Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?


The North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative is the world's foremost Seasonal Supergroup. NAHPI's membership includes:

* Win Butler & Régine Chassagne of Arcade Fire
* Beck
* Buck 65
* David Cross
* Liane Balaban of Dessert
* Devendra Banhart (with Noah Georgeson, Jona Bechtolt & Luckey Remington)
* Elvira
* Feist
* Gino Washington
* Syd Butler of Les Savy Fav
* J'aime Tambeur and Nick Diamonds of Islands
* Malcolm McLaren
* Nardwuar the Human Serviette
* Peaches
* Dntel
* Jenny Lewis & Blake Sennett of Rilo Kiley
* Roky Erickson
* Chris Murphy of Sloan
* Asya & Chloe of Smoosh
* Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
* Russell Mael of Sparks
* Subtitle
* Steve Jocz of Sum 41
* Tagaq
* Anna Waronker of That Dog
* Dan Boeckner & Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade
* Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Too bad they only ever produced one song. 'Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?', written by Nick Diamonds of Islands and his friend Adam Gollner, was released in October 2005 and all proceeds were donated to UNICEF. The entire story behind the song can be found here.


- a.m.p.m.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

...And They All Look Just The Same


As a young child I observed the dichotomy of suburban and rural geography, the expanding borders of southern Ontario cities that were gradually encroaching on the surrounding farmland. From my first bedroom window I had a completely unobstructed view of Canada's busiest highway, the 401, lying about a kilometer from my home. The house itself, though a semi-detached unit, looked something like one of the miniatures on the cover of Population. As I grew, the vacant fields that guided my view of the highway began to see mass residential expansion, which plotted home after home of similar design all the way from my house to the expressway in the distance. Soon enough all I could see were homes, unique as they could be with buyer's choice of shingle, brick, and garage door colour. In such environments, it's almost as if the situation begs for something to stand out and distance itself from the pack.

I grew up in the northwest corner of Mississauga. The Most Serene Republic's hometown of Milton, On, is just a few exits down the 401. The landscape transformation I observed way back then is still taking place, churning out development after development that's slowly suffocating the remaining space between our neighboring towns. This happens in lots of municipalities, but knowing that The Most Serene Republic have viewed the same particular transformation that I have has given me a more personal motivation to think hard about the title and meaning of the band's latest album (which by the way, is excellent). Population (Arts & Crafts) deals with many subjects, including the fear of uniform monotony, using multi-layered, challenging songwriting the band is known for. Each song gives the same impression as a custom-built home jutting out of a carbon copy grid. They seek to cement a strong identity with ambitious music in a community filled with acts that too often hedge their bets, minimize risk, and stay safe. There aren't enough good things I can say about the album, just check it out and judge for yourself.

They're heading west touring Population right now with Dragonette, Mother Mother, and Small Sins (on some stops). Work got in the way of attending last night's Ottawa show at Zaphod's but my hope is that the album's popularity warrants another cross country tour in the new year.

The Most Serene Republic - Present of Future End
[YSI]
The Most Serene Republic - Why So Looking Back [YSI]

- Brad

Fine & Dandi


My roommate buys a lot of music. He likes to buy in bulk – often dropping over $300 in one afternoon at the local record store. What this equates to is a lot of new music laying around for me to check out. Recently, I arrived home to find a bag of newly purchased vinyl from Rotate This, mostly EPs and 12” singles of artists I’d never heard of. One of these EPs was by Dandi Wind, called break the bone and suck the marrow from it.

Intrigued by both the title and the artwork (jet black, with a pencil sketch of a tattooed yet innocent young woman on the front, and the bust of a dark, brooding man on the back), I tossed it on for a go-round on the old pioneer.

What I heard was a frantic (at times frightened) but awkwardly catchy effort from a pair of underground Canadian musicians/artists that deserve to be spoken about a whole lot more often. The sound is not unlike the distorted synth from the dancier, more accessible Blood Brothers tracks crossed with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at their art-punk finest. In fact, Vancouver-turned Montreal lead vocalist Dandilion Wind Opaine churns out pitches and shrieks reminiscent of the enigmatic Karen O at her best.

