La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Generation’s Asia - (Without the Suck Part)

Hmmm, what’s it been now? Nearly a fortnight since I’ve reported the goings on of the most important band in the universe. This time out though I’ll be focusing on their diffident and prolific frontman… No it’s not the fifth coming of Van Halen but something so much better.

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has recruited Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck and onetime R.E.M. drummer Joey Waronker and percussionist Mauro Refosco for a new live group that will make its debut this Sunday and Monday, October 4th and 5th, at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre. The singer announced the unlikely union on Radiohead’s Dead Air Space website yesterday. The news ends weeks of speculation surrounding the usually reserved Radiohead frontman, who has been seen in Los Angeles recently, DJing at the Roosevelt Hotel and being summarily “papped”.

“In the past couple of weeks I’ve been getting a band together for fun to play The Eraser stuff live and the new songs etc. to see if it could work,” Yorke writes. “We don’t really have a name and the set will not be very long cuz… well… we haven’t got that much material yet! But come and check it out if you are in the area.”
Yorke has reportedly long expressed a desire to bring the textural Eraser to the stage, but so far his solo performances have amounted to him sitting alone onstage with an acoustic guitar and piano. That should change with this new, nameless band. (Your suggestions of course are always welcome in the comments section.) I’d like to offer Headless Chickenfoot as a nod to Thom's band name past yet tying in his Red Hot Chili brethren. Of course the circle would have been complete with Diamond David Lee Roth in the mix; alas a guy can dream.

It’s been a hectic month for Thom who has released unleashed a pair of new Radiohead tracks (“Harry Patch (In Memory Of)”, “These Are My Twisted Words”), his own 12” single last week. Lastly, Yorke’s song entitled “Hearing Damage” will be featured on the New Moon soundtrack in short order.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Under the Influence – Part II - John Peel

Few people have informed and influenced the music that I love as much as the late, great John Peel. I used to go to great lengths to hear his radio program via their BBC’s Short Wave World Service. Music was clearly his passion in life and somewhere in that deadpan delivery and magnificent voice I found a kindred spirit that would enliven and flame that very fervor within myself. Champion of the obscure and unheard, he introduced the world to new music and gave hundreds of bands their first mainstream exposure. I understood only too well that same thrill of opening the shrink wrap on a new LP or dropping the needle on a new Undertones 45. I anxiously awaited his annual Festive Fifty as much as any carefully wrapped Christmas present...

I really miss John Peel. Christmastime definitely just not the same, but this year it just got a little better… News today that the release of Kats Karavan a 4-CD deluxe set is on the way. The collection charting the history of John Peel’s iconoclastic shows spanning five decades from the late 1960s until his untimely death in the fall of 2004.

Incredibly, five years have already passed since John’s death and a whole new generation is already growing up without knowing what it’s like to listen to a DJ who would play Bloc Party, followed by Ivor Cutler, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, then Bong-Ra, Linton Kwesi Johnson followed by The Misunderstood. Universal Music, with the full approval of John’s family, has undertaken the unenviable task of trying to recreate one of John’s shows on this 4-CD box set.

Drawing material right up until John’s last ever Festive Fifty, Kats Karavan includes big players, one-hit wonders, chart toppers and those who stayed at the lower reaches. It includes tracks from the likes of Small Faces, Thin Lizzy, Aswad, The Damned, Medicine Head, The Jam, The Slits, Funboy Five, The Cure, Linton Kwesi Johnson, That Petrol Emotion, Extreme Noise Terror, Ivor Cutler, Mercury Rev, Milo, Bloc Party and many, many more.

The set also includes some rarities and curiosities. The Free track, Walk In My Shadow, was considered lost by the BBC until it was recently discovered on some old reel to reel tapes. This is the first time it has ever been available and the first time it’s been heard since the original broadcast.

Kats Karavan comes complete with artwork featuring rare and unseen photographs alongside personal recollections from many of the featured artists, who were only too delighted to contribute and be involved in this homage to the late, great John Peel.
Kats Karavan will be released as a 4-CD set on October 26th.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

LOLA Fest 2009 - The Best One Yet!

