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7.31.2006

Release details for 'Gang of Losers'

Just to correct an earlier post and to let fans in on where/when/how they can get a hold of the new dears record, via the band's email list.

Message from Bella Union to you guys in the UK:

"Murray - in your mailout could you pls include the following links to let people know that they
can pre-order your new album and single now

HMV have set a special price of £8.99 for both the standard and limited edition version - offer
ends Sunday 13th August 2006

http://www.hmv.co.uk/hmvweb/simpleSearch.do?pGroupID=-1&simpleSearchString=the+dears+gang&primaryID=-1

"Ticket to Immortality" is also available to pre-order now on both cd single and 7" vinyl - both
formats for £2.99

http://www.recordstore.co.uk/home.jsp?wherefrom=productdetail.jsp?productPK=unittest-s8Npyd6zX1xZh1MTpN3IEb-13

Would appreciate it a lot.

Cheers
Darren"

There.

Out of the blue, it seems that we are now linked to Art & Crafts; they are putting out Gang of
Losers in the U! S! A! Thank Heaven.

I know it's hard to keep track of who puts out what with us. We've shuffled things around so
many times. We consider them lessons learned. And The Dears don't really do worldwide major
label deals, though God knows we've had a few drinks together. So it's taken awhile, but the
relationships we now have with each of our labels around the world are utterly special --
written in the stars, even. Our labels work very hard at something that may or may not give them
any return and they work hard to get it right. The pain in the ass that they bring to us and us
to them, we think, is totally worth it. The Dears' music is delivered to you intact, handpicked,
and with much, much love.

So allow us to recap and clear up any confusion. Apart from the standard jewel case version,
there are many different packaging things going on, depending on where you are in the world:

AUGUST 23 ON BELLA UNION LABEL (JAPAN) - two bonus tracks

AUGUST 28 ON BELLA UNION LABEL (UNITED KINGDOM, CONTINENTAL EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA, ISRAEL,
TURKEY) - limited edition "special" packaging and vinyl

AUGUST 28 ON SPEAK AND SPELL LABEL (AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND) - bonus CD and a "Gang Of Losers"
patch

AUGUST 29 ON MAPLEMUSIC RECORDINGS LABEL (CANADA) - limited edition Digipak + bonus track

OCTOBER 3 ON ARTS AND CRAFTS LABEL (USA) - extra tracks and vinyl

The first single is "Ticket To Immortality." It's a song inspired by birth, legend, reality and
fate. It's coming out in the UK on Bella Union with b-sides on AUGUST 14.
ON CD: w/ Raise The Dead
ON OPAQUE WHITE VINYL: w/The Highest
We've also done a video for it, just us playing the song, in a grand way. The ending is pretty
hilarious. Look out for it. It's out there somewhere...

CONCERT DATES, AUGUST:
09 - Oslo, NORWAY John Dee
11 - Gothenburg, SWEDEN Kalaset
12 - Stockholm, SWEDEN Debaser
14 - Copenhagen, DENMARK Jorcks Passage
16 - Utrecht, NETHERLANDS De Helling
18 - Kempische steenweg, Kiewet (Hasselt) BELGIUM Pukkelpop Festival
19 - Stafford UNITED KINGDOM V Festival
20 - Chelmsford UNITED KINGDOM V Festival
21 - Edinburgh, UNITED KINGDOM Corn Exchange
22 - Dublin, IRELAND Marlay Park

COMING THIS FALL:
Dates in CANADA, USA, JAPAN, UNITED KINGDOM, AND EUROPE.
We'll keep you posted...

Love.


There you go!

7.23.2006

My first time as a DJ -- tonight!


