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Broken Social Scene'
DarlingsBroken Social Scene's founder, songwriter, and front man Kevin Drew will be releasing his newest solo album, Darlings, on Arts & Crafts.
Darlings shows Drew growing from his role in indie vanguard Broken Social Scene to create a breakthrough statement of personal artistry. Darlings is also his first solo album that is truly, to put it bluntly, solo. If Drew's 2007 effort Spirit If... was his inaugural step beyond the decade-long shadow of his former band, Darlings spotlights Drew with seven years more experience and maturity. Darlings reveals a more focused and refined sound; more honest, revelatory songwriting, with Drew's craft concentrated on lyrical and emotional connections, less so than guitar pedals and studio jams.1. Body Butter
2. Good Sex
3. It's Cool
4. Mexican Aftershow Party
5. You Gotta Feel It
6. First In Line
7. Bullshit Ballad
8. My God
9. You In Your Were
10. You Got Caught
11. And That's All I Know$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Burnt Black CarsSaskatoon's Slow Down Molasses is a five-piece indie-rock collective described as "the Broken Social Scene of the
prairies" by Exclaim! Magazine. Taking cues from the wide-open spaces of their home, they craft expansive, texture heavy pop songs that break into storm squalls of drone, delay and feedback. For new record 'Burnt Black Cars', they have turned to producer Jace Lasek (SUUNS, Besnard Lakes).1. Sovereigns
2. Burnt Black Cars
3. Summer Sun
4. Stay Still
5. Resurrection Blues
6. City Sublet
7. Don't Forget The Youth
9. Underneath The Cobblestones$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Hug Of Thunder"I don't want to go out there being presumptuous," Kevin Drew says, "because, I've worn those presumptuous shoes before, and you don't want it to feel like, 'Oh, what a let-down.'" That's the fear when you bring back one of music's most beloved names seven years after their last album. But with Hug of Thunder, the fifth Broken Social Scene album, Drew and his bandmates have a right to feel presumptuous.
They have that right because they have created one of 2017's most sparkling, multi-faceted albums. On Hug of Thunder the 15 members of Broken Social Scene - well, the 15 who play on the record, including returnees Leslie Feist and Emily Haines - refract their varying emotions, methods, and techniques into something that doesn't just equal their other albums, but surpasses them. It is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. The title track on its own might just be the best thing you will hear all year - a song that will become as beloved as "Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl" from their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People.
Its title, Drew says, captured what he wanted people to feel about the group's comeback, and how they sound playing together again: "It's just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder."
Broken Social Scene had reconvened, in varying forms, several times over the past four years - the odd festival show here and there, preferably ones that involved the least possible traveling. But the idea that they might turn their hand to something more than greatest-hits sets had been stirring since November 2014, when producer Joe Chiccarelli told Drew the group needed to make a new album.
"He started showing up at our label, asking if we were going to make an album," Drew recalls. "He just didn't give up; he just kept saying, 'You've got to strike, you've got to do this, the time is now,' and so finally we agreed."
As might be expected to be the case with a many-headed hydra of a group, getting all the principals to agree wasn't easy. Drew's co-founder Brendan Canning was keen, but Drew and fellow BSS lifer Charles Spearin took more persuading. A turning point for Drew came with the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, which made him feel the world needed an injection of positivity: "It just sort of made us want to go out there and play. Because I think we've always been a band that's been a celebration."
Canning picks up the story: "By autumn of 2015 we had started getting together and trying some ideas out, just getting back in that jam space, in Charles' garage. Then we set up shop in my living room and we were starting to come together in a very familiar kind of way, jamming in the living room, eating meals in the kitchen together, because that's what the band is about: 'Hey, let's all get on the same page and get the energies flowing in the same direction.'"
Recording finally began in April 2016 at The Bathouse studio on the shores of Lake Ontario, with later sessions in Toronto and Montreal, before the group went right back to basics. "It was very beautiful the way that it ended in Charlie's little rehearsal garage space," Drew says, "after going to all these studios. We just worked there, doing backup vocals and handclaps and all the shit we used to do when we were younger." And then it was to Los Angeles, where the album was mixed.
The result is a panoramic, expansive album, 53 minutes that manages to be both epic and intimate. In troubled times it offers a serotonin rush of positivity: "Stay Happy" lives up to its title, with huge surges of brass that sound like sunshine bursting through clouds. "Gonna Get Better" makes a promise that the album is determined to deliver. That's not to say it's an escapist record: Broken Social Scene is completely engaged, wholly focussed, and not ignoring the darkness that lurks outside. But there is no hectoring, no lecturing, but a recognition of the confusion and ambiguity of the world. As the title track closes with Leslie Feist murmuring "There was a military base across the street," the listener is caught in the division between the national security provided by national defense, and the menace of the same thing.
