La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Monday, January 28, 2008


Some great news today that R.E.M. will tour North America this May and June in support of Accelerate , their new record, set to be released on April 1st. R.E.M. have always been exciting in concert and I have been fortunate to see the band on every major tour since 1983. This time out the band will be joined on the tour by playlist stalwarts, Modest Mouse and The National in Canada and the United States. Early reviews of the new record have been very good, check out their website for a song preview Supernatural Superserious.

++the dates++

Vancouver 5/23 - DEER LAKE PARK
Los Angeles 5/29 - HOLLYWOOD BOWL
Berkeley 5/31 - THE GREEK THEATRE
Denver 6/03 - RED ROCKS
Chicago 6/06 - UNITED CENTER
Boston 6/13 - TWEETER CENTER
Long Island 6/14 - JONES BEACH THEATER
Philadelphia 6/18 - MANN CENTER
New York City 6/19 - TBA

Friday, January 25, 2008

PLAYLIST 12 - Unlike a Lot of Them Who Faked it, He Could Really Hear it in His Head

There are times when I give up a little too much with these playlists; sometimes revealing curious personality traits probably better left to my own device. Admittedly then, dear reader, this one is a tad unusual but it does have a cohesive and “floaty” nature that I love. In a bizarre twist this compilation was inspired by a particularly unusual dream.* Disparate elements included a drowning dog, a Spanish speaking Jesus, a sepia tone photograph and an urban landscape.

(Boy oh boy, when you start soundtracking your dreams the mixtapes are clearly taking over your life. )

Alternate title – Hello Dali

Of Montreal – The Past is a Grotesque Animal
Deerhoof - +81

Menomena – Evil Bee
Electrelane - The Valleys
Matthew Dear - Pom Pom
Fujiya And Miyagi - Photocopier
NEU! - Hallogallo
The Fall - New Big Prinz
Grinderman – Electric Alice
Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Torso Corso
Sonic Youth – Little Trouble Girl
Pavement - 5 - 4=Unity
Velvet Underground - Rock n’ Roll
Os Mutantes - Bat Macumba
Arto/Neto - Pini Pini

(*No more salsa and chips after 11pm now.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Alternate Use for That Old Phil Collins Album Part 63

A friend sent me a link to this Flickr group today. Now I don't know if this will shake up the arts community but I think it is pretty creative. My favourite is the Big Black submission. (Let me know which ones you like or even submit a new one to me.)

They might have too much time on their hands but this is cool as hell.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

She & Him Record Due March 18th

She & Him
Volume 1 - March 18, 2008

On this cold January day some news to warm the proverbial musical soul. Merge Records has announced the M Ward/Zooey Deschanel project dubbed She & Him - Volume 1, will be released on March 18th. You might remember Zooey from Almost Famous (the older sister with the amazing record collection) and Elf (Will Ferrell's "department store elf" love interest). The unlikely duo first met in 2006 for a movie soundtrack project in which they recorded a version of Richard and Linda Thompson’s “When I Get To The Border”. While in the studio, they were immediately struck by one another’s talents and found an instant rapport. The result, this gorgeous release recorded over a period of several months last year.

A stylistic match made in heaven this one holds great promise. Zooey and M. will also be playing the Merge Records showcase at SxSW in March. Let's hope a full blown tour is not far off.

Download: She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oscar Nomination Time!

Everything is indeed pop and I would be remiss if I did not include a post concerning the just announced Oscar nominations. A few nominations near and dear to my heart - Actress: Ellen Page, "Juno." Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There" Original Song: "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Adapted Screenplay: Sarah Polley, "Away From Her".

The only disappointment, at least for me was Jonny Greenwood's non-nomination for Best Original Score for "There Will Be Blood". They remembered Ellen Page though, so all is forgiven!

Let's hope the Hollywood Writer's reach an agreement soon. Seeing Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova perform "Falling Slowly" before the world's stage would be a huge thrill!

Complete list of 80th annual Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday:

1. Best Picture: "Atonement," "Juno," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."

2. Actor: George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"; Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"; Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises."

3. Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"; Julie Christie, "Away From Her"; Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"; Laura Linney, "The Savages"; Ellen Page, "Juno."

4. Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"; Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"; Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson's War"; Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton."

5. Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"; Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"; Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"; Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"; Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton."

6. Director: Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Jason Reitman, "Juno"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."

7. Foreign Film: "Beaufort," Israel; "The Counterfeiters," Austria; "Katyn," Poland; "Mongol," Kazakhstan; "12," Russia.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Christopher Hampton, "Atonement"; Sarah Polley, "Away from Her"; Ronald Harwood, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."

9. Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, "Juno"; Nancy Oliver, "Lars and the Real Girl"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava and Jim Capobianco, "Ratatouille"; Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages."

10. Animated Feature Film: "Persepolis"; "Ratatouille"; "Surf's Up."

11. Art Direction: "American Gangster," "Atonement," "The Golden Compass," "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "There Will Be Blood."

12. Cinematography: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "Atonement," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."

13. Sound Mixing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "3:10 to Yuma," "Transformers."

14. Sound Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "There Will Be Blood," "Transformers."

15. Original Score: "Atonement," Dario Marianelli; "The Kite Runner," Alberto Iglesias; "Michael Clayton," James Newton Howard; "Ratatouille," Michael Giacchino; "3:10 to Yuma," Marco Beltrami.

16. Original Song: "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova; "Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "Raise It Up" from "August Rush," Nominees to be determined; "So Close" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "That's How You Know" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

17. Costume: "Across the Universe," "Atonement," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "La Vie en Rose," "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

18. Documentary Feature: "No End in Sight," "Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience," "Sicko," "Taxi to the Dark Side," "War/Dance."

19. Documentary (short subject): "Freeheld," "La Corona (The Crown)," "Salim Baba," "Sari's Mother."

20. Film Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Into the Wild," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."

21. Makeup: "La Vie en Rose," "Norbit," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

22. Animated Short Film: "I Met the Walrus," "Madame Tutli-Putli," "Meme Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)," "My Love (Moya Lyubov)," "Peter & the Wolf."

23. Live Action Short Film: "At Night," "Il Supplente (The Substitute)," "Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)," "Tanghi Argentini," "The Tonto Woman."

24. Visual Effects: "The Golden Compass," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Transformers."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

PLAYLIST 11 – The Best Songs of 2007

One last look back at the Best of 2007. This time, the songs that made a difference to me. As always, a playlist to mark the occasion. Looking back, 2007 marked a year of musical brilliance highlighted by new discoveries and a host of reliable favourites.

I am looking forward to what 2008 will bring. With rumours of the demise of the cd and declining music sales it should at the very least prove interesting. In the end I am quite certain that the good music will indeed prevail and it will be heard. I’ll certainly do my best to help with that.

Battles - Tonto
Electrelane - The Lighthouse
Deerhunter - Fluorescent Grey
Boris with Michio Kurihara - My Rain
Damon and Naomi - The Turnaround
Wilco - On and On and On
Deerhoof - The Galaxist
Marnie Stern - Every Single Line Means Something
The Hylozoists - La Fin Du Monde
Kathy Diamond - Between the Lines
Matthew Dear - Fleece On the Brain
Bjork - Declare Independence
Amon Tobin - Bloodstone
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
Black Lips - Veni Vidi Vici
The Shins - Sleeping Lessons
Beirut - Nantes
St. Vincent - Now Now
Nina Nastasia and Jim White - I’ve Been Out Walking
PJ Harvey - The Piano
Grinderman - I Don’t Need You (To Set Me Free)
Dirty projectors - No More
Feist - I Feel It All
Kevin Drew - Big Love
Handsome Furs - What We Had
The Besnard Lakes - For Agent 13
The New Pornographers - Adventures in Solitude
Field Music - In Context
The Broken West - Baby On My Arm
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter - LLL
Band of Horses - Window Blues
The Sadies - Anna Leigh
Basia Bulat - The Pilgriming Vine
Two-Minute Miracles - Night of Rain
Jim Bryson – Clear the Crowds
Iron and Wine – Resurrection Fern
Arcade Fire - My Body Is a Cage
Sunset Rubdown - Stallion
Julie Doiron – Swan Pond
The Acorn – Hold Your Breath
Yeasayer - 2080
Caribou - Sandy
Panda Bear - Take Pills
Modest Mouse - Parting of the Sensory
Blonde Redhead - My Impure Hair
Future of the Left - Wrigley Scott
Stars of the Lid – Humectez La Mouture
The Burial - Archangel
Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
Spoon – Black Like Me
Okkervil River - A Girl In Port
The National - Green Gloves
The Lightning Bug Situation - The New Dad

Monday, January 7, 2008

PLAYLIST 10 - When We Separate Music From Life We Get Art

This compilation was created after listening to Neil Young’s 1975 release, Tonight’s the Night. All of these songs are evocative of the themes of desolation and the thin slivers of hope that thread his career centerpiece.

01. The Mountain Goats - Song for Dennis Brown
02. Modest Mouse - Dramamine
03. The Shins - Sea Legs
04. Andrew Bird - Heretics
05. The Besnard Lakes - Devastation
06. Jesse Sykes and the Sweethereafter - Station Grey
07. Karen Dalton - Something On Your Mind
08. Quincy Jones - Somethins’ Cookin’
09. The Kinks - Johnny Thunder
10. Yo La Tengo - Fancy
11. David Byrne - A Million Miles Away
12. King Crimson - Book of Saturday
13. Loose Fur - Elegant Transaction
14. Sam Prekop - Density
15. Talk Talk - I Believe in You

Friday, January 4, 2008

My Favourite Movie So Far This Year

Despite my cheeky byline it is doubtful I will see another movie this year that will be as good as Juno. It is motion pictures like this that make me love the cinema and everything about it. Directed by Jason Reitman, (Thank You For Smoking), Canadian actress Ellen Page steals the show in this delightful film that I will repectfully refrain from any type of plot synopsis. The less you know the better, trust me; the ride will be worth it. One thing for certain, I'll be looking for the soundtrack to this one. The music is a character unto itself and highly effective.

I can not recommend this one enough. Watch for Ellen Page come Oscar nomination time.

I'm still smiling and its two days after seeing this wonderful film. Go see it!