Articles posted in September 2010

Searching for a fatal flaw

Band on the run
This week, Women released their excellent second album, Public Strain. It’s a little less all over the map than their 2008 debut; there’s nothing as overtly catchy as “Black Rice,” nor is there anything as abrasively noisy as “Flashlights.” Instead, the album favours drones and hazy slow-burners.

I’ve already posted the rocking “Eyesore.” Here’s “Narrow with the Hall,” which is a little stranger, with its brittle guitar strums, guitar drones and metronomic beat.

I recently interviewed frontman Patrick Flegel for ION.

MP3: “Narrow with the Hall”
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Some days but never at night

Kick Evrything plying msic
I’ve been getting messages warning me that this site is almost out of bandwidth for September. It’s a good thing, because it means that I’ve been getting more traffic, but it’s possible that the site will go down at some point in the next two days. Hopefully by making this post I won’t be pushing it over the edge.

Here’s the latest from Vancouver vowel-omitting trio Kick Evrything. The band has a new album out, Stay In/Slow Now, which I reviewed for the Georgia Straight. Below is the simmering robo-rocker “Motion Man.”

The band is touring across Canada in October. See the schedule over at MySpace.

MP3: “Motion Man”
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Struck upon the brain in my head

They just swam in that great lake
Colin Heubert was once the drummer of Great Lake Swimmers, but he’s since relocated to Vancouver and started his own project, Siskiyou, along with GLS cohort Erik Arnesen. For live shows, he’s joined by Said the Whale‘s Peter Carruthers and Red Cedar‘s Shaunn Watt.

Siskiyou’s self-titled debut is out now via Constellation. Click below for the folksy single “Never Ever Ever Ever Again.” With its eerie layered vocals and moody, distorted rock out, this is one for drinking alone to.

MP3: “Never Ever Ever Ever Again”
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We could give up and know nothing

I get the sense that Phil Elverum is the kind of guy who writes a lot of songs. I mean, that much is obvious from his prolific output as the mastermind behind the Microphones and Mount Eerie. But something in his homespun, stream-of-consciousness style gives me the impression that he has even more songs hidden away, just waiting to be released.

Now, he’s getting set to open up the archives for Song Islands Vol. 2, a 31-track rarities compilation due out on October 19. Unlike the first Song Islands compilation, this one is coming out under the Mount Eerie moniker.

Check out “Calf in Pasture” below, which has a pleasant soft rock vibe—at least until the distorted guitar enters during the bridge.

MP3: “Calf in Pasture”
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Your whole entire so-called life

The Spider from Mars
Diamond Rings (née John O’Regan): the source of some of the best songs, best videos and best press shots I’ve discovered this year. Last night, I went to Goody to watch him play at the No More Strangers after party. Staying out until 4 AM when you are sick is probably not the best idea ever, but it was worth it.

Here’s the latest in a string of incredible singles. It’s called “Something Else,” and it’s a little moodier and guitar-heavy than what we’re used to from Diamond Rings. Of course, these things are all relative, since it’s still got plenty of dance-worthy beats, romantic lyrics and a killer chorus.

MP3: “Something Else”
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Come with me, I need you

Wait, we're looking at the camera on this one?
Out of any album I’ve heard this year, Lower DensTwin-Hand Movement has been the biggest grower. When I first listened to it a few months back, its hazed-out guitar jams struck me as unremarkable, but the subtle hooks and seductive atmosphere got to me in time. Go to Exclaim! to read my review.

Here’s the excellent opening track, “Blue & Silver,” a breezy rocker that’s half fuzz, half jangle. It’s the perfect entry point to Twin-Hand Movement‘s dream pop awesomeness.

MP3: “Blue & Silver”
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Change comes to all of us

Rustic shirts party
Vancouver’s got lots of pop bands and more than its share of punk and metal acts, but we don’t have much in the way of baroque rock. Where are all of our cellists and flugelhorn players?

41st and Home is an exception to the rule. Here’s the slow-building “Sleeper,” which swells from a folksy ballad to an orchestral crescendo. Now that Sufjan Stevens has gone electronic, you can get your baroque fix here. I get the funny feeling I’ve heard of a song called “Sleeper” before. (Inside joke, don’t worry about it.)

A while back, I reviewed the band’s show with City of Glass, Treelines and Jordan Klassen for BeatRoute.

MP3: “Sleeper”
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My one true love I’m waiting for

Heaven looks like this
When I posted the lead single from Frankie Rose & the Outs‘ self-titled debut a few months back, I hadn’t heard the disc. Now I have, and can confirm that it kicks righteous ass.

I plugged this album when I was on the September episode of The Hype Machine Radio Show. You can also go to Exclaim! to read my review.

Below, I’ve got the new single “Candy.” It’s a little more dreamy than the first single, and is an ode to all things sugary and sweet. I suppose it could be a love song, but I’m inclined to interpret this literally as a song about candy. Peppermints probably.

MP3: “Candy”
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People insisted on telling you

I have the same shoes, but so does everyone
This morning I woke up at 4:40 AM. That is a very bad time to wake up. I’m not sure if it’s very early today or very late yesterday. Since then I’ve worked a full day and I’m beat.

Speaking of being awake early in the morning, Daniel, Fred & Julie didn’t go on until past midnight when I saw them a couple of weeks back. It was a Wednesday night and I was due to start news writing at 8 AM the next morning. Life is hard sometimes.

Now that I’ve made myself sound like an old man, here’s one we used to listen to back in the day. It’s called “Consolation Prize,” and it comes from Julie Doiron’s album I Can Wonder What You Did with Your Day, which was released way back in 2009. Remember then? Simpler times. It’s a peppy fuzz rocker that sounds miles away from her folksy work with Daniel, Fred and Julie. The best part is the guitar solo, which scarcely features any actual notes, just screeching feedback, some shattering and what sounds like a ringing telephone.

Go to Exclaim! to read my review of the concert.

MP3: “Consolation Prize”
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All bent out of shape

Beardo, Hairguy and the other two
There’s lo-fi and then there’s just plain sloppy. Sometimes, Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils end up on the wrong side of that divide: “Daydream,” the sixth track off their self-titled debut, contains such arrhythmic beats that it’s tough to know how the guitars manage to keep up.

“Youth,” on the other hand, is a perfect introduction to the band’s summery jangle pop sound—mainly because the rhythm section actually keeps time. With its chiming, interweaving arpeggios and murky vocal harmonies, fans of Real Estate, Ducktails and Wild Nothing are going to be all over this shit.

When I, ahem, acquired the Beach Fossils album, there were no track numbers attached to the files. That meant that the songs ran in alphabetical order, and “Youth” was last. It turns out that it’s actually track two, which makes much more sense.

MP3: “Youth”
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