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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Sing When You're Winning
Liam should stop singing in a band and just do interviews from now on (via Stereogum).

Correction: Liam should have stopped singing in a band and begun just doing interviews long ago. Like immediately after Definitely Maybe.
Check Yes Or No
Our increasingly fragile minority goverment could fall at any moment. The ruling party is struggling to hold its budget together. And if an inquiry into unprecedented political corruption doesn't scuttle everything shortly - bringing down a party once thought to be invincible, sweeping into power the first conservative government in more than a decade and setting the stage for profound debate of everything from public health care to gay marriage - it will at least likely pave the way for another Quebec referendum that wil once again threaten to split the country.

With all that weighing heavy on the nation, the Prime Minister found himself in Regina, announcing another round of pre-campaign funding. And an intrepid reporter found himself rising to ask the most important question of the day: "So, uh, like are you and Bono still friends? Cause, like, we heard from someone that he said he was all mad at you and stuff."

"It's no rift," Paul Martin said. "We are very, very good friends."

OMG. Phew. Cause, like, everybody was totally freaking that the next sleepover at Bill's would be, like, soooo awkward.

P.S. For the record, Bono said Martin was "a great leader." Also for the record, the UN declaration of human rights is indeed part of the show. Rock. And. Roll.

Friday, April 29, 2005

(Stuff)
If your dad were from London, Ontario. And he reviewed a Motley Crue concert. It would look a lot like this.

(No offense at all to James Reaney. We hear he's a fine guy.)
Sleeping Is A Given
Loosen up a bit. Everything's going to be ok. Everything's going to be alright. Or something like that.

And on the seventh day we can only hope they rested. Because then it's off to Coachella. And England. Then the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Washington, California and Japan. Followed by Reading and Leeds. Seriously.

Tonight was, in every way, the last of the first leg - our beloved champions stumbling, then sprinting toward the finish line before collapsing into our arms (literally, if reports from the pit are to be believed). It wasn't so much about matching their best time or setting new records, as much as reaching the end. Making sure there was nothing left to offer. The house lights were a white flag. (Mix your metaphors much? - ed.)

P.S. If this were our Britpop. And Arcade Fire were our Oasis. Then would these last nights be like our Knebworth?
Was this review helpful to you?
Feist has arrived in America. With sassy new cover art. And a low, low price of $9.98.

Bonus coverage:
-How to train your Feist
-Cherry Tree labelmates Flipsyde and The Lovemakers
-Some Timesian kudos
-Go here, click on Albums and then Dancing In The Dark. Fun.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fanfare For The Area Man
Night Two. Chromewaves has mixed feelings a mix of feelings. Others report madness.

Tonight: The Exciting Conclusion. And then... the afterparty.

(Reviews of Night One from ours Stars and Suns.)
The Gambler
Cause for a road trip if ever there was one...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2005

Hootie & the Blowfish coming to Niagara in May

Fallsview Casino to host popular rockers in Avalon Ballroom for two shows

Niagara Falls, ON – Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort will launch its first full summer tourism season with a pair of performances by post grunge-era rockers Hootie & the Blowfish.

The group – known in part for the rich lead vocals of front-man Darius Rucker – will perform in Fallsview’s Avalon Ballroom on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7.

“I think there is always a desire to be strong out of the box when the start of the summer tourist season arrives,” said Larry L. Lewin, President, Niagara Casinos. “When we opened last summer, we brought in Paul Anka and then Barenaked Ladies right after. We’re doing the same thing this May with Hootie & the Blowfish. They’re a great band with a great sound. These tickets are going to be a hot item.”


And balcony seats start at just $59.50! A mere $79.50 for a spot on the floor!

Bonus coverage: Hootie fans (no really) debate that Burger King commercial.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

We're All In Love. Oppressed. But In Love.
There ain't nothing but love after night one of Arcade Fire's three evening stand. Sorta.

Remember when the kiddies got all upset about the price of tickets? Well they still went and bought tickets. And they've switched message boards. But they're still pissed. At least one of them. Cause they have to wait in line. And the Danforth Music Hall is apparently functioning under prohibition-era laws.

