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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

we ain't too pretty, we ain't too proud

well, the countdown is on. my birthday is in 10 days, and i've decided to mark the slow crawl to 30 (yes, i realize that 40 is the new 30, and i am only turning 28, but still, humour me here) i've decided that i'm going to post songs that, in the past, i may have been embarassed to admit liking, but as i get older, i've stopped caring. to be clear, this isn't even a hipster ironic enjoyment. i just really like the songs. to kick things off, i thought it would be appropriate to throw some billy joel your way. this song in particular a) makes me want to sing, b) makes me remember being a kid and c) makes me feel badass, mostly because if the title is true, and i'm still kicking...well, i must be badass.
and just to make things interesting, here's a whole bunch of covers to boot:

billy joel - only the good die young
billy joel & elton john - only the good die young
me first and the gimme gimmes - only the good die young
howie day - only the good die young
rockapella - only the good die young

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

another deliciously unlikely coupling

if you've known me for any length of time, chances are at some point you've heard two stories:
1) there was the time i went to see another roadside attraction, not to see the hip, but to see eric's trip and matthew sweet. eric's trip kind of sucked, mostly because i don't think that the best place to see them is at the speedway (speedway....speedway...). but matthew sweet certainly did not disappoint, and in fact, his show may still be in my top ten shows attended of all time. mostly because, at the tender age of 16, i hadn't seen someone play the guitar quite so well while being quite so entertainingly drunk. plus, he played while he drank.

2) when i was younger i used to dance. tap and jazz. (pause for laughter). but one of my favourite songs that i danced to (besides the boogie woogie bugle boy, but that was mostly because i was amused that our costumes closely resembled glad garbage bags) was the bangles' in your room.

those stories having been retold, how happy was i to hear that matthew sweet and susanna hoffs were collaborating on an album of covers? SO happy. here's my favourite track off of their album, aptly titled under the covers volume 1 (which i can only take to mean there will be MORE of this to come). also, just for shits and giggles, here's my favourite matthew sweet track as well.

matthew sweet - girlfriend
matthew sweet & susanna hoffs - cinnamon girl (neil young cover)

and in case you want super extra bonus points, if you're wondering where you've heard of the two of them pairing up before, i can give you a photo hint:


Monday, May 29, 2006

c'mon, he sang with JULIO!

for serious, willie nelson, for all his weirdness and faults, may be one of my favourite cover artists ever. i'm not going to delve into the man that much, but i will direct you to his wiki and strongly encourage you to give some of his older stuff a try (as well as the newer). i never really got why kenny rogers could have restaurants and slot machines in his name, but ol' willie just couldn't ever seem to catch a break. but i guess that's why he (like johnny cash) makes covering songs so awesomely believable. and i guess that sadness is what makes him country in the first place.

rainbow connection (from the 1981 album of the same name)

time after time (a superb cyndi lauper cover from the 2002 album, The Great Divide

Friday, May 26, 2006

guilty (pleasure) as charged

so just in case you have some sort of disorder that renders you unable to see pictures of 90s popstars, this post is going to be about how my weird/sick obsession with the spice girls turned into an all too sadly real appreciation for the solo work of melanie c. for whatever reason, sporty was always my favourite spice girl. she always seemed to get the high pitched shouty bits in their songs (you know, those parts that were most fun to sing? don't even pretend you don't know what i'm talking about). she seemed to be the most down to earth of the bunch. plus, she routinely threw a back flip or three into their live shows (i can't even begin to imagine ginger or posh attempting that). and golden raspberry or not, i maintain to this day that spiceworld was underappreciated.
i can fully admit that this isn't cool, not even in an ironic way. the music probably isn't really all that awesome, but i still like it, and i should warn you that suddenly monday has a tendancy to get stuck in my head for days after just one listen. before you laugh too hard, take a listen to a few tracks. the woman's released 3 solo albums (how many of you out there laughing have done that?), which, while it doesn't excuse the fact that she's an ex-spice girl (wait, does girl power even die? can you be an ex-spice girl?). i think i've sounded like a crazy person long enough. here's the music:

better alone (from beautiful intentions)

reason (from reason)

suddenly monday (from northern star)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

rainy days and sunshine to come

in honor of the band phoenix releasing their new album this week (the superb it's never been like that), i thought i would take a second to introduce you to both the new single, as well as quite possibly my most favourite track from the dj kicks series. first of all, you should go buy the new album, and then, when you fall in love with that, your next stop should be checking out the song that was included on erlend oye's dj kicks album. basically, this is a song that you can always go back to. no matter what your mood, no matter what your age, there's just something that is the most basic kind of appealing in this, as well as most of phoenix's music. if you like the track off of the new album so very very much that you can't stand yourself, the video is also available on their myspace

