Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 10 Jams of the Year

Rather than have this list be a bunch of disjointed songs in your iTunes, I threw them together into on handy little 37 minute MP3. Enjoy! PS. The photo was taken at Ghost Throats by Rico Moran. He's fantastic.

So it's the last days of December and so that means "Best of..." season on music blogs. While I see nothing wrong with this, I just don't keep up with new music enough to actually warrant my own list...in reality I've only really jammed like 10 new albums this year. Keeping with the holiday spirit though, I figured I'd try my hand at the "Top 10 Jams of the year". I'll try and keep them as current as possible, but I may stray from the 2010 year into the late 09's.

1. End of a Year - Jeni Leigh
If I had to pick an album of the year it would probably be this record. Every song is such a jam, but to me Jeni Leigh is it. It's so damn catchy and fun and the big sing along female vocals at the end just kill me every time.

2. Gyre Spire & Spindle - Winky Dinky
My friends make the best music in the world. When Graham, Blake, and Calvin debuted this stuff sans vocalist in the late months of 2009 everyone was really impressed. When they finally emerged from the jam space with Amy on vocals Edmonton practically fell apart from excitement. Winky Dinky is representative of one of my favorite times in Edmonton music in a long time.

3. Forming - Hate My Guts
I just posted the Forming 7" a few weeks ago. Seriously, Hate My Guts was my total summer jam...and continued to be so well into the winter months. Super fun 90's Indie Rock inspired pop punk. Jamz!

4. York Redoubt - Initials
Technically a 2009 number, but whatever...I've been consistently listening to this album all year, but this is my favorite song on the album. Lazy, summery indie rock jams to move your hips and warm your heart.

5. Weed Hounds - Embrace (More or Less)
Again, a song from 2009...sort of. While this came out on Weed Hounds 09 demo, it was re-released on 7" in early 2010. I looooove this song. So catchy...I dare you to listen and not hum it for the rest of the day.

6. Maus - The Robber Bride
This song really came out of nowhere for me. I love Maus, but this song...I don't even know what to really say about it. Some of the most heartbreaking lyrics I've heard put to tape, and one of the most intense performances by a band in a long, long time. By the time the song picks up, you'll want to rip something apart.

7. Solids - Erratic Dogs/Whatevers and Neverminds
Technically 2 songs, but they flow so well into each other that I can't listen to one without the other. Stalwart Sons brought word of Solids back after their Eastern Canadian tour, and it's been in heavy rotation since then. Just really great chill 2 piece, fuzzed out indie rock. Hard not to feel great when listening to these songs.

8. Auld Beak - Cat Song
Is it fair to include a song from a tape that came out a week ago? Pffft I don't care, it's my list. Although I've only had these Auld Beak songs for just over 2 weeks, they've already got more plays than most things on this list. Seriously, one of the best things in Canada right now.

9. Slates - Dirty Water
Another 2009 song! To be fair, I think this came out late, late November 2009. While every song on Slates self titled 12" is amazing, the stand out track for me has to be Dirty Water (although Golden Leaves comes in a close close second). It's the kind of song you turn up really loud while hanging out with your friends on a hot summer day.

10. Stalwart Sons - Northern Lights
Did I say my friends make the best music in the world already? Well, Stalwart Sons is further proof of this. Their 12" serves as a beautiful love letter to growing up on the prairies, as Canadian as a Bay Blanket, Frozen pond hockey or the CBC. It was tough to pick one song, but I guess I'll just say Northern Lights, although it could just as well be Flags & Bells, Wisdom Teeth or Book of Hours. Tough call.

So that's it, a completely biased list of songs steeped heavily in nepotism. ;) Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Soul Emigre - 2001-2003 7"

A long long, time ago in a punk house basement far, far away existed a band called the Wolfnote. They toured Canada and the States extensively leaving a trail of sweaty, destroyed kids along their way. Although the 'note is long since dead, remnants of their travels poke their head to the surface every once in a while....this time in form of a obscure screamo 7". A pal who played in the Wolfnote brought this over the other day saying he bought in Reno at a house show. So huge thanks to him!

