Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Luke Doucet Video for Thinking People

Luke Doucet has just released a new video for Thinking People from his new record Steel City Trawler. Visually it's okay, but the song is better, methinks.

Here's a bonus live version of Monkeys live at Six Shooter Records.

Of course, you can buy Luke Doucet cds and merch from Six Shooter Records.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bad Religion Still Relevant After All These Years

Bad Religion just released their new album, The Dissent of Man. It's the same melodic punk with better-than-average lyrics the band always puts out, and you know what? I'm cool with that.

Bad Religion - The Devil In Stitches by Epitaph Records

Bad Religion - The Resist Stance by Epitaph Records

Bad Religion - Only Rain by PassionOnPlastic

Bad Religion, Spin and MySpace are releasing a Bad Religion Tribute entitled Germs of Perfection, which will include Ted Leo among others. One song a day (except weekends) is streaming. October 19th should see the whole album as a free download on both MySpace Music’s homepage and through You can find out more about the covers album here, below are a couple cover versions from Germs of Perfection. Like Ted Leo, Frank Turner doing Bad Religion isn't a big surprise, but I wouldn't have guessed Tegan & Sara would tackle primal punk tune Suffer. Hope there's some more WTF choices coming.

Frank Turner does BR:

Tegan & Sara do BR:

Buy Bad Religion here.

Infected from Bad Religion on Vimeo.

Bad religion Acoustic by saulobrito

Monday, September 27, 2010

David Sylvian - New Collection Sleepwalkers

David Sylvian's new collection of collaborations, Sleepwalkers, came out yesterday. Sylvian writes, "I hope you enjoy the work presented here, personally selected, remixed and sequenced and entirely remastered. These are the orphans, abused, estranged, exotic, migrating from diverse corners of the globe, brought together under one roof which they're learning to share despite their differences." Although there's only one unreleased song here, it still looks like a cool group of songs to me.

David Sylvian "Sleepwalkers" from Samadhisound on Vimeo.

Here are some collaborations and remixes, I'm not sure if any of them will be in the same form on the album, but there you go.

Playground Martyrs - David Sylvian and Steve Jansen by ppacheco

Playground Martyrs (Reprise) - David Sylvian and Steve Jensen, with Nina kinert by ppacheco

porter ricks + fennesz + david sylvian - decay chart + transit by Paide


1. Sleepwalkers
2. Money For All
3. Ballad of a Deadman
4. Angels
5. World Citizen - I Won't Be Disappointed
6. Five Lines
7. The Day The Earth Stole Heaven
8. Playground Martyrs
9. Exit/Delete
10. Pure Genius
11. Wonderful World
12. Transit
13. The World Is Everything
14. Thermal
15. Sugarfuel
16. Trauma

This one's not on the new disc, but I think it's pretty indicative of Sylvian's mellow genius.

David Sylvian - I Surrender by maxanima

A lot of Sylvian's stuff is available in all of the usual places, but all of his more recent releases including limited editions will be found here. On a side note, Sylvian has made available a plethora of intersting photographs and captions/titles, check 'em out here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Hold Steady's Craig Finn & The Baseball Project - Not Twinkies

photo by Shayne Kaye

I'm not a baseball fan, despite my Dad's fanaticism. I mean, playing it wasn't too bad, but watching it seems like an exercise in waiting for something to happen. And somehow it seems like stats and steroids are too important in the baseball world.

There! I've proclaimed my ignorance of what makes baseball special. The reason I bring up my lack of passion for baseball is to explain my lack of enthusiasm for The Baseball Project. The Baseball Project is a band made up of Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck and Linda Pitmon, all musicians I love, but they create songs about baseball, so I've never paid attention. But I'm not enough of an anti-baseball fan to ignore the group anymore, because they've enlisted The Hold Steady's Craig Finn to write the lyrics and sing on the new song, Don't Call Them Twinkies.

I now have to pay more attention to the Baseball Project, but I'm still not gonna watch baseball. I can always ask my Dad who the names are that get dropped in these songs.

The Baseball Project by schleppy

Speaking of The Hold Steady, the band is the latest to get into the Pitchfork POV concert series, which you can check out here. I guess the idea of the viewer changing cameras is fine, but it's not my thing - I think I'd like it to be filmed in an interesting way the first time. Anyway, any excuse to post about The Hold Steady.

