Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Next BEST

I blog a lot about indie bands in London because so many of them are so amazing. The scene here is thriving right now, no doubt.

Part of that scene is the Whipping Wind, a mysterious group with not much information anywhere. No pics, no bios, no MySpace wall to write on. Apparently it's all about the music, and what kind of music is it.

Great Scott! It's the Great Bloomers

I saw these dudes at Call the Office tonight opening for Olenka & the Autumn Lovers. They're a loud group using the kind of genre splicing that's quite popular today, especially hopping from rock to folk mid-song, tempo-changing and using extreme pop to make the toe tap while grounding it in favourable aesthetics like plaid.

It's basically part of the "legit" pop music scene right now where bands are popular because they make catchy songs and work very hard to counter their own poppiness with the appearance of legitimacy. I like it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The end? PSSH!

Jian Gomeshi loves music and hosts Q on CBC Radio. He even manages Lights. When he's not doing any of this, he's apparently making documentaries about the death of print, radio and TV. In their stead? The Internet! Scary!

Actually, he shows a lot of bloggers and cool Internet folks using the 'net to make money and careers for themselves. They argue that traditional information distributors, like TV, are outdated and "shaking in their boots." The blogosphere has the ability to call out traditional journalists, they tell us, and right the wrongs of so many years of slanted mainstream media.

On the other side, some argue that mainstream media is a central component of media these days and that independent or amateur media are more like leeches than killers — annoying sucklers that can be burned away if need be.

The reality is more middle of the road. What the End tries to do is show us how mainstream media and non-traditional media have to interact. As mainstream media continues to dip their toe in non-traditional media realms — like hosting their own blogs, making their own wikis, or building their own social networks — the effectiveness and exclusiveness of social and online media will continue to fall.

Behind all of these interactions are business people with capitalism in one hand and a hatchet in the other. Moving online is perfectly profitable, and increasingly moreso. What's more important is how the consumer culture is changing. People are more atomized and individualized. Give me the definition, not the dictionary; give me the article, not the newspaper.

The multifaceted nature of online media is more adept at tackling the depth and scope of real news and can integrate new media over time. Historically, traditional media are slow to integrate new media into the fold, but after so many years they can slowly catch up, build momentum and fully integrate into the new media world.

Sweet as in sugary, not sultry

This took me all over the freaking map. At first I thought death metal with the tap drums. Then the guitar reminded me of a Bright Eyes folk tune. The vocals are very indie, which is a good thing these days.

This is the third easy listening tune I've done in this experiment, but it's the most contemporary sounding I think. It has a fun momentum that builds like a 2-year-old on a sugar rush — intense, but playfully so. Enjoy with a candy bar.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Drive me wild!

Thanks, Becky, for submitting this song. Compared to the other tunes I've reviewed so far in this experiment, this ranks more closely to XX than Britney (not surprisingly).

I've honestly never heard of this dude, but he's got a sweet enough voice and invokes a little bit of the early 2000 pop. He might even make it big on some adult contemporary radio stations because he's asking ladies to "drive me wild" so sweetly, and with a nice slide guitar bridge.

Monday, November 23, 2009

XX, not XXX

This cute little song was suggested by "anonymous." Well, whoever you are, this song would fit well in a Zack Braff movie or in the really sad parts in Juno.

Possibly a little too mellow for most of my moods, the guy-girl sing-song is enough to soothe me right now after a long day of excruciating work.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I review Britney Spear's song "3"

This is the first in my experiment to listen to other readers music. First up: Britney Spears' "3".

Possibly the worst song I've ever heard, this incomprehensible, polished, glossy turd somehow takes three minutes to finish, though you've heard everything the song offers in the first 10 seconds.

Possibly the funniest part comes when the bridge arrives, the synths turns down, and an acoustic guitar starts playing for Britney's more emotional moment. But given that the song was made clubs or girls nights or "prees" (which, I'm told, are "pre-drinks" before going to the bars), I probably felt more emotion and satisfaction during my morning trip to the shitter.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Using Metrics

This is a band that I knew about years ago, saw them open for Death From Above and Billy Talent at the Dirty Denim in Guelph.

Shortly afterwards, they blew up and became worldwide stars (at least some think so). The latest album is pretty awesome, but they're almost too popular. That's what they said about being nominated for the Polaris: too popular for Polaris, too indie for the Junos.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Acorn and it's not Obama

They played at LOLA this year, and probably some time before. Kind of experimental and a little strange, but in good indie ways, the Acorn are a lovely little troupe.

Drums in this tune are cool. They remind me of Pick a Piper, at least at the start.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I discovered this band many years ago during a expedition through the Canadian wilderness, aka a car ride to the cottage. Always epic, kitschy and fun, Supertramp was a pop sensation and worth all of your precious attention.

This song is real nice. Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Take the Listen! Listen! Listen! quiz to win prizes

I want to know what the hell you people listen to. Comment below and answer this quiz.......:

Send it my way and I'll look it up and write a mini-blog about it. I'm sure you're just dying to know my opinions on the latest top 40 tune or some obscure Scarborough indie pop outfit your little sister just looooves.

Please send them to me right now.

Your prize: having your submission honoured on this prestigious blog and read by millions of avid readers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nintendo rock for babies from the '80s

This blog post was supposed to be about You Say Party! We Say Die!, poppy dancey little group from out East who hit the Black Shire stage next Monday. (Be there!)

But when I got to listening to YSP!WSD!'s new album, I remembered Crystal Castles, a Nintendo-y little Ontarian duo with madly affected vocals (to the point of incoherence) and a lot blips and bleeps.

This song launches the album and sends you on a visceral journey through strange, unprecedented and wildly energizing pop songs.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Really weird — and a nice post-Halloween listen

This band's best quality is that they're so weird. Ghost Bees are this chick duo from Halifax with flawless harmonies and busy plucking guitars. You've probably never heard anything like it. Their singing is very direct, like speaking, but is very spotty and a little crass. It's all over the place.

This single is fitting for Halloween. It's heavy with mood, like background music to folklore. I can't stick a finger to the structure and all of this is enough to grab your attention.