can i fly fireworks, on the 4th of every single july?
I'm reviewing last night's Cat Power show for Discorder, so I'll keep my summary brief on here (full thoughts will run in the February issue).
If I hadn't seen her with the Memphis Rhythm band once already, I wouldn't have had a problem picking up a ticket at $45, but seeing as the show was almost identical, I'm glad I managed to score a freebie.
Chan and co. ran through the Greatest almost entirely, and also rocked a trio of covers together. "Crazy" was great, despite the fact that it might be the most widely covered song of the past year, and "Satisfaction" was far different from Chan's morose solo take, but still differed significantly from the original (my friend Chris pointed out the similarities to Otis Redding's version from Otis Blue). The highlight of the set, at least for me, was a cover of Moby Grape's "Naked If I Want To." Apparently they've been playing "Cross Bones Style" as a full band on this tour, so I was a touch disappointed that we didn't get to hear that.
The solo portion was good, though the fact that I don't rank it as great is probably more a product of seeing her so many times this year. While the show wasn't mindblowing, if you're a Cat Power fan and didn't manage to see her with the Memphis Rhythm Band this year, you missed out.
now playing: Julie Doiron - I Left Town
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
...and most people are djs
While everyone is, quite rightfully, praising the new Clipse record, I don't think I've read anyone talk about something that I found rather novel: the fact that it's a mainstream hip-hop release that only has 12 tracks and aside from a brief sample of some Samuel L dialogue, nothing that resembles a skit. Feel free to disagree with me, but the idea of "quality over quantity" has been sadly lacking in the popular end of the rap game for quite some time.
I suppose critical opinions are bound to diverge at points... but giving Joanna Newsom a 2/5, calling Wowee Zowee "Pavement's worst album" (have you heard Terror Twilight?) and give it a 2/5, but then turning around to score the new Damien Rice record a 3? What the fuck?
Champion plays the Media Club on Dec. 2nd with Lions in the Street and Dan Mangan. Entry is by donation, so I guess it costs whatever you want... but the money goes to the food bank, so don't be cheap about it.
The Dears couldn't make it here last night due to the ice and snow, so they'll further pack an already packed Wednesday. They're still at Richard's.
now playing: Refused - Refused Party Program
Sunday, November 26, 2006
shake shake shake shake shake shake shake shake
Kayleigh Shaw (who hails all the way from SoCal) wins the Rapture's latest CD, Pieces of People We Love. Here's the photo she sent of herself dancing at a house party (she's the one in blue):
With all due respect to Kayleigh, I do have to mention that my friend Martin sent in the best photo by far. Unfortunately for Martin, I chose the winner at random. When he's not dressed as "an effeminate pirate," you might find him behind the ones and twos.
Julie Doiron is set to release one of my most anticipated records of next year on January 23rd. The fine people at Jagjaguwar have an mp3 from Woke Myself Up available right now though.
download: Julie Doiron - No More
You can also grab "Me and My Friend" from Julie's MySpace.
I made it down to the first of Leeroy Stagger's two shows at the Railway on Friday, making it in just in time to catch Patrick Brealey. Backed by a band that contained most of Salteens and the drummer from Bontempi, he played some rather pleasant country tinged numbers, including a piano driven cover of Neko Case's "Margaret vs. Pauline." To be perfectly honest, it was pretty noisy in there, and I wasn't giving him my full attention, but I definitely wouldn't complain if I saw him again.
Leeroy was, as per usual, backed by the rotating cast that he's dubbed the Sinking Hearts, who featured producer John Ellis on guitar and Pat Steward on drums. Pat's played in a billion bands of varying critical and commercial successes, but I feel the need to note that he's laying down the beat on "Summer of '69."
The main set pulled entirely from Leeroy's latest, Depression River, which was played more or less in order (if I recall correctly). While things sounded great, and it was great to see the new songs live for the first time after getting familiar with the record, I would've welcomed some more tunes from his earlier two releases. That aside, it was a pretty solid evening of music.
Saturday ushered in the CiTR fundraising show at the Lamplighter. If this were Stereogum or something, I'd have a dark, paparazzi-style photo of Aleks Kapranos up, as the Franz Ferdinand front man was taking in the show. I only mention that because the Lamplighter is an odd place for a Scottish rockstar to show up when he's not on tour. People mostly left him alone, which was nice to see.
Celebrity sightings aside, I managed to make it down after work in time to catch They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (who took the stage second last for some reason). As per usual, they were pretty fantastic, even overcoming the Lamp's pretty terrible acoustics. Notes from Underground closed things out. I was pretty into them for the first couple of songs, but started to lose interest as things went on, although that may have been more due to fatigue. Another band that I'd like to see again before making up my mind on them.
now playing: Wilco - Ashes of American Flags
Friday, November 24, 2006
through smiling eyes and shining faces, we all sing along
Maybe you've already seen that. It's Chan Marshall's latest foray into the world of advertising. This time around she's lent her pipes to DeBeers (eww) and recorded a cover of Cat Stevens' "How Can I Tell You" (oooh).
