Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dive Deep

I had no idea that Morcheeba were releasing a new album until I read the news over at Speed of Dark, but apparently the band's new album "Dive Deep" was released in the UK today. I haven't heard it yet...actually I'd lost interest in them for a while, mostly because I don't think they'd come to Toronto for a full band tour since maybe circa "Big Calm"(I think a few of them came over for a mini acoustic set a few years ago but that's it). According to their MySpace, they'll be in Toronto for a show at The Opera House on March 30. Songs from the new album are streaming at their MySpace.

Cat Power was in the BBC 6 Music Studio's for a live performance on the George Lamb show. Listen here and also check out some photos from the session. Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues are at Kool Haus on February 9.

The Raveonettes performed an acoustic session for LiveDaily recently - they performed stripped-down versions of "Dead Sound", "Aly Walk With Me", and "Lust", three new tunes off their latest record, "Lust Lust Lust". They come to The Opera House in Toronto on March 21. [via Skatterbrain]

Via Pitchfork comes confirmation of an upcoming New Pornographers/Okervill River tour. Both bands will be at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on April 9. Also confirmed lately, sometime-New Pornographer(although not for the upcoming April 9 show at the Phoenix), Dan Bejar aka Destroyer has his own show booked for Lee's Palace on April 19[via Chromewaves].

Eels return to Toronto for a show at The Mod Club on April 4 to promote its latest discs(yes, plural), hits and rarities collections ("Meet the Eels" and "Useless Trinkets", respectively). Via Pitchfork.

NME reports that Billy Bragg and The Blokes newest album 'Mr Love And Justice', is slated to be released in the US on April 22. The UK release date is March 3. NME has the tracklisting.

Just a reminder, that blog-faves Vampire Weekend make what I believe is their network television debut tomorrow night on Late Show With David Letterman. Their debut self-titled full-length was just released in North America recently.

Who'd have thought that perky television chef/cutie Rachael Ray was an indie rock fan. She invited Battles and Holy Fuck to perform at her SXSW party. I bet she makes some mean barbeque.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cheer It On

Tokyo Police Club @ Nathan Phillips Square(Toronto, Ontario), January 26, 2008
Tokyo Police Club @ Nathan Phillips Square

I caught Tokyo Police Club over the weekend at their free show at Nathan Phillips Square. I'd avoided listening to them for so long, except for the occasional "Nature Of The Experiment" which would pop on 102.1 The Edge every now and then. As the buzz around the band has temporarily subsided(at least until their debut full-length "Elephant Shell" is released in April), I went into their set on Saturday night with a relatively open mind and honestly I found them to be impressive. Not impressive in terms of musicianship necessarily, but they do have a certain rough-hewn brand of melodic, spunky indie-rock that's enjoyable and hasn't passed it's expiry date, at least in my books. One thing comes to mind and that's how come I couldn't be that cool when I was their age? Aside from the tunes from their EP's and upcoming full-length I assumed they played, they also did a guitar-y version of The Rentals' "Friends of P" that really hit the spot. Part of me avoided listening to them for so long because they had to cancel their appearance at last year's Beating Heart Festival concert series in Mississauga(my neck of the woods). I guess I'll forgive them now.
In other news:

Pitchfork interviews Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo.

Junkmedia has an interview with Ottawa's The Acorn.

Popjustice has a brief interview with Saint Etienne's Sarah Cracknell. I wish they'd come back to Toronto already. I'm still waiting for my "Boxette" to arrive in the mail.

Listen to a live session that UK's The Duke Spirit did for BBC 6 Music's George Lamb program last week. See some photos from the session here. The band's new album "Neptune" will be released as an import on February 12 with the band setting out on a mostly UK tour(with a couple of North American dates, but no Toronto one yet) starting at the end of this week. They're in New York City on February 13 & 14 then in Austin(for SXSW) on March 12 so my guess(duh) would be that a Toronto date could be inbetween.

Laura Barrett has some Ontario/Quebec tour dates coming up in February and March. According to her new label Paper Bag Records, she'll be in Toronto at the Gladstone on February 4(@ 9pm) for a live webcast courtesy of Eyes On Toronto. I don't have info about attending it live but I guess you can catch it online. Her "Earth Sciences" EP will be out through Paper Bag Records on February 26. Laura has a nice artistic new music video for her song "Robot Ponies" which you can view below(thanks to John Sakamoto's The Anti-Hit List for the tip):

Video: Laura Barrett - "Robot Ponies" (music video)

Not big news anymore, but I'm 99 % sure I'm going to pick up a ticket for the R.E.M./The National/Modest Mouse show at Molson Ampitheatre coming to the venue on June 8. The last big-venue show I went to(not counting outdoor festivals) was coincidentally the same venue several years ago for Oasis and Sloan. [news via Brooklyn Vegan]

Also via Brooklyn Vegan, Hugh Masekela's Chissa All-Stars will be in Toronto on February 15 as part of the Small World Music Series. The show's at the Phoenix Concert Theatre and tickets are $30 in advance.

