Wishful Concert Thinking For The New Year

>> Wednesday, 31 December 2008

So.

Last year I scored a disheartening 0 for 10 (almost as bad as the Detroit Lions) on my New Year’s
Bands I Really Hope Come to Town Wish List. While I caught one band (Sigur Rós) in Minneapolis, it doesn’t count since it never took place here, such is the inflexible criteria.

Sure I’m slightly discouraged by the lack of love our city gets, but tis the season for optimistic wishes, so I composed another year’s list of concert hopefuls. This year though, I asked my trusted Magic Eight Ball fortune teller what the likelihood of each band coming to town was, and I must warn you its surprisingly sentient answers aren’t very comforting (and are just plain mean at times!)

2009 Winnipeg Concert Wishlist (in no particular order):


1. Vampire Weekend

Magic 8 ball said: Outlook Not So Good

2. Mum

Magic 8 ball said: Concentrate and Ask Again. I did: Better not tell you now.

3. Carl Newman

Magic 8 ball said: As I see it, yes.

4. Parachutes

Magic 8 ball said: Cannot predict now.

5. Goldfrapp

Magic 8 ball said: Here’s a prediction I can make: not happening.

6. Death Cab For Cutie (headlining show)

Magic 8 ball said: They were just there. Don’t push your luck.

7. Radiohead

Magic 8 ball said: Are you fucking kidding me? You live in Winnipeg dude!

8. MGMT

Magic 8 ball said: About as likely as the NHL returning.

9. Flight of the Conchords

Magic 8 ball said: *slaps knees* You SLAY me! Flight of the Conchords playing Winnipeg?!? A ha ha ha…that’s even funnier than the show!

10. Rah Rah

Magic 8 ball said: Now you’re being realistic. All signs point to “maybe”.


Who would
you love to see come to town?

Infinite Playlist: Rah Rah - Going Steady

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My Favourite Songs Of The Year

>> Sunday, 28 December 2008

For the second year running, I made a 80-minute long disc of all my favourite songs released over the past 12 months. My goal is to make one at the end of each year and to revisit the cds years later and hear which songs withstand time's grueling tests and which unfortunately don't.

At some point over the past 365, each of the 19 tracks below evoked that wonderfully joyous brain chemical response that we all love about music, the kinda track that requires looping for an hour, maybe even two until we get sick of it, only to revisit a day later and repeat.

Painting Over 2008's Silence

1. Goldfrapp – A & E
2. MGMT – Time To Pretend
3. Foals – Big Big Love (Fig. 2)
4. Parachutes – Your Stories
5. Plants and Animals - À L'Orée Des Bois
6. The Helio Sequence – You Can Come To Me
7. The Killers – Human
8. Vampire Weekend – M79
9. Cut Copy – So Haunted
10. Library Voices – Step Off The Map & Float
11. Flight Of The Conchords – The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)
12. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
13. Bon Iver – Blindsided
14. Death Cab For Cutie – No Sunlight
15. M83 – Kim & Jessie
16. She & Him – Sentimental Heart
17. MGMT – Electric Feel
18. Sigur Rós - Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur
19. Goldfrapp – Some People

To clarify: the 19 tracks listed above are in playlist order not in order of preference.

I would, however, like to award some highly coveted Painting Over Silence medals to three songs off the list, tunes I simply couldn't (and really still can't) get enough of:

  • GOLD - Goldfrapp's 'A & E'
  • SILVER - MGMT's 'Electric Feel'
  • BRONZE - MGMT's 'Time To Pretend'
I'm very curious: What were some of your favourite songs over the past 52 weeks?

Infinite Playlist: Painting Over 2008's Silence

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My Five Favourite Shows Of The Year

>> Friday, 26 December 2008

17 concerts this year! Wow!

Wait a sec. How many does the average person attend? How many does a person who follows music go to?

While I have no data backing this impromptu figure up, I suspect a reasonable estimate for the second question would be around one a month. That would mean my 17 is slightly above average. Slightly above average - that has a nice ring to it! I wouldn't mind having that inscribed on my tombstone.

For the record though, the number 17 doesn’t account for the near-daily summer concerts staged on my apartment’s front lawn by admiringly bad buskers who perform upsettingly awful covers of Radiohead’s ‘Karma Police’. Including these, my concerts attended number would spike to around 70 (they don’t possess enough artistic temerity to play on rainy days. Oh how I now love the sound of the rain.)

Further playing with numbers, I estimate I spent $452.50 Canadian and $42.50 US (Sigur Rós in Minneapolis) on shows this year, two numbers which when combined (and converted) come to slightly more than a month’s rent.

My concert experiences, however, was remarkably varied. Bob Dylan proved spectacularly disappointing; Islands were spectacularly dull; Sigur Rós spectacularly surreal; and Kanye West was spectacularly, well, spectacular.

Anyway, these are my five favourite concerts of 2008:

1. Kanye West w/ Rhianna, N.E.R.D, and Lupe Fiasco
Venue: MTS Centre
Location: Winnipeg
Cost: ~$107
Date: May 26, 2008

I rank Kanye at #1 knowing full well that doing so has the potential to shock and alienate my blog readers. But, of my four blog readers (my magnanimous pal Phil; my poet-uncle who just loves reading anything family members write, even lowly blogs; Lord L-7, head of the Kanye West fan club, Winnipeg chapter; and Shawna, a polite, but rather vocal hip-hop naysayer), I really only risk losing Shawna, so this stays at #1.

Kanye was awesome. Ego matched talent. If he comes back, I will definitely shell out $100 to see him again.

2. Sigur Rós w/ Parachutes
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
Location: Minneapolis
Cost: ~$42.50 US
Date: September 25, 2008

My second time seeing Sigur Rós was not as conscious-altering as the first time, but still an impressive, surreal experience. Parachutes were this year’s winner of the Opening Act I’ve Never Heard Of Who Blew Me Away Cup.

3. Josh Ritter w/ Emm Gryner
Venue: West End Cultural Centre
Location: Winnipeg
Cost: ~$19.75
Date: March 1, 2008

I can’t recall ever seeing someone who loves performing so much. The talented singer-songwriter from Idaho is clearly a passionate and confident musician.

4. Neil Young w/ Death Cab For Cutie & Everest
Venue: MTS Centre
Location: Winnipeg
Cost: ~$107
Date: October 16, 2008

Death Cab exceeded all expectations. Despite standing in front of 10, 000 partisan Neil Youngers, Ben Gibbard & co played like everyone in the audience was there to see them.

And as for Neil Young, well, the sexagenarian appears not to be slowing down with age. Sure he has more wrinkles and thinner hair, but the Winnipeg-raised singer defied his aged by putting on a helluva wicked show.

