Wednesday, August 31, 2011


So, here we are... another mid-week post, filled with content pulled from Jason Kottke's incredible site where he always seems to find the most interesting stuff (and so generously shares it with the rest of us). I guess that's why I visit it every day!

Now, it's no secret that I've never been into fashion... but this is a typical 'too cool not to share' video you can find on YouTube. It's incredibly well done (I think) and a lot of fun to watch. Sure, it looks like it's some sort of promo for an event coming up in mid-September, but it's one of those super-vague viral promotions, so it doesn't take anything away from the clip.

If you enjoyed this sort of 'history' clip, be sure to also search out the classic Evolution of Dance comedy routine on YouTube and/or the soon-to-be-classic History of Rap clip featuring Justin Timberlake on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show... which seems to have been pulled down from the inter-webs! What's up with that?!

» Found at: (of course)

Monday, August 29, 2011

TotW: Wait Up (Boots of Danger)

Sometimes, you just need a super-energetic song with a great little "do- do- do- do- do- do" part in the chorus to get things going. This is that song. Newmarket, ON -based four-piece, Tokyo Police Club, have been making great indie-pop music for years now; from their latest album, Champ, I've selected Wait Up (Boots of Danger) as this week's Track of the Week.

At just over three minutes long, this track just keeps coming at you. Catchy lyrics, a great mix of guitars and keyboards and drums, and that silly (but wonderful) chorus make this one a winner. Oh, and I have no idea why it's sub-titled "Boots of Danger"; said boots are never mentioned in the lyrics, and assuming my interpretation of the lyrics is correct, I don't see an obvious link there either. Any ideas?

I've also selected this song because the band is about half way through their 10 Days, 10 Covers, 10 Years project in which they're covering one song each day from the past decade (2001-2010)... everyone from Moby to Kelly Clarkson to The Strokes (so far). So, if you're a fan of cover songs, be sure to check this out as well.

» Listen: Tokyo Police Club - Wait Up (Boots of Danger)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I ran across this today which was just too awesome not to pass along. We've all played Solitare on the computer; I mean, really... everyone has, right? And, as such, I assume that nearly everyone has won at least one game since Windows 3.1 was released years ago, so we're equally familiar with the neatly piled stacks of cards bouncing off the screen in celebration:

Bounce, bounce, bounce...

In this case, Lars Marcus and Theo (that's two people) have lovingly paid homage to that scene/experience by creating a 3d model of the 'win' screen! Their joint website shows how they did it, how many individual cards they had to create, etc. It's all very cool!

» Found at: Skrekkogle (via Quipsologies)

Monday, August 22, 2011

TotW: Killing Time is Murder

Okay, so this album isn't quite out yet... but it will be next week (August 30th). I've long been a fan of Luke Doucet's work and am familiar with the music his wife, Melissa McClelland, has done, so it comes as no surprise to me that this side-project(?) of their's – Whitehorse – sounds amazing.

This song, Killing Time is Murder, starts of with this great, jangly-blues guitar sound... then the harmonized vocals come in over top... it's simple, it's straight-forward sounding. But, it's just so good. These two singers sound great singing together; you can feel the connection (musical and otherwise) between them. But, with Luke involved, you know there is some sort of guitar solo lurking around the corner and a couple minutes into the track you won't be disappointed. There are a few odd sounds added to the mix here and there which really add to the feel of the track, fleshing out the song a bit more.

There is a second track (Broken) available for streaming on the band's Radio3 page, which is a reworked version of a Luke Doucet solo song. It starts out just like the album version does, but then the two start trading lines in the song which adds a nice, new dimension. There is a third track (I'm On Fire) out there on the band's new website that also shouldn't be missed.

It's kinda blues-y, kinda pop-y, maybe even a bit folk-y... but it's all good. Sometimes when you put two great solo artists together the results aren't anything special; in this case, these two seem to add it to more than the sum of their parts.

