The Cellophane Flowers

The Cellophane Flowers's album Staring At The World sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a Donnie Darko spin-off movie. One less dark and spooky, directed towards younger audience with the lightness of the music contrasting the eeriness of the original. It sounds as if Phil Spector pre-murder produced it, taking influence from bands like Depeche Mode, Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Cure, only with a chick singing. I decided that it would be a movie that follows the life of Samantha Darko during Donnie's crazy time, but not anything like the movie that actually exists called S. Darko, which sounds terrible. I'm talking young, innocent, doesn't know what a 'fuck ass' is Samantha here.

Fake movie aside this album is fantastic. Mixing elements of folk (harmonica!) with 80's space-pop and only the good parts of the alt rock genre of today.
The instruments are like the puppeteer controlling the strings of the marionette, which in this case would be the beautiful female vocals. They clearly steal the show and belong front and center on the stage in your ears, but without the hands holding the strings it wouldn't work at all. The puppeteer is like God, in this case each instrument is like a mini-God that all form together to become one God ruling over this masterpiece.
I don't know what ANY of that means.
And I'm scared of it.
Because puppets scare me.
How about just listen to the song okay?

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Herbaliser = SEXXX

I have never been the biggest Herbaliser fan, NOT because I don't like them, but only because I am not too familiar with them after leaving my job at HMV where all my friends loved them and played them all the time.
Well, that's all changed now.
Their jazzy rap tunes are the best combination of two types of music I don't listen to all that much, creating a piece of fucking art that I have not been able to turn off or turn down ALL DAY LONG.
It's truly bad ass.
If there was some sort of music dictionary, this album would be featured under the phrase "bad ass".
It is to jazz and rap what this picture is to the original Inspector Gadget.
That's stupid, but don't hate. Just listen.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Devasted, part deux

Remember when I reviewed the Italian band Devasted? If you don't, go fucking read it HERE.
I fell in love with them because they sounded like Rancid.
Not only are they back, but they're back with an EPIC album made of ONE FUCKING SONG that is 12 minutes long. It's called "The Human Failure".
How cool is that!?
It's like NOFX's "The Decline" meets Godspeed You! Black Empire.
It's less like Rancid than whatever I previously reviewed (except for a brief ska-like breakdown about 6 minutes in), and a bit more like old awesome Pennywise. Especially because of the 'whooaa whoaaa whoaaaa's .
Needless to say I dig it.
It is truly EPIC. I love bands, punk bands particularly, who can write such long ass punk songs that are good from front to back, and this one most definitely is.
I only wish they weren't halfway across the world so I could see them perform the tits out of this song.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Pinback is back.

The other night I threw on the new Pinback album Information Retrieved as I hopped into the shower. I was only planning on a quick spritz because 1) I had things to do, and 2) I HATE SHOWERING.
Don't take that to mean I'm drrrty (although dirty is sexy according to Xtina), just because I only shower once a week doesn't mean that I smell bad...
KIDDING. I shower at least twice a week. Sometimes thrice.
(I just realized I'm admitting this in a review of one of my all time favourite bands, PLEASE DON'T JUDGE ME)
Whatever, I hate showering. Ever since I was a kid and this was my favourite movie, which may have something to do with it:

