The Stiff Wires @ Lee's Palace for some Boxing Day Punk Fun!

This years Boxing Day was probably the best Boxing Day I've ever had, and no I'm not talking about shopping; the only thing I bought that day was a lot of liquor and it definitely was not part of the sales. Most of the fun had nothing to do with a show or this blog so I'm pretty much just bragging at this point, but the night started out on a high note when I met up with the super sexy guitar player of a new band called The Doe's straight out of Vancouver (shamelessly plugging my good friends band, sorry, but it's Festivus so consider it my gift to you and her… and another friend of mine for a punk show extravaganza at Lee's Palace.
Side Note: I have been heavily celebrating the season every waking hour pretty much since I left work on the 23rd so this night is already doomed to be very hazy. Not to mention the extra time I allotted for drinking before the show in order to avoid having to rip another new asshole to the opening band The Nightmares which I distinctly did not like the first time I saw them play with the same band (I'm an asshole but only when it's necessary, and I didn't see reason to knowingly have another bash fest, especially during the holidays.) Let's just say I was pretty Gonzo by the time I got there, and can't really recall the band who was playing as I walked in except that the singer/guitar (or bass maybe) player had blue hair and looked about my dad's age, and I believe I've seen him around The Bovine etc… and they weren't half bad, I remember dancing around and enjoying myself. I took a couple pictures, but fucked if I can remember enough details to review them without having taken any notes. So suck it.

I did, however, take many sightly nonsense notes on The Stiff Wires who I had fallen in love with at the Misfits disaster a few months back and was excited to see again. Let's see how much sense I can get out of them. My head is still recovering from this week and the tall can in hand as I write doesn't help much, so bare with me… or is it bear with me? *shakes head*
I'm not sure if the boys in the band recognized me at the side of the stage, or if it was the camera flashing in their direction, or maybe my being really really ridiculously good-looking (kidding!!) but it seemed as though they spotted me looming inconspicuously aka drunkenly in the corner with judgmental eyes set upon them and it made them nervously glance over every few songs at me. I can't blame them, after sending them the first review I wrote that was filled with unthwarted negativity towards the other bands they played with I'd be scared too. No need though, just like last time I really enjoyed their performance and don't have many crushing words to say about it, aside from calling out the singer/bass player for his one dangling feather(like) earring that I hope to Oprah he was wearing in order to make fun of the Peak Season style. The entire show I was trying to peg the band members' ages.. they look young but astoundingly nail the old school punk sound of bands before their time, and splashing it with the same style skate punk they dawned on me as what could be this generations next NoFx. Their on stage mannerisms were goofy enough to inspire Fat Mike and yet again I heard douses of Matt Freeman's bass in their songs. They have undeniable talent and a lot of years ahead of them to perfect it if they stick with it. Their set was torn between the more old school sounding songs that you'll find on their Myspace and the skate punk type songs I heard the first night I saw them, and I enjoyed each side of the spectrum. All 3 frontmen sang, each with fairly different vocals from the other and it added some extra bounce to the performance, jumping back and forth between each singer making the stage appear fuller than it really was. The longer they played the less coherent I got, but near the end I felt very full of holiday cheer and the spirit radiating off the stage was quite to blame. Unfortunately since it was Boxing Day there weren't nearly enough people out at the show to appreciate the band the way they deserved to be. As much as I loved them at the Misfits show I could tell the band was more in their element this time around, maybe with less pressure than the last time playing with legends and without restrictions of an opening act… these guys are meant for the spotlight.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

King Khan & BBQ .. Blood Shot Bill

4 bums out of 5

My whole plan was to write this as soon as the show was done. I even jotted down words that explained the moments that I was having; smells that would trigger the feeling. Pretty soon I was feeling the beer. And my writing went something like: Red lights, fusion inspired, Honky Tonk, King Cry baby we love you, as you can see I should maybe start over.

I review what happens, excuse me happened at the show, so this is going to be about what I saw not necessarily what I expected. What I mean by this is that I went to see a one man band I said to my friend "Dude this guy he's playing with his feet and his hands and dude, a one man band" When I swayed into Lee's it wasn't the case, he had a whole band. I am kind of sad because of this but, and a huge butt, the band was great. Blood Shot's hips were tantalizing, Forest Gump had shit on this guy. The drummer at one point was standing on his seat beating like animal from the Muppets. Also this man had to be at least 45. Bloods wine & wale hit all sides of the room, that's what I came here for. The added touch of the saxophone was just perfect & quickly became necessary. These 4 men dressed to kill, packed the venue & I realized Toronto crowds don't suck, everyone was moving.

A bunch more beers later here came King Khan & BBQ. BBQ was wearing a beautiful Genie inspired skirt and hat with a stunning gem, finishing off his drummers look wearing gold tights. King Khan was going for more of a bed rock look by showing off his legs and tattered dress with a signature bone necklace and lovely blue bob hair cut. When they entered the stage the crowd rejoiced. The 2 of them battled with there voices and in the end they both went home with the gold. The fast tempo and quick words made them the perfect couple. It's always brilliant when everyone knows the words I didn't but thank god they used so many private parts in there songs, I knew more lyrics then I thought. Perfect tempo great vocals from both Khan and BBQ.

Awesome Show! Great Job!

Thanks to the girl with the one piece & place for my boyfriends junk below her clavicle, thanks to the guy that is missing most of his front teeth for the bolo tie.

Miss D.


My Christmas present to you is a band called The Wonder Years. With refreshingly honest lyrics, catchy choruses, and flashbacks to Brand New’s first album full of singalongs and poppy hooks, I guarantee you will not be disappointed when you open this gift at their myspace. Each song is brutally candid and down to earth, singing what you’re thinking in all those pivotal moments of your high school life, and the not-so-pivotal too; bringing a new day-to-day subgenre to the whole realistic pop punk style. Featuring hands down my favourite original Christmas song by a lesser known band this holiday season, one done acoustically with a beautiful female voice joining the duel vocal party. The bands attitude in full is portrayed through their “Upside” campaign on their myspace, that says fuck fml’s, let’s celebrate the good things that happen to you day by day. Great idea guys, Kudos! This is a band I lend my full support to, and I hope they get far!

