Thursday, November 29, 2007

protect your language

AOL has posted the making of Björk's new video, "Declare Independence" on Spinner. The video, directed by Michel Gondry will be out on December 6th.

In other news, Tokyo Police Club will be playing at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto for FREE on January 26 at 7 p.m. and the Feist with Great Lake Swimmers show at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts on February 18 has been rescheduled to May 13.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

heima

Sigur Rós’s concert DVD, Heima, came out in North America about a week ago. I had the pleasure of watching it on the big screen last Friday at the Royal Cinema in Toronto and I was completely blown away by the experience. Ultimately, you don’t have to be a Sigur Rós fan to enjoy Heima. The movie is naturally beautiful and the music is gorgeous as usual. I especially loved the way the film was edited; in particular, the use of various imageries to foreshadow future scenes/events.

Heima is out on a 2-disc DVD set and a deluxe edition that comes with photobook. I have to say, get the deluxe edition if you see it! (Most stores in downtown Toronto are sold out of it already) The packaging and contents are outrageously stunning! I paid $30 for the deluxe edition and I feel that I should’ve paid more for it!

If you are like me (who is completely obsessed with the DVD at the moment), you probably can’t stop watching/listening to the full-length performances on the second disc. And since the Hvarf /Heima CD set is just not enough, I have taken all the live performances (15 in total) from Heima and converted them into mp3s. You can download all of them below!

from Heima, DVD Disc 2:
Glósoli
Heysátan
Sé Lest
Gítardjamm
Olsen Olsen
Popplagið
Ágætis Byrjun
Á Ferð Til Breiðafjarðar Vorið 1922 (with Steindór Andersen)
Dauðalagið
Hoppípolla/Með Blóðnasir
Starálfur
Vaka
Heima
Von
Samskeyti
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Sigur Ros: Heimabuy Heima here

Monday, November 26, 2007

in state of confusion you made an illusion

Portishead have been teasing fans about this so-called new album for I don’t know how long now. It has been more than 10 years their last studio full length... there’s that track from the Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited compilation last year, but that’s not nearly enough! Well, if you are really hungry for some new Portishead materials, there’s something that might slow down your hunger, however; I can’t promise anything because it's not quite Portishead. Let’s just say, Elsiane’s Hybrid serves as an appetizer until the new Portishead record. The debut from the Montreal duo is undeniably influenced by Portishead... many of you are probably going say that they are a complete rip-off, but I somewhat disagree. Hybrid does sound a lot like Portishead, but I think that Elsiane did a great job in making that style their own... their songs are more melodic and gentle while at certain points, they are even dramatic and epic sounding. The bottom-line is, Hybrid is a wonderful album regardless if they rip-off Portishead or not!

Mend (To Fix, To Repair) [wicked-cool song]
Paranoia
Hybrid [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

buy Hybrid here

Thursday, November 22, 2007

washing the blood that has covered and stained me

Since discovering Glory Hope Mountain by The Acorn about a month ago, I have not been able to put it down. Oddly, I was skeptical about the album at first and it did take me a few listens to get into The Acorn's latest. So, just a little caution, if you are not too trilled about this record after the first listen, don’t give it up... trust me... you will not be disappointed again! Glory Hope Mountain is a beautifully constructed concept album that’s based around Rolf Klausener’s (lead-singer) mother, Gloria Esperanza Montoya, and her struggles and hardships she experienced growing up in Honduras. The first thing that struck me about The Acorn’s latest is Klausener's gorgeous voice; he has one of those very controlled and soft style very similar to Tony Dekker... and we all know how much I love Dekker’s majestic voice! Luckily for Klausener, his vocal is further enhanced by the equally exquisite instrumentations by the rest of the band. Unlike some of the vocally driven projects out there, where the music is secondary; the music is a vital component of Glory Hope Mountain as it very much structures the overall mood. If you are a sucker for the folk country/indie sound like Great Lake Swimmers and Wilco, Glory Hope Mountain is definitely for you.

The gang from Ottawa will stop by Toronto for an in-store event at Soundscapes this Saturday at 5pm and they will also be playing a show at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern that same night!!!