Says them: "I hope all these infringements on my freedom (can't show up later than doors, can't drink, can't go outside without permission) don't put a damper on a night I've been anticipating for quite some time."

No Stella. No peace.

(We'll be at the Thursday show. Drinking Pepsi.)
And The First Headline Shall Read: 'Serenity Now'
Michael's eyes do not deceive him. These kids are indeed the newest kids.

We haven't yet heard them (Dear Michael, where's the link to stream the rekkid?), but they already have our heads with quotes like this: "The six of us are like a republic. I like to think we're without direct influence."

And our hearts with song titles like this: "You're A Loose Cannon McArthur... But You Get The Job Done" (Also: "The Protagonist Suddenly Realizes What He Must Do In The Middle Of Downtown Traffic")

They're playing with Amy Milan soon. We intend to be in attendance.

P.S. Action photos here and here. And the Brampton blogger who was so already loving them way back in, like, February.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Art Of Rolling
Unbeknownst to us until mere minutes ago, Carl wrote about the Pope this weekend.

Also of note, is this Pope profile from The New York Times which argues that student protests in Germany during the 1960s shaped his conservatism. To wit: "Some remember that the students behaved barbarically; others that they behaved like young idealistic people, carried away by naïve fervor but in no way dangerous to the established order. One thing they seem to agree on is that Father Ratzinger had a bad reaction to their protests, which one former colleague, Dietmar Mieth, said he saw as the terrorism of the street."

How great a leap is it to say that in those masses of fist-pumping, rock-worshipping kids he might have seen something similar?

Anyway. If nothing else, he apparently plays a mean piano.
Live In Vegas
We find this far more fun than it really is. Paula apparently plays favourites*. Which is to say she has sex with them in the guest room. Or at least so says this perfectly alright lad.

Wowzers. Whodathunkit? Scandal. On a reality show. That involves the music business. On Fox. It's official: nothing is sacred.

Anyway. Good to see ABC isn't going to let Ted Koppel's departure signal an end for respectable journalism on the network.


*For reference, see Paula's last find.
Where Have You Gone Tom Everett And Barry Wells? A Lonely City Turns Its Eyes To You.
Before hockey games at the John Labatt Centre in London they play this mash-up that has all the hooks from all your favourite rock radio hits (Sweet Child O' Mine, You Give Love A Bad Name, Smells Like Teen Spirit) set to the most generic "dance" beat imaginable. Has anyone heard this before? Is this purely a local creation? We must find it.

P.S. In the local alt. weekly, Louis XIV attempts to explain why some, like the local alt. weekly, consider them "arguably the most dynamic band to debut in 2005." To wit: "We've been in a number of bands together, but with Louis XIV we've been able to stretch out and haven't had to compromise. Even having a naked woman as part of our artwork - that's not too common in rock music anymore. But we don't ever want to be defined."

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Satan Everywhere
Jon Pareles talks to Bruce Springsteen about God and Springsteen's new album, Devils & Dust. Sayeth Bruce:

"Pete Townshend said that rock music was one of the big spiritual movements of the second half of the 20th century. It is medicinal and it does address your spirit, there's no two ways about it. And it came out of the church. Who were the first frontmen? The preachers!"

Au contraire, respondeth, some years before this mind you, Pope Benedict XVI. As mentioned variously elsewhere, the Artist Formerly Known As Cardinal Ratzinger has spoken often, and at length, about the roll of rock in the life of good Catholic boys and girls.

From his 2001 volume The Spirit of the Liturgy: "Rock... is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe."

From that same essay, the Pope on pop: "On the one hand, there is pop music, which is certainly no longer supported by the people in the ancient sense (populus). It is aimed at the phenomenon of the masses, is industrially produced, and ultimately has to be described as a cult of the banal."

And the Pope on classical: "Modern so-called 'classical" music has maneuvered itself, with some exceptions, into an elitist ghetto, which only specialists may enter -- and even they do so with what may sometimes be mixed feelings."

But, while the Pope has indeed cursed The Beatles and AC/DC (see here), it says here that the new Pope ain't entirely a bad guy: "Reminiscing about his childhood in Bavaria, Cardinal Ratzinger admits that music (especially Mozart) had a major role in his family life. 'Music, after all, has the power to bring people together... Yes, art is elemental. Reason alone as it's expressed in the sciences can't be man's complete answer to reality, and it can't express everything that man can, wants to, and has to express. I think God built this into man.'"

All of which is a long of saying someone needs to e-mail the Pope and ask him what bearing it has on our getting into heaven that we're listening to Springsteen's album right now and, erm, sort of enjoying it.

(In all seriousness there's probably a very interesting compare and contrast to be done between Bruce and the Pope and how each feels about the relationship between music and religion. But this post is already too long. So maybe we'll try getting to that later.)
Please Please Please
Unfortunately, this is probably not meant to be satirical.
He Talks In Maths
We kinda love that 50 Cent still sells more records in this country than Michael Buble.

Broken down regionally: 50 does better in Regina, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Quebec City and St. John's. Buble wins in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Charlottetown and Halifax.

Someone with a better understanding of socio-economics and such can probably make more of that than us.

P.S. On a Juno bounce, Feist went from 174 to 51. Though she's now back down to 81 now. One spot behind the Arcade Fire. Three spots behind Bloc Party. Sixty-five spots behind Michael Jackson's ex-wife.
P.P.S. Anybody else surprised that Martha Wainwright debuted at 18? (Though having the best-selling record in Montreal is largely to credit for that.)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Mock Up
You have no idea (unless you clicked the link at the bottom of this page, of course) how many people came through here in our absence looking for information relating to Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine. The album that never was, but now is, at least unofficially.

Anyway. We ourselves may have once said Fiona Apple was the new Wilco. But she's not. And we wish we'd come back sooner to say so to all the nice people who came by.

Applegate is far less easy. Especially because no one - namely the shackled martyr herself - is actually willing to say anything about it. Doesn't make Extraordinary Machine any less an album. But it does make some of the froth-at-the-mouth spectacle around it look a little silly (sillier?).

Finally (FINALLY!) there has come some reasonable commentary on the issue. First, at least to our eyes, from Slate. And then from Sasha. Go read. (If there are similarly reasonable opinions out there, please let us know.)
Hump! The! Drum!
Hump! The! Drum!

Sorry. We made like Gwen's shit and split.

(And now let us apologize for coming back with such a weak opener.)

Sometimes things fall apart. And you find yourself with several stiches in your side, unable to sleep and watching Half Baked at 5am. ("I didn't know that horse was a diabetic!") It's at that point that you have a decision to make. You can sit there feeling sorry for yourself, eating can after can of dog food until your tears smell enough like dog food that your dog comes back. Or you can go out there and find your dog.

We have chosen the later. Metaphorically speaking of course. Or something. We think.

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Brain Cramp
God, really, really doesn't want anyone to care about the Junos this weekend.

Friday, April 1, 2005

Dr. Gupta, I Presume
Is Sinead O'Connor one of the people praying right now? If so, what is she saying? And to whom is she saying it? No really.

(By the way, someone on CNN just clarified that there is no such thing as a "Vice-Pope." Just so we're clear on that.)
Pardon
Sometimes you just need some time to unclog the toilet. Nothing personal. Except maybe between us and the toilet.

Suffice it to say, we're not still in Texas. Sorry to leave you hanging. Just go buy the Go! Team record and we'll all be happier.

For all intents and prepositions, we're back now. Except we're in Winnipeg. Walked down Portage eating an ice cream sandwich this evening just to spite the hype. No Neil yet. But we did see Fred Penner digging Bowie. And Randy Bachman. Singing Wild Thing. Sounding like a Viagra commercial.

Less impotent updates to come.

In the meantime, a quick answer to your most pressing query:

Naima.

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