Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where does this come from?!?

Just listen to this.

Coke Rats - "Dinnertime" (Download)


I KNOW, RIGHT?

We mentioned Coke Rats a little while a go, and apparently for good reason. "Dinnertime" is like a less refined Grizzly Bear, or a more morbid Page France. And yet how unknown is this band? When I Googled their name for a picture, I just got images of Coke bottles and rats. After searching HypeM, I can say that as of last night no one else has written about them. This just blows my mind.

When you add The Heligoats to the equation, you notice that Slanty Shanty Records is turning into quite the little gold mine. Pay attention now before everyone else does.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

YE-LID Year-end 2009!

Album Of The Year: Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

Song Of The Year: Animal Collective - "My Girls"

Remix Of The Year: Animal Collective - "My Girls (Hatchmatik Disco Bootleg)"

Album Cover Of The Year: Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image Of The Year:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Headline Of The Year: Help Animal Collective's Josh Dibb Pay for a Trip to a Festival in Africa

The "We're Not Animal Collective" 2nd Best Band Of The Year That No One Really Cared About (Thank You Animal Collective): The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

What a fantastic year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Well isn't this just WONDERFUL!

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So yeah, this crazy thing happened called LIFE. It's this odd phenomenon where shit happens and it happens all at once, leaving you with no spare time for novelties like kick-ass music blogs. And it's at this point that I've decided to say FUCK LIFE and rise like a phoenix from the ashes to start providing our lovely readers with some lovely content. It's all rather lovely.

There might be some changes coming around these parts. I'm wholly unsure of what these changes are, but just assume they will be mindblowing and incredible.

In the meantime, my favourite remixers Pance Party (quite literally my favourite) have dropped another banger on us, as they've once again teamed up with Chester French. This is a good combo, my friends. Good indeed.

Check it and the badass video for it (which is also doubling as our video of the week since we haven't had one of those in...well, more than a week). And you can get all this badassery in one spot right here.

I HAVE MISSED Y'ALL.

Chester French - "C'Mon (Pance Party Remix)" (Download)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Show Stopper: Timber Timbre with Snowblink


Last night I headed over to The Grad Club at Queen's University to check Arts & Crafts signee and critical darling Timber Timbre. Opening was local act Snowblink, a reverb-heavy guitar duo. The act worked without percussion because they were able to create really nice texture using only looped guitars and the lead singer's delicate, Feist-like voice.

Timber Timbre's atmospheric blues was missing some of the instrumental flourishes that grace his album, but the accompaniment of a violinist and slide guitarist led to a bigger, broader sound than what is found on the CD, and the crowd was rewarded with an engaging, tight set. What made this show a special pleasure to behold was the extraordinary way in which the opening and main acts complemented one another with repeating one another. Check out the single from Timber Timbre's self-titled effort, "Trouble Comes Knocking," in streaming audio or download below. Happy Listening!



Timber Timbre – “Trouble Comes Knocking” (download)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Anya Marina - "Whatever You Like (T.I. Cover)"

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In what is easily one of the sexiest scenes in the history of the show, Gossip Girl had a threesome a couple episodes a go. This is the song that soundtracks it.

Here, Anya Marina does a T.I. cover that works on so many different levels. It's not kitschy like so many indie covers of rap songs are; it's subtle, sexy, and takes on a whole new meaning in her breathy voice. And really, that's what the best covers do: provide a whole new perspective on a song that had previously been considered in only one context. It got her noticed, too, as this popped up on the tail end of the charts this week.

In short, this is pretty spectacular.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Track Review: Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp"

This is the new single from Yeasayer’s new full length due out sometime next February, and keeping in tradition with All Hour Cymbals, “Ambling Alp” is very ,very good. I really like Yeasayer and have always considered them to be in a league of their own for being able to apply keen pop sensibilities to their ear for experimentation, treating listeners to interesting sounds and textures imposed on effective melodies. Do yourself a favour and check out the download and streaming audio below. Happy listening!



Yeasayer – “Ambling Alps” (Download)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Black Moth!!! Super Rainbow!!!

I've been in such a brilliant and cheerful mood these past couple of days. Just turning 20, redefining my relationships with family and close friends in a positive way, playing gigs, jamming harder and better than I ever have, and feeling great about myself. Thus, this post is really just an excuse to post a track that, isn't altogether that recent but, has been feeding that wonderful feeling. Black Moth Super Rainbow's "Smile the Day After Today" from their 2009 LP Eating Us. The simplicity in the note-flow of the synth, the hoppy bass line holding the track together like glue, and the subtle use of tambourine and other percussive instruments draped over the drum pattern all get at me, and well. The song seems to brighten an incredible amount, without overwhelming the listener and with perfect balance. Now that is good feeling & production, if I do say so myself.

Black Moth Super Rainbow - "Smile the Day After Today" (download)

Billboard Thursday: Iyaz - "Replay"

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This entry is going to be short because when it comes to "Replay", there just isn't a whole lot to say.

It's some inoffensive, catchy, Sean Kingston-esque pop that will be stuck in your head for a couple weeks but afterwards be rather unmemorable. Which isn't to say catchiness in and of itself is an inherently bad sole quality to have, but there just isn't anything terribly original about "Replay" that's going to keep it playing on your iPod a few months from now.

Still, enjoy it for a little while, as it is summery and fun, and winter's coming quickly on its way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Video Of The Week: Grizzly Bear - "Ready, Able"

Oh Veckatimest, you bring my heart to tears.
Oh Veckatimest, you will surely move me, for years.
Oh Veckatimest, you truly made my eyes leak,
Oh Veckatimest, you bring us another Vid of the Week.

