La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Love the Smell of Albums in the Morning

The new album release calendar is beginning to fill up and I thought it might be nice to share a little bit of the associated excitement with all of you. First up is Brooklyn’s finest- the National who have indicated their follow up to Boxer will be available in early 2010. Rumours are also swirling that a Sufjan Stevens/Dessner brothers (The National) Christmas EP might just see the light of day soon too.

Further, one of indie rock’s more consistently great bands Spoon has just announced a release date for their new album. The band's seventh LP, Transference, is due out January 26th in North America via Merge and January 25th in Europe via Anti-.

The record features eleven songs produced by the band, including recent single "Got Nuffin", not to mention tracks called "I Saw the Light" and "Out Go the Lights". I’m sensing a theme here people.

Peruse the track listing below:


01 Before Destruction
02 Is Love Forever?
03 The Mystery Zone
04 Who Makes Your Money
05 Written in Reverse
06 I Saw the Light
07 Trouble Comes Running
08 Goodnight Laura
09 Out Go the Lights
10 Got Nuffin
11 Nobody Gets Me But You

Forthcoming New Releases of Note

January 12:

Vampire Weekend – Contra
Final Fantasy – Heartland

January 19:

Eels – End Times

January 26:

Free Energy – Stuck On Nothing (DFA/Astralwerks)
Basia Bulat – Heart of My Own (Secret City Records)

January TBA:

Laura Veirs

January 26:

Spoon – Transference (Merge)

February 9:

Shearwater – TBA (Matador)

February 16:

Field Music – Measure (Memphis Industries)

February TBA:

Midlake – Courage Of Others

The Radio Dept. – Clinging To A Scheme

March TBA:

Miles Kurosky (Beulah) – Rad

2010 TBA:

The National
Jens Lekman
The Shins
Ravens & Chimes
Ted Leo (Matador Records debut)
The Whigs – In The Dark
Sufjan Stevens
Toro Y Moi (two albums)

More dates as I get them on forthcoming 2009 and 2010 albums as always.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Working Full Time

Constantines Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Constantines are celebrating their ten year anniversary with a handful of shows (in addition to the previously announced two-night stand at Lee's Palace in Toronto.) The tour now includes stops in a handful of cities in Southern Ontario including London and Guelph, where the magic all began. As well, support for the two Toronto shows has now been confirmed: Attack In Black will open the December 11th show, with New York's Oneida and Toronto's own Metz joining the big soiree the following night.

Constantines' 10th anniversary tour dates:

Dec. 8 Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
Dec. 9 Kingston, ON @ The Grad Club at Queen's University
Dec. 10 Hamilton, ON @ The Casbah
Dec. 11 & 12 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace
Dec. 13 Guelph, ON @ E-Bar
Dec. 15 Waterloo, ON @ Starlight Room
Dec. 16 Peterborough, ON @ The Montreal House
Dec. 18 London, ON @ Call The Office

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Your Download Lowdown Volume VXII

If you have read this blog for any length of time you will know that I am all about free and legal downloads - Even more, when they are great full length albums. So dear readers from now until midnight on Saturday October 31, 2009, you can download the entire breakthrough, critically acclaimed, self-titled album Timber Timbre for free at

From Arts and Crafts

A long-list nominee for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize, Timber Timbre was heralded by the Canadian press since its release this summer on Arts & Crafts. Playing CMJ last week, Time Out New York wrote that Timber Timbre was "the standout act" describing their set as "powerfully dark, even eerie folk tracks (which) managed to keep the crowd positively awed.” The Village Voice called them a "uniquely creepy beauty".
Timber Timbre recently wrapped up a month-long North American tour and will return to the road this week including a performance on the always great Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW.

Upcoming tour details:

10/28/09 Los Angeles, CA MBE - KCRW 11am PST
10/28/09 Los Angeles, CA Origami Vinyl (live in-store performance)
10/29/09 Los Angeles, CA Bootleg Theatre (with the Antlers)
11/7/09 Toronto, ON North York Library
11/17/09 Albany, NY Valentines
11/19/09 Arlington, VA IOTA Club
11/20/09 New York, NY Joe’s Pub
11/25/09 Montreal, QC Casa Del Popolo
11/26/09 Wakefield, QC Black Sheep Inn
11/27/09 Kingston, ON Grad Club

Go now to and discover one of the great records of the year! Timbre Timbre is a mysterious and complex record that will immerse you into its world immediately. It may be a relatively new record but it feels like a vintage classic! Get this one now. And tell your friends. This one is worth it!

