Posts Tagged ‘Pitchfork’

I like making mixtapes… I guess its almost the same rush as someone who plays fantasy baseball or something.  I go through my collection and build a setlist.

With some help from Pitchfork, iTunes Genius and my friend James… I found a set of fuzzy electronic off-kilter beats split up by some adorable indie pop.

The set begins with an ominous song from How To Dress Well. A song that is also side 1, track 1 from their album. It rises with some mellow and enjoyable beats, then bogs down with crackling distortion of Hudson Mohawke. Maybe the most most interesting of the songs I included, if only for its spooky weirdness.

A Sunny Day In Glasgow has some of that ethereal-ness of Hudson. Then I jammed out new music from Alexander, aka Alex Ebert aka the dude from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Something delightful from Kelowna band We Are The City and its a wrap.

Thank you for listening to my set.

Stream it from my Mixcloud: Sometimes beside, never next to


DJ Notes

01) How to Dress Well – “You Hold The Water”
02) Baths – “Plea”
03) Gold Panda – “Back Home”
04) Teen Daze – “Neon”
05) Bibio – “Ambivalence Avenue”
06) Hannah Georgas – “the national”
07) Hudson Mohawke – “Star Crackout”
08) A Sunny Day in Glasgow – “Nitetime Rainbows”
09) Alexander – “Trust”
10) We Are The City – “Time, Wasted”

Go with yourself.

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I hate the words “soft rock.”  Its like, if you identify with that kind of music, I don’t want to be your friend.  It reminds me of being 19 or 20 years old and working at QMFM in Vancouver and not getting it.

People want to hear Luba, “Let It Go?”

Turns out they do (QMFM crushes in Vancouver radio ratings)… but the whole idea of “soft” and “rock” being two words, though maybe accurate, together to brand something seems weird and not right.  On a fundamental level!

So what is up Destroyer?  You’re new record Kaputt is getting a ton of positive hype and is described as soft rock.  And yeah, honest moment, I didn’t buy the hype at all based on that description alone.

Pitchfork “Best New Music” ‘d the record.  That is something right?  PopMatters was a little more critical giving it a strong 6 out of 10.

My man Simon was talking about how good the record was last week at Veneto Lounge.  Its funny, not until after a trusted friend says, “yeah, for real,” did I even think to check it out.

I began by downloading the free download offered up at Pitchfork.

Destroyer – “Chinatown”

Download MP3 >> 01 Chinatown

First listen… while doing other internet trolling… it was pleasant.  You know, like soft rock.

Second listen… this is too much, too much.

Third listen, OK I like the album cover (I’m a sucker) so I bought the record Kaputt.

Admittedly, it was a hard for me to get into right away.  It wasn’t till I hit the middle-ish and songs like “Savage Night…,” “Suicide Note…,” “Poor In Love,” and “Kaputt,” that i started to gel on the record a bit.

The disc is crazy pleasant… and can be too much for some (it was for me at times…  saxophone fills?  c’mon man!).  This record reminds of eating too much Koala Kandy Kones at work.  So yummy, so upset belly.

The final cut is an older song that he had released then included on Kaputt, “Bay of Pigs.”  There are some interesting tones and audio-weirdness that feel like a massage on all the  little hairs that grow in my ears.

If I had to give it a score, I might split the difference between Pitchfork’s glowing 9 and PopMatter’s ho-hum 6.  Like a 7 or 7.5.  Its a cool record, but it won’t be for everyone.

Fuck, I do like the record cover.

Go with yourself.

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Generally when I read or hear about some hipster jam and its not reviewed or mentioned on Pitchfork, my bullshit meter goes off.

One of two things must be true about this song:

01) Its a corporate construct like Paramore or Taco Bell “Beef”

02) Its too enjoyable and accessible for the “Dictators of Taste” in Chicago.

The story is bizarre and wonderful and strange.

LA scenesters record one ice-cool song.  Share it for free on their website.  One friend tells another down the grapevine and presto-bingo-bango, internet phenoms.

Foster the People‘s “Pumped Up Kicks” reverberated around the internet tubes this past summer and with a discography that includes… uhh, “Pumped Up Kicks” they are now off to do a little tour of Australia and will be at this year’s Coachella.

What’s going on?  Is the song really that good?  I dunno…  lets have a listen.

Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
Download mp3 >> FosterthePeople-Pumpedupkicks

The LA Times had all sorts of positives to say about the song, I mean, if you think sounding like Phoenix or Empire of the Sun is a positive.

