Monday, December 30, 2013

Winnipeg and Manitoba Artists To Keep Your Eyes and Ears On

Federal Lights - I See Love

Les Jupes - Hold Me Down

Les Jupes - Love is a Battlefield

Greg McPherson - 1995

Slow Leaves - Life of a Better Man

Pop Crimes - City Head

Ken Pinchin - Why Do You Call Me

Warsaw - Carrion Talker

Sybil - April Showers

Attica Riots - Talking in Your Sleep

Del Barber - Everything is Not Enough

Cannon Bros. Soft View

Cannon Bros. - Out of Here

Scott Nolan - You Rock We Roll

Matt Epp - Learning to Lose Control

KEN Mode - Romeo Must Never Know

KEN Mode - Counter Culture Complex

Royal Canoe - Exodus of the Year

Sights & Sounds - Nothing at All

JD Edwards - Going down to Mexico

JD Edwards Band - Going Down to Mexico from Procter Bros. Industries on Vimeo.

- Tangled Feet

Shotgun Jimmie - Suzie

Shotgun Jimmie - Captain Howdy

Shotgun Jimmie - Mind Crumb

Les Sexy - La La La

Former Winnipeggers you may want to give some attention? Here you go.

Garfield/Odario Williams keeps getting more ambitious and broadening his palette. If he becomes a star in music, film, television or otherwise I will not be surprised.

Grand Analog - Howl (Like Wolves)

Jahmeel Russell has been putting out his own stuff with Red Vienna, working with Fine Times, and is now playing with San Angelus. Quit being so lazy, slacker.

Red Vienna - Lights Out

San Angelus - All Bets on the Slow Kid

Fine Times - And it Happened at Midnight

Luke Doucet is doing pretty well with Whitehorse. It's about time he got the respect and success he deserves.

Whitehorse - Devils's Got a Gun

Upcoming/Due for some new music?
The Mariachi Ghost - Mariachi Ghost

JP Hoe - Nothing's Going to Harm You

Ridley Bent - Crooked and Loaded
Ridley Bent - Nine Inch Nails

John K. Samson - Letter in Icelandic From the Ninette San

Scott Hinkson - All I Need

The Rowdymen - Ode to Possum

The Rowdymen - Rode Hard

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Last Christmas Post, Feat. Paper Moon, Killers & Dawes, XTC, OK GO, The Kinks, Nick Lowe, Del Bel, Crash Test Dummies

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a stupendous holiday, or the very least hear a few good songs. 

Paper Moon - String of Blinking Lights

Paper Moon - String of Blinking Lights from Tim Der on Vimeo.

Paul Kelly - How to Make Gravy

Killers and Dawes - Christmas in L.A.

XTC - Always Winter, Never Christmas

- Thanks for Christmas

The Kinks - Father Christmas

OK Go covering The Kinks - free download of Father Christmas

Nick Lowe - Christmas at the Airport

Crash Test Dummies - the First Noel

Del Bel - Christmas in Prison

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The New Mendicants - A Very Sorry Christmas Plus Eels and Smithereens

The New Mendicants - A Very Sorry Christmas was released yesterday.

Eels - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas

Smithereens - Waking Up On Christmas

Rhett Miller and Sydney Wayser - Christmas is Coming Free MP3

Have a merry free download of this Christmas tune by Rhett Miller (Old 97s) and Sydney Wayser.

When I saw the title I wondered if it would be a cover of the fine Payolas tune.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Music?

Manitoba Christmas songs from Rusty and Savannah, Oldfolks Home, and JP Hoe, a strong Cover of the Pogues' Fairytale of New York, a new Christmas song from Mark Kozelek from an album that isn't even released until November NEXT YEAR, Bad Religion throwing a curveball, and a few more.

Cheap Trick's Come On Christmas is one of my favourite Christmas songs ever, even if they did just change the words to one of their own songs.

Rusty and Savannah - Under the Mistletoe - free download at Manitoba Music right now, buy the whole album from itunes.

Calexico, Iron & Wine, Glen Hansard, Kathleen Edwards - Fairytale of New York

Have you seen the documentary on The Pogues and that tune? It's very well done, and you can find it on YouTube.

Redd Kross - Super Sunny Christmas

Bright Eyes - Blue Christmas

Mark Kozelek - O Come All Ye Faithful

Mark Kozelek - Little Drummer Boy

JP Hoe - Holiday Songs

Bad Religion - Christmas Songs

The Dirty Nil - Christmas at my House

Oldfolks Home Mounties - Merry Christmas Maybe

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Neko Case Covers Robyn Hitchcock's Madonna of the Wasps

If you purchase the deluxe version of Neko Case's newest release, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, you will receive a bonus cover of a Robyn Hitchcock tune, Madonna of the Wasps. Neko even uses Robyn's "Madonner" pronunciation.

