Monthly Archive for July, 2008

In-Flight Safety ‘The Coast Is Clear’

In-Flight Safety

The Halifax-based quartets’ first full-length album The Coast Is Clear exceeds all expectations. The disc is a superb cinematic pop experiment that tugs at your heartstrings upon first listen.

Starting out in Vancouver, the band began work on five tracks with producer Warne Livesey (Midnight Oil, 54-40), who took the band under his British wing for a month-long recording adventure. On their return to Halifax the band enlisted Laurence Currie (Sloan, Ghandharvas) to help bring the record towards the finish line. But, when it came time to sculpt the album into a satisfying wall of sound, In-Flight Safety opted for the hands on approach.

More on Halifax’s In-Flight Safety

The Burning Hell @ Rancho Relaxo (Toronto) Aug. 15th

Taking its name from a religious tract, The Burning Hell has been slithering around in the muck in one form or another since the dawn of the millennium. Fronted by the moderately agoraphobic songwriter and occasional history teacher Mathias Kom on electric ukulele, The Burning Hell currently features between one and twelve people, depending on the night.

The variable lineup promises a very different show every time: sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, sometimes rock, sometimes roll. Always folk, never anti. Quirky? Maybe. Cute? Never.

The latest Burning Hell album, ‘Happy Birthday’, celebrates the beauty of age, the joys of decay, the possibility of dating after death, and the inevitable repetition of mistakes. Combining happy little melodies and depressing Old World fatalism, the music of The Burning Hell is sure to make you smile and want to give up.

(and if you want a good laugh, check out these boys doing an impromptu cover of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’)

The Burning Hell’s extensive upcoming concert listing

Vivie-Ann in profile: Former prom queen, present bump in the night

Like any respectable DJ worth their weight in vinyl, Vivie-Ann really knows how to work a room. Along with the taste-making mixes she drops nightly on dance floors across the world, the 23-year-old Montreal DJ carries a reputation for orchestrating a spectacular fusion of mischief, music and mayhem. Glitter pranks, moustache parties and bananas that double as phone devices. Even pepperoni pizzas perfectly matched on turntables. Nothing is sacred – except the music. Although she hides her seriousness about the industry fairly well, the girl gets down behind the booth and more recently in the studio.

More on Vivie-Ann including upcoming concert dates

Afrodizz = afrobeat + afrofunk

Afrodizz brings the genuine Afro Funk ruckus. Formed in 2002 under the lead of jazz guitarist Gabriel Aldama, this Montreal-based powerhouse has quickly become one of Canada’s premiere Afrobeat outfits. Drawing inspiration from the work of the legendary Fela Kuti, these eight stellar musicians use their jazz experience to expand on the foundation sound with a modern urban touch.

Though the band doesn’t have any scheduled performances in the near future, they’re always booking so I’m sure we’ll get word soon of where you can see them live. Until then, check out their web site for sample tracks, pictures, and more video.

DJ Pump: Best Kept Secret from Calgary

DJ Pump is one of Canada’s best kept secrets. Also, coincidentally, one of Canada’s Best Kept Secret’s. He really redefines Turntablism and what it means to be a party DJ by focusing heavily on the overall musical composition when he’s mixing, scratching, and creating beat juggles or blending beats. His worldwide performances have earned him tonnes of respect amongst his peers as one of the most funkiest and versatile DJs around.

Check out DJ Pump’s upcoming concert dates!

The Great Outdoors: A rare kind of ‘ism’

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors – Spring Flower

Regardless of whether singer/songwriter Adam Nation’s folk-rock outfit The Great Outdoors is performing as a five-piece ensemble, a moving trio, or even simply as a ‘one-man-band’ solo act complete with kick drum and bass pedals, the outcome at the end of each live show is always the same: a room full of people stirred to laughter, moved to tears, and outright musically hypnotized by one of the premier acts in the country.

More on The Great Outdoors

Sebastien Grainger @ Oshega Festival (Montreal), Aug. 3

Sebastien Grainger

Sebastien Grainger and The Mountains is not really a band, it’s the idea of a band. When Grainger set out to make his first solo record he weighed his options- in one hand he held a guitar and a microphone and, in the other, he held everything else. For the last year, amidst sporadic emergences onstage, he’s been in his studio working and reworking a set of songs that have become the content of his numerous debut releases.

More on Sebastien Grainger including upcoming concert dates

Peter Elkas’ “Wall of Fire”

“He has a wonderfully soulful voice and a great sense of melody that makes me want to write and sing better and try harder.”

That’s Ron Sexsmith’s endorsement of Peter Elkas in advance of the Toronto musician’s sophomore album, Wall of Fire, produced by Charlie Sexton.

Peter describes the record as “soulful and smooth, but with a rough edge” and says listeners can hear his love affair with the 1970s sound on the tracks. Bill Withers, Bruce Springsteen, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye were his musical heroes during the writing process for Wall of Fire. Their influence served him well.

More on Peter Elkas’ album “Wall of Fire”

Dan Mangan has a new cd coming our way early 2009!

As you might recall, Dan Mangan is one of my personal favourites. I’m rarely as instantly impressed with an artist as I was with Dan Mangan’s album Postcards and Daydreaming. Well, after talking to Dan today, I’ve found out that he will begin recording a new album beginning in October! I can’t wait to hear his new album. I hope you’re just as excited as I am!

Maybe, if we’re all nice enough, Dan will let us hear a preview when he’s finished – fingers crossed!

Be sure to check out one of his upcoming shows. Definitely a must-see!

Upcoming shows:
29 Jul 2008 19:00 The Living Room Manhattan, New York
30 Jul 2008 20:00 The Union Hall Brooklyn, New York
10 Aug 2008 20:00 The Town Lounge Portland, Oregon
30 Aug 2008 20:00 Old Familiar CD Release @ The Media Club Vancouver, British Columbia
20 Sep 2008 20:00 Richards on Richards w/ Elliott Brood & NQ Arbuckle Vancouver, British Columbia
26 Sep 2008 20:00 The Arts Space Prince George, British Columbia

Mardeen @ the Capital (Fredericton), Aug. 1

Mardeen brings together the very best of the genre with distinctive pop hooks all their own. Think of the bright shimmering guitar of Built To Spill and Teenage Fanclub accented with the swirling distortion of My Bloody Valentine. Imagine the anthemic vocal delivery of Bob Pollard (Guided By Voices) or early Michael Stipe (REM) mixed with the sweet high harmonies of Rivers Cuomo (Weezer).

More on Mardeen including upcoming concert dates