Sunday, May 31, 2009

We're On Facebook!

Today is technology upgrade day in YE-LIDtown, apparently. First we jumped on Twitter, and now we have our own Facebook page. So go ahead: become a fan, write on our wall, and make us feel special.

My brain hurts.

Daft Punk - "Technologic" (Download)

We're On Twitter!

That's right. Now you can follow us via the famous microblogger, Twitter.

TWEET, TWEET!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Just Listen: Johnny West Surprised My Pants Off

Windsor, Ontario's Johnny West is nothing less than eccentric. His album, An Absence of Sway, released this year really took me by surprise. It is filled with a wide variety of songs created in a variety of styles. His piano playing is bursting with emotion, his drum beats (especially on The Ass) occasionally remind of me of Sufjan Stevens at his best, his vocal melodies are smooth as butter, his lyrics are outrageously original and everything fits together like a fresh puzzle, before the pieces are punched out of their place. Most of his music will probably not be heard by most people and I really think that is a shame. So below are three tracks from An Absence of Sway, that stood out to me. Please support Johnny West and all his music and visit his blog to inquire about purchasing an album.

Johnny West - "This Bed is a Bear Trap" (download)
Johnny West - "Defenestrate Your Heart" (download)
Johnny West - "The Ass, Enchanted with the Sound" (download)

Friday, May 29, 2009

YE-LID News: The Forcefield Kids Drop EP, YE-LID Writer Resists Urge To Drop Obvious Star Wars Reference

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I've had this strange urge to visit England recently. Maybe it's because I have family there I could stay with for cheap, maybe it's because I really want one of their accents. Regardless, the country has been on my brain lately.

Newcastle alt hip-hoppers The Forcefield Kids are finally ready to release the Home EP, and on first listen it's well worth the wait. Their style is dark and dingy, beats sounding like they're emanating from a deep well. Stain's flow is sharp throughout. FK appear to be making a conscious effort to separate themselves from the UK rap scene while at the same time sounding unmistakably British, which is a difficult task that they pull off quite well.

The mind-numbing "Little Miss Star" is still my favourite song on here - and still one of my favourite songs of 2009 - which isn't an indictment of the EP, as there are definitely some stellar tracks. Check one of them below.

The Forcefield Kids - "Since We Last Spoke" (Download)

Not-So-Daily Mixtape: "WAY DOWN"

When you bat your eyelashes at me, the quick flash of your pupils puts my heart into an epileptic seizure. Once I regain my consciousness, I hope you'll still be around.

W/A/Y_D/O/W/N/

1. Kemialliset Ystävät - Varisevien Tanssi 2 (2001)
2. Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention - Dog Breath, in the Year of the Plague (1969)
3. Black Lips - Veni Vidi Vici (2007)
4. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - This Night Has Opened My Eyes (2006)
5. The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows (1966)
6. Donovan - Atlantis (1969)
7. Akron/Family - Ed is a Portal (2007)
8. The Doors - Wishful Sinful (1969)
9. Dust From 1000 Yrs - Ghost (2005)
10. Dusthoney - Your Ruin (2008)
11. High Places - Jump In (For Gilkey Elementary School) [2008]
12. Apollo Sunshine - The Hotter, The Wetter, The Better (2005)
13. Golden Boots - Heatwave (2009)
14. Grandaddy - Why Took Your Advice (1997)

thanks babe <3

Track Review: When I get it on, I get it on.

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If you recall our slapdash end of the year festivities in 2008 (it was our first, and we were wholly unprepared for how much work actually goes into it), you'll remember that Girlicious' ode to doing stupid shit was #17 on my top 50 songs list. I made a point about how pop can be looked at not only as an art form, but also as a vehicle for escapism. That track was a perfect example of how worthless trash evolves into pure pop bliss. With that title, it was never meant for chart success, but solely for our enjoyment. Only in such a world could a group called Girlicious and a song called "Stupid Shit" exist.

Electrik Red resides in that same world, and "We Fuck You" is their "Stupid Shit". Within seconds of it's killer club-synth opening, the girls are dropping lines like, "I love the way you kiss on the pearl," and, "Boy you're like a Michael / You can really beat it". What's the target audience for a track like this? Those who find perfection in a sex jam that is actually a sex jam. The chorus hook reads as follows:

"Y'all don't fuck us / N****, we fuck you."

Holy shit.

There is so much to say about having a lyric like that as the centrepiece of a pop song. The audacity. It's like they're saying, "Fuck you popularity. We want to make a kickass ode to powerful women, and we didn't do it to sell records." And therein lies the pop bliss I referenced earlier that I can [rightfully] take a lot of flak for. There's a fine line between shit disguised as brilliance and brilliance disguised as shit. This is the latter, in my opinion.

There's just so many things to love about "We Fuck You" as a fan of unadulterated fun music. Lines like, "You were like flash in the sheets / So fast I had to finish when you leave." The beat that slinks and snaps and synths (new verb created) along, acting as both the star and the sidekick at different points. The way the lyrics are delivered with a sly wink, like Electrik Red are letting us in on their little secret, and yet they're still said with a swagger that says we still don't know what to do with what they're telling us.

