Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best of 2009

2010 is just around the corner and I'm already getting excited about the music that's to come in the new year. As for music this year, I feel like there were a lot of great albums but not many that really grasped my attention for very long. My first choice was really easy but the other four were hard to rank. But I've re-listened to the ones I remember the most and the five that are posted are the ones that my ears seemed to like the most this year.

Number 1


Röyksopp - Junior, March 2009

Hands down, this was the best album of the year in my opinion. It was almost like a Scandinavian celebration album. With Lykke Li, Robyn, and Karin Dreijer Andersson (The Knife and Fever Ray) as vocalists for more than half of the songs on the album; I was very pleased and impressed. Even the songs without the vocals are amazing. "Röyksopp Forever" is an instrumental that is some kind of emotional and passionate electrorchestra. I'm not going to lie, I probably listened to "The Girl and The Robot" over 100 times this year. The bass is so intense, I imagine the whole world shaking every time I play it. This album makes love to my ears every single listen.

Röyksopp - The Girl and The Robot


Number 2


Vitalic - Flashmob, September 2009

Vitalic is classified as techno/trance but I would say Vitalic is just completely electronic. I feel like Vitalic put a lot of thought into the songs on Flashmob. Don't be discouraged by the description, the album isn't a complete dance fest. There are slow songs as well. This French artist has done a remarkable job of producing and creating his own music. Flashmob is an explosion of noise, i.e. beautiful noise.

Vitalic - Poison Lips


Number 3

La Roux - La Roux, June 2009

La Roux came out of England with some great 80s-inspired dance songs. I heard her first single, "In for the Kill", on Hype Machine. This song was followed up with "Bulletproof" and the album had a hold on me. "Colourless Colour" and "Tigerlily" are definitely my faves. One thing that really stands out on this album is the amazing lyrics. All the lyrics on this album are powerful, coherent and clear; an album well done.

La Roux - In For The Kill


Number 4


Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, May 2009

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was a great, upbeat summer album. I remember taking a ridiculously intense summer course and listening to this entire album while studying in the library; it kept me from going completely insane. It was also a great road trip album. It had two major hits: "Lisztomania" and "1901." These were great but my favourites were "Rome" and "Love Like A Sunset Part I & II." It will always remind me of the summer of 2009.

Phoenix - Lisztomania


Number 5

Muse - The Resistance, September 2009

Even though The Resistance wasn't completely what I would have liked, it was still an album that was produced and thought-out well. This may sound strange but Muse has some kind of extra-terrestrial side to them that I've always liked. This album really exudes their out-of-this-world feature. The last three parts of "Exogenesis: Symphony" are amazing and finish up the album very well.

Muse - Undisclosed Desires



Best remixes/mash-ups of 2009:

1. Bag Raiders vs. Chromeo - Shooting Stars/Call Me Up
To be honest, any version of Bag Raiders' "Shooting Stars" is unbelievably elating.

2. N.A.S.A. feat. Kanye West, Lykke Li and Santigold - Gifted (Steve Aoki Remix)
Aoki remix of an already amazing song, enough said.

3. Fever Ray - If I Had a Heart (Fuck Buttons)
This remix has followed me throughout Vancouver for the entire year.

4. Lykke Li - Little Bit LIVE (Death to the Throne remix)
The amazing live version of "Little Bit" remixed into an 8-bit masterpiece with a heavy bass.

5. GRUM - Runaway (SymbolOne Remix)
Image: dancing in circles with confetti falling all around and pink lights flashing.

2010, here we come!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blackout

A good majority of the time I spent in the States this week was consumed by Muse. I'm sure everyone has heard this but I'm gonna write it anyways: Muse is coming to the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on April 1st. The presales for the concert were a little fishy but whatever, I'm over it. My seats are decent, though I would've loved floor seats (obviously).

So putting my stress over Muse tickets aside, my favourite part of this trip was probably the train ride I took from Seattle to Vancouver. After that, I never want to take an Amtrak bus again. I loved the train. It was very dark out and it took a long time but it was so relaxing, going by lit up houses, freeways and water while listening to Muse's "Blackout" at one point. I can't wait to take this train again.

Muse - Blackout

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Busking For Change Concert in Vancouver

The Vancouver band Elias is putting on a daylong concert tomorrow (Friday, Dec 18th). The concert will run from 10am - 6pm outside of Library Square, in three set-up stages. Elias will be playing with other local Vancouver bands, Said the Whale, Adaline and We Are The City.

Elias has been running the "Give me truth" campaign, which is dedicated to helping War Child. War Child is a charity that helps war-affected children. Elias has a "Give me truth" petition online and if you sign it, you will receive a free download package that contains two songs and a video.

The main purpose of the Busking For Change concert is to raise money for the War Child charity. It's a great purpose and it's a cool location. I really wish I could attend but I'm away in Seattle right now. Hopefully the weather holds up for the concert.

If you're interested in going, there is the full schedule of who's playing at what time on Facebook.

Elias - All We Want

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Remixing

I'm in the midst of remixing my blog's look. I was getting sick of the old photo I had had for over a year now (it is above). I still really like this photo, maybe just because of the history that's behind it. I took it in a club in Vancouver called the Modern. At the time, they used to have this really good electro event called OMG WTF. It was cancelled, and my friend and I were devastated. We found other events, but they were cancelled as well. We're OK though. Don't worry.

So I've settled on a banner at the moment but I'm thinking about doing something else. I'm still not really loving this one. Feel free to give input.

To go along with my new blog look, here is a remix of Friendly Fires' "On Board" by Joakim. This DJ can do some amazing remixes. But I don't think my remixing of my blog is as good as Joakim's remix. One day...

Friendly Fires - On Board (Joakim remix)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This is Your Disco Song

Ever since I discovered Vitalic's Flashmob the other day, I've been non-stop listening to anything created by this French electro artist. I had only listened to one of his songs previously called "The Past." It's a slower one but it's still good. Then, "Poison Lips" fell into my lap along with the rest of Flashmob and I'm so hooked.

I'm especially hooked to "Your Disco Song" but I'm still trying to figure out if Vitalic is making fun of his fans or not. The voice in the beginning almost reminds of a voice that would be used to brainwash someone so it makes me a little skeptical but I'm still in love with the song and the video.

The video seems to also be a critique of society; we get so obsessed with certain things that we want to become them. In this girl's case, a disco ball! In my case, a computer! Maybe I'm just joking about that last one...or am I?

Anyways, I'm really entranced by this video. I haven't been this into a video since Ratatat's "Shempi."

Vitalic - Your Disco Song

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Notwist

This is a band that has been around for a while but are very new to me. I just heard their music today, and from what I've heard so far, it's pretty yummy.

The Notwist is from Germany. The band was formed in a town close to Munich called Weilheim in Oberbayern. Apparently, their first album was grunge/metal-like. After 1992, they started moving towards an indie-electronic sound.

So far, my mind has floated away with their song, "Consequence", which is from their sixth album, Neon Golden (2002).

Needless to say, I'm going to spend the rest of the night getting to know this band's music from 1990-2009.

The Notwist - Consequence

Monday, November 30, 2009

E. Torrini

One last post for the month.
When I was 14, I was obsessed with this one Emilíana Torrini song called "To be free", which was originally created for her album, Love In The Time Of Science (2000). The song was featured on a movie I also really liked when I was younger, Crazy/Beautiful. I listened to this song on repeat for something like two years. Then, listened to it occasionally after that.

Now, I'm obsessed again. The Icelandic singer released an album in September called Me and Armini. It's really good, I'm surprised I hadn't heard of it until now. "Dead Duck" is probably my favourite on the album. It has a break in the middle with a piano solo. I also really like "Hold Heart" and "Gun." She has a soft voice that cradles me into an imaginary bed made of clouds.

Emilíana Torrini - Dead Duck

Emilíana Torrini - To be free

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friendly Fires: Givin' it a little bit more

When I found out The Xx and Friendly Fires were playing together, I was slightly surprised. Only because the two bands give off different vibes and energy. The Xx are very good but very slow. While Friendly Fires are really upbeat, they don't really have any slow songs.

It was almost like I went to two completely different concerts tonight. I relaxed during The Xx and thirty minutes later, I went crazy with Friendly Fires.

The Xx

I enjoyed most of the songs The Xx played. "Shelter", "Crystalised", "Heart Skipped a Beat", and "Night Time" were all performed excellently. The quality of their songs was very good. But to be honest, I don't have much else to say. I don't really remember much of their part of the concert except for that it sounded good. There was nothing bad about it but nothing too special about it either.

It did seem like a lot of people came just to see The Xx though. I think they should've headlined their own show at a smaller venue. They could've easily filled the Biltmore.

Friendly Fires

The original three-piece band, Friendly Fires, was definitely more memorable, mainly because of their energy, and maybe because I like their music a little more (no offense to The Xx). The Xx was very good but the energy was mediocre compared to Friendly Fires.

As soon as they started out, I was happy. The lead singer, Ed Macfarlane, dances so hard; it's so awesome. He's so energetic that it's contagious. And it isn't only him either, the rest of the band members have loads of energy as well, especially the guitarist, Edd Gibson. As for the drummer, Jack Savidge, he bangs it all out on the drums.

My one complaint about the Friendly Fires part of the show is: the vocal acoustics were very quiet. At first, you could barely hear Macfarlane. Then, someone slightly turned the volume knob so you could hear the vocals but they still weren't as loud as I would've liked them to be.

Besides the vocal acoustics issue, I really enjoyed this concert. I liked the cool ending they added to "Photobooth". They had trumpet and saxophone players performing in the background. This is gonna sound intense but it was euphoric.

Macfarlane introduced "White Diamonds" by saying it was inspired by German techno. When he said that, I really wondered which song it could be and I guess it makes sense that out of all their songs, this would be the one that falls into that category. But apparently, a couple of their other songs are influenced by German techno as well. Who would've known?

I was really glad they played their new song, "Kiss of Life", as well. This song is really fun to dance to. It just makes me want to stomp around.

At first, I was kind of disappointed that "Ex Lover" was the encore song. That's because it's not my most favourite song on their album, Friendly Fires. But the band performed it so well that I've changed my mind. Gibson ran through the audience near the end of this song, and right by me. I'm not gonna lie, I thought about reaching out to grab him but I resisted.

The band has jumped into the audience the last two times I saw them as well so I definitely expected at least one of them to go into the audience. The first time I saw them at Richards' on Richards, Gibson and Macfarlane went into the audience and performed but that was back when they weren't as popular (they were opening for Lykke Li at the time).

Out of all the songs performed, "On Board" was probably my favourite. They really got the audience pumped on this one. At the end of this song, I just went nuts. I posted the video to this song at the end of this entry, which you should definitely check out.

I was exhausted by the end of the concert from dancing and singing so hard. Thank you, Friendly Fires. I needed that.

Friendly Fires - On Board

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November

This is an old song from Cocorosie's second album, Noah's Ark (2005), but I feel like it fits this November well.

