La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stuck on Repeat Volume I - Tinariwen

Do you ever have a song that gets stuck in repeat n your head?  Well I have an entire album firmly entrenched there.  Tinariwen, the 'guitar-poets' from Southern Sahara have created something highly original and extraordinarily beautiful.  Quite possibly unlike anything you will have heard today.

Careful when you listen though, it might just lodge itself firmly in your soul too.

TINARIWEN in series: Live At Other Music from Dig For Fire on Vimeo.

Ted Leo Gets Brutal

Matador Records announced in September that Brooklyn rocker Ted Leo and his band the Pharmacists had signed to the label and a new release would be forthcoming. News today, that the new record from Leo will be released early in the new year. The LP is titled The Brutalist Bricks and will be out on March 9th. It was recorded in Brooklyn's Seaside Lounge, and is the band's first full length release since 2007's Living with the Living ,and their sixth overall.

From the Matador Website:
‘Bricks’ could be the most confident, kinetic and varied work in Ted’s canon, and considering his body of work until now, that’s no easy claim to make.”
You can hear and download a sampling of the record now here, in the form of lead single "Even Heroes Have to Die".  If you’re a fan of Leo you won’t be disappointed with this one.

In addition to the new album, Ted Leo has announced a handful of tour dates, with and without the Pharmacists.

Tour Dates:

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Wed, Dec 2nd – Philadelphia PA – First Unitarian Church
Thu, Dec 3rd – Washington DC – The Black Cat
Sat, Dec 5th – Cambridge MA – Middle East
Sun, Dec 6th – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom (sold out)
Thurs, December 10 – Spain – Madrid – Primavera Club ‘09
Friday, December 11 – Spain – Barcelona – Primavera Club ‘09
Saturday, December 12 – Spain – Barcelona – Primavera Club ‘09

Ted Leo (solo)

Mon., December 14 – UK – Brighton – Engine Room (with Dillinger Four + Hard Skin)
Tues., December 15 – UK – Canterbury – Bramleys
Wed, December 16 – UK – London – Brixton Windmill
Thurs., December 17 – UK – Kingston – New Slang
Fri., December 18 – UK – London – Grosvenor (with Wat Tyler)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Beat the Devil’s Tattoo

It’s been over a year since we’ve heard any new album release news for LA-based Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (B.R.M.C.) According to a recent update on the band’s website, the trio is set to release Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, on March 8th in the UK and Europe, and March 9th in North America. As well, the band is embarking on an extensive tour through North America and Europe beginning February 26th, 2010.

The tour will start in Sacramento and finish at New York City’s Webster Hall on April 8th. Pre-sale for all shows will start Wednesday, December 2nd including a show at Slim’s in their original hometown of San Francisco, CA on the day their album in released.

Tour dates as follows:  (Pencil in the 6th of March Allison!)

February 26 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s
February 27 Reno, NV Knitting Factory
February 28 Las Vegas, NV Wasted Space @ Hard Rock Hotel
March 2 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
March 4 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
March 5 Seattle, WA Showbox Market
March 6 Vancouver, B.C. Commodore
March 7 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
March 9 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
March 13 San Diego, CA House of Blues
March 14 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
March 18 Dallas, TX House of Blues
March 20 Houston, TX House of Blues
March 21 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
March 23 St. Louis, MO Pageant
March 24 Madison, WA High Noon
March 25 Chicago, IL Metro
March 26 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
March 27 Minneapolis, MN First Ave.
March 30 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
March 31 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
April 1 Toronto, ONT Phoenix
April 2 Montreal, QC La Tulipe
April 3 Boston, MA House of Blues
April 5 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
April 7 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
April 8 New York, NY Webster Hall

"We Make a Living by What We Get, but We Make a Life by What We Give"

I don't think Winston Churchill was thinking of pop musicians when he made the aformentioned declaration.  I'll bet he would be impressed with this guy though-  Between his duties in the on again, off again Blur and several other projects (like last years spectacular Monkey); the terminally busy Damon Albarn is also hard at work on the next Gorillaz album. Dubbed Plastic Beach, the LP is set to feature Mos Def, Lou Reed, and several others. The Syrian National Orchestra and The Horrors have also recorded parts for Albarn. They will appear on what Albarn called "the most pop record I've ever made," according to an interview with the Guardian. Considering his stellar output over the past few years it will certainly be curious to hear exactly where he plans on taking this album. Plastic Beach is scheduled for release later in 2010.

Gorillaz is the creation of Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. Their last album Demon Days was produced by Danger Mouse  and had guest spots from Roots Manuva, De La Soul and Shaun Ryder.

The new year will be a busy one for the prolific musician. January 2010 will also see the release of the Blur documentary, No Distance Left to Run. Albarn has also expressed interest in producing another the Good, the Bad, and the Queen album. And lastly, a collaborative "opera" with graphic novelist Alan Moore is in the works as well.