I could write a novel about this song, mostly because I think this straightforwardness is what's missing from pop music today. I'm not saying every artist needs to be so graphic, but I like my pop music fun. Screw all these acts that spend they're time trying to find a mainstream single; this is one of my favourite pop songs this year because Electrik Red just doesn't give a fuck.

Electrik Red - We Fuck You (Download)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Glee Cast - "Don't Stop Believin'"

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While it's not often I get to discuss my two loves - music and trashy television - together on YE-LID, such an opportunity has presented itself! Fox's latest attempt at relevance, teen dramedy Glee, premiered earlier this month. I caught the pilot last night, and then to my surprise, the showstopping final number performed on the show was number four on the Billboard charts. Lucky me!

Now, don't get me wrong, no one's going to mistake a broadway cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" for a novel idea, but the vocals here are absolutely brilliant if you're into this style. The lead girl Rachel is pitch perfect, clearly a superstar-in-the-making in her field (if she's not already; I don't pay too much attention to theatre). It's really amazing to watch these incredibly talented kids sing.

At this point, Glee looks pretty archetypal. It has the jock who's hiding his true talent (music!), the bitchy Christian cheerleader, the queeny gay kid, the sassy black girl, the outcast, and the disabled kid who's actually really good at broadway. I do, however, have high hopes for Rachel, who's hilarious personality could turn out to be a really exciting trainwreck.

Even if the show doesn't take off, this cover was pretty spectacular. Check it out below.

Just Watch: Here We Go Magic's "Tunnel Vision"


Watch the full concert at baeblemusic.com

Check out this exclusive video performance by Here We Go Magic live at Baeble's Guest Apartment. They perform Tunnel Vision. Also if you have the chance, check out the full performance by clicking above and watch them perform How Could I Lie?, which I really enjoyed (especially the country-esque vocals throughout). The excitement of seeing them open for Grizzly Bear in a week is definitely increasing. I can't wait.

Also a little shout out to Baeble Music for their concerts and performances by a handful of bands. Check out their site for performances by some of your favourite artists.

Just Listen: Vintage Latin American Dustcloud

San Antonio beatsmith, Diego Bernal released his first full length LP on Exponential Records a couple months back, completely for free. Last time I checked, that is a recipe for awesome. This release, For Corners, is a blend of electronic and hip-hop beats with a Latin flare which seasons it all quite well. The whole album from start to finish is quite dusty and sounds like it's being played on vinyl. Some tracks that stand out of the bunch are "Dusty Sanchez" because the sampled guitar reminds me of an Acid Folk/Folktronica tune straight out of 1970's Latin America, and "Summer's Over (Interlude)" because of the chill, relaxed feel you get from it. With simple beats that blend nicely into each other and some really cool samples sprinkled throughout, For Corners, is definitely an interesting release complete with vinyl crackles, bright Latin guitar and funky brass samples. You're certainly in for a vintage treat, check out Diego's full album (as a stream) over here, or download the whole thing.

Diego Bernal - "Summer's Over (Interlude)" (download)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Album Review: Apostle Of Hustle Eats Darkness

Apostle Of Hustle Eats Darkness is the third full-length release from the side project of Broken Social Scenester Andrew Whiteman, and is released on BSS’ flagship label, Arts & Crafts. Upon first listen, it is obvious that this album was conceived to be consumed as a whole. No, this is not a concept album, and one can’t even say that there is a particularly consistent musical congruency throughout. However, included in the album’s thirteen tracks are five 30 to 60-second long mėlanges of sound effects and intriguing (if not totally relevant) sound bites, acting almost as interludes between the musical “acts” of the album. An interesting approach, but at first glance they appear to be mere diversions from the music, which on the whole is actually quite good.

It is no surprise that this man is also the mind behind my Broken Social Scene favourite, “Fire Eye’d Boy”. The songs are rhythmically driving, a feeling which is accelerated by the instrumentation and vocals, which manage to adhere to the grooves in the rhythm even as some songs break down in a very Broken Social Scene-like fashion.

Are you noticing a trend in my references here? While this CD (released May 19th) is most definitely a grower, fans of Broken Social Scene will appreciate Apostle Of Hustle Eats Darkness more than most, especially those who wished that BSS took on a more experimental approach with flairs of Latin and electronica and an inspired, if not altogether inspiring, methods of spicing up a track listing. Speaking of track listings, the one for this album is as follows:

Snakes
Eazy Speaks
Soul Unwind
Sign
Perfect Fit
Xerses
What Are You Talking About?
Whistle In The Fog
Eats Darkness
Return To Sender
How To Defeat A More Powerful Enemy
Nobody Bought It
Blackberry

I’m gonna give this one 7.5/10. Below is the download and streaming audio of “How To Defeat A More Powerful Enemy”, because I remember it distinctively from when I saw them on the first stop of their tour last week. You can also purchase the album here. Happy Listening!

How To Defeat A More Powerful Enemy (Download)

Track Review: We need to have a chat.

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It's time. We haven't had this talk yet, and I think it's really important that you hear this from me rather than from somewhere else. Boys and girls, this is how songs of the year are made.

Now, when two artists love each other very much, sometimes they come together to make beautiful music. It's all very natural. In this case, Royksopp and Robyn create a beautiful partnership using their very special gifts. There are many different ways to make music; some of them are more complicated than others, but they also can be more pleasurable. But I digress.