I don't want to die naked. That'd be really embarrassing. I'd rather die dirty.
What was I talking about?
Oh yeah, Pinback. Anyway, I only planned for a short soak and ended up dousing myself for over 30 minutes because I got lost in the music and ended up standing there with water pounding down on my head and back with my eyes closed just zoning out and listening to each track with this trance-like focus.
They've always had this affect on me. I tend to fall asleep to their albums, not because they are boring but because listening to them allows me to forget about anything else happening in my life and just feel what their music makes me feel. They instill this calmness in me that I've never found in any other band.
This new album is no exception. It's got Pinback's undeniable signature sound and that contagious subtle groove that convinces my ADD-ridden thoughts to STFU while I peacefully enjoy the music, becoming oblivious to my surroundings.
The only downside is that not every track is as catchy or stand-out-ish as some of their older records.
Summer In Abbadon has forever been one of my top 5 favourite albums, so maybe I'm just holding them to an unfairly high standard to match the brilliance that they've already put to CD but I find a few of these tracks get stuck in the background, while there are definitely others like "Proceed To Memory", "Sherman", and "His Phase" that successfully stand out as some of the greatest tracks they've produced in their career.
It may just be a case of getting to know the rest of the songs better, as already some of the others are growing on me... specifically "Diminished" at the moment, with that delicious piano and haunting vocals.
That said, I LOVE PINBACK. Always and forever. And I dedicate this song to them:

Donna Lewis - I Love You Always Forever by GuenZou

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.


I am fucking hungover.
I mean really fucking hungover
My stomach is like a bubbling pit of puke that I have been struggling to keep down all day.
I hate tequila.
I hate that I love tequila.
Just thinking about it makes the vomit volcano inside me start to rupture.
Last night, minutes after I arrived at the Victim Party, Cobra Skulls and Riverboat Gamblers show I got a call from my parents letting me know my dog was getting put down. She was the Lassie to my Matt, the Toto to my Dorothy, the Shadow to my Peter, the Snowy to my Tintin.
(which reminds me of this: Skip to 5:50)

So anyway, I decided that I would fight the sadness with many, many shots of tequila.
Now I'm sad AND hungover.
BUT, it did work last night. With the help of a few awesome fucking bands that made it impossible to focus on anything negative.
For reals yo, The Victim Party had me smiling and singing and dancing within minutes of their set. It was quite honestly the best they have ever been. The sound was impeccable, loud and clear, and the energy on stage was undeniable. The singalongs, the jokes, the ripping guitars and bass and crazy ass drums, all of it was just absolutely perfect. It blew my mind, and my load was blown along with it. They are one of Toronto's best bands and I don't get how they aren't headlining sold out Opera House gigs yet. WHAT IS WRONG WITH TORONTO MUSIC FANS? Where are you guys? Turn off that popular indie crap, remove your fake ugly hipster glasses and v-necks and start fucking paying attention to the real talent in this city. GAWD. The Victim Party remind me so much of The Briggs, who are one of my favourite bands that I listen to at least 3 times a day. Holy shit are they ever good (referring to both bands here).
Cobra Skulls saw Victim Party's amazing flawless set and raised us another amazing flawless impeccable sounding set. Holy fuck. They were fucking awesome. I don't remember TOO much but I remember being absolutely intimidated by their awesomeness on stage and wondering how I ever managed to sit down with them and interview them last year. I'm nervous just thinking back to it!
By the time Riverboat Gamblers hit the stage I was absolutely fucked off my ass and still doing more shots at the bar. Needless to say I do not remember anything from this point on... not their set, not the nachos we ate, not the bike ride home or the 10 minute phone conversation with my boyfriend. Yikes. Excuse me while I throw up.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Road To Nowhere...

I'm going nowhere right now when I should be leaving for a bad ass punk show ten minutes ago and it's because of this damn song and the fact that I've listened to it twice... on to thrice.

Isn't it so fucking good? And doesn't it remind you of this:

Yup, that's the whole damn movie folks. YOU'RE WELCOME.
Honestly though I can't stop listening to this damn song. I'm in the mood to sing along.
Good thing I'm going to see The Victim Party !

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Whaddaya waiting for... a one-liner?

I have a TON of reviews to catch up on and it's stressing me the fuck out. Every time I get one done I open my email to 3 more, and I can't fucking keep track of all this shit. So I'm going to act like a bunny fucking and catch up on each review in short, quick spurts just so I can get them all done AND MOVE THE FUCK ON WITH MY LIFE!


This album sounds like Pinback mixed with David Bowie. Can you guess that I fucking love it?