The gestation of Hug of Thunder was no idyll. When You Forgot It in People made their name, Broken Social Scene were young men and women. Fifteen years on, they were adults in or on the cusp of middle age, and - as Drew puts it - "all the adult problems in the world were happening around us individually, whether it was divorce or cancer". Three members of the band lost their fathers while the album was being recorded, "and it seemed like the days of going in the studio, getting stoned, drinking five beers and saying, 'Who gives a fuck?' were over".
Then there's the fact of the size of the ensemble, and the number of competing voices. "You don't always get the final say with Broken Social Scene," Canning says, with a certain degree of understatement. He compares the process of getting everyone to agree on a song to party politics: "It's like you're trying to get a bill passed through the House - you have to be really committed to wanting to win."
But, still, if they were to return, it had to be with everybody, no matter if that meant things might get unwieldy. "I'd like to believe that Broken Social Scene can be whatever it can be," Canning says, "but I think the fact we'd gone away for so long meant we really, we really couldn't have done the same thing without everyone involved, you know?" The story of Broken Social Scene, he insists, was built on the involvement of everyone, and so if the story was to be continued, those same people had to return.
"The thing that has changed is that the relationships between us are established," Drew suggests. "And in a family, you ebb and flow and you come and you go and you're in love and then you're annoyed - but it's established now, the relationships aren't going anywhere, you know? And I think through time, because we've been through so much together, personally and professionally, when we're all on stage, everybody knows what they're doing, everybody has a melody to back up someone else, you feel supported, you're a crew, there's nothing but protection all around you."
Canning picks up the theme: "Before we were making this record, I said to everyone: 'We all basically want the same thing, we might just have slightly different roadmaps on how to get there. So how do we stray off on certain country roads but get back onto the main thoroughfare?'"
That Broken Social Scene was a family again, driving along the same main road, became apparent to UK fans in September 2016, when the group - with Ariel Engle the latest woman to assume the role of co-lead vocalist - came over for less than a handful of festival shows, to test the waters. Their Sunday teatime appearance at End Of The Road - an ecstatic hour of maximalist music, physically and emotionally overwhelming - ended up being one of the biggest hits of the festival. It achieved what Drew has always felt music needed to do: it created transcendence, a pocket of time where everyone present was living only in the moment.
"My 11-year-old nephew asked me, 'Uncle Kev, why do adults get drunk?' and I looked at him and thought, 'OK, brilliant question, I'm going to give a brilliant answer,'" Drew recalls. "And I looked at him for about 10 seconds and I said, 'Because they want to feel like you. Because they want to feel like a kid again, they want to forget everything, they want to be innocent.' We are built in a way now where you can't do that because you're walking around with the anti-transcendence box in your pocket, and in your hand, and in your home, and on your bedside table: it's the anti-transcendence. It's called your phone! And we're getting killed, we're getting killed!"
So what do Broken Social Scene want listeners to take from Hug of Thunder? Canning wants it to make them "pause for the cause and maybe just leave things in your life alone for 53 minutes". For Drew, it's about what it's always been about: making the connection. "I just hope they understand that there's others out there, that they're not alone," he says. "I know that's silly! But you'd be surprised how many times I've had to tell people, 'Hey, you're not alone on this, you're not alone thinking these things.' I mean, with the title Hug of Thunder, I want to hold people. I want to fucking hold them. And when we do shows, I'm not: 'Look at me, I'm elevated up on the stage,' It's: 'We're here with you, this is us together.' Broken Social Scene is about the people, and it's always been about the people."1. Sol Luna
2. Halfway Home
3. Protest Song
5. Stay Happy
6. Vanity Pail Kids
7. Hug of Thunder
8. Towers and Masons
9. Victim Lover
10. Please Take Me With You
11. Gonna Get Better
12. Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Forgiveness Rock Record (Limited Edition)Produced by John McEntire (Tortoise & The Sea and Cake), Forgiveness Rock Record features BSS alumni: Leslie Feist, Amy Millan and Evan Cranley of Stars, Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric, Jason Collett, Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think and Years, John Crossingham, Marty Kinack, Leon Kingstone and Julie Penner. Uniquely, the song Sentimental Xs features Leslie Feist, Emily Haines and Amy Millan singing together for the first time on the same song.
