Music News: Dilly Dally Cover Drake, Grimes Returns, and more

Here’s the scoop. Music news, it’s all around us. You may not notice it, but trust me, it’s there. You’re on Twitter, and all your friends are retweeting some meme of Drake dancing in a glowing room. Guess what… that’s music news and you didn’t even know it. You’re walking down the street and you see a poster for your favourite band’s new album. Did you even know they had a new album? BAM, you just got music news’d. So, while you might think no one cares about music news, the truth is, the world without music news is a pretty boring place. So on that note, let’s talk about some music news.

  • Speaking of Drake, one of our favourite Toronto bands, Dilly Dally, were recently in New York for CMJ. What did they do? Oh, they represented The 6ix by covering the man himself. Peep it here.
  • Grimes is finally starting to deliver some cold hard facts about her long-awaited follow up to Visions. It’s coming out soon, and it’s called Art Angels, and she drew the cover herself. Still no music though.
  • It might too early to say, but Apple Music didn’t exactly set the world on fire the way they were hoping it would. Fewer than 1% of iTunes users are paying for the service. Still, it’s now the second most popular streaming app, behind Spotify. I tried it and it was garbage.
  • Joni Mitchell is reportedly doing ‘making good progress’ according to her friend Judy Collins. Mitchell suffered an aneurysm earlier this year. Let’s hope these reports are true!
  • Ryan Adams continues to promote his Taylor Swift covers record. I think this has gone too far. He should stop.

Ok, that’s all the music news I can handle right now.

Music News: Pitchfork Sells Out, Drake Sells Less

Hey, we’re back. How was your weekend, did you do anything to celebrate Thanksgiving? Did you eat turkey (or tofurkey), stuffing, green bean casserole, glazed carrots, squash soup, you know, all the usual suspects? Did you have pumpkin pie for desert? No? Well guess what: just because Thanksgiving is over, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat these foods anymore. They still exist and can be made using ingredients available at your local grocer. Let me tell ya, I stuffed myself silly this weekend, but that doesn’t mean I’d turn down a piece of pumpkin pie or a forkful of stuffing if someone offered it to me right now. But no one will, because everyone is off for reading week. So I guess I’ll just write the music news.

  • The biggest news of the day is that Pitchfork (our main competitor in the ‘music news’ racket) has been purchased for an undisclosed amount by Condé Nast, the same company that owns Vanity Fair and Wired. When will our ship come in? Just putting it out there, if any company wants to sink some money into SpiritLive, we are open to anything. Also, did the sale include Lana Del Rey?
  • Some high school in California has won a contest. That’s good right? Not when the prize is an appearance at said high school by none other than Macklemore. Obviously they politely declined their prize. Oh, what’s that, there was another part to the prize? A big wad of cash to help fund their music program? “Nah, we good.” (via Stereogum)
  • I am only linking to this article because I like the phrase “sometimes when you ball so hard, you fall so hard.” Still, love the Drake.
  • Beach House have brought back their popular ‘Single Finder‘ feature to their website. All you have to do is pick your three favourite Beach House singles and you will get to stream one of three tracks from their soon-to-be-released 6th record, Thank Your Lucky Stars. I tried it out three times and gave different answers, so I was able to listen to each of the new songs – and guess what! They sound great.
  • Do you like reality TV? Well, even if you don’t, I’m sure you’d enjoy whatever Snoop Dogg is cooking up over at BET.

Not the best music news. Not the worst either.

Music News: Beach House Pulls a Fast One, Wiz Khalifa: Over 1 Billion Served, and Billy Corgan Does Something

The past couple days have yielded a good crop of music news, let’s hit the fields and see what we can harvest.

  • Two months after they dropped their last album, Depression Cherry, Beach House is back with album number six, Thank Your Lucky Stars. My guess is that this will mark some sort of sonic shift for the band, which at this point in their career is probably a good move.
  • According to Complex, Wiz Khalifa’s song “See You Again” is the first and only hip-hop song to reach 1 Billion views on YouTube. So, congrats to him. I’m sure Kanye is stoked.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins singer/guitarist Billy Corgan, who was quite the personality on Twitter, has decided to close his profile. Instead, he’s going to focus his attention on his Tumblr, or something? To be honest, I didn’t read past the first paragraph, but if you wanna read more, you can over at Consequence of Sound.
  • Rihanna is back with album number eight. It’s called ANTI, and she unveiled the artwork at some sorta fancy party in LA. See some photos and catch-up on the singles so far at Pitchfork.
  • There are a bunch of great albums dropping tomorrow, so let’s take a look at some. Local grunge rockers Dilly Dally are finally dropping their debut, Sore, via Buzz Records. Nicole Dollanganger’s album Natural Born Losers is coming out via Grimes’ new label Eerie. Ryan Hemsworth has a new collaborative EP with Lucas called Taking Flight, and that’s out via Last Gang. Alex G is stepping up to the big leagues, releasing his album Beach Music on Domino. Finally, look out for a new EP called Hallucinogen from Kelela, which comes to us via Warp.

Ok, that’s about all.

Music News: Who is Jakob Danger? Plus: Lawsuits! Horror Films! Cassettes!

Woah, what happened to music news? Where were all the posts at the end of last week? Here’s the thing: some days, there just isn’t a lot of news. People tend to start to get lazy on Thursday and Friday. We’ve discussed this before. Anyway, now it’s Monday and boy do we ever have music news:

  • Remember last week when we talked about Chilly Gonzales, and his Pop Music Masterclass video series, and how he jokingly said that Feist should sue Hozier for ripping her off? Well guess what KABLAMO Hozier is suing Chilly for defamation. Now who’s laughing?
  • Some I guess some kids tricked Mac DeMarco into reading some lines into a camera and now they’re promoting him as the star of their kinda terrible looking horror movie? That’s a thing that happened, apparently, and you can watch the trailer here but I really wouldn’t recommend it because it looks bad.
  • The singer of Green Day has a couple kids and they’re old enough to be starting bands? I guess that makes sense. Anyway, his one son is going under the name Jakob Danger and he just got signed to Burger Records so I’m sure I’ll listen to him at some point. Ok, maybe I’ll listen now.
  • I love cassettes. They’re a totally different experience than records, and both of them are very different than digital/streaming. I think there is a place in this world for each format, so don’t be all like, “Yuck, why would anyone want to buy a cassette,” because just watch this video (via NBC) and you’ll understand. Also, a manufacturing job in the United States, what an idea!
  • Oh, Run the Jewels just dropped a new jam. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean RTJ3 is just around the corner. This is the latest release from the Adult Swim Singles program. Still, new Run the Jewels!

Thanks for reading. I actually like those Jakob Danger tunes. See you again soon.

Review: Nicole Dollanganger at Sneaky Dee’s

I left the comfort of my apartment on Sunday night in order to head across town to Sneaky Dee’s. The reason for my visit: the Toronto debut (and second show ever) of Nicole Dollanganger, an artist who has quietly been releasing albums on Bandcamp the last few years, but who only entered the greater public conscious last month when it was announced that none other than Grimes would be starting a record label in order to put out her new LP.

With this enormous co-sign in the back of my mind, I had mixed feelings about going to check out this show. Would it be overrun with new fans eager to check out the internet’s latest buzz artist (last night’s show came on the heels a lengthy profile in the hype-inducing publication The Fader). Was I one of these people who had blindly taken the bait? I’ll admit, the fact that Dollanger is from the suburban town of Stouffville, Ontario is what initially peaked my interest, and before last night’s show I had only listened to a small fraction of her lengthy discography. Still, I was relieved to show up at 8pm to not find a long crowd waiting outside, but rather a group of punks and metalheads mingling outside. This is when I remembered that this was a hardcore show, and that Dollanger’s place on the bill (first of four bands) wasn’t likely to attract too much attention.

My suspicions were confirmed at 8:30pm sharp, when Dollanganger took the small stage while a small but attentive crowd gathered up front. Joined by a bassist and guitarist on either side, Dollanganger stood somewhat timidly in front of a table of pedals, singing into her microphone without acknowledging the audience. It didn’t matter though, because as soon as she started singing I understood why so many people have latched on to her. She has a voice that can cut through everything. Compared to her recordings, which are quite minimal and pretty, the show was a cacophony, with the guitarist playing along on a bass drum while hitting a hi-hat with the headstock of his guitar, and the bassist, at one point, letting out a guttural scream. In fact, the two accompanists acted as the perfect complement to Dollanganger, backing off when the songs called for it, but really elevating the songs to a new emotional level in certain parts. Her 40 minute set seemed to go by quickly, but walking back out into the night, I was impressed. She knows exactly how she wants to present herself and her music, and she has, as a fully-formed idea. In this regard, the endorsement from Grimes makes total sense. Not only did they both release a lot of music independently before getting wider recognition, their worlds extends into other forms of art (the only merch Dollanganger was selling were a variety of zines). As much as the internet has destroyed the music business, it has also allowed artists like Dollanganger to find their audience. Think about how someone like her would have been discovered 20 years ago? Canadians have always had a hard enough time breaking through to the rest of the world, so when stuff like this happens, I can’t help but feel good.

Is a long successful career a guarantee for Dollanganger? Of course not, there are no guarantees anymore. But I think she’s making all the right moves, and now that she’s playing shows and moving off the internet and into the real world, more and more people will come into her world.

Listen to Nicole Dollanganger on Bandcamp.

Music News: Jay Z Is Throwing a Party, and Wayne Coyne Probably Doesn’t Have a Podcast

Tuesday music news, let’s do this.

  • Oh Tidal. Does anyone remember Tidal? I barely do. In fact, I had to double check just now to see if it’s spelled Tidal or Tidel. Yes, Jay Z’s little-music-subscription-service-that-could still exists, and just reached it’s 1 Million member. In a tweet sent out earlier today, Mr. Carter boasted that “Tidal is platinum,” and “1,000,000 people  and counting.” Yes, that extra space between people and and was actually in his tweet. See, millionaires, they’re just like us regular folks making basic typing mistakes.
  • Here’s a headline that will make sense to people born in the 1980s: “Rage Against the Machine Bassit: ‘I Apologize for Limp Bizkit.’” Thankfully I never go into rap-rock, though recently I sat behind a grown man on the Megabus who blasted Linkin Park very loudly for most of the trip, and I’ll admit, those songs are catchy as heck.
  • Nicki Minaj is developing a TV show about her younger days, when her family emigrated from Trinidad before settling in Queens, NY. Though she is set to appear in the show, she likely won’t be playing herself, because it would be pretty weird having an adult play a small child. Maybe a teenager, though that’d also be weird. Spin has slightly more info.
  • Kanye and Kim’s new baby is due on Christmas, because that totally wasn’t planned at all. The real news here is that his new record, tentatively called Swish, is probably a year away. Or is he just throwing us off? Maybe he’ll drop his record on Christmas too?
  • In one of the most bizarre stories to emerge this week, someone may or may not have made a fake podcast supposedly hosted by The Flaming Lips’ singer Wayne Coyne, which totally didn’t have the band Beach House on it performing a brand new song. Even though a quick listen to it confirms that this whole thing is one big joke, so many blogs posted about it and quickly deleted it that I’m still laughing one day later. Consequence of Sound left their story up, but added a retraction.

Ok, that’s all for today. Make sure you get those applications in for SpirtLive shows this week!!!

Music News: What’s a Hozier? What’s a Fetty Wap? What’s Meow the Jewels? Am I going crazy?

