Sunday, October 31, 2004

Two Way Monologues

  • concert review: Sondre Lerche w/ The Golden Republic @ Lee's Palace (Toronto, Ontario), October 30, 2004

    It couldn't have been more of a non-Halloween thing to do than go see Sondre Lerche yesterday evening. I only recently bought my first Sondre Lerche CD "Two Way Monologues" last week although I've been sampling his music over the 'net over the last year or so. The first time I heard his song "Modern Nature" I was awestruck; it had all the feeling of an old pop standard by the likes of Cole Porter or George Gershwin and the melody and instrumentation was so infectious. The young-in-years-but-old-soul Mr. Lerche played an early show yesterday for a crowd of pop fans and halloween revellers alike. Opening the show were fellow Astralwerks artist The Golden Republic. Lately I've been disappointed with opening acts for some of the concerts I've been to and I was initially thinking I wasn't going to enjoy The Golden Republic that night. They're a bunch of fairly ordinary looking guys(the lead vocalist's faux-hawk aside) from the U.S. midwest; sometimes I think I'm somewhat of a British music snob and maybe bands from the U.S. have to be extraordinary for me to be impressed. The fact that The Golden Republic are on the Astralwerks label at the very least got my attention. I caught about half their set and I gradually warmed up to their music from song to song. There was a slight Brit-centric influence on some songs, melodically sounding like a less self-conscious Oasis. At other times, the music tended towards a pure-pop sound in the keyboards and "ba-ba-ba" vocals. The lead guitarist(who also played keyboards on some songs) had some interesting guitar arrangements which kept the instrumentation from sounding stale. On their last song, the song ended on a funk-soul groove that was pretty wicked. As one of the members said, not all the artists on Astralwerks are "techno". There's nothing terribly new about their sound, but they have some enjoyable songs that deserve a second listen.

    Sondre Lerche @ Lee's Palace (Toronto, Ontario),  October 30, 2004: photo by Mike LigonIt was strange to see Sondre make his way onto stage, apparently to grab a guitar, fix a guitar cord or two, then walk off the stage as quickly as he made his entrance. He did this 2-3 times or so. It was strange because, I knew it was him, and probably others knew it was him, but most people in the audience didn't seem to have noticed Mr. Lerche dash on and off stage several times. I would have figured, that had the crowd noticed Mr. Lerche on stage, they would have burst into fits of joy. When Mr. Lerche finally made his offical appearance, it was a somewhat disjointed round of applause, but one which gradually grew in intensity. Sondre quickly went into his first song. The first half of his set was a solo set with Sondre accompanying his vocals with his guitar playing. He's quite a confident guitar player, playing a loungey-bossa-nova inspired arrangement one time then sequeing into more traditional guitar pop the next. He's quite a versatile vocalist as well, issuing an aura of a crooner at times but also more playful and casual at other times. Sondre took time out between songs to banter with the audience on such topics as how nice Toronto and Canada was, that he had picked up a cold recently(but was feeling much better since coming to Canada), and that he had to do his sound check for the first time that night because his sound engineer picked up the flu while in New York. Sondre apologized in advance for any sound troubles that might occur and explained that for the most part he had grown accustomed to having a sound engineer. A highlight of Sondre's solo set was hearing him sing acappella a cover of a song by Bing Crosby(which I think was called "Moonlight"). Another highlight of Sondre's solo set was on "Modern Nature" on which he encouraged(or at least hoped) the crowd to help him sing the "duet" parts of the song. It was really a joy to hear some of the crowd sing(I myself refrained since I didn't know the lyrics) but I was a little disappointed that this wasn't a full band version of the song. Thankfully, Sondre pulled up The Golden Republic as his backing band for the remainder of the set where Sondre showed that he was capable of rocking out and still maintaining his melodic sensibility. The Golden Republic were really tight as a band on Sondre's songs considering that Sondre[who I spoke to at the merch table at the end of the night] said they've only been on the road for a short while together. Instrumentally, the band was tight but vocally, they showed they were also capable of harmonizing. Because of the strict 9pm curfew, Sondre had to limit his encore to singing accapella only one verse of a song, if which I remember correctly was another cover. It was a subtle but lovely ending to a wonderful set.

    As I mentioned above, I met Sondre Lerche at the merch table where I complimented him on the great show and how tight the band sounded and he was gracious enough to sign a couple of CD inserts for me. [check out some photos.]

  • mini movie review: The Grudge [2004]

    Sarah Michelle Gellar from The GrudgeSo from the relatively chipper affair that was the Sondre Lerche show, I dashed back to Mississauga to meet a friend to watch the film The Grudge. I mean, how could I not go see a scary movie this Halloween weekend. I won't go into a detailed review of the film but I'll make some observations. First of all, just watching the previews before the film, I was reminded of the slew of new-school horror films that have recently been released or will be released in the future. The Grudge and Saw are the most recent films but I also saw the previews for Boogeyman and White Noise which will be released in the near future. I've never been much of a horror fan. These recent films seem to play more on the psychological side of the game rather than on visual gross-outs. The Grudge is a remake of a Japanese film, and interestingly is shot in Japan and directed by the original director. However, the film is comprised mostly of American actors.The film takes an interesting flashback approach to telling its story, at times confusing but definitely comprehendible by the end of the film. If the film succeeds at all, it is on the basis of atmosphere. It is creepy. To compare it to The Ring, I still think The Ring gave me more of a psychological mind-fuck. So if I wasn't as scared of The Grudge, I'm sure there were people that were disappointed with the film. I for one had the prerequisite shocks during the film but I was also happy to not be temporarily traumatized. The Grudge isn't perfect but it sure beats Freddy Vs. Jason.

  • The Toronto Star has quite a lengthy article on satellite radio and the Canadian music industry: "Satellite radio may be the way of the future, but will it help or hinder Canadian music?"

  • And finally, the one year anniversary of my blog came and went last week with little fanfare. I started this blog as a place to post my random thoughts on music, movies, my life, what-have-you. However, it's grown into something more thought-out. [I realized, who the fuck wants to read about the minutae of my life anyway?] It's primarily a music blog, though I'm a little cautious to call it that at the moment. It's been a constant struggle to keep it fresh, relevant, and above all, unique. Hopefully, I've succeeded at least part of the time. Thanks to all those who've left comments in the past, linked me on their sites, or at least took the time out to read a sentence or two. ... And I promise to keep these personal outbursts to a minimum. :-)

  • Friday, October 29, 2004


    The Dears: photo from reports that The Dears were handpicked by Morrissey to be the openers for his KROQ show in L.A.

    The Libertines self-titled second CD will be reissued with an accompanying DVD of live footage! [From filter magazine.]

    I finally get my copy of Matador at Fifteen in the mail today and Pitchfork happens to post a review of it today. Spooky.