Talk about eerie-indie, Anna. I'd label this EP as gothic indie prog rock. Starts off slightly boring but it grows on you about half way through each track. I'd throw this on while smoking a joint and star gazing at night.


A rock and roll quartet? Yes please. This band is like Thor, the drums being his hammer. I love it.


THIS EP IS FUCKING AMAZING. Horn-infused rock N roll with that Grease-era swing factor that I always shit my pants over. (shitting your pants over something is a GOOD thing, for some reason) It's my favourite out of all these bands HANDS DOWN.


These guys are like a glitchy dance party out in the woods. I really like it.

That's all for now. Expect more bunny fucking reviews tomorrow because I still haven't caught up yet GADDAMMAAT!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.


If music were porn, last nights show at Parts & Labour would have been one hell of a romp tape.
I know that music ISN'T porn, obbbbbbbviously. But for some reason my mind has created an entire erotica based on the Off With Their Heads/Miracles/School Damage show I saw last night.
They played so fucking hard that it was impossible not to think about, well, fucking.
But then again maybe that's just me, I tend to relate all things hard and fast to sex. And School Damage are definitely hard and fast.
I also tend to relate every pair of round things to boobs apparently.
Anyboob (those o's are boobs to me), watching them perform was like watching a hardcore sex scene where a girl is getting hammered from behind to a soundtrack of fast-paced punk rock while their poppy TBR style vocals add some tit bouncing lightness to the session.
They played with a fury worthy of the Gods, which makes me imagine Zeus as the main character in this sexssion, givin' it to Hera, or Leto or any of his other skanks.
At one point the bass and guitar hung back to draw the focus to the drummer and his faster-than-cheetah-like beats, WHICH WAS AWESOME and in this porn would be depicted as the cameras swiveling around to focus on Zeus' butt for a few minutes.
Honestly go see these guys, their stamina is insane, barely taking any breaks between songs and never wavering their HAMMERING ABILITIEZZZZ!
*insert some useless porn plot here*
The next sexcene takes place in a dirty motorcycle bar with Motorhead blaring in the background, featuring a scary dude with a cut off jean jacket and spikes and Iron Maiden patches looking to FUCK. He finds a lady and takes her back behind the bar, lays her down and ends up being surprisingly tender to her, and loving.
That sort of contrast is exactly what Miracles offered the crowd. Standing on stage dressed exactly how I described the dude above, making the audience think it was going to be some seriously heavy cock rock set until the singer took out a harmonica and they started playing this happy folky punk rock that you'd expect from a Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer collaboration. It was FUCKing awesome, and made for a great change of thrust-pace for this porno.
*insert some final useless porn plot here*
When Off With Their Heads hit the stage it was like the final big BANG in this weird ass punk porn. I was expecting these guys to be hella intimidating based on the vocals but instead they looked pleasant and maybe a tad nerdy (I love nerds, not an insult in the slightest). Therefore I envisioned a nerd gang bang at Comic-Con or something along those lines. They played everything I knew and wanted to hear (which means every comic book character you want to see in a porn is in this scene!) and one new song that was as good as I could possibly hope their new shit would be. I'm fucking excited to hear more. Unfortunately I was quite tipsy at this point and just remember singing my little heart out in pure bliss, which is probably exactly how I'd act if I were watching this porn, only by singing I mean touching myself. TMI?
UHHHH this is awkward.

I'm Sarah. I belong here:

The Zolas / Meanwood / The Schomberg Fair / Beams / Canailles / Orchards

Holy fuck was this weekend ever musically épopée!
I'm unlazily writing about all three shows I went to when I only technically have to talk about one, but I'm going to do it in a totally lazy way all together in one post.
Does anyone have a problem with that?

That's what I thought.

