>The XX

>I like em’

http://hypem.com/#/search/islands%20the%20xx/1/

plus one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui5TGMWNEPo xx does Florence.

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>MY FIRRRRRST PODCAST!

>http://www.odeo.com/flash/audio_player_standard_gray.swf
Each week I will have a new podcast featured on my blog, compliments of my producer – SASHA JAMES, creator of The Final Girl Project. If you have any taste in film at all you will check out this brilliant website. She looks critically at all films, whether she actually likes those sort of films at all.

I would like to draw your attention to the player above, it’s my thoughts and voice in a tiny box. You can now listen to what i’ve been listening to. I will be putting a new one out each week, each feature is an hour long and as of now no theme.

I plan to release other shows shooting off this one. The only one I have in mind is one titled “Verses”, where I will be battling it out with someone else in a music related discussion of course. So stay tuned for that.

I also have some live gigs i’m going to post.

Please leave comments and suggestions, would love to hear what oyu have to say… Or maybe even guest appear on my show.

If you want the tracklisting please fire me a comment – as I like the surprise of not knowing what’s coming next!

Take that CIUT.


Also, I will be posting a picture of myself with every podcast as a visual companion. It’s a complete joke because I have very few pictures of myself alone. There will be a story to accompany the photograph.




This is me earlier this year. I needed campaign photos for a student leader position that I was running for. It was taken with my telephone. I couldn’t stop giggling – where’s Dan Epstein when you need him?

>Do Make Say Think at the Enwave Theatre; Sunday December 13, 2009

>Do Make Say Think, four verbs, four different songs and one band. Their new album titled Other Truths has only four songs on it, they draw from their four word band name. Their new album is a very bold release, as it only has four songs, each of them around ten minutes long. I feel like this album doesn’t have the support of seven other songs to make it a ‘best album of the year’ release. I doubt NPR will hum about it, and I bet few lists outside of Canada will include it. With that being said, it seems like Do Make Say Think’s loyalty is largely domestically. Justin Small, the childlike guitarist of the band said to everyone in the crowd that he gets really nervous everything he plays Toronto. Ohad Benchetrit told everyone at the beginning of the show that they like to keep Toronto dates to the end of their tour, so they can really shine – warmed up and ready.

This was my first time at the Enwave theatre. It only seats around three hundred people so there really wasn’t a bad seat in the house. I however was stuck in the upper mezzanine, way up in the sky. I saw the band from two new angles that I have never seen them before, back and above. Do Make Say Think are a band I love seeing for all their noodling and energy. I felt like the only thing I could see was Spearin’s thinning hair. In going once, I would not sit up top. Turns out local record stores that sell tickets only got tickets for up top, so I suppose Enwave box office would have been a bit smarter.

Opening up the gig was Benchetrit’s solo project, he goes under the name Years. I originally thought the Happiness Project was going to open (Spearin’s project) but was quite sad when I found out upon buying my tickets that years was going to open. After seeing Benchetrit play, I really don’t regret going to this show, as I had seen the Happiness Project earlier this year. I think it would have been sad to see them this far away after seeing them front row at the Music Gallery. I was incredibly impressed with Years, Benchetrit held his own, on his own, calling out people only for a few selections that sounded a ton like Do Make. Benchetrit on his own however definitely has his own distinct sound, a ton of noodling and a lot of blurry music compliments of a looping machine that allows his to duplicate him self as many times as he wishes. It threw me off a bit because I love being able to spot out what a musician is doing. It was so ornate to the point I couldn’t get any of the playing straight. His playing was crisp and energetic. He had a lot of things to say, which was different because I have never even heard him speak before. He mentioned he stole his acoustic guitar, and followed it up with a dear story about his daughter who he had originally bought it for (and stole it from). He then went on to dedicate the tune to her.

Do Make Say Think came on shortly after. It was so bizarre seeing them a mile away from the stage, almost disappointing. It was also very strange to be sitting the entire time, unenjoyably strange. I would have like to had the option but Enwave had a very strict usher watching my every move. People crowded the front at the end, but uppers were only limited to standing in their seats, which few did.

I was impressed with their sound, as I always am. I always remind myself how old this band is. They put out stuff in the mid-nineties, it’s really remarkable they’re still making more. I first found out about them at the first Broken Social Scene island show. I had no idea who this instrumental set-up was and at the time I didn’t really care about them either. I later saw them at Call the Office in London, this was probably two years ago. It was a life altering occasion – small venue, big sounding band and my best friend at my side! I couldn’t have been happier with the set choice. I feel like I haven’t had the same treatment since then, this was probably the closest I’ve gotten to hearing what I really wanted to. In the encore of tonight’s show they played “Hooray, Hooray, Hooray” or “Hooray times three” as Small cutely introduced it as. I could have gone for some “Chinatown” and “A Tender History in Rust” but I guess I have a reason to see them again.