The Hold Steady - The Sweet Part Of The City

The Hold Steady - The Sweet Part Of The City by VagrantRecords

The Hold Steady - The Weekenders

The Hold Steady - The Weekenders by VagrantRecords

The Hold Steady - Hurricane J

The Hold Steady - Hurricane J by VagrantRecords

Buy The Baseball Project here.
Buy The Hold Steady here.

Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 will also be releasing a new disc, Northern Aggression, on Nov. 30th on Yep Roc. I don't think the following track has anything to do with the new album, but it's an interesting cover anyway.

Steve Wynn - The Air That I Breathe

" by roverthsub

Monday, September 20, 2010

Recycling: Sanford, Brian Dunn, Wintersleep, Morning Benders

Okay, some problem with Soundcloud and Hype Machine and maybe even Blogger meant that barely anyone saw posts I dropped on Sanford, Brian Dunn, Wintersleep, and The Morning Benders. This pisses me off to no end, especially since the first three are Canadian artists that deserve attention. So I'm recycling. In fact, I'm also recycling some other mp3s that I think got missed by too many. If you already checked these songs out, thank you. If not, go to the original posts to get the full story and buying info. A real new post will follow soon.

Sanford - Complicated Shoes (phony drawl version)
Sanford - Complicated Shoes by scruffy the yak

Broken by Brian Dunn by scruffy the yak

Wintersleep -- Trace Decay by scruffy the yak

The Morning Benders - Big Echo by The Drift Record Shop

The Morning Benders - Dreams by dannon81

The Cold Wave - Clouded by scruffy the yak

Chris Page-Two Twenty Twos by scruffy the yak

The Parson Red Heads - Punctual As Usual by scruffy the yak

Oomalama by Eugenius by scruffy the yak

Buttermilk by Eugenius by scruffy the yak

Superchunk - Skip Steps 1 & 3 by scruffy the yak

Cruise Night by John K Samson by scruffy the yak

Royal Canoe-Me Loving Your Money by scruffy the yak

Scott Hinkson-A Miracle Complete by scruffy the yak

Kathryn Calder- Slip Away by scruffy the yak

The Blue Shadows-When Will This Heartache End by scruffy the yak

The paperbacks-perpetual autumn by scruffy the yak

The paperbacks-a dizzy chain of bees by scruffy the yak

01 The Best Words - Red Vienna by scruffy the yak

Commetoujours by scruffy the yak

Halomary by scruffy the yak

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Neil Young's Shaky New Video, Angry World

As a kid growing up in Winnipeg, Neil Young was pretty hard to ignore. Young and The Guess Who seem to be brought up every time someone wants to prove that this little burg breeds rock greatness, which may be a sign of the town's inferiority complex. But Young hasn't lived here, or even in Canada, for so long it's time to give up that ghost. I try to take Neil for what he is and what he does, not worrying about where he played his first sock hop or whatnot.

So I've heard the classics ad nauseum, was drawn more to the oddball moves he's made such as Trans, Everybody's Rockin', and Landing on Water, was even persuaded to try (and fail) to sing Rockin' in the Free World in a basement band. I've always appreciated that Young goes off and does whatever the heck he wants, at his own pace - he's so original and unique I gotta respect him even if I can't get into all of his music. Unfortunately, somehow Young is associated for me with a misbegotten hippie dream, filled with drugs, bad campfire cover songs, a patchouli stink, and a naive worldview.

Which of course is not a balanced perspective, so I hereby pledge to go revisit the facets of Youngmusic I've skipped. I don't want the Cult of Neil to rain down darkness on me. And hey, this may be the greatest thing Neil Young has done in...decades? Angry World, from new album Le Noise, out September 28. Available everywhere, including the moon, probably on 8-track, 78 and wax cylinder too.

Heh. What if Young went all drum and bass on us?

Old Man (Neil Young) Future Child Remix by alagory

One of my favourite Young covers. There are a lot of good ones, but there's also a boatload of not just unnecessary covers, but also so many terrible ones that they've probably been a detriment to my enjoying his music.

Winterlong (Neil Young cover) by chocnut

I tripped across this track, which seems to be by Fascinoma aka Alanna Lin.

