Thursday, November 17, 2011


So it’s a little early to pick my favourite artist of 2011 but the leading candidate has to be Bon Iver. This folk rock band from Wisconsin was founded in 2007 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. It’s hard to describe how incredible Vernon’s voice truly is. To me, it’s one of those voices that transcends time and could sound just as beautiful singing any genre of music. Luckily for us I feel that Justin has found a way to make Bon Iver sound incredibly unique. One of the most fascinating things I’ve come across when exploring Bon Iver was something that Vernon used to do during their earliest shows. Bon Iver has been made up of a lot of moving different parts over the years to accompany Justin’s voice and vision, but in the early stages Justin would only have a few people on stage with him. The problem was that in his head he envisioned the harmonies being sung by up to 500 singers in order to achieve the exact sound he was aspiring for. In an attempt to try and get as close to achieving this as possible, before his shows he would type out the lyrics to every song and walk through the audience handing everyone his sheet music so that they could sing with him during the show. He said “I don’t want to be that guy on stage alone with a guitar, its boring!” If that doesn’t give you a glimpse into the mind of a true artist and how dedicated they are to their craft and to their sound then I don’t know what could. I was fortunate enough to get to see Bon Iver live this past September and I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely amazing it was. I’ve been to more shows then I could ever possibly count and have become somewhat jaded in the fact that I rarely go to a show that I’m completely blown away. Bon Iver did just that! At one point in the show the nine or ten people accompanying Justin left the stage and it went dark. Suddenly a glimmer of light from behind Justin appeared showing him standing there alone without an instrument in almost an angelic state. He began to sing acapella and a sense of stillness spread through the crowd. No one could take their eyes off him while he stood there and belted out some of the most enchanting vocals I’ve ever heard. It was almost as if someone took over your entire body and all these emotions you had never felt were flowing through you. Mind you this lasted about 3 minutes or so and at the end the entire 6,000 plus Shrine Auditorium stood on their feet and gave the longest standing ovation I’ve ever been a part of. You couldn’t help but have tears come to your eyes it was that emotional and that phenomenal. I was speechless after and no other artist has ever made me feel that way. I’ve featured quite a few videos for you to begin your own discovery into Bon Iver. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


What happened to good old fashioned Rock n’ Roll? Where has it gone? My boss, who has worked for Capitol Records for 19 years, and I were having a discussion the other day and we were trying to come up with any band in the last decade that epitomized Rock n Roll. Any band from my generation that I could really say was true Rock n’ Roll. The sad thing is that we could only come up with a few names; The Strokes, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Wolfmother, and we quasi agreed on Radiohead and Muse but that was it. What happened to the days of Woodstock and Monterey Pop Festival? It was extremely disheartening last year when Coachella decided to add an extra tent solely for Dubstep. It just added to my assumption that Rock n’ Roll is dying and dying fast. We had a marketing meeting the other day and there was a 30 minute video showcasing all of the new artists that we are working with and half way through my boss turns to me and says “we are the fucking guitars at?” And it was true everything was either electronic or processed pop. My father pushed a lot of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Mamas & The Papas, Flying Burrito Brothers, The Doors, The Who, The Grateful Dead and so many others on me when I was a child, but I think my favourite would have to be Creedence Clearwater Revival. Does it get any better than John Fogerty’s vocals? The featured track “Fortunate Son” is synonymous with everything that happened in the late 60’s; peace, love, war, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Creedence defined an era, they defined a generation, they defined a movement,  a feeling, a passion, they defined the emotion of an entire nation. What artist, band or even genre could I say defined my generation? It’s rare if not impossible to find music these days that has as much meaning behind it as it did back in the 60’s and 70’s. Here’s to hoping Rock N’ Roll never dies! This blog is dedicated to my dad and Aunt Lourie.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The stigma of the term “singer songwriter” is very well deserved, and I know the music scene is flooded with them. (90% of which are difficult to consume).  