Last week’s AUX articles

Here is a list of my web clippings from AUX.tv last week:

Top 10 Dancing Thom Yorkes

Sam Roberts Band announce release of new album, Collider

Dog Day announce new EP and free download of “Scratches”

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: Nightbox’s “Pyramid”

Arcade Fire, Crystal Castles, and Justin Bieber take home NME Awards

Arcade Fire manager responds to record exec’s Grammy slam

Muppets team up with LCD Soundsystem

U2 to headline first night of Glastonbury festival

Justin Bieber’s lock of hair in auction for almost $7K

Download Peter Elkas’ “Tiny Valentine”

Peter Elkas

Post-Valentine’s Day, here’s a song that will both justify your residual bitterness lyrically and lift your spirits musically. Peter Elkas’ “Tiny Valentine” is off his third album, Repeat Offender, out February 22.

Elkas released the song for streaming with the following message: “I guess I’m considered kind of a romantic (even though the people in my songs are always breaking up)… It’s about the unexpected throwing you for a loop.”

mp3 download: Peter Elkas – “Tiny Valentine”

Listen to Timber Timbre’s new song, “Black Water”

Timber Timbre Black Water

Timber Timbre have released a stream of “Black Water,” which will be the first single off the upcoming album, Creep on Creepin’ On, to be released April 5 via Arts & Crafts.

Continue reading on AUX.tv.

January to mid-February articles

Alright, alright. Sometimes I forget to update my portfolio on here, but if you’re a Twitter follower or a Facebook liker, then you haven’t missed a thing.

Just in case, here’s what I’ve been up to in January and February so far (there was definitely a lull in my work when I spent a few weeks recovering from tonsil surgery).

AUX:

Video interview with Badly Drawn Boy

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: Destroyer’s “Chinatown”

Mexico’s Chikita Violenta tackle international markets with Arts & Crafts

Watch the trailer for Ages and Stages, a Meligrove Band documentary

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: Katie Moore’s “Montebello”

Allie Hughes to have wedding-themed concert in Toronto

Austra announce debut album, Feel it Break

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: Hey Rosetta! – “Welcome (Live)”

EXCLAIM:

We Are the City Reveal New High School EP
(this also includes tour details and the first single, free download)

SPINNER:

Jason Collett Begins Annual ‘Basement Revue’ Series in Toronto

DORK SHELF:

February Monthly Music column

From Far and Wide New Music Challenge

Download of the Week: Deadhorse’s “Interstellar Remedies”

The following was originally published on AUX.tv.

deadhorse interstellar remedies

January can be a slow and twisted time for music releases. Calgary’s Deadhorse seems to embody that waiting feeling into their single “Interstellar Remedies,” as it loops and twirls around spacey, lush melodies. It’s like it’s waiting to get somewhere, perhaps just towards your ears. The song is from the band’s self-titled album, available today.

mp3 download: Deadhorse – “Interstellar Remedies”

2010 Win: Ladies Who Rocked

ladies who rocked 2010

The following was originally published on AUX.tv.

This year isn’t different from any other in the sense that it boasted ladies who rock. But 2010 had quite a few interesting front-runners in a year where vulnerability and loneliness came through heavily in music, and through those feelings came incredible strength.

Swedish ‘fembot’ Robyn showed us that we make mistakes and have unfortunate relationships but we can dance alone, take control, and love indestructibly; Florence + the Machine released Lungs in 2009, but Florence Welch’s strength really came through this year as single “Dog Days are Over” empowered people all over the place, including babies; and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino kept things relaxed through her summery hits about boys. Songs such as “Boyfriend” and “Crazy For You” likely made many love and lonely playlists.

While the above women created lasting emotional impressions this year, some made some much more tangible memories than others. Janelle Monae’s hair do, bow-tie, and tuxedo style has gone on to make her a fashion icon, and her dancing isn’t hard to forget either; Alice Glass of Crystal Castles sparked a crowd-surfed controversy when she allegedly punched a fan who groped her at the Latitude Festival; and Hannah Georgas, who’s known for sweet melodies and pop hooks caught everyone’s eyes when her video for “Thick Skin” was released, featuring the Vancouver-based singer trudging through mud on her knees, naked.

There were also a lot of famous female pop stars this year – Katy Perry and Taylor Swift especially – but the women who embraced their uniqueness and found solid places in such a fast-paced and dirty industry shone much brighter. Lady Gaga had her meat dress and shocking videos to add to her ever-increasing repertoire of well-crafted pop songs, and Nicki Minaj stunned everyone with her verse on Kanye West’s “Monster.”

Powerful, independent ladies, this was your year.

2010 Fail: MySpace

myspace fail

The following was originally published on AUX.tv.

No single website has pissed off musicians, journalists, and fans this year than MySpace. First, it was simply how slowly it loaded, or how your browser would sometimes crash because – god forbid – you wanted to listen to a track from the band’s page you were visiting, or just how songs or videos automatically played when you navigated a page. Not to mention the misguided attempts to mimic features of Twitter or Facebook, companies that are lapping MySpace technologically. Now with the new redesign, the California-based company wrecked what little hope they had left for the people who really use the site (other than perverts), ironically in an attempt to draw them closer.

They say they’re even more entertainment-oriented now, and that was the goal, but it’s hard to see how. With the new beta version of MySpace, or My[____] as they so cloyingly call it, songs cut off or barely load at all, pictures are small and hard to navigate, information is scattered across the page instead of in one consistent space, ads have become more prominent, publishing tour dates is confusing, the list goes on. It’s a frustrating battle that we’re all working through.

Probably the most aggravating aspect of the redesign for musicians has to be the new design itself (and not just for bands that have put thousands of dollars into their slick pages only to lose them to the overhaul). “Looking at my page now, I’m filled with mild rage,” says Jon Janes of The Mountains and the Trees. “It looks horrible, and I know it’s going to take a few hours to sort out the new features, how to get rid of what I don’t want, how to get the info I want up front where it needs to be, and how long it will be before some huge bug is discovered and it changes again.”

When the redesign was still fresh, Mashable’s Ben Parr wrote: “While there are no guarantees that the new strategy will turn things around, the combination of a focused direction and a stylish design gives me hope that MySpace may actually be able to pull off one hell of a comeback. Its biggest obstacle will be convincing people to give it a second chance.”

Has it worked? Anything that keeps you away from a band’s site is a wonder. Facebook pages come in handy when looking for more detailed up-to-date information and pictures, Bandcamp is a godsend for playing music, and Twitter allows musicians to connect with their fans more easily (if they do it properly). But it feels like a backwards mission, with information spread out over other preferable websites.

The one positive thing about MySpace getting into its later, less relevant years is that it’s also been able to stifle some things we surely won’t miss. The “MySpace photo,” for one.

Download of the Week: Sebastien Grainger’s remix of Holy Fuck’s “Red Lights”

The following was originally published on Aux.tv.

holy fuck red lights sebastien grainger

When thinking back on Holy Fuck’s 2010, one of the most notable moments was when they released a video for “Red Lights,” featuring cats getting into all sorts of chaos. Sebastien Grainger, of Death From Above 1979, Bad Tits, and solo work fame, has gotten in on the shenanigans with his remix of the single.

mp3 download: “Red Lights” – Holy Fuck (Sebastien Grainger remix)

Download of the Week: Action Makes’ “Let Them Go”

The following was originally published on Aux.tv.

action makes free download let them go

“If you love someone, then let them go… How would you know!?” It’s a statement and then an excited question, almost a curse, that snarls from Toronto psychedelic rock band Action Makes, daring you to pay attention. The packed song (off the self-titled album, out yesterday) will hit you in the chest, knocking you over. Then that heavy-laden question will just keep coming back.

mp3 download: Action Makes – “Let Them Go”

Download Zeus’ new track, “Hot Under the Collar”

Zeus, photo by Chris Marshall

THIS IS ONLY AVAILABLE TODAY. DOWNLOAD THE SONG TODAY. In order to be more up-to-date on these downloads, visit AUX.tv every Tuesday.

Toronto rock band Zeus have held their own Ill Eagle Studio close to their collective heart for this year’s Say Us, but on a new 7”, the band takes us to the living room of another Toronto band, The Golden Dogs, for a more laid-back party feel.

mp3 download: Zeus – Hot Under the Collar