Julie Penner always shines. She plays the violin. I am completely amazed by her fierce sound and grace when she plays with this band. She sounds pretty yet she has a good push behind her sound, keeping up with the booming large pieced band. Penner also produces Stuart McLean’s Sunday morning show Vinyl Cafe. She’s got a pretty good set up if you ask me!

I love seeing this band live, they’ve got such a unique sound that sets them apart from all the other “post-rock” bands. I use to always say that tehy are the Explosions in the Sky of Canada, really I’m not sure if I think so. They have a dynamic sound to them that really bridges them apart, and that’s not the violin. It’s sort of a unique song format that Explosions don’t do. Mogwai and Explosions have powerful tunes, but Do Make’s have more movement to theirs, there’s more to them. I think this is one of the reasons why Do Make has been able to survive so much, their mille fois, their several layers – in music and members.

>Jason Collett’s Basement Revue at the Dakota Tavern; Tuesday December 8, 2009

>

I feel truly inspired, as I always do after seeing Jason Collett’s December residency at the Dakota Tavern. This show especially got my heart racing a little faster than usual
This is my third year attending Collett’s gigs at the Dakota in December. It’s a special treat that makes you recall what music in this scene may have been at his Radio Monday shows at Rancho Relaxo fifteen years ago. We’ve sort of lost that community over the years. My idea of community for the longest time was watching Broken Social Scene play, anywhere at all. I’m starting to realise it’s forming a family, a connection between music and the people you make it with. Now given, this is coming from a person who has a limited music background, I however have an extensive background as a spectator.

I have probably seen Jason Collett live over twelve times to this day. It’s pretty remarkable to look back at the times that I have. I first saw him when I was in the eleventh grade with a fake ID at Lee’s, KT Tunstall opened for him and nobody knew who the hell she was at that time. This summer past she had a full billboard dedicated to her trash titled album Drastic Fantastic, appealing to tweens and hip moms everywhere. I can recall two distant times ago, again with a fake ID, once at Lee’s and another at the Mod Club. It’s funny recalling these gigs because I specifically remember meeting with the security guards in my suave disguise – usual a pound of make up and glasses to conceal my youth. I look back now and think I wear no make up when I go out, the only person I was fooling was myself. Things aside, I got in.

I mention this because at the start of the evening Collett hoped into a rant about how clubs aren’t as loose as they once were, and you can’t get away with the things he did when he was sixteen. He mentioned this in his introduction to Andrew Cash. He told an incredibly charming story about how he snuck into the Phoenix as a kid and hung around telling the band he was with the venue and the venue that he was with the band. Clever!
Collett is a story teller and I think that’s why he is such a good curator for these nights. He brings together really talented artists into one tiny space for all to enjoy. Collett is wise never to take the spotlight, he however has evolved into giving each artist their well-deserved intro and mini-biography for those who don’t know who these people are. He brought out the same black and white composition book each time and read out a prepared note about each person. This is the first year Collett has done this, and it definitely works, it strings together the night beautifully.

The first artist he had hop on the stage was Toronto based singer/songwriter Doug Paisley who played a few of his own compositions. I have recently stopped buying CD, or at least slowed down seeing as I will have no idea where I will be in a year and CDs seem to be literally weighing me down. I’ve consequently started to categorise artists in such a way where – some I will buy their CD, others I won’t… Solely based on album artwork, likability, familiarity and accessibility to downloads. I immediately thought that Paisley is someone who I could never find online to download for free, and is someone who I would really like to support.

He had a woman by the name of Damien Rogers come out and read a few poems. I had seen her one year prior at Collett’s gig. I wasn’t taken by her performance this year, or last but I can tell she’s someone who is keen to trying new things. I think she was one of the pioneer poetry-improv individuals. Apparently, she received five stars from Eye Weekly from a recent performance.

I feel as though her thunder was robbed from a charming blonde lady who was the wife of the guy who was drumming throughout the night. I really wish I could remember her name… she will soon be releasing an inspirational book for ‘bush warriors,’ or men. She read her steamy tips for devoted lovers and her husband played drums, Mike O’Brien (of Zeus) guitar and a guy by the name of Dave Matheson played piano perfectly. Collett revealed that the accompaniment was randomly picked by draw before the show.

