My Fav Shows Of 2009

>> Wednesday, 30 December 2009

28 concerts this year!

Not bad for a guy who watches a lot of TV.

Attending most of the 28 shows was, admittedly, a no-brainer. Too many great bands dropped by this year, many playing Winnipeg for the first time. Renowned indie heavyweights TV on the Radio, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party all swung by the Burt. The revamped West End opened to gushing approval and hosted the likes of The Hold Steady, The Dears, Sunset Rubdown, and Final Fantasy (for a pair of nights.) Icelandic moodscapers múm paid their first visit to New Iceland. Plus, music lovers all across town packed venues to see the late-great Vic Chesnutt, Metric, The Weakerthans, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and The Sea and Cake.

Then there's the parade of up-and-comers like Japandroids, Ohbijou!, Lioness, and Grand Analog who dazzled small crowds at the Lo, the Pyramid, etc.

Unfortunately, for the first time in four years, I didn't get a chance to catch a show in magical Minneapolis, although, for the record, I intended to check out The National @ First Avenue in the summer but the date clashed with a good friend's wedding rehearsal. He wouldn't have forgiven me. Still, I considered going.

Fortunately, I flew to Toronto and saw three amazing shows in four nights: Flight of the Conchords, Ladyhawke, and Peter Bjorn and John.

And let's not forget the impossibly great Folk Fest lineup.

My Five:

1. Peter Bjorn and John w/ Chairlift
Venue: Phoenix Concert Theatre
Location: Toronto
Cost: ~$26
Date: April 25

A succinct 75-minutes of blissful pop performed by three Swedes oozing charisma and stage presence. The encore was the most sublime music experience this year: an extended version of "Up Against The Wall" that morphed into Joy Division's legendary "Transmission."


2. TV on the Radio w/ Dirty Projectors
Venue: The Burton Cummings Theatre
Location: Winnipeg
Cost: ~$35
Date: May 30

Again, a short, 75-minute show. Again, frontman Tunde Adebimpe exuded charisma and stage presence. Perhaps a trend is emerging here? As a bonus, I got to see rising stars Dirty Projectors before they went supernova.

3. Flight of the Conchords w/ Eugene Mirmam (the landlord on the show)
Venue: Massey Hall
Location: Toronto
Cost: ~$62
Date: April 22

Spontaneity was the special-of-the-day here. The hilarious boys from New Zealand noticed anyone who left, hit the bathroom, or, in the case of one very embarrassed gentleman, recording the show. All were subjected to impromptu and witty remarks. This show really made me appreciate the second season tunes, songs I was lukewarm to upon first hearing.


4. múm
Venue: The Pyramid
Location: Winnipeg
Date: October 30
Cost: ~$20

An evening of firsts. First time Iceland's third-greatest-musical-export played New Iceland (aka Winnipeg.) First time I have ever attended a show at the Pyramid that ended by 10:30. On a weekend to boot.


5. Final Fantasy w/ Timber Timbre
Venue: The West End Cultural Centre
Location: Winnipeg
Cost: ~$20
Date: October 2

My fourth time seeing the-artist-formerly-known-as Final Fantasy. He continued his amazing streak of bringing along ridiculously talented openers.

Honourable Mentions (in no order):

Plants & Animals @ The Park Theatre
Sunset Rubdown @ The WECC
Cut Off Your Hands @ The Albert
Iron & Wine, Josh Ritter, Neko Case et alia @ The Winnipeg Folk Festival
Bloc Party @ The Burt
Grand Analog @ The Pyramid

What were some of your favourite concert adventures this year?

Infinite Playlist: Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3

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My Fav Tracks Of 2K9

>> Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Phew! That was exhausting!

I spent the better part of my afternoon scouring the 2009 ranks, trying to cobble together my all-star-song team of 2K9, part of my lifelong goal (that I started two years back...sadly) of composing a best-of cd at the end of every year. Then, returning years, perhaps decades, later and seeing which were timeless and which were relatively ephemeral.

I just finished crossing the t's and dotting the lowercase j's on this year's choice cuts, so, without further rambling, here are my favourite tracks, in playlist order.

1. Ohbijou – Intro To Season
2. Neon Indian – Deadbeat Summer
3. Au Revoir Simone – Anywhere You Looked
4. Phoenix – Fences
5. The xx – VCR
6. The Rural Alberta Advantage – The Air
7. Kings of Convenience – Mrs. Cold
8. Volcano Choir – Island, Is
9. The Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is The Move
10. Delorean – Deli
11. Japandroids – Sovereignty
12. Jay-Z – Empire State Of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys)
13. Sunset Rubdown – Idiot Heart
14. Timber Timbre – Until The Night Is Over
15. Junior Boys – Dull To Pause
16. YACHT – Ring the Bell
17. Neko Case – This Tornado Loves You
18. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Soft Shock
19. The National – So Far Round The Bend

What were some of your best-loved tracks of the past 365?

Infinite Playlist: See Above!

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Making Tough Choices - My Personal Top Ten

>> Thursday, 24 December 2009

1. The xx – The xx

The xx deserve the deafening buzz bestowed upon them by the zines this year. Ironic considering they’re such a quiet, introspective and minimalist pop band.



2. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is a treasure chest spilling over with delectable pop gems. Thought long and hard about whether this should be my #1.



3. Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns

With smart, observant lyrics, wistful tones and overall very solid song construction, the RRA is a band who’ve clearly listened to their fare share of Neutral Milk Hotel tunes. See them live at the West End in February (we'll have a beer together)!



4. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

Dragonslayer is easily the most accessible Sunset Rubdown offering to date, yet is still a challenging and rewarding set of musical suites.

5. Japandroids - Post-Nothing

It’s amazing what you can still do with the economic drums-n-guitar setup.

6. Volcano Choir - Unmap

For the second year in a row, a Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) joint makes my best-of list.



7. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

After being lukewarm to their opening set for TV on the Radio back in May, Bitte Orca surprised me with its impossibly successful marriage of art-rock eccentricities to warm glee club harmonies. “Stillness is the move” is brilliant.

8. Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs

The grandparents of the indie scene still know their way around a song.

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!

For the longest time, I thought this record was called “It’s Bliss!” since, well, it comes pretty damn close.

10. Timber Timbre – Timber Timbre

Expect great things from this singularly talented singer-songwriter and his spooky, alluring voice.


