The New Decay

for those who love myusik

Thursday, September 27, 2007

On The Decay

For tomorrows show...

1.) I'll be commenting a bit on last nights Built to Spill show, and playing some stuff of theirs. Probably "Velvet Waltz" which is my personal favorite track of the bands, and a definite highlight from yesterday. The show was great. They played a good mix of their new stuff and classics, although a little more selection from Perfect From Now On would have been nice. It was really interesting to see a band that I would have given anything to see back in 1999 (I almost quite my job so I could drive down to see them play in Vancouver) but have cooled on more recently. The evening had an 'oh yeah I love this band' feeling to it. Openers Attack in Black sucked however.

2.) I'm working on a love-in mixtape to celebrate the glory that is The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs. I'm currently reading the 33 1/3 book on the album and keep getting these songs stuck in my head that seem to be good foils for the album. I'll have something up here early next week. My hope is to start a "Tiny Mixtapes" section for my show which will treat other albums in similar fashion. I'm already putting together one for Final Fantasy's He Poos Clouds (which features the likes of Bartok, Destroyer, and Barbara Streisand), and Nirvana's In Utero (which so far features Young Marble Giants and ABBA). The goal is not to say 'this is what these albums are inspired by' but more 'listening to this, makes me think of this.'

Until next time ...

Monday, September 24, 2007

On Beards and Baseball

Three things...
1.) Umfm has put out their latest addition of "Air Times" which features my article on legendary indie-rockers Built to Spill, reviews of both the new Caribou and Grand Analog albums (the latter being especially sweet to the ears), and so much more. You can find "Air Times" at numerous locations around the city, such as Music Trader, Movie Village, or Into the Music. It's a great new paper and hits where Uptown tends to miss (ie. solid local content).

2.) Speaking of Indie big-wigs, Modest Mouse is about to announce a show at the Burton Cummings theater along with Man Man and Love as Laughter. While I'm not the biggest fan of Modest Mouse's new material, I absolutely loved their show at the U of M back in 2003, and look forward to what they bring this time around. It helps that they have one of the more exciting live acts currently performing in Man Man opening up for them. I had the joy of seeing them last year outside on a hot summers day in Chicago and quite enjoyed myself. Their Tom Waits meets Chinese Opera pop tunes is always a joy to experience. Keep your eyes open for that one.

3.) Someone recently left the always classy and informative comment 'f@#k off goof' on an old post of mine. As I was going through other older posts to see if there were more, I stumbled across my 2007 MLB predictions and have to brag a little bit about how right I currently am (which rarely if ever happens). While I seemed to have forgotten that the Baltimore Orioles existed my predictions went like this...
AL East
1.) NY Yankees
2.) Toronto Blue Jays
3.) Boston Red Sox
4.) Baltimore Orioles
5.) TB Devil Rays

AL Central
1.) Cleveland Indians
2.) Detroit Tigers (wins the wild card)
3.) Minnesota Twins
4.) Chicago White Sox
5.) KC Royals

AL West
1.) LA Angeles
2.) Oakland Atheletics
3.) Seattle Mariners
4.) Texas Rangers

AL MVP: Vladi Guerrero

NL East
1.) NY Mets
2.) Philadelphia Phillies
3.) Atlanta Braves
4.) Florida Marlins
5.) Washington Nationals

NL Central
1.) Chicago Cubs
2.) St. Louis Cardinals (wins wild card)
3.) Milwaukee Brewers
4.) Houston Astros
5.) Cincinnati Reds

NL West
1.) Arizona Diamondbacks
2.) Los Angeles Dodgers
3.) San Diego Padres
4.) Colorado Rockies
5.) SF Giants

NL MVP: Ryan Howard
Cy Young: Carlos Zambrano

With 7 games left I have the AL Central and NL East dead on. Of my six first place picks 5 are currently in 1st (with the Yankees only 1.5 games behind The Bo-Sox). Detroit is 5 games back of the wildcard (doable, but unlikely), although the Cards are already eliminated. Carlos Zambrano is a dark horse to win the CY Young but is apparently on the ballots and has 17 wins which ain't too shabby. Both my MVP picks are unlike, Howard was injured for a good chunk of the season, and Vladi is currently hitting .323 with 26 home runs which is good, but not Ordonez or A-Rod good. Considering I hardly watched baseball last year and did minimal if any reading during the off season I have to say this is pretty sweet. Now it's just a matter of the Cubbies getting into the post-season which looks pretty likely!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

On The Decay

Look at me. It's only Thursday and I'm already setting up my show for tomorrow!! Usually this doesn't happen until 12pm on Friday, which is a little last minute if you ask me. Anyways, for tomorrows show expect more from the likes of Picastro, Young Marble Giants, the new Aesop Rock, some Konono No. 1 and maybe a bit of the Weakerthans. I'll also be previewing the Built to Spill show by celebrating artists who tend to sport a good solid beard (any recommendations will ge greatly appreciated). Unfortunately I have yet to set up my interview with Himalayan Bear so that will have to wait until next week. In the meantime ...

Listening To ...

Picastro -
Whore Luck (Polyvinyl)
I put this album in the same category as Black Moth Super Rainbow's Dandelion's Gum in that part of the beauty of the album has to do with the fact that you feel as though this is unfinished business. Rather than hammering you over the head say 'this is the kind of band we are' Picastro invites you to join with them on their journey to discover what type of band they in fact are. The songs range from the beautifully pleasant to the uncomfortably weird, and as such make the album a very exciting and intriguing listen. The Rocky Erickson and Fall covers are particularly good, as are the guest spots from ex-member Owen Pallett and Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart.

Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth (Domino)
This reissue of YMG's classic 1979 album is definitely worth the purchase. Not only do you get the bands entire recorded collection (including the wonderful Final Day Ep as well as some John Peel recordings), you also get liner notes from post-punk's greatest champion Simon Reynolds (whose book Rip it Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984 introduced me to so many great bands like YMG). If you're a fan of DIY this is a must have.

Nirvana - In Utero (DGC)
Speaking of books, I recently finished the 33:1/3's book on Nirvana's awesome 1993 album In Utero. I was a bit skeptical going into the book as I thought that I had heard the story behind the album enough times. However there were a few thins I did learn that really helped me regain interest in this aggressive and exploratory release from one of rock's more important groups.
1.) 'Rape Me' was not written as a response to 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. The song is clearly about the frustrations of having to deal with media types (ie. quick jabs regarding 'inside sources'). Couple that with the fact that I always thought the band was quoting their biggest hit at the beginning of the song and I thought it was safe to assume that 'Rape Me' had to be listened to against the background of 'Teen Spirit'. Not so! The song was actually written in the spring of 91 two months prior to the release of Nevermind and the insanity that ensued.
2.) The Albini mix and the final mix aren't really that different. I've always wanted to find a version of the Albini mix to see why it was deemed 'unlistenable' by both the band and their record company. However, apart from the guitar solo on 'Heart Shape Box', and the cello and cymbol sounds on 'All Apologies' the difference between the two mixes are hardly noticeable to the untrained ear.
3.) (And most importantly) I CAN NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES LISTEN TO 'MILK IT' WHILE DRIVING!!!! 'Milk It' is easily my favorite Nirvana song. The aggressive and experimental aspects of the song are unmatched in the Nirvana catalogue. That said, I can't listen to the song while driving for two reasons. First of all, using your steering wheel and your stick shift as floor toms at the same time is never a good idea. Secondly screaming 'Doll Steak, Test Meat' at the top of your lungs while another car pulls up beside you can end up being embarrassing.

Not Listening to ... (warning, only sports-related stuff follows)
1.) The awful and plain stupid headlines regarding Edmonton Oiler defencemen Sheldon Souray's current knee injury
- eg #1 - 'Hip, Hip Souray!' from The Edmonton Journal
- eg #2 - 'Better Safe than Souray' by Dan Tencer on Hockey Buzz
Come on guys, those are just lame.

Until next time...

Monday, September 17, 2007

What on Earth is Going On?

I just finished talking to someone at the West End Cultural Center on the phone about the Final Fantasy show happening next month and she informed that the show was in fact sold out. I can't believe this! It's a well known fact that shows tend not to sell in advance in the peg. Case in point: Art Brut, a British band who has easily out sold Final Fantasy, and will likely never make it back to our city, played two Fridays ago at the Albert, which is a much smaller venue than the WECC. I arrived at the show around 11:20 and was able to buy a ticket right then and there. Built to Spill, one of the biggest bands in indie-rock over the past 20 years, is playing the Garrick next Wednesday and has yet to sell out either. But for some reason Owen Pallett sells out his show over a month and a half in advance!! I don't get it.

Now don't get me wrong, I've been a huge fan of Pallett's work ever since I first heard Les Mouches You're Worth More to Me that 1000 Christians back in 2004 (see my article on him for here.), and find his stuff on the Arcade Fire album and the Jim Guthrie albums enjoyable. I even find his rendition of Grizzly Bear's 'Don't Ask' to be a more captivating version than the original. Not to mention that He Poos Clouds is one of my favorite albums of the last few years. How can I not love an artist that names Morrissey, Xiu Xiu and Destroyer as three of his main influences? Yet I find it hard to figure out how it got to this point. When did artists who constantly sing about such controversial themes as Pallett does (ie. always referring to his Les Mouche album as a 'hand job' or the ever so easily accepted line 'I picture myself giving head' from "Carloads of Whatever') become so widely accepted. Personally, I blame the loop pedal.

Anyways, enough of my complaining. It couldn't be happening to a better artist really, and I hope the show goes well.

Just so you know, while I'm not complaining about the Final Fantasy show, I've been arranging an interview with Himalayan Bear for !Earshot, that should be on my show sometime in the next two weeks.

Until next time ...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Today on the Decay

Just a heads up about what's coming up on todays show.

First of all, I'm going to be previewing new releases by Jens Lekman (which pitchfork was appropriately geeking over earlier this week), the Animal Collective and new Ecstatic Peace! artists Turbo Fruits (which was a wonderful summer surprise). I'll have more on those albums early next week.

Secondly, I will be previewing the artists who appear on this years Echo Prize short list. The Echo is an award put out by SOCAN (maybe that's where all those stupid SOCAN fees go), where listeners can vote on their favorite song by a Canadian artist. The short list consists of "Scarecrow" by Nathan, "Graveyard" by Chad VanGaalen, "Dopplespeil" by Feuermusik, "Pedal Pusher" by Abdominal, and "Devastation" by The Besnard Lakes. You can vote here.

Basically I like all these artists with maybe the exception of The Besnard Lakes. I found their album (which was deemed by many to be a critical success) to be meandering yet still predictable and kind of boring. It's the second year a Winnipeg artist has made it onto the short list as Propagandhi took home the winnings last year, and this year it's Nathan's turn. I've always enjoyed Kari Latimer and find her to be one of the better songwriters to be working write now. The same could be said for VanGaalen. However, after listening to all the tracks I have to say "Dopplespeil" is TOTALLY FRICKIN' AWESOME!!! It's equally parts Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley (if that's even possible) and Animal Collective. How great does that sound?

Anyways, tune in at 2pm today on umfm and you'll hear all the artists.

Until next time ...