Let's Rave On: One person talking about that new sound

“Great article man, it really got me thinking. With certain albums (especially the ones that are hard to find), not only do you miss out on the thrill of the hunt, but a huge part of the album itself, the liner notes.

Over the years, I’ve been getting into Power Metal (Blind Guardian, Dragonforce, Rhapsody, .ect) I’ve had many of opportunites to get their albums for nothing (and have done so on a few occasions), but have stuck to purchasing them since I was graduated in 2004.

With many power metal albums, the liner notes play just as a critical role as the music . Rhapsody is a prime example of this. If you aren’t familiar with most of their major releases, they focus on the trials and tribulations of a fantasy world named Algalord. It is in these liner notes that the whole story is tied together with the songs through exerpts of the story not told in any of the songs. They everything make sense, and I feel it makes the album better by giving the listener a more complete satisfying experince then just the music alone.

Now I wait in anticipation for the next Rhapsody album to come out, as I can follow the story some more. The liner notes got my paying attention and caring about a story. It’s a feeling I never would have gotten had I just burned the album and casually listened to the songs.”

Ben

“Hullo,

Just got done reading your column and it was just amazing. It’s really refreshing to read someone with a similiar musical philosophy. I, of course as a music nut living in the digital age, am usually downloading some music while I’m on the computer, it’s just something that’s almost always done. However I myself try never to actually download indie stuff, I instead use my downloading for more mainstream type music, while saying the real indie stuff for my semi-yearly, only semi because due to money constrants I wasn’t able to go last year, and this one isn’t looking much better, pilgramiage to Lawrence, KS. It’s just a little road trip, where I try to find whatever I can that I find exciting. It’s a little hard to find any indie music around here, it’s freaking Arkansas for god’s sake. Anyway yeah I just wanted to tell you to keep up the good work, and I’ll keep reading.”

Leland Eidson

“Kyle,

You sir, are living in the past. The idea of roaming through dusty music stores to find that rare CD will be replaced by surfing through confusing websites to download it. Just as vynyl faded to tapes and tapes faded to CDs, CDs will fade to liquid media. Mp3 players will allow people to carry an increasing amount of music everywhere they go. Things will become rare only so much as they are obscure because there will be a practically infinite supply of every song you could ever want. I’m not so foolish as to believe that the current system where you can get almost all media for free will last, but the download is the new system, and it will persist. Whether you’re paying for it or not, downloading enitre albums will take the place of searching for an old compact disk.

However, then the onus falls on us as consumers to continue to talk about good music and good movies and good media in general on their own merits, and not just because of the trappings involved in obtaining them. Maybe the Acoustic cut of Paranoid Android isn’t such a treausred cut because I had to rumage through several boxes of rarities in a hole in the wall music shop, but because it’s the first song my girlfriend and I listened to together, I played it the night after my big promotion, the lyrics brought on new meaning after my friend died, etc. It gives us a chance to enjoy a greater appreciation of the media as art, rather than as means to an end.

Enjoyed your take though, I just disagree.”

Happy Trails,
-Andrew B
.: The Bueno Master :.

Broken Social Scene

I like Modest Mouse, but a couple of weeks ago he was one unlucky bastard. Headlining this years’ (unwritten) annual Island indie show in Toronto, he got the unique priveledge of following a band that is simply ubeatable in terms of stage presence and likeability. Broken Social Scene put on a show that bested even themselves. It was my favorite live performance ever, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that. Poor Modest Mouse never had a chance. To quote him, “the day started so well. I found this gelato shop. It was really great. But, like usual, it ended in tears.”

Broken Social Scene’s live show is probably the best anyone will ever see because it allows spontanaety and unpredictability to rule the set, for one, but there’s a lot more going on. The reason their live show is so great is because Broken Social Scene isn’t a band as much as it is a community of people that shift, shrink, and grow outside and inside the middle of a show. During any song, the amount of musicians onstage could go from three to twenty and back again several times. It’s often not the same person playing the same instrument everytime either. The environment is one of pick-up-and-play, and if it isn’t, if every time someone standing on the sidelines picks up a tambourine or a trumpet and joins in is purposeful and manufactured, Broken Social Scene bring forth at least a great image of a party where everyone is invited. The sheer amount of music happening is nearly unrivaled in rock music.

I hate to go out on a limb with anything, especially when my medium reaches the cynical and the bitter, but I think we’re onto three things here. The first is that suddenly (within the last three years or so) we’ve got a new kind of rock music to love. The second is that this new kind of rock music can never last because it’s foundation can only ever be temporary. The third is that this impermanence is what makes this music true and perfect and wonderful.

First, new music. I mentioned this to a few people in the last few weeks, and my reactions have been pretty varied, from “I guess so, but who cares?” to “No, not really. This kind of music is just an extension from what The Strokes and The Hives put out three years ago.” Before you make any sort of guesstimate, let me explain to you exactly what this music is. A typical rock band format is one that needs one or two electric guitars, a bass, drums, and a singer. Broken Social Scene and others like them have those, but in most songs you can hear (or see, if you’re there, and I’ll get into why this is of the utmost importance in a second) a horn, a keyboard, a tambourine, and accordian, and, if you’re Tilly & The Wall, tap shoes. Now, other rock bands have used these instruments before, but few use them all at the same time. Just having one person on each of those instruments brings your band count to seven, eight with that second guitarist. Suddenly, there’s a lot of people onstage, more than in most typical rock bands (for a great example of how to be a typical rock band, listen to Jet). And what if you want three guitarists, or six horn players, or a trombone player, or a guy who will play that little flute/keyboard thing? Not only does the stage suddenly look very different from what we’re all used to (bass player just standing there, guitarist flailing like an idiot, drummer looking all shirtless, singer running around trying to get people to care) but the music itself changes, even though they’re still playing pop songs about love and loss and the world around them.

Now, I have already recieved some naysayers about this. They’ve listened to the CD’s and, while they all liked what they heard, nobody really found them to be wonderfully unique in any way. To this I say that now, more than ever before, has the live performance so much to offer. On CD, Broken Social Scene are great, but there is so much missing. For one thing, there is simply no way to experience that many musicians through earphones. For two, you can’t see the show itself, which complements the music and brings much more life into the sound. No member of Broken Social Scene wants to be the leader. Everyone appears happy to share the spotlight with a full stage of musicians. It’s this attitude of “Music first. We’re actually serious about it this time” that truly makes this music unique. Just like any philosophy based in Rock and Roll, it’s completely about the image and the attitude, and this is how these bands differ from The Strokes and the other “Rock is Back” crowd of 2002. Whereas The Strokes had the attitude of keeping the 70’s style of sex, drugs, and sometimes a little music, Broken Social Scene and thier ilk fill their music with hope, a theme almost completely lacking in ‘cool’ rock music. Instead of the music being a way to get to the booze and the groupies, the band gets off on the music itself. The sound of twenty musicians is catharsis enough for the band and it’s audience. This is why the live show is so imporant. To miss this experience live is to miss the fact that rock and roll really can save your life, if not in ways you figured it would.

The ‘however’ to all of this is practicality. I read this interview with the lead singer of the Polyphonic Spree at the end of their huge tour last year, opening for David Bowie. He mentioned as draining as it is to tour with a normal-sized band, being on a bus with twenty-six people was almost impossible, and it’s not difficult to see why. In addition to cramped spaces, I can’t see how any of these bands can make as much money as a regular one. Tour money divided five ways is one thing, but divide the pie by thirty and suddenly the idea of traveling with all your buddies turns slightly sour. Unless you’re one of those indie kids who believes that money and music equal evil (and isn’t it weird that none of these bands are signed to major labels? hmm) then there’s really no problem.

I hope I’m wrong on the temporary issue. I’d love to hear ten more Polyphonic Spree albums. I know it’s sort of cheesy, but they do fill me with so much hope and happiness. They fly in absolute contrast to grunge-wannabe pop punkers who sing about how hard life is and how nobody understands their feelings. That shit is just depressing. The Polyphonic Spree try to make every show like Andy Kauffman’s Christmas special. I think that’s a great goal.

But even if it is just for the moment, and the idea of a huge rock band with a multitude of music inside it is fleeting, then I think we’ve found our proof of it’s real unique quality. As much as so many people loved Nirvana, there is certainly little love for their offspring, crowding the top 40 rock stations with thier songs about, uh, hating their life as rock stars, I guess. We already have one cling-on in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and they’re indie, so I absolutely do not want to see MTV try their version of a big optimistic band. It would ruin it, and I’m glad that the major prerequisite for this music is to have more than six members, because Geffin will never think to pay all of them when they could have their Ashlee Simpson computer do it all by itself. Bands of this magnitude with the idea that music can and should be happier and full of something attainable and real will always be independent and proud of it.

