Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Deaf From Above 1979

Death From Above 1979
Commodore Ballroom
November 21, 2011

Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler make up DFA 1979, a notorious Canadian dance/punk, noise rock duo. They disbanded in 2006 but reunited for a long awaited North American tour. Selling out two shows at The Commodore Ballroom, the excitement in the venue was pulsating.
Distorted bass, reverberating synths, clashing drums and screaming vocals together created a huge wall of deafening sound.
This was by far the loudest show I had ever been to. It added to the incredible anticipation of seeing them for the first time.
They came onto stage and blew through their set playing audience favourites.
The crowd exploded into a frenzy and danced, pushed and shoved to the sounds of DFA 1979.
It was a memorable show, if anything, my ears still resonate their sound after all these weeks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grimes + Myths @ Electric Owl

Guest: MYTHS
Electric Owl
November 17th, 2011
Show 9:45 - 11:45pm

The hype about the opening act hadn't prepared me for what I was about to witness. Myths are comprised of two Vancouver-born female vocalists -- and the night began when the curtains were drawn back to show the two mysterious and taunting performers draped in DIY white dresses, which were splattered with florescent paint.

With their siren-like vocals they screamed white noise into their reverberating microphones with static-like and electronic backing instrumentals and moved like incredibly twisted swans. They electrified the audience and sent some of us into spastic dance. Their sound is unique and eclectic. It takes a particular type of music listener to be drawn into their experimental world, but it isn't hard to appreciate the intentional drift from the familiar song structures of verse and chorus. Disregarding some technical difficulties the show continued onwards with their interchanging war cries and vocal sounds.
Throughout the set their singing and uninhibited interpretive dance became enthralling and they slowly but surely cast their spell on all of us.

MYTHS - Prism Portraits

GRIMES finally graced the stage with her adorable presence at around 11 and here began the night we've all been waiting for. Her contagious ethereal sounds, childlike and quirky voice was what drew us all in. Dressed to set the mood, she donned a lime green leopard patterned robe which countered her all black ensemble and combat boots. Upon drawing back the curtains herself she introduced her personal interpretative dancer Jeff (?) (a well dressed hipster) who slowly but surely worked up a sweat bending and twisting his body into contorted shapes along with the sounds of Grimes, -- he danced with such intensity that his eyes could have bore holes into you.

Oblivion, Genesis and Vanessa threw the audience into a fury of dance. Body rolling, feet shuffling, hand raving and head bopping all carried the night along. Between songs she informed us it was her second time headlining her own show (after opening for the likes of Lykke Li and Austra) and so her set was short and a little disorganized but she would try to play one more song until the night would eventually end. Closing the set with a new song Claire Boucher performed with excited enthusiasm and wrapped up her 45 minute set.

What added to the show were the female (and male) audience members dancing onstage alongside Grimes, it was like we were invited to special house party. The show would have ended on a high note if it wasn't for one particularly drunk girl who felt the need to take the microphone and share that someone she knew had overdosed on Oxycontin just a year ago. It was not a good time for her sentiments, it was an awkward nightmare -- one where you just couldn't tear your eyes away from.

Disregarding this, Grimes ultimately stole the show with her eerie sounding vocals, who also kicked off her shoes early on in the set which pissed her off and unraveled her pinned braided pigtails. We all let our hair down and danced until all we saw were the blur of stage lights and heard nothing but the music of Grimes echoing in our ears.

** If you missed this show, don't worry, Grimes now calls Vancouver home and is scheduled to play at Fortune Sound on February 19th of next year.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lost in a Genesis.

Austra - Lose It

I thought the album recording of 'Lose It' was phenomenal.
I didn't expect Katie Stelmanis to sound this good live.
It makes me want to see them at Electric Owl this Wednesday Nov, 16th.
But it's SOLD OUT, and a little birdie told me that they will absolutely be touring again next year at a bigger venue.
I also hear that that there are assholes reselling Austra tickets on Craigslist for $70. (It's a shame the ticket will go to waste.)
Decisions, decisions.

On the other hand though, I did buy a ticket to Grimes for her show on the 17th at Electric Owl.
Maybe seeing Claire Boucher live will make up for perhaps missing Austra's show.

Grimes - Genesis

I read in recent concert reviews that Grimes had opened for Austra in Portland
That concert sounds divine and well... I think that should happen in Vancouver. Now.


"I wish I would dye my hair pink
put on black lipstick
no one would give a shit.
Short shorts, short skirts, flower tops, denim shirts
in the big city
nothing hurts, nothing hurts."

CSS - City Grrrl (Ft. SSION)

Love love love this video.
Lovefoxxx hits the streets of New York in badass clothes with pink hair and black lipstick, all the while singing this anthemic song about being liberated in the 'big city.'
Add in some glitter and flashing lights as Lovefoxxx whips her hair throughout outfit changes and dances her way to liberation.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wild Flag.

Wild Flag
Guests: Drew Grow and the Pastors' Wives
The Biltmore Cabaret
November 12, 2011

DAMN. That was an amazing show.
Seeing Wild Flag live probably will be the best show you could ever attend.

I had been a long time admirer of Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss and their other band together Sleater Kinney. Now, if you have never heard of Sleater Kinney. You should go out, learn about them, listen to them and understand that these talented musicians could teach mainstream music a few lessons.

Now together along with Mary Timony of Helium and Rebecca Cole of The Minders, they form Wild Flag, an American punk supergroup, who're on tour to support their self-titled album. (Which absolutely kicks ass.)

When Wild Flag finally took to the stage I stood mostly in awe that I was able to stand in the same room as these talented musicians. Carrie Brownstein and Mary Timony shared vocals throughout the night. Carrie high-kicked, jumped and shredded on her guitar in heeled ankle boots. All the while the stage and band members were cast in a red, and blue lights. Janet Weiss was phenomenal on drums and Mary and Rebecca all played their role in hair whipping, guitar wailing, and vocals.

They played from their self-titled album in it's entirety (I think). Each song receiving incredibly enthusiastic cheers from the crowd. 'Future Crimes,' 'Electric Band,' 'Boom,' and 'Glass Tambourine' were highlights for me. My favourites from the album.
I'm still in awe of Wild Flag.
The show was the last of their North American Tour, and I think one of the best shows I've been to.

After the show, I high-fived Janet Weiss -- and took home their album.
During the show I reflected momentarily and thought about how incredibly inspiring this band is, to me and possibly to many in the audience. I remember listening to Sleater Kinney in high school and re-inventing new meanings of the songs and applying them to myself.
Wild Flag re-invents, re-establishes, and re-news what inspiring music can be. I wholeheartedly appreciate that.

Jessica 6 @ Fortune Sound

Jessica 6 + Holy Ghost
Fortune Sound
November 8, 2011

Nomi Ruiz is a powerhouse on vocals --- this is what drew me into her music.
I bought a tickets months before just to see Jessica 6 open for Holy Ghost.
Being a college student and having midterms the next day, I went just to see Nomi.
I arrived at 9:30pm to meet up with friends at Fortune Sound, located in the heart of Chinatown.
It was my first time at the club and I was impressed, the velvet red seats, dim and dancing lights and low stage was an ideal place.... (to dance!).
My friends and I stood up front eagerly awaiting Jessica 6 to take the stage.
Once they did, we didn't stop dancing
Nomi dressed in heels, tight skinnies and a cropped boudoir with a red leather jacket, she looked stunning and danced sultrily, exotically and sensually. --- (I was jealous and envious of her.)
It's strange to say and think that -- I had never been the type to envy other women. I suppose Nomi is an exception.
Backed by three talented male musicians she performed songs from her album White Horse while men (and women) lusted and reached their hands out to her.
Her set ended all too soon and I bought her album before leaving. I didn't stick around for Holy Ghost. After Jessica 6, I don't think many bands can match them, but... maybe that's just my opinion.

On the way home I replayed the concert in my mind, and with "White Horse" blasting from my speakers... I remember thinking to myself... "this song was absolutely amazing live."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Amanda Palmer + Neil Gaimen

An Evening with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman
Guests: The Jane Austen Argument
The Vogue Theatre
November 6, 2011

I walked through the theatre doors at around 8, entering into a shower of delicate melodies and singing. The Jane Austen Argument were playing their set. I didn't know what to expect, but they blew me away.

They closed with a song Neil Gaiman had written, the title of that song escapes me, but it was beautiful. "Holes"?

Sitting at the back of the theatre I watched as the show unfolded, almost immediately after The Jane Austen Argument finished playing, Amanda Palmer walks out onto the stage in a romper type gown/dress stepping on the the dress as she goes. 'It was one of those nights, the step on your dress night.' The show opens with Amanda on ukelele and Neil performing 'Making Whoopee.' Hilarious. Everything suddenly sounds better with an English accent.
I became an admirer of Amanda Palmers music just short of The Dresden Dolls break up and the release of "Who Killed Amanda Palmer." Her unique voice and musicality was different, and so from here developed my month long obsession with her sound. After that album I didn't really keep up with her endeavors, be it 'ninja gigs' or ukelele anthems. I never caught on absolutely.
The only association I ever made with Neil Gaimen was that he wrote "Coraline" and was one of those talented writers with a knack for expressing the human emotion through words in hundreds of ways.

So attending the show with the husband and wife couple, I don't know why I didn't expect so much "lovey dovey bullshit"... although, it was indeed lovely. I suppose I should have anticipated that this show would be about love and all of it's quirks.
It was like we were invited into their home, the set beautifully decorated courtesy of Bard on the Beach.
They each had their time to shine on stage, Neil reading 3 poems and Amanda playing 3 songs, and in between they would interact, unscripted, uninhibited and were absolutely charming. Amanda flashed us her Australian flag imprinted 'knickers' and so the night went on.

Neil read fairytale themed poems 'Formalities' and creepy love-struck stories and hilarious anecdotal recounts of memorable people. It reminded me how much plain language can be just as effective and as melodic as music.
The night included impromptu conversation, Q+A, stories and of course music.

It was a clever, heartfelt and witty night.
An incredibly long night, 3 hours long --- it was exhausting.
An exhausting night made better when Amanda played "Runs in the Family." Brilliant.

I became more appreciative of her work when she began to speak about Occupy Vancouver and the death of Ashlie.

As a college student I think I'm selfish. I can't help it. Being someone who has no secure career (yet) and who is not (yet) financially independent. I find it difficult to become fully invested in movements in my city. I'm unsure how to vocalize my opinions on the protests. I'm unsure if I want to take sides. I'd much rather prefer to drown it all out with music and I think Amanda's will do just fine. (For now.)

For a more detailed review of the show. HERE.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Prisoners of Love.


So this is kind of amazing.

Jessica 6 in 4 days at Fortune Sound!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Strange Mercy

St. Vincent
Commodore Ballroom
October 12th, 2011

I spent the entire day attempting to study for my two midterms the following day. It was the usual hectic night before an exam for... I'd say most collegersity students.
You know, you feel like there aren't enough hours in a day for you to finish all the work you have to do. You wish that you could function through the night without sleep and still think rationally.
You also think ahead to the countless hours you will eventually spend with your eyes glued to your several textbooks that need to be read.

I decided at 10pm that studying would just have to resume after the St. Vincent show at the Commodore.
Having bought a ticket months before it seemed a waste if I didn't go to see this electrifying performer. I say electrifying because that is exactly what you would have felt if you had stood in the audience that night. Annie Clark and her electric guitar would ultimately lead to goose-bump inducing shredding.
It's a strange feeling walking in at 10:30 just minutes before she would take the stage and feel well at ease when you know that really it would end all too soon.

I'm a casual listener of St. Vincent -- I can't recall most of her songs by title, or sing along to her poetic and twisted lyrics. But I can through all this appreciate her unique approach to her songs, which are ultimately quirky, eclectic and particular.
I was blown away by her glamorous and classy stage presence.... It's odd to say that because Annie stood with an electric guitar and played it aggressively and intentionally. Shredding madness. I was taken aback by it, surprised--- I also was fully immersed into her performance. All of this juxtaposed with her soft and delicate vocals. A strange yet perfect mix of two contrasting sounds that when put together fit imperfectly and just right.

My favourite moment was when she performed "The Party" for the encore, stripped down with no electric guitar. Chilling.

This was the first song of St. Vincent that I remember listening to--
Actor out of Work:

Monday, October 10, 2011


So good.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm in a CSS (Cansei De Ser Sexy) phase.

This KCRW session has been on repeat all day.


I Love You
Hits Me Like A Rock
Music is My Hot Hot Sex
City Grrrl
La Liberación
Red Alert
Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above
You Could Have It All

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I just saw MEN perform this weekend. They opened for CSS and well I remember standing in the audience and thinking, that it must be wonderful to play music, tour the world and meet new fans everyday.

I remember thinking that it must be a luxury to travel the world and be in a different city everyday.
I remember wishing that I could perhaps, do that one day.

I never gave much thought into what it actually might be like for those artists and musicians I admire so strongly.

JD Samson wrote this article, and well it made me think of all these things I had never considered.
It made me think that more people need to support live music, and the artists who make that music. Because... well it does matter.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Braid Braids Braided

Braids, a four-piece from Calgary/Montreal have received a lot of acclaim over the past few months. I remember hearing about them in mid 2010 and never paid them much mind. I really should have though, because this year they made it onto the 2011 Polaris Music Prize shortlist. They have my full undivided attention now.
And I have to say... Well, I'm impressed.

They create beautiful lush melodies that seamlessly weave together and the sound is one that can't really be described. I think it's chilling and purposefully aloof. (Does that make sense?)
Just have a listen and judge for yourself.
They are unique and that distinction is important when it comes to music.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


CSS (Cansei De Ser Sexy)
Guest: MEN
Venue Nightclub
October 1st, 2011
Time: 7:30pm MEN, 8:45pm CSS
Curfew at 10pm!

I was missing my concert / dance buddy tonight--- he couldn't make it! (I tried to dance for both of us.)

This was the FIRST show of CSS' + MEN's North American Tour. (!!!)
I arrived at Venue at around 7:45 and MEN (comprised of JD Samson, Michael O'Neil and a drummer) had already started and was performing 'Credit Card Babies," glad I didn't miss it!
I saw them perform a while back at The Biltmore, I loved their songs then, and I still love them now. This time they performed with a live drummer and their sound exploded from the stage. They had four life-sized cardboard paintings of their friends, (Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Johanna Fatemen, Tammy Hart...... and another). Interesting props. They traditionally and happily ended their half-hour (ish) set with 'Who Am I To Feel So Free,' (my favourite track) -- it was exciting to watch them, because I love their sound and I love their expression. I just wished more concert-goers there could have loved them too.

CSS came out on stage at around 8:45 and I was shaking with excitment -- I'd been waiting to see them live for so long time, and finally they were there in front of me. They started their set with "I Love You," this opening track from their 2011 release La Liberación is infectious, catchy and dance-inducing. Adriano Cintra wasn't performing with them, and I want to know why! He is one of the personalities aside from Lovefoxxx that I absolutely need to see live, CSS isn't complete without him! (I miss his vocals) --- I kid. I just really admire his mustache. Have you seen it? It's impressive.
The stage, instruments and amps had red paper hearts taped on them. After all this was "The Fall In Love Tour," so it seemed to fit the theme.
I was immediately smitten by the band and developed a huge crush on Lovefoxxx and Ana Rezende (their guitar player), she has swag.
Lovefoxxx's energy and dancing was adorable and contagious, loved it! She squirms, and reaches out to the audience, strips off her cloths dramatically to reveal jean shorts and fishnet stockings. I had a smile on my face throughout the entire show and was pleasantly surprised to see that there at the show, a handful of true CSS fans came out. It always makes the live show even better when the energy the band is giving is received and given back. [Shuffle those feet, move that body, and 'feel' the music] you know... like you should at a CSS show.
They played a select few songs from their newest release and most of my favourites off of their other records. ('Alala, Art Bitch, Fuck Everything, Hit's Me Like A Rock, La Liberación, Music is my Hot Hot Sex,' were amongst the songs performed).
(During "Red Alert" Lovefoxxx donned a fox mask and a cape and announced that "Snoop Dog" was featured in the 'rap'.... funny --- Lovefoxxx never fails to put a goofy smile on my face.)

SO glad CSS played 'City Grrrl' live, it's one of my favourites off of their newest album.

Love this song.

Memorable moments: Lovefoxx crowd surfing + Dance madness.
At the merch table after the show I high-fived Lovefoxxx, thanked her for coming and told her she was amazing. (I couldn't help but be a dork.... it's Lovefoxxx!) And there I told Michael (MEN) that it was the second time I'd seen them and that their live drummer kicked ass. Also that I missed Tammy Hart, bassist/guitarist, only to be told that Tammy couldn't make it because she was getting married to her girlfriend back in New York (?). Congrats to her!!

Photos from the show here. CSS + MEN

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Skinny LOVED.

Bon Iver
Guests: Other Lives
The Orpheum Theatre
September 25th, 2011

I attended the Bon Iver show with a friend of mine, she has this incredible blog and I think you should have a look and follow her!

Other Lives open the show with their experimental folk-rock blend. It's hard to describe their music because it sounds so grand. I thoroughly enjoyed their set.

Justin Vernon, the singer-songwriter and musical mind behind Bon Iver stood centre stage with eight accompanying musicians. Two drum-sets, various percussive instruments, several guitars, a bass guitar, and a baritone saxophone were among the various instruments being played. In the middle of Bon Iver's set, they began to play 'Bloodline,' the title track from their 2009 EP, and the song that drew me into Justin Vernon's ability to draw such emotion and nerve from such a simple song. I was hooked.

The last song they played before the encore was 'Skinny Love,' this was a crowd pleaser, for sure. Justin sat with a guitar surrounded by his band-mates who offered acapella vocals to the chorus. I sat up a little straighter in my seat, on edge. My ears were eager to hear the infamous chorus that I had hummed and mouthed along to earnestly so many months before. "I told you to be patient, I told you to be fine, I told you to be balanced, I told you to be kind..." As the song begins and the audience begins to be swayed, out of the corner of my eye I see a small flash of light. The man seated in front of me is proposing to his girlfriend during 'Skinny Love.' Cute. She said yes.

For the encore they played 'Wolves' from their 2007 release For Emma, Forever Ago. Its' infectious repetitive one line chorus, "What might have been lost" sung by the audience and Justin Vernon was left ringing in our ears.
We all sang along to a heart-wrenching yet beautiful song, my favourite moment of the night.

Killed It.

I attended The Kills show at The Commodore on Sept, 5th. It was the second time I had seen them in the same venue. Let's just say Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince performed with the same rock swagger, stagger and class. Brilliant rock show.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Marina Abramović - Rhythm 0 (1974)

(Photos from moma.org)

After I had taken an Art History class at my College, I began to pay more detailed attention to the impact and meaning visual art can produce.

I had spent the past half-hour trying to put into word how I feel about a renowned performance artist by the name of Marina Abramović and her Rhythm 0, 1974 piece.
Listening to this description and an excerpt of her own experiences left me speechless, and dumfounded.

"To test the limits of the relationship between performer and audience, Abramović developed one of her most challenging (and best-known) performances. She assigned a passive role to herself, with the public being the force which would act on her.

Abramović had placed upon a table 72 objects that people were allowed to use (a sign informed them) in any way that they chose. Some of these were objects that could give pleasure, while others could be wielded to inflict pain, or to harm her. Among them were a rose, a feather, honey, a whip, scissors, a scalpel, a gun and a single bullet. For six hours the artist allowed the audience members to manipulate her body and actions.

Initially, members of the audience reacted with caution and modesty, but as time passed (and the artist remained impassive) people began to act more aggressively. As Abramović described it later:

“What I learned was that... if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you.” ... “I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation."
What the average person would do to a stranger when they are given absolute power is chilling. It makes you wonder if by chance that you may become helpless, if people would lend a hand, or perhaps a gun instead.

This Hits Me Like A Rock

CSS - Hits Me Like A Rock

CSS are playing at VENUE in Vancouver this Saturday, and well I'm hoping to attempt these dance moves at the show. I am beyond excited for this show.


Coeur de Pirate - Adieu

I'd been an avid listener of Beatrice Martin's project for over a year now, and I am anticipating the release of her second album this year! This is a video clip of her video 'Adieu' --- cute.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Otherside is Usually Brighter..

I had been allowing myself to listen to music outside of the usual genre I tend to cling to.
This Seattle based artist, Macklemore, first caught my attention by way of a KEXP session recording of this song. The mention of Fences in the title sparked my curiosity. The mixture of the indie singer-songwriter vocals of Christopher Mansfield creates a unique juxtaposition to Macklemores' raps. I think this is what raw talent should sound like, look like, feel like.

Macklemore (With Ryan Lewis) - Otherside (Ft. Fences)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wicked Games

Coeur de Pirate - Wicked Games (The Weekend)

wicked games (the weeknd cover) - beatrice from beatrice martin on Vimeo.

I had been hearing a lot about The Weeknd and this Beatrice Martin cover has convinced me to finally give them a listen. You can check out The Weeknd's album here and download it for free.
I love available local music.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Music.

St. Vincent - 'Cruel'

Huffington Post Article

Also: Nathan Howdeshell of Gossip has started a record label - Fast Weapons Label and this is the band that was signed on. Check them out. THE QUIETUS ARTICLE

New War - 'Ghostwalking'

Bon Iver and James Blake have collaborated:
'Fall Creek Boys Choir'

It's a shame their Vancouver dates are on the same day.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sia Furler, What a Charmer.

Image Source
Commodore Ballroom
August 19th, 2011
Guests: Ximena Sarinana / Oh Land

The We Are Born Tour.

The last time Sia played the Commodore in April of 2010, she collapsed a few songs in. This time however, Sia played the full ~ 90 minute set. She walked out on stage dressed in a combination of a ruffled dress / poncho adorned and patterned with vaginas of different sizes, shapes and colours, completed with a pair of heels with, yes you guessed it a vagina pattern attached to it. It was extravagant, indeed. The set opened with a couple songs off of her newest release We Are Born, it seemed that the show would play into a pattern of a song after song cycle.... but I thought too soon, because between every few songs Sia's personality and hilarious anecdotes broke the crowd of the hypnotic trance that I'm sure most of us were in listening to Sia belt out the lyrics.

She talked about her experience of trying to explain to her friend the type of vagina she had.... (her sudden candid and un-shy demeanor was unexpected but completely welcomed) --- only stopping the story to hastily ask if there were any kids there... hopefully not. What I learned was that you could easily describe yours truly as a 'flower'. Lesson learned.

The Vancouver show was the last of her North America tour stops. It was the last "show, for a long time" as Sia told us, I realized just how special this show was. The sold out show filled with excited audience members laughed along to the random antics of the one and only Sia. A devoted fan baked her Kale cookies, and if you follow Sia on twitter you would understand her recent obsession to Kale chips and how much this sentiment means.
Between songs she encouraged us to 'talk' to her, ask her questions, throw things at her ---- you know, the usual things any musician would ask an audience to partake in. She is quickly become one of my favourite personalities, in addition to being a brilliantly talented musician.
Her powerhouse vocals were evident in her ballads and even more so in her more sincere songs.

Let's just say that it was all that I expected and more. On stage, Sia may not move and dance like the former Britney Spears, but her talent obvious from her musicianship --- overlook that.

Sia came back for an encore after a short period after leaving the stage to "sing the to two songs [she] hates to play". I was surprised to hear this, but it was completely understandable. "Clap Your Hands" followed by "Breathe Me" received the warmest and most excitable responses. Everyone danced and sang along to "Clap Your Hands", and swayed and sang along to "Breathe Me." This was the first song I had heard from Sia. This song holds a lot of sentiment, it was the song that helped me transition to High School, it was the song that can easily move me to tears. In whatever way that it helped shape my taste in music, I am sure glad that it was a part of my teenage years. Hearing it live was to me, a moment that I want to remember, for a while at least.

Oh Land opened the show, I caught the middle of her set onwards and thought she was an eclectic mix of pop and dance. Her set warmed everyone up for Sia to take stage... I was too excited to really invest myself to pay much detailed attention to the band. Sorry Oh Land.

The Georgia Straight has a more detailed and semi(not-so-much) decent review, despite the writer claiming Sia to be 'nuts' it's bearable to read, he obviously doesn't follow her on twitter.

(I love this stop motion video for "Breathe Me" --)

Long Overdue

Image source
Commodore Ballroom
August 9th, 2011

I remember listening to Beirut's 2007 release The Flying Club Cup and finally understanding that if I ever wanted a soundtrack to all types of uncanny emotions at once, this album will do.
My favourite track 'Nantes' was to me the introduction to brass instrumentation onto my iPod. It to me, encompassed what I though lavish European lifestyles would be. Only to be pleasantly surprised Beirut called Santa Fe, New Mexico home.

I missed the opening acts and arrived just in time to see their highly anticipated performance.
Beirut sold out their August 10 date at the Commodore and so when they announced another date on the 9th, I jumped at the opportunity. I had been waiting 4 years to hear them play and see them perform flawless renditions of crowd favourites.
Admittedly, I hadn't heard their newest 2011 release The Rip Tide, this however didn't stop me from feeling like I was witnessing an incredibly talented group of musicians do what they do best.
Three brass players accompanied Zach Francis Condon who on vocals and the occasional trumpet swooned the crowd with his unique tenor vibrato. Percussionists and other musicians took place on stage to fill out the enormous sounds of what make Beirut absolutely authentic.

--- I made a friend at the show, Mike humoured me with drunken anecdotes of encounters with musicians and the like. What a charmer. No, really.

Deciding to see the show just after my final classes was a nice way to remind me that, yes it is summer and I should consider to partake in activities outside of burying my nose into a textbook.

Monday, July 11, 2011


CSS MAKING POSTERS! from csstv on Vimeo.

CSS - Vogue Theatre Oct/01/2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Underwater Tea Party.

NPR Article

Warpaint just released a video for their self-titled track.
They filmed a large portion of this video... UNDERWATER.
And this I find incredibly inventive, new and kind of exciting.
Each day that I continue to listen to their music,
I become more invested into them as artists, as personalities and musicians.
It keeps me excited to listen to music, ---
With school being so stressful and pressure feeling so heavy.
Their music makes me feel -- calm.

Directed By Ted Newsome


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feeling Fooled.

I recently discovered WARPAINT and Bon Iver.
I feel like one of those really stubborn music listeners. I had put off on listening to these two artists, but a about a month ago I decided to give them a go. I was planning on courting them and taking them out. See if we share the same tastes, likes and dislikes.
We became best friends.

Firstly, let me admit the huge crush I have on every member of Warpaint. Just take a look at the photo below. They are all gorgeous, and great musicians.

I thought the bassist (Jenny Lee Lindberg) was Shannyn Sossamon--- who is beautiful. Only to find out that she is in fact her younger sister. Jealous.
I now feel the urge to go buy a bass and learn to play, because (fun fact) Jenny Lee picked up the bass at 18 years old and well about 10 years later she is writing bass lines that give me goosebumps, chills and the oh-so-happy feelings.
This band is hugely talented. I love that they rock the 90’s sounding jams that are so relevant today.
The first video I saw of them was for their song Undertow.

What Babes. (I feel like one of those obsessed teens who've just discovered something amazing)

They’ll be one of my favourites this year and maybe forever.
If I could, I would fly out to see them play. I want to so badly. What should I do?!
I get the same type of feeling from their music that CocoRosie gave me during their live show.
I’m so excited for the success of this band. (I want Jenny Lee to cut my hair --- is that weird?)
The oh-so-happy feelings are fresh, new and exciting.
Listening to them makes me want to dance at bus stops, skip steps and shout out loud.
Warpaint will be on rotation all summer.

So I had always put aside this band, never really had the time or patience to listen to his songs. I had heard so much and well I recently discovered the beauty of his voice. Chills.

I managed to get two tickets for a friend and I. The show scheduled for September at The Orpheum Theatre this fall sold out within minutes. I can’t wait to sit in a theatre of 1000’s and possibly choke up to ballads of heartbreak, love and well, love.


I had been neglecting this blog.
Mostly because it’s been glitching and deleting my posts and pissing me off and not working. I might move to.... wordpress? tumblr?

I had been an avid admirer of Io Tillett Wright’s work for a while now. It actually stemmed from my love of CocoRosie. I found her website and photo catalogue after looking for the photographer of a particular CocoRosie photo. I can appreciate someone who knows how to capture great moments on film.
This was a few months ago.
Since then, I had been following her blog, DandyDarling
and found through the vast network of the interweb many of her aspiring projects. DarlingDays

One of which was MANIFEST EQUALITY
which spiraled into the now SELF EVIDENT TRUTHS PROJECT / SELF EVIDENT TRUTHS. I had “watched” --- well more say “followed” her efforts through her website and saw that it took on such great influence.

It is a beautiful project --- I just absolutely love the idea behind it.
Capture the humanity of everyday people through non-staged photographs. Truly Brilliant.

Self Evident Truths from Self Evident Truths on Vimeo.

There are a few photos of known musicians, artists, performers in this video, but that really doesn’t matter. It’s besides the point, the emphasis isn’t on celebrity and fame, it’s a focus on the humanity of people who fall anywhere along the LGBT(QIATS) spectrum. It’s about equal rights.

It’s great to see a project about equal rights attain such great attention and praise. People need to be focusing on these issues that directly affect all of us.

This video was just in time for the Legalization of Gay Marriage in New York.
I was ecstatic about the news, and genuinely surprised at how it actually made me feel. I was elated. I really was. Wanna Read Here?

I wanted to celebrate with the people in New York... times like these I think about packing up my whole life and moving to the big city of lights.

The internet really does create this artificial reality though.... and you don’t seem so alone. It’s a funny thing, because you really are alone anyways. I celebrated with the people blogging and tweeting and vlogging away.

Thank you New York for being the first state with a Republican-Controlled Senate to pass the Same-Sex Marriage Bill!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lykke Li + Grimes = Light Show + War Dance

Lykke Li
Guest: Grimes
The Vogue Theatre
May 27th, 2011
Grimes 9:30pm / Lykke Li 10:30pm

Where do I begin to try to describe the show I just witnessed?
It had been a few months since I'd seen a show at The Vogue and it was incredibly nostalgic walking in through the doors and into the heart of the venue. I arrived just past 9pm and walked into a packed theatre. There was an excitement in the air, it was almost palpable and electric. Concert-goers milled about with their drinks in hand waiting for the opener Grimes to begin her set.

At around 9:30 Grimes -- stage persona of Claire Boucher, a multi-instrumentalist who syncs and loops her bass, synth and electronic beats into her keys to which she sung to. Almost immediately I noticed her unique voice which carried itself distinctly through her experimental-pop/contemporary melodies. She blew me and I'm sure everyone away with her child-like voice and overall cosmic-ethereal weirdness. I found her to have adorable stage presence, I couldn't help but smile and dance throughout her set. She stood centre stage with two keyboards and sang her trip-hop/melodic word rhymes-- it really does take you someplace special.
She's a Montreal based, Vancouver artist and she has me hooked.
Her music is particular yet strangely beautiful, it is genre-bending and absolutely unique.
I regret not buying her album after the show -- it is now on my list of "must finds."

This song sounded so great live.
Grimes - Vanessa

Grimes - Vanessa from Arbutus Records on Vimeo.

(I think I love this song--- and it's only been a few hours since I first heard it)

After Grimes' set --
Lykke Li took to the stage at around 10:30. Might I add that Lykke Li strutted on stage in a black robe/cloak that revealed just enough to make you swoon. She looked like a ghostly dark phantom that emerged from the smoke and flashing lights to deafening applause and cheers. From what I remember she opened with Jerome ---- I think.
It really doesn't matter what songs she played, or in what order, all that really matters is that Lykke Li commanded the stage with her "war dance" amidst the seizure-inducing light show. It was an incredible visual, an experience that leaves you hollering with excitement, and wanting more.

Lykke Li was accompanied on stage by musicians clad in black. There were two percussionist and therefore drum-sets, a plethora of keyboards/synths, an accompanying singer and a bassist/guitarist who all encircled Lykke Li, who stood front and centre stage.
What sets this show apart form the many others I have seen is perhaps the brilliant stage design of long black drapes which tossed and danced in the "wind" around the musicians on stage. The music stands on its own, Lykke Li, a Swedish native absolutely embodies a distinctly powerful voice which carries itself across in anthemic songs like "I Follow Rivers" and yet can still deliver the sweet and delicate sentiments of "I Know Places." She played a cohesive mixture of songs from both her albums, Wounded Rhymes and Youth Novels. Bringing out audience favourites "Little Bit," "Dance Dance Dance" with a strong focus on her 2011 release.
She also played an unreleased track which she doesn't play often (?) ("Made Me Move/Made You Move?), she played this just after telling us that we were "the best audience so far" which is always a great thing. Brilliant

My favourite moment of the night:
Lykke Li's band left the stage and she proceeded to play "I Know Places" sans accompanying musicians. It was a beautiful moment, and the audience shushed up for those few moments..... until she launched into an upbeat song which prompt the audience to break the silence and cheer, dance and enjoy the music.

Lykke Li - I Know Places

(My favourite track off of Wounded Rhymes)

Monday, May 23, 2011

DIrty Radio

To celebrate the LP record release of Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, here is their video for "Dirty Radio" ("I Swear"?) -- It's a throwback to the sounds of 50's rock and roll/blues.

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside - I Swear from Matthew Ross on Vimeo.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Phantogram + Fine Mist

Guest: Fine Mist
Venue (Nightclub)
May 20, 2011
Time: 8- 8:30pm Fine Mist, 9-10pm Phantogram (The shortest show I think I've been to)
I met up with a couple friends, Grace and Dan, just after I checked my tickets at the Venue box office. One of the bouncers who stood just outside Venue turned out to be a former classmate of mine. We had second year English together, and well it's nice to know that even Bouncers, who's job is to intimidate and keep trouble out, also enjoys discussing about why the protagonist and antagonist can never have a love relationship that can last. After meeting/staying for "drinks" at Cafe Crepe across the street on the Granville strip, we (friends of friends of friends) made our way over to see the opening act.

Fine Mist who turns out to be a really well known local act who (according to my good friend Dan) opened for Hercules and Love Affair --- (I wanted to be at that show). They are comprised of a female vocalist and male multi-instrumentalist. I don't know anything about them other than the fact that I couldn't stop smiling while watching them perform. They have this overwhelmingly adorable stage presence, both charismatic and entertaining. The crowd swayed and shuffled in what I would call enjoyment, I suppose to the catchy and synth-driven songs. After their 30 minute set, the audience began to re-shuffle, re-arrange, re-assemble and re-claim the places that they hope to occupy during the headlining act. In this case it was Phantogram.

I first saw Phantogram open for Metric in June of 2010 at the Malkin Bowl. I had never heard of them, and didn't think much about their music. The band is made up of a female synth/vocalist and a male guitarist/vocalist. Their instrumental was catchy, smooth and melodic. I remember her vocals to be "airy" and captivating... It put me in a swaying trance.

Fast forward to their first headlining show in Vancouver, and I can happily say their their performance encouraged erratic dancing, head bobbing and body swaying. It was a dance party to sweet and melodic songs [remixed] with the hammering sounds of a live drummer. The percussive element adds an entirely different dimension to the sound of Phantogram. In a live music setting the songs transform and become much larger than I could have anticipated. As a fairly new listener I think I'm hooked to their transient and synth driven songs, especially with the drumming element.
As a side note: I have to say that the lighting of the show was brilliantly done. Coloured light flooded across the musicians on stage and well added to the elevtro-rock/pop energy.

Phantogram - When I'm Small

It was my first time at Venue, and I was pleasantly surprised at the small space that holds so many club nights and concerts. I wonder -- because Venue is known as a place to come to for remixed pop songs and the like that maybe a culture of sporadically taking semi-not-so-great photos of you and your friends in such an environment is something that might not be the best activity in a live concert setting.
I don't think hundreds of blurry photos will mean much when you can't even remember why you bought tickets to see a... oh yeah, a live music show. Listen to the music, and watch the performers, enjoy the songs and experience something you can't otherwise.
Think about it, when you're at a show.. you dance, scream, clap and cheer between songs. You can't really do this in any other environment... transit / classroom / work -- people might think you're a little insane.
If in all aspects of your life you are bound by some social / moral / societal construct -- feel the obligation/need to follow the guidelines of 'ordinary'. You can 'let loose' at a live show -- you can live a little and in many ways experience what these performers you came to see live through everyday. They sing, shout, dance and play loud instruments.... if they were ordinary would you take the time to see them?
I think you would only invest your time --- if you think these artists / musicians / dancers / performers are in some way extraordinary. So why not enjoy those moments, -- and instead of taking pictures from a point + shoot camera, enjoy the show.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Kills Causes High Blood Pressures.

The Kills
Guests: The Entrance Band / Cold Cave
The Commodore Ballroom
May 8, 2011

I am a late Kills listener. I had been slacking, and am now a fully revived The Kills listener. It took seeing them live to fully appreciate how great their music really is. Rock music at it's best. When there are so many bands out now in the indie scene, trying to fit in somehow. A band like The Kills really proves that authentic Rock music is still very much alive and thriving.

I missed The Entrance Band, but did catch the second half of Cold Cave's performance. Without knowing much about them, they put on a high-energy set that the audience seemed to enjoy.

The Kills comprised of Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince walked onto stage clad in all black to a sold out crowd. I think, from what my memory recalls they kicked off their set with "No Wow" a sure crowd pleaser. What I found interesting in addition to the assured hardcore fans clad in leopard print, was that ONstage, there were two stage light operators manning the lights manually. I suppose sometimes when technology can't be depended on, it's always best to do things yourself. The spotlights of colour flooded over Allison's twisting, moving body as she sang, and danced around Jamie as he stood at the edge of the stage glaring at the crowd while playing his guitar riffs. Allison's continuous whipping of her hair, as if it, itself is an instrument added to the notion that yes, they are True Rockstars.

I also met possibly the nicest audience member who took it upon himself to act as a bodyguard for me and other short audience members. From what I recall, his name is Rory, and well, if I could have him at every show where everyone else towers over me, it would make my life a lot easier.

(Notice in the video below, the leopard patterned backdrop)
The Kills - Future Starts Slow

For a MUCH better review/thought/opinion piece on the show read here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thao and Mirah With the Most Of All

Thao and Mirah
Guests: Led to Sea / Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
The Biltmore Caberet
May 5th, 2011

(BLOGGER DELETED THIS POST-- I'm too lazy to re-write it)

I caught the second half of Led to Sea, who also turns out to be the Violinist/Keys/Vocals for Thao and Mirah. She played exceptionally interesting looping violins with vocals. Great opener.

The second opener was Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, the moment they began to play --- I began to dance. A lot of feet shuffling, head bobbing, body moving happened. They have that old bluesy - classic 50's rock sound to them. They sound unique, different, refreshing. I picked up their EP at the end of the night and am anticipating their full record release at the end of May (23rd - to be exact).
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside - Not An Animal

When Thao and Mirah came onstage they opened with something rather mellow, clam, serene. I was an avid listener of Thao With the Get Down Stay Downs but had never made an attempt to familiarize myself with Mirah's work. It's safe to say that their set was played passionately by all musicians on stage. The stage - full of women musicians was refreshing. The sound was a little unbalanced at The Biltmore, the percussion was overpowering the acoustics and vocals. But because I positioned at the front of stage, seeing them play, no-matter how chaotic the sound sometimes was -- beautiful.
Favourites from their record include "Little Cup" and "Hallelujah"

Thao and Mirah - Little Cup

New, Improved, LIVE: Thao & Mirah - "Little Cup" from The Bay Bridged on Vimeo.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fences Breaks Our Hearts


The Biltmore Cabaret
April 15, 2011
Show 9pm

I have been waiting for Chris Mansfield, also known as Fences to come back to Vancouver to play a show -- I missed the last time he came through and have been anticipating his return ever since.
I have to say, after a long week of final exams and pondering expectant test scores-- I needed a break from my hectic college life.
This was the perfect release.

I have written about how his music makes me feel, how much I so self-deprecatingly love it. Endlessly.
Let me continue that trend.

I made my way down to the venue at around 8:30pm. Just outside the venue was Chris standing in the shadows surrounded by cigarette smoke. Obscure and hidden. Upon entering the venue I wondered if the motivation behind deciding to pursue a career in music would be fame and fortune. I doubt it.

JODY GLENHAM opened the show just passed 9pm with her acoustic style melodies and solid vocals. I didn't know what to expect but found myself moving along to the music. She sang about snow in New York that got me thinking if... it actually was snowing in New York. Hm.
To reiterate: I enjoyed her set. She was joined on stage by two male musicians on the drum-set and keys/bass/melodica/guitar. They complemented each other well and the sounds they produced was melodic, and pleasantly - soulful.

When FENCES took to the stage at around 9:45pm everybody suddenly shushed up slightly, made their way to the front of stage and paid close attention. Fences opened their set with a tragically beautiful song... and the name of that song has escaped me. (Marketplace?). They followed with Sadie, My Girl the Horse and most if not all of the songs from their latest release - Amazing. The songs melted into one another and each in their very own way buried themselves into our ears and into our swollen hearts.
His songs seem to expose every crevice in his soul and leave his guts spewing tears. They make you so damn sad -- it's nostalgically authentic every time you think you've hit your lowest point. Chris Mansfields' tall lanky - tattooed form stood center stage with skin tight skinnies hemmed inches above the ankle -- his staple; a short-sleeved button up shirt and a cap, as if you say to us -- "I feel at home here". He stood facing the microphone singing the majority of his songs with his eyes closed, as if back to where he was when he wrote them.
To add to his calm demeanor on stage -- His sincerity shone through when he thanked us and followed with "I'll fuckin' see you later" the sweetest words I've heard all night, charming -- you see, he's "a sensitive guy." Three other bandmates filled out the stage on guitar/keys, bass and drums -- they created sounds of mellow indie variety. Brilliant. Between the verses and chorus' Mansfield would recede to face the back of the stage, as if to say, "it's not me who deserves the attention" -- Humble. The band as a whole cohesively played song after song adding an energy of controlled self-esteem and troubled melodies.
Fences ended the set with From Russia With Love my favourite then, now and possibly forever.
Just before leaving I couldn't resist picking up the album and a shirt -- I'll wear it proudly.
What can I cay -- I have a soft spot for the kid.
Oh. Also. Check out these amazing photos from the show from SCENEINTHEDARK

George Stroumboulolpoulos Tonight.

April 11th, 2011
CBC Vancouver Studios
I was lucky enough to attend a taping of his show George Stroumboulolpoulos Tonight in Vancouver.
The first time I went last May I sat front row, meters away from the stage.
This time around I took a different approach and sat up in the audience.
I could see everything that you don't see on camera.
A behind-the-scenes look at how a talk-show is produced and run.
Interesting to say the least.
I find George to be incredibly intelligent and I love hearing him speak.

You can watch the episode aired that night April 11th here STROMBO

Some interesting things I learned about George that night.
- His favourite interview is with Woody Harrelson "If you want to go to those dark places, I'm right there with ya..."
- When asked about his goals -- His life's mantra "I don't believe in goals, I live in the now"
"...Waking up is you succeeding at life"
- Had an epiphany with Bill Nye the Science Guy when he said "There is no nothing."
- Has no interest in politics. --(it's a shame I think he'd be a refreshing new character.)
- Speaks two languages, "Profanity and English" "Profanity is his first language"
- Has an N.W.A ring-tone, and it went off in a flower shop spittin' profanities.
- His mom calls his Bucky.
- He's in a movie called "Hobo With a Shotgun" and he dies a horrible death at the end by way of hockey stick through the chest. The 'blood' was ice cold.
- Led Zepplin will always be the best rock music out there.
- Rap nowadays is 'escapism' rap -- nonsensical and unrealistic.
- One of his favourite live shows was a Rancid/Ramones concert where someone 'moshed' on his ankle -- but he stayed for the music.
- His inspirations are an amalgamation of Joe Strummer, Chucky D and George Carlin
- He thinks Canadian politics should focus on Health Care, Economy, Environment and Foreign Policy.... not necessarily in that order.
And this I find the most interesting, he landed his job as a radio host and media personality by accident, he picked up the phone and they needed someone to cover some air time.
- "Some hard work and a whole lot of luck" got him where he is today.
- He will always be one of my favourite MuchMusic VJ's and now my favourite TV host.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Antony and the Johnsons "Swanlights" video directed and produced by his sister Sara Hegarty.
Footage is taken from her upcoming film "The Last Hymn" featuring Sierra Paris.
Pitchfork says nice things about the video -- PITCHFORK
"..a gorgeous, highly impressionistic video"

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"I Love You _______"

Yoko Ono & Antony Hegarty - I Love You Earth

It seems that everyone from all over the world have come together to help raise money for Japan.
It's beautiful to see how even artists come together in a time of need to rejoice, celebrate and bring awareness to the things that matter most.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sounds That Make You Want To Dance

I just came home from seeing MEN at The Biltmore.
I can easily say that they sound just as great if not even more so amazing live.
"Baby Dykes" have better style in 2011.
The venue was full of 'baby dykes' who danced in and out of time in appreciation and celebration of/for MEN.
Its a late night --- I'll add more details about the show when I can think straight --- which is rare.

Raw eggs for breakfast - throwing scarves of appreciation in place of hot pants - helmeted human tripods -
enough shenanigans for one night.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beards and Abstract Tattoos.

I feel the immediate need to mention Devendra Banhart.
I like his beard.
I like his tattoos.
His voice is nice sometimes.
He's quirky and his music is incredibly simple to listen to -- which is nice.

Devendra Banhart - Little Yellow Spider

Repeated Offences.

I just had to post this.
I know, consecutive posts about Kaki King is a bit much --- but this was one of my favourite moments of the gig.
Also, since I'm in this video for approximately 0.5 seconds.
This is worth the post.
I have to admit. Having someone record an entire gig is a great way to re-live it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Storytelling In the Form of Music.

Kaki King
The Biltmore Cabaret
March 12th, 2011
Opener: Megan Washington

Megan Washington is an Australian musician who sat centre stage in the dimly lit room of The Biltmore in a blinding spotlight with a piano and microphone. She played pop tunes about "failed relationships" and the like. Her accent from The Land Down Under could be heard in her raspy vocals which reminded me of Cat Power -- with more punch. Washington definitely captivated the audience with her passionate piano playing and witty lyrics. Her humour was evident in her short and quirky banter with the audience, charming us with stories about wiki-ing cities she will play in and remarking on funny facts that are great ice-breakers in any conversation.
Her ease on stage was felt in her enticing story about her "bad vibe-rater" -- note: this sounded painfully similar to "vibrator" which I'm sure everyone in the audience including Kaki herself thought she was talking about. This unraveled into a hilarious story about her bar outings and mistaking a drunk guys obvious sexual advances for a common friendship-- Hence her bad "vibe-rater" of other people's vibes. (The end of this encounter ended up with her singing lullabies until he fell asleep -- how sweet, yet ironically hilarious).
This is the song that was inspired by that incident.

She'll be playing SXSW dates next -- catch them if you can, you are sure to do some feet shuffling and body moving.

Kaki King came on stage after 9pm and announced to the waiting audience that there is a problem and we can all fix it together. ----
I wonder if it was a sound issue, tech problem, drunk and rowdy behaviour? ---
No, it's because she'll have to sit for her performance and this will result in only the first lucky few to be able to see her. She urged all of us on hard wood floors to sit down, nice and comfortable beside our fellow music listeners. Shoulder to shoulder we sat with our legs cramps -- the perfectly unobstructed view of Kaki on stage with her one of eight guitars though -- made it all worth-the-while.

She opened the set with Bone Chaos In The Castle one of my favourite songs off of her 2008 release "Dreaming of Revenge". It was a short and energetic preview of what we will all be witness to that night -- Talent. After this was Doing the Wrong Thing -- one of the songs which attracted me to her percussive and melodic guitar-playing style. Her set-list included Magazine, Playing With Pink Noise, Life Being What It Is to and a cover of Fences My Girl The Horse just to name a few. A pleasant surprise was her performance of the twitter requested Neanderthal from her 2004 release "Legs to Make Us Longer" (I want to thank you the one who requested this brilliantly played song).

She was encircled by eight incredibly impressive looking guitars played in multiple tunings -- which she switched periodically between songs from acoustic to lap-steel to a terrifying-looking double-necked guitar. The sounds produced was articulate, melodic, crisp and resonant with just enough edge to keep you wanting more.
Photo: From here

Between songs her hilarious banter drew the audience in. She blatantly drew attention to Washington's "vibe-rater" story and had the audience chuckling along. Really though... who actually says that, "vibe-rater". One of my favourite anecdotes of hers was a story about having her heart broken -- the non-conventional way. That is to have a cute girl who had been making eyes at her come up and "angelically" say that she and her girlfriend "totally get in on to [her] songs." --- Her friends try to console her claiming that this is in many ways, a threesome --- just think about -- after some pondering out-loud, her song and them = not really the type of threesome to brag about, if at all. Yeah -- It's not that romantic. But makes for a great story to tell when surrounded by friends with empty bottles and time on your hands. Hilarious.
I would also like to add that she played the show while fighting off a cold -- really great to see that she didn't let it effect her performance.

This was undoubtedly one of my top shows of this year. It's refreshing to see a show where the talent is not clouded by light effects, glow-sticks and general rowdiness. Authenticity at its finest.
One of the things I've always loved about her music is that you can for yourself decide what each song can mean. That it is so open to interpretation is something that makes it desirable to listen to-- for me at least. Others may call this instrumental style boring, or unexciting -- I think it's incredibly inventive. To each their own, I suppose.

If you can, be sure to catch her on tour -- you won't regret the experience.

Kaki King - Bone Chaos In The Castle (Live)

Kaki King - Neanderthal (live)

This youtube account has several Kaki King shows... go nuts.

Blinded By The Glimmer of Diamonds

Photo: From Here

March 11th, 2010
Diamond Rings + PS I Love You = Skin friction, sweat dripping, body surfing, dance action.

The opener, whose name escapes me, took to the stage to set the pace for the show. His electronic drum pads, beats and reverb sounding--sound was potentially catalytic of seizures and the like. He danced onstage in a manner that was entertaining and also alarming. His passionate, yet constant stomping of his feet to his music was genuine, yet terrifying. He seemed to have fun, and when he screamed into his auto-tuned microphone we can confirm this. Unfortunately, I can't say that many of the audience members could reciprocate this excitement. The opener in a sense does just that, he opens up for who you really came to see. He however receives A for enthusiasm and a somewhat lower grade for delivery.

PS I Love You were up next and surprised me by their fun and catchy tunes. The rhythmic bass of the drums hyped up the audience and had us swaying to the chaos of sound that came from the guitarist/vocals. Impressive. The act was exciting to watch, listen to and relate to. In addition to being an awesome opener -- Diamond Rings came on stage for the last song to sing a song they wrote together. All in all - it was a great pre-show dance warm-up, to prep us for Diamond Rings.

Diamond Rings came onstage at around 11:30pm and soon after, the crowd obviously so excited felt the anxiety to push and shove and dance about. Crowd surfing, glow-stick waving, and personalities shone throughout the performance. Diamond Rings' quirky dance moves opened his set, he struck rock-anthem poses with his fist in the air as if in celebration of glitter-power and tight pants. His deep resonating vocals sung about "showing your stuff" and the like. He played alongside his pre-recorded beats playing from his laptop. Like a pro he handled mishaps, what-with microphones becoming un-plugged and cords twisting in his clenched fists. He was also attentive and responsive of the crowd, when an audience member screams that he's "beautiful" he has the social grace to coyly voice a "thank you." Not only is he glittery, tall, lanky and "beautiful," he's also polite.

Great fun show -- the venue could however cut back on the stage-smoke and consider getting air-conditioning. It was difficult to breathe when the ceiling is so low and no air seemed to be circulating.

If you can, catch Diamond Rings + PS I Love You on their North American Tour -- And remember to bring glitter.
Photo From Here <-- The link will also bring you to a feature on Diamond Rings by The Guardian.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Covered With Steel Strings

I love Fences (Chris Mansfield) - I also really like Kaki King's experimental guitar style.
So that means this Fences song 'My Girl The Horse' covered by Kaki King is like gold to me.
It shimmers.
It's a completely original interpretation on a wonderfully heartbreaking song.