02 I Shot Neil Young by 2TRU401

Thursday, September 16, 2010

School of Seven Bells Inch Their Way Into Scruffy's Good Books

photo by Tammy Lo

School of Seven Bells are a Brooklyn trio comprised of vocalists/sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza and guitarist/producer Benjamin Curtis. Like many artists these days, they vaguely remind me of late 80's/early 90's alt-pop from the U.K.: Cocteau Twins, the Heartthrobs, My Bloody Valentine, Pale Saints...but maybe it's just me.

I actually really like the Phantagram remix, because the instrumentation reminds me of My Blood Valentine a bit. I miss My Bloody Valentine. If you miss them too, you may want to check out captains dead. Just sayin'.

Again, this one recalls MBV without being slavish, it's definitely more poppy, and I probably wouldn't like it without the well-crafted music. As it is, I dig it, though it's defintely not my area of expertise or obsession.

One more for ya. Do you like the band yet?

School of Seven Bells - Windstorm by VagrantRecords

Most School of Seven Bells can be purchased here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Urge Overkill mp3 - Effigy

Urge Overkill. Just found out via and that a new album is coming, and one new song is here for us to enjoy. There are a lot of bands from the late eighties into the nineties that we don't need to come back, but we need Urge. I'm sure you loved Saturation, but there was a lot more to love if you were paying attention. Dirty rock 'n' roll without going too far over into the consistently cheesy side, substantial without getting too pretentious, Urge Overkill were fun and worthy at the same time. And if you ever saw them live (for some reason they came to Winnipeg pretty regularly), you know the band had the fire and passion people want to see, hear and feel. The Hold Steady kinda brought back good riffing rock for me, Urge Overkill can bring it to the masses again.

Effigy by Urge Overkill by scruffy the yak

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Royal Canoe: Love, Chess, & a Free MP3

Winnipeg's Royal Canoe already gave us the falsetto funk of Me Loving Your Money from the album Co-op Mode, now the band is gifting Kasparov, a "love song from the super-computer Deep Blue to chess champion Gary Kasparov". It's a good choice, because it showcases a totally different side of the record, head-bobbing indie pop with lyrics that actually make use of the word "behoove". Yes. Download it. Pass it on. Buy the album.

Royal Canoe - Kasparov by scruffy the yak

Royal Canoe Tour Dates

Oct 09 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Cavern w/ Les Jupes + The Liptonians
Oct 14 – Edmonton, AB @ The Nest Pub
Oct 14 – Calgary, AB @ The Palamino
Oct 15 – Lethbridge, AB @ The Slice
Oct 16 – Edmonton, AB @ The Starlight
Oct 18 – Penticton, BC @ Voodoo’s
Oct 21 – Nelson, BC @ The Royal
Oct 22 – Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
Oct 23 – Kelowna, BC @ BreakOut West

Some video of band interviews and live footage from the West end Cultural Center can be found here and here.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. Why shouldn't Royal Canoe be the biggest thing to come out of Winnipeg since The Guess Who? The names rhyme, they both have shaggy-coiffed singers, funny yet poignant lyrics, catchy tunes, Lenny Kravitz fans dig 'em...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Brian Dunn - Broken is Good

Brian Dunn's Examining the Fallout has been out for just over a month, and if you haven't given it a listen, now's the time. I love a guy who can make me feel hopeful on the musical, melodical end while singing lyrics to a song called Listening to Myself Die. Some of these songs are almost a shambles, but not quite, reining in looseness before it falls apart. I've never been a big fan of the kind of shambolic rock made by, for example, Broken Social Scene, but that kind of laid-back style works well for alt country as made by Dunn and others like Ox, wistful, bittersweet, and worthy of repeated listens.

If you're like me and like to listen without being distracted by visuals, listen away using the player below, then you don't need to try not to peek at your monitor.

Broken by Brian Dunn by scruffy the yak

Buy Brian Dunn music by emailing Mark Browning at

Wintersleep - Trace and Tour

Wintersleep is back into heavy touring, in Europe now, then including some upcoming shows with Scruffy faves The Hold Steady in the States, then almost everywhere in October and November (view all tour dates here). You can still get in on some pre-sales by going to .

Here's a freebie of Trace from the most recent album New Inheritors.

