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by New Music Michael on February 3 2018

Back in 2015 there was this addictive little indie pop track called Seventeen, by this little band out of the Oakland/SFO region called Sjowgren. Yeh yeh, I know, sounds more like a band out of Norway or Sweden. But nope.

They’re back with another pretty wicked track. Check out Waiting Room above. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any news on an album or anything, but there’s a handful of singles on Spotify if you wanna check out more.

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I’ve been a fan of Victoria project Freak Heat Waves for a while now. Even saw the Victoria ambient punk act live at the now-defunct Wunderbar back in 2015. Well, they’ve not only got a new tour coming up, but are also doing a North American tour. And I don’t mean a North American tour of the type that has two or three dates in Canada. Nope, this one’s pretty close to 50/50, including a date at the Starlite Room with Preoccupations on May 3rd.

The new album is titled Beyond XXXL, They have a new single, which you can stream above, called Self Vortex. According to the band, they’ve gone a bit off the deep end with instrumentation this time around, with the band “set on creating our own sounds … (w)e processed everything, blended drum machines with real drums, and re-amped our synths and guitars to get into a mutant futuristic zone. New territory was the goal.”

New territory. Mutant futuristic zone. Sounds like perfection to me.

Tour Itinerary:

  • Apr 13 – Montreal QC at Casa Del Popolo
  • Apr 17 – Burlington VT at Monkey Bar
  • Apr 18 – Boston MA at Brighton Music Hall (w/Preoccupations, as are all dates with a *)
  • Apr 19 – Brooklyn NY at Rough Trade*
  • Apr 20 – Brooklyn NY at Elsewhere (Zone One)
  • Apr 21 – Brooklyn NY at Park Co-op Church
  • Apr 23 – Philadelphia PA at Underground Arts*
  • Apr 24 – Washington DC at Rock & Roll Hotel*
  • Apr 25 – Pittsburgh PA at Funhouse
  • Apr 26 – Columbus OH at A&R Music Bar*
  • Apr 27 – Chicago IL at Empty Bottle*
  • Apr 29 – Minneapolis MN at 7th Street Entry*
  • Apr 30 – Fargo ND at Aquarium
  • May 01 – Winnipeg MB at Pyramid Cabaret*
  • May 02 – Saskatoon SK at Vangelis
  • May 03 – Edmonton AB at Starlite*
  • May 04 & 05 – Calgary AB at Palomino*
  • May 06  – Victoria BC at Upstairs
  • May 09 – Vancouver BC at Cobalt*
  • May 10 – Portland OR at High Water Mark
  • May 11 – Boise ID at Olympic
  • May 12 – Salt Lake City UT at Diabolical
  • May 14 – Kansas City MO at Minibar
  • May 15 – Indianapolis IN at Pioneer
  • May 16 – Detroit MI at Marble Bar
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Middle Kids – Mistake // Debut LP Out May 4

by New Music Michael on January 31 2018


So, you remember that song a little while back by the Middle Kids called The Edge Of Town (check it out below if you haven’t yet). God, I sang along with that song for a long time, always cranked up super loud. Well, the Australian indie project led by lead singer/guitarist Hannah Joy and her husband Tim Fitz have finally announced their debut LP. Titled Lost Friends, it will drop May 4 on Domino. Figures they’re on Domino, right, they always have some of the best music.

They’ve also released a new single off the album, titled Mistake. You can check it out above. No Canadian dates yet, but they are doing some US shows in June. Tour schedule below.

US ITINERARY


  • Jun 01 – Nelsonville OH at Nelsonville Music Festival
  • Jun 03 – New York NY at Governors Ball
  • Jun 05 – Boston MA at Brighton Music Hall
  • Jun 08 – Pontiac MI at Crofoot Ballroom / Pike Room
  • Jun 09 – Chicago IL at Lincoln Hall
  • Jun 11 – Kansas City MO at recordBar
  • Jun 12 – St. Louis MO at The Ready Room
  • Jun 13 – Nashville TN at The High Watt
  • Jun 15 – Washington DC at Rock & Roll Hotel
  • Jun 16 – Dover DE at Firefly Music Festival
  • Jun 18 – Raleigh NC at The Pour House Music Hall
  • Jun 19 – Atlanta GA at The Masquerade – Purgatory
  • Jun 21 – Houston TX at White Oak Music Hall (Upstairs)
  • Jun 22 – Austin TX at Antone’s Nightclub
  • Jun 23 – Dallas TX at Club Dada
  • Jun 26 – Los Angeles CA at Lodge Room
  • Jun 27 – San Francisco CA at The Independent
  • Jun 29 – Portland OR at Mississippi Studios
  • Jun 30 – Seattle WA at Tractor Tavern

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Neil Diamond – Then And Now

by New Music Michael on January 24 2018

SJM-L-GOODTIMES-0727-05I don’t remember hearing a lot of music growing up with my parents and younger brother. Perhaps that’s strange, what with my dad getting his start in the media industry as a radio engineer and then DJ. But regardless, there are three distinct genres of music I do recall as a youngster: German pop (especially when visiting my relatives out in Ontario); my dad’s Zamphir pan flute collection (don’t even get me started); and my mom’s Neil Diamond tapes (they were probably eight tracks at the time, to be fair).

Let’s face it, as soon as I was old enough, I branched out into my own musical journeys. But those Neil Diamond songs remained entrenched in my mind, there to live forever more. And for so many of them, I know the words like the back of my hand, especially the choruses, and can’t help but sing along with every time I do hear them. And probably will, forever more.

Because that’s what his songs are to me – singalong pop songs that are both so catchy and so kitsch at the same time. And I don’t mean that to sound mean, because it’s not meant at that. In fact, it’s a tribute. Pop songs should be catchy and easy to sing along to. And that’s what Diamond’s true genius was. For so many, many years. Kentucky Woman. Red, Red Wine. Shilo. Sweet Caroline. Holly Holy. The list goes on and on. Song Sung Blue. Forever In Blue Jeans. And on and on. Every single song. Just amazingly written, perfectly catchy. And playful. And flirty.

The news that Mr. Diamond is retiring from touring because he’s been stricken with Parkinsons Disease has stuck in my ire the last couple of days. Both for the loss to his fans. To my mom. To my wife’s mom. And the incredible loss to the musical world, and also with a hand on my heart knowing it’s a path from which there is likely no recovery. Like my brother. Like our dear friend Gord Downie, who we lost last year.

In his statement, Diamond stated “it is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years.”

He struck a central chord with so many of his era, and the eras surrounding it. And to fall prey to such a horrendous, horrendous disease.

And while he still intends to stay active writing and recording, it’s hard to say how long that will last with such a devastating diagnosis. But be that as it may, he can certainly retire with his head held ever so high. At 77 years old, he will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy later this week. He’s sold more than 130 million albums worldwide. 38 of his singles have climbed the ranks into the top 40. He’s a member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

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Field Music – Share A Pillow // Open Here out February 2

January 24, 2018

Huh. I guess I’m not surprised this song struck a nerve, given that Peter Brewis has stated that the lyrics are based around the bed time routine of his young son. More notably, his sadness at having to go to bed by the sounds of it. Been there. Share A Pillow is the third single [...]

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Lucius – Neighbors // Acoustic Album NUDES Due Out March 2

January 19, 2018

The dueling vocalist duo of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laesig, and the rest of the quartet Lucius, released their newest single Neighbors today (stream it above). It’s the first single off their newest album, an acoustic release titled NUDES. It’ll be out on March 2, and features a total of ten tracks, including one with [...]

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Mount Eerie – Distortion / Now Only Out March 30

January 18, 2018

The best show I ever saw at the Wunderbar was a raw, emotive set by Mount Eerie that shall live in my head forever. Then last year, he dropped an album focusing on his wife’s death from cancer, and the heartwrenching, gutwrenching, pull your organs out music that it included was, well, honestly it was [...]

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Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – Someplace

January 16, 2018

I still remember seeing this band during Sled Island a few years back, and they just blew my freaking mind. They’re back with a new album this year – Dirt – due out March 23rd. Check out the debut single from the album, titled Someplace, above. Definitely staying in their lane, but also deviating just [...]

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