7 x 10 vinyl box set
Individually numbered and limited to 500 box sets
Includes MP3 digital download of the albumSide 1: World Sick
Side 2: Chase Scene
Side 3: Texico Bitches
Side 4: Forced to Love
Side 5: All to All
Side 6: Art House Director
Side 7: Highway Slipper Jam
Side 8: Ungrateful Little Father
Side 9: Meet Me in the Basement
Side 10: Sentimental Xs
Side 11: Sweetest Kill
Side 12: Romance to the Grave
Side 13: Water in Hell
Side 14: Me and my Hand$125.9910 Vinyl LP Box Set - 7 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Arts & Crafts XArts & Crafts X is a collection of original collaborative recordings by artist pairings from the A&C roster.
The album's 10 tracks include new compositions as well as fresh interpretations from a list of artists that includes Broken Social Scene, Feist, Timber Timbre, Chilly Gonzales, Stars and Dan Mangan.1. Broken Social Scene x Years - Day Of The Kid
2. Apostle Of Hustle x Zeus - Bizarre Love Triangle
3. Feist x Timber Timbre - Homage
4. Still Life Still x Zulu Winter - Era
5. The Hidden Cameras x Snowblink - The Chauffeur
6. The Darcys x Ra Ra Riot - Time Can Be Overcome
7. Chilly Gonzales x Stars - Nothing Good Comes To Those Who Wait
8. Hayden x Jason Collett - Lonely Is As Lonely Does
9. Gold & Youth x Trust - Lady Bird
10. Amy Millan x Dan Mangan - Chances Are$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ShakaraShakara is one of a clutch of early 1970s albums - also among them this box's Fela's London Scene and Afrodisiac - on which Fela's Afrobeat transitioned from foetal stage to something approaching full-grown form. Shakara (1971) includes three of mature Afrobeat's signature ingredients. There are two guitarists, rhythm guitarist Tutu Shoronmu and tenor guitarist Segun Edo. The pair's repetitive, interlocking riffs - part melody, part rhythm - play a similar role to the rhythm and mi-solo guitars used in contemporary Congolese rumba. Fela's Broken English lyrics extend his music's audience beyond Yoruba speakers and make his words understandable across Anglophone Africa. And female backing vocalists echo Fela's lead vocals in what was to become Afrobeat's trademark call-and-response pattern. On release, Shakara's B-side, "Lady," was jumped on by the Nigerian press as Fela's contribution to a "war between the sexes." "I want tell you about lady-o," Fela sang. "She go want take cigar before anybody, she go want make you open the door for am, she go want the man wash plate for her for kitchen, she want sit down for table before anybody." By contrast: "Africa woman, she know the man na master, she go cook for him, she go do anything for him .But lady no be so, lady na master." "Lady," like 1975's "Mattress," has been interpreted by some as "anti-women." It was certainly in conflict with European feminist thought. However the lyric is interpreted, Fela was arguing from the particular in order to highlight the general: the adoption of European social habits to the detriment of African culture. Fela would address African men in similar fashion in "Gentleman" in 1973, lampooning their adoption of European suits, shoes and ties - which caused them to "smell like shit" in the African heat - before returning to the women in 1976 in "Yellow Fever," a song about the fashion for skin whitening creams. "Shakara" is a mainly instrumental track, with a brief lyric, sung in Yoruba, warning against boasters and braggarts. Up-tempo, with a suitably turbulent horn arrangement, it includes strong solos from Fela on keyboards and the fearsome Igo Chico on tenor saxophone.1. Lady
2. Shakara (Oloje)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Arts & Crafts 2003-2013Translucent Vinyl!
Arts & Crafts: 2003-2013 is a deluxe package curated from a decade of releases, including some of the label's most recognizable hits, as well as never before heard rarities. This commemorative release will be available as a 4xLP special edition translucent vinyl package.
LP Deluxe packages come complete with a hard cover vinyl book, 4xLPs and color booklet. Liner notes for Deluxe packaging written by Stuart Berman, noted journalist and author of Broken Social Scene oral biography This Book Is Broken.Broken Social Scene - 7/4 (Shoreline)
Stars - Elevator Love Letter
Zeus - Are You Gonna Waste My Time?
The Stills - Being Here
Feist - Mushaboom
Apostle Of Hustle - Folkloric Feel
Amy Millan - Skinny Boy
The Most Serene Republic - Content Was Always My Favorite Colour
Jason Collett - I'll Bring The Sun
New Buffalo - Recovery
Feist - I Feel It All
Timber Timbre - Demon Host
Dan Mangan - Rows Of Houses
Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!
