Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I caught M83 at Cargo on Monday night and they were pretty good. Not amazing, as expected, but perhaps the crowd being composed of mostly loudmouth jerks didn't help matters. The show sold out weeks ago yet the majority of people around me were engaged in group discussions of non-M83-related matters for the entire performance. Bizarre.
Curiously, Anthony Gonzalez's only comment during the entire show was "Can we do something about these lights? They're awful." A couple of halfhearted thankyous closer to the end of the set didn't exactly engage the audience. The fact that my favourite M83 track, "Unrecorded", didn't make an appearance and confusion over the aborted second encore (lights stay off; crowd screams for 10 minutes; manager announces that band will not return; lights go on) also soured the night a bit. Still, it was great to hear old stuff like "Don't Save Us From the Flames", "Run Into Flowers" and "A Guitar and a Heart" mixed in with solid new material including "Couleurs", "Graveyard Girl" and "Kim & Jessie".
And hey, if you're a fan of post/drone/kraut rock check out openers Kontakte. They were great.
M83 - Graveyard Girl (Yuksek Remix)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sub Pop has revealed that Wolf Parade's new album will not be titled Pardon My Blues (as previously reported) or Kissing the Beehive, but rather At Mount Zoomer; Mount Zoomer being the name of the recording studio run by drummer and recording engineer Arlen Thompson.
01 Soldier's Grin
02 Call It A Ritual
03 Language City
04 Bang Your Drum
05 California Dreamer
06 The Grey Estates
07 Fine Young Cannibals
08 An Animal In Your Care
09 Kissing The Beehive
"Call It A Ritual" was released a couple of weeks ago and you can grab it below - give the decent live versions of "Language City" and "Fine Young Cannibals" a listen as well. The album will be released on June 17th and the band embarks on a North American tour in July to support it. Canadian stops include the three usual suspects: Vancouver (July 12), Montreal (August 3) and Toronto (August 9).
Wolf Parade - Call It A Ritual
Wolf Parade - Language City (live)
Wolf Parade - Fine Young Cannibals (live)
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
As I was cruising around the world wide web the other night, I decided to randomly check out Ratatat's myspace page and see what they were up to. To my surprise, they were playing in Sydney the very next night! There wasn't an option here, I immediately got my hands on some tickets, not caring about cost. I was amazed that I hadn't heard even a whisper of the Essential Festival '08. A day long festival hosted by Myspace, Drumbeat Media (Australia's equivalent to Exclaim! for our Canadian readers) and several others, to showcase rising Australian talent in this new wave indie-rock scene we all seem to know and love.
Before I get into the awesomeness that would ensue, honorable mention goes to Sydney's Grafton Primary. Even though singer Joshua Garden was at times a bit overly eccentric for my liking, they kept up a high energy performance with catchy synth songs. Gotta love that keytar. Next up on props is Bluejuice. I had been loving their 'Vitriol' track for some time beforehand, and the rest of their set did not dissapoint. These boys came out swinging with their upbeat style of indie rock with a little bit of hip-hop thrown into the mix. The harmonies between the two main vocalists combine to form one very stylish single voice.
Ok, now onto my main boys. There was no introduction, there was no explanation, Ratatat simply got on and began to own the stage. The crowd was packed in front of the main stage, but I was also surprised both before and during the show how many Australians were not familiar with the awesomeness that was Ratatat. Needless to say, they are now. This year's festival was apparently the first time an international band was added to the line-up. Did they ever make a great pick. Accompanied by visuals that included everything from abstract images to scenes from 'Predator', the boys performed some of the greatest songs from both albums, as well as a slew of new tracks. There was no time for talk or banter in between songs, not like I had expected it from these guys anyway. They used every minute to cram in as much as they could, leaving the crowd chanting and begging for more. I talked to the guys briefly after the show, curious about what was in the works for them. They were only willing to mention that the Bjork remix was their latest work, but assured me that newer originals were on the way. It's too bad they had to make way for Regurgiator, a fan favorite of Australians for years now, but certainly not of mine. These guys have been around since the early 90's and it shows. Compared to the other great acts of the day, their sound was stale and made me feel like I was 14 again at some pop-punk show, complete with little girls being pulled up on stage by the guitarist. Dude, lame. The majority of the crowd seemed to enjoy it, as many of them seemed to have grown up with the tunes. But to an outsider, it seemed out of place with the new age sound the festival was trying to promote. Check out some of the pictures below and some short clips (sorry they are so dark..it's the sound that counts!) of the new tracks, I'm sure people are now getting annoyed by the fact my camera only takes about 20 seconds of footage at a time, I will try to remedy this situation for the Black Kids show this week!
