The Not-So-Unconventional-Dora Alexander EP

I was asked to review yet another Toronto artsy-indie rock band, Dora Alexander, and while doing my research I kept reading about how unconventional the band is...
And then I listened to the new EP, Travelers.
I don't really get where the 'unconventional' comes in... they just sound like a typical hipster band, and I hate hipsters.
I don't really hate this EP/band though. Conventional isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the EP just tends to blend in with all the other artsy bands of this sort that I've been asked to talk about lately. Nothing really stands out and I ended up skipping through most of the songs because they were too long, too boring, and too artsy. I just don't get it. Take the title track "Travelers" for example.. a whopping 7+ minutes with absolutely no excitement for the first 5. Unnecessary.
Also, isn't 'travelers' spelt 'travellers' ? Is this an artsy way to spell it? Are these the type of people who change their name from 'Devon' to 'Devyn' so that they look cooler?
Whatever, aside from the boring parts the EP is filled with stirring melodies and soothing vocals (sometimes taking on a Neil Young quality to them which is uber cool) that drive you through the album as if you're driving through subtle yet breathtaking scenery.
Don't let my hipster hate cloud your judgement of it... take a listen for yourself here.

I'm Sarah, I do what I want.

Alexx Calise - In Avanti

I may not love female vocalists but I have a huge hard on for females that rock the guitar.
Alexx Calise is one of those broads.
She picked up the guitar at age 11 and has been representing the clitt strings ever since.
Downside: She also sings.
Upside: She's actually amazing, and for once I really like it.
Her second solo album, In Avanti came out earlier this year and has just recently dominated my speakers.
Which is weird, because nothing about the music in a nutshell would be something I normally care for, but crack that nut open and you've got yourself one surprisingly good female attempt at rock and roll.
Actually the music is more like industrial electronic infused pop rock that's almost too heavy to be considered radio friendly.
It sounds to me like Avril Lavigne morphed into Evanescence and joined Limp Bizkit.
In Avanti has the ability to be every teenage (and older) girls' best friend by focusing on issues from the heart that every one of us has experienced, except unlike most bitches Alexx sings it in a way where she's not sulking over the problem and being a baby about it but instead standing up and saying fuck you with both middle fingers up.
Sadly I can relate all too well.
Check her out here!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Fuck The Princess Bride!

First off I'd like to know if Miracle Max got their name from The Princess Bride.
I don't know why everybody loves that movie so much to be honest… I fucking hate it.
I'm trying really hard not to let that affect my opinion of the band…*ahem*
With a name possibly from a movie like that you can probably tell already that they are pretty fucking emo.
Seattle pop punk accompanied by what sounds like effects that I used to come up with as a joke on the keyboard at work.
Aside from that bit their sound doesn't make me want to gag like most emo bands lately (I really hope I don't have any followers from back when I was into this kind of stuff haha) and I can understand why they've shared the stage with bands like The Ataris, Rufio, Broadway Calls, The Swellers and Fireworks (according to their myspace.)
The vocals are solid (secret word of the week!) and to me they sound like a younger, fresher 2010 version of New Found Glory who I definitely used to get an emo kick from back in high school.
There are certain breakdowns in most of the songs that come completely unexpected and are actually quite appealing to my asshole ears, knocking me off the fence onto the soft green grass of 'I like it' territory.
Now excuse me while I go listen to "Hit or Miss".

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Bryan Ferry spreadin' the Love! (And his buttcheeks)

My knowledge of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music isn't too extensive so when I heard BF's new single "You Can Dance" I was sure I was a much bigger fan of the latter.
But then again, the 70's/80's were awesome.
And we're definitely not still living in the 70's/80's.
By trading in the decade-influenced glam of Roxy Music, Bryan revamps his sound with an overcoat of darkness that at first struck me as like totally zZz-worthy until the guest features chimed in a few balls deep.
For your eargasm pleasure the album turns into a vocal orgy of the greats including Groove Armada (featured on my not so favourite single I believe), David Gilmour, Scissor Sisters, Nile Rodgers, Jonny Greenwood, Steve Nieve, Flea and thankfuckily Brian Eno once again.
The previously mentioned single may not be all Bryan has been cracked up to shit out but the rest of the album most definitely is.
"BF Bass (Ode To Olympia)", or track #8 as I like to call it, is surprisingly sexy and cool for the old man which 'I can't get enough'… of. -- (you'd understand why I wrote it like that if you'd just listen to the song already.)
The album may be 80's glamless but it still reps the badass jazz element of Roxy's era but without the vocal strength of a man 30 years younger.
Even though Brian + Bryan don't plan on recording a full album together as Roxy anymore it still is an effort that will make up for the lack of Roxy love in your life.
Because we're all lacking some Roxy love.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

None More Black - Icons... Fitting name for their new album.

