Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Weekend in the City

Speaking of local festivals, I think everyone was at least a little bit surprised to see Bloc Party show up in the roster for this year's Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton. I'm not exactly sure how that deal went down, but kudos to the organizers for making it happen and venturing outside the normally genre boundaries of the festival. Other names turning heads this year include Buddy Guy and Derek Trucks Band. Tickets go on sale Saturday, July 19th.

For even more excitement, it seems Bloc Party also has a new single out called "Mercury." It's a bit rougher and more jittery than the blatantly electro-pop "Flux" before it, but it still feels like it's playing up a similar side of the band.

[mp3] Bloc Party - Mercury
[mp3] Bloc Party - Like Eating Glass (from Silent Alarm)
[mp3] Bloc Party - Flux (The Knife Machine Remix)

* Buy A Weekend in the City
* Buy Silent Alarm

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Don't Get Sappy on Me Now

First of all, happy late Canada Day! And what better way to mark it than a post about a young, Canadian-born festival focused on all things indie? Even better, it's right here on the East Coast. The third annual SappyFest (hosted by Sappy Records) takes place August 1-3 in Sackville, New Brunswick and they've assembled a huge roster this year (I counted 61, plus some documentaries). Some of the names are definitely new to me, but I suppose that's bound to happen when you have this many bands lined up. Still, there are many highlights, including performances by Eric's Trip, as well as several of the members' solo projects:

Attack in Black
Chad Van Gaalen
Christine Fellows
Dog Day
Eric's Trip
Ghost Bees
Julie Doiron
Memories Attack
Miracle Fortress
Old Man Luedecke
Play Guitar
Rick White
Shotgun Jimmie
The Stance
The Superfantastics
Wax Mannequin

Check out the full list here.

[mp3] Julie Doiron - I Woke Myself Up
[mp3] Share - The Yard
[mp3] Koak - Won't Be Long

[Official Site] Sappy Fest

[MySpace] Julie Doiron
[MySpace] Share
[MySpace] Koak

Friday, June 27, 2008

With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly

On their new album "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust", Sigur Rós finally released a song in English. I really thought it would never happen. I mean, I know the band can speak English, I heard them do some pretty horrible interviews a few years ago. They seemed to be much more fluent in Heima, I just thought that since they are so proud of there heritage they would never want to do a song in English. Jónsi must have had something pretty important to say. He sings with quite a strong accent so it is kind of tricky to figure out the exact lyrics. The rumor mill tells me that Jónsi wrote this as an apology to his American boyfriend Alex Somers. He apparently did something quite bad and is confessing to the world as an apology. A nice gesture and a nice song. Listen for yourselves and tell me what you think.

[mp3] Sigur Rós - All Alright

Here is another track off the album that I am enjoying. "Inní mér syngur vitleysingur" translates to "Within me a lunatic sings".

[mp3] Sigur Rós - Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

[facebook] Sigur Rós
[myspace] Sigur Rós

* Buy Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You will most definitely recognize the voice of Simon Lord (Simian) who is one half of The Black Ghosts along with former Wiseguy Theo Keating. Like an old fashioned romance these two met on the internet and collaborated significantly online before meeting in person. The sound that was produced could not be more fitting for the bands name. The album is dark and eerie with a clear horror/suspense influence. Apparently Lord's grandfather was a director of horror films (Alan Gibson). Keating as a child lived with an graveyard as his back yard and grandmother was considered a psychic.

They released a mixtape back in March and their new self titled album releases on July 8th. Their single "Repetition" features Damon Albarn on vocals as well.

[mp3] The Black Ghosts - Any Way You Choose To Give It
[mp3] The Black Ghosts - Repetition

[myspace] The Black Ghosts

* Buy The Black Ghosts - The Black Ghosts

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Remixed Monday

Let's keep it simple as we kick off the week. Here's a trio of remixes featuring Four Tet (and Caribou, aka Manitoba). I don't have much comment about these, except that I've consistently enjoyed the remixes these two have worked on over the years. Even in cases where the remix barely resembles the original song (see "This Room"), I'm typically still able to get something out of it as a standalone track. Let's hope this week treats us as well.

[mp3] Radiohead - Skttrbrain (Four Tet Remix)
[mp3] The Notwist - This Room (Four Tet & Manitoba Remix)
[mp3] Caribou - Melody Day (Four Tet Remix)
[MySpace] Four Tet
[MySpace] Caribou

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Weeks Ahead

I had a completely different post planned for today, but then this band sort of blindsided me. The Weeks are a young band from Jackson, Mississipi and do that sort of southern indie rock we've heard from types like Kings of Leon (the most obvious comparison, given that unmistakable drawl in the vocals). The sonic palette is different though, with these particular songs showing off a more structured pop sensibility and a bit more chaotic energy in the way they attack their instruments. Like an unhinged pop version of what we might expect from Kings.

It may not be a new sound, but they do it well and it's refreshing to my ears today. The band's album, Comeback Cadillac, is scheduled for July 8. You can also hear more on the band's MySpace.

[mp3] The Weeks - Altar Girl
[mp3] The Weeks - Buttons
[MySpace] The Weeks

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fashion + Music

Most fashion lovers will probably tell you that the history of the fashion show is not well documented because the only important thing is what is on the runway right now. This is a hilariously astute way of brushing off the lack of history but I can guarantee that one thing that has always been a strong ally of the fashion show is music.

I am not a huge fashion expert or anything but I probably have significantly more interest than the average guy is willing to admit. Of course the fashion world is always about trying to be one who leaves the strongest impression. In 2006 Cat Power became a celebrity spokesperson for Chanel and she played their amazingly successful Spring/Summer 07 Haute Couture show. A year later Louis Vuitton topped that by having his fellow Parisians Daft Punk, spin a custom set for his Spring/Summer 08 show. Now this season Mark Jacobs had Sonic Youth play his show and in my opinion that was an EPIC FAIL. It almost seemed as though their performance was extra bad and screechy on purpose. I don't think I could have handled that performance live while trying enjoy the show. For me the winner this season is back to Chanel. They chose to open and close their Fall/Winter 08-09 show with a track I am currently loving. The track is "Blind" by Hercules and Love Affair -- check out the video.

[mp3] Hercules and Love Affair - Blind

* Buy Hercules and Love Affair - S/T