The Avett Brothers

I am such a horrible procrastinator, sitting here with my notes and pictures from a show that I went to two days ago, spitting out reviews of every single band I come across BUT the one that I’m supposed to get done. I paid for my ticket, so I guess it’s not that dire of a situation, but still.
This band isn’t even new, nor relevant in the slightest to this week’s releases.
Like I care.
The Avett Brothers are probably one of my biggest, most intense obsessions, and after hearing “Kick Drum Heart “ played on the radio at work (which normally isn’t the greatest thing to listen to) it cemented yesterday as hands down THE best day ever (do I say that too much? I’m so posi!). It also encouraged me to go back and listen to my boys, and their 2009 album I and Love and You in particular.
It’s so pretty.
If I could marry an album I would marry this one (in January). Just cut a hole in the package somewhere and I’m set for life… oh wait, that’s right I don’t actually have a penis, sometimes I/my friends joke about it so much that I start to believe it…but it’s never there when I go for a good rub n tug. On that note, let me get personal for a second here and explain that I’ve never been one for marriage or all that jazz, never have I imagined my wedding dress (except in the Star Wars themed wedding in Vegas sense), instead I actually used to have nightmares about marriage ruining my life when I was like 10 years old, so bad that I actually forced my mom to write this sign that said something along the lines of “Sarah will never get married, so please don’t ask her” and expected her to post them around Cobourg. Oddly enough my parents were and still are happily married, so where this terror came from is beyond me. (I’m probably doing a horrible job of disproving my ‘penis’) But let me just say, this album makes me WANT to get married… something about it just screams love and happiness, and beauty and comfort and trust, and everything you’d want in a marriage or a husband (or wife).
This album, like all the others, was written with so much passion… something that comes through in a way that makes me want to throw up because I can’t handle how good it is, and then make out with it without even brushing my teeth because that would take too much time away from devouring every piece of eroticism radiating from each song. And when they start to scream the vocals with such raw desire it almost feels like YOU are the one writing the song then and there, and feeling every single emotion they felt when they recorded it.
The combination between slow, soul-filled smoky folk rock and upbeat ecstatic country with a hint of punk rock amounts to something so brilliant that I have yet to find a word that respects how fucking amazing it actually is.
So instead of looking any further why don’t you just go listen yourself and form your own words for it.
UPDATE: They are playing in Toronto at the Phoenix on June 1st with "special guests"... FUCK YES, so glad I waited until after my sisters birthday to book my flight to BC, otherwise I'd have to cancel it to see this show.

I’m Sarah. I do what I want.

Annuals tickle my cock.

Oh no, not again.
Listen #4, review #3.
This week is great! And time consuming...

If you like uhh instruments of any sort check out Annuals and their Sweet Sister EP. The progressive-experimental-pop is quite brilliant when you listen closely, very intricate and done up tight with various musical contraptions to indulge you on a journey through the minds of the executioners. The music is constructed as subtle art, and alone could express what the words only prove. There are a couple different tracks that I would easily throw onto my mixed tape without much scrutiny.
Would they make yours?
Find out here.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Angus and Julia Stone ... If you weren't related we'd all be in the same bed by now.

I really should be reviewing the show I was at last night, which was probably the best experience of the last, well, 48 hours at least... but as I sit here listening to this week's new releases I keep getting distracted by how awesome some of the albums are.
Maybe I'm just the right amount of drunk and baked (I was supposed to go to one of two shows tonight, neither of which ended up getting me off my lazy nintendo loving ass in the end) but this is the third band I've listened to now and the second I've written about, and that ain't bad.
This intimate (in the least incest way) folk duo were bred with delicious vocal skills capable of chewing me up and spitting me out, leaving me STILL in love with both of their genetically similar asses as I lay there on the floor covered in their sweet sounding saliva.
How is that even possible?

Check them out on their myspace, please and thank you.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Weatherstar... Don't judge a band by their gay name.

Or maybe do?

I didn't think much hearing the name and posting the news about their free ep (here) but the second his emo cute voice sounded I perked up in the pants (gay) and felt a yank on the strings holding my heart.. like a marionette doll dancing this lovelorn dance (not happy like Sound of Music happy though) controlled by the singers soft, totally emo voice… and I felt myself being propelled back into high school to the days where livejournal owned every teenagers thoughts.
I just realized that the song was singing about going back into time as I wrote that, fuck me now.
The second song only managed to deepen the premature love I was feeling.
I really thought I was over music like this, I even pulled out my drivers license in attempt to fight the fact that I was letting myself get sucked in to this cutesy acoustic trap for young clit -- whoaaaaa I totally just realized that my name, well 1/3 of it, can be used exactly how the "mulva" situation went on seinfeld, NICE.) -- . Now don't get me wrong, my pussy troll is still firmly in place when it comes to boys in bands that I write about, but his voice is beautiful. There, I said it. And at a measly 3 free songs (greedy much) I feel myself longing for more, and trying to figure out my old livejournal password so I can copy/paste some lyrics and really express my true feelings once again.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Bad (and really fucking awesome) Kids

Review by: Missy
So I’ve COMPLETELY neglected my CMW reviews and felt compelled to immediately write this one instead…guess that shows that nothing reeeally blew me away at CMW like this show did. Also there was so much at CMW it was a little overwhelming to tackle…but I will get to those (albeit in much less depth) after this one.

