Monday, January 31, 2011

For those who give a crap about such things, new Fleet Foxes single streaming here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Either that or Stu's servers are now in the US as well, where lastfm is apparently free as well. Gagdangit!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OK, let's see.....reading between the lines here, it looks like Stuart's being a dufus?
I had the same result as you Kyle. 30 song free trial and then pony up the cash.
We have been using it fulltime for 3 or 4 days...way more then 30 tracks and so far so good...
Stu, when I entered in bands it gave me a 30-track 'free' radio station, whereafter I can pay $3.00 per month going forward. Seems the window for free is fairly short. How long have you guys been using it?
I recall some of you complaining about not getting pandors in canada. AT our office we listen to a similar site called lastfm . IT is terrific and free, (for now). Highly recommended. [link fixed-kp]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That particular Cher ditty was released in late '98 apparently. Now off to try to get the damn thing out of my head.
Looks like love-30 thus far on the Tennis disc....appreciate the feedback.

As for autotune, Stu, you have it right on the Cher track (ah, ze google). Those of you w/ iphones and ipod touches can of course make your very own autotuned hunk o crap for a mere 99 cents.

I'd take Ron Sexsmith any day over the drek (Jully Black, shudder) that CBC One plays on either Metro Morning or Here and Now.
Hate to be a yaysayer but I think it's worth a listen. Basically it's a Camera Obscura-school record with an awful cover. The songs are well done if you like the style.

Auto tune is annoying but is hardly the studio villian it's been made out to be. You could argue that ever since you could do multiple takes of the same track and pick the best of them (basically the fifties), that studio work has always been about trickery...or doing stuff that can't be done live. I'm not sure I care....although I definitely could.should have used the technology myself over the years!

I had a thought today whilst listening to the Strawberry Alarm Clock - a late 60's psych pop band that you've all likely heard of. The thought was that this music, which has never been given much critical shrift, but which stands time's test pretty darn well in today's world of neo-psych, begs the question of how stagnant pop has become. SAC has jazzy melodies, cool dynamic shifts, interesting arrangement layers (and yes, to their detriment, some really stupid lyrics), really not that far away from the work being done by some of our favourite bands 42 years later - say, Tame Impala or Deerhunter. And it was popular in its day but quickly considered irrelevant....though it sounds pretty bang on to me.
I'd say nyet on the Tennis. I downloaded the track Marathon a few months backs and while it is a cute little ditty, it sounds too close to Teenager in Love for comfort. I think you are spot on that it will quickly wear out its welcome and that cover is bloody awful.
I previewed it Kyle and nehhhed it for the reasons you suggested....
On a second note...... I was listening to Ron Sexsmith Radio this am, (otherwise known as CBC) ,
and they played a new track of his new album (which sounds like every song he has ever wrote) and I could have sworn it had autotune on it... which is a topic not yet discussed herein.... I am sure I have misconceptions about it and wonder if any of you are more up on this new trend:
1) IS it autotune when you are listening to a track (Ala Sexsmith) and you hear a kind of synthesised affect sometimes very subtle , sporadically throughoput the song? Kind of like that CHER video of 5 years ago (or longer) but much more subtle or.....
2) Is autotune used only on purpose by pop artists for that dramatically distorted vocal (Ala Cher)
I realise it can correct bad vocals , (you here it on the Egolillies first disc frequently) , but I think it can be used for supossed artistic affect too??? Correct?
Tennis, anyone? No, not what's happening Down Under but an album I'm contemplating downloading but am having trouble getting past:

1) the hideous album cover
2) the comparisons to belinda carlisle in the mini review

They've been getting some decent write-ups and some of the samples sound right up my alley, but I'm thinking this is going to get old and bland very quickly.

One of those should-I shouldn't I emusic moments that I have from time to time that I thought I'd get your opinions on. Simple yay or nay will suffice for those pressed for time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A NY Times writer's attempt to select the top 10 classical music composers in history.

Friday, January 21, 2011

You were unconscious for most of the night, Derek, only waking when Stuart smashed a decanter over your head, then carefully collected the well-aired Brunello and strained through cheesecloth and a sieve so we wouldn't ingest glass. I was as surprised as anyone by Brian's selections, as I was by his decision to pierce his eyebrow. Live and let live though, eh.