Happy Holidays Bitches!!

I’m Sarah. I do what I want.

Skindred/Mudmen/Russian Roulette @ Lee's Palace

I always thought I was pretty defiant when it came to the connection between fashion and music. Never a fan of boys in girls jeans (do you have girls junk too?) and even going as far as having the url permanently on my profile for years and years back in the day (I have since deleted my personal account so don’t bother looking for it). Yet, I realized how jaded I was as I laid eyes on hard rock band Russian Roulette on Wednesday night at Lee’s Palace, with 3 members sporting matching wife beaters and chains (do your chains hang low, do they wobble to and fro), one member looking straight out of a heavy metal band, and the fifth a kind of 70’s rock style minus the flare in the jeans, and semi-consciously wrote them off as a band I was going to enjoy. How rude of me. With only one song on their myspace that didn’t really strike me as the type of music I would usually get into, I went into the show with what I thought was an open mind before realizing I’m one judgmental sonofabitch. Their bare-boned, stripped down appearance only left more room for the appreciation of their flawless (to my untrained ears anyway) tight performance featuring A+ choreography*, a set in which every element actually made me blink hard twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. Each member was “givin’er”*, the heavy bass and guitars over the fast and furious drumming complimented the wide range of the singer whose scream could go on for days. He could have been mistaken for an actor on stage dramatically mimicking the emotions from each song for the audience and you know what, it was fucking cool to see. I found their set just got better and better as they played, and the guitarist sans beater ended up stealing the whole show by the end of it, rocking out in his own melodramatic way that demanded attention with his spectacular fingers, and at the risk of sounding like a huge perv, (and this having nothing to do with the music), I kept thinking I saw the outline of his penis down the leg of his jeans, although at closer inspection I’m sure it was just something in his pocket… HA HA! Not that it had any impact on why I was enthralled by him *cough*. Regardless, they ended their set with a cover of Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night” and it was amazing, and I vow never to consciously or subconsciously judge another band by their appearance or lack thereof again. Amen.
(* quotes from Brandon! Thanks dude!)

Celtic rock veterans Mudmen were next, and the second the bag pipes sounded the crowd made a mad dash from back of the bar to the front of the stage, and the frenzy began. Decked out in kilts and the whole get up the two bag pipers were definitely the key to this performance, making crazy faces at each camera pointed their way and putting on a show even when there were no pipes involved. The rest of the band was not to be overlooked though, with a bass player who could have been The Dude from The Big Lebowski (see pictures) and a drummer with crazy eyes and crazy stamina, both of which were the backbone to the band carrying the energy of the melodies as the guitarist danced around while caressing my ear drums with each note he picked, even picking up a banjo for a song and killing it. The singer was my favourite, although only playing guitar for a portion of the set he was still an ambitious frontman without an instrument in hand, with a voice that complimented the music to perfection and the energy to match. Never would I have imagined that this type of music would spawn a more intense pit than any hardcore punk rock show I’ve seen, even trumping Pennywise when I almost died between four huge men slamming into me. Luckily the guys around me spotted the danger in where I was standing, stubbornly refusing to move while trying to hold the camera without dropping it with each hit I took from the always-extending pit, and they took it upon themselves to stand beside me and guard me from such disasters. A big thank you whoever you were! Their performance was enough to add them to the growing list of bookmarks on my computer for future listen, and gave me a new appreciation for their genre of music. As the smell of B.O. filled the air around me after their set finished I was hoping that they would come out for an encore which is completely out of character for a band who isn’t even headlining, but alas their set was over with me replaying my favourite song of the night “Drink And Fight” over and over in my head.

Sirens blared to mark the start of genre-defying Skindred, and the start of the most unbelievable, nothing-I’ve-ever-seen-before, incredible performance. I don’t even know where to begin. As I try to put their genre to words I feel that every subgenre I come up with is a huge FAIL in fully describing the band. Reggae? Punk? Metal? Rock? Rap? Club? Electro? There was something from each one of these genres blended together into one mind blowing set. I am now going to dub it reggapunktelrokapubtro music. The star-studded look-alikes night continued with the guitarist looking a lot like a much much smaller and better looking version of comedian Brian Posehn (Sarah Silverman Program ETC) and he cracked me up, despite his serious talent. The bassist was superbadass solemnly driving the beat with his magic hands and the drummer was faster than a hungry cheetah chasing its prey. And the singer… The singer was amazing, charismatic to boot, creating a solid relationship with the crazy cult fans in the audience and even those not so hardcore, playing with some sort of electronic device that pumped out samples and recordings and pretty much anything they required to up their set… me being very electronically-retarded I have no idea what to call it. Their set was an intense enigma, taking the fans from mellow, peace loving reggae tones to angry, heavy, raging rock in a matter of seconds, and then back again. The crowd was going insane, the majority in the pit was shirtless and those who didn’t choose to be were by the end, with just torn shreds remaining on their back. Sampling so many perfect songs throughout the set like the intro to AC/DC’s “Back In Black”, The Special’s “A Message To You, Rudy”, Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” (for a split second) and Yellowman’s “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt”, this was definitely a performance for the books. I can’t even continue to try to describe it for you as it is one that words will not do justice. Go see them for yourself.

