March 2, 2009
Congratulations to Dona who is now the proud owner of Shout Out Out Out Out‘s sweet new record “Reintegration Time”. Thanks to all who entered. If you didn’t win, don’t fear – the record is released in Canada tomorrow and you can seek one out for your very own. Head on over to Six Shooter or NrmlsWlcm and they will hook you up.
The ShoutSet have filmed a video for “Coming Home” the slamming cut which features Cadence Weapon. That video doesn’t appear to be available yet but a pretty cool making of is – see Shout Out Out Out Out on fire! (I’ll update the post when it does get released)
February 22, 2009
(photo by BK from SOOOO’s myspace)
Edmonton’s Shout Out Out Out Out are releasing their follow up to 2006’s excellent “Not Saying/Just Saying.” Their sophomore effort is a slamming record entitled “Reintegration Time” that has all the analogue synths, driving bass lines, robo-vocals, and double-action drumming that you could possibly hope for.
The record starts with the anthemic “Run” which appears to signal a departure in tone for the ShoutSet, the swelling synths seem a world away from the pessimism of “Forever Indebted”. Never fear, however, nothing is glossy nor pristine for the Edmonton sextet and once the vocoder-enhanced vocals of Nik Kozub hit in “Guilt Trips Sink Ships” you realize that their disillusionment with the modern world remains firmly intact. The big beats and dirty synths of bring us back to where we want to be – drunk and on the dance floor – but this time around we can unashamedly allow a hint of a smile on our face. Overall, the production seems more robust on the new record, not exactly polished, but bigger and with even more complex layering of percussion, synths, and vocals than heard previously.
With a seemingly endless variety of keyboards at their disposal, “Reintegration Time” delivers ten unique cuts which nevertheless swirl and morph and blend from one track to the next across the album, presenting a unified vision. Standout tracks include the colossal two-part “How Do I Maintain” at the centre of the album, the simmering “Bad Choices,” “In the End It’s Your Friends” (which was released a few months ago as a split single with San Serac), and “Coming Home” featuring an amazing guest spot by Cadence Weapon (who remixes Shout Out Out Out Out on his ‘pay what you can’ Separation Anxiety mixtape which I highly recommend you pick up).
Here are a few sample tracks – check out their myspace for more:
* Guilt Trips Sink Ships
* Bad Choices
As long-time b(oot)log readers will know, SOOOO is no studio project. Eyewitness accounts relate the awesome mayhem inflicted by the band on unsuspecting audiences (go here for my recording of their 2006 stop in Kingston). They’re going on tour to support the record and it is going to be the hottest set of shows to hit your town this Winter. Here’s a preliminary list of dates (check out their site/space for full dates – including a bunch of shows in March which will take them to California, Colorado, Oregon, and, of course, they are SXSW’ing in Austin)
CD RELEASE SHOWS:
EDMONTON, AB: The Starlight Room, February 28
EDMONTON, AB: The Starlight Room, March 1
CALGARY, AB: Warehouse, March 5
SASKATOON, SK: Louis’ Pub, April 21
WINNIPEG, MB: Pyramid Cabaret, April 22
TORONTO, ON: Lee’s Palace, April 25
LONDON, ON: Call The Office, April 27
WATERLOO, ON: Starlight Room, April 28
OTTAWA, ON: Babylon, April 29
MONTREAL, PQ: La Sala Rosa, April 30
It has been quite a while since we’re run a contest here and so it is high time we get free stuff to you, our loyal readers. Thanks to our friends at Six Shooter, I have a copy of “Reintegration Time” for one lucky person. Entering is easy – just send me an email with “SOOOO contest” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will chose the winner at random. The contest closes March 2nd at noon (EST) and I will announce the winner shortly thereafter. Best of luck.
The new record is out on March 3rd in Our Home and Native Land and will take the US by storm on May 5th. It will be released in CD and digital forms, and in a very extra special triple gatefold LP and will be available at Six Shooter Records or through SOOOO’s site (be sure to pick up their earlier releases and shirts and stuff if you don’t already have them in your possession) so head on over there to pick it up should you not win the copy from me.
February 12, 2008
photo by James Parker Photography, from the band’s myspace.
