New Music of The Blogosphere and Beyond

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Thursday, May 26, 2005


Ok, ok, it's been a long week and I got caught up in all kindsa "next level shit", as my friend Pete would say, so I'm posting last week's playlist now. My head hurts and I'm dehydrated, so I'll be brief...but tune in tomorrow for some dopeness, hypeness, and all the nesses you can think of wrapped into one hour of campus radio.

KONONO NO.1 - Ditshe Tshiekutala
* from The Suburbs are Killing Us
BLUES EXPLOSION - Hot Gossip (!!! Remix)
ACTITUD MARIA MARTA - Estado Resignado
BARBATUQUES - Num Deu Par Credita
FOUR TET - And then Patterns
* from Moebius Rex

CARIBOU - Medium Sized Working Dog (Steady Steady)
* from Music For Robots.
GIRLS ARE SHORT - Mississauga Theme
* All from a profile on Matt Hart's Upper Class Recordings from The Big Ticket.



Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Unreleased Rockumentary week ended last night with a viewing of Cocksucker Blues, the Robert Frank documentary following the Rolling Stones on tour in 1972. It was quite the contrast to the MC5 film I'd seen earlier (read review here). Both films are shot with amateur techniques, but at least True Testimonail directs itself in a professional fashion. Cocksucker Blues, by contrast, is a poor attempt at Pennebaker style rock verite that degrades into a mess of muddy audio and piss poor picture quality. This film has no concept, other than to capture the daily lives of Keith, Charlie, Bill, Mic, and the other Mic as they tour in support of Exile on Main St throughout 1972. Sure, it's got the drugs and sex angle covered, but in such a stuporous manner that you begin to wonder why rock and roll culture was ever interesting to begin with. Depiciting rock stars and their hangers-on as they stand around saying insipid things while watching television in hotel rooms does not a classic film make!

It can be, however, thoroughly entertaining at times. It's fun to laugh at what an ass Lou Reed can be, talking in his best Black Panther voice about his organization of "heroin enthusiasts". The same goes for Mic Jagger, who, after snorting huge lines with Keef backstage just before showtime, nonchalantly states: "I don't care, it's only San Diego."

The live concert footage, while nowhere near as nice as Woodstock or Festival Express, bring some much needed purpose to the otherwise aimless film. Even during their most loutish, junkie-laden days, the Stones' ability to play with vitality stands up in the performance segments. Actively seeking out groups that could rock harder than them as their touring mates, the Stones benefitted from encore jams with Stevie Wonder and Ike and Tina Turner. Shots of Stevie and Mic dancing like coordinated rabbits can be powerful images for those of us who have to sit through all the dull heroin fare that sadly takes up 3/4 of the whole film.

If you've already seen Sympathy for the Devil or Gimme Shelter, I'd suggest you skip this film and try to find downloads of the concert footage instead, as you'll be thoroughly disappointed with the lack of effort the filmmakers put into this tragic piece of shit. I was far more entertained by Alex at Amphetamine Blues' dream she had about the Rolling Stones, which she told me about over the phone this weekend just after she woke up from it:

"I saw the Stones play live, but it was in the 70s, in their heydey, when they were still young dudes. Mic Jagger was sitting on stage cross-legged on an armchair behind a table, with a bottle of cranberry juice in front of him. But he kept calling the cranberry juice 'canny'. He'd sit there and say, 'I want my canny!'"



I'll have the playlist up from last week's "Border Bending" special up later tonight or perhaps tomorrow. Please check out an updated review of the LCD Soundsystem / MIA show, as some photos have been added.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Whew. I sweated myself sober tonight at the Opera House after a day of hard drinking in the sun. A capacity crowd rocked to MIA and LCD Soundsystem for a three hour tour that we almost never escaped from. The show had all the conductive potential of a three hundred foot tall lightning rod, and by the end of the night we'd been sufficiently eletrified.

