Pop Montreal day two preview.

The trouble with pop is conflicting shows, however since all venues are mostly close by, that does help matters.

Today I am going to check out the entire Laura Veirs show. It is Laura Veirs & The Hall of Fame, The Watson Twins, and Led to Sea. That should be a really good show from opening act to finish. Once that show is over, since Pop Montreal has set times on their website, I’ll head over to see Bonjay. I have only heard good things, and from what I have heard on MySpace, it sounds promising!

Unfortunately, I am going to miss Rebekah Higgs, as she is on at the same time as Laura Veirs. Since Rebekah is from Halifax, Nova Scotia, it is probably more likely that I’ll be able to see her again in the future. Laura Veirs being Portland, Oregon based, as last nights Menomena and Tu Fawning.

There is a free show at Notman house Barfly (on account of the rain) of She Keeps Bees at 2:00 6:00 PM. They sound interesting, kind of a simplistic garage sound. Schedule for BBQ Pop Thursday is here.

Pop Montreal also hosts symposiums, among other things (Film Pop, Art Pop, etc.).

Physical vs Download, Why Even Care?” sounds interesting, it is at noon, at Agora.

Also, today there is “Growing Hobby Labels“, as described by Pop: “When your obsession becomes a necessary venture. We take a look at what drives the music collector and appreciator to venture into distribution on a small scale, and where it can go from there. With Sean Michaels (Said the Gramophone), Jesse Locke (Planet Tapes, Texture Magazine), Sebastian Cowan (Arbutus Records). Moderated by Nina Sudra.” It is at 4:30 PM at the Notman house.

As always check out the official website for all information, popmontreal.com


Menomena (abridged) Pop Montreal show review 2010

So the good thing about Pop Montreal is discovering new bands. Well, I suppose that is true with pretty much all festivals, I digress.

I managed to catch most of Menomena, a band I had never heard of prior. Sometimes I at least know a band by name, however that is not even the case this time.

Menomena are from Portland, Oregon, and have been active since 2000, and have just released their fourth album, Mines, on July 27. A person I was talking to before the show described them as prog light, or something to that effect. Upon hearing them, I kind of agree, however I’d say more indie. All Music and Wikipedia list experimental rock as well, which I would say feels right.

All members of the band share singing duties and frequently swap instruments while playing. Justin Har­ris, despite the fact they do share lead vocals, from what I saw, I would feel he is the primary lead vocalist. He played mostly guitar, but also a song that had a predominant bassline, and also saxaphone. Danny Seim on percussion pretty much stuck with drums, while Brent Knopf played keys, and guitar I believe. They also had Joe Haege of Tu Fawning as an additional performer with them (a touring member), he played bass and guitar, and had some keys of his own. Apologies if I made an error, as I still do not know them very well. And they all seemed quite competent with all their instruments.

Although it may not be actually prog, the term may work in the way the sax, and instrumentation is arranged. Also the songs are of decent length, not too long, but not too short either, probably in the five minute range.

I have just been looking at reviews of the new album, and past albums, and they appear to all be very well rated! I managed to pick up their third release, Friend and Foe, as their new one was sold out. Once I give it some rotation, I’ll post a review here.

Openers were Suckers, and Tu Fawning. Tu Fawning will be releasing their debut, Hearts On Hold, October 5. I am actually sorry I missed them, as judging by their music on MySpace, they seem quite good, and I am a sucker for girl/women (or female if you will) singers!

Menomena were actually just on Last Call with Carson Daly as well, taped from when they performed in Los Angeles September 16.

Continue for the remaining Menomena, Tu Fawning, and Suckers tour dates.

Continue reading “Menomena (abridged) Pop Montreal show review 2010”

Pop Montreal 2010 preview

Pop Montreal 2010 begins today, and lasts till Sunday!

I’ll be checking out numerous shows. What follows is who I am looking to check out, and what I recommend. What I attend I will look to post a review up here. And no doubt I am missing some good stuff, as I still have to listen to some artists I have never heard of to see if they are worth checking out.

I am just listing the artist. For the definitive list (venue, times, etc.) head on over to the official Pop Montreal site. And they have a PDF file last updated September 24, so it must be current. Also Said the Gramophone has a better guide to the festival than mine!

This year they really only have a couple big acts, Macy Gray, and The XX. Solange unfortunately cancelled, as she is working on her new album. Shows I am definitely looking to check out are in bold.

