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31 Dec 16

some songs from 2016 that i think are pretty swell

if you’re still looking for musical advice from blogs in 2016, that’s weird, but if you are, here are some songs you should probably listen to. as usual, a couple 2015 gems may have slipped through the cracks.

basia bulat* – la la lie
car seat headrest – drunk drivers/killer whales
cloud nothings – modern act
the darcys* – miracle
day wave – wasting time
diiv – under the sun
the heart strings – beautiful abyss
hooded fang* – tunnel vision
islands* – charm offensive
japandroids* – near to the wild heart of life
hamilton leithauser + rostam – a thousand times
local natives – fountain of youth
casey mecija* – condo city
nap eyes* – mixer
nice as fuck – door
operators* – cold light
parquet courts – berlin got blurry
peter bjorn and john – dominos
radiohead – burn the witch
john k. samson* – post doc blues
temples – certainty
tokyo police club* – not my girl
tuns* – throw it all away / mixed messages / back among friends
the war on drugs – touch of grey
wavves/cloud nothings – how it’s gonna go
wild nothing – to know you
wray – hypatia
the xx – on hold
yoneda* – untv
young rival* – let me go on

*=can con

30 Dec 15

songs from 2015 that you should probably listen to right now

boy, i haven’t made one of these posts in a long time huh? in case someone happens to stumble across this, here are some of my favourite songs from the past year:

aqua alta* – btocean
baio – sister of pearl
beach slang – bad art & weirdo ideas
belle and sebastian – the party line
born ruffians* – we made it
caribou* – can’t do without you
car seat headrest – something soon
cayucas – hella
dave monks* – gasoline
day wave – drag
the dears* – i used to pray for the heavens to fall
del bel* – in my solitude
destroyer* – dream lover
el vy – return to the moon
fake palms* – melatonin
father john misty – the ideal husband
foxygen – san francisco
grey lands* – false alarm
joel plaskett* – song for jersey
king tuff – eyes of the muse
limblifter* – dopamine
majical cloudz* – downtown
metz* – i.o.u.
most serene republic* – ontario morning
mountain goats – the legend of chavo guerrero
sufjan stevens – fourth of july
tame impala – let it happen
toro y moi – empty nesters
viet cong* (aka the band that NEEDS to change their name) – continental shelf
wavves – way too much
wavves + cloud nothings – come down
wilco – random name generator
will currie and the country french* – philadelphia

*=can con

31 Dec 13

favouritest albums of 2013

i guess this is the year that i’m officially behind all of the trends, right? if you’re looking for good guitar-rock, you’ve come to the right place; those seeking electronica may need to look elsewhere.

  1. arcade fire – reflektor*
  2. vampire weekend – modern vampires of the city
  3. local natives – hummingbird
  4. hooded fang – gravez*
  5. papermaps – darker lights*
  6. cayucas – bigfoot
  7. the darcys – warring*
  8. arctic monkeys – am
  9. devon sprout and mike o’neill – colours*
  10. the national – trouble will find me

honourable mentions: two hours traffic – foolish blood*, wildlife – …on the heart*, the bicycles – stop thinking so much*, born ruffians – birthmarks*, murray a lightburn – MASS:LIGHT*, half moon run – dark eyes*, by divine right – organized accidents*, beliefs – beliefs*

*=cancon

05 Jan 13

favouritest albums of 2012

i realized recently that podcasts have really limited my music listening during my commute, but i still found the time to squeeze in a ton of new music this year.

here are the best new albums i listened to in 2012 (although i’m sure a couple of 2011 releases slipped through the cracks):


  1. mike o’neill – wild lines*
  2. del bel – oneiric*
  3. japandroids – celebration rock*
  4. divine fits – a thing called divine fits*
  5. metz – metz*
  6. menomena – moms
  7. camouflage nights – camouflage nights*
  8. chrome and the ice queen – diane*
  9. alabama shakes – boys & girls
  10. papermaps – inferior ghost*
  11. zeus – busting visions*
  12. luke lalonde – rhythymnals*
  13. ps i love you – death dreams*
  14. joel plaskett emergency – scrappy happiness*
  15. army girls – army girls*
  16. ac newman – shut down the streets*
  17. cuff the duke – union*
  18. the xx – coexist
  19. stars – the north*
  20. the shins – port of morrow
  21. black keys – el camino
  22. cousin – cousin*
  23. medallions – medallions*
  24. white rabbits – milk famous
  25. islands – a sleep & a forgetting*

*=canadian-ish release

i listened to mike o’neill’s album far more than anything else this year. if you haven’t heard it, you really should check it out.

31 Dec 11

best of 2011

just under the deadline, here are my lists of general awesomeness for 2011. if you were to ask me again in a month or two, the order would likely change, but the albums and songs probably wouldn’t change much.

favouritest albums
1. sports – sports
2. hooded fang – tosta mista
3. stephen malkmus & the jicks – mirror traffic
4. sloan – the double cross
5. bry webb – provider
6. timber timbre – creep on creepin’ on
7. papermaps – papermaps
8. radiohead – the king of limbs
9. laura peek – key
10. miracle fortress – was i the wave?
11. cuff the duke – morning comes
12. chad vangaalen – diaper island
13. wildlife – strike hard, young diamond
14. ruby coast – whatever this is
15. fruit bats – tripper
16. rural alberta advantage – departing
17. suuns – zeroes qc
18. memphis – here comes a city
19. st. vincent – strange mercy
20. destroyer – kaputt
21. cake – showroom of compassion
22. peter elkas – repeat offender
23. tigre benvie – mistiness
24. ohbijou – metal meets
25. hey rosetta! – seeds
26. the decemberists – the king is dead
27. braids – native speaker
28. the darcys – the darcys
29. dinosaur bones – my divider
30. josh rouse and the long vacations – josh rouse and the long vacations

favouritest songs
1. sports – tra la la
2. hooded fang – tosta mista
3. bry webb – asa / rivers of gold
4. sloan – follow the leader
5. chad vangaalen – replace me
6. miracle fortress – miscalculations
7. timber timbre – woman
8. laura peek – stay sharp
9. papermaps – reunion
10. radiohead – morning mr. magpie
11. cadence weapon – baby i’m yours (ft. shad)
12. stephen malkmus & the jicks – stick figures in love
13. wildlife – drunken heart
14. fruit bats – dolly
15. rural alberta advantage – stamp
16. memphis – what is this thing called?
17. ruby coast – whatever this is
18. st. vincent – surgeon
19. tiger benvie – black bolt
20. the dears – blood
21. cake – sick of you
22. suuns – gaze
23. olenka and the autumn lovers – odessa
24. destroyer – chinatown
25. graham wright – the lakes of alberta, pt. ii
26. mister heavenly – pineapple girl
27. dinosaur bones – ice hotels
28. peter elkas – tiny valentine
29. ohbijou – niagara
30. handsome furs – when i get back
31. the decemberists – calamity song
32. girls – honey bunny
33. hey rosetta! – young glass
34. sondre lerche – private caller
35. smith westerns – weekend

31 Jan 11

favourite albums of the month

i’ve listened to a ton of new music this month. here’s a quick list of some of the best (in no particular order):
black keys – brothers
cake – showroom of compassion
suuns – zeroes qc
destroyer – kaputt
the salteens – grey eyes
smith westerns – dye it blonde
braids – native speaker
the pinecones – sage
ruby coast – whatever this is
decemberists – the king is dead
tennis – cape dory

what am i missing?

29 Dec 10

best of 2010

this has been a strange year for me, musically – my 3 favourite albums of the year are all courtesy of americans, and my most listened to album of the year (the beach boys’ wild honey) was released in 1967. i also spent a huge amount of time this year listening to thrush hermit’s complete recordings box set, but i don’t really consider that any more eligible for a 2010 list than wild honey.

having said that, there was some really great music released this year, and here’s my best attempt at recounting it:

favouritest albums
1. the national – high violet
2. menomena – mines
3. spoon – transference
4. forest city lovers – carriage*
5. owen pallett – heartland*
6. women – public strain*
7. arcade fire – the suburbs*
8. broken bells – broken bells
9. the meligrove band – shimmering lights*
10. the new pornographers – together*
11. broken social scene – forgiveness rock record*
12. zeus – say us*
13. caribou – swim*
14. the tallest man on earth – the wild hunt
15. wavves – king of the beach
16. ps i love you – meet me at the muster station*
17. vampire weekend – contra
18. wolf parade – expo 86*
19. sufjan stevens – all delighted people ep
20. plants and animals – la la land*

honourable mentions: various artists – the acorn – no ghost*, scott pilgrim vs the world ost, hooded fang – album*, the black keys – brothers, karkwa – les chemins de verre*