Crooked Legs [wicked-cool song]
Antenna [wicked-cool song]
Flood Pt.2 [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

buy Glory Hope Mountain here

Saturday, November 17, 2007

we rarely speak, but I do think of you a lot

I have been enchanted by the beautiful vocal of Victoria Bergsman’s solo project Taken By Trees recently. Taken By Trees’s Open Field is hauntingly gorgeous... and not in the same hauntingly gorgeous way as the new PJ Harvey record. In fact, the two belong in completely opposite spectrum. Unlike White Chalk, which feels sad and vulnerable, Open Field feels playful and light-hearted. Bergsman’s intentions for her solo debut seem to be fairly clear: the simple melodies along with a somewhat minimal instrumentation aid to emphasis Bergsman voice and lyrics. The former member of The Concretes has one of those voices that possess the power to stop you from whatever you are doing and have you devote all your attention to her. Open Field should be a record for everyone... I mean, how can anyone not enjoy such a naturally dreamy album?

Julia [wicked-cool song]
Lost and Found [wicked-cool song]
Too Young [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Taken By Trees: Open Fieldbuy Open Field here

Thursday, November 15, 2007

do you like my ponytail?

Other then the fact that Natalie Portman's Shaved Head is probably the coolest/funniest band name in music today, I had absolutely no knowledge of the band prior to listening to their debut EP, Secret Crush; but thankfully, their music live up to their name. The EP is full of lighthearted and amusing electro dance punk tracks. Other than "Sophisticated Side Ponytail", which sounds delightfully like a Peaches song, the majority of the EP reminds me of The Faint and The Rapture, as well as a bit of The Blow. I feel that it is unnecessary for me to write any more about the Secret Crush EP because I am sure that many of you will download the songs below simply for the fact that band’s name is Natalie Portman's Shaved Head!

Sophisticated Side Ponytail [wicked-cool song]
Beard Lust [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

please visit Natalie Portman's Shaved Head's MySpace page here

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

my heart comes undone

Radiohead posted a new video at http://www2.radiohead.tv/ yesterday. It’s a strange little video with a very nice surprise in the middle (the 7:50 mark)... ok... it’s a cover of Björk’s "Unravel"!!!!!! Unfortunately, if you watch the video at the link above, you have no control of the video whatsoever. So, if you want to skip the first half of the video (even though you get to see Thom Yorke drops some sick beats) and head straight for the "Unravel" cover, you can do so below.

video

Thursday, November 08, 2007

out this week

Sigur Rós: Hvarf-Heim
Another breathlessly gorgeous release by Sigur Rós. The new release is a two-disc compilation album: the first disc Hvarf features previously unreleased songs while Heim, disc two, contains acoustic versions of songs from their pervious albums.

Í Gær [super-wicked-cool song]
Vaka [super-wicked-cool song]
Ágætis Byrjun [super-wicked-cool song]

buy Hvarf-Heim here


Grizzly Bear: Friend [EP]
Fans of the band will be trilled by this wonderful release as the covers and alternate versions provide a very unique take on some familiar Grizzly Bear songs.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss) (The Crystals Cover) [super-wicked-cool song]
Atlas Sound - Knife (Grizzly Bear Cover) [wicked-cool song]

buy Friend [EP] here


The Wombats: The Wombats Proudly Present... A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation

School Uniforms
Let's Dance To Joy Division [wicked-cool song]

buy The Wombats Proudly Present... A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation here

***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Monday, November 05, 2007

let’s fear fear

Jesu have been extremely busy lately: two full-lengths, two EPs and a split 12” in the last nine months. Out of all the Jesu goodies so far this year, my personal favourites would have to be the 12” split with Eluvium and in particular, the Lifeline EP. Let’s see... how to compare the two? Well, for starter, they are both incredible releases! Musically, the split with Eluvium feels more electronic and ambient while the Lifeline EP is more drone and shoegaze sounding (more Jesus and Mary Chain-like). As usual, both records project a very breathtaking, yet indescribable surreal atmosphere, especially the track "Storm Comin' On" from Lifeline EP. Jarboe’s guest vocal on "Storm Comin' On" takes Jesu to another level as the combine effort sounds like something out of an epic fantasy! Even with such fantastic releases and hard work, it astonishes me that music lovers are not as excited about Jesu as they should be; Jesu is truly one of the most underrated bands in music today.

from Jesu/Eluvium Split 12"
Farewell [wicked-cool song]

Splitbuy Jesu/Eluvium Split here





from Lifeline EP
Lifeline [wicked-cool song]
Storm Comin' On [super-wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Lifeline EPbuy Lifeline EP here

Sunday, November 04, 2007

why did i feel sorry britney but not amy?