5. Born Ruffians w/ Plants and Animals, Slim Twig
Venue: The Pyramid
Location: Winnipeg
Cost: ~$15
Date: October 4, 2008

My first exposure to Plants and Animals was overwhelming. I loved them, bought their record and it subsequently made my top ten albums of the year list. Unfortunately, they lost the inaugural Opening Act I’ve Never Heard Of Who Blew Me Away Cup to Parachutes by the slimmest of margins (it was a bloody battle).

Born Ruffians were solid too.

What were some of your favourite/least favourite concerts of the year?


Infinite Playlist: Painting Over 2008's Silence

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Happy Festivus!

>> Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Festivus everyone! I hope the feats of strength provided the physical test they should; I hope the aluminum pole shined like the beckon of hope it signifies; and finally, I hope the airing of grievances didn't get too out of hand.



And if you don't celebrate Festivus, well, then Merry Christmas!



Infinite Playlist: The Cure - Trilogy DVD

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My Favourite Albums Of The Year

>> Tuesday, 23 December 2008

My top ten albums-of-the-year are:

1. Vampire Weekend –
Vampire Weekend



Should I or shouldn’t I sorta paraphrase Depeche Mode. Ah, fuck it: “When I hear Vampire Weekend, I go out of my head. I just can’t get enough. I just can’t get enough.”

2. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours



Vertiginous synths and caffeinated beats and contagious songs! Oh my!

3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Of these illustrious ten records, Fleet Foxes’ fantastic debut will probably be the one I revisit most often as the years tick by. For now though, it’s third on my list.

4. M83 – Saturday = Youth

Anthony Gonzalez = electronic alchemist.

5. Plants and Animals – Parc Avenue

Not a single miss on this Polaris-nominated album. Makes me question whether Caribou was the right choice for this year’s award.

6. Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree

I remember playing “A & E” in a continuous loop for like an hour and wishing for my intense infatuation to last forever. It died down after awhile, but I still love it. Also, the lovely “Some People” melts my insides.

7. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

I’m always a sucker for these lo-fi, achingly gorgeous, highly personal albums.

8. El Guincho – Alegranza!

Energetic guys from Spain who channel some of Animal Collective’s spirit (the multi-part harmonies and playful arrangements) but give it a Western European spin. Worth of that exclamation mark (if only I knew what
Alegranza meant…or for that matter El Guincho).

9. The Helio Sequence – Keep Your Eyes Ahead

I gravitated toward this record because I liked the band’s name. Turned out to be kismet.

10. Rah Rah – Going Steady

There must be creative germs in Regina’s drinking water! Like Library Voices, this is a provincial neighbour you need to be familiar with right NOW!

And a few EPs I absolutely loved:

1. Parachutes - Parachutes

Parachutes opened for Sigur Rós in Minneapolis back in September. I was enchanted throughout by their not-exactly-dissimilar-to-Sigur-
Rós sound, and am eagerly awaiting their full length debut. The YouTube video below (of YouTube quality) would probably break my heart…if Goldfrapp hadn’t already melted it (veiled Flight of the Conchords reference for ya).



2. Library Voices – Hunting Voices

Some self-plagiarism: There must be creative germs in Regina’s drinking water! Like Rah Rah, this is a provincial neighbour you need to be familiar with right NOW!


Still to come this week: my favourite songs and favourite shows of the year.


Infinite Playlist: Painting Over 2008's Silence - My Favourite Songs Of The Year

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The Best Albums Of 2008 - As Voted By Painting Over Silence Blog Readers

>> Monday, 22 December 2008

First of all, thanks to everyone who sent in lists and/or comments about said record. I had a lot of fun compiling the results and even discovered some wicked new sounds. Also, a lot of people didn't leave comments (it was optional after all) so the glowing adoration for some entries is less explained than others.

Second, this list was entirely voted upon by blog readers, so it does not include my personal top ten (which will be published tomorrow...stay tuned!).

Third, despite not receiving a single first-place vote, Fleet Foxes dominated the competition. If you haven't heard them yet, check out the video below for "White Winter Hymnal" - it's glorious!

Fourth, ties were unavoidable. Made me seriously consider adding my top ten into the mix.

Now without further delay....

1. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes



"What a brilliant debut. ALMOST my favourite record of the year." - Sarah

"Beautiful music that for some reason makes me picture country landscapes covered in powdery snow." - Phil

"Like if Bon Iver were a bunch of guys." - DW

"I just love this one." - TR

2. M83 - Saturdays = Youth



"'Kim and Jessie' - song of the year." - Ben
(Mykael's note: see and hear above)

"I can't get enough of it..." - Nick

3. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

"Like if Fleet Foxes were one guy." - DW

"Justin Vernon's brilliant debut album, crafted alone in the woods of Wisconsin. Haunting, beautiful." - Nick

"A rather late addition to my list, but a new favourite based on the fact that I can't resist mopey - but not EMO - guys that can rock (but just a little)." - TR

"Just beautiful." - Sarah

4. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

"With only 34 minutes runtime, Vampire Weekend's debut album is short and very sweet. All hits, no misses with this one. I can't wait to see what their next album will sound like and I'm sure I'm not the only one." - Phil

"The soundtrack of my summer!" - Sarah

5. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

"I've been listening to
In Ghost Colours in my car for many months now and it hasn't left my changer sicne the day I put it in. I've probably listened to it more times than any of the other albums on this list combined, and I'm not sick of it! A true sign of an excellent album." - Phil

6. Constantines - Kensington Heights

"Winner, gritty band of the year." - Ben

6. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs

"Unlike most, I'm a big fan of the first four drony minutes of 'I Will Possess Your Heart'" - Ben

6. Sigur Rós - með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

"While not my favourite Sigur Rós album, there is a certain comfort to their music and their presence in my musical repertoire." - TR

9. The Verve - Forth

"Poor Coldplay tries so hard while this sounds effortless." - DW

"They have come a long way since 'Bittersweet Symphony'."
- TR

9. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles

"Voltaic!" - Whitney

"How can you not be hooked after the first few video-game-esque bars of its opening track 'Untrust Us'?" - Nick

**************

Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

Beck -
Modern Guilt
Damien Jurado -
Caught In The Trees
Flight Of The Conchords -
Flight Of The Conchords
Goldfrapp -
Seventh Tree
Hold Steady -
Stay Positive
Kathleen Edwards -
Asking For Flowers
MGMT -
Oracular Spectacular
Tallest Man On Earth -
Shallow Grave
Wolf Parade -
At Mount Zoomer

Last word: While I'm not publishing individual lists, please feel free to publish your personal list under the comments!