As usual, I'm not so keen on watching the commercial over and over again, but I would like to listen to it over and over again. I bet some of you would to. According to this interview in Spin (thanks to Frank for the link) there's another covers record out next summer, but until then...
download: Cat Power - How Can I Tell You (Cat Stevens Cover) (snippet)
While were at it, why don't we take a trip down Cat Power commercial appearance memory lane?
This was from a Cingular Wireless Commercial... and before someone asks, the Nerves wrote it, Blondie covered it.
download: Cat Power and Sam Bisbee (he did the music) - Hanging on the Telephone (Nerves Cover) (snippet)
And finally, from a TIAA-CREF commercial (if you go here and click on "work" and then "TIAA-CREF," it's the piano player video in the second set of clips), Chan's very brief take on Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere."
download: Cat Power - Somewhere (Leonard Bernstein) (snippet)
If the links run out let me know in the comments and I'll re-up them a couple times. If, however, you get directed here from another site months later, e-mail me... if it's awhile back and you comment there's no way for me to know, unless I happen to read the post (which is unlikely).
If you happen to be at home on Friday night (which I plan to remedy soon), you've got 4 more hours to win yourself a Rapture CD.
now playing: Cat Power - Colors and the Kids
radio, live transmission
Jacqueline Bell is the winner of two industry-only showcase passes to the Transmission Festival. Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations Jacqueline!
If your name isn't Jacqueline Bell, don't forget that you can still check out the Transmit Now Block Party for free on December 2nd from noon til 6:30pm (or so). You can also head over to Chromewaves (aka one of my favourite blogs) where Frank is giving away another two passes to the showcases.
Another huge thank you goes out to Boompa Records for hooking up the prize.
Here's some exciting news from Kyle and Khol: they're bringing Polysics all the way from Japan to play a show on January 26th at the Plaza with Fun 100 (which I had been pronouncing "fun one hundred" before my girlfriend noted that it's probably "fun hundred"). If you've never heard Polysics you can, of course, check out their MySpace, but here's the MSTRKRFT remix of "Ceolakanth Is Android" as well. I'm pretty psyched for this show.
download: Polysics - Ceolakanth Is Android (MSTRKRFT Remix)
The Dandi Wind homecoming soiree on the 9th is now at Mt. Pleasant Community Centre, rather than Video-In.
Beyond Robson reports that the Plaza of Nations outdoor stage is closed until the glass roof is replaces or removed. Even though the place has notoriously terrible sound, if it doesn't get fixed before Spring, it's a bit of a blow for all-ages venues in Vancouver.
now playing: Guided By Voices - I Am A Tree
Thursday, November 23, 2006
blue in yr eye
Contest: Amy Millan Ticket Giveaway
Arts & Crafts wants you to see Amy Millan! She's playing the Plaza on November 29th with Leeroy Stagger (how's that for a multi-contest tie-in?).
If you want to see Amy and her band play songs from the rather wonderful, Honey from the Tombs, just e-mail your name and age to contestATarts-crafts.ca with "Free Amy Millan Tickets!" in the subject line by November 28th at noon PST.
You may recall that last time Amy played here a guy named Torquil Campbell showed up to sing "Look Up" with her as well.
If you happen to reside outside of Vancouver, here are the rest of Amy's West Coast dates:
December 1st Seattle, WA Triple DoorAs with all A&C current releases, you can stream Honey from the Tombs in its entirety at her official site
December 2nd Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
December 3rd Eugene, OR Wow Hall
December 5th San Francisco, CA The Independent
December 7th Hollywood, CA Troubadour
with Greg Laswell
now playing: the Who - I Can See for Miles
We've got winners in the Leeroy Stagger contest. Congratulations go out to Matthew Kirk, who wins the big prize and Patrick Francis and Gareth Mercer, who each get a copy of Depression River.
If you recall, I asked people to send in their favourite cocktail recipe... Matt send in the "Blue Devil," which he drank in honour of the US midterm elections:
1/2 oz. ginPat sent in the "Cap'n OuBalls" in honour of Halloween:
1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao
3 oz. pineapple juice
Add 2 parts Ouzo (tastes like licorice which tastes like Halloween), 2 parts Captain Morgan Spiced Rum (pirates were so in this Halloween) and 1 part McGillicuddy's Fireball Whiskey (what's Halloween without the firecrackers?) plus two appropriately coloured smarties at the bottom of the shot and you have yourself a Cap'n OuBall.And Gareth sent in the classic, Irish Carbomb (a shot of Irish whiskey dropped in a pint of Guiness).
If I had entered, I would've sent in the "underage Quinn," which involved pouring a liberal amount of whatever hard alcohol you could find in a plastic bottle with some sort of fruit juice. These days I prefer a scotch on rocks, for the record.
Thanks to Boompa for providing the prizes and to everyone who entered, and a reminder that there's about 24 hours to try to snag Transmission Fest tickets and 36 hours to win the new Rapture cd.
Deerhoof play Richard's on February 2nd.
