Sunday, 31 March 2013

Five Star Songs: Veronica Falls- Beachy Head



Veronica Falls - Beachy Head from Philippa Bloomfield on Vimeo.

This song by Veronica Falls has come up a lot on my iPod shuffle recently. Sounds amazing every time. The music video is pretty cool too, even thought there is not much going on in it.



Wednesday, 27 March 2013

New Music: Odonis Odonis- Intelligence


Odonis Odonis are a Toronto based group who mix a lot of different sounds into one big noisy potpourri. The band's distinctive sound manages to fuse together shoegaze, garage rock, industrial and punk into one big glorious mess. A really good example is their recently released new track, "Intelligence" which features a thundering drum machine beat, screaming distorted guitars and is backed by a super melodious chorus. Listen below:

"Intelligence" will be available on the band's new EP, Better, that will be available April 16th via Buzz Records.

Odonis Odonis play the Drake Underground in Toronto on April 3rd. For for more tour dates check here.

For fans of Metz, Indian Handcrafts





Tuesday, 26 March 2013

New Music: Delta Machine- Florentine Regime


New music from Edinburgh seven piece band Delta Machine from their upcoming debut album Oh! Enlightened, which will be available this May via Halcyon Records/Rehab Sound Recordings. Take a bit of a psychedelic journey by listening to the band's new space age song "Florentine Regimen."

For fans of Spiritualized, Beta Band




New Music: Club 8- Stop Taking My Time


Club 8 are a Swedish synth pop duo who have been around for 15 years and until today I had never heard of them. Maybe I should have paid more attention because they are pretty good. Listen to their latest splashy Italo inspired single "Stop Taking My Time" below:

"Stop Taking My Time" will be out March 26th via Labrador and their new album, Above The City, will be available May 21st.

For fans of College, Electric Youth.





Monday, 25 March 2013

New Music: Rainbow Arabia- Lacking Risk


Los Angeles synth pop husband and wife duo (now a trio with the addition of drummer Dylan Ryan) Rainbow Arabia's brilliant new song "Lacking Risk" is a swooning electrified masterpiece. The band have toned their Middle Eastern leanings and have amped up the 80's new wave for a song that wouldn't be out of place on the Drive soundtrack. Listen below:

Rainbow Arabia release their new album FM Sushi on April 15th via Kompakt.

For fans of Electric Youth, Chromatics, Puro Instinct





New Music: Swim Deep- She Changes The Weather


Another band that made a little bit of a buzz at SXSW is Birmingham UK four piece Swim Deep. The group are known for releasing grungey rock, but they take a new direction with the dreamy indie pop of their latest single "She Changes The Weather." The slow build up of the song turns into euphoric tuneful bliss. Listen below:

Taken from the band's debut album, Where The Heaven Are We, which will be available on July 29th,

For Fans of The Ocean Blue, Pinback



Sunday, 24 March 2013

CMW Festival Wrap Up: Ft. Chvrches, Savages, Besnard Lakes & More


In the past I never really had any interest to go to Canadian Music Week, the six day music conference in Toronto that brings together various types of artists and bands into the city to showcase their talents. In previous years the talent seemed to be a mixed bag of pop artists, pop punk bands, alt rock groups. retreads, indie bands that play here every other week, and the odd buzz band.

Something changed this year as the line up increased from approximately 600 artist showcases to over 1000. They also seemed to leverage off SXSW this year and managed to bring two of that conferences biggest buzz bands to the city. Once I heard Chvrches and Savages, plus a lot more up and coming musicians were coming to the festival, I quickly booked time off work and bought my $60 wristband. From Wednesday to Saturday of last week I enjoyed some really cool showcases:

WEDNESDAY

The Mod Club Theatre

DIANA

DIANA are a Canadian synth pop band that I have featured on the blog before. In fact their glorious song Born Again made my Top 50 songs of 2012. The band were opening for Scottish synth pop trio Chvrches and quickly proved to the low key crowd that they have a lot of talent.

The band played a set of 8 songs over 45 minutes with lead singer Carmen Elle showing her charisma  by joking with the crowd about the Harlem Shuffle and the spelling of Chvrches name. DIANA's sound was retro cool synth that featured a lot of saxophone and Elle's swooning lyrics about love. I think by the end of the show she had won over the crowd.

CHVRCHES

By the time CHVRCHES took the stage, the Mod Club Theatre was packed with wall to wall people. When pixie lead singer Lauren Mayberry came to microphone you could see her take a deep breath, maybe a little bit overcome by the sheer size of the crowd. They then opened with their first blogosphere hit "Lies" which was backed by a thumping bass drum machine and her two bandmates, Ian Cook and Martin Doherty, each with a synthesizer on either side of the singer.

The band raced through a number of songs that will be included on their new Recover EP, due out next week and a new album which is promised for the fall. Among the songs they played were "If We Sink," "Lungs," and "Night Sky" that showed off the confidence and the big beautiful voice of singer Mayberry. The singer also had a really good stage presence and a great rapport with the audience.

Near the end of the set the band brought out the big hits "Recover" (my favourite) and "The Mother We Share." The performances of these songs solidified the fact that this band is for real and they will only get bigger and better.

The audience demanded an encore and CHVRCHES didn't let them down. They played one song, a cover of the Prince classic " I Would Die 4 U' which had the whole crowd in a dancing tizzy. Hopefully The Purple One won't sue them.

