Archive for June, 2009

The Flaming Lips

June 28th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

This week’s band of the week is a well known group of fearless freaks. They’re a little freaky, a little fearless, and a whole lot of awesome. For over twenty years this band has managed to create numerous classic albums of relevant neo-psychedelia, paving the way for a host of imitators and bands that count them as a key inspiration. Though they began as just a bunch of punks on acid, they’ve matured into an institution of audio euphoria and one of the biggest names in major label-signed “indie” rock. This week’s band of the week is…




Led by the awesomely grey-haired Wayne Coyne, The Flaming Lips began as a very noisy band that also happened to like weird sounds and hallucinogenic drugs. As the group matured over the course of several classic albums, they edged closer and closer each time to that signature euphoric sound they have now.


In the mid-90s, a minor hit single with the wonderfully titled, “She Don’t Use Jelly” helped them gain an audience and a record deal with Warner Brothers. As time went on, the Lips got better, weirder and crazier. In ’97 they released Zaireeka, a four-disc album with each disc meant to be played simultaneously on different stereos for a quadraphonic listening experience.


Many would claim that The Flaming Lips broke with The Soft Bulletin, an album now considered a modern masterpiece. Pitchfork even placed it as the third greatest album of the 90s. The Soft Bulletin found Coyne and company almost-entirely ditching noisy guitars in favor of lush synthestration. Lyrically, Coyne aslo dealt with the more pressing issues of life, love and death as opposed to the sometimes more wacky or clever lyricism he’d used in the past.



The Lips followed that masterpiece with another one in Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, a concept album that dealt with the themes of technology and humanity. Again the Lips pushed themselves, making use of strange synthesizers and complex drum-machines. Even so, the Lips adapted themselves beautifully and the album was critically and commercially lauded.


In recent years the Lips have released the ok At War With The Mystics, the tripped out long-in-the-works movie Christmas On Mars, and their next album, the double-disc Embryonic, is slated for release in September. At this point though, it really doesn’t matter if the album is a masterpiece of complete shit, The Flaming Lips have already solidified their reputation as one of the most consistently awesome bands of the last twenty years and their exceptional discography will be treasured by warm-hearted stoners for decades to come.

Awesome Album Covers!

June 27th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Is that “dragon” wrapped up in…christmas lights?!?!?

Found Internet

June 26th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Though I was at first under the impression that this would be an internetless summer, luckily, such is not the case. I’ve found access to the internet and will be updating Grubtunes regularly as usual. So keep checking back in for new review and write-ups and what not. 

Goodbye Toronto (for the summer)

June 23rd, 2009 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This is my last blog entry of the day. I think I’ve done about four, five…six or something today? A lot, anyways. Tomorrow I’ll be leaving for BC to work at a camp in Kelowna for the next two months. I will (hopefully) continue updating Grubtunes while I’m there, but it wont be the daily updates on Toronto concerts anyone who reads this blog might be used to. 
Anyways, to all the bands out there that I love and are awesome, I wish you the best of luck and I look forward to singing your praises when I return. To all the bands I’ve written negatively about in the past, you’ve got two months to keep playing and getting better and hopefully the next time I see you I’ll be able to write, “I was wrong, these guys are great.” And even if you’re not, I’ll go slightly easier on you when I get back. I’m still gonna call bands on it when they don’t live up to the hype while better bands linger on in obscurity, but I’ll try and word it less cruelly, alright? And if you think I gave your band an unfair rap or was too quick to speak or maybe just caught you on a bad night, in September, invite me out to one of your shows and I’ll gladly reconsider my position if you prove that I should do so. If not, I won’t write another bad review, I’ll just leave it. 
Anyways Toronto, I’ll be back. Hope you’ve enjoyed the last couple months as much as I have and I hope that next year will be even better than this one has been.


June 23rd, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

This week’s artist of the week is multi-talented, multi-faceted performer and producer who has worked in various radically different genres of music. A nice Jewish boy from Toronto who spends a lot of his time in Paris apparently, people are familiar with his work as producer of Feist’s albums Let It Die and The Reminder, though few are aware of his own substantial body of work. This week’s artist of the week is…

Originally known as rapper Chilly Gonzales, Jason Charles Beck got his start in the music industry as leader of the band Son. They released three albums with Warner Brothers before Gonzales moved on to his next musical venture. Gonzales relocated himself to East Berlin and became a rapper, adopting the name “Chilly” Gonzales. He released three rap albums on the German label Kitty-Yo before moving on to his next phase: a classically-influenced solo pianist. 
In 2004, Gonzales released the excellent Solo Piano, an album which went on to become his best selling album to date. The album is an exquisite collection of instrumental piano compositions that showcase Gonzales’ incredible skills as a subtle and nuanced composer. 
In 2008 he released Soft Power, a great album indebted to the soft rock of the 70s which also featured tracks that harkened back to his skills as a rapper and a classical composer for piano. 
I gotta run off to a party right now so I’ll just write that his last two albums are my favorite. His rap albums are fun and showcase his extraordinary skills as a producer but are goofy and featherweight in comparison to his other work. A prodigious talent, I can only imagine what Gonzales’ next brilliant project will be.