Sunday, December 21, 2008

Toe Jam

Best video of the year?

Video :: Toe Jam by BPA (Fatboy Slim)


Best Songs of 2008

01. Slipped, Dissolved and Loosed by Lambchop
02. The Rip by Portishead
03. Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur by Sigur Ros
04. M79 by Vampire Weekend
05. Hey Ma by James
06. Untrust Us by Crystal Castles
07. Everything Is Borrowed by The Streets
08. Rocks and Daggers by Noah and the Whale
09. Gila by Beach House
10. Life if Long by David Byrne and Brian Eno
11. Sold! To The Nice Rich Man by The Welcome Wagon
12. Mermaids and Slaves by Paul Heaton
13. Good Morning by Sparks
14. The Sun Smells Too Loud by Mogwai
15. Going On by Gnarls Barkley
16. For Emma by Bon Iver
17. Happiness by Goldfrapp
18. Satisfied by Esser
19. Everybody Here is a Cloud by Cloud Cult
20. Collapsing At Your Doorstep by Air France
21. Id Engager by Of Montreal
22. Oh No by Andrew Bird
23. Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenocerous by Flight of the Conchords
24. Here’s The Thing by Girl Talk
25. Amazing by Kanye West
26. Water Curses by Animal Collective
27. Merry Happy by Kate Nash
28. I Will Possess Your Heart by Death Cab for Cutie
29. Call It A Ritual by Wolf Parade
30. Valerie Plame by The Decemberists

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Down with Sweden... Up with People

I have a secret… the real reason postings have lagged of late is that I have forsaken Indie Pop for Christian Folk. The light doth shine upon me and I’m a bit shy about it!!!

As stated on their folksy, needle-point-with-Grandma inspired sleeve, The Welcome Wagon is simply a pastor and his wife singing sacred folk songs for all ages. Only thing is, this particular pastor and wife combo happen to be friends with boy wonder Sufjan Stevens and he of the famed 50 States project has got his paws all over this. The Welcome Wagon’s worship-themed ditties and (Sufjan-inspired) horns, glocks, banjo strumming and layered vocals (gospel choir!?) combined with Sufjan’s over-the-top arrangements and masterful production credentials works amazingly well.

Only released yesterday, "Welcome to..." is surely a late entrant for the famed FBS album of the year top 10. But with a toddler and a congregation to tend to, don’t expect to see the Wagon rolling into a town near you anytime soon.

Song :: Sold! To The Nice Rich Man by The Welcome Wagon

Bonus :: Unbelievably, their version of “Half A Person” is the best Smiths cover I have ever heard. In fact, their original and clever take on the song puts all other bands who have tried to rekindle The Smiths to shame. And them’s fightin’ words!

Song :: Half A Person (The Smiths cover) by The Welcome Wagon

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

New Morrissey sleeve design revealed:

“Ceiling shadows shimmy by/ And when the wardrobe towers like a beast of prey/ There's sadness in your beautiful eyes/ Oh, your untouched, unsoiled, wonderous eyes/ My life down I shall lie/ Should restless spirits try/ To play tricks on your sacred mind/ I once had a child, and it saved my life/ And I never even asked his name”

Album out February, 2009.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hands down...

the Best Song for 22 consecutive years and counting...

There is a Light That Never Goes Out

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

September Video Roundup

Halfway through this video I thought "love the Basia, love the music... crap video". But in the end everybody's actions mean something - not much - but something. And that's a good thing.
Video :: The Pilgriming Vine by Basia Bulat

Ambient dream music, AND the video increases your carbon credits. Mega!
Video :: Collapsing at your Doorstep by Air france

Oooh, still loving those 8-bit gameboy tunes. I'm From Barcelona collaborator Adventure Kid:
Video :: De Lorean Motor Company by Adventure Kid

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We're half awake in a fake empire

Watched some really hideous looking/ tired/ old white people (and hockey moms) conventioneering tonight... that was good for a laugh. Surely its a lock for the good guys this time around, no?

Meanwhile, back on our planet...
Obama Ad (featuring "Fake Empire" by The National)

Song :: Fake Empire by The National

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Everything else is just borrowed

Great new tune and vid from The Streets...

Song :: Everything is Borrowed by The Streets
Video :: Everything is Borrowed by The Streets

This recent video from The Streets is pretty clever too. The new album is out in two weeks.

David Byrne

I know he's been busy, but really, it does seem like David Byrne's been gone a long, long time. But from precisely the 38 second mark of "Life is Long", a track from his recent collaboration with Brian Eno, that familiar Talking Heads vocal is firmly back in place. Good stuff this:
Song :: Life is Long

Stream the entire new album, "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today"...

