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Friday, September 30, 2005 

this is a very quick post, in which I beg a lot...



Hi. I'm back in town. More on the trip later.

I know I'm 99.95% kidding myself here. But... I would be forever grateful if anyone out there on the internets has a spare ticket that they're willing to part with (i.e. sell to me) for Saturday night's National / Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show at Sonar in Vancouver.

I'll save you the long story about how I didn't get my shit together and get a tickets ages ago, like a normal person would. The fact of the matter is I kinda just jumped on the CYHSY bandwagon got into the CYHSY CD recently. Hooray for being a laggard.

But for serious - if you've got a ticket, please get in touch with me - freestuff@vanmega.com. Thanks in advance.

---

Speaking of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, a recent article with the Rolling Stone points out that their DIY sales and marketing efforts have been paying off like gangbusters, son:


"[CYHSY] have already sold nearly 17,000 copies of their self-released debut, all thanks to word of mouth. And while major-label artists make only about a buck a record, the Clap guys are making a whopping eight dollars per disc -- putting their take so far at more than $130,000. Not too shabby for an album recorded for less than ten grand and distributed by the band itself via countless trips to the post office." [full article here, link via]



Also - For those looking for some Clap Your Hands Say Yeah mp3's, you may want to download the latest mixtape.

elsewhere

music for kids who can't read good | think tank | new fugees mp3


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Friday, September 23, 2005 

outtie 5-50...



Posting will be a little light for the bulk of next week, as I'm away (yay!) for work (boo!). As a means of giving you some form of piping fresh hot content while I'm gone, I'll leave you with a link queue chock full of some very hyper links:

Ok - that should keep you going. If you manage to visit all the links listed I'll give you, like, 6 bucks.


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Thursday, September 22, 2005 

reviewed: Ryan Adams - Jacksonville City Nights



It appears my love/hate relationship with Ryan Adams will sustain itself well into 2006. Next week sees the release of Jacksonville City Nights, Mr. Adams second of three albums which will be released this year. I’ve been living with an “advance” copy of JCN for the last week, and perhaps the only way to describe my reaction to this disk is with crude profanity:

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Holy fucking shit, this album is amazing. Many people (myself included) hailed Ryan’s last release, Cold Roses, as a needed return to form… a return to writing and delivering songs that are smart and rich in content with a timeless sound and quality to them… the kind of songs that cause other song-writers to simply tear their hair out in frustration as they realize how their own personal best work simply fails in comparison.

We were kinda wrong.

Cold Roses was kind of a tease. If it was a return to form, it was only at a superficial level. Yeah the songs kinda sounded a bit more like Heartbreaker but there wasn’t that core of brilliance… that muted swagger… that really characterized Heartbreaker. It might be a little pre-mature to say this… but I think finally the brilliance is back.

The key thing that makes JCN so powerful is the fact that Ryan has chosen not to simply reproduce Heartbreaker, rather he’s chosen to chart into new territory. Perhaps a key reason for his success is the Cardinals – their musicianship on Cold Roses was… uhhh… good and actually moved Ryan’s work back into Alt-country territory, but this time they’re not fucking around. Their execution of Ryan’s material allows for the entire disk to sound like an album that could have been recorded decades ago (much like Heartbreaker), but they also add a rougher, varied dynamic to the songs (nothing like Heartbreaker). At times it honestly sounds like you’re secretly listening in to a live performance of country western band, committed to the sanctity Bakersfield sound. Or something.

The reality is that Ryan is on fire with this disk... unstoppable, in fact... and may have never produced better work.

That fucker.

Here’s a sample:

Ryan Adams – Trains [mp3]

elsewhere

yellowcountryteeth has half the album for download | shit blogs


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Tuesday, September 20, 2005 

the september mixtape is hot to go...

someone's been having fun with photoshop

By this point, this should be a fairly self explanatory post. A whole CD's worth of the latest and quasi-latest in all things musically wonderful. As always, the monthly mixtape is posted online for download for a very limited time. So, get it while the getting is good, yo.

