Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Preview: Black Lips show moved to Rickshaw

After Vancouver beats Boston for the Stanley Cup on Wednesday, head down to the Rickshaw for the afterparty! Black Lips are playing, tickets are a still available, and I have a feeling this show is going to be insane!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Five Weekly Video Mix, Vol. 5

We're back with another episode of the best music videos we've found around the world this week! Check it, we found some really unique ones on this round.

5We start things off with Tom Vek, a multi-instrumentalist from the UK who dabbles in freakish experimental rock. Apparently he has a massive underground following over there. I should point out that Tom Vek is the presenter at the beginning, not the pulpishly sweet transvestite lip-syncing his vocals.

4Oh look! An “in the club” hip-hop video that actually has some fucking style! This is how they do it in Malaysia. Malaysian producers Goldfish and Blink bring the electro disco beats with Malaysian singer Ze! and Malaysian rapper Altimet on vocals. I'm hooked.


DJ Fresh drops a kick-ass skate video for his drum and bass track “Louder”, featuring Sian Evans. Not a new concept, obviously, but who doesn't love a good skate video? This one is fantastic, and it has a hell of a summer vibe.

2Damn, this video is a nightmare. I.R.O.K. shows us what would have happened if Rainbow Arabia had gone the low-budget stock footage route with their “Omar K” video. I'm not sure why, but I think Diplo should give this guy a call. I think it's because the song has kind of a jungle dancehall vibe, and when I watch the video, I think, “Nobody knows who this guy is, but he just singlehandedly made a video more awesome than all of Major Lazer's shit combined.”

1How do I describe this video without spoiling it? Let's just say, some may find it controversial, but I couldn't help laughing my ass off! It definitely goes bloody overboard a few times, but those were the parts that made me explode with laughter. Kids really are never as innocent as we think they are.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

80s Goth icons take over Vancouver!

Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance

Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins had just taken the stage when I arrived at the Venue nightclub for an ethereal night with some 80s icons. I have to be honest here. Robin's solo work is good, and I enjoy ambient music when I'm in the right mood, even when it lacks vocals, but it was utterly lifeless to see on a stage. There was nothing interesting about watching three old men standing motionless on a stage, playing downtempo, ambient new age music for a crowd of misfits from the 80s; ex-goth kids reminiscing and fooling themselves into cheering for their idol, but not his music. Every song would finish the same as the last, to the crowd's drunken shouts and overzealous applause. But then, for one brief moment, things turned around with a song that picked up the pace. Crashing drums and chaotic noises brought Robin's set to an unexpected climax, finally coaxing a roar of genuine cheers and applause from the audience. By this time, I had found a seat at the back of the venue, so at least I could kick back and relax for the last few songs.

Robin Guthrie - Warmed by the Winter Sun

Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance took the headlining spot, and the polar opposite direction from Robin's set. The five-piece band had an instant energy, playing synthy rock ballads with Perry's powerful voice at the helm. The guy looks like a tough biker, bald and in his 50s with a goatee, so when they opened with the still-unreleased track “Tree of Life”, I was a little shocked by the raw power of his voice, even in falsetto! If you don't know his voice, think Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen but with a gothic rock band playing world beats. It's been over a decade since the last albums by Brendan Perry and Dead Can Dance, so he spent the first half of the set playing a mix of songs from Dead Can Dance's library and several of his own unreleased songs that I assume he wrote in the years between his 1999 solo album and his new album, Ark. Remarkably, when I look at my notes that I marked for each song, it's the unreleased songs that really stood out in the first half, with the exception of Dead Can Dance's “A Passage in Time”, in which is a nice ballad on record, but lacks lustre when compared to Perry's powerful live rendition.

The second half of the set began with a new song, “Icarus”, followed by a fantastic cover, where Robin Guthrie joined the band, taking lead guitar for Tim Buckley's “Song to the Siren”. Finally, the band got on to playing some of the best tracks off the new album Ark, with “This Boy” and “Wintersun”, and closing with “Utopia”. The band left the stage to the most genuine cheers of the night thus far, returning for the inevitable encore of two more Dead Can Dance tracks.

Brendan Perry - Babylon

The tour is finished now, but check out Robin Guthrie's new album Emeralds and Brendan Perry's new album Ark, both out now!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Five Weekly Video Mix, Vol. 4

5Finnish duo LCMDF brings a cool retro-styled video for their synthy pop tune “Future Me”. No plot, just a seaside Polaroid adventure.

4Alex Winston braves a haunted cathouse in this video that starts off a little odd but quickly turns to freakishly bread-flying-out-of-a-toilet weird.

3The Sound of Arrows have earned themselves a reputation for melodramatic synthpop tunes and videos to match, but somehow they continuously straddle the line between campy and just awesome.

2Xuman's video for “Side by Side” is a dark and haunting narrative of a night at the museum, but not everything is as lifeless as it seems.

1The Supermen Lovers present one of the most kick-ass animated music videos I've ever seen. Two computer screens take a chance on love while they soar on an adventure through the clouds.