Saturday, December 31, 2005


It's one of those moments where AYF? goes off about something new. Not so new as to be undiscovered, but still pretty new. This collective out of the UK is called Various Production, and they're making people notice with an eclectic set of releases on 7" vinyl ("Hater" being the big hit). Their music is all over the place, from well-produced dub-step (yes, grime still sucks) derivative indie/electro/R&B to lap-folk, to straight folk (check their rendition of "Byker Hill" renamed as "Biker Walk" -- bizarre, yes).

What blows me away is their originality in sound, technique, and feel. Sure, "Sir" hits up Suicide, but fuck that; these guys and girls can sing, and they can make their tracks interesting beginning to end, regardless of the lazy tempo. It puts the pretenders to shame.

I can only hope 2006 brings us more of this. More eclecticism, and more of the thick atmosphere from the wholly original, R&B-spiced likes of Various Production and Velella Velella. See also: Jackson & His Computer Band who come in on the techno end of this equation, and Jamie Lidell who does the scruffy white-boy R&B thing.

Various Production - Sir
Various Production - Hater
Various Production - Home
Various Production - Foller


Shout outs to Oh No! who have linked us up, and To Here Knows When (named after a My Bloody Valentine track, which is always a good thing).

Friday, December 30, 2005

In Review

This post is in preparation for New Years.


Some of the more journalistic moments we've had over the last year at AYF?:

10/2005 Faunts - High Expectations/Low Results
08/2005 Broken Social Scene - S/T
07/2005 Brakes - Give Blood

10/2005 The Paper Cranes
10/2005 Measles-Mumps-Rubella
09/2005 Jonathan Vance
08/2005 The Juan MacLean
07/2005 No Dynamics
06/2005 Final Fantasy

11/2005 The Juan MacLean, James Murphy, Sh*t Robot DJ sets
10/2005 Man Man w/Lenin i Shumov
09/2005 My Project: Blue w/Kat Burns, The Zoobombs, Members of Broken Social Scene
09/2005 Bush League w/I Am Robot And Proud
08/2005 The Two Koreas w/The Republic Of Safety
08/2005 Hank w/Vitaminsforyou
07/2005 The Empires w/The Diableros


My top 10 albums for 2005 (since everyone else has done it):

The Shocking Pinks - Mathematical Warfare
Love Is All - Nine Times The Same Song
The Diableros - You Can't Break The Strings In Our Olympic Hearts
Serena Maneesh - S/T
Spoon - Gimmie Fiction
Wolf Parade - Apologies To Queen Mary
Datarock - S/T
Wilderness - S/T
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - S/T
Broken Social Scene - S/T

Runners Up: The Ponys, Matson Jones, Isolée, Gogogo Airheart, Man Man, The Book Of Lists, Samara Lubelski, Cass McCombs, Jens Lekman, The Juan MacLean, LCD Soundsystem, Final Fantasy, The Arcade Fire, Jamie Lidell.

I know most of you haven't heard my top pick -- The Shocking Pinks' label, Flying Nun (of New Zealand), was recently purchased by a major, so we can only hope distribution will improve.

Yes, I have sucked at updating my "Top Picks for 2005" section.

Information and audio samples for almost all of these bands can be found by using the search function in the right column of this site, under archives.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

This girl, she's so dark.

Hey so I have this thing for goth girls. I'm not talking PVC and six inch platforms, I mean the real thing -- like in the movies as played by Angelina Jolie or Winona Ryder. So naturally, this means I have a soft spot for bands like Glass Candy, The Vanishing, and Veronic Lipgloss and The Evil Eyes.

Unfortunately, The Vanishing split a while back, but Ms. Lipgloss still holds the torch, and by all accounts, Glass Candy are going strong. Someone really irritating will probably call this stuff death disco or try compare these bands to say -- The Metric. But they'd be wrong, and you should insult that person all the way back to the Casby Awards where they belong.

For the sake of comedy, I'm going to throw Neon Blonde into this section as well, mainly because of their name and that wicked falsetto vocal (The Blood Brothers spinoff, once-removed Chromatics cousins). It's a bad name, but completely unsurprising for a band on Dim Mak (who, by way of genetics, are gracing their website with images of a young Aoki supermodel in a bath of merch. Fuck dude, it's just plain whack is what it is). So yeah, no girls here, just a girly name and a guy who sings like a girl. No, you won't catch me in bed with this record with my eyes open.