Though I'll always stick up for the quality of the MIA show in February at the Drake that left some critics disappointed, I'd say that no one has any excuse to question Maya's stage talents after tonight's spectacle. Gone were all the between song fuck ups, along with Maya's earlier performance anxieties. Her rhymes were sharp, clearly poking through the wall-slap reverb of the Opera House's acoustic effect, and her poise as a dancer and vocalist was steady and focused. Diplo, however, was the hero of the opening set, holding the rhythms together in a virtually endless concussion of thumps and blips. One wonders how MIA keeps up with Diplo, as he barely leaves her time to breathe, but it might be Diplo who will have to keep up with Maya and her spirited backup MC as they raise the bar with each new show.

LCD Soundsystem was, by all accounts, nuts. James Murphy and his band of gadet junkies blasted the night away in a tightly packaged hour of anthemic carnage. With his eyes closed, the chubby cheeked Murphy is every inch the man he is on his albums. He means every word he says. He's the right man for the job and there's no question about it.

After the closing seconds of Nilsson's "Jump Into the Fire", he and his band left the stage quickly, as if to say, "the night is young, keep having fun." My brother-in-arms Mike Sallot tapped out rhythms on one of Murphy's auxilliary kits, while John Caffrey from the Kids on TV joined him by laying into the cowbell with his signature "chung chung chung".

On we went to the 56 where DJs dropped "mind control" eurotechno on us, gradually building to a more New York electro vibe. In the bathroom, I met a nice couple. on two separate occasions. Dylan and Susanna, both really fine lookin' lovebirds with a swell sense of fashion, turned me on to their lovely band, The Ever Nevers, and then invited me into a group hug. "We're showering you with our love dust". It's been a while since I've been shown affection from strangers, especially in this city where few people really have the inclination to welcome others into their circles, so it was nice to make their acquaintances. I hope to run into them again..at one of their shows, perhaps?


Maya lookin' so confident and sexy. Can she pleeease come and get me?

LCD Soundsystem's latest member, repeatedly introduced by James Murphy as "Phil".

Phil and Nancy Wang do the synth can-can while Murphy hovers in the background.

Guy Stevos claps while John from Kids on TV and king of the Kingston scene Mike Sallot plot their show stealing guerilla drum takeover.

Monday, May 16, 2005


I just saw MC5: A True Testimonial, the widely unavailable doc that examines the conditions and excitement that lead to the founding of the MC5. The film was screened around the world in 2002, and even made a stop at TIFF, but apparently it has not been released on DVD because of some copyright issues with Elektra Records, or something to that effect. I urge you to find a bootleg copy, and I'd highly suggest that you watch this film with the knowledge that rock n' roll will never again have the same influence or releveance on the lives of young people as it did then. I was not alive in 1968, so I cannot claim to know what it was like to be a part of that almost other-worldly experience, but I always imagine that it was a time in which you could feel thickness and tension in the air. Life was heavy and every choice and action a person made was labelled, scrutinized and dealt with in a political fashion. The MC5 not only reflected but thoroughly expressed this tension surrounding the divisive climate between the values of the pre-war world and the generations who would later go on to form society years later in their own image.

The MC5 sounded and acted like 1968, and that's incredible. How many bands can we say act and sound like 2005? How many bands are as important or tied to the movement that they associate themselves with? Are there any movements anymore? Here we are in the midst of global conflict: what goes on in the Middle East and Africa is no different from Vietnam, but why are we not reacting with the same kind of moral drive that people did in 1968? The hippie era had its weaknesses, severe ones, like the overdramatic hostility towards the establishment, and the subsequent unparalleled naivite about solutions for the future. Yes, they were dreamers in those days, be they students in France or Black Panthers in America, but they stood up. And it came through in the music. Who stands up for us nowadays? At least no one with guitars or microphones.

