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The erie similarities between Prince and the Flaming Lips

Don't ask me why, but for some reason I've been speculating on the endless similarities between infamous pop/funk musician Prince and the weirdo popsters known as The Flaming Lips.

I started on the road to this comparison while listening to The Flaming Lips' new album, At War with the Mystics, and most specifically, the track "Free Radicals." If you haven't heard the track, it's basically an atypical Flaming Lips track, that instead of being a dense, orchestral track, is instead a sparse, almost funky number that instantly invites robot dancing. Add to that Wayne Coyne's singing in a high-pitched, almost sexy voice, which just screams Prince. This is probably one of my most favorite tracks by the Flaming Lips ever.

Now, the purple one has just released his latest album "3121," again on a major label. The great thing about Prince records is that they aren't just "recordings" of his crazy jams... like many modern-day pop artists, he uses the studio as another instrument, and isn't afraid to put some far out stuff into his songs. There's a pile of voice modulation, wild keyboards, and lots of drum loops and samples.

At the end of the first track, "3121," Prince says "It's going down y'all, like the wall of Berlin," which then trials off into a long series of fading echos... not unlike the repeating voice in the Flaming Lip's classic "Fight Test," the part where it goes "The test begins now."

Now that's pushing it, but really, if you look at Prince as a "recording artist," it's essentially impossible to recreate everything he does in the studio organically, unless he could clone himself endlessly. He plays all the instruments himself (save for drums mostly) and every track practically features a chorus of Prince singers, slipping in and out, adding a little shout here and there randomly.

Of course, the hallmark of the Flaming Lips, is that somewhere in the mid 90s they went from weirdo punk rockers who hit pop gold to studio wizards creating fantastic pop music that would never be completely recreated live without an army of DAT tapes.

While "Free Radicals" may be the first time the Lips actually came close to sounding like Prince, they still share a large amount of similarities. Consider the following.

  1. Both are from midwestern states/cities.
  2. The Flaming Lips did a documentary called "Fearless Freaks." Prince likes to get freaky.
  3. On stage they all dress up in wild costumes. Prince enjoys doo-rags and high heels, Wayne Coyne prefers white suits and fake blood.
  4. Prince has a movie about his life called "Purple Rain." The Flaming Lips are putting out a Christmas movie.
  5. Flaming Lips are currently on Warner records. Prince started his recording career with Warner.
  6. At one point the Flaming Lips were psychadelic punks. In the 80s, Prince considered himself a " Funk Punk."
  7. Prince's double album 1999 was about nuclear war. The Soft Bulletin by the Flaming Lips explores similar themes.
  8. Prince recorded the Batman soundtrack. The Flaming Lips appeared on the soundtrack for Batman Forever.
  9. Prince was nominated for a Best Pop Instrumental Album Grammy in 2003. The Flaming Lips won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 2003.
  10. Wayne Coyne reported has strange statues all around the exterior of his house in Oklahoma. Prince lives in "Paisley Park" which probably has lots of weird statues.
If you can think of any more... please add them to the comments section.


My mind's gone loose inside this shell

I fell behind on the popularity curve of the National before it was too late. Had I checked out this amazing four-piece last time they were in Toronto, no doubt I would have had room to myself, instead of having to share it with frat boys, old men with smelly leather jackets and one girl screaming as in the throws of death.

But I digress, that's the nature of checking out an accessible sounding buzz band these days.

What I really want to focus on in just how amazing the National are in concert. If you haven't yet acquainted yourself with the band's latest album, Alligator, then run, don't walk, to check it out (if you're interested, read my review from last November).

The one thing that's different between the National on record and live, is that everything is a whole lot louder in concert, with guitars overpowering the mix and turning the inward-looking sketches into these full blown anthems.

Now this might sound strange, but Matt Berninger was more "tortured artist" than I expected... for some reason I also pictured him as this rock-steady Bruce Springsteen type character. But that didn't detract from his performance at all, as he sang clearly and with conviction, despite looking like he was about to fall over on stage after slowly downing his bottle of white wine.

When the band broke out into old songs, most of the Alligator-loving audience kind of stood still and caught up on their chats or made beer runs, but really, the strength of the songs from Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers were impressive and served as a reminder that the National are not a flash in the pan group, but a gang that has payed their dues in full.

