Monday, December 20, 2010

i must admit now going down within this ship...

i couldn't have a better crew to travel with. if i make it in one piece back to land, i will never sail again.

an apple a day...

google analytics are an interesting thing and it would seem i'm popular with the mac folks this week. since it's a relatively new service the results aren't entirely accurate but it's interesting to see how google's stats stack up against that little free counter i have at the bottom right.

i'm just glad that people are getting something out of this and i would love to hear from you lovely people more often. what are you listening to these days? what are you hoping to see in your christmas stockings? do you even celebrate christmas? are you just happy to get a few days off?

because i opened this post with a nod to mac i thought i would mention just how excited i am to road test a few apps with my phone. music studio has been around for a little while now and is one of the top "studio" apps on itunes. is it worth the $15? i'll let you know in a day or two. it was either this or nanostudio but i don't think nano will let me export midi. kind of an important feature if you ask me. i was going to buy sunvox but they recently did an upgrade which seems to have made an already steep learning curve that much harder. maybe i just need to get used to the new interface but it does not look as user friendly as the previous version. to give some context, the previous version looked a lot like a max msp style synth builder. the heart of the programme was the ability to build your own synth from modules and route them any way you saw fit. if that sounds confusing you don't even want to see the new version.

i would love to find something that i can play around with while i'm on the train or on lunch at work. don't get me wrong though, this is not something i would recommend as a replacement to your mobile recording setup. these do not replace real mics, real gear or software. these are great scratch pads for shaping ideas, beats and melodies. if you've heard of something you think i should check out let me know.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

cause you don't need your ears to listen to yourself...

Appendagenew and exciting stuffs from circa survive. these boys are busy as hell these days. what i find amazing is how they have cemented themselves as my favourite band of the last five years. other than the amazing cover art and heart breaking lyrical content i couldn't really tell you why i like them so much. i'm still not a big fan of wash and their albums have become much more "rock" than they used to be but they aren't a standard rock band at all.

meh, why over analyze it? loving the new ep.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

dub no bass with my head man

fenin is full of the dubby goodness you'd expect from a young lad from hamburg. no that doesn't make any sense but neither does fenin.

he started making electronic dub influenced music in the late 90s for shitkatapult at first and has since collaborated with a number of labels and acts.

i can't quite recall when i stumbled upon fenin but i'm guessing it was because of a collaboration. what i do know is that he's darn good.

anywho, have a listen and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

i can't wait to get on the road again...

i've done it again...well added to the original really. being strapped for cover ideas i've settled on a more traditional idea, the circular record label.

the first track is the same one i posted earlier but i have now added a b-side, just push the fancy arrow button if you absolutely must skip the first song. each track is a buck by itself or $1.75 for the two. that's crazy mad savings direct to you, the loving and much loved consumer.

same deal as before, please lemme know what you think.




Thursday, December 9, 2010

all mimsy were the borogroves...


 meant to post this a little while ago since the show opened on the 26th but here are a few pics from the tim burton show at the tiff lightbox. it's a great show and i really think you should go out and see it if you have time. even if you're not a big tim burton fan it's worth it to see the creative process of an artist. let's face it, he's got a pretty hefty body of work and something has to appeal to you.

i wish i could have posted more photos but this town has a serious problem with letting people take pictures of anything. larger galleries claim that it's a matter of copyright infringement and that's not true. i worked for a museum for years and they kept using that excuse till i asked one of the curators. i was told the official policy is they don't want to have to worry about someone taking a photo, making copies of it, selling it and then being put on the hook by the owner of the piece. it's funny how galleries with priceless works of art that are world famous, you know, the kind showing things that people would actually like to buy images of, don't care.

this has lead me to believe that large galleries in toronto don't want free publicity. if i hadn't snuck these photos out i wouldn't have bothered mentioning the show at all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

earworm of the day: thunder and lightning


Worldwide Deliveryi've mentioned these guys before and they'll probably pop up from time to time. this is an album that just keeps finding it's way into my regular rotation. i might not listen to it for a year or three then it's always in my head. in fact i like this album so much i may (and by may i mean did) have extended a crappy relationship by three weeks just so i could rescue it from an ex that lived in another town.

thunder and lightning is a nice low-key tune. the intro is one of the best horn arrangements i've heard in modern music and almost forces you to bob your head or sway to the rhythm. i can't find a link to it unfortunately but if you happen to see this little picture lying around your local record shoppe then give it a listen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Raised On Robbery: Chinju No Mori (the first in a series of digital 7")

so here's something that falls into the "actual music" category. there have been a good number of hits on that norad ep and i thank you. keep em coming and let me know what you think after you have a listen.

i've been writing stuff under the name raised on robbery for about six years now but only really had the courage to start letting other people listen to it recently. so here's the first single i'm posting and more will come.

my html skills being what they are these days, i'm more than a little confused that the link colour codes match up but this page refuses to show that change. my browser seems to think it should be #698bc9 when it's actually reading #d31a1a. any help on that?

Friday, November 12, 2010

earworm of the day: dyed in the wool.

Dyed In The Wooli know i know. beating your head against the wall only makes for a sore head but i can't help it. i'm stubborn. i believe in love at first sight and that maybe impossible is just implausible more often than not. i would like to think that if you're a good person then good things will return to you but i realize that "good" is just a word. i know that sometimes the things we think are good for us really just hurt us in the long run and that maybe the people we think of as "good people" are the ones that will hurt us the most.

i know that ramble doesn't make a lot of sense. i know that even if i could clarify it it wouldn't make any sense. i also know that i'm tired of doing things that are bad for me no matter how good they might seem at the time.

this song is about the realization that things will never be the same again. that just because two people shared something doesn't mean they had the same experience. the end doesn't always mean the same thing to both people and one or both might hope that one day things will mend. if they're really (un)lucky they might rediscover what brought them together. the part that hurts is the in-between. how do you explain how much something hurts to a person that can't possibly understand because they're the one that hurt you? how painful is it for them to tell you they know when they couldn't possibly?

that's dyed in the wool. two people caught in/out of love not sure if there's anything to save because they might not have had anything in the first place.
i know i know, nothing's going to change that hopeless feeling i get when you say you understand, and i know you can't.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

earworm of the day: twenty-five cent ring

Accustomed to Nothingi mentioned these guys yesterday as a quick add on to my last earworm post. i'm happy to have this song stuck in my head because it actually gave me goosebumps just humming and singing it in my head.

twenty-five cent ring (sorry this was the only link for a preview i could find) is a song about how lucky this guy is that he's found a dynamite lady that loves him for he is. he makes an odd marriage proposal asking if she'd stick with him through everything and then some.

it may not sound like the type of thing a grizzled punk band normally sing about but dammit, love is a pretty amazing thing and it takes some strange forms. meeting that special someone that will not only put up with your assorted foibles but defend them is a rare thing.

"would you still wanna be my girl if i sat on my fat ass and drank cheap beer all day?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

earworm of the day: not your saviour

More Betternessjust woke up with this one in my mind tank today and while it's a nice little ditty, it doesn't do much to promote calming thoughts. then again anything can be relaxing if you look past it and turn it into white noise.

no use for a name were one of the first punk bands i ever listened too. they were just full of that catchy california skate punk sound that the kids were into at the time. nofx introduced me to this kind of punk and fat wreck kept me there for a good number of years. no use for a name managed to stay at the top of a short "favourite acts" list i kept buried away in this rats maze i call a brain but i grew up and they stayed the same somehow. it's a trap a lot of bands fall into. do you grow with your fans and produce more mature music hoping they come along for the ride or do you keep writing songs about how much high school sucks and how terrible it is to be a lonely teen? maybe it's just me but i don't think forty year olds have any business writing about how awful teenage love is.

more betterness was really just more of the same. this was the last album from no use i ever listened to and i'm still surprised i bought it when it came out. i'm even more surprised that it's in my head after not listening to it for easily eight years.

on the bright side, writing this post has just reminded me that no use were on new red archives before fat wreck picked them up. new red was the home of accustomed to nothing who wrote one of my favourite love songs; twenty-five cent ring. (sorry, this was the only link i could find about them)

in closing, booooo no use. yayyyy accustomed to nothing!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

if you don't know me by now...you will never ever ever know me at all...

so obviously the pics of the office move were a big hit and have drawn a tonne of traffic my way. interest noted. i'll stick to music and shows and stay away from real world stuff that doesn't have to do with music and shows.

speaking of music and shows, i've been meaning to post a quick note about the gardening, not architecture show that happened recently. i don't think i need to get into how much i like the act as i've already said so twice before but what was really cool about this show was getting to see other people experience that awe (seriously) moment when it all clicks together and suddenly the show goes from lovely, bitter sweet songs to "holy shit that was an amazing spectacle."

i was having a bit of a crappy week so hearing that sarah was coming to town was a nice pick me up. we hung out for a bit before her set and then several friends that she made on warped tour last summer came through the door. it was quite a sight and mike, pete, aj and dubs (dobs? i'm sorry if i've mis-spelled that. you're rad.) are wonderful folks. happy, welcoming, wonderful folks.

