Friday, October 29, 2010

Kori Pop: Not a New Breakfast Cereal, a Musical Subgenre, or Fizzy Candy.

Receiving tunes from an unknown artist is always a fun proposition. I got a music submission from Kori Pop, but I thought it was spam (Hint for artists: "Scruffy the Yak music submission" is a good subject line). I can't answer why I opened it, but I found out that Kori Pop is a singer/songwriter from Ontario. You can listen to (and purchase) her album, From the Outskirts, here. Sprightly-piano-based pop abounds, and I liked by her DIY video for my favourite song from the record, Nowehere Near My Heart.

Kori Pop - Nowhere Near My Heart by scruffy the yak

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pixies New Website, Free Download; Everything But a New Record

Pixies are unveiling a new website and are giving those on their mailing list a free download of the 2004 Coachella show, and supposedly there will be new shows every week. Even if you are wary of giving out your e-mail address, it looks like you can get digital downloads of shows for $3.99, and a cd and download is $3.99 plus shipping and handling. I know that Black Francis/Frank Black/Charles or whatever his name is has said that for Pixies, it's all about the commerce these days, but that seems like a fair price. And getting the 20-song Coachella set for free is pretty spiffy in my books.

Although Pixies are not putting out new music and are probably hoping we'll shell out the $8700.00 or what-have-you for the Minotaur box set, other people are sure into covering their songs or screwing around with them in other ways.

The Pixies "Debaser" Sloppy Seconds Extended Eyeball by Sloppy Seconds

03 Isla De Encanta (pixies cover) by theradiosweetheart

Weezer : Velouria (Pixies cover) by acrylica

Where Is My Mind (pixies cover) by Jeremiahandthesound

Dig for Fire (Pixies Cover) by TipiTash

07 - Drumkan - Alec Eiffel (Pixies) by akane_indie

Pixies - Debaser (Jake's Vamp Dub Mix) by jakeclemens

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bryan Ferry Returns With Olympia

I got into Roxy Music through Avalon, which makes me uncool in some quarters. I know, I know, the Brian Eno-with-Roxy early stuff is more challenging, or progressive, or what-have-you, and I now enjoy that era as well, but I still think the later Roxy Music albums, as well as Ferry's solo records, are masterful. Sweet, smooth, multi-layered songs that work as aural treats to my ears. I understand those who feel that it's too lightweight - the unusual rhythms, strange keyboard and synth sounds, unique lyrics and vocal choices in the early Roxy material aren't often found in Ferry's later work. But to me, there's still a dark undercurrent riding inside many of those songs, even on the stately Avalon, which makes that cover of that album make sense.

Like Avalon, Olympia was produced by Rhett Davies, and it also includes contributions from Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera. The cover art (shown at the top of the post) hearkens back to Roxy album covers too. Other notables collaborating with Ferry on the new record are Dave Stewart, David Gilmour, Jonny Greenwood, Nile Rodgers, Groove Armada, and Scissor Sisters, as well as David Williams, who worked with Michael Jackson. You can hear the new album at

Bryan Ferry - You Can Dance (Radio Edit) by MMMusic

Bryan Ferry - Heartache By Numbers by alienhits

There are already lots of remixes of tunes from Olympia, here's a few:

Dj Hell - You Can Dance (feat bryan ferry) by deadz

You Can Dance (electric pacific remix) by Bryan Ferry

Bryan Ferry 'Heartache By Numbers' - Circus Parade Remix by wearemachinemusic

Bryan Ferry - Alphaville (Leo Zero Remix) by Arunas

Groove Armada // Shameless (feat. Bryan Ferry) by

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Watchmen Return. Again. With a New Old Song

The Watchmen are returning to Winnipeg for two shows at The Pyramid December 3 and December 4 - get yer tix soon, both nights will be sold out if they aren't already. The documentary on the band, All Uncovered, will be on sale at the show in DVD format. No word on blu-ray, VHS, or Beta. Here's some tunes you probably don't own (the first three below were never commercially released that I know of) and a few you might in other formats.

The Watchmen - Everywhere is Grey by scruffy the yak

Painted Ladies Live at the Horseshoe

I Wish We Were There

Absolutely Anytime

Brighter Hell

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Cars Offer Snatch of New Song

Just found out via the 80's- and 90's-obsessed Slicing Up Eyeballs that The Cars seem to have unobtrusively confirmed that new music is actually being created by the reconstituted band. The group's FaceBook page will let you play a snippet of new tune Blue Tip, which sounds like...classic Cars, maybe from Panorama or Candy-O. It could have been worse, it could have been a dancey electronic thing like the remix by The Transients below.

Lets Go- Cars (The Transients- remix) by The-Transients

As for making Blue Tip only available on their FaceBook page, it seems like a bit of an odd move to me, but with MySpace becoming the place where tweets go to be repeated ad nauseum, I can see it making sense for some people.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ridley Bent Loves Rabbits. Really.