For "The Girl And The Robot", Royksopp provides a propulsive beat for Robyn to work her magic over. And work her magic she does, giving another powerful vocal reminiscent of her Kleerup collab. A coincidence that both turned out to be song of the year candidates? I think not. Robyn > most.

Sadly, nothing else on Royksopp's new record comes anywhere close to matching this obvious high. Yes, kids, sometimes making music is not as fun as other times. But if you do it enough - safely, mind you - you get better at it. Practice makes perfect.

I hope this chat has been both enjoyable and educational. Check the mp3 and killer vid below.

Royksopp Feat. Robyn - "The Girl And The Robot" (Download)

Video Of The Week: The Kills - "Tape Song"

My cousin showed me this song for the first time a month or so ago, and I fell in love with it and how well the instruments compliment the chorus. So full speed ahead guys. Here is the music video to "Tape Song" by The Kills. Enjoy it here on YE-LID to the right, or enjoy over at YouTube. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it.

The Kills - "Tape Song"

Courtesy of Domino Records

Monday, May 25, 2009

Track Review: Dirrrrty.

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I've always been scared of Peaches. Not her as a person specifically - though, judging by her music, I probably should be - but I just never truly attempted to delve into her material. My older brother always tried to push her on me, and I always pushed her away just as hard. I think it's a testament to how much I love her new album (I Feel Cream, available here) that instead of converting "just as hard" into a "that's what she said" joke, my mind for some reason converted it into a "that's what Peaches said" joke. Her dominant womanhood has officially overtaken the pronoun "she" in my subconscious.

"Mommy Complex" is the dirtiest song on I Feel Cream, more in the sense that while listening to it I want to be drenched in sweat and dancing up against someone I'll never see again. Digitalism produced the beat, and it's a doozy, putting Peaches' nasty raps overtop a Justice-esque banger. I love how drum beats are intermittently replaced by cracking whips. It's loud, grimy, and addictive as sin. Peaches is as hilarious as ever, with lines like, "Are you pregnant? / Man, I say good luck / Combo C-section tummy-tuck". Cougars just became so much cooler in my mind.

"No one's as old school as me," Peaches lets out with such Swagger (capital 'S') that there's no way I could question the claim. This is one of my favourite songs of the year so far, and I Feel Cream one of my most pleasant surprises.

Peaches - "Mommy Complex" (Download)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Not-So-Daily Mixtape: "I'LL SHUFF & I'LL PUFF TWO"

Shuffling through iTunes yet again for today's mixtape.

I'L/L_S/H/U/F/F_&_I'L/L_P/U/F/F_T/W/O/

1. Neko Case - Margaret vs. Pauline (2006)
2. The Mountain Goats - Game Shows Touch Our Lives (2002)
3. Badly Drawn Boy - Camping Next to Water (2000)
4. Antony & the Johnsons - For Today I Am a Boy (2005)
5. Larkin Grimm - Blond and Golden Johns (2008)
6. Of Montreal - Disconnect the Dots (2004)
7. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Here to Go (2003)
8. Built to Spill - Alarmed (2001)
9. Peter, Bjorn & John - Big Black Coffin (2005)
10. The Dandelion Council - Clouds (2008)
11. Youngbloods - Get Together (1969)
12. Snow Patrol - Set the Fire to the Third Bar (2006)
13. Belle and Sebastian - For the Price of a Cup of Tea (2006)
14. Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Over and Over (1990)

feel free to do the same and post your results as well, and like always...
enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

YE-LID News: Two Weeks Video Premiere

Kind of speechless right now.



Added bonus:

I'm not allowed to embed this video. Here's a link to it instead.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Lady Gaga - "Lovegame"

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I love Lady Gaga.
I have no shame in saying it. I find her very Madonna-esque in that she knows what she has to do to become a star and is doing everything in her power to make that happen. Over the course of the past year, she's gone from one-hit wonder to back-to-back chart toppers to bonafide superstar. She's a sex symbol, fashion icon, and top notch pop success.
"Lovegame" is her third single to blast up Billboard (and if rumoured fourth single "Paparazzi" is released, it won't be her last), and it's another killer sex-jam with an electro beat to die for. It's been popular in Canada for a while now, but "Poker Face" did so well for so long in the States that it suffocated "Lovegame". Not so anymore, as her new automatic top-ten hit finally made the splash I've been waiting for.
Pop acts like her and Britney have been following a path recently that I really enjoy; fuck ballads, I like my pop stars when they're releasing dirty dance song after dirty dance song. Britney's last five singles have all been club-ready, and Gaga's first three have been the same way. This girl is larger than life, and I can't see her disappearing anytime soon.
Check the smokin' hot video below.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

YE-LID News: Go Buy Manners. Now.

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Passion Pit's debut album, Manners is now officially available for real purchase! For those that have forgotten, actually buying an album involves finding somewhere called a "record store", picking up a "CD", taking it to the "counter", and "paying" for it using "money". Or, if you'd like to be oh so 2009, just order it online here.
To celebrate, check out what right now is my favourite track off the album. Take my word for it: you'll have a lot of choices for that category.