Through a bit more research on their website, I was informed that this EP, released in 2005, is the one of the earliest of a number of releases by the band. Their catalogue includes one full-length (and one to be released in 08), as well as five (completely sold out) EPs released in the past two-plus years, seemingly all released on different labels.

break the bone... itself contains four tracks: two original edits (Balloon Factory and Mississippi Mud Pie), the Manderson remix of Mafu Cage, and hyperactive cover of the 80’s staple Safety Dance, sounding like if Men without Hats had contracted rabies.

The stand-out track seems to be Balloon Factory, though the entire four-track effort has me interested enough to find more. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a ton of access (from what I can find) to their music online apart from what they’ve posted on Myspace (only available streaming), as well as clips from their earlier releases on their website and the occasional insane live footage. But, if their latest EP selling out completely in one week earlier this month serves as an indication, this band may be on the verge of being the talk of more than just the odd blog post.

- bbbykmbrly.

Remix Sunday - MSTRKRFT VS NYPC


Whoa. That's a whole lot of consonants. New Young Pony Club released their 'Get Lucky' single today with a nice MSTRKRFT rework (which is perfect, as the track was just begging for the 'KRFT treatment). The vocals are preserved as-is and synths, bass, and rolling and scratching are applied liberally. The end result is typical MSTRKRFT awesomeness. The single can be purchased from the NYPC website for just £2 in vinyl or CD form.

NYPC's album Fantastic Playroom was nominated for a Mercury Prize this year, and features some strong tracks indeed. Check out the original version of 'Get Lucky' and 'The Bomb' (below).




New Young Pony Club - Get Lucky (MSTRKRFT remix)

New Young Pony Club - The Bomb

- a.m.p.m.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

If I ever hurt you it will be in self-defence.


"This one goes out to the guy who puked in the guys' sink" mentioned Sunset Rubdown keyboardist/guitarist/singer, Spencer Krug before commencing an up-tempo rendition of "For The Pier (And Dead Shimmering)". I've been a steady Wolf Parade fan for a couple years, but Sunset Rubdown have completely won me over. These guys, along with Magic Weapon (Sunset Rubdown drummer and Matt Shane of Think About Life) and Johnny and The Moon (aka other Wolf Parade sidedish who aparently played their last show here in Victoria, BC), got the bros hollering at Logan's last Friday night. "The Mending of the Gown" they wanted, but instead we were treated to a mixed set of old and new, mostly of songs I didn't expect us to hear but enjoyed nonetheless. Sunset Rubdown closed their set, insistent on a no-encore policy, with an impassioned "The Empty Threats of Little Lord" which had people professing to that snake all the way home. This was my first Sunset Rubdown show and I couldn't have walked away happier...though a few of my favourites were left out (probably because a couple bros killed that dream.)

The Empty Threats of Little Lord - Sunset Rubdown

Up On Your Leopard, Upon The End of Your Feral Days - Sunset Rubdown


-AW

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vampire Tuesday

I had the pleasure of catching Vampire Weekend's inaugural London show last night and it was a doozy. I'd only heard a small number of succinct tracks (despite foraging the interweb for weeks) and somewhat expected to witness a maximum 20-minute set comprised almost solely of the handful of singles released over the past few months. As it turned out, my expectations were blown away and I got much more than my money's worth.

First off: yes, they're good. The New York City natives kicked things off with newest single 'Mansard Roof' and treated us to some dozen songs including much-hyped tracks 'Oxford Comma', 'Mansard Roof', 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' and 'A-Punk'. These familiar tracks seemed to be filled with even more depth and resonated well with the curious crowd. Heck, some people even knew the words. Newer (read: unreleased) material was equally well received. VW dropped several songs from the new album, which they confirmed is complete and due for release in early '08. All were awesome; some are still stuck in my head. 'The Kids Don't Stand a Chance' is especially excellent. Lead vocalist and guitarist-extraordinaire Ezra Koenig was charismatic, energetic, and wore an awesome shirt and sweet loafers. At one point he had pretty much the whole crowd shouting "Blake's got a new face" in jubilation. Don't ask.
The set wrapped up with an intense heavy-metal version of 'Walcott' and looking around the packed venue after this blistering finale, it was pretty clear that everyone had enjoyed Vampire Weekend's first London appearance, band members included.

