"Whatever Happened To My Rock N Roll" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The 2010 Polaris Prize long list was released yesterday, and boy is it tasty. Now in it's fifth year, the Prize seeks out talented Canadian musicians and awards them a hefty monetary award to cover the recording costs of a new album. I'm no juror, but I've got a short list of my own.
1. Caribou, Swim.
What do you get when you combine an IQ of 200 and a genuinely breathtaking sense of whimsy? You get Dan Snaith. Part human calculator, part unrestrained musical darling and full blown crazy.
2. Dan Mangan, Nice, Nice, Very Nice
This album name also aptly describes Mangan's ass. But seriously. He's got a gorgeous voice, which can be raw and throaty at just the right times.
3.Plants and Animals, La La Land
I'm a believer that having a 1:2 French:English ratio is great for a band. This trio has grown immensely from their debut Parc Avenue, after mastering the Montreal-summer sound and rediscovering distorted riffs and fuzzy pedals. Plus, the album was released on 4/20.
4. YSPWSD!, XXXX
Despite an incredibly successful year, the tragic death of drummer Devon Clifford recently put this Abbotsford rock outfit in a tough place. Creatively, XXXX has some downright catchy beats, the proper amount of ferocity and a full dose of lyrical sophistication. Bravo.
5. Shad, TSOL
Shad's come a long way. Witty, well-spoken and thoughtful beyond his years, this hip-hop artist has some serious talent that is finally showing up on the national radar. Respect.
Montreal trio Plants and Animals have released the first four tracks of their upcoming album La La Land which is set to be out on April 20 via Secret City Records.
The first track, "Tom Cruz," sounds nothing like the Scientologist actor (thank God for that), but is aggressive, distorted and edgier than any of the tunes off their debut Parc Avenue. Evolving from their stripped down, bohemian-styled formula, the trio's offering up some fuzzy guitars and groove-fused drums this time around.
You can listen to the songs here. Please do it.
Ladies and gentlemen, the 2009 V-Fest was altogether epic — two days of blistering heat, one pelting lightning thunderstorm — couldn't sway the spirits of 22 bands and their some 15,000 fans.
The morning and early afternoon were spent getting used to the grounds; the fest was held at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, a beautiful and almost bucolic setting not too far from the city life. From pole dancers to beer tents, the grounds had it all.
At approximately 4:30 in the afternoon, Kevin Brereton a.k.a. K-OS strutted onstage and glamoured the audience with his funk-reggae-rock jams and charismatic showmanship. Gradually, people from around the park come closer to the glorious thumping basslines. At this point, K-OS tells "all the ugly people be quiet" before an immaculate performance of his 2002 hit "Heaven Only Knows."
Shortly after that, the very talented Jules and I prepared for our interview with the guys from Plants and Animals, which is coming to SPINearth.tv soon! They took the festival stage and played a furiously energetic set, finishing off with a rendition of "Bye Bye Bye" from their Juno-nominated album Parc Avenue. Their performance of "Faerie Dance" was played with an edge that made the show all that more cathartic.
Being a proud devotee to the musicians of Arts & Crafts, I was incredibly excited to see Broken Social Scene take the main stage. Brendan Canning showed off his newly trimmed-appearance, and luckily for the audience Jimmy Shaw from Metric played guitar and horns onstage too. Not too long into their second track, clouds of pot smoke wafted through the grounds, an all-too necessary component of the BSS experience. Things got heavy when the band tore through "KC Accidental," a classic single from their debut album You Forgot it in People. Kevin Drew killed it in the finale with "Superconnected," truly reigning in the spirit of the festival with their powerful baroque-rock symphonies.
Then at the most perfect time, Our Lady Peace took the stage and took us all back to that memorable time... mid 90s Canadian popular rock. The quartet, older, more mature than the videos I remembered them from in elementary school, played classic hits such as "Clumsy," "Naveed" and "Superman's Dead" and took the crowd down nostalgia lane.
Despite the glory of all these wonderful bands, it couldn't keep mother nature's wrath at bay. Huge raindrops fell from the angry sky, causing organizers to cancel the final set being The Roots! Huge disappointment to miss out on the headliners, but all in all it was a fun day...
If you want to see some RAD photos of the Virgin Festival weekend, check out David Thai's photoreport on SPINearth.tv.
K-OS Official Website
Plants and Animals MySpace
Plants and Animals Official Website
Our Lady Peace MySpace
Our Lady Peace Official Website
Broken Social Scene MySpace
Broken Social Scene Official Website