A lame attempt at poetry, for a not-so-lame music video. "Ready, Able" from Veckatimest finally has an official music video and lord is it tasty. Mmmm.. it gives me wiiiillldd feelings! Check it out to the right or by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rediscovery: The Virgin Suicides Original Score by Air

How did I forget about this album for so long? A recent sojourn reveals what makes good music (and soundtracks) great. Majestic and fragile, epic and intimate, The Virgin Suicides encompasses contrasting moods and tones adhered by several recurring themes. Indisputably Air's finest work, they take their trademark style and apply it on a much grander level to great effect. Listen to it on the train or while walking in the park. Hands down my favourite soundtrack, and yes, this includes YOU, Mark Mothersbaugh. Essential listening for anyone who has ever even kinda liked anything that even sounds a little bit like Air.

Below is "Afternoon Sister," my favourite track, for download and streaming audio, but do yourself a favour and listen to the whole thing. Happy Listening!

Air – “Afternoon Sister” (Download)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Track Review: Syntaks - "Sudden Dream"

Syntaks returns with this, one of two tracks released in anticipation of their new full-length, Ylajali, which came out November 3rd. In “Sudden Dreams” Syntaks creates a sublime soundscape that congeals nicely under a beat that bubbles up halfway through. As the track title may suggest, this is very dreamy and quite etheral. Overall, a pleasant diversion from more structured stuff and is really nice for passive listening or doing homework. Check out the streaming audio and download below. Happy listening!

Syntaks – “Sudden Dream” (Download)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"

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"Just Dance" I loved immediately, but it took me a little while to warm up to "Poker Face". Given that "Bad Romance" is definitely cut from the "Poker Face" cloth, I'm also considering it a bit of a grower. It doesn't have the immediate appeal of something like, say, "Lovegame", but all the elements are there for another #1 hit, which is why it debuted at #9 on the charts this week.

I'm still unsure of how I feel about all the "la-la-roma-roma" shit at the beginning, but I imagine it's the kind of weirdness that will eventually become necessary to the "Bad Romance" sing-alongs. I enjoy the background electro flourishes stolen right out of a Bloody Beetroots song, and the chorus is as epic as one would expect from a new Gaga single.

While I'm not crazy excited about the song in and of itself, it's likely because I've heard better songs off The Fame Monster already, namely the drop-dead gorgeous electro beast that is "Alejandro". "Bad Romance" will play well in clubs, though, which is more than we can say for a lot of attempted club music these days.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

50 Cent = Douche

Is there anything that represents more douchebaggery than a rapper sampling himself for a new song? I'm not talking about someone using a vocal hook, I'm talking about taking a sample from an album you put out approximately two years a go and using it on your new album. Like this:



50 Cent has long ceased to be relevant, but this is just too hilarious not to make mention of. This is presumably a new single (I'm not sure, I just found it) and it takes a line from "I Got Money" and samples it for the hook ("Have a baby by me, baby / Be a millionaire").

Now, "I Got Money" is one of his best songs, and pretty much the only redeemable quality of his last record. But still: it's awkward to sample yourself, and even more awkward to sample the last legitimate hit you had. That's like Timberlake sampling "Sexy Back" for his new single. It's just not right.

"Baby By Me" isn't going to put Fifty back into the limelight, but it will reinforce how unintentionally hilarious he can be. And really, that's his role at this point: all his new singles just spotlight the fact that he's now a parody of himself so we can laugh amongst ourselves and then get the fuck down to "Just A Lil' Bit". Which is to say that it's impossible to hate "Baby By Me" because it's just continuing the natural order of things.

Now someone throw on "Candy Shop".

Show Stopper: Gentleman Reg and The Hidden Cameras


Last Friday night, Toronto-based indie darlings Gentleman Reg and The Hidden Cameras played the second show of their tour at The Grad Club, one of several student-run pubs at Queen’s University. The Grad Club is essentially a century home converted into a drinkin’ hole, with a bar on both floors and an L-shaped music room. Despite the awkward shape of the facilities, the sound was excellent and could be heard at a pleasing volume throughout the establishment. If you’re in Kingston and happen to enjoy good music and beer, a stop by The Grab Club is a good bet.

The music that evening was equally stellar, both bands playing light and energetic indie pop. The two bands complemented each others’ styles very nicely, and the two frontmen, Reg Vermue and Joel Gibb, collaborated on several tunes during each set. There would have been a lot of dancing, but most of the crowd had beer in hand. However, I suspect that this may not be the case for at least some of the shows on the tour schedule, so if you should check out one of these shows, bring your dancing shoes. Below is a song from each artist in streaming audio and download. Happy listening!

Gentleman Reg - "We're In A Thunderstorm" (Download)



The Hidden Cameras - "Death Of A Tune" (Download)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just Listen: Ola Podrida

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I first heard Ola Podrida when he was getting solid reviews from quite a few major music publications for his debut self-titled album. I was hooked from the first listen, and it easily made my top ten list from that year.

So, imagine my face when I get an e-mail from his publicist reminding me that he has new material coming out! It resembled that smiley emoticon represented by the ":D" that no one really uses because it's kind of obnoxious but is meant to embody someone who is REALLY FUCKING HAPPY.

New album Belly Of The Lion doesn't disappoint, either, picking up right where the debut left off with it's folk-y aura and emotional arrangements that beg for you to pay attention to them. Is it blasphemy to say that in a battle between Ola Podrida and Bon Iver, Ola Podrida would win my heart? Potentially, but I don't care because that's how much I love this artist.

The album drops tomorrow, and you can pre-order it here.

Ola Podrida - "Roomful Of Sparrows" (Download)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Trey Songz - "I Invented Sex (Feat. Drake)"

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This song is shockingly awesome.

