Thursday, May 3, 2012

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

Another month, another new podcast! We return with tracks from three Calgary bands, two from Vancouver, one each from Montreal and Toronto, two New York City groups and a classic San Francisco group. Try and match them up and make sure to click the links for more info and get your hands on more of their excellent music!

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Popularity: unranked [?]

Album Review: Lights ~ Siberia

Posted by jennyb On October - 12 - 2011

Written by: Jenny Barton

Lights (born Valerie Poxleitner), the eclectic synth-pop Canadian songstress released her sophomore album, Siberia on October 4, 2011.  After writing a phenomenal debut album (The Listening) that gained Lights a Juno as well as making just a girl and her synth an iconic, household name…it was time for her to take her music to new heights.  The creation of a grittier, dirtier feel to her electric-pop sound is exactly what she accomplished in Siberia with help from collaborators Graham Walsh _ Brian Borcherdt (from Holy Fuck) and Canadian rapper, Shad. Siberia is co-produced by Lights and Thomas “Tawgs” Salter and is released under Universal Music Canada and Lights Music.

The Listening is well-known to have been perfected and carefully timed.  The evolution in Siberia is the feeling of freedom, it is raw and even though the songstress keeps the lyrics in the ‘pop’ genre, she recorded a lot of the album live, showing a clear ‘release’ in her music style. The first song “Everybody Breaks a Glass” almost announces her staining and “dirtying’ up of the perfection she had in her first album.

My personal favourite song on the album is “Flux and Flow”, I feel you can really get the dub-step influence in the song and all in all it is just a feel-good, make you want to move in a relaxed way-kind of song.

Lights is Toronto’s newest treasure, and I can’t wait to see how her second album is experienced and acclaimed by her fans.  To check out Lights and see when she will be going for her Fall 2011 tour, check out her website.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Album Review: Ohbijou ~ Metal Meets

Posted by jennyb On October - 3 - 2011

Written By: Jenny Barton

The Toronto based band Ohbijou released their highly anticipated third album, Metal Meets on September 27, 2011.  The vocal harmonizing of Casey Mecija (guitar) and Jenny Mecija (violin) combine pleasantly with the instrumental styling of Ryan Carley (piano and synth), Heather Kirby (bass), Anissa Hart (cello) and James Bunton (drums).   Metal Meets is is released by Last Gang and recorded and produced by Jace Lasek.

This anticipated album reflects the band member’s travels ranging from cabin ventures in the woods to adventures across the continents of Europe, North America and Asia.  These life-altering experiences and influences are instantly reflected in the sound of the album.  The experimentation of the different, worldly influences is apparent in the melodic intrigue and playful collision of the “East meets West” sound.  The album is also greatly inspired by naturalistic forces, which are easily imagined while listening to the flow of the album; each song merges cohesively into the other- much like nature emerges from one scene into the next (mountain, forest, river).

The album opens with “Niagara” and builds to the climax of the album (in my opinion), the song “Anser”.   I find this particular song to be the most interesting and powerful on the entire album. In this song the vocals are strongest and at their most playful.

Overall, the lyrics are poetic and unique, such as “Left you in cycle, hanging in a tree, swaying with dead bodies and rusted rosaries”, which resonate thought provocation.  “Metal Meets” is an album that tells a story, a story that is experienced through the haunting vocals and intriguing elements of violin colliding with other orcastric sounds.  Ohbijou is a band that has such a unique offering that their sound is only something that can be experienced.

For information on the band and their tour dates, check out their website.

Jenny Barton is the newest memeber to the Off the Dial team. Check out her personal blog of peoms and stories.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Fucked Up ~ “the Other Shoe”

Posted by cristóvão On August - 16 - 2011

Today’s video is from Toronto hardcore punk group Fucked Up. The track, from their latest album David Comes to Life, is pretty sweet and I particularily love how this video was shot, featuring a mysterious love triangle. And lots of walking.

