A Blurb For Brandon!

I have a webmaster.
His name is Brandon!

He's moving to Yellowknife all too soon, and we will miss him :(
BON VOYAGE BRANDON!!!

Last week Chris and I went to see our buddy Brandon off equipped with a few bottles and lotsa *censor censor*, and while we drank and laughed hopefully not for the last time we also were introduced to a couple new random artists reminding us of the reason why Brandon is WICKED and much more than a webmaster to us...

If you haven't heard of these two, check them out. If you're not getting into them sober just drink up/smoke up and guaranteed you'll have a different opinion.

The Black Ingvars - They're this Swedish, humorist heavy metal band most famous for doing covers of popular songs like "I Want It That Way" (Backstreet Boys), "Mamma Mia" (Abba), "Baby One More Time" (Britney Bitch) and so on and so on and so on, all available on Youtube. They're actually pretty awesome, using various elements in their covers that make them sound more legit than the originals, like the ripping guitar solos all over the fucking place. Man, don't make me quote ATHF again. They have actual videos for a lot of the songs too which are hilarious, and seriously fucked up.

Dj Z Trip - As much as I love mashups I haven't had the pleasure of escorting Dj Z Trip to my ear drums until now. Sampling songs not usually thought of when mixing and mashing, such as classic rock artists Pink Floyd, Bruce Hornsby, Phil Collins, The Beatles, Rush, AC/DC, The Eagles, ETC ETC ETC... thrown together with the perfect dance and hip hop beats... all this found on his first album Unseasy Listening Volume 1.

Thanks Brandon, and we wish you luck in Yellownife Bitch!!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NEW MUSIC! Three For Free!

Just a few words about a few bands that I have a few hard ons for.
(That is, if you get past reading the first annoying line... sorry boners!)

Let's count 'em down this time, shall we?
3. Beat Noir
Just signed to Death To False Hope Records, I am on my knees for this impressive punk band astoundingly from Ontario, a fact which just filled my night with visions of seeing them live as soon as possible. Groovy!

2. The Please & Thank Yous
Also just signed to Death To False Hope Records (yes I found them in that punknews.org article :P) this indie pop punk band flashes me back to the swingin' sixties with little to no effort and forget my knees, lay me on my stomach with my ass in the air for these guys. And they're funny, throwing in audio clips from Mall Rats and a sense of humour on their myspace page. Right now, if I had the choice of listening to the song "Summer's Over" or having sex, I would almost choose listening to the song.

3. For Serious This Time
This indie/alternative/pop/rock outfit throws down with some Against Me! style aggressive punk elements, only this band is very straight forward thinking, far from political, and a helluvalot more experimental. Slightly folky at times while dishing out melodies worthy of Lucero, the gang sing-a-longs add a warm family hug feeling to the pit of your stomach while you listen, and as the beat picks up so do the butterflies. I'm on my back and I'm all yours.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Doe's oh dear!!

Straight up, a good friend of mine is a member of this spectacular new band from Vancouver BC, so because I don't normally do this I will fully admit that this review is 100% bias. HOWEVER, 0% of it is a lie. You do the math.
Anyway, they're called The Doe's and basically all I have to say is ... "Oh yeah, baby baby baby baby oh yeah!"
Each song is like a tug of war between my left side and my right, and I'm rooting for both. From serenely arousing spaced out bluesy heaven to rockin' jam sessions reminiscent of something you'd long to play on Guitar Hero while stuck at your desk at work, each song I've heard so far displays something that the last 30 years have been seriously lacking.
I feel like the correct method of enjoying this band would be somewhere in the realm of hallucinogenic drug ingestion, yet when it comes down to it and all you have is a few green beans that aren't the magic kind you still end up doing no wrong. Even trying to write this I'm getting lost in each song as their myspace player repeats itself.
Friend or 'fuck you', this band kicks ass.

"God!...Look at him rip!...His fingers go from here to China, man! It's like a skeletal boardwalk across the ocean!"

I love it, I love it, I love it.
Okay maybe I'm getting a little too carried away now, but it feels like somebody is getting sweaty in the bathroom... the Wendy's bathroom... The Doe's sound like how sweaty in the Wendy's bathroom feels.
Uhhhh...Hot?

