Monday, July 30, 2012

Vicious Pink - Vicious Pink (Reissue 005)

Nice reissue of the very hard to find vinyl record on CD. Cherry Pop out of the UK have given this a beautiful 16 track reissue with a number of the 12 Inch mixes included. Very good alternative dance music from the late eighties.

Vicious Pink dropped this classic album back in 1986. It was 1987 and I was at a six week program in La Pocatiere Quebec learning french and this guy on the same floor as me in the dorms named Steve dropped some of these tracks to me from a mix tape of his. CCCan't You See, Fetish and Take Me Now. Instantly hooked I tried to track down the rare 12 Inch records over the years. Now here is everything in one spot. Thanks Steve

Here is the tracklisting:

1 Cccan't You See 3:32
2 Spooky 3:17
3 The Spaceship Is Over There 4:21
4 Blue (Love Mix) 3:22
5 Fetish 3:21
6 Take Me Now 3:59
7 Always Hoping 3:56
8 8:15 To Nowhere / Great Balls Of Fire 4:57
9 Cccan't You See (Exxx-tended Re-mixxx) 6:05
10 Cccan't You See (French Extended Mix) 7:19
11 Cccan't You See (Re-mixxx) 3:20
12 Cccan't You See (7'' Version) 4:09
13 Cccan't You See (7" DJ Mix / Master Mix) 4:07
14 Fetish (Extended Mix / Feteeesh) 6:19
15 Take Me Now (Extended Version) 6:21
16 I Confess 3:57


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Black Marble - A Great Design (Hype 0259)

Nice low-fi indie cut from Brooklyn's Black Marble. Taken from the album A Different Arrangement.


Yazoo - Don't Go (Retro 021)

With Vince Clarke formerly of Depeche Mode and soon to be of Erasure on synthesizer and Alison Moyet on vocals, Yazoo was huge in the early eighties with a couple of albums and a number of hit singles including this one Don't Go. On Mute Records in the UK and Sire Records in North America. Classic track that went to Number 3 in the UK.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stars - Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When you Give It (Hype 0257)

A new Stars album is on the way and this is the second track I've heard from the album titled The North. Its a catchy one and more exciting than the first one I heard called The Theory of Relativity.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mode Moderne - Foul Weather Fare (Hype 0256)

Dark melodic track from Mode Moderne. Taken from their EP Strange Bruises. Nice and hyped!!!

John Cougar Jack And Diane (Retro 020)

Classic 1982 rock/pop track from the album American Fool which launched John into the stratosphere. Its now thirty years old. A little diddy.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Shonen Knife - Pop Tune (Hype 0255)

What more to cheer me up after a long stressful week than a new tune from Shonen Knife. And here it is. Pop Tune. Taken from the new album Pop Tune out on Good Charamel Records. Video:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Alan Parsons Project - Eye In The Sky (Retro 020)

Classic soft rock eighties tune by Alan Parsons Project. Hard to believe the album Eye In The Sky where this song is found is now 30 years old. Essential chill out tune.


Iron Maiden w/ Alice Cooper at the Amphitheatre, July 13th

Before this generation robbed the word Epic of any meaning there was Iron Maiden, the British purveyors of visionary, almost surreal, and often epic tracks and one of the best exemplars of Heavy Metal. Maiden and their legions arrived on the shores of Lake Ontario and Tuco and Darien were on hand to witness the aftermath.

And, on a sweltering summer evening at the Amphitheatre, the show started with a truly epic security line-up. The venue was sold out and a good lot of the fifteen thousand strong got stuck at the front gate while Alice Cooper took the stage. The security staff did a very thorough job of securing Molson's monopoly on alcohol at the venue as many a patron were liberated of their private stashes.

Impressive was the amount of Iron Maiden iconography on display as their mascot, Eddie, was found emblazened on chests and backs of roughly three out of every five of the audience. Merchandise booths were charging $40 a T-shirt for a variety of gear. This said, I did not see any classic 80s-style T-shirts in the booths or in the audience - i.e. white T with black sleeves and an optional pack of smokes tucked in the shoulder. Nod if you remember that look.

