Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sloan - Twice Removed Box Set and Tour

Sloan has reissued their quietly beautiful, of-course-we're-not-grunge classic second album Twice Removed (1994). Still my favourite album by Sloan, one of my faves of all time. The pretty Deluxe Edition package includes, according to the band's website:

•3 VINYL LP's: All LP's include 11" x 22" lyric inserts and standard LP jackets.
1. Twice Removed - Unavailable on vinyl since the 1990's.
2. The Demos - Demo versions of all the songs from Twice Removed in sequential order.
3. The Outtakes - Demo recordings of the songs that didn't make it to Twice Removed.
•7" VINYL SINGLE: Two more bonus demo recordings.
•Digital download of the entire box set in mp3 and FLAC formats.
•32 PAGE 12" x 12" BOOKLET: Containing unreleased photo's, artwork and ephemera from the Twice Removed era.
As well, detailed recollections of recording & touring the LP and full track by track commentary by the band members themselves.

Whew! Ephemera from the Twice Removed Era? They're probably giving away my old ticket stubs. Sounds awe-inspiring, now I have to scrape up $90 to fork out. Sloan's also touring, playing every song from Twice Removed plus whatever they feel like doing. And the band hits Winnipeg tomorrow!


Some tunes not on Twice Removed you may like:

The Answer Was You


An instrumental cover of Sloan's Deeper Than Beauty. This version reminds me of seeing Hardship Post perform as a two-piece (just drums and guitar); when they launched into a stripped, raw version of Coax Me, it made my year. Hardship Post, where are you now?

Dearly Beloved's Better Days includes some Patrick Pentland. I don't think I've shared this before, shame on me. That Dearly Beloved record is prety darned good (it's called Hawk vs. Pigeon).

THU 20 SEPTEMBER - The Pyramid Cabaret Winnipeg, MB ----------------------------------------------
FRI 21 SEPTEMBER - 400 Bar Minneapolis, MN -------------------------------------------------------------
SAT 22 SEPTEMBER – Subterranean Chicago, IL, US ------------------------------------------------------
WED 10 OCTOBER – Maxwell's Hoboken, NJ, US -----------------------------------------------------------
THU 11 OCTOBER – Black Cat Washington, DC, US -------------------------------------------------------
FRI 12 OCTOBER - Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC, US ----------------------------------------------------------
SAT 13 OCTOBER – The Underground Arts Philadelphia, PA,US -----------------------------------------
MON 15 OCTOBER - Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY      --------------------------------------
TUE 16 OCTOBER – Brighton Music Hall Allston,MA ------------------------------------------------------
WED 17 OCTOBER – The Met Pawtucket, RI, US ------------------------------------------------------------
FRI 19 OCTOBER – Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY -----------------------------------------------------------
SAT 10 NOVEMBER – Grog Shop Cleveland Heights, OH, US --------------------------------------------
MON 12 NOVEMBER - Molson Canadian Studio Hamilton, ON -------------------------------------------
TUE 13 NOVEMBER – StarlightWaterloo, ON ----------------------------------------------------------------
THU 22 NOVEMBER – Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON --------------------------------------------

Gimme a comment below. It won't hurt.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ECHO Songwriting Prize - Sloan, John K. Samson, Dan Mangan, Japandroids, Kathleen Edwards

Awards and awards shows come and go, I don't pay much attention. It's music I love, not the hulabaloo surrounding it. However, this year the Echo Songwriting Prize somehow has ended up with 5 nominees that I think are great. That has never happened before. Maybe the world IS ending this year.

Anyhow, SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) is supposed to spotlight "the most creative and artistic songs" with this prize, which you, the public, can vote on here. You can win an iPad, which might not help if that new tv show Revolution foretells our future.

You have until October 10 to vote, which you can do everyday if you want your favourite artist/band to receive $5000 (or you want that iPad). This year's nominees for the 2012 English SOCAN ECHO Songwriting Prize are "House that Heaven Built" by Japandroids, "Post-War Blues" by Dan Mangan, "Soft Place to Land" by Kathleen Edwards, "Unkind" by Sloan and "When I Write My Master's Thesis" by John K. Samson.