Don't get me wrong. I feel that there are certain groups who represent an unpretentious, honest part of rock n' roll culture that is often lost under the glitz, the posturing and the egos. But now, all of this great music is borne out of boredom, and as passionate or as exciting as these groups may be, I still shed a tear for a time when music REALLY meant something about who you were and what you did with your life, and listening to it had serious consequences that, at the very least, set you apart from one system and put you into the teeth of another. Maybe it still does, I could be wrong, as music is still something we wear on our sleeves. But we've tucked our hearts back into our chests. Rock n' roll has become a fashion, a lifestyle, but not a cause or an action, and thus, the message is missing. We need to find it again and live everyday like the world is about to fall apart.

Friday, May 13, 2005



To shoo away the bad luck, I've decided to finally deliver the playlist on schedule, as well as avoiding walking under all the ladders around my building while they do "renovations".

CONGOS - Congoman
CONGOS - Fisherman
* Brought to you by Spoilt Victorian Child. My roommie Jay from The Old Soul (PLAYING TONIGHT @ LEE'S FOR SANTA CRUZ!) conferred to me on the way to the radio station this morning that the Lee Perry produced double album Heart of the Congos is considered one of the best reggae albums of all time.

WHY? - Miss Ohio's Nameless
* If you caught him at the Horseshoe on May 2nd, good for you, as you probably got a sneak peek at the Sandless EP, which, as Moebius Rex explains, will give way to a full length album in September called Elephant Eyelash.

HERBALIZER - Gadget Funk
* New disco-ish tracks from an up and comer and supergroup. I'm rather surprised by this Herbalizer joint, as it's not quite as, hmm, how shall we say, cannabinical as some of their more familiar work. I'm excited to hear what else they've got in store. The tracks come to us from Scissorkick and Music For Robots respectively.

From here on, I decided to take the rest of the show on a different path. Last week, I talked about James Wooley over at Headphone Sex, who's willing to upload tunes to his blog that have been sent to him by various folks looking for blogplay. Since I too have been sent a number of discs over the past couple of weeks for radio airplay, I figured, "Why not do the same thing?" So, the rest comes from my snail mail box this week. Thanks to all the artists who sent me copies, as I now have your wonderful, free CDs to rock to.

DUPLEX! - Hanu
DUPLEX! - Salad Song
VEDA HILLE - Where Am I From?
* It was by total coincidence that I recieved both of these albums at the same time (one of them came from Umbrella Music for me to review), but Veda Hille has put together some extraodrinary releases over the past couple of months. Her own new album, The Return of the Killdeer, is a fine disc, both sad and beautiful and heady without imposing too much emotion on the lonely soul. But what I really enjoyed the best was Duplex!, who have been put together by Hille and her musical partners by recruitng some kids to join the party and collaborate with such instruments as "fake marimba, nose flute and kielbabsa". Why didn't I think of that when I was a kid?

VALERY GORE - Elliot Goes
* She didn't get the most flattering review in eye, but I was much nicer in the one I wrote for Umbrella Music. Keep on keepin' on, Valery.

ESCAPE GOATS - Your Blackbird
* The Hamilton independent rockers have released their latest effort...Independent Rocker...on their own terms through their own label, Escape Goat Records.

* Mr. Madison sent me his outstanding self-produced 7 song album of the same name that I've had on my box all week. It's like a return to the days before I hated music.

THE NEIN - The Vibe
* This track shakes me up, man. It's got to be all that circuit bending, and those absolutely "beyond me" synth bells. Read a review I wrote of their latest album here.

ZUBOTTA - Barry's Gone
ZUBOTTA - Haloid
* Canadian electro is getting more and more interesting year after year. While Caribou and The Russian Futurists are lending their skills to a more pop-oriented sound, artists like Venetian Snares and Zubotta explore the more historical formats such as Transylvanian Gypsy music, or in Zubotta's case, the art of the solo violin.

NEXT WEEK: tune in for an examination of the cross pollination between Africa, South America, The Carribean and North America in the world of electro., as well as a look at Matt Hart's new Russian Futurists album, as well as a track or two from other artists on his Upper Class Records label.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Ye gads! I HAVE to stop this war against punctuality. I'll try tomorrow to have the playlist up within a couple hours of the show, so you don't have to scratch your head for a week asking, "What was that tune called?"

This week, we bring you selections from disc's sent to me in the mail over the last few days, including Duplex! and Veda Hille, The Escape Goats and The Nein, as well as some new burnin', brand new tunes from the blogosphere, like a disco cut from Herbalizer, a heartfelt indie-hop ballad from WHY? and some dope ass reggae / gwo-ka from the Lee Perry produced group known as The Cognos.

Before I start, I should mention the array of fantastic shows in town this weekend. No Dynamics and the Chinese Stars will be at The Boat, a supposed pirate themed bar at 158 Augusta in the Kensington Market. Ahoy! Aye! Swab the deck! 'Tis a mere 7 schillings, bye, so's the captain expects ye to show yerself! DJ Mikey Apples and Broken Mirror Karaoke will be walking the plank alongside these lollygaggers.

The Old Soul, who just made the cover of eye this week, will be playing at Lee's Palace for Tyler Clark Burke's Santa Cruz party. Their drummer is my roommate, and he's got to pay the rent or we'll kick him out, so go and support him. Apparently, they've got a live video make-out booth set up, so since Jay is recently single, ladies, take him by the arm and suck his face off in front of everyone.

As for Saturday, I'll be at the El Mo for Grand Theft Bus and a seven piece band called The Little Pilgrims as a reviewer for Umbrella Music. On one of the other floors at the El Mo that night are playing Animal Monster, DAT Politics and Stop Die Rescuscitate. I'm not sure which one is upstairs or which is downstairs, but I plan on wandering in a booze-addled aimless manner between both floors, so if you see someone's head crashing through a wall or into the lovely dance studio mirrors upstairs, say hello.

And lastly, Johnny Dovercourt at the Music Gallery has informed me that they're throwing an "Italian Intensive" mini-fest this weekend to showcase some avant-garde pieces from Italian composers. We'll be giving a ticket giveaway for this gig tomorrow on the show, so tune in if you want in for free. Click here for more info.

Ed ora, esposizione della settimana scorsa!

SIKTRANSIT - Sometimes I Dance
* Our favourite habit at ESB is to play new Siktransit songs at the top of the hour. Once again, keep your ears and eyes open for his forthcoming album.

RACECAR - D is the New C
* All of these tracks come to us courtesy of James Wooley at Headphone Sex. They were all sent to him by snail mail and he was happy to showcase some of this uncharted talent. Check out the site for info on how to send your tunes to him for blogplay. None of the tracks are up anylonger, but you can check out the entry for more info.

MARTIN PETER - Hate Fuck Kill War
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - Little Girl (Masterkraft Edition)
* All from our favourite blog, 20JazzFunkGreats. I was listening to the final Fever Pitch last night on CFRC (Mike Salot is leaving Kingston for good this week), and he mentioned that Glitter are being sued by Mic Jagger and Keith Richards because they used to go by the nickname "The Glitter Twins". Why don't they just be sensible and sue Mariah Carey for that atrocious, bad taste concept album she came out with a couple years ago? After all, it was so shitty that her record company paid her off to fuck off with it, so she could have afforded the legal fees.

Anyways, 20Jazz had an interesting link that I thought I would share with you in the form of a setlist...

UNIREVERSE - My Baby's Gone
WE ARE MOLECULES - Silk and Venim (Whipcrack Revolution)
GELEE - Tachee
GOA! - Biya
* This all came from No. 1 In Belgium, who recently did a profile on "NUVO: Montreal's Radical Pop Underground" compilation from Robosapien Records. What I like most about this post is that they've steered away from heaping attention on the groups that already got it from Spin and NYT in their Montreal reports, and instead spent more time highlighting the aforementioned groups that fell under the radar.