By the time we got into the venue, Alice Cooper had already taken the stage. We could hear the strains of Hey Stoopid while grabbing a slice before wending our way to our seats in the outer section in front of the lawns. The place was packed and every beer stand and washroom had a line-up. Alice Cooper was sporting a Blue Jays jersey and a top hat and was stabbing at a collection of balloons being launched into the audience - a predominantly male mix of youth and age. A bit of a carnival atmosphere in the late day sun.

AC finished a notable set with School's Out (for summer) with Nicko McBrain joining him on stage. Time for a drink and a wander. The one vendor that didn't have a line-up was a place called Gourmet Bitches with the lettering in reverse. Half-pound of wings for $9 may have lost people's interest.

Live Nation had provided the set times via twitter and they were only off by 5 minutes as Iron Maiden hit the stage at 9pm. The riff from Moonchild had the audience scurrying back to their seats in time for the band to hit the stage to an appreciative roar. The stage had the arctic polar ice caps theme from the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album and there was Bruce Dickinson scampering around on the upper terrace of the set. Dave Murray held down house left while Janick Gers manned house right. Nicko McBrain was completely obscured by a wall of drums, leaving us to wonder how the hell he and his bandmates kept their timing. Adrian Smith and brilliant songwriter/bassist Steve Harris bounded about on stage as only men in their mid-50s can do at the start of something grand (jk).

A note about some Iron Maiden tracks. They are long. Longer than the usual radio format. They also feature long phrases, grinding rhythm guitars and distinctive soaring vocals. I guess Wagner comes to mind for all you classical music freaks (please suggest a better analogy if you can). And this compositional style suits the subject matter which unfolds a bit like a story, a saga ... an epic poem. For concert goers used to bands racing through four songs before stopping to introduce themselves, the Iron Maiden format was alot more deliberate. This was not a sprint, this was a marathon .... (sorry, they did not play Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner).

Here is the setlist (courtesy of

Can I Play With Madness
The Prisoner
2 Minutes to Midnight
Afraid to Shoot Strangers
The Trooper
The Number of the Beast
Phantom of the Opera
Run to the Hills
Wasted Years
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
The Clairvoyant
Fear of the Dark
Iron Maiden

Churchill's Speech
Aces High
The Evil That Men Do
Running Free

There were some odd and interesting sights to behold with the Iron Maiden set. The back drop had some different themes going, culled from the myriad Maiden album cover art. During The Trooper, there was an Eddie puppet on stage, about 12 feet in height, duelling with Steve Harris. Not sure how they did that but was an eerie effect. (It would be kind of messed up as a Wicker Man).

Right before Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Dickinson regalled the audience with a brief story about their last stop in Quebec. The audience started to boo. Then he mentioned the Quebec regiment and the audience still continued to boo. WTF?! Very disappointed with this reaction. Maiden has some great tracks about war, even one about Passchendaele which ought to be of interest to any Canadian ... except to alot of the clowns at this show.

A note about sound. Of course, these guys have their sound checks all figured out by now - the tuning was pretty good; kudos to the crew. Dickinson's voice is, of course, not what it used to be but still has that natural signature wobble which smooths out the pitches. Also, the Amphitheatre lends itself to the sound guys adding an echo effect to the singer's high end register. They did this with Bruce Dickinson - same effect used by Chris Cornell at the Soundgarden concert last year. Goodwork overall.

Of course with 30+ years of back catalog, there are going to be a number that didn't get played at a concert. I would have LOVED to hear Hallowed Be Thy Name, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and/or Infinite Dreams. Maybe next time.

Highlights: Aces High, Run To The Hills, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

Lowlight: The audience booing Bruce Dickinson's praise of the Quebec regiment. Shameful.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tall Ships - Gallop (Hype 0254)

Catchy rocking and rolling song by Tall Ships. Taken from their new album Everything Touching out on Big Scary Monsters / Blood And Biscuits Records. Nice!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Taken by Trees - Dreams (Hype 0253)

Dreamy new track by Taken By Trees. You may recognize the vocals of one former Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman. Taken By Trees is his her solo project. This is taken from her third album Other Worlds due out this year. This is her first new music since her cover of Guns And Roses Sweet Child Of Mine which was featured in an advert over in the UK and became a top 25 single.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Album Shortlist for July 2012

On the Stereo: DIIV - Oshin (Captured Tracks)
Twin Shadow - Confess (4AD)
Hey Ocean - Is (Nettwerk)
Echo Lake - Wild Peace (Slumberland)
Eat More Cake - The Remixes Vol.1 (Self-Released)
Cornershop - Urban Turbin: The Singles Club (Ample Play)
Ultravox - Brilliant (Chrysalis)
Stereo Total - Cactus Versus Brezel (Staatsakt)
Asia - XXX (Frontiers Records)
Exlovers - Moth (Young And Lost Club)
Purity Ring - Shrines (4AD)
Holograms - Holagrams (Captured Tracks)
Saga - 2020 (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
The Knocks And Fred Falke - Geronimo EP (Kitsune)
Go-Kart Mozart - On the Hot Dog Streets (West Midlands Records)
Ian McCulloch - Pro Patria Mori (Pledge Music)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Sex Mix (Salvo)
Dead Can Dance – Anastasis (TBC)
Herve - Pick Me Up Sort Me Out Calm Me Down (Cheap Thrills Records)
Dub Pistols - Worshipping The Dollar (Sunday Best Records)

Purity Ring - Fineshrine (Hype 0252)

Can't stop Purity Ring. Glacial third track featured by IKDK in the last two years. Taken from their first album Shrines finally out on 4AD this month. Nice!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Io Echo - When the Lilies Die (Hype 0250D)

Okay, this track gets the first double hype rating. How has this track not blown up after a year on the market. Brilliant eighties influenced whistling madness from this LA Based band.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bonde do Rolê - Kilo (Hype 0249)

I could have posted on the questionable new Blur single but I thought why waste precious space on beatlesque like crap when I could go with the crazyness of Bone Do Role who are out with a new album called Tropicalbacanal.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Exlovers - Starlight, Starlight (Hype 0248)

Nice Lo-fi twangy indie track from Exlovers taken from their upcoming album "Moth" to be released May 2012 through Young and Lost Club. Nice!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Hervé - Bike Ride In June (Hype 0247)

Nice downtemp chill club track from Herve. Pulling from old skool nineties for inspiration. Taken from the full length called Pick Me Up Sort Me Out Calm Me Down. Nice! Lazy day Holiday!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Spoons Woodbine Park Toronto Canada Day July 1, 2012

How can one turn down a free Spoons concert especially on Canada Day. Logistics for this one were tough. Show started at 2:00 and was supposed to end at 3:00. Eurocup final was starting at 2:45 with Italy looking to knock off the defending champion from 4 years ago Spain. Although I live in the area I'd never been down to Woodbine park before. Its situated at the end of Coxwell at Lakeshore just before you hit the Beaches. Once the Penster and myself had located the park grounds we headed right for the beer tent to quench our thirst. The park grounds had a number of food vendors and sponsers on hand. Mill Street was sponsoring the event and had their lager and ale on tap. The Spoons hit the stage right at 2:00 and went through a abbreviated set list in comparison to the last show I saw at Revival.

Intro (Rock And Roll)
Old Emotions (Talk Back - 1983)
When Time Turns Around (Vertigo Tango - 1988)
Imperfekt (Static In Transmission - 2011)
Arias And Symphonies (Arias And Symphonies - 1982)
The Rhythm (Talk Back - 1983)
Waterline (Vertigo Tango - 1988)
Like A Memory (Bridges Over Borders - 1986)
Starmaps (Static In Transmission - 2011)
Romantic Traffic (Tell No Lies/Romantic Traffic EP - 1984)
Rodeo (Bridges Over Borders - 1986)
Escape With You (Static In Transmission - 2011)
You Light Up (Static In Transmission - 2011)
Tell No Lies Slow Version (Tell No Lies/Romantic Traffic EP - 1984)
Tell No Lies Regular Version (Tell No Lies/Romantic Traffic EP - 1984)
End Of Story (Static In Transmission - 2011)
Nova Heart (New Version) (Nova Heart 30th Anniversary EP - 2012)

By the time the awful Nice Inch Nail remix of Nova Heart had come on I was running for the local bar to catch beloved Italy get trounced 4-0 by Spain. Oh well, put away the Italian flag for another 2 years.

Happy Canada Day.