Formed in 2001, David Comes to Life is only the group’s third full-length album although they have released countless 12″s, singles, EPs, demos, splits and so forth throughout their career making for an extensive catalogue for the die-hard fan. This extraordinary work-ethic was finally recognized when the band received the 2009 Polaris Music Price here in Canada for the Chemistry of Common Life.

What do you think of the video and/or song?

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Fast Romantics ~ “the Grinch”

Posted by cristóvão On December - 17 - 2010

Just in time for the holidays, the temporarily-relocated-to-Toronto-yet-Calgary-bred Fast Romantics recorded a Christmas song just the other nice, slapped together this “quick, cheap-ass video” and shared it with us here at Off the Dial. Check it out;

There are just so many faces to name but I especially love how well timed some of the snapshots are in relation to the sometimes modified lyrics.

If you like the tune, you can go to the Fast Romantics website and download it for free. Enjoy!

Popularity: unranked [?]

Written by: Victoria Canning

The Foreign Films is the devotion of Hamilton ON, singer songwriter Bill Majoros, a self confessed representation of lessons learned and roads traveled. His latest release, Fire From Spark, is a fantastic amalgamation of country rock a la Ryan AdamsWhiskeytown and the psyche pop of the Smashing Pumpkins. What the EP lacks in the stadium gusto of the aforementioned, it makes up for in itchingly catchy melodies, inspiring arrangements and cinematic shine, making it the calm before the storm.

Fire From Spark, released in November, is available for free at Bandcamp.com. Check out the tune “City of Bright Lights” below;

The Mark Inside take the definition of independent rock back a few years and with it, reintroducing the passion and guts today’s version of the genre seems to have lost. With musical greats such as The Stooges and The Yardbirds littered amongst their influences, lead singer Chris Levoir successfully channels the classic rock energy of Iggy Pop and Jeff Beck, as fellow band mates apply the fuzzy infusions and scratchy chords of the 1960s. Following their debut Static/Crash, the new EP titled False Flag has already made head way on CMJ’s most added chart and is available from iTunes.

Hailing from Toronto, the Mark Inside are playing shows across Ontario from December 9th to January 20th 2011.

Daybehaviour are everything that was 90s electro. Taking inspiration from the likes of 80s front-runners OMD and Depeche Mode, the trio return after a brief hiatus with City Lights. From Stockholm – via America, Swedish singer and Daybehaviour front woman, Paulinda Crescentini along with fellow musicians, Carl Hammar and Tommy Arell, bring haunting European melodies (think M83) and infuse them with remixed beats and broken vocals in all the right places.

The single for “It’s a Game” is available now on iTunes and Amazon and you can watch the video below;

Popularity: unranked [?]

Interpol Announce 2011 North American Tour Dates

Posted by JonesK On November - 8 - 2010

Written By: Kristen Jones

Last week Interpol announced a North American tour for 2011, to promote their new self titled album released this past September.  The tour will begin January 27th in Vancouver and conclude February 19th at the House of Blues in Boston.  Included in the stops are some Canadian shows including one at the Sound Academy in Toronto on February 15th and another one the following night in Montreal at the Metropolis.

Over the years the members of Interpol have grown from being New York local favourites to a globally respected band.  The band made up of Paul Banks (vocals, guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar, vocals), Sam Fogarino (drums, percussion) and joined by Dave Pajo (bass) and Brandon Curtis (keyboard, vocals) for their upcoming tour, recently posted the following on their website;

 “It’s been a pleasure each and every night.  Interpol fans are top notch.  The Best.  And…we want to come back for more so we’ve just announced the following North American dates for January and February.  Very much looking forward to visiting some new spots for the first time (you know who you are), some places we’ve recently played (can’t get enough) and those towns that we haven’t seen in some time (we’ve missed you).  It will be a warm reprieve from the big, bad winter-man.  And it will be here in no time at all.  We can’t wait.  Rock n’ Roll.” 

Currently Interpol is finishing up the remaining dates of their current American tour and then they will be traveling for shows in Europe and Australia, before returning stateside in the new year to begin all over again.