Tonight I'm DJing for the first time at Sneaky Dee's, for the weekly music night known as "Wavelength" -- the cover charge is pay what you can. There's going to be three awesome bands playing, and I'll be spinning some awesome tracks in between. Some of the artists I'll be playing include:

Hudson Bell, Superchunk, Tokyo Police Club, Maximo Park,Clothes Make the Man, The Most Serene Republic, Strike the Set, The Soft Drugs, The Paper Cranes, Wolf Parade, The Strokes w/ Eddie Vedder, David Bazan, Radical Dudez, Guided by Voices, Fine Young Cannibals, Sweet Thing, Fjord Rowboat, TV on the Radio, Diableros, Sufjan Stevens, Flaming Lips, Gin Blossoms, Huey Lewis and the News, Justin Timberlake, Phil Collins, Shout Out Out Out Out, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Oasis, We Are Scientists, Outkast, Dinosaur Jr.

So now that I've made my first official foray into the DJ world, if you ever need somebody to play some tunes at your party/dj night/whatever, let me know!

Here's the bands that are playing tonight -- all of them are awesome!

12am - ETAOIN SHRDLU - Featuring members of ICPMABOYC, ex-Rockets Red Glare, ex-Weights and Measures/Kepler. - Seriously. – www.myspace.com/etaoinshrdlu

11pm - AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY - And you thought that mathy, post-hardcore sound had disappeared. It was just hiding on an island. - www.myspace.com/americangeography

10pm – HOTKID - Cambridge country grunge rock – www.myspace.com/ilovehotkid

7.19.2006

It's only teenage wasteland


Big news emerging this week -- Steve Johns, Irish Tim and myself, we are all going to see the motherfucking WHO in the London Fleet Centre, this September!

At first, I'll admit to balking at the prospect of seeing the remaining one-half of this legendary rock band. Another glory tour to save up for retirement, right? Right. I can understand that, and I'm not expecting to hear any new songs or obscure b-sides...

I'm going in with an understanding that this show will be about a celebration of the career that the WHO have already had, and celebrating the remaining members who can still rock this material harder than anyone else on the planet, despite their age.

My devotion to the WHO centres around two amazing rock epics -- Tommy and Who's Next. In high school, I'm not really sure why I took to "Tommy," it could have been any album really. But there is so much to those songs that I connected with immediately; the spiritual journey, the continued feeling of isolation, yearning for escape and obviously, the monstrously loud guitars. In "Almost Famous," in order to understand rock and roll, the young writer is given a copy of this album... I lived this moment, and it changed my life.

But when it comes to "Who's Next," you really can't get much better in the ways of classic rock albums. It's an essentially perfect rock album, perfectly bookended by "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." And despite all the sabotage it has faced in recent years, including Limp Bizkit's cover of "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Bargain" showing up in car commercials, this album maintains a special place in my record collection.

Compared to their contemporary rivals Led Zepplin, the WHO have always been a more working man's rock band. Coming from a small town, there's a realness to their songs, a certain conflicted reality of daydreaming and living in today's world that's really attractive.

So here's to the WHO, still rocking as hard as they ever were. Included below are a few choice video clips.

Baba O'Riley at the Concert for New York.



See me, Feel me at Woodstock.



My Generation.



I Can See For Miles (rehearsal).



Won't Get Fooled Again.

7.15.2006

I'm a loser for The Dears

The Dears are Canada's best music export for one simple reason; their songs actually mean something. Broken Social Scene hides the importance of their songs behind layers of dense noise all in the name of community. Wolf Parade, if they don't simply collapse before their second album, utilize arcane symbolism as a vessel for their intensity. New Pornographers are too sugary sweet, with maybe a tad too much ironic consumption for their own good. And the Arcade Fire, time will tell if they can live up to the hype -- lets keep in mind that their debut EP was only half-decent at best, and Funeral prone to over-dramatics.

I remember first seeing The Dears around the time of the Orchestral Pop Noir Romantique album, performing on a tiny riser at the back of Molson Park during a freezing cold Edgefest. At this point the band still large a very obvious Godspeed You Black Emperor! influence to their sound, and I can vividly remember they performed with a full horn section and a cellist. I can't remember exactly what songs they played that day, but I can hear the pounding drums, the squealing guitars and Murray Lightburn's emotional, soaring voice. I should note that this concert was before I ever entertained a love of Morrissey, or even alot of indie music in general. Growing up as a music fan in Belleville, Ontario, I was only ever really exposed to Elvis and Roy Orbinson. I should also make a note that at this same stage I saw By Divine Right -- another unsung Canadian band that needs to come back with another amazing album, pronto. I'd hate to see them miss out on this current wave of indie popularity in the same way that Tricky Woo missed out on the wave of garage rock popularity.

