Archive Page 2

Chocolate Robots Rock It

From the magical Land of Sarnia, a trio of brothers (Mike, Mutt and Marco!) who all work in their parents’ pizza shop and create really well-crafted new-wave-flavoured super pop songs with visuals the Flaming Lips would enjoy. There’s a touch of that Violent Femmes wry teenage lust to the songwriting.

Their record, Pizza Face, is available on bandcamp (also on vinyl from Cheeky Monkey).  Both videos have a brilliant, contagious sense of celebration – I rarely watch a whole video, and these kept me in. I really dig this. Right on to the Chocolate Robots.





Hello, CD Listeners. Goodbye.

The Info Pusher sent me this article, which announces that major labels are going to stop manufacturing CDs next year! I assumed this would happen, but not this soon. While I stopped buying CDs about 5 years ago, and always preferred the LP, I feel oddly stricken with a strange panic. What will my mother do? My sister who has never downloaded anything? What will happen to the CD shops that remain? How will we give music as a gift (to those majority who don’t have a record player)? Will blank CDs fade out too? It’s another great shake up in an industry that’s been trembling and shuddering for a famously bad decade.

Just wanted to mention it. Big news.

Here’s something that would not exist without the CD (for better or worse):

The Jello Fund – Lemonheads (from Come on Feel the Lemonheads)

Big Ticket Purchase

I’ve been on a little bit of a Prince kick lately, for no particular reason. But the timing has lined up VERY well, as the World’s Luckiest Slave announced a Canadian Tour last week with two Toronto dates. The Info Pusher and I never go to the big shows – they’re too expensive and tend to resemble awful Broadway shows more than real concerts. But inspired and excited, we purchased two tickets to see Prince at the ACC for two hundred and fifty bucks (a sixth of which went to the evil, evil Ticketmaster).

I saw Prince in 88 on the Lovesexy tour, and it was wunderbar. I haven’t really listened to any new Prince material in 20 years, but I doubt it’ll matter. I’m pretty stoked.

Just wanted to tell you. (Let’s see if I can post a Prince song and not get in shit..!)

Strange Relationship

Buke and Gass at the Music Gallery

The Info Pusher and I have been making a point of taking in shows at The Music Gallery the last couple of years. It’s always a great experience: located in an old church with ghostly magical phantom sounds and gaggles of music-school nerds (who sport more interesting sub-fashions than you’ll see elsewhere, including pompadors of piled hair), the music is always a little over my head and mind-expanding. This week was the Music Gallery’s Avant X New Music Series V.6.

Last night she took me to see Buke and Gass who were NPR phenoms last year, getting promo’d on Radiolab and their own Tiny Desk Concert. They make their own instruments, amps and pedals, and make a massive amount of sound for a duo.

They were the third of three acts following a free-music sax player named Lori Freedman and a percussion sextet named Mantra, who played 6 2-by-4s with contact mics on them for an hour. Both of these acts were interesting, sometimes fascinating, generally challenging. As often happens, myself and the lovely Pusher had radically different reactions at times – she was astonished when, halfway through the Mantra piece*, I mimed blowing my head off. Apparently she was riveted and in heaven. Trying to figure out those reactions afterwards is half the fun.

Buke and Gass played really rocking, heavy music with intricate, precise structures that reminded me of the Rheostatics jamming with PJ Harvey. I loved it. The IP preferred the concept to the realization. You make up your own mind: go.

Here’s another track called Revel in Contempt.

… And here’s the Mantra Piece (Timber) in excerpt:

Love Teeth

This was emailed to me. Most of those I ignore, but this one was a nice story:

My first ‘real’  job was teaching English as a Second Language in Ontario. I  kept in correspondence with many of my students, and was pleasantly surprised to find one of  them, Sohee Jeon, had become an established animator in South Korea. She expressed how much she had been enjoying my music, and while I was working on my newest record The Secret Languages she generously offered up her services to make an animated video for my newest single “Love Teeth”.”

So I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised. The song rolls gently, somewhere between melancholy and not. The video is interesting and sad. Today is rainy as hell and winter is coming, and this song fits nicely. I’ll be curious to check out the album when it’s released.

James Kochalka Meets Loudon Wainwright III

Saw this:

Thought of this:

Me and All the Other Mothers – Loudon Wainwright III, from Therapy (1989) – a great record.

Musique Fragile 01: Yum.

Some time in in the past I posted a song by Nick Kuepfer. Remember? Well, I bought the set, finally, and it is seriously wonderful. The set is Constellation Records’ collection “Musique Fragile 01”, and it is exactly the sort of art piece that gives me an art boner. It’s a 3 record boxed set … well, let them tell you.

The first edition of our Musique Fragile series presents three self-produced records by three local/regional artists we’ve been following for a while. Taken together, to our ears (and hearts) these albums trace overlapping circles of Hermetic music – in the literal definition of the term: works that were conceived/executed in different forms of isolation (physical, artistic) and also each in its own way invoking a sense of esoteric mysticism (Hermeticism in its more ‘spiritual’ connotation) .

from the Constellation website

The set is beautiful: the box and each of the record sleeves are screen-printed, and each record sleeve is stuffed with postcards, posters, and the record on CD. The vinyl is heavy and pristine. Very fetishy.

I just got it, and am currently stuck on the Nick Kueper album (Avestruz). It’s an avant garde field-recordings thing, dissected and multitracked into short beats and sound-collages, totally fascinating and full of aural depth. It was apparently recorded over half a year in Argentina and mixed on a laptop. While the field-recording aspect is clear and present, it is not the main point, I think: the recordings seem to have been sampled in wee little bits of atmosphere and the music is thoughtfully arranged, so that this record seems a composed work, just made of real sounds.

Here’s a track to entice you. It’ll take me a while to digest this thing, and more posts could follow. For now, dig this and think of me, happy in the basement listening to records with an art boner.

Or think of something else.

Tail Still Moves – Nick Kueper



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