Passion Pit - "Moth's Wings" (Download)

Video Of The Week: Golden Boots - "Knife"

Golden Boots. At first I didn't like their music, but over time they grew on me like moss on a lonely tree. Bright green moss that really catches your eye. Check out this week's video, the official music video for "Knife" by Golden Boots. To the right or right over here.

Golden Boots - "Knife"

Directed by Nathan Sabatino

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Worth A Listen: Miss Kittin - "Electronic City"

While this album came out last month, I wanted to write about this tune not only because I just happened upon it but because it is a rare song which I think would benefit greatly from a remix. While some outstanding remixes can be found very recently on this very fine blog, dear YE-LID readers, I am a sucker for the original, and consider remixes to be a compliment to the original piece. However, I really, really want someone to come along and kick "Electronic City" in the ass to throw it up a couple gears. This is a fine electronic song from a solid (French) DJ, but interrupting the beat for some sweeping synths (while quite nice) really broke the flow for me. Miss Kittin, give me a version of this song with constant ass-shaking possibilities, and I will be forever indebted.

Feel free to check out "Electronic City" below to appreciate the tune's undeniable potential, or even purchase Miss Kittin's new album Two here.

Miss Kittin - "Electronic City" (download)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not-So-Daily Mixtape: "I'LL SHUFF & I'LL PUFF"

A different approach for today's mixtape, ladies and gentlemen. I just opened my iTunes and shuffled fourteen songs, and this is what came up.

I'L/L_S/H/U/F/F_&_I'L/L_P/U/F/F/

1. Department of Eagles - Noam Chomsky Spring Break 2002 (2005)
2. Talkdemonic - Sept With Smith (2006)
3. Grandaddy - Underneath the Weeping Willow (2000)
4. Margot & the Nuclear So and So's - At the Carnival (2008)
5. The National - Squalor Victoria (2007)
6. Sinead O'Connor - Three Babies (1990)
7. Elm Hawks - Corpse Song (2007)
8. Black Moth Super Rainbow - The Dark Forest Joggers (2008)
9. Animal Collective - Queen in My Pictures (2003)
10. Tangerine Dream - Blue Mango Cafe (1989)
11. Boards of Canada - Sherbert Head (2005)
12. The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon (1966)
13. M83 - Skin of the Night (2008)
14. The Moore Brothers - Daughter Feather (2009)

this was quite fun, i encourage you all to do the same. post your results as a comment if you'd like

: )

Sunday, May 17, 2009

YE-LID News: Pepepe Continues To Blow My Mind

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No, it's not really news persay, but much like Carlos Pesina himself (aka Pepepe aka Los Amparito aka Pesina Siller), this post is hard to categorize. At the next staff meeting - which we don't really have, but that sounded professional - I'm proposing we create a new tag called "Awesomeness", where we post things that are hard to type about because our jaws are still on the floor.
Pepepe deserves such a tag. Free album Robo Orgon De Plantas Y Animales (available here) is in my top five of the year thus far, and it's likely to stay there. It just continues to grow on me and grow on me, and now I'm enveloped in its impenetrable greatness. It's like Panda Bear got put in a blender with The Avalanches, and somehow no one has really picked up on it. YE-LID is out to change that.
Below is another of my favourite tracks from Robo Orgon, plus two fantastic remixes. The Animal Collective one is a YE-LID exclusive, while the Yelle one is off his also wonderful 2008 Remixes album.

Pepepe - Mirar A Los Ojos Es De Mal Gusto (Download)

Animal Collective - Brothersport (Los Amparito - Hermano Deporte Mix) (Download)

Yelle - Ce Jeu (Pepepe Remix) (Download)

Show Stopper: Animal Collective

I have been waiting for this show for a while now. Tonight I witnessed what was probably the best concert I will ever witness. My ears are humming in delight and my head is still buzzing. It was outstanding. Almost indescribable, if you ever get a chance to see Animal Collective perform, do not turn it down. Take that chance and grab it by the belt buckle. Pull it close and kiss it. I'm serious. Anyways, back on topic. Grouper opened up for the trio and an unfortunately half-enthused audience was there to great her. She did pull off a fairly decent performance and I applaud her for that. Opening for Animal Collective, especially today, is something that takes guts. I personally enjoyed a bit over half of her set-list and sadly nobody around seemed to respond greatly to it. They seemed to be craving Animal Collective. Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Geologist come out on stage, the Merriweather Post Pavillion album artwork projected on the screen behind them, occasionally twitching with the lights. Above them is a huge inflated ball, projected upon with wonderful animated and life-like visuals reminiscent of Hollindagain and Prospect Hummer's album covers. They start off the show with a reworked "Chocolate Girl" (from 2001), that sounds just as sweet as its name, leading us into Comfy in Nautica (a Panda Bear track that they have been playing live recently). Getting lost in it all, I cannot remember the exact order, but they brought us an incredible handful of songs:

- Chocolate Girl (reworking from Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished, 2000)
- Comfy in Nautica (Person Pitch, 2007)
- Fireworks Essplode (outstanding meld of both "Fireworks" from Strawberry Jam, 2007 and "Essplode" from Danse Manatee, 2001)
- Lablakely Dress
- What Would I Want Sky? (I have no idea what this song is from, but it rocked)
They played a few songs throughout the set that I couldn't identify. Whether they were new or reworkings, is something I couldn't tell you.
- My Girls (performed with a slightly calmer version of the chorus, which I loved)
- Guys Eyes
- Lion In A Coma (easily one of the most energetic songs and performances of the show, with a great misleading introduction)
- Slippi (reworking from Here Comes The Indian, 2003)
- Leaf House (slight and absolutely brilliant reworking from Sung Tongs, 2004. This song made my night.)
- Brother Sport (incredibly energetic and great way to end the set, especially since it was followed by "Leaf House")

The trio leaves but Toronto, oh Toronto, roars for a little bit more of the collective. So they treat us with a wonderful encore.