LOLA (London Ontario Live Arts) Fest now marks the unofficial end of summer for me. Teasing the musical ghosts out for just one last solstice dance. The festival’s annual appearance now the musical highlight of my year. Perhaps you’ve seen that familiar red and white banner, a waving beacon of sorts for music fans and musicians alike to join the cause and take part in an event both creatively entertaining and uniquely soul enriching. A tradition now four years in, this year’s version was definitely the best yet. The eclectic lineup bordered on thrilling. Although other scheduling commitments would keep me from seeing everything LOLA had to offer, the performances and art that I did manage to take in were equally stunning and most unforgettable. From the opening post-punk squall of London’s own A Horse and His Boy to the bouncy, elastic dance groove of Michigan’s NOMO at the end, LOLA was indeed the place to be if you happened to be in London Ontario this past weekend.

How lucky we are to have such a sublime world class arts event like this take place right in our own proverbial backyard. The element that clearly distinguishes LOLA from other festivals of this type is the diverse nature of the lineup of performances and first rate art installations. How dazzling to witness eclecticism on this scale. To see a relatively new local band like A Horse and His Boy, (who have just released their debut recording), kick off LOLA 2009; to be followed on the new TransMedia stage by London’s legendary Nihilist Spasm Band, challenge listeners with their brand of noisy art is nothing short of phenomenal. Shortly thereafter legendary Canadian artist Michael Snow and Jesse Stewart took the same stage to a crowd of appreciative fans. The whole thing still leaves me feeling utterly gobsmacked and profoundly lucky to witness these very fine performances.

The weather could not have been better with miles of blue skies in the day to twinkling stars in the evening. Mind you, those twinkling planets might just have been the assortment of glittery disco balls, crane suspended high over the park for the duration of the event. I think this made the perfect visual accompaniment for perfomances by Brooklyn guitar virtuoso, Kaki King and Copenhagen’s remarkable Slaraffenland. (This would not be the last time festival goers would get to see these clever Danes.)

Closing the first night was Akron/Family, who may have had the deepest impression on me and related ‘familials’.- (Check the pictures) This would mark the second time the hypnotic Brooklyn band would wow LOLA festival audiences with their unique brand of extended, folky jams. Their first appearance in 2007 garnered rave reviews and a slew of new fans in this city.

This time out Akron/Family were flanked by members of Slaraffenland who aptly rounded out the bands sound with their dexterous instrumentation and vocal talents. Strangely they would not be the only accompanists for the band that night. Midway through their closing set, vocalist and guitarist, Seth Olinsky invited my twelve year old son on stage to play a variety of instruments through the remainder of the bands climactic performance. (FACT: Budding musicians please note, that it is in fact advantageous to wear a noticeable and slightly obscene balloon hat to gain access to the hallowed ground that is the main stage.) Number one son was thrilled to no end with his brush with rock stardom. I sincerely doubt whether London audiences will ever be the same after his blazing recorder workout! It was the perfect cap to the first evening of LOLA 2009.

Day Two in Victoria Park would regretfully be a bit of a hit and miss affair for me due to previously scheduled commitments. Thankfully however all was not lost and I was able to see a handful of events, namely the festival’s musical highlight (for some) Final Fantasy. LOLA 2007 alumnus, Owen Pallett again drew a huge number of fans to Victoria Park’s Saturday night’s main stage. His amazing violin and lush layered vocals echoed through the park like a warm summer breeze. His encore of Joanna Newsom’s Peach, Plum, Pear was an uncommon treat.

Back to the Heineken TransMedia Stage one last time Tim Hecker played an absolutely riveting nearly forty minute set of experimental electronic music. The perfect soundtrack for a slighly chilly evening in the park under the stars.

The festival closed with the thick dance beats of Ann Arbor, Michigan's NOMO; whose sax-driven groove carried on even after the soundboard was cut due to city noise bylaws — the band playing on out in the audience. Such a nice touch!

As I had mentioned earlier, LOLA Fest 2009 was the fourth event in this ongoing series and in my opinion, the best one yet. The highlights were many this year with enough memories to last a lifetime. Festival embellishments of vegetarian food fare and refreshment stands were welcomed this year. Kudos as well to Troy and Blair at the well stocked Grooves Records merchandise tent. I know I wasn’t the only one to leave with a handful of premium souvenirs. And so nice to see the Oh! (Open House Arts Collective) on hand promoting local music talent with free apples and lovely new t-shirts.

