Monday, November 27, 2006

BAILE MTL 6 w/ Paul Devro

Saturday, December 2nd @ Zoobizarre, 6388 St. Hubert (Metro Beaubien)

The 6th volume. Considering how packed it was for the last two volumes, we're encouraging peolpe to show up early and prepared for top level booty bass.

Special guest Paul Devro (Mad Decent, SLUM) will be flying in from Vancouver.

As well, we'll also have copies of the first BAILE MTL mix-tape, "Baboon", with selections from JP, Guillaume and Jay from Ivory Temple; and mixing by Guillaume.

Doors 22h, $5
Zoobizarre - 6388 St. Hubert, Metro Beaubien

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Baile Funk Volume 5.

Saturday, August 26th @ Zoobizarre, 6388 St. Hubert (Metro Beaubien)

Back for the fifth installment, Montreal's premiere hi-cut blend of funk carioca, international booty beats and post-tropicalia dancehall nonsense, now in full technicolour and stereophonic sound. DJing by that master of all forms of radio (AM, FM, shortwave, internet) MASALA (, and IVORY TEMPLE (, and 21st century video projection magic. Globe-trotting, genre-hopping, and saliva-swapping with: baile funk, desi beats, Miami Bass, d. south, Washington Go Go, soca, reggaeton, electro, soul, funk, hip house, etc.

portes 22h, $3
Zoobizarre - 6388 St. Hubert, Metro Beaubien

Friday, August 25, 2006

Baile Funk Volume 4.

Saturday, August 26th @ Zoobizarre, 6388 St. Hubert (Metro Beaubien)

Much-ballyhooed, fourth volume of this event. This promises to be going off bigger than last time, and with more bar staff this time, so you won't have to wait twenty minutes in line for a little juice. Guillaume De Couflet II will, of course, be offering up Brazilian cuts and the rest, while JP and myself take on the rest of the globe. Hopefully a perfect appetizer for the following weekend, with MEG Fest nouveau-French-touch shindig going down. (Honary Franco Uffie, Feadz, Ghislain's set with live drummer(!), Busy P, SebastiAn, DJ Medhi, Teki from TTC, Para One!)

And a little bit in the future, on the fifth-year birthday tip, Pop Montreal gets too big for its britches with Goldkixx-approved programming (_urtis _odka?, _losstradamus?, _id _ister?), between the dates of October 4th and 8th. Sleep less!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hood Rat, Hood Rat, Hoochie Mama...

2 Live Crew - Hoochie Mama.mp3

I first encountered 2 Live Crew in elementary school, right about the time the group was gaining national notoriety for, uhh, being banned in Boston or something. I don't remember the details, I just remember that it was the sort of thing that corrupted youth, and being youthful, I was eager as hell to hear it. Strange that a little bit of controversy around some regional hip-hop group could result in a 8 and 9 year old kids actively seeking it out in a small town in northern British Columbia, about as far from Miami as one can get in North America without running into an eskimo. Also very strange that the Bibliotheque Nationale here in Montreal has two copies of 2 Live Crew's Greatest Hits Volume 2... (2 Volumes?)

Hoochie Mama is dirty, as expected, with references to coochies, 69s, hoodrats, hot pants, booties and all the rest... Compared to Me So Horny (the sequel of which was the embarassing satire on Presidential sexual indiscretion, Bill So Horny), this is bouncier, funnier, and definetly a fine summer track, the sampling owes a bit to Eric B. & Rakim, to my mind, too.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Ridin' Dirty...

Missy Elliot vs. M-Flo - AstroDutch Mix.mp3

Los Angeles, California's Siik (thanks for Jon Meyer's jam support on this, he shoved this over my way) throws up a well-flushed out remix here, a little too cluttered for my girlfriend but dynamite to my ears.

Guillaume and I, under our nom de chanson IVORY TEMPLE were defeated soundly a couple of weeks back at the 2nd iPod Battle (the first one is held in ), not even making it past the first round. There were rumblings that our mixer didn't have any bass, so we're going to be back for the next installment, whenever that happens. Beyond my whining (I'm not a sore loser, really!), I'm encouraging you to check out what these kids are up to, because it was fun, it will be fun, and it's encouraging to see some Anglo and Franco hybridization in this city. Chroniclers of MTL nightlife, 33mtl have some pictures and videos of the whole shindig, which was held in the somewhat decrepit Union Francais building in Old Montreal.

