La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Walkmen for your Ipod

Walkmen Pre-Release Album for Charity

There has been a ton of ‘great buzz’ surrounding the new release by the Walkmen entitled You & Me and from the selections I have heard so far this one may just find itself atop my list for the best music of 2008. Set for release on August 19th the New York five-piece announced that starting today and continuing for the next three weeks, they are offering a five-dollar download of the full album exclusively via as part of the website's "Download to Make a Difference" campaign. All proceeds from these sales will benefit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center , in accordance with the band's wishes.

You & Me is available for purchase via here.

This is a very worthy cause and I would urge you to make the five dollar donation. The Walkmen start their North American tour in August with dates through September. Tour dates as follows:

08-18 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
08-19 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
08-21 West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
08-22 West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
08-23 San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Festival
08-27 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
08-28 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
08-29 Victoria, British Columbia - Rifflandia Festival
08-30 Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
09-06 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
09-09 Montreal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa

09-10 Toronto, Ontario - Horseshoe Tavern
09-11 Pontiac, MI - Pike Room @ Crofoot
09-12 Chicago, IL - Metro
09-13 Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
09-14 Madison, WI - The Annex
09-15 Columbus, OH - The Basement
09-18 Cambridge, MA - Middle East

Friday, July 25, 2008

Everything is Pop New Music Reviews

The Last Ingredient is Love - That seems to be a theme this week. All are artists remembering the viewer and listener first.

The National – A Skin, A Night

Last year I discovered the incredible work of Vincent Moon via the Takeaway Shows on I was immediately struck by Moon’s entirely unique cinematic approach to musical performance. His varied subjects read like a who’s who in new music. - From Final Fantasy to a newly recorded R.EM. session the results are beautiful and stunningly original. I would contend then, that is why the National hired Vincent Moon to shoot their documentary A Skin, A Night. Be forewarned though, this is not your classic rock documentary. If you are looking for a Behind the Music style expose, forget it. Go tune your cowbell or something.

I have to admit, I’ve been sitting on this review for over a month simply because I could not decide whether I truly liked it or not. In all honesty, I still don’t know. But I can tell you this disc and the accompanying cd of demos and live tracks certainly put me back in touch with one of my favourite cd’s of 2007, Boxer. I expected the documentary component to shed light on the band but Moon’s piece really illuminated the music that comprises that recording. And that is where it works best. By focusing on the music the visuals become secondary. By revealing the true craft of songs like “Blank Slate” and “Ada” the viewer is immersed in the artistry and not the story of the art.

Perhaps that was the intent all along.

The War on Drugs – Wagonwheel Blues

Forty four years ago Bob Dylan sang that the Times They Are a-Changin’. At the time, a self conscious protest song, the piece became an anthem for that generation. In three short minutes Dylan had accurately distilled, in verse, that period of great social and political change. I was reminded of this song for more than a few reasons as I listened to The War on Drugs’ new Secretly Canadian release Wagonwheel Blues. Maybe it was the harmonica and guitar in combination, maybe it was the vocal takes- The comparison seemed inevitable on first listen.

Essentially a twosome comprised of Philadelphians Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile, the duo play most of the music on this recording. The War on Drugs makes music about their quickly changing world. Whether they are changes to their country as a whole or changes to their own lives their songs are allegorical treasures. Little glimpses of contemporary Americana. Introspective and damaged, each one given up like a faded holiday travel photograph. The music, a peculiar mix of post and even classic rock reflecting that exact washed out quality. Imagine Bob Dylan fronting Guided By Voices.

Album opener, “Arms Like Boulders” is dramatic and sets the tone of the record. Rather than coming across as a cynical reminder of what is becoming of the country, and in larger terms- our planet it comes across as remarkably straightforward and earnest. The marching band drums and strummy guitar a perfect accompany to the songs call to attention. And here again I was reminded of Bob Dylan. I was reminded of Woody Guthrie’s depression era themes too. “Taking the Farm” a twenty first century call to listeners to ‘green up’ is catchy and has a certain timeless quality. Not unlike the aforementioned dustbowl troubadour's best work.

Wagonwheel Blues is a fascinating release that illuminates our particular human condition in the best of ways. Even better, if you listen close enough it might just give us the direction home.

Paul Westerberg
- 49:00

In true Westerberg tradition 49:00 comes in at 43:55 precisely. For the uninitiated this is almost exactly the same length as one side of a C90 cassette tape- (The likely source of this decidedly “unlikely” release.) Now I say “unlikely” because this recording appeared without the usual industry ‘trumpet blasts’ on Monday of this week. * The single track recording featuring songs, song fragments and 'sonic experiments' is decidedly lo-fi. It’s also absolutely wonderful and for $0.49 it might be the best musical investment I have made in some time. A mixtape for fans made with love, dedication and apparently duct tape.