Highlights of the night were the much-requested "Mr. November," before which the band said they were planning on doing a whole album dedicated to people of the month, "Secret Meeting," "Lit Up," "Abel" and an especially brooding version of "Daughters of the Soho Riots."

It was a performance to remember for sure, and it's already driven me to put my vinyl copy of Alligator on the turntable and slip my headphones on. It's amazing really, how this album can be such a beautiful middle-of-the-night record, a rock in the afternoon record, and a good old fashioned rock and roll spectacle on stage.


The Old Soul's weird pop orchestra

On The Old Soul's self-titled major label debut, their spastic, hyper-creative sound will immediately bring to mind to orchestral pop bliss of the Flaming Lips (who, it should be noted is on major label Warner).

By far the most accessible song on this hyper collection of random tracks is "River of Daughters," for example, if you listen very carefully, in addition to the crunchy guitars and fat keyboard sounds, it sounds distinctly like there is a harpsichord solo stuck in there.

Most of the writing and arranging is all from the brain Luca Maoloni, who also played almost everything on the album, with a few helping hands on a couple of different tracks.

All in all, it's a solid collection of stoner-style rock that would not be out of place amongst some of the Beatles' pop experiments, that consistently delivers unexpected twists and turns in every track. If you let yourself get distracted while listening, you risk a good chance of losing your place amongst the dense layers and changes going on by the second.

"Fuck It" will probably be the first rag-time song on your iPod, complete with a reedy clarinet solo. Guess what the only words in the song are.

While I've already mentioned the band's perchance to sound like the Lips, there's also a strong Grandaddy vibe, and obviously, a lot of the sound is similiar to the Polyphonic Spree. So I'd say if you enjoy any of these bands, check out the Old Soul, who will still provide listeners with a pretty adventuresome listening experience.

The Old Soul is coming back to Toronto to play an official CD release party on March 25 @ the Horseshoe.

The Old Soul's Universal Music web site

The band's New Music Canada page

Wavelength interviews the Old Soul

The Old Soul is on the cover of Eye Mag

Cokemachineglow reviews The Old Soul

The band's myspace account

The Sun has a track by track review


How was your life? How was your weekend?

New York City rockers Shelby may have put out their album “The Luxury of Time” last year, but that doesn’t mean that you should let their jagged and beautiful rock n’ roll pass you by.

Shelby’s sturdy hold on melody and firm grasp on the beat leads to a listening experience which is both uplifting and intense. The band’s sound can best be described as what would happen if shoegaze rock stripped away the excess waves of sounds in exchange for a gritty, depressed version Bono to guide the band’s every move towards anthem-God greatness.

The strength of “The Luxury of Time” will become apparent to willing listeners after spending a short romp through the band’s single “The Golden Boy,” which is a perfect rock song – it has a big chorus, perfect guitar explosions and a thundering bassline. Another track to listen closely for is “The Wait,” which finds the band reaching a breakneck speed, which takes a journey that goes beneath quiet oceans and soars into a clear blue sky… it’s hypnotizing and completely engaging.

Kenny Cummings and Phil Schuster are the primary architects behind Shelby. Cummings is known for fleshing out early demos by Blonde Redhead and played/programmed synthesizers for Elvis Costello and Midnight Oil, among others. Schuster has played with members of Swervedriver, and has recorded with Mercury Rev. Between these two guys, there’s a lot of solid indie-rock history.

Shelby is coming to Toronto on April Fool’s Day at the Drake Underground, playing with Born Ruffians and The Lake Holiday. The show is being put on by Easy Tiger, who has a solid rep of putting on really, really great shows with really great bands, including the amazing Raised by Swans show at the Drake last weekend, so be sure to grab some tickets at the usual places and check out the show.

MP3: Golden Boy from "The Luxury of Time"

MP3: The Wait from "The Luxury of Time"

MP3: Loudon Wainwright from the first EP

VIDEO: Golden Boy from "The Luxury of Time"

Check out the band's MySpace

The band's page at Gigantic


'I' is for indie-rock

Half-way through 'V for Vendetta,' the Phantom of the Opera, in this film known as 'V,' asks Natalie Portman to dance, with the music playing on his precious Wurlizter. The idea in the film is that in the near future, all music will be gone, so his speacial juke-box would be one of the last music machines left in Britian. So of course, for a special moment with foxy lead actress Natalie Portman, you know what song comes on? "I found a reason" by Cat Power.

