Thursday, May 3, 2012

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

Top Ten Albums of the Decade

Posted by ogcin On January - 8 - 2010

Written by: Nic Gouveia (

If you can count from zero to nine you’ve probably figured out we just closed out the decade and are now in the magical tweens. What… no fanfare? No fear of global catastrophe? No fuzzy webcast of Geraldo Rivera in some south pacific island as confused natives wonder ‘what backwards country would send an idiot to cover the sunrise?’ No, huh? I’m not surprised. TV and movies tell us the world’s going to end in 2012 and Rivera is dead. Wait? He’s not? Oh well, better luck next year.

To my point, why not put something together for you good people to read and subsequently argue with each other about? Good idea, no? Here’s a list of artists who actually made something worth illegally downloading buying this decade. My rules, for what it’s worth, are this. No artist gets on twice (even though some deserve a second or third album on the list) and my selection criteria consists of a mix of creativity, impact on career and impact on the music scene. Enjoy…

1) Radiohead - Kid A (2000)
No, Kid A wasn’t anything like The Bends or O.K. Computer and I’m not here to argue which of the three albums are better. My point is, while Radiohead enjoyed their largest level of popularity; the band drew a line in the sand and abandoned the clichéd rock structures for a wider range of instrumentation and styles. They risked everything and albeit polarizing for fans, Kid A set Radiohead apart from an army of lock-stepping acts and produced the most creative pop-rock composition of the decade… in my opinion of course.

2) Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
It’s hard to argue that Coldplay wasn’t the biggest band of the past decade, so why isn’t their masterpiece at the top of my list? A Rush… certainly cranked out the sales, hit singles and critical kudos to qualify it among the top of the list but here’s the catch… the album was fairly formulaic and lacked creative growth to set it apart from their earlier release Parachutes. As predictable as it is, A Rush… is still a fantastic album and deserving of it’s spot.

3) The White StripesElephant (2003)
The definition of a monster, Elephant takes from it’s name. The album is loud, smart and without a doubt will make your floor rumble after a few minutes. (Point speakers towards the floor for maximum effect) All kidding aside, Elephant was brilliantly written and likely will be one of those albums that stands the test of time.

4) Arcade FireFuneral (2004)
It’s not often when a band comes along and defines an entire scene with one album. It’s even rarer when they do it on the first try but so was the case for the genre defying Montreal act. Funeral is a beautifully dangerous ride that covers just about every emotion in the human psyche. And all this, without the contrived attitude found in the baroque indie landscape. Perhaps that’s why Arcade Fire enjoys a little something called commercial success.

5) Alicia KeysSongs in A Minor (2001)
For my money, Alicia Keys is the greatest solo artist of the decade and Songs in A Minor gives me about all the evidence I need to prove that point. Mixing contemporary R_B with retrospective soul, Songs… is a uniquely personal journey featuring the vocal range, creative genius and musical talent seldom seen from such a young artist.

6) Green DayAmerican Idiot (2004)
With comparisons to albums like Dark Side of the Moon, Green Day catapult themselves from clever punk pubas, to raw storytellers in an almost theatrical and poignant release.

7) Kanye WestThe College Dropout (2004)
Love him or hate him, Kanye West’s first studio album is a raw autobiographical opus that discards the materialism of the hip-hop scene and stands as an example of what the genre could and should be.

8) Queens of the Stone AgeSongs For The Deaf (2002)
You call it stoner rock, I call it music to fuck to. Songs for the Deaf is a hard as nails, pedal to the metal, desert rat symphony. You’ll likely feel dirty after listening to it but you probably won’t mind.

9) The Strokes - Is This It (2001)
Is This It was the anthem for teenage youth of the last decade… frenetic, uncompromising and utterly raw. And like being a teenager the time flies so fast, you only really appreciate it after it’s over.

10) System of a DownToxicity (2001)
A throwback to the lunatic metal scene of the sixties, Toxicity employs a freestyle approach to social and political themes and thrash forward in what seems like a doomsday soundtrack.

Not to leave my countrymen behind here are my top five Canadian albums of the decade.

1) Arcade FireFuneral (2004)
2) Alexisonfire - Watch Out (2004)
3) Broken Social SceneYou Forgot It In People (2002)
4) Metric - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003)
5) Feist - The Reminder (2007)

Popularity: unranked [?]

2009 Album of the Year

Posted by cristóvão On December - 31 - 2009

Written by: Chris Andrade

That time of year has come again where we recap the year’s new releases and tell you who we thought put out the best material of 2009. This year we’re doing things a little different. Before we get to the top 9 albums of 2009, we’re presenting to you an honour roll list of albums we thought were good and/or influential this year.

As always, we welcome your comments, espeically which albums you thought were the best of 2009. So feel free to scroll down and leave us your musical impressions of the last year of the Aughts.

2009 Honour Roll;

…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead ~ the Century of Self; Breaking their bonds from Interscope and going it alone has produced an honest and artistically relevant effort from the boys of Austin, TX.
Against Me! ~ the Original Cowboy; A re-release of sorts (labeled as a demo in some circles), but delivered the way the group originally recorded it. Looking back, they now wish they didn’t bother re-record the songs for the eventual 2003 release Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy and I tend to agree.
Alice in Chains ~ Black Gives Way to Blue; Returning with a new singer replacing the late Layne Staley was considered a risky move to many die-hard fans but this album is fantastic and William DuVall does an impressive job.
Arctic Monkeys ~ Humbug; Produced by Josh Homme, this is actually quite good and naturally, features a sometimes blatant stamp of their QOTSA producer.
Blakroc ~ S/T; Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys teamed up with a number of hip-hop artists including Ludacris, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Mos Def, RZA, Pharoahe Monch, Raekwon, Q-Tip and a few others to put forth an excellent combo that many salivated over.
Cage the Elephant ~ S/T; Upbeat, raw, energetic, fun and arriving in North America far too late.
CKY ~ Carver City; Sticking with their tried and tested formula, the West Chester, PA quartet return after a long absence and continue to grow their fan-base.
the Decemberists ~ the Hazards of Love; A fantastic concept album containing one of (if not) my favourite songs of 2009, “the Rake’s Song”. The recurring melodies and arrangements made it a tad repetitive but it’s great none-the-less.
Dinosaur Jr. ~ Farm; An excellent album containing yet another of my absolute favourite songs of 2009, “Said the People”.
the Fast Romantics ~ S/T; Winners of the 2008 Xposure prize from X92.9, these dapper fellas are making a name for themselves here at home in Calgary and abroad.
Franz Ferdinand ~ Tonight: Franz Ferdinand; Always serving up a good time, this album gets honours simply for the infectious “Ulysses”.
Matt Good ~ Vancouver; As cynical, soulfull and talented as ever, Good put out this album which is a homage of sorts to his hometown, as flawed (according to him) as it is.
Great Northern ~ Remind Me Where the Light Is; With former 30 Seconds to Mars guitarist Solon Bixler and the primary female vocals of Rachel Stolte, their sophomore album is really good. Hopefully we hear more of them soon.
Great Lake Swimmers ~ Lost Channels; Beautifully crafted indie-folk songs that soothe and move you simultaneously.
Hot Little Rocket ~ S/T; Calgary’s indie-rock darlings bid adieu to their fans with this fitting final album with a couple of exciting release/farewell shows.
Lucid 44 ~ Body Harm Sounds; Short enough to be an EP but full enough to be a full length, the former GutterAwl singer delivered another shining example that Calgary’s indie-music scene is loaded with talent.
Madcowboys ~ S/T; One of the most underrated bands in Calgary, their raw punk sound is accompanied by some of the most intelligent lyrics in a language most can understand…you just have to pay attention.
Matisyahu ~ Light; fusing his Hasidic Jewish roots with reggae, rock and hip-hop is not something you’d easily imagine could be pulled off but he does so in the most interesting of ways.
Metric ~ Fantasies; You can always count on the Canadian/American collaborators to put together a record that makes you want to move. And in answer to the question in “Gimme Sympathy”, I’d rather be the Beatles.
Modest Mouse ~ No One’s First and You’re Next; In the eyes of their most hardcore fans, they can do no wrong and with an EP like this, I can see why. Features “the Whale Song” whose video was conceived by the late Heath Ledger.
Monotonix ~ Where Were You When It Happened?; I was at their Concert of the Year show at the Distillery, and the way I look and expect a live gig should be has been changed completely forever. Missed the show? They’re coming back to Calgary in January 2010 and this album will give you but a taste of their madness.
Mos Def ~ the Ecstatic; You can scoff all you want but if all hip-hop/rap were like this, we’d all be better off for it. Plus his involvement in the critically acclaimed Black Roc has upped his already impressive cool factor.
Muse ~ the Resistance; Continuously evolving their sound in subtle yet significant ways, this album carries quite a few similarities to Queen among other acts of days gone by. An excellent collection of songs and it’ll prove to be even better live when they come to North America in the new year.
NOFX ~ Coaster; I love NOFX, and the fact that the vinyl version of this album is appropriately titled Frisbee is indicative of their humour but these tracks aren’t without political and social commentary.
Pearl Jam ~ Backspacer; Even Pearl Jam’s crap is excellent. Not enough to put it in the top 9, but “the Fixer” is actually deserving of being the lead single amongst some other great tunes.
Phoenix ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix; Before the Daft Punk duo came to be, they played with these guys in a previous act. Why it took so long for these guys to make their mark is beyond me but we’re certainly glad they’ve broken out in 2009.
Spinnerette ~ S/T; Homme’s baby’s mama, Brody Dalle returns after the demise of her punk outfit the Distillers to offer a more alt-rock album than punk. Joined by former Distillers band-mate Tony Bevilacqua, Jack Irons of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Alain Johannes of QOTSA, this is a solid release.
Street Sweeper Social Club ~ S/T; Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitar master Tom Morello teams up with Boots Riley (of the Coup) for an album that is fantastic, fun and catchy as fuck.
White Lies ~ To Lose My Life; Sounding like New Order/Joy Division can pay off well when you throw in your own unique feel. Plus the ladies seem to love it quite well.

2009 EP of the Year;

Secrets in Scale ~ Secrets in Scale EP; If this EP (which was released for free, BTW) included enough tracks to be considered a full length release, I would have easily named it the album of the year. That’s how amazingly good it is. From the great work-up “Introducing Emergency” (which is only a 60 second long instrumental precursor to the equally good “This Love”) to the infectious “Inside the Den”, to the epic closer “Wild in a Free World”, these guys are phenomenal and are worth keeping an eye on. Get your free copy of the EP on their MySpace page NOW!

    Top 9 of 2009;

    Propagandhi ~ Supporting Caste; The Canadian socially and politically conscience group from Manitoba return to bemoan the world, our society, killing animals and even patriotism at hockey games. It’s an excellent album, featuring music that’s just as much punk as it is hard rock and it’s so very, very good.
    Secret Broadcast ~ Exploding Spiders; One of two Calgary acts to make our top 9 this year, this album is fun and catchy and only begs the question; why aren’t these guys more popular? Do yourself a favour and get your hands on this record. You will NOT regret it.
    the Shagbots ~ We Were Born Tigers; The second Calgary act to make the top 9, the Shagbots sneaked in under the radar and delivered a raw, overwhelmingly fun record that gives Franz Ferdinand a run for the money in the dance-rock arena. I dare you to sit still through tracks like “Get Up Girl” and the inclusion of Christian Bale‘s infamous rant in “Lost Time” is one of my favourite songs of the year.
    Portugal. The Man ~ the Satanic Satanist; The Alaskan trio has grown into a burgeoning group of extremely talented musicians and their fourth album is utterly great. Increasing it’s value is the bonus disc/accompanying release the Majestic Majesty, an album of almost all Satanic Satanist tracks performed acoustically. Brilliant.
    White Rabbits ~ It’s Frightening; An excellent sophomore effort from this Brooklyn, NY group, they’ve enjoyed increased exposure with performances on the Late Show with David Letterman and features the unbelievably good lead track, “Percussion Gun” (which should be added to the list of Best Songs of 2009).
    Them Crooked Vultures ~ S/T; What do you get when you combine Josh Homme‘s singing, lyrical stylings, guitars with the fierce drumming of Dave Grohl and the classic, tried and true bass guitar mastery of John Paul Jones? An album that couldn’t have been more hyped! Although it failed to impress me on the first listen, it already proved it’s extreme worth upon the second spin and this record is sheer genius. We all want more!
    Silversun Pickups ~ Swoon; When the girlfriend insisted I give Silversun Pickups a serious listen after 2006′s Carnavas came out, I didn’t act fast enough. Three years later and this album has me hooked beyond belief and I should’ve listened sooner. Beyond “Panic Switch” and “Substitution”, there is an album that you have to listen from start to finish. It’s just that good.
    Gallows ~ Grey Britain; The moment I further damaged my hearing with their debut album, I knew I was going to be a fan for life. This follow-up album smashes you in the face with unbelievably heavy punk and metal tracks that, if you listen closely, paints an ugly but truthful picture of the world at large, and Frank Carter‘s tortured self. Right down to the exhausted, self destructive heaving breaths on final track “Crucifucks”, this is what punk, metal, alternative and frankly, any rock album should embody.

    Manchester Orchestra ~ Mean Everything to Nothing; With the list of eight albums above, I struggled to settle on this as the album of the year. Not because it isn’t worthy, but because Manchester Orchestra had some serious contenders to fend off, but there is no denying how good this album is. It moves you, shakes you, while you ponder the stories being told, reduces you to your bare self as you take self evaluation and makes you wonder where music like this has been hiding. Sometimes you have to be thankful for over-played catchy singles like “I’ve Got Friends” because it sucks you into ensuring you pay attention to what else is going on with the band and in this case, it’s well worth every radio play. With an album like this and the eight above, 2010 has a tall order on it’s desk and I certainly hope it delivers.

    Popularity: unranked [?]

    2009 Concert of the Year

    Posted by cristóvão On December - 31 - 2009

    Written by: Chris Andrade

    2009 proved to be a year chock full of excellent concerts but none more memorable and more intense than Off the Dial’s Concert of the year. Before we get to that, let’s review some of the other shows we saw this year…

    With the addition of new writers in Vancouver (namely, Robert Latham) and our very own Andy Stewart catching a few shows in the U.K. this year, Off the Dial expanded it’s musical horizon in terms of artists and venues. The past year saw some excellent shows in Vancouver from Flogging Molly, Skinny Puppy (which was reviewed by our guest artist writer, Steve Moore of the Unravelling), the Gaslight Anthem and Arctic Monkeys. Meanwhile, across the pond, Stewart managed to take in memorable shows from the likes of Oasis (long before their umpteenth blow-out), Kasabian and the Streets. He even caught the excellent Matisyahu at home with his energetic show at Flames Central.

    We were also lucky to have a couple of reviews from James “Newsboy” Callsen of Calgary radio station X92.9 when he reviewed the Gaslight Anthem here in town earlier in the year, plus his account of this year’s Warped Tour featuring 3oh3, Alexisonfire, Bad Religion, Big Damn Family Band, Evidence, NOFX, Passenger Action, Reverend Peyton, Silverstein, Underoath, Westbound Train and countless others.

    For myself, the year may not have been overloaded with live shows but what I did take in was almost always quite incredible. 2009 started off on the right foot with a local show featuring Hot Little Rocket (before they announced their retirement of sorts) with guests This Machine is a Fountain of Regina and the War Doves.

    As summer approached, my chance to finally see Alaskan group Portugal. The Man afforded me the opportunity to discover a relatively new Calgary act, Nushi, both of which put on a great mid-week show at the Marquee Room. Finishing the month as well as it started was CKY at the Warehouse where hundreds of salivating fans packed in to catch the group tear through their set. But it was the final day of the month that saw a stellar cast of artists wrap up not only the month but this year’s Sled Island Festival, with showings by the Summerlad, Malajube, the always entertaining Biz Markie, M5, the tireless Anvil, Toronto’s Holy Fuck, Liars and a headlining show from the Breeders, despite losing some of their gear and wardrobe.

    Stampede Week always showcases music of all kinds (not just country) in the city and although Matt Mays and Dustin Bentall put forth their country/roots/rock, Newfoundlanders Hey Rosetta! stole the show for me with their throngs of fans who insisted on chanting the band’s name before, during and after the show. As the city recovered from the Stampede festivities and imbibing, No Doubt made their triumphant return with Kingston, ON’s Bedouin Soundclash and Paramore for a great show at the Saddledome. Meanwhile, as July drew to a close, Social Distortion passed through town with a performance that proves years of hard work will pay off.

    August rolled in with the return of Virgin Festival, this time at C.O.P. with two days of packed music including Mother Mother, the Cliks, Arkells, K-Os, Wintersleep and a two-hour marathon performance from Pearl Jam while day two had the likes of Secret Broadcast, White Lies, Tokyo Police Club, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Metric and Billy Talent. One week later, on a rainy Saturday night, locals Secret Broadcast and the Fast Romantics finally held their dual-CD Release party with guests the Shagbots who put on a fantastic performance.

    Marilyn Manson finally set foot in Calgary in September, years after he was banned from his scheduled performance at Max Bell Arena. To the surprise of many, he was booked at the Jubilee, which normally hosts operas, musicals and other high-class entertainment shows. This did nothing to take away from the not-quite-as-shocking yet true to form Manson display. Less than two weeks later, Canada’s favourite sons the Tragically Hip took to the same stage and proved that a band like this can never get old.

    In October, Slipknot set up at the Corral with guest the Deftones and both acts were extremely good with the former’s elaborate stage set-up, scary costumes and impressive performance while the latter, although being one of my favourite acts, couldn’t possibly disappoint…and naturally they did not.

    Before naming the concert of the year though, I have to relate the best concert of the year I hardly saw. Having been invited to see Coldplay for free at the last minute, my gracious host and I agreed to meet at the Saddledome shortly before they were scheduled to hit the stage. Problem was, he already had committed to something else that evening, over an hour’s drive outside the city, but he was certain he’d get back in time. With no ticket in hand, I waited outside the venue for him as he raced back to Calgary, only to arrive shortly after 10:30 pm. We scrambled to our seats just in time to catch the three songs of the encore. It was impressive, and likely indicative of the nearly two hour show we missed.

    However, there was no other concert this year than the Sled Island show at the Distillery on June 25th. Featuring five acts, including Calgary’s the Press Gang and Cripple Creek Fairies, label mates the Coathangers and These Arms Are Snakes and headlined by the infamous Monotonix. The standout’s of the evening were easily the last two mentioned acts. After taking in the opening act, I took a moment to catch up with Sean Close (of the Turrettes, and one of the proprietors of the Distillery) when I noticed a shaggy, shifty looking gent standing at the end of the bar. By the middle of the evening’s attractions, said “gent” bounded up on stage as TAAS began their set. The shy, shifty looking Steve Sneer was no longer shy and un-assuming; he transformed into an unbridled force of energy that made use of every inch of the stage, and the large bathroom sign, and a number of fans front and center as they blasted through a performance like no other.

    Yet that incredible performance was soon to be outdone. When you glimpse singer Ami Shalev doing stretches moments before hitting the stage, you know you’re in for a special evening. Thing is, the Israeli trio didn’t take the state; they set up right on the floor amongst the growing crowd who immediately became part of the show, not mere attendants. The night was a sweaty, beer soaked, mad affair with people hosting Shalev near the vaulted ceiling as he sang atop a propped-up kick-drum, guitarist Yonatan Gat at times found laying on the ground and drummer Haggai Fershtman trouncing around the vast venue as the crowd followed all three of them around. By night’s end, not only were the three exhausted yet satisfied, so was every single person in the room and said show, along with their other Sled Island appearances, were the talk of the Calgary festival, making it easily the 2009 concert of the year.

    Popularity: unranked [?]

    Full VFest Alberta Schedule!

    Posted by cristóvão On August - 5 - 2009

    virgin091It’s here! The Virgin Festival Alberta schedule in full. Yesterday, we announced that several bands were added to the schedule including Calgary’s own Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and Secret Broadcast.

    Tickets for the festival are still available and cost $132 for the whole weekend. If you’d rather just see the Saturday show, tickets are $80 while Sunday only tickets cost $65 (apparently, seeing Pearl Jam on Saturday is worth more than Billy Talent).

    Let’s just hope this rain in Calgary clears up by Saturday afternoon. Here’s the full schedule;

    Saturday, August 8th, 2009

    • Virgin Mobile Stage
      • 13:45 ~ the Cliks
      • 14:25 ~ Mother Mother
      • 15:15 ~ Thunderheist
      • 16:10 ~ Arkells
      • 17:10 ~ K-Os
      • 18:20 ~ Wintersleep
      • 20:00 ~ Pearl Jam
    • CJAY92 Stage
      • 14:00 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 15:40 ~ Static in the Stars
      • 16:10 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 16:40 ~ Joshua’s Habit
      • 17:10 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 17:40 ~ the Great Bloomers
      • 18:20 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 19:05 ~ Constant Season

    Sunday, August 9th, 2009

    • Virgin Mobile Stage
      • 13:50 ~ Secret Broadcast
      • 14:45 ~ Social Code
      • 16:55 ~ White Lies
      • 17:15 ~ Tokyo Police Club
      • 18:40 ~ Metric
      • 20:20 ~ Billy Talent
    • CJAY92 Stage
      • 14:00 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 14:30 ~ Toast _ Jam Winner (Competition being held August 7th at C.O.P.)
      • 14:55 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 15:45 ~ Michael Bernard Fitzgerald
      • 16:10 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 17:00 ~ Sierra Noble
      • 17:25 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 18:10 ~ Library Voices
      • 18:40 ~ DJ Knowledge
      • 19:30 ~ Shout Out Out Out Out

    Popularity: unranked [?]

    Wintersleep Added to VFest Alberta

    Posted by cristóvão On July - 31 - 2009

    2008virginfestlogoNext weekend’s Virgin Festival Alberta here in Calgary just got a little juicier. Halifax group Wintersleep announced this morning they were added to the Saturday, August 8th, 2009 line-up which already includes the Cliks, Mother Mother, Arkells, Thunderheist, K-Os and headliners Pearl Jam.

    No additional acts have been announced for the festival although there has been talk from the Virgin Festival people since the show was announced that more would be added. The Sunday line-up includes Shout Out Out Out Out, White Lies, Tokyo Police Club, Metric and Billy Talent.

    Tickets for the whole weekend cost $132 but if you’re just interested in the Saturday line-up, single day Saturday tickets are $80 while Sunday tickets are $65.

    Virgin Festival Alberta is the second-last show of the Canadian shows this summer with Virgin Festival Ontario taking place on August 29th and 30th at Burl’s Creek Park North of Barrie. Acts include Ben Harper _ Relentless7, the Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, Sloan, Nine Inch Nails (for what will likely be their final Canadian performance), Pet Shop Boys, Our Lady Peace and many more.

    Popularity: unranked [?]

    Pearl Jam, Billy Talent Headlining Virgin Festival Alberta

    Posted by cristóvão On June - 30 - 2009

    2008virginfestlogoIt’s official! Virgin Festival “Alberta”, which takes place August 8th and 9th, 2009 at Canada Olympic Park will feature Pearl Jam as the Saturday headliner and Billy Talent as the Sunday headliner!

    Also on the bill this year;

    Saturday, August 8th; Pearl Jam, K-OS, Thunderheist, Arkells, Mother Mother, the Cliks

    Sunday, August 9th; Billy Talent Metric, Tokyo Police Club, White Lies, Shout Out Out Out Out

    More bands are expected to be announced in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for that!

    Tickets for the entire weekend will run you $132 plus fees while a VIP Weekend Pass costs $300. Tickets go on sale Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 10:00 hrs Mountain Time. Tickets will be available at Ticketmaster and Future Shop.

    Popularity: unranked [?]

    Video of the Day: Metric ~ “Sick Muse”

    Posted by cristóvão On June - 12 - 2009

    As soon as they released their fourth full-length album Fantasies, Metric discovered that the track “Sick Muse” was getting a lot of attention in the U.K. According to a post on their web site this week, they weren’t sure when, what with their busy touring schedule, they’d be able to film a video for the song (implying that “Sick Muse” is actually going to be an official single). Well, they did manage to film this in Toronto and the outcome is pretty fun;

    A pretty interesting clip showing the band really just having fun and playing to the camera. It was shot by Justin Broadbent and Michael Leach of HotDogGarbage.

    Metric have only a handful of dates left on their currently scheduled tour with dates in Kansas tonight (June 12th), Minneapolis (June 13th), Chicago (June 14th) and wrapping up in Detroit on June 15th.

    Popularity: 3% [?]

    Written By: Sarah Westwood of This Is Live

    The Telus Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler BC has drawn high profile acts for many years and this year was no exception. So on Friday morning, I made my weekly pilgrimage up the Sea to Sky to Whistler to take in the last weekend of the festival and interview the Toronto based headliners, Metric.

    Entering their “green” room at the Pan Pacific I immediately encountered Jimmy, Joules and Josh hanging out. In the few minutes we chatted pre-interview it became clear that their good nature is intact and unaltered by their growing success. This is not, however, some great stroke of luck. Metric’s DIY approach to distribution and manufacturing has amounted to a hand picked network of individuals they choose to work with. Their involvement at the ground level with their music, the business and, as a result, their fans, has surely contributed to their strong sense of self and commitment to keeping it real.

    We discussed David Lynch‘s Inland Empire as a muse for Haines on her songwriting for Fantasies, their “campfire test” for Fantasies (if you can’t play the song with just vocals and guitar or piano, it didn’t make the cut) which led to the radio partnered acoustic portion of their tour. As we discussed each person’s potential for self realization and power for change, Haines said “People think they are looking at walls when they are looking at doors”. A bomb went off in the head of everyone who was in the room as we erupted in appreciation of that prolific statement.

    Opening their set a brief sound check melding seamlessly into “Twilight Galaxy”, Metric then launched into the inadvertent yet irrepressible single “Help I’m Alive”. They played to a colourful crowd of skiers and boarders, with more riding down into skiers plaza throughout the performance. Viewers crammed the edges of patios protecting their beer with one hand, shading the sun with the other for a glimpse of the irresistible Emily Hianes.

    Haines delivered clear vocals with heart that soared above the quieted crowd, floating through the village and up the mountains. It wouldn’t be a Metric show with out Haines grabbing the tambourine, and shake it she did. Compared to their performance at Pemberton Music Festival, this show was lower energy. Haines didn’t jump, stomp or head bang as much as I have seen in the past. However, conviction, focus and intensity replaced frenzy. That cohesive quality is where Fantasies diverges, for me, in their discography. It’s likely that their “campfire test” contributed to the flow of the album in their efforts to create songs that are less complex in chord progressions allowing them to build the sonics over a strong, yet simple foundation. My single criticism is that Joules’ rhythm levels could have been higher, but when you’re playing an open air show, it’s difficult to harness that force. Their signature synths pushed the rhythm and kept the crowd moving through an fantastic set! More highlights include “Sick Muse” and, my personal favorite, “Satellite Mind”.

    Check out Sarah Westwood at: This Is Live blogspot ~ ~ VJ Profile

    Popularity: 10% [?]

    Halifax Virgin Festival Line-up Revealed

    Posted by cristóvão On May - 12 - 2009

    …And it’s WORLD’s better than Montreal’s.

    The “Nova Scotia” edition of this year’s Virgin Festival was revealed today. Taking place on Citadel Hill in Halifax on July 4th, the line-up is MUCH more appealing than last week’s Montreal announcement. It is interesting that the festival is only one day though.

    The line-up features headliners the Tragically Hip (who just started a six-night stay in Toronto for their “An Evening With…” tour in support of We Are the Same) and the Offspring (who start their North American tour this Friday in support of their last album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace).

    Also on the bill are Metric (supporting their new album FantasiesDinosaur Jr. (who’ll be releasing their new album Farm in June), Hey Rosetta! (who garnered Off the Dial’s 2008 Album of the Year honours for their album Into Your Lungs (and Around in Your Heart and On Through Your Blood)), Plants and Animals (just having entered the Treatment Room studio in Montreal to record their follow-up to Parc Avenue) and Hamilton, ON’s Arkells.

    Virgin Festival Montreal did add a few more artists to the bill last week including Kreesha Turner, David Usher, Stereos and Jabbawockeez. No word yet on when the “Ontario”, “Alberta” or “BC” festivals will be revealed. Stay tuned though!

    Popularity: 8% [?]

    New Releases for Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

    Posted by tuesdayguide On April - 7 - 2009

    The Tragically Hip - We Are the SameWe Are The Same
    Dist: Universal Music Canada

    The Tragically Hip have never lost their working man’s roots; from their start in the tiny clubs of Kingston, Toronto, Halifax and Vancouver to the bright lights on the world stage. In keeping with that tradition, The Tragically Hip’s 12th and latest album, We Are the Same, recorded in 2008’s year of continental excess and governmental ‘Spending Gone Wild’, brings its listeners something beyond the unexpected: actual hope. This new twelve-track collection was created with the help of genius producer Bob Rock and was recorded at The Bath House Recording Studio in Bath, Ontario. We Are The Same features two current singles “Love is A First” and “Morning Moon”. Also available is the deluxe package We Are The Same Kool Krate Limited Edition containing the CD, T-shirt and Bonus Live From The Vault Vol. 4 CD.

    Neil Young - Fork In the RoadFork In The Road
    Dist: Warner Music Canada

    Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young is stirring things up again. This time he is rolling on down the road not only with an auto centric concept album, but also with his own electric ride. Fork In The Road, whose largely ecocar– themed songs which he debuted in concert during the past year, will get a promotional push from the 1959 Lincoln Continental Neil has converted to hybrid technology and which he plans to drive to Washington, D.C. With Fork In The Road as current as today’s headlines, the controversial and mad-as-hell Neil Young is still rockin’ the free world and is once more taking the road less traveled.

    Metric - FantasiesFantasies
    Dist: Universal Music Canada

    Getting a recording contract is one thing, but having a record company launch into existence to give you a recording contract is a completely different ball of wax. Since their first full-length album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003), Canadian New Wave/Rock band Metric’s music has earned both Juno and Polaris Music Prize nominations and ended up in TV episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and CSI: Miami. Their eagerly anticipated fourth album Fantasies, the follow up to the critically loved Live It Out (2005), contains the singles “Help I’m Alive” and “Gimme Sympathy” along with 8 other tracks containing that artistic measure that became the integral seed in the birthing of Last Gang Records.

    Danko Jones - This Is Danko JonesThis Is Danko Jones
    Dist: EMI Music Canada

    Danko Jones formed in 1996 determined to make a reputation with their high-energy show. To this day that energy still characterizes the Toronto band, but starting in 1999 with the single, “Bounce”, Danko Jones also started attracting international attention with great songs. Since that first single, Danko Jones has been a staple on Canadian Rock radio and the video channels. This 15-song compilation features the best of Danko Jones, available together for the first time.

    It’s almost impossible to pigeon-hole Danko Jones’ music, except to say it is straight-forward, powerfully energetic Rock. This is Danko Jones is the best proof of that; short of seeing Danko live.

    Jadakiss _ Faith Evans - The Last KissThe Last Kiss
    Dist: Universal Music Canada

    American rapper Jadakiss (a.k.a. Jason Phillips) returns with the much-delayed final album in his Kiss trilogy The Last Kiss. Previous releases Kiss Than Game Goodbye and Kiss Of Death were both critically acclaimed and confirmed Jadakiss as one of the rap music’s elite lyricist. Joining Jadakiss on The Last Kiss are guest appearances from many artists including Lil Wayne on the current single “Death Wish” as well as Ne-yo, Jay-Z, Styles P and Faith Evans among others.

    The Hold Steady - A Positive RageA Postive Rage Live CD/DVD
    Dist: Universal Music Canad

    A Positive Rage is a double disc package featuring a documentary on DVD and the Hold Steady’s first-ever live album! A Positive Rage captures the excitement and high spirits of both the band and their fans in the days surrounding the release of their third full-length, Boys and Girls in America, and ensuing world tour in 2006.

    The live CD was recorded on October 31, 2007 and includes 17 songs that the band performed at the Metro in Chicago, while the DVD contains a 53-minute documentary that begins with The Hold Steady’s first ever London performances.

    Doves - Kingdom of RustKingdom Of Rust
    Dist: EMI Music Canada

    Manchester, England indie rock band Doves return, ending a four-year gap since their last album Some Cities (2005), with the release of Kingdom of Rust, an album that is arguably Doves’ most sonically adventurous, intimate, cerebral, rhythmic and most eclectic record to date. In order to achieve this goal Doves ensconced themselves to a farmhouse–come-studio in Cheshire, and teamed up with long time Doves collaborator Dan Austin to co-produce all but two tracks. The resulting Kingdom Of Rust takes Doves into more uncharted and experimental territory than ever before.

    Jo Hikk - RideRide
    Dist: Universal Music Canada

    Hailing from Calgary Alberta, Jo Hikk is a well-established country rock act that has been making an impact in the music scene across Canada. With 2 CCMA nominations and a WCMA nomination under their belt, they have earned the right to be called one of Canada’s top drawing “live” acts in the club and concert scene. Their debut album Ride was produced by multi-award winner George Canyon and features their current single “My Kind Of Radio” along with a more than decent version of The StampedersSweet City Woman”.

    Greatest Hits…The Real Thing
    Dist: Sony BMG

    Formed in Calgary, Alberta, this year’s Canadian Music Hall of Fame recipient Loverboy signed with Columbia Records Canada in 1980 and immediately went into the studio with legendary producers Bruce Fairbairn and Bob Rock to record their self-titled debut album. Releasing hits such as “Turn Me Loose” and “The Kid Is Hot Tonite”, Loverboy flew off the shelves setting record sales for a debut album at the time. This new compilation takes a look back at Loverboy’s impressive career from being one of Canada’s most memorable rock exports to MTV video darlings.

    Dist: EMI Music Canada

    DUFF McKAGAN’s LOADED was formed in 1999 and has morphed several times, having released two albums previously: 1999’s Live Episode and 2001’s Dark Days (both available as imports only). The current line-up on the new album Sick features drummer Geoff Reading (New American Shame, Green Apple Quickstep), bassist Jeff Rouse, guitarist Mike Squires (both formerly of Alien Crime Syndicate) and Duff McKagan (Guns N’Roses, Velvet Revolver) assuming the role of vocalist/ guitarist. This tight-knit group of rock n’ roll brothers brings their high energy to every stage, from Seattle’s Sunset Tavern to Tokyo’s NK Hall.