This spirit of 49:00 is exactly what drew me to Paul’s seminal former band The Replacements in the first place. Their music was, at its best, exuberant, funny, sad, more than a little damaged and ultimately pure. All 'Westerbergian' qualities that began to diminish from their music (and his) as major labels began to dictate style and direction. No, this stuff won’t change your life nor will its unlikely presence shake up the record industry a la RadioheadsIn Rainbows. It will however remind you just how exhilarating music can be. Like some drunken reverie Westerberg’s brief versions of “Eighteen”, “Rocket Man” and “Hello Goodbye” couched with so far ‘unnamed’ Westerberg originals are revelatory. At best, contrary to some critical opinion Paul is far from dead. Let’s hope the next ‘official’ release is half as much fun as this one.

* - The release was self released via server hosts and Amazon, not through conventional distribution means.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2008 Mercury Prize Nominees Announced

We in Canada may have our Polaris Prize for music but those in the UK have their own Mercury Prize and today the nominations for this years award were announced.

The nominees are:

Adele - 19 (pictured)
British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial - Untrue
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
Estelle - Shine
Laura Marling - Alas, I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon - Stainless Style
Portico Quartet - Knee Deep In The North Sea
Rachel Unthank - The Bairns
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement

Interesting list but it begs the question… Will that little Oxford band known as Radiohead be shut out for the fourth time? (insert pondering sounds here) Yep, that’s kinda what I thought too. Hey, I'm just sayin'...

The Mercury Prize, formerly the Mercury Music Prize and currently known as the Nationwide Mercury Prize for sponsorship reasons, is an annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom or Ireland. It was established by the BPI and BARD (the British Association of Record Dealers) in 1992 as an alternative to the industry-dominated BRIT Awards. It was originally sponsored by the now-defunct telecoms company Mercury, followed in 1998 by Technics and starting in 2004 the Nationwide Building Society. It is often observed that bands who are nominated for, or indeed win the prize experience a large increase in album sales, particularly for the lesser.

For the record, I am putting my money on Burial.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wire on Tour

No, the Hit HBO Series Has Not Come to Broadway

As you have no doubt surmised if you read this blog, ‘music lists’ are a big part of my being. Formed after listening to countless hours of music and reading far too many music magazines my brain is equal parts itunes, the remainder- rebellious jukebox. For the record then, #19 of my favourite recordings of all time is Wire’s seminal recording Pink Flag. (Hands up if you knew the song ‘Strange’ on R.E.M.’s Document was a cover from Pink Flag.) Needless to say, my excitement was palpable when I heard news that their newest release Object 47 had finally seen release on July 7th. Even better, Wire have announced a late summer/autumn tour. Details below.

Wire on tour:

08/30 London, England - Hainaut Forest Country Park (Offset Festival)
09/08 London, England - The Scala
09/09 Leeds, England - Met University
09/10 Nottingham, England - Rescue Rooms
09/11 Glasgow, Scotland - The Arches
09/12 Manchester, England - Academy 3
09/19 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
09/20 Ghent, Belgium - Minnemeers
09/21 Tilburg, Netherlands - ZXZW Festival
09/22 Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
10/05 Montreal, Quebec - Le National
10/06 Ottawa, Ontario - Barrymore's
10/07 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
10/08 Cambridge, MA - Middle East Downstairs
10/10 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
10/11 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10/12 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
10/14 Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
10/15 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
10/16 Vancouver, British Columbia - The Commodore Ballroom
10/17 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
10/18 Chicago, IL – Metro

* Mini Weekly Download Lowdown Department

And who doesn’t love free music. The band has a number of other free and legal downloads at their official site.

Blowing the Artwork Budget

UPDATE: 07/22 - Paul is #1. (At least for this hour.) As promised international buyers can get it here.

Pablo W pulls a Radiohead (kind of)

(Currently only available to US residents, I will update this later today when it is available to all.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Your Weekly Download Lowdown

Diversity Tries

This week the download lowdown is all about musical variety. The first is a remix album of one of my favourite records of 2008. Portishead’s “Third”. I was immediately drawn to this one just to see how dance remixers would add bounce to their extrapolations of the album’s many dark themes. The result successfully pulls the recording from the art house to the dance floor yet manages to keeps a lot of the records' subtle mysteries intact. This is a very interesting and worthwhile effort.

Download the Portishead remix album here.

