Canada Day Happenings

>> Sunday, 29 June 2008

Afternoon All!

So, wowzers!, there's a ton of great music taking place in these parts on Canada Day, so I thought I'd do a run down of some of the key ones.

1. At The Albert - Headlights, a Chicago-based band who specialize in friendly pop tunes along the lines of Stars and Death Cab. Tix $7 @ Music Trader. Doors: 9 p.m. (side note: this is where I'll be at night, and I find it rather ominous that neither the band's site nor MySpace page lists a stop in Winnipeg).

At The Park Theatre - Jose Gonzalez, a Swedish-based folk singer-songwriter. Tix $20 @ Music Trader. Doors: 7 p.m.

At The Garrick - Drive By Truckers, a Georgia-based (US) rock band who recently soared up the Billboard Rock Charts (peaking at #37). Tix $27 @ Music Trader. Doors: 7 p.m.

4. On Osborne Street - The (Diverse) Music Trader Stage featuring: The Black Aces, The Waking Eyes, The After Life, Weatherman Underground, The Ex-Girlfriends, Electro Quarterstaff, The Gorgon, and Vitaminsforyou. Admission is free. Shows take place all day, starting at I don't know when, but it's probably safe to meander on down 'round 2. Photo: Vitaminsforyou

5. At The Forks - Starting at 2:45, The Scotiabank Stage has local acts teaming up with high school acts : The Gorgon w/ Contrabande, The Angry Dragons w/ Rocket Circus, Boats! w/ Thrive, Quinzy w/ The Playing Cards, and The Nods w/ Kobalt. Admission is free. Photo: Boats!

Current rotation: MGMT - Oracular Spectacular


To Minneapolis...And Beyond!

>> Thursday, 26 June 2008

Evenin' All.

So this summer I've had the unfortunate pleasure of living vicariously through friends as they traveled the globe to see bands I love (or who now reside in a city all bands include in their itinerary). So far this summer I've 'experienced':

1. A Toronto-Based friend checking out The Cure
2. My girlfriend hitting Rilo Kiley in New York
3. An ocean-crossing friend seeing Radiohead in Spain

And as for me, well, I worked, which is respectable...I guess.

However, earlier I decided to do something about this by scoring tickets to Sigur Ros's September 25th show in Magical Minneapolis, USA. It's been almost a year-and-a-half since I've ventured out to see a show and I gotta tell ya, it's a pleasure to be back in the club.

Let the three month countdown commence!


Another entry to the patent-pending
Super-Fun All-Star Sunshine Music Review

Artist: El Guincho
Album: Alegranza!

(above: album cover)

My one sentence review: "Buy this album or steal it (if you're that kind of person) and you'll be happily dancing around to this contagious Animal Collective-ish tropical-pop....just like me"

Current rotation: El Guincho - Alegranza! / Sigur Ros - New One


The Youth Are Starting To Change

>> Wednesday, 25 June 2008

From the "I Had No Idea They Still Exist File": early 90s alternative rockers Blind Melon, armed with new lead singer Travis Warren, are playing Silverado's on September 29th. I suspect he'll sound similar to Shannon Hoon, but I can't say for sure.

Hard to believe the massive phenomenon that was "No Rain" occurred 16 years ago...

Also guitar legend Joe Satriani will be shreddin' it up at The Burt on October 6th. I'm sure that'll be a helluva show.

It's time for three more entries to the patent-pending
Super-Fun All-Star Sunshine Music Review

Arist: Sigur Ros
Album: með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

My one (compound) sentence review: "It's like the collective members of Sigur Ros had this sudden epiphany: "we've essentially perfected the orchestral space-rock sound - let's change it up with some stripped-down, accessible pop least for half an album."

Artist: Foals
Album: Antidotes

My one (compound) sentence review: "A near e-e-e feeling pattern emerged in me upon listening to these 14 alt-rock tracks: excitement, excitement, ennui, excitement, excitement, ennui, etc. - still, three dull, directionless songs ain't bad."

Artist: MGMT
Album: Oracular Spectacular

My one (compound) sentence review: "Album opener "Time To Pretend" is quite possibly my favourite song of the year and must be played in a continuous loop; the remaining numbers, well, they lack the refreshing, Mint Julep-ish feel of track one."

Current rotation: Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People


New CD Releases - July Edition

>> Monday, 23 June 2008

Mornin' Folks!

