Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gord Downie, The Sadies and Conquering Sun - Crater

No flies on Gord Downie. Or The Sadies. They are always doing something, I bet they don't have time for things like getting haircuts or watching The Walking Dead or picking one name to fit all of them, or choosing an album title.

So the project is called Gord Downie, The Sadies and The Conquering Sun. The album is called the same thing. It will be out April 15. You can pre-order it and get a download of the single Crater from the website. Crater brings some heat, like the rifferest roosterin' Stooges, pounding drums and crashing cymbals kicking down your door. Some of the pics on the band's site even glow with that red-orange fire like on the Stooges' Fun house album cover. Oh, and your picture might be on the album cover, you better check. Interestinger and interestinger.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Del Barber - Prairieography

Is there such a thing as pure country anymore? If so, I nominate Del Barber as a prime example. Not new country, not alt-country, but true country from the heart of the prairies, Winnipeg to be exact. His new record Prairieography sees the man taking on clichés both country and Canadian (city vs. country, fishing, drinking, and playing hockey) and wrapping 'em up in a sincerity that's disarming. There have been a few Winnipeg artists in the last few years who struck me as amazingly honest (Scott Nolan, Greg Macpherson and the Western States come to mind), but every song on this record seems so clear and genuine it could stop a person its tracks. To me, the album could have been called Less Artifice, More Warmth.
Try Walking in a Straight Line or Living With a Long Way To Go.

Prairieography is out now in Canada and in the U.S. on April 15 through True North Records.

Tour Dates

Feb 26 The Bassment Saskatoon, Canada RSVP
Feb 27 Station Arts Centre Rosthern, Canada RSVP
Mar 01 Strathcona Community Centre Calgary, Canada Tickets RSVP
Mar 02 Geomatic Attic Lethbridge, Canada Tickets RSVP
Mar 04 Communitea Cafe Canmore, Canada Tickets RSVP
Mar 05 Jasper Legion Jasper, Canada Tickets RSVP
Mar 07 St. Basil's Cultural Centre Edmonton, Canada RSVP
Mar 08 Forestburg Community Hall Forestburg, Canada RSVP
Mar 20 Park Theatre Winnipeg, Canada Tickets RSVP
Mar 21 Park Theatre Winnipeg, Canada Tickets RSVP
Apr 05 Millennium Place Whistler, Canada Tickets RSVP
Apr 14 Jaeb Theater Tampa, FL

Robyn Hitchcock - Fix You

Have you listened to Robyn Hitchcock's Love from London yet? It's superlative, like almost all of his 87 records or whatever he's up to now. But every few years Hitchcock flares up with a track that should be a big pop hit, and he's done it again. Fix You is an atypical fuzzy guitar, baggy jeans stomper, with brilliant female backing vox on the ear-worm chorus and some sneering, snarling verses - "They make you redundant and blame you for being a slacker! While a financial backer, is taking a call! With a strawberry mousse!"

Fix You

Be Still

Love From London Track by Track Side 1

Love From London Track by Track Side 2

Harry' Song (Crypt Sessions)

Sanford up for Ukelele Video of the Year, Vote Now!

Winnipeg's Sanford is up for Ukelele Video of the Year for 2013 at Ukelehunt.com. Sanford's collaboration with Adrian Sala and Tesia Rhind is in the lead, if you like it, you can help take it over the top . You can vote here, you only have one more day to get this local boy his own gold medal.

Here's an old Sanford tune for ya, maybe it'll help ya see how diverse the guy is.

Monday, February 17, 2014

NEW BAND! Split Single (Verbow, Spoon and Superchunk Guys) - Fragmented World and 3 From the Album

Split Single is the new project from Jason Narducy (Verbow, Telekinesis, too many others to mention), Britt Daniel (Spoon, Divine Fits), and Jon Wurster (Superchunk, also too many others). The debut album Fragmented World will be released April 1st. Singer/guitarist Narducy's songs seem to run the gamut from Superchunky punk (Monolith) to hazy cinematic dream pop (Last Goodbye) to peppy new wave (Waiting for the Sun), at least from the three you can hear below.

EDIT: According to Pitchfork, Narducy will be doing some shows with a couple of other fellas backing him up, so Split Single might have an evolving lineup of whoever the heck Narducy feels like playing with.

 Fragmented World Album Trailer


Waiting for the Sun

Last Goodbye

You can pre-order the album here.

Fragmented World track list:

1 Waiting for the Sun
2 Monolith
3 Last Goodbye
4 Searches
5 Fragmented World
6 Made For Breaking
7 Love Is You
8 Never Look Back
9 My Eyes
10 My Heart Is Your Shadow

Friday, February 14, 2014

The New Mendicants - If You Only Knew Her Free Download

The New Mendicants have released a new single from their fine record, Into the Lime. If You Only Knew Her is a free download here.

If You Only Knew Her

A Very Sorry New Year

A Very Sorry Christmas

Here's a very light, peppy, breezy version of INXS's This Time.

Shouting Match


High On the Skyline

Here are some The New Mendicants doing a batch of Teenage Fanclub tunes acoustically.

I Don't Want Control of You

Baby Lee

Everything Flows

It's All In My Mind

Minor Alps - Waiting for You and Other Beautiful Songs

Minor Alps is the collaboration of Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, and their new video Waiting For You seems extra-suitable for viewing on Valentine's Day. Actually, I think all of their songs are beautiful. And hey, Buried Plans is a free download if you pop out the Soundcloud player.

Waiting For You

Far From the Roses

Lonely Low

Buried Plans

I Don't Know What to do With My Hands

I Want to Take You home

Mixed Feelings

Wish You Were Upstairs


Minor Alps - If I Wanted Trouble

Minor Alps - If I Wanted Trouble Peter A.s Sausade Edit

De La Soul Giving Away Free Downloads of All of Their Albums - Today Only!

De La Soul is giving away a Valentine's Day gift to everyone, free downloads of their entire catalogue. Go to www.wearedelasoul.com, give up your email address, and say thanks.

Me, Myself & I

A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday

De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub - Fallin'


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

20 Years Old: Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

I recently read an amazing Oral History of Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain at Stereogum in celebration of the album's 20-year anniversary.

Unless you're a fan of that band and specifically that record, you probably won't find it as compelling as I did. But for me, that was a benchmark album. Perhaps like punk rock was for those who had their heads whipped around in the late 70's or early 80's, Crooked Rain opened my eyes and ears to new possibilities. Song structures didn't need to have the same regular verses, choruses or bridges in prescribed places. Production did not have to aim to be pristine, and mixing could emphasize ambience, melody, shambolic splendour. Your album cover could be a baffling piece of art revelling in a glorious mess that rejects slick.

Of course, R.E.M. had already started me down that path with Murmur, an album to which you could also ascribe all of what you just read. But where Stipe mumbled or sang sweetly, Malkmus doesn't really do either; he somehow managed to fall into that Tom Verlaine magical vocal trick of straddling tuneful and yelp, shrieking and melody, an aged sing-speak and child-like self-crooning. In fact, the whole band seemed to revel in its abandon, if I can steal from Tom Petty. Putting a country-ish ditty like Range Life on your major label-distributed debut was not on with the cool kids in 1994, alt-country was not recognized by most (although R.E.M. did it with (Don't Go Back To) Rockville on Reckoning...hmmm, maybe these guys owe R.E.M more than I have realized). The endearing (to me) "Oooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh-oohs" in Cut Your Hair would probably piss off most people. The way sounds buzz in and out, energy ramps up or dissipates in unusual moments, everything's twisted or bent including voices - I always thought Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was the perfect title because nothing's straight here.

Cut Your Hair

Gold Soundz

Range Life

Silence Kid

Stop Breathin'

Newark Wilder



Heaven is a Truck

Fillmore Jive

Hit the Plane Down

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Neil Finn - Dizzy Heights

Neil Finn has had a pretty good run with Split Enz and Crowded House, and I loved his first solo album, an underrated gem called Try Whistling This. Somehow I missed out on his other solo work and his newer combo The Pajama Club, but I'm trying to get back with his new one, Dizzy Heights. Flying in the Face of Love has a familiar catchy chorus and bittersweet atmosphere. Title track Dizzy Heights serves up a trampoline beat, about a billion layered vocals, Halloween and mosquitos. Divebomber sees Finn sending out a delicate, claustrophobic falsetto over a buzzy bed of spiralling Stukas - here's a track you would never have recognized as coming from the Neil Finn catalogue. Divebomber reflects the hand of producer Dave Fridmann and his history with The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev.

You can stream the album here.

Flying in the Face of Love

Dizzy Heights


Lights of New York

Last One Standing (From Try Whistling This)

Pajama Club - Tell Me What you Want

Neil Finn and Eddie Vedder - History Never Repeats

Message to My Girl

Neil Finn - Throw Your Arms Around Me (Hunters & Collectors cover)

Neil Finn - Billie Jean (I'm not telling you who he is covering here, you should know)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Justin Rutledge gets Tragically Hip, Covers Courage and 9 More

I have been thinking for quite a while about getting some artists to cover some particular Tragically Hip songs. Since Sarah Polley reeled off a haunting version of Courage so many years ago, I figured it would be a fun exercise. Well, wouldn't ya know it, someone beat me to it. On April 22, Justin Rutledge is releasing 10 Hip covers on an album entitled Daredevil, with people like Skydiggers' Andy Maize, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Brendan Canning, and Jenn Grant. Here's one song as a sample with Andy Maize chiming in on vocals.

Courage (for Hugh Maclennan)


1. Looking For A Place to Happen
2. Springtime in Vienna
3. Thugs
4. Escape Is At Hand for the Travellin' Man
5. Grace, Too
6. Locked in the Trunk of a Car
7. Courage (for Hugh Maclennan)
8. Long Time Running
9. Put it Off
10. Fiddler's Green

Tragically Hip versions of songs Rutledge has recorded:

1. Looking For A Place to Happen

2. Springtime in Vienna

3. Thugs

4. Escape Is At Hand for the Travellin' Man

5. Grace, Too

6. Locked in the Trunk of a Car

7. Courage (for Hugh Maclennan)

8. Long Time Running

9. Put it Off

10. Fiddler's Green

Aaaaand some Hip covers for ya:

Sarah Polley - Courage

Blow at High Dough for Orchestra

c!c!c! - Ahead By a Century

Justin Rutledge has been unafraid to cover popular artists in the past, here's a cover of a Bob Dylan track you might know.

Tomorrow is a Long Time

Your reward for making it this far down the post is a couple of free mp3s, and the first is a cover of the Pogues' Dirty Old Town.

Kapuskasing Coffee.