Also on our plate, another BAILEFUNKMTL night on Sunday, June 25th at Zoobizarre, a Bmore mix from Guillaume, and an IVORYTEMPLE summer mixtape.

June 2nd Partial Playlist

Shut Up Bitch Lil' Kim
Holla At Me DJ Khaled
Muscolor ft. TTC Para One
Astrodutch (Siik Remix) Missy Elliot
I Ting (Jools MF Remix) Amerie
Gold Lion (Optimo Remix) YYYs
Wake Up Lo Fi FNK
How Do U See Me Now? Zdar
Can't Go For That PJ Pooterhoots
Everything Is Everything Phoenix
Some Indulgence The Embassy
Fa Fa Fa Datarock
Hate Fuck Mt. Sims
Star Track Rod Lee
I Love Your Smile (Bmore Remix) Shaunice
Overnight Star Flosstradamus
Bojangles Tittsworth
Take Me Noisy Bunch Remix
McNasty Filth Jaylib ft. Jay Dilla
Be Easy Ghostface Killah
Gangsta Boogie Plantlife
Gimme That Nut Eazy E
Clek Clek Boum Voltair
Son Do Braza Braza
Melo de Estudante Tetive
Baile (Sp. Rock Baile) Flosstradamus

...and then Guillaume's handwriting goes all crazy...

Broke Ass Home DJ Ayres
....? Noisy Bunch
Boss Of Me Kevin Swift
Jeffersons Tittsworth
Respect (24 Hrs) Aretha Franklin
Saian ft. RZA, Ghostface
We Got Our Own Thing (Smalltown DJs Remix) Heavy D

Monday, May 15, 2006

Reduce The Friction...

Eric B & Rakim - Let The Rhythm Hit Em (Omega One Remix).mp3

From DJ Ayres' The Rub: It's The Motherfucking Remix Vol. 2, a creepy as hell Omega One mix, well-suited for late-night strolling back from whatever party. Thank god summer's here, huh? The forward-pushing triumvirate of The Rub (DJ Ayres, Cosmo Baker and DJ Eleven) will be here in Montreal on June 4th at Club 1234, a sure-sign that it really is summer here.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Square Pegs.

Shapes And Sizes - Island's Gone Bad.mp3

I'm off to Hawaii to work on an article about Queen Lili'uokalani's songbook and Hawaiian nationalism, but before I go, I'll be checking out Victoria's chipper and rose-cheeked pop quartet Shapes & Sizes, who'll be stopping by Casa Del Popolo tonight. I long ago promised to write something about them and their Canadian baroque pop brethren: The Paper Cranes, The Dymaxions, and Code Pie, but that'll have to wait. For now, here's a lament for the departed ex-pats of Victoria, BC, long may they suffer.

My first column in the Mirror just appeared today. Scope out at your own risk!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Weekend Double Dosing

The Embassy - Some Indulgence.mp3

Sweden's The Embassy sort of passed me by. Albums in 2002 and 2005 won over Sweden, but unlike minimal design at bargain prices, sensible automobiles, and blonde pop chanteuses, they never seemed to make it over the pond.

The Embassy trade on the sort of late New Order-esque sophisto-Euro-pop production (a solid base of acoustic guitars, chimes, crystalline oohs and ahhs) that activates my musical sweet-tooth (and may bring up a bit of something in the back of the throat along with memories of Erasure and The Pet Shop Boys for some of you). Dreamy-yacht-rock may be perfectly suited for car commercials (the hidden historical aim of indie rock's progression, synthesis to thesis and antithesis), but it's done without the bad faith or second-guessing that hounds say, graduates of Evergreen College. Ambitious feel-good pop music best played on your stolen Bang & Olufsen turntable.

Band Website or Label Website

Primal Scream - Accelerator.mp3

To cleanse the palate, similar to a whiff of coffee beans, here's a song originating from a similar school (Creating A Universe Within A Studio), but arrives at different conclusions... Primal Scream, who've pretty much cemented their reputation as The Only Supergroup Worth Talking About with members like Mani (formerly of the Stone Roses), Kevin Shields, and collaborations with Two-Long Swordsmen, Kate Moss (in her pre-Doherty days) and many more, are set to release a new album in May titled Riot City Blues, which will add to the roll-call of British music's leading lights by featuring contributions from Echo & The Bunnymen's Will Sergeant, The Bad Seeds' Warren Ellis, and Alison Mosshart from The Kills.