Download "Strange Overtures" from their website for, you know, sorta free.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Love Shamu

With songs like "Beard Lust" and "Sophisticated Sideways Ponytail", Natalie Portman's Shaved Head obviously has a fascination with hair... not to mention serious, sophisticated videos. This one's only one minute and thirty seconds long, for your hurried-life pleasure:

natalie portman's shaved head - sophisticated side ponytail from thatgo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Neon Bumbag

A new one from Stereolab - some nice visuals to perk up a rainy Tuesday. Excellent timing on this one too since Rachel just sent me Stereolab's 1996 album "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" the other day. Woo-ho:

Neon Beanbag

Song :: Neon Beanbag by Stereolab

It's well weapon
(yes, I've been into this lately).

Keep it dusty, yeah.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Canada: Number One in Fourth Place Finishes

Hey, I really don’t care if we get shut-out throughout the entire games but it is interesting how the COC’s “own the podium” talk has seemingly shifted to more of a “medal counts are meaningless” stance. What else are they going to say? I feel for the athletes in their time of agonizing defeat, but I can’t see anyone having any sympathy for the red-faced suits trumpeting Vancouver 2010.

Canada rounded out the first week of Olympic competition in a tie for 53rd (ie: last) and trailing the superbly superior (ie: one medal) efforts of the Tajikstanians and Lithuanians. We even got beaten by a muppet..

Video :: Champion by Kanye West

Left of Centre

Putting aside Swedish uke-n-accordian tunes for a mo...

A smiley summer single from this hip young dude... the video shows Mr. Esser, all retro'd up, having a block party with his fellow Chelmsfordians.

A new single from Mr. Bright Eyes...
Video :: Souled Out!!! by Conor Oberst

Eugene Hütz starred in “Everything is Illuminated” but is really getting a name for himself on the touring circuit through his band Gogol Bordello - a gypsy-themed punk band that has done for gypsy music what The Pogues did for Irish music (bastardized and sped up). Gogol Bordello are a band that "the Scot down the road" will go to any lengths to see live. I can see why...
Video :: Wonderlust King (live) by Gorgol Bordello

Song :: Headlock by Esser
Song :: Souled Out!!! by Conor Oberst
Song :: American Wedding by Gogol Bordello

The Format's Nate has a new band: "Fun". They sound like a cross between The Format (those vocals are just too distinctive) and The Hidden Cameras...
Song :: Benson Hedges by Fun (UPDATED link)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beaten by Togo and Uzbekistan... again

While the twin super powers of China and the US battle it out for supremacy at the Olympics, let us take a moment to recognize the true meaning of these Games through their motto “Citius Altius Fortius” - which apparently translates, in Canadian, to “Somewhat Fast, Not Too High, and Stronger (possibly) than a Chihuahua”.
But even though Canada’s medal haul – after 5 days of competition - currently sits somewhere between nada and squat… that doesn’t really matter all that much when you have lots of “prospective medals on the horizon” and when you’re number one at finger pointing.

The excellent, and Oscar-nominated, “I Met The Walrus” clearly defines Canada’s place in the world (hint: “nothing”). This despite that the short film was a wholly Canadian production. Oh, we love our self-deprecation:

Video :: I Met The Walrus

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bottle Rocket

The Go! Team tops my list of bands-I-must-see-before-I-get-really-old-and-can't-bop-my-head-up-and-down-anymore. Here's a fan's eye view of the energy they created recently during their hour long, daytime stint at the palooza...

Fan Video :: The Go! Team live at Lollapalooza, August 1, 2008, Chicago

Song :: Bottle Rocket by The Go! Team

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bob's yer uncle

Newly announced support act for James' North American tour... Egh, maybe they'll grow on me - not raising any hairs just yet. Definitely good enough, however, to not get booed off the stage like we did Gallon Drunk ahead of The Moz. Of course, Gallon Drunk were crap.

Video :: The Hit Parade by Unkle Bob

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Glósóli-leg hún

Here's a newly available live performance... yet more proof that Sigur Rós may very well be the most brilliant band on the planet, or at least the most brilliant band on the planet that continues to upload free, exceedingly lengthy, high quality video clips. Doubters can tune in between the 5 and a half and 7 and a half minute marks where Glósóli reaches its crescendo and Jónsi's perfected, other-worldly vocal melds effortlessly with the smashing wall of noise. This should not be possible:

Video :: Sigur Rós live at MOMA, NYC, June 2008

Looks like Jónsi's mullet's coming in just fine. A new one from them, the excellent Við spilum endalaust (featured in the MoMA clip, beginning at 16:37):
Song :: Við spilum endalaust by Sigur Rós

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I’m Addicted To You

Here is the official wishful FurrowedBrowSmile-requested set-list for…

House of Blues, Anaheim, CA
October 5, 2008

Hey Ma
Getting Away With It
Ya Ho
Waltzing Along
Low Low Low
Oh My Heart
I Wanna Go Home
Sit Down

of course, give me 6 minutes of Larry’s guitar tech tuning-up and I’ll still be happy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Uriah hit the crapper

Yet more skating... this time in a new one from M83:
M83 - Kim & Jessie

Vampire Weekend get a wardrobe update... and that can only be a good thing:
New Video :: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend

Played this at a dance recently - only one person had heard of it. Huh, wha!?! A crying shame cause she’s a beaut…
Old Video :: Ma and Pa by Fishbone

Two new songs by those tinkly Swedes (new album to be released in September):
Song :: Om Du Moter Värg by Detektivbyrån
Song :: Neonland by Detektivbyrån

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Don't Follow Me

I have somewhat been into Gnarls Barkley lately. Mainly because I believe that the musical half of the duo, Danger Mouse, is a quiet genius. The singer on the other hand (don’t know his name… Gnarls??) is a bit too soulful/ American Idoly for me to fully embrace this band. Some mighty fine stuff nonetheless:

Video :: Going On by Gnarles Barkley

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

3 MC's and one DJ

Here’s a song I knew and loved in the 80’s. Until now, I had never known what Lene Lovich looked like. This is exactly how I pictured her - especially the way she contorts her gruesome face during all those “uh-oh, uh-oh’s”:
Video :: Lucky Number by Lene Lovich

Death by Cardigan
Here’s a song I knew and loathed in the 80’s. Until now, I had never known what MC Miker G and DJ Sven looked like. This is no way near how I had pictured them. Turns out they’re Dutch, mustacheod and all cardi’ied up - who’d a thunk it?
Video :: Holiday Rap by MC Miker G and DJ Sven'

Canadian Content
Here’s a song I used to be scared of. Down right tame these days. Yes, there was a time when the number of punk-rock go-go dancers equaled that of your band members… A fuckin' classic.
Video :: Hawaii by The Young Canadians

Swede n’ Shouty

The indie-snob in me tried unsuccessfully to not like the original, and now Love is All provide the perfect cover - unique enough to stand on its own while ever respectful of the songs roots. Or whatever...
Song :: So far way from me (Dire straits cover) by Love is all

Monday, July 7, 2008

Old Vid

Can't quite figure out why Danderous D never made it to the bigtime. This track sizzles... like bacon! The intro's priceless as well... "rap music combines rhythm and rhyme and song".

Crap Song/ Crap Video

That ain't your daddy's Charlie Chan!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Since I'm in a MASSIVE rut when it comes to new music... I offer up the recently voted on number one worst cover version ever just because its impossible to ever stop making fun of her. As with most things Celine, dare ya to get past the 28 second mark...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Found the plot

Looks like, with their new album, Coldplay is poised to put to bed all the mocking they have been receiving over the past few years. Somewhat justified mocking I would say (they were trying a little to hard to achieve superstardom and got caught out). But all appears well again... they knew they had to change some things around with their sound and they did. Without going all Radiohead and inaccessible.

The songs from the upcoming "Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends" are surprisingly excellent. Like this one with its propulsive hand-clap beats:
Song :: Cemeteries of London by Coldplay

Hopefully this stuff has some legs (they've fooled me before).

The New Music

Alison Goldfrapp offers up a breezy summer tune complete with breezy skater girl...
Song :: Caravan Girl by Goldfrapp
Video :: Caravan Girl by Goldfrapp

80's-inspired (jam-packed with every stereotypical 80's sound imaginable) tune from the band with the attention-grabbing name:
Song :: Slow Motion Tag Team by Natalie Portman's Shaved Head

dada da da da-da dada da da da-da dada da da da-da...
Song :: Time to Pretend by Mgmt

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No one comes to Reseda

The video for Rogue Wave's catchy "Chicago x 12" is quite clever - playing up on the lyrical misunderstandings we all suffer from occasionally. Some suffer more than others! I had this "problem" constantly while growing up and get bugged to this day for believing "Elvira" was "We'll fire up". An honest mistake... on the part of everyone else (I mean, COME ON, check it out!!!)

Song :: Chicagox12 by Rogue Wave
Video :: Chicago x 12 by Rogue Wave

Video directed by Kermit the Frog apparently.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

This town ain't big enough for the both of us

New Sparks... Song :: Lighten Up, Morrissey by Sparks

What kind of a crazy-assed world do we live in where it takes me two weeks to find out that Sparks have released a new album? That won’t happen under Obama’s watch! And it is not like I haven’t been looking either since Sparks are better than ever this particular decade. They have existed for 38 years and, more crucially, they have survived 38 years of questionable hair stylings. Not to mention a whole era of prog-rock. Here they are in vintage 80's glory:

Video :: With All My Might by Sparks

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Make me invisible

90's ethereal shoegazers Lush have be reincarnated... in the form of Sheffield's Slow Down Tallahassee:
Song :: Electric Sun by Slow Down Tallahassee
Song :: The Beautiful Light by Slow Down Tallahassee

With only ourselves... we are truly free:
Video :: Electric Sun by Slow Down Tallahassee

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ichiban ya


Video :: The Japanese Office

Fountains of Soda

For a band that spits out such generic, boring tunes, Weezer at least knows how to hire a video director. The new one for "Pork and Beans" ("I don't give a hoot about what you think"... eghads!) is a Youtube geek's wet dream. They even enticed that crying Britney fella to make a cameo (some free eye make-up would have done it).

Video :: Pork and Beans by Weezer

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Summer here kids

It was the first day of shorts n' t-shirt weather here today!!!

Song :: Summer Here Kids by Grandaddy
Video :: Summer Here Kids by Grandaddy

I'm not sure why Grandaddy Jason's guitar playing style never caught on with the cool kids!?!

And Coldplay have a new video out... not that anyone cares. They jumped on the couch long ago. The new song is not too bad though and the video is pretty fresh for such an over-the-top outfit:

Video :: Violet Hill by Coldplay

UPDATE: The first video has been removed. Coldplay currently have an even better/ politically charged version available now:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My red balloon deflates every time I go into the office

Hailing from Portsmouth, The Strange Death of Liberal England (TSDOLE) are - so says TSDOLE - the sound of "an elephant arguing with a mouse!"

Song :: Oh Solitude by The Strange Death of Liberal England
Video :: Oh Solitude by The Strange Death of Liberal England

Also... the brand new video for Angelou features flamboyant hair and flamboyant tambourine.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chip Chip

Someone standing on a stage, crouching behind a laptop, may not be your average Led Zeppelin fan’s vision of the proper historical progression of live music, but it is increasingly becoming the norm. In bizzaro-land indie circles that is. Plug in an iPod and a Game Boy and you have a full-blown band! Apparently there is a name for the blip-squeak-blooping sounds that emanate from laptop, various electronics and a Game Boy: chip/ bitpop. Sexy huh?

Chip/ bitpop is, at least, what one sixteen year old Swede, who goes by the name of Super Multifaros, refers to his Game Boy creations. The following, particularly fine, example of this music is the best darn thing I’ve heard all week (though I have, admittedly, hit a bit of a dry patch):

Song :: The Factory by Super Multifaros

Super says that, for a wee commission, he will gladly score for you some “hardcore” video game music should you have, you know, just completed programming your very own video game.

To further solidify my geekdom... there is a Bitpop/ chipmusic festival in Sweden in a couple of weeks that looks pretty cool. fsFreak does the theme song to the excellent digital poster:

Song :: About you now by Sugababes, remixed by fsFreak

Pick it up yourself

Here’s a transcript of an actual conversation that took place yesterday between myself and an Actual Eight Year Old (AEYO):

AEYO: “Woops”
Me: “Ahhh, spilled root beer on the floor - great!”
AEYO: “ ”
Me: “Did you want to help clean it up?”
AEYO: “No”
Me: “Is there not any part of you telling yourself ‘I could really help out with that spill’?”
AEYO: “No”
Me: “Well, I guess as you get older you will start to have those thoughts.”
AEYO: “I don’t think so. I don’t now so I don’t think I will when I’m older either.”

On that note, here is a video clip for “Pick it up” from Yo Gabba Gabba. The message is lame... truly lame. I suspect it is immensely popular with the flock of parents looking for that quick fix though. In any event, the groove is infectious and will leave you asking why the heckfire all “children’s music” is not ska-based!

Video :: Pick it up from Yo Gabba Gabba

“Yo Gabba Gabba” gets screamed out a lot around our house. No one has ever seen the program on television, we just like screaming out “Yo Gabba Gabba”…. as anyone would. And what an aswesome theme song it has!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Crystal Castles

In case there is any doubt regarding who the best new band over the past year is...

Song :: Crimewave by Crystal Castles

Here's the first minute and a half of Crystal Castles' "Black Panther":
Video Teaser :: Black Panther (now with 100% more lederhosen)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Swedes to keep an eye on

Gothenburg's Love Is All playing Wishing Well at a train station, Oslo...

#16.1 Love Is All - Wishing Well from Handheld Shows on Vimeo.

Song :: New Beginnings (demo) by Love Is All

Shouty Swede-accented female vocals can only be a good thing!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Best New Music of '08... so far

Okay, I've given "Hey Ma" a week of constant attention in order to rid myself of the bias that comes with judging new material from bands you've grown with over the decades. And I believe I have yet to fully discover just how brilliant this new James album is. This stuff needs to be heard!

Song :: Waterfall by James

"Waterfall" is a tight track and the chorus is "radio-friendly", in an alternative kinda way. Listen to how Tim Booth sings the criticized, not-so-original words "don’t take a phone company to tell you life’s pay as you go"... almost as a sigh. He is in top form here. Signature James guitars, piano and blaring horns flesh out this song. The album is full of this.

"My mirrors laughing at me, says boy are you getting old
There’s so much junk in your life what you’ve got you don’t even know
Don’t take a phone company to tell you life’s pay as you go
I wonder how much of life is set up in utero"

There is a "Hey Ma" rehearsal video and an excellent, fun interview here:
Myspace :: Jamesisnotaperson

One thing though... wherever you are, Tim Booth's 'fro... please come back!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cull me morbid, cull me pale

PETA activist Morrissey has once again decided to boycott touring Canada in protest of our country's continued involvement in sealing. In response to the Canadian government's purported statement that the slaughter is necessary because it provides jobs for local communities, Mozzer noted that the "construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone – this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering." Morrissey has called for his fans to boycott Canadian goods, saying that Canada has "placed itself alongside China as the cruelest and most self-serving nation." Coincidentally, tonight I had yummy Chinese food served up from a Canadian restaurant. So I'll have to start my boycott tomorrow then.

Song :: Meat is Murder by The Smiths

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hey Ma! Where are you?

Today is new-album-release-day for James as their first output since the reformation gets unleashed on the world! Not quite... unless you live in the UK "Hey Ma" is not yet available (predicted Canada release is two weeks away). The seemingly long-gone practice of holding back foreign release dates (and watching loyal fans pay triple for imports) is not all that long-gone apparently. Congratulations music companies... just when we all thought you couldn't get your heads up your asses any further...

So, today, I bought the excellent Crystal Castles instead. Not quite in the same genre as James, this Canadian electronica duo's sound is more video game than the soaring anthems James has to offer. The video for Air War is listed as a fan creation but its pretty near spot-on and suitably creepy in its own unique little way...

Video :: Air War by Crystal Castles

Song :: Air War by Crystal Castles

Monday, April 7, 2008

So I meet you at the cemetry gates

Just your typical 15-year-old-loner-girl-meets-mr.-popular-at-pet-cemetery type video (actually, the John Hughesian theme and imagery are typical of an M83 project):
New Video :: Graveyard Girl by M83

Just your typical citizenry visiting the airshow type video:
Video :: Truck by The Octopus Project

Just your typical Canadian indie band hanging out on the cracking ice sheet singing your typical indie song featured in your typical Freddie Prinze Jr. drama type video:
Video :: Your Ex-lover Is Dead by Stars

Song :: Cemetry Gates by The Smiths

Friday, April 4, 2008

My wandering days are over

The new Juno soundtrack gets released next week on iTunes. Yeah, more Belle & Sebastian exposure to the masses. Well, the indie masses at least. Who, of course, already know about B&S. So never mind.

Song :: My Wandering Days Are Over by Belle & Sebastian

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Today I was soooo excited to go to the office that I put me on a spanky new white suit, coiffed my 80's hair and left the gas guzzler at home...

Video :: Happiness by Goldfrapp

Song :: Happiness (Metronomy remix feat. The Teenagers) by Goldfrapp

Excuse me while I go and ice my knees...

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Nowhere-Near-Exhaustive List

Littering, American Idol, Dump Trucks, Standardized Testing, Uncomfortable Bath Tubs, Tom Cruise AND Oprah, Bad Pizza, Bad Cops, Supporting Pathetically and Consistently Bad Hockey Teams, The Man, Substandard Coffee, Toy Packaging, Long Lineups, Telemarketers, Rain, Fake Baking, Uninspired Housing Developments, The Pontiac Aztek...

Song :: People Put Up With A Lot Of Shit by Stars in Coma
(highly recommended)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Go Canada

Reason #74 why no one cares about music awards…

2008 Canadian Artist of the Year Award nominees (Junos): Avril Lavigne; Celine Dion; Feist; Michael Buble; Pascale Picard. One can only hope that Ms. Dion and that Buble guy claw each other to death back stage. Or, at least, “to the pain”.

But wait! Surely the Juno Awards can, at a minimum, be predictors of future success…or at least respectability… or at least offer up people who we would have heard of some eight-odd years later!?! Ah, no… Best New Artist nominees, Year 2000: Tal Bachman; Tory Cassis; Tara Lyn Hart; Joran; Ivana Santilli.

This is better....
Video :: Peace of Mind by Grapes of Wrath

Former Grape Tom Hooper now lives, and plays the occasional live set accompanied by his son on drums, on Saltspring Island.

More Juno non-trivia… 1985 Group of the Year nominees: The Parachute Club (winner); Helix; Honeymoon Suite; Strange Advance; Triumph

Woo hoo!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Business Time

Sorting out the recycling is not part of the foreplay process... but it is still very important.
Say no more!

Song :: Business Time by Flight of the Conchords
Video :: Business Time by Flight of the Conchords

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Can’t catch love with a net or a gun

It has been over a decade since the neatly stacked boxes of our new home were pilfered and the numerous effects of having our possessions wiped out linger with us today... such as the hollow feeling at having accidentally left some items off of the insurance claim. I mean, where would I be now with my Guitar Hero prowess if we had remembered that Tiki 1) actually owned a guitar, and 2) had had it stolen!?! Additionally, we were unable to re-purchase many of the 600-odd stolen cd’s (filed under “not-popular” as opposed to “rare”). Thus, James’ “Wah Wah” - the improvised, experimental, oft-forgotten album recorded at the same time as, and a companion piece to, one of the best albums of all time, “Laid” - was not to be heard from again. And in this country, at least, not-popular Wah Wah hasn’t been in circulation for a very, very long time.

Enter good friend, saviour and all-around swell person, Zenmomma Mary:
me: oh, and been meaning to ask... do you own "wah wah"?
her: Was there any doubt? Of course I do. Would you like a copy?
me: BUOY YA!!!! (that's: "yes, please Mary")
her: Right on! I'll get it going this week.

She has nothing else to do, its not like she’s planning a massive conference or buying up fancy real estate or anything!

Wah Wah is an album full of hidden, catchy, “throw-away” musical snippets that is most effective when listened to in its entirety and probably does not represent the best initiation to the greatness that is James. It is, however, much more than simply a completest’s necessity and includes the first recording of “Tomorrow”, arguably James’ finest work and one of a handful of “proper” songs on the album. Here’s an excellent live rendition of “Tomorrow” that includes the ever intriguing on-stage interplay between Saul Davies and Tim Booth as well as supreme evidence of Booth’s infamous whirling dervish-like dancing (apparently Booth’s first job in the band was listed as “dancer”):

Video :: Tomorrow (live) by James

Pretty much makes you want to sell your newly purchased vehicle and go and catch them on their upcoming British reunion tour doesn’t it?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New, insanely astute, observations on recently posted material

Sigur Rós- Heima film: After a week watching snippets on youtube I went out and bought the actual DVD. Performances range from playing to a community hall packed with children and elders sharing tea, to the stunning setting of the ultimately doomed dam protest camp at Snæfellsskála, to the overall beauty of this band, their homeland, Jónsi's unearthly singing and the group’s silent cohesion. Highly (HIGHLY) recommended.

Beach House: “this is damn, damn fine stuff” henceforth re-classified as “this is, yeah, hmmm…not that bad”. Beach House’s swaying dream-pop is amazingly catchy but perhaps best left for those headphonal* moments right before sleep as opposed to those more awake moments of lane jockeying with brazen pickups during the morning commute. Also, it is impossible for me to get the vision of this woman’s bad hair out of my mind (I’m really not that deep).

Vampire Weekend: In the span of one month, my esteem for this new band from New York has gone from casual reference to weighty proclamation of “favourite band of the moment” (albeit to myself and few others), to, after noticing their recent SNL, talk show and magazine cover appearances, questioning my internal mainstream barometer. This parallels the band’s own meteoric rise to stardom and the inevitable/ coinciding media witch-hunt. But this is one band that I’ll happily ignore all external references for. Their blend of clean guitars and slightly kooky vocals have me hooked. I anticipate the love affair will not last long, but then again I am still enjoying the Arctic Monkeys and they were equally derided during their salad days of yore.**
Song :: M79 by Vampire Weekend

The Charlatans: file under “you get what you pay for”. Not much to be gained from the free download of The Charlatans’ new work. Stick with the singles “oh! vanity” and “you cross my path”.

Flogging Molly: Any propulsive celtic tune is mighty fine but when will bands that attempt to re-create the magic of The Pogues realize that without a Shane MacGowan type vocal, or something mildly unique at least, that they are just going to come off like any generic Atlantic Canadian kitchen party band? Good, sure. But it's not this:
Video :: If I Should Fall From Grace With God by The Pogues

Look! Shane once had his front "teeth"!!!

*new word alert!
**update: i think they're already past their sell-buy date with me

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One to Another

The Breeders have a new song out (after years of limited inactivity... and drug busts).
Song :: Bang On by The Breeders

The Breeders, naturally, get me in a Pixies kinda mood... this is the Pixies covered by The Frames...
Song :: Where is My Mind by The Frames (Pixies cover)

The Frames' Glen Hansard starred in "Once".
This is a particularly excellent film. And I can say that on great authority... although I haven't actually, officially watched it as such yet (it's in the pile).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Location, location, location

Arab Strap, complete with their thick accents, seemed to embody Scotland. Of course the band that is named after a particular sexual "device" also likes to spin tales of drunkeness and relentless skirt chasing... so, sorry Scotland (I loov ya... even though you did spend $250k on a new slogan, so cleverly entitled Welcome To Scotland!?!)
Video :: The Shy Retirer by Arab Strab (best Arab Strap song ever!)

Countless English bands - and their descriptive lyrical imagery such as "enslaved in a pebble-dash grave" by Suede - scream out to me in a way that no Canadian band can hope for. In supporting and enjoying musicians and their works I have always struggled with that sense of distance and perspective. Basically, I eschew anything local. I don't want to hear some Canadian band spout off about suburbia...

Actually, that's wrong. There is this amazing Rush classic. Ok... thesis abandoned!

