Archive for February, 2011


Wow. Arcade Fire. Wow.

In case you didn’t manage to sit through the 3 1/2 hour long telecast and on top of that you’ve managed to avoid all other media outlets up to now, I should tell you: the Arcade Fire’s release The Suburbs won the Grammy for Album of the Year!!!

Here’s my highlights of the announcement of the award and the acceptance speech:

  • Barbara Streisand sounded so confused when she announced that the Suburbs won.
  • The first thing Win Butler said in the acceptance speech was “What the hell?”.
  • Win and Régine said “merci Montreal”. (Was this maybe the first time French was spoken in a major Grammy award acceptance speech? Does anyone remember what Celine Dion said in hers back in the 90s?)
  • Win announced “We’re gonna go play another song, because we like music. So thank you, we’re so happy.” The band then spontaneously launched into Ready to Start without anyone stopping them and without having the audio or video cut off.
  • Win Butler smiled the whole way through the performance of Ready to Start.
  • Via Twitter: “@arcadefire: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. Thank you EVERYONE.”

I’m normally pretty uninterested the Grammys, but this was a big, big win for the Arcade Fire. They beat out Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry for this award. In a couple quick minutes of searching I couldn’t find any exact sales numbers, but I’m willing to bet that the Suburbs was far outsold by all of the other albums in the running. I’m willing to go so far as to guess that if you picked any other nominated album there, it would have sold more than twice that of the sales number of the Suburbs. Now don’t take this the wrong way. The Suburbs is an amazing album and the win is very well deserved, but it was up against albums created by some real American powerhouses.

It will be interesting to see the fallout of winning the award. Already the group has seen some attention. Here’s social media in action folks: The first screenshot was taken around 8:45pm PST, about 20 minutes after the award was announced live. The second screenshot was taken around 12:30am PST, about an hour after the west coast feed of the Grammys had finished. In the course of that time, the Arcade Fire twitter feed managed to attract more than 6,000 new Twitter followers. As of 12:45pm PST today (the day after the Grammys) the follower count is up to 108,512. That’s more than 11,000 new followers in less than 24 hours.

Taken around 8:45pm PST.

 

Taken around 12:45am PST.

Talk of the Polaris Prize for the Suburbs has been circulating pretty much since the day the album was released. Heck, people were talking Polaris for the album even before the official release date, back when the first singles were put to the public. The thing is, the Polaris Prize has normally stayed away from recognizing the more commercially successful and/or internationally recognized albums. Will the jury opt to give their votes elsewhere and possibly keep the Suburbs off the Polaris long list or short list?

To relive some great Arcade Fire moments caught on video and archived on the internet, I’ll refer you to the following links:

The original photos in this post were all taken back in September when the Arcade Fire played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. You can find the whole set of photos from that night here.

A huge hearty congratulations to the Arcade Fire for this very deserved win!

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Victoria Record Club

The Victoria Record Club: We’re a ragtag bunch of music lovers who meet somewhat irregularly at the record store Talk’s Cheap to share our love of music on vinyl. (A shout out to the owner Tiemen for letting us crash his store every time!) For each meeting of Record Club, the members are supposed to go and acquire a new piece of vinyl and then write a review or a story about their album. Since we’ve been a little lax on the review/story part of our meetings, I decided to write a bit here about the albums I’ve brought to record club so far. If you’re around the Victoria area and are interested in joining us, head on over to the Record Club Facebook group.

Meeting #1: September 21st 2010

Album: The Kinks, Give the People What They Want

Tracks played: Around the Dial, Give the People What They Want

Why I chose to bring this: I think this was the very first record I ever bought, so it was fitting that I brought this album to the inaugural meeting of the Victoria Record Club. The first track is all about radio and DJs so it was doubly fitting for the Record Club as our fearless leader is non other than the Zone.fm‘s Jeremy Baker. (Jeremy did I ever tell you that’s why I brought the album?)

