Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Watch me

It's kind of funny how everyone who writes a blog feels compelled to compile lists, and no time is this more obvious than just before the new year. Is it because we're so full of self-importance? Is it such vanity? Or is it the result of the same obsessive-compulsive behaviour which spurred some of us to begin keeping regular, sometimes painfully detailed online diaries to begin with?

Tonight I am going to post my five favorite music videos this year. My artistic criteria involve both the quality of the music, and the visual appeal of the imagery. I'm not the type to love a video for a bad band, nor am I a huge fan of pointless abstraction unless it's the next level shit, and there isn't much of that next level shit out there. This year, even Chris Cunningham and collectives like The Designer's Republic and Associates in Science have become less progressive or innovative. Fortunately, big-budget mainstays like Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze have continued to impress (Jonze with his Gondry-esque Adidas commercial, and Gondry with his ultra-Gondry White Stripes video). But this isn't really about the big budgets for me -- it's about innovative and interesting.

5. Jeremy Warmsley - Verses / Drinkme - Manifesto | Dir: Ben Rollason
Isn't that the worst when someone says top five and they sneak in a sixth choice? Whatever, both of these are directed by Ben Rollason, and are excellent videos. Rough edges show; the digital effects in Manifesto are loosely polished, which makes them that much better, and the acting in Verses is quirky enough to be good. Each of these pieces holds you from start to finish with a cohesive story, and consistent feel. I covered Drinkme a while ago, and still find Manifesto will work a dancefloor with it's Elastica-like hook.

Watch: Verses MOV / Manifesto MOV (Both of these require a click-through.)

4. Tom Vek - C-C (You Set The Fire In Me) | Dir: Adam Bartley
Hey Tom, you're a fucking muppet. Yeah, you're a fucking muppet but you sure can play those drums, and I hear you bring a solid live show to back it up. Oh and your little friend -- he's a muppet too.

Watch: WMV

3. Sigur Rōs - Glōsōl | Dir:
Arni & Kinski
Takk is an excellent record, and this video captures the feeling of the lead track perfectly. The colours are lush, and the atmosphere heavy -- it's a slow song, but watch this to the end; it's well worth it.

Watch: MOV (Must click-through)

2. Man Man - The 10lb Moustache | Dir: Adam Carrigan
I've watched this video countless times, and I never get sick of the surreal dialogue with it's non-sequiturs making a kind of strange sense, as the story moves forward. LIFE, YOU DOG. YOU SALT MY TEA!

Watch: MOV

1. Doves - Sky Starts Falling | Dir: Reuben Sutherland
This video is just stunning. From the extensive use of 3D, to the wonderfully composited effects work, the whole thing is beautiful to watch just from a technical standpoint. Add in the surreal storyline - surprisingly emotional given it's loose presentation - and you've got what I think is the best video of the year. Nice work.

Watch: MOV


Shout out to For The Records, who've linked AYF? permanently. He is another Toronto-based writer who spends a lot of time covering shows in this city, including The Diableros' CD release last weekend, which was one of my favorite concerts this year.


Watch the next issue of Eye Magazine for a mention of Daughters Of Invention. Way to go Jaime, NOW you're bigtime.

I bet I get to say that again soon...


I seem to run into Rory a lot; last week, I found him in a book store killing time before one of his DJ gigs. Yeah, the guy actually reads -- well, magazines at least.


Popsheep also like Colourbook (and get a permanent link as I add yet more people from Toronto to the right hand column). Nice to see Colourbook is getting picked up on, and in response, I'll drop three more of their latest tracks:

Colourbook - Never Get Old
Colourbook - Older, Wiser
Colourbook - A Long Line Of Men

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Intelligent design

This is not the post I intended to make today. I have a big article waiting as a draft -- waiting for someone (JAIME!) to add to it before it can be put up. But hey, it's been a few days, so here we go...