    James Taylor - Other CoversOther Covers
    Dist: Universal Music Canada

    James Taylor is one of the most respected and successful artists in the history of popular music. This Rock-N-Roll Hall Of Famer’s achievements include selling over 40 million albums and winning 5 Grammy Awards. So when James Taylor and the Band of Legends went into this studio last year to record the very successful album Covers, he had the foresight and experience to know when something works and to record additional material. He took advantage of the time in the woods with this full touring band. Other Covers is the companion to and completion of the full Covers recording sessions.



    ACKERMAN, WILL Passage
    Amethyst Amulet
    The Airborne Toxic Event (Re-Issue)
    Bodypop 11/2
    Tour of the Universe
    Armin Van Buuren
    Imagine – The Remixes
    Avishai Cohen
    Le La
    Blueprints of Jazz, Vol. 3
    Beastie Boys
    Check Your Head
    BELL X1
    Blue Lights On The Runway
    The Remix Sessions
    When You Leave Town
    The Company You Keep
    Som Sistema
    Beyond The Animals
    Cassandra Wilson
    Closer To You: The Pop Side
    Genius! – The Ulimate Ray Charles Collection
    Athourized Bootleg – Live:Tokyo Dome Dec 30, 1990
    Claire Denamur
    Claire Denamur
    Self Explanatory
    On Air [feat. Andy Summers _ Zoot Money]
    Back to Tennessee
    Danko Jones
    This Is Danko Jones
    Despised Con Montreal Assault – DVD Video
    Donni McClurkin
    We All Are One (Live In Detroit)
    Kingdom OF Rust
    Duff McKagan’s Loaded
    Just Call Me Alice
    Jet Black _ Jealous
    Total Pop! Deluxe – The First 40 Hits (3 CD/DVD Set)
    Here Anonymous
    Almost Unplugged
    Matthews Southern – Live in Maidstone 1970
    The Bright Side Of Dying [180g w/ DL code and colour insert]
    Crazy Old Moon
    The Truth According To Ruthie Foster
    Spent Bullets
    Glenn Gould
    The Essential Glenn Gould
    Devotion Implosion
    To Terrapin: May 28, 1977 Hartford, CT (3 CD Set)
    Winterland 1973 The Complete Recordings (9 CD Set)
    Live Insurrection (Remastered)
    Resurrection (Remastered)
    Resurrection World Tour: Live at Rock In Rio III
    Resurrection World Tour: Live at Rock In Rio III (BluRay)
    The Unreleased Recording: Gospel Keepsakes
    Flowers, Birds _ Home
    HIKK, JO
    A Positive Rage
    I Was A King
    The Last Kiss
    Death To Analog [180g, gatefold jacket]
    Generation Next
    Karl Wolf
    Bite The Bullet
    The Grand
    Lady Sovereign
    Leon Fleisher
    Mozart: Piano Concertos
    Greatest Hits- The Real Thing
    Truth _ Fiction
    Middle Ground
    Faker Death
    Authorized Bootleg – Live: Cardiff Capitol Theatre 11/6/75
    Authorized Bootleg – Live: Winterland San Francisco 3/7/1976
    Unwanted Thought Syndrome (CD/DVD)
    The Cricket’s Quartet (EP)
    Merle Haggard
    Best OF
    Michael W. Smith
    A New Hallelujah – Live Worship DVD
    Generation Virtuelle
    From Where He Came to Where He Went
    Crue Fest 2008
    The Hoople
    On The Cover 2
    Fork In The Road
    Fork In The Road (CD/DVD)
    [of The Neville Brothers] Brand New Blues
    My Future. My Past
    No Regrets
    Betty Padgett
    Only During Thunderstorms
    Sara Watkins
    The Best Of Shenkinah Glory Ministry
    Hit That Jive
    Crossing Over
    - The Tudors [Season 2]
    Spanish Brass
    The Best Of Spanish Brass
    Alive At The Batcave
    Now They Will Know We Were Here [reissue]
    Onward Through The Fog [reissue]
    The Rebirth Of Hooch [reissue]
    An Evening Of Acoustic Music
    Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues
    Other Covers (EP)
    Inland Territory
    Are Men
    You Are Here
    This Tom Jones: What’s New Pussycat? (DVD)
    We Are the Same
    We Are the Same (Album Vinyl)
    We Are the Same (Kool Krate)
    – MIXED BY JORIS VOORN / Balance 014
    Coffee Bar _ Lounge Vol. 3
    Playhouse Disney – Music Play Date
    The Struggle Soundtrack
    The Tribute to Pavarotti – One Amazing Weekend in Petra
    The Tribute to Pavarotti (BluRay)
    Club Anthems
    Oh Happy Day
    Vasco Rossi
    Il Mundo Che Vorrel Live
    Vladimir Horowitz
    The Essential Vladimir Horowitz
    Authorized Bootleg: Live At The Filmore Auditorium, San Francisco Nov
    4-6, 1966

    Ever The Silver Cord Be Loosed
    On Air
    YOUTH GROUP The Night Is Ours

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