Also on February 2nd, Geoff Berner is at the ANZA Club to celebrate the release of his forthcoming long-player, The Wedding Dance of the Widow Bride.
The Weakerthans' John K. Samson guest posts over at Said the Gramophone.
now playing: Pavement - Best Friend's Arm
Monday, November 20, 2006
no language, just sound
Contest: Transmission Festival Passes
Boompa is the label that keeps on giving... at least to me, to give to you.
They're already giving out a crapload of Leeroy Stagger stuff, but also have two passes to the Transmission Festival that they want some lucky person to have.
You may have heard of the Transmit Now Block Party, which is taking place at the VAG on December 2nd and features Hawksley Workman, K'naan, Champion, Hell on Wheels, Mr. Hudson and the Library, and My Latest Novel (it starts at noon and it's free). But you probably haven't heard much about the rest of Transmission fest, because it's mostly an industry only affair. In other words, you can't buy these passes, and they'll get you into the industry-only showcases at the Roundhouse Theatre on Nov 30th/Dec 1st.
In addition to seeing the artists that are playing the block party in a much more intimate setting, you'll also get a chance to catch: Small Sins, Wintersleep, Coral Egan, Amy Millan, Malajube, Menomena, Jets Overhead, Circlesquare, The Little Ones, Luke Doucet, Fleet Foxes, and Super 700.
If you want a pair of two-night passes just send me an e-mail at quinn.omori AT gmail with "Transmission Festival" in the subject line, and I'll pick a winner at random on November 24th at noon.
As far as I know, the only other way to get in is to get an invite or volunteer (you can do the latter by e-mailing: email@example.com).
now playing: Slint - Washer
we will vacation, you can be my parasol
I caught the ResFest screening of the VICE Guide to Travel last night thanks Vice's lovely promo people, who hooked me up with passes so I didn't have to wait in line for an hour to get in.
I'll start by saying that I have (like most people, I assume) a love/hate relationship with VICE Magazine, in that I'd be lying if I said that the mag didn't make me laugh, but I'd also be lying if I said that I didn't think a lot of the writers are - at least in their print personas - the kind of hipper-than-thou people that you kind of want to slap in the face. Take that for what you will, because I'm sure people have said the same thing about me (not that I make them laugh, nor that I'm hip, but that they'd like to smack me). With that in mind, even if you lean more towards the slapping than the laughing, you might want to check this out.
The film works because, by in large, it takes the Vice dudes (and one Vice lady) out of their element. Being able to make some humourous wisecracks when talking about where to score cheap drinks in Vancouver is one thing, but going to the City of God (Rio's worst favela) is an entirely different story. Shane Smith sums things up by stating "basically, the world is fucked," and the VICE Guide to Travel goes to great lengths to show you that that statement is true. That's not to say there's not a balance between the shocking, the appalling, the funny, and even the somewhat heartening. In fact, a healthy balance between light/dark and serious/funny is one of the movie's strengths.
"Highlights" included Suroosh Alvi touring the world's largest illegal arms market in Pakistan, Shane Smith finding a guy in Bulgaria who allegedly sold a French journalist a warhead, and Pella Kagerman accompanying Smith to Chernoby, but I found myself entertained for the duration.
There's a bizarre Pop Matters review that contends that the DVD fails because "while they spotlight the problems, they don't offer any solutions" and that "as much as the editors would like to believe otherwise, this movie will have little impact on the course of history." Clearly this guy hasn't read Vice before, as "impacting the course of history" certainly isn't their MO.
Regardless of what you think of the magazine (or it's associated media empire), if you can separate yourself from the belief that it strives to be anything more than an entertainment piece, and as long as you're not the type who's easily offended, you'll probably enjoy the VICE Guide to Travel. If you happen to be the type of person who pretends to be offended by such un-PC escapades, you'll still probably snicker when no one is looking. And, if you happen to be the type of person who is actually offended by such things, you're probably a bit of a bore.
Of Montreal is at Richard's on February 7th. If you haven't acquired Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? through illicit channels (it's due out for real in January), you can cop two .mp3s from PFork.
Also via PFork, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks are at Richard's on January 18th. You may or may not recall that Janet Weiss is now behind the kit for the Jicks, replacing John Moen, who left to drum for the Decemberists. No offense to John, but that's a hell of an upgrade.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? are at the Ukranian Hall on December 1st for an all-ager with Love and Mathematics, Run Chico Run, and Sean Wesley Wood.
Fun 100, Hot Loins, International Falls, and Pink Reason are at the Other Space (on top of the Media Club) for an all-ager on Wednesday. It's the first of biweekly all-ages shows at the Other Space, which also boasts are bar with ID. Truly, fun for all ages.
now playing: the Icarus Line - Best Two Out of Three
Sunday, November 19, 2006
swallows and amazons
I'm going to take a page from Frank and start doing a bit of Sunday Cleaning. Things might be less frequent than over there though... so I might tidy things up every second week instead. Speaking of Frank, if you haven't already noticed, he has a sharp new design up.