Bluejuice - Vitriol
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Now, after making a serious impression as the openers for Tokyo Police Club on a couple eastern Canada tour dates and launching their debut EP, the buzz seems to have just begun. I (heart) Music and Hero Hill both recently shat themselves over the unquestionable potential packed into their 5-song EP, and Myspace is just wrapping up a week of having the boys as one of their featured artists. In the next two months, they'll be playing Toronto's Over the Top Festival (Pop! Montreal showcase), Edge 102.1's Next Big Thing showcase and North By North East, all of which are certain to be packed with all the right people hoping to see what all the fuss is about. All the while, drummer Corey Marshall will be keeping his fingers crossed that his high school exams go according to plan.
Never being one to miss the buzz, BTA went straight to the source: guitarist/vocalist Justice McLellan's parents house for some delicious homemade ice tea and to chat about multi-instrumentalist Nathan Vanderwielen's Big Mac-induced flatulence.
Ruby Coast plays May 3rd at Whippersnapper Gallery, Part of Over the Top Music Festival.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Islands - The Arm
Islands - Kids Don't Know Shit
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Toronto has some great local bands. And, as we've been finding out as of late, Toronto's suburban sprawl is pumping out musical goodness with that makes the downtown core jealous. Fox Jaws is a 5-piece from Barrie, Ontario which has been making a pretty serious splash in the past few months off the success of their debut full-length, Goodbye Doris; the name being ode to the band's previous name, Doris Day. The album is 11 tracks of whispy alt-folk-pop that makes solid use of a great male/female dynamic, care of talented co-vocalists Carleigh Aikins and Dan Allen.
Thankfully, Fox Jaws have no qualms about sharing with us urbanites. They play the El Mocambo this Friday, April 25th, with Nevado records labelmates Elephant who are featured on this year's Skate 4 Cancer national tour.
Fox Jaws - Quarantine Girl
Fox Jaws - Karmonica
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
For those of you who are unaware, this past Saturday was the first ever Record Store Day. Record Store Day is basically an excuse to celebrate how awesome independent record stores are, and Rough Trade East (possibly London's best independent record shop) did their part by putting on an excellent programme of free in-store shows from artists including Billy Bragg, Jason Molina, Schmidt & Kumo, The Metros and Lykke Li. Check out the video of Lykke Li playing "Dance Dance Dance" at her Rough Trade show below.
Lykke Li - I'm Good, I'm Gone
Lykke Li - Dance Dance Dance
Monday, April 21, 2008
"I don't care if they're from Memphis, that's pussy shit!"
Ignoring the simple fact that it's unacceptable to write a review about a show I didn't attend, I feel our readers wouldn't mind knowing about a rock n' roll shit show that may wind up a contender on the next update of "the 100 most shocking moments in Rock n' Roll".
Last Thursday, Jay Reatard played in Toronto, which we gave away a pair of tickets for. The show was at the Silver Dollar, the venue run by the notorious local crack head, Dan Burke. What ended up going down is now captured on 5 minutes of Youtube footage and a post on Jay Reatard's blog berading the promoter and the venue while apologizing to the "real fans".
Moral of the story: All of our contests lead to rock n' roll history. Enter every single one of them.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Our friend Tyler of radiozero released his latest podcast yesterday and as usual, it's bloody fantastic. Crystal Castles, M83, Tilly and the Wall, Fred Falke, Cut Copy and many more are included in the hour long mix.
Download through the link below or better yet, head over to radiozero and grab some podcasts from the back catalog as well. They're all good.
radiozero podcast 48
Friday, April 18, 2008
Slow Club seem to be playing everywhere in London all the time. They're practically omnipresent. Their recent residency at the Enterprise began on March 31st and has featured talented openers such as Eugene McGuinness and The Wave Pictures; I caught them on Monday when Jay Jay Pistolet warmed up the crowd with an incredibly engaging set. I've written about both bands before so I'll spare you a lengthy description of how awesome they are. Suffice it to say that it was a fantastic, intimate gig and Slow Club's encore performance of "When I Go" was the icing on the cake. Jay Jay and Slow Club will be at the Camden Crawl tomorrow.
Slow Club - When I Go
Jay Jay Pistolet - Friend
Thursday, April 17, 2008
El Guincho - Palmitos Park
El Guincho - Antillas
This El Guincho guy reminds me a little bit of a Mexcian DJ counterpart going by the moniker Instituto Mexicano Del Sonido (Mexican Institute of Sound). We found some tracks by him a couple years ago and were blown away by the 'world sound'.