John K. Samson - When I Write My Master's Thesis

Japandroids - The House That Heaven Built

Sloan - Unkind

Dan Mangan - Post-War Blues

Kathleen Edwards - Soft Place to Land
Hey! Try leaving a comment below!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kiss - Hell or Halleulah

I don't usually post songs that I think are not good. I get sent a lot of tunes that are just not in my wheelhouse, and I'm not in the business of ripping something apart just because it's not my thing or because I can. There's too much good music for me to spend time focusing on the bad.

But I heard this new Kiss song. I still love their first record, and even enjoy the rest up until Ace Frehley officially left (for the first time, anyway). When Kiss didn't record new music for a while, I wondered if there was anything left in the tank. But this new song? Even more cliched and meaningless lyrics, ordinary riffs, a chorus that sounds like it's been done a million times? Even the money-grubbing Gene Simmons used to put some thought and artistic mojo into Kiss songs, and if you listen to some of his earlier basslines you will see what I mean. But this is just a turgid, boring pile of mediocrity here. Maybe some of the other songs on the album (out October 9) will have some life.

Speaking of the new album, that's the cover above. Pretty creative, huh? And the Monster logo that looks like it was put together by a 12-year-old metal fan in 1983, pretty slick don't you think?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Radiohead Main Head Thom Yorke's Atoms for Peace Unveil New Song Default

Atoms for Peace, AKA Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich and Flea, have given listeners another taste of the group's forthcoming album (next year, supposedly), via Pitchfork. It's a skittery, mechanical tune except for Yorke's vox, which seem to always rise above. Not that different from Yorke's solos stuff or even some of Radiohead's work, is it? I like it anyway. Not sure what Flea is doing with these guys, can anyone enlighten me?

Leave a comment below, won't you?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spirit of Talk Talk Tribute

Yesterday a new tribute to Talk Talk and band leader Mark Hollis was hatched, and it's a doozy, a 30 track double album. The contributors to Spirit of Talk Talk don't seem to have tried to make a radio-friendly hit such as No Doubt's version of It's My Life, in fact many of the songs are from the brilliant and resolutely hitless last two Talk Talk records. Lights' (featuring Darkstars) version of Living in Another World might be the most easily accessible track, but a number of them are good from what I have heard so far. You can sample them all at the Spirit of Talk Talk facebook page. Talk Talk mainman Mark Hollis has stopped making music available for public consumption since about 1998, you can read a good brief story about that here. In a weird bit of synchronicity, Hollis is supposedly giving one brand-spanking track to an American tv show, his first new music in 15 years!

Some of the artists appearing on the CD are: Alan Wilder (Recoil), White Lies, King Creosote, Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Zero 7, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Joan As Police Woman, Sean Carey (Bon Iver), Goldheart Assembly, Thomas White (Electric Soft Parade), Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots), Thomas Feiner, The Black Ships and Turin Brakes. Also contributing to the album are ex-Talk Talk collaborators Ian Curnow, David Rhodes, Gaynor Sadler and Martin Ditcham.

There's a also an extensively detailed book about Talk Talk and the band's influence, with contributions from people such as Robert Plant, Ray Bradbury, Richard Wright (Pink Floyd), Sir Peter Blake, Matt Johnson (the the), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), Duncan Sheik, and John Connolly (awesome novelist).
You can order spirit of Talk Talk directly from Fierce Panda or from Amazon in Canada.

Lights featuring Darkstars - Living in Another world

Richard Reed Parry - I Believe in You

Zero 7 featuring Only Girl - Colour of Spring

Recoil - Inheritance

Lone Wolf - Wealth

Turin Brakes - Ascension

Matthias Vogt Trio - April 5th

Please leave a comment below.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Two Hours Traffic - Amour Than Amis

Two Hours Traffic will be unleashing their new 4 song ep Siren Spell on September 11 (Bumstead Records). The first track, Amour Than Amis, is available as a free download from the band's site if you want to give 'em your email address.

Here's some older tunes to remind you how good Two Hours Traffic have been so far.

Leave a comment below, s'il vous plaît.