Hope to hear from everyone (and more) again next year!

Infinite Playlist: Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

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The JP Hoe Holiday Show - Live At The Park Theatre

>> Sunday, 21 December 2008


So I got a free, last-minute invite to tonight's sold out JP Hoe Holiday show at the Park Theatre, and it sure was a lot of fun. Crazy Christmas costumes were worn; cookies were given away; oh, and music was played.

The talented singer-songwriter was joined on stage by Fred Penner (who read a holiday story to the crowd) and by local rockers Quinzy. A few members of the WSO were along for the ride as well.

But the star of the show was definitely the man himself. It was my first time hearing the JP's rock-tinged folk music, and live it proved to be soul-stirring and charming. JP himself was a confident, funny, and clearly passionate performer, and if I had cash, I would've picked up his disc. Next time for sure.

Blog Poll Results tomorrow!


Infinite Playlist: Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree

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The Reminder

>> Thursday, 18 December 2008

Heya Folks!

Quick reminder: you've got until late Saturday night to submit your Top 10 Albums-Of-The-Year list to me.

Full details are here.

Thank you very much to all those who've sent theirs in so far!

Infinite Playlist: The Bangles - Greatest Hits

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Jingle Bell Rock feat. Metric, Tokyo Police Club et al. - Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre

>> Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Jingle Bell Rock was a mix bag of an affair.

After braving the oppressive deep freeze that is Winnipeg at the moment, I arrived at The Burt right at seven (the official start) intending to catch ex-DFA1979 Sebastien Grainger and his new band The Mountains. My friend and I grabbed 10th row seats (floor was rush seating), and sat down just in time to see the last seconds of Grainger's set. WTF? we wondered. Confused, we triple-checked our tickets and they, of course, read 7:00 p.m.

An informative bartender clarified: the show had been bumped up an hour earlier than originally scheduled. We had no idea! The website said 7 and our tickets read 7, so we showed up at 7. Plus, we missed DJ Mike Relm’s set. 2/5 acts down before we even got there!


Still shivering (it was cold inside the Burt) and kinda pissed off, I tried cheering up once The Dears (above photo), all seven of them, took the stage. The septet played a healthy mixture of new and old to a thawing-out, unresponsive crowd. The sound was crisp and I liked some of what I heard yet the band seemed just as frozen as the audience (I wore my jacket all the way until the end of TPC) so this further added to the evening’s overall dismal feeling.



The first half of Tokyo Police Club’s set was uninspired, and I was bet-the-farm certain the whole Jingle Bell Rock soiree would amount to a colossal disappointment. About halfway, though, the band must have melted because the second half of their set was fluid and terrific. Just like that, this young indie-rock quintet morphed into a mobile, cohesive unit and frontman David Monks, with his slightly-distorted vocals and feverish guitar playing, proved he is more than capable of dazzling big crowds (by now the venue was almost full).


Now I have to warn you before you read on: I am not a fan of Metric. I was there to see Grainger, The Dears, and TPC. I have tried several times to get into Metric’s sassy neo-disco pop stylings, but always glaze over when I hear their stuff.

However, I was deeply curious about their live act, having read and heard first-hand reports of its electric awesomeness. I was really hoping to be won over. Unfortunately though, Metric and I just didn’t click. Sure Emily Haines is a formidable front-woman who oozes confidence and sensuality with each song (does she always wear such short dresses? Zounds!), but there’s something about this collective that I’m musically indifferent to. I’m not exactly sure what it is - I suppose I find their music just not, umm, fun.

But, looking around at the enchanted, hip-swaying crowd clearly enjoying themselves on this absurdly cold night, I was definitely in the minority.


Infinite Playlist: MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

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Let's Make A Cake

>> Monday, 15 December 2008

Martin Sexton will be at the Burt on April 15th.

Jeremy Fisher at the Park Theatre on February 2nd.

Luke Doucet and the White Falcon also play there, but on March 10th.

The Fugitives will rock the party there on February 26th.

And finally, good ol' Bryan Adams is playing an all-acoustic show on February 13th at the Pantages. I think the first compact disc I ever owned (it was a gift) was one of his, which is frankly hilarious. I've come a long way.

Jingle Bell Rock tonight! Tune in tomorrow for Ansel-Adams-worthy pictures, insightful comments and maybe even some rhetorical questions.

Infinite Playlist: Silence

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Night Windows

>> Thursday, 11 December 2008

Couple things to note:

Presale password for The Weakerthans' April 17th show at the Burton Cummings Theatre is tundra.

That 1 Guy is at the Pyramid on February 25th.

Secondhand Serenade is at the Garrick on January 25th.

Kerri Woelke opens for Mr. Pine on January 2nd at Aqua Books.

Also, just a quick reminder: you've got about a week and a half left to email me your top 10 albums of the year list. If this is the first time you've read about this, click here for full details or scroll down a bit.

I've received several so far and they look awesome (thanks to everyone).


Infinite Playlist: Rah Rah - Going Steady

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If There Is A God, I Know He Likes To Rock

>> Tuesday, 9 December 2008


Winnipeg's greatest indie export The Weakerthans are hitting 21 cities across the nation during its 2009 Rolling Tundra Revue Tour, making a hometown pit stop at the Burton Cummings Theatre on April 17. The peripatetic lads will be joined throughout the tour by The Constantines plus a couple more TBA acts. Tix Monday.

Also, The Dude's least-favourite band The Eagles are soaring through town, landing at the MTS Centre on March 13th. According to ticketmaster, ticket prices range from $96 to an extraordinary $239 (happy budget-adjusting!), but as a small consolation, this is being heralded as a "no-fee event" meaning you won't be charged "convenience" fees.

Greg Crowe & The Scarlet Union play the Pyramid on December 18th.

The Waking Eyes are there on December 20th.

Mr. Pine's January 2nd cd release now has a venue: Aqua Books.

Infinite Playlist: Silence

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11 Questions With Greg MacPherson

>> Sunday, 7 December 2008

If you haven't had the pleasure of hearing local singer-songwriter Greg MacPherson's intelligent, at times politically-driven music nor catching his electrifying shows round town, then, well, you're really missing out on one of our city's prodigial talents. At the moment, Greg is busy penning tunes for his much-anticipated follow-up to 05's Night Flares; however, he took some time out of his busy schedule to answer 11 of my interest-revealing and (at times) daft questions.

By taking part, Greg revealed he hasn't seen The Dark Knight (but has seen The Transporter 3), doesn't watch tv, and is currently reading a Doysteovsky novel that isn't Crime and Punishment!