I'm incredibly ill, so I will simply list all the reasons this song breaks through it's potential mitigating factors (namely, Trey Songz) and becomes amazing:

1. The chorus is spectacular. The Dream-esque vocal hook combined with the song's ludicrously incredible claim - "Girl you gon' think I invented sex" - makes for something catchy and over-the-top, a.k.a. the elements of the best pop songs.

2. The fact that Trey references Usher in verse two is a nice wink to the audience moment. He's fully aware this sounds like an Usher track and is completely alright acknowledging it as such.

3. Drake, always dependable for guest verses, makes a solid appearance that starts weak but returns to his usual level by the end.

4. The beat flows effortlessly and inoffensively, allowing for Trey to walk all over it in the best way possible.

Fantastic.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Video Of The Week: Leonard Cohen! Leonard Cohen!

Video Of The Week on a Monday! BLASPHEMY!

Well, I don't care. Blaspheme away! Leonard Cohen, is one of my all-time favourite songwriters, and the fact that he's Canadian and still sounds breathtaking to this day is just the icing on the cake. So I'm perusing around the internet and find myself some videos, some recordings of Beck & friends recording their own version of Songs of Leonard Cohen, an album filled with wonderful little gems.

One that stood out to me, although they are all so damn delicious, was their version of "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye". A very brilliant take on an already brilliant track. Beck's Record Club features friends such as Nigel Godrich, Giovanni Ribisi, Devendra Banhart, Chris Holmes and more. Check the video to the right of this post.

P.S. If you are brave enough, click here to check out the entirity of their take on the album in video form.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

This is that Swamp Song..

Oh Darren, thanks for posting that massive post featuring all those wonderful artists that have been e-mailing us. I feel slightly ashamed that neither of us had been able to find the time to post about those bands sooner.

But some good did come of this, I fell in love with The Heligoats.

That's right.

L-O-V-E.



H-E-L-I-G-O-A-T-S. Check them out.

Not-So-Daily Mixtape: "PSYCHEDELICIOUS"

Martha, thank you so much for the food, it was all very

P/S/Y/C/H/E/D/E/L/I/C/I/O/U/S/

1. Sunburned Circle - Variksenpelatin (2007)
2. Rainbow Ffolly - Montgolfier (1968)
3. Shugo Tokumaru - Yukinohaka (2006)
4. The Doors - Riders On The Storm (1971)
5. Woods Family Creeps - Howling On Howling (2008)
6. Pink Floyd - Let There Be More Light (1968)
7. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Falling Through a Field (2003)
8. Shape of Broad Minds - Viberian Sun (2007)
9. Panda Bear - Bros. (2007)
10. Grandaddy - Summer... It's Gone (Demo) [2006]
11. Seamonster - Balloonhead, Part Two (2007)
12. The Beatles - Good Morning Good Morning (Take 8) [1966]
13. Of Montreal - Will You Come and Fetch Me? (2004)
14. Tobacco - Pink Goo (2008)

fade awaaaayyyyyy...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Serendipity and Rediscovery In The Pursuit of Knowledge

Well, it's Saturday night, and I'm in the library, and this song that I haven't heard in ages comes up on shuffle.

Not only am I reminded of how much I love this song, but I am also reminded that I should probably be drinking right now.

An ode to intoxication from the one and only Mr. Waits.

Tom Waits – “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)” (Download)

To the beloveds who send me e-mails.

I am SORRY.

The last couple months have been crazy since I moved back to school, and because of that I've had less time for checking the blog e-mail. I've gotten tons of talented people sending me shit, and I haven't had the time to post a good portion of it. This is my making like Little Boots and remedying this shitty situation.

Here's thirteen artists I've really enjoyed from my e-mail, listed from oldest to newest.

Disclaimer: All of these artists deserve far longer write-ups; these accumulation posts won't be happening often if I have anything to say about it.

The Willowz
Like the White Stripes, but with a badass female leading instead of a man who occasionally looks like a badass female.

The Willowz - "Repetition"


Polynya
Some lovely pop-y shoegaze-y garage-y goodness.

Polynya - "Calico"


The Forcefield Kids
Posted about these British rappers before, and they just released a new EP. And by "just" I mean they e-mailed it to me a month a go and I haven't posted it yet.

The Forcefield Kids - "Razorblades"


Blane Fonda
Another we wrote about a while a go, most recent single "Salacious Love" is probably their best work to date.

Blane Fonda - "Salacious Love"


Joshua Jesty
Someone I really should've written about a long time a go (well, all of these people are). Spectacularly good indie rock.

Joshua Jesty - "Someone Worth Hurting"
(click here to download, it's m4a so I can't embed) http://www.divshare.com/download/9018610-bdb

Harper Simon
SoundskindalikeConorOberstbutmorelikeJoshuaRadinifhesangcountrywhat?

Harper Simon - "Shooting Star"


Little Dragon
Lovely, slightly electronic music.

Little Dragon - "Blinking Pigs"


Old World Vulture
A lot of interesting elements in this one, grasshopper. Part of a cool "single-a-month" promotion, too. Good news is that since I'm nearly a month late with this post, new single should be released soon.

Old World Vulture - "Benny"


Nneka
SO MUCH SOUL IT NEEDS TO BE EXPRESSED IN ALL CAPS. Girl is straight up talented.

Nneka - "The Uncomfortable Truth"


Digits
Gorgeous indie electro-pop from Toronto. All of the facts in that previous sentence make me pre-destined to adore this band.

Digits - "Nonstop"


The Heligoats
This is frighteningly good folk music. Frighteningly.

