Thursday, August 31, 2006

Les Balayeurs Du Desert - Decollage

If you visit here regularly, you may recognize that Sean posted this song a few months back. But, we're happy to say that this is the first time we've ever been requested to repost a song. Well, at least we think so. You see, we've never really checked our email until about two weeks ago. To those who have never received a reply from us, we're sorry. We have earnest intentions, but never thought people would actually visit this site, and the idea of fanmail was the furthest thing from our mind. So, this song is both a thank you from us to the fanboys, but also a white flag to appease all you bastards clogging up our email.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Channels - To The New Mandarins

Although J. Robbins may not seem to get as much attention as some of his D.C. post-punk brethren, he has played in some amazing bands and produced records for a number of others. A lot of people shunned Jawbox after they left Dischord Records for Atlantic, but I think their major label releases are actually pretty decent. That said, Burning Airlines is probably my favourite J. Robbins project to date, and I've been anxious to hear what his latest band Channels might bring.

Their first full length album hits stores today, entitled Waiting For The Next End Of The World, and it sounds remarkably similar to Burning Airlines. It features much of the same slightly warped sense of melody and off-time rhythms, but with an interesting new dynamic provided by the female vocals of bassist and wife Janet Morgan. Drummer Darren Zentek (Kerosene 454, Oswego) is also an ideal choice to round out the trio. While this album is probably a little too thick for the indie rock crowd, and a bit too poppy for the hard rock crowd, somewhere in between there Channels will find their niche.

» Bonus Track: Mayday
» Buy it on Amazon

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pattern is Movement - It's the Wine

There was some time back in early 2000 when everyone thought that math-rock was going to be the next big thing. I remember hearing a song by Pattern is Movement on one of those "Best Unsigned Bands" compilations. While I liked their contribution, I remember thinking that all the local unsigned bands in my area would suddenly start playing math-rock now. Thank God emo blew up, and now I don't have to walk around downtown hearing odd time signatures and montone vocals coming from every bar. I can rest assured that I will only hear covers of "Screaming Infidelities" or ironic, sad covers of classic songs (see below). So, I'm proud to see that Pattern is Movement is still going strong. This comes from their debut album Stowaway which was produced by famed producer Scott Solter. Definitely worth checking out.

Bonus Track - Maple

Obadiah Parker - Hey Ya (Outkast Cover)

I know that most of you probably come to this site for the straight up punk music. But even as an aging, hardcore-punk fan, there's some things that just pull at my heartstrings. This Obadiah Parker cover of "Hey Ya' somehow really gets to me. He totally changes the song, making it sound perfect for a late summer romance. I could totally see it appearing on The OC this season (eg. Kaitlin falling for some emo guy waring a P!ATD t-shirt at the Peach Pit while this song is playing. Awwwww!). That is, only if this song was less ironic, no wait, more ironic.

Akron/Family - Blessing Force

I didn't mind the Akron/Family's debut album, but it wasn't until their split CD with Angels of Light that I really took notice of this band. I had read stories about their kinetic live shows, and these songs seemed to properly capture the manic energy that their unhinged melding of folk, jazz and psych rock promised.

Since then I've been anxiously awaiting another full-length release from the band, and unfortunately it looks like I'm going to have to wait a bit longer as their latest disc, Meek Warrior, technically qualifies as an EP. The good news is that it's a 35 minute EP, with some songs clocking in at over 7 minutes. The recording sessions for Meek Warrior were reportedly a feverish blur, with the band members battling bronchitis and sleep deprivation in between stops on a U.S. tour. Some additional recording was later done in Canada with contributions from members of Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene.

The resulting album has a trippy Beatles White Album kind of feel, featuring freak out noise jams juxtaposed with quiet, unassuming acoustic hymns. Great stuff... but I want more! Apparently they will have another collaboration with Angels of Light out early next year. In the meantime, Meek Warrior will be available on September 25th through Young God Records.

» Bonus Track: Love and Space
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Monday, August 21, 2006

Of Montreal - Chrissy Kiss The Corpse (Nils Lannon Remix)

It seems like everyone and their dog has been doing a remix album as of late, and while it may give cause for a few scenesters to roll their eyes, personally, I don't really have a problem with it. Sure, there are some dull remixes out there, but there's also a lot of fun and adventurous stuff too. In particular, I love hearing remixes that take songs in a completely different direction, which is precisely why this new Of Montreal remix double LP Satanic Twins is such an enjoyable listen.

Most of the tracks maintain the catchy vocal tracks of their predecessors, but insert new backing music that is wildly different in tempo and rhythm -- and yet somehow, for the most part, it gels. The album may be a little too chill for some people on the whole, but I'd say it's one of the better remix albums I've heard as of late. Satanic Twins features remixes from both The Sunlandic Twins and Satanic Panic In The Attic, and is available on vinyl or via digital download as of tomorrow.

Stream the entire album here.

» Bonus Track: Requiem for O.M.M.2 (United State of Electronica Remix)

Muzak For Cybernetics Mixtape #3

Back by popular demand, it's the Muzak For Cybernetics Mixtape, Volume 3! Jay joins us this week as we play a good mix of tunes with less electronic focus and a little more retro style rock. Download the MP3 directly or subscribe to the podcast to ensure you don't miss any future shows!


The Robocop Kraus - After Laughter Comes Tears
Os Mutantes - Ave, Lucifer
Akron/Family - Raising The Sparks
The Raconteurs - Store Bought Bones
Tokyo Police Club - Cheer It On
Eric Bachmann - Lonesome Warrior
Swan Lake - All Fires
Chad Vangaalen - Clinically Dead
Crooked Fingers - Under Pressure
Jim Guthrie - Hands In My Pocket
Beatles - Mean Mr. Mustard
Beach Boys - You're Welcome
Animal Collective - College
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cheated Hearts (Peaches Remix)
Free Blood - Quick and Painful
Headlights - TV

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Eric Bachmann - Liars and Thieves

Former Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann has finally decided to step out on his own, with a new solo album called To The Races, released next Tuesday on Saddle Creek Records. It's a stripped down, introspective affair, driven primarily by Bachmann's acoustic guitar and raspy Neil Diamond-esque voice. Looking back to the early Archers of Loaf stuff, he's certainly come a long way, and his re-inventions through the years have been intriguing to say the least. Here he manages to deliver a collection of beautiful folk songs with a timeless and powerful draw. A few songs have some piano or violin accompaniment, or in the case of the song "Carrboro Woman", he brings in one of my least favourite instruments (the harmonica) and enhances the overall texture of the tune. If you dig Bachmann's previous work, this solo disc is well worth checking out.

» Bonus Track: Carrboro Woman
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rappers Delight Club - First Ladie's Anthem

I can't remember where I first heard this song, so I won't give anyone any credit as per usual. The club is comprised of a rotating group of elementary school students aged 5-12 made by a high school teacher who also happens to be a pretty damn good music producer. This is not just another rap tune, this is a powerful song about young girls growing up to become women. What they lack in rapping talent, they more than make up for in absolute intensity, and raw lyrical skills. Definitely kitsch, but definitely fun.

Jay-Z - Dirt Off Your Shoulders (Ghislain Poirier Remix)

Sean and I played a song by Ghislain Poirier on our recent podcast, followed by some pretty crucial discussion on the proper pronunciation of his name. So...what are you waiting for? Go d/l it and love it already.

Poirier's most recent album is entirely a remix album. He uses some incredibly popular songs (ie. Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes) along with some songs that used to be popular (ie. Vanilla Ice). But you really got to hand it to him for remixing "Dirt Off Your Shoulders" a song that probably has the sickest beat ever created. While, I don't think he makes the song better, he makes it different, and I absolutely love it. Whereas the original beat was highly overproduced, Poirier's is much simpler, and part of the pleasure of it is hearing how much simpler it is. However, this Busta Rhymes remix below is just plain crazy.

Bonus Track - Busta Rhymes

Sloan - Who Taught You To Live Like That

Canadian rock veterans Sloan will be releasing their 8th full length album next month, and although I'm not expecting all that much from it, I still feel obligated to give it a fair chance. There's been a definite drop off in the quality of their music over the last few records, but I was quite surprised to hear that the new album, called Never Hear The End Of It, will contain 30 (!) songs. Insanity. If they had trouble coming up with 12 decent songs in the past, how can they possibly manage 30?

But I'm not here to be a naysayer, I'm here to present you with the first single from the album, "Who Taught You To Live Like That". For those familiar with Sloan, it's a tune from Jay Ferguson (who always seems to get the shaft when it comes to the singles) and although it's kind of middle of the road, it does leave me feeling somewhat optimistic about the album. And am I crazy or am I picking up faint echoes of Bob Dylan's "Caught In The Middle With You" buried somewhere in there? Never Hear The End Of It hits stores on September 19th.

Monday, August 14, 2006

DJ Cyber-Rap - Stylin' '06 (Profile of a Mac)

Okay, I'll admit that I found out about (stole?) this from Carl at Zoilus, but I just couldn't ignore this one. There's some discussion over at the Zoilus site about who really is DJ Cyber-Rap, but that's not important. For me, there's something deeply pleasurable about hearing a 59 year-old man rap about hipster clothing like Chuck Taylors, argyle socks and Eddie Bauer sweaters (?), not to mention the constant references to downtown Toronto. Sure, it's kitschy, but who ever said we're above kitsch.

the Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health

Listening to the Knife, you'd be surprised to know that they band is huge in their native Sweden. They even recently won the Swedish equivalent of the Grammy, and this album debuted #1 on the Swedish charts. God bless the company who finally released this album in North America. This is probably the oddest sounding band to ever make it that high on the charts. "We Share Our Mother's Health" could be the best fucked-up dance track of the year. Trust me this is no ABBA, though we can all dream. Though being incredibly poppy, the Knife have an odd sense of experimentation that makes this album an amazing listen. Playing with odd beats, and warped vocals, they remind me of the dark electronic, techno-flavoured sounds of Ladytron. Do yourself a favour, go to Sweden.

Bonus Track - Neverland

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A.C. Newman - Transcanada

Carl (A.C.) Newman has been a pillar of Canadian music over the past 10 or 15 years, from his time in Zumpano, to the formation of pop supergroup The New Pornographers, to his own success as a solo musician. It seems only appropriate that he provide the soundtrack for Souvenir of Canada, a documentary based on two non-fiction books written by Vancouver author Douglas Coupland. The soundtrack EP is primarily instrumental, with the exception of this song "Transcanada", featuring the vocal talents of Kathryn Calder. Calder is being called upon to replace Neko Case in The New Pornographers -- no easy task to be sure, but one she seems capable of achieving. Calder also fronts her own band Immaculate Machine, and just happens to be Newman's niece. Needless to say, this song is certainly on par with much of what The New Pornographers have released. You can download the whole EP on iTunes now.

» Buy it on iTunes

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment

It's not often that I get jealous of bands. Although I love music, I don't view playing music as a career I'm extremely interested in. Yet, there's something about listening to Tokyo Police Club that makes me feel like I should get around to corralling a band together. Maybe it's their incredibly catchy, dance-punk, fuzzed-out rock songs. Maybe it's the fact that they're local boys. Or maybe it's that they're all under the age of 19 which makes me feel like I should have a record deal by now. Either way, their debut EP A Lesson in Crime on Paper Bag Records, is so much better than it should be. It kills me listening to it, seeing how talented they are so early. The band displays an intelligence and talent much ahead of their age. I should be doing something better with my time.

Bonus Track - Be Good

Fergie - London Bridge

Everybody's favourite butter face (get out of the way Pussycat Dolls - no I'm kidding I still love you girls) is finally putting out her well deserved(?) solo album. I have to admit that I do actually somewhat like the Black Eyed Peas, but not because of any contributions from Fergie. Yet, and as I was surprised to find out, this track is hot! This track has the same feel that I loved so much from M.I.A.'s album, with the strong beats, and perfection production. While people who know me, know I've been pretty vocal about proclaiming the new Girl Talk album as being the party album of the year, I may have eat those words, when Fergie's The Dutchess drops September 15th. And don't worry I'm not giving you no radio edit, this is the real shit.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Zao - Physician Heal Thyself

A confession: when I was in high school I was totally into the metal scene. Even today I've had a hard time parting with some of my favourite metal albums. One of my favourite bands from this time period was Zao, a band who I just recently got back into. Zao was unlike any other metalcore band at the time; they wore their wide-ranging influences on their sleeves at a time when metal was getting boring. Indeed, several of the members who played in the band have went on to create an array of completely different sounding bands (the Juliana Theory anyone?). The band went through so many lineup changes that the recently released documentary created by Ferret Records on the band lasts three hours. The new line-up features none of the original members, but it features a lot of the members who helped create the band's best albums. While I originally was sceptical, I decided to pick up the album because it was produced by Steve Albini, an odd choice for a metalcore band, but which speaks to the range of influences the band has, and no doubt the band makes some of their best music in years. I may have to start throwing down again.

Bonus Track - American Sheets On The Deathbed

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Muzak For Cybernetics Mixtape #2

The guilt was slowly eating away at us... we just couldn't leave you guys hanging over a Canadian long weekend without a crucial mix of music to get your party started. Once again, all feedback and comments are welcome. If you want to subscribe to the podcast, the feed links are directly below:

And here's this week's playlist:

Danielson - Did I Step On Your Remix
The Futureheads - Let's Dance (Bowie cover)
The Jam - Saturday's Kids (Live @ The BBC)
Field Music - Alternating Current
Causey Way - Compound Lessons
Lady Talk - Hold Up
Ghislain Poirier - Don't Smile, It's Post-Modern
Apostle of Hustle - 24 Robbers
Lady Sovereign - Hoodie (Spank Rock Mix)
Beck - Cell Phone's Dead
Junior Boys - The Equalizer
Eastern Youth - The World Shatters and Resonates in My Ears

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thunderbirds Are Now! - Ppl R Anmls

Thunderbirds Are Now's last album Justamustache was probably one of my favourite records of last year. I could point out that they started to sound a heck of a lot like Les Savy Fav after signing to French Kiss Records... but I won't. Bottom line is there were some great songs on the album, and it grabbed me almost immediately. Seeing them live was a bit of a different story, however, as their cocky rockstar attitudes kind of left a bad taste in my mouth and turned me off them for a while. Now that their new album is complete, and hitting stores on October 3rd, I'm reacquainting myself.

Make History
was produced by Enon's John Schmersal, and it has drawn me back in with its many hooks and melodies. However, the aloof nature of some of the lyrics leaves me again feeling a bit annoyed. I remember this particular song "Ppl R Anmls" being played live when I saw them earlier in the year, and its refrain of "People don't impress me much" seems to go along with their condescending tone. That said, it's still a pretty catchy song and the album is sounding generally impressive, although maybe a little rushed. I still need to give it a bit more time to sink in. Anyone else have thoughts on the album?

You can hear a couple more songs over at Pitchfork and Spin respectively.

» Bonus Track: Sound Issues, Smart Ideas

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Album Leaf - Always For You

The Album Leaf is the solo project of Jimmy LaValle, a man who has played in such bands as Tristeza, The Black Heart Procession and The Locust, among others. Considering his involvement with such an interesting ensemble of musicians, it may seem strange that his solo project is what has gotten him the most attention. But it has. His last full-length album, In A Safe Place, was released by Sub Pop and eventually found its way onto the soundtrack of a few episodes of The O.C., gaining him plenty of new fans and leaving many to wonder when he might release his next solo record. Well wait no longer friends, Into The Blue Again will be released on September 12th, and features more of the same dreamy pop music that will appeal to fans of Sigur Ros and Explosions In The Sky, accented by shimmering guitars, subtle electronics and moody strings, piano and/or keyboards. The record is mostly instrumental, but does feature a few songs with vocals including this one, "Always For You". I find this stuff is great for listening to at work or just "chillaxing" in general. Check out these tracks and enter THE CHILL ZONE.

» Bonus Track: Into The Sea
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Parts & Labor - Stay Afraid

I've been sitting on this band for quite a while, and I'm surprised at how quickly I've forgotten about this album. The album is incredibly good, but it's been overshadowed by so many amazing albums this year. They also have one of the coolest webpage backgrounds I've ever seen. That webpage alone should prove to you their allegiance to making pure, fuzzed out rock. Lucky for them, they succeed, or else that webpage would be a total waste. Combining fuzzy guitars, noisy keyboards, feedback, the band reminds me of a slightly poppier Oneida, something that has been oddly absent from most of Oneida's career. And just like Oneida, Parts & Labor hit hard. Apparently the entire band had to double its amount of amps just to be heard over drummer Christopher Weingarten's pulverizing beats. You all know what that means.

Bonus Track - New Buildings