And you thought your schedule of late was chaotic...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Winter of Mixed Drinks On the Way

As if the first part of the 2010 new release calendar wasn’t all ready filled with high profile new music releases, Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit has returned, following 2008’s superb The Midnight Organ Fight, with plans to release its third full length record. Titled The Winter of Mixed Drinks early previews are indicating another knockout effort from these talented Scots.
From the Guardian Weekly Podcast

We’ve broadened our horizons sonically and it feels like a natural move forward,” explains lead singer Scott Hutchison. “Most importantly, it’s better than the last one. That’s all I wanted, really.” Again, as if that was even possible!”
The Winter of Mixed Drinks was produced by Peter Katis, at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut, and engineered by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound Studios in Scotland. It also features a guest appearance from labelmate Hauschka, who provided the album’s string arrangements.The album is scheduled for release on March 1st in the U.K. (via FatCat Records).  A North American release date is still forthcoming. Until then, have a look (and listen) to the first single, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”.

Zooey Neews

This past summer She & Him’s M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel were busy working on the follow up to their terrific album Volume One, and in a recent interview with MTV, Deschanel has revealed that the album is in the completed and set for release in 2010.

“I have a new She & Him record coming out in the spring. It’s official. It’s done and being released in the spring. And we’re going to go on tour.”
Good music news to warm the heart a little on a cold and wet November night.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Your Weekly Download Lowdown

While many people know Brian Borcherdt for his work in the Polaris Prize nominated group Holy Fuck, he also has an entirely different artistic side that is equally stunning. Introspective and so very beautiful, his solo work is stuff to be treasured.

Lucky for us, Borcherdt has recently made available a number of solo recordings and at-home demos, entitled Torches (The Ward Colorado Demos). These intimate recordings have recently been released by Borcherdt and are available via the Hand Drawn Dracula label as a free digital download.

Brian Borcherdt - Torches (the Ward Colorado demos) (HDD004)
(Digital Release Date: November 17th 2009)

Side 2004/05

01. Crime Scenes
02. Worn Thin
03. Further
04. Connected/Disconnected
05. Follows
06. Vanishing Act
07. Lowhills
08. Tides
09. Torches

Side 2006

01. Preserver

02. Cold Wind Blowin'
03. Furnaces
04. Oh Oh Oh
05. Working For The Weakened
06. Steady Hands
07. Detention
08. Guide Home

Recorded in Toronto, coastal Yarmouth of Nova Scotia, and in the mountains near Ward, Colorado, Torches includes home demos and unfinished album attempts from 2004-2006. Personal and compelling material these recordings are very much worth your listening time. Highly recommended

Newcomers and fans can download the 17 tunes, written and recorded between 2004 and 2006, for free from Get them here.

Brian Borcherdt - While I Was Asleep from Hand Drawn Dracula on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

SXSW Showcasing Acts Announced

SXSW '10 has announced its first extensive list of showcasing acts. Some of the highlights on the list include: Apostle of Hustle, Deer Tick, Harlem, Hot Panda, Japandroids, the Mantles, Mountain Man, Timber Timbre, Warpaint, and over a hundred more. Check the preliminary list* below.

*Information may be subject to change*

Aa (Brooklyn NY)
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO (Osaka JAPAN)
A Classic Education (Bologna ITALY)
Alpha Rev (Austin TX)
Amaral (Madrid SPAIN)
And So I Watch You From Afar (Belfast IRELAND)
Apostle of Hustle (Toronto ON)
Arms (Brooklyn NY)
Ólöf Arnalds (Reykjavik ICELAND)
Art vs Science (Surry Hills NSW)
A Shoreline Dream (Denver CO)
Nicole Atkins and The Black Sea (Asbury Park NJ)

Autumn Owls (Dublin IRELAND)
Bare Wires (Oakland CA)
Julian Berntzen (Bergen NORWAY)
Best Fwends (Austin TX)
The Black (Austin TX)
The Black Atlantic (Groningen THE NETHERLANDS)
Dan Black (Paris FRANCE)
Black Tide (Miami FL)
Bliss N Eso (Albert Park VIC)
Boom Boom Satellites (JAPAN)
The Boxer Rebellion (London UK-ENGLAND)
Break of Reality (New York NY)
B-Real of Cypress Hill (Los Angeles CA)
Broadway Calls (Rainer OR)
Broken Records (Edinburgh UK-SCOTLAND)
The Brunettes (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Buckshot (Brooklyn NY)
Canja Rave (Porto Alegre BRAZIL)
Capsula (Bilbao SPAIN)
Carsick Cars (Beijing CHINA)
Caucus (Tokyo JAPAN)
The Chevelles (Melville WA)
Chew Lips (London UK-ENGLAND)
Suzanna Choffel (Austin TX)
Chris T-T (Brighton UK-ENGLAND)
The Coathangers (Atlanta GA)
Simon Collins (Victoria BC)
The Constellations (Atlanta GA)
Contra Coup (Austin TX)
Cotton Jones (Cumberland MD)
The Crystal Method (Los Angeles CA)
David Dallas (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Dappled Cities (Sydney NSW)
Daveman (Berlin GERMANY)
The Daylights (Los Angeles CA)
The dB's (Chapel Hill NC)
Dead Sexy Inc (Paris FRANCE)
The Deaf (The Hague THE NETHERLANDS)
Deer Tick (Providence RI)
Delhi 2 Dublin (Vancouver BC)
Paul Dempsey (from "Something for Kate") (Melbourne NSW)
Diplomats of Solid Sound (Iowa City IA)
DJ Car Stereo (Wars) (Austin TX)
DJ Evil Dee (Brooklyn NY)
DJ Revolution (Los Angeles CA)
Daniel Francis Doyle (Austin TX)
Adiam Dymott (Goteborg SWEDEN)
The 88 (Los Angeles CA)
Electric Electric (Strasbourg FRANCE)
Val Emmich (Jersey City NJ)
Eternia (Toronto ON)
Everything Everything (Manchester UK-WALES)
Fanfarlo (London UK-ENGLAND)

