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Last Month's Top Sellers

1. JACKIE SHANE - Any Other Way
2. ST. VINCENT - Masseduction
3. WEATHER STATION - Weather Station
4. COURTNEY BARNETT & KURT VILE - Lotta Sea Lice
5. BECK - Colors

Click here for full list.

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FEATURED RELEASES

Thursday
Jul192007

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Required Listening 2

va-requiredlistening_2.jpgLocal label head John Kong started the Do Right label as a way to showcase local electronic, jazz, soul and hip hop acts. In a short time, he has proven that Toronto is a hotbed for more than just indie rock. Although the second in his Required Listening compilations draws from outside T.O., Abdominal's excellent opener "T-Ode" makes certain we know where Kong's heart lies (the track even features an intro by Toronto mayor David Miller!). Like its predecessor, this collection is an excellent cross-section of jazz, hip hop and soul, and a great reminder of just how diverse this town can be.
Tuesday
Jul172007

NICK DRAKE - Family Tree

nick%20drake-family%20tree.jpgNick Drake's relative unpopularity during his life, mysterious death, and perfectly-contained trio of studio albums have made for a legacy that is as concise as it is enigmatic. Such musicians are always ripe for posthumous releases: enter Family Tree. Unlike the studio outtake comps Time of No Reply and Made To Love Magic, Family Tree is culled from home recordings and demos made prior to his 1969 debut, Five Leaves Left. Like a superhero's origin story, these 28 tracks provide great insight, in many ways predicting the paths down which Drake would later wander.

Tuesday
Jul172007

OSVALDO GOLIJOV - Oceana

golijov-oceana.jpgThe well-traveled Golijov's latest speaks of his varied heritage (covering Argentina, Isreal and Eastern Europe). The titular song cycle mixes swelling choral refrains, Reichian passages and even a Tropicalia break. Tying it all together is Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, whose introspection counters the choir's full-force gales well. After this unpredictable piece, we settle into calmer, yet still deep waters. Both the plantive "Tenebrae" and the sublime "Three Songs" (featuring Kronos Quartet and soprano Dawn Upshaw respectively) convey Golijov's wanderlust with subtle conviction.

Tuesday
Jul172007

YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME - DVD

you're%20gonna%20miss%20me.jpgLegendary 13th Floor Elevators' singer, solo artist and psych-rock originator Roky Erickson is tailor-made for documentary treatment. Making said film is a tough proposition, but You're Gonna Miss Me succeeds nicely. Owner of a potent wail and explosive songwriting, Erickson was equally owned by a litany of drug addictions and mental health problems (culminating in shock therapy and an unfortunate stint in a mental institution). Director Keven McAlester focuses not only on Erickson, but on the toll his life has taken on his family, who battle to enforce their own view on how to best save him. 

Monday
Jul162007

CHRISTOPHER DELAURENTI - Favorite Intermissions

delaurentic-fave%20inter.jpgChristopher DeLaurenti is a Seattle-based composer who has turned in one of the more unlikely field recordings in recent memory. Using a leather vest embedded with small mics, cables and a Mini-disc, he secretly recorded the intermission practicing and improvising of classical musicians. After seven years and over 50 hours of recording, he has culled the cream of the crop and produced Favorite Intermissions. Raising questions about the history of the avant-garde, this disc is a peculiar and engaging listen, giving us the rare chance to hear these musicians autonomous and relaxed.

Monday
Jul162007

THE FOR CARNATION - Promised Works

for%20carnation-promised.jpgAs the Slint reunion continues to roll on, it's appropriate that singer Brian McMahan's other project, The For Carnation, gets a much needed reissue. Promised Works collects Fight Songs and Marshmallows, the two EPs which introduced the group to the world. TFC removed Slint's indie-rock edge to distill a pure ether of unsettled calm. Spoken rather than sung, implied rather than played, these songs float, drift and possess with such amorphous grace that they take time to reveal themselves. The end product is a body of work that, while short-lived, is lasting and singular.

