CD Review: The Pinecones – Sage [Just Friends, February 9th]

Posted on by Wade in Albums, Everything | 2 Comments

I love Just Friends Records. If you remember my shitty Julie Fader review from Pop Montreal, all I really remembered from the show was my Cheval Blond and that the guitar player was wearing a Just Friends T-shirt. Maybe I just like owls? So when I heard of a new release by The Pinecones, I got excited.

Sometimes I pick up a CD and try to judge the style of music based solely on the album art. Some times I am right, other times I am totally wrong. When looking at the album art for The Pinecones new album, Sage, I would say that the cover art pretty accurately reflects how the album sounds.

Formerly known as Brent Randall And His Pinecones, Brent Randall is back with a new name but the same old friends. Formerly based out of Halifax (now in Toronto) The Pinecones kick it it old school. Maybe it is 60’s influence, or maybe some 70’s. Either way, it was before I was born.

All four band members contributed and sang their own songs on the album. Upon my first listen all I really heard were trippy 60’s grooving influences. The more I listened to Sage, the more the modern pop song structure and melodies stood out. Stand out tracks include Jenny Fur, I Think You’re Blind (Starlit One) and Mr. Shoemaker. I like it.

The album is being released on February 9th. You can catch The Pinecones here in Toronto:

February 5 @ Magpie

March 5 @ The Garrison (No Shame)
w/ Language Arts/Allie Hughes

Concert Review: Woodhands, Smiling Buddha, January 28

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 2 Comments

Woodhands Secret show

Toronto – Do you remember the Fast and the Furious? Sure you do. Don’t tell me you didn’t shit your pants the first time you saw the trailer and saw that civic go underneath that truck. You did. Here’s a refresher:

What a Limp Bizkit song. Epic. The movie is about a dude named Brian O Connor trying to break into the world of illegal street racing, and get into Vin Diesel’s group cos they are really popular in that circle. So the analogy I’m trying to make is I’m Brian O Connor, the Toronto indie scene is the ‘world of illegal street racing’ and the people who run the shows are Vin Diesel. Somehow I’ve stumbled upon their world and despite knowing very little about the music or people, I keep on getting invited to attend these cool shows (aka street races). Thursday nights was one of these occasions, as I was invited to the secret Woodhands album preview show at the Smiling Buddha. I guess for this analogy to really be complete, I would need No Shame promoter Lauren to say some of these quotes:

“I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those ten seconds or less(or the duration of the show), I’m free. “

“You can have any brew you want… as long as it’s a Corona. “

“I never narc’d on nobody! I never narc’d on nobody!”

Okay, the last one doesn’t make any sense. The whole analogy doesn’t make any sense…or it might make compete sense. Think about it.

Woodhands played this show to promote their new album Remorsecapade, which might have tbe best album cover of all time:

A robot shooting horses! genius. I have never seen Woodhands before, but I have heard great things about their live shows. For example, Jen from Narratives swears by them. So I guess I had high expectations of the show. Woodhands is a two person band, with Paul Banwatt on the drums and Dan Werb on the keytar as well as a bunch of other electronical gadgets.

Now before we get to the review, let me preface this by saying before this concert, I attended the LG Filmfest Awards show (to be review by Mark), which was open bar, also, JD Salinger died earlier in the day and I decided to honor him by drinking RYE and coke. A lot of rye and coke. So I was slightly out of my elements at the Woodhands show.

Amidst a cloud of smoke and streaming lazers, Woodhands pretty much synth rocked the crowd for their entire set. I felt like I was in a 80s music video. The keytar was awesome, there was definitely a lot of energy in their set, although I feel like the narrowness of the Smiling Buddha bar hindered Dan from doing some crazy stuff, like jumping. Some people were actually almost dancing, but there probably wasn’t really enough room for that. The set consisted mainly of material was off the new album, but Maylee Todd was brought on stage to perform the song Dancer. I can’t really compare and contrast the new material to the old material, but I would probably classify it as ‘similar’. The band handed out Woodhands towels afterwards for the sweaty crowd. It’s a nice tought, if it was R Kelly, he would have pissed on us.

A good time was had by all, with such an energetic show, it’s almost impossible to not have a good time. I always, ALWAYS like light shows too. I’m like a six year old, lots of lights and colors easily distract me.

For a more sober account of the show that doesn’t reference some random movie, Frank from Chromewaves also attended the show. Narratives will also have a review up soon too I believe.

I am too lazy to type out their tour dates, so I took a screenshot from their myspace page:

Go check them out.

CD Review: Swedish for Beginners – Facts and Fabrications [2009, Wonderland Records]

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

Toronto – Just like Tiger Woods, I enjoy Swedish things – mostly, Swedish music. So when I was perusing my local record store/the internet and I saw a band called Swedish for Beginners, I was instantly intrigued. There have been countless awesome Swedish bands that I have enjoyed in the previous years – Shout Out Louds, Sambassadeurs, The Legends, Jens Lekman.. pretty much the entire Labrador roster. Something about the waters in Sweden allows them to make really splendid and rich pop music.

Swedish for Beginners is actually off Wonderland Records, a record label I’ve never heard of and based off their website, seems like an upstart label. Good for them. They are a 7 piece band featuring mainly vocals from Johan Signert, and backing vocals from Lisa Wallin and the rest of the band. They have a orchestral pop chamber indie pop kind of sound.

The album is just really happy. It’s fun, it’s hand claps, it’s uplifting and it’s just something you would want to listen to. You can draw comparisons to bands like Boy Least Likely and I’m From Barcelona, both bands that also excel at excellent shiny pop tunes. It’s that kind of bright carefree vibe.

Anyways, go listen to it.

Myspace page

Excellent SNL Parody of Andy Samberg

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

Courtesy of Simmons