Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Almost Famous II: David Vandervelde "The Moonstation House Band"

For me, David Vandervelde channels the essence of rock and roll. Rock and roll the way it was meant to be played, like bus scene in Almost Famous. Vandervelde released his debut album, The Moonstation House Band back in January, which is usually the kiss of death for making year end 'best of'' lists. However, The Moonstation House Band really is probably one of the best straight ahead rock albums of the year. It's relatively short, at 8 songs, but there is no waste on the album each song being as strong as the last.

At the end of last year Vandervelde recorded 4 songs at/for Daytrotter (if you're not familiar they have some outstanding live sessions) available for download here. Of these four songs, two are songs from his album TMHB (Feet of a Liar, Jacket), one is a song he wrote in a few minutes (F-ckin' Around), and the last is a cover of the Rolling Stones (C-cksucker Blues). Inexplicably, the post date for these songs is December 25th... pretty sad Christmas for Vandervelde if you ask me.

Also, there are 3 more live tracks available via WEEM/MOKB Indianapolis here.

I really can't emphasize enough how much that you should try and pick this up if you liked the sound track for Almost Famous.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Electronic Music for People Who Don't Like Electronic Music: Caribou "Andorra"

There has been a lot of hype surrounding Dan Snaith's aka. Caribou latest release Andorra (in the musicblog world, not the real world, in case you don't live in either). I skim through a lot of music blogs, and despite just about everyone raving about his album, I had kind of ignored them mostly because his earlier work under the moniker 'Manitoba' was pretty inaccessible. The wikipedia entry explains, hilariously, why he is now recording as Caribou.

At any rate, after hearing so many good things about this album I finally relented (I'm not sure, but I think I succumbed to peer pressure over the internet, sad, huh). After running through the album a half dozen times or so, I'm tending to agree that this more melody driven, beach boys influenced, electronic album, probably is among the years best albums.

In case you were wondering, yes, he does in fact have a PhD in Math. Was it that obvious from the photo?

My buddy Rosie passed along this Globe and Mail article by Robert Everett-Green on Snaith a little while ago.

Also, the BBC put together a neat mini-documentary (8 minutes) on Andorra available on here on youtube. You have no idea how hard it was to resist embedding this since I learned how to do it over the weekend.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Couple of Videos... The Besnard Lakes, Sunparlour Players

The Besnard Lakes "Because Tonight" from The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse @ Call the Office - October 11?, 2007

The Sunparlour Players "Hymns for the Happy" from Hymns for the Happy @ The London Music Club - November 14, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cuff the Duke @ Call the Office/My First Hoedown

(Sound quality on the video is not the best due to the fact that I, stupidly, decided to stand beside the speaker).

I managed to catch Cuff the Duke at Call the Office on Friday. It was good. My buddy Brain and I got there just in time to catch the opener Rock Plaza Central. After playing a really neat opening song ("I Am An Excellent Steel Horse") with a really cool four part vocal harmony, the rest of their set went down hill from there... the remainder of their set consisted of me and Brain drinking and trying to remember this band.

Cuff the Duke was excellent, and played a good mix of tracks from their three albums skewing away from their second, self titled album, in favour of playing some old favourites and promoting new material off their recently released Sidelines of the City. The highlight of the night had to be the three song encore where they invited a half dozen members on stage to help with some clapping part (I was pretty drunk at this point in the night, I can't be expected to remember everything can I?).

Photos courtesy of Brain and his stupid iPhone...

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Raptors: Where Mediocrity Happens...

I am THE Raptor hear me roar!
If I haven't made the, Chris Bosh looks like a Raptor so its appropriate that he plays for the Raptors joke to you in person.... consider it made.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it is that is going wrong with the Raptors lately. How they managed to completely collapse against Golden State in the 4th quarter on Sunday, how they blew a 20 point lead against Dallas on Tuesday, why they can't seem to win at home, and whether or not they're going to be any better than last year.