Michael Feinberg (New York NY)
Fergus & Geronimo (Westway TX)
Fighting With Wire (Derry IRELAND)
FINALE (Detroit MI)
Floating Action (Asheville NC)
Francis (Borlange SWEDEN)
Robert Francis (Los Angeles CA)
Frightened Rabbit (Selkirk UK-SCOTLAND)
The Funeral Pyre (Los Angeles CA)
The Ganjas (Santiago CHILE)
Geeks (Tokyo JAPAN)
Gerald G (Austin TX)
Colin Gilmore (Austin TX)
Giulia y los Tellarini (Barcelona SPAIN)
Rosi Golan (New York NY)
Gong Myoung (Seoul KOREA)
Goober and the Peas (Detroit MI)
Good Shoes (London UK-ENGLAND)
Guitar Shorty (Harlingen TX)
Ha Ha Tonka (Springfield MO)
Halves (Dublin IRELAND)
Darren Hanlon (Sydney NSW)
Harlem (Austin TX)
Headdress (Austin TX)
Hey Colossus (London UK-ENGLAND)
Robyn Hitchcock (London CA)
Hot Panda (Edmonton AB)
The Hounds Below (Detroit MI)
I Fight Dragons (Chicago IL)
The Intelligence (Seattle WA)
Ivan & Alyosha (Seattle WA)
Japandroids (Vancouver BC)
Jazz One (Austin TX)
Stephen Jerzak (La Crosse WI)
John Dear Mowing Club (Den Haag THE NETHERLANDS)
The Jim Jones Revue (London UK-ENGLAND)
Jookabox (Indianapolis IN)
Julia Says (Sao Paulo BRAZIL)
Karnivool (Perth WA)
Kartick & Gotam (Chennai INDIA)
Kidz In Space (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Kidz In The Hall (Chicago IL)
Kingston (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Maurice Kirya (Kampala ZIMBABWE)
The Kissaway Trail (Odense DENMARK)
L.A.B. (Novo Hamburgo BRAZIL)
The Law (Dundee UK-SCOTLAND)
Vander Lee (Belo Horizonte BRAZIL)
Unni Lovlid (Oslo NORWAY)
Lowood (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Audra Mae (Los Angeles CA)
Malente (Essen GERMANY)
Natalia Mallo (Sao Paulo BRAZIL)
Mantles (San Francisco CA)
Julia Marcell (Berlin GERMANY)
Marco Polo & Torae (Brooklyn NY)
Mariachi El Bronx (Los Angeles CA)
Carolyn Mark (Victoria BC)
Maruosa (Tokyo JAPAN)
MegaRex (Sao Paulo BRAZIL)
The Middle East (Townsville QLD)
Middle Finger Salute (Blackburn UK-ENGLAND)
Miniature Tigers (Phoenix AZ)
Mixtapes & Cellmates (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Monarchs (Austin TX)
Michael Monroe (Helsinki FINLAND)
PJ Morton (Conyers GA)
Mountain Man (Bennington VT)
Movits! (Lulea SWEDEN)
Moxine (Sao Paulo BRAZIL)
Mr Sicc (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Mumiy Troll (Los Angeles CA)
My Dad is Dead (Chapel Hill NC)
Nailpin (Boom BELGIUM)
Nakia & His Southern Cousins (Austin TX)
9th Wonder (Raleigh-Durham NC)
The Novas (Dallas TX)
Jackie Oates (Exeter UK-ENGLAND)
One Night Only (Helmsley UK-ENGLAND)
1001 Nights Orchestra (Austin TX)
The Pack A.D. (Vancouver BC)
Paleo (Brooklyn NY)
Parlovr (Montreal QC)
Past Lives (Seattle WA)
The Peelies (Montreal QC)
Julie Peel (Montreal QC)
Mandi Perkins (Los Angeles CA)
Peter Wolf Crier (Minneapolis MN)
Pink Nasty (Austin TX)
P.K. 14 (Beijing CHINA)
Plants and Animals (Montreal QC)
Please The Trees (Prague CZECH REPUBLIC)
Steve Poltz (San Diego CA)
Andy Pratt (Amesbury MA)
Sean Price (Brooklyn NY)
Princeton (Eagle Rock CA)
Profetas (COLOMBIA)
Psalm One (Chicago IL)
Quantic and his Combo Barbaro (Cali COLOMBIA)
Random Axe (Brooklyn NY)
Rebelle (Den Haag THE NETHERLANDS)
Red Mass (Montreal QC)
Tommy Reilly (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Riverboat Gamblers (Austin TX)
The River Raid (Recife BRAZIL)
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (Brooklyn NY)
Brisa Roche (Paris FRANCE)
Rock of Heltah Skeltah (Brooklyn NY)
Rogues (London UK-ENGLAND)

