Archive for October, 2013

MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-October 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

nursery1THE NURSERYCarnival Nature

One of our top picks for album of the year, The Nursery deliver a psych/rock/pop sound that is just incredible. Not a bad track on the disc. Eccentric. Esoteric. Weird. Great songs with amazing production values. This is a must have for your collection. A thoroughly enjoyable wild ride.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/the-nursery-carnival-nature/

tracerflare2TRACER FLAREBlack Box

This 5 track EP mixes new wave, with alternative rock and then adds progressive rock overtones. beautifully written and played. An eclectic retro-pop-rock sound with an edge.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/tracer-flare-black-box/

ee2EURASIAN EYESSilent Cries

Synth rock like it was meant to be played. This UK duo writes great songs with intricate melodies and images. If you like synth rock, this is it.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/eurasianeyes-silent-cries/

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

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WATERSHED HOUR: Bang With The Van Gogh

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

wh2Watershed Hour is an incredibly unique band. I recently listened to their 2013 EP, Bang with The Van Gogh, and found that 4 of the 6 tracks used bass, drums, and vocals exclusively! This duo, hailing from Whitby, On , have discovered a sound that really requires nothing more than bass and drums.

The first track, “That’s My Bass Solo?!“, has great opening effects, thundering drums,and an incredible bass line, and I love the vocal. “Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Doctor. Doctor Who?“, brings a powerful rhythm section accompanied by great guitar riffs as an added bonus. The definitive bass line of “Morgan Freeman“. The 60’s fuzz bass sound of “Can’t Be Bothered To Come Up With A Title“, The insanely wonderful vocals of “I Married A Narcissist. Myself“. My favorite track, “Pre-Verse“, includes Laura Klinduch‘s killer drums, some cool effects, and solid guitar riffs, played by singer and bassist Natalie Stardust.

whThis is garage rock. Alternative-punk with a twist. There are elements of metal. It is the kick in your face music that reeks of anti-establishment and social angst. It is powerful. It is honest.  It is simplistically wonderful. It is fun.There were times, when listening to the album, that I didn’t notice the absence of guitar. When I heard those riffs, they were well placed and added texture to the music. These girls have talent and they have a plan: To make music the way they want to make it. I give them a great deal of credit for stepping out of the herd and choosing a different path. The EP delivers a unique sound, from a somewhat off centre band who know exactly what they are doing. No guitars? Not a problem, Just Bang With The Van Gogh. Definitely worth a listen.

Listen to Watershed Hour here: http://watershedhour.bandcamp.com/

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

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I, The Jury Or Rather, The Judge

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

ciwI was recently offered to be a judge at Canada Indie Week. I was honored and I was distraught. I have never believed that it was possible or even appropriate to have musical competitions. What is it that is being judged? It seems to me that it is just too subjective. I always believed that The Beatles were the greatest band ever. I still do. Yet The Beatles never released Dark Side Of The Moon. Pink Floyd on the other hand, never released Rubber Soul or Revolver. How do we accommodate for genre? Do we judge the material? Should more weight be given to the melody or the technical aspects? Do we consider commercial appeal and success? I have no idea! Yet I agreed to judge Indie bands in order to assist in determining the Indie Band of 2013. And so, I gathered my thoughts, and headed out to fulfill my duty as a Canada Indie Week judge.

XPRIME

XPRIME

My venue for Thursday night was Czehowski’s, a nice, non descript bar on Queen St. W. I signed in and was given a pen, and 4 score sheets. I was to judge 4 bands in areas of stage presence, performance, image, crowd response, song writing and ready for the next level. Who knew it would be this difficult? Could I be that objective? Isn’t objectivity subjective? But enough of my philosophical ramblings. Let the bands begin!! The night opened with J.J. and The Platters. A decent rock band with great energy and good songs. The crowd enjoyed them, and J.J. had good command of the stage. Something was missing though. There was nothing original, nothing unique in their music.  Nothing distinctive. Next up, Xprime. I had seen this Niagara Falls band on several occasions during the past 2 years and was amazed at how they had developed. They blew me away. They blew the crowd away. Their energy, intricate songs and amazing harmonies made them a tough act to follow. I will be writing a review on Xprime as soon as I hear their upcoming album. I spent the rest of the evening speaking with this band, getting a sense of where they were headed. Phil Taylor, the drummer, manager, booking agent and business manager is on top of it. These guys play bars, corporate gigs, and private functions and put their earnings back into the band to fund recording projects. Smart and talented.  Following Xprime was an unenviable place to be. So much so, that I cannot remember the other 2 bands who played that night.

