Tuesday, June 28, 2005

No Format: 07/06/2005

The details are finally sorted out.

Starting July 6th, on the first Wednesday of each month, we'll be doing a club night in Toronto. Two live bands with be playing, along with DJ sets from myself and Ian Worang (of Uncut and The Two Koreas), plus a guest. We're going to be focusing on local bands, and showcasing what we consider to be some of the best upcoming talent in Toronto.

The venue is The Social, between Beaconsfield and Dovercourt on Queen Street West. No, it's not in Parkdale -- it's east of Parkdale, OK? It's West Queen West, or something.



Wednesday July 6th 2005


Stuart Berman (The Two Koreas, Eye Magazine)
NNY (No Format)


$5 cover
$3.50 50s


The Empires are hook-based, guitar-driven indie rock, with a tendency towards wall-of-sound production. Great melodies, word of mouth, and a series of impressive live reviews brought them to our attention. If you didn't catch their last Wavelength show, you missed out:

The Empires - Lesbian Games *repost
The Empires - Mattoo (Who's To Say?)
The Empires - Defender
The Empires - Camouflage *repost


The Diableros blew us away when they opened at The Two Koreas's CD release party. Knife-like guitars, keys, and strong vocals bring to mind bands like The Walkmen and Canadian contemporaries, Wolf Parade. They're also nice, and sent us an exclusive MP3 to post:

The Diableros - Sugar Laced Soul


Stuart Berman fronts local indie band, The Two Koreas, and vocalizes his musical opinions through Eye Magazine. Expect him to drop current indiefloor hits, along with classics and, of course, obscurities. Not obscurities that will make you stop and wonder why you weren't held enough as a child, or why your relationship just failed -- obscurities in the good way.


NNY is a No Format resident. Our residents don't get write-ups, but they do have to organize all this shit...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Paper Cranes

This was a strange one. A friend of mine in Vancouver sent a song to (the infamous) Lana, who dropped me a line and INSISTED I check it out. I had no choice... it was evidently that good.

What's this, another Canadian phenom? This band consists of a few guys in their early 20's from Victoria, who are in the process of putting the finishing touches on their first indie release. Paper Cranes is the name, and, much like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, they slot into this interesting genre that inhabits the same vicinity as Wolf Parade and (dare I say) The Arcade Fire.

Bent slightly more towards post-punk than avant-folk-rock, Paper Cranes are more straight ahead than Clap Your Hands, but remain far from predictable.


Here's to social awkwardness. It being 2:30am, and me still being drunk, my bed looks awfully appealing to me right now. Sideways glances and stilted conversations really don't get me going. Here's to being straight up.


We're starting up a new monthly club night here in Toronto -- two live bands, plus guest DJs, along with myself and Ian (of Uncut and The Two Koreas) playing records. More details soon.


Thanks to Roxane:
Paper Cranes - I'll Love You Til My Veins Explode
Paper Cranes - Deus Ex Machinegun
Paper Cranes - January In Eastern Europe

These are unfinished mixes.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Say what?

With the number of hits I'm getting based simply on having the words, "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah," on the site, I think I'll type it a few more times just to see what happens.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

I've never seen indie-hype-word-of-mouth move like this before, but damn is the album good (right now) so maybe it's justified.

Scroll down a few posts to find a couple MP3s.

The band's website: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Problem With Music

Datarock - I Used To Dance With My Daddy (Kaptein Kaliber Remix)
I talked about Datarock a few weeks ago. This remix takes the original track, and turns it into a stoned, shuffling, housecoat-wearing product of the Madchester generation. When I was still in school, I used to get high, drink a couple Neo Citran, sit in the corner of my apartment and eat chips in the dark. My roommates found this strange. I have no idea why this song makes me think about those days.

Wilderness - Arkless
Wilderness were just written up in Pitchfork. It's no surprise, given the strength of their music. Haven't stopped listening to them for weeks.

Shout Out Louds - The Comeback (Ratatat Remix)
Hype buzzes around this band. I'm still not convinced, although this remix (by Ratatat, who I am generally not a huge fan of) works well.

Grizzly Bear - Fix It
Underappreciated and underexposed.


Lana just sent me an interesting diatribe on the realities of the music industry, written by Steve Albini. The guy is a legend when it comes to music production, although his own music is far from my thing. Actually, most of what he produces isn't my thing either, but whatever. He's not stupid: The Problem With Music by Steve Albini.