Anything could have happened during their hiatus, the last few years have been hard on punk rock and even harder on the music industry in general. As much faith as I have in NMB I have to admit I was a little worried at what would come after their time off and the addition of Richard Minino on drums.
Both the band and Big Rich deserve a round of applause worthy of bruising your palms.
Icons is far from disappointing, in fact it barely sounds like they've changed at all and most definitely not for the worst.
I guess I should have known... Jason Shevchuk is a genius and has never let me down before, OF COURSE he didn't let me down this time!
Not to mention Philadelphia punk rock is where it's at. NMB once again represent the borderline-aggressive melodic sound that makes Philly punk bands number UNO in my books.
It's hard to believe that Icons is only the bands 3rd studio album based on the legacy they already hold in the scene even way up here in CanAda.
At least the legacy will live on!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Mookie & The Loyalists ... Remember Mookie Morris? (Canadian Idol Fans Only)

I didn't at first.
Not that I am an avid fan of Canadian Idol by any means but between my mom, roommates and commercials there would be at least a few faces I think I'd recognize.
Yet the name didn't ring a bell and when I checked out pictures of him and the Loyalists I thought he was white behind that Bieber disguise.
Upon closer inspection/stalking I realized that behind the hair was the super cute Asian boy who I definitely do remember from the 'ol CI.
(A friend of mine was absolutely in love with him actually)

... at least I am almost !00% sure he's Asian...
Those pictures are misleading! Try holding up the peace sign next time or something!
Let's just say not making it as 'the next Canadian Idol' was probably the best thing to happen to Mookie.
His self-titled EP is proof enough. Easily one of the most impressive albums that has EVER come out of Canadian/American Idol. Solid as The Hulk's boner from start to finish.
Listening to him sing it's quite clear that, while doing him a favour, the judges/country/whatever made a huge mistake voting him off. But then again, fate seems to be working it's magic here because I can't possibly imagine him singing anything better than he sings these songs of his own style.
First class rock n roll that even has some folk thrown in for good measures... on top of dance-inspired indie that sounds like Beck teamed up with either The Fratellis or the Strokes to take over Canadian Idol talent.
It's fucking awesome.
I actually have to forcefully stop myself from listening to the album, Fight Club stylez... and more than a few times it's distracted me from doing other reviews that should have been done first - GET IN LINE MOOKIE! - and the more I get to know the songs the harder it is to pry myself away from the Mookie 'Play' button.
I did not expect this at all from a guy named Mookie!
Check it out here!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Zolas are distracting!

I have turned into the worst procrastinator ever.
I have about 15+ reviews/interviews to do at this very moment... seems like EVERY time I pump 1 out I check my email only to field 3 more requests.... so this never-ending list of mine is only growing and I never make even a dent in it.
Yet here I am, trying to write a review of the new Bryan Ferry album and instead listening to The Zolas.
They are holding my attention hostage right now, so I figured maybe the ransom would be in the form of actually writing about them and being productive.
The album is Tic Toc Tic and I can't get enough of it.
And it's not even punk!
It's actually more piano (say no more) driven theatrical indie-rock featuring horns here and there.
No wonder I like it eh!
It's fantastic.
But don't listen to it when you have something to do... it's very distracting.
Especially listen to the songs "Marlaina Kamakaze". "Pyramid Scheme" and "You Better Watch Out"!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