I’ve listened to the song a half-dozen times at my desk today.  I like it.  Is it changing me world?  not really… so maybe I don’t fully appreciate or understand why this particular track got touched by the fickle hand of the viral internet.  But I will download the the free MP3 and include it in my set at Veneto for sure.

Go with yourself.

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Wow, just like that and Christmas is over. The adventures, good times, family, presents, dinners, treats. All done.  Back to the grind.

And what does the DJ who has everything get for Christmas?  Music silly.

My lovely sister-in-law Alyx found me a couple vinyl records to add to the collection.  The first up is the Japandroids’ second record which is actually a collection of their first two EPs.

No Singles ain’t blowing my mind in awesomesauce.  But even a casual reader of my blog should know they are one of my favourites and this record helps in my collection (though oddly I don’t have Post Nothing on vinyl?  weird.)

Where maybe the musical immaturity  falls a little short, the vinyl packaging is great.  Beautiful white vinyl, nice cover and the record comes with a picture book of the Japandroids life circa 2006-2008.  Lots of concert shots from little bars mostly in Vancouver and poster art.

It was funny… for Christmas I didn’t really ask for anything… but come to think of it… and it took my brother reminding me, I needed a new amp for my record player.  Actually, my brother thought that was what I was gunna for him. Derrrrrr…. hmmm, his 30th Birthday is when?  November?  Maybe then?

If you see or have an old amp for sale, let me know!  I want two of them.  One for me, and one for CJ.

Alyx was a doll and got me TWO records… and I guess she reads the blog as she knew that one of my great misses of 2010 was being slow to the resurgence of the Deftones.  She said she was going to try and track Around the Fur down for me, but no dice.  So Diamond Eyes it is!

My man Jon Williams talked far more eloquently on his Top 10 of 2010 than I will here as I am still new to the record and learning the songs.  I only had a chance to drop the needle on this record once and it was Christmas morning, uhhh, yeah, didn’t mesh then.  But maybe a different time it will.

Coral and my folks both got me iTunes gift cards! Huzzah… so tonight I took some chances on some albums that got great hype over the year on Pitchfork but I was unsure on.

Sleigh Bells, LCD Soundsystem, James Blake, and Flying Lotus.

Getting a bunch of new music can be blessing (well it is) but also a curse in that of these 6 new records… some will rise to the surface with repeat plays and some sadly will drift away.  Maybe I’ll blog in a month on what is still getting plays and what is not.

The Flying Lotus and James Blake will be good electronic music in the lounge for the nights when I feel more modern and less classics.  Maybe LCD Soundsystem has a party rocker or two that can go in a progressive dance set and Sleigh Bells will live in the indie/eclectic playlist for now… but we’ll see with repeat listens where they end up.

Lastly a couple singles.

Cage the Elephant‘s new record Thank You, Happy Birthday is out in January… the single is “Shake Me Down” and both Coral and I love it on the Zone… so it can live on my computer for home listening for sure.  In fact… this is a 45 I want to find too.

The other single is kinda silly, but I got the song stuck in my head and this is the best I could on iTunes.

Coral has had a fairly hilarious and ultimately fulfilling fascination with the straight to video British tween drama Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging… based on the popular book series  Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. I suppose in Coral’s defence, she might have been 16 when the first one came out?  So nostalgia compelled her to watch the film adaptation what 3 times?  In the last 3 days?  Go on-demand video!

The story centres on  15 year old Georgia and you know… boys.  errr, they’re so infuriating sometimes you know.

She falls for a one Mr. Sex God and wouldn’t you know it, he’s in a band!  The  Stiff Dylans… great band name, and they play a song a bunch in the film called “Ultra Violet.”

I searched for the song on iTunes, but no dice… some more searching and I found it by a singer named Joanna.  That’s it, that’s her stage name… back to branding school for her… or American idol? or whatever, but the song sure enough is on there.  So I downloaded it.  And its terrible, not in a good way.  Doh, that .99 gone to the Itunes monster.

Now I’m thinking?  Do I download a couple Bruce Springsteen records?  Some 50s jams?  Or call it a night and leave my iTunes windfall for another night?

OK, good talk.

Go with yourself. 

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I used to be a daily reader of Pitchfork’s record reviews.  But hell’s bells… 5 records a day was a lot to read.  Not to mention the damage it was doing to my poor credit card downloading all these random hipster tracks and albums.

A combination of greater work/family responsibility and increased call-volumes during the radio show means I seem to have less time to read album reviews.

I tend now to focus on their forkcast section as its A) shorter and B) comes with free downloads.  Plus they have lots of chillwave which I like right now.

Tuesday, I randomly read the reviews and found a band that I am now loving.  I could tell from their album artwork they were likely some degree of Brooklyn, bedroom electo heroes… and low and behold, Small Black is!

I guess that goes to show how important album artwork is, I judged that book by its cover.

I downloaded their new record New Chain and also found a free download for you if you want to check out their song “Despicable Dogs.” Its so super-duper 2009… but who didn’t love the summer of ’09? I challenge you to say you didn’t!

Download >> Small Black – “Despicable Dogs” (mp3)

Its a light, sexy, fuzzy, electronic sound.

Go with yourself.

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Band of Horses latest record Infinite Arms didn’t get stellar reviews… but personally I really enjoy the record.

Pitchfork was saying it is ideal for long drives through the wilderness and I can attest to that (if you consider parts of Southern Vancouver Island wilderness) as I rocked a BOH album in the earliest hours of the morning after a wedding in Shawnigan Lake.

The NEW BAND OF HORSES VIDEO features lots of two of my favourite things… driving and the desert!  its like a match made in heaven as my future will one day call for living in a dusty desert village.

I would imagine that the “Laredo” in the song is a reference to the Texas border city but there are little Laredos all over the US, Mexico and the original village by that name is in Spain.

There are even some Laredo place names in BC. There is a Laredo Inlet, Channel and Sound. Neat.

When I go there one day, I’ll rock “Laredo” by Band of Horses and think about an aquatic desert and what a mind fuck that would be.

Go with yourself.

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A monthly article I never miss is Resonant Frequency.

Its written by one of the editors at Pitchfork, Mark Richardson, and he waxes on about his personal relationship to music and what it means and all this 30-year-old white guy non-sense.  His tastes are were far more eclectic than mine ever were, or will ever be.

But his themes are so interesting.

He talks this week about about the albums that were our favourites at a time.  And when this record meant so much to you; you thought, “I will always love this record.”

Then, one day, years later you wake up and its not your favourite.  In fact, you haven’t listened to it in years and if you did now… heck you might not really care for it all that much.

He then talks about a group called Piano Magic.  I wanted to check it out to try and hear what he might have back in 1999 when Mark thought Low Birth Weight was destined to be a great record.  Wow, it is spooky.  Wikipedia called it ghost rock and I think, listening I might have found my perfect Steam Punk sound!

He then goes on to think about the internet and how stuff lives forever.  I found Piano Magic’s music pretty easy on Youtube.  <– This song was crazy real.  Reminded me of this old British movie I watched years ago with some of the most awkward and authentic sex scenes I have ever seen in a movie.  I wish I could remember the title.

Music lives on forever with the internet.  Last night I was telling Coral about my dream to press a 7 inch single of my old band, Smut Peddling Sam.  She didn’t get it.  Said it was silly and childish and that no-one would care.

Maybe she is right… maybe not?  I’d care, so that is at least one.  I googled Smut Peddling Sam.  Everything lives on the internet, even Smut Peddling Sam!

Our old friends were in a group called Triple Word Score and they got signed by a record label called Long Beach records outta California. They mentioned us in their bio and that bio still takes up a few bits of internet code.

SPS used to play at the Cobalt in the early days of that old punk rock bar… and I found an old page of WENDYTHIRTEEN that mentions us.

My brother Matt’s Myspace mentions us. (remember MySpace awww).

WHAT? the original Smut Peddling Sam website?

Crazy… silly internet has a long memory!

***if you care to hear some of our uhhh, unique? style on speed punk, click on my –> MixCloud page. ***

Go with yourself.

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Me (and my fat head) and Makka Pakka watching the Canucks game.

Up early today.  I thought I was supposed to meet the fire inspector for my condo building, but I obviously got that date wrong.  No worries, I had a lot of out-standing emails to answer, and some tax stuff to organize.  Now it is just past 9 AM and i feel good.  Maybe I should wake up at 8AM every morning?

I have to go to my tax guy later after the morning Zone DJ meeting.  Ugh, not looking forward to it.  I’ve been flying around the blogosphere reading everyone’s tales of mega tax returns… and what tropical Island they’ll be spending it on and it makes me envious.  I’m the guy the guy that will need to be sending money to the government.  wah wah wah.

Its my own fault really, I am partly self employed and last year I DJ’d a fair amount outside of my 9-5 at The Zone.  So yeah, I’ll be sending a cheque to Ottawa.  Next year will be crazier (which is good?  It means I am working more… but I have no long term planning ability, so the money comes in, I spend it.).  I’ll need to do pre-emtive tax payments now I think, so it doesn’t stress me out next spring.  Ahhh, maybe Coral will get a tax return and we can… go on the ferry to Port Angeles or something?


Pitchfork.tv is a great invention. Its like how you wished Much Music still was.  But the beauty if 2010, it IS Much Music.  I can plug my laptop into my TV and watch all these great music video.  I can search for a fave, or let Pitchfork play their selected titles.  They also have the odd interview or feature piece.  Yesterday I watched a video on the Decline of the Indie Record Store.

I Need The Record

The person doing the documentary travels around to different indie record stores and documents their plight.  Its a good watch for the most part, he talks about the community that indie record stores apparently create and how important that is.  But the people he generally interviews are really gnarly alpha nerd 50 something fat men.  Hmmm, I don’t know if i want to be part of that community.

I felt bad for the shops and the decline in the culture, but the culture is not dead.  Obviously “most” people don’t have the same value on the music then some people feel they should have, but it doesn’t mean all record stores have gone the way of the dodo bird.  The only reason there were so many before is because people HAD to buy music, now they don’t.  Most people don’t care to hang out in a record store… we all have passions, maybe yours is the garden store, or the park or a hike or whatever.  maybe its steam train engines.  Fuck, I feel sorry for you, not too many steam engine shops open on Johnson Street anymore.

Collecting records is a nerdy thing, like collecting miniature civil war figurines or having a cat. A couple shops in Victoria, thats all we need.  And if they are going to stay, we need to actually shop at them from time-to-time.  Friends don’t let friends buy records off Amazon (or books either!).

Don’t even get me started on books! (great read if you have the time)


WTF?  Has Delorean created an album about the desert?  the Spanish electro-druggy-poppy-bright somethingorother band might have done just that.

Check out their record Subiza. I already have a couple from their first ep and the cut “Stay Close” but when I saw the track listing today, it was kismet, I had to have “Infinite Desert.”

I have already drafted my next set for Mixcloud “Two Kinds” (almost had it up last night but wasn’t happy so I scrapped it).  It was missing something, and that something is “Infinite Desert.”

OK, the time is now to head to work.  Go with yourself.

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I love this album cover.  It is for Vancouver ambient artist Loscil… aka Scott Morgan.  I could look at this picture and just… look.

I read the review of his record, Endless Falls on Pitchfork the other day and downloaded a couple cuts right after.

I put the tracks on and let them space me out for a bit.  When they finished, I emailed Scott.  I went on the internet, and sent him a good old fashioned, “hey man, I like your style… how do you do it?”  And just like that, he messaged me back.

I was interested in HOW.  How does an electronic artist even make crazy ambient beats?  I’ve been listening and DJ other people’s music for so long that I am starting to get the itch to try and make my own.

Scott rocks the Ableton Live with something called Max. It looks sorta fun for a geek like me who stays up way too late at night thinking about stuff.  While trolling the net I also saw something from Akai that lets you “play” your Ableton.  The Akai APC 40.  Bad ass right?

of course, $$$ is a major road block.  Ableton with Max will run me somewhere north of $800 and then the Akai APC might be another $450.  Zoinks.  Not a poor man’s hobby, that is for sure.  This set up would run me something like $1,250 plus taxes and whatever other fees will end up in there.  Not an insurmountable cost, but one I don’t want to tackle right now as Coral and I aggressively continue our battle against consumer debt.

One idea I have is to try and get another DJ night or part-time job to generate the additional money I’ll need to buy toys without damaging our family finances.  I’d like to think, I’d buy the stuff… learn it quick like wizard… jam out some songs, sell them on iTunes and start shopping for sports cars… but seeing as I am the last person on the planet that still buys music… well I can only buy my own single so many times before Madelyn is wearing hand me down diapers, and that’s an ugly thought.


Toys aside, I did manage to jam out a very calming mix tonight, but Mixcloud and me are not getting along and it just won’t upload my set tonight, so that’ll be coming at you maybe tomorrow. Oh here it is, mix is uploaded: I love you, but you’re terrible at…

And in other podcasting news, Capital Rock City might be getting a bit of an overhaul as well.  Thinking about the idea of a “podcast” got me thinking… do I even need to make a long form “radio” show for the internet?  What if I just posted a weekly blog or maybe a “capital rock city” blog of its own.  I’d write about local Vic music and just post up the MP3s as I get them for download.   You could listen to songs individually, then if you like you’d download them and if not, you’d move on to the next cut?  Better or worse?


