Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve Birthday, Paul Westerberg and Color Me Obsessed with The Replacements

Today is Paul Westerberg's birthday, so Happy Birthday to him, Happy New Year to the rest of you. His recently released tune My Road Now popped into my head while watching Color Me Obsessed, the doc on The Replacements that includes no members of the band and no music by the band (which you can stream in its entirety here).

My Road Now

Westerberg and Tommy Stinson are putting out some music to benefit The Replacements' Slim Dunlap who suffered a stroke last February, you can get more info at or soon at the Songs for Slim facebook page and website. Chris Mars has done a track (adding to the one he's already released for Slim), and it looks like 17 more artists will be recording songs for the cause including Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, and Jakob Dylan.

Color Me Obsessed

Love Untold

Nowhere Man

Westerberg and Joan Jett

Tommy Stinson - It's a Drag

Tommy Stinson - Meant To Be

Tommy Stinson - Zero to Stupid

Chris Mars - Popular Creeps

Chris Mars - Monkey Sees

Slim Dunlap - the Ballad of the Opening Band

Slim Dunlap - Hate This Town

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Mendicants - This Time

If you were in a newly-formed band touring Australia, would you put out as your first release an INXS cover? The New Mendicants would. The New Mendicants are comprised of Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers, Scud Mountain Boys, Chappaquiddick Skyline), Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits ), and Mike Belitsky (The Sadies, Jale - not pictured).Here's the scoop from The Pernice Brothers website where you can purchase the new EP:

"This 6-song CD EP was put together so Norman and Joe would have something to sell on their January/February 2013 tour of Australia. (Mike wasn't actually in the band on its first day, when the touring plan was hatched and flights were purchased. He joined on the 7th day.) It contains 3 brand new songs, plus 2 instances of Joe and Norman covering themselves (tres postmodern) and one INXS cover (The Australian government requires musicians wishing to tour Australia release an INXS cover before they will issue the necessary work visas. But luckily, they had some good songs.) This is a limited-edition piece, and is probably only available via mail order. This will ship in late January/early February, and will be available then in all the usual digital places."

I put Joe Pernice up there with Mark Kozelek as a genius singer-songwriter who hasn't yet received the deserved accolades. Norman Blake, I think, has been recognized as a great guy with a melody already. Here's a few examples of each to jog your memory.

Overcome by Happiness Something For You (the first minute of this tune reminds me of Teenage Fanclub) Zero Refills Dumb it Down The Great Depression Teenage Fanclub - The Concept Teenage Fanclub - Everything Flows Teenage Fanclub - Baby Lee Teenage Fanclub - Dumb Dumb Dumb Teenage Fanclub - What You Do To Me Teenage Fanclub - Neil Jung

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Shins - The Rifle's Spiral

You know why The Shins' The Rifle's Spiral is so special? MAGIC!!!!

I don't think I had heard of Nintendo 3DS before, or maybe I threw it out of my mind as unnecessary info. But this video was pretty eduactional for me as to how much work goes into a visually rich stop-motion video such as this one.

Adam Ant - Cool Zombie, New Song, Old Pirate Attire

Adam Ant is back with a new tune after umpteen years away (about 17 years, actually). Somehow it sounds like Bob Dylan's vocal style from years back has had a great influence on Mr. Ant, although according to Wikipedia this song was co-written with Andy Bell. I'm guessing this is the Andy Bell from Ride and Oasis, not Erasure. Here's an interesting quote from an Adam Ant blog about how he sees himself these days:

"I'm alright! I'm back to normal. I'm excited by my work. The definitions of bipolar disorder are – look it up – sexually promiscuous, dressing up funny, behaving in an unusual manner, spending lots of money erratically, and just generally being a nutcase. Well, I don't know a fucking good rock 'n' roller who doesn't fit all the criteria, so lock everybody up! Lock Keith Moon, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix... who would you not lock up? Cliff, maybe? I'm serious. People don't know anything about mental illness. It's bipolar disorder." (quote from this blog)

Mr. Ant is supposed to be releasing a new album with the Fiona Apple-like unwieldy title of Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter. January 21 seems to be the release date at this point, with the album allegedly being released on compact disc, double vinyl, and cassette. Cassette? Who has a cassette player these days?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

JP Hoe - Nothing's Gonna Harm You

Winnipeg's JP Hoe has a released an amazing Wwinnipeg/prairie-themed video for Nothing's Gonna Harm You. Keep your fine holiday glow with this one, or start one if you didn't have one already. Hoe is rapidly becoming some kind of cultural ambassador for our parts - have you seen any of his Canada Day shorts? Check out a few below. He also successfully completed not one, not two, but three nights of his Hoe Hoe Hoe holiday shows at The Park Theatre, with special guests like the folks from Imaginary Cities (pic below).