This sound isn't new, nor are long, weird, and subsequently shortened band names. We've Got A Fuzzbox & We're Gonna Use It
(also: Fuzzbox) were around decades ago (try the '80s).

We've Got A Fuzzbox & We're Gonna Use It - Console Me
Glass Candy - Sugar & Whitebread (Vocal)
Glass Candy - Iko Iko
The Vanishing - Lovesick
Veronica Lipgloss and The Evil Eyes - Unicorn Song

Neon Blonde - Barbados Nights
Neon Blonde - Headlines


In response to the international readers we've been getting, I'm going to post a few songs from Los Planetas -- a band who have been around since the early '90s, and are - at least in the Spanish-speaking world - indie-rock heroes. When I stumbled on these guys a couple years ago, I was surprised they weren't a big deal in North America, given the strength of their sound, their musicianship, and the fact that they have been known to sing in English -- sometimes (I'm posting a taste of this in the form of a few cover songs). What with Sigur Rós and - more recently - Dungen making major impacts, maybe the English-speaking indie crowd is ready for Los Planetas. Or maybe they can just continue outside our radar; it's worked for them so far.

Los Planetas - Disorder (Joy Division cover)
Los Planetas - Baby Lemonade (Syd Barrett cover)
Los Planetas - Apple Boutique (Felt cover)


Jay over at Goldkicks posted a couple Daddy's Hands MP3s. Go check them out, because they're worth it.


So I was visiting my parent's place over the last week, and my mother mentions something to me along the lines of, "hey, your uncle says you should visit Chicago instead of bringing the band here [to Toronto]." I was confused. Then I figured it out -- my uncle - who lives in Chicago, where Probably Vampires are from - reads my blog. Not only that, he pays attention to what I'm writing about. Crazy. Now if my mom starts reading this, it'll be
really weird.

The Juan MacLean
's mom watched him in the video for "Every Little Thing," where he runs around on set in his undies having pretend-sex with a couple hot ladies. No uncomfortable explanations like that for me, please.

Anyway, hi Hilton.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

NO FORMAT: 01/07/2006

NO FORMAT presents

The Two Koreas

Saturday January 7th
The Bagel (On College west of Spadina)



This is our first NO FORMAT show since we brought Man Man in from Philly, which was awesome, and saw The Bagel at capacity (on a weeknight, no less).

We expect this to sell out, so come early. Advance tickets are unlikely.


As I've said before, Probably Vampires are like an up-beat version of The Zombies. They're also a bit like The Doors, and '60s west-coast pop, with some blues and Motown thrown in. Like T2K, they're about the dance.

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

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


You guys know all about The Two Koreas; this is your chance to see them in a tiny venue where we can all hang with (singer) Stuart Berman in front of the stage.

The Two Koreas - Borrowing From Petra To Pay Pauline (repost)
The Two Koreas - Retarded Architect (repost)


Big shout out to Zoilus for the props on our year-end list, and hello to everyone visiting here from his site.

Also a hello to the Italian readers coming from Pigmag (who denounce the exclusion of Stars from our list, and think Arcade Fire should rank higher) and the French-language readers from Blogotheque. Both of those are cool sites; run them through a translator if you can't understand them.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Whoa there. Everyone take it easy; leave something for me. All of a sudden wherever I look there are people jamming on a couple amazing bands -- a couple of my top bands to flog. Man Man and Psychic Ills. And what else? Plenty of other material from The Social Registry, one of the strongest labels around right now, and home to Psychic Ills, who have - depending on when the album officially comes out - put together one of the top releases of either '05 or '06.

A few weeks ago I mentioned the What's Your Rupture? label, intending to post a couple tracks, including one from Cause Co-Motion, but Pitchfork beat me to it. Not only that, but good old PFM even posted some interesting singles reviews with tracks from Man Man and Australians The Grates (featured previously on AYF?).

What's Your Rupture? have a formidable roster right now, including Comet Gain, the previously mentioned Cause Co-Motion, and Love Is All, who I went on about last week.

Psychic Ills - Another Day Another Night
Man Man - Van Helsing Boombox
Cause Co-Motion - Baby Don't Do It

Comet Gain have been around for some time - since the early '90s - and have released tracks on a few different labels (Kill Rock Stars being the most recent). The male/female vocalist thing has worked well for them, as did their early focus on heavy guitar attack bolstered by a great rhythm section. After a few roster changes, David Feck - the sole original member - has diversified his sound with alt-country and college rock meanderings.

Comet Gain - Skinny Wolves
Comet Gain - Why I Try To Look So Bad


The Diableros, who I've been a huge fan of since first seeing them play - what - almost a year ago, have recently signed a Canadian distribution deal with the new Baudelaire label (home to Tangiers). You can expect to see their debut album showing up in stores across the country; do yourself a favour and pick it up -- it's one of the best this year.

Recently, the band was nice enough to send me a live cover of The Wipers' Telepathic Love to post. For the sake of the uninitiated, I'm also including the original, although - and this is saying a lot - I prefer their cover.

The Diableros - Telepathic Love (Live)
The Wipers - Telepathic Love


Doloroso are from England but - thankfully - are not just another post-punk contender to the Gang Of Four throne. Their songs are dark, in the way Bowie or Echo & The Bunnymen are dark -- their dense instrumentation offset by airy production.

Check out their Myspace page for more tracks.

Doloroso - The Killer Calm


Tareh pointed me to Other Music's list of top picks for 2005. It's good reading. So is the list compiled by Metacritic.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


My love for Victoria's indie-pop scene keeps growing stronger. Shapes and Sizes are a quartet who seem to be holding the torch high, mixing disparate sounds and influences into quirky pop music. A combination of female and male vocals share duties, offering us some personal reflections which sound heart-felt, if allegorical at times. The music shifts rapidly, from hook to drone and back again -- it's hard to pin down, which is part of the appeal here (OK, they can hit Frog Eyes with a good throw from where they're at). "I Am Cold" is my soundtrack tonight, as I nudge the thermostat another degree upwards.

Shapes and Sizes - I Am Cold
Shapes and Sizes - Weekends At A Time
Shapes and Sizes - Wilderness
Shapes and Sizes - Island's Gone Bad
Shapes and Sizes - Taste In My Mouth


The female vocal kick continues with The Social Registry's Samara Lubelski (of Hall Of Fame). I think the most direct comparison here would be to the folk/psych wanderings of Neil Halstead, with similarities not only in her songwriting and the production quality, but also in her vocal inflection. These two tracks - "The Fleeting Skies" being the title track to Lubelski's 2004 solo debut, and "Sister Silver" from her latest release, Spectacular Of Passages - are so on target it's hard to imagine an entire album. Where the hell have I been for these? I need to visit Rotate tomorrow.

Samara Lubelski - Sister Silver
Samara Lubelski - The Fleeting Skies


I have been coaxed into helping out tonight with Shack Up's ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY at The Queenshead. I'm sure I'll see some of you there.


The death knell for house music with rock'n'roll production is nearing. Freshness is hitting a factor of zero, and whether or not it's another motherfucking remix, it's all starting to sound the same.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I scare little kids

Last week I promised some dance music ("tomorrow"). Velella Velella are one of the bands I've been listening to a lot of over the last while, to the point where I am convinced that they're way bigger than they are. Like, when I drop one of their tracks, I expect to see the ladies pack the floor and everyone grinding the leg of the person next to them.

These guys produce some next-level dance funk, and they do it with soul. I love this shit. DJs: play it right after some Jamie Lidell and give everyone the impression you're the number one lover.

Velella Velella - Hunter
Velella Velella - Do No Fold/Do Not Bend


Digging back a few months, David Gilmour Girls released a 12" on Headman's Relish Records
last August. The A side is Heavy Metal Music Magazines -- a ten minute opus that traverses rock and electronic genres, eventually settling into a Moroder/motorik groove, which in turn gets ripped apart by a rock'n'roll chainsaw. I listen to this, and it's like summer all over again (right).

David Gilmour Girls - Heavy Metal Music Magazines


Ana Lola Roman is not dance music. Not even close. I've been on this female vocalist kick over the last couple weeks, and Ana has provided a great working soundtrack. She writes bizarre musical fairytales, driven by off-kilter piano, synths, and her unique vocal style. Her music is very unusual -- for me, it conjures mental images reminiscent of Jan Svankmajer's Alice, one of those visually abstract films which has seared a couple great scenes into my mind. We're talking sawdust-filled bunnies with over-sized teeth, and jars of formaldehyde-soaked somethings (yes, somethings).

If you're into these tracks, also check out Ana's other project, Roar On Ivory (released through Touch It Movement records).

Ana Lola Roman - Brothers Grimm
Ana Lola Roman - Modern Day Nursery Rhyme
Ana Lola Roman - Candy Coated Lithium


Big thanks to For The Records and Chromewaves for linking our Top 35 Canadian Bands list. We've been getting a lot of traffic and some nice responses.

We've also been hooked up by The Big Ticket recently. Check them out.

And hey - Ashley - you're hot. For real.


I'm noticing that some people still think direct-linking MP3s from AYF? is cool. It's not, and you will soon be unable to do it (this will only affect about three of you -- literally).

Just switched over to Technorati for archive searching. You will now find the search is way more reliable -- like you can actually find what you're looking for without tons of duplicate posts in the way. Check it out on the side panel.

I also cleaned up our Feedburner feed, if you're into the RSS thing.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Silence please

It's that time of the year -- the time when all the blog people make their lists. I promise I won't make many (this is only my second), but it seems the "Top Canadian Bands by Canadian Bloggers" list is essential in 2005. Oh fuck, no it's not... I just wanted to make a list, some of my friends said they'd participate, and this is the result.

"The Alternative List of Canadian Bands By A Few of The Other Canadian Bloggers," is put together by myself (AYF?), Jay Watts (Goldkicks), and Stuart Berman (Eye Magazine).

35. The Creeping Nobodies
Stuart -- Earlier this year, for a first date, I took a girl who hadn’t been to club gig in, like, 10 years to the Wavelength anniversary at Lee’s. The first thing she saw was an epileptic Derek Westerholm swallowing his microphone and screaming into his guitar pick-ups. She and I haven’t spoken since.

34. Ghislain Poirier
Jay -- Montreal-based hip-hop producer who's done remixes for Lady Sovereign, and worked with Beans. Fool that I was, I didn't really pay much attention to his work until recently, and now I'm snapping up everything I can find by him, and downloading everything I can't.

33. Despistado
Stuart -- Their debut album turned out to be their swan song, so the Regina-is-the-new-Seattle articles will have to wait. They coulda been contenders, or at least as good as At the Drive-In.

32. Great Lake Swimmers
Stuart -- I don’t believe in heaven, but “Song for the Angel” makes me wish I did.

31. The Two Koreas
Greg -- They are kind of like the Canadian Art Brut, except not at all. I don't know why people keep making that comparison. They're fronted by a music editor (who wrote part of this list and didn't even vote for his own band), and half their rhythm section (er... the bassist) is from Toronto's Uncut. Show highlights include Dan Burke - infamous local promoter - doing karate style kick-dancing to impress the ladies.

30. Faunts
Greg -- Shoegaze hasn't exactly made a stunning comeback, but the sound is being realized again in fresh, interesting ways. Faunts do it well, and so far without a hell of a lot of hype.

29. No Dynamics
Stuart -- The band Beyonce would front if Jay-Z was Jon Spencer in 1993.

28. Frog Eyes
Jay -- Cary Mercer has been called, at various times, a demented drunk bear, or alternately, Boris Yeltsin on a weekend bender at the dacha. Half-Birthday Party battling against Captain Beefheart.

27. Republic of Safety
Stuart -- The band Molly Ringwald would front if John Hughes had taken his cue from The Ex instead of the Psychedelic Furs.

26. Chet
Jay -- If Jeff Buckley had written more songs that sounded like that "Hallelujah" cover, instead of the random grunge-rock nonsense that I can't tolerate, he might have won the adoration of more people and not waded into that river. Ryan Beattie and his feuding half-brother Patrick are on it, though, and I'm going to go out and say that they're better than anything Buckley wrote, or could have written. Patrick's mother is writing her master's thesis on the presentation of dead children in the 19th century.