If you read through Murray Lightburn's studio diary, from the recording sessions for "Gang of Losers," you can tell he is obviously concerned about how fans are going to receive the new album -- that the band has abandoned their brit-pop sound, etc. Well here's the good news and the bad news; the lonely keyboards and orchestral strains have been pared back in favour of more guitar-and-drums rock music, but The Dears have been reborn again as a upbeat rock monolith. The band still maintains their dual identity of self-reflective songs paired with anthemic life-lessons, but does so by looking at the world around them and looking at the bright side of life. This a band that began their transformation with the "Protest EP," dressing in military fatigues, and after the growing pains of "No Cities Left," Murry Lightburn symbolically and literally is clothed in white, a new performer, leading a new and original band. I was planning on going into each song into more detail, but I really want you to just discover the identity of every song yourself. Here's a few leads on the song, but when the album finally comes out in August on Arts and Crafts, be sure to pick it up.

MP3: Ticket to Immortality (via Obscure Sound)

MP3: There Goes My Outfit (via Noise for Toaster)

MP3: Death or Life, We Want You (via Red Blondehead)

MP3: Whites Only Party (via Red Blondehead)

MP3: Fear Made the World Go Round (via Red Blondehead)

MP3: Hate, then Love (via Obscure Sound)

MP3: Ballad of Humankindness (via Obscure Sound)

7.10.2006

Thom Yorke performs "The Clock"

I'm not sure how this hit the internets already, but this is Thom Yorke's solo performance on Henry Rollins' IFC show, which is set to air on July 15. Apparently there must be some kindly natured music fans in the control room out at the IFC studios that have decided to share this awesome treat. It's interesting how Thom performs the track solo on an acoustic guitar... much different than the original on "The Eraser," which if you haven't heard yet, you should. Good luck trying to find it, XL's got this one pretty wrapped up. I wrote about this album earlier, but the link for the album is dead.



Someone draws their interpretation to the new track "Black Swan"

7.08.2006

George Bush sings "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

This is pretty amazing... consider this one a shout out to Irish Tim, world's biggest U2 AND George Bush fan. But as the wife says, some people have too much time on their hands...



Saw this one over at Boing Boing.

7.07.2006

Battlestar Galactica's musical space travel


Battlestar Galactica is a familiar story about an oddly different culture -- humans from another solar system, trying to fight their way back to earth and rejoin the race of their long lost brothers and sisters. It's fitting then that the soundtrack to this modern scifi classic is slightly discomforting, while also being epic in nature. It's all thanks to Bear McCreary, a very young and very intelligent composer who has created a form of world music in every sense of the word -- at times it sounds like it could have come from any continent across the globe. However, I cannot nearly do the music as much justice as this review of a intimate live performance of Battlestar's greatest soundtrack moments.

Get your copy of the season two soundtrack here

MP3: Colonial Anthem

MP3: Allegro

MP3: Pegasus

MP3: Black Market

Here's Battlestar Galactica redone as Top Gun with "Highway to the Danger Zone"



This is an interesting montage set to the recent cover of "Mad World"



A clever mashup of "Battlestar Galactica" and The Office (U.S.)



The Battlestar Galactica theme replaced by the Ventures

7.04.2006

July the 4th - America day

Yeah, I didn't blog on Canada Day, but I'm blogging today about July 4th, and that doesn't make me a bad Canadian.... I actually enjoyed my day off! Go figure. Anyways here's a couple of YouTube clips to observe this day. Also, be sure to listen to Springsteen's words of caution. They ring truer today than they ever have.



And for a contrary opinion...



And for something completely silly...