After winning over the entire crowd at the Borderline, the guys brought out a bunch of copies of their new Mansard Roof 7", released on Monday. The fact that these sold out in about the time it took to open the box and collect the money (I was fortunate enough to get the last one) attests to the calibre of the band's live show. The single's B-side 'Ladies of Cambridge' turned out to be an upbeat, quirky, instantly likable little ditty (surprise, surprise). Just 'cause you weren't there and couldn't grab one for yourself doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to enjoy this track:

Vampire Weekend - Ladies of Cambridge

Some other newbies that you're sure to like:

Vampire Weekend - The Kids Don't Stand a Chance
Vampire Weekend - M79
Vampire Weekend - Bryn


- a.m.p.m.

Monday, October 22, 2007

MIA > JUSTICE (PART 2 - MIA)



Though no official announcement has been made thus far, M.I.A. has to be the surefire winner of this summer’s “buzz acronym” at the acclaimed 2007 Toronto Pop Culture Linguistics awards. Surrounding the lead-up and release of her sophomore effort Kala as well as her stop at V-Fest Toronto in August, the Sri-Lankan/British hybrid M.I.A. has covered a lot of ground publicity-wise in the past few months. She managed to land herself on the covers of every local music and culture publication lucky enough to score itself even a tiny piece of the PR pie, which was inhaled in record time by writers across the continent.

This past Saturday saw the culmination of all the hype, as she performed a sold out show at the Kool Haus, as part of the Red Bull Music Academy. The roster for the show was impressive all-round, with Holy Fuck (who I missed) and Datarock opening, as well as an ill-fated pseudo performance by Canadian two-piece the Carps, who threw in the towel to a non-responsive crowd after only two songs. (“Fuck it. We tried.”)

Datarock was just getting started as I stepped in. Clad in their trademark red-on-red matching jumpsuits, they looked a little more light-hearted (cheesy) than I generally prefer my rock bands. But nonetheless, the entertainment value was high, particularly during their karaoke-style closing number, (I've Had) The Time of my Life, solidifying that even the worst parts of the 1980's have their place at an M.I.A. show.

M.I.A. took the stage at 11:30ish, coincidentally just as the whole place went up in flames. Though militant terrorism was immediately suspected, investigators believe that it was in fact the combination of deafening bass, unparalleled electricity, and the M.I.A. being the hottest substance on earth right now, which set off the blaze. It ripped through the entire place for over an hour, burning through the hottest of shit the whole time, and many believed it could have gone much longer. Nonetheless, it was just long enough to spread 3rd degree burns across the face of every audience member; most of whom either went directly to the emergency room or treated their damaged flesh with alcohol and partied the fuck out of the night at one of sixty-five different after parties. I was definitely one of the latter.


Terribly imagery aside, this show is going down as likely one of the best of the year, and certainly the best of what was a much hyped week in the city. If you were there to hear the sound of gunshots erupt over the insane soundsystem during Paper Planes "All I wanna do is (BANG BANG BANG BANG!)/And (KKKAAAA CHING!)/And take your money", or to watch the swarms of audience members crash the stage during Bird Flu I’m certain you can share in my glowing opinion. If you got stuck without a ticket (as hundreds did), take this as a hard-to-swallow lesson: Toronto likes M.I.A. a whole lot.

M.I.A. - $20
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
M.I.A. - U.R.A.Q.T. (Hot Chip Remix)
Datarock - Fa Fa Fa (Get Shakes Remix)
Datarock - Princess

- bbbykmbrly.

MIA > JUSTICE (PART 1: JUSTICE)


This past week was a busy one for Toronto-area hipsters. Arguably the two most facebooked-about shows, Justice and M.I.A., stumbled to town with only two days rest in between; barely enough time for the kids to wash the sweat from their american apparel headbands in time for round two.

Thursday night, the infamous leather clad franco-duo justiiiiice (pronounced justiiiiice) took their mac books in front of a sold-out (twice) crowd of 3000+ish. The show was originally booked in at Republik, but sold out so fast that not moving it to a larger venue would have been a definite injustice. So instead, they took the show to Circa, the new $7 million night club/amusement park (live themed models in glass aquariums! bars in bathrooms! 3 story escalator!) that just opened its doors a week-ish ago. It, too, sold out ridiculously fast. And at $20/ticket, it comes as no surprise.

This is about the time that I go against every unwritten blogger rule, and likely against the opinions of the other writers on BTA, and and be the first person in the entire world to write that Justice wasn't really that good at all.