Memphis - A Little Place in the Wilderness
If you're one of the members of a band that features someone from another, more established group, it must get a little tired to here your project compared to your bandmates' more famous act. So, apologies to Chris Dumont, but you really can't talk about Memphis without drawing comparisons to Torquil Campbell's other band.
I'm sure some people will miss Amy Millan's vox on Memphis' dreamy pop songs, but my favourite Stars tunes are tracks like "The Aspidistra Flies" and "Tonight," that feature more subtle arrangements and Torq flying mostly solo in the vocal department. And that is, for better or worse, what you get on A Little Place in the Wilderness. With that in mind, Memphis does set itself apart from Campbell's other gig now and again.
The bounce of "Incredibly Drunk on Whiskey" is a far cry from Stars' usual atmospherics, and on the whole, A Little Place in the Wilderness seems to forgo many of the electronic flourishes that adorn releases like Set Yourself On Fire.
The band's bio states that, "Memphis is a band, not a side project," and I'm not one to argue. It's up to the members of any group to decide what they're putting into any given project. At the end of the day though - side project or not - if you're not a fan of Torq's other band, A Little Place in the Wilderness is unlikely to tickle your fancy either. On the other hand, if you're big on Stars (or tasteful, low key pop in general) you probably want to give this record a chance.
download: Memphis - I'll Do Whatever You Want
...and here's the video:
now playing: Memphis - The Night Watchman
Saturday, November 18, 2006
cheer it on
Tokyo Police Club crammed themselves into the rather cozy confines of the Gallery Lounge last night to play their Vancouver debut. The noisy nature on the A Lesson in Crime EP is part of the bands' charm, but the sound was a little too rough last night. That aside, they put on an energetic, albeit short set. Of course, with only one EP under their belt, a brief appearance was to be expected. If you missed last night, it won't be the end of the world, but these guys have to potential for big things in the near future.
Locals Shukov opened. They're talented musicians, but I'm not so hot on the atmospheric guitar/breathy vocals combo. I'll leave it at that.
If you were planning on catching the Decemberists this weekend, you'll want to make alternate plans, as both tonight and tomorrow's show have been canceled. From Decemberists HQ:
Hello -The dates have been rescheduled for December 13th/14th (respectively) and tickets to this weekends shows will be honoured on the new dates (again respectively). Alternately, refunds can still be obtained at your point of purchase. (thanks to everyone who sent me that, and to Hanson who tracked down the reasoning behind the postponements)
I'm sorry to say that the Decemberists have canceled their 11/18 & 11/19 Vancouver shows due to Colin's illness. He's been put on vocal rest to prevent permanent injury to his vocal chords. We hope to reschedule the shows during December and will let you know as soon as we've found suitable dates.
No official word yet on how refunds will be handled, but I'm guessing tickets will be honored at the rescheduled shows or you should be able to visit the Commodore box office for refunds.
Dawn the Manager
You Ain't No Picasso points us to Minty Fresh, who are giving away a free EP by the Prototypes.
No Luck Club is at the Media Club on November 25th to celebrate the release of their second LP. Calamalka and Mary Ancheta support.
An update on the Leeroy Stagger openers...
The Filigrees also open on the 24th and Indio Saravanja opens both nights. If you're keeping track, that's a lot of music that you could see for free
now playing: Pink Mountaintops - New Drug Queens
Friday, November 17, 2006
jesus and the liquor
photo by Sarah Rhude (courtesy of Boompa)
Contest: Leeroy Stagger Giveaway
As mentioned yesterday, Boompa hooked me up with some rather fabulous Leeroy Stagger stuff to give away...
First Prize:Since a lot of great alt-country ("roots" or whatever you want to call it) is soaked in references to booze and Leeroy's latest is no exception, if you want any of this stuff just e-mail me (Quinn.Omori AT Gmail) with the subject line "Leeroy Stagger Contest" and tell me your favourite cocktail and which show you'd like to attend. Since the shows are at the Railway Club, you'll obviously have to make it to downtown Vancouver to win the big prize. If, however, you're not in the GVRD and want in on one of the copies of Depression River just note that in your e-mail. Contest closes on November 23rd at noon, so e-mail me sooner, rather than later.
- Two passes to the Railway club show of your choice (November 24th or 25th)
- One copy each of Depression River, Beautiful House, and the Tales from the Back Porch EP on CD
And two other people will each receive:
- One copy of Leeroy's latest, Depression River
If you haven't heard Depression River, you should know that it's the perfect synthesis of his previous full lengths, capturing the ragged edges from Dear Love with the improved songwriting chops that he displayed on Beautiful House. But don't take my word for it, when you can check out the following...
