Posts Tagged ‘hooray for earth’

Two Albums I Intend On Buying, Even Though I Got Them For Free…

February 15, 2012

First off, I will be bluntly honest: I download CDs.  Put the shackles on.  Take me away.  Coincidentally, through the Napster years I continued to buy CDs, and did so well into the oughts (00’s).  Somewhere around 2007, I made a bit of a switch.

But Roo!  You work in the music industry!

IKNOWRITE??!  But I’m poor!  I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say for the last five years I’ve leaned on a lot of people to keep me going, and one of the first things that had to be cut was CDs.  As a music lover, I couldn’t go ‘without’ music, and I realize the hypocrisy in this, and hope the mere fact that I’m saying it publicly and without any intention of boasting gets the point across that I would MUCH rather be buying CDs.

…actually…I’d rather be buying CDs at live performances after picking up a t-shirt and tour poster.  Or sending $100 to a Kickstarter campaign.  I’d rather be putting money right in the artist’s pockets.

It’s a complicated issue: having no money, having a love of culture, that culture costing money but easily accessible via the internet for free.

As money comes in, it goes back out though.  This past year I’ve managed to see some of my favourite artists live and I intend to triple the live performances I see this year.  When I do, I always buy merch.  But…enough of my defense myself.

I don’t only get my CDs from evil pirates.  I sometimes get them through work.  On occasion, these people end up working with me.  In others, they don’t, but I wish they had.  SOOOOO…after all this rambling, here’s what I’m really documenting: CDs (or vinyl) I would like to buy, despite the fact that I was given the CD for free, and despite the fact that I never even had a chance to work with the artist.

In other words, in full disclosure, these people gave me a CD and then worked with someone else.  But I still love them.  And in the first two cases, they were among my favourite albums of 2011.


They’ve gotten a bit of a buzz recently, winning Grammy’s and teaming up with Taylor Swift for another franchise near and dear to my heart, The Hunger Games. (click the link, it’s a VERY pretty song)  I think I started listening to this CD around the same time we had a teaser of City and Colour’s ‘Little Hell’ (an artist my company did work with in 2011).  The Civil Wars gave me my first bout of professional guilt…because I enjoyed ‘Barton Hollow’ more than ‘Little Hell,’ and when I should’ve been listening to C&C I was listening to TCW.

It’s a style I’m not normally into: the guy and girl duet pairing.  But…it’s amazing.  It crosses genre from folk to blues to pop and does so seamlessly.  ‘Barton Hollow,’ unlike most albums I heard last year, is TRULY beautiful.  Years ago, I stumbled across a band called Imaginary Heaven from Vankleek Hill, Ontario.  The Civil Wars give me the same feeling I had with them: a humble, sweet, beautiful collection of songs.

I want it on vinyl.  I’m not a hipster.  I just see it as the kind of album I want to drop a needle and let it run, something I have a hard time doing with most new music.  Which is a WHOLE other subject for another day.

The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow, I ‘will’ buy you.


I’ve brought these guys up a few times.  They approached my company last year, and I was SOOOO excited to work with them on one listen-through.  Then…I just never heard about them again.  Apparently something happened with Google, or they had some kind of buzz growing, or SOMETHING.  They came through town and I missed them.

However, more than any other album I listened to last year, Hooray For Earth has found it’s way into my ears over and over again.  I have it on my iPod, my iPhone, I’ve sync’d it to my Rdio account, and I even have a CD burned to play in the car.

Hooray For Earth is a sonic adventure.  A headphone band.  The closest comparison I can make is Neon Indian, but I wouldn’t say they are that similar.  Both artists use a raw synth sound, almost like they broke apart a Casio and soldered shit all over it to force it to do their bidding.  But Hooray for Earth has this…80s science fiction soundtrack feel, like it takes place on a dark planet one moment and in a planetary dive bar the next.

Despite all of this, the songs are songs.  I could pick up a guitar and play them and they’d still sound pretty damned cool.  Artists sometimes rely on technical tricks to enhance their song, giving us an amazing production and great listening experience.  But stripped down, beneath the layers, there’s nothing there.  Hooray For Earth write GOOD songs, and then dressed them up further.

There is a touch of New Wave that flows throughout the album, but I can also hear Beatles…and the song ‘True Loves’ is one of the best and most captivating songs I’ve heard the last decade.

Hooray For Earth – True Loves, I WILL buy you.

Are there any albums you’ve managed to get for free that you’d be happy to drop hard earned cash to own?  Which ones?? 🙂

Find me on Twitter (far more frequently than here) @Potoroo.  Don’t hesitate to message me up there if you like!


