The New Decay

for those who love myusik

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Praise and Worship Music Done Right

This Tuesday see one of my favorite live acts, Jon Rae and the River, coming into town with two other great live bands, The Constantines and Kelowna's Ladyhawk.

Jon Rae's music is a wonderful mix of praise and worship music and Nirvana, and is the kind of music that is meant to be seen in a live setting. I saw him in the fall at Times Change and it was awesome. He could have had the entrie audience in hysterics for all I cared, I was just simply fixated on the bands presence. They all get into the music in such a way that makes you think they're as surprised by how great it is as you are. And he's a former E-Town by like myself (well, kind of. He's actually from Sherwood Park, which touches Edmonton, but has terrible air pollution problems.). Again, that's this Tuesday at the Pyramid. Also, I will be playing a bunch of tracks from his last two albums on my show tomorrow (@ 2pm, umfm 101.5), so you can check that out if you want.

More readings here and here

Monday, March 26, 2007

Buy Buy Buy! ... and Don't Buy!

To do my part in the corporatization of music (and because I always have Mondays off and am looking for things to do), I am going to start a segment entitle "Buy Buy Buy! ... and Don'tBuy!", where I write about a few of the albums that I've been listening to lately and give my recomendations. I know it's a bit on the 'blog-as-personal-journal' side of things, but frankly I don't really care. Anyways;

New Buys!
Panda Bear - Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)
I already wrote a brief thing on this already, but this album is quickly becoming my
favorite record of the year (possibly even my favorite Animal Collective related album,
although Sung Tongs still reigns in this regard).

Low - Drums and Guns (Sub Pop)
I have been less than impressed with recent Sub Pop releases as of late (ie. the Shins),
but have been pleasantly surprised with this new album from everyones favorite
Mormons. Drums and Guns is the perfect mix of what made Secret Name and Things
We've Lost in the Fire
so great, but adds a lyrical and exploratory quality to their sound
that is very haunting.

Great Lake Swimmers - Ongiara (Nettwerk)
Check them out tomorrow at the West End

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (DFA)
Fujiya and Miyagi - Transparent Things (Tirk)

Old Buys!
Dave Holland - Conference of the Birds (ECM, from 1971)
One of Jazz's finest bass players at his best working alongside the great Anthony
Braxton, pretending to be a bunch of birds. What's not to love?

Alice Coltrane - Journey in Satchidanda (Impulse!, from 1970)
Thanks Jared!

The Raincoats - The Raincoats (DGC, from 1980)
One of my favorite female post-punk bands. Anybody that is cited as a major influence
on Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth, Bikini Kill, and toured with Nirvana on a reunion tour
is worth multiple listens. Plus their rendition of the Kink's 'Lola' is priceless.

The Smiths - S/T (Rough Trade, from 1984)
The Fall - Grotesque (Essential, from 1980)
Sunn O))) - Black One (Southern Lord, from 2005)

Don't Buys!
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank (Sony)
Okay, I haven't even heard the whole album yet, but given the fact that I've not even
paid attention to the latest release of what used to be my favorite band (even with the
awesome addition of Johnny Marr) says something. When did Modest Mouse get so

Friday, March 23, 2007

Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda

Don't you love repetition? Panda Bear surely does as is evident on his AWESOME new album Person Pitch. The Animal Collective percussionist works with/screw around with repetition in such a way on the album that it seems as though 12 mins passes by like two. Seriously though, this album is a huge pleasant surprise as I have been less than impressed with Panda Bears previous solo endeavors. The album sits with you days on end as you notice yourself singing tunes from it time and time again. In short Person Pitch = really really reallyre eallyr eallyrea llyreal lyreally good.

All of this is to say $10 says he gets added to Pitchfork fests line up as they recently gave him a 9.4. Considering the Arcade Fire got a 9.6 for Funeral (and look what happened to them after that), if I was Panda Bear I would be worried.

Also, if your free tonight come check out my band at the Cavern in Osbourne. It should be a gay ol' time

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Live! Live! Live!

Pitchfork announced yesterday that, as part of their upcoming festival they are adding a third day which will feature 'important bands playing there most important albums.' Even though an announcement such as this can only really dissapoint, it does pose an interesting question to think about. What albums would you give deem worthy of live treatment 25+ later? Out of boredom I've compiled my own list. For the most part it's somewhat predictable, but still enjoyable to think about. Some albums that I totally adore wouldn't necessarily translate well into the live setting (ie. The Queen is Dead, Entertainment!*, Loveless, Bowie's Low, etc ...), while other albums would maybe even sound better live. Anyways, enjoy, and feel free to add your own! (for what it's worth, I've put a * by the albums I bet are going to be performed at Pitchfork)

Velvet Underground - White Light, White Heat
Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica
Talking Heads - Fear of Music
- Remain in Light
The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour
B 52's - S/T
Devo - Are We Not Men? We are Devo!
Pere Ubu - Dub Housing
- The Modern Dance
PiL - Metal Box
Wire - Chairs Missing
The Raincoats - S/T
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
Dave Holland Quartet - Conference of Birds
Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come
-The Complete Science Fiction Sessions
Miles Davis - Seven Steps to Heaven
John Coltrane - Ascension
Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
Neil Young - Tonights the Night
Bob Dylan - Another Side of Bob Dylan
- Highway 61 Revisited
Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Sings Newman
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On?
Serge Gainsbourg - Comic Strip
Brownie McGhee - Traditional Blues Sung By Brownie McGhee
Sonic Youth - Evol
- Daydream Nation *
- Goo
Dinosaur Jr - You're Living All Over Me*
Pixies - Doolittle* (Doesn't everyone in their right mind want to see this one live?)

I were to have to limit this list to three I would have to go with The B 52's, Dave Holland, and Sonic Youth's Evol. For some reason, the idea of going to an album based concert where everyone dresses up like their favorite song on that album and has a wild dance party, sounds so appealling. This only intesifies if it's the B 52's self-titled album. Who wouldn't want to dress up like some alien named after the planet she came from (Planet Claire), a Lobster (Rock Lobster), some volcanoe (Lava) or a screwed up telephone number (6060-842)?

I saw Dave Holland live five years ago and it's still one of my best live music experiences. The guy can play the crap out of his bass. His album Conference of Birds, from the early 70s, is easily his best, and would be absolutely stunning to see performed live. The whole thing sounds like one long trip to a bird sanctuary!

I don't think I need to say much about Evol. It's one of the U.S' finest bands at their most impressive moment. From start to finish Evol is Sonic Youth's most interesting release, as they leave tons of room for improvisation to occur. Room that is noticeably missing in albums like Dirty, Experiemental Jet Set Trash and No Star, or even last years Rather Ripped (which I still really enjoyed). And room that would allow for even more experiementation in a live setting

Anyways, that's enough for now. I'll be back tomorrow with a review of Low's new album Drums and Guns, which is surprisingly good.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Let the Insanity Begin!

Looks like this is going to be another big year for Canadian music. The Arcade Fire released Neon Bible earlier this week, The Great Lake Swimmers are coming out with a new one that is something else, Cadence Weapon has an album coming out for Epitaph, and Final Fantasy is currently working with Beirut.

Of these the Frog Eyes Tears for the Valedictorian looks to be the creme of the crop. It's set to hit the stores early in May and should push the band into new realms of noteriety. In fact, bloggers are starting to get excited about the thing already, as the track 'Bushels' has already be previewed on Said the Gramophone and is being played now on Paper Thin Walls.

Having heard the album already I feel I can say that the album is really great, and of the new tracks 'Bushels' is the one that stands out. I'll be writing more about this as the release date gets closer, but in the meantime head over to Paper thin Walls and check it out for yourself.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jazz on the Decay

Wadada Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton

A friend of mine who really displays terrible smells (I can bash him all I want because he's given up using his laptop for lent. Hows that going for you Brent?), told me that I was a bit off on my critique of the new Bloc Party album in that I really shouldn't be critical of groups for not living up to the genre they're trying to fit in. While I don't necessarily agree (bands who want to call themselves post-punk need to take into consideration Throbbing Gristle, Lydia Lunch etc...), I feel I should make it clear first of all that this wasn't a sweeping critique of Bloc Party(Silent Alarm had some great stuff on it). Nor is it a claim that nothing happening today is on par with early post-punk (much of the early post-punk stuff fails in the same way Bloc Party does. Take Depeche Mode or even moreso U2 for example). It's more of a 'I heard this which made me miss this' kind of thing.

One such example of music that is carrying with it the revolutionary potentialities of bands like Pere Ubu, Gang of Four and Scritti Politti, is Jazz. A genre that has suffered as much as any (smooth jazz and vocal jazz are arguably two of the worst sounding creations I can think of), seems to be relishing in such suffering, as numerous jazz musicians are currently doing some amazing stuff. As such, my show this week is going to be all jazz (I may even try to start sounding like Ross Porter, but that might be asking too much). Hopefully I'll have a longer write up to follow on the weekend.