An exceptional video from a band we love to hate sometimes!
Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category
Black Hat Brigade- Zombie City Shake
Perhaps it is mere proximity that has me talking about Canada as if it were the hydroponic greenhouse of good music. Whatever the case, Black Hat Brigade, from somewhere-or-another Ontario, has penetrated into New York, prompting me to tell you how great they are. They are like a nine-headed hydra, with each viperous head representing an enduring tradition of independent spirited stylistic wisdom. What the fuck does that even mean? It has been said that these guys are post-rock, which can be deduced from the lyricless sprawls, cavernous reverberations, and extended buildups, as in the song epically titled Swords. But the outfit has no problem shifting to into an indie dance beat that approaches the realm of Eagle Seagull or Talking Heads; the specter of late seventies Mancunian music appearing throughout.
No matter what their slightly schizophrenic style choice is for any particular moment, Black Hat Brigade makes great music. They are asking for donations to self-release their newest EP Fathers due out May 29th. Of course a donation of $10 or more gets you a copy of their EP. This sounds to me an awful lot like they are selling the thing for $10 (or more if you really like it). With the industry as saturated and volatile as it is, it seems everyone is finding creative ways to fund their projects. But I say if they want to be bums, it is time they travel to New York and pander in the clubs of Brooklyn.
April 23rd – Lee’s Palace, TORONTO w/ Youth Group and Bellewoods
May 29th – El Mocambo, TORONTO **FATHERS EP Release Party!
PS I know they are from Brampton
Green Go- We’re in a Thunderstorm (Gentlemen Reg Remix)
Green Go- This Sentence Will Ruin Save Your Life (Born Ruffians Remix)
Ontario illectronic indie dance meisters Green Go have released a remix album of their favorite fellow Canadian acts including Women, The D’Ubervilles, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Gentlemen Reg, and our favorite Born Ruffians. These tunes are a taste of their fuzz filled style. The band sports their original music on their Myspace page, which I find to be twice as interesting as their remixes, but this record of reworks is certainly worth a listen. It will give you a taste of what’s to come this month as they release their debut LP, Borders. So Cheers, and enjoy! We hope to report on their release this month.
Great Bloomers- The Young Ones Slept
This track from Great Bloomers’ forthcoming full length is well worth a listen. The track is called The Young Ones Slept and the new LP has been named Speak of Trouble. It is being released on Maple Music Recordings, a tip of the hat to Canada’s burgeoning music scene. The recording and production of their new material is much more polished, possibly a sign that they have left behind some of the more Pavement-esque song structures that require a calculated measure of unevenness and low fidelity. Of course we will have to wait and see when the record is released in April. If The Young Ones Slept is any indication, we eagerly anticipate another taste of this indie-pop confection.
Darla Farmer and Wintersleep are starting 2009 with bright proclamations.This week Wintersleep are #26 on the College Music Journal‘s Top 200 chart. They released Welcome to the Night Sky last November and have toured with a number of great acts including Wolf Parade. Their mix of calculated, guitar driven rock gives Canada a good name. They left us wondering, what is in their water… just how many bands can Canada export? They are now touring their homeland and will zip over to Europe February 10th. They will be back in the US soon enough though, and we’ll be happy to welcome them.
Darla Farmer, after releasing their 2008 debut Rewiring the Electric Forest on Paper Garden Records, and touring with a slew of notable artists, has landed a spot on NPR‘s All Things Considered. The spot is sure to expose their circus sideshow to millions. They are also rereleasing last year’s debut on February 17th. Check out both of these fine bands and your ears will be kindly rewarded.
Wintersleep- Welcome to the Night Sky Review
Darla Farmer- Rewiring the Electric Forest Review
May 20th 2008
There is a history here, a Montreal history that I don’t understand. The accolades that have pushed Island’s second disc onto the shelves of every major record retailer must be rooted in the friendships the band enjoys within the tightly knit music community of Montreal. With the support of members and former members of Arcade Fire, The Unicorns, and Wolf Parade, Islands recorded and released their debut Return to the Sea. Now they have come at us again hoping that some of that earned cachet and the fostered connections will provide a favorable lens through which to judge their newest effort. I just don’t have it in me to see it their way.
Making a playlist of my favorite Canadian bands would take hours, but I know that Islands probably would not be on the list. There are very few things I like less than an album, which shows all the signs of greatness, is striped of its pretty packaging and exposed as a fraud. I loved the psychedelic loving images from the cover of Arm’s Way, framed by what looks to be a hacked open chest cavity. The pink flesh color reveals a stylized Eden complete with a mushroom cloud and burning car, the outer edges of which, when looked at closely, reveal a wound composed of suggestive yet ambiguous pink parts. But even when you tear away that cellophane wrapping, the disc never looses its status as a packaged product.
Islands’ style is an amalgamation of everything pop. It is hard to deny their song writing abilities. Nicholas Thorburn’s, former vocalist of The Unicorns, brings tons of energy and talent to Islands. The song Abominable Snow, written prior to the formation of Islands, is a great tune with dense textures that allow the sounds of every instrument- guitar, violin, keys- to ebb and flow in volume. Kids Don’t Know Shit is a passionate track that lyrically walks the balance beam between sarcasm and sincere judgment of the supposedly oblivious youth. There are many elements of Arm’s Way that naturally lend it to a favorable review.
The record’s flaws do not come from the writing aspect, although I might suggest that many if not most of the lyrics are uninteresting. No, Islands’ problem comes in the production and conceptualization of Arm’s Way. The maturity that they sought to express ended up painting their project with a veneer of contrivances, caricaturing a style that they and others popularized previously. Songs like The Arm fail to reach the level of epic depth that they overtly are attempting. You do not achieve anything simply by adding a violin run here and there. J’Aime Vous Voire Quitter begins well conceived, but the chorus jolts the listener from good to poor taste before it pulls another punch to the senses when it erupts into La Bamba.
For all it lacks, especially in the first half of the record, Arm’s Way still has enough buoyancy to make a listen worth while. Vertigo closes well. Although it plays lyrically with the often appealed to image of being picked up just to fall down again, the somber vocal melody and full guitar orchestration generate genuine moments of grandeur. But the excellence of this track does much to remind the listener of how little the record offered in its introduction. Islands may be forever but cachet can be exhausted like any other currency.
Return to the Sea- 2006