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Concert Review : Handsome Furs <3

Handsome Furs @ Brighton Music Hall, Boston   8/17/2011

 

“..a spunky spectacular Montreal indie-rock duo, out on a mission to get the world on its feet, hands in the air, and rocking out as often, as hard, and as much as possible..” – Plum

 

 

A few months ago I found out that the Handsome Furs were my sisters favourite band. How did I not knowwww? Grr. So, naturally I downloaded the first thing I could find online under the name of Handsome Furs (their latest release – Sound Kapital (2011)) and gave it a listen. The first song I listened to, simply blew me away — as you’ll see it is posted below, titled ‘When I Get Back’. Their music is so quirky and so fun, I knew I had to see them live.

Last night they crashed into Boston as their first stop following a trip around Eastern Europe where they rocked small venues, played out in public and sprinkled their infectious beats where ever they damn pleased. They opened the show with ‘When I Get Back’ which really set the tone for the night. The crowd was going crazy the entire time – arms were flailing, people were shimmying around at all different speeds and latitudes, and at few seconds between each song were dominated by load roars (the loudest roars I’ve heard here in Boston!!) of the crowd.. just enamored with the rock-duo that were also rocking out at full capacity. Alexei Perry (synths) was headbanging with a huge grin on her face incessantly for every song.. all you could see was a cloud of her red locks .. while Dan Boeckner (guitar/synth) had his eyes closed, alternating between fist pumping and shredding some serious guitar.

It was simply amazing.

They hung around after the show. The fans all left happy. I went over and spoke with them for a minutes, got some pics, realized they live a block away from where I used to live in Montreal — and fell in love with Alexei after she planted a smooch on me before I left. 🙂

Handsome Furs – Repatriated (I get goosebumps at 3:00 onwards.. amazing song)

Handsome Furs – Memories of the Future (funky synth!!)

Handsome Furs – When I Get Back (My FAV HF song.. I go absolutely nuts at 3:25 of this song… IT COMES STRAIGHT FROM MY HEART!!)

I’m still familiarizing with their older music. If you know of any songs I hafta listen to — lemme know!

 

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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Electro-Pop, Oldies

 

Holy Geez, I am Loving Darwin Deez! Seriouzzly.

“..I found this album earlier this week and haven’t been able to stop talking about it or listening to it. It’s refreshing, gloriously happy indie-pop, straight from the heart, soul and a dozen instruments.. (not from concentrate).. This is the 2011 summer album.. ”  – Plum

Darwin Deez – Radar Detector

Listen to the rock out at 1:38…  GOOSEBUMPS!!!!!!!   then the DRUMS come in!!! ahhhh!! this is music man! come on. you gotta appreciate this.

About

The first album by Darwin Smith and co. emerges from the alley ways and small venues of NYC with a breathe of fresh air of crisp sounding, soul lifting pleasantries. Darwin himself has explored all different genres of music (drum-bass, rap, electronic) and ended up in (and hopefully sticks to) the indie-pop club. He broke up with his g/f early last year and when writing this album (as you’ll hear) is a grapple between loving the things that come with a relationship, but also wanting to be single. Contradiction city!

His first single Constellations came out early last year and the full album has.. actually been out a year as well.. but It’s the first I’ve heard of them! And it sounds like I might be the first of my friends.. so.. i won’t feel so embarrassed that I haven’t heard of them..

I’m loving this album so much, I’m driving to NYC tomorrow to see him perform at the Bowery Ballroom.Review to come. Buy/stream/download this album.. it is amazing from start to finish.

He’s also performing in Boston on Saturday night. (but I’ll be in Magic Man land, in Brooklyn). Sorry Canada.. you’ll have to wait your turn.

What else is ripe?

Darwin Deez – MY DNA

Darwin Deez – Bed Space

Darwin Deez – Bad Day

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Oldies, Rock

 

“You Wreck me Baby.. ya, you break me in two” – Tom Petty

“.. good ol’ southern rock legend Tom Petty has painted music across 5 decades with foot tapping, infectious sing-along anthems that are a MUST HAVE in every road trip repertoire and shower singing session..” – Plum

Tom Petty – You Wreck Me (CRANK IT!!! TONIGHT WE RIDE!)

About

Tom Petty’s interest in rock and roll music began at age 10 when he met Elvis Presley. He instantly became an  Presley fan and soon traded his Wham-O slingshot for a box of Elvis 45s. As a young man, Petty worked briefly on the grounds crew for the University of Florida, but never attended as a student. While he was employed there, he planted an Ogeechee lime tree at the University and it is now called the Tom Petty tree.

Since 1974, Tom Petty and his gang of “Heartbreakers” have dished out hit after hit, including “Free Falling” that become a super hit from the Tom Cruise movie “Jerry McGuire” when he belts it out while driving in his car. SO GOOD!

My favourite album by him is 1994 “Wildflowers”, which is an album I continue to search for on vinyl, but haven’t had any luck! Grrr.   My sis and I also saw him in rural Massachusetts in 2010, where everyone stood and sang his old songs and sat quietly for his new ones. He also had an awesome double fist pump after every song, with a wrinkly grin on his face in satisfaction at how good he is. Amazing.

What else is ripe?

UPDATED to include my dad’s personal theme song

Tom Petty – I won’t Back Down  (sing along with HEYYYYY BABY… there ain’t no easy way out!!)