    Someone at Tiny Mix Tapes likes A Girl Called Eddy. I say, it's about time. I don't hear enough about her in the music press, let alone the blogging community. I highly recommend you do check her CD out...and yes, sad songs say so much.

    And as promised, a tracklisting of a Halloween mix CD I put together about 2 or 3 years ago. It always gets me in a Halloween mood. Some Canadian artists' mp3's are provided below; well, actually three are Canadian and the fourth is I think an American band but I can't remember their name.

    'Spooky' Tunes

    01) Jonathan Richman - Vampire Girl
    02) Squirrel Nut Zippers - Hell
    03) Suckerpunch - Zap o' Hell [mp3]
    04) Groove Ghoulies - Vampire Girl
    05) Amazing Royal Crowns - Do The Devil
    06) Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Zombie Compromise [mp3]
    07) Suckerpunch - Witchdoctor
    08) Man or Astroman? - King Of The Monsters
    09) Garbage - #1 Crush
    10) Mazzy Star - Ghost Highway
    11) Death In Vegas - Dirge
    12) Echo and The Bunnymen - People Are Strange
    13) The Cramps - I Was A Teenage Werewolf
    14) (?) - It's Halloween [mp3]
    15) Yo La Tengo - Can't Seem To Make You Mine
    16) Elevator To Hell - Second Conscience [mp3]
    17) Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
    18) Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Shake Some Evil
    19) Coal - Last Train To Satanville
    20) Tarnation - Like A Ghost
    21) Portishead - Theme from "To Kill A Dead Man"
    22) The Doors - Riders On The Storm

    Thursday, October 28, 2004

    "Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you"

    Bono: photo from Band Aid 3 project is slowly taking shape as Midge Ure hopes to recruit the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol and The Streets to the fold. Ure also hopes to get Bono on board to sing his pivotal verse "Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you", from the original "Do They Know It's Christmas?" single. That would be wicked. [from NME.]

    Andy Kershaw, BBC radio DJ comments on John Peel's death: "He [Peel] said to me, 'They[the BBC] have put my programme back further into the night and I feel marginalised. It's killing me.'" Such a shame. [From LAUNCH.]

    Death From Above 1979 finish off their Canadian tour with one date in November(on the 11th in Vancouver) and a slew of Ontario dates through the first week of December, with at date at Lee's Palace on the 9th and the tour wrapping up in London[Ontario] on the 10th. [from Soul Shine Magazine.]

    A controller.controller/Death From Above 1979/From Fiction tour is in the works as we speak, according to Ronnie from controller.controller on their message board.

    With Halloween coming up, I'm interested if anyone has any cool Halloween mix CD's. A download would be cool, but I'll settle for just a tracklisting. They don't necessarily have to be Halloween songs in the sense of ghosts and goblins, but rather songs that put you in the mood for Halloween. I made a Halloween mix CD a couple of years ago which I'm happy with. I'll try to post the tracklisting tomorrow [not for download unfortunately, but if you want the songs, I'm sure you'll find a way to get 'me off the 'net.]

    So after almost two hours, I just finished picking my roster during the live draft on Yahoo! Fantasy NBA! Time to get my game face on. See Ya's!

    Wednesday, October 27, 2004

    Coolin' By Sound

  • Pavement: photo from Pavement/Matador Records fans might want to check out They have Pavement's just released Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins for the very decent price of $21.99 CDN. ...Funny, was listing the Matador at Fifteen CD for $15.99(which I ordered online from the site but haven't received in the mail yet) over the weekend but now it's not coming up on the site anymore. Anyways, I received a confirmation e-mail today from that they are in the process of shipping it to me. More site searches reveal they have some Stereolab CD's for $7.99 and The Cardigans' "Emmerdale" for $10.99...decent prices, but too bad I already have these. The best thing of all...shipping is free! On a Pavement-related note, The Big Ticket posted a couple of interesting Pavement mp3's yesterday.

    ps. has Stars' new CD "Set Yourself On Fire" for $12.99!

  • chartattack elaborates on Billboard's news yesterday regarding the rerelease of Franz Ferdinand's debut CD.

  • Although I admire Fatboy Slim, I wouldn't say I'm even close to calling myself a fan. His music videos are wicked, however. Billboard reports that Fatboy Slim's Fall seven-date North American tour will take him to unique venues, and he will be starting his tour in Toronto at Film Studios. Fatboy Slim will recreate the set from his "Slash Dot Dash" video for the show in Toronto. Sounds very interesting, and if the ticket price is reasonable, I'll probably want to check this out.

  • Mercy, mercy me! Spookihaus reports that Stereolab have a compilation of E.P. tracks coming out with an accompanying DVD of music videos and some live performances!

  • The Shins will be playing Jimmy Kimmel Live on November 5th. [From filter magazine.]

  • And lastly, my friend and I went to see Team America: World Police yesterday. Seriously, funny movie! It goes for the cheap laughs as expected but more often than not shows a glimmer of intelligent thought under the surface. Ok, maybe the 'Fuck Yeah's' probably outweighed the socio-political commentary...oh well. The pseudo-Garth Brooks patriotic country tune, combined with video of one of the characters'(remember these are puppets) pondering his patriotic duty was hilarious.

  • Tuesday, October 26, 2004

    The Superimposed Man

  • John Peel: photo from Peel passed away. My initial introduction to Mr. Peel was through The Smiths "Hatful of Hollow" which contained several John Peel session tracks. Curiosity got the best of me, and through flea market finds I've picked up Peel Sessions vinyl E.P.'s from the likes of Yeah Yeah Noh(featuring the awesome song "The Superimposed Man") and The June Brides as well as the Gang of Four Peel Sessions on CD. I never got around to listening to his radio show, even with the advent of the Internet, but his name was such a familiar one in the lexicon of indie and alternative music. The list of artists that he's championed and featured on his show is like a music lover's wet dream. He had wonderful taste in music. I could only assume that his "Peel Sessions" were a precursor to radio segments in Canada like "In Session" on CBC Radio 3, or the numerous live-in-studio sessions on radio stations around the world. He will be missed.

  • MTV likes our Canadian bands. Check out MTV's CMJ Music Marathon Recap: 10 Bands Who Live Up To The Hype. [Link from controller.controller's site]

  • Franz Ferdinand's debut CD will be rereleased as an expanded edition with b-sides on November 23, 2004. The bonus disc will include a new recording of album track "This Fire" as well as four tracks previously unavailable in North America. From Billboard.

  • It appears that the reason Death Cab for Cutie cancelled their European tour is that Ben has a benign cyst on his leg which requires surgery after the U.S. tour ends and that it'll take him three weeks to recover. Apparently, it's not life threatening, so let's all be thankful for that. Get well soon, Ben.