From the reviews that I had read previous to the show, including our own from the Vancouver gig, I was expecting an experience so surreal that even the most pleasurable brain hemmorage couldn't compete. What I got instead was a room full of over-enthused flourescent fashion victims dancing their hammerpants off to two dudes playing pre-programmed tunes from their iBooks. AKA the exact same thing I could catch at any DJ gig at any point, in any club. Even their remixes sounded like they could've been pulled straight from hype machine.

It got me thinking about starting a Justice "cover band", where I stand up and play their insanely popular debut record from my own computer, and people still lose their shit.

With that said - I'm glad I went. The buzz in the crowd was electric, but I just didn't see/hear anything to suggest that it was one for the record books, as most of the literature/hype surrounding this tour has led everyone to believe. No matter how stoked everyone got for the gig, there's only so much you can do as a couple of DJs and a halogen cross.

Despite my shit-talking, here are a couple tracks that you've all heard 1000000 times already. Oh, and thanks to the random dude whose (fucking rad!) photo i stole off facebook for his unbeknownst generosity.

Justice - Genesis
Justice - Phantom II (Soulwax Nite Remix)




- bbbykmbrly.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Remix Sunday: Calexico vs. Arcade Fire


Under normal circumstances, covering the Arcade Fire is a big no-no. However, Calexico's take on 'Ocean of Noise' turns out to be a huge yes-yes as they do their thing with typically gentle instrumentation and a multitude o' horns. The track builds from the simplicity of an acoustic guitar backing Joey Burns' sorrowful vocals to a full and powerful composition equalling the tragic grandeur of the original.

This little beauty was the B-side for the Arcade Fire's Intervention 7" single released here in the UK way back in May. Enjoy.

Calexico - Ocean of Noise

- a.m.p.m.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sugar Plum Ferry


I've been in Taiwan for almost 8 months now and my tireless search for music has finally paid off. After months of searching for a good venue, I now have my "stomping ground". It's called Underworld and is located in the Da An district of Taipei. It's located near two universities, in a city of roughly 10 million. With so many people, it's tough to believe that there wouldn't be a "scene".

Last weekend a band by the name of Sugar Plum Ferry proved that my search wasn't in vain. They're a three-piece from Taipei and they quote influences such as Mogwai and Sonic Youth (credible, non?), and I assume that I can add Tchaikovsky as well. SPF's sound is far from anything Tchaikovsky ever produced, but their live show definitely rivals the sychronicity and professionalism of an orchestra playing the 'Nutcraker Suite'. In a land where karaoke reigns supreme, it was really nice to hear some quality instrumental. I must admit that the Myspace tracks definitely don't do the band justice; the tracks lack the intensity that the live show possessed. I'm excited to hear what the new album will bring.

After speaking with band member Xiao-bai, I'm excited to have him introduce me to other Taiwanese bands that he admires. Rest assured there will be more to come from Taiwan.

Sugar Plum Ferry Myspace

- Marc B.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Grass is Always Greener...


Straight out of the United Kingdom comes Nic Nell. Remixologist (yes..it's a word..trust me) and artist in his own right, he's currently dropped a remix for Friendly Fires track 'On Board'. Too bad he was just a little too late to have it added on their remix 12 inch which was released this week. This, along with his own track entitled 'It's a trance off', have been in heavy rotation on my playlist since I received them. Fans of DJ Copy and Sportsday Megaphone will take a shine to his fast paced 8-bit melodies and thundering electro beats. Although the blazing tempo is a little more than what I usually pick up on, he definitley makes it work. Checking out the other tracks on his myspace will show further versatility in his work such as on 'I love robots but they', which is surprisingly different from these other tracks, in a good way. Nic Nell's first single drops in January on Salvia / XL Recordings. Definitely keep an eye open for it.

- Matty B.

Nic Nell - It's a Trance Off
Friendly Fires - On Board (Nic Nell's N-Tronica Remix)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Femme Fatale


One of my favourite songs of all time is the Velvet Underground's 'Femme Fatale'. Lately I've been rocking the recently discovered acetate pressing of the original Scepter Studio recording sessions for The Velvet Underground and Nico. The sound quality is actually decent, and I'm hooked on the fuller backing vocals and more prominent percussion.

