The Blog

Once FILTHY LUCRE, now the WHITE NEXUS

I started a blog in 2009 when I was in grad school called FILTHY LUCRE. It was amazing, and a great learning experience.

 

“MAGIC” By Coldplay Presents a Promising Comeback

I’m not going to lie. I’m a huge Coldplay fan, despite the fact that they haven’t produced anything half decent since 2005’s X&Y, minus a couple of gems here and there in singles form. Unlike a lot of writers, I’m not going to say they sold out, or that Chris Martin became too full of himself, or that the band just got so big they forgot where they came from  and that glorious warm sound  of their “Shiver” era. Rather, they just evolved into a musical group I could no longer enjoy. In any case, this latest offering lives up to its name, and shows promise for their upcoming album Ghost Stories, slated to be released on May 19th. Listen to...

INTERVIEWS // Exclusive with FRACTURES

Mark Zito, better known as Fractures, is an up and coming electronic musician from Melbourne,  Australia. He first grabbed my attention several months back after his single “Twisted” was featured by MrSuicideSheep, one of YouTube’s most subscribed to electronic music pages.  The exposure did well for Fractures, who now has over a quarter of a million plays on Souncloud for this track alone. Now garnering the attention and approval of of heavy hitters like the Guardian and Gotye,  Fractures is indeed on the brink of many great things, and is a sure artist to be watching for this year with the release of his upcoming EP. Fractures as a sound is not the easiest thing to describe or explain; Zito’s multilayered approach to songwriting is smooth, relaxed yet melancholy, and always feels like it’s reaching for something the heart desires.  With compelling lyrics that touch on the loneliness, unrequited love and other topics of the human condition, Fractures’ combination of electronic chillwave, dreamy pop vibes and lush warm vocals come together and create some of the most pleasing soundscapes I have heard of late. Listen to this podcast of a phone conversation I had with Mark, discussing his new fandom,  thoughts on new music, arrested development and favourite...

SONG OF THE DAY // “It All Feels Right” by Washed Out

The latest offering by American singer-songwriter-producer Ernest Greene, is a lush follow-up from his debut, Within and Without.  Better known as Washed Out, this musician is hot on the rise with Paracosm (Sub Pop), which is one of the best chillwave records I have devoured of late. Like his dreamy, fantastically smooth music relates, a paracosm is an imaginary world full of humans, animals, and unknown worlds of human emotion. Enjoy “It All Feels Right,” a deliciously dreamy track!...

SONG OF THE DAY // “Colours in the Sky” by Miami Horror

Step aside Chromeo, Daft Punk and Cut Copy! Please make room for Miami Horror. I just stumbled across this tasty, funky collective from Melbourne, Australia, and they’ve been in my head all day. The quartet have been together producing their bespoke indietronica since 2007. They released their debut Illumination in 2010, which included a track in collaboration with Kimbra called “I Look To You,” which has tallied up nearly 5-million views to date. The real gem I’m going to share today, however, is one of their more recent tunes called “Colours in the Sky.” It’s truly gorgeous, and I hope you enjoy 🙂...

22 Storytelling tips as told by Pixar

Amazing tips for writers and storytellers. Pixar has delivered some of the most poignant, heart-felt stories in filmic form to date. One particular favourite is the Toy Story series, and by reading the slides from this post you’ll see how the story was so beautiful crafted. Enjoy and share...

Felina // Breaking Bad’s Epic Finale

After 6 years of painful Breaking Bad related stress and anxiety, AMC’s dramatic story of a high-school teacher gone bad came to an end. When I say gone bad, I mean really bad – probably the worst imaginable transformation of a person. From Walter White, the family man, sweetheart, high school chemistry teacher, downtrodden by circumstance but upheld by a good heart; to Heisenberg. Vengeful murderer and leader of a massive meth empire. It’s the kind of opposite Bildungsroman that sends shivers all over. For the first time in a long time, I felt satisfied. I didn’t think that would happen....

TED Talks – Maybe txting isn’t quite the downfall of language?

