Archive for Xprime

CANADA MUSIC WEEK 2015-What To Hear

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

cmw2Canada Music Week is finally here, and we at I Can’t Believe My Earz have put together our list of must hear CMW bands. For directions to venues & set times, please check here: http://cmw.net/music/schedule/.

For Saturday May 2, catch The Nursery at The Velvet Underground, and The Red Rails at The Dakota Tavern. You might also want to catch a late, late set of GingerAle And The MonoWhales at The Horseshoe.

On Tuesday, May 5, head over to The Bovine Sex Club for Glass Ampp, and catch The Dirty Frigs at The Garrison.

The Sole Pursuit play The Bovine, and Ivory Hours are at The Gladstone Hotel. Slow Down Molasses take the stage at Parts & Labour on Wednesday.

Thursday offers Japanese Tongue Sisters  at The Velvet Underground, and Twin Lakes at The Dakota.

South Of Bloor plays The Cameron House, Elephant Stone is at the Hard Luck Bar, and Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger and Xprime take to the stage at The Horseshoe on Friday, May 8.

On Saturday, May 9, Punchline 13 plays The Hideout, and Auckland is at The Mod Club.

Our best bet: Sit tight at The Horseshoe Tavern on Friday May 8th. Performances by Twin Peaks, Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, and Xprime, make this the place to be.

Enjoy it all. Have a great week!

 

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2014 INDIE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

With a significant number of quality Indie releases this year, narrowing a list down to 10 albums, worthy of I Can’t Believe My Earz‘  2014 Indie Album Of The Year, was no easy task. There are some honorable mentions: Neverfriend-‘Evolve‘, The Everywheres-‘Habitualism‘, Harbour-‘Grade School Summer‘ & Social Strife-‘With Friends Like These…’.  We listened to them all, and here is our pick for the top 10 Indie Albums of 2014.

 

#10     DRUCKFARBEN————–‘Second Sound’

druck I am not certain why Druckfarben has been a mystery. These Toronto based musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work.   ‘Second Sound offers wonderful musical themes in an array of movements that are woven together in layers to create an incredible musical journey. This is way cool arena rock, out of the 1970s, with a 21st century bite. If you like Progressive-Rock, Druckfarben is the real deal.

 

 

#9     THE RED RAILS———-A Living Fiction

theredrailsno2The Red Rails offer ‘A Living Fiction‘, a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  The Ottawa band has a sound that reminds me of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. This is an album you play in its entirety. In your car. While taking a 40 minute drive down a highway. Make sure it is a highway. You cannot drive slow while listening.

 

 

 

#8     THE SATISFACTORS——–‘The Satisfactors’

the satisThe Satisfactors self titled debut album. It rocks from beginning to end with a wonderful garage groove. The songs are amazing. They are wonderfully crafted, and played with a beat that just doesn’t stop. Bruce’s vocals are great. Cool to hear from  Jersey’s Fantastic 4! The bass lines, and  guitar riffs are insanely good, and I like the less is more approach to the drumming.  This is rock ‘n’ roll the way it is meant to be played! This is Rock Til You Drop! This is The Satisfactors!

 

 

#7     SOUTH OF BLOOR——‘The Street’

south of bloorThis Toronto band has re-generated my lust for pop with the release of ‘The Street‘. The songs are exquisite 2-3 minute masterpieces. Their ability to write wonderful bridges and changes has me almost awe struck. The vocals are spectacular. The melodies, wonderful. This album delivers 5 terrific pop songs with alternative rock influences. And it works. A wonderful album. A fun time.

 

 

 

#6     TOXIC MELONS———‘Bus Therapy’

tm ‘Bus Therapy‘ is my kind of therapy. This album by Northern England’s Toxic Melons is inspiring, soul touching, and mind altering. The album plays like a journey through a toxic mind, but that’s ok. The songs are pop heaven, with shades of folk, blues, electronic, and some western influences. This Paul Fairbairn can write songs. The melodies are out of this world, and the harmonies, well, remind me of The Beach Boys. The music is wonderfully eccentric.The album is insanely addictive. It has me singing along and I haven’t figured out all of the lyrics yet!  An amazing compilation of great songs that has been placed on my must have list. Very cool.

 

 

#5     THE MINNOWS———‘Live At The Belfast Barge’

the minnowsAside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums, but I have to add this Irish band’s ‘Live At The Belfast Barge to the list of great live albums. The songs are as wonderful as I remember them, and they stand up to the passage of time. The band is insanely cohesive, and the musicianship, extraordinary. I have spent the better part of the year immersed in The Minnows and I can tell you that swimming with the fishes is not a bad thing. This is a must for your collection.

 

 

#4     THE CORSETS———–‘Are You Lonely, Are You Scared’

the corsets

Are You Lonely, Are You Scared is a wonderful adventure. Toronto’s The Corsets manage to harness their individual talents into a harmonic whole that is indeed the sum of its parts. Each is easily identifiable, yet needs the other parts to be heard. The energy level is wonderfully exciting, and the songs well, incredibly creative. Add this to your collection. It is that good.

 

 

 

#3     XPRIME——–‘The Album’

xprimeXprime should be big. Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario, they write incredibly melodic songs with amazing harmonies and unforgettable hooks. These are talented musicians who seem to be having fun with every note played. ‘The Album‘ is a must have album. Give it 4 or 5 listens. At least. Pay particular attention to “To See You Here“, a 70′s pop-folk tune that reminds me of Poco, “Feels Like I’m The Only One“, a way cool song with R & B overtones, and “Early To The Sun“.

 

 

#2     THE AFTER HOURS——-‘Shaken, Not Stirred’

the after hoursI really like Los Angeles’ The After Hours. I am a fan! They cite among their many influences The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Byrds, The Zombies, The Hollies and The Turtles. Is it any wonder their music has wonderful 1960′s melodies, harmonies and riffs?  The vocals and the guitar work stand out. ‘Shaken, Not Stirred captures the essence of 60′s music. The songs are wonderfully written, and demonstrate a remarkable ability to integrate all of their influences into one cohesive and coherent sound. This is a must have album.

 

And, finally, the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2014…

 

#1     THE HOT SPROCKETS——‘Brother Nature’

hsBrother Nature‘ by Ireland’s The Hot Sprockets. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album over and over, and it just keeps getting better. The songs are insanely good. The production, wonderful. These guys can write. These guys can play. The album has a ‘live off the floor’ feel to it. I haven’t heard this much energy in an album in a long time. The Hot Sprockets refer to their music as ‘country dirt”. I prefer to call it Irish Soul! Brother Nature is one of the most powerful albums I have heard in 2014, filled with the unusual, and the unexpected.

 

And there you have it. 10 exceptional albums. The I Can’t Believe My Earz picks for 2014. Give them a listen. Purchase them. Support Indie Music, and Indie bands.

 

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MUST HAVE INDIE SONGS FOR YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

It’s summer. So instead of  our usual Indie album picks for June, the staff at I Can’t Believe My Earz has come up with a list of songs that are a must for your summer music playlist. Very cool.

 

XPRIME– ‘Early To The Sun’        

 With harmonies  that rival The Beach Boys, and melody lines that just don’t quite,  this song does everything right. A foot tapping, hand clapping, sing along song if ever there was one.

 

 

 

GIGI-‘Put Your Freakin Hands Up

This song delivers an incredible rhythm, and an insanely infectious hook. Destined to be playing in your head for a long while. In the meantime, it will have you dancing in the streets.

 

 

 

 

THE MINNOWS-‘Time Flies’

Amazing track that more that stands the test of time. Cool harmonies, a wonderful melody, and a great story. The keyboards are a standout. This is my ‘have a beer or 2 and sit by the pool’ song.

 

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SEAPONY-‘What You Wanted’

A way cool 60’s beat, terrific riff, great changes, and sweet vocals make this a must have summer track. The harmonies are wonderful, and the melody will have you singing and dancing up and down  the beach.

 

 

 

 

THE AFTER HOURS-‘Going To The Go-Go’

A terrific rock song with great harmonies, wonderful guitar licks, and some way cool harmonica. Go on and put the top down and crank this one up..way loud.

 

 

 

 

THE EASY OUTS-‘Come on Come On

Dynamite garage rock. Sweet guitar licks, wonderful vocals, a great  melody, and a driving beat. Jump in the GTO and Come On Come On…..

 

 

 

 

 

THE LOST BOYS-‘I Fall For Everyone’

Wonderful 1960’s melody, with cool guitar riffs, great changes, and sweet harmonies.  A perfectly wonderful pop song that will make you feel like London, 1965.

 

 

 

Enjoy the summer with I Can’t Believe My Earz. Get the best music you’ve never heard all summer long.

 

 

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-March 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Spring brings rebirth, and 3 incredible albums that are must haves. Check them out, and jump start the season..

photoTHE MINNOWSLive At The Belfast Barge

Another non-Canadian entry, but just too good not to include here. Aside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums but I have to add Live At The Belfast Barge to the list of great live albums. The songs are as wonderful as I remember them, and they stand up to the passage of time. This Irish band is insanely cohesive, and the musicianship, extraordinary. I keep listening, immersing myself in The Minnows, and I can tell you that swimming with the fishes is not a bad thing. This is a must for your collection.

Check out The Minnows:  http://https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Minnows/131768390195614, and get this album.

xprime3XPRIME-The Album

Xprime should be big. They write incredibly melodic songs with amazing harmonies and unforgettable hooks. These are talented musicians who seem to be having fun with every note played. This is a must have album. Give it 4 or 5 listens. At least. Pay particular attention to “To See You Here“, a 70’s pop-folk tune that reminds me of Poco, “Feels Like I’m The Only One“, a way cool song with R & B overtones, and “Early To The Sun“. Check out Xprime’s music, videos, upcoming gigs and where to get this album:  http://http://www.xprime.ca/

alyeus1ALYEUSForty Days At Sea

Alyeus, a London, Ontario band delivers an exceptional concept album with themes that are dark and disturbing, and music that is hauntingly melodic. This is an album that should be listened to in its entirety, from beginning to end at one sitting. If you like progressive rock, and musical themes, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out. Finally, a band that brings back the way cool concept album. You can listen to and purchase Forty Days At Sea here.

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XPRIME-The Album

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

xprime2So, 2 years ago  Bob Segarini told me that Xprime were going to be something big. I should have listened. Segarini has been around, and he knows music. I got on the Xprime bandwagon late, but as they say, better late than never. The 1st full album release by this Niagara Region band, simply titled  The Album  and set for release on March 8, 2014, is an exemplary work of art.

xprime1The album is filled with wonderful pop melodies that serve as a perfect platform for the incredible vocal range of   Gab Sid .The guitar runs throughout are perfectly played and placed. The instrumentation is wonderful, utilizing several keyboards, as well as acoustic guitars, and I swear I heard a xylophone. The harmonies are exquisite, and the transitions and changes, flawless. The album touches on several genres, pop, folk, and even rhythm & blues, and each seems to have been written and recorded effortlessly. There are interesting riffs, amazing drumming and some cool bass lines. I hear electronics, cool guitar solos and unique vocal phrasings. Dynamite album, and a whack of fun to listen to.

xprime3Bob Segarini was right. Xprime should be big. They write incredibly melodic songs with amazing harmonies and unforgettable hooks. These are talented musicians who seem to be having fun with every note played. This is a must have album. Give it 4 or 5 listens. At least. Pay particular attention to “To See You Here“, a 70’s pop-folk tune that reminds me of Poco, “Feels Like I’m The Only One“, a way cool song with R & B overtones, and “Early To The Sun“.

Check out Xprime’s music, videos, upcoming gigs and where to get this album:  http://http://www.xprime.ca/

 

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A GOOD YEAR, INDEED

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

1 month into 2014, and its already promising to be a good, if not great year.

toniks55The Toniks, England’s greatest export since The Beatles released their new single, “Jealousy” on January 3. I have heard from reliable sources that the band has a lorry full of songs they will be heading into the studio with this year. And, if that’s not enough, their tour plans include a return trip to Southern Ontario in late summer to grace the stage at The Shores Of Erie Wine Festival, and a few gigs in the Toronto area. We hope that super producer/manager Graham joins them on this trip. Someone has to watch them, and well, to be honest, they were a handful last time around.

nursery55The weirdly wonderful The Nursery have completed recording enough songs for another album as follow up to 2013’s Carnival Nature. Along with regular gigs in the Toronto, the band has made it to New York for a few shows, and released their first video. I have been informed that the sound is an extension of previous material, as The Nursery looks forward.. At the time of this writing, the tracks are in the process of being mixed. Way cool.

ss55Toronto’s own rock demons, Social Strife have been busy recording. They already have a song out there and are working on several more. I will be joining them at the studio in a few days for an inside look at their material. Hopefully a new album comes out of this. From what I hear, the song writing just keeps improving and their live show is an epic event. I really like this band, so perhaps the Strife army can back off now…

the strays55The Creekside Strays, long a favorite I Can’t Believe My Earz, have recently worked with another London, On band, High School Sweetheart and their is a really cool tune out there. The boys have been furiously working on a new project, which will apparently include half acoustic and half plugged in. The always ambitiously daring trio are due to have their album out sometime this year. We hope.

xprime55Out of the Niagara Region, Xprime, my pick to win Canada Indie Week, have completed recording their new album. I was fortunate enough to receive advance digital downloads of the songs, however under threats of bodily harm from drummer Phil, I have not been permitted to play them or write about them.  I will say that this album is amazing. Great melodies. wonderful harmonies, and a great deal of fun.

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The always entertaining Toxic Melons, have been working on an album for several months. With a truly original approach to music, head melon, Pablo has amassed a cacophony of incredibly talented musicians from around the globe to participate in this monumental event. Pop music that bites and tickles. I have been waiting a long time for this, and as they say, good things come to those who wait.

Yes, indeed, its going to be a great year.

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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.

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