La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Won’t Get to Get What I’m After

Great Google-y moogly… Who would have thought that Search Engine Keyword Analysis would be so much fun. So much fun in fact I have to share it with you. Always curious to see how you find me on the web. I’ve listed some of my recent favourites.

he knows you dont really know him. He knows you dont really care to see him

but you dont care for music do you shrek

no life guitar hero

the song meaning of "Strange Overtones"

london ontario leatherpants

kitty christmas letter

tokin' black guy

pop pop in your face

road salt stains on bottom of pants legs

Zooey Deschanels underwear

loverboy mike reno red pants picture

inexpert love

is having a palpable liver a bad thing?

president bush and happy meal toys

I considered commentary for each but I think I’ll let the keywords speak for themselves. The question does remain though… is having a palpable liver a bad thing? Apparently Everything is Pop readers want to know.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Coachella 2009 Line-up Announced

April 17, 18, 19, 2009

I love a good concert as much as the next person but this one takes it to a whole new level. The line-up for Coachella 2009 was announced today and its stunning. Indio California's own and the perfect antidote for winter suffering and lack-o-concertitis. I may just have to take a leave of absence from work and make my way through the continent for this.

Unless you want to drive…

Headliners: Paul McCartney (Friday), The Killers (Saturday), The Cure (Sunday). All well and good. But as always, it's in the fine print of the Coachella poster that the event really takes full shape. Also on Friday: Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, Leonard Cohen, Conor Oberst, Beirut, Girl Talk, M. Ward, Crystal Castles, Buraka Som Sistema, the Hold Steady. For your Saturday: TV On The Radio, Band Of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Superchunk, Liars, Blitzen Trapper, Gang Gang Dance, Tinariwen, Ida Maria, Mastodon, Hercules & Love Affair. And Sunday? My Bloody fucking Valentine. (And Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Throbbing Gristle, PB&J, Antony, Lykke Li, Okkervil, Fucked Up, No Age, Vivan Girls, Gaslight Anthem.

A virtual who’s who in music. I’m afraid my head would explode.

But the question remains. Who would you make the trip for?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Mining For Light in the Dark Wells"

On March 31st The Great Lake Swimmers are set to release their fourth full length album called Lost Channels. The record finds them reprising their penchant for recording at historic locations. You may recall their previous effort was partially recorded at the historic Aeolian Hall here in London. This time out the band recorded in the Thousand Islands region of Ontario and New York State:

From the band’s website.

“…telling tales of hidden histories, still "mining for light in the dark wells," still "tuned to an instrument of greater and unknown design." The instrument in question is the singular voice of Tony Dekker, a voice that summons ghosts from times past. It’s a voice that is capable of conveying heartache and comfort all in the space of a single phrase. Though his supporting cast has changed over the years—with the exception of longtime right-hand man Erik ArnesenDekker has always encircled him self with sympathetic players who value spacious arrangements that frame his vocals. Over time, the band has evolved from a sparse, delicate and hushed unit into a well-rounded folk rock band, sacrificing none of their original intimacy while upping both the volume and tempos when necessary. Dekker chooses to record in old churches, community halls, abandoned grain silos and rural locations. It's easy to hear why. His voice doesn't need any studio embellishment, standing at its strongest when bathed in natural reverb and enriched by the historical context surrounding it.”

To record Lost Channels, Dekker and company went upstream on the St. Lawrence River to the Thousand Islands, halfway between Toronto and Montreal, a historic and picturesque area that straddles the Canadian/American border, and has been designated a World Biosphere Region. Great Lake Swimmers arrived at the invitation of fan and Thousand Islands photographer/regional historian Ian Coristine (
Coristine was able to arrange for the band to record in a number of acoustically unique spaces within the region, including one of the area's most storied landmarks, Singer Castle on Dark Island, near Hammond, NY (; as well as the historical Brockville Arts Centre (; and at St. Brendan’s Church in Rockport, ON.
Additional recording took place at Halla and the Lincoln County Social Club in Toronto and the album was woven into a cohesive whole at the House Of Miracles, in London, ON, with long-time Great Lake Swimmers collaborator, Andy Magoffin.

That the album was created in both rural splendour and urban Ontario makes perfect sense for a band that has always navigated the parallels between natural and urban rhythms. River imagery recurs throughout Lost Channels; the title of the album is a reference to a certain passage of the St. Lawrence, close to the recording locale, where a reconnaissance boat from a British warship went mysteriously missing in 1760. There’s no specific reference to the incident in the lyrics, though there are plenty of night skies, howling winds and raging rivers in almost every song which captures an elusive sense of mystery. As the album closes, Dekker sings the final lyrics—“Like the unstoppable river… Your beauty is gentle/ but forceful, and fast”—before the band ends on a suspended note. There is no resolution there, only eternity, a continuum, an endless river.

