This is a musicblog. Every weekday we post a couple of mp3s and write about them. Songs are only kept online for a short time. This is a page from our archives and thus the mp3s linked to may not longer be available. Visit our front page for new songs and words.

November 29, 2015

Disappearing Act

Nap Eyes - "Mixer"

Take the day, quiet, light a candle, dip a corner into the flame. Watch it turn up at the edges, curling out into the air. How it moves. Not lazy. Steady. Slow. Deliberate. Like it's the simplest thing in the world. Of course it's not, of course it is, of course.

[pre-order Thought Rock Fish Scale, yes yes yes]

Posted by Emma at 4:44 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2015

He's Heating Up?

Homeshake - "He's Heating Up" [Buy]

I was waiting for an elevator alone listing to this song. An elevator came and I stepped on. I pressed 7th floor. The door was slowly closing but suddenly, the this hand, massive hand with thick fingers like infants' thigh size fingers stopped the door closing. It scared me.

This massive big man was breathing heavy like an arm wrestling champion and stepped into the elevator. He pressed 11th. I really don't have any reason to be scared since he was most likely just ran to catch the elevator. But the fact, he was a massive man, scared me.

I started to imagining maybe he killed someone in a loading dock and he wanted to put the body into his van but he forgot his van keys so he needs to go get the keys asap so he can drive off.

At this point, I started to breathing heavy little bit. I turned down my music and I decided to break the silent by saying, "oh 7-11"

He said, "what?"

"I pressed 7th floor and you pressed 11th. 7-11. like a convenience store...." I said it with an awkward smile as the elevator reached my floor and I walked out quickly.

Oops. That was awkward. I judged him prematurely. Im sorry to the man.

Posted by Mitz at 1:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2015


a sign at the entry of Carlingwood mall, Ottawa

Liz Phair - "Help Me Mary"
Liz Phair - "Divorce Song"

My dad had to buy new razors for his electric shaver and return something at Sears so I tagged along to the Carlingwood Mall. It was the end of the year and I was flush with Christmas money, so while he ran errands I went into Sam the Record Man. I flipped through the rows of tapes in oversized plastic display cases, click-click, clickclickclick. I was over halfway through the alternative rock section when I found it: Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville. I picked it up, excited. In 1993 all I really had to go on was Spin magazine, which I bought at the strip mall near my house and read obsessively. This was their record of the year. Ahead of In Utero, ahead of Siamese Dream. The tape cost something ridiculous, like $13.99, but I held it tight. It was on an actual independent label! One of the song titles had a swear word! What was that photo on the cover? Even though I had no idea what this music sounded like I knew it was important. I bought the tape then found my dad, and we drove home through the dark winter afternoon. And then I listened to that tape for five months straight.


(image source)

Posted by Jeff at 8:02 PM | Comments (0)


Danny L Harle - "Awake for Hours". I guess this song is fast. Sometimes when I listen to it I feel like I and my whole world have turned into hares and this song is only incrementally faster than us; that we're all speedy and "Awake for Hours" is nothing special, just that little bit ahead. Or else other times I feel like I am made of concrete and this song is the only thing not made of concrete; that it's not fast exactly but normal speed, and everything else is slow. I get turned-around and confused. I feel as if I have stayed up all night but I'm not tired, not exactly. I am headed toward a revelation. How could I be tired? There is a revelation coming. If I can just stay awake another few days. If I can just stay awake another few days. If I can just stay awake another few days. Why are you all moving so fast? Why am I moving so slow? If I can just stay awake another few days. [from the Broken Flowers EP]

November 22, 2015

Do what you can

Grimes - "Kill v. Maim"

1. "Kill v Maim" is kind of weird. Like most of the things I end up loving the most, I didn't think much the first few times I encountered it. It sounded to me like just parts piled on parts; something about the pitched-up vocals, synths and skipping beat, metal on metal didn't quite click. The way Grimes' voice flips so fast between low hurl and scratched-out scream. The scorch-and-tatter speed of it.

2. I went to see Jessica Hopper give a reading on Wednesday and it was inspiring in the best way, smart, no side-steps. She talked about intersectionality, about who she writes for, about how early on in her career she wrote "SELF-DOUBT IS POISONOUS" on an index card in glitter glue and tacked it up beside her desk just so that she'd remember. It felt good to listen.

At the end of the talk there was a Q&A, and someone asked how she dealt with the problem of explaining misogyny in music to the men she met, what she'd recommend for someone trying to figure out the best way. She sighed real hard. After twenty years of trying, she said, she was becoming more and more convinced that the only way to communicate the truth of some of the most basic experiences women have in music - as fans, as writers, as artists - was to gather up a few smart straight white men who Get It, and ask them to explain it all to their peers. No one's listening to us, she said. We know no one listens.

3. In her review of Art Angels Hopper mentions this song in particular twice. At first it is blown-out, bright, anxious; later it has a fierce anger, a casual misandry. Reading through it the first time, I wrote those last two phrases on the notepad I keep on my desk without even thinking. A reflex. My joke is always, business card, author bio, tinder profile.

4. "Oblivion," Grimes's best-known song pre-Art Angels, is about an assault. In the lyrics she's neither the victim or the attacker, or maybe she's both - looming even as she checks over her shoulder, every line. Someone could break your neck, coming up behind you always coming and you'd never have a clue. Synths that are just lovely enough to be disturbing, just creepy enough to be comforting. See you on a dark night. When you feel trapped, there is a great deal of quiet, weird power in switching sides. Slipping between subject and object.

5. As for "Kill v. Maim," it finally clicked for me a few days ago. I was on the treadmill at the gym, and it came on, and suddenly I was running so fucking fast. No warning, no reason. I felt like I was trying to escape my own body, like the song was pulling me out of me. Bright and hot and furious.

6. The part of the song I love most isn't the hilarious, weird earworm/mantra are you going to the party are you going to the show?; it's not Boucher insisting she won't behave, nor is it the way her voice's rapidcycling speed and pitch add their own thesis-worthy set of subtextual meanings to the whole deal. It's not the cheerleader chorus. It's the cascade that comes after. 'Cause I'm only a man, and I do what I can. Half-mocking, half-earnest. Subject, object, all at once.

7. Hopper mentioned in her talk that she'd been proud of her Grimes review, which praises Claire Boucher highly for being a feminist pop auteur who does everything herself, until she realized something. After I wrote it, she said, I started thinking, well then what am I saying about women who don't do all of that stuff themselves?

One of the most difficult and necessary parts of becoming a good artist, writer or person, is learning to balance the belief that SELF-DOUBT IS POISON with the understanding that you are probably wrong about a lot of shit and that you need to be ready and willing to listen, to change your mind all the time.

It's very difficult to do this under any circumstances, but when the world reads you first and foremost as Not A Man, the prospect of trying to disentangle the mess of intent and implication that defines every single interaction you have with the outside world can be so exhausting that sometimes, instead of going to that show or talking to that stranger or pitching to that editor or putting that song up or answering that message you're just like, fuck it, where's my sound-proof chamber?

8. I have spent countless hours of my life in classrooms, offices, bars, beds, trying to describe this double bind to men who will never be interested in understanding it. The second you're aware of your difference, every interaction grows this new labyrinthine aspect: Am I being treated like this because this person doesn't like me, or because he doesn't like what I am? How do I sound out the difference? Double down or back off, lean into it or walk away? Do I believe myself? How angry do I need to be, or pretend I'm not, to get through this whole thing unscathed? To be okay? To be good?

When Hopper said that thing about how no one listens to women, you could hear this little shudder of disappointment and unhappiness shifting through the room. I felt those things too. But there was something else. The idea that I could be forgiven for turning away from the work of trying to make a certain type of man listen to me, for turning a little further toward other kinds of work, felt good. Like permission. A kind of relief I wish I didn't want.

[buy Art Angels + The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic]

Posted by Emma at 7:45 PM | Comments (4)

November 18, 2015

Random Thoughts

(photo source) Pastels - "Nothing to be done" [Buy]

I just love imagining random things like

Steve Nash says, "Hi I'm Steve Nash" and start singing Johnny Cash song.

Muhammad Ali says "Float like a butterfly. Sting was a lead singer of the Police!"

also, Life Hack tip of the day for today.

If you don't have milk or cream, you can put yogurt in your coffee. It tastes like shit.

that's all for today. Have a great week!