Ok so I’ll just start with…wow. That is a sufficient starting point I think. I’ll throw in a couple FUCK YEAHS as well. Fuck yeah! Sarah and I rocked the Black Lips show (playing with Box Elders and Demon’s Claws) and DAMN it has been too long since I’ve been to a show like it, I miss it a lot. Reminded me of the good ol’ local punk rock show days, which I wasn’t heavily into but a show here and there was always memorable. The frantic energy, (both performers and crowd), the giddy excitement…the rough, kick ass mosh pit…it was all just SO GOOD. I am kind of at a loss for words. Wait, no I’m not, I’m gonna exhaust every adjective I can think of to describe it. So. Caught the last couple songs of the first band, which after some confusion (the line up changed order) we figured out were Demon’s Claws. Can’t fully review them because we didn’t catch much of their set, but what we did see certainly was interesting. The lead singer, long dirty hair hanging in his face, (my heart’s all a flutter..) was finishing up a song with a moan that eventually turned into a lovely cacophony of gagging and retching. Sick. If not a little taken aback by the harsh sound of it, I loved that everyone was digging it and kind of laughing at the same time…and the thought that crossed my mind was “cool, this guy clearly doesn’t give a shit.” Now I do admittedly look at the style of the bands I see, and judge that to a certain extent. Come on, who doesn’t? So some of the member’s attire was puzzling, and therefore noteworthy, and therefore in my mind gave them that extra edge. It was just the right amount of casual I-don’t-give-a-fuck with a bit of bizarreness thrown into the mix. One of ‘em had what looked like a soccer or bowling shirt, popped collar, and a weird large pentagram-looking necklace. Okay… and the bassist was wearing a black coat buttoned once near his collar so he was wearing it like a cape. So yeah, some random and interesting details there. Definitely will have to check out these guys again.

Next up was Box Elders, and again, pretty fucking amazing right off the bat. The first eye-catching detail was the physical set-up – all were at the same depth at the front of the stage, (‘downstage’ for us theatre-friendly people...ha) and the drummer was front and centre. Typically with other bands I’ve seen the drummer’s staging seems to change when he or she contributes more dominantly to the vocals, but this guy didn’t. But he completely blew me away regardless. His manic, bug-eyed, movement-infused performance was amazing. It struck a chord with me particularly as a dancer, because this guy had MOVES that were almost choreographed. I will emphasize the word ALMOST at this point, because after talking to him, he informed me he’s apparently gotten some flak for that and used the word “choreography” in a slightly negative context. This is unfortunate, because for me as a dancer, seeing musicians use choreography dazzles me something fierce. I had to explain to him that for me, the word has no negative connotation whatsoever. It’s interesting for me to think about. I can see what he means, in a certain way the word implies too much preparation and….awareness, I guess, of the brilliant performance he’s executing. But what’s wrong with that? Maybe it just had the right BALANCE of “choreographed” movement with something that happens as an improvisation in response to the crowd and the music. Also, obviously nowadays bands need more than just raw talent; they need a little something extra that makes them stand out. And for me that often has to do with different instrumentation (the drummer also played the organ with one hand, drums with the other for some songs), with stage presence and performance style, with staging, and yes, even style and appearance.

So then we have the Black Lips. At this point in the evening I was already giddy and the headliner hadn’t even hit the stage. So they had a lot to live up to, and I would say they were overall pretty successful. They didn’t have something specific that stood out for me like the other two, but maybe I’m just a sucker for what some people might call a gimmick. So no gimmicks, just amazing sound and stage presence. Can’t ask for much more. What DID add a whole lot more was the crowd, gotta love when people let go of the snobby attitude and just get good and rowdy. I definitely like to get into the mosh pit when I can, and this one was the right amount of rough for me…mostly because when I get in there I am kind of a passive mosher who just likes to be tossed around (for some reason the image of that makes me giggle). There was much crowd surfing to be had, and close to the end of the set a bunch of hot (but YOUNG) kids rushed the stage and all hell broke loose (especially during Bad Kids) with some onstage makeouts and much unnecessary “I know I look hot” hair tossing and gyrating. As much as I felt my age a little bit at this point, I couldn’t help that big shit-eating grin from being permanently stamped on my face. After the encore, I raped and pillaged the merch table, buying my first ever legit piece of vinyl in the process. Stoked. Box Elders invited us to a loft party after, which was actually the after party at 751. We decided not to go. Tempted, but I DID actually have work in the morning…and Sarah and I decided not to be THOSE girls. Not that night anyway. Haha. So overall, a fucking fantastic evening. Insert one more unnecessarily exaggerated adjective (preceded by an f-bomb) here to describe the night. That oughtta do it.


Suresh Singaratnam - Lost In New York

I'm not going to sit here and pretend I know jazz in the slightest, because I don't. I know what I've heard, which is enough in the sense that I can appreciate it, but not enough in the sense that I can throw references at you left right and center, or know the difference between all the little sub genres of jazz that I'm sure exist (I hope I'm not sounding like a complete retard yet... just yet). I used to love driving around at night listening to jazz when I lived with my parents in the country. It could be quite thrilling! But that's the extent of my love for jazz, and I'm not planning on delving any deeper into this world until I'm at least 30.
So, that said, here's my very first jazz album review!
Don't worry, I asked for my friend Julian's opinion on the album too since he's a fine musician (of many instruments, including the trombone) and a jazz lover, just to give this review some sort of legitimacy. Surprisingly, he ended up having the same opinion on the album as I did which makes me pretty much awesome at reviewing things I know nothing of. Ha!
Suresh Singaratnam is a trumpet player from here in Toronto, and his release is called Lost In New York, a theme that is apparent with the help of the comic booklet included in the sleeve. I'd like to think that the theme would be obvious even without the help of the comic and the seemingly endless story he's written about how he was feeling and why etc etc etc in the insert.. it's as if all the extras become a little overkill on top of the lengthy tracks on the album, and as helpful as it all was it's a lot to have to go through just to listen to some music and understand it. Let's put it this way: It was a complex listen, borderline too complex. On top of the story there is also what sounds pretty much like a review already, written by somebody who isn't the musician, in the insert as well. My work here is done...
Only not really because I was dying of boredom before I could finish reading it... that along with forcing myself to sit through 70 solid minutes of hip new jazz really did me in.
But I did it, and although I probably zoned out for about 50 minutes of it (sorry dude) I managed to get through it and, if I'm being honest, it will never happen again. Not with this release anyway.
It's just exhausting. Not only the reading but the music itself.
I admit, it did a great job of portraying the emotion in each comic picture, and told the story extremely well. I believe it would have been as apparent had it been JUST the music because it was well-constructed and sounded identical to how I would picture New York City. There was hustle and bustle, and the music made it feel very busy and very scary and chaotic at times, and yet with a sense of order that underlies every big city. At times I would think that things were falling apart during some tracks, and I was following but then the trail fell out from under me and I wasn't sure where I was going anymore or what was happening... I think this was intended, but it fucked me right up.
After about half way through the album this theme was tiring and I was no longer able to tell the difference between hustle and bustle and love and loss and scared and happy and it all just jumbled together, hammering into my brain. Unfortunately, the trumpet (although great tone - thanks Julian!) was one half of the reason that I couldn't stand this album in the end.. the irritating jazz drums being the other half. The piano I found very beautiful and I was definitely more partial to it as opposed to the trumpet, which just ended up sounding the same after a while. Sadly, the piano was good but not good enough that it would upstage the trumpet, which was the focus, so it too got old after time.
All in all, this is not the style of jazz I will be getting into when my 30's hit. As somebody else put it (thanks Mike!) it sounds like BSS jazz... which I'm assuming is Broken Social Scene and not Bull Shit Shit jazz. (NOW I sound retarded) He was also not the biggest fan.
Sad to say this album won't be urging me towards the genre any time soon and probably won't get another listen in my player ever again.
I do need more coasters though.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Vice Records Garage Punk Weekend @ The Horseshoe Tavern