Another month has bullet-trained on by, meaning it's time, once again, for my list of noteable upcoming July releases in the world of indie (local, national, and international), and some others too. Highlights include: Beck, Albert Hammond Jr., The Hold Steady, The Telepathic Butterflies (local), and, of course, Sigur Ros (tomorrow).

So since there's still a week left in June, let's start there:

June 24
Electric President - Sleep Well
Sigur Ros - með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

July 8
Albert Hammond Jr. (of The Strokes) - Como Te Llama
Beck - Modern Guilt
The Melvins - Nude With Boots
Ron Sexsmith - Exit Strategy of the Soul
The Telepathic Butterflies - Breakfast In Suburbia

July 11
Patti Smith - The Coral Sea (Live disc with MBV's Kevin Shields)

July 15
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive

July 22
CSS - Donkey
NIN - The Slip

Feel free to email/comment if I made an error or missed something.

Current rotation - MGMT - Oracular Spectacular


Congratulations To The Winnipeg Jets On Winning The Stanley Cup

>> Saturday, 21 June 2008

So said Stars' frontman Torquil Campbell last night during the band's set at the Pantages Playhouse, their second visit to the Peg in seven months. Torq seems to get a kick out of us not having an NHL team anymore (he's mentioned this before), and I suppose if I hailed from a city (Montreal) home to an always entertaining and competitive hockey team, I'd gleefully rile up concert attendees from a city who overly lament the loss of their beloved NHL team. For the record, Torq did say it was a "fucking joke" we no longer have a team, so deep down, he's really on our side. Amen, brother.

Anyways, the Advocates Of Love played a palatable, hour-and-a-half long set of their unique brand of romantic pop, including crowd favourites "Elevator Love Letter", "Your Ex-Love Is Dead", showing off the cute boy/girl vocal exchanges that make their sound so refreshing. During the encore they even played their wonderful cover of The Smiths' "This Charming Man", a number I've never heard them do live previously.

Our seats were astonishingly good (second row, center) until Torq demanded everyone rush the front, so we (Kelsey, my girlfriend; Phil, one of my best pals) were instantly surrounded by hot, sweaty bodies who ruined any chance I had at snapping a pic of all six band members (I had to shoot above heads).

While I didn't enjoy them as much as in November, probably because the set was so similar, I'm still glad I went. However, they'll need to release a new record before I see them again.

Anyone else there?

Current rotation: The Netherland/Russia Euro 2008


Seeing Stars

>> Friday, 20 June 2008

Local inhabitants The Telepathic Butterflies are releasing their newest cd at the Albert on July 4th.

I'm off to Stars at the Pantages in a few hours. Profound thoughts, observant questions, and aesthetically-pleasing pictures tomorrow (hopefully).

Current rotation: M.I.A. - Kala


We Love You Elton

>> Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Tickets for Elton John's September 19th show at the MTS Centre sold faster than hot cakes (side note: what are hot cakes?), so the Rocket Man decided to add another show for his faithful Winnipeg fans: September 20th.

Take note Coldplay.

Also Seether - a band whose name always inspires me to gleefully sing the line "Can't Fight The Seether" - are playing the Burton Cummings Theatre on August 15th. Presale password is CONCERT. Ingenious!

Man, I'm really in the mood for some Veruca Salt now.

Current rotation: Veruca Salt's "Seether"


Bad - No Wait, Good - News Pornos Fans

>> Monday, 16 June 2008

A few hours ago, after seeing CANCELLED next to the Winnipeg date on the New Pornos MySpace page, I wrote:

For the second time in under a year, The New Pornographers have cancelled a Winnipeg date, this time bailing on their Jazz Festival gig at the Pantages on the 24th.
I've seen The Pornos twice, so I can commiserate with anyone who bought tickets.

My advice: hit Stars this Friday instead. Guaranteed stamp-of-approval good time.

Apparently that was an error on their administrator's part, because CANCELLED is no longer next to the Winnipeg date. So...good news Pornos fans! Thanks to Nick for the heads up.

Still check out Stars though.

Since then I discovered a very cool concert addendum: Folk-rocker Hayden is the opening act for Feist's MTS Centre show in October.

Current rotation: The Boy Least Likely To - The Best Party Ever


But It Doesn't Have To Happen Again

>> Saturday, 14 June 2008

It's no secret that ever since circa 2001 I've been a Sigur Ros fanatic, and, since then, my unwavering enthusiasm toward this talented Icelandic quartet has ceased to abate. So, whenever this band releases a new record, I am overstimulated to the point of ecstasy, AND when the band allows music-lovers to stream the new album for a nominal fee (FREE), I figure I gotta share it with my blog readers. So, if you wanna hear SR's brand-spanking new long player með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust in advance, click here.