CHRW Funding Drive Now On!

CHRW FM 94.9 (Radio Western), the volunteer radio station of the University of Western Ontario in London, has begun its annual Funding Drive and they need your help. London’s BEST independent radio station wants to upgrade their remote broadcasting capabilities and your donations to achieve that would be greatly appreciated.

CHRW volunteers are on the air 24 hours a day 365 days a year delivering London's most interesting programming! Rarely does a day go by that I do not hear a great up and coming band or an amazing new song. Listen here online to some of the best radio in this area.

CHRW, Radio Western’s origins date back to 1959 and have been broadcasting independently and full time since 1980. They are an integral part of our community not to mention the national university and college radio communities. I urge you to make a donation to this worthy cause. Make a pledge today. Call 519-661-3600 or drop by the station and donate in person! And for you expats and online aficionados, an even easier way is to donate online here via the station’s secure PayPal portal.

Good luck CHRW and as always,  thank you for all you do!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Flaming Lips Dark Side

Mere days after the release of their jaw-droppingly good, 'Embryonic', the Flaming Lips have revealed that a follow-up album is already in the can. Details are sparse but conceptually this one sounds very exciting. Nope, not 'Zaireeka Part II', this time out Oklahoma's favourite prodigal sons have recorded a track-by-track cover of Pink Floyd's 'The Dark Side of the Moon'.

The band revealed a few details about the project on their Friday appearance of KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. Singer Wayne Coyne confirmed that it was a collaboration with Stardeath and the White Dwarfs, an Oklahoma group that includes the frontman’s nephew, Dennis. (The band is currently accompanying the Flaming Lips on tour.)

Besides those familials, Coyne told MBE Host Anne Litt, Henry Rollins and Peaches both appear on their take on of the classsic 70's masterpiece. No firm release date for the project has been announced, however the singer has indicated it will be arriving soon.

One of my favourite KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic sessions so far this year the band debuted a live cover of Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse” on the Friday morning program. As well, a number of songs from Embryonic and a couple of nice surprises and band happenings. Some involving Wayne Coyne woodland nymph nudity….

You’ve been warned.

Have a look at the session for yourself below. Very enjoyable.

Band Recommendation of the Week - Ume

Isn’t it a great thing when a band comes along that just seems to hit on all the cylinders?

Let’s see - Original sound. Check. Refreshing image. Check. Songs that will take your freaking head off? CHECK! Austin , TX band Ume (pronounced oomay) is one of those rare groups that rise above the musical plethora and really stand out. Since hearing them earlier this year they have consistently reappeared on my musical radar. I recall a band from Aberdeen Washington about twenty years ago that caught my ear in exactly the same way Great music has a way of rising to the surface. It only makes sense then, that I share them with you.

Their press release is a curious one that name checks a worthy progenitor but really what band worth their salt doesn’t incorporate Sonic Youth into their music?

Look for them on tour near you. (Dates Below) Their 'Sunshower EP' will be available in Canada on October 27th.

10/19: Cleveland, OH @ Now That's Class
10/20: Washington DC @ The Red and Black
10/21: New York, NY @ Ace of Clubs
10/22: New York, NY @ Public Assembly
10/23: Bushwick, NY @ Lake Johnson
10/24: Montreal, Quebec @ Casa Del Popolo
10/27: St. Catherine's, Ontario @ Level 3
10/28: Waterloo, Ontario @ The Starlight

10/29: Hamilton, Ontario @ The Casbah
10/30: Sarnia, Ontario @ Adam’s Apple
11/3: Toronto, Ontario @ The Horseshoe Tavern
11/4: Detroit, MI @ PJ's Lager House
11/5: Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge
11/6: Springfield, MO @ The Outland Black Box Revue

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hmmm, That One Tasted Keithy

I would love to have been involved in the planning process for this enterprise. I mean the sheer brilliance of trying to resurrect a dying industry with another dying industry. How could it possibly fail? Cynicism aside, an even bigger question emerges. That is, who wouldn’t want to lick The Rolling Stones?

