Saturday, April 30, 2005

Deconstructing the Reconstruction - A Short Review and a Tall Order

Casey Dorrell

Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site

Weakerthans - Reconstruction SiteSomehow I missed the fact that Jon Samson, former bassist of the Canadian punk band Propagandhi, was also the Jon Sampson of the Weakerthans. This would go a long way in explaining why the Weakerthans are now signed onto Epitaph (Bad Religion's label which you may know best as the "Punk-o-Rama" label). And it also explains why they're usually stuck in the punk section at your local record store.

The Weakerthans are not punk. Hell, if it weren't for the genre's general vagueness, I'd say they weren't even post-punk - except, maybe, in the literal sense for founder, John Samson. Yeah, will tell you that they're "sonically located in the finest tradition of punk." But beyond being implicitly redundant, this statement is also pretty inaccurate. Rather than punk, Weakerthans might better be described as indie pop with the added pizzaz* of country twang. The lofi, yet upbeat aesthetic will probably appeal to Death Cab fans, while the cerebral lyrics will excite Tragically Hip or Clem Snide followers and Moby liner note critics.

The album Reconstruction Site, which came out in 2003 on Epitaph, isn't really a concept album. It's thematically consistent, though, staying on the general topic of depression, loss, regret - the kind of thing you'd expect from an Eels album. Unlike the Eels, the Weakerthans never fully immerse in the sadness. They're too busy being clever.

Most of the songs here won't actually make you sad. They're sad songs, but not songs to mope to. They're songs that you can listen to while perfectly happy that will make you want to be sad, the way Audrey Hepburn can make smoking look cool even with a comicly sized cig holder. The Weakerthans make depression and neurosis seem clever and desirable. They are in short, the sonic equivalent of a Woody Allen impersonation. Who else would write a song about postmodernist Michel Foucault? Oh. Never was good at the rhetorical.

Foucault holding a Cat
Foucault: "Michel Foucault Heeds not the Pleas of Virtuous Cats"

The three key tracks on the album are"(Manifest)", "(Hospital Vespers)" and "(Past-Due)" which all share the same melody and the same subject: a terminal hospital patient waiting to die. Stand out tracks are the great "One Great City," a lament-cum-cheer for Canadian city Winnipeg with clever narrative-style lyrics and "Plea from a Cat named virtue" about which you only need to know that it's sung from the perspective of a depressed person's cat (ostensibly named Virtue).

All the tracks feature a pseudo alt-country twang set to lofi indie pop melodies. The generally laid-back paced songs are matched by the slightly nasal and sleepy singing of Samson. This is a clever, fun album. It's not brilliant, it's not essential, but if you've got a bit of extra cash you could do far worse. Rating: Buy this now (My tall-order for you). So we haven't made a rating system yet but we have eight copies of this album where I work and none have been bought in well over a month (which is what prompted the review).

Rating: B+

For Fans of: Clem Snide, Decemberists

Other Albums by the Weakerthans:
The Weakerthans - Fallow Fallow (99) The Weakerthans - Left & Leaving Left & Leaving (00) The Weakerthans - Watermark Watermark (02)

The Weakerthans members on parkbench with large heads
We're not . . . too cerebral are we?

Weakerthans (All from Reconstruction Site)
Plea From a Cat Named Virtue
Hospital Vespers
Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Foucault) Live in Munich
The Reasons [steam-only video]
Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Foucault) [stream-only video]
Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call [stream-only video]
Full Acoustic Live Set of Reconstruction Songs [flash, follow the links]
Want to sing along? Get a Karaoke track of Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Foucault)
Two Streaming concert outtakes from Reconstruction period (about 12 tracks) on JustConcerts: Jon Sampson live on December 5 2002, Weakerthans live on November 6 2003.

Propagandhi - Back to the Motor League
Clem Snide - Live on Conan O'Brien (Video)
The Professors - Foucault Funk

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Music in the Consumer Age

Casey Dorrell

I've yet to talk about the new Eels CD or give my thought on the Ben Folds Album, both of which came out on the 26th. I still intend to, but I'm feeling lazy so it will have to wait a bit yet.

Instead, I'll tell you about Alexz Johnson, born Alexzandra Johnson. I know what you're thinking. What the hell is with the "z"? It's completely unecessary, given the fact that "x" ends with the same sound. But then, that's fitting, because Alexz Johnson's CD is also completely unecessary.

Manufactured pop is nothing new. Its first wave hit its peak in the 1990s with the onslaught of groups like the Spice Girls, the Backstreet Boys, or N*Sync (I'm ignoring the Monkies and the like here). Then came the rise of reality television. The t.v. of "real" people gave us Pop Idol [American Idol, Canadian Idol, etc.] which makes the old manufactured pop look almost credible. We're all savvy, aware people - let's celebrate the manufacturing process! Hooraw. Bring on Clay Aiken, Rubben Studdard, and Kelly Clarkson!

How could music be any less natural? Enter Alexz Johnson to answer what should have been rhetorical. She stars on the Canadian show, "Instant Star" - a drama which follows the life of Jude Harrison (played by Alexz Johnson) after having won a "Pop Idol" type show (I think they cleverly call it pop star). And now you can get all those great "Instant Star" songs on a CD: the songs manufactured to sound like the manufactured content of a pop contest.

Lemon Juice and Honey
The First Wave of Manufactured Pop - Lemon Juice and Honey c.17th Century

Maybe I'm not giving Alexz enough credit. After all, she's been singing since she was two - this could just be a good jumping off point for her music career. Let's see . . . there's a Ramones track on the CD. She must have some pretty cool influences then, it's not like it could be a contrived attempt at credibility . . . right? Well, let's take a look at her influences. Her favourite Singers include Britney Spears and Mariah Carey ( I mean Mimi, sorry). Favourite group? Hanson. Hmm, but her influence is listed as Celine Dion. At least Dion writes her own songs.. I think. I mean, it's not like she co-wrote a song with Airline execs. (oh, my bad).

Now where's my Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack?

Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK (Even Punk Gets Manufactured)

Related Posts:
And You Thought Hand Solo Was a Swindler
I Never Watch American Idol. I Promise.
Backstreet's Back!
WGAR - War by Generalissimo, Antimusic Revolution!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Radiohead Going To War

Geoff Trainor

RadioheadRadiohead up until this point has been wary of releasing songs online due to losses suffered from songs hitting the internet, before store shelves. But their attitude has changed. Now, they're bringing their sound online for the sake of the children. Isn't it always for the children?

Radiohead are a recent addition to a group of artists that range from Bjork to Iggy Pop that are lending their support to War Child Music. They are releasing their back catalogue, including mp3s from every album, single and and live performance, through War Child's website. The proceeds are going to children affected by war, so it's a great cause.

Showing Greenwood How It's Done
Showing Greenwood how to play the solo of the song I wrote for him

War Child Music *In the spirit of this post

Related Posts:
Radiohead & the Finance the Fire Initiative
Jack and Johnny Tell All


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Arguing With Darwin

Casey Dorrell

Casey - Entertainment Associate Tag

Customer 1: Hero, that's the one you were trying to think of.

*Customer 1 points with disdain toward offending DVD*

Customer 2: You know what? I would not buy that if it were the very last movie!

*Casey wonders how much the last movie on earth would retail for*

Customer 1: I cannot believe you went to see it.

Customer 2: I can't believe it.

*A pause while they contemplate this horrible act*

Customer 2: I had to read all those subtitles.

*Shared look of disgust*

Customer 1: And that music [Hero Soundtrack].

Customer 2: God . . .

Yo Yo Ma - Bach Cello Suite no. 1
The Hero Soundtrack is actually Tan Dun, but The Crouching Tiger Soundtrack was Yo Yo Ma and if you're thinking of buying one, Crouching is better.

This is getting even less related, but c'mon.. there's a connection, yo:
Yo La Tengo
White Stripes? We'll Give You White Stripes!

Yo La Tengo - WMFU Show [
Get this, now. Every year Yo La Tengo do a fund-raising show for WFMU radio (both from New Jersey). The idea: it's an all-request show of cover songs. Very fun stuff. The whole show is one mp3 which will annoy some of you but it's worth the download. Check out the setlist:

I'm Your Captain (Grank Funk) / Gigantic (Pixies) / Barstool Blues (Neil Young) / Next Big Thing (Dictators) / Build Me Up Buttercup (Foundations) / Jesus (VU) / Surfin Bird (Trashmen) / Psychotic Reaction (Count Five) / Chicken Scratch shuffle???? / Cars (Gary Numan) / The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Tokens) / Hold On (I'm Coming) (Sam and Dave) / Tonight's The Night (Neil Young) / Tonight's The Night (Rod Stewart) / Monk Time (The Monks) / She Cracked (Jonathan Richman) / This Boy (Beatles) / Drawing to a Hole (The Clean) / White Light/White Heat (VU) / Hey Ya (Outkast) / Close to Me (The Cure) / Taxman (Beatles) / The Rain, The Park and Other Things (The Cowsills) / London Calling (Clash) / We Didn't Start The Fire (Billy Joel)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Always Two There Is, a Rock Star And a Politician

Geoff Trainor

Back in November of 2003 U2 Frontman Bono made an appearance at the Liberal National Convention. He came because of Paul Martin's track record on foreign aid.

Bono Explaining about the Dark Side
Bono happy, before his padawan turned to the dark side

Bono urged Canadian politicians to increase aid in Africa and help fight the spread of AIDS, "This is not just a rock star's pet cause. This is an emergency and this is why I'm really here."

Bono also showed his support for then finace minster Paul Martin,

"He found it to be 'nuts', I think was his word, that we are still debating the issue of debt cancellation. So I was grateful for him for that, and for sticking his neck out and getting in trouble with all the rest of the big shots here, because, you know, he has taken a moral position."

Fast foward to April 2005, and friendships dissolve, much like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as he slowly turns to the dark side. Well, Martin has turned to the dark side and Bono is not too happy.

Martin has not kept his foreign aid promises. Bono claimed that Martin has failed to increase Canada's aid contributions to 0.7 per-cent of its gross national product as was the initial agreement.

Bono read out the phone number for Martin's office during a CBC Radio interview, pleading with Canadians to complain about Martin's inactions.

"We were looking for Canada to lead rather than be a laggard. This is no time to just turn inward. I know there are problems here at home. But don't lose your focus, Prime Minister, on how history will remember this moment."

Darth Martin (L) and Darth Vader (R)
Dark Lord of Canadian politics Dark Lord of the Sith

We all know Paul Martin has no time for foreign aid when he's got domestic problems to deal with, like trying to save his minority government after a financial scandal.

John Williams - Imperial March
U2 - Stuck in a Moment

Sunday, April 24, 2005

MP3s? What Mp3s?

Casey Dorrell

On Friday I was going to tell you about a new virus. Then, I got my own virus and was unable to get on the internet. Har har. Now I'm back.

A new virus (read: malware worm) dubbed Nopir-B surfaced a few days ago and was first identified by Sophos, an internet security company. The cleverly dubbed "nopir" is short for no pirates. It's not a particularly wide-spread virus because of its method of transmission. The worm, which was made in France, poses as a DVD-cracking program, a program that lets you get around the copy-right technology built into DVDs. Right now the virus has only been seen on P2P programs.

The fun part comes when you try to run the "DVD-cracker." First Nopir-B deletes all MP3 files, then it attempts to disable or delete programs it finds particularly offensive, mostly P2P file-sharing programs, .COM applications and some system utilities. The virus only works on computers running Windows.

The typical Mp3 Downloader
This could be your neighbour!

Graham Cluley, the senior technology consultant for Sophos, described the virus as entirely indiscriminate given its aparent purpose:

"The Nopir-B worm targets people it believes may be involved in piracy, but fails to discriminate between the true criminals and those who may have legally obtained MP3 files. Whichever side of the fence you come down on in regards to internet piracy, there's no debate about the criminal nature of this worm."

Once it has effectively crippled your computer, a window with the title text, "Intelligence Resource Program, Cyberbob 33 BX, The French Hacker" pops up, accompanied by a poorly rendered picture depicting a "man-in-black" type character. The oh-so-clever text, "F*** the Pirates..MP3..Games ETC!!!" adds that classy touch.

Nopir pop-up
No, no, You don't actually have the virus. This is a screenshot.

Once you have the virus, DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER. If you have enough functionality left, back-up any programs you want and get ready to wipe the hard-drive. Once the computer is off, the system will simply reset every time Windows starts to load. Most virus programs should soon have updates that recognize the malware.

Little is known about the author. Judging from the pop-up, his intellect rests mostly in the technical arena. A 26 year-old "computer specialist," his graphic design and writing skills could use some work. A RIAA or MPAA scapegoat? Probably not, but still would a more precise covert operation like this really be that unlikely? Do a google search for some of the scary proprietary functions that Microsoft is busy developing.

Streets - Fit But You Know It (On Follow up to "Original Pirate Material")

Friday, April 22, 2005

Killers Will, Killers Will Rock You!

Geoff Trainor

The Killers are on tour in support of their debut album, Hot Fuss, but that doesn't mean they aren't looking towards the future. Brandon Flowers has stated that they already have an album's worth of ideas, and hope to start recording by year's end.

Contemplating Next Album Name?
Contemplating the name of their next album

"When you're prolific you should put it out. In the '60s and '70s, it was sometimes three albums a year for people. That would be ideal for us, since we love to write and play new stuff, but that's just not how it is anymore. So it'll be a good year-and-a-half between records, but the sooner the better. We want to stick around and give people good things to listen to."

They've also finished shooting the video for the next single, All These Things That I've Done.

In related news, The Killers performed Mr. Brightside on The Tonight Show earlier this week. I usually find music like their's to be a bit boring live, but they pulled it off nicely. During their performance, Flowers reminded me a lot of Freddie Mercury (Queen), in both the way he was singing and in general appearance. I swear he was wearing Freddie's make-up.

Brandon Flowers (L) and Freddie Mercury (R)

Brandon  Flowers of The Killers Freddie Mercury of  Queen

The Killers - Mr Brightside
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I Believe In the Good of Rock


This is Mel's first post as a freelance mocker. She'll be joining us on an irregular basis to bestow wisdom and share diseases:

This past Saturday, April 16th, Toronto's Hidden Cameras took the stage at Barrymore's Music Hall in downtown Ottawa, and I spent ten of my last $30 to make sure I was in attendance. Once again, music rates higher than many of the other expensive bad habits in my life, like eating and taking the bus.

Tegan and Sara at Barrymore's Music Hall
Not the Hidden Cameras in drag: Tegan and Sara at Barrymore's Music Hall.

I went into the show, seeing it as a sort of consolation concert, since I couldn't afford or spare the time to go see Hot Hot Heat (a personal fav) the next week, but ended up seeing one of the best live shows of my life to date.

If you're unfamiliar with the Hidden Cameras, as many people unfortunately are, you should remedy that. I actually only heard of them recently, when several friends found out they were coming, and got very excited, so I decided to check them out as the show approached. They are often compared to the Polyphonic Spree because of their live show, composed of at least a dozen people, varying from show to show, but I think they defy comparison to anyone or anything. If I had to make a connection, their live show reminded me more of Broken Social Scene, than the robe wearing, culty-looking Spree. They had a stage presence of a bunch of friends on stage, having a crazy good time and loving every minute of it.

In between the 2nd opening act and when the headliners took the stage, my three friends and I parked ourselves directly in front of the stage in anticipation of fun. When they took the stage, Joel Gibb, the mastermind behind the Cameras, was directly in front of us, with the three piece string section just to our left. An extensive percussion section, which was manned by at least four people was to the right. Toss in a couple guitarists and bass, you've got a crowded stage creating a full energetic sound that apparently still left room for bend members to dance like mad.

Hidden Cameras in Red
We Told Them To Wear Blue - Now They Totally Clash.

Their energetic spirit was infectious in the front row of the show. I never really got a chance to look back at anyone else, because I was dancing too hard, but I can only assume everyone else was having as much fun. We found out why Gibb had a bottle of wine sitting at his mic stand when he took a drink at the beginning of In the Union of Wine, then proceeded to pass it around the audience, who eagerly chugged straight from the bottle. It was red Jackson Triggs, and I sure enjoyed my lengthy swig (Ed note: Mmm.. backwashy. Wait, didn't the majority leader of the senate "suggest" that you could contact aids from tears last year?)

In keeping with the not so subtle, but still fun symbolism, when they performed Golden Streams, the opening act returned to the stage to toss paper streamers out into the audience, which bounced around for a while, and I actually ended up wearing as a necklace for most of the remainder of the show.

From start to finish, these guys where F-U-N fun. Their energy was high, they included the audience, along with being original and talented. What more can you ask from a live show?

Hidden Cameras - Boys of Melody
Tegan & Sara - Living Room (live)
Hot Hot Heat - Aveda

When Mel's not busy Hidding Cameras she maintains her own witty blog: me, myself, and mel.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

4 Punks + 3 Politicians = 7 Bush Protesters

Geoff Trainor

March 17th saw the Pittsburgh quartet, Anti-Flag joining forcings with three Congressment to form....THE JUSTICE LEAGUE. Okay, well maybe not. No super powers, but they did make a stand at the steps of the (American) capitol building.

The Justice League fighting to protect the rights of America's youth
The Justice League: protecting the rights of youth in America

What was all the fuss about? Well, they were there in opposition of Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act. Said provision makes it manditory for schools to provide contact information, including names, addresses and phone numbers, of students to military recruiters.

Jim McDermott (D-WA), Pete Stark (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey, (D-CA), along with Anti-Flag are concerned about the privacy of young people, and the influence miltary will have on schools. Stark is converned that the miltary will entice students away from furthering their education.

"We should be encouraging our children to continue their education".

McDermott hopes to keep schools military free,

"High schools across America are drug-free, alcohol-free and weapons-free; they should also be military-free. Every branch of the military has a multi-million dollar advertising budget; that's more than enough in the way of resources to reach young people"

Justine Sane (Anti-Flag) is more concerned about the privacy of youth in America, describing the government as to, "strip young people of their privacy".

However, the parents do have the right to "opt-out" by informing the school they do not want their child's information released. Schools are responsible for notifying parents of this policy. McDermott, Stark, Woolsey and Sane would have the policy changed so that parents must opt-in. Having parents formally consent to having their child's records released.

According to Jim Bradshaw, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, standard practice at the Department of Education calls for an "opt-out" policy.

