Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Music for the Very Desperate

The Church - Xmas
Nick Lowe - I Was Born in Bethlehem
The Primitives - You Trashed My Christmas
Oldfolks Home - Christmas at the Oldfolks Home
Cocteau Twins - Frosty the Snowman
Sky Ferreira - Omanko

Kate Bush - December Will Be Magic Again
Rusty and Savanna - Stocking Stuffers
XTC - Thanks for Christmas
Payola$ - Christmas is Coming
Frank Turner and Butch Walker - Merry Christmas You XXXX

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Blitzen Trapper - Live In Portland Free Album!

This year, Blitzen Trapper gave perhaps the best early Christmas Gift Ever. It might be a tie with 1978, when my brother gave me Ace Frehley's solo album when I was really down. Anyway, Blitzen Trapper will give it to you if you want it too, a free 16-track live album. Get it here.

Some studio versions of a few popular tunes:


Black River Killer

American Goldwing

Maybe Baby

Ever Loved Once

Dragon's Song

Love the Way You Walk Away

Heaven and Earth

Shine On

Here's that recent cover of Ryan Adams'To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High) from the great Bloodshot Records collection.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dine Alone's Free 25 song Winter Sampler

Dine Alone Records want to give you 25 free songs, and no one's slipping the collection surreptitiously into your mobile device. In fact, the label automatically enters you into a draw to win good things, including a guitar, an amp, and a turntable. Happy holidays.

What about the songs? Here's some first impressions of what you'll get from some of the tracks:

The finely-tuned fuzz-pop of Broncho's Deena, sweet warped pop of Lucius's Genevieve, the radio-ready funk-pop/rock of K-os's Turn Me Loose (not a Loverboy cover, unfortunately), You and Me's Capsized featuring the plaintive warble of Dallas Green and the dramatic wail of Alecia Moore/Pink, Fly Golden Eagle's end-of-the-night barnburner version of Stepping Stone, Streets of Laredo's fantastic spur-jingle and jangle and wordless engine-whistle backing vox for Slow Train, Delta Spirit's urgent garage anthem From Now On, Lieutenant's Belle Epoque is a favourite cousin of Nada Surf's prime power-pop, Spencer Burton's unaffected up-tempo western Death Of Gold, Violent Soho's wiry, leap-off-a-bridge Covered In Chrome, The Wytches' desperate lurch out of a subterranean cavern in Burn Out The Bruise, Zeahorse's yelpy drone for Career, snotty well-timed snarl from Single Mothers' Half-Lit, Spain's mellow, melodic ballad The Fighter, Field Report's bubbling, comforting Home (Leave The Lights On), Noah Gundersen's spare, melancholy Bag Of Glass, Shovels & Rope's soulful good-time joyous harmonies in Coping Mechanism, High Ends'clap-along spacey Intoxicated, Sylvan Esso's folktronica skipping competition soundtrack Hey Mami, The Dodos' push-you pull-me Competition, Arkells offer some la-las in Never Thought That This Would Happen, Tokyo Police Club's taut, tightly-wound Gonna Be Ready, Say Yes's gang vocals and thick riffs for M.M.M.

There's even a never-released mystery track by a mystery artist to finish off the collection, I'll say naught about it, listen for yourself.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Decemberists - Make You Better

The Decemberists have a new record coming out Jan 20 entitled What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World. Their first video features that funny guy from Parks and Rec. More importantly, Make You Better is a really good song.

Make You Better

Lake Song

Some older ones for ya:

Down By The Water (Live 6 Music Session)

O Valencia!

This is Why We Fight

If I Could Only Win Your Love (The Louvin Brothers cover)

The Sporting Life

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Elephant Stone - Knock You From Your Mountain

I am wigging out over Elephant Stone. I dig their pop/psychedelia/rock/Madchester swirl. I am glad their Soundcloud page says "Discover the soundz of Elephant Stone (the good, the bad, and the chutney)".

Knock You From Your Mountain

Knock You From Yr Mountain - P.I.A. Remix (Peter from The Dandy Warhols)

Child Of Nature (Om Namah Shivaya)

Echo & The Machine - The Al Lover Remix

A Silent Moment (The Tom Furse Remix)

A dreamy version of a Tom Petty's Into the Great Wide Open? Ok.

An echo chamber of psychedelic funhouse tripping over The Doors' LA Woman:

The first Christmas song Scruffy shares this year:

And some older Elephant Stone for ya:


The Glass Box EP

The Seven Seas

Mobina Galore - Bad Love Song

Winnipeg's Mobina Galore has a new album coming out Dec 9 called Cities Away, and I think it's gonna be a juggernaut. Although the band's name always reminds me of late Wpg band Monuments Galore, their sound is the kind that makes me excited about new music again. Raw rock 'n' roll, fiery punk with sweet backing vox, simply hard-hitting garage stomp, the new one is produced by John Paul Peters, who has worked with Propagandhi, Royal Canoe, and Comeback Kid. Courtney Love wishes she made music like this, heck, Dave Grohl wishes he did. Mobina Galore could play with Rancid or Comeback Kid or Joan Jett. Release show at the Park Theatre on Dec 27 with Clipwing and Union Stockyards. You can download Bad Love Song below.

Bad Love Song

Years Of Lies


Pieces of You (live)

Photo at top of page by Jenna Priestner.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hey Operators! Big Fun!

Remember that Coney Hatch song Hey Operator? No? It was brilliant. "Make the telephone talk to me," belted Carl Dixon. Anyway, I hope someone does a synthy version of it of it called Hey Operators in honour of synth-pop purveyors Operators, who are coming to town as part of the Big Fun Festival Thursday January 29th 2015 @ The West End Cultural Centre with Hana Lu Lu and Will to Power. Operators is the new band from Dan Boeckner, who has also created heavenly sounds in Divine Fits, Handsome Furs, and Wolf Parade. Four great bands already? Boeckner must be some kind of genius. With Devojka and Sam Brown, Boeckner is whipping up more aural joy.  

You can purchase Operators stuff here.

Start Again



Cold Light

Live at KEXP
1/6 - Boston, MA @ Royale w/ Future Islands
1/7 - Boston, MA @ Royale w/ Future Islands
1/8 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5 w/ Future Islands
1/9 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5 w/ Future Islands
1/10 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer w/ Future Islands
1/11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer w/ Future Islands
1/14 - Chicago, IL @ Schuba's - Tomorrow Never Knows Festival
1/29 - Winnipeg, MB @ West End Cultural Centre
1/30 - Vancouver, BC @ The Fox
1/31 - Vancouver, BC @ The Fox
2/4 - Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre w/ The New Pornographers
2/5 - Toronto, ON @ The Danforth Music Hall w/ The New Pornographers
2/6 - London, ON @ London Music Hall w/ The New Pornographers
2/7 - Guelph, ON @ Hillside Inside w/ The New Pornographers
2/8 - Hamilton, ON @ Molson Canadian Studio w/ The New Pornographers

Crooked Brothers - Thank You I'm Sorry

The Crooked Brothers will be celebrating the release of their newest album, Thank You I'm Sorry, at the West End Dec. 12. Is that the most Canadian album title ever? When the Winnipeggers put out the deluxe version with demos, remixes and live versions maybe they will just tack on "Eh". In the meantime, it's a tasty roots album, even without back bacon and stubbies of Canadian. What do you get on Thank You I'm Sorry Excuse Me? Beautiful, mournful guitar (Blackbird in the Snow), up-tempo footstompers (Pass You By), dark Tom Waitsian storytime (Organs on Demand) and roaring Waitsian growls (Lightning in my Chest), forceful blues (Mean Mean Baby), and pretty restrained harmonies (Sittin True, North of the Border). You're welcome, no apology necessary.

Thank You I'm Sorry

Postcard EP

Lawrence, Where's your Knife?

Deathbed Pillowtalk

Dec 2 - Kelowna, Minstrel Cafe
Dec 3 - Sicamous, House Concert
Dec 5 - Edmonton, Artery w/ The Whiskey Sheiks
Dec 6 - Lloydminster, The Root
Dec 7 - Saskatoon, The Bassment
Dec 12 - Winnipeg, West End Cultural Centre