Next up, two worthy downloads from my favourite website, . First up, a session from the Los Angeles band Bodies of Water. Our ebullient, dancing woman in San Francisco Amity *, brought this band back to my attention and the vibe surrounding them has been growing this summer. If you like Arcade Fire with a gospel, folky twist I think this band might be for you. (Hmmmm, think, a far less annoying Polyphonic Spree.) This Secretly Canadian Records band is going places and the new songs in this session are great. I am really looking forward their new full length “A Certain Feeling” due on July 22nd.

Download the Bodies of Water session here.

Lastly, Verve Forecast records artist Jessie Baylin has also recorded a Daytrotter session. I’m really impressed with this transplanted Los Angelino’s voice; her new album "Firesight" is a sophisticated blend of jazzy pop. A very solid first effort. This session also features her fun cover version of the Beatles, Rocky Raccoon.

Download the Jessie Baylin session here.

Happy downloading - These things are free but as always support all of these artists by purchasing their music and seeing them when they play in your town.

* Read Amity's highly entertaining King Khan and the Shrines post, it’s a terrific piece.

Here Comes a Reissue – Part II

MORE Replacements Reissues, Paul Westerberg Download Due

I for one have worked up 'a mean, mean thirst' for rare Replacements music and as expected, the wonderful folks at Rhino Records will release expanded reissues of Minneapolis' favourite sons final four albums for Sire/ Reprise Records on September 23rd. Each album (as with the first round of reissues) features a host of previously unreleased bonus tracks; the entire reissue catalog will also see digital release the same day. (Details included below.) These ones are truly worth your while. Amongst the assorted bonus tracks included on these new sets are recording sessions with Tommy (Ramone) Erdelyi, Big Star's (and Paul Westerberg’s hero) Alex Chilton as well as a rambunctious song featuring Tom Waits ("Date to Church"). In April, Rhino reissued the Replacements' first three albums and an EP for hometown Minneapolis label Twin Tone Records to great critical reception.

In related new music news, frontman Paul Westerberg is planning to release a host of new music, the first since his work on 2005’s Open Season soundtrack. A cryptic note recently appeared on his website, the dates indicate Grandpaboy might have been released from the nursing home.

July 17, 2007

On June 49, (that's July 19 to you and me), Paul Westerberg will be releasing 49 minutes of music for just 49¢. Check back on Saturday, July 19 and you'll find a link to download the new tunes.

The tracklisting for each new remaster.


01 Hold My Life
02 I'll Buy
03 Kiss Me on the Bus
04 Dose of Thunder
05 Waitress in the Sky
06 Swingin Party
07 Bastards of Young
08 Lay It Down Clown
09 Left of the Dial
10 Little Mascara
11 Here Comes a Regular
12 Can't Hardly Wait (acoustic, Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
13 Nowhere Is My Home (Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [bonus track]
14 Can't Hardly Wait (electric, Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
15 Kiss Me on the Bus (Tom Erdelyi demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
16 Waitress in the Sky (outtake, alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
17 Here Comes a Regular (outtake, alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]

Pleased to Meet Me

01 I.O.U.
02 Alex Chilton
03 I Don't Know
04 Nightclub Jitters
05 The Ledge
06 Never Mind
07 Valentine
08 Shooting Dirty Pool
09 Red Red Wine
10 Skyway
11 Can't Hardly Wait
12 Birthday Gal (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
13 Valentine (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
14 Bundle Up (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
15 Photo (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
16 Election Day [bonus track]
17 Alex Chilton (alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
18 Kick It In (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
19 Route 66 [bonus track]
20 Tossin' 'N' Turnin' [bonus track]
21 Can't Hardly Wait (alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
22 Cool Water [bonus track]

Don't Tell a Soul

01 Talent Show
02 Back to Back
03 We'll Inherit the Earth
04 Achin' to Be
05 They're Blind
06 Anywhere's Better Than Here
07 Asking Me Lies
08 I'll Be You
09 I Won't
10 Rock 'N' Roll Ghost
11 Darlin' One
12 Portland [bonus track]
13 Wake Up [bonus track]
14 Cruella DeVille [bonus track]
15 Talent Show (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
16 We'll Inherit the Earth (mix 1) [previously unreleased bonus track]
17 Date to Church [ft. Tom Waits] [bonus track]
18 We Know the Night (outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
19 Gudbuy T' Jane (Slade cover) (outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]

All Shook Down

01 Merry Go Round
02 One Wink at a Time
03 Nobody
04 Bent out of Shape
05 Sadly Beautiful
06 Someone Take the Wheel
07 When It Began
08 All Shook Down
09 Attitude
10 Happy Town
11 Torture
12 My Little Problem
13 The Last
14 When It Began (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
15 Nobody (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
16 One Wink at a Time (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
17 Torture (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
18 Attitude (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
19 Happy Town (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
20 Tiny Paper Plane (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
21 Sadly Beautiful (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
22 Kissin' in Action [bonus track]
23 Ought to Get Love [bonus track]
24 Satellite [bonus track]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm In Love With that Song er, Joystick