Do they still sell music at an HMV? I thought they just sold box set tv shows and crappy 1 star blue ray movies. Hope you enjoyed that non-fat half-caff triple grande quarter sweet sugar free vanilla non-fat lactaid extra hot extra foamy caramel macchiato more than the G&M's Robert Everett-Green enjoyed the Decemberists disc.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Two questions. Was I unconscious when Brian pulled out the Black Eyed Peas and Miley Cyrus? Why is the new Decemberists disc $14.99 at my favourite neighbourhood Starbucks and yet $19.99 at HMV?
My response to Marc will take the form of hand gestures that I'm presently recording and will post soon. In the meantime, just picture a lot of crotch-grabbing.

Also, here's a list of what was played at Stuart's on Friday, as well as who brung it:


Jerome Miniere – Le Vrai le Faux
The Kopecky Family Band – The Disaster
Cowboy Bebop – No Disk
Suuns – Zero QC
First Aid Kit – The Big Black and Blue


Twin Shadow -Forget
Flying Lotus-Cosmogramma
Soundway Records Presents Nigerian Psychedelic Rock from the 1970s


Faces box set
Robert Wyatt- Rock Bottom
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


High Places – High Places v Mankind
Get the Blessing – Get the Blessing
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest


Black Eyed Peas - The Beginning
Miley Cyrus - Can't Be Tamed
Charles Lloyd - Quartet Mirror

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stuart, apropos of you posting i thought you might enjoy this sign of the times.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For those still looking at 2010, a Hypemem collection of 900+ blog submissions for best albums, artists, songs of the year here.

Just heard a cut from the new Mogwai album, due in Feb, hilariously titled this.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy New Year all!

Stu and Mike, thanks for your lists. I had forgotten to give a shout out to the Josh Ritter disc, which is quite good. I'm still working my way through the Sufjan disc; there are bright moments to be sure but also man that are irritating, dare I say self-indulgent, by which I mean excessive use of vocoder and laser sounds which resemble those available on the casio organ i got for christmas in 1983, and 25 minute tracks that contain 2 minutes of interesting composition and 23 minutes of what could politely be called filler.

But 2010 was so 13 days ago...any favourites so far in 2011? Any music resolutions for the year?

I've already deal with my first resolution, which was to deal with the fact that my digital music collection had grown in size to eclipse that of my computer hard drive. I'm now running all of my music from an external 1T firewire drive, which should hold me for a few years. Am also backing up weekly to another usb drive, just in case. While music is generally cheaper these days, making sure that it doesn't suddenly vanish represents an ongoing cost and concern.

Beyond that, I'm planning on listening to more classical music this year, in part because there are still some great classical labels on emusic and in part because I'm finding more and more that that's what I'm gravitating towards. A function of age perhaps?

Looking forward to hearing music at Stuart's on Friday. For those who can't make it, perhaps you can post what you would play if you could.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

In No particular order are my top 10 albums

Arcade Fire -Suburbs
Kanye West -My Beautiful....(ok maybe not worth 10 on pitchfork , but bloody good)
Areil Pinks haunted Graffiti-Before today
The national- High Violet (A masterwork by a band at peak form, if you dont like this band by now you are being bloody difficult)
Broken Bells- Broken Bells
Beach House-Tean dream...( this is a band that is about sound atmosphere for the first 5 listens and then on the 6th listen you realise its a band that writes great songs)
Dean and Britta-13 Songs
Deerhunter-Halcyon Digest
Midlake-The courage of others
Stornoway-Beachcomber's...(my summer soundtrack)

The following are a group of albums that are all simple ()and acoustic primarily) and that are all extrordinarily beautiful and but subtly squewed or distictive to make them not tiresome at all after much repeated listens) all worth a peak....:

Anais Mitchel (w Bon Ivor, Rob Burger & many others)-Hadestown.. (this is the best of the lot- a folk opera with different singers, a real find, loved much)
Joanna newsome- Have One On me...(OK maybe still too over indulgent , but i see this being a great single disc condensed at some point)
Bombay Bicycle Club-Flaws
Deer Tick-Black dirt sessions
Horsefeathers-Thistled Spring
The wooden Sky-the wooden sky
Leif Vollebeck - Inland
The weather Station-The Line
Lissie-Catching a Tiger
Sharon Van Etten-Epic

The best single of the year by far for me and if you dont like it, well...fuck you...
Cee Lo Green ... Fuck You

A long gone record I never heard of from 71, avaailable on emusic...jazzy folk rock ...wonderful find:
Jimmy Spheeris - Isle Of View

Also anyone who has a soft spot for cowboy junkies, the single Renmin park off new disc (emusic)
is a real jawdropper......I didnt think they still had it in them , whod a thunk?
I want to weigh in on the "best of 2010" topic, but I fear that I my absorption rate for new music is lower than the rest of yours. Looking at my collection, I only own 11 albums from 2010, so a top 10 list is a bit silly. I've not yet formed complete opinions on all of them yet (which, as I've said before, takes quite a few listens for me), but I'll comment as best I can:

- The Suburbs by Arcade Fire: I still like the way this band is going. None of the tracks on this album have grabbed me the way some of their earlier recordings did, but the sound of this album is still very appealing, and it is growing on me.

- Write About Love by Belle and Sebastian: Another album that's growing on me. This is the 3rd B&S recording that I've bought, and I like them all, but they all blend together for me a bit. There's something about this band that washes over me so that when I play their music, I like it, but I don't really hear the lyrics, which renders it all somewhat unfocused.

- Intriguer by Crowded House: Unsure yet. Again, no one song has smacked me in the forehead with its brilliance, but overall it seems a strong release to me.

- The Big To-Do by Drive-By Truckers: I don't know this band very well yet, but I like the heavy country-rock sound. I don't remember why I downloaded this - whether it was a recommendation from this group or from some other source. Most of my downloads over the last year were prompted by MetaBeats, so that's a good bet. But this album is disadvantaged because it's heavier than my wife likes, so it can only get played when I'm on my own.

- No Better Than This by John Mellencamp: I was actually hopeful about this album because it was touted as a return to the basics - less focus on production values. I had assumed that the implication was more focus on songwriting, but sadly that wasn't the case. The writing disappointed me - it sounds like he's trying to become another John Prine, but he doesn't pull it off.

- So Runs the World Away by Josh Ritter: This is my favorite of the bunch. I think Ritter is becoming stronger as a songwriter, and his arrangements are getting richer and more creative as well.

- Harlem River Blues by Justin Townes Earl: I've only had this one a short time, and I really don't have an impression about it yet.

- The Five Ghosts by the Stars: Brian told me that he was disappointed in this release, but I disagree. There is no track on here as good as "Your Ex-Lover is Dead", but there was no other track on the previous album as good as that one either. That is such a great song that it is perhaps unfair to judge the rest of their music against it. I think the new album shows promise - I like that they've woven a theme through it, although I haven't really absorbed all of the lyrics enough to comment meaningfully on them.

- The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens: Just got this one too, and I've only listened to it once. I'm not as enthusiastic about Mr. Stevens as everybody else seems to be. I've liked some of his previous stuff, but I would not number him among my favorites. Based on my previous experiences with his music, I expect it'll be even more listens than usual before I can form any kind of solid opinion.

- Majesty Shredding by Superchunk: Too early to say. I've always liked the name Superchunk, but I've never had any of their recordings before. Not sure why that is.

- Shadows by Teenage Fanclub: Another recent download, recommended by Brian. My first reaction was positive, but other than that I can't say much.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

My favourite recent listen is a group called the Seatbelts out of Japan headed by composed Yoko Kanno. The band did a whole series of albums for the Cowboy Bebop that is a Japanese anime series set in the year 2071 about a bunch of bounty hunters (cowboys) touring around in their ship the "Bebop". The music varies wildly from a 60's style horn jazz to modern acid jazz to straight on blues and what have you.

Give a listen to this Seatbelts mix