Good Old War, Good Old Name?

Good Old Time!

I love Tuesdays!
New Release day... just as good as Christmas and it comes ONCE A WEEK!
Uhhh, that's right Christmas, kiss my pretty pink puss.

This week the favoured gift in my stocking was/is (what day is it?) the self titled release from Good Old War... an indie/kinda country/rock band comprised of members from Days Away and Unlikely Cowboy (who I have now fallen for as well). The album is currently streaming on their myspace and if you're looking for some chill, yet still perplex music to daydream to then you better go take a listen.
Christmas was far from my mind when I hit play and the only thing I saw when I focused on the music was pretty flowers and the summer sun. I'd go as far as saying I even felt a cool breeze at one point too.
Something throughout the album reminded me of The Beatles on more than one occasion and at times featured the character of Modest Mouse ("Old"). Although indie it wasn't presumptuous or stuck up (the way I see most of that artsy shit) and some songs would even break into a danceworthy, footstompin' (okay maybe just toe tappin') country'er conclusion that made me think: 'where's all the cotton, cause this is a pickin' frenzy'!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Chartered Heston, you are not alone...


Little War is the title of Vancouver band Chartered Heston's first EP, which is pretty shocking when their myspace states that they formed in 2010. The impressively-good-for-such-a-short-time album is available on their site too if you click on the Bandcamp link from there.
It immediately strikes me as an emotional flashback to 90's rock bands like Faith No More with a touch of NEW Taking Back Sunday style angst... you know, the somewhat more mature kind.
The drums and the guitar in most of the recordings make me picture a dirty basement dive bar or someones greasy garage which is one of the factors urging me to the good side of the like/dislike scale. Not normally something I would give a second listen to these days I think the 'back when Big Shiny Tunes was still decent' sound to them draws my attention in a more positive way, and they manage to sidestep my decade'ism long enough for me to write this review at the very least.
I keep getting fooled into thinking the singer is a guy at times, which actually makes me start to question whether I really like the band or not, but then I'll snap back into it and remember the vocals are indeed produced by a female and I decide once again that they aren't half bad.
Some songs like "Ordinary World" (with bass that makes my heart quiver with the strings) and "Pi" manage to grab my attention more than others ("Upon Waking" and "Starpuncher" for example) and after a few listens I wind up bored with the songs I'm impartial on yet still surprised and somewhat blown away by the ones I like.
They actually strongly resemble Silversun Pickups -- and not just because of the gender-questionable vocals -- which is a band that I really used to enjoy and am probably going to go back and listen to after this...
Again, the tip of the icing...errrrrr the iceberg on the cake is that they are so fucking fresh it hurts to think about how good they could actually become.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

SCREECHING FUCKING WEASEL, The Riverdales, The Roman Line, The Creeps, Varsity Weirdos, blah blah blah

Hot damn this weekend fucking rocked it!

Honestly, SUCH good shows.
I can't even go into it.
If you weren't there at least one night you don't even deserve to know how epic it was.

A few things:

Ben Weasel, I love you .... but you're getting a wee bit hypocritical in your old age!
Talking all this 'fuck that bull shit talk before songs' talk, and then going into a big rant before playing "Cool Kids" during the encore... key word ENCORE too there, btw. Meh. I still love you.

The set up times were getting to be a little too irritating though, I get that you have a schedule but does that REALLY mean we have to wait for an entire HALF HOUR or MORE before the PUNK BAND takes the stage?
Hmmmm.
So punk rock of you to stick so closely to schedule, and make us wait.

Screeching Weasel, man... that made my life seeing them though. So tight, so fast, so clean, so GOOD.
What I don't get was why the air in the venue that night was so negative, fights breaking out all around us.
Much different than the next night at The Riverdales!
Maybe it's that one member difference, maybe he's the thug at fault for all the fighting... or maybe people just can't handle their punk rock liquor... come on now, we're not in LA like a bunch of years ago dummy's.

I do have to note how wicked the Varsity Weirdos were. Like The Falcon meets Teenage Bottle Rocket. I can't stop listening to them since...

...And obviously The Roman Line rocked. The sound was a bit off up close I do have to say, but I was relieved to hear that upon moving further back (aka heading to the bar) they sounded back to normal --awesome-- despite the switch from Sneaky Dee's into big venue territory!