News from the NME that Pink Floyd, Blur, The Clash and Led Zeppelin are among the acts set to be featured on a new collection of Royal Mail stamps in the UK.

A set of 10 stamps featuring classic British album sleeves will enter circulation on January 7th next year, according to stamp collecting website Norvic Philatelics.
This stamp issue salutes this unique art form and celebrates some of the greatest examples, used by UK artists. This band of designers and photographers have not only reflected the visual styles of many musical cultures, but have also defined and created them, too. The stamp issue explores some of the most potent graphic images of modern times, many of which have provided a visual soundtrack to people’s lives.
Albums in the collection include 'The Division Bell' by Pink Floyd, 'Parklife', 'London Calling', 'Led Zeppelin IV', 'Power, Corruption & Lies' by New Order, Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica', 'Let It Bleed' by The Rolling Stones, Coldplay's 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head', 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars' by David Bowie and Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'.

What? No Joy Division or the Sex Pistols? The low grumble of philatelists everywhere will be deafening.

What album cover would you like to see immortalized on a stamp?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grizzly Bear to Release Expanded Veckatimest Album

Grizzly Bear are set to release an expanded version of their very terrific Veckatimest album on November 2nd. Originally released in May of this year, the expanded edition will feature an additional disc with seven session tracks and an extensive twenty four page photo booklet. The two CD set will feature songs from sessions including those recorded for the BBC in Maida Vale and Santa Monica’s KCRW- Morning Becomes Eclectic. The new edition surprisingly doesn't have a physical release date set for North America though the bonus material will be available digitally via iTunes worldwide on the same date. To make matters worse, this fool believed that the Grizzly Bear /Michael Macdonald collaboration would have been a natural for inclusionin the set. Doesn’t look like it…

The tracklisting for both CDs can be seen below.

Grizzly Bear Veckatimest
01 - Southern Point
02 - Two Weeks
03 - All We Ask
04 - Fine for Now
05 - Cheerleader
06 - Dory
07 - Ready, Able
08 - About Face
09 - Hold Still
10 - While You Wait for the Others
11 - I Live With You
12 - Foreground

Bonus CD:

01 - Southern Point (KCRW Session)
02 - All We Ask (KCMP Session)
03 - Ready, Able (KCRW Session)
04 - Foreground (Duyster Session)
05 - Two Weeks (BBC Maida Vale Session)
06 - Dory (World Café Session)
07 - While You Wait for the Others (BBC Maida Vale Session)

Last night Grizzly Bear visited Conan O’Brien on the Tonight Show in Los Angeles with their Beach House compadre Victoria Legrand for a take on their sublime "Two Weeks," Matt Popieluch from Foreign Born was also spotted playing keyboards for the band.

If you missed it, check it out below.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Often, when the subject of music from New Jersey is broached Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi are the first that come to mind. Now despite incessant mix tape lobbying and countless late night BLIP sessions the band that come to my mind first is the Wrens. Formed in 1989, the group consists of Charles Bissell, Greg Whelan, Kevin Whelan, and Jerry MacDonald. Their debut album Silver was released in 1994. Plagued by numerous label problems throughout the 1990s, the band was unable to release an album for many years after 1996's Secaucus. The quartet's excellent third offering, The Meadowlands, finally surfaced in late 2003 on Absolutely Kosher.

So, not quite the prolific songsmiths their fellow 'Garden Statesmen' are, a celebratory spirit at least remains firmly in place. Word now that Hoboken’s finest will celebrate twenty years together (more or less) with a series of shows at Maxwell’s December 3rd and 4th in Hoboken, NJ. The performances coincide with bassist Kevin Whelan’s 40th birthday, in what the band is calling via their website a “20th anniversary/mirthday shindig,” Not many bands refer to their web portal as an electronic ghost town but with the Wrens it seems only fitting. Their proudly sardonic declaration “Keeping folks waiting since 1989” one of the best band taglines I have ever seen.

