Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. Spooky. Scary

>> Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween Folks!

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

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


The Water's There To Warm You

>> Monday, 27 October 2008

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

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

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

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

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


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

>> Friday, 24 October 2008

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

Obie Trice is at the Pyramid on November 18th.

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

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

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

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


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

>> Monday, 20 October 2008

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

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

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

And finally some show announcements:

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

The Details play there November 7th and 8th.

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

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


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

>> Friday, 17 October 2008

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

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

Random Thoughts and Observations During Death Cab:

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

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

3. No Postal Service songs were touched.

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

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

Random Thoughts and Observations During Neil Young:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh yeah, I already wrote that.

Infinite Playlist - None


Your Love Is Gonna Drown

>> Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Today, in balletic procrastinating form, I compiled a list of songs I deeply hope Death Cab will play tomorrow instead of, well, working on much more pressing and important things. I estimate that since there's another opening band, Everest, DCFC will play about 45 minutes of stuff because Neil Young, despite getting olderish, will still need to rock out for two hours and the show can't possibly go all night (it has to be over around 11 right? I honestly don't know).

My DCFC wish list is as follows:

1. Bixby Canyon Bridge
2. No Sunlight
3. You Can Do Better Than Me
4. The New Year
5. Expo '86
6. Death Of An Interior Decorator
7. Marching Bands Of Manhattan
8. Different Names For The Same Thing
9. Company Calls
10. Photobooth
11. Title and Registration

I figure hearing 4-5 of these will be extremely fortuitous - stay tuned for the results.

If you're going, which tracks are on your wish list?

The erstwhile leader of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, is at the Burt on November 15th.

The prestigious honour of "the first right column listing for next year" goes to Sam Roberts who plays there on January 22nd.

Runner-up is jazz sensation Sophie Milman who plays the Burt on February 12th.

Infinite Playlist : DCFC - Plans & Transatlanticism


She's Got The Look

>> Sunday, 12 October 2008

Lots to announce and flesh out, so let's dive right in:

Lucid is staging their cd release party this Friday at the Pyramid.

54-40, a band whom I've always had a soft spot for, is at Silverado's November 10th.

Sloan, another Canadian band I've always had a soft spot for, is opening for Lenny Kravitz.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Richard Thompson is at the Garrick on December 5th.

Buffy St. Marie's November 11th gig at the Pantages is cancelled.

Three Inches Of Blood rock the Albert on October 21st w/ Evile.

The Powerball roster has been filled out with Power97, umm, favourites: Papa Roach, Default, The Waking Eyes, and The Watchmen.

Fred Eaglesmith is at The Albert on November 8th.

The Subcity Dwellers are there November 15th.

And finally, congrats to Winnipeg's own The Weakerthans for taking home the SOCAN prize, a prize identifying, "what’s next and what’s best in current music." I wish I knew who they were up against.

Infinite Playlist : Roxette - Their 20 Greatest Songs (Note: Seriously!)


Hockey And Music

>> Saturday, 11 October 2008

Chapter two of the wonderfully educational book The Indie Music Fan’s Guide to Being an Indie Music Fan is entitled “Acceptable Other Interests”, and states the following on page 34, paragraph two:

Under no circumstances whatsoever are Indie Music Lovers allowed to engage in or watch sports. Sport is anti-art that insidiously suppresses the individual creative instinct by advocating the inane concept of ‘team mentality’.

Just kidding! No such book exists…yet.

The inspiration for the above silliness came a couple days back when someone (who’ll remain anonymous) incredulously observed this about me: “You’re a big hockey fan? Really?!? But you’re such a huge book and music lover!”

This individual, however, was not the first person to make this astute observation about me, so Dear Blog Reader, let me clear up the confusion with information so shocking that you’ll likely click away in utter terror and dismay: I am a colossal NHL fan and follow it with a fervent passion. My team is the Edmonton Oilers, and I gotta tell ya, this year’s team looks promising, will be exciting to watch and will return to the playoffs this year for the first time in two years.

Self-indulgence aside, over the past few days I’ve been mulling over these two seemingly incongruous activities, desperately mining for some common ground, when suddenly it hit me like a bag of oranges: the personality types attracted to specific positions.

Let’s take a look.