I don't remember this video at all.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mooner - Making Americans b/w Down on Marston Blues

Don't know a lot about Mooner. But Making Americans is a fun song in my books, like many of Sloan's tunes for the past decade or so, it's chock full of radio-ready riffs, sweet melody and harmonies, and doesn't mind being a bit clever. And now I've gone and skewed their Soundcloud number of plays because I just keep on playing it.

Down on Marston Blues mines more of a Dream Syndicate/Television vein, and everyone should love those bands. Listening to some of the band's older tunes, I hear hints of Wilco, The Shoes, maybe some Soft Boys. Sounds good to me.

Making Americans b/w Down on Marston Blues

I'm Waiting for the Man (Live at Cole's)

Unpronounceable Name EP

Hand in Hand in Hand

And look! The band pulls it off live too!

Shapeshifter (live)

You can buy Making Americans b/w Down on Marston Blues here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mark Linkous and Sparklehorse Tribute Indiegogo ends Today - Flaming Lips, Joy Formidable, Cowboy Junkies, Mark Lanegan and More

There are only a few hours left to get in on contributing to the indiegogo Tribute to Mark Linkous and Sparklehorse. If you enjoyed Sparklehorse, if you want to donate towards helping those with mental health issues, or if you want to get an album featuring Flaming Lips, Joy Formidable, Cowboy Junkies, Mercury Rev, Mark Lanegan, David Lowery of Cracker, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, and many more, please check out the Last Box of Sparklers indiegogo page.

Mark Lanegan - Spirit Ditch

The Joy Formidable - Gold Day

Mercury Rev - Sea of Teeth

Flaming Lips - It's a Sad and Beautiful World

Ian Nichols - It's a Wonderful Life

Lip Talk - Comfort Me

Tiva Tiva - More Yellow Birds

Sparklehorse - Someday I'll Treat You Good

Sparklehorse - Sick of Goodbyes

Monday, December 2, 2013

Haunter Gives Up the Ghost, Offers Rarities, Demos, and a Devo Cover

Winnipeg's Haunter just played their last show the other night, which is a downer. However, I am confident the bandmembers will continue to make amazing sounds with their other projects such as Cannon Bros., so everything will still come up roses, right?

You can name your price at the band's bandcamp page. At the very least, check out the demo of Blood and Thunder, which is as brilliant in its own way as the final studio version (which can be heard below on Rivers and Rust).

July 2005


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pixies Lose Another Bassist, Muffs Will Prevail. What Goes Boom? Joey Santiago, Apparently.

In Pixies news, Kim Deal replacement bassist Kim Shattuck announced that her time with Pixies had come to an end. I have high hopes that people now pay more attention to her own band, The Muffs, which is a splendiferous entity that should have a new album out on Valentine's Day. Also, Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago blowed up real good.

The Muffs - I'm a Dick

The Muffs - Everywhere I Go

The Muffs - Don't Pick On Me

The Muffs - Outer Space

hHead - Best Canadian Songs of All Time No. 8

This series of posts will be offering the definitive list of the best Canuck tunes ever recorded, scientifically tabulated, collated and obfuscated by the Brain of Scruff, in absolutely-not numerical order. Check out the list so far here.

hHead filled a void in Canada which was taken up in the States by bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Meat Puppets. Guitar-based rock, laconic vocals, the ability to veer towards weirdness without always falling into a pit of bizarre ridiculousness. hHead had some catchy songs, and though the band's presentation included some fine harmonies, pop wasn't really in the guys' vocabulary. There also weren't easy signposts for punk and metal in their tunes, so listeners had to really pay attention to find the hooks to hang on to. Remedial is indicative of hHead's ability to write a pleasureable tune, then let it slide into slacker-rock, with Mintz's laid-back vocals intoning, "Welcome to special ed, get your education spoon-fed, now I think that I I have to be so well-rounded?"


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dog Day - Fade Out Album and Wasted MP3

Most of my listening time lately has been taken up by Dog Day's new album Fade Out, which is being released Dec. 10. It's a melting pot of a record, punk as it was in the day, post-punk in its artsy glory, lo-fi touches (Eric's Trip came to mind a few times), subtle pop hooks, some truly messed-up guitar solos, perfect one-note piano, beautifully lean, wiry riffs. I'm pretty sure Seth Smith sings "I'll be ringing Number of the come over" in Blackened, which you can listen to here, so that's pretty intriguing too.

