Alien Ant Farm – truANT (LP of the Week)

They are most known for their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”. Which is a great cover from their commercial breakthrough album ANThology. Also the first single from that album, “Movies”.

Only two years and a few months later, in August 2003, TruANT was released, however it definitely did not get the attention it deserved. Similar to ANThology, it is entertaining, catchy rock. However it is smart too, in that is very well crafted. The hooks are catchy, yet the choruses are just as entertaining. From the very first acoustic guitar riffs of “Glow”, all the way to the end it is a toe tapper. And it has an especially special chorus, including hand claps!

Although the entire album is not ‘fun’ per say (lyrically or musically), it still feels that way as a whole. “Never Meant” is slightly more serious with reggae guitar riffs. The next track, “Goodbye”, also keeps a serious feel. “Tia Lupé” brings it back up somewhat with a latin tinged number. By the end of “Tia Lupé”, the album is already winding down with only three songs left, making it an album that despite lasting just over 40 minutes, it goes by quickly.

All in all a solid rock album that stands up just fine today despite being released almost 8 years ago. A great record for summer listening, or anytime for that matter!

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The Colbert Report this week!

I am a big Colbert fan. And when he has music guests on, it is always good (not to say the normal guests are not, but since this is a music blog!).

When Rush were on three summers ago (their first time on network , that was sweet, with Colbert starting the next show (waking up from his sleep on his desk, nightcap and all) as Rush were finishing “Tom Sawyer”, or the great Gorillaz interview that had the real Stephen Colbert interviewing them since Murdoc et. al were sending Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett to be intereviewed, so the Colbert Report Stephen stormed off!

The purpose of this post is that it looks like it is an all music Colbert Report this week!

Tonight, Monday June 20, Bon Iver

Tuesday June 21, Florence and the Machine

Wednesday June 22, Talib Kweli

Thursday June 23, The Black Belles.

I Tweeted about Florence and the Machine:

And then I saw Talib Kweli (awesome MC). And The Black Belles, although I did not know them, seem to be composed of Shelby Lynne, and three other gals that I do not know, that should be a recipe for awesomeness! Just check this out:

Bon Iver tonight, who I do not know too well, but he seems alright from what I have heard, including his collabo with Kanye West.

In other news, I have a new LP of the week coming soon, a great rock record!

Tales from a music fan

I thought about Tweeting, which I did somewhat already, but I realised this could be an entire blog post, no question, much different from my usual blog posts!

Today at work I listened to The Clash’s third album, London Calling, followed by Buck 65’s 1957 themed album, Situation. I watched the DVD that came with Situation last night, and it had some good short films. I did not realise Situation was about 1957 until I saw the DVD. Not musically, but lyrically of course, although I am sure Buck 65 could pull off an album based on 1957 music! Some of the 1957 events included are the fact that the Situationist International formed that year (I am guessing that is where the album title came from), of which, according to Mr. Terfry (Buck 65), Malcolm McLaren was immersed in, and lyrically found its way to the Sex Pistols music. Sid Vicious was also born that year. Also, to quote Wikipedia, “the apprehension of serial killer Ed Gein, the obscenity trial surrounding the Allen Ginsberg poem “Howl””. On the DVD he also did a show and tell, which further showed his love of baseball (lyrically he references baseball at least twice on Situation! The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants both had their final season in New York before moving to California in 1957). He showed off a home run ball from the 2000 Subway Series, which saw the New York Yankees face off against the New York Mets for the World Series. I think he said it was a David Justice home run ball, but perhaps it was Robin Ventura, as it appears Justic did not homer in the Subway Series. There was also Buck 65 talking with Skratch Bastid about making the album, and how it was Buck 65’s longest album to make (2 years), as one sample was going to cost way more than they could afford, so they assembled musicians to make up for it. Pretty good record by the way.

A few days ago when I was listening to London Calling I realised the theme for Jian Ghomeshi’s CBC radio show, Q, is essentially stealing borrowing The Clash’s “Spanish Bombs”, well the first few bars. I then found this blog post: Ryerson Speech — The Story of Q (updated link, March 2013). Okay, I will admit it, I need to catch up on listening more to The Clash!

The above two CD’s were borrowed from my library, if I purchased all the CD’s I wanted, I would be in the red.

The latest Foo Fighters record, Wasting light, along with my piece of the analog tape it was recorded on!

On my final break at work (in between listening to The Clash and Buck 65), I headed over to the closest record store, realising I have yet to pick up the June issue of Exclaim!. While there, I looked for the new Foo Fighters record, Wasting Light. I found it, for $9.99! (I went back to pick it up after work) This was a copy with the piece of master tape the Foo Fighters recorded on (entirely analog! And in Dave’s garage!). Not like I can do anything with it, but kind of cool nonetheless! It looks like it was cut perfectly, so I wonder if Dave et. al. cut it up themselves, or had people, or a machine do it, and whether or not they were inserted into the disc manually.

I also finally picked up a physical copy of Janelle Monáe’s The ArchAndroid. I was holding out, as I like to purchase CD’s at the concert in question, as I understand it, more money goes to the artist that way. I also purchased the new Lykke Li, Wounded Rhymes. She will be playing out our local music festival, Osheaga, this summer. I plan on seeing her then, but who knows what the merchandise situation will be like (I was hoping she would do a free show at the Jazz fest, where she may have done two sets, but I guess this will be a better crowd for her).