The Heligoats - "Turn Down The Offer"


Coke Rats
This is slightly weirder frighteningly good folk music.

Coke Rats - "Earth Girl"


Yura Yura Teikoku
They're signed to DFA, so obviously I adore them.

Yura Yura Teikoku - "Dekinai"


All these mp3s can be downloaded by clicking on the "share" button on the embedded player.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Chamillionaire - "Good Morning"

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Pussiest. Rap song. EVER. There's a good way to make a "feel good" rap song, and that way is not "Good Morning".

Lets get the obvious out of the way: it's Chamillionaire of "Ridin' Dirty" fame, and he's sampling "Free Fallin'". The sample is...lame, to say the least. It's literally him rapping over "Free Fallin'" with a few drums thrown in, and that's about all that's changed from the original. He's doing this sing-rap thing, which is fine if you're good at it (Kid Cudi) and painful if you're not (Chamillionaire).

Listen Cham (can I call you Cham?). You're famous because of "Ridin' Dirty". PLAY OFF OF THAT. This whole trying to be a "legit" rapper bullshit is just that: bullshit. Have fun with it. "Ridin' Dirty" got so big because of its ridiculousness, and "Good Morning" takes itself way too seriously. No one cares about you anymore, meaning there's no reason to rhyme about your haters since as of right now no one is talking about you. Let loose.

I suppose I'm having some trouble with this track since I've been listening to the best "feel good" rap song of 2009 - Young Money's "Every Girl" - this afternoon, and while the two tracks are wholly different animals, their aim (to improve someone's mood) is the same. One fails, one does not. I assume you're guessing correctly.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Track Review: On Fillmore - "Master Moon"

Not totally knowing what to expect here, I was surprised and quite pleased to find that "Master Moon" is something that skirts that line between ambient pop and some sort of organic lullaby. A basic but airy groove is established, with stops, starts and different sonic accents keeping it interesting for six-plus minutes. A bit experimental to be sure, but a nice diversion from, let's say, soul-crushing mid-terms.

On Fillmore's new release, Extended Vacation, drops November 3rd. Until then, check out the leading track on download and streaming audio below. Happy listening!


On Fillmore – “Master Moon” (Download)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I really want to post the new Rihanna single.

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But here's the thing.

It got released about half an hour a go. I'm in class, and have yet to hear it. Frankly, while I am obnoxious enough to make a blog post in the middle of class, I'm not obnoxious enough to take out my headphones and freak out to the new Rihanna single in the middle of class.

Also because of this dilemma, I can't really preview which YouTube video I can embed here because, once again, I am in class and not that obnoxious. So, here are some potential options of the real single. I'm just gonna throw some digital shit at the proverbial wall and see what sticks.







Here's what I do know for a fact based on early returns.

1. It's a ballad. Boo.

2. It's quite edgy. Yay.

3. It's new Rihanna. Double yay.

I really hope when I get home in an hour I find that one of those videos is legitimately the new Rihanna single. I'm so professional.

There's also a fierce new promo picture of her out for the single (viewable in all the above YouTube clips), but alas, looking at it in the middle of class whilst surrounded by judgmental twenty-somethings would be...awkward.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Show Stopper: Daniel Johnston

Yesterday evening, I managed to get myself a ticket for Daniel Johnston's early show at The Mod Club in Toronto. Not sure what I was expecting exactly, but after listening to his latest record Is And Always Was (buy here) about 5 times in the past few days, I knew that I would absolutely enjoy this experience. I wasn't wrong.

Unfortunately getting there too late to catch any of the opening bands, I managed to get a nice view of the stage once Daniel started his set. Half of which was him and a guitar, playing some classics like "Hey Joe" and a great rendition of The Beatles' "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" in which everyone in the building joined in. It brought on such an uplifting feeling, which I'm sure we all felt strongly.

He took a short break and was back on, this time with a full band backing him up. He played some greats from the new release, like "Fake Records of Rock n' Roll", "Mind Movies", "Light of Day", "Tears" and threw in a cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" for good measure. After he left the stage, the crowd begins chanting 'Daniel!' and he comes out with one last gift for us all, in the form of "True Love Will Find You In The End". The whole atmosphere of the show, left everyone with warm hearts and brilliant smiles. It is and always was an experience I'll surely not forget.

Daniel Johnston - "Tears" (download)

Sidenote: Daniel also left the audience with a reason for more excitement, as another new record will be completed very shortly. Yay!

I get on a bus tomorrow morning.

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And I'm not nearly as sad about it as this mp3 makes it sound.

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Bus Song" (Download)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Midterms are KICKING my ASS.

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And now a message from our sponsors.

"Kids. Don't do post-secondary education.

I know they're all like, 'You need it to get a good job,' and I say FUCK THAT. I will gladly work in a position of unskilled labour if it means I don't have to go through the bullshit that is midterm season. Because it's at this point of the year that all the professors get together and say, 'How can we fuck these young adults up the most?' And then they decide the best way to go about it would be to put major tests worth almost half of one's grade all together in a week long span.

I urge you: the stress is not worth it. And I hear WalMart is hiring, anyways."

Belle And Sebastian - "We Rule The School" (Download)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Ke$ha - "TiK ToK"

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Two unbelievably amazing things happened today in Billboard-land.

1. In a shocking (but kind of wonderful) twist, Britney Spears' "3" premiered at #1. I don't know if this is surprising to everyone or just me, but regardless it's pretty incredible. I figured after "Radar" had middling results that Brit was probably done for 2009, but apparently not.

