La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let England Vote

The shortlist for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize '2011 Albums of the Year' were announced yesterday and the list (as always) is pretty amazing.  The twelve albums shortlisted for this year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize are all worthy contenders.  PJ Harvey would grab my vote.  Yourself? 

Adele - 21
Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi
Elbow - Build A Rocket Boys!
Everything Everything - Man Alive
Ghostpoet - Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
Gwilym Simcock - Good Days At Schloss Elmau
James Blake - James Blake
Katy B - On A Mission
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine
Metronomy - The English Riviera
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Tinie Tempah - Disc-Overy

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And Now We Sing for Canada

I would have fought tooth and nail to get the brilliant record, And Now We Sing by London’s Olenka and the Autumn Lovers on this year’s Polaris Prize shortlist. A fist shake to you misinformed Polaris jurors. Mark my words, this talented group will be on that list in due time. Thankfully though, Canadians won’t have to wait to at least see them in concert. This summer, fans will get to experience exactly what makes this band so special as the band have announced a trek across the Westerly half of this nation.

The extensive outing will last for the month of August with a handful of dates in late July and early September. Great news too... A house show at Casa Del Zombie in Calgary has again been scheduled for the middle of August. The tour will wrap up on September 3rd at the beautiful Aeolian Hall in London.

See the full tour schedule below.

Tour dates:
7/29 Toronto, ON - The Great Hall (Out of the Box Festival)
7/30 Peterborough, ON - The Attic
8/1 Sudbury, ON - The Townehouse
8/5 Winnipeg, MB - The Lo Pub
8/6 Bruno, SK - The Bruno Arts Bank
8/8 Calgary, AB - Weeds
8/9 Penticton, BC - Voodoos
8/11 Vancouver, BC - Red Cat Records (early show)
8/11 Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore (late show)
8/13 Kamloops, BC - The Art We Are
8/14 Calgary, AB - haus show
8/15 Edmonton, AB - Wunderbar
8/16 Lethbridge, AB - Tongue and Groove
8/17 Regina, SK - The Creative City Centre
8/18 Saskatoon, SK - Jale
8/19 Yorkton, SK - Fifth Avenue Cup and Saucer
8/20-21 Kelwood, MB - Harvest Sun Music Festival
8/22 Winnipeg, MB - Mondragon
8/24 Thunder Bay, ON - The Apollo
8/25 Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Loplops
8/26 Sarnia, ON - The Urban Nature Centre
9/3 London, ON - The Aeolian Hall

Lastly if by chance you missed this free download nugget I suggest you grab it. Even in this hot July weather Olenka’s voice will give you the chills.

OLENKA AND THE AUTUMN LOVERS - No Coins from Mitch Fillion ( on Vimeo.

Polaris Prize Shortlist Revealed

Bloggers of the world, boot up your laptops and sharpen those witty retorts. The ten albums vying for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize were announced yesterday by CBC Radio 3 man about town Grant Lawrence and the guy whose band’s name I can’t repeat in my mother’s presence Damian Abraham.

And you know what?  I kinda like this list.  Bands returning to the shortlist include Montreal’s Arcade Fire with their much lauded album The Suburbs, as well as St. John’s Hey Rosetta! with Seeds. Both bands hold the distinction of being previously nominated in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

The remaining eight on the shortlist, are all newcomers.  The listing includes: Montreal’s Galaxie, whose Tigre et Diesel is the only French language album to make the list; Montreal’s Colin Stetson, who played on not only his own album, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, but also albums by Arcade Fire and Timber Timbre.  Rounding out the list were the always stalwart singer-songwriters Destroyer and Ron Sexsmith.

Here is the full list:

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Austra – Feel It Break
Braids – Native Speaker
Destroyer – Kaputt Galaxie – Tigre et Diesel
Hey Rosetta! – Seeds Ron Sexsmith – Long Player Late Bloomer
Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Timber Timbre – Creep On Creepin’ On
The Weeknd – House of Balloons

Let the prognosticating begin.  The 2011 winner will be revealed at CTV’s Concert Hall studios at Toronto’s Masonic Temple on Monday, September 19th at the Polaris Music Prize gala. The event will again be hosted by Grant Lawrence and Damian Abraham.

Leave your pick for winner in the comments.  I’m still...  Pondering.  Perhaps I’ll have my favourite by the Weeknd.

Past winners of the Polaris Music Prize have been Final Fantasy, Patrick Watson, Caribou, Fucked Up, and Karkwa.

Destroyer - Kaputt from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Outside of Society, That's Where I Want To Be

Do you have a favoured artist that just makes you glad they're around to make art in your world?  Patti Smith certainly does that for me. Her words, her art...  It pleases me to no end that she has been enjoying a much deserved renaissance of late too. Her National Book Award winning book Just Kids, left me and crtics around the globe more than a little gobsmacked; that loving recollection of her life and times with Robert Mapplethorpe and their struggle to create art in the 1970’s nothing short of a masterpiece.  The book though, is just one aspect of a creative canon that continues to influence generations. On August 23rd, Columbia/Arista/Legacy will release Outside Society, a best-of collection of her music on CD and double vinyl. The album encompasses Smith's entire multiple-decade recording career, moving roughly chronologically through her legendary body of work.

Outside Society
features the contributions of her bandmates, with Lenny Kaye (guitar) and Jay Dee Daugherty (drums) the longest-serving members. Kaye, Daugherty, Richard Sohl (keyboard/piano) and Ivan Kral (bass) formed the Patti Smith Group, which hit its commercial peak in 1978 with Easter and “Because the Night”. Smith contributes track-by-track liner notes for the new release, and says this of her enduring hit:

“Bruce Springsteen gave me a great gift in allowing me to lend verses to his beautifully constructed anthem. My contribution was written for my future husband, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith. Though we have performed it hundreds of times, the strong response it draws always makes it fresh and exciting to sing.”
The tracklist below, as well as video of Smith performing my favourite Patti Smith number, "Dancing Barefoot" in 1979.

Outside Society:
01. Gloria
02. Free Money
03. Ain’t It Strange
04. Pissing in a River
05. Because the Night
06. Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger
07. Dancing Barefoot
08. Frederick
09. So You Wanna Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
10. People Have the Power
11. Up There Down There
12. Beneath the Southern Cross
13. Summer Cannibals
14. 1959
15. Glitter in Their Eyes
16. Lo and Beholden (Radio Edit)
17. Smells Like Teen Spirit
18. Trampin’

Tracks 1-2 from Horses (Arista AL 4066, 1975)
Tracks 3-4 from Radio Ethopia (Arista AL 4097, 1976)
Tracks 5-6 from Easter (Arista AB 4171, 1978)
Tracks 7-9 from Wave (Arista AB 4221, 1979)
Tracks 10-11 from Dream of Life (Arista AL 8453, 1988)
Tracks 12-13 from Gone Again (Arista ARCD 8747, 1996)
Track 14 from Peace and Noise (Arista 07822 18986-2, 1997)
Track 15 from Gung Ho (Arista 07822-14618-2, 2000)
Track 16 from Lo and Beholden (Arista promo CD ARPCD-3855, 2000)
Track 17 from Twelve (Columbia 82876 87251-2, 2007)
Track 18 from Trampin’ (Columbia CK 90330, 2004)

Patti Smith - Dancing Barefoot from FTP on Vimeo.