A full review will follow once I have the CD in my hands. I strongly urge you to check out the music of Tony Dekker and the Great Lake Swimmers. Their recordings are sublimely beautiful, their live performances awe inspiring.

Live dates here under shows.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Radiohead to Perform at the 2009 Grammy Awards

At Least Part of It Will Be Worth Watching This Year

News today that Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, T.I., Kanye West and Jay-Z will all perform at this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony. A diverse line-up but the biggest coup has to be the addition of Radiohead, who have never played the event despite Best Alternative Album wins for OK Computer and Kid A. The band is nominated for a stellar five awards this year, including Best Album for In Rainbows. The presentation will be the band’s “first live U.S. television performance since 2000.”

McCartney’s Grammy performance is a bit of a surprise as well, considering the former Wings frontman and some other band was only nominated in a pair of smaller categories. Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl will join Paulie onstage as his “special guest drummer.” Go Gringo!

This star-studded slate of newly announced artists join an already stacked roster of performers at the 51st annual Grammy awards, including Coldplay, Jonas Brothers, Lil Wayne, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney. Unconfirmed outlets have reported Radiohead’s Thom Yorke will join Katie Perry on stage for a very special version of "I Kissed a Weird Fishie".

I just can’t wait.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Can’t Live Without My Starbucks

Starbucks Releases Mostly Cool Indie Love Compilation

I have to admit- I look at them every morning as I’m waiting to order my “grande bold with room”. Indeed, those ubiquitous Starbucks CD’s always begging at least a look at the track listing. This one though might actually be well worth giving up those biscotti for a month and purchasing for yourself or perhaps more appropriately, someone you love.

The coffee retailer has announced plans for a Volume 2 love-tinged compilation featuring several of our favourite indie musicians. Sweetheart: Our Favourite Artists Sing Their Favourite Love Songs will be available January 30th housing cover tracks from DeVotchKa, Department of Eagles, A.C. Newman, Rogue Wave, Richard Hawley, Death Cab for Cutie, She & Him and more.

Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs Tracklisting :

1. Death Cab for Cutie - "Love Song" (Cure cover)
2. Katy Perry - "Black and Gold" (Sam Sparro cover)
3. DeVotchKa - "Hot Burrito #1 (I'm Your Toy)" (Flying Burrito Brothers cover)
4. Department of Eagles - "Love Me" (Elvis Presley cover)
5. Jessica Lea Mayfield - "Words of Love" (Buddy Holly cover)
6. Ben Bridwell - "Your Love Is Forever" (George Harrison cover)
7. Kate Tucker - "I'm on Fire" (Bruce Springsteen cover)
8. Rogue Wave - "Maps" (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
9. A.C. Newman - "Take on Me" (A-ha cover)
10. Jem - "Yellow" (Coldplay cover)
11. Richard Hawley - "Early Morning Rain" (Gordon Lightfoot cover)
12. Daniel Martin Moore - "I Hear Music" (Billie Holiday cover)
13. She & Him - "I Put a Spell on You" (Screamin' Jay Hawkins cover)
14. Lila Downs - "My One and Only Love" (Frank Sinatra cover)

Any excuse to put Zooey Deschanel’s (She & Him) picture in the blog type thing and I am there!

Friday, January 23, 2009

National Film Board Treasures Now Online Launched

News today from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) that they have launched a spectacular online Screening Room. Here you can watch full-length films, clips and trailers - all free for home viewing.

Enjoy their featured films, new additions, old favourites and playlists just like you did in school and on the venerable CBC just like you did so many years ago. Those people new to this, you are in for a rare and special treat.

The film I have embedded below, Neighbours is one of my earliest and favourite NFB productions memories. Norman McLaren is a Canadian icon in this country's film making history whose groundbreaking efforts continue to influence and enlighten. Be sure to check the date this was made. (Remember this was pre-computer.) Awesome stuff!

I have a funny feeling I'll be living at this site for the next month.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anticipating Music 2009 – Anxious Ears Await

Five to Watch

2008 is but a distant memory now. It was a brilliant year for new music discoveries of all types and some excellent efforts from musical acquaintances more familiar. Barely into the third week and excellent new music releases are all ready rocking socks and stirring hearts. The new Animal Collective, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, Antony Hagerty releases are all exceptional in their own right and set the stage for a what will no doubt be a stellar year in song. I’ll look ahead to some of the more promising artists (new and old) set to deliver music to waiting ears this Year of the Ox. Watch out though, you might just discover your favourite new band.