The past couple nights have been the kind you want to replay over and over in your head wishing you were Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, only you wouldn't change a thing... except maybe the meals you ate. I mean you basically have unlimited resources and would probably get bored after about 50 do-overs. Is it even possible to get fat if you're just going back to do the same day over again? Come to think of it you'd never have to suffer from whatever you did the day before.. whatever you ate or however much you drank... none of that would ever matter! I would eat so many mini Reese peanut butter cups and drink my body weight in whiskey. That'd be cool!
Uh anyway, that's how good this weekend was.
I still don't want it to end and have basically just shared half a magnum of wine with myself over some new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons and a few Jeff Buckley sing-a-longs, refusing to call it a night because I'm still thriving off the weekend epic-ness.

It started out with The Zolas at The Great Hall on Friday night. They're a band who I have been obsessively listening to for the past couple of years, never even entertaining the idea of seeing them in my modest views of the Toronto music scene. Luckily they just released a new album and are touring to promote it, enabling one of my zillion concert dreams to come true.
What they lacked in stage presence - the singer was the only one really moving around or looking like he was having fun.. and he was charming and entertaining! The other guitar player looked like Thor though so I wouldn't expect him to look anything other than bored... he'd probably rather be holding his hammer - they made up for in tightness. Everything sounded exactly like it does on album, only louder. Sometimes this would be considered a bad thing, but not with The Zolas. All I wanted was to sing along to the songs the way I heard them on their albums.
They played mostly new songs which I expected and enjoyed but the icing on the Zola's cake was when they ended their set with "Marlaina Kamikaze", an older song that I had been dying to hear all night. Well played guys, well played.

After that I hit up Silver Dollar to see Meanwood and The Schomberg Fair at the latter's CD release. AnD HoLy FuCk. . . I have seen Meanwood dozens of times now and they still managed to blow my load within seconds of amazing blues-infused-country set. Talk about premature ejacuROCK. Does that make sense at all? WHO CARES!
Unfortunately I was fairly love drunk off my humps by this point and don't quite remember The Schomberg Fair, which is a mad shame because I LOVE them and was really excited to talk about their new album. What I do know is that they were fantastic. I know I liked what I heard, I just can't remember what that was. I do remember a shot of whiskey and that's about it. DON'T JUDGE ME!!!!

Saturday night back at Silver Dollar was by far the cherries on this weekends whipped cream covered tits. One of the best live bands EVER graced the Toronto stage... They are Canailles from Montreal. I saw them at Sappyfest and they were my ultimate favourite then, and they came nowhere near disappointing this time.
Beams from Toronto opened for them first and they were fucking amazing. One of the dudes played a SAW. A MOTHER FUCKING SAW. And he didn't cut himself and die like I would have. It was impressive to say the least.
Canaille hit the stage after them and just blew every swamp-country boner in the room at least 7 times. Per song. THAT is how good they are. were. whatever. I honestly don't think I've ever enjoyed a band more than I enjoy Canailles. They have the funniest characters in the band, the best stage presence and the greatest knack for involving the audience. They even called me out for not singing at one point because a friend of mine was distracting me, and made us all sing the chorus again and again and again to make up for it. OOPS! It was fucking amazing. Too amazing for words, so this review is not going to do them justice. You seriously just have to see them. It's worth the bus ticket to Montreal, seriously.
Orchards, also from Toronto, finished the show and were the perfect match to wind down the night. From their incredible vocals to the unique way of drumming (each member has one drum at their feet) they managed to hold their own against the best band in the world and STILL impress me. FuCk YeS.

The Zolas
The Schomberg Fair

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Brews Willis @ Parts & Labour

Holy shit, Parts & Labour moved their shit around and it's the SHIT!
I haven't been there in a while because it started to be an irritating place to visit, but with the bar on the other side of the venue and NO MORE MIDDLE TABLES blocking the way to the stage it's improved by about a zillion awesome points.

I only stayed for Brews Willis last night, and some of the highlights include:
Tiny fart sound in mic, something I would have done when awkward on stage.
A song about big fat titties, and the demand for titties at the front for it
Oh yeah, and ALL THE SONGS THEY PLAYED = biggest highlight.

They reminded me a lot of The Ergs on surf boards with HUGE boners.
I'm not sure why they have boners exactly, maybe that's my metaphorical boner that I'm inducing into the picture. Not that I have a penis, but if at all physically possible I did have a boner last night. Boob boners maybe? Or ear boners... which is likely to have caused my eargasm (drip drip drop there goes an eargasm - Outkast).
Whatever the case may be I totally Lonely Island'ddd last night watching them.
(Lonely Island = Jizz In My Pants FYI, not sure why I couldn't just say I jizzed in my pants, hey maybe I have some class after all?)
I could have and WOULD have watched them play that same set over two more times instead of even having other bands on the bill. It would have been like watching the first 3 Die Hards, only with nobody dying and the only thing hard is....
Well I think that's obvious by now.

I didn't make this. Thank you google image! Whoever did this... don't sue.

Oh yeah, the bassist was my favourite. I wish I could play bass! Somebody teach me!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

The Zolas nailed me.....................I mean it. They nailed IT.

Back in 2009 when The Zolas released their 1st album Tic Toc Tic it so strongly depicted my musical taste (outside of punk rock that is) and everything I was drawn to back then.
It's 3 years later and they've just released their 2nd album Ancient Mars and somehow nailed me hard, in bed, giving me exactly what I wanted all over again.
This album is somehow less grand yet more intriguing in simplicity. Softer, noticeably older, leaning more towards sunny and surf-y and away from the circus-y feel of Tic Toc Tic.
I almost can't control my impatience as I try to learn the lyrics to each song, desperate to sing along because the beat in each track seems to demand that I do.
This is one of those albums that hook you instantly, leaving you to repeat it over and over and over, your mood relying on hearing it every single day for months, like a gorgeous boyfriend who is instantly there to comfort you whenever you need it, never when you don't, and only ever makes you smile without talking back or complaining about it.
That's kind of how I imagine George Clooney, therefore this album is the music of George Clooney. Make sense? No, not really, but then again nothing ever does on this site!

The Zolas aka George Clooney will be playing The Great Hall in Toronto on October 12th. SEE YOU THERE!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Emanuel and the Fear - The Janus Mirror

It's after midnight and I'm sailing down Toronto side streets on my bike with the brand-scolding (since spanking is no longer acceptable) new Emanuel And The Fear album ... that's right, FULL LENGTH ALBUM ... The Janus Mirror - not to be confused with The Anus Mirror, which would likely be a movie produced by the same guys who did Human Centipede, back with a light Cinderella-esque feature.
(I'm going to go ahead and copyright the shit out of that idea right now before they steal it.)
Anyway, I'm on my bike listening to the album and the setting around me couldn't be more perfect. The haunting female vocals bringing in the first track suits the gloomy, autumn night outside of my headphones, followed by the intense orchestral build up that encourages my legs to pump pump pump along with the rising tempo. Whipping back and forth through one-way streets with my mind completely immersed on the other side of The Janus Mirror. I start to slow down only at the end of the song as the singer starts passionately belting out Jeff Buckley-worthy notes and I get so blown away by it that if I don't stop I'll surely crash.
From then on I am stuck in this other world, just the music and me... I'm no longer on a bike anymore, instead I'm flying. It felt like I was in one of the worlds Dick Van Dyke had drawn on the sidewalk and Mary Poppins magically hopped them into. Only this world is a bit more mature, without kids or penguin waiters wearing petite bow ties.

I started to picture a Fantasia-esque scene where Jeff Buckley's ghost inhibits Conor Oberst's body, shares his soul, and together they make music with a huge orchestra.
(Should I copyright this idea too?)
And that is how I would sum up this album.
One might even have to consider it: SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS.

I'm Sarah, don't cha know.