Ruste Juxx (Brooklyn NY)
San Saba County (Austin TX)
Scanners (London UK-ENGLAND)
Kate Schutt (Guelph ON)
Serious Sam Barrett (Leeds UK-ENGLAND)
Shit And Shine (London UK-ENGLAND)
Sixteen Deluxe (Austin TX)
Skyzoo (Brooklyn NY)
Small Black (Brooklyn NY)
Smif N Wessun (Brooklyn NY)
Smoosh (Seattle WA)
So Cow (Tuam IRELAND)
Solid Gold (Minneapolis MN)
Soulico (Tel Aviv ISRAEL)
The Spring Standards (New York NY)
Sabrina Starke (Amsterdam THE NETHERLANDS)
Steel Train (Teaneck NJ)
StereoHeroes (Les Gorguettes FRANCE)
Surrounded (Malmo SWEDEN)
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter (Seattle WA)
M. Takara 3 (Guarulhos BRAZIL)
Team Facelift (New York NY)
Thunder Power (Omaha NE)
Timber Timbre (Toronto ON)
Todd (London UK-ENGLAND)
Marques Toliver (London UK-ENGLAND)
Toolshed (London ON)
Trembling Bells (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Trespassers William (Seattle WA)
Twin Atlantic (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Two Star Symphony (Houston TX)
Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights (Dallas TX)
The Uglysuit (Oklahoma City OK)
Uncle Lucius (Austin TX)
The View (Dundee UK-SCOTLAND)
Volovan (Monterrey MEXICO)
Waco Brothers (Chicago IL)
Miho Wada (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Warpaint (Los Angeles CA)
Wave Machines (Liverpool UK-ENGLAND)
The Wave Pictures (London UK-ENGLAND)
We Are Scientists (New York NY)
We Are Wolves (Montreal QC)
Withered (Atlanta GA)
Wolf Gang (London UK-ENGLAND)
XV (Wichita KS)
The Yellow Dogs (Tehran IRAN)
YellowFever (Austin TX)
Zlam Dunk (San Marcos TX)
Zona Tango (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)

*Information subject to change*

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Golden Archipelego

Texas five-piece Shearwater have announced they will return next year with a new album The Golden Archipelego on Matador Records February 23rd, 2010.

The new record is the third part of a trio of acclaimed records that includes 2006’s enigmatic Palo Santo and 2008’s stellar Rook.

Here’s a trailer for the upcoming 2010 release.

Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago from KMS on Vimeo.

To coincide with the release of The Golden Archipelago, Shearwater will embark on a European tour in 2010.

Shearwater European tour (UK dates in bold):


17th – Melkweg, Amsterdam
18th – Botanique, Brussels
19th – Le Nouveau Casino, Paris
20th – La Route du Rock winter edition @ L’Omnibus, Saint-Malo
21st – The Freebutt, Brighton
22nd – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
23rd – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow
25th – Scala, London
26th – 4AD, Diksmuide
27th – Knust, Hamburg
28th – Magnet, Berlin


2nd – Rote Sonne, Munich
3rd – L’Usine (PTR), Geneva
4th – Nouveau Monde, Fribourg
5th – La Casa 139, Milan
7th – La (2) de Apolo, Barcelona
8th – Moby Dick, Madrid

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Heard Today

Borrowing heavily from the Smokey Robinson penned classic, “My Guy”, this atmospheric number by L.A.’s Warpaint has been stuck in my head this weekend.

Now I’m not really sure what this song has to do with the “Lady in Satin” but I certainly like what I hear and I’m pretty sure you will too. Psublime and pslightly psychedelic this is 'The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Heard Today'.

Warpaint is: Jenny Lee Lindberg- bass, vocals  Theresa Wayman – vocals, guitar, keys Emily Kokal - vocals, guitar.  Rough Trade Records will oversee the band’s first full-length album, which is set for a 2010 release.

Here Come the Waves

One of my favourite releases of 2009 was The Decemberists richly textured fifth album, The Hazards of Love. News today that the band have commissioned a full-length animated version of that album; Entitled Here Come the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized the piece will be available for download from iTunes as of December 1st.

Interested in seeing what this project will look like. Have a look at the trailer below.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Basia Bulat Announces Winter Canadian Tour

With her sophomore album on the way in January and a new US Subaru advertisement featuring one of her songs. Basia Bulat’s star is definitely ascending. It follows naturally then that the talented singer songwriter (and my secret rock n’ roll girlfriend) has now revealed that she’s set to embark on a cross-country Canadian tour starting in February. With a few dates preceding it in Montreal and Toronto, this one is definitely going to be a hot ticket.

As previously reported, Bulat’s upcoming second release, Heart of My Own will be released via Secretly Canadian on January 26th.