Posted by Mitz at 6:17 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2015

The Cryptkickers

scared people at a haunted house

Juanita y Los Feos - "Escupe en la Tumba"

No one knows why, but the weeks leading up to Hallowe'en are the most fertile time of the year for forming punk bands. Some suggest it's a response to the onset of cold weather and darkness; others believe it's the high intake of candy. Either way, that was when my band The Cryptkickers got together.

Spirits roam the earth in October. They leave their crypts, coffins, and mausoleums and find seasonal employment at haunted houses and hayrides. I was a ticket taker at the haunted house in the mall parking lot and after a few weeks of working with some ghouls I figured out most of them were into cool music. Turns out the undead and young punks have a lot in common.

The idea of starting a Hallowe'en cover band came up in the lunch room one day. We talked about it, quickly rejecting stand-bys like The Misfits and The Smiths, passing over The Cramps and Black Flag. When Melissa the wight admitted that she used to play the sax we settled on X-Ray Spex. We jammed in my parents' basement. A cool greaser ghost named Josiah was on bass, Tanya Tyrant on the skins, Danielle, a low-key banshee, was on the mic, Vincent Wolfman on keys, and I played guitar. After a few practices, we realized that, fuck it, it's way easier to write your own songs than learn covers.

We wrote five originals and got added to the bill at a Hallowe'en party. We played the show and everyone loved us, but come the stroke of midnight, just after our set, they started disappearing. Back to their crypts until next year. I had to pack up all the gear on my own.

[buy LP | bandcamp]

(image source)

Posted by Jeff at 7:30 PM | Comments (2)

November 16, 2015


Carole Lombard

Quivers - "The Poltergeist". A love-song for a ghost, a serenade for a vanishing act. Tasmania's Quivers are maybe a pocket full of arrows, maybe a shaking at the knees. They sing of snowstorms and empty spaces, wistful. It's a song for slow-dancing, this one; like the slow-dance when a record's ended, needle bumping on the groove. A little harmony, brick by brick, building a lamplight. Shoot up a quiet firework, whisper a cannonade, break a heart.

Quivers - "Ridin' on the Hearses". But this one's less quiet. This one's got the soft-shoed swagger of The Go-Betweens. Commemorating a partnership with a noisiness that's defeated and celebrating at the same time. A chorus that splits open beautifully, You and I will go ridin' on the hearses / til we break down. And horns at the bridge, waiting for the guitars. What is love but a series of curses? / In the end it's always worth i-i-it. The slipperiness of the end of that line, the perilous slide. Jumping a fence, you sometimes get cut.

For some artists, band-names are like pass-phrases. In Quivers' first email to me, they wrote Nap Eyes, Karl Blau, Dick Diver. (I unlocked the door and let em in.)

[buy on bandcamp]

(photo is of Carole Lombard)

Posted by Sean at 12:54 PM | Comments (1)

November 15, 2015

Quit Happening

Timmy Thomas - Why Can't We Live Together

A drug that pins you back against yourself. Wait, no - I mean a drug that works like déjà vu, but different - folds your memory forward and back, presses out in the centre and fans it, drags the characters and swims you through the still set all dim lights, museum hands. A drug that makes everything sound like something you've heard before, but sinister - wait, no, but comforting. That changes what it means to echo. A drug that reminds you of yourself. That takes you apart, wait, no, hang on. One that skips you entirely. Yes.

Posted by Emma at 4:52 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2015

Dumb kids.

Primal Scream - "Slip Inside This House" [Buy]
Primal Scream - "Autobahn 66" [Buy]

A week before I moved to Canada, One night, I was walking with my friend. We both had bikes but I was leaving Osaka, we just pushed our bikes and wanted to talk on our way home. We were 16 years old kids so we just talked about girls, music, and TV shows, Nothing important. Just dumb kids.

We used to break into school yard and play some basketball until the security chased us away. It was such a weird and exciting feeling to be at school at night. We never liked school but somehow we liked school at night. By the way, it was so hard to play basketball in dark. It's really hard to play any sports in dark. In fact, that should be Olympics, Dark Olympics, a.k.a. Olympics B-sides. We all the sports in dark. I imagine archery and tennis would be the hardest or maybe, gymnastics.

Anyways, we were walking home and I saw something under the street light.
"what is that? Is that someone's finger?" I said.
We had a long pause. we just stood there. Because in 1997, May, there was a this crazy 14 years old kid in Kobe(close to where I lived in Northern Osaka), killed 11 years old and put his head on the fence of his school. You can read here. It's crazy.

We were scared. We slowly approached what it looks like a human finger under the street light. I could hear my friend's heartbeat beating like drum n' bass and Im sure he could hear my heartbeat like House music pumping the full club. In fact, I really wished I was at my house or a club.
We gathered our courage and bent over to take a really really close look.
Our faces were almost 1 foot away from the finger.

and we both realized it was a dog poo that looked like a human finger.
We both just biked and LOLed all the way home in the dark.

Posted by Mitz at 8:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2015


Lily the goat on the deck

Mike Watt - "Mouse-Headed-Man"

The goat had been on the road for months now, going from town to village to hamlet, sampling the best each had to offer. She especially liked browsing on the low leaves of apple trees, but would settle for anything, sedges, ferns, tulips, dahlias.

A goat is guided through life primarily by appetite and rarely gives thought to social graces. Because of her unrestrained munching the goat was loathed by gardeners and arborists in three counties. For this reason she had become nocturnal. It was easier to travel by night than to spend the days facing the derision of the gardening classes.

One day she was feasting on some particularly scrumptious apple leaves when she heard a quiet voice.

"Excuse me. Hello. Excuse me, Madame Goat." In the dark the goat made out a small shape standing on a nearby log. "If you would be so considerate as to hear my appeal Madame Goat, I would be ever grateful."

"Who are you?"

"I am a shrew, a small nocturnal creature. Tiny in fact. Nevertheless I have my needs, and if you would be so kind as to not eat the leaves off that tree I would very much appreciate it."

The goat belched and then said, "I've never met a shrew before. Are you all so polite?"

"Oh yes, the very small must be courteous. We can't afford to ruffle any feathers. Speaking of which, my small request is that you leave the leaves of this tree untouched, if you would. My domestic partner is expecting shrewlets soon and the leaves of this tree perfectly shield the entryway from the owl's sight, you see. Also, they significantly increase the value of this property. But mainly I'd like my children not to become a meal for the owl if possible."

The goat was very affected by this small creature's plea. She had once had a kid, a jumping bundle of life, but it had been taken away from her. That was when her constant hunger took hold.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I should have asked first."

"Not at all," the shrew said. "Nearby is an old overgrown farm. There's lots to eat over there, perhaps if you work up a good resume they might take you on."

"I'll look into it," the goat said, and for the first time since she lost her kid she felt a hunger for something other than food.

On her way out of the forest an owl swooped onto a branch above her. "Hey lady," it hooted, "seen any shrews about?" But the goat pretended she didn't hear it and kept walking. The owl followed her. "Sorry if I came across as a little rude. I'm just trying to feed my kids. You should hear them shrieking. It gives me a headache!"

"That's alright madame." The goat was trying to live up to the shrew's example of politesse. "I wish you good luck, but can't say I've seen any shrews about." How could she betray the kind soul who changed her life path?

The next day the goat went to the town library, read some books about potential careers, wrote a well thought out CV and printed it off. She went off to the farm the shrew told her about and, after a short interview in which she upheld the shrew's standard of civility, she was hired on part-time as bookkeeper and granted access to a huge abandoned orchard of apple trees.

Years later she still thought of the little shrew who steered her on to a new path. After her early troubles she finally found a place for herself in the world.

[buy Hyphenated-Man]

(photo by Spike)

Posted by Jeff at 1:36 AM | Comments (0)

November 9, 2015



Willie Thrasher - "Wolves Don't Live By The Rules".

So here's the thing about wolves: they don't live by the rules. Yes, despite what you may have heard. Despite what your parents may have told you about wolves. They simply do not live by the rules. It is not that they are selfish; it is not that they do as they please. It is simply that they are born to kill. Their lives are hard and they have to fight to stay alive. They are not your friends or your buds or your woes. They are themselves, wholly. They are themselves, howling. You, listening, may ask yourself: Could I do that? Could I live as freely? The answers are no. You are not a wolf. You reading this: you were not born to kill. You do not have to fight to stay alive. You are luckier than that. All of us are lucky in some way. We must measure this luck against the rhythm in our chests, the strum in our minds; we must do the arithmetic and sing the difference. [buy / Willie Thrasher's Spirit Child was first released in 1981; it was excerpted on the exquisite Native North America Vol 1]

Posted by Sean at 11:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 8, 2015

Move To

Times New Viking - "Move to California"

Like it's fall but not fall. A new season with trick walls, no floor, like we don't have a name for it yet. A new season lined with trip wires, sun buried in static, cold at 4pm still - cup of tea, cup of tea, cup of tea, whole trees shaken to the sidewalk - but the sun in clear sky too. The warm wind. False memory. Here: switch the radio on, tune it right between stations, hear the new song it makes, like this one but not this one. That's your name for it. That's your hymn. There.