This track is from 2000's skull-cracking XTRMNTR, which I'd argue is the most completely realized statement articulating PS' mission, encapsulating most of what was worthwhile from the various musical subcultures they toyed with in the 90s while remaining. It could do without Pills' hip-hop stylings, though.

On another note, I've got a column in the Mirror that's starting this week. No name as of yet, still sussing that out, but the focus will be on mp3s, blogs, and other aspects related to music online. Montrealers can read it next Thursday, gratuit.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Gotta Get Your Love

Clyde Alexander & Sanction - Gotta Get Your Love.mp3

A couple of years back I picked up the spectacular compilation Disco Juice, a double-LP featuring selections from Harlem's P&P Records, including Jesse Gould's Out Of Work and L.J. Waiters' Hooked On Your Line.

The first cut on side C is the one above: Gotta Get Your Love, recorded by Gary Davis in 1979, by Clyde Alexander & Sanction, Sanction (a group featuring Gary and his younger brother Wendell). A choice song in the UK's Northern Soul scene, this track is a killer slice of gritty disco that (thankfully) lacks the sheen of overproduced string sections and too chirpy back-up singers. Beyond the sizzling horn section, this track kills it for a number of other reasons - the up-in-the-mix rolling bassline, the stuttering snare break, and the chattering vocal interplay, touching off my fetish for songs that hint at a party setting (think Roxy Music) whether through champagne glasses clinking or general party sounds.

A strange aside to all of this, though it was released ostensibly as a track by (at the time) 15 year old vocalist Clyde Alexander, he barely appears on the track, his contributions lost far, far in the mix, while Rhonda Whaley's vocals dominate, the strange situation owing to a demand for exclusive contracts for performers only signed by Clyde. Quickly a choice song amongst DJs in the UK's Northern Soul scene, a second version was recorded by Gary Davis in 1982 using the same players (sans lil' Clyde, sadly) and self-released on Chocolate Star Records.

Grab The Comp Here

Monday, March 20, 2006

Disco Lazers... Ring My Bell.

Anita Ward - Ring My Bell (12 Inch Version).mp3

24 year old substitute teacher and gospel-trained singer Anita Ward scored a subsantial dancefloor burner with 1979's Ring My Bell. Originally penned as a teeny-bopper homage to telephone obsessed youngsters, and intended for 11 year old Stacy Lattisaw, it might not have been recorded by a reticient Ward were it not for Stax Records producer Frederick Knight's insistence. Hitting number one and holding for five months in the States (to say little of her impressive numbers in Britain, Canada, Europe and elsewhere), she toured heavily, before retiring back to teaching and motherhood.

Ward's soaring high-pitched vocals play off the cooing back-up singers, and the shuffle beat and disco lazers make this the sort of jubiliant pop song that often seems woefully underrepresented when journos, "Remember The 70s" VH1 shows and others look back at the "disco era." Far from the presumed homogenity of gawdy fabrics and banal club decadence, there was an inventiveness and spirit in a lot of the music missing from mainstream rock music at that time*. It's not necessarily a forgotten classic (Ward performed this at New Year's Eve in New York in 2000, there have been a whole slab of remixes floating about), but it's a choice one, on par with Clyde Alexander's Gotta Get Your Love, another one of my faves that I'll feature tomorrow.

*Yes, yes, I realize I'm pretty much preaching to the converted here, I don't know that many people who fly the rockist flag all that much, not even the Mojo Magazine tribe members, but I'm too lazy to fabricate any other intellectual/historical context to justify my affection for this song with.

IVORY TEMPLE will be filling in the blanks between soundchecks and sets and bathroom runs on Wednesday night at Club Lambi (4465 St. Laurent) as Scandinavian electro-popper Annie return to Montreal. Given that she's got a higher profile than at the time of last year's Pop Montreal festival, one would expect a little more people than the music critics and forward-thinking St. Catherine Villagers that made up the bulk of the audience at that point.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Baltimore Club-It: Fuck You Up Like A Percoset

Spank Rock - Sweet Talk.mp3

Hotly anticipating their return to Montreal in just over a month, I've been periodically squealing in delight since partner-in-crime Guillaume (aka G'Homme) played this for me barrelling down Ste. Catherine last week. Baltimore-based Spank Rock's Sweet Talk hits similar po-funk spots as bi-coastalians !!! or AreYouFamiliar faves Velella Velella: a head-nodding, arm-thrusting number that finishes with a cascading schoolgirl chant, leavened with sweet percussion and their patented brash lyric stylings...