The Garrison

Shiny Darkly

With Chvrches finishing up a little passed even o'clock I had to quickly make my way down to College Street to the Garrison to catch Danish post punk band Shiny Darkly. I featured their song "Diana" on the blog last September and really wanted to see what else they had to offer. Much to my chagrin, by the time I got there the band were already well into their set. These guys played really loud, so loud that  the thirty people in the audience watching them were all standing well back of the stage. They played an okay set of post punk guitar songs, but they also seemed bored, maybe due the fact there was nobody there to see them.

THURSDAY

Nightlands

The Mod Club Theatre

Cancelled!!!.....moving along......

The Garrison

Elephant Stone

Elephant Stone are an Indo-Canadian psychedelic rock band from Montreal who like to use the sitar in their music. It was funny to see lead singer Rishi Dhir running between the guitar and the sitar in the songs that featured both instruments. One minute he was a guitar hero and the next he was sitting bare foot and cross legged. Otherwise these guy were really good and played a trippy set of psychedelic guitar songs including the song "Setting Sun" which I featured last week.

The Great Hall

PS I Love You

Once again I had to rush between venues (almost falling on my ass because it was snowing), this time to try and catch Kingston noise rock duo PS I Love You at The Great Hall on Queen Street. No luck as I missed half the bands set. I tried to see these guy a couple of years ago at the NXNE festival, but they blew an amp on the first song and it was taking really long to fix. I decided to forgo their performance to catch Crocodiles.

I had heard that PS I Love You play really loud, but I think the vacuous Great Hall tempered some of their aural assault. However, guitarist/singer Paul Saulnier's reputation preceded him and he rocked the guitar like there was no tomorrow, all with his long hair hanging over his face making him look like Captain Caveman.

Wildlife

These guys play big songs and seem to aspire to be playing arenas. Their songs had the bros in the crowd with their arms around each other and fist pumping their tall boys of PBR in the air. Wildlife seemed to influenced by a number of big rock acts from the Arcade Fire to Bruce Springsteen. Their one big hit so far is a song called "Bored To Ruin", which is one"i" away from "Born To Run."At one point they brought out a mandolin and that is where they lost me. I absolutely hate Mumford & Sons and these guys seemed to have that whole sing-along frat boy fist pumping art down to a tee. Not for me.

Funny fact: I dissed them on twitter after the performance and called them bullshit. The next day Wildlife started following me.

The Darcys

The Toronto indie rock/shoegaze band were the secret guests on the night, but maybe too secret as the venue was only half full for their performance. They played a quick set of only about five songs, one of them new, another from their Steely Dan- Aja covers album and then ended with a blistering version of "Don't Bleed Me."


Friday

The Horseshoe Tavern

Young Rival

Young Rival are a nice Canadian indie rock band from Eastern Ontario who could be compared to a million other Canadian indie rock bands with the same style. Their sound is caught somewhere between The Trews and Hollerado and they played a 45 minute set of meat & potatoes indie. There were a couple of highlights with the Weezer sounding "Two Reasons" and a really great cover of a Deadly Snakes punk song.

Savages

By now everybody has heard about the hype about this band. Even before they released a single  Savages were already known across the UK for their blistering live shows. The crowd was full of music industry types and there were even a couple of minor celebrities in attendance. Beside me (for a couple of minutes, anyway) was Jian Ghomeshi the host of the CBC radio show Q and in front of the stage I spotted Oliver Ackermann of New York shoegaze trio A Place To Bury Strangers.

Savages singer Jenny Beth is one of the most intense performers I have ever seen and she has this terrifying icy stare. I wouldn't want to fuck with her. As a matter of fact she made some clown in the first row turn off their video camera.

The crowd was sedate for most of the blistering performance but once the band lit into "She Will" there were a couple of pogo dancers in the first row. More on Savages later.....

Lee's Palace

The Besnard Lakes

I actually made it in time for their performance but had to leave early because I couldn't take the loudness of the show....my ears were shot and needed a rest. Besnard Lakes were test driving a lot of their new songs from their upcoming new album, Until Excess, Imperceptible UFO, and a lot of the songs were not familiar to me. Some of the new tracks were okay and some of them sounded My Bloody Valentine epic including their new single "People Of The Sticks". They also threw in their classics"Albatross", and "Chicago Train." It looked like they were going to play a long set before I left. Too bad.

Saturday

Lee's Palace

Valleys

This Montreal dream pop duo Valleys reminded me a lot of Beach House. Although, there was a lot more shoegaze in Marc St Louis' guitar than their Baltimore contempoaries. Nice set.

Lioness

These guys are a dance punk/R&B group from here in Toronto who are led by the powerhouse voice of frontwoman Vanessa Fischer. These guys really impressed me and their performance knocked it out the park. Hard to believe these guys have been around since 2007 and have had little exposure.

Savages

See above.... only more intense, and the crowd were more into it. In fact I thought two girls in front of me were going to come to blows as they "danced" into each other. Crazy shit!!!! Another girl was so pumped I thought she was going to hyperventilate. As should stood there waiting for the band she nailed it by saying that "Savages were PJ Harvey, The Dead Kennedys and Siouxsie & The Banshees all rolled into one." And that it was.......