Go with yourself.

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bah, I’m so stupid.  I totally flaked on the fact that one of my favourite bands of 2009, The Rural Alberta Advantage, is coming to Victoria tomorrow.  AND its now sold out.

Oh I am a sad panda bear.  sad emoticon, go! 😦

But in positive news (unless of course its sold out), Four Tet will be in Vancouver on February 24th and I’ll be in Coquitlam celebrating Madelyn’s second year of life and the 2010 Olympics.  If it can be done and I can be on a ferry early enough Thursday morning, I *might* try and go.  I say might because the logistics  could be more hassle than the value.

But I read a great interview with Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) that just re-ignited my love for his style of electronic beats. (and the dude went to high school with the man that is Burial?  SWA?)

Check out this quote:

Pitchfork: On the new album, there’s a track called “Pablo’s Heart”, which is 11 seconds of a swooshing, pulsing beat. Is that title to be taken literally?

Four Tet: It is Pablo’s heartbeat. Pablo is my godson. His father recorded the heartbeat on his mobile phone at the doctor’s office and sent me the recording. His parents were coming to see a live show I was doing, so I took that sound and played it through the sound system. It was really loud and sounded like a mad modular synth when the bass was pumped up. It was this really crazy scene. His heart at the time was probably the size of a pea and I was using it to make this immense sound. He’s not very old, so he won’t understand when he sees the record. I put it on as a little present to him.

Pitchfork: It’s your Herbert moment. Does that have any relation to the end of the track “Plastic People”, when it sounds like there’s a kid hitting some bells or percussion? Is that Pablo as well?

Four Tet: I was working on music while staying with some friends of mine, and their little girl Opal was playing this little toy piano and I recorded it. If I listen back to my old record, Rounds or something, an album I made over a period of a year or so, it’s almost like a diary for me. I don’t think I listen to it like anybody else would. For me, it’s about all the memories from that time, how I made each song, where I was and what was going on. I always put little references to my life in the music I’ve made. It’s no different with this record, I’ve just done a couple of things more explicit this time, like calling the track “Pablo’s Heart”.

In the past it would have been buried and I wouldn’t have told anyone about it. I wanted him to have a little gift almost, a sound off the record. There aren’t lyrics or anything in my music. I don’t have any explicit thing for people to read into, so I like putting a lot of personal touches in the music. If I bare my soul in bits and make it personal, I think people can sense that when they hear it. I don’t know what it is. People read into the music. I have a feeling that they can believe that I’m trying to put some emotion forward. It’s not just some technical exercise.

I love it, so much exciting stuff to try and pull out of the music.  But its also interesting for me to read about the things that are real, that this artist is pouring into his music.  It was a very good interview if you care… read it.


I’ve been blogging about music lots lately.  I think that is a good thing.  I don’t quite get as many hits on my music posts generally.  But at the same time, my biggest days have been music posts and my catalog posts seem to be the ones that still get discovered.  That is kinda neat.  I’ve always had a challenge with that.  I like music and talking about music, but it doesn’t generate too much emotion in most people that find my blog.  Oh well… its my blog.

The other thing I’ve been trying to feel is some zen.  Getting tired of fighting with people about shit all the time.  Twitter turns the hyper engine on overdrive.  I’ve been catching myself a few times and not posting stuff I want to say because I weigh out whether its worth the debate and drama.

Focus is good.  There are some other things I want to start working on too, but it will have to wait… always waiting.

A couple things I am waiting for, Vancouver this weekend and Sasquatch in May.  They announce the line-up tomorrow.   Can’t wait.

Quatchi has got to eat too you know... http://www.homelessnation.org/node/17263

Something that is kinda buttering my biscuit is this business in Vancouver of restaurants adding the tip automatically to the bill.  tacky central Vancouver downtown restaurants.

Read All About It! Vancouver Sun

“We are doing this to ensure we take care of our servers. It isn’t business as usual down here. The usual gratuity [expected from Canadian or American customers] ranges from 15 to 20 per cent so it’s not gouging,” Nancy Celetti VP marketing for Earls.

awww, its about the servers?  really… how about you pay them a living wage if you valued their work.  Then the tip would be just that, a tip.  After the Olympics, put them back down to $8/hour…

I’ll be downtown next weekend for the Olympics and if it comes time to enjoy a pint or a bite and there is an automatic gratuity I’ll be pushing off to the next restaurant or packing a lunch.  I guess that is freedom.  You can gouge tourists and I can eat elsewhere.

Go with yourself.

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