I’m Sarah, I do what I want.

a Fine Butlin experience

The amount of raw talent that was flowing from The Boat last night was definitely something that had to be witnessed first hand. As I walked out of the blistering cold and into a small, dimly lit, nautical themed venue I was welcomed by great atmosphere, a small crowd of people and some of the most entertaining yet intriguing music I have experienced live. First to take stage was a gentleman by the name of Jordan Fine. As he first graced the stage to do what I thought was a sound check, I couldn’t help but be a little confused. First, where is the rest of his band to do their sound check and two, why is he taking so god damn long to sound check and tune one guitar? Then as I had my A HA moment and realized that A)this guy is a solo act and B)this isn’t a sound check, he has already begun his set. What a sly one, starting his set without a word.
From song one Jordan displayed a true sense of musicianship while on stage. With a double guitar strapped on and the floor in front of him littered with different guitar peddles, Jordan began by recording and looping a finger picked guitar track. Once that track was completed he then continued by adding layers upon layers of sounds, creating melodies and harmonies with the previous tracks. Not only was he using his guitar, but also had a mic set up that allowed him to create and loop a series of noises, made by his mouth that imitated the sound of having a percussionist. Each composition was a display of just how much talent is needed to assemble such music. Precise timing and an excellent ear for tuning and harmonies is essential for the type of solo experimental avant garde music that was being produced and Mr. Fine (and boy is he fine HA) proved that he has all those qualities. At times throughout his set Jordan would offer us some impromptu guitar tuning over top of his loops, or would extend the songs because he would have to re-record some of his loops, but honestly that makes the show more interesting and real. Being a one man solo band things can’t always be 100% but the Fine man was able to get as close as he could! The one down side of Jordan’s performance was the lack of stage presence, although he did converse with the audience at times and his charisma showed through.. I just don’t feel as though there was enough 'zazz. But to be fair, Jordan was playing the rolls of percussionist, lead, rhythm and bass guitar as well as lead and backup vocals, so I will let it slide this time.
Next to take the stage was a neo jazz/soft rockish quartet known as The Mike Butlin Band. Led by Mike Butlin, who, from the first step on the stage had the energy and stamina that got the entire crowd at the venue on their feet. This fourtet displayed an amazing mix of jazzy beats and bass lines meshed with the Stevie Ray Vaughn style guitar licks and topped off with accents provided by a trumpet and keyboard. On top of jazzy jam style music, Mike added some of the strongest vocals I have hear come out of a local Toronto band. I have to commend these guys for the amount of ease they played each song; it was almost as though they could have played their entire set in their sleep. I could see the enjoyment of the music in each of the members, which rubbed of onto the crowd as they lost their shit on the dance floor. Not only were they able to offer up some amazing up tempo jazzy rock music, but also were able to take it down a notch, as Mike took a seat in front of the keyboard and showed us exactly what it means to be a musician. Tickling the keys and emoting through each word he spoke, Mike showed the softer side of himself as a singer/songwriter. The performance that was laid down by The Mike Butlin Band is almost incomparable to anything I have seen at local Toronto show.
Let me just say that walking into The Boat yesterday evening I could not have even imagined that I would have experienced something so oddly fascinating yet highly delightful! If any of you fuckers have a chance to see either Jordan Fine or The Mike Butlin Band perform, do your ears a favour and go check them out. I can guarantee you are in for an experience that one can only describe as enchanting. Don’t believe me ... Go see for yourself!

It's Chris James BITCH!

The Status - Let's Be Honest EP

When I first looked at this four song EP with one Christmas track on it I wasn't sure if it was going to be something I would deem worthy of the few dollars spent on Itunes for the album.
Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and love when pop/rock bands of any kind do holiday songs. And “Christmas Time” by The Status is no exception. This original Xmas melody is super cute and fully embodies the spirit of Christmas and the bands style of pop/rock all in one. It’s catchy, it’s fun, yet it’s also a sad love song when you listen closely… but like most Christmas tunes the music itself stays upbeat and festive regardless of the lyrics and still manages to put me in the spirit of things even more than I already am.
However the second Christmas is over so is my Christmas playlist... leaving only 3 tracks on the EP that I will be listening to in January.
And then I heard "Let's Be Honest", and to be honest, this song alone is worth the mere $4 download fee. At first listen I liked it, but it starts off sounding all too similar to many of the pop/punk bands I find daily on that I wouldn’t be able to pick out in a crowd. And then all of a sudden they get down and dirty about halfway through when they come in with the lyrics ‘you choke when you speak but I know what you mean, get off of the fence you’ve been caught in between, tell me everything’ and I started to swoon. With the mood turning slightly angry, an emotion that emits clearly through the singers lovely voice, they show that they have a little more to offer than the rest of the bands spitting out the same drab music. And I continue to listen to this song over and over even just for that part, but it made me appreciate the song as a whole that much more knowing it was coming.
"Heart & Soul" is next sounding like basic rock music, but when the build up to the chorus hits they’ve got me once again, switching between crunchy power chords to great melodies provided by the lead guitar. They definitely have a grasp on radio friendly rock music with catchy lyrics that are totally sing-a-long’able.
"Don’t Think We Can’t", the last track on the EP, is a great down tempo song with really simple chord progressions that compliment the vocals well. I can’t help but think there’s something missing to the song though, maybe layers of vocals… It reminds me of Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel” slightly, but don’t let turn you off this album.
All in all this EP is surprisingly pleasant to listen to whether you enjoy Christmas or not. At times even reminding me of Dashboard Confessional, the epic style of the vocals and the certain words he sustains while singing. It’s convinced me to go back and listen to their full length So This Is Progress, which is even better than the few songs on this EP, since we’re being honest here.

It’s Chris James Bitch!/I’m Sarah, I do what I want.

The "Farting Out Fortress Start To Finish" Protest The Hero Tour w/ Abandon All Ships