Now, I like Chan Marshall as much as the next guy, but this is the song he picks? Obviously, the lyrics make for a powerful choice, check it:

Oh I do believe
In all the things you say
What comes is better than what came before

And you'd better come come, come come to me
Better come come, come come to me
Better run, run run, run run to me
Better come
But in a sort-of-futuristic film, it really just took me out of the whole experience. But I suppose the unwashed masses unfamiliar with Cat Power and her Lou Reed cover will just find the song cute.

Now, the main reason for my concern about the quality of music in 'V for Vendetta,' is that in the original comic, lead terrorist 'V' is constantly quoting lyrics, poems and plays like nobody's business, so the creators of the film no doubt placed a high importance on song choice.

Another song featured in the film, for all of 15 seconds is Richard Hawley's "Long Black Train," and I imagine this Tom Waits sound-a-like will get a boom of traffic after this weekend. The song is from his album "Late Night Final" and was released in 2001. I guess I'm not up on my brit music, but I have never heard of this guy before. His song occurs before a big riot or something.. I don't remember because it just comes and goes too fast.

But I couldn't let this "Why is the terrorist obsessed with indie-rock" thing go after the other big V and Evey moment features the song "Bird Gerhl" by Antony and the Johnsons. Okay, so along with Cat Power, its more like an not-quite-emo easy listening kind of thing instead of 'indie-rock,' but its still that hipster approved level of indie, you know? It's like, of all music to have crammed in your jukebox from 80 years of recorded music.... I don't know.

Thankfully, the Stones kick in the credits for another tight teeshirt and black rim glasses approved "Street Fighting Man" by the Rolling Stones, whose song is more than appropriate for the climax of the film:

Ev’rywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
’cause summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy
But what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock ’n’ roll band
’cause in sleepy london town
There’s just no place for a street fighting man

Hey! think the time is right for a palace revolution
But where I live the game to play is compromise solution
Well, then what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock ’n’ roll band
’cause in sleepy london town
There’s no place for a street fighting man

Hey! said my name is called disturbance
I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king, I’ll rail at all his servants
Well, what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock ’n’ roll band
’cause in sleepy london town
There’s no place for a street fighting man
But the one place I really have to say my jaw dropped by the song choice is when halfway through the final credit sequence there's about two minutes worth of "Out of Sight" by Spiritualized. It just fit so well, and in a perfect world, films would be scored with the band's epic echo-laden shoegaze rock.

But besides the movie's soundtrack, I would still have to say that 'V for Vendetta' is absolutely amazing, and is another hit from the creators of 'The Matrix.' And if you can, check it out on IMAX. I did, and it made all the explosions that much more amazing.

England prevails!


Check this out. More people are kind of weirded out by the Cat Power song, but no one has mentioned Richard Hawley, or Spiritualized. And more people are using the term "V for Vagina" than you think.


I'm a natural disaster

With the Juno Awards coming up, I've been working on a few features for CTV.ca's coverage. While I've had the chance to talk to people who have been nominated for, lets say, a few awards, the one artist I really wanted to talk to and find out his story was Joel Plaskett. I've always been somewhat of a fan... not really die-hard, but I've enjoyed what he's done.

He's up for a "Songwriter of the Year" award, so I asked him about that, about going solo for La De Da, about touring the states and Australia, and what inspired alot of the songs behind the album. I'm really proud of the story that turned out, so feel free to check it out here.

I have a feeling that Plaskett is just going to keep on steamrolling in popularity, little by little until he becomes the Tragically Hip. I mean, he's got the songs that are as Canadian as anybody else and still has lots of loud guitars, which seem to be popular in this country.

You can listen to some of Plaskett's songs at his website.

Or you can check out a slew of songs at his New Music Canada website.

Neiles just posted up a review of Plaskett's new DVD/CD thing. And we used the same pic.

And finally, check out the Wiki entry on Plaskett.


I'll love you till my veins explode

The Paper Cranes are spreading their wings and bursting into flight on their first recording, the Veins EP, which is packed with five tracks of absolute pop bliss.

Mastermind Ryan McCullagh wrote all the peaceful pure-pop while also handling guitar and vocal duty, assisted by Miranda Roach on keys, James Watson on drums, Mark Vondrasek on lead guitar and John Quissy on bass.