[buy Born Again Revisited]

Posted by Emma at 4:55 PM | Comments (0)

November 4, 2015

Every 1's winner.

(photo source)

Hot Chocolate - "Every 1's a winner" [Buy]

I played a lot of sports growing up. Especially, basketball. When I moved to Canada, I joined my high school team. As I mentioned in other posts, I moved to a really small town which had only KFC and Chinese restaurant, so between 8 kids did "try-outs" for the team, I was named a captain of the junior team. Of course, all the 8 kids who "tried out" got on team. I couldn't speak very good English that time. As a captain, you shake hands of opponent team's captain and referees before the game. One referee who looked like Drew Carry meets Drew Barrymore said something to both of us. It was probably something like, "you guys play clean and have fun!" Usually, if I didn't understand I just smiled and walked away. and the coach and my teammates ask me what the refs said. I just shrug and tell them. "I don't know." During the game coach told me something for tactics but again, he was excited and spoke really fast so I didn't quite understand. I just nodded with deep thoughts look like Carl Sagan on my face. My teammates yelling something to everyone including me on the court but I didn't understand but gave a thumbs up like Roger Ebert. I was a captain that couldn't really communicate with my teammates.

This happened to me all my life but every time, I play sports, the team I'm on, always lose. This happens to me for anything, even drunken charades, bowling or card games. If it was just for one sport or a game, I gladly admit that I suck at it but it happens to me almost everything I play with friends and families. One game, we were up by 2 points and last shot of the game, opposing team scored buzzer beater 3-points just like a movie ending except I was in the opposite team as a captain. I saw them hugging and giving extreme high fives where they jump and miss their high fives but in their follow through, they just hug using that jumping momentum and keep hug and jumping, pointing at sky. I was just watching them celebrate in slow motion. I think I'm cursed for competition ever though I always gave "110%" or even "stepped up the plate and give all I've got"

Every time, I watch some youtube clips of a miracle shot or biggest comebacks, I only look at the team that just lost in a devastating way, they are always out of focus in the background of the winning team like a famous Big Foot photo. But for me, every 1's a winner.

Posted by Mitz at 6:55 PM | Comments (1)

November 3, 2015


yellow flowers against a brick wall

All Dogs - "That Kind of Girl"
All Dogs - "Your Mistakes"

Life is hard sometimes, and when it is you need songs that acknowledge it without pulling you deeper into the abyss. Enter Kicking Every Day by All Dogs. This record is hard melodic nouveau-nineties gold that perfectly balances catchy riffs with heavier bursts of fuzzy catharsis. Maryn Jones's voice is a versatile instrument, traveling from big poppy vocals to quieter moments of introspection. These are defiant tunes that kick the bad vibes to the curb. Their lyrics reflect on the hard times and good times with plainspoken honesty, the audio equivalent of a great zine or an unexpected letter from an old friend. This is the time of year to collect the songs that will get you through the coming season-which-will-not-be-named, just like the nut-crazed squirrels running wild in the streets. These are durable tunes to throw on the tape deck while you do the dishes, on headphones while changing trains in the Metro, or for sitting at your desk writing and hoping that all this will add up to something in the end.

Montreal: All Dogs play le Ritz next Friday!

[buy Kicking Every Day bandcamp / LP]

(photo by Spike)

Posted by Jeff at 3:34 AM | Comments (4)

November 2, 2015


François Virot - "3". A hailstorm in sunshine, a mountain upside-down, I am in Colorado and it is all summer, radiant with fall colours, I'm confused and heightsick and drinking water til my throat is dry. François Virot makes his racket with the windows open and the curtains pulled, he's racket and tennis racket, he's cock and shuttle-cock. He fumbles everything, beautifully, gorgeously, tumbledown and tumble-up, falling uphill with the grin across his face. [buy]

Posted by Sean at 7:46 PM | Comments (1)