Shout out to One Louder NYC for sending some traffic this way.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hype hangover

The offhanded indie-yuppie comment lifted from Vice Music's Adam Shore continues to make it's way into the collective psyche. Here's hoping it doesn't stick. To put things into perspective, I'm posting the original article containing the reference.[...]

So succinct, and like so much buzz-killing critical analysis, the following article comes off a few clicks beyond asshole. But it makes a lot of sense.[...]

And now, let's hop on the bandwagon:

Interesting instrumentation:
Chad VanGaalen - Clinically Dead
Final Fantasy - The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead

Scared of dance music?:
Isolée - Schrapnell

Art Brut - These Animal Menswe@r
The Rock And Roll Idiots - These Animal Menswe@r

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A day late

At the risk of losing credibility, I am going to post some music AFTER it was championed on Pitchfork. Specifically, a few tracks by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah -- a band with a bad name, but an interesting sound; somewhere in the realm of The Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade, but hailing from Brooklyn, not Montreal.

Indie Yuppie:
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - In This Home On Ice
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Over and Over Again (Lost and Found)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood

Artrocker's goods:
The Chap - Arts Centre
Pete And The Pirates - Saviour

James Murphy's 2001 name-drop:
Section 25 - Dirty Disco

The Planet The - Please Don't Kill Myself

Special thanks to Thomas at Artrocker for not being an ass for once and mailing me some vinyl. Your mom is still cheap.

A step back:

A step forward:

Monday, June 13, 2005

Linking out

Evidently, other people also write things about music.

Swishblog -
Eh, it's alright. Bit of an attitude (but that can be good), some dodgy selections (but hey, nobody is perfect), and a serious ego (aw shit). Best is that they do their MP3 presentation as mixes. I like that.

Music for Robots -
Aside from one of their writers sucking the dick of every supposedly "cool" new band/song/style/clubnight that happens to filter through to New York, they post some decent stuff.

Fluxblog -
This is a staple. Everyone links to Fluxblog. Hello Fluxblog.

Pitchfork Media -
Ubiquitous indie-rock-snob website. Now it might as well be mainstream. Check out the stuff written by Nick Sylvester; he knows what he's talking about.

Cokemachineglow -
I thought Pitchfork were tough to please. But of course, everyone loves Sleater-Kinney. EVERYONE.

Tiny Mix Tapes -
Along with CMG and Pitchfork, this site rounds out my daily reading.

Artrocker -
Sometimes I argue with these guys, but it's all in good fun. Usually.

Places to avoid:

Good god, what HAPPENED? Oh right, this is old news...

All Music Guide -
It's good as reference (when correct), but their reviews really SUCK.

Tripwire -
I bet someone over there uses the term, "tastemaker" in a serious context almost every day. Wanks. Good for figuring out what the out-of-touch corporate execs think is cool.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Vice Guide to Toronto

The following band writeups found their way into the Vice Guide to Toronto which came out with the June issue of the magazine. The No Dynamics article is pushed to the July issue:

One of their three guitarists is named Ian. His roommate says he finds Ian on the floor in the kitchen in his underwear almost everymorning. Fetal position.

They are not The Fall. They don't even really sound like The Fall. OK, Stuart Berman sings a bit like Mark E. Smith from The Fall. Maybe they're a bit like The Fall. The Fall.

No bass, but you'd never know it. Big guitars, heavy drums, deathly keys, vicious female vocals. Noisy like a raccoon fight.

Displaced Brit/Canadian backed by three female vocalists who sound like the ESG cheering squad. Some dance, some rock, some folk, some country. World music. Yeah, this is world music.

When someone tells you this guy does string arrangements for The Arcade Fire, don't get the wrong idea. This doesn't belong in your grandparent's CD collection. He even sings about dicks.

They say they're a Socialist Republic. Really, they're a bunch of punk rock Commie bastards -- they put acid in our drinking water. Assholes.

Friday, June 10, 2005

It never rains here

Some audio. I'll be doing this regularly now.

Pretty/violent abstractions:
Animalmonster - Jumangi

Dance punk:
VCR - King And Queen of Winter
Disco Drive - All About This
Elle Milano - Sunshine in Happyland

Wall of noise:
The Christa Min - I'm Alright
The Christa Min - Like a Kiss

Light and dark:
Oneida - Run Through My Hair
The Empires - Camouflage
The Empires - Lesbian Games
Clearlake - Want To Live In A Dream (Remix)