Monday, December 29, 2008

My RSS Reads: As of December 29th

Hey Kids! Here's the year's end RSS Reads ... bringing you the wacky, the charming, and the gasp-a-licious news.

Alright, let's start off with the wacky.

I'm getting more and more excited to move to London. Why? Because Star Wars the musical will be coming to the o2 Arena. My roommate Clara is going to be so jealous. (NME)

Of all the strange "Womanizer" covers there are lately -- emo-pop jock straps the All-American Rejects took their shot at it. And it's HORRIFYING. Oh, Tyson Ritter... wipe that smirk off your face. I'm siding with Britney on this one. (Chart)

John Lennon will be 'starring' in a new 'advert' for the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (im sorry, does anyone else think the name of this organization is hilarious?), and of course permission was granted by Miss Ono herself. (NME)

Now, here's the charming. Year-end recaps.

Ben Rayner listed his thoughts on the rock music that stuck. I like his simple explanations, like for Foals: "Impossibly intricate strangeness. Makes you move, makes you think." Hm.. reminds me of this fabulous time. (The Toronto Star)

NPR's Monitor Mix, by the ex-Sleater Kinney member Carrie Brownstein, is my new blog discovery. After listening to the year-end podcast by the heads of the NPR Music section and being intrigued by their theories, I checked this out. On this entry, Brownstein explained how this year as been more in the favour of songs, not albums. And she says their time theme is 'teenage'. (NPR)

And of course, another Wall-E + National Post ... post. "What Wall-E the robot taught us about love." *giggle* And it's not just about Wall-E. It's about this year's movies & their themes of togetherness. It taps on Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Young People Fucking, too. Genius. (National Post)

And the last year-end list I'll show you holds a nice soft spot for this RSS Reads issue. Because my own name showed up in my own feeds. It's Chart's annual contributor's top 10 lists. Find mine! Now that you've got the list ... I'll explain them soon. (Chart)

But now, here's the kicker. The gasp-a-licious news.

Just days after solidifying my love for Zooey Deschanel once again, she's announced that she's engaged to Death Cab for Cutie's front man, Ben Gibbard.

This is awesome. But mainly hilarious for a few reasons. Pitchfork posted this, and they must have typed it so fast in indie glee (and sadness) that they even spelt her name wrong in the headline. But it did end in an exclamation point.

"Cue the sound of thousands of blogger hearts breaking... Isn't that just the most indie-in-2008 thing ever? It almost seems a little too perfect, as if we made it up in some kind of fantasy indie rock love connection."


Questions? Comments? Crying over the loss of Zooey and Ben? Or did you make a cover of Womanizer that you think is better? Send all thoughts to Jess at

And don't forget to partake in the poll on the right side of the page! What will you be doing for New Years Eve?

Anyways... that sums up the end of the year in My RSS Reads. Stay tuned for a new Take a Look as well as my Top 10 of 2008 post. I still have two more days, you know!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

treating myself

So yesterday was my birthday. Finally legal all over the world! Anyways, I definitely treated myself to some new music before i leave for London. Here's a peak at what I bought yesterday (Soundscapes has a boxing week sale!), but shhhh about how I'm a bit slow on the uptake.

Little Joy, Santogold&Diplo, Bon Iver, Tusks.

SeeqPod - Playable Search

I also bought this year's edition of Best Music Writing. This year, Nelson George was the guest editor, and his introduction was really interesting. It says a lot for who I am and who I want to be.

Here's an exerpt:

"The most exciting, vital role of the critic is to identify and advocate new movements, particularly those that serve minority taste and grow organically out of a community of like-minded individuals, be they a collective of DJs, music loving druggies addicted to the same substance and sounds, or bold dancers looking for their particular perfect beat. In many cases it is from some combustible combination of these elements that a true movement is born. I think that the ability to give voice and definition to such communities can be what makes or breaks a music journalist."

It's a pretty big deal.

P.S. I also saw Yes Man, mainly for my love of Zooey Deschanel, but oh man. Such a funny movie! But she is great. And so damn pretty.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting in the spirit

In the spirit of moving to London -- IN SEVENTEEN DAYS -- I've got a post for you all about really cool or just plain weird things going on in my new favourite city.

Kanye West is going to be moving there too ... to be a fashion magazine intern. God almighty do I want to run into him & make him angry, just to see another CAPITALIZED BITCHY BLOG POST. (Chart)

This is definitely a self-made tour I plan on doing once I get there. All around a London-style "Tin Pan Alley" which turned into a place where the Sex Pistols, Beatles, Elton John, and the Stones would record. (Londonist)

Speaking of those names, a recording studio that's housed those names, and is currently home to U2 (euch) might be closing because of the rough economic times. (NME)

And a London concert venue, Nambucca, which has seen the likes of The Pidgeon Detectives, The Black Kids, and The Libertines/Babyshambles, was hit by a fire. (NME)

My RSS Reads (new name!) as of December 21st

Hey all -- here's my second installment of My RSS Reads (grammatically and stylistically rearranged from Reads of my RSS... took me long enough.)

There's quite some interesting stuff going on actually, so these are good reads you should check out.

First, one of my favourite bands (and album of 2007), The National, are gearing up for their next album! Tres excited. (Exclaim)

Kevin Barnes is readying a new Of Montreal record already, as well as working with MGMT on a sideproject named Blikk Fang and that the soundtrack wonderman John Brion might work on it too. (Exclaim)

But in more unfortunate album news, Ben Gibbard has explained that a new Postal Service record more than likely won't ever happen. He even compared it to Chinese Democracy. That's when you know it's crazy. (Pitchfork)

Lily Allen got herself into more trouble recently with her record label when she covered Britney Spears' "Womanizer" track. I love the Lilly, but .... why'd you cover it already? I don't even see how that could have been much fun. And way to go Mark Ronson for screwing everything up. (Chart)

For Jack White, apparently newest job under his belt is journalist. That is, if you can count having a conversation with Cate Blanchett for Interview magazine at all journalistic. Cool, he interviewed her, but when it got to the point where the story became more about him, that's where the cred goes back down. (NME)

Hey all you metalheads and hardcore emo fans! Turns out headbanging can cost you your life. BEWARE. (Exclaim)

Here's some fun -- LEGO + Music = LEGO Album Covers. (Pitchfork)

Something I forgot to post last entry was this.. Rachael Maddux is awesome, I've delt with her last summer about internships (unfortunately I didnt get it, but I still love the mag and will someday try again) and I love Zooey Deschanel. Put them both together and this is what you get! (Paste)

Final note, goodbye Torontoist. I'll miss you.

Questions? Comments? Bent over Coldplay breaking up or getting back together? Giggling over the Lonely Island? Need help with your Top 2008 list? Contact jess at

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

my last Toronto show until the summer was...

Human Highway. Aka Jim Guthrie, grandson of Woody Guthrie, and Nick Thorburn, front man of band Islands and now defunct-Unicorns.

I've never been to the Tranzac before... but when we (Yahlehly & i) finally found the place (It's on Bloor! No, it's on Bathurst!) we entered, it just started snowing. there seemed to be two rooms, visible with people, guitars, listening. There were posters for Human Highway all over, but we didn't know where to go. Then I pushed open a door, right into the concert. It felt strange to see everyone else was in on the secret but us for those long seconds. But as we filtered through the hipsters, upon us was The Magic. They played a pretty sweet set, they looked like they were having fun, harmonizing nice and all, but I found a few too many moments to zone out.

Then it was time for Human Highway.. who in fact borrowed two of the members from the Magic. Brothers Geordie Gordon (front man) and Evan Gordon (who seriously looks like Ed Westwick, you know... Gossip Girl... Son of Rambow..) Anyway. The set was pretty great... for their first tour. Their first tour! And I got to see their first Toronto show. Sweet, eh?

Watch "The Sound"

They played most of the songs off of Moody Motorcycle. It was unfortunate that my favourite songs seemed more forced & awkward then some of the others played, but I didn't mind. Yahlehly whispered, "it's the band, not them."

Either way... it was just cool to see they were having fun. Guthrie and Thorburn have a brotherly, cousinly, kind of vibe to them. They didn't look at one another very often, so focused on their guitar strumming sychronization, but it was obvious they were very conscious of this baby project they've produced and how much they wanted it to go well.

Guthrie joked continually about his cats. "I've got to go home and feed them... pet them, you know?" Thorburn responded "Oh Jim, it's fine." Jim: "This isn't a very good place to be making a joke, is it?"
(Of course... my translation's probably not 100% accurate.. but you get the idea.)

Watch "Moody Motorcycle"

By the time their short set was over (I mean really, they only have one album's worth of material) and we exited (after waving farewell to Thorburn), there was a good amount of snow on the ground. We just looked at it for a moment... astonished that in two hours something like that would happen. Who's used to snow anymore?

After we got over the pretty sphere of Brunswick avenue... and trekked to Spadina, the snow more in our face than anything, we sat warming up in the subway car pondering the greatness of Human Highway's album cover. I got home... excited (to my surprise) to walk through new snow that was untouched. Pondered the subway yard in front of my house in its snowy wonder, and retreated inside. This was my last Toronto show... until it's warm outside again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reads Of My RSS: as of Thursday, December 11th

Here's the first edition of a new feature, Reads of My RSS.
Bringing you news of the past week (or so) that's a) hilarious b) interesting and c) at least worth noting.

First off, let me explain how much news there's been this past week about the Arcade Fire. Seriously, it's like they injected happy bubbles into their PR person, possibly worried about being forgotten. Don't worry Arcade Fire, you may not be on best of 2008 lists because you ranked so high in 2007, but it's still hard to forget the track "Neon Bible," at least for me.

So, not only have they given up rights to the Benjamin Button trailer and given out cryptic hints about releasing a film, titled Miror Noir, but members of the band that are also in Bell Orchestre have announced that they're now signed to Canada indie powerhouse label Arts & Crafts, and will release their second album next year. (Pitchfork)

Keeping it on a Montreal tone, Plants & Animals have created a new video for the song "Feedback in the Field." It looks awesome, but too bad Firefox is hating on me lately with audio. (Pitchfork)

More Canadian collective news, and this time it's the ever-growing Broken Social Scene. Last week, they played a couple shows in Toronto that I unfortunately missed (although, it was more choice, I can't stand the Sound Academy) but one night included Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and Elizabeth Powell from Land of Talk, while the next night had Emily Haines from Metric. (Pitchfork)

But, it gets worse in terms of "holy crap i can't believe i missed this show." Why? Maybe you'll start kicking yourself in the face too when you continue reading, finding out that the other night here in Toronto at the little Dakota Tavern, was Broken Social Scene, Jason Collett, Metric, Stars, and Gentleman Reg.

Yeah. Fuck.

The National Post got the scoop (and the cell phone pictures), and even though their account sounds really fangirl-ish and makes an almost horrifying comparison to a night with the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Buzzcocks, and the Damned, it's still a good portrayal of the night in the sense that you can tell everyone was also thinking "holy crap." (National Post)

A few months ago, it was announced that British rock group the Long Blondes were forced to disband after Dorian Cox had a stroke that paralyzed his right side. Sad news, right? But there's a glimmer of hope. It was announced that Cox will be getting a SaeboFlex glove that will give him use to his right hand, and therefore he will be able to go back to playing guitar.

Pitchfork put it in a new light though. "based on the way it looks, we're kind of hoping Cox forgets about music and decides to start fighting crime." (Pitchfork)

Alright, now last music-related news before I get to some other random good stuff. Grant Lawrence of CBC Radio 3 posted a few days ago a recollection of the transmission fair, where all of the top music executives got together in British Columbia for discussions. Though Lawrence may have found some mental pain in the matter, the tips he brought back were either duh-points or actutally pretty interesting. He recalled how Seymour Stein said "I signed the Ramones because they reminded me of the Beach Boys." Oof. (CBC Radio 3)

Alright, now my last three news bits are courtesty of the National Post. I personally think they have the best Arts section in any Canadian newspaper, or any other paper I've seen as a matter of fact. They're witty, daring, and overall affective in what they find to cover.

They discussed how animated features should just be nominated for Best Picture at this point. I whole heartedly agree, as any mention of Wall-E makes me all silly and giggly.

They dwelled on the fact of how J.K. Rowling's latest tale, The Beetle and the Bard, (I can't believe I don't own it yet...) is most likely going to be made into a film. Can't say I didn't see that coming. But this is good, as I've stuck it to Twilight these past few months as a true HP fan. Representin'...

And lastly, you cannot just skim over Steven Murray's hilarious Extremely Bad Advice column. Here's today's post... on how he got into giving advice in a bloody way.

That's it for this week's Reads of My RSS. Comments? Questions? Think I'm missing something huge? Too concerned about MIA's baby or Jennifer Aniston and Britney Spears's decreasing mental stability? Contact Jess at

P.S. Look to the right (if you're on the page, not your Reader) --> new poll! Get voting!

Friday, December 5, 2008

darts of pleasure

When you hear a lot of talk about how a show sold out within minutes, you expect said show to be pretty insane, right?

I wouldn't consider last night's Franz Ferdinand show to be insane, or anywhere near it.

However, the Scottish lads put on a great performance, and played all of the songs I was hoping ("Take Me Out," "40'," "The Dark of the Matinee," "The Fallen," "Do You Want To," etc...). It's just... to me, a show isn't just the band playing. In order to critique the experience, you need to take into account the audience.

Watch "Dark of the Matinee"

That being said, why the hell did I only see less than ten arms flailing about until the final song of the encore, "This Fire"?

I've seen Lee's in more of a hopping state. Granted, they were more dance oriented shows and Franz is more rock. But come on. I feel like Toronto's lost the meaning of rocking out! We need to get it back! Especially if you've been talking about the show for weeks. Even more especially for the fact that they played Lee's, not the Sound Academy or even Kool Haus.

Even so, last night it was clear how Franz takes dance beats and bass beats that can be used in any pop or electronic song, but they incorporate it into rock. This is amazing.

In October, front man Alex Kapranos explained their upcoming album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, out next year. (This tour was actually a pre-album one, but they only really played maybe 3 or 4 new songs, they sound awesome though.) Here's what he said:

It's "music of the night: to fling yourself around your room to as you psyche yourself for a night of hedonism, for the dance-floor, flirtation, for your desolate heart-stop, for losing it and loving losing it, for the chemical surge in your bloodstream."

Watch "The Fallen"

So, for the love of god Toronto, by the time Franz Ferdinand come back, you better be ready to dance.

Let's not forget... the band itself was fantastic. I was thinking Kapranos was a little awkward (I dont think he wears the leather jacket and pants the way a video costume design person must have told him he did back in 2004) and his voice could have used a little work, until 45 minutes in the set he whipped out his inhaler. Guitarist Nick McCarthy was obviously doing most of the work as he ran between guitar & keyboards, and the sometimes Big Foot-esque, sometimes pummel through the tunnel beat relationship between Bob Hardy & Paul Thompson was top notch.

Watch "Take Me Out"

Also, coming out of that night, I have rekindled my love for [now] Toronto-based band Born Ruffians. If you're one to get past Luke LaLonde's vocals, you'll find them amazing as well... brains lie behind tracks like "Hedonistic Me," "Coldness Hot," "Hummingbird," and "Badonkadonkey."

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Hey! There are new things on RoundLetters if you haven't noticed yet!

Take part in my weekly poll. This week -- who will you be leaving off of your 2008 best of list?

Check out a number of live shows in Toronto via my YouTube channel stream, but you can also head on over to the site itself right here.

Twitter's been on here a while, but if you haven't yet, follow me here.

I just updated my links -- many new friend blogs to creep!

Have something you want to tell me? Well now you can keep it between us if you want.

Soon to come themed posts: Take A Look (well, first one is below this post) and twice weekly Reads from My RSS. BestFirsts will continue. And the creative process isn't over yet!

Let me know if there's something cool you think I should be updating on, take the new email address for a spin.

Take a Look

So remember that beautiful woman I mentioned in my last post that was singing when Sam Roberts walked past me at my local pub?

Her name is Romney Getty.

She's a local too, except she's long distance.

Checking out her MySpace, her music doesn't exactly sound like what I remember from Tuesday night, but it's still enjoyable. While her guitar leans like a teeter-totter from country to folk, her deep voice never falls off. It's warm; it's the accompaniment to a hot chocolate by the fireplace in your cabin.

If you get a chance, check her out live. I guarantee you'll like it even more than just listening to her tracks.

For a twang party -- listen to "Ain't No Mistake"

My favourite song though is "All Along," for it's one-two punches of lazy guitar spirit. It can be heard on her MySpace.

Romney's album, Ramblin' Girl is available now. iTunes and everything!

Check her out here:
Dec. 16 -- J.D.'s -- Collingwood, Ont.
Dec. 22 -- The Hess -- Hamilton, Ont.
Dec. 27 -- Craigleith Ski Club -- Craigleighth, Ont.
Jan. 3 -- Alpine Ski Club -- Thornbury, Ont.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

hope : born in a flame ; carried through a gate

Mood was anxious... frightened for the future. I was ignoring it anyway. But somehow, I stumbled upon my lost friend Fate, who gave me a very significant clue to something that would help me for something I am writing. I thought, like a bit of a cynical journalist, "great. I hope people will at least be a little nicer this time. And I better get a lot of anecdotes." Turns out... I got what I wanted and more.

I did many interviews, all with locals who are in love with the walls they were in between at that moment. Amazing stories of the past fluttered around me, to the beats of the beautiful woman who was playing guitar in the back of the room.

As everyone became merrier, and I started to sink into my 'fly on the wall' position (besides the "are you the party biographer?" or "hey, you want my autograph?" in response to the fact that I had my notebook out) I started daydreaming if every person around me were a rockstar but I could never surely tell.

It was then that a very familiar face walked by me, and then two more. I thought, "hey.. now THEM i am SURE of."

James Hall. Sam Roberts. Eric Fares.

I must have looked pretty silly. And after I ran out to call my roomate who's been in love with the middle man for ages, I hitched my high journalistic horses and proceeded to get my interview with Sam Roberts.

"I don't know if I walked in on the average night or the best night of the year," he said. "Just from the photographs on the wall to the beer that's good, to the food on the table, everything seems to be top notch, you know?"

He told me he'd give me a better impression of the place after his first Polish beer.

"First of all, what I've gathered anyways, this is a very musically oriented place," he said. "Aside from the fact that there's live music playing, people can live and work and call this place their home away from home, their lives revolve around music. It means that I already feel more welcome than I otherwise would."

By this time, I felt like I had already drank a few beers myself. (Did not!) I was high on journalistic life, and I haven't had that feeling in a while. Fate may have brought me there, and him there, but it's journalism and the art of questions that kept the conversation going (I can't just reveal ALL of it to you now, can I?)

P.S. Try and imagine how great this was to me. It's not like I've never talked about him before.
Examples: A, B, and C.

P.P.S. Thanks Vanessa for taking the photos.

P.P.P. S. I obviously missed Winter Gloves & Levi Weaver. HOWEVER, I am guaranteeing you coming up will be a new BestFirst and a review of the sold out Franz Ferdinand concert in Toronto!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the purging of itunes

since my last post, i've had some confusion as to if Plants and Animals "Parc Avenue" and Cut Copy's "In Ghost Colours" came out in 2007 or 2008.

Turns out my iTunes thinks it knows more than I do, and in my haste to post the blog, i didn't take a second to double check. I also believe there were a few albums I in fact really did like a lot this year that weren't labeled in the player too... so maybe all hope is not lost (sigh, still not as amazing as '07 though.)

Therefore, it's safe to say these two albums are resting safely on my upcoming Best of 2008 list. More to come in the future...

P.S. -- Hooray! EDIT:: this link was supposed to go to -- this story. but hey, i'm all for promoting R3.

P.P.S. -- Saying goodbye to North America & hello to jolly ol' UK on January 6th!

Monday, November 24, 2008

getting into the ho-hum spirit

i'm staring at a half-finished essay on the effects of television onto children. i am waiting for pages of my newspaper to be finished; the last issue i will be contributing to. i've got one week left of Ryerson classes until my fourth year. i wish that caffeine would hit me when i drink it, not four hours later. every day i'm concerned over a summer internship. i must continue working on my final feature.

i decided to begin working on a 2008 top ten albums list, and when i spun through my itunes, i found that there were actually ONLY TEN albums i really loved this year. i'm saddened by this, but really, 2007 was so much better.

Here were my top 2007 albums, with no explanations, as my computer screen is stressing me out.

1. The Shins -- Wincing the Night Away
2. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -- Baby 81
3. Wintersleep -- Welcome to the Night Sky
4. Jose Gonzales -- In Our Nature
5. The National -- Boxer
6. MIA -- Kala
7. Arcade Fire -- Neon Bible
8. Coconut Records -- Nighttiming
9. Feist -- The Reminder
10. Of Montreal -- Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Now, here are my favourite albums of 2007 that I unfortunately discovered in 2008:
1. Plants & Animals -- Parc Avenue
2. Spiral Beach -- Ball
3. Cut Copy -- In Ghost Colours
4. The Cansecos -- Juices!
5. Office -- A Night at the Ritz

Really, all 15 albums were pure beauty and provided my only joy of 2007, it's safe to say.

You're going to have to wait for my fave 2008, basically because I'm going to need some time to get jazzed about them again.

Here, I'll leave you in good spirits with a trailer for a movie I watched last night & thought it was amazing, as well as below that, you'll find a bit from a movie I saw the night before.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

whatever it takes

Alright, so I'm at work bored... waiting on an article to be finished so I can layout the page & get back home to begin a new book (Londonstani ... prepping!) and then fall asleep.

UPDATE: I guess Londonstani is not what I remembered it to be when I bought it, so for me to say "prepping"... this is not true. It's about a South Asian gang-type in London, and I'm hardly near any of that. But... it's based in London! And this clever packet I got from my new school suggested me to read London-based books before I arrive. In fact, here's an excerpt:

"Reading a London based novel is a good way to begin thinking of the diversity of London life and its inhabitants, if not to predict your experience. A wide range of contemporary fiction set in London is available. These range from Zadie Smith’s White Teeth or Monica Ali’s Brick Lane bringing the city’s ethnic diversity into focus, to Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary, satirising a single London girl’s life, Tim Lott’s White City Blue, detailing the woes of a single London man, via urban fantasy such as Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere." /END UPDATE.

I forgot to mention in my last entry that I went to go visit the set of Degrassi (I guess because it's not exactly musically related.) But it was a ton of fun. Back in my high school days, I was pretty obsessed with the Toronto TV show, and when I found out I was moving here, I took it upon myself to make my goal be to get on their set. And lookie here, I did.

I went because I was writing an article for The Eyeopener, as four of the stars go to/went to Ryerson. Over a week's time, I interviewed all four (Evan Williams "Kelly", Nina Dobrev "Mia", Charlotte Arnold "Holly J" and Raymond Ablack "Sav.")

On a Wednesday, accompanied with my photog pal Andrew, we trekked an hour out to the North York set to hang out during lunch time with the cast & crew. We sat in their set's cafeteria, saw all of the rooms they film in (for the most part like dorm rooms, class rooms, bed rooms, fun rooms), and hung around on the school's famous front stoop looking over the fake street set where the crew gets to park their cars in order for it to look real. It was scary quiet as it was their last day filming, but still the high school girl in me was just too excited. Seeing things up close that I've seen on screen for years, and being able to report on it, just redeemed my love of Toronto & of journalism.

Anyways, for the story, go here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

hey stranger

In terms of where priorities lie, I'll never get it point straight.

Since September, like everyone else, I've been coordinating trying to get good grades in university, do well at my job, see my few different groups of friends on a regular basis, be a good girlfriend, a good roommate, and write. But what's happened so far is I've gotten alright grades, managed to hand everything in on time, do an alright job at the Eyeopener but not as well as I had hoped, rarely see my friends, have actually been a good girlfriend and roommate (i hope), but I've barely been writing, for Chart, Round Letters, or for my own.

Enough with my pity party.

Nothing's terrible, I'm just tuckering out. However, I do need to buck up though, as I got my final yes to move to LONDON, ENGLAND! I'll be leaving this continent for one I've always longed for in January, and will not be back until May. But rest assure, I will be bringing you hopefully just as many musical musings from the good ol UK. I'll miss my precious Canada and just as precious national musicians. I hope they come visit and play some gigs I'll be able to show you. But, the great British bands I will see! Hooray.

Anyways, in the time since SPIN video #2 (haven't heard back, by the way, in a while..) I've seen Wynton Marsalis, Of Montreal, Shout Out Out Out Out, and Sam Roberts. I've also volunteered at Canzine and now a whole new world is open for me.

Of Montreal was pretty good, but not as amazing as they were a year ago at the Opera House. Kevin Barnes gets more insane with age. He stripped down to bare a shiney orange speedo capped off by a huge purple belt for most of the show, while back up dancers were grinding up on one another and the rest of the musicians just having this slightly brainwashed smirk on their faces. Needless to say, it was still enjoyable. But I really can't handle all ages shows. Insane fifteen year old emo kids don't really know much about Of Montreal, I'm sure, and when it came to songs like "Disconnect the Dots", hardly any of them knew what to do with themselves.

Shout Out Out Out Out was pretty fun, even though I was by myself. You can check out my review for it here. And my photos for it here (apparently more people hate my photos than they like them...). Also, if you haven't listened to Not Saying/Just Saying, do it. RIGHT NOW. and proceed to have a party.

Of course Sam Roberts was awesome, seriously. I was a little miffed at paying 40 bucks to go see him instead of seeing a free Spiral Beach show that night, but I guess it all worked out. I'm still sad I missed SB but i hope they come to London when I'm there. Anyways, The Stills opened, and they actually really weren't good. I saw them a few months ago at the Horseshoe, and that show rocked. But this, I don't know whether it was the venue (haha, read this), or just first-show of the week jitters, or something. I just couldn't jive to it, and the guys in the bands seemed to be making a lot of egotistical moves. The music's still good, so they can pride themselves on that. Anyways, SR was awesome, but I've got to say, the two times I've seen him free in Buffalo were way better. But whatever! Played moreso off of Love at the End of the World, but a few classics like of course "Mind Flood." Yesterday, two of my roommates and I went to go see the band play a small set at Sonic Boom, and that pretty much made my day. So close, so awesome, and they genuinely looked like they were having fun playing the songs and talking to their fans.

Canzine was awesome, I met all of the really amazing people from Broken Pencil, bought some amazing little treasures, and felt to be a good part of something so creative in Toronto.

Till next time (hopefully not another month later...) This week I'll be going to see Winter Gloves and Levi Weaver. Also, I hope to get another BestFirst in soon. However, this might not be a while because as my priorities lie, I've got to get to work on a big English paper, my final feature on a sweet coffee shop, as well as a few other deeds.

Here are some more videos:

Cadence Weapon -- "Black Hand"

Wintersleep -- "Weighty Ghost"

Woodhands -- "Under Attack"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Spin Video #2

Check out my video about Cadence Weapon and Woodhands in Toronto on October 9th.

NYC was pretty great, but not blogworthy at this moment; dealing with feature pitches, post-exam meltdowns, competitiveness, work lameness, getting my papers ready for London, and more. sigh.

anyways, video time. Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 6, 2008


So I've been getting busier by the minutes. And just today did I finally consider maybe I'm taking on too much. But.... meh. It's all fun. Who needs sleep? Or apparently much of a social life?

Anyways. Here's a video I made for SPIN Magazine with hopes to be one of their new Toronto International Correspondents. They liked it there and I hope you do too. It covers the Brian Borcherdt, The Wooden Sky, and Wintersleep concert last week at the Phoenix.

And you get to see me in action too.

More updates soon from my NYC trip (just got back at 6am) and more.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Live: Two Hours Traffic: Pop to Go

Nobody wants to get stuck for the summer. Nor do they want to miss Two Hours Traffic.
Okay, that sounded lame. But you shouldn't have missed this show.

Thinking i was about to miss The Danks, Ryan and i rushed over to Lee's Palace last night only to find out that yet again, whenever i think i'll be late for a show, i'm so, so not. first of all, we didn't miss the danks (yaaaay), second of all, they are awesome, and third of all, i finally got to purchase their first EP, Samples, after chatting with their lead singer Brohan about their North by Northeast set for a bit. (i reviewed it, check here)(he also remembered that i gave them a good review, good enough it landed them on ChartAttack's highest marks for that festival). oh Brohan and company, your tunes please me so.

next up was the i spies. gah, not so fun. their lead singer was entertaining whenever he reached the climax of the songs, but other than that, i don't remember anything besides thinking they all looked way too much like an american apparel ad as well as trying a little too hard. they have a solid following, and their songs aren't bad, but... meh.

but Two Hours Traffic of course brought the party. this polaris prize-nominated band carried all of their poppy tunes to their even hoppier-crowd. they played all of the solid tracks off of Little Jabs, such as "Nighthawks," "Stuck for the Summer," "Backseat Sweetheart," "Jezebel," and "Whenever We Finish." They also played their new song "Drop Alcohol," which i already love. i want! Oh, and i can't get enough of "New Love." so much fun. if i was to ask for something from THT, i would ask for them to show a little bit more personality in their sets, but i can live without as their energy is pretty high. i don't think they'll be winning the polaris, but they definitely deserved to be nominated.

fun fact: jian ghomeshi came on stage to play tambourine for a song. random? yes. awkward? yes. but guitarist alec seemed to enjoy it very much so.

so, as i was serving as ChartAttack photographer for the night, i will now show you the rest of the show. (sadly forgot my other camera in my rush to catch the danks, so no videos.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Live: Sigur Ros: A Mystical Adventure

Alright, second review of the day. This was Sept. 22 at Massey Hall.

"How many cardigans do you think are in this theatre?"
"Probably 90 per cent."

Yeah folks, I saw so many colourful and slick sweaters and rad buttons. But what I also saw was a lot of icelanders.

It was actually quite nice that i didn't know any of the words for the entire night. it made for an interesting zone-out period, and thus i realized how mystical Sigur Ros sounds. mystical in the sense that a) if aliens were to exist, they were not terrifying-looking, and they were to come to canada, they would be just like sigur ros and b) they also sounded like mermen. not the kind in harry potter, but... close.

openers Parachutes, also from iceland, had a nice sound as well, but too similar to their main act. it was like, if you were to imagine your dreamworld that had an airy chorus, they would be it. just not with the same vocals. too high! they were cute though.

anyways, sigur. amazing! such a thrilling and yet meditative show. i loved the video aspects they did (like radiohead) except these were larger (therefore i could see) and watching a close shot of singer jonsi push his e-bow back and forth on his guitar was special. they powered through a two hour set without any stops and no english words thrown around until the end, (fancily enough, swear words). they did an encore of gobbledigook, and it was magical with rainbow lights shooting up to the ceiling, parachutes playing huge drums, and plenty of confetti (that even reached me on the top balcony). so great! as my roommate said "it's like the best kid in the world's birthday party!"

i'm glad i saw them.

one thing i noticed during the show, as i was on the top balcony facing straight forward, as i could see both sides as everyone was turned towards the stage how everyone's face was half-illuminated in the mystical glow of sigur ros. it's safe to say by the end of the night, everyone had a sigur high.

Live: The Swell Season: LoveLoveLove

If you've seen the movie Once, you know that if a European couple has melodies and electricity, they're bound to become not only the cutest couple ever but also quite successful.

Now, i've seen the movie, only once (sorry), and it was a while ago so i wasn't as highly anticipating this show at Massey Hall as much as i should have. But as soon as they began, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, their spark of light was infectious and i was captured in the glow for two straight hours, never falling into the dark.

But let's back up here for a second. Opener Bill Calahan = ghastly. Within his first song i already dozed off for a few seconds, his baritone more than i could handle (and i already get enough of it from The National). he had a few good songs, but i couldn't grasp onto his lyrics i.e. something alond the lines of: "i love my momma, my poppa, my sisters too. but i bought this guitar to sing about my love for you". yeah. So, he's actually formerly known as Smog and had a song on the High Fidelity soundtrack. therefore he has slight props. but as Bill, he didn't do it for me. it was quite funny after the set my roommate and i turned to each other, as i said "uuuurgh that was terrible" and she said "really? i thought it was amazing". conflicting tastes.

i want to gush about The Swell Season now. Yes, they're an actual real band, they're not just playing around after they made a movie. There's four other members: electric guitar, bass, drums, and violin. Together, while Marketa's on piano and Glen's on acoutsic guitar, they made beauty.

there were two things about this show that i want to share with you:
1 -- the amount of love that filled the room as glen and marketa wove their melodies together (i.e. "The Moon" will make you cry and "Falling Slowly" will make you stop what you're doing) was so powerful. the entire crowd that filled massey hall's crazy seats at even crazier steep heights was still for the two hours that they played. couples everywhere. aww's floating about. now, normally i would be all "euuuch" but that day i was just so happy off of some other people's warmth. (ha).

2 -- glen hansard feels music in his bones. this man lives and breathes musical notes and lyrics and his life experiences that he shared can prove it, along with the way he yells during some songs as he stomps the floor. it's not pain, it's something greater. it's emotion and dedication. he can make anything into a song (i.e. an entire story about a dog that would watch cars go by on the street for years). he explained almost every song, which made the concert so much better. you can just feel the shakes he shoves as he pushes out the notes from his throat. it's like nothing i've ever seen.

Here are some videos up on YouTube by other people with better views: (i really just wish everyone could have seen this show)
To see "Go With Happiness", click here. Also, at the end, you'll see what i was talking about with Glen. oh, and here too: "I Have Loved You Wrong"
"Back Broke"
the effect of Glen's storytelling with "Low Rising"
"Say It To Me Now"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Live: Plants & Animals: Among the nature of French Canadians

As promised, here is a short review of Thursday's Plants and Animals concert at the Horseshoe Tavern.

Well, i had a pleasant surprise of finding out the Ruby Coast was opening. i was excited because i've been hearing so much about them lately and missed a couple shows. They were fun, young, and poppy. i'll definitely look into getting their album soon. They may have had too many hand claps and the girl in front of me didn't stop hopping for the entire set (a friend said "too much red bull?") and some other girl who ran into me was all "oh my gahd, this is like an aerobics class!!!", therefore that is one high-energy set. It was fun, a strange pairing with P&A, but i'm glad i saw them. i later saw them heading across the street to McDonalds. Late-night concert jonesing, boys? Nothing gets you hopped up like a good cheezbugah.

But what i've been waiting for for months, Plants and Animals, finally came. i have been spinning this record with adoration for a while now (ahem, last post) and the triplet (but not really) from Montreal did not disappoint. Their performance didn't really sound like Parc Avenue, but that didn't matter. Each member brought amazing old-school energy, but the first thing i noticed was their drummer, Matthew Woodley, and the way he moved while playing. i have never seen anything like it! Who knew someone sitting behind a drum set could move like that. And what's better, with a pineapple shaker while he only drummed with one hand. It's like he's destined to salsa dance. ANYWAYS, they played all of the songs that i mentioned in the last post to my delight. the best part of the evening was at the end during "Faerie Dance" when Warren Spicer and Nicolas Basque were trying to coordinate the synthesizer's light dings with Warren's vocals and it just didn't work. So funny and innocently charming. It may not have been the beautiful wisps of the album, but it was raw, honest, and fun.

Go here to watch a video done by Jen White for ChartAttack during March's CMW with the band, and you'll get a glimpse of Matthew's drum dance, Nicolas's cute French-Canadian accent and hilarious quip about tasting a raccoon, and Warren's uncomfortable-looking position in the van.

Here's a video of "Mercy" and a little bit of a jam session in the middle.

Coming up: Live reviews of The Swell Season & Sigur Ros.

Monday, September 15, 2008

BestFirsts #1

So today is special. It marks the day that i finally begin my editorials, BestFirsts. Here's what it is: an album review, basically. But it's all about an artist's first album that trumps all the rest of the albums.

But with each editorial, i won't do just that. i'll also include an album review that's either not the first but an artist's best, or the first while the artist still doesn't have any left (but if they didn't make any more, i would be satisfied, although sad).

i know many bands produce their bests first, and this is often debated via the "sophomore slump", but i decided to take my own spin on it. Why are they better than their later albums? Are you often dissapointed with their second albums, thinking "whyyyy?" Well, i do.

Today's edition: This Day & Age and Plants & Animals. Two bands that win in the conjunction category.

BestFirsts #1:

The Best First: This Day & Age -- Always Leave The Ground

A band from Buffalo, New York who sadly don't exist anymore. This album was released in 2004 on One Eleven Records. i enjoyed this record for much longer than it seems until their second release, The Bell and The Hammer, in 2006, right before their unfortunate demise. i lost track of how many times i went to see this band play tracks off of ALTG, and every time i sang almost every word. (i'm not perfect). Anyways, this album contains tracks such as the fast and slow beats and ticks of "Hourglass," ('we used to be afraid / but we found our way'). There's the ballad of basementy-yet sophisticated keyboard laiden "Second Place Victory," (i heard you say it's enlightening to think of the breeze / to believe in things that we cannot see / so here we go / let's show them how to live, accept the pain, always forgive / watch the sun go down, learn the sound of following all that's complete). The happy but tinge of regretful "Slideshow," (in the movies / on the big screen / i'd make you mine / if this were high school or just homecoming / we'd dance all night). One of my favourites was "Seven-Eighty," because it got me going with it's quiet hand claps, cute lyrics, and great combination of the band's use of beats and heart-felt twinges. (if i was talking to you and not writing this / maybe i could show you something you haven't seen / my lips would fight my mind / i'd say things at the right time).

This album showcases Buffalo's short era of pop-almost-punk but love for happy beats while still calling themselves "maybe emo". It not only highlights the better of my high school days (while the lyrics are closer to my not so nice days) which made me love it that much more, it was something i could relate to for two very interesting parts of my life that were happening at almost the same time and it was music coming straight from my hometown. The reason why i like this album better than their second and last (by the way, the members minus singer Jeff Martin can be found in the band Reign of Kindo) The Bell and the Hammer is because every song on ALTG is memorable to the people who grew up with the band and myself, while TBATH has a few amazing tracks ("Always Straight Ahead," which i listened to every day for a long time and have recently just gotten back into, and "Second Star To The Right..." because of it's catchy piano paired with Martin's voice) but it falls short, and i'm even having a hard time recalling it right now.

This Day & Age is a band i miss with a huge pang in my being. But i am so grateful that i at least knew about them, saw them a crazy amount, and can hold onto albums like Always Leave The Ground.

The One and Only: Plants & Animals -- Parc Avenue

Whereas for my Best First i chose a band that wasn't very well kn0wn outside of their hometown community, for this edition's One and Only i've chosen a band that are succeeding in the pace of word-of-mouth in canadian press and others (blogs, ahem) and are hopefully destined for a long and pleasant journey. (Disclaimer: P&A have had EPs, but i'm counting this because it's their first full-length).

This album will most definitely be on my best of 2008 list, no lie. The goodness that drips from "Good Friend" for the pure sadness of (i wanna dance / i wanna dance / i wanna dance), to "Faerie Dance" because of its hypnotizing guitar sways and dream-like area that seems to encompass me wherever i go whilst listening to this track, to "New Kind of Love" and the beautiful lyrics (there's a river so we go where it goes / and get covered in dirt and rainbows / we're giving it up again / we're giving it up again/ we're givingggggg it up again), the bells, the breaths, and the euphoric yet slightly messy ending that seems to summarize its title, to the racing beats behind the sleepy vocals (and literal calls) of "Mercy".

i don't want to reveal too much about this album now though as i was able to get a ticket to their show at the Horseshoe Tavern on Thursday and you will for sure be hearing all about what i thought of it.

This blog is open up to discussion about both of these albums and i will gladly listen to every point of view! i also encourage comments to let me know what you think, to see how my first edition of BestFirsts went.


hooray for changed layout (or at least tweaked). check it out!

as for editorials, tomorrow I will be starting the first of the BestFirsts line. Make sure to come and visit again Monday night!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

sincere apologies

i've decided that since i'm lame at blogging, i'm not going to even bother updating on much that's happened since my last post. i'll just hand you some links.

Final Fantasy show review here.

Boats! interview here.

An article about some guys in TIFF here.

And here's a video from a while ago (June) during North by Northeast (i actually wrote about it here) that i can be seen in a few times.