But as a music lover and someone who truly appreciates the talent it takes to produce it, I hate that I instantly write off  singer songwriters without ever even giving them a chance. It’s like hearing the term “commitment” for most guys in relationships, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  Now that I have all of you women rolling your eyes and uttering “pssshhh typical”, let me introduce you to Samuel Beam, better known as Iron & Wine. This singer-songwriter has been around for almost a decade now with his first album “The Creek Drank The Cradle” being released in 2002 by none other than my favourite record label SubPop. Iron & Wine really made his mark when he covered “Such Great Heights” a track made famous by The Postal Service. The interesting thing is that Samuel covered this track before it was even released on The Postal Service’s “Give Up”. Both artists were on Subpop together and the track was originally going to be released as a B-side on Iron & Wine’s debut album. His version was used in the Indie film Garden State and has been the catalyst that drives his popularity. I must admit I’m a little late in the game and just recently discovered Samuel, but I haven’t been able to stop listening to the featured track “Love Vigilantes”.  For as tough as all of us men would like to view ourselves, we all have those tracks that kind of hit a little harder on our sensitive side. “Love Vigilantes” is about a soldier who’s so excited to get home to see his wife and family. It takes you on his journey home and plays on the anticipation of that moment where he will finally get to see their faces. Only to find that when he arrives home his journey had been in a casket, he was coming home to be buried not to be with his family.
“When I walked through the door my wife she lay upon the floor
And with tears her eyes did soar, I did not know why
Then I looked into her hand and I saw the telegram.
Said that I was a brave, brave man, but that I was dead”
Hopefully this track will make you think about your loved ones for a moment and appreciate how precious your life is because of the people in it.


Friday, November 11, 2011


Oh Holy Ghost! where do I start with you. I guess I have a few questions. Are you guys just a one-hit wonder? How can “Hold On” that you produced in 2007 carry you over a 4 year period? You didn’t make a single other track until you released the album “Holy Ghost” in 2011? Wait I’m confused! So let me get this straight, you guys really toured for 4 years playing the same track over and over and over haha? Don’t get me wrong “Hold On” is a fuckin epic track. The single was described by Resident Advisor as "one of the dirtiest little Italo tunes you're likely to hear this year". The drums make you instantly start bobbing your head, then the arpeggiated synth keys drop in followed by a driving synthesized base line and suddenly every white guy in the room finds his way out to the dance floor. I had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing Holy Ghost! live once, and next to Bloc Party it was probably the most boring set I had ever seen. Granted they were opening for Chromeo and maybe I just overlooked them in my shear excitement for the greatest electrofunk duo of all time. Well kind of like you give a jilted ex-lover one more chance to make it work, I’m giving Holy Ghost! one more chance tonight to make it work. If after seeing them tonight at the Music Box, I still walk away yawning and feeling less than satisfied I’m going to have to put Holy Ghost! in the grave, never to be seen of or heard from again. The featured track is what got you to where you are Holy Ghost! don’t you dare let me and everyone else down tonight.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I’m in LOVE! I’m in LOVE! And I don’t care who knows it! “One day CC Spina and I are going to get married on top of a mountain and there will be flutes.” Well obviously I’m a little shy about it, but I have fallen in love and I have fallen hard. CC Spina is the beyond gorgeous drummer of a two piece band, Little Hurricane. This grungy, bluesy, rock duo are from San Diego and have only been a band since 2010, but have already created an incredible buzz for themselves. Anthony Catalano better known as “Tone” and Celeste Spina better known as “CC” oddly enough met through an ad that Anthony posted on Craigslist. They instantly bonded over their shared love of vintage equipment and dirty blues. They had only been a band for six months, but somehow managed to win Best New Artist from the San Diego Music Awards in 2010. It’s hard not to fall in love with their sound, they bring a mixture of White Stripes, Black Keys, and all the classic blues bands you’ve ever listened to. My favourite description of the band comes from CC herself when she says “We’re called Little Hurricane because we’re small but powerful”. If you happen to live in LA then you should count yourself lucky because Little