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September 19, 2004 10:54 PM   Subscribe

If you don't know much about contemporary music, there's some good edumacating here: Cuff the Duke, Dirtbombs, Interpol, LIARS, Manitoba, Spiritualized, Stars, Ween, Amon Tobin, Decemberists, Controller.Controller, Heavy Blinkers, Peaches, Gentleman Reg, Calexico, Ted Leo, D.O.A., Blonde Redhead, The Constantines, Hayden, The Notwist, C'Mon, Sea & Cake, A&C, Do Make Say Think, Royal City, Oh Susanna, Death From Above 1979, White Stripes, Tobin Sprout, TV On the Radio, Add n To (X)... some of the stellar bands with streams at CBC Radio's Just Concerts: Live and Studio recordings. {All the recordings I tried were top-notch quality. Unfortch, the streams are Real, but definitely still worth checking out.}
posted by dobbs (34 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I suppose I should qualify that as "contemporary alternative music" before someone shoots me down.
posted by dobbs at 11:01 PM on September 19, 2004


i like the decemberists and the notwist. i'll have to try this out. thanks!
posted by y0bhgu0d at 11:33 PM on September 19, 2004


Nice. A healthy mix of bands I've been meaning to look into. And it's encouraging to see Cuff the Duke--I stumbled on a few tracks a couple years ago, loved them, and haven't seen a mention anywhere since. Many thanks.
posted by hippugeek at 11:53 PM on September 19, 2004


And it's encouraging to see Cuff the Duke--I stumbled on a few tracks a couple years ago, loved them, and haven't seen a mention anywhere since. Many thanks.

Well, keep in mind that they're from Toronto and CBC is based in Toronto, so it only stands to reason that they're going to be in a CBC archive; plus dobbs is fromt Toronto..

That isn't to say that Cuff the Duke aren't a really cool band, because they are (I saw them twice this summer when I was out east, once with both Gentlemen Reg and Royal City), but I wouldn't read too much into that. Perhaps when their next album comes out early next year they'll start to get a little more mention in the music scene.
posted by The God Complex at 11:58 PM on September 19, 2004


hippugeek, CTD are superb live if you get a chance to see them. Some MP3s from their first album here.

TGC, they're initally from Oshawa I believe, but close enough. They're on the country's most consistent rock label, which is based in Toronto--as are the Constantines, Royal City, and Gentlemen Reg.
posted by dobbs at 12:06 AM on September 20, 2004


If any other fans of Interpol, Blonde Redhead, and Do Make Say Think exist here, you and I can talk music. Arrrr.
posted by Mach3avelli at 12:23 AM on September 20, 2004


I saw Interpol live recently with the cure down in atlanta. It was kind of a strange show and my quote of the evening was

"let's see which goth melts first."

Quoted from a heavily made up male goth with a large Napoleon complex.

At any rate Interpol rocked out but muse, mogwai, and the cure put them to shame.
posted by sourbrew at 12:41 AM on September 20, 2004


more contemporary in-studio performances:

@ 90.3 KEXP Seattle
posted by cinderful at 1:04 AM on September 20, 2004



TGC, they're initally from Oshawa I believe, but close enough. They're on the country's most consistent rock label, which is based in Toronto--as are the Constantines, Royal City, and Gentlemen Reg.


I know they're from Oshawa, but they're essentially based out of Toronto as a band (it's where they play the majority of their shows, as you probably know) which is why I brought it up in reference to the CBC thing.

As for the consistency of Three Gut, well, I think most critics would probably agree with you. I, on the other hand, don't really care for Royal City or Gentlemen Reg, but I can understand their appeal. It's just not really my type of music. The new stuff I've heard from the next Cuff the Duke album is really good though.
posted by The God Complex at 2:15 AM on September 20, 2004


If any other fans of Interpol, Blonde Redhead, and Do Make Say Think exist here, you and I can talk music. Arrrr.

Don't mind Interpol, like Blonde Redhead, and adore Do Make Say Think; pretty much everything that Constellation puts out is gold--Godspeed You Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think, Silver Mt. Zion, etc.