2. My favourite nonsense pop song of the year has popped up on the charts, and I COULD NOT BE MORE PLEASED.

Ke$ha is like...I don't even know how to describe her. She can't really sing (as evidenced by the auto-tune), she can't really rap (as evidenced by...the rapping), and she can't really dance (as evidenced by the hilariously under-budgeted video below). Nope, Ke$ha (and yes, that dollar sign is necessary) is surviving based on sheer force of personality, and she's doing a fucking awesome job of it.

My other favourite off-the-wall pop song of 2009, Electrik Red's "We Fuck You", is a wholly different entity from "Tik Tok"; whereas "We Fuck You" tries to overpower you, "Tik Tok" invites you into it's bizarre world of debauchery. The GaGa influences are there, clearly, but I'm not mad; more "Just Dance" rip-offs should be this fun, this mindless, this engaging.

I don't think a better party-starter has been put out this year. Don't believe me? I dare you to put this on around your friends and see what happens. Because in my experience, it generally leads to a damn good time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Video Of The Week: Dan Deacon - "Paddling Ghost"

This week's vid of the week, is for a track that blew me away. I haven't experienced a combination of audio and video in a music video telling a story this adventurous in quite some time. "Bromst" is a wonderful album, finally sat down and listened to it on vinyl the other day, and this is a great track, plus the puppets and set materials are just so cuuuutee. Check it out to your right, or by clicking right here.

:3

Dan Deacon - "Paddling Ghost"
Directed by Natalie van den Dungen

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Track Review: Vampire Weekend - "Horchata"

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for since you listened to “Oxford Comma” 187 times in a row: a new Vampire Weekend song/album (!)

But first, a lesson from my best friend, Wikipedia: Horchata is “the name for several kinds of traditional (Caribbean) beverages, made of ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley or tigernuts.” Mmmm, tigernuts.

But I digress. It so happens that Ezra Koenig has been drinking this stuff and wrote a song about it, and it ain’t all bad. The African/World influence is more pronounced than on their self-titled debut, and the instrumentation is more subdued but catchy in its own way. This one is definitely a grower. The same hallmarks of what made Vampire Weekend such a success are still here, but so are the things that cause ire in some folks as well (e.g. lack of a bottom end). Basically, this tune won’t make Vampire Weekend any new fans, and it remains to be seen if this song, not as immediately rewarding as anything on the debut, will be lost unto their legions of fans. “Horchata” appears on Contra, which drops January 12th. In the meantime, check out the streaming audio and download below. Happy listening!

Vampire Weekend – “Horchata” (Download)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Stressed out like...something that gets stressed easily.

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There's so much going on in my life right now, I don't even know where to start. Not bad things, just a lot of commitments all at once, and it can be hard to keep up.

I know you know how I'm feeling. Here's an mp3 for it.

Justice - "Stress" (Download)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oh, and there's also this.



Is this song awful? Yes.

Is this song also amazing? Yes.

Britney Spears has this special gift where she can crank out songs that are absolute shit, but a special kind of absolute shit that doubles back on itself and becomes not shit. Her singles vary on their ability to transform from shit to not shit, but they generally do a fairly good job. Let me help you out by placing "3" on the Britney Shit To Not Shit Scale.

Not shit: "Toxic"

Somewhere in between shit and not shit: "3"

Shit: "Do Somethin'"

So there you go.

I'll post something more indie soon, I promise.

New Lady GaGa exists. Somehow I didn't know until right now.





Verdict:

"Bad Romance" - I would dance to this song.

"No Way" - I would listen to this song on repeat for hours at a time. In fact, I'm doing so currently.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Owl City - "Fireflies"

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Owl City is something of a guilty pleasure of mine. No, their "Postal Service's less indie cousin" schtick can get old from time to time, but occasionally you just need a dose of unadulterated electronic sugar. For those times, Owl City is here to deliver.

Why have they gotten such mainstream success even while in the centre of the clusterfuck that is Postal Service rip-offs? I think it has something to do with the earnestness of the lyrics, which are both the band's more endearing and most annoying quality. They throw out a lot of clunkers, but occasionally they hit gold with the kind of lines that are tailor-made for Facebook statuses.

"Fireflies" is one of the times they get it right, which is why I imagine it's bordering on the top ten of the Billboard charts. It's simple and charming, with the auto-tuned vocals flowing seamlessly over the electronic backing track. It's not a monumental artistic achievement, but it certainly is pretty. And really, what's wrong with that?

Monday, October 5, 2009

It May Not Be New (But It's New To You)...The Guys - "Man With A Moustache"


These dudes had a local hit with this outrageously fun party song about a year ago, but if you’re not from a very specific region in South-western Ontario, this is probably quite foreign.

Warning: will make you want to cultivate outrageous facial hair (even more). Happy Listening!

The Guys – “Man With A Moustache" (Download)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Track Review: Basia Bulat - "Gold Rush"

Toronto songstress Basia Bulat is back, and in complete contrast to the new Midnight Juggernauts offering (see below), this track off of her upcoming release Heart Of My Own is better than anything from 2007’s Oh, My Darling.

“Gold Rush” can go from the most bombast a folk-pop outfit can muster up to a sublime mandolin and accordion arrangement in a heartbeat, and it works wonderfully. The song is very dynamic, emotionally compelling and Basia reaches heights here never imagined by her past work. If you think Feist is a bit too coy, check out this track and watch for the release of Heart on My Own on Jan. 26th, 2010. Happy listening!

Basia Bulat - “Gold Rush” (download)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Welcome To Autumn

Hey everybody out there. Welcome to Autumn. My favourite season of all time. Enjoy this track by a Mr. Lekman to ring in the fall season.

Jens Lekman - "Maple Leaves" (download)

Billboard Thursday: Absolutely not, Ms. Underwood.

