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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

JThe 20/20 Experience Continues… 

Justin Timberlake has released the first song from the second instalment of The 20/20 Experience which is due Sept 30th. The single “Take Back The Night” is very MJ sounding, have a listen for yourself:

The JT Complete Package and The 20/20 Experience Pt 2 of 2 albums are both available for pre-order on his site and iTunes.

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manmanPhiladelphia experimental band Man Man are back at it again with their new album On Oni Pond out September 10th via Anti-. The album is produced by Mike Mogis who has also worked with the likes of Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit and Rilo Kiley.

Check out the lyric video for their new track “Head On” below:

Additional Info: Man Man main man, Honus Honus, has a side project Mister Heavenly. Bandmate from the project Nick Thorburn (from Islands) also has a new album on the way. Check out Islands new album Ski Mask out September 17th.

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This post will not be music-related. Instead, it will be a rant about something that happened to me earlier today. I tried to shrug it off, but some forms of ignorance and close-minded-ness gets under my skin. Unfortunately, this incident is one of those cases.

I’d like to start off by saying, I have tattoos, and when I wear a t-shirt, they are visible; 3/4 of my tattoos are covered, even in a t-shirt.  I’d like to note that they’re not vulgar, rude, or particularly unpleasant on the eyes. I have roses, birds, and a simplistic, black-outlined, borderline cartoony, piece inspired by the street artist Know Hope.

I was walking to the subway earlier today, and I noticed a middle aged lady staring at me as she walked by, quite obviously in disgust. As she walked past me– and by “past me,” I mean a few steps to my left– she was still in my peripherals and in my full view if I slightly turned my head. She scrunched up her face, shrugged her shoulders, and shook her head as if she had just eaten a cockroach. It was just her and I in that hallway. I had just showered, and besides the tattoos, I’m a very clean and polished man. I may be jumping to conclusions, but I can almost guarantee that it was my tattoos that she was so visibly disgusted by.

I have a full understanding that not everyone likes tattoos, and I respect that; however, in today’s society, and within Toronto — one of the most multi-culural, diverse, and open-minded cities in the world– people should have the decency to keep their opinions and apparent disgust to themselves. She had short, bleach-blonde hair and pastel, outdated fashion (like she stepped out of the 80’s) that I didn’t agree with, but I didn’t make a face as if I ate a lemon because of it. Everyone should respect others’ lifestyles.

What bothers me most is I have very specific reasons for getting the tattoos I have. My most visible one (roses and a heart) I got on the 10-year anniversary of my mother’s passing; she died from a long battle with breast cancer when I was 14. My second tattoo was inspired by a street artist that I would pass everyday on my way to work when I lived in New York City, and now I always associate that artist with my time in New York.

What I’m getting at is, when she scrunched up her face at my tattoos, I took it personally. She was really scrunching up her face at symbols of the most vulnerable time in my life (my own mothers death) and the best time in my life (living abroad in New York). She had no right in judging me just as much as I had no right in judging her poor fashion.

To the lady that shot me a dirty look, I’m not asking you to like my tattoos. Just be more subtle next time.

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It’s hard to keep a blog up to date all by yourself, especially when you’re a busy bee, working full time and attempting to have a personal life. I promised to write some concert reviews, and I’ll keep true to my word. So my Chvrches review will be on its way (a month later). Here’s a picture to hold you over:

Chrvrches @ The Hoxton

Chrvrches @ The Hoxton

I apologize for not being as frequent on this fine blog of mine. I’ll be in Chicago at the end of the month, and I hope to catch at least one concert while I’m there. So hopefully there’ll be a review in the works. Also, I’ll be going to Arctic Monkeys’ Toronto show at the Kool Haus, but that won’t be till September. New material will (eventually) be on its way. I promise!

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bagboyThe pixies release a video for their new track ‘Bagboy’, you can download it for free on their site. It was recorded last October and was produced by Gil Norton. Check out the video below:

Additional info: It was also announced recently that bassist/vocalist Kim Deal has officially left the band.

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field trip

The details: On an overcast Saturday (June 8th) record label Arts & Crafts had their 10th anniversary celebration Field Trip Music Festival at the Fort York & Garrison Common (which I might add is actually an awesome venue for concerts– you can’t go wrong with history and music). The lineup (listed in the image above) consisted of all bands within the labels’ roster, and it was an impressive lineup indeed. I was particularly excited for Bloc Party.

My experience: I was lucky enough to be put on a guest list to the festival but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get out of work for the day. So, although the doors were open at noon, I wasn’t able to show up until after 5 pm. So sadly, this wont be a full festival experience review.

I was most excited to see Bloc Party (quirky British indie-rock band), in fact they were essentially the only band I wanted to see, although later I discovered I enjoyed the other bands more than I anticipated. We (my girlfriend and I) arrived at the venue while Bloc Party were on, we were hoping to catch the end of their set.

Unfortunately, because we were on a guest list, we had to go to another entrance on the other side of the venue. So as we walked a couple blocks to the west entrance (in hopes of seeing Bloc Party— I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere), we could hear them perform (it was amazing to hear ‘Helicopter’ from a distance). However, by the time we got to the other side, found our way to the tent, got our tickets, went through security and took our first step into the festival, Bloc Party was JUST leaving the stage. Oh cruel world!

Next band up was Montreal indie-pop band Stars. Between sets we grabbed food from the infamous food trucks, and just wandered around the field trip and rustic themed festival. It was nice– they had art, free vitamin water and popsicles, little tents, a kids zone, a Drake General Store tent (which had some awesome merch and knick knacks) and a whole whack of stuff.

Stars: Too be fair, when Stars were on, my girlfriend and I were more concerned with getting food in our stomaches and taking in the surroundings. Not to mention neither of us were particularly fond of the band. I went through my phase where I listened to their album  Set Yourself On Fire religiously to the point that I can’t stand it any more. However, while sitting eating our shrimp and octopus tacos (from Buster’s Sea Cove), we found ourselves enjoying their performance.

Their synth-pop, dreamy, sex, relationship and booze drenched music came across completely different live. While listening to it, I found myself thinking this reminds me of REM, or Fleetwood Mac, or The Cure or any other band other than Stars. I guess this isn’t a trait a band generally tries to achieve, but it made me appreciate the performance more. Maybe it even added an element of surprise.

Feist and her full band @ Field Trip Music Festival

Feist and her full band @ Field Trip Music Festival

Feist: For the first couple songs Feist was joined on stage by a full band. By the third song the band left just leaving her (Leslie Feist), a drummer and a keyboardist. One may think having a full band sound would make for a better live show, but to me the show began when the extra band members left. Feist was able to shine when it was just the three musicians up on stage– her raw talent, impressive guitar skills and vocals were at the forefront.

Feist is a strong performer and she managed to impress even with her slower songs. It wasn’t until she started breaking out older material that the fans loosened up and started dancing and singing along. Fan favourites like “I Feel It All” and “My Moon My Man” were stand outs for me. Not surprisingly, she didn’t perform her breakout hit “1234” and instead she played a remixed dance-y version. It was a very drum and vocal loop heavy version of the song, and it got the crowd moving. Although it hardly resembled the original song, it was a successful and sneaky way to say she included it in the set without actually performing it. I honestly don’t blame bands when they don’t play their breakout hits, but good on Feist for incorporating it somehow.

Her performance started off kind of slow, and built up to a grand finally. I guess I just had to warm up to her, but overall, Feist is an amazing musician and live performer!

Broken Social Scene: I wasn’t sure what to expect from Broken Social Scene, especially since I hadn’t listened to them in years. When I last listened I had their album You Forgot It In People on repeat, to the point that I gained an attachment to certain songs. An attachment I completely forgot about until I heard the songs be brought back to life live.

They opened their set with ‘KC Accidental’, and from that moment I was hooked. Not only are they musically captivating, but the emotional bond I had with the songs jolted to the forefront of my mind. They’re all talented musicians (I was particularly impressed with the drummer), and their stage presence and showmanship are amazing. They’re a big band as is, but the entire set was a smorgasbord of musicians. There was a horn section, additional percussion, hand clappers (people who specifically did hand claps), and plenty of guest appearances. Feist appeared for a song (‘Almost Crimes’), Jason Collett played guitar on a couple tracks, Metric guitarist James Shaw came on stage for a song dedicated to him, and who knows who else showed up? There was plenty of coming and going on that stage!

The peak of the performance for me was when they played ‘Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl’ and ‘Cause = Time’ back to back.  There has only been a handful of bands I’ve seen live that have successfully been able to transport me to a certain time in my life and sincerely have a musical/emotional connection with. I would’ve never guessed Broken Social Scene would make that list, but hearing those two songs one after another was an untouchable experience for me, strictly for sentimental reasons. For me, everything after that experience was mediocre in comparison.

They played quite an impressively long set, and a lot of fan favorites. We left early to avoid the crowd, but they were still going strong long after we left.

In Conclusion: Too be honest, I’m not sure if this will become an annual thing, but I kind of hope that it does. I can’t imagine the lineup changing much year after year (since it’s the labels roster), but it looked like it was a huge success, and it would be great if they could make something more of it. On a personal level, I enjoyed it way more than I anticipated, and although I was debating skipping it (due to work reasons) I’m glad I didn’t.

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am

 

UK rockers Arctic Monkeys have released a new track ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ which can be found on iTunes. A new album is expected to be released sometime this year. Let’s hope that means a North American tour to go along with it!

Check out the single below:

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