A couple of weeks ago I suggested that I thought Sam Mitchell was a communist (equal playing time for all!). After spending some time looking through box scores in the last week or so I think I confirmed my hypothesis that good NBA teams play a solid 7-8-9 man rotation with a few guys filling in between 5 and 10 minutes a night. With Rasho, Garbo, and TJ Ford out on Wednesday in Memphis - this is exactly what happened - and.... drum roll please... they won! Obviously this isn't the whole answer for the Raps (I'm realistic they were playing Memphis), but it wouldn't be a bad place to start. However, my solution to pear down the rotation that says nothing about when everyone is healthy which is the right mix of guys....

This has lead me to start thinking more broadly about the characteristics necessary to build a championship ball club. So, a project I've given myself from now until, whenever (hopefully in time for the NBA Draft '08), is to read up on NBA dynasties and to try and figure out why they were able to be successful for an extended period. Also, my hope is to look at non-dynasties (i.e. I'm kind of excited to read Jack McCallum's book Seven Seconds of Less on the Phoenix Suns) to attempt to figure out what they're missing. I'm hoping this will turn into a report/essay that I can give to BC (Brian Colangelo) and win my rightful spot as assistant traveling secretary for the Raps.

At this point book recommendations are desperately needed.

Sidebar, this biography of Tim Duncan is short, but its far, far too funny not to read. Please, I'm begging you. Thanks to TrueHoop for passing this on.

Hopefully some comments on Cuff the Duke tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Tough Alliance

First off, as I was turning on my TV tonight I came across a show called Dogfights. After Michael Vick, you couldn't think of anything better to name your show... really?

I came across The Tough Alliance through their remix of Taken by Tree's song 'Too Young', which may still be available here. Recently I've made it my own project to go through some of Pitchfork's 'Best New Music' and see what they've been recommending, and I noticed TTA's new album A New Chance. After a few listens I started to get hooked on the kind of electro-beats that made me think about what it would've been like to date a girl who wore a skrunchy. That's my way of suggesting that they have kind of an electro/dance/pop feel to them. Highly recommended for anyone who feels like they missed out on the 80s.

Recommended Tracks: "Something Special", "Neo Violence"

Oh, and PS - I called it. Basia Bulat is opening for Hayden, which should make for some great shows through January in SW Ontario.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"I declare BANKRUPTCY!!!" ... some thoughts on a few TV shows

1/The Office - The Office, in my opinion, has been the best show on network TV over the last couple of years, but I was horribly, horribly, worried that the Pam and Jim getting together storyline would absolutely destroy the show. Well, turns out it hasn't, and has actually provided some hilarious moments for the show: Kevin and Oscar debating whether or not they've gotten together, their first night away to Shrute farms, and most recently Kelly's smack talk ('it's happening right now') vs. Pam. Since the end of the third season the show has developed a pile of other really interesting storylines: Ryan becoming an A-Hole, the Dwight-Angela-Andy love triangle, Michael and Jan's financial problems, etc. so it looks like they don't have to keep producing shows centering around Pam and Jim exclusively. It looks like its going to continue to be the one show on TV that I never miss, and always make sure that I'm up on. Oh and kudos to the girl who created the Finer Things Club on Facebook.

2/ Kid Nation - I've been watching this every week now based on my buddy Kyle's recommendation on his blog, that he found it 'strangely compelling' or something, and I really like it also. It kind of reminds me of working at the John Hatch Sports Camp through high school with slightly less crying and kids confessing how much they miss their family and want to go home. At first I was taken aback, normally I like reality TV because I like watching stupid people cry (see: every season of the Bachelor). But, since the show is composed of exclusively kids, hence 'Kid Nation' when I saw them cry, it wasn't much fun. After I got past the fact that watching kids cry isn't fun, the show was, in fact, 'strangely compelling' I think mostly because of the sheer honesty of the kids in Bonanza city i.e. they aren't as conscious of their appearance as adults, there's no passive aggressive comments, backstabbing, etc. Also, I'm looking forward to Kyle's running dairy from the season finale ... (Wasko, if you're reading this... you promised. This is also the part in my post where I pressure Kyle into fulfilling my request to watch the finale together so that we can relive watching the Bachelor re-runs in Korea after Tuesday Night Football.)

Another sidebar, I love how the host of the show raises his arms in triumph after the kids successfully do anything. Something I'm thinking about integrating into my daily life.

3/ Pushing Daisies - I tried watching a couple of episodes of Wonderfalls (also created by Brian Fuller), but could never really get into it. I think because I couldn't really identify with the main character (a teenage girl - she was no Buffy or Veronica Mars), and the premise of the show (her talking to figurines). So, at this point I've got through three episodes of PD now, and I've come to the conclusion that I like it significantly better because:

i) the production value is significantly better;

ii) Ned (the main character), while bland, is surrounded by two really likable supporting characters 'Chuck' and 'Emerson Cod' - I love Chi McBride in this role;

iii) I've come to the conclusion that all things are better with narration - see Ron Howard - Arrested Development, Daniel Stern - The Wonder Years;

Monday, November 19, 2007

Deep thoughts... Jenn Grant, Cuff the Duke, Pet Sounds vs. Jay-Dee

First off, I'd like to apologize to the legions of you who read this, for slacking a little towards the end of last week. In my defense, I've been playing a lot of NBA Live '06 for the X-box. And, while I really wanted to play with the real Raptors, unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to play with the Raptors BC (Before Colangelo) when their starting line-up was: Rafer Alston, Mo-Pete, Jalen Rose, CB4, and Antonio Davis; sorry if I just made anyone vomit in their mouth remembering that team. Instead, I opted for the Fantasy Draft (position 27 - in every round) now my starters are: Kurt Heinrich, 42 year old Reggie Miller, Shane Battier, Emeka Okafor, and Chris Bosh ... life is much better.

When I haven't been playing video games, I've been listening to Jenn Grant's Orchestra for the Moon, Cuff the Duke's recently released Sidelines of the City, and a mash-up album by Bullion, Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee mixing the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds with the beats of Jay-Dee. A few thoughts on each.

Orchestra for the Moon - My buddy Rosie who managed to see Grant open for the Weakerthans in Toronto, came away from the show particularly unimpressed with her work. While I can't comment on her show, I can say that her album is definitely worth a listen. The beginning of her album has a Feist-ian quality to it, but as the album progresses she seems to find more of her own voice with the last three tracks 'Rainy Day', 'White Horses', 'Blue Skies' which are all, in my opinion, outstanding tracks.

Sidelines of the City - Cuff the Duke's third album, SotC, is more of a return to a sound that emulates Cuff's live performance that was captured really well in their first album Life Stories for Minimum Wage, but not so much on their second self titled album. They are currently touring in will be in Ontario starting on Wednesday, and I'm going to recommend that you visit them especially if you have a chance to see them with Land of Talk in TO on the 30th.

Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee - Jay Dee "your favourite hip-hop producer's favourite producer" had legions of fans within the hip-hop community and passed away last February. As an homage to both Jay Dee and DangerMouse (I assume - who produced the Grey Album, a mash-up of Jay-Z's Black Album and the Beatles White Album), Bullion has put together his own concept album, taking the beats of Jay Dee and mixing them with the Beach Boys Pet Sounds with surprisingly good results. The entire album is available for download for free here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blood, Sweat and Tears (well... no blood or tears)... Sunparlour Players @ London Music Club

The Sunparlour Players are slowly becoming one of my favourite bands (at this point I might revisit my hottest bands of '07 to move them up to, maybe into the #7 spot?). They played a show for a relatively busy London Music Club last night that featured a high energy set composed mostly of songs from the recently released Hymns for the Happy. Last time I saw the SPP was at the Alex P. Keaton here in London, although there was only one 'player' front man Andrew Penner. This time, Penner was joined by (I assume) Dennis Van Dine and Michael Rosenthal which gave the show a much bigger, fuller, sound that really consumed the room. Although the room of maybe 100 show-goers started out with the usual bar chatter, it quickly died off as the band really gained the attention of everyone in attendance. The set also featured a couple of songs that have yet to be recorded, which were absolutely terrific also. Perhaps the highlight of the night was the encore, which started with a cover of AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck' and closed with 'You Are A Hunter' off Hymns.

At this point, I can't emphasize enough how spectacular the live show is, so I'll just say that any chance you have to catch these guys live, do so. Sitting/standing close to the stage might not be advised, as they may not be marked, but those are the splash seats (sweat not spit).

Also, I'm glad I missed the 4th quarter of the Raptors game, because according to the play-by-play Kris Humpries was playing with a minute left in the game. How does that happen!?! Is there any possible logical explanation for this? Someone, please.

Hayden. New Album. In Field & Town. Jan. 15. 2008.

I was going to wait on posting this, but frankly, I'm too gosh darn excited. As the title suggests Hayden's new album In Field & Town is going to be released January 15, 2008 and a Canadian tour will follow with dates starting in Hamilton on the 16th.

His myspace page has a track from the new album titled 'Where and When', which makes it sound like the newest album might be a little more upbeat, or, at least not contain any songs about being mauled by a bear. Tour dates for the Canadian Tour are up on myspace, and my suggestion is that if you're going to try and get tickets to the Toronto show Feb. 19th, you do so as soon as they're available.

For Londoners, he'll be at Aeolian Hall on Jan. 26th, which I think is a terrific venue for him. My money is on Basia Bulat (recently adopted by Hayden's Hardwood Records) as the opener.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunparlour Players @ the London Music Club

I first came across the The Sunparlour Players last winter when they opened for Cuff the Duke at the 'The Legendary' Horseshoe Tavern. After a few minutes of wandering around, in an otherwise loud bar, they really grabbed my attention, I bought their album, and have seen them a couple of times since. The Players are going to be at the London Music Club this Wednesday (tomorrow), with two acts that I haven't heard much (or anything) about, Donnie Ivey (a name that makes me think he should be a member of the rat pack) and The Floating Abagails.

I haven't been real excited about many shows this fall, the only shows I can think of have been Chad Van Gaalen, the Besnard Lakes, Hayden and Dragonette/The Most Serene Republic - the others I've been to have been a fun thing to do on a night with not much going on. If you can see where I'm going with this one.... I'm pretty excited to see the Players who always put on an intense, energetic show that really outdoes their album Hymns for the Happy which has just been re-released.

Recommended tracks: 'Pacifists Anthem', 'If the Creeks Don't Rise', 'Hymns for the Happy'

Oh, I needed to say this: At the gym today I caught about 10 minutes of the Heat/Bobcats - watched Shaq run down the court, and it reminded me of Charles Barkley. Ouch.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cadence Weapon likes Arrested Development

After seeing Cadence Weapon aka. Roland Pemberton get incredibly excited about performing with Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) and Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers), and hearing him collaborate with Pallet on a CBC Radio 3 session (mp3s here), I was sold enough that I bought his 2005 album Breaking Kayfabe on the weekend.

While I'm finding his album pretty esoteric, the song "The Gorilla is for Sand Racing" is worth downloading - if only for the first 25 seconds of the song. Get it here.

Also, on a completely unrelated note I'm excited to see the Sunparlour Players at the London Music Club on Wednesday. They have a few dates in SW Ontario and are very, very, worth while checking out.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Music and Lyrics (Thankfully not the movie)/Sam Mitchell Announces His (First) Gameplan!