Watch Amy Winehouse's performance at this year's MTV Europe Music Awards. Ps, a question for all the linguists around the world, what language(s) did she sing in?

happy daylight saving

In the last five years or so, there is definitely a trend for bands to follow the ever so popular indie blueprint that’s made up of noisy/experimental melodies, sudden and uneven shifts in dynamics, retro synthesized sound, varieties of bells, and most importantly, exceedingly gentle and/or high on sugar hyper vocals (preferably a boy-girl team). Whether you like it or not, this sound is probably very familiar to you; but just to clarify, I am talking about bands like Deerhoof, Of Montreal, Architecture In Helsinki, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I must say, I am a fair-weather fan when it comes to this style... I enjoy a number of songs (mostly Architecture In Helsinki), but I found the majority of them to be very annoying. Once again, that is very much the case for OH:IO, the latest album by Bearsuit. There are songs that I absolutely love ("More Soul Than Wigan Casino" and "The Love Will Never Find You") while there are songs that I just cannot stand ("Jupiter Force (Recruitment Video)" and "Shh Get Out"). So, if you are a huge fan of the style that I have been describing throughout this post, you most likely will want to pick up OH:IO; otherwise, if you are like me, the tracks below are probably all you need to hear from Bearsuit.

More Soul Than Wigan Casino [wicked-cool song]
The Love Will Never Find You
Mission IO Must Not Fail
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Bearsuit: OH:IObuy OH:IO here

Saturday, November 03, 2007

copses and cardboard boxes

Browsing through DARTZ!’s profile on Last.fm, I noticed that many users have voted bands like Good Shoes, The Maccabees, The Holloways, Bromheads Jacket, etc. as their similar artists. I am very confused by that because I don’t hear any similarities between those bands and DARTZ! at all. The only common denominator is that they are all British bands... WTF people, you can’t group bands into the same category just because they are from the same country! Nonetheless, when I listen to This is My Ship by DARTZ!, I think of Taking Back Sunday and From First to Last because of their call and response vocal style; and their up tempo pop rock music reminds me slightly of Hot Hot Heat and The Futureheads. I can write forever on how fun and catchy this band is; but I won’t because the bottom line is, unless you are an emotionless downer, I can say with confidence that This is My Ship will make you dance!

A Simple Hypothetical
St. Petersburg [wicked-cool song]
Documents
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

DARTZ!: This is My Shipbuy This is My Ship here

Friday, November 02, 2007

peg leg, sperm whale, jaw bone, what!

MC Lars, the post-punk laptop rapper, has a new book of poetry is out entitled Bukowski in Love. You can hear Lars audio reading of it below.

Bukowski in Love

MC Lars: Bukowski in Lovebuy Bukowski in Love here




...and if you don’t like to read, you can always listen to Lars’ masterpiece, The Graduate, which was my 13th favourite album of last year.

Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock [super-wicked-cool song]
Generic Crunk Rap [super-wicked-cool song]
Ahab [super-wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

buy The Graduate here

Thursday, November 01, 2007

you might like what i’ve got to say

Good Shoes will release "Small Town Girl" as their next single on November 26th. You can catch their brand new video for that track below:



Small Town Girl [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Good Shoes: Small Town Girlpre-order Small Town Girl Singles here

hello hello, i say hello to you

Great Lake Swimmers records and Salyu’s Lily Chou-Chou always help reduce my stress level whenever I am in a panic; over the past week, I discovered another therapeutic record that has the same calming effect on me as well. Gutevolk’s Tiny People Singing Over The Rainbow is kind of my precious little gem right now. Hirono Nishiyama's latest solo project is full of tranquil harmonies, lo-key vocals, and beautiful textualized instrumentations. The multi-genre layers offer numerous styles from contemporary classical to ambient, electronic, and indie pop. In addition, different sound effects are carefully placed in various places throughout the record. Sounds from daily objects such as the typewriter in the opening track or telephone rings in "The Door to Everywhere" make the record feels very human and natural. No doubt, Tiny People Singing Over The Rainbow is a fairly unique album, and not to mention, it is gorgeously refreshing as well!

Portable Rain [wicked-cool song]
Seed of Sky [wicked-cool song]
Ao to Kuro [wicked-cool song]
Sing a Ring [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Gutevolk: Tiny People Singing Over The Rainbowbuy Tiny People Singing Over The Rainbow here