Then there is the (now) internationally popular Sigur Rós who find themselves wrapped up in the very fabric of their nation and pretty much are Iceland. Have 97 minutes to spare? Watch their full-length/ incredible/ goosebump-inducing film:
Movie :: Heima by Sigur Rós


Song :: The Shy Retirer by Arab Strap

"I want to fall in love tonight and form the perfect unbreakable bond
you can be my teenage jenny agutter, swimming naked in a pond
you know i'm always moanin'/ but you jumpstart my seratonin
but how d'you know you've ever really loved?"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


More Swedish twee... by a band named after Canada's official sport: Lacrosse (or as the cool, massive shoulder-pad wearing, lacrosse stick wielding people say - "Lax"). This particular ultra-twee video stars a bunch of animal puppets taking over the world. Yikes!

Video :: You Can't Say No Forever by Lacrosse

Song :: You Can't Say No Forever by Lacrosse

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Immaculate Machine's "Dear Confessor" is a song from last year but with a brand new video. They are from here in Victoria and, to me, are reminiscent of The Spoons, an extremely underrated Canadian new wave band from years gone by. Both the guy-girl vocal and the synths are very "spoony".

Video :: Dear Confessor by Immaculate Machine
Song :: Dear Confessor by Immaculate Machine

Okay, the writing in this post sucks. Like the video, I'm just "phoning it in"! I'm not sure, however, how they manage to get lost in Victoria?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Beach House

The new "dream-pop" is the old "shoegazing" which was the old "dream-pop". Two member Baltimore band Beach House are the current/ great example of dreamy, ethereal, intelligent pop music. Their new album, "Devotion", is released tomorrow... though maybe not in Canada. And that sucks because this is damn, damn fine stuff! One shouldn't concern themselves too much with the fact that singer Victoria resembles "Oh Sherrie" era Steve Perry in this video. I'm sure its just the strange lighting effects!

Video :: You Came To Me by Beach House

Song :: Gila by Beach House
Song :: Master of None by Beach House (from their self-titled debut... warning: awesome!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Video Overload

New music from Vampire Weekend, Black Kids, Band of Horses, The Mountain Goats and a old one from Sufjan Stevens (contest entrant):

The Drumming...
Video :: A-Punk by Vampire Weekend

Song :: The Kids Don't Stand A Chance by Vampire Weekend

The "Next Great Band"...
Video :: I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You by Black Kids

Song :: I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You by Black Kids
Song :: Love Me Already by Black Kids

The Pillow Thief...
Video :: Is There A Ghost by Band of Horses

Song :: Is There A Ghost by Band of Horses

The Literary...
Video :: Sax Rohmer #1 by The Mountain Goats

The Homemade...
Video :: Decatur by Sufjan Stevens

From the "lost bands of the 80’s" files...

Final obscure boxing references of the week... the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy’s “Best Way” contains the Greatest. Sample. Ever. I memorized and subsequently quoted this sample approximately 742 times in my life and I never tire of it. How could you? It’s philosophical, witty and just a darn pleasing/ pretty mantra to base your life on!!???!!

”Just keep punching, that's the thing to do.
Remember the words of the philosopher Ken Morgester, who once said:
"Failure is not falling down, failure is staying down".
And that's a good thought for this day, or any day.
Say, did you ever grab a wishbone and wish that the chicken you had just served had been tastier? Well that won't happen with Waybest chicken. Waybest is so superb you serve it with no regrets, no apologies. When you take a Waybest chicken from the oven golden-brown and mouth-watering to look at, you know it will delight everybody at the table.”

I can, however, be somewhat objective with my quotation love affairs. For example, if I can’t even find one reference to “Ken Morgester” online, just how much should I be listening to this “philosopher”. Also, I once met the Jazz Butcher himself, Pat Fish, and asked him if he ever grew weary of all the Lloyd Cole comparisons. He said no and then laid into Lloyd a bit by saying, bizarrely and incorrectly, that “Eva Marie Saint wasn’t even in “On The Waterfront”” (as referenced in LC and The Commotions' "Rattlesnakes"). On the Waterfront being a movie, of course, about falling down… but not staying down!

Rattlesnakes by Lloyd Cole and The Commotions

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Boxing Clever(er) - This is Teh Kid

Thirty-odd years ago I was the proud recipient of my Grandpa’s plaid housecoat. Though not at all shiny (or made of lame), I considered it the ultimate boxing accessory, immediately emblazoned it with “The Kid”, and commenced shadow-boxing and sneering my way throughout the house. But instead of my older brother quivering with fear, as I had naively anticipated, he just laughed at me. He pointed out that my little masking-tape job had inadvertently spelled out “Teh Kid” and, poof, my dream of boxing superiority vanished in an instant… quickly replaced by year upon year of fraternal “Tehkid”-based mockery.

But who’s laughing now I say? Because in addition to being a commonly misspelled word (by 10 year olds and adults alike!), “teh” (in place of “the”) appears to be gaining rapid modern-day slang momentum as it makes its way through the urbane lexicon. And here are a few examples to support my claim:

As slang, grammatical usage of the word teh is somewhat fluid. Besides being an alternate spelling of the, teh also has grammatical properties not generally applied to the; in general, it is used somewhat like an intensified “the”.

Furthermore, teh is sometimes used in front of a verb in a novel form of gerund. The best-known example of this is the word suck. Thus, the phrase "this sucks" can be converted into "this is teh suck."

And… in the techie world of elitist internet boards, “the frequent and consistent misspelling of the word “teh” has become both conventionalized and intentional”.

Video :: Boxers by Morrissey

Losing in your home town
Hell is the bell
That will not ring again
You will return one day
Because of all the things that you see
When your eyes close

Monday, February 18, 2008

Boxing Clever

One AM Radio is the work of Los Angeleno Hrishikesh Hirway. Though not particularly well known throughout the Globe (just yet) Hirway already has had one of his songs featured in a car commercial. I don’t think car commercials are the mark of selling-out they once were as, after all, one needs to somehow fund all those gadgets and equipment when you're out on your own. Also, it’s a Pontiac.

The One AM Radio/ Hirway songs seem simple enough on the surface but manage to evoke something quite a bit more (ala Loney, Dear). What I especially like about him are the captivating visual story-lines that accompany many of his songs and bring them to life. There is a video for “Witness” that is pretty interesting and features some late at night kick-ball action. And there is this one for “In The Time We've Got" that surrounds the world of female boxing, but of course is not actually about boxing (boxing is never really about boxing now is it?)...

Video :: In The Time We've Got by The One AM Radio

Song :: In The Time We've Got by The One AM Radio

"When night falls, there's an electricity in the air
on your bare arms that sings of what could be"


Saturday, February 16, 2008

We Missed You

I think members of Grandaddy, who folded last year, will be better off on their own. The stress of being really good but not ever "making it" was too much for their collective talents to handle.

The Beautiful South will be missed, though Paul Heaton is so talented, and he knows so many people who can back him, that his solo career is sure to thrive.

But some bands simply aren't allowed to call it a day. Like James. After James ended a remarkable 20 year run about seven years ago, singer Tim Booth did have a pretty decent solo venture. However, as a band they are truly magical - kings of the indie-pop anthem. And, thankfully, they have recognized this. New album release date: 04/07/08.

Video :: We're Going To Miss You by James

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moon Baby

Moonbabies, indie starlets from Malmö, have (surprisingly) had a bit of staying power with me... to the extent that I may just buy their CD one day! Their winning formula is their male/female vocal interplay and their ability to write a catchy tune - a product of the ten year union of Carina Johansson and Ola Frick.

Described as dream-pop, primarily I suppose because of their use of “moody” electronics and the way the vocals seem to hover on top of the “expansive” instrumentation, Moonbabies offer up some fairly straight forward tunes that seem to give off just enough quirk to make them intriguing.

"War on Sound" features solid drumming, some nifty bass and Grandaddy-type synths that pop up at the end. The video, complete with weightless ping-ponging and accidental floating in space (never a good thing), is as non-cheesy as a space-themed mini-flick-on-a-budget can be these days.

Video :: War on Sound by Moonbabies

Song :: War on Sound by Moonbabies
Song :: Sun A.M. by Moonbabies

Happy Valentine's Day

Video :: Valentine by Richard Hawley
Song :: Valentine by Richard Hawley

Song :: Valentine by The Replacements

"If you were a pill/ I'd take a handful at my will
And I'd knock you back with something sweet and strong
Plenty of times you wake up/ In February make-up
Like a fool and the morning star you're gone"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Geek Rock

Daedelus (of Fair Weather Friends fame) Live:

I wonder if he ever smashes his computer at the end of a set?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Re-issue, Re-package

Today is Morrissey CD Release Day. Yes, the Pope of Mope has released a Best Of album... during Valentine’s week!?! Yet another Best Of album that is. This one prominently features his "uninspired" years. Yet he remains a God - go figure?

So don't buy this (cause you already own all the songs). Celebrate the day, instead, with a former band member who still makes Relevant. Music. Shocking!?!

Modest Mouse, featuring ex-Smith Johnny Marr, make great videos and "Invisible" is a sure-fire keeper. And when the video's star, glistening-with-sweat boy, finally drops his little hacky sack... flabby-abed footie wannabes the world over punch their fists in the air with glee (like me!).

O.C. in the PNW

I'll never admit to getting into Death Cab For Cutie from watching The O.C... but damn that Seth knew his music!

Despite that I prefer Death Cab offshoot The Postal Service to Death Cab themselves, any link to this band can only be a good thing. Video filmed in Portland and Seattle, audio recorded in Vancouver and Victoria, this is Death Cab's Chris Walla (and friends) doing his best Steve Zissou impersonation in the straight forward single, "Sing Again"...

Video :: Sing Again by Chris Walla
Song :: Sing Again by Chris Walla

Friday, February 8, 2008