Album: Japandroids, Younger Us 7″

Tracks played: Younger Us

Why I chose to bring this: Two of my favourite memories of 2010 involve Japandroids. The first was at the Sasquatch festival. In a weekend that was packed to the brim with excitement, a good friend and I were super stoked to see Japandroids. While waiting for the set to start we met a guy who complimented me on my Dan Mangan “Pac Mangan” t-shirt. Our exchange went something like this: “Where did you get that shirt?!?!” “Oh it’s Dan’s new t-shirt. I just bought it at his show in Victoria. He said it should be for sale on the web soon.” “I’m gonna buy the shit outta that shirt!!!” Thanks to this random guy at the Japandroids set, I still grin every time I dig out the Pac Mangan shirt. To top it off, Japandroids played one heck of a set at the festival. It started off by them saying that their gear was missing in air transit and that they were playing with borrowed instruments, and it ended with thanking the crowd for helping them have one of their better sets as of late. My other Japandroids memory of 2010 was the Ladyhawk / Japandroids show at Logan’s back in October. I had been going to a lot of shows solo around that time but I managed to convince a bunch of friends to go to this one. I even somehow managed to convince a friend from Vancouver to visit Victoria for the first time to see this show. (I’m sure that technically it was Japandroids who convinced him to come for the visit, but either way it was fun times.) It was great to be at a show with so many good friends who were just as into the band as I was.

Meeting #2: November 3rd 2010


Album: Brasstronaut, Mt. Chimaera

Tracks played: Slow Knots, Hearts Trompet

Why I chose to bring this: This is one of my favourite albums of 2010, and I’m a big time Brasstronaut fan. In fact, I think I’ve seen them every single time they’ve played Victoria. Call me a sucker for bands with a trumpet if you will, but this is still a great album. I just bought my vinyl copy of Mt. Chimera when Brasstronaut played Rifflandia and this was our first meeting following the festival. I thought that Brasstronaut would be a group that maybe not many members of Record Club would be familiar with, and I wanted to share my love of the band.

Meeting #3: February 8th 2011


Album: Black Mountain, Wilderness Heart

Tracks played: The Hair Song, Let Spirits Ride

Why I chose to bring this: Picking an album for this meeting of Record Club was infinitely more difficult than what it was for our other meetings. With purchases from Rifflandia, albums bought in the Christmas season, and a stack of records bought off a friend who moved to Ottawa, I had no shortage of choices. Confession: When I left the house the morning of this gathering I actually brought six records with me thinking that I would decide on one eventually. In the end, I felt like listening to something a little on the heavy side, so Wilderness Heart got the spotlight this night. Cool story: I won this record from CBC Radio 3’s Trivia Tuesday with Grant Lawrence. I actually originally won the album in CD format, but admitted to Grant that I had just bought the same CD a couple of days before. Deciding that it would be no problem to find a friend who would like a free Black Mountain CD, I told Radio 3 to send the disc anyways and I’d pass it along to someone. A couple months passed and I actually forgot that I had even won the album. I was totally surprised when the vinyl copy arrived in the mail one day. Thanks so much to whoever at Radio 3 hooked me up! (And sorry to whatever friend was going to get the extra Black Mountain CD, but I’m keeping the vinyl!)

It’s the end of a very long work day for me, so this is just going to be a brief note. The first cut in CBC Radio 3’s Searchlight Contest for Canada’s Best Music Website was yesterday (or was it today because I still haven’t made it to sleep?). Here the long list was narrowed down to a… umm… shorter long list of 60 sites. And… EhBSeasides didn’t make it to the next round.

I’ll admit I’m a little bummed at being out of the competition so early, but it really is the outcome I expected for this round. Thank you so much to anyone who voted for this site! Your support means the world to me. Please keep voting in the following rounds – there are so many great sites on the list and many of my friends have made it to the next round of competition. Thank you to everyone who came to visit this site because of Searchlight (I checked my page stats, I know there’s a few of you!), even if your vote went elsewhere. I hope you’ll come back to visit from time to time. Most of all, a very big thank you to CBC Radio 3 for running Searchlight. Many of us bloggers do what we do just to share our love of Canadian music, and we don’t expect any sort of pay or praise. Being recognized by something like Searchlight goes a long way to making it feel like this is not all just a waste of time. This contest shines a light on not only the amazing music, but the amazing fans and music supporters this country is producing.

Late yesterday one of my favourite Victoria bands, Immaculate Machine, released a statement via their artist page on CBC Radio 3.

“You may have figured out, from our extended absence from the internet and touring, that we are no longer a band.  It took a while to admit to ourselves that we had broken up, but we have all shifted our priorities to other projects.”