My friend Rosie pointed me to this article in Saturday's Globe and Mail. Robert Everett-Green is apparently not a fan of the Weakerthans, because he finds them musically repetitive. His implication, I think, is that they have built a following on John Sampson's lyrics. Regardless of whether or not Everett-Green's implication holds with the Weakerthans, the larger debate is interesting: whether its possible to write a good song with simple, derivative lyrics (Everett-Green); or, whether good music requires interesting/clever/insightful lyrics where melody is not particularly important (his buddy).

I'm not exactly sure where I come down on this debate. My initial inclination is to say that good music that lasts, i.e. the albums that I keep coming back to: The Arcade Fire Funeral, Sufjan Stevens Illinois, Hayden Everything I Long For and Skyscraper, TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain, even Nirvana Unplugged in New York and Nas Illmatic all get better every listen. Good music, in my opinion, draws you in with sound and keeps you coming back with its lyrics.

This is an interesting discussion that I had with Rosie, which would be interesting to get some feed back on.

Meanwhile, in a surprise move Sam Mitchell has made a strategic decision! Hooray! He announced that rather than trying to play everyone an exactly equal number of minutes with Bargnani starting, he is going to do the same thing with Bargnani coming off the bench. (He didn't actually announce that he's going to continue to distribute minutes like he has)

Some one really ought to suggest to Sam Mitchell that typically you want to play your best players more, and weaker players less. At this point in the season the Raps second and third best players (Bargnani and TJ Ford) have played over 31 minutes a combined 3 times (of 7 games - so 14 opportunities).

I'm sure the Raps will be fine... they're going to play the 76ers and the Bulls 20 times this year, right?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Part of every relationship is a healthy dialogue... (Part 1 of, probably 1)

Kyle Wasko said...

Very cool list. There's definitely some stuff there that I'll need to check out. Two things:

1. It's unfathomable that you don't have The New Pornographers on your list. Challengers might very well be my album of the year. My guess is this was an accident.

2. No love for Metric or Emily Haines? Question: is the band doomed because nothing will ever stack up against "Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?" While I don't lover her solo stuff, it's certainly listenable (if, perhaps, sleep-inducing).

Kyle Wasko said...

...or Stars.

Reply, dammit!

First, my buddy Kyle has a blog that you should all consider frequenting. Kyle is a great writer, excellent at recommending TV shows, and horrible at responding to emails - that's right I'm calling you out in front of the 4 people that read this. Well, 4 including you, so maybe its actually 3.

Second, I should explain, better than I did in my earlier post that my criteria for best band was based on material released, any shows I've seen (or possibly pretended I had seen after I heard how good they were), buzz, and a certain je ne sais pas?

Re: the New Pornographers - I liked Challengers, but it just wasn't an album that really impressed me. I listened to it probably a half dozen times, saw them at the Roger's Picnic , but they always seemed a little flat. So, while they're album was good, infinitely accessible - similar to Twin Cinema [2005?] - and I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard it, there is simply too much good Canadian music for them to be a top-10 band.

Re: Metric - no new releases this year (as far as I know - I'm pretty sure Grow Up and Blow Away was a re-release). I really like Emily Haines - she is terrific live - although the films she shows during her songs were super creepy, though seeing her solo made me really hope for a new Metric album. Again, very good, I would recommend, probably more than you would Emily Haines and the Soft Skeletons Knives Don't Have Your Back or the follow up EP What is Free to A Good Home.

Re: Stars - not even worth discussing.

I would include the New Pornographers and Emily Haines in a group of bands that were very good, but just weren't outstanding.

Some others would include: The Weakerthans, Wintersleep, Cuff the Duke, Final Fantasy, Jade McNelis, Young Galaxy, The Winks, Cadence Weapon, The Most Serene Republic, Dragonette - I still haven't heard Jenn Grant, or Amos the Transparent - but they are very highly regarded also.

I need to collect my thoughts on the Raps (after a win where Jamario Moon played 22 minutes) before I respond on the Raptors.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

How to Win a Whore in 22 Minutes....

So, I've gone approximately four months without TV and finally caved in and decided to pay $52.99 a month primarily for two reasons:

1. I was going to bankrupt myself, and put on 25 pounds watching Raptors games at TJs. Also, the odds of me getting drunk, angry, and thrown out of the bar for cursing at Sam Mitchell through the TV because he's done something stupid (again) were getting progressively higher.

Sidebar: I've just seen a preview of Lions for Lambs, does anyone actually think that Tom Cruise could be believable as a Senator after this?

2. Keys to the VIP. A reality show where self proclaimed "players" compete to pick up girls at a bar. There's a wikipedia page.
It's on right now: Thursday night, 10pm on the Comedy Network.

Hands down the most hilarious reality show, ever.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday Bullets: (Final) Fantasy Videos ... No, its not porno.

  • Dan Bejar (New Pornographers, Destroyer) preforms 'An Actor's Revenge' from Destroyer's Your Blues [2004] with Owen Pallet and Cadence Weapon. This video makes me remember why the Bejar songs are always my favourites on New Pornos albums.
  • I can't believe I haven't mentioned this before, but if you like yourself a good mash-up you should visit the hood internet. My personal favourite is still R. Kelly vs. Broken Social Scene "I'm A Flirt (shoreline)" from the archives April 2007.
  • Wow, were the Raptors disappointing again tonight.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The truth is here...

Paul Pierce aka. 'the truth' apparently has had a problem with partying, and last year the Celtics asked him to tone it down a little.

This story from Basketbawful explains that maybe he hasn't.

Recommended listening: Brother Ali "Truth is" - The Undisputed Truth [2007]

Monday, November 5, 2007

Weekend Update: Hayden, Raptors v. Celtics

First off, today I realized that a few people have posted on comments on earlier posts. I'd like to apologize for my own stupidity for not responding, but in fairness I am internet-retarded. Anyways thanks for taking the time to read/respond. Now that I know where to look for updates ... I'll try and be a little more vigilant, or something.

Saturday: Hayden @ Room 103, University Centre, University of Guelph

At first when I saw that Hayden was playing at Room 103, in the University Centre at the University of Guelph I asked my sister, (who goes to Guelph and was kind enough to pick up tickets) what kind of room it was. When she said that she had no idea where it was, my thoughts were: 1/ its bound to be a relatively small room; and 2/ this is going to be an awesome show. Turns out I was correct on both accounts.

103, seemed to be a small meeting room or something that seated somewhere around 150 people for the show. The room, because it felt so small, almost felt like we were all intruding on a practice session. Part of this might have been because of all of the flubs, (mike's falling over, forgetting the words, re-starting songs). The other part of this may have been because Hayden, as he mentioned during his set, hadn't toured in probably 3 years or so and is about to take off to Europe to open for The National. So the show in Guelph, along with his previous shows in Quebec and Kingston were essentially a practice run...

The show featured some new stuff off his record that is supposed to come out January 2008, as well as a lot of songs from Elk Lake Serenade [2004]. The encore was probably the highlight of the show as he came on and played old favourites 'Dynamite Walls' from Sky Scraper National Park [2001] and 'Bad As They Seem' from Everything I Long For [1995]. If you don't know Hayden, both songs/albums are highly recommended, especially if you like singer/songwriter type music.

Sunday: Celtics over Raptors 98-95 (OT), Air Canada Centre

I thought the Raps did well to compete on Sunday, make the game close and was ecstatic when they tied the game up to bring it into overtime. However, Sam Mitchell continued make me miserable in the following ways:

1/ By continuing to distribute minutes with little rhyme or reason, allowing just about everyone on the team to play a similar number of minutes with seemingly little thought on how to exploit different match-ups on the floor. This has caused me to reason that Sam Mitchell is a communist.

2/ After the Raps (read T.J. Ford), tied the game in OT with 4 seconds left giving the Celtics the ball and a chance to score. So, naturally Sam Mitchell decides not to double team Ray Allen, the Celtics leading scorer through the game, leaving him to run off a double screen for a wide open three to win the game.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hottest Canadian Bands 2007: 'Baby I've got some words for you...'

Its getting close enough to the end of the year that I feel justified in starting my year end lists. Including my upcoming list of lists that I intend on posting. My best Canadian bands of the year:

1. The Besnard Lakes - album The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse one of Pitchforks most overlooked albums of 2007.

2. Ohbijou - I had never heard them until they opened for Great Lake Swimmers earlier this year, and I was absolutely wowed by them. Their album Swift Feet for Troubling Times is also outstanding. They play 'big band' pop music without the 'big band' seeming unnecessary.

3. Great Lake Swimmers - After two quality albums s/t (2003) and Bodies and Minds (2005), this year's Oniagara was more upbeat and a lot more interesting. Similar to the transition Sam Beam's Iron and Wine made this year with The Shepard's Dog. Also, kudos for their song 'Your Rocky Spine' making the cut on Weeds.

4. The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible was disappointing by Arcade Fire standards, but was still an excellent release. One of probably two artists (the other being Sufjan Stevens) that I would literally kill to see. I'll be here if you need me.

5. Feist - The Reminder was excellent. Her playing on a moving city bus on Jimmy Kimmel live was even better. She is bound to make just about every top-10 list this year.

6. Miracle Fortress - Five Roses was probably the album that was the nicest surprises of the year.

7. Chad VanGaalen - I'm convinced that he received his polaris prize nomination only after critics realized how good 2oo4's Infiniheart was, since Skelliconnection was relatively mediocre. Seems like a genuinely good guy, and I had a hilarious run-in with his bassist the night they played at Call the Office which made him a lock for my list.

8. Basia Bulat - great voice, Oh, My Darling is very good album, something about her rubs me the wrong way.

9. Patrick Watson - I've got a post on Watson in the works, suffice to say that winning the polaris prize probably makes him a lock, and after spending more time with Close to Paradise [2006] I'm really finding it rewarding.

10. The Sunparlour Players - accidentally ran into them opening for Cuff the Duke earlier this year, or possibly late last year, and they (Andrew Penner) consistently put on the best live show of anyone I've seen. Their album Hymns for the Happy is good, but comes no where near doing justice to their show.

Bands I'm interested in hearing more from:
Great Bloomers (Toronto) - to date they've only put out a single EP, Reel Cod, their myspace page is highly, highly recommended their single 'Catching Up' might be my favourite song of the year.

Jenn Grant - similar style to Julie Dorian, Feist, haven't had a chance to check out her full album Orchestra for the Moon, but am looking forward to seeing her open for the Weakerthans next weekend.

Thunderheist (Montreal)- no album released to date, but their myspace is worth perusing if you like dance music, or anything that sounds similar to The Go! Team.

Amos the Transparent (Ottawa) - I've yet to hear Everything I've Forgotten to Forget, so I'll reserve judgment until after their show on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Bullets: 'Getting Laid is my forte... '

Before I mention anything else, its a great week for shows in and around London. Some bands that I can recommend strongly seeing include: Dragonette, The Most Serene Republic, Joel Plaskett Emergency (especially if you're partial to stuff that feels like the Tragically Hip), Amos the Transparent, and The Weakerthans. I have the dates posted for London, but I've linked to each of these bands myspace where show dates are available, and chances are if they're coming to London - their probably going to be at where you live.

  • The soundtrack for I'm Not There gets an 8.0 on Pitchfork, which means the whole thing is probably as good as the tracks they have up on myspace.
Lastly, the Raps won last night, which is good. Sam Mitchell proved that he cannot manage a game or call a time when he his team is in the middle of blowing a 20 point lead, which is bad. All in all I'm excited for the game on Sunday, which if I haven't mentioned to you individually, I will be attending.

Hopefully posts on Malajube (maybe), and Hayden at the beginning of the week.