Friend and fellow writer for MSB, Missy, needs to be cordially thanked for bringing me to see The Black Lips show last night. A tip of the hat and a flash up the skirt to her for getting a ticket with me in mind before they sold out.
I had heard The Black Lips before and obviously loved them, but as for the other two bands (Demon's Claws and Box Elders) I had absolutely no idea who they were but figured anything with the word "punk" in the title was worth $20... although I think I'm the only person on earth (or at least Toronto) who isn't a fan of much with "Vice" in the title... regardless, it was a Saturday night on Queen and it didn't take much to convince me to go.
We walked in and after racing to the washroom before I pissed my pants (seriously, so close, damn you rum!) we were able to get beer and make our way to the front of the stage just in time to hear the last half of the set by Demon's Claws (OR Hell's Shovel who the merch guy told us had played instead... but I don't know if I believe him, and after listening to both bands sites I'm still not entirely sure because my memory is shit and I wasn't taking pictures... and to be honest I'm too lazy to put any more work into figuring it out right now so I'll just stick with the websites that say Demon's Claws but don't quote me, I'm far from reliable. This is only a blog!)
This is what I remember:
One of the guys was wearing a cape. And looked GOOD. It might be the nerd in me talking, but a cape is far from a deal breaker for me.
The singer, mere minutes from us getting there, starting groaning into the mic instead of singing, and he just kept going, and the band was laughing, and the crowd was laughing, and I was cleaning up the mess on the floor that I was responsible for and no, it wasn't beer, unless by beer you mean bodily beer? ummm, nevermind that.
It was fantastic.
Different, which made it even more spectacular.
It was like hipster punk, and let's just say hipster punk is a lot happier than regular punk.
Next was Box Elders.
I walked into the show not knowing who the fuck they were, and walked out with a $15 album in purse and not a doubt that it was worth spending my grocery money on. I haven't raced to the merch table that fast after hearing a band in a long, long time. They weren't hipster so much as they were this mix of surf pop/rock/punk and with just three members and the drums pushed up to the front of the stage equally in line with the guitarist and his DOUBLE GUITAR, and the bassist and his DOUBLE BASS. Beside the drums was a keyboard which the drummer singlehandedly played WHILE playing the drums WHILE indulging the audience with some killer choreography... something they had apparently gotten ripped on in another review for but in my opinion made their performance stand out so much more and was seriously impressive.
I started making myself dizzy during their set because I kept dancing my eyes back and forth between member, each one was pulling some crazy stunts on stage with their instruments and really getting into the music.
Honestly one of the coolest sets I've ever seen in so many ways.
This show had already turned out to be better than anything I saw during CMW, with the exception of the Silver Dollar night.
And The Black Lips, the only band I had heard of and the band I was there to see, hadn't even played yet!
As soon as they did I knew this was the best show, ever.
I had passed up seeing Protest The Hero the night before, for FREE via me winning tickets, because I was so sick this weekend. I had practically forced myself to get out of bed (and drink haha) and get my ass down to meet Missy because she was selling me a ticket, but I had NO intentions of having such a blast of a time, or reviewing it for that matter. I pictured myself enjoying it obviously, but in a sick and somewhat drunk state of mind near the back. Once there with The Black Lips on stage and the MOST people I've ever seen at the Horseshoe laughing and dancing and singing along with the band, ON STAGE with the band most of the time even, I just got lost in the moment and couldn't for the life of me stay in my sick and tired state of mind. In fact, I am pretty sure I was floating over the crowd in the most serene mindset. Back on track with the hipster punk vibe and all the happy people of varied clothing styles merging together in the least threatening mosh pit I've ever seen. I hadn't left the venue to indulge myself in anything all night and yet I was still floating high, the venue was filled with this happy intensity that was very infectious and I'm pretty sure I was nodding along with this shit eating grin on my face the entire time, completely packed between strangers as Missy dove right into the crowd and towards the stage. I wish I had the money to go back to see them again tonight. That's right, the show is repeating itself tonight at the Horseshoe. THAT's how assome it is/was/will be.
Best. Show. Ever.
Everybody kept making out on stage because the show was so good... or because they were drunk... or slutty... for whatever reason it was all in the orgasmic spirit that was emitted from the orgasmically good music all night.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Tomato Steal - S/T

This was my initial and only thought the first time I heard Tomato Steal, and it's one reaction I have yet to shake after hearing their album of the same name at least ten times through.
This Japanese experimental hardcore band, who have apparently been around since 2002, have put together this demented album that sounds like the definition of the phrase "talk about aggression", you know, like you'd hear when other kids parents looked down at your parents for their troublemaker child, you, after the last prank you pulled on their precious Herman.
Another way to describe it (the album) would be a really bad trip made into really good, but fucked up music, sort of like in the book Perfume where a really bad deed (murder of virgin girls) creates this really beautiful perfume... right?
I guess without all the murder, smelling and bullying Tomato Steal manage to create a thing of unbalanced, almost schizophrenic, beauty. It's perfectly deranged with metal drums behind screaming (borderline shrieking) vocals alongside hardcore riffs and random abrupt jazzy breakdowns to complete this unexpected mesh of hardcore, unhinged.
Reminding me a lot of The Blood Brothers, but with sides to them that showcase The Mars Volta meets System of a Down meets The Refused similarities.. even listening to them quietly (so as not to wake my roommate) while writing this review the music STILL managed to come across psychotic and a tad frightening in the dim light of dawn.
When I first heard this band I hadn't smoked anything yet and they sure managed to trick me into thinking I had. Halfway through I ended up sucking back a pinner just to calm my skittish nerves after such a manic mind fuck that is their album. Then, all of a sudden these weird genre warps would happen and I would be convinced that I had accidentally hit some button to skip or randomize the bands, and since I had just smoked even the computer screen couldn't convince me otherwise and I started to think it was trying to pull a fast one on me, or maybe just froze since computers don't... think... or whatever. But then the insanity would hit like a ton of bricks through the LCBO windows during an AA riot.
And I need it like liquor in my veins.

For those of you who don't make it in time, visit their myspace ( or purchase their album via itunes.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Kevin Blake - You Are What You Hear

Review By: It's Chris James Bitch
At first listen of artist Kevin Blake's minimalist electronic album I wasn’t the most intrigued. With years surrounded by music and getting introduced to new artists and styles on a daily basis, I thought to myself “just another experimental glitchy electronic album”. After further inspection I have to say that my first opinion of Kevin Blake’s You Are What You Hear was a bit jaded. The album itself is an offbeat and uniquely elaborate sound that incorporates not only the glitchy side of electronic but also manages to feature hints of jungle, dubstep and some dirty electro synth. Blake was able to take a style, that has been dominated mostly by such acts as Prefuse73, adds his own finesse and creates something that is a little more smooth and stylish than what I was used to hearing from the genre. Throughout the album Kevin is able to take samples, which are fractions of seconds long, and layer them with such grace that it causes the effect of a seamless piece of musical cloth. At times the album seems a bit lagging, with heavy repetition and minimal peaks and valleys but Kevin does an excellent job at keeping the listeners attention by tossing in some fractured hip hop vocals and some real grimy synth sounds. After hitting repeat more than once, I will admit Kevin's album is a well constructed piece of foley style experimental electronic art and is totally worth having a good hard listen. For those of you skeptics , myself included at first, don’t hesitate to take a few minutes to listen and I think you will agree that Kevin Blake’s You Are What You Hear will fit snugly between your Amon Tobin and Prefuse73 albums.
Check out his myspace:

It's Chris James Bitch!

CMW: Tropics

Tropics @ El Mocambo
This was the first time I had even heard of this band, which consisted of Slim Twig and a fucking PHENOMENAL female drummer, Simone TB aka Thick Branch. Seriously, she fucking KILLED THOSE DRUMS. She was INSANELY good. I can't say it enough, or in enough caps, SHE.KILLED.IT.
I just listened to them now over myspace and I don't even like it.
Live though, when I saw them, I had no ill thoughts. How could I with such a drummified sex goddess. Just the two of them sounded like a full band somehow, and I kept searching the stage and sides for the other members. There were none. The experimental indie rock… which doesn't even seem to describe them… was pretty much this hectic obscurity in the form of music. The twitchy but speedy, crack-like reflexes of Slim reminded me of Brandon Flowers on drugs, lots of them. Each song was a short, jumbled mess… and at times it seemed like they forgot what they were doing and just started hammering something out, all the while sounding really fucking good. I don't understand it, but I sure enjoyed it.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Styrofoam Ones

Styrofoam Ones @ Roosevelt Room
First of all, the Roosevelt Room is fucked up.
So was the fact that this band didn't have a guitarist? The odd trio consisted of a bassist/singer, a keyboard/singer, and a drummer… and I felt like a dildo when I realized far later than any real critic would. In defence of the genre, and me, I was already drunk enough to have dumped half a beer in my bag trying to "pregame", as my roommate would say, on the streetcar there… It was 9pm, day 1. On a scale of one to alcoholic, I'm 2/3'rds ASS-OME.
And that leaves 1/3 retarded.
Styrofoam Ones were not retarded.
*And the award to best segway goes to…*
They were entertaining in this spooky, trance-y sort of way, and it was mesmerizing. They combined the club with the rock show, impressively too, and for those who don't care for either, listen to the song "O.T.T.A.P." and tell me it wouldn't tickle your tush live.
I'm not a fan of the electromumbojumbo they've got going on in the recordings, but live was another story altogether… a drunk one.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Isle Of Thieves

Isle of Thieves @ The Great Hall
I wasn't expecting much looking at these guys but the deep dance vibe over the tight, angry rock music made me choke on my beer in surprise when it hit. Yet another band who sucks balls on their myspace but couldn't be recognized live for it. Very coordinated energy over Oasis style vocals, without pause they spit out upbeat heavier rock filled with angst and aggression, taking the electro pop punk scene to a new era. The band themselves I could care less about, they weren't much to look at but the music struck a heart string although a little strong on the clap-a-longs… which if it's coming from me it MUST be excessive.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Dinosaur Bones

Dinosaur Bones @ Silver Dollar
Can something be mellow and dancy at the same time?
Dinosaur Bones is just that, mellow yet dancy rock with badass undertones that flirt with your desire to start grooving to the beat, and vocals that make you feel ridiculously embarrassed for even considering bustin' a move. They were a calm cool breeze through the heavy night that consisted of Songs From A Room and Still Life Still on either side of their set. Each member is a phenomenal musician, and if you're a sucker for keyboards this is the band for you. However, mixed between the bands that they were, they fell a little flat in my memories of the night… the huge crowd that formed in front of the stage for them would probably disagree with me though. Fact.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Still Life Still

Still Life Still @ Silver Dollar
Holy shit. On their myspace this band comes off super slow and maybe a little boring if I'm being honest, but duuude, you can't judge a band by it's myspace? They brought something dancier to the table, the upbeat factor made them infamous with the crowd as everybody sang, shouted, and fist pumped (no beating the beat here, sorry Jersey Shore) along. Christmas lights decorated the stage and immediately made me think we were in for something different. I did not expect what I saw come from these guys on stage, it was like this crazy off-timed dance party with tons of keyboard and tambourine, and the keyboardist even doubling up on the drums at one point. It was the most unexpected performance of the festival, and a thousand times better than I had imagined after hearing them online. Cool beans.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Songs From A Room

