News

Jack White and Third Man Take Charge of Jay-Z Vinyl Releases

07.10.13

Good news comes in pairs? The mastermind that is Jack White will be helping the mastermind that is Jay-Z release some  Magna Carta Holy Grail goodies on vinyl. First, the news dropped that White’s Third Man Records would be releasing the vinyl of Open Letter, a track that didn’t make the album cut. “It’s in a letter… you can play the letter… it’s amazing… You open the letter, and you can actually play the card,” Jay-Z confusingly explained. Then the big news came today. Third Man will also take charge of the full Magna Carta vinyl release. The label has “something very special planned for the vinyl edition which will be made available for purchase in the coming weeks,” though no other details were given. Jay-Z has been up to all kinds of antics lately, and today we found out he will apparently be performing his track Picasso Baby for six hours straight (not quite playing Ni**as in Paris a dozen times in a row at a show, but close). He should fit right in with Third Man.

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FROM THE CORNER comes...

The Mowgli’s

07.10.13

by Sheila Quinn

San Francisco band The Mowgli’s are a congregation of cheerleaders, belting out what can only be classified as a new genre – JOYROCK. With occasional strains reminiscent of early R.E.M. (think Fall On Me), and vocal enthusiasm only paralleled by The Polyphonic Spree, The Mowgli’s come on with a definite ‘the more, the merrier’ feel threading everything they do. Professing themselves that ‘universal togetherness’ is the main message, it’s also the means. This eight piece gang, who grew up largely around the San Fernando Valley area aren’t wasting any time with musical moping. Not a single tail between the legs, The Mowgli’s are telling stories in the key of glee, with Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire influencing their approach to producing music and stage presence. Their album, Waiting for the Dawn, doesn’t smack of waiting for anything. It plunges. Leaps. Soars. Tumbles. Hallelujah for playfulness, here’s to The Mowgli’s.

Genre: Joyrock
Latest Album: Waiting for the Dawn
For Fans Of: Vampire Weekend, The Shins, Ra Ra Riot
Listen To: The Mowgli’s

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Coming Soon… M.I.A.

07.10.13

M.I.A. - E-Flyer

News

Fred Armisen Says Out With CD’s, In With USB Keys For Queens of the Stone Age

07.09.13

When you picture the Queens of the Stone Age, you probably picture some spooky rock music, or Dave Grohl killing some drums, or beer, or fighting. Whatever you picture, it’s probably the opposite of Saturday Night Live and Portlandia actor Fred Armisen. Yet Armisen has been called upon for an infomercial promoting the band’s new bottle opener/8GB USB flash drive version of album …Like Clockwork. In the video, a long-haired khaki-wearing Armisen bashes CDs and “the cloud” in favour of flash drives, He then talks up the features of the USB key, including exclusive photos and artwork, before dancing to various singles from the album. Did I mention that the Queens of the Stone Age members are there watching in silence? Watch the intentionally-kitschy promotion here.

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News

Kanye Says “FUK YOU” After Unfinished Video For Black Skinhead Leaks

07.08.13

While music leaks are so commonplace that they barely even surprise musicians these days, a video leak is a little more delicate. Ask Kanye West, whose clip for Black Skinhead appeared online today. The video was an interesting one: animated, featuring wolves and a CGI version of Kanye West (a little more muscular than real life, we might add) dancing around for three and a half minutes. The good news is, the visual is not finished being made. We know this because a clearly pissed off Kanye took to Twitter to discuss the leak. “Me and [director] Nick Knight have been working on this video for 5 months and for creatives it’s heartbreaking when something like this happens,” he said in several tweets. “The final version will be ready within the next week. So any website that may have the unapproved /unfinished ruff. I ask you to please take it down. Allow me and Nick to give the world what we’ve been losing sleep over.” When we say he was pissed, we were mostly referring to the tweet that followed all that, which was “to who ever leaked the video… FUK YOU!” If you’d rather ignore his pleas, you can watch that ripped version here.

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Concert Reviews and Photos

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 4 – 07/07/13

07.08.13

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 4 - 07/07/13

Welsh trio The Joy Formidable gave one heck of a lively performance, mainly due to lead singer Ritzy Bryan and her bottomless pit of energy and awesome guitar skills. Bryan probably left wear marks on the stage from all her running around! During their short set they played singles from both The Big Roar and Wolf’s Law albums and finished off with hit Whirring.

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 4 - 07/07/13

The Wu-Tang Clan reunion show was an all out attack on the senses. First there was the auditory assault of bass and colourful language. Then came the weed cloud provided by Method Man (and possibly every other person in attendance). And with the whole crew of all stars on stage – RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Cappadonna and Masta Killa – there was tons of action to look at!

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 4 - 07/07/13

Tegan and Sara’s recent departure into more poppy territory seems to have paid off judging by the amount of people in attendance. The twins have not lost their early days charm and were endearing as ever with their stories and in between song chats. Throw in a couple of songs from the good old days and you’ve got yourself Canadian indie pop at its best!

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 4 - 07/07/13

Still riding high after their double win at the GRAMMYs earlier this year, and off the major commercial success of their single We Are Young, New York City’s Fun. did not disappoint. In fact they seemed genuinely surprised at the size and sheer madness of the crowd. Obvious favorites were the aforementioned mega-hit as well as newer single Carry On. Fun. was a hit!

Catch us Wednesday at Animal Collective, Solange and Weezer, and come back Thursday for our pre-review preview!

Words: Canyon
Photos: SHP

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Coming Soon… Alice in Chains

07.08.13

Alice in Chains - E-Flyer

Concert Reviews and Photos

The Black Keys at Espace Montmorency – 07/05/13

07.07.13

The Black Keys at Espace Montmorency - 07/05/13

Now in its ninth edition, the Mondial Loto-Québec de Laval (MLQL) has undergone a few changes in its last two editions including a broader musical program and a new, more accessible, outdoor site. While still technically a choir-based musical festival, the MLQL’s partnership with evenko has allowed them to draw larger international acts as well as maintain their distinctly local flavour. For this year’s edition they counted on The Black Keys to kick off their closing weekend and any doubts as to their ability to draw a huge crowd, having performed in Montreal no less than 3 times in the past 2 years, were quickly quelled. (more…)

Concert Reviews and Photos

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 3 – 07/06/13

07.07.13

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 3 - 07/06/13

Our day three coverage started off with a BANG! courtesy of Fitz and The Tantrums. Ditching the fancy suits and dresses for more weather appropriate garnments, the lively bunch did not shine any less. Indie soul blasted from the speakers of the Claridge Homes Stage in a full on assault of beats. Of course they included crowd favorite Moneygrabber and more recent hit Out of My League into their set list, but they also squeezed in a cover of Eurythmics‘ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 3 - 07/06/2013

It’s hard not to write flattering words about Neko Case since she’s an artist so near and dear to our hearts. But unfortunately we’ve seen her play better live in the past (namely at the Bluesfest in 2009). It’s not that the show was terrible, it was just a little lacking for an artist who’s usually so passionate on stage. Case and her band tried out new material from her forthcoming album but even when she sang People Got a Lotta Nerve she was unsuccessful at realing us in all the way.

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 3 - 07/06/2013

Belle and Sebastian’s first ever concert in Ottawa was well received by fans that had been waiting as long as 15 years to see them live! Lead singer Stuart Murdoch was in a celebratory mood and kept a good vibe going throughout the whole show. The impressive amount of musicians on stage (including a string quartet) really contributed to making this Glasgow group’s sound rich and full.

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 3 - 07/06/2013

Having to share a time slot with the Dixie Chicks in a city like Ottawa (where people in and around the capital LOVE their country music) is definitely unfair for any artist. But Sharon Van Etten didn’t let that phase her too much and managed to impress with an inspired and true performance for the small group in attendance. SVE is our coup de coeur of the day and is definitely on our must see list the next time she comes to town.

Catch us tonight at Wu-Tang Clan, The Joy Formidable, Tegan and Sara and Fun., and come back tomorrow for our pre-review preview!

Words: Canyon
Photos: SHP

Concert Reviews and Photos

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 2 – 07/05/13

07.06.13

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 2 - 07/05/13

It would be hard to talk about day two of the Bluesfest without mentioning the weather. The heavens opened up and sent stage hands scurrying in all directions. Camera Obscura were concerned about their equipment getting damaged, but didn’t seemed phased at the prospect of being electrocuted. Guitarist Kenny McKeeve even put on his sunglasses in the hopes to chase the clouds away. The Glaswegians managed to impress nonetheless and almost made everyone forget about the rain.

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 2 - 07/05/13

Surely no stranger to this type of weather, British folk-rock artist Frank Turner got everyone moving with show starter Four Simple Words. This level of energy was carried throughout as he offered hits like Recovery and Still Believe. Accompanied by his band The Sleeping Souls, Turner gave a killer performance and was rewarded mid-set by the heavens with a brilliant rainbow.

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 2 - 07/05/13

Mother Nature provided a nice wet base for the circle pit in front of the Claridge Homes Stage where energetic fans rocked out to the politically charged lyrics Flogging Molly are famous for. The Celtic punk rockers, along with skateboarding legend Matt Hensley manning the accordion, played their first show since St-Patricks day and almost caused a Revolution!

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 2 - 07/05/13

If you came to the She & Him show expecting the bubbly and hilarious Zooey Deschanel from TV’s New Girl, then you probably left disappointed. This Zooey is much more modest and withdrawn. Her counterpart M. Ward is no showman either, as he consistently steps back from the spotlight to let her shine. But that’s not to say there was no lack of talent present on that stage: the pair of them, along with their 4 musicians, expertly played through their repertoire of indie pop.

Catch us tonight at Fitz & The Tantrums, Neko Case, Belle & Sebastian and Sharon Van Etten.

Words: Canyon
Photos: SHP

Concert Reviews and Photos

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 1 – 07/04/13

07.05.13

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 1 - Jimmy Eat World - 07/05/13

Our Bluesfest coverage kicked off on a high note with Jimmy Eat World who took full advantage of their short 1 hour set by offering new tunes as well as classics like The Middle and Work, and taking some time to chat with their fans between songs. Apparently third time is a charm for the Arizona boys as this performance was definitely stellar compared to the other two times I’ve seen then live (which are not even worth mentioning).

Ottawa Bluesfest: Day 1 - Grand Funk Railroad - 07/05/13

Then came Grand Funk Railroad, who may not be as loud and crazy as the good old days, but they sure know how to rock! Focusing mainly on their large roster of hits, we were also treated to a solo from one of the founding members, drummer Don Brewer. These guys love to perform on stage and the audience could feel it. Classic rock at its best!

Catch us tonight at Camera Obscura, Frank Turner, Flogging Molly and She & Him, and come back tomorrow for our pre-review preview!

Words: Canyon
Photos: SHP

News

Beck Enlists Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand for First Live Performance of Song Reader

07.05.13

In 2012 Beck released a sheet music album called Song Reader. Now, he’s done reading. Beck performed a full concert of material from that album for the first time last night, and he did so in style. Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Beth Orton, and many, many more musicians joined their cohort on stage at the Barbican in London to collaboratively perform select tracks from that effort. You can watch Beck and Jarvis Cocker in a fan-filmed video here and the entire line-up on stage for the finale, Rough on Rats, here.

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Justin Timberlake Has Tunnel Vision For Beautiful Naked Women In New Clip

07.04.13

Perhaps inspired by Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, Justin Timberlake decided he was going to push the envelope a bit with his new music video for Tunnel Vision. And by push the envelope, me mean litter the clip with naked women. The third single from The 20/20 Experience may end up having the most popular video as 13 year-old-boys clammer to find it online. Essentially in the music video Timbaland and Justin Timberlake are projected onto naked bodies. Lost in the sea of bodies is the fact that JT grew a beard and air violins, air trumpets and air drums like half the time. Watch the NSFW visual directed by Jonathan Craven, Simon McLoughlin and Jeff Nicholas, here.

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Jay-Z Launches Magna Carta Holy Grail to the World, Streams Single Holy Grail

07.04.13

1 Million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail are now in the hands of Samsung Galaxy users, and undeniably far more people who will have downloaded it somewhere for free online. While it shouldn’t take long for the album to spread and the reviews to drop, in the meantime Jay-Z is graciously offering up one single, Holy Grail, on his Life + Times website. The title track features Justin Timberlake, and starts off pretty classically with piano backing before Jay-Z steps in. Listen to that on SoundCloud here and let the Yeezus vs Magna Carta battle commence!

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Pharrell Files a Lawsuit Against will.i.am After will.i.am Files a Lawsuit Against Pharrell

07.03.13

This week in slightly ridiculous lawsuits: will.i.am. is apparently suing Pharrell Williams for the use of the words “I Am” in his company name I Am Other. Recently, reports surfaced that the Black Eyed Peas member was suing his counterpart, saying through his lawyer that “We think their proposed trademark is too close to our registered and common law trademarks.” The issue seemed to focus on Pharrell’s use of “I AM” by itself when referencing the company. But Pharrell doesn’t seem to have taken kindly to the idea of those two words being copyrighted, and has apparently now turned the tables and filed a lawsuit against will.i.am for the accusations of trademark violation. In the lawsuit he calls the trademark “relatively weak,” and notes that his references to I AM don’t have periods between the two words. If this seems complicated, it most definitely is considering the entire issue boils down to three letters. While Pharrell has taken steps to prove he’s not in the wrong, it also probably won’t matter much to him either way. The singer and producer has appeared on the top best-selling singles of 2013 so far: Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.

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Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail Forces Music Industry to Change Gold & Platinum Certification

07.02.13

Jay-Z was already a game changer, but now he has literally changed the game. The Record Industry Association of America has been forced to change its rules on how albums are certified gold or platinum in light of the rapper’s Samsung-coordinated release. Jay-Z sold a million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail to Samsung that will be released to its Galaxy phone users for free through an app. For those keeping score (like the RIAA) this essentially means it will go platinum very soon, if not immediately after being released. “Going forward, sales of albums in digital format will become eligible on the release date, while sales of albums in physical format will still become eligible for certification 30 days after the release date,” explained Liz Kennedy, the director of the RIAA’s Gold & Platinum Program, adding that the change is in line with their efforts to modernize the process. On top of this change, Billboard will not be counting Jay-Z’s album on their charts. But when 1 million people have his album on the first day it’s released, do you think he’ll really care?

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Joey Bada$$ Releases Summer Mixtape

07.01.13

Joey Bada$$ released four mixtapes in 2012 that helped propel him to the center of the rap radar. But, after all that success, the rapper had a slow start to 2013. Today, Bada$$ restarts the cycle, releasing his first mixtape of the year. Dubbed Summer Knights, the tape is lengthy, at 17 tracks, and features a wide range of producers including DOOM, The Alchemist and more. You can watch the video for one of the mixtape singles, 95 Til Infinity, here.

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The Nine Inch Nails Come Back Haunted With the Help of David Lynch

06.28.13

Filmmaker David Lynch is no stranger to music or music videos. A musician himself, Lynch was behind the camera for Moby’s Shot in the Back of the Head video and Interpol’s I Touch a Red Button Man, among others. His latest work just happens to be the music video for Came Back Haunted, the latest single from the Nine Inch Nails. With his history of disturbing and provocative films, the match on paper seemed like a perfect fit. The video is, well, avant-garde? There are lot’s of facial close-ups and random black and white images that can be either creepy or terrifying, depending on your sensitivities. The camera is constantly moving, like a scene from The Blair Witch Project, and much of the video is also layered with strobes, to the point where it is preceded by an epilepsy seizure warning. Non epileptics can watch Came Back Haunted here. The Nine Inch Nails forthcoming record, Hesitation Marks, is out September 3rd.

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Coming Soon… The Black Keys

06.28.13

The Black Keys - E-Flyer

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Kanye West Has Enough Leftover Yeezus Material For A Follow-Up Album

06.27.13

Yeezus, undeniably, has people talking. Kanye West’s recently released album is very different, heavy material that is adored by many, and disliked by many more. It turns out that this may not even be the half of it. Literally, this may not even be half of the material Kanye has written. In an interview with the Daily Beast, famous producer Rick Rubin revealed that the record could have been much longer, so much longer that there may be enough material for a Yeezus sequel. “Initially, he thought there were going to be 16 songs on the album,” Rubin told the Beast. “But that first day, before he even asked me to work on it, I said, ‘Maybe you should make it more concise. Maybe this is two albums. Maybe this is just the first half,” to which Kanye excitedly said, “That’s what I came here today to hear! It could be 10 songs!” So all those extra tracks are just sitting there, and Rubin himself answered the question about a potential follow up with “might be.” Rubin also revealed in the interview that Kanye brought him in last minute, only five weeks before the record dropped. He said the task “seemed impossible” and that he thought to himself “Is the music making me sick?”

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Earl Sweatshirt Cancels All July Concert Dates, Says Hes “Really Fucking Sorry”

06.26.13

Earl Sweatshirt is sick… like significantly ill. And because of that, he has made the never-easy decision to cancel a series of shows. After dropping out of Bonnaroo due to pneumonia, Sweatshirt has reportedly now put an end to the few other july dates he had scheduled. In an effort to cheer up fans, the young rapper made the announcement accompanied by an incredibly random drawing of “Doris” on Twitter. While funny, he was clearly bummed out by the news himself, writing (in all caps) “IM STILL SICK AND THIS SUCKS ASS THAT I CANT MAKE IT TO THESE JULY SHOWS I AM REALLY FUCKING SORRY TO EVERYONE WHO WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.”

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FROM THE CORNER comes...

Daughter

06.26.13

by Sheila Quinn

Indie folk trio Daughter spawned from London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. Clearly over-achievers, this crew has been producing solidly since their start in 2010, self-releasing their first EP, His Young Heart, followed by The Wild Youth, both in 2011. Daughter (made up of vocalist Elena Tonra, guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella), has since signed with 4AD, and subsequently released their first full-length album, If You Leave, in the spring of 2013. With Cranberries-reminiscent harmonies, Florence Welch chutzpah, threaded with flecks of Tori Amos and Natalie Merchant, Daughter’s offerings are hauntingly feminine yearning percussed through with primal tick-tocks, strung out basslines and riffing. Daughter’s blend is solid, polished and seductive. Slightly more production heavy than most of what the folk scene has to offer these days, If You Leave is trancy, hypnotic and grand, a refreshingly edgy mellow.

Genre: Indie Folk
Latest Album: If You Leave
For Fans Of: Feist10,000 ManiacsFlorence and The Machine
Listen To: Daughter

Concert Reviews and Photos

The Tragically Hip at Lachine Canal – 06/22/13

06.25.13

The Tragically Hip at Lachine Canal - 06/22/13

Under a constant rain, with mud thick enough to suck shoes off of the audience’s feet, a trio of Canadian bands (The Rural Alberta AdvantageSam Roberts BandThe Tragically Hip) showcased at Lachine Canal this past weekend. They were all left with the challenge to overcome Mother Nature and provide an entertaining night for an already uncomfortable crowd. (more…)

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MGMT Announce Self-Titled Follow Up to Congratulations, Due in September

06.25.13

MGMT have now announced their long-awaited new record. After teasing the album – and revealing that only lead members Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden actually perform on the LP instead of the massive entourage they used on Congratulations – the duo has given us a release date: September 17th. They’ve also provided the title, well the self-title, MGMT. In addition to Record Store Day single Alien Days, the record will feature a very random cover of Introspection, a track by 60s garage band Faine Jade. Despite the lack of creativity on the album title, MGMT will apparently come with “unique visual elements to accompany and illustrate the new music” in the form of something called the Optimizer. Whatever it is, it provides “listeners of the album with a simultaneous aural and optical listening experience featuring video and CGI work.” There’s the MGMT we expect.

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Wake Up! The Arctic Monkeys Announce New Album, AM

06.24.13

The Arctic Monkeys streak continues. The British rock band, which has never gone more than two years between records, has announced the follow-up to 2011’s Suck it and See. AM, their fifth album in eight years, will hit shelves on September 9th via Domino Records. No longer in the small time, the Monkeys attracted the likes of Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas, Josh Homme of the Queens of the Stone Age, and Bill Ryder-Jones as contributors on the record. The 12-track effort is being teased at concert dates throughout the summer and will get some serious live attention as the band hits the stage next fall. You can already see a few of the planned shows after the jump. (more…)

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