Broken Social Scene - Lover's Spit
Broken Social Scene - Deathcock
The Hidden Cameras - Mind, Matter And Waste
Amy Millan - She Got By
Apostle Of Hustle - I Want A New Drug
Cold Specks - Grave Goods
Ra Ra Riot - Saccharin And The War
Sally Seltmann - You Don't Know Me Anymore
Los Campesinos! - Allez Les Blues
Timber Timbre & Tasseomancy - The Darkness Of Things
Feist & Constantines - Islands In The Stream
Stars - Rollerskate
The Dears - Raise The Dead
Brendan Canning - Secretaries' Party
Jason Collett - False Cassandra
Dan Mangan - Faults
Chilly Gonzales - Tarantelle
Kevin Drew - Apology
Snowblink - Blue Moon$80.99Vinyl LP - 4 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World SoundtrackOn Red Vinyl!
The soundtracks to movies adapted from comic books are often marketing free-for-alls; promoting bands takes precedence over choosing songs that make sense for the film. However, nothing could be further from the truth for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's music. Since so much of the comic revolves around the bands that the characters play in, the film was already somewhat protected from having a bunch of random songs crammed into its soundtrack, but the film's creative team ensured that the music was done right. Director Edgar Wright's other films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, etc.) boast soundtracks that brim with personality onscreen and play more like mixtapes than albums in their own right; that feeling continues here with picks like Beachwood Sparks' By Your Side, T. Rex's Teenage Dream, and Frank Black's I Heard Ramona Sing.
The musicians who bring the comic's bands to life are just as cleverly chosen. Beck revisited his slacker-punk roots with the songs he wrote for Scott's band Sex Bob-Omb; though they're performed by Michael Cera and the other actors in the film, Threshold, Summertime, and Garbage Truck still have Beck's gloriously messy early-`90s vibe to them. Later, he contributes Ramona, a dreamy ballad that sounds more like his 2000s work. Meanwhile, Broken Social Scene are Crash and the Boys, the rival band whose I'm So Sad, So Very Very Sad lasts a whopping five seconds. Every part of the soundtrack shows how much care went into it, from choosing artists like Broken Social Scene and Metric to nod to the story's Canadian setting, to the 8-bit version of Threshold that reflects Pilgrim's immersion in video games. The sweetest detail may be the song that started it all: Scott Pilgrim, by the Canadian all-female band Plumtree from their 1997 album Predicts the Future, holds within it all the breathless true love and crunchy guitar goodness that sparked the comic.
Somehow, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's music remains true not just to the comic, but to the work of everyone involved in the story at every stage, with plenty of fun and heart to boot. ~ Heather PharesEntertainment Weekly (p.75) - 'Garbage Truck' is the keeper, with a fuzz-punk groove that's no laughing matter.1. We Are Sex Bob-Omb - Sex Bomb-Omb
2. Scott Pilgrim - Plumtree
3. I Heard Ramona Sing - Frank Black
4. By Your Side - Beachwood Sparks
5. O Katrina! - Black Lips
6. I'm so Sad, so Very, Very, Sad - Crash and the Boys
7. We Hate You Please Die - Crash and the Boys
8. Garbage Truck - Sex Bomb-Omb
9. Teenage Dream - T. Rex
10. Sleazy Bed Track - The Bluetones
11. It's Getting Boring by the Sea - Blood Red Shoes
12. Black Sheep - Metric
13. Threshold - Sex Bomb-Omb
14. Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl - Broken Social Scene
15. Under My Thumb - The Rolling Stones
16. Ramona [Acoustic Version] - Beck
17. Ramona - Beck
18. Summertime - Sex Bomb-Omb
19. Threshold (8-Bit) - Brian Lebarton$19.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?They say there's no time like the present; what they really mean is there's no such thing as the present. Five seconds into the future will be five seconds in the past once you finish reading this sentence. Translated into rock 'n' roll, terms, it means you're either ahead of your time or past your prime. And we're cool with that. We like categories and demographics and timelines because they allow us not to think; everything can be explained with the check of a box or a dot on a graph. But Metric don't let you off that easy. Their measures are decidedly cubist: eternal, multilayered portraits of instantaneous moments, the luminous blur of street life rendered as a freeze-tableaux, daily rituals portrayed in a fantastical light. This is music born out of sly, considered observation instead of gratuitous introspection - which makes it refreshingly anomalous in an era when so much popular music fudges the line between self-absorption and self-parody. Their debut album, OLD WORLD UNDERGROUND, WHERE ARE YOU NOW? launched Metric's career and helped to usher in a wave (or New Wave) of Canadian indie bands such as Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire. They have since gone on to sell over a million singles and 500,000 albums worldwide.Finally available on vinyl, the album sounds as urgent and timeless today as it did in 2003 and like all of Metric's music to date, OLD WORLD UNDERGROUND, WHERE ARE YOU NOW? isn't so much a summation of influences as experiences. The old world underground they so romanticize; they're not sure if it ever truly existed.1. IOU
2. Hustle Rose
4. Combat Baby
5. Calculation Theme
6. Wet Blanket
7. On a Slow Night
8. The List
9. Dead Disco
10. Love Is a Place$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Home Wrecking YearsBrendan Canning is the co-founder of the Toronto supergroup Broken Social Scene that includes members of Metric, Do Make Say Think, Stars, as well as Grammy-nominated Feist. One of the most enduring and influential alternative bands of the 00s. Their record 'You Forgot It In People' defined the "indie rock" era and paved the way for Canadian acts like Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade to break out. Canning's third solo album, 'Home Wrecking Years', is his first release with a full band since Broken Social Scene's 2010 release 'Forgiveness Rock Record'.
*'Home Wrecking Years' is backyard barbecue-ready indie album with heavy summertime vibes. Smart and breezy 4-minute pop tunes that run the gamut from 90s-era college rock to tropical baroque pop.1. Book It to Fresno
2. Vibration Walls
3. Keystone Dealers
4. Hey Marika
5. Once I Was a Runner
6. Nashville Late Pass
7. Work Out In the Wash
8. Money Mark
9. Sleeping Birds Like Lazers
10. Ana Don't Leave$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Master Of The BurialAmy Millan (also of Stars and Broken Social Scene fame) returns with Masters of The Burial, a wistful yet warm collection of songs and the follow up to her 2006 solo debut, Honey From The Tombs. Masters of The Burial includes interpretations of Death Cab for Cuties I Will Follow You Into The Dark and Old Perfume by Sarah Harmer. Recorded earlier this year in rural Ontario and produced by Martin Davis Kinack (Broken Social Scene, Sarah Harmer) the album features guest performances from Evan Cranley (Stars), Dan and Jenny Whiteley, Feist, Liam ONeil (The Stills), and many more.1. Bruised Ghosts
2. Low Sail
3. Old Perfume
5. Day To Day
6. Bury This
7. Finish Line
8. Run For Me
9. I Will Follow You Into The Dark
10. Lost Compass
11. Bound$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
PleasureFeist has been known to take her time between albums, but it has been a long stretch since 2011's Metals. She has since provided guest vocals on Peaches' Rub, appeared in music videos for Jenny Lewis and Kevin Drew, and is set to contribute to Broken Social Scene's new album. Now she announces Pleasure, produced by Feist with Mocky and Renaud Letang.1. Pleasure
2. I Wish I Didn't Miss You
3. Get Not High, Get Not Low
4. Lost Dreams
5. Any Party
6. A Man Is Not His Song
7. The Wind
9. Baby Be Simple
10. I'm Not Running Away
11. Young Up$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
When Flying Was Easy (Discontinued)Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene resurrects his old solo group Cookie Duster for a new album, their first in over a decade.Cookie Duster has taken the basic tools of their genre and created a record with massive hooks and some unusual arrangements. I want our music to be heard, says canning. Of course you do it to please yourself and your tastes, but I would also love fro it to be heard as far and wide as it's granted to travel.1. Cut Me, Focus
2. Daddy's Got the Medicine
3. Something Evil Again
4. Two Feet Stand Up
5. We Stepped on Glass
6. Standing Alongside Gone
7. Black Car Waiting
8. No Solo
9. Living on a Fine Line
10. Shot in the Dark
11. Space Will Follow
12. Where Are My Young Ones$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Man Machine Poem
White Colored Vinyl
The Tragically Hip, among Canada's most acclaimed and beloved bands, announce their 14th studio album, Man
Machine Poem. The album takes its name from a track on their last release Now For Plan A (2012 - 10K scanned,
50% physical share), and was recorded at The Hip's home studio The Bathouse, produced by Kevin Drew (Broken
Social Scene) and Dave Hamelin (The Stills). Man Machine Poem features the first single/video 'In A World
Possessed By The Human Mind.'1. Man
2. In A World Possessed By The Human Mind
3. What Blue
4. In Sarnia
5. Here, In The Dark
6. Great Soul
7. Tired As Fuck
8. Hot Mic
9. Ocean Next
10. Machine$23.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
URPD-ART-0013xEight And A Half
Eight And A HalfJustin Peroff of Broken Social Scene plus Dave Hamelin and Liam O'Neil of The Stills equals Eight and a Half. When Broken Social Scene first emerged out of Toronto 10 years ago, a great deal of the band's success was attributed to the fact that most of its individual members had ties to other bands, or boasted established solo careers. Peroff, the band's drummer since 2000, was not without extracurricular pursuits of his own (acting, DJing, party promotion), but had never released music outside of the BSS banner. By 2009, the urge to explore something new was proving ever more impossible to suppress.
Hamelin and O'Neil were old friends of Peroff's, Broken Social Scene and The Stills had shared stages as far back as 2003, but they weren't necessarily the most logical choice of collaborators: after all, Peroff was splitting his time between his temporary home in Los Angeles and recording sessions in Chicago for Broken Social Scene's Forgiveness Rock Record, while Hamelin and O'Neil were in the thick of touring for The Stills' 2008 album, Oceans Will Rise, and living in their native Montreal when off the road.
However, over the course of several phone calls and emails, the trio realized they all shared a desire to create music that was distinctively different than the big-tent anthems their primary bands were known for, so much so that Peroff was willing to spend much of 2009 hopping back and forth between L.A., Chicago and Montreal to get this new, more electronically focused project off the ground, if only in fits and starts.
What a difference a year makes, fast forward to the end of 2010 and Peroff was calling Toronto home once again, after Broken Social Scene completed its marathon Forgiveness Rock Record tour. And fortuitously enough, O'Neil and Hamelin had also become fellow residents, albeit for markedly different reasons: the former was hired to engineer Metric's follow-up to Fantasies at the band's Toronto-based Giant Studios, while the latter relocated after his girlfriend scored a new job in the city. O'Neil and Hamelin also suddenly found themselves with a lot of spare time on their hands: following a fall 2010 tour with Kings of Leon, The Stills had unceremoniously disbanded.
And so the conditions were in place to elevate Eight and a Half from sideline recording project to a primary concern for those involved. And each member seized the opportunity to reinvent himself: where Peroff's steady back beat has always provided the solid foundation atop which Broken Social Scene could freely experiment, with Eight and a Half his drumming is thoroughly deconstructed, as reliant on electronic programming and looped breaks as live performance.
O'Neil, traditionally a piano and horn player, focused on coaxing strange sounds and eerie ambience out of synthesizers and samplers. And Hamelin, who attempted a more rootsy, conversational style of singing as The Stills' secondary vocalist, pushed himself to croon in a higher register, and adopt a more confessional, emotionally naked mode of songwriting to better complement the minimal, mechanized productions.
Though Eight and a Half's formation precedes The Stills' dissolution, it's tempting to interpret these songs from the melancholic desolation of "Scissors," to where-did-it-all-go-wrong self-examination of "Go Ego," to the turn-a-new-leaf pledge "The Turn Around," as a direct response to their demise. But the vulnerability, doubt and resignation embedded in Hamelin's voice and words are easily transferrable to anyone who's invested years of their life into something special only to watch it vanish in an instant.
And Hamelin's recovery process, as well as Eight and a Half's own evolution from piecemeal recording project into proper flesh-and-blood band, is mirrored in the album's sequential shift from darkness to light: what begins as a chilly, claustrophobic and insular experience gradually opens up into a widescreen, kaleidoscopic splendor, spanning the mountainous surge of "Took A Train to India," the exuberant digital psychedelia of "Two Points" and the climactic/ecstatic curtain closer "Oh, My Head."1. When I Was Twenty Nine
3. Go Ego
4. The Turn Around
5. Took A Train To India
6. Wait Up
7. Two Points
8. Walked Into Diazepene
9. Oh, My Head
10. My Forevers$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Happiness ProjectThe Broken Social Scene Presents Series, in which the core members of the many-membered Canadian co-op release solo albums from under the safety of the band's umbrella, has, thus far, delivered a couple of releases that haven't fallen far from the BSS tree. Charles Spearin's The Happiness Project is the most unique release in the series so far and it began as a number of interviews, in which Spearin would talk to his friends and neighbors ranging in age and culture about, essentially, the subject of happiness. Working from these recordings, Spearin used the cadence, rhythm and intonation of these voices and then recruited musicians to play a singular instrument in a fashion that matches the meter and melody of these spoken conversations.1. Mrs. Morris
7. Mr. Gowrie
8. Mrs. Morris (Reprise)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live At The Burton Cummings TheatreThe Weakerthans come from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the geographic center of North America. Their deeply lyrical music speaks of the vast open spaces and broken industrial dreams in which it was created. Founded in 1997 by former Propagandhi bassist turned guitarist/frontman John K. Samson, The Weakerthans hold deep roots in the indie scene, with drummer Jason Tait also recording and touring as part of Toronto indie collective Broken Social Scene. Having built a fanatical fanbase touring through the US and Canada, the Weakerthans finally offer a permanent record of one of their fantastic live shows, recorded on the tour for their triumphant 2007 release Reunion Tour. With an expanded lineâ€up that includes trumpet, violin and female vocals, The Weakerthans run through songs from all 4 of their albums, in front of an adoring hometown audience, singing along with every lingering word.1. Everything Must Go
