Archive for March, 2009

Hey Canada, It’s The Darcys

March 31st, 2009 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

 There’s a strong chance that as this is being written, five young men from Toronto calling themselves The Darcys are huddled in a van, driving across the great white North, intent on bringing their distinct musical vision (which blends shades of indie, post-punk, post-rock and contemporary folk) to the furthest reaches of our home and native land. Tonight, March 31st, they’ll be playing in Moncton, New Brunswick. Tomorrow Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. And the day after that they’ll be back in Halifax, where the history of The Darcy’s begins.

“Jason [Couse] and I had been at King’s for a year, going to school, and we really wanted to start a band,” recalls drummer Wes Marskell. “We found out this guy named Kirby [Best] had some demo tapes that he’d been screwing around with. We didn’t know him, so we were drunk one night and we finally got up the nerve to ask him if he’d play in our band.”

 

They also pinned him down for some reason having to do with it being Halloween and them being drunk. Luckily Kirby still joined the band.

 

“We woke up the next morning and said, ‘shit, we gotta go to band practice,’” says Marskell.

 

With bassist Dave Hurlow (and later Mike Le Riche) completing the lineup, The Darcys began gigging heavily around Halifax, playing a 50/50 set of covers and originals.

 

“We played as many shows as we could and Halifax is wonderful for that, because there’s always something going on,” says Marskell.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydKuARmONJY]

When four out of the five members of The Darcys finished their tenure at King’s in Halifax, they moved back to Toronto, where they’d all come from originally. Having initially thought that the move would spell the end of the band, they instead found that they actually all lived within a couple blocks from each other, and so despite the relocation it was business as usual for The Darcys.

 

They continued touring and in 2007 released their debut full-length, Endless Water, an album recorded in a children’s museum in Waterloo, Ontario. Positive reviews ensued.

 

“We kind of just did it to say, ‘hey, we’re in a band, we made a record.’” says Marskell.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADOKoJqBNtg]

After the band completes their current nine-week tour of Canada, the tour after it in June, and the “small one” planned after that in August, they hope to “buckle down” and finish their second album in time for the holiday season. In the meantime they’ve released a cover of Final Fantasy’s “The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead” as a free download on their website to tide over fans hungry for new material.

 

The Darcys are playing Tribeca April 2nd and The Paragon Theatre (formerly the Marquee Club) April 3rd.

 

http://www.myspace.com/itsthedarcys

 

http://www.thedarcys.ca

 

Click here to purchase Endless Water.

New Bob Dylan Song: Beyond Here Lies Nothin’

March 30th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

So in case you haven’t heard, (I barely managed to catch it), Bob Dylan has unleashed one track off his new album, Together Through Life, as a free download on his site. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! The song will only be available for one day, namely, today. So if you haven’t downloaded it, get on it. And if it’s too late…well, April 28th isn’t that far away anyways…or maybe it is…

Anyways, is the song any good? Yeah, it’s not bad, but it’s not shit-stormingly amazing either. On the plus side, Dylan’s backing band sounds great and the production gives the song a dense, exotic, almost voodoo vibe that’s not too far from the sound Daniel Lanois gave him on Time Out Of Mind. That being said, the song is straight blues (I don’t how Dylan’s gotten away with doing it for over 40 years but still I’m totally diggin’ it. When other artists resort to it though, I can’t stand it). And my biggest gripe with it is that Dylan’s usually a master of incredible opening lines, but here he starts it off with, “well I love ya pretty baby.” What? Come on man, seriously?
Still, the rest of the lyrics aren’t bad and the song’s key phrase/title, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'”, is pretty good and there’s a couple decent lines throughout the rest of the song. Most importantly, Dylan clearly hasn’t simply dropped the ball he’s been bouncing so inexplicably well since TOOM. The song shows he’s still in strong form and hopefully, in keeping with every album he’s released since TOOM, the slower songs will more than justify the blues romps. 

The Juan MacLean

March 29th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

I’ve been listening to a lot of dance music lately. Maybe it’s because I just turned 19 and I’m all ready to start tearing shit up in the clubs. That’s right: shit’s gonna get tear-ed up, biatch. This week’s band of the week is a (sort of) duo on the always-reliable DFA label. And the band of the week is…

 

THE JUAN MACLEAN!!!

 

So really, The Juan MacLean is a dude named John MacLean, but he’s joined by Nancy Whang for the project. Both provide sexy, always-multitracked vocals for the project’s sweet 80s-indebted dance rock. Shades of New Order and other dark, synthy dance stuff from the era are apparent, which also likens The Juan MacLean to another modern project obsessed with the 80s: M83. I’m liking The Juan MacLean more though, as they focus more on song construction as opposed to atmospheric overkill.

 

The Juan MacLean, like label-mates LCD Soundsystem and Hercules and the Love Affair, give lyric writing special attention and their songs benefit immensely from it. One example of this is the song “One Day”, in which MacLean and Whang trade off lines as characters in a dramatic, romantic scenario. Instead of coming off as cloying or cheesy (ok, maybe it can be a little cheesy at times), the words are so well written and the song so well constructed that when it builds itself up to a euphoric release via the chorus, the effect is incredible.

 

http://assets.delvenetworks.com/player/loader.swf

At times The Juan MacLean’s sound can be simply too 80’s. But hey, for some reason 1987 is like the hottest thing in 2009, except for some reason, judging from documentation, it’s also way better this time around.

 

http://www.myspace.com/thejuanmaclean

 

http://www.thejuanmaclean.com/

Click here to buy The Future Will Come.

THE GREATEST THING EVER

March 28th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Yes. The Greatest Thing Ever has arrived. The soundtrack of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has been remixed with MCing courtesy of Dre, Doom, Common and others. It’s pretty fucking awesome. The crew that put it together’s called Team Teamwork so yeah, if you’re looking to dl it, google something like Team Teamwork Ocarina Of Rhyme or something. Otherwise you can hear it here.

Awesome Album Covers!

March 25th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Looks like the Ents have discovered Dark Side of the Moon and Zeppelin 4…and they used to be such nice saplings…