At any rate Interpol rocked out but muse, mogwai, and the cure put them to shame.

I really wanted to see that tour but a distinct lack of money made it impossible. I saw Mogwai at Lee's Palace in Toronto a few years ago and they put on a fantastic show. Now I just need to see Explosions in the Sky the next time they hit the west coast (my girlfriend got to see them open for Trail of Dead a few years ago, which I tragically didn't get to attend).
posted by The God Complex at 2:20 AM on September 20, 2004


Yay! Decemberists! What an awesome link... great high-quality stuff. Thanks for the link!
posted by kittyb at 6:01 AM on September 20, 2004


If this feels like deja vu, here's why.
posted by smackfu at 6:46 AM on September 20, 2004


WOW! Great post! I know what I'll be listening to for the next few weeks. So many bands that I like and so many I've never heard of. I'm going to go through the list and listen to all of them. This is like a musical wet dream; thanks dobbs.

And if you haven't already, turn up your speakers and check out DubLab and BassDrive. If you don't like heavy Drum&Bass/Jungle then skip BassDrive. DubLab is always chill though.

On preview: dobbs posted your link smakfu, so I don't think it can be considered a double post. Even so, I think it is deserving.
posted by daHIFI at 6:52 AM on September 20, 2004


Well, keep in mind that they're from Toronto and CBC is based in Toronto, so it only stands to reason that they're going to be in a CBC archive...

The division of CBC Radio that organizes and records these concerts is based in Vancouver, so I think being Toronto-based might be a bit less of a factor. The Cuff The Duke studio recording was definitely done in Vancouver (far too early in the morning after a show in Victoria the night before), and some of the Vancouver staff had flown to Toronto for NXNE (to record the Horseshoe show, amongst other things).

I'd also add Despistado to your list, but that's just me. (And there's no Hidden Cameras link that I could find, but the Joel Gibb one might be worth a listen.)
posted by antigreg at 6:58 AM on September 20, 2004


My favorite Canadian band: THE ARCADE FIRE! Who's with me?! (Who by the way are touring with the Hidden Camras as their opening act, antigreg.)
posted by josh at 7:21 AM on September 20, 2004


Great link, dobbs. Reminds me of KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, which also has a huge collection of live performances.
posted by shoepal at 7:26 AM on September 20, 2004


Great post: good finds.

As far as Interpol goes, my band rehearsed in the same practice space with them in Williamsburg with Interpol a few years back, so I was extra enthused when I heard they were getting some buzz. When Turn on the Bright Lights came out, it grabbed me instantly, and I unapologetically called it "the Best Album of the last Five years, easily". As a matter of fact, I still think that. With their ridiculously tight and inventive rhythm section, I imagined they would be a terrific live band. When I finally saw them a year or so ago at a street festival in Chicago, and then later that fall at the Vic (with Montreal's Stills), I was immensely disappointed. Their show was serviceable enough and was faithful to the recording, but lacked that something special. They seemed oddly intimidated by their surroundings, or worse, the singer sounded great when he was just singing, but when he was playing and singing, that great baritone voice of his just disappeared. Possibly they were still working out how to play in a larger (cap.: 1,000) venue, but was curious to learn if any MeFites had seen them more recently, and if they had developed any as a mid-sized venue band.

Still, I understand they have a new album coming out this year (Antics), and will check that out. But I may wait until a bit more of the jury comes back in before springing for tickets to see them again.
posted by psmealey at 7:44 AM on September 20, 2004


For anyone who's interested, Antics is set to release on Sept 28.
posted by psmealey at 7:46 AM on September 20, 2004


This is awesome. Kinda taking over where SuperSphere left off. Thanks dobbs!
posted by gwint at 7:50 AM on September 20, 2004


My favorite Canadian band: THE ARCADE FIRE! Who's with me?!

I have my ticket for their upcoming Toronto show and was trying to find a way to get to Montreal for the CD release show, so I'm halfway there. But with so many other Canadian bands to choose from, I just don't know... (That said, their new album is already high on my list of favourites for this year.)

