Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We Are The People

Empire of the Sun is a "coming of age war film" that was directed by Steven Spielberg in 1987. Whether or not the Australian band, Empire of the Sun, purposely named themselves after this movie, they still seem to use their imagination and claim they are a music superhero duo in a "spiritual road movie."

The duo, Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore, apparently are always dressed in "costume" when they do interviews. By just glancing at one of their press photos, you can get an idea of what these costumes are like. They kind of remind me of stills from the NeverEnding Story or something.

When I first heard Empire of the Sun, I may or may not have cast them aside. Reasons for this are due to the fact that they kind of seem like a copy of MGMT. I still think they resemble MGMT a little too much but I can't help but love the song, "We Are The People."

Empire of the Sun - We Are The People

Also, the remixes of this song are too good to pass up. Shazam picks the song up for the disco dance floor and Johnny2Sox does the same but adds some saxophone which gives it more soul.

Empire of the Sun - We Are The People (Shazam Remix)
Empire of the Sun - We Are The People (Johnny2Sox Remix)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Green Go

Derived from Guelph house parties, Green Go is a band that wants to make your body move. The band consists of five people who seem to share instrumental roles; Ferenc Stenton (band leader according to CBC Radio 3), Jess Tollesfon (keyboards/vocals), Kyle Squance (bass/guitar/vocals), Mark Andrade (drums/guitar/bass/vocals), and Adam Scott ("drum droid").

Their debut album, Borders, is set to release in April. If you want to check out some songs that will be featured on the album, check out their myspace. There, you will find upbeat songs that will make you wish you were in Ontario at one of these Green Go house dance parties.

While working on their new album, they also found time to work on an ongoing remix project which does (and will) contain remixes of their favourite artists; which seem to mostly be other Canadian artists. So far, they've done remixes of: Women, Born Ruffians, Gentleman Reg, The D'Urbervilles, and the Rural Alberta Advantage. Future remixes will include: Bocce, DD/MM/YYYY, Woodhands, The Bicycles, and Forest City Lovers.

So keep an eye out for Green Go's new album and more of their future remixes. Hopefully, there will be some national (and/or international) Green Go house parties soon.

Green Go - Watch Your Step

Gentleman Reg - Thunderstorm (Green Go Remix)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Give Me Your Hand

According to a recent interview with Pitchfork media, the Swedish duo, Air France, don't like to do many remixes. They claim that when they're going to do one, they're going to make it their own. And yes, their remix of Friendly Fires' "Skeleton Boy" proves this statement.

This remix mainly focuses on the lyrics, "Give me your hand," and adds more elating beats and instruments to the song. Every time I've listened to it, a smile has creeped onto my face.

Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy (Air France Remix)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Electric Bloom

I've stumbled upon another excellent remix of the Foals' song, "Electric Bloom" (youtube link to the original here). This one is produced by a solo DJ that goes by the name, Bufi, from Mexico City. He entered this remix into the summer contest that the Foals put on last year. Even though he didn't win, this remix is still very well-done and I would rather listen to Bufi's remix over the orchestral one (don't get me wrong, I thought the orchestral remix was very cool but I need more of a beat these days). You can download Bufi's remix for free off

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Au Revoir Simone

French names all over the place

Au Revoir Simone is a female trio from Brooklyn. If anything, their music is pretty indie pop (some songs a little more electro). They formed in 2003 and have released two albums so far.
I'm currently listening to their latest album, The Bird of Music (2007), and loving the song "A Violent Yet Flammable World".

Au Revoir Simone - A Violent Yet Flammable World

The band released a remix album of The Bird of Music called Reverse Migration in November; which I really wanna get my hands on! Ruff and Jam's remix of "Lark" is awesome - check it out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Going in for the kill

Mostly inspired by the 80s, La Roux is an electropop female/male duo from the UK. The duo is composed of Elly Jackson (vocals/synths) and Ben Langmaid (co-producer/co-writer - according to wikipedia). The name was chosen because of Elly Jackson's red hair; la roux meaning redhead in French. And apparently, she gets people asking her what's wrong with it. How interesting.
La Roux just signed with the major label, Polydor, so I'm leaving an embedded vimeo video below for people to check out.

As for remixes, British DJ/Producer, Skream, did a "Let's get ravey" remix of this song. He slows it down and makes it a little more spacey. You can check it out below.

La Roux - In for the kill (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Remix)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tom Fun Orchestra - Pub 340 02.14.09

Once the Tom Fun Orchestra took the stage of Pub 340, I got really excited (though, I had a hard time showing it because it was passed one in the morning). But I was slightly discouraged when the DJ (or sound technician) wouldn't turn off the background music. After like five minutes of this, it became VERY apparent how annoyed the band was because of this. But in due time, all was well and the band started playing their upbeat "cluster rock" music.

After a couple of songs, most of the band left Carmen Townsend (vocalist/guitarist), "Shakey" Shane O'Handley (bassist) and Tommy Stallion (the drummer) to play some of Carmen's solo work. This stuff was nice to hear but quite different from Tom Fun Orchestra. It was more acoustic and very dream-like. It seemed Carmen was originally only going to play one of her songs and continue with the Tom Fun Orchestra after her song was done but this didn't work out so smoothly. Carmen just ended up playing two songs instead while the rest of the band increased their level of intoxication.

The combination of Townsend's and Ian MacDougall's (main vocalist/guitarist) was as pleasing as it is in the original recordings of this band's music. I really do like the fiddle as well especially in the song, "Last Of The Curious Thieves." The sound wasn't too great but I'm blaming the venue for that.

Tom Fun's live performance definitely had a maritime aura emanating throughout the venue. In the dim environment, I felt like I wasn't really in Vancouver but more like I was in one of the Maritime provinces again; which was something I definitely enjoyed. Also, fitting eight people on that stage didn't seem as difficult as I thought it would. It didn't look THAT packed.

Besides the sound problems and time scheduling of Pub 340, Tom Fun Orchestra was a pretty good time. It was full of unique dance moves and offerings of mustache rides and kissing booths. It also provided a relief to those Valentine's Day frustrations by producing a concert full of sonic aphrodisiac music for the hungry ears of the audience.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lykke Li - Commodore 02.11

When Lykke Li first came to Vancouver, she played the Red Room. After that, her fan base grew quickly and a couple of months later, she played Richard's. Now, another couple of months later, her fan base has grown even more to sell-out the Commodore.

The opening band, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, was just a vocalist and a percussionist. The vocalist's voice was very nice to listen to. Cool idea, but I found their songs would build up with no peak therefore; not very satisfying.

As for Lykke, I enjoyed her show at Richard's more than the one at the Commodore; that could be because the Commodore isn't as intimate as Richard's. But I also felt like her performance was stronger at Richard's. Don't get me wrong though, the concert last night was great and a lot of fun but the one at Richard's seemed to be of better quality.

Though, the lighting at the Commodore was much better (obviously). When she started, it was like an alien spaceship was landing; smoke was everywhere and the lights were bright and in our eyes. Then, Lykke Li suddenly appeared out of the smoke and her band members followed her after she went from "Melodies & Desires" to "Dance Dance Dance" (which is very similar to the beginning of the show at Richard's).
The crowd wasn't as into dancing as they should've been and she noticed that as well. But once she performed "Let it Fall" and stopped the song, requesting that she needed dancers behind her, many girls flocked to the stage to dance behind Lykke. That, right there, was very cool. And when I saw the amount of girls flocking to the stage, I thought the back-up dancer idea would become a disaster quickly but it didn't. It was very smooth and civil.

One song that really got me excited that I really didn't think she would play was "Knocked Up." Not many other people seemed to be that excited for this song though. She did a short cover of Lil' Wayne's "A Milli" which was just funny (and fun) more than anything. I also love her live version of "Window Blues"; it's very intense. And this time, she got most of the audience to sing along to the chorus ("un, deux, trois...quatre, cinq, six") which worked fairly well.

Her encore consisted of "Time Flies" transcending into "Tonight" which was done very well ("Tonight" has been stuck in my head ever since and I like it). And she ended the concert asking if we were satisfied and performed A Tribe Called Quest's "Can I kick it?" (the same way she ended her show at Richard's).

This concert just proved to me once more how great of an artist Lykke Li is. I love the spontaneity and uniqueness (I was really surprised when she got a bunch of girls from the audience up on the stage to dance with her). I like how her live songs are different from her recorded songs. I really think she needs to release a live album, ASAP!

"Tonight" video. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pre-concert Hype

Lykke Li - I'm Good, I'm Gone (live in the back of a cab)

Black Cab Sessions

Yuksek - So Down

Yuksek's remix of Mika's "Lollipop" was one of my official summer songs of last year. Since then, I heard a couple more Yuksek remixes, one being Chromeo's "Bonafied Lovin'" and the other, Tommy Sparks "I'm a Rope". And the usual happened; I discovered Yuksek was a sweet remixer. Now, what's his original stuff like? He has Chromeo featured on one of his songs called "So Down" which is pretty sweet. I love when electro DJ's get artists featured on their tracks. And from what I've heard so far, his original stuff is as excellent as his remixes (fyi: you can stream most of his remixes on his myspace).

To be honest, this garçon named Pierre-Alexandre Busson (Yuksek's real name) is a DJ/producer that deserves a little more recognition. His new album, Away From the Sea, was released at the beginning of this month in the UK and Europe (I'm not so sure about the North American release date yet). You can check out his song "So Down" and the video for his song "Tonight" below (which are both featured on the new album).

Yuksek - So Down (feat. Chromeo)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Help, I'm Alive

I was wondering what was going on with Metric. Apparently, Emily Haines went away to Buenos Aires (see: embedded video below - it explains everything).
Metric is set to release their fourth album on April 14th. And I do like the song "Help, I'm alive" but I'm hoping that the rest of the album isn't completely like that song. You can download the acoustic version of "Help, I'm Alive" from their official website.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Tom Fun Orchestra - Interview/Contest

Sounds like: "a million atomic-level Ferris wheels hurtled through the air at light speed; like a hardball in search of a celestial catcher’s mitt. We call it cluster-rock"
Song: Tom Fun Orchestra - The Watchmaker

If you’re looking for something different, a little unexpected, and infectiously energetic; you should check out the Tom Fun Orchestra. They come from Cape Breton Island and are currently on their Pan (handling) Canadian Boxcar Crusade across Canada. “Tom Fun” seems to be a fictional character the band has created (check out the biographie on their official website). His history emanates the overall essence of the band’s music; rambunctious and fun.

The Tom Fun Orchestra is comprised of eight/nine people; two guitarists/vocalists (male and female), a violinist, a banjo player, an accordion player, drummer, trumpet player, and bassist. They are set to play Pub 340 on February 14th. I know what you’re thinking, an eight-piece band on the little stage at 340? Not to worry, this band has fit into much smaller (apparently, a phone booth).

Their music kind of reminds me of an eastern Canadian version of Gogol Bordello. Though, other people have compared them to Arcade Fire, The Pogues, Broken Social Scene and Tom Waits; as you can see, it’s hard to pinpoint this band’s sound.
Right after doing an interview with CJSW 90.9 (the University of Calgary’s radio station), I got a chance to interview Ian MacDougall (vocalist/guitarist/creator) and asked him how he would define Tom Fun’s sound and other questions. Check it out below.

If you’re interested in attending the Tom Fun Orchestra concert on the 14th and want two free tickets and a free copy of You Will Land With a Thud, e-mail your contact info to before February 13th (Contest courtesy of The MuseBox).

How did The Tom Fun Orchestra start? Whose idea was it?

I had been living alone in a lighthouse just off the coast off Cape Breton Island. I had lot’s of time on my hands and lot’s of songs in my back pocket. I went back to Cape Breton before the 2005 ECMA awards and I had applied for a notecase which is like a concert series that they have. I had sent in some demo songs that I had but I didn’t actually have a band so I had to call my pals and ask them if they’d play with me for this concert that I booked. We didn’t rehearse. Well, a few of us rehearsed the night of the show and the rest of the guys just showed up about 15 minutes before the show. And we played and it was terrible. The idea of it was to be designed to be more of a spectacle than a real concert. Obviously, we didn’t really rehearse so we didn’t really consider it a band; I didn’t think it was going to go beyond that. I just wanted to put on a spectacle for a lot of people and somehow tie in some songs to it.

And after that, you guys just kept going with it?

Yeah, we kept going. The first few months it was still an unorganized spectacle. But eventually, we realized we were having fun with it and people were actually enjoying the songs, not just the sight. So we decided to rehearse a little and that worked out. And we got tighter and we had more fun doing it so we kept doing it.

How would you define the sound of Tom Fun Orchestra?

I would define as a million atomic leveled Ferris wheels hurtled through the air at light speed; like a hardball in search of celestial catcher’s mitt. We call it cluster-rock; that’s the term we’ve invented for it. You can use the other term that I just spewed out as well.

What are some of “Tom’s” influences?

Let’s see. Public drinking fountains, exit signs, trolleys…I’m just looking around the room. Um, they’re all over the place from Mongolian throat singing (and I really meant that, I’m not being sarcastic) and everything and anything. I don’t know if I can put my finger on it; our surrounding environment.

Is this the band’s Canadian first tour? Have you been to the west coast before?

It’s our first time on the west coast. We’ve been through Ontario quite a bit and we’ve been overseas but we haven’t actually been west of Ontario until now.

How's it going so far?

It’s going wonderfully. We’ve had really good shows; we’ve had sold-out shows and a good response everywhere. We’ve played in a lot of cities that we’ve never been before and the response has been amazing. So that’s awfully nice.

Are you excited to play Vancouver?

I’m very excited. I’ve never been to Vancouver even outside of my band. I’ve got some pals there and I’m looking forward to it.

What should the crowd expect on the 14th?

Remember, that thing I said about the atomic-level Ferris wheel swirling through the air? Expect that, but in music form. Yeah, it’s bunches of energy and bunches of fun. And nappy-snappy dressers and really good dance moves. They should wear their dancing shoes. They don’t have to dance, but it’s nice when people dance.

Last question, is Tom an alcoholic?

(Laughs) Well…no, I would say he’s a recreational consumer.

Monday, February 2, 2009


North America South America (N.A.S.A.) is a producer/DJ duo that consists of Dj Zegon and Squeak E. Clean. They have gathered some of the world's most unique musical artists and made them collaborate on one album, The Spirit of Apollo. Some of these artists include: Lykke Li, Tom Waits, Karen O, Santogold, M.I.A., John Frusciante, Kanye West (just to name a few). The name, North America South America, was chosen because it seemed to portray the collaborated spirit of the music well.
The Spirit of Apollo will be released February 17th. So far, N.A.S.A. seems to be completely genius. Collaborations are awesome, especially when they are between artists that I thought would never work together before. From all the songs I've heard so far, it seems each artist brings their own persona to each song which definitely keeps things interesting.

You can check out a good majority of their songs on Myspace. Or you can check out "Gifted" below. I can't get enough of this one; I have it on repeat.

N.A.S.A. - Gifted (Feat. Kanye West, Lykke Li and Santogold)

Thank you to MS for introducing me