THE Perfect Xmas Gift! Music 4 Cancer: The Cause CD

Now this is a compilation I can get behind.
While all the crappy bands were busy covering crappy top 40 songs for yet another crappy Punk Goes.. compilation, the WICKED punk bands ended up getting together and donating their time and talent to Music 4 Cancer, a compilation featuring one 22 song acoustic disc and one 25 song punk rock disc put together to raise money for cancer research.
Punk rock + ACOUSTIC + charity.
And it's not just any wicked punk bands, but the perfect combination of the bands I used to listen to in high school like Strung Out, Less Than Jake, Death By Stereo, Swingin' Utters, Pulley, Good Riddance, NOFX, Bigwig, Millencolin, Hot Water Music and Voodoo Glow Skulls (just to name a few..) and more recent bands carrying on the punk tradition like The Riot Before, The Loved Ones, Dead To Me, Blacklist Royals, Pour Habit blah blah blah .... and a hell of a lot of previously unreleased tracks.
Not only do you get to hear the most solidly put-together punk comp but more importantly you can gain the satisfaction of actually doing a good thing and helping somebody who needs it when you buy this album.
It's $14.99, which to me seems more than fair: cheap enough for a 2 disc'er, but pricey enough to feel like you're actually giving some money away for charity.
I love it.
I feel more often than not these days artists will sing and sing and preach and preach about helping those around you and serious issues like cancer and so on, but when it comes to actually doing something about it they just sit in their million dollar houses satisfied that they've written one song about it. Meanwhile these are the artists that have the money to make more of a difference. The musicians who took part in M4C aren't nearly that financially stable. Most of them probably still have jobs on top of touring and yet they all dropped what they were doing to be a part of something they wouldn't necessarily profit off of, but a lot more people who have been affected by cancer will.
And let's face it, every single person either has or will be affected by cancer. Which is why it is so important to keep funding research for a cure.
This goes for your favourite singers and favourite bands too... another reason this album was made, a lot of those featured on it have their stories to tell and amazingly enough some of them are survival stories with happy endings... which supports a lot of my faith in what they are trying to do. In the booklet alone there are stories from big players in the project like Jay Spinet (founder/producer), Vinnie Fiorello (Less Than Jake), and Rob (Blacklist Royals), all of which inspire you to buy 20 copies of the album and give them away to everybody you know as Christmas gifts (actually what I might do) just so that you can do more to help, knowing that happy endings are possible.
Happy endings = Happy Sarah.
The entire reason I got involved in the music scene in a hands-on sort of way instead of just listening to it was in order to raise money for everything that I felt empathy towards as a child. I used to watch all those Toronto Humane Society specials when I was little and every single night would plop myself down on the couch with my parents at 6pm as they watched the news. I grew up always wanting to make a difference, and having this eery confidence that I could --for example when I was about 5 or 6 I truly believed if I could just talk to the President of the States and explain my idea of going up in front of the entire country to tell people that they don't have to hurt each other and it's not right... and they would totally have listened to me because I was a cute little girl and if I was smart enough to see how unnecessary violence was and how much it hurt everybody around it, then surely they would clue in and stop!-- I started putting on punk shows in Cobourg when I was only 14 years old because I had no money of my own to donate towards everything that I wanted to help. Desperate to make a difference I went to talk to the town councillors or whatever you call them in order to use the Bandshell to throw a huge donation-only based concert, the first time anybody had done it in Cobourg. Almost half the town came out to it and we ended up making a shit load of money for the Hospital Foundation there. The satisfaction that gave me was like nothing I had ever experienced before and so I continued to throw shows benefiting everything from the Animal Shelter, Children's Aid Society to Polio Research (haha, my friend did a project on polio around then... random) and a full decade later I'm still doing it, right now I'm planning a Christmas show to raise toys and donations for children who won't get to experience a happy Christmas otherwise.
[If any bands are interested email me!]
Music and those who play it posses the ability / gift of reaching out to many, many people and to see this acknowledged and used for the greater good actually makes me want to cry just a wee bit.
The only cure for empathy is action. It's just a shame that more people aren't empathetic towards the rest of the world around them. The best part about an album like this is that those without much empathy who love punk rock will pay money for it regardless of whether or not they give a shit about what it's for.
And this is how you make a difference... trick the assholes!
Or just play them NOFX's acoustic version of "My Orphan Year" because that gut-wrenching little doozy will rip out your heart, stomp on it and then carve it up like a Christmas turkey no matter how much of a hard ass you are.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Israel Cannan-na na na na!

Mr. Israel Cannan, please Walk into my heart...
heh, get it?
Because Walk is his new album...
Walk into my heart...
Seriously, do it though.
That gorgeous voice will leave your arms wide open for him by the end of the album.
The rocky, slightly folky, slightly rootsy music feels like he's massaging you with his guitar and harmonica, working his way up your spine and over your shoulders while you listen to his calming voice.
He manages to keep it simple/not overdramatic and still get a good sense of emotion across... to be honest when I hit play I was busy multitasking about 5 things and not paying full attention to the song playing and without even realizing it I started to get all weepy-eyed over lyrics I had no idea I had even heard. I guess I was paying attention ....... WITH MY HEART.
It just goes to show you that less can be so much more sometimes.
Walk kind of reminds me of Snow Patrol or One Republic combined with the worldly aura of Jack Johnson. It has this earthy feel to it and every time I close my eyes I picture myself out in the middle of nature, far from any city lights.
WIth breathtaking melodies - some darker and some more uplifting - and hauntingly depressing background vocals to accompany them this album is perfect to smoke a joint, close your eyes and relax to.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Snips make themselves over with Blackout!

I love getting cd's in the mail randomly.
-Yes, shit still goes down that way sometimes!-
I love it even more when I actually get GOOD cd's in the mail.
Like The Snips.
Recap: For those of you under a rock, The Snips are a brass accompanied punk band from Welland, Ontario who used to go by the name Ceremonial Snips.
They just released an EP called Blackouts on October 12th, and holy shit Hallowe'en came early when I opened the mailbox… and BONUS, I didn't have to go door to door to get it.
Maybe Christmas would have been a better choice there but fuck it, I don't like holidays that cut in line.
The band formed over a decade ago, but unfortunately (for them) I don't remember much that they've done since then… I may have seen them once but barely remember (wasted) and although I know that I liked them when I heard them I didn't listen to them very often… but now that they've ditched the old singer, Mike Podio, (I kid, it says they 'parted ways') I notice this whole new refreshing sound to them that is quite unforgettable.
With their old trumpet player in place as their new singer the horns are perhaps less predominant yet suit the sound on this album without flaw. It's one of those mind games where when they play it cool you want it that much more. Each song I can't stop thinking about when or where the horns are going to hit, and the anticipation only proves to make the sweet majestic sound that much more appealing to your ears when it finally happens.
This sexy little makeover the band underwent gives them a major vocal face lift while primping up the punk vibe with more epic, and somewhat more commercial, rock.
Think less Link 80 and more Less Than Jake.
Check out the fine beauty work at!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Awesome Music To Check Out!

Chris Wollard and The Ship Thieves
(Why is ‘thieves’ suddenly in every band name?)
It’s the dude from Hot Water Music and The Draft with a new slower less threatening project that kicks just as much ass.
Now that I’ve heard it I don’t think I can live without it.

The Arteries
Hello wicked punk band, so pleased to have met you.
Sexy guitars pumping out not-so-expected melodies for those who love Dillinger Four/Pulley/The Vandals etc.

Less Than Jake
They put out this TV Theme Song EP which is actually pretty hilarious, includes Hungry Hungry Hippos, Animaniacs, ETC.
Viva la ska!

Bad Books
Gorgeous folky indie rock featuring Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra. Their self titled debut album comes out tomorrow.

Gram Rabbit
Electro Pop that you normally wouldn't hear me talking up but I can't get enough of this one... New album Miracles & Metaphors out TOMORROW!

Local H
Also have an album out tomorrow.... they're like if The Offspring decided to make indie rock music as opposed to punk rock music. "California Songs" is an awesome track.

The Philistines Jr
Tomorrow release as well... experimental pop music infused with heavy instrumentation... Loves it!

Ben Weaver
Yet another new release, definitely worth a listen. Love his voice.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Dada Thrash Collage?

So I woke up this Sunday morning at like 9:30/10am after a late show night and started my day off with an extra large coffee, and big can of Red Bull mixed with Spiced Rum. A couple of hits from my pipe and I was ready to start writing!
I'm kind of drunk, it's 1:36pm right now, and I am really getting a kick out of the fact that Dada Thrash Collage is next on my list to review in this state of mind.
It started off making me want to drink more with Scottish-like bagpipe sounding action but then it goes a little wonky and I actually started to feel way drunker than I actually am by listening to it.
It makes me want to either smoke or make myself a sandwich, I can't decide which one.
The title track, "Cool Waves_Bad Days" fits the name well with laid back surfer tones that remind me slightly of something the Black Lips would pull out, except much less rambunctious.
It's slightly artsy - no no no it's actually quite artsy - but for once I don't mind because it's not too shabbily done and still holds on to some sort of 'cool'... SHHH don't tell the hipsters I said that or they'll try to suck me into their fake glasses culture, and I need the lenses in my glasses to live!
Back to the album, which I have decided is totally BANANAS, B-A-N-A-N-A-S! "Fantastic Planet" is one of the most peculiar tracks, reminding me of some children's jungle beat for which the video probably would feature The Muppets tribal dancing around some faux jungle backdrop... and I'm imagining this all without the help of hallucinogens!
I'm not even sure how to describe DTC, perhaps psychedelic indie-art rock? Something that would be on the soundtrack if there was ever an American version of The Mighty Boosh created.
My new pet dragon, Bill Nye The Science Guy, does not like the music at all. He's chilling beside me just a'glarin at the speakers. Seems he's more of a hip hop/hardcore type, as he loves when I play The Roots and Comeback Kid. Weird, because since he's a bearded dragon I'd assume he'd be into the artsy hipster shit.
Well, Cool Waves_Bad Days passed in my books, even if it didn't grab Bill Nye's attention.
Check it out here!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Walk Off The Earth... and into my pants?

Last night at Lee's Palace was brought to you by the jizz in Rune's pants, reggae music, and the number 2.
It was also 'brought' by Walk off the Earth. And they brought it hard (the jizz in the pants that is).
Every time I see them I ask myself why the fuck I don't listen to them on a regular basis, and every time I vow to but end up forgetting.
Not this time though, I swear!
I am listening to them as I type and not planning on stopping until I am sick of hearing it *cough*never*endcough* but as much as I'm loving their recordings right meow I am desperately wishing that I was watching them live still, because live they are just something else completely.
With one of the most ambitious stage shows that has been present every single time I've seen them so far, with -to probably quote myself from the last review at Warped Tour- KILLER choreography, tons of funny gimmicks, specials guests galore and elements from all over the ska/reggae/punk even folk and rock genres portraying a range of instruments throughout... excuse me while I jizz in my pants.
They started off with their brand new drummer getting a little showcasing time on stage before the rest of them came running in with Julian and Rene from The Johnstones accompanying them with their horns.
These guys work so well together, not to mention they can DANCE so well together! The choreography they throw into their performance just cracks me up at the same time as it makes me wonder how the hell they can pull it off and still flawlessly play their instruments. (Check out the video below for example)
And the little gimmicks they throw in on top of their dancing, like switching it up on drums with two of them banging away for a while, or 'helping' each other play guitar.. again two of them going at it together (I bet you they love DP).. it's all such good, clean fun!
And then the harmonica comes out
(and I jizzed in my pants)
Followed by the singer of Stalefish rocking out on vocals along with the harmonica
(and I jizzed in my pants)
After which they played a cover of The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby" with some super badass drum beats that made me, yes, jizz in my pants again.
Their new drummer was super tight, and managed to staple himself to my memory after this cover especially.
My favourite moment of the night was definitely when they played "Julia" though. I'm not sure who it is that raps for them in this song, but he gets me every time and with the horns in place this song has every element that tickles my pink... Check out the video HERE!!!

Check out the rest of the pictures here!

All I have to say about the other bands is this... Two King Crown should be called Too Soon Crown for playing the still-new Cee Lo Green single "Fuck You". But doing it identical to the original except leaving out the N bomb even though it's part of the lyrics... how racist of them.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Bomb The Music Industry! Covering Weezer... RANT!

I'm sorry but I need to go on a little rant. My roommate brought this up to me and said I should make a stink about it on here, and at first I didn't mind the idea a whole lot, actually thought it was pretty clever, but the more we talked about it… and after seeing the videos of it happening… I see why he was pissed and want to bitch about it a bit.
And no, I am not on my period. Fuck off.
Bomb The Music Industry! playing Weezer's Pinkerton and Blue Album for free as a big fuck you for Weezer's expensive tickets to see them playing it themselves. Apparently they think that nobody would want to pay to see the shell of who Weezer used to be or something lame like that…. despite that it's ACTUALLY WEEZER playing their OLD STUFF FOR REAL and no new bullshit… so despite what they put out now (which I don't like and recently gave up on the band because of) that doesn't mean they don't still rock the shit out of their old songs when they do play them. And those songs are diabolically good man. DIABOLICALLY.
So, yes tickets are expensive and yes Weezer "sold out" and probably make tons of money on these tours and shit, but come on, they ARE huge to be fair, they kind of do deserve this just based on these albums alone, and I would much much rather see them playing it than stinky old Bomb The Music Industry!
As much as I like them usually their covers were mediocre at best and the whole schtick was just a little too cocky and a blatant appeal for more undeserved attention. Like it's not like they're a good punk band or anything to justify covering Weezer, they are kind of lame in that regard and although the FREE aspect gets me interested I wouldn't care whatsoever to see this band cover songs they had nothing to do with and kind of ruin them.
It was a pretty great idea though on Bomb's part. GREEEEAT press stunt.

Bomb the Music Industry! - Buddy Holly from If You Make It on Vimeo.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Fair Weathered FREE EP!

Alright, this is going to be short and sweet, since the EP only has 2 songs on it. They are The Fair Weathered, a threesome from Ohio pumping out high school emo rock that I probably would have fallen for ten years ago... or maybe ten months ago, who am I kidding. The writing isn't blow-me-away impressive but the music has a good flow to it that reminds me of a tired October Fall (minus piano) meets Fireworks blended with some Early November maybe, or any other band of that heavier emo rock era. Thankfully not electro, which is what every other band seems to be doing now with the genre, so I give them props for that point. The vocals have a certain distinction to them that at first I wasn't sure if I liked but am starting to find extremely endearing and unique. They really compliment the sound perfectly to be honest, let's just hope they don't change when the singer hits puberty!
Just kidding... although they do look super young.
Check them out at where you can also pick up these two songs for FREE!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

My Failed Attempt At An Industrial Review

When I was asked to review Maqlu, a female industrial/electro/rock/noise act from hell - and by hell I mean I have no idea where she's from - I immediately cringed at how horrible I knew the review would turn out.
Sarah does not do industrial. EVER!
A friend of mine told me to compare it somehow to the old Toronto industrial band Malhavoc, just so it sounds like I know what I'm talking about.... But let's be honest here, I totally do not.
I don't listen to industrial.
I don't particularly like industrial.
I definitely don't get industrial.
And the Black EP from Maqlu is no exception.
Even with some electro/alt rock tweaking through each song I still can't decipher much more than vomit-inducing noise coming from the speakers.
I don't mean to be rude, because I really don't know what is considered good industrial vs bad industrial... in my mind it's all bad... but my ears start to ache along with my stomach every time I try to get through a song.
Boring and dark.
Both of those characteristics are complete opposite of my personality and so there's no way to relate.
I feel like I should use that old actor's trick and dress up in complete goth gear in order to understand the character of the music.
But frankly I'm far too lazy and don't think it would help much.
I'm also brutally sick already today and haven't even gotten out of bed... so the last thing I want to do is have to book it to the bathroom with vomit in my mouth. Ew!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Presenting: Carl Lorusso Jr from Toronto!

Close your eyes, visit no wait, the other way around... type in the site first THEN close your eyes before the page loads, DON'T LOOK AT THE PICTURE, and then with your eyes closed try to find the PLAY button with your mouse... no no no, that won't work, ummmm, how about go to the myspace and just DON'T LOOK AT THE PICTURE, and listen to the music, and then try to guess how old this dude is.
Are you still there? I didn't lose you did I?
Are you listening?
Now how old do you think he is?
30? 25?
Between 25-30 would probably be my guess. At least...
This goddamn kid is only 18 years old.

Which is crazy, unless he's like that "kid" off of Hannah Montana, Hannah's brother, who is a 16 year old teen who is played by a man well over 30. SERIOUSLY, I can't remember his name, but the brother... looks, acts, talks like he's actually 16-18 but is over 30 in real life.
Anyway, don't call them on Carl Lorusso (unless he is an old man playing a young man).
It's mighty impressive the music that he's making, both regardless of and because of his age.
It's fairly laid back bluesy acoustic rock and the final product makes Carl sound wise beyond his years.
It's charming singer/songwriter material that sounds like it's backed by a lot more experience than it probably is, although he seems to have experience with UNDERAGE DRINKING..... How are you Underage Drinking, other than ILLEGAL!?
Haha, kidding Carl, we all know you're actually 30.
I'm really looking forward to hearing more and coming out to see him in Toronto one night in the hopefully near future.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Dear midterms, please fuck off so I can write reviews instead of studying for you. Ksweet.

Review done by: Alyssa "Cuntlove"
Julian and I set out to the Horseshoe Tavern last Friday night to see Shonen Knife, and it ended up being a pretty interesting night. We went to Sushi on Bloor (***highly recommended***), and then decided to walk from there to the Horseshoe. We just so happened to have a bottle of Blueberry Grower’s cider (***also highly recommended***), which we stopped in a park to drink. With about four sips left in the bottle, cap on, we proceeded to continue our walk to the venue…then the fuzz came. Luckily, Julian sweet-talked our way out of it, and they didn’t write us up…but we did miss the first opening band. Although, after listening to Fantasy Defender’s myspace…I’d have rather just dealt with the pigs.
We got to the venue while The Weirdies were setting up. As they took the stage, I immediately noticed that they were using a pretty contrived-costumed 50s look. Singer/Bassist, Minx, in particular was wearing a fire engine red fifties housewife dress, complete with an ‘M’ on her chest. She even had the over-the top, cat-eye glasses and flapper bob haircut. Not gonna lie, I kind of liked it. The recordings I’d heard on their myspace earlier sounded pretty cool, as my friend Susan describes them, kind of like if The White Stripes married Spiral Beach and were fifteen years old, grew up down the street from Bikini Kill, and watched Rocky Horror on repeat. I was stoked, left-handed drummer Space Weirdie had his drums set up out front, over on stage left, which was pretty cool, and they each had a lot of attitude even as they set up for their set.
Then they started playing. I was SO disappointed. The drumming was…well..just crappy. Despite Space Weirdie making it look as though he was working his ass off, it was an absolute mess. And his singing was ridiculously flat. There was a lot of cringing going on whenever we saw him lean towards the mic. Bad Weirdie was also true to his name: pretty friggin’ bad. He did play a couple pretty cool guitar solos (and some not-so good ones), but again, he sang, and I was seriously disappointed. The contrast of his low, gruff, 50s rock-n-roller style of singing is interesting, and very compatible with Minx’s super high-pitched shriek of a voice, but when he wasn’t singing with her, his voice lacked any kind of real conviction, and I felt like he was really throwing away his performance. He was also very flat a lot of the time. Minx was the most on key of the three, and overall, the most musically talented. Her piercing, cutesey voice was distinct, and definitely made you take notice of the band, and she played her bass with a lot of attitude and was quite fun to watch. That being said, I could feel myself growing vocal nodes just watching her sing…She was putting a fuckload of strain on her voice, which makes me worry about the longevity of the skill that she does have.
Here’s the bone I have to pick with The Weirdies: the banter. Minx was pretty clearly the front woman, receiving the most attention, doing most of the singing…but she didn’t speak much, and when she did, it was nowhere near the empowering voice you might expect a frontwoman to take. Women are pretty scarce in the punk scene. There not a lot of women in bands, and women who go to shows very often get accused of being groupies. Just think about it: me telling a guy in a band that I enjoyed his set is perceived a lot differently than Julian telling a guy in a band that he enjoyed his set. It’s sad, but true. For this reason, I really think that it’s important for the women who ARE involved in the punk scene to act as positive role models and to remember that they are representing women in the scene, since we live in a society(and, subsequently, a scene) that takes note of your gender and treats you certain ways because of it. Minx did not, in my opinion, represent a very empowering model of women in the punk scene. She acted super ditsy, saying things like “every song’s about me going on a date with a boy…and then it ends…and then I write sad, sad songs about it”. Really? That’s all you have to write about? She also said, at one point, that she’d be selling kisses at the merch table after the band’s set. Yeah.

After a well-needed smoke break, we went back in just as Shonen Knife was starting. From their recordings, they sounded more or less like any other riot grrrl style band, and it was really easy to see why they would have worked beautifully on a tour with Nirvana back in the day. The Horseshoe was absolutely packed at this point, and getting to the front of take pictures of no easy feat. They’re cute, upbeat, and played a remarkably tight set that gave me a huge amount of respect for them. Musically, they basically followed the usual pop-punk formula of simplicity and attitude, including simple spaghetti-string style guitar solos that get the job done without being to flashy. Very clearly 50s rock-n-roll influenced with a lot of Ramones undertones and a bunch of riot grrrl thrown in the mix as well, it isn’t hard to love this band. They sound a little bit like the Cumshot Hookers, although they lack the melodic vocal lines. The one thing that would have made me love them more definitely would have been that more melodic vocal line, which would add a little more depth to the songs, but live, they did appear to embrace the concept of melody a little more than on their recordings.
Each member of the band was outstanding in her own way. Only original member of the band, singer/guitarest Naoko Yamano was a great guitar player, pulling off the solos and vocals like it was nobody’s business. Her voice was a little more shrill than that of bassist, Ritsuko Taneda, with whom she shared vocals, but together, their voices blended perfectly, along with drummer Emi Morimoto, creating perfect harmonies that were on key perfectly almost every time. Ritsuko, who joined the band in 1996, was a firecracker on stage, sending her long hair flying around her head, and striking punk-as-fuck poses between her prances across the stage. Brand new addition, Emi was also captivating behind the drum kit, smiling radiantly the entire time and looking like she was fourteen.
Since Shonen Knife barely speak English, it’s not surprising that they didn’t have much in the way of on-stage banter, mostly moving cleanly from song to song. The banter they did have was simple, like when they introduced songs (ie: “next, we’re going to play a song about delicious snack…banana chips!”) and introduced themselves and talked very briefly about how much they enjoyed being in and playing in Toronto and that they were ready to rock. Most of the songs were about things like snacks and candy, and it was obvious that these awesome girls were there to have fun and be happy. I’d describe the overall atmosphere during their set was something along the lines of rainbows, candy, bubbles and kittens, sparkles, etc. Each song sounded more of less like a hit, and towards the end of the set they played a new song that isn’t yet on an album (but can be downloaded from their website) that is best described as beautiful. Around that time, Emi stood up on her stool and swung around on the lighting, which was super badass. Then, with a few yells of “arigatooooo”, they ran backstage to get their soccer-fan style banners and waved them around for a while to the huge cheers coming from the audience before bowing and going off stage. Of course, the fans wanted more, and before coming out to do their encore, the girls went backstage, each changed into a Shonen Knife t-shirt and proceeded to pass out candy. Upon putting their instruments back on, they looked kinda of confused about what to play…and after asking the audience for suggestions, Naoko said “we’re really happy…so we’re gonna play ‘On Top of the World” at which time they broke into a badass, punk rock cover of the Carpenter’s song.
I left the show majorly impressed with Shonen Knife, and super disappointed with The Weirdies, who I hope to never again have to see live…though I do enjoy their recordings every now and then!


Frantic is this Weeks word of the Day. Pee-Wee okay'd it.

If you like frantic, the word or the meaning or anything about it really, meet Darko.
It was very fitting when the band contacted me after reading the A Wilhelm Scream interview because they have the same Frantic sounding layered hardcore with killer attention-grabbing lead guitar driving each song to intense levels of awesome.
It's fast, it's Frantic and it's just fucking delicious.
At times melodic but without losing any of their balls, they remind me a lot of old (good) Thrice.... just with a much more badass approach to their music.
The end of "Yet We Breath" (breathe?) they throw in some gang vocals as the drums roll in and it's quite possibly my favourite point of the album, it's just tops, my heart skyrocket's through my chest when I hear it.
The 6 song EP is worth your attention without a doubt.
Grab it HERE:

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Move Forward - The Cost Of Living

At first when the vocals hit I thought the singer might have down syndrome or something (I hope he doesn't actually, otherwise sorry for calling you out?) but after the song kicked in and the vocals picked up a bit they started sounding just like my favourite kind of raspy yelling, kind of talking, and every so often singing kind of vocals and I started falling for the band instantly.
They are Move Forward, a melodic hardcore punk band from Phoenix, AZ and I'm talking about their Cost of Living EP here, keep up will you!
They're right up my alley with their lumberjack coated punk rock similar to O Pioneers!!!, and if you're not convinced yet just listen to the title track off the EP because it's frantically awesome and will make you determined to hear more than just the 3 songs they provide you with.
Check them out on their myspace here.

Great cover!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Nooo Kitty, This Is My Suitcase! Mom, Kitty's Being A Dildo!

DAMMMN, this album is wack yo!
I mean I love it, but it's definitely wack........ yo.
I've been busting my brain for someone to compare This Is My Suitcase to for about 2 hours now and each time I rethink it and cross it off my notepad... and by cross it off my notepad I mean backspace it off my screen. The closest I can come is comparing them to the theatrical stylings of Krupke who I reviewed not too long ago. Thankfully I found this quote from an article I read about the band earlier today where Joe Camerlengos' described them best by saying "Well, it's like if the Muppets were the Flaming Lips and they were covering "Pet Sounds" and Ben Folds produced it and it was recorded in Hell."
Talk about dramatics! Each chorus to each song is epic in itself, and for some reason makes me think of an imploding penis... ?
Ouch? I couldn't tell you why that is... I don't think there's any way a penis could be happy about imploding but I totally meant that in a happy joyous imploding penis kind of way.
I have no idea what I'm talking about actually.
This album makes me happy.
It's filled with great instrumentation and background effects, and the lyrical content matches that of Conor Oberst after he's finally fallen into true love and stopped weeping, and then did some E. The way the vocals crack here and there actually really grinds my boner the right way.
It's all very quirky and cute, in the first song they have a chorus of 'meow's (purrrrrfect), in "Mean Fish" it sounds like somebody is hitting the bong in the background (that explains the album. you should probably hit the bong too to listen to it.) and so on and so on...A crazy journey through a dreamworld of magic, and although I started to get a little restless to just take it all home near the end of the album (despite smoking weed the whole time) I still ended up replaying "Rowboat" and a couple other songs immediately after it ended. So clearly I still wanted more.
Check them out here.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.