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.