Emmy the Great

London (UK) based singer song writer Emmy the Great is finally coming out with her debut album “First Love” on February 9th and after countless of demos and EPs anticipation couldn’t be any greater. Here’s the tracklisting:

1. Absentee
2. 24
3. We Almost Had a Baby
4. The Easter Parade
5. Dylan
6. On the Museum Island
7. War
8. First Love
9. MIA
10. The Easter Parade 2
11. Bad Things Coming, We Are Safe
12. Everything Reminds Me of You
13. City Song

Want to hear the voice that has been enchanting me for quite some time now.

Here’s the video for the first single First Love:

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

Next up is the New York four-piece The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. The energetic rockers seem to be on the fingertip of countless earnest music bloggers hands right now. The release of their highly anticipated debut album is now only a couple weeks away and songs are beginning to float about the tubes. One listen though and you’ll be hooked. These guys are having fun and it really translates well into the music. It’s great to see a band on the verge of becoming one of the big things of 2009 and I’m certain they’ll live up to the hype from what I have heard so far.


This duo are poised to be the breakout rap all-stars of 2009, as their debut The Spirit of Apollo livens up standard American hip hop with Brazilian funk elements (incidentally their name stands for North America/South America). But the most appealing aspect of N.A.S.A.’s output is the astounding list of guest stars, which includes Kanye West, Santogold, and Lykke Li. In the, Now It’s Time for Something Completely Different Department - it’s been confirmed that Tom Waits lends his distinctive ‘gravelled’ vocals to a track called “Spacious Thoughts”, certainly more than enough to pull me into this creative enterprise. Great promise would be an understatement.

Little Boots

Originally from Blackpool, Lancashire, UK and a graduate of Leeds University, Victoria Hesketh has adopted her nickname of Little Boots as her stage name.

Another left field moniker that I am certain we will all be hearing a lot about in 2009. Witness Ms. Hesketh’s recent rocket ride to stardom as the BBC recently proclaimed the DIY-electro superstar as the official "Sound of 2009". With substantial props like that, she can no doubt start planning a big change in lifestyle. Like fellow “MySpace-ation” Frankmusik, Little Boots has been teasing her fan base with an ever-cycling array of tracks on her MySpace, as well as an clever selection of weekly pop covers on YouTube. The grainy videos feature the dimunitive songstress hammering away at her Casio whist wailing away toward the sky. Each week, Ms. Vicky Boots attacks her track of choice with the same intensity and sincerity, be it Hot Chip or Miley Cyrus or just check Youtube and trust me… Stay tuned for her electro pop debut sometime in the second half of the year.

Alela Diane

Signed to Rough Trade and will release her new LP To Be Still in February. The record is the follow-up to Diane's critically-acclaimed 2006 debut The Pirate's Gospel. That record brought the Nevada city, CA-reared musician a dedicated following across the globe (especially in Europe, where she recently finished a tour of mid-sized concert halls). Considering that early copies of The Pirate's Gospel were given away to friends in hand-sewn covers just a few years ago, this is not only quite a leap, but a well-deserved one.

Other favourites with new releases planned for 2009.

Iron & Wine
Fruit Bats
Elvis Perkins
The Hylozoists
Boy Least Likely To
Neko Case
Bishop Allen
Land of Talk
Marissa Nadler
Rock Plaza Central
Fever Ray

Which bands are you most looking forward to hearing from in 2009? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tortoise Do Take Their Time

Good news today for fans of Chicago’s uber instrumentalists Tortoise- Their forthcoming album, (as yet untitled), is set for release April 21st, nearly five years after their last album of original material, It's All Around You. Traditionally slow ‘recording’ movers, perhaps explaining their apropos moniker... This one is pretty much right on time. In fairness though, it’s not like they’ve been resting on their creative laurels. In the interim they recorded a covers album, The Brave and the Bold, with Bonnie Prince Billy, and actively toured 1996's Millions Now Living Will Never Die. The talented Chicagoans also put on a stellar set at the 2008 edition of the Guelph Jazz festival.

Several cuts were road-tested last summer, a "luxury" Tortoise usually never has. "Normally we're making an album and then trying to figure out how to play it, and realizing that they're some real problems," says McCombs.

According to

The band started work on the album three years ago and originally considered just recording one long piece but, McCombs explains, "that ended up not really being possible with the material we had. I think it's something we want to put on the back-burner." What they have come up with instead are tracks that "don't adhere to any traditional song forms. They move through different parts, but the lines are blurred."

Although a lot of the album details seem up in the air -- the album and song titles have to be decided the band are talking about touring the album this Spring and Summer, "Waiting until the fall would have made us a little antsy," McCombs says.

Good things are always worth waiting for.