Songs From A Room @ Silver Dollar
Well spank my ass and call me "Charlie", it looks like we have two A's.
I fell instantly in love with this band. They came on hard and strong, like I would if I were a man. Not even half way through the first song they had already become my favourite band of the festival. Not even so far, but period. Sporting dual vocals between the guitarist and the drummer and with mass amounts of energy on limited stage space, they easily became "The Best Discovery of CMW 2010". Their myspace does NOTHING to justify the live performance either, I hope the short video I have does. The only bad thing I have to say about this band refers to the bassist and his armband tattoo… everything else about them was completely original despite the highly popular punk-infused rockNroll genre.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Ketch Harbour Wolves

Ketch Harbour Wolves @ Neutral
And I quote, they will "take you for a loop, emotionally"… with their "nautical themed East Coast indie rock".
Wow, this review was easy! Thanks guys, I agree 100%.
I have nothing left to say.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Columbia

Columbia @ Neutral
Can you guess where these guys are from? Nope, not that Columbia, the British one in Canada! Straight from Vancouver this almost-too-typical rock band busted out some Sloan mashed with Oasis style, 90's alternative replica tunes that had me torn apart trying to decide if I loved or hated them. The sometimes catchy, but mostly bland hooks and choruses made me grit my teeth, but the ripping guitar solos made up for any dental work the rest of the band created. The slower songs were too boring but the faster songs I could get into, keeping me on the fence for most of the performance. However, with a Suffragette City cover and a mind boggling guitarist I had fallen on the "good" side by the end of the set.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Corduroy

Corduroy @ Sneaky Dees
The first time I saw this band was years and years ago when they were still called Whatever Happened To Corduroy, which I like a lot better than boring old Corduroy, just sayin'. It was also at Sneaks, and even back then they stuck in my head and despite how many shows I've seen I like to think I still remember seeing them.. I at least remember loving them. A memory confirmed with their performance on Friday night, or super early Saturday morning however you want to look at it. Definitely a little bit different, less punk'y if I remember correctly, and more indie poppy, with a ton more angles to their sound and even more memorable this time around. Could I really forget a band who uses the Dylan'inspired harmonica holster? The singer reminded me of a Dylan actually, maybe Jakob more so in looks than Bob did at that age. (I'm so creepy). He was also barefoot which struck me in that carefree hipster new age Dylan sort of way as well, but it wasn't like he was trying too hard for that image, although that might just be due to the fact that he was gorgeous. Hey, I am normally pretty impartial to good looks when it comes to music but we all have our shallow points, and mine just happen to end with Dylan.
Regardless of my dripping vagina this band quickly became my favourite overall performance of the festival. It was almost… LEGENDARY!?
Here's the deal.
The guitarist was repine' a Clay Aiken t-shirt (??), there was harmonica, keyboard, banjos (again!), maracas, and vocals coming from all but the drummer. Annnnd just my luck my camera died. Worst episode ever… I swear I charged my batteries over night. WTF?
This performance was so unique, so rounded, and so full of great commradery on stage between each member smiling and dancing and just plain old getting along and having fun. At times they'd break into a jam band style session and at one point the singer even turned his mic around so that the intense crowd could get at it and sing. I hope they get seriously recognized soon, they deserve it. The end of the set had them on their knees with instruments in the air and the crowd screaming for more.

I'm Sarah, I do what I want.

CMW: The Schomberg Fair

The Schomberg Fair @ Sneaky Dees
I was still in the bathroom when this band took the stage and even from my spot on the toilet (prime seating) I immediately knew this was going to be something magical. The bluesy, country, alt rock was a little too country for rockabilly yet a little too fast for alt country. I have to say, they managed to tie Songs From A Room for my NUMERO UNO band from CMW 2010. They had so much energy and the guitarist was just shredding it the entire way through. Although the vocals sound like burping some of the time it was easy to look past it, loving the play between the two singers and appreciating the unique experience. They presented me with a new sound of genre mashing freshness and BANJO! Lots of banjo! I started off hating on the bassist because at one point he ordered his girlfriend to grab him a beer from the bar and kept anxiously motioning for it as he waited. D-bag! Unfortunately he went on to blow me the fuck away with his insane speed and precision, and I decided he has every right to be cocky and order his bitch around! The drummer, oh contrare, was super polite and also sang which was impressive. With each classic rock worthy riff over hard country alterior I became more and more like an obsessed stalker fan, I wanted it and needed it all at the same time, bad. I could have watched them all night, a thought which the crowd agreed with as an inspired Schomberg encore chant erupted even though the night was far from over.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: Organ Thieves

Organ Thieves @ The Great Hall
Man, I hate Brownsound. I don't even want to justify him by saying his real name, which apparently wouldn't even be justification since he STILL calls himself Brownsound on Organ Thieves myspace. Aren't you embarrassed? Oh wait, it's harder to hold onto your Sum 41 fame when nobody relates your name back to the band anymore. Riiight. Unless your real last name is Brownsound… nooo, it can't be, can it? That's racist.
I especially hate how he was nowhere in sight when the band started playing, diving into a song irritatingly about where he was…."Dave, Dave, Dave, where have you gone…"
Give me a break.
Did anybody actually find that entertaining? I really would like to know because I am pretty sure I am way too old for shit like that. It wasn't funny. It's not even like the intro song was that GOOD to make up for the lameness. Blerg!
Of course he ran in as the second song started. The BIG DEAL that he is, sorry WAS and all.
What I really hate the most though is the fact that this band is actually really good. I am not the biggest fan of the vocal stylings but the singers voice itself I do love, and aside from that there was some SERIOUS skillz emitting from every inch of the stage during their performance.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: The Treasures

The Treasures @ Silver Dollar
I really wish I had gotten some video of these guys but my camera stopped working momentarily while they were on stage. No word of a lie, it completely stopped focusing. Just my luck I got it working as the last song ended. Foiled again! They were one of my favourites of the entire festival this year, the soft countryish rock was soothing, with surfer-like riffs packed within wholesome folk jams. It made me think where the fuck I've been if these guys are from this area, singing about Christie Pits and shit… Everybody sang too, which was very cool to see. Each of them ripped on their instruments, decked out in plaid button up shirts, except for the drummer who stood out in his jersey, and totally deserved the attention.

CMW: AM Glory

AM Glory @ The Great Hall
Weird. listening to this myspace AM Glory fully sound like a band I would enjoy, but this time what I like on the myspace I hated live. What's going on here? How drunk was I? I remember they took forever to start playing and I almost left.
Contrary to their appearance this 3 piece was a fairly tight, super poppy punk-that-is-barely-worthy-of-that-title rock, suuuper catchy and suuuper cutesy. As much as I usually love this type of crap AMG, may I call you AMG, did not even come close to blowing me away. In fact, they kinda blew. In a really bad blow job kind of way. The hooks were obvious, the music average at best, and the singer/guitarist was kind of a jerk off with two different coloured Converse on. Uhh, the toilet store called, they want their style back. The bassist was clearly relying on his resemblance to the gross singer of Stereos to get him by. Together the two frontmen were so excruciatingly gimmicky that I am amazed I didn't puke, showing off to the 2 people in a ten foot radius of the stage and the odd camera snapping photos, probably for proof of how lame they were. They had one song about 'going nowhere' which was fitting, I guess I can rest easy knowing they're aware of that fact already. DENIED! or is it DISBAND now?

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: First Rate People

First Rate People @ Sneaky Dee's

Another painfully slow set up time from an inexperienced looking band. There was this girl standing on stage, who turned out to be the backup singer, who just looked scared shitless standing there holding a bass while the rest of the band scrambled around aimlessly trying to figure out which were the drums and which was the guitar, and what planet they were on.
As hard as I tried I could not help but hold a grudge for making me wait around for not the most spectacular of bands, and the fact that they were actually pretty good just wasn't going to suffice at 3:30am.
I will say now that they are a band to look out for, and a perfect obsession for the start of the summer. The lyrics were a little amateurish, and if I didn't know any better, as in if it wasn't illegal for Sneaks to have a band under 19 play in the venue I would have pegged them for high schoolers. *cough*.
I started to warm to them as they swapped instruments back and forth across the stage showing they each were quite musically trained, and I really liked how all heads would turn towards whoever was deserving of the spotlight, showcasing each other respectfully which in turn directed positive attention from the crowd in the same direction.
I'm not even sure how to classify them, toy store indie pop?
One thing that continued to bother me about this band (aside from the set up time) was the annoying keyboardist/guitarist/keyboardist who kept saying all these really dumb things, dude, do the band a favour and don't talk during performances. K :)

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

CMW: This Is An Empire

This Is An Empire @ Sneaky Dee's

Oh. My. God.
Seriously the SLOWEST band to ever set up in my life. It was almost like their first time on a stage, ever.
Sweet drums though.
Something that I never expected to see outside of What's Poppin' on Wednesday nights at Sneaky Dee's happened during this band's set....
A mother fucking light show.
As the band finally got ushered on the normal lights dimmed and quite the show began.
I'm glad I waited it out.
Although their set was a bit of a hot mess, the concept rocked and it was something new to wake me up a bit after hour like five of my suddenly sober night.
I don't know what the 'zoop' sound effects were saying though, I'm still not fully convinced that those were necessary, the lights were enough.
I am still astounded at the crazy electro dance party turn of events and at the time it fully swept me into it, although now hearing their myspace it's about par.
There were times where my spidey senses told me there was something up with the singer, he bent down to fix something not long into the set and seemed to lose it from then on, half assing it vocally while his mind was on something else, and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here because I could tell he wasn't giving his all performance wise, and I am sure there was a reason behind it. The guitarist and the bassist managed to step it up and cover for him most of the time though, and as much as I was nosing around trying to figure out what was up with the singer I couldn't resist settling my gaze on either one of them as they grooved sexily across the stage.
Oh yeah, and excuse me while I stifle laughter at the memory of a SMOKE MACHINE halfway through their set.
Anyway, musically they were really good, bigger than the stage allowed them, but the singer struck me as accident prone by the end of it and I couldn't bare to watch any longer.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Frightened Rabbit - The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

While checking out this weeks new releases one of the few that caught my eye was the new Frightened Rabbit.
This indie/rock/pop band is practically the fat free version of bands like Idlewild with more intriguing vocals. The songs are uplifting, and the soothing guitar picks my heart up and into each song in a naive, trusting sort of way and I feel myself just letting go and disappearing deep into the music. The drums instantly stand out against the many bands of this genre, adding that extra KICK neccessary to rise above all the rest. The subtle piano in the background must accept responsibility for the drool all over my shirt, another example of how the band manages to set themselves apart from the oversaturated indie rock market.

See for yourself here.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Emanuel and the Fear – Listen

How great of a title is Listen for an album. So simple, so obvious, yet so untapped. And by untapped I mean there’s at least one page on of albums titled Listen, yet when I first saw that Emanuel and the Fear had titled their new cd that none of these other artists came to mind and I thought to myself “niiiice”. I am debating taking that back now after looking it up, but regardless of whether the title is deemed “niiiice”-worthy the album most definitely still is.
First things first, both the trumpet and the trombone players have effortlessly blown their way into my heart (which is located in my pants) with each seriously sexy toot of each horn throughout this album. That’s right, this band not only has a trumpet player, a trombone player, but also cello, flute, violin, piano, synth, all on top of the usual drum, bass and guitar. Are your pants blown off yet? The way they incorporate the violin into the album laced through each verse and chorus as a sidekick to the vocals, playing the part of Boo Boo to Yogi, or Launchpad McQuack to Darkwing Duck, is astounding to say the least.
The entire album is like a melting pot of music, or a “tossed salad” per say… like the Canada of instruments. The vocals are a mix between Michael Buble and Conor Oberst, and all in all the band is experimenting with an untapped (not just in album title) genre mashing of jazz, classical, and experimental rock… creating a beautiful, controlled chaos.

Get a taste for it here.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The New Band On The Horizon.

Now this is the market that needs saturating.
Straight up pop punk!
Meet The New 45 from Central Maine.
With the familiarity of obvious old influential punk bands, inflicted with the new era of The Falcon and Teenage Bottlerocket, and to top it all off basslines worthy of Freeman praise.
Like, holy speedy Gonzalez on the fingers, err on the bass, nice to meet you!
A simple, basic punk rock band that doesn't leave a whole lot to the imagination except for the vision of them kicking major ass live.
They've got the look, the attitude, the sound... and lo and behold they've already perfected the pop punk love song!

Stay tuned for their new EP Creepy, Despised and Out of Favor and check them out on their myspace!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want

Wow, this industry can really suck sometimes!

Meat Priscilla Renea.
See what happens when the music industry big shots get together to discuss two fully dying pop stars who used to be the top money makers (Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson), and take notice of another pop star who still seems to be trucking along today (P!nk) and throw some colour in the mix (sorry, racist?) to create the next what-they-hope-to-be-big pop sensation.

As if we needed any more.

With all the Disney stars, and the inevitable comeback of boy groups, the market is just so over saturated that my head is really starting to hurt.

And if you're going for superstardom, could you PLEASE hire somebody older than 6 to write the songs? If a JONAS BROTHER can write insanely better than you can, don't you think there's a problem? COME ON!

If you want to see some poppy young talent ... who actually HAS talent ... check out this could-be-Disney-but-surprisingly-and-impressively-isn't Cady Groves who is the super young female version of the emo/pop/punk acts that I adore so much. She's super cute, and can ACTUALLY sing. So there's your fix. Who knows, she could be the next Taylor Swift.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Static of the Gods

When I first read the name I instantly thought of some hard rock band like Seether or Blue October, but this band is far from that genre. Actually, maybe not THAT far... there is a touch here and there that reminds me of Amy Lee/Evanescense like background noise that's hard to pick out a lot of the time but will creep through your ears spontaneously making you question what you're doing listening to this. The rest of the time the music is humble and respectfully focuses on the haunting vocals and together they create a very heaven-like, triumphant beautiful noise. The name fits. The singer honestly is static of the gods, with angelic high notes and a slight sexy static to her voice, a cracklyness to it that makes me think it's being transmitted straight from the heavens into my stereo. The music is more of a background to the voice, staying low key for the most part leaving the emphasis where it belongs, always portraying a melodramatic, soft crooning blanket under the vocals. The feeling emmitted through her singing is powerful for such a pretty sound, and the vocals alone seem to tell the story even if you don't hear each word, while the shy instruments leave her to do all the talking. When the layers come in on the vocals I just can't get enough of it, there's a feeling in the pit of my stomach and I get tense and a little nervous listening to the music, especially during "Meteor Flights", and when everything starts coming together in certain songs and the beat starts to speed up allowing the music to assert it's presence in a hectic sort of way, every aspect of the band sounds more involved and intense and I practically stop breathing to dedicate my attention to it.
And then there are the slower basic rockabyes that lack the build up and lose my focus... like "Between The Reasons". Although each song is stunning, the all-the-way-through slower ones don't tickle my fancy as much as the ones that really get gritty and assertive in the middle. The others are almost yawn worthy at times, however I can fully appreciate each track for the drums and vocals alone. The painfully pretty "Talk You Down" was my favourite song off of this album titled Knowledge Machine, which you can sample on their myspace.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Starving Artist bar, Something New

I have FINALLY found my very own Tom's Restaurant or Central Perk so I can fully live out my Cheers fantasy. It's called The Starving Artist bar, and within seconds out my door I am standing in front of my new home, which on the outside almost fools you with the dirty Lansdowne atmosphere, but with closer inspection and a cute teeny front patio I almost wish I smoked again so I could plan my summer now. I'm sure judging by the young hip group of people both working and eating at this joint they wouldn't mind a little sumthin sumthin else smoked right out front, whilst enjoying everything you can imagine to do with waffles as well as the most important ingredient in any 'hangout', cheap LIQUOR. Topping off the menu with more than 3 different crazy types of NACHOS (after 5pm) and smoothies in which they allow you to concoct you're very own spiked deliciousness, or at least they don't say no if you ask. Pineapple/Banana + Tequila = I'd even let it fuck me in the ass good.
During the day when I stopped by on Saturday to check it out they were playing wicked music, and when I say wicked I mean not your typical crap 40 you hear everywhere else… but like, actual music. It was loud too. And the huge TV playing on the back wall, near the cute lil fishies all added to the 'my kind of place' vibe. How lucky am I to have a bar that caters to all my favourite things so close to my house.
It gets better too.
Not only does this bar have great food, great atmosphere, a tattoo covered staff that is good-looking in it's entirety not to mention super sweet, reasonably priced drinks, and fish, BUT IT ALSO HOSTS SHOWS AT NIGHT!!!
When I was in there during the day I was trying to imagine how they could fit musicians and fans all into their tiny back area, but when I came back that night the cute cafe that I had met earlier had fully transformed into a very intimate venue.
And it worked.
Obviously the acts were stripped down to the bare acoustics, and sans most members, but they pulled it off and it sounded great.
Now, last night was no ordinary event.
If you check out their website you can see the typical weekly events, which I might add include punk which instantly pleases me without even looking at the rest..
Last night, however, was something bigger… something better… SOMETHING NEW!
Although the information I have on what went down last night is lacking, from what I was told and what I've gathered online it was the launch party for the new weekly series presented by andPOP and AUX TV called Something New. On the flyer they tag it as "Canada's resurgence of investigative rock and roll journalism with a twist." Uhh… pinch me, or clean up the mess in my pants.
How cool is that? (So I went to your room and read your diary)
So. Every Tuesday on AUX TV (Rogers Channel 107) at 9pm tune in for this, I don't think we have any idea what we're in for until it hits us, and it's going to smack a bitch harder than the ShamWow guy slap chopped that hooker. Check out the promo below.

Now, back to their launch party and the Starving Artist Bar.
Featuring bare ass acoustics from The Artist Life, The Organ Thieves, Owel 5 and Erik Jorgensen etc, all of who were busking for Haiti (as if they could impress me any more with this show) and although I didn't hear some of it (from outside where it was less packed) and couldn't see any of it (curse these short legs), the fact that I actually enjoyed The Organ Thieves in this surrounding proves it was a great show.
Erik Jorgensen was by far my favourite discovery (okay, the only discovery since I didn't catch/don't remember Owel 5 and knew the other bands) and seeing him in the intimately close knit bar playing right out of the crowd was astounding, and hopefully doesn't set the bar too high for what he is like in real life. This show has somewhat blurred into a whiskey/Amsterdam dreamworld of magic, and at best I remember Ian from The Artist Life sitting down to strum a few Dashboard-sounding tracks alone in the midst of a sea of young and hot faces.
I love everything about this already.
The Something New show, the Starving Artist bar, the crazy styles of Nachos….
Toronto, I'm finally home!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto

Do you know that feeling that you get when the warm spring sun finally starts to peak it’s head through the snow clouds while the first cool-but-not-freezing breeze slices it’s way through the frigid winter air… and you get that sense of everything looking up, a fresh start on the golden horizon? That (annually) new appreciation and zest for life and the anticipation for things to come, for your old problems to melt away with the dirty slush and leave you with a clear slate and green pastures. All of which is caused simply by the summer sun starting to shine it’s way back onto your now-exposed skin, filling you with warm and bright feelings of joy.
What would happen if you could record the sound this feeling makes in the exact moment where your mood begins to shift?
The sound of the sun piercing through all the gloom and weight of the winter and filling you with its rays of love?
I feel like a mad scientist who has dedicated his (err her) life’s work to recording this feeling through sound, and AT LAST have found the right equation… which reads a little something like this:
2x - 8 2x + 6y + 0.z = Portugal. The Man – American Ghetto.

There have been very few albums in my listening life that can be compared to a feeling as unique and specific as this, and can give me the same rush of sheer bliss that the sun gives me on days like these.
The latest release by Portugal. The Man titled American Ghetto does exactly that.
Long ago in the early stages of this blog I remember noting this band somewhere or another, and flirted with the thought of doing a review… instead I listened to them for a few weeks before they got lost in the piles of handwritten lists of artists that caught my attention…. It must have been winter.
Although not necessarily the mood of each song, the way the album is written is uplifting in itself making for the perfect spring theme. There’s something eerily familiar about each beat and the vocals throughout, but as much as I try the connection is lost on me to any other album or artist… instead it captures that level of comfort that you feel around your parents or your oldest of friends which gives you the ultimate sense of familiarity.
The spacey, groovy, 80’s tripadelic/funkadelic sound resonates through each track, drawing a vast resemblance to the likes of Pinback and Gorillaz locked in an ecstasy induced love embrace.
Do yourself a favour and throw on a sweater or two, grab your sunglasses, roll a joint and find a spot to sit and chill in the sun while listening to this album and you will experience the mellow euphoria of my dreams.
Check out their album here.

I’m Sarah. I do what I want.

The Stiff Wires @ The Horseshoe Tavern: Tuesday March 2nd, 2010

Review Posted By: It's Chris James BITCH!

At last, what had originally drawn me to the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern that bitter cold Tuesday night; The Stiff Wires were strapping on their instruments (or sitting behind) and about to take stage. After hearing so much from people around me, not to mention the wicked Much Music Disband performance (which is most defiantly skewed on TV) I was stoked to see what these guys could do in real life.
Then it happened.. the first note was strummed and I was stiff......get it...HA.
Right from the beginning I was hooked. The straight up, in my face punk instantly made me smile from the inside out.
The Stiff Wires were super tight throughout their set and if I didn’t know beforehand that the guitarist was only fist deep into the band, I would have been none the wiser. Not only did Bryce (the brand spankin' new lead guitarist) keep up with the other members, he surpassed anything I would have expected as he took the original chord progressions and added his own style and flare which complimented the band phenomenally. He also made a point to step out from the previous guitarist shadow by allowing the audience to witness his humorous personality between songs.

Although the songs are short it was almost as though time had halted and it was just me and the band. I could have stayed there all week! *swoon*
The Stiff Wires were defiantly the perfect end to the night, and although the show was a freebie I would have spent the cash to see these man-boys in action. I suggest all you people out there take a listen to their MySpace, and keep your eyes peeled for upcoming Canadian tour dates and a September release.
Also, you best be checking back on this fucking website for the upcoming interview we did with the guys in The Stiff Wires.
Check out more of the pictures here!


Review Posted By: It's Chris James, BITCH!

After filming an interview with London Ontario’s Stiff Wires, which will be released for your viewing pleasure soon, i was hanging around the Horseshow Tavern waiting for the boys to go on when a 5 piece from New York, known as !Outernational! graced the stage and I was in awh! At first glance they looked like any typical rock band trying to make it, but what set them apart was the genre mashing in each song, not to mention the raw energy and grit inflicted on the crowd by these boys. Throughout their set I could hear ska influences, with the use of quick up strokes on the guitar provided by Leo Mintek, layered with trumpet parts furnished by Jesse Blum. Then at times heard almost a gypsy style rock, with the addition of a harmonium and stripping the grit from the guitar to use more of an acoustic sound. I also want to give my blessing to the fast finger bass playing of Jesse Massa, and Charlie Walker the percussionist who did fantastic job beating those skins. But I have to be honest, 50% or more of my attention was on Mr Miles Solay, the lead singer of Outernational, at all times. Not because he was at the front of the stage, but because he was (for lack of a better term) completely losing his shit!!! With vocals that are reminiscent of Axel Rose’s screech meets the growl of a rabid dog and the stage presences to boot. I tip my hat to Miles as it takes a lot of courage to wear leather pants, a florescent yellow shirt and do the Elaine Benes full body dry heave. Fucking awesome! All in all Outernational was a wicked band to have stumbled upon and I highly recommend you take a listen. They will be performing this Thursday March 4th at Siesta Nouveaux in Toronto ON. If you can’t make it to the show, have a look at the guys MySpace it’s fucking worth it! Also, dont forget the check out their phenomenal video for Sir No Sir available here.

Click above to see the rest of the pictures.


That's right folks, they won the Paragon Rock The House Hard II Battle of the Bands on Saturday at the Hard Rock Cafe.
And by WIN I mean KILLED IT!
No surprise considering the other bands, two of which I caught and two of which made me leave because they were THAT BAD.
Had they been good though MicLordz would have still taken it.
They knocked that shit out of the park.
You need to check them out here:
Their performance was like an orgy of RHCP, RATM, RUN DMC and me... in the middle... full.

Don't bother listening to the other bands, but if you're curious who you should avoid this is the line up.
LUCKY 13 9:40 PM
SWIFT 10:20 PM

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.