Get lead track Wasted below.

You can pre-order Fade Out and other Dog Day releases here.

Tour dates:

12/5 Charlottetown, PE - Hunters
12/6 Moncton, NB - The Esquire
12/7 Halifax, NS - Marquee Club
12/11 Montreal, QC - Drones
12/12 Ottawa, ON - Pressed
12/14 Toronto, ON - Cinecyle
12/15 Kingston, ON - the Artel

Dog Day official site
Dog Day facebook
Dog Day twitter

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Crash Test Dummies - God Shuffled His Feet is 20!?!

Crash Test Dummies' God Shuffled His Feet recently celebrated its 20-year old birthday. That album really put the band on the musical map. I remember interviewing Michael Stipe and him talking about the band because CTD and I shared a hometown. Prior to that time, most non-Canadians usually had to reach back to the Guess Who or Neil Young if pressed to name a Winnipeg-raised artist.

I first saw the band at the Winnipeg Children's Festival. The kids I was supervising were fascinated by some performer (a juggler, maybe?), but the Dummies were making music a few feet away. I stepped over and watched while my co-worker sat with the children, and I was slowly mesmerised, a fascinated audience of one. The cobblestones behind Portage Place made the perfect ground for old-fashioned busking. The voices of Brad Roberts and Ellen Reid together sounded like nothing I'd ever heard. Ben Darvill always looked like he was having more fun than you could imagine - and did you want to join him? I couldn't watch and listen too long, but I was intrigued. I couldn't peg the sound - was Spirit of the West a reference point? The Pogues? All I knew for sure was that Brad Roberts was much better as a songwriter/singer/frontman than a bartender.

In fact, Roberts was a better interview too, as I ended up writing stories about the band around the time of the first album and then the second. Intelligent, serious, and confident are words I would ascribe to him. Reid always seemed nice and grounded, and Ben Darvill was serious about music but a pretty funny fellow otherwise.

At any rate, God Shuffled his Feet definitely shuffled the band out of any folk-rock category and into the wider pop world. Just listen to the guitar on that album - sounds to me like a couple of XTC's records were spinning regularly somewhere in Winnipeg. Anyhow, I think the guitar o the album is the bee's knees - for example, the bright shimmery bits in Swimming in your Ocean, the cyclical chunky chords in Here I Stand Before Me (bonus tasty mouth harp too!), the exquisite solo in I Think I'll Disappear Now. Nobody was making SOTW comparisons anymore. Kevin Mutch's clever album cover stood out, and clearly Brad's songs did too, because the album became popular pretty quickly.

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm became big enough for Weird Al Yankovic to parody, for gosh sake's. CTD performed on Saturday Night Live in a year dominated by bands some joker termed "grunge" - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Punkins, and Stone Temple Pilots all hit the SNL stage that year (Don't know why Soundgarden didn't get invited to the party, I guess Tony! Toni! Toné! was more important. Or something.) At any rate, the only loud distorted guitar I remember on God Shuffled... appeared on How Does a Duck Know, and it seemed ironic to me somehow - it certainly wasn't related to anything Mudhoney or Tad hatched. And that's the point - Crash Test Dummies didn't sound like anyone else. Who else was titling tunes "When I Go Out With Artists" or throwing T.S. Eliot's name out there? (For more on this period of time, hunt down Kiva Simova and her book Crash Test Passenger: Tour Diary of a Hired Gun (try Facebook or Twitter) written from the point of view of a keyboard player and backing vocalist hired to fill out the band's sound, or Stephen Ostick's Superman's song: The Story of the Crash Test Dummies.)

In the years since its release, God Shuffled His Feet seems to have become an album that has polarized listeners. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm especially has made a few "worst" lists, but others still love it. In the band's original hometown of Winnipeg, which has a love/hate relationship with everything including itself, I'm not sure that the record's success has ever been recognized. I can't think of an artist that has captured people's ears all over the world in the years since - maybe The Weakerthans have come the closest. Give a listen and tell me what you think after all of these years.

God Shuffled His Feet

Afternoons and Coffeespoons

Mmm Mmm Mmmm Mmm Mmm

In the Days of the Caveman

Swimming in Your Ocean

Here I Stand Before Me

I Think I'll Disappear Now & How Does a Duck Know

When I Go Out With Artists

The Psychic

Two Knights and Maidens


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Patty Griffin - American Kid and Silver Bell

Has there been a better album released this year than Patty Griffin's American Kid? Not that I can remember. Traditional country, Americana, folk, call it what you will, I call it a stunning album of melancholy and melody, a masterpiece of storytelling and raw emotion.