Last week I was invited by a friend of mine to something called the Casby Awards -- an event put together by local radio station 102.1 as both a publicity stunt, and an excuse to give awards to their listener's favorite bands. The girl who invited me is really nice, and I figured it would be fun to go, at least for a laugh. There was a very small red carpet in front of the venue (a horrible 2400 capacity club called Kool Haus), tons of security, and lots of fans there for bands like Metric, Hot Hot Heat, Sloan, and uh... Th3ory 0f A D34dman, Tr3ws, and B0y (there, that should confuse the search engine seekers).

It was terrible. Not the poor selection of beer (I can live with Molson), not the awful sound (I wasn't there for the bands), or the Molson girls wandering around in their halter tops (that was a high point). It was the general feeling; the posing and the fronting. And for what? Just lame, and embarrassing enough to preclude enjoyment of the spectacle. So I was ecstatic when my friend let me know she could get me into the Echo & The Bunnymen show happening across town. I left The Casby's quickly.

The Echo & The Bunnymen show was great -- far better than I expected, given what other people have experienced with their tour. Ian McCulloch wasn't so fucked as to be unable to sing, which was a nice surprise, and the sound was good. Thank you to Jacob from Emerge for putting that together, and for letting me know about some upcoming events I'll drop on this blog when I'm allowed to.

I watched Donnie Darko again a few weeks ago:
Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon


So now - for some reason - I am in a Creation Records mood. Tareh pointed out that an old Creation band called The Loft have been getting a good deal of posthumus attention lately, and deservedly so. I've also been listening to Adorable, and thinking about The House Of Love; two of the post-shoegaze, pre-Brit-pop bands that were overshadowed by grunge.

The last two installments of the shoegaze retrospective will be up next week (including more Adorable tracks).

Adorable - Homeboy

The Loft - Up The Hill And Down The Slope
The Loft - Tuesday

The House Of Love - I Don't Know Why I Love You
The House Of Love - Marble
The House Of Love - Beatles And The Stones

Monday, November 21, 2005

The truth

In an effort to receive more referring links, I thought I'd let you all know that I am, in fact, a very hot girl.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Vampires are the new wolves

My friend Ryan says Probably Vampires are like an up-beat version of The Zombies. I kind of agree. They're also a bit like The Doors, and '60s west-coast pop, with some blues and Motown thrown in. Their name is really cute, but if we suddenly see a rash of vampire-named or themed groups, I'm going to start calling it the apocalypse.

You should go make friends with them; they're from Chicago and they rock out.

Probably Vampires - Every Single Time
Probably Vampires - Yes I Do
Probably Vampires - One More Night


So this guy Ian came up with a brilliant idea; an indie-rock version of fantasy football. I had to tell him that Pitchfork came up with the idea already, but that didn't stop us from drunkenly formulating some basic rules, and then... forgetting about it.

But yeah, I still want to do it. Make it happen, Ian!

Speaking of Pitchfork, they don't like The Howling Hex's new DVD/album as much as I do. I say it clears 70 by a couple percentage points.


James Murphy, The Juan Maclean, and Sh*t Robot (that's how he spells it, not me) all played at Shack Up last Thursday with Mikey, Jaime, and myself (well, I played two records and worked the door). It was an experience that re-instilled my faith in small DJ parties. The Juan is coming back, and we'll do something like that again. I can't wait.

Keep your ears open for the Sh*t Robot 12" releases coming up on DFA. Great stuff.


The video game I'm working on can be found at "Segalabs." When we saw the original concept for this promotion, some of us freaked out -- and not in a good way. We couldn't imagine it being alright, but it is. In a video game way, you know.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Juan Maclean at Shack Up NOV 17th


What is The Juan into?
Throbbing Gristle, Basic Channel, Maurizio, Juan Atkins, Derreck May, Carl Craig (Paperclip People, etc), Chrome, DAF, Frankie Knuckles, Adonis, Phuture, Chris and Cosey, Arthur Russel, Public Image Limited, Can, Gang of Four, Black Flag, Giorgio Moroder, Italo Disco, Disco Disco, Godflesh, Hawkwind, The Human League, Kenny Larkin, Manuel Gottsching, Moodyman, Larry Levan, SalSoul, Alexander Robotnik, Gary Numan, King Tubby, Scientist, Birthday Party, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Einsturzende Neubauten, Underground Resistance, Andrew Weatherall, Metro Area, Ghostly International, Kompakt, Vladislav Delay, Aphex Twin, Man II Man, Mann Parrish, Newcleus, Paul Johnson, Cerrone, Boney M, Gil Scot Heron

Who does he release for?