Instituto Mexicano Del Sonido - Mirando A Las Muchachas
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Needless to say, Rabbit Habits does not disappoint this fan of pirate-y rock music. Man Man were playing a bunch of these songs live for the last year so it's always interesting how they translate to record. Yes, Man Man is better live than their recorded material but their albums are still brimming with creative and inventive music.
Man Man - Mister Jung Stuffed
Man Man - Doo Right
Man Man - Top Drawer
Rabbit Habits is out now on Anti-/Epitaph
This tour is heading west all the way to Tofino, so catch it in your town if you're nowhere near the capital.
Buck 65 feat. Cadence Weapon - Benz
Cadence Weapon - House Music
Monday, April 14, 2008
I recently got my hands on a recording of The Wombats covering Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love". It's stellar.
The band's single "Backfire at the Disco" will be rereleased on the 21st of this month.
The Wombats - Bleeding Love
Animal Collective - Water Curses
Another not-so-new band I was recently put onto is The Dodos.
They remind me of a more coherent Animal Collective, and carry an impressive amount of depth considering their set up is essentially acoustic guitar and drums. Meric Long's guitar playing swells through different moods, ranging from breezy folk-pop to more dark psychedelic tones. They have a new album out, Visiter, and it's awesome. "Jodi" is epic stuff, while "Red and Purple" is just really catchy.
The Dodos - Jodi
The Dodos - Red and Purple
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I like disco. I also like almost anything that comes out of the DFA camp.
Recently released was the self-titles debut by Hercules and Love Affair, produced by the DFA's Tim Goldsworthy . Springing from the mind of NYC-based DJ, Andy Butler, Hercules and Love Affair creates lush disco tracks featuring vocals by Antony Hegarty, of Antony and the Johnsons fame.
Hercules and Love Affair - Hercules Theme
Hercules and Love Affair - Blind (feat. Antony Hegarty)
Friday, April 11, 2008
Their debut full-length, Elephant Shell, is due out two Tuesdays from now (April 22nd) on Saddle Creek, they're headlining the upcoming Exclaim! spring Canadian tour, selling out venues across the globe, and (perhaps most importantly) they're getting interviewed by the most influential music e-journalists on the globe (again).
On the topic of BTA/TPC synergies, we've got a pair of tickets for the (SOLD OUT!) Ottawa Exclaim! stop, April 18th at Barrymore's. To get 'em, email us with the subject line "it's about damn time you jerks had an Ottawa contest" before noon on April 17th.
The Ottawa and Montreal dates also feature the most exciting new band I've seen in quite some time, aka Aurora's Ruby Coast. Keep glued to BTA in the coming days, as we will be providing a much more formal introduction to these youthful indie-poppers, likely to be your new faves.
In the meantime, do check out the recent interview MF Blaz procured with Greg from the TP Club here.
Tokyo Police Club - Tessellate
Tokyo Police Club - Listen to the Math
Boris Yeltsin spent the nineties building a legacy of corruption, poor economic policy, and an affinity for the wobbly pops.
A decade later, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is building their own reputation; slick, instantly enticing indie pop. Their sophomore album, Pershing, was released this past Tuesday on Polyvinyl and embraces everything that made their 2005 debut, Broom, a sweeping success, all the while tightening up their hooks and surpassing already heightened expectations.
Like any smart, hard-working young band, the Springfield, Missouri quartet has launched a very ambitious North American tour in support of their new disc, which includes stops in the three usual Canadian suspects:
April 18 - Toronto - El Mocambo
April 19 - Montreal - Jupiter Room
May 19 - Vancouver - Media Club
Thanks to ATG, we've got a pair of tickets for the Toronto stop. And, as an added bonus, the kind young men and women at Polyvinyl are throwing in a couple copies of Pershing; one for the winner of the tickets and one for a runner-up. So, if you're not in the Toronto area, don't let that discourage you from entering to get your hands on the disc. Email us with "this someone still loves SSLYBY" in the subject line. And do so before noon on April 17th.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - I Think I Wanna Die
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Boring Fountain
photo credit: Colleen Boerner
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Due to the confusion of various other activities I totally forgot to document one of the best gigs I was lucky enough to attend last month. It was one of those random deals as a friend hooked me up with a pass to Art Brut's sold out gig at the Luminaire (probably my favourite venue in London) which was being put on as part of Jack Daniels' JD Set concert promo series.
