Holy Folk Rock 'eroni!

You have GOTS to listen to Formalists if you like folk music like AT ALL.
Seriously, my folk-boner (folkner one might say) is raging for their album Congratulations To Those Who Move Onwards And Excel!. From the second the drums kick in to the stunning back up vocal accompaniment... my metaphorical ear-boners get off on the classical structure of each song that pulls it away from that Conor Oberst shadow and into a light all its own.
I'm not just boner-ing around here either, I have serious love for this band!

They're releasing this album on February 9th at the Annex Live, so go see them.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

"Trey Anastasio, eat your heart out!" - BAD RELIGION

On my popular-with-the-dudez scale of FLACCID to BONER, the Bad Religion show last night at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto was right up there in the Bone Zone, in it's hardest possible form.

I don't mean to brag to those who were unable to get in *cough*yesIdo*cough* but their performance was one of those epic ones that you think about for the rest of your life, and remember every second of no matter how FUCKING BAKED YOU WERE.
*sidenote* dear dude with huge beard who tried to approach me at one point that I awkwardly avoided... THIS IS WHY, I'm sorry! *end of sidenote*
The set started after some of the worst pop music pumped through the venue, ending with "My Heart Will Go On" or some other Celine Dion song before the band hit the stage. A hilarious way to open such a show.
They announced right away that history was being made because this was only the second time they have EVER played their new album True North live.
I don't care about that stuff at all, but since the new album sounds so damn good it was actually kind of cool to be part of the first Toronto crowd to hear it.
The new tracks held their ground against their extensive and amazing catalogue, packing as much of a punch as you'd expect from BR 20+ years ago. The guys may be old farts by now but they can still fart HARD, FAST and CLEAN!
Even hearing live and loud the lyrics to "Robin Hood In Reverse" I just couldn't control my laughter at the 'here's the church, there's the steeple' part and I was disappointed that I didn't see a bunch of hands shoot up mockingly gesturing that kids rhyme as he sung it. I am fucking short as hell and couldn't see much though, so maybe somebody somewhere did it.
Not being able to see a damn thing usually annoys me, but this time I couldn't have cared less. I stood there staring at the back of a wall of dude heads (the one on the shoulders, okay?) just blindly listening to Bad Religion rock the shit out of the 'shoe. The sound was so fantastic and every now and then I could catch a glimpse of Gregg's charming face as he woo'd the crowd. That was enough for me! I was more disappointed in not being able to see the crowd at the front and how they were reacting to the band. Was there moshing? How nuts were people going? These are the questions I need answered!
My favourite moments were hands down when the whole room was singing along to the classics (and even a couple new ones!) as loudly as possible, almost drowning out Gregg at least from where I was standing. It was heartwarming as fuck, especially during "Los Angeles Is Burning".
The incredible performance wasn't just attributed to the music, but was partly due to the stage banter and the way the band interacted with the audience. They were super personal and talked to the crowd as if we were all just hanging out. They told stories, made jokes (ex: Gregg 'gave us a little 1997' by dancing like Mick Jagger while they had the Stones playing in the background) and even chirped fans demanding to hear songs from The Gray Race before abiding.
Like I said... it was an EPIC show. There's no way I'll forget it.

Funny Story Time!
So there was one area near the sound guy that absolutely reeked of B.O. so badly that I am pretty sure it stuck to me when I moved away from it. It was like being in Jerry's car on Seinfeld after the valet's O left his B and relocated to the C(ar). Anyway, I moved as far as I could so that I could still breathe but also still be out of the way of the bar, which unfortunately didn't get me far enough away that I couldn't notice it at all... and THEN somebody farted and it smelled so putrid that it completely covered up the B.O. and just lingered their, moist in the nostrils of everybody close. I found out something about myself at that moment.... I would rather smell terrible B.O. than a terrible fart. At least a fart from a butt unknown to me. If it were myself or a friend of mine I would probably choose the fart because at least it would add some humour. In this case though, B.O. for the WIN.

I'm Sarah. I smell what I want.

Guy Marshall

There is something extra beautiful about husband+wife folk bands. Especially ones like Guy Marshall, where both singers have equally amazing voices that compliment each other and seem to radiate the love and beauty in their relationship, translating it into the most exceptional sound.
I'm not usually much of a romantic, but that sort of thing has me jealous as fuck in the most complimentary way.
Their music is almost as enjoyable as rolling over large bubble wrap with your chair, which I'm doing right now.
OK, it's more enjoyable, but seriously bubble wrap rules.
What really got my attention though was the comparison to Deep Dark Woods (love) and THE(motherfucking)BAND - who are the peanut butter to my jelly, the fish to my chips, the Kraft to my dinner, the bacon to my ... more bacon. And holy shit can you ever hear the influence. It's absolutely stunning. To be honest it's some of the best folk music I've heard in the last, like, ever. I can't bring myself to press stop on their FACEBOOK music player, so I just keep looping the 4 songs over and over, and after about an hour and a half I am still not capable of pressing that ugly square thing to end it.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Graydon James & The Young Novelists

Gawddamn, I love me some cuntree. I mean country.
When you grow up in a hamlet in the middle of nowhere between two redneck towns it's hard NOT to love the music.
Anything with even the slightest twang to it just makes me as happy as a puppy with two peckers!
That said, I am diggin' hard (with a pitchfork) into Graydon James & The Young Novelists's album In The Year You Were Born right now. Not entirely country or anything, varying between that and roots rock, folk, and a bit of indie rock.
Check it out for yourself.