Heads would do well to check out a Spankrock video hosted by the BigDada crew, featuring some extensive MTL metro action, including a detailed explanation of the ACT. It's here in Quicktime format.

Montreal, QC
Thursday, April 12th
Spankrock, Devlin & Darko et guests
@ Main Hall (5390 St. Laurent)
$12 adv/$15 door

Everybody's favourite jet-set juvenile Douglas Ko of SLUM fame had 'em over in Vancouver last month, and from all accounts, it was incredible. Now, someone throw Think About Life on this bill!

Order Spankrock from BIG DADA or TurntableLab if you're so inclined.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Goldkixx II

...sorry about the disappearing act...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Uffie Pops...

Uffie - Ready To Uff.mp3

Cut-to-shape perfect bio: pint-sized female rapper with a foul mouth, originally from Miami (f'real?), worked with Feadz (that's her boypal, sorry, fellas), remixes by Mr. Oizo and SebastiAn, a 12" (Pop The Glock) released on Pedro Winter's Ed Banger Records, and all of 19 years old. This is cross-continental stumble-hop with RapMaster synth-estra hits, which gives me high hopes for the upcoming full-length. Jesus, with the exception of Poirier, Ghostface & Spankrock, the only new hip-hop I've been really excited about has been from Europe (Modeselektor, Roots Manuva, TTC, et al.), huh?

Unfortunately the Uffie/Mr.Oizo/Feadz tour wasn't able to stop by Montreal this time given the short notice, but I'm hopeful that Uffie will be here sometime soon. MEG, perhaps?

Curious nerds can drop paypal euro$ at ARCADEMODE, or get creep-like at her myspace page.

Goldkixx II: Yours, Mine, It's All About Crime.

Goldkicks was getting a bit sluggish, owing to its advanced age and the burden of extensive archives of drunken rambling, half-baked commentary and earnest pleas to attend various DJ nights.. Here's hoping that version 2 will prove to be a more focused effort.

Guillaume Decouflet and myself are DJing under the moniker IVORY TEMPLE and have some more nights and gigs coming up, as you can see on the top-left. Hook us up on the myspace if you're so inclined.

I'll be in Vancouver for a couple of nights (March 31st and April 12th) on my way to and from Hawaii. Anyone with points to check out in Maui, let me know, and I'll see a lot of you V-couvs, however briefly, soon!

A couple of points of interest over the next week or so... Ghetto-tech-er Disco D at Kop Shop on Friday. Tonight's a new PeerPressure night @ Blizzarts... I'll be recovering at home, but it should be good. If you're in the same state as me, stay home and check out my man Alex' show on McGill's threatened station, CKUT 90.3, midnight - 2 am.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sailor White

Sailor White - Mortimer Pass.mp3
Sailor White - In The Country.mp3

Sailor White is a project by the man better known to Montrealers as Crawdaddy Simon, a real mensch who displays a breath of knowledge on many bands and albums garage, psych, punk, pop and thus related that shames even the most in-tune autodidact (you need a comprehensive breakdown on the hidden treasures of the Graf Zeppelin or The Misunderstood discographies? He's your man!). He puts that expertise to good use in monthly DJ gigs (called "the best rock n' roll DJ in town" by wiley ol' codger Jonathan Cummins in the pages of the Montreal Mirror), and now I've got a couple of four-track demos from a new project he's working on titled Sailor White that I've been quite excited about since I was made aware of 'em.

Fans of that Heron song Yellow Roses that I posted a while back will find a similar whiff of the pastoral in the instrumental Mortimer Pass, which could just as well have been recorded in a meadow, too. Whistfully melodic, it's the sort of song that one hopes to have playing on a lazy summer morning. In The Country is a paean to the inherent pleasure of escaping the city that's been set to bongos, acoustic and electric guitars that kicks it up with a great rolling guitar lead before the chorus' reprise.

When I asked Simon about other things he's been involved, he mentioned a "modest contribution on acoustic guitar to the new album (Red Rayon Flower, Night Beneath The Sea) by Rivers & Mountains alumni Emerald Cloud Cobra". (There's actually a launch for that album here in Montreal at Toc Toc (6091 ave du Parc) this Friday. More info on the album, check here.)

Ladies, Simon is single and an Aquarius...

Punters, drinkers, music fans and potential suitors (suitresses?) should check out his upcoming DJ at Casa Del Popolo (4873 St. Laurent) on February 7th. Get in touch with him through his myspace page, check out some more songs and bug him to put together a band for some live performances. A little caveat: I've already called dibs on playing the bongos. Maybe you could play flute?

Strangely, Jaime over at the always-on-it, must-read Daughters of Invention blog has a post up with a couple of mp3s from Hamilton band Sailboats Are White. February 1st: a nautical sorta-day. (SAILBOATS! SAILBOATS! NOT SAILORS! SAILORS CAN BE WHITE OR BLACK OR RED OR YELLOW OR STRANGELY GREY IF THEY'D REALLY LIKE TO BE! IN FACT, ON CERTAIN TRIPS IN TREACHEROUS WATERS, SAILORS CAN BE GREEN IN THE GILLS!)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Parricide v1.02.1 Jordan Robson-Cramer et Mathieu Malouf

MAGIC WEAPON - Fireflies.mp3

As I'd promised below, here's a new track from MAGIC WEAPON, which is the nom de chanson recently adopted by Mathieu Malouf and Jordan Robson-Cramer. You'll remember them from Parricide v1.02, Jordan is the multi-instrumentalist who's also doing time with Sunset Rubdown (who'll be on tour with Frog Eyes later this spring and have a new EP out on Global Symphonic) as well as Boite-Noire's friendliest clerk, and Mathieu is the curator of Concordia's Cafe X Gallery and master of . There's a little touch of the same analogue-synth stutter rap style a la Ratatat in this song, and that hook at the end is one of the catchiest I've heard in a long-time, I hope it segues into a fully-blown song on the next track. Magic Weapon now has a name, a Myspace page, the love of adoring fans, and hopefully some shows scheduled in the future.

Bonus Mp3s To Compensate For My Lack of Updates
The Coachmen - Household Word.mp3 (for Dan)
Josef K - Sorry For Laughing.mp3
Paul Haig - Ghostrider.mp3 *
Orange Juice - Louise Louise.mp3
Book of Lists - Points of Arrival and Departure.mp3 +

* Paul Haig was the frontman of Postcard Records' Josef K. This version, most people will agree, is far superior to The Rollins Band's unfortunate butchering of the track on the soundtrack to The Crow.
+ I've written about them before - The Book of Lists are one of my favourite bands in Vancouver, if not Canada, right now. Fronted by former Radio Berlin guitarist and vocalist Chris Frey (also, one hell of a photographer and swell guy), let's hope a full-length to follow up last year's superb EP Red Arrows shows up soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Parricide v1.03: Telefauna

An ambitious pop quartet running Devo and genre-specific pop allusions (that Cultural Studies degree has real-world applications?) through lo-fi circuitboards, Telefauna is another entity making castles in the early 20s sandbox, applying a rare eye for technique and craft that isn't obsessive (fourty guitars layered through your four-track does not an album make), or half-assed, but made in the same spirit as The Go! Team. At last year's Pop Montreal they packed PreLoved's in-store with an enthusiastic set hampered only slightly by a number of tech. difficulties (crappy mic stands, a bitchy and unco-operative drum machine) and won over the crowd, and this year promises more good things for the kids, who package up a lot of promise, talent, wit and good natured fun. Truly!

Telefauna - Phantom Limb

Telefauna's First EP was self-released late last year, a dynamite stick of a four-song release packed with ideas, hooks and that cleverly knicked production techniques from hip-hop's leading lights. Culturally aware, but not trapped in some nightmarish feedback loop, it was a promising first shot from their camp, refugees from the Thunder Bay gulag. What's the last thing good to come out of T. Bay since domestic comic strip For Better Or For Worse? Is that even from there? Do I keep making the same unfunny and incorrect joke over and over again? Phantom Limb is one of the stand-out tracks on the EP, featuring a percussive wah-wah rhythm guitar, analogue synth-stabs which transform into octave jumping and rolling basslines, that form the basis of a pretty stomping song that ends in over-dubbed arpeggio. Sweet.