What does he have to say?

$2 COVER (can you handle that?)

Resident DJs Mikey Apples and Jaime Sin

Expect this to be pretty rammed, so come early. We plan to have some serious fun rockin' out and all that shit.


Shack Up as at The Queenshead in Toronto, on the south-west corner of Queen & Bathurst. Things get started at 10:30pm.

I might play a few records depending on how things go with working the door.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


When this blog started, it was all text. It was me bitching and moaning and ranting about things, and making fun of people and myself. A few friends read it. When the songs started being posted, more people read it, and now here we are.

Anyway, with the amount of energy my day job and some other projects are taking up, I haven't had the time I like to spend on the strictly musical aspect of this site, so I'm going to write a bit more without posting tunes. I can hear the moans already. It's OK, you can always just skip to the music in other posts, and that search function actually sort of works, you know.


Last week on Stillepost, I managed to get into an argument with the promoters for the upcoming LCD Soundsystem/Juan Maclean show in Toronto. I bitched about the venue, the ticket prices, the enormous poster, and the rave-like vibe. Admittedly, this was an asshole move, but it did catch the attention of Maclean (whom I have interviewed before), and ellicited a solid response on his behalf which, was in agreement with my own viewpoint.

The whole thing was kind of ridiculous, and I am a bit embarrassed at having engaged in the dialogue, but you can find it here:

The Juan is a nice guy, and we're hoping to work something out so he can play to a small crowd in a small room as part of this tour. More on that soon.


NO FORMAT is going to be doing a Neutral Mute/Run-Roc show in Toronto within the next two months. Venue and date TBA.


The Liars have a new song and video out. It's highly homo-erotic. I think that's why Jaime likes it so much.


The new release from The Howling Hex? Amazing so far.

The new GoGoGo Airheart is great too, and their show last night was big fun. Be their friends
and buy Rats!Sing!Sing!. The only reason I'm even posting this music is so people will hear these bands and pick up the CD/vinyl.

The Howing Hex
- Now, We're Gonna Sing

GoGoGo Airheart - So Good
GoGoGo Airheart - Heart On A Chain

Friday, November 11, 2005

Let's be friends

Another wonderful week of 12 hours workdays, and two wicked bands to listen to:


Bodies Of Water emailed me today; they wrote me a nice, unassuming message, and offered to send me a CD. I listened to a couple of their MP3s, and was impressed.

With "Here Comes My Hand," these guys and girls belt out amazing vocal melodies, coupled with a dense, sunny, well-produced pop backdrop, the occasional yelp, and quirky breakdowns. "Roar, Roar, Roar," sounds a bit like Grandaddy meets Queen -- what the hell? And then we have a "Guess I'll Forget The Sound, I Guess, I Guess." It's a dusty, melancholy offering with frenetic bridges, a nice organ and synthetic-sounding horns.

I have high hopes for this band. Looking forward to getting the EP.

Bodies Of Water - Here Comes My Hand
Bodies Of Water - Roar, Roar, Roar
Bodies Of Water - Guess I'll Forget The Sound, I Guess, I Guess


The hoof hearted DAS brought Celebration to my attention. The guy seems hard to please, so when he's all over over a band, you gotta assume there is at least something to be said for it.

Celebration are from New York, and, like Bodies Of Water, they have a very unique sound. Off-time, off-kilter beats, killer organ, and catchy-as-hell basslines clash in something that sounds vaguely like The Liars but hell, I can't really come up with adequate comparisons.

Listen to these guys. They've got it -- that special thing. They're amazing.