download: Leeroy Stagger - Jealous and Drunk (in .m4a)
download: Leeroy Stagger - Depression River (via LeeroyStagger.com)
now playing: Leeroy Stagger - Saskatoon
Thursday, November 16, 2006
canada vs. america
Hot on the heals of Matthew's hottest bands in Canada post, comes the Top 40 Bands in America, courtesy of Information Leafblower. While friendly debate is always fun (and hopefully encouraged), I'm always astounded by the people who seem genuinely angry about such exercises. Case in point:
Wow. What a bunch of goddamn predictable garbage. Is this what happens when too many music bloggers stump for eMusic (so they themselves can get free mp3s whenever someone signs up)? Not a whole lot of variety. You'd almost think that the entire music community is made up of douchebags who somewhere in the back of their heads think they're Bob Dylan. That includes Dylan. Modern Times was just total friggin' rubbish. This all shit you listen to in between yoga class and baking some fucking cookies. It's like the only thing on people's iPods are meticulously organized files and not music. BAAAAARRRRRRFFFFF!Which sort of begs the question as to why people bother visiting sites that they hate so much. I despise Deal or No Deal, but I don't go on the NBC website to tell them they're "retardds!!!111111" For the record, I prefer to listen to Ghostface Killah while mulling over my long term investments and deciding which purse to carry my dog in. The Arcade Fire is my yoga and cookie music.
In more list news...
Sean's poll of the top 25 bands in Australia seems to be generating much less controversy.
Time Magazine compiled the top 100 essential records of all-time. Aaron insists that it must be satirical. It's, at least, somewhat perplexing. If they allowed compilations, wouldn't that dictate that certain various artists comps (like a girl group one) should be on there for sure? At the very least, as much as I love London Calling, the Essential Clash is, well, essential if you're only going to own one Clash record.
The fine folks at Boompa e-mailed me about giving away some passes to Leeroy Stagger's upcoming two night stand at the Railway. He's playing with Patrick Brealey on the 24th and Leslie Alexander and Dustin Bentall on the 25th. I'm still working out the details, but it will probably involve a free record or two and you telling the world your favourite drink (alcoholic one, of course). Full 411 tomorrow.
now playing: Otis Redding - Satisfaction (Rolling Stones Cover)
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
pieces of people we love
Contest: the Rapture CD Giveaway
So here's the deal... the fine people at WiredSet sent me a copy of the Rapture's latest, Pieces of People We Love. While this was a very lovely thing for them to do, I had already purchased said album, because that is what one should do when they enjoy a record. But here's where you luck out, because rather than take this down to the used record store, I'm going to give it away to somebody out there.
If you haven't already heard it and/or didn't make it down to Richard's last night to hear some of the songs live, then you should know that this is their finest release to date. And considering the fact that Echoes was nothing to scoff at (not to mention their indie releases), that means it's a pretty damn good record.
Since the Rapture is one of the finest purveyors of dance music, to get your hands on one of this year's finest (or at least funnest) releases all you have to do is email your name and your favourite photo of yourself dancing/in a dance club/on a dancefloor/you get the idea, and I will pick a winner at random and post some of the photos up here.
E-mail entries to: quinnDOTomori AT gmail DOT com (to enter you must also be capable of unobfuscating an email address)
to recap: the Rapture's cd, photo of you dancing, winner at random, pics on the internet
...and keep it worksafe, this is a family site, aside from some occasional casual swearing.
Pseudo legal stuff:
By entering this contest you assert that you...
1) have a right to distribute any photos you submit
2) consent to having any photos you submit posted on this website and hosted on Photobucket
3) won't sue me (but honestly, that'd be like trying to get blood from a stone)
Contest closes at 11:59PST on November 30th. Good luck!
To whet your appetite, here's the mp3 of "Get Myself Into It" (again courtesy of WiredSet) and the video for "Whoo! Alright-Yeah... Uh-Huh," which would be single of the year, were it not for T.I.
download: the Rapture - Get Myself Into It
now playing: Wet Confetti - False Alarm
get yourself together
It only took the reigning kings of white kid dance music, but a Vancouver indie crowd finally decided that cutting a rug was an alright thing to do. That being said, if you were one of the small handful of people who weren't moved by the Rapture's rather spectacular performance last night, but still insisted on crowding onto the floor, maybe do the rest of us a favour next time, and either shake it or get out of the way.
The set was a no-filler affair, with all the "hits" and dance floor fillers, and none of the lower tempo or lower quality album tracks, despite one dude who insisted on yelling "FIRST GEAR!" every ten minutes (buddy, that song sucks). The band, who were here for the first time in four years or so, were in top form as well. Gabriel Andruzzi is always a crowd favourite (when half your live duties are cowbell, you're bound to be), but Luke Jenner looked like he thought his last name was VanHalen during some of the guitar solos (that's a good thing).
Oh, and in case you were wondering, three years on and "House of Jealous Lovers" is still one of the best singles of the decade.
The Presets opened the show. I haven't been overly impressed with their recorded output, but they were fantastic live. They were engaging and fun, and can take credit for the crowd being warmed up and ready to get down once the headliners took the stage. I still wouldn't buy one of their records, but if they roll through town as headliners, I'd definitely check them out.
Snoop hits the Coliseum with Ice Cube on January 13th. Tix run from $39-$65... which is probably more like $50-$80 after charges.
