Venue: Sound Academy
Date: March 21, 2013
Photographer: Matt Klopot
Artist: Coheed And Cambria
Venue: Sound Academy
Date: March 21, 2013
Photographer: Matt Klopot
Artists: Lioness, Savages
Date: March 23 (Canadian Music Week 2013)
Venue: Lee's Palace
Photographer: Winter Stevens
Artist: M For Montreal
Date: March 22 (Canadian Music Week 2013)
Venue: Sneaky Dees
Photographer: Winter Stevens
The Childish Gambino playing as I arrive signals we aren’t at the Supermarket in Kensington anymore, Toto. Wait, I’m 20 minutes late to Parts & Labour on Queen West to catch the band, Javelin, who was scheduled for a 1am start time, you say? In other words, I’m right on time for the Brooklynites sound check.
The crowd is already jamming when the music cuts off, “Sorry guys. That was just a test." To which the crowd responds with a kind reminder, "It's fuckin’ one-twenty!"
As their set starts for real this time, I think, “This might be it, the epitome of hipster nonsense,” but it is eaten up without a second thought by the scattered attendees. My former comment aside, there is a definite appeal here. They may not exactly be DJs with their cut-and-paste style, but they have a knack for splicing together samples and reworking them to produce catchy results. Call it what you want, but the band’s Toronto following have been cutting a rug—I mean, cement floor, from the get-go.
There isn’t a distinctly Caribbean flavor, however there is much more going on than an American electronic influence involved here. Tom Van Buskirk and George Langford have created a sound that is derived from 8-bit bleeps, inaudible free-styled raps, and a ton of record sampling from collections the pair have been compiling for years. Where have I heard this story before? A white boy duo from Brooklyn splashing around genre crossing sounds… Oh yeah—Tanlines .
Nonetheless, this twosome knows how to do their job. Unlike other venues on this Thursday night the crowd is drawn front and center with inhibitions left behind, expressing what appears to be genuine enjoyment. Parts’ tiny basement is electrified with the light system, set to change with major vibrations. Though the lyrics are inaudible, the synths are rhythmic, hard, and infinitely danceable.
Cue another genre change up with their track “Soda Popinski,” something like Final Fantasy I (and I don't mean Owen Pallet), with Van Buskirk overlaying his rap for good measure. Next, they move onto something bigger and more pop, though still inaudible, thus continuing to be relegated to a space of unknown pleasure and ambiguous meaning.
"Sir—Sir. When someone calls you, ‘Sir’, and you aren't the Count of Monty Cristo, it means you are doing something wrong,” tells Van Buskirk to an overzealous dancer getting much too close to the equipment for comfort. And they play on, strutting noise and auto-tuned delusion of vocals that rival the best of Ke$ha and Lil Jon, but on a lo-fi level all their own.
With maximalist production that has until now been mainly pre-recorded drum and symbol/ drum machine sounds, the band incorporate decide to tie in a live instrument. A kazoo. Here the genre takes yet another turn, now with a more jazz oriented flow. Could it get more diluted? Sure, why not, let’s go with the riff of, "I want to live in America" form West Side Story.
Javelin has recently released their album, Hi Beams, out as of March 5, a follow up to their more critically acclaimed records, Jamz N Jems (2009), and No Mas (2010). Having played Toronto four times before, they will likely be back for more world beat basement dance parties in the future.
- by Michael Natale
Cool music videos can be hard to come by these days, mostly due to a lack of funds in the biz (case in point, the article below), however Passion Pit were able to create a funky dance concept video for "Cry Like A Ghost", their latest single off of album Gossamer.
Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as The Daniels, the video features a girl dancing through her life and relationships without allowing things to become permanent. It's fluid, provocative, and beautiful to watch, and is definitely worth the 4:46 count time.
Watch, enjoy, and tell us what you think in the comments below.
The Atlanta, Georgia metalcore group, Woe, Is Me, notorious for their unstable line-up, have released a music video for "A Story to Tell", a single off of their latest album Genesi[s].
The band has now seen 7 member changes, with Kevin Hanson being the only original member still remaining (who arguable has no real contribution to the sound that was Woe, Is Me from the start), it's hard to depict whether or not they are still Woe, Is Me. Regardless, they're still pumping out the same music that Rise Records wants them to and it's keeping their 'fans' at bay.
The video features the band dressed as a militia swat team entering enemy territory (aka a warehouse) to save clean vocalist Hance Alligood from his captors. Putting the cheesy gun-shot and blood splatter visual effects aside for just one moment, I can't help but bring up the fact that this seems like a refurbished mash-up of the "Geeving" & "Take One Last Breath" videos of Abandon All Ships, to whom lead guitarist Andrew Paiano was a former member of. Combine those facts with the stereotypical shot of the band jamming hard in an empty warehouse and we have one snooze fest of a music video. Perhaps, and most likely, there was a shortage of money, so simple things like this are what they have to work with - but at least come up with some original ideas.