Wednesday September 29

Planet Smashers (acoustic set)
Sarah Blackwood
Hellbound Hepcats

The Dears with Imaginary Cities

We Are Wolves

Thursday September 30


Silly Kissers with Grimes, Pop Winds, and Blue Hawaii

Holy Fuck

Laura Veirs & the Hall of Flame with The Watson Twins and Led to Sea

Rebekah Higgs

The Dears with Imaginary Cities

Friday October 1

Molly Rankin

The Dears with Imaginary Cities

Macy Gray with Random Recipe

The XX with Warpaint, and Zola Jesus

Random Recipe (free show!)

The Toasters

No Joy

Saturday October 2

Atari Teenage Riot

Isis (of Thunderheist)

Xiu Xiu with Braids, and Valleys

Marnie Stern with Parlovr, and Special Noise.

Sunday October 3

Fred Penner

Bad Religion quote #30

I refuse to abuse what is kind to the muse
But it’s there and it’s happening to me along the way
As we go through the snow we cannot forget our foes
But the dinner’s always waiting at the table ‘long the way, yeah

The final Bad Religion quote is verse one from THE Bad Religion track, “Along the Way”.

Thus concludes 30 Bad Religion quotes for 30 years. Watch for a megapost in the future of all quotes.

The Dissent of Man is now officially released. I’ll be picking up my copy when I see them live October 15.

Check out a vintage performance of “Along the Way” from the Along the Way live video. Performance circa 1989. Full lyrics follow.

I refuse to abuse what is kind to the muse
But it’s there and it’s happening to me along the way
As we go through the snow we cannot forget our foes
But the dinner’s always waiting at the table ‘long the way, yeah

What you see, not for me, isn’t what you planned to be
But you’ll have what you wanted in the end along the way
And we’ll cry as we try and our brothers pass us by
To be strong through the ages of our tears along the way, yeah

Now we grow as we show that the morals we must know
Will be shapen and mistaken by the falls along the way
But forget don’t regret to find love and happiness
Unless you’re willing to be strong when they are gone along the way
Like Tommy, you are free, and you will not follow me
Until we see each other once more on the path along the way

Music Video of the Day week 5 weekly recap (September 17 – 23)

Quite a mix of genres for this recap. Dance/electro, rock, punk, hardcore punk, and so on. Soon I am planning a few consecutive videos with specific themes. If I can get enough for each, it will start on a Friday to work out for the weekly recap, that being the themes I have in mind, as I can come up with other themes that will be easy to fill.

This week I linked all the videos immediately after, in case people do not like the YouTube videos embedded when the post loads. In the case you do not mind, just click “Read the rest of this entry »” below, and all the videos are still in order, embedded into the post. So provided you visit via the main page, the embedded YouTube videos will not show up until clicking.

Kylie Minogue, M.I.A., and the Social Distortion videos do not allow embedding, so as usual, just click-through to YouTube, or use the below links.

Kylie Minogue’s new one for “Get Outta My Way” (September 17, #29)

Nice new track from Kylie’s latest, Aphrodite!


Foo Fighters, Times Like These (September 18, #30)

One of many really good songs from One by One


Sick of it All, Step Down! (September 19, #31)

Saw these guys on the 19th, and this was one of the songs they played. They always tend to put on a sweet show!


Rye Rye – Bang ft. M.I.A (September 20, #32)

Rye Rye opened for the M.I.A. show I saw, and she put on a great set! Her album, Go! Pop! Bang!, is scheduled to be released in January!!


M.I.A. Sunshowers (September 21, #33)

Sweet early M.I.A. track. Likely the first song many people heard by M.I.A.


OK Go, White Knuckles (September 22, #34)

I really only know OK Go from their videos. Yet another zany, perfect for the internet video. And it is good to see they are supporting and promoting animal rescue. All the dogs featured in the video were rescued. The video can be purchased on their website, okgo.net, and net proceeds go to the ASPCA.


Social Distortion – When The Angels Sing (September 23, #35)

Their new album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, will be released November 23! This one is from two albums ago, White Light, White Heat, White Trash, which represents 14 years!