25. Silver Mt. Zion
Stuart -- Efrim Menuck’s most atypical SMZ release, Horses in the Sky, also turns out to be the best thing he’s done since Godspeed’s Lift Your Skinny Little Fists…, countering his day gig’s imposing grandeur with tender and tortured spirituals for a world with no soul.

24. The Besnard Lakes
Jay -- Jace and Olga are studio masterminds, and a married couple that don't, as per the blueprint, craft that sort of schmaltzy, heavily contrived and coy brand of indie rock that characterizes what married musicians get up to (in response to Ike & Tina's violent partnership, I assume). Nay, hallucinogenic dispatches from the dark recesses of the universe.

23. Hank
Greg -- This band has been sitting atop my playlist ever since I put their CD on repeat overnight once, like eight months ago. Short songs, so they can fit lots on a disc. Ultra-catchy pop/soul/rock with some electronic beats thrown in.

22. Holy Fuck
Jay -- I slept on this. After an allergic reaction to Brian's other project experienced at a Wintersleep show, I wasn't keen to check them out. It took me a couple of months and some serious prodding from friends before I saw them at Pop Montreal, and realized that it wasn't going to be that necessary for Faust to re-unite; but if they did, they'd have a great touring partner.

21. Destroyer
Jay -- A genius Spaniard, one-time babysitter, and (I swear) Volvo station-wagon owner. He's friends with Rodney Graham!

20. Final Fantasy
Greg -- The most annoying thing about articles on Owen Pallett (aka Final Fantasy) are the frequent Arcade Fire references (yes, he tours with them), because his own music is more than strong enough to escape their massive gravitational pull. Violin wizardry is what it is, and yeah, Final Fantasy is all about video games. And D&D.
Stuart -- Voice of an angel, mouth of a sailor, our Owen could play The Boat or Royal Albert Hall and bring both houses down just as handily. And then play us a charming song about how everyone perished in the rubble.

19. Dandi Wind
Jay -- This is usually the sort of stuff that I begin secretly loving, attempt to convert everyone else to - failing miserably - then tucking my tail between my legs and enjoying only in the confines of my room. Except, for a lot of good reasons, people ended up responding well to a duo that weds experimental/conceptual art to synth-stabs and Moroder-through-the-meat-grinder beats, as if Throbbing Gristle were as accessible as the Beatles.

18. The New Pornographers
Stuart -- The more expansive Twin Cinema may have a lower hook-per-second ratio than the first two albums, but “Sing Me Spanish Techno” and “Use It” keep their career batting average in the high .900s (thereby fulfilling this list’s quota for baseball metaphors).

Jay -- Jack Duckworth, a former member of Radio Berlin, formed this duo out of A Luna Red, and like A Luna Red, he's remained the only constant throughout a couple of line-up changes. Notable Vancouver musical history beyond the Subhumans or that band that Tommy Chong and Jimi Hendrix played in is a scarce commodity, but Jack knows his shit. He taps into and updates the early experimental and industrial sounds that were coming out of that city in the early 80s before being codified and standardized. There's something about the ahistorical nature of Vancouver that makes PRIMES' future-gazing post-apocolyptic vision work.

16. Duchess Says
Jay -- I don't know how my friends Victoria, Krzysztof, JRC and myself ended up stumbling into Casa Del Popolo last year and catching them, but it was a life-affirming moment for me. Stylistically, they've armed themselves with all the right weapons in the post-punk and new-wave arsenal that post-hardcore musicians haven't been able to find, including a mammoth Six Finger Satellite cover, and they've accomplished something far beyond referencing. I'm just incapable of explaining; I'm too awestruck.

15. Pink Mountaintops
Stuart -- The best thing about Black Mountain’s breakthrough is that it will divert more eyes (perhaps even those belonging to Chris Martin) to Steve McBean’s even more immaculately stoned satellite band. Black Mountain may bring on the boogie, but McBean’s honey-slide drawl sounds prettier in Pink, even when he’s singing about fucking mountains. (Hope he’s using protection.)

14. Love And Mathematics
Greg -- Love And Mathematics would've placed higher on this list had I been living out in Vancouver, where I could actually see them play. As it is, the few dodgy demo recordings I've heard show huge indie-pop potential; I'm betting they will be signed and touring by the time we get to write next year's list.