  • Apparently the "vegemighty news of a worldwide nature" about The Organ that Mint Records hinted at a couple of weeks back is that the band's debut album "Grab That Gun" has been licensed to the Australian label, Popfrenzy. The Organ's in good company as Popfrenzy is also distributing CD's in Australia by such artists as The Clientele, Pretty Girls Make Graves, and Camera Obscura. Oh, that was the big news. Whoopee....but in all seriousness, I hope the girls make some waves down under. :-)

  • Monday, October 25, 2004

    "My drummer pressed the wrong button"

  • Ashlee SimpsonWith regards to the Ashlee Simpson-SNL fiasco, Tiny Mix Tapes made an interesting comment about pop music:

    "there's an overt trend to like mainstream pop music simply because it has a good beat or simply because it's catchy. People are starting to take music at face-value and ignoring the underlying narrative. If the KKK wrote catchy songs, doesn't mean you have to like it."

    Ok, the KKK example is just a tad of an exaggeration in my opinion. However isn't mainstream pop music meant to be enjoyed because it is catchy? I'm not saying I'm a big fan of mainstream pop music. I accept the fact that many pop artists are manufactured. I'm of the opinion that mainstream pop music usually plays an early role in your life in developing your musical tastes. Like being in grade eight and making mix tapes of songs recorded off the radio. Tears For Fears? Aweseome! Duran Duran? Wicked! Peter Cetera? Very very bad...You get the picture. There's worse things that Ashlee Simpson could have done, had I been a fan of hers, that would make me stop listening to her music. Ok, she made a major faux-paux by initially blaming her band for the screwup. That I won't forgive. Let's wait to hear what she says tomorrow morning when she's interviewed by Katie Couric on The Today Show. I'm sure the blogging community'll be all over that. And with regards to this whole acid reflux condition, until proven otherwise, I'll give Ashlee the benefit of the doubt and continue to listen to "Pieces of Me" guilt free.

  • Guardian Unlimited, Pitchfork, PopMatters, Tiny Mix Tapes, Glide, and EARLASH review Luna's final LP "Rendezvous".

  • Sunday, October 24, 2004

    I Am Not Surprised

  • concert review: The Organ w/ controller.controller, Pony Da Look @ The Horseshoe Tavern(Toronto, Ontario), October 23, 2004

    Over the past year or so, the calibre of Canadian bands I've discovered has been amazing. Yesterday's show was just a sample of such bands, conveniently wrapped up in a nice little package for your viewing and listening pleasure. I discovered Pony Da Look(as well as controller.controller) at last year's Pop Montreal festival. My friend and I got to the Horseshoe just after Pony Da Look started their set. They band consists of four females, one on drums and the remaining members each on keyboards and vocal duties. Such a dynamic is somewhat strange in this day and age. Their music tends towards a electro-punk, new-wavey sound, with a bit of an 80's synth sound. The dark-haired vocalist who took major vocal duties for most of the set had very stark, dramatic vocals, like on their signature song "Dirty Nails". My friend thought they sounded "scary". True, most of their songs had a somewhat sinister sound[due primarily to the vocal style], although there was a song or two of theirs which had a downright happy electro-pop sound. I can't say I'm passionate about their music; I appreciate the aesthetics but it's definitely mood music, in my opinion.

    controller.controller: photo by Mike LigonIf you know me, I'm always up for a controller.controller set. By my count, this was the SIXTH time I've caught the band live since first discovering the band last October at the Pop Montreal festival. Their lead singer, Nirmala, made her entrance onto the stage wearing her white tshirt and slacks, her tshirt having the slogan "well dressed". How apropo. I've always thought they were the best looking band in Canada. [Their picture in the current issue of Toronto Life, which I purchased today, will confirm that.] As usual, the stage was awash with their signature red lighting. But aesthetics aside, the band played a wicked selection of tunes from their "History" EP as well as some new tunes(I wonder when those will be released). Their dance-punk, death-disco grooves were quite infectious and got more than a few people dancing, although not as many as I would have expected. Hey, I'm not particulary an extrovert, but at least I was moving to the beat. Nirmala was busting some wicked moves yesterday, and the rest of the band were also very energetic playing their instruments. They are definitely an exciting band to watch. The new songs haven't quite sunk in but I did find them in general to be slightly less frenetic than the songs on their "History" EP; I'll make my final judgement on the new songs either when I catch the band live again, or when the songs are finally released. As usual, a great set.

    The Organ: photo by Mike LigonAfter controller.controller's set, my friend and I went to check out the merch table, and then went back towards the stage to find a decent spot to watch The Organ's set. We ended up near the front of the stage, on the left side. By this time, the crowd was slowly filing in, in anticipation of The Organ's set. The band finally made their entrance onto the stage about 10 minutes early of their scheduled 12:15 am start. That was cool of them to start early because I was really itching to see them play. The band pretty much played, most if not all of their debut full-length CD "Grab That Gun". The girls were spot on instrumentally, with a great post-punk melodic sound highlighted by the Marrs-ian guitar arrangements and that organ...oh that organ sound! The lead singer had a wonderfully stark, melodic vocal style. There was a slight echo to the vocals which sounded terrific and reminded me of Morrissey at times. Other than being a bunch of attractive indie-rock young women, they weren't much to watch on stage. The vocalist did make efforts to walk around the stage and I would say she had terrific stage presence, which made up for the lack of movement amongst the other members. This is a minor criticism however because I was really impressed by the music first and foremost. By some of the enthusiatic fist-pumps and hand-clappers, I would say more than a few others were impressed as well. There wasn't an encore that night, but we won't let the band off so easily next time, will we? [photos from yesterday here.]

  • Saturday, October 23, 2004


  • ElevatorAt the last minute yesterday, I decided to head down to the El Mocambo to check out Elevator who are currently on a tenth anniversary tour. (Wow, has it been ten years already?) They're in Waterloo tonight and Hamilton on Sunday, by the way. I have Elevator(to Hell)'s "Eerieconsiliation" which I haven't listened to it for a while and really the only reason I wanted to check 'em out was that the band features Rick White of the defunct Eric's Trip who I admired greatly back in the day. I got to the El Mo around 10:30 pm or so during the set of a fairly decent psych-pop band who I believe were called The Old Souls. The lead singer, with his scruffy unshaven face, was wearing a cool green t-shirt that had the words "Pet Sounds" on it. During the band's set, they had some pretty interesting psychedelic imagery projected across the stage. In certain ways, they conjured impressions of the Elephant 6 scene. I'll definitely check 'em out in the future.

    As an aside, I'm not particularly fond of the El Mocambo because they choose to put tables and chairs in the center of the room, at least for some of their shows, which leaves (sometimes)solo concert goers like myself off to the side. That particularly fact didn't really put me in the mood to wait around for Elevator to come on. There was still another band called The Exchanges in between The Old Souls and Elevator and by my estimate I probably would have had to wait around another hour and half(which would have made it almost 12:30 am) before Elevator finally made the stage. After The Old Souls' set, I bailed and decided to check out a couple of other venues. I drove passed The Mod Club where Esthero, after a long hiatus, was scheduled to perform and there was a substantial lineup to get into the venue. Headed up to Bloor St. and drove eastward towards Lee's Palace where Mission of Burma were and from chromewaves' account, the band came on just after midnight. Too bad, I didn't stop because I probably would have been able to buy tickets at the door.