Click here to go to the mixtape download page.

As always comments, feedback, and random blathering in the comments section of the post are welcomed and encouraged.

elsewhere

he-man does 4 non-blondes | ninjas vs. pirates


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Sunday, September 18, 2005 

real bands are the new cover bands...



I had big plans of posting a brand-spanking new mixtape for your collective asses... but it appears I've spent the bulk of my day working (on the new job)... on the weekend. This, of course, is the exact OPPOSITE of what Loverboy was going on about.

So instead of a mixtape, you get a quickie post. But don't worry, while it might be low on written content... there's a cornucopia of mpthreves. Hurrah, and such.

---

I'm not sure what's going on over at BBC Radio 1, but as of late there's been an influx of artists doing live sessions at the station. While the idea of live performance on the BBC is nothing new, what is new is the artists performance of cover tunes - not of old tried and tested classics, but rather completely contemporary stuff... stuff that's still on the radio.

Case(s) in point:

  • M.I.A performs the Kaiser Chiefs' Everyday I love you less and less live. [mp3]

  • Kano performs Gorillaz' Feel Good Inc live. [mp3]

  • The Foo Fighters perform Oasis' Layla live. [mp3]

I like the Kaiser Chiefs' cover best... it's quite the rework.

---

We were out at Section 3 on Friday night out in Yaletown. The DJ (I have no idea who she was, just that she was lil' and sassy and wore a hoddie under her headphones) was playing a magically delicious set... normally the tunes played at Section 3 are ok and fall more into the genre of generic anonymous ambient stuff (at least, this historically has been the case when I've been there). When we were there this weekend the set was shit-hot... totally up-tempo indie-ish twitchy dancey stuff.

The one track which stood out in the DJ set was that LCD Soundsystem track, Tribulations (from the latest disk). When the track came on I was taken back... it was so bad-ass. Funny thing is that I completely slept on the track for the last 9 months cause I was way too fixated on that Daft Punk is playing in my house jam. Nice work, me.

Anyways... for those who (also) slept:

  • LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations [mp3]

Soooooo bumpin', to the max.

elsewhere

girls are pretty | better propaganda | the dos | the don'ts


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Thursday, September 15, 2005 

digital photos: killing any chances of going into politics...



Yup, this update is a long overdue. After much nagging by the kids of vanmega, I've finally updated the website's photo section. Apparently I haven't properly posted any of the pictures capturing our... uhhh... antics since December 2004. My bad, yo.

Anyhoo... head on over to the photos page and check out the pics from the wine club annual, NYC trip #1, NYC trip #2... AND MOST VERY BEST OF ALL check out the summer 2005 gallery. Apparently, all we did during the summer of 2005 was hang out in huge groups, hug, drink, give the camera the finger, and hold babies. Also, we destroyed ourselves at the Stampede. Bow down to the collective trashiness awesomeness.

---

For those who have no interest in seeing pictures of sloppy strangers, here are some very hyperlinks for your consumption:

Annnnnnnnnnnnd I'm spent. Have a lovely weekend, kids.


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Tuesday, September 13, 2005 

the hipsters dilemma! [updated]



GASP! House Of Blues just announced that hip-hop / dance-hall / wonder-darling / emcee, M.I.A, will be playing a show at The Commodore Ballroom on October 7th.

Never mind the rave reviews this girl's album has gotten from blog-nerds around the universe - her live show is supposed to be bumpin', apparently crowds go nuts. Pinder saw M.I.A open for LCD Soundsystem last fall, noting that "it was the most dancing [he'd] ever seen at a Vancouver show". So Rad.

BUT HERE'S WHERE IT GETS TRICKY...