It doesn't hurt that Cody Dickinson and Luther Dickinson play on the album, as well as some guy named Robert Plant. He lends backing vocals on Ohio, even adding a subtle touch of Eastern drone which you may find familiar.


Go Wherever You Want to Go

Don't Let Me Die in Florida

Tiny Desk performance

Griffin actually released another album this year; Silver Bell was ready to be released in 2000 but was shelved by her label at the time. Luckily, it's out now. Truth #2 features someone else you might know on backing vocals, someone named Emmylou Harris. And if you don't like Emmylou Harris then you're in the wrong place, because Scruffy knows that Emmylou is the bee's knees - don't you?

Truth #2 - From Silver Bell

Buy Patti Griffin from New West Records. Buy Patti Griffin on Amazon.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Charlie Chesterman Passes Away - Death of Scruffy the Cat Frontman Saddens Scruffy the Yak

I know a lot of people are paying tribute to the passing of Lou Reed. He made a lot of music I love, and since I was a kid I have followed his career. He will be missed by many, obviously.

 But for me, I am mourning the fact that I will never be able to see Charlie Chesterman or Scruffy the Cat play live ever again. Those of you who have been paying attention know how much I loved the guy. Heck, the name of this dumb blog is a sideways tribute to his band, that should tell you something. Thanks to the guy with the best mullet ever I met in university who turned me on to Scruffy the Cat, I am forever in his debt. Chesterman was real rock 'n' roll, raw romanticism, riotous, raucous, rib-tickling even

Charlie recently passed away after a long bout with cancer. The only thing we can do is rejoice in the great music he left and help his family by paying for some of that music. If you can, please do so. If you cannot, please recognize how much of a contribution he made; pass it on, let others hear his music.

You can also send a check right to Chesterman's family at:

Friends of Charlie Chesterman c/o Juliann Cydylo 18 Mayhew Street Dorchester, MA 02125

Or donate to a Gofundme site if you'd rather chip in online.

The sound is not optimal, but this performance of Goodbye to You is from the 2011 Scruffy the Cat reunion, so it's apt.

Goodbye To You: Scruffy The Cat Reunion Show from Soamel Pictures on Vimeo.

How about a Chesterman tribute that features Young Fresh Fellows, Letters to Cleo, and 22 more?

Letters to Cleo doing Scruffy's tune You Dirty Rat

Grain Belt - My Friend Ringo

Try out the recent release of Chesterman's collectibles, touted as a collection of "hard-to-find compilation tracks and previously unreleased rarities by the ex-Scruffy The Cat frontman, spanning 1992-2012".

Scruffy the Cat - Tiny Days

Scruffy the Cat - Upside Down

Scruffy the Cat - My Baby She's All Right

Scruffy The Cat - Beg, Borrow and Steal

Scruffy the Cat - Moons of Jupiter

Charlie Chesterman- Everybody's Baby

Charlie Chesterman - Mona's Prayer (Harmony Rocket #3)

Charlie Chesterman - Confession (Harmony Rocket #4)

Scruffy the Cat - Nova SS 1968 / My Baby She's Alright

Scruffy The Cat - Happiness To Go! /Pipeline /Johnny B. Goode

Scruffy The Cat - My Fate Was Sealed With A Kiss/Matchbox

Charlie Chesterman - Sexy Rickenbacker

Charlie Chesterman - Sexy Rickenbacker from Jay Dog on Vimeo.

Preacher Roe - Life is fun

Jeff Mellin - Shabby Dress

Jeff Mellin: The Shabby Dress (Charlie Chesterman Cover) starring Xan Kaplan from Jeff Mellin on Vimeo.

Buy Charlie's Solid Gold Electric Chestnut Dispenser here.
Buy Chorus Vs. Solos: A Tribute to Charlie Chesterman here.
Buy Charlie Chesterman on iTunes here.

Head over to Teenage Dogs in Trouble for some more Chesterman and Scruffy the Cat music.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Slow Leaves - Second Chance EP and a FlyAway Video

Winnipeg's Slow Leaves (Grant Davidson) recently released an EP entitled Second Chances, as well as revealing an arresting video for a track called Life of a Better Man. I think Davidson made his own video, which makes me wonder if he's one of those impossible creative people who can do anything. If you like Ron Sexsmith or Dawes (and you should), you might enjoy Slow Leaves' mellow folk-pop, and Life of a Better Man has a rollicking vibe, a toe-tappin', hand-clappin' joyous feel.

