Sunday, June 30, 2013

Part Time - I Won't Be Your Little Secret (Hype 0348)

Nice low indie-fi pop track from Part Time. By internet standards this is abit of an older track but just got some push from the Mexican Summer record label in the past month.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pixies - Bagboy


First original track from the Pixies in about nine years.  I remember, years ago, Josh and I agreeing that the Pixies were a great band -- I believe this was the first time we reached such an agreement, even though I'm confident that we have reached the same agreement many times since.  You might ask: "Deal or No Deal?"  Good question!  Answer: no Deal; the Pixies announced on June 20 that Kim Deal had left the band.  On this track, she is replaced by Jeremy Dubs.  Although "Bagboy" does not feature the Pixies at their ear-wrenching, smile-inducing best, this is still a very enjoyable track. 

Download it for yourself from the Pixies website:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Icona Pop - Girlfriend (Hype 0347)

Okay..I'm definately a sucker for a pop hook and Icona Pop provided that with their first single I love It which has become the anthem of the summer. Here they are back with another breezy catchy single called Girlfriend. Nice!!!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Atlas Genius at the Opera House Sunday June 23, 2013 Haerts Pacific Air

Thanks to a friend with an extra ticket, I was out at the Opera House last night to catch double hyped alt rock Australian funk outfit Atlas Genius' sold out show. The band was welcomed to Toronto with the hottest day of the year so far.

How big is this band? Well, Toronto pop radio station Edge 102 was promoting the show (From a quick scan of their top thirty chart the band has 2 songs in the chart at this moment) and the band will be back in October to play a much larger Danforth Music Hall.

There were actually three bands on the line-up tonight. New York based outfit Haerts opened up the show. This was the second time seeing the band in the last month. They also opened up for the Shout Out Louds at the Opera House in May. Great indiepop band with a number of nice tunes. Their playlist didn't seem to sway from what it was in May. Their first album is due out sometime in 2013.

My enjoyment of their big single Wings was unfortunately interupted mid-song by a drunken woman who decided that I was the local drug dealer and asked me if I was selling any weed. "She really wanted some weed". I responded No, I had no weed for sale let alone have any weed. "You know, really like the weed". At this point I wished her best of luck finding the weed and sent her on her way.

Up next was Pacific Air, a californian outfit with some sweet indie-rock. Definately with alittle bit more energy than Haerts, the outfit played for about 40 minutes cruising through tracks from their first album Stop Talking. The band hit the scene in 2012 with their first whistle friendly single Float.
Their live show and enthusiam sold me. Definately a band worth checking out when they start to headline.
Finally, Atlas Genius hit the stage at 10 PM for a quick jaunt through their first album When It Was Now. Energy level tripled for the crowd as the band launched into their first track. From my friends account they played the whole album. Mid-set they broke rotation for a cover of the Strokes Last Night. The band is composed of two brothers. It now makes sense of why lead singer Keith only introduced two of the four members of the band on stage, the session players. Biggest crowd response was for the final song of the night Trojans (pre-encore). The promoter did a good job of putting these three bands together. Entertaining.

Here is the video for Trojans

Here is the video for Pacific Air's Float

Here is the video for Haerts Wings

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pete and the Pirates - Half Moon Street (Hype 0345)

Dunstan who is currently on a lion safari out in Africa tweeted in that we needed to post this cut for him in the absence of his computer. And he's right, what a catchy cut.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Cedric Gervais & Howard Jones - Things Can Only Get Better (Hype 0344)

Its shaping up to be the summer of getting lucky but Cedric Gervais is definately brightening things up with his reworking of Howard Jones classic cut Things Can Only Get Better. Bring on the Summer.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Nightlife - Days In Other Days (Hype 343)

Nightlife back with a full length album Days In Other Days and this cut with the same name. Bouncy laidback indiepop. Nice!!!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stranglers Danforth Music Hall Toronto May 31, 2013

First time at the Danforth Music Hall in about 20 years to see the Stranglers for the first time. Supposedly the Stranglers don't tour much and this was their first time over to North America in a long time. Visa problems led to them having to cancel their first show on the tour in Detroit. Toronto ended up being the first show. They are touring to promote their new album Giants.

Danforth Music Hall is a great venue. It reminded me of the cavernous Concert Hall of old. Great venue which pits the East End versus the West End as the best area to see concerts in the city. Only unfortunate thing about the hall is their exit plan which pits a mass exodus of people versus the merchandise stand in a very small entry way.