The Arcade Fire are playing in Vancouver that very same night at the very same time (at the PNE). Since time travel has yet to be mastered, you're gonna have to pick one concert over the other. But which do you pick - the uncontested "IT band" of 2004 with an insane live show, or the ultra-buzz worthy underground (but unfortunately soon to cross-over) hip-hop Goddess who can throw down a killer vibe as she performs live?!?

Either way, tickets for both shows go on sale this Friday at 10 am, via ticketmaster, zulu, et al.

UPDATE: Theres apparently an Internet pre-sale for the Arcade Fire show going on now. You may want to get on this. The password for the pre-sale is KEXP. (via blown speakers)

I'm willing to bet that there are hundreds of kids in Vancouver right now tearing their bed-head styled hair out trying to figure out what to do. This is like Sophie's Choice for the hipster set. Those poor darlings.

Incidentally... I'll be going to neither of these shows. I've kinda got a thing that night (graduation from grad school). I'm thinking I can't skip it. Daaaaaaamn.

Regardless, here's a M.I.A track for you to blast:

M.I.A - 10 Dollar [mp3]

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elsewhere

Illin'-Noise! Sufjan Stevens' latest album gets the remix treatment


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Monday, September 12, 2005 

reviewed: the new Metric and new David Gray disk...



Metric - Live It Out (comes out September 27th)

Yay! Some of the blog-nerd hype was bang-on. This disk is really good. I'd be willing to say that it's on par with "Old World Underground, Where Are You Now", but the things that really stood out on the previous disk (e.g. very loud and predominant synth work, dancey beats), are now replaced by equally as cool elements (e.g. greater focus on the guitar work, a darker more rock approach). I think some of the charm this new disk possesses is driven by the pleasant surprize of hearing Metric boldly venture into new territory. Plus, Emily Haines is tehhotness! (Sorry, had to throw that in there... and, apparently, cheapen everything up)

Here's a sampling:

Metric - Monster Hospital [mp3]

Also, Filter has a pretty solid and recent interview with Metric. Hurrah!

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David Gray - Life In Slow Motion (comes out tomorrow)

Remember David Gray, that guy who revitalized the whole singer-songwriter genre in 2000 with that bouquet of pretty songs known as "White Ladder", only to fall into obscurity after releasing an forgettable follow-up disk titled, "A New Day At Midnight"? Well, homeboy is back, this time in POG form, with a new disk, titled "Life In Slow Motion" and holy hell it's a return to proper form. Kinda like "White Ladder", but with a bit more testosterone (sorta) and with less dependence on drum machines and more dependence on a real band. Highly recommended.

Here's a sampling:

David Gray - Nos De Caraid [mp3]

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elsewhere

God Damn It! My $200 Faux Distressed Jeans Have Developed Actual Distress!


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Sunday, September 11, 2005 

NYC trip wrap-up (with photo gallery goodness)...





I probably should have written this post, like, immediately after we got back from New York, and not have let myself go post-vacation brain-dead over the last 4 days. Oh well. This trip was substantially different that my previous jaunt to New York. The reason for this: girls. Go on a trip to NYC with a couple of ladies and suddenly you're doing stuff like shopping for clothes, spending time on Broadway, planning out your days in insane detail. Hey, I'm not complaining, and I'm pretty certain that the girls wouldn't have gone for my previous vacation strategy of staying up all night and sleeping all day.

Anyway... here are a few random reflections on the week in New York, specifically...

On Williamsburg, Brooklyn...

- Hipsters and Hasidic Jews as far as the eye can see! Seriously, what's the buzz about this place all about? I mean, it was cool place, but based on all the chatter about the neighborhood, you'd think that there'd be an endless sea of people running around in leg-warmers an other post-modern fashion nonsense, constantly debating which noise-band was, in fact, most amazing and/or important.

On Broadway musicals...

- Yes, yes, after seeing my first musical, I will agree with all of you who have discussed this with me previously. Yes, musicals are quite entertaining, and quite the production (for lack of better words). The only thing I don't understand is why the theme to "American Dad" was stuck in my head for days after watching one completley unrelated musical.

