Friday, February 29, 2008

New Tokyo Police Club: "In a Cave"

Today marks the first peak at what these Newmarketers have up their sleeves for their upcoming debut LP, Elephant Shell. The album is due out at the end of April on Saddle Creek.

Torontonians can catch the band as part of Canadian Music Week next Saturday at the Royal York hotel. Also, check out the interview BTA did with the boys a couple weeks ago.

Tokyo Police Club - In A Cave

- bbbykmbrly.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Contest: Plants and Animals' Parc Avenue Prize Pack

Montreal's Secret City Records have about as solid of a track record as a label could ever hope for. With only four artists on their label to date, they already boast one Polaris Music Prize winner (Patrick Watson), a fellow 2007 nominee (Miracle Fortress), and international sensations the Go! Team. So it's not surprising that when the ladies and gentlemen at Secret City start talking about their newest addition, basically everyone in the independent music scene listens.

The new guys are Montreal's Plants and Animals, whose first full-length on the label was released yesterday. The album, described as "an epic-rock-pop-soul train", is a very solid addition to the label's already impressive discography. And lucky for all of you kids, we've got a couple to give away!

Thanks to the nice folks at Secret City, we've got two copies of the new album, Parc Avenue to the first two people who can correctly tell us "what does the woman's t-shirt say on the cover of Parc Avenue?" Act now, and you'll also receive a copy of Plants and Animals' 2007 EP, with/avec. That's pretty damn sweet.

Email us your answer with "I love both Plants and Animals" in the subject line to along with your full contact info, including mailing address.

The band plays tomorrow night, February 28th at Zaphod's in Ottawa, and as part of Chart Magazine's Canadian Music Week showcase, March 6th at the Horseshoe in Toronto. There are also rumours about an in-store at Criminal Records the following day. Keep an eye on their website for this announcement, as well as full tour dates.

Plants and Animals - Bye Bye Bye
Plants and Animals - Faerie Dance

- bbbykmbrly.

Hoods in Canada this week

Head up to the nosebleed section of your closest Canadian venue to check out Suffa MC, Pressure MC, and DJ Debris. Together they form Australian hip-hop group Hilltop Hoods. On their home turf, the Hoods bring their high energy performance to countless sold out crowds and share main stage status at festivals with the likes of Arcade Fire and Rage Against the Machine. And keep your eyes on the streets for the Hilltop Hoods special edition DC shoe, because we all know the highest pinnacle of fame is reached once your name is on footwear. The Hoods are now seeking such notoriety outside of Australia. With Canadian dates beginning this week in Victoria, Vancouver, Whistler, and Toronto, this is a show which surely can't be missed. On some levels, I do tend to associate Hilltop Hoods with foreign counterparts, such as our own Swollen Members. (I'm not sure if that's a positive or a negative..?) But then I hear how fluidly and effortlessly these guys distribute their lyrics over top of some great samples as well as contributions from the likes of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and see that there is some great musicianship at work here by people who are obviously not afraid to try something new and further extend the borders of current hip-hop. Check their myspace page for full show and venue details.

- Matty B.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Feb 26th: The Day I Killed My First Love

So this morning the unthinkable happened. I crashed my car. I am still in shock and shambles and am trying to figure out how I'm going to make life work now. You see I commute to both my jobs and to school; each being at least 25 minutes away. My life is my car and I have this feeling like my life just got a punch to the jugular.

At least I didn't get a ticket.

In better news we're throwing a contest for Sally Shapiro and all the details on that little diddy are below.

I leave you now with my soundtrack for February 26th 2008.

The Blood Brothers - Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck
Brand New - Limousine
Our Lady Peace - Car Crash

MF Blaz

Contest: Sally Shapiro, DJ Set in Toronto

There are few greater niceties in life than the elements of Swedish culture which manage to spill over onto the North American radar: delicious meatballs, ideal human specimens, and pretty pop music.

On the topic of the latter, Sweden's Sally Shapiro (alongside producer Johan Agebjorn) makes a kind of euro-disco-house pop perfectly prescribed for a Volkswagen commercial or a delightful spring day. And, as the weather has just recently begun hinting at greener pastures here in Toronto, it can't be more suiting that they're on their way here.

Sally Shapiro & Johan Agebjorn play a DJ set at Wrongbar next Tuesday, March 4th. And thanks to our new best friends at ATG, we've got a pair of tickets to give away. To enter, simply email us with "Sally Shapiro the Swedish Sensation" in the subject, and include your full contact information. Contest closes at noon on March 3rd.

The fact that they've opted for a DJ set isn't terribly surprising to anyone who is remotely familiar with the mystery surrounding Ms. Shapiro. She's never once performed her own songs live, and her real name (Sally Shapiro being a pseudonym) is a complete mystery.

Sally's album, Disco Romance, is available across the globe on Toronto's own Paper Bag Records. Also available is a full remix album, Remix Romance Vol. I, featuring the revamping skills of Junior Boys, Holy Fuck, Lindstrøm, and others. Both are really super great.

Sally Shapiro - Jackie Jackie (Dylan's Subzero Remix)
Sally Shapiro - He Keeps Me Alive

- bbbykmbrly.

Monday, February 25, 2008

the D'Urbervilles' Release Party Mania

I absolutely cannot stop listening to We Are the Hunters. The new record from Toronto-and-area indie rocksters the D'Urbervilles was released last Tuesday on Out of This Spark records, also home to last year's incredible Friends in Bellwoods compilation (featuring Bry Webb of the Constantines and Oh Bijou's Casey Mecija covering the Velvet Underground classic 'Oh! Sweet Nuthin'. Check it out here) and the soon-to-be-released Forest City Lovers disc.

The album's 9 tracks are mostly new material, but does feature the stand-out tracks from their earlier self-titled EP, including a slightly revamped (for the better) "Spin the Bottle".

The band is about to embark on a pretty extensive Canadian tour in support of the new album, which kicks off real proper-like this Friday at the Ford Plant in Brantford, aka the best room to ever see any band ever.

The full tour details are below. If you plan to check the band out when they come to your town(which I highly encourage), do yourself a favour and come in time for the openers. They've done a fine fine job of lining up some incredible support, including Secret City Records' new project Plants and Animals, as well as Fox Jaws, labelmates Forest City Lovers, and indie songster Nich Worby. The tour finishes in style April 24th in Guelph with Born Ruffians.

29 Feb - Brantford, ON - the Ford Plant - CD Release w/ Plants and Animals
1 March - Waterloo, ON - Trepid House - CD Release w/ Bocce (all-ages)
7 March - Kingston, ON - the Grad Club - CD Release w/ Nich Worby
8 March - Peterborough, ON - the Spill - CD Release w/ the Spill
13 March - Guelph, ON - EBar - CD Release w/ Forest City Lovers
14 March - Toronto, ON - Tranzac- CD Release w/ Forest City Lovers
17 March - Windsor, ON - Phog Lounge - w/ Fox Jaws
18 March - London, ON - the Alex P. Keaton - w/ Fox Jaws
19 March - Barrie, ON - the Foundation - w/ Fox Jaws
20 March - Hamilton, ON - the Casbah Lounge - w/ the Magic
21 March - Oshawa, ON - the Velvet Elvis - w/ the Magic
22 March - Montreal, PQ - Friendship Cove - w/ the Adam Brown, the Magic
25 March - Fredericton, NB - ReNeu Boutique - w/ the Forest City Lovers
26 March - St. John, NB - A Khord - w/ Forest City Lovers
27 March - Halifax, NS - the Wardroom - w/ Forest City Lovers
28 March - Halifax, NS - Gus' Pub - w/ Forest City Lovers, the Just Barelys, Rich Aucoin
29 March - Charlottetown, PEI - JFK House - w/ Forest City Lovers
1 April - Ottawa, ON - Maverick's - w/ Forest City Lovers
3 April - Sault Ste. Marie, ON - the Arc
4 April - Thunder Bay, ON - the Apollo - w/ the Burning Hell
5 April - Winnipeg, MB - Music Trader - In-store performance
5 April - Winnipeg, MB - the Cavern
8 April - Medicine Hat, AB - the Ottoman
9 April - Lethbridge, AB - the Slice
12 April - Victoria, BC - Logan's Pub - w/ the Paper Cranes, Rugged Uncle, Slam Dunk
16 April - Prince George, BC - Pizza Rico's
17 April - Calgary, AB - Broken City - w/ Frosted Tipz
18 April - Canmore, AB - the Canmore Hotel - w/ Frosted Tipz
19 April - Edmonton, AB - the Pawn Shop - w/ Frosted Tipz
24 April - Guelph, ON - Vinyl - w/ Born Ruffians

- bbbykmbrly.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Remix Sunday: Radiohead Rainydayz Remixes by Amplive

Oakland producer/DJ Amplive has released (for free) his 8 track remix project based on Radiohead's super-duper 2007 album and these tracks are, to this listener's ears, the best In Rainbows remixes created yet.

According to 1776, the website currently distributing Rainydayz Remixes:

"After a cease & desist put the brakes on Amplive's Radiohead In Rainbows remix project, the online music community reasonably wondered if the tracks would ever see the light of day. Well, here they are.

Rainydayz Remixes is composed exclusively of source material pulled from In Rainbows, re-envisioned by Amplive and complimented by vocal work from Too $hort, MC Zumbi of Zion I, Chali2na of Jurassic 5, Codany Holiday, and Del The Funky Homosapien."

01 Rainydayz
02 Video Tapez (ft. Del The Funky Homosapien)
03 Nudez (ft. Too $hort & MC Zumbi of Zion I)
04 Weird Fishez
05 All I Need
06 15 Stepz (ft. Codany Holiday)
07 Reckonerz (ft. Chali2na)
08 Faustz

Grab the entire album here gratis.

Amplive - Video Tapez (ft. Del the Funky Homosapien)
Amplive - Weird Fishez

- a.m.p.m.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hot Chip, Hot Ballad

Although the general consensus is that Hot Chip's new release Made in the Dark is stellar, some folks aren't feeling the ballads. Admittedly, I prefer the more upbeat portions of the album myself, but title track 'Made in the Dark' is so sweet it can't be ignored.

To counteract the sappy selection above, check out Hot Chip's excellent cover of Caribou's 'She's the One' found on the 12" single.

Hot Chip's current UK tour culminates with a performance at London's Brixton Academy on February 29th. And yes, it's sold out. Canadians can catch them in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver April 15th, 16th and 21st respectively.

Hot Chip - Made in the Dark

Caribou - She's the One (Hot Chip cover)

- a.m.p.m.

Music For Midnight: Zach Lipkins

One of my favorite parts about writing for Bridging the Atlantic is getting emails with completely new music. I've spent at least the last three years rrrrrreally digging for it and it's so great to have people send it right to our email account. Thanks alot guys, please, keep it coming.

Zack Lipkins was one of those people who sent us his myspace and frankly I was pulled in within the first 30 seconds of 'Overneath'. What I was drawn into was the naturally electronic sound of the instruments that were added in subtle but effective layers. Its hard to describe the sound of 'naturally electronic' but artists like Telefon Tel Aviv really encapsulate it. They're obviously made or altered by a computer but the sound is very organic. Like I said, it's hard to explain. While Telefon Tel Aviv are a world more 'naturally electronic' than Zack, he has the very same basic elements. He adds quick breaks that keep you progressively more intrigued and interested. And as the title suggests, it is definitely required late-night listening. The music works so well in your headphones, weaving patterns and images in the back of your mind.

If I didn't know any better, I'd think that I was tripping on acid.

Wait a tick...

Zack Lipkins - Overneath
Zach Lipkins - Magnets and Velcron
Telefon Tel Aviv - Fahrenheit Fair Enough

MF Blaz

Friday, February 22, 2008

Margot & the Nuclear So and So's Present: Your Fifteen Minutes

This has got to be one of the coolest ideas I've heard about in awhile.

As posted on their myspace page yesterday, Richard Edwards, lead vocalist and songwriter for Indianapolis' Margot & the Nuclear So and So's is looking to write an entire album about a total stranger. Actually, scratch that, but three full albums about three different strangers.

"I'm planning to compose, and record, a collection of three albums about three specific people. I'd like to take applications from people who would like to have an album composed about them. The application must be...

1. 500 words about yourself and your background.

I'm searching out people on my own as well.

If I feel like I'd like to use you in some way, you will need to be available for MANY more questions, as well as be able to provide alot of material about yourself.
Old school photos

dental records

old love letters
etc, etc. etc......

This will probably take me four years. The first one should be ready in 2009/2010.

Even if your application doesn't make the final cut, no doubt through lack of vision on my part, I have a great project for all of the applications. And EVERYONE will be involved.

This is VERY important to me. It's the future of margot recordings, and a major undertaking for the next few years of my life. I hope you will be involved. I will be in contact with any of you who decide to participate."

Within the first 24 hours of the post, he's received "a couple hundred submissions". I assume these will keep coming as word gets 'round of a very excellent, and very buzz-worthy creative idea.

The band are currently in the studio finishing up their new album. Here are some demos which are expected to find their way (in polished form) on the album.

Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos - Holy Cow! (demo)
Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos - Tall as Cliffs (demo)

- bbbykmbrly.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

All Points West Reveal Line-Up

So the initial line-up announcement from All Points West, which is put on by those same people who decided to fuck the east coast and put Coachella in Indio, California, is actually very good. Besides the obviously amazing prospect of duel Radioheadlining we also see a great bill with Andrew Bird, The Go! Team, Nicole Atkins, Black Kids and many many more. I mean, the last 6 bands on Saturday are, in my opinion, worth the price of admission alone. Check it out, we'll keep you posted on more developments as they come.

The New Pornographers
The Go! Team
Girl Talk
Forro in the Dark
Juana Molina
Little Brother
Andrew Bird
Mates of State
Nicole Atkins

Kings of Leon
Animal Collective
The Roots
The Black Angels
The Virgins
The Felice Brothers
Alberta Cross
Your Vegas

Jack Johnson
Cat Power
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Amadou & Mariam
Youssou N'Dour
Black Kids
Jason Isbell
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Rogue Wave
Neil Halstead

MF Blaz

New Wolf Parade Album Imminent; Live Versions of New Tracks Surface

It's been way too long since the last Wolf Parade album. Sure, member side-projects Handsome Furs, Sunset Rubdown, Johnny and the Moon and Swan Lake have all produced wicked awesome albums in the interim, but it's been some two and a half years since the band's brilliant debut album Apologies to the Queen Mary was released.

And now the wait is almost over. Dan Boeckner has confirmed that recording for the new album, speculatively titled Pardon My Blues, is all wrapped up and it's slated for release in March or April. Better yet, I managed to get my hands on live versions of tracks from said new album recorded at Wolf Parade's performance at L.A.'s El Rey theatre back in September. I've included a few below, but you can still grab the entire set here thanks to rewriteable content. And best of all, an unofficial live album of unreleased material from various other shows was made available by Snakes Got A Blog last week. Get that here.

For those seeking official releases, the band collaborated with Oakland hip-hop group Subtle on a track for their Yell & Ice album last October and it's a great stop-gap for any Wolf Parade enthusiast.

Subtle with Wolf Parade - Middle Class Haunt
Wolf Parade - Telephone (live)
Wolf Parade - Radio Song (live)

- a.m.p.m.

Hunting for Witches

I love a band with a little mystery. These past few days have seen the band Salem pop up on blog radar but no one seems to know anything about 'em. Their two websites here and here provide absolutely nothing. So it's a little mystery that serves only to make their very dark and very mysterious more haunting and mysterious. If you thought Burial was weird...

Salem - Brustreet
Salem - Sweat

MF Blaz

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In the End It's Your Friends That Will Fuck You Over

Here are 3 songs I wish to share with you, my friends.

First is a new release from the band that makes you count to four- Shout out out out out. "In The End It's Your Friends" will be available on a new split featuring the Canadian electro/dance/rock act and their good friend San Serac. The band isn’t touring right now, but when they come to your town in the future - go to the show. If I ever have the privilege of partying with the legendary Robin Williams (which I dream of often), I believe it would be just like the Shout out out out out experience…incredibly fun, indisputably original, and exhausting in a fantastic way.

Next, to celebrate the UK release of my favourite 2007 album The Con, here is Tegan and Sara. This is best track on the five-song EP they released a few months ago. The song isn’t quite to the caliber of those found on The Con; but I find it quirky, pretty, and undeniably attractive. Truthfully, I feel the same way about this song as I do about my favourite BTA contributor, B.A. Seriously, the guy is a fox.

Finally, this one goes out to one of our loyal readers. Mike Gobran. My friend, you will love this track. For those of you who miss days spent listening to Postal Service in high school (like Mike does), this may cheer you up. The LK is a duo from Malmö, Sweden that prides themselves on their sadness, playfulness, and lanky-ness. If you like the this track, watch out for their March 4th release on The Kora Records.

like whoa,


In the End It’s Your Friends- Shout out out out out
Tegan and Sara- I Take All The Blame.
The LK- Stop Being Perfect

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love Will Reign Supreme

Mobius Band's V-Day EP needs more press, and so after the fact, here we are. Listening to these fantastic covers brings to mind the love felt between our favorite outgoing Cuban leader and his boy Khrushchev way back in the day. How's that for a shitty attempt at relevance? Anywho...seeing as how this free release showcases the band covering acts as diverse as The National, Neil Young, and Daft Punk, it is worth the time and effort to click numerous times. Stay tuned for a new post with an independent label/Kosovo joke that won't go over.

Mobius Band - Razor Love (Neil Young Cover)
Mobius Band - Baby, We'll Be Fine (The National Cover)
Mobius Band - Digital Love (Daft Punk Cover)

Compare: The National - Baby, We'll Be Fine

The rest can be found here.

- B.A.

Interview: The OaKs

About a month ago I did a feature with Florida based, worldly cultured band The OaKs. Finally after a bit of correspondence between me and the wonderful Andy from Frantic I was able to have a little email interview with Ryan Costello and Matthew Antolick from the band. I thought my questions were a little wack but they seemed to get 'em and they provided some stellar answers. Thanks again to Andy and thanks to Ryan and Matt for taking the time to provide some great answers!

Bridging the Atlantic: First off I'd like to thank you both for taking the time to sit down and answer our questions. I haven't been able to stop streaming Songs for Waiting since the first time I started listening to it. At first it really seems like the band has been playing for a long time but I later found out that you guys first put together the music and then went on search for the others. Did you guys find the transition from being just a two man crew to a full band difficult?

Ryan: At first it was really just a matter of necessity - OK, Matt and I made this album in his living room, how we do play it live? There were so many interweaving parts, we didn't know how it could come together in a live setting. Pretty early on, after trying a couple people out, we came into our full 6 person line-up - in fact, we were 6 at our first show (Florida's Anti-Pop Music Festival). What was difficult about it at first was that Matt and I are so in each other's heads musically from almost 10 years of playing together and we have our way of writing and honing ideas - we're really blunt with each other. I think the other band members were a little taken aback by that at first - like whoa, this level of honesty is unsettling. But it's amazing how different the band is now with all 6 of us contributing different influences and personality to the parts and orchestrating ideas, even live on stage in the sections we get improvisational.

Matt: Yeah. The core dynamic pretty much remains the same, in that Ryan and I still get together the way we always have when it's time to write new material. Ryan will have a guitar riff or piano part, and I'll have a drum part or some rhythmic idea. One of us will send his idea to the other, and the dialogue process begins. When the idea matures to a certain degree, we bring it out in rehearsal, which is where all six of us start to put flesh on the skeleton, so to speak. But the joy in the process is that it always becomes something surprisingly different than either of us could have imagined or accomplished on our own.

BTA: Do you guys have any music festivals or small tours coming up? Please tell me that you're coming to Canada in the near future.

R: We're playing South By South West - which we're really looking forward to. And we're playing a festival in Tampa, Florida called the Tropical Heatwave in May. We're planning to tour in the Summer, but it's not booked out yet...still holding out for a booking agent that fits with us. I was just up in Montreal last year and I loved it - a real artist's town. I'd love to play Canada. Can you fly us up?

BTA: Haha! I wish! So was Alan Douches, who has produced and mixed for bands like Sufjan Stevens and Mastadon, an influence on the recording of the album or was all the material ready to record as soon as you took the studio?

R: Alan was a big influence - we sometimes credit him as a mentor. When we came in to make this album we had a vision of what we wanted to do, which was basically to room-mic my 1950's wood-floored house and use all natural reverb and room sound to mix the album together. At the same time, we felt like a bit adrift and inexperienced in the technical side of things. We took a break in the middle of recording when we played CMJ in October of last year, and we took a day and drove out to upstate New York, to Alan's studios. He ordered some pizza, and we sat down for a few hours and just threw around our ideas about what the new album should sound like. We really loved what Alan did with our first album, but on that one he really just came in at the end and mastered it. On this album Allen was a part of almost every step - as we recorded a track and got a rough mix we'd send it to him and he'd give us feedback and even rough-master it so we can hear how a finished product would sound. Allen helped us to be able to focus on just being creative in the recording process because we knew we had his experienced ears and mind to bounce off of.

M: Yes, Alan is just a fantastic human being. My favorite part of the whole meeting was when he told us that the most important thing in the mixing process was to "just trust your feelings." I felt like Luke in light saber training with Obi Wan! This was the first album we ever mixed ourselves, and that was a huge encouragement to us. It was just the guidance we needed. Mixing is so much closer to the actual playing of an instrument than a lot of musicians realize. And we're proud that we took the chance on mixing on our own for this one, because not only was it fun, but educational. And it also allowed us to take the independent do-it-yourself spirit to a whole new level.

BTA: Speaking of the do it yourself attitude, alot of indie artists obviously need a day job to support their visions of a band. What do you guys do for a living?

R: I'm a social worker. I work with kids who have been abused, neglected and abandonded, usually in foster care or in placement with a relative. I go to court and try to lobby on behalf of what I feel is in the best interest of the kids on my case load. Tim is an audio engineer - his expertise was completely invaluable in this album. He did a great job in the mixing side of things, and he's incredibly organized which really helped balance the scattered creativity Matt and I bring. Greg's in seminary and he works two part-time jobs, but he's pretty much a full-time seminarian so don't get him going or he'll bust out Greek and Hebrew on you. Jeremy is a full-time bass player at an Irish pub. Melissa is a writer.

M: And I'm a full time musician with a Moroccan group at EPCOT, in addition to drumming for an Irish Pub Band a few nights a week, as well as drumming with a few electronic and hip-hop artists around town.

BTA: How would you describe your sound?

R: It's tough to peg it down, but I describe it as a mix of folk, 60's rock, and jazz.

M: Yeah that about covers it, but we both come from so many musical directions, that it goes deeper than some one particular style. The music is only part of it. I think another distinguishing characteristic of our music is the biographical and autobiographical, storytelling-like lyrical content. We're really not going for any one particular genre fit. With us it really is all about authentic artistic expression. The music and the lyrical content have to bolster each other in terms of mood, feeling, texture...whatever you want to call it. But authenticity is extremely important. We write what we believe and feel. And it makes me very happy to so many people get that from our music.

BTA: I heard you guys took a more analog approach to the recording of the album, was it a difficult road? And what sort of techniques did you use?

R: This album was interesting in that we recorded the whole thing into my laptop, and wrote songs by bouncing them back and forth over email, but at the same time we took a completely old-school approach to recording which involved using all natural room sound to mix the tracks, using no unnatural reverb or delay. So it was a really interesting hybrid. We spent a lot of time on mic'ing techniques - putting mic's in the hall, or in the back of the room, or 6 inches from the kick drum instead of inside, or on the beater of the kick drum. Melissa and I stood at different distances from the mic as well. This way we were able to play the sounds in different places in the sound field just by placing the microphones deliberately. Then, when Alan stepped in, he felt like the finished product sounded best when run through tape. So we didn't record to tape originally, but we did end up with a tape-saturated sound. That way, we had the flexibility of digital recording, with over 80 tracks on some songs, but using only natural reverb to mix and mastering to tape gave the album old-school analog feel.

M: Right. And it was very important to us to harken back to the feel and experience of listening to vinyl. It's not just about the snap crackle and pop. It's about the way the albums were recorded back then, how warm they were, and how inviting. This also has a lot to do with how albums were mastered then. They weren't pushed to the point of being the ear-fatiguing volume mass that so many modern albums become by the time they've left the mastering facility.

As far as being difficult - you know, I don't think so. It took a lot of trial and error in the beginning to learn how the mic placement worked in the room for the kind of sound we wanted for each particular track. Over time, we just new where to place mics and how to capture what we were going for. It was actually a lot of fun this time around, considering how Ryan and I basically learned how to record while recording "Our Fathers," the first album. Now we're really looking forward to the next recording session! There's so much possibility - between the instruments, the mutual creativity between the six of us, and what we know now...I'm excited for the future!

Again I want to thank the boys for this and definitely look out for Songs for Waiting which drops March 4th

MF Blaz

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Constantines Album Leaks, Rocks

Oh, such is the reality of the modern era. Last week, on the exact same day Guelph-turned-Toronto rock n' rollers the Constantines announced the details of their new album, the whole thing surfaced online for download even though the album, entitled Kensington Heights, isn't set to hit shelves until April 29th. It's their first release on Toronto-based indie super-label Arts & Crafts, after their previous label, Three Gut Records called it quits soon after the release of their last album, 2005's Tournament of Hearts.

Upon first listen, there are no real surprises in this, their fourth album. The guitars crackle, the bass lines still groove, the drums still pound, and Bry Webb's signature Springsteen-meets-MacKaye rasp remains in top shape.

As a big fan of both the band and the label, I'm going to fight my urges to distribute the album in its entirety. But here's a sneak peak of what can be expected, which demonstrate the range of perhaps the most consistently impressive Canadian indie rock band.

the Constantines - Brother Run Them Down
the Constantines - Life or Death

Bonus (from Friends in Bellwoods compilation):

Bry Webb & Casey Mecija (of Oh Bijou) - Oh! Sweet Nuthin' (Velvet Underground Cover)

- bbbykmbrly.

MF Blaz's Ultimate Top 10.

About a month ago a good friend of mine ask me what my Top 10 favorite albums of all time were and I must've rattled off a good 30 albums before I stopped myself and told him that I would have to get back to him. After a month of endless hours devoted to picking out the best of the best I think I've been able to make a top ten list that will echo through the ages of my life. Now, let me just say that these albums might not be universally accepted by the blogging/indie/scene as great albums but to me they hold great meaning and weight to my life thus far. These 10 albums shaped me into the music lover I am today. I would be no where without them.

Please, feel free to comment with your Top 10...or 5..or 3... I'd love to hear what made

MF Blaz's Top 10 Albums of His Life in No Particular Order.

You're A Women, I'm A Machine - Death From Above 1979
If You're Feeling Sinister - Belle & Sebastian
Alexisonfire - Alexisonfire
The Tipping Point - The Roots
Ok Computer - Radiohead
Songs for the Deaf - Queens of the Stoneage
Demon Days - Gorillaz
Funeral - Arcade Fire
Releationship of Command - At The Drive In
Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

See You Space Cowboy...
MF Blaz

The New Music: Tapes n' Tapes

Still riding high off their killer '06 debut The Loon the boys from Minneapolis are ready to release their sophomore album Walk It Off. A few days ago they posted the first track on their website and too be honest it sounds like something that could have come off the Loon. I'm not sure what to make of it yet...but as good as The Loon was...I don't like repeats.

Check it out.

Tapes n' Tapes - Hang Them All

MF Blaz

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Remix Sunday: Plan B

This past weekend I met up with Girl 2 from We Are Not Sharing and we exchanged some tunes. One artist that really caught my eye, especially because I have been on sort of a hip hop streak the past week, was Plan B. From his '07 mixtape Paint It Blacker the rapper from the UK takes classic songs and spits over them. Worth a listen.

Plan B - Paint It Blacker (feat. the Rolling Stones)
Plan B - Missing Links (feat. Radiohead)

MF Blaz

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pain Disappears

Mlle Caro, aka Caroline Laher, is the resident DJ at Paris' Rex Club and Requiem45 parties.
Franck Garcia is a producer, composer and DJ in Perpignan.
Working together as Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia they have created a minimalist techno album titled Pain Disappears. It was released February 11th on Buzzin' Fly Records.

Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia - Apologies
Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia - Dead Souls (Ben Watt Radio Edit)

- a.m.p.m.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Grab Bag

First and foremost, Björk's next single, "Wanderlust", is being released for retail in a variety of formats on April 7. This is all well and good, but we probably wouldn't have taken even half as much notice were it not for the incredible Ratatat remix included therein. There's no need to hype Ratatat at this point, just have a listen and enjoy. Matthew Herbert provides a remix as well, stay tuned for that nugget.

Next. Daft Punk continues to amaze, and only because some may have missed the 10 minute gem on the Alive bonus disc, here it is (well, below). The mix is "Human After All/Together/One More Time (reprise)/Music Sounds Better With You. It's funny that the last quarter, the original track from Stardust (DP's Bangalter, co-written with Alan Braxe and Benjamin Diamond), sounds as fresh now as it did then.

Lastly. Brighton's The Miserable Rich are a very talented upcoming band to watch. We'd be doing them a disservice to pigeonhole their sound as one thing or another, but I was hooked as soon as I heard a lovely acoustic number called "Pisshead." Even better is their sinister take on Hot Chip's "Over and Over," they'll give you laid back.

Björk - Wanderlust (Ratatat Remix)
Daft Punk - Alive 2007 (Bonus Track)
The Miserable Rich - Over and Over (Hot Chip Cover)

- B.A.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The list of games that have transcended their pixelated selves is few and far between. Super Mario has become more pop culture than video game, Final Fantasy has spun 13 sequels and 2 movies but one game that every "gamer" will tell you is in their top 5, Mega Man, has remained relatively a gamers game. Mega Man's second adventure into the dark mechanical world of the evil Dr. Wily is a fucking blast. You blast your way through intricately detailed levels to defeat some of the most memorable and villainous villains in gaming history such as the hot aired Air Man or his evil brother the insane and watery Bubble Man.

Apparently bubbles can maim, apparently bubbles can kill.

One of the best parts about the game though (and I do urge you to grab a copy of it if you have an old Nintendo) is the music. Produced by Manami Matsumae, Ogeretsu Kun, and Yoshihiro Sakaguchi their 8-bit musings really have a very 2008 feel. Some tracks, such as the Flash Man stage have a decidedly hip hop feel to it. What I love is how the tracks can (and have, as you will hear) translate in both 2008 hip hop or 2008 rock. Below are two GREAT covers of the Mega Man 2 soundtrack. One is from Johan Agebjorn who remixes the track and the other is from the MiniBosses, a band that exclusively covers video game music.

Minibosses - Mega Man 2

Here is the video of the Johan Agebjorn remix;

MF Blaz

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Loud Pipes + Sound of Silver = Win

As some of our faithful readers know I sometimes ramble on about dumb shit. Sometimes it's really dumb shit. But usually it gets capped off with a nice little song or two.

Today I'm gonna do something different.

We got emailed this remix. I have nothing to say 'cept:

Listen to it.

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (Loud Pipes Remix)
Myspace: Loud Pipes

MF Blaz

Black Mirror Remixes

Roaming aimlessly through the blog world you may have noticed Arcade Fire remixes popping up more than usual. are providing some vocal tracks for aspiring and established remixers, including BTA favs Team9. "Black Mirror" is a magnificent song in its original form, but when the many instruments are stripped away and Butler's vocals are supplemented with bleeps, blips, and pounding kicks there are interesting results with varying success. Team9's version is (according to Stereogum) what you'd get with Win wailing over a Justice track. Andrew Maury's version has sporadic synthesizers with industrial-tinged percussion. We even have a chilled-out interpretation from Full Source, which has potential but needs more vocal mixing. There are probably a bunch more we haven't heard, so investigate yourself if you like what you hear.

Arcade Fire – Black Mirror (Team9 Remix)
Arcade Fire – Black Mirror (Andrew Maury Remix)
Arcade Fire – Black Mirror (Full Source Remix)

- B.A.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Jay Jay Pistolet

This past week has been extremely busy on the musical front with the apex being Okkervil River's show on Tuesday at the Scala. Needless to say, they blew away all expectations. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about Londoner Jay Jay Pistolet, the second opener on Tuesday night who singlehandedly brought the Scala's rowdy and impatient audience to absolute silence with his first track. Fervent applause followed and the crowd's attention never wavered (even during annoying audio problems). With a sound reminicent of Elvis Perkins and a mature yet fragile voice, this guy is well worth checking out. His first single 'We Are Free' was released in November.

Jay Jay Pistolet - Oh, Caroline
Jay Jay Pistolet - Holly

Okkervil River - For Real

- a.m.p.m.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Magnetic Fields - Distortion

The Magnetic Fields released their eighth album a few weeks ago. I've always enjoyed Stephin Merritt's combination of quirky and bitter lyrics accompanying sweet indie pop tunes, and Distortion toes the line. Unfortunately, it features one of the worst album covers of all time.

The Magnetic Fields - California Girls
The Magnetic Fields - Please Stop Dancing
The Magnetic Fields - Too Drunk To Dream

From 69 Love Songs:
The Magnetic Fields - Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Times New Viking is in (My Head)

Why are Times New Viking so awesome? Maybe because they sound like The Go! Team, Sonic Youth and the Velvet Underground jamming together in your friend's basement. The Columbus, Ohio band's 3rd album Rip It Off was released by Matador on January 22nd and pretty much every song is stellar. Get it here.