The Black Lips are at Richard's on January 19th.
Sarah Slean is playing at the Stanley on December 18th. This also happens to be my birthday, so someone should totally buy me tickets to this, because I'm too cheap to pay $25 to see Sarah, since I've seen her quite a few times already. Is this a first for a concert here?
Bloc Party has canceled the rest of the dates with Panic! at the Disco, after Matt Tong's unfortunate health problems. I would assume that Panic will still be performing as planned.
now playing: the Clipse - Hello New World
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
god is in the radio
CiTR is in the midst of a funding drive. If you have money, you might want to consider giving them some. Alternately, you can check out They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, The Notes From Underground, Bend Sinister, and Sun Arise at the Lamplighter on November 25th, and your $10 cover will go to the station.
Speaking of CiTR, if you're not going to the Rapture, the semi-finals of Shindig start tonight at the Railway. I'm judging the following two nights (21st/28th) and am thoroughly looking forward to Only telling me that my choices are wrong. That sounded sarcastic, but I'm dead serious. I'm totally digging their Shindig Blog.
A ways off, but Trans Am is at Richard's on April 24th with Zombi and Black Taj.
As part of the multitude of cool things that are part of ResFest this weekend, there's a screening of the Vice Guide to Travel on November 19th at the Vancouver International Film Centre at 8pm. This isn't really more or less notable than the rest of the wonderful things that are showing, except it's free. First come, first served, of course.
Even further off, Acid Mothers Temple are at Richard's on May 9th.
Finally, the Bicycles and Henri Faberge are no longer playing their all-ager here on the 17th. I assume that the rest of the bill will go on as scheduled.
now playing: At the Drive-In - Rolodex Propaganda
Sunday, November 12, 2006
make way for the ess-oh-vee
Apparently Jay-Z's banking that Lady Sovereign can finally break grime in North America. Despite Hov's seal of approval, the chances of the masses on this side of the Atlantic getting hip to the combination of garage beats and English slang are probably still slim. You needn't brace for the new British invasion quite yet, but at the very least, "the biggest midget in the game" did something that Dizzee Rascal couldn't - she sold out the Commodore.
I'm pretty lukewarm on Sov's debut full-length. It seems like the only new song that hasn't been previously released somewhere that isn't filler is the single, which hardly makes it worth purchasing if you've already got the Vertically Challenged EP. That being said, she was pretty stellar live.
I don't know if she'll ever reach the heights of "Random" or even "Ch-Ching" again, but so-so MCing can still result in a helluva show if it's tag teamed with enough stage presence. And Lady Sov exudes charisma from all five of the feet she stands (and then some). While the set was - as one would expect - fairly brief, it was still well worth the $20.
Opening duties were performed by Young Love and DJ Phonograph. The former was some rather uninspired new wave action, the latter was some rather mediocre hip-hop. Phonograph brought along a sizable crew with him that included Kia Kadiri, but not anyone who was an overly impressive MC, nor had the aforementioned charisma thing going for them. The set also reminded me of Rap's 25 Greatest albums (according to Chris Rock). I can't say that I agree 100% with Mr. Rock's picks, but when he summed up Lauryn Hill's solo debut by saying, "People don't have a problem with conscious rap; they have a problem with conscious beats. If you make some ignorant beats, you can say all the smart shit you want," the man hit the nail on the head. That being said, when a track is introduced as "a song for George W. Bush," chances are that the shit ain't going to be all that smart anyhow, or at least not very fresh.
now playing: Kano - Reload It
Friday, November 10, 2006
Devotchka plays St. James Hall on December 11th with My Brightest Diamond (via My Indie World)
If you were bummed out because you're under the age of majority and/or think East Van is scary, you will be happy to know that the Bicycles and Henri Faberge and the Adorables are second and first (respectively) on the bill for an all-ages show at Mount Pleasant Community Centre on November 17th. Lotus Child and Words Over Music play 4th and 3rd (respectively).
Noise and Sound has a bootleg of the recent Islands show up. On that note, Tom also put up the Winks' recent farewell show.
My crowning achievement in with the French language was receiving an 80% in French 112 (read: beginner), so I think Land of Talk are up for an album of the year nod from Voir. You can vote for them here and also ponder what would possess a mediocre sounding alt-rock band to take the same name as a group of indie rock legends.
Pfork reports that Bloc Party drummer Matt Tong suffered a collapsed lung the other night. While he's in "comfortable condition" there's a chance that he might not be able to perform again. Yikes. I hope you join me in wishing him a full and speedy recovery.
J. Spaceman recently recorded the score to a project called Silent Sound by artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard.
Silent Sound is a unique recording of a remarkable performance.My question is, if the "silent sound" part of the project is "outside the auditory range of human hearing" won't it be missing from a CD recording? Aren't those the frequencies that CDs lose? Someone put the mp3s up on OiNK, which would surely lose the arty part, no?