Note: Don't let the song title deceive you.

Cocorosie - Tekno Love Song

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Will you still love me tomorrow?

November is almost over and I've barely been able to post any blog entries. I know, it's shameful.

To compensate for the lack of music on my blog, here is a live cover of "Will you still love me tomorrow" by my favourite, (yes, you guessed it) Lykke Li. It's a sadder, completely piano-based version of the Shirelles'.

Enjoy.

Lykke Li - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Live Cover)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reading in Bed Remix

Metric's lead singer/keyboardist, Emily Haines, released a depressing yet inspiring solo album in 2006 called Knives Don't Have Your Back. One of the songs from the album, "Reading in Bed", was remixed by 65daysofstatic (also known as 65days). The remix appears on their album called RMXSCEE (2008). Why did it take a year for this remix to fall into my lap? I don't really know but I'm so glad it's in my life now.

I had never heard of this British band until this remix but apparently, they are well-known for their off-tempo drumbeats. I love this remix but I did notice the off-beat drums after a couple of listens. I assumed it was intentional because it wasn't that noticeable. Turns out, it's 65days' trademark.

The remix mainly focuses on the lyrics "so sad." It's very different from the original; completely different aura, and I like it. The band manipulated jewelry box sounds and intense guitar into the song. I really feel like this remix was influenced by Broken Social Scene's "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl", which also features vocals by Emily Haines. They emit the same kind of feeling. In my opinion, it sounds like 65daysofstatic wanted to recreate something similar to "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl." Maybe they didn't intentionally do this but it sounds like it to me. And, I think they did a good job.

Emily Haines - Reading in Bed
Emily Haines - Reading in Bed (65daysofstatic Remix)

Broken Social Scene - Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fresh Media and Fever Ray: All in one day

I know I've already posted an entry about this remix but I really feel like my day had a connection to this song.

So I thought I was supposed to be live blogging today at the Fresh Media Festival but it turned out, I was talking about my blog to future bloggers who wanted to learn more about the subject. This was good. I got to learn about other (more successful) bloggers and learn more about what people want.

Earlier in the day, ION magazine supplied the event with free magazines (these went really fast). On the cover of their issue this month is Fever Ray, aka Karin Dreijer Andersson. I don't know what it is but lately, this woman has got a hold on me. I'm intrigued with everything she does and all the music she creates. I quickly grabbed a magazine so I could read the article inside. To my dismay, there was no real article of Fever Ray inside. It was mainly a cover photo shoot with a small description of her on the same page as the Editorial Staff page. I was disappointed but still impressed that the magazine flew out to Gothenburg, Sweden to take this photo shoot.

So Fever Ray was one of the things on my mind from the start of the day. For the rest of the day, I was observing the people coming in, listening to what they had to say about fresh media/new media/old media, and soaking up everything I could. I took advice, gave advice and above all, learned many things.

At the end of the day, the Fuck Buttons remix of Fever Ray's "If I Had a Heart" popped into my head as I was walking in the downtown area of Vancouver. This song/remix always reminds me of how I feel about Vancouver.

This will never end 'cuz I want more. More, gimme more, gimme more...

These lyrics are repeated throughout this remix with a drum pounding hard in the foreground. Creepy noises accompany the pounding and it adds to the whole notion of searching for something you know isn't lurking far beyond that corner up ahead.

The lyrics and the overall atmosphere of the song always pop into my head when I'm thinking of good ol' Vancouver. And it especially popped into my head after this event because I feel like everyone kind of feels this way about Vancouver. Correct me if I'm wrong but we're all kind of searching for that something-something here. I'm sure this happens in every city but I feel like Vancouver is still evolving so it seems a little more obvious here. Vancouver is still new, fresh and its reputation is still developing. This remix/entry/day focuses on the lyrics posted above; people aren't going to give up on Vancouver ever, it's going to keep developing and its people will want more and will create more as time goes on. Just look at the event that occurred today.

I know I don't usually express my deep and heavy thoughts on my blog but I felt like this remix/song really had a connection to my day (even more so than other songs have in the past). Perhaps it isn't the original intention of the song, or the remix for that matter, but this remix has inspired me to interpret the song differently.

So let's keep getting more...

Fever Ray - If I Had a Heart (Fuck Buttons remix)


Fever Ray - If I Had a Heart

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ratatat (Remixed!)

GMGN remixed Ratatat's "Loud Pipes" into a crazy dancing machine. I've never really heard a worthwhile Ratatat remix so I was definitely skeptical. But I literally just put this remix on and I'm already dancing like a weirdo in my chair, therefore it is worth your time.

Ratatat - Loud Pipes (GMGN Remix)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Possibility

This song by Lykke Li is from the New Moon soundtrack. When I listen to this song, I feel like I'm on a farm on a cold night that's being supervised by a harvest moon. It's not really like her usual stuff but of course, Lykke Li's voice still sweetly coerces me into liking the song.

I'm going to admit I haven't read or seen anything to do with Twilight but this soundtrack is really good. The album contains many respectable artists like: Muse, Sea Wolf, Bon Iver & St. Vincent, Grizzly Bear, Editors, and more. With those names, you can't go wrong.

Lykke Li - Possibility

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Computer vs. Human: Metronomy at the Red Room

After Fool's Gold dragged their show on for a little too long, Metronomy lit up the stage at the Red Room with chest lights and personality. The UK band had visited Vancouver last January and played a crazy show at the Biltmore Cabaret. This time, I was excited to see that they were playing at a venue that was constructed a little better for a concert but to my surprise, it wasn't as packed as their last show. Considering it was a Tuesday night, it was impressive that at least the die hard fans showed up anyway.

