December 31, 2012

Best of 2012: Top 10 songs:

Since I got a great feedback on my top 5 live show in 2012, let's continue with my best top 10 songs of 2012! Since I couldn't decide the order, it is in no particular order!

The Wooden Sky-Angelina

One of my favorite albums of the year is Toronto folk rock band, The Wooden Sky's sophomore effort, Every Child A Daughter, Even Moon A Sun. Angelina is their first single off the album. This tune is soaked in delicate melodies that aced the perfection in simplicity of folk music. I love listening to this song and get lost in the song completely.

Zeus-Anything You Want Dear

Toronto rock band, Zeus released their anticipated second record, Busting Visions, which I've probably listened to hundreds times. I just saw them again at Drake Hotel Underground for What's in the Box series, and reconfirmed how talented they are! Impeccable harmonies and unison separate them from any other bands from Toronto.

Kishi Bashi-Bright Whites 

This song, Bright Whites by Kishi Bashi is a rather recent discovery of mine. However, the moment that I heard this song,  It gave me an instant chill and joy at the moment that my ears were tickled by high pitched voice with a march of jubilant melodies, I can't wait to see him in the New Year when he comes in town in February. 

Bahamas-Caught Me Thinkin'

Toronto folk singer songwriter, Bahamas, aka, Afie Jurvanen released his second album, Barcodes early this year. Whenever I listen to this song, I recall he came out prior to his sold out show at Dakota Tavern and showcased this song in the cold weather for the fans who were waiting in the line for a long time.  

The XX-Angels

Three years after their debut album, Brit pop rock band, The XX unleashed their second album, Coexist in September this year. The first single off the record, Angels is definitely one of the songs that worth mentioning.  From the first listen, I was surely withdrawn into its beautiful tune and the intimate vocals. Yet, my attention was lured towards its lyrics, which I pictured a girl who discovered a love with someone, yet trying to find a means to express her feeling shyly. Nontheless, this tune is pretty xx-celent

Jack White-Sixteen Saltines

Since the breakup of the White Strips, Jack White has stepped up his game to showcase what he can offer to his fans. His latest album, Blunderbuss and the tour with The Peacocks( all female bands) and The Buzzards ( All male band) has kept him busy all year. This song, Sixteen Saltines is my favorite song off the album.-it's fully of Jack White-ness. 

Diamond Rings-I'm Just Me

Toronto singer songwriter, Diamond Rings is a new pop sensation. His new album, Free Dimensional. Underneath of his flashy look, he showcases how he really is with his music and lyrics.

Luke Lalonde-Undone

The lead singer of Burn Ruffians, Luke Lalonde has joined the Paper Bag Records this year and releases his first solo album, Rhythymnals. Undone, still has a hint of Born Ruffians in the alluring pop tune. However, Lalonde spiced it up by adding more electronic beats between the fetching melody. 

Paper Lions-Bodies in Winter

PEI pop rock band, Paper Lions, released their new EP, Long Creek prior to their release of the full length album. Their prior album, Trophies, was on my heavy rotation for the longest time, so to be honest, I was very scared of listening to the new materials, however,  this song off the EP, Bodies in Winter proved that they are a real deal! 

Tim Chaisson-Beat This Heart

Nick and I had a great time chatting with PEI singer songwriter, Tim Chaisson this year.Beat This Heart,  his single off the new album, The Other Side welcomed Serena Ryder to co-sing in the song. The song kicks off with an amiable country pop tune with an effortless gentle vocal and a chain of warm acoustic string jams. just like his other songs, his lyrics are very relatable, 

December 30, 2012

Pulp released After You featuring James Murphy

Just in time for the holiday season, British alternative rock band, Pulp, have unleashed a song, After You. The demo of the song existed over a decade ago and it was spiced up by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy. The song was only available to those who attended the Sheffield concert, yet thanks to the modern technology, we can listen to it via the Internet. The first recording in 10 years! Have a listen! 

December 29, 2012

Best of 2012: Best Live Act

Another amazing year is about to pass by in the next few days! What were your favorite moments in 2012? This year, I had a privilege to experience SXSW, chat with a number of great artists, and indulge myself with so many mind-blowing shows. The list below is my top 5 memorable shows this year!

5. July Talk at Horseshoe Tavern on June 13th. 

Toronto rock band, July Talk is definitely one of my favorite new bands. I've seen them twice this year at NXNE and their packed CD release party at Horseshoe Tavern. I hope that there will be many more that I can witness in the new year. (Click here to read my full review)

4. Zoobombs at Silver Dollar Room on September 21st

My procrastination at not seeing Zoobombs paid such a high price at the end. After been recommended by so many people, I was at last able to see this Japanese super indie band. Their energy on the stage was like the Godzilla!!! (Click here to read my full review)

3. MUTEMATH at the Phoenix Theatre on September 25th

New Orleans' rockers, MUTEMATH have been one of my favorite bands for a long time since releasing their self-title debut album in 2006. They finally came back to the Canuck land this year. I think I've said WOW or OMG so many times that these words weren't good enough to describe how blown away I was during their set. (Click here to read my full review)

2. RIZE at Tattoo Rock Parlour on March 22nd (CMW)

I can't end 2012 without mentioning this once in a life-time experience of interviewing Japanese rock trio, RIZE and witnessing them rocking out with Canadian audience. The interview with the lead singer, Jesse was something that I will always remember, his enthusiasm and passion toward music and his ability to showcase it through his music.  (Click here to read my full review)

1. Yamantaka//Sonic Titan at the Garrison on January 28th

It is very interesting to look back at how much Toronto-Montreal based psychedelic rock band, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan has achieved in this year. After receiving very positive review from Pitchfork, their ride has escalated immediately. They've signed with Paper Bag Records and their debut album made to the shortlist of 2012 Polaris Music Prize. Their originality, creativity and of course, the hard work earned these accomplishments in a year. I vividly remember the moment that their show started.- the thunder blast and dragons swimming through the venue. Theatrical elements reared the intensity of their performance. I can't wait to see what Yamantaka//Sonic Titan is going to bring in 2013.  (Click here to read my full review and here to read the Q&A with Alaska B)

December 18, 2012

Kishi Bashi: Bright White

Since it is coming toward the end of the year, there are a number of Best of 2012 articles in the world of the Internet. I've landed on this amazing project, Kishi Bashi, after reading NPR's best of 012, where he scored 29th place on the favorite album of the year by the readers.

Kishi Bash is an orchestral pop project established by a multi-instrumentalist, K Ishibashi, aka Kishi Bashi. He's accomplished a number of projects with various talented artists in the past, such as Of Montreal (He is one of the current touring members), Regina Spektor, and Sondre Lerche, and now he is ready to be on the spotlight with his stellar violin/vocal.

Bright Whites, his new single off his debut album, 151a (it's pronounced as ichigo Ichie- 一期一会, which means 'one chance in a lifetime'.) has been on a heavy rotation since I discovered the song. It gave me an instant chill and joy at the moment that my ears were tickled by high pitched voice with a march of jubilant melodies. I haven't encountered any songs in the recent year which takes me to the effervescent paradise with a musical mingle in the air. He is definitely on my watch now! 

Kishi Bashi is playing at The Great Hall on February 11th.

Frank Ryan:Ghosts

All these twitter followings have landed me on new music and it has become one of my favorite ways to discover new tunes. My latest discovery is Frank Ryan, a singer songwriter from Dublin, who recently relocated to Toronto. He recently unleashed a new EP, Dirty Little Liar this fall. Not only was I impressed with his songwriting skill that he has developed since he was 11 years old, but also his vibrant vocal.  

One of the songs off the EP, Ghosts struck me hard from the first listen. The groovy R&B and deep soul feel to it. His whispering voice makes a smooth transition to a crying haul. The maturity in the sound makes it hard to believe that how young he is.( I am assuming that he is late teens or early 20's.) Give it a listen of the song from the below link and he also has a video of a song called, Dirty Little Liar, which is more uplifting pop tune than Ghosts. 

December 12, 2012

City and the Sea -:Strange Feeling

Hamilton based alt rock quartet, City and the Sea, aka CATS( I know, it’s cheeky, right?) have unleashed this new single Strange Feeling. It is the first release in two years after their last effort, Leave A Light On. They are also planning to unleash a new EP, Action Figures in the new year. 

This single, Strange Feeling, equips their Rock’ N Roll melodic hooks with a layer of blasting harmonies. I am especially fond of the ending of the tune, where the grungy guitar unison leads to the ending with an overdriven guitar solo. It's a perfect moment to show off your air guitar skill.

They've also released a music video of the song, which was directed by Angelo Cino. In the music video, they've embedded their affection for Sci-Fi fiction. Check it out!

December 9, 2012

Marie Avery: If You've Got Time

In such a busy world that we live in today, we tend to forget to pace ourselves, drawn in a tide of hectic schedules between work and family. Toronto based singer songwriter, Marie Avery, controls her time and her own pace to steadily pursue her music path. Her step by step approach reflects in her mellow piano with her gentle vocal. This charming melody will sway your body side to side.  

Marie Avery is in the process of releasing a new EP, The Fire in this winter. Stay tuned for more stellar melodies from her. 

What's In The Box: Drake Hotel Underground

How many of you are going to be in town for time off from work during Christmas/New Year? This is the first year in a long time that I am staying in Canada as well. The common question that I  have been asking around is what to do in Toronto during my days off. I am planning to indulge myself in some quality time with my friends and great live shows. My friend suggested this stellar event. -What's In The Box

Drake Hotel Underground is hosting a week long musical festivity right after Christmas, which is called, " What's In The Box." It is quite simple.- each night for 5 days, there are going to be 5 bands for only  $5 dollars to get it. Just like opening up amazing gifts, the venue has prepared super lineups including July Talk, Zeus, Luke Lalonde, Diamond Rings and so forth. Snooze you Lose! There is no reason for you to miss these incredible bands with so little money. 

December 2, 2012

Christian Hansen: Ma-Me-O

It was at the beginning of this year that I witnessed the sweaty and energetic performance by Edmonton based pop rock 4-piece, Christian Hansen at Rancho Relaxio. Despite the shivering cold, they warmed up the venue quickly with their buoyant  pop tunes. One of my dear friends, Anton from Artful Vandelays had mentioned about their dramatic adventure and the fact that it was their first show in Toronto since their move.- The lead singer, Christian Hansen and the keyboardist, Molly Flood, moved to Toronto from Edmonton to pursue their music career. Oh I can see you shaking your head saying that's everyone's story.- Many people have moved to the hub of indie music scene in Canada to challenge themselves. But what made Christian Hansen more braver than other bands is their recognition in Edmonton. They've opened up for Metric and sold out their headlining shows. They've left all that behind and started from scratch in the music scene that thousands of other bands exist. 

In addition to the move, they've welcomed new members. The former basist of Hot Hot Heat,Dustin Hawthorne and You Say Party!'s drummer Al Boyle. With all the adventurous changes this year, they've unleashed a new record, C'Mon Arizona.

The first song/single off the album, Ma-Me-O epitomizes their captivating new wave 80's synth pop sensation. This song captures the uprising pulse from the very beginning and dives into overdrive with infectious chorus of chu-chu-chu chu chuchu. 

It is just a matter of time when Christian Hansen can capture the same enthusiasm of Edmonton fans from Toronto audience.

Pick A Piper: Lucid in Fjords feat. Ryan McPhun

Do you remember a Toronto psychedelic/electro pop collaboration, Pick A Piper, which is led by Brad Weber, the member of Caribou. They've recently unleashed a song on SoudCloud called, Lucid in Fjords. This new song is full of infectious synth beats, followed by tides of melodic whispers. There have been some member changes as the project is evolving, they are back as a 3-piece in the New Year. Yet, it is just the begging of their chapter to step forward with their mesmerizing electric beams

November 23, 2012

Interview with Tim Chaisson

It was love at the first 'listen'- After endlessly listening to the latest album, The Other Side, of PEI singer songwriter, Tim Chaisson, (click here for my album review,) I had a chance to chat with him and also witness his show at Horseshoe Tavern on November 17th during his Canadian across the nation tour.

Brightly greeted with a big charming smile on his face, Tim sat down on the patio with us at Horseshoe Tavern prior to his set. Before we started, a couple of friends spotted him at the patio. Without any hesitation or disregard, he shared his smile with every one of them. His approachable and honest personality mirrors in his music. In this new album, The Other Side, each of the 11 tracks closely opens up the door to the hidden memories and it flips through the listeners' own slide show of their memoirs.

The Other Side is Tim's fifth effort since 2009's Broken Hearted Beat. The title song, The Other Side, which is an uplifting country pop tune infused with contemporary Celtic feel. "We've worked on the record for the last couple of years. I had built 25-26 songs and I picked the best, my favorite 11 for this album. I've co-wrote with a bunch of people over the last couple of years. And I wrote a song called The Other Side and I felt like it represented a couple of different things."

Tim has worked with Juno Award winning singer, Serena Ryder on the first single off the record, Beat This Heart, in the track and music video. "One of my favorite ones off the record is, Beat This Heart. The reason is that one of my favorite singers sang on it. She's got such an awesome voice and it brought the song to life. The producer that I worked with on the record, Colin Linden had worked with her many times and I was always a big fan of her although I'd never met her before. I mentioned about having a female singer on the record and I asked if Serena would ever join. I didn't think that would have happened but she was around and she came in to record her part and she was just so awesome."

One of the reasons that I love this album is the authenticity of the album, just like Tim himself. While listening to the album, I could easily picture him playing each song in a live setting and the raw feeling translated very well from the album. This is due to their recording process of the album.-The whole album is a reflection of the real life setting. The recording was done in 7 days at woodshed studio with the producer Colin Linden. “Since I tour lots with my band or by myself, I wanted to make an album that I can play by myself or with the band, then when people buy the record they wouldn't be disappointed with the entire fancy instrument (that weren't at the live show.) We recorded in a very raw and organic way. We all played in the same room together. I want it to feel like real people playing it. Colin was awesome. He was one of the best guitar players and great person to work with. I've learned lots from him. Having him playing the guitar in my album was such a treat." 

His show after the interview was definitely one to remember for me in 2012. The set list concentrated heavily on the new record, The Other Side, while I was so withdrawn to the stage. I didn't notice until the show that Tim was such an awesome fiddle player and very natural on the stage. His kindness appeared on the stage as well as he asked the audience to give applause to the sound guy, one that rarely works the hardest, yet, not recognized often. He closed his set with instrumental Celtic tune and showcased his superb fiddle skill, which triggered multiple dances on the floor. 

Currently Tim Chaisson is on the road with Poor Young Things to support his record and then off to Australia. He returns to Toronto on December 7th to open for The Trews at Enwave Theatre.  A hectic schedule is still ahead of him. 

November 19, 2012

Meredith Shaw: Girls Who Believe

Toronto pop singer songwriter, Meredith Shaw released her new video, Girls Who Believe a few weeks ago. This song is a single off her debut album, Place Called Happy. Filmed at Toronto Island with the director Ryan Nolan with girls who were cast through her YouTube contest. Her girls-next-door persona and generosity reflect in her flawless soft voice. In fact, she has partnered with Girls inc, a charitable organization that supports girls between the ages of 6-18. Her work is very inspirational. Check it out!

November 15, 2012

Invasions Cult of the Half Moon

Toronto garage rock band, Invasions have at last unearthed their debut album, Cult of the Half Moon, early this week after waiting for almost a year to release their debut album. They've come a long way to unleash it after some member changes and delay from the label.

The kick-off tune of the album is their first single, 666, which is a hyperactive smash-and-dash punk rock tune. You may be surprised with the rest of the album if you carry on with a thought that this tune would set the tone of the record. The rest of the album, including Confrontation and Covered in Blood, denote a slight change in their sound, which is more toward a mellow tune infused with spaghetti western and 60's surf rock. It was obvious that they were heading in this direction when I saw their live performance two months ago at Sliver Dollar. I personally think this change set them apart from other garage rock bands with their unique and dovetailed alluring verses.  I cannot be more excited to hear any new materials from them at this point.

You can give a listen via  Exclaim! Magazine for free or they are playing this Friday at Sneaky Dee with Lost Babies and Loose Pistons. Click here for more details.

November 14, 2012

The Elwins: Forgetful Assistance

It was around this time of the year last year that I've discovered Toronto pop rockers, the Elwins by their humorous Momember video. Then 2012 seemed a much busier year for them with their first album release, And I thank you, which received a praise from the media including Exclaim! Magazine. On the top of the release, they've toured continuously throughout the year to support the CD release. 

Just in time for the holiday season, the Elwins unveiled their new music video, Forgetful Assistance, off the album. It features choreographed iPhone dances and the band members real hands with their signature fetching melody. It's very creative and makes you tap your toes. Give it a watch!

October 25, 2012

Show Gopher

Have you heard of this concert listing website, Show Gopher? I've known about it for the last few months from various twitter feeds, but I didn't know exactly what it was for until I picked up a card at Horseshoe Tavern last week and it is evolutionary for all the show-goers. 