So basically the story about Soul Emigre goes like this (and forgive me if I'm wrong). A gent from the Netherlands traveled to Reno to visit friends and while there, he started a band with a local punk rocker. They jammed some songs, had a good time, and he headed back home. Feeling like they had made great progress, the Reno resident decided to pay the Netherlands a visit and finish what had been started state-side. They enlisted a third member, jammed, played some shows around Europe and recorded two 7" records, including the one posted here. 2001-2003 was put out on Spacement Records in Reno, from what I can tell is a collective kids that live in a house together, play in bands together, book shows and release records. Livin' the dream. The cover is hand spray-painted, and the whole record, music and art, is a beautiful testament to the power of punk rock and friendship.

Anyways, this is a pretty gnarly emo record. It's a bit dated sounding at times with the screaming/singing/screaming and the lyrics can sometimes across as a bit cheeseball...but all in all super enjoyable and fun. The singer actually sounds a lot like one of the guys from the Blood Brothers. You can hear the mid-90's screamo influences a lot, as well as a bit of early 2000's hardcore. The end of Broadway definitely reminds me of stuff that I was in love with 10 years ago and ...we want flowers is a total banger of an emo track

It's a great find and something that won't likely be in a lot of collections. A quick Google search seems to show that the record is still available in some mailorders, but I'm not sure how reliable it is.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Creeper - Exhaustion 7"

Merry X-Mas from your pals in Creeper! Found this little gem sitting in my inbox yesterday from Braeden, Creeper's guitarist and resident beardo. While this is definitely heavier than the stuff I usually post, I couldn't pass this up. This band is just too good.

I was lucky enough to play with Creeper in Toronto on the Gift Eaters/Red Hot Daggers tour and again when they came through Edmonton and they definitely showed us a good time both times. This 7" is heavy as hell, super pissed off, and makes you truly believe that these 4 dudes just might know how to bring on the end of the world. Download this RIGHT NOW if you're into Cursed, Wolfgoat, Surroundings or Black Ships. If you can get your hands on this 7" just do it, support Canadian hardcore! We have one of the raddest scenes in the world!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Forming - S/T 7"

OH SHIT! Like usual, I get busy and GGS suffers. Sorry all. I started a new job a few weeks back and have been slowly but steadily getting my life organized again. Regular posting should commence soon.

Well it finally happened...winter! And not that "Oh no it's -10° and there's 2cm of snow on the grass" but the "Holy fuck there's 45cm EVERYWHERE and it's -50° with a windchill." Luckily I have the cure! The best way to feel better about life when you're enduring sub zero deep freezes? Summer jams!!

I honestly bought this record after the following recommendation, "Hey you're the guy who likes 90's indie rock and emo right? Buy this! The song 'Hate My Guts' is this years most serious summer jam." Boy were they right! Forming, featuring members of Ghostlimb, plays fun as hell, sing-along punk rock songs reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr. or Dag Nasty with a bit more of an indie rock slant. I don't know much what else I can say about this 7". It's a lot of fun, makes you feel great, and the songs will get stuck in your head for days. 5 months later and I'm still rocking these songs all the time and I never get sick of it.

The artwork and printing on this record is super nice. Everything on Vitriol is amazingly put together and definitely worth adding to your collection. Buy it here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kevin Rips: The Marato - Dirty Stories

"I'm free when I dance, so let's dance! Motherfuckin' dance!"

A long-time totheteeth/tothehilt tour favourite, The Marato's one and only EP "Dirty Stories" released by the still largely unappreciated (as a label, at least) Blue Skies Turn Black - and yet, after all this time, a very much under-appreciated and unheralded recording. But that's what I am about to do - HARKEN ALL! The Marato were amazing. The Marato hailed from Montreal, and produced some of the finest dancey post-punk/post-hardcore I've ever heard. I dug this EP out again recently, and was flooded with fond memories of singing along to these songs driving into sunsets on the way to Saskatoon.

I would liken them to a significantly superior Despistado, and I would guess they've listened to their fair share of Wooden Stars or early North of America back in the day. I feel as though one could draw a direct line from The Marato to bands like Whiskey Priest and Hey Predator! - That would give you some impression of what we're dealing with, but it certainly doesn't do certain justice to the jams. 6 songs, and each and everyone is mixtape worthy (and has likely ended up on many a mixtape from myself). The guitars noodle around each other in the most unlikely ways, while the rhythm keeps things solid and upbeat.Though the songs are rather mathy and obtuse, the hooks are profound, and the impression it leaves is lasting. Perhaps, I'm not doing justice to this recording. Let me just say that this record meant a great deal to me at one point, and even after near decade after its release, it still holds up.

Still available for a most reasonable price right here.