They started the show with "Night Out Intro" and transcended it into "Heart Rate Rapid", which was performed fairly well. My two favourite songs, "The End of You Too" and "Back on the Motorway", weren't performed as well as some of the other songs. I felt like songs from Pip Paine (pay back the £5000 you owe) and from the new EP, Not Made For Love, were performed better than songs from Nights Out. I know the band has recently acquired two new members and has decided to drop their computer as a live band member. But when I saw them in January, I felt like the computer did a better job on these two songs. It just seems like the band needs to practice some of their songs a little more.

Besides a couple songs that weren't played that well, there were plenty that were played well. "You Could Easily Have Me", "What Do I Do Now", and "Holiday" were all played excellently. "What Do I Do Now" had a sweet live twist to it. Joseph Mount (vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist) talked to the audience a lot, which was nice. I always like it when the band speaks to the audience. He even invited everyone out to play pool with them at the end of the show. Mount also introduced the new, and old, members of the band while the beginning of "A Thing For Me" (the Breakbot remix) was playing in the background, which ended up transitioning into the original "A Thing For Me." Very nice touch.

The band had those little push lights on their chests; the same push lights that appear in the "Trick or Treatz" video. These lights were synchronized with the beats of the music. I thought this was very cool, obviously.

I know I'm probably making it sound like the band needs their computer back asap but that isn't really what I meant. Really, I just think they need to practice a little more. I really think the band will be phenomenal live once they all get on the same page. I still danced a lot and ended up sweating. And to be honest, that was the most I've sweated and danced in a long time. I remember the last Metronomy concert was the same; a nice sweaty dance fest. So besides my two favourite songs not sounding as good as I had hoped, the concert was still enjoyable for the most part.

Metronomy - You Could Easily Have Me

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shempi, ilu

This song and this video are amazing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bring it to me in this café

At the moment, I'm in a coffee shop in good ol' downtown Vancouver, where extreme dance music that was released 5 years ago is playing. Hate to say it, but I'm not a fan at all. I'm trying to drown out their music with this song by Sia, "Bring it to me". I don't know why I haven't heard more good things about this Australian singer. Most people I've talked to say she's pretty mediocre but from what I've heard so far, it sounds like she's a talented and unique singer.

Last year, I was obsessed with her song "Buttons". The music video was a little weird but there were some pretty good remixes of that song. Unfortunately, I don't have a remix of "Bring it to me" available but here is the original, which should be played in a coffee shop, unlike this outdated dance music.

Sia - Bring It To Me

Friday, October 9, 2009

6's afraid of 7 'cause 7 ate 9

Röyksopp's "Tricky Tricky", featuring Karin Dreijer Andersson, has an extremely dark exuberance to it. I feel like Dreijer Andersson (The Knife and Fever Ray) sings the listener through a dusky tunnel of possessed, scared numbers. I really don't have much else to say other than, it's pretty yummy.

And, this remix by Horror Shower is like the original but in this one, the numbers are dancing.

Röyksopp - Tricky Tricky feat. Karin Dreijer (Horror Shower remix)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Wooden Sky. Biltmore Cabaret. 10/07.

Opening for one of Canada's favourite acts (Elliott Brood), The Wooden Sky took the stage after the progressive, almost acid rock-like band, Sleepy Sun. The Wooden Sky is a four-piece band from Toronto. They have recently released their second album, If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone and it's an album that deserves a description that's similar to this review of their live performance.

Every time I enter the under layer of the Biltmore Cabaret, I always feel like I'm being transported into a different world. Maybe it's the hot atmosphere, the red lighting or something I can't put my finger on but whatever it is, depending on the band playing, I can be transported into other worlds that the Biltmore can't do on its own. The Wooden Sky did just that. Each of their songs reminded of a different city. When they first started, I felt as if I was in the Maritime provinces again, listening to a family jam session. Then, they played "Angels" and I was all of a sudden in Romania. Each song painted a new image in my head. Songs like, "Lock and Key", brought me to the deserts of Las Vegas, and others like, "The Late King Henry", took me to the edge of the Mississippi River. The band's music could be described as wanderer's music, due to the way it made my brain travel. "Angels" and "Lock and Key" were probably my favourite out of all the songs that were played. I liked the electric guitar solo in "Lock and Key" and the imagery that "Angels" sketched for me.

To be honest, I liked the Wooden Sky more than Elliott Brood. No offense to Elliott Brood but I enjoyed Gavin Gardiner's delectably cracking voice a little more than Sasso's raspy one. The Wooden Sky performed very well and they were well-received by the audience. I was surprised to here how hard the audience was clapping and cheering at the end of their show. I wasn't surprised because I thought they didn't deserve it or anything (because they definitely did) but surprised just because that doesn't usually happen. I'm sure anyone who's been to a concert will understand what I mean by this. You're always pleasantly surprised when the opening band is good. They had former Mother Mother member, Debra Jean Creelman, join them on stage. It was kind of hard to hear her but it's the thought that counts.

With chords hanging from the ceiling and sweaty plaid shirts on the ground, The Wooden Sky performed to impress. Their songs invited the audience to join them in their wander through cities of different emotions.

The Wooden Sky - Oh my god - It still means a lot to me

Saturday, October 3, 2009

"I called to say I'm on the way"

"Rome" is probably my favourite song from Phoenix's most recent album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. But I found myself listening to the song on repeat, waiting patiently for the heartbreaking bridge that occurs 3 minutes into the song (approximately). I just wanted that part of the song to last longer so badly.

