National Canadian Film Day- A screening of David Cronenberg’s 1983 film “Videodrome” at Sonic Boom

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On Wednesday April 29th, Sonic Boom will be celebrating National Canadian Film Day with our first screening ever at 215 Spadina of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome! The screening will take place downstairs near the stage at 9PM with a special 16mm pre-show of Arthur Lipsett’s 1961 short “Very Nice, Very Nice” and Christopher Chapman’s 1967 short “A Place to Stand”. Along with these films will be a musical accompaniment by local synthesizer sensation Carl Didur. Limited tickets will be available to purchase at Sonic Boom for only $5 (all proceeds go to Reel Canada). This will be a licensed/ all ages event.

We hope to see you at the shop on April 29th…Long live the new flesh!

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The Record Store Day Menu

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Record Store Day is Saturday, and we’re elated at Sonic Boom to share in the celebration.  Annually, this is a special day to showcase what we do from 10 am til midnight 364 days a year.  Collector’s excitedly await our unveiling of the day’s special wax merchandise.  We prepare for the insanity with excitement, and the excitement comes from the day’s events!  This year we’re privileged to have an afternoon and evening full of musical performances from some of our very favourite performers.  Here’s what’s on the menu:

@SONIC BOOM

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Carl Didur
@2PM
(Sounds)

Carl Didur is one of this city and these times best kept secrets.  As one half of the juggernaut tag team that is Zacht Automaat, our man Carl rules the kosmische skool taking claim to the title ‘King of the Keyboard’.  Solo he crushes like a ’747′, like a One Man Gang, winding tape loops around whatever he can get his hands on (wine bottles, CD spools, etc.), all with the purpose of creating the perfect beat.  Last year, Didur released one of our favourite albums entitled ‘Nothing is the Secret to Anything’.  Listen to this underheard masterpiece here.

anamaivideoANAMAI (Solo)
@3PM
(Sounds)

Anna Mayberry’s Anamai is the swirling downcast ying to her death rock band HSY‘s yang.  As Anamai (like Anime) she trades rage for beauty and terrifying screams for hazy dreams.  File alongside contemporary favourites Grouper and Julianna Barwick, and the classic output of the Cocteau Twins.  Dare to be compelled by this melancholic wonder.  Note: this solo performance is a preview to her upcoming LP release show down the street at Cinecycle (details here).

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HARRISON
@4PM
(Sounds)

At 19 years of age, Harrison is set to make some major waves in 2015.  He’ll do this with what his abettors call a ‘loopy and libidinous hit of psychedelic 22nd-century soul music’.  As Drake and the Weeknd loom over the top of the charts, Harrison and his peers continue this City’s reign supreme over the urban music landscape.  Get familiar with this breaking beatmaker here then get down to the Boom for this 20 hundred hours beat-treat explosion.

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MIMICO
@5PM
(Sounds)

They cruised the bins in search of the best post punk, shoegaze, and the coldest analog synth waves, but they weren’t entirely satisfied with what wasn’t theirs.  So they set-up in a basement and sweated it out.  They played off the beaten path, but they were too good to remain a secret.  We jam their new LP ‘Incantations’ ‘on the reg’.  And we love them live and can’t wait for you to see them at 5PM this Saturday!

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COMET CONTROL
@6PM
(Sounds)

Their former Quest For Fire ended swirling in a psychedelic intergalactic battle called Comet Control.  Save your money on a flight and ticket to Austin’s Psych Fest and join us at 6PM for their history presentation (future leanings) of the psychedelic art form called music.  Sabbath fans comingle with Roky fans and they all dig on this here Comet Control.

@8-11

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SECRET GUEST
@10:30PM
(No Sounds)

This lathed cut laquer of a black magic band is one of our favourites.  We expect them to shake the base.  No, the secret guest is not the Ugandan Headhunter Kamala’s new s-a-x project.  Nor is this Loggins, Kenny, Messina, Jim or any combination there of.  Here’s a video of another band we like.

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SOUPCANS
@11:30PM
(Sounds)

Last we checked Soupcans were still the best band in the city.  Here they are in serious discussion.  Here they are in self denial.  And here they will be at 8-11 for you and I and everyone to rejoice in the communion of rock and roll!

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MMM MMM
(SEXY MERLIN AND MAN MADE HILL)
@12:30AM
(Sexy Sounds / Man Made Sounds)

Sexy Merlin and Man Made Hill are undoubtedly, undisputed-ly, two of the best performers going today!  Individual they are holders of the Champions Chains.  And combined, under one tasty performance, they will be Mmm Mmm delicious!  Their NATURE tells us this combo will be a beatific device for mad hatted dancing.  As the clock strikes party, we will have no choice but to do it double hard.  Prepare and take cover.

For more information on the day time show:
Facebook Event

For more information on the 8-11 after party:
Facebook Event

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Guest List: Anni Spadafora (New Fries)

Annie_o Anni Spadafora sings, bust strings, and rallies sweet chaos whilst serving up the finest New Fries.  New Fries being one of thee best bands in the city right now, and collectively one our staff favourite bands over this past year.  A year that included a highly recommended cassette, ‘Fresh Face Forward’ on Pleasence Records, and a consistently captivating live show.  New Fries played a number of shows locally, and on the road, with some of the best bands far and wide, oh Canada!  Here’s her words on the creme de la creme…

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Old and Weird
What I Saw
(Self Released)

Listen

Old and Weird’s ‘What I Saw’ has a 3-boobed face on the cover. Allison, Danika and Hannah recorded it themselves at Boob Face Recording Centre. The 10 songs warp with time changes here and there, and lyrics smartly fold onto themselves (“peachy beach-y”/”peach beach”). The strangeness of the songs’ melodies is its excellence—they’re gorgeously uncomfortable, especially when sung (not quite insistent, definitely not sweet, a series of intonation gymnastics). So many candy-coated guitar lines I can’t wait 45 seconds to get to. To say these are anti-pop songs (like other reviews suggest) feels like a simplifying of the record’s mechanics. This record is not in opposition to anything, it feels new and elsewhere.

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Moss Lime
July First
(Fixture Records)

Listen

Moss Lime’s ‘July First’ sounds like all the boldest songs by The Flying Lizards, Young Marble Giants, and ESG. This 5-song EP is drenched in mystery and sex. Yep, it’s the sexiest. As well as a perfect example of how affective simple arrangement/instrumentation can be, which I believe to be the loudest gesture. Plus they cover Calabria 2001—you can’t do that to a girl with the surname ‘Spadafora’.

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Jennifer Castle
Pink City
(Idee Fixe Records)

Listen

Many years ago after Jennifer Castle played an in-store at Soundscapes. I obsessively watched video footage of it online as it caught her singing an unreleased song I didn’t have the name for. A year later I knew it was called Sailing Away because my friend Julie found a Daytrotter session recording of it, we passed it out sparingly to close friends like some kind of Holy Grail MP3. Weeks before ‘Pink City’ came out, Sailing Away was first released and I spent that afternoon in the park playing it on repeat, balling my eyes out behind my glasses, eating a California Sandwich. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of the most perfect songs I’ve ever heard.

 

Jennifer Castle’s songwriting is of some sort of otherworldliness: intentionality, cutting sincerity, humor, and urgency. These are all inadequate words to attempt to speak of the wild experience of witnessing Jennifer Castle. She continues to find the words and melodies for that humanness we all reach at, hide from.

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Unblonde
Sense of Self / Tenent / Habit Anything
(Egg Paper Factory)

Listen

I missed all of the Jean-Sebastien Audet projects that pre-dated Unblonde (The You Are Minez, Faux Fur, Zouk Fuck). I read that he had recorded hundreds of songs by the age of 18, all in his self-made home recording studio in his parents’ basement. This year alone (as Unblonde) he released ‘Tenent’, ‘Habit Anything’ (pieces from the making of ‘Tenent’) and ‘Sense of Self’. Each varies in their sounds but all employ the Jean-Sebastien-tailored, self-recorded intimacy he’s obviously been molding for years. The quality of voice and guitar he captures rattles equal parts curiosity and envy in me. I felt similar feelings when I first heard ‘The Glad Fact’ and ‘Getty Address’, those early Dirty Projectors records.

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Palberta
Shithead in the Ditch
(OSR Tapes)

Listen

Palberta’s ‘Shithead in the Ditch’ is a collection of that smartass, chest-out brazenness that I really want more of these days. It’s the smartest example of sonic mess that I’ve encountered in a long time. No preciousness here: 1-minute long songs, small pieces of space/guitar foolishness, that raw instrumentation so many bands shy away from (few or no pedals/effects), and a perfect mix of cutting lyrics alongside grotesque barks. Each song sounds incomplete, in the best way possible. I want a forever-punk sisterhood with these women.

Also records from Absolutely Free and Fatima Al-Quadiri and Guerilla Toss and Eucalyptus and New Chance and Each Other, Cocteau Twins’ ‘Blue Bell Knowl’ was re-issued this year and it felt really good to only listen to that for a few weeks, Carl Didur (and Zach Automat) and William Onyeabor’s ‘Who is William Onyeabor’ (I think it came out in 2013 but I bought it in 2014) and the song ‘Windows’ by Angel Olsen was excellent for heartbreak

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Best of 2014: Carlyn Bezic (Ice Cream)

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Carlyn Bezic comprises one half of one of our favourite new (relatively) and current bands, Ice Cream.  On stage and on record she’s all ace of bass taking Suicide dives alongside the gangsta beat she and partner Amanda pro-vide swaying hypnotized crowds.  Here she’s further in her element discussing favourite records made and/or discovered in the year that was…  

It takes being asked to make a list to realize how many new records you didn’t listen to, and how many records you thought were from this year but were actually from 2013 (or 2011, even!), and that maybe you should consider listening to something other than Prince (and not even deep cut Prince. 2014 was my Year of Parade). On top of that, you don’t need me to also tell you to listen to the Ariel Pink record, or Jennifer Castle, or D’Angelo, etc. etc., so with that preamble, here’s some records and tracks that I got into over the course of 2014 that you may also find interesting.

Three Records That Are From This Year:

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Popcaan
Where We Come From
(Mixpak)

Listen

This record is the musical equivalent to those lamps that are used to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. Full credit goes to my bandmate Amanda Crist for pushing this record on me– whenever I was feeling low her advice would be “listen to Where We Come From at least once a day,” and it took me way too long to finally do that. It has very smart and tasteful production, and I think today marks the point at which I have officially listened to “Waiting So Long” over a million times.

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Actual Water

Call 4 Fun
(Bad Actors)

Listen

Actual Water always feels like a trip through the history of music in some sense or another. The influences are obvious and obscured at the same time, and each song feels like a new pop discovery but also very familiar, because that’s what good pop songwriting does. And whenever I listen to this record I feel like I understand Rock Music better, and I understand songwriting better, but I can also not think about it too much and dance around my room like a teenager who just discovered the Ramones. “Latoya” should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was at all relevent and included Big Star and Guided by Voices).

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Marie Davidson

Perte D’Identité
(Weyrd Son Records)

Listen

Ice Cream opened for Marie at the Tone Deaf Festival this year, and it was the best set I’ve seen in a long time. Everything she did was satisfying. This record feels like walking alone down an alleyway at night; you feel defiantly free, but unshakably paranoid, against a backdrop of concrete and trash.


Two Records That Have Nothing To Do With This Year:

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Haruomi Hosono
Philharmony
(Yen Records)

Listen

I found out about this record when a friend posted “Sportsmen”, an addictive, dancey, electro-pop song with a nice underlying melancholic vibe, that’s probably the most radio-friendly point of the record. Hosono was in Yellow Magic Orchestra and there’s definitely a similar Kraftwerk-but-Japanese-and-with-a-goofier-sense-of-humour vibe to Philharmony, but while Kraftwerk is often essentially pop songwriting through synths, this record has more of an operatic, orchestral vibe (hence the name, I guess). There’s a Sparks-esque theatricality to it, with fun, danceable songs mixing with tracks like “Luminescent-Hotaru”, a composition of xylophones and bells with swelling, forboding synths coming in at the end. The record as a whole paints a really interesting picture. A wild ride you should take!

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Modulo 1000
Nao Fale Come Parades
(Label)

Listen

This is really amazing Brazilian prog-rock with great organ and guitar tones. All I was going to say about this record was “turn off your mind, relax, and float down stream”, but there’s too much of a proto-metal vibe for you to just “float downstream”… Maybe it’s like, turn off your mind, relax, and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times?* Credit, again, goes to Amanda for turning me on to this. Maybe you liked the Goat record from this year? Then you will like this.



Two Tracks I Discovered This Year Because Kind Music Store Employees Suggested Them To Me:

Imagination
Imagination
So Good, So Right
(Label)

Listen

This song is worth the $5 you will pay for this record. A crowd-pleaser while DJing. Perfect the entire 7 minutes through. It’s too good, too right! Fuck you Imagination! Fuck you for making this amazing song!

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The Alessi Brothers
Seabird
(Label)

Listen

I realize a lot of people have heard this song but I had never heard it until this year and it’s so beautiful and perfect and it’s absurd it’s not a radio classic. The first few listens had me on the verge of tears.

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Best of 2014: Chuck Blazevic (You’ll Never Get To Heaven/Dreamsploitation)

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With two outstanding releases in 2014, this was another banner year for electronic composer Chuck Blazevic.  First there was ‘Adorn’, from duo You’ll Never Get To Heaven with equally brilliant partner Alice Hansen, (issued first as a cassette on Mystic Roses, then by perennial Canadian independent favourites Psychic Handshake).  Second was his solo offering as Dreamsploitation with ‘The In​-​Between Years: 1959​-​1963′.  Alongside these outstanding productions, Chuck (once referred to as the Polisher) spent time assisting the development of a potential pop outbreak in London – mixing singles and teaching the ins and outs of the studio.  Chuck is a favourite to span time discussing music, so here we share his discussion of top picks from the year that was.    

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Gigi Masin
Talk to the Sea
(Music From Memory)

Talk to the Sea is a compilation of Gigi Masin recordings from the mid-1980s to present. Nearly every track on this double LP is perfectly realized and hauntingly gorgeous. This set’s winning combination of top shelf musicality and affective depth exemplifies Music From Memory’s aesthetic vision, which label personnel Jamie Tiller, Tako Reyenga, and Abel Nagengast have been formulating and quietly disseminating through a slew of consistently mind-blowing mixtapes over the past few years.

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Ennio Morricone
Veruschka
(Light in the Attic)

This 1971 soundtrack features some of my favourite music ever recorded. There is no other record past or present that I’ve heard, by Morricone or anyone else, that sounds like this. The orchestrations strike an ideal balance between ominousness and ethereal beauty, and the tracks are brilliantly mixed like a dub record, with harps, strings, and voices decked out in tape echo and reverb. Absolutely essential.

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Cleaners From Venus
Living with Victoria Grey
(Captured Tracks)

Listen

The stellar DIY production values on Living with Victoria Grey enhance the emotional pull of these deftly composed songs, which explore a variety of pop styles including northern soul (“What’s Goin’ On (In Your Heart)”), 60s harmony pop (“Pearl”), new wave (“Ilya Kuryakin Looked At Me”), and melancholic balladry (“The Mercury Girl”).

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Weekend
The ‘81 Demos
(Blackest Ever Black

Listen

The ‘81 Demos downplays the (amazing) breezy inflections of Weekend’s La Varieté, exposing its (equally amazing) elegiac and minimalist core. Totally engaging music and a delight to have available on wax.

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YlangYlang
am i being overdramatic?
(Ailanthus/Inyrdisk

Listen

One of my favourite Canadian albums of 2014. You’ll love am i being overdramatic? if you’re into artists like Paavoharju, ES, and Lau Nau. Like these imaginative producers, YlangYlang presents a beautifully fractured synthesis of ambient, pop, and leftfield idioms in a fearlessly individualistic manner.

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Best of 2014 (film): The Chaseman

10346457_10201523009230957_4401295751757585271_nChaseman is our resident film buff.  You can find him at good film fitness everyday.  There you’ll see the strength he exudes in lifting heavy weight subjects from Europa and the (North) American underground; such as the catalogs of Ingmar and Lars of Von Trier fame.  He’s also not afraid to kick it into high gear with his ongoing study of the martial arts (films of the far east).  But he’s no yuppie drunk on pretension, he claims Wayne World 2 to be better than the first, and is willing to discuss further.  He also loves to discuss what he’s seen recently, and here he is with an essentials wrap up of the year that was.

The Grand Budapest HotelGrand Budapest Hotel
(dir. Wes Anderson)

Trailer

Wes Anderson creates another new world that embraces the beauty of Europe. A head nod to Jean Renoir’s 1937 film “La Grande Illusion” sharp dialogue and acting comradery, Wes has written this masterpiece that swoops you up and romantically sparks emotions and memories that you thought you’d never feel again after leaving your most loving European journey behind.

Film Review Under the Skin

Under The Skin
(dir. Jonathan Glazer)

Trailer

Mica Levi’s soundtrack is my favourite album release of 2014. The soundtrack allows you to feel and envision the flicking glimpse of light that is trying to escape darkness throughout the film.

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Enemy
(dir. Denis Villeneuve)

Trailer

Filmed and set in Toronto and Mississauga, Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy is about a common fear of finding your own doppelgänger. Gyllenhaal continues to impress me again and again since Prisoners. A very eerie soundtrack as well by Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans.

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Blue Ruin
(dir. Jeremy Saulnier)

Trailer

A breakthrough film by Jeremy Saulnier. Remember this guys name. The best revenge film of the year and maybe the most subtle anti-gun film to date. It’s just so angry!

 

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20,000 Days on Earth
(dir. Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard)

Trailer

What can I say? Nick Cave has it figured out. It’s a look into Nick Cave’s mind, his opinion on survival, life, death, and his past and present career. An exceptional film!

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Boyhood
(dir. Richard Linklater)

Trailer

Richard Linklater deserves a lifelong applause. It took 12 years to film this near perfect movie. We go through many stages in life. Some move faster than others, some are heartbreaking, loving, or even non-existent. Linklater shows a series of photographs of how we age and change. As everyone ages in life whether you are a mother, son, brother, sister, daughter, or father you can relate. The movie rehashes your most emotional and loving memories in life. Just when you want to hold onto a memory or moment, life moves forward and you have to let go. Linklater captures it all whether you want to see it or not. And geez Patricia Arquette gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

 

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Best of 2014: Jon Maki

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If you ever wondered how Sonic Boom has a certain title no one has ever heard of (but you), or has copies of a release that’s seemingly out of print/sold out, the man riding the lawn tractor above is more than likely your answer – Jon Maki.  His ears are open wide for the recordings we need, his eyes wide for where to find them.  His catalog of knowledge outweighs that of every two groups of music fiend friends you may have.  He’s a staff onto himself, a One Man Gang!  To Jon Maki all sounds must be considered, and whether he likes/dislikes a certain album, if he sees that you or your friends like it, we’ll have it.  And if something is worth having, even if awareness is invisible, we’ll have it.  He’s our go to, our philosophy on what to stock.  He’s a man of wide interest and great taste.  And here he is counting down his favourites of Two Thousand Fourteen.     

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Not So Deep As A Well
(Feeding Tube)

Listen

Channeling the poetry of Dorothy Parker, Montreal based Myriam Gendron effortlessly rolls out this sparse folk album that’s equal parts melancholy and bliss. Debut of the year.

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Tche Belew
(Awesome Tapes From Africa)

Listen

70s Ehtio-jazz at the peak of its powers. No more needs to be said.

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Ruins
(Kranky)

Listen

All of the layers have been stripped away to reveal her most honest, captivating and achingly beautiful album to date.


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Ned Doheny
Separate Oceans
(Numero Group)

Listen

Polished without being too polished. Soft without being too soft. Ned Doheny assembled an all-star cast for this infectious Laurel Canyon collection that definitely deserved more ears in its time. (Editor’s Link: Read Jackson Browne’s tribute to Unsung Cult Singer Ned Doheny)

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Jennifer Castle
Pink City
(Idee Fixe)

Listen

My favourite songwriter in this city (and this country) right now. There is wholehearted wisdom beneath the surface of these words and music. Album of the year.

Other Noted Releases: Dorval & Devereaux ‘Dorval & Devereaux’, Steve Gunn ‘Way Out Weather’,  Carl Didur Nothing Is The Secret To Anything’ , Tony Molina ‘Dissed And Dismissed’, David Kilgour & The Heavy 8′s ‘End Times Undone’, Chad Vangaalen ‘Shrink Dust’, Angel Olsen ‘Burn Your Fire For No Winess’, Dean Blunt ‘Black Metal’, Amen Dunes ‘Love’, Absolutely Free ‘Absolutely Free’, Mica Levi ‘Under the Skin’

Reissues: Woo ‘Into The Heart Of Love’, The Sensational Saints ‘You Won’t Believe It’, Laraaji ‘Essence/Universe’, Various Artists ‘Native North America’, The Plastic Cloud ‘The Plastic Cloud’, Cleaners From Venus ‘In The Golden Autumn’, Brigitte Fontaine ‘Comme A La Radio/Est… Folle’, Yo La Tengo ‘Extra Painful’, Damu The Fudgemunk ‘How It Should Sound Vol.1&2’, and K. Leimer ‘A Period Of Review’

 

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Best of 2014: Kevin Brasier

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Kevin Brasier comes to us highly recommended from Weird Canada (whom we highly recommend).  He’s crowd surfed his way from the East in a Killer Haze, laughing all the way – ha-ha!  We’re all stoked to have his contributions and many areas of expertise at the Boom.  This list won’t reflect his passion and knowledge of classical music, per say, but if you want inexpensive masterpieces on Compact Disc or Vinyl come by and ask him.  If you wanna know how to tour the country on a limited budget, ask him.  And if you wanna know what’s happening in the communities of Sackville New Brunswick or Downtown Toronto, again, ask him!  Now listen in as he shares his favourites from his many adventures this past year, here, in Sackville, and with Aaron and Marie at Wyrd Distro.

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New Fries
Fresh Face Forward
(Pleasence Records)

Listen

When I moved to Toronto in May, the very first show I went to was a Feast in the East production featuring New Fries. I didn’t really know anyone and felt pretty awkward, but I walked away feeling like “Hot damn! New Fries ruuuuule!!” Punk rock no-wave for fans of the best bands.

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Bruce Haack
Electric Lucifer Book II
(Telephone Explosion)

Listen

Early electronic biblical opera. What? Yes. Required listening if you are: in Sunday school; destroying the dance floor.

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V/A
I am the Centre: Private New Age Music in America 1950-1990 (2013)
(Light in the Attic)

Listen

So one day I was working at the Wyrd Distro HQ, and this baby shows up addressed to head honchos. Me: New Age? Marie: Yes. It’s amazing.

Marie drops the needle, and my jaw dropped the floor. Me: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. Wow. This is incredible.

So I guess I love New Age. But its nice to still be accepted by the punks.

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Lewis
L’Amour
(Light in the Attic)

Listen

Soft soft synth, guitar, and mumbling from this mysterious Edmontonian. Actually the softest crooning I have ever heard (I don’t even know what he is saying in the song “I thought the world of you”). It is an incredible record. Beautiful, minimal, Lynchian stuff.

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FET.NAT
Poule Mange Poule
(E-Tron Records)

Listen

Fellow Wyrdian Rachel Weldon turned me onto this insanely good band from Hull, QC. Strange, pop-post-punk, which makes me want to a) shake my money maker, or; b) bash up some derby cars.

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PYPY
Pagan Day
(Slovenly Records)

Listen

It’s like Jimi Hendrix and Lydia Lunch had a baby and that baby was only fed speed and booze and cocaine and acid and The Stooges for 18 years and then turned loose on the world– wah-wah freaking out ‘the man’ and fuzzing your brain inside out and backwards.

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Tough Age
Tough Age
(Mint Records)

Listen

Extra Extra! Read all about it! East Van all stars make perfect power-pop album! Tough Age to World: “See you at Splash Mountain!”

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Best of 2014: Bella Lugosi-Gino-Vanelli

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Our gal Bella Lugosi-Gino-Vanelli likes a challenge.  Not one to find her jollies in the mainstreams, Beller digs her heels in deep to international excavations of psychedelic sounds.  Her tastes are tried and true and a reflection of her globe trotting ways.  Music must tickle her ears, but also meet her somewhere in the central point of the soul.  She is one who searches not for the instant satisfaction of pop, but for the healing force of (shall we say) truth music.  Her ears are open to the cause and her spirit welcomes with a gigantic smile (or thanks, but no thanks disdain).  Bella’s favourites of this year are as follows: 

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Soundcarriers

Entropicalia
(Rediscover)

Listen

These UK musicians carry you through a lush, psychedelic landscape, with the vivid female vocals acting as both siren and lighthouse. Highly recommended for fans of Broadcast, Stereolab, and The United States Of America. Bonus: the last track is a bizarre, prog-y tutorial on crushing primitive expectations of yourself and reaching a higher state of presence, narrated, of course, by Elijah Wood.

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Spike

Orange Cloud Nine
(Golf Channel Recordings)

Listen

This is a previously unreleased collection of one enigmatic dutchman’s musical forays in the 80′s. The lore goes that this political dissenter somehow managed to sue his government for lifetime rights to unemployment insurance, at which point he holed up and self-recorded these diverse tracks. There are classic dark 80′s after-hours club sounds, next to breezy romantic ballads, and ska-tinged boogies.

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Roy Montgomery
324 E 13th St.
(Yellow Electric)

Listen

Another lost treasure from decades past, seeing the light again due to Liz Harris (Grouper)’s always diligent and piercing sense of taste on her Yellow Electric label. Montgomery recorded these songs between the late 80′s to late 90′s, in the flourishing Christchurch, New Zealand scene. Closely related to the Flying Nun family, but not sharing the poppier side of The Clean and The Chills’ sound, you can still hear that classic jangle, just mixed a little lower and put through a couple tape loops. His baritone voice sings of loss and calamity and is entirely absorbing.

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Jennifer Castle
Pink City
(Idee Fixe)

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This Toronto artist continues her death grip hold on our hearts with a new release every bit as skilled and emotional as you would expect. At times orchestral, at others sparse piano and vocal only, with moments of soaring country-folk, this album deserves repeated, close listening. All the better, of course, to appreciate her clever lyricism.

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Steve Gunn
Way Out Weather
(Paradise of Bachelors)

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Gunn’s guitar work can most easily be labelled as virtuosic, with all of the skill and none of the haughtiness that that term implies. This New York-based musician has been playing for over fifteen years, and has an impressive roster of collaborations, but his solo and band-backed work here, and on his previous album are the real gold, as far as I can tell. Last year’s “Time Off” feels like a lead-up to “Way Out Weather”, which is even more expansive and gratifying.

Other noted releases: Life Without Buildings ‘Any Other City’, Cleaners From Venus ‘Living With Victoria Grey’ and ‘In Golden Autumn’, Angel Olsen ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’, White Fence ‘For the Recently Found Innocent’, Viet Kong ‘Cassette EP’.

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Black Friday RSD

Black Friday

For info on ‘Black Friday Record Store Day’ releases check the list here.  Quantities are limited so arrive early.

While you peruse the list, have a listen to this wonderful Lee Hazlewood song entitled ‘No Train to Stockholm’ (from ‘The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes and Backsides 1968-1971′ and the RSD exclusive box set (Vinyl Version) ‘There’s A Dream I’ve Been Saving (1966-1971)’).

 

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Top 5: Creedence Clearwater Revival

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To celebrate the release of the Complete Albums box set, we’d like to share five reasons to fall in love, one more time, with Tommy Fogerty / John Fogerty / Stu Cook / Doug Clifford collectively known as Creedence Clearwater Revival aka one of our all time favourite bands.

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1. Ramble Tamble (Cosmos Factory)

This list can’t escape some of the hits featured on ‘Chronicle’, but also no point focusing further attention when songs, as crucial as anything ever played-out on classic rock radio, exist like ‘Ramble Tamble’.  Listen to your heart sink into your chest as the piano plinks in the latter stages.  This song suggests that for the time it plays along ‘life makes a little more sense.  And is a little or a lot better’.

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2. Graveyard Train (Bayou Country)

This is like a Sabbath (noir) in the swamp.  Swap the devils for the gators.  But let it be known, these boys’ fixation with Catfish and the Mississippi River is just that, a fixation.  They’re Bay Area boys.  San Fran if you will.  And Ty Segall surely thanks them for it.

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3. Keep on Chooglin’

Just keep on chooglin’, man!

Did you know: the classic Creedence catalog was all recorded in a span of two years, July 1968 to July 1970.  Yes, that includes their classic self titled debut, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, and Cosmos Factory.

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4. I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Cosmo’s Factory)

Is there a song with three versions as timeless and desert island worthy as the versions of this song?  I can’t choose between the versions by the Slits, the legendary Marvin Gaye, and, of course, this extended mindblower by Creedence.  Take this one to your car stereo, neither your car nor your car stereo has to be great.  Just play it loud and don’t fight that feeling to tap the wheel, thwap the dash, or bang out whatever ya gotta bang out.  The Dude abides.  Call this promotion to own CCRCDs, cause they’re needed in the car as much as the turntable at home.

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5. Have You Ever Been Lonely (Tommy Fogerty and the Blue Velvets)

This past year at Sonic Boom we discovered a yesteryear box set of CCR featuring a compact disc with the entire (tho very small) catalog of both the Golliwogs and the criminally under heard Tommy Fogerty and the Blue Velvets (both Creedence in pre-Creedence form).  Tommy makes a case as to why he should have had a turn at the mic with the main event band (apparently why 4 became 3).  Each song in the Velvets catalog sways between takes on many of the best vocalists of the era (Roy Orbison to Richie Valens, etc.).  This song above is a blessed song, a heavenly gift, for all who listen.

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Recommended: 5 $taff Favourites

Grouper80Grouper ‘Ruins’
(Kranky)

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Read

ABT040 TOPS LP-Jacket 11183 v2Tops ‘Picture You Staring’
(Arbutus)

Watch
Read

LHIobi-675x675Lee Hazlewood ‘The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes and Backsides (1968-71)’
(Light in the Attic)

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Read

Jom8_10Jom Comyn ‘In the Dark on 99 (All the Time, All the Time)’
(Value Records)

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Read

wronghole2012Wrong Hole ’2012′
(Pleasence)

Watch
Read

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