Dropping out of nowhere this summer, the All Delighted People mega-EP (the thing is 60 minutes long) is Sufjan Stevens’ long-awaited return to song-based material. The EP is an all-encompassing affair and serves as an both an excellent reminder of Stevens’s work to date and a crash-course for the initiated.
If you believe the hype (and the blogs), California’s Best Coast have made a life-changing, must-own debut record in Crazy For You. I’m not as convinced. Sure, frontwoman Bethany Cosentino and partner Bobb Bruno have crafted a warm, hazey, washed-out record with reverb-soaked vocals and some pretty killer melodies, but that can describe most noisy, pop-punk garage bands operating today.
On Sunday night SSMU froshies were treated to one final night of entertainment, a concert starring Torontonians k-os and Keys N Krates. Keys N Krates featured a drummer, keyboardist, and DJ with a laptop and turntables. The band describes their work as “hands-on remixing,” a style that transforms recognizable riffs and melodies into rave-style mixes.
Since becoming permanently stationed in Chicago’s Grant Park in 2005, Lollapalooza has consistently delivered two things: impressive lineups and droves of people looking to see said lineups. This year featured hugely popular artists such as Green Day, Lady Gaga, and Arcade Fire alongside only slightly lesser-known but no less awesome acts, including Mumford & Sons, Chromeo and Wolfmother.
This year’s North by Northeast music festival featured close to 650 bands on over 40 stages throughout Toronto. Often playing second fiddle to the similarly named, but unrelated, South by Southwest festival, 2010 seemed to be NXNE’s coming-of-age. From scoring big-name headliners like Iggy and The Stooges and De La Soul, as well as a good number of up-and-coming buzz bands like Surfer Blood and Avi Buffalo, this year’s line-up demanded attention.
After 25 years performing in the metro, Greg Dunlevy has seen some terrible musicianship. “You get a lot people who … bang on pieces of wood,” Dunlevy said. “They go out and get themselves a cheap guitar, they buy themselves a harmonica or a recorder, and they blow in it and they can’t do anything with it.
When Lady Gaga first entered the pop music scene back in 2008, I forced myself to take a second look. Her lyrics were symbolic of both the feminine mystique and female empowerment, she wore avant-garde and provocative clothing (or a lack thereof), and she had the strong ability to capture the attention of millions by dominating the music charts for weeks on end.
This spring, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Jason Collett and indie bands Zeus and Bahamas unleashed “The Bonfire Ball” in North America. The three-in-one tour has been travelling across the continent since the beginning of March, and has even been as far south as Mexico City, playing a show for the one-year anniversary of record label Arts & Crafts’ expansion to the region.
What does Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, a 75-year old country folk guitarist, have to do with Pop Montreal, the city’s ecstatic embrace of the “next big thing”? Perhaps the most significant asset that Elliot’s Wednesday night set at the Ukrainian Center brought to the festival was authenticity.
The National is a quaint theatre, the ambience a familiar one, ideal for Regina Spektor. The singer/songstress stepped onto the stage with a glittery shape in her hair and smiling red lips, her very presence giving the room a soothing glow. She began an acapella wonder and the crowd became entranced.