Karma Police

Distances - May Be Closer Than They Appear: Free EP or Pay-What-You-Want EP

I don't know what passes for punk rock these days. But I know that for some reason, Winnipeg produces some amazing bands that have somehow amalgamated punk, post-punk, metal and pop into a new breed of melodic, aggressive, well-crafted animal. Comeback Kid and Sights & Sounds are a couple of reference points for Distances, a new Winnipeg 4-piece, and the guys are out to conquer the world. Well, maybe not conquer so much as want everyone to have their new EP. That's why it is avalable on Bandcamp on a pay-what-you-want basis, and maybe that's why it was engineered, recorded & mixed by Michael Petkau Falk, so it was a supersonically superior

Distances are playing January 12 with Title Fight & Living With Lions at West End Cultural Centre, for $20 tix you can email

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Music You Don't Hate? Try These

Looking for some Christmas music that you haven't heard a million times? Me too. In the meantime, you can try these.

The Line of Best Fit's holiday collection! Canadian holiday tunes!

Kathryn Calder's Little Ones - read her note about this vid and a charity here.

Bad Brains Christmas Dance Party

Bad Brains and Charlie Brown Christmas dance party? Sure, why not. Now if somebody gets me some Bad Brains Hot Sauce this year, the holidays will be complete.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Church - Still Woozy After All These Years

After more than 30 years of psychedelic pop, The Church are still creating woozy, dark and kaleidoscopic gems. Although the band's been reissuing many early albums in deluxe editions, the Australian art-pop gents are still putting out records and playing live. Recently three concerts with the band playing full albums Starfish, Priest = Aura, and Untitled #23 were made available for streaming on The video is well-shot, if not particularly inventive, and the audio quality is decent. Not the most dynamic visually, these guys aren't leaping in the air or being amusing entertainers, it's about the music, but if you are entranced by their songs, it's worth your time.

Under the Milky Way
Watch The Church and other great gigs on Moshcam.

Watch The Church and other great gigs on Moshcam.

Watch The Church and other great gigs on Moshcam.

Watch The Church and other great gigs on Moshcam.

Sunken Sun
Watch The Church and other great gigs on Moshcam.

Here's a hit from the beginning of The Church's career you should remember.

The Unguarded Moment

Here are a few newer tunes from the Deadman's Hand E.P.:

Photo at top of post by Drew Reynolds.

Crocodiles and Dum Dum Girls - Merry Christmas Baby (Please Don't Die) CASSINGLE!?!

In the years this blog has existed I don't think there have been any Christmas posts. So why start now? Well, I happen to love Crocodiles, and they teamed up with Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls for this Christmas song, actually a couple of years ago. But it is now being released on cassingle by Dream. Yes, a cassette single, which makes me chuckle. In that short-lived era in North America when the music industry didn't know how to move on from vinyl, major labels tried to make cassingles the answer. Oops. Anyhow, being a guy who had access to getting music at cost or sometimes free, I picked up some cassette singles, especially if they had unreleased b-sides. National Velvet, Grapes of Wrath, Metallica, Midnight Oil, and Jesus Jones are the only ones I can remember. They always seemed cheap and ultra-disposable, with thin cardboard sleeves the only protective layer, and if you had them kicking around in your car...well, you get the picture. Anyhow, I think only 100 of these Croc/Dum cassingles have been made, and the first ten were signed by the musicians. You also get a download card when you purchase.

Crocodiles' Brandon Welchez and Dum Dum Girls' Dee Dee are also going to be releasing a single on Febuary 5 under the band name Haunted Hearts.

Haunted Hearts - Something That Feels Bad is Something That Feels Good

Don't be all Scrooge-y, leave a comment below.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cannon Bros. - New Unreleased Tune!

A year after their album was released, I am finally getting around to becoming hooked on Winnipeg's Cannon Bros. First I heard the spacey DJ Co-op Remix of Soft View, then I see Exclaim! hooked the duo for a video of the unreleased song below. That video sparked fond echoes of Pavement, especially Stephen Malkmus, as well as faint reverberations of Superchunk, Hardship Post, and The Inbreds. Well, I may be slow, but I'm on the bandwagon now. Catchy stuff, nice and simple, no need to reinvent the wheel, but there is an indefinable quality to Cannon Bros. which is compelling and inspiring.

Cannon Bros. - Untitled (LIVE on Exclaim! TV) by ExclaimTV

Soft View

Left in a Hurry

Soft View - DJ Co-op Remix

Leave a comment below.