So thank you LOLA. You were once again smartly curated , flawlessly executed and far and away the best festival this city has to offer! Organizers deserve huge kudos for their hard work and tireless labours that every year surpasses the previous years’ efforts. I feel so very fortunate to be able to partake in this event and I can’t wait until next year.


But Daaaaad I Wanna to Be the Shirtless Skinny Wrinkly Guy

Continuing in Signs of the Impending Apocalypse news… MTV announced today that Iggy Pop has been recreated in exquisite neoplastic detail for use in LEGO Rock Band. Yes people, this one is for real. James Osterberg will indeed be appearing in the Harmonix and Warner's upcoming LEGO Rock band collaboration.

Oy… I could not make this stuff up.

Unfortunately, fans of Guitar Hero 5's cardigan wearing reincarnation of Kurt Cobain can not expect a collaboration of the two anim-icons. As well, it should be noted that Lego Iggy is only available while playing his song "The Passenger".

Ah punk rock, you are now the Mom Jeans of this generation!

F*ck Is the New Black

2009 Polaris Prize Winner Announced

I would be remiss if I did not post the name of the 2009 Polaris Prize winner. Oh wait a second I can’t because I might just violate my sacred Blogger Terms of Use Agreement. So asterisk at the ready. Drum roll please… The winner of the $20,000 Polaris Prize Award for the Canadian album of the year is... F*cked Up. The award recognizes the Toronto group’s record The Chemistry of Common Life released in October 2008 on Matador Records.

The six-piece hardcore band made up of Damian Abraham, Mike Haliechuk, Sandy Miranda, Josh Zucker, Jonah Falco and Ben Cook have been recording since 2001 and in addition to the Chemistry of Common Life have released the recordings Epics in Minutes, Year of the Pig and Looking for Gold.

The $20,000 award was handed out early this morning in Toronto at a gala ceremony hosted by CBC Radio 3’s Grant Lawrence and Sarah Taylor from MuchMusic. For the first time in its history, all ten nominees performed at the soiree, which will be broadcast on television next Saturday evening on MuchMusic.

The prize is awarded by a jury of music journalists from across the country and is based strictly on merit, not sales. Last year's Polaris Prize winner was Hamilton-based performer Caribou.

Okay everyone… Hands up if you saw that one coming.

Polaris Prize 2009 List of Nominees

Elliott Brood - Mountain Meadows
F*cked Up - Chemistry of Common Life
Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels
Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs
K'naan - Troubador
Malajube - Labrinths
Metric - Fantasies
Joel Plaskett - Three
Chad Vangaalen - Soft Airplane
Patrick Watson - Wooden Arms

Monday, September 21, 2009

What the Heck is a Ghost Glove Cat Wing Joy Boy?

Is their anything better than a surprise new music release? Made even better of course when someone surreptitiously emails you some cryptic and brief information like this about new music from Minneapolis’ own favourite son.

Paul Westerberg says download the new EP "PW & The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys" September 22nd!!
Gotta love these spur of the moment Westerberg classics.

Go to this link to hear some song samples. I'll see you in the virtual line tomorrow!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

“The language of influence is cluttered with hard hard c’s”

Pavement Make it Official

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa C-c-c-c-claus. Pavement is reforming. Although it is not certain whether Hades has in fact frozen over, annoying hipsters and music fans everywhere are rejoicing with the news. The band has issued a formal press release earlier today and details of how to obtain tickets for a show in Central Park on September 21, 2010. The press release tempers the news with this proviso: "Please be advised this tour is not a prelude to additional jaunts and/or a permanent reunion..."

Tickets for the Central Park show go on sale tomorrow morning (Sept. 18th) at 10am via Ticketmaster, and are sure to move quickly. For those interested, the full press release from the Crooked Rain website looks like this.

