Marmalade Fires

>> Friday, 30 November 2007

Maybe it's the near-absolute zero weather outside or perhaps it's just that I haven't been out of town for awhile, but I have this irrepressible urge to travel and catch a show. This, of course, typically means a road trip to Minneapolis to see a celebrated artist who, for some reason, never graces our humble city with their presence (high entertainment taxes is the rumour). Anyways, I also felt like making a list today, so this effectively met my today's list quota.

Top 5 bands I'd skip school and work and birthdays and anniversaries and funerals (ok, maybe not funerals. Although...) to go see in Minny:

1. Iron and Wine
2. Sigur Ros*
3. Kings of Convenience
4. Mum
5. Peter Bjorn and John

*They are the only entry from this illustrious list that I've already seen. I loved their show so much, I'll gladly travel to Minny and see it again.

You Say Party! We Say Die! hit the Albert on December 13th with The Gorgon. Tix $12 @ Into The Music, Music Trader, and Ticket Workshop.

Tele play the Park Theatre on December 14th. Tix $10 @ Park Theatre.

Sonata Arctica are at the West End on February 8th with Visions of Atlantis. Tix $25 @ Ticket Workshop.

Current rotation: The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters / Radiohead - In Rainbows


Minor Update

>> Thursday, 29 November 2007

Folk artist James Keelaghan and Latin guitarist Oscar Lopez stop by Pantages Playhouse on February 8th. Presale password is Compadres.

Current rotation: Sigur Ros - Hvarf/Heim


Raise Your Hands As High As You Can...And The Whole Universe Will Glow

>> Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Is anyone else as excited as me that legendary shoegazers My Bloody Valentine are releasing a new record next year? When this was first announced on PF, I did an Irish jig in front of my computer (my neighbours below probably thought WTF?) then played Loveless over and over on my stereo until my speakers blew from the excessive fuzz. AND MBV are doing a tour...c'mon Minneapolis date. It's gonna be a sweet new year.

Collective Soul are at the Burt on February 9th. Tickets go on sale this Friday, unless you have the presale password (psst. It's

Oysterband are at the WECC on April 15th.

Current rotation: M83 - Don't Save Us From The Flames / My Bloody Valentine - Loveless


Where Are Your Friends Tonight?

>> Monday, 26 November 2007

I apologize for my hasty, relatively short post about Stars' Saturday evening show. I spent most of yesterday franticly and painstakingly working on a paper that was already past due, and decided, for once, to prioritize. The paper trumped everything, including innocuous blog posts.

Anyways...more thoughts on the show.

Profound realization #1: There were approximately 80x more people at Stars' show Saturday night than there were the first time I saw them at The Pyramid many moons ago(this is assuming Sat's show was sold out - it seemed near capacity at least). While Stars are certainly a band who deserves their success and I'm glad to see their fan base rapidly expanding (they're spreading the love after all), for the record, seeing them on that memorable night four years ago with about 20 others kicked ass. I still have the poster from that show in my hallway.

Profound realization #2: For probably the first time ever, I was above the median age of fellow concert attendees. 25 isn't that old, is it? When I mentioned this to a slightly older audiophile yesterday, he simply replied, "Get used to it". I will! I plan on rockin' until I'm in my mid least.

Profound realization #3: I enjoy opening act Miracle Fortress a lot better at home, blasting through my speakers. Their live show just didn't cut it for me.

No show news lately...strange.

Current rotation: LCD Soundsystem -
Sound of Silver


Twinkling Stars

>> Sunday, 25 November 2007

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Canada's most romantic pop band Stars at the Burt.

While the band played a healthy mix of songs from Heart, Set Yourself on Fire, and recent release In Our Bedroom After The War, they completely ignored all tracks from their debut Nightsongs. But that's a minor complaint. Overall, the set was pretty solid and featured most of their best work: the funky, get-off-your-butt-and-dance-to 'The Ghost of Genova Heights' as well as two tracks in which Torq and Amy's charming boy/girl vocal exchanges work perfectly: 'Elevator Love Letter' and 'Your Ex-Lover is Dead''.