Times New Viking is at the Mod Club in Toronto on February 20th with Jeffrey Lewis and Super Furry Animals.

Times New Viking - Drop-Out
Times New Viking - (My Head)

- a.m.p.m.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Interview: Tokyo Police Club

Last Thursday I was privileged enough to interview Tokyo Police Club before their show at Algonquin College with Ottawa locals Amos The Transparent.

Though my videographer skills aren't finely tuned yet, considering I did sound, video, questioning, and mic work all at once while being gawked at by band management and friends, it ain't too shabby. Greg and Graham of the band gladly answered my questions and dropped their thoughts on the new album Elephant Shell, Fraggle Rock, Barack Obama, and Ghostface Killah. Enjoy.

Thanks to Ken at Algonquin and TV Zoom.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Tuesday Mash

After a year and a half of being absolutely bombarded by mash ups one would think that I would start to grow weary of them. Fortunately this is not the case. This morning my good friend Chris a.k.a Ludachris a.k.a the BEAST sent me a killer mash up. M83 vs Aphex Twin vs. Khia.

I'm not a big fan of the lyrics; "My Neck / My Back / Lick my pussy and my Crack" but the sound has great flow and the M83 + Aphex beat is pure chillz.

Ch-ch-check it out.

[MP3]: Pussy Licker - M83 v. Aphex Twin v. Khia

MF Blaz

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Late Winter.

While it took me a while to clue-in about the late 2007 Wintersleep release Welcome to the Night Sky, I can now say that it is one of my favourite albums released in 07. Better late then never, right?

The 5 piece out of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia has put together a real beauty here. This is the kind of album you can listen to from start to finish without thinking about skipping a track. Whether taking the train home for a much needed rest, or sitting down for a dinner with a great friend, you will find this album to be a spectacular addition to any setting in need of a warm musical complement.

The first single from Welcome to the Night Sky is a catchy tune called "Weighty Ghost", which features vocalist Paul Murphy's questions about death (reminiscent of Jesse Lacey in Brand New's "Jesus Christ"). The album is bookended by its strongest songs; the second track "Archaeologist" and the closer, "Miasmal Smoke & The Yellow Bellied Freaks" are true standouts. Both songs feature brilliant instrumental introductions that get your heart pumping, and then gracefully develop into poetic and vivid stories.

Wintersleep definitely deserve the newfound attention they are receiving. Welcome to the Night Sky is yet another reminder that good music from Maritime Canada doesn’t need to feature a fiddle and lyrics about getting pub-crunk. Well done me’ boys. Well done.


Wintersleep - Archaeologist

Wintersleep - Weighty Ghost
Wintersleep - Miasmal Smoke & The Yellow Bellied Freaks


Ok, so the band known as Yeasayer has been around the blog circuit for a while, and they deserve it.

No really, they do. If Vampire Weekend was the first real band of "Web 2.0" then Yeasayer are definitely setting themselves up to be next in line, just as Fall Out Boy and Cold War Kids were children of Myspace and social networking sites. Yeasayer's phenomenal debut album, All Hour Cymbals, was dropped on Oct 23rd of last year but really started to pick up steam on the last legs of 2007. The band describes themselves as "Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel" which is a safe bet whilst describing their sound. The album is a mix of desert folk and psychedelic vibes all put together with a mix of indie rock.

Yeasayer is playing this weekend in Toronto with MGMT (which we contested some tickets away for) at the El Mocambo.

Sunrise - Yeasayer
2080 - Yeasayer
Wait for Summer - Yeasayer (Live)

MF Blaz

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Remix Sunday

For those still not familiar with him, Sportsday Megaphone = man + guitar + computer, to create some very catchy pop/electronic tracks and remixes from artists including Envelopes, The Rumble Strips, and Malcolm Middleton. His latest remix comes from Operator Please, and their track 'Get what you want'. He currently has shows coming up at the end of February in Edinburgh and Stockholm in early March.

Operator Please - Get what you want (Sportsday Megaphone Remix)
Malcolm Middleton - We're all going to Die (Sportsday Megaphone Remix)

This Remix Sunday also includes an exclusive BTA track brought to us by DJ Legit. This Toronto born, now Montreal based DJ has been unleashing beats and remixes for years, and is now set to release his first remix album. This is a great, and somewhat humorous beat over an old classic.

Notorious B.I.G - Juicy (DJ Legit Remix)

- Matty B.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ride Into The Sun

'Ride Into The Sun', one of the Velvet Underground's "lost tracks", was ultimately released on the compilation album Another View. Originally recorded in September 1969, this instrumental version waited 17 years to be officially released. An alternate mix with vocals also exists, and Lou Reed eventually recorded a new version for his 1972 debut solo album.

The Velvet Underground - Ride Into The Sun

- a.m.p.m.