Download: Teen Daze remixes Said the Whale’s “Holly, Ontario”

I never thought I’d hear gentle Vancouver rockers Said the Whale remixed, but fellow BC buzz man Teen Daze went and did it.

Released this morning, the remix of “Holly, Ontario” revolves on quite a tiny axis, so it’s miles different from its original ( slow, acoustic). I wonder why they went with this song of all songs.

Either way, it’s pretty. So give ‘er a download.

PS – Teen Daze just released a free EP of reworked parts of Geotic’s Mend.

EDIT: My pals Kirk and Bryan have pointed me towards the “Gentleman” remix/mashup of 2009, with clips of Holy Fuck, Shad, MGMT and more. I guess I’m a bit behind the times, folks.


Impromptu Tuesday Dance Party featuring First Rate People, Nightbox, Austra and Kidstreet

I think I can finally say I’m almost all healed after Canadian Music Week. So that means, inevitably, that I want to dance to shake the rest off and get back in high spirits. Here are a few tracks that I’ve been playing a lot lately, I think they’ll significantly up your day, week, hour, whatever. Play em in order and you’re in for some crazy fun.

First Rate People funny games

First Rate People – “Funny Games”

I’ve posted on this before and I’ll probably post on it again. It is just so groovy. With mid-tempo beats but slow and sexy vocals, it provides this mix that works up to a pressure point that you can’t wait to explore. I can turn on the bright lights and turn them back off just to prove that I’m still in your life is such a great chorus line. It has this sombre structure, and ends kind of with a hanging heart, but if you’re going to sing about sadness in these times, sometimes it’s just better to do it with some (white kids – who can do it great) danceable soul.

Nightbox bears

Nightbox – “Bears”

*Stream only, although you can download their even crazier single, “Pyramid,” here.

I could have ignored this song for longer in my haze, but when I saw these guys play it live on Friday, I was hooked. It’s been on repeat ever since. It’s young, fresh and the chorus’ synths are so addicting. This song makes me do really embarrassing dance moves in my room, but you know what, it’s too much fun. At least I have the memory of how these guys danced to it when playing it (mostly computer/synth wiz James Shelly going nuts), which is much better than what I can do gracefully.

austra lose it

Austra – “Lose It”

This is definitely a different kind of dance party than the previous two tracks, but it’s something I wanted to make a note of anyway. “Lose It” embroiders Katie Stelmanis’ opera background with a chorus of extremely high staccato notes, and just in those moments paired with glittery synths that feel so black and white, it’s a solo dance party that will leave you swaying with your head feeling like it’s in the clouds. It’s also of note to say that Austra made a huge splash at CMW and likely will at SXSW. Feel it Break is out in May, and I can’t wait to see it blow up, then people in Toronto talk about how they knew her before it blew up. And on that note, I had a great interview with Katie the other day… 😉

Kidstreet x

Kidstreet – “X”

Alright, this is a seriously catchy song. It’s pretty simple in terms of it has a fast club pattern, breakdown with whistles, distorted vocals and singing about sexual attraction. In that way, it’s clearly an awesome dance party song. They even perform it with a lot of energy, enjoyment and wit (as I witnessed at CMW on Saturday). It’s the fact that it’s a band of three siblings singing about wanting someone so bad that usually distracts me, but I try and get past it. I don’t think I’d ever be in a band with my brother singing about something like that, but hey, that’s just my opinion. Thinking about it though, I can see this song going really far, it’s got all the ingredients. Could so see a video with a couple on a dance floor coming together in sweet moves (DANCE moves) to the ‘I want you so bad’ part. Get on it, Kidstreet!

Full list of Canadian Music Week coverage

Well folks, my Canadian Music Week is over. It’s been a ton of fun, but I am exhausted! Since Wednesday, I’ve:

  • trudged through a lot of disgusting weather
  • saw 15 bands play, although not as many as I’d hoped to catch
  • finally met people I’ve been meaning to meet for ages and saw plenty of good friends from all over
  • did some entertaining interviews on whims (like Isis Salam who kissed me on the cheek but made fun of me for not wanting to have some of her drink or Cayne McKenzie who had us squished in a bathroom stall, you guys rock)
  • was disgusted by a club district bar and the people in it
  • danced
  • wrote reviews at ridiculous hours in the morning
  • had great dinners with the other bloggers
  • got into a venue through the back door after a crazy glitterati band performed, so the backstage area looked like it was straight out of a movie
  • ended the festival at a house party until 6am
  • and much more.