Current rotation: The Grey Cup.


How Many Air Miles Do You Need To Get To The Moon?

>> Friday, 23 November 2007

Ok, so admittedly I've been a bit obsessed with youtube lately. It's such a deep well of video awesomeness (that's the best I can come up with right now. I'm, well, tipsy).

I've caught so many of my favourite bands performing many of my favourite songs live on this fruitful site. Recently, I've been watching, over and over, a video from 2003 of Icelandic band Mum performing 'We Have a Map of the Piano', a track I didn't really think was a standout from their absolutely gorgeous 2002 release Finally We Are No One. For those unfamiliar with Mum's musical style, it touches on the alien atmospherics of Sigur Ros, but cranks the melody up to 11. Anyways, the track in question performed live is incredible. When the lead singer assuredly approaches the mike and takes over, I can't help but be impressed with her and the band's confidence in their live show. They must know it just doesn't, and never will, translate properly to a record.

From now on, when I revisit this song on the album, I hear something completely different. This is what I love about live performances - hearing a song then listening to the recording again and reliving that emotional connection you had while watching the band perform it.

I can only imagine what I’d feel if I had been there in person.


Sigur Ros...Acoustic?

>> Thursday, 22 November 2007

Earlier today I picked up Sigur Ros's double cd Hvarf/Heim and am currently enjoying my initial listen. Essentially a collection of rarities, the first disc Hvarf contains previously unreleased studio songs while disc two, Heim, is composed entirely of acoustic versions of select songs(including one of my favs vaka off the () album).

Now I don't really like to mention this on here, since, for the most part it's shameless ego-boosting; however, this time I figure it's relevant. For those who don't know, I write a monthly column "Sounding Icelandic" for a local Icelandic newspaper called The Logberg that covers anything falling within the vast range of "Icelandic" and "Music". This means I discuss /review /interview /briefly mention any artists from Iceland as well as any musicians with Icelandic backgrounds (The Weakerthans, for example). Anyways, I must confess I am less than impressed with Sigur Ros's North American record label xl recordings, since we (the editor and I) tried repeatedly to get an advance copy of this album so I could include it in my column. Now I'm not against buying it, I just wanted the freakin' thing early in order to include it in my latest column (it's monthly, after all and must be submitted early). But all attempts to contact them were miserable failures - emails bounced back, phone calls went nowhere. Oh well. It'll have to wait until THE JANUARY issue. This record will be old then!

A tad frustrated.

Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans are at The Burt on March 2nd. Special guest is Hayes Carll. It's country, but good.

Silverstein plays The Garrick on February 4th w/ guests Protest The Hero, Ill Scarlett, and The Devil Wears Prada (isn't that a movie?). Tickets go on sale this Friday.

Current rotation: Sigur Ros - Hvarf/Heim


Who Is Breathing On The Nape Of My Neck?

>> Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Presale password for the Foo Fighters show at the MTS Center is GUITAR.

Current rotation: Josh Ritter - Girl In The War


When They're Not Busy Rockin', They're Out Fightin' Foo

Over the summer, I caught the Foo Fighters' set during Live Earth and, much to my surprise, it was really entertaining. For those wishing to see Dave Grohl & co.'s live show in the flesh, they will be hitting the MTS Centre on March 25th, touring in support of their sixth release Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Tix go on sale Friday for $34.50, $45.50, or $59.50 plus exorbitant processing fees (of course). Unfortunately, I don't have a presale password for this.

A show I do have a presale password for is singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman's March 29th date at the Burt. The password for this concert is beautiful with the presale starting today at 10 AM and ending Friday at 10 PM. Tickets go for $25 or $30 plus the astronomical surcharges.

