No, My Son Is Also Named Bort

>> Saturday, 31 May 2008

When you have almost no emotion investment in the Stanley Cup final outcome, it makes posting at 9:30 on a Saturday night - something normally unheard of - quite easy.

Unfortunately I don't have much to say (or maybe that's fortunate, depending on how much you like my blog). Then again, if you don't, why read?

Is anyone else as intellectually curious as I am about the whole Prince/Radiohead YouTube issue?

For those unfamiliar, the Purple One doesn't allow any live videos of his concerts to be uploaded on You Tube (and reportedly doesn't like having his photo hoo). Anyways, a video of him performing a cover of Radiohead's Creep was uploaded to You Tube recently, Prince got mad and threatened legal action (copyright violation), so You Tube pulled it. Radiohead, who have no qualms with You Tube and LOVE the camera, feel the video should be allowed since the song in question legally belongs to them. Plus, it's not like anyone is directly profiting from it.

Personally, I hope Radiohead wins since I just wanna see Prince's cover.

The Supersuckers are at the Zoo on July 14th.

Sons of Butcher are at the Albert on June 13th.

Strike Anywhere
are also there on 24th w/ The Flatliners & Carpenter.

Current rotation: HNIC



>> Thursday, 29 May 2008

Oh! Happy Day! when your friendly neighbourhood blogger's fav band Sigur Ros announce the release date for their newest record, the seemingly-incomprehensible-gibberish-but-really-Icelandic með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly). Said record is scheduled for a June 24th release and judging by the first track 'Gobbledigook', available for download here, Sigur Ros have shed the achingly gorgeous post-rock sound they've essentially perfected, for an injection of a, well, jungle fever sound.

Oh and check out the video on the same page, featuring many shiny happy people frolicking through a forest/stream in their best birthday suits. NSFW.

Akon, Wyclef Jean, and Sean Paul are at the MTS Centre on July 15th.

Current rotation: Belle & Sebastien - The Life Pursuit


Glowing In The Dark

>> Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Last night the inimitable Kanye West proved why he is one of the best entertainers in the music biz, putting on one helluva show at the MTS Centre.

Expletive-free rapper Lupe Fiasco, one of two acts on the bill I was actually familiar with, opened the night, taking the stage around 7 and stirring the slowly-filing-in crowd into a frenzy by the time he finished a half-hour later. I can't remember the last time I saw an opener evoke such a response. "Hip Hop has Saved My Life" was awesome.

The 10+ members of N.E.R.D hit the stage about 20 minutes later and easily won me over with their heavy percussion, LED screens, fevered rapping, and angry electric guitars. Two brilliant acts in a row.

Could Rihanna make it three?

Now admittedly, Rihanna was the performer I was least familiar with, although I did recognize the ubiquitous "Please Don't Stop The Music". This 20 year-old beauty from Barbados not only impressed me with her elaborate costumes (I loved the ballooning ballroom gown), she blew me away with her strong vocals and commanding stage presence. For someone so young, she sure exudes unwavering confident up there.

Then came The Man: Kanye, who, once the curtain rose, lay "fast asleep" and alone on stage. After the LED screens simulated a crash landing on a desolate planet, a seemingly sentient computer (Jane) lowered itself on stage, insisting Kanye "wake up", which he eventually did performing
Graduation opening-track "Good Morning". The space-odyssey theme continued throughout the set while Kanye delivered all the goods to the ecstatic crowd (including this blogger): "Flashing Lights", "Gold Digger", "Stronger", and "Homecoming" (sans Chris Martin).

The entire time West was alone on stage - the band was hidden just below the stage - and for an artist to be so sure of himself AND pull it off, is undeniably impressive. The only exception to this was when Lupe joined Kanye on stage for crowd-favourite "Touch The Sky".

In an unannounced surprise (which I read about today), Janet Jackson & an entourage showed up and watched Kanye's set from the floor. Apparently Bruce Willis's daughter was in attendance too.

Honestly, I could go on and on...It was a show I'm still raving about, a day later. One of the best I've ever seen.

Current rotation: Califone - Roots & Crowns


Biggest Star In The Universe

It's nearly 1 am. I'm a little buzzed and still kinda on a natural high from the whole Kanye West experience.

Tonight's show at the MTS Centre was one of the best concerts I've ever attended. Seriously.