phoenix - long distance call
erlend oye/phoenix - if i ever feel better

stay tuned tomorrow, because there is a distinct possibility that i will discuss not only my guilty pop pleasure from the 90s, but also how it's lived on since!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

one of these things is not like the others

i'm not sure how many of you watch grey's anatomy. i try to remember what time it's on (and now even that's changing come fall), and whenever i see it, i like it. it's hard not to like the fact that the voice of (um jammer) lammy now has a physical presence on the show (even if my mom hates that particular character). but beyond the storylines and plot holes, i really like the music. i think that potentially means that i am either getting older, or tv music is getting better. it's really a toss up at this point, since i am not going to let myself admit that 30 is creeping up on me. two songs in particular that i've liked, and included on countless playlists came from mike doughty (yes, he was in soul coughing, if you're playing along at home), and the other was by the fray. to be honest, i didn't really like the whininess of the latter the first time i heard it. but then one night it was playing as i drove home late at night, and it grew on me. give it a chance, maybe you'll feel the same way. regardless, it seems destined to be played as a backdrop for numerous moving television moments over the next year or so.
in a completely different genre...it has come to my attention that not everyone knows and/or loves lady sovereign. i would be lying if i said that me enjoying her had nothing to do with the fact that she bears a slight resemblance to mel c (aka sporty spice, and if you didn't already know that, we need to talk). but just take a listen to this song, and in particular, the part where she (as the british say) takes a piss on nelly and chingy and all those other rappers who can't bring themselves to speak properly.

mike doughty - i hear the bells
the fray - how to save a life
lady sovereign - random

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

every weekend should be long one

fresh from a 3 day weekend, i am offering up a fine selection of songs that will appeal to anyone who likes the following: frou frou, imogen heap, blips and bleeps, pianos and good music. both could be termed remixes, although one is more of a stripped down take on a song that almost everyone must have heard by now. the other stays truer to the term "remix", and features miss heap on vocals.
(basically, this post goes out to brianne and caleb, who i think may be the two biggest heap/frou frou fans that i know)

i'm going to stop talking about the music now, and just leave you with the linkage and music.

temposhark site
the internet home of imogen heap
and finally for good measure: frou frou

imogen heap - let go (solo piano)
temposhark - not that big (metronomy's notthatremix)

ps please note that although i spent a good part of the weekend watching the events in caledonia unfold, i am withholding any comment at this time.

Friday, May 19, 2006

flashback friday (sadly, i just realized i share this title with the blue jays)

this is a hard post to focus on a write, because the album i want to talk about is one that is quite possibly my favourite album of all time. i want everyone to love it. but i suppose it's best to just cut to the chase.
back in the early 90s, if you were a fan of canadian indie rock, chances are you would have heard of the band hHead at some point. Not only was future broken social scenes and by divine right member Brendan Canning in the band, but so was a young man named Noah Mintz. after the band broke up, he went on to record a solo album under the moniker Noah's Arkweld. the album he released, fun! is a weird pastiche of guitar driven first person POV songs about life and strangely beautiful computerized musical interludes. it's a hard album to describe and understand until you've heard it a few times, and over the years, the album has just continues to grow on me.
since it's release in 1997, i saw one live performance, read a few articles about noah in exclaim and other canadian music trade magazines, but over time, both the man and the band seemed to disappear.
but now for the big news. apparently if you go to the noah's arkweld website and scroll to the bottom of the page (no worries, it's not a very long scroll) there seems to be new life in the project. (on my birthday, no less). take a listen to a few tracks and tell me you're not about to fall in love.

inborted (featuring a young leslie feist)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

pointedly ignoring o.c. spoilers

regardless of what sort of music you're a fan of, it's hard not to like dj shadow, even when i was a stupidly strong supporter of the local guitar rawk local indie scene in highschool, i still held endtroducing as one of my favourite albums. if you haven't heard it, make an effort to pick it up, all the better to have your mind blown. with his upcoming release, he seems to be moving slightly away from the cerebral hip hop of the past, but so long as you keep an open mind, the results are still nothing short of fucking awesome.