Remember this one from 1996?

Monday, January 19, 2009

PLAYLIST 25 - “There is Nothing Wrong With Change, If It is in the Right Direction”

toothpaste for dinner

Every once in a while you get a sense of history in the making. We're lucky if we recognize it in our midst. Today as a world celebrates a hero another is poised to make it a better place and begin a renewed path to hope.

We just need to change. (Always good to take some music along for the ride though.)

Sing The Changes - The Fireman
Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking - Bob Dylan
About To Change - The Autumn Defense
Things Slowly Change - The Incredible Vickers Brothers
Change Is Hard - She & Him
Changes - The Zombies
Changes - David Bowie
Something Changed - Pulp
Don't Ever Change - The Jesus & Mary Chain
I Don’t Ever Want To Change - The Drones
Taken Up Into Clouds, Changed And Rained Down - Mercury Rev
Nothing Ever Changes - The Kooks
Change (Aphex Twin Mix) - Nav Katze
It Never Changes To Stop - The Books
Change Order - Jaydiohead
Change Your Style / Hooligan - John Holt
Something's Changed - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Change Gonna Come - Otis Redding

Saturday, January 17, 2009

London Ontario's Local Album of the Year - 2008


Olenka and the Autumn Lovers won CHRW's 94.9 (Radio Western) Local Album of the Year for 2008! (That's their self titled release pictured above.)

Congratulations to all on this worthy achievement. Kudos to CHRW 94.9 (Radio Western) for actively supporting arts and culture in the Forest City.

Now go to your favourite independent record store and purchase some of Olenka and the Autumn Lovers music. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You Are Getting Slleeeeeeeeeeeepppppyyyy…

2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced today (January 14th). I know, I know you can barely contain your excitement but allow me to report.The five artists who will be inducted in the "Performer" category are:

Jeff Beck
Little Anthony and the Imperials
Bobby Womack

Wanda Jackson is being inducted in the "Early Influence" category, even though she was nominated as a performer.

Inducted into the "Sideman" category this year:

Spooner Oldham
Bill Black
D.J. Fontana

Perhaps more important are the artists who didn’t make the cut this year. They were War, The Stooges and Chic. The Stooges have now been denied induction by the Voting Committee seven times and Chic has lost five times. (Must have been their total lack of influence they had on the music community.) This was however, War’s first nomination.

So a couple bright notes there. The other, Run-DMC will perform for the first time since Jam Master Jay's 2002 murder.

People Got a Lotta Nerve – New Neko Case for FREE Download

Today, a download treat. “People Got A Lotta Nerve,” the first single from Neko Case’s forthcoming album Middle Cyclone (out March 3), because for every blog that reposts the song and/or iLike user who adds it to their profile, Neko Case and ANTI- will make a cash donation to Best Friends Animal Society.

Download here and consider a blog post if so inclined.

Your Face Gave it Away

Grammys sign up Thom Yorke and others for New Ad Campaign

Thom Yorke once proclaimed me to be “the only one here tonight that didn’t have pimples…”. Unfortunately he wasn’t complimenting me on my ivory snow like complexion but rather commenting on the fact that most of the fans that waited around his tour bus that hot August night were decidedly younger than me.

Bastard! I still have a complex when I go to all ages shows…

News today that Yorke’s blemish free visage would be used by the Grammy’s this year as part of an ad campaign in which composites of nominated stars' faces are created from the titles and lyrics of songs that influenced their musical development. The Yorke ad pictured at right, contains references to artists ranging from Scott Walker "Psoriatic" to the Liars "The Wrong Coat for You Mt. Heart Attack"). One of the biggest references in Yorke's ad goes to electronic genius' Modeselektor, whose "Kill Bill Vol. 4" is inscribed into the forehead of the Radiohead singer. Bjork's "Unravel", which Yorke has previously cited as one of his favourite songs ever, also gets a nod, as does Madvillain's "Meat Grinder". A TV ad narrated by Yorke is rolling out as the broadcast gets closer, but for now, there's a spot featuring Stevie Wonder's musical development.

In addition to Yorke's face, print ads from L'il Wayne and Rihanna come with slightly more popular nods of infuence. Lil Wayne's ad pays tribute to Jay-Z's "Can't Knock the Hustle" and Young Buck's "Pocket Full of Paper" for instance. The most notable presence on the Rihanna visage is Destiny's Child's "Say My Name".

Thom and the Radiohead boys are nominated for a Grammy this year in the Best Rock album category for In Rainbows, and I still haven’t started colouring my hair.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

London's Local Album of the Year Finalists

Now that the Golden Globes have been handed out, the loftier of prize pursuits can now begin. Mere days into 2009 and London’s Independent Radio Station CHRW 94.9 will soon award the Local Album of the Year prize for 2008.

The list of nominees are as follows:

Carole Allison - Distracted Volume 1
James Cummins - Bloom
Fraser - House on A Hill
Josh Geddis - Yellow Tent
Golden Death Music - Epherma Blues
Lava Lamps - Yellow Umbrellas
Olenka & the Autumn Lovers - Olenka & the Autumn Lovers
The Carnies - The Lesser Demons
The Matadors - Sweet Revenge
Andrew Vivona - Come On

Should be a tight race this year. Nice to see personal favourites Lava Lamps and Olenka & the Autumn Lovers get the nod.

Congratulations everyone!

The winner will receive a $500.00 cash prize as well as an in-studio session.

TUNE IN this FRIDAY, JANUARY 16th to Michael Brown's CLANG BOOM STEAM (in between 4-5pm) as they reveal the winner of 94.9 CHRW's Local Album of the Year! You can indeed listen online.

Listen and support CHRW Radio 94.9 FM in London!

Cover Me, Come On and Cover Me

War Child, is an international charity that provides aid to children in war-torn regions of the world. Organizers have a really fantastic compilation with a twist lined up for 2009. Rock legends such as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney chose their favourite “newish” bands to cover their classic songs. War Child’s new album, Heroes, is released on February 24th in the US and March 3rd in Canada, and features 16 amazing reinterpretations.

TV on the Radio will be contributing a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” to the compilation.

1. Beck – Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat - Bob Dylan
2. The Kooks – Victoria - The Kinks
3. The Hold Steady - Atlantic City - Bruce Springsteen
4. Hot Chip – Transmission - Joy Division
5. Lily Allen feat. Mick Jones - Straight To Hell - The Clash
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sheena Is A Punk Rocker - The Ramones
7. Franz Ferdinand - Call Me - Blondie
8. Duffy - Live And Let Die - Paul McCartney
9. Estelle - Superstition - Stevie Wonder
10. Rufus Wainwright - Wonderful & Song For Children - Brian Wilson
11. Scissor Sisters - Do The Strand - Roxy Music
12. Peaches - Search And Destroy - Iggy Pop
13. Adam Cohen - Take This Waltz - Leonard Cohen
14. Elbow - Running To Stand Still - U2
15. The Like - You Belong To Me - Elvis Costello
16. TV On the Radio - Heroes - David Bowie

Really looking forward to hearing the Hold Steady’s take on Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City.

Do you have a favourite cover song that you treasure?

‘Before the Goldrush’ Revisits Classic Singer Songwriters to Benefit Teach For America

Not an entirely new release but new to me, a worthy tribute that may be of interest to you. Although a digital only release at this time the song list is a stellar one. This one is certainly worth your investigation, the cause entirely worthy. So part with those bones, you won't be disappointed. (Song listing is incorporated at the bottom of this post).

26 contemporary music artists pay homage to James Taylor, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and others.

Louisville, Ky., December 4, 2008 — In a tribute to the great singer songwriters who influence their music and the teachers who helped open the doors to their creativity, 26 contemporary singer songwriters contribute recordings to Before the Goldrush, a new project benefiting Teach For America.

Before the Goldrush pays tribute to artists and mentors alike with a collection of tracks performed by contemporary musicians in homage to the singer songwriters who inspire them. Contributions include songs written by James Taylor, Leonard Cohen, Tim Buckley, Joni Mitchell, and others who laid the groundwork for today's generation of musicians.

“It's rare to meet an artist whose creativity wasn't buoyed by a teacher,” said Gary Guthrie, the project’s producer. “Whether it was an art teacher, band director, literature professor, speech coach, or the kindergarten teacher who told them that it was OK to color outside the lines, there's usually someone who provided a key with which to open the artistic soul.”
A virtual open call was made to singer songwriters around the world to participate in the project. Some are the children of teachers, some are teachers themselves, but all believe in the importance of great teachers in shaping the next generation.

Many of those in the participating musicians’ audiences are recent college graduates who have joined the Teach For America corps. Teach For America's corps members commit two years to teach in under resourced public schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational excellence for all children.

Before the Goldrush features tracks from established artists and those whose work is gaining traction through touring and song placement on TV shows and in movies. Before the Goldrush is a digital only release. It is available exclusively through, with other music etailers to follow. All profits go to Teach For America.

Contact information:
Gary Guthrie, Project Producer; Brett Shepherd, Project Coordinator for A Nest of Eggs LLC:
Trevor Stutz for Teach For America:

About Teach For America

Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. This year, 6,200 corps members are teaching in over 1,600 schools in 29 regions across the country while more than 14,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit

“Before the Goldrush” – Artist and Track List

Alicia Wiley Little Green Joni Mitchell
Ana Egge Johnny's Garden Stephen Stills & Manassas
Carey Ott Twilight The Band
Dawn Landes Dear Boy Paul and Linda McCartney
Jake Newton Lover's Cross Jim Croce
Jim Boggia Girl The Beatles
John Mann Just Like a Woman Bob Dylan
Kassia Conway Today Jefferson Airplane
Korby Lenker Heart of Gold Neil Young
Matt the Electrician Duncan Paul Simon
Neko Case Bowling Green Everly Brothers/Jesse Winchester
Nels Andrews I Hope I Don't Fall in Love with You Tom Waits
Okkervil River Blonde in the Bleachers Joni Mitchell
Pete & J America Simon & Garfunkel
Pieta Brown Birds Neil Young
Rebecca Elliott You're My Home Billy Joel
Sarah Kramer It Be Your Will Leonard Cohen
Shane Alexander Love Song Elton John
Teneia Sanders Once I Was Tim Buckley
The Swell Season Into the Mystic Van Morrison
Tracy Bonham In My Heart Bill Withers
Tyler James Shiver Me Timbers Tom Waits
Vandaveer Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye Leonard Cohen

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Furr Flies - Blitzen Trapper Tour North America

Some bands just have the right monicker for tackling the highways and byways of this continent during the winter months. Blitzen Trapper, the Portland, Oregon-based experimental folk rock band has announced they’ll be hitting the road in support of Furr (on Sub Pop Records) this February and March on a North American tour. The tour proper kicks off on February 18th in Minneapolis, Minn., and runs through March 13 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Blitzen Trapper will be supported by Blue Giant at a pre-tour free show in Portland, Ore., and will be later joined by Montreal’s Plants & Animals and Alela Diane on tour.

Blitzen Trapper tour dates:

January 25 Portland, OR: Crystal Ballroom !
February 18 Minneapolis, MN: Cedar Cultural Centre *
February 19 Chicago, IL: Empty Bottle *
February 20 Detroit, MI: Magic Stick *
February 21 Toronto, Ontario: Horseshoe Tavern *
February 22 Montreal, Quebec: La Sala Rosa *
February 24 Rochester, NY: Bug Jar *
February 25 Northampton, MA: Pearl Street *
February 26 Boston, MA: Paradise *
February 27 New York, NY: Bowery Ballroom *#
February 28 Brooklyn, NY: Music Hall of Williamsburg *#
March 01 Philadelphia, PA: First Unitarian Church *
March 02 Washington, DC: Black Cat *
March 04 Athens, GA: 40 Watt Club *
March 05 Asheville, NC: Orange Peel *
March 06 Nashville, TN: Mercy Lounge *
March 07 Birmingham, AL: Bottletree *
March 08 Memphis, TN: High.Tone *
March 09 Norman, OK: The Opolis *
March 10 Lawrence, KA: Jackpot Saloon *
March 12 Denver, CO: Hi.Dive *
March 13 Salt Lake City, UT: Kilby Court *

! with Blue Giant
* with Alela Diane
# with Plants & Animals

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Rolling Tundra Revue

Hearty Rockers Set to Tour the Nation

Don’t you just love when a cleverly named tour emerges in the dead of winter to roust us out our collective hibernation?

The Weakerthans are prepping an extensive tour of "America's toque" this spring with fellow countrymen Constantines. This extensive tour will take them from St John’s Newfoundland across the entire country to Victoria BC then north to end in the city of Whitehorse, Yukon. Over the course of the tour the bands will be performing almost 30 concerts in 21 different cities, expanding on the highly successful Inaugural Rolling Tundra Revue Tour of 2005.

Hey Londoners… Now we can check out the new London Music Hall and hopefully blow the rafters out of the dump, inaugural style!

Tour dates follow.