I'm really tired though, so I'll elaborate further tomorrow...


Is This Cartoon Going On Live?

>> Monday, 26 May 2008

I'm heading to Kanye in a bit and wanted to note two things.

MXPX is playing with Lagwagon on September 1st at the Pyramid.

Scout Niblett is playing an early show at the Pyramid on July 26th.

Current rotation: Kanye West - Graduation


Mondo, Gnarly, Radical, and Tubular

>> Saturday, 24 May 2008

So prog-rockers Rush are making their triumphant return to our beloved city tonight, after a 26 year absence (I was five months old then!). I wonder if some thoughtless individual will toss a bottle on stage, but I won't know, since I'm not attending, opting instead to watch game one of the Stanley Cup final.

I wish I were more excited with this evening's hockey game-- not having a Canadian team in the final really hurts.

Motion City Soundtrack is at the Garrick on July 21 w/ Spill Canvas, Sing it Loud.

Lagwagon is at the Pyramid on September 1st. Tix are a whopping $26.

A Wilhelm Scream
is there on July 25th.

Current rotation: The Bird and The Bee - S/T


June Music Releases

>> Thursday, 22 May 2008

Since June is just on the horizon, I thought I'd surf around today and find out what's being released next month (and the rest of this month). I had too much fun doing so.

Here are some highlights from my findings:

Islands - Arm's Way (released two days ago)

The Futureheads - This Is Not The World
Ellen Allien - Sool

Elephant - The Violet Hour
Ladytron - Velocifero
Radiohead - Best Of
Spiritualized - Songs In A & E
Weezer - Weezer (Red Album)

My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
The Orb - The Dream
Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha

Coldplay - Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
My Brighest Diamond - A Thousand Shark' Teeth
The Notwist - The Devil, You & Me
Sally Shapiro - Romance Remix Vol. 2
Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer

Au - Verbs
The Watson Twins - Fire Songs

I heard the Hives' show at the Burt was awesome. Anyone go?

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


Maybe I Will Lois, Maybe I Will

>> Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The Popular Front are at the Albert on June 19th.

Current rotation: Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope


Death Cab For Mykael...J/K

>> Saturday, 17 May 2008

It's time for another entry of the patent-pending
Super-Fun All-Star Sunshine Music Review

Artist: Death Cab For Cutie
Album: Narrow Stairs
Release Date: May 13th

My one sentence review: "If someone vehemently defended Death Cab as one of the most accessible, fun, and consistent bands in indie rock, Narrow Stairs would be a testament to their argument."

I've decided to mention this concert, since it's a short jaunt south, and it is a show I'm considering attending. The Hold Steady are playing The Fargo Theatre on July 23rd.

Three hours, assuming you catch some luck at the border, and you're there.

Current rotation: Death Cab - Narrow Stairs


Jimmy Eat Winnipeg

>> Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Jimmy Eat World is at the Burt on July 8th. Presale password is BAND.

Current rotation: Sparklehorse - Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain


Poppa Tomato Gets Angry, Goes Over To The Baby Tomato, Smooshes Him... And Says, Catch Up

>> Monday, 12 May 2008

I decided to amend my ultimate life goal.

My new goal by the time I die is to have a bug named after me, much like Winnipeg's own Neil Young who recently received the prestigious honour of having a species of trapdoor spider named after him. The bug in question is now called Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.

The Myrmekiaphila mykaelsopheri spider sure has a nice alliterative ring to it.


Jose Gonzalez is at the Park Theatre on July 2nd.

Nina Nastasia is at the Albert on June 23rd.

Ex G 'n R rhythm guitarist Gilby Clarke is at the Zoo on June 11th and 12th.

Boston is at the MTS Centre on June 7th.

Weatherman Underground, not Playing Cards, will be playing with ARCTIC two days from now at Mondragon.

Drowning Pool is at the Zoo on June 16th.

Phew. That was exhausting.

Current rotation: Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block


Nuna Festival - Part Deux

>> Sunday, 11 May 2008

I attended another Nuna festival event last night, this time catching Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson and Ottawa's Kyrie Kristmanson.

The precocious (I believe she's around 20) Kristmanson opened (second photo), charming the crowd with her unique fusion of jazz/folk/rock/a capela while showing off her wonderfully warm sense of humour in the process. It was quite evident that she is becoming one of Canada's most promising folk talents.