Remember folks, this show is for 2010!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Basia Bulat Announces Sophomore Album, Heart of My Own

Two years ago Basia Bulat released her first album Oh, My Darling to much acclaim, including a Polaris Prize nomination in 2008. Eager fans have since been awaiting its follow-up. Good news today then that the wait will soon be over. Bulat’s sophomore record will be released on January 26th via Secret City Records- label home of Miracle Fortress, Plants and Animals and Patrick Watson. The record called Heart of My Own comes after over a year of touring that took the singer songwriter across Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States several times over. Since then Bulat reunited with Oh, My Darling producer Howard Bilerman in Montreal’s Hotel2Tango Studio earlier this year to record her latest work.

According to her press release nearly all the songs on Heart of My Own were written while on the road: traveling between cities, crossing the Canadian prairies, searching for a place to stop in the Nevada desert, trailing through the Smoky Mountains, standing in the bright dusk of a summer night in the Yukon.

Tracklisting Heart of My Own:

1. “Go On”
2. “Run”
3. “Sugar and Spice”
4. “Gold Rush”
5. “Heart of My Own”
6. “Sparrow”
7. “If Only You”
8. “I’m Forgetting Everyone”
9. “The Shore”
10. “Once More, For the Dollhouse”
11. “Walk You Down”
12. “If It Rains”

Its likely the talented musician will be revisiting many of these very places when she begins the trek to promote the new compendium of songs. She even has a few dates lined up in the coming weeks. Lucky fans might just get to hear a preview of the new record. No doubt many more dates will be announced soon.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

19-Sept CAN Kingston / Grad Club
23-Sept CAN Vancouver / St James Hall
24-Sept CAN Victoria / Metro Studio Theater / Transmission

03-Oct CAN Wakefield / Black Sheep Inn
07-Oct USA Brooklyn / The Bell House

18-Nov SP Madrid Moby Dick
19-Nov SP Orense Voces Femeninas
21-Nov SP Vigo Voces Femeninas
25-Nov UK London Cafe Oto
27-Nov NL Utrecht Le Guess Who Festival
28-Nov BE Gent Kraakpand @ Handelsbeurs

Monday, September 14, 2009

LOLA Festival 2009 Schedule of Events

For recent parolees and those living under rocks a friendly reminder that London Ontario’s own LOLA Festival (London Ontario Living Arts) is taking place this coming weekend. Since its inception in 2006, LOLA Festival has built a reputation on innovative programming and constant growth. LOLA Fest 2009 takes a giant leap forward by adding the Heineken TransMedia second stage to the festivities.

Plan to attend. This one is a not miss!

LOLA Festival 2009

Thursday, September 17:
6pm, McIntosh Gallery, University of Western Ontario
Opening Reception, Michael Snow, Condensation: A Cove Story, McIntosh Gallery, UWO

7pm: Grand Opening: artLAB, John Labatt Visual Arts Centre, UWO
Opening remarks and reception for Robert Youds, Jesus Green Tofino Sunset, with music by DJ Sope

8pm, Michael Gibson Gallery, 157 Carling Street
Opening Reception for Aganetha Dyck, Collaborating in the Darkness

9pm, Various Sites, Downtown London
Launch and walking tour of downtown art Installations by Gordon Monahan, Dave Dyment, Jesse Stewart, Kelly Mark, Thinkbox, Kevin Curtis Norcross, Robert Youds and Nicholas Longstaff. Starting in Victoria Park.

10pm, The Lounge at the Music Hall, 185 Queens Avenue
$10 cover, 19+

Miz Korona
Thesis Sahib
Patrick The Bunny
DJ Freek

Friday, September 18:
Rogers Main Stage:
A Horse And His boy: 3:30 – 4:15
Bruce Peninsula: 5:00 – 5:45
Slaraffenland: 6:30 – 7:15
Kaki King: 8:00 – 9:00
Akron/Family: 10:00– 11:00

Heineken TransMedia Stage:
Cailen Dye: 4:15 – 5:00
Nihilist Spasm Band: 5:45 – 6:30
Michael Snow w/ Jesse Stewart: 7:15 – 8:00
Gordon Monahan: 9:00 – 10:00

Call The Office:
11:15pm – 2:00am
Stop Die Resuscitate

Saturday, September 19:
Rogers Main Stage:
UWO Percussion Ensemble & The Collaborative Piano Ensemble 1:00 – 2:00
Canaille: 2:45 – 3:30
Elfin Saddle: 4:15 – 5:00
Polar Bear: 6:00 – 7:00
Final Fantasy: 8:00 – 9:00
NOMO: 10:00 – 11:00

Heineken TransMedia Stage:
Jesse Stewart: 2:00 – 2:45
Leafcutter John: 3:30 – 4:15
Thinkbox: 5:00 – 6:00
Growing: 7:00 – 8:00
Tim Hecker: 9:00 – 10:00

Call The Office:
10:00pm – 2:00am
Jonathon Coe
Rod Skimmins Makeshift

R.I.P. Jim Carroll

Poet laureate and punk rock icon Jim Carroll, whose life story was famously documented in his autobiography The Basketball Diaries, has died following a heart attack on Friday, September 11th in New York City. Carroll was 60. The New York Times reports. The Basketball Diaries — which detailed Carroll’s struggles with drug use as a teenager in the 1960s — depicts his fall from prep school basketball star to heroin addict who turned to prostitution, all before Carroll was even 17 years old. Besides the Basketball Diaries, Carroll’s other notable works include 4 Ups and 1 Down and 1973’s Living at the Movies. Irreplaceable, Carroll’s music anthem People Who Died a bona fide New York rock n’ roll classic.

Jim Carroll will be missed; his words will live on in perpetuity. Here is an excerpt from his profound piece "8 Fragments for Kurt Cobain"

Perhaps inside them
You could have found a threshold back to beauty's arms
Where it all began...

No matter that you felt betrayed by her

That is always the cost
As Frank said,
Of a young artist's remorseless passion

Which starts out as a kiss
And follows like a curse

Melting Your iPod Seven-Inches at a Time

Japanese metal Gods, Boris have announced that they’ll be releasing three brand new seven inch records before the end of 2009. The band has been locked in the studio over last few months and this series promises more genre-smashing, ear drum shattering music, the likes of which only Boris can produce. The series is called Japanese Heavy Rock Hits and will be soon coming to fans via the band’s label home at Southern Lord.

Boris will release the first of their three seven-inches this month, with records to follow in October and November. There is no doubt that this series will sell out (as their music often does) so fans are urged to act quickly. Fortunately, the good (albeit slightly evil) people at Southern Lord are proffering a unique pre-order package, where fans can get all three records, as well as a bonus t-shirt and fourth seven-inch that are otherwise unavailable. Be sure to check the Southern Lord blog for further details.

Boris will also be made their only North American appearance at this year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties in New York last night. The show, saw the band perform their Feedbacker album in its entirety at the behest of Curator Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips fame.

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 1:

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 1
Side A: “8″
Side B :” Hey Everyone”

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 2
Side A: “H.M.A. - Heavy Metal Addict”
Side B: “Black Original”

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 3
Side A: “16:47:52… / 164752..”
Side B:” ..and Hear Nothing”

"I did not take those drugs or steal those underpants."

Hidden Cameras’ Origin:Orphan North American Fall Tour

The Hidden Cameras never do things on a small scale; their live concerts always actual events rather than just shows. Orchestrated by leader Joel Gibb, their performance spectacles can feature everything from blindfolded band members and string players to go-go dancers shimmying alongside full gospel choirs. The Hidden Camera’s latest work, Origin: Orphan, is as equally ingenious as their four previous albums and is due out in this country on September 22nd on Arts&Crafts.

But the news just keeps getting better. The Hidden Cameras have announced a massive North American tour in support of the aforementioned fourth full-length, Origin:Orphan, kicking off October 21st in Peterborough, ON and wrapping December 3rd in Chicago, IL.