Thursday March 19th, 2009 St. John's, NF - Club One
Friday March 20th, 2009 Halifax, NS - The Palace
Sunday March 22nd, 2009 Sackville, NB - George's Roadhouse
Monday March 23rd, 2009 Fredericton, NB - UNB - SUB Ballroom
Wednesday March 25th, 2009 Quebec, QC - Le Cercle
Thursday March 26th, 2009 Montreal, QC - Le National
Saturday March 28th, 2009 Ottawa, ON - Bronson Centre
Sunday March 29th, 2009 Kingston, ON - The Ale House
Tuesday March 31st, 2009 Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre
Friday April 3rd, 2009 London, ON - London Music Hall
Saturday April 4th, 2009 Guelph, ON - River Run Centre
Friday April 17th, 2009 Winnipeg, MB - Burton Cummings Theatre
Saturday April 18th, 2009 Winnipeg, MB - Burton Cummings Theatre
Tuesday April 21st, 2009 Regina, SK - Ridell Centre
Wednesday April 22nd, 2009 Saskatoon, SK - The Odeon Events Centre
Thursday April 23rd, 2009 Edmonton, AB - Winspear Centre
Saturday April 25th, 2009 Calgary, AB - MacEwan Ballroom
Sunday April 26th, 2009 Banff, AB - Wild Bill's
Monday April 27th, 2009 Kelowna, BC - Kelowna Community Theatre
Thursday April 30th, 2009 Victoria, BC - Element
Friday May 1st, 2009 Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom
Saturday May 2nd, 2009 Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom
Monday May 4th, 2009 Whitehorse, YT - Yukon Arts Centre

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stooges Guitarist Ron Asheton RIP

Sad news today… Ron Asheton, guitarist and founding member of the Stooges, was reportedly found dead at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan this morning. He was 60. Official cause of death has not yet been announced but initial indications suggest Asheton had a heart attack. Police entered Asheton’s home and discovered his body on a couch after his personal assistant was unable to reach the rocker for days.

As the guitarist for the Stooges, Asheton crafted some of rock’s most memorable riffs, including “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “No Fun” and “TV Eye.” Guitarist Asheton, along with his brother Scott, Iggy Pop and original bassist Dave Alexander formed the Stooges in Detroit in 1967. The original lineup released two albums, The Stooges and Fun House, before Ron Asheton shifted over to bass guitar for 1973’s Raw Power. All three LPs are regarded as innovative rock classics that influenced untold rockers since their initial release. Asheton was recently honoured in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

After the Stooges initially split, Asheton went on to play with the New Order (not to be confused with the UK band of the same name), Destroy All Monsters, New Race and the Wylde Ratttz, a supergroup featuring Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Mudhoney’s Mark Arm, Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis and Mike Watt, who would eventually become Asheton’s bandmate when the Stooges reunited in 2003. For the band’s comeback album, 2007’s The Weirdness, Asheton was once again in his rightful place onstage as the Stooges’ guitarist as Watt picked up bass duties. Last year the Stooges played as Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; this year, the band was nominated for their own induction.

Touring heavily, including a the Stooges played a memorable set at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival which ended with a mass stage invasion, they also played last year's Isle Of Wight Festival.

Fleet Foxes Win Album Art Prize

With “list season” come and gone its now time to welcome “awards season” to the blogosphere. And for all of you Art History aficionado’s out there, this story is pretty intriguing. Following a number of top honours in 2008, Seattle’s much-loved Fleet Foxes have claimed the Best Art Vinyl Award for their self-titled album’s cover art.

Fleet Foxes’s winning cover features a segment of the 1559 painting Netherlandish Proverbs by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, whose work depicts the Dutch proverbs of the day. In rock’n’roll history, Bruegel’s painting The Triumph of Death was used in the late seventies by Black Sabbath for a greatest hits album. Well worth the trip to Wikipedia to analyse this one though, it makes for an illuminating read.

The Fleet Foxes’ cover beat out 50 other album jackets that made the longlist for the annual prize, which was organized by the UK-based album-art appreciation society Art Vinyl and drew almost 3,000 online votes. Second in the list of 50 superbly terrific covers was the more modern Roots Manuva cover for Slime & Reason. Coldplay’s Viva La Vida got third prize for their reversion of Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix (1830 for the Wikipedia fact contingent).

In previous years, artists such as Thom Yorke and the Cribs have taken home the Best Art Vinyl Award, and 2008’s top selections will be on display at the London (UK) Rough Trade East store throughout January.

No word yet on whether Thom’s red pants will be recognized this “awards season”.

Here are the top ten album covers picked in the 2008 poll:

1. Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes
2. Roots Manuva Slime And Reason
3. Coldplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
4. Goldfrapp Seventh Tree
5. Elbow The Seldom Seen Kid
6. Metallica Death Magnetic
7. Bloc Party Intimacy
8. Low Motion Disco Keep it Slow
9. Santogold Santogold
10. Zombie Zombie Dog Walker

So what are your thoughts on lifting these historical pieces to promote pop music? At least the Pogues made it their own when they did it. My vote would likely have been cast for Roots Manuva or Bloc Party.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Straight Outta Oxford

First week of 2009 and a viral little download has emerged for your listening pleasure. I honestly don't think this will last long and well, Amplive kinda did this all ready last year but it is still worth your time.

Jay Z and Radiohead. Hmmmm... Two hip hop posts this week all ready? I must be going through some mid life thing or something.