Don't get me wrong. I can appreciate all genres of music, even country. But, like, when it comes to Carrie Underwood's new single (and biggest Billboard gainer of the week) "Cowboy Casanova"...



...no. Just no.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Video Of The Week: HEALTH - "DIE SLOW"

This week's Video Of The Week is for HEALTH's new single, "DIE SLOW". The editing and flowing colours blew me away. A perfectly executed music video for such a tight track. I like to watch videos like this. I like it a lot. Check to the right, or by clickin' this here chicken.

HEALTH - "DIE SLOW"

Directed by HEALTH (John Famiglietti)

Video Premiere: Cool Catz - "Nitro"



You loved it when we posted the mp3 a while back, so here's the official video for the Cool Catz' "Nitro" off the Catnip EP (available here).

The jump rope scenes are especially epic.

Who loves Pance Party? I do.

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Y'all know I can't resist a Pance Party track. I came across this one a while a go, but at that point it was part of a remix contest and I didn't have clearance to post it. Well, now I do. Score one for YE-LID.

It's pretty surreal to hear Lil Jon getting mixed up in Pance Party's hard-as-fuck electro world. Listening to Swizz Beatz yell something about "tryin' to get that Oprah" over a shredding sample is...as awesome as it sounds.

Check it out below, and continue to support the PP boys. They've quickly become my favourite remixers.

Lil Jon - "I Do" (Pance Party Remix) (Download) (Removed by DMCA request.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dirty Sexy Disco

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Mmmm. That is what I have to say about Jessica 6.

As a group that was a part of Hercules And Love Affair's self-titled epic disco revival, they clearly have the pedigree. And while I wasn't the biggest fan of that album, I'm smart enough to know that anyone who had a part in something as exciting as that clearly has some creativity up their sleeve.

Jessica 6 takes Hercules' sound, keeps the disco, and than dirties it up. This ends up creating a sexy brand of music that's held together by Nomi Ruiz's endlessly sultry voice. Seriously, this woman could sing me an oatmeal recipe and I would likely get slightly aroused.

Check out a remix of their song "Fun Girl" below which they've been kind enough to allow as a free download.

Jessica 6 - "Fun Girl (Byzar Remix)” (Download)


Can I also just mention that right as I finished this review, a Jo Dee Messina song blasted on my iTunes? This caused me to think a few things:

1. That's interesting that Jo Dee Messina comes after Jessica 6 alphabetically.

2. Why the fuck is Jo Dee Messina in my iTunes.

3. I kind of like Jo Dee Messina.

4. No, I only kind of like this one Jo Dee Messina song.

5. No, I definitely kind of like Jo Dee Messina.

Track Review: Midnight Juggernauts - "This New Technology"


Seeing as “Tombstone” was THE song of Summer ’08, it was with some anticipation that I approached “This New Technology”, the new track by Midnight Juggernaughts that will be appearing on an album of the same name sometime in 2010.

Y’know how disappointment can be described as the demolishing of anticipation? Well, look no further, beloved readers.

“Tombstone”, and the whole of Dystopia for that matter, was exciting, dynamic and fun. On the other hand, I think this song has some sort of half-baked, heavy-handed commentary on the emergence of technology, brought to you by what sounds like rather old technology (cheesy-ass synths). This whole song sounds like a throw-back, which may be a stab at irony, but it’s also a (rather successful) stab at making mediocre music. Furthermore, the last minute and a half of this tune is a pointless, rather uninteresting outro that robs the song of any accumulated energy as it drifts off into space (where it should probably stay.)

See for yourself in streaming audio and download below. Happy listening!

Midnight Juggernauts - ”This New Technology” (Download)


And, for a moment, let’s remember the good times...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stop! Collaborate & Mixtape: "GARAGE DOOR"

Noise complaint after noise complaint after noise complaint. The last time this happened, my wife was on her death bed! Bring over your instruments, some good company, and be sure to close the

G/A/R/A/G/E_D/O/O/R/
(feat. Your Ex-Lover)

1. The Cars - Moving In Stereo (1978)
2. Blood On The Wall - Hibernation (2008)
3. Sonic Youth - Silver Rocket (1988)
4. Vivian Girls - I Have No Fun (2009)
5. The Willowz - What's Wrong Is Right (2005)
6. The White Stripes - The Hardest Button to Button (2003)
7. The Klaxons - The Night (2007)
8. Arctic Monkeys - When The Sun Goes Down (2006)
9. The Kills - Black Balloon (2008)
10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Phenomena (2006)
11. You Say Party! We Say Die! - You Did It! (2005)
12. Times New Viking - Drop-Out (2007)
13. Black Lips - Boomerang (2005)
14. The Beatles - Eight Days A Week (1964)

everybody will hear us tonight and there's nothing the neighbours can do about it.

Crazy Busy Weekend

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Sorry about the lack of updates this weekend, folks; turns out it's a busy time in all of our lives, but I promise that starting this week things will be back to normal, and my posts will actually be critical in nature rather than just blurbs about my life like this one.

My iTunes said that my choice for songs this post was between Japandroids (who I might be seeing this Saturday) and "Butterfly" by Crazy Town. Good taste won out again, folks. Good taste won out again.

Japandroids - "Crazy/Forever" (Download)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Jay-Z - "Empire State Of Mind (Feat. Alicia Keys)"

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I'm not going to lie: I haven't given The Blueprint III much of a chance. And when I saw that "Empire State Of Mind" had vaulted itself to #5 on the charts, I kind of rolled of my eyes and thought, "Really? I didn't know Alicia Keys still had that kind of mainstream pull." Then I listened to the song.