Telefauna - The Latest Information (Booji Boy Version)

This song's not a single from a recording session just completed with Graham Van Pelt, whom you'll remember from Parricide v1.01., but they will be working with him in the future. Of The Latest Information (Booji Boy Version), Tyler says it "might just be a single, or if it stands up, we may rework it" for a new release, set to see the light of day in 3 or 4 months. It satiates the market's demand for melodies based on the the Arabic scale and rhythms, which grew out of the cultural uncertainty citizens of the West now feel after 9/11. Like Aladdin, which articulated the dearly held myths about the Middle East and Arabic culture of many North Americans. That is, there are genies (mostly wacky, sometimes evil), and there are royal families, and also, shady merchants. Everyone wears billowing and pleated pantaloons.

As befits a bunch of youngsters who've yet to have their dreams dashed on the jagged rocks of reality or post-graduate aimlessness (I didn't even get that far!), they cast their talents far and wide: front-man Adam Waito devotes some of his time to the handsomely-designed gender studies journal G-Eunuch; Tyler Rauman is an accomplished illustrator who's hand can be seen behind some of the more phantasmical posters around town (get a glimpse here); Katherine Peacock has her own project, the psych-pop cabaret group Dorian Hatchet; and Ian Goodman, well, peek over at his myspace page for the details on that...

Check out more mp3s and buy their EP at

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Flaky Disco!

Alex Lemieux, one of the premier curators of left-field disco at Zoobizarre (amongst many of the other hats he wears - Les Georges Leningrad manager, MEG programmer, occasional bartender, promoter of the Champagne & Sparks cocktail) just started up the Flaky Disco blog. Witness!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Parricide v1.02: Jordan Robson-Cramer

I've known Jordan Robson-Cramer for a number of years now - first encountering him as the precocious youngster who showcased a Sven-Gali like mastery of his first high-school band, whom I caught playing beside city hall in the summer of 2001, and from there as excitable contributor to bands and projects in Victoria (Short Pants Romance1, for one), who maintained a studio in the basement of his mother's suburban home, and was often spotted with a bag of candy in his hand and a whole smattering of enthusiastic opinions on music he was discovering. 21st Century Fox, a small studio project, showcased a love of frantic, neu!-wave leaning art rock harkening back to the better elements of The VSS' catalogue (Nervous Circuits!), and was sold as a CD-R at Ditch Records.

Jordan, at left, with Toronto's favourite electrician, Derek. Note to Jordan's mother: he does not smoke.

Like many good people Victorian, he's since moved to Montreal, making himself known as probably the only one of the ex-pats who's French-speaking, tinkering a bit under the moniker XY Lover, and more recently, playing with fellow multi-instrumentalist Mathieu Malouf (a native Montrealer who has a knack for coining phrases that sound as if they belong in Damio Suzuki's lyric book) and devoting time to Sunset Rubdown, which is Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade's other project.2

X Y Lover - Expand Your Instants Into Oblivion

Expand Your Instants Into Oblivion fits handsomely into an aesthetic school of artists that are re-examining the ambient pop and studio wizardry of My Bloody Valentine. Like Animal Collective and Caribou, this is richly textured ear-candy: Spector-esque production techniques are utilized to force effects-heavy guitars and manipulated sheets of white-noise into fulgent waves, dreamy and rhapsodic.

X Y Lover - Your Parents' Funeral

Another fine example of JRC's studio and compositional skills, Your Parents' Funeral is a drugged and heady two minute trip that comes alive with a pair of headphones. The overdubbed half-mumbled vocals, lilting guitar lines (like that bit in Television's Marquee Moon, I envision cherry blossoms falling... Really!) and extra percussion that appear halfway through the song, as instruments and tracks slowly fade out, are the key components in this, which feels like an excerpt for a larger work that stands well enough alone.

(More tracks from X Y Lover are available on his New Music Canada site.)

I'll put a couple of more tracks within the next few weeks, specifically ones from the project that Jordan and Mathieu are involved in, after they're done adding vocals and polishing them up.

1. Short Pants Romance, named after a line in Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues, feat. Arlen Thompson of Wolf Parade as the initial drummer, after a couple of tumultuous years morphed into Lakeboat.

2. Sunset Rubdown just finished recording 11 songs with Jace Lacek of The Besnard Lakes at his Break Glass Studios (where the beds for the Islands record where recorded), and from a sneak preview I've heard, it's going to be one of the highlights of 2006. Absolutely Kosher will be dropping that on May 2nd of this year, to coincide with their tour with critical and audience faves Frog Eyes.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday Tracks.

