Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More new Girl Talk coming this week..?

Good ol' Gregg, or as we lovingly call him, Girl Talk, took the stage of the Commodore Ballroom the other night in downtown Vancouver. A pleasant step up from Richards on Richards where he has performed before, according to him. We chatted a bit before the show as I was shooting an interview with him. But you'll have to head over to in the near future to get the whole skinny on that talk. Anyways, all was good, and we chatted about the album, Australian bands, and audio software after the shoot. Once the show began the regular dance madness ensued with concert goers jumping to the stage. His high energy set included a fair amount of new cuts, as well as some different variations to the samples on 'Feed the Animals'. But whats most important is what I heard from Gregg and not his laptop. As I headed to the back to get out of the sweaty dance madness for a beer. Gregg announced to the audience that he had more material out this week called 'Undertow' and that it's "A lot of fun." And that's all I heard about it the whole night. It would've been nice for him to mention it beforehand! So anyways, keep an eye out for new Girl Talk material within days. You heard it from BTA first! Well..maybe..I'm not too sure on that.

-Matty B.

Girl Talk - Still Here

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ticket Giveaway: Tilly & The Wall w/ The Ruby Suns @ The Mod Club, Aug. 2nd

All you tap-dance aficionados and cacophonous-music lovers, the time is nigh. So what the fuck am I talking about, you're thinking I don't know where the cranberries are or something similarly dementia-d.

Well, Omaha-bred Tilly & the Wall and their indie-tap assault will be hitting Toronto's Mod Club on Aug. 2nd and our friends at ATG are hooking us up with one pair of tickets to give away. Adding to the spectacle, straight outta Auckland, kiwi's The Ruby Suns will open the show with their terrifically eclectic and expansive pop. Both these bands are pretty wild, trust us. This is one you'd be foolish not to enter, so simply email us at with the subject line: "Talk that talk that smack!" for your chance to win. Contest closes at noon on the 1st of August.

Tilly and the Wall - Pot Kettle Black
The Ruby Suns - There Are Birds

- BA

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Remix Sunday

A couple of dance numbers on this most dreary of Sundays (at least in Ottawa). Can't say I've heard the original of the first cut, Jap-pop's not really my thing, but MSTRKRFT's Al-P puts his stamp on this Ayumi Hamasaki song with some thunderous knob twiddling and buzzing synth. If you can't stand the lyrics, which is understandable given the track's dance mix '93 kind of feel, skip to the sweet breakdown at the 2 minute mark. Not for everybody, but worth a listen.

Ayumi Hamasaki - Beautiful Fighters (MSTRKRFT Remix)

Justice do MGMT? Sounds like a decent combination, no? I like it better than the original, a lot more actually.

MGMT - Electric Feel (Justice Remix)

- BA

Friday, July 18, 2008

Featured Band: The Mood

Its not difficult to conclude that the mood that NYC's The Mood is attempting to evoke is a pleasant one; a beautiful summer afternoon, hanging out the park with friends. Perhaps there's croquet or bocce involved, perhaps not. Or, wandering around your hometown streets later on that same night, likely drinking from a poorly-concealed can of Old Milwaukee. Whatever the specifics are, it's certainly a pleasant time.

The press release states "fans of the New Pornographers take note." And while one could argue that they borrow a little too heavily from their Canadian counterparts, it can also be argued that there's no such thing as too much of a good thing. So, if you're a fan of male and female harmonies over guitar-driven, glockenspiel-laden indie pop and "oooh la la la" sing-a-long opps, then these two tracks below should put you in The Mood.

The Mood - Eskimo Scientist
The Mood - Masquerade

- bbbykmbrly.

More Sweet Sweet Video

No Age play in the backyard.

Fleet Foxes crank out the claymation.

Junip, older but overlooked... and Swedish, so you know it must be at least mediocre. Let's play guess the singer!

No Age - Things I Did When I Was Dead
Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
Junip - Turn to the Assassin
Junip - The Ghost of Tom Joad

- BA

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Remix Sunday - RAC and Karl Kling versus a-ha

So this is just about the best remix I've heard over the past few months. I guess it's more of a cover, actually, but whatever. The track was RAC's contribution to REWIND, the 80s cover project spearheaded by Spanish blog BuffetLibre.

RAC featuring Karl Kling - Take On Me (a-ha cover)

- a.m.p.m.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tuko Pamoja (We Are Together)

Check out the little guy pointing to his missing tooth, now that's pride.