Current rotation: Josh Ritter (Hello Starling)


Sleeping Lessons

>> Monday, 19 November 2007

Brief Show newz...

A Heartwell Ending play The Pyramid December 5th. I'm unfamiliar with them, but judging by their myspace page, they desperately need clothing. Poor fellas.

Some hometown action at the Pyramid: The New Meanies are there on December 28th, and funk-fusion-dancesters Moses Mayes stop by on the 29th.

I'm currently listening (and dancing around my apartment) to 'Sleeping Lessons' by The Shins off their latest release Wincing The Night Away. This brilliant song will be on my inaugural best-tracks-of-the-year cd. Guaranteed.

If you're up for joining in on my fun, here's the video for it. **Disclaimer** This track causes even the most rhythmically challenged to break out in rapturous dance.


Exit Fall, Enter Winter

>> Sunday, 18 November 2007

I just got in from grocery shopping and boy, is it a mess out there. It took me twice as long to get home than it did to get to the store. I'm always amazed by how volatile weather can be.

So last night a non-televised edition of SNL was staged in spite of the writer's strike (rumour has it, it still wasn't funny). Unfortunately, the musical guest was Yo La Tengo, and that alone would have enticed me enough to tune in (for once). Sure missed out there. Lousy writer's strike.

Rory Block is at the WECC on March 4th.

Danny Michel stops by the WECC on April 2nd as well.

Current rotation: Valgeir Sigurdsson - Ekvilibrium


All We Are Is Our Memories

>> Saturday, 17 November 2007

I'd say, oh I don't know, maybe twice a year I have what I deem to be a "great idea". I'm hard pressed to recall if I've even had my first one yet this year, and if I have, well, it couldn't have been that great since I don't remember it.

That being said, last week I had my first grand-slam thought of the year (I was due). An inkling so profound and exciting, I've been thinking about it non-stop ever since. I decided that, starting at the end of this year, I'm going to make a yearly cd composed entirely of my favourite tracks from the year. These will be tracks that affected me viscerally over the year; ones that I listened to over and over; songs that reminded me why I love music so much; music that, hopefully, withstands time's trying tests when I sit down in the future and revisit the cd.

And the plan is, to repeat this until I’m old enough that I don’t take music as seriously (I dread that day).

Stay tuned for this illustrious list.

Let’s hope I have another brilliant idea this year. Only 1.5 months left.

Current rotation: M83 (Don't Save Us From The Flames) / Sigur Ros (Takk)


Hayden - Live at The West End

>> Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Hayden will be at the West End on February 7th, touring in support of his fifth album In Field & Town. Tickets go on sale this Friday at Ticketmaster and at the West End. My advice: buy tickets in advance since Hayden's shows always sell out. Last time I saw him (I think 2004) I completely loved the show - it was one of the better concerts I saw that year.

Josh Ritter (whom I'm unfamiliar with, but swear someone recommended him this week...curse this memory) will also be at the West End on March 1st with special guest Emm Gryner. Tickets are already on sale for this show at WECC and ticketmaster, and I suspect, just like with Hayden, this show will sell out too.

Singer-songwriter Kim Barlow plays there on January 29th.

Ndidi Onukwulu is there on January 26th.

The Gift of the Bobs (Bob Wiseman / Bob Snyder) will play there on March 4th. Seeing Bob Wiseman is always a treat.

Things are really happening at The West End.

Current rotation: Sigur Ros () / Sigur Ros Agaetis Byrjun


They Put a Parking Lot on a Piece of Land

>> Tuesday, 13 November 2007


I was analyzing my stats the other day and was surprised to learn I had surpassed the 30,000 tracks listened to mark.

For those unfamiliar with, it's a site that registers music you've been listening to on your computer through a plug-in you install in a media player. The plug-in is available on their site. I must admit, it's kinda cool analyzing music listening statistics and learning which tracks and bands I listen to most.

Who cares about this? Well, me for starters.