Fashionably late as usual I arrived at the Mod Club on Sunday in time for a few last songs by Abandon All Ships. It was immediately clear that this band had the crowd completely riled up for Protest, but as I gazed upon the stage filled left to right with bouncing boners I decided I hadn't missed much. The stadium-style light show gave the initial impression that this epic band was fit to play the ACC, but after examining them closer I realized the lights were the only epic part about them. As one song ended and they prepared for the next the crowd erupted with chants of "Protest, where's Protest, we want Protest" clearly ready for the end of their set. Although as they started to play the confusing crowd continued to sing along with their next melodramatic electro-moshcore song. Finally, they announced their last song and during the intro the band seemed to further piss half the audience off by breaking into this retarded rendition of electro "dancing" while the other half of the audience again belted out the words along with them. As I shook my head in a mixture of annoyance and disgust I heard a male voice behind me speak my mind by exclaiming "I HATE THIS!". HERE HERE sir! Thank god they were almost over. After their poor display of entertainment on stage I was holding back the urge to shoot this band, the singer in particular, with more than just my camera. Sianara SUCKERS!
Finally, Protest The Hero were about to take the stage. These hometown heroes were clearly the focus of a lot of love as Arif walked on stage to set up and the crowd went absolutely nuts. He blew the fans kisses as he walked by, loving the limelight, proving that this band that I grew up watching in Cobourg and at the Dungeon in Oshawa had fully morphed into legitimate rock stars. The smell of weed filled the non-smoking venue and the crowd started chanting once again for Protest. The intro music to their album Fortress (which they were performing start to finish at each show on this tour) began as the band and their friends back stage teased the shit out of the audience by walking back and forth beside the stage as if they were about to come out, before ducking back into the shadows. At 9:45pm the band took the stage for real and the entire venue broke out in pure madness. From the very beginning Protest nailed every note and key, sounding identical to the recorded album. Rody alone was thoroughly entertaining to watch while his vocals remained surprisingly bang on. Over the years since those grimy Cobourg shows I have to say he has become one of the best frontmen I've ever seen. Arif was grinning the entire performance while plucking away on his bass at the side of the stage, practically hidden from view except for a few ventures to the middle. Moe owned the shit out of his drums in the back while Tim and Luke hammered away on their guitars, helping kids onto the stage to crowd surf at the same time without missing a chord. The entire band seemed as equally amused by their enthusiastic fans as the fans were with the band, and you could clearly tell how much they love playing for Toronto and how much they value the people that support them. They called off their security at one point to let kids jump on stage without being ambushed and thrown off, and at one point Rody even gave up his mic to a couple of boys who wanted to sing with him, making their night before they dove back into the madness. Across the venue all you could see were hands in the air, and the sound of the crowd singing along was almost deafening, coming close to drowning out the band entirely. All too soon it was over, and I couldn't believe the full 41 minutes of Fortress went by in what felt like a measly 10. I turned to leave not expecting the band to return to the stage but after the relentless cheering from the audience Rody emerged from the sidelines once again. "Um, we don't normally do encores, but since we know you guys all love Kezia better we are going to play you a couple songs off that album, what do you guys want to hear?" The crowd went nuts yelling out basically every track on the older album, as well as Rody's "Cigarette Song" which was quickly denied by the band. They settled on "Turn Soonest To The See" and even I almost wet myself out of pure joy. When the song's breakdown hit the entire floor shook from everybody jumping around and going crazy for it. The next encore was "Blindfolds Aside" and this had the crowd pushed so close to each other and the stage that sweat was literally dripping from the ceiling above me. The venue would erupt with every chance to sing along and the incredible experience sent shivers running down my spine every time. They ended their encores at 10:45 after an entire hour of playing, and on my way out the door all I could hear was every kid bragging about all their injuries from the pit. You know it was a good show when...

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Moneen at MOD Club Dec. 10 with The Reason and Sights & Sounds!

When I first entered the MOD club last night, I had a pretty good idea as to what I was about to witness. Knowing that Sights & Sounds as well as Moneen were about to take the stage, I knew I was in for one hell of a rock show! But when the first band stepped on stage and announced who they were, that was the point when I realized that this was going to be a night for the books, something I will be telling my kids about.
“How you doing Toronto, We are The Reason!”... at that second nothing else existed, but me and them. Throwing any expectation for the night out of my mind, I reverted back to my 15 year old fan girl mode with my heart all a flutter and panties all a moistened. This Hamilton 5 piece did not fail to deliver an emotion driven, melody packed performance. Only really being exposed to The Reason on their last release Things Couldn’t Be Better, and not actually getting a chance to see a live performance before last night, I was given such a sweet unexpected surprise that at that I didn’t want to end. The melodramatic lead vocals by Adam White that were superbly accented with layers of backup vocals provided by basically the rest of the band, whether they had a mic in front of them or not. At times hearing a slight resemblance to Kings of Leon as both bands display a high talent for stadium style vocals. I also have to tip my cap to Jeremy Widerman who was playing such parts as percussionist, rhythm guitar as well as playing the keys. In the midst of their set Widerman perched himself on his keyboard stand, started clapping in order to keep the crowds energy up. While doing this there was a moment where I totally expected him to take a spill, and if you are willing to risk taking a massive nose dive for the sake of music. I give you my blessing. All I have to say is The Reason gave me a reason (ha-ha I am soooo punny) to keep my eye out for their upcoming album entitled Fools, due out sometime in early 2010.
With only minimal set up time in between bands, I was actually more patient waiting than I have ever been, plus I didn’t really want to end the already amazing night I was having. Next on stage was Sights & Sounds, and for those of you who are not yet familiar with these guys I suggest you do a little boning up. This progressive-experimental 4 piece have tapped into a sound that is almost all their own. With aggressive crunchy rhythm guitar laced over sustained feedback, and some of the deepest floor vibrating bass lines, it’s no wonder it hurt so good to the point of soargasum. Sights & Sounds offered up some of the most ominous eerie yet powerful vocals that had me in almost a state of lust. Can I also mention that a band that can head bang 16th notes totally takes my heart. For those of you who know music terms, point made... for those of you who don’t, its really fucking fast! What is left to say but Sights & Sounds have made another non listener a hardcore follower.
Finally, Pièce de résistance... a band that made me appreciate Canadian music almost 10 years ago. That’s right kiddies, Moneen was about to take the stage and I couldn’t be more giddy. Again in flashback mode I remembered that night at the Kool Haus when I was 15... That was my first encounter with this down to earth 4 piece from Brampton and I knew even then that Moneen would always have a soft spot in my heart. From the moment these guys hit the stage their energy was through the roof and intern so was every single boy and girl in that venue. With a career that spans roughly a decade, it’s safe to say that these boys have their shit together. Not missing a single beat, note, or unrehearsed flying spin kicks! Although Moneen was there promoting their new album The World I Want To Leave Behind and rightfully playing a hand full of songs off that album including the title track “The World I Want To Leave Behind”, “Great Escape”, “The Way” and one of my personal favourites of the night “Believe”. At which time they shared the stage with a few choice friends and some extra floor toms (drums) and created this overwhelming sense of warmth that seemed to bring the entire crowd closer. Not only did they play tracks off the most recent release but they also managed to touch on some pretty pivotal songs of their career, which included “Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now”, “Start angry....End Mad” and of course “The Passing Of America”. If you happened to miss the show last night then you missed one of the most spontaneous, entertaining and possibly most enjoyable performances by a Canadian artist that I have seen in quite some time. After swapping instruments between members, Moneen decided to performing an unforgettable (best version) of “The Passing of America” they have ever done in Toronto. In the middle of the song Kenny decides to take previously mentioned floor toms into the crowd and play it, while standing on fans shoulders. Moving from the fans shoulders to the middle of the venue floor, and then on top of the bar Moneen made an already amazing night unforgettable. While Kenny was making his way around the MOD club playing percussion on anything that stood in his way including empty beer bottles and half full glasses of mixed drinks, the rest of Moneen was on stage still keeping the song going. By the time the entire band was back on the stage Kenny was playing the bass, Erik the bass player was on drums, Hippy was jumping between guitar and percussion and Steve the drummer was back and forth on keyboard and strumming someones guitar. All I can say as by the end of this song it was like I had experienced the second coming of Jesus (emphasis on cUming). Even after about a 12 minute version of “The Passing of America” Moneen was still more than willing to continue to please the fans and completed an encore. With a smile from ear to ear, I couldn’t have asked for more. Congrats you boys of Moneen, you were able to just cement your soft spot in my heart, and sure you did the same for everyone who attended the show last night.
I just want to commend all the bands for putting on a hell of a show. From the moment The Reason took the stage, through Sights and Sounds head banging all the way to Moneen’s epic performance of “The Passing of America” there was not an ounce of energy or charisma lost throughout the 3 hour performance. It’s easy to see why these bands have such a following, and why they are able to sustain in the Canadian indie scene. All Hail Canadian indie rock!!!