While the majority of Kristmanson's set featured rapid vocals and upbeat numbers, Johannsson's was almost the exact opposite. Accompanied by a string quartet and a programmer (who worked a laptop), Johannsson performed his technically complex, ethereal instrumental compositions, alternating between the piano, keyboard, and synthesizer (I think). The set was around an hour long, but seemed like minutes, making this the most engaging, dreamy concert experience since I saw Sigur Ros three years ago.

Both Nuna events I witnessed were fantastic. Sigur Ros or mum next year? That'd be something...

Current rotation: The Go! Team - Proof of Life


Nuna Festival

>> Saturday, 10 May 2008

Last night I caught Toronto's Major Maker (second photo) and Iceland's Sprengjuhollin (first) at the Garrick, part of this year's Nuna (Icelandic) festival and it was a fun evening. Major Maker played a spirited set of dancy-rock numbers including their minor hit "Rollercoaster" and frontman Lindy proved to be quite the impassioned singer.

Sprengjuhollin - Icelandic accents and all - were tremendous live, considering they are a relatively new (and young!) band. They were charming, funny, unabashed, and played cohesively. I was deeply impressed with their nuanced folk-rock sound and expect to hear a lot more about them in the upcoming years. Yet another remarkable musical export from Iceland.

The singer even wore a shirt that read "Winnipeg, Manitoba". I gotta get a shirt like that. Even better: one that says "Transcona, Manitoba".

Current rotation: My Best of 2007 disc


I Saw Sparks

>> Friday, 9 May 2008

Innocuous Brit-Popsters Coldplay will be at the MTS Centre on August 1st. No idea about ticket information yet, but I'll keep ya updated. I wonder if Gwyneth, Apple & Moses will be in tow.

I still love Parachutes.

Greg Rollie, who sang a bunch of Santana's hits, will be at Coyote's on July 12th.

Current rotation: Portishead - Dummy


Shining Headlights

>> Monday, 5 May 2008

A few years back I reviewed a cd by a promising Chicago-based indie-pop band called Headlights, and made a mental note to follow their career. And characteristically, I forgot all about them.

That is until recently when I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Headlights will be playing The Albert on July 1st in support of their latest release Some Racing, Some Stopping. Check out "Cherry Tulips" (above), a warm, bouncy number that is the first single off the record.

The video ain't bad too.

Correction: Icelandic electronic wizard Johann Johannsson will be playing The West End on Saturday not the Gas Station Theatre. Opening for him at the West End is folk-artist Kyrie Kristmanson, who I'm told is worth the $10 admission price alone.

Current rotation: Albert Hammond, Jr. - Yours To Keep


Wilco - Live At The Burt

>> Saturday, 3 May 2008

Wilco rock. Seriously.

My memory, however, does not. Once again, I forgot to check beforehand if my digital camera batteries were charged (they weren't) so I have no pictures. Sorry about the lack of visuals.

Anyways, I caught Wilco last night at the Burt for the second time in as many years, and while I didn't love this show as much as the previous one, this was still a very good concert. The Chicago-based sextet played a lengthly set (almost two-and-a-half hours) including an unprecedented eight song encore. The set itself comprised a healthy mix from their six album discography including personal favourites "Outtasite (Outta Mind)", "Heavy Metal Drummer" from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and "You Are My Face" off recent release Sky Blue Sky.

A lot of the songs performed were fan requested through their website (something I sheepishly wasn't aware of) and I have to admit, some mid-set tracks failed to maintain my interest, and I drifted off occasionally. Whether this resulted from the tracks selected by fans, I don't know. Something to think about anyways.

The eight song encore though, kicked butt.

Current rotation: mum - Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy


I'm 26 Years Old Today

>> Thursday, 1 May 2008

So today is my 26th birthday. When I got out of the shower this morning I examined my face up close in the mirror, looking for new blemishes or wrinkles, when I stepped back and realized: I am actually getting better looking with age!

I'm quite happy about this...LOL

I figured I'd wish myself a Happy Birthday on my blog and post a wonderful birthday video for myself from myself.

Boy, that was a weird existential sentence to type.

Anyways, the above video is "Birthday" by the Sugarcubes (with Bjork) from 2006.

Bjork, like me, is aging well. Incredibly well. Must be something in the Icelandic blood...

Current rotation: The Above Video


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