If you haven't heard the story of how a dude from Montreal paid 75 cents for a record that ultimately sold for over $25,000 then read it here (in the comments section).

If you want to grab all nine tracks from the "lost" Scepter sessions in mp3 format, they're available here. Some are completely different takes than the eventual album versions, and all are different mixes.

- a.m.p.m.

The Velvet Underground - Femme Fatale (12" LP acetate version)
The Velvet Underground - Femme Fatale (album version)

Monday, October 15, 2007

And Justice was served en francais.


Justice absolutely beat up a capacity-crowd at Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom this past Saturday night. Lucky for us we had tickets because the line of people trying to get in will-call was down the street. The last show I saw was Daft Punk in the summer and this was a totally different type of show. Don't get me wrong, people were going crazy for both sets and I understand the comparisons being thrown around about the two. Justice is just a little more rough, with those massive Marshall stacks replacing Daft Punk's orchestrated triangles. While Daft had Montreal bopping and dancing to their pop-py melodies, Justice blew smoke in Vancity's face and kicked us into the ground with their grittier, pounding beats. It was incredible. And they actually did smoke on-stage for the whole set - so French of them. So much for those non-smoking rules across Canada.


The French duo brought along Australia's Midnight Juggernauts for a spacey dance rock opening set. Good stuff, definitely BTA-recommended, and the singer even sounds a little like Bowie (check out 'Into The Galaxy' below and tell me I'm wrong). I was right up front for the whole set and didn't stand a chance at releasing the amateur photographer in me, but I tried. Here's a clip of how Justice kicked off their set and got us hooked on religious iconography.

video

Midnight Juggernauts - Into The Galaxy

Justice - Stress

-AW

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Remix Sunday - Teardrop


This week's Remix Sunday brings you José González's excellent cover of Massive Attack's epic 'Teardrop', from their 1998 album Mezzanine. It's hard to believe that Mezzanine was released almost 10 years ago, but today the album enjoys an almost iconic status. In fact, Rolling Stone ranked it at number 412 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

It's nice that the José González version is as beautiful and wistful as the original. I'm a big fan of previous González covers ('Heartbeats', anyone?) and his original work is really starting to win me over as well. The Swedish singer/songwriter's second album, In Our Nature, was released on September 25th and is quite a gem. I've been on a real Swedish kick lately, but our Scandanavian friends can certainly deliver some quality music. I'll endeavour to share some more secrets from Sweden in the days and weeks ahead.

Neat fact about 'Teardrop': The original version of the song features vocals by Elizabeth Fraser (of the Cocteau Twins). Fraser's vocal part was recorded just after she was given the news that Jeff Buckley, with whom she had a close personal relationship, was missing in the Wolf River of Memphis, Tennessee (high five to Wikipedia for that little tidbit). Creepy.

- a.m.p.m.

José González - Teardrop
Massive Attack - Teardrop


From In Our Nature:
José González - How Low

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pickpocket


Swedish producer/musician Rigas will be releasing his new album The Hardest Pocket To Pick on October 17th. The title track was released as the second single this past Wednesday, and it is absolutley dope. I can't recommend this track highly enough. I literally listened to it 20 times in a row yesterday, 'nuff said.

More Rigas tracks are available for download from his website and myspace page.

- a.m.p.m.

Rigas - The Hardest Pocket To Pick

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jenn Grant tags along w/ The Weakerthans

Canadian readers can attest that for years now John K. Samson and his Weakerthans have been among the nation's finest songwriters. While the band's latest, Reunion Tour, is difficult to rank against their back catalogue, it certainly retains the carefully constructed lyrics we've come to expect from these vets. The band sounds a little more polished than usual, production maybe? Whatever the case...... the Winnipeggers have a reputation of showcasing up and coming Canadian talent as opening acts on tour, and the Reunion Tour tour shows are no different, bringing forth Jenn Grant, whose voice can be described as something close to Feist, but with something a bit different to distinguish her own style.

The Weakerthans - Night Windows
Jenn Grant - Dreamer


- brad

Thursday, October 11, 2007

BTA Mixtapetacular


Continuing with the theme of nostalgic mixtaping, BTA are happy to deliver another one, this time in the theme of the world's most infamous and not to mention hilariously-mustached plumber. For me, Mario 2 is still far too overlooked in the mushroom kingdom's legacy. Dinosaur bosses spitting eggs, uprooting various bitter-tasting root vegetables, digging through sandy labyrinths in four simple directions, this game had it all. What better way to relive 1988's greatest achievement than to shimmy down memory lane to some hip-hop and electronic shit that surely draws inspiration from our beloved 8-bit days.