Long time friend to Collett jumped out on stage following. He played two songs that belonged to him and followed it up with a special cover of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”. He insisted that everyone sing along, due to an earlier performance by one of the men who played. I feel like it was Doug Paisley but I feel like Doug played his one tunes. Regardless, someone that played in the first set played three songs that were all covers – a John Lennon tune to start, Gordon Lightfoot’s “Steel Rail Blues” and finally a Roy Orbison tune. I really loved this person set, they ended by saying that they consider themself a songwriter but he really enjoyed playing the covers. Cash’s response was because people weren’t hopping in to sing in the Lightfoot tune.

Cash had a lovely story of Gordon Lightfoot – who apparently was in the audience at Hugh’s Room last week for a memorial of the eighteen year old folk singer Taylor Mitchell who recently passed away. Cash described how playing for Lightfoot kept him on edge.

Rich Terfry was picking music selections throughout the show. Collett described it as Terfry’s opportunity to play all of his choice selections, not like on Radio 2. Rich Terfry is Buck 65, a hip-hop artist that lives in Toronto. Terfry loves music, it’s completely evident in his program on weekdays from 3:30pm-7pm on CBC 94.1fm. He loves Jenn Grant and Human Highway (as Cash pointed out) – and plays very little hip-hop or rap music. His set was nearing the end and he recognised that the crowd was growing restless and tired, so he decided to tell a story and play one song. He told the crowd that everyone was getting a little restless and he’d tell everyone a goofy story about a man with no legs farting in his face and following it with an equally goofy song that he wrote. Terfry delivered the story beautifully, I was blown away by how a crass, pointless story could be delievered so well. I really had a lovely time listening to him tell me this terrible true story.

He followed it up with a stupid song about zombies. It sort of made me think how much of a kid Terfry is and how good of a performer he really is.

Collett came back on the stage, thanking everyone who stayed saying how hard it must’ve been. The number of people diminished to about a quarter of what it was in the first set. It was an intimate gig by the end. Collett would have normally played with his back up band Zeus, but one of them had a baby and wasn’t able to make it. He instead played solo, which I much prefer anyways. He played throughout his sets, songs that I had never heard before, new material. The only tune he played was off of his album Idols of Exile, I believe the tune was “Feral Republic”. Don’t hold me to that though.

By the end of “Feral Republic” Kevin Drew hopped on stage playing a light piano to accompany. He then hopped on guitars by Collett’s request and they played a few other tunes. Matheson hopped on stage to as well as the drummer that I can’t remember. A full band. Collett told everyone about how last week he tried playing a particular tune with the band, but they never heard it before. He said that they messed up big time, which pushed him to try his luck again wtih this newly formed band. They did it with effort and mistakes but it sounded fantastic, even with some technical glitches.

What a show. I remember why I like music.

Make sure you check out some of my past Collet reviews, there sure are a ton.
Good news, he finally cut his hair!!!!

>Thursday at the Mod Club; Monday December 7, 2009

>I have liked Thursday since the tenth grade. They’re a band who I latched on to just after their album War All the Time Came Out and to this day that album remains one of my favourites. I remember the first time I saw them was at the Kool Haus with Poison the Well and Spitalfield, where it was sold out and packed to edges of the venue. My favourite part of that show was when they played “Jet Black New Year” and the countdown confetti fell from the ceiling. It was an incredible touch that I still think to and that they’ll probably never ever do it again. Fortunately, they do play that song quite often.

Lead singer, Geoff Rickly’s voice is all there. When he was younger he was always pitted for being ton deaf. Naturally, they called him Tone Geoff for his bad voice and horrible pitch. I noticed this gig, when he was sitting on notes his voice went ridiculously flat. Despite that, his voice sounds fine, it’s strong and it definitely has improved. When I saw them at the Kool Haus earlier this year I thought the sound was really terrible and his voice sounded very bare. It felt more full this time.

I got to the gig late – it was a really early show. I came in to a pile of new shows I didn’t recognise. They eventually played “Division Street” off of War All The Time. I didn’t catch any songs off of Full Collapse, apparently they played a song off that album before I stumbled in. I have this feeling it was their louder tune “Paris in Flames,” as I heard someone mutter it before I got in. I also apparently missed, a couple of songs off of War All the Time as well… They played “Signals Over the Air” later on in their set too and the only other song they played that I knew was “Jet Black New Year” as the closer.

This show was bare, something was very wrong with it. The band hadn’t dragged many people out to the show, the Mod Club was empty. As soon as I walked in, I felt like I was seeing one of my favourite bands at a tiny venue. The most pit was only four guys and a girl, and I kept seeing struggling crowd surfers form and kick people in the three or four rows of people in front of them.

