Getting to know ‘My Girls’ and restoring faith in humanity

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There was a big power outage in Toronto last night. Apparently, a water main broke and flooded a power station, which cut off power and heat to thousands of people in the west end. In this kind of weather (-16 C / 7 F) its a bit of a problem for a lot of people, so hopefully they’ll get the power back on again. This morning I planned on taking the bus to work that stops right outside my place. It did arrive on time, but resembled a can of sardines on wheels with people packed right to the doors. I walked to the subway station to find it closed (between Jane and Bathurst on the Bloor line). I then joined a group of a hundred people waiting on the street for the buses that were supposed to pick up the slack of getting people to work. More cans of sardines, one after another.

Why not walk? I did forget to wear my long underwear today, but I did have my gloves, hat, and headphones. There were many of us walking, and helping each other. And I couldn’t help thinking about these times when something like the power fails, it levels us. Brings us back to being human. Like the blackout of 2003 (which I thought was an amazing day), I find that people are more aware of everyone else around them.

The trip took about an hour. I listened to Arkells, Sigur Ros and most of Animal Collective‘s album Merriweather Post Pavillion. It’s still growing on me, and I do plan on reviewing it on the site, but I’ve got the feeling I’ll never get totally into the album. Some songs are a little too drowned in loops and noise, or maybe too left of center (even for me). But, I’ve gotta say I’m totally addicted to their single ‘My Girls‘. Have you heard it yet? Its Panda Bear singing to a wicked beat, as if the sound of his torch-lit beach party singalong picked up and got drums.

animalcollective Getting to know My Girls and restoring faith in humanity

Keeping good notes on Amazing Babies

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amazingbaby Keeping good notes on Amazing Babies

Or Amazing Baby for that matter.

I’ve got this txt document that I open every day when checking my favourite music watering holes. Today I checked it and near the bottom was typed Amazing Baby. Must have been there for a couple weeks or so, so apologies for the lateness of this tip. But, I always go back and what makes the file, generally (eventually) makes it up here. (work on the follow through Chris, wasn’t that a resolution this year?)

This Brooklyn band is currently exploding Europe at the moment, think we’ll hear a lot from them this year. Here’s the video for Pump Your Brakes. Try Stereogum for the track. Sounds kind of like Ozzy fronting a lighter Black Mountain, perfect for that tenth beer at the bar where everything slows down a little bit.

Mountain by Heartless Bastards

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heartlessbastards Mountain by Heartless Bastards

Who : Heartless Bastards from Cincinnati, OH.

What : Its been a while since I’ve had Erika Wennerstrom and her Heartless Bastards on the radio here. I’m psyched to hear new material, songs off the upcoming Feb. 3rd release of The Mountain on Fat Possum . So far I’ve had the titled track looped, still working on getting to the next howler. They’re on the road right now, all over the US (including SXSW) and parts of Canada, supporting Black Keys , Andrew Birds , and Gas Light Anthems (myspace ).

Song : Mountain .

Bon Iver taking Blood to the Bank

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bloodbank Bon Iver taking Blood to the Bank

Wait, that doesn’t sound good at all. How about ‘Bon Iver‘s anticipated EP ‘Blood Bank’ will be released in digital, cd and vinyl formats on January 20th (19th in the UK) by Jagjaguwar, worldwide’. That’s better and good timing. I’ve been looking for something to listen to while safe inside from the snow storm happening in Toronto at the moment. A little more of what I was hoping for, sparse acoustic stories told by a distinctive falsetto. The one that sticks out on this four song effort is the track Woods, which doesn’t start with the letter B and is heavily built around a autotuner. Maybe Justin’s been listening to a little Imogen Heap.

Bon IverBlood Bank

Time Carries On by Aron DAlesio

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arondalesio Time Carries On by Aron DAlesio

Who : Aron D’Alesio from Young Rival .

What : When I’ve got my ‘music biz’ hat on, I sometimes think about different ways to market artists and songs in this ever changing industry. What about the idea of an anthem? You hire a popular local bar to put on a song at the same time every night, as well as encourage the bar to lead a singalong. Might sound pretty silly, but I’d love to go to a bar that has a tradition like that. Here’s a song by Hamilton’s Aron D’Alesio (lead singer of Young Rival ), which I’d consider a drinking song ideal for group vocals, having a pint and singing with your friends. Head by his myspace page to hear more (apparently he’s got a bunch more new material, keep your ears peeled).

Song : Time Carries On .

Rich Doors by NewVillager

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newvillager Rich Doors by NewVillager

Who : NewVillager from Brooklyn, NY and Forestville, CA.

What : Two multi-instrumentalists Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini want you to get up and dance with Rich Doors . Pounding drums with handclaps, piano, and vocals in the chorus that remind me of the shrill voices of Passion Pit . This song is from their debut 7" single (Rich Doors) on twosyllable records on Jan. 27th. Pre-order it here .

Song : Rich Doors .