the show started and seeing mike's face as he took in the whole light blanket/silhouette thing is what i wanted to talk about here. mike, pete and aj had seen sarah's show numerous times in the middle of the day on stage at warped but it didn't sink in till they got to see it in a dark room with the lights. mike said, "that's what this was missing. i loved the set on tour but this, this is amazing."my photo does not do it justice.

i love discovering new music. i always have but i think what's even more exciting is watching that  moment when someone else is realizing the same thing. it's a great moment to share with other people and it's one of the big reasons why i'm writing this blog. i want you folks to get out there and make some discoveries of your own and maybe share them with people you hold dear. if this is one of the ways you find out about stuff then i feel like i'm doing something right. if not, then you have bad taste. yeah that's right. i said it.

no really, if you haven't already listened to gardening, not architecture then you should head over to the site and see what you think. what i find inspiring about gardening, not architecture is sarah's attitude about making things happen. i haven't met many people that are as dedicated or brave enough to throw it all in the wind and see how things fall. it's a lesson we could all stand to learn.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

to a deeeelucks apartment in the skyyy, eye highhhhh!

my office moved somewhat recently and now i wish i'd taken more pictures (read: better pictures) of the old place.


this was the only one i could find of the old place,









and here are a few of the new place.












that desk is my lovely view. i feel a little like elvis staring at all those monitors and tvs all day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

make swift these legs: norad ep

well i went and did it this time. after much whining that i couldn't find anyone to make an album cover for me i went and made one myself. all i can say is, i've seen worse.

in other news, that four "song" ep that this piece of work is attached to is now live for your pleasure. i'll warn you now, it's a sound art album. there is a track that more closely resembles a song near the middle but for the most part it's pretty ambient with melodic leanings.

you can find it here. as far as price goes, you call the shots. pay as much or as little as you like (up to and including free). this is a one man act so all the proceeds go back into recording/song writing.

i hope you enjoy it,

aj

(pssssst...i added an embeded link so you can listen to it here as well.)

<a href="http://makeswifttheselegs.bandcamp.com/album/norad-ep">Norad EP by Make Swift These Legs</a>

Thursday, September 30, 2010

earworm of the day: blue sky noise

Blue Sky Noise [Vinyl]yup, a whole album has been lodged firmly in my head. just like the previous hobbs post, circa survive's latest album blue sky noise has been on repeat for several weeks. i can't seem to get enough of the thing. not sure if that's a good thing or not but hey, they're great songs so who am i to resist?

particular favourites are through the desert alone, the longest mile, i felt free, frozen creek and dyed in the wool. love!

Monday, September 27, 2010

show and prove

it would seem that i've been remiss in my duties. i've only managed a measly four posts plus this one. booo me.

this was going to be an earworm post but i'm not hooked on one song at the moment. i've actually been listening to a full radio broadcast over and over again that just seems to get better each time.

you may have heard of a little style of music called dubstep. well the lady credited with bringing it to the masses is one mary anne hobbs, bbc radio 1 dj extraordinaire. for the last fourteen years hobbs has been championing new and underground styles of music. she's played everything from analogue bubble bath to afro warrior. sometimes it's brilliant, sometimes not so much and every so often it was magic.

marry anne has left radio 1 to pursue other career options but is still planning on djing and staying firmly entrenched in all things b-side.

this post is about her last show at radio 1 that aired on sept 9th with special guests kode9 and burial. i've been listening to this thing for two weeks now and will probably be listening to it solidly for another two. there are so many gems in this set that i don't know where to start so instead i'll just link to the set list and you can see for yourself.

if you haven't heard of these folks and you like hip hop, ambient, breaks or dub inspired music then i suggest you acquaint yourself with them.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

whaddya say now push ups?

you may not recognize that lyric from sam amidon's new album i see the sign but credit for that goes to sam's flair for improv. i love it when entertainers try and play with their sound and set during shows because it makes each show different and a little more special.

i had a chance to exchange a few words with sam before the show and was more than a little star struck. i'm afraid i came off like a bubbling fool but it was a pleasure to meet him.

the show was great. sam played some old and some new. we had sing alongs and there was even a surprise tears for fears cover thrown in the mix.

what i've always enjoyed about sam's music is how heartfelt it is. these are old songs about our great grandparents yester-years and yet they are still relevant and touching. i can feel my heart breaking pretty much every time i hear saro because we've all been apart from loved ones at one time or another and it's hard work keeping that love in one piece. saro doesn't say it but it feels like that was a love that lasted.

sam will be on tour in the states and canada for a while yet. at some point closer to winter i believe he'll be in the uk. check out his site for tour info and go see him if he's in your town.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

earworm of the day: fuck you (no really, that's the name)

oh cee-lo. i always smile when i hear your soft dulcet tones (i didn't want to link to this video because the other one is a lot better in my opinion but you need a youtube/google account. if you have one, hit this link instead.)

if you didn't know the name of the song it would be the last thing you'd expect to hear in the chorus. the song is sweet and funny and catchy as hell. this is the kind of pop music that your grandparents will be singing when they hear a radio friendly edit (which is on the way).

cee-lo's new album "the lady killer" should be out this coming december. he's got a pretty good band of horses cover floating around for "no one's going to love you". again, the video is better if you just close your eyes because it comes right out and says that if you don't "take the leap" with your girlfriend, she'll leave you while you're sleeping in your car. it doesn't make any sense but that's what happens when film school drop outs shoot your music video. you get an all to literal interpretation of the songs lyrics.

anywho, i dare you to listen to this new single and not hum it for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

earworm of the day: you're so great

You're So Greatif you have paid attention at all to my wandering musical tastes over that last few years then you will have noticed that bands along the lines of blur don't feature prominently. there is a very simple reason for this, i didn't like brit pop any more than the people making it liked being called brit pop. sometimes things that you don't like catch you off guard and slap you in the face with a song like this.

my appreciation of blur has grown quite a bit over the years but that's because i find damon and graham to be interesting people. you're so great and coffee and tv (which makes me cry like a little girl with a skinned knee) are at the top of a very short list of blur songs that i love. good on you gentleman. i was happy to hear that you kissed and made up so to speak.

Friday, August 27, 2010

the only honest love song

Scott Pilgrim Volume 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hourone of my closest friends re-enacted the scott pilgrim movie for me and told me all about the ending. i now have nothing but contempt for the film.

casting decisions aside, what kind of movie tells it's audience that the only thing worth fighting for is yourself? forsake your loved ones because their support is worthless and won't help you when the chips are down. no no, you can only count on yourself.

what a steaming pile of self indulgent crap.

i'm of the mind that we come by self respect in a number of different ways. we accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. we realize our worth through the eyes of our loved ones. we have the ability to do things other people can't or aren't as good at. whatever it is that makes you realize your own worth, it should be a positive thing for you and those around you. having the only person you love tell you that your love is misplaced and you should be fighting your battles for yourself is not only heart breaking but would shatter someone's ego in real life.

should i have expected anything less from hollywood? of course not. this is the land that gave us such masterpieces as transformers one and two and superman returns. we've entered an era where people don't know if they should like something unless it's being sold to their sense of borrowed nostalgia. so why would i expect that scott pilgrim would have been anything other than flashy crap? because the books weren't and i thought bryan might have had something to say about it. i guess i was wrong.

the final book doesn't end anywhere near the same way the film does. it doesn't wrap things up in a nice little bow by any means but it does leave the reader with hope that people can mend their relationships and work together to be better people for themselves and their loved ones. that's how things should have ended.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

earworm of the day: lions


Lionsthis song has been consistently blowing my mind for the better part of a week now. this is kind of a muddy recording but it's a live gig on someone's camera. you can't expect miracles. having said that, i'm still getting goose bumps from it. the song actually starts at about 1:19 in.

i tried to make the trek to rough trade while i was in london because it's a rather large and expensive pain buying jonquil albums in toronto.

anywho, lions from the album lions is one of those songs that makes me truly thankful for my ability to hear.

check them out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

another one bites the dust...

one down and a whole bunch to go. it wasn't until last night that the amount of shows i listed actually hit me. the funny part is just how far in advance most of them are. i'm getting myself all worked up about stuff i won't be able to see for almost two months. feh.

russian circles and boris ran lee's palace on monday night and while i would like to say it was an amazing night full of musical goodness i cannot. russian circles were great although i could have done without the silhouette light show. they put on a solid performance even if the room was a little docile. boris on the other hand were all sound and fury signifying nothing.

i know someone out there is going to hate me for this but i found boris to be a sub par band at best. their singers were flat and their drummer seemed to be having trouble keeping time. their solo guitar player was good but his solo's weren't very inspiring. a friend of mine said they sound like a high school punk band trying to move in a new direction and while i don't think that is entirely fair or accurate, they didn't seem like they were quite ready for prime time. the real shock was seeing just how deep their catalogue is. i mean with that many albums under your belt you should be rock gods by now.

now i'll twiddle my thumbs waiting for this will destroy you and sam amidon. c'mon sam!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

all's well...

it is highly unlikely that i'm getting into the russian circles show on the 9th but dammit, i'm going to try.

i've been lazy in searching out shows but here's a quick break down of where you can find me in the next little while;

- russian circles at lee's palace on the 9th (ihopeihopeihope)
- i'll be booing loudly and throwing things at the tour bus for crystal castles and rusko. (no really, they can't play instruments or sing and rusko is an hour long set of wawnwawnwawnwawawawawaaaannnnn)
- this will destroy you at lee's palace on the 24th
- sam amidon at the drake on the sept 4th
- efterklang at lee's (again?) on sept 8th or ratatatat at the sound academy i'm not sure which yet.
- kinda want to see rufio on the 10th at the phoenix but strung out? no thanks.
- same goes for millincolin on the 12th. it would seem the the 17 year old punk rock kid in me is lonely.
- mice parade at the elmo on sept 29th
- if i'm in town, prefuse 73 at lee's on oct 12th
- the books at the mod club on oct 25th

so there. that's a lot of shows that i'm going to have to figure out how to fit in the budget and somehow i want to fit a trip to new york in there too. feck. i would be happy if i could go to half of these but realistically i'll probably get out to a third if i'm lucky. if there are any good shows on your radar let me know. i'm always interested in hearing about what other people are listening to and what makes it special to them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

sharing different heartbeats...

i did a quick scan through a few albums of photos and found a handful of "wish you were here" moments. there's one odd man out but it has the same sad lonely feel to it so i'm adding it with the lot. i won't post a bunch like this again because it showcases just how big a shoe whore i am.


earworm of the day: cycling trivialities

this song has been boring a hole in my head for the last three days. i have no real attachment to it but it's been hitting me with the kind of weight that you normally associate with break up music. i don't know why it is, it just is.

so listen to it and more of jose's wonderful music. he is a truly talented young lad with a great heart and a touching sense of melody.

Monday, July 26, 2010

wish you were here...

i'm sick. i am either allergic to london (which i don't actually believe) or i caught something on the plane or in the office. other than that, london was a great trip.

i have never understood why people complain about travelling for work before but now i get it. it's not a holiday and you don't have time to run around and do fun things. you work. when you're done working you work some more or have a meeting about work that you need to do in the future. when those meetings are done you sit back down and answer a bajillion emails.

what i did get a chance to see was all kinds of fun. normally i don't go in for touristy type nonsense. you won't find me lining up at famous landmarks or drinking in the tourist friendly parts of town or shopping in the areas that foreigners shop because in my opinion, those places cater to the kind of person that is more interested with telling people they travelled somewhere than actually travelling. it sounds far more interesting to hear about the crown jewels or the museum of torture or london bridge than hearing about pints at the swan. does anyone really care that they have an odd petting zoo in holland park where you will find pigs? anyone other than myself that is? but those are the things i do. i walk till i get lost and then find my way back. i take the transit system to strange places just to see if i can figure out how to get back home without asking for directions. that is travelling to me. learning to live like the people that call a foreign place home.

of course london isn't really "foreign" in the bigger picture but it is an unknown city just waiting to be picked apart and discovered. i can't wait to go back but i say that about all the places i visit. well, almost all the places anyway.

quick highlights of my trip included
- meeting de la soul in the line up for customs.
- drinking at mick jones' local with my favourite drinking buddy (sadly, mick was on tour with de la soul).
- touring one of london's largest media post houses.
- melting in the tube.
- drinking at a fantastic little bar called the new bloomsbury set in bloomsbury (go figure).
- the miniature soccer nets in the urinals complete with hanging soccer ball at the swan.
- more free booze than you can imagine.
- some of the prettiest people i've ever seen.
- running through the tate modern trying to cram a self guided tour into the 45 minutes before closing.
- strolling through hyde park with good friends.

i am also adding this to a new group of posts i will be calling "wish you were here". i had a friend several years back that took photos of her feet everywhere she went. she travelled a lot and every roll of film had self portraits of her standing waiting for buses, in line at the bank, you name it. i thought this was actually kind of a touching moment because to me, these photos were less about taking a picture of yourself and showing off but more about trying to share that time and that place with the viewer.

also, how could i resist a good pink floyd reference?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

london calling

here's the me (and by "me" i mean "skinny") i will be in london for work next week and i'm about as excited as i can be without the aid of intoxicants.

if my friend has his way i will be living at the world's end. come out for a pint. i'll be the canadian with the half sleeves and clark kent hair and glasses combination going on. we'll talk musics and what not.

seriously. do it up.

(i wish i could have found a picture of him smashing the harp.)