Oh, wait, here's a Q and A i did with Cute is What We Aim For a couple months ago that was just put up on (the new) ChartAttack.

Life's been good. Tiring of course, this is me, but very good. It's the first time in my life that i actually have 99% of what i want all at the same time.

i am so grateful to have amazing friends who are there for me whenever i need and don't hesitate to put a smile on my face; a boyfriend who can't be any more perfect and has brought me so many things i've never had before and more; a great job at the campus newspaper as an Arts and Life editor that feels rewarding at the end of the day whether it's an article of mine or just creating a section my entire school can read and hopefully enjoy; and classes that might actually make me learn some things with teachers i actually appreciate. Not to mention just enjoying my time here for my first semester of my third year of university.

All of these things are what keeps me from updating this more often than i promise. But that's alright, I'm out enjoying life and even though sometimes it wears me to my bones, i don't regret anything.

However, when it comes down to the blog i must say this: i doubt anyone's really reading, but i still want to continue with it. Please let me know what you think. i still will create a new layout, do editorials (in the works!), and review concerts, etc etc. That's all still coming up, and more.

Such as this weekend i'm going to see Plants and Animals (hopefully!), The Swell Season, and Sigur Ros! Lots to tell you about!

P.S. i realize my grammar sucks in this entry, but fuck i'm tired.

P.P.S. Ryan took me to a TIFF movie this week, and it was awesome. If you ever get a chance to see "Sounds Like Teen Spirit: A Popumentary", please do. You'll love me for suggesting this. It's the cutest movie ever.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

lagging tales: New York, Teletoon and Radiohead

Time has come again to just make me realize on how far behind on this blog i am, AGAIN. Well, as i'm sitting on my couch almost-bored but moreso exhausted from doing nothing and everything at the same time, i decided now's as good a time as ever to fill you in on what i've been up to the last couple weeks.

New York
I headed back to Buffalo for a few days before my dad and i ventured together across the state to Huntington, Long Island. it's something we've never done before, and it was pretty great. my dad and i have bonded the last few years because of music, and the entire nine hours there was spent listening to tunes off of my iPod and discussing the bands that came with it. (On the way back less than a week later, we listened to his iPod and played the game of 'mine' and 'name that band' for almost every song the last four or five hours as half of the music on his player is from me, but i'm terrible at naming bands as i hear them right away).

Anyways, the trip in itself was great. i spent time with my family, visited a friend i haven't seen in two years, and above all, made two day trips to New York City. Now everyone describes the city as magical, and it is. Within twenty minutes of my first trip, I walked past Michael Ian Black in a subway station. Now of course I gaggled and turned into an utter fan girl afterwards, but celebrities you walk by in New York seem even a little bit more magical than they do in Toronto, and that's a hard feat as i've had plenty a chock-full-of-chance times here. Anyways, NYC firstly boggles my mind as i don't think i could ever not get lost there, but there's nowhere to unstick your eyes from. I've yet to take in a concert in that city, but it's always been a dream of mine. How will it feel different than Toronto, even Buffalo? I remember when i moved to Toronto, wondering how the concerts would feel after being so acquainted to the ones in Buffalo, and they are in fact very different in terms of crowds, how they act, and venues. What's the magic like in New York music?

Teletoon and Spiral Beach. The connection?
Visual creativity, and lots of it. Spiral Beach has become one of my favourite bands within the last season, and you can see that from previous blog posts. These kids never cease to amaze me, and last week I got to partake in a little of the fun with them. Teletoon has a new stop-animation show coming out September 1 called Life's a Zoo about seven animals that are picked to play in this reality show to win a mansion in a wheatfield in Saskatchewan. It may not sound thrilling to you, but where it comes at you is the catty amount of swearing, dirty jokes, and unexpected ones too. Where Spiral Beach comes in is the first episode. Each episode has a music video from a Canadian indie band, and SB were lucky to be the first. The show will later on showcase bands like Joel Plaskett, Attack in Black, and Plants and Animals. I wish i had Teletoon. Anyways, I got to go to visit the studios that is working on the show. It was the nicest studio i've ever been to! (er, none, but still, so nice!) they were warm in their greetings, made me the best coffee i've ever had, sat me down on a couch in the swanky lounge next to a television playing the channel, and soon after i was interviewing Maddy and Daniel of Spiral Beach with a girl from Maddy and Daniel were fun, classy in their own way, and interesting, and the Dose girl was nice. After our half an hour, the four of us went on a tour of the studios with two Australian creators. We saw everything from how they fix the broken puppets and all the different pieces to each different scene an animator works on. Each person is only expected ten seconds of stop-animation today! Their jobs seem so amazing yet demand very hard and skilled work that only the most dedicated can do well. That day was one that made me rethink of the magic of Toronto.

You can read my news story about this here, and watch a preview of the show here.

How can i NOT say this was epic? It was and in more than just the band, but the proportions of people and rain. this was a concert my dad and brother were both looking forward to so much so, more than i was, and i was pretty damn excited, but it was so surreal right up until the end. radiohead is this huge band in my head, and of course in reality, but to see them felt like i had an exclusive ticket to walk by a roman god or something. the masses of people, however, disproved this, and made me wary on the ridiculousness of exiting the molson ampitheatre. they put on this amazing light show that i couldn't take my eyes off of; a crazy amount of tubes hanging from the ceiling all the way until the floor radiating colours between red, pink, green, and blue. behind and to the side were screens that have shown the most beautiful shots of a concert i've seen. each screen focused on a different musician; up close, personal, from angles you wish you've seen of thom yorke's head before. the cooing, the drawls, the electronic noises that throw shivers up and down your spine repeatedly. it was a beautiful experience even if i was being bitter because of how drenched i was since getting lost in the Ex and waiting in line. it was an experience of concerts to help finish off my 2008 summer.

(this is five minutes of the same thing, the encore Everything In Its Right Place, but i didn't have the greatest view, so relish the sounds my friends.)