DRESDEN DOLLS - Girl Anachronism
* Courtesy of Radio Babylon. These dudes opened up for NIN this week in Toronto. One of my rommies, a longtime Nails fan, was supposed to go with a friend and Rick the Temp to the show on a press pass and meet Trent Reznor, but sadly, the deal fell through. On the bright side, at least he didn't have to hang out with Rick the Temp!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

ESB 4/29/05

I apologize once again for not updating sooner, but the intar-net was no worky for a couple of days. I was wracking the ol' brainbox to figure out why, until I realized my cable was just slightly unplugged.

So what shall I preface with today? A lot of people ask me, "Hey, Stevos, you're on the scene, you're into the good tunes. How come we never hear any of that grime stuff on your radio show? Ain't it the new thing these days? Isn't it all over the blogosphere?"

Two reasons:

1) My dad is the only truly big fan of my show. Being a good Eastern European Jew he stays true to form and thus hates "that goddamn rap music" and it stresses the hell out of him. He has a hard enough time stomaching the likes of No Dynamics and Hella week to week. And he's not a huge fan of digital harcore electropunk either. Normally, I'd tell him to fuck off, but because he is the major financial contributor to my show during fundraising season, I'll keep him free of grime. But as faithful listeners, you can tell my sponsor how you feel about this by emailing him in Eski-boi speak (see link above).

2) All jokes about the ol' man aside, I find that grime doesn't need my help. Enough Torontonian indie boys have burned all their Arcade Fire albums and replaced them with Roll Deep live sets. Other people do grime better than I do, like Luca Lucarini at Ghetto Postage. Also, I don't want to end up being trashed in Dave Morris' Totally Wired for jumping on the grimewagon months after the bees started buzzing.

So I'll just suggest you all pick up the Run the Road compilation and ESB will leave it be. Roight? Oi.

Now, on with the show!

WE ARE WOLVES - We Are All Winners
* We Are Aids Wolf Parade Bright Frog Eyes. They should all just be one band. But seriously, check out this Montreal group's fabo-lus website, where these tracks came from. They've recently been written up in 20Jazzfunkgreats. They;ve got quite the touring schedule ahead of them hitting the road through the States and Western Canada with Trail of Dead and The International Noise Conspiracy. Check 'em out in Toronto on May 9th (next Monday) at The Hooch, 817 Queen West.

DANDI WIND - Umbillical Noose
DANDI WIND - Drawing Straws
DANDI WIND - Balloon Factory
* New tracks from Vancouver's outrageous and wily disco-punk songstress, who recently supported The Hidden Cameras across Canada to good reception. She's my breakout pick for 2005. Download the whole "Bait the Traps" EP here. She'll be at Harbourfront on June 2nd as part of the Power Plant's 7th annual Power Ball

SOLVENT - Think Like Us
RYU vs KEN - Combos Are the Way to Our Hearts

QUINTRON - Place Unknown
ROBOTNICKA - Bidip Bidip Bidip
LOST SOUNDS - Mechanical Feelings
* Another killer set from 20Jazzfunkgreats. Doesn't the Quintron track sound like the inspiration for Soul Wax's "NY Excuse"? I'd say so.

JOSEPHINE FOSTER - Crackerjack Fool
HENRY FLYNT - Purified by the Fire
DAN BEN ISRAEL - Hippies of Today are the Assholes of Tomorrow
ON FILLMORE - Eats Their Own
* A set from Locust Music's mp3 page. See previous entry for details and downloads.

FIERY FURNACES - Bluberry Boat Medley (Live @ Mod Club, Toronto, 9/12/04)
* Courtesy of Fluxblog. Listen to the whole raucous, head-spinning live set at CBC Just Concerts.

This week, tune in for a round up of a freshly released Montreal compilation that highlights some of the groups who were skipped over by the New York Times and Spin, as well as some music that has been made available to international music junkies exclusively through the blogosphere.