Friday, 22 March 2013

New Music: The Juan Maclean- You Are My Destiny + End Of Week Wrap Up Of Other Releases & News


It has been four years since disco purveyors The Juan Maclean have released a proper song and fans of the band do not have to wait any longer with the announcement this week that they will be putting out a brand new single titled "You Are My Destiny" on April 1st via DFA.

The song is streaming now and once again the band hired their go to girl, and ex-LCD Soundsystem member, Nancy Whang to sing the vocals on the track. Listen below:





Quietly this week The Pains Of Being Pure at Heart put out a music video for their track "Until The Sun Explodes" over on the MTV Iggy site. The apocalyptic video was produced by MTV for their Artist To Watch series. Watch below:





Kurt Vile's newest song from his forthcoming release Wakin On A Pretty Daze premiered earlier this week. Watch the cute video of Vile introducing "Never Run Away" and then he plays the song while his three year old daughter plays in the foreground.

Vile's new LP will be available April 9th via Matador.

Video: Kurt Vile- Never Run Away


No firm date for the new Primal Scream album, More Light, in North America yet; however there are rumours that it will come out on May 21st. The band debuted another song off the LP today and it sounds like vintage Rolling Stones. Listen to "It's Alright, It's OK" below:





Record Store Day finally posted the full list of albums that will be available for the annual vinyl promotion- this year on April 20th. Too may records to review here, but if you have a couple of hours to spare check out the full list on the RSD website. One record that I will definitely be buying is the Ten year anniversary reissue of The White Stripes' LP Elephant.

Video: The White Stripes- Seven Nation Army


Finally, Scottish synth pop trio CHVRCHES made their North American broadcast debut on CBC's Q with Jian Ghomeshi yesterday. After seeing the band live the other night and hearing the CBC interview, I am now absolutely smitten with the group and their lead singer Lauren Mayberry. Watch them play "The Mother We Share" below:

Chvrches new EP, Recover, will be available next week, March 26th via Glassnote.






New Music: Young Man- Unfair


"Unfair" is the latest track to previewed from indie pop band Young Man's forthcoming album Beyond Was All Around Me, out April 9th via Frenchkiss.

Young Man is the project of singer-songwriter Colin Caulfield who has been praised by the likes of Esquire and Spinner and has toured with notable bands such as The Walkmen. Beyond is All Around Me is the third in a trilogy of albums which started in 2011 with the critically acclaimed Ideas Of Distance.

Dream of summer when listening to the sunny upbeat "Unfair" below.

For fans of Caveman, Sun Airway

Young Man- Unfair


Thursday, 21 March 2013

New Music: Casual Sex- National Unity + Stroh 80


If you are looking for a good time you can't wrong with Casual Sex. Okay perverts this is a band and not some sort of kinky sex site.....

Scotland keeps on producing all these great indie groups and Casual Sex is just the latest to get a little bit of hype. The band only have a trio of songs to their name but have already peaked the interest of The Guardian in their "New Band Of The Day" segment.

"National Unity" is the spikiest of the songs that Casual Sex has come out with and is backed up with a great krautrock dance beat. Vocalist Same Smith yells "Can't You Fell My Unity" almost sarcastically like it some kind of grievance against conformity.

"Stroh 80" is a song who's title refers to an 80 proof rum that is used in Austrian cuisine. The track is much more subtle and features a simple chord guitar strum with an ever evolving beat. The song is about someone who gets caught fooling around with somebody else's girlfriend.

Listen to the tracks below:

For fans of Orange Juice, Franz Ferdinand, Gang Of Four.










New Music: Kontravoid- Impurities


"Impurities" will be released on a split 7" with Visage Musique's "Brusque Twins". The former Crystal Castles drummer Cam Findlay makes some really great dark industrial music. Listen and/or download the track below:

For fans of Cold Cave, Black Marble, Nitzer Ebb.






New Music: Elephant Stone- Setting Sun


Elephant Stone are a psych rock band from Montreal who are known for making Indian music influenced records. The former Polaris nominees recently dropped their second self titled record and this LP continues with the same sitar flavoured sounds.

The first single off the album, "Setting Sun" is an exception, as it is a straight out 60-ish psychedelic rocker. The video for the song does have an obvious Indian influence as it shows clips from religious festivals from the sub continent mixed with trippy, polychromatic colours. Watch and listen below:

The new self titled album from Elephant Stone is out digitally via Hidden Pony or you can by the vinyl at Reverbernation Appreciation Society.

Elephant Stone play tonight here in Toronto at The Garrison as part of Canadian Music Week and are back in a couple of weeks to open for The Black Angels at The Danforth Music Hall.

For fans of Tame Impala, Melody's Echo Chamber, Dungen





Wednesday, 20 March 2013

New Music: Cold Cave- People Are Poison


"People Are Poison" is the B side to "Oceans With No End", a song that we featured not too long ago on the blog. Wes Eisold, aka Cold Cave, sounds pretty pissed off at some people on this track, and the sound of the song is like an electro version of The Jesus & Mary Chain. Listen below:

Oceans With No End will be available very, very soon via Death Wish

For fans of The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Sisters of Mercy, Depeche Mode





Tuesday, 19 March 2013

New Music: Vampire Weekend- Diane Young And Step + Little Boots, Joy Formidable, Django Django and More


Vampire Weekend are poised to release their third studio album in May and yesterday they put out two tracks from the forthcoming release. Listen to "Diane Young" and "Step" below:

Their latest record is titled Modern Vampires of the City and will be available May 7th via XL.

Vampire Weekend- Diane Young
Vampire Weekend- Step


The Joy Formidable have a new video for their track"Little Blimp" from the album Wolf's Law. The clip features a view from a fish eye lens camera attached to Ritzy Bryan's guitar. I have seen this gimmick somewhere before but I cannot remember where...probably a bad heavy metal or country music video. Watch below:





Django Django persuaded Vice's Noisey to travel to India to get footage for their new video. The clip for "WOR" was filmed at a carnival in Allahabad India that features something called " The Well Of Death" where motorcycles and cars are driven around a wooden wall.  Watch below:





"Broken Record" is the second track to be previewed from the new Little Boots album Nocturnes  Listen below:

Little Boots- Broken Record


From the "Say it isn't so" department comes news that Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy was detained yesterday for  both possession of meth and DUI. According to the Glendale News Press Murphy left the scene of an accident and when police stopped him he seemed "very confused." Thinking that the recently announced Bauhaus world tour may be postponed.

Bauhaus- Terror Couple Kill Colonel


And finally, The Flaming Lips performed their classic album (and my personal favourite) Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots in full at SXSW last week. You can watch the full performance below:

Don't forget that The Flaming Lips also have a new album coming out on April 1st. A live performance of The Terror was also captured at SXSW and you can stream it now on Soundcloud.





New Music: Savages- She Will


I think English all girl post punk band Savages might become one of the most (over???) hyped bands of the year. Let's hope that these ladies don't burn out before they even get started. The buzz around them calmed down since the summer when they released the brilliant new wave song "Flying to Berlin." However, with their performances at SXSW last week and now the release of the new song "She Will" expect the hype machine to ramp up again for these girls.

Savages are playing Canadian Music Fest here in Toronto this week and I expect to find a lot of people trying to get into their shows, including myself. I have a wristband so if I get to Lee's Palace early on Saturday I should have no problem hearing their new song "She Will" et al.  Looking forward to it!!!

Savages will release their debut album on May 7th via Matador.

For fans of Warpaint, Patti Smith, Siouxsee & The Banshees






Monday, 18 March 2013

New Music: OMD- Metroland + Night Café


I am really looking forward to the new Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark record after hearing these two songs. In fact I might like "Night Café" and "Metroland" better than any of the new Depeche Mode songs that have recently come out and that is saying something because I am a huge DM fan.

"Metroland" comes with an accompanying animated video that features a train ride from the sunny suburbs to the congested, grimy, rainy city. The song sounds like it might be a love letter to Kraftwerk's "Trans Europe Express."

"Night Café" is another brilliant synth pop track and will be the third song off the band's new album, English Electric, which will be available April 9th. Listen below:

OMD will start a world tour in April and they will be in Toronto on both July 11th and July 19th for two sold out shows. For the rest of the tour line up check here.







New Music: Pacific UV- 24 Frames


Pacific UV are a veteran electronic dream pop group based out of Athens Georgia. Listen to their gorgeous sounding single "24 Frames."

The band have an LP coming out on May 14th titled After the Dream You Are Awake that will be available via Mazarine Records.

For fans of M83, The Radio Dept., Niki & The Dove.





Sunday, 17 March 2013

Five Star Songs: Spiral Beach- We Saw Ghosts (Cory Martin's 12" Record)


Before there was Doldrums and before there was Moon King, there was this little Toronto indie band called Spiral Beach, who made some of the last decades best local pop music.  The group existed between 2003 and 2008 and featured brothers Airick Woodhouse (now in Doldrums) Daniel Woodhouse and vocalist Maddy Wilde (now Moon King) plus bassist Dorian Wolf.

My favourite song from Spiral Beach, "We Saw Ghosts," is included on their really great album Ball which was originally released in 2007. However, there is a electro remix of the song titled "We Saw Ghosts (Cory Martin's 12" Record)" that is preferably better than the the indie pop version on the album. (albeit the LP version is damn good too)

Not sure who Cory Martin is (there is no on-line information about this guy) but he did a pretty good job with the remix. Listen below:

As for Spiral Beach, I don't think they have officially broken up, so let's hope that maybe some day these guys will get bored with their new projects and make another album.....and listen to their LP Ball because it is really good (if you are Rdio subscriber I have included it below).


Spiral Beach- We Saw Ghosts (Cory Martin's 12" record)






Friday, 15 March 2013

New Music: Depeche Mode- Soothe My Soul + Other Recent Releases and News



Depeche Mode have just released a second single from their upcoming LP Delta Machine. The busy band have been making the rounds of TV talk shows, played SXSW the other day, and now have  put out "Soothe My Soul", the second track to be previewed from their new album. The song reminds of their glory days when they regularly played to a 100,000 people in big stadiums- kinda electro arena rock: Listen below:

Delta Machine is out March 26th

Stream: Depeche Mode- Soothe My Soul



It was a little bit of a slow week for new music buzz. Maybe everybody is too busy having a good time down at SXSW. However, there was some interesting stuff that came out:

Hot on the heels of the new heels of the new Wire track comes fellow post punk pioneers Gang Of Four and their new song "Broken Talk". They are planning a new EP which will be released some time this spring and this song is the first preview of it. Listen to the song over at Soundcloud:

Gang Of Four- Broken Talk


I love Foals, but hate the fact that I have to wait until Record Store Day to buy the vinyl release of their new album Holy Fire. In the mean time, I can bide my time by watching their creative videos. Here's a new one for the Holy Fire track "Late Night". Watch the NSFW clip that features explicit sex, suicide, child birth and a just a little bit of blood.

