Archive for November, 2007

The Antlers – East River Berlin Wall

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

  the antlers, Peter Silberman, indie music, rock, underground, ??????????????, east river berlin wall, the cold war

Artist: The Antlers
Song: East River Berlin Wall
From album: Cold War (EP)
[Buy other Album|mp3s][Website][Myspace]

This wisp of a song is to waking up on a cold dark morning what Hermit was to waking up on an all too sunny one. It’s a long and longing corner window stare; drained of momentum by an ice-covered outlook and one’s own frozen breath.

The Antlers is the work of Peter Silberman of Manhattan, and you can download other Antlers songs (including the rest of this EP) here, and read them here.

School Food Punishment – Close,Down,Back to

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

  school food punishment, school food is good food, close,down,back to, japanese indie music, rock, underground, ?????????????????,

Artist: School Food Punishment
Song: Close,Down,Back to
From album: School Food is Good Food
[Buy CD][Website]

School Food Punishment, besides being a name that conjures amusing memories, is a Japanese group that makes some pretty catchy pop. Most of the songs from their first full album School Food is Good Food, which was released earlier this year, fit pretty well into my conceptions of the genre. You have your clean female vocals, with a timbre perhaps a little dramatic, over harmless upbeat/dancy, or sentimental backing music framed in a tried and true song structure. Though they may have some rock in their blood, it’s definitely not out in front.

Then somehow this song sneaks into the album, (in the very beginning of it I might add) and alienates all the other songs by bringing with it a soundtrack like a floating electro barge of doom which carries off its amazonian vocal rider in a storm of arcing electricity. It’s urgent and driving, and unexpected.

Maybe it’s the exertion of the first song that tires out the rest of the album for me, but fans of the major pop acts should still find a lot to like in this quirky newcomer. They also have a new album coming out… tomorrow, so we won’t have to wait long to see what direction they are heading.

Toddle – Colonnade

Monday, November 19th, 2007

  toddle, dawn praise the world, colonnade, japanese indie music, rock, underground, ?????????,??,????,

Artist: Toddle
Song: Colonnade
From album: Dawn Praise the World
[Buy CD| mp3s][Website]

With Dawn Praise the World Toddle has taken a significant step forward as a band. While their first record I Dedicate D Chord was strongly regarded, to me there seemed to be a slightly distracting gap sometimes, between the bare unprocessed vocals of front-woman Tabuchi Hisako and the rest of the band.

Tabuchi herself is a creative dynamo, and with a momentous musical history in the seminal bands Number Girl and Bloodthirsty Butchers in her pocket, she is now plowing her very own path to prominence.

Dawn Praise the World shows us that the last album was no accident, and in between the two releases the flavours have mingled and blended into a riper and more accessible product. The gaps are gone, in their place are layers of softened vocals that embrace the contours of the music without a hint of hesitation and carry it off with determined energy. It feels like she now has a much fuller possession of her musical vision and has taken charge of the effort.

Dawn is a confident and enjoyable album and a milestone in Toddle’s career; and if the past is any measure, the future looks bright for Tabuchi Hisako.

DJ Wordy

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

China isn’t exactly well known around the world when it comes to turntablism. In fact they’re not even on the radar, which makes it all the more surprising for a world-class talent like DJ Wordy to emerge out of Beijing. A former guitarist, Wang Liang taught himself how to scratch by watching a pirated VCD of the 2000 DMC championship over and over again. Despite having only enough money to purchase one mixer, one turntable, and one record, DJ Wordy honed his skills over a period of six months to the point where he was able to perform in clubs. The internet played a huge part in his music education, it broaden his musical taste and allowed him to purchase vinyl which was nearly impossible to find in local music stores. His efforts paid off, Wordy claimed the top prize three years in a row at the China DMC Championships (2005-07). He is now regarded as a pioneering musician in China, and an educator to the rest of China about the art of scratch.

The VJs over at HaoBuHao created this extremely slick video of DJ Wordy’s 2007 DMC routine. Wordy is also offering his Pocket Dance Mix CD for free here.

Tracey Re-fragmented

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Canadian filmmaker Bruce Mcdonald is doing something unprecedented with his newest film. – He’s letting the public edit it.

Tracey Fragments, which stars Canada’s finest actress Ellen Page, is a borderline avant-garde art film with a highly stylized multi-screen aesthetic. In a recent interview on The Hour, Bruce spoke about how films fall into two categories: those that you should make and those that you shouldn’t. Tracey Fragments is definitely from the latter category. Take a look at the trailer to get a glimpse of the film’s visual insanity.

With so many perspectives and angles on the screen at once, the viewing process become much more involved. As a result of not being able to take in all the perspectives, viewers have to “edit” the film themselves by choosing which screens to watch, and when to watch them. This kind of thing happens on other “normal” films as well, but never to this extent.

But this is not Bruce’s novel idea. His idea is to let the audience literally edit the film. The project is called Tracey Re-fragmented. Through the use of a Creative Commons Licence (brainchild of the brilliant Lawrence Lessig), Bruce has made all the the footage he shot for the film available to the public and is letting them make their own cut. The score for the film, which was written by Broken Social Scene, and the dialogue script, is also available on the official website via Creative Commons. A contest will be held for the best cut. If you don’t have the energy to recut an entire film, you can submit a music video, a trailer, or a short. The winner of the contest will get a prize pack which includes Final Cut Studio 2 and they will have their movie/music video/trailer placed on The Tracey Fragments DVD.

Trent Reznor did a similar thing when he released the Garageband source files for his album With Teeth in 2005 and the subsequent Year Zero. But as far as I know, nobody has dared to try the idea with a feature film.

Bruce’s cut of the film plays in theatres on Nov. 2nd, 2007.