They Shoot Horses, Don't They? aren't playing tonight at Pat's. They were maybe, then they were, now they are not. Sorry for any confusion.
Rather than post a traditional Halloween mix of "scary" songs, I have concocted this Halloween mix for the uber-Conservative in your life. Let's face it, music (well, music that isn't totally shitty) mostly caters to the more "liberal"* side of the population. So, in fairness...
A Republican Halloween Mix (Scary things for the Right Wing):
1. Bloc Party - Price of Gas
2. The Red Light Sting - Abortions for All
3. Spank Rock - Far Left
4. Celebration - China
5. Electric 6 - Gay Bar
6. The White Stripes - The Union Forever
7. Matthew Good - Alert Status Red
8. The Tears - Refugees
9. The Pipettes - Sex
10. Belle and Sebastian - Marx and Engels
11. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Details of the War
12. The Beatles - Taxman
*that's the last time (I hope), that you'll find the incorrect definition of the political term "liberal" on this blog.
download link tomorrow.
now playing: Gang of Four - He'd Send in the Army
Monday, October 30, 2006
Matthew over at I (Heart) Music has once again polled a whole bunch of Canadian bloggers, asking them for their top 10 "hottest" Canadian music makers. It was supposed to go up today, but apparently their were stragglers. In the mean time, here was my ballot this year:
1. Spencer KrugI'm sure the Spencer Krug vote was a pain for Matthew to tabulate (sorry dude), but it really was the sum of his achievements that made 2006 his year, if you ask me.
Maybe picking him is cheating, I dunno. Seriously though, between Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, and Swan Lake, it was Spencer's year. He's Canada's musical MVP, no doubt.
2. Cadence Weapon
Rollie didn't put out anything new in 2006, but he had no trouble riding the strength of his debut through a year's worth of live shows. It seems like he's just getting started, too. I saw him three times this year, and he's been better and better each time. And those new songs he's doing live are some serious next level shit.
3. Final Fantasy
Great records and stunning live shows aside, Owen deserves massive props for getting national recognition for an album that has the word "poo" in the title.
4. Land of Talk
They are the band that I heard for the first time this year that I'm most excited about. I actually find it hard to explain why, but see them live and you'll get what all the fuss is about.
If it were possible to cram everything I love about Vancouver onto a single 38-minute CD, it would sound something like Ladyhawk's self-titled debut.
6. Nelly Furtado
Before Loose invaded the airwaves on both sides of the border, when was the last time one of our Top 40 exports hasn't been at least a bit embarrassing? (I bet Aaron Wherry knows the answer). If "Promiscuous" and "Maneater" don't make you want to dance you're either devoid of rhythm or a snobby bore, maybe both.
It wasn't as though Dan Bejar did anything all that exceptional for Dan Bejar with Rubies, but an average Destroyer record is still leagues ahead of what most musicians are putting out.
8. Emily Haines
Strip away all of Metric's bells and whistles and you realize that Emily's making the poet in her father pretty proud.
9. The New Pornographers
This year they proved that they could not only exist, but excel without Neko when they played live. To be perfectly honest, I actually prefer Kathryn Calder. Neko's a greater part, but Kathryn helps make a better sum.
10. The Paper Cranes
I have no idea what having an almost completely new line up is going to mean for the Paper Cranes. But whatever happens, they will always have "I'll Love You Until My Veins Explode," which is one of the finest pop songs I've heard this year or any.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? are indeed playing with Love is All and Hot Loins tomorrow at Pat's. Don't miss this one.
Redman, Raekwon, and some other people are at Plush on December 12th for the Rock the Bells Tour. Tix are $35 right now, and go up to $40 later (both +charges). That's a touch pricey, especially considering the penchant of high profile rappers at club shows to play 20-minute sets that consist of them barking over their backing tracks with five other dudes. But it is Raekwon the Chef.
Dandi Wind returns "home" for an all-ager at Video-In on December 9th with the Doers, Hot Loins, Cheerleader Camp, and Fun 100.
Speaking of all-ages shows, Golden Family United has started throwing them every other Wednesday at the Other Space (right above the Media Club). And you big kids out there will be happy to know, that it's all-ages, but there's a bar with ID. Peep their MySpace for the shows, because I'm too lazy to list them right now.
Here is a question for those more technically adept than I am...