As of this week, the band I've listened to most is Mum, at a whopping 1, 868 tracks played. Zounds! That's 600 more than silver medalist Yo La Tengo.

As for overall tracks, Iron and Wine's "Naked As We Came" recently took over top spot after an epic battle with Mum's "Don't Be Afraid, You Have Just Got Your Eyes Closed." Both parties fought bravely, but in the end, we could only have one winner.

Of course, this site only monitors what I've been listening to on my computer - not on my home stereo, ipod, cd player alarm clock, nor in my car. For the record, I don't normally listen to Iron and Wine nor Mum in my car nor at the gym.

A statistical analysis of music habits...what great fun.

Current rotation: Peter Bjorn and John (
Writer's Block) / Kings of Convenience (Riot on an Empty Street)


Travel Far Enough, You Meet Yourself

>> Sunday, 11 November 2007

Some new shows have been added to the left. Most aren't new news, so I figured I wouldn't mention them specifically in this post (I'm still getting caught up).

I also found out Miracle Fortress is opening for Stars' November 24th show at The Burt. Hear four of their tunes by clicking on Miracle Fortress. I particularly liked 'Hold Your Secrets To Your Heart'. They seem like an appropriate opening act for Stars.

Also, below is Stars' brand new video for 'The Night Starts Here', the second track off their fourth release In Our Bedroom After The War. The more I listen to the record, the more I enjoy it. The video is interesting, and I mean this unequivocally (the good way). For fun I just stared at some photos I have around here, hoping they'd come alive, but, alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Current rotation: Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War


The Most Serene Republic Live At The Pyramid

>> Saturday, 10 November 2007

So I hit the Most Serene Republic show at The Pyramid last night, and, well, it wasn't that great. I'm glad I finally saw MSR in an intimate setting, but, unfortunately The Pyramid was The Pyramid so the sound was terrible. I couldn't hear the female singer's vocals clearly, and there was way too much bass during all three bands' sets.

The opening act was Mother Mother, a band with many innovative ideas who need to settle on a definite sound instead of trying way too many different styles (twangy country, straightforward pop, a near-rap name a few). Plus, two females who strictly sing is one too many, especially considering there's also a male lead singer in the band.

The next band was Dragonette who are best described through this exchange of dialogue that took place last night between me and a friend:

Me: They sound like Metric.
Him: Yup.
Me: I don't really like Metric.
Him: Me either.

I assure you, my friend's vocabulary is a lot deeper than portrayed in the above lines - he just didn't need to say anything more.

Finally, MSR hit the stage and, due to sound problems, I had a hard time distinguishing one song from another. While I'm still not (yet) enthralled by their latest release Population, I was hoping perhaps their live show would help me fall in love with it. But, the sound quality was so poor that didn't happen. Hard to fault the band there - although, perhaps the new material really isn't that good and hearing it clearly wouldn't have helped anyways. Tough call.

I definitely need to give these folks another chance, preferably at another venue.

Current rotation: The Shins - Wincing The Night Away


One Will Spread Our Ashes Around The Yard

>> Friday, 9 November 2007

I love Iron and Wine. 'nuff said. The next time he announces a Minneapolis concert date, I am there.

Check out this incredible performance (I believe the lady on the left is his sister).

Off to Serene Republic. Will post my thoughts on the show tomorrow.

Current rotation: Iron and Wine (Endless)


You LOOK like an indie music fan

>> Thursday, 8 November 2007

More musings from last night's show:

1. While in line, waiting for the doors to open, three affable teenagers starting talking to me about music and shared more personal information with me than I cared to know. At one point, their leader declared to me, "You LOOK like an indie music fan", as though he were the arbiter of Indie Music Fashion. I thought this was really funny since, according to him, it was the scarf I was wearing that sang "Indie Music Fan". Honestly, it's a pretty plain scarf that I bought at The

2. Issac Brock, lead singer of Modest Mouse, is temperamental. While talking to the crowd about the process behind selecting songs for a set, someone threw an object on stage and he stopped abruptly and said, "end of conversation". Almost no crowd interaction after that.