Thanks to Greg for doing this. [If you're unfamilair, he's the spirited musician on my blog banner, far left].

1. Where are you right now?

I'm in Winnipeg at my place, spending a few hours this afternoon learning a song I was asked to cover for a friend's book launch this Wednesday evening. (Mykael's note: I haven't had the chance to publish this until just now, so this book launch already happened).

2. Where is the best venue in Winnipeg to play a show?

That depends on the size and kind of show you want to put on I suppose. I often play the West End Cultural Centre because it has a good sound system, a reasonable capacity and I like the people there. Of the smaller venues I think that the Royal Albert has the most soul; it's dirty, loud and a little dangerous sometimes, good conditions for rock and roll.

3. Who is the best Winnipeg-based band (other than your own, of course)?

Pip Skid. He's not a band but he's certainly one of the most exciting artists in the city... he's uncompromising, intelligent, funny, thoughtful and unpredictable.

4. What is your favourite Radiohead record?

I don't like Radiohead enough to know that. They're way more Beatles than Rolling Stones and I'm firmly in the Rolling Stones camp myself.

5. Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert?

I don't watch TV, I think it's a waste of time.

6. Where is your favourite local place to eat?

Monticchio.

7. What was the last great concert you saw?

Birdapres at Lo Pub last night.

8. Is The Dark Knight Best Picture worthy?

Somehow I haven't seen it yet... I hear from reliable sources that it's better than Transporter 3, which I have seen and can vouch for.

9. What are your top three all-time favourite records?

That's pretty hard to answer... I think Silkworm's Developer, The For Carnation's Self-Titled record, and the Clash's Sandinista are pretty high up there though.

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?

Dostoevsky's The Insulted and Injured

11. And finally…who's your favourite New Kid on the Block (Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan, or Jonathan)?

That's not even worth thinking about.


Infinite Playlist: The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I

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Out Of Cape Cod Tonight

>> Saturday, 6 December 2008

I've been a bit neglectful with my show announcements these past few days (sorry, busy schooling), so you're probably aware of most of these already. Here's a quick recap anyways:

The Lytics
are at the Pyramid on December 17th.

Sick City rock the Garrick on December 21st.

Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling is at the Burt on May 23rd.

Agent Orange play the Albert on March 1st.

Speaking of the Albert, their New Year's Eve lineup features The Geek Street Band, Big Trouble in Little China, and American Flamewhip.

Speaking of New Year's Eve, those looking to stop, collaborate and take in the new year with Vanilla Ice can do so at Blush Ultraclub. I wonder if he still plays 'Ice, Ice, Baby'...man, if I still owned To The Extreme and had a tape player, I'd be blasting that right now.

Speaking of early 90s music nostalgia, Boys II Men are the Burt on February 21st.


Infinite Playlist: Vampire Weekend - S/T

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Painting Over Silence Presents....The Best Records Of 2008 Blog Readers Poll

>> Monday, 1 December 2008

For audiophiles, cinema buffs, and possibly even book lovers, December often marks the laboured and joyful construction of year-end best-of lists. These ubiquitous lists usually adopt a Top 10 format with #1 being, naturally, the best of that art form over the past 365.

As an avid music blogger constructing these best-of lists is, without a doubt, the musical highlight of my year. In a week or so, I’ll dive head first through my music collection, taking note of each and every record I posses that has been released this year, a glint of manic glee in my eyes. Then, the intense listening and whittling will begin, eventually culminating into an easy-to-read, I hope, Top 10 list.

This year, I invite you to take part in all the zany fun that comes with list-making. Here’s how it’ll work:

Email me, by December 21, a list of your favourite records released between January 1, 2008 and, uh, December 21st, 2008, I guess. I will compile all the results and, on December 22nd, publish the Top 10 Albums of the Year…as voted by Painting Over Silence blog readers.

A few things:

1. I realize not everyone will have ten favourite records released in 2008. That’s okay. The minimum criteria is one and the maximum is ten. So, if Vampire Weekend’s summery good-time-of-a-pop-record is the only album you really liked this year, email me.

2. Order matters…to an extent. The top album on your list gets three points; the second best two; 3-10 are awarded one point. If you only liked one album this year, it gets three points.

3. Feel free to write something about that album, but please keep it short - a sentence or two. For example, say you loved MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular. Your comment about it could be succinct “Incandescent!” or longer “I played this album in an eternal loop for nine weeks…and I’m still not sick of it”. Write-ups are optional. If you want to just submit a list, that’s cool with me.

4. If you do write a comment about an album AND that album makes the final top 10 cut, I’ll be posting all comments about that record. However, out of respect to privacy, I’ll just write your first name. If you don’t want that, then PLMK and I’ll write “Anonymous”.

5. Please do not send attachments. Simply paste your list and the optional comments in the body of an email.

6. My email is on the right side, under “About Me”.

Happy list constructin’ !


***
The Liptonians rock the Lo Pub this Friday, the 5th.



Infinite Playlist: Kings of Convenience - Quiet Is The New Loud

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Satisfying New Editions - Remember, Remember, 2008's November

>> Sunday, 30 November 2008


• Flights of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords
• Plants and Animals – Parc Avenue

So a couple years back, me and two friends, let’s call them Kid A and Kid B, would get together once a week and jam in Kid A’s dank, cavernous basement. I would strut around wielding a sleek, jet-black Ibanez. Kid A would spastically thump away on his patchwork drum kit a la Animal from The Muppets, while good ol’ Kid B would tow us along with his steady bass playing.

It was endless fun.

One night I proposed “This is the Girl” as our band name. Kids A and B enthusiastically accepted. Collectively, we envisioned a legion of female fans wondering who the lucky girl we named our band after was. Oh, the enigmatic aura we’d have! (Confession: I stole the phrase from David Lynch’s surreal masterpiece Mulholland Drive). Anyways, we adored the name. That was, until I discovered several other bands with the same name (Realization: Google can be a fucking wet blanket sometimes).

We were crestfallen. This infinite sadness combined with my delirious new aesthetic vision for us - a Smashing Pumpkins cover band called “Mellon Iscariot & the Siamese Gish” - led to our ultimate demise. That was that. End of jam sessions.

Flight of the Conchords is a fantastic band name. It’s Google-friendly. Go ahead. Try. I’ll wait. You back? Ok, so like I was saying it’s Google-friendly, a little tongue-in-cheek, and certainly has cadence. Now admittedly their risible, contagious debut isn’t a brand new edition to my sonic palette, but a hard copy of the album is. And since it arrived in the mail I’ve listened to it over and over, and even rewatched season one. I particularly love the packaging: when folded open, a cardboard pop-up of Jemaine and Bret greet you, plus they threw in a colorful two-sided poster, currently on display in my hallway. While the jokes aren’t as fresh 10th time around, the songs themselves certainly endure. My biggest complaint is the omission of one of my favs, the choral sing-a-long “Sello Tape” (see Appendix). Hopefully they’ll include it on their sophomore release.