Video: Foals- Late Night

The clip for the new Strokes single, "All The Time" is a reminder of how great this band used to be...and in some ways still are. Go down down memory lane with the band and watch the video that features edited clips of live performances from the past ten years.

The Strokes new LP Comedown Machine will be out March 26th.

Video: The Strokes- All The Time 


This is a great promotion!!! Suede are set to release their brand new album next week and to promote the LP they are giving away a live version of their classic track "Film Star". The song was originally recorded at a charity gig for XFM. Grab the song below:

Suede will release Bloodsports on March 19th





I guess School Of Seven Bells singer Benjamin Curtis is having an obvious tough time battling cancer right now. So tough that the band have set up a website to help pay for his treatment. Fellow musician Teen Daze is also pitching in and has a brand new song on Bandcamp in honour of Curtis. All proceeds from the sale of the song will be donated to Curtis to help with his recovery.











Thursday, 14 March 2013

New Music: Valleys- Undream A Year + Music Video



First track from Montreal electro pop duo Valleys from their new LP Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night which will be out April 30th via Kanine Records.

Watch the video for "Undream A Year" which features Valleys' member Tillie Perks walking through a dark streetscape and encountering lots of levitating people.

Valleys play Lee's Palace in Toronto on March 23rd as part of Canadian Music Fest. Check out all of the duo's concert dates here.

For fans of Handsome Furs, Divine Fits






Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Django Django- Live At The Opera House In Toronto


After a two month concert hiatus it was good for me to get back in the game after getting so pissed off the last time I saw a live show. This was back in January when Father John Misty played with The Walkmen at The Danforth Music Hall. It wasn't the band's performances that were bad, but it was my old pet peeve the inconsiderate, talkative, and just plain selfish asshole fans. Yes, I got stuck beside one of these idiots-the guy talked about his trip to Calgary and snowboarding expedition the whole fucking concert. I was so mad I didn't even do a concert review of the show and I swore that was the last gig that I would attend....ever!!!

Alas, I had major live music withdrawal in February and I was itching to see some live music. Django Django playing last night at The Opera House provided the remedy. Actually March seems to be a good month for Scottish bands playing live in Toronto as there are four groups stopping in town during the month. Unfortunately Veronica Falls was playing the same night as Django Django over at The Garrison and obviously I was unable to see them. Tried to get Frightened Rabbit tix as well but they were sold out. I will be going to see buzz band Chvrches when they play Canadian Music Fest next week.

The opening band was a group from Minneapolis named Night Moves who specialize in indie rock that is inflected with country.  The band seem to be influenced by seventies AM radio country rock (think Bob Seger, thus the group's name) and after 5 or 6 songs I began comparing them to Band Of Horses. They were okay but seemed an odd choice to open for a dance rock band.

Night Moves- Headlights

Django Django arrived enthusiastically on the scene at about 9:15 and all of the members were wearing  matching shirts. The concert kicked off like the band's S/T album, with the instrumental track "Introduction" morphing into Hail Bop. The track proved that Django Django were a lot more dance oriented than I had originally thought and can even be compared to Hot Chip when they play live. In fact synth player Tommy Grace could be a dead ringer for Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor.

The next three tracks, "Storm", "Firewater", and "Wave Forms" kept the rave going with the music turning the area in front of the stage into a full on dance floor. During "Wave Forms" all three members took to the synths and played like 1986 Depeche Mode.

Lead singer David Maclean was like a circus ring leader instructing the crowd to put their hands in the air and even brought out a cow bell to play. At one point he had to share that he had found out that John Candy was from Toronto. Must be a big fan.

The concert slowed down when the band played "Love's Dart" (meh!!!) and the acoustic number "Hand of Man"which provided a nice peaceful song for the audience to clap along to. This was okay because it allowed the guys to have a rest from the frenzy of the other parts of the show.

Next up was the weird but cool Egyptian sounding song 'Skies Over Cairo" which had Maclean acting like a snake charmer while banging on a bass drum and yelling to the crowd “People of Toronto, are you ready to come up up up with us?”

The big hit came next as the band launched into "Default". The crowd were digging it but unfortunately the sound mix was a little off. That's okay, it wasn't that bad and the audience barely noticed as they were lost in dance.

"Life's A Beach" was the track that sounded the most rock on the night. There was no synth on the song and it could be compared to the band's countrymates Franz Ferdinand.

"WOR" was the last song of the night (besides the encore) and probably the coolest. The surf guitar intro was accompanied with air raid sirens before turning into a bopping great ending tune.

The group only played one encore song, Silver Rays, which was a fun bass and synth track. As usual the crowd were disappointed that the concert was so short but as Maclean pointed out they only have one album worth of material. He promised more songs next time.

And as for the audience, they were very well behaved and restored my faith in live concerts. Next time you happen to be standing next to a douche who thinks he or she is more important than the live act....just move. Also it helps to have Brendan Canning from Broken Social Scene standing in the area. Bet he doesn't take any crap.


Setlist:

1 – Introduction
2 – Hail Bop
3 – Storm
4 – Firewater
5 – Waveforms
6 – Love’s Dart
7 – Hand of Man
8 – Skies Over Cairo
9 – Default
10 – Life’s A Beach
11 – WOR

Encore:
12 – Silver Rays






New Music Mix: Featuring Cheatahs, Low Sea, And The Lost Souls Club

It's catch up day on the blog and there is a lot of good songs I need to feature and so little time to do it.


First up is the UK band Cheatahs and their new shoegaze track "Fall."Just another band in a long list of groups who are heavily indebted to My Bloody Valentine, which in my opinion is a good thing. Listen below:




For fans of My Bloody Valentine, Beliefs, Ringo Deathstarr.







The Lost Souls Club are a new British band who make some bad ass blues rock. The group are getting some glowing reviews from the UK press and were touted by the BBC as a band to watch. You can listen and/or purchase their debut EP High Noon on Bandcamp. Watch the video for their song"Romeo" below:


For fans of The Black Keys, The White Stripes, The Black Angels.









Finally, Low Sea are an Irish/Bosnian duo who specialize in sweet synthy dream pop. The band is led by Bosnian ex-patriot Billie and Bobby D who is originally from Liverpool. The pair are set to release a new album, Remote Viewing, on April 8th in the UK. The LP was recorded in an Irish fishing village with the assistance of Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys) who mixed some of the songs on the album. Watch the video for the lead single "Remote Viewing".

For fans of Chvrches, Altered Images.







Tuesday, 12 March 2013

New Music: Gold & Youth- Jewel


Jewel is the lead track from Victoria's Gold & Youth upcoming new LP Beyond Wilderness. The beautiful Louise Burns sings over brilliant synth inflected electronics who's sound is somewhere between the darkness of Trust and the poppyness of Chromatics.

Beyond Wilderness is out May 14 via Arts & Crafts.

For fans of Austra, Trust, Chromatics.







Monday, 11 March 2013

New Music: Sad Baby Wolf- Electric Sounds


I never realized that The Shins have so many past members (there are 7 altogether) until I heard about the group  Sad Baby Wolf that feature two guys that used to play with that band. Sad Baby Wolf is led by Neal Langford, who left The Shins years ago, along with Marty Crandall who was fired from them in 2009.

Sad Baby Wolf have a new album titled Electric Sounds which is available for pre order on their Bandcamp page. Listen to both the title track and the dreamy "Survival Guide" which was originally buzzed about all the way back in late 2011.

For fans of The Besnard Lakes, The Shins




Sunday, 10 March 2013

New Music: The Knife: A Tooth For An Eye + More Recent Songs and Music News


"A Tooth For An Eye" will be the lead track off of The Knife's upcoming new album Shaking The Habitual, and last week the brother/sister electro duo released a music video for the track. The clip features a bunch of athletic males in a dance class that is taught by a teenage girl. In the statement for the video The Knife says " “‘A Tooth For An Eye’ deconstructs images of maleness, power and leadership.” The child represents a leader to these macho guys and allows them to let go of their "fear of intimacy, as they follow her into dance".Watch below and also stream the full unedited song via Soundcloud.

Shaking The Habitual will be available April 9th via Mute.








Montreal indie rock artist Pat Jordache released two great new songs last week timing it perfectly to coincide with his SXSW gigs this week. Listen to the David Sylvian/Japan-like "Fields Laid Fallow"b/w "Feel It Coming"tracks below, which are also available for download.





Post punk pioneers Wire are set to release a new album, Change Becomes Us, on March 26th via their own PinkFlag label. The group actually started writing the songs for the LP back in 1979, but due to the band's breakup they didn't get to finish it until original members Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Robert Grey, along with new guitarist Matthew Simms, got back together in Wales for a recording session last year. Download the first track from the new record, "Love Bends", below:





Another post punk original, The House of Love, are streaming their new single "A Baby Got Back On It's Feet" which will be on the band's new LP She Paints Words in Red. The album is due out in the U.K. on March 25th via Cherry Red Records.





Dream pop post punk Florida band Merchandise are previewing a new track from their new album. Listen to "Who Are You" which is taken from the band's forthcoming new album Totale Nite. The LP will be out April 2nd via Night-People.





TV sweeps week must be over because"New Girl" Zooey Deschanel and her twee project with guitarist M. Ward have set a release date for their new LP. The new She & Him record is simply titled Volume 3 and will be out May 7th via Merge. The single "Never Wanted Your Love" is streaming now:





Baltimore synth punk band The Death Set paid homage to their fallen bandmate Beau Velasco on their excellent 2011 LP Michel Poiccard with the beautiful, dreamy track "I Miss You Beau Velasco". Since then the guys in the band have worked on a project for a video for the song that included a lot of Velasco's friends. The music video has now been released and features various artists and bands from Baltimore's (and abroad) artistic community including Santigold, Dan Deacon, Spank Rock and Japanther, to name just a few. Watch below:

Video: The Death Set- I Miss You Beau Velasco


Scottish dance post punk band Franz Ferdinand played a small concert hall last week in their home town of Glasgow. What was significant about the gig was that the band led off the show with three brand new songs. Two of those songs are "Evil Eye" and "The Blackpool Illuminati."  Looks like a new album may be coming soon. Watch below:








Five Star: Songs: Public Enemy- Night of The Living Baseheads +The Iconic Hip Hop Group Set To Release Career Spanning Vinyl Box Set


Here we go with my first five star hip hop song posted to my blog. I know I do not feature too much rap music but it wasn't for the lack of trying. Back when I first started this blog in the summer I posted a cool new song called "Union Square" from the hip hop super group Wu Block. The post garnered a measly 2 page views on the day I wrote about it and to this day only15 people have gone in to listen to the song. After that I figured people are not looking for rap on my blog and have stuck to what interests readers including indie rock, synth pop, shoegaze and post punk. However there is always exceptions and Public Enemy is so iconic that you can't ignore them.

Public Enemy are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and to celebrate they are releasing a career spanning six LP vinyl box set on April 15th. The socially conscious, politically minded band are led by the legendary MC Chuck D and are one of the most innovative and controversial bands to ever come out of the rap scene. The band were angry but also had a humorous side with the clown prince of of hip hop Flavor Flav adding comic relief to their hardcore songs. The band also features The Bomb Squad who dress in military fatigues and provide the production of their legendary cut and paste beats.

The limited edition box set catalogue will have all six Def Jam studio albums and will be on 180g heavyweight vinyl. (See below for all the details). The collection will include all of the Public Enemy anthems including “Public Enemy No 1”, “Bring The Noise”, “Fight The Power”, “Welcome To The Terrordome”, "911 Is a Joke", “He Got Game” and my favourite "Night Of The Living Baseheads".

"Night of The Living Baseheads" was a single from Public Enemy's second studio album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The song deals with the devastation that crack cocaine had on African Americans in the 1980's. Base is slang for crack and the title equates crackheads to zombies, a play on words from the horror movie Night Of the Living Dead.   Watch the video for the song below: (Unfortunately the clip is too full of theatrics to really appreciate the song)






Here are the details of the box set release:

KEY FEATURES:
- 12” LP vinyl box set combining the complete set of original Def
 Jam studio albums
 - Released to mark the band’s 25th Anniversary
 - Features 6 original albums, on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl

 FORMAT / INFO:
 - Vinyl Box Set **LIMITED EDITION / INITIAL ORDER ONLY** – 9x12” LP
 - UPC: 0600753408780
 - Label: IDJ
 - Rights: Worldwide excluding US & Canada

FULL CONTENT:
 - 9 x 12” LPs:
 6 original albums on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl
 1. YO! BUM RUSH THE SHOW (1987)
 2. IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK (1988)
 3. FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET (1990)
 4. APOCALYPSE 91… THE ENEMY STRIKES BLACK (1991) (2xLP)
 5. MUSE SICK-N-HOUR MESS AGE (1994) (2xLP)
 6. HE GOT GAME (1998) (2xLP)


Friday, 8 March 2013

New Music: Austra- Home + More Recent Releases


Katie Stelmanis and her goth project Austra have announced the long awaited follow up album to 2011 favourite Feel It Break. The LP is titled Olympia and will be out June 18th on Domino/Paper Bag. Here the first track from the LP, "Home."




A lot of new songs to get to tonight....less talk. more rock.

New J Mascis/Sharon Van Etten duet from the John Denver tribute album "The Music Is You" which is out April 2nd on ATO.  Listen to "Prisoners" below:





Brand new music and video from Vancouver indie rock band The Zolas. Watch the clip for "Escape Artist" below. Taken from the album Ancient Mars which is out now on Light Organ Records.



THE ZOLAS - Escape Artist from Southern Souls on Vimeo.


Swedish synth pop band Kate Boy have released a new clip for their song "In Your Eyes." The track is taken from their EP, Northern Lights, which is out now on IAMSOUND Records. Watch below:

Video- Kate Boy- In Your Eyes


Johnny Jewel synth pop project Glass Candy have released a new track for free download and an accompanying music video. Watch the clip for "The Possessed" and then go and get the free Extended Runway Edit of the track.

Video- Glass Candy- The Possessed





Scottish synth pop buzz band Chvrches have come out with a video for their awesome song "Recover". Watch below:
Taken from the Recover EP which is out March 26th via Glassnote.

Chvrches- Recover


Another new track from dub step soul musician  James Blake, this time with a little help from ambient producer Brian Eno. The track will be on Blake's latest LP, "Overgrown," which is out April 8th via Republic.Records.  Listen to "Digital Lion" below:




Second track from the new Caveman album debuted this week. Stream the beautiful "Over My Head" from their self titled sophomore album which is out April 2nd via Fat Possum.


More to come later.....


Thursday, 7 March 2013

New Music: Neon Neon- Mid Century Modern Nightmare


Geoff Rhys of Super Furry Animals brings his side project with Boop Bip, Neon Neon, back from hibernation with their new album Praxis Makes Perfect. You may recall the first LP was a concept album based around the life of rich dude John DeLorean (Back To The Future car), and their follow up LP will  have a similar subject, only this time the character is Giangiacomo Feltrinelli a wealthy Italian shit disturber who is most famous for being a publisher (Doctor Zhivago) and a member of the Italian Communist Party.

The first track form the album "Mid Century Modern Nightmare" features an 80's synth pop melody that ends with underground actress Asia Argento reading a manifesto by Feltrinelli from the mid 20th century that speaks toward dumbfounded pop culture which Rhys describes "continues to this day" .....Kim Kardashian take note.

Praxis Makes Perfect is out April 30th on Lex Records.





New Music: Ski Lodge- Just To Be Like You


The singer in the Brooklyn indie pop band Ski Lodge has a last name of Marr, so you figure they would sound like British jangle rock, and lo and behold they do. Unlike The Smiths Johnny, Marr's first name is actually Andrew and in this case he is the vocalist and sounds more like Morrissey. Listen to their new single, "Just To Be Like You."

"Just To Be Like You" will be available April 16th via Dovecote.

For fans of The Smiths, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Phoenix.




Wednesday, 6 March 2013

New Music: Generationals- Put A Light On


New Orleans indie pop band Generationals are streaming a track from their upcoming new album Heza. The song,"Put A Light On" hears the band at their very best...hooks, hooks and more hooks. Brilliant indie pop!!! Listen below:

Heza will be out April 2nd via Polyvinyl.

For fans of Telekinesis, Guards






R.I.P. Stompin' Tom Connors


The people of Canada have just lost the greatest folk singer the country has ever produced. Everybody loved Stompin' Tom Connors and he will most assuredly will be missed.

He passed away in his home town of Peterborough Ontario today and there will be a funeral service at The Memorial Centre in that city on March 13th.






New Music: Colleen Green- Heavy Shit


Colleen Green is poised to be the next thing in stoner indie rock following in the footsteps as such bands as Wavves, Best Coast and FIDLAR. Apparently the poor girl has a lot on her find; however we never find out what it is....it is just "Heavy Shit"!! Download the garage punk song below:

Green will release her debut album, Sock It To Me, on March 19th via Hardly Art.

For fans of Best Coast, Vivian Girls, The Ramones.

Colleen Green- Heavy Shit


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

New Music: Smith Westerns- Varsity + More Recent Releases & Music News


The kids in Chicago indie band Smith Westerns have just announced they will be releasing their third LP, Soft Will, to the world on June 11th. The first single from the new LP is titled "Varsity," an aptly named song for a bunch of twenty somethings who are young enough to be in college. The new track moves the band away from their British glam rock origins and to more of a dream pop sound. Listen below:

Soft Will is out June 11th via Mom + Pop





Surfer Blood have dropped a second single from their forthcoming new album Pythons. The LP now has a release date of June 11th (same as Smith Westerns-see above) through Warner. Listen to "Demon Dance" below:






Iggy & The Stooges are one of those bands that should probably stop recording new material and concentrate on their live shows. That being said their new track "Burn" is not bad. Listen below:

From Ready To Die which is out April 30th via Fat Possum






Watch a new video from Unknown Mortal Orchestra for "Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)" but be forewarned after I watched it I could not get the picture of masturbating puppets out of my head.

Video: Unknown Mortal Orchestra- Swim and  (Like a Shark)

The Soft Moon has released a music video for "Insides" from his excellent Zeros LP. Watch the darker than dark clip below:

Video: Soft Moon- Insides

And yet another nightmarish video: Metz have dropped a new clip for their track "Wasted". Watch below:

Video: Metz- Wasted

Slicing Up Eyeballs has noted some of the retro releases that are going to come out on Record Store Day.  Looking forward to these reissues: The Cure's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Echo & The Bunnymen's Crocodiles. Jesus & Mary Chain's Psychocandy,  as well as Orange Juice, The Glove (Siouxsee & The Banshees Steve Severin and Robert Smith of The Cure) plus Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays 10 inch records.

Stream: The Glove- Mouth To Mouth




New Music: Great New Tracks From Empress Of, Imaginary Cities & Saturday Looks Good To Me

A lot of really good new songs coming into my E-mail inbox the last couple of days. Can't ignore them........

Brooklyn songstress Lorely Rodriguez, aka Empress Love, continues her impressive output of releasing shimmering and swooning indie pop songs and her expansive new track "Hat Trick" is no exception. This song is the first single from her Systems EP, out April 2nd via Terrible Records.

For fans of St. Vincent, Beach House






Winnipeg indie pop duo Imaginary Cities are set to release their new album, Fall Romance, out May 28th on Votiv.

If you are unfamiliar with Imaginary Cities they a are collaboration between Weakerthans/Waking Eyes member Rusty Matyas and singer-songwriter Marti Sarbit The couple gained critical acclaim a couple of years ago with their LP Temporary Resident and a college hit with the song "Say You."


Download Imaginary Cities' new single "Chasing The Sunset" below:

For fans of The Weakerthans, Library Voices, Kathryn Calder.





Saturday Looks Good To Me is the indie project of Detroit native Fred Thomas, who is about to release his first album in six years. In the ten years the project has been in existence Thomas has employed an ever changing line up of musicians that have explored everything from noise to afrobeat.

"Imaginary Friend" is the first track from One Kiss Ends It All which will be available May 21st on Polyvinyl. The low-fi blissful track makes use of the the beautifully voiced Carol Catherine. Listen below:

For fans of Girls, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Allo Darlin'