Tuesday, December 27, 2022
going once, going twice, now i'm sold

Here's some music I loved this year.


Albums/EPs:

Plains - I Walked With You A Ways

Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson channel some of the most classic country, but also fully embrace their love of 90s stars like the Chicks and Shania while bringing out the very best in each other (which is saying a lot). I don't think they'd ever made music together before this, but it sounds like they've been attached at the hip for years.

billy woods - Aethiopes/Church

Incredible beats, incredible bars, and enough of both to stretch across two incredible albums in one year. 

Chat Pile - God's Country

We're far removed from the days when my weekends would revolve around going to the Emergency Room (the venue, not the hospital), but it turns out that I still love bands that sound like they think Big Black should be louder. I can't wait to see them in February. Although, I responsibly wear ear plugs to shows now, so I won't have tinnitus for 2-days afterwards.

joyride! - Miracle Question

I'm a sucker for this kind of pop and punk, but not pop-punk and very emotional, but also not emo shit.

Martha - Please Don't Take Me Back

10 huge hooks (plus one little piano interlude) packed into an economical 35-minutes.

Why Bonnie - 90 In November

I think it's really fucking rude that their tour with Sun June isn't coming to Vancouver and it's on a Tuesday in Seattle.

Westside Gunn - 10

Westside Gunn is a helluva rapper, but he's really next level as a curator and 10 puts the latter skill on display. Stove God Cooks shows up enough that it could just as easily be his Reasonable Drought follow-up. There's a track with Busta, Raekwon, and Ghostface. There's a Griselda posse cut produced by the Alchemist to close out things out. There's Run the Jewels (turns out I actually like them when they're not rapping over a recording of a transformer being strangled) and A$AP Rocky guest spots. And there's Black Star absolutely throwing down over an S tier Conductor Williams beat.

Jeff Rosenstock and Laura Stevenson - Still Young

Laura Stevenson is my favourite singer and I fucking love Neil, so I can listen to this (and their last EP) on a loop.

Lande Hekt - House Without A View

I'm still waiting for a new Muncie Girls record, but I will take these Lande Hekt solo records that sound like Muncie Girls records.

Spoon - Lucifer on the Sofa

There was a long time where, for some reason, if you'd asked me about my favourite bands, Spoon wouldn't come up. But they just kept on putting out great records and rolling through town and putting on great shows. They're still doing it and in my old age, I've finally stopped taking it for granted.

Songs:

billy woods, Boldy James, Gabe 'Nandez - "Sauvage"

It's fucked up to be on a rap song and spit out a verse that's more cerebral than Boldy James', but billy woods continues to be on another level. I'm not sure if it counts as a hook if it's really just a coda, but Gabe 'Nandez sounds cool as hell doing it, so who cares.

Chat Pile - "Why?"

This song would sound heavy handed if it weren't for the fact that you can walk around downtown in basically any major city in North America and the lyrics should be drilling themselves into your brain. Why do people have to live outside?

Ethel Cain - "American Teenager"

Like a Lana Del Rey song if it made you pump you fist instead of stare at your feet. This made Obama's year end list too, so now Barry and I have a second thing in common besides thinking it's cool to blow up Yemeni pine nut farmers with a drone. Oh sorry, I mean, we have one thing in common now.

TF, Roc Marciano, Mephux, Conway the Machine - "Olathe"

Marci does double duty with the production and an incredible verse and everyone comes correct, but also I'm an idiot and I crack up at the Nems/"bing bong" Conway line every time.

End It - "New Wage Slavery"

No war but class war.

Angel Olsen - "Ghost On"

Every year it seems like there's one Angel Olsen song that really gets me and this year it's this one.

GloRilla - "FNF (Let's Go)"

Song of the summer. Let's goooooooooooo

Westside Gunn and Black Star - "Peppas"

I don't really want to get into all the other shit they've been up to, but Black Star are still very good at rapping.

LCD Soundsystem - "New Body Rhumba"

Turns out James Murphy is still pretty good at this.

billy woods - "Pollo Rico"

The beat is absolutely bonkers--I don't think it's actually a Radiohead sample, but it sure sounds like it--and billy woods seems to have an endless stream of bars. I've loved hip hop so much since Rap Traxx 2, but I can't think of much that I've loved more than the last couple years of billy woods projects.

FIDLAR - "Sand On The Beach"

The Blink 182 comeback single would've sounded like this if they could still write songs.