3. Seeing Johnny Marr, from The Smiths, on stage with Modest Mouse was kinda surreal.

Brief show news...

John "sure to attract the Cougars" Mellancamp is playing The MTS Centre on February 11th. Tickets go on sale Sat, but if you have the presale password you can get them now (it's GUITAR).

Most Serene Republic tomorrow night at the Pyramid! Be there!

Current rotation: Love is All (Nine Times The Same Song) / Beth Orton (Daybreaker)


The Modest Mouse Experience

And so, I left my apartment at 6:30 and didn't get home until 12:30; therefore, I am really tired so this'll be brief.

Overall, the show was great.

The first band was decent (I can't remember their name) but the second band, Man Man, was exceptional. The five guys treated the crowd to about a 40 minute long set of energetic tunes, heavy on the percussion. They had four small sets of drums, keyboards, a glockenspiel, a xylophone, and everyday kitchen pots (yes, pots). Truly dynamic stuff - reminded me of Animal Collective.

Modest Mouse proved to be quite the entertainers too. Their set was around two hours long, including the encore, and I was deeply impressed by lead singer Isaac Brock's endless energy - perhaps he fed off Man Man's set. They played a lot of my favourites including: "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes", "Paper Thin Walls", and "Float On". Unfortunately, they didn't play my favourite track off their recent release: "Missed The Boat". Oh well. I really wish I brought my camera (I took the warning on my ticket way too seriously - everyone had cameras!). Double oh well.

I'm tired. This post is likely laden with errors, so I'll fix them tomorrow.

Current rotation: Mum (Finally)


The G Mac Attack Is Back, Jack!

>> Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Every Winnipegers' favourite singer-songwriter Greg MacPherson (pronounced Mac FUR son) is at the West End Cultural Centre on December 19th.


Blue Rodeo is playing the MTS Centre on January 26th. Tix go on sale through ticketmaster tomorrow at 10 if you know the presale password (it's

Xavier Rudd is playing The Burt on Wednesday, February 13th with special guest Mishka. Ticket info is exactly the same as Blue Rodeo's (including the presale password). Go figure.

The Weakerthans are playing The Burt on December 22nd. While this isn't close to being recent news, I just resurrected this blog, so give a fella a break. Ok?

Modest Mouse tomorrow!

That's all for now. Until next time, keep fit and have fun.

Current rotation: Peter Bjorn and John (Writer's) and Final Fantasy (Good Home)


I wish I were on a beach watching the Kings of Convenience play

>> Monday, 5 November 2007

Things are starting to shape up around here. I've added a series of shows to the left and am currently scouring the Net for more.

In other news...I love youtube. After discovering
The Kings of Convenience had videos (now that I think about it, why wouldn't they?), I spent a solid hour or so last night watching various videos from this folky-pop duo from Norway. They're in my Top 5 List of Bands I Want To See (I'm still working on this list and will publish it very soon).

The video I've posted below is mega-cool. It's them sitting on a beach playing a few songs for the crowd, and the quality is surprisingly good. The shirtless dudes standing in the background look confused, as though they've just heard music for the first time - it's hilarious. Enjoy!

Current rotation: Kings of Convenience (Quiet & Riot)


Brief Update

>> Sunday, 4 November 2007

Phew! Busy day today so the super-update I had planned did not happen.

A few shows have been added to the right, but that's about all I currently have the energy for. It feels like it should be an hour later...j/k

Super-update tomorrow night.

Current rotation: Broken Social Scene (People) /Radiohead (Pablo)


My apologizes...


I decided, earlier today, that I miss this blog too much and I should make a point of regularly updating it again.

And I will.

Regular updates to start tomorrow. My apologizes for the unexplained disappearance.

Current rotation: Death Cab For Cutie


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