So it seems that the band has gone the way of so many Victoria landmarks that they included in their songs.

Though Immaculate Machine is no more, the members have moved on to focus on other musical projects. Kathryn Calder has her solo project; she released her debut album Are You My Mother? last year. According to her website she has a new album in the works. Luke Kozlowsk has started the band Aquitania. Brooke Gallupe is working on a new project while balancing the role of a new parent. (Congratulations Brooke!) Caitlin and Jordan from the Jackson Hill touring band have their own band too: Slam Dunk.

You can view the entire post by the band here.

Best of luck to all the members on their new endeavors. Now go listen to an Immaculate Machine album and be sure to turn it up. Don’t worry, the neighbours won’t mind.

Alright. Here it is. I’ve finally written up my last post on the Rifflandia festival. And it only took me a good four months to get it done. Sigh…

Here’s the sight I came upon when I got to Market Square for the last big night of Rifflandia:

Rich Aucoin in Market Square

This pretty much lived up to everything I had heard about Rich Aucoin’s live show: video projections, audience participation, beach balls, parachutes (think along the lines of those parachutes from elementary school gym class), and music that can really only be described as “fun”. Oh, and there was a keytar! Go read any other review out there on Rich’s live shows. I guarantee you, they are in no way hyperbolizing how great they are. You have no idea how much I kicked myself for showing up late and only catching the last two songs. My only complaint for this set was the ridiculously early time slot. I’m sure the place would have been packed to the rafters had it been later in the evening. The crowd that did show up didn’t care though. They called and called for an encore. Unfortunately there was not enough time to spare before the next set of the night, so there was no encore for us.

Rich Aucoin at Market Square

After Rich Aucoin’s set I headed over to Club 9ONE9 to catch an artist who had been getting a lot of hype: Diamond Rings. I’m often skeptical when an artist receives so much press without even releasing a full album. I can tell you though, the hype for Diamond Rings is well deserved. (Of course, now that a few months have passed and the album Special Affections has been released, I can very surely say that he deserves every bit of praise he gets.) OK, maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised at how good Diamond Rings was. After all, John O’Regan is no stranger to the stage, what with being the lead singer of the D’Urbervilles and all.

Diamond Rings at Club 9ONE9

The dance floor for this show was packed, with lots of people singing along to songs. As was all too often an occurrence at this year’s Rifflandia, the crowd called for an encore to no result. I chatted briefly with John O. after his set, and am happy to report that he is really friendly and approachable. Your next chance to catch Diamond Rings in Victoria is Saturday March 12th at Sugar along with PS I Love You.

rainbow unicorn keyboard - what does it mean??

Diamond Rings at Club 9ONE9

Now it was time for my failed attempt to see Times Neue Roman. I showed up at the Upstairs Cabaret just ten minutes into what should have been their set and I was greeted with an empty stage. Hoping that things were just a few minutes behind schedule, I stuck around. Unfortunately it seemed that things were way ahead of schedule and I had missed out on seeing the band. (Has this ever, in the history of all concerts, happened??)

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald was next to take the stage at Upstairs. Since I was already there, I stayed for a couple of songs. I loved the fact that he had a horn section. His style of music reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on. If you’re interested in hearing some of his songs, my recommended listening is Maxine, Movie Life, and Brand New Spaces. Your next chance to see him in Victoria is this Tuesday February 8th at Lucky Bar.

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald at Upstairs Cabaret

I had just enough time to rush back to Market Square to see a bit of Hey Rosetta’s set. Last year at Rifflandia I had to listen to them while stuck in the line outside Market Square on Johnson Street. This year I was able to walk right in to the venue, not a single person was waiting in line. Success! …Or so I thought. To fit with the running theme of this night of Rifflandia, I was greeted by a stage not running on time. I don’t know what happened during the last two sets at Market Square but the set times were a good 20 to 30 minutes late at this point. Now I had a real decision to make. Do I stick around for one or two songs, or do I head over to Sugar to meet up with friends and rock out with Hollerado? Having already seen Hollerado twice in the past few months, I decided to gamble and stick around for Hey Rosetta. I made the wrong choice. The soundcheck took another 10 or 15 minutes and by the time Hey Rosetta took the stage I had to run to catch the last band of the night I wanted to see. After two misses two years in a row, I am so looking forward to seeing a regular non-festival style set from Hey Rosetta. They will be in town on Monday March 7th at Sugar in support of their new album, Seeds, which is out on February 15th. If you haven’t already heard it, you should check out their first single Welcome.

Hey Rosetta (not Hot Hot Heat) at Market Square

Well, I finally made it to the end. The Dodos were the last band I saw at Rifflandia. Walking into Sugar for this show it would be hard to tell that the crowd had been partying for the last three days straight. They had the same level of energy as the crowds on day one of the festival. It was amazing. The downpour of rain outside didn’t even dampen their spirits. Going into the show I didn’t know much about the Dodos. I knew that they had recently opened up for the New Pornographers on their tour, and I knew that one of the guys in the band played the vibraphone with a bow. That was enough to get me to the show. In writing this post I looked back on my tweets from the festival to make sure I didn’t miss anything. What I wrote about this show was “The Dodos: three guys, lots of percussion”. For only having three members with an instrumentation consisting only of guitar, drums, and a vibraphone, it’s amazing the sound that these guys can get. This set went a long way to turning around the foul mood I was in after missing out on so many sets earlier this night.

The Dodos at Sugar

The highlight of the set for me was the encore of Fables. It’s an incredibly catchy song. If you haven’t heard it, check out the video on the link I posted.

The encore came after the crowd started up the enthusiastic chant of “Ten more songs! Ten more songs!”. No one was ready to call it a night and no one was ready to call it an end to the amazing weekend that was the Rifflandia festival.

The Dodos at Sugar

To wrap this all up (since I spread it out over so many months) here’s the rest of my coverage on Rifflandia 2010:

Rifflandia Recap: Day 1

Finally!… Rifflandia Recap: Day 2

Photos Day 1

Photos Day 2

Photos Day 3

Hello friends, and a very belated happy 2011 to you all! I thought I’d just check in and give you a quick update on what’s new with me.

CBC Radio 3 Searchlight 2011

Well first of all, some exciting news: it looks like EhBSeasides has made the long list for CBC Radio 3‘s annual Searchlight Competition! Searchlight takes a different form each year. The inaugural award in 2008 was for Canada’s Best Record Store and went to Meow Records of Prince George BC. The year 2009 was dedicated to Canada’s Best Live Music Club and the title went to the Phog Lounge of Windsor ON. Last year the hunt was on for Canada’s Best Music Festival and ultimately the Evolve festival of Antigonish NS won. This year the search is on for the Best Music Website In Canada.

I am extremely honoured to be nominated. Thank you to any of you who put my name forth for the list. I’m even more honoured to appear aside some heavy hitters like Exclaim, AUX TV, Chartattack, Mint Records, Nardwuar, and Zunior. I’m also happy for all of my friends who made the list: 3 AM Revelations, Earbuds and Ticket Stubs, Vancouver Is Awesome (Indie), Canada Is A Music Mecca, Christine McAvoy Photography, Go North To Detroit, South To Windsor, Indie Craft Attack, Island SoapBox, and North by East West. Now there’s no shortage of voting choices and there’s clearly some crazy competition, so I won’t beg you to vote for me. In fact, you should really almost put your voting powers to one of the sites I just listed above. However if you feel like throwing a vote or two my way, that would be pretty awesome of you.

To vote, head on over to the poll on Radio 3. You don’t need to register for anything and you can vote once every 24 hours. The next round of cuts is next week when the Top 50 is announced, with the final winner for 2011 being announced on March 10th.

And now my other exciting news: I joined a rock band! I’ve been playing trumpet with the Victoria band Versa, and we just had a big show at the Metro Theatre last Friday. Thanks to everyone who came out to support us! Two weeks ago we also did a quick set on CFUV; you can find the audio here. It looks like no one wants to kick me out of the band yet, and in fact we have a show coming up on Saturday February 5th at Felicita’s Pub on the UVic campus. Details for that show can be found here. So as you can see, even though I haven’t been writing about music here lately, I’ve still been involved in music in some way. And I’m not ignoring the blog, I swear. In fact, I’ve got a ton of upcoming shows and upcoming albums listed, and a pile of photos waiting to get put up on Flickr. Looks like spring 2011 is going to be one exciting time for Canadian music!