On their debut full-length, “Oracular Spectacular,” MGMT cast their net wide and haul back a multitude of influences which inform their eclectic sound. Prog, disco, synth-pop, and the more eclectic indierockers like – Fiery Furnaces and Of Montreal (whom they’ve toured with) – all seem to get thrown in the mix. Deep groves are constructed out of layers of bass lines, multiple synths, and a vocal style that is mined from ’70s pop records (at times Jagger, at times Bowie, at times Mercury, at times something familiar which I can’t quite place my finger on. )
Their album is definitely rooted in music of the past and, in addition, is informed and inspired by time gone by. It is not quite a rallying cry to return to the ideals of the 60s-70s but it isn’t quite just a nostaligic look back either. Perhaps MGMT are expressing a hopeful wish to reinstate those values which our cynicism has deemed untenable in the 21st century. An underlying theme of return to innocence (see the standout “Kids”, “The Youth”) emerges as they express a desire for the uncomplicated time where there is “Time to Pretend” of making it big, making money, marrying models. On my first listen, I wasn’t sure how serious MGMT should be taken – it seemed just a shade to contrived. I think, however, that the lead off track is informed by what follows: in isolation “Time to Pretend” can be read as a satirical or tongue-in-cheek comment on the dream of becoming a rockstar. In the context of the album, however, I think the song reflects that desire held at an earlier age which, when looking back with wisdom, seems naive. The MGMT duo Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser have created a unique album taking from a broad spectrum of sounds and styles (many of which have remained relatively untapped even with the “everything old is new again” mentality which abounds).
Here are a couple of tracks:
* Time to Pretend
They are on tour right now. Yes, I know they just played Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal with Yeasayer (any one see these shows? Good?) but it seems that, as I so often am, I was a day late and a dollar short on this one. There are still a few US dates – including a show TONIGHT at Great Scott in Allston Massachusetts – and a whack of UK & European shows so check them out if they happen to be in your neighbourhood (hit up their myspace for full dates…if you can decipher them through the background)
Feb 12 Allston, MA, with Yeasayer, DJ Carbo
Feb 14 Brooklyn, with Yeasayer
Feb 15 Philadelphia, with Yeasayer
Would you like to win yourself a copy of their album? Of course you would. I have a prize pack consisting of MGMT’s “Oracular Spectacular”, a poster, and stickers courtesy of SonyBMG Music Canada. Just send me an email with “MGMT contest” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body to email@example.com and I will chose the winners at random. The contest closes February 22nd at noon (EST) and I will announce the winner shortly thereafter. Best of luck.
If you don’t win you can pick yourself up a copy of the record through the SonyStore.
January 3, 2008
photo by WaterCoolerGossip, taken at the Bowery Ballroom, 14 July 2006
Nicole Atkins produces lush, soulful pop which hearkens back to times we think must have been simpler but, in reality, were undoubtedly as fraught as the present with the heartbreak, intrigue, and drama Atkins sings about. Rich orchestration, courtesy of her band The Sea, propels the songs – with strings and horns and warbley guitars all the things we like – but it is Atkins’ extraordinary voice that so memorable. It is a voice that can fill a room. Warm, but melancholic, it is eminently suited to her songs of lost love and tragic circumstances, her vocals alternating between tearing your heart apart and comforting you. The swell of the string section is easily outmatched by Atkins, whose voice moves from sensual crooning to passionately belting out her lyrics. She is equally comfortable with steamy, slow-boiling numbers to the positively rollicking tunes. The full-length “Neptune City” shows Atkins capable of incorporating a number of genres into her sound – from blue-eyed soul, blues, folk, and pop – without it ever seeming forced. Heres a couple to tracks to sample:
And be sure to check out her performance next Monday, Jan. 7th, on Late Night with Conan O’Brien .
To ring in the New Year and to celebrate the two-year anniversary B(oot)log (ok, not really, but I can pretend that I’m that important, can’t I?), I have a couple of copies of Nicole Atkins’ “Neptune City” to give away courtesy of SonyBMG Music Canada. Just send me an email with “Nicole Atkins contest” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will chose the winners at random. The contest closes January 11th at noon (EST) and I will announce the winners shortly thereafter. Best of luck.
December 11, 2007
Looking for that perfect gift for the audiophile in your life? Well, I might just be able to you help you out. With only a few short days until Xmas we’re featuring a pretty rad contest. We have, for one lucky individual, an autographed copy of Buck 65‘s new album “Situation“, courtesy of Warner Music Canada.
This is something of a return to hiphop form for Buck65 (and it is refreshingly unlike any other hiphop I am familiar with, although I admit I am not expert in the genre). With relentless flow of gritty rhymes, Buck65 is never rushed in delivering his lyrics: he methodically lets his stories unfold. And let me tell you, there are stories. Ably backed by Skratch Bastid, Buck 65 provides an detailed examination of the year 1957 – its preoccupations, its highs and its underside that is often overlooked in our rose-tinted impressions of the ’50s – the Golden Age of Rock n’ Roll & radio, cars with fins, poets, pin ups & pornography, baseball, and street fights.
Here’s a sample:
Way Back When (stream)
Want it? Sure you do. For a chance to win just send an email to email@example.com with “Buck 65 contest”, or something similar, in the subject line. I will choose a winner at random. Contest closes at noon (EST) on Tuesday, December 18th.
May 18, 2007
Before you go after the Arcade Fire mp3s, ignoring what I write, I want you to know that the kind and generous folks at StageFright/Outside Music have provided me with a copy of Rock Plaza Central‘s second album “The World Was Hell To Us” to give to you. As you know, we here at B(oot)log HQ are big RPC fans, featuring them here and here. Folks, let me tell you, Rock Plaza Central is the perfect soundtrack to your May 2-4 weekend. If you need proof, I will direct you to the song “Mount Up and Ride“, which is on the album in question, and which Chris Eaton explained is about having sex in a tent. If that is not the right and proper way to honour Queen Victoria I haven’t the foggiest idea what is.
Note for those of you who are not Canadian: this weekend is Victoria day, traditionally celebrated on or around May 24th, or May 2-4, the unofficial start of the camping season. Apparently Canada is the only country in the Commonwealth to celebrate this holiday. A “two-four” is a term for a case of beer. Combining the first long weekend of “summer”, by which we mean it is warm enough to sleep outside without freezing to death, with a beer related name and you have an excuse to spend three days pissed out of your mind out in the woods. Trust me, it makes sense to us.
But seriously, this is a fantastic album and if you enjoyed their much heralded “Are We Not Horses” you will almost certainly like this album. While there is a distinct shortage of robotic horses (although I believe the mythology is introduced to us in the song “The Last Band on Earth“) it is an album filled with anthems of desperation, heartache, and unbridled joy delivered by a mesmerizing band.
If you would like a copy of “The World Was Hell To Us” all you have to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Rock Plaza Central” or something similar in the subject line, and
I will hook you up [edit: hmmm. that sounds like if you email me I will give the album. Let me restate: email me and i will enter you in a draw for the cd and I *if you’re lucky, I’ll hook you up*], because if there was one thing that May 2-4 is lacking it is presents. Get your entry into me by then end of May 24th (that is midnight, Kingston Standard Time aka EST) to qualify and I will announce the winner when I make my post next weekend. Cool? Cool.
Onto the main event.
(photo courtesy of * Janice)
I though the Arcade Fire might be my Polkaroo (look at that! two canadianisms in one post!) , that is, I thought I would never see them. I missed my chance to see them before they got huge and now that they are the best thing around I would be SOL. When I heard they were playing two days at Massey Hall I resigned myself to not getting tickets but would give it the old college try anyway. Much to my utter surprise and delight my ninja-like Ticketmaster skillz came through and I scored two tickets to see the Arcade Fire, live and in person. Holy Crap.
It was amazing. The band was in extremely fine form. They sounded good – despite complaints about the sound from the night before – the only qualm I would have is that Regine’s vocals were not loud enough. They looked good- with an excellent visual display of small screens around the stage which displayed the Neon Bible, projections of the band being recorded by cameras on the mic stands/megaphones, or synchronized swimmers etc., neon bars at the front of the stage and projections on the backing curtain. Not to mention the band which, with 10 people alternating instruments and dancing, Regine and Sarah Neufeld especially, and Win’s remarkable stage presence, made for an utterly engaging visual feast. The setlist was near perfect, playing Neon Bible in its entirety, with selected tracks from Funeral (it would have been perfect if they played “Wake Up” but I am in no way complaining) and the musicianship was extraordinary. Having devoured the albums and as many bootlegs as I could get my hands on, I thought I was prepared for how good it was going to be, but there was a vitality in witnessing Arcade Fire live that blew me away.
I’ll admit, I wanted this to be the greatest concert I ever attended. I was primed for it and the band didn’t let me down. It was, without a doubt, the best concert I have ever been to. It wasn’t, however, a life-changing religious experience (although I think my life can only be richer for having seen them). Being perched on the left hand side of the first balcony – just below this photo:
(photo courtesy of ProdigyBoy)
I felt somewhat disconnected from the experience that I think I could have had if I were right up front, smooshed against another adoring fan. I think I’ve been spoiled by too many wonderful and intimate shows at the Grad Club. Looking down at the kids at the stage I felt rather envious. They were having that ecstatic Arcade Fire experience. That being said, it was an amazing concert and I am truly fortunate to have experience it, even if it was at a bit of a distance.
I am very pleased to present you with my recording of the show. If you want an alternate take/both days/a flac recording, you should go see Dave. Tell him I sent you and he’ll hook you up with the goods.
(photo courtesy of Thatonethere on Us Kids Know forum)
If you plan on downloading the whole thing I direct you to my handy-dandy zip file! Yes, it is a bit of a pain to wait for the download but it is probably more of a pain to separately click on 20 files and you will not destroy my bandwidth. So please, go HERE FOR THE FULL THING:
UPDATE: for you audionerds I’ve uploaded the show in .flac format to dimeadozen (at least I think I have, I’m not convinced I figured it out. Lemme know if it is working/not working for you). Get it here:
or, as usual, here it is track by track:
Arcade Fire, Massey Hall, Toronto, 16 May 2007
1. Black Mirror
2. No Cars Go
3. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
5. Black Wave/Bad Vibrations
6. My Body is a Cage
7. Neon Bible
8. partners in health (talk)
10. The Well and the Lighthouse
11. Crown of Love
12. Ocean of Noise
13. (Antichrist Television Blues)
14. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
15. Rebellion (Lies)
17. Keep the Car Running
20. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
(photo courtesy of Math436 on the Us Kids Know Forum)
You can get wonderous things at the Arcade Fire store.
Happy May 2-4.
February 16, 2007
As I mentioned last week, Cuff the Duke will be playing the Grad Club next
Thursday Friday, February 23rd. I imagine this show will be packed so get your ticket sooner rather than later. In advance of this show, I have been generously given a couple copies of the stellar album “Life Stories for Minimum Wage,” which was re-released by Outside Music this week, to give away.
Winning is easy – just send me an email email@example.com with your name and addresss in the message and “Cuff the Duke contest” or something along those lines in the subject line. The contest will close at noon est on February 22nd and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter.
It looks like my usual weekend post is going to be a touch delayed (I’ll try to have it for yu on Sunday evening or Monday at the latest) so check back in a couple of days for that. Until I get my act together, here is my favourite track off the “Life Stories…” album.
* Cuff the Duke, Ballad of a Lonely Construction Worker.mp3
January 31, 2007
photo by Kevin Parnell from the 2005 Wavelengths Music Series
As great as the first Apostle of Hustle show at the Grad Club was (and it was really, really great) this Saturday’s show could very well top it. Not only will AoH be settling into their new material and have a few more shows under their belt, but the opening act will be fantastic Woolly Leaves.
Woolly Leaves is the work of Will Kidman of Constantines fame (yeah, I know, I fell in to the trap where anyone who mentions Woolly Leaves immediately references the Cons, which i am sure is tiresome). The two projects, however, are very different: where the Constantines are loud and raucous – rockn’roll through and through – Woolly Leaves is quite and contemplative.
This music is soft and intimate. With simple, but by no means unsophisticated, instrumentations – a gentle strum of the guitar here, some beatuful vocal harmonies there – Woolly Leaves draws you in. Kidman is confiding in you and you can’t help but be attentive. These songs make me want to get right up close to my speakers, pressing my ears against the felt, so he can whisper to me directly.
Listen for yourself:
You can check out Woolly Leaves live this Saturday at the Grad Club. Get your tickets early – last weekend’s show was packed and I imagine this one will sell out. If you are not fortunate enough to live in the Kingston area, here are the complete tour listings:
Feb. 3 – Kingston – The Grad Club (with Apostle of Hustle)
Feb. 7 – Toronto – The Rivoli (with Apostle of Hustle)
Feb. 17 – Montreal – Casa De Popolo
Feb. 20 Toronto – The Drake
Or if you’re lucky you can win it from me. The kind and generous folks at StageFright have provided me with a couple of copies of the album to give away to the b(oot)log faithful. Just send your name and mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Woolly Leaves Contest” in the subject line and I will randomly choose the winners. Got it? Ok then. The contest closes this Sunday, Feb. 5th, at noon (est) with the winners being notified shortly thereafter. Good luck.
December 19, 2006
Just in time for the holidays, I am happy to present the first ever b(oot)log contest. Thanks to the kind people at Good Fences I have up for grabs a smashing Memphis prize pack consisting of their new album A Little Place in the Wilderness, a notepad and a couple of buttons.
Memphis features Torquil Campbell (of Stars fame) and Chris Dumont who produce lush music best suited for the pre-dawn hours and other contemplative moments. Comparisons to Stars are inevitable and this album could almost pass for a follow-up to Set Yourself on Fire. Torq’s whispered vocals find a wonderful counterpart in Dumont’s instrumentation, particularly with the use of horns and slide guitar. Torq is a dreamer and images dreams and sleeping feature in almost all the tracks on this album, as well as in the album art. The songs feature a rather refreshing earnest, if melancholic, hopefulness without dipping into naive optimism. The somnambulistic tone of most of the album is broken up by well spaced up-tempo moments, the song “Incredibly Drunk on Whiskey,” in particular, which serve to keep you from drifting to far into your own reverie. This is certainly not an album for every mood but it is certainly one to have on hand for those times when you need to be lost in your own thoughts.
Here is a track from the album:
Hopefully my hackneyed description hasn’t turned you off. To enter the contest all you have to do is email your name and addresss to email@example.com with “Memphis contest” in the suject line and I will randomly select a winner. Contest closes Sunday, December 24th at noon (e.s.t.). Check back this weekend to see if you’ve won and for your regularly scheduled b(oot)log post featuring a live set from, you guessed it, Memphis.