While not what we had in mind when naming this little website of ours, the other continent across the Atlantic is in the spotlight today. Lifelong BTA ally Rainer Tan picked up for Tanzania last year and has been doing fine work ever since, volunteering on logistical operations for hospitals and equally noble community building programs. His journey's taken him across the continent, and as if it wasn't enough he's an ace humanitarian, he might just become the next Tanzanian radio king. The song he recently recorded with his friend Amani has been receiving regular radio play in that country, and though he's modest about its success, we think that's pretty fucking cool. "Tuko Pamoja" is a bright, summer tune with a spirited message of unity. Have a listen, sit back, enjoy the sunshine.

We've thrown in some other downloads from Africa's finest that you can try very hard not to like, but, you know...Angelique Kidjo, fresh off her appearance at Ottawa Bluesfest, delivers one of the most triumphant songs Benin, or the continent at large, has seen with "Sedjedo." And if you missed our post on William Onyeabor, check it out.

Amani & Rainer - Tuko Pamoja
Angelique Kidjo feat. Ziggy Marley - Sedjedo
Amadou & Mariam - Je Pense a Toi (Alix Remix)
Issa Bagayogo - Bana

- BA

Friday, July 11, 2008

Festival Season: iTunes Live Festival features free performances from CSS, Black Kids, Foals and many more

So here's the deal: iTunes is hosting a month-long festival of free gigs at KOKO, "London's premiere live music venue". Almost every night in July will feature live performances from bands including Foals, Black Kids, CSS, Lykke Li, Ting Tings, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, The Zutons, Death Cab For Cutie, N*E*R*D, Guillemots and Lightspeed Champion. Did I mention that it's FREE? Check out the lineup and enter to win tickets for the rest of the month's acts. All you need is an iTunes account.

XFM is also doing their part in giving away tickets and providing post-gig reviews; visit here for an extra chance to win tickets through these guys.

Generous friends hooked me up with a ticket to Monday night's Foals/Black Kids gig which was surely the festival highlight (pictures below) and also won multiple tickets for several other nights so it seems that the odds of winning are good, which would make sense as KOKO's total capacity is over 1500.

Foals performing 'Cassius':

Foals performing 'Hummer':

Foals - Balloons
Black Kids - Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo)

- a.m.p.m.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Youtube Screening Room: I Met the Walrus

So I've been spending a solid chunk of my spare time perusing Youtube's brand new feature, the Youtube Screening Room, a portal within Youtube that showcases selected short films for mass consumption on the internet's most used video portal.

Though brand new, the site already has some absolutely impeccable shorts. In fact, I'm tempted to say that every piece featured on the site is absolutely worth watching, but there are a couple that have particularly struck me. One of which is I Met the Walrus, an animated short based on an interview conducted by a then 14-year-old boy with John Lennon after the kid snuck into the Beatle's Toronto hotel room in 1969. The interview itself is classic Lennon, but it's the animation which accompanies it which is literally unforgettable.

The Beatles - I am the Walrus
The Beatles - Helter Skelter

- bbbykmbrly.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Featured Band: Television Room

Unsigned Dubliners Television Room formed last year, and I suspect they'll be making a splash in the UK and hopefully here in North America in '08 with their glockenspiel-accented guitar pop. Their strength is writing straightforward, compact songs akin to bands like Peter Bjorn and John, with a touch of wit to keep the sweet from getting sour and enough instrumental variety to keep things from getting too run-of-the-mill. There is certainly room to grow with a little more improvisation and experimentation, but for such a young band, they have found a stride that should take them places.

Here are a few clips of the band, the first performing for BalconyTV, a gem of a show if you haven't heard, based out of a Dublin apartment not unlike's Don't Look Down series.

2/5's of the band performing: "Baby's Got Some Good News on the Way"

Performing: "Modern Boys and Girls"

Television Room - Coffee Houses

- BA

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Festival Season: Contest - Osheaga, Aug 3 & 4 - Montreal

Yesterday, Osheaga announced their final lineup additions for their fall festival, happening August 3 & 4th at Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal. The new heavy hitters are clearly Metric and N.E.R.D., but the new supporting cast is pretty solid in its own right. Sebastien Grainger (of DFA1979 fame) and the Mountains have been added to the lineup, as well as my personal Toronto alt-folk favourites The Wooden Sky.

BTA will be on the grounds covering the entire festival, and we've also got a pair to give away, all courtesy of Gillett. If you'd like to spend your August long weekend in Montreal checking out a slew of fantastic local, Canadian, and International talent, just send us an email with the subject line "Osheaga, son!". Contest closes Sunday, July 20th at Noon.

N.E.R.D. - My Drive Thru (ft Santogold and Julian Casablancas)
The Wooden Sky - Darker Streets Than Mine
Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains - American Names

- bbbykmbrly.

Kids Don't Know Shit

Here are a couple must-listens, some summertime jams for kids, talking about kids, or otherwise kid-related. The first one is kid-friendly, while those from Morrissey, BSS, and Islands are, well, less so.

Little My is a collective from Cardiff and Bristol of 8-15 members, playing short cheery songs designed for the young ones. The Guess Who? themed website and cartoonish image are perfect for younger listeners and nostalgic adults, while songs like "All the Beeps Meep" are clever enough to give older peeps a smirk.

Morrissey's "Children in Pieces" and Broken Social Scene's "Horses" both involve kids in distress. The former is familiar Morrissey subject matter, delivering a slick condemnation of children's roles in organized religion. "Horses," a Patti Smith cover, is a brief and jarring tale of terror and escape, quite different than anything the Arts & Crafts collective has delivered before. It appears in Bruce McDonald's The Tracey Fragments starring Ellen Page.

Little My - All the Beeps Meep
Morrissey - Children in Pieces
Broken Social Scene - Horses
Islands - Kids Don't Know Shit

- BA

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Festival Season - Contest: Roger's Picnic, July 20th - Toronto

It's always been a dream of mine to curate a music festival. Though I haven't yet had the chance, I can't help but think that REMG and Embrace Productions created this year's Roger's Picnic with me in mind. And now, to make matters even better, Embrace is coughing up a pair of passes to the one-day festival to one lucky faithful BTA reader.
Admittedly, I've never been a City & Colour fan, who is the listed headliner in 2008. However, I can look past such things when the rest of the lineup boasts such glory as Cat Power, Chromeo, Tokyo Police Club, Dizzee Rascal, Animal Collective, and others. Despite these draws, the two bands I'm most looking forward to are Vampire Weekend and Born Ruffians, both of whom I wallowed in sorrow when I couldn't snag tickets to their Toronto shows earlier this year.
Vampire Weekend's only Toronto stop to-date was at a packed Horseshoe Tavern; because I couldn't get tickets, I held a wallowing party at my apartment while the show was going on across town for anyone else who was in the same boat as I. It was a bittersweet evening to say the least.
Likewise, Born Ruffians, whose debut LP Red, Yellow, and Blue is taking rank on the "top played" in my iTunes over the past few months, sold out Lee's Palace before I could grab a ticket. To rub it in, the reviews from the show were ridiculously positive.
Needless to say, I shant be missing this valuable opportunity to correct two of my biggest mistakes of 2008 in one shot at Fort York on July 20th. If you, too, want to be checking out all the action, send us an email with the subject line "Roger and Me are going on a Picnic". Do so before Noon on July 18th, as that's when the winner will be chosen.

Vampire Weekend - The Kids Don't Stand a Chance
Born Ruffians - Little Garcon
Cat Power - Theme From New York, New York

- bbbykmbrly.

Traumatic Party

The blog world, BTA included, has been following Black Kids ever since their myspace Wizard of Ahhh's EP took the interweb by storm. Soon after, they were thrown into a fairly rigorous worldwide touring schedule, where they were praised by some, and harshly criticized by others for not being able to bring the energy and sound of their EP to the live stage. In addition, the Jacksonville natives were beginning to pop up on the mainstream radar due to the likes of MTV (they still care about music? I thought it was all about dating mom's and spoiled rich girl parties these days) All this before even having a full length album under their belt. On July 7th, their full length album Partie Traumatic hits the street. One would think the group have been under alot of pressure from both fans and the industry to live up to the hype they have been generating online over the past year. The 10 track album includes all of the songs from the EP with some better quality production and a few more layers to add more depth. Some will miss the somewhat grainy and low-fi sound of Reggie's voice from the original recordings however. Both sets of recordings have their good & bad in my opinion. The fact that only 3 new tracks are introduced on the album is a bit of a let down. But I guess thats what you get when you are expected to tour and make your first record all at the same time. The title track is what caught my ear at the live show and is my favorite of the new releases. The other two tracks have merit but don't seem to embody the energy we've come to expect from these guys. You can get the album here and can catch them on tour since they have been thrown out on the road yet again, on both sides of the Atlantic, well into November. Good luck with that guys...

- Matty B.

Black Kids - Partie Traumatic

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Festival Season: Ottawa Bluesfest

Day 1 = sunny, musically diverse, a success. Of the handful of acts we were able to see, here are the notables.

People Project, a Canadian-Mexican hybrid built on Latin rhythms and cross-cultural unification, is an extremely talented bunch of dudes. A few members are also part of Ottawa-based SoulJazz Orchestra (MySpace), great in their own right, who happened to join People Project on stage at the end of the set. The songs on their MySpace don't do the improvisational live show justice, but "People," the highlight of the set (with beat-boxing intact) is definitely worth a listen.

José González. What more can be said about this guy, no stranger to the world circuit. He's in his own league with songs ranging from timid to unnerved, at times hopeful, always earnest, sometimes even a bit pissed off at accepted practices (see: "Cycling Trivialities" from last year's In Our Nature). The subtly winding latino and classical guitar riffs sound just as good in the open air as they do in a pair of headphones. If you haven't seen him live and are unsure, here's our stamp of approval (as though that's needed). As an aside, I got a chance to have a couple words with the bearded Swede about the festival circuit and playing Ottawa, one of the highlights of the night.

TV on the Radio. Luckily these boys were delayed in starting, allowing some stage to stage travel time after "Heartbeats" and the like...From "Province" to "Wolf Like Me," and the appropriate "Staring at the Sun" (this was around 8:30, or just before sunset), they did a fine job of commanding the stage and trying to reach out beyond the obvious fan base to those waiting around for The Hip. Very charismatic, passionate performance.

The Tragically Hip. A rare band whose popularity in Canada is wildly beyond that of anywhere else they have a fanbase. As patriotic as you can be, they sang of small-town life, hockey, loyalty, "Courage," and on and on. They covered most, if not all big hits. The following day's paper reported around 25,000 in attendance, if that's so, they seemed to all be standing between my friends and the stage. A sea of people rippling with national pride is captivating, no matter where in the world that may occur. For those outside Canada who know little of The Hip, please check them out to get dose of real Canadiana.

José González - Down the Line
José González - Cycling Trivialities
TV on the Radio - Province
The Tragically Hip - Fireworks
(thanks to Wolves Hawks & Kites for that last link)

- BA

Friday, July 04, 2008

william onyeabor

Last week I was absent-mindedly perusing the contents of my favourite local charity shop (that’s ‘thrift shop’ for you North Americans) when my ears were blessed with a fantastic sound – 70’s African soul with an electro flavour. What I was hearing was so good that I approached the shop’s proprietor to ask about the scratchy vinyl he was playing on his ancient record player. And this is how I discovered William Onyeabor.

The LP my new friend was listening to turned out to be Onyeabor’s 1978 album Atomic Bomb. He told me that William Onyeabor is pretty much a legend in his home country of Nigeria although his albums are now quite rare (copies like this occasionally surface on ebay for up to $100). However, a trip down any busy street in Lagos will present multiple opportunities to buy copies of the original records on burned CDs from street vendors.

According to a bio on the interweb:
William Onyeabor studied cinematography in Russia for many years, returning to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a music and film production studio. He recorded a number of hit songs in Nigeria during the 70s, the biggest of which was ‘Atomic Bomb’ in 1978. ‘Better Change Your Mind’ is taken from the same album, and, as well as slating the power-crazed nations of the world, the second half settles into a unique slice of stripped down spacey, lo-fi funk which is unlike any other Nigerian music being made at the time. William has now been crowned a High Chief in Enugu, where he lives today as a successful businessman working on government contracts and running his own flour mill.

The excellent African music blog With Comb & Razor recently made available an mp3 rip of the original vinyl version of 'When the Going is Good & Smooth' from Onyeabor's mid-80s album Anything You Sow and I've included it below along with the classic 'Better Change Your Mind'.

William Onyeabor - When the Going is Smooth & Good
William Onyeabor - Better Change Your Mind

- a.m.p.m.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Frightened Rabbit return to London

Hot off the heels of their recent North American super-tour Scottish heroes Frightened Rabbit have scheduled a July 8th appearance at Madame Jo Jo's in the heart of Soho. Supporters include New Zealand's fantastic Collapsing Cities, who most recently toured with Black Kids, and Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit. According to event promoters White Heat, "Esau has just finished recording his album with Radioclit at the helm and collaborations from MIA, Santogold and Vampire Weekend. He's originally from Malawi and works in a furniture shop in Clapton. He is amazing." He sure is. Check out 'Kamphopo', his unique take on Architecture in Helsinki's 'Heart it Races' and his bloody brilliant version of M.I.A.'s 'Paper Planes'.

I've already got my tickets, but you might want to hurry over here and grab yours for only £5 as this one is sure to sell out FAST.

Frightened Rabbit - Fast Blood
Collapsing Cities - Fear of Opening My Mouth
Collapsing Cities - Seriously
Esau Mwamwaya - Kamphopo
Esau Mwamwaya - Tengazako

- a.m.p.m.