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"Cameo: [redacted] on The Bloggers - Sign of the Times." Weird Canada. June 2014.
translated to the French by Geneviève Simard

The Bloggers Sign of the Times
Hockey Dad Records [Recrods] 2014.
"Cameo: [redacted] on The Bloggers - Sign of the Times."
Weird Canada. June 2014.
translated to the French by Geneviève Simard
The Bloggers Sign of the Times
Hockey Dad Records [Recrods] 2014.

14 06 19 / bloggers / criticism / vancouver / weird canada / Hockey Dad Records


"Ayn Rand is the Karl Marx of greed and self-love."
V.L.P. social media post, 2014.
"Ayn Rand is the Karl Marx of greed and self-love."
V.L.P. social media post, 2014.

14 06 19 / ayn rand / criticism / orthodoxy / social media / objectivism
3 notes


Todd Terje It’s Album Time
review originally published in FFWD
Olsen Records 2014

It’s Album Time ends with Inspector Norse — Terje Olsen’s 2012 Italo disco insta-classic — and it’s a sheepish admission: “I know, this hasn’t been great.” There’s a good new (but over too soon) version of last year’s Strandbar that transitions into standout Delorean Dynamite. Other parts sound like a joke: goofy takes on genres I only know from Casio presets. Then, at the centre, Bryan Ferry sings Robert Palmer.

Johnny and Mary singles itself out: Roxy Music alumnus, smooth synth-pop production, lyrics — everything I don’t need from a dance record. It’s Album Time isn’t really club-appropriate. Maybe it’s tailored for resorts, but it would slip even easier into a post-Myst exploration game with limited polygons and shitty collision detection. It’s a fantasy record, for meandering down imaginary beaches with a metal-detector, through lost-in-time leisure-suited paradises where car doors open in weird directions and everyone’s got even tans. I can enjoy it, as long as I don’t expect it to understand me. I’ll keep walking through walls and failing to interact with NPCs.

Terje is never actually bad. Just like video game music is designed to be heard ad nauseam, Terje avoids any grit that might offend in any way, but there’s nothing to grab either. Sometimes after dancing, you throw up.
Todd Terje It’s Album Time
review originally published in FFWD
Olsen Records 2014

It’s Album Time ends with Inspector Norse — Terje Olsen’s 2012 Italo disco insta-classic — and it’s a sheepish admission: “I know, this hasn’t been great.” There’s a good new (but over too soon) version of last year’s Strandbar that transitions into standout Delorean Dynamite. Other parts sound like a joke: goofy takes on genres I only know from Casio presets. Then, at the centre, Bryan Ferry sings Robert Palmer.

Johnny and Mary singles itself out: Roxy Music alumnus, smooth synth-pop production, lyrics — everything I don’t need from a dance record. It’s Album Time isn’t really club-appropriate. Maybe it’s tailored for resorts, but it would slip even easier into a post-Myst exploration game with limited polygons and shitty collision detection. It’s a fantasy record, for meandering down imaginary beaches with a metal-detector, through lost-in-time leisure-suited paradises where car doors open in weird directions and everyone’s got even tans. I can enjoy it, as long as I don’t expect it to understand me. I’ll keep walking through walls and failing to interact with NPCs.

Terje is never actually bad. Just like video game music is designed to be heard ad nauseam, Terje avoids any grit that might offend in any way, but there’s nothing to grab either. Sometimes after dancing, you throw up.

14 04 10 / criticism / todd terje / it's album time / terje olsen / myst / ffwd
1 note


White Lung review (edit). Jonny-Chance 2014. Digital manipulation.
White Lung review (edit). Jonny-Chance 2014. Digital manipulation.

14 03 24 / criticism / white lung / afi
5 notes


unpublished review.
Magic Touch Palermo House Gang.
100% Silk 2014.
unpublished review.
Magic Touch Palermo House Gang.
100% Silk 2014.

14 03 19 / magic touch / 100% silk / house / criticism
1 note


Pharmakon, via franallen

All those folded arms are appropriate: people willing to give harsh noise a shot aren’t going to find it challenging. Double-so when you team up with Sacred Bones to de-fang. Listen to Prince instead, and try making music that’ll rub some people the wrong way.
Pharmakon, via franallen

All those folded arms are appropriate: people willing to give harsh noise a shot aren’t going to find it challenging. Double-so when you team up with Sacred Bones to de-fang. Listen to Prince instead, and try making music that’ll rub some people the wrong way.

13 08 16 / photo / pharmakon / cynicism / criticism
213 notes


Jai Paul vs. Open Letters
image

Jai Paul put songs online last night. Check ‘em out and freak out and zone out and anyways, it’s a cool record but enough people are typing no one else needs to. In another corner, not enough people are typing about Open Letters.

I forgot my iPod at work last night, drag, so I went in silence to get it, until I checked the internet on my phone and saw Open Letter’s recordings are finally paid for and liberated. I listened three times in a row.

These guys are sappy and death-fixated, but this New Wave of British Columbian Pop Punk is killing, making guitars not suck by writing catchy, emotional, fast, loud songs. Between Open Letters and Markus Naslund and Wild Kingdom and Jelly Boyz - probably the best band on the planet this second - the Fraser Valley is stupid fertile ground for fun must. Cover Blink-182 and cry on occasion to qualify.

Pay what you can to support the WISH Drop-In Centre Society caring for Vancouver sex workers.

13 04 14 / open letters / jai paul / criticism / media / jelly boyz / jupiter jax / vertical67 / content / emo / pop punk
7 notes


Unpopular Music Toronto
Container
Spectrum Spools 2012

With electronics people make faces when adjustments don’t do what’s expected. Everyone makes them and it’s charming. Sets further mar enhance with unexpected happenings a level past suburban punk, someone’s parents are outta town so use their basement, minus drunk or else straight edge kids smashing through drywall. Ital only had to cope with last call announced over the PA mid-track.

