See the Band with the Stage Fright

I’ve never been a huge fan of The Band other than whenever they were somebody’s backing group, and I at least partially hold their precedent to blame for that recent (and hopefully waning) wave of obnoxious bearded-hipster folk-rock revival acts that dress like they just returned from a Civil War battle. But I also recently… Continue reading See the Band with the Stage Fright

Metric Master the Art of Doubt

Fusing elements from ’80s new wave, ’90s alt-rock and modern pop, Metric have consistently proven to be an inspiring bright spot amid the general blight of post-millennium music since their coalescence around the turn of the century. That golden streak continues with Art of Doubt, the Toronto quartet’s seventh album, which, in case you weren’t… Continue reading Metric Master the Art of Doubt

Beaches Release New Tunes; So Do the Beaches

Beaches are sorta like an Australian Bangles, inspired by jangly paisley pop, garage rock nuggets, fuzzed-out psychedelia, sunshine soul and… Oh, wait a minute… that’s the all-female Toronto quartet THE Beaches I’m thinking of. But come to think of it, that all pretty much applies to Melbourne five-piece Beaches as well. And with their just-released… Continue reading Beaches Release New Tunes; So Do the Beaches

Emily Haines Pulls Soft Skeleton Out of the Closet

Metric frontwoman Emily Haines steps out on her own again on September 15th, when her first solo album in over a decade sees a release. Credited (as were her previous album, (2006’s Knives Don’t Have Your Back and its companion EP, What Is Free to a Good Home?) to Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton,… Continue reading Emily Haines Pulls Soft Skeleton Out of the Closet

Alvvays Return with Antisocialites

Toronto combo Alvvays won us over back in 2014 with their winsome and witty eponymous debut album. Now word has emerged that they’ve completed their follow-up, which Polyvinyl will issue in the US on September 8th. The awkward title, Antisocialites, certainly describes a condition with which we can identify, and vocalist/guitarist Molly Rankin elaborates by explaining,… Continue reading Alvvays Return with Antisocialites

The Rural Alberta Advantage

The Great Wide Open: Glen Sarvady Gets Acquainted with the Rural Alberta Advantage Nils Edenloff is sitting in a Montreal hotel room, waiting for some midday food his girlfriend ordered. And he’s feeling pretty good about his band – the previous night the Rural Alberta Advantage played its first tune-up show a few weeks before… Continue reading The Rural Alberta Advantage

Fucked Up

Punk Rock in a Whole New Light? That’s Just Fucked Up! Everything in this article may be wrong. Apologies for the Vonnegut-like opening, but given the subject, fair warning seems in order. You see, Toronto’s Fucked Up has a history of playing fast and loose with the facts in order to create its own alternate… Continue reading Fucked Up

Alvvays

Can’t Get It Out of My Head: Bobby Moore Has ALVVAYS on His Mind Toronto indie-pop quintet Alvvays’ ascension to the top of the U.S. college radio chart last year, and the equally desirable opening spot they have on the Decemberists’ current tour, seemed to land in their laps overnight. But considering singer and guitarist… Continue reading Alvvays

Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett's latest album is called In Conflict.

Not Afraid: Owen Pallett Gets Personal with In Conflict Edmond de Goncourt, French author, diarist, essayist and art critic of the 19th century, once wrote, “A poet is a man who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.” Had he been living in the present day, it would… Continue reading Owen Pallett

U.S. Girls – Gem

Meghan Remy, a.k.a. U.S. Girls, doesn’t pay bills or shop for groceries like everybody else,  she rides a glittery swan, wearing a jeweled turban.  Like Grey Gardens’ sublime designer Little Edie, U.S. Girls creates the best costume of the day with decrepit treasures. From her earliest live performances in mid-90s Portland, Remy advanced with a play-first-ask-questions-never… Continue reading U.S. Girls – Gem

METZ – METZ

I want to go to a show with no idea what the music sounds like, no knowledge, labels, judgments, just blindly submerged.  Like a child sitting before a piano with no precedence of formal training, what could be more singular, more innocently absolved from all messy politics than this ideal?  Yet, idealistic it remains, as… Continue reading METZ – METZ

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

The Rural Alberta Advantage’s 2008 debut Hometowns was a rare out-of-nowhere surprise – a self-released gem that slowly, organically found its audience. Fans will find plenty to love in follow-up Departing as well – provided that the trio’s ragged charm wasn’t their only appeal. Frontman Nils Edenloff shoulders an even greater share of the load… Continue reading The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

Cowboy Junkies

COURTESY OF COWBOY JUNKIES The Cowboy Junkies are, from left, Alan Arton, Margo Timmins, Peter Timmins and Michael Timmins.

The Shadows Are Long: Cowboy Junkies Pay Fond Tribute To Vic Chesnutt Vic Chesnutt and the Cowboy Junkies had a mutual admiration thing going since the mid-1990s when the Toronto band invited him to open the tour for their album Lay It Down. Keeping in touch and crossing paths occasionally in the years since, in… Continue reading Cowboy Junkies