Author: Matthew Barlow

Franz Ferdinand: Always Ascending

Franz Ferdinand Always Ascending Domino Records I remember the first time I heard Franz Ferdinand.  I was in Vancouver in the spring of 2004, in a café on Denman St. in the West End, and the track ‘Michael’ was playing.  It was catch as all get out.  I investigated further, wandering across town to A&B Sound on Seymour St. (RIP), gave their début eponymous album a spin and bought it.  Since that day, they have been one of my favourite bands, I must admit.  Their last album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, was somewhat of a surprise, coming a full...

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Cadence Weapon: Cadence Weapon

Cadence Weapon Cadence Weapon Anti-/Epitaph Canadian hip hop has, to an extent, been ruined by Drake.  This isn’t Drake’s problem, he’s a singular artist, with his own vision and unique cadence.  The problem is that nearly every young Canadian hip hop artist sounds like him, both in terms of rhymes and beats.  Doesn’t matter if it’s in French, either, as in the case of Montreal’s potentially brilliant La Carabine.  It makes sense, though, Drake is the first Canadian hip hop artist to break into the stratosphere and he has become ubiquitous representing his hometown of Toronto. The other problem...

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Tune-Yards: I can feel you creep into my private life

Tune-Yards I can feel you creep into my private life 4AD Merrill Garