Sunday, November 30, 2008

Best of '08: A Call for Submissions

"Here comes the easiest part of my job.... the cuts"

I've got my Best of '08s somewhere near complete... but, before I put out my list I'd like to get some input from others.

If you are a friend, a reader, in a band, from a record label I'd love to get your input (Kyle, Mark, Allan, Jen, Bob, Ack I'm looking at you), and it'd be great to get as diverse group as possible involved so... AND you can expect a contribution from the LOBM editor-in-chief, Liz, as well.

What am I looking for? I dunno... much like most of my writing and half-baked-get-rich-quick-schemes I haven't really thought it through. Possibly a top-5 of whatever you want, videos, albums, songs... 5 albums that you'll remember from '08... 5 albums that people should hear (feel free to include your own album)...

In an ideal world, I'd like to post these, say, next weekend before I put up my Best of '08... so if you are a band, blogger, this might be a good way to connect with others (I'll link to you)...

Please myspace me, facebook me, or email me at: londononburgeoningmetropolisATgmailDOTcom

EDIT: A couple of comments have been deleted if only to make sure that the end list is a surprise... or something.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Before and After: Broken Social Scene @ the Sound Academy - Nov.28.2008

I'm not really expecting much out of Broken Social Scene tonight, I haven't particularly enjoyed any of the BSS "presents" albums, and while I do really like both You Forgot It In People and Broken Social Scene, I'm kind of expecting a "presents" heavy set-list. Also, probably surprising to no one who reads this even semi-regularly, I'm not big on the whole "jam-band" thing, so I think the band is at its best with Feist, Milan, or Haines singing over their mess of guitars, drums, helmets, or whatever else they play.

I've never seen BSS before and my buddy KW (who is an outstanding writer and you should all read) and his wife Carrie are going so even if the show isn't great we should still have a good time. So, maybe having relatively low expectations is a good thing. We'll see...

Well, that was a pretty solidly bizarre night from beginning to end.

First, none of us realized that the Sound Academy was actually 'the Docks', not that that would've helped us get there since it is basically in the middle of nowhere... maybe we should've asked that first hooker we passed by on Queen St...

Second, that place was an absolute zoo... I guess Broken Social Scene is, how do you say, kind of a big deal.

Third, it did turn out to be a "presents" heavy show, but, it wasn't all bad. I did enjoy some of the Drew or Canning songs, but by and large the highlights of the night were hearing all the songs that made BSS so popular in the first place: "7/4 Shoreline", "Superconnected", "Cause=Time", "Anthem ..." (a few of which featured a guest appearance from Emily Haines) etc.

Fourth, remember how I said BSS is "kind of a big deal"? Well, they act like it, which I kind of think is unappealing. It was just the swagger, the way they walked around the stage, and how annoyed they got when people talked through parts of their set. I mean, with the amount of material that the BSS collective has released not everyone was going to walk away from their set happy; so, as a band you've got to realize people who are unhappy are going to talk or whatever... but, if you're going to be annoyed by people talking then you've got to try and please most people, be conscious of what your audience is going to want, and try and deliver. What this means is that, playing a tape of one of your band member's neighbors talking, rather than playing a popular song like "Windsurfing Nation" isn't exactly going to endear you to the bulk of your audience.

In contrast, I realize the RAA/Ohbijou/The Acorn are all smaller bands, but it was great to see them so greatful for the attention... Kyle told a similar story about seeing Stars (the band) at YorkFest earlier this year where Torq was very thankful for the attention, and presumably had a better rapport with the crowd...

Fifth, I can't imagine what trying to get out of "that place" would've been like had a been near the front, or, say, not right at the back. And, even being right at the back, we were lucky enough to share a cab with a lone middle-aged dude and we, collectively, paid 30 bucks for the cab back to Union (even though "that place" claimed to have a shuttle for $2, which did not exist).

Sixth, after our adventure getting down to and then out of "that place", Kyle sends me a text at approx. 1:30 saying that they got trapped on the subway going home because, apparently, someone jumped in front of a train... yikes...

Seventh, sorry, that was really long winded. Ahh, the things that happen to me when I have caffeine.

Bob Battams aka. Quadb has a much more charitable review.

The Acorn/Ohbijou and The Rural Alberta Advantage @ Lee's Palace - Nov. 27.2008

First, before I say anything to make you think otherwise, I had an excellent time last night. All three bands were awesome. Was it annoying that there were a pile of people at the back of the room who talked through the whole show? Uh, yes.

Second, props go to Liz, Jen (not that Jen - although I suspect she was there), Liz's Mom, and the Artist known as Mr. Grosman and Mrs. Grosman (sorry if that just got really awkward for the two of you, but you wanted a shout out, and, let's be honest, I'm just not a great writer).

The Rural Alberta Advantage were up first, and, well, I thought they were in much better form than when I saw them last. They played a lot of stuff from their record Hometowns with a bunch of new stuff that I hadn't heard before (does this mean there's a new album on the way?... I hope). And while their sound isn't for everyone, I think they gained a few more fans, particularly since it was very buz-ay even early on last night.

(Oh, and Nils, if you're reading this, Liz felt much better about your vocal performance... so, I may get to play your record at home more often.)

Ohbijou was second. They are a really awesome band, one of my favourites from the GTA, and definitely one that Liz and I both listen to a lot. But, this was not a good venue for them at all... either that or they have a lot of a-holes that went to watch them/The Acorn last night. The first time I saw them (Aoelian Hall - London On - opening for Great Lake Swimmers - where GLS recorded Oniagra), the acoustics were amazing, everyone was dead silent, possibly because they were knocked on their collective asses by how good Ohbij was/is.

Especially after re-listening to some of the audio from the show, the chatter has made me increasingly more upset. Maybe the talking had something to do with Ojbij playing a lot of stuff that wasn't on their outstanding debut Swift Feet for Troubling Times and the crowd being unfamiliar with the new stuff... either way... you need to shut up.

On the bright side, they've got a new record coming out March '09, which, at this point, might be my front-runner for album of the year '09 (that is, unless KanYe releases an album).

(anyone else get a Jimmy Fallon vibe from Rolf [right]?)

I've seen the Acorn once before, and maybe I have a terrible memory, but I didn't remember them rocking out like that... the percussion gave off this unbelievable tribal kind of feel (that Mr. Grosman remarked on after the show), they wailed on their guitars (like I do in the Rock Band game), and they were generally just awesome.

The funniest moment of the night...

Girl in Crowd: "Wooooo.... TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF!"
Rolf: "No, SERIOUSLY you take your shirt off... "

I like living in Toronto...

Also: "History Jen" + her thoughts on the show.
Additionally: Paul comments on the RAA's record Hometowns.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Toronto Raptors in the First Eighth of the Season...

14 games into the season the Raptors are .500, and are likely to be 5 games under .500 by December 7th (their next 5 games are against Atl, LAL, DNV, UTH, PTB). Suffice to say that this is probably not where many, if not all of us were hoping/expecting the Raps to be.

What's going wrong? Well, its not the O'Neal trade, I think that's worked out unbelievably well. CB4 has been playing absolutely out of his mind, and I think a good amount of that credit has to go to JO who has freed Bosh up on the defensive end and given him space to do what he does best.

You also can't blame Bargnani. He's become a legit 3rd scorer, is a tough match-up the same way that Dirk is, and is playing some pretty reasonable defence.

Jose? Well, he's turning the ball over a little more (but, really, he's playing more too), he's had a couple of bad shooting nights, but by and large he's doing exactly what he was doing so well last year.

So, if your 3 best players are playing somewhere between very well and outstanding... shouldn't the Raps be having a good season?

I'm not sure I need to say it....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

About Me

I, for some reason (fear of internet stalkers and identity theft - I mean, I realize I'm no Luke Walton, but still), haven't really posted much about myself. But, after numerous e-mail requests (not really), here's me in the U of T student paper.

So, to answer your question, no, there is nothing that qualifies me to write about music or basketball.

Either way, I'm pretty excited for The Acorn/Ohbijou/The Rural Alberta Advantage (Thursday) and Broken Social Scene/Land of Talk (Friday).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

... and there's a new leader in the club house...

My expectations for Kanye's new one 808s and Heartbreaks, probably couldn't have been too much higher. After all, Graduation was, according to this website, my favourite album of last year. Then, there was all that talk about how Kanye was going to sing, use auto-tune, etc. and some people were pretty crabby about that. I, however, wasn't really that worried about it a month ago, and based repeated listens over the last week I'd say things have worked out somewhere between unbelievably and incredibly well and here's why...

I've never thought Kanye has been a particularly talented rapper, but he has always been an incredibly talented producer. So, after getting his heart smashed into a million-pieces by former fiance Alexis Rainey, I think all Kanye's creative producorial juices (that's what she said) went into the new album. It's different, somber, dark in places, catchy; and above all else it shows that the Louis Vitton Don has a heart, and is not just a man in the "five thousand dollar suit (C'Mon!)".

Basically, every track is an absolute jem. Its the Best of the Year, and I'm thinking it may actually jump immediately on to my Desert Island Albums list. Maybe I'm over-doing it... who's to say. Liz says (and I am quoting directly, about my love for Kanye) "You're in lust... wait to see if it grows into love..." and she's probably right, she usually is... its just so good right now.... please send your thoughts and prayers to Liz who will have to put up with my playing this album on repeat and singing Kanye around the apartment for the next...

Friday, November 21, 2008

... uh... er... ummm...

Did anyone else threaten to jump off their balcony before/during/after the Raptors game tonight? Just me?

I mean, the Raptors are playing well: Bargnani, O'Neal, and the CB4 is playing just about as anyone in the NBA. The problem, of course, is that they are not playing well when it counts (at the end of games). Tonight vs. the Nets was a prime example where the Raps played exceptionally well, but managed the game very, very, poorly; and management, well, isn't that the job of .... the coach?

I was thinking about this after the game though... and here's what I've come up with...

What on earth has made anyone think that Sam Mitchell is going to be a good coach? He was a very mediocre player through his NBA career, he's never as far as I know won anything as an adult, what makes anyone think he can teach this team how to win? Not very profound, I know. But I don't think its a particularly complicated problem. At this point I think hiring Whoopi Goldberg might be a good move...


"Fire Sam Mitchell ... DOT COM"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Desert Island Albums...

Mark posted his 12 desert island albums... yesterday. I thought I'd weigh in and post mine except that there is absolutely no way that I'm going be able to pick just 12, since, in all likelihood I'll look at it tomorrow and kick myself for not including something. So, this may actually become some type of running segment... who knows ... its impossible to say... there is really no way of knowing...

without further ado, my 12 desert island albums in the order that they come to me...

Tom Petty Full Moon Fever [1989]
"Free Fallin'" "I Won't Back Down" "Yer So Bad" "Runnin' Down A Dream"
Along with anything Roy Orbison, Traveling Wilburys, and the Beatles reminds me of driving around with my Dad when I was a kid.

Hayden Everything I Long For [1995]
"Bad As They Seem" "Skates" "Assignment in Space with Rip Foster" and the secret song
Re-examining the track list I can't say that I absolutely love any of the songs except for 'Bad As They Seem', but this album is more about what it represents than anything else. What does it represent? Good question, I'm not sure, but I'm sure its really profound.

Sufjan Stevens Illinois [2005]
"Chicago" "Decatur" "Casimir Pulaski Day"
This might be the musical equivalent of The Wire (the TV show)... I've never heard anyone say anything bad about it, critically adored, and there are way too many people that haven't heard it.

Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot [2002]
"I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" "Ashes of American Flags" "I Am the Man That Loves You"
A great album that is about 10 times better because of the struggle the band went through to release the album (as documented in the film, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart).

Nas Illmatic [1994]
"Life's A Bitch" "It Ain't Hard to Tell" "The World Is Yours"
Best Rap album ever.

The Arcade Fire Funeral [2004]
"Wake Up" "Crown of Love" "In the Backseat"
Remind. Me. To. See. Them. Live.

Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA [1984]
"Born in the USA" "I'm On Fire" "Dancing In the Dark"
Obviously the title track is the one that everyone remembers, but the rest of the album including 'I'm on Fire' and 'Dancing in the Dark' (which has to be one of the best all time music videos if only for Springsteen's dancing) included are really, really, really good.

Chad VanGaalen Infiniheart [2004]
"Clinicly Dead" "Blood Machine" "Echo Train"
He's creepy, the album wanders a little and is probably about 4 - 5 tracks too long (a problem that was remedied with this year's Soft Airplane), but he is the Tim Burton of singer-songwriter music, and adds a little variety to the list.

Michael Jackson Thriller [1982]
"Thriller"... duh, "Beat It" "Billie Jean"
An obviously choice, I think, so long as I wouldn't have to be on the Island with MJ...

Ben Fold
Ben Folds Live [2002]
"One Angry Dwarf" "Not the Same" "Rock this Bitch"
... because it reminds me, and will always remind me, of the EPIC show Ben put on when I went to go see him on my birthday in Oswego, NY where he played a virtually identical setlist with the exception of playing a song about his balls (yes, those balls) and sweatpants...

Feist The Reminder [2007]
"I Feel it All" "My Moon My Man" "Sea Lion Woman"
Because I relized I got all the way here and there wasn't album that a female played a major role (no, The Arcade Fire doesn't count). And really, with the exception of the next album I couldn't think of a better fit.

Nirvana Unplugged in New York [1994]
"About A Girl" "All Apologies" "The Man Who Sold The World"
... because I, too, had an undercut....

... a couple of final notes:
  • I would've loved to include a couple of more hip-hop albums, since I feel like this list isn't really indicative of how much I really do enjoy the Rap Music. But, honestly, I couldn't really think of any that from start to finish were solid all the way through enough to bump Feist, which I think is probably the weakest link on the list. A couple of candidates were: Jay-z's Black Album, Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek Reflection Eternal, Mos Def's Black on Both Sides, Brother Ali's Champion EP.
  • also, a few more recent (and unique) 'indie' albums like: Jens Lekman's Oh You're So Silent Jens, Beirut's Gulag Orkestar (which was initially on the list until I remembered that I forgot Folds), Stars Set Yourself on Fire, BSS s/t, TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain, among others.
  • No, no Beatles albums. I do like the Beatles, a lot in fact, but I can't say that any of their albums really jumps out at me as deserving - since I'm not a Sgt. Pepper's fan and I think that the White Album is just too long to include, or it should count as two since its a double CD (quadruple record?).
  • Other notable absences from artists bands I really like: Neil Young, Roy Orbison, the Travelling Wilburys, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, etc.

Miracles of Modern Science s/t EP

Its not as though I'm running Pitchfork here or anything, but I get a substantial number of albums in my inbox every week, and, like the guys who wrote the Rebel Sell (a great book if you haven't read it) I'm a big believer that the cream rises to the top. Basically, if you're good at what you do, people will begin to notice. Now, obviously, there are exceptions to every rule (see: Wire, the), there are other things that get in the way, but, this is a rule that I believe to be mostly, if not completely, true. So, the bottom line is for a blog like mine, is that most of the unsolicited submissions I get are, well, somewhere between crappy and unpolished.

The self-titled EP by Miracles of Modern Science is somewhere near the unpolished end, but contains enough really interesting moments to make me wonder whether they'll be able to 'kick it up a notch' on a follow up full length. Perhaps the EP is interesting because there aren't so many bands kicking around with that are almost entirely composed of string instruments (a double bass, a violin, two cellos, a mandolin + drums), maybe its the spacesuits, but whatever it is, its interesting enough to have it rise above the fray.

If I had to suggest listening to one song, it'd be:
[mp3] Miracles of Modern Science - 524

But, if you want to listen to the whole album its available for free here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Nature of Things...

The Nature of Things by David Suzuki Jon McKiel had been a real adventure for me to get my hands on, but based on the three singles ('War on You', '123 My Friends', and 'Somebody's Listening')I had sitting on my computer I figured it was worth it to keep bothering people until I got a copy. So, Allan ended up forwarding me a copy - as he sometimes does - and, here we are.

The album? Much different than the singles, I think. I was under the impression that McKiel was kind of a power-popper, kind of like a solo version of Two Hours Traffic or something. Turns out, he's more of a mid-90s alterna-rocker, and sounds a little more like ... well, he could've been on Muchmusic when I was in high school. He could've been a guy that had his singles on Big Shiny Tunes. I think what should've tipped me off was the use of the word 'cocaine' on 'Somebody's Listening'... only alterna-rockers use the word cocaine...

Is this a bad thing? I don't think so. I've listened to the album, say, 6 or 7 times to and from school over the last couple of weeks and I can say that it has a little more depth, at least musically than your average, straight-ahead alterna-band. At times, I think the lyrics, themes, etc. are a little generic, but in spots the lyrics are pretty on point ("I put on my indie rock clothes and go and see a rock and roll band/we look like a hundred bucks just tell me where its cool to stand")... its just like he's talking to me... swoon...

The result? It's probably not a life changing album - I've been sorting through my Best of 2008 files, and there are I'd say at least a half dozen of them so far this year, life changers, that is - but its an album that, in 6 months when I'm scrolling through my iPod I'll say to myself "yeah, that was pretty good" and throw it on...

[mp3] Jon McKiel - 123 My Friends

Sunday, November 16, 2008

NuJazz Festival - King Sunshine @ the Opera House, Nov. 15

When we left the house on Saturday night I had really no idea that Liz and I were going to end up at the 1st Annual (can you really use that if your event has been running for less than, say, 5 years?) NuJazz Festival. I did know that the weather was Shitty, I was pretty comfortable sitting on the couch at home, and that free concert up at the North York Public Library was much, much, closer - thus making it between 100 and 1,000 times more appealing. But, Liz's friend Maya is (or was) the lead singer of the 'NuJazz' band King Sunshine, who were playing down at the Opera House... ahhh what we do for love.

So, given that this (NuJazz) scene really wasn't (and really isn't my bag) I had a pretty awesome time. I mean, not a get-smashed-carve-up-the-dancefloor kind of good time, but I enjoyed the music a lot more than I thought I would. I've heard Liz rave about how good Maya's voice is, and I'd seen her once before a couple years ago in a much more subdued setting, and she was very impressive. Like, she has one of the - if not the most - impressive voice I have ever heard live. She has a Miriah Carey-esque range, which doesn't really translate on any of the recorded King Sunshine or the stuff I've heard or Maya's myspace stuff.

Anyways, this was Maya's last gig with King Sunshine, which is a shame, one because the rest of the band didn't take the time to thank her. Also, because without her King Sunshine is just another house band (I've expressed my distaste for jam-band-type stuff before), and it seemed to me that she really carried the band. I mean, you could hear the crowd talking and generally not paying attention through the jam sessions, but when she was on stage everybody was having a good time. But, I suppose I'm a little biased. Hopefully things will work out well for everyone.

King Sunshine @ the Opera House, Nov.15 "Monkey" feat. a dancing gorilla

Miss Maya 'Smile' (Lily Allen cover) - Outstanding -

And now that I've found this video of her doing a cover of Lily Allen I will begin my quest to get her to do a cover of 'Valerie' (who knew Wale was in the video?)... expect a few more updates on Maya in the future.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Way to Normal by Ben Folds

I've been a fan of Ben Folds for a long, long, time. I've seen him more than just about any other artist/band/act. I've driven - well, I've been in a car for more than six hours - to go see him in a gym in Oswego, NY. In fact, and I'm embarrassed to admit this, I'm pretty sure I used to have a login ID to a Ben Folds message board; and, I'd count Whatever and Ever Amen and Ben Folds Live as two of my, say, 50 favourite albums ever. Then, there was the disaster that was ... I don't even remember... googling... googling... Songs for Silverman.

Folds, I thought, was always his best when he was punchy, critical, and telling hilarious stories (fictional or not) about crazy shit, and since he's got married and had a daughter he's probably been doing his best work writing music for children's movies.

My first impression of Way to Normal is that he's trying to return to that energetic story telling that made him (kindof) famous. Pitchfork has, surprisingly, decided that they don't really buy his act anymore. And, after a few listens, neither do I. I do really like the first song 'Hiroshima (B-b-b-benny hit his head)', but that's the only story that: a) is not really boring; b) doesn't feel like he's trying to relive his youth by pounding on the keys for just about no reason; or c) more generally, writing songs just to write.

Frankly, I think he ought to just embrace the stage of life that he's in and maybe start writing songs about going to Bed, Bath & Beyond... so, in the words a once great song-writer "give me my money back/give me my money back, you b@#ch"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tales of Interest: Holding My Breath and Hoping Calderon Isn't Out For Too Long Edition...

  • On a brighter note, I've been really digging the Knux Remind Me In 3 Days... which, if you like any hip-hop at all, I suspect you'll enjoy it. Its experimental enough for the hipster crowd, but for any of the read 'heads out there I think its got enough of that real hip-hop je ne sais pas... I really didn't sell that, did I? Maybe it is just hipster-hop...
  • I'm not sure what to make of the new album A Hundred Things that Keep Me Up at Night by Swedes Love Is All. I really, really liked their first album - which had a pile of incredibly catchy singles - and this one sounds the same, but without any of those real stand out singles or any kind of variation, really. I'll probably give it a few more listens, but I'm just not sure its going to do it for me...
  • Lastly, did anyone see this? When there's seven seconds left and the coach calls the inevitable, pass the ball to your best guy, watch him dribble down the clock and take an off balance jumper with a hand in his face, is there a guy you'd pick over Paul Pierce?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Central Meaner Street by EX-PO

First, did anyone make it to the Provincial Parks CD release?

Second, how 'bout them Raptors? Nice little come back win in Charlotte, huh? I guess they were playing Charlotte, but still... third, why do I see Chris Humphries on the floor now when the Raptors aren't up or down 20 late in the fourth quarter?

Forth, I've been going through a phase with a lot of good music lately. Hooray! So, if you're new and been noticing my recommendations change a lot you should know that I'm not Rolling Stone and you do not get a recommendation (from the R.O.B. - god, don't you love it when I refer to myself in the third person with my self-given nickname? - I sound like a rapper, don't I?) just for showing up. In fact, the 'recently added' list on my iTunes has, I'd say, at least 4 or 5 albums that should figure somewhere on my year end list.

So about this EX-PO... EX-PO (otherwise known as Dean Marino - or, I assume, since that's who e-mailed me) does "a lot of work with ... bands like Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians, Amy Milan, etc." and, well, that work it evident in the production of Central Meaner Street. That said, there is something about the album as a whole that doesn't really jive for me. There are a lot of catchy hooks (see: 'My New Story'), but Marino's voice may just be outmatched by the production. And, while it may not be my favourite, in the interest of promoting artists from my new home city I'd encourage you at least to check out his myspace...

[mp3] EX-PO - My New Story

EX-PO is at Racho Relaxo December 4th...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hymns for a Dark Horse by Bowerbirds

After looking through the wikipedia entry for 'bowerbird' I can't say that I see anything remarkable about the bird, but, luckily for the band they are much more... markable...
wow... good one Rob... eloquent ... very eloquent... good intro...

I came across Bowerbirds through a Take Away Show via La Blogotheque probably, say, six months ago and promptly forgot about them until I was puttering around on La Blogotheque last week. I picked up their album Hymns for a Dark Horse, which was released in its initial form in 2007 (I guess), but I suspect there has been some kind of re-release since Amazon says '08 - which means I get to count it for this year's 'Best of' list.

The album? Well, I think they kind of sounds like a more American version of the Acorn - with a girl. What exactly makes it more American? If I could explain that, people might pay me to right this shit... Or, maybe I just think they sound the same since the lead singers look somewhere near exactly the same.

The outstanding one-two punch to start off the album (I'm pretty sure you need to left-click, and then it'll take you to the page to download... I think):

[mp3] Bowerbirds - Hooves
[mp3] Bowerbirds - In Our Talons

If someone wants to let me know whether this works that'd be great... AND thanks to Allan for helping me out with this...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Acorn/Ohbijou EP + Heron Act by The Acorn

I don't have anything particularly inspiring to say about either the Acorn/Ohbijou split EP, or The Acorn's live release Heron Act, except that they're both about exactly what you'd expect, excellent.

Although, I will say that its probably a testament to how good both bands are that both these releases, while excellent, didn't exactly floor me. And, I suspect, this is probably since they aren't really new, but a way for both bands to make a little cash (which is okay, since they're not exactly millionaires) and to tide people like me over until they release a new, new record.

[mp3] Ohbijou - Darcy
[mp3] The Acorn - Good Enough (Cyndi Lauper Cover)

Oh, and if you haven't got your tickets for their Nov. 27th show at Lee's Palace, I'm going to suggest you do so soon, since, you know, it'll sell out. Also, as an added bonus, I'm under the impression that the Rural Alberta Advantage will be opening for the both of them.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Iron Ponies EP by Provincial Parks

If I had to be honest, which I don't, I really wasn't expecting to enjoy Iron Ponies EP by Provincial Parks. My initial reaction, was to recoil at the adult-contempo rock/pop sound, but I did give it chance and boy-howdy am I glad that I did.

(Rob spends an incalculable amount of time thinking about how to try and convince readers to listen to the record even though he's compared the band to ones that his parents would listen to.)

And really, now that I think about it, once you've gone through your teenage angst period this issue of genre shouldn't be a big deal. I mean, good music is good music, right?

(Rob spends time thinking about all the artists he likes that his parents do also... he comes up with: A bunch from the '60s/70s/80s, Feist, Basia Bulat, Coldplay, Great Lake Swimmers, The Acorn, Ohbijou, and then decides its enough that he doesn't have to justify his initial reaction to the album anymore.)

What I really like about the about the album, particularly since it was produced in the band's basement, is how smooth it is and how it flows (one might say like a late summer breeze) from beginning to end. And while the album is smooth and catchy, little things like the noise of the Ossington subway stop at the end of 'Scenes & Faces' show the kind of creativity that you don't see from other bands who play this type of music.

(Rob tries to decide which song(s) to post since he feels like all of them are really good and songs that his readers should hear. He decides on 'Open Grave' the kick-ass opener and 'Scenes & Faces' 'Islands' because its also really good, and that's what I'm listening to at the moment. He tries to figure out a way to explain that the difficulty in choosing which songs to post is indicative of how excellent this EP is. He fails, since, this descriptive writing thing - ironically - is not really his bag, baby.)

[mp3] Provincial Parks - Open Grave
[mp3] Provincial Parks - Islands

More good news! The band is having their CD release party at the Mod Club this Saturday, Nov. 8.

Even more good news! They have offered to let you in for FREE if you email them at: provincialparks [AT] gmail [DOT] com

Sadly, I will not be able to attend (parents are coming to visit, if only I had known I probably would've actually brought them but we're going to see Jersey Boys), but you should go and see a band that I think has put out one of the three best debut EPs this year.