Archive for October, 2013

Tropic Harbour

October 31st, 2013 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

Some waves of haze from the shoreless city of Edmonton, CA. Tropic Harbour is the name to blame/acclaim.

מנגינות ישראליות: קילר הלוהטת

October 30th, 2013 | Features | 0 Comments

So, I found this band קילר הלוהטת (“Burning Killer” or something along those lines) through the Uganda website. In case, you don’t know, Uganda is my favourite bar (chain?) in Israel – there’s one in Tel Aviv and one in Jerusalem. They’re both awesome. They sell cool albums, tapes, comics, books, zines, DVDs, and host small shows. And they’ve got a cool website. I wish there were Uganda bars in North America – they’re kind of the coolest most-hipster-y bars I’ve ever been to, and there are almost no hipsters in Israel. Hmmm…

I basically know nothing about the band and reading stuff in Hebrew wears me down like crazy and takes forever so I know nothing about this band other than the fact that they’re a punk band (but with a strong metal influence, sometimes in terms of aesthetic, sometimes in terms of songwriting), they did stuff in the 80s, 90s and recently came back with some new stuff. I’m not super crazy about the new stuff I’ve heard, but some of their older stuff is actually very poppy and catchy. And good. Also, production-wise does not sound very 80s, which is a big plus. Sometimes they sound kinda metal-ish or something, and those songs are meh, but then they’ve got some songs that are just filled with big beautiful hooks. So yeah, some of those are posted here.

First Rate People

October 29th, 2013 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

The boys and girls of our Toronto homies First Rate People holed up in a cabin for a while somewhere in the rural Canadian hinterland about 2 years ago to record a bunch of new tunes. The albums they came out with – FRPs new Everest and LUM‘s recently released Glass Hammer – are not as depressing as For Emma, Forever Ago – they’re, for the most part, quite happy-sounding indie-pop – but they are quite good. You can hear Everest in full over at Exclaim today – it drops over in full on November 5th when you can purchase it on bandcamp or maybe go to their show, they might have a physical release there. Below is songs.

Have You Heard The New…Yamantaka//Sonic Titan Album?

October 28th, 2013 | Features | 0 Comments

I will state the obvious: as Gold Soundz is “co-presenting” the Yamantaka//Sonic Titan show at the Garrison in Toronto on November 6th, I have a bit of an incentive to write that their new album is awesome. However, did you ever stop and think, “How the hell is Gold Soundz – currently based in Tel Aviv, Israel where its main man is serving in the IDF without much spare time – co-presenting a show in Toronto, Canada?” Perhaps you did. The answer is that even from the other side of the Earth, I’ve been maintaining my relationship with Embrace and I’ve been working with them (largely by bugging them) to put on a show with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, who put on one of the most original stage shows I’ve ever seen and are just are super badass and have awesome taste in manga and classic Japanese rock. And I’ve been doing that for a long time because I’ve been pretty freakin’ psyched on this band for a long time.

But still, maybe the new album sucks? Maybe everything they did before rocked but now they dropped the ball Spider Man 3 style and put out the musical equivalent of emo Peter Parker?

They could’ve. But they didn’t. The new album, UZU rocks very hard. And those are the best words I could use to describe it. True, early single “One” has a kind of Canadian First Nations deal and the band is most personified by their Noh opera influence, but these things add a strong flavour to their purely “awesome” prog-ish hard rock edge – they’re not the whole story. UZU is really first and foremost a very operatic (lots of piano), very classic hard rock album – no world music of the week shtick here.

That being said, it is weird. It’s not weird in a “what’s going on here” way but weird as in it gives off an otherworldly and inhuman vibe. Lead singer Ruby Kato Atwood personifies this well, sounding like a remote ice goddess singing from the top of a snow covered mountain during a blizzard of metallic guitars. It’s also an album that feels dark and incredibly momentous. In that sense – though only that sense – it’s kind of like Pink Floyd‘s The Wall. Sure, the guitars and synths also have a strong 70’s vibe to them, but the band’s ethnic influences (and punk attitude – see “Hall Of Mirrors”) prevent them from ever sounding like revivalists.

I have no idea what the album’s about. I listened to this on Pitchfork without a lyric sheet (but with a lot of awesome animations and drawings). The end of the world seems like a fair guess. It doesn’t matter though. Every songs kicks ass, though this is, as in the old prog tradition, very AOR. And from start to finish, very, very badass.


October 27th, 2013 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

Interesting how super-uncool 80s music has kind of become semi-ironically-but-not-even-really cool 2010s music. Toronto (that’s where I’m from!) band Coronado are a good example of this. But I think it still has to be done right, and you have to be relatively young. If you actually were old enough in the 80s to remember seeing the bands you’re influenced by, inexplicably, the neo-80s music you make will not be cool. But if you grew up hearing Duran Duran and Michael Jackson in your crib, it just might…