>Atlas Sound at Lee’s Palace; Saturday October 24, 2009

>Atlas Sound at Lee’s Palace; Saturday October 24, 2009

I forgot how much I didn’t enjoy seeing Atlas Sound. The project has a Bradford Cox gleam to it but it severely lacks the energy and intriuge that Deerhunter fosters. Cox came off last night as a complete asshole. I saw Deerhunter at the beginning of the year, and Atlas Sound almost a year ago and I suppose my big love for Deerhunter wiped out my bad memories of the last Atlas Sound show.

The best tune off the new album is “Shelia”… An easy tune. He didn’t play “Bite Marks” my favourite older tune. I would like to think Cox was having an off day, but the better part of me thinks this project is lacking the clarity and sound that the Deerhunter albums have. Cox to me is still a genius and i’ll see him again with Deerhunter, any day.

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>Dead Man’s Bones at the Opera House; Tuesday October 20, 2009

>Dead Man’s Bones at the Opera House; Tuesday October 20, 2009

Movie stars generally have a difficult time breaking it in the music scene. They face harsh judgements and impressions from their already acquainted audience. Judgements aside, their film career serves as a terrific platform to jumpstart a career of new sorts, with a dedicated fan base at hand. Ryan Gosling has done just that.

Gosling is a celebrity that has lived ten lives before the age of thirty. He was a mouseketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club, high school geek on the brilliant Canadian show Breaker High and most recently, heartthrob in the Notebook. His diverse catalogue makes it difficult to pin point the form his music takes. I must warn, listening to it doesn’t make this task any easier.

Just in time for Halloween Gosling and best friend Zach Shields performed the bizarre album titled Dead Man’s Bones. They use a children’s choir to serve as the supporting vocals, recorded it comes off charming amidst Gosling’s melancholic vocals. In their recent tour through North America they sought out local children’s choirs to perform in their own city. The kids of a Roncesvalles middle school were dressed in skeleton wear with makeup caked on to their faces.
The music they make was nothing to rave about. They’re cute ditties that were written to sound like something from fifty years ago. Unfortunately, on their own they weren’t able to create this consistently. The accessible tunes on the album were done tremendously well – “My Heart is a Zombie for You” and show closer “Paper Ships”. In both tunes they required heavy participation between the audience and the crowd. The men were not able to carry it on their own. Additionally, they used a powerhouse black woman to make their sound more intense. I have no idea what her name is but she had a beautiful voice that gave their music some much needed complexity.

I think that is Dead Man’s Bones greatest fault. They simple don’t have enough going for them. Using the children’s choir idea will be absolutely charming for one tour, but’ll lose its momentum after a second go round. This album is the perfect Halloween album, but its shelf life is purely seasonal. After Halloween this album is not going to get much play.

>Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

>Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros is the lead singer of IMA Robot with ten other people. Their tunes are fun and upbeat. I first heard them when I dipped into Soundscapes looking for something different. I wasn’t blown away at the time, but I heard the tune “Home” on the most recent episode of Gossip Girl and I had to find out who did the song. I’m not sure if it was teh show that took me first or the song in the show but it stuck.

They’re coming to the El Mocambo…. A venue I regard as the icebreaker digs. Each band that starts of small plays there first and then dips into other larger facilities. It’s sort of sad to see the progression. I think it’s one of my favourite venues to see bands that haven’t quite broke surface yet. As much as I like sharing music, somethings are best left secrets…

>Mogwai

>I heard Mogwai for the first time early, early this year on a Matador’s celebration compilation for being in business for twenty years. The tune was “Hunted by a Freak” from the album Happy Songs for Happy People.

The song that made me realise how amazing they really are is the tune “Rage:Man” off of EP+6. It was released earlier this year I believe.

It’s odd just how much they sound like Explosions in the Sky, yet Explosions have never been pitted for c0pying them. They’ve sort of made it on their own separately.

I’m not sure how I feel about the genre “Post-Rock” or post any thing for that matter. I don’t see how this is any more progressive than regular rock. Post-rock just tends to not have vocals…

Nevertheless, my point being that I’m warming up to Mogwai and it fits.

>Sufjan Stevens at Lee’s Palace; Thursday October 1, 2009.

>Sufjan Stevens at Lee’s Palace; Thursday October 1, 2009.

When I bought these tickets, I couldn’t help but think just how far away the show was. Well… It’s come and gone.

This show was remarkable for so many reasons. I really wasn’t expecting much, but when I received an email from Sufjan’s label apologizing for the ticketless show I knew it was going to be something. Tickets were dirt cheap and the venue was small.

He opened the show up alone with one of his tunes from the Illinois b-side album titled The Avalanche called “The Mistress Witch from McClure (or, The Mind That Knows Itself)”. This song is exactly what I love about Sufjan, he can play the down, slow stuff perfectly or he can get you going with something ridiculously poppy.

Going into this show I really had no expectations. He’s not my favourite artist by any stretch and quite often I find him too camp, and too flamboyant between the choral vocals and completely bizarre lyrics. Tonight everything worked out. I was taken by his slow, sad songs but blown away by his exciting busy tunes.

When he got on stage he made it quite clear the purpose of this very short tour was to showcase new tunes. He followed that up by saying that the new songs are quite long and told everyone if they’re too long they can just go outside for a bit. No one budged. Pitchfork tipped me before hand, I knew his tunes would be much longer.

The band came out for the second song. His band included, a trumpet and a trombone, drums, bass, two, sometimes three guitars and two or three background singers. Not quite the chorus I was dreading. The girl came from the San Francisco bred openers Crypticize. The singer reminded me of the over powering Emily Haines, but significantly daintier and much cuter. She coyly hopped on stage and sang in every song. She was the backbone to all of the songs Sufjan played. The woman’s name is Nedelle Torrisi.

The third song they played was a new song about love, heartbreak and everything wrapped up in one as Sufjan announced. It was probably ten minutes long, giving “American Pie” a run for it’s money. It had many parts to it, layers and angles but it picked up many themes to build on. Repeating wors is always a hit, simple but incredibly effective. I can’t wait until it comes out to hear this one again with better quality.

His new tunes were significantly louder. Perhaps they haven’t been grated through the production process like most of his other songs. Sufjan comes off polished leaving the studio but live he can reproduce that sound. I use to think he was too cheery and choral based. Something about large choirs and singing along kills me. This didn’t do anything, I actually enjoyed what the added vocals did.

I was incredibly amazed by the brass section. They’re some of the most talented brass accompanimetns i’ve heard in a while. The trumpet player particularly played tremendouly well with countless trumpet solo bits. Sufjan’s tunes sounded perfect with an occasional french horn.

He played most of Illinois. I wasn’t let down! But to my surprised he also played “To Be Alone with You” off of Seven Swans which was made popular by the OC. I think it made a soundtrack if I’m not mistaken. He also played “That Dress Looks Nice On You” as well.

I think his new albums going to be great. He’s sort of one of those musical chameleons where there is no consistancy throughout his music, but he manages to establish a similar sound throughout.

It’s been probably four years since he played Trinity St. Paul. Boy I wish I was at that show.