Song of the Day: Paramore – Rose Colored Boy

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I’m not even going to pretend I know what Paramore sounded like before this album. I think they were some sort of emo band where the girl had different color hair and that was their schtick. Whatever. Their new album, After Laughter is a throwback to classic 80’s pop music, so basically it’s like every other pop album out there. However, you know, 80’s music is like steak, it’s good and you can never get enough. There are many different cuts of steak, some cuts, like rib eye is better then others (like chuck eye). So tying it all back, Paramore’s After Laughter is a pretty good cut of steak. It hits all the classic 80’s pop song notes – catchy, soaring chorus, easy lyrics and a sunny disposition. Good for summer. Rose Colored Boy is one of the tracks. Not sure if it’s a single, but it should be one. It has all those things I just talked about and best of all, I can totally imagine a John Hughes movie playing to this song.

Paramore is touring with Best Coast this fall. Tickets are available and they are probably playing your city if you live in a good one.

Song of the Day: Stefflon Don – 16 Shots

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Stefflon Don is an East Londoner who was on BBC’s Sound of 2017 and she makes tracks that take me back to those days when I used to go to clubs and spend money on rum and coke for some reason.

I feel like Sean Paul should make an appearance on this tune but he doesn’t, but this track is still pretty fly. Do kids say that still? Maybe I say its on fleek? who knows.

According to PR emails, Stefflon Don is working on her debut mixtape. I guess that’s a thing now.

Concert Review: Austra, May 27, Echo Beach

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Last year, the CBC Music Festival really came through with an impressive lineup featuring such names as Alvvays, Tanya Tagaq, and The New Pornographers. By comparison, this year’s lineup left a little something to be desired. Walk Off The Earth? I get that they’re quite popular but that popularity is largely built on gimmicky YouTube videos and live, they’re so relentlessly cheerful that they make Up With People seem like GG Allin. It’s not my cup of tea by a longshot, but hey, give the people what they want I guess. Regardless, there were still some intriguing names on the lineup, and in my books, the highlight of the day was easily Austra’s performance on the Q Stage.

After an introduction by Q host Tom Power, (who seemed strangely preoccupied with a t-shirt cannon) the band started things off with the title track off their excellent new album Future Politics and definitely made a strong impression on both the uninitiated and the hardcore fans up front. New songs like “Utopia” and “I Love You More Than You Love Yourself” blended seamlessly with earlier tracks like “Lose It” and “Beat And The Pulse.” And while the band’s moody electronic sound is probably better suited to a late night performance in some dimly lit nightclub, they still put on quite the show and the songs sounded just as good during daylight hours on an outdoor stage.

Also, I’m not gonna lie – that t-shit cannon was a little bit cool.

Concert Review: The XX, May 23, Echo Beach

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The xx forever

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Man, The XX were awesome on Tuesday. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I’ve seen them live, but they have improved a lot since I saw them on a bill with Hot Chip. In town to promote their excellent new album I See You, The XX played a super fun, confident and epic set that basically screams “we should headline festivals now”. As everyone has noted already, this rendition of the XX seems happier than the previous moody version and maybe we all bought into that narrative but the show they put on essentially became a full on party.

It’s amazing to see how good Jamie XX’s production is. Even if he’s behind Romy and Oliver on the stage, there is no mistake that his influence has grown within the band as his status grows. The dude turned “Shelter” into a dance tune and added additional depth to each song. As excellent as their albums are, The XX are actually better live, which is hard to believe. Highlights for me included “Infinity” (one of my fave XX songs), the dance version of “Shelter,” the set closer “Loud Places” and the encore, which consisted of “On Hold,” which is as close to a stadium anthem as you’ll get with the XX. Just for good measure, they also played “Intro” in the encore as well.

It’s been seven years since I last saw the XX. There’s no way I will wait that long again.