The tubes are abuzz today with news that a new Guns N’ Roses track (possibly from Chinese Democracy) will see the light of day when Rock Band 2 is unleashed to the public. Not exactly earth shattering news by any means but I was pleasantly surprised to see the Mats (Replacements) apparently included in the listing with their track Alex Chilton. Now this is something to get excited about. Strap on your faux guitars, wax up your hair and put on your painted shoes and make like Paul Westerberg. At least now I might stand a chance in beating the nimble fingers of my eleven year old son with that one!

For those of you wondering why this is even news, welcome to the latest and greatest music marketing paradigm. No one buys cd's or listens to terrestrial radio, but they do buy and play video games.

How I yearn for the good old days when I could put on a record and get swepped away with side one for 21 minutes. What are we gonna do now? (Old guy rant will now end.)

Here's the alleged Rock Band 2 tracklist that's been circulating online... Now get the hell off my lawn!

01 AC/DC - "Let There Be Rock"
02 AFI - "Girl's Gone Grey"
03 Alanis Morissette - "You Oughta Know"
04 Alice in Chains - "Man In The Box"
05 Allman Brothers - "Ramblin' Man"
06 Avenged Sevenfold - "Almost Easy"
07 Bad Company - "Shooting Star"
08 Beastie Boys - "So Whatcha Want"
09 Beck - "E-Pro"
10 Bikini Kill - "Rebel Girl"
11 Billy Idol - "White Wedding Pt I"
12 Blondie - "One Way Or Another"
13 Bob Dylan - "Tangled Up In Blue"
14 Bon Jovi - "Livin' on A Prayer"
15 Cheap Trick - "Hello There"
16 Devo - "Uncontrollable Urge"
17 Dinosaur Jr. - "Feel the Pain"
18 Disturbed - "Down With The Sickness"
19 The Donnas - "New Kid In School"
20 Dream Theater - "Panic Attack"
21 Duran Duran - "Hungry Like the Wolf"
22 Elvis Costello - "Pump It Up"
23 Fleetwood Mac - "Go Your Own Way"
24 Foo Fighters - "Everlong"
25 Go-Go's, The - "We Got the Beat"
26 Grateful Dead, The - "Alabama Getaway"
27 The Guess Who - "American Woman"
28 Guns N' Roses - "Shackler's Revenge"
29 Interpol - "PDA"
30 Jane's Addiction - "Mountain Song"
31 Jethro Tull - "Aqualung"
32 Jimmy Eat World - "The Middle"
33 Joan Jett - "Bad Reputation"
34 Journey - "Anyway You Want It"
35 Judas Priest - "Painkiller"
36 Kansas - "Carry On Wayward Son"
37 L7 - "Pretend We're Dead"
38 Lacuna Coil - "Our Truth"
39 Linkin Park - "One Step Closer"
40 Lit - "My Own Worst Enemy"
41 Lush - "De-Luxe"
42 Mastodon - "Colony of Birchmen"
43 Megadeth - "Peace Sells"
44 Metallica - "Battery"
45 Mighty Mighty Bosstones - "Where'd You Go"
46 Modest Mouse - "Float On"
47 Motörhead - "Ace of Spades"
48 The Muffs - "Kids in America"
49 Nirvana - "Drain You"
50 Norman Greenbaum - "Spirit in the Sky"
51 The Offspring - "Come Out & Play (Keep 'Em Seperated)"
52 Panic at the Disco - "Nine In The Afternoon"
53 Paramore - "That's What You Get"
54 Pearl Jam - "Alive"
55 Presidents of the USA - "Lump"
56 Rage Against the Machine - "Testify"
57 Ratt - "Round & Round"
58 Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Give it Away"
59 The Replacements - "Alex Chilton"
60 Rise Against - "Give it All"
61 Rush - "The Trees"
62 Silversun Pickups - "Lazy Eye"
63 Smashing Pumpkins - "Today"
64 Social Distortion - "I Was Wrong"
65 Sonic Youth - "Teenage Riot"
66 Soundgarden - "Spoonman"
67 Squeeze - "Cool For Cats"
68 Steely Dan - "Bodhitsattva"
69 Steve Miller Band - "Rock'n Me"
70 Survivor - "Eye of the Tiger"
71 System of a Down - "Chop Suey"
72 Talking Heads - "Psycho Killer"
73 Tenacious D - "Master Exploder"
74 Testament - "Souls Of Black"
75 The Who - "Pinball Wizard"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wilco, Bright Eyes, Aimee Mann & More “Rock the Net” On Compliation CD For Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is the principle that preserves an open Internet. At its root, net neutrality is about choice, freedom of expression and access to information.

Now this is a cause we should all get behind and at the same time enjoy some terrific music. Wilco, Bright Eyes, They Might Be Giants, Portastatic, Aimee Mann, Guster, Matthew Shipp, Palomar, The Wrens, DJ Spooky, BC Camplight, David Bazan, David Miller, Free Form Funky Freqs and The Classic Brown have all donated a track to a music compilation, which will be released by Thirsty Ear Recordings on Tuesday, July 29, 2008.

Net Neutrality is the principle that preserves an open Internet. It’s all about choice, freedom of expression and access to legal content. It’s also how many of us discover new music. But if big telecommunications and cable companies have their way, you may only be able to hear what they want you to hear.

That’s why Net Neutrality is so important to musicians, fans and the independent sector. Many of today’s most talented artists are demonstrating their support of an open Internet, where all users can legally access the content of their choice without corporate interference.

FMC’s Rock The Net campaign was established to increase musician awareness about the importance of Net Neutrality. Certain telecommunications and cable companies would like to charge content providers higher fees for the faster uploading of their sites, which could alter the way we access the web. The result would be an Internet where those who couldn’t afford to- or didn’t want to- pay a toll would be stuck in the slow lane. This would be a tremendous blow to all of us that depend on an open Internet for freedom to choose what we want, not what has been chosen for us.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rocker Roth Not Ailin'

I would be remiss were I too neglect commentary surrounding the biggest rock n’roll story this region has seen in years. Last week it was reported in the local media that Van Halen frontman, David Lee Roth had been nabbed for speeding by provincial police. His alibi: that he was on his way to hospital after suffering an allergic reaction to nuts.

It turns out that the whole story is true, except it didn’t involve the real David Lee Roth. According to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), “there’s a man running around the province impersonating the Van Halen frontman.” It was this mock ‘Diamond’ Dave who was saved by police after peanuts caused an allergic reaction. (Heretofore known as ‘Cubic Zirconia’ Dave.) The real David Lee Roth already issued a statement, saying he was not saved by the OPP and he’s certainly not allergic to anything, “besides criticism” and perhaps loose fitting pants.

A provincial police spokesperson is now saying this fake Roth has “scammed a lot of people” in Southwestern Ontario and that he could be charged with obstruction of justice for giving a false name to local law enforcement officers. But the story doesn’t end there: Cubic Zirconia Roth was seen partying at a nightclub in Hamilton, Ontario, where he reportedly sang a song and was partying with “two nurses from the hospital.” The man was wearing expensive clothes, a pink feather boa and “a hospital bracelet,” so either the counterfeit Dave ate more nuts or he escaped the psychiatric hospital with two nurses and the belief that he really is David Lee Roth. A message to Canadian fans: approach 'Cubic Zirconia' Dave with caution. (Particularly if he is wearing his assless chaps.)

In unrelated news, I could have sworn I saw Amy Winehouse yesterday at Home Depot buying roofing nails. Coincedence? Perhaps.

Let me know about your brushes with faux celebrity rock stars in the Comments Section.
UPDATE: Cops Identify David Lee Roth impostor
July 15, 2008

Officers helped Cambridge man recover from allergic reaction

CAMBRIDGE — Ontario Provincial Police have identified a man they believe posed as sometime Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth.

Police say David Kuntz of Cambridge identified himself as the rocker after being pulled over for speeding near Brantford on May 23.

The driver told police he was Roth and that he was suffering from an allergic reaction to peanuts, and he later went to a local hospital where he continued the charade.

The impostor also caused a stir at a pub where he convinced patrons of his star status. But a handful of people recognized the Roth lookalike in newspaper photos and later phoned police.

Friends and former classmates say Kuntz drummed in a rock band called Majesty in the 1980s and was often mistaken for Roth.

Aeolian Rocks! - A CBC Radio/Aeolian Hall Exclusive!

My favourite music venue is a hundred plus year old building right here in London. The Aeolian Hall is quickly emerging as the venue of choice for discerning musicians visiting the Forest City. My apologies for the short notice but tomorrow night the Aeolian will host some of the best of the London contemporary music scene for a later national radio broadcast. Hosted by Alan Neal of Bandwidth and Canada Live on CBC Radio One; A benefit for The Aeolian Performing Arts Centre the perfect entertainment for a summer night.
CBC Radio and The Aeolian showcases.
Tuesday July 15th:

The Joys
Chris Chown
Andy Magoffin's Two Minute Miracles
Olenka and the Autumn Lovers

Doors open at 6:30
Show starts at 7:30
Tickets: $10.00 (in advance and at the door)

Four of London's hottest contemporary groups perform for you -- and Canada. Be a part of it!! Tickets are also available at the Village Idiot and Chapters Masonville.

Telephone: 519-672-7950
Box Office Open Monday - Friday
10 am to 6 pm
Ticket Orders by Phone

And don’t forget… The London Home County Folk Festival is next weekend and the Aeolian is hosting a late night performance.

Friday July 18 Home County Late Night


Emm Gryner 11:00 PM
Angie Nussey 12 Midnight

Contact information as above.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

PLAYLIST 16 - This Is Your Ipod. This Is Your Ipod on Shuffle.

I am quite convinced my Ipod has developed an artificial musical intelligence that far surpasses my ability to develop the ubiquitous playlist. Worse yet, it may in fact be a Cylon. Frack… At least it keeps me entertained.

Christian Fennesz - Laguna
William S. Burroughs, Chris Stein, Sonic Youth - The Lord's Prayer
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Happy House
Carl Perkins - Honey Don't
Ananda Shankar - Jumpin' Jack Flash
David Byrne - For You
Skip Spence - Little Hands
Townes Van Zandt - I Just Had To Fall (Film Excerpt)
Wilco – Theologians
Neko Case - Twist The Knife
Laura Veirs - Lake Swimming
Hayden - Lonely Security Guard
The Mountain Goats – Autoclave
Serge Gainsbourg - Overseas Telegram
Gravenhurst - Tunnels
Boris - You Laughed Like A Water Mark

Thursday, July 10, 2008

UPDATE: The Lightning Bug Situation Podcast

As some readers will recall my favourite cd release of 2007 came from San Francisco’s The Lightning Bug Situation. That disc, A Leaf; A Stream still resonates deeply with me due in large part to its huge emotional effect and relative familial themes, not to mention some pretty terrific musicianship. If you haven’t sought this one out yet I would urge you to do so. In the meantime, San Francisco based website, The Bay Bridged features a terrific interview with Brian Miller, the creative force behind this project. A podcast and a special new song tacked at the end can be downloaded for your convenience from that site.

From the Bay

This week’s featured band is The Lightning Bug Situation, the solo project of San Francisco’s Brian Miller, who you might also know as one-half of local rock duo The Speakers. Miller’s latest Lightning Bug Situation album, A Leaf; A Stream, rightly found a place on many critics’ best-of-2007 lists, with a hushed, skillfully-layered mix of folk-rock, melodic indie pop and compositional instrumental music. Like many great albums, it’s a mesmerizing long-player, as songs frequently bleed into instrumentals and back again. It’s also an album of intense lyrical themes both macro and micro, with Brian confronting the war in Iraq and becoming a new father, as filtered through the lens of family relationships. In dissecting the meaning of family, Brian conducted interviews with his family members about their thoughts and memories on a variety of personal subjects. Inspired by long drives spent listening to episodes of This American Life, the artist layered portions of these interviews on top of music for a powerful, emotional effect. There’s a startling honesty to these interviews, so it seemed natural that Miller spoke with a sincere honesty when we sat down with him a few weeks ago in our studio. From our conversation, it’s clear that his skills as lyricist and interviewer are both inspired by and the result of a thoughtful process of self-examination. It’s also a process that’s clearly still ongoing, as Brian offered new reflections on the album’s lyrics and themes about a year after its release. In addition to portions of that interview, we’ve also included three songs from A Leaf; A Stream in this episode. We’re also pleased to debut an exclusive unreleased song written by a unique lyricist; you’ll have to listen to the episode for the details.

- The Lightning Bug Situation’s (and The Speakers’)
web site and MySpace page
- View a Take-Away Show featuring The Lightning Bug Situation at
La Blogotheque
- Purchase A Leaf; A Stream from
CDBaby and on iTunes
What a terrific thing to see This American Life influencing artistic direction yet again. Very worthy of your perusal, I am eagerly awaiting Brian’s next musical venture. Please do seek this cd out, it is truly a beautiful masterpiece that deserves to be heard and appreciated.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Singles Going Steady

Sub Pop Singles Club is Back

Do you remember the first record you ever bought? No, not the one you found in your parents big ass console stereo but the first one you paid for with your own money. I suppose I could lie and tell you mine was a Big Star single from 1974 and it changed my life yadda, yadda, yadda… In the interests of full disclosure then, my first record was a far less cool offering. It was a nondescript single from 1975 that touched my then pre-teen heart; (Yes, I am that old.) That record, a ‘45 was Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”. The one that started it all I guess. I haven’t looked back since.

Great news this week from Seattle, WA for fans of the beloved 45 rpm single that Sub Pop Records has decided to resurrect its popular Singles Club. Sign up, and you'll receive one 7-inch record each month for a year. It may come from any Sub Pop artist, including No Age, Black Lips, Fleet Foxes and others. (The first record will include two songs from the band Om.)

The club costs $75, and shipments start Aug. 15. Only 1,500 copies of each single will be pressed, so a limited amount of subscriptions are available. Subscribers will also receive nifty coupons "enabling the download of high-quality MP3s of each record." A great deal considering the money I have spent on Ebay trying to track down that elusive Singles Club 1.0
Mudhoney, Afghan Whigs or White Stripes single. I suppose you could consider it investing for your retirement.

Let me know the first record you ever purchased in the Comments section.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Polaris Prize Shortlist Announced

The speculation is over now that the Polaris Prize shortlist has finally been announced. Pared down from a list of 40, the 176 person jury has officially made its pronouncement. I'm proud to say that the City of London is being well represented by locals Basia Bulat and rapper Shad.

The full list (in alphabetical order) is reproduced below.

Black Mountain – In The Future (Vancouver, BC) official site MySpace
Plants and Animals – Parc Avenue (Montréal, QC) official site MySpace
Basia Bulat – Oh, My Darling (London, ON) official site MySpace
Stars – In Our Bedroom After The War (Montréal, QC) official site MySpace
Caribou – Andorra (Dundas, ON) official site MySpace
Shad – The Old Prince (London, ON) MySpace
Kathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers (Ottawa, ON) official site MySpace
Two Hours Traffic – Little Jabs (Charlottetown, PE)
official site MySpace
Holy Fuck – LP (Toronto, ON) official site MySpace
The Weakerthans – Reunion Tour (Winnipeg, MB) official site MySpace

I will be blog-lobbying hard to see Basia Bulat win this one. Keep your fingers crossed.

Jack White Pens Poem About Detroit

Singer-guitarist Jack White has penned a thoughtful poem expressing his strong feelings for Detroit to clear up any misconceptions about how the White Stripes frontman feels about his hometown.

White said he was frustrated by a sense that his thoughts about the Motor City were misrepresented since he moved to Nashville two years ago. So, White wrote a poem titled "Courageous Dream's Concern" that was published Sunday by the Detroit Free Press. He says it asserts his "feelings about the city itself, and how strong I believe it to be."

"The ... poem is the Detroit from my mind," he said. "The Detroit that is in my heart. The home that encapsulates and envelops those who are truly blessed with the experience of living within its boundaries."
White told The Associated Press in a 2006 interview that he had to leave Detroit because he "couldn't take the negativity anymore." In other media accounts, he was quoted as lamenting what had become of Detroit's music community.

He addressed those comments in his statements to the newspaper, saying:

"Those expressions of mine have never been a representation of my feelings about Detroit the city, a town that I have strong feelings about ... nor were they expressions about its citizens."
Having spent a great deal of time living in the shadow of Motown, White’s words are stunning and elicit a very real sense of the city itself. I have a funny feeling Detroit holds a special place in a lot of hearts out there.

'Courageous Dream's Concern,' by Jack White

I have driven slow,
three miles an hour or so,
through Highland Park, Heidelberg, and the
Cass Corridor.
I've hopped on the Michigan,
and transferred to the Woodward,
and heard the good word blaring from an
a.m. radio.
I love the worn-through tracks of trolley
trains breaking through their
concrete vaults,
As I ride the Fort Street or the Baker,
just making my way home.

I sneak through an iron gate, and fish
rock bass out of the strait,
watching the mail boat with
its tugboat gait,
hauling words I'll never know.
The water letter carrier,
bringing prose to lonely sailors,
treading the big lakes with their trailers,
floats in blue green chopping waters,
above long-lost sunken failures,
awaiting exhumation iron whalers,
holding gold we'll never know.

I've slid on Belle Isle,
and rowed inside of it for miles.
Seeing white deer running alongside
While I glide, in a canoe.
I've walked down Caniff holding a glass
Atlas root beer bottle in my hands
And I've entered closets of coney islands
early in the morning too.
I've taken malt from Stroh's and Sanders,
felt the black powder of abandoned
And smelled the sawdust from wood cut
to rehabilitate the fallen edifice.
I've walked to the rhythm of mariachis,
down junctions and back alleys,
Breathing fresh-baked fumes of culture
nurtured of the Latin and the
Middle East.
I've fallen down on public ice,
and skated in my own delight,
and slid again on metal crutches
into trafficked avenues.

Three motors moved us forward,
Leaving smaller engines to wither,
the aluminum, and torpedo,
Monuments to unclaimed dreaming.
Foundry's piston tempest captured,
Forward pushing workers raptured,
Frescoed families strife fractured,
Encased by factory's glass ceiling.

Detroit, you hold what one's been seeking,
Holding off the coward-armies weakling,
Always rising from the ashes
not returning to the earth.

I so love your heart that burns
That in your people's body yearns
To perpetuate,
and permeate,
the lonely dream that does encapsulate,
Your spirit, that God insulates,
With courageous dream's concern.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Nirvana the Band the Show

Nope, it's not the latest Broadway or supper club grunge tribute... It would be close though, just add more cabaret.

Since last winter, Matt Johnson and Jay McCarrol have produced and starred in a series of ten-minute episodes of Nirvana The Band The Show. (As a point of reference you may recall my posting on the brilliant Clark and Michael late last year. Stylistically the shows are very similar but this one truly made me laugh out loud. This one however is Canadian-made and way more naughty. (You may want to hide the link from your eleven year old or if you have a peanut allergy. Watch and you will understand) The verite-style ‘webcom’* follows Johnson and McCarrol as they try to book a show for their hyperactive two-man act, Nirvana the Band.

Therein lies the first joke. Nirvana the Band has nothing to do with that other Nirvana. (Yes that one) We don’t actually ever quite hear a full song either, but their act seems to consist of McCarrol playing the piano while Johnson improvises elaborate dances, schemes and self-referential spoken word pieces. The joke being that the characters of Matt and Jay are apparently unaware that the name “Nirvana” has already been taken.

Nirvana the Band is ultimately a mockery of the artistic creative process. Be assured It will make you laugh and in some cases it will offend but the production values belie its fly-on-the-wall docu-spontaneity and salty tongue. Johnson and McCarrol work very well together and many times their brand of humour reminded me of what I loved best about the Kids in the Hall.

If you love the eighties, sitcoms and pop culture from that time and beyond, this stuff is for you. My favourite episode so far is the three part 'Peanuts' segment. Judge for yourself.

* I am going to claim that one, you saw it here first.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The World Comes to London

Despite the fact that we as Canadians are often associated with snow, we certainly know how to make the most of things come July! Celebrate then with the perfect event to kick off our long hot summer. Sunfest is Canada's Premier Celebration of the Global Arts, held without admission fee in (my city), London, Ontario in beautiful Victoria Park.

Every summer since 1995,
Sunfest has brought together thousands of people of all ages and cultures for four days of exemplary music, dance, crafts and cuisine from around the globe. This unique, high profile event features over 30 top professional world music & dance and jazz ensembles based in Canada and abroad. This summer's line-up ranges from Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 (Nigeria) to Dobet Gnahore (Ivory Coast), and from Grupo Fantasma (USA) to Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali (Pakistan).

For a complete listing of all artists go here.


July 3rd to 6th, 2008
Victoria Park, London, Ontario, Canada
Thursday: 6:00 - 11:00 pm
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: Noon - 11:00 pm.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Your Download Lowdown

Now for something completely different- This week the download lowdown features a comedian, a Canadian hip-hopper and an upcoming show by what might be the most exciting band I have heard this year.

New York comedian, Eugene Mirman (Sub Pop Records) kicks things off with a terrific road story told by him. It’s a shame there is only one piece but it is worthy of your attention.
Go to to find this one.

Also on is a terrific session by Edmonton, AB rapper Cadence Weapon. I have to admit after hearing his live Canada Day performance on CBC Radio's Q, I really regret not going to see him the last time he was through the city. A thoroughly engaging performer with energy to spare.

Lastly, mark your calendars for this one.

July 7: Fleet Foxes In Concert
Live On From Washington, D.C.

The members of Fleet Foxes like to say they're not much of a rock band, but they are one of the year's breakout acts. The group's self-titled debut, released earlier this year on the Sub Pop label, has earned universal acclaim for its timeless mix of folk, choral and rock. It's a sound that's both a revival and a reinvention of roots music, with inspired attention given to melody and harmony. Hear Fleet Foxes give a full concert, webcast live on, on July 7th. The performance, from the Black Cat in Washington, D.C., will begin online at approximately 10 p.m. ET.

If you would like to sample this terrific band,
check out the archives on for the Fleet Foxes session recorded last April.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

141??? Oh Canada, you don't look a day over 140! I like to think you're holding up pretty well. So To blog friends and readers Happy 141st Canada Day. Do something typically Canadian today. Listen to some music, go to the beach, or eat some ice cream; Just be safe and have fun.

Cheers from Everything is Pop!