Wintersleep -- Trace Decay by scruffy the yak

Buy Winterleep here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sanford: New E.P. - Exit Strategy

Five or so years ago, I went to see The Turnstiles open up for Joel Plaskett - or maybe it was The Paperbacks, how the hell am I supposed to rememeber these things? Fronted by Rob Pachol (The Telepathic Butterflies, The Wind-Ups, The Rowdymen, hell, almost everyone in Winnipeg's played with him) and Sean Buchanan (Western States, Jackpine), The Turnstiles seemed to create music that didn't know the 80's and 90's ever happened. Recording ensued, but Buchanan and Pachol refused to make anything available for public consumption, citing dissatisfaction with the sound. The band faded away into wherever it is that lost rock and roll goes, and the songs went along into the ether.

Fast-forward to now. Winnipeg's Sanford (AKA Rob Pachol) has finally released songs that have been waiting years and years to reach your ears. Backed by local stalwarts Chris Mama Bauer, Rejean Ricard, and Lloyd Peterson, the tunes are pretty difficult to describe, but what do you expect from a guy who lists Graham Parker and pre-beard Waylon Jennings in his list of influences? The Turnstiles sometimes recalled Gram Parsons or The Jayhawks, but Sanford probably fits better between The Long Ryders and Elvis Costello.

Sanford - Complicated Shoes (phony drawl version)
Sanford - Complicated Shoes by scruffy the yak

Buy it now in digital form at Cd Baby, iTunes doesn't have it yet but should soon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Morning Benders All Day Day Light

Okay, so Nada Surf did a video kinda like this one not too long ago, but the song is still fine. The Morning Benders have already put out one of my favourite videos ever, so we can give 'em this one.

The Morning Benders - Big Echo by The Drift Record Shop

The Morning Benders - Dreams by dannon81

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different: La Roux & Modern Men

I know I'm way behind on this one, but I kept hearing this song on the radio, it had a huge dance beat that was mostly generic - but the vocals were amazing and the chorus was insidiously infectious. I don't know much about UK's La Roux, and Bulletproof may be reminiscent of Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), but this duo ain't the first to owe a nod to that tune - sometimes it seems like every other dance pop tune steals part of it. But La Roux happens to have Elly Jackson, a singer that has some style and doesn't sound like a lot of others out there. I found this version of the song that eschews the big dance beats for choopy, rhythmic guitar, which says to me that the band is more than radio ready dance pop.

La-Roux-Bulletproof- Acoustic-Version by plusmusicnew

I also found this video, which reminds me of New Order's perfect Kiss clip - a simple recorded performance, as opposed to flashy entertainment. If La Roux is focusing more on the song and the performance, trying to stay away from lip-syncing, more power to 'em. There are other in-studio videos out there that are even more Perfect Kiss-like. Although Jackson seems a bit more impassioned than Bernard Sumner, she also looks like Peter Pan just parachuted in to Dexy's Midnight Runners circa Come On Eileen in the video below.

Buy La roux from iTunes, on the cheap right now on mp3 from Amazon, or just about any music store.

Another synth group that's a little out of my normal axis is The Modern Men. But the band sent me a polite e-mail, and I appreciate politeness. The music seems pretty polite too, with gentle poppy synths and muted sung-spoken vocals that sometimes recall Rupert Hine. Check out the band's new album The Sensual sounds of...on iTunes, a track named Synthetic Brown reminds me of Human League a tad, with cool female/male vocal interplay.

Life After Love - THE MODERN MEN by themodernmen

THE MODERN MEN - Lipstick Kiss by themodernmen

THE MODERN MEN - Electric Romance by themodernmen

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Free Iron Maiden MP3, Band Adds 4th Guitarist

Psssst! Don't tell anyone, but Maiden is giving an mp3 of El Dorado away to any banger who gives up an e-mail address. Go here. Come on. When run to the Hills or Number of the Beast comes on the radio, you crank it to 11. Galloping bassline, air raid siren vocal, ear- and finger-blistering axe solos are what you need - you can't listen to Arcade Fire or Lady Gaga all of the time. Maiden released their new album, The Final Frontier, a couple of weeks ago, and it went to number one on the charts in Canada) as well as 20 other countries. Debuting at number 4 in the U.S. gives the band their highest American charting ever. Hit the band's web site to play a game or to watch the video for The Final Frontier.

A fourth guitarist has been added to the the band. You can't have too many.