It's astonishingly different, yet solid stuff.

Star of The Wedding Singer himself Billy Idol is opening for Def Leppard on August 13th. That's awesome.

Finntroll is at the Garrick on Sept 1st.

Fred Eaglesmith is at the Park Theatre, Winnipeg's newest and coolest venue, on August 7th.

Current rotation: Sigur Ros - með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust


All Of This Has Happened Before

>> Friday, 13 June 2008

Ahoy Mateys!

A few happenings to report:

The Parlor Mob is at the Albert on July 2nd.

Gob is at the Zoo on August 8th. Remember when MuchMusic used to play "Soda" all the time, back in the day when MM used to air music videos? Ah, sweet memories...

Australian-rockers Airbourne have graduated from the West End to the Garrick in less than ten months, playing a show there on August 27th. Although, currently the West End isn't an option, but that's a moot point.

The Handsome Furs are at the Albert on August 13th.

Current rotation: Foals - Antidotes


Sir Elton

>> Wednesday, 11 June 2008

I got good news and bad.

Let's go with the bad first.

In a shocking "Fuck You Winnipeg" move, Coldplay have cancelled their August 1st MTS Centre gig, citing "production delays." To be fair, they bailed on Edmonton, Calgary and a bunch of other cities too. Perhaps they'll reschedule, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

However, the good news is.

The Rocket Man himself Sir Elton John is playing the MTS Centre on September 19th. I'll be really surprised if he cancels - he's veritably too cool for that.


Slow News Days

>> Monday, 9 June 2008

Hey Rosetta! is at the Albert on June 28th.

Current rotation: Foals - Antidotes


You Said The Music Was Great For Dancing

>> Friday, 6 June 2008

There are some acclaimed, diverse artists playing The Pyramid this month during Jazz Fest:

20th: Thunderheist.

21st: Juno nominee Divine Brown.

22nd: The Grande Mothers.

23rd: The National Parcs w/ Devlin & Darko.

24th: The Coup.

25th: Alice Russell.

And, as previously reported, the 26th features Shout out out out out with vitaminsforyou.

Current rotation: Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out


Islands - Technically The Last Waltz At The West End

>> Thursday, 5 June 2008

I caught Montreal's Islands earlier tonight at the West End - the final show marking the end of this chapter for the beloved venue.

Exit Islands. Enter Construction.

Anyways, my experience is best explained through dialogue exchanged between me and my friend Whitney, dialogue being a highly underrated form of blog writing:

2/3s into the set
*buzzing in the crowd*
Mykael: There's a lot of talking going on.
Whitney: Maybe they're bored.
Me: Are you?
Whitney: Well, it's repetitive.
Me: Yeah, me too.

Things didn't really improve from there. We left after the first song in the encore and for all I know, they could still be finishing off that rather uninspired showcase of weird, melancholic pop.

Leaving bad shows before they finish. Good times. Should've thought of this years ago.

Current rotation: Mum - Finally We Are No One


And It Was All Yellow

>> Wednesday, 4 June 2008

So according to, Coldplay tickets go on sale to the general public next Thursday at 10. If you're a member of Best Buy's "Reward Zone" you can get a presale code and be able to buy tickets at the same time, which is really confusing. I guess a section of the MTS Centre has been reserved for Best Buy club members, so the tickets'll be better or worse (but guaranteed).

I'm still debating whether I should go.

Novillero will be opening for the New Pornos on June 24th. C'mon Novillero, where's that new record?

The Details are slated to open for Stars on June 20th.

Sheryl Crow is at the MTS Centre on September 27th. Taxicab confession: I used to (and still do I guess, although I haven't heard it in years) like "If It Makes You Happy".

Go Pittsburgh!

Current rotation: Novillero - Aim For Holes In Their Lives


Sonic Water

>> Monday, 2 June 2008

Swedish indie-folker / Zero 7 collaborator Jose Gonzalez is actually playing two nights at the Park Theatre: one July 1st, another the day after. Check out his list of tour dates: No Toronto, No Vancouver, but peculiarly two peg dates...

Should be a great way to spend Canada Day though; however, I'll likely be at Headlights.

Jucifer is at the Albert with Zoroaster on August 12th.

Current rotation: HNIC


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