Tracklist:
Cadence Weapon - "Oliver Square"
DJ BC - "Hot and Dumb" (included because of the line "Nickelback should've won a Grammy," 'nuff said)
Kavinsky - "Testarossa Overdrive (Sebastian Remix)"
Space Cowboy - "Running Away (MSTRKRFT Remix)"
Bag Raiders - "Punch Reprise"
The Whip - "Divebomb"

BTA: Uprooting Vegetables, The Mixtape [YSI]

- brad

Feature Attraction


In retrospect, last week's £5 Diesel Afterparty was well worth it. Obviously CSS were insanely awesome and Good Shoes were solid, and U-Music Award winners The Features also provided a pleasant surprise.

The lucky champs' live set was engaging, and I remember commenting at one point that their sound was like The Format, Pearl Jam and Tokyo Police Club mixed together. Stange combo, I know. Give a listen to the tracks below and check out the good stuff on their myspace page.

The Features - That's The Way It's Meant To Be
The Features - D-Con
The Features - Temporary Blues (Live On WOXY.com)
The Features - Gates Of Hell (Live On WOXY.com)

Grab the whole WOXY live session here.

- a.m.p.m.

The Fire Is Out


Until recently Arcade Fire's modus operandi was to play multiple nights at medium-sized venues rather than arena shows, but 2007 was the year the band really blew up and putting in festival appearances was pretty much obligatory. The mind-boggling Neon Bible tour made it possible for massive crowds to see Montreal's best-known band do their thing at High Line, Reading, Leeds, Glastonbury, Oxegen, Roskilde, T in the Park and Austin City Limits (among other festivals). And touring on a twin bill with LCD Soundsystem proved such a boon that the two groups released a split 7" featuring two covers: LCD Soundsystem playing Joy Division’s 'No Love Lost', and Arcade Fire playing Serge Gainsbourg’s 'Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son'.

However, rumour has it that the close of this year's festival season marks the end of the band's "big" shows. In fact, it may be some time before any of us gets to see Arcade Fire anywhere after fans down under catch the band at Big Day Out in early '08. As Brooklyn Vegan reported, Win Butler announced to the crowd at last week's Randall Island show the band wouldn't be back to play NYC for a couple of years, and the band had expressed a desire to avoid stadium shows. After nearly a year of non-stop touring, who can blame them?

Although I have immensely enjoyed seeing the Fire in intimate venues in both Canada and the UK, their Reading show was insane and it would be a shame if they were permanently done with the festival circuit. Maybe an invite from Coachella might change their mind?

Almost forgot, this is just about the coolest thing ever. Click on everything.

- a.m.p.m.

Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies) (Live At Reading Festival 2007)

Arcade Fire - Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son (Serge Gainsbourg cover)
LCD Soundsystem - No Love Lost (Joy Division cover)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Radiohead Day!


So I'm thinking of lobbying the Government of the World to mark October 10th as a Universal holiday from this point forth. I'm not sure what name I want to give it, however. I'm stuck between "Radiohead Day" or "The Day the Record Industry Died". Perhaps they're synonymous.

As we posted a couple days ago, Radiohead is in the process of revolutionizing the recorded music industry, and today is the day it all comes to be. This also comes one day after the Telegraph reported that both Oasis and Jamiroquai (along with many others) will following RH's lead by releasing their upcoming albums label-free, and free-of-charge to online fans.

Their hotly anticipated new record, In Rainbows, became available for download today. It's PWYC, with all of the revenue going directly to the now label-less band.

The unwritten "suggest retail price" for this piece of digital history is 5 UK pounds, and I believe the maximum one can pay is upward of 200.

The download site has been jam-packed all day long; it took myself hours to even be able to get on to check it out. But already, as I'm less than half way through my first listen, I can tell it was worth the wait (and the donation). I'm not one of those die-harders, but I predict that nobody will be disappointed with this release, even after waiting for 2+ long years.

