CD Review – Julie Doiron / Woke Myself Up (2007)

Posted on by Wade in Albums, Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment


Growing up on the east coast, Eric’s Trip (1990 – 1996) is a bit of an institution. Julie Doiron (bass, guitar, vocals) was one of the original members of this Moncton based, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., influenced band. I remember seeing quite a few Eric’s Trip t-shirts when I was in high school but remained unaware of their east coast/Canadian cult status at the time. Yah, the cool kids definitely knew about Eric’s Trip. I did not. They also gained some serious points for being the first Canadian band signed to Sub Pop in the early 90’s.

Eric’s Trip is Julie Doirons’ backing band on “Woke Myself Up”. After my first listen I classified this CD as a pretty good wood, wires and whisky CD with a slightly lo-fi rock feel, especially on the track Don’t Wannabe/Liked By You. The rest of the CD is pretty standard singer songwriter tracks, but lyrically the songs are different. I feel like they were written by a 30 year old woman who is still attending high school. She has all the typical high school problems with love and friends, but she faces each of them with a ‘big deal, I’m still awesome’ attitude because she has experience under her belt.

One of the reasons I picked this up was because of her Polaris Music Prize nomination earlier this year. I don’t hear anything ground breaking on this CD that would have won her this prize, but it is still worth a listen.

I also picked it up because Julie lives in Sackville, NB. For those who don’t know, Sackville is the trucker hat a la 2001 of New Brunswick. It’s a cool spot. Sackville is a very important place in New Brunswick because to most people, the letters NB simply represent the province you need to drive through to get to Halifax (or PEI).

New Pornographers, Phoenix, October 21

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment

Toronto – Cottages are always fun, specially when you get in some good drink gaming, boating, canoing and fishing actions in. So to say I was tired before I went to the New Pornographers show at the Phoenix was an understatement. I was exhausted. A big part of me wanted to just be all ‘fuck it’ and go home and chill. But then again, I figure one of the reasons why i moved to Toronto was so I could see cool shows, so .. yea i went.

The Phoenix was packed Sunday night and it is surprisingly hot here, so it was a nice hot sweaty crowd. I was actually happy that I had not showered at the cottage, as now , at least, I can probably out stink anyone else in this crowd. I caught the last two song of Emma Pollock’s set, and I was glad, as she played the two songs I like off the album. After a short delay between set, the bright luminous ‘NEW PORNOGRAPHERS’ logo started flashing and the gang went on. Holy smokes it was the entire gang of them. Bejar AND Neko Case. Instantly, this was a better show then the previous pornos show.

I would say a majority of the set consisted of material from their new album – Challengers, and that’s good, since I like that album a lot. Some classic tunes they played included ‘Mass Romantic’, ‘From Blown Speakers’, ‘Spanish Techno’ and ‘Slow decent..’. Its funny, despite the fact that most people assume Newman is the leader and driving force behind the Pornos, it was so obvious that Dan Bejar was the more popular character. I assume this was how it was in high school, were Newman was the guy who puts in all the hard work and stuff, then Bejar would drunkenly jump into the room, do something stupid, and gets all the ladies..meanwhile Neko Case would be standing in the corner smoking a cigarette and shaking her head.

The new songs – Myriad Harbor, Challengers, etc all sound really excellent live and if you have not acquired the album, I highly suggest it. All in all, I found the concert to be excellent. The crowd was into it, and they played a lot of new stuff with some classic stuff. Also, halfway thru the set, these two midget woman pushed their way into the middle of the crowd to try and get a better view. I mean, they were short, and looked mean, and I was thinking they can be villains in the next Bond movie.

Oh yea, Neko Case can sing really well.


Wilco Vs. Volkswagen

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything | 2 Comments


Earlier this year, Wilco released their new CD, Sky Blue Sky. As you have probably noticed, Volkswagen has been featuring many of the songs from this CD in their latest TV ad campaign. They are your typical consumer obsessed, I can’t live without my VW, I gotta set my alarm so that I can drive it in the middle of the night because I just love it soooooo much, kind of advertisements.

If you are a 30 year old dude who has a condo, a wife, a golden retriever, and went to a Dave Matthews concert this past summer and got high wearing a hoodie and a pair of underwear with the letters AE stitched into them, then I am sure you love these commercials because you also own a Jetta. Hell, if I had to by a car, I’d probably buy a Jetta too…

… but I don’t like these commercials.

Now you can go to any number of sites and read the typical “Wilco, I used to love you, but now I hate you for selling out” argument, but that isn’t why I hate these spots so much.

I listened to Sky Blue Sky all summer and as far as a chill out Wilco album goes, it is pretty good background music for driving. Now really, I didn’t mind the Volkswagen commercials when I first saw them. It was only after the one-billionth time that I had to sit through them that they really got annoying.

OK, I fucking get it Volkswagen; you are a cool company that makes some stylish, fuel efficient cars. I get it. Now please lay off.

And while I’m at it, Mr. Apple, you can lay off the Feist. The bitch knows how to count to four. I get that too.

Spoon, Kool Haus, October 15

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment

Toronto – Monday, October 15 was shaping up to be one of the best days of the year to catch some good music. For the old geezers in the sleeveless leather vests, you got Bruce Springsteen at the ACC. No better way of reliving the past then shotgunning some labatt blues while listenin to glory days. For the New York hipsters, there was !!! at the Opera House, coke not included. For the hard rockers , there was the Queens of the Stone Age, rocking some venue that I am too lazy to look up. For the rest of us, there was a little band called Spoon.

Spoon has slowly become one of those bands, where, if you listen to a song, you’ll be like ‘damn, thats spoon’. They have a sound thats pretty much their own ( despite robbers on high street’s best efforts). Ive spent time figuring out what it is that makes a Spoon song Spoon, but really, I can’t come up with it. Tonight, on October 15th, Spoon was at the Kool Haus touring in promotion of their newish album Ga-Ga-Ga-Ga-Ga, which was released on the internet in May, and in shops sometime after, if it has been released already.

Luckily for me and my friend Jeff, the ticket said that Spoon will play at 10:15, so naturally, we arrive at 10:12 or so, and then pushed our way to the middle of the crowd. Man, sometimes, in life, it pays to be kind of tall and tonight (and every concert) reminds me how blessed I am to be above average asian male height (5’3?) . It was a sold out show, and it was freaking hot inside but we were ready to spoon.

Haha, anyways, the band came on at around 10:15 and instantly went into one of their songs. Now as I was explaining to my friend, I can’t really name many Spoon songs because whenever I play some Spoon, I play their entire album so individual songs are mostly lost to me. Hence, this is not a blog post to read if you want a set list. But why would you want one anyway? Heading into the show, I had figured Spoon was one of those really professional bands that just plays. I was correct. It wasn’t until the band finished their hit single (one of the few song titles I know) “The Way We Get By” that Britt Daniels actually said something. The banter did not deviate much from “thank you” and ..well “thank you”.

For the next hour and a half, Spoon pretty much went thru their extensive catalog of music and near the end, decided to play all their hit songs in a row, which was pretty awesome. They sounded really crisp, and Britt Daniels has a good voice, even if it’s a bit raspy. I think the last song of the first encore was “Two Sides to Monsier Valentine” and the last song they played in the second encore was “I Turn My Camera On”.

Overall, the concert was pretty damn good. They played all the songs I liked and they didn’t waste any time. It was one of the quicker 90 minute concerts I’ve been to and I think everyone at the show enjoyed themselves. My only complaint was that the Kool Haus is too far away, and it’s not really that cool to begin with. It isn’t really a haus or a house either. Also, the band shouldnt really call itself ‘Spoon’ cos its so hard to explain to someone who hasn’t heard of the band that you are going to spoon with person x tonight. they might think its weird.

Review: 4/5