The band was even more boistrous and spastic than I expected and played almost every song from both albums. Lead singer Eddie Argos shared stories between songs, made several journeys through the audience (one culminating on top of the bar at the back of the club) and screamed a lot. We Are Scientists’ lead singer Keith Murray even made a surprise appearance during the encore, providing lyrics for "Bang Bang Rock n Roll" in lieu of Eddie, who showed up midway through the song to close the set amidst general mayhem.
I'm pretty sure tickets were only £10, everyone got free shots of JD and some lucky S.O.B. won an Art Brut-signed guitar at the end of the night. Art Brut rocked out and fellow Londoners Official Secrets Act were one of the better opening bands I've seen in ages. What more could an Art Brut fan ask for?
Official Secrets Act - Snakes and Ladders
Art Brut - Direct Hit
(thanks to Nick Greenan for image)
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
A week ago today Radiohead announced a contest with a twist. The challenge? Remix the band's latest single, "Nude", submit it to the remix website and get the most people to vote for it. The cost? $4.95 The prize? Nothing. Well, Radiohead might listen to your remix.
The band made the track's five source elements available for 99 cents each on iTunes last week and almost 1,000 remixes have been submitted to the Nude Remix website since. Currently leading the pack with over 6,000 votes is Holy Fuck's version, but there are tons of other contenders including Amplive's "Nudez" and Night Facilities' sparse and haunting rework.
Radiohead - Nude (Night Facilities remix)
Radiohead - Nude (Holy Fuck remix)
Having to use internet cafes in southeast Asia for two months can really make you lose track of what new music has been coming out. Then returning to the Ontario countryside with only a spotty wireless internet connection doesn't help out much more. And what a winter/spring it has been for great new stuff.
Allow me to begin my catch up of greatness with the new Destroyer album, Trouble in Dreams, by Canadian songwriter Dan Bejar. Yea, I'm a little late but then again I usually am...this guy has been making music since I was nine years old. But man, can this guy ever write some awesome music. My friend who introduced me to Destroyer's Rubies described everything about Bejar's music as enchanting and I tend to agree. He spins melodic fairy tales in a singer-songwriter fashion while still rocking out with a dense band sound behind him. While I don't feel that Trouble in Dreams is as strong an album as Rubies, Bejar's most recent effort contains some incredible tracks that stand their own against some of his best. The new album, and most of Bejar's old stuff, is available from Merge.
Destroyer - My Favourite Year
Destroyer - Foam Hands
Destroyer - Your Blood
(from Destroyer's Rubies)
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Jay must be the hardest working Reatard in the game right now.
In the midst of his 7" release spree with Matador records (releasing 6 singles in rapid-fire succession throughout 2008), hyperactive post-punk wunderkind Jay Reatard is also plowing through an insane amount of live shows across North America and the UK.
The first of these super limited edition 7" singles, See/Saw b/w Screaming Hand, is released today, conveniently the day we feel like talking about his upcoming Canadian dates with Montreal's CPC Gangbangs:
16 April - Ottawa - Babylon
17 April - Toronto - Silver Dollar
18 April - Montreal - La Sala Rossa
Thanks to ATG, BTA has a pair of tickets to the Toronto show up for grabs. If you're interested, email us with your contact info with the subject line "I'm the biggest Reatard I know".
Contest closes at 5:00pm on April 16th.
Also, be sure to check out video of a live Jay Reatard performance on the newly launched (and fucking excellent) Pitchfork TV.
Jay Reatard - See/Saw
Jay Reatard - Let it All Go
Monday, April 07, 2008
The Fashion are from Copenhagen, Denmark and create bouncy indie rock. Tiger Baby are from Copenhagen too, but they make melancolic electropop. Put 'em together and what do you get? An excellent remix of The Fashion's infectious track "Like Knives", that's what.
The Fashion's second album is out in Denmark right now, and will see worldwide release in May.
The Fashion - Like Knives
Tiger Baby vs The Fashion - Like Knives
Greg: We were definitely under alot of pressure. It took a while to figure out what we want to do with it. We would come up with a bridge or a chorus and we’d have these few false starts here and there. We would come out with one or two tracks and be like "OK cool. What next, you know?"
BTA: Is this a weight off your shoulders to get this first full length out?
G: Yeah Having the album out now is like we'll hopefully be solidifying our place. We hope that we're not just a flash in the pan.
BTA: Do you guys think that you'll “break it” with this record?
G: We hope it will. But like, we won’t stop playing shows no matter what happens. If it doesn’t happen hopefully people will still be coming. It’s what we love to do. If this becomes something bigger than yeah.
BTA: So you guys started with A Lesson in Crime and it kinda blew up around here and were called in to do pop
G: It was a huge turning point.
BTA: You guys like to keep your songs to the point. Your EP is only 16 minutes long. The new record just falls short of a half hour. Do you write your songs with a time frame in mind?
G: No, it kinda just turns out that way. Its not like we have a timer that buzzes and we’re like "ok, thats the song". We just feel that we don’t need to say anymore. We don’t feel it necessary to, you know, add another bridge or a chorus just to make it a little more radio friendly.
BTA: I was reading last night that you guys did some t-shirts for Playboy? What's up with that?
G: Ha-ha yeah, um. I don’t really know what’s going on with that. Its for some type of charity I believe...at least I hope it is. We also did the red campaign for AIDS in
BTA: You just mentioned feeling a little responsible, I know he’s the scapegoat but do you think artists like Bono take it too far?
G: We don’t want a cause to over shadow the music. I think there is a lot of danger of that happening with those kinds of things. You know I can’t say anything bad about Bono, he's doing great things .
BTA: How was the transition to Saddle Creek?
G: We've really been enjoying it. So far they have been fantastic to us. When it came down to it we just had a gut feeling that we wanted to work with those people. The way they have taken their hometown scene and made it international while still keeping true to their roots is very much the way we want to do things. There are also a lot of great bands that are on the label; bright eyes, cursive. And they've always done it their way, never having to compromise their sound for anyone.
G: Oh that’s great, I’m really glad that they're starting to take off.
BTA: can you tell us a little bit about Ruby Coast?
G: um yeah, we played a show with them at a talent show at Newmarket High after we had graduated. and afterwords we were all like "wow they're really cool" and we sat and chatted after the show. they're actually good friends with my sister. and now i believe we're playing two shows with them in
BTA: last question, how do you feel about the Newmarket Hurricanes losing in the first round of the playoffs?
G: I don’t care really.
neither do we.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
MSTRKRFT - Bounce (feat. N.O.R.E.)
Friday, April 04, 2008
The Manning Bar, located in the heart of Sydney University, had a certain feel-good vibe to it last night. Maybe it was the cool air, the flowing drinks, (once you got them), the novelty of my Canadian accent, or just the fact that everyone had seemingly been preparing to see Muscles for some time now. After I put my shirt back on, it was time to catch the Melbourne artist, funnily enough by the same name. Armed with two keyboards and a microphone, he immediately had the crowd roaring and dancing by busting out 'Sweaty' as his opening track. By the time 'Ice Cream' came around, the audience had taken over the vocals. My only complaint about this show was that it was not nearly long enough to fulfill my trendster needs. The performance seemed to be barley an hour. The crowd tried for the encore, but it became quickly evident that dream was dead. Cue the lights and CD player. I think this for the most part was due to the campus venue having to close up shortly after 12 am, most likely the malicious work of a power hungry old Dean who doesn’t like awesomeness. Regardless, the friends and the music made this a great gig which you definitely can't miss out on if he comes your way. 'The Lake' tour is wrapping up with only a few more shows in Australia. Get your tickets now as every gig so far has been sold out. Check the short clip below.
- Matty B.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
If as a whole Saturdays=Youth was treated with four coats of varnish the aforementioned tracks wouldn't be nearly as good. Luckily for us the rest of the album is varied with some Air-tinged loungers, the pulsing gloom of lead-single "Couleurs," and the Eno-ambient closer "Midnight Souls Still Remain." This isn't his best work, but it's no slouch. If there's one French album you'll buy this year, it ought to be Sebastien Tellier's Sexuality. If your tax return is kind, buy this one as well.
M83 - Graveyard Girl
M83 - Kim & Jessie
M83 - We Own the Sky
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
So everyone in the whole world knows about MGMT by now. But not everyone has a signed copy of Oracular Spectacular. BTA does. Two, actually.
But we're really nice. And so is Red Ink, who hooked us up. So, if you want one of them, send us an email. Title that email "please please please please please". Include your mailing address. Also include how much you love us. Be descriptive. Contest closes at noon on April 15th.
We also have a couple (two) runner-up prizes: a package including Oracular Spectacular on CD, an MGMT poster, and some ssssweet stickers.
Speaking of MGMT and April 15th - they're hitting the Mod Club in Toronto that night. Tickets here. Full tour dates here.
And... here are a few tracks that you won't find on that album - vintage MGMT for the folks back home.
MGMT - Just Becuz
MGMT - Indie Rokkers
MGMT - Kids (Afterschool Dance Mega Mix)
Oh, and check out this insane Youtube user footage of Andrew and Ben from MGMT drunk and belligerent at Zaphods in Ottawa, uploaded just last week. I'm pretty sure that's one-half of DJ Snugglebots in the background.