McDermott hopes that Anti-Flag will help bring this message to young people so that they may let the government know that they would like their rights protected. Saying,

"The future belongs to them, and not a moment too soon". Then added jokingly, "I own styling gel. I once had a Mohawk in the Fifties".

McDermott helping Anti-Flag style their hair
Anti-Flag after taking styling tips from congressman McDermott

Anti-Flag has set up a website to help reach young people. More information as well as a petition can be found.

Anti-Flag - Protest Song [Disclaimer]


Monday, April 18, 2005

Ben Folds Five Two

Casey Dorrell

As promised, here's some more about Ben Folds:

Mr. Folds
Ben Folds: Best Experienced as Auditory Only

Ah, Mr. Folds. His new album, "Songs for Silverman," comes out on April 26th of this year, a little over a week from now. It's been almost four full years since his first release sans the five, "Rockin' The Suburbs." That album wasn't so much a departure as a continuation of the Ben Folds Five discography, but the drop of five should serve as a warning to anyone creating a band. Pick a dumb name, pick a funny name, pick an obvious name but don't simply name your band after your lead singer. Ben Folds buddies did this, Dave Matthews' bandmates thought this was a good idea, Matthew Good's pals were up for it... You're smarter than them.

In the years since "Rockin' the Suburbs," Folds has toured extensively, released a live album, and, more recently, released a set of three internet-only eps. Meaning that they were only available for purchase from the net, not that they were free. As with most internet-based endeavours of this sort, it was an attempt to connect with his audience outside the artificial box constructed by constraints of conglomorate record labels. Or something.

Folds explains, "the box that everyone talks about thinking outside of is just getting smaller and smaller. There are less and less companies and more and more large, almost monopolistic, big fucking corporations."Adding "I thought, There's the Internet. And I can make short, five-song records, get them out damn fast, get them to the fans, and not worry too much that they have to be polished to compete with something that I don't even understand."

The Bens

In addition to the three eps, there was a self-titled project with the group "The Bens." The Bens being Folds, Ben Lee, and the fantastic Ben Kweller. Folds also produced the latest album from William Shatner, "Has Been." Folds says of the album, "I think it's a great record. I thought it was a great record before it was recorded!" This might explain his enthusiasm - he hasn't listened to it. In Shatner's defense, it's not nearly as bad or as funny as you might expect.

"Songs for Silverman" will feature a song, "Late" about the late music genius, Elliot Smith. In a Rolling Stone interview Folds said, "I was playing all the same shitholes he was," Folds said. "The lyrics of the song are about people who are sharing your experience too-- 'Oh, Elliott Smith did this club last night, and he sat in that same room and read all the shit about dicks and asses on the wall.' He went on to mention, "I played [basketball] with him and Beck one time, and Elliott was just fucking throwing elbows like there was no tomorrow." Yeah, I used to play basketball with Elliot, Beck, and Ben all the time. It was fun, but Elliot was a bit of a sissy so it always ended in tears.

Elliot Smith
Elliot Smith Sitting Out Another Game

As far as the direction of the new album, judging from the first single, "Landed," and the entire discography of Ben Folds Five, there won't be any surprises. Folds does two songs: the "oh-so-ironic rock god with piano deprecation" song and the "introspective wistful" song. His last album had more of the latter and less of the former. There aren't any of the collaborations you might expect, no Shatner, Beck, or Kweller. Instead? Well, on "Time" we get back-up vocals from . . . Weird Al Yankovich. Uh huh.

The album will come out on dual disc (the newest format growing in popularity on which one side features the 2.1 CD audio and the other 5.1 DVD audio). The DVD side will also have a half-hour behind the scenes video. A special edition will be available, but there's nothing special about it. It will be in the requisite inconvienently large packaging with a booklet full of pictures. The special edition will also come with a 40 minute "making of" DVD. Pre-order the album with to recieve a limited edition CD entitled "Songs For Goldfish" with 10 unreleased tracks. (Note: Hiro's Song is on it, and I'm sure this has been released)

Ben Folds - Rare and unreleased mp3s (Must be about 100)
Ben Folds - Live at Foellinger [04-04-2004]
Ben Folds - Live at Enmore
Ben Folds - Landed video [Mirror] [Stream]
Ben Kweller - I Need You Back
Elliot Smith - When I Paint My Masterpiece (Dylan cover)

Related Posts:
The End of Black Tuesday?

Ben Folds - The Rise of Satan

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The End of Black Tuesday?

Casey Dorrell

BeckSince 1999, April 26th has been known by Beck fans everywhere as Black Tuesday. This was the date that Geffen and Bong Load filed a joint suit against Beck for breach of contract after his attempt to prematurely end his agreement with the labels. He had justified the negotiation tactic by invoking the "Seven Year Statute" of California. Which, as you might have guessed, limits personal service contracts to seven years.

Beck countersued Geffen for copy-right infringement for having released "Mutations" (the best Beck album to date) against his wishes, as it was supposed to be on an independent. He also alleged that he wasn't paid any royalties. The lawsuits were all eventually settled out of court. Beck's last two releases were with Interscope, but it's owned by Universal just like Geffen. In response, Beck fans declared that every April 26th would be mourned as "Black Tuesday" until Beck was released from the shackles of Geffen servitude.

This year, however, may put an end to the "Beck in Black rally cry." Well, I mean, I made that all up anyhow. The Beck in Black part at least - April 26th was the lawsuit date. I got a little carried away. What I was going to tell you about was the two very exciting CDs that are coming out on April 26th (Eels and Ben Folds) this year. But now I'm tired. So that will wait until tomorrow.

Tomorrow: I start and finish an entire post!

Beck In BlackDownloads:
Beck - Various Live
Beck - Forcefield
Beck - Sex Lawws Remix
Beck - Deadweight
Beck - Deadweight (alternate)
Beck - Diamond in the Sleaze
ZoeTrope - Nobody's Fault
(Cover will make you appreciate the original)

Related Posts:
Intoducing Beck

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mocking Music? Bemoaning Blogger.

Casey Dorrell

Things were said here, some of them funny.
Blogger and Firefox both disaproved.
Thus, you have no post.

We will return on Sunday (barring any further blogger disagreements).

In our stead, I give you a picture of a Spork:


Radiohead - Live Coachella set
Pixies - Live Coachella set
(found via Take Your Medicine)

Related Post:
Are You Excited?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Been a While Since I've Ventured to the Drive-In

Geoff Trainor

What do you get when you combine members or Sparta with members of Mars Volta? Mars Sparta? No silly, you get At The Drive-In, the band whose split spawned two great, but not as great bands.

At The Drive-In at...the drive-in?
Now Playing at the drive-in: At The Drive-In

For those of you waiting to get enough money to buy that new Mars Volta cd, save it. This summer a compilation cd will be released that spans all four At The Drive-In studio released albums. The complilation entitled This Station Is Non-Operational (named after a lyric from One Armed Scissor), due June 6th, will also include several covers (Smiths, Pink Floyd) performed by the band.

As seems to be the trend, a bonus DVD will be included. On the DVD will be the videos from One Armed Scissor, Invalid Litter Dept, and Metronome Arthritis, as well as wallpaper, discography and buddy icons.

There you have it. Now leave me alone, I'm gonna listen to Wiretap Scars.

Chanbara - At The Drive-In
The Widow - Mars Volta
Breaking the Broken - Sparta (Stream only)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

And You Thought Han Solo Was A Swindler

Geoff Trainor

To mark the 25th anniversary of its release, The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle will be released on DVD for the first time on May 17th. "The great what?", you ask? 1977 spawned two great movies.

Malcom McLaren was the manager of the Sex Pistols, and he decided in '77 to make a major motion picture featuring the infamous punk rockers. The film started shooting in the summer of '78 after Russ Meyer dumped the project, and Julien Temple, then a student of the National Film School, took over.

Soundtrack Cover
The second best soundtrack released that year?

Featuring many of the songs that made the group popular, tracks like God Save The Queen were filmed at the Pistols' final show at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. At that show, Johhny Rotten spoke the words, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?", before quitting the band the next day.

The film, which has been out of print since the 80s, has new DVD extras including audio commentary by Julien Temple (director) and Chris Salawicz (journalist).

Oh, and the other film? Do I really need to answer that?
(Hint: See title)

Ray of Gob - What Would Happen if Madonna & Sid Vicious Got Together

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

This is a Fare You'll Want to Pay

Geoff Trainor

Death Cab For Cutie are planning a follow-up to their breakthrough album, Transatlanticism, this fall. Plans will see Death Cab's departure from their previous label, Barsuk Records and mark their major-label debut on Atlantic.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, it was reported that Death Cab spent the last month in a Massachusetts farm house, finishing tracks for the new album. Ben Gibbard told Rolling Stone,

"We are virtually in the middle of nowhere. One of the only spots, there was this huge Halloween store. So we blew $300 on Knights of the Round Table costumes for everybody. There's a stable here and we were hoping to take some pictures with the horses. That's how bored we've become".

While the rest of the band is off saving damsels in distress, Chris Walla, guitarist and producer is working on tracks. Speaking of his joint resposibilities, Walla had this to say,

"I think they both feed one another. Rock shows are like primary colors, big and bold, and then you can get away from that and come in and put things under the microscope."

The group is on their way to completing Plans, which was named after one of the singer's favourite jokes; "How do you make God laugh? Make a plan."

Entering The Time Warp
Drumming So Fast It Causes a Time Warp

Blacking Out The Friction

Satan Comes In Fifth Place

Geoff Trainor

The word is out! Get Behind Me Satan (not to be confused with Stan) will be the name of the fifth album by the The White Stripes due out June 6th. Music and Satan...reminds me of that Kids In the Hall skit.

Jack vs The Devil?
Are We Witnessing Jack vs. Satan?

The first single from the album, Blue Orchid, will be released May 30th and there are plans for live shows to mark the release. Jack White has said that he is planning "events" instead of traditional concerts to launch Get Behind Me Satan. Mr. White also had this to say,

"First we're going to play where we are not well known. Then if we have time, we will play New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Frankly, we are waiting for technology to advance in the United States before we attempt to perform this record live there."

They will play Glastonbury in June.

Proof that Jack stole Seven Nation Army from me!

Related Posts:
Jack and Johnny Tell All
Ben Folds - The Rise of Satan

Monday, April 11, 2005

Kurt Cobain Gets Locked in Vault With Jesus

Geoff Trainor

The album which brought Nirvana into the mainstream, and started the grunge movement in the early 90s has been chosen to be preserved for future generations.

Recordings deemed culturally, historically or aethestically significant are being stored in the US Library of Congress vault in a special archive to be preserved. To be considered, the recordings must be at least 10 years old, and with Nevermind being released in 1991, it makes it the most recent recording to be selected.

Works selected range from Nirvana, to the Star Wars soundtrack, to the lord almighty himself, as the first full reading of the Bible will also join the archive.

Kurt (L) and Jesus (R)

Kurt Jesus
Was Kurt Chosen Due to Startling Similarities to Jesus?

James H Billington, the Librarian of Congress has this to say,

"Once again, we have the opportunity to celebrate the rich variety of music recorded in the United States and the importance of sound recording on our lives."

Nirvana - You know You're Right (The posthumous evidence of Cobain Infallibility?)

Related Posts:
Potter Out, Skywalker In

Radiohead & the Finance the Fire Initiative

Casey Dorrell

Geoff of Mocking Music fame promised me he'd post something with the radiohead links I sent his way but, it seems, he lied. Two days have passed and no post has arrived. I don't think he should be able to get away with this sort of blatant dishonesty so I'm proposing we all boycott Mocking Music. Well no, that seems a little extreme and unproductive. Instead, I suggest we burn his house down. Please contact me at for his home address or send money via paypal to finance the fire (catchy no?).

Anyhow, this will be short and sweet. why?

RadioheadVarious bits of Radiohead news for you:

  • Thom Yorke is going to be part of the Trade Justice Rally taking place in Westminster on April 15th, and now it seems that all of Radiohead may be there. Says Thom, "I'm going with a sleeping bag and a paint brush and maybe even a guitar if I can get it in the suitcase." I'm not entirely (or at all) clear on why he's bringing a paint brush, but I'm sure if you're ambitious google will tell you.
  • Earlier you were told about Ether festival by Geoff. Of course, he's now come into disrepute but it seems that he was telling the truth. Johnny Greenwood was there and so was Thom Yorke although the rest of Radiohead was not. They played the same set on both days of the festival. Backed by the the London Sinfonietta they played the b-side "Where BLuebirds Fly" and the new song, "Arpeggi" which will be on the next release. Greenwood also performed his own compositions, "Piano for Children" and "Smear". The latter of which sucks. Right now the whole set is available for download, but only until April 20th.
  • Ether Festival 2005 (set as individual mp3s) Dead Link After April 20th

  • Geoff speculated on what music would be replacing Williams on "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Still no word on that, but Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead for those with fish-like memory) will be making a cameo with Jarvis Cocker (Pulp) as the Wyrd Sisters.

  • Finally, there's also been a new Radiohead video released. The video is for the hot new single, "Creep" from their upcoming album Pablo Honey. Ok, so maybe they already have a video for that song, but it wasn't a very interesting one and Yorke looked kinda scary. Some guy who claims he quit his job because of "Creep" (not sure what that means given the lyrics) has made a new flash animation video for the song. It took him three months to finish.
  • Creep flash animation video
Ether Festival (same as above) Dead Link After April 20th
Creep flash animation video (also same as above)
Live Concert from 2001 (as individual mp3s), seemingly a few hours after the planes hit in New York on September 11th.
Assorted Radiohead B-Sides

(Damnit! It just occurred to me that a burning Geoff post should have been about the new CD from Hot Hot Heat. Oh, the comic possibilities lost... also, I guess this wasn't that short.)

