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

last week was also the release of bright eyes' latest "the people's key". i pre-ordered it from saddle creek, along with some old releases: "every day and every night ep" (from 1999); "a christmas album" (from 2002, an online exclusive).

i received the parcel in the mail yesterday.

they threw in a sampler cd, and included a handwritten thank-you note. how nice!

i am still trying to absorb the epicness of mogwai, so i haven't listened to the new bright eyes yet.

february turned out to be a pretty good month for new releases, compared to the very quiet january.


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hardcore will never die, but you will

last week was the release of mogwai's latest "hardcore will never die, but you will". (one of their best album titles, i think.) i pre-ordered it from subpop, to get the deluxe edition, which includes a pair of earplugs with case. it's the perfect bonus item for a mogwai release, since they are known to be *loud* in concert.

i got the parcel in the mail on friday.

not only does the deluxe edition include a second disc with a 23-minute track, the packaging is quite nice, bound like a hardcover book.

i've been busy lately, so i only got a chance to listen to the album twice, as background music. at first listen, i was not feeling it. i liked it a bit the second time, discovering some interesting sounds. i'll have to spend some time listening to this album with earphones to really appreciate it.

i haven't listened to the second disc yet. at 23 minutes, the track should be epic.


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armistice, pierre lapointe

last week, my cousin sent me an article on armistice, with song samples. after hearing "mission bells", the song was in my head for days. yesterday was the release date for their self-titled ep, so i went to the store to get it. so yes, this is my second couple-duo purchase of the year.

the vocals go well together. and i like the mariachi sounds, which sets this apart from their respective projects.

while at the store, i saw that pierre lapointe has a new release, "seul au piano". i usually do not care for live recordings, especially when there is no new material on it. it was available at the listening station so i checked it out.

oh wow. after hearing the solo piano version of "deux par deux rassemblés", i was sold. even though this release has no new material, the songs sound so different from the original albums versions, "seul au piano" is worth getting.

let's compare one of my favourite tracks, "deux par deux rassemblés".

original version, from the album "la forêt des mal-aimés":

live solo piano version:

i like the funny bit (at around 1:15) on "au bar des suicidés", when he mimics the guitar solo:


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underoath + thursday @ metropolis

about a month or two ago, i saw the show listing for underoath playing at the metropolis, with thursday as one of the guests, but i did not plan on going to the show for an opening band. then, two weeks ago, i noticed the finer print on the tour poster indicating that thursday were playing "full collapse" in its entirety in celebration of its tenth anniversary. this is one of my favourite albums of all time, so there was no way i'd miss this.

i went to the show last night. it was immediately apparent that this was not my scene. while waiting in line before the show, people around me were young, and talking about all these bands i'd never heard of, but sound like emo/screamo/hardcore stuff, judging by the band names.

first openers were animals as leaders. wow. a math-y instrumental prog band, without the wankery. they played eight-string guitars, showing off technique. at one point, guitarist tosin abasi played on the neck of the instrument, and it sounded like keyboards; cool effect. as a new listener, it was slightly hard to follow, with all the mid-song switching and unusual time signatures. to me, they sounded like a heavier version of all the post-rock stuff i listen to, so i really enjoyed this set.

next band was a skylit drive. ugh, a skinny-white-boy band, with more style than substance. they were like a boy band (there was the blonde, the dirty blonde, the redhead, the light brunette, the dark brunette, and the dyed black-haired crazy one), with their carefully slashed jeans, the perfectly rehearsed posturing and synchronized jumping. i wondered who their target audience was. oh right, the 14-year-old girls standing behind me who sang along to all the songs. i definitely felt too old for that.

then, it was thursday. their show about a year ago at the foufs was pretty good, so i was really excited to hear "full collapse" played live. it turned out slightly disappointing; i must have been standing at a bad spot for sound, because the vocals were completely drowned out. the energy level was high, and the band really gave their all on stage, but i did not hear any of the vocals. the guy standing next to me made fun of the fact that we saw rickly's lips move, but with no sound. damn.

at least, i heard when he introduced "standing on the edge of summer" as "easy listening". well, i guess it qualifies; it is the "ballad" of the album.

after playing "full collapse", they played a new song, "turnpike divides", from the upcoming album. hard to judge if it sounded good. even though i'm not a super big thursday fan, i always find a couple of songs to like on each album, so i'll probably end up getting the new one.

i stuck around to hear what underoath is about. their sound was meh, and their lights were blinding me. i left after the second song.


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team boo

on monday, i passed by cheap thrills to buy tickets for devotchka's upcoming show (in march!). since i had a bit of time to kill, i quickly flipped through the bargain bin. so many promo/not-for-sale cd's! one of the reasons i buy cd's is for the packaging, so there is no point for me to buy promo cd's that come in a simple sleeve. still, there were some retail cd's. amongst those, i found mates of state's "team boo".

i may not be a big fan of the band, but their music is so cute/sweet/pop, there is nothing to hate. besides, it was only $0.99; how could i resist?

opening track "ha ha":


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robyn @ metropolis

last thursday, i went to the robyn show with my cousins. turns out she has a good following here: the show was sold out, and i heard the scalpers were trying to sell tickets for $60 (originally $27).

the first act was natalia kills. i had seen shows with circus acts before (dresden dolls, emilie autumn, devotchka), but i think this was my first time seeing backup dancers:

this was perhaps the shortest set i've seen. she performed four songs, where the fourth was actually a dance version of the first. sure her songs are catchy at first listen, but not my kind of thing.

next act was diamond rings. i had seen him open for owen pallett last year, and was pleasantly surprised. this time, i was looking forward to his set. his outfit this time: fuchsia jacket, pink tank top, gold chains, and gold leggings. so glam.

almost all the songs he played were from his album "special affections", so i recognized them. he punctuated his set with fist pumps and skinny-white-boy dance moves. so kitsch.

finally, robyn appeared on stage, with a band consisting of two keyboard players and a drummer. her outfit: black bomber jacket, stringy white vest, black top, floral print leggings, platform ankle boots.

wow, she was so full of energy, dancing a lot, all over the stage.

she performed all her hits from the self-titled and "body talk" albums. the crowd was really into it. she kept it electro-pop, closely like the album version, so it was like one big dance party. i had a lot of fun: dancing and singing along, generally acting silly. eh, who cares.

for her first encore, she did a mellow version of "u should know better", without the snoop dogg parts, followed by more badassery with "konichiwa bitches".

she ended the set with a "dancing queen" medley that transitioned into her classic 1997 hit "show me love", re-worked for 2011, of course.

setlist posted here.

even though this was my first show of 2011, i think it will be one of my favourite for the year.


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