Monday, December 24, 2012

Best of 2012


Stephanie Dee from Twee Time, Friday 8-9 pm

Originally published in the CJLO Magazine.

Band of the Year


A new album (Kook Soul, their first in four years), two singles ("You Only Want It 'Cause You're Lonely" and "Holding On to Something"), a Polaris Music Prize nomination (long list), the cover of the Montreal Mirror (their first and only for the now-defunct weekly)... Tours! Local Shows! Video Shoots! Plus, their very own obsessed female fan (no, I don't mean me!), who I've seen at many of their shows and the Polaris salon at Casa del Popolo over the summer. Oh, and did I mention their guest spot on my radio show, Twee Time on CJLO? Indeed, 2012 was a really big year for Parlovr, and it became so clear during their Pop Montreal performance of "Just Marriage" (there will be a video for that too) that these three guys, AlexJeremy, and Louis, are stars. I'm looking at you, Jonathan Cohen, book this band on Fallon already! 

Canadian Album of the Year

Rah Rah - The Poet's Dead

This album swooped in at the end of October and pushed every other Canadian CD I was listening to this year right out of rotation. The Poet’s DeadRah Rah’s third full length, has many surprises. The band draws from numerous musical styles for this album—“Art & A Wife” alt-country, “Run” indie-rock, “I’m a Killer” electronic, “First Kiss” folk-rock—and no two songs sound alike. However, it became apparent by the title track that these kids planned and plotted each song, always thinking about what would come next, and the result is a cohesive, well-paced, beautiful composition. My prediction: Polaris Music Prize Winner 2013.

Non-Canadian Album of the Year

The Men - Open Your Heart

The Men were at the top of my "Best of Spring" picks back in June, and although there have been many a great album released in 2012, I just can't seem to get over the genius that is Open Your Heart. Read my full review of the album here.

Favourite 2012 Albums

01. Ringo Deathstarr – Mauve (listen to: "Slack", "Waste")
02. Raveonettes – Observator (listen to: "Curse the Night", "The Enemy")
03. METZ – METZ (listen to: "Rats", "Negative Space")
04. Kestrels – A Ghost History (listen to: "Drowning Girl", "Islands")
05. Cadence Weapon – Hope in a Dirt City ("Conditioning", “Hype Man")
06. La Sera – Sees the Light (listen to: "Break My Heart", "It's Over Now")
07. Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse (listen to: "Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart", "Wave Goodbye")
08. Nubians – Nubians (bandcamp) (listen to: "Vile Bodies", "D-Troit")
09. JEFF the Brotherhood – Hypnotic Nights (listen to: "Mystic Portal II", "Country Life")
10. Duchess Says – Anthologie des 3 perchoirs (2012 vinyl re-release) (listen to: "Ccut Up", "Black Flag")

Twee Time Guest DJs

- Alex, Jeremy, and Louis from Parlovr (podcast)
- Johanna and Jared from the Nymphets (podcast)
- Sinbad and Dave from Pigeon Phat (podcast)
- Brooke, Lara, and Rebecca from Montreal boutique Citizen Vintage (podcast)
- Florent and Jesse from C T Z N S H P (podcast)


- Jake Orrall from JEFF the Brotherhood (transcript)
- Jessica Latshaw from the YouTube viral video "Never a dull moment on the NYC subway" (podcast)
- Laura, Quentin, Scott, and Mike from Les Monstres Terribles (podcast)

Live Shows to Remember

- Red Mass Disco 3000 + Duchess Says @ Club Lambi
- Parlovr + Pigeon Phat @ Le Divan Orange (POP Montreal)
- White Lung + Nubians @ Casa del Popolo
- Public Enemy @ Stade Olympique (Experience Montreal)
- Atari Teenage Riot @ Stade Olympique (Experience Montreal)
- Esmerine @ Sala Rossa (M pour/for Montreal)
- The Men @ Il Motore (and again at Underworld)
- A Place to Bury Strangers + Bleeding Rainbow + No Joy @ Sala Rossa (M pour/for Montreal)
- PS I Love You @ Sala Rossa (M pour/for Montreal)
- Elephant Stone @ Le Divan Orange (POP Montreal)
- DIIV @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (CMJ Music Marathon)
- Pig Destroyer @ Public Assembly (CMJ Music Marathon)
- Twerps @ Pianos (CMJ Music Marathon)
- METZ @ Il Motore
- Ty Segall @ Il Motore