An exciting performer to witness, this is one show you should not miss.

Tour dates:

12-16 Montreal, QC - Metropolis Theatre
1-16 Toronto, ON - Trinity St.Paul's United Church
2-2 Kingston, ON - Sydenham Street United Church
2-4 London, On - The Aeolian Hall
2-5 Orillia, ON - Highwayman Inn and Conference
2-6 Guelph, ON - Hillside Inside at the Sleeman Centre
2-7 Hamilton, ON - The Casbah
2-10 Halifax, NS - St. Matthews United Church
2-12 Montreal, QC - L'Astral
2-13 Ottawa, ON - First Baptish Church
2-25 Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
2- 27 Saskatoon, SK - Amigo's
3-2 Calgary, AB - Central United Church
3-3 Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room
3-5 Vancouver, BC - St. James Hall

Velvet Underground Members Reuniting at New York Library

Brian Eno once famously observed that "everyone who bought a Velvets record went on to form a band" (or write about them). Strangely he’s probably right. In the historic ferment of pop music, the Velvet Underground were the archetypal band in the Big Apple, at precisely the right time. Their influence has been and remains huge on all forms of popular music and culture. Sadly though, it’s not very often that the three remaining members get together. Exceptional news today these legends will in fact reunite for an appearance at the New York Public Library on Tuesday December 8th, where they will discuss their careers with journalist David Fricke.

The discussion will be part of the Live from the NYPL series, and tickets are available priced at $25. Tickets can be purchased buy through the NYPL website. The discussion coincides with the publication of the photograph and artwork collection, The Velvet Underground: New York Art

For five years – 1965 to 1970 – singer-songwriter and guitarist Lou Reed, bassist and viola player John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, with the German vocalist Nico and bassist Doug Yule (who replaced Cale in 1968), broadcast the real life of their home town – the sex, drugs and art; the furious street energies, hidden pleasures and desperate romance – in an unprecedented pop music of vivid storytelling and transgressive excitement.

On stage and on their four influential studio albums, the Velvets invented the many futures of rock – punk, drone, free improvisation, lyric candor – in songs and performances that made the group notorious, with the pivotal help of their early manager and mentor, Andy Warhol. Legendary status came later, after the group broke up and Reed and Cale went on to bold prolific solo careers.
This is so very tempting. A once in a lifetime opportunity, anyone up for a pre-Christmas road trip?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just What Do You Buy A Seven Year Old For Their Birthday?

Paper Bag Records will celebrate its seventh birthday this year. To celebrate this achievement, the label's impressive roster of musicians has released a birthday loot bag of sorts in the guise of a free covers album as a gift to their fans.

So despite the lack of clowns and bouncy castles, this collection features Winter Gloves, Slim Twig and Laura Barrett among other Paper Bag artists. The covers range from Josh Reichmann's version of Bat for Lashes' "Daniel", Woodhands' rendition of Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" and even the Acorn’s version of Gowan’s "Strange Animal".

So Happy Birthday Paper Bag Records! You’ve come a long way since that little record by Broken Social Scene, You Forgot It in People put you on the proverbial label map. Here’s to the next seven years Paper Bag!

The album is available free of charge here.

Paper Bag will officially celebrate its birthday this Friday (Nov. 20) in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre with You Say Party! We Say Die! and Little Girls.

Here's what's on The Seven Year Itch:

CFCF - "How Bizarre" (OMC)
Winter Gloves - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana)
Woodhands - "Electric Avenue" (Eddy Grant)
Sally Shapiro -  "Dying in Africa" (Nicolas Makelberge)
You Say Party! We Say Die! - "Falling Out" (Rick Agnew)
Josh Reichmann -  "Daniel" (Bat For Lashes)
Laura Barrett  - "Gamma Ray" (Beck)
Rock Plaza Central — "I Want You" (Bob Dylan)
The Acorn -  "Strange Animal" (Gowan)
Little Girls -  "Heinz" (Artery)
Slim Twig -  "Behold A Lady" (Outkast)
Under Byen -  "Du er min ojesten" (Peter Malberg)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jack White Set to Produce Wanda Jackson’s New Album

The “hardest working man” in show business, Jack White is collaborating with “hard headed woman” and “Queen of Rockabilly” Wanda Jackson.

The Oklahoman reports that Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Jackson is set to record a new album with White at the producer’s helm. They will first record a single for digital release before completing an album.

You may recall that in 2004 White successfully collaborated with country music legend Loretta Lynn on her excellent album Van Lear Rose. The recording that may just have been the catalyst for this artistic pairing.

“They had a super album, but he didn’t have her do anything different, you know,” Jackson said of White’s work with Loretta Lynn. “She just did her little Loretta Lynn songs. But he told me he’s gonna stretch me some, so we’ll see. We’ll talk later.”
Queen Wanda already has experience working with a variety of artists outside her country and rockabilly realm; in 2003, for her album Heart Trouble, she was joined by the likes of Elvis Costello, Lee Rocker and the Cramps.

A true legend, Jackson is about to draw a lot of new fans to her fold. Much like he did with Loretta Lynn; The 34-year-old White has the ability to introduce an entirely new audience of music fans to Jackson who might have not had the pleasure to hear such a talented and influential artist.

The 72-year-old Jackson, who was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, started out singing rockabilly in the 1950s on the advice of her mentor and one-time boyfriend, Elvis Presley.

Have a look if you are unfamiliar with Wanda Jackson. You will understand immediately just why this particular pairing is so inspired.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sure Plays a Mean Football

The Who to Play Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 7th

Call me sentimental but news today that the Who are set to play the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIV put a huge smile on my face. Sure we hear them endlessly on every CSI franchise going and two of them didn’t die before they got old. But theirs is the music of my youth. Just as good, it’s the music of my son’s youth and we get to see one of our favourite band’s together again.

Hosted in Miami, Florida on February 7th, the band will follow other halftime artists such as U2, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and Janet Jackson. Let’s just hope Pete and Roger don’t have any wardrobe malfunctions during their performance.

The highlight in the American football calendar, last year's Super Bowl attracted more than ninety million viewers in the US alone.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Beach House on the Way

As the chilly weather edges closer, news today to warm the hearts of music fans. Baltimore, MD duo Beach House has revealed details of their forthcoming third record and debut on Sub Pop! Records.

The talented twosome (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) moved to New York for a month earlier this year to work with Chris Coady to produce their new ten-track record Teen Dreams. Coady has previously produced records for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio and Blonde Redhead. The Sub Pop debut will hit stores on January 26th 2010 and early press is indicating some bold new directions for the band.

I was first exposed to the music of Beach House via an appearance at LOLA Fest 2007 and the experience was a magnificent one. Let’s hope a tour is in the offing soon as well.

Teen Dreams Track Listing:

01. Norway
02. Silver Soul
03. Norway
04. Walk In The Park
05. Used To Be
06. Lover Of Mine
07. Better Times
08. 10 Mile Stereo
09. Real Love
10. Take Care

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wilco (the Haiku Contest)

I love contests. Especially contests with a slightly creative bent. Well budding poets, haikuers, rhymers and stealers Wilco (the band) have something just for you. The appropriately named Wilco Haiku Contest.

To enter the contest, write a Wilco-themed Haiku and submit it either via Twitter and include the tag #wilcohaiku in your tweet or email it to them at

The Grand Prize is a Gibson SG (courtesy of Gibson Guitars) signed by the whole band. Deadline for submissions is Friday, November 27th. Watch their website for more details, or follow #wilcohaiku on Twitter.

For those that were sleeping during Haiku class in High School a gentle reminder

Haiku is a minimalist form of Japanese poetry. The writer has 17 or fewer syllables through which to convey an experience. Here's an example of my own Wilco haiku to give you the idea.

Something kinda like this:
singing earnestly
bridegrooms caress, alluring sun

strut ear jesus, etc

Lastly, the hardest working band in show business will be webcasting the penultimate show of their current tour on Monday, November 16th, live from the Amsterdam Paradiso at 9 pm European time, that’s 2 pm in Chicago ‘Tweedy Freeks’. Be sure to tune in, via the Roadcase section of the band's website.

Free Atlas Sound Music

My Best New Music Recommendation this week is the new Atlas Sound recording, Logos. An excellent new release  that will definitely figure prominently on my year end best music list. Band frontman, the ever prolific Bradford Cox posted a free Atlas Sound virtual 7" on the Deerhunter blog comprised of a pair of songs- “Doctor” and “The Screens” for your download pleasure.


Download here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Only Understand Realism

Good news for fans of grumpy baritone singers and or the Magnetic Fields today as the follow-up to their 2008 (pseudo Reid Bros. album) Distortion has just been announced. Details are sketchy but the new record is called Realism and it is out January 26th on Nonesuch. This time featuring a hootenanny, a polka and more wonderful Stephen Merritt lyrical ephemera. Mmmmmagnetic Fields. I think the winter of 2010 just got a little less sucky.

Track Listing for Realism:

01 You Must Be Out of Your Mind
02 Interlude
03 We Are Having a Hootenanny
04 I Don't Know What to Say
05 The Dolls' Tea Party
06 Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree
07 Walk a Lonely Road
08 Always Already Gone
09 Seduced and Abandoned
10 Better Things
11 Painted Flower
12 The Dada Polka
13 From a Sinking Boat

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

He Just Likes to Sing in His underwear

All things considered, the $20 000 prize money that comes with the Polaris Prize might be considered a paltry sum. But can it make a difference? If you’re Patrick Watson you pay for that tour van you demolished on that winter trek through the American Midwest... If you’re Damian Abraham from 2009 Polaris Prize winners Fucked Up you produce a charity cover of ”Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with some of your favourite people. Calling in favours from David Cross, members of Vampire Weekend, TV on the Radio, Broken Social Scene, the GZA, Bob Mould, No Age, and Yo La Tengo this might just be a musical hit for the ages. (Feist, Jarvis Cocker, and M.I.A. have yet to confirm their appearance.)

Where it gets really great though is just where the money will be going from this worthy seasonal enterprise.

