Tuesday, June 13th, 2006
String Of Blinking Lights
My final NxNE intake for the past weekend was Winnipeg’s Paper Moon who kicked things off at Healey’s on Saturday night. I caught them at CMW three years ago and recall enjoying their sugary pop goodness then but after hearing their more recent stuff on their MySpace, I was struck by how much more songcraft had grown in the interim and made a note to definitely check them out.
There’s a lot to like about Paper Moon – cherubic singer/guitarist Allison Shevernoha leads sublime three-part girl harmonies and dueling keyboards while the boys sit back and hold down the rhythm, all the while cranking out glorious pop gems. They remind a bit of early Ivy or Cardigans – fun, melodically ruch and decidedly sophisticated pop with a lightly jazzy touch, though with a denser, meatier sound and lyricism and without the Euro angle.
And their live show is also a good ball of fun. Shevernoha is an effervescent frontwoman with an infectious energy – the band was also happy to be playing to a crowd of some (any) size having paid their dues with a two-week tour through some of Ontario’s, er, smaller markets in leading up to their showcase gig. Their set was nice and compact and a good way to start off the last night of NxNE (and in my case, end it) and I’m thinking I should really try to catch them sometime when they’re NOT in town for a festival and can play a full set sometime.
The obligatory A/V portion of the post – the first song is from their new album Broken Hearts Break Faster Every Day, the second from their debut One-Thousand Reasons To Stay… One Reason To Leave and be sure to check out the radio player on their website which streams more audio from the new record. The Ottawa XPress recently ran a profile on the band and here’s some photos.
Billboard has details of Blowoff, Bob Mould’s new collaborative project with Richard Morel, named for his monthly DJ night in DC. It sounds to be another marriage of Mould’s rock and electronic worlds which means that fans will surely find as much to love as loathe, depending on which side of the fence they’re on. There’s a MySpace set up and an MP3 available to sample:
Sonic Youth’s Rather Ripped comes out today. AOL is streaming the whole thing. I think it’s good. Others do too. Some hate it. Popmatters talks to Kim Gordon. So does MP3.com. Sonic Youth are at the Kool Haus on August 8.
If you hadn’t noticed over on the right there (what? you don’t look at my ads?), Project DU is running a pretty cool contest wherein you could go to the Austin City Limits festival in, well, Austin this September as their official blogger. The grand prize gets a press pass and a 3-day pass for a friend plus you’ll get airfare, lodging, etc etc. There are also more 3-day passes to be won. Click the link above for full details and rules – sorry, only Americans are eligible. Hey, don’t blame me – I’m a judge in this thing and even I don’t get to go. All I get to do is laugh at your entries. I mean, marvel at their wittiness. Yes.
Stylus has posted a follow-up to their “Perfect Sound Forever” article from last month that railed against the sonic quality of modern music. It’s funny, because when I first put my copy of At War With The Mystics in my CD player last week it nearly knocked me over with loud, I was all “oh my god, Stylus was right. It’s the apocalypse!”. But it turns out I just had the volume up higher than normal. That said, it’s still a hellaciously compressed and loud record that I do find rather fatiguing to listen to. Hear that, Wayne Coyne? You’re fatiguing.
np – Chad Van Gaalen / Infiniheart