Special Jury Prize aka Honourable Mentions:
Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms
Still Life Still - Girls Come Too
Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light
Dan Mangan - Nice, Nice, Very Nice

Favourite EP:
Delorean - Aryton Senna EP
Favourite Local Release:
Todd Hunter - Star

***
On Boxing Day, Haunter, The Angry Dragons and Mike B. help The Lo Pub celebrate its 2nd anniversary.

Jenn Grant is at the Park Theatre on February 9th.

Still to come: my favourite songs and shows of this decade-ending year.

Infinite Playlist: Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light

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The Best Albums Of 2K9 - As Voted By Painting Over Silence Readers

>> Tuesday, 22 December 2009

First, thanks to everyone who sent in lists this year. Like in 2008, I had an unhealthy amount of fun compiling the results and discovering many new and stellar sounds.

Second, the ten records listed below were chosen by readers only and does not include my person picks. That'll come tomorrow. I hope.

Third, despite appearing in the most lists, Phoenix did not receive a single first nor second place vote; the lovely and massively-voiced Ms. Case, however, received three first placers for Middle Cyclone while actually appearing in one less list than the pop wizards from France's contagious offering.

Without further delay, I present the top ten album of 2K9...as voted by Painting Over Silence Readers.


1. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone



2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix



3. Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels



4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
5. The Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
6. Wilco - Wilco(The Album)
7. Patrick Watson - Wooden Arms
8. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
9. Metric - Fantasies
10. The xx - The xx


****
Honourable Mentions (in no order):

Bahamas - Pink Strat
Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young
Passion Pit - Manners
The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
Tortoise - Beacons of Ancestorship
Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Last words: while I'm not publishing individual lists, please feel free to post your list in the comments and boast vehemently about your picks.

Hope to hear from all of you again (and more!) next year!

Infinite Playlist: Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels

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Work Parties

>> Thursday, 17 December 2009

Solo Wu-Tang Clan members continue to give props to their Winnipeg fans. Raekwon will brave the arctic elements for a February 10th set at the Pyramid.

Bobby Birdman opens for YACHT ‘s February 25th gig at the Pyramid.

Ring in the new year December 31st with SubCity (nee SubCity Dwellers) at the Albert.

Sonata Arctica rock The West End on April 13th.

The Paperbacks cd release party update: the local favs will be performing all 32 songs off their brand new ambitious double cd, Lit From Within. No word on what they'll do for an encore.

Whilst on the topics of bands performing albums in their entirety…seasoned Canadian rockers Our Lady Peace have booked a two-night stay at the Burt from April 30th to May 1st. April 30th promises to see OLP play Clumsy all the way through, while May 1st (my birthday!) sees them play Spiritual Machines. Sorry Naveed lovers!

And finally, a reminder: please send in your top ten records of 2k9 list if you haven't yet. I've received several already, so the Painting Over Silence 2k9 readers' poll is shaping up beautifully. Thanks to everyone who has already emailed me one!

Infinite Playlist: Silence

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My Twenty Favourite Albums Of The Decade

>> Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Replaying these records over the past few days confirmed it: my ears had a ridiculously great decade.

1. Sigur Rós - Ágætis byrjun

Sigur Rós - Svefn-G-Englar from Sigur Rós on Vimeo.

Ágætis byrjun is an aural masterpiece.

The unedited version of the stunning “Svefn-g-englar” video featured several insightful quotes about music (not in above vid...sorry). These included Henry Miller’s “In the end I think of music as saving grace for all humanity,” and Leopold Stokowski’s “A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.”

Stokowski's quote was the source for my blog title.

2. RadioheadKid A

Challenging, subversive, pioneering, sublime, essential….the parade of important adjectives is endless. My favourite Radiohead release to date.

3. Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
4. WilcoYankee Hotel Foxtrot
5. Iron & WineThe Creek Drank the Cradle
6. Broken Social SceneYou Forgot It in People
7. The NationalBoxer

Fake Empire - The National from Scott Cudmore on Vimeo.

8. The Arcade FireFuneral
9. M83Saturdays = Youth
10. Postal ServiceGive Up



11. múmFinally We Are No One
12. The StrokesIs This It?
13. The BooksThe Lemon of Pink
14. Kanye WestGraduation
15. RoyksoppMelody A.M.

Poor Leno from Röyksopp on Vimeo.

16. Kings of ConvenienceQuiet is the New Loud
17. InterpolTurn on the Bright Lights
18. SparklehorseIt’s a Wonderful Life
19. Flaming LipsYoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
20. Modest MouseThe Moon & Antarctica

Honourable Shout-Outs

CalifoneHeron King Blues
TV on the RadioReturn to Cookie Mountain
Peter Bjorn and JohnWriter’s Block
ManitobaStart Breaking My Heart
PinbackS/T
Bloc PartySilent Alarm
Vampire WeekendS/T
StarsHeart
Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
The XX
S/T

What are some of your favourite albums from the past ten years?

Infinite Playlist: Royksopp – Melody A.M.

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On Luxurious Boats

>> Thursday, 10 December 2009

Ah, summer ’09.

Experiencing the impossibly great Folk Fest lineup; installing then rarely using an air conditioner; consuming almost all of David Sedaris’s library; grooving along to YACHT’s See Mystery Lights and declaring it my official summer ’09 record.

Much to my tired (and cold) delight this morning, I learned the talented dance-pop duo will be projecting the unbridled warmth that is See Mystery Lights to any eager ears at the Pyramid on February 25th.

Unfortunately, that’s the same night as Basia Bulat.

Fortunately, if the Pyramid’s history is any sort of indication, YACHT won’t hit the stage ‘till past midnight, making it entirely possibly to attend both shows. I’m sure going to try.

Infinite Playlist: Kings of Convenience - Declaration Of Dependence

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Painting Over Silence Blog Readers' Poll - 2K9 Edition

>> Wednesday, 2 December 2009

About that time again, Folks.

To quote French popsters Phoenix, it's "Listz-o-mania!" Well, list-makin'-o-mania anyway.

Time for yours truly to start searching and listening through the intimidating number of 2009 releases I've accumulated over the past 365 or so, and whittle down the records into a nice, tidy, and easy-on-the-eyes "Top Ten Records of 2K9 List". And then pen a few comments about why I loved each pick.

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

Email me, by December 19, a list of your favourite records released between January 1, 2009 and now. I will compile all the results and, on December 21st, publish the "Top 10 Albums of the Year…as Voted by Painting Over Silence Blog Readers."