1. Goalie/Drummer

It requires a particular kind of person to voluntarily block vulcanized rubber discs fired with intense velocity at the head or reproductive area, much like it takes a particular kind of person to sit around a drum kit and continuously emit pounding, thumping beats that cause brains to pinball around inside their skulls.

I know there’re loads of padding and ear devices that can be worn, but still not really for me.

2. Defence/Bass Player

What defence and bass have in common is this: no one ever wants to play this position. Whether playing an ad hoc game of scrimmage with your buds or starting a band, this is the one position no one ever wants to play. Why? Because traditionally defence or bass are considered boring and unheroic. But without defence/bass a team/band couldn’t function properly, which is why they attract the unsung heroes, the truly good people who aren’t interested in basking in the adoring glow of the limelight.

Since I’m definitely not “truly good”, this one also isn’t really for me.

3. Center/Lead Singer

The undisputed leader of the team/band, these leaders are responsible for, well, the energy of the team. Crowds always pick up on inept lead singers which in turn affect the rest of the band’s energy, whilst hockey fans always expect the center to dazzle defenders with some unheard of behind-the-back pass to left and right wingers who’ll score a blistering goal.

Too much pressure…not for me.

4. Left and Right Wing / Keyboard and Lead Guitarist

These I call the “look cool” position because, well, anyone who plays these positions looks beyond cool at every moment. Whether melting faces with a kaleidoscopic guitar solo or adroitly skating up the left or right, doing a fancy move on the defender and scoring glove side, these positions are fan magnets.

This is me, for sure.

Anyways, welcome back NHL. I’ve missed your frank ability to distract me from regularly updating my blog.

Music-related updates from now on (I promise).

Infinite Playlist : M83 - Saturdays = Youth


Through A Pinhole

>> Tuesday, 7 October 2008

For those looking for a kick-ass rockin' time, Disturbed on December 6th at the Burt is a safe bet.

Canadian punk veterans SNFU play The Zoo on October 28th AND 29th. Tix @ Music Trader.

Kram Ran's cd release show at the Albert has changed: it is now October 17th.

Flo Rida is at Blush Ultraclub on October 13th. Remember: you must be 21 to get in.

Infinite Playlist - Death Cab For Cutie - Plans


Born Ruffians - Live At The Pyramid ; The Awkward Stage - Live At Music Trader

>> Sunday, 5 October 2008

Hit a pair of shows last night.

Before I get into them though, you've probably noticed I have a new blog header (assuming you read often enough to notice) so I want to make two quick acknowledgments:

1. Endless thanks to the wonderfully talented Whitney for making me the new and awesome blog header.

2. Thanks to the inimitable Greg MacPherson for allowing me to use a photo from his website. If you're unfamiliar, Greg is the singer/guitarist on the left. In the middle of the local musical collage are fragments of Novillero whilst on the left is Keri Latimer, the leader of Nathan (both photos snapped by me).

So yeah, last night was an action-packed live music evening. First I hit Music Trader and caught a free in-store set by Vancouver indie-rockers The Awkward Stage. TAS sounded great for being confined to such a small space and easily left me craving more. Had I not already purchased tickets for The Born Ruffians, I definitely would've hit The Lo Pub for their later show.

Then I mosyed on down to the Pyramid for Born Ruffians, Plants and Animals and Slim Twig. Slim Twig didn't impress me - I had a hard time getting past the strident organ that seemed to dominate
every song, although that might have been the result of poor mixing by the Pyramid staff. I can't say for sure (No photos, sorry).

I was completely unfamiliar with Plants and Animals (above), but was treated to a pleasant surprise. For a three-piece
sans bass (although I think they used a bass sparingly), these guys sure had a refreshing, rich sound, something almost everyone in the crowd picked up on. When they finished I heard several people shouting for more. I wouldn't have complained.

Born Ruffians, the headliners, were terrific too. The youngerish trio exuded endless energy as they sped through a bunch of new material and most of Red, Yellow, and Blue. It's unfortunate they started so late (approximately quarter to one) because nearly halfway through the set, at least 1/3 of the crowd had faded away - I saw many people yawn, check their watches, quickly calculate what time they would get home, then promptly leave. And by the time they finished their main set list, a throng of people instantly filed out, not even bothering to wait around for an encore (they played one song). I can relate. I was tired too.

