a log of cd's purchased + shows attended + other stuff.

after listening to the sweet syrupy sounds of stars on constant rotation yesterday, i got thrice's most recent album today. i needed some post-hardcore just to balance things. (i've also been back to listening to circle takes the square.)

i was introduced to thrice when a classmate lent me some cd's. i had found the music tolerable, but nothing more. now, they're releasing a 4-ep concept album "the alchemy index", one for each of the elements. and i am such a sucker for stuff like that.

"vol. i & ii: fire & water" was released this week. the "fire" disc is passable, nothing too special. without a doubt, i much prefer the "water" disc. it is more ambient, with more textures, and some experimental elements. much more interesting.


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stars released their new album "in our bedroom after the war" a couple of weeks ago. i got it today, when i passed by hmv on my way home. it also includes a dvd with a documentary or something.

a note on the packaging: it is a digipak, containing two discs. but the discs are placed back-to-back on the same tray. hm, never seen this design before. also something i've not seen before: the lyrics to each song is printed on a different card. on the reverse side, there is a part of the cover drawing, such that all twelve cards can be assembled like a puzzle.

about the music: the songs are so sweet. i've been listenng to the album on repeat, thinking 'aw...'. this is such mushy music. i love the boy/girl vocals of this band.

can't wait to see them live, at the end of november. should be a sweet show.


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gogol bordello @ club soda

second show in a row at club soda. this time, i went with roxanne and laurel.

openers were dub trio. too macho/aggro for my taste. the set was excessively loud for nothing. a couple of passable post-rock-ish bits.

by the time gogol bordello came on stage, roxanne had already gotten beer spilled on her arm, and some big tall girl was yelling at everyone around her. these were signs of a rowdy crowd.

to be honest, their set was a bit of a blur to me. in between trying to enjoy the songs, i was mostly fending people off my back, while desperately grappling the front barrier, and feeling squished by sweaty bodies on all sides. yuck.

it had been a while since i had been at this type of "punk" show. (yeah, i know this wasn't a "real" punk show, but as an indie kid – attending shows where people watch with arms crossed, standing a foot apart – this was probably the closest to "punk" i'll ever get.)

i only recognised a few songs: "not a crime", "60 revolutions", "start wearing purple", and "think locally fuck globally" from the previous album; "wonderlust king", "zina marina", and "supertheory of supereverything" form the most recent. the singer talked a bit in between songs, but i could not hear a word he said, haha.

despite feeling like i had been in a fight, i still had a good time, cheering/yelling out loud, hoppping/dancing, letting loose, feeling energized, enjoying a lively and entertaining performance.

when i got home, i noticed some light bruising on my arms and knee. that's a first. and now, my shoulder area feels a bit sore.


cd purchase: i got gogol bordello's most recent "super taranta!", since i really like the song "wonderlust king".

hearing damage: dub trio's very loud set made my ears ring.


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matthew good @ club soda

i went with roxanne.

openers were dala, an acoustic duo.

when matthew good come on stage, he was quiet, playing one song after another without a pause, looking upset/angry/tired. i though, "oh no, what if he doesn't talk at all?" then, he started the drinking. and he ended up talking a lot, about the most random things, and what he said were not all apprpriate nor politically correct. but it's okay; we all know he's an opinionated loudmouth anyway.

it was a solo acoustic set. he started by getting the new songs out of the way. these did not sound too different than on disc. then, he went into the older materials: songs from the matthew good band period, including tracks from the rarities and b-sides ep's. very good.

his acoustic rendition of "avalanche" was my favourite of the evening. absolutely beautiful.

girl wedged under the front of the firebird
i'm a window
99% of us is failure
born losers
advertising on police cars
silent army in the trees
black helicopter
she's in it for the money
sort of a protest song
load me up
strange days
primetime deliverance

north american for life
champions of nothing
the fine art of falling apart

he had great lighting, good for pictures:


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digital camera

ah, i get so sad when i take bad pictures at shows.

low-light + no flash = non-ideal for my simple kodak cx7330.

i'd get a new camera, if i had an extra $500 to spend.

the canon powershot a720is and especially the sx100is are looking quite attractive right now, in that price range...



patrick wolf @ cabaret music hall

my only popmontreal show this year. i went alone. it was stupid of me to have missed the bus, getting there later than planned. i did not get a good spot...

bishi was the opening act. a solo artist, singing and playing the sitar ontop of pre-recorded tracks. she wore the strangest dress that i had ever seen, with horns at the shoulders.

bishi rocking out on the sitar:

i was very excited to be seeing patrick wolf live, ever since falling in love with his previous album "wind in the wires". he's such a pretty-boy, cute and adorable, prancing around on stage. he wore a military-styled jacket, a dress shirt with a ruffle trim, cut-off shorts, knee-high socks, black&white dress shoes. and glitter. cute outfit. combined with his usual haircut, there was something school-boy-ish about his look.

as much as i hate to, i used the flash:

he switched between instruments: violin, ukulele, keyboard. he also had a full band: violinist, bassist, drummer, and a guy at the laptop for sound effects. i tried to take a picture:

patrick wolf on the keyboard, in the spotlight:

i've not really kept track of the setlist. let's see what songs i remember.

from the debut album "lycanthropy", there was "paris".

from "wind in the wires":
- the libertine
- wind in the wires
- jacobs ladder
- tristan

from the most recent "the magic position":
- accident & emergency
- the bluebell / bluebells
- the stars

i loved that he played the songs differently than on disc. "the libertine" is my favourite song of his. when he played that song, he introduced it by telling us about how the gypsies are being driven out of london, because of the olympics. and then he played the song in a gypsy style, and i freaked out (inside) and danced. that song got me all giddy. (and all pepped for the gogol bordello show, next week.)

during the encore, he first played "pigeon song", changing the opening lyrics to "montreal, why did you take my child away". haha. the second song was "magpie", and bishi came back onstage to sing the marianne faithfull lines.

at this point, i was slightly worried at how bad my memory is, since i couldn't remember if they played "the magic position". had i tuned out? then, they returned for a second encore, to play the cheerful "magic position". yay! patrick wolf had taken off his shirt, his chest sparkling aquamarine. i am convinced that this man was born with glitter permanently on his skin; he had it everywhere!

during the outro of "the magic position", he introduced all the members of his band onstage. a couple of girls at the front handed him a present: a case wrapped in party ribbons. as he took the gift, he asked: "it's not a bomb inside, is it?" haha.

overall, an amazing show, despite standing in a less-than-perfect spot. also, i found the set to be a too short. i hope he comes to montreal again; i will not miss it.

(in fact, the show ended so early, i probably should have gone to the main hall to catch ted leo's set, supposedly starting at midnight, according to the popmontreal schedule. but i went home instead...)


cd purchase: i got bishi's "never seen your face: the mixes", since she was at the merch booth, and i asked for an autograph.

hearing damage: none. it's not that kind of show.


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beirut @ la sala rossa

i went to last night's show with rox. she's already posted a thorough rundown of the evening.

the opening act alaska in winter already started to play when the doors opened. too bad we missed the beginning of the act. this was one of those one-guy-disguised-as-a-band solo type of project. on stage, the guy mostly sang through a vocoder, busting out a few dance moves. the music was some kind of atmospheric lite electro (like something between m83 and imogen heap). but the entertaining part was the screen in the background, showing an array of videos of the guy playing all the instruments. he kept referring to his band as "we" when in fact the "band" was really just him and his clones on the screen. he even changed outfits to match whatever he was wearing in the videos.

alaska in winter, stripped down to his final outfit, including fuzzy hat, with his "band" on the screen:

the next act was colleen, another solo act, layering her music by playing sounds into a loop. it was suggested that we all sit on the ground during her performance. and so, there we sat, just next to the stage, meaning we could not see the performer at all. from what i heard, it was all instrumental, each piece focusing on one instrument. the first piece was on cello, the second on clarinet. the third piece was on acoustic guitar, but with a musical box sound in the background. the final piece was back on cello, but with wind chimes in the background.

i managed to sneak a picture while sitting down:

finally, beirut came on stage. i was surprised that all eight members managed to fit on the small stage along with all their instruments: trumpets, ukulele, violin, accordion, mandolin, cello, guitar, drums, flute, glockenspiel, tambourine, and more.

with this full band, it sounded like a mini-orchestra, playing this balkan-inspired indie pop. happy music i would have danced to, if given more room in that crowded venue. band leader zach condon sang in an almost operatic manner, waving his hands up, as if giving an important speech. haha, cute.

in between songs, he mostly spoke in french, with a very french accent. heh. i'm glad he included a cover of jacques brel's "le moribond" in the set. fun song (with not-so-fun lyrics, i think they are final words of a dying man). and every time he sang "je veux qu'on rie, je veux qu'on danse", i felt like doing a jig, haha.

i tried to get a picture of all the band members, but i think i missed the violinist, hiding behind those ukulele/mandolin players.

oops, i used the flash. notice the cute horn tattoos on the wrists:

the songs they played were familiar, but not familiar enough for me to know all the song titles. luckily, rox got one of the setlists after the show:

after the encore, singer zach condon came back on stage, alone with his ukulele. there was a joke about not needing the rest of the band, which resulted in an empty beer bottle rolling out from the side of the stage, probably thrown by a band member. funny. his final song was a cover of "hallelujah". it seems to be a popular live cover; i should learn the lyrics.


cd purchases: the first thing i got at the merch table were all the beirut cd's, since i had none of them: the debut "gulag orkestar", the follow-up ep "lon gisland", and the most recent "the flying club cup" that they were selling even though the official release date is next week. yay! then, after alaska in winter's set, i got his "dance party in the balkans".


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