Hurricane has a residency at The Bootleg Theatre on Mondays for the entire month of November and the best part is that the show is free. So if you live in LA and you can’t find a way to get your lazy ass to the Bootleg then something is wrong with you. I guarantee they will be selling out larger venues in no time. The featured video is “Give Em Hell” a track that showcases the talented CC playing both mandolin and drums while also laying down some amazing backup vocals along with Tone shredding some sick blues licks. I’m not a hundred percent sold on Tone’s vocals but there is always room to grow and right now Little Hurricane is the most refreshing thing to happen to rock n roll in a society where terrible pop and even worse electronic music is ruling the airwaves. I hope I see a few of you this Monday, but for those of you who can’t make it enjoy this video and these pics.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Two posts about The Weeknd/Drake in one week! I guess that’s what happens when you’re about to drop one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year . Drake’s “Take Care” is scheduled to release November 15th worldwide, but it’s been leaked all over the place and has been heard by almost every internet savvy kid out there. Drake to me always fits “it is what it is”. Is Drake a talented rapper? Yes! Are Drake’s flows really sick? Yes! But does everything sound the exact god damn same? AAHHHHH Yes! Drake is good for one thing and one thing only, being featured on other people’s tracks. Now, you Drake supporters might start getting heated, but hear me out for a second. How did Drake get discovered? He was featured on a bunch of Lil Wayne and Young Money tracks. What is Drake’s number one track? “Fancy” which was originally a Mary J. Blige track featuring Drake but didn’t make her album cut. He get’s swallowed up in it by TI and Swizz Beats and it still includes a lot of Mary J. Blige’s original vocals. And I rest my case with what is the hottest Drake track out right now? “Wildfire” by SBTRKT that features Drake. Case closed! But seriously all of Drake’s tracks/flows/raps sound the same the only thing that ever makes them hits are the hooks sung by featuring artists. Anyways now that I’m done bashing Drake (who I think is an incredible lyricist don’t get me wrong) let’s talk about my favorite track off his new record.  “Crew Love” The collaboration of Toronto natives Drake and The Weeknd chalks up to pretty much exactly what I expected from these two dynamic artists. The Weeknd brings his infectious R&B vocals/swag/lyrics while Drake tears it apart with his verses. The beats are some of the simplest beats I’ve heard and yet somehow they sound so full and leave you satisfied. The featured track is a rip off of a radio edit release so please forgive the annoying disc jockey interruption the original is coming soon. “There’s a room full of niggas what are you following me for? It’s cause we blowing like a C4!” In the least hood way possible this kinda describes every relationship I’ve ever been in haha. Enjoy! (Also Featuring Drake Freestyle Live In Toronto with SBTRKT) 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Well Ladies & Gentlemen it doesn’t get much better than this! I’ve seen the featured video more than 100 times and I still get a semi every time. That might be a little graphic, but who would have ever thought Daryl Hall and Chromeo would be the toughest collaboration around? This instant connection was so hott they even ended up touring together in 2010 playing at the Bonaroo Festival in Nashville, Tennessee. Chromeo is the electrofunk brainchild of childhood friends P-Thug and Dave 1 from Toronto, Canada and Daryl Hall is the better half of the greatest “rock soul” pop act of the 1970’s and 80’s Hall & Oates. The premise of this featured video is that Daryl Hall owns this gorgeous house in rural upstate New York with an entire room/barn/incredible studio. Daryl Hall being the badass that he is, invites bands and artists that he digs, to stay with him for the weekend to jam, eat great food, jam, enjoy some cocktails, jam, bullshit about music, and oh yeah jam. They play mostly tracks from both the bands’ hits as well as Hall & Oates’ hits.  If you haven’t checked out you really haven’t lived yet, there’s over 40 different artists featured on his site including bands like Fitz & The Tantrums, Neon Trees, Smokey Robinson and so many more. I know some of you might be weary of Daryl Hall as was I before I really got a chance to discover how truly talented he is. I’ve yet to find any other person that genuinely loves music more than he does. You can see it in his gregarious personality and dedicated passion to experiencing new and different sounds which is why I think Chromeo and Daryl clicked so easily because Daryl was intrigued by the unique electro sounds Chromeo incorporates within their music. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and maybe even find yourself on someday.