But decide for yourself; watch, enjoy, and tell us what you think of this video in the comments below!
When your favourite band covers a song by another artist, in most cases, you fall in love with the track. A cover song, although not an original thought, has the chance to be completely reformed and mastered in a plethora of variations, sounds, and genres. Nothing is elusive for a cover song, and that's what real music making is all about - true creativity! Below are a few of the latest cover songs that livemusicTO deems worthy of your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
New Hampshire post-hardcore band Our Last Night recently covered the James Bond theme song "Skyfall" made famous by Adele, and to be quite frank, it almost soars above her performance. Their latest album Age of Ignorance, was released last August through Epitaph.
Ever since Thomas Mars, frontman of french indie rock quartet Phoenix, saw legendary rockers Dinosaur Jr. play back in 1991, he's been a self-proclaimed fan. So for his idols to turn out and cover one of his tracks must be so humbling. Although it's titled as a remix, Dinosaur Jr.'s rendition of Phoenix' "Entertainment" is more so a raw stripped down cover of the normal upbeat energetic k-pop track.
Now this collab is definitely a WTF moment. Feist and Mastodon did a switcheroo, covering each others songs for a Record Store Day release entitled Feistodon. Now, while Mastodon's cover of "A Commotion" is a little bland and hard to handle, Feist takes the heavy metal track "Black Tongues" and gives it her talented twist. Still keeping the edgy undertones, Feist is able to bring a bit of sunshine without losing the dirt and grit. Tons of kudos to her for annihilating this cross-genre cover.
The Weeknd's Abel Tesfaye is known for his masterful sampling, but it was more than a pleasant surprise for listeners of his free Echoes of SIlence EP, when he covered Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana". What's better is he masterfully works in the striking vocals with the drum loops and after-hours productions to fit in beautifully with the rest of the albums works. Keeping true to his sound, without losing the feel of the original, The Weeknd was able to pull of what few can do, reinterpreting the late Michael Jackson in a way deemed honorable.
Covering the Queen Bee is NO easy task considering that she is revered by millions and seen as a goddess in some eyes. However, The xx were more than satisfactory in covering the Frank Ocean penned "I Miss You" off of Beyonce's last album 4. They were able to take the heart-wrenching ache in the feel of the original and work it into a minimalistic underbelly tone-styled track that exudes The xx's normal vulnerability. Enjoy as Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft strip down this track for a truly haunting cover of "I Miss You".
Staying loyal to the original sound, lead singer Emily Haines of Canadian new wave and Metric, refurbishes Morrissey's melancholy tune "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself". Without saying anymore, why don't you find out for yourself, whether you like this beautiful rendition or not. :p
A Capella artists have been reinterpreting artists songs with their unique instrumentless covers for quite some time now, but no one has made such a splash like fellow Torontonians Walk Off The Earth. Lucky for us, they returned to cover the huge hit "I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift, featuring the vocal beatbox stylings of Terry 'krNFx' Im. Impressive? I think so.
We are giving away 2 tickets to see Atlas Genius on June 23rd at The Opera House, PLUS 2 copies of their latest album When It Was Now
ENTER & WIN:
March 31, 2013
About Atlas Genius:
The members of Adelaide, Australia’s Atlas Genius do things a little differently….They set about building a studio where they could write and record music for their newly formed band 3 years before they even played their first live show as Atlas Genius. For two years, they devoted their days to constructing their dream studio and spent their nights performing songs by The Police, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones at local pubs to pay the bills. “We really got down and dirty with dry walling and literally laying the floorboards, and at the same time we were taking a couple of days a week to focus on writing songs,” recalls Keith Jeffery, Atlas Genius’s vocalist/guitarist. "We had a lot of song ideas and it was important to us to have our own studio where we could experiment and hone in on our sound," adds brother and drummer, Michael Jeffery. The studio was designed and outfitted by the brothers with the help of their father (who comes from a music and engineering background). Once the studio was complete, the first song that Atlas Genius finished was a song called “Trojans,” which they wrote, recorded and produced in collaboration with their friend, keyboardist Darren Sell. After many weeks tweaking the song, Michael insisted that the song was ready to be heard outside of the studio walls. Within an hour, “Trojans” was on the Triple J Unearthed Website, SoundCloud, and for sale via TuneCore on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify worldwide.
“We had begun to think that music was a pipedream and we had all gone back to university to pursue more realistic careers,” says Keith. “We’d had such a long slog of playing late nights and working all day, and it felt like we didn’t really have anything to show for it.” But then, in the midst of cramming for their Fall 2011 semester final exams, Neon Gold discovered “Trojans” on the Triple J Unearthed Website and wrote a post praising “Trojans” as a song sure to “invade your head, all dressed up in a clever disguise of earnest vocals riding a hooky riff.” Checking the band’s email account for the first time in over a month, the band found that dozens of record labels, publishers, lawyers, booking agents and management companies from all over the world had contacted them.
“We were trying to focus on school, but it was just impossible,” recalls Keith. “So we said, ‘There’s something going on here. Let’s get back to the music.’” The band added manager, Jonny Kaps from +1, to their extended family to navigate all of the interest as the band focused on writing and recording more songs.
Quickly named an iTunes Single of the Week in Australia and New Zealand, “Trojans” reached #4 on Hype Machine by the end of May. In August, SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Alt-Nation discovered the song on a blog and decided to give it some spins. There was an immediate reaction from listeners, and in September, “Trojans” was placed into heavy rotation, where it maintained a top-five position on the listener-generated Alt-18 countdown and peaked at number one for 4 consecutive weeks in January 2012. “Trojans” began selling over a thousand tracks per week on U.S. iTunes and soon climbed to 45,000 sales - all with zero promotional efforts from the still-unsigned Atlas Genius.
“Knowing we had this audience that was waiting on new songs, we had a much greater sense of purpose than we had before,” says Keith. “It was really exciting to know that there were people who wanted to hear more of our music.” Although labels were clamoring for the band to come to the U.S. and play a series of showcase gigs, Atlas Genius turned down those offers in favor of staying in Adelaide to keep writing and recording new songs. In February 2012, after months of communicating with numerous labels via Skype, the band chose to travel to the US in order to make their label decision.
“We’d never been to America before,” says Keith. “We flew in at night and saw this sea of lights, and it really became apparent to us how massive the U.S. is. It was pretty intimidating - like ‘How do we fit into all this?’” In April 2012, the band returned to the states having made their decision to sign with Warner Bros. Records. “We felt a connection with them,” notes Keith. “Everyone there feels very creative and dedicated to the music.”
The band’s first release from their new label home, the EP Through The Glass (produced, engineered and mixed by the band), came out in June of 2012. With Through The Glass completed, Atlas Genius then holed up in its studio and worked on writing and recording its first full-length album, while at the same time rehearsing for their first ever tour. The tour started in August 2012 and led to three more tours back to back taking them thru to the end of the year. Thus, their full-length debut was finished up between tour dates and got completed just before Christmas 2012. When It Was Now is set for a US release on February 19th, 2013, with an international release to follow soon after.
The debut captures Atlas Genius’s singular combination of sophisticated musicality and warm, wistful spirit. Infused with a classic sensibility, each of the songs would fit seamlessly if somehow slipped into a long-treasured mixtape. On the shimmering “Symptoms,” for instance, taut keyboard riffs mesh with urgent acoustic strumming before the band bursts into a gently frenetic, guitar-drenched chorus. Meanwhile, “Back Seat” blends its pulsing bass throb with a sweetly infectious beat and tender vocals that alternately soar and sigh. And on “Trojans,” Atlas Genius begins with a restrained guitar melody and vocal (“Take it off, take it in/Take off all the thoughts of what we’ve been”) before giving way to the handclap-accented, harmony-soaked refrain and lush yet kinetic bridge.
“It’s still surreal,” says Keith of all that’s happened over the past 18 months. “I think when we were very young, we had hopes that something like this might happen one day,” he continues. (Thanks largely to encouragement from their Beatles fanatic parents, who encouraged the brothers to begin playing music by age 14.) “But then you grow up a bit and it seems less and less likely. So when we put ‘Trojans’ out, we figured it would be a success if maybe a hundred people heard it. We don’t want to force our music onto anyone. Our goal is to write songs that we love and we hope they connect with other people too.”
2 winners selected by random draw, each awarded 1 pass to the show and 1 CD, announced on March 31, 2013 via Twitter. Winner must be 19+ years of age and following www.twitter.com/livemusicTO. Retweet contest message in order to enter. Winner(s) are responsible for their own transportation to/from the venue. Thanks to all entries, good luck!
The first single off of American indie rock group Yeah Yeah Yeahs latest album Mosquito, has been turned into an artful, yet haunting music video.
The video, which stars English actress Lily Cole, is unique and artfully done in the fact that it still plays out in a series of events - but the beginning is the end, and the end the beginning. So each short frame of clip is the moment that happened just prior to the one you just watched. The content itself is also beautifully haunting, as a town is preparing to massacre a women to whom we find out is quite the promiscuous gem.
Directed by: Megaforce
Watch, enjoy, and tell us what you think in the comments below!
Looking for some new beats to jam to today? Here's a list of some of the new albums released for your listening pleasure!