Speaking of bands from Montreal on large, US indie labels, has anyone heard Wolf Parade yet? They're pretty great, too.
posted by antigreg at 7:55 AM on September 20, 2004


I stumbled across this site about six months ago, and have explored extensively. There two are sister sites to the amazing JustConcerts.com site mentioned above, and they are also stellar. 120seconds.com features bite-sized bits of content from one of Canada's leading radio stations. NewMusicCanada.com has a wide range of streaming music from artists conveniently sorted by genre and subgenre.

I really have to tip my hat to these guys. All three sites have a consistent look and feel, based entirely in Flash (which often does not work, but here is a perfect marriage with the extensive libraries of rich media content). The servers are fast and the embedded player allows you to select 64Kb or 128Kb compression rates. The only drawback I've seen so far is that it's hard to bookmark good songs since they're hiding behind javascript. You can bookmark artists, though.

These sites, as noted above for justconcerts.com, also have a strong Canadian bias, as most of the recordings are done in Vancouver or Toronto. But hey, lots of great bands go through Canada on their way to somewhere more interesting!
posted by JParker at 8:07 AM on September 20, 2004


The Arcade Fire is the best band of the new millennium thus far. And Wolf Parade are hip as heck. (I'd go on, but I alreadyhave.
posted by Marquis at 8:21 AM on September 20, 2004


I saw Interpol at LA's Palladium last October and wasn't really impressed, even tho I kinda liked their album. The Warlocks opened for them, and they sounded better
posted by matteo at 8:50 AM on September 20, 2004


Mach, Justin from DMST has another band called Lullabye Arkestra. They don't really sound like DMST at all, but they still kick major ass, especially live. You might dig them. Here's a rather brutal (in a good sense) cover of Gershwin's Summertime that they donated to my 2003 Blogathon.

My favorite Canadian band: THE ARCADE FIRE! Who's with me?!

They certainly are fantastic. I saw them open for the Cons earlier in the year and they were an amazing live act. A photographer's dream. I've yet to hear the record but it's getting raves everywhere.
posted by dobbs at 9:02 AM on September 20, 2004


psmealey: I'm in the exact same boat. I obsessed over Turn on the Bright Lights for months and could not stop listening to it. I think it's flawless and one of my favorite records.

But seeing them live was a real disappointment: the vocals sounded really flat and the ambient magical environment of the record was gone. They sounded pretty bland, if not almost mechanical. I also stayed up to watch them on Letterman and it was equally disappointing: his vocals were wretchedly flat and the music had no real spark.

I still love that record and will buy Antics the minute I can, but it seems to me that perhaps they are very much a studio band.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by xmutex at 9:13 AM on September 20, 2004


Am I the only one who was underwhelmed by The Arcade Fire? I was quite excited to hear them, after checking out rave review after rave review. When I listened to the album all I could think of was a resounding "meh."

That said, this is a great site. Those of you who are interested in more and who have the capability should listen to CBC's Radio Two each Saturday night, when it turns into Radio 3 from 7:30pm to 4am-- they play this sort of music, including the "in-session" at 8pm and a concert at 10. I find the concert neat because they include brief snippets from audience members from before and after each show. Also, at 11, they have a profile of a local scene from some town in Canada. Unfortunately I missed the bit on the town I am living in, which pains me because I did not realize that this town HAS a music scene aside from the requisite Nickelback and Blink 182 wannabes and the hard rock cover bands.
posted by synecdoche at 10:02 AM on September 20, 2004


Now I just need to see Explosions in the Sky the next time they hit the west coast

Explosions are incredible live. I saw them in London earlier this year, and nothing has sounded quite the same since.
posted by zygoticmynci at 10:24 AM on September 20, 2004


Several things to go over many of the sentiments made so far:

-Antics has been available for download since May. Yes, IMO, as incredible as Bright Lights.

-I had never heard of The Arcade Fire until yesterday. And I've heard at least a half-dozen different things about them from different sources since. Gotta check em out and see what the hype's all about.

