May 28, 2006
It has been a rather busy week here around bootlog central so I just have a short post to entertain you all this weekend. But quality over quantity, right?
Nouvelle Vague is something of an oddity, and I mean that in the best possible way. For those who don’t know about the group, they take classic songs from the ’80s and cover them bossa nova-style. At first I thought it was something of a silly gimmick, but rather than being silly or ironic in their covers, there is a seriousness and authenticity to their approach. The result is sultry, sensuous, and pretty great any which way you look at it. By and large, I think I like their versions better than the originals (but I’m not a conoisseur of ’80s music so you may discount my musical taste at will). Here’s what NPR had to say about them:
The French band Nouvelle Vague takes classic New Wave singles from the ’80s and adds a Brazilian twist — courtesy of the other “new wave”: bossa nova.
What began as a project between Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux — both with long resumes as musicians and producers in France — has expanded to include the efforts of eight female singers, each with their own style.
The idea at the heart of Nouvelle Vague was that the songs be performed by singers who had little or no previous exposure to the original music. The results range from breathy ’60s escapism to unusual approaches to familiar lyrics.
Intrigued? I thought you might be so I offer you three tracks the Nouvelle Vague crew performed for NPR’sWorld Cafe (where the above quote appeared).
Nouvelle Vague, World Cafe, NPR, 21 November 2005
1) Intro & Interview.mp3 (2.38 MB)
2) Just Can’t Get Enough.mp3 (2.43 MB)
3) Guns of Brixton.mp3 (3.04 MB) – check out the awesome whistling action on this track
4) Ever Fallen in Love.mp3 (2.58 MB)
5) Band intro & outro.mp3 (2.06 MB)
You can stream tracks from the NV site and Dodge and Goose will hook you up with some mp3s. Check out Justin Time Records to purchase their albums. They have a new cd coming out in June and will be touring north america in september (Toronto Sept. 14, Montreal Sept. 15).
May 21, 2006
On Wednesday The Meligrove Band played to a pretty full crowd at the Grad Club which is nice to see on a weeknight. But, being the middle of the week, they started rather early and even though i was there only 40 minutes after the doors opened I missed the better part of the Melingrove Band's short set (they were the first of three bands). What I did see included three energetic rock songs populated by urgent vocals, crashing cymbals, and driving guitar lines. Good stuff all around. Hopefully they will roll through town again soon, preferably as headliners.
My recording was made using an analogue recorder from the audience and the quality reflects that. It is listenable, in my opinion, but I admit it is far from perfect. Just so you know – you can make up your own mind about what you think of it.
I hope everyone is having a fantastic May 2-4. Really, is there a better way to celebrate a monarch than by getting hammered out in the woods somewhere? I certainly don't know of one.
The Meligrove Band, Grad Club, Kingston, 17 May 2006
The Meligrove Band, CBC Radio 3, In Session at Studio 211, Toronto, 23 Jan 2006
1) Kingfisher Society.mp3 (2.15 MB)
2) Feel It In My Body.mp3 (2.67 MB)
3) Have I Forgotten How To Fight?.mp3 (3.47 MB)
4) Where Eagles Dare.mp3 (2.23 MB)
5) Planets Conspire.mp3 (3.34 MB)
6) Everyone's a Winner.mp3 (3.17 MB)
7) Our Love.mp3 (2.86 MB)
Visit the Band's site for a bunch of tracks off their albums and to buy their stuff.
May 14, 2006
I just about fell off my chair when I first heard that Islands were going to be opening for Metric when they came to Kingston at the beginning of the year. As I was eagerly anticipating the release of their album this came as exceptionally good news to me. Islands lived up to expectations – playing slightly off-kilter, rather pop-y and extremely well crafted songs. The crowd was by and large there to see Metric and Islands were the second act on the bill (Holy Fuck performed first and kicked our collective asses with their awesomeness). I would guess that they were largely unknown by the majority of the people there, but nevertheless the audience was pretty into Islands. While it was kinda weird to be closer in age to the parents than to the kids they brought (ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but not much), I will say that this all-ages crowd was there to rock-out and have a good time and Islands certainly held their attention.
Islands played an excellent set, featuring songs off the forthcoming album as well as a number of non-album tracks. But the show ended rather strangely…and abruptly. Stories have been coming out about the end-of-show antics from their current headlining tour (leading the crowd "pied-piper style" out of the venue to start a dance party or shirts & skins basketball game outside etc.) but this time it wasn't a happy ending. As you will see from the banter, Nick was making a big deal out of crowdsurfing. This was due to a large sign taped to his monitor which explained the policy they were enforcing at the venue – if you got caught crowdsurfing you would get an "X" put on your hand in black marker, on the second time you get a second "X" and if you did it a third you got turfed. What the StuCons who dreamt up this sytem didn't take into consideration was that it meant you could do it twice with essentially no penalty (something the Metric boys brought up, in case anyone missed it). Being naturally anti-authoritarian, Nick egged the crowd on throughout the set, taunted the StuCons, and, at the end of "Abominable Snowman" jumped into the crowd himself. This wouldn't have been a problem except he dove into the worst section of the audience imaginable: that consisting mostly of tiny girls who, being the die-hard Metric fans, waited for two hours in the cold outside the Hall so they could be front row centre. Their skinny arms could not support Nick. He fell, got back onstage and stormed off [see photo below – he's in there somewhere].
It is my impression that they did not intend to end their set quite so soon as the rest of the band looked rather surprised at Nick's leaving (one Islander, Jim Guthrie, i believe, said we hurt Nick's feelings). I wasn't able to get a setlist to see if they infact were planning on playing longer – you will note they didn't play "Rough Gem," "Swans," "Don't Call Me.." or other great tracks from their album. At anyrate, it was a bit of an odd ending to an otherwise great show.
As per usual, this is an audience recording made on analogue tape. The quality is
pretty good better after I tinkered around with it a bit in Audacity there is only a bit of tape hiss remaining [Note: Others don't seem to agree about the quality of this. I suggest you check out one track before you download the whole thing]. Not enough, I think, to be too worried about but I figured I should let you know what to expect. If you are in Toronto next weekend go see Islands in action yourself in what is probably the best non-festival bill of the year – they are playing with Busdriver, Cadence Weapon, Frog Eyes and Sunset Rubdown.
Islands, Grant Hall, Kingston, 28 February 2006
1) Intro: The Ghost of Grant Hall.mp3 (1.8 MB)
2) Bucky Little Wing/Humans.mp3 (6.73 MB)
3) crowdsurfing and feedback talk.mp3 (1.93 MB)
4) I'm Not Crazy.mp3 (4.95 MB)
5) Volcanoes.mp3 (6.72 MB)
6) Holy Fuck and Metric talk.mp3 (2.14 MB)
7) Come Into My Room.mp3 (4.1 MB)
8) crowdsurfing is evil talk.mp3 (1.74 MB)
9) I Feel Evil (Creeping In).mp3 (5.6 MB)
10) exams and tom and katie talk.mp3 (2.1 MB)
11) Tsuxiit.mp3 (4.45 MB)
12) Tender Torture.mp3 (5.68)
13) how many times will you crowdsurf? talk.mp3 (2.1 MB)
14) Jogging Gorgeous Summer.mp3 (4.22 MB)
15) the sign is ripped and we are graded on our crowdsurfting talk.mp3 (1.92 MB)
16) Abominable Snowman.mp3 (5.9 MB)
For a small fee, you too can Return to the Sea.
May 7, 2006
If you are looking for a soundtrack for your sunny spring Sunday you could do a lot worse than selecting The Go! Team. This energetic bunch of Brits make superfun music that may cause you to bob your head, to walk down the street a little more jauntily, or may even make you start dancing in your living room. The have a horn section (ok, they sample a horn section), they have handclaps, they have an MC called Ninja. What more could you ask for? I can only imagine that they put on a killer show and for a little taste of what they sound like live, here is a studio session from their recent visit to NPR's World Cafe.
The Go! Team, World Cafe, NPR, 26 April 2006
1) intro.mp3 (0.6 MB)
2) Junior Kickstart.mp3 (3.8 MB)
3) Interview 1.mp3 (3.46 MB)
4) Huddle Formation.mp3 (2.95 MB)
5) Interview 2.mp3 (1.38 MB)
6) Wrath of Mikey.mp3 (3.43 MB)
7) Interview 3.mp3 (1.54 MB)
8) Ladyflash.mp3 (5.98 MB)
9) outro.mp3 (0.4 MB)
Support NPR – get The Go! Team's record. It's win-win!
May 5, 2006
We Are Scientists made two appearances in the BBC studios this week. Yesterday they did an acoustic set with Jo Whiley (see YANP for mp3s). Today, they talked to Gideon Coe and performed a couple of tunes. As before, they give highly amusing interviews so be sure to check out the talky bits as well as the rocky bits.
We Are Scientists, The Hub, Gideon Coe, BBC6Music, 5 May 2006
UPDATE: Since Sarah asked nicely: Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt, BBC1, 4 May 2006.mp3 (3.92 MB)
All the cool kids buy WAS stuff here.