The project, by artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, started life as a live event at St. George's Hall in Liverpool on Thursday 14th September 2006. The event featured an original score by J.Spaceman and was recorded live using ambisonic techniques and a soundfield microphone to capture the physical sound of the space.
The CD has two tracks - the first a live spoken introduction by Dr. Ciaran O'Keeffe, Doctor of Parapsychology and resident sceptic on Living TV's Most Haunted. The second is the complete recording of the debut performance of J. Spaceman's new composition, performed by 12 strings, 8 horns, grand piano, tubular bells and vibraphone. This music carries a subliminal message.
Inspired by The Davenport Brothers, Victorian Spiritualists who conducted a public seance inside their Spirit Cabinet on the same Liverpool stage in 1865, Forsyth & Pollard performed inside their own soundproof cabinet, hypnotically repeating a single phrase into a microphone. This signal was processed by their custom-built Silent Sound Machine and transmitted to the audience, embedded in the music, outside the auditory range of human hearing.
now playing: the Clash - Janie Jones
Thursday, November 09, 2006
From my observations, you could divide the crowd at last night's Wolf Eyes show into three groups:
1) Those people who were dragged along or were sort of curious and ended up being a bit perplexed by the entire thing.
2) Those people who seem to have an almost religious devotion to noise and spend the show with their eyes closed, standing eerily still.
3) Those people who got a bit drunk, flailed around a bit, and yelled things like "fuck yeah!"
I would count myself in the latter group, although I was also motivated to attend due to a healthy dose of curiosity. I also have to say, the second group of people weirded me out a bit. I mean, it's "noise" but there are rhythms buried under all the crash and bang, and the band is rocking out.
At any rate, I'm sure it's not the type of thing that's for everyone, but I found the live Wolf Eyes experience significantly more rewarding then the recorded one (though I've been spinning Human Animal a fair bit lately).
If you were going to see Favourite Sons tomorrow, you will want to make alternate plans, because they bailed on their tour and left the poor Drones and Devastations high and dry in America. Since they have no backline gear, they have understandably canceled the Vancouver date.
now playing: Matthew Friedberger - Up the River
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
honest to goodness the bars weren't open this morning...
mp3 blogging the US midterm elections:
The run up...
Will someone in the Democratic party just shut John Kerry up? I know he was misquoted, but the joke he was supposed to crack wasn't even funny.
download: the Flashing Lights - Highschool
Mark Foley will no longer ask your a/s/l via AIM in the hopes that it's 16/m/D.C.
download: Emily Haines - The Last Page
The sideshow, of course, didn't deflect from the bigger issue.
download: Wilco - War on War (Jeff Tweedy/Nels Cline/Glenn Kotche live)
The Democrats re-gain the House for the first time since 1994.
download: Bright Eyes - True Blue
The big story, of course, is what's going to happen in the senate...
download: the Rolling Stones - Sweet Virginia
download: Sparklehorse - Mountains (you try finding a half decent song about Montana)
Webb's proclaimed victory in Va, although there'll surely be a recount. Here's hoping that George Allen eats his words though.
download: the Pixies - Monkey Gone to Heaven
Nancy Pelosi becomes the inaugural female speaker of the House.
download: Sarah Harmer - 1st Lady
Vermont sends Bernie Sanders back to Washington, this time as the first self-proclaimed Socialist senator in American history.
download: Manic Street Preachers - Socialist Serenade
Instead of making Harold Ford Jr. the first black senator from a former Confederate State, Tennessee re-elected Bob Corker, who ran one of the nastiest ads of the entire election. Does anyone else find the fact that the Southern States have never elected an African American senator a bit shocking?
download: Neil Young - Southern Man
Bye bye, Rick Santorum!
download: the Red Light Sting - Abortions for All
Somehow Lieberman got re-elected. Boo Connecticut.
download: the New Pornographers - Ballad of a Comeback Kid
Virginia and Tennessee join the ranks of states that have amended their constitutions to proclaim marriage as "exclusively between a man and a woman." Arizona becomes the first (I think) to reject such an amendment (go Arizona!).
download: Whiskeytown - Matrimony
now playing: the Weakerthans - Aside
Monday, November 06, 2006
i wanna destroy you
According to the Red Room's website, Robyn Hitchcock is playing there on November 26th. The date, however, doesn't appear to be listed anywhere else (his official site, myspace, booking agent), so I have no idea if it's actually happening. One would assume that if it is, odds are the Venus 3 - who are a bit like a annotated version of the Minus 5 - will be in tow as his backing band. If anyone can confirm/deny that this is taking place it would be much appreciated. (thanks to apl for the headsup regardless)
The Weather are playing the Marine Club on Thursday (the 9th) with Dylan Thomas (a dude from E. Van, not the dead poet resurrected) and the Noble Firs.
If you want a dose of Torontopia, the Bicycles are at Pat's on November 18th with Henri Faberge and the Adorables. Locals, the Screaming Eagles, open the show. That's enough saccharine pop to rot any of your teeth that were spared after Halloween.