Two opening bands opened up the show who were surprisingly welcomed by the audience. I felt they didn't fit the bill at all and my attention easily drifted to people watching. The crowd was definately a mix of everyone given the Stranglers have been going since around 1977.

The Stranglers hit the stage around 10 and played a nice two hour set of 22 songs spanning across their whole career. Here was the setlist:

1) Toiler on the Sea (Black And White-1978)
2) Goodbye Toulouse (Rattus Norvegicus-1977)
3) (Get A) Grip (On Yourself) (Rattus Norvegicus-1977)
4) Norfolk Coast (Norfolk Coast-2004)
5) Nuclear Device (The Raven-1979)
6) Freedom Is Insane (Giants-2012)
7) Mercury Rising (Giants-2012)
8) Peaches (Rattus Norvegicus-1977)
9) Relentless (Suite XVI-2006)
10) Golden Brown (La Folie-1981)
11) Skin Deep (Aural Sculpture-1984)
12) Always The Sun (Dreamtime-1986)
13) Walk On By (Black And White-1978)
14) Burning Up Time (No More Heroes-1977)
15) Nice And Sleazy (Black And White-1978)
16) Bring On The Nubiles (No More Heroes-1977)
17) Who Wants The World (IV-1980)
18) Time Was Once On My Side (Giants-2012)
19) Duchess (The Raven-1979)
20) No More Heroes (No More Heroes-1977)
21) Hanging Around (Rattus Norvegicus-1977)
22) Tank (Black And White-1978)

Unfortunately they didn't play my favourite song No Mercy so I will leave you with the Video


Monday, June 3, 2013

Secret Chiefs 3 at The Drake Underground, May 24th

Secret Chiefs 3 were in Toronto recently to disseminate their brand of auditory mayhem and uncategorizable malarkey. This was the first show of a two show tour and Tuco hustled down to the Drake Underground to soak in the vibe.

This is one of a number of side projects of Trey Spruance which he uses to channel his musical interests. Spruance and SC3 have also been associated with 90s bands Faith No More and Mr. Bungle - for any Mike Patton fans out there.

The Drake Underground is a smallish venue infested with hipsters and serving Creemore on tap. Tuco got there with time to spare and found a spot next to the soundboard.

The show started promptly with five hooded figures taking the stage and the hum of the amps permeating the space. The stage had enough room for the band but no more. The venue was close to capacity with about a 3:1 male/female split.

First song got some love from the crowd, and the advantages of this smallish space become apparent; Great Clear Sound. It took a few tracks from my ears to get used to the clarity. By the third song, the drummer had inadvertently "broke character" by shedding his hood but got it back on for the next song.

The SC3 sound is difficult to describe - sometimes, there is a bit of a surf-rock feel at times, sometimes it sounds like a soundtrack for some epic film. Amongst the five guys, about eight or nine instruments were used. Oh yeah - and no vocals. That's key.

The guy that stood out in this first 45 minute set was the drummer. Great hits, timing, etc...

I asked the guy behind the sound table if he had a setlist and he responded in the negative. It was also a good indicator of how involved the "engineer" was in the process. Any switches, etc. were being flipped either just off stage or by the musicians on-stage themselves.

After a 45 minutes, there was 20 minute intermission. The Drake has two neon signs on opposite ends of the floor: "Bang Bang" and "Kiss Kiss". It took me a while to figure out the James Bond connection. Under the "Kiss Kiss" sign was some SC3 merch: T-shirts, CDs and vinyl. The hipsters went straight for the vinyl. I picked up a T-shirt.

Second set, SC3 came out with a change of hoodie and a different theme emerged to the evening. The second set was dominated by more melodic tracks - handled ably by the addition of a violin - compared to the rather percussive first set.

Three women got their "dance on" near the centre of the hipster crowd; a mild fail. There were at least three tracks during the evening based on classical songs (e.g. Dance Macabre) which were well-received. The audience knowledge of the SC3 material seemed pretty high (Tuco bringing down the average :( ). This second act ended after about 45 minutes with no encore and Spruance signing a "Thank You" to the assembled patrons.

In short, great choice of venue suiting the musicianship of SC3. Surprisingly interesting song-writing with a nice sense of melody and great balance within the group. For $20 easily the best value possibly ever. Seriously, there's something about instrumental music in general, and the SC3 treatment in particular, that is unique, different, reinvigorating and fun.

Twitterer @doppelmock pointed out that SC3 may soon be releasing a long-awaited studio album (possibly) titled "Book of Souls". Although I didn't see any promotional materials (i.e. screaming posters or artwork), it would justify the touring. There's no such thing as free shrimp. High recommend from Tuco if this happens.