That's it. For all you assholes absent either night, enjoy the next fifteen years of DEPRIVATION, jerks! <3

CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS

I'm Sarah. I'm super cranky.

The Daily Times - Young Today Dead Tomorrow

Good evening writers block...Go fuck yourself!
This never happens.
My head feels dead right now, this has been a loooong (wicked) weekend.
So much punk rock...

Fitting, at least, that I'm sitting down now with one eye open and the other rolling around somewhere in the back of my skull to do this review.
Thank goodness they are so good, otherwise I'd probably be too tired to write more than "they suck" with a picture attached.

I have so many bands swimming around my head while I'm listening to them... Agnostic Front when this random ska breakdown comes in the middle of a fast punk song... the Varsity Weirdos, maybe because I just saw them, or maybe because they sound somewhat like them, I don't even know at this point... and Avail and Kid Dynamite... one song sounded like it was going to break into Hot Hot Heat's "Bandages" at one point, the vocals being especially similar... and at times I get flashbacks to Johnny Rotten and somebody else who I can't FUCKING put my finger on right now (it's bugging the hell out of me too)... uhhhhh, somebody awesome I bet. And completely obvious.
Anyway, each comparison I think of is an obvious talent, which is to say The Daily Times FUCKING RULE.
I would give my left nut (if I had one) to see them live, like, this second.
I wiiish I knew who they were before I planned my birthday show :( I'll consider their album, which you can find here, my early birthday present though.
Really good punk rock.
Really.
Good.
Slightly rough around the edges at times, something that actually kind of works better for them I think, they border heavier rock in areas without vocals cementing their feet in the mud, and to be frank I LOVE IT.
(Can you tell I'm borderline retarded right now? I hope not.)
Can I just say that they have a song called "Bunch of Vaginas"?
As IF you need any other reason to listen to them.
And if you're stupid and do need another reason, I just might have to tell you about the time in that song where they changed The Rolling Stone's "Can't always get what you want" into " Can't always get a bunch of vaginas .... but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get a bunch of dicks!"
Now go on... hit that fucking link I spent hours making up above, download their album for FREE and shut your fucking mouth.

I'm Sarah. I need sleep bad.

The source of my lady boner this week...

...is an album full of old motown tunes done by one of my favourite pop punk groups A Loss For Words.
That's right, Motown... done Pop Punk.
And these are just two of my favourite things...

Just listening to the first track, which happens to be Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" I've already crapped my pants twice and made one hell of a mess in my underwear.
(thank goodness I put some on today)
I can't help but smile at the dirty, heavy guitars ripping my favourite old motown hits, and the album gets progressively better with "My Girl" next and "What's Goin' On" third featuring killer background vocals and harmonies to perfect Marvin Gaye's hit in the pop punk realm.
Even songs that I never really loved in their original form like "All Night Long" take on this new sexy spin to them that surpasses anything I've heard on those ...Goes Punk type albums with the same idea.
My lady boner keeps throbbing throughout the rest of the album up until "You Can't Hurry Love" and "Do You Love Me", where it reaches it's climax at the pure awesomeness of these two songs. Both of them are mega hits in my books in any genre or form, but the way they are done on this album is just pure sexx.
The next track slows it down beautifully and let's me catch my breath from those last two without losing my interest, and as soon as the harmonica kicks in I'm ready to go again, although frozen in amazement at the fact that they even whipped out a harmonica for it. MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
The yelling vocals in this song followed by the clapping chant in the end just makes my heart melt even more for this album, and when the last song hits it proves for a perfect end for such a wicked album. Not a single song spurs any complaint from me, which is abnormal when somebody covers such classic songs...
This album is a solid 10/10 in my books for sure.

1. I Want You Back
2. My Girl
3. What's Goin' On
4. All Night Long
5. I Just Called to Say I Love You
6. Tears of a Clown
7. You Can't Hurry Love
8. Do You Love Me
9. This Old Heart of Mine
10. Reach Out (I'll Be There)

Check out a stream of the full album here: http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/#/8

I'm Sarah. Talk nerdy to me.

Scatterheart can Master my Plan any day. Huh?


Nothing could make me more excited for my trip to Vancouver in less than a month than discovering (well, they discovered me but whatever way you want to look at it..) an awesome rock et roll band from BC called Scatterheart. The Master Plan is the band's second independent (or so it appears) release since they formed in 2006 and it's packed full of Queen, Bowie and The Police influence in their not-too-heavy but not-too-soft glamorous rock/pop works of art.
You know it's good when they already have their own wikipedia page, where the band is described as "edgy and heavy without being angry or self absorbed", a statement that couldn't be written better and truer unless it was written by me. *cough*
Their wiki status might have something to do with their guitarist Doug Fury, who apparently toured with rock goddess Bif Naked for 10 years... WOW!
He describes this project as having that "70's and 80's arena rock" excitement and on their website is quoted as saying "Where has the personality gone in rock n roll? We want to bring it back", something that is done throughout this album, without question.
Now, enough of the outside quotes... time for some gems of my own.
Listening to the album is like having a threesome deep inside your ears. And no, I don't mean penis IN your ear or anything like that, but like a threEARsome with eccentric rock sounds on top of epic pop-like harmonies and you, smack dab in the middle of this titty-licious tug of war between genres.
The Bowie and Queen influences are lightly apparent throughout each song but tracks like "Donna, Don't Give Up" and "Shut Up" clearly portrays the influence of The Police without question, and oddly enough I keep hearing some Mariana's Trench style pop punk mixed in as well. These punk undertones shine through the drums in songs like "The Free" especially, and even by way of vocals in songs like "You Try" where I could almost picture Cedric Bixler-Zavala of Mars Volta singing when I close my eyes. On top of that the similarities to Giddy Lee of Rush and Perry Ferrel of Janes Addiction are obvious, and each comparable sound comes together to create a very intricate, and far from boring, form of rock that you definitely don't hear on the radio today.
Scatterheart manages to bring the 'fucked up on happy drugs' feeling of raves, where the singer frequented a lot earlier in life, to the rock and roll scene without actually needing any of said happy drugs... unless of course you want them.
"Shut Up" and "My Love" stand out as my two favourite tracks, the first one with dynamite back and forth vocals between the singer and some female vocalist, and the second a clap-a-long tease, giving my hands blue palms by the end but keeping me coming back for more.
Too bad they aren't playing in Vancouver while I'm there. SIGH!
But, I love them anyway.
Check them out on their myspace.

I'm Sarah, I'll clap if I want to.

Sam Quinn + Japan Ten = A Little Slice of Heaven

Oh my crap, I just found the most obsess-worthy album in the list of new releases this week.
It's Sam Quinn + Japan Ten's The Fake That Sunk 1,000 Ships. The title caught my eye being all crazy and shit and since he's from the band the everybodyfields I decided to check him out…
Consensus? I want to slitt my wrists it's so good.
Really, once you listen to the song "Gun" you'll understand that statement.
It's hauntingly heavy and dark, but is pretty enough to keep you from actually crawling into the bathtub with a toaster in your arms. Even the happier sounding songs feel sad, and this balancing act of emotions stays just bearable, the back and forth like stimulating internal foreplay. There is confusion loosely wound through each song to keep you wondering what the H-E-double hockey sticks is going on in this guy's head, and personally I've become obsessed with figuring it out by listening to each song over and over.
It's just so…. intriguing.
The use of various instruments… perfection.
And that voice… oh my heart strings.
This album is like a great big, expressive sigh.
Check out some of the songs here.

I'm Sarah, it's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

Trevor Campbell Album Release/Sara Kamin Presents...

What a delightful night!
Thursday was just one of those glorious days, one that included a paycheque, Duff's spicy wings, beer and other sorts of liquor, good friends and two perfectly pretty performances to end the night.
After devouring the BEST wings in the entire city we headed down to a friend of a friend's CD Release show at The Rivoli. We walked in just in time to see Sara Kamin performing her sweet and astounding set of beautiful songs about heartache and life, and each one of us was blown away by her amazing voice. It was absolutely gorgeous. Reminding me of Adele throughout the performance, she belted out her words in the most mesmerizing vocals I could ever imagine, and without even touching on a genre that I would normally crush over she managed to gain one huge new fan in me that night.

(Click on image to see more)
WANT TO SEE A VIDEO OF HER PERFORM? CLICK HERE!!

Next up was the friend of the friend, the man of the hour, the man with the album, Trevor Campbell. As soon as he took the stage all the noisy chatter going on near the back throughout the night ceased, and had there been a cricket farm near the venue you would have been able to hear them chirping between each note as Trevor started to play. He started off the night with his song "Constellations", and immediately the similarities between him and Jason Mraz (circa 2002 and before, when he was amazing) were evident, and it was almost like he was reinventing my favourite JM era just for me. With a cello, a violin, and the most angelic female vocals backing him, his words took on a new level of meaning for me and seemingly everyone I was with, and we sat there with our jaws on the floor listening intently. His choice of words, the structure of the songs, the use of instruments... everything was absolutely brilliant, and I can't stop comparing his style of writing to Mr. Mraz because I have never heard anybody with that sort of lyrical skill since the song "0% Interest" came out. I almost started to cry just listening to the strings and his voice, not to mention I almost switched batting teams for the girl singing in the background. Between songs he was just as charasmatic as he was talented, and managed to get the audience involved and swooning over every word he said. On top of delivering each track off of his album, he also covered Damien Rice's "The Blower's Daughter" and I think I actually shed a tear at this point at how fascinating and stunning his version was, sounding almost identical to Damien Rice. He was a beautiful mix of Jason Mraz's lyrical charm and Damien Rice's vocals and use of strings, and I'd even go as far as adding a touch of Glen Hansard in there as well. The entire performance was elegant and alluring, and left me in complete and utter awe.

(Click on image to see more)
WANT TO SEE A VIDEO OF HIM PERFORM "BETTER"? CLICK HERE

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

*drum roll please* THE END OF MY IPOD! Songs, The Finale!



Bomb The Music Industry - Struggler (Adults!!!… Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!) LISTEN HERE

Blues Traveler - Run-Around (Four) oldie! love it though LISTEN HERE

Black Lips - Navajo (Good Bad Not Evil) LISTEN HERE

Black Francis - Seven Fingers (SVN Fngrs) LISTEN HERE

Ben Nichols - Tobin and everything else off this album... (The Last Pale Light In The West) LISTEN HERE I can't believe I didn't include Lucero in here before, what the hell was I thinking? absolutely everything is amazing

Belle and Sebastian - White Collar Boy (The Life Pursuit) LISTEN HERE ohhhh HMV

Beat Noir - Sharks & Sheep (The Bay Street Superstars EP) LISTEN HERE from around here, they're awesome!

Banner Pilot - Bender (Pass the Poison) LISTEN HERE

Badly Drawn Boy - Tickets To What You Need (Have You Fed the Fish) PURCHASE HERE

Summer People - Good Problems (Good Problems) LISTEN HERE

The Avett Brothers - Walking For You (A Carolina Jubilee) LISTEN HERE

Aspirations - 10729 King George Hwy (EP) FUUUUCK

American War - Bricks (Rhetoric) LISTEN HERE

Alexander Hudjohn - Camels and Caffeine (Acreage) LISTEN HERE



FINALLY, THAT'S ALL SHE WROTE!!
Niice.

I'm Sarah, I do what I want.

SPORTS! SPORTS! SPORTS!

Oh, SPORTS (the band).
If this band was a sport, I think it would be that wingsuit flying squirrel sport, where people just soar through the air looking really funny but having a blast, free... or maybe badminton. Completely non-threatening and fun.
At first I was worried that they were going to be too artsy/indie for my liking because of tracks like "Sonnets" and "Syntax Error" which I couldn't quite grasp, but the love started to bloom once I heard "Castlots" and "Warn Me", and my all time favourite, the sugar in my coffee, "Fleetwood".
The guitar in "Fleetwood" picks the nerves in my body with each string, and gives me this sexy tickle in my chest. With a slight country hint over the artsy adopted folky progression I find myself intent on following each note with a somewhat creepy concentration. The demo is just as stunning as the finished version, and I am entirely pleased with both.
They're from Toronto and the bassist is Michael Small of The Meligrove Band so go check them out at The Drake on May 27th.
Check out their myspace while you're at it.

Photo Credit: Michael Fil
Check out more pictures here.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Fizzy Pops Will Pop In Your Ears But Not In Your Mouth!

Wow, with a name like The Fizzy Pops it was hard to imagine what exactly I was getting my hands on when I agreed to this review. You can imagine my amazement when I pressed play only to hear straight up pop punk with one of the best chick singers I've heard, practically ever (for a band of this genre I mean). And I am super picky. There are male vocals as well and the back and forth dynamic between the two is like a comedic fencing match, and I mean that in a good way. They don't take themselves too seriously which is immediately apparent and instantly cements a bond between my ears and their mouths. At this point I can barely even make out what the dude is singing about but I'm having a lot of fun listening to it anyway. I'm only about four songs into their self titled full length and I'm just straight giddy about hearing the rest, the more I hear the more I like, and I like it a lot. This is music with the power to put a smile on your face first listen and that's kind of a big deal, I mean, it's very important… leather-bound books and smell of rich mahogany important…
It's no surprise they list bands like Screeching Weasel, The Exploding Hearts, Teen Idols and The Queers as influences on their myspace, they're doing a pretty good job incorporating it into their style and it's bringing me back to the skate park show days in Core-bourg.
As I'm listening I'm looking through their myspace and am surprised at how young they look after hearing the age in their music. They're only a 3-piece, a young 3-piece… with a girl in the band… and a dude with gleeeasss, I mean 3 strikes and they're still fucking rocking it.
Jokes.
It's hard to describe the connection I am feeling with this album even just the first play through. It couldn't have been closer to what I wanted to hear right now, and based on the music I surrounded myself with through high school I feel an instant camaraderie with their sound. Just when I thought it was at it's peak "Idiot FM" comes through with a totally unexpected clapalong... I mean COME ON... who doesn't appreciate a good clapalong? Listening to this album I feel like I'm having my cake and eating it too. The only thing better right now would be if I actually had cake to eat.
Speaking of cake, I now realize how perfectly their name suits them. The Fizzy Pops couldn't describe them better, who needs a review when your name says it all?

Fun in your mouth, fun in your ears, and fun in your pants.

I'm Sarah, I do what I want.

Even MORE Songs For Probably Less Readers (part 4)

Flobots - White Flag Warrior (Survival Story) LISTEN HERE

Fake Problems - Alligator Assassinator (It's Great To Be Alive) LISTEN HERE

Dustin Kensrue - Blood & Wine (Please Come Home) LISTEN/WATCH HERE classic forgetting the lyrics, oh dustin

Douglas Shields & The X-Factors - 1950's Prom Song (Beerhorse: The Album) LISTEN HERE

Direct Hit! - In Orbit (#4) LISTEN HERE I want a small robot crew!

Deer Tick - These Old Shoes (War Elephant) LISTEN/WATCH HERE

M. Ward - To Go Home (Post-War) LISTEN HERE

Jon Snodgrass - Jessica's Suicide (Liverbirds) LISTEN/WATCH HERE featuring Joey Cape and yummy harmonies

Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins - You Are What You Love (Rabbit Fur Coat) LISTEN/WATCH HERE

Cute Lepers - Smart Accessories (Smart Accessories) LISTEN HERE

Cuff The Duke - It's All A Blur (Way Down Here) LISTEN HERE

Cory Branen - Wayward and Down (The Hell You Say) LISTEN/PURCHASE HERE It's so hard to choose, I love him, "Jolene" and "Miss Ferguson" are also such good songs…love that twang!

The Copyrights - Planet Earth Nineteen-Ninety-Four (Make Sound) LISTEN HERE

Communipaw - Black Tambourine (Communipaw) LISTEN HERE

Chuck Ragan - Don't Cry (Feast or Famine) LISTEN/WATCH HERE harmonica!!

Choke Up - River (Choke Up EP) LISTEN HERE

Carter Hulsey - If It Feels (EP) all I do now is freestyle harmonica along with Carter Hulsey's EP on Saturday nights… looser LISTEN/PURCHASE HERE

Captain, We're Sinking - Gunner Merring Will Have His Revenge (It's A Trap!) another really good song is "The Neck Romancer" off of The Animals Are Out, FYI LISTEN HERE

Campaign - Blue Pills and Whiskey (It Likes To Party) LISTEN HERE


FINALLY, down to B and A.
One more session of this and I'll be able to actually put more music on my phone and rid myself of all the stuff I'm bored/sick of.… THANK GOODNESS. And hopefully at least one person checked out all these wicked fucking songs.

I'm Sarah. Check out EVERYTHING by Busman's Holiday, P.S. HERE.