favouritest songs
1. owen pallett – keep the dog quiet*
2. the national – bloodbuzz ohio
3. menomena – taos
4. the new pornographers – your hands (together)*
5. broken bells – the high road
6. forest city lovers – tell me, cancer*
7. arcade fire – ready to start*
8. miles kurosky – i can’t swim
9. broken social scene – meet me in the basement*
10. born ruffians – what to say*
11. spoon – the mystery zone
12. stars – dead hearts*
13. caribou – odessa*
14. the meligrove band – make believe it*
15. zeus – marching through your head*
16. the tallest man on earth – love is all
17. vampire weekend – white sky
18. wavves – take on the world
19. women – china steps*
20. wolf parade – cloud shadow on the mountain*
21. plants and animals – american idol*
22. tokyo police club – wait up (boots of danger)*
23. ghostkeeper – well, well, well*
24. cee-lo green – fuck you
25. ps i love you – 2012*

honourable mentions: tiger benvie – bodies tagged in bodybags*, novels – this wouldn’t be the last time*, the acorn – no ghost*, shad – rose garden*, the black keys – ten cent pistol, yukon blonde – wind blows*

favouritest movies
1. black swan
2. inception
3. the social network
4. the king’s speech
5. never let me go
6. shutter island
7. true grit
8. scott pilgrim vs the world
9. micmacs
10. inside job

honourable mentions: greenberg, life with murder, tabloid, the town

* denotes canadian artists

30 Dec 09

favouritest music of 2009

every year this gets a little less relevant, but here are some of my favourite albums and songs of the year. shockingly, 15 of 20 albums, and 20 of 25 songs are canadian. i await your criticism.

favouritest albums
1. rural alberta advantage – hometowns
2. think about life – family
3. winter gloves – about a girl
4. st. vincent – actor
5. joel plaskett – three
6. timber timbre – timber timbre
7. white rabbits – it’s frightening
8. sports: the band – sports: the band ep
9. the lodge – take that, devil!
10. zeus – sounds like zeus ep
11. the xx – xx
12. cuff the duke – way down here
13. lovely feathers – fantasies of the lot
14. japandroids – post-nothing
15. ryan dahle – irrational anthems
16. clues – clues
17. little girls – concepts
18. maximo park – quicken the heart
19. hidden cameras – origin:orphan
20. brendan benson – my old, familiar friend

honourable mentions: by divine right – mutant message, ohbijou – beacons, ac newman – get guilty, apostle of hustle – eats darkness, young galaxy – invisible republic, hey rosetta! – into your lungs

favouritest songs
1. rural alberta advantage – don’t haunt this place
2. pomplamoose – single ladies
3. think about life – sweet sixteen
4. joel plaskett – through & through & through
5. st. vincent – actor out of work
6. winter gloves – factories
7. apostle of hustle – soul unwind
8. brendan benson – a whole lot better
9. the xx – crystalised
10. the lodge – world in me
11. timber timbre – magic arrow
12. clues – cave mouth
13. ryan dahle – chop chop
14. sports: the band – warn me
15. hidden cameras – in the na
16. zeus – how does it feel
17. white rabbits – right where they left
18. the lovely feathers – long walks
19. two hours traffic – territory
20. julie doiron – consolation prize
21. most serene republic – heavens to purgatory
22. ohbijou – black ice
23. library voices – step off the map & float
24. young galaxy – destroyer
25. metric – gimme sympathy

honourable mentions: gentleman reg – you can’t get it back, by divine right – i love a girl, maximo park – wraithlike, cuff the duke – promises, the national – so far around the bend, ac newman – like a hitman, like a dancer, spoon – well alright, phoenix – 1901, hey rosetta! – new goodbye, arkells – pullin’ punches, flaming lips – convinced of the hex, animal collective – my girls, rock plaza central – (don’t you believe the words of) handsome men, analog bell service – i guess

03 Jan 09

best of 2008

i’m a bit late on this, but here are my annual favouritest lists for 2008. i’ve decided to do something a little different this time around, and am going to only include my favourite canadian artists and songs this time around (sorry vampire weekend, tv on the radio, sleepercar, notwist, fleet foxes, etc.) – what am i if not a canadian evangelist?