 

Tom Petty – Time to Move On (the lyrics are amazing in this song)

Tom Petty – Wildflowers (one of my favourite opening songs on an album)

Tom Petty – American Girl (the classic… OH YEAH.. ALRIGHT.. )

 

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Oldies

 

The Cure – “Close to Me”

“.. I often say that I don’t know any music before the Blink-182 area (1992-present) but that has been changing lately.. and the Cure is one of the bands that has opened that gate way for me. In order to better understand how Blink 182 became so good.. i thought I should immerse myself into their influences..amongst them being.. ‘The Cure’.. with their catchy, new-wave British 80’s rock which is totally awesome stuff!!.. ”        – Plum

About

This 1985 funkalicious, bass-bubbling, classic by The Cure was one of the first Cure songs I was introduced to by my housemate Iyar! There are two versions of this song — one with brass, that is more polished.. and an acoustic version which is a bit softer. I love both! Give a listen, eh?

The Cure – Close to Me (acoustic)

The Cure – Close to Me (album version)

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Oldies, Pop-Punk

 

So Good.. You Could Make Pie Outta These (top 3)

 

Quick Hits

Well, it was a crazy crazy week for me at work, school and beyond. I’m pretty happy I was able to get all my blog posts in.. and am genuinely excited for things to calm down a bit so I can spend more time making my music shares as crisp and juicy as possible.

The thing is, that when things do get crazy,  hectic and a bit chaotic, no matter where I am, I always turn to music to disconnect, refresh and get me through whatever I’m up to. And that was no exception this week! 🙂  Alright, time for music now.. the best of the week.

 

Weekend Top Picks (all mp3’s)

1. The Submarines – For No One (Beatles cover) (mp3)

One of my favourite bands recently participated in a little audio experiment where bands play covers of other bands songs. (Broken Social Scene also just covered Modest Mouse – so good!). The Submarines picked this fab Beatles song and made it even more pleasing to our ears, in their own special Submarines kinda way. (the soft and smoothness of the original Beatles song, but with a xylophone, keyboard and a lady voice!)

2. The Dodo’s – Black Night (mp3)

The opening song on their latest album builds and builds into an indie gem. (pounding drums, sliding guitars and overall greatness)

3. El Ten Eleven – I Like Van Halen Because My Sister Says They Are Cool (mp3)

My housemate Samson and I stumbled across these guys while attending a Baths concert in 2010 at the Middle East. It’s a two man instrumental outfit, where the guitarists (double-guitarist) plays and loops the different layers. Amazing to watch live! (up-beat instrumental rock with all sorts of fun sounds from the same guitar!! p.s. the drums are wicked too!)

@Darlingside Concert review to come later today~

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Indie, Oldies, Rock

 

Bruce Springsteen – “I’m on Fire”

“.. I don’t even know how to say a blurb about Bruce Springsteen.. and to be plum honest with you, I didn’t like him for the longest time after ruining a song he sang live with the Wallflowers.. but a friend of mine made me give him another chance… ”  – Plum

Bruce Springsteen – I’m On Fire (mp3 here)

About

Springsteen, nicknamed “The Boss”, is an (of course) American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band. Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered on his native New Jersey.[2] Springsteen’s recordings have included both commercially accessible rock albums and more sombre folk-oriented works. His most successful studio albums, Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A., showcase a talent for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily American life; he has sold more than 65 million albums in the United States and 120 million worldwide[3] and he is generally known for being a bad-ass musician. (Thanks to wiki)

The Story

Somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago, back in my early music listening days when my favourite band was the Wallflowers, I was beyond excited when I heard the Wallflowers were to perform “One Head Light” live at one of the big annual award ceremonies. To everyones surprise, Bruce Springsteen appeared on stage as well and joined in on the guitar playing and singing. Being a young and naive Wallflowers snob, I felt Bruce had ruined the song – since I wanted to see ONLY the Wallflowers to rock out and ONLY Jakob Dylan to sing his parts. and I did not have a certain appreciation for classic rock music and musicians like Bruce. I held that performance against him for many years.

But, people change.. tastes change.. and people forgive people like Bruce for tainting Wallflowers performances. I know many others… 🙂  In late 2010 I was traveling back to Toronto from Boston, and my housemate Iyar had gotten into a routine of giving me a mix CD of her favourite songs every time I went on a trip. THANKS IYAR! These songs are sometimes beyond the range of my usual musical tastes, but being such a close friend and in appreciating the time and effort that went into it, I made a point to listen to every song at least once. Little did I know, the “Bryan goes to Toronto 2010” mix actually included this song by Bruce Springsteen and once it started playing, it became apparent that I was ready to move on from that ‘incident’ that made ME a wallflower of a fan of Bruce’s. It’s an awesome song!  I made a point to then get his album “Born to Run” (also apparently the ONE album my dad would choose to bring to a desert island if he a) had to and b) got to choose a record), which I know thoroughly enjoy.

Bruce, if you’re reading this.. I’m sorry for not giving you a second chance sooner. But may this be a lesson to all music fans out there.. that it’s never to late to forgive a musician for doing a wrong (bad song or album or live performance).. and that you might be surprised what you might like if you give a band/a song/a musician another chance. 🙂

I hope you listen to these songs because in all honesty, we should all appreciate Bruce Springsteen and all rock songs from the last 40-50 years that have helped shaped the artists that we love (or continue to love) today.

What else is ripe by Bruce?

Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run (mp3 here)

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Oldies

 
 
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