As I was taking a glance through the recently created/released remixes online, I came across this remix of "Rome." I was very curious to see how it was produced. I wasn't sure if it was going to be dance or not. I'll tell you that I was unbelievably happy when I figured out this remix pretty much does exactly what I wanted the original to do so badly. The bridge is almost the entire remix. So sad, but it's perfect for those days when you're letting your mind travel while your body stands still.


Phoenix - Rome (Neighbors remix feat. Devendra Banhart)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not Made For Love EP

Like I blogged about earlier this month, Metronomy is coming to Vancouver (again) on Oct 13th! Tickets can be purchased at Scratch Records downtown.

I was lucky enough to hear their latest EP, Not Made For Love, before its official release date (Oct 5th). The EP has three original songs on it and four remixes of two of the three songs. The three originals ("Not Made For Love", "Do The Right Thing", and "What Do I Do Now") maintain Metronomy's abstract funky-electro style from their first album, Nights Out.

"Not Made For Love" is a sad song and speaks out to those short term lovers. "Do The Right Thing" is relaxing and makes me want to do exactly what the song entails. In "What Do I Do Now", I love the crazy keyboard/computer-like notes. This one is a little more upbeat than the other two, which I really like. It's mainly instrumentals (there are vocals but they are so computerized it's hard to make out what they're trying to communicate). I do like this attribute; I think it's pretty cool. At the end of the song, the lyrics ("what do I do now?") are made coherent and repeat until the end, which is a very nice touch to the song. "What Do I Do Now" makes me excited for what their future album is going to be like.

The remixes that follow the three originals are fairly good (which are produced by Joakim, Leo Zero, Wild Geese and Alalal). The Alalal remix stands out the most to me. I think it's because it uses the elating synth-based peak of "Not Made For Love" throughout the entire remix, making it a little more upbeat than the original.

The band is moving away from having a computer as a live band member so they have gained two new members, a drummer and a bassist (their previous bassist left the band). I'm definitely excited to see Metronomy perform with four human members instead of three humans and a computer. I love computer incorporated music but there's just something about having a real drummer that appeals to me more than having a computer drummer.

You can listen to most of the EP on the band's myspace.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Remix: "creating something fresh out of something stale"

I really do enjoy other people's definitions of the word, remix. In the documentary film, RiP: A Remix Manifesto, there is a sound clip that describes a remix/mash-up as: "creating something fresh out of something stale." I don't necessarily agree with this entirely because I think some remixes are improving, and/or interpreting, sources of media that are already excellent. Though, this sound clip does apply to a remix I've recently gotten in to.

Steve Aoki did an unbelievably amazing remix of...Good Charlotte's "Misery"; don't judge until you listen. It's pretty hard to ignore the emo lyrics (no offense to Good Charlotte lovers) but the beat and the completely new genre structure of the song make it so enjoyable to listen to, and dance to. I have a new found respect for Aoki.

Good Charlotte - Misery (Steve Aoki Remix)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shelter

The Xx are a newly formed band from England. Their influences apparently fall all over the music genre spectrum. Their original song, "Shelter", is dreamy and nice but I can't help but like the remix by Them Jeans more. The remix keeps the dreamy attribute and adds a steady drumbeat, which makes the song a little happier to me.

The Xx - Shelter
The Xx - Shelter (Them Jeans Drum Edit)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Resistance

Muse's fifth album, The Resistance, has been officially released in North America now (Sept 15). After listening to it many times, I've decided to do a song-by-song review because I can't sum this album up completely without taking every song into account.

"Uprising"

This song is the first song of the album and the first single. With a groovy bass line, the song starts off making you want to dance or move in some sort. The clapping hands captivate a unitary feeling of rebellion alongside the lyrics. Then, the guitar comes in and the song gets a little more intense. At the end, a multitude of Matthew Bellamy voices come at you and your imagination starts to march at this point. I think this is a good song for a first single. It's similar to the structure of "Time is Running Out" from Absolution but is a little more rebellious.

"Resistance"

In my opinion, I think this song should've started the album off. The faded-in extra-terrestrial sounds and synths would've made a great start to the LP. Maybe it wasn't chosen as the beginning song because it's the title track of the album. At first, I didn't really like this one. The chorus put me off; the short "it could be wrong"'s got to me for some reason. But I did really like the beginning/end and the verses so I gave the song another chance. And now I'm convinced the song is about the love E.T. and Elliott shared, which makes me really happy.

"Undisclosed Desires"

This song starts off mischievous and has many electronic aspects to it. I can imagine the remixes that will be produced with this one in the near future. I really like the lyrics of this song and the quiet whispering that goes along with them. "Undisclosed Desires" could definitely be used as the second album single.

"United States of Eurasia (+ Collateral Damage)":

I've had some troubles with this one. I enjoy the beginning and the end a lot but the middle, I'm still not too sure of. The beginning starts off with piano, voice and orchestra. Then, an explosion of guitar and Queen-like vocals come into place. This part just doesn't sound like Muse to me. The lyrics are Orwellian and I do like that effect but I don't really like the end of "United States of Eurasia", where it's just Matthew Bellamy saying "Eurasia" in different octaves over and over. But then the song transcends into "Collateral Damage" quickly after this. This part is a beautiful piano-based and orchestra/vocal-accompanied sample of Chopin's "Nocturne in E Flat Major". And in the background of this part, there are sound clips of airplanes flying and children playing; it lets your imagination float away into a movie.

"Guiding Light"

This song has an epic-rock guitar solo but that's about it. It's more like an extended interlude to me.

"Unnatural Selection"

Organs are always good in my books. They don't last long but the song quickly turns into something that kind of reminds me of "Citizen Erased" and "New Born" from Origin of Symmetry. I'm not really into the "Hey!"'s during the chorus but I appreciate the relation they have to the overall essence of the song. Near the end of the song, the music slows down, which I really like. The organs come back at this point and a guitar solo pops up. Then, it goes back to the original structure of the song and I'm kind of reminded of System of a Down for some reason...

"MK Ultra"

Perhaps some background knowledge of the title of this song is necessary. MK-ULTRA was apparently an undercover research program dedicated to the chemical interrogation of an individual's brain. Besides the meaning of the song title, this one is well produced and kind of reminds of "TSP" from Absolution.

"I Belong to You/Mon Cœur S'ouvre à ta Voix"

When did Matthew Bellamy learn French? I guess that is a question that's straying off on a tangent. This song is really good and was obviously influenced by different genres; it slightly resembles an R&B/50s song with a modern Muse twist. Very romantic.

"Exogenesis: Symphony, Pt 1: Overture"

Here's where things get really good. Things get really dark in this song, which I love. A large orchestra is used for most of it with eerie guitar effects and vocals. I'm starting to think that Muse should start producing film soundtracks.

"Exogenesis: Symphony, Pt 2: Cross-Pollination"

Finally, an amazing piano solo. There's one of these on every Muse album and it's one of Matthew Bellamy's many talents. This part goes from a piano solo to more orchestral rock music then back to more piano and classical-inspired music. At the end, it sounds like a choir is present, which is a really nice touch to the end of this part.

"Exogenesis: Symphony, Pt 3: Redemption"

The beginning of this part reminds me of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" except less depressing and more averring; obviously a really nice end to the album. It's like everything is "starting over again".

So there you have it. Apologies for some short song reviews but all-in-all, I like the album. It's not my favourite but it is a well produced and thought-out album (I would hope so, it took them 3 years). And whether you enjoyed my song-by-song review or not, The Resistance can be interpreted however you like. To me, it seems like this album could go alongside an Orwellian movie about romance, aliens, oppression and rebellion, which in the end, finishes with a happy ending.

Muse - Uprising (2009 VMA Performance)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Made

Metronomy, my favourite band of last summer/fall, is releasing new music and coming back to Vancouver on October 13th. They are going to be performing in a slightly better venue than last time; The Red Room. It's only slightly better because you can see everything that's going on, unlike the Biltmore.

Apparently, the band is going through some changes so it will be interesting to see what they come up with in the near future. Their new song, "Not Made For Love", will be officially released September 21st. For now, I have a remix by Astronomer, which is very good.

Metronomy - Not Made For Love (Astronomer Remix)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dis-moi ce que tu pense...

Boys Noize did a "Euro remix" of his original remix of Sébastien Tellier's "L'amour et la violence". I love the original and the Boys Noize original remix as well. Though, after listening to the original BN remix, I kind of wished that the Boys Noize remix had a heavier beat so it could be played in a dance club.
The original BN remix has a slow beat. It takes the electronic ending of the original and stretches it out throughout the entire remix, which is really nice considering that is the peak of the original song. But it isn't fast enough for a club.
I saw that there was a "Boys Noize Euro remix" of "L'amour et la violence" about a week or so ago. I quickly became intrigued and realized that Boys Noize granted me my previous wish of this song.

Boys Noize is coming to Vancouver on November 6. He'll be playing at Celebrities, which isn't my most favourite venue but in the case of seeing Boys Noize live, it will have to do.

Sébastien Tellier - L'amour et la violence (Boys Noize Euro remix)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We Can Watch The Stars Come Out

September has begun and things still don't seem to be organized yet. But that's besides the point right now.

Here's the point. The Scottish electronic musician/DJ, Calvin Harris (formerly known as Adam Wiles), released his second album, Ready For The Weekend, in August. I wasn't really into this album as much as I was into I Created Disco (2007) but "Stars Come Out" is a good one and makes me want to go to the dance club asap. This song has given me the desire to dance like a lunatic again.

Calvin Harris - Stars Come Out

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Prairies

I have been missing in action for a bit now. The reason for my blog absence is due to a road trip I recently took with my friends to the flat lands of Canada, aka Saskatchewan. There, we enjoyed hearty meals, music, tubing, animal friends, and each other.

The prairies were actually really nice and fun. Throughout the entire trip, we had music accompanying us (it is a long drive from Vancouver to Calgary, and Calgary to Torquay). Here's a small list of songs that stood out to me. Surprisingly, none of them are remixes.

Arcade Fire - No Cars Go
Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
T.I., Lil' Wayne, M.I.A., Kanye West, Jay-Z - Swagger Like Us (YouTube link)
The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me
Coconut Records - West Coast

Feist - I Feel It All


I promise no more blog absences.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm Not Your Toy

I had briefly heard of Data a couple of months ago but I apparently didn't pay enough attention to him as I should've. Either his status has grown since I last heard of him or I've been super oblivious, but either way, this remix is really good and I wish I could've predicted this earlier.

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the original song, "I'm Not Your Toy." It sounds too much like video game music from a mediocre 90s game. Now, this Data remix is where it's at. The song is sped up and melodic synth is added. Yummy.

La Roux - I'm Not Your Toy (Data Remix)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Squeaky delicious combo

This is a delicious combination of 8-bit, electro, computer squeaks and keyboard noises. There's so much going on in this song, it's hard to keep track of all the sounds being used. Even though it's a complex electro song, it's still excellently produced and put together by the one and only, Boys Noize. That being said, it's worth your ears' time of day.

Boys Noize - Jeffer

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wheelz of Steel vs. Wildcat

We can all admit that mash-ups are a form of remix culture that is a hard one to tackle. When I come across a good mash-up, I'm always extra happy because honestly, it barely happens. Dave Wrangler has mashed Outkast's "Wheelz of Steel" with Ratatat's "Wildcat" and it's pretty good. This mash-up between these two artists should've happened long ago.

Dave Wrangler is coming out with a new remix album, which will feature this track. It will also feature remixed tracks of Kid Cudi, Animal Collective and Notorious B.I.G..

Outkast vs. Ratatat - Wheelz of Steel (Dave Wrangler Remix)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Muse - Uprising

New album artwork and another song to listen to. You can buy it from iTunes/Muse's website.

I definitely like "Uprising" more than "The United States of Eurasia." "Uprising" sounds more like Muse while "USE" sounds too much like Queen for my liking. There's nothing wrong with Queen; I'm just not really keen on the idea of Muse sounding like them. Though, I do like the piano in "USE"; especially the end/"Collateral Damage" part.

But "Uprising" makes me a little more excited for the new album, The Resistance (to be released: September 15).

Muse - The United States of Eurasia

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tigerlily

"I know you better than this.I could be here when you call.I'll make you top of the list.And in the crush of the dark.I'll be your light in the mist.I can see you burning with desire for a kiss"


La Roux - Tigerlily


The lyrics, the distant knocking, the organ, the creepy guy near the end, the passionate vocals. Everything about this song is so good right now. And I have yet to find a decent remix of it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Moving Lights

I was extremely impressed with the July 29th fireworks (UK fireworks for the HSBC Celebration of Light). Even though I saw no other fireworks to compare them to, these ones were remarkably put together with dramatic, excellent music.

Slight change of subject: Kris Menace has done a Bag Raiders remix of their song, "Shooting Stars", which is a great song on its own. As you may know though, Kris Menace is known for his elating, euphoric remixes; therefore this remix is pretty mood-lifting. And considering this song is called "Shooting Stars" and really reminds me of shooting stars, fireworks and everything bright and alluring, I thought it would make sense to coincide it with a post regarding fireworks.

Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars (Kris Menace Remix)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Here Is What Is - 07.28.09

Every once and a while, I enjoy listening to something that isn't an electrified dance beat. When I was contacted about Here Is What Is, I was pleasantly surprised after listening to a sample of their EP, Done Before It Starts. The band is described as "genre-bending, experimental indie rock", which I would agree with to a certain extent.

The band was created in Vancouver and their formation was catalyzed by the bassist, Josh Cole (who attended Capilano College/University in North Vancouver).

For a good majority of last night's concert at the Media Club, my mind floated along with the music. I don't think this is a bad thing. I do enjoy going to a concert and letting my imagination travel with the music. With the wavering guitar sounds and soft, long vocals in songs like "Done Before It Starts", "Lucy and the Lost Lions", and "Please Wake Up"; it's hard not to let your imagination take control of your thoughts.

"You Can't Not Dance" was a song that stood out. This tune has a steady, catchy beat that emits pure emotion. The female vocalist/guitarist, stated that the audience should dance at this point but no one seemed to take this advice (unless there were a few at the front I couldn't see), me being one of them. With no offense to the band, this song isn't exactly a song I would dance to, which isn't a bad thing. It's a great song. It's most definitely my favourite aside from "Final Fantasy." It's just a fairly slow beat that really just makes me want to bob my head, move my shoulders a little and let my mind dance to.

All-in-all, the concert was well-performed. Perhaps it's because the band consists of siblings and good friends, but they all seem to be on the same musical page. Here Is What Is is going on tour to promote their new EP and I'm sure by the end of the tour, they will be heading towards bigger and better things.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bulletproof Concert

Amidst the hot and sweaty atmosphere of the Biltmore, La Roux and her band mates took the stage in hopes of getting everyone even hotter and sweatier. The show started with "Tigerlily", which was performed well but I felt as if La Roux (a.k.a. Elly Jackson) was a little timid at first. This could've definitely been due to the heat. Though, once she performed "Colourless Colour" she started to adapt to the heat and break out. At this point, her energy built up and the concert got significantly better and more impressive.

"Bulletproof" was a great song to end with. The entire audience was pumped up and started jumping up and down. At the end of the song, Jackson somewhat joined the audience by standing at the front of the stage, gripping the low ceiling of the Biltmore, pumping the audience up with the beat and her fist. The ceiling almost looked like it was going to break. I don't know if it was because Elly Jackson is so strong or because the Biltmore is so old. This left me wanting more but I think she ran out of songs to perform and she was also doing a CD signing session after the concert.
She performed all of her songs from her first, and only album at the moment, La Roux. I'm going to admit I really love La Roux's lyrics. They are clear and real. Elly Jackson isn't the only person who should be credited to the lyrics though. Ben Langmaid, the co-writer and co-producer of La Roux, also helps out with the production and creation of the electropop songs and lyrics.

Even though it was ridiculously hot and sweaty, the concert was great. "Colourless Colour" and "Bulletproof" were by far my favourite songs that were performed. Next time La Roux hits up Vancouver, I would like to see her/them perform at the Commodore. Hopefully, her fan base grows a little more and the next show can be even more bulletproof then the last.

La Roux - Bulletproof

Friday, July 24, 2009

Here Is What Is - Contest

Vancouver's own, Here Is What Is, is playing at the Media Club on July 28th. The band consists of five members who combined musical forces in 2007.

The show is the official release party of their first album, Done Before It Starts. This album reminds me a little of the American band, Beach House. In my opinion, Here Is What Is is as ambient as Beach House but the Vancouver band seems to have a little more energy.

If you'd like to win tickets to this show, send an e-mail to remixourlives@live.com before July 27th.

Free download of "You Can't Not Dance" here

Monday, July 20, 2009

Je t'aime, Sébastien Tellier

And I also really like Hypnolove for remixing "Fingers of Steel" so wonderfully.

Both artists are from France and specialize in romantic, sexual beats. This isn't the first time Hypnolove has remixed Tellier. They also remixed "La Ritournelle", which isn't as good as the remix of "Fingers of Steel" but is still decent. Check out my preferred remix below.

Sébastien Tellier - Fingers of Steel (Hypnolove remix)

Also, Tellier has a new video for his song, "L'amour et la violence"

Bad Blood

Simian Mobile Disco has collaborated with Alexis Taylor, the singer from Hot Chip (not to be confused with the adult film star). This collaboration between these two artists is so sensual I love it. It's almost like a revised version of "10,000 Horses Can't Be Wrong" combined with the casual yet enticing vocals of Alexis Taylor.

Simian Mobile Disco - Bad Blood (feat. Alexis Taylor)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't you let me go tonight, I'm hanging high

I know I write about Lykke Li way too much but I think her live stuff is really something to talk/blog about and I haven't really blogged about it yet so here I go.

If you ever have a chance to see her live, do it! As for now, here are some live tracks. "Little Bit" was remixed by Death to the Throne (which I've already blogged about). Here is the link to the remix.

Lykke Li - Little Bit (Live on MPR)
Lykke Li - Hanging High (Live on MPR)
Lykke Li - Tonight (Live on MPR)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oh, hell no!

Since my mp3 player decided to delete all my newly uploaded music, I was persuaded into browsing my older stuff. Foals popped up so I put on "Cassius" right away. After that, "Red Socks Pugie" came on and I really got into this song. It starts off softly with short drumbeats and eerie background noises. Then, it transcends into energetic "hello no's" and "what the hell's", which work so well with the rest of the music. It's great to freak out to when you've had too much coffee.

The ending is also something to take note of. It's almost like a mash-up of remixed jewelry box sounds and bass notes, fading out.

Foals - Red Socks Pugie

Monday, July 13, 2009

La Roux

This British redhead is gracing Vancouver with her electropop presence on July 27th at the one and only, Biltmore Cabaret.
The previous posts I've written regarding La Roux have basically been about the song, "In For The Kill" and its remixes. After getting my hands on the entirety of the album, La Roux, I'm surrendering my eardrums to these beats on a daily basis. Check out the "Bulletproof" video below. And of course, I can't help but add a remix to this post (remix courtesy of Foamo).

La Roux - Bulletproof (Foamo Remix)

La Roux - Bulletproof

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Remix, Says Simon

Says Simon is an up-and-coming DJ/artist who has produced two recognizable remixes so far. One remix is of Boss In Drama's "Favourite Song" and the other is of "We Are The People" by Empire of the Sun. I definitely prefer the "We Are The People" remix; it's the yummier remix of the two.

Empire of the Sun - We Are the People (Says Simon Remix)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Resistance - 09.14.09

YES! Muse is going to release their fifth album, Resistance, on September 14th! And of course, there are no North American dates set for their Resistance Tour yet. All the dates are in Europe and Britain. Hopefully, there will be some North American dates in the new year.

Here's the most recent Muse remix I can find. It's "Supermassive Blackhole" remixed into a hardcore ravey dance beat, produced by a Emre B.

Muse - Supermassive Blackhole (Emre B remix)

Muse - Fury (Live at Royal Albert Hall 2008) (B-side/bonus track from Absolution)


I don't know if I can wait until September...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happiness

"Time stops still when you've lost love"

It's hard to believe that I just got into this song. I heard Metronomy's remix of it last year and loved that. At the time, I hadn't heard many good things about Goldfrapp so I did the worst thing possible and didn't check them out for myself. Thanks to hanging out at HMV, I heard the original being played in the electronic section. After that, I got my hands on Goldfrapp's latest album, Seventh Tree, and now, I can't stop listening to "Happiness."

I love her voice in this song. Especially when she sings the bridge and the chorus; it's almost like her voice is part of some eerie, truthful draft that passes by. I also feel like this song would be really good in a musical. It makes me want to dance in sequence with a group of people down the street. How cool is that?

Goldfrapp - Happiness

And here's the Metronomy remix, which is also really good.

Goldfrapp - Happiness feat. the Teenagers (Metronomy remix)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Little Bit Live Remix

Death to the Throne has done another Lykke Li remix (he may be as obsessed as I am...this is his third Lykke Li remix).

I downloaded this as a "Re-remix" but technically (in my opinion), it is not. It's another remix by Death to the Throne of Lykke Li's song "Little Bit" but it's a live version of the song remixed; not the original. Therefore not a re-remix of the same remix he did before...if that makes any sense. And frankly, this remix is one of the better remixes I've heard Death to the Throne do. He added way more than just a heavy beat; there's some crazy 8-bit keyboard noises thrown in there.

Lykke Li - Little Bit Live (Death to the Throne Remix)

Vancouver's night scene

Fever Ray's got it down...

Fever Ray - If I Had a Heart (Fuck Buttons Remix)