January 31, 2012

Yardlets, Lot Lizard

Every end has a new beginning- One of the regular members from Broken Social Scene, Sam Golberg kicked off a new chapter with Jeff Edwards, (of Shot While Hunting), called Yardlets. The BSS alumni released a new EP, Lot Lizard, in the new noise/punk form and ready to debut the full-length in early 2012. In the new outfit, there is no the melodic vestige from BSS remaining, however, it has evolved to an explosion of vehement distortion. 

Lot Lizard from Yardlets on Vimeo.

Second song off the EP, Short Skirt, welcomed Death From Above 1979's Sebastian Granger on drums, which amplifies the intensity of the tune. (click here to check out the song)

Yardkels are performing a free gig tonight on January 31st at Horseshoe Tavern.

SSRIs unleashed a new video, Clay Face Meat Boots

Music Psychos' almuni SSRI debuted a new video, Clay Face, Meat Boots. It captures a battle of human-sized eggs at a dinner table. 

Just to give you an update on us, we're currently writing a follow-up album to 2010's Effeminate Godzilla Sized Wind Chimes. Lots to look out for this band in 2012.

January 30, 2012

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan on January 28th, @ the Garrison

Countless people gathered to fill the Garrison to capacity on Saturday, January 28th, filled with hope and excitement to witness the first show in 2012 of Toronto/Montreal psychedelic noise opera collective, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan. This show was probably the most buzzed gig of the weekend, covered by numerous media outfits, including Now Magazine BlogTO and the Grid, yet the self-acclaimed, 'Noh-Wave' collective lived up to their hype by the phenomenal stage setup and performance. 

With a blast of thunder, dragons arose on the stage, swimming through the sea of collected audience. At last, fully dressed in white facial make-up and kimono, they emerged on the stage. The lead singer, Ruby Kato Attwood dressed as a Miko, a shrine maiden, stayed apathetic during the 'Counting Track', which left her mysterious, while the drummer Alaska B slammed her drums, '"-while her counting compellingly echoed throughout the venue. It seemed as if the whole venue was transferred to a whole different world, the world originally constituted by their 'Noh-Wave' tunes. 

It is also worth mentioning that their formidable supporting members, including the guitarist, John Ancheta and keyboard player Brendan Swanson, which my eyes were glued to amid the slick artistic performance. 

January 28, 2012

Ben Caplan Announced Toronto Residency at Supermarket In February

After the release of his debut album, In the Time of the Great Remembering, last fall, Halifax singer songwriter, Ben Caplan has wowed a countless number of audiences with his jaw-dropping stage performance and his soulful vocal. (Click here to read my review from his show on Sep 14th, at Drake Underground) He is the guy that I wanna see every time he is in town. 

If you haven't seen his performance, here is a great chance for you all to catch his remarkable shows. Caplan announced a Toronto residency every Wednesday in February at the Supermarket in Kenginton Market. Then he will  head back to Halifax, while dropping by at Southern Ontario cities,  to participate in some festivals, such as SXSW and CMW and take off to Europe for a 3 month tour. What a hectic schedule!!! 

Bryen and I are planning some great coverage with Caplan in February between his busy schedule. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, enjoy the new video, Seed of Love, performed for ToroMagazine.  

The Darcys Offer free download of AJA

Toronto Art rock quartet, the Darcy is now offering a free download of their sophomore album, AJA. Grab your copy if you haven't!

They are heading to a North America tour with Arkells and Bombay Bicycle Boys, kicking off today in Montreal until the beginning of March. Toronto date is March 1st at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

The Darcys - AJA by Arts & Crafts

Here is an extra track from the album, Josie (Vol.2)
 The Darcys - Josie (Vol. 2) by Arts & Crafts 

January 27, 2012

Q &A with Alaska B from Yamankata//Sonic Titan

Toronto-Montreal psychedelic opera collective, Yamantaka// Sonic Titan stock has been rising since the release of their new self-title album in October 2011. Prior to their first Toronto show in 2012, one of the founders of the band, Alaska B kindly answered questions for Music Psychos!

1.The recent self-title album, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, was recorded by yourselves. How was the recording process? 

Well I, myself, had to suffer through the long producing, engineering and mixing process for hours of every day. It was a very complicated record, with many overdubs and electronic programming. We did it between Montreal and Toronto, recording the majority of it in my Toronto home, and the rest in random art studios and jamspaces in Montreal.

2. YT//ST shows include a number of artistic characteristics ,including the facial paints, lightning and cardboard sets? What is the most challenging fact to bring such artistic visuals to the performance?

We don't get paid enough to do them to the best of our abilities. The makeup and our home-brewed "Lightning" system cost us a lot to keep working with, and the cardboard sets are constantly getting ruined by water. The fee that most bands make gigging barely covers anything, and we have all these additional costs. Nowadays we have had to scale down all but the biggest shows we do in order to make it financially viable. Before the recession we had a lot more freedom, there was more money moving around and a lot of cheap suppliers. Nowadays we have to stretch that money out more. Because of all the work that we put into the old sets, we only played about 4 or 5 times per year, putting up to a month of work into each show. Now to tour, we can't be running a show that large.
3.The genre of YT//ST is self-describe as 'Noh-Wave', which is derived from Noh-gaku, Japanese traditional drama style, where chanting is highly utilized. Do you think this new genre will be carried on by other bands?

I don't know if it is actually a genre that another band could take on, it's part of our whole philosophy of conflicting duality that I doubt any other group would be able to take on exactly the way we do. Our sound is so varied, that the only real constant sound of 'Noh-Wave', is whatever that connection between every song of YT//ST is. Though we seem to be riding that constant, even I would hesitate to even guess at exactly what constitutes that thread.
4. As indicated by the band name, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan- (Yamantaka- one of the kings who symbolizes Buddhism, and Sonic Titan is a song title by a metal band, Sleep. What has been the most challenging thing when bringing two completely different cultures as one?

There isn't much challenging to it, besides maybe figuring out what really makes something tick. Like, what is the sound of doom? pop? noise? The trappings of genre definition are very banal, and so is this concept of great difference between East and West, Buddhist and not, right and wrong, etc. Just as humans are 99% genetically identical, our cultures are about this same too. A house is a house, clothing is clothing, and family is family. The details may vary, but no more than the chords between two different songs do.
5.According to the recent Pitchfork's interview, you refer to Boris as one of your influences. Are there any other influences from Japanese bands?

I really enjoy a lot of heavier or experimental groups from Japan, I was very much into Masonna and Merzbow when I was in high school. GISM, Lip Cream, Blues Creation, Flower Travellin' Band, Boredoms, Sigh, Sabbat, they all make appearances in my record collection.
6.Any specific manga/ comic books that you are currently reading?

I just finished Osamu Tezuka's MW a little while back
7.What's on your current playlists on repeat?

Admiral Angry - Buster
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery
Acid King - III
This Heat - Deceit
Pentagram - Relentless
Queen - Queen II
Robyn - Tell your Girlfriend
Emika - 3 hours
UGK - One Day

8.If you could be anyone for cosplay, would you dress as?

I dress up as a lady version of the Monkey King so often already, but I'd really like to be Sigourney Weaver in the cargo loader someday haha
9.What can we expect from the next Toronto show on Jan 28th?

Heavy drums, heavy chants, and light paper.

10.Any plans in 2012?
We have a musical entitled '33' being performed at Buddies in Bad Times' Rhubarb Festival, February 8-12. Tickets can be bought at the box office. It's an experimental opera, not a concert.
After that we're playing All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK, followed by an American Tour later this spring.
Thank you Alaska for taking your time between your busy schedule.
Yamankata// Sonic Titan is playing at the Garrison with the Pink Noise, US Girls and Sexy Merlin. The advance tickets are selling out very quickly, (Soundscapes sold out of the tickets, but there are some left at Rotate This and at the door.) Be sure to score your ticket before it's too late.

January 26, 2012

The Holiday Crowd, Over the Bluffs

The album which I've been listening on repeat this week is, Over the Bluffs, the debut album of the Scarborough pop rock band, The Holiday Crowd. Since 2004, the band has crafted seams of melodic tunes and finally put together the best pieces in this debut album, which was released on January 24th. This new record will take you on a time trip back to 85's, reciprocal reminder of the Smiths

The Holiday Crowd also unveiled a 8mm music video, Pennies Found off the new record. They are celebrating the release at on Friday January 27th at Oz studios, (134 Ossington Avenue)

January 23, 2012

Interview with Beekeeper

On Thursday January 19th at Sneaky Dees-"Controlled Choas" and "Playful deceit" , two themes of the "Hive-brid" Vancouver pop rock band, Beekeeper, shared their thoughts on the debut album, Be Kept and upcoming release. Prior to their performance, Nick and I chatted with  the drummer, Luke Cyca and the bassist, Brandi Sidoryk.

Kanae(K):How along have you guys playing together?

Luke (L):Be Kept came out in the end of 2010 and we've been in a band in one form or another since early 2007.

(K): Having such different backgrounds, (Singer/guitarist, Devon Lougheed is a comedian and Sidoryk is an opera singer.) how did you guys come to start the band?

(L): Devon and I are cousins, so we know each other and have played music forever together off and on. It wasn't until we were both in Vancouver that we really started developing a project. We prepared these songs for the album and then we met Brandi a couple years ago. She was an excellent fit for the project.

(B): On Be Kept, I was actually a guest vocalist because we were friends back then.  Then later on I actually joined up as a part of  the band full time.

(L): Back then, we were too nervous to ask her to be in the band. But we brought enough each other to ask her to join to sing in the three songs in the album.

(K): From Be Kept, do you have any songs particularly that you like?

(L): There are a few of them that stand out for me, Table and Bed is one of my favorites. It is the first song of the album. I really like the song because it's very perky.  It's fun to play the song.

(K): In the debut album, there are 13 tracks and I found each songs sounds very distinctive. 

(L): As you said every song sounds very different, it is something that we have as a common theme of Beekeeper. It's sort of like "controlled chaos." We start all the things at once and we try to control them,  and make something out of it.

Nick (N): It's kind of  like "keeping bees", right?

(L): Exactly.

(N): How's the recording process works then? Do you guys keep things as it goes or record each song differently?

(L): We have very good ideas going into recordings. But for the debut album, we had different guests. So just as a part of that different people coming in to record different songs, it took the songs in different directions. Partly, that's why we ended up with lots of variety.

(B): It was also recorded in some unconventional ways and it was another way to make the great sounding album.

(N): What do you mean by 'unconventional'?

(B): I mean just like Devon came in and did on the scene recording here in Toronto.

(L): We recorded in 3 cities. mainly Vancouver, and Devon did some recording with some friends out here in Toronto. Jacquie from the Balconies sang a few songs in the album. So Devon came here just with a laptop and a microphone and they recorded vocal tracks in a bed room with 12 other people at a party. I recorded my sister on the album.  She was in Saskatoon and I was going there anyways, so I bought back some recording.

(B): It was like a mobile studio.

(L); Most of the recordings were done in my apartment or Devon's apartment. Then, we took it all to Colin Stewart in the Hive (Creative Labs.) He's done lots of great work with Canadian bands. We just dumped it all at him and said to sort it out to make it sound one album.

(B): And he did a great job.

(N): Any colloborations coming up next then?

(L): I can't really tell you that right now. Another theme of the band is 'Playful deceit'. I like keep people guessing.

(K): Does this debut album represent where you guys are heading to next?

(L) There is a single, 7-inch vinyl  release that we are working on right now. We are waiting for the manufacturing of the vinyls. For the single, we did it a lot different (from the debut album). It was in the same studio from start to finish there and it has a very different result, too. I think for the next full length album, we'll do some mix of two methods. We like the energy that we get from all the different things.

(N): So it's gonna be more of a  'Hive-brid'

(K): Anything else planned up for 2012?

(L):We got the new vinyl coming out, and some upcoming Ontario tour dates right now and in April we are doing another Western Canadian tour. We will drive to Saskatchewan and I get to visit my hometown. Then we will start working on the full-length album.

(K): Any words for Toronto Music Fans?

(L) Our last song of the debut album is called Last Words. so That's my last words. and keeping eyes on the upcoming single, called Take me back to the place.

(B): it's  fun and my favorite song  that we've done yet.

(L): We just did an acoustic version of it a few hours ago. We went to Q107 and recorded it.

Thank you Luke and Brandi for your time! They were as sweet as honey! Click here to read my review for their show at Sneaky Dees on the same day. 

The Balconies released a new music video, Kill Count

Toronto pop rock trio, the Balconies unveiled their new music video, Kill Count. The second official music video since, "Serious Bedtime", from their debut album was produced with Reactive Pictures in Toronto.

The EP is set to be released on February 2nd and the trio will be rocking out at Horseshoe Tavern on Saturday, January 28th.

Another video is a V-blog by Jaquie and Liam  covering the Dinorsar Bones's Ice Hotels.

Beekeeper @ Sneaky Dees on January 19th, 2012

Vancouver power rock trio, Beekeeper rocked out the first Toronto show in 2012 with Convoys and the Danger Bees on January 19th 2012 at Sneaky Dees.

Fired up from their performance of the initial song, Table and Bed, embracing fun harmonies among three members, they slowly warmed up the shy Toronto audience. With the help of Longheed's witty repartee between songs, the audience were drawn to the stage closer step by step until the point the people danced off on the stage that unplugged Longheed's guitar cable from the amplifier during the last song. 

Blending pieces from different genres, each song that they performed sounded distinctive, which kept the audience on their toes : From Latin dance rhythms,  pumpkin country tunes, to boisterous psychedelic distorted rock verses described as "Playful deceit."  

Some might have interpreted it as 'inconsistent'. However, I found the diversity in their music entertaining as it cultivates my curiosity to discover what the trio would bring to the stage next. 

January 22, 2012

Butch Walker unleashed his new music video, Synthesizers

Rolling Stone magazine, Pink, George Stroumbo and even Alan Cross are talking about this video.- Butch Walker and the Black Widows premiered a new music video, "Synthesizer", off the latest record, the Spade.

As a cameo, Matthew McConaughey is playing his old character, Wooderson from Dazed and Confused. how awesome is this?

January 21, 2012

Little City, Sperry/ Capt. Kendall via PlugTO

The advanced technology has now broken out a new route to get to know bands even better than before. One of the most creative and exciting teams in Toronto,  PlugTO launched a new project on their website to bring musicians and listeners closer and closer. They offer a series of videos about a band from 360 degree- angles and stream live music on their site.

PlugTO is currently featuring a Toronto-based folk root band, Little City. With the recent release of their EP, the Going and the Gone, Little City have been hyped among local medias, including Now magazine. The folk root outfit is now ready to wow Toronto with their new release, Sperry/Cap. Kendall. PlugTO has caputured them inside out, collaborating with the band to release 12 short videos,  including interviews, acoustic sets, backstage sneak-peaks. I was amazed to learn about each of Six members:  how much each of them admire and respect each other and every bit of music that they craft, there is always a passion to create a seam of music. Once I completed watching all of them, I felt as if I knew each band member personally and I've grown a love for them. (even more, I would say as I loved their music as soon as I captured it in my ears)

Today, January 21st, they will be playing a show with our beloved fellow local bands, Rival Boys and the Elwins at 918 Bathurst. This show will be a live stream by PlugTO. If you hate the cold weather and hesitate to head to the venue, you can still enjoy the show at your cozy home thanks to the wicked website. If you want to hit the road tonight, here are the details of the event. This is going to be a show that you would like to witness. 

January 19, 2012

The Junction announced a new album release and music video, Awakenings

It was just a week ago when I witnessed an acoustic set by the frontman of Toronto-based rock trio The Junction. Brent Jackson, opened for a fellow singer songwriter, Craig Stickland at the Drake Underground. He performed a number of tunes including some of the band's hits and made me believe that melodic acoustic tunes with a banjo and acoustic guitar is something that Jackson had planned for next. 

It seems that it will just stay as his side project for now. The Junction are ready to unveil their third album, Grievances, which is due out on March 6th, 2012 via their own record company, The Junction Inc and Fontana North. Today they also released a music video of the first single, 'Awakenings' which is off the new record. Stay tuned to Music Psychos for any sneak peaks of the album! 

January 18, 2012

The Danger Bees, Good Year

Tonight is my first night of 2012 in alone with my cat and it couldn't have been more exciting than this as receiving a confirmation for an interview for Yamataka//Sonic Titan today (Booya!!!) and a few music submissions that I am digging right now.

I was doing some homework for tomorrow's in-person interview with Vancouver pop rock band, Beekeeper. I have tons of goodies about this band that I would love to share with you folks, yet let's put it aside for now until the weekend.

Tomorrow, Janurary 19th, Beekeeper are playing a gig at Sneaky Dees with the Danger Bees and  Convoy. (click here for the details for the show) What I wanted to introduce you to was Toronto-based  pop band from Nova Scotia, the Danger Bees. I've already listened to their single from the debut album, 'Good Year' 5-6 times on repeat.  The infectious melodic hook of the chorus is the ingredient for stuck tune syndrome.

Here is the acoustic version of the song by Ed Kramer and David Macmichael in an icy cold weather at the Waterfront in downtown Vancouver via Fistfull  of Sound. Enjoy and don't forget to join me Tomorrow for an awesome show with three talented bands.

Plants and Animals cover Wolf Parade's I'll Believe in Anything

It's been over a year since Montreal-based pop rock band, Wolf Parade went on a hiatus. One of their hit songs,I'll believe in Anything was revived by a fellow Montrealers, Plants and Animals. The band released the cover of the song, performed during POP Montreal today.

It leaves a different impression on the listeners, compared with Spencer Krug's distinctive voice, which fluctuates between pitches, leaving a strong sway. On the other hand, the escalation toward the end with aggressive guitar riffs crafted by the trio is more easy on to digest.Whichever you prefer, it is interesting how the same song can provoke a different response.

They've also announced a new spring tour to support their upcoming album, The End of That via Secret City Records. The Toronto date is April 21st at Lee's Palace as the tour final. 

January 17, 2012

Watch a new video Viva by Bry Webb

This is probably one of  the most 'intimate' acoustic performances that I've watched - Along with his son Asa, in his own kitchen, the Constatines's frountman, Bryan Web released a new video Viva, off the new record, Provider via Southern Souls.

"Dadda, dadda..."-with the cute baby noise, Webb quietly performs the aesthetic verses.
BRY WEBB - Viva from Mitch Fillion (southernsouls.ca) on Vimeo.

Another video which was released on the same day is Burl Ives' Sad Man's Song. His soft voice is as beautiful as the street lights.

BRY WEBB - Sad Man's Song (Burl Ives / Traditional) from Mitch Fillion (southernsouls.ca) on Vimeo.

He has a few upcoming shows in Ontario in next month with a gorgeous lineups with some members from Toronto bands from one hundred dollars, the Wooden Skys and Evening Hymns.

February 3 - St Catharines, ON - The Mansion House 
w/ Simone from $100

February 4 - Toronto, ON - The Music Gallery
Two performances: 6pm & 8:30pm
w/ Wyrd Visions

February 10 - Peterborough, ON - Gordon Best Theater
w/ Jonas Bonetta of Evening Hymns &Gavin Gardiner of Wooden Sky

February 11 - Kingston, ON - The Grad Club
w/ Jonas Bonetta of Evening Hymns & Gavin Gardiner of Wooden Sky 

Listen to the new song of Sleigh Bells

By now, you folks may have listened to the first single, Born to Lose, off the upcoming album, Reign by Brooklyn-based pop rock duo, Sleigh Bells. The new album is set to be released on February 21st and is one of the most anticipated albums of 2012 according to numerous media outfits. 

Prior to the release, they also released another sneak-peak, Comeback Kid this week. The non-stop pop synth beats with Alexis Krauss's high pitched vocal will cultivate your curiosity.  One more month till the release date! Get yourself ready with these two tunes from the new release!!!

 Comeback Kid by Sleigh Bells 

SnowBlink unveiled a new video, The Tired Bees

Acclaimed as "one of the most compelling new voices on the Canadian scene" by CBC radio, Toronto folk duo, Snowblink were hyped up in the 2011 Toronto music scene with their debut record, ‘Long Live’ in February 2011 via Fire Records and Out of This Spark.

The duo released a new video, 'The Tired Bees' from the record yesterday. Check it out.

The Tired Bees from carla s on Vimeo.

They've also covered Amy Winehouse's Back to Black last summer, which is worthwhile to give a listen. 
Back to Black by Snowblink by Snowblink

January 14, 2012

Videos: Craig Stickland @ Drake Underground on Jan 10th

Here are some videos from Craig Stickland's show on Janurary 10th at the Drake Underground. I was next to the speaker, so you might hear some noise. But the quality is still good!

Don't forget to read my review of the show. (click here)


January 13, 2012

Craig Stickland at the Drake underground on Jan 10th

It's been a while since I saw the Drake Underground packed on Tuesday nights. It was for Toronto singer songwriter, Craig Stickland, who delivered an ambitious home town show on January 10th with Brent Jackson (The Junction) and Megan Bonnell.

Hot on a heels of the latest EP, Art of Conviction, Stickland showcased a tide of new tunes, which are to be enclosed in an upcoming full length album. The roots singer delivered catchy choruses, which leveraged his surging vocal. Although the half of the set was filled with unveiled songs to the audience, he remained as the centre of attention. He joyrode a new exploration with various genres in these newbies: Classic good oldie root songs to a 8mins of a Rock N Roll ballard, acclaimed as a reminiscent verse of Stairway to Heaven. But one thing stayed the same throughout the performance: Regardless of the musical styles, Stickland reached out to the bottom of a heart with his lyrics which the listeners mirrored themselves in each song. Indeed, it was a compellation of theme songs for our generation, which represent our feelings throughout daily life.

As an encore requested by a number of fans, who were truly moved by his performance that night, Stickland performed an acoustic cover of the Strokes' Whatever Happened', which left the venue silent,  while his stunning vocal echoed through the venue. 

My eyes and ears were pleasantly surprised and the excitement continues until the new album release. 

January 11, 2012

TWLEVE:Wavelength announced its bills

It's is not only Coachella that has mind-blowing bills : Fucked Up,  PS I Love You, Metz, BonJay and many more local artists are in the lineup for this year's Wavelength.  One of the best local music festivals is celebrating  its 17th anniversary between February 16th-19th across town. 

The tickets are on sale on Janurary 17th, 2012. Make sure to score your tickets on time.  You can purchase the advance tickets and passes at Rotate This, Sounscapes and 

Thursday Feb. 16 @ The Shop under Parts & Labour, 1566 Queen St. W.
Co-presented with Weird Canada
9pm * $10 adv / $12 door * 19+ 
Friday Feb. 17 @ Steam Whistle Brewing, 255 Bremner Blvd.
9pm * $17 adv / $20 door * 19+ 
Saturday Feb. 18 @ The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W.
9pm * $12 adv / $15 door * 19+ 
Sunday Feb. 19 @ The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W.
9pm * $10 adv / $12 door * 19+
Includes entry to all events: $36.00