Front man Damian Abraham explains in New York Magazine:

We’re doing it for a few different organizations, like Justice for the Missing, that are affiliated with the 500 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. That number is an old official statistic that the government uses, but the number is probably closer to 3,000. It’s not like cancer or AIDS. Those are worthy causes but they have big fund-raising machines. This is an undocumented, underreported crime that’s been going on for years. And while this is for Canadian organizations, the same sort of thing is going on at the U.S.-Mexico border, with Mexican women going missing, and in Australia, with aboriginal women there.
Take that Bono! Imagine what they could have done with a $100 000 prize.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Seen Today Part XVII

If you read this blog you know I have written extensively about Grizzly Bear’s stunning 2009 release, Veckatimest. Lucky for us the band has explored a number of innovative endeavours to promote said  recording milestone. With this one, artist Allison Schulnik creates a blurry rainbow-dripped claymation landscape for their sublime, "Ready, Able." Possessing an intensely ethereal beauty this, dear reader is the most amazing thing I’ve seen today.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Into the White and Nerdy

My twelve year old son recently asked why I seldom extend his musical tastes to pages of this blog and lo and behold a story emerges to bridge our little cultural gap. This story too, about a musical conduit the likes of which are far from ordinary. In what might be a white and nerdy family’s dream, a planned collaboration between comic singer Weird Al Yankovic and members of alt-rawk stalwarts the Pixies might just be artistic collaboration of the decade.

Mild hyperbole aside, Yankovic will appear with the band at the Dec. 8th show in support of Winston's Village at the Echoplex in Los Angeles. It's part of a two-night event that's intended to raise funds for the organization, which supports the family of Winston Bertrand. (He's a nine-month-old baby with lymphatic and venous malformations.)

Pixies frontman Black Francis will be hosting the event, and will also perform over the course of the evening, appearing solo, with wife Violet ClarkGrand Duchy and of course, with members of the Pixies, with (Red Hot, New Yorker) Flea filling in for Kim Deal. (He better be wearing sweat pants). Members of Love and Rockets and She Wants Revenge are also scheduled to perform, while the second night will feature comedy by Tim and Eric, Bob Odenkirk, and Pixies drummer David Lovering. (Let’s hope he brings his magic kit!) Black Francis is also scheduled to perform on the second night.

Road trip to L.A. Jack? We can take turns at the wheel. This might just be the father son outing of the year!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Your Weekly Download Lowdown - Antlers

Hospice, the superb release from Brooklyn, NY trio The Antlers, will be hard to top when I set out to compile my favourite records from 2009. The album’s profoundly emotional themes make for a powerful listening experience. The album is built around a central narrative about a man losing a loved one to cancer and despite its evocative, even difficult subject matter I find I am drawn to listening to it time and time again. The set is both completely heartrending and very compelling. Be assured you won’t forget this one soon.

I was curious then to hear the band’s recently completed session. First off, if you are new to this band, I highly recommend you download the tracks that comprise this session. Peter Silberman’s incredible falsetto truly makes these tracks essential. All of the songs have a certain organic quality that colour them differently this time from the fragile melodies that comprise Hospice.

If you like that, go buy the record. You won’t be disappointed but maybe a little sad. Highly recommended.

Just How Many Copies of the White Album Does One Person Need?

I love the Beatles and I just may hold the record for most media formats purchased over the years. Repeated album incarnations on coloured vinyl, CRO2 cassette, Japanese compact discs- They’ve all made their way into my collection since I was young. I like to think it was this youthful phenomenon that bore my adult obsessive compulsiveness. So thank you for that Beatles!

News today that following the wildly successful debut in September of the Beatles digitally remastered catalogue on CD, Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music have announced the worldwide release of a limited edition Beatles Stereo USB device on December 8th.

This unique, apple-shaped USB drive is loaded with the remastered audio for The Beatles' 14 stereo titles, as well as all of the remastered CDs' visual elements, including 13 mini-documentary films about the studio albums, replicated original UK art, rare photos and expanded liner notes. A specially designed Flash interface has been installed, and the 16GB USB's audio and visual contents will be provided in FLAC 44.1 Khz 24 bit and MP3 320 Kbps formats, fully compatible with PC and Mac.

Anyone want to buy my Rubber Soul eight track?

Release Date 12/9/09


Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Rubber Soul
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
Yellow Submarine
The White Album
Abbey Road
Let It Be
Past Masters

PLAYLIST 28 - I Want Wind To Blow

As if following some great cosmic schedule the winds of November have roared to life around here over the past few days. Great swirls of golden leaves lining the streets now. The lonesome bending trees the visible witnesses to its breathy dominion. The autumn wind is not just another weather element but more a haughty breathing entity. Winter’s gasping icy resurrection maybe? Messy hair and cold pinched cheeks, little reminders to all of us that change is afoot.

So welcome, winds of November- a playlist to mark your arrival.