“Mirthday shindigs” aside, the waiting for the next record might not be going on too much longer as there has been sporadic evidence the band has convened in Whelan’s basement to record new material. The band is also promising the second set of the last show at Maxwell’s will showcase all new material. For the early show that same night, they’ll play The Meadowlands in its entirety. The show’s set-list for the first show on December 3rd will be old songs chosen by fans.

Hmmm, I think its high time I took another New York vacation…

The King Comes to Cowtown

I’m beginning to rethink my notion that Toronto is the musical centre of the universe. No sirrreeee that title might just belong to Calgary. Get out your shitkickers and fringed cowboy hats people we’re heading the wagons west. Great news today that King Khan , Quintron and Miss Pussycat will curate next year's Sled Island Music Festival.

The fourth installment of the annual festival takes place in Calgary from June 30 to July 3 at venues throughout the city. The three musicians will play the festival and pick its lineup. More curators will be announced shortly.

Previous curators have included Wire's Colin Newman, while past performers include The Breeders, Chad van Gaalen, Anvil, Tegan And Sara, Deerhunter, The Dodos, Cat Power, Spoon and more.

Remember to mark those calendars and pack the lucky panties now (June 30-July 3, 2010)!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Winter of My Blog Content

This Just In… Wilco Coming to Your Town

Hey this blog isn’t always just about promoting the goings on of Thom Yorke and his band of New Yorkers or the next big indie rock fest. No, no, no! This time out let’s focus on the hardest working band in show business. Them Wilco boys… And this one my friends is great news; Particularly if you live in the Great White North.

The road dogs (Wilco) ares still in the midst of their fall tour through the United States, with a show in Cedar Park, Texas, tomorrow night, and a breach of the 49th Parallel planned for two shows at Massey Hall in Toronto next week. The band has just announced that, come February 2010, the tables will turn for what it's calling a TransCanada tour, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, with a half dozen stops planned for south of the border.

Three of those US dates kick off the tour—in Missoula, Montana; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington—February 7 through 10. The Canadian leg is set to launch with what will truly be an auspicious beginning: a free concert in Vancouver's David Lam Park on February 13 as part of the "Live City" events celebrating the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The pre-sale for all but the last five shows begins next Wednesday, October 14th, at 10 AM via the band's FrontGate store; the rest follow suit on October 21. You can access the pre-sale site then at

For more information on these dates, this month's tour, and next month's European dates, visit


2/7 Adams Center, Univ. of Montana Missoula, MT
2/9 Arlene Schnitzer Hall Portland, OR
2/10 Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA
2/13 Live City Vancouver, David Lam Park Vancouver, BC
2/15 Northern Jubilee Auditorium Edmonton, AB
2/16 Southern Jubilee Auditorium Calgary, AB
2/17 TCU Place Saskatoon, SK
2/19 DECC Arena Duluth, MN
2/20 Overture Hall Madison, WI
2/21 Wharton Cobb Great Hall East Lansing, MI
2/23 Hamilton Place Theatre Hamilton, ON
2/24 Centennial Hall London, ON
2/27 Olympia de Montreal Montreal, QC
3/1 National Arts Centre Ottawa, ON
3/3 Multipurpose Room, Halifax Forum Halifax, NS

Go East Young Band

Good friends, talented musicians, and all round amazing people they are- Olenka and the Autumn Lovers are headed east once again for a fall tour. If you do have the opportunity to see them I would strongly encourage you to do so. This band’s warm stage presence and mesmerizing music is a rare treat. The absolute perfect soundtrack for those brisk Maritime evenings... Oh and don't forget- with a couple dates closer to home before the big trip this is your chance to send them off in style and witness something very special.

Plan to attend.

From Olenka

hey all. the leaves are falling, and we're heading east again, this time 'round for Halifax Pop. we'll be visiting a bunch of cities and hanging out with new and old friends alike. come out to the shows and help us share in the wonderful experience that is touring through this beautiful region of Canada in the most perfect of seasons.