Now, here’s my full list of coverage for Spinner:

Pre-CMW interview with the Wilderness of Manitoba, who shared a memory of an undercover city inspector visiting their house concert

Pre-CMW interview with Paper Lions, who talked about how much the East Coast has helped them, plus some really cool tour stories

Pre-CMW interview with Aidan Knight, who discussed his Friendly Friends, future projects and as he says, taking over the world

Wednesday: Gentleman Reg @ Gladstone

Thursday: Cadence Weapon @ Opera House
Thursday: Isis Salam @ Opera House
Thursday: Hollerado / Land of Talk @ Opera House

Friday: Sheepdogs @ Horseshoe
Friday: Nightbox @ Underground Garage
Friday: Humans @ Rivoli

Saturday: We Are the City @ Garrison
Saturday: Madrid / Kidstreet @ El Mocambo

How was your CMW? Who’d you see?

Watch Junip’s new video for “In Every Direction”


Credit: Fredrik Egerstrand

2010 is basically not over for me. My favourites keep coming back, and I haven’t been epically wowed by anything in these two months yet. (And in 2010, by this time, I already had been by 2 or 3 albums.) Junip (fronted by Jose Gonzalez) is one of the big ones for me, and their song “In Every Direction” is the biggest of their big. Today, they released a video for the song, created by drummer Elias Araya. It’s Araya’s time to shine. The snippet found on the video explains he “found inspiration for the video in his father’s art; painter and sculpture artist, Kent Karlsson. Elias presents images in a simple, almost icon way using different backgrounds and refracted through a diamond. A few of his father’s collection of porcelain dogs also made the video.”

Junip will be back in Toronto at Lee’s Palace April 20th.

Watch tUnE-yArDs play “Doorstep” in Paris

tune yards new album

While internet filmmakers all over the globe are partaking in similar styles of filming musicians on the streets, it’s always interesting to see the videos that have musicians in a whole other country than their own. The people on the streets react differently when it’s not their language, and you can sense some hesitation from the musician at times.

Merrill Garbus, aka tUnE-yArDs, has her second album w h o k i l l, coming out April 19. We’ve already heard “Bizness,” but now we get to see her play “Doorstep” in Paris.

HibOO d’Live : Tune-Yards “Doorstep” from on Vimeo.

Also, some hometown reppin’ for “Bizness,” here’s Merrill and her wicked band playing the song at local indie record shop Soundscapes when she was here last summer. I’m still kicking myself for missing this (although I did see her play that night and it was one of the coolest shows I’ve seen).

Rah Rah to release The Sailors EP on March 22

rah rah the sailors ep

One of my 2010 favourites, Rah Rah, will release an EP on March 22, titled The Sailors. It will be available only digitally and will include three songs: “Chimney,” “Sailors” and “Towers.”

The Regina-based band have been playing over in Europe with Wintersleep recently, and they’ll hit Canadian Music Week at the Horseshoe on March 12. They’ll then move on to SXSW.

Besides this EP, the band will also release a remix EP later this year, in partnership with Chris Graham.

CMW Preview: The North Lakes and The Autumn Portrait

Canadian Music Fest Week Who to See Play

Canadian Music Fest starts in exactly 8 days. Bands are pouring into the city from all over the world, so it can be incredibly overwhelming to figure out who to see in a five-day long festival. I’ve already made a list of a heap of bands I am excited about for the fest, but the time has come for me to introduce to you some others to check out who I’m just looking into as well.

north lakes cmwThe North Lakes

A rootsy group from Charlottetown with guts, this six piece will bring their stompin’ tunes to the big city, and here’s hoping they’ll create enough of an earthquake in one showcase to get the word spreading around these streets. They do hit a few different notes in their collection of music, blending country rock to alternative to blues. I gotta say, “All Over You” feels like a bad ass country version of Mother Mother, and I like it.

The band released their album Cobra last October, which is up for free download. It won the 2010 PEI Music Award for Best Alternative Recording of the Year, and also includes guests Pat Deighan (In-Flight Safety, Love Junkies) and Kinley Dowling (Jenn Grant, Hey! Rosetta).

March 12, 10 PM – Mitzi’s Sister

the autumn portraitThe Autumn Portrait

This Vancouver indie pop/rock trio will be hitting Canadian Music Week as part of their first national tour. They’ve recently released their debut full-length The Design is Over, which is 35 minutes of hooks, passionate vocals and energetic guitars. Produced by Tom Dobrzanski (We Are the City, Said the Whale, Hey! Ocean, Zolas), The Autumn Portrait present the kind of rock tunes that you look forward to seeing played live for the sweat and sing-a-long choruses.

You can hear two songs, including the catchy “Awake,” on their website.

March 9, 11 PM  – Neutral Lounge
March 10, 1 AM – El Mocambo

PS – The band tweeted yesterday they are looking for a keyboardist for one of their shows.