Sunday
Jul152007

G*PARK - Seismogramm

gpark-seismogramm.jpg

"Marvelously organic close-mic'd sounds (a cat mewling, the branches of a tree twisting in the wind) are spaced and rearranged with a tranquility, clarity and focus that's sadly uncommon in musique concrète made in the wake of widely available sampling technology. There's a kind of autumnal elegance to G*Park's restrained, low-key filtering and EQ work which bathes each sound in a warm mid-range glow. Somebody has just got to reissue this." -Drew Daniel (Matmos)  

Friday
Jul132007

ARTHUR AND YU - In Camera

arthuryu-in%20camera.jpgThe debut release from Sub Pop's new imprint Hardly Art, In Camera is an album which is quietly making waves. Arthur and Yu are the childhood nicknames of singers Grant Olsen and Sonya Westcott. It's a moniker that makes sense, as much of In Camera has the youthful naivete that served forefathers Galaxie 500, The Pastels and Yo La Tengo so well. With plenty of acoustic guitar, melodica, glockenspiel and bells, the record sits well in the "twee" section with enough country longing to keep its sweetness just the right side of sour. An endearing, lovely grower.

Tuesday
Jul102007

URDOG - Garden of Bones

36440_108.jpgThis band from Providence, RI is no longer together. This is unfortunate because they are great live and I would have liked to have heard a new album. They're a great example of contemporary prog-psych from the states; creepier, weirder and more lo-fi than trad psych/prog. They run with the likes of other Providence favourites like Lightning Bolt and Papperad, Kites, et al - and it shows for the fact that the music is interesting and a little strange, yet ultimately very enjoyable.

Tuesday
Jul102007

SPOON - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

spoon-gagagagaga.jpgSpoon's 2002 release, Kill The Moonlight, saw songwriter Britt Daniel's career go from major-label pop casuality to indie-rock's patron saint of economy. It was a happy twist of fate that so gifted a writer got the second chance denied many others. It is an opportunity that he seems determined not to waste. Not that Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga gives off an air of desperation. Rather, Daniel and his cohorts ply their craft with such skill and fluidity that their records appear effortless. Endlessly hooky and the bearer of subtle intelligence, Ga is yet another great Spoon record. Enough said.

Tuesday
Jul102007

INTERPOL - Our Love To Admire

interpol-our%20love.jpgOn their third album, NYC's Interpol serve a quiet notice that their days of being lazily compared to Joy Division, the Smiths, Chameleons, et al, should be put to pasture. Sure, those links remain, but the band is now firmly in command of a sound that is immediately identifiable as their own. Our Love To Admire is a potently slick album, even by their standards (you can almost hear the snapping of surgical gloves as album plays...). The band displays great confidence in their appeal, never condescending to produce an obvious single on this major-label debut.
Tuesday
Jul102007

ULRICH SCHNAUSS - Goodbye

schnaussu.-goodbye.jpgEver since My Bloody Valentine broke-up/retired/went-into-hiding, barely a month goes by before another band is christened heirs to their ethereal throne. Now, I'm not saying Ulrich Schnauss is the next MBV (he lacks their powerful multi-guitar attack), but his music has a similar effect on the body and soul. The long-awaited follow-up to 2004's excellent A Strangely Isolated Place, Goodbye is an album that doesn't so much play as it does drift out of your stereo. Give this album a few spins, and that drift becomes a gorgeous fog which you'll quite happily allow to fill the room.

Tuesday
Jul102007

ST. VINCENT - Marry Me

st.vincent-marry%20me.jpgCredit to Sufjan Stevens: the man knows a great singer/guitarist when he sees one. First we had Shara Worden (AKA My Brightest Diamond), now Annie Clark is St. Vincent, a Stevens and Polyphonic Spree alum who is more than worthy of the spotlight herself. Unlike the operatic powerhouse of Worden, Clark's pipes are more delicate and layered in recording. Her guitar playing is truly impressive, both tasteful and explosive as the moment demands. Marry Me is a superb collection of keen, whimsical, ambitious pop music; a far rarer find than its unfettered cover suggests.

Monday
Jul092007

JUSTICE - †

justice-t.jpgThere is a music gene over which the French maintain a puzzling monopoly: the electro-funk dance gene. Many of the country's best acts, from Air to Phoenix, have a relationship with dance music which is far less self-conscious than that of their North American counterparts. Inside of worrying about whether or not it's kitsch, Justice revel in the pure sonic power of their robot music. The result is their relentless debut: † ("cross"). Alongside song titles of such weight as "Genesis", "Let There Be Light" and "Waters of Nazareth", come titanic, inventive booty-shakers that refuse to sit still.  

Friday
Jul062007

A BAND OF BEES - Octopus

bees-octopus.jpgWhile never receiving the avalanche of ink that accompany so many of their British contemporaries, The Bees (or A Band Of Bees as they are legally known in North America) continue to make some of the best pop records in that country. Considering their shameless genre-hopping and 60s/70s faithful production style, maybe they're just too much of a chameleon to be pinned down. Like its eight-armed namesake, this album has its hands everywhere at once: pop, soul, reggae, folk, country, you name it. Its saving grace is that no matter what shape it takes, the melody remains primary.
Friday
Jul062007

TIMBER TIMBRE - Medicinals

timber%20timbre-medicinals.jpgThe second album from Toronto songwriter Taylor Kirk feels far removed from this part of the world. A near-perfect blend of closing-time New Orleans jazz horns and Appalachian porch-folk suffering from sun-stroke, Medicinals is all haze and the cracks of light which illuminate it. While only a half-hour long, the album is deeply engaging and stays with you long after it ends. Pairing songs about winter, devils, and spells with this sort of music is nothing new, but Kirk takes to it like an old soul. The result is an album which is short, but never rushed: simply lovely.

Thursday
Jul052007

EUROS CHILDS - Chops

euros%20childs-chops.jpg

From the visual pun of the cover art to titles like "Stella Is A Pygmy" (Parts 1, 2 and 3!), the former Gorky's Zygoti Mynci leader is still forging his own little surreal and charming sound world.  With his solo debut, he proves the breakup of his former band was a good move, following their dreary swan-song, Sleep/Holiday.  Recorded mostly by himself, Childs employs mostly acoustic guitars and layered keyboards to his deranged songs, ranging from half-minute loony tunes to longer hypnotic pieces based on repeated mantra-like lyrics. 

Thursday
Jul052007

THE WHITE STRIPES - Icky Thump

white%20stripes%20-%20icky.jpg

I'll start with the warning that the White Stripes are one of my favorite bands so I may be a bit biased. With that being said this record is amazing!!! After changing things up with the previous album, Get Behind Me Satan, they have returned to the crunching guitars and insane riffs that made me love them in the first place. Even with a return to the old sound, the record sounds fresh, new, and, to my surprise, even comedic, as heard in the hilarious "Rag & Bone" where the pair go searching for garage sales and free junk. A must-have for any fan and a nice intro for those unfamiliar with the pair. 

Thursday
Jul052007

ANTON BRUCKNER/SIMON RATTLE - Symphony No. 4

bruckner-symphony4.jpgThe Wagnerian magnificence of Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 was a revelatory discovery for me last year so I decided to explore some of his earlier symphonies.  Symphony No. 4  took the composer seven years(!) to complete and what a struggle it must have been.  It contains everything I love about Bruckner, slow quiet moments and massive wall-of-sound climaxes.

Wednesday
Jul042007

RAISING THE FAWN - Sleight of Hand

raising%20the%20fawn-sleight.jpgSleight of Hand's opening chords ring out with a reverb-drenched urgency that announces the arrival of The Fawn's fourth and best full-length yet. Never short on ambition, the band's switch from longer pieces to more concise structures shows them at the top of their game. The album covers a broad spectrum, from tender falsetto acoustic numbers such as "Two Wives", to the heavy rhythms and rich harmonies of "Palace Gates". The crowning achievement is "Cypress Fields", whose booming bass and polyrhythmic drumming see-saws from primal breakdowns to harmony-laden pop.