Fontaines DC - "Jackie, Down the Line"

They've always been able to write a hook, but this one's a proper choon, if you know what I'm sayin'

JID, 21 Savage, and Baby Tate - "Surround Sound"

I wasn't not going to get taken in by the "Ms. Fat Booty" interpolation. 

Pusha T - "Diet Coke"

Turns out you only need to rap about one thing if you're really, really good at it.

TaTa, Kyle Richh, Jenn Carter, Dee Billz, Jay Gelato, Miah Kenzo - "41 Bop"

I'm a sucker for a posse cut and this one goes hard. As a child of the 90s, I default to that golden age sounding New York boom bap stuff, but there's some serious shit coming from all these NY drill kids. I love how they flip the "Jesus Walks" beat and even though I'm old as hell, I still think that Stevie Wonder line in Miah Kenzo's verse is funny as hell.

Craig Finn - "Messing with the Settings"

Craig Finn's written enough songs that mention eulogies, it was about time that he wrote one that is one (a fake one though, of course).

Blondshell - "Kiss City"

This one starts pretty slow and it's catchy enough, before exploding in the last third in a way that just dug it's way into my brain.

Taylor Swift - "Bigger Than the Whole Sky"

In the age of Spotify--especially if you're Taylor Swift, someone who actually makes boatloads of money from Spotify--I don't really get why some of the songs only make the bonus edition of the album, but this one's one hell of a bonus song. Musically, it sounds like what she actually wanted to do on Lover and lyrically, it avoids any "sexy baby" moments. I don't really consider myself a "Swifty" (Swiftie?), but when she's good, she's real good.

GloRilla and Cardi B - "Tomorrow 2"

Cardi's my favourite Bernie Bro and she goes hard as fuck on this song. It's a nice little co-sign for rap's breakout star of the year from someone who remains one of rap's biggest stars even though she hasn't put out an album or even a mixtape in 4-years.

Grace Ives - "Lullaby"

Every once in awhile you let Spotify play and it starts spinning some track you don't know and it's a bop instead of some garbage that ends up on your Wrapped because they keep feeding it to you.

Shows:

Bikini Kill w/Table Sugar - September 11th @ The Capitol Theater, Olympia, Washington

This show was originally scheduled for March 13th, 2020 and it was worth the 2+ year wait. But really, I've been waiting to see Bikini Kill from the first time I heard "Rebel Girl," when they'd already been defunct for a couple of years. Was there a big nostalgia factor? For sure. But they sounded like they'd never left at all. Unfortunately, there's still an urgency to a lot of what's being screamed in those 25-year-old songs, so it's good to have them back, even if you kinda wish they weren't so relevant in 2022.

Phoebe Bridgers - August 20th @ The Orpheum, Vancouver, BC

I was in the second last row and it was really hard to see Phoebe, but the energy at this show was really something else. There are so many bands that I fell in love with at 15, or 20, or 25-years-old and while I don't really connect to new acts like that anymore, it felt great to be in a room with a bunch of kids who were seeing one of their bands. Joy's contagious and it was nice to be surrounded by it.

Freddie Gibbs - May 3rd @ The Commodore, Vancouver, BC

Me and Freddie Kane are about the same age, but it sure seemed like we were the only ones at the Commodore that have to choose the second age bracket in survey dropdown menus, so there was an energy that was similar to that Phoebe Bridgers show... except for drug rap. There's a handful of MCs that can credibly lay claim to "greatest working rapper" and Gibbs is one.

LCD Soundsystem - December 13th @ Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY

11 1/2 years ago, I flew across the continent and went to NYC for the first time to see one of LCD Soundsystem's "last" shows with my friend Becky. It was my sole reason for going--I had to see them one last time. This year, it was more convenience. I was in Philly already and it's a pretty short train ride to the city, so why not? Becky's since moved to Toronto, but surprised me with a phone call reply to my text "it's weird to be in New York and not be bugging you about hanging out after work" to let me know she was in town too, so we met up for drinks and talked about the show (amongst other things). A lot's changed over the last decade, but turns out James, Nancy, and co are still pretty good live. I was about twenty times less drunk this go 'round, for better or worse.

Ethel Cain - August 21st @ The WISE, Vancouver, BC

Turns out nature's not really healing very well, but it was still fun to solo a show for an act that I didn't care a ton about going in, but came out of as a convert--just like the old days.

It was nice to have to pare my list of favourite shows down for the first time in 2-years too.

now playing: all that stuff up there


Friday, November 04, 2022
all we want from you are the kicks you've given us



 

It's been 13-years since the Manic Street Preachers were in Vancouver. And that was a decade since the time before that. Needless to say, for a guy who dumped about two dozen Manics' CD singles when he moved last year, tonight at the Commodore was a big deal.

