Posts Tagged ‘new music’

LEGAL! SAGAZ!

February 27, 2013
Me posing horribly in an amazing shirt that shows just how far we've come in Canada-Brazil relations...since I went to Brazil.

Me posing horribly in an amazing shirt that shows just how far we’ve come in Canada-Brazil relations…since I went to Brazil.

Hey all!

Soooo…I was totally out of the loop for a month and a half or so there due to finding myself in South America.  I kinda wish I had something exciting to say…like I was kidnapped and flown down as collateral in some kind of crazy gang turf war, but instead I was attending a furry convention in a rain forest.

…oh, shit, that does sound pretty exciting!  Here’s a snail I saw.

Broken record time: I want to get back into the swing of things here, you know, the whole ‘music’ blog thing.  I am thinking of making it a two to three times a week thing, even if I’m writing about random shit on my mond…that’s cool, right?

Musically I have quite a bit coming up: I’m recording my first live podcast and helping run an open mic in early March, and hitting up Canadian Music Week at the end of March, so I should have SOMETHING to talk about.

I may try to do the whole album review thing as well, though I worry I’m FAR too positive.  I mean, I love listening to the Shaggs…who the hell am I?

So…yah…down the pipe, stuff comes…says Yoda Roo.

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Jeffery Straker – Botanic Gardens video

November 13, 2012

Must admit, I already had a soft spot for Jeffery Straker…in part, because I’ve had the chance to work with him on a couple of occasions, but mainly because of his awesome songwriting that bounces between piano pop and cabaret.  His latest album, ‘Vagabond,’ was produced by Kitchener-Waterloo songwriter and producer Danny Michel…another soft-spotty artist o’ mine.

The Botanic Gardens video softens me up even more…probably because of its unapologetic and tongue-in-cheek queerness!  Very fun, very cute, and a great song to boot!

There aren’t very many gay-themed videos – whether they be subtle or over the top – in general.  I mean, Carly Rae went ‘gay’ in her Song Of The Summer smash ‘Call Me Maybe‘ (at least, the object of her affections did) but that was the traditional usage of homos in music videos – comic relief.

In Botanic Gardens, as in Bronski Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy‘ or Macklemore’s ‘Same Love,’ it’s just a natural part of the story of the video.  Though comparing the three isn’t really fair: Smalltown Boy was an early success at telling the story of rejected gay youth, and Same Love is a modern-day protest song…where Botanic Garden could never be mistaken for ‘political.’

It’s a pretty, well-written song and a pretty, well-filmed video where the main character just happens to be gay…as are several of the passers-by.

Though Jeffery…why you gotta scoot away from the poor bear!  It’s clear he’s into you!!!

…I’m gonna pay for that one…

New Aimee Mann!

July 11, 2012

If you read this blog, or know me, you know that the songwriter who I love and respect and adore the most is Aimee Mann.  I’ve scoured the net (not really, just searched) and have a few of her new songs.  Some are from her upcoming September release ‘Charmer,’ and some from The Forgotten Arm musical which she’s been working on.  Needless to say…both projects are high on my ‘MUST HAVE’ list!

Conflicted, Eiffel Tower (from The Forgotten Arm musical): I love her stage personality in this clip…it’s exactly how I remember her live…I also remember smiling so much my face hurt!

Charmer: The title track from her upcoming album…this YouTube vid has the album art as well, which is awesome!

Labrador: Another track from ‘Charmer,’ performed at Infinity Hall Live:

What do you think?  Lemme know in the comments, or follow me @Potoroo on Twitter and chat me up there!

The Music of the Summer!

May 10, 2011

I was shocked (initially) to learn that, according to radio and most broadcast mediums…it’s summer.  And has ‘been’ summer for awhile now.  Didn’t spring just start?!?

Regardless of the actual seasons, or the temperature outside, the system is set up that if you want a summer hit, you start seeding the fields now.

Some things are certain.  Lady Gaga’s Born This Way will be blasted at every Pride celebration across North America this summer.  That is a fact.  I am psychic…if I’m wrong, I will send you a giant alien egg.