There's a pretty broad brit-pop influence to the Paper Cranes, but don't get it twisted... they are far more original than any band you'll find between the pages of NME. At first I was drawn in by the band's upbeat swagger, but the lyrics are what really hooked me. They're so straightforward and poetic, like no word is wasted. And background oohs and aahs... by the time the first whispers hit my ears, I was won over by their unique and creative style.

If you're curious about the band then by all means, give them a chance. Here's my take on the five tracks from the Veins EP which should help entice you to give these Victoria, B.C. kids a chance.

Rabbit in a Snare begins which playful toms beating out accompanied by simple piano keys tapping out the careful chord changes. McCullagh comes across as the Cure's Robert Smith ala "Friday I'm in Love." It's easy to get caught up in this ode to the joy of the student life, living downtown and morning bike rides to school.

I'll Love You Until my Veins Explode is a pure callback to classic Beatle tracks. Wistful, whimsical and heartfelt, with quiet background oh-wah-oohs and ah-ahs that will make any tender heart swoon. The strongest track by far, which shows the band revealing what they are truly capable of. They take their careful time with each precious second of the song, making each one count. Expect this song to get stuck in your head for days.

Out on the horse tracks, sees the band hustle out onto the dancefloor which reminds me of an angular, heavier Hot Hot Heat, with more melody. Or a far more accessible Talking Heads, by way of the youth-group-house-party perfected by the Arcade Fire.

Milkrun leads off with a church organ, with crisp guitar strikes. The singer pulls out a Morrissey-like falsetto that will have any Moz fan in love. The heavenly chorus proves that the band can make a strong and memorable chorus that's both emotionally powerful and melodically classic.

Deus Ex Machine Gun (remix). I'm not sure if this track is a throwaway b-side, but it could indicate a whole different direction of discontected, cold, electro-styled pop that channels the soul of Ian Curtis returned from the grave and fronting his former Joy Division bandmates in New Order.

Discs are available in Toronto at Soundscapes and in Vancouver at Zulu Records, or available online at Insound. Thanks to Greg at Are You Familiar with the hook up on this disc! The Paper Cranes are absolutely amazing and it's become one of my fav discs this year.

The band is headed back to Montreal for the Pop Festival, and should be doing some tour dates in the area around June-ish I guess, so keep an eye out for this band.

MP3: Deus Ex Machine Gun (Run Roc Remix)

Go to the band's official page

Listen to a couple tracks on the band's myspace page

Check out the band's New Music Canada page

Greg Ipp explains why he loves the Paper Cranes

NOW gave the Veins EP NNNN

Dreams of Horses wrote up the Veins EP and back when they just had demos.

Zulu records writes up the Paper Cranes


CMW roundup and other reviews

My CMW roundup of who I thought were the best bands that I had a chance to catch can be caught over at CTV.ca, which included locals Republic of Safety and one of my favorite bands ever, the Radical Dudez. If you're interested in checking out actual pictures of bands, head over to my Flickr page and check it out. One of the acts have already asked to used a picture on their own personal website, but I won't say who.

And while I'm patting myself on the back here, the Wavelength reviews for March are up (finally!) and you can check them out here. I had a chance to review Catherine Duc and Raising the Fawn. Keep an eye on Wavelength, because it looks like the print version of the zine will be coming up again soon. Which means people will actually start writing more reviews again.


The best YouTube video ever

Now you might disagree with me on this one if you don't like the Flaming Lips, Chan Marshall of Black Sabbath. But if you do, oh baby.

If you pay enough attention during "Fearless Freaks," the documentary of the rise, the fall, and the rise of the Flaming Lips, you would've caught the snippet of the band rehearsing this song backstage with Chan at the Austin City Limits taping. Well here it is. While I don't care for Chan very much, the video is still amazing. I'm also putting out a plea that if anyone has the concert available for download in mp3 or video form, let me know!

Also, you can expect this to be the first of many Flaming Lips posts, considering the flurry of Flaming Lips activity coming up in the next few weeks. I'll intersperse the Flaming Lips details amidst more amazing videos from YouTube.

(White Stripes performing "I can tell that we are gonna be friends" with Wayne)

Now can you believe that Yoshimi came out in 2003? Yah, I can't believe it too. I've been loving that album for too long. So if you don't know, you should know by now that the new Flaming Lips album, At War with the Mystics, which will be coming out on April 3/4, so mark your calendars. I'll reserve my review for later in the month.