For last year's results, click here.

A few things:

1. I realize not everyone will have ten favourite records released in 2009. That’s okay. The minimum criteria is one and the maximum is ten. So, if Phoenix’s dulcet guitar pop record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is the only album you really liked this year, please email me and let me know.

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 aim for brevity - a sentence or two. For example, say you loved Volcano Choir’s Unmap. Your comment could succinct “Explosive and beautiful” or longer “I played this album in an eternal loop for a month…and I’m still not sick of it”. Write-ups are optional. If you just want to submit a list, that’s cool with me.

4. If you do write a comment about an album AND it 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 (or Anon for short).

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

6. EPs may be included.

7. No re-released/re-mastered/re-packaged/re-imagined albums.

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

Happy list constructin’ !

Infinite Playlist: A Stereolab Marathon - Transisent Noise/Mars Audiac/Emperor Tomato/Dots and Loops/Sound Dust/Margarine Eclipse/Chemical Chords

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Almost A Week Now!

>> Tuesday, 1 December 2009

First off, some great news: The Winnipeg Folk Festival is officially a big, fat five-day affair from now on, so budget your 2010 holidays accordingly. Top on my personal 2010 FF wish list: Kings of Convenience. Hey, it could happen - Iron & Wine came last year!

Hometown heroes The Paperbacks are launching their third full-length LP, Lit From Within, at the West End on January 23rd.

Hot Live Guys are bidding adieu to the music world with a final gig at the Albert on December 23rd. American Flamewhip, Hot Blood Bombers, and Ditchpig also comprise the bill.

On December 20th, Have Yrself A Grumpy Little Christmas with Boats!, The Western States, and True Hussars at the West End.

Attack in Black open for Julie Doiron at the Albert on January 18th.

Monotonix bring their killer live show to the Pyramid on January 16th w/ Lucid.

Down With Webster
and Inward Eye play there on January 27th.

Infinte Playlist: Handsome Furs - Face Control

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Anywhere You Looked Was Right

>> Wednesday, 25 November 2009

White-hot Canadian folk-rock outlet The Rural Alberta Advantage (the cheerful trio in the above photo) swoop into the West End on February 9th w/ The Wooden Sky. I'm pretty keyed up about this one!

Glen Matlock (of the Sex Pistols!) is performing an acoustic/dj set at the Pyramid on December 10th.

Local label Deafwish Records is turning 5 years old this week. To commemorate the big date, a mega-party is being held at the Ozzy's this Saturday featuring Ultra Mega, Kill Katie, Employee OTM, Blackout Brigade and DJ Liar. Tix are a scant $7.

And whilst on the subject of local talent, Moses Mayes will be at the Pyramid on December 28th.

Plus, Winnipeg's own the Waking Eyes rock the same joint the night after.

Switchfoot play the Garrick on January 18th.

And finally a show waaaaaaaaay into the future. Blues-rock legend George Thorogood will be at the Centennial Concert Hall on May 22nd.

Infinite Playlist: Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light

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11 Questions With...You Say Party! We Say Die!

>> Saturday, 21 November 2009


The exclamation-loving dance-punk troupe You Say Party! We Say Die! will be at the Albert on Wednesday night promoting their latest stunner XXXX. Little Girls kicks off the party.

I’ve got a pair of YSP!WSD!’s latest disc for giveaway to anyone interested. Entering is business as usual: flip me an email (on the side) by Friday @ noon with “You Say Party! We Say Die! CD Giveaway” in the subject line, your name in the body, and I’ll draw the winner randomly. As a nice little bonus, the disc also comes with a 14-song Paper Bag Records Sampler download card featuring Slim Twig, Sally Shapiro, The Acorn, Montag, Little Girls, Laura Barrett and a whole bunch of other wickedly talented folks.

In addition, I scored an 11 Questions interview with YSP! WSD!’s guitarist Derek Adam. Topics discussed included: Simpsons v. Family Guy v. South Park; Adam’s pick for album-of-the-year (so far); and the one piece of equipment absolutely invaluable to their live show.

1. Where are you right now?

in my bedroom.

2. Where is your favourite place in Canada to play a gig?

probably the royal albert, winnipeg. cobalt east!

3. What’s one piece of equipment absolutely essential to your live show?

becky's voice!

4. What are your top three, all-time, desert-island records?

ramones "leave home", sonic youth "daydream nation", SNFU "if you swear, you'll catch no fish"

5. What’s your pick for album-of-the-year so far?

"still night, still light" by au revoir simone, or "pale blue dot" by vicious cycle

6. What was the last great concert you saw?

youth brigade/bouncing souls at the rickshaw, vancouver. shawn stern for president of the world!!!

7. Who is one producer, alive or dead, that you’d just love to work with?

steve albini.

8. Simpsons, South Park, or Family Guy?

all-time? simpsons. currently? south park. family guy doesn't do it for me.

9. What is your favourite “Flight of the Conchords” song?

i haven't watched it enough to know... it was an ok show. don't really like musicals though, and it's kind of a musical.

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

the internet!

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

donnie for sure! or mike. raph and leo were too high strung. casey jones was pretty cool..

Infinite Playlist: The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns

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You Can Be My Bonaparte

>> Wednesday, 18 November 2009


The good and generous folk over at Vapor Records/1888 Media sent along some solid Jets Overhead and Vic Chesnutt merchandise for giveaway exclusively to readers of Painting Over Silence.

Jets Overhead
are Juno-nominated indie-rockers from Victoria who’ll be in Winnipeg tomorrow night as the opening act for synthpopper Lights at the Garrick.

The ragged-voiced, treasured singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt drops by the West End Friday night and will be joined onstage by his all-star band: Guy Picciotto from Fugazi, and members of Thee Silver Mount Zion, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Witchies. Plus, Winnipeg’s favourite roots-rockers Nathan open!

Jets Overhead Giveaway:

#1 A copy of Jets Overhead’s latest cd, No Nations + a black t-shirt (small)
#2 A copy of Jets Overhead’s latest cd, No Nations

Vic Chesnutt Giveaway:

#3 A copy of Vic Chesnutt's brand new disc, Skitter on Take-off
#4 Same as #3

To enter, flip me an email (on the side) by Monday @ noon with “Jets Overhead/Vic Chesnutt Giveaway” in the subject line and please include you name in the body of the email. Also, be sure to indicate which giveaways you’re entering (all, #s 2-4, etc.). You can win one giveaway from each artist, so ideally two prizes can be won here if you're lucky. I’ll draw the winners randomly.