Speaking of aliens, I expect Katy Parry’s ET…or her next single…to be a song of summer.  Why?  Because she’s kind of figured out how radio works better than many counterparts.  She has singles…lots of them.  Even her songs I disliked at the start I eventually grew to love: see ‘Teenage Dreams.’

Also…it’s everywhere.  I’m not talking radio…I’m talking chit chat.  Unless you’re in a bubble where your circle of friends only talk about the music they’ve discovered themselves (“…have you heard Kevin Ayers, it’s NUTSOID!”) someone has probably mentioned the song, the video, or at very least you heard it playing in your peripheral.  I knew about the song before I actually heard it, or saw the vid.

I’m talking a lot of pop here…well, that’s generally the sound of summer, right?  Pop has changed over the years…in the 80s ‘Honeymoon Suite‘ could easily be a sound of summer…the 90s in my circles Beck, the Pumpkins, even Alanis were the sound of summer.  For much of the 00s you had boybands, you had hip hop, occasionally a rock band would sneak in. Or a fake rock band…*cough* COLDPLAY *cough*

…*duck*

For 2011, I see a lot of collabs…pop stars with hip hop touches, even MORE pop with dubstep breakdowns, and I expect a band like AWOLNation to come out of the woodwork and capture our attentions, whether it’s in the mainstream or among hipster circles.  Rock ‘staying’ rock but incorporating deep bass…yah, I see that fo’ sho’.

...nice...

I’m actually excited for this summer.  Specifically…who’s going to come out of nowhere with a song that everyone will hear, and everyone will know, and we can all battle over loving or hating it.  There’s gotta be someone.  It happens every summer.  Bruno Mars, anyone?  Ke$ha?  Hell, Gaga?

Even if they had songs out the previous fall, or a number one in spring, I always associate the breakout pop star with summer.  Maybe it’s just me.  My brain isn’t exactly screwed in right!

The main thing is…summer is when fun music takes over. It always lifts my spirits, regardless how vapid it is.  Some music commentators may be declaring the death of radio but…I suggest you give it a shot this summer.  Flip through, give the new songs a listen.  You might find something you like!

Saturday Ramble: Sometimes I surprise myself!

March 5, 2011

For once, I’m being nice and warning you that this is a rambling entry…I think it has merit…but be forewarned…we’re bouncing from one subject to the next, or ‘Pyhrraing’ as some of my friends could potentially say.  Enjoy…or don’t…it’s free regardless!

I said this to someone in chat today. They were talking about how they don’t really ‘enjoy’ most music.  I replied:

*nodnods* Where everything I hear I enjoy, even if it’s bad, cause it’s a new way to experience music.  ‘someone’ sat down and put effort into putting those notes together, and at some point (maybe not when it was finished) someone was proud of what they’d done…I think that’s pretty cool.

Waitasec…HUH?!  That’s how my brain works?!  Crap!  That explains a lot.  For instance, it explains why I love this:

Before you throw rotted veggies at me…listen to The Shaggs.  They ‘knew’ what they were doing!  They didn’t hear what we heard – dissonance and broken rhythm.  Or is it that we aren’t hearing it correctly?

When I first listened to it, my thought was “That drummer is a trooper!  She just goes on and on to whatever beat she wants.”  But have you noticed she hits EVERY transition?  Listen from 0:35…when they say ‘In This World’ she’s DEAD on.  I’ve heard told that when they played live…it sounded just like this recording.  Every time.  They KNEW what they were doing!  And they were passionate about it.  We just didn’t appreciate it because…it’s not what we wanted to hear!

Ladies…meet the very first chick band.  Literally: all the girls wrote the songs, played the instruments.  And I think they deserve more credit than they got!

But let’s move on…this is a ramble after all…

Another thing on my mind is genre.  Here’s an experiment: go to last.fm and find a band.  Look at the bands they sound like – sometimes it works, sometimes it’s WAY off! – and also their genre.  Now…go to wiki and look up the article on that genre.  My opinion on wiki and all things collaborative has been changing recently, but for now…let’s assume I don’t think it’s destroying the world.

In that genre article you may find bands you’ve never heard of…click ’em, check out their MySpace…they might even have bands they link to themselves.

This particular trick brought me to New Young Pony Club, a band I’d never heard of but am now an instant fan of!

Also along my trip I bumped into Hadouken! (all this from looking for bands like Art vs Science!):

I never resolved my original problem: a song to play ‘after’ I play Art vs Science Magic Fountain, but at least I found good music!  And also learned that I can occasionally be profound!

…here’s the song…if you can think of a good follow up for a dance DJ set lemme know…I’ll give you super props if it works!

A little bit of this…a little bit of that…

March 1, 2011

There is a strange phenomenon (do dooooo do-do-do) in the music industry where artists are being WAY too creative.  I mean, it’s sickening.  They aren’t fitting the strict guidelines being set forth by radio stations, record stores, and blogs.  They are too pop for rock, too rock for pop, indie but not indie, fitting one rule but not another.  In essence…they’re being all…artistic AND commercially. Gross!

How can you make it in this world if you don’t fit the dropdown-menu settings being offered by the quick-get-to-it culture of the internet??!

Two things are clashing in my brain right now. One is that an artist I work with (full disclosure there…yes, I’m working with her) is very talented, has a great song, and everyone I’ve played it for loves it…but she’s having the hardest time getting exposure from anything other than Canada’s music video network (…GAH, you think that’d be enough!)

Now, there are a few complications: she has no shows lined up right now, plus her album won’t be out until spring.  But in today’s culture, having a single and a video should be enough to get kick started.  It works for pop musicians, who may not even compile an album (of previously released singles) for a year and not tour until summer.

Pop radio says she’s too rock.  Rock radio says she’s too pop (…or too female…which is a whole other issue in itself)  Despite the fact that we can draw connections to artists like Avril Lavigne…who’s new single is having NO trouble on radio…radio is uninterested.

The other brain thought is inspired by Jaron Lanier’s book You Are Not A Gadget, which among many other subjects talks about the impersonalization of the net and how bad web design influences social behaviour.  Long and short for my purposes: I see this happening in music, not just economically (music is free, right??) but in how it is consumed and how it is broadcast.

Think of Facebook, or many other social networking sites.  You are a complex being…yet many ‘options’ for how you present yourself to the world are a selection of generalized terms: I am single…I am married…I am employed…I am angry…

There’s so much more going on, especially in creative expression (and how could you consider your life anything more than a creative expression) than the general.  Now I totally agree that there’s a need for some sort of order…for instance, imagine going to a record store where very genre possible has it’s own section.  The arguments that would ensue from fans to disagree with a store’s classification??  Rock/Pop, Urban, Country…it does alright as a ‘header.’

But if all radio is so focused that rock and pop can’t mix…or that a country song with a beat is too dance for country…or heaven forbid…some country leaks into our rock (yah…Elvis and Buddy Holly NEVER sounded like country) the artist is penalized.

“YOU CAN’T PLAY HERE!”

This is a problem.  How can you be introduced to new music, new concepts, if all you’re being presented is a narrowed-down experience.  I want someone to slam the square peg into a round hole (…stop with your sick thoughts…) and give me the chance to hear something I haven’t heard before.

I’m not talking about ‘cross-over.’  Cross-over is when a rock band writes a ballad that suits adult contemporary so someone plays Hedley or All-American Rejects on the ‘older person station.’  I’m talking about not being locked-in to a genre and closed minded to everything else.

Execs seem to feel that their fans don’t want diversity.  If that’s true…why do Bonaroo and Coachella sell so well.  Do you honestly think all those people are ONLY interested in the one or two bands playing?  That anything that differs from their ‘genre’ is automatically rejected.  Screw that!

I believe that YOU are like ME…I want to see Eminem AND Mumford and Sons, I’m as excited about Gary Numan as I am about Neil Young.

Why can’t a new, talented rock-pop artist find a place to play?