Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Bronx - Knifeman

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid13847470001?bctid=20394524001

Sure it's a goofy video, but at 0:35 seconds, when the second guitar kicks in, tell me that isn't a badass song!

Jesse.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Top 15 Canadian Albums Since 2000

I've been thinking about two things musically lately.

First off is the fact that the first decade of the new millennium ends at the end of this year. Yes, Y2K was ten years ago now, which is mind boggling.

Secondly, I've been really enjoying a lot of music from Canadian bands lately, and I've thought about how many great Canadian bands h ave emerged in the last ten years.

With those two things in mind, I now present my favourite fifteen albums from Canadian bands since 2000. The FavTape containing 30 songs from these 15 albums is at the bottom, if you'd like to hear some of the music while listening, go to the bottom, or click HERE.

The Top 15 Canadian Albums Since 2000

(Sorted by Year - Not by Favourite)
--------------------------------------
Gob - The World According to Gob - 2001 - For a 16 year old me, this album was pure pop-punk bliss. I've always loved Gob, but this was their pinnacle, with song after song that just make me happy. "I Hear You Calling" may be the best pop-punk song of the last ten years in my opinion.

Treble Charger - Wide Awake Bored - 2001 - Containing one of the greatest Canadian singles of the last decade (American Psyho), the first three songs on Wide Awake Bored are nearly unbeatable. It's a shame they broke up, as a couple of their albums were great, especially this early 2000's classic.

Matthew Good - Avalanche - 2003 - I struggled to only put one Matthew Good album on this list, but Avalanche is by far and away my favourite piece of music he's put out since 2000. Full of lengthy and lush anthems, I can listen to this from start to finish over and over, it's a brilliant album.

Billy Talent - Billy Talent - 2003 - Bursting onto the mainstream in 2003, this album really brought a sense of rock and roll to Canadian music at the time. It was a real kick in the ass, adding a tonne of ferocity and almost danger to my musical choices of the time. It still holds up, as its an amazing album from start to finish.

The Stills - Logic Will Break Your Heart - 2003 - I remember going to University and opening my eyes to a lot of music, especially this album of shimmering and hypnotic rock. I have and still can listen to the entire album on repeat and lose hours of time, with how amazing and captivating it is.

Dears - No Cities Left - 2003 - This was another eye-opener, as I struggle to think of another band that sounds like the Dears did on this album. While it certainly beautiful and layered like other indie albums, this one has a layer of menace and doom that other indie bands don't dare approach; this album is equal parts uplifting and scary.

Metric - Old World Underground - 2003 - Making it ok to dance to rock again, Metric blew up with this awesome album that's endlessly catchy and happy.

Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People - 2003 - Six years later, and this album still impresses and surprises me. Broken Social Scene really changed the landscape of Canadian music with this album (and the peripheral band albums), and it still holds up well.

The Arcade Fire - Funeral - 2004 - I don't know what I can say about this album that hasn't been said before, there's a reason why it's universally hailed - it's amazing, nuff' said.

Death From Above 1979 -You're a Woman, I'm a Machine - 2004 - Making hard rock danceable was DFA's MO, and this brilliant first (and last) album is nigh-perfect, and it only adds to the greatness that they broke up shortly after putting it out.

The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema - 2005 - Relentlessly poppy, this album is hit after hit that serve to cheer you up, in a style that no other band really emulates right now, this album's excellently unique and catchy.

Moneen - the Red Tree - 2006 - After two albums and a few EPs trying to create the perfect album for their sound, Moneen struck gold in 2006 with this album that is brilliant from start to finish. I love Moneen, and while this song lacked a true single, it's one of the most complete albums I've ever heard.

The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - 2007 - Proving that Funeral wasn't a fluke, Neon Bible expands their sonic landscapes to create more single-friendly rock and roll, yet never giving up any of their honesty and beauty.

Weakerthans - Reunion Tour - 2007 - You can pick any Weakerthans album and make a case for it's brilliance, but my favourite is their newest disc. It's unique, catchy, rocking, happy, and everything wonderful that you'd expect from a band as great and Canadian as they are.

Matt Mays - Terminal Romance - 2008 - From star to finish, every song counts on this album, and every song will hook you by the end. Not nearly as complicated as some of May's previous albums, but it's certainly his best album, with song after song of glorious Canadian rock and roll.


Honorable Mention
-----------------

Boys Night Out - Trainwreck - 2005 - If I had to pick a sixteenth album, I'd pick this amazing concept album about drug abuse and death. I don't think I liked an album before, and they haven't done anything great since, but Trainwreck's a masterpiece.


Below is a link to the FavTape I made for this list, which contains two songs off every album, except Wide Awake Bored, which only has one, so I threw on a song from Trainwreck to make it an even 30 songs, all available for streaming/downloading goodness.

Any opinions or arguments? Post away.

Jesse.

Top 15 Canadian Albums Since 2000 FAVTAPE

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Billy Corgan - WTF?

At one point the Smashing Pumpkins were one of my favourite bands. I LOVED there 90's output, especially Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which was one of the first albums I ever bought for myself.

But since resurrecting his former band, it seems like he's just trying to ruin his name. There's all kind of shenanigans you can look up (The Chamberlain stuff, the replacement players, the selling out stuff), but this video for TNA Wrestling is just pathetic.

I enjoy wrestling, but TNA is about the shittiest thing you can see on television right now. It's horrible and nearly unwatchable, and continues to ruin the legacy of a lot of formerly great wrestlers who need to hang up the ties.

Which makes this video oddly appropriate then.

Jesse.

PS: I love the song too, which makes it all the worse.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Songs I'm Currently Obsessed With!

This Edition:

Wild Light - California on My Mind

Alt Nation's been playing the crap out of this song lately, and for good reason. It's endlessly poppy and upbeat, yet the lyrics are horribly angry at someone/the state of California.

As we head into the summer, I'm always on the look out for great "Summer Songs" (a term I use that I'll define soon), which is basically a great song to listen to in the happy and bright days of summer. The song's got to be poppy, upbeat, and just a joy to listen to.

California on My Mind is extra great, since it is so poppy, but at the same time the lyrics are fairly obscene and morbid ("Give me a lake that I can dive into... bury my head in the shit at the bottom").

I think we can all relate to the state of mind were something/someone has angered us so much that we want nothing more to just forget about it, but all we can do is think about the thing pissing us off so much.

I prefer to let the song speak for itself, but to give it a frame of reference to anyone whose yet to hear the song, LAST.FM lists their similar artists as AC Newman (of the New Pornographers), The Arcade Fire, and the Airborne Toxic Event. I can definitely see a bit of all those bands in Wild Light, but ultimately, California on My Mind is far simpler then those artists, which is the brilliance of the song: it's quick, it's upbeat, and it sounds sunny when being really angry.

There is a link to a free MP3 below, so you all have no excuse NOT to listen to this song, so go ahead and get it, I recommend it, since I'm going on ninth listen to the song in a row.

That's the song that I'm currently obsessed with.

Jesse.

Links:

Free Mp3 Download (Spinner.com Free MP3 of the Day!)

Youtube: California on My Mind Video

Streaming on Wild Light's MySpace

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Randomness

I'm tired and my brain's fried from writing the last essay of the year. I'd love to a longer post about one of my favourite song's (I don't want to say which, as the post will come eventually), but instead I'm just going to throw down some stuff about music I'm listening to.

- Apparently Static-X are good again. Also, shockingly heavy. Machine was such a rocking album that it's kind of sad they got lost in the shuffle when the big nu-metal bubble burst.

- Speaking of nu-metal, when are Korn going to throw in the towel? It's really sad to see a 40 year old dude in a kilt complaining about angsty teenage problems. I won't deny how great Follow the Leader was ten years ago, but they haven't done anything noteworthy in a long-ass time. The drummer got it right when he walked away.

- I do think it's funny that Korn's the fake-band with Lil Wayne in the Prom Queen video. Which by the way, is a shitty song. I'm not a huge rap guy, but Tha Carter 3 was excellent last year, and I truly thought Lollipop was something like how pop music will be in the future, but this new one's a real clunker. I hate when someone's so good at something, yet they're so good they feel the need to try and do something else. Please stick to rapping, do not fucking sing Lil Wayne.

- While on YouTube looking for those videos, I found THIS monstrosity. I will never, ever get the Japanese, other then on the ironically funny level.

- On the video topic, Eminem's new video is really interesting. I like the song enough, but at this point Eminem's schtick is so predictable, but almost to the point where it's fun again. Once you stop expecting him to do something different, it's fun to watch him rip on women so much.

- The new Dan Deacon album, Bromst, is nothing short of amazing. He's taken electronic music to a new level, creating a whole sonic landscape on his album. It flows so well, and it's way more evolved and lush then typical computer-music should be.

- Speaking of synth/electronica taken to new levels, I still love LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver album. Both All My Friends and Someone Great play on emotional levels that most music can only dream about. Sound of Silver is a masterpiece, I love it the more I listen to it.

- I've never been a huge fan of Mastodon, simply because I'm not a big Metal fan, and they're overhyped to hell, but their new song, Crack the Skye, is kind of badass. Sounds like every other piece of proggy-metal to me, but it's still good.

- The Decemberists new album, The Hazards of Love, is really good, but maybe two or three songs to long. I love the use of leitmotifs (recurring musical elements/themes) as it can really tie an album together if done subtlly enough, and they did it well on the album. It just might be too long to be a great album, really feels like a couple of cuts (everyone loves B-Sides!) would have done it well. Bit over-indulgent, as well as being too similar to the Crane Wife (another brilliant CD) - overall, still really great. LOVE THIS SONG.

- I got into the Von Bondies late, since their new song, Pale Bride, phenomenal. At the same time I've always loved C'mon C'mon, without ever knowing who it was singing. Both are great, if not similar songs. Makes me want to watch Rescue Me (which is at the top of my list of shows to watch if I ever get some time). Of the two, I like Pale Bride more, but C'mon C'mon is fun for how short/fast it is.

- Truer words have never been spoken: There Are Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor! Such a funny/true premise, made all the more better by the great video.

- As great as Flight of the Conchords are, I almost feel that The Mighty Boosh are better. Definately weirder and nost as much reliance on songs, but overall, maybe a better comedy show. The first season where the two of them are zoo keepers is easily in my top five seasons of television. I had so much joy watching that run. Various proof of Boosh awesomeness: ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE

That's enough for now. Between my shitty words, and these awesome videos, you should be busy for at least thirty five minutes.

Jesse.

PS: Twenty videos! Badass! Thanks Youtube!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Best Songs of March 2009

1. Iglu & Hartly – In This City – Easily one of the happiest and most upbeat songs that I’ve heard in awhile. Just pure summer time goodness about loving the city that you live in and everything that it brings. This song just makes me happy to be alive.

From the Album “And then Boom”

www.igluandhartly.com/

2. Metric – Help, I’m Alive – “Fantasies” first single, for a good reason, as it reminds me of everything why I love Metric. Dark and ominous and some points, yet poppy and dance-y at others – the perfect formula for a Metric song.

From the Album “Fantasies”

www.ilovemetric.com/

3. Metric – Gimme Sympathy – The upbeat rocker that features one of my favorite lines of 2009, “Who would you rather be – the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?” Definitely more straight forward then typical Metric, and it works brilliantly, for a song that will probably be all over Canadian radio come June.

From the Album “Fantasies”

www.ilovemetric.com/

4. The Knux – Cappuccino – Over an awesome party beat, two New Orleans MC’s rap about women and sex, using the awesome metaphor of lattes and coffee shops. Even if you hate the lyrics, it’s a great party-rap song.

From the Album “Remind Me in 3 Days…”

www.myspace.com/theknux

5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero – And oddly poppy song (you don’t realize how catchy it is until it’s stuck in your head an hour later) that builds gloriously to its epic peak at 2:20 into the song.

From the Album “It’s Blitz!”

www.yeahyeahyeahs.com

6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll – Dripping with synth, this dark pop track blew me away the first time I ever heard it. I’m amazed that three albums into their career, YYYs can shake things up so much, yet still sound so awesome. Song of the year, thus far.

From the Album “It’s Blitz!”

www.yeahyeahyeahs.com

7. Marianas Trench – Cross My Heart – Sure it’s got all the pop-punk clich├ęs – whiny vocals, hand claps, the group vocal ending, etc. Even in the face of all these trappings, the songs still infectiously catchy and really forced me to love it.

From the Album “Masterpiece Theatre”

www.marianastrench.net

8. Ace Enders & A Million Different People – SOS – It starts out soft and acoustic, yet builds to a crescendo of a full band and a catchy climax, all about sending out a signal of distress. Really shows how wonderful Ace’s voice is.

From the Album “When I Hit the Ground”

www.aceenders.com

9. Ace Enders & A Million Different People – Where Do We Go From Here – Longer and more epic then SOS, it’s also more straight forward rock music, but it uses its almost six minutes length to create an athemic and awesome piece of music.

From the Album “When I Hit the Ground”

www.aceenders.com

10. Thursday – Last Call – A furious return to older sounds for Thursday, in an emo/rock song that’s equal parts threatening as it is fun.

From the album “Common Existence”

www.thursday.net/

11. Cursive – In the Now – A short and frantic bomb-burst of a song that brings lyrical punk rock fury in spades.

From the album “Mama, I’m Swollen”

www.cursivearmy.com/

12. Cursive – From the Hips – Slower than the previous song, this one builds slowly for nearly two minutes, before exploding into an upbeat and joyous conclusion, at least musically – certainly not lyrically.

From the album “Mama, I’m Swollen”

www.cursivearmy.com/

13. U2 – Magnificent – The clear winner from U2’s new album, Magnificent is every bit as great as the brilliant legacy of songs that U2 has left behind in the last 20 years. A worthy companion to “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “Beautiful Day”, which is the strongest praise you can give a U2 song.

From the album “No Line on the Horizon”

www.u2.com

14. MC Lars – True Player For Real – With an accordion assist from Weird Al, Lars kicks off his new album, explaining in epic fashion about how his life has changed since the rise of his last album, The Graduate. TPFR!

From the album “This Gigantic Robot Kills”

www.mclars.com/

15. MC Lars – Hey There Ophelia – Taking the premise of one of the most overplayed songs in the last five years, MC Lars blows it up with shredding guitars and lyrics about Hamlet. This song epitomizes the genius of Lars, no one else could write a rap-rock song about Hamlet, least not a song this great.

From the album “This Gigantic Robot Kills”

www.mclars.com/

16. New Found Glory – Listen to Your Friends – I’ve never been a big NFG fan, and this song sounds like every other thing they’ve ever done, I just enjoy how quick and frantic it is – no wasted motion/time on this track.

From the album “Not Without a Fight”

www.myspace.com/newfoundglory

17. Say Hi – Hallie and Henry – Oohs and Aahs is full of simple yet great uplifting indie pop that will not get nearly the attention it deserves. I recommend giving them a chance, if you’re looking for some new songs that definitively fit the bill of “indie rock”.

From the album “Oohs and Aahs”

www.sayhitoyourmom.com/

18. Say Hi – Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh – Over a plethora of horns, Say Hi brings us one of the years great “indie” songs. Downbeat and almost melancholy, it’s just a great song that won’t get noticed nearly enough.

From the album “Oohs and Aahs”

www.sayhitoyourmom.com/

19. The Boy Least Likely To – A Balloon on a Broken String – Essentially music for children, The Boy Least Likely recently put out their second album of nauseatingly happy songs about children’s toys. Give it at least one listen, you’ll either puke or love it.

From the album “Law of the Playground”

www.theboyleastlikelyto.co.uk/

20. The Rakes – The Loneliness of the Outdoor Smoker – Short and sweet, The Rakes throw down a quick burst of post-punky goodness. I can’t understand the lyrics, but I love the title.

From the album “Klang!”

www.therakes.co.uk/

21. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – No Spell – I’m not a big RJA supporter, it all sounds repetitive, but I really enjoyed this humming and happy track that’s worth at least one listen.

From the album “Lonely Road”

www.redjumpsuit.com/