13. The Arcade Fire
Greg -- I keep thinking I'm sick of The Arcade Fire, but then I'll be somewhere, and hear one of their songs, and go, "oh man... this is good." Then I'll go home and listen to their record again.

12. Book of Lists
Jay -- Headed by another Radio Berlin member and an accomplished photographer (that's all they used to make in Vancouver - Jeff Wall to Rodney Graham and on - up until a couple of years ago), they contribute to a musical dialogue that never quite made it across the pond - taking up where Felt left off, and at the point when Mark and Andy of Ride stopped talking to each other.

11. The Deadly Snakes
Stuart -- Older, wiser, a little quieter and slower, but Andre Ethier and Max Dangers still corner the market on soul. And they ain’t sellin’ any.

10. Islands
Jay -- Nick and Jaimie have matured, grown leaps and bounds, and while some people might espy a certain underhanded slight when one compliments the song-writing chops and instrumentation on their soon-to-be-released album, I'm god-damn serious. Songs and the production like this are something that people haven't heard in a long-time, and certainly not in the calculated melodramatics or stale hi-hat posturing of the much-dreaded indie-rock ghetto. They also happened to be 2/3s of the Unicorns.

9. The Diableros
Greg -- They recently put on one of the best live shows I've been to this year, with an album soon to be in wide distribution through Canada; watch for them, and check the AYF? archives for previous coverage.
Stuart -- They just put out their first album last week, but man, the rookies hit it right outta the park with two outs in the ninth (while Anton Newcombe and dude from The Walkmen start a brawl in the bleachers over who gets to keep the ball).

8. Caribou
Jay -- Ronald Reagan had it all wrong on trickle-down. The theory is improperly applied to socio-economics, but works marvellously in musical circles. People know about the Silver Apples, ya know... and Dan Snaith does, and now maybe some kid in a university dorm as well.
Stuart -- He was born in Ontario, lives in the UK, but Dan Snaith’s heart belongs to the autobahn. This is Krautrock you can cuddle to.

7. Black Mountain
Jay -- Ever since I saw a grainy video of Ex-Dead Teenager, I've followed with great interest whatever project Steve McBean takes up, and it's a damn immense pleasure to see him involved in a psych-heavy band with such illustrious alumini; including Joshua Wells,
formerly of Radio Berlin and hands-down the most enjoyable drummer to watch, and Jeremy Schmidt, formerly of the Orphan and Pipedream.

6. Colourbook
Greg -- What's up with Victoria these days? Colourbook are yet another amazing young discovery without a label. Here, there are shades of Broken Social Scene in their sonic textures and song structures; the quiet chats in the background of their demo and the way in which the tunes intentionally fall apart and reform, are particularly endearing. Live instrumentation coupled with synths, loops, and hand-claps. Sounds great.

5. Constantines
Stuart -- [Stuart's top choice was Broken Social Scene, with Constantines second. He wrote both capsules together, just to be annoying.] Obvious choices, yes, but still the Toronto indie-stry’s gold/silver standard. It’s like “Stairway to Heaven” finishing No. 1 on every Q107 Best Songs of All Time countdown ever— an outcome that’s both inevitable and indisputable. But classic-rock analogies aside, these are two bands that refuse to fossilize, releasing brave new albums to suit their brave new worlds; BSS responded with chaos, the Cons with clarity. It’s Sgt. Pepper vs Beggars Banquet and everybody wins.

4. Daddy's Hands
Jay -- Dave Wanger's first group was called Moral Decay and received glowing reviews from magazines like Metal Maniacs, which lead to a bizarre and constraining contract with Earache Records, all when he was still in high school, (like) in the 80s or something. He was all set for hair-metal stardom, and then something happened, and instead he ended up writing dark, fucking that are (I SWEAR) directly responsible for the tone, timber and songwriting of groups like Frog Eyes and Wolf Parade and beyond. (Members of which played, at various times, in bands with Wanger). There's a new album already recorded, waiting for release, which will make writing music for any of his former protegés or current friends a very daunting prospect indeed.

3. The Paper Cranes
Greg -- Five friends from Victoria who completely blew me away six months ago with a series of self-funded demos. Since then, I've worked with them on recording their first release, and involved myself in the band's future plans. Yeah, I have a vested interest here, but only because The Paper Cranes really are that good. They've been compared to everyone from XTC to The Cure to The Smiths to Canadian alumni Wolf Parade and The Arcade Fire.