Oct. 9 – Hamilton – Supercrawl (Dr. Disc Stage), 8:20p:

Oct. 15 – London – Aeolian Hall – opening for Ohbijou, 7p:

Oct. 16 – Montréal – House Show – w/ Fauxbrien, Man Meets Bear, Steven's Cat Is Sick & Adam Saikaley:

Oct. 17 – Québec City – Fou Bar

Oct. 18 – St. Andrews – House Show

Oct. 19 – Saint John – House Show – w/ Weather Station & Entire Cities

Oct. 20 – Moncton – C'mon Inn

Oct. 22 – Fredericton – The Capital – w/ Oh No Forest Fires! & Sports

Oct. 23 – Charlottetown – The Ampersand w/ Pat LePoidevin

Oct. 24 – Halifax – Coconut Grove – HPX showcase, 10:20p (w/ Snailhouse, Sleepless Nights, Great Bloomers & Oh No Forest Fires)

Oct. 25 – Sydney – St. Pat's Church – w/ Timber Timbre & Steve Fifield:

Oct. 27 – Ottawa – Raw Sugar Café – w/ Slow Down Molasses (SDM)

Oct. 28 – Kingston – The Mansion – w/ Rah Rah & SDM

Oct. 29 – Toronto – The Garrison – w/ Wilderness of Manitoba & SDM:

Oct. 30 – Bayfield – House Show

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I’d Look Psychotic In a Balaclava

New Vampire Weekend Song Available for Download

Ahhhh viral band marketing, your beguiling and mesmeric charms have done it again. Vampire Weekend has just released the lead track from its upcoming album and in exchange for an e-mail address (or not), you could be listening to that very song on your iPod in no time. Horchata is now available in glorious high bit rate MP3 format as a free download on the band’s official website.

Definitely exploring the same musical territory to some of the songs on their first full length, the song takes on an almost celebratory vibe. This time though, the Brooklyn based quartet has traded in the trademark skittering guitars for xylophones and kalimbas. There is a lot going on in this song. The fuller sound is augmented with a host of other world-music instruments; some of which are played by Brazilian musician extraordinaire Mauro Refosco.
Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig told NME today , Vampire Weekend recruited Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco for the song. “We just heard he’s joined Thom Yorke’s band (The New Yorkers). He’s an amazing percussionist,” Koenig said Refosco, who performed with the Radiohead leader during his solo gigs in L.A. this past weekend.
Vampire Weekend is currently on tour, with two Canadian dates including a stop in Montreal tonight and Toronto on Thursday.

The band’s latest album, Contra is out on January 12th via XL. Here's the rest of those upcoming tour dates:

10/06 - Montreal, QC @ Le National
10/08 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
10/15 - London, UK @ King's College
10/22 - Paris, FR @ Nouveau Casino
11/02 - Long Beach, CA @ The Art Theater
11/05 - Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet's
11/07 - Lafayette, CA @ Town Hall Theatre
11/08 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst
11/09 - Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door
11/10 - San Luis Obispo, CA @ Downtown Brew
11/12 - Bakersfield, CA @ Chencho's
11/14 - Lomita, CA @ VFW Hall
11/17 - Tokyo, JAP @ Tokyo Unit
11/21 - Sydney, AUS @ Oxford Art Factory

Monday, October 5, 2009

Somebody’s Been Playing Beatles Rock Band

In the wonders never cease department this odd bit of music? news. Canadian Prime Minister and sweater vest enthusiast Stephen Harper showed up during cellist Yo-Yo Ma's performance at an arts gala this weekend.

Mr. Harper came on stage at Ottawa's National Arts Centre on Saturday night to play The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends" with Ma and Ottawa band Herringbone, according to the Ottawa Citizen. It was a fitting tune, considering Harper had just survived a confidence vote in the House of Commons last week.

The Prime Minister did hold his own musically speaking, and the audience, apparently overwhelmed by the uncharacteristic, surprise guest appearance, rewarded him with a standing ovation.

Could the Prime Minister’s views on culture be changing? After all, Harper's dismissive attitude toward the arts was blamed, in large part, for his party's poor showing in Quebec in the 2008 election. Perhaps even stranger, if you look closely at that t-shirt under the spiffy silk number- a Holy Fuck t-shirt.

Witness the spectacle: