fyfe Dangerfield(vocals/keyboards), MC Lord Magrao(guitar), Aristazabal Hawkes(double bass), and Rican Caol(drummer/percussion), and on names alone I might have guessed they'd rule the school. Let's hope they do when they come to Toronto for a show at the Horseshoe Tavern on March 15th[via Chromewaves via Emerge Blog].

    According to an entry about the band at Wikipedia, Guillemots will release their debut album this year and they will make the move to Polydor Records.

    Check out Guillemots' page over at their current record label Fantastic Plastic Records.

    MP3 blog Sixeyes, describes Guillemots' music as "...if Scottish band Belle and Sebastian traded in their twee-ness for a tad more thump, a touch more grit."

    Guillemots spoke with SoundsXP in November 2005

    Rock de Indio has available for download the music video for "Made Up Love Song #43" as well as the music video for "Trains To Brazil".

    Here are some streaming audio/video links of the band performing for VPRO 3VOOR12.

    Listen to the live session that Guillemots performed for XFM in 2005.

    Sunday, January 08, 2006


    Jens Lekman indicates in his January 4 '06 diary entry that you can watch the trailer for his Kullaberg DVD-EP. He's a little vague on what this DVD-EP is( "Journalists have been calling me all day - so it's not a musicvideo? - no. - it's not a movie? - no. - it's an EP on DVD? - yes. - so it's an EP with musicvideos?") and he's not sure if it'll be released on DVD at all, but it will be screened at the Gothenburg Film festival.

    The Coast speaks with Jon Rae Fletcher about his songwriting process and indicates that him and The River are scheduled to start recording the new album in late February with a tentative completion date of late-summer.

    Thanks to Just Keep Bloggin' for the link to a live video(via Google Video) of Stars performing The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" at Lee's Palace on December 20, 2005.

    B(oot)log has an mp3 download of The Decemberists live show at The Phoenix in Toronto which took place October 13 '05.

    Watch a video of a young girl singing along to Bloc Party's "Banquet". If anyone has links to other young 'uns singing along to indie rock tunes, please leave me a comment. There may still be hope for today's youth. ;-)

    Thursday, January 05, 2006


    Neko CaseFortunate ones like chromewaves, monkeyboy @ Porchlight(Neko Case Message Forums - registration required) and chartattack were at Neko Case's intimate show at the Rivoli in Toronto yesterday. Let's all read their reviews of Neko's apparently wonderful show, then go sob in our beer.

    Update: Also check out Rock // Paper // Pixels' weak-at-the-knees lovely photos of Neko at the Rivoli.

    Courtesy of Ants on the Melon (via Google Video) watch a couple of live videos of Neko performing in Austin at Antones sometime during the summer of 2005. Watch Neko perform a Hank Williams cover, as well as a new song(which I just realized is "Dirty Knife" which will be on Neko's new album "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"). "Dirty Knife" is soooo goosebump-inducing. You can also download the videos at the Ants on the Melon link above.

    Also while perusing the Porchlight forums, I was lead to Neko's artist page at Shorefire which has some interesting promotional material/photos/illustrations I hadn't seen before.

    Oh and I also found out that Neko has a MySpace site, although it's quite bare at the moment. If I had a MySpace site I'd be her friend. [photo credit: Victoria Renard]
    In concert news, Ladytron will be at The Opera House in Toronto on April 20th. [via The Windish Agency]

    Matt, in the comments to my previous post, said that Isobel Campbell's show at Revival on March 4th is part of Canadian Music Week. This prompted me to check out the Canadian Music Week site; I didn't see Isobel's name mentioned but I did see the 2006 festival artist lineup. Looks better than last year. I'm excited that Tina Dico, Bella, The Diableros, Jon Rae Fletcher and The River and Great Lake Swimmers, to name but a few, will be a part of this.

    As already reported by Brooklyn Vegan, More Cowbell and seemingly every other music blogger, the Belle and Sebastian/New Pornographers travelling road show will come to Toronto for a show at The Docks on February 25th. Screw The Docks, but damn if that'll keep me away.

    And lastly, thanks to my nephew for bringing to my attention that my cousin appears in k-os' video for his song "The Love Song" which I caught a portion on Muchmusic tonight. My cousin is a breakdancer and a good one at that. Me...I think I can do a backspin.

    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    For A Decade Of Sin

    'A Decade Of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records'Anyone who went to the intimate Neko Case show at the Rivoli tonight(which I'm totally down about not getting tickets for), hope you had a good time. I'm looking forward to the reviews/photos and maybe a soundboard/audience recording if anyone is so generous. Next best thing to going to the show perhaps, I went and bought the Bloodshot Records compilation "For A Decade Of Sin: 11 Years Of Bloodshot Records" for $19.99 over at Soundscapes. As it states over at the label website, the CD collection contains '42 song, 2 disc collection with a 24-page color booklet featuring only NEW and PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS'. I'm looking forward to listening to this. No Neko song, but still this collection looks amazing. Download a couple of mp3's(scroll down; left sidebard under 'Downloads') from the collection.

    Zoilus reports that tickets for the February 3rd and 4th Sadies shows(featuring a multitude of guests including Neko, Kelly Hogan, etc) at Lee's Palace will go on sale January 6th. Tickets $25.00 at Ticketmaster/Rotate This/Soundscapes/Horseshoe. This'll be sweaty fun!