And we are back! What a beautiful weekend. Yesterday I was sitting on a patio with my friends feeling truly #blessed. I know the Super Blood Moon was a mega bummer but otherwise things were pretty tight this weekend. Right now I’m listening to the new Drake & Future mixtape, finally, after it got released from the clutches of Apple Music. What a time to be alive indeed!

  • I quite enjoyed watching this video by Toronto ex-pat Chilly Gonzales. In it, the piano virtuoso explains how the chords of Hozier’s recent hit “Take Me to Church” have a lot in common with Feist’s “How Come You Never Go There,” while both songs seem to be inspired by the work of classical composer Johannes Brahms. It’s always fascinating to hear someone smart talk about music, and this well-produced video will definitely keep your attention. Watch it here.
  • Apparently Beyonce and Eddie Vedder covered a Bob Marley song together. Sounds like my nightmare.
  • Who is Fetty Wap and why was he riding a motorcycle without a license, insurance, or registration? Read this juicy article if you want to find out! I choose to remain ignorant.
  • Meow the Jewels finally came out. What is Meow the Jewels you ask? Is it a record made out of sampled cat noises? With rappers rapping on top? To be honest, I have no idea, but you can download it here if you’re curious. It’s free!
  • Have you ever read the Wikipedia article for music? It’s worth a gander.

Okay, slow new day, I admit it. Hopefully some stuff happens today or else tomorrow’s article will be even shorter!

Music News: Wolf Parade, New Releases, the Pope and more

Last music news of the week, let’s make this count!

  • Wolf Parade’s debut album Apologies to the Queen Mary came out exactly 10 years ago this week, so there’s been a bit of a celebration happening around the internet. Stereogum posted their reflection on the album, while the Wolf Parade Fansite has been running a feature called 12 Days of Apologies, reflecting on each of the album’s tracks one-by-one. Personally, I can remember hearing about this record through a friend of mine who couldn’t stop raving about it when it came out. I tried my best to ignore the record, simply based on all the hype it had been receiving, and because of my disdain for Modest Mouse (at the time they were huge, this was right after Good News For People Who Like Bad News). Of course, Modest Mouse’s singer Isaac Brock produced Apologies, but once I actually heard it, I knew I’d been in the wrong. I fell head over heels in love with the album, and it remained a favourite for many years. Though they never were able to reclaim the glory of their debut in any of their subsequent albums, they were always interesting, and that has carried on into the individual members solo careers. If you’ve never heard it, I guess now is a good time to check it out!
  • Friday is the new international album release day, so let’s look at some of the hot wax dropping today. As I mentioned yesterday, Toronto’s U.S. Girls have a new record called Half Free, you may have caught her on CBC’s q this morning. Scotland’s Chvrches (am I spelling that right?) are back with a new album called Every Open Eye. Disclosure are finally releasing the much-anticipated Caracal, which features the likes of Lorde, the Weeknd, and Sam Smith. Jack White and Alison Mosshart are back with a new record by their band The Dead Weather called Dodge and Burn. And we can’t forget Kurt Vile, who returns with a record called B’lieve I’m Going Down… and that’s all I’ve got to say about that!
  • Chart Attack has ranked all the top Toronto Summer Music Festivals, which is actually pretty interesting to read. If you’re like me, you probably attended at least a few of these festivals this summer, so maybe take a look and see if your experiences are in line with what these people have to say.
  • If you’re a record nerd like me, you probably use the website Discogs.com. Well, if you’re a record nerd with a smartphone you’re in luck because Discogs has just released the Beta version of their new app! Right now it’s only for iOS, but I imagine they’ll be an Android version when this officially gets released next year. Read more via Tiny Mix Tapes.
  • Oh, and the Pope is releasing a prog album. I can’t bring myself to listen to the first single. Check it out over at Fact.

Okay, thanks for reading. See you on Monday.

Music News: Lee’s Palace Birthday, Daft Punk Documentary and more

It’s Thursday afternoon, the time of the week when people’s minds start drifting towards the weekend. In fact, you probably already have plans tonight. We’re so lucky to live in Toronto, there’s always so much great music happening. Today, I’m going to highlight some of the awesome events happening this weekend, along with the regular news you’ve come to know and love.