Celebration - War
Celebration - New Skin


The Paper Cranes' EP is now going to mastering (which is what we do after mixing). Their track titled "Deus Ex Machinegun" is heading down to the guys at Run-Roc for a remix treatment. How rad is that? If you don't know who Run-Roc are, they just finished work for Annie and Supersystem, produce Jonathan Vance, and are doing some new work for The Rapture. Things are looking good.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Just For A Day (Shoegaze Part 5)

My PC pretty much packed it in. Fortunately, I had a really nice workstation donated to me by a wealthy relative (not exactly, but something like that -- I can't afford this shit), so I've spent the last few days converting myself over to the new Mac. It matches my older G4 laptop nicely.

You'd think these infrequent updates were becoming a habit or something. No, there's always an excuse.


The early '90s saw an influx of new shoegaze bands. Of these, Slowdive, Lush, and Chapterhouse were the three who best defined the sound for me.

With three well-received EPs published through Creation Records in 1990, Slowdive released
Just For A Day - their debut full-length - the following year. Propelled by the excellent songwriting skills of Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell, they gained a die-hard audience who appreciated their (hack) shimmering guitars and (ugh) ethereal vocals. This sounds contrived to hell, but it's an accurate description. I apologize for the phrasing of this paragraph; I feel like I've read it so many times before, and indeed, it's been said in just about every interview and review of Slowdive since they formed. Shimmering and ethereal.

The band actually managed to break the UK Top 50 with
Just For A Day, but with the rapid decline of shoegaze in the popular media, and the inevitable onslaught of grunge, their subsequent releases sold poorly. Slowdive was dropped by Creation after their last album, Pygmalion, in 1995.

Looking back, both
Souvlaki, their sophomore album, and Pygmalion are great records, the latter perhaps one of my favorites of all time. Both are deeply emotional and sonically interesting -- and were also fairly unique when released (a double edged sword, given the public's lack of acceptance).

Slowdive regrouped as an alt-country-inspired act, under the name Mojave 3 -- adding, amongst other members, Simon Rowe from Chapterhouse. They're still around, and both Halstead and Goswell have produced solo albums on top of their combined work. Halstead also has his own record label, although I haven't had a chance to properly check it out yet.

There are way too many good Slowdive songs. I'm going to post a few classics along with some hard to find tracks. The cover of "Some Velvet Morning" is amazing:

Slowdive - Slowdive
Slowdive - Morningrise
Slowdive - She Calls
Slowdive - Catch The Breeze
Slowdive - Some Velvet Morning
Slowdive - Dagger
Slowdive - Blue Skied 'An Clear
Slowdive - J's Heaven
Slowdive - Crazy For You


Early Lush can come across as a sort of pop-Slowdive.
Gala, a 1990 EP-compilation album released in the States on Reprise, was, to an extent, their high point. Their debut album, Spooky - produced by Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie - was reasonable, but unable to live up to the hype established by their early singles. A bit heavy on the chamber influence, maybe.

As grunge and Brit-Pop took hold, Lush focused more on the pop and less on the shoegaze, neutering the impact of their vocal harmonies and the swirling guitars of their female leads. They released two forgettable albums (yes,
Lovelife was pretty successful, but still) before breaking up after the suicide of band member Chris Acland.

Someone asked me about Cocteau Twins in a comment - a band who both influenced and were friends with Lush - and while I don't think they fit into a shoegaze retrospective, I will give them props for their influence as a dream-pop band. "Iceblink Luck," one of their more popular singles, was a nice dip into the world of shoegaze.

Lush - Breeze (Peel Session)
Lush - Sweetness & Light

Cocteau Twins - Iceblink Luck


Chapterhouse are a horribly frustrating band.
Whirlpool, their first album, was intense and viceral and could - for a while - almost bring a tear to my eye. From there it went straight downhill into a mix of contrived dreck ("We Are The Beautiful" from their second album, Blood Music), boring ambient pieces (with the exception of "Summer Chill"), crappy techno remixes, and eventually the rapid demise of the band.