Vancouverite-turned-Winnipegger Ridley Bent recently released his third album, Rabbit On My Wheel, and his progression away from hick-hop country rap to straight out country seems fully complete. What remains is Bent's exceptional storytelling skills, what's more developed is the melodies. I confess I like the fact that Bent can kinda fit in to "new country", with songs like I Can't turn My Back on the Bottle having the prerequisite smooth touches of rock/pop and western music, yet his sharp, gritty edge and sense of humour is intact in his lyrical bent. I'd still like to hear him take more chances, but I'm rooting for him anyhow. I mean, this guy married country and rap and allowed elements of bands like Rage Against the Machine, as well as name-dropping The Clash and Bob Marley on his first record - I guess he's allowed to move in a more linear fashion for awhile.

Livin' With Her Ex (From Rabbit on my Wheel)

Ridley Bent at Tractorgrease from Jeff Bonner on Vimeo.

I Can't Turn My Back On the Bottle (From Rabbit on my Wheel)

Buckles & Boots (From the album Buckles & Boots, 2007)

Ridley Bent - Buckles and Boots by scruffy the yak

The Devil and Coltrane Henry (From Blam)

Pastures of Heaven (From Blam)

Suicidewinder (From the album Blam, 2005)

Suicidewinder - Ridley Bent by scruffy the yak

You can buy Ridley Bent music, tickets and t-shirts here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tired Pony? Tired Peter Buck & Scott McCaughey, Probably

I've been missing for a awhile, I know. Been busy with my new child, birthdays, the return of hockey, dealing with near-poverty, unnecessary drama, family get-togethers, pumpkin pie and too much coffee. Life is full, I guess. I can't keep up with everything.

And I wonder about those who seem to accomplish so much. You know who plays in more projects than I can keep track of? R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, that's who. Besides still making records with R.E.M., Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus Three, and The Baseball Project, he's also now involved with Tired Pony, which also features Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol, The Reindeer Section), Iain Archer, Richard Colburn (Belle & Sebastian), Jacknife Lee, and Scott McCaughey (Minus 3, Young Fresh Fellows, The Baseball Project, Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus Three, R.E.M.). Tired Pony's album, The Place We Ran From, came out July 12 in the UK and September 28 in North America, and it also features Tom Smith (Editors), M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. It contains some of the smooth pop I associate with Snow Patrol, which I confess I never mooned over, but it also includes touches of alt country, slightly Waterboys-flavoured rootsy pop (I Am a Landslide), and folky melancholia.

I am a Landslide

Tired Pony - I Am A Landslide by k7fm

Dead American Writers

Get on the Road

Point Me at Lost Islands

You can buy Tired Pony in lots of places, here's one.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Miesha & the Spanks - Dirty Words, Dirtier Rock 'n' Roll

Miesha & the Spanks have hit some charts with their new 45, Mean/Fuck. The Calgary guitar/drums duo are offering up their usual raw, dirty rawk on vinyl, which make sense to me.

Miesha & the Spanks - Mean by scruffy the yak

Miesha & the Spanks - Fuck by scruffy the yak

Tour Dates:

Oct 8 The Atria Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Oct 9 Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Oct 10 This Ain't Hollywood Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA

Oct 12 The Mansion House St Catharines, Ontario, CANADA

Oct 14 nIXne (Rock N Roll Pizza Party)Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

Oct 15 The Barfly Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

Oct 16 Bovine Sex Club Toronto

Buy Miesha and the Spanks from Transistor 66 Record Co.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans: The Falcon Lake Incident and Winter Cottage Goodness

Painting Over Silence reminded me that Jim Bryson and The Weakerthans are releasing their collaborative effort, The Falcon Lake Incident, on October 19th. They will celebrate that release with a free show at the Horseshoe Tavern on the same day. I really like the album cover, which reminds me of a Jim Bryson photo from awhile back that caused someone to comment, "Looks like a good album cover." Guess Bryson took that response to heart. The first officially-released song from the album, Metal Girls, includes great lyrics, happy pop hooks, warm keyboards, nicely-understated back-ups from John K.Samson, and and bap-bap-ba's. A guy from Ottawa recording at a cottage in the middle of winter in Manitoba with Winnipeg's favourite sons is an unusual (gutsy? crazy? inspired?) move, but the results sound good so far.

<a href="">Metal Girls by Jim Bryson</a>

Here's a little video captured by The Weakerthans' Jason Tait of Bryson and John K. Samson singing Raised All Wrong "in front of the Kwik-E-Mart in Kitchener", according to

The Falcon Lake Incident cd and digital album will be available through MapleMusic Recordings, the vinyl will come out on Kelp Records.

Here's some other lovely Bryson tunes.

Jim Bryson - Anything and All (demo)

Anything and All - Jim Bryson by kidwave

Jim Bryson - Flowers

Flowers by kelprecords

Jim Bryson - Death by Vibration (Live)

Death by Vibration (live) by kelprecords

Bryson with Sarah Harmer doing Skyway (The Replacements):

Bryson, Sarah Harmer & Kathleen Edwards doing Fisherman's Blues (The Waterboys):