I'm Sarah blah blah blah

Alex Silas - Songs For Lovers & Fighters

Whoa, cool.
Deep voiced-almost rapping-half talking-kind of singing over pleasant happy folky indie pop/rock... not something you hear every day.
Me likey!
It's the first song off Alex Silas album called Songs For Lovers & Fighters.
He's actually one of them hip hop'rz, so not all the songs on the record sound like that, but a lot of them have guests doing some interesting things with the music, spicing it up, making it more fun. Not that hip hop isn't already fun, but you know what I mean.
See here.

I'm Sarah. I could be losing my mind.


1. Cobourg represent!
2. Squirrels represent!

What I mean is, a dude I know from Cobourg has a folky acoustic punk project called Squirrel.
All I can think about when I hear it is this:

Har har har
Anyway, it sounds like old old old Against Me!, like Reinventing Axl Rose old, but solo. It's angsty, political, DIY, and the EP is called Too Punk To Fuck. It (especially the last song) reminds me of somebody else who I can't for the life of me think of... I need to stop smoking so much weed, dammit. You listen and figure it out for me? Please?

I'm Sarah, I do what I want.

Turnpike Glow + Hayley Bonar + TV Snow

I sat down just now to review Taylor Swift's album Red, but every time I went to type out how much I fucking love all her 'fuck you' break up songs I couldn't help but hear my street cred disappearing, and all my 'punk rawwwk' fans un'like'ing my Facebook and Twitter... so I decided not to waste more time destroying my own integrity and instead consult the massive list of review requests that I have been ignoring in order to sing along to "Red" and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" like the 12 year old dork that I truly am.

So here are some respectable (but short) reviews instead.

Turnpike Glow
These guys had me hooked after one listen to their short 4 song EP. Based in the UK and produced by Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Los Campesinos), they have that cheeky indie Brit rock sound fused with summer-perfect synth pop that makes you want to dance even though it's currently winter. I can't get enough of them, especially the last song on this EP. I keep thinking of Phoenix and OK GO copulating on a hammock in the sun, the lovely juices they produce together morphing in to this band. GROSS? Nah.

Hayley Bonar
Hayley is a singer/songwriter from Minnesota who blends beautiful Alt-Americana and indie rock and often collaborates with Andrew Bird, so you know she's good. And by good I mean damn good, gorgeous voice, beautiful songs, AND HER LAST NAME IS BONAR. I am respectively holding back SO MANY BONER JOKES only because her music is so pure and non-sexual that I feel like a huge hard prick (AKA BONER) even mentioning dicks when referring to this lady. But, alas, I managed to without meaning to.

TV Snow
Hot diggity, these guys have an album called Red. WHAT A COINKY DINK. Although it's not exactly my cup of tea (as in, it's no T-Swift) but it's solid, happy-go-lucky indie rock that's definitely worth checking out if you're into that sort of thing.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.


There's a new group of villains set to take over our city... through music!
But have no fear, these guys are pretty shitty at being villains and haven't had much luck yet.
They're called Team!Badguy and they write comics into songs, telling stories that make you imagine being in a comic in your head as you listen, and if you close your eyes you'll feel like you're at a Broadway musical in the magical world of DC. Only the superheroes are actually not-so-super-villains, and I imagine them as the cast of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, failing all around at being villains... so far.
It's truly one of the coolest concept albums I've ever heard. And I'm going to say it right here, RIGHT MEOW, that these guys are going to be huge. Mark my word fools! Especially because they're looking to work out a performance that represents both the music and the comic aspect IN REAL LIFE.
The idea alone is fucking siiq, but the icing on the mmmmmm cake is that the music is actually DAMN FUCKING GOOD too. So good that I haven't been able to stop listening to the 5 tracks on their FACEBOOK page and couldn't wait for the dude in the band to drop off an actual album for me before I reviewed it.
The structure of their songs is an insane mix of hip hop, funk, rock and roll, grunge and motherfukkin' theatrical as shit.
It's so good that I actually put off showering for like the 3rd day in a row just so that I could listen to it a few times and go comic book shopping instead.

Seriously check them out.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.


Let me tell you a story about a band so good,
that after one show I wanted to leave my hood,
and move East to Halifax so I could see them play,
with dreams that they'd be performing every single day.

They're called OUTTACONTROLLER and they play real pop punk,
But with a little bit extra to reach a real slam dunk.
Think Teenage Bottlerocket and NOBUNNY in a fuck fest on the floor,
Each fantasizing about awesome pop punk bands that have come before.

That's how they sound, obviously meant in the best way,
When a band sounds like sex you know they're more than A-OK.
They're a band so powerful they even infect love into some fans,
Who fall in love after one pop punk dance!

For real though, check out this missed connection from the OUTTACONTROLLER show in Toronto last Friday!


I'm Sarah, I do what I want.