(The official video for "Mr. Ambulance Driver" from the new album)

Also coming out in the next couple weeks is a special "Flaming Lips" book about the band, written by longtime band-friend Jim DeRogatis, and it's called Staring at Sound. There's a sample of the writing on the link I just posted, and it looks like it should be a good read. If you're getting all hyped up on the Lips, it's a good place to start.

("Race for the Prize" from the Austin City Limits show)

Also, I wanted to note that I DO have tickets for the show at the Phoenix in Toronto, which should be amazing! Seriously, this is a world class band that's playing a gig for less that 1000 people! I can't wait to see what happens. And if anyone in Toronto is interested in setting up a "Zaireeka" listening party on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, let's do it up! Let's build some Lips anticipation!

In conclusion, check out my favorite track from the new album, "Free Radicals."

Buy pictures of Wayne when he worked at Long John Silvers!

Check out the Flaming Lips myspace account

And for sure the band's official website


Mogwai returns with 'Mr. Beast'

If you've heard any Mogwai album before, then you know the drill. The Glasglow instrumental (somewhat) rock band ebbs and flows through jagged rhythms and nuclear warefare style bombast. The way the band used to switch between whisper-quiet and nightmarishly loud was one of their hallmarks until they started exploring more melodic pastoral soundscapes.

Their last album Happy Songs for Happy People, was one of those meandering experiments, save for a few blissful moments of explosive noise. While I appreciated what the band was doing at the time, I hungered for "Like Herod" moments, which I think the band does well.

Mr. Beast is a culmination of all the best parts of Mogwai, and I personally think it's the best album they've ever done.

The album begins with "Auto Rock" and features a melody that will live inside your head for days. While the song builds and builds, it never bursts wide open, leaving that for the next song, "Glasgow Mega-Snake" which only takes about 20 seconds before the band starts showing their muscle. The end of this song is absolutely breath-taking and will remind every doubter why they ever loved Mogwai in the first place.

"Acid Food" brings to mind the semi-robot settings of "Rock Action" with its ghostly voices and tinny drum machine beat. The lap-steel here is a nice touch.

"Travel is Dangerous" finds the band working a more straight-forward approach which sounds like a post-hardcore style track as reworked by a strung-out Coldplay.

The band gives the listener another break on "Team Handed," a piano heavy meditation with lots of background computer blips that gives the song just a right amount of edge.

On "Friend of the Night," another piano-heavy track, finds the melody turning into a glowing beautiful chorus, perhaps the most upbeat song on the album, while still featuring a climactic ending.

"Emergency Trap" sounds almost ambient for the first few minutes until the piano and drums kick in to emphasize the music's necessary heft.

"Folk Death 95" starts off quietly with a brooding melody, but eventually finds the band building the song into a tall mountain, which eventually turns into a volcano, exploding fire and brimstone.

The album begins to wind down on "I Chose Horses," which features a Japanese spoken word by Tetsuya Fukagawa. The piano arrangement is absolutely stunning, which is tender and heartfelt, and completely breaks for the cool tones that Mogwai usually works with.

Of course, if you fell asleep listening to "I Chose Horses," then you will be in for a rude awakening on "We're No Here." Mogwai pulls out the "suddenly loud" trick to great effect, and as the band rolls on, fighting to keep the music as loud and punishing as possible, it all ends with feedback and silence.

MP3: Glasgow Mega-Snake from Mr. Beast

MP3: Folk Death 95 from Mr. Beast

Mogwai performing "Mogwai fear Satan" via YouTube.


Pancake Tuesday presents "Ma"

So the people who unleashed the "Queen Street Man" upon our internet-viewing screens have returned with another video that takes male mockery to a whole new level.

I'd like to say I recognize all the clubs listed off in this one... but I don't. Anything south of Queen, I'm sure to avoid. But if anyone needed a good lampoon, it was these dudes.

Credits for this one include Paul Cotton, Nick Flanagan, Lisa Fuller, Nick McCabe and Sandor. Be sure to check out their blog, Pancake Tuesday, which I hope will feature more video clips on a regular basis.

Anyways, be warned that this video is a little more shocking and "offensive" and definately NSFW!

And I figure that because this is a music and Toronto community blog, it's only fair that I put up some mp3s of Jake Fairley, who provided the beats for the soundtrack.

