Wednesday pick-me-up featuring Beth Ditto, Hercules and Love Affair and Handsome Furs

If you know me, you know I like to dance. I’m not a good dancer by any means, but I just can’t resist movement when a danceable song is playing around me. So, if you’re like me, and you need a little Wednesday pick me up, the medicine this week lies in the clubs. Not that I would go to any clubs really, but there’s definitely one going on wherever I am when I play these songs.

Beth Ditto – “I Wrote the Book”

Beth Ditto can do no wrong. This powerful lady is all kinds of sexy as she traipses through this video. I still play her EP often, and that’s enough danceable music to last me a while. But, all I want are remixes to these songs! Do they exist?

Hercules and Love Affair – “My House”

This song makes me want to dance AND clean. Seriously, from now on, whenever I clean, this song has to go on. “Oh myyy house is in ooordeeer!” brrrackacha!

Handsome Furs – “What About Us”

Dan Boekner’s rhythmic voice and Alexei Perry’s synths work so well together on this battle cry of a dance track. I can’t resist going a little wild to “go on go on go on go on and break my heart!”

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Watch Nightbox’s new video for “Pyramid”

Nightbox

The lads of Nightbox premiered their official music video for “Pyramid” via this week’s episode of The Wedge on Much Music. Now we have it via YouTube. Just in time for the weekend, as this is that cute dancey party track you’ve been waiting for. Watch the five-piece revel in colour and imagination at an old, abandoned house and in a field (it looks cooler than how I’ve described, honestly).

Pyramid can be heard on the band’s debut EP and as a single, downloaded for free.

The band will open for the Radio Dept at the Horseshoe on Sunday.

Allie Hughes is asking you to prom this Saturday

There are two types of proms.

1. FREAK OUT OMG IS HE GOING TO ASK ME HOW IS HE GOING TO ASK ME I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW EVERY SINGLE THING HAS TO BE PERFECT I AM SO FAT CAN WE GET A LIMO WILL THEY PLAY THE RIGHT SONGS WILL WE KISS WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER….

(let’s be honest, almost all of us have had this type of prom)

2. I LOOK REAL GOOD IN MY THRIFT STORE DRESS ALL MY FRIENDS DO WE’RE REALLY THE COOL ONES HERE I MEAN FOR REAL BUT CMON WE STILL CARE ABOUT PROM WE STILL CARE WHO WINS KING AND QUEEN WE JUST HOPE ITS ONE OF US BECAUSE WE DESERVE THIS ‘HONOUR’ MORE, EVEN THOUGH SHE WON’T ADMIT IT THIS IS WHAT SHE’S ALWAYS DREAMED OF BUT WAIT….

I’m going to re-live prom this Saturday with Queen shoe-in Allie Hughes (her new theme after conquering weddings). Come dance with me?

ALLIE HUGHES’ PROM QUEEN DREAM
w/ special guests Gentleman Reg and Dwayne Gretzky
Saturday, May 14 at the El Mocambo
$7 at the door (or less with Prom attire)

Watch The Ruby Spirit perform two new songs, “Microhearts” and “Evolution Sickness”

The Ruby Spirit at Mohawk Place Buffalo

I had the absolute pleasure of accompanying my new friends The Ruby Spirit down to their show in Buffalo, NY (my hometown) on Friday. It was a blast of a day, ending with them killing it at Mohawk Place. They’ve recently flipped their set-list backwards, and turns out it made everything for the better. Besides their songs off the Born Under a Veil EP, they included two new hits, “Microhearts” and “Evolution Sickness.”

Watch ::

The Ruby Spirit will play the Band of Heroes comic release party at the Great Hall in Toronto on May 28 with The Wilderness, Bella Clava and the Lovely Killbots. All of the bands will be immortalized in a comic about them conquering Toronto.

Watch Austra’s new video for “Lose It”

austra

I’ve been listening to the new Austra album Feel it Break a lot lately (out May 17 via Domino/Paper Bag). I find it very hard to turn off somewhere before it actually ends. I’ve even sat and waited through it because it’s so good I don’t want to let it go. The band’s Toronto CD release is May 19 at Lee’s Palace, and tickets should still be on sale. Gotta say, Feel it Break seems to only be on the cusp of breaking out still, and it will, so keep a lookout. Here’s hoping that it makes its way onto the upcoming Polaris Prize long list.

Before your eyes scan down to the wacky new video for their second single, “Lose It,” here’s an article I have with lead singer Katie Stelmanis on queer identity in indie music and her love of Beth Ditto on Spinner. I was really glad I could write this, and there’s more on the band coming soon from me, I believe.

Watch Bravestation’s new music video for “White Wolves”

bravestation white wolves

Here’s another Toronto band that I am very proud of. I’ve watched these guys blossom in the last year, from sitting down with them to do a RoundLetters exclusive Q&A, reviewing their 2010 EP for Exclaim, seeing them play numerous times and getting to know them and their style. I see them going up from here. They’re currently locked away most of the time working on their upcoming album and preparing for their UK tour in a few weeks. Like I’ve said before, they don’t know it yet, but I’ll be in a suitcase! Shh.

As far as I remember, the video for “White Wolves” off the EP was filmed in the fall, but we’re finally getting to see it now. It’s a really pretty piece, following a woman who looks like she’s been through a few tumbles as she runs through the woods to and from something. It gives a new urgency to the song, letting the shakiness take on a new thrilling meaning.

Watch the video below:

Download the entire 2010 EP here.

Sit down, listen to this: The Albertans

The Albertans

Last Tuesday, I gave you a dance party. Today, I give you something to sit down with and really listen. I’m being a bit selfish, as I can’t really dance because I recently broke my pinky toe and doing such an activity is sadly painful. So I’m making you sit with me. Got that? Good! Anyways, I’ve found the perfect song for sitting and daydreaming this week, so it works out.

The Albertans – “The Wake”

This is one of those songs I’ve been waiting for, and oh it fills me with warmth to just type that. It’s got a groovy bass, fluttering + fuzzy guitars, dreamy vocals, a keyboard pattern that suggests it might be up to no good and simple drumming highlighted by a tambourine. I still can’t completely wrap my head around this goodness. It flows splendidly and has so many layers to unwrap, lyrically and musically. It leaves me with intrigue after every time I’ve listened, I feel like I’m searching for some puzzle piece. They sing of suicide and pressure, so when it all comes together, it’s like you can hear the song’s character(s) opening their eyes.

The band was formed in Vancouver out of members from our prairies and the U.S., but they headed to New York. Now I guess they split their time between the two metropolises. The album that holds this gem of a song, New Age, was recorded in Brooklyn, at Chandelier Studios, and now we have a Canadian tie to the borough’s distinct energy haze.

Just listen for yourself, and join me in my excitement in looking forward to their album. They remind me of Breathe Owl Breathe and Dirty Projectors (a little). There’s also some New Pornographers and Mother Mother similarities in there in terms of the team vocals, but I feel more of a connection to the Albertans than I do with those two bands at this point.

Watch music videos set to old films for “The Wake” & “Megan” & “New Age” and then there’s one of them playing “Mila.”

New Age comes out in Canada on April 19.