Besides the fact that this guy looks like a rounder, friendlier version of Gustavo Fring – I’m finding myself drawn to this TED talk for so many reasons. 2013, a time when most people in a social setting can be seen together, sitting, not speaking – smiling vacantly at a glowing spot by their crotch from under the table. Depressing but true! The last time I forgot my phone and went out I felt a gaping hole not being able to reach out to the Internet world and search for a meme that would add to the present conversation. My pockets never felt so empty. With smartphones there comes this big social cost, and more people are recognizing the shame of it, not living in the moment and opting for a handheld version of spending time with others. Last month a YouTube video called “I Forgot My Phone” caused waves on the Internet, a sad portrait of a woman’s day shadowed by gadgets and technology. At the same time, this speech makes some valid points in favour for how social interaction is evolving in a different way. In 14 minutes, linguist John McWhorter tears down the notion that the casual language of texting has ruined literacy, and has created a generation of young people who just don’t “get” the idea of how to communicate with each other. Rather than that, it’s created a new form of literacy that will undoubtedly evolve in broader and more subtle ways. “And so, the way I’m thinking of texting these days is that what we’re seeing is a whole new way of writing that young...

(COVER) SONG OF THE DAY // HAIM covers Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”

The first thing I saw when I woke up this morning was that sister trio HAIM have covered Miley’s latest offering, “Wrecking Ball,” which has become more iconic than I would have ever imagined. The LA sibling indie rock outfit delivered a raw performance on BBC’s Live Lounge, an equally emotional version of the tune sans the surprising hammer licking and overly literal wrecking ball swinging on set. They were also fully clothed. Please watch this, it’s really something special. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FCAzeMXln0] If you don’t know HAIM here’s a crash course of 22 things you should know courtesy of...

SONG OF THE DAY // FRACTURES’ “TWISTED”

I’m not quite sure where to begin when it comes to explaining my love for MrSuicideSheep, the ultimate tastemaker in EDM on YouTube, perhaps even the universe – though maybe that’s contested. In any case, this song is truly incredible. Produced by a lone wolf in Melbourne, Mark Zito, aka FRACTURES, this man has so much potential, an old soul and a lush voice that lulls you into that warm safe place. MrSuicideSheep’s endorsement has done very well for Zito, giving him much deserved exposure for his track “Twisted.” With heartfelt lyrics and an amazing beat, the song is both depressing and uplifting, touching on the demon of loneliness that plagues each and every one of us from time to time. Amazing. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3EMzMQ1w58] Here is another track just because he’s that good 🙂 [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/106123888″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true”...

Mother Mother / Hannah Georgas at the Orpheum

FOR EXCLAIM! MAGAZINE Finishing off a tour in celebration of their latest offering, The Sticks, Mother Mother are finally home. Vancouver singer-songwriter sweetheart Hannah Georgas started off the night with some of her sugary-sweet tunes, mostly from her self-titled second album. The latest has Georgas singing about what she knows best, heartbreak and the like — though her sound is evolving into a new creature with some beautiful electronic moments, which were also shown off onstage. Headliners Mother Mother came on and played a generous set of songs from across their varied and almost schizophrenic discography. Hailing originally from Quadra Island, the Vancouver-based quintet have carved out a sonic niche for themselves that’s hard to pin down or describe. Playing some rockier tunes such as “The Sticks” and “In Verbatim,” Mother Mother displayed they have their finger on the pulse of what makes good indie rock. They were perky and driven by a solid bass and rhythm section, which occasionally left a real hip-hop aftertaste. Transitioning to slower ballad like “Ghosting,” singer/guitarist Ryan Guldemond crooned and belted out lyrics in a pseudo defiant way, happy to be home, his faux hawk bobbing in the strobe. Jeremy Page’s bass lines propelled everything forward, like their rebelling against much of the dream pop that’s infiltrated the indie soundscape over the past few years. Socially conscious and aware, the group played “Little Pistol” in dedication to Amanda Todd, the BC teen who took her life earlier this year due to bullying. Unafraid of sounding like either a brute or an emotional misfit, Mother Mother spanned a massive emotional gambit lyrically. The Sticks is an...

INTERVIEW // PROPHESY SUN

FOR THE POLYPHONIC PIXEL prOphesy sun is a a multidisciplinary performance artist and musician who lives in East Vancouver. Her latest offering, Bird Curious, is a collection of songs that weave together elements of vocal improvisation, organic room noises and environmental vibrations to create emotive spaces, exploring the fleeting realm of the time. The kicker? It was recorded entirely on an iPhone. Over the past few years she’s built herself up as one of the main creatives of the vibrant East Side scene, performing with Tyranahorse, Spell and Her Jazz Noise Collective, to name a few. Haunting and surreal, Bird Curious was released May 1, 2012. The Polyphonic Pixel: What made you decide to record your album on an iPhone? prOphesy sun: First and foremost, music for me is immediate. In my art, my performance tends to be in the moment. Recording on the iPhone was just another style of working in the moment. I’ll have a tune in my head, and then I’ll just record it. For me, another reason why I chose to use this medium is that something that has that feeling of immediacy has limitations too – sometimes my phone will run out of memory space so I have to make room. Another thing is that if I’m biking, or hearing the rain falling, I can record the space I’m in. In the past I have used soundscapes from recordings with a hand recorder, to capture the space I was in at that moment in time. PP: You’ve told people you tend to do things in “one go.” Why? ps: I am an improvisor so it’s really in the moment;...

SONG OF THE DAY // Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”

I feel as though Lana Del Rey has been a bit of a product of some unfortunate incidences. With her debut album being overly hyped up, and a poor performance on SNL, the singer’s offering “Born to Die” has received mingled reviews ranging from high praise to pure disappointment. I’ve always liked her work though. While some of her lyrics can be reaching for something at a point she’s not at yet, there are moments of innocence and soulful realization that I find endearing and relatable. x [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRWox-i6aAk&ob=av2e] Lyrics: Blue jeans, White shirt Walked into the room you know you made my eyes burn It was like James Dean, for sure You so fresh to death & sick as ca-cancer You were sorta punk rock, I grew up on hip hop But you fit me better than my favorite sweater, and I know That love is mean, and love hurts But I still remember that day we met in December, oh baby! I will love you till the end of time I would wait a million years Promise you’ll remember that you’re mine Baby can you see through the tears? Love you more Than those bitches before Say you’ll remember, oh baby, say you’ll remember I will love you till the end of time Big dreams, gangster Said you had to leave to start your life over I was like: “no please, stay here,” We don’t need no money we can make it all work But he headed out on Sunday, said he’d come home Monday I stayed up waitin’, anticipatin’ and pacin’ but he was Chasing paper “Caught...

SONG OF THE DAY // The Shins “40 Mark Strasse”

The newest offering from The Shins has made me very, very happy. I started listening to their retro-style indie pop back in 2004 during my first year of university, and many of their tunes eventually became anthems and the soundtrack to my life at several points. As for this song, I just think it’s really pretty. Hope you do too. x [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kFH5A9J1uA] Lyrics: Is it all so very simple And horribly complex You’re suffering And there’s nothing coming next Your mom smokes in the kitchen Her voice a cutting drown They’re creeping out, you pass the bar Your father’s second home That leaves you on your own Nights I’d often watch you Float across the ground Out the gate to the motorway What secrets have you found? You had to know I wanted Something from you then Too young to know just what it was Something more than a friend Is that you at the end Well, you play in the street at night You blow like a broken kite My girl, you’re giving up the fight Are you gonna let these Americans Put another dent in your life? My mother says your dirty They’re gonna find you dead But have you got that final chapter Written in your head Cause every single story Is a story about love Both the overflowing cup And the painful lack thereof You got the heart of a dove But you play in the street at night You blow just like a broken kite My girl, you’re giving up the fight You’ll have to lose all them childish notions If you’re gonna let...

SONG OF THE DAY // Mumford and Sons “I Gave You All”

Monday mornings can be surprisingly introspective for me. I found myself listening to this on the morning commute, watching the rain beating at the windshield, my mind wandering. Based in London, Mumford and Sons have a distinctively soulful twang that they throw into their mix of folk bluegrass, enough to the point that would make you feel like you were sitting in a little tavern in Alabama. This song holds immeasurable weight in my heart. I hope you enjoy. x [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyU5OAAOOBE&feature=related] Lyrics: Rip the earth in two with your mind Seal the urge which ensues with brass wires I never meant you any harm But your tears feel warm as they fall on my forearm I close my eyes for a while And force from the world a patient smile How can you say that your truth is better than ours? Shoulder to shoulder, now brother, we carry no arms The blind man sleeps in the doorway, his home If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy I could have won But I gave you all I close my eyes for a while And force from the world a patient smile But I gave you all And you rip it from my hands And you swear it’s all gone And you rip out all I have Just to say that you’ve won Well now you’ve...

TEASER // Beach House’s new track “MYTH”

It’s only been 24 hours since this new teaser track was released, but it’s among my favourite tunes so far this year. Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, the duo from Baltimore, have been diffusing the pop soundspace with their dreamy textures and pulsing reverb since their 2008 release, Devotion. After meeting them in person for a story I wrote for The Block, my admiration quickly intensified into a solid respect for their music and craft… but it’s difficult not to fall in love when two insanely talented musicians keep topping up your glass with more beer. Enjoy....