Best of 2014: Kevin Brasier


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.


New Fries
Fresh Face Forward
(Pleasence Records)


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.


Bruce Haack
Electric Lucifer Book II
(Telephone Explosion)


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

I am the center-675x675-1381256339_1387492547

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


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.


(Light in the Attic)


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.


Poule Mange Poule
(E-Tron Records)


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.


Pagan Day
(Slovenly Records)


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.


Tough Age
Tough Age
(Mint Records)


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

afternoon beers

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: 





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.



Orange Cloud Nine
(Golf Channel Recordings)


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.


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


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.


Jennifer Castle
Pink City
(Idee Fixe)


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.


Steve Gunn
Way Out Weather
(Paradise of Bachelors)


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


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.


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’.


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.


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.


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.











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’


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


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


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


wronghole2012Wrong Hole ’2012′


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Sonic Boom Wednesdays: Softest Boom!

SoftestBoomFBcover copy

Wednesday night, as part of our weekly Sonic Boom DJ excursions at Handlebar, we ‘soft serve’ you all the EZ hits you (didn’t think you) desire! Our crack staff of AM lovers (Mic Bot, Even Lewis, Blair Whatmore, Jon Maki, Andy J Lloyd Webber, and more) plan to wreak soft rock heavenly havoc all over the Handlebar (159 Augusta Ave in Kensington Market).  Starts at 9:30, no cover.

Info here/Make requests here

A taste of the honey:
Berlin ‘Take My Breath Away’
Maxinne Nightingale ‘Right Back Where We Started From’
America ‘Sister Golden Hair’
OMD ‘Souvenir’
Ace ‘How Long’
Jackson Browne ‘Doctor My Eyes’
Prince ‘Beautiful Ones’
America ‘Sister Golden Hair’
Sean Nicholas Savage ‘Naturally’
The Spoons ‘Nova Heart’
Electric Light Orchestra ‘Telephone Line’
Todd Rundgren ‘I Saw the Light’
Carly Simon ‘Why’
INXS ‘Never Tear Us Apart’
Jennifer Rush ‘The Power of Love’
Madonna ‘Crazy For You’
Aretha Franklin ‘I Say A Little Prayer’
OMD ‘If You Leave’
Seals and Crofts ‘Summer Breeze’
Jef Barbara ‘Florida is the Future’
Rod Stewart ‘Young Turks’
Wham! ‘Careless Whisper’

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New ‘Digs’ Press’d


BlogTO is once again on top of the Booming action down at 215 Spadina.  Take a look at this terrific little article right about here.

p.s. Here’s what might very well be playing over the soundsystem right now. 

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Le Weekend Recommendations


Tonight! Chandra takes to the Double Double Land stage replacing her 1980 backing band the Dance with top flight/top of their game/weirdo pop crew Bile Sister.  This show will mark the reissue of Chandra’s special expanded ‘under-the-radar-post-punk-mutant-disco-Aaron-Levin-Championed-1980-NYC-classic’ ‘Transportation’.  Also on the bill an unstoppable magnificent bastard named Sexy Merlin and the Healing Powers of (the Bile Sister recommended) New Chance.  Check all the details here.

p.s. the team of (one of the best bands in this city) Mimico‘s guitar god Jeremiah Knight, Grounders Evan Lewis and Sonic Boom’s own Dufton(e) Gold present psychedelic rock findings called Fuzz Nugs down the street at Handlebar. Details here.

On Saturday Night, dynamo organ ruler Carl Didur splits from his Zacht Automaat and her U.S. Girls for an intimate solo performance/release.  If the show meets the level of the release, this will be classic Didur!  Classic Didur!!!  All the details here. 

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Sonic Boom NOW

SB_20Photo not by Tim Oakley

NOW Toronto catches up with our beloved *Barber, Jeff* for the inside scoop on the big move to 215 Spadina.  Read all about it:

NOW: Sonic Boom’s new digs.


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Sonic Boom at the 2014 TAVES


Sonic Boom is excited to announce we have accepted an invitation to take part in the 2014 Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show.  For this prestigious (glimpse into the future of A/V technology) event our own ‘vinyls‘ aficionado Evan Lewis Lewis will be selecting some of our finest new and ‘previously enjoyed’ LPs (Long players) from our extensive (massive) catalog of quality product.  Also expect to see our wonderful record accessories (including ‘Lewis and Lloyd’s Premium’ Record Cleaning elixir).  T.A.V.E.S. runs from Friday October 31st to Sunday November 2nd.

For more information about T.A.V.E.S. click:

T.A.V.E.S. Online


And make sure to visit our new location opening September 27th at 215 Spadina, just north of Queen Street !!


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Sneak Peek: Two Hundred Fifteen Spadina

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin… by showing you a sneak peek of our incredible new location at 215 Spadina courtesy of Nathan ‘NATO’ Houbraken Photography.  And check back for updates here concerning our big opening: This Saturday September 27th!

SB_21 SB_20 Continue reading

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This Friday: Surinam at Bassline

surinam - rec1

Facebook Event

“I heard it through the Bassline, and I’m just about to lose my mind.”

This Friday night, as Sonic Boom preps our big move to 215 Spadina, we take a break in the name of Rock and Roll to proudly present, as part of the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival, one of our absolute favourite bands in the city Surinam!  Also on this outstanding bill Lunchmeat, Terrorlake, and LICE (featuring Tim Fagen of another one of our favourite bands New Fries).  For all the details visit the Facebook event here.

And get the skinny on Surinam herevia this fantastic Chart Attack article.

Listen here:

(Surinam Photo by Joe Strutt of Mechanical Forest Sound)


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