Wednesday, October 29, 2008

But we can Dance, Dance, Dance

Date: October 28th, 2008
Where: Richard's on Richards
Who: Friendly Fires & Lykke Li
Why: Because we like good music and good dancing

The opening band for Lykke Li was a band from the UK called Friendly Fires. Their set was full of energy (I think they said something about being on the road for 2 hours so that explains why they went nuts on stage). The singer was literally everywhere; busting moves all over the place. At one point, he got down in the audience and performed down there. Everyone backed away and gave him a nice little circle to perform in.
All in all, Friendly Fires was a pleasant surprise. They got the audience pumped up and ready for Lykke Li.
Lykke Li's band started off the show with the intro to "Melodies & Desires". Lykke Li built up her entrance by coming out when they were transitioning from "Melodies & Desires" to "Dance, Dance, Dance."
"Dance, Dance, Dance" was exciting because they made it really intense live (most of the other songs were intensified as well). Besides some minor sound quality issues, I was very impressed by the overall live performance of the show. Every song they performed from her album, Youth Novels, was performed with more energy and a heavier beat; they all had a different live twist to them. She also added a kazoo to some of her songs (this kazoo was hanging around her neck in the bundle of necklaces she had on; very stylish).

She was also all over the stage dancing away, busting many moves. She did a cover of Vampire Weekend - "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" which was interesting. She also covered A Tribe Called Quest - "Can I Kick it?" which seems to be a solid cover she regularly performs now. "Can I Kick it?" was played in her encore and it was a great way to leave the stage. To be honest, her show has been the best show I've seen in a while. I still find it hard to believe that she had a hard time starting off her career at first.

Peep at the show: A short video of "Window Blues"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rock Show at the Rio Theatre

Bend Sinister is a band from Vancouver that deserves your appreciation. Their music is like modernized glam/old school rock. They released their newest album, Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers, on October 21st. The official CD Release party occurred at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver (an interesting venue for a rock concert) on October 25th.

The show started with The Old Familiar which appeared to be Jon Bunyan's band (the former guitarist for Bend Sinister). It was pretty much Jon Bunyan performing with another guy who occasionally played a stand-up bass. It was pretty good but like he warned us before almost every song he played, it was very "mellow" (especially compared to the following bands).

Then, The Green Hour Band hit the stage. Accompanied by psychedelic visuals of oil on an overhead projector, they rocked out like a blatant version of old BRMC and Oasis mixed together. When they were playing, I felt like I was in a movie. At the front of the stage, a group of people smoking weed, cigarettes and drinking beer; were dancing around. And with the stereotypical hippies in the front, the crazy visuals and rockin' music, I felt like I was in a different decade.

Bend Sinister started their show off with the same song that starts off their album, "The News". They played Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers from start to finish along with entertaining visuals from old movies throughout the whole show (minus the encore). At first, I was surprised at how well everything was put together; the visuals matched up perfectly with the music but then, I remembered that I shouldn't have been surprised considering Dan Moxon (vocalist/keyboardist) is a film major from SFU and enjoys film scores.

Along with the visuals, the band was rocking out hardcore on the theatre stage. At one point, Dan Moxon lost his headband due to head banging and hammering on one of the three keyboards/organs he was playing on. Jon Bunyan played with the band in a couple of songs; he mainly performed with them in the song he wrote, "Because Because." They also had two women dressed in similar attire singing back-up vocals and a set of string instrumentals in the back.

I felt a little lost at times; only because I was at a rock concert in a movie theatre. I wasn't really sure how to act. I wanted to rock out but I felt like I had to conform to the comfort of my theatre seat. Some audience members went to the front of the stage but they were mainly taking photos or just getting a closer look. Even though I felt restricted, I think this added another element to the concert (I also think it was something the band was going for). Audience members were coerced to rock out to the music in their heads with the visuals standing by. I kind of liked how this messed with my head at one point. When "Dr. Lee" was playing, I was completely absorbed in the visuals and actually forgot I was at a concert. About halfway through the song, extra lights came on and I snapped out of it. I came back to the concert amazed.

Overall, the concert was very good, unique and entertaining. Besides the occasional sinking mic, the concert flowed smoothly and was performed very well. I was especially impressed with the visuals and the intense onstage performance.

I suggest you definitely check out Bend Sinister's MYSPACE and when they play Vancouver again, check out their show.

First Half


Second Half


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Monster Hospital

Halloween's coming up fast

You have to admit, this is an amazing remix. I'm a pretty big Metric fan but I think out of all of their songs, "Monster Hospital" was my least favourite. Then, MSTRKRFT remixed it and my mind changed quickly.

Back in the day, the DJ group, Sex Attack!, used to play at the Modern in Vancouver on Thursday nights. They would play this remix; and with the lit-up dance floor, cheap PBR's, warped mirrors and good company, it was probably one of the best dancing moments of my life.

Last night, my friend got Sex Attack! to play this remix once more and nostalgic feelings consumed me (for the hundredth time this month).

I need to lay off the nostalgia...

Metric - Monster Hospital (MSTRKRFT Remix)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Boys Noize knows how to remix

Boys Noize is comprised of one and only one person, Alex Ridha. Coming out of Germany while developing his own record label (Boysnoize Records), this guy was apparently ready for success at a young age (Wikipedia claims that he started producing music when he was 16).

I first encountered Boys Noize last spring. I downloaded a remix he did of Feist's "My Moon My Man" and fell in love with it. The remix extends the song into a blissful dance promenade. I used to listen to this song a lot while walking to and from work.

Feist - My Moon My Man (Boys Noize Remix)

Then, I encountered Boys Noize's remix of Sébastien Tellier (which I have already blogged about). "L'amour et la Violence" was already an amazing song but Boys Noize gave it a steady beat while maintaining the song's overall ambiance.

Sébastian Tellier - L'amour et la Violence (Boys Noize Remix)

And today, I found a Boys Noize remix of Justice's "Phantom Part II". Justice is definitely a band that doesn't "need" their stuff remixed but when other artists like Boys Noize pull it off well, these remixes are pleasing to the body and ears.

Justice - Phantom Pt. II (Boys Noize Remix)

Friday, October 17, 2008


If you like electronic rock, you need to check out this band (if you haven't already checked them out). I'm listening to their Classics album and lovin' it.
They can also do awesome remixes; they did an amazing remix of The Knife's "We Share Our Mother's Health" and to be honest, I like it a LOT more than the original.

Ratatat - Wildcat

This song actually has a background outcry of a wildcat throughout it and in my opinion, it's pretty intense.

Under the Rotunda Interview

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Since I've been loving you

I just remembered this song today and how amazing it is. I think it's safe to say that it's my all time favourite Led Zeppelin song.

The stimulating guitars of Jimmy Page, the raspy voice of Robert Plant, the banging drums of John Bonham and wistful keyboards of John Paul Jones (poor John Paul Jones, he's so neglected). So powerful, so climactic.

Led Zeppelin - Since I've been loving you

I also used to watch this movie all the time when I was 15.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Emergency! Another excellent Reckoner remix!

Reckoner (Diplo Wreck remix)

After I discovered Diplo's blog entry on his record label's website, Mad Decent, I became very interested in the policies this label believes in when promoting or selling music via the internet. Many bands and labels seem to dispute the notion of free downloads from music blogs. But Diplo posted his own remix on his record label's blog feed. Obviously his label believes in sharing a little bit of music for free, unlike some other labels that will remain unmentioned.

The link below will direct you to Diplo's blog post where the mp3 is located. You can explore the record label's website if you wish.
Diplo/Mad Decent Blog

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Virgin Suicides

When I was in high school, The Virgin Suicides was a book and movie I really enjoyed. I loved the book for its dreamy and mysterious attributes. And I loved the movie for the same reasons...but really, I mainly loved it for its soundtracks; it had two available soundtracks. One of them was a film score completely constructed by the band, Air. The second one was a compilation of mostly ethereal songs from the 70s that were used in the film. Both soundtracks for this movie were, and still are, awesome compilations and productions.

"Playground Love" from the film score by Air

Live performance of "Crazy on You" by Heart (studio version on compiled soundtrack)


Friday, October 10, 2008

Cut Copy and The Presets Concert

The concert I made such a big deal about and still am making a big deal about

My friend and I arrived at the Commodore Ballroom too early (once again). We chilled out for a bit and tried to take pictures of ourselves but failed every time so we decided to get some redbull. After we got our redbull, the first band, Heartbreak, started to play. They consisted of two people, one guy who appreciated anonymous Canadian dance music and another guy who just played around with his laptop, synths and occasionally contributed the odd back-up vocal. They were pretty good but what made them so good and entertaining was the singer. He was dressed in tight dress clothes and knew how to dance. This guy was really getting into his music; so into it that I couldn't help but laugh a little (but I was laughing with him, not at him...).

After Heartbreak played, the crowd started to move closer to the stage and The Presets came on within half an hour. They started off with "Talk like that" and followed up with "Down Down Down"; these two intense songs started the concert off nicely and it got more intense as the night went on. The Presets had hypnotizing lights and images of creepy skulls on a video screen which went perfectly with their chilling, electronic music.

Once the Presets finished up their set, Cut Copy got to the stage in due time. But once they came on, it was really hard to dance in the crowd. All we could do was jump around and hit other people. So we decided to move to the back so we could dance to our full potential. Once we got there, we could appreciate the concert and music a lot more because we didn't have someone's elbow on our shoulders.
Cut Copy was excited and ready to take on the crowd with their melodic dance music. They also had captivating lights and interesting, colourful images on a screen. Out of all the songs they played, I enjoyed "Out there on the ice" and "Lights & Music" the most (maybe because they are my two favourite songs). Cut Copy's live music produces more feelings of elation than I thought possible.