Television - Marquee Moon (Brian Eno demo version)
The Coachmen Thurston's Song

Two stellar tracks from around the same time, same place, featuring wonderful guitar noodling. Now, I've never been a Sonic Youth fan, but I do tendency to date them (or recovering ones at least), and fans will note that The Coachmen were one of the first groups that Thurston Moore played in. My friend Dan (Fortunato), an SY fan I didn't date, had The Coachmen record a couple of years back when I was living in Victoria, but I only listened to it once and the group faded from my mind until recently.

Described by Kim Gordon as the "tallest band in the world," the group broke up the very night that Gordon and Moore met. As you can tell from above, the Lou Reed-like vocals and rambling guitar leads, mirrored what Orange Juice was doing around the same time, albeit an ocean away, and the group responsible for the song posted above. (The Royal Art Lodge associated Montreal-based group Bold Saber remind me a lot of them, too.)

Did 1/2 of MSTRKRFT pinch the moniker Girls Are Short from The Coachmen song of the same name? Anyone?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Parricide v1.01

Mathieu Malouf expends much energy attempting to wrestle the title of Master of the Melodica from Augustus Pablo.

When James Murphy so eloquently gave a voice and beat to the vulnerability and fear of obsolescence housed in the mind of the aging hipster in LCD Soundsystem's Losing My Edge, at least a couple of us laughed along while secretly shuddering inside, betraying a latent fear of the hungry young, whom, while appearing the wholesome, apple-cheeked and milk-fed youths fresh from suburban enclaves outside mid-sized Canadian cities, weren't averse to baring their teeth and chewing up their elders. What of history? It couldn't be so irrelevant, the projects and bands and feuds and all that ate up so many hours and so many dollars from trust-funds and student loans and minimum wage jobs, could it? Well, yeah, kind of, I guess.

The specific cultural craving for novelty in place of innovation in an independent music scene demands the slaughtering of sacred cows moments after they cease being calves, which, to my mind, is a positive thing. Better the cows graze off in search of the greener pastures of middle-aged responsibility and stable, well-paying vocations than for them to hang around, embarassingly drunk and lowering a leacherous eye towards the nubilians. And thankfully, in Montreal, the elders can take solace in knowing that though these kids might not show sufficient respect for the monument to human ingenuity and creativity that say, Sofa's Grey album is, they've got their own shit going on, and in many cases, it's good.

So, over the next couple of days I'm going to put up some mp3s and blurbs about newer Montreal artists who're doing inventive and awesome things, fashioning their own aesthetic and maybe occasionally sticking it to the aged.

Graham busts it in a typically handsome sweater.
Miracle Fortress - Watery Grave
Miracle Fortress - Eschatology
Think About Life - Snowee Caterpillars

The first artist I'll mention is Graham Van Pelt. The tall fellow with the shock of red hair sits behind the controls of his Miracle Fortress project, in addition to co-piloting Think About Life, providing excellent soundguy skills, and being a member of the Friendship Cove household/venue/conceptual space. Any listeners to Andrew Rose's Pop and podcasts will recognize the above names, and may have even witnessed Graham's recent performance at the For The Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens benefit in December.

Graham's songs are thoughtfully composed and home-recorded, they bounce like all good pop music should, and also present a variation on the ubiquitious (and oft-times poorly executed) genre of casio-pop that interacts with some of its unspoken rules, without sacrificing craftmanship or veering off into kitsch.

Watery Grave is a sea-shanty or stumbling waltz, comprised of sparring melody lines, vocal overdubs and Glass-ian arpeggiation that's half exubriant pop song, half expansive soundscape. Curiously, Eschatology begins with a beat more than familiar to the above-mentioned James Murphy. Note the bass line and hyper-active kick drum!

If you're interested in acquiring a copy of the EP, go check out Graham's myspace page for ordering info.

Danava, Soaring... A Race Of Power-Seeking Giants.

Danava - By The Mark
Danava - Silver Shock

Fronted by the newest member of Glass Candy & The Shattered Theatre, the scarecrow-voiced Dusty Sparkles, Danava (formerly Walk Walk Pink) are a Portland-based psych and glam group that wields a mighty sword, indeed. Forged in the flames (keeping with the clunky metaphor here) of myth-loving 70s Anglo-rock (Yes, Sabbath, Hawkwind...) they pull it off admirably, lo-fi production complimenting the group's sonic ambitions (plenty of stereo-pans, overdubs, fuzzed out guitars).