    I headed back towards the El Mo and drove past it a couple of times. By the way, my hand was stamped so I would've been able to get back into the El Mo. It was almost 12:30 am by that time and I could see through the window that Elevator still hadn't come on stage. At that point I said, screw it, and took off to go home. Maybe next time, Elevator.

  • Rilo Kiley speaks to chartattack.

  • According to LAUNCH, Dot Allison has been collaborating with Pete Doherty(of The Libertines).

  • Death Cab For Cutie's European tour has been cancelled with details to be announced shortly. I hope it's not anything too serious.

  • Pitchfork, Stylus, and twenty/forty review the new Ted Leo / The Pharmacists' CD "Shake The Streets"

  • Thursday, October 21, 2004

    Be Sweet

    Greg DulliPopMatters celebrates five years of online pop-culture commentary, including showcasing Editor's Picks of various articles and reviews the PopMatters staff have written over the years. I can't remember when I came across the PopMatters web site for the first time, but slowly it's seeped into my subconscious and become an (almost)daily habit for me. I look forward to another five years...On a side-note(and a great example of PopMatters quality), Popmatters has quite an informative interview with The Twilight Singers' Greg Dulli, discussing the death of his close friend(and film director) Ted Demme, a new DVD from The Twilight Singers' last tour(with a release date TBA), the much talked about release of "Amber Headlights" a record recorded in full just after the Afghan Whigs broke up, and the possibility of an Afghan Whigs reunion.

    Ben Lee has signed to New West Records, a label which features releases by such artists as Drive-By Truckers, Vic Chesnutt, and Old 97's. Ben's new album "Awake Is The New Sleep" will be released in February 2005. [from the Ben Lee News announcement mailing list]

    Joe Pernice posts to his message board for the first time[well, at least according to his post count], commenting on his beloved Bo-Sox playoff comeback...I wish I was more of sports fan to appreciate their win, 'cause I feel like I'm missing something.

    A new Libertines DVD will be available November 15th. Details to follow. [from the official Libertines site, news update October 19, 2004]

    Someone posted a torrent over at @forums of the PJ Harvey show from October 15/04 in Toronto @ The Phoenix. Amazing, how fast this show got posted on-line. It's nice to have a souvenir of such a wonderful show. I've already finished downloading it(but haven't extracted it yet). I assumed for a second this was a soundboard recording but then when I read the info details closely, I found out it was a show taped by a spectactor and the taper had hidden the microphone in his hat! :-)

    Just around the corner for me and some friends of mine(and likely to make the long winter months more bearable)...Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA!

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    The World of Tomorrow

  • movie review: Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow [2004]

    Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow Think of Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow as an experiment in cinema, where old meets new. The film appears to take place during the 1940's era, but in a slightly alternate universe where technologies are far advanced for the time period than we might be used to. There is a rather simple plot of good guys and bad guys in a situation of diaboloical global consequence. The film is visually effective with the look and feel of an old fashioned movie serial like those black and white sci-fi/adventure movies my parents and likely some of your parents used to watch as children. It was a feast for the visual sense that seemed to utilize alot of painted(or drawn) backdrops; I couldn't tell if there were any digital effects but I guess I wouldn't be surprised if there were some. The acting was adequate but was rather secondary to the visual effects. There was a directness to the plot like in those old fashioned movie serials. Jude Law is Sky Captain who's sort of a special agent for hire and Gwyneth Paltrow is Polly Perkins, a reporter. They were love interests at one time until she thought he had cheated on her. I thought there was good chemistry between Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow which straddled the line between romance and wanting to strangle each other. Gwyneth was quite funny portraying the jealous ex-girlfriend, specifically later on in the film, in relation to Angelina Jolie's character Frankie who is an old friend of Sky Captain. Sky Captain and Polly meet again when New York is being attacked by giant robots and from then on the two become involved in getting to the bottom of this diabolical scheme. The film jumps from one wonderful locale to the next, along the way introducing some fantastic technological inventions like the aformentioned giant robots, bird-like airplanes, amphibious airplanes, super laser guns, and so forth. I'm disappointed that the film sort of came and went without any fanfare. I can only imagine that if this film came out in the 1940's, it would have probably been a blockbuster. I guess in an era of The Lord of The Rings, The Matrix and Spiderman, Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow is definitely of a different ilk. Maybe it's not a coincidence that the film had a dreamlike quality, twisting our conventional views of history and technology, of science and science fiction. Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow is full of imagination and creativity, and is a movie which makes going to the movies so much fun.

  • The other day foxymoron mentioned that the new issue of Toronto Life is out and she had expressed her disappointment in the issue for excluding certain up-and-comers, like Metric and Feist, in its photographic portfolio. However, a comment on the post points out that Nirmala of controller.controller did make the cover which makes it more enticing for me to check out the issue. Although, any non-music magazine that chooses to put out a 'music' issue, I will always take with a grain of salt. Check out the Toronto Life article here.

  • And if anyone still needs a copy of the Jon Stewart Crossfire appearance from October 15th, try downloading it from here[96.6 MB,.AVI] or here[35.7 MB, .WMV]. That is all.

  • Bjork will be on Late Show with David Letterman tomorrow evening. [from filter magazine]

  • The Postal Service's "Give Up" LP will be getting a vinyl re-release, including some "tasty b-sides". [from Tiny Mix Tapes]

  • chromewaves' blog post from today reminded that the anniversary of the death of Elliott Smith is tomorrow and his last album entitled "From A Basement On The Hill" came out yesterday. I don't have anything profound to say about his death. I don't even remember where I was when I found out he was dead. But I was sad for the fact that he was gone, and also that I had never had a chance to see him perform live. R.I.P, Elliott...I read the news on the Sweet Adeline [the official Elliott Smith site] that public memorials will be happening globally over the next several weeks and the memorial in Toronto will be tomorrow at 8 pm, Trinity Bellwoods Park(at the marble gates @ Queen St. and Strachan). I don't think I'll be able to make it unfortunately, but my thoughts will be with Elliott.

  • Monday, October 18, 2004

    Cabin Essence

    Brian Wilson: photo from Grierson @ The Black Table ponders whether Brian Wilson's "Smile" is all it is cracked up to be. For a moment, I actually thought this was some unearthed, remastered version of the original recordings. Then, I was listening to the audio samples and realized that this was a modern-day rerecorded version. The songs are pleasant and all with moments of genius, but the album as a whole still does not have the same emotional resonance as "Pet Sounds". The fact that "Smile" is a rerecorded version makes me wince at the very thought.

    chartattack has the obligatory news of Luna deciding to call it quits, but also mentions that Dean Wareham also recently recorded a pair of songs with actress Maggie Cheung for a new movie called Clean.