2. Broken Social Scene
Greg -- Still holding it together and actually moving forward after all these years. Congratulations to the BSS collective for their latest release: an album that is actually challenging and rewarding to listen to from a band who could've easily given us more of the same (because everyone wanted it).

1. Wolf Parade
Stuart -- The catchiest band that doesn’t even try to be: Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug shriek, yelp and croak their way through their circus-freaked psychedelia but still prove they were born to run.
Jay -- I've already trademarked that "Best Band in Canada" line...
Greg -- Oh look, it's someone else writing something about Wolf Parade.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Felt Tip Techno

Time to play catch-up for the last week.

Got some dance-oriented shit to drop tomorrow, but tonight, what about some of the latest from the Pitchfork hyperbole? Nick Sylvester just lauded the Love Is All album, Nine Times That Same Song, with Best New Music honors and an excellent review. They've already been filtering through the blogs, what with an unusually forward-thinking appearance on Fluxblog last year, and I'm sure they'll take off with the more mainstream State-side indie heads soon enough. Besides, their music is very good; they've got that echoing high-school choir shout-along thing down (hey, just like Bodies Of Water).

Love Is All - Make Out Fall Out Make Up (Removed by request)
Love Is All - Talk Talk Talk Talk
Love Is All - Felt Tip Hip Kids

This weekend, I'll have some coverage of a few of the other offerings from their label, What's Your Rupture?.


Jaime posted the new Liars track last week. I'd been meaning to get to it, but now I guess I'll do something a bit different, and offer up a face-off between three indie-techno-guitar tunes that you can shuffle, but not dance to.

First up are - yes - Liars. They've copped the "Don't Techno For An Answer" name, they've wobbled their bassline in a pleasantly post-'Room On The Broom way, and they gurgle and chant some words between hyperactive drum fills and repetitive vocal loops. Can you dance to this? Hey, xxJFG, do people dance to this when you play it?

Liars - It Fit When I Was A Kid (Don't Techno For An Answer)

Speaking of the xxJFG, they've been giving coverage to Pro Forma lately. Nice one, as Pro Forma certainly rock it like Factory-does-techno-but-well. "Sexual Design" comes up big on the bass and the techno grunge; all squelch and blip. It trumps Liars as the reverbed percussion stabs come in -- the industrial edge of the vocal fades away into synth sweeps and then doubles back. Oh yes, and what is that girl doing here? Sure baby, you can stay.

Pro Forma - Sexual Design

So here we go digging back into what, 2003? Blur. Yeah, fucking Blur. This little-known 1000-copies-pressed 7" comes out, co-produced by William Orbit, with some vaguely offensive Arabic text on the front and no credits. But you can't miss Damon's vocal, can you? When I heard this I couldn't believe it was Blur; I wanted so badly for their upcoming album to be nothing but music like THIS. And no, it wasn't, it was crap. But there was still that time where I thought - magically - Blur were good again, and what did it take but a moment of sheer brilliance to bring it about.

Blur - Don't Bomb When You Are The Bomb


Thanks to the people who commiserated with me on my hectic work schedule. It's getting back on track now.

Hello to the nice girl who came up to me while I was DJing on Tuesday night.

And what the hell -- thanks to everyone who checks the site out and participates. I'd do this anyway, but it's nice to know someone else is listening.


Right, and who else would like to buy a motorcycle after watching this? Or at the very least pick up one of those jackets. Or maybe just visit Niagra Falls?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

80 Hour Weeks

Slept at work last Tuesday night

Slept at work last Sunday night.

Been doing 12 hour days otherwise. Spent one 40-hour stint in the office without leaving.

Almost done. Product info:

Regular updates starting again this week.


I am going to be nice and give one warning: please do not direct-link to music on my site for the purpose of streaming audio (that means YOU, Livejournal and Myspace users). If this keeps up, I will have to block all referring sites that are picking up MP3s directly from AYF?.


Myself (NNY) and Mikey Apples are DJing at Supermarket, in Toronto tonight. It is our friend Kim's going away party. $2. It'll be fun. I'm gonna play some music to have sex to on the dancefloor. That's right. Sex on the dancefloor.