Infinite Playlist: Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That

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The First Time I Sang Out Loud All Through The Night

>> Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The highly productive Hawksley Workman will be out-and-about promoting two new records in the new year. His extensive cross-Canada jaunt includes a pit stop at the Burt on March 20th and presale is currently underway for this show. I think the code is workman.

The lovely and talented Basia Bulat will also be round these fine parts in the new year – she’ll be at the incomparable West End on February 25th. I’ll definitely hit this unless, natch, there is a men’s Olympic hockey game that night.

Also at the West End in the new year is Geoff Berner and Rae Spoon on January 30th.

And C.R. Avery drops by the WECC on February 15th.

Sunparlour Players play the Folk Exchange on December 6th.

Motley Crue return to the MTS Centre on January 29th.

Behemoth will blow the freshly minted roof off the West End on January 24th; Shining and Septic Flesh will aid and abet.

Veteran pop-rockers Sloan swing by the Pyramid on December 9th.

And finally, ex-Eric’s-Tripper Julie Doiron is at the Albert on January 18th.

Infinite Playlist: Silence

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Ohbijou - Live At The Lo Pub

>> Sunday, 15 November 2009


I'm in the middle of a whole slew of pressing things, so this'll be a quickie.

Swung by the friendly neighbourhood Lo Pub on Friday to catch twee pop treasures, Ohbijou. The place was packed to the rafters and the band didn't disappoint, busting through an hour long set of winsome and winning tunes. I will definitely check out the talented sextet again next time they roll through town.

Sammy Bananas is at the Pyramid on December 11th.

Swollen Members drop by the same joint on November 21st.

John Mayer is at the MTS Centre on April 7th w/ Michael Franti.

Infinite Playlist: Delorean - Ayrton Senna EP

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Like A Balloon With A Grenade In It

>> Thursday, 12 November 2009

Delectable popsters Ohbijou (who, as Tracy Jordan would say, are "blowing up like a balloon with a grenade in it") are at the Lo tomorrow night for what should be a tuneful evening in the Peg.

Songstresses DALA stop by the West End on January 21st.

Local pop-rockers The Perms play the Cavern on December 11th.

Ottawa's Silver Creek swing by the Standard on November 27th.

Jon and Roy are booked as the opening act for Cat Empire's November 24th gig at the Garrick.

The 5th annual Quinzmas, featuring resident favs Quinzy, of course, takes place on December 11th and 12th at the WECC.

Singer-songwriter James Keelaghan is there on January 29th.

David Francey pops by the WECC on February 23rd.

Tim Sparks and Phil Heywood will materialize April 21st at the WECC.

John Mann's November 21st show at the WECC has been canceled.

And finally, the delightful Amelia Curran kick-starts both Skydiggers' shows this weekend at the WECC.

Infinite Playlist: Stars - Heart

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11 Questions With...Matthew de Zoete

>> Monday, 9 November 2009


Rising folk-pop star Matthew de Zoete is paying a visit to our mighty fine city on Sunday, November 15th. Performing at the Edge Gallery with localite Katie Murphy, de Zoete will showcase his warm and breezy and very alluring tunes off Bottom of the World, his second Long Player.

I asked 11 Qs to de Zoete and he cheerfully provided 11 A’s. Topics mentioned: his pick for album-of-the-year (Al Tuck’s Food for the Moon); the instrumental essential to his live show (a Rickenbacker 360V64) and the team he thinks is going to take home Lord Stanley’s Cup this year (Detroit Red Wings).

After losing handily to the Leafs on national tv Saturday night (the Leafs!), I’m not so sure the Wings’ll make it to the big dance this year. But it’s a loooong season…

1. Where are you right now?

At the computer in the living room of my house. There's a fire in the wood stove, and a cat sleeping on the chair - so i can't complain.

2. Where is your favourite place in Canada to play a gig?

I'd have to say Halifax as the drive out there is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the shows are always good.

3. What’s one piece of equipment absolutely essential to your live show?

My Rickenbacker 360V64. I like that guitar.

4. What are your top three, all-time, desert-island records?

The Kinks - The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society
Otis Redding - The Immortal Otis Redding
The Who - Live at Leeds

5. What’s your pick for album-of-the-year so far?

Al Tuck Food for the Moon

6. What was the last great concert you saw?

Bidiniband (Dave Bidini), June 11, 2009, at the Casbah Lounge in Hamilton, ON.

7. Who is one producer, alive or dead, that you’d just love to work with?

David Bowie. Oh man, the aforementioned cat just barfed on the chair and the floor. Maybe she doesn't like Bowie.

8. Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart?

Jon Stewart

9. Which team is going to win the Stanley Cup this year?

The Detroit Red Wings. I've been a fan since my Dad immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1957 and picked them as his team, so I don't have much choice.

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

The Wayfinders by Wade Davis and Wild Blue by Dan Bortolotti (a natural history of blue whales).

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

Michelangelo. When we'd play with our actions figures, I was always Michelangelo while my older brother was always Leonardo.

***

Infinite Playlist: Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day

Read more...

Watch Things on VCRs, With Me


As noted many many weeks back, Champion (aka DJ Champion) & His G-Strings are rolling through these unseasonably warm parts on Saturday for a gig at the Pyramid. The good folk over at Maple Music have sent along some cds for giveaway plus a spot on the guest list (+1) for Saturday night’s sure-to-be-killer performance.

Prize #1 – A copy of Champion’s Resistance cd AND a spot on the guest list (+1)

Prize #2 – A copy of Champion’s Resistance cd

To enter, shoot me a quick email (on the right) by noon Friday with “Champion Giveaway” in the subject line and your name in the body of the email. I’ll draw the winners shortly after. Oh and the show is 18+, so if your not of legal age yet, let me know and I'll enter you for the second prize only.

Oh, and congrats to Amy and Holly on winning the Rutledge/McClelland prizes. I'll get those out to you asap.

Infinite Playlist: The xx - S/T

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Quantum Physics

>> Wednesday, 4 November 2009


The Santa-Claus-like generous folks over at Six Shooter and the WECC are giving away some awesome Justin Rutledge/Melissa McClelland-related schwag exclusively to readers of Painting Over Silence!

Giveaway #1

1. Two guest-list spots for the Justin Rutledge/Melissa McClelland show @ the WECC on Tuesday, November 10th.
2. Justin Rutledge – Man Descending cd
3. Melissa McClelland - Victoria Day cd
4. A silk-screen poster (see above photo)

Giveaway #2

1. Justin Rutledge – Man Descending cd
2. Melissa McClelland - Victoria Day cd


To enter, fire me an email by noon on Monday, November 9th (address on the side) with the subject line "Rutledge/McClelland Give Away", include your full name in the body of the email, and just for fun answer this question:

What's your favourite album of 2009 so far?

A couple other things:
1. Winners will be drawn randomly by me and then notified on Monday at around 12:30. You can only win once.
2. One entry per person.
3. I have four contests lined up for November, and it’s possible a few may overlap. Feel free to enter all of them, but please adhere to condition #2 per contest.

Good luck!


***
Whilst on the subject of favourite albums of 2009 so far, I’m planning on running a 2009 version of the Painting Over Silence blog readers’ pool, so start brainstorming your favourite records! More details to come.

Personally, I think Phoenix will secure the top spot on my list. Or maybe Volcano Choir. Wait, no, Phoenix. Then again, maybe the xx will. Argh!

***

Whilst on the subject of lists…for the second year in a row, Matthew over at i(heart) music kindly invited me to take part in his annual “hottest bands in Canada” poll and has recently posted the results. There are some fantastic acts on the list that I shamefully haven’t heard yet, but have since fallen for (like Dan Mangan and Handsome Furs). Check it out if you have time!

***
And finally, some show happenin’s:

Jets Overhead are the opening act for Lights’ November 19th show at the Garrick.

Greg Crowe & The Scarlett Union, the Stiff Bishops and the Johnstones’s will be at the Park Theatre on November 28th.

The annual JP Hoe Holiday Show at the Park Theatre has been booked for the 18th and 19th of December. I went last year and it was a bona fide blast. Fred Penner read Harry & The Hendersons between songs in his alluring storyteller voice, which was 31 flavours of awesome.

Royal Wood hits the Park Theatre on November 25th w/ Rose Cousins.

Blue Rodeo has booked an evening’s sojourn at the MTS Centre on January 17th.

Illscarlett rock the Garrick on December 11th. USS will help out.

Joe Pug drops by the Park Theatre on January 23rd.

Infinite Playlist: Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice

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múm - Live At The Pyramid

>> Sunday, 1 November 2009




It’s not everyday the band holding a commanding first place lead on your personal last.fm page comes to town, so, naturally, múm’s first-ever appearance in the Peg instilled in me enormously high expectations. Fortunately, the show matched my lofty designs. Almost.

My only complaint was the set list leaning too heavily on new material - it would’ve been great to hear more of the spacious, ethereal tunes from past-singer Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir's era (incl. ‘02’s Finally We Are No One and ‘04’s Summer Make Good). The new female singers certainly have the golden pipes for that stuff.

One unanticipated bonus from the post-Kristin-era-heavy set was watching/hearing the band reconstruct the meticulous sonic detail of the two most recent records (‘07’s Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy and August’s Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know). Mournful cellos, wheezing melodicas, skittish drumming, guitars, bountiful boy-girl harmonies, and even cue cards were expressively deployed. It was mesmerizingly textured.

The highlight for me, though, came during the single-song encore when the band played the stunning moodscaper “Green Grass of Tunnel,” one of only two songs not off Go Go… and Sing Along…. It would’ve been great to hear more past staples like “We Have a Map of the Piano,” “I’m 9 Today” or “Slow Bicycle”, but there’s always next time. After all, co-founder Orvar (middle photo) did say, “We are very happy to be in Winnipeg for the first time. Hopefully it isn’t our last” And, well, I believe him.

Set List (to the best of my knowledge) -
1. Illuminated
2. If I Were A Fish
3. Marmalade Fires
4. A Little Bit Sometimes
5. (Unsure)
6. Hullaballabalu
7. The Smell Of Today Is Like Sweet Breast Milk
8. Show Me
9. Nightly Cares
10. Blessed Brambles
11. Dancing Behind My Eyelids
12. They Made Frogs Smoke ‘Til They Explode
13. Prophecies Reverse Memories
14. Sing Along

Encore
1. Green Grass Of Tunnel

Sin Fang Bous, also from Iceland, was one of two openers. Their short set was enjoyable: sleek and squeaky clean indie-pop. Prior to them classically-trained cellist Hildur Gudnadottir performed several intense cello pieces. Loved that too (sorry, no photos).

Infinite Playlist: My Morning Jacket - Z

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In These Words We Drown

>> Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy pays a visit to the Burt on April 12th w/ Jonny Lang.

Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Matthew de Zoete is playing the Edge Gallery on November 15 w/ Katie Murphy.

Tiësto (formerly known as DJ Tiësto) is laying down some tracks off his latest longplayer Kaleidoscope at the U of W's Duckworth centre on Remembrance Day. Zounds! I just learned Jonsi from Sigur Ros guests on Kaleidoscope. Bloc Party Captain Kele Okereke, too. I highly doubt they'll be with him, though.

Speaking of Iceland...a reminder to those attending múm on Friday night at the Pyramid: the gig is an early one. Doors @ 7; Show @ 8; Over by 10:30. This is, of course, unprecedented for the Pyramid, especially on a weekend.

See you there!

Infinite Playlist:
múm - Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know

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11 Questions With...Todd Hunter

>> Friday, 23 October 2009

With his devastatingly personal debut solo cd Star earning rave reviews – the Winnipeg Sun recently awarded it four stars – and national university radio stations inserting the highly cathartic record into their rotation, local singer-songwriter Todd Hunter easily qualifies as “one to watch.” The accolades are well-deserved. Star is intimate, wholly realized and smartly produced (by both Todd and ’09 Western Canadian Music Awards Nominee Mike Petkau).

I recently had the pleasure of firing 11 questions at Todd. His responses are fun and thoughtful: he gives a shout out to Winnipeg fav Greg MacPherson, notes why the West End is the premier venue in the Peg, and admits to be a bit obsessed with Evil Dead: 2 at one point in his life.


1. Where are you right now?

In front of a computer, thinking of answers.

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

There are several, but I’ve always enjoyed playing at the West End Cultural Centre the most – great stage, great sound, great audience.

3. What is the worst bus route in the city?

I haven’t taken that many, but I remember loathing the bus I had to transfer to from the Transcona (47?) route to get to the U of M. I think it was route 75? The wait always seemed interminable, and the ride seemed to take even longer…

4. Who is your favourite local band/musician?

Greg MacPherson. Besides being a great guy and a good friend, he’s got more raw talent and conviction in his bones than anyone else.

5. What are your top three, all-time, desert-island records?

I’m going to cheat by choosing compilations: THE STORY OF SLADE, 50000 FALL FANS CAN’T BE WRONG, and ROLLING STONES: THE LONDON YEARS.

6. Who is one producer, alive or dead, that you’d just love to work with?

John Leckie. He’s produced more music I fell in love with than any other producer. Through a music forum, I was fortunate enough recently to have him respond to a query I sent him regarding Cowboy Junkies’ Miles From Our Home.

7. Of the albums you own, which has the best cover art?

TOOL’s Aenima.

8. If Winnipeg were awarded an NHL team, what name would you propose?

The Winnipeg Supercuddlysnugglebumpkins. THEN hockey will be great family entertainment!

9. PC or Mac?
Gentlemen prefer Mac (and so do I).

10. What’s one film you watch over and over again?

I used to watch Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn over and over again, but after about 30 viewings or so, I think I’ve finally outgrown it.

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael)?

Raphael.

Infinite Playlist: Flight of the Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky

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He Came To Life. Good For Him.

>> Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Long time no update. Been a bit hectic and stressful around these parts lately what with looming school assignments/busyness at work/girlfriend’s birthday/extensive hockey watching (Oilers are 5-2-1 to start the season…unreal!).

Fortunately, the tumult has lessened significantly, so there shouldn’t be extended gaps between posts anymore.

Rock ‘n Roll Ain’t Dead. Just ask Guns N’ Roses who’ll proudly blow the roof off the MTS Centre on January 13th. My buddy went last time and said it was “fucking loud and awesome.”

dd/mm/yyyy will be at Mondragon on 24/10/2009.

Stereos, The Midway State, Artist Life, and The Envy are at the Garrick on December 1st.

Affable popsters Mother Mother have landed the opening spot for Matthew Good’s November 21st show at the Burt.

11 Questions” alumni / fiddling sensation Sierra Noble opens for George Canyon on November 4th and 5th at Club Regent.

Death By Stereo rock the Albert on November 14th w/ Nations Afire and Chaser.

Alexisonfire (are still active?) and are playing the MTS Centre on March 20th with headliner Billy Talent and co-opener Against Me.

And finally, I read earlier who the opener for Steve Earle is. I have characteristically forgotten. Help anyone?

Infinite Playlist: Times New Viking – Born Again Revisited

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Faraway Swimmingpool

>> Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Couple of quickies...

Due to mega demand, those delectable pop-making twins Tegan and Sara have added a January 15th show at the Burt.

We Are The City's gig tomorrow night at Sam's has been moved to the friendly neighbourhood Lo Pub.

Oh, and speaking of We Are The City, the winners of the "In A Quiet Place cd giveaway extravaganza" were Sarah and Rick. I'll get those off to you asap.

Infinite Playlist: Mum - Finally We Are No One

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This Love Is Unbearably Harmful Tonight

>> Sunday, 11 October 2009

The hardcore troubadour Steve Earle returns to the Burton Cummings Theatre on January 29th. Tickets this Friday.

MAdM (aka ex-Hole/Pumpkin bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur) is part of this year’s Jingle Bell Rock bill at the Convention Centre w/ the previously mentioned AFI and Cage The Elephant. The wholly festive event goes down December 15th.

Torngat are at the Lo on the 23rd of October w/ Soholyheadcase and Mike Petkau.

Whilst on the topic of upcoming shows at the Lo, Halloween Eve (aka gate night…is that still ‘celebrated’?) sees Haunter, The Playing Cards and Victoria's Fuji Hakayito rock the joint.

Jumping over to the Pyramid, local fav Matt Epp is releasing his latest disc Safe or Free there on November 3rd w/ resident hip-hoppers The Lytics.

Sunparlour Players are at the Park Theatre on November 21st.

Infinite Playlist: The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns

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11 Questions With...We Are The City

>> Saturday, 10 October 2009

We Are The City are a young and up-and-coming experimental indie-rock trio from Kelowna who, back in May, dropped their debut disc In A Quiet Place, an album earning the unaffected guys some serious praise. The band is currently in the midst of a cross country swoop across this geographically vast nation, which naturally includes a pip-stop in Peg City on October 15th. So on Wednesday the guys’ll be playing twice around town. First, a short in-store gig at Music Trader (@ 3) followed by a lenghtier evening show at Sam’s Place.

I’ve got two copies of the sprawling and instantly engaging In A Quiet Place available for give away to anyone intrigued. Simply fire me an email (on the side) by 4 p.m. Tuesday with the subject line “We Are The City – Giveaway” and I’ll select the winner out of a hat (or more likely a touque). Include your name in the body of the email.

Plus, the promising lads all took part in my 11 question schtick. In doing so, they revealed their effusive love for all things Radiohead, their dislike of South Park and the Family Guy, and their deep interest in one day recording an album with famed producer Brian Eno.

1. Where are you right now?

All: Ontario

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

All: We're not going to pick one. Fields of Green, Kingdom Cloud, Secret & Whisper, Treelines, & Split The Silence to name a few. And Treelight Room & Yukon Blonde who recently moved from Kelowna to Vancouver are also very awesome.

3. What are your top three, all-time, desert-island records?

Cayne: Coldplay’s "A Rush of Blood to the Head", Pink Floyd’s "Wish You Were Here", and Radiohead’s "OK Computer"
David: Paul Simon’s "Graceland", Norah Jones’ "Come Away With Me", and Radiohead’s "OK Computer"
Andy: MeWithoutYou’s "Brother Sister", U2’s "Joshua Tree", and Radiohead’s "In Rainbows"

4. What’s one song you love, but regularly dismiss as a “guilty pleasure”?

Cayne: My Chemical Romance’s "Helena"
David: Fall Out Boy’s "Sugar We're Going Down"
Andy: Natasha Bedingfield’s "These Words"

5. What was the last great concert you saw?

All: Radiohead at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver

6. Who is one producer, alive or dead, that you’d just love to work with?

David: Rick Rubin, just for the fun of it.
Andy: Brian Eno
Cayne: Brian Eno

7. Simpsons, South Park, or Family Guy?

All: Simpsons
Andy: I can't stand the other two.