And for all you fans who want even more Interpol, the band will be playing more North American dates when they open for U2 in the summer.  So far Canadian spots include a show in Toronto and two in Montreal.

Check out Interpol’s website www.interpolnyc.com, for more on the band and tour dates.

For a review of the album go to http://www.offthedial.ca/?p=7356

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review: the Dildoniks @ Bovine Sex Club

Posted by jseberras On July - 29 - 2010

Written by: Jesse Seberras

Day 492. Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Planet Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy.

So I was at the Bovine Sex Club. Never heard of it? Well it’s a bar in downtown Toronto that doesn’t want you to know who or what it is. The front of the building is covered in bike shrapnel and other bits of scrap metal in all it’s rusted glory. And one night there, while I was enjoying my fourth bottle of Stock, I noticed there was a stage and on this stage there were three guys and they were holding instruments.

Dildonics are electronic sex toys that can be controlled by a computer. The Dildoniks, however, are a surfer punk trio from Toronto. Both will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Only difference is that you can enjoy the band in public.

Formed in 2009 by front man Joseph Ling, they’ve grown from their humble beginnings of playing out of the back of a U-Haul on a street corner to performing at big venues all around Toronto including the Silver Dollar Room, Rancho Relaxo and The El Macambo. They have created a delicate blend of fast paced punk and instrumental 60′s surfer rock with a dash of lyrics thrown in every now and then.

With song’s lasting anywhere from 30-90 seconds a piece you would think you’re going to be short changed but as the show keeps going you start to wonder how they’re not catching on fire or passing out from heat exhaustion.

You can catch The Dildoniks on a street corner near you as they go on one of their U-Haul tours this August. Or check them out as they play with Peelander-Z on Sept 1st at The Velvet Underground. Check out their MySpace for all the details.

Author Bio: Jesse Seberras is an alien who landed on Earth over a year ago in his rocket ship, Starship Experience. Him and his crew mate, Shawn, formed a quintet rock group in the hopes of becoming intergalactic rock stars. Their band, Starship Experience, sing about the more important things in life: women, drinking and the internet.

Popularity: unranked [?]

UPDATE: Serj Tankian Fall Tour POSTPONED

Posted by cristóvão On July - 20 - 2010

Serj Tankian has been keeping himself busy. Earlier this year, he released Elect the Dead Symphony, a live album of his debut solo album with the Auckland Philharmonic Symphony. He just wrapped up the fist leg of his European tour and is playing a couple of U.S. dates before commencing the second leg of the European tour in August. His new album, Imperfect Harmonies is set for release in was released in Semptember and just days after he’ll be embarking on his Fall North American tour.

UPDATE: Tankian postponed the tour indefinitely. Refunds were issued as he apologized for pushing the tour “until a later date”.

The good news; It starts right here in Calgary. The (sorta) bad news; It will NOT be an Elect the Dead Symphony performance as he’s been doing all year in Europe and at those two mid-summer U.S. dates. What makes it all better? The fact that most of the performances will take place in acoustically superior theatres and concert halls, like Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall (September 12th), Edmoton’s Winspear Centre (Sep. 13th), Vancouver’s Centre for the Performing Arts (Sep. 15th), Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Sep. 29th) and Montreal’s Théâtre St-Denis (Sep. 30th).

Here’s the full tour for the remainder of this year;

Remaining U.S. Date _ European Tour 2010 – Second Leg (all dates Elect the Dead Symphony performances);

  • Jul 30* – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre w/Orchestra TBA
  • Aug 07 – Pori, Finalnd – Sonisphere Festival
  • Aug 09 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Tradgarn
  • Aug 10 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
  • Aug 12 – Yerevan, Armenia – Hamalir
  • Aug 14 – Sibiu, Romania – Piata Mare – ARTmania Festival
  • Aug 15 – Burgas, Bulgaria – Spirit of Burgas Festival
  • Aug 17 – Athens, Greece – Terra Vibe Park
  • Aug 20 – St. Poulton, Austria – Frequency Festival
  • Aug 21 – Hasselt, Belgium – Pukkelpop
  • Aug 22 – Biddinghuizen, Holland – Lowlands Festival
  • Aug 24 – Hamburg, Germany – Grosse Freiheit
  • Aug 25 – Köln, Germany – E-Werk
  • Aug 27 – Leeds, UK – Bramham Park – Leeds Festival
  • Aug 28 – Reading, UK – Little Johns Farm – Reading Festival
  • Aug 30 – Paris, France – Bataclan
  • Aug 31 – Wettingen/Zurich, Switzerland – Sportzentrum Tagerhatd
  • Sep 01 – Bologna, Italy – Estragon

“Imperfect Harmonies” North American Tour;

  • Sep 12 – Calgary, Alberta, Canada – Jack Singer Concert Hall
  • Sep 13 – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – Winspear Centre
  • Sep 15 – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – Centre For the Performing Arts
  • Sep 17 – San Francisco, CA – Nob Hill Masonic Center
  • Sep 18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theater
  • Sep 20 – San Diego, CA – Humphreys Concerts
  • Sep 23 – Bee Cave, TX (near Austin, TX) – The Backyard
  • Sep 25 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theater
  • Sep 26 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
  • Sep 28 – Buffalo, NY – Center For the Arts
  • Sep 29 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
  • Sep 30 – Montréal, Québec, Canada – Théâtre St-Denis
  • Oct 02 – Glenside, PA (near Philadelphia, PA) – Keswick Theatre
  • Oct 03 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom
  • Oct 07 – St. Petersburg, FL – Mahaffey Theater
  • Oct 08 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
  • Oct 09 – Miami Beach, FL – Fillmore Miami

Popularity: unranked [?]

Album Review: Permanent Bastards ~ Emericans

Posted by JonesK On July - 13 - 2010

Written By: Kristen Jones

Taking the Toronto Punk Rock scene subtly by storm, Permanent Bastards are definitely moving up in the world.

Recorded in 2009 by Steve Rizun, Emericans is the first full length album from the band.

It’s not too often that a Punk Rock band comes along that has a sound fit for Rock Radio, but Permanent Bastards have done just that.  The music they play will appeal to rockers, yet somehow they still manage to stay true to their Punk roots.

Formed in May of 2007, Permanent Bastards is made up of Simon Paik, Sean Cepeda, Duncan Spence and Jeff Mota.

The motivation behind the band was to shake things up in the local Punk scene and open up the minds of the audiences to a new way of looking at music.

“I want this band to be judged, I want feedback; We’re putting ourselves out there for it.  I want there to be the ideas of having an interaction.  This band isn’t meant to be a run of the mill group.  We’re trying to open people’s eyes and minds to new ideas.  There’s lots of things going on in this world that need to be reopened for everyone to see.  I want people getting around sanity or at least talking about reality in this world.  I’m talking about our economy, racism, consumerism, poverty, even music.  We are against ignorance.  If we can’t get that through our music, then we shouldn’t be doing what we’re doing”, Paik has said regarding the band.

Like many Punk records Emericans has a wide variety of fast songs, such as “White Tree” and “Business Never Personal”, throughout the record.  The instrumentals are simple, but fast paced which gives a high-energy feel.

This album has something for everyone including the acoustic ballad “Constance” featuring a cameo from Britton Allison (Cavaliers!).  Another guest on the album is Chris Cresswell (The Flatliners), who appears on the track “Business Never Personal”.

If you are familiar with Permanent Bastard’s EP Gun Club, you will recognize a familiar track “SOS”, which they’ve also included on Emericans.

This band is great.  They have a unique sound and each song brings something a little different to the table, while holding it’s own.

With the help of friends, Permanent Bastards are slowly growing in popularity.  If you want to support some Canadian Punk Rock follow the band on their MySpace page www.myspace.com/permanentbastards

Popularity: unranked [?]

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