and with absolutley nothing in the way of a segue...the futureheads also have a new album on the way. when i saw them with hot hot heat and louis xiv (i know, louis who?) they were far and away the most energetic band on stage that night. they do, however, have a tendancy to let the fun and high spirits overtake the music, so at times, you're left feeling like maybe you missed a punchline here or there. but like dj shadow, the new futureheads seems to be slightly different. it's a more focussed approach. having only heard the one song, i can safely say that, in terms of this track, they've seemingly eliminated the need to wear every single musical influence they've ever had on their sleeve, and instead have whittled it down to just one or two. which means that for an already exceptional band, this album could potentially be even better than anyone could've expected.

dj shadow - 3 freaks

the futureheads - skip to the end

stay tuned tomorrow, as flashback fridays brings you a young feist and another brendan canning guest appearance. all on what is perhaps my favourite indie sleeper album of the late 90s!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

ice cream for breakfast, peanuts for lunch...

(please note, the above is the first line from a song to be written and titled later)

...anyway, the post today is a tad bit later than usual, due to my computer crashing multiple times. no fear, the blog will live on!
the first selection today goes out to alisha, audra, and anyone else whose name begins with an a, or who ever liked the riot grrl (and just plain girl) bands of the 90s. i give you the oohlas. to be fair, there's a connection to Art Alexakis(by way of drummer turned lead Greg Eklund), he of the catchy am radio song that i seem to be the only fan of, but i never really enjoyed everclear the same way i enjoyed the breeders, and here there's a bridge between the two bands. catchy, yet you don't feel entirely guilty having a friend come across it on your ipod.

secondly, the new keane. being a fan of this band (and pianos!) makes me wonder if my brief dalliances into MOR adult contemporary may be more than just a fleeting fancy, but if this track is any indication, the band may be taking a slightly different approach this time around. it's been bashed as being "U2 lite" and i can't really seem to come to a conclusion. so form your own.

the oohlas - small parts

keane - is it any wonder

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

hook me up with dayquil, and i'll be your friend for life

i can't lie, i feel like ass today. but at some point last night, in the middle of not being sure if i was awake or dreaming, i started to wish it was summer right now. not the scalding hot days of summer, but the nights. driving around, with the windows down, everyone's car stereo competing.
quick aside: the other night, i pulled up to a red light, i had my window half down, and between my ipod playing beck's girl and the people beside me playing bob marley, it was a nice pre-summer car stereo moment.
back to the story. recently, i heard two songs that i would be totally ok with hearing fly by me on someone else's stereo, or even better, on mine, at a red light. the first is from lovestink (the new collaboration between cee lo and plantlife), the second from whatnow?. seriously, if you know anything more about either artist, let me in on the secret.

lovestink - gangsta boogie

whatnow? - flip flops

Friday, May 12, 2006

flashback friday (with a slight flashforward)

if i said len, most people would either a) draw a blank, b) say how much they loved steal my sunshine or c) think i was talking about my uncle leonard. you would be very off base to think that either b or c had anything to do with the band len. true, that song/video brought them a pantload of teenage fans, but len is so much more than that. i could recount the entire history of the band, but wiki's probably better at that, and i have 2 better things to point out. ONE: when i saw them live, sometime back around 1995 or 96, sharon had her backpack on while she was onstage, and kept having to run off to deal with a case of the runs, and they played a cover of the bare necessities, and it was quite possibly the best show i have ever been to. completely chaotic and wonderful. TWO: the have collaborated, at various times, with the likes of: Kurtis Blow, CC Deville, Biz Markie, Mr. Dibbs, Brendan Canning, DJ Moves, Buck 65, Junior Sanchez, Moka Only and too many others to even name here.
point is, whether they were a drunken mess or a meshing of musical geniuses, the band was and continues to be amazing. you might have noticed, while perusing their wiki that they have a new album coming out. i suggest you look into it. for now, here's some samples from the past 4 albums, with nary a steal my sunshine in sight.

Jones'n (Superstar, 1994)
Smarty Pants (Get Your Legs Broke, 1996)
Hot Rod Monster Jam (You Can't Stop the Bum Rush, 1999)
People (Come Together) (The Diary of the Madmen, 2005)

(and let me end this with a request: if ANYONE has hip club groove's trailer park hip hop album, i will gladly pay you good money for it)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

pearl jam + hamilton roundup

i went to pearl jam last night, at the acc. it was, as usual, a wayback machine type of good show. it struck me on the way in (sitting amongst jays fans on the go train) that when i bought their first album, i was in middle school. i remember it very distinctly, walking with pam hazlewood, through jackson square, buying the tape(!) at whatever record store used to be where the new food court is now. remembering that made me feel old. final note to this rather boring story? there are actually two: 1) eddie vedder, at one point, had the rest of the band clear the stage and he sang a snippet of cinnamon girl, and that was quite nice. 2) out of all of the seats available to be sold for the show last night, i was the ticket holder of the absolutely LAST seat, which was amusing, and not nearly as bad as it could have been.


i was hoping to post today about the news that local band cities in dust had signed to paperbag records, but sadly, i cannot locate a sample mp3, so you're just going to have to go to their myspace and stream away.
instead i give you two local bands samples. both of which i have the loosest of loose namedropping connections to.

1) lounge: i went to highschool with cassie ross, the lead singer. if i recall correctly, we not only had a few classes together, but i also went to her house after the senior formal. we listened to glenn gould on vinyl. i can't remember anything bad about her, which leads me to believe that she must have been a pretty bang up human being.

lounge - archive

2) the ride theory: i've known noah, the drummer, since he was maybe 12 or younger. he's a great kid, and an even better drummer. the band has been making a name for themselves locally and more recently across the province, and hopefully, their new album is on sale where you live, so you can buy it, and they can keep making excellent music.

the ride theory - my girl june

holy crap, i was only going to post a short message today. oops.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

you'd think by now i would hate kids

but the kids in rappers delight club are absolutely fantastic. this is the sort of project i wish i could get off the ground at work, but sadly, am not acquainted with anyone in the hip hop community here in town. (aside: does that make me a bad music fan?).
anyway, you can check out their myspace for a little more info (not a whole lot though) and a few more songs, but i thought i would entice you with this one song--it's a new feminist anthem by 5-12 year old girls.

rappers delight club - first ladies anthem

Monday, May 08, 2006

everyone's talking about them

...so this band, cold war kids must be the shit, right? well, how's about this: i'll let you decide for yourself. i personally kind of like this track, and the others i've heard, but i can totally see how the hipster hype machine sometimes takes bands with some limited growth potential, and then blogs them to death, killing them before they even had a chance (test icicles, anyone?).

cold war kids - hospital beds

in other news, due to my self-imposed "no cd purchases until my birthday" efforts, i will be faced with the very difficult choice of whether to break my own rules and purchase the gnarls barkley album tomorrow, or suck it up and wait a month. seriously, i think i heard crazy for the first time almost a year ago, so really, can i be expected to hold up my end of my silly little bargain to myself? i'm not even sure anymore. if you think this isn't a tough decision, listen to the first track from the album and decide for yourself.

gnarls barkley - go go gadget gospel

Friday, May 05, 2006

flashback friday


i'm not sure that this will be a super regular feature at yr dirty boots, but i thought it would be fun to dig out some old songs that used to make regular appearances on my mix tapes. (back when i actually had to put in 90 minutes of effort to crank one out).
i thought there was no better band than the superfriendz to kick things off with, since, if i am going to be entirely honest, they were one of the many musical reasons behind my attending university in halifax. also, with the recently wonderful weather, their music fits this pre-summer "anything can happen" mood perfectly. just close your eyes and take a trip back to 1995 with me. from the album mock up, scale down...the superfriendz:

10 lbs.
better call
karate man

Thursday, May 04, 2006

nothing in common

today's offerings, as the title would suggest, have nothing in common. belaire is a band on the verge of breaking up (so much so that they may already BE broken up) while spank rock is on the verge of blowing up.
belaire makes strange friendly music. spank rock makes a bizarre cocktail of ghetto booty and videogame hip hop.
i first heard about belaire when i heard their cover of kanye west's through the wire. spank rock...i have no idea where i first heard of them.

without any further babbling, please enjoy the one thing they DO have in common...the word BACK:

spank rock - backyard betty
belaire - back into the wall

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

this is the big fat kickoff post

i suppose i've been sitting on my ass long enough, not actually posting music on this thing. well, to make up for lost time, here's your very own, diy copy of my "music you might have missed..." mix from the end of last year.

gnarls barkley - crazy
soulwax - ny lipps
death cab for cutie - crooked teeth
ninja high school - jam band death cult
spoon - i summon you
brendan benson - what i'm looking for
ted leo and the pharmacists - timorous me
danger doom - el chuba nibre
ben folds - there's always someone cooler than you
self- what a fool believes
the wiz ost - don't nobody bring me no bad news
rinocerose - bitch
lil' kim - shut up bitch
bloc party - she's hearing voices
the mountain goats - this year
a+d - an honest m.i.a.
the donnas - drive my car
13 & god - men of station
a.c. newman - miracle drug
jamie lidell - multiply
dfa 1979 - blood on our hands (justice remix)