Part of what inspired this post was that I decided to get the new Lykke Li when I happened to see it, I definitely like her, but it was not on the top of my list. So, later, when returning The Clash and Buck 65, I had a disc waiting for me that I had reserved, and it was the new Lykke Li! I knew I reserved it, but at the time of purchasing it, did not think of it! Looks like I’ll loan the library copy to my friend Clint, a fellow Lykke Li fan!

At the library, along with Lykke, I picked up Pet Sounds, to many, the greatest album of all time. Up there for sure. It is a 2006 edition with the original mono recordings and a bonus DVD!

As a music geek, I also borrowed this (Beyoncé – I Am … Sasha Fierce songbook). Not like I am ever going to sing like her (that is impossible), however as I Tweeted:

I am also learning guitar, and would like to purchase a bass guitar. Future multi-instrumentalist? That would be nice.

So I forgot to pick up the new Exclaim!, so I went to a local independent music store to get it. While there, I picked up three used discs, Kinnie Starr’s latest, A Different Day, Bif Naked’s awesome I Bificus, and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The former two being Canadian content!

That about sums it up really. I am listening to Pet Sounds now as I type this.

Free (Montreal) concert highlights! (Fefe Dobson and Sloan)

So I quietly added a Montreal concert listings to this blog a little while back, the link to find the page can be found in the header of the main page. There is way too many concerts and shows to list everything, so I am only listing ones I am either going to, interested in, or know the band/performers in question.

With that in mind, festival season is starting up in Montreal, and that means a lot, and I do mean a lot of free shows! The Francofolies begin Thursday night, and a couple of weeks after that the Jazz Fest starts up, or just under a week after the Francofolies wrap up! And of course there are plenty of other things going on, holiday shows (provincial and national in late June/very first day of July respectively), and much more. So I am a little too lazy to write them all up on the concert listings page I made, so instead I will just highlight some shows every now and then, as the dates approach.

So for this inaugural free shows post, as the blog post’s title states, I am highlighting Fefe Dobson and Sloan for now.

Fefe Dobson will kick off the Formula One Grand Prix race weekend with a show on Crescent Street in downtown Montreal this Thursday June 9. The show will be at 21:30. I am quite looking forward to this one, as I have never seen Fefe Dobson live. She has played Montreal as an opening act, but I am not sure if she has headlined a show. And with all the years between her debut and her second released album she had no reason to tour and play shows.

Canadian rock greats Sloan play exactly 24 hours later on Friday June 10! Another one I am really looking forward too. If you are Canadian, they are required listening! Not really, but they definitely should be!

That is all for now, even though I do know of many others right now, and the free concert listings for the Jazz Fest will be announced tomorrow! I am looking forward as that sometimes means being able to catch the same band twice (even if it is the same set most likely)!

Lissie, Montreal May 31, 2011 (Théâtre Corona)

After having seen her at the Apple Store the night before, I was certainly ready to see Lissie’s proper show.

Ash Koley opened. Ash Koley is named after the lead vocalist, Ashley Koley, however they are a duo, also consisting of Phil Deschambault. Their set was very minimal, consisting of Ash on lead vocals, and Phil was backing vocals, guitar and a pedal that replicated a bass drum. They are fairly poppy, melodic, with a long list of influences that they draw on. They included a medley of some of their influences. They hail from Winnipeg.

Their set lasted around 40 minutes as Ash said as they were commencing their set. Along with the poppy music they had a good stage presence, talking with the audience, and making jokes on each other’s expense. All in all a good set.

Lissie took to the stage to very much appreciation from the fairly small crowd. Not too small, but there definitely could have been more people. Which goes to show, how great artists do not get the publicity they deserve.

Her setup was the same as at the Apple Store, Lissie on guitar, swapping between two Fender Telecaster Thinline between songs, as the stage manager (or touring manager, whatever he is called) tunes the one not in use between songs. Presumably to tune them a specific way. My musical knowledge is not deep enough (yet) to recognise the different guitar tunings. Also like yesterday she had another guitarist, and the drummer/bassist. I thought perhaps the drummer, or bassist just did not make the Apple store, but that seems to be their regular setup! I had the chance to see the drum setup closer this time, and he plays a mini snare with a pedal along with having a bass drum, and hi-hat with a tambourine mounted on top.

Her set composed of pretty much all songs from Catching a Tiger, and a few from her EP Why You Runnin’, including the Hank Williams cover of “Wedding Bells”. She also did a two song encore consisting of the awesome ballad to the Mississippi, “Oh Mississippi”, and a terrific job along with her band covering Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness”, which had the drummer/bassist kicking out a hip hop beat while playing bass! As he did (minus the hip hop beat) on almost all songs performed.

Adding to her aresenal arsenal of covers, she performed again the old song I mentioned from the Apple Store show. It being Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From”. As she described it, it is one she has heard in the Moline airport among other places. Her version is a tad more up-tempo than the original, adding a bit more kick. Another great cover!

Lissie seemed happy to be playing Montreal, even with the smaller crowd. She hinted next time once we tell our friends and family she can fill the place! I am sure she would have preferred a bigger crowd, but she said how it was almost nicer with fewer people, In that it was a more personal/intimate show.

With that in mind, Lissie very much seemed to enjoy interacting with the crowd. Ranging from stories about the songs, or reacting to random ‘I love you Lissie’s, and having the band jam while she tied her shoe. The bassist started playing “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang (which ‘borrows’ from Chic’s “Good Times”), the guitarist jumped in, and Lissie started rapping with the “I said a hip, hop, a hippie to the hippie to the hip hip hop, you don’t stop”!

All in all a great show. Which, to steal from Eminem, had me lost in the music, the moment. I own it, I’ll never let it go.