Articles posted in July 2010

As long as I stayed clean

Best live band ever!
I’ve raved about Apollo Ghosts so many times that it’s getting kind of ridiculous. The Polaris-nominated jangle punks have a new cassette only EP coming out, Cedar Street, and it’s just as awesome as you’d expect. Head over to Exclaim! to read my article about the new release.

Here’s a cover of the Vaselines‘ “Molly’s Lips,” which appears on Cedar Street. It’s dirtier and fuzzier than anything Apollo Ghosts have done before, with tape-warbled vocals and shrieks of Velvet Underground-style guitar. So badass, and just 1:09 long!

MP3: “Molly’s Lips”
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Maybe I’m dumb for asking

Fools in the woods
Yesterday I was googling myself (always a useful way to spend your time) and discovered that I’m mentioned on CiTR 101.9 FM‘s page on Wikipedia. Under the heading for Discorder (the radio station’s magazine) it reads, “Many writers have gone on to work for other publications including…Alex Hudson who writes for Guttersnipe and BeatRoute.” Awesome. I mean, my journalism credentials are a little out of date, but still awesome.

Now that I’m done self-mythologizing (which isn’t really what I’m doing, but let’s make it sound better than what it actually is) here’s a song from the Wilderness of Manitoba. It’s called “Hermit” and it’s a peaceful, harmonica-laden acoustic waltz from the band’s recent LP, When You Left the Fire. With it’s tale of isolation, think of this one as “Fool on the Hill” set in the woods.

MP3: “Hermit”
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Babe Rainbow all the way

The makers of plastic wrap probably don't endorse this image
Woah, that’s “Shaved” by Babe Rainbow. All the way. Babe Rainbow, oh my god. It’s a Babe Rainbow all the way. Woah, that’s so intense. Woah, man. Woah. Woah. Wo-ho-ho-ho, oh my god, OH MY GOD! OHHH! Oh my god! WHOOO! OHHH WOW! WHOOO! YEAH! Oh my god, look at that. It’s starting to even look like a triple rainbow. Oh my god, it’s full-on, Babe Rainbow all the way across the sky. Oh my god. Oh god. What does this mean? Ohhh. Oh my god. Ohhh. Oh god. It’s so bright! Oh my god! It’s so bright and vivid! OHHH! OHHH! OHHH! It’s so beautiful.

[30 seconds of crying slowly turning into laughter]

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god, it’s a Babe complete Rainbow. Oh my fucking god. Oh my god! Oh my god, what does it mean? Tell me. Too much! Tell me what it means! Oh my god. It’s so intense. Oh. Ah. Oh my god.

See this for more. Also this.

MP3: “Shaved”
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Filling up your heart with hiss

The flower children of Twin Sister
Over the past couple of weeks, my web designer Mike Withers and I have been watching Twin Peaks. One of my favourite things about the show is its score, with its sweeping textures and massive, pillowy synth chords. So I was intrigued when I picked up Twin Sister‘s EP Color Your Life and noticed that the sticker on the front described it as having “Twin Peaks soundscapes.”

The EP’s standout is “All Around and Away We Go,” an infectious disco strut with soft-focus synths and gently cooing vocal hooks. If the Bee Gees were to draw inspiration from a supernatural murder mystery set in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, it might sound something like this.

MP3: “All Around and Away We Go”
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Doesn’t matter, it’s lost anyway

Sex Church is ready for doomsday
I was just reading about how the BP oil spill is going to result an a methane explosion that could cause the extinction of humanity. Oh boy.

Here’s the perfect tune to usher in the coming apocalypse. It’s called “The Floor” and it comes from Vancouver’s Sex Church. It’s as peaceful as it is terrifying, with a simple three-chord progression that could pass for bubblegum pop if only it weren’t seven minutes long and soaked in speaker-melting fuzz. Just like “Heroin” by the Velvet Underground, it makes complete destruction sound absolutely beautiful.

MP3: “The Floor”
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Keeping busy while the seconds run

Holland vs. the Shilohs for the World Cup
Here’s one of the most convincing ’60s pop throwbacks I’ve heard in a while. It’s called “History of Love” and it comes from Vancouver locals the Shilohs. This one sticks to the classic pop formula: bass, drums, a couple guitars and a whole whack of vocal harmonies. Listen if you like bands with names that start with “B.”

I interviewed the Shilohs for last month’s issue of BeatRoute. The band has a self-titled EP coming out later this month.

MP3: “History of Love”
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You left a trail

This is how to make your press shot stand out
It takes a certain kind of courage to release a six-and-a-half-minute opus as the first single from a new album. This is the kind of hubris usually reserved for Oasis and, er, Death Cab for Cutie. Still, there’s nothing bloated about Women‘s “Eyesore,” a twisty prog rocker with lots of starts and stops and chiming arpeggios. Fans of Women’s awesome self-titled album from 2008 will be pleased to note that the song has the same lo-fi crackle as the debut.

“Eyesore” is the final track on Public Strain, due out on September 28 via Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar.

MP3: “Eyesore”
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She’s prettier and skinnier

Like I was saying: funny
I’ve written several times about how much I love Best Coast. These days I don’t usually idolize musicians like I used to when I was a teenager, but Bethany Cosentino is so rad. If I lived in California, I would probably stand outside of her house and then when she came out I would pretend that I was just passing by but happened to have one of her records and a sharpie and a camera in my bag. Oh hi! What a coincidence!

I’m a little behind on posting her new single, but better late than never. Here’s it is, the dreamy, romantic and downright fucking awesome “Boyfriend.” Over a woozy wash of reverbed guitars and punchy drums, Cosentino complains, “I wish he was my boyfriend.” I think she should try online dating. Everybody’s doing it, apparently.

Incidentally, everyone who has Twitter should follow Bethany at @bestycoastyy. Her updates are usually about her cat, weed or TV, and they’re always hilarious. Case in point.

Oh wait, one more thing! Best Coast teamed up with Kid Cudi and Vampire Weekend‘s Rostam Batmanglij on the track “All Summer.” Download it over at Converse. Head to Exclaim! to read my recent story about the collaboration.

MP3: “Boyfriend”
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Ultimate life

In this light, the members of Abe Vigoda almost look...dead
Good news everyone: Abe Vigoda is still alive! The actor as well as the band. The former is hanging out with Betty White and eating Snickers bars. The latter just released a new single.

The song is called “Throwing Shade” and it’s a crossover into electropop. Head over to Exclaim! to read my article about the band’s upcoming album, Crush. By the sound of things, it’s going to be a big departure from 2008′s Skeleton.

As always, head over to Twitter to stay updated on the continued well-being of Abe Vigoda (the actor).

MP3: “Throwing Shade”
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I could run away

I stole this from Pitchfork
I’ve already posted one song from the Kia-sponsored Adult Swim Singles Program, Washed Out‘s blissful “You and I.” Here’s another from up-and-comers Cults. It’s called “Oh My God,” and it sounds simultaneously wizened and youthful as frontwoman Madeline Follin sings, “Please don’t tell me you know the rules to go by.” Her chirpy vocals resemble a ten-year-old Michael Jackson, an impression that’s intensified by the singsong melodies and her threat, “I could run away” (which sounds distinctly like “How to get an A” from “ABC”).

You can see a beautifully-short video for the track here. Dream baby dream.

MP3: “Oh My God”
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