Here is a query to people who read this... I've sort of shied away from doing any sorts of proper reviews of CDs, and have always just written about things that I'm really excited about (as far as records go). I started this way because no one was sending me stuff and asking me to listen to it, and also because I was writing reviews for other people (and I still do). It was nice to have a place to write where I didn't really shit on anything (mostly). Thing is, I've started to gather quite a few promotional CDs, and I sort of feel like it might be a nice gesture to people who've sent them to write about some of them. I still probably wouldn't review anything I thought was terrible. On the other hand, I'd probably spill some virtual ink on things that I thought were pretty good, but not necessarily blowing my mind. That being said, I know the blogs I tend to read regularly don't review discs all that often (between PFork/Stylus/etc and print mags I get my fill of reviews). Thoughts?
Happy voting day to our American friends. Other than "not Republican," I don't really have any specific preferences, except for "not Lieberman." At any rate, I bet the Daily Show will be killer tomorrow.
now playing: Idlewild - You Just Have To Be Who You Are
Saturday, November 04, 2006
the maid needs a maid
Or rather, Emily Haines needs someone to open her show here (and everywhere else).
Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton are looking for inspired solo artists to open dates on her upcoming North American tour. If you think you've got what it takes (and have listened to Emily's new record Knives Don't Have Your Back and draw inspiration from artists like Elliot Smith, John Lennon, etc.) send us your contact info and myspace/website links to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions deadline is November 7, 2006.Contrary to various rumours I have heard, she is very personable, so don't be shy budding singer/songwriters!
In other Emily news, her show is GA but seated. Admittedly, the seated aspect is probably a good idea, as I doubt anyone would want to stand for an hour of down tempo piano songs. But on that note, I doubt anyone would want to stand around for an hour outside the Commodore in January to secure decent seats. I think I'll just be content sitting in the back and showing up after the doors have opened.
In other "I would like to be a rockstar" news, the BBC is looking for the "World's Best Young Band". You've got to be under-18 and unsigned, which restricts the talent pool a bit, but maybe they'll stumble upon the next Be Your Own Pet.
I have a terrible headache, so that's all you're going to get out of me right now.
Oh... except a thank you to Aaron for answering my Nelly Furtado related query, despite his disagreement.
now playing: M. Ward - You Still Believe In Me (Beach Boys Cover)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
turn the radio off
Before I tell you about Love is All, I will first tell you why I am stupid. I am stupid because I was utterly confused as to why this show wasn't on the Fireball Productions website. The reason is because the show was put on by Timbre (who have no website because they're old school or technophobes or old school techophobes or something). Now I will tell you about Love is All.
They were great; energetic, noisy, and their frontwoman was dressed as Osama. They played pretty much all of Nine Times the Same Song, which made a short set, but what exactly do you expect from a band with one 30-minute record?
Hot Loins opened. I've said here before that I watch and enjoy them if they happen to play a show I'm at, but probably wouldn't go out of my way to see them. I'll also disclose to you that Sean from Hot Loins was kind enough to throw me on the list for the show, before I tell you I've changed my mind. I think the problem before was volume, or rather a lack thereof, which is ironic since you can't really crank it up at Pat's because they don't mic the drums. That being said, volume is relative. And hearing them in a half empty Limerick Junction or outside at Vic Square wasn't like the low ceilings and relatively cramped confines of Pat's. When they played last night it made my insides shake, which is apparently how one should listen to them, because it was pretty great. I tried to explain this revelation to Sean, but I was pretty drunk by the time Love is All were finishing, so I'm sure I just insulted him accidentally and nonsensically or something in the process. I also forgot to pick up there 7" for about the 4th time (including trips to Zulu), so I can't give you a thumbs up or down on that just yet. Oh, and I should mention that Cam was wearing a sweet unicorn mask, which I unfortunately neglected to take a photo of.
You might think that I'm easily bought off now, but I assure you, if you saw the amount of free crap that I don't write about, you would know that my new found appreciation is legit.
Mint Records is throwing their annual Christmas party on December 2nd (a bit early, but whatever). The soiree goes down at the Ukrainian Hall on East Pender (which I assume makes it all ages), and advance tix will be at the usual fine independent record stores. The Evaporators, the Awkward Stage, Carolyn Mark, the Buttless Chaps, Young and Sexy, John Guliak, and Duotang are all playing, with the latter reuniting just to spread you some Christmas cheer. There will also be a whole bunch of free stuff from rad places given away all night, and Bev Davies' photos will be on display. Unless you work for Mint Records, this promises to be better than your work Christmas party.
On the very same night Wintersleep are playing with English Canada's new favourite francophone band, Malajube, at the Plaza.
The Grates are at the Media Club on November 19th. I don't know who's in charge of promoting their shows in Vancouver, but they sure do a pisspoor job of it. You should go to this. You will leave smiling, unless you're dead inside.
Montag is opening the Beach House show on the 11th.
And finally, if you haven't checked out Daytrotter this week, you can head over their now to snag four songs by Of Montreal.
now playing: Sleater-Kinney - Let's Call It Love (live at the Crystal Ballroom)