I don't know how I overlooked this gem. It's easily the best thing I've heard off the record, a piano-led monster that talks up the bravado of being from New York while at the same time holding this weird sense of melancholia at its core. I guess that could be considered a flaw, and it's probably the beat rather than the lyrics that brings this tinge of sadness to the proceedings, but still: it's epic in scope and doesn't disappoint in the least.

When people look back at The Blueprint III a few years from now, they're going to roll right past "Run This Town" and go straight to "Empire State Of Mind". It's got the kind of timelessness that has marked some of Jigga's best work. I'm unsure of where it'll actually fall on his hierarchy of singles, but for an album as disappointing as the one he just put out, this is a great, great song.

Show Stopper: USS with Rebel Emergency @ the Ale House

Obviously having nothing better to do on a Wednesday night, I sojourned off-campus to the Ale House, an 800-capacity bar and live venue in downtown Kingston. Shortly after I arrived, Toronto funk-reggae rock act Rebel Emergency opened up. While not my taste per se, they definitely warmed up the crowd. The highlight was a very competent cover of Kings of Leon’s “Fans”.

Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker combines a more conventionally singer/songwriter (with amplified acoustic guitar) with a hype-man in charge of beats and blips and such, as well as pumping up the crowd. Curiosity mounted as a blender, fresh fruits and an ECG machine were brought on stage, and the trend continued into the act itself, which featured sequins, handstands, lab coats, cartwheels, piggy-back rides, destroying equipment, making a smoothie, crowd-surfing on a surfboard, and cardboard cut-outs of Obama, David Suzuki and Ellen DeGeneres.

Musically, the set tended to become a bit monotonous to a casual fan like myself. While local radio hits “2 and 15/16ths” and “Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole” as well as a nice cover of “Hey Ya” electrified the crowd, only the superfans were truly captivated by the rest. At the end of the night, poor Ellen was thrown into the crowd. A piece of her leg is now on my wall.

If you’re looking for entertainment and unparalleled stage presence, this is a must. For jaw-droppingly awesome music, perhaps not. The venue and sound were okay, and there were about 5 obnoxious assholes in the crowd, but these are things that will change from show to show. If you want a new take on presenting live music in a way that puts the music and spectacle at the same level on less of a Pink Floydian scale, try these guys out. Their touring schedule can be found on their myspace.

For your own enjoyment, feel free to peruse my favourite song of theirs, “2 and 15/16” in streaming audio and download below. Happy Listening!

USS - "2 and 15/16" (Download)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cleansing

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Lately I've found that housecleaning also equals soul cleaning.

Creating positive space feeds my creativity. Which is odd, since I've always been kind of a slob. But recently, I've noticed that it pays to have a cleansed living area.

Try it out sometime.

Bright Eyes - "Cleanse Song" (Download)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Monday

I just acquired a really nice Trainspotting poster.

What a perfect day.

Lou Reed - "Perfect Day" (download)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm Happy

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I came to a really bizarre realization today: I'm happy.

I was just sitting on my bed, making a grocery list, and listening to Page France when it came to me. I'm very satisfied with where my life is at, even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes. As long as I can keep having random moments of clarity like the one I had this afternoon, everything's going to be okay.

And that's a feeling we all need to hold onto.

Page France - "Hat And Rabbit" (Download)

Not-So-Daily Mixtape: "THE BODDIE"

The mind, the soul &

T/H/E_B/O/D/D/I/E/

1. Stars - Time Can Never Kill the True Heart (2003)
2. Final Fantasy - The Ballad of No-Face (feat. Beirut) [2008]
3. Burial - Etched Headplate (2007)
4. Chad VanGaalen - Wing Finger (2006)
5. Ballboy - I Need Two Hearts (2003)
6. Elton John - Don't Go Breaking My Heart (feat. Kiki Dee) [1975]
7. Bike For Three! - All There is to Say About Love (2009)
8. The Magnetic Fields - Torn Green Velvet Eyes (1994)
9. Jens Lekman - Into Eternity (2007)
10. The Unicorns - Jellybones (2003)
11. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cheated Hearts (2006)
12. Manipulator Alligator - Don't Make A Face (2008)
13. Kevin Drew - Aging Faces / Losing Places (2007)
14. The Alan Parsons Project - Eye in the Sky (1982)

& the mixtape

(two songs for this one, couldn't help myself. Bike For Three! is one of the best things to happen to "hip-hop" this year, and Jens Lekman's salsa-inspired track is melt-worthy)

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm Back / A Sunny Day In Glasgow

Beloved YE-LID Reader(s):

There was a time in the past when my contributions to this fine blog decreased and eventually ceased, due to a deteriorating rural Internet connection and the looming task of getting ready to begin my university education this September. Thankfully, this period has come to an end as I am fully moved in here at Queen’s and have an Internet connection that is positively ablaze. Furthermore, Kingston’s strategic position between Montreal and Ottawa means that there will be some great shows here that I will occasionally review. Now let’s get to some music!

A Sunny Day In Glasgow is a Philadelphia four-piece that does nothing that you haven’t heard before, but is pleasing nonetheless and stands up to repeated listens. Identical twin sisters lead the vocal charge on “Ashes Grammar – Ashes Math”, their effervescent melodies floating in and out of the mix amid shoegazey guitars and a conventional drumbeat that prevents the whole thing from slipping into the ether.

In short, a nice, light, dreamy slice of ambient pop that’ll brighten up your Friday. Watch out for A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s new album of the same name as thing song, which came out a mere 3 days ago. Enjoy the download and streaming audio below. Happy listening!

A Sunny Day In Glasgow - "Ashes Grammar – Ashes Math" (download)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Gucci Mane - "Wasted (Feat. Plies)"

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Worst song ever?