favouritest canadian albums of 2008
1. constantines – kensington heights
2. born ruffians – red, yellow and blue
3. mohawk lodge – wildfires
4. forest city lovers – haunting moon sinking
5. the coast – expatriate
6. laura peek and the winning hearts – from the photographs
7. human highway – moody motorcycle
8. the bicycles – oh no it’s love
9. two hours traffic – little jabs
10. the dears – missiles
11. women – women
12. final fantasy – spectrum 14th century ep
13. plants and animals – parc avenue
14. chad vangaalen – soft airplane
15. wolf parade – at mount zoomer
16. hayden – in field and town
17. adam and the amethysts – amethyst amulet
18. sloan – parallel play
19. ruby coast – ruby coast ep
20. various artists – songs for the gang: thrush hermit tribute

honourable mentions: stars – sad robots ep, brendan canning – something for all of us, fembots – calling out, torngat – you could be, diamonds – rough cuts, novillero – a little tradition, will currie and the country french – a great stage, black mountain – in the future

favouritest canadian songs of the 2008
1. constantines – life or death
2. mohawk lodge – heart of lovers
3. laura peek and the winning hearts – stand right there
4. forest city lovers – don’t go
5. human highway – the sound
6. born ruffians – i need a life
7. salteens – hallowed ways
8. the coast – nueva york
9. dears – money babies
10. two hours traffic – stuck for the summer
11. chad vangaalen – willow tree
12. bicycles – won’t she be surprised
13. final fantasy – the butcher
14. women – black rice
15. adam and the amethysts – stupid ocean
16. hayden – where and when
17. sloan – cheap champagne
18. the i spies – in the night
19. diamonds – all i need
20. plants and animals – good friend
21. will currie and the country french + sloan – push pins
22. stars – 14 forever
23. fembots – hand print in wet cement
24. tokyo police club – your english is good
25. danny michel – sweet things

honourable mentions: ruby coast – brittle bones, will currie and the country french – honest people, brendan canning – something for all of us, tony dekker – song sung blue, world provider featuring feist – valentine, constantines + feist – islands in the stream, sebastien grainger & the mountains – (are there) ways to come home?, islands – creeper, the awkward stage – only good days caught on camera

01 Feb 08

have you seen the ghost of wintersleep?

as a music snob/elitist/addict, it’s strange for me to be at a live show and not know the music as well as everyone around me. it’s like the first time i saw cake live, back in 2001 at massey hall. i was familiar with their latest album, but i was late to the cake game and everyone around me was singing along to a lot of songs i’d never heard before. the same sort of thing kind of happened to me last night at the wintersleep show at the phoenix. i’d seen wintersleep once before, at the wolfe island music fest a couple years ago, and was decidedly non-plussed – i guess i was always curious about how a band that clearly would’ve fit in with the grunge bands of the mid-90s seemed to be building such a following. anyway, their new album was good enough for me to give them another chance, but my lack of familiarity with their back catalogue left me in the dark for a good part of the show.

the show itself started out exceptionally strong – the first half was surprisingly fantastic. in fact, the first half of their set inspired me to write this blog entry, something i haven’t done after a show in over a year. i was prepared to rave about how amazing they were live, and how my mind has been changed after the last couple years of criticism. and then the second half came, and it was like another band took over – clearly they frontloaded their set list with new (read: “good”) songs, and once they had played such gems as weighty ghost, dead letter & the infinite yes and archaeologists, there was nowhere to go but down. the clear highlight of the second half, it must be said, was watching their frenetic drummer, especially during the set’s closing 20 minute jam (during which he was framed by spotlights while the remaining band members melted into the background). is it even possible to drum melodically? ’cause he sure came close to it during that jam. he’s now officially on my list of most amazing drummers to watch live, along with the drummer whose name i don’t even know from the high water marks and oranger, kurt dahle from new pornographers and limblifter, doug constantine, and lonnie james from the super friendz. without him, i probably would’ve left early.

i should also mention that the russian futurists opened, and were pretty much exactly how i remembered them from when i saw them in kingston – decidedly unengaging, but with good songs that seem to translate better on their recordings. they played their 3 best songs in a row early in the set, and again, like wintersleep, really had nowhere to go but down. there isn’t really too much you can do to liven up a show like that, when everyone’s just playing keyboards. there were a couple songs when one of the keyboardists picked up a guitar, but i have no proof that he was actually playing it. in summary, even the good songs weren’t enough to totally win me over.

Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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