Song Of The Day: Khruangbin – Christmas Time Is Here

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Let’s face it – we’re now well into November and it would seem that the holiday season is upon us.

Yes, it’s that time again – the time when people are filled with good cheer, the malls are filled with people (who aren’t necessarily always in good cheer) and corporate twitter accounts are being taken over by fictional characters in an ill-advised effort to promote their recently released seasonal films.

Yes, the cold, hard fact is that Christmas music will soon be utterly inescapable so you might as well just go with it. And if you’re looking for something a bit different from Mariah Carey or Bing Crosby, Houston psych/funk trio Khruangbin are here with their mildly grooving version of the Vince Guaraldi classic “Christmas Time Is Here.” Check out the video below:

Song Of The Day: Suzie True – Rat Kid

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When I think of Buzz Records, I tend to think of the label as a showcase for bands from the Toronto scene that all fall somewhere under the noise-punk umbrella – think Greys, Weaves, Odonis Odonis, and Casper Skulls, just to name a few. Recently though, the label has broadened their horizons a bit with a few non-Torontonian signings like UK punks Muncie Girls, Petrborough/Montreal trio Lonely Parade, and LA’s Suzie True, who just released their debut EP, Nothing To You last month on Buzz.

Suzie True began life as the bedroom recording project of songwriter Lexi Mccoy and latest single “Rat Kid” would seem to be a bit of a callback to the band’s lo-fi origins. It’s a catchy track and a nice example of the band’s self-described “sad girl pop.” And though the band may not be from Toronto, the song did remind this Torontonian of a little slice of home in the form of the song’s main riff,the chord progression of which slightly brings to mind “Everybody Wants Something” from old school Degrassi High band The Zit Remedy – it’s not likely that it’s an intentional nod, but it’s a connection my brain made nonetheless.

Check out the video for “Rat Kid” below:

Concert Review: Christine And The Queens, November 5, Danforth Music Hall

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With a simply fantastic show, Christine and the Queens danced and sang their way straight to the heart of everyone at the Danforth Music Hall on Monday night. Christine and The Queens is a French singer who first rose to popularity a few years ago with the song “Tilted” and you may or may not have seen videos of her performance on The Graham Norton Show which kinda went viral, I think

Anyways, it’s been a few years and Christine and the Queens recently released a new record – Chris. The record, chalk full of intensely personal songs set to extremely danceable ’80s dance beats, has been a hit everywhere.

A sold out and rabid crowd greeted Héloïse Letissier and her dancers as they took the stage shortly after 9:00 and for the next 90 minutes we were treated to show with relentless energy and heart. Christine and the Queens made great use of Letissier’s musical theatre background throughout the night, using dance and lighting to emphasize each song and frankly, made the show visually captivating the whole time. It would be easy for the show to thread into musical territory but it didn’t, thanks to a good mix of fast paced songs, casual friendly banter and powerful solo ballad that showed off her voice.

The highlights of course, were the hits – “Tilted”, “5 Dollars”, “Girlfriend” and “Doesn’t Matter” had many people moving. I would actually say the highlight was the whole show. It was creative, energizing and she is so endearing that it actually warms your heart. A great thing on a cold, dark night.

PS. If you haven’t heard CATQ talk about the song “Doesn’t Matter” on the podcast Song Exploder, make sure to check it out.

Song Of The Day: Beans On Toast – Alexa

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In describing his upcoming album A Bird In The Hand, British folk/indie singer-songwriter Beans On Toast describes it as less of a political record than his previous albums and “… more personal I guess, focusing on family and the world on my doorstep.” While I’m sure that’s a fair assessment (who would know better than the guy who wrote the songs, after all?), there certainly seems to be a political aspect to his latest single “Alexa,” an ode to the handy-dandy virtual assistant (and corporate eavesdropper) that so many are welcoming into their lives these days.

Lyrics such as “And it’s not really spying, it’s just collecting data/Alexa, have you got a hidden agenda?” and “I know you can turn the heating off and organize a taxi/Alexa, have you considered your miltary capabilities?” make it clear that Beans is making a comment on the role of technology, consumerism, and corporate interests in our daily lives, though he does so with his trademark sense of humour. And he also makes it clear that he’s been drawn into it all too as he sings “I’ve been buying more and more from Amazon recently.”

Check out the video for “Alexa” below, featuring animation created out of discarded Amazon cardboard boxes.

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