On $7 Bi Bim Bop noodle bowls...

I have reason to believe I could, if needed, live off those bad-boys for the rest of my life.

On Central Park...

- Hey it's just like Stanley Park, but with random roller-disco'ing. BTW, Monica, Ross, and all the other cast members of Friend's could have NEVER afforded real estate around there.

On bands, etc...

I didn't really get a sense of any well deserving organic buzz about any new bands from anyone out in NYC, also while out in the East Village we went to a bar with an "indie-rock dj" who ended up pulling dullish stunts like playing "Lust for life", "Can't hurry love", and "Are you gonna be my girl" back to back to back - with out beatmixing, no less. Woo, the songs all have the same bass line!!!11 Ahem. Anyways, this complete lack of new music goodness was shocking... maybe CMJ will remedy this.

On the East Village...

- I fucking love that place. LOVE IT, SON. Scatter my ashes there when I die. Actually, don't. But ferreals, I've never had a bad time there. Hell, I've never even had a boring time there.

Anyhoo... photos from the trip can be seen here. Check it.

elsewhere

robocop... a history teacher | the designers mixtape | tony pierce


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Saturday, September 10, 2005 

download: arcade fire + david bowie, live at fashion rocks...



Apparently, The Arcade Fire shared the stage with David Bowie on Friday during the CBS special, Fashion Rocks. How lovely.

I've posted a video clip of the DB + AF tandem performance of "Wake Up" for your collective pilfering. While there are numerous live video clips of the band performing floating around the internets, it's pretty cool to see a clip where The Arcade Fire perform on a big stage with lots of room, and decent camera work and sound to capture it all. Them kids have come along way in the last 12 months.

The one thing I'm not sure about is Bowie's performance with the band. Is it cool that Bowie is, arguably, bringing the band to a bigger audience and allowing them greater exposure? Or... is Bowie simply aligning with a very contemporary and very credible band as a means of attempting to remain relevant as he and his most vital work becomes something historical? Hmmm... hard to say. Feel free to discuss. In the meantime, I'm going outside to enjoy the last of the summer. Here's the performance video clip:

The Arcade Fire feat. David Bowie - Wake Up (Live) [wmv]

Enjoy.

---

Other noteworthy Arcade Fire news:

- The band plays on Letterman this Wednesday.

- Tickets for the Oct 7th AF show in Vancouver at the PNE go on sale on this Friday at 10am via the usual ticketing channels. Word.


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Thursday, September 08, 2005 

back, but still pretending I'm on vacation...



'Sup, kids and young adults... I'm back from NYC. Holy crap, awesome trip (uhh... no surprize there). The funny thing is that after a week in Manhattan, Vancouver seems like a sleepy little town (of 3 million people, I suppose). Anyways, full update, pictures, incoherent rambling to follow. Patience, G 'n' R style, y'all(s).

For now, here's some hyperlinks, which I'm just finding now after reconnecting to the interweb after days of being away from my laptop. These may or may not be new to you:


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Sunday, September 04, 2005 

update from NYC...



Hi. New York is super. Just super. This place is big, stinky, and fantastic. I mean, I already knew this, but it just been reconfirmed. Bless... uhh... this... uhhh... mess. 2 days ago we went out for afternoon pints and the dudes from Interpol were 2 booths over (In full suits etc, no less) - Keep in mind we were a block from Sock's place. Super. Today, I bought a custom-made blazer. Uber-super (I could never wear it to work). Tk spent her Friday night running around the Lower East Side getting pushed around in a shopping cart (broken ankles, in fact, are a bitch). Deralect/deralict is in the house. Gawd bless Sock (for pushing the shopping cart). Carts/blazer combo = hot look for the fall. And so on.

We're heading back out into the city, kids. More in a few days.


[ perma-link | ]

 

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