The Little Black Dress had mine off me in seconds.

It's almost been a full 24 hours since I stood watching The Little Black Dress perform at the Drake and somehow I still have that "this town this city is out to get me" song stuck in my head.
Wait.. stuck isn't the right word, it implies that I'm trying to remove it but can't.
Scratch that.
The only piss off about playing it in my head over and over is that it makes me want to hear it for realz and of course it's been taken off of the myspace to drive all focus towards their new single just released - "Call The Paparazzi".
They be trippin', cuz, holdin' out on us n shit.
Looks like I'll be buying their Strut EP tonight...
$3.96 well spent. You can barely buy two tall cans with that!
In the meantime the newbie is gaining plays from me tenfold.
My entire head is fuzzy right now and I'm not sure if I'm even awake but I am still clearly picturing myself watching this song live last night and although sadly the background vocals weren't noticeable for most of it, them being my favourite touch, it was still just as gripping as it is when it catches you over your computer speakers. Even this girl's got groove when this song is playing.
I'm trying to grasp at comparisons right now but they are making it difficult for me in my zombielike state, sometimes I hear hints of a resemblance to the few good, fast, (older) Crush Luther songs, and others I hear a non-offensive comparison to fairly old Spill Canvas albums. And every other time I try to relate it to something else I've heard they throw me for a loop and I change my mind again. I'm liking this guessing game, it's probably good exercise for the brain right?
But who knows, I'm literally stupid right now. If I didn't have to move for the rest of the weekend and if our new place had the Internet right away I would definitely not be trying to write this now. D'oh!
It's lucky for them I don't have anything bad to say about their performance, otherwise I'd just be brutal to get it over with.
No wonder guys are afraid of me... "I'm hungover and your dick's too small, the sex barely deserved a 3 out of 10, just go"
hahahahaha, kidding. I would never!
Not relevant.
I bet this gets really awkward for the band when they read these reviews where I make comments like that.
Which should be embarrassing for me since I'm actually pretty down with their indie-pop-rock-whatever music and consistently flawless vocals.
But it's not.
Speaking of the vocals I have to say the singer was captivating up on stage, and off when he'd jump into the cult fans to sing to the crowd. He was such a natural frontman.. actually natural is something I would say about each member of the band on stage, and I don't know if it's because of this but I felt like I knew them somehow while I watched, although the names and faces close up don't seem as familiar. There was just this strong comfort level between them and the audience and it really brought a warmth to each song that drew you in like a big bear hug.
Even highly anticipating getting home for our final blow out house party of life I was still absorbed for the entire set and didn't think about what I was missing until I dashed out to grab a cab back to find out.
They were the perfect band to end my 3 day 5 shows and 1 full time job marathon I had going and now that I'm done this shit I'm going straight to bed.

(click above for more pictures)

I'm Sarah. I do..wh....i...zzzzz

Adam Young Needs To Fuck Right Off.

Seriously, what a fucking douche bag.
In case you don’t recognize the name, he’s the loser behind Owl Shitty and now some bullshit side project called Sky Sailing.
What I seriously don’t get is why he’s splitting himself into two projects when, realistically, every song by both Owl City and Sky Sailing sound the exact same, are all done by him alone in his parents bedroom on a computer, and once again THEY SOUND THE EXACT SAME.
Just because one set was done a few years before he made a name for himself as Owl City doesn’t mean it requires an entirely new persona.
I could understand if the songs sounded completely different, but COME ON!
As if I ever attempted to debunk the fact that he was seriously trying to be the next Ben Gibbard because by pulling this little stunt he’s clearly got it in mind to recreate the whole Postal Service/Death Cab For Cutie era which, in my opinion, was a thousand times more justified being split up into two separate projects.
Whereas, Adam Young is NOT Ben Gibbard and, NOBODY CARES!
What cracks me up the most and at the same time makes me want to cock slap him for being so lame is his explanation on the myspace:
“Never expecting my music to be heard anywhere but by my parents through the floorboards above, I wrote for my own ears. I was both artist and audience and I called myself Sky Sailing.
I've kept these recordings secret for a long time and they've never seen the light of day until now. Long before Owl City was ever a spark of a flame, a lot of blue-collared working days were spent absentmindedly daydreaming about what would ultimately become this collection of songs. From the perfectionist musician's perspective, a song is never truly "finished" but rather "abandoned" and thus, after a lot of inspiration and reckless experimentation, I emerged from the basement with a 11 song record which I affectionately entitled, An Airplane Carried Me To Bed.
This album is a step into the past, the documented account of a shy boy from Minnesota with more hopes and dreams than he knew what to do with. When you listen to this record, you can hear naivety, innocence, inexperience and the wide-eyed imaginings of a wishful thinker. It's both light and dark, optimistic and melancholy. Unpolished and dusty, it's an antique and therefore holds a truly unique and graceful aesthetic within. Though there has always been just one artist behind the music, before there was Owl City there was Sky Sailing and I consider it a great honor to finally find this opportunity to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
If by chance you ever feel as though you've come to know these songs or empathize with the emotions therein, please consider yourself a friend of mine because in a manner of speaking, you know me. As the saying goes, one can truly glimpse the artist through his/her art, and that expression certainly proves faithful in my case. This music is my heart and soul. This is who I am.
With that being said, I am so very glad to meet you.”
Hmm, how about you talk yourself up a little more huh? Tell us how to feel when we hear your songs, please, paint the picture with a blog entry as opposed to letting the music do it itself. Seems like fame has really done a number on his ego, which is both inflated and big, annoying and irritating, and just outright retarded.
My guess is that these songs were actually written after Owl City, but he spent the only talent he had with that project and couldn’t come up with anything just as good or better, therefore had to lump together this load of crap that he couldn’t release as a new album and made up a new name for it and a whole fairy tale back story as an excuse as to why it’s so much worse than the album that made his name known. Thus allowing him to still release these songs in an attempt to make more money, while not associating it with the much better songs of Owl City and leaving the option open for him to continue with that once he actually writes another song worthy of “Fireflies” fame.

WHAT, a loser.

I’m Sarah. I do what I want.

3 Shows in 1, 1/2 Assed Review!

Goddammit I'm tired.
I'm up to 5 shows in 2 nights now, and at this point I'm really fucking lazy so I'm totally going to just pussy out with these reviews.
Whatever, fuck you.
First was The Doe's last Toronto show of their Ontario trip at The Gladstone art exhibit of some sort.
They played with a fill in drummer who learned the songs in just 3 days, and aside from a bit of a rocky start he pulled through impressively keeping up making it another great performance from the band here in Toronto.

Next I was off to Rancho Relaxo to see Creekwater Junkies, but first had to sit through a band called South of Bloor which was unfortunate.
Here's what people had to say about them.
Rude Jules (think Rude Jude on Jenny Jones, except his name isn't Jude, it's Julian): "They sound like they're trying to be Jimmy Eat World but with artsy chords, like Broken Social Scene."

Mitch: "It was so relaxing that I exfoliated in my undies!"

Alyssa: "They're like Volcanoless in Canada except boring."
There you have it folks!

Finally Creekwater Junkies took the stage. Don't be fooled by the name, they are one heavy band. Again I'm just going to quote people/myself from last night because I'm super lazy.
Alyssa: "Zz Top meets Lynard Skynard!"

Me: "Best $5 cover I've ever spent" "I'm infatuated right now!" "Holy Shit!"
They're playing again on August 12th at the Bovine, so do yourself a favour and get out to see them. In the meantime listen to them HERE!

On to show number three at the El Mocambo.
I made it just in time to hear the last couple songs from a band from London, ON called Bad Ideas, and seriously you guys this band is THE SHIT. I've been listening to them all morning wishing I had gotten there earlier (except happy not to have missed any of Creekwater obv). They have their album streaming on their myspace and are playing again on August 20th with Teenage Kicks and Songs From A Room (love) at Sneaky Dee's.
I'm not going to say anything else about them at this point but expect either an album or live review very soon.

Last, but not least, Gentlemen Husbands hit the stage to end the free show night at Elmo and it's no wonder these guys are blowing up all across Canada right now. With their punk-inspired-country-inspired-classic rock-inspired-rock-inspired sound they had all the elements of music that makes me wet and their live show is enough to prematurely finish you off when you see it.
Expect an interview from them on this site in the next few days, and check them out on their myspace to see what all the fuss is about!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Fuck the Mod Club! **EXCEPT NOT REALLY!**

I hate to say it, because the Mod Club has always been good to me, but on behalf of 88 Fingers Louie: Fuck the Mod Club! ***NOTE: IT ACTUALLY WASN'T THE MOD CLUB'S FAULT AT ALL, SO DESPITE THE TITLE, DON'T FUCK THE MOD CLUB!***
The show that they were originally supposed to play there (which absolutely noone had even heard about) was moved to Parts & Labour yesterday mere hours before it started and I don't know about you but I am obscenely fat, and glad it did.
Having never been there before but hearing all about this new punk rock awesome bar down near Roncy'ville (Toronto) I already had this gut feeling that this place was going to be like a second home to me.
As soon as I walked down those basement steps this hunch became reality.
Instantly I was catapulted back into punk shows of the past.. all those sweaty, dirty, loud, true punk rock experiences that seem lost on Toronto's scene.. the one's that are more than just a house party with bands, but intimate enough that it still feels like you know everybody around you and you're all connected by your love for rubbing up against each other all sweaty and shit while listening to good music.
The rush that you get from these shows is totally different than what you'd feel from the Mod Club or venues like it, although punk music usually brings out camaraderie ---unless you're one of those douchebags like Pete Wentz who form/join hardcore punk "gangs" and think they're making up for their shitty lives and small penis'sss by doing so--- this is taken to a much stronger level when you're all packed into a tiny basement, squished together with a ceiling inches above your heads.

I'm not sure if 88 Fingers Louie felt the same way as they were being rushed by fans on stage... and by stage I mean they were on floor level with either people or walls surrounding them (another amazing thing about shows like this) and members of the pit were constantly propelled into the frontmen throughout the entire set.
Given that, which is probably more than enough reason, the band was not exactly spot on and proceeded to get sloppier as the night progressed and the pit grew.
Even the drummer who I thought (although I couldn't see..) was out of reach of the stumbling fans was having a hot mess of a performance.
The question is, after 10 years of avoiding Toronto, did anybody in the crowd even care that it wasn't perfect?
Fuck no!
Did everybody have a good time anyway?
Hells yes!
The band even admitted to being old buggers who just weren't up for all this intense energy their just-as-old fans were throwing at them.
I'm just happy that I was able to check another ultimate band-seeing experience off my list of accomplishments.
The venue only added to the epic'ness of this show despite how it sounded in the long run and at one point I was so close to throwing my shit in my friends arms and diving into the pit myself just out of love for my surroundings and wanting to be as much of a part of it as possible.
Almost everybody that I saw leave had dirt and shit covering their legs and a huge smile on their face.
Myself included.

*Unfortunately we got there late after seeing Tall Guy Short Guy's CD Release show at Velvet Underground and weren't able to push our way close enough to get pictures. WHOMP WHOMP!*

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Mary Gauthier - The Foundling

It's hard to put the new album by Mary Gauthier, The Foundling, into more words than that.
Produced by Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) and backed by local Toronto musicians and Timmin's own sister on background vocals, this is quite possibly the most emotionally gripping album that I have encountered since I started writing about music.
The entire album, both slower and faster songs alike, is built with Johnny Cash-like dark country tones and Bob Dylan-like artistic storytelling, and is filled with high impact vocal harmonies and strings. Upbeat or not, each lyric is both dismal and depressing, chronicling the life of an orphan grown into a wandering gypsy and now coming back to face each demon of the past in this one CD.
Musically this album is brilliant.
After six amazing albums it's quite obvious by now that this would be no different.
What the main focus is for me, however, is the strength of the story that runs through each word Mary sings.
This is a story of her life, of being abandoned as a baby and leaving her adopted parents, who were troubled too, at 15 and searching for a home..
It's about being denied a meeting with her real mother after 45 years...
Hearing these stories it's impossible not to feel a sense of what she was feeling as she sings to you, and it tears me apart to hear it every step of the way.
I've always been the type of person who holds a lot more apathy for people than normal.. I can't shake the clenching feeling in my gut whenever I think of somebody, even perfect strangers, hurting. I want to fix everbody's pain and ensure that each person is happy at the very least.
Hearing this album I still felt the same hate that I usually do at the fact that somebody had to go through such sadness and songs like "Blood is Blood" actually made me feel sick to my stomach... and this is before reading her bio.
For somebody who I know nothing about to make me feel so strongly through listening to her album for the first time shows how amazing of a story teller she is, and it makes it somewhat bearable to deal with her pain knowing that it has made her this person today that touches so many people through her music.
For every person who hasn't felt at home at any point in their life this album will really speak to them, and it honestly makes all of my problems seem very childish and I appreciate what I have so much more in my family and friends after hearing the emptyness in her voice whlie singing about a mother she never knew... For those who understand such pain the album offers comfort in knowing that there are so many others out there who have felt the way you feel, the sadness and the loneliness and the all around pain of life.
Throughout The Foundling strength and power and perserverance scream loud and clear through the speakers and by the end of the emotional downpour you finally feel like everything is okay, not right but just okay.

Purchase The Foundling -

Be the first to email me at and win your own copy of the album, free!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Scissor Me Timbers!

MmmMmmmm nice booty!
Well, from the looks of that ass it seems the Scissor Sisters are back again with their third studio album Night Work and already, not even 30 friggin' seconds into the first song, I'm absolutely infatuated with it.
For a band (not a group, a legit BAND who play their own instruments, impressively too) that releases such danceable hits I sure can't get enough of them.
They have no problem hooking me no matter what the tempo and easily string me along through each album like a dominatrix at the end of their whip.
And to think I keep trying to claim that I hate dancing or I don't dance.
Called out by the Scissor Sisters!! SHIT!
Okay, so maybe I'm not the biggest fan of going out dancing, but I still like to get down in the comforts of my own room, alone. Just me and whichever neighbour is spying through my wide open windows as I prance around my bed.
Anyway, this album is no different than the last when it comes to making me want to dance.
It is different in regards to how it sounds compared to the last two. Once again they have managed to morph and define their powers from one album to the next and again surpassed the bar they had already set. This album is slightly less disco and slightly more rock ... or maybe it's slightly more disco and slightly less rock, it's hard to tell ... either way it's definitely more and less of something that makes it's awesomeness stand out for the third time since they formed.
What I do know for sure is that the sound they've developed is one to give Madonna a run for her money. I'm pretty sure they sound even more like her in the song "Skin This Cat" than she did in her entire last crapload.
In "Any Which Way" they revisit their older sound and it's so disco it hurts in a fuck me in the ass sort of way, which fittingly is kind of what the song is about.
My favourite, "Running Out", is perfectly based off of Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round", or at least it sounds like it is.. along with "Harder You Get" that sounds perfectly like a Judas Priest song or something.
Even when they get all emo and shit in songs like "Skin Tight" and "Fire with Fire" they really attract me through ill beats and I can get into the song that much more because of how well it's structured, regardless of the speed or the mood. Even though the lyrical content is a little questionable as a strength in the slower jams I actually don't care for once --being a "writer" it's rare for me not to-- and I love it anyway.
I can't wait to see what they come up with stage-wise for these upcoming shows.
Talk about entertainment!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

An Ode To Rancid:

Lately I've been listening to basically only new music because it's what I do, or at least what is asked of me.
I'm constantly struggling to keep up with all the wicked new punk bands but forgetting to keep up with my old favourites as well, a fact I just recently realized.
Thank god for good friends who are there to remind you of your roots; to remind you of the bands that take responsibility for the obsession you now have and for the way you chose to carry out your life and career, surrounded by music inspired by these old loves.
After reading my review of Light's version of "Fall Back Down" a friend of mine put on the original in order to compare and instantly I regretted ever letting Rancid leave my player (for my entire high school career I listened to at least one Rancid album to and from school on the bus per day).
Maybe I'm due for a blast from the past after spending all day Friday re-experiencing 90's punk and pop punk... Currently I'm even listening to RX Bandits and loving my life the way you could only do in the 90's.
(The 90's episode of The Simpsons was just on to add to my reminiscing mood)

When I loved Rancid in grade 8+, (Tim Armstrong was always my pick for who I'd fuck celebrity-wise while all my friends would choose Nick Carter or such) I loved them purely because I did. There was nothing more to it, I just fucking loved everything they did.
I'm not a musician, I wasn't back then even though I did play guitar and keyboard for a short time… barely… but now when I go back and listen to them I actually hear the music and the talent. Obviously I knew how shit worked and was impressed before, but now I have this whole new appreciation for just how amazing they are… after hearing band after band after band….
Back then I would choose to listen to bands because I liked them and that was that. Now I have to sift through a lot of shit daily and yes a lot of great bands, but nothing ever has compared to Rancid for me and that fact is so clear now.

I am making a vow to listen to them at least once a day again.

I <3 Rancid.
Rancid's #1!

I'm Sarah. And if I had to pick ONE all time favourite band ever, it would without a doubt be Rancid.

SPITFIST @ Bovine w/Drunk Hussy

Sorry guys, but a bottle of wine and many beers later I wasn't quite prepared mentally to review the show this past Friday night.
Which I think is fitting, because it was a drunk kind of show. With bands like that you're not supposed to remember anything but your enjoyment the next day… and you're totally supposed to spill beer all over the girl you just met through a friend's feet.

Drunk Hussy was fun but lost me when the lead singer lost his shirt. Usually I like it when people (boys) get naked, especially tattooed boys, but this seemed a little tooooo coordinated and there was talk about it after, almost like faux excuses when none were needed... it screamed "staged" and therefore struck me as pretty lame.
The singer reminded me of a lot of fuchsia hardcore punk singers, like a mix of all the obvious ones like Ian Mackaye etc, and likewise the music was good and the atmosphere surrounding it even better. They were a (drunken) good time and an important discovery in the Toronto music scene.

SPITFIST is a thousand times better than you'd think by the myspace song, which is a lot poppier than they are live.. live is a whole other story. They kept up with the boys in Drunk Hussy and eventually lapped them with the intensity + hilarity of their performance. Not only was this not a joke, but they actually put on one hell of a show. I really fucking liked it. Riot Grrrl 2010 REPRESENT!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want and remember none of it.

Daniel Moir, Welcome to Toronto!

I love this boy.
Listening to his music makes me very happy.
It takes away all the pain of the world while you're listening and makes you appreciate the small things in life, like a single amazing song.
He plays this cutesy folk pop that features loads of violin and gorgeous female vocal compliments, and at a mere 20 years old he does it with the maturity, wisdom, and pure sincerity of a 50 year old who's already toured the world and is back home writing about his experiences.
He's playing both Friday July 23rd and Saturday July 24th in Toronto and WE HAVE FREE GUESTLIST +1 for the first person who emails me about either show.
Check him out on his myspace first and enjoy this FREE DOWNLOAD, available until July 29th only!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Wow, Lights, Sometimes (as in right now) I hate you.

Dear Lights:
I’m sure you’re like the coolest chick ever, and listen to good music (despite playing crap) and you’re totally hot, even I’ll admit that, but PLEASE stay the fuck away from Rancid.
Your cover of “Fall Back Down” was seriously the gayest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s absolutely horrid what you transformed a once amazing track into.
I couldn’t even sing along with your version to make it somewhat bearable. And I worked at HMV for years singing along to shitty music to convince myself it wasn’t so bad because I have this unique ability to get into literally anything poppy… except for your stupid cover.
Go fuck yourself.
(I literally only mean this in regards to the cover. Other than that I have no beef, just respect, even if I'm not a fan of your originals.)

Listen to her butcher the song here:

I’m Sarah. I do what I want.

Hostage Calm, what the fuck?

Hostage Calm, my latest obsession has just released a self titled album yesterday and I am having a hard time listening to anything else.
To be completely honest it's hard to pinpoint why.
And by this I mean that the album is full of change ups that utterly confuse me and make me question what type of music they are playing, is it punk? Is it indie? Is it emo? Is it rock? Or is it dance?
The album has this Minus the Bear on ectasy feel to it, joyful but without really being able to make up it's mind about how it really feels, changing frequently to another level of fucked. At times it strays so far from the punk I thought it was into this abstract indie dance party that at first I wonder if I'm even into it anymore, but find myself unable to turn it off before it all comes together with a new intensity that my ears begin to thrive on.
With modest gang-like vocals mixed together with technical mumbo jumbo that quickly turns into some foreign beats before returning to melodic punk it actually confuses me to the point of obsession.
What can I say, girls love a good mystery. The more sides it shows the more I have to sit back and wonder about the band in full and the way I see them, and the more switches in mood the less I feel I really know about them, and the more intrigued I become to find out.

Stream it here:

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Pegi Young, Doing the Dylan's Wrong by 1 degree of Comparative Separation.

Foul Deeds is Pegi Young's second solo album with half the guests and just as many covers as her debut.
Since I strongly feel like her originals are far superior to the set of non's that she recorded this time around I am going to have to split up the review to justify both.
When I first listened to the album in full I wasn't fully aware of every single cover yet and I was completely fooled into thinking that most of these were her own inventions. Each cover has undergone a complete makeover and even after watching a ridiculous amount of Jenny Jones From Geek to Chic episodes I still couldn't recognize them. Except in this case I was probably thrown off by the whole switcheroo she pulled by actually turning the Chic into the Geek.
Each cover -- "Pleasing to Me" (Peter Wolf), "Body Breaks" (Devendra Banhart), "Blue Sunday" (J.J. Cale), "Side of the Road" (Lucinda Williams) -- is quite brilliant in it's true form, which is probably why she picked them...unfortunately the way she rewrites them lacks enough invested emotion to ruin any connection you can feel towards them while she is singing. The J.J. Cale track is the only one I can actually stand to listen to and it's actually done quite well unlike the rest, all of which are irritatingly boring and unconvincing. Some are even borderline karaoke, though it pains me to say this considering how much respect I have for this lady. In all honesty I just can't get over the cover of "Pleasing to Me" which is a song that I hold a dear obsession to. To me the original sounds like a mix between Bob and Jakob Dylan and it makes my life every listen (it's actually been on repeat for the last half hour). And her version is so far from respectful in my mind, and as much as I love her raspy smokers voice I can't stand how much she draws it out over a chorus that is repeated way too many times.
Needless to say I'm pissed about it.
Her own shit, on the other hand, I can appreciate a lot more.
The first original, "Broken Vows" she actually reminds me of a female Leonard Cohen and it's hauntingly pretty.
The title track on the album, "Foul Deeds", is a much more upbeat haunt with the twang of the Hank Williams's and again I'm drawn to it, although I wonder if she weren't Neil Young's wife the awkward tone her voice can take at times would be as artistically accepted? Just a fleeting thought. 99% of the time I think her voice is just delicious.
The rest of the originals are just as good and are reason enough to stop you from doubting her real talent after hearing the covers, especially "Who Knew" which has replaced Peter Wolf on repeat.
Somewhere along the writing/recording process - my guess is after she poured her heart into her own masterpieces - it sounds like she got tired and worn out with the process and lost all energy required to commit emotionally to songs that weren't her own anymore.
I'd probably get tired of it too if I were her!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Bravestation - 2010 EP

I suck.
I missed two really good shows this weekend.
Let's hope I'm not getting sick of seeing shows every other night, for your sake.
Nah, never.
This weekend though was filled with friends from far away and the stress of last minute apartment hunting and just a whole lot of crazy shit so I ended up missing The Roman Line etc. at Sneaky Dee's on Sunday and this band, Bravestation, at El Mocambo on Saturday.
It was their new 2010 EP release show, and by listening just over my shitty computer speakers it's already quite obvious that it would have been a thousand times cooler to hear (and see) live.
The borderline psychedelic indie pop new wave what the fuck ever you want to call it is not typically my style but something I would totally dig with the intensity and volume of a live show. Actually, even hearing it now it's quite a refreshing change from my regular music choices and I have to admit that I'm a little smitten.
Thank fucking god it's good too since I had offered to write this because they so kindly put me on guest list for the show and I didn't get to review it after all. Feeling horrible I foolishly offered to make up for it before thinking it through and at LEAST listening to them one more time first to make sure it wasn't shit. I was so nervous when I hit play, how rude would it have been to offer a review only to completely bash them in it? I would have too, because I'm a bitch. Anyway, crisis averted... sidestepped that land mine... Bravestation are not shit.
They are totally out there though and for some reason my mind keeps wandering to visions of really fucked up images like the Alice in Wonderland movie avec Johnny Depp. None of the songs take the direction you expect them to go in, instead they change their 'tune' per say over and over taking things to ballsy new levels.
The singer has such a marvelous, pant-droppingly good voice that each one of the semi-genres involved seem to fit together perfectly underneath it.
Luckily for me (and you) they are back in Toronto on August 31st.
Check out their myspace for more details!

What's my mother fucking name Bitch!

THE DOE'S! Gloryhound and Here Below @ The Bovine (Friday July16th)

Holy mother of pearl necklaces Batman, was last night a dream?
Or did something that I played a part in ACTUALLY go well?
It seems as if that bitch Lady Luck finally took a night off just in time for the show at the Bovine that I threw together for my friends THE DOE'S from Vancouver.
I wasn't planning on writing about it since I'd be either totally tearing my own ass apart if it went poorly or sucking my own dick if it went well. Which it did.
Buuuut then I realized FUCK IT, I'm totally going to suck my own dick on this one...
a) I've legitimately never seen any of the bands who played before --outside of their practice space in Vancouver anyway--
b) I do what I want.
c) (not that there needs to be a c after b) IT WAS TOO FUCKING GOOD NOT TO!!!
d) my dick hasn't been sucked in such a long time, Lady Luck doesn't put out much.
And after all my drunken gushing to the bands last night at how good they were I feel the need to save face and actually put together more than just a slur of excited adjectives strung together with "you're" in front of them and the same exact meaning behind them.
It felt good to get wasted knowing the night was a success. Tequila has never tasted so satisfying!
Not only did the Bovine at least look packed and the bar always busy but each of the bands who played actually blew even my expectations allll over my chest and face. It even got in my hair and I wasn't at all pissed about it.
Here Below, from Here in Toronto, kicked things off and with a Minus The Bear-like technical side to them that their facebook recordings just do not do justice. Immediately they had each one of my friends' jaws on the floor by their feet. Mine included. Having never seen them before (Lady Luck seriously seemed to be keeping me away every time they played to the point where I practically had to put this show together just so I could see them) they seriously made me develop a new respect for local bands who aren't part of the punk scene. I had NO idea Toronto had this much to offer. I was frozen in place for their entire set to the point that I started to worry I was never going to be able to move from that position (shame because there are so many better ones out there. heh) and all I can think about now is how badly I want to relive that moment. I'm afraid to play their songs online because it might lessen the memories of them live, and on stage is where this band belongs. They play with the intensity of Mars Volta and a rockier side similar to Muse and after they finished I was bombarded with people coming over and raving about each musician in the band and their serious talent.
They were like, whoa.
I kind of want to put them in another show like, now.
Next up was the only band I didn't book of the evening, Gloryhound from the East Coast, represent. Naturally this is when things start to get blurry.
At first when they walked on stage I wasn't sure what to expect, and wasn't sure if I wanted to like them with their matching leather jackets, suuuuper tight pants and Sam Roberts-like singer (thanks Jo!) but their sound suited their Bovine and I actually had a good time listening to it. Everybody was in sync in their moves and their cockNroll attitudes and they pulled it off on stage well.
Unfortunately for them Here Below went first and were almost impossible to follow.
Unless you are The Doe's. In which case there is no band they cannot follow!
Let's put it this way. One of my good friends/roommates who is also super tight with the guitarist/singer who I'm super tight with was also there seeing them for the first time and we had one of those "thank goodness" moments together when you stop holding your breath HOPING your friends band is good so you don't have to either lie to her or hurt her feelings. This was followed by a "whoa" moment about how fucking good it really was, and how good SHE really was on guitar and vocals. It's really weird to see somebody you've known for a while in the stage light for the first time. It was obvious that she belonged there.
Each one of them belonged there.
The Doe's belong there.
It was epic.
Expect an interview with the band very soon before they head back to the West Coast (represent!), and come out on July 29th at the Gladstone to see for yourself how amazing they are, because I feel the more I try to convince you my friends band rules the less you'll believe me, so you just will have to come see it for yourself.

I'm Sarah. Do what I want, I do.

Gaslight Anthem with Tim Barry and The Menzingers @ Sound Academy ( Wednesday July 14th 2010)

First off, this is my most creative title yet.
Second, for the first time like, ever, I noticed security at the Sound Academy actually being incredible and NICE and shit. Typically venues that support club type events as well have guys working who really don't give a shit about us crazy crowd surfing, moshing maniacs that do punk shows (Phoenix in particular) and have no patience for us injuring ourselves and getting messy wasted.
Last night was different and these guys were actually treating the all agers throwing themselves towards the stage with a hell of a lot more respect than most of these jock asshole fans deserved (more on this later).
Mad props brah(s).

What I was hoping would be the the most epic of epic shows (um MENZINGERS AND TIM BARRY ..... and I've been getting into Gaslight lately, putting them on with Tom Petty and Broadway Calls to fall asleep to but then staying up to listen to how good they are when you pay close attention) but after one fuck of a stressful day working, apartment searching and just all around having a typical bad luck spell I begrudgingly got only 3 beers worth of drinking time in before spending half my paycheque on a cab to get to the show without missing anything (except for 2.5 Menzingers songs as it turned out).
Thank the first person who would have pressed my buttons' life that I managed to see most of their set, because if I hadn't they would probably be really fucking sore still from me jamming them up out of pure frustration.
Worth the ticket price right there (at least knowing Tim Barry was coming up too).
They played with such eagerness, as if they were the fans that surrounded me watching and waiting for their favourite parts to come up so they could have even more fun than they already were. This kind of energy on the stage is impossible not to feel from the ground in front of it and for at least 20 minutes I actually wasn't on the verge of a breakdown (the only money or variation of that I had was a dollar less than the cheapest drink cost, SIGH). The "normal dudes" personality of the frontmen was altogether refreshing and totally enthralling to watch and I was able to feel like I connected with them and their music on more than just the 'I payed to see you' level. It was really something else. I can't wait to see them again.
--I'm coming to realize the infinite extent of amazing bands out there now whereas working at HMV I was overwhelmed by the number of shitty bands that existed.--
The man who came next actually made my life to see and I will hold it close to my memory for as long as I possibly can (so like two more bowls).
His past aside.. because that much is just an obvious <3 and everything has been said about it.. I STILL love every single thing he does and his current style just melts a record number of parts of my body when I hear it.
Watching him on stage in real life felt the furthest from real you could possibly feel (ha, it rhymed, I'm a fucking poet) and yet it struck me again how REAL he actually was. Just like the band before he laid all of himself out onto the stage in front of us and was one of the most honest and down to earth entertainers that I have ever seen. From singing the "Making Fun of Tim Barry Song" to talking openly about a friend of his in jail before playing "Dog Bumped" (draw your own conclusions there) he was incredibly cordial, appreciative of everybody, and played FOR us and not just AT us and was even slightly nervous to be playing this show.
"When you get all emo and all fucking dashboard you have to make fun of yourself" he said after playing songs that made me feel like I was completely alone in the venue and in life despite the hundreds of people surrounding me.. and got me so utterly depressed but in the best country sort of way until he laughed his way into my head before the misery could take over.
He is one of those performers who give you a piece of themselves on stage at every show, and when he leaves he takes a little piece of you with him.
And when he left the stage last night he took my entire will to stay at the show any longer with him.
But I did, because I paid a lot of money in ticket and cab fees to get there.
I have never regretted my money driven decisions more.
Gaslight Anthem were the biggest disappointment of my life.
Sure, they sounded good and everything, but I was totally bored to tears watching them, and I can't exactly put my finger on why.
It could have something to do with the swarm of GIANT ASSHOLE JOCK type fans that rushed me and the stage as they came on, and I've come to see some relations between the type of fans a band brings out and the type of band they generally are.
And based on the fans I already wanted to fight their music.
I have never been more annoyed by like minded music people than I was during Gaslight, which makes me question whether I really like the band or not.
I love Bruce Springsteen, don't get me wrong, and listening to it in the dark under the covers really makes you appreciate everything they write, BUT the problem with seeing them live is it sounded almost identical to listening to it in my room, just louder. Visually they weren't anything too exciting either, which made it really difficult to stay long enough through their set to justify the cab money I was about to spend and I ended up bailing as soon as there was any indication their set was coming to an end, finally.
They were so blasé that at one point the bassist threw his bass over his one shoulder and acted like he was some big shot but, wasn't, even, playing, it? Uhhh... wow? That's mad skillz there. I can do that on guitar hero too!
By the end of it I found myself getting angry watching them act like they are all punk and shit when really they are just Springsteen knockoffs who have tattoos... talk about being honest with your fans, it has to start with yourself. Jeezus.
See the anger in me now?
I loved this band a week ago.
This either shows how much they disappointed or how much their fans pissed me off. Or both.


I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Flatliners @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: Of My Heart!

That's right boys and girls, the fight is over and the winner apparent.
The Flatliners take home the most important prize of this years Warped Tour, the prize of my heart and happiness.

I <3 their energy.
I <3 their charisma.
I <3 their bassist, and their singer, and well everybody!
And I <3 <3 <3 their ability to fill me with serenity at every one of their shows.

Theirs was one of the only full sets I made sure I saw, and they played one hell of a gig. My only complaint would be the minutes worth of shout outs only to later state they didn't have time for another song unfortunately..
That's easy to look past though, when it comes to matters of the heart you have to make compromises!

Oi, I apologize for the shitty sound quality on this vid.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Sparring @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Tough Guy Award!

The Sparring made Canada look like pussies.
Calling people out for not moshing, or throshing, or circloshing and then jumping in there themselves, threatening violence to those who didn't follow suit.
Are all LA bands this tough?
They sure made everybody else in comparison look like mice.

Hardcore took on a new name when these guys hit the stage, and aside from the 'makingupforasmallpenis' appearance and attitude they were actually pretty decent, if not a little too typical.
One thing that I can say for sure was that they were definitely one of the bands who rightfully deserved a spot on the tour.

Check out the video to see what I'm sayin':

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The New Cities @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Biggest Bummer Award!

No, not what you're thinking.
I'm dubbing The New Cities' performance as the biggest bummer NOT because it was bad, but because it was cut super short and somebody got mildy-majorly hurt during it.
My understanding is that he/she passed out from sheer excitement.
I hope you're okay anyway, whoever you are!
No fault to them, but since the sets were short and not easy to extend they were unable to finish their set and left a lot of disappointed fans.

Unfortunately I missed most of the songs they did play because of other great bands at this time, but what I saw was mad excitement.
Every time I've seen them perform they put on one serious show. The energy skyrockets and you can't stop yourself from getting involved.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Bouncing Souls @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Most Disappointing Performance Award!

What the fuck?
Talk about not wanting to be somewhere.
Or, better yet, who let Mr. Rogers on stage with the Bouncing Souls?
Does Toronto repulse great old punk bands to the point of not wanting to play?

Because it sure looked like the stage in Toronto was the last place singer Gregg Attonito wanted to be on Friday.
Maybe he threw his back out or something before the show because his movements were par with what I'd imagine my grandmother to look like in his position.
I really hope he did, because I love the Bouncing Souls, and vocally he sounded bang on despite his lack of effort. The bassist kept shit together at the side of the stage though, by far the only significant part of their set.

Sadly, I'd have to say their performance was the Most Disappointing.

This video is horrible, but I just wanted to demonstrate the MOST energetic the singer got during the entire performance:

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Escapes @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Most Delightful Afterthought Award!

Fate, or something significantly less gay, works in mysterious ways.
It just so happened that I burnt the singer of this band accidentally as I tried to squeeze past him somewhere, and in order to avoid a serious lawsuit I agreed to go watch his band play.

At first I opted for prime seating in my friends tent nearby, just watching and listening from afar (more importantly from a chair) but as they played I got more and more intrigued and decided to get close and watch it for real, and take a few shots while I was at it.

Turns out they were Escapes from London, ON, which is kind of cool (supportin' the homeboys) and although it's quite borderline scene-core they actually have a lot more elements to their music than you'd expect. Every song (that I was able to download for FREE at their bandcamp site ( has actually really delighted me (although the drums can be a little much at times) and I think I will continue listening to them steadily. Hopefully we see them back in Toronto soon!

Don't let this horrible video quality ruin it for you, they are much much better than this!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Mighty Regis @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Most Surprising Performance Award!

Whoa, where did these guys come from?
Pure madness!
Enter accordion, banjo, and Blue Jays t-shirt.
Welcome to my heart!

Don't mind my surprise at your appearance at Warped Tour, more particularly the West 49 Stage.
You kind of blew me away!
With your crazy stage use and heavy choreography between each member AND their instruments.

Mighty Regis were definitely the shock of the day.
Will I be checking them out again now that Warped has passed?

I can't even explain why, the video will have to do the explaining for me: (sorry about the shitty sound)

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Riverboat Gamblers @ Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Most Impressive Performance Award!

Ohmyfuck ohmyfuck ohmyfuck.
I cannot shake the Riverboat Gamblers performance from my head.
They were so good that I feel the reel of film from that day that I keep playing in my mind is going to burst into flames because of overuse. Overheating has never felt so good.

Hands down theirs was THE most impressive of the day. So much energy, so much poise, so much PUNK ROCK!
Every member was participating in the movements happening on stage, it was choreographed without being choreographed it seemed, and just like their moves the music was tighter than the tightest (asian?) pussy.
I've never come so close to cursing Face to Face.
Why the FUCK would you put this band on at the same time as them, two of the most legit bands of the whole Toronto date?
I nearly cried.
One thing I know for sure is that I will do pretty much anything short of a Z Job to see this band again for an entire set.

Until then all I have is this video:

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Breathe Electric @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Best Band Who Didn't Belong There Award!

What can I say, sometimes Breathe Electric is my guilty pleasure.
I'll fully admit that.
They're upbeat and make me want to dance, and when I want that burst of energy I won't hesitate too long before throwing it on.
Their music has exploded in the past year, and I hear it almost everywhere including popular MTV shows (some of which are a guilty pleasure I am not going to admit to at this time) but where I didn't expect to hear it was on the Vans Warped Tour.

Here's the thing, they were totally great live, lots of energy and a somewhat substantial crowd, but I'm pretty sure they can sell out shows almost anywhere in the States now so the fact that the crowd was meek suggests this is probably the wrong tour for them to follow?
I guess judging by most of the other bands it was a good move this year...
But still, my personal judgement aside, most of the people that I know who go to Warped every year were not pleased at their presence.
Which is why I am handing them this award!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Set Your Goals @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Best Vocals Award!

I Love This Band.
Their dynamic is so impressive, to have like your entire band singing and two of them doing it sans instruments without ever being boring on stage, or too complicated, and always sounding so perfectly meshed together... they are pretty much the Liger of pop punk.
That's why I am announcing them as the winner of Best Vocals, because for me NOTHING beats duelling voices singing off of each other, and the more involved the more in awe I get.

Their performance was one of my highlights, full of energy for later in the day and with a huge crowd screaming along, adding yet another vocal to the mix. Unfortunately they were on at the same time as The Casualties and The New Cities (of course) so I had to bounce back and forth to catch everybody and didn't get to see their whole set.
Sometimes Warped kind of blows like that.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Walk Off The Earth @ Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Best Moves Award!
I have grown so damn fond of this band lately.
Like, seriously.
After S.C.E.N.E. Fest. I couldn't wait to see them again, and this time the stage was bigger and the performance even better.
Playing laid back, beautifully structured reggae-ska tunes that featured The Pizza Slices on horns for the live set.

Walk Off The Earth are so good at what they do you'd swear they were black.
Unfortunately this was one of the 3 great bands all playing at the same time and I was only able to catch one song.
Lucky for you I recorded it, and you get to see why they are the clear winners of the Best Moves Award.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Casualties @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Best Hair Award!

The Casualties were definitely another of the bands who made this years Warped Tour bearable through the rain and the crap storm of bands.
For my frist time seeing them I was awestruck, by the pure fact that they were on stage before me, still touring, still fucking wicked, and still sportin' the best damn hair on the entire Warped Tour.

Talk about Punk Rock.
This is what it's supposed to be about!
Everybody was thinking it, and the band even addressed it on stage mentioning how they are (one of) the only legit bands left this year, and the huge crowd in front of the small stage agreed loudly and passionately.
Even throwing in a Ramones cover representing old school everywhere, if you missed The Casualties yesterday you don't even deserve to have been there.

Now THIS video turned out right. Check it!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Face to Face @ Vans Warped Tour 2010 Toronto

Winner: The Best Band Award!

Hands down Face to Face was the best band on the tour (at least out of the ones who decided to stop by Toronto) and the one most worthy of being part of it.
They honestly made my concert life by coming. I have seen many of my all time favourite artists, and they were one of the last to scratch off my list, making this Warped Tour a year to remember.

They have a new album coming out and the song I heard from it was enough to raise my anticipation to unhealthy heights.
What else is there to say? It's fucking Face to Face.

I took some video to show how wicked they were, but since I'm such an amateur and far from good at shit like this be warned the sound quality is horrendous.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The New, New 45!

When the new album by The New 45 titled I Think You're Neat unexpectedly came in the mail for me one fine day I felt like a man who's been impotent for weeks finally waking up with a hard on. My penis cake rose without any flour, hallelujah! It slapped me right out of vacation mode where all I listened to was whatever played on the radio each day at work, and managed to position me tightly back into my punk rock shoes.
Praise the heavens!
After merely reading the first song title I already had mad bias towards the album... it was already worthy of my praise.... it being called "If Jewel Were A Zombie".
Enough said.
Hilarious song titles aside this full length features new vocals from both Coner and Dan, both of which have unique tones perfect for punk rock that compliment the other singers beautifully, and it helps to add a new dynamic to the old sound.
Their previous EP was a little rough around the edges but this has them melted into position smoothly and with a sure destination. "I Want To Suck Your Blood" sounds like it could have been a Misfits cover, but not as a rip off, just with a new spin on one of the Misfits classics... one that never actually existed?

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

I'll Danger Your Radio... Bitch.

Danger Radio: A band who used to be high on my list of guilty pleasures back when my phasers were set to emo-pop, but one who has since failed to cross my mind let alone my Ipod...
Until now.
Equipped with a new album called Nothing's Gonna Hold Us Down (set to release July 27th) the band once again is on the tip of my testicles fighting to not be forgotten this time.
So far the second album by this new era of boy band is not as easy to dismiss from my mind, mixing emo pop rock with an element of bluesy R&B electronics and a clubby feeling on top of everything. The singers' distinctive voice alone manages to demand immediate recognition amongst so many pop rock bands of our time and the mature groove to each song is enough to convince you to give them a closer listen, even for those who don't deal in the pop scene anymore. It even assures even me, the most cynical of cynics (sometimes?) that there is real music behind the poppy bubblegum lyrics.
The band as a whole appears to be directed towards a much younger audience than my age group falls under, yet the motives behind some songs (ex: track #5) will totally sway you to think they are old professional jammers; you might just have to smoke a joint before you can actually understand this (at least judging by my experience with the album).
There is an undeniable sexy'ness to the first five songs (tracks #2 and #5 particularly) and though not a lot of artists manage to persuade me to get up and dance this album has made me actually try to bust a move for real around my house at LEAST three whole times.
The second song has a build up that reminds me of a handsome young (but not under 18) man dance-stepping towards me erotically, bumping and grinding as he slinks closer, soon rubbing and tugging and jerking it until I fuck the shit out of him and by the time the song is over I'm totally content....
Too far?
Anyway, it's got that seductive groove going on that just screams CUM ON MY TITS and I can't help but get down to it alone in my room, in a completely non-sexual way by myself.
Although the last two tracks, #6 & #7, aren't so much my cup of tea (slower, and less sexy), the rest of the album denies their involvement in the afterthought as I again muse over the fact that somehow DR can pull off this whole poppy boy band thing without necessarily being cheesy.
Since I like sex I am more in love than ever with this band and will not be forgetting them again for a very long time.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.