Not when "I Gotta Feeling" and "Down" still exist (and are #1 and #2 respectively on the charts again, WTF), but it's definitely in the conversation. And when you can even for a brief second consider that "I Gotta Feeling" may not be the worst song on the radio right now, you know you've come across a really shitty song.

As the name implies, "Wasted" is about getting really drunk. I can appreciate that concept, but seriously: the song consists of people saying "wasted" a lot whilst being surrounded by a lot of background noise and verses that are so nondescript that I can't even recall any of what Gucci or Plies is saying. And I'm listening to the song RIGHT NOW.

Listen below, if only just to hear an example of when party rap songs go horribly, horribly wrong.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Video Of The Week: Hammock - "Mono No Aware"

It's late, but it's here. Check our video of the week, Hammock's stunning cut for 2008's "Mono No Aware".

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just Listen: Sandbox Astronomy

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Sandbox Astronomy are a bit of a throwback, in the sense that their songs are loaded with classic pop tricks: catchy melodies, jangly guitars, soft harmonies. Just look at a track like the helplessly lovable "Lost Languages", which you just want to cuddle with on a comfy, colourful couch somewhere.

They remind me of Ola Podrida, straight from the way they play their instruments to the vocals to the lyrical tendencies. Which is an excellent thing. I adore Ola Podrida.

Check the mp3 below, and if you enjoy it as much as I do, be sure to download their debut EP View From The Centre Of The Universe for free (or maybe even with a charitable donation?) here.

Sandbox Astronomy - "Lost Languages" (Download)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's Saturday, Lets Party.

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Firstly, I'd just like to mention how that is the most amazing picture I've ever posted on this website.

Secondly, I want to give you something to start your dance party tonight. I'm crazy sick at the moment, but the rave in my head continues. Last time I posted a sqzmylymns (lack of capitalization confuses me, nor am I 100% it's even supposed to have a lack of capitalization) cut people lost their minds, so lets try this again! This is their new remix of All Leather's track "Adios Mi Ameobas".

All Leather - "Adios Mi Ameobas (sqzmylmns remix)" (Download)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Jay Sean - "Down (Feat. Lil Wayne)"

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You hear that noise? That's the sound of my brain exploding from how absolutely awful this song is.

Billboard's been really boring recently - BEP, Jay Sean, Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Kings Of Leon, and Taylor Swift have been the top six FOREVER - so now, after trying to desperately to avoid it, I'm mostly forced to write about "Down". There's really nothing redeeming about it. At all.

THE BEAT: Terrible. I feel like I've heard this song a million other times.

JAY SEAN: Terrible. He sounds like Colby O'Donis, but a shittier version of Colby O'Donis. And when shittier versions of Colby O'Donis exist, nobody wins.

LIL WAYNE'S GUEST VERSE: Terrible. Not only does he sleepwalk through it, but when Jay-Z tells you to stop doing auto-tune, you fucking STOP DOING AUTO-TUNE.

So yeah, that's all you need to know about "Down" in a few easy sentences. Listen at your own risk.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Video Of The Week: Los Campesinos! - "The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future"

Our video of the week this week comes from Los Campesinos!, who just today released a new track and accompanying vid (which may be unofficial, but whatever). It's brilliant as per from these guys - their last release We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed was #2 on my personal best of list last year - and it's getting me really excited for their next album, which is expected to drop in early 2010. Check the video to the right and the mp3 below.

Los Campesinos! - "The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future" (Download)

Monday, September 7, 2009

YE-LID News: Our (2nd) Favourite Band Of 2009 Has A New EP

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If there's one album that's come close (oh so close!) to somehow being better than Merriweather Post Pavillion, it's the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's self-titled debut. That record has soundtracked so many great moments for me this year that I feel like it's been around far longer than a few months.

Well, they're back again with a [brilliant] EP. Some would argue that this screams "riding the wave of recent popularity", which could be valid if the songs on Higher Than The Stars weren't SO GOOD. There's no letdown whatsoever, and there's no sense that these are b-sides that got thrown together to make a few bucks. I love this band way too much.

Pre-order the EP here, and enjoy the title track below.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - "Higher Than The Stars" (Download)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

<3 Google <3

I just performed what is likely my favourite Google search of all time.
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You see, at the bar last night this song came on, and I remember it had a lot of whistling and I thought it was just the hottest thing ever. But then it was clearly some sort of electro remix. And that, my friends, is some tough shit to find on the Internet. If anyone has any suggestions, please notify me.

In the meantime, I'm all about Amanda Blank today. I Love You has grown on me like WHOA and it's currently all I want to listen to.

Amanda Blank - "Gimme What You Got (Feat. Spank Rock)" (Download)


Update: HOLY SHIT I FOUND IT.



Awkwardly enough, I found it because this is currently #1 on HypeM. Which is starting to make me wonder if my memory is hazy, and I actually heard it when I got home. Whatever.

I smell a hit.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Lady GaGa - "Paparazzi"

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It's a bird, it's a plane...no, it's Lady GaGa's next surefire hit! It debuted at #75 on Billboard this week, which doesn't sound that impressive until you remember that it's still being strangled by "Poker Face" and "Lovegame", both of which are still in the top forty.

"Paparazzi" is the least dance-y but arguably catchiest of all her singles thus far. The chorus is ridiculously awesome. If you don't feel the need to sing along to it, we likely aren't friends. She manages to pull off the rare feat of creating a bubblegum pop song that doesn't really sound a whole lot like bubblegum pop. Yummy.

I'm very happy to watch her world domination continue, and it's fun to see the way she's influencing a bunch of new acts who are putting a lot more effort into their fashion and infusing their sound with more dance undertones. I feel good about this.