Monday, November 7, 2011


Dry humping, pelvic thrusts, and the art of sensual serenading are the first few things that come to mind when I think of R&B. Usher, R. Kelly, DeAngelo just a few of whom have dominated the sexy genre of rhythm and blues over the last decade or so. But who’s the new face, who’s that up and comer that’s going to melt every 13-35 year old female’s heart, who’s the next artist that’s even going to make the whitest guy in the world feel like he’s got some swag? Welcome THE WEEKND! When Drake isn’t murdering the rap game he’s busy mentoring this up and coming indie R&B singer from Toronto. After slowly leaking a few tracks, mostly showing up on, The Weeknd released a nine-song mixtape, “House of Balloons”, in March of 2011 which pretty much hit the scene by storm. Receiving overwhelming rave reviews, The Weeknd instantly became a hit within the indie music scene popping up on almost every media site like and was blogged about more than Lady Gaga. House Of Ballons is part of a trilogy of mixtapes The Weeknd plans to release, the second of which ‘Thursday” was released earlier in August leaving the third still to come. The Weeknd, however, is fairly elusive and has yet to tour in the US. He planned one show, but quickly backed out with not much of an excuse. I believe it’s all an attempt to build his hype and wait for the opportune moment to unleash his greatness upon us. The few live performances I’ve seen have led me to believe he’s just not quite ready and needs a little more time to perfect his craft. Nonetheless The Weeknd’s music speaks for itself! The featured track "Wicked Games" encompasses every aspect of R&B that I love and yet still manages to be unique, fresh, real and gritty. I love how simple yet powerful the drums are in this track. Enjoy!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Chillwave - “makes you feel like you’re sitting on a couch in the sand staring at the beach”.  “I just make cheap music using cheap equipment in my shitty basement”. These are just a few of my favourite quotes describing the genre. The term “Chillwave” is credited to being created by the infamous Carles from and brought to the forefront of music culture in 2007 by Panda Bear, aka Noah Lennox founder of Animal Collective. With young artists popping out of their parent’s basements at an increasingly rapid rate these days there has been a surge in the Chillwave movement. Toro Y Moi, Neon Indian, Million Young, and Velanova are just a few who have managed to make their presence known in the scene, but the band Washed Out, headed by frontman Earnest Greene, has taken the chillwave movement to the next level. I have to admit I was fairly tentative to this whole Chillwave movement when I first encountered it a few years back and I’m still not completely sold, but after my best friend/roommate bumped it for so long it slowly grew on me.  I remember seeing Earnest for the first time a few years ago at a tiny venue in Los Angeles called The Echo and being far from impressed. Once again they disappointed me at FYF Fest in 2010, but last month in San Diego opening for Cut Copy I finally got it. Well I don’t know if it was as much of me “finally getting it” or Washed Out “finally getting it”. The first time I saw Washed Out it was Earnest Greene on-stage by himself with a keyboard synthesizer and drum machine topped off with a light show that resembled something you would experience at a local kid’s 8th birthday party. There was a sense that Earnest knew his sound was missing something. Soon after he added his beautiful wife as back up vocalist and occasional keys, a black guy with dreads who plays percussion and takes their street cred through the roof, and finally a new bassist laying down funky simple bass lines. Top it off with a sexy sax solo every now and then like in the featured video and you have a recipe for success. But that’s what music is about, evolving, growing as an artist, finding what direction you want to take your music and that’s why I wanted to share with you Washed Out. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 3, 2011