At any rate, the three tunes on the EP were all produced by Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities, The Waking Eyes) in sessions that produced an entire album's worth of material (the forthcoming Beauty Is So Common has no release date - I'm going to guess sometime in 2014). Slow Leaves play November 16 in Winnipeg at the West End Cultural Centre, in a new series called Now Introducing: Veteran Manitoba Musicians Present Their Favourite New Local Artists. Romi Mayes will play and introduce Jamie Buckboro and Rusty Matyas will perform and introduce Slow Leaves.

Slow Leaves - Life of a Better Man

Careless and Serene

Second Chances

Buy Slow Leaves at iTunes.
Buy Slow Leaves at Amazon.
Buy Slow Leaves at Bandcamp.

Tweet at my birdhouse here.
fbook Scruffy the Yak here.

Thomas D'Arcy Tour Hits Winnipeg This Monday, Check out New Video The Price You Pay

The inimitable Thomas D'Arcy starts a tour tomorrow with July Talk in my cool hometown. Check out his new bottle-breaking video for The Price You Pay, go see him live and maybe he will break out some Monks or Devo covers for ya. Also, he is hauling around 100 copies of his 'You Lovely You' 7" to give away. If you Tweet/Like/follow him he'll give you one for free at the show.

The Price You Pay

The Price You Pay EP

Girl U Want (a beauty Devo cover)

Thomas D'Arcy Presents: Tribute To The Monks - that's right, you remember the Monks. I'm going to go ahead and say that this is the best cover album ever done by one musician. Ya wanna fight about it?

Johnny and Mary - Robert Palmer cover

Tour Dates

11/04/13 Winnipeg, MB West End Cultural Centre 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/05/13 Regina, SK The Exchange 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/08/13 Red Deer, AB International Beer House 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/09/13 Calgary, AB Gateway Bar Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/10/13 Lethbridge, AB The Slice 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/13/13 Golden, BC The Rockwater 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/14/13 Kelowna, BC Doc Willoughby’s 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/15/13 Vancouver, BC The Media Club 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/16/13 Whistler, BC TBD 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/17/13 Kamloops, BC The Dirty Jersey 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors.
11/24/13 Toronto, ON The Garrison 8:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors. supporting Royal Canoe

You can buy all sorts of Thomas D'arcy music from MapleMusic.

Tweet at my birdhouse here.
fbook Scruffy the Yak here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Billie Joe Green & Norah Jones Made an Album - And the First Tune Sounds Good!?

Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones made an album covering an entire Everly Bros. record called Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. Due November 25th, Foreverly will showcase the duo's harmonies and reverence for roots music and traditional Americana.

 What? Did I just write that? I guess I did. I haven't paid any attention to Green Day or Norah Jones in years, except once when I enjoyed Jones's excellent rendition of Wilco's Jesus, Etc. If I hadn't heard the first single, Long Time Gone, I would have dismissed the whole thing as a gimmicky ploy not worthy of my attention. But I have heard it, and it's a subtle, smooth, twangy slice of melodic goodness. Give it a listen and tell me what you think, I am sufficiently intrigued. You can read more at Stereogum if you want.

Long Time Gone

The Gandharvas - Best Canadian Songs of All time No. 7

This series of posts will be offering the definitive list of the best Canuck tunes ever recorded, scientifically tabulated, collated and obfuscated by the Brain of Scruff, in absolutely-not numerical order.

The Gandharvas hailed from London. Ontario, that is. The band often went against the grain of the time period in which their albums were released (1994-1997). Singer Paul Jago had an unusual voice which some likened to Perry Farrell's, and he sometimes wore a mask for entire shows. They put the inside of a urinal on the cover of their album. I once did an interview with Jago and another band member in which the singer maybe spoke 10 words at most - he just stared at me intensely for about 45 minutes.

But most of all, The Gandharvas rarely went for that big bombastic rock sound in an era where Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Green Day ruled the roost. No, The Ghandarvas often went for a subtler sound, with hypnotic riffs, a rhythm section that knew when to hold back, and a singer that knew a whisper can be as effective as a scream. Singalong choruses did not abound, but the band did create some unstoppable grooves, and unusual songs and videos such as the one for Masochistic Minstrel helped carve out a little niche in the rock landscape.

 However, First Day of Spring is the song that sidles up, passes you an intriguing note, meets you outside and hands you your favourite frosty beverage on a late Friday afternoon. From promise to jubilation in under 5 minutes.

First Day of Spring

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooky Good Halloween Music? No. But There's Superchunk doing Misfits, Bowie Scary Vid, House of Frightenstein, David J, and Much More!

Happy Halloween.

No time to make a Halloween mix, go see Eric Alper if that's what you're looking for.

David Bowie - Love Is Lost” (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)

Superchunk - Children in Heat (Misfits cover)

Another Misfits cover! Save the Day doing Skulls

Wax Fang does Misfits' Halloween

Return to Transylvania - A short doc about Billy Van

Return to Transylvania from Ben Kane on Vimeo.

Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 - Halloween

Skaters - Let the Heads Roll

Might as well have some real Misfits, right?

Black Sabbath - Lady Evil

Can't do Halloween without Forbidden Dimension. Here's My Family Curse.

Anthrax - Devil You Know

David J with Jill Tracy - Bela Lugosi's Dead (Undead is Forever)

Aaaaand here's the original by Bauhaus.

Kids interview bands interview one of the Nameless Ghouls from Ghost BC:

Crocodiles - All My Hate and My Hexes Are for you

Faith No More was always spooky. even the cover of Easy was somehow scary.

Dickies - She's a Hunchback

Haunter - Blood and Thunder

Drivin' 'n' Cryin' - Moonshot

Steel Panther - Death to all but Metal - NSFW!!!!

Hoodoo Gurus - Dig it Up

Caught a Ghost - Time Go

Josh Ritter - the Curse

Hilary Grist - Waltzing Matilda

The Fratellis - Halloween Blues

Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Pursuit of Happiness - Love Junk is 25!

So The Pursuit of Happiness's Love Junk recently passed its 25th birthday. Wow.

Those large glasses. That impossibly-straight hair. The points in the show where Moe Berg let Kris Abbott drive all of the guitar so he can point at the crowd, gesture wildly, and stomp around the stage. Above all, those songs. A modern take on power pop in a year when Cheap Trick was trumpeting a power ballad, before people widely-used terms like indie or alternative, Love Junk boasted loud guitars without veering into bad metal. Sweet harmonies without getting syrupy (sorry Cheap Trick, you went too far) - who carried around back-up singers in those days? Just TPOH. Berg's lyrics could straddle that teen confusion/burgeoning awareness line, hit the college kids in the wordy brain part, or just sound right even when you're not sure what he's talking about - like many perfect rock 'n' roll lyrics.

Produced by Todd Rundgren, Love Junk managed not to fall into the traps of many '80s records like overusing heavily-processed drum sounds or extra-cheesy vocal effects. It doesn't sound like a Rundgren album, doesn't necessarily sound like a made-in-Canada album - just a near-perfect record.

Hard to Laugh

Ten Fingers
I'm An Adult Now

She's So Young

Consciousness Raising As a Social Tool

Walking in the Woods

Beautiful White

When the Sky Comes Falling Down

Looking for Girls

Man's Best Friend

Tree of Knowledge

Killed by Love

Down on Him

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Bonaduces - New Tune Armadillo Has a Hard Shell, But is Candy Inside

The Bonaduces have released new music for the first time in 15 years, one song to pique your interest in a new album coming...sometime in the next year. You can purchase Armadillo by naming your price at the band's Bandcamp page. Crunchy guitars, punchy drums, munchy bass, and sweet harmonies - sounds like The Bonaduces to me. Here's a new article with some info on The Bonaduces, and the always-stellar Music Ruined My Life can give you some great background on the band.

Older stuff:

Sara's Black Pyjamas

Really Powerful Telescope

Megan is a Fruitloop

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ghost B.C. - If You Have Ghost, Covers of Roky Erickson, ABBA, Depeche Mode, Army of Lovers

Ghost B.C. are releasing a Dave Grohl-produced EP entitled If You Have Ghost, which of course will feature a cover of Roky Erickson's tune If You Have Ghosts. Sounds amazing, and you can pre-order here (it will be released Nov. 19th). For some reason, I was expecting scary death metal with Cookie Monster vocals, but this is as melodic and harmonious as I could desire.

If You Have Ghost

Three other tracks on the EP will also be covers, here's the tracklisting:

1. If You Have Ghosts (originally recorded by Roky Erickson)
2. I Am A Marionette (originally recorded by ABBA)
3. Crucified (originally recorded by Army of Lovers)
4. Waiting For The Night (originally recorded by Depeche Mode)
5. Secular Haze (Live) (recorded live at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
All tracks except Secular Haze (Live) recorded and produced by David Eric Grohl.

The version above reminds me a bit of John Wesley Harding's version from the Roky Erickson Tribute album "Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye" (a superlative collection that you should track down at all cost).

Abba cover - I Am a Marionette

Army of Lovers - Crucified

Depeche Mode - Waiting for the Night

Here's what Ghost B.C. sounds like doing some of their own tunes. You have to watch a few of these videos if you want to know about this band. I am intrigued, how 'bout you?

Monstrance Clock

Secular Haze

Here's a couple more from that fine Roky Tribute.

REM - I Walked With A Zombie

Doug Sahm & Sons- You're Gonna Miss Me

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Watchmen - Free Album Download Live at the Hopetoun, The La's and Nova Mob Covers

 The Watchmen have been teasing fans about sharing some "Old Rare tracks, outtakes,demos", and the band has come through with a full album of acoustic tracks recorded at the Hopetoun in Australia. It's worth the little wait, because the sound quality is excellent, and the song selection is stellar as well - seven tunes from Silent Radar, plus All Uncovered, as well as covers of Nova Mob's Admiral of the Sea and The La's Timeless Melody. You can download them all for free here.

 The acoustic versions offer some interesting differences from the original studio versions, like as Daniel Greaves replicating some sounds made by Joey Serlin on the album (such as on Brighter Hell). You even get a Watchmen ditty that's never been released, Everywhere is Grey, which makes me really hunger for some other unreleased tunes that never saw the light of day. "Old Rare tracks, outtakes, demos"...bring 'em on.

Track Listing
1. Do It
2. Any Day Now
3. I'm Waiting
4. Brighter Hell
5. Timeless Melody
6. Say Something
7. Everywhere is Grey
8. All Uncovered
9. Stereo
10. Admiral Of The Sea
11. Silent Radar

Stereo Live in Australia

You can keep up with Watchmen goings-on by following 'em on Twitter - @Watchmenmusic.

Can't remember if I ever posted this, so here it is, 'tho it is unrelated to the Aussie live acoustic stuff, it is pretty good.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Red Vienna - Lights Out

Vancouver's Red Vienna have released a new tune, Lights Out, available on Bandcamp or iTunes. RV mainman Jahmeel Russell (Kittens, Projektor, Black Halos, KenMode) is a former Winnipegger and a good fella, so I usually pay attention. This song seems to have a bit of an '80s influence to me, Killing Joke perhaps? Nice ringing guitar, always-passionate vocals, cymbal-riding ecstasy.

 Lights Out
Some older stuff for ya: Blood Letter
The Best Words

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Waterboys - Arthur's Day EP & Fisherman's Box Set

"Too many protest singers, not enough protest songs, And now you've come along" - Edwyn Collins

I've been thinking about protest singers and protest songs, and lo and behold The Waterboys come out with a protest song EP entitled Arthur's Day EP. It's nice to see someone railing about an important issue. You can read about more here. The digital-only EP is available on iTunes and contains the two tunes below as well as an instrumental by Steve Wickham and Mike Scott And the Angels Cleared Up After Arthur's Day.

A Song for Arthur's Day

'Twas Arthur's Day in Dublin

October 14 will see the release of the 6-cd Fisherman's Box Set, which you can pre-order at The Waterboys website. As far as I can ascertain, only the tracklisting for the first two discs have been released so far.

CD1 Tracklisting:

1. Stranger To Me
2. Girl Of The North Country
3. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
4. Fisherman's Blues (piano version)
5. Fisherman's Blues
6. Meet Me At The Station
7. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
8. Born To Be Together
9. The Wayward Wind
10. World Party (1st version)
11. World Party / A Golden Age
12. Sleek White Schooner
13. Drunken Head Ghost Of Rimbaud Blues
14. Sweet Thing
15. Sweet Thing (conclusion)
16. Saints And Angels

The Waterboys' official description of cd1: "CD1 was recorded in its entirety on Jan 23 1986, the first day of the Fisherman's Blues sessions, and marks the beginning of the band's new fiddle and electric mandolin driven sound. The songs are a mix of old country and gospel numbers plus new originals. Two of the tracks (5 & 14) were included on the original album. Two more (2 & 6) were on the 2006 remaster of Fisherman's Blues. The other twelve are previously unreleased and provide a fascinating insight into the Waterboys at a crossroads moment when everything changed."

Fisherman's Blues 86

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

Sweet Thing

The tracklist of CD2 is:

1. We Will Not Be Lovers
2. One Step Closer
3. My Beautiful Baby
4. She Could Have Had Me Step By Step
5. When The Ship Comes In
6. The Ladder
7. Will You Ever Be My Friend?
8. Too Close To Heaven (rolling piano)
9. Higherbound (prototype)
10. Happy Birthday BP Fallon
11. The Prettiest Girl In Church
12. You Don't Have To Be In The Army To Fight In The War
13. Dee Jay Way
14. Lonesome And A Long Way From Home
15. Thistlethwaite's Declaration
16. Strange Boat (first play)
17. Lost Highway
18. Higherbound Blues
19. Let Us Be Drinking And Kissing The Women
20. Will The Circle Be Unbroken
21. Tenderfootin'
22. Too Close To Heaven
23. Space Out There, Trevor