Please check them out.
(Coming to Toronto summer 2010)
Nice to Meet You.
I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Ginger with Spice

Ginger St. James
4 1/2 bums out of 5

I was bothered a bit about this evening. I felt a little like Dr John's right place wrong time, you can't help the crowd, I get that but I felt like I was in a small town country bar with a university close by.

But every so often I saw that hidden treasure of the show, the original Honky Tonk fan. Honky tony is sexier then country, most of the crowd was country the band was sexy.

From the beginning.. on the other side of the room I see this beautiful dark haired woman with a giant cheetah fur coat she lit up the room. The band started.. backup was 3 guys and she was playing guitar as well as singing. She started with a lot of energy and surprisingly kept it the entire time. None of the songs sounded the same, that's huge for me especially if I'm going to see a band for the first time. She is talented, her bridges did not drag on and her voice did not strain nor did it keep the same tone through each song. I just really believe this girl is better than small town. How do we make this happen? Her lead guitar player played a song for the women that wore heels, the song was pretty good, nice vocals, clear and rather fancy. There was an older woman behind me with a polar bear fur coat, I asked her to dance with me. I mean fuck, how often do you get to dance with a polar bear? I kept rubbing her back, it was so soft she probably thought I wanted her, that my friends was a 50 year old bear, a cougar bear, a bearacouga. HAHA anyways, I'm torn really, the band was wonderful but I wonder if the crowd was dancing because they really enjoyed it and saw the talent or it was just music to dance to. Regardless, I'm an asshole, I come from a small town and I left for a reason. In the end. awesome show, great job. Thanks to the man that takes longer to get ready than his missus, and the girl with the familiar mullet.

Miss D.

Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms

I’ve always had a soft spot for that blippy, dreamy electro-pop, so I was pretty stoked when I first heard Neon Indian, the latest side project of Alan Polomo, aka the electro dance beats creating crowd pleaser, VEGA. The sound is similar, but has a decidedly more chill, relaxed feel, with the exception perhaps of "Ephemeral Artery", which is the heaviest track of the bunch. You could still dance to a lot of the other tracks, but most are something I’d rather sit in a comfy chair, smoke a joint and bop along to. Apparently these guys have got many comparisons to MGMT, which kind of confuses me. They don’t really sound much alike at all, but I do like them both. Maybe it’s that dewy-eyed, hippie kid sensibility those who make the comparison are talking about, which seems to have more to do with image than their actual sound. There are a couple of gems on this album, my absolute favourite being "Should Have Taken Acid With You". Crank that song on a nice big pair of headphones, lie on your bed in the dark and just trip out (with or without the help of any uh, substances – your choice). That’s what I do anyway. It’s been on repeat in my room for the past couple weeks now, and every time I just lie there with a huge shit-eating grin on my face. Only thing that I don’t like about it is that it’s too damn short. "Deadbeat Summer" is another winner; it immediately evoked carefree summer nostalgia, creating a longing for a breezy summer bike cruise that is painfully palpable. Actually, the entire album has this feel. God, I miss summer.
Palomo’s fuzzy vocals compliment the instrumentation perfectly – you feel like he’s singing eyes closed, half asleep, daydreaming about summer love and…crap, I got lost in his voice and forgot what I was talking about. Well, you get the point.
An ideal evening with Alan Palomo - You come home, sweaty and exhausted but adrenaline still buzzing, after dancing your face off at a VEGA show. Then throw on Neon Indian as you fall asleep. The dreamy cool down to your crazy electro dance workout. Pretty much perfection right there.
By Dagny Piasecki.
Missy.

Julian Casablancas – Phrazes for the Young

Alright, now I’m a huge Strokes fan, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this. On the one hand, I have faith in Casablancas’ insurmountable talent and had little doubt that his next venture would be a success. On the other hand, there have been enough bombed solo attempts by respectable group members to make anyone wary. But I needn’t worry – it became clear pretty quickly that the album was pretty fuckin awesome. Casablancas seems to have found the perfect balance of pleasing old fans (like myself) and creating new ones with his first solo album, Phrazes for the Young. The opener “Out of the Blue” is a good first track; with familiar guitar and vocals it eases the listener into Casablancas’ new sound by keeping a bit of that gritty strokes sensibility we’ve all come to love. Then the second track breezes in, a little more down-tempo and synth-laden, and you realize this is not a Strokes album. And that’s ok. It’s clear that on his solo attempt, Casablancas wanted to flex his superb ability to write well-crafted hooks and melodies, something that was always present in Strokes material but maybe wasn’t always in the foreground. The album is definitely unpredictable; no 8-great-songs-that-sound-the-same kind of record here. Even within each song, unpredictable changes are the norm – a rhythm change here, a key change there…even an abrupt change of style, which while perhaps jarring, was actually quite refreshing and pleasing all the same. And yet next to each other, the songs aren’t so different that his influences and goal for his overall sound wasn’t clear. In a couple songs, it felt like it was headed in one particular melodic
direction, but then would go somewhere else. For the most part this is a good thing; it’s always nice when a song doesn’t stick to the usual formula. However, in particular during the chorus of "Out of the Blue" and also in
"River of Brakelights", I REALLY wanted it to go in one direction and was left feeling a tad unsatisfied when it didn’t. But the latter track is just so delightfully weird that I can’t help but love it regardless. “Glass” is one of my favourite tracks, and completely different from what I’d come to expect from Casablancas. The sweeping melancholic synths, his sweet falsetto – it’s downright pretty.
With only 8 tracks, I was obviously left wanting more. A couple I find I skip over quite regularly, they’re just a little too underwhelming for me. I do, after all, really love the upbeat garage rock tunes that the strokes keep pumping out. But overall, an admirable separation from the Strokes’ sizeable shadow, and a testament to Casablancas’ undeniable talent.

Missy.

A Short Wave For ShortWave?

After a short hiatus over the holidays I am back on the wagon (or off, which one is worse) and by off the wagon I mean I am back in the world of local Toronto shows and was pretty damn stoked about it. As I strolled in to the Horseshoe on Saturday with a beer in my right and my wing WOman on my left, I couldn't help but get a wee bit giddy. What originally brought me to the Horseshoe that night was the announcement that SHORTWAVE would be gracing the stage, and after hearing their myspace and creaming my underoo's, I was really looking forward to the show that these guys were about to put on! While waiting on the sidelines for Shortwave to come on, i was standing and admiring the performance that was in full swing on the stage. With dueling vocals, shared between what looked to be two lead singers and some of the most emotionally melancholy sounding guitar riffs littered with dance worthy beats These Electric Lives did a fantastic job at setting up the crowd. Not to mention the fact that I was in complete awh, due to the fact that I got such an unexpected but amazing surprise (so I guess this is what finding out your preggers feels like). **A tip of the Caslopus to you These Electric Lives**



Next to walk on was ShortWave, a 5 piece Canadian indie rock band that, like I mentioned before has some pretty fuck awesome music posted on their myspace. With clever lyrics powered by a quirky and unique voice placed perfectly over a well polished new wave/rock outfit, it was no wonder why my bone 's were aching. Finally their set began, with what seemed to be some amazing energy but as I continued to watch these boys like a hawk I realized that the only energy that was being exuded was that of the lead singer Ry Johnson. As the set continued Ry was sweating for the both of us, as the rest of the band just basically played music by numbers(paint y numbers). Dont get me wrong, these guys can rip! I could tell from note one that they knew the score and were *master craftsmen* at their skill, but when I go to a live show I expect a'lil something extra. I guess I wasn't the only one noticing, as Ry called his brother Sager out to get him to sing with no response.
As the 11th song set came to a close I couldn't help but feel a'lil let down. Not by the quality of music or the skill level of the musicians play it. I was more disappointed in the stage presence or lack thereof. When I venture out to a live performance I expect just that and to be honest Shortwave came up just shy (ha you thought i was gonna make a stupid pun) of my expectation.








It's Chris James Bitch!

WOW, WHAT THE FUCK.

Whilst at work today I came across this band called WOW, who by the appearance of their brightly clad Myspace just screamed HOMOYOUDIDN'T!!! I instantly knew I would hate them, as none of the pictures had a guitar in site, just jumping boys decked out in every colour of the gay rainbow. Each member looks like a huge (I would say 'fag' here if it weren't so incredibly insulting, especially when in reference to this pile of crap) cocksucker. Their photos alone made me nauseous as I hit play and was bombarded with flashbacks of the Fatstreet Boys and N*Stynk (I actually still throw on the Backstreet Boys from time to time I just enjoy making stupid nick names, I think I've already exhausted my creativity though, suffer no more you shall). The world, meet Disney's next Diva's! The only thing setting them apart from the 90's boy band era (which I thought died for a reason) is... what the fuck... auto-tune?
Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
They are playing at the Mod Club tonight and I am considering going there to take them out, and I don't mean on a date. *insert drum used to top off corny obvious jokes to make them funnier here*
The first song on their myspace is called "Do U Miss Me", which makes me want to tie them down to a desk and show them how to write full words already so it's not looking good. The music is like nails on a chalkboard, and the complete lack of originality is painfully apparent, and like, auto-tune, really?
The second song, "Goosebumps", actually made me gag. It sounds almost identical to "Bye Bye Bye" by (hehe) N*Cunt (nicccce!) and while I may have liked good 'ol BSB (I'm a girl dammit) my loyalty was with them and it was die die die to JT and his crew.
"Unforgiven" is next, putting a new meaning to whiney vocals and the taste of puke takes over my mouth before the beat even comes in over the piano. Warning: Do not drink within 24 hours of listening to this band. Even piano can't save them, which, let's be real here, usually is like flashing titties to please the cameras with me... whatever that means. I keep thinking I'm hearing the sound of a big bus coming to a stop, the breaks just'a screeching.
The last song "Walkin' On Air" just brings a new level of shit to their set, and a whole lot of barf to my mouth.
Honestly, is this a joke? Is it April already? I think Disney's calendars are off or something.
I am just torn up about how little they deserve the amount of success they are about to experience... like, it's Disney and they are giving you exactly what you want... if you were a pretwat.

http://www.myspace.com/wowthegroup
Laugh it up.
Make sure to read the WHOS WOW blog too.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Daylight Agency!

The older I get the less faith I have in people younger than me. Despite knowing a lot of bands my age with serious talent when I was 16 I now find myself blown away when I hear a group of 16 and 17 year olds playing music good enough to make me drool. It might be the unfortunate realization you come to after a lot of years and a ton of musician friends, seeing the best bands fall apart because of the unstoppable "growing up" that inevitably happens to tweens and teens.
At the same time my love for Emo/pop/punk music is basically at the level of a preteen's obsession with the Buttstreet Boys, or more recently the Schmonas Brothers, and so it's no surprise that I fell for this young in age (but not in talent) band called The Daylight Agency.
With only an EP out since forming in July 2009 they already have cemented themselves a seat on my Ipod playlist, and after numerous times listening to it I still am having a hard time believing that these guys are only 16 and 17 years old.
I have to say I love everything about them, from their funny song titles, their catchy guitar/bass hooks and sexy vocals (shit, does that make me a pedophile?), their cute "rap" breakdown, and the drums that beat right alongside my heart. Each song stands out against the last, making this short album impossible not to loop, and although typical of the emopopunk genre the lyrics don't actually scream high school to me like most other older bands.
Reminding me a lot of With The Punches (a band I cannot stop mentioning apparently) these guys are tight and I can't wait to hear more.
i hope to Batman that these guys make it somewhere and are still together when they hit their 20's, and if they ever breach the border and tour Canada I can already tell it'd be one sweet ass sweet show to see.

Worth The Fight EP
1. Fun Times At The Water Parks
2. That'll Do Donkey, That'll Do
3. Crunk 'Til Death
4. Finish Him, Raichu!

Check them out on their Myspace here!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

MAGNUM K.I. PREP SELF-TITLED FULL LENGTH OUT ON FOULTONE RECORDS JANUARY 19th

Ask any musical collective; healthy collaboration is the backbone of success. And while Magnum K.I.’s new self-titled full length might be a debut, there’s a weighty and palpable sense of maturity within each of the ten island-infused and rhythm heavy hip-hop tracks. You’ve got to give credit to the dynamic method that DJ/Producer, Michael Arnone (aka DJ Kutdown), lead-vocalist/song-writer Ismaila Alfa and co-producer/song-writer Rob Crooks took to attain the dense and transcendental sound on their debut. Taking an organic approach, each member brought musical ideas to the table. Yet no track was ever considered finished until they’d all put their own fingerprints on it and the results speak for themselves.

Combining the relaxed yet potent vibes of early Jurassic 5 with the sensibility that only a city like Winnipeg can provide, the three members of Magnum K.I. are truly onto something here. Rising from the ashes of seminal hip-hop outfit Frek Sho, they’ve spent enough time honing their craft to know what it takes to play the hip-hop game with poise, energy and tracks that will drag even the shyest wallflowers onto the dance-floor.

With showcases at CMW, SXSW, NXNE and Pop Montreal 2010 lined up, there seems to be little that can get in the way of this trio. They'll be hitting stages across the country from January to March of 2010. It’s about time too; Magnum K.I. have worked hard enough to know what it takes to make a hip-hop outfit work. Now, it’s time for the rest of the world to see what they’re onto.

See them live in Winnipeg February 10th at The Pyramid opening for Raekwon of Wu Tang. More tour dates to follow.
Check out the first single 'Tired' here: http://www.myspace.com/magnumkimusic

Owl City or Owl (The Rip Off Artist) Shitty?

It's no secret by now that 23 year old laptop phenomenon Adam Young and his Universal Republic signed band Owl City has been doused with comparisons to indie superstars The Postal Service ever since his single "Fireflies" gained radio popularity. What most people don't realize is that 2009 album Owl Eyes is actually Adam's THIRD release, and both his previous album and EP sound pretty much the same; all computer-made emo synthpop created in his parents bedroom as a result of his apparent insomnia. Not to say that his entire catalogue doesn't sound eerily similar to The Postal Service, but prior to his major label backing you have to consider how much a then 22 boy can do with just his laptop and an appreciation for European electronic music.
When I first heard "Fireflies" I was skeptical, assuming it was The Postal Service's new single immediately and almost not believing otherwise. When I finally accepted that this was a whole new band with a not-so-new sound I was furious, joining in on the accusations that Owl City had ripped off a sound that had already been designated to Ben Gibbard and his two (also similar) bands. Writing them off for lack of originality I tried to dislike anything to do with this new syth sensation, but as time went by the single seemed to follow me everywhere and I couldn't help but get drawn in to the catchy hooks and cute lyrics, everything that made me fall for Postal Service to begin with. When I stumbled upon an Owl City live set on YouTube I let go of all previous allegations and I fell, hard.
It was then that I decided to do some digging around and found out that Adam Young claims to have only heard The Postal Service's Give Up a few times and was never a hardcore fan, insisting he was more into Death Cab For Cutie in those days before creating his own music from other influences such as disco music and UK electro.
So do you believe him?

After decades upon decades of artists creating music it's hard to find anything original going into 2010, and more often than not I find that the new bands I hear tend to sound like they are ripping off another band or artist in some way, shape or form. Granted, there are similarities and there are blatant rip-offs, but sometimes it's hard to decipher which side of the scale the intent was on, or if it was even there at all. Is it unavoidable now to infringe on someone else's sound? Is there any new sounds out there waiting to be created, any sound that is truly original?
When you think back to boy bands of the late 90's it seems as if every group could be mistaken for another, but I don't recall hearing this much outrage about the Backstreet Boys ripping off N*Sync's sound, or vice versa, and these are "musicians" who relied on everybody else to write, play and produce their unoriginal pop music.
I think a factor that is constantly being overlooked by the critics is that Adam Young actually writes and creates each one of his songs himself. There is no ghost writer responsible for copying another artists' money making sound with the sole purpose to profit and sell for the sake of their label bosses and quotas. Yes, he may write music that sounds an awful lot like something else you've heard, but he is writing it himself at least, and he writes it well... there's no denying that.
Is this just a matter of a new genre with very few bands to back it other than Owl City and The Postal Service, therefore opening the doors for such undeniable comparisons until this genre catches up to other artists too that will eventually put out the flames of plagiarism? Of course there are other bands of comparable style like the Electric Presidents, Passion Pit, Plus/Minus and Dntel, but as far as a one man-minded laptop-driven project done in a basement goes I'm not sure if it's as easily done to separate his sound from others without destroying it's integrity completely.
I'm starting to wonder what is worse: Somebody completely random and with no ties to these other bands coming up with a similar sounding band, OR the same guy forming two separate bands that sound almost identical...(EX: Ben Gibbard with Postal Service and Death Cab/Jimmy Tamborello with Postal Service and Dntel)
HMMM!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Lo-Gi

First the captain of Wales’ national rugby team The Wales Lions comes out, and now this? Two new bands springing up are Young Governor and Golden Girls. Both bands have fallen into the Pitchfork lo-fi trap and feature members of early to mid 2000’s hardcore bands No Warning (Toronto) and Death Threat (Connecticut). Is it just me or does anyone else find this hilarious?

Young Governor is the brain child of ex-No Warning’s Ben Cook (who’s also been affiliated with Fucked Up, the Bitters and Marvelous Darlings). Maybe a couple years ago he was tired of touring with Linkin Park and decided to go underground again? Cook plays all the instruments on this album and did a good job of keeping it lo-fi and gritty. Young Governor still has an edge though, not tough-guy but as edgy as garage punk can be. His newest and Pitchfork reviewed song “Call Me When The Cat Dies” gives off an 80‘s hardcore (in the vein of Bad Brains) vibe with catchy female melodies and tons of reverb. Watch out for the “Call Me When the Cat Dies” 7 inch coming out on Chicago based label Criminal Iq. (Also check out Cook’s other band Roommates who’ve just released a tape titled “Wi” on Scotch Tapes Records)

The second band Golden Girls of Worchester, MA features drummer Bill Ross ex-Death Threat. Who before breaking up made mild success and toured with bands like Hatebreed, the Distillers and Sworn Enemy. GG makes sure you know “they’re not lo-fi, they’re broke”. Although I can’t imagine this band sounding the same if they weren’t. They sight Dinosaur Jr as an influence on their Myspace, and it’s pretty obviously when you hear their riffs that they‘re Mascis influenced. These babies love the 80’s and I give them props for their songs names (16Canles, Amateur Teen Sex Addiction and Teenage Rape Fantasy). As for the now their Myspace is the only place to hear their music.

Doroin.

Jesse Labelle, I see right through you.

As I was getting ready for work this morning I was flipping back and forth between CTV and CITY TV morning news (I'm a headlines whore) and stumbled upon a performance on City by Toronto pop/indie-rock artist Jesse Labelle. At first I found him fairly attractive so I put a hold on my ADD channel changing to watch him, but after a few seconds his picture perfect industry manufactured, label bred performance made me sick, enraged at how his packaged appearance is destroying the whole point behind music these days.
From the one song I saw him play this morning (watch the video here) it was obvious that he embodied everything that is wrong with the industry right now. His mediocre, radio friendly, typical hits wrapped up in a pretty bundle of strategically placed scarves over wrinkle-free V-necks, topped off with over practiced love making looks towards the camera that screams "girls, fall in love with me, not my music".
I used to want to be a band manager or work for a label, but each chance I have gotten in either field has completely turned me off when I saw first hand how much the appearance of the artists matter so much more than the music itself.. a particular experience with my best friends band and how their sponsored clothing and the way they look on stage was more of a topic of discussion than the way their songs sounded to the audience at each show.. ugh, it's pathetic, and Jesse Labelle seems to be the perfect example of this.
His talent means nothing, in all honesty I don't think he's a half bad singer/guitarist, aside from his songs being boring as fuck and sounding as if he just threw together all these different cutesy lines that girls will flaunt over and made songs out of them Ghostwriter style. It struck me that had he or his label spent half as much time writing songs as they did dressing him he might actually be pretty good, but that's not the case. The sad thing is that 99% of fans (99% of that 99% being female) eat this shit up and don't realize that these artists might as well be a cardboard cut out of what labels think is important: appearance as opposed to the actual music.

Fuck it!
This is why I'm a critic not a label rep.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.