I urge you to attend a show near you, a Hidden Camera’s performance always unforgettable.
Upcoming Shows

Oct 21 - Peterborough, ON Montreal House
Oct 22 - London, ON Call The Office
Oct 23 - Guelph, ON Dublin Street United Church
Oct 29 - Ottawa, ON Zaphod Beeblebrox
Oct 30 - Kingston, ON The Grad Club
Oct 31 - Montreal, QC Il Motore
Nov 1 - Cambridge, MA Brattle Theater
Nov 2 - Northampton, MA Iron Horse
Nov 4 - New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge
Nov 5 - Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s
Nov 6 - Brooklyn, NY Union Hall
Nov 8 - Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
Nov 10 - Atlanta, GA The Earl
Nov 12 - New Orleans, LA The Parish
Nov 13 - Denton, TX Hailey’s
Nov 14 - Austin, TX Emo’s
Nov 17 - San Diego, CA Casbah
Nov 18 - Los Angeles, CA Spaceland
Nov 19 - San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Nov 21 - Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
Nov 23 - Seattle, WA Triple Door
Nov 24 - Victoria, BC Alix Golden Hall
Nov 25 - Vancouver, BC The Biltmore Cabaret
Nov 27 - Edmonton, AB Avenue Theatre
Nov 28 - Calgary, AB Broken City
Nov 29 - Saskatoon, SK Amigo’s
Nov 30 - Winnipeg, MB Royal Albert Hall
Dec 2 - Minneapolis, MN 7th St. Entry
Dec 3 - Chicago, IL Empty Bottle

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Iggy and the Stooges to Reform

John Lydon isn’t the only one feeling sentimental for his old band mates of late… Rock 'n' roll legend and peanut butter aficionado Iggy Pop is planning to reform Iggy and the Stooges to perform their powerfully influential album Raw Power, 36 years after it was released.

The news will no doubt please Stooges fans around the world, who, for a variety of reasons, have not seen the group play some of its most famous songs, such as Search and Destroy, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell and Shake Appeal during previous band reformations.

Three of the four original members of the Michigan band re-formed as the Stooges in 2003 and toured regularly for five years, but neglected songs from Raw Power because the band's line-up changed after its first two albums, the Stooges and Funhouse.

When the band became Iggy and the Stooges to make their third album in 1973, guitarist Ron Asheton was replaced by James Williamson and relegated to handling bass duties. (You may recall Ron Asheton, whose brother Scott is the Stooges drummer, died of a heart attack in January this year.)

The legendary Michigan group would split soon after the album came out after a less than stellar charting and disappointing sales figures. Iggy’s heavy drug use at the time was also cited as a reason for the split

62 year old Pop said that while the original Stooges ended with Asheton's death, “there is always Iggy and the Stooges, the second growth of the band''. This time out Mike Watt will again be handling bass duties

The reconstituted Iggy and the Stooges will play their first shows as part of ATP's Don't Look Back series, in which bands perform classic albums in their entirety. These shows will take place at Hammersmith Apollo on May 2 and 3 of 2010 in London, England.

The landmark Raw Power album, famously mixed by Pop's good friend David Bowie, has been cited by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and many other musicians as their favourite album and is considered one of the most influential in rock history, despite the fact that it sold so poorly when it was released.

Iggy Pop, who has had a largely successful solo career for the past 30 years, has just released a left-field, jazz-influenced album, Preliminaires, inspired by French writer Michel Houellebecq's novel, The Possibility of an Island.

PiL Rise Again

John Lydon Reforms Public Image Ltd.

He reformed his other band twice , those fiendish Sex Pistols fellows in the mid 1990’s and in 2007 with acclaimed tours and a live album and DVD. He has worked for the Discovery Channel and even hawked margarine in Europe in the last couple of years. This time though he's doing something to get excited about… But will it actually fly? John Lydon’s seminal post-punk group, Public Image Ltd. (PiL), are back together. The lineup this time though may be slightly unfamiliar. Gone are pivotal previous members Jah Wobble and Keith Levene. It is likely though, eager fans are still likely to make short work of their concert tickets. A short UK tour by PiL has been announced for December, with limited other dates set to be announced soon.

From the Guardian. "We'll see where we can go," Lydon says of the new band. "Some things may be quite similar. Some may not." Guitarist Lu Edmonds, drummer Bruce Smith and multi-instrumentalist Scott Firth will join the singer in the band. The reformation comes just as their seminal Metal Box (1979) also known as Second Edition reaches its 30th anniversary, although it’s not clear how much of the album will be included in the live shows. (Feeling old yet?)