Infinite Playlist: I'm From Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends


Satisfying Musical Editions - End Of September Edition

>> Friday, 3 October 2008

  • Mates of State - Re-Arrange Us
  • Goldfrapp - A & E 7'
  • Parachutes - S/T 10' EP
  • Novillero - A Little Tradition
So this year I turned 26 (thank you, thank you).

Ever since, I’ve caught myself uttering this rather generic phrase way too much: “I can’t believe it’s been X years since Y” - X being any positive number, usually expressed in years and Y typically being some monumental event. Question: does this phrase mark the commencement of getting old? Am I destined to say “I can’t believe it’s been X since Y” with increased frequency and incredulity as the years tick by? If so, damn. This is surely one small step away from calling young folks “sonny” and “little miss” while repeatedly starting sentences with “Back in my day.”

Honestly though, I can’t believe it’s been almost five years since I saw Mates of State in Vancouver. The concert was great: I spotted A.C. Newman taking in the show; one of the opening acts, Da Hawny Troof were absolutely bizarre and did a whole bunch of crazy shit on stage; and the cutest couple in indie rock proved to be charming and engaging performers. Their latest offering, Re-Arrange Us, appeared in my player quite often this past month and is a welcomed departure from Mates previous recording. The saccharine boy/girl ping-pong vocal exchanges are minimized in favour of lush strings, which add depth and texture throughout the ten tracks. These Mates are now Parents of State, so perhaps the increased responsibility that comes with parenting somehow resulted in this fresh, mature sound. I don’t know.

Last month I proclaimed my undying love for Goldfrapp’s Seventh Tree and confessed to playing “A & E” over and over again, occasionally hugging the disc like a thirteen-year-old girl smitten by some Joey Lawrence-type teenage heartthrob. I have bad news: my torrid love affair with the track came to a dramatic, heartbreaking, and tear-inducing halt just two days later.

However, I apparently and impulsively purchased a 7’ picture disc on ebay while pie-eyed one night, the result of guzzling one too many Grey Goose dry martinis (tip of the day: fewer olives = a less intense hang over). When the picture disc finally arrived two weeks later, I was stunned. The colours are vibrant, the pressing looks flawless, and the track sounds terrific on my olderish record player. Although, “A & E” didn’t have the same impact on me as it did during our love affair, it was still appreciated and savoured. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you're missing out.

I also picked up another record this month: a black 10’EP by Parachutes, a brand-spanking new Icelandic band (to me at least). This was also a sort of whimsical purchase: Parachutes hypnotized me during their opening thirty minute set for Sigur Rós and forced me to sprint down to the lobby and give them money. As an added bonus, anyone buying the record could email the record label and they’d provide a link to the mp3s, free of charge. Something I took advantage of.

I was so enamored with Parachutes that their track “Your Stories” was chosen from a field of thousands to be the illustrious recipient of My 40 000th Scrobbled Track on last.fm. If you’re unfamiliar with last.fm, it is a plug-in you install in your player that sends your music listening information to their site and catalogs it. For example: I have listened to “Naked As We Came” 143 times ON MY COMPUTER. Yeah...even I’m astounded.

Further analyzing my stats, I see I’ve listened to Novillero’s A Little Tradition an awful lot this month. If you haven’t heard their newest release, I suggest getting it right now. Run, bike, swim to Music Trader and give them your money.

And if you don’t have last.fm, get that too (it's free). I can’t believe it’s been three years since I first installed it.

Infinite Playlist - Parachtues - S/T


In The Highest Room

>> Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Justin Rutledge will be at the Park Theatre on November 18th. Tix on sale Friday, but you can get them starting tomorrow with the presale password SIXSHOOTER.

Also, if you're looking for Cadence Weapon or Fembots or The Acorn tix, head on down to Music Trader. They'll help you out.

Oh and if you haven't heard, our beloved Weakerthans lost the Polaris Music Prize to Dundas, Ontario's Caribou (aka Dan Snaith). Caribou is consistently solid (and puts on a wicked live show), so he's a deserving winner IMO. Plus he used to be called Manitoba, which was tres cool.

Infinite Playlist: Memphis - A Place In The Wilderness


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