well damn!

Polaris Suggestions?

polarisWith eligibility ending this Sunday, I’ve been thinking about Polaris nominations lately. I haven’t been quite on the up and up on music this year, so I’m throwing this out there, any releases between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009 that I’m overlooking? Here are the front runners on my list

AC NewmanGet Guilty
Carl Newman writes the catchiest of melodies as the lead man of The New Pornographers, and his solo is no exception.

ArkellsJackson Square
I’ve already expressed my love for this album, a strong debut from a hardworking band.

Attack in BlackYears (By One Thousand Fingertips)
Another album that has already received my stamp of approval.

Elliott BroodMountain Meadows
A cohesive folk-death-country album that shares a story.

Hey Rosetta!Into Your Lungs
Like you really need me to once again pump this album

Joel PlaskettThree
Another cohesive album. Plaskett shows off a lot of songwriting chops on this (or is it these) album(s).

Land of TalkSome Are Lakes
Strong songwriting, good flow. Oh I already told you that

Mother MotherO My Heart
One of the finest pop albums to come out last year. Amazing harmonies supporting catchy melodies.

And before you mention Fantasies, been there, heard that, wasn’t impressed.

Attack in Black – Years (By One Thousand Fingertips)
March 24, 2009, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Albums | Tags: , ,

I have the irrational need to defend this album. So here we go.

I like to think of Attack in Black as a punk band at heart. They put on a stellar show and write great music, and these are the things you need to keep in mind when listening to this album.

Years (By One Thousand Fingertips)I once read somewhere that the fellows weren’t happy with the way Marriage was done (happy or unhappy, Marriage is a fine album indeed) and instead of sulking around and complaining, they did something about it. Less than 4 months later the lo-fi, folky The Curve of the Earth was released. I’ve only heard a few tracks off this album but I’ve heard enough to know that fans of the The Curve of the Earth will appreciate Years.

Years explores an abundance of melodies and and arrangements. The title track sets the tone for the record, it’s simple, but it moves along nicely. To be honest, there isn’t one song on the album I dislike, they’re all quite pleasant and full of investment. For example take the track “Leather Jacket” which closes with simple humming but I think it adds a nice level of personal emotion. The music is full of vivid imagery and the lyrics are clear.

Before you pass judgment on this record, think about how many directions each track could go in once played live, I think that’s one of the most interesting parts of this album. I’m fairly certain unless I end up at an acoustic Attack in Black show, I’m not going to be hearing renditions of the songs so close to the recordings. I like to imagine the different ways they’ll back these songs at Call The Office.

First listen: 7/10
Flow: 9/10
Individual Songs: 8/10
Discography: 8/10
Length: 4/5
Album Art: 4/5
Total: 40/50

A great album, you just have to stick with it and see these guys live!

Live Shows: A Summary
December 26, 2008, 10:27 pm
Filed under: 2008, Live Show | Tags: , , ,

I felt like I should write this down, and what better place than here? Bands I’ve seen this year, in chronological order.

GOB @ Call The Office
Winter Gloves @ the Alex P Keaton
Constantines w/ Castlemusic, Attack in Black @ CTO
Said the Whale @ CTO
Constantines w/ Arkells, Paso Mino @ Fanshawe
Holy Fuck w/ Plants & Animals @ Victoria Park (LOLA Festival)
Constantines @ UWO (Flick Off)
Ladyhawk w/ Shotgun Jimmie, Attack in Black @ CTO
Constantines w/ Tropics @ CTO
Moneen (Acoustic Set) w/ Michou, Songs From A Room @ CTO

Yup, I saw the Constantines four times this year, and Attack in Black twice. I think I may be stalking the Cons, but I mean, it’s not my fault they play London so often! The last time I saw them was easily one of my favourite shows of the year. But I think the Moneen show comes out on top. What an awesome super-fantastic excellent way to end the year.

16 bands in 12 months, not bad for a poor lowly applied math student!

Looking Forward: to 2009
November 25, 2008, 12:42 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , ,

There are many things I’m looking forward to in 2009: potentially quitting my job, completing another year of my degree and a whole whack of new music.

Here is a snippet of music I’m looking forward to

I was openly hoping we could expect a new Cursive release by the end of the year. While 2006’s Happy Hollow was an unexpected change of direction from Domestica and The Ugly Organ, it left me wanting to hear more of this political not-so-emo Cursive. It does sound like the band is writing and recording new material and well on their way for a release in 2009.

I’m not the best of the fans, but do I ever enjoy listening to Moneen’s infinitely long titled songs and intricate music. Damn you Wikipedia for giving me false hope! But their blog suggests a real new record is on the way. Hurrah!

Attack in Black
This is a busy quartet! Attack in Black just finished up a 3 week tour of half of Canada and are already back on stage, touring across the pond. In 2007 they released an EP and not one but two full lengths. Based on pure speculation, they are bound to release something new 2009, and my bets are it won’t be anything like Marriage.

And with new material, comes a supporting tour, so here’s to hoping I’ll be able catch both Moneen and Cursive on the road in 2009. Not that I don’t want to catch Attack in Black for a 3rd time, because I do! Maybe I’ll luck out and they’ll all tour together. hint hint! One can dream.

Polaris Prize Ramblings

Today on Grant Lawrence Live, Grant has sparked conversation about this year’s Polaris Prize Nominees, since the cut off date for nominations is quickly approaching.

After reading the list of suggested nominations, I realized how much Canadian music I’ve bought in the past 6 months, and how much of my music collection qualifies for the prize.
Reunion Tour (the Weakerthans)
Kensington Heights (Constantines)
LP (Holy Fuck)
Welcome to the Night Sky (Wintersleep)
Little Jabs (Two Hours Traffic)
In the Future (Black Mountain)
Elephant Shell (Tokyo Police Club)
Marriage (Attack in Black)

Compared to the amount of my collection that qualified for 2007’s and 2006’s prizes
Ashtray Rock (Joel Plaskett Emergency)
The Reminder (Feist) which is really part of my mom’s collection
Twin Cinema (The New Pornographers)
Tournament of Hearts (Constantines)
(The first three made it on to the shortlist for their respective years)

Of that first list, I’m thinking LP and Reunion Tour will make it on to the shortlist, I’m really hoping to see Little Jabs and Welcome to the Night Sky make it and while it would be nice to see Kensington Heights up there, I don’t think it fairs well against the other stuff out there. Same goes for Elephant Shell and In the Future. But others see it differently, a lot of people think that Kensington Heights and In the Future will make it to the shortlist. We’ll see in a few months I suppose.

On a completely unrelated note, the Faint are back?

Tracks of the Week

1. Forest City Lovers – Don’t Go
This is a cute little bittersweet track that easily gets stuck in my head. I’m also partial to their name.

2. Dan Mangan – Journal of a Narcoleptic
Dan Mangan could tell me that an choir of tone-deaf-monkeys were sensational, and I would believe him. That is how I feel about the “I’m sorry”‘s in this song.

3. The Dress Whites – The Whale
I ordered The Dress Whites‘s album based solely on this track. It has yet to arrive and I’m getting a little antsy!

4. Matthew Barber – I’m Gonna Settle My Accounts With You
The intro to this reminds me of the Mr Dressup opening, but then I’m reminded it’s hardly child’s play and I’m ok with that!

5. Attack in Black – Northern Towns
I just picked up Marriage and I like it.

Next week will bring change. I promise.