    Paperbag Records group Memphis will be playing a record release party @ The Rivoli in Toronto on October 29th. [from 20hz]

    Ben Folds and Joe Jackson will join William Shatner to perform a cover of Pulp's "Common People" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Friday October 22nd.

    So The Toronto Star site is now making people register in order to access on-line news stories. grrrrr!

    Sunday, October 17, 2004

    A Perfect Day ...

  • concert review: PJ Harvey w/ Morris Tepper @ Phoenix Concert Theatre (Toronto, Ontario), October 15, 2004

    Polly Jean Harvey @ Phoenix Concert Theatre (Toronto, Ontario), October 15, 2004: photo by Mike LigonI did a Google search for "PJ Harvey toronto review" and it appears that the last time PJ Harvey performed live in Toronto was opening for U2 in early 2001 @ The Air Canada Centre and before that performing at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in December 2000. And so after a long, almost 4 year gap, PJ Harvey made a triumphant return to Toronto, back at The Phoenix Concert Theatre, this past Friday. This was an early show as opener Morris Tepper started his set just after 7pm and played an interesting hybrid of roots, blues, and rock music, with hints of punk and weird pop. His raspy vocals reminded me of Bruce Springsteen(or maybe Bry Webb from The Constantines) and he accompanied himself with either acoustic or electric guitar. At times, the melodies went astray, but when the melodies kicked in like they did on the nice rootsy ballad he played at the end(towards the end?) of his set, they were quite nice. Most of the tunes however were more mid-tempo/up-tempo, with varying degrees of weirdness. On one song, Mr. Tepper pranced around his microphone playing his guitar and vocalized at a distance from his microphone. On another song, he vocalized sounds that sounded like a cat. When Mr. Tepper played his acoustic guitar plugged into an amp, his guitar assaults almost sounded electric. I'd be interested in hearing him in a full band setting. Apparently, he's toured extensively with Mr. Frank Black and PJ Harvey, so I'll be interested in hearing more.

    I was quite pissed about the long 45-minute wait between the end of Morris Tepper's set and the start of PJ Harvey's set. The crowd was starting to get anxious and every time the music over the PA would stop, or the house lights would flicker, we'd think Polly Jean was going to come out. There were probably 3-4 false alarms but without warning, the music over the PA halted and the house lights dimmed, and Polly Jean and her band came through the backstage door onto the stage to thunderous applause and adoration. Man, it was loud. The excitement in the air was palpable. For sure, I was very excited to finally see the one and only Polly Jean Harvey in the flesh, right in front of me(well, not 'right' in front of me, since I was about 9 rows or so people back from the stage, left of centre). She was dressed in a short tight yellow dress with separate yellow sleeves and black(or maybe dark brown) ankle boots. [This image of herself was on the dress, and their's also a photo of her in the same dress in the current issue of Spin which features Franz Ferdinand on the cover.]Her dark black hair was wispy, falling over her face, almost covering her eyes. The band launched almost suddenly into a driving rendition of the almost-arena sounding "Big Exit" which was thrilling in so many ways: seeing Polly Jean groove to the rhythms, seeing the rest of the band so much into the music themselves, seeing the crowd in a frenzy of excitement, and hearing Polly Jean's wonderfully confident vocals. Brian was also there and he's posted a setlist. As you can see, it was a great of mix of old and new tunes. Highlights for me were "Dress", "Victory" and "50 Foot Queenie" that were wholely satisfying in their punk rock directness. I was disappointed that Polly Jean didn't utilize the electronic fuzzbox gadget on "A Perfect Day Elise" which I believe was used for the original studio version, but even as a conventional "guitar" version, the song still maintained a level of urgency. During the first encore(of two), highlights included the threatening "Meet Ze Monsta" as well as a brooding version of "Down By The Water" which included audience sing-a-long and Polly Jean and the band draped in half light and shadow. PJ Harvey came out for a second encore to perform two more songs, ending the night with the intimate "Is This Desire?" Polly Jean rarely conducted any sort of banter with the audience, except for the occassional 'thank you', but it didn't matter much on a night when it felt like the planets were aligned and that this show at that very moment was the greatest show on the planet. [check out some photos here.]

  • In other news, the records that changed Jeff Tweedy's life [from Spin]- Correction: For some reason the link's not working anymore.

  • Saturday, October 16, 2004

    You're Not Rid of Me

    PJ HarveyJust came back from the PJ Harvey show at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto...wowee zowee! Show of the year in my opinion! There was likely a Toronto music critic or two in the audience and I'm sure this show'll make all the year-end best concert lists. Stay tuned for my review.

    Peter Elkas graces the cover of the current issue of Eye. Check out the cover story here. He'll also be having an instore performance at Soundscapes in Toronto on October 17th at 7pm.

    The Constantines updated their site a couple of days ago. Their playing All Tomorrow's Parties in Los Angeles at the beginning of November and a bunch of Southern Ontario shows during the second half of November.

    The Mint Records news section warns Organ fans to "stay tuned, Organ fan-boys and fan-girls, for some vegemighty news of a worldwide nature".

    Billboard reports on Broken Social Scene as the band is in the home stretch for completion of their third studio album and the band'll be undertaking their most extensive European tour to date. By the way, according to a post at the Broken Social Scene Forum, Brendan and Kevin will be opening for Juana Molina at The Drake Underground in Toronto on October 17th.

    Oh my God...Esthero has come out of hiding and will be performing at The Mod Club Theatre in Toronto on October 22nd, part of something called Quadrasonic. If you buy tickets for the show online at the Quadrasonic site, they'll send you A FREE CD mixed by DJ KidConga + Alvaro C. (I have no idea who they are...but it's free.) According to Esthero's site, she'll be releasing a new EP called "We R In Need of A Musical Revolution" on November 23rd!