8. What is your favourite “Flight of the Conchords” song?

Cayne: Most Beautiful Girl In the Room
Andy: The one where Jemaine talks about dressing up Brett in a wig and stuff.
David: I don't know any. The only one I've heard is that one about sex and I don't know if I like it.

9. Would you rather have invisibility or flight?

All: Flight

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

Cayne : Started Life of Pi three weeks ago because I was bored. Read 2 pages of it, and haven't read it anymore since.
David: Tried to get through a book called Deadline, couldn't handle it and threw it to the ground in 2007.
Andy: Star Wars Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

Cayne: Donatello. Although, I don't care for his purple headband.
David: Can I do Power Rangers instead? If so, the red one.
Andy: My parents never let me watch that show.

Infinite Playlist: The Beatles - Abbey Road

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A Drop Of Blood On A Sugarcube - A 10,000th Day Playlist

>> Wednesday, 7 October 2009

So last month I celebrated a unique sorta birthday - I lauded the day I turned the big 10,000. Days old, that is. This monumental date happened to fall on Wednesday, September 16th, so I threw a bash on the 19th and subsequently shattered the old record for most people in my apartment (whilst drinking one, maybe two, too many brews).

I intended on making a 10,000th day playlist for my party, a definitive, 27-song set of indispensable songs in my life (27 was chosen since it's how many years old I was at the time of turning 10,000 days). The list did not happen in time for my party since constructing it proved painfully difficult, incredibly time-consuming, and frequently futile. Finally, I've settled on the 27 tunes below, although I should qualify my selections by stating these are my choices at this exact moment in time. I'll probably change them tomorrow. A couple times.

It's been a great 10,000 days for my ears.

Postal Service - 'The District Sleeps Alone Tonight'
Yo La Tengo - 'Sugarcube'
My Bloody Valentine - 'I Only Said'
Radiohead - 'Fake Plastic Trees'
Erasure - 'A Little Respect'
The Smashing Pumpkins - 'Glynis' (video below)
Portishead - 'Wandering Star'
Pinback - 'Loro'
New Order - 'Temptation'
Kings of Convenience - 'Winning A Battle, Losing A War' (video below)
The Chemical Brothers - 'Where Do I Begin?'
Sigur Rós - '1' aka 'Vaka'
Interpol - 'Obstacle 1'
M83 - 'Run Into Flowers' (video below)
Califone - 'Trick Bird'
Jenny Lewis - 'Acid Tongue'
Nick Drake - 'One of these Things First'
Stereolab - 'Tomorrow Is Already Here'
Beck - 'Que Onda Guero'
Manitoba - 'Brandon'
The Cure - 'Pictures of You'
Iron & Wine - 'Naked As We Came'
Mum - 'I'm 9 Today'
Depeche Mode - 'Blasphemous Rumours'
Goldfrapp - 'A & E'
Peter Bjorn and John - 'Up Against The Wall'
Sufjan Stevens - 'In The Devil's Territory'






Infinite Playlist - The above playlist

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"I'm Gonna Play A Bunch Of New Songs. Sorry!" Final Fantasy - Live At The West End

>> Sunday, 4 October 2009

Did the back-to-back-Final-Fantasy-shows-at-the-West-End thing this weekend, and after a string of disappointing concerts, seeing Owen Pallet live cured what ailed me both figuratively and literally (I had an unshakable, at-times-immobilizing cold all week which finally improved on Friday and was nearly gone by Saturday night). Coincidence? I think not.


Pallett continued his remarkable streak of bringing along ridiculously great opening acts with him, this time touring with Polaris long-lister Timber Timbre (previous evening starters included the endlessly entertaining Bob Wiseman and the lovely and talented Basia Bulat). Timber Timbre's stark, intimate, and kinda creepy chamber folk record is one of my favourite albums of 2009, and his live performance reinforced this. Timber Timbre, aka Taylor Kirk, has this big and arresting ghost-storyteller voice that is equally enchanting and menacing. What an experience.



Friday night was the third time I've seen the wiry, violin-wielding Mr. Pallett live at the West End, and this was probably the best set I've seen. I qualify that statement with "probably" since I'm still kinda high on the whole FF live experience and need a few days to calm down before I can honestly compare it with past performances.

Gone: The Dungeons & Dragons overhead projector show & assistant.
In: A band member!

Joining Pallett onstage was a guitarist/drummer who added some much-needed texture to the live show and the new material. The majority of the set was comprised of new entries to Pallett's Palette (sorry, couldn't resist), so Friday night quite possibly marked the first time in music history that an audience didn't care about an artist playing mostly green stuff.

Unfortunately, Timber Timbre was only around for the Friday show, so that was a bit of a bummer on Saturday, but local and eclectic singer-songwriter Ingrid Gatin opened up, and I thought she was pretty great. Certainly one to have on the radar. Final Fantasy's set on Saturday was shorter than Friday's and changed up a bit. He removed a few numbers from Has A Good Home and inserted a delectable cover of Lykke Li's "Dance Dance Dance", which was almost as fun as his take on Mariah Carey's "Sweet Fantasy."

Truth be told, I was perfectly okay with the slightly shorter set length, since I desperately wanted to check out this year's Edmonton Oilers squad for the first time on HNIC. They ended up losing in the final minute. The lone glitch of the weekend.

Infinite Playlist: Volcano Choir - Unmap

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11 Questions With...ARCTIC

>> Thursday, 1 October 2009


A band that has buzz trailing behind them like a, well, persistent swarm of bees, Vancouver’s ARCTIC (that’s all caps, folks) paint lush sonic backdrops that are austere, dreamy and more than a little chilling. Pretty much what one would expect of a band named after the Great White North. The up-and-coming trio is currently in the middle of a criss-cross jaunt of Canada, and is stopping by town on October 8th to play a intimate show at the Standard Tavern (formerly known as Hooligan’s).

I asked 11 questions to the band – frontman/guitarist Marcus Martin, bassist/keyboardist Kirsten Starcher, and drummer Rob Sheldrick – and judging by their playful and thoughtful answers, they had some fun with it. Those mentioned include: William Gibson, Rush, Beast, and the inimitable Master Splinter.