Plants and Animals also have a great band name, a wide-ranging moniker that seems to match their artistic ambitions. I think, though, they should be “Plants & Animals” not “Plants and Animals”. You know how when screenwriters work closely together, “&” is used between their names, and when the collaboration is a little more distant, “and” is used? The same should apply to musicians: Parc Avenue sounds like three close friends working side-by-side trying to reach a shared sonic vision. The result is 11 accessible indie-rockers brought to life through innovative arrangement and genre-pureeing. Out of curiousity, I retrieved the cd case from my car and, sure enough, my theory was confirmed: “All songs written by Plants and Animals.” Who wrote the lyrics for which song, or invented the riff on which part is unknown. Individual egos do not matter to this band. Plants and Animals, then, encompass the significance of the symbol above the 7 on your keyboard…in the screenwriting sense anyways.

Unlike the Smashing Pumpkins say, whose entire catalogue was written by Billy Corgan (99% anyways). I assure you that if “Mellon Iscariot & the Siamese Gish” ever get together, we’ll work together in respectful harmony, worthy of that ampersand.

Pretty sure anyways.


Note: I heard a lot of solid new music this month but didn't have enough time to weave those records in. With school wrapping up, I'm a little stretched at the moment. Props to:

  • Mr Pine - Rewilding
  • Human Highway - Moody Motorcycle
  • The Dears - Missiles
Appendix

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We Like To Rock The Party

>> Friday, 28 November 2008

Toronto indie-popper Lights is at the Pyramid on January 9th. Her cute, saccharine vocals sung over warm synths warrant comparison with Norwegian bubble-gum popper Annie, an admitted guilty pleasure of mine. "My Heartbeat" still rules.

And she (Lights) is managed by the guy from Q. Cool.

Local folk-heroes Nathan are playing at the U of W on December 11th. I think it's a benefit of sorts.

Luke Doucet & The White Falcon are at the Park Theatre on March 10th.

Theory of a Deadman are scheduled to rock the Burt on January 20th.

Ted's Warren Commission jazz it up at the Park Theatre on January 24th.


Infinite Playlist: Annie - Anniemal

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Who Likes To Rock The Party?

>> Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Forbidden Dimension play the Albert on December 6th w/ The Gorgon and Angry Dragons. Tix @ Music Trader.

Rotting Christ are there on January 19th w/ Novembers Doom and Epicurean. Tix @ Music Trader.

On February 24th, Soilwork, Darkane, Warbinger, and Swallow The Sun will melt faces at the Albert for $25. Tix @ Music Trader.

Oh, and, er, Nickelback is at the MTS Centre on April 5th. Tix @ Ticketmaster.


Infinite Playlist - Flight of the Conchords - S/T

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11 Questions with Mr. Pine

>> Monday, 24 November 2008

Standing L to R - Richard Caners, Matt McLennan, Ken Phillips, and Matt Hildebrand (who isn't in the band, but is one of the drummers they use)
Sitting L to R - Kevin Scott, Leslie Oldham
Missing - Guitarist Jason Peters


Mr. Pine is one of Winnipeg’s most compelling musical acts. Their recent cd, Rewilding, is an eclectic collection of chamber folk with elements of pop, rock, prog, post-rock, and (most surprisingly) metal woven throughout. Since the release of the dazzling recording, the band has garnered significant buzz across the city, and just this week topped the charts on UMFM.

While comprised of six members, the band’s chief songwriters are the adroit duo of Kevin Scott (piano, harpsichord, organ, guitar, string/woodwind arrangements) and Matt McLennan (lyrics, vocals, guitar). I had the pleasure of posing 11 informative, at times inane questions to Kevin (KS) and Matt (MM), and learned neither are closet New Kids fans, neither have seen The Dark Knight (a puzzling 0 for 4 on that question), and, oh, neither much care for Jon Stewart!

1. Where are you right now?

KS: In my basement, attempting to recline and type at the same time (not working too well).

MM: On a mattress with my heavily tattooed, mostly naked wife. The room is completely destroyed. Hundreds of scattered, unsorted and mostly unlabeled CD-Rs. I keep finding random pieces of fruit and bulbs of garlic amongst them. Surprisingly, I am not a cocaine addict. I am simply in the midst of moving to a new apartment.

2. Where is the best venue in Winnipeg to play a show?

KS: I like the Pyramid, if you can get a good sound man. I imagine the West End was great but I never played there. I always had fun playing The Albert, but is it the "best"? Well…

MM: Gas Station has a nice stage. Actually I have no idea. Things have changed since I've been out east.

3. Who is the best Winnipeg-based band (other than your own, of course)?

KS: Past or present? I liked Grand Theft Canoe a lot. In terms of the present, I better abstain from this one since I know so many good ones, and don't like to play favourites in public…

MM: Best back in the day band: the Blasphenaut. Current: Matterhorn.

4. What is your favourite Radiohead record?

KS: OK Computer. I still wonder at how lots of those songs were constructed. At the time it came out I wondered how they were going to top The Bends.

MM: Kid A

5. Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert?

KS: Stephen Colbert. Jon Stewart's OK but I think he likes himself a little too much.

MM: Wilford Brimley

6. What is your favourite local restaurant?

KS: Massawa. Good old mush and sponge! I'm a great fan of Café Carlo too.

MM: Sukhothai

7. What was the last great concert you saw?

KS: Great isn't a word I throw around lightly, so I'll say The Arcade Fire.

MM: I have a hard time organizing my experiences.

8. Is The Dark Knight Best Picture worthy?

KS: I haven't seen it yet! But if they can give the big prize to elves, dwarves, and hobbitses, then they can surely give it to bat people too.

MM: Haven't seen it. Yes.

9. What are your top three all-time favourite records?

KS:
STEREOLAB – Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements
10,000 MANIACS – The Wishing Chair
PROLAPSE – The Italian Flag

MM: Too hard to decide, but somewhere in the neighborhood of:

Joanna Newsom - Ys
Angels of Light - New Mother
Black Sabbath - Never Say Die!

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?

KS: JD Salinger – the Zooey part of Franny & Zooey, a harpsichord owner's guide, and a bunch of old Asterix comics.

MM: Against Method by Paul Feyerabend.