Get it while you can. Here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I’ve Got Mail

There really is something to be said about receiving mail. Not the electronic type we’ve all become quite accustomed to, but rather the old fashioned kind- stamps on the envelope and bulging more than just a little. Indeed, the stuff that shows up in your mailbox we all lovingly refer to as snail mail. I was fortunate to receive two “old school” missives recently and I would be remiss if I were to not share their contents with you.

The first was a delightful surprise when Blogger Non-Virtual Secret Santa struck just barely after Christmas. My gift, a rather splendid array of music related homemade cards sent to me by Ruhee from . Some truly inspired selections Ruh, your efforts are thoroughly appreciated and I will in fact put them to very good use on a number of projects I am working on this year. I’m very impressed with the detail and cleverness that went into each of your designs. Thank you so very much. Be sure to check out Ruh's website as well. It's full of all kinds of wonderful music related goodness.

Not soon after received that package did another arrive in the mailbox. This one was a little more conspicuous from some strange industrial address in New Jersey. I quickly surmised what in fact it was having almost forgotten I had ordered it in the fall. This was a little gift from Brian Eno and David Byrne – The deluxe edition of Everything Happens, Happens Today. And indeed it is deluxe. Two CD’s (the regular release and a bonus disc with four songs and multimedia content) are housed in a beautiful metal and plastic circular piece. This domestic scene design could best be compared to The Sims in appearance. As well, when the top is removed to reveal its contents an electronic chip simulates knocking (or perhaps footsteps), until the top is put back in place. The package was designed by Stefan Sagmeister, who received a Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package Grammy Award in 2005 for art direction on the Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime box set and designed the cover for David Byrne's Feelings CD.

Sooooo, two exciting things to receive in the mail don’t you think? Did you receive any old school mail of any note this past holiday season?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Beastie Boys Reissue Paul's Boutique

(Insert Dream Weaver sound affects here.) Why I remember it clearly; it’s almost like it was yesterday… Standing in line at the record shop, (young un’s ask your parents) with the brand new Beastie Boys CD in my sweaty little palms. Sure the first record was okay, (Muchmusic rendered so much of it annoying at that point.) But this one just looked promising, and boy oh beastie boy did it deliver. It really didn’t leave my Sony CD Walkman much for a good two months. I loved that record and in many ways I still do, even twenty years after the fact. So news today that to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their sophomore album, Paul's Boutique, Beastie Boys have announced plans to reissue the classic disc gave me a much needed new year’s boost. The new disc will be digitally remastered for the first time with the hands-on beastie trio in the studio overseeing the entire process.

The original vinyl artwork will be restored in an eco-friendly, eight-panel digipak which features a panoramic view of NYC. Fans will also receive a foldout poster and a free download of a track-by-track commentary by the MCs. All this can be yours starting January 27th.

Get funky. No more standing in line for this dorky hip hop lovin’ Dad!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

PLAYLIST 24 - Friends Of Mine

It’s kind of exciting… A brand new year is upon us, a brighter horizon perhaps. That old year certainly threw us its challenges and surprises. But looking back it was special in many ways. Not the least of which are the wonderful new friends I've made over the past three hundred sixty five days. Some of them are on my blog roll and I urge you to spend some time at their little virtual corner too. Creative, intelligent, patient, funny and lovely they all are. So for them, a small token of my appreciation; this is what I do best after all. A playlist dedicated to all of them. I am a better person to know these “Friends of Mine” and to all of them the most sincere best wishes for a splendid 2009.

Click on the links below for a random visit. The songs themselves? Go out and find them at your nearest independent record retailer. Tell them a friend sent you.

Ally Side

These Are Your Friends - Adem
Always A Friend - Alejandro Escovedo
Little Friend - Minor Threat
Us And Our Friends - Tall Firs
I Need All The Friends I Can Get - Camera Obscura
All My Friends (Franz Ferdinand Version) - LCD Soundsystem
My Best Friend - Annie
You've Got A Friend - Dusty Springfield
All Of My Friends Were There - The Kinks
Farewell My Friend - Dennis Wilson
He's My Best Friend - Jellyfish

Booster Side

Fairweather Friend - John Cale
She 's My Best Friend - Lou Reed
My Dearest Friend - Devendra Banhart
New Old Friend Blues - The Kingsbury Manx
Friend Of Mine - The National
All the Right Friends - R.E.M.
Old Friend - Loudon Wainwright III
So Many Friends - Martha Wainwright
Barely Friends - Hayden
Me and My Friend - Julie Doiron
Song for a Friend - Pieta Brown

We're Just Friends - Wilco
Thank You Friends - Big Star
Friends Of Mine - The Zombies