A BIG thank you goes out to Tanya and Cristina of Listen Harder Music for all their help last night. Stay tuned for MusicSheBlogged's FIRST EVER INTERVIEW with the one and only MO-fucking-NEEN!!!

It's Chris James Bitch.

Who I'm Listening To This Week

Looking for some new music?
Well look no further, because I've done the looking for you.
Most of this will be punk, surprise surprise, but all of these bands are fucking wicked and I encourage all you pricks to check them out.

1. The Roman Line.
I've probably written enough about this band already this week but I honestly haven't taken their new album off repeat on my Ipod since I saw them on Sunday. Pub-style punk rock with Irish roots? Newfie roots? Country? Meh.

2. We The Kings.
Cheesy? Yes. Lame? No. They appeal to the 16 year old emo/pop/punk lover in me with their fresh new album Smile Kid.

3. Shared Arms.
Also played on Sunday, and I've already written about them, but straight up now baby I'm going to love them forever, this ain't no hit and run.

4. New Idea Society.
Hallelujah a band that ain't punk. Lord have mercy. Indie rock is the best way to describe them I guess... the vocals kind of sound like Saves The Day.

5. Junior Battles.
Again, have already talked about how great this band is from Sunday's show, but honestly even as I'm listening to them for the purpose of making this list I am posed with the problem of now having to stop listening to them to finish... and I really don't wanna... waaaaaaaaaaaaaa. End of list... jk

6. Late Nite Wars.
Pop punk at it's finest, fun without being stupid.

7. Anthony Raneri.
Singer from Bayside. Solo project. Sounds like Dustin Kensrue (Thrice). Touring with Dustin Kensrue. Only has one song up on his myspace but it's really worth hearing.

8. Bane.
I don't think I need to tell most of you about Bane. But I will say this... I never was a huge fan before now, but I really like their new song (which is up on the myspace). Does that mean that they suck now according to all you punk snobs? Probably. Fuck you, I love it.

9. The Riot Before.
This band reminds me of Dustin Kensrue's solo stuff but as if done with a band, if that makes any sense... 'So not punk, it's punk' according to their myspace tag.

10. Into It. Over It.
Indie-emo-rock. Sounds vaguely like Death Cab For Cutie, but not as much like Death Cab as that rip-off fuck Owl City. Super cute, music for appreciation.

Cheers fuckers.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are still around?

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were one of the first bands ever to cross upbeat ska with hardcore punk to create ultra catchy ska-core hits almost 25 years ago and this week they just released their 8th studio album, Pin Points and Gin Joints. This is their first album since they went on hiatus from 2004-2006, their first full length since 2002’s A Jackknife to a Swan, and they haven’t changed a bit.
For most bands that statement might be a downfall, but in this case it’s a godsend.
Despite the fact that my Bosstone albums have been collecting dust on my shelf for way too long now, the second I heard the first new track I could tell instantly that they are the same band I fell in love with many, many years ago. I’d just like to take this opportunity to point out that MMB as a band is older than me by one year… and I may not be a band but I’ve definitely changed my tune many times in my life, and other than sounding slightly more mature and improving on their recording quality the Bosstones haven’t changed theirs.
If you were ever a fan of this band at any point in the last couple of decades + then you’re going to like this new album. My personal favourite track is called “Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah” which is one of the most ridiculously happy songs ever, and hilarious to boot.
You can find most of the songs streaming for free on their Myspace page.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Even the non-punkers like it... The Roman Line review part 2.

So seriously all I have been hearing about for a few weeks now is this band that my besty, Sarah "I do what I want", keeps talking about, The Roman Line... Well she finally twisted my arm (literally) into listening to their album Morning Portraits and I have to say ... for a band that I have never heard of, I am finding myself hitting repeat a few times on more than just a couple tracks. The Roman Line have packed their album with well constructed pub punk style jigs that keeps my feet moving and the beer flowing. Sceptical at first yes, but now can say that with one solid listen The Roman Line has yet again gained another follower. With basic yet catchy and singalbe lyrics, that can relate to almost anyone, especially those of you who are familiar with Toronto. With the back bone of the band complimenting the lead singers Bruce “the Boss” Springsteen sounding voice it’s easy to see why listeners fall in love so easily. From track one The Roman Line had my attention and kept it throughout. Do your ear drums a favour and take a listen to Morning Portraits and I sware you won’t want regret it, this coming from somebody who left their love for punk rock back in his high school locker.

It's Chris James Bitch.

The Ultraviolet Side of Kid Sister

Ladies and gentlemen press on your acrylic nails, make sure you weave is tight and get your right hand hi cause finally we have a full length album from the Chi town sweet heart Kid Sister. After almost two years of waiting, Kid Sis has me digging through my closet for a pair of sensible pumps to stomp down the side walk while blasting to her album. From song one, I couldn’t stop doing the Harlem shuffle around the floor while pumping my fist and fixing my hair.
Ultraviolet is an amazing mix of bubble gum pop and grimy club booty bass, but unlike typical pop music Sis replaces the usual 'baby’s' with 'guurrrl' and 'N bomb' which I die for! Kid Sister defiantly has a grip on the mic, not missing a beat up against a lot of male rappers out there. As well as serving up a wicked collection of danceable after danceable tracks, what she doesn’t offer up is a album full of other artists *cough cough** Timbaland. With only two phenomenal cameo's, one by Kanye West on the track “Pro Nails” (which was the original single released with video) and by Estelle on “Steps”, who is famous for "American Boy" Feat. Kanye West, funny enough.
Kid Sister had a plan when making this album and it involved SIQ beats and dirty girl lyrics and I must say the outcome is fucking fly ... yah I said fly ... take a listen and you will totally understand. With straight up grimy dance tracks like “Switchboard” and “54321” Sis show us she can keep a party going... but then offers up the softer side of her dirty club music with “Daydreaming” and “Life On T.V” and allows us dancers to take a break and maybe have a slow sway in the middle of the club. HA.
If your looking for a party album this is it...don’t believe me ... check out Kid Sister MySpace! If you like what you hear, have a look for the rare tracks “Let Me BangXXXchange Remix" and "Telephone Freestyle (TTC)", they are just a few hidden internet gems that the fans will defiantly eat up!

It's Chris James Bitch.

Shock Value-less 2.

So Timbaland is back with another solo piece of **fart noise with my mouth**. He starts off on the right foot by naming it Shock Value 2; least he is not trying to hide the fact that this album is the fraternal twin to the original Shock Value. Despite a few new artists and possibly a few new samples this new release could easily be confused for the previous.
Timbaland has brought back Shock Value alumni Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado and to be honest have created two of the best tracks on the album with them. Although "Carry On" and "Morning After Dark" are very similar sounding to the songs that Timberland had released about 2 years ago with these artist, it’s a sound that you come to know from Timberland and can be called a guilty pleasure.
It’s really hard to say the same for the rest of the album. With appearances by obvious choices Drake and Katy Perry which aren’t horrible tracks but I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to them again. There are also a few elephants in Timbaland’s studio, when he teams up with Canadian songstress Esthero and those soft rockers The Fray on the track "Undertow". Let me be honest for one second, if Timbaland hadn’t touched this track The Fray would have a new single featuring Esthero.
We get another "pickles and peanut butter" combo when Timbo teams up with Hannah Montana’s slutty alter ego. That’s right children Miley Cyrus lays down a "vocal track" as well as brought what sounds like a "Party in the USA" instrumental track for Timbaland to add his signature Midi horns and **wicky wicky** mouth scratching. But wait it gets better, Timberland reached into the washed up rock star grab bag and got both Chad Kroeger and the entire band Jet. I think this is just better left unsaid.
Now the whole album wasn’t a steaming pile, the tracks I mentioned with JT and Nelly were good pump up/get down songs. Also, "The One I Love", that he does with Keri Hilson and D.O.E is a pretty good banger, and if were in a bar one drunken night could totally see myself lifting my shirt.
When it comes down to it, I could barely sit through this album but did not want to miss anything, hoping *fingers crossed* Timbaland does something innovative. Like Shock Value 1 was almost 3 years ago. I am not going to recommend you purchase this album, unless you have a good listen to if first. Stop by Timbaland's MySpace have a listen to the tracks... maybe you will fall in love with the uglier less innovative of the twins.

It's Chris James Bitch.

The Roman Line CD Release @ Rancho Relaxo... and more!

I am just basking in all the brownie points lately, arriving at the Roman Line CD Release show on Sunday (at Rancho Relaxo) with at least half an hour spare before the first band and only buying one solitary beer all night..
Who is this girl showing up at shows early, not drinking herself (quite) into oblivion, actually remembering the entire span of each set???
It’s the sick version of me.
After spending an entire Sunday in my pj’s, hopped up on cold medication I delusionally fell out of bed and into half a bottle of wine and a shirt or two way too early for loss of anything better to do. The rational thing to do when you get there so early is drink… However the $4.35 in my pocket only allotted me only one domestic. Ouch.
FYI: Apparently ½ bottle of wine + “herbs” + Tylenol cold + a beer = sober.
Feeling kind of grouchy I was half hoping the first two bands, who I’ve never heard of before now, would turn out to be shitty so I could have some bitter fun ripping them a new A-hole.
Not a fucking chance.
I’m not sure how much my healthy bundle of pre-show medications had affected my reality but within the first song of the first band I stopped caring about how shitty I felt and found myself a couple new favourite bands.
The first was The Shared Arms from Windsor with hook filled punk that still managed to be fast paced and not at all wussy and with dual vocalists that totally watered my half-chub seed. I don’t think I blinked their entire performance in fear of missing something, not able to figure out which member was most deserving of my undying attention. The drummer, the singer, and the bassist each battled it out viciously until finally the bassist won overall with his constant energy moving to the beat of each drum and facial expressions. Facial expressions are key. Mere seconds after I settled my gaze the singer/guitarist announced that the bassist was actually not a bassist, but their guitarist, but they were a member short. Umm… fuck me now. I barely noticed there was only one guitarist, let alone not the usual bass player. They sounded amazing, reminding me of a band I’ve been obsessed with for about a year now called With The Punches, but less pompous, and totally like older Less Than Jake sans horns. Even the singer/guitarist’s voice screamed LTJ. No wonder I loved them.
The second band, Junior Battles, took me approximately half a song longer to fall in love with. By their second song I was enamored with their elementary hooks over heavy undertones and hyperactive drums. Again with dual singers, this time a much more obvious difference in the vocals that worked really well to make them sound ten times poppier than their music really was, which kept me on my toes for the first half of their set not knowing where this band came from. Once it settled in there was no looking back, they nuzzled their puppy dog way into my heart. Half chub has now sprouted into a full grown boner. And it’s only band 2/4. Their inspired sing-a-longs did nothing to help my situation; it’s almost hard to put down on paper how impressed I was at such an early point in the night. I felt far from sick. Their timing was perfect, everybody was getting involved in the music, and the vocals continued to remind me of so many of my favourite bands. As if I wasn’t horny enough by this point they ended their set with the best Christmas song I’ve ever heard. And mentioned a dollar of each beer went to charity. I find Christmas and charity incredibly hot so yet again I was in bliss.
Next O Pioneers!!! hit the stage, and normally I would have been very nervous for the next band after these first two performances, but I luckily had started listening to these guys a few weeks before the show and they light a fire in me in places I didn’t know that even music could reach. Their off-timing, aggressive folk-like vocals force every word into my head and the steady punk roots music has a lot more to it than the simplicity on the surface, and live they are louder and faster and just one of those bands that are meant to be seen. Packed on the stage with elbows against each wall and each other they reminded me at times of the Refused (have I been making this comparison a lot.. maybe I just miss them) in some of their faster songs, and I could imagine myself in a dirty dive venue with shirtless sweaty Refused fans rocking out to these guys. I basically grew another metaphorical penis in their presence. If any girl had wanted both holes filled I would have been her guy. And still the band of the night had yet to play.
When that wet dream ended another started as The Roman Line took their places on stage for the release of Morning Portraits. I’m going to have to warn you that a third hard on is already in the forecast. Right now my ass is badly bruised - wait, hold your judgment - because I kicked it so hard for having missed this band not once, but TWICE, in Toronto recently. They are really, really good. As I write that I am listening to the album, and the lyrics “and before you get older I hope that you know that you’re only as good, as good as your last song” come on and make me think of how fitting that is, and according to that theory they are pretty fucking good right now. There’s something about the upbeat punk rock that makes me think back to the now deceased Hostage Life, and realize that when one door closes, another opens, and if anybody is in need of a band worthy of their attention recently this is it. O Pioneers!!! called it when they announced The Roman Line next, saying they would melt our faces off. Consider my face melted, along with my legs and my shoulders and of course my boobs and vag (and 3 peens… vageens?) Raw emotion emits from the singers' rough voice and the background gang vocals just do wonders to stroke my hardon(s). All hands were moving faster than I could watch and everything sounded so pristine live, leading me into the state of Serenity Now that I bet Frank Costanza was looking for. At times reminding me a hole lot of Teenage Bottlerocket as well as HL, especially the drums, I heard yet a thousand more reasons to love this band than I had previously absorbed from their myspace, and since the show the album has not left my player. Throwing in serious country-like guitar solo’s throughout their album, they had me dancing in my sickly state and feeling more than 100%, which doubled when “Worst Case Ontario” came on and my feet refused to cease. This band is able to tweak many more emotions in me than have been accessible by most bands lately, aside from the previously mentioned O Pioneers!!!. Their album is equivalent to the most exciting roller coaster that gets your heart pounding and you thankful to be alive by the end. With a new appreciation for life I stuck around after they finished for their encores, a gorgeous cover of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” which suited them perfectly and one of my favourite tracks off their album “With Friends Like You Who Needs Firewood?”.
I may not have been in the best spirits when I half-consciously left my house Sunday evening but by the end of it I would never have even considered staying home to be a better alternative, sick or not sick. I feel repetitive saying this was one of the best shows I’ve been to lately, because let’s face it in the heat of the moment or the booze they all are, so I will say that I am one of the 30-50 luckiest people in Toronto that night who got to see this show happen.

I’m Sarah. I do what I want.

*pictures coming soon*

Jay Z Motherfuckers!

I feel the need to give a huge shout out to Jay Z and his latest album Blueprint 3.
I know it's been out since September but the goddamn thing keeps growing on me, and every one of my friends (all two of them, haha kidding... why am I burning myself?) have nothing but raving reviews to say about it.
So for those of you who
a)haven't heard it
b)don't listen to "commercialized" rap
c)think he's a sell out because he married queen bitch Beyonce
I highly urge you to reconsider.

After 14 years on the scene he has yet to make an album that I haven't liked, and although some are definitely better than others this one has made it to the top of the list along with Reasonable Doubt and the ever-so-brilliant Black Album. Not to mention it far from taints the first two albums of the same name.
Featuring practically every best selling artist out there at the moment (Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, ETC) his always-conscious hip hop features the baddest beats that remain plain and simple and put the focal point on his flow, which is flawless, the timing which remains completely unique, and the message behind each song which I have yet to hear another rapper compete with.
My all-time favourite track on the album is "D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)" where he sings completely out of tune to prove he can do it better than douchebags like T-Pain because he has real talent, not just technology.
And he's a cocky son-of-a-bitch, and we all know how much I like cock, singing "I crushed Elvis and his blue suede shoes, made the Rolling Stones seem sweet as kool-aid too" or, my personal favourite line, "men lie, womene lie, numbers don't".

Eat shit T-Pain.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Skindred brand new album Shark Bites and Dog Fights!

With a Brand New Album:
Shark Bites and Dog Fights
Out on September 21st on Bieler Bros. Records

What exactly is it about Skindred that makes them so unique, so unto themselves both musically and spiritually? Is it their origins on the mean streets of Newport, South Wales? Is it their dancehall roots? Is it their punk, DIY ethic? Drum and bass combined with metallic riffing? Anyone who has experienced this band can go on for days trying to encapsulate what exactly it is about Skindred, but it is quite simply the music created by these 4 unlikely bandmates - Daniel Pugsley, Michael Fry, Arya Goggin and Benji Webbe – which blends a clash of cultures and ideas into a fusion of such musical grandeur, such magnificence that all bow or break in its wake.