What Show Gopher does is to precisely inform the show times and price of a show at each venue each day. On the top of that, what differentiates Show Gopher from other website is that users can just click the band name and they can listen to the sample of their music. This website is a-dream-come-true product for those who love going to shows and determine which one to go, including all the festivals such as NXNE and CMW. They are also very band friendly as well. If a band wants them to post a specific song from their set list or to remove the song from the site, all the band has to do is to simply email them to inform. This is a win-win website for everyone. 

If you haven't used it in the past, you are missing out! 

October 24, 2012

Centaurs: The Outside World

Toronto experimental young guns, Centaurs, have released a new single, The Outside World via bandcamp this month. This 6 minute long tune kicks off with a mellow instrumental guitar riff, tenor sax and trumpet, whereby the rhythmic drums and beats guides it through to the intimate world of Centaurs. The airy voice of Emily Rockarts soars amid melodic sweeping of all the funk/experimental melodies that each member emits, while mesmerizingly repeating a phrase of "It's a perilous place."

There had been some big changes among the band this year due to some departures and additions of the members. Centaurs was formed in 2006 with a bunch of friends and played some shows casually. However they've shifted their attitude towards songwriting more seriously in the recent year. The new changes in the members led to escalate the momentum of the band and has reached to the single release. Give it a listen! 

October 23, 2012

North Lakes: Baptism In Burgundy

Charlottetown rockers, North Lakes have recently released their anticipated sophomore album, Grand Prix, after their debut album, Cobra, which was the winner of Best Alternative album of 2011 Music PEI Award. Despite the award-winning effort of their previous work, they've bravely undergone some changes in the band formation, (they've shed to 5 piece from 6 piece band) and channeled towards a difference direction by softening their tone towards raw pop , rather than bluesy rock n roll tunes that you can find in the debut album. The result is Grand Prix. 
The new album, Grand Prix was produced by Paper Lions' Colin Buchanan and it is coated with a vigorous 60's garage rock. This single, Baptism In Burgundy, epitomizes their ability to craft impulsive melody lines with illustrative lyrics, which radiates the vivacious energy of the five members. Give it a listen! 
North Lakes is playing at Horseshoe Tavern for free on Tuesday, November 6th. 

October 22, 2012

Dwayne Gretzky: Blinded by the Light

After spotting some members of Toronto’s best cover band, Dwayne Gretzky, during July Talk's CD release party show on Friday October 19th, I was just browsing their website and found this energetic cover of Manfred Mann’s Blinded by the Light from their last show at Dakota Tavern. I recall not being able to get in to the jam-packed show to witness this stellar show, so I was very excited to find these video via The Humble Empire

Dwayne Gretzky is having an awesome Halloween party with Nicholas Doubleyou & the B-Squad on Wednesday October 31st at Horseshoe Tavern. This might be the hottest Halloween party in town! 

Sic Alps: Glyphs

Over the course of 8 years, four album releases and a few splits among members, San Francisco based garage rock band, Sic Alps have released a self-title album this fall. Marking this 5th album as a milestone, it seems like a fresh start for the band as they've come to a comfortable place with who they are. They've also unleashed a music video of the first track and single of the album, Glyphs, which was directed  by John Harlow and Mike Donovan. The mesmerizing layers of guitar strings will guide you through the world of Sic Alps.

Sic Alps is playing at Double Double Land on Monday, October 22nd with U.S Girls and Slim Twig. 

October 21, 2012

The Good Fridays: The Ferret Song

Prior to the full- length album release, the five piece electro rock band from Burlington, The Good Fridays have introduced us to this fist-pumping first single, The Ferret Song. With the slight scent of the alluring pop of Bloc Party and peculiar psychedelic melody of Matters, the Good Fridays have crafted a groovy theme song of party time, just like having a good Friday! Give it a listen with the below link. 

October 16, 2012

Hands and Teeth: Exploring

It still feels like yesterday that Toronto pop rock band, Hands and Teeth released their sophomore album, Hunting Season earlier this year. With a refreshing and strong vibe from the album, they are ready to go into overdrive with a new concept album release, which is set to be released in early 2013. They've just unleashed a new music video, Exploring as a live off the floor recording for the upcoming project with From Far and Wide segments.

When the song started, I was enjoying the buoyant melody and their signature layers of sugar coated harmonies, which I enjoyed from their previous material while jumping on the bed numerous times. I am very fond of their beautiful yet fun harmonies.  However this time, the rock N' roll vibrant vocal of Natasha Pastemak during the main chorus caught me off guard and it was something that I couldn't help but being withdrawn to. The drastic switch between the sweet touch verse and the captivating chorus was a great mixture and I am just so excited to 'explore' more next material by them! I'm sure you will like it, so give it a listen! 

Hands & Teeth live off the floor 'Exploring' from fromfarandwide on Vimeo.

October 15, 2012

Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers: Conduit

Between his hectic schedule of non-stop tours across the continents including his recent tour in Europe, Halifax singer songwriter, Ben Caplan somehow manage to find time to release a new music video, Conduit. While his raspy voice echoes, the train circles from a little town into a scary tunnel. I am not gonna lie, when I first found Caplan on the mountain wall, I was very very scared! 

Caplan is having a little fun scavenger hunt with the video. If you find items below and take a screen shot of them and send them to, you can win one of these prizes! 

Find the below items:
a) White Guitar
b) Sneaker
c) Yellow Car
d) Caterpillar
e) VHS Tape
f) Bongo Drums
g) Glowing Sneaky Dee’s Logo
h) Black Panther
i) Ben Caplan
j) Man wearing red shirt

You can win one of the following items:
- Digital copy of the album
- Free Kings Crown Nachos from Sneaky Dees
- Limited Edition Conduit T-shirt

It's easy-peasy! Give it a shout! 

October 10, 2012

Redanda: Christian

Hamilton garage rockers, Redanda, has been linked with the letter C. - All the band members have a name with C on the first letter (Corey, Curtis, Chirs and Connor,) and their previous EP was called Carl.  they have recently released the 3rd EP called, Christian via Wolf Shirt Records. This collection of four songs cultivates my curiosity in their colourful sounds, channeling from courageous garage rock in a song like Ace-High to Blues coated strip-down tune, Slow You Down. (see how many C's that I was able to put in one sentence.) 

you can listen to Christian from the below link! Give it a listen! 

Lola Dutronic: Everybody Loves You When You're Dead

I don't know how many times that I clicked 'reply' on this video today.- Everybody Loves You When You're Dead by a Toronto- Dusseldorf (Germany) electro pop due Lola Dutronic.

After a few changes in members since their formation in 2004, the duet now consists of a multi-instrumentalist/producer, Richard Citroen and singer, Stephanie B. They are now ready to release their new record; Everyone's a Star, on October 11th via Red Star Digital Music. In this new album, there are a number of admirable musicians as backing singers, including members of Tom Tom Club, Gang of Four, The Barracudas and many more.

This new album filled with 60's French pop tunes makes me excited to see them live.

Lola Dutronic is playing a show in Toronto at the Piston tomorrow, Thursday October 11th.

Jon Bryant:What Takes You

After endeavoring the 13 months-long quest to accomplish his sophomore album, What Takes You, earlier this year, Halifax native, Jon Bryant, has been keeping himself busy with endless tours across Canada. This long process enabled him to craft personal folk tunes, which can easily be interpreted  by listeners in their own way. The beautiful folk melody breathes along with Bryant's soft and heartwarming voice cohesively and leaves a deep sentimental feeling. His music reminds me of the reason that I love listening to music through headphones in a quiet room to enjoy every bit of the sound as it comes. Each piece possesses a meaning to it and I don't want to miss anything including the sounds of the guitar slide and the deep inhale. 

Jon Bryant performs at 3030 Dundas West on Sunday October 14th. It's an early 7p.m show! 

Luke Lalonde: Undone

It was a few months ago when I witnessed the vigorous performance by Toronto pop rock band, Born Ruffians at Sonic Boom. Prior to their performance, the lead singer, Luke Lalonde delivered a solo performance. Now, he's joined the Paper Bag Records family and is ready to unveil his first solo album, Rhythymnals on October 30th, 2012.