    Concert announcments via Pollstar, Mazarin(confirmed at their website) will be opening The Walkmen show at Lee's Palace on January 28th, and drumroll please, Isobel Campbell will be at Revival in Toronto on March 4th. Tickets for Isobel's show will sell like hotcakes, I'm sure.

    This morning, CBC Radio's The Current featured discussions on the state of the indie music scene/industry with comments from Dave Bidini of The Rheostatics and Mike Usinger music editor of The Straight. The discussion continued with an indie music panel which included Michael Barclay(Exclaim columnist/CBC Radio Brave New Waves researcher), Jenny Toomey(executive director of Future of Music Coalition/and all-around indie rock goddess!!), and Michael Azerrad, music writer and author of "Our Band Could Be Your Life"[buy]. Listen here. [via e-mail update from Helen Spitzer of cleverLazy and CFRU]

    Goldkixx reports that The Diableros have signed to Baudelaire, Torontonian home to Tangiers. No confirmation about this over at the band website or the label website, but then why would anyone want to lie about this.

    Monday, January 02, 2006

    Favourite Concerts of 2005

    Favourite Concerts of 2005: photos by Mike Ligon

    I know I've gone to a great concert when I leave at the end of the night on a high with feelings of euphoria and deliriousness. With that in mind, the concerts below are the ones that moved me the most in 2005. I've organized my list into two lists, both non-ranked. I've also included for each show a link to my original review. If I had to pick my favourite show of 2005 it would have to be the Jens Lekman show at The Music Gallery. (And if you thought Mr. Lekman had given up on touring, read his recent(December 31, 2005) comment at his website.) I hope the 2006 concert season is great(and if my sidebar is any indication, it's off to a great start.)So without further ado:

    Top 10 Concerts of 2005
  • Keren Ann and A Girl Called Eddy @ Horseshoe Tavern(Toronto, Ontario), March 6, 2005 - review

  • The Arcade Fire w/ Wolf Parade, Final Fantasy @ Danforth Music Hall(Toronto, Ontario), April 27, 2005 - review -> part one, part two

  • The Decemberists w/ Rebecca Gates @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre(Toronto, Ontario), May 21, 2005 - review

  • The Dears w/ Camouflage Nights @ Phoenix Concert Theatre(Toronto, Ontario), June 10, 2005 - review

  • Neko Case and The Sadies w/ Corb Lund Band @ Harbourfront Centre(Toronto, Ontario), July 07, 2005 - review

  • Sufjan Stevens w/ Laura Veirs @ Trinity St. Pauls(Toronto, Ontario), September 10, 2005 - review

  • Spoon, Mary Timony @ Phoenix Concert Theatre(Toronto, Ontario), November 01, 2005 - review

  • Jens Lekman @ The Music Gallery(Toronto, Ontario), November 05, 2005 - review

  • The Magic Numbers @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), December 01, 2005 - review

  • Stars @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), December 15, 2005 - review

  • Rest of the Best
  • Metric w/ Two Koreas @ The Mod Club Theatre (Toronto, Ontario), January 24, 2005 - review

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

  • Kings of Convenience @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), February 17, 2005 - review

  • The Shins w/ The Brunettes @ Kool Haus(Toronto, Ontario), April 17, 2005 - review

  • Phoenix w/ Dogs Die In Hot Cars, Joy Zipper @ The Opera House(Toronto, Ontario), April 8, 2005 - review

  • Kathleen Edwards w/ Jason Collett @ The Mod Club(Toronto, Ontario), April 7, 2005 - review

  • Rilo Kiley w/ Nada Surf, The Brunettes @ The Opera House(Toronto, Ontario), May 19, 2005 - review

  • British Sea Power w/ The Most Serene Republic @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), May 17, 2005 - review

  • Joe Pernice w/ Afie @ Horseshoe Tavern(Toronto, Ontario), May 4, 2005 - review

  • Sleater Kinney w/ Dead Meadow @ Phoenix Concert Theatre(Toronto, Ontario), June 18, 2005 - review

  • Martha Wainwright w/ Ridley Bent @ The Mod Club(Toronto, Ontario), June 9, 2005 - review

  • The Hidden Cameras w/ Pony Da Look @ The Phoenix(Toronto, Ontario), June 5, 2005 - review

  • Feist w/ Apostle of Hustle @ Harbourfront Centre(Toronto, Ontario), July 1, 2005 - review

  • Teenage Fanclub w/ The Rosebuds @ The Mod Club(Toronto, Ontario), July 25, 2005 - review

  • Cuff The Duke w/ Jon-Rae and The River, Meligrove Band @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), September 9, 2005 - review

  • Julie Doiron, The Heavy Blinkers, Snailhouse @ The Casbah[Hamilton ON], September 15, 2005 - review

  • The New Pornographers w/ Destroyer, Immaculate Machine @ Phoenix Concert Theatre(Toronto, Ontario), October 09, 2005 - review

  • Death Cab For Cutie w/ Youth Group @ Kool Haus(Toronto, Ontario), October 15, 2005 - review

  • Liz Phair w/ Matt Pond PA @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, October 23, 2005 - review

  • Sunday, January 01, 2006

    Happy New Year!

    Nathan Phillips Square - New Year's Eve 2005: photo by Mike Ligon

    Happy New Year everyone. Bedouin Soundclash closed the festivities down at Nathan Phillips Square yesterday. To all the Bedouin Soundclash-haters, come to your senses and realize that "When The Night Feels My Song" was one of the best singles of 2005! (They also did a spiffy dub-reggae version of U2's "New Year's Day".) [photos]