Mp3: Nightstick from Touch Not the Cat

Mp3: Mosquito from Touch Not the Cat

Mp3: Dinklesburg from Touch Not the Cat

Mp3: Barry Ville from Touch Not the Cat


Canadian Music Week: Day One

Thanks to a media pass courtesy of CTV.ca, I've been able to check out a few shows at Canadian Music Week this year. I'm working on a feature for the site, so I won't be writing too much about it now, but will include expanded thoughts on the whole shebang after the piece runs. Sounds fair?

So Thursday night I started my CMW experience by checking out Chris Koster at the Rivoli. He was amazing.

I then trekked over to the Silver Dollar to check out Fjord Rowboat, who were also incredible. It's a shame more people weren't there.

Next, I hiked back down to my neighborhood to the Reverb and checked out local favs Republic of Safety, which I've never had the chance to see before. They were amazing and had a special guest, Gentleman Reg.

Then as a hail-mary attempt at one last show for the night I waited in the cold and was finally available to check out Australian rockers (yeah I know, seeing an Australian band during Canadian Music Week, but I've heard the hype, and like the name) Giants of Science. They rocked hard like AC/DC but had a deeper sound reminicint of some of the best grunge music of the 90s.

So if you have any suggestions for Friday or Saturday night, I'd love to hear them. So far my plans are just to go and see Luke Doucet and The Parkas tonight, and the Radical Dudez and Bella on Saturday. And maybe even the always amazing NEXT shows.

Retinal Strain has bought a wristband and is blogging the shows

Of course, one band I wish I could have seen, Shout Out Out Out Out, have been blowing people away. Like this person.


Too many people to know by name

Toronto's October Guard has been kicking around the city for over a year now, and can boast about having an incredible live show. Now with the release of their first self-titled album, they can successfully say they translated the power of their live show to disc. It's a collection of glittering guitars, gurgling bass lines, drum bashings and slinky songs that would surprise the unititiated at first listen.

I have to admit that I picked up this CD from Soundscapes without hearing a note from the band. However, I arrived late to one of their shows (far after they played) and picked up a one inch button, just because I really liked the name. A week later at a friend's Starbucks at Spadina and just south of Queen, one of the staff told me how awesome October Guard was and how I should really check them out. I haven't made it to a show yet, but after hearing the CD I wouldn't miss it.

Obviously the touchtones here are going to be Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand and Interpol. But I would wager to guess if you're a fan of The National like I am, then you'll appreciate the grittier side of the rock that October Guard emphasizes so well.

One of the album's best tracks is "Star Song," a duet with Lexi Valentine, best known for her band The Magneta Lane, another hotshot Toronto band. But don't let the ballads fool you, the Guard definately know how to rock, as tracks like "Nightmare Patrol," "Takes it all," and my personal favorite song, "Too Late for Tuesday."

For a band that takes it's name from a legion of G.I. Joe characters, October Guard surely rocks with the strength of an Army. Download the mp3s, pick up the CD, and check this band out... you won't be disapointed!

MP3: "Too Late for Tuesday" from October Guard

MP3: "Nightmare Patrol" from October Guard

MP3: "Star Song (feat. Lexi Valentine)" from October Guard

MP3: "Sooner or Later" from October Guard

VIDEO: Performance of "Star Song" from the CD release party

Check out their "official website" and their "myspace"

My Old Kentucky Blog wrote about October Guard

Generik Music reviews the band's CD release show

Eye Magazine reviews the CD


We tried to keep the crowds away

Before branching out into a new album, Owen Pallett takes one last look back at "Has a Good Home" and leaves behind four brand new recordings; two redone tracks, one new song and one cover. The "Young Canadian Mothers" seven inch is only limited to 500 copies and can be ordered from The Blue House for a measely 7 bucks, courtesy of Escape Goat records.

The first track "This is the Dream of Emma & Cam" is the strongest of the bunch, with it's orchestral landscape placed nicely amongst a simple, yet propulsive beat. The next is "The Sea," which if you own the Tomlab version of "Has a Good Home" would be new to you.

"Spell for a Weak Heart" is another classic Final Fantasy track, and "Peach, Plum, Pear" is a pretty straightforward take on one of Joanna Newsom's more popular songs.

I would have put up a mp3 of the first track, but it seems my copy has the same skipping problem that a few other people have been having.

The good news is, you can easily download "Peach, Plum, Pear" at his myspace page, where there's also some new tour dates in Ontario this April and a couple tracks from "He Poos Clouds."

Also here's Aperture-Enzyme's video of Owen performing "This Modern Love."