Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Was Right!
...for once. Wasn't I just saying that there were going to be more great things emerging soon from the New Electronic Underground? Well, I'm pleased to inform you that the new Sebastien Roux album ("Songs") is brillliantly, shockingly abstract and that Chihei Hatakeyama is staring to look like another major emerging talent. I'll keep you posted on developments.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Electronica is Back
It may still be - ahem - powerfully uncool but the laptop electronica scene is starting to produce a lot of remarkably beautiful and intelligent music again. It seems that a handful of well-run lables - notably Apestaartje and Hapna - have been keeping the faith all along, releasing fantastic album after fantastic album, with precious little hope of financial reward. This New Electronic Underground is identifiable by its insatiable desire to turn acoustic/instrumental sounds into glassy, filtered drones, as well as by its obvious-but-effective use of impressive geographical phenomena on CD covers. Here are some albums you need to own:

Grag Davis - "Somnia"
Giuseppe Ielasi - "Plans"
Stephan Mathieu - "The Sad Mac" and "On Tape"
Mountains - "Mountains"
Pita - "Get Off"
Sebasiten Roux - "Pillow"
Tape - "Rideau"

And I'm willing to bet that there'll be a lot more of this stuff appearing this year. I look forward to discovering it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

That's Not Cool, Man.
A little context is important here, I think. For instance, aging music writers might be surprised by my suggestion that Kate Bush is "uncool" and American college jocks might feel the same way about Ween. So what gives?

When I use the word "cool" here, what I'm really saying is "acceptable" to Vancouver hipsters. It's impossible for me to avoid these people (I even like a lot of them) and they're very concerned with the issue of what is/isn't cool/acceptable, so it kinda rubs off on me.

Of course, the coolest thing these people can imagine right now is Pride Tiger, a possibly-unironic local shitrock band. So, of course, it's all relative. But if you find yourself cringing when you tell X Person that you like Y Musical Act, then Y Musical Act is probably truly uncool, at least in the mind of X Person.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bloody hell!
My top 100 comments actually seemed to gained some modicum of interest among friends. So I just wanted to make sure that everyone was clear that I wasn't talking about guilty pleasures per se but about guilty influences. I can enjoy the occasional Sabbath choon without it fundamentally changing the way I think about music or life. But "Hounds of Love"? Sure it's packed with "cheesy" Fairlight and Linn Drum sounds. Sure it's basically ludicrously pretentious. Sure its truly embarrassingly uncool. But it MOVES me. It CHANGES me. I LOVE it. It's IMPORTANT to me.

It's acceptable these days to enjoy the cheese when secreted behind a thin veil of irony. But to make it part of your life, not just part of your lifeSTYLE? Not cool.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I have to remind you all about this.

Lo-fi feline psychedelia of the first order.

csaf presents
with connect_icut
sat 18th feb 2006
#197 – east 17th ave (@ main st)
$5-$7 sliding scale
doors 8pm
show 9pm
end 11pm

*long sets by both acts
*really nice venue
*blissed-out ambient/electronic/experimental sounds
so make a note in your diary
+ tell your friends!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I wanted to use this, the 100th post on my blog, to list my 100 favourite albums of all time, so goaded was I by Woebot in the pre-amble to his. After much consideration, I decided that, even if I agreed with a word he said, I still couldn't do it. One of the main snags I hit was that the list would have to include quite a few albums that I was embarrassed to admit to liking - albums that are important to me personally but often seem shameful in the context of the outside world, for one reason or another. Then I decided that THESE were precisely the albums that I should be hipping y'all to.

Here's a random selection...

The Boo Radleys - "Giant Steps"
Kate Bush - "The Hounds of Love"
Happy Monday - "Squirrel, G-Man and the 24 Hour Party People..."
Sebadoh - "Sebadoh III"
Ween - "Pure Guava"


And so the list goes on. I can't keep it all straight in my head. I can't even make it seem cool. I certainly can't pretend that it's universal or forever.