New Music of The Blogosphere and Beyond

Tuesdays at 5PM - 6PM ET on www.ciut.fm. Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


On Trevor J. Hirdenbirdle's advice, I went to see Me and You and Everyone We Know, an absurdly banal comedy by Portland's Miranda July.

I don't have much to say about the film, other than "It was the best movie I've seen in a long time!" and "Go see it!"

I will, however, take this opportunity to post some of Miranda's crazy music and audio pieces.

MIRANDA JULY - The Arky Girl

i predict that many indie boys will fall instantly in love with Miranda, if they haven't already. I mean, look at her Top Ten. She's just asking for them to chase her around.

Miranda has a blog where you can follow her adventures surrounding the film.

))<>(( Forever

While we're on the topic of cute, strange artist women who, check out Molly Crabapple.

Thursday, July 21, 2005



For those of you who chose for whatever reason not to come to The Boat tonight, you'll be rather disappointed with yourselves when everyone who went tells you how incredible this show was. The Extra Action Marching Band have already made some of the rounds recently with their Hollywood Bowl appearance with The Arcade Fire and David Byrne. Tonight, they proved why David Byrne insisted on letting them headline the show.

They took over the space from its core as soon as the first notes rang out, aweing those who keenly awaited their set, who'd had yet to know what to make of this burly, surly group from Oakland. Leading into their set by playing along with their tubas and trombones to Captain Easychord's grime and danceehall set, the crew of several drummers, horn players and dancers began the march with a parade through the audience to the tune of Guaganco. At the front line were two sexy lesbian burlesque flag girls, who stole the show with their gyrations, cat fights, teases and flag waving. They were joined by a scantily clad luau dancer during Fat Sexy Guy, the three of them engaged in some of the most devilish, lascivious ancing I'd ever seen. It was straight out of another era, when music had yet to be amplified and the crowd was as important to the experience as the band.

The band members gave our ears a workout, but mine came out unscathed. They made it a goal, it seems, to make as much of an imposing presence on us as possible, and what a fantastic imposition it was! The readily encouraged, and often provoked us outright into joining them in their sweaty mess of a party. Amindst all the chaos, the group remained tight and gave it their all.

If you get the chance, go see them at Funhaus tomorrow night. It may not have th same kind of wowness to it outside of the decor and atmosphere of The Boat, but they're sure to please anywhere they play by the looks of it.

Tune in tomorrow at 89.5 FM in Toronto at Noon ET for more of The Extra Action Marching Band, a rundown of the Optimo Psyche Out mix and some new stuff from Mt. Eerie, ex members of Thruh Hermit and Mahogany Frog.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I caught The Fantastic Four last night and I must say, the similarities to a Fab Four movie are uncanny.

First off the bat...we've got four specially talented individuals who suddenly come to fame due to their powers of inducing massive public spectacles. They become heroes in the press and followed by millions not just as superheroes, but figures of public intrigue. Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) / John Lennon as the show-offy leader...Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) / Paul McCartney as the wholesome, intelligent one...Ben Grimm (The Thing) / Ringo Star as the less photogenic outsider of the group...and Sue Storm (The Invisible Woman) / George Harrison as the quiet one who can go invisible when angered. It felt like watching some alternate reality of The Beatles Anthology, with Viktor Von Doom as the jealoius Phil Spector, the mad, rich genuis who can send massive amounts of electricity (the infamous and often destructive Wall of Sound) from place to place wih his fingers. Spector's toupee is Von Doom's mask, hiding his loss of youth and giving him a more imposing look.

The Fantastic Four convert the narrow minded, to accept and even love of mutantism. The Fab Four similarly brought rock n' roll beyond youth culture and made it something parents or grandparents could at least try to understand. "Ah, yes, I'm not one much for rock n' roll, but those Beatles are nice fellas and sing some lovely songs." I wonder if perhaps these comic book heroes do the something similar (not in real life, but within the narratives of their stories). Comic book characters, from the shallowest heros to the most reprehensible villains, have always taken on some outsider characteristic through which they gain power and repsect. So have famous musicians. Bowie was a freak, Lou Reed an art fag, Madonna a sexual futurist, hell, even The Beatles were poor blues rebels. Yet all of these artists rose to a certain acceptance from skeptics and even hostiles as talented performers with large followings who enrapture devotees because of their larger-than-life personas.

So do other stars fit into the plots of other super hero stories? The Talking Heads, for instance...could they be the The X-Men? With Eno as Professor X producing their albums from inside his brain? Is Prince then Batman, a wealthy recluse who retreats to dark places and plays with gadget in dark costumes?

Since there's very little of anything relevant in the above post, I'm not convinced of it…so for those of you who've had enough of the over-the-top academia, here's a Summer Superhero Soundtrack for you, courtesy of ESB:

PRINCE – Batdance
* Most people remember this, I'm sure, if they watched television or listened to the radio in 1990, but for those too young, it was Prince's surreal funk odyssey into the world of the caped crusader. It's like a Stooges song from the future!

TENACIOUS D – Spiderman (Live)
* Jack Black's absurd improv on the latest Spiderman films. Absolutely fab0-lus.

* I had no idea!

DAVID BOWIE – The Secret Life of Arabia
* The closing song on the Heroes album. This one's got Eno's brain mixer written all over it.

DANNY ELFMAN – Batman Finale
* The Joker's lying in a heap on a Gotham street and Batman's about to get it on with Vicky Vale…and the Bat Signal goes up for the first time! What do we get from the soundtrack? A Nazi Symphony, and all of a sudden the film becomes a Riefenstahl.

HANS ZIMMER – Corynorhinus
* A piece from the new flick. Very emotional, if you cry bat tears.

DJ CLUE ft. Cam'ron, Canibus and Noreaga – Fantastic Four
* Ok, I hate hip hop for the most part, but this track is seeeerieoussss.
"My muthafuckin brain is IBM compatible!" Ohhhhhhhhhh!

THE CURE – Lullabye
* Spoida mon is hoving me fo dinnoh tonight.

DAVID CROSS – Spierman vs. Superman vs. Wonder Woman on the Rag
* This doesn't have much to do with the superheroes, but it's fuckin' funny.

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Fluxblog also has a few things to say about Fantastic Four, and even offers us a vintage radio drama about the wily scientists-cum-freak-heroes, narrated by Stan Lee.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Quite possibly the best thing about the annual Beats, Breaks and Culture Festival in Toronto every July is that concert goers can see several kickass, braintwistingly fantastic groups from both our own scene and others for the low price of $0. Most of these groups would cost at least $10 to see on their own, if not $20 or $30, so it's quite the treat. To be dancing by the lake at night to the backdrop of our futuristopian condo landscape carries with it some kind of sweeping "ahhhhhh" to it that even if the show isn't all that it's cracked up to be, the experience is still quite nice.

"Yo, Toronto, where ma mix at? Turn them shits up!" said the performers collectively at Beats, Breaks and Culture.

That was certainly the case this year, or at least it was with Saturday's show. The one problem with the CIBC Stage is that the engineers keep the overall front of house levels quieter than your average outdoor concert, leaving the mix somewhat muddy. Subtler instruments and tones have a harder time poking through the mix, and often, the result is that the best players get buried in a wash of reverberating bass. Out Hud's set, for instance, was marred by this quietness, and while they put on a gratifying show, the balls-out heaviness of the drums that comes through on their albums was missing, while the electric cello that differentiates them from other electro groups was lost to our ears during even some of the less intense moments. Still, the band made what they could of the subdued, seated early crowd. The girls danced spiritedly when their instruments were on autoplay, while Nic Offer did scissor-arm dances on the stage's lower catwalk. "I love it when it's like, hella hot out," he said in his Sacramento drawl, "and like, no one's dancing but there's like, two ravers goin' *freakishly movies his shoulders and wailis his head around*!" He was thoroughly applauded for that statement and accompanying mock dance, but the audience didn't take his cue and remained seated until sundown.

What Out Hud looks like through my bay window.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra followed with a meaty funk set to a more appreciative but largely starchy crowd. Whenever the trumpets struck, it could be felt in our loins and we clapped and cheered as if sexually satisfied, while the lovely Miss Alice Russel, with the wind blowing so gracefully through her black flapper dress, never struck a sour note. It's nice to see a singer smile, especially when she's gorgeous in a motherly way and wears a pretty flower in her hair. Once again, the crowd was content, yet the dancing was minimal and the spirits too blah-zay for my liking.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra looked something like this on Saturday night at Harbourfront.

From there I headed to the tent where the mysterious Jake Fairley was spinning one of his apocalyptic house music sets, but it was too crowded and awash with district-type clubbers for me to desire a venture on the inside, so I headed to the Brigantine Room for a tight performance by We Are Wolves, three bilingual Montrealers who entered the stage with colourful, kaleidescopic plastic kites masking the lower halves of their faces. Despite more sound problems on the side of muddiness, the group got our stiff legs boucning again with their bare-bones, punk rock approach to dance music.

We Are Wolves looked nothing like this on Saturday night at Harbourfront.

Although I could hear them from a ways away, I missed Brian Bordchert's Holy Fuck due to a chance encounter with my friend Grasshopper, who I accompanied with a few others on a walk through the portlands that culminated in late-night visit to the Toronto Music Garden. If you haven't been there before, check it out, as it's one of the few beautiful spots on an otherwise dumpy lakeshore. It's design is inspired by a Bach piece and houses a wildlife sanctuary for birds and large flying insects.

I would have to say that I came out slightly underappreciative of this show, not necessarily because of any serious flaws in its design or upkeep. The acts were a great choice and the crowd was interested, but the energy was quite low from start to finish, so nothing was as spectacular as it could have been, at least not as amazing as last year's final night with Caribou (then Manitoba) and Jaga Jazzist blasting our faces with truly memorable performances. But all in all, I applaud the folks at Harbourfront who continue to provide our broke asses with free concerts by the lake.



Please notice that on the left hand side, underneath our links section, is a new hit counter that was installed about two hours ago. So far, it reads 10 hits, which means that at this rate, we'll have 219,000 hits by the end of the decade.


Back to the old format of not waiting several weeks to deliver a goddamn playlist! Downloads have also been reintegrated...

HANK COLLECTIVE - Defreeze and Top Gal
* Toronto has been getting a lot of attention these days from Brighton, England's 20JazzFunkGreats. These guys even chose the Constantines' Shine a Light as their dedication track to the people of London after last week's bomb attacks. Read the very thoughtful post and download the song, as well as the following tunes I picked up from them over the past couple of weeks. Everyday, these guys post more and more obscure and outrageous music that cannot be found in too many places. I love this blog so much I want to spunk all over it.

HAWKWIND - Opa Lola (Betty Botox Reworking)
DENNIS YOUNG - Signal Up Ahead (Stromba Remix)
LIQUID LIQUID - Optimo (courtesy of Snake Eyes)

GLASS CANDY - Life After Sundown
* After a hiatus, Goldkixx is back to posting disco-rock, folk-punk and the latest in Montreal underground music. More to come from them next week...

SEAHORSE LIBERATION ARMY - We Set Paris On Fire (Updated Version)
* The group we just can't stop loving has re-recorded their hit, which is now less lo-fi and more vocally clear. The next track is also quite a wonder, as I'm not sure if the mastermind behind this project has pitch-shifted his own voice or sampled some obscure Cambodian pop.

WOLF PARADE - You Are A Runner and I am My Father's Son
*Their new EP drops tomorrow, so Sub Pop has posted an mp3 of the first single so you can fall in love with it and be the first indie-kid on your gentrified city block to buy it.

THE EMPIRES - Lesbian Games
* Download these new tracks from anew local group on a new local blog called Are You Familiar? which I believe is run by eye mag editor / Tow Koreas frontman Stuart Berman.

...AS THE POETS AFFIRM - A Lie Told Before Breakfast
FINAL FANTASY - IF I Were a Carp (Live @ Music Gallery)
* Download both of these tunes at the best Canadian music blog ever.


SPOON - I Turn My Camera On
ANNIE - My Heartbeat
JAGA JAZZIST - Oslo Skyline
A NORTHERN CHORUS - The Shepherd and the Chauffeur
DESTROYER - The Music Lovers
* All of these new tunes (some fresher than others) are available through Thomas Bartlet's Audiofile Archive at Salon.com. This guy's site is incredibly entertaining and resourceful, as it has not only a daily download and artist profile but a corporate-sponsored Summer Soundtrack contest that has all the tunes you'll need to spend the next two months in the sun.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS - Bleedng Heart Show
HEXES AND OHS - The Shape is Me
WOLF PARADE - Shine A Light
* All from Stereogum.

PETE SHELLEY - Homosapien Dub
* Courtesy of DJ Seez.

ESG - My Love for You
* Recently played Toronto during Pride Weekend at Wil Munro's Vazaleen party. It was yet another reward for Toronto audiences and their embracement of influential early 80s dance-punk, to which shows earlier in the year from the likes of Gang of Four and Mission of Burma would attest.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

SET TO SELF-DESTRUCT: Reviews of Live 8 and Ari-Up @ Sneaky Dee's

Roger Waters greets an old inflatable friend at Live8 in London.

Saturday, July 12, 2005. Around the world, hundreds of thousands of people in various cities plough their way through one another to get a spot watching their favourite, and in many cases not so favourite megastars of rock and pop wear their hearts on their sleeves for starving Africans. While the integrity of the performers and organizers cannot be discredited, the world is still a long way from solving its major causes of death by singing along to popular songs. The powerful musicians of the world have ignored the lessons of 1969 altogether and instead used 1985 as an example. Live8, despite its convictions and intentions, was not a protest, and therefore thoroughly uneffective politically. But it is not in our interests, as a music blog, to examine the socio-political consequences of such an event, so we'll at least declare it an economic success (they'll be reaping more and more cahs once the DVDs and companion books hit the shelves) and move on to the more juicy stuff.

Madonna was hot, but a little bit crazy with that "Are yooouuu reaaadaaay to start a FUCKING REVOLUTIOOOON?" shit. Sure, Madonna, we love you, and your dancing is still fucking fantastic, but you seem so tragically unaware that a pop star has never really changed the world to the extent of inciting a revolution. Oh, and also, people standing around in crowds cheering while risking absolutely nothing never set any movements off the ground either.

All the heads seemed pleased to see that Pink Floyd didn't sound like old bagpipes full of shit. But y'know, most of us probably didn't worry much about that being a possibility. To paraphrase an old guitar teacher of mine: Pink Floyd made some smart moves years ago by writing slow-paced material, as they'll be able to play even their heaviest songs well into their sixties as a result. This show was no exception to that theory. Though they were a bit sitff, you have to credit them for making it out to the show at all. It was nice to experience their always welcome sound, evocative of the time period in which they were written and still relevant today. Their music has aged well (if it has aged at all), and hopefully this will extend into some kind of tour and maybe an album. It would, after all, be nice to hear them after more than just a few hasty rehearsals. One funny moment was Roger's shoutout to Syd Barret, iliciting only the slightest cheer from an audience of 35,000. I could just see all those people in the crowd thinking to themselves, "Yeah, Syd, the starving African kid...yeah. we're doin' it for him man!"

PINK FLOYD - Wish You Were Here (Live @ Live8)

The only ridiculous and inappropriate moment of the day (other than the inclusion of Celine Dion's satelitte linkup from Vegas to Barrie) was Pete Doherty's laughable, typical, almost predictable idiocy. Showing up smackered off his hospital bed just before his duet with Sir Elton, the once up-and-coming vocalist has quickly sealed his fate as a future "Where Are They Now" special. Geldof's next project should be a concert to teach Doherty a lesson. He should invite all the best singers of the best bands in the world (including Elton John) to sing Doherty songs with his former bandmates in the Libertines, just so that rock n' roll dropout can see how easy it is for a talented performer to upstage a junkie.

PETE DOHERTY and ELTON JOHN - Children of the Revolution (T-Rex Cover, Live @ Live8)
* Listen at your own risk!

(Live8 Downloads courtesy of Analog Art Ensemble)


In Canada, we had Barrie, home to ten years of ridiculously overpriced concerts, as our bastion of outreach. While thousands of people flocked to the site to boo Celine Dion from afar, those of us left in Toronto for the holiday weekend had other shows to see.

Sneaky Dee's, on Friday and Saturday, hosted Ari-Up, a woman who barely needs introduction (for those of you who don't know who she is, look up The Slits...she's the crazy one with the microphone). To see this woman perform on Saturday night to a crowd probably as small and sweaty as some of those she played in her punk heydey was quite the experience for those of us who were but angry sperm and egg when she was singing for one of the most unique punk groups of all time. With her band The True Warriors and a highly loyal crowd supporting her, she hopped from side to side with a quirky perma-smile livening both her tired face and the spirit of the crowd.

Ari-Up and the Powerful Magic Poom-Poom

Sets from opening groups Grasshopper and controller.controller were good enough to start the night out on the right dancing foot, but I certainly did not expect Ari-Up and The True Warriors to cause such a ruckus with their music. Opening with "Instant Hit", they got us thinking "The SLIIIIITS!" from the very get-go, fulfilling our need to hear their old material live. More tunes from Cut made their way into the set as Ari attempted to school the mainly young audience in the ways of the punky-reggae party (she also did not hesitate to remind us time and time again that it was The Slits who arguably invented punky reggae). Inviting members of "the reggae boys" and "the punk girls" to join her on stage for numbers like "Shoplifting", Love Und Romance", and of course "I Heard it Through the Grape/Bassline", she allowed the kids to have their fun on the other side of the fourth wall.

Of course, the audience participation did have its more wiry moments.Knuckledread, the hippie-on-the-outside-punk-on-the-inside character who can be found causing moshing mishaps at every No Dynamics show, milked the good times for all he could, ending his unintentionally destructive path of lunacy by knocking a beer over a whole row of guitar pedals. In true Jamaican fashion, both a Hypemon and Vibemon situated themselves in and around the stage to inject some thoroughly entertaining mischief into the set. Hypemon, a rather imposing figure with long hair and a slight temper, shouted obscenities into anything that had either ears or diaphragms, while Vibemon, an older and subtly insane man passed joint after joint to the band and the crowd. While the bar staff chased a sheepish Vibemon around the crowd for his hijinx, pretty women ducked as a shirtless Hypemon attempted to make some soul connections while their boyfriends were still in the john.

Crudity, oddity and lewdness were the order of the evening, and what a better leader than Ari? She's an oddball who says what she wants. ""You see this?" she asked, cupping her crotch. "Ladies, that's your poom-poom. You have to take the power from your poom-poom." Her pussy was a general theme, in fact, pervasive in nearly all of her statements that weren't about punky-reggae. Though to some she came off as juvenile, those of us up front enjoyed every choice-cut word that Ari the quote machine came up with. My pussy (if I had one) would have been pleased.

As her two hour set moved on and on, the crowd became more and more fiesty, until either an instant mosh or skank erupted at the first note of every tune. Ari's solo material held up well, breaking into serious dancehall and even near-classic rock at times, but it was the punkier moments that really got everyone up in each other's shit. Even the skinniest, most innocent looking girls would run elbows first into a clump of fifteen or twenty sweaty human jumping beans. "Typical Girls" brought it all together, as it contained all of the fierce, bouncy rhythms and riotous vocals that seem to cause immediate fury to explode across a performance space. I could no longer handle any more Ari-Up or Sneaky Dee's at that point and opted to cash it in for the night. It was the joint that did me in. Those dubbie moments of panning echoes pulled by eardrums back and forth, sending seizmic currents into my brain that lead to one of the most challenging headaches I'd experienced in years. A day later, I still have yet to sleep this one off.

For those of you interested in what Ari sounds like 26 years after Cut, you'd be surprised to know that not much has changed. Sure, she's gone a bit more reggae, but that's only natural when you move to Jamaica, marry a Jamaican and have Jamaican children. She's off to Hamilton, Ottawa and Montreal over the next few days, so perhaps you'll catch her, but if not, at least have a listen to the following:


THE SLITS - Instant Hit (sample)
THE SLITS - FM (sample)

Friday, July 01, 2005


I've been damned lazy with posting playlists lately, but for good reason:

1) I'm too damn busy!

2) All those fun posts about everything except for weekly playlists. We're branching out and trying to be more of a blog than just a plug for a radio show.

Which brings me to today's feature, San Francisco rock history part two, with yet another obscure but aesthetically outrageousband of San Fransiscans called The Icky Boyfriends, who I heard for the first time today while at CIUT.

These guys were clearing rooms in the early 90s with their loud, scratchy and almost absurd songs. They were a sound engineer's worst nightmare, haphazardly but passionately stumbling through the West Coast underground in a haze of noise, fights and accidents. Their recordings were of such low quality that they're almost unenjoyable, but with a great deal of patience, one can imagine what the songs would have sounded like had they had access to . But the odds were stacked against them and they were unable to propel themselves beyond the cruel world of impoverished junkie bars into the wider emerging scenes of indie rock n' roll from America in the 1990s.

I wish that their masterwork, Frank: A Rock Opera could have been recorded under better conditions, because it's truly a brilliant, creative and authentically underground reaction to the pomposity of rock music. These guys could have been another MC5 had the cards worked in their favour just once.

Read an informativ article about them here, and look as hard as you can for their music, because I can't at the moment.

Tune in for the next episode, where we bring you The Hospitals, known in Toronto fro cracking open Dan Burke's head with a guitar.

And now, the playlists (this week's will ocme in the next few days)...


DFA 1979 - Black History Month (Alan Braxe and Fred Falke remix)
THE FLOOR - Seconds Later
SEAHORSE LIBERATION ARMYOn Nous Cache Tout, On Nous Dit Rien
LES 409 - They Say
LES 409 - Born In Chicago (from Drugburn)
CAMILLE - Ta Douleur
ANTOINE DUHAMEL - Twist Pour Jean-Luc

* All of these tunes can be found at Sixeyes, 20JazzFunkGreats, Daiy Refill, Yo Seez! and Drugburn.


ROLAND KIRK - Ain't_No_Sunshine
HANGEDUP - Klang Klang
THE JUAN MACLEAN - Shining Skinned Friend
SIKTRANSIT - Pamplemousse
SIKTRANSIT - Hey Thatsa My Saandwich!
0=0 - This Dream Demo
HOT HOT HEAT - Middle of Nowhere
WOLF PARADE - Killing Armies
WOLF PARADE - Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts
ATLAS STRATEGIC - Jeered by Minor Demons
ACTION MAKES - Paid In Admission
CPC GANGBANGS - Suicide Ride
TANGIERS - Ro-Ro-Roland
MIKA BOMB - Boomeranka

* All of these tunes can be found at the following sites: CPC Gangbangs, 20JazzFunkGreats, Goldkixx, Heyo I'm Hally, Sixeyes, and Said the Gramophone.