While I know why not as many people love these bands as much as they deserve (no commercials + no MTV reality show + no built-in fanbase for an already exhausted sub-genre=individuality, but also a very high hill to climb) it still saddens me slightly that there are some people out there who think that pop music today is all shit (ask your parents). This comes from the idea that the folks who listen to the radio and MTV actually like music. They don’t. They like the image and are brainwashed by the media. They like what they’re told to like. People curious but not into the music scene often see this brigade of pointless mallcore punks and think that this is the real deal. These people need to go to a Flaming Lips show (only three band members, but dozens more playing side instruments and dressing up in animal costumes) or a Hidden Cameras one here in Toronto (but don’t if you’re easily freaked out by the antics of people with more charisma than you) and see how the fans react to the spectacle. They also need to go down to CBGB’s before it’s closed forever and see what the kids these days can really do when they’ve got something to say. It saddens me that there’s this entire world of wonderful music being completely ignored, yes, because when it’s gone not nearly as many people will remember it as much as these bands deserve. As much as anyone says so, the ‘scene’ is not dead, but thriving in different, unique, and punk rock ways. You know, that punk rock that never thought itself a style of music but a style of living.

LIVE

Providing and analyzing news stories is not my forte, though it certainly is for other writers at InsidePulse like Aaron Cameron, so I’m going to leave news up to them. Instead, I’m going to give you guys live show dates. This week, I’ll provide live shows for the great little hamlet of Toronto. If anyone would like me to provide live show listings for their area (I’ll do my best with small towns but no guarantees) just drop me a line.

TUES JULY 12
BIG! SUMMER CLASSIC 2005 feat String Cheese Incident, Michael Franti & Spearhead @ Olympic Island, $37.50
THE BRAVERY w/ The Dead 60s @ Opera House
BUCK 65 @ Mod Club, $16.50
THE IMMORTAL LEE COUNTY KILLERS @ Horseshoe
JOHN MAYALL & THE BLUESBREAKERS w/ Omar and the Howlers @ Phoenix, $28.50
THE AMBIENT PING feat Io @ The Hacienda, PWYC
CHAOS FOR COMFORT, The Jack Kerouac Knapsack Band, Fire Hydrant, Kelly-Sue O’Connor @ Sneaky Dee’s, $5

WED JULY 13
THE GO TEAM, Ninja High School @ Lee’s Palace, $13.50
JOHNNY WINTER @ Opera House, $34.50
RODNEY CROWELL @ Horseshoe, $20
Two Hours Traffic (Joel Plasketts band that he manages), The Salingers, 5th Business, + TBA @ The Rivoli, $5
LES SIX @ Fez Batik, PWYC
DRUMS N BASS, Girl and The Machine, Convertible Robots, Mortmain @ El Mocambo, $5
GASTRIC FEMALE REFLEX, Offensive Orange, guest @ New Works Studio, $5

THURS JULY 14
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN @ Air Canada Centre, $90-$110
NICOLAI DUNGER @ Horseshoe, $10.50
PFM @ Phoenix
The Peppermints, Off The International Radar, Polmo Polpo @ Sneaky Dee’s, $8
Spitfires & Mayflowers , October Guard , Guest Bedroom @ Silver Dollar
ODDISEE, L’Oqenz, Nana @ Revival, $5 (dress code)

FRI JULY 15
AVRIL LAVIGNE @ Air Canada Centre, $48.75
DEADLY SNAKES @ Horseshoe
EVERGREEN TERRACE w/ Most Precious Blood, On Broken Wings @ Kathedral, $10.50
GRAND THEFT BUS w/ Burt Neilson Band @ El Mocambo, $12
k-os w/ John Legend, Saukrates @ Molson Amphi-theatre, $32.50
RA THE RUGGED MAN w/ Thoze Guyz @ The Richmond, $15
RAY ROBINSON @ Yonge-Dundas Sq.
THE GARDENS FAITHFUL, Innocent Animals, The Straits @ The Rivoli
BRUTAL KNIGHTS, Tradition, 100%WOoL, Wes Allen, Selective Sergery @ The Boat, $5 – PWYC (before 11PM)
SADOCEANSPACEBEAR, The Secret Handshake, special guests tba, Sneaky Dees, July 15 $5
THE FRONTIER INDEX @ The Social (All TBA)
ULTRA MAGNUS, DJ Rod Skimmins @ Gypsy Co-op, $8

SAT JULY 16
EASY ACTION @ Lee’s Palace, $8
eccodek w/ DJ Medicine Man, High Plains Drifter. El Mocambo.
SCOTTISH FIDDLE ORCHESTRA @ Hummingbird Centre, $45-$75
THE EARLY MORNING, Groovy Food, Ripped, The Last True Gentlemen @ The Horseshoe, $6
Jon-Rae and the River, The Bicycles, Shotgun & Jaybird @ The Boat, $5 (cheap!)

SUN JULY 17
WAVELENGTH 272 feat Doc Pickles CD release, sadoceanspacebar, Elana McMurty @ Sneaky Dee’s, PWYC
DINOSAUR JR. @ Phoenix, $34.50
NEVA DINOVA @ Horseshoe, $22.50
A Nefarious Influence, Shortwave, Creekroad Crossing, The Vault @ El Mocambo (upstairs)
DELUSIONS, On-switch, Robotman, Go @ El Mocambo (downstairs)
FATAL PHONETICS, D.O., L’Oqenz, Nana @ Revival, $5 (dress code)

MON JULY 18
THE PERNICE BROTHERS @ Lee’s Palace, $12.50
NEVA DINOVA, Mayday, Five Blank Pages @ Horseshoe Tavern, $8.50
KINGMINUS, 68pornomags, FreshMeat, RehabforQuitters @ Reverb, $12

TUES JULY 19
THE AMBIENT PING feat PHH!K, Gnostic Rocket @ The Hacienda, PWYC

WED JULY 20
AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE feat Anthony Federov, Anwar Robinson, Bo Bice @ Air Canada Centre, $36.25-$50.75
controller.controller @ Lee’s Palace, $10.50
HOLLY GO LIGHTLY w/ The Woggles @ Horseshoe, $12.50
JULIE CROCHETIERE @ Yonge-Dundas Sq. 12:30pm.
MUDVAYNE w/ Shadows Fall, In Flames, Trivium @ The Docks, $34.50

THURS JULY 21
TURIN BRAKES w/ West Indian Girl, Beneath Augusta @ Mod Club, $12.50
WINTERSLEEP @ Horseshoe, $8
CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN, Leaders & Dreamers @ Bovine Sex Club, $5 (?)
EXTRA ACTION MARCHING BAND, Captain Easychord @ The Boat, $5

FRI JULY 22
eccodek @ Yonge-Dundas Sq 6pm. July 22.
HILLSIDE FESTIVAL@ Guelph Lake
LORETTA LYNN w/ Martha Wainwright @ Massey Hall, $39.50-$59.50
MARIA TAYLOR w/ The Statistics @ El Mocambo, $10.50
KING SUNSHINE w/ DJ Christian Newhook @ Gypsy Co-op, $10 ADV
EXTRA ACTION MARCHING BAND, St. Dirt Elementary School @ Funhaus, $5

SAT JULY 23
THE ADAM BROWN, Tradition, Robocopp, Doc Pickles, a screening of Katarina Gligorijevic-W.E.P.O.N.D.’s new film “TORONTOPIA”, Shit Wizard @ The Bagel, $6 – EARLY SHOW! DOORS AT NOON!
BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS w/ Tom Freud @ Kool Haus, $41.25
GOOD CHARLOTTE @ Molson Amphitheatre, $41.25
TRIBUTE TO PHIL LYNOTT (thin lizzy) f. Tacoma Redd, National Anthem, Crazy Babies, Lou Pinto, Crunchberry, Crash Kelly, Sean
O’Connor@ Healey’s, $10 adv/$15 door
KEPLER CD RELEASE, Polmo Polpo, Jennifer O’Connor @ The Boat, $8 ($7 w/can of food for the Daily Bread Food Bank)
THE EXCHANGES, Kill The Lights, Alive and Living, San Francisco Treat @ The El Mocambo, $6.00

SUN JULY 24
DECONDITIONED CIUT @ 91 St George
OH NO @ The Richmond, $TBA

MON JULY 25
TEENAGE FANCLUB @ Mod Club, $22.50
COMMON w/ DL Incognito @ Kool Haus, $34.50

TUES JULY 26
EMBRACE @ Lee’s Palace, $15
WHITESNAKE f. David Coverdale (Deep Purple) @ The Docks, $46.80
THE AMBIENT PING feat Planet of the Loops @ The Hacienda, PWYC
PARADES AGAINST PARADES, ghost stories, lacerda @ artists play studio theatre (carlaw&dundas), $5-8

WED JULY 27
BLUE MARTINI @ Yonge-Dundas Sq. 12:30pm. July 27.
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE @ Phoenix, $10.50
JEWEL w/ Joe Firstman @ Roy Thomson Hall, $49.50-$69.50
THE SUGAR WATER FESTIVAL f. Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Queen Latifah @ Air Canada Centre, $49.50-$89.50

THURS JULY 28
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 @ Horseshoe, $15
RAY LAMONTAGNE @ Mod Club, $16.50

FRI JULY 29
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 @ Horseshoe, $15
AIMEE MANN @ Phoenix, $30
GRAVY TRAIN at Club V @ Lee’s Palace
WAYOVE w/ DJ no-capitalista (fundraiser for Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance) @ Gypsy Co-op, $10 adv
GYPSY CO-OP $10 ADV

SAT JULY 30
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 (all ages) @ Horseshoe, $15, 3pm
VANS WARPED TOUR feat The Transplants, The Offspring, Matchbox Romance, Fall Out Boy, Dropkick Murphys, Millencolin @ Molson Park (Barrie), $41.25

SUN JULY 31
WAVELENGTH 274 feat Vulcan Dub Squad, Ultimate Power Duo, Kat Burns @ Sneaky Dee’s, PWYC
DAVID GRAY @ The Carlu, $35-$40
THE STRANGE DAYS FESTIVAL feat Doors of the 21st Century, Vanilla Fudge, Pat Travers @ The Docks, $57.91

Stillepost

LINKS

Eric Szulczewski thinks I’m living in the past, too. But there is one, you just aren’t looking in the places you’re used to.

Michael Chadwick continues to be informative and educational in that awesome way. He makes it look like he spent all week writing that column, but I’m betting he’s actually George Stroumboulpoulos in disguise.

Mathan Erhardt feels the same way about Outkast as I do about Nirvana, as well as Outkast.

Shawn M Smithand I could have a real good net fight if we keep miscommunicating like this. We like each others’ writing, but something out there in the cosmos wants us to always say something that half-pisses the other guy off. I blame Flea.

Lyrics To Live By

Lets Push Things Forward – The Streets

This ain’t the down it’s the upbeat
Make it complete
So what’s the story?
Guaranteed accuracy enhanced CD
Latest technology, Darts at Treble 20
Huge non-recuparable advance
Majors be vigilent
I excel in both content and deliverance
So let’s put on our classics
And we’ll ave a little dance, shall we?
No sales pitch, no media hype
No hydro, it’s nice and ripe
I speak in communication in bold type
This AIN’T yer archetypal street sound
Scan for ultrasound North, South, East, West
And all round and then to the underground
You say that every thing sounds the same
Then you go buy them! There’s no excuses my friend
Let’s push things forward
As we progress to the checkpoint
I wholeheartedly agree with yer viewpoint
But this ain’t your typical Garage joint
I make points which hold significance
That ain’t a bag it’s shipment
This ain’t a track it’s a movement
I got the settlement
My frequencies are transient
And resonate your eardrums
I make bangers not anthems
Leave that to the Artful Dodger
The broad shouldered 51% shareholder
You won’t find us on Alta Vista
Cult classic, not bestseller
Your gonna need more power,
Plug in the freephase and the generator
Crank it up to the gigawatts
Critics ready with the potshots, the plot thickens
Put on yer mittens for these sub-zero conditions
But remember I’m just spittin’,
Remember I’m just spittin’
Once bitten, forever smitten
You say that everything sounds the same
Then you go buy them! There’s no excuses my friend
Let’s Push Things Forward
Spilt jewels like Eastern Riches
Junkie Fixes
Around ‘ere we say Birds, not bitches
As London Bridge burns down, Brixton’s burning up
Turns out your in luck
Cos I know this dodgy f*ck in The Duck
So it’s just another showflick from your
Local City Poet
Case you geezers don’t know it
Lets Push Things Forward
It’s a tall order, but were taller
Calling all mawlers, backstreet brawlers
Cornershop crawlers, victories flawless
Love us or hate us, but don’t slate us
Don’t conform to formulas
Pop genres and such Sharp darts, double Dutch
Parked cars, troubles a much with more Bud
Let’s Push Things Forward
You say that everything sounds the same
The you go buy them! There’s no excuses my friend
Let’s Push Things Forward.

***

Next week, I’ve got a list of things I’m going to vaguely gloss over without a ton of real gritty analysis, but I promise it will be fun.

Party on, Garth.

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