-Constellation Records are indeed one of the best labels out there. A Silver Mt. Zion recently changed their name to Three Silver Mountain Reveries, and the EP they put out a couple months ago is incredible.

-Explosions in the Sky is amazing live. Next month, I'm going to see them, Mono, Fly Pan Am, Do Make Say Think, Tarentel, and Trash Can Sinatras in SF (across several dates). I'm so thrilled....
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:27 PM on September 20, 2004


-Antics has been available for download since May. Yes, IMO, as incredible as Bright Lights.

Where?? Do tell!! Still doesn't come up on iTunes, and it looks like eMusic is doing a relaunch.
posted by psmealey at 6:02 AM on September 21, 2004


Where??

On slsk. (Shhh.)

I don't like Antics as much as Turn on the Bright Lights -- but I still have tickets to see them again anyway, even though I had the same experience seeing them live a few years ago. I chalked it up to inexperience, since it was the first show (in NYC) after the record release, but maybe they're just not that great a live band.

As for The Arcade Fire, I haven't seen them live yet, and I should disclaim a little and say that I've known Win Butler, the singer, since high school. But I think their record is more or less the best I've heard this year, the only one with songs I feel like singing along to and memorizing and caring about -- it's just a great record! To me they seem to have something really original going on -- something different, thankfully, from the Constellation records template that even, say, Broken Social Scene seem to be following (I love the Constellation bands [and the packaging!] but I've gotten a little tired of the same old sound over the years). And thankfully there is absolutely 0% retro b.s. in their sound. It is all imagination, and not endless retreads of Gang of Four, Hunky Dory, and "Losing My Edge."

If you ask me, independent music has been pretty lame over the past year and has only just now recovered from its 'let's-dance!' stupor, which was a stupid distraction from what's really important and good about music. Last year I saw the Rapture and LCD Soundsystem, among others, and along with !!!, Radio 4, etc., all of them were pretty hollow experiences . . . I'm glad that songwriting is back up front this fall. The whole dance craze mystified me, I have to say. What was the idea, that indie kids would be 'cool' if the music was 'cool'? How lame is that?

Anyhow, I want to find other new bands like The Arcade Fire that are, as it were, substance first and style last. They're the only one I've found so far this year. Anyone have any other suggestions?
posted by josh at 6:56 AM on September 21, 2004


I agree about Interpol live. Saw them at Kool Haus. Could have just played the album on my CD player at home and saved the $20.

Anybody going to Apostle of Hustle on Thurs.?
posted by Succa at 8:29 AM on September 21, 2004


A band that I didn't see anywhere here, but well worth mentioning is Les Savy Fav. They've been around a relatively long time, but still haven't gotten anywhere near the fame or credit they richly deserve. Then again, maybe I'm out of it. These guys are contemporaries of mine, and I'm a geezer (though still significantly younger than Tobin Sprout :-).

Thanks all for the tip on The Arcade Fire. I will check that out.

As far as the whole hipster NYC thing goes, I still don't really get TV on the Radio and the Rapture, but they are probably worth a few more listens. I do like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, on the other hand, but I'm getting sick of seeing Karen O in the fucking style section of the NY Times.

/codger rant
posted by psmealey at 10:23 AM on September 21, 2004


Succa, any money spent for Kool Haus shows is a waste of money. It's the shittiest venue in the city. I've walked out of eveyr band I've seen there (belle and sebastian, fugazi (twice!), superchunk, pavement, white stripes, and plenty more). I've vowed never again.

When B&S was booked there, I wrote the manager and told him to please reconsider--that the sound was shit. He told me to rest assured that it would sound great. I said I'd bet him on it. He put me on the guestlist. After the show, I sent him a, "Well, what did you think?" and he sent me, "You were right. Sorry." :)

I'll have to disagree with you Rapture haters. I like their albums and think they put on a great live show (though I've only seen them once).

Arcade Fire are fucked, live. Very entertaining.
posted by dobbs at 12:54 PM on September 21, 2004


Hell yeah the Dirtbombs.
posted by VanRoosta at 3:13 PM on September 21, 2004


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