I read You Can’t Win while a laptop sucked in Roman Kov. The first search result: modelmayhem.com. To prepare for William S. Burroughs’ affection the autobiographer spent hours as a kid in prison, fuzz error. He was collecting milk money at a brothel when someone loud made accusations. Sorry I ruined that.

The shows I want to go to, Toronto’s Unpopular Music Scene, there are 20 people and two are Wolfgang and Vic (HVYWTR, Healing Power). A show they’re playing’d be a funny exception. First glance it just seems insular, no one comes cuz it’s just friends, but aren’t the headliners internet famous? Ital, M. Geddes Gengras, Sun Araw, Laurel Halo, LA Vampires, I guess Toronto just doesn’t like stuff.

I emailed Magic Touch a little while ago. He’s not interested in playing North America anymore, Canada, Toronto especially. The shows are never much fun. Daniel (Ital) disagrees: Everyone is coming up for cold Wednesday Thursdays and playing licenced, ill-suited venues. The legality of everything is bizarre, these shows feel, should be DIY and maybe people’d dance on the weekend.

When I was leaving someone said, “that was a good house music show,” and then repeated it as if it was a funny joke his friends didn’t hear the first time. Toronto or I have terrible taste. Container was great.

Request: Petra Glynt Sour Paradise (HVYWTR Dub)

Ital, Container, HVYWTR, Petra Glynt, and Roman Kov at Nocturne, April 4, 2013.

13 04 06 / criticism / ital / container / hvywtr / petra glynt / roman kov / nocturne / content
2 notes


Criticism: Deerhunter “Monomania”

Last couple days I spent uncomfortable in my underwear throwing up. The round trips evacuating different colour sports drink and Joey Jeremiah spending his summer dating Caitlin and fucking Tessa, and don’t forget Neil Hope’s fate*, they got me sarcastic, negative, feeling mean. Tessa got the abortion and never talked to anyone?

Deerhunter tossed “Monomania” to the internet today. It’s loud and noisy but not angry or dance-y. Maybe those’re my cards, are anger and movement all I want? That’d be reductive, my Deerhunter resentment is reactive. I pull back to seeing them just after Microcastle.

Black Lips headlined and their set was human damage, broken glass, torn clothing, mouths full of blood, surreptitious smoking.

"Monomania" seems wilder than "Dirty Hand." There’s tons of guitar and repetition and fucking around, plus lo-fi button voices. Big Criticism’s descriptors: thorny, venom, genuine malice, a much darker place, digging hard into their punk roots, dragging their sound through the mud, dirty, pulling you by the hair, extreme self-awareness.

Let me sub: They’ve got attitude. They’re edgy, they’re in your face. You’ve heard the expression, “let’s get busy”? Well this is a band who gets biz-zay! Consistently and thoroughly. So they’re proactive? Oh, God yes! We’re talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

It falls apart when you see Deerhunter. This loud, interesting, catchy music isn’t challenging or thorny or venomous or anything. They’ll play “Monomania” and wimpy boys from the internet’s most obvious strata’ll sway with their dates and nod and drum on their hips.

Bradford Cox and co are interesting, they’ve got great taste, and their records are decent. Hell, they’re inoffensive! That’s why their albums chart and people pay to see them. Pretending this taste of their newest pushes away from that is dishonest. Monomania won’t scare youth groups. It’s glossy noise rock for people who can’t imagine stomaching electric eels. Deerhunter made a difficult listen already: Carve Your Initials Into the Walls of the Night. It’s not so great.

*"Unlike his peers, Neil Hope didn’t leave a paper trail of home purchases, car loans or a specified next of kin. There were just two unresolved GO train infractions totalling $354, a trail of acquaintances whose couches he slept on, and a group of people who loved him but were frustrated he wasn’t taking care of himself."

13 04 03 / criticism / degrassi / deerhunter / bradford cox / monomania / content
5 notes


Mortality, Discriminate Repopulation, Tyvek
image
My computer broke, and thoughts on Tyvek On Triple Beams (In the Red 2012)

I dropped my laptop and first the screen got unfriendly, then it wouldn’t restart. It made it through reconstructive surgery, and I have backups, but just dumping music back is distasteful.

I was cautious, I rebuilt a couple playlists and added classics and recent favourites*. I leveled up my ID3 fascism: Op. No.s for classical, original release years and art for every track on Prince’s The Hits I & II.

I like Tyvek. I like the idea. I like those Desperate Bicycles outtakes on Fast Metabolism. I liked when they said whatever about Detroit, how being a band is reasonable, versus unemployment. It’s great Down and Out, forever young stuff. They slip into an American decay story so easy.

I went to work with my old music for the last time. On the subway home their newest record came on. It’d been sitting for months unplayed. It’s not different from Nothing Fits or Tyvek or Fast Metabolism or any of their tangled discography. Only difference is it’s seven years since Mary Ellen Claims.

Forget relevancy, I’m concerned for humans. Tyvek is still popular enough to avoid job-hunting. I bet their labels recoup losses, but I doubt they have health insurance. The narrative might be fiction (it’s all unsupported), but hearing Tyvek the same as they were seven years ago is a drag. Knowing they’re seven years older is a drag. Knowing I’m seven years older is a drag. Next time I feel like Tyvek it’ll be Fast Metabolism plus trying not to think about the future.

So sorry, On Triple Beams'll be relaxing on an external hard drive with mbv and No Love Deep Web. New Moon might join them.

*Jelly Boyz are both

13 03 17 / criticism / tyvek / mortality / image / in the red / on triple beams / jelly boyz / content
1 note

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