1. Where are you right now?

Windsor. We've just pulled into a hotel after a relatively short drive from Guelph and have a little time to kill before playing the Phog Lounge tonight. The decor here is a little trippy.

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

Marcus: Mongoose.
Rob: Three Inches of Blood.
Kirsten: Adaline.

3. What are your top three, all-time, desert-island records?

Marcus: Gabor Szabo, "The Sorceror".
Rob: Rush, "Grace Under Pressure".
Kirsten: Bjork, "Post".

4. What’s one song you love, but regularly dismiss as a “guilty pleasure”?

Rob: Anything off Rush's "Grace Under Pressure".
Marcus: Club hits.
Kirsten: It's got to be some 80s hit. Something like "Take On Me" or "Tainted Love"... you kind of can't help singing along even if you never owned the album.

5. What was the last great concert you saw?

Marcus: ZZ Top.
Kirsten: I was absolutely floored by Beast last year. Wow.
Rob: Kool Keith. With a K.

6. Of the albums you own, which has the best cover art?

Marcus: I don't know. That's a good one. I really like the Roxy Music one... Avalon.
Kirsten: Pink Floyd had the best ones.
Rob: Hum, "Downward is Heavenward". Sweetest record jacket ever.

7. PC or Mac?

Kirsten: Two of us on Mac, one PC.
Rob: Actually, I'd convert to Mac if I could.

8. Simpsons, South Park, or Family Guy?

Rob: Family Guy.
Marcus: Simpsons.
Kirsten: I suppose I should pick South Park just to keep things balanced. I think it depends on the day, though, and your state of mind. I'd watch any of 'em if I still had a TV.

9. Would you rather have invisibility or flight?

Marcus: Invisibility.
Kirsten: Would you just spy on girls?
Marcus: I would spy on the G8 summit. See what's going on there.
Rob: Flight. I would frequent the moon often.
Kirsten: Yeah, but you couldn't breathe there.
Rob: Shhhhh.
Marcus: Let the boy dream.
Kirsten: I gotta go with flight. I feel invisible enough days, I think I get the idea.

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

Marcus: "Art and Physics" by Leonard Shlain.
Rob: "Modern Drummer". Lots and lots of "Modern Drummer."
Kirsten: I finished Kurt Vonnegut "Breakfast of Champions" before we left on tour and haven't really gotten started on another one. I've got a William Gibson book waiting for me when I'm ready though.

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

Kirsten: I got nothing.
Rob: I'm more of a Master Splinter fan.
Marcus: Rob IS Master Splinter and he can't pick favourites because they might try to kill each other. End of question.

Infinite Playlist: mum - Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know

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We Were Unlucky In Love

>> Monday, 28 September 2009

The twin sisters' Quin - aka Tegan and Sara - will bring their elegantly shorn haircuts and thoughtful, celebrated pop music to the Burt in the new year, playing a gig there on January 14th. Pre-sale starts Wednesday. No code yet. I'll see what I can uncover (thanks to Aaron for the heads up).

Afi and Cage The Elephant are two acts comprising Jingle Bell Rock 2009. The event takes place December 15th at the Convention Centre.

Vancouver's Said The Whale hit the Pyramid on November 3rd w/ Hannah Gorgas.

The Maroons are there on December 12th w/ Atomic Blondie.

Infinite Playlist: Volcano Chair - Unmap

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The Hold Steady - Live At The West End

>> Saturday, 26 September 2009


Ok.

So, I wasn’t exactly enamored with Thursday night’s Hold Steady show, which was easily the marquee event in Winnipeg two nights back (fuck half-speed NHL hockey). Sold out. Lots of people looking for tickets.

And I wanted to love it. I wanted it to be the best show I’ve seen all year. I wanted my Facebook status to feature some seriously impassioned hyperbole. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel that oh-so-wonderful connection the entire time, like I did during, say, TV on the Radio.

Part of the problem for me was the main set’s length. It felt too long and peppered with too many slow-to-mid tempo, spoken-poetry meanders that invariably caused me to drift off. I did, however, perk up instantly whenever Finn & The Boys tore into one of their 70s-rock-leaning assaults like “Party Pit” or “Stuck Between Stations.” Or during one of their big-ass, brilliantly realized singles “Sequestered in Memphis.”

But for what it’s worth, I suspect I am in the minority here. Most of the 400 strong at the West End seemed enthralled with the Hold Steady and charmed to bits by the surprisingly animated Craig Finn. He’s a helluva crowd worker and, well, pretty damn cool.

The evening’s highlight for me was the encore – it was saturated with upbeat, raucous tunes. It is the huge, anthemic stuff I feel “America’s Best Bar Band” do, well, best.


Oh, and I thought opener Still Life Still were pretty great and reminded me of early Broken Social Scene machinations. I was impressed so much that I’m gonna go seek out SLS’s record.

***

New rumblings at the Pyramid:

First up, a very very tempting show: Young Galaxy is at the Pyramid on October 18th w/ Bend Sinister, trEas, and Royal Canoe.

The Mahones perform there on October 6th w/ the Popes.

October 23rd sees Grady play there.

On November 9th, Mad Caddies play a gig w/ The Johnstones.

Trivium rock the joint on November 19th w/ Chimaria, Whitechapel, and Dirge Within.

One Hundred Dollars swing through town on October 29th.

Elsewhere:

Kelowna rockers We Are The City land at Sam’s Place on October 15th.

Moneen drop by the West End on November 30th.

Winter Gloves are at the Lo Pub on November 27th.

Infinite Playlist: Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence

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The Girl From Back Then

>> Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Shout out to the 80s! Def Leppard return to the MTS Centre on November 4th with Cheap Trick and Man Raze.

Digression: I wonder if Bun E. Carlos will be behind the kit for Cheap Trick. Last I checked he was kicking it powerpop-style with the awardwinningly bizarre supergroup Tinted Windows (feat. Taylor Hanson of, um, Hanson; James Iha of, well, the Pumpkins; and Adam Schlesinger of, er, Fountains of Wayne).

Shout out to the 90s! Stone Temple Pilots evidently still exist and are also playing the MTS Centre but on November 15th. Used to go mental for "Vaseline."

Shout out to guilty pleasures! Unabashed synth-popper Lights is at The Garrick on November 19th. Get out your headbands!

Oh, and congrats to Robin and Geoff for winning the Patrick Brealey discs. Will get those out to you asap.

Infinite Playlist: Kings of Convenience - Versus (New Album soon!)

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