Reports are circulating that Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood are spending their day drinking latte's in their underwear whilst periodically hitting "refresh" and watching their bank balances inflate exponentially by the second.

Okay, I made that last part up.

Here's a sneak peak at what can be yours with a click of a button, if the price is right (which it is).

Radiohead - 15 Step
Radiohead - Bodysnatchers

- bbbykmbrly.

PS: A BBC article about how In Rainbows may revolutionise the music industry can be found here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"Let's see if these bastards can do 90"

As a little treat after the Thanksgiving weekend, for all you Canadian readers at least, we here at BTA thought we'd give you a little preview of one of our projects currently in the works to help you through the rest of the work week. So here's the beginning to BTA's Back to the Future: The Mixtape. Or BTA's: BTTF for short. Confusing, I know. We're playing on the whole back in time thing here by throwing back to good ol' Dre with some of our newer favorite tunes. You're dazzled, I know. So have a listen, enjoy, and let us know if you would like to see more exclusive BTA projects in the future. BTTF: The Mixtape, will be available in it's entirety in the near future. Why haven't they made BTTF IV yet? And for that matter, where's my hoverboard, Mattel? Don't think you're off the hook either Nike, you've got some serious explaining to do as to why I don't own those shoes yet.

- Matty B.

BTTF: The Mixtape - Forgot About School (Dre/Hot Chip)

Shout Out Louds Return With Our Ill Wills


Gosh. It seems like just yesterday that I was enjoying the carefree melodies of Shout Out Louds’ debut effort Howl Howl Gaff Gaff. In reality, it was almost 4 years ago and the band has now returned with a sophomore album of impossibly catchy indie pop songs just waiting for you to whistle, hum and sing along to. Comparisons to fellow Swedes Peter Björn and John may be especially apt as Björn Yttling (the ‘Björn’ in Peter Björn and John) produced new album Our Ill Wills, SOLs band member Bebban Stenborg has been know to sing the female vocal part for Young Folks during live sets, and the two bands share a similar sound.

Take first single ‘Tonight I Have To Leave It’ for example. Listen to it twice and it’s in your head for the rest of the day. Excessive cowbell, happy catchy synth riffs, oodles of percussion and a hint of heartbreak – it’s as if Peter Björn and John’s little brothers all decided to start their own band, but ended up sounding like an even poppier version of their older siblings.

And that’s not a bad thing in any way.

Canadians can catch Shout Out Louds in Vancouver on October 12th, Toronto October 22nd and Montreal October 22rd.

- a.m.p.m.

Tracks from the Tonight I Have To Leave It EP:
Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have To Leave It
Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have To Leave It (Kleerup Remix)
Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have To Leave It (The Russian Futurists Remix)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Long-awaited Radiohead Album Available October 10


Newsflash: after working on new album In Rainbows for over two and a half years Radiohead have made an announcement on their official Dead Air Space blog this week that the album will be exclusively available as a digital download on Wednesday October 10th. Monday's post read:

Hello everyone.

Well, the new album is finished, and it's coming out in 10 days;

We've called it In Rainbows.

Love from us all.

Jonny

The DRM-free album and/or discbox are available for pre-order from the In Rainbows webpage now. The discbox edition will ship December 3rd and contains the physical album on both CD and two 12" heavyweight vinyl records, artwork, lyric booklets, and a bonus enhanced CD with 8 bonus tracks, digital photos and artwork. Purchasers also have access to the digital download on October 10th.For those unwilling to spend £40 for all the bells and whistles but eager to get their hands on the album before the projected January '08 standard CD release, Radiohead have provided a somewhat controversional process for purchasing the digital download next week. According to Wikipedia:
"The price of download by itself is left up to the buyer. Upon purchase, the buyer is prompted to type their desired price (plus a transaction fee of 45 pence if purchased for more than £0.00)."
Indeed, when going through the pre-order process I was promted to input a price. Click on a question mark button and 'IT'S UP TO YOU' appears on-screen. Click again and you'll be informed 'NO REALLY, IT'S UP TO YOU'. Sweet.

Surprisingly, the album has not yet been leaked (that I know of). However, find below a few In Rainbows tracks revealed at a concert in Amsterdam in August of last year (kudos to blogs are for dogs).

Radiohead - Bodysnatchers
Radiohead - Arpeggi
Radiohead - Nude

- a.m.p.m.