Listen to the live session that The New Pornographers did for World Cafe on January 25, 2008.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Contest - Win A Copy of Nicole Atkins' "Neptune City" - CLOSED

Nicole AtkinsNew Jersey's Nicole Atkins describes her music as pop-noir, as apropos a term I could have come up on my own, a mix of melancholic pop with a dramatic, almost cinematic tone. It's not surprising she's caught my ear given my weakkneedness for similiar artists over the last few years like Richard Hawley, A Girl Called Eddy, and to some extent Neko Case. Since posting about her back in August 2007, she's released her debut full-length "Neptune City"(on the heels of her indie ep "Bleeding Diamonds") a collection of songs that's upped the production factor but not to the detriment of it's songs, which run the gamut from girl-group pop melodies("Maybe Tonight"), to the lush and solemn("The Way It Is"), to spright pop-rock("Party's Over"), and the longing melancholic homage to her hometown "Neptune City". By my count, her and her band The Sea have swung through Toronto three times as an opening act, two of which I caught and have only the fondest of memories of. I met her briefly at the merch table once and she was one of the nicest artists I've ever met.

Courtesy of Sony BMG Canada, I have two copies of her debut full-length "Neptune City" up for grabs. Send an e-mail to with the subject heading "I want the Nicole Atkins CD" and I'll pick two winners randomly. Contest closes January 31, 2008 at midnight.

In the meantime, check out some Nicole Atkins multimedia links below:

Video: Nicole Atkins and The Sea - "Maybe tonight" (live on Late Night With Conan O'Brien)
Video: Nicole Atkins and The Sea - "The Way It Is" (live on Late Show With David Letterman)
Video: Nicole Atkins - "Neptune City" (music video)
Video: Nicole Atkins - "The Way It Is" (music video)
Video: Nicole Atkins - "War Torn" (live at studios)
Video: Nicole Atkins - Journey Through Neptune City Vol. 1
Video: Nicole Atkins - Journey Through Neptune City Vol. 2
Video: Nicole Atkins - Journey Through Neptune City Vol. 3
MySpace: Nicole Atkins

photo from here

Update: Congrats to Anne and Craig - your CD's will be going out in the mail soon[Craig, I still need your address].

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nature Of The Experiment

I've never been particularly compelled to really listen to Tokyo Police Club. It's not like their indie-hit "Nature Of The Experiment" didn't have it's moments. But with their almost exponential rise to indie-stardom[ok, I realize that's an oxymoron], I've been less and less inclined to buy into the hype. However, it's hard to deny the critical and blogger buzz surrounding the band especially with regards to the band's live set. So, it's that buzz around their live set that has me committed[well, at least 99%] to standing out in sub-zero temperatures to catch their free live set at Nathan Phillips Square(as part of the WinterCity festival) this Saturday night. Pitchfork has their full tour itinerary plus details of the band's debut full-length "Elephant Shell" coming out through Saddle Creek in April.

Coming in February from the 14th to the 18th is the Wavelength 8th Anniversary Festival, and the lineups been announced over at Stille Post. The artist lineup is a lot less familiar(to me at least) this year than in past years but should be interesting nonetheless.

In other news, the iconic Leonard Cohen is reported to tour the US and Canada in May and Europe in the summer, Wolves, Hawks, and Kites points out the tracklisting for the new Constantines album "Kensington Heights" coming out April 15th through the band's new home Arts & Crafts, and Billboard reports that Portishead's long-overdue third album coming out internationally on April 14(with the North American release date still pending) will simply be titled "Third".