- Bleed (a new track first played during their first show of the spring tour, May 11th, 2009. Tonight's version was slightly improved upon, with a much better introduction and I can definitely see this being great when it is completed)
One or two songs (melded together) that were either jams or new songs in the works, and they were incredible.
- Chores (from Strawberry Jam, 2007)
- Summertime Clothes (at this point everyone's heart was racing faster than a speedboat, and left us all on such a positive note)

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got so many Animal Collective songs running through my head that I'm starting to turn into one. One that stays up way too late. Heed my advice well, blog readers. Do not miss a chance to see Animal Collective live. Ever. I leave you with Chocolate Girl.

Animal Collective - "Chocolate Girl" (download)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just Listen: Dragonette à la Don Diablo

Dragonette is finally making a return after a two year absence since their Galore-ious debut (excuse the lame pun, but I just had to). They are greeting us with their forthcoming single, "Fixin' to Thrill" coming out at the end of the month on their second album, also titled Fixin' to Thrill, but to be released around the end of the summer. Something tells me this hot and fancy sophomore effort will be just as great as their debut. For the time being, Don Diablo brings us a poppy uptempo remix of the single with a funk vibe reverberating throughout. This track fixes us up with such a dirty beat and synth squeezing through your speakers like those PlayDoh Clay Factories. I'm already liking this Dragonette tune from the first lyric. Check out the remix below and don't be shy. Dance. We know you'll want to.

Dragonette - "Fixin' to Thrill (Don Diablo Remix)" (download)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Track Review: "Everytime I'm With You"

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse's upcoming "mystery project", Dark Night of the Soul (which is available steaming in full, weeks before its scheduled release at NPR Music) is going to blow us away and easily take the cake as one of the most intriguingly mysterious and dark releases of the year. I promise you that. As a bonus when ordering the album, over at their official site, you get a booklet of photographs taken by David Lynch himself corresponding with each track. Each and every song is completely well arranged, and I am almost astounded by how well put together this album really is. With contributions from Nina Persson of The Cardigans, The Flaming Lips, James Mercer of The Shins, Frank Black of Pixies, Vic Chestnutt, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Suzanne Vega, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Iggy Pop, and Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, it's hard to say no to this one. The album fills us up with wonderfully squirmy lyrics and a great balance of dark cabaret, rock, and occasionally glitch throughout each song and as big of a Grandaddy fan as I am, Jason Lytle's contributions were nothing short of breathtaking. Especially "Everytime I'm With You". It sounds like something out of a 1940's cabaret, and the beat rolls itself in to accompany the muffled organ-like lead. Jason's occasionally gargling voice, reminding me of how much I miss Grandaddy, joins with some refreshing lyrics and a melody that flows perfectly with the eeriness of the song from its start to its abrupt and unfortunate end. This album and most especially this track will always have a place in my chest, in constant embrace with my heart.

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - "Everytime I'm With You (feat. Jason Lytle)" (download)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Sean Kingston - "Fire Burning"

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Somebody call 9-1-1, this song sucks!
I will readily admit that Sean Kingston's latest track is likely a grower, and a week from now it'll probably be booming from my headphones. But tonight I'm all about first impressions, and my first impression of "Fire Burning" is that it blows hard. My reasons for this are as follows:

Reason #1: The Lyrics
This is Sean Kingston we're talking about, so I acknowledge that I shouldn't be expecting Shakespeare. But seriously, just read these...

- "Hotter than the sun of south in Spain." (Lol.)
- "That birthday cake got a candle. Need to blow that crazy flame away." (Pardon?)
- "Shawty is cool like the fire." (Ponder this one. Bitch you ain't God, you can't manipulate the elements. Fire is not cold, not even that blue fire from Zelda.)
- "No exit from the dancefloor, so them boys want more." (So now the exits are blocked? Get the fuck out Kingston, stop watching this skank. Plus, don't even act like you're going to put that cheeseburger down long enough to dance with this ho.)

There's more, but I'll spare you the details. His flow is terrible, not matching the beat whatsoever, and most of it either doesn't rhyme or rhymes awkwardly.

Reason #2: The Beat
Thank you, RedOne, for producing "Just Dance". But now that you've also produced "Fire Burning" and Enrique Iglesias' comeback single (which features Ciara? WTF?), you can officially disappear. This beat sounds like a retread of a retread of a retread. Which it pretty much is.

Reason #3: Sean Kingston
Why do you still exist? Natural selection fails again.

I repeat: a week from now, "Fire Burning" will probably be in regular rotation on my iPod, or I'll at least nod in silent agreement if it comes on the radio. But today it is the bane of my existence. FML.