I have a soft-spot in my heart for this sort of epic metal-tinged rock, but a lot of bands seem to steal too freely from the Iron Maiden catalogue, and, even worse than that, from the bloated studio production and convoluted myth-matching (Mr. Bolan can take responsibility for that, being the master of nonsensical nomenclature), so much so that it marks their endeavours as costly, sub-par wankery. Danava are tinged with that tooth-rotting nostalgia I demand out of so much of my music (and that characterizes a lot of the great music from that San Diego to San Francisco to Portland post-Gravity Records diaspora), but seem fresh, not anachronistic. And where Black Mountain have the tendency to boogie, roll joints in fields and play bongoes, members of Danava more than likely prefer to avoid the sun.

These two songs are from a tour demo - with a new double album in the works (they're going into the studio in the next couple of months) and some touring, they'll be bringing salvation to the sexually and sonically confused kids who cower in high school art rooms across the midwest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . N o t e s . . . . . . . . . . .

Fellow Montreal-er Justin at A Boy & His Blog has a couple of tracks from the upcoming Pink Mountaintops EP.

Hey hey to Marc at Tonight Let's Dance for the link!

The Mirror's 2006 Noisemakers issue is out at deps and cafes everywhere in the city as of today, and manages to get a couple of things right - notably the inclusion of favoured Goldkixx musicians The Besnard Lakes and Tony Ezzy (which reminds me, I've got some mp3s to put up.).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rock On London

Mar Sellars, the very owner of the ass above, just starts doing this podcast thing, doesn't even tell me, and just leaves it up to my own handy-dandy internet skills (uhh, self-googling?) to find that out? Jesus! Well, anyway, Mar Sellars, who by every teensy fibre of her human being is beloved, who formerly played with living legends of Vancouver The Ewoks (and you know, some other groups, too, like The Riff Randels), the very one who spent plenty of time twiddling knobs and sometimes interviewing them, too, with CBC Radio, is now living in London, England, and hosting the RockOnLondon podcast. Visit her, give her love, and if you're a BBC Radio (or even television) producer - why haven't you hired her yet?

P.S. Aussi, merci bien pour l'amour, blogotheque, et je suis désolé que mon français soit si terrible. Je blâme B.C. Salut!


It was the only photo of Ryan I had...
Himalayan Bear - Aloha.mp3

Unless I'm mistaken, which occasionally happens (and how!), Vancouver Island is about as close to Hawaii as one can get in Canada... Which makes this track all the more apt. Himalayan Bear is the nom-de-chanson of silken-voiced Ryan Beattie, he of Victoria's Chet, whom (if you were watching) dropped a gorgeous album Kau'ai (Hive-Fidelity - in Europe on Labelman?) earlier last year that spent some time on the college charts and more time in my CD player. (They've apparently got another one on the way.)

Ryan's distinctive voice, capable of baritone and falsetto leaps that would injure most other human beings terribly, working with a lap-steel, makes the perfect sound for this song, which suits my current desire to escape the damnable Montreal cold for tropical beachland. Even if I have to wear a grass-skirt.

Aaargh Records will be releasing the Lo, Lonesome Island! EP, from which the above song is taken, in a month or two. Jump on it!


Congratulations to The Diableros on their signing to Baudelaire (Alright, that's the correct spelling now!), Torontonian home to Tangiers.

Sibling Bostonians Ponies In The Surf, whom I covered a couple of months ago have dropped their first full-length Ponies On Fire, on Asaurus record, and have been mopping up love and kudos from blogs far and wide.

Code Pie are at The Main Hall (5390 St. Laurent) here in Montreal on Saturday.

Midnight Poutine keep up with the scheduled barrage of updates from their dedicated army of scribes. Recent missives from the front include the 2005 round-up, with a hash-induced list from yours truly, amongst other Pop-kids like Daniel Seligman, Andrew Rose, and Shawn Petsche. Mr. Rose has also been keeping good house at both the Pop Montreal site and his own blog, as well as recovering from seasonal sickness. Send him love.

New Year's wasn't the black hole of booze and memory impairment that last year was (thank God)... I was down at the W's Wunderbar for Robin Simpson's curated shindig... Music provided by DJ Paddy (he of The Scissor Sisters) and personal and musical favourites Dandi Wind, who were fresh off of a prodigal son's style trip back to Vancouver. Go buy their album or EP already.

Monday, January 02, 2006