For someone who claims to despise Dubstep, I’ve had two posts in one week about it. Am I a closet Dubstep fan?  Do I secretly have this love hate relationship with an Awfully Fantastic genre of electronic music? MAYBE!  I guess I can chalk it up to being the same as listening to that R&B slow jam on the way home when no one is in your car and knowing more than half the lyrics. HAHA C’mon don’t lie! You know you can sing almost every Boyz II Men song. And you may even be as lame as knowing a KC and JoJo or Baby Face track. Anyways back to the matter at hand, DUBSTEP, well more importantly Pretty Lights aka Derek Vincent Smith. Possibly the one artist I’m dying to see that I just haven’t got the chance too. I only went to one day at EDC 2009 (of course not the day he was there). I chose Passion Pit over him at Coachella 2010, big mistake. I missed him later that year in Los Angeles at The Wiltern, mainly due to the fact that seeing a DJ at The Wiltern just sounds god awful. And most recently I missed him in San Diego in September. Maybe the stars just haven’t aligned yet, but they will soon. For being a white guy I feel as if I have a decent knowledge/appreciation for hip-hop, but Pretty Lights has taken it to another level. His blend of hip-hop samples with house beats, Dubstep wobbles, and flawless transitions are second to none. From someone who has made a feeble attempt at producing my own beats I can tell you it is nowhere near as easy as it seems, and Pretty Lights is the perfect combination of electro/house/dubstep/hip-hop and he does it all with such a unique style. He broke on the scene in 2006, but in the last few years he has really made his mark on the scene. If you don’t own “Passing By Behind Your Eyes” stop reading this boring blog and run to your local record store. I have a feeling most of you haven’t heard of this phenom so I’ve featured a few of my favourites. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Flight Facilities

Who are they? What are they? Where are they from? None of which can be answered for sure, other than the fact that they are an anonymous DJ/Producer Duo signed to Banggang 12s, an Aussie record label. Rumor has it that the duo are in fact U-Go-B and Jimmy2sox, two DJ’s from Australia, but for the time being the duo remain nameless. Despite the false identities and secret back stories one thing remains, Flight Facilities are killing the electro scene right now. With remixes for artists as well- known as Cut Copy, Bag Raiders, and Holy Ghost already blowing up indie-electro kid’s speakers all over the nation, Flight Facilities have dropped their first original track “Crave You” featuring the oh so beautiful sounding Giselle Rosselli.  And how could you not love their ridiculously awesome get-up (featured below) almost mocking the idea of today's deejay gimics. I’ve featured both the original track with official video and my favourite remix by fellow Banggang 12s artist Cassian. The remix has a much funkier vibe, adding some banging electro synths along with enhanced beats and harder kicks. The duo will be touring overseas for the next few months so us red-blooded Americans will have to sit tight but my hope is that we all will be lucky enough to catch them in the Sahara tent at Coachella 2012. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Wow 10 years! Congratulations to the crazy alcoholics of Minus The Bear celebrating their 10 Year Anniversary Tour! And I say that with the utmost respect. I can honestly say that Minus The Bear is one of my top 10 favourite bands of all time. It seems like just yesterday I was getting out of one of my college classes, it was around lunchtime and my friend hits me up telling me to come to the downstairs pub to check out this band. I had another class at the time, but I decided, like I did way too many times that year, to ditch and enjoy being a college student. Next think I know I’m a few beers deep popping a triple stack (hopefully only a few of you know what that is) and getting down on the get down. They absolutely tore apart that downstairs pub. It was hot, it was sweaty, it was jiggy, it was tough, it was 2003 and it was a bunch of kids no older than me just “fucking shit up”! Minus The Bear is one of those bands whose sound has never really evolved and to be quite honest, it’s mainly due to the fact that they nailed it the first time.  The featured track “White Mystery” should make you feel sexy, it should make you feel naughty, it should make you feel desirable, it should make you feel like you want to do nothing more than run home grab your lover and start making sweet passionate love, well at least that’s how it makes me feel. Enjoy!