Cyriak and Music

November 16, 2011

Cyriak is the most terrifying man on earth…like Freddy Krueger and RL Stein, he creates nightmares.  I should note right now…these are AMAZING nightmares, based in sound and music and the most unlikely subjects.  Often cute animals.  Cute nightmare animals.  Here is his most recent torment:

Trust me…don’t watch Baaa

I think he’s a genius.  Patterns are something that I obsess over – in music, in film, in life – and he pops the reality bubble with surreal music and visuals that…well, are patterened.

And he doesn’t just create his own beasts.  I keep forgetting that often the best places to look for a music video producer is the internet, or to unlikely creative sources.  Just look at Eric Wareheim and his videos!  Don’t look too long.  And if an Wareheim video looks like it’s taking a term for the horrific, you and you alone can choose to continue to watch.  I take no blame.

One of my favourite songs of 2011 is Hooray For Earth’s ‘True Loves,’ a video I featured earlier in this blog.  Well…Cyriak did a video for a remix of True Loves.  And if you’d like to see how the man who brews nightmare fuel tackles beauty…well…watch…

…I KNOW, RIGHT?  Easily one of the best videos I’ve ever seen.  And then I dug deeper…he’s won an award for his videos!  Not just any award…a UK Music Video Award.  And once again he’s taken his clever (…maybe deranged?) brain, the patterns of life, and blended them perfectly with music to create a kaleidoscopic alternate universe that is (like so many of his other videos) very very familiar:


What have I learned?  Traditional music video producers probably earn too much money.  I’m not dissing them, they totally have their place since the mainstream industry will always need mainstream videos.  I’ve been happy with the slow move to traditional filmmakers and art school videos in the mainstream – Gaga, Brandon Flowers, even Aimee Mann’s ‘Save Me’ video was by PT Anderson – but overall videos are formulaic, and creativity (in the broadcast world) doesn’t mean all that much.

But many of us have known for ages that the true creative force in the world right now is the person with great talent (probably through great practice and great trial and error) who is creating online, producing free content, hopefully getting as much money as humanly possible in this industry…but creating for the LOVE of it.

Cyriak…yes, I’m going to say it…I can TOTALLY feel the love and passion in his videos.  For an artist who wants a clever and engaging music video…he makes a perfect choice.

What I’d love to see…Cyriak tackle something organic…like a Mumford, or a folk act, or a non-synth indie band.  I KNOW that the end product would be something we’ve never seen before.  And I know I’d be rewatching the video over…and over…and over…

In an endless loop…

One Song, One Podcast, One Thought: Monday, May 30th 2011

May 30, 2011

The last few days have been crazy!  On Thursday, I was in Hamilton to shoot the Micah Barnes show at the Artword Theatre (piano pop cabaret!)  On Friday, I was in Liberty Village shooting video at Saukrates‘ photo shoot (Canadian hip hop legend.)  On Saturday, I was in Algonquin Park shooting footage for my geeky summer camp’s promo this year (…nerdy nerd nerds.)  On Sunday…erm…I drank beer in tall cans and watched a storm roll into town.

…OK…Sunday wasn’t so crazy.

Let’s get this simplified “Monday is too early in the week to think” blog rolling!


Hooray For Earth – True Loves from Young Replicant on Vimeo.

What a cool song and cool video 🙂  Give it a listen and tell me what you think.  I get this weird…organic collaboration feel from this band.  Definitely one to watch!

BLOG: Stereogum

An indie music blog that doesn’t make me feel like everything sucks *coughcoughPITCHFORKcough*

Honestly, if you wanna be kept up to date, even hear about projects that are heavily in the mainstream, on a stylish and well thought-out site…hit up Stereogum.


Ideas are awesome…but they’re MUCH better if they actually move forward and become a reality.  Personally, I need to put as much effort into following through with ideas as coming up with them.  My concept album (2006), my web comic (2002-2005) and my various video projects (20xx) all seem to get started but never go anywhere.  They’re great ideas…but an idea is only as good as how it’s used.

I’d elaborate, but I’m more interested in your thoughts…

What are your ways of following through with an awesome idea?  Do you just move naturally or try to come up with a plan?  Specifically with music…when you have a song, or an album concept, how do you move forward with it?


Sadly, one of the cooler music blogs is no more.  Moon Vs. The World’s writer Jay Moon is taking a break from the blog world.  He’s let me know that another site may pop up in the future, but until then it looks like we’re short one more planetary battle in the universe.