Benji Webbe is not only one of the most fierce frontmen in all of rock, not only does he have the pipes that rock dreams are made of, but is also a guy who has his roots firmly in hand. You don't find him sitting behind the velvet rope at posh after-parties. You’ll more likely find him speaking to a homeless person in an alley beside the venue, not preaching but connecting on a real, human level. Yes, he has taken in homeless to live with him, in his house with his family, not for a reality show, not for a news article but because it is who he is and what he is about. This spills over into everything he does. While others pretend and position themselves, Benji is the real deal. Part Shaman, part toastmaster, part devil, part angel.

Great things come from combustion and from galactic collisions, and Skindred's sound is such a thing. Who can tour with Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly, Korn And Disturbed and destroy all worlds just as easily? SKINDRED.

If Radiohead are important, if Muse and Pendulum are celebrated then Skindred is divine! To see them live and come to any other conclusion is impossible. We don't need to spend two paragraphs telling you how wonderful the new CD is because it is Skindred and they are brilliant. You would do yourself a disservice, not as a journalist but as a music fan, not to devote the time needed to become acquainted with the music of this band. The guys have done their job, created what they create, it falls to us to let the world know…the Skindred sound has come to take over!

"Shark Bites And Dog Fights" is in-stores September 21st. Get it so you can claim this band as your own before the world does and leaves you behind. No longer Britain’s best kept secret!

Cuff The Duke on MTV Live

Yeah, that's right, I watched MTV Live last night (Monday November 30th), so what.
I'm fucking glad I did too because otherwise I probably wouldn't have even thought of listening to Cuff The Duke's latest album, Way Down Here.
Not that I wasn't a fan prior to this CD, I've always loved these guys but this punk rawk phase of mine is never-ending... until now.
The second I heard the band play the song "It's All A Blur" live on MTV it snapped me right out of my punk obsession of late (by late I mean always).
At least for the span of the album, a few times through.
They performed the track "It's All A Blur" and immediately caught my attention. Starting off the tune reminded me of The Turtles "Happy Together" song, and the deepest vocals sound identical to Gordon Downie's part in City & Colour's "Sleeping Sickness", which just happens to be the ONLY song I've ever appreciated Downie's voice, as well as the only song I've ever really loved from C&C.
Already we're off to a good start.
Right away I went to the bands Myspace where they have the entire album streaming.
Every single track is epic.
The Hayden-like melodies remain proof of their Canadian folk roots while each song is a combination of chilling, haunting, gorgeous harmonies.
The further into the album I listen the more my heart warms to their sound, which expands over many genres while staying true to their folky core.
With vocals that sound light years older than the singer really is, guitar progressions that make you think Rock N Roll baby, and the sound of the pounding drums equivalent to penis pounding vagina, I honestly can say that for the rest of the day, maybe even week, this album will not leave my headphones.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Bravery - Stir The Blood (Out Today)

When I came across The Bravery's new single "Slow Poison" it had my toe tapping and kinda peaked my interest in their new release Stir the Blood. I am not going to lie and say that I am a big fan or that I even fully listened to their previous release The Sun and The Moon (sorry guys). Although I do admit that I had a secret love affair with the bands first single "Honest Mistake", and conducted frequent solo dance parties in my bedroom. What?! I was young and in love. But after hitting repeat on the new single and stumbling on the information that John Hall (worked with such artist as Santigold) was set to co-produce alongside The Bravery's front man Sam Endicott. My standards were now set but I was hoping that they would be surpassed.
After having a listen to each track in their entirety my hopes were not crushed but they were defiantly not reached. From the start it seems as though the band has a good idea with each track but their potential has not been full reached. At times I feel completely involved in the music and by the time I reach the chorus I am not even paying attention. Although the chorus of most tracks can be called catchy I find them so simple it’s hard not to be catchy. Alongside the fact that the lyrics seem a little elementary, The Bravery could use some more melody play between the synth/keyboards and the vocals. There were some body chill moments throughout the album but the emotion and feeling could have been amplified 10 fold if there was just an extra something added by the band, or even another layer of vocals. At time it also feels like the band was playing it safe, as though they found their sound in 2005 and didn’t want to fix something that wasn’t necessarily broken.
Not to say that Stir the Blood was all bad, it actually had me bobbin my head throughout. With redeeming tracks like "Jack-o-lantern Man" and "I Have Seen The Future" which offer up a dark but dancy zazz that I was looking for. You also get to see the vocal range that Endicott is packing. Also an honourable mention to "HateFuck", with lyrics about rough sex what’s not to like!
After getting the final dose of The Bravery as they end their album with "Sugar Pill", I feel a little let down but not fully surprise. Stir of Blood offers up a sombre yet dance able collection of songs that are perfect for "stancing" (stancing= stand + dancing). With two feet planted on the grown and a good left to right sway going on I will yet again be conducting a solo dance party as I hit repeat on a select few tracks on this album. I suggest making a stop on the bands MySpace and have a listen, you may have a different opinion. Also have a look that their videos, always good for some artsy shots.

It's Chris James Bitch!

Devendra Banhart and the Grogs

5 bums out of 5

Have you ever seen Devendra Banhart? ... Have you ever seen Devendra Banhart on weed? ...General admission with theater seating... what am I 40? Thank god that changed quick enough, first song started and the crowd fled to the front out of there parents seating arrangement and hit the stage. It was pretty funny especially in slow motion ... everything to me that night was in slow motion.

The vibe was fucking quality, the love was pouring out of Devendra like breast milk from the mama wolf. They played a show but also told a story. Little intermissions of save this kid... I used to be homeless... Interesting, a musician with a sort of complicated past. They played beautifully, kind of like a band made of family members. 5 out of 5 have solo acts & other groups they're a part of. Besides Devendra, the remaining members played their new songs for us. Good for them because they support each other but for one of them it sounded as if Devendra was one of his biggest influences and it was kind of odd I mean ya I look up to my dad and stuff but it just seams a bit musically incestuous.

In the end, all in all,l I loved Devendras jazz hands, loved the tree dancers waiving there hairy arms & there beads, loved the music, and loved all the love.

Awesome show! Great job! Thank you to the guy with "J" for Jeorge and thanks to the girl with the off beat dance moves. To everyone everywhere.

The Softer Side of Miss D