Speaking of Wobble and Levene, Lydon says they are both “off on their own tangents," although he claims there is little bad blood between them. When asked if they are still friends, he says: "Wobble always, yes. Keith used to be, but he went off into his own little universe and never came back."

Ah Johnny you entertain us so.

Monday, September 7, 2009

2 Kool 2 B 4 Gotten

Beck Hansen covered The Velvet Underground's seminal, The Velvet Underground & Nico album for the first installment of his Record Club covers series, and now he's out to tackle another album released in 1967. This one hits a little closer to this Canadian bloggers home with his take on Leonard Cohen's Songs Of Leonard Cohen.

For this Leonard Cohen Dance Party (thank you Zombie clan for that phenom) Beck will be ably helped out by members of MGMT, Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale, Devendra Banhart, Little Joy's Binki Shapiro and members of his touring band in the enterprise. He's already posted a cover of Suzanne on his website, and it will be followed by one track from the album every week.

Beck’s take on Cohen's Suzanne is posted below.

Record Club: Songs Of Leonard Cohen "Suzanne" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Best New Music - Friends in Bellwoods II

Out of this Spark is celebrating the intersection of community and art, with the release of Friends in Bellwoods II. The compendium, a 40-song, double-album set of rare, new and unreleased selections from some of Canada's most innovative independent musicians, is now available and features Great Lake Swimmers, The Acorn, Sandro Perri, Basia Bulat, Timber Timber, Katie Stelmanis, Ohbijou and many more. All proceeds from the sale of the compilation go to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto.

Listen here.

Friends in Bellwoods II

Track List
Disc One

01. Forest City Lovers – Minneapolis
02. Le Pigeon – Freezing Rain
03. Basia Bulat – My Heart Is A Warning
04. The Acorn – Slippery When Wet
05. Canadian Wildlife – Winter’s Moon
06. Double Suicide – Touch The Sun
07. Great Bloomers – Find My Way
08. Lisa Bozikovic – The Letting Go
09. Bellewoods – Kneel On The Apron
10. Kate Rogers – The Same Party
11. Timber Timbre – Water
12. No Kids – All That Heaven Allows
13. Snailhouse – Don’t Go Anywhere
14. Final Fantasy – Red Sun (Demo Version)
15. Sylvie Smith – On Our Own
16. Bruce Peninsula – In Parallel
17. Gentleman Reg – For Trust
18. Evening Hymns – Cedars
19. Kite Hill – Tom Thumbtack
20. The Bellwoods Crew – Staten Island Waltz

Disc Two

01. The Dinghies – The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
02. Bocce – Inspiration Bellwoods
03. Kids On TV - Poison
04. Katie Stelmanis – Believe Me
05. The D’Urbervilles – Magic Arrow
06. Sebastien Grainger – Home Is The Light
07. Violence – Living Off The Land
08. Ohbijou – An Ode To An End
09. Great Lake Swimmers – Send Me A Letter
10. The Low Notes – Glory Glory
11. Snowblink – When Pushed From A High Branch
12. lice - yggdrasil
13. Emma McKenna - Happiness
14. Richard Laviolette – Media Song
15. The Adam Brown – Joy Rider
16. The Phonemes – April, Let’s Send His Colleagues An Email
17. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Rough And Tumble
18. Tusks – New To Old Money
19. Hooded Fang – Highway Steam
20. The Wooden Sky – My Old Ghosts

In 2006, Ohbijou's Casey Mecija and her bandmate, James Bunton, knew it was time to document and showcase some of the music being created in her home on Bellwoods Avenue in Toronto. In an attempt to render a "digital diary of the house", the pair curated the first Friends in Bellwoods compilation later that year. Their keen sense of changes taking place in the neighborhood, and their relation to the gentrifying forces at work, led them to consider the geographic connection between the house and a heavily trafficked food bank. As a result, all proceeds from the original and the second compilation go to The Daily Bread Food Bank. The first edition of the compilation has raised over $11,000 since its release two years ago.

Even on the new recording many of the songs were recorded in the house; listen carefully and you might hear the detailing of the house's life recorded-a window creaking, a kettle boiling, the resident dog shuffling, the constant rotation of friends and musicians that continue to animate a small bungalow on Bellwoods Avenue.

But do seek out this excellent and worthy new release.