Jet Black New Year by Thursday

Doesn’t Sean MacKay look like Geoff Rickly??


>Zero 7 at the Phoenix; Thursday December 3, 2009

>

First off, I can’t believe i’m still biking. I know something’s up with the weather but I can’t help but enjoy the mild weather we’ve been having. On my way home from the show I saw far too many bare legged girls, OK it’s not that warm out ladies!

Anyways, Zero 7 we’re pretty good. Sound wise they were spot on, just really fantastic sounding band. Their song selection as I expected was from their new album titled Hey Ghost. It’s sort of a fusion of pop and overly electronic tunes. Their pop as usual has an extremely strong female voice leading the tune.

I feel as though this band will never live up to their 2001 release Simple Things. That album is definitely on my top twenty albums of the decade. From start to finish it has a really distinct sound, one that I would call electronica but I wouldn’t call rock. It’s sort of in between. I look at RJD2 the same way too… It’s sort of a mystery but it’s alternative music that people who like rock are interested in. So i’ll just leave it as alternative music.

I have to say Simple Things had a tremendously long shelf life. I think I first purchased that album in Miami, Florida, probably six years ago. It’s sort of stayed on my radar non-stop since then. I know when Garden State was released it got a serious kick up. I believe MTV used the tune “Destiny” in an ad as well… Zero 7 never got that push that the Shins got from Garden State, but I guess they never needed Natalie Portman’s seal of approval.

Zero 7 are from London, England, the two guys names are Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. Throughout the whole show they sort of stayed behind the seams, but always keeping the energy high. Since their first albums they’ve always had tremendously strong women fronting the majority of their tunes, or at very least their best ones. For their live gig they had two women, Eska and Olivia Chaney. I really dug the bit they put on their Myspace page:

Zero 7 Live Band

Zero 7’s live show features singers Eska and Olivia Chaney as well as long time collaborators and band members Eddie Stevens, Robin Mullarkey and Tom Skinner.
Eska has worked with Mercury nominees The Invisible, Cinematic Orchestra and Matthew Herbert and Olivia Chaney will be introducing a folky flavour to the Zero 7 sound with her harmonium and acoustic guitar. Vocalist Martha Tilston will also be joining them on stage at selected shows.

More info on the singers via the following links:
http://www.myspace.com/eskaonline
http://www.myspace.com/oliviachaney
http://www.myspace.com/marthatilston

Pretty much sums it up. Olivia Chaney gave their tunes a folkier flare, especially the tune “In the Waiting Line”. I really had to leave the gig early because I have a colossal paper due tomorrow (that I should be doing now…). This was the second last song I heard and the first song of their encore. I told myself I wasn’t leaving until I heard this song, as I knew they’d playing because of some pre-concert homework. Chaney came out with an acoustic guitar and the guitar/bass/cello player came out with the cello. Given he plucked most of the time giving it a light bouncy feel – and the only time I felt like they were similar songs was when she say the chorus lines of the tune.

I much prefered the rendition of “Destiny” which was sung by the delicate, but strong voice of Eska. It really worked with what they were doing. I read a review before that said she wasn’t a good match for the tune, but I really enjoyed it. It was a livelier version that moved quicker but the song sort of found it’s way. The thing I really liked about the recorded version was the sounds heard right at the beginning and the sound of the acoustic guitar. Neither were present, there was an electric and different sounds to accompany compliments of Hardaker and Binns. The tune found its way nearing the bridge where it actually sounded like the original. I got the drift that they didn’t like playing their older material anymore. One of the two guys introduced it as one of their “really fucking old ones”. I guess it is, it’s been eight years since that album came out. I would’ve really like to have caught that tour, that would’ve been a really solid tour and I bet they had both Sia and Sophie Barker (voice behind – “In the Waiting Line”. And my favourite scene from Garden State!

I feel by this time i’ve seen Zero 7 twice, as last year I had the pleasure of seeing Sia at the Opera House. I remember going alone and I wasn’t completely comfortable with the idea of going alone to shows but I did it anyways. I think I was living at my first place out. I really like my Sia review, i think it reflects how I wish i felt at this concert.

I feel like I saw the Zero 7 I wanted to see at the Sia show. Pitty. I’ll go see them when they tour with Sia, I think the show would be that much more powerful! The women they had on board were great, they have really lovely voices, I just wasn’t feeling it, although Eska’s really got me on the very first song she did live. I thought Chaney did a really nice job of the Binki Sharpiro song “Swing”.

Hope Sia tour soon! I couldn’t get “Day Too Soon” out of my head after seeing her at the Opera House.

And who could forget the ending to Six Feet Under...