  • Venerable Toronto concert venue Lee’s Palace celebrates its 30th anniversary tonight and tomorrow with two shows by the Constantines and Nap Eyes. These shows are close to selling out, so I’d buy tickets pronto if you’re thinking of going. This is by far the smallest venue the Cons have played since their 2014 reunion, so it’s sure to be a crazy time.
  • According to this article in NOW Magazine, US Girls are also playing a show tonight at 805 Studios. I can’t find any other information on it, so maybe just show up? It’s sure to be an amazing, intimate show, performed by an artist on the verge of Very Big Things. That is, if the show is actually happening. Please go and report back.
  • Big rap show going down at Echo Beach on Saturday night. A$AP Rocky, Tyler, the Creator, Danny Brown, and Vince Staples will all perform at Toronto’s only venue that’s literally on a beach. With summer officially over, this may be your last chance to stand by the water pretending you’re not freezing cold.
  • According to Exclaim!, The Magnetic Fields 1999 album is getting another vinyl repress, after copies of the original 2010 box set started going for Way Too Much Money on eBay. On the one hand, it’s a landmark album, universally praised, but on the other hand, how often are you actually going to listen to six records back to back to back to back to back. That’s a lot of flipping.
  • The BBC has gone ahead and produced a documentary on Daft Punk. You can watch the trailer right now, and by the looks of things, the documentary will feature interviews with collaborators such as Paul Williams and Kanye West, plus plenty of archival footage from before the band decided they’d never show their faces in public. As a only casual listener, I’m excited, so I’m sure their fans are going to love it.

Okay, that’s all the music news for today.

Music News: Feist’s Backpacks, Dilly Dally’s Purple Rage, Drake’s Restaurant and more

Can you believe it’s already Wednesday? Can you believe we’re going into our last week of September? Can you believe you’re already in 1st/2nd/3rd/4th year of university (I’m making assumptions about who is reading this). Well, these are facts, and you can’t change that, because time machines are still not real. So what are you going to do? Sit there and complain about how you can’t return to a previous point in time (such as last week – man, what a fun week that was!), or are you going to embrace today in all its glory. Because today is a good day. Why? Because we’ve got some more dang music news:

  • According to NOW Magazine, singer Leslie Feist (working with the Dignitas International) is asking her fans to donate backpacks so that they can be distributed to schools in Malawi. Unfortunately, a lot of children in Malawi are living with HIV/AIDS, so they are required to carry around medicine, which often ends up getting lost, especially at school. Donating backpacks to these children will allow them to carry their medicine and books a little bit easier. Donation boxes are currently at Brock and Dovercourt Public Schools. Definitely a good cause.
  • Local grunge band Dilly Dally have a new music video for the song “Purple Rage” off of their forthcoming debut LP Sore. And hey, look, a bunch of it was filmed at Yonge and Dundas, right outside the Ted Rogers School of Management. Very cool.
  • According to this tweet from Big Boi, the last Outkast record came out 12 years ago today. Does the album cover still look like it was made in approximately 4 minutes? Yes. Will they ever make another record? Also yes, because as their reunion tour demonstrated, that well has not run dry (I’m talking about money, as in, there is money to be made).
  • Drake opened up a restaurant at King and Spadina called, wait for it, Fring’s. Although none of us will ever eat there, we will continue to hear about all the celebrities passing through its doors and internal drama (because restaurants always have drama) for the rest of our live (or until it closes in 2-4 years, depending on if Drake continues to deliver musically, which he will).
  • To celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first album, A Tribe Called Quest are reissuing their entire discography, starting with the aforementioned debut People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm on November 13th. The reissues will include new remixes, a full album remaster, and probably some new artwork and other nice things. They even made a cute teaser trailer.

There you go, all the music news you need to know. Now you can move on with your day.