Category Archives: Music

Stars – Set Yourself On Fire

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Sure they look pretty and sound pretty and all, but is this Montreal-based quartet ever going to amount to much, you know in the course of “rock history”? Very likely, if their captivating third album, Set Yourself on Fire, is any indication. Vocalists Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell have never harmonized better together, and the whole keyboard-heavy band is at that delectable place where they transcend their influences. Great pop music is not about “originality” (nor has it ever much been); it’s a passionate marriage of idea and conviction. Sure, you can still hear the mark of Beulah, the Smiths, New Order, Broken Social Scene and Super Furry Animals in their songs. But the group has never been as confident with their marriage of lush, exuberant dreampop and dark, clever lyrics as they are here. –Mike McGonigal

Album Description
The third LP for this Canadian band, following their amazing sophomore set, “Heart;” a critical smash. “Set Yourself on Fire” is a self-proclaimed Sex, Death, & Robots record, with rich and ornate depths. Produced by TONY HOFFER (Beck, Air, Grandaddy, Phoenix).

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Amusement Parks On Fire

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About a month ago I picked this up. Listened to it a bit for a couple weeks and really started to like it. Shortly after, I learned that my girlfriend was going to Paris the next week for work. I tagged along for the long 3 day weekend.

I kept searching online trying to find a cool show to see while in Paris. The only thing that kept coming up, of which I was familiar, was U2 with Snow Patrol at Stade De France. I was convinced that something just as interesting, much cheaper and being held in a much smaller venue was happening. I kept searching.

Finally, the Friday I was in Paris I saw online that a guy named Sebastien Schuller was playing at a free, outdoor music festival called Feed Back. The review compared Sebastien Schuller’s sound to Radiohead and Air. I listened to a couple streaming clips and liked what I heard. I then checked the artist lineup for Feed Back and BAM!, playing on Sunday was Amusement Parks On Fire. (Sorry Sebastien, we could only dedicate one afternoon to this. You all should check out his stuff. http://www.sebastienschuller.com )

I’m a member of www.pollstar.com and yet this didn’t show up. What’s with that? Really makes me question the worth of that site. I’m a paying member and I get the email updates but the emails are so generic that you still have to go to the site to see the updates. A HUGE hassle for multiple venues. Why can’t they just tell me what bands have been added to the venue’s schedule WITHIN the email???

We scoped out the bus route and arrived about 5:15pm for the 5:45pm show. We managed to score some front row seats, sitting comfortably close while drinking a nice cold draft.

The album is rather good. Very similar to early 90’s shoegazer guitar rock. My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, Catherine Wheel.

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Bloc Party – Silent Alarms

album coverI wasn’t really very into this at first. Typical take-it-or-leave-it attitude I had with a lot of music. I give it some more spins a couple weeks later and two songs stood out. “Like Eating Glass”, great drums, and “This Modern Love”, which starts out sounding a lot like Interpol. After getting into these songs a bit the rest of the album started to sound better.

Similar feel to Franz Ferdinand… sounding heavily 80’s.

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Interpol at the Warfield

So I went to see Interpol at the Warfield on Tuesday night. Great show! I was happy and a bit surprised to see them play “The Specialist” and “Roland”. I think they put on a great live show. Interesting to watch for the most part. Carlos and Daniel are about as active as you could expect anyone to be and still play well.

The lighting, while interesting, reminds me of the Apple iPod commercials. Everything in silhouette. I’d personally prefer a little more frontal lighting, at least at times, to see the band easier.

Sound-wise, to me, the guitars in the first couple of songs sounded muted… possibly lacking highend or “bite”. Whether it’s the mix, the sound they like or just me being weird I don’t know… but after seeing them 5 times I think I’ve always thought this.

One thing I must mention… What’s with the guys with moppy hair wearing sunglasses indoors??? Celebrities look like fools doing this and so do you. Who are these ‘Johnny Knuckleheads’? There is a story here about how our culture almost encourages this. Normal, everyday people, attempting to bring that image of importance on themselves, simply by wearing sunglasses when you aren’t outside in the sun.

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Best selling artists of all time

I was looking over the RIAA’s list of top selling artists. I was surprised to see that Enya has outsold Genesis and The Beastie Boys. Enya has sold 22.0 million albums. Genesis sold 21.5 million and The Beastie Boys has sold 21.0 million.

Phil Collins has sold 32.0 million as a solo artist so adding his to Genesis’ totals equals 53.5 million.

Top selling artists at RIAA.org.

You can search for your favorite artist for their gold and platinum releases

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The Uncut, most overlooked album of 2004?

album coverReleased in October of 2004, this is my current album of choice. I’ve been playing this steadily, along with Interpol’s Antics, since early December. Very post/punk, shoegazer-like. One review read: “Those quick to dismiss Uncut as Canada’s answer to Interpol just may count themselves out of one of 2004’s best post-punk offerings”. More than half the album is rated 4 stars by me in iTunes.
 
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Favorite albums of 2004

My favorite albums of 2004. (No particular order)

album cover Interpol
Antics

released Sep 28, 2004
 
album cover Ambulance LTD
self titled

released Mar 23, 2004
 
album cover Autolux
Future Perfect

released Sept 21, 2004
 
album cover A.C. Newman
Slow Wonder

released Jun 8, 2004
 
album cover Arcade Fire
Funeral

released Sep 14, 2004
 
album cover The Walkmen
Bows & Arrows

released Feb 3, 2004
 
album cover The Uncut
Those Who Were Hung Hang Here

released Oct 5, 2004
 
album cover Seachange
Lay of the Land

released Apr 6, 2004
 
album cover Snow Patrol
Final Straw

released Mar 30, 2004
 
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