And as a teaser, it looks like Toronto can look forward to shows(courtesy of Against The Grain) from The New Pornographers(w/ Neko Case), Okkervil River and Sally Shapiro - that's what it says in black and white at the Horseshoe Tavern website. Dates/venue info to be confirmed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

California (All The Way)

Stay tuned today for the announcement of the Coachella lineup. Update: Among the early confirmations for this year's Coachella are Portishead, My Morning Jacket, and The Verve according to Billboard. The rest of the lineup is expected to be announced by later on today. Update: Billboard updated their original story and other confirmed acts for Coachella include Jack Johnson, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters (performing the band's classic album "Dark Side of the Moon"), the Breeders, Rilo Kiley, Death Cab For Cutie, the reunited Love And Rockets, Justice, M.I.A., Sasha & Digweed, Fatboy Slim, Cafe Tacuba, and The Raconteurs. Update: Full lineup here. The Canadian contingent going down to Cali for Coachella include Tegan and Sara, Stars, Islands, Metric, Holy Fuck, and DJ A-Trak.

One of the bands rumored to be there this year(and who could possibly sway me to consider to go to Coachella this year) is Portishead who recently announced some long-overdue tour dates, with more dates to come(cross your fingers for Toronto!). Update: Portishead headline the second night of the 3-day Coachella festival.

From Blown Speakers points out that Vancouver indie-choral group The Choir Practice will be singing the US and Canadian National Anthems for tonight's Vancouver/Minnesota NHL game - game's at 10 pm EST on SportsNet.

The Montreal Mirror spoke to Young Galaxy's Stephen Ramsay. Young Galaxy open for Peter, Bjorn and John at the Phoenix on January 22.

I guess I haven't been paying attention. Firstly, I didn't know that Metric had filmed a live performance(at Metropolis in Montreal in 2006) of theirs for a DVD. Secondly, I didn't know that they show the film at The Royal in Toronto twice last week(including Jimmy, Emily and Joshua participating in a Q & A after the screening). Well, the DVD "Live at Metropolis" gets its release on February 12 and BlogTO linked to the trailer. The band takes a break from the recording of its fourth album and to celebrate the release of the new DVD with a show at Sound Academy in Toronto on February 7.

The Kooks are back in Toronto for a 19+ show at The Mod Club on February 11, onsale through Ticketmaster on January 26 at 10 am, tickets $20.00.

Brooklyn's Vampire Weekend performed a live session on BBC 6 Music's George Lamb program last week which you can listen to here and see some photos from the session here. They return to Toronto for a show at Horseshoe Tavern on February 11. The band's self-titled debut full-length gets its official release January 29 through XL Recordings.

In addition to their already announced date in Toronto at Circa on March 28, Crystal Castles have a secret show in Toronto on February 21. Full dates over at their MySpace.

While we wait patiently for the new album from Kathleen Edwards entitled "Asking For Flowers"(out March 4), the Hamilton forum at Stille Post is indicating a show in their fair city on March 22 at Westside Concert Theatre, tickets $25.00. I'd assume a Toronto date wouldn't be far off.

Domino Records is streaming clips of songs from UK's Lightspeed Champion (ie. Dev Hynes) debut album "Falling Off The Lavender Bridge", out in the UK this week and in North America the following week. Frankly, I never had listened to his music until last week when Chromewaves wrote a post about him - his music is quite lovely at times. There's something about Brits performing twangy, pastoral pop music - it just sounds so good. As Chromewaves mentioned last week, Lightspeed Champion is heading to North America for SXSW and an acoustic tour with a stop in Toronto on Tuesday March 4 at Horseshoe Tavern(Tuesdays at the Horseshoe traditionally being no cover, Nu Music Nite). It's circled on my calendar as a definite maybe.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Up All Night

Skatterbrain has an interview with Toronto indie pop faves The Airfields. They'll be at Sneaky Dee's on February 2 for their CD release party for their debut full-length "Up All Night" being released through Humblebee Recordings on February 5. You can also catch the band on March 6 at Wrongbar in Toronto, along with The Two Koreas, The Paper Cranes, Huckleberry Friends and special guests, Norwegians Syme.

And speaking of Scandinavians, Swedish disco pop cutie Sally Shapiro is coming to Toronto on March 4 to not for a performance, but rather as part of an oh-so-short DJ tour she'll be on with producer Johan Agebjörn. For CanCon, Pitchfork reports that Junior Boys did a remix for Ms. Shapiro which will appear on an upcoming spring release on Paper Bag Records entitled "Remix Romance".

Staying on the topic of dance-pop, I've been patiently waiting for my copy of Saint Etienne's "Boxette" to arrive in the mail. "Boxette" is a compilation of several fanclub-only releases in one fancy package(and something to tide me over until they hopefully come back to Toronto - it's been years it seems and I never have seen them live). I believe there were only about 2000 made and at least as of January 7 there were only 450 left so hop to it. Ordering info is here. Purchase it here.