Coming up: Tomorrow I interview Boats! and next week I'll be covering Final Fantasy's show at the Danforth Music Hall.
Also to look forward to: I'll be starting some editorials soon and making a new layout! Funfunfun.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

a light goes out before your eyes

returning to my hometown of Buffalo, New York is never exactly an exciting time for me. nothing has lasted long enough to keep me there once i discovered Toronto, and each time i spend my days comparing the two polar opposites. after this two-and-a-half day adventure, my biggest observation was how suburban drivers are far worse than any urban pedestrian i've seen. driving is one of the things i look forward to the most upon my returns, but it was completely dampered last week as countless drivers pulled out in front of me on the busiest streets of my suburb. another observation: the ridiculous amount of blonde-haired, hummer-driving, whiny voiced, Hills mentality that exists in Western New York. what the hell? this is almost the top reason why I don't like it there anymore. yes, this species definitely exists in toronto, but they're much easier to avoid.


my main reason for this short return was to see Sam Roberts Band play at the beautiful ArtPark in Lewiston (pretty much a town named for me.) It wasn't as fun as the first time I saw them (also happened to be another free show in buffalo last summer, but at thursday in the square) but it was still mind-blowing. that's a standard for you! the concert was on the gorge, just above the river that connects america to canada. it happened to be so close my phone went back to Rogers, so of course that was a plus. Brooklyn band Hymns opened, who looked just like Kings of Leon. they were pretty good, but their set got tired after a while. by the time SRB came on stage, the entire gorge was full (probably mostly Canadians) but it filled me with pride. They played a great balance between their three records (however the latest still isn't out in the States) but missed a few of my favourites. i think i'll forgive them. For their shows, it's mostly Roberts and guitarist Nugent that are the show, as the other members are more stationary but find pocketed times to burst. all in all, the performance lasted around three hours with two encores.

the next day, i read a review in the Buffalo News, and one thing that caught my eye was about how SRB have yet to blow up in the states. i don't think they will, at least the way they have in Canada. yes they're getting bigger as they go, and that performance gathered a heck of a crowd, but we're close to the border. Do you think they'll ever get huge in the states, or is their sound an acquired Canadian-esque?

Here's a video of "Brother Down."
More videos can be viewed here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

lagging tales: too many to count

so i've gone slack. but i'm back.

in this entry, you will be updated on tim fite, no age, the rogers picnic, and she & him. it's been an eventful past few weeks. and i'm just keeping up with my theme of life being slow and beyond the radar, of course. so, here we go!

Tim Fite -- July 15 @ Lee's Palace
Arriving to Lee's Palace thinking we were late (as always) realizing we were so not because nobody was even there took me by surprise. Tim has been gaining a lot of press lately, as have the Watson Twins. Eventually people crawled in, and they were lucky. Tim put on an even better show than when he played with Adam Green, and to a crowd of probably twenty, five of them being my group. But he didn't hold back, if anything there was even more personality because both him and his brother Greg aka Dr. Leisure could single out people in the crowd (yes, it happened to us, and you can see it here.) I cannot gush enough about his performance, so great. Afterwards, my group and I crowded his merch table asking too many questions and buying the lot. Tim and I chatted for a while, which was great. He's pretty different from when he's on stage, especially if he's as tired as he was that day. We ended up taking him and Greg to Futures for cheesecake. Greg was, to say the least, rambunctious to a woman in a big hat and also our waitress, but it was pretty funny at the time. Tim told stories of Brooklyn and New Jersey. But they had to depart to their hotel so sadly the night was over. However, I have talked to him since then, and we'll hopefully meet in New York next month when I'm there. If you don't know much about him then you'll be surprised. He had a hit on MTV in 2001 as part of his hip-hop duo Little T and One Track Mike titled "Shaniqua Don't Live Here No More." They also had a song on the Scooby Doo movie! Since then, as Tim Fite, he released blues, hip-hop, and now his folk record. He really is a chameleon. Anyways, watch "Shaniqua..." because it is the greatest thing you will see all week, and you probably have seen it already but haven't realized...

Tim is one of my favourite people ever, how can he not be?

No Age/High Places/Abe Vigoda -- July 16 @ The Horseshoe Tavern
I covered this show for ChartAttack, which you can read here. (Note: also my photographic debut for them!) So, for a short recap, it was a pretty good show. A good mix of punk and off-kilter pop. Some of it was either a hit or miss, but overall it was a fun time (minus the ridiculous people that were standing next to me. I swear, every show I go to, I end up next to the crazies.) My favourite of the night was Abe Vigoda, who were the punk equivilant to a band I dearly love, Foals.

The Rogers Picnic -- July 19 @ Old Fort York
Rain, rain, rain it did. The raining was actually fun, but being unable to sit and being wet and muddy was not so much. Let's see... so The Carps started out. I keep thinking maybe one day they'll take me by surprise, They're really not all that groovy. Born Ruffians, however, who were next up, ruled. Crazy personality, hooks, and sound. We had a little unashamed fun giggling at the drummer's unflattering man-boobs as he drummed enthusiastically and also laughed at his own back-up vocals. Dizzie Rascal was fun for a while, but so terribly out of place. "Everybody say oy!" he yelled. I responded "my people!" Vampire Weekend was delightful but didn't put on much of a memorable show. I still enjoyed it at the time; it sounds a lot like their record (not always such a compliment for a live show, but take it for now.) By that time, my friend and I had realized we were able to go into the press pit for photos, so that was my highlight of the day (until my camera died and I pretended to still take pictures.) Animal Collective was a joy to finally see, but as only Avey Tare and Panda Bear were there to perform, they were more focused on their duties that were shared than on the crowd, making me ponder their effectiveness as a festival band, but fuck it. They were solid and eventually got the crowd moving, and just so good anyway. Chromeo was the most fun and danceable time, but I wouldn't go out of my way to listen to them. "Fancy Footwork," maybe. Tokyo Police Club bored me after a while and I've found after seeing them a couple times now that their short songs usually just blend into one long one of ups and downs. Fun for a while, but not an attention grabber. Then came Cat Power, the diva. She kept going off the stage to talk to someone and then also spent the entire time fretting over the volume of her microphone. While her band looked old, bored, and exhausted, she walked around looking that just not old. She's very pretty, but boy that attitude can overlook. People were walking around saying "cat power be fucking done already!" Sigh. She'd be so much better in a smaller club, I'm sure. Then we stayed for three songs from City and Colour and all I remember was that he had a band, which was a plus, but just not enough for me.

Here's a video of Vampire Weekend:
And a video of Animal Collective:

She & Him -- July 23 @ The Opera House
So this is pretty much the cutest band EVER. I really wish I was either Zooey Deschanel or just gay for her. She's beautiful! So shy and timid, she seemed so shocked that the crowd loved her. It's odd because she's an actress and obviously fine in front of the camera, but she warmed up as she got through a few songs. But one of the greatest parts was the way M. Ward was looking at her, with such admiration, it was adorable. Together they have created such a nice sound and it's definitely been what I've been looking for lately. I've always loved both of their voices. Ward put together a fantastic band for them as well, with a angelic looking back-up singer who looked like she hailed from the 70's, an old-but-frazzled guitarist/pianist man with hair everywhere, a lazy looking drummer, and a pregnant but amazing bassist. But the show was purely Ward and Deschanel, especially when they took a few songs to just them and his guitar. Other songs I really enjoyed seeing were "Sweet Darlin'," "You Really Got A Hold On Me," and "Sentimental Heart." Aw hell, it was all amazing. I can't wait to see them again.

Up soon: tales of a short travel to Buffalo to see Sam Roberts, tales of a week's worth of Long Island (and maybe New York City to see Tim), hopefully still being able to meet Darren, and Radiohead will soon be after that. But I assure you, there will be much more going on in between. Ta! oh and sorry for such a long entry.