It's such a pleasure, and perhaps a relief, to know that Tennis are still going strong. That's not to doubt their commitment to quality output, but even the most uninitiated music fan knows by know how hard it is to carve out a career as a mid-level act. Tennis have been holding down a smooth and polite sound for what will be five full-lengths come February, which has them in a unique position as a reliable new-sounding band, but veteran enough to be influential. Listen/watch "Runner" and enjoy a tune that could be a mixtape staple in any decade.
Depending on how old you are, certain cities around the world have a certain appeal. If you were a wide-eyed, impressionable kid in the 80s and then 90s then we would wager that the first time you saw anything outside your immediate world was compliments of a television sitcom-- whether it was New York City through your weekly dose of Friends and Seinfeld or going back a bit further to Chicago of the 80s via Married With Children or more specifically Perfect Strangers.
Sometimes there’s a disconnect in our heads regarding things that seem more difficult than they actually are. When we reach Amber Webber, the very engaging front person of psychedelic pop purveyors Lightning Dust, she’s in the West End of Vancouver in between appointments. “I don’t find myself down here very much at all. It’s always one of those parts of the city that seem out of the way,” she laughs, “but it’s right there.
The theme of regret that comes with age is pretty common for artists as they themselves get older, and now Holy Ghost! tackle that theme head on with their new video for single “Heaven Knows What” from their latest album, Work. With the help of Sopranos star, and writer and director in his own right, Micheal Imperioli, and his son, Vadim, the video looks back at one man’s relationship with his younger self.
In the early part of this century, it used to actually be quite important for mid-level touring acts to have a vocalist whose voice not only matched with their own music, but with the sounds of all the potential remixers out there, so those acts could own the blogosphere and even perhaps the dingy club scene. Nowadays, gaining viral momentum has overwhelmingly replaced bloggers as a way to find popularity to the point where blog hits from the mid aughts are a retro theme in many venues across North America.
Braxe is back, baby, and he's in full effect. The man who is the ballast for the "French Touch" movement has kindly given us the first original music in six years, and its got all the gentle cotton wool we all remembered enjoying being wrapped in. Braxe has that edge still, where the pads and melodies that define his sound are peerless. There's a new EP coming, and if "Words" is any indication, there is the possibility of grinning rhythms and sparkly hooks about to descend upon us like it was 2008 again.
Twenty-five years is a true milestone of an anniversary. The silver anniversary, to be exact. Most people don’t stick with things for more than 25 days, much less years, especially when we are talking about the band you started in high school. Here we are though, 25 years in, and beloved LA-based band Phantom Planet are going strong. The band did take a hiatus after the release of their 2008 album Raise The Dead to indulge in their own personal work, but have recently gotten back together and just released the new single “Party Animal”.
The thing about Belle & Sebastian is that they are consistently shit on by the ironic generation, and yet continue to put out top-tier music in their niche. By "niche" I mean that they are the most important musical group to a select few: those of us who were only about nine years old when Kurt died, and were twenty-four when emo was around, and nine-year-olds being super into grunge might be the only thing more unsettling than twenty-four-year-olds into emo.
Nostalgia’s a hell of a drug. At its best, getting wrapped up in a sentimental memory makes us appreciative of the events that have shaped us into who we are today. Other times it makes us hoarders, unable or unwilling to let go of the past. It’s a rainy Monday in Dartmouth when ION reaches Joel Plaskett at home, and despite being neck-deep in old birthday cards and other assorted ephemera, the Maritimes-based singer-songwriter is doing his best to keep his head above the deluge of personal history.