Remix Sunday - Heart It Races


Okay, so it has been around forEVER, but I'm still loving the Dr. Dog cover of Architecture in Helsinki's 'Heart it Races'. I was aready having trouble deciding which I liked better, the original or the Dr. Dog version, and now to complicate things even further along comes Spruce Lee's bounce-tacular remix. The Australian DJ caught my attention last year when he dropped a spot-on mashup of Ratatat's 'Wildcat' with Spank Rock's 'Backyard Betty' and has supported the likes of DJ Mehdi, A-Trak and Ghislain Poirier. Keep your eyes (and ears) on this guy.

As for the the new Architecture in Helsinki album Places Like This, on the whole it's pretty darn good. Standout tracks include 'Like It Or Not', 'Hold Music' and 'Nothing's Wrong'.

Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races (Dr. Dog cover)

Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races (Spruce Lee remix) [Grâce à Fluokids]

Etc:
Wildcat vs Backyard Betty (Spruce Lee refix)
Architecture in Helsinki - Like It Or Not

- a.m.p.m.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Killa Beeezzz


I'm one of the whitest boys alive but I kind of enjoy hip hop, rap, and some of that straight up g shit. New Wu-Tang Clan? Nice. A quasi-Beatles collaboration featuring 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'? Even better. Oh, John Frusciante and Erykah Badu kicking it as well? Let's hear it. "The Online Street Community", loud.com, dropped it the other night and it's growing on me.

It doesn't sample the original but instead thanks to assistance from George's son, Dhani, and I presume Frusciante sharing the guitar duties, replays most of the classic melody. It's soulful and relaxing, it's one of those laid back Wu tracks and I'm digging it. Coincidentally, I had just gotten home from sneaking into that new Beatles war/protest musical - it was ok; I liked the preview for Wes Anderson's latest, The Darjeeling Limited, a bit more.

Maybe the 8 Diagrams (out December 8) will turn out to be another Fishscale, one of last year's best albums in my opinion. Here are some great related tracks:




And now for something completely different. We were cruising around Victoria and heard this little gem stirring a ruckus out of community radio 101.9FM. It screams dance, it oozes '80s electro and it's by a guy out of Montreal. He's done some pretty good remix stuff and I liked the couple originals that the radio played.


-AW

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Old School Ballboy Acoustic Session


I recently stumbled across a mint acoustic Ballboy session recorded in Scotland back in the day (November 2002, to be exact) complete with a nice version of 'I Gave Up My Eyes To a Man Who Was Blind' thanks to the Yank Sizzler. For those uninitiated, The Yank Sizzler is one of the best podcasts out there, and although episodes are released only sporadically the quality of the music included is as diverse as it is mind-bogglingly incredible.

Take Episode 27 released in July, for example:
Chow Nasty - Ungawa [2007]
Arthur & Yu - Absurd Heroes Manifestos [2007]
Black Lips - Dawn of the Age of Tomorrow [2004]
Coat Party - Burn the House Down [2007]
Bong Ra - Kick Out the Jams [2002]
Battles - Atlas [2007]
Matt & Kim - Grand [2006]
The Screamers - The Beat Goes On [1977]
Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta [2007]
Marion Black - Who Knows [1970]
Spoon - The Underdog [2007]
Melt Banana - Lock the Head [2007]
Subway - Persuasion / Soundhack - B1 [2007]
Hot Chip - (Just Like We) Breakdown [live 2006]

Grab the above podcast here, and be sure to check the website for other episodes and heaps of free mp3s. All the Yank Sizzler podcasts can also be downloaded from iTunes completely free.

And if you happen to be in Edinburgh tomorrow night, catch Ballboy at The Lot.

- a.m.p.m.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New Iron & Wine: The Shepherd's Dog

A week ago today, Iron & Wine (a.k.a. Sam Beam) officially released his third album The Shepherd's Dog on Sub Pop Records. Like Iron & Wine albums of yore, The Shepherd’s Dog is filled with tracks featuring beautiful harmonies, lush instrumentation, and gently-told tales edged with melancholy. First single 'Boy With A Coin' has been particularly well received; my favourite track at the moment is 'Carousel'.

If you enjoy Sam Beam's solo work it would be well worth your while to check out the Iron & Wine/Calexico collab In The Reins.