The Canadian Music Week schedule is slowly filling in and it shows that Young Galaxy and Attack in Black have been added to the list of performers at The Indies awards show taking place at Canadian Room (inside Royal York Hotel) on March 8.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Time Of The Season

It finally appears concert festival season in and around the GTA is shaping up:

The Brampton Indie Arts Festival taking place at Rose Theatre goes down February 13 to 15 with these year's featured musical acts including Nadja, Born Ruffians, Forest City Lovers, Claire Jenkins, Spiral Beach, Sandro Perri, The Bicycles and iNSiDEaMiND. View the program here. Ticket info here.

The Wavelength 8th Anniversary concert festival happens in several venues in Toronto from February 14 to 17 - stay tuned for more details, but The Music Gallery have already confirmed they'll kick things off on February 14 with a show which'll feature large band troupe Bruce Peninsula, with female minimalist post-punk trio Huckleberry Friends and more.

Following in March, Canadian Music Week takes place in various venues throughout Toronto from March 5 to 8. Big name highlights include a reunion(?) of The Breeders who'll be playing the Phoenix on March 8 - tickets $28.50 with limited CMW wristbands / passes accepted. The New Pornographers, Tokyo Police Club, Lowest of The Low and The Cliks will be playing The Indies awards show at Canadian Room (inside Royal York Hotel) on March 8, tickets $25 Advance / $35 Door and limited CMW wristbands / passes accepted. Up-and-coming Jason Collett will be at Lee's Palace on March 6, tickets $15.00. As a special bonus, The Hives/The Donnas show at Kool Haus on March 3 will accept all CMW wristbands / passes. Otherwise, check out the still-in-the-works schedule - most of the artists are relative unknowns to me but it should be fun exploring. I've come across a few artists that I think I want to check out - the shoegazey Helsinki outfit Pooma(whose MySpace says they'll be playing on March 6, venue TBD) for one are terrific from what I've heard of them so far.

The relatively new Pitter Patter Festival, a multi-venue, multi-city(although mostly in Toronto) festival is happening March 27 to 30 with a whack load of bands confirmed so far. Keep checking the Stille Post thread for updates.

Turntablist Kid Koala was recently added to the DJ Shadow/Cut Chemist bill coming to the Phoenix on January 30[details here].

A Beach Boys tribute night is in the works for the Silver Dollar on February 5 - keep up with updates over at Stille Post, but some notables confirmed so far to participate include The Bicycles and Laura Barrett.

Metric return for a hometown gig at Sound Academy on February 7[via Emerge].

Indie-folk-rocker Jeff Lewis, who's opening for Super Furry Animals at The Mod Club on February 20, will precede that show with a free instore at Soundscapes on February 19 at 7 pm[info].

Baby Eagle brings his acoustic strummings and fractured vocals to the Dakota Tavern in Toronto on February 26 - Jim Bryson will also be there. Brother and sister Jill and Matthew Barber will be heading out on a cross-country tour together which will stop in Toronto at the Rivoli on April 4. Matthew's new record "Ghost Notes" is out through Outside Music on March 4 and he's in the midst of a Sunday night residency throughout January at Jane Bond Cafe in Waterloo, Ontario[tour date info via Outside Music].

Via rootmeansquare, Chromewaves-fave Headlights, plus openers Evangelicals, will stop in Toronto for a show at the El Mocambo on March 2, tickets $10.00, while those masked Brits Clinic will be at Lee's Palace on May 11, tickets $15.00.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Rainbow Connection

Toronto's on the shortlist of cities for Radiohead's upcoming North American tour! Ok, no venues and or dates have been confirmed yet but those sneaky buggers have us salivating already. Vancouver's also on the list as well. [via Pitchfork] Speaking of Radiohead, they have a contest going on to celebrate their new album "In Rainbows". Full details are here - I suggest you read the full contest details(as they are important) but it basically requires one to submit a photo or image which will become part of a digital rainbow[I'm not sure what they mean by that exactly - a collage?] and you might win some free "In Rainbows" merch. Good luck. Contest closes February 5.

Chromewaves has already covered the following three items this week but just as a reminder, Caribou have a 2-night stand at Lee's Palace on March 20 and 21, tickets $15, Hot Chip are at the Phoenix with openers Free Blood on April 16, tickets $20, and Justice return to Toronto for a show at The Docks(or Sound Academy, whatever name the venue's going by these days) on March 17 with Fancy and Busy P in tow.