Continue reading “Music Video of the Day week 5 weekly recap (September 17 – 23)”

Bad Religion quote #29

Faith alone won’t sustain us anymore

In these modern times, we cannot rely on Faith to sustain us. Perhaps hundreds of years ago that was more likely the case, and perhaps elsewhere on the present day planet. Nowadays there is so many distractions, religion definitely does not play the role it does as it has in years past. Of course it still exists, however a small aspect of society, yet still a major influence on decisions that should be made without religious interference.

Quote twenty-nine from “Faith Alone” appearing on the great Bad Religion album Against the Grain.

My original plan for quote #29 was to quote “American Jesus” (from Recipe for Hate), however I already did on quote #9, I am sure I could have found another quote from “American Jesus” but I decided to go with “Faith Alone”, as that lyric was in my head recently.

I’ll add the full lyrics to “Faith Alone”, and below is a vintage version of it live (from the Big Bang video from 1991). And as a bonus, after the break, the video for American Jesus and complete lyrics for it as well!

Heard a sermon from a creaky pulpit with no one in the nave
I paid a visit to the synagogue and I left there feeling blame
No one can tell me what to do
They have not the capacity to answer me

What the world needs now is some answers to our problems
We can’t buy more time ’cause our tender isn’t valid
If your soul needs love you can get consoled by pity
But it looks as though faith alone won’t sustain us no more

Watched the scientists throw up their hands conceding progress will resolve it all
Saw the manufactures of earth’s debris ignore another Greenpeace call
No one could tell me what to do
No one had the ability to answer me

What the world needs now is some accountability
We can’t buy more time ’cause time won’t accept our money
If your soul needs love you can always have my pity
But it looks as though faith alone won’t sustain us no more

What the world needs now is some answers to our problems
We can’t buy more time ’cause our tender isn’t valid
What the world needs now is some accountability
If your soul needs love you can get consoled by pity

But faith alone won’t sustain us anymore
Faith alone won’t sustain us anymore

Bonus video for “American Jesus” and lyrics:

Continue reading “Bad Religion quote #29”

Bad Religion quote #27 Don’t be a henchman

Don’t be a henchman,
Stand on your laurels,
Do what no one else does and praise the good of other men
For good man’s sake.

Henchman from thefreedictionary.com (which uses “The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition”):

2. A person who supports a political figure chiefly out of selfish interests.

In other words, don’t be a henchman! Line three from the quote actually reminds me of a Dalai Lama quote I like, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

“Henchman” from No Control. Third quote from Bad Religion’s fourth long player. The others.

Full lyrics:

Stranded in a life
In which your struggle for acceptance
Is a never-ending chore

Upbraided for your actions
Past and present and rewarded for ideas
Of the future’s bright open door

The henchman, is the human analogue
Of the suffering multitudes
Who like good dogs sit and lick for their reward

So what good advice have I got for you
To insure against your likely
Metamorphosis into this reprobate?

Don’t be a henchman
Stand on your laurels
Do what no one else does

And praise the good
Of other men for good man’s sake
And when everyone else
In the world follows your lead

Although a cold day in hell
It will surely be
That’s when the entire world
Shall live in harmony

Watch out

Bad Religion quote #26 Kyoto now!

It’s never really what you own but what you threw away
And how much did you pay?

We can’t do nothing and think someone else will make it right

In your dreams you saw a steady state, a bounty for eternity

we need a fresh and new religion to run our lives

the arid torpor of inaction will be our demise

But the way it is cannot persist for long. A brutal sun is rising on a sick horizon

Way too many great quotes from this track. So I quoted several lines. All really could be used as the basis for school papers. Also the first (and will be the only) song used two times for my 30 Bad Religion quotes feature.

The song of course is “Kyoto Now” from the awesome Brett Gurewitz comeback album The Process of Belief.

“Kyoto Now” Live at the Palladium:

And a performance at Rock AM Ring in 2002.

Full lyrics:

It’s a matter of prescience no, not the science fiction kind
It’s all about ignorance and greed and miracles for the blind
The media parading, disjointed politics
Founded on petrochemical plunder and we’re its hostages

If you stand to reason you’re in the game
The rules may be elusive but our pieces are the same
And you know, if one goes down we all go down as well
The balance is precarious as anyone can tell
This world’s going to hell

Don’t allow this mythologic hopeful monster to exact its price
Kyoto now, we can’t do nothing
I think someone else will make it right

You might not think it matters now but what if you are wrong
You might not think there’s any wisdom in a fucked up punk rock song
But the way it is cannot persist for long
A brutal sun is rising on our sick horizon

It’s in the way we live our lives
Exactly like the double edge of a cold familiar knife
And supremacy weighs heavy on the day
It’s never really what you own but what you threw away
And how much did you pay?

