Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mounties - Hawksley Workman, Ryan Dahle, and Steve Bays

A new band called Mounties?

Ryan Dahle, Hawksley Workman, and Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat) are collaborating ona new thing called Mounties, supposedly. Could be interesting. Workman has been comfortable veering from indie pop to trashy gutter electro-rock, and I've always felt he could dive into cabaret music like Rufus Wainwright if he wanted to do so. Dahle did some good stuff with Age of Electric, then sparked some criminally-under-rated tunes with Limblifter and the one album under his own nom de plume. Hot Hot Heat I must admit I mostly stayed away from, too much hype for me. The following new tune/video Headphones feature footage from old francophone educational vids, some groove-y rhythmic guitar, some ragged vocals and some vox as pretty as a picture - nothing that points towards the members' previous work, which is at least interesting.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Boats - A Fairway Full of Miners and a page full of Pop Awful Crap Noise

What is that album cover? It looks like something I should recognize, but I don't. Help me out here. I like it, and I like the title, they vaguely remind of Wire. Of course, Wire doesn't give their band tags on their Bandcamp page like "pop awful crap noise", so you would have guessed it's a Winnipeg band, right?

 Winnipeg's Boats will be playing a cd release show at the West End Cultural Centre on Febuary 2 featuring The Random Band Spectacular, 12 local musicians, 3 random bands, and 9 cover songs that they have never played before. Also - the Return of the Winnitron! The new album “A Fairway Full Of Miners” comes out on February 5th, 2013 on Kill Rock Stars in the U.S. and Canada.

Here is Boats' Great Skulls from the new album, in all of its whiny, yelping, nasal yet catchy and soaring herky-jerky glory:

Here is Boats' Getting Worst.jpeg from the new album:

Boats have already recently released a 3 song cassette called “Marblemouth.” You can get it on Bandcamp, but the band warns that "This cassette has mysterious secrets. Downloading the album means you will not have access to these mysterious secrets. Buy the actual cassette, and we will mail it to you, and then you will have access to these mysterious secrets." What's not a mysterious secret is that one of the songs is a cover of The Cannon Bros. "Out of Here", which is the coolest thing since January.

I dig this band photo because I can see records by Split Enz, Green on Red and Streetheart. Yeah!

Further Tour Dates
February 9– Fargo @ The Aquarium
February 21– Saskatoon @ Vangelis
February 22– Calgary @ Hi FI Club (Early Show, 7:00)
February 23– Edmonton @ Wunderbar
February 28– Vancouver @ The Cobalt (W/ Hot Panda and In Medias Res)
March 1– Seattle @ Comet Tavern
March 3– Portland @ Holocene
March 6– San Francisco @ Elbo Room
March 7– San Diego @ Tin Can Ale House
March 9– Tempe @ Yucca Tap Room
March 10– Las Vegas @ The Bunkhouse
March 11– Albuquerque @ Iron Haus
March 12– Oklahoma City @ The Conservatory
March 13-16 Austin @ SXSW (shows TBA)
March 17– New Orleans @ Circle Bar
March 20– Cincinnati @ MOTR Pub
March 21– Windsor @ Phog Lounge
March 22-23 Toronto @ CMW (Show TBA)
March 24- Hamilton @ The Casbah
March 27– Guelph @ Albion
March 28– Ottawa @ Pressed
March 29– Montreal @ La Cagibi
March 31– Pittsburgh @ Howler’s

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Fixx - Beautiful Friction

A couple of posts about artists that I missed blogging about last year are in order. Here's one.

The Fixx's Beautiful Friction is their first album in about 9 years, but it's also the band's best in almost 25 years. For a long time, The Fixx's records seemed content to fill their albums with mid-tempo or slower ditties that contained very little of the what made the band good - interesting lyrics, unique guitar, weird keyboard/synth sounds, and dynamic songs, for example.

So it's refreshing to hear a song like What God, where the band pumps out a tough groove, and Follow That Cab, where Cy Curnin drops some desperate pleas and Jamie West-Oram unleashes some hypnotic riffs and grinding chords. Even the moodier, slower songs have more underlying urgency, a brighter spark. Beautiful Friction is the best album from last year that I wasn't expecting to enjoy so much.

Also, the album just came out on vinyl the other day. The inner sleeve features album lyrics and artwork by Jack West-Oram. "Beautiful Friction" is pressed on high-quality 180g vinyl and also includes a digital download card, you can order it here.

What God

Follow That Cab

Take A Risk

Anyone Else


Girl With No Ceiling

Just Before Dawn

Beautiful Friction

Small Thoughts

Second Time Around

Something Ahead of You

Take a Risk acoustic live anyone else acoustic driven out acoustic

The Strokes - Free One Way Trigger MP3: Chanelling the Inner A-Ha?

The Strokes wanna give away a new mp3 for an email address. But beware, the tune may sound like a sped-up old A-Ha chestnut at the beginning, at least to me.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bowie's New Song, Momus Covers Bowie's New Song

A while back I was cleaning up some CDs I had lying around and the live double-disc set from David Bowie's Reality jumped into my hand. Had to give it a listen, it had been a while. I realised how much I missed hearing his music, his penchant for reinvention, his confidence in doing whatever the heck he wanted. Only Neil Young has come close to Bowie's against-the-grain decisions, which I always appreciated, even if the albums were uneven. Everybody's Rockin'? Tin Machine II (they covered Roxy Music! Need I say more?)? Trans? Killing off Ziggy? Landing on Water? Actually, maybe Young was more nuts for more consecutive years, but in his early years, Bowie created gems like The Laughing Gnome and Please Mr, Gravedigger, so they might still be even.

Anyway, I had decided to post the Reality Live version of Heroes as soon as I got a chance, with a little lament for an artist I really missed. And before I got to doing that, Bowie surprised us all, again, this time with
the new song and album announcement.

And then Momus puts out his cover version 14 minutes later. Whoosh.

Heroes (Live Reality tour)

The Laughing Gnome

Please, Mr. Gravedigger