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Sat. May 25 7PM North York Central Library FREE

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Last Month's Top Sellers

1. STEVE EARLE - Guy
2. VARIOUS - Floating Points: Late Night Tales
3. VARIOUS - Three Day Week
4. WEYES BLOOD - Titanic Rising
5. JENNY LEWIS - On The Line

Click here for full list.

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FEATURED RELEASES

Thursday
Aug302007

NO AGE - Weirdo Rippers

no%20age-weirdo.jpgOffering up a killer, just-under-the-radar platter of non-sequitor indie rock, No Age are an L.A. duo (plus friends) making exactly the kind of record you'd expect (and hope for) in 2007. This means Weirdo Rippers covers walls of white noise, floating clouds of ethereal drift, geeky Sebadoh-esque trash-pop, and all points in between. These musical wanderings stay connected by the home-baked, tossed off charm of it all. To be sure, these recordings were well-considered, thoughtfully planned, and executed to an exacting standard. It just doesn't really sound like it.

Tuesday
Aug282007

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS - Hey Venus!

superfurryanimals-hey%20venus.jpgAfter seven albums and numerous singles pushing the frontiers of sonic density as far as they could go, Hey Venus! finds SFA in a reductive mood. Gone for the most part are the techno flair and odd left turns that made their discography such an unpredictable listen. What remains, happily, is the band's unfailing way with melody and harmony. With Broken Social Scene producer David Newfeld at the helm, the Furries finally leave the songs relatively unadorned. The result? A 36-minute sunny stroll on a beach crawling with the occasional rainbow crab or talking seagull to keep you on your toes.

Tuesday
Aug282007

ANGELS OF LIGHT - We Are Him

angles%20of%20light-we%20are%20him.jpgMichael Gira's transformation from avenging noise punk in the Swans to elder neo-folk statesman has been an enthralling one. Now over 50, Gira is making some of the best music of his career, a streak that We Are Him continues. Full of cues taken from gothic Americana, Him lurches with playing that is dry, precise, yet full of sinewy feeling. At the heart of this music is Gira's voice. Like Waits or latter-day Dylan, Gira has long understood that his matter-of-fact baritone gives him a presence that conventional voices cannot attain: a voice that leaks authority, experience and wisdom.
Tuesday
Aug282007

LIARS - Liars

liars-liars.jpgIt wasn't long ago that many folks had written Liars off as a trendy funk-punk New York band that lost the plot and wasted their potential on fruitless self-indulgence. Oops. This trio has since had the last laugh when their brilliantly warped 2006 release Drum's Not Dead broadsided our ears with its undeniably raw power. And the chuckling can go on because this eponymous effort is every bit as unexpected, kinetic, and wonderfully mad as its predecessor. Less centered exclusively around percussion and voice, this album is dark, primal and quotes generously from the past of 60s/70s garage-punk.

Tuesday
Aug282007

NINA NASTASIA & JIM WHITE - You Follow Me

nastasia%20nina-you%20follow%20me.jpgWhile on tour together, White suggested to Nastasia that they record an album of duets: drums, guitar and voice. That's it, and it works thanks to the duo's good sense to keep the album brief (31 minutes), and the fact that the drummer in question is White. With years of experience in the magnificent Aussie trio The Dirty Three, White's singularly off-kilter, drunken beats are legendary, providing the perfect foil to Nastasia's terse, dark folk. You Follow Me dances before you like leaves caught in a wind; a natural waltz that quickens and slows with pace of barely-caught breath. 
Monday
Aug272007

PETER MARTIN & FINCH - Drouyn

peter_martin.jpgFlitting from atmospheric new-agey synth orchestrations or folk vignettes (Martin) and foot-on-the-monitor proto-metal boogie (Finch), this collaborative '70s Aussie surf soundtrack sure is a weird one! A personal favourite of the new batch of reissues from mondo bizarro Japanese reissue label EM Records.

Monday
Aug272007

NEW BUFFALO - Somewhere, Anywhere

new%20buffalo-somewhere.jpgSally Seltmann's New Buffalo makes a charming return with an album that is even more inward than her previous Last Beautiful Day. That Seltmann is married to Darren Seltmann of hyper-sample dance kings The Avalanches is nowhere evident; musically, the pair share nothing except a studio. New Buffalo charts her own path, primarly eased into existence by her barely-there voice. The naked piano arrangements and transculent vocals carry an intimacy that borders on the uncomfortable, but Seltman's strong songwriting and universal subject keeps the listener just on her side. 

Saturday
Aug252007

IASOS - Inter-dimensional Music

iasos-inter-dimensional.jpgReleased by EM Records, who work hard at finding rare stuff, this album is really wonderful. From what I can tell, Iasos primarily plays flute into delay and reverb pedals on a dock on the shore of the Mediterranean in his bare feet. Iasos says: "This is the album that began the genre of 'New Age' Music, in 1975, along with Steven Halpern's 'Spectrum Suite'. This can be thought of as a sonic journey through a great many realms - from etheric tropical to interplanetary - great for 'consciousness-traveling' via sound. Designed for focused listening - definitely not as 'background music'."
Saturday
Aug252007

ROXY MUSIC - Flesh and Blood

roxy%20music-flesh.jpgI have this strange love for Roxy Music's Avalon and this is their next closest album to that. While Avalon is a head first plummet into overwhelming smoothness, Flesh and Blood, its immediate precursor, is a fumbling step into that same sort of suave. Avalon is the better album and Flesh and Blood is hit and miss. The covers, "Midnight Hour" and "Eight Miles High," are as uncomfortably lazy as they are comfortably soft. I enjoy the album a lot though. The title track is a quintessential example of Ferry's preoccupation with his lady-loves. The cover is also probably my favourite album cover. Ever.

Friday
Aug242007

MARISSA NADLER - Song III: Bird on the Water

nadlerm.-songsIII.jpgPossessing a voice that is beautiful and enchanting beyond words, Marissa Nadler has created a work that lays waste to most of her contempories that are lazily lumped into the "New Weird America" bag. Sparingly produced with barely more than just her voice and acoustic guitar, Nadler's third album is bathed in cathedral-sized reverb and maintains an intense mood that Mazzy Star always aimed for. Apparently, she studied "acid illustration" and that influence comes through in the otherworldly sound. One of my favourite new releases so far in 2007.

Tuesday
Aug212007

CARIBOU - Andorra

caribou-andorra.jpgEver since his stunning 2003 sophomore left turn, Up In Flames, it's been clear that Caribou is capable of nearly anything. It isn't so much that Andorra sounds worlds removed from his past work. It's another densely layered, polyrhythmic, psychedelic carnival ride of an album. But his career transition from IDM glitch king to Zombies-obsessed falsetto pop junkie has been so organic, it's only when you listen to this back-to-back with his debut, Start Breaking My Heart, that you truly realize the massive scope of his growth. In other words, Andorra is fascinating and bloody gorgeous.

read our interview with Caribou here

Tuesday
Aug212007

M.I.A. - Kala

mia-kala.jpgGiven the unseasonably cool weather in Toronto lately, it's hard to believe it's summer, nevermind August. Anyone looking to the replicate that hot, sticky vibe best pick up Kala. This record is more than just a collection of wickedly written club anthems, although that it certainly is. M.I.A.'s restlessly globe-trotting beat radar leaves no stone unturned, and hearing gamelan and African rhythms so effortlessly spliced with high-gloss Miami/London club crunk is as hot a blast of sunshine as any 2007 recording can boast thus far. Politically charged and damn smart too. Shake. Your. Rum-pah!

Tuesday
Aug212007

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS - Challengers

new%20pornographers-challengers.jpgDespite much blogosphere chatter about Challengers being dour and lacking the energy of past efforts, the latest from the New Pornographers is hardly a snooze. A better suggestion might be taking a bit more time to embrace an album whose charms are no less abundant, just more subtly displayed. Sure, maturity always feels like code for "less enjoyable", but the gentle regret and sadness of Challengers is indeed a mature turn. In fact, the 'challenge' of which the band speaks could easily be toward its audience: come bearing patience, and you'll leave with beauty.
Tuesday
Aug212007

TALIB KWELI - Eardrum

talib%20kweli-eardrum.jpgHip-hop fans craving trunk-rattling power best take a pass on Eardrum, an album whose songs are more built on carefully constructed jazz and neo-soul sounds. The album's strength, and Kweli's strength in general, are his words. Kweli is a fantastic MC, possessed of impeccable flow and heady lyrics that are always intelligent without being showy or condescending. Boasting an impressive cross-genre guests list (everyone from Jean Grae, Madlib and Kanye to Norah Jones, Roy Ayers and Justin Timberlake), Eardrum is a little long, but has more than its share of solid, whipsmart tracks.

Thursday
Aug162007

OH NO - Dr. No's Oxperiment

ohno-dr.nos.jpgThe third album by the younger brother of hip hop producer Madlib, Dr. No's Oxperiment is more than just a case of sibling imitation. You can't deny how similar the album is to Madlib's superb 35-track instrumental opus, Beat Konducta Vol.1&2, but Oh No's style is far more focused on melody than spooky atmosphere. Patched together from samples of Turkish, Greek, Italian and other rare European psychedelia, Oxperiment is dizzying, hooky and fun wordless hip hop that proves these brothers can eat at the same table without stealing too much from each other's plates.

Saturday
Aug112007

WHITE NOISE - An Electric Storm

whitenoise_anelectricstorm.jpgA pairing of American-born David Vorhaus with BBC Radiophonic Workshop techs Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson, White Noise was a definite contender for the oddest band signed to Island in the late '60s. With a more soft-pop-tinged A-side (although not without its more hardcore moments, such as the actual orgy recordings spicing up the Beach Boys bassline of "My Game Of Loving") backed by two long-form freakouts on the flip, An Electric Storm is both a novel artifact of its time and a highly original project that's still considered a high-water mark for experimental pop.

Tuesday
Aug072007

OKKERVIL RIVER - The Stage Names

okkervil%20river-stage%20names.jpgIn 2005's Black Sheep Boy, Okkervil River gave us a classic indie rock album. Literary, passionate, nervous, exuberant and dynamic, it played like film, full of recurring characters and themes. Like The National's Boxer, the new Stage Names stands to inherit the rewards of two years of touring, word-of-mouth and eager anticipation. So good on Will Sheff and crew for making a record that equals the superb Black Sheep Boy on every level. The Stage Names is a worthy sequel and honours expectations by relying not on gimmicks, but conviction, spirit and strong writing to seal our love.
Tuesday
Aug072007

MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO. - Sojourner (Box Set w/ DVD)

magnolia%20co.-sojourner.jpgLike Will Oldham (Bonnie "Prince" Billy) or Bill Callahan (Smog), Jason Molina has the distinction of being one of indie rock's most prolific and mysterious personalities. Using his elusive psuedonyms like an undercover agent (first Songs:Ohia and now Magnolia Electric Co.), Molina is a narrator and observer of great quality and insight. This box set collects a wealth of unreleased material, both solo and in full-band lineups, that is anything but subpar. Complete with a lovely woodcut box and DVD, it won't bring you much closer to understanding the man, but it's a great pleasure being lost in his world. 

Wednesday
Aug012007

GRAND ANALOG - Calligraffiti

grand%20analog-calligraffiti.jpg

Winnipeg MC Odario Williams, also as a member of hip hop crew Mood Ruff, has been working on Grand Analog for some time. Less of a linear solo project than a guy inviting his talented friends over to work on his tunes, Calligraffiti refused to be contained. The key here is that despite its grand ambitions, Calligraffiti remains focused on hip hop first and foremost. So no matter how many genres are on tap (classic rock, reggae, etc.) the foundation of the record is beats and rhymes. A further indication that it's high time Canadian hip hop gained the same cred as its indie rock.
Wednesday
Aug012007

BISHOP ALLEN - The Broken String

bishop%20allen-broken%20string.jpgBishop Allen took it upon themselves to generate some buzz last year. The project? An EP a month for a year, producing an incredible 58 songs and blog-load of hype and ecstatic write-ups. Now they've taken the cream of the crop and assembled a full-length for wider consumption. The verdict? The Broken String boasts more than enough great tunes to suggest their 2006 marathon was more than just an exercise in excess. Their take on literate folk-pop has plenty of contemporaries (Decemberists, Shins, Okkervil River), but they display enough wit and hooks to prove their worth.