There are currently two songs off the record available for free streaming. Undone, still has a hint of Born Ruffians in the alluring pop tune. However, Lalonde spiced it up by adding more electronic beats between the fetching melody. I remember him playing this song at Sonic Boom with his acoustic guitar, I am more fond of this version of this cosmic danceable tune by far.  Another song, Grand (Rhythmnals) is unfortunately set up as private on Soundcloud, so I can't embed the song. However, you can still listen to the song from here

You and pre-order the album via PBR site

October 9, 2012

Live Show Review: Here Below at Cherry Cola on October 5th, 2012

After a two year hiatus, Toronto rock band, Here Below gradually set themselves back on track with a CD release and live shows since late August. It was a stellar start-off to my thanksgiving long weekend as they delivered a promising show at Cherry Cola on October 5th, 2012. 

The venue was rather quiet upon my arrival as most of the nine-to-fivers had one more day to go until their long weekend. However, I started spotting a couple of wanders who were there with a hope to chat with Jack White after his 2 Toronto shows. (Note: there was a rumor that White always hangs out at the bar when he is in town.) Instead, they were in for a good treat - indulging themselves with local bands. 

As soon as the Incubus-reminiscent tunes flew into the venue, the audience gathered around the stage. Each member of Here Below crafted copious amounts of musical detail with their instruments and maneuvered them well to draw a musical painting in the air. They're an infusion  of lots of genres including jazz, metal, alternative rock, and more. It was very a very thoughtful performance. I found it enjoyable to be completely soaked into their comprehensive melodic compositions. 

September 30, 2012

Live show review: Mutemath at The Phoenix Theatre on September 25th, 2012

It's been almost 5 years since New Orleans rock band, Mutemath stepped on Canuck soil. Many of the die-hard fans didn't have a choice but to travel to the U.S to witness their mind-blowing live performance. I have been to NYC and Lollapalooza to see them twice in the last 5 years. But it's not the same when your favorite band comes to your town, right? At last, after 3 albums and some member changes, Mutemath came back to Toronto and delivered a vivacious live performance at Phoenix Theatre on September 25th, 2012.

Once the recorded music commenced from out of nowhere and the stage lit up, the members crawled through the audience from the back of the venue to the stage. They made it on the stage and once the drummer, Darren King, greeted and put his well-worn headphone and duck-taped it around his head, it meant it was the time to start of their set... The guitar intro of Typical provoked screams from the long-awaiting fans and sing-along session started in the entire venue.

The set included tunes from the last three albums, yet, more skued toward the self-titled debut album, including Beautiful, Plan B, Control, Chaos, and Break the Same. (Perhaps it was carved out for the Toronto audience who'd  waited for them to come back for the last 5 years)These songs focused more on the melodic integration with catchy tunes and guitar riffs rather than the peculiar yet captivating rhythm lines, which you can enjoy in songs from the latest album, Odd Soul. Songs like Blood Pressure and Prytania caused me quite the dilemma trying to decide who to keep my eyes on. The superb drum technic by King was an absolute pleasure to watch. Behind the simplest drum kit, King brought the mesmerizing drum beats. I've been calling him as one of the best drummers alive, and I don't think I overstate by saying that. Paul Meany's vibrant stage performance with his various keys and high-pitched raspy voice were hard to miss. Meany was very engaging with the audience while indulging himself in walking on the crowd. The new addition of the band, Todd Gummerman fit right in the band with his musical talent of multitasking on various instruments, including his guitar and keys. Last, but not at least, the bassist, Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas's spectacular bass lines may have been hidden in the shade of others, but the uniqueness in Mutemath's sound can be only completed with his mind-blasting rhythm line. 

As I am one of the biggest Mutemath fans in Toronto, I sang along with all the tunes and danced my butt off. The ending of the song was nothing but outrageous. Spotlights triggered the loudest and fastest hand crapping by the audience. The tempo was so fast that my hands got so tired after a while. As Meany stretched his arms up in the air along with the chorus of the song, the confetti bazooka fired up. When the members came back on the stage with the last tune of the night, Quarantine, I knew something breathtaking would happen. Meany jumped in the crowed and sang off the stage, while migrating from one spot to another. Once I thought he came back on the stage, he crowd-surfed with a big black boat   on the crowd. Then King brought a snare drum on the top of keyboard and started jamming on the keyboard. Once he came back to his drum set, Meany, King, and Cardenas started banging on the drum, while Gummerman picked up his guitar pedals and crafted electronic beams along with the jam. “Oh My God”, was the only words that I was able to speak after witnessing such a creative and lively show. Mutemath- Please don't take another 5 years to be back in Toronto. Come back soon.