» Listen: Whitehorse - Killing Time is Murder

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I don't know what to really say about these other than they are awesome examples of strength and control. These people who can do this stuff on a skateboard or bike impress me.  I don't know a lot about these sorts of feats, or if there are better guys (or girls) out there doing cooler things, but these two are top-notch in my books.  It helps that these videos, produced for a Channel 4 special/series it would seem, are of superb quality; the slo-mo shots, the music, the general feel and length of the video are all perfect.

Kilian Martin: A Skate Illustration

Danny Macaskill - Industrial Revolutions

(This is the first time I've embeded YouTube videos on the blog... let me know in the comments if they don't work for you.)

» Found at: (of course...)

Monday, August 15, 2011

TotW: On The Rail

I took an extra second this week to be sure that I selected a song from an album that was already out there in case you wanted to hear more. In fact, I've selected a track from someone who has an extensive (and consistantly impressive) back catalogue. Regardless of who he's playing with, or as a part of... be it as a member of Thrush Hermit or backed by The Emergency, Nova Scotia's Joel Plaskett is amazing.

This album, Emergency's... isn't a "best of" collection; it's a selection of b-sides, covers, demos and rarities from Joel's post-Thrush Hermit days, so admittedly it's not the best place for a new listener to start; but as a long-time fan, this is a treasure chest full of insight and history.

The lead track on this album is one that Joel originally recorded for the 2009 edition of the CBC Radio2 SongQuest 'contest': On the Rail. It's pretty representative of his more rock-centric work over the years (which is why I don't mind highlighting it here). It's a very Canadian track lyrically, as most of his stuff is. In HeroHill's exhaustive review/interview of this album states:
[Joel] started writing this from the perspective of John Cabot, getting ready to set sail out of Bristol, but it gradually turned into a rocker for anyone with an adventurous spirit.
And that's exactly what it is... it's got a sing-along chorus, a steady beat, a straight-forward sound, but it's still so good from start to finish. It's optimistic and uplifting. It's a great summer afternoon -kinda song.

If you like what you hear here, I'd suggest that you next try something from his album, with The Emergency, Truthfully, Truthfully (which was just re-released on his own New Scotland Records label on double-gatefold vinyl!) -- maybe something like Come On Teacher or Extraordinary.

» Listen: Joel Plaskett - On the Rail

Monday, August 8, 2011

TotW: Niagara

I know, I'm starting to get ahead of myself, but these excellent new singles are, well, excellent. Like last week, I'm highlighting a song that will be on an album - the oddly-titled Metal Meets - coming out shortly; in this case, September 27th.

Unlike last week's artist, I was immediately taken by Ohbijou the first time I heard them. Their outstanding album, Beacons, was one I discovered after it was overlooked (in my opinion) for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize long list. This Toronto, ON -based group is probably, in some circles, equally well known for their love and support of the Bellwoods community in Toronto, having organized two benefit albums to help out the park and neighbourhood that they call home.

Casey's vocals, as in any Ohbijou song, are just so beautiful and expressive. I'm never a good one for listening to, or interpreting lyrics, but her voice is so perfect for the instrumentation that it layered behind it. This song, slated to be the lead-off track on the new album, does have a slight 'evolution' from their previous sound, but it's still distinctly theirs. It's space-y and atmospheric, yet structured somehow. The band is as tight as ever and this is an excellent sign of things to come for their new collection.

» Listen: Ohbijou - Niagara

Monday, August 1, 2011

TotW: Generation Handclap

Here is another example of a band that has been around for awhile that, for whatever reason, I just never connected with previously.  And then, I did... and have been listening to them non-stop ever since that 'connection' moment.

Library Voices are another Regina, SK. -based band who I'm loving this summer. Unlike the slower pace of last week's song, this song, Generation Handclap, is a full-on party in your ears. Up-beat drumline, catchy guitar riffs throughout, group vocals in the chorus and of course, handclaps!  It's four minutes of fun.

The band's new album, Summer of Lust (which includes this song), will be released on August 23rd, but if you're new to the band, don't miss out on last year's excellent Denim on Denim album (currently available on iTunes and in stores).

» Listen: Library Voices - Generation Handclap