Hayden will performing on MTV Live(@ Masonic Temple in Toronto) on January 14 and you can be there - to be part of the audience, call 1-888-491-6888, or email

The Weakerthans have there turn at MTV Live on January 31, the start of a busy weekend for them with them already scheduled for an instore at Sonic Boom Records on February 1(start 6:30 pm), then performing a free show at Nathan Phillips Square on February 2(start 8:45 pm) as part the WinterCity Festival.

Pollstar indicates that Crystal Castles and Health will be at Circa on March 28, and What Made Milwaukee Famous will be opening for Nada Surf at The Opera House on April 7.

That musical chameleon Joe Jackson will be at Danforth Music Hall on April 1. I wonder what sort of set list he's playing these days. He does have a new album entitled "Rain" being released through Ryko on January 29 - his MySpace is streaming several tracks. Tickets for the Danforth Music Hall show are on sale this Friday.

Congrats to Laura Barrett for her signing to Paper Bag Records! She will re-release her debut "Earth Sciences" EP on Paper Bag on Tuesday February 26, 2008.

It's funny/spooky that a few days ago, the day that I chose to listen to my Echo and The Bunnymen "Ocean Rain" CD for the first time in a long time, Pitchfork reports that same day that the band will be performing that album in its entirely with a full orchestra at London's Royal Albert Hall on September 18. Pitchfork also report that Echo and The Bunnymen's only other upcoming gigs are a free gig in Spain[Pitchfork don't specify where and when] and an appearance at January 12's Liverpool 08 concert, where they'll perform "Nothing Last Forever" from 1997's "Evergreen" with the Liverpool Philharmonic. Frontman Ian McCulloch will also appear on CBS' "The Early Show" on CBS January 11(although apparently only an interview according to the Bunnymen website). Well, that last item's something we can ALL look forward to but damn would I love to see Echo perform "Ocean Rain" live with an orchestra.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Cure The Post Holiday Blues

I'm back to work today with post-holiday depression almost setting in but I hope to stave off with some good musical things to look forward to(not that I'll be partaking in all of these, but hopefully at least a few of them):

Via Stillepost, Mongrels and The Brown Hornets will be at the Bovine to bring the rock this January 11. I can't speak for The Brown Hornets who I haven't heard yet, but I can vouch for Mongrels who I saw live last year in March opening for The Zoobombs at The Comfort Zone and to quote myself, they "...played a devasting set of rock riffage..." with Janis Joplin-esque vocals.

There's a few shows coming up this week that I'd only found out about - Aesop Rock will be at Sound Academy(formerly The Docks) on January 11 while De La Soul hit the same venue on January 18 - tickets for both shows $20.00.

Playing their first Toronto show in a long while(at least from what I recall), Magneta Lane will be at the Rivoli for an early show on January 16, playing new songs from their upcoming album "Gambling with God".

Republic of Safety are at Sneaky Dee's on January 26 for a "Border Closing Show" according to their MySpace - I'm assuming this is their hometown farewell show. It's a shame I only ever caught them once live(back in 2005 at the El Mo which I believe was one of their first live shows).

In addition to their already announced free show at Nathan Phillips Square on February 2(as part of WinterCity Festival), The Weakerthans will also be at Sonic Boom Records in Toronto the day prior on February 1(6:30 pm) for a free instore performance.[via It's Not The Band I Hate...]

North American tour dates are still forthcoming for February according to their MySpace, but newest Last Gang recording artists Crystal Castles, with Los Angeleans Health and Stab City are so far confirmed for a show in Hamilton, ON at The Casbah on February 22, tickets $10. [via Stille Post] I know I'm sort of a late-comer, but I'm addicted to their song "Crimewave".

Jose Gonzalez has introduced a whole bunch more of North American tour dates and will coming back to Toronto for a show at the Phoenix on March 15 - a portion of the tour(starting on Feb 29) will be in "eco-friendly" according to Pitchfork.

There's a few unconfirmed events that I came across: Dave Bookman's "3 n' Out" column in the Jan 3/08 column of Eye Weekly(the print version) mentions that the rumour is that The Constantines will celebrate their record release for their forthcoming still-to-be-titled new album with a shows on April 22 and 23. Also the Lee's Palace website indicates that Glasgow, Scotland's Sons and Daughters will be hitting the venue sometime in the near future[my guess would sometime after February but before they travel to Austin for SXSW in March]. The band's new album "This Gift" will released in North America on January 29 through Domino Records. Update: Thanks to Chromewaves for the S & D tour date info - they'll be at Lee's Palace on March 26 - info confirmed at their US booking company Ground Control Touring. Whoopee! (So, I was a little off with my estimate.)