2. Tournament of Hearts
3. Our Retired Explorer (Dines with Michel Foucault in Paris in 1969)
4. Night Windows
5. Reconstruction Site
7. Civil Twilight
9. Plea from a Cat Named Virtute
10. The Reasons
11. Sun in an Empty Room
12. Left and Leaving
13. Wellington's Wednesdays
16. One Great City!
17. This is a Fire Door Never Leave Open
18. Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure$21.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
URPD-ART-12xThe Most Serene Republic
...And The Ever Expanding UniverseOut of the serenity of Milton, Ontario returns their most ambitious export, the young sextet known as The Most Serene Republic. Their third full-length, ...And The Ever Expanding Universe is produced by Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Super Furry Animals, Los Campesinos!) and it shows the band confidently striding forward with a more mature, diverse and exhilarating sound.
With two acclaimed albums and an EP already under their belts, these just now 24-year old musicians have already been performing together for a half-dozen years. Very much a product of their wide ranging personalities, the band is led by Ryan Lenssens classical piano and obsession with musical history, and singer/lyricist Adrian Jewetts Joycian stream-of-conscious lyrics and larger then life stage personality. The entire bands excellence with their instruments is undeniable and is proven both live and on album.1. Bubble Reputation
2. Heavens to Purgatory
3. Vessels of a Donor Look
5. The Old Forever New Things
6. All of One is the Other
8. Four Humours
9. Catharsis Boo
10. Don't Hold Back, Feel a Little Longer
11. No One Likes a Nihilist$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Several Shades Of WhyIn the quarter century since he founded Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis has created some of the era's signature songs, albums and styles. The laconically-based roar of his guitar, drums and vocals have driven a long string of bands such as Deep Wound, Dinosaur Jr., Gobblehoof, Velvet Monkeys, the Fog, Witch, Sweet Apple and he has also guested on innumerable sessions. But Several Shades of Why, recorded at Amherst, Massachusetts' Bisquiteen Studios, is J's first solo studio record, and it is an album of incredible beauty, performed with a delicacy not always associated with his work.
Nearly all acoustic, Several Shades of Why was created with the help of a few friends. Notable amongst them are Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (long-time collusionist), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees).
Together in small mutable groupings, they conjure up classic sounds ranging from English-tinged folk to drifty, West Coast-style singer/songwriters. But every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark, both in the shape of the tunes and the glorious rasp of the vocals. Ten brilliant tunes that quietly grow and expand until they fill your brain with the purest pleasure.1. Listen To Me
2. Several Shades Of Why
3. Not Enough
4. Very Nervous and Love
5. Is It Done
6. Make It Right
7. Where Are You
8. Too Deep
9. Can I
10. What Happened$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live It Out (Awaiting Repress)Live It Out is the second album released by the Canadian indie rock band Metric. It was originally released in September 27, 2005 on Last Gang Records.
Toronto's Metric has the ability to appeal to fans on a number of levels: the group captures the likeability of Elastica with the cheekiness of Blondie and then mixes that new wave style with just enough of a growling guitar to give it some oomph. Since their last release, the acclaimed Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, Metric's sound has morphed slightly; this follow-up is a little more guitar-based and slightly less electronic than their last, a move likely to broaden their fan base even further.
Metric's rock-meets-new-wave is not only timely, it is joyful to boot. The driving track Handshakes could easily qualify for the next ipod commercial, while Monster Hospital's retro punk style has a Clash-inspired chorus that will stay in your head for days. By the same token, the band's musical diversity is especially evident in the beautiful The Police and the Private, where one could easily imagine that they are listening to an up-tempo Sarah Harmer track. Metric's cross-genre appeal is at least party due to frontwoman Emily Haines' delivery. A smart writer and performer, Haines' contributions to the Broken Social Scene collective have already made her voice somewhat familiar, and in her own element she shines especially bright. From her delicate whispers (the Pink Floyd-esque Ending Start) to her Eurotrash-inspired yelps (Live It Out) Haines has the it factor that makes indie rock critics swoon, and keeps fans dedicated. --Denise Sheppard1, Empty
2. Glass Ceiling
4. Too Little Too Late
5. Poster of a Girl
6. Monster Hospital
7. Patriarch on a Vespa
8. The Police and the Private
9. Ending Start
10. Live It Out$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Ode To The Inverse Of The Dude (Discontinued)When producer David Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Los Campesinos!) agreed to helm the latest High Strung album, a strange/wonderful meeting was set to take place. In the height of a brutal Canadian winter, the High Strung brought a decidedly different batch of songs with them to the small church-studio of the legendary indie producer. Josh Malerman (songwriter) has written his first group of personal numbers, songs that addressed bizarre psychological states as well as revealing/comforting ideas of a man turning himself inside out, the idea of celebratory self-examination.
Ode to the Inverse of the Dude sounds a lot like what it's about; there's no doubt Newfeld stretched a band who was ready to be stretched and the outcome is a fantastic/blissful proclomation. It's an exploratory album, combining dreamy sounds and lyrics with the magnificence of the rock band that the High Strung is. The album is an honest original, but it's not a puzzle, it's a matter of heart. Songs like ôGuilt is How IÆm Built,ö ôStanding at the Door of Self-Discoveryö and ôOut of Character,ö not only adhere to the theme but feel and sound like a genuine self-evaluation where the subject is equal parts excited and frightened about their discoveries. Derek Berk and Chad Stocker, one of the countryÆs most colorful/dynamic rhythm sections, do not disapoint as they bring to life this coming together of wonderful artists. This record is a musical/pyschological triumph for both a producer who has worked his magic into the hearts of millions and a band who gets better with every album.1. Standing at the Door of Self Discovery
2. Real Stone
3. The Lifestyle That Got Away
4. Out of Character
5. In the Middle
6. Guilt is How IÆm Built
7. I Got Your Back
8. Bad with my Hands
10. Rope$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bad LuckIt was back in 2005 when Ed Gein released their last album, Judas Goats and Dieseleaters. Birthed in Syracuse, NY in early 2001 and propelled into the hardcore spotlight by critical acclaim, a raucous live show and an appearance on the Hellfast 2003 DVD, the ball started rolling and the band hit the ground running.
From 2005-2007, the band were road warriors, terrorizing the music scene with their spazzy, metallic-grind, laced with punk sensibility and political and socially driven lyrical content.
Their new record entitled Bad Luck sums up Ed Gein's life and unfortunes as a band on the road. Robbed, beat up, lost, broken down, crashed, robbed again, broken down, again and again...No Listing Available.$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A New Tide (Awaiting Repress)A New Tide marks a return to the always-freewheeling British band's more experimental roots, with songs like Win Park Slope and Airstream Driver evincing a spirit born of boundless imagination and a long-standing collaborative relationship. A wide range of styles is incorporated into A New Tide's matchless musicial brew. Flavors of Delta blues, psychedelia and Krautrock all come into play, resulting in a musically mischievous and remarkably forward-thinking collection. In short, A New Tide is Gomez at their inimitable, incomparable best.
A New Tide also sees Gomez accompanied by a number of illustrious guest musicians, including vocalist Amy Milan (Stars/Broken Social Scene), bassist Josh Abrams (The Roots, Sam Prekop, Godspeed You Black Emperor!), cellist Oliver Krauss (David Gray, Paul Weller, Beth Orton), and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Bogie of Brooklyn's world-renowned Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra.1. Mix Listen
2. Little Pieces
3. If I Ask You Nicely
4. Lost Track
5. Win Park Slope
6. Bone Tired
7. Airstream Driver
8. Natural Reaction
9. Very Strange
10. Other Plans
11. Sunset Gates$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP w/ CD Insert -Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Winged Life (Out of Stock)Talk Talk covering early Elton John or Bert Jansch anticipating the Smiths; that's as close as we can get to describing Shearwater's Winged Life. The truth is, with its elaborate and unconventional arrangements, richly layered production and conscious efforts to not recreate the past, this is a difficult record to pigeonhole. One or two songs on Winged Life partake of the somber, restrained delicacy of Shearwater's last two records, but everywhere else the band has loosened up, allowed that delicacy to bloom or crumble, and is trying new things -- from the dark and urgent groove of Whipping Boy to the buoyant pop of A Makeover, from the The World in 1984's wry soft rock to the almost prog-y tension of Sealed. As a result, Winged Life bridges many musical gaps. Its songs are melodic and narrative-based enough to appeal to fans of Belle & Sebastian, yet unique enough to be mentioned in the same breath as artists like the Notwist or Broken Social Scene. (Shearwater's Will Sheff and Jonathan Meiburg are also members of Okkervil River.)1. Hush
2. My Good Deed
3. Whipping Boy
6. St. Mary's Walk
7. Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine
8. (I've Got A) Right to Cry
9. World in 1984
12. Set Table$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock