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9.19.2006

New Mars Volta MP3 - Viscera Eyes

Mars Volta always held such potential, and I don't think they've ever attained it. Obviously they proved that they were the most important members of At the Drive-In, but that hasn't translated into the Led Zeppelin-like levels of popularity they surely deserve. It actually seems like Mars Volta are turning into a jam-band of sorts, which is just plain wrong.

If people can get behind Tool, and their last album made by hippies, "10000 Days," then surely rock radio can embrace Mars Volta's own monster epics.

Sure, while the band released their most radio friendly song "The Widow," for their last album, they also put the song smack in the middle of a 20 minute long drone, followed by a half hour song. Frances the Mute made several improvements over Deloused in the Comatorium, but it seriously derailed this band.

Thank goodness that they found their way back on track with Amputechture, and yes they continue to use their trademark "made up/obscure/foreign/classical" language, it now sounds like the Mars Volta are actually singing about something, and not strung-together out of a thesaurus nonsense.

And yes, it rocks. I'll admit that this band is the reason I'm going to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers two nights in a row here in Toronto, just because Mars Volta is opening up and John Frusciante will probably play guitar with them!

Anyways, odds are you are looking for an MP3, so here it is. Enjoy!

MP3: Viscera Eyes

Mars Volta talk about the inspiration for the new album

Rolling Stone reviews the album

9.10.2006

Live TV on the Radio Mp3 - Wolf Like Me


I've been listening to the new TV on the Radio album, Return to Cookie Mountain for the last couple weeks, listening to the album end to end at least once a day... I can't even write a review yet, I'm so intimidated by the material.

The one thing I've been wondering is how they are going to pull off the amazing studio trickery, but after hearing this live MP3 (found via FoeWeel!!!???) of "Wolf Like Me," I all of a sudden have discovered that these songs really are just straight up rock songs... they rock, at times like the Stooges, or hell, even Led Zeppelin! I never even realized it, and it was there all along. Do yourself a favour and fall in love with this band, now.

MP3: Wolf Like Me (Live)

9.08.2006

First Person Shooter won't lay down their guns


First Person Shooter are one of the first Toronto bands I've found for a while that sounds truly genuine in what they do... with no concern about how "cool" they sound or what trend is worth chasing... I can imagine that these people are all normal, and have real friends not inside a "music scene." And these days, I find that a really important, grounding quality. In a way, bands like that are more "indie" than these polished "not-polished" acts who are getting by on their friends and mutual "cred contests."

But with that said, First Person Shooter all out rocks... this is a band that will be more comfortable on the Edge than slumming it at Sneaky Dees. If they keep up with it, polish up their sound and beef up their guitars, then I think they'll really have something. Also, it's really refreshing to have some girls join the all-boy club that rock and roll gets like in this city.

MP3: Green Grass of Toronto

MP3: The Age of Hope and Avarice

New Beck mp3 - Elevator Music and Nausea

To tell you the truth, I don't think I'd call this one hip-hop, as Beck Hansen has been calling it lately. Sure, it's got a pretty slick groove, but this is almost way too complex and experimental to just be called "hip hop." It's more along the lines of super freaky nu-Prince kind of stuff. Also, dig the phone tone rocking out a mini solo! And for anyone speculation about if this song about the music played in elevators -- think of it instead as a Beckified response to U2's "Elevation."

But this so-so track begs the question -- is Beck over? Sure Guero was kind of cool and all, but nothing that makes you want to run out and scream to the world Beck's mindboggling greatness. As for the new album, "The Information," which is due out in October, I'm going to reserve judgement.

MP3: Elevator Music

MP3: Nausea

Shots Ring Out has the video for download

I'm Just Saying has more album details

Culture Bully is all over the single

BONUS: "A Soundtrack" blast from the past: Guero vs. Guerolito

9.07.2006

Kevin Federline performs "Lose Control" LIVE

Am I going overboard with the whole Kevin Federline thing? Well, back on December 31 of 2005 I declared 2006 the year of K.Fed, so I feel like I have to live up to it. Anyways, here's the man performing LIVE on Ellen. Surprisingly AMAZING. I like the heavy guitars, but for somebody who made his living as a back-up dancer, he seems uncomfortable on stage. Where's the swagger K.Fed.

GIVE ME THE SWAGGER!

Possible new Postal Service MP3 - The Importance of Being


Good Weather for Airstrikes
has a pretty good rundown of this brewing controversy. He claims that this new MP3 (or at least his "source" asserts) that this is indeed a Postal Service demo, and features Jimmy Tamberello singing. Apparently the new album, possibly scheduled to be released in early 2007, is going to be divided in thirds, with Jimmy, Ben and Jenny all singing a third.

My take? The song is definately a fake. If so, the Postal Service are "selling out" in a big way (if it's really possible for them to sell out at all at this point). The song is just too straight forward, and at times almost like a Postal Service parody. Just too sugary, not enough heartbreak and salt. Also, no real guitars or live drums that would indicate someone like Ben Gibbard would have left his marks on the track either... sham!

But on the other hand, you never know. So download it anyways... what do you have to lose?

MP3: The Importance of Being

I've uploaded the MP3 so to spread the bandwidth cost around... I'm not taking any credit here for "finding" the track at all. And here's a couple sanctioned tracks to enjoy...

MP3: Such Great Heights

MP3: The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

Mercurial Sound doesn't know what to make of it

Complacent P endorses the track

Just Pretend is pretty psyched

Mad Mad Media doesn't question it either

9.06.2006

Fire Hydrant pour out their melodies

Toronto's own Fire Hydrant are growing into their own skin as one of the city's latest grunge powerhouses. Still uncommited to a particular sound, Fire Hydrant explores textures familiar to bands like Radiohead and Pink Floyd. Strumming guitars sound like waves slowly crashing upon a sandy beach as the boyant attitude of the band keeps the music from getting too waterlogged. Vocals surface and echo off shimmering rock faces, the band's moody midnight sky atmosphere undisturbed. But it's not all serious... check out "Robots for Dinner" to ensure that the band still has a sense of humour.

Yeah, I mentioned the new grunge thing before... so here's my take, you'll find that Fire Hydrant fall more on the side of punkless-Nirvana than Pearl Jam riffage, but their similarity to the moodiness of Soundgarden's later tracks emphasize Fire Hydrant's musical relevance to this mid-90s sound.

With time I hope that the band can grow into more mature songwriting, showcasing songs that can better reflect their obvious enthusiasm and creativity. If the drums were stepped up a level or two, this group could inherit a totally bombastic sound.


MP3 - Robots for Dinner

MP3 - Cassie

MP3 - Fractured Minds

MP3 - Riding Bears

Fire Hydrant's official page

Fire Hydrant on Myspace

It's not the band I hate reviews the album

Torontoindie reviews the band's live show

9.05.2006

Sufjan Stevens releasing Christmas box set - MP3 available!


Any self-respecting mix-tape maker would have already heard a few tracks from Sufjan's large body of Christmas songs while assembling their own "holiday" mix, so the emergence of this album should come as no surprise. I don't blame Asthmatic Kitty for cashing in, considering that a) These tracks are downloaded like crazy every year and b) Sufjan Stevens is still insanely popular, backlash be damned. You can read about all the details of the five-disc set, which includes stickers, essays, lyrics sheets and chord charts, and oh yeah, the music, right here. But, if you're the Grinch who wants to steal Christmas from Sufjan, you can download 3 of the EPs here at Irresponsible Journalism.

Personally, I'm pretty excited about the release of this set. Besides the annual Pedro the Lion 7 inch releases, no one is really doing interesting, heartfelt holiday songs. So as they say, the more the merrier.

MP3: That was the worst Christmas ever!

MP3: Sister Winter

Stereogum says "Get behind me, Santa"

Sufjanfans claim its going to cost around 20 bucks

Blogsarefordogs thinks he's over exposed

Gorilla vs. Bear pretty much has the same info as myself

9.04.2006

To Live and Shave in LA at Sneaky Dees



Even though noise legends To Live and Shave in LA were the headliners Saturday night at Sneaky Dees, they felt like strangers intruding into a celebration of the best in Toronto's experimental noise scene.

The first band of the night started with local Bad Bands Revolution stalwarts Dollarama, who if you haven't heard, perform exclusively with instruments purchased for a dollar or less. At first, it felt a little silly, with one of the band members seemingly really smug in their self-aware cleverness, but after a few songs set in and Eric Warner's natural charisma took over, making the performance more joyous, like kids banging on pots and pans.

Following Dollarama was Polmo Polpo, a solo project by Sandro Perri, who is all over the Toronto music scene, between collaborating with Great Lake Swimmers and Glissandro 70. Perri's 45 long set, which was one long continuous drone was a standout performance of the night... there was no "banter" or jokes, just the start of the sound with lots of manipulation and bone shaking bass. I didn't pick up a CD that night, but I plan on searching for it at local record stores, and would definitely check out another Polmo Polpo show in the future. A definite do not miss artist.

Next up was the somewhat homecoming of Gastric Female Reflex, returning from a European tour and making a triumphant return home. Last time I was able to catch GFR was last winter at the Horseshoe opening for Wolf Eyes, which really sparked my enthusiasm for their brand of distorted crackle and burn. The band apparently now only features two members, Andrew and Jacob, and now have a stripped now approach, leaving behind the clutter and relying on samplers and tape machines. But judging from the band's performance, they possess more bombast and out-of-control firepower than ever before... it seems their time overseas has purified the band's sound and turned it into a dark and twisted treasure. The way these guys rock out, it's only a matter of time before they break out in a big way.

By the time To Live and Shave and LA went on stage around one am, most of the crowd had been enduring noise for over 4 hours, thanks to the amazing DJ work of Andrew from GFR. You could say that some enthusiasm had waned, and mine certainly waned. It was cool to see Andrew W-K dress like my uncle, incognito with ball cap, sunglasses and shorn (yes!), shaved face. Unfortunately, while the audience seemed to crave more noise, TLASILA only really presented a passionate form of industrial alternative music, that was way more melodic than anyone expected. While it was awesome to watch Andrew WK rock out the keyboard, hypnotically thrusting back in forth, his instrument and the lead vocals from a very impassioned front man were just way too high in the mix for my taste. It was just too.... musical. Mind you, I picked up Wigmakers anyway, their ten years in the making epic, and that album is simply amazing.... unlike what I heard on Saturday night.

I suppose if I was a bigger fan, or a TLASILA nostalgia craver, then I'm sure I would have been into it more as well. But the opening bands came through and made the night really special.

Check out pictures from the show at my Flickr account

Follow the action at the Stillepost thread

Carcass Grinder was there just for Andrew WK

9.03.2006

Classic clip: Dead Presidents play "Hip Hop"

Yeah, this is a pretty amazing song that I figured should be brought to your attention. If you recognize the riff, you'd know that Dave Chapelle used the song for his "intro" music that he came out to on his show, and if you saw his "block party," you'd have seen their cameo. I heard these guys were 5-percenters but I don't know how true that rumour is. Anyways, I've been meaning to check this one out for a while, and I was inspired to dig this one up after a quiet night checking out the "Black Howard Dean" sketch. I know that doesn't really make sense, but it makes sense in my world. Also, if you have any idea how they made they great bass riff, drop me aline. By the way, XXL has a great YouTube based feature about banned rap videos. Check it out here.

Dead Presidents - Hip Hop



Black Howard Dean.



BYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

9.02.2006

Kevin Federline's video for "Lose Control"

Yes. Today is a good day. (Hat tip to Pink is the new Blog) Mind you, why is the crappy fake-horn sound invading pop music? I'm looking at YOU Shakira!



A little bit of K.Fed round up...

IllHill reports that Kevin Federline signed a deal with Sony/BMG! KFED will drop his new album on HALLOWEEN. YES!

K.Fed is doing a Entourage cameo? Maybe he'll battle Saigon.

Glitterati gives K.Fed a reality check

Staralicious says it's a milestone

Ficken Chingers has their ears assaulted

And here's a bonus K.Fed classic for y'all

Danko Jones: underrated Toronto legend

Face it, you either love or hate Danko Jones. Very rarely does someone have a lukewarm reaction to this hard rocking trio, because Danko's rock and roll motivational speaker attitude can easily polarize. I personally fall on the side of all out loving Danko Jones, and it's truly a shame that he doesn't get more respect in Canada or Toronto, while he's able to find massive success in Europe. One day he's going to leave and never come back. I happened to catch a few Danko Jones clips on YouTube and I thought that as the summer winds down, you got to get some hard rock in before it cools down too much.

Danko just released "Sleep is the Enemy" this year, and here's a couple tracks from that album.

MP3: Baby Hates Me by Danko Jones

MP3: First Date by Danko Jones

And from what I've heard, the Raconteurs have been covering this Danko Jones classic:

MP3: Samuel Sin by Danko Jones

And here's a couple more great MP3s if you can't get enough.

MP3: Cadillac by Danko Jones

MP3: Play the Blues by Danko Jones

MP3: Lovercall by Danko Jones

Now for the YouTube:

White Cadillac



Lovercall



Baby Hates Me



I Love Living In The City





We Sweat Blood Documentary, part one



We Sweat Blood Documentary, part two




MTV Cribs (Parody)

9.01.2006

Finally digging 'The Raconteurs'

I don't know why I never latched onto this band yet... I'm an unashamed White Stripes fan, and I've been relucant to see who Jack White is standing behind now. After watching the band on the VMAs last night, they really, really impressed me and I've spent the morning checking out more YouTube clips from the band. If you haven't listened to them yet, they are suprisingly awesome.

Steady as She Goes - First version of the video



The second single - "Hands"



They cover "Crazy" live



They cover "Bang Bang" live



They cover "Teenage Kicks"



"Steady as she Goes" on Conan

Bruce Springsteen vs. The Killers

When the Killers have been talking about their new album, Brandon Flowers said how Springsteen influenced their new album.... and after finally hearing "When You Were Young," I'd say my verdict is that it's a fair statement. Really, the key similar "sounds" are fairly obvious, from the use of Springsteen's short delay on his vocals to their melodic keyboard lines that rise above propulsive drums. The way Flowers even phrases his lines sounds like Springsteen.

But, with that being said, I still think that the track is more or less that same Killers sound they had on their first album... the glam, chime guitar parts, explosive drums and dramatic, yet radio friendly, showmanship.

This is the Killers "When You Were Young"



For a close approximation, here's Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark," which is stylistically similar... the vocal urgency and echo and propulsive drums.



A good example of the epic bombast that the Killers can be found in Springsteen's "Saint in the City"



Again, another great example of what the Killers seem to be going for.... "Jackson Cage"



So why post on the Killers anyways? As my co-worker Michael says, they're everybody's guilty pleasure.

They have a big old debate about the Killers on Stereogum

Music glob analyzes the promo pics

Byron Crawford loves himself the Killers

Harmonium Music just thinks it sounds weird

Dreams of Horses loves the video, and thinks it makes the song better