Sunday, July 30, 2006

This Afterparty Sucks

It was this thought that led to the forming of Toronto band Afterparty. Idan Erez and Kristina B met at said afterparty and after deciding it was terrible, they figured they would form a band that played good music instead of crap. A very novel idea. It is hard to explain the sound they've come up with, it's kind of disco-y punk pop. The music has an '80's feel to it but delivers a bit more punch than your average '80's pop song. Regardless of what category the music fits into, I think it's safe to say that Idan and Kristina have succeeded in making some good and different music. You can hear four of their songs on their myspace page to get a taste of what they're all about. Afterparty has yet to release an album but they are currently working on their debut and hopefully it will be out by the end of the year. You can keep checking out their official website for updates and news on everything Afterparty. I'd also be interested in feedback on some of these bands I post about. So if you've read this and checked out the band, please leave some comments on what you thought of them. I was planning on ending this blog by saying "One things for sure, this Afterparty definitely does not suck," but that's pretty cheesy isn't it. I really gotta come up with some better ideas. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Pestilence is Coming

Although it sounds like it could be a headline straight out of today's newspaper, The Pestilence is Coming is in fact the name of the newest album from a band out of Cincinnati, Ohio called The Minor Leagues. I only recently learned of this band (what a shame) but they have been around since 2001. They released their first album, Be Kind to Beginners, in 2002 and have brought out three more albums since then, including their new one. They play some of the catchiest pop-rock I've ever heard and enjoy using a large variety of instruments to create a unique sound. Their newest album employed more than 40 musicians to fill its musical landscape and the results are nothing short of brilliant. The song that introduced me to the band was the title track off the new album, which practically forces you to tap your foot along with it. "Infectious" would be an understatement. You can listen to that song, as well as two others from the new album and one from their first album, at their myspace page. If you can manage to pull yourself away from their music, if just for a few minutes, you can buy all four of their albums from their band website (and they're cheap!). Bad news has never sounded so good.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I Shall Overcome

So you may have noticed that my posts have been few and far between these days. I apologize, it's just that I've been very busy doing absolutely nothing. I'm telling ya, doing nothing takes up a substantial amount of time, especially when you're very dedicated to it, as I am. At any rate, while I was doing nothing, I came across something very exciting!! So exciting that I had to write it down. Bruce Springsteen was on Conan O'Brien! That's it. However, he performed a few songs and made for possibly the best performance I've ever seen on a talk show. Perhaps you have heard of Bruce Springsteen's most recent release, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, where he does his own little versions of Pete Seeger songs with a rather large backing band. The songs he performed on Conan were from this album and he brought the whole band with him and I mean the WHOLE band! There's no way all the people on stage are even contributing to the song. At any rate, here is a link to one of these performances, an excellent rendition of "Pay Me My Money Down." You should also notice Conan O'Brien playing guitar, Jimmy Fallon playing spoons (he has a spoons solo!), and Thomas Haden Church looking very uncomfortable playing percussion. So go ahead and watch it, it's probably the most fun you'll have all day. Not that I'm judging you or anything.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Barkley, Shut Up and Jam

Gnarls Barkley has quickly become a household name. It's rare that music comes along that is both accepted by the predominantly teen music audience and critically acclaimed by music mags everywhere. Lets face it, people are crazy for "Crazy." The song has been covered by practically everybody, from The Twilight Singers to Nelly Furtado. The buzz over "Crazy" has simmered recently, however, since the boys of Gnarls Barkley decided to put their single to rest. Before the song completely dies out though, a new artist has stepped up to the plate to attempt his own version. This relatively unknown artist has used his abnormally high-pitched squealing voice and unorthodox dance maneuvers to create arguably the best cover done to date. But you better take a look at it here and decide for yourself. I know I'll never be able to listen to the song in the same way ever again.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Never Learn to Read Between the Lines

Canada is becoming well known for its indie music scene, but before bands like Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene were making it big, indie fans turned to a different country for their music, Sweden. (Not to say that their indie scene has faded at all in the past few years.) There are many great bands coming out of Sweden right now, but one in particular caught my ear. Sambassadeur formed up in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2003. After releasing a couple CD-R's and a 7" on their own, they were finally signed to Labrador records where they released their debut self-titled album. They have also released three EP's including the brand new "Coastal Affairs." It is from this new EP that I pull my recommended song, Kate. Sambassadeur finds a way to mix shoegazing pop and innocent, summery tunes in a surprisingly accessible way. As always, you can have a listen to Kate and three other great tunes off the new EP at the band's myspace page. If you like what you hear, Sambassadeur's album and EPs are available for purchase in the US here. So grab yourself a glass of ice tea, sit out on the deck, relax and let the sounds of Sambassadeur cool you down.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

'Cause They Forgot About Bob

A dad on Full House; a host on America's Funniest Home Videos; a gangster in a rap video? Well I never thought I'd see the day, but Bob Saget (along with Jamie Kennedy) made a rap song and a video to go along with it. Of course I think we all knew that Bob was not actually a kind, caring, family man. Oh no, deep inside he was just waiting to scream out obscenities the likes of which you've never heard. He may be a hero for some of you, others may not be able to stand the guy, but just give this video a shot and go rollin' with Bob Saget. Watch out 50! (P.S. - I have to thank my friend Marc for showing this to me.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Setting Forest Fires

You knew it wouldn't be long before I started plugging local bands, well that time has come. For me, local is Winnipeg, Manitoba and the band that I think is making the most noise right now is a little outfit called "The Attics." If you're from Winnipeg, you've probably heard of them, they are played on the radio a lot. (Yeah I'm talking about you Power 97.) They've been around for about 2 years now and released their first album, Once a World, at the end of 2005. The band describes their music as Canadian Brit-rock, others have considered it pop-rock. As for me, I'm not too concerned with genres, as long as the music sounds good. And in this case, it does. The Attics manage to take from their influences while still managing to sound unlike most anybody else, which is rare in this day and age. They are currently working on their next album which hopefully will be out soon. Two new songs from that album (acoustic live versions) can be found on their myspace page, as well as two songs from their first album. So take a listen and if you like what you hear and are in the Winnipeg area, The Attics are playing a show at The Cavern on June 23rd and again at the King's Head Pub on June 30th. Be sure to check 'em out! As well "Once a World" should be available for purchase at your nearest record store or you can also get it off of their website.