Feel Bad for You, June 2015

Feel Bad for You, June 2015

Fine, so it’s nearly July, but this summer-themed mix by the FBFY bedraggled crew of music lovers will be good for a couple of months yet. Drunken comments are encouraged. “Feel Bad for June! Just in time for the first New England heat wave of 2015, and my bum is sticking to my vinyl chair. Ahhh summer! Long hot days, warm breezy nights. Sitting in your overly air conditioned office all day, wishing you were at the lake. Being an adult sucks. Thanks to our main man Phil for the killer artwork!” Download 1. “It Must Be Summer” Fountains of Wayne Utopia Parkway (1999) Submitted By: @philnorman Comments: It must be summer, because I’m falling apart. 2. “This Summer” The Royal Sea The Royal Sea (2011) Submitted By: The Mad Mackerel Comments: The Royal Sea’s album was a particular favourite for us in 2011, although never seemed to get the acclaim we thought it deserved. A beguiling mix of surf rock, garage and indie pop, lead track This Summer opens with a spectacularly catchy drum beat before the vocals of Timmy Sunshine come in like a rush of sugar coated adrenalin, plaintively announcing: We crashed everybody’s parties, we drank cheap … Continue reading

Chill Out, Drown Out: Resplendent, In Vivid

invivid

Chill Out Drown Out: music for when you need to, well, chill out, and also drown out extraneous noise. Tunes for calming down and concentrating on important tasks or just having a peaceful time in the middle of a hurricane of a day/week/month/year/existence. I occasionally feel bad when my highest recommendation for something is “this is excellent background noise,” but – it is truly one of the finest accolades I can give. It means the music has successfully walked the fine line between “delicate, beautiful, but unobtrusive, integrates well into the process of multi-tasking” and “so boring I forgot the first song half-way through.” Resplendent, by In Vivid (Ben Snook, of Lawrence, KS) is indeed delicate and beautiful. The swirling textures and gently propulsive energy make it – for me, at least – ideal for tasks that require concentration and creativity. And, best of all, it stands up to repetition; I listened to it three times in a row one night last week and never got sick of it. Here are three songs to whet your appetite, chosen at least in part because I liked the titles. Lightswitch Indicator: The second song on the record, this one is for when … Continue reading

Covers of Note: I Walk The Line, Scott McFarnon

scottmcfarnon

I Walk the Line is Scott McFarnon‘s interpretation of Johnny Cash’s classic tune and it is, in all seriousness, breathtaking – in a good way. He’s stripped it down and rebuilt into something quiet and melancholy; the eyes that are wide open all the time gaze upon the line in a state of mournful, almost wistful introspection rather than paranoid, hypervigilant bravado. In the video below, McFarnon uses London’s newest park/art experiment, also called The Line, to illustrate his vibe, and it is beautiful.

A Tribe Called Red, Suplex

Suplex - A Tribe Called Red

No one ever retires permanently anymore, do they? Even dead artists have made returns to the stage. A year into my so-called retirement, I’m feeling antsy and decided I needed to get back into this blog that has given me so much. I won’t be trying to keep to the daily schedule that wore me out the first time, but I’ve got some ideas brewing and thoughts to share. (Plus, there’s a new Wind-up Birds EP coming in the near future.) First off, though, a quick post to share the great news that First Nations DJ/producer crew A Tribe Called Red have a new EP out called Suplex. ATCR continues to combine native song and drum elements with compelling beats for the same heady effect that intoxicated me when I first heard them back in 2012. Fader recently premiered the video for title track “Suplex” (featuring pow wow drum group Northern Voice), described as “a story about native youth, wrestling and becoming a role model without needing the stereotypes.” Suplex is available via the ATCR website, Spotify, and iTunes. (And you can get one of those sweet bandannas as featured in the video at ATCR website.) If you missed their … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink: Oiseaux-Tempête

OISEAUX-TEMPÊTE, 2015; photo by Pamela Maddaleno

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Oiseaux-Tempête, more or less of Paris, are an ever-changing entity. An iteration of the band that includes Frédéric D. Oberland and Stéphane Pigneul (FareWell Poetry and Le Réveil des Tropiques), Ben McConnell (Beach House, FareWell Poetry, Marissa Nadler) and bass clarinet virtuoso Gareth Davis (Elliott Sharp and Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner)) have just released ÜTOPIYA?, … Continue reading

Canadian Music Week: Two Songs From: Alex Lamoureux

Alexlamoureeux2012small

Alex Lamoureux is from Manitoba, and was ranked in the top 10 at the Grand Master Fiddle Championships in 2008-2009. Watch these videos, and you’ll see why. By himself, with Old Reel of Eight, Métis style, at the Manitoba Fiddle Association Championships in 2012: At the Manitoba Fiddle Association Championships, and joined by his mother, three-time Grand Master Fiddling Champion Patti Kusturok, also in 2012: For more recent activity, check out Kusturok’s YouTube page, where she’s doing a series entitled 365 Days of Fiddle Tunes.

Canadian Music Week: Two Songs From: Brock Zeman

Photo by Jamie Kronick

Brock Zeman, singer/songwriter, is from Ottawa, Ontario, and plays indie rock with country-folk undertones. He recently released his 11th record (!), Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back. The title track is more spoken word poetry with music involved than a song. It’s meta-commentary on the art and science and struggle of songwriting and broken hearts and stories that don’t belong to you don’t belong to you and that won’t go away. You won’t be able to sing along, he says, as he rolls to a crescendo, which is true. Still, if I had a car and oceans of prairie to get across, I think I would start my driving playlist with it, just for the satisfying rhythms and final, thundering stop. Little Details, on the other hand, is, for lack of a better term, a rollicking break-up song, and you definitely can sing along:

A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink, Adam Sturgeon, WHOOP-Szo

oos

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. WHOOP-Szo is a fluid musical collective currently operating out of Guelph/London, Ontario, Canada. Previously they were my most favorite purveyor of tone-poems inspired by the Canadian Arctic, but with Mirror North, the a-side of their offering for Record Store Day, things have taken a turn for the sludgy. The record/song was created by an incarnation … Continue reading

Canadian Music Week: Canadians at CouchxCouchWest

cxcw2015

For those of you who don’t know, CouchxCouchWest is an annual music festival that is held exclusively on the web, where brave souls flip on their recording devices and sing a song anywhere but a stage. Pants are optional, pets are encouraged, and you always get a front row, er, screen, seat. Canada sent several acts this year; below are some of the highlights. Modern Day Poets, of Vancouver, British Columbia, with This City: Norine Braun, also from Vancouver, B.C. with Drunk, which is about love and day-drinking: The Holy Gasp, of Toronto, Ontario, with a conga-driven song about creepy crawlie nightmares, aka Bedbugs. And then to clear your mental palate, Winnipeg, Manitoba radio host Nancy Slater with her interpretation of Heavy by The Glorious Sons:

Canadian Music Week: A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, Mary Caroline

Mary Caroline

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. For our second Very Special Presentation of A Good Read . . ., we’re jumping all the way up north to Yellowknife, NorthWest Territories, where singer/songwriter Mary Caroline divides her time between television and making indie-folk music. As an introduction, here are some songs from her debut studio album, Life on Earth: Songs of Winter … Continue reading