I'm excited to see Kaki King live at The Biltmore in Vancouver on the 12th of March.
Maybe she'll cover this song and add a few vocals.

Unnecessary Lag Time

My friend and I went to see Owen Pallett at the Vancouver CBC Studio on March 4th. I saw an ad for the SignalFest(ival) in the Georgia Straight the week before -- it was odd how it only occupied a tiny corner all the while promoting someone (Owen Pallett) who is so internationally acclaimed. That last time he was in town I couldn't make it, and so to have had the chance to see him recently was mind-blowing.

There was no falling confetti -
There was no dancing -
There were no glowsticks in sight -

The night became a civilized performance in Studio 40 at CBC (the same place my friend and I went to see a taping of The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos).
Seated comfortably shoulder to shoulder with other eager listeners, we (I was) were all intense with quite excitement for Owen Pallett to perform.
To say the least, I was very impressed by the sounds he produced on stage. The songs came alive on stage and translated well into a live show setting.
I was captivated by how he meticulously looped songs with tedious sounding rhythms, beats and melodies. I'm sure everyone was thinking how he can create all these sounds from just his Violin, keys, and vocals.
I really enjoyed the performance.

Impressive, to say the least.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hold Your Fists WIth Love

There was a time in my youth where I had assumed the practice of making fists.
I was learning self-defense so it was necessary.
I learned that in order for your fingers to fit perfectly into your palm,
---- you had to curl your fingers -- strategically.
Knuckles rounded, fingers tucked, nails clipped.
I was ready to punch with false force into pleather wrapped cushion targets.

Making fists never became a daily practice.
Over time, as I reached my teen years, the muscle and co-ordination I developed deteriorated.
I was left with atrophied, weak wrists.
This happens when you decide you'd rather delve into music and bury your self-esteem, identity and autonomy into the music you kept.

Antony and the Johnsons was one of the true musicians I found inspiration in -- his voice.

He is set to perform on TED Conference, March 2nd, 2011.
I love the program, they hold some of my favourite speakers, artists, and performers -- who all can inspire someone.
I can't wait to see his performance.

He is also releasing his "Swanlights EP" (which I intend to buy) on April 16th, Record Store Day
I love the album art


Find The Rhythm Of Your Love
Kissing Noone
Swanlights OPN edit

I'm hoping he would do a North American Tour with a Vancouver date soon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sweet Sounds of the 16th Century?

Joanna Newsom - Baby Birch (Paris 31.05.2010)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Scissors Are For Cutting Paper.

Scissor Sisters - Live Performance at Amoeba Records

I love hearing them sing live. Impressive vocals and stage presence.
Can you imagine being that close to such attractive people?

Can You Spare Some Time To Listen?

Today is an exciting day for new music... Well I think it is, and maybe you will too.

Did you know that Beth Ditto front-woman of Gossip is releasing a solo EP, produced by Simian Mobile Disco? Above is a link to an interview with Beth at Triple J, an Australian Radio Station. --- Oh, the great lengths I go to to find out about my favourite music.

I love this song.


This is a link to an NPR interview with Jack White, NPR: Flipside --- this is Part One to a series of weekly interviews with White. Check back next week for another interview.
I've been a casual listener of his projects and find him to be really, quite intelligent. He is a busy man with his many ongoing projects, be it, Third Man Records (his record label and store), upholstery or one of his many bands.
Photo from Third Man Records


Fences has been a current favourite of mine and this is a Shoot The Player Session Featuring Sara Quin
Fences - My Girl The Horse (Ft. Sara Quin)

Fences: My Girl The Horse (feat. Sara Quin) from shoottheplayer.com on Vimeo.

Jessica 6 is the musical project of Nomi Ruiz (formerly of Hercules and Love Affair) and co., I love her disco-esque sound.
(I dance to this song often)

Jessica 6 - White Horse (Music Video)

Visit Jessica 6's Website
This is a pretty interesting interview with Nomi

Lykke Li is someone who plays with vocals, instrumentation, sounds and rhythms. I love her quirky and sentimental songs. This is her single from her newest album "Wounded Rhymes".

Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers (TheLineOfBestFit Session)

Lykke Li: 'I Follow Rivers' from The Line Of Best Fit on Vimeo.

Great Vocals!

I mentioned Soko, a long while back in one of my first few posts on this blog.
She's cute, I love her accent. She's quirky and she doesn't seem to have a verbal filter.
Her songs sound like she is sing-speaking from her personal journal, usually consisting of the "fuck you for breaking up with me" variety.

Soko - It's Not Going To Work (Shoot The Player Session)

Soko: It's Not Going To Work from shoottheplayer.com on Vimeo.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Best is Best When Things Are Best.

I've been neglecting this post about the Best Coast + Wavves + No Joy show that I attended last week. So here it is.

February 17th, 2011
Best Coast + Wavves with No Joy at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver.

I usually am the type of music listener who becomes riled up and excited when I am about to attend a show. But sometimes that clincher, that spark, that excitement... never comes. In its place is the feeling of --- numbness... Maybe I was just tired.

In any case, I walked into the venue during No Joy's set. I think that's how I felt walking into the theatre... No joy. Well, this is a downer isn't it? In actuality, I didn't pay much attention to the opening band. Not because I didn't enjoy their music, though admittedly experimental, it was because I was distracted. They are a collection of noises coming from two electric guitars, a bass and a drumset. I call it noise, because it filled my ears, like white noise. Fizzling in and out like it had never crossed there in the first place. I can understand the attraction of No Joy, they seem relatively absorbed in their "music expressions"... I just didn't apply myself to their music enough to really understand what I was supposed to get out of it, other than ringing ears. Nonetheless, to see a band as experimental as No Joy be able to play an hour long set is impressive... I just wished all their songs didn't melt into one another.
Music diversity, please?

Next up, was Wavves, a trio comprising of guitar, bass and drums... and let's not forget the mishmash of muttered vocals coming from the lead... screamer? As a new listener I watched from the balcony seats separated from the teen moshers and concert goers standing skin to skin with each other down by the stage. Wavves are acclaimed to be inventive and energetic and the sort. I would see their 2010 release on multiple top 10 albums of the year. I personally, never could listen to this American noise-pop band, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't try. They created energetic, loud and inventive--- noise.

Best Coast were the band I came to see. Their pop ballads were what I really love. And maybe that says something about me, that I prefer ballads that hold some melody versus, incoherent noise. Maybe it's just my preference to want to know what the musicians are saying.
Best Coast walked on stage to an ear-splitting applause (maybe it was so, because the familiar reverb that the Rickshaw is known for left me temporarily impaired). Bethany, Bobb and Ali opened the set with their title-track "Crazy For You" finally the rhythm and melody of the song set me at ease. A highlight for me was their performance of "boyfriend" one of the catchiest songs on the record. A crowd pleaser for sure.
The night ended with me and my friend Dan checking out their merchandise, it's a habit I developed to always try and support a band I love directly. We both took home Best Coast tote bags-- which is super useful when you're a college student. My textbooks found a home inside of them.

Best Coast - Boyfriend

Best Coast Interviewed by Nardwuar

Nardwuar's interviews are always entertaining and fun.

Maybe you can judge for yourself if the music posted above is what you'll listen to in your free-time. All in all, music is experimental, it can challenge boundaries and even music can have restricting conventions. Maybe these bands are trying to break down that wall, maybe they're just trying to play the music they hear inside their heads. Maybe to some kids out there this resonates with their teen angst, and their desire to belong in a world of noise.