Don’t allow this mythologic hopeful monster to exact its price
Kyoto now, we can’t do nothing
I think someone else will make it right

In your dreams you saw a steady state, a bounty for eternity
Silent screams but now the wisdom that sustains us is in full retreat
Watch on

Don’t allow, this mythologic hopeful monster isn’t worth the risk
Kyoto now we can’t have vision for the future if it can’t be fixed
Alien we need a fresh and new religion to run our lives
Hand in hand the arid torpor of inaction will be our demise

Oh, Kyoto now

M.I.A. – Arular (LP of the Week)

This is the release that started it all out. It has already been five years since its release. I remember watching the Sunshowers video on the XL Recordings’ website (YouTube was just starting out, and was quite a distance away from having all music videos one can imagine). It really was, and remains unlike anything out there. Eventually also watching the “Galang” video. So really long before the release of Arular, even before Piracy Funds Terrorism, M.I.A. was huge in the underground. As was anticipation for her debut. Nowadays, reactions are probably quite mixed.

I still very much enjoy her work, even if after just seeing her for the first time she seemed to lack a little energy. Arular is the most laidback of her three releases. Kala, and /\/\/\Y/\ (MAYA), have since had more edge to them, especially the case for the latter. Essentially every track has the playful feel to it. Kala still had fun tracks, while /\/\/\Y/\ felt like it got quite serious. Maya has always been political, however with her latest it is the most noticeable.

I mentioned the mixed reaction as some reviewers have not cared for the new album (of note, for the most part professional reviews seemed favourable!). I can understand that, however I believe artists should evolve. Had the Beatles stayed with the sound of their first two albums throughout their career, who knows where they would have ended up, and how they would be thought of in the present.

As a Sri Lankan refugee (she was born in London but spent most of her youth in Sri Lanka), there is no doubt she would incorporate Sri Lankan themes and lyrics. Add western beats and influence, with her unique lyrics and wordplay, and it results in a one of a kind mash of musical styles. Add her visuals, and its the entire package.

The albums starts with “Banana Skit”, with the message of getting an education (“Education number 1 here we go” and “Get your self an educationnnnnnn”). That makes for a perfect segue into the “Pull up the People”, with the first of numerous name droppings of herself, including “Slang tang, that’s the M.I.A. thang”! She also has “I got the beats to make you bang”. No doubt. Also in the same song first hints of political lyricism, “I’m a fighter I’ll take ’em on/You treat me like a killer/I ain’t never hate ya/I’m a soldier on that road”. A little reminiscent of some lyrics from her new track “Lovalot”, “But, I fight the ones that fight me.”

“Sunshowers” is the most feel good track on the album, and yet still has lyrics bound to confuse some, “I salt and pepper my mango”. One media outlet, perhaps MTV refused to play it until they knew what that meant. I assumed literally, and that is what M.I.A. said. And still brings the political lyrics, “Like PLO, I don’t surrendo!”. Also the very true: “Put away your stupid gun yo”.

The hidden track “M.I.A.” also has some relevant western political lyrics, “you can watch TV and watch the media/ President Bush doing takeover”. And the motivational (if you will), “You can be a follower, but who’s your leader? Break that cycle or it will kill ya”.

I feel that her harder edge is due to being in the limelight more, and being criticised. I did not follow it too much, but surely the New York Times debacle did not help. Although I do like /\/\/\Y/\, so I cannot complain, however I would like to see her more down to earth, and crafting great songs like the ones from “Arular”, while still evolving as an artist and as a person. While not forgetting her political background.

After listening to the album yesterday for the first time in a little while, to prepare for this blog entry, I had “Amazon” stuck in my head today. “Amazon” being another fine example of the catchiness of the beats, and lyrics, and unique elements found within (as is the case on all her albums!).

I was missin’ in action on the side of a carton
I was taken in a Datsun from a street in Acton
I was sippin’ on a Rubicon, thinkin’ ’bout where I come

Without a doubt, a must listen. Or a must listen to again (and again, etc.!).

Music videos from Arular:

Continue reading “M.I.A. – Arular (LP of the Week)”