11. And finally…who's your favourite New Kid on the Block (Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan, or Jonathan)?

KS: I couldn't tell any of them apart if you held a gun to my head.

MM: The paraplegic

****

“Streets of York”, the album’s poppiest track, is available for download
here. If you like what you hear, check out the band’s MySpace page for more or, better yet, catch them live on January 2nd.

Infinite Playlist: The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

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Library Voices - Live At The Lo Pub

>> Friday, 21 November 2008



Last night, Regina's Library Voices answered the pressing question: how many musicians can you fit on stage at the Lo Pub?

The answer: ten...barely.

When your band has as many members as a squid has arms, space at smaller venues is an inevitable issue. While spacial problems did materialize last night (one band member chortled "gimme some space" or something like that), for the most part, the tightly packed musicians were able to feed off being in such close proximity to each other's impassioned energy and put on a fantastic show.

A notably brand-spanking new band, this tentet (neologicism!) were tight, exuberant and collective believers in their unique brand of indie-pop. The vocal harmonies were spine tingling, the melodies indelible, and the overall energy was warm and contagious. And the show's finale, a near a capella cover of Neil Young's "Unknown Legend" (8/10 did not play their instruments), was one the best endings to a show I've ever seen.

Next time, I hope they try and cram in an even dozen. Perhaps I'll volunteer my services. After all, I play a mean vibraslap.

******

Presented by UMFM, local folksters Mr. Pine are releasing there newest record Rewilding on January 2nd. Venue TBA.

Harry Manx is at the Park Theatre on February 12th.

Anberlin promise to rock the same joint on January 23rd w/ Madina Lake and Between The Trees

The 4th annual JP Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show takes place there on December 21st.

Bryce Pallister is releasing a cd at the Park Theatre on December 5th w/ Heather Longstaffe, Chris Goertzen, and The Hazy Pilgrims.

Rio De Janeiro's favourite electronic wizards The Twelves are at the Pyramid on December 16th w/ Better Swimmers.

The Civil Disobedients are there on December 5th w/ Amid Valhalla, Coda, and The Downfall.


Infinite Playlist: Mr Pine - Rewilding

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Show Preview - 11 Questions With Library Voices

>> Monday, 17 November 2008


Library Voices are a ten piece hyper-literate indie conglomerate from Regina who make cosmopolitan pop that is undeniably fresh and catchy. Sort of Canada’s answer to I’m From Barcelona, but, well, probably better. The band has recently been featured in Spin magazine’s “Three Undiscovered Bands You Need To Hear Now!”, have played a CBC Radio 3 showcase with Chad VanGaalen (arguably Canada’s hottest indie act), and, oh, are stopping by the Lo Pub on Thursday.

I'm going. You should too, before these promising and talented folks are elevated to indie-pop superstar status with tickets costing more than $10 (at least I think that's the cost).

Anyways, I had the extreme pleasure of asking Library Voices’ Michael Dawson (MD) and Amanda Scandrett (AS) a series of fun, character revealing, at times silly questions. In the process, I learned they are the only two people in the world who haven’t seen The Dark Knight, are ardent Okkervil River fans, and are people who definitely know their New Kids on the Block.

(Thanks to both of them for this).

1. Where are you right now?

MD: I'm actually just sitting on my sofa watching old reruns of the Cosby Show. Claire is training so she can fit into a dress for a big gala event. I just got home from the studio where we are working on a new record.

AS: I’m sitting in my studio, watching paint dry. It’s an old brownstone built in the 20’s but the interior is completely 70’s—like orange fabric wallpaper and wood panelling. The kitsch factor in this place is through the roof, which makes me love the space even more.

2. Where's the best venue in Regina to play a show?

MD: I have to say The Exchange. We've played a handful of shows there and it's always so much fun.

AS: Definitely the Exchange, but I’m a little biased. I’ve worked there for years, so playing there is as comfortable as playing in my living room.

3. Who's the best Regina-based band (other than your own, of course)?

MD: Rah Rah. They have a new record out called Going Steady. Everyone should check it out.

AS: There’s a few. Regina has tons of great bands kicking around right now. My all-time favourite is Rah Rah, but Sylvie and Molten Lava are close seconds for me. Both Rah Rah and Sylvie just released new albums, and Molten Lava will be releasing one real soon.

4. What's your favourite Radiohead record?

MD: This is sort of a loaded question. I'm going to go with Ok Computer.

AS: Oh. By Radiohead you mean Paul Simon, right? Graceland. (I haven’t really got into Radiohead at this point. I guess there’s a time and place for everything.)

5. Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert?

MD: Colbert

AS: Colbert

6. PC or Mac?

MD: I have a PC at home and a Mac at work. So I suppose both? Although to be fair I've had 2 desktop and 3 laptops die in the last 18months at home.

AS: Mac, but they both do the job.

7. What was the last great concert you saw?

MD: Either Okkervil River @ The Legion in Calgary this past summer or M Ward at Bumbershoot.

AS: Okkervil River at the Sled Island Fest in Calgary this summer. They played in an old gorgeous church, and Mother Mother opened. That one was really good, and also TV on the Radio a couple years ago at the Commodore in Vancouver.

8. Is The Dark Knight best picture worthy?

MD: I honestly haven't seen it. I'm not much of a movie guy. Although I did really enjoy Burn After Reading...but I fear I might be lynched by armies of nerds if I suggest it might be superior to The Dark Knight.

AS: Ummm never seen it? I have a personal policy—no stressful movies, so I think that rules out Dark Knight . I am aware that this makes me a damn wiener. I’m ok with that.

9. What are your top three all-time favourite records?

MD: Just three? That's impossible!
The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Archers Of Loaf - Icky Mettle
Dear You - Jawbreaker
Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show - Dr. Hook's Greatest Hits
John K Samson - Slips & Tangles
The National - The Boxer
Although I have to confess that if you ask me this same question 5 times you would likely get 5 different answers.

AS: Okkervil River - The Stage Names
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Cursive - The Ugly Organ

10. What's one song you love, but probably shouldn't?

MD: "Teenland" by The Northern Pikes

AS: Architecture in Helsinki’s "Heart it Races"…it’s not that I shouldn’t listen to it, it’s just that I probably shouldn’t listen to it 10 times in a row. Every day. For like a year…

11. And finally…who's your favourite New Kid on the Block (Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan, or Jonathan)?

MD: Little Joey McIntyre. No one ever votes for the good guy. Although I have to admit Donnie did go through a stage briefly in the Hangin' Tough era where he was wearing black ball caps with a metal name plate on it that nearly swayed my vote. Any points he won for the had though he lost ten-fold though by making Ransom with Mel Gibson.

AS: well when I was younger I always liked Donnie best because I thought he was the most attainable (grotesque)…which may say something about my self esteem as a child…but there will always be a special place in my heart for Mr. Jordan Knight. Well maybe not always. Like not now. But once.

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Turn Me On With Your Electric Feel

>> Saturday, 15 November 2008

Local indie-poppers Paper Moon are playing the Park Theatre on December 4th w/ Playing Cards and Ann Walton.

The Jeff Presslaff Trio's CD release party is there on December 11th.

Lindsay Jane plays the Folk Exchange on December 14th.

Cara Luft will be at the Park Theatre on December 17th w/ Ann Walton and Crooked Brothers.


Infinite Playlist: MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

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I'll Close My Eyes And Bite Your Tongue

>> Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Presale for Gordon Lightfoot's April 16th MTS Centre show is currently underway, if you have the presale password. And fortunately I do!

*drumroll please*...I give you: LEGEND.

What a let down eh? You probably could've guessed that one.

The Ex-Girlfriends are slated to rock The Albert on December 5th w/ 77 Guns and The Clap.

Hide Your Daughters
are there on December 19th w/ Hot Live Guys (which is oddly fitting) and Velodrome.


Infinite Playlist: Mum - Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Was Ok

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Sigur Ros - Live In Minneapolis Redux

>> Sunday, 9 November 2008

If you're interested, I wrote up a full, detailed review of the September 25th Sigur Ros show in Minneapolis for the Logberg, a local Icelandic paper that generously pays me to be their music columnist.

The article can be found here (for now).

It's been nearly two months since the concert, and I'm still glowing from the whole experience.


Infinite Playlist: Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block

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Go Bombers!

>> Saturday, 8 November 2008

The fourth annual Quinzmas celebration featuring local favs Quinzy is taking place at the Park Theatre on December 12th and 13th with a plethora of still-to-be-confirmed guests. The entire show will be recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio 2's Canada Live. And it's a weekend too, so you can get rip roaring drunk on egg nog (if that's your thing) and not have to worry about operating at half-speed while at work the next day.

K, maybe that's only appealing to me...

Rise Against is at the MTS Centre w/ Thursday and Sage Francis on December 5th.

The Midway State stop by the Albert on November 17th.

For those looking for New Year's Eve plans, here you go: archaic rockers Chilliwack are at Club Regent that night.

Local folk artist Romi Mayes is holding an album fund raiser at Times Change(d) on December 12th.


Infinite Playlist: Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue

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West Of The Valley You Left

>> Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Show news:

The parade of legendary sexagenarians at the MTS Centre continues with Gordon Lightfoot
playing there April 16th.

Jon Lajoie
is at the Pyramid on December 2nd. His website rules.

Giv'R play the Academy on November 27th with Justin Van Damme and In Context.

Heather Blush & The Uppercuts play there in two days as well.


Infinite Playlist: Memphis - A Place In The Wilderness

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Load Playlist - Hornby Ishiguro Mitchell

>> Monday, 3 November 2008

I've been reading, writing, and studying an awful lot these days. While doing so, I listen to carefully chosen music - usually some down tempo songs that cozy up nicely in the background. Like Mum or Sigur Ros, say.

However, I realized on the weekend that I am tired of exclusively listening to their stuff and made a playlist specifically meant to be played while reading, writing, and studying.

I call it Hornby Ishiguro Mitchell, named after the surnames of three of my fav authors: Nick Hornby, Kazuo Ishiguro, and David Mitchell.

Since it's creation, I've been playing it in an eternal loop, and under its hypnotic spell have produced unparalled works of literary genius. Just kidding.

Behold!

  1. Stars - Write What You Know
  2. Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun (Acoustic)
  3. Parachutes - Your Stories
  4. Goldfrapp - Some People
  5. Valgeir Sigurdsson - Focal Point
  6. Yo La Tengo - Last Days Of Disco
  7. Iron & Wine - Naked As We Came
  8. Broken Social Scene - Shampoo Suicide
  9. Air - La Femme D'Argent
  10. Sparklehorse - It's A Wonderful Life
  11. Kings Of Convenience - Cayman Islands
  12. Yo La Tengo - Don't Have To Be So Sad
  13. Mum - We Have A Map Of The Piano
Oh, and yes, I am aware the above playlist has both Mum and Sigur Ros on it. I couldn't completely exclude them.

Any suggestions for the next one I'm making?


Infinite Playlist - Hornby Ishiguro Mitchell

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Bob Dylan - Live At The MTS Centre

>> Sunday, 2 November 2008

Ok, so. I saw Bob Dylan earlier, and, well, I didn't particularly enjoy myself. The songs were reimagined and essentially unrecognizable, had a disagreeable (to me) rockabilly swagger to them, and sounded the same.

I'm tired and could continue listing reasons why I didn't enjoy myself. But I respect Bob Dylan immensely, and I think it's cool that he's still out there touring...kinda..so I look at it this way: I paid $93 to see the seminal icon up close.

I just wouldn't do it again.


Infinite playlist: Yo La Tengo - Summer Sun

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Don't Get Offended If I Seem Absent Minded

My pal Phil just sent me this gorgeous, intimate video of an ad hoc Bloc Party performance of "This Modern Love" off Silent Alarm.

Basically some guys at a Pub convince lead singer Kele to sing a song outside for just a handful of people, accompanied only by one of BP's guitarists on the acoustic.

Check it out. It is magical.


Bloc Party, 'This Modern Love' - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

***

Bob Dylan tonight! If you wanna see the set lists he's been playing on this tour, you can find them here. I looked which, according to a friend, is the equivalent of finding out all your gifts before Christmas.

Oh well.


Infinite Playlist: The Dears - Missles

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Hottest Bands In Canada

>> Saturday, 1 November 2008

So Matthew over at the indispensable I Heart Music kindly invited me to take part in his annual list of Canada's Hottest Bands this year. I was asked to submit a list of 10 acts whom I deemed had particularly successful 2008s - however I wanted to define that - and include a brief write up.

My list was composed rather extemporaneously since I've been absolutely swamped these past two weeks with school and work; but, overall, I'm happy with it except for one glaring, shameful omission: the ultra-talented Chad VanGaalen. My apologizes to Chad.

Anyways, Matthew has tabulated the results and posted it on his site, and I highly recommend checking it out (thanks to Matthew for the honoured invite).

My list was:

1. Caribou



A Dan Snaith worthy math equation:

A much-deserved Polaris + subsequent media exposure = Increased Popularity / Record Sales.

2. Tokyo Police Club

Few things are more fortuitous for a young career than opening for indie-pop deities Weezer.

3. Basia Bulat

Had she won the Polaris, she’d have been #1. She charmed me to pieces during her opening gig for Final Fantasy round these parts last year and continues to charm other Canadians at a reported exponential rate.

4. Weakerthans

Winnipeg represent! These hyper-literate lads have scored accolade after accolade for Reunion Tour. And they deserve it.

5. Feist

Was a recent clue on Jeopardy (and I got it!) as well as a guest on Sesame Street. Hmm. Maybe she should be #1?

6. Plants and Animals

I’m embarrassed to admit this: my first exposure to these guys was last month when they opened for The Born Ruffians at the Pyramid. I was so impressed I repeatedly exclaimed #7 followed by “are these guys ever good!”

7. Holy Fuck

Should thank the conservative party for the unanticipated exposure. Little did that “progressive” party know, these guys have a great sound.

8. Born Ruffians

I couldn’t tell if more people were at their concert to see Plants & Animals or them, so that hurt their ranking.

9. Ohbijou

Should be higher, but aren’t. Maybe next year.

10. Two Hours Traffic

See #9.

***

The Stills
are opening for Sam Roberts' January 22nd show at the Burt.

Brian Borcherdt is opening for Martha Wainwright next month at the Pyramid.


Infinite Playlist: The Dears - Missiles

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Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. Spooky. Scary

>> Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween Folks!

In my opinion, the song "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah"is the third best Halloween song ever, ranking just below Monster Mash and Thriller.

Oh and if you're wondering who is 'singing', it is none other than the absolutely bonkers Tracy Morgan from 30 Rock. Man, does he crack me up.


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The Water's There To Warm You

>> Monday, 27 October 2008

A star-studded indie show, seasonably titled Jingle Bell Rock 2008, will take place December 15th at the Burton Cummings Theatre, featuring the likes of:


Public sale starts Saturday with tickets around $40. Presale starts tomorrow, but I don't have the password. Anyone got one they could share? (UPDATE: presale password is ALIVE).

Oh, and $1 from each ticket goes to charity. Not sure which one though, so if this is the driving force behind you attending, you'd better do some research.

Star Nayea
is at the Connection Showroom on November 29th. Tix $15 @ Music Trader.


Infinite Playlist: Iron and Wine - The Creek Drank The Cradle

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I'm Not Crying - It's Just Been Raining On My Face

>> Friday, 24 October 2008

Winnipeg's own The Duhks will be playing two shows at the Park Theatre in the new year, on January 9 & 10th. Tix on sale tomorrow.

Obie Trice is at the Pyramid on November 18th.

Library Voices play the Lo Pub on November 20th w/ Haunter.

Honest John is at the Pyramid on November 22nd w/ Hot Live Guys.

The Black Dhalia Murder is at the Albert on December 12 w/ Soilent Green, Misery Index.


Mykael's Infinite Playlist - Flight of the Conchords - S/T

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It's Not A Trick...It's An Illusion

>> Monday, 20 October 2008

Chief Painting Over Silence Correspondent Phil Harris (aka my best friend) has sent me some photos from tonight's Feist show at the MTS Centre adding, "You missed an awesome show" and "She was playful, engaging, and her voice was pitch perfect."


In my defense, I can only attend so many shows. Plus he didn't come to Neil Young/Death Cab with me, so he too missed an awesome show!

Also, a big congrats goes out to our much-loved Weakerthans who cleaned up earlier at the Western Canadian Music Awards, taking home the statues for "Outstanding Independent Album", "Video of the Year" for 'Civil Twilight', and "Songwriters of the Year". The accolades for Reunion Tour keep piling up...take that Pitchfork! (note: they scored it 5.9/10).

And finally some show announcements:

Mt. Royal is headling the Halloween Extravaganza down at the Lo Pub with The Gorgon, Mahogany Frog, and Pinetarts also on the bill. It's a Friday night too which only happens, what, like every six years? Plus cover is only $7.

The Details play there November 7th and 8th.

Toronto's The Bicycles stop by the Lo Pub on November 12th.

Mykael's Infinite Playlist : Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog

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Neil Young w/ Death Cab & Everest - Live At The MTS Centre

>> Friday, 17 October 2008

I didn't bring my camera with me last night, so I have no Neil Young/Death Cab photos. Sorry. If anyone out there has some they could send my way, it'd be greatly appreciated. All I can offer in return is photo credit, which will undoubtedly gain you the respect and admiration of your peers.

Also, I showed up just as Everest were wrapping up their set and don't have much to say about them.

Random Thoughts and Observations During Death Cab:

1. Ben Gibbard's guitar was plagued by technical issues during the first four songs - two of which were on my "wish list" ('The New Year' and "Bixby Canyon Brige') - and that kinda sucked; fortunately, his pristine vocals offered some consolation.

2. Gibbard put forth a surprising amount of energy, even during the slower numbers.

3. No Postal Service songs were touched.

4. A healthy mix from Trans, Plans, and Automobiles (Oops. I mean Narrow Stairs) was played with the peppy "Sound of Settling" and the epic "Transatlanticisim" leaving an indelible impression on me. Oh, and my wish list ended up a dismal two-for-eleven on the night.

5. Being surrounded by 10, 000 people clearly indifferent to the band I was essentially there to see was a historical first...and a tad surreal. The man sitting next to me didn't look at the stage once during their performance while the couple in front of me politely listened to one song, deemed it dross, then left for the remainder of Death Cab. It all makes sense though, so I'm not surprised nor offended - this was a Neil Young crowd, true and true.

Random Thoughts and Observations During Neil Young:

1. At 62, Neil Young is still fucking awesome - lively, piquant, and clearly passionate.

2. Sploosh! During NY's first song, a hapless group of people 15 seats over received an untimely beer shower, putting a sort of literal damper on their evening. Poor folks.

3. In my section (120), five rows down from my seat, a classic battle between The Standers and The Seaters raged, with the defiant, youthful Standers refusing to yield ground to the ornery, aging Seaters. Strategems employed by the Seaters included: forcefully tapping shoulders followed by upturned palms and a "c'mon!"; tossing rubbish at the backs of The Standers; and, finally, complaining to the usher. This final tactic resulted in security being called, a rather large man who judicially listened to both sides before ruling in favour of The Standers.

4. You could always tell when NY was playing new material - a flurry of people would rush to the bathroom and/or reload their alcohol.

5. The Beatles cover as the lone encore was a pleasant surprise.

6. At 62, Neil Young is still fucking awesome - lively, piquant, and clearly passionate.

Oh yeah, I already wrote that.

Infinite Playlist - None

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