Articles posted in April 2011

What’s her name and what’s she like?

I'm seeing triple! Nine Louises!
I’ve already posted one cut from from Louse Burns‘s solo debut, Mellow Drama. Here’s another, noisier track from that album called “Paper Cup.” This is where her slight shoegaze influence comes out, as the tune features fuzzed-out guitars alongside carnivalesque organs and Ventures-inspired surf leads.

I reviewed the album for Exclaim! and wrote an article about Burns for The Tyee.


 
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You never even felt the floor

Pre-vomit by three seconds
Okay, to make up for that stupid Killers song I posted yesterday, here’s one of the best songs of the year so far (yes, another). It’s by the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and it’s the title track from the newly-released Belong. This is what happens when a dream pop band hooks up with the same producers and mixers responsible for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

It begins with a pretty, jangling groove, but this turns out to be a bluff, as it explodes with speaker-melting fuzz just a few seconds later. Luckily, the alt. rock turn doesn’t interfere with the group’s tunefulness, and the chorus is pure bliss.

This might be even better than the last song I posted from Belong.


 
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The sum of man slouching towards Bethlehem

Halloween, hopefully
On Friday evening, I saw Bright Eyes and Titus Andronicus at the Commodore Ballroom. I submitted my review to the Georgia Straight late that night, and by the time I woke up on Saturday, it had already been published. Instant gratification. (Incidentally, I also wrote this review of The People’s Key).

Since Bright Eyes doesn’t have any new songs streaming (and since Titus Andronicus hasn’t released an album in a year), here’s the Killers‘ cover of Bright Eyes’ “Four Winds.” It reinvents the countrified original as a schmaltzy dance pop tune.

Even more interesting that the stylistic makeover is the fact that Brandon Flowers, a Mormon, is singing lyrics about going to “commune with the dead” at a spiritual camp (Cassadaga) and declaring, “the Bible’s blind.”

Okay, so the cover is pretty bad. But it’s an interesting idea, and a certain someone has been daring me to write about Brandon Flowers for a long time now.


 
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Kung-fu fighting on your roller skates

Who let the Dude in the car?
A couple of years ago, I conducted an excruciatingly awkward interview with Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders for an article in BeatRoute. Boring quotes aside, I’ve been listening to this band for years and was a big fan of 2004′s Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.

The group’s new disc is called Suck It and See (seriously?) and it’s out on June 7 via Domino. Go to Exclaim! to read my article about it.

Below is “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair,” which is part James Bond theme song, part swampy garage rock stomper. This one is all about the wordless falsetto payoff.


 
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Wake me up when you’re home

Face-sized leaf
There’s no explanation needed here. It’s fuckin’ Chad VanGaalen! This track is drop-dead gorgeous, with a haunting melody, beautiful harmonies, and just the right amount of ragged charm (the rickety-sounding guitar, the pitchy whistling).

I premiered this track over at Exclaim!, so go there to read more. This comes from the upcoming Diaper Island, due out May 17 via Flemish Eye/Sub Pop.

Jeez. This is one of my favourite songs this year.


 
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Hi, I’m in Delaware

He was actually very friendly
During last year’s Polaris race, I ranked Little GirlsConcepts as my top album. So I’m pretty excited that the band is currently working on the follow-up. Go to Exclaim! to read my interview with project founder Josh McIntyre.

He’s putting out a new EP called Cults soon. Listen to a song from that release, “Delaware,” below. (Hi.) It’s a super dark, new wave-y cut that was previously released as a single. Awesome.


 
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Oh my God, what have I done?

So much beard
The band name refers to an intersection in Winnipeg, but Portage & Main actually hails from Vancouver. The song “What Have I Done,” meanwhile, is a smooth folk pop tune that sounds a bit like it came from the beloved PEI group Two Hours Traffic. Music doesn’t get much more Canadian than this.

Pick up the band’s self-titled debut over at Bandcamp.


 
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Without love it’s so hard to see

Mittens! Glasses! Scarves!
I reviewed the Dodos for Exclaim! over the weekend. The opener was an indie pop duo called Reading Rainbow that recalled any number of vintage indie pop acts from the ’80s and ’90s. The band’s songs were all pretty much the same, but I didn’t mind, since it was a good song.

This one is a little slower than most of what the band played. It’s a dreamy, shoegazing cut called “Cover the Sky.” It’s coming out on 7″ through Hell Yes! on April 11.

Hat tip to We All Want Someone to Shout For.


 
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Turn away from the living

I propose a remix album called Rave Vigoda
I interviewed Abe Vigoda for the Georgia Straight back in February, and I’m still listening to the band’s latest album, Crush, on a regular basis. Tropical punk was this group’s calling card, but it does synth-spiked new wave even better.

Here’s the album track “To Tears.” This one sounds a bit more like the band’s past work than some of the ultra-dark new songs (“Pure Violence,” “Repeating Angel”), but it’s cool too.


 
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You and you alone

Thinking about the band Think About Life
Miracle Fortress‘s new album, Was I the Wave?, is a total banger. I mean that in terms of quality, not tone, since it’s actually got a lot of spacey, ambient moments. This includes “Raw Spectacle,” a six-minute swirl of blissful synths and ascendent vocals. It frequently feels like it’s about to explode into a full-blown dance track, but it mostly just simmers.


 
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