As for the venue, there were not enough monitors for the bands and not enough lights to read the score sheet. The server was incredible, loaning me her flashlight so I could mark my scores. Thank you.

Friday night took me to The Silver Dollar Room, a venue I had played many times, a long time ago. Surprisingly it looked exactly the same. In fact, I think I recognized some of the stains. Its nice to know some things never change. I got my score sheets and pen and sat at the seat with the best vantage point in the bar. Once again I was to judge 4 bands.

Boy + Kite

Boy + Kite

Sue Newberry & The Law

Sue Newberry & The Law

Boy + Kite, an amazingly cool band out of Austin, Texas took the stage 1st.  I liked their music. They were innovative and had a unique edge. I chatted with them after their set and picked up an Ep and a full album. Very cool band. They are also due for a review. Next up, The Waxmen, a power trio with some nice songs, but nothing I haven’t heard before. Talented musicians who still need to find an edge.   Sue Newberry And The Law followed. A kind of Parachute Club approach to the music, but this girl can sing. Nice harmonies, and original, but lacking energy. Cool sound though. Finally, Maladies of Adam Stokes, an interesting band that supports a Dylanesque front man. Good songs, cool image, but lacking in uniqueness. All in all a pretty good night.

passesWhen I left The Silver Dollar Room I realized that it is impossible for me to be completely objective in my judging of music. I have my biases, my likes and dislikes. I have been around music long enough to know what I like and don’t like as soon as I hear it. It is not judgemental to prefer one genre over another. It is what makes music universal. There is something for everyone. I will not judge again. It is too stressful, too anxiety provoking. I have lost sleep and I have lost some sense of innocence. Next year, I will just go from venue to venue checking out the bands and writing about Indie Week. It is a lot simpler for me, and it does not wreck havoc on my conscience.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/
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AUDIO AND VIDEO: OUR PICKS-Autumn 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

COOL VIDEOS (Because we have EYEZ as well as EARZ)

WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO

nursery1

 

 

http://thenursery.bandcamp.com/album/carnival-nature

 

 

M&M

 

 

http://messesmiracles.bandcamp.com/

 

 

sh2

 

 

http://swillbillyheroes.bandcamp.com/album/the-lamentable-tragedy-of-the

 

 

 

 

 

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

 

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EURASIANEYES-Silent Cries

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

eeIt’s been a long time since I’ve listened to Synth-rock, and Eurasianeyes, the duo from Sunderland, U.K., have piqued my interest with their debut EP, Silent Cries. released in July 2013.

The opening track, “Afterworld“, has a wonderfully full sound, reminiscent of 1980’s synth-rock, and yet remains original. The vocals are great. The melody, superb. The effects and transitions, brilliant. “Chaos In Your Mind” has a beautifully, ethereal opening as it erupts into a great melody with strong vocals. The instrumentation of “Guardian Angel“, follows the vocal melody line and provides a great beat, incredible production techniques, and a kick ass ending.” Jealousy” is more upbeat than the other tracks, but continues to provide a great melody. The very cool, but somewhat off kilter melody of “Silent Cries“, make it the highlight of the album for me. With a great beginning and ending, spectacular transitions and the use of scales in between, this song is what synth-rock is about.

ee2Eurasianeyes are Paul Russell and Mel Bell. They developed their love for synth music in the 1980s, listening to Ultravox, Gary Neuman, and Depeche Mode. Their music is melodic and full.  Their songs are well crafted and well executed. If you are a synth-rock fan, this could be what you’ve been looking for.

You can listen to Eurasianeyes here:   http://www.reverbnation.com/eurasianeyes

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

Eurasianeyes will be featured on New Music Mondays on  Radio That Doesn’t Suck on October 21, 2013 at 12pm, 6pm and 10pm, EST. Listen in for interview and music.

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Radio That Doesn’t Suck. All the time.

ALEX PULEC-Out Of The Nursery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

ap2I have always been fascinated by, and appreciative of weird. After listening to The Nursery‘s Carnival Nature, I knew that the driving force behind the band, Alex Pulec was weird. It was in his music, like hot sauce in gumbo.I had to meet this guy. I got in touch with Alex, and we arranged to meet to talk about music.

We met at the coolest coffee spot in all of Toronto, Jet Fuel. The connection was immediate. His knowledge of music is impressive. He likes John Lennon and Robert Smith. He likes Sparks-the somewhat eccentric and eclectic Mael brothers-and he knows who Echo And The Bunnymen are. We talked about The Beatles. He told me how he met Pete Best at a gig at The Drake Hotel. Pretty cool.

ap4Alex has been writing and playing since his teens.  He was already performing original song at gigs in his first band, The Ruby Spirit, by the time he was 18, This band had the opportunity to open for  Jesus & Mary Chain 2 years ago. His face lit up when he told me this story. His passion is in creating music, writing songs that he wants to write. He views his music as art, and has no interest in creating what already exists or walking anything but the road less traveled. He is aware that he cannot create within a vacuum and has been able to surround himself with people who he believes understand his vision, which can at times be difficult to understand. He spoke about his producer, Tony Malone with the utmost respect and admiration. Tony gets him. And his music.

Alex’s vision is, simply, to create exceptional music. He writes what he feels and sees. It is in him. His songs unfold, taking shape on their own. He has no formula. He has no preconceived notion of where he wants it to go. It just goes.  Recording, for Alex, is the captured moment in time, the legacy of his work. Performing is the high.

ap1He is not just the leader of The Nursery. Alex performs as an acoustic solo artist as well and enjoys the opportunity to perform his songs in a different format. Alex unplugged. Plugged in or not, this guy has his head on straight.  He aspires to create great music, not to achieve greatness. He is modest and shy, and at times uncomfortable speaking about himself. He is genuine and appreciative. He is insanely talented and a bit quirky. Marches not just to a different drummer, but to a completely different band.  But, this is Alex. Very cool.

The Nursery will be performing at The Rivoli in Toronto, on November 9th, 2013.

You can hear The Nursery here: http://thenursery.bandcamp.com/album/carnival-nature

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

TRACER FLARE-Black Box

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

tracerflare3As a follow up to the release of their March 2012 EP, Among Us, Montreal’s Tracer Flare released the 5 song Black Box in November 2012,  displaying maturity as song writers and growth as musicians.

Food Chain“, has great transitions, an interesting vocal track and cool harmonies. The soft guitar riff that runs throughout  underlies the distinct progressive rock flavor of the song. The sweet, melancholy and lamenting melody of “Time Bomb” is a wonderful foil for the more upbeat “Madrid“, with great cymbal crashes from Frank Roberts, and great changes. This song demonstrates the vocal range of Marc Morin and the patient guitar of Dan Stein. Add in a change in tempo and some very cool vocal effects, and you have a killer song. “Resuscitate” an up tempo track with a musically punky feel, has tremendous energy that emits  a sense of urgency. I particularly like the vocal effects and experimentation.  And the edgy rock bite. The consistent bass work of Phil Duranlo drives “Somewhere“, with its keyboard heavy sound. There are nice drum shots and rolls which emphasize the story being told here. The emotionality is evident and the elements of Progressive Rock exquisite.

tracerflare2I enjoyed this album. The new wave meets alternative rock with progressive overtones works for Tracer Flare. They demonstrate an intricate use of the instruments with none overbearing. The songs are their strength, and they deliver them with socio-political lyrical content.  The sound is eclectic, a kind of retro-pop-rock with a pair. Definitely worth several listens.

You can listen to Tracer Flare here:     http://www.tracerflare.com/#!music/c61v

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/