Memorable Moments

- More tattoos from Dave C. at PSC Tattoo!
- Meeting Rick Trembles, and seeing the awesome CJLO Magazine cover he created for our print mag!
- Meeting Perry Shall, artist and musician from numerous Philly bands, most notably Dry Feet and Hound
- Seeing Damian Abraham from Fucked Up perform David Comes to Life wearing only a pair of thin underwear and a plastic beer cup
- Finally seeing Public Enemy live
- Witnessing Flavor Flav get a crowd of Quebecers to chant "fuck separatism"
- Chatting with DJ Lord when he DJ'd at the after party on Saint-Denis
- Seeing Duchess Says for the first time (read my review here)
- Asking JD Samson from Le Tigre for directions to Artists & Fleas in Brooklyn

Biggest Disappointment

The end of the Montreal Mirror and way in which its demise was handled by Sun Media

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CJLO - The Ones to Watch Series

Originally published in the CJLO Magazine.

The music geeks at CJLO 1690 AM pick who they think are going to make a significant impact on music in 2013.

Part 1 by CJLO Magazine Editor and Twee Time DJ Stephanie Dee

The Adam Brown (Montreal)

West-island kid Adam Brown released Even the Skies Are Blue way back in 2003, got a band together, and toured around Canada until 2007; but things seemed to stop so suddenly after Shawn Petsche (of WIBI fame) moved away to Alberta and Marc-AndrĂ© Grondin became a big movie star. Oh, but did you know that the music never ceased? A few impromptu shows popped up during this long "hiatus", and Adam and friends have been shedding blood, sweat, and tears recording in and out of studio ever since. Now here's the good news: it all wrapped up on November 20th, and now we must pull our resources together to get this unnamed The Adam Brown album released in 2013. Who's with me?

Bleeding Rainbow (Philadelphia)

The tracks "Pink Ruff", "Drift Away", and "Waking Dream" from Bleeding Rainbow's forthcoming album Yeah Right (due in January 2013) have already surfaced online, and it's apparent that these Philly kids have really been working out the Reading Rainbow kinks. Their sound has evolved leaps and bounds from their humble, lo-fi indie-pop slash dreamy slash minimal beginnings into something more rich and polished. The really good move: Sarah Everton is off the drums and high on vocals. That, plus the addition of two new members, is just what the band needs to go from opening (most recently for A Place to Bury Strangers) to headlining in 2013.

C T Z N S H P (Montreal)

C T Z N S H P has received quite a lot of attention from local indie-circles this year—playing festivals like POP Montreal, the CMJ Music Marathon, and most recently M pour/for Montreal—but life requires more than just being in the right place at the right time, or chance meetings with the right people. Jesse, Scott, and Florent are comrades with enough musical talent, integrity, and feeling to reach far beyond the same old bill at the same old venue playing for the same old friends. Check out a preview from the upcoming debut album Doom Love on bandcamp, and keep your eyes and ears open for more in early 2013.

DIIV (Brooklyn, New York)

Their debut album Oshin hit the CJLO charts for quite a while this summer, but I was completely clueless about DIIV until I saw them at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in October. Thanks, Knitting Factory, for rejecting my CMJ badge at the King Tuff show, otherwise I never would have seen these Brooklyn natives rock out. During the show all I could think was, "Wow, this is serious. They are gifted!" The band performs so effortlessly, it's as if Zach, Devin, Andrew, and Colby could play their instruments long before they even learned to walk. I have a really good feeling that in 2013, music by DIIV is going to be playing on the iPods of everyone else who is still clueless about them, and if another album surfaces… GET READY FOR THE EXPLOSION. Nirvana-style.

Allie Hanlon (Ottawa)

You may know her as the drummer from the Ottawa garage-band The White Wires. Maybe you caught her back in 2011 banging the skins for Nobunny, or opening for JEFF The Brotherhood as her alter-ego Peach Kelli Pop. Perhaps you've even seen the video for Peach Kelli Pop's super-catchy tune "Do the Eggroll"? Heck, there's even a freaking President's Choice peach pie that bears her image! Seriously, if you haven't heard of Allie Hanlon yet, it's time that you climb out of that mainstream cave of yours and listen to some indie-pop. Allie is constantly touring Canada and the United States as Peach Kelli Pop or playing drums in various other bands, and she just released a new self-titled album at the end of November (currently distributed by Bachelor Records in Europe, and soon to be released in the US on Burger Records). So if you like indie-pop and garage tunes, be sure to check out this rad chick on December 20th when The White Wires play L'Escogriffe. Next year, when she becomes very popular in Europe, you can tell everyone you discovered Allie Hanlon first. That's some great indie-cred right there, huh?

Nubians (Montreal)

I first caught these guys when they opened for White Lung at Casa del Popolo back in July, and let me tell you: Nubians has one sick drummer. Check out their raw and loud self-titled punk rock album on bandcamp, and stay tuned because they're going to do a guest spot on Twee Time in 2013. Sam from the band sent me the following message: "I think I speak for all of us in saying we would be majorly stoked to do a guest-host. We all have a lot of records and a lot to say".

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Originally published in the CJLO Magazine.

One likes to believe in the freedom of music, but glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity. 

–Rush "The Spirit of Radio"

Eligible yet overlooked for 14 years, 2012 marked the first time Canadian band Rush was nominated for entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since then (and for the first time) the fans have voted, some music historians have discussed it, and Jann Wenner from Rolling Stone has stamped it with no erasies black magic swallow the golden key:

Rush will be officially inducted into the Cleveland museum of rock and roll (and not-so rock and roll... cough ABBA cough Donna Summer cough) early next year.

It's surprising and strange that it took this long, considering the foundation's mandate that nominees must "demonstrate influence and significance within the history of rock and roll." I mean... virtually EveryRockGroup. formed in the last 44 years has named Rush as their inspiration at one point or another; their songs can be heard several times a day on every classic rock station imaginable; and this band is so deeply-rooted in our history that even our most beloved fictional characters name Neil Peart as their drum god. Love them or hate them, Rush's "influence and significance" in the school of rock is undeniable.

Guitarist Alex Lifeson said in a phone interview, "I think our fans are more upset than we were because they feel a real bond to this band and it's been an important part of their lives in some form, and to be snubbed was snubbing them at the same time."

Maybe die-hard Rush fans value the biased opinions of this small group of "experts" in the US who took it upon themselves to deem certain bands "worthy" of benefice; or maybe the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is, to quote the Sex Pistols, "a piss stain" and we really shouldn't give a damn what they think. But the fact that Alex LifesonGeddy Lee, and Neil Peart achieved success without ingratiating themselves with the mainstream masses is the reason why I'm excited about their impending induction.

Ever the gentleman, bassist and singer Geddy Lee directed the attention away from the band and sent it out to fans and family when he told Rolling Stone, "It made my mom happy, so that's worth it. It was a cause they championed, [and] I'm very relieved for them and we share this honor with them, for sure."

Join my fellow Canadians and prog-rock fans everywhere in our collective cry of relief: FINALLY.

2013 Inductees

Albert King
Donna Summer
Public Enemy
Randy Newman
Lou Adler (Ahmet Ertegun Award)
Quincy Jones (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Full List of Nominees

Albert King
Deep Purple
Donna Summer
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
The Marvelettes
The Meters
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Procol Harum
Public Enemy
Randy Newman