More from the official Waterboys website on the 2nd Fisherman's Box disc: "CD2 catches The Waterboys at a fascinating juncture. Not yet officially recording the follow-up to This Is The Sea, the band spent thirteen days between March and September 1986 in Dublin's Windmill Lane Studio, trying out songs, sounds and recording engineers while deepening their explorations into country, blues and roots music. Track 1 was on the original album, tracks 6, 21 & 22 were on 2001's Too Close To Heaven, track 14 was on the 2006 remaster of Fisherman's Blues, and track 17 was the 'b' side of the 1989 Fisherman's Blues single. The other 17 tracks are previously unreleased."

We Will Not Be Lovers

For those of you who never listened the first time around, The Waterboys made the amazing Fisherman's Blues after doing an abrupt right turn from the big music of This is the Sea. You can check that out below if necessary.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Greg MacPherson Band - 1995 and Fireball

Greg MacPherson. New album = Fireball (lean, mean title there). Tough, raw, rock 'n' roll. Cool cover art from Pip Skid. Official release date is Tuesday, October 29. Get in time for Gate Night.



FIREBALL Track List:
1 – 1995
2 – Goes Like This
3 – Fireball
4 – Motel Hotel
5 – Sandhand
6 – Forcefield
7 – Tourists
8 – New-jazz Trios
9 – Space and Time
10 – Scientist Cowboy

Some older stuff if you haven't been paying attention.


Live in the radio studio

Selkirk - Nova

Selkirk (Matt Copper Remix)

Party at Greg's

Eastern Canada Tour:

Oct 10 – Guelph, ON – The Ebar
Oct 11 – Toronto, ON – Magpie Taproom
Oct 12 – Montreal, QC – Casa Del Popolo
Oct 15 – Trois-Riveres, QC – Gambrinus
Oct 17 – Sydney, NS – Elks Lodge
Oct 18 – Halifax, NS – Gus’s Pub
Oct 19 – St. John, NB – Harvesting the Art
Oct 20 – Chicoutimi, QC – Le Sous-Bois
Oct 21 – Quebec, QC – TBA (Solo)
Oct 23 – Kingston, ON – The Mansion House

Western Canada Tour:

Nov 14 – Saskatoon, SK – Village Guitar & Amp
Nov 15 – Calgary, AB – Palomino
Nov 16 – Edmonton, AB – ARTery
Nov 17 – Lethbridge, AB – Slice
Nov 18 – Kelowna, BC – Habitat
Nov 19 – Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore
Nov 20 – Victoria, BC – TBA
Nov 24 – Revelstoke, BC – Big Eddy’s
Nov 25 – Canmore, AB - TBA

Bonus song!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tommy Keene - I Get Excitement At His Feet, How About You?

I first discovered Tommy Keene when an older and wiser music fan walked up with one of his records. He was so excited to have picked up what he termed a hard to find classic, and I was the ignoramus who had to ask, Who is Tommy Keene? My friend looked down at me (he was a much taller fellow) and intoned, "If you can ever find Songs From the Film, pick it up". I did, and I've been a fan ever since. Keene seems to have remained a cult hero, despite making cool moves like putting out an album with Robert Pollard as The Keene Brothers (after Touring with Guided By Voices), getting folks like Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett on some of his songs, . If you would like to give a few of his songs a spin for free, he will give you some mp3s if you go here.

Keene's new album, Excitement At Your Feet (you Who fans know where the title comes from) consists of 11 covers. It might be the first cover album I have heard where every version is a gem.

1. Have You Seen My Baby? - The Flamin' Groovies
2. The Puppet - Echo & The Bunnymen
3. Much Too Much - The Who
4. I Laugh In Your Face - The Bee Gees
5. Let Me Dream If I Want To - Mink DeVille
6. Catch The Wind - Donovan
7. Guiding Light - Television
8. Ride On Baby - The Rolling Stones
9. Choking Tara - Guided By Voices
10. Nighttime - Big Star
11. Out Of The Blue - Roxy Music

Have You Seen My Baby


Choking Tara

Out of the Blue


Much Too Fun

Laugh In Your Face

Let Me Dream If I Want To

Ride On Baby

Catch the Wind

One of his own tunes from a previous album for ya.

I Can't See You Anymore

Deep Six Saturday

Tommy Keene : Deep Six Saturday from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

Places That Are Gone

Buy Excitement At Your Feet and other great records here.