Related Posts:
Jack and Jonny Tell All
Scoring Harry Potter

Friday, April 08, 2005

System of a Down Wants To Go Double Platinum

Geoff Trainor

Our favourite political metal band is releasing a new album this May, with a follow-up album to be released 6 months later. Similar to Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion, System of a Down will be releasing a double cd as two seperate albums.

Titled Mezmerize and Hypnotize, the double album was not what they had originally planned. Daron Malkian explains,

"When we started recording, we were focussed on making every song the best it could be, to really give a thousand percent to every single track. Doing a two-album set never entered into our thought process. But when we looked at all the songs we had and arbitrarily tried to choose 'the best' 14 for one album, we realised that they all connected with each other. We didn't chase this idea, it chased us"

Look into my eyes

Malkian demonstrating his "Mezmerize" look

Mezmerize, the first half, will be released May 16th.

Steal This Album (Full Album Directory)*
*In the spirit of the name...

50 Tracks Canada: Countdown 40-36

Casey Dorrell

This is the 3rd installment of what was originally one large post. Basically, it's a run-down of the 50 tracks chosen by CBC panelists and Canadian voters as the top 50 Essential Canadian Tracks.

The Criteria were that the song be Canadian according to our CRTC Canadian content rules, and that the song would be seen in positive light via these questions:

- Does it woo you with words?
- Does it move you with melody?
- Does it have you from the hook?
- Does it define a generation?
- Did it create a musical revolution?

All Commentary was made when the broadcast of the completed list ran, so as we get further down the list, you might notice I'm getting a bit tired . . .

40. "Diana" by Paul Anka (1957)
pitched by Martin Mehluish (runs :59)

Casey: Positive: Bothers me less than #41.
Negative: 20 seconds have passed, and I have to retract my positive comment.

Geoff: It's people like my mother that get Paul Anka on the list. I formally apologize.

Proving that bad taste is the only universal, this was the 9th Best selling UK Single ever.. Here, you can find out some trivia about this song - as an added bonus it also contains a link to "other songs written for a girl". Which is really good, cause those are just too damn hard to find. Purchase the sheet music to Diana? Yes Please!

39. "Brother Down" Sam Roberts (2001)
pitched by Jian Ghomeshi (runs :50)

Casey: Well, it's pretty cool that a newer artist made it on to the list this high up. I've gotta say, I get bored of Roberts pretty quickly. Catchy derivative fun - but it's early enough in his career that it'll likely get better.

Geoff: I never understood why Sam Roberts caught on. He's good, but not terribly exciting. Proven by the fact that he's been to PEI.

Hmm.. there aren't really any interesting webpages about Sam Roberts. I guess that's fitting.

38. "High School Confidential" by Rough Trade (1980)
pitched by John Sakamoto (runs :52)

Casey: Carole Pope reminds me of the dude from Rocky Horror Picture Show. This song must have been lost from the master tapes, I mean, c'mon: "I cream my pants when she cums/comes my way". Listen to this song and disagree with me. I dare ya.

Geoff: I need to elaborate a little more on Casey's comment. I think Carole is more what the love child of Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Michael Jackson would look like.*

+ =

Eerie, no? Visit the impressive Rocky Horror site for more info. Oh yeah, Carole Pope... right. Well, if you want more about her, here's some other people who've been deluded into misplaced non-Rocky appreciation.

37. "Crabbuckit" K-OS (2004) - [Download Song]
pitched by Jennifer Hollett (runs :53)

Casey: Only one year old, but this song is amazing. I really have to buy the CD this comes from, Joyful Rebellion. You should too (Because you want to be like me).

Geoff: Like I said in my Juno's post, I'm not a big K-OS fan, but this song is pretty good, as was the one at the Juno's. Maybe I'll look past Heaven Only Knows and listen to some more of his music.

K-os has since won an award for best single for this song at the Junos, among other awards. Although B-Boy stance won for best video, it isn't so great. This is a much better video.

36. "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats (1982) - [Download Song]

Casey: Not a huge new wave fan, but this song really hits home. I used to wear a hat all the time in Junior High and then High School, but then one day I heard this song. It spoke to me. I cast off the shackles of hatdom and doned the dance of safety.

Geoff: I got really excited when I heard this song was on the list. Brings back memories of high school. Which is odd, since I was born the year after the song was released. Still, one of the best music videos ever!

You know Safety Dance, but do you know the "best thing to come out of Canada since?" Of course you don't. But that's ok. we'll let you listen anyhow - just this once.

*Note, Casey's original comment referred to the sound of the song and not the physical appearance of Carole Pope - that was just a frightening coincidence.

ore 50 Tracks:
50 Tracks Canada: Countdown 45-41
50 Tracks Canada: Countdown 50-46
CBC's 50 Tracks - Canadian Version