So DVD Jon has apparently cracked iTunes DRM, allowing companies to sell their own copy protected files that will play on iTunes. Which, I suppose, is novel for companies selling music. But didn't Hymn (and then QTFairUse6) already strip away the DRM, making iTunes files completely unprotected .m4a files? In which case, why is the online community feeding the buzz around this?
Oh, and the Joanna Newsom show is now advertised as "with Bill Callahan." I have no idea what difference this makes. Isn't Smog just Bill and whomever he decides to collaborate with anyhow? Also, Joanna is now listed as "playing with a full band" rather than a "large ensemble." Again, depending on the size of the band and your subjective measure of "large," those two things are exactly the same.
now playing: Shellac - Squirrel Song
Friday, October 27, 2006
So I was browsing around on Via Chicago when I found this rather charming opinion piece.
If you're too lazy to read it, the gist of it is that the author heckles bands when he's bored at a show, because he thinks art is turning to shit because society is complacent and nobody complains.
At first I thought the entire article was a joke. It still wouldn't be all that funny as a piece of writing, but as someone who writes a few semi-regular things, I understand that sometimes you just can't muster up your A-game. In fact, I'd kind of admire Mr. Thompson for fictionalizing himself as the asshole for the sake of his writing. Thing is, someone on Via Chicago was actually at the first show he mentioned and heard the guy.
It's funny, because that first show was Califone, whom I saw earlier this month. I also thought they were a bit boring live. On the other hand, instead of yelling (rather unfunny quips - if you're going to be a jackass, at least be witty, jackass), I just stood quietly, and then moved back, before slipping out the door.
Now there are several things to bring up here. One is that, before you describe someone as a "geeky 30-something indie rock washout" you might want to look in the mirror and imagine yourself in a decade's time (check the photo: pot, meet kettle). The second is that just because this dude thinks something is boring, doesn't mean everyone does. I'm sure there were a good chunk of people who found Califone enthralling. I hated Six Organ of Admittance's last show here, but my girlfriend found it rather wonderful.
That's probably pretty obvious, but here's the thing that really jumped out at me when I read this article. It's that Paul Thompson is half-right. People are too complacent. Not about art though. People are too complacent when it comes to jerks like Paul Thompson. That goes for most situations, but let's focus on shows.
How many times have you been to a show where some clown pushes his way to the front right before the band starts? How many times have you been to a show where one guy decides it's cool to thrash into everyone in a three metre radius? (and I'm not talking hardcore punk shows) And, how many times have you been enjoying yourself at a concert when some asshole who's seen Dane Cook's Tourgasm DVD one too many times decides to yell something stupid at the band? Does anyone ever say anything?
More often than not everyone just stands politely as one guy attempts to ruin things for everyone else.
So friends, heed Paul's advice and fight your complacency. And next time someone who didn't receive enough attention during their formative years attempts to remedy that by disrupting a musical event, let the fucker have it. Because, as Paul so rightly - albeit melodramatically - puts it, "if you don't stand up for art, it can only stand up for itself for so long before it withers and dies."
now playing: Sam Cooke - You Send Me
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
if you find me, hide me, i don't know where i've been
Emily Haines plays the Commodore on January 18th. I've been meaning to write about Knives Don't Have Your Back somewhere for awhile, and haven't really gotten around to it for one reason or another. I'm not really going to do it right now either, but I will sometime, as the record definitely deserves to be talked about. In the meantime, if you gave it a cursory listen and dismissed it, I politely emplore you to give it another shot. If Metric's strength is hooks that grab you and shake you, then the strength of Emily's solo work is that it's subtle, and eventually sneaks up on you.
You can watch the video and grab listen to the mp3 of "Doctor Blind" at Emily's official site.
Erin, who does work for those fine folks at Boompa, sent me this promo video for the TV show This Space for Rent. I haven't seen the pilot (that aired last January), but the video - a preview for episodes 2 and 3 - features some rather excellent footage of Ladyhawk performing "the Dugout." The show, which takes place right here in Vancouver, also features the music of Pink Mountaintops, Small Sins, Great Aunt Ida, and Castle Project, amongst other less local, but equally talented artists. The next two episodes air next January, and if nothing else, my interest is piqued.
The Faint are playing Richard's on December 1st. I've never been a excited enough about any of their tunes to seek out their record, but I saw them last time they came through town and it was a ton of fun.
Sean from Hot Loins was kind enough to let me know that his band will be opening the Love is All show on Halloween at Pat's. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? may play as well. Either way, Sean promises that the guys in Hot Loins will be in full Halloween attire, so if you plan on heading down (and you should), get in the spirit and dress all spooky.
Jill Barber is opening both Ron Sexsmith dates. (thanks Aleks)
now playing: Wu-Tang Clan - Can It Be All So Simple
Monday, October 23, 2006
the bleeding heart show
I'm going to say some things that aren't going to endear me to fans of the following:
Carl Newman (1)
Dan Bejar (2)
Neko Case (3)
Although, I insist that I am, in fact, big fans of all three.
However, I'm going to say some things that are gong to endear me to fans of Kathryn Calder.
Ok... so here goes...
I made it down to see the second of the two New Pornographers shows tonight (I mean, really, I named my blog after them, I pretty much had to). As per usual, the band was pretty fabulous live, and you could make a pretty convincing case for the intro that Grant Lawrence gave them as, "the best Vancouver rock band ever." I don't necessarily agree, but it's certainly not a ridiculous assertion.
The set pulled from all three albums, and I was quite pleased to find that it also contained a fair number of Dan Bejar's songs (despite Dan's absence), because quite honestly, (1) I think he's the best songwriter in the group. That being said, the way Carl rearranges Dan's tunes, really take them to another level. (2) The old Destroyer tunes sound loads better arranged as near perfect pop songs. That's not to say that Dan can't write a good hook, or that I don't love the sprawling, less tuneful stuff that he puts out, but Bejar's songs with Carl's pop chops are the reason they call the NPs a supergroup. And then I guess there's Neko.
(3)But the thing about tonight, was that it was the first time I didn't miss Miss Case's presence. In fact, I'm willing to say that now that Kathryn Calder's had a year playing fill-in, the student's surpassed the master. Neko's got better pipes, for certain, but Kathryn's voice is incredibly confident now. And to be completely honest, it fits much better with both Carl's voice and the music. Neko sort of powers over everything, which is awesome on her solo stuff, but the New Pornographers are very much the sum of their parts, and Calder seems like a better piece of the whole. Also, while Neko's got the gift, there wasn't a single moment tonight that you could pick out where Kathryn sounded worse than if Neko had been there to sing the same parts.
Odds and ends:
- Kurt Dahle's moustache is terrible and vaguely Hitler-esque (never a good idea), though he's still one of my favourite drummers, and can balance a cup of whiskey and rock out.
- That ending to "Testament to Youth in Verse" gets me everytime.
- No "Jackie?" C'mon now.
- People yelling for "Sing Me Spanish Techno" during the encore, after they played it within the first 20 minutes of the show = awesome.
Oh, and thanks to my friend Shea for taking me as his +1.
now playing: the New Pornographers - It's Only Divine Right
Sunday, October 22, 2006
i sing to the empties and cigarette butts
Of the six (maybe more) shows last night, I made it down to the Columbia last night for Ladyhawk. I have gone on and on about them at length, so I'll spare the praise (although praise is certainly due). The boys played mostly new numbers, and only a handful of songs from their self-titled debut. Some of the new ones sounded a bit rough, but there are definitely some potential stunners in the bunch.
Catfish Haven opened the show. Same deal live as on record. They have lots of really great songs, but there's not a lot of variety. All in all though, they were quite good, and George Hunter can really sing.
Smog is opening for Joanna Newsom. Apparently they collaborate when they play together, which should be all kinds of awesome. If you follow that link up there you can see visual fruits of said collaboration, as the promo photo of Bill Callahan was taken by Miss Newsom. You can even see her elven shadow.
Lovely Feathers are at the Media Club on November 5th.
Castle Project are at the Media Club on November 22nd with Uncut and the Diableros.
Weird Weeds are at the Lamplighter on December 4th. I have no idea what they sound like or who they are, but my friend Kara's 1-for-1 so far this week on music recommendations, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.
If you haven't already, I highly suggest pre-ordering the new reissue of Pavement's Wowee Zowee. If you pre-order you get a free 7", a poster, and a download of a 1994 show where the band debuted a bunch of the songs from the album. Normally, I would suggest going to one of Vancouver's fine local retailers, but I'm not certain that they'll be getting the bonus goods for sure. And you don't want to miss out on this stuff. The show is awesome, and I got the download code a mere day after ordering. You can grab it at InSound for $15.99usd (plus shipping, of course). Matador has two mp3s up for your previewing pleasure (one each from the cd and bonus download).
download: Pavement - Rattled by the Rush (remastered)
download: Pavement - Hecker Spray/In the Mouth of a Desert (live) (both via Matador)
now playing: Pavement - We Dance
Saturday, October 21, 2006
the hold steady almost killed me
Rocking, rolling, fist pumping, boozing, shouting, jumping... the Hold-fuckin-Steady. Were you there? You should've been there. A mind blowing musical epiphany? Probably not. A ridiculously awesome good time? Hell yes. Craig Finn even gave me a beer when they came out for the encore. How many of your favourite bands do that?
My memory's slightly alcohol fogged, but I think they ran through almost all of Boys and Girls in America (minus, "Citrus" and "Chillout Tent"), 3 or 4 each from Separation Sunday and ...Almost Killed Me, and "You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came With)" (which was a bonus track on the import version of their debut).
download: the Hold Steady - You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came With)
The last time they came through town they opened for the Cons. And while it made for an awesome double bill, it also meant that me and maybe 2-3 other dudes were the only ones that were really into it. Last night was a far different story. Hopefully things keep picking up, and they can play somewhere with nicer sound next time around.
Speaking of, Sean Na Na opened and fell victim to the Plaza's lousy acoustics. I've only checked them out through MySpace, but their recorded output sounds pretty ace: like the Shins meet Ted Leo. Last night some of the subtler moments of their finely written pop were a bit lost. I'd really like to see them somewhere with a nicer PA. Oh, and if you were wondering, the guy singing was Sean Tillman, who's now better known as Har Mar Superstar.
I almost feel too partied out for Ladyhawk tonight. Almost (if you're going, by the way, make sure you show up in time for Catfish Haven).
On a completely opposite note, today marks three years since Elliott Smith died. And this is my favourite Elliott Smith song (and one of my favourite songs ever, for that matter). It came with the first issue of Yeti.
download: Elliott Smith - Angel in the Snow
now playing: the Roots - Clones
Friday, October 20, 2006
So, tonight I was thinking about the Exploding Hearts... about their forthcoming rarities release (out on Halloween - it's awesome and you can grab an mp3 or preorder here), but mostly about how they weren't doing anything new, but were doing it incredibly well. And also how so many bands do such a crappy job at playing older sounding punk rock. Then, lo and behold, my good friend Kara pops on MSN telling me that I've "got to hear this record."
And this is what she sent me. Disregard Jay Reatard's unfortunate stage name (or unfortunate real name - it's gotta be a stage name), and check out what this guy is throwing down. Kara very wonderfully summed it up as "like the Exploding Hearts meets Wire." To be more specific, the sound of old Wire with the aggression of new Wire. It's simultaneously really catchy and also really, for lack of a better word, evil sounding. Check out this track, that encompasses all the best things about pop-punk (like the Buzzcocks and Undertones, not Blink 182) and Wire's knack for rhythm and brevity, but tops things off with this ridiculous swath of feedback that creeps in at the end that sounds like Slowdive on speed.
download: Jay Reatard - Oh It's Such A Shame
I'm going to attempt to find this somewhere in Vancouver tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow in Vancouver (technically tonight), you should all make sure you go check out the Hold Steady at the Plaza tomorrow.
And entirely unrelated... shows where worse things will happen to you when you jump on stage uninvited than at a Wilco show:
Rolling Stones show:
There's actually no footage of the "incident." But it involved Abbie Hoffman coming up to ask why half a million hippies could party while John Sinclair of the White Panther Party was in jail. Pete Townshend - who later admitted that he agreed with Hoffman about Sinclair - promptly knocked Abbie off the stage with his guitar. The above is directly before/after. Hoffman denies that the event happened, and claims that Pete accidentally bumped him (accidentally, but really hard apparently). Although the audio from Woodstock, where you hear Hoffman get cut off, and then hear Pete yell "fuck off my fuckin' stage!" doesn't sound like much of an accident to me. Pete Townshend was punk rock before punk rock even existed.
download: the Who - Abbie Hoffman Incident
Even if you're a security guard, and bigger than the dude (who is a rapper, not the personifaction of the crappy television show).
And, as you've probably already read, Juan MacLean will kick the crap out of you if you mess with his equipment... of course, he'll apologize later.
now playing: Jay Reatard - Nightmares
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
the month changes numbers
I would've either picked this up myself or subtly hinted that it would make an awesome Christmas present, but Nardwuar was kind enough to send me a copy of the Punk Rock Calendar that he put out with Bev Davies and those fine folks at Mint. The calendar runs December '06 - December '07 and features monthly commentary from Nardwuar and Bev, as well as some of Bev's ridiculously awesome photos of such ridiculously awesome bands as Gang of Four, Motorhead, Black Flag, the DKs, and a little band called the Clash (whom some of you may recall as 'the only group that matters'). There's even a Ramones pic that was snapped in the SUB Ballroom, which might be worth noting if you're alma mater is also UBC. Oh, and there's also a photo of Duff McKagan drumming, not with G'n'R, but with the Fastbacks! Honestly, I don't know if I've ever been excited about a calendar before, but this thing is rad. Consider buying one if you're a lover of ze punk rock, or know someone who is. You can pick it up in all the finer music stores around town (and probably some of the finer bookstores as well - but for christ's sake, please don't patronize Chapter's if it's there). I spent the better part of an hour reading through all the stuff while listening to "Entertainment" on LP the day this arrived in the mail.
The Handsome Family is at Richard's on December 7th. Their latest, Last Days of Wonder, is slowly creeping up my list of '06 favourites, so colour me excited for this one.
Sean Lennon is at Richard's on November 21st. My jury's still out on his new record, but the trailer for his new record is pretty goddamn cool.
Leeroy Stagger opens up Amy Millan's November 29th show at the Plaza. While we're linking to promo clips, check out this EPK for Depression River. "My name is Leeroy Stagger. I'm 23 years old and I have the best job in the world." Right on.
Rhymefest is no longer opening the J5 shows, but he's been replaced by From Blown Speakers fave, Cadence Weapon.
And last, but most certainly not least, AOL is streaming the new Hold Steady video.
Oh wait... I lied. Sometime soon I'm going to remove the show listings on the sidebar, since the same thing (though more thorough) is on Streethawk. And it's way easier to update over there, since it's through a form and the dates roll automatically. If that's all you came for, you might want to update your bookmarks soonish. If, however, you enjoy my inane banter, feel free to stay, cause I'm sticking around here too.
now playing: PiL - Graveyard
Monday, October 16, 2006
busy doing nothing
Love is All is playing Pat's on Halloween. It's still not back up on the website(the bands or the promoters), but after a friend of mine noticed the ad in the Straight last week, I emailed the fine folks at Fireball, who confirmed that the show is a go. It's Halloween! It's Love is All! Make sure you wear a sweet costume or something.
And now for some bads news...
While Love is All is back on (or perhaps never off), Be Your Own Pet's upcoming show at Richard's has now been cancelled. Maybe one of the kids has a nasty drug conviction so they couldn't get their visas. Or, more likely, it didn't sell well. C'mon Vancouver, you can buy twice as many tickets for softly strummed Christian folk, but you can't show some love for frenetic, lively, rock-n-fuckin-roll? For shame!
Salon Des Bourgeoisie (now in it's new home at the Biltmore) hosts guests Steve Aoki (this Saturday, the 21st - yawn) and DJ Funk (next Saturday, the 28th - yeah).
Oh... and if you were curious (you probably weren't) I bailed on Sufjan for dinner and Califone (whom started really late in the evening, but were pretty good). If you were wondering what went down at St. Andrew's check with Hanson or Rob.
now playing: The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
Friday, October 13, 2006
the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs
The Be Good Tanyas are at the Commodore on November 30th. Hello Love hasn't gotten that much attention, but it's a pretty good little record. I'm not completely in love with it... at least not to the same extent as Chinatown, but goddamn that's one fine cover of "For the Turnstiles."
download: The Be Good Tanyas - For the Turnstiles (Neil Young Cover)
Fresh off an 8.1 rating on PFork, Beach House are at Pat's on November 11th.
Speaking of PFork... how come Beach House scores an 8.1, but the Oxford Collapse is "recommended" with a 7.9... and then Chavez gets a 9.4 (the same as the Hold Steady), but their record is neither "best new music" or "recommended." Why don't they just change the categories to "Ryan Schreiber likes this" or "Ryan Schreiber really likes this." Actually, on that note, why doesn't he just "fix" the ratings... at least then there'll be some sort of consistency.
Rhymefest is tipped as the opener for J5's Commodore shows.
The Detroit Cobras show is cancelled. Refunds at point of purchase.
Paul Devro and his Salon de Bourgeoisie co-conspirators have bounced back from the Balmoral's shut down by moving south to the Biltmore. $5.25 doubles will get you drunk enough to dance your ass off to the rad tunes.
Stereogum points us to a Jeff Tweedy solo performance of the as-yet-unreleased, "The Thanks I Get." The vid is taken from Tweedy's forthcoming Live in the Pacific Northwest DVD, which is out in 11 days.
now playing: the Rolling Stones - Beast of Burden
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
the book of right-on
I have only one thing to tell you this evening, but it's definitely worthy of its own post... in fact, I briefly thought about starting an entirely new blog, just because I'm so psyched about this... ok, that's hyperbole.
At any rate, it's the perfect time for me to find this out, because I'm currently struggling with a review of Ys that does justice to what a beautiful record it is.
Joanna Newsom is at St. Andrews Wesley Church on December 5th.
I saw her at Sasquatch a few years back, and it was wonderful. I can only imagine how great she'll be armed with the tunes from Ys, and on stage in the most appropriate venue in Vancouver.
Joanna will be performing with "a large ensemble" and tix are on-sale on Friday, October 20th from all your favourite non-TM locations (thumbs up!). And, as it's in a church, it's all ages.
now playing: Joanna Newsom - Only Skin
Monday, October 09, 2006
So, I caught a cold (the second one in the last couple of weeks), which is why you don't see any musings on You Say Party! or Pink Mountaintops! (they really deserve an exclaimation mark too, so I'm going to put it there). So, let's talk about some other stuff instead.
Most things from TrailOfDead.org's news section are a pisstake, but this is worth noting for the terrifyingly believable faux quotation from an "Interscope spokesman" and that picture of Conrad.
The Blood Brothers release Young Machetes tomorrow, and I've seen very little fanfare and read very little talk about it, which is a shame. It's not Burn, Piano Island, Burn, but it seems like all the ideas that fell slightly flat on Crimes are fully formed here. The second half isn't as good as the first half, but the first half of the record will blow your head off. If you're not into the two singers who can't really sing thing, they're not going to win you over, but if you're a fan of their past releases, it'll be one of the better albums you'll hear this year.
download: The Blood Brothers - You're the Dream, Unicorn!
Sometimes you have to go far away to get local news... Pitchfork has the down low on Hello, Blue Roses. While I quite like the track they have up on MySpace (did anyone check them out the other week?), I will fully admit that this sentence from the article excited me the most: "Bejar is also, according to Vermont, about to begin working on the new Destroyer album."
Speaking of Destroyer, the latest Scratch Records email boasts the release of the brand new Rubies LP. The double-vinyl version of the album features an extra side with an extra 23-minutes of music that were cut from the original release. Rather than paste the record (which was apparently at This Night-like proportions, but sadly cut down) back together, the extra content was given to Loscil, who may have made it mostly unrecognizable. At any rate, it'll probably be an interesting listen.
Voxtrot have a new song up on their MySpace. "Trouble" is taken from the forthcoming, Your Biggest Fan EP, and I would venture a guess that it's another slice of perfect pop, although I can't tell you any certainty, as MySpace won't play it for me. You'd think with Rupert Murdoch's financial muscle behind it, they might actually get some coding that works properly and doesn't intermittently crash FireFox, but you'd be wrong.
I usually don't do reposts of .mp3s, but since these two aren't even available as iTunes bonus tracks, here are two of the four Boys and Girls in America outtakes.
download: the Hold Steady - For Boston
download: the Hold Steady - Teenage Liberation
And finally, does anybody have an extra pair of Yo La Tengo tickets that they wouldn't mind parting with? I have one for Sufjan, that I obviously won't be using if I can score some YLT tix, so I can also trade you that and the difference in price, if you've got a pair for the latter. I would've bought them before they sold out, but I originally thought I was a friend's only companion to Mr. Illinoise's show, and didn't want to bail on her.
now playing: Sparklehorse - Don't Take Away My Sunshine
Friday, October 06, 2006
my mind's not right
The National didn't exactly blow me away the first time I heard Alligator. Actually, let me rephrase that: nothing but "Mr. November" blew me away the first time I heard Alligator. The record, as a whole, took awhile to grow on me, but eventually became one of my favourite releases of 2005. In the same way, I doubt that they'll ever really blow my mind live. They just aren't a grab-you-by-the-throat kind of band, although that's not necessarily a bad thing. They're not the Arcade Fire or ...Trail of Dead in the flesh, but they're still very very good. If fortune should shine on them, and they ever get big enough to play theatres or maybe even a church - somewhere seated, anyhow - it might be more suitable than a mostly standing room bar, as well.
The band played most of Alligator, a handful of older songs, and two new tunes. The highlights were dominated by the tunes that turn up the intensity a bit ("Abel," "Lit Up" and "Mr. November), but slower songs like "Daughters of the Soho Riots" were also great, getting some added intensity live. If the final number - a new song - is any indication, we're in for another album of beautifully understated music when the band gets another LP out. Speaking of intensity, I think I mentioned it last time they came through Vancouver, but Matt Berninger is one of the most intense lead singers I've ever seen. Like the band in its entirety, he's not overly showy, but the look on his face... You'll never question the sincerity of some of the darker lyrics, that's for sure.
In what was a very odd pairing, the Fall Collection opened. They sounded a bit like the Killers, but not as good (think about that). Their singer needs to decide if he's going to yell (in which case, just give'r, dude) or actually try to sing (in which case, tone it down), because the halfway in between drill seargant style shouting was a touch grating, and certainly didn't take away from the rather uninteresting (albeit, not unpleasant) new-new wave instrumentation. On their last song the drummer sang most of the vocals, and ironically, sounded pretty damn good.
now playing: Blondie - Kung-Fu Girls
Thursday, October 05, 2006
the suburbs are for lovebirds
Fond of Tigers is playing an all-ager at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC on October 28th. Show starts at 2pm, and is described on the museum's website as "an experimental jazz concert." Ok.
Lucero and Rocky Votolato are doing an in-store at Scratch tomorrow ahead of their show at the Red Room. The in-store starts at 5:30pm. This thing's probably worth attending just to see how the hell they're going to fit the bands and people into Scratch.
The Dears play Richard's on November 27th with the Bloodlines.
Ray LaMontagne is at the Centre for the Performing Arts on November 16th.
Fake Shark, Real Zombie, Mongoose, Fun 100, and BA Johnston are doing an all-ager at Video In on November 4th.
Speaking of Fun 100, if you're bummed out that the New Pornographers show on October 21st is an early one, you should probably go to see Ladyhawk after. But otherwise! You can check out Fun 100, Vancougar and Neins Circa at the Media Club. Cover's only $5 if you have your NPs ticket stub, $10 otherwise.
Raising the Fawn is at the Lamp on November 23rd with In-Flight Safety and Mico.
Favourite Sons (who are from Brooklyn, but know how to spell "favourite" correctly) are at the Media Club on November 10th with the Drones (who are from Australia, so they can probably also spell "favourite" correctly). I just got the Drones CD in the mail, but have yet to pass judgement on it. Sean saw them live, and thought they were ace though.
Amy Millan is at the Plaza on November 29th. Her last show was pretty good, but this seems a bit soon for a return engagement.
While at the Republic last night, I noticed this ad in the washroom. Yeah, that's Paul Devro... and yes, after I took the photo, I realized how creepy wierd it is to take pictures in a public restroom. No one was in there, at least.
And in the shameless self-promo category: reviews of the new Leeroy Stagger and Akron/Family records in Off-Centre and of the Hold Steady on Streethawk.
And last, but probably best, here are the other two Boys and Girls in America outtakes. I *think* you get two of the four when you buy the album of iTunes. Except 1) 128kbps AAC files sound like shit on a stereo and 2) DRM = worst, so f-that noise. That being said, if you're downloading these, make sure you pick up the record... and go see them when they come here on the 20th. Any maybe even buy Tad Kubler a beer, just for being a stand up guy.
download: the Hold Steady - For Boston
download: the Hold Steady - Girls Like Status
now playing: the National - Karen
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
my mind has changed my body's frame, but god i like it
The only minor disappointment from last night's TV on the Radio show was the fact that they didn't play "Ambulance." But that's just me being a whiner. The show was pretty tremendous (maybe not as good as their appearance at the plaza earlier this year - but let's not split hairs). They played songs old and new, were faithful to the recordings on some and changed it up on others, and were, as per usual, intense and energetic. I think I mentioned it when they were here in May, but the live, driving, amped up version of "Wrong Way" is spectacular. It was so good, in fact, that it was only overshadowed by "Wolf Like Me," which just might be song of the year.
Someone sell me on Grizzly Bear. All those well respected internerd publications seem to be into them, but I haven't really been grabbed by their latest recording. Ditto for the live show. Granted, I showed up about halfway through their set (there were free drinks down the street), but it just felt like there was a little something missing to send them over the line from pleasant to transcendent.
now playing: the Clash - Police and Thieves
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Stuff from other places:
Boys and Girls in America came out today. Did you go get your copy? Are you going to soon? I'm waiting to see if their lovely PR person comes through with a promo for me, because I have very little money, but I might break down and pony up the cash if it doesn't come real soon. With that aside, Kyle at More Cowbell put together The Hold Steady Guide to the Twin Cities, so you can make heads and tails of the places in the pieces.
NPR posts their list of the Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century. The "American" part explains the lack of Beatles/Stones/etc... but still doesn't excuse "Good Vibrations" making it in ahead of "God Only Knows." Also, apparently there wasn't anything all that important released after 1985 in the United States.
Streethawk comrade, Luisa Irene Fisher, talks shop with the recently departed Winks for I (Heart) Music.
An open letter to ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead:
Gentlemen,At least Worlds Apart had "Will You Smile Again" and also the best album intro of the year.
Please consider the following:
- Getting Jason Reece to write more than one song on the album.
- Calling Neil Busch and asking if he took your balls when he left the band/was kicked out.
- Calling Robert Pollard and apologizing for the meandering cover of one of his tunes.
- If you plan to play a lot of So Divided on your upcoming tour, calling the Blood Brothers and Celebration up to politely ask them to take it easy when they do their opening sets, so they don't blow you right off the stage.
- Maybe calling up the Blood Brothers regardless and asking them to remind you how to turn your amps up.
- Changing your name, as the only way you'll be killing anyone now is through sheer boredom.
- Stopping with the suck... you're hurting me inside, deep inside.
now playing: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - A Perfect Teenhood
we were kissing in the centre when the band played ice cream castles
I would just like you all to know that although my review of the new Hold Steady record goes up on Streethawk on Thursday, I had it written before Scott Plagenhoef blessed it with its "Best New Music" tag and slapped an almost identical score on it. I'm not on Pitchfork's jock, we're just both on the Hold Steady's. Speaking of the Hold Steady, I've got a piece on them in Discorder this month. Now for something you might care about: a couple of outtakes from the year's best record.
download: the Hold Steady - Arms and Hearts
download: the Hold Steady - Teenage Liberation
The other two extra tracks, "Girls Like Status" and "For Boston" are up on that other site I work on, when the review goes up.
Silversun Pickups open the previously blogged Wolfmother show on December 4th at the Commodore.
Lions in the Street are at the Lamplighter on October 20th.
And, while this has nothing to do with shows, and I can't say I've been all that interested in anything they've done in the last five years or so, my inner dork smirked at the fact that the Deftones have a song on their new album called "U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,Select,Start." Bonus points if you know why they screwed it up.
now playing: Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton - Crowdsurf Off A Cliff
Sunday, October 01, 2006
six demon bag
Forget what your mother told you, it's perfectly okay to give in to peer pressure. With that in mind, it is the incessant grief that several of my friends gave me about my original Saturday night plan of taking in Carolyn Mark, Geoff Berner, and David Lang at the Railway instead of Man Man, that led me to the Media Club yesterday.
One of the best shows I've seen this year? probably. One of the most fun shows I've been to in ages? definitely. Taking the stage clad in the all white with faces painted, the band was like the darker cousin of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?; like some beautifully sick, sinister circus of voices all singing in unison. One of the people I went with made the comment, "essentially they're just playing the same song over and over again." She had a point. Man Man doesn't sound like a lot of other stuff out there, but they certainly have a penchient for writing songs that bear a resemblance to one another. That being said, it didn't temper the enjoyment that either of us were getting out of the band's performance. And christ, they just didn't let up. Other than some "thank yous" when they left the stage, there was pretty much zero banter, with one track seguing joyously into the next.
If you were somewhere else last night, you missed a good one.
now playing: Man Man - Van Helsing Boombox