And now, I can't stop listening to the Presets or Cut Copy. I'm mostly loving "Talk like that" by The Presets. The alluring beat and inappropriate lyrics keep me moving and working on lame school work I've procrastinated.
"Talk Like That"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Knife

I was introduced to The Knife a couple of months ago and when I first heard them, I was like, "wtf is this?" I had heard their song, "Heartbeats", in the club before but ignored the hype it was receiving. I just recently discovered how sweet that song is, and I've discovered the rest of their album Deep Cuts which was released in 2003. I can't stop listening to it. The electronic beats, computerized uni-sexual voices, bizarre lyrics; I can't get enough of it.
I knew nothing about the creators of this music until about a minute ago. I assumed they were pretty weird but I just discovered how weird they are.

Some weird things about them:

Apparently, they don't really like playing live shows because they are still trying to figure out how to portray their music in a live performance. They don't like showing their faces; they wear masks that they believe represent their music (crow people in the north of Sweden or weird monkeys, sure...I guess those could work). They boycott musical awards shows.

Some cool things about them:

They are brother and sister who work mostly together with no one else. They have their own record label called Rabid Records. They sincerely want to portray their music properly hence the reason why they come off so weird; wearing masks, not really performing live, all that stuff in the weird section.

So pretty much, they're cool. But at the same time, I wish they would lighten up a little and perform live more often. In a way, they're contradicting themselves because they seem to be taking themselves really seriously but then there's this video they made...

When I found the Knife

But I guess this video sums up their music very well.

The Knife: Weird, cool, and faceless.

Heartbeats (again)

Monday, October 6, 2008

L'Auberge Espagnole...ou Campus Saint-Jean, La Pocatière

Vidéo de Daft Punk sur l'écran à la Pocatière

Daft Punk's "Aerodynamic" will forever remind me of my time spent in La Pocatière, Quebec; a small town about 100 km from Quebec City. I think the second week we were there we watched this movie called L'Auberge Espagnole. This film featured a bunch of young adults from different parts of the world living in an apartment together.
This movie reminded me of our situation in La Pocatière; bunch of young adults from all over Canada (ok so maybe it wasn't as culturally diverse) thrown into dormitories, trying to understand each other and a different language. The best way to bond in this small town was to go to Café St-Louis which was a fairly good club for the size of the town.
This scene in L'Auberge Espagnole totally resembled us in La Pocatière. Intoxicated, listening to Daft Punk, trying to make the most of our time with each other.

Note: This scene is much more epic in the actual movie

But when I was in La Pocatière, Daft Punk seemed to be our soundtrack because they don't usually have words (we were prohibited from listening to music with English lyrics) and most importantly, it made us move.

Full Video for Aerodynamic

Thursday, October 2, 2008

DFA 1979

Best band to listen to after a cup of coffee.

Twice now, I've been highly caffeinated and I've had an itch to listen to Death From Above 1979. No need to worry, I scratched this itch and got crazy in my head with DFA 1979.

Romantic Rights

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sian Alice Group Remix EP

I fortunately got a chance to interview Sian Alice Group when they played at Vancouver's Biltmore Cabaret. I really liked the persona of the band members and their live performance. They gave me a vinyl record of their Remix EP (which is only available for sale on tour and online for download, but will soon be available in select record stores). Remix has 3 remixed songs: “As the Morning Light” by Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip, “Murder” by Brian DeGraw from Gang Gang Dance and “Way Down to Heaven” by Spring Heel Jack (a band that Rupert, the drummer of Sian Alice Group, produces).
The remixes were fairly intriguing. I liked Alexis Taylor's remix of "As the Morning Light". Though, I thought it was more like a cover than a remix. I kind of wish he had kept Sian Ahern's voice in there. "Murder" by Brian DeGraw was another interesting spin on Sian Alice Group's music. At one point, he really made Ahern's voice high-pitched which, in my opinion, may have overdone the 15 minute remix.
Overall, it was definitely a cool and enticing EP to listen to. Remixes are always interesting to listen to whether you think they're good or not. Rupert explained, “in a way we get to live vicariously through their interpretation of the music we write.” Since I'm so obsessed with remixes, I really liked this quote. I never really thought of remixes as an outlet for listeners and artists to live vicariously through an interpretation of music by another artist.

So here is the official website of Sian Alice Group's record label, The Social Registry (it's a pretty good label website) and a video that proves to me once more that this band is flawless when performing live. Just ignore the shaky camera work.
Sian Alice Group - Motionless