So what the fuck is there a best of Chapterhouse compilation for? And how could it be so damn good? Where did that Beatles cover and all those studio demos come from? It's called
Rownderbowt, and if you ever see it for sale used, buy it. I've been told it goes for $80US on eBay. My ex-wife has my copy (yeah, I bitched about this before in the Ride section). She says she'll rip it for me, but that hasn't happened yet, has it? So I'm bitching again.

Chapterhouse - Sixteen Years
Chapterhouse - Breather
Chapterhouse - Treasure
Chapterhouse - Autosleeper
Chapterhouse - Mesermise
Chapterhouse - Summer Chill


I know nothing about Drop other than they were on Chapter 22 in 1991 and they liked The Designers Republic (but had horrible CD artwork of their own). Can anyone fill in the blanks? I acquired their CD -
Within And Beyond - from an old friend of mine who knows as much about them as I do.

Drop - Drone 1
Drop - Mirrored
Drop - Be There

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

From Seattle to New Zealand

Seattle is a fun place to hang out. They have bars like the Cha Cha and Linda's where you can go and be surrounded by a scene without feeling like you need to dress up -- most of the time. There are lots of live shows, and until it was shut down a few years ago, my favorite concert venue: the Sit & Spin (a laundromat/restaurant/club). On the weekends, you can drive to fun spots like Mt. Rainier in less than two hours.

The Dead Science are from Seattle, and have a new album out on Absolutely Kosher, from which
Dirty Magneto is sourced. The other two tracks date back to 2003.

This is not easy listening; take your time.

The Dead Science - Dirty Magneto
The Dead Science - Threnody
The Dead Science - Ossuary


I covered New Zealand's The Shocking Pinks a few months ago, but here they are again, because I finally tracked down their (almost) most recent CD, "Mathematical Warfare," and it's excellent.

The guitars on this record swirl in the most pleasant of shoegaze melodies, but it's the crunchy drums, and dense - muddy - production that really sells it. MBV comparisons are inevitable; just listen to how they've re-interpreted the sound on
Roquaril -- it's wonderful. And check the Liquid Liquid beats through I Want Ice Tornado, coupled with sparse, echoed and flanged guitars. This is exactly what I've been looking for lately.

The Shocking Pinks - E-Haired Girl
The Shocking Pinks - I Want Ice Tornado
The Shocking Pinks - Roquaril


Tomorrow night (Thursday) I am DJing at The Queenshead in Toronto, with Daughter Of Invention, Jaime Sin. Come by and drink cheap beer and dance with us. It's always fun.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

2 Boys + 2 Girls = Really Good Time

Some time ago I posted a low-bitrate track by a Colorado-based band called Matson Jones. They now have a self-titled album out on Sympathy For The Record Industry -- moody, but energetic music made on two cellos, a bass, and drums. The five tracks I'm posting today are fantastic; these guys and girls deserve some coverage.

Yeah, these are low-bitrate once again, but in an attempt to keep with my "the indie bands gots'ta make their living" philosophy, I'm only posting what they've made available themselves. No ripping of the official CD.

Matson Jones - Italian Song
Matson Jones - A Bit of Arson Never Hurt Anyone
Matson Jones - S.E.P. Ruined My Life
Matson Jones - He Means Nothing, My Dear
Matson Jones - Welcome Back Mr. Audio-Technica (repost)


I'm sure we'll be hearing more about New Young Pony Club in the indie-dance-club-fuck-we're-cool-right-now scene soon (this is self-referrential, and completely ironic, OK?). They're hot -- if not just because of the cute name. I'm pretty sure Jaime will be into these tracks:

New Young Pony Club - Tight Fit
New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream
New Young Pony Club - Jerk Me (repost)


I've been away for a while, but it's good to be back. Just had a chat with some excellent producers down in NYC for some Paper Cranes remixes -- I'll post news on that as soon as it's all official.

For people who've been emailing me and/or sending me music: sit tight, I'm wading through my messages and I will get back to you.

Coming soon are new tunes from The Shocking Pinks (whom I've been 'caning for months now), and the rest of the shoegaze retrospective.


A couple links back to some new friends who've been sending hits this way:
Beat The Indie Drum, Black Balloon, Tuning.