In non-concert news, Billboard has details on the upcoming new Destroyer album "Trouble in Dreams" to be released March 19 through Merge and Torontoist has an interview with The Hidden Cameras' Mississauga-hatin' frontman Joel Gibb.

The Diableros have launched their new website and in the spirit of giving have graciously provided an mp3 of an acoustic version of their song "Broken Barns". Thanks guys! They'll be heading to SXSW in March but hopefully they'll squeeze in a hometown date or two. I finally got around to picking up their most recent album "Aren't Ready For The Country" but if you haven't yet, you can stream it here.

Friday, January 04, 2008

In My Next Life, A Workhorse

The LuyasOne of the most interesting band's I've heard in the last little while, Montreal's The Luyas have a few upcoming dates including a couple in Toronto - January 11 at The Silver Dollar as part of Katie Stelmanis' CD release, then February 9 at The Music Gallery with Rick White. I explored some samples at their MySpace and downloaded a few mp3's, and it's really good stuff - the best description of the music I can come up with right now is Cat Power-ish vocals set atop atmospheric, sometimes baroque(courtesy of some thrilling french horn) indie-rock that occassionally veers into Sonic Youth dissonance. At their most accessible, like "In My Next Life, A Workhorse", they echo a quiet, desperation, as similarly beautiful as anything Julie Doiron has ever written. The band's first album "Faker Death" was released this year on Pome Records. (For availability info, check here.) [photo from CBC Radio 3]

Starting on January 17 in Guelph(@ Ebar) Jason Collett will be hitting the road for dates in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Edmonton, British Columbia, then back to Ontario in April all in support of his new album "Here's To Being Here", set for release on February 5th. His Toronto date will be at Lee's Palace on March 6 as part of Canadian Music Week. Full dates here.

Audio: Check out a few mp3's from Jason's upcoming album here.

To pilfer Pitchfork a little: Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks have a new album("Real Emotional Trash", out on Matador on March 4) and tour(currently some US east coast dates in March and April but nothing for T.O. yet although some more live dates in April are promised), Beck's "Odelay" will be reissued in a deluxe 2-disc version on January 29 through Geffen featuring 19 tracks not available on the original version, and Neko Case has scheduled a few upcoming dates in January and February(nothing in Toronto again, but some of her upcoming dates are in upper New York State, so maybe she can throw a T.O. date on the sched.) More info here, here and here respectively.

A Kinks reunion could be in the making(a longshot, though) for later this year according to Aversion.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

To Music Blog Or Not To Music Blog

Hero Hill has ended off 2007[or from a different perspective, starts off 2008] with a critique of music blogs in general that in my opinion is really a must-read for every music blogger. Four years on with my own music blog, I'm alternately surprised/disappointed with the influx of the number of music blogs that have materialized over the last four years. On the surprise end of it, it's great to see music blogs as a source of alternative media providing a personal perspective to the music we listen to, but on the other hand I must agree with Hero Hill that on several counts(eg. blogger sheep mentality, poor writing, the influence of promo companies), the music blogosphere is increasingly less and less of a credible source[with the exception of a minority of bloggers - who those bloggers are, in my opinion would vary from blogger to blogger]. Hero Hill's critique has reminded me that I've recently pondered my motivations for continuing to blog about music. I would like to think that the love of music is my main motivation but the influence of promo companies with the tempting lure of a free CD or free guest list spot is a hard thing to shake. I won't pretend that I've never accepted a free CD or guest list spot but I will maintain that anytime I've ever alluded to liking an artist's song/album/concert it's always been a true statement. If you've been a long-time reader, you'd also notice that even in reference to new upcoming artists I've largely stayed away from using overarching descriptions that allude to new artists as the next big thing. As I write this, it's starting to sound like I'm trying to defend myself. On one hand, maybe I am but on the other hand I'm big enough to admit that, on occasion, I've fallen into the trap of poor writing, writing about bands that have been blogged to death, or what have you. I've always maintained that my blog is really about whatever random thoughts, commentary, news or information I chose to blog about. Hopefully, some of it will be insightful, informative and or new to you. If it's not, well god forbid maybe you could leave a comment, but otherwise you can surf away. I do hope you'll come back though and give me another chance.