Song of the Little Wind - Veda Hille
Dancin' In The Wind - Jenn Grant
I Want Wind to Blow - The Microphones
Roll With the Wind - Pavement
Freedom Wind - The Explorer's Club
Hickory Wind [Alternate “Nashville” Version - Take 8] - The Byrds
Invisible Wind - Arnie Love and the Lovettes
Idiot Wind - Bob Dylan
Westwind - Nina Simone
Come Wind Come Rain - Vashti Bunyan
A Lot of Wind - The Fall
The Wind Cries Mary - Robyn Hitchcock
Listening Wind - Talking Heads
I Talk To the Wind - King Crimson
Winds Of St. Anne - Evangelista
Windfall - Cass McCombs
The Wind and The Dove - Bill Callahan
Wind Speaks - Mount Eerie
Wind Driving Dogs - Chad VanGaalen
A Bad Wind - Pissed Jeans
Strangers in the Wind - Cut Copy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Iggy Pop Reveals Stooges Comeback for 2010

Well my friends it's finally official....  Iggy Pop has revealed in a BBC interview that he will in fact make a comeback with The Stooges in 2010 despite the recent death of guitarist Ron Asheton.   The singer said Asheton's "spirit still lives on" within the group and original guitarist James Williamson will rejoin the band after nearly 30 years. Iggy Pop said his band recently returned to the studio for rehearsals

Williamson will take over starting November 7th at a show in Sao Paolo, Brazil. A full world tour is planned for 2010, according to Pop. The band is entering its seventh year of continuous touring after almost 20 years of inactivity.  As reported previously, the band is also scheduled to perform Raw Power in its entirety May 2nd and 3rd at London’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival.

Never to early to start planning for the summer concert season now is it?

Monday, November 2, 2009

How You Found Me – Part Three

I’ve posted about this ‘Google-tastic’ phenomenon before and once again my latest surveillance of my blog statistics via beg to be shared with you. Yes, it’s the ubiquitous Keyword Search results segment you know and love- heretofore known as - How You Found Me. This edition features a limited edition director’s commentary. Admittedly, a few of these simply left me scratching my head. One thing certain though dear readers, you are inquisitive types. The question this time though… Just what is “making Steven’s cat sick?”

Apparently at least one Everything is Pop reader wants to know. (Curiously, that would make two of us.)

How You Found Me – The Top Ten (More or Less) Best Keyword Search Results

1 0.58% if my head was made of veal
A philosophical question only Bruce McCulloch can answer.

1 0.58% Wanna Mote
Not sure if this is a reader request or the hot new English pop sensation.

1 0.58% whats the song from the nude hotel scene the darjeeling limited
Song?  There was a song?

1 0.58% wher can I buy blublockers in ontario
Perhaps in the same place as a new "e" key for your keyboard.

1 0.58% olenka and lovers in ottawa
I’ll take “Things That Sound Dirty But Aren’t” for 300 Alex.

1 0.58% who said some pursue happiness others create it?
Not happiness… The quote was actually ‘a penis.” ( Just sayin’)

1 0.58% thom yorke horses london ontario
Thom Yorke horses? That’s just silly. Everyone knows there are only Thom Yorke unicorns.

1 0.58% how to get a ghost pop on webkinz
Ghost vending machine?

1 0.58% higher "olenka krakus"
No, it’s “HIRE” Olenka Krakus. She does have the best band in London, Ontario after all.

1 0.58% pop them up high pop pop pop
Do you people just type anything into Google or what?

1 0.58% "Steven’s Cat is Sick"
No, say it isn’t so. Steven’s cat is normally so healthy.

1 0.58%
Note to self: Potential blog post title. (My numbers will go through the roof.)

1 0.58% iggy pop on jeanne beker
Now, that would be a fashionable look.

1 0.58%
Dad? Dad? I told you. It’s

Back to your original programming tomorrow.

The Coolest Musical City On the Planet - Part Deux

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Calgary, might just be the coolest musical city on the planet.  And it's not just the unseasonable temperatures that make it so. Chad Van Gaalen, Women, Tegan and Sara- The list is seemingly endless. One of my personal musical favourites though, is the orchestral pop stylings of Woodpigeon. Word today that their full-length follow-up to 2008’s very excellent Treasury Library Canada is ready for release. The record is called Die Stadt Muzikanten and will be released via the always fine Boompa Records on January 12th.

The Boompa website press release describes the forthcoming release thusly:

…the fifteen tracks on Die Stadt Muzikanten move and contort like a film soundtrack. Lush, grand moments complement Mark’s signature cinematic “pretty-pretty-pop” sound.
Hmmm, might just have to be first in line for this one too.  (Can't wait to hear their recent Basia Bulat/ Steve Albini pairing either.)

Die Stadt Muzikanten Tracklisting:

01. Die Stadt Muzikanten
02. Woodpigeon vs. Eagleowl (Strength in Numbers)
03. Empty-Hall Sing-Along
04. Morningside
05. My Denial In Argyle
06. Enchantée Janvier
07. Such A Lucky Girl
08. Unmissable Grey, Mixed Paint
09. Duck Duck Goose
10. Spirehouse
11. Redbeard
12. The Street Noise Gives You Away
13. …And as the Ship Went Down, You’d Never Looked Finer
14. The Pesky Druthers (Parts 1 & 2)
15. Our Love is as Tall as the Calgary Tower

A Moment's Peace for Mary Christa O'Keefe from Beau Lark on Vimeo.