I'd really thought that 2009 was going to be the last time I saw them, unless I found myself on some coincidental Europe trip, so I was shocked to see the Manics/Suede co-headlining tour announcement just a couple of months ago.

I would've loved to hear anything off of the Holy Bible, but it was still a treat to hear a set that started with "Motorcycle Emptiness" and didn't really let up from there.

I've never really been a huge Suede fan. Which isn't commentary on how good I think Suede is, but in the pre-streaming days, you actually had to make an effort to get into bands that weren't big in North America.

That said, they were great live and clearly knew that people were there for them, since they opened with 2 or 3 new songs and rattled of an incredible rendition of "The Drowners" about halfway through their set.

I'm going to be in Philly and then NYC in about a month and I'm checking out one of those LCD Soundsystem residency shows. Did I fuck up by not getting a ticket to see Hop Along the same night instead, in the year of our lord twenty twenty two? Maybe. But I also may have fucked up by not going to see Laura Stevenson and Jeff Rosenstock in Toronto (my original plan to use up vacation days) or making sure I was in Philly or New York to see them. Especially after hearing their second(!) Neil Young covers EP. And that whole paragraph was a set-up to say that I can't think of many things I've loved more in the last little while than Laura Stevenson singing "Comes a Time".

Good thing I'm so stoked to wander around New York for the first time in almost 4-years.




Thursday, September 15, 2022
i read it in a fanzine/it wasn't even in/some big dumb glossy magazine


I waited over 2-years to see this show, but also I'd been waiting about 20-years before that.

I was all set to see Bikini Kill on March 13th, 2020 in their (original) hometown of Olympia. In fact, I was still saying I was going to go until about March 7th. This COVID thing was just going to be like SARS, right?

Anyways, 30-months and two reschedulings later, I made it down to Olympia. I really didn't know what to expect from the city itself, but it's a pretty cool little town. My partner and I stayed just North of downtown in the Historic District and it was super walkable with some decent restaurants, a big variety of bars from bougie cocktail places to craft beer joints to punk bars to dives, and some cute little shops (including a couple of great record stores).

The show itself was worth the wait. And like I alluded to above, I'd been waiting for this particular show since before the pandemic started, but I've wanted to see Bikini Kill since high school. Obviously all of these reunion tours are largely driven by nostalgia, but it was cool to see the band in a place where they were sharing that nostalgia and the stage banter from both Kathleen Hanna and Tobi Vail centred around how important Olympia was to them and to Bikini Kill.

They still look cool as hell and sound incredible.

Speaking of nostalgia tours, I'm pretty stoked for this. Tickets are on sale here with the presale code MSPUSA22.

now playing: Manic Street Preachers - Yes


Monday, August 22, 2022
say it like you mean it with your fists for once


I went to two shows this weekend, which is maybe the first time I've done that since the middle of 2019. I wouldn't have predicted it on Friday, but they were also some of my favourite shows since the pandemic started.

I like Phoebe Bridgers a lot and I think Ethel Cain is pretty great, but I've also seen some bands/artists I've loved for a long time in the last year: Spoon, Spiritualized, Freddie Gibbs, etc. And honestly, while both lives shows were great for what they were, it wasn't the performances or the music that put them over the top of artists whose songs I've obsessed over at different times of my life. 

But man, it was so great to be in a crowd that was just amped to be there. That's not meant as a slight against the crowds at any of the aforementioned shows. And if you could call it a "problem" I was certainly part of that problem. But a bunch of 30-50 year-olds watching Spoon just don't have the same energy as mostly 20-somethings (and at the Phoebe Bridgers show, some teenagers too).

I knew Phoebe Bridgers was significantly more popular than when she rolled into Vancouver on the Boygenius tour, but was pretty shocked to log onto Ticketmaster first thing in the morning for the presale and get a pair of tickets in the second last row of the Orpheum. I was even more surprised to see a friend's Instagram story of her playing a massive outdoor venue in Montreal that I later found out was the same venue they use for Osheaga. Needless to say, everyone who showed up last night (and I'm assuming tonight as well) really wanted to be there. And it fucking ruled.

From the walkout (which was soundtracked by "Down with the Sickness") onwards the crowd went absolutely nuts. And basically every person in the place stood the entire time--at the Orpheum. I'm sure if there was someone loud and out of tune right by me I might be thinking differently, but it was also incredible to hear Phoebe joined by a chorus of voices swelling up around every word she sang. And, hey, if you're worried that the kids might not be alright, they drowned her out during "Smoke Signals" for the "fuck the cops" line.

The performance itself was great. Every song was accompanied by a beautiful pop-up book style animation that unfolded behind the band, Bridgers owned the stage and, much to the crowd's excitement, the floor as she wandered around the floor right before the main set ended. 

I know a lot less about Hayden Anhedönia bka Ethel Cain. I know I think "American Teenager" is going to end up as one of my favourite songs of the year, but I've only been going to shows where I like the artist enough to risk a bout of Covid for, and one song generally doesn't pass the bar. That said, I just got over a bout of 'rona, so when they released more tickets for tonight's show earlier this week, I snapped one up mostly out of curiosity.

She was clearly a little green, which makes sense! And the band was pretty sparse--just vocals, guitar, and drums, plus some prerecorded backing tracks. But the thing that stuck out was just how much the vast majority of the crowd was connecting to the songs. 

I assumed that "American Teenager" was the hit--the song you save for right before or for the encore itself, but they tore right through it as the second song. Not that that mattered, as much like the night before, people were there for every song. It was actually "Crush" from last year's Inbred EP that got the biggest pop, with the crowd gleefully shouting along with "I owe you a black eye and two kisses/Tell me when you wanna come and get 'em."

Both shows were worth checking out in and of themselves, but thinking back 10, 15, 20 years about how formative some music felt for me and just how much I loved it, really made me happy to be there. It's not that I don't love music now--I absolutely do. But the things you fall in love with when you're 20 just hit a lot different than the things that you decide you like or even that you're still in love with at 40.

I'm never going to see Sonic Youth for the first time again (and then run down the street to see Wilco for the first time). Or Sleater-Kinney in a little college campus event room. Or whatever other things I still hold dear after all these years, but it was a blast to be around a bunch of people who were making their own memories.

now playing: The Hold Steady - Your Little Hoodrat Friend


Sunday, August 07, 2022
brain burner

 


I'm in the middle of a second covid quarantine and when brushing my teeth, suddenly remembered that I never actually went to this show and someone bought it for me because I had to miss it stuck at home with swine flu. 

I would say full circle, but at the risk of sounding old, coronaviruses were a lot more fun back then. (Although I was much more ill with swine flu, than now. Thank you second booster shot)

now playing: Blondshell - Kiss City


Thursday, July 21, 2022
tried to fuck me, called me a liar/ so I shot him in the head, set the house on fire.


More bands should sound like louder, nastier Big Black.

now playing: Chat Pile - Why
 


Wednesday, January 05, 2022
going, going, gone

 Here's some music I loved this year:

Albums:

Songs:
  • Lucy Dacus - Thumbs
  • Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen - Like I Used To
  • Laura Stevenson - Continental Divide
  • Megan Thee Stallion - Thot Shit
  • Cassandra Jenkins - Michaelangelo
  • Faye Webster - I Know I'm Funny haha
  • Your Old Droog, Lil Ugly Mane, and billy woods - Meteor Man
  • Spiritualized - Always Together With You
  • The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt - Loose Change
  • G Perico and Rucci - Keep Killin
And here's all of that plus some more stuff I really liked in one place.

now playing: Big Brave - Abating the Incarnation of Matter


contests

music

upcoming shows
2/8 Twin Sister, Eleanor Friedberger, and Ava Luna @ the Media Club
2/9 David Choi @ the Rio
2/10 Secret Chiefs 3 and Dengue Fever @ the Rickshaw
2/13 White Buffalo @ the Media Club
2/14 The Ballyntines and Pleasure Cruise (TT) @ the Biltmore
2/18 Grimes w/Born Gold @ Fortune (early)
2/18 Cruel Young Heart, Young Liars, the Oh Wells, and Matiation @ the Dodson Rooms (AA)
2/18 Cursive w/UME @the Media Club
2/19 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour w/Vacationer @ Venue
2/20 Veronica Falls w/Bleached @ the Media Club
2/26 DJ Krush @ Fortune
2/29 Trevor Hall @ the Media Club
3/6 Slow Club w/Signals @ the Media Club
3/7 Cloud Nothings w/Mr. Dream @ the Media Clubr
3/8 Islands @ the Rio
3/10 Memoryhouse @ the Waldorf
3/17 William Fitzsimmons @ the Biltmore (early)
3/18 Magnetic Fields @ the Vogue (AA)
3/21 Plants & Animals>/b> @ the Rickshaw
3/22 Drive-by Truckers @ the Commodore
3/23 White Rabbits @ the Biltmore
3/23 Loney Dear @ the Media Club
3/24 Sharon Van Etten and the War on Drugs @ the Biltmore (early)
3/25 Nada Surf and An Horse @ the Rickshaw
3/27 The Ting Tings @ the Commodore
4/5 House de Racket @ the Electric Owl
4/6 Chairlift w/Nite Jewel @ the Electric Owl
4/7 Heartless Bastards @ the Media Club
4/8 Metronomy @ Venue
4/8 Gotye @ the Vogue (AA)
4/9 Cults @ Venue
4/10 First Aid Kit @ Venue
4/10 Andrew Bird w/Laura Marling @ the Vogue (AA)
4/13 The Odds and the Grapes of Wrath @ the Rickshaw
4/14 The Joel Plaskett Emergency @ the Vogue (AA)
4/24 School of Seven Bells w/Exitmusic @ the Electric Owl
4/26 Justice @ the PNE Forum (AA)
4/27 M83 @ the Vogue (AA)
4/27 Yukon Blonde @ the Commodore
4/28 Neon Indian @ Venue (early)
5/6 Delta Spirit w/Waters @ the Electric Owl
5/9 Yann Tiersen @ the Rickshaw
5/11 Great Lake Swimmers w/Cold Specks @ the Commodore
5/12 The Boxer Rebellion> @ the Biltmore
5/27 Coeur de Pirate @ Venue

legend:
AA = all ages
DG = @damaged goods
DFTK = @dirty for the kids
FJW = @fake jazz wed
EN = @easy now
GD = @glory days
HL = @higher learning JH = @junior high
JY= @junkyard
RRPP = @rocknroll pizza party
SD = @shindig
TT = @toonie tuesday
NW = @no worries

more shows
shindig
the biltmore
fortune
pat's
the railway
the red room
venue

club action
culture club
damaged goods
east van soul club
glory days
ice cream social
no more strangers
re-up
wild zero

local favourites

mostly music
a day in the life of...
a reminder
chipped hip
deftone
duncan's donuts
expressway to my skull
goodnight neverland
guttersnipe
hero hill
the indie files
my indie world
radio zero
the skinny
vanmega
weird pop vancouver
winnie cooper

consume
dandelion
red cat
scratch
zulu

formed a band
the abramson singers
basketball
bison
black mountain
brasstronaut
the clips
destroyer
fine mist
jpndrds
koban
ladyhawk
mt-40
no gold
nu sensae
twin crystals
white lung

dj kicks
betti forde
cam dales
dg djs
expendable youth
john cougar
my!gay!husband!
paul devro

everything else
beyond robson
chez nous presents
citr
cjsf
ion
linds & nicola
only
ryan walter wagner
safe amplification site society
scout
swak
the straight
timbre
twee death
urban diner
vancouver is awesome
vanity presents

everywhere else

blogs
b(oot)log
brooklyn vegan
catbirdseat
catchdubs
chromewaves
cliptip
copy, right
discobelle
feed your habit
fluokids
fluxblog
for the 'records'
good weather for airstrikes
gorilla vs. bear
i am fuel, you are friends
i (heart) music
largehearted boy
macleans
mad decent
marathonpacks
mcnutt against the music
more cowbell
music (for robots)
my old kentucky blog
the outernet
palms out sounds
pop (all love)
popsheep
rock, paper, pixels
ryspace
said the gramophone
soul sides
stereogum
songs: illinois
swedesplease
ttiktda
weird canada

you ain't no picasso
zoilus

sites
buddyhead
cbc radio 3
coke machine glow
daytrotter
glorious noise
pitchfork
schedule two
stylus
tiny mixtapes

scribbles
chart
color
discorder
exclaim!

interact
email
last.fm
twitter

history

on repeat
i'll make you a tape
one song
promo pile

previous posts
going once, going twice, now i'm sold
all we want from you are the kicks you've given us
i read it in a fanzine/it wasn't even in/some big ...
say it like you mean it with your fists for once
brain burner
tried to fuck me, called me a liar/ so I shot him ...
going, going, gone
and if i go there, i won't stay there
downtown hotspot halfway through this life
we'll come back seven years later

archives

mp3s are for preview purposes, if you like what you hear, buy it at your favourite indie record store. please don't direct link to photos. click for more.

writing by Quinn
unless noted

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