    Rainbow Quartz chanteuse Denise James will be at The 360 Club in Toronto on October 29th.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Obstacle 1

  • concert review: Interpol w/ The Secret Machines @ The Docks (Toronto, Ontario), Wednesday October 13, 2004

    I saw Interpol yesterday at The Docks nightclub in Toronto yesterday, and despite thinking that the venue is the WORST live music venue in the city, I managed to enjoy Interpol's set. It was the first time I ever went to The Docks. I drove down to the venue after my night class around 9pm. The location of The Docks sucks if you have to get their by public transit. On the other hand, if you drove down like me, you would have found yourself paying a horrendous $15 parking fee. However, with no other parking options and not knowing the area that well, I was forced to pay the $15. The worst thing about The Docks is the sightlines to the stage. As opposed to say Kool Haus, whose standing area in front of the stage is positioned rectangular lengthwise, The Docks' standing area in front of the stage is rectangular but narrow. So unless you got to The Docks yesterday early and staked out a spot in front of the stage for the entire evening, coming in to the venue after 9 pm, like I did, almost guaranteed you a crappy viewing spot. That wasn't a good way to start the evening. The Secret Machines came on and I didn't really care(although my interest in their set came around later on). My time during the first half of The Secret Machines' set was spent getting a beer, checking out the merch table(and buying the black Interpol 'Antics' tour t-shirt), and roaming the floor for a good spot to watch Interpol's set from. I ended up near the right side near the bar but I couldn't really make it any closer to the stage than that. I just about gave up when some tall dude stood right in front of me. At that point, I just said screw it, and I stood there drinking my beer, and tried to enjoy The Secret Machines' set. It's really a just a blur, but I remember liking a song or two. My impression of their music was that it had rock and pop music conventions with slight art-punk(or is that post-punk?) overtones. Ah screw it...go check out their site and hear for yourself. I thought their last song was pretty good and the crowd seemed to appreciate them. I'll probably check out their album sometime.

    Interpol(yes, that's Interpol) @ The Docks in Toronto, October 13, 2004: photo by Mike LigonAfter The Secret Machines' set, I managed to grab a semi-decent spot at the center of the club, about 10 feet in front of the sound engineer's cordoned-off area. It still wasn't that great but at least I didn't have any tall people blocking my view. When Interpol finally came on(I think they played "No Exit" "Next Exit" first), all the shit from the evening melted away and I settled into a comfort zone for Interpol's set. I'll still maintain that most of it is a blur. I couldn't really see the stage that well, and I only caught infrequent glimpses of the band members through their set. The band's presence on stage was draped in a spectrum of various colour light effects and smoke machine effects throughout their set. I liked the lighting and smoke machine effects, but I couldn't really take any good digital camera photos from the distance I was from the stage. A girl standing behind me saw my attempts to take some photos and said my flash wouldn't do any good from my distance and at another point, when the stage lights brightened, she tapped me on the shoulder and encouraged me to take my photos while the stage lights were bright. That was cute of her. :-) [I think the dude beside her was her boyfriend. ;-)] So just call these photos my abstract phase :-) ...yes that is Interpol in those photos, if you'd couldn't tell. Interpol played "Slow Hands", "PDA"(that extended passage of silence in one point of the song was really cool)...oh heck, I don't even know all the song names yet, 'cause I'm still trying to absorb their new album "Antics", and even though I've had their first CD "Turn On The Bright Lights" for about a year I haven't really listed to it that much. Am I a bandwagon jumper? Maybe, in some respects I am, but I care to think of it as having too many CD's and too little time to listen to all of 'em. Oh well. Interpol played their hearts out and gave us an encore. I must give 'em credit for putting on a good show despite the crappy venue. (Nothing personal to The Docks; I'm sure it's a perfectly suitable dance club, but it sucks as a live music venue.)

  • Monday, October 11, 2004

    Cum On Feel The Noize

    Bran Van 3000: photo from anyone else seen the Excel Gum television commercial recently? I'm pretty sure the song in the commercial was Bran Van 3000's cover of "Cum on feel the noize". Then I was watching Muchmusic and they had a special program called "Love/Hate" which was all about dating and relationships and at the end of the show they played Bran Van's video for "Astounded" which I haven't seen for ages. Two Bran Van 3000 references in the span of one day. Hmmm. Anyone know if the band'll be releasing anything soon?

    controller.controller have a new message board at their site...oh and their tour with The Organ starts this Wednesday, which reminds me that I should pick a ticket for The Organ's Toronto show before it's all sold out. Rotate This is already sold out of their allotment.

    There's a new interview with Tegan (of Tegan and Sara) over at three imaginary girls.

    Thanksgiving Day news update over at Three Gut Records. Three Gut bands will be playing the CMJ Music Marathon this week...of interest(at least to me) is that Woolly Leaves(aka Will from The Constantines) will be opening one of the nights. BTW, I've never heard of this side project. Is it new? Anyways, here's an mp3 of a song called "Never Ending Song About Nothing". It's a very nice song in an Elliot-Smith sort of way.

    Aversion reports that The Hives will be rereleasing two earlier releases on October 25th, including their 1997 album "Barely Legal" and their 1998 E.P. "a.k.a. I-D-I-O-T".

    Exciting, for me at least, I got an e-mail response today from Erin Moran(aka A Girl Called Eddy) [well, I hope it was her] as I had sent her an e-mail complimenting her on her wonderful self-titled CD as well as asking her to please come to Toronto to perform live. I suggested The Mod Club Theatre as an appropriate venue. She's currently only on tour in Europe so hopefully she'll make it across the pond soon.

    "I am, I am...I am Superman, and I can do anything"... R.I.P., Christopher Reeve.

    Sunday, October 10, 2004

    Be Not So Fearful

  • concert review: Wilco w/ The The Priscillas @ Massey Hall (Toronto, Ontario), Saturday October 9, 2004

    Massey HallIt's funny how things happen. I hadn't planned on going to see Wilco yesterday in Toronto at Massey Hall because I had already seen them in August at The Mod Club Theatre and I thought nothing could top that. However, with friends busy and nothing to do on a Saturday night, I made the last minute decision yesterday to head down to Massey Hall to buy a ticket to the show at the box-office which I knew wasn't yet sold out. I made it down to the venue just before 8 pm and decided to try buying a ticket from a scalper to see if I could get anything half decent for a good price. For the $40 I was willing to spend, the only thing that one scalper could offer me was 'gallery' seating. Firstly, it was about $5 less than the face value of the ticket, and secondly, I figured that what he had to offer might be a little better than what the box office had to offer, so with those facts in mind, I handed him the $40 and bought the ticket. This was the first time in my concert-going experience that I ever bought a ticket from a scalper, and I was happy at the very least to not have been swindled.

    Another first for me was that this was the first time I ever was in Massey Hall. It's funny how the place is just down Shuter St. from The Eaton Centre and I never knew it was there. Even stranger is that Massey Hall has eluded me all those years I've been going to concerts. It's quite a nicer venue than I'm used to. It's a music hall with ground floor seating, second level balcony seating and third level gallery seating. It's not as extravagant a venue as say Spreckels Theatre in San Diego where I had seen Belle and Sebastian this past May, but Massey Hall is quite nice in it's own quaint little way. My seat was in the third level gallery section on the left side of the stage. I had enough of a view that I could see about 75% of the stage.

    The first band of the night were The Priscillas who chromewaves notes are "a group of local scenesters (Tara from Elevator, Colleen from By Divine Right) who don beehive wigs and perform covers and originals". I was quite taken by their music which seemed to combine K Records-influenced girl-pop, country music overtones, and 60's girl group ambience. The beehive wigs and kitschy dresses aside, the music was really fun and catchy. The female vocals and harmonizing were attractive. At one point in their set, some dude yelled out to them to play "something good", and the lead vocalist humourously responded "well then you've come to the wrong place". Can't speak for everyone, but I enjoyed The Priscillas very much.

    Wilco @ Massey Hall(Toronto, Ontario), October 9, 2004: photo by Mike LigonI realized yesterday that the Massey Hall experience of seeing Wilco live was going to be alot different than the intimate club show experience of when I saw Wilco live at The Mod Club Theatre in August. As much as I enjoyed The Mod Club show, I enjoyed the Massey Hall show even better, considering I had third level gallery seating. So rather than having to stand up for an entire show amongst a sweaty crowd of other concert goers, I enjoyed the relative comfort of my seat, gazing down to the stage and the sea of people around the hall. It wasn't about being up close to the band(although that would have been nice also). It was about ambience. It was about letting the music just wash over me. I had a good enough view that I could see most of the stage and the video screen projections behind the band. Half the time I couldn't even see Jeff unless I leaned over the edge of my seat but it wasn't a big deal to me. Jeff seemed to be in good humour yesterday evening, talking to the crowd and making jokes, which in my opinion went great lengths to draw the crowd into the performance, given the size of the venue. The band experienced some technical difficulties during the first part of the show and Jeff had joked that they hadn't done a sound check, so to make up for it they were going to play an extra long set. The acoustics in the hall were excellent and the music took on more grandiose proportions; for example on "At Least That's What You Said", its quieter moments were quite pretty as the sound seemed to echo and fill every nook and cranny of the venue, while the song's guitar assaults seemed to rock the very foundations of the place. Most of the songs during the set were culled from "A Ghost is Born" and "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", but thankfully the band played this time, "I'm Always In Love" from "Summerteeth", which the band hadn't played at The Mod Club Theatre. The band played a solid two hour set, including three encores. The first encore was the 'rock' set as the band played some extended jam sessions. The second encore was the 'folkier' set as the band delved into some quieter numbers including "Mermaid Avenue" session track "California Stars". At the end of the night, Jeff expressed a sentiment about the upcoming U.S. election in a very non-political way by wishing us Canadians could vote in the election. It wasn't about flag waving and partisanship. It was about being concerned about an uncertain future. Poignantly, and appropriately perhaps, Wilco ended the night with a cover of a song called "Be Not So Fearful". [not much in the realm of photos since I was too far from the stage, but here's a handful that I took that I touched up].

  • Friday, October 08, 2004

    The Soft Bulletin

    Danko Jones: photo from reports that Danko Jones signs a U.S. distribution deal with Razor & Tie records, whose General Manager Josh Zieman proclaims "This band will blow the roof off of every place they play and we are beyond excited to be working with them." Danko Jones was dropped by Universal earlier this year and the band currently doesn't have a Canadian distribution deal, which I assume means paying f!*kin' import prices when the band eventually releases a new CD. The band plays Lee's Palace in Toronto tomorrow.

    According to Billboard, The Cure will be releasing a deluxe edition of its 1979 debut, "Three Imaginary Boys", internationally on Nov. 29 and Dec. 7 in North America via Geffen. It's a double disc package which includes the original LP tracks as well as a disc of rarities. The original album was never released in North America but a revamped version including several singles replacing album tracks was released as the LP "Boy's Don't Cry". Billboard has the tracklisting for the new deluxe package if you're interested.

    The Flaming Lips will be re-releasing their orch-pop classic "The Soft Bulletin" in a 5.1 Surround version although extra features have not been confirmed. [from Pitchfork]

    Ben Folds has to cancel a show for the first time in his career and he apologizes to his fans.

    I've been previewing The Futureheads' music here. If you're tired of waiting for The Jam to reunite, The Futureheads are the next best thing... Yes, I meant that as a compliment. Just listen to "Meantime" and it's urgent vocals, wiry guitars, and pulsing basslines. Their show in Toronto on November 1st at Lee's Palace should be a good one.

    Thursday, October 07, 2004

    Fu Manchu

    Francis Reader of The Trashcan Sinatras @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), September 23, 2004: photo by Mike LigonCheck out The Trashcan Sinatra's tour diary recently updated with comments on the recent Montreal and Toronto dates. For the post regarding the Toronto show, Frank(the vocalist) writes a brief humorous yarn about walking around Toronto during the afternoon, the day of the Toronto show, and hearing some horrible song with lyrics about Fu Manchu, skydiving, and snowboarding, by "some joker named Tim McGraw". :-)....It's a shame more people didn't make it out to the Montreal show and am glad that Toronto gave the guys such a warm welcome(even if the show wasn't sold out). It was such a special show that I'm still on a high from it.

    Eye and NOW spotlight Interpol, in anticipation of the band's Toronto date @ The Docks on October 13th, which happens to be the last night of my current evening course, so I hope I can shoot over to The Docks right at 9 pm...and by the way, where the f!%k is The Docks? I just read a review of the Franz Ferdinand show at The Docks from last week and the review said the attendance was about 3000 people...God, I hope I don't end up at the back of the crowd for the Interpol show.

    Soul Shine Magazine gives the rundown on Jonathan Richman's Canadian tourdates(running through November and December), which include the usual stops(Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria) but also include some unexpected(at least in my opinion) stops in Hamilton, Ontario and Guelph, Ontario. And I'm grateful that Mr. Richman's graciously offered THREE opportunities to see him in Toronto (which leaves me no excuses to not check out at least one of his shows).

    Hey, CNBC's rerunning the Mcenroe Show which featured musical guest Death Cab for Cutie performing "Title and Registration"...umm, it's tonight. Sorry for the late post, but I think they'll also rerun the show later on this evening at 1 am, so check your local listings.

    Eye reports that The Dears' Murray Lightburn was awestricken at the news of getting to meet Morrissey when The Dears open up for the Moz in Toronto on October 12th. ...I mean, the guy actually wept for two hours after he got the call to play with his idol.

    So while I was at my evening class yesterday, Brian Wilson was playing with vegetables at Massey Hall. :-)

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    C'est What?

    C'est What: photo from Shine Magazine excitingly reports that C'est What? (in Toronto), after losing its music room this summer due to the landlord tripling the rent amount, will be reopening a music room in one of the rooms that currently houses part of the restaurant. Also, the venue will have a 24-track live remote recording facility built in so that live shows can be recorded. Further yet, every single live performance at C’est What? will be streamed through ...C'est What? was one music venue in Toronto that I never had a chance to go to, and this recent news means a second chance that I don't intend to pass up. Oh and I hear they have some good micro-brews on tap.

    Ben Lee reports from the road as he and Pony Up! are currently on tour together. All I can say, especially with those photos of him and the girls that are posted, is that he's one lucky bastard. ;-)

    The Big Ticket posts a couple of Ted Leo/Pharmacists mp3's including the title track "Shake The Streets" from the new CD as well as a live version from 2/12/1999 of a Lauryn Hill song called "Ex-Factor".

    Rilo Kiley is on Late Night with Conan O'Brien tonight while The Libertines perform on the show the evening of October 13th. [from The Late Night TV Page]

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    Lost Riots

  • Hope of the States: photo by Mike LigonOn top of catching a super three-song set by Hope of the States at HMV 333 Yonge St. Toronto this afternoon, I purchased their CD, got the band's autographs, and on the way out was handed (apparently the last)free ticket to their show at Lee's Palace this evening(October 4th) along with some free schwag(Hope of the States poster, button, and sticker). The band was wittled down to just the vocalist on acoustic guitar and another band member on violin for their 3-song set at HMV. For only 2 people, the music was richly textured, minor key tunes, fleshed out with some plaintive violin work, melodic guitar playing and melancholic vocals. At times, there was an air of Radiohead in the melodies. That being the first time ever hearing the band, I was very impressed. Later on that night, after my evening class, I decided to check out the Hope of the States show at Lee's Palace, but only after driving home to pick up my digital camera. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how early this show was. The ticket said doors were at 8 pm, and I knew there was one opener, but I didn't realize that Hope of the States had come on stage, likely around 10 pm. By the time I got to Lee's Palace, it was about 10:30 pm. I think I caught about 4 songs, including the encore, and the whole show was over by 11 pm. I managed to take a bunch of photos but only a handful came out worth posting. Otherwise, Hope of the States' music was thoroughly entertaining, combining Sonic Youth-style dissonance, art-punk experimentalism, later period-Radiohead atmospherics and new-school brit-pop melodies. The band had a video screen behind them which was visually appealing to watch as the band thrashed on stage, playing their violin and guitars. Had I seen the whole show, I probably would have said this was my favourite show of the year. Having seen only their 3-song set at HMV in the afternoon and 4 songs during the evening show, I will at the very least say I was duely impressed.

  • Oops, I screwed up on the release dates in my blog post yesterday for The Dear's live CD "Thank You Good Night Sold Out" and their reissue of their "Protest" EP. They're both in fact released today in Canada. Sorry for the mix-up. Soul Shine Magazine has a short article on the releases, including a tracklisting for the live CD. ...btw, I just saw on The Dears' site that they will be opening for Morrissey in Toronto on October 12th. I'm almost considering paying the inflated ticket price for a crappy seat just to see the show. I wonder what Morrissey would think about The Dears' song "Don't Lose The Faith" which so much sounds like The Smiths. Better yet, Morrissey should provide guest vocals for the song during the show. That would just be awesome!

  • The Live Aid DVD tracklisting can be found here. Thanks to chartattack for pointing the way.

  • Junior Boys grace the cover of the new issue of Exclaim!, with an accompanying cover story.

  • Cha Cha Charming posts a mini-profile on "fiery black-haired beauty", Wanda Jackson, who played some mean rockabilly back in the late 50's-early 60's. And that photo that Cha Cha Charming has posted is so damn sexy, it makes me want to buy a full-size poster of it.

  • Sunday, October 03, 2004

    We Have Got To Take Cover, Brother

  • Paintballers in silhouetteThe caption for this post is more than a little fitting, and it's entirely coincidental that The Organ's CD "Grab That Gun" featuring their song "Brother" with the lyrics "We have got to take cover..." was in my car this morning. I went paintballing today with my brother, nephew, cousin, and a bunch of other people, and although I'm entirely against real guns, I enjoyed the experience of paintballing. The company, called Ultimate Paintball, was out in the boonies of Milton just outside Mississauga and the entrance to the facility was just off a sideroad down a rocky beaten path. It felt like I was entering some sort of secret backwoods militia headquarters but on the contrary, the facility was entirely organized. The group of us rented our gear, from the camouflage jumpsuit, to the protective face mask, the paintballs, and of course the paintball gun. We went through a short orientation. We were then divided into two teams, red and blue, distinguished by the color of our protective face masks. This was an entirely all day activity as the group of us played from around 10:30 am to about 4 pm, with a lunch and some breaks spread throughout the day. To keep things interesting, our referee lead us through a variety of different paintball games, from a simple capture-the-flag game, to scenario based games. One game had one team act as DEA agents while the other team were rebels trying to get their Presidente across the 'border'. Another game had us in a 'town' setting with different 'buildings' set up, and more than reminded me of S.W.A.T. There were a mixed bag of people, comprised of both men and women and young teens. Some were entirely gung-ho experienced paintballers and others were first-timers like me. There were dudes in full military gear, and others decked out in their own casual wear. Some were take-no-prisoners-storm-the-battle-field players, while others(such as myself) took a more patient, covert sniper-style approach to the game (man, I took more than a couple of people out who had no idea what I had in store for them!). Although it was a game, there was something very pseudo-military about the whole thing: Firstly, shooting on target takes practice, secondly, the game demands alot of attention to your surroundings because it is very easy to get shot(making it all the more scary to think what real soldiers go through), and thirdly, if your team is to win, the element of strategy is necessary. The same people who blame violence in our schoolyards with video games are likely having a field day with paintballing. However, if you're a perfectly rational person(like myself) who can separate reality from fantasy, one can be an advocate for gun control and still enjoy a game of paintball.

  • This may not exactly be new news, but you may have heard or read that The Dears will be releasing their album "No Cities Left" on Spinart Records in the U.S. on October 12th. The NEW cover art can be seen over at Also, according to, The Dears Canadian re-release of their "Protest" E.P. will take place on November 2nd.

    While perusing the Pop Montreal 2004 programme, an ad for The Dears' live CD "Thank You Good Night Sold Out" (released in Canada on October 26) mentioned that the CD is 68 minutes long, which more than makes up for the fact that there's only 9 tracks on the CD.

  • This is cool: A cartoon called "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi", based on the J-pop band Puffy Amiyumi, will debut on November 19 on The Cartoon Network. Each episode will feature live-action skits of Ami and Yumi along with three 7-minute cartoons of the adventures of animated Ami and Yumi. The show will feature the music of Puffy Amiyumi. A compilation has been put together featuring some of their best hits and will be released on November 16 through Epic Records.

  • Disco-punks unite! Even though they made Canadian indie darlings Death From Above change their name(subsequently to Death From Above 1979), I'm still excited that DFA(the record label) has inked a deal with EMI and will be releasing a 3-CD compilation of tracks including previously released vinyl only singles. As Pitchfork reports, as to what the EMI deal might mean to the future of the DFA label remains to be seen, but of course will mean better distribution and more funding. Let's hope the label doesn't get screwed.

  • The Desjardins Vanier Cup Post Game Party on November 27 @ Hamilton Convention Centre will be featuring Sloan. Tickets are $25.00 through Ticketmaster and The Copps Coliseum Box Office and went on sale yesterday. [from Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Inc.(H.E.C.F.I.]