Worth A Listen: Deer Tick - "Easy"

On paper, I should really hate this song. It opens up kind of like a bad attempt at being Metallica (which, by the way, is exactly what Metallica has been sounding like recently.) It doesn’t help that the singer’s voice is a high-pitched growl, which could be described as a whine, depending on my mood. However, when the song dispatches of what I think are clichéd hallmarks of mainstream metal and opens up into a chorus smacking of alt-country flair, I must admit that the song really picks up and is overall a very enjoyable experience. It’s true that I never quite warmed up to the grating tone of the vocalist’s wail, but the rollicking rhythm section keeps that track afloat when just moments earlier that same instrumentation made me want to throw my iPod off a cliff.

You can find this track on Deer Tick’s new album Born On Flag Day, due out on June 23rd. It’s worth checking out just to savour how truly unpredictable good, new music can be from one minute to the next. Happy Listening!

Deer Tick - "Easy" (Download)

Worth A Listen: "Gold Splatter"

Black Moth Super Rainbow will be releasing their fourth LP Eating Us, on May 26th on Graveface, and we can't be more excited. In celebration of its upcoming release, I bring you guys "Gold Splatter" and what might be one of new favourite BMSR tracks. It opens with some catchy drumming and doesn't waste any time. The lyrics come in right away, and are backed up with some smooth waves of synth. This track sounds almost more organic and natural in the sense that it's mainly composed of a bassline, soothing vocals, snappy drums and acoustic guitar. Not a whole lot of electronics used in this, besides the effect on Tobacco's voice, but when the synth patterns do come in, you feel like you want to melt into a field of tall grass and become covered in soil and plantlife. Truly a song that you should listen to while camping or sitting in a forest as the sun beams down on your back and warms your core. It's beautiful. Check it below, and please support Black Moth by preordering your copy over here or right over here, they absolutely deserve it.

Black Moth Super Rainbow - "Gold Splatter" (Download)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Video Of The Week: God Help The Girl - "Come Monday Night"

*heart instantaneously melts*

God help the girl, God help her. Check it to the right or click here.

God Help The Girl - "Come Monday Night"

Directed by Blair Young and Stuart Murdoch(of Belle & Sebastian)

Worth A Quick Mention: It's Tuesday!

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Well, technically Wednesday now. But whatever, it's still a Tuesday night in my mind, and I'm just as tired and weekend-starved as you. Here's one of the happiest songs I know to help compensate.

Muscles - Chocolate Raspberry Lemon & Lime (Download)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Not-So-Daily Mixtape: "MOTHER'S DAY"

While this is usually Matt's territory, and I sincerely hope that my mom doesn't read this blog due to all my filthy language, I just wanted to take the opportunity to salute all the hard-working moms out there. I know I wouldn't be who I am today with the love and support mine has given me.

M/O/T/H/E/R'S_D/A/Y

1. Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Happy Mother's Day" (2007)
2. The Knife - "We Share Our Mother's Health" (2007)
3. Chromeo - "Momma's Boy" (2008)
4. Wolfmother - "Woman (MSTRKRFT Remix)" (2006)
5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - "Goodbye To The Mother & The Cover" (2006)
6. Neko Case - "Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth" (2009)
7. Clipse - "Momma I'm Sorry" (2006)
8. The White Stripes - "I Wanna Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart" (2003)
9. Say Hi To Your Mom - "Laundry" (2005)
10. Jenny Lewis - "Jack Killed Mom" (2008)
11. Mr. Fab - "Cannibal Zombie Mom" (2008)
12. Paul Simon - "Mother And Child Reunion" (1972)
13. Mrs. Qeada - "My Mother Is A Unicorn" (2008)
14. Jay-Z - "Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)" (2001)

I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Track Review: *Insert Filthy Song Title Here*

There are too many great things to say about Aaron Funk (a.k.a. Venetian Snares). The first may be a bit biased, but he's Canadian and being Canadian myself, this just adds to the immense respect and I have for him. The second is that his use of sampling is nothing short of outstanding. The third is that the influence he's left on the Breakcore genre, will likely remain forever. The fourth is that his latest album of many, Filth (released April 14th, 2009) truly reminds us all of what Aaron is made of. It seems like he's really going back to his roots with this one. Filth sounds very much like Hospitality (2006) and his earlier work drenched in what the title is implying, dirtiness and filth. After last year's release of sample-sprinkled Detrimentalist, I was shocked to be hearing another release so soon. One song that definitely stands out is "Crashing the Yogurt Truck" (which is one of the more timidly-titled of the bunch). It's got an extremely catchy uptempo beat, wet & dirty synth, a variety of interesting samples, and his usual erratic drum patterns (which always tend to remind me of the little electric bursts that our brain spurts out when sending a signal to a part of our body). VSnares really pulls me in when he brings in a sample of what seems to be a "Speak 'N' Say" matched to the main melody. The song finishes with a soft fizzle-out and leaves you wondering how a song can even be this catchy. Please, if you're a fan of Breakcore or Venetian Snares or just looking for a new and unique genre to listen to, pick up a copy of Filth right here.

Venetian Snares - "Crashing the Yogurt Truck" (Download)

Track Review: Pure satisfaction.

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The first time I heard Basement Jaxx's stunning "Raindrops", it was my last day of school before I headed back home for the summer. I was stressing about the final I had later that night, and was just generally in a bad mood knowing that I'd be leaving my friends really soon.
Then I played "Raindrops", and suddenly everything changed. I looked outside and noticed the sunshine. I decided to just give a giant middle finger to Media Ethics and enjoy my day outside in the gorgeous weather. I played soccer in a park with my friends, I went to dinner with my dad, and my final was the furthest thing from my mind. By the end of the day, "Raindrops" had a play count of 31 in my iTunes.
Such is the effect of Basement Jaxx's [comeback] single. It's absolutely gorgeous, reminiscent of "Digital Love" in how easily it sweeps you off your feet. It's just...satisfying.
If you were looking for something to kick off your summer soundtrack, here it is.

Basement Jaxx - "Raindrops" (Download)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Jeremih - "Birthday Sex"

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Remember how last week I said I almost wrote about Jeremih's hilarious "Birthday Sex"? Well, guess what! It made another big jump on the charts this week, so I get the rare chance to fix a missed opportunity. Because really, when you get the chance to write about something as blatantly awful as "Birthday Sex", you really need to take that.
How does one come up with such an atrocity? First, you take the worst parts of J. Holiday's [stunning] "Bed". Next, sprinkle on some of the unnecessarily descriptive nature of "Trading Places". Mix it all in a blender operated by Soulja Boy and his annoying vocal tendencies. And there you have it! "Birthday Sex"!
I keep telling myself this has to be a parody of all the R. Kelly rip-offs that have been happening recently. The subject matter is just so ridiculous, the vocals are just so grating, that I can't imagine someone creating this as a serious piece of R&B. But look into the eyes of Jeremih (if you can see them through his douche-y sunglasses) and you'll see a completely straight face. This is for real, folks. This is R&B in 2009.
In a world where Soulja Boy has had three hit songs since "Crank Dat", this shouldn't be overly surprising. But still, remember when R&B was actually sexy? Talking about how bad your girl wants you to nail her on her birthday is not sexy. Subtly discussing how you have so much swagger that you have to warn other men not to let their girls talk to you in the club lest they leave with you and not him is sexy. To re-cap, that's R.Kelly 1, Jeremih 0.
Not to harp on the R.Kelly thing, but at least he seems self-aware of his persona. Jeremih comes off as a bratty kid who likes to sing about sex and take pictures of himself alone in his room on his cell phone. No, I don't think good R&B is lost forever, just like good rap isn't lost forever because of Soulja Boy's existence. But damn, it's just getting harder to find.

Not-So-Daily Mixtape: "POP ROCKS"

fizz fizz fizz

P/O/P_R/O/C/K/S/

1. Sondre Lerche - After All (2007)
2. Harlem Shakes - Winter Water (2009)
3. MGMT - Greyhoundredux (2005)
4. Shout Out Louds - Please Please Please (2005)
5. Fleetwood Mac - Gold Dust Woman (1977)
6. Tegan and Sara - Relief Next to Me (2007)
7. Sunfold - Watering Pail (2008)
8. Death Cab For Cutie - I Was A Kaleidoscope (2001)
9. Stars - Ageless Beauty (2005)
10. Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman (1965)
11. Bishop Allen - Dimmer (2009)
12. Architecture In Helsinki - Like It or Not (2007)
13. Adam Green - White Women (2006)
14. Girls In Hawaii - Time To Forgive The Winter (2003)

my tongue is burning

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just Listen: Pepepe

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Mexico is on a serious roll lately. First Children Of The Moon drop us a line, and then I get one of my favourite albums of 2009 so far plopped in my inbox. For free. Thank God for Pepepe.
Think of all your favourite electronic artists who rely on samples. Now, place Pepepe among your favourites. His work reminds me of The Avalanches in the way he uses vocal samples over top of flowing hooks to create atmosphere. It's an absolute thing of beauty to hear this guy work; every little piece of the puzzle, whether it be an electro bleep, a a finger snap, or a brief vocal stab, sounds organic and wonderful and necessary.
I could go on forever about how excited I am about Pepepe, but instead I'll just suggest you listen to "Sleep With You", which is one of the best songs I've heard all year. Hear how it weaves in and out of itself like a tapestry of gorgeous samples, building upon one another and then disappearing just as softly as they appeared. This is a song you get lost in, a song you put on repeat for hours as you contemplate how wonderful life can be.
LP Roba Orgon De Plantas Y Animales is available for free, and it may be one of the best free albums you'll hear for a while. Just follow the link from his MySpace to acquire it. Or this one.

Pepepe - Sleep With You (Download)

Video Of The Week: Peaches - "Talk To Me"

First she wanted us to fuck the pain away, and now she wants us to just talk to her. Peaches brings us a new single off of her recently released album, I Feel Cream (which was released just yesterday, May 5th, on XL Recordings). Check out the music video to the right or click here.

Peaches - "Talk To Me"

Directed by Price James

Show Stopper: "C'mon, Feed Off The Dirt"

Starlight, in Kitchener, lit up yet again tonight. This time by Toronto rock trio, C'mon. They played their hearts out and added to what was already a great night. My ears are still ringing. Truly, they are the revival (or rebirth, if you will) of rock and the lovechild of bands like Black Mountain, Black Sabbath and Rush (to name a few). Charming the audience isn't hard for C'mon. Whether it's the guitarist's uber-catchy riffs, the bassist's constant strumming and hair-waving, or the barefoot drummer and his beautiful transitions, it's hard to keep your eye off the stage. The opening acts were decent. Saigon Hookers started us off with rock straight out of the 80's and Pride Tigers (currently touring with C'mon) were.... well.. uhh.. let's just say they had "a lot of energy" and leave it at that. Check out C'mon's 2007 release, Bottled Lightning (of an All Time High) over at their official website.

C'mon - "Feeding Off The Dirt" (Download)


Next show: Animal Collective on May 16th at the Sound Academy in Toronto. I can't wait.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Track Review: Surprise, bitches.

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The Cool Kids. Ludacris. UGK. All on the "Pennies" beat. Say WHAT? I know I just wrote about the Cool Kids and I've mentioned "Pennies" before, but all I have to say is oh my GOD.
I love the way Luda talks about getting $100, 000 per verse, "Unless you're God...or got a Cool Kid on it. Then I might do it for free." I love the way he says he's going to use this cameo to get Mikey and Chuck to guest on his next album. I love the way his verse comes absolutely out of nowhere. I love the way once your mind is done being blown by Ludacris you hear Bun B start creeping in and you lose your shit again. I love the way this beat continues to murder despite it being like three decades old in blog years. I love the way the Cool Kids rap with such a calm swagger that they sound like the rap Godfathers on this track.
Get the Gone Fishing mixtape for free right now.

The Cool Kids Feat. Ludacris & UGK - "Pennies (Updated Rosters Remix) (Download)

Just Listen: Pony Up

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I finally have a day off from work, and there's a few posts I've been meaning to get to, so these are going to make like Vin Diesel and come fast and furious today.
Pony Up, sometimes with a Los Campesinos!-esque exclamation point on the end from what I can see around the 'Net, are an all-female pop group out of Montreal that bring my heart much joy. I, for one, like the exclamation point. Don't be insecure, girls. Work that punctuation.
They've already released one album, and their sophomore effort Stay Gold will be released May 30th. If it is full of anything like single "Charles", I'll definitely be picking it up. Because seriously, any band that can get the line, "Oh oh oh oh, I hear you look like Charles Manson," in my head for a week is wonderful.

Pony Up - "Charles" (Download)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just Listen: Children of the Moon

Straight from the ol' inbox comes adorable Mexican synthpop duo, Children of the Moon. They describe the music they make together as "cuteweird" and I admit that I can't think of a better word. That pretty much sums them up musically and they both totally look the part. With beats slightly similar to Sweden's Lo-Fi-Fnk or The Knife and bright vocals running through a vocoder, their tunes remind me of getting drunk and having a good time. I like that, plus their stuff is so very catchy and easy to groove along to. They are working on their currently untitled debut EP set to be released in August of this year. Their EP will include the songs up on their MySpace and a few others with both English and Spanish lyrics. If I could make a suggestion guys, totally name your EP Cuteweird. Check out one of their bouncy tracks, "Semicircles", below.

Children of the Moon - "Semicircles" (Download)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Track Review: Those kids could be considered popular. Cool, even.

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One of the things I love most about The Cool Kids - and believe me, I love a lot about them - is how effortless they make everything sound. Debut EP The Bake Sale pulled off the difficult feat of sounding timeless without also sounding like it was trying too hard. They blew up, and justifiably so.
They've finally got a proper album coming out, and to pave the way they're releasing a free mixtape on May 4 (available on their official website) to get everyone salivating. The first song they've leaked is "Popcorn", which is another prime example of their effortlessness. Since it's from a pre-album mixtape it should be treated as such, but still, it's hard not to get excited about a track where the rapper whips out lines like, "I'm trying to write a book about how to get vagina when you're hangin' at the cookout...or something to that effect."
It's not quite up there with their best material, but listening to this it feels like they could write killer songs in their sleep. Check it below, get the mixtape, be excited.

The Cool Kids - "Popcorn" (Download)

Track Review: Birds & Batteries - "Heart of Gold"

Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" has always touched me beyond words. With every listen my chest seems to half-melt and make an opening to breathe in the lyrics and soothing guitar. Now upon hearing a wondrous cover of it, my chest is going to have to half-melt a hole more often. Birds & Batteries (experimental indie rock foursome from the San Francisco Bay Area) covers Neil Young's classic with such emotion. Sitting at the edge of a forest on a mossy log today, I listened to this and it seemed as if the trees were swaying back and forth to the erratic chimes and twirls of the piano (sounding like something from another planet) and the plucking warmth of the synth filling the background. The subtle intro almost fully convinced me that I was listening to something by Dntel, but then the cavernous falling vocals came in and I was in for a sweet treat. The vocals are reminiscent of alt-country, only at times, and really go hand in hand with the occasional twangy guitar and the sandy drum beat. No melody is present from the original besides the vocals. The track finishes itself off by drowning in a mess of windy noise and fading vocals and an abrupt end. This version pulls a lot from you and really brings out the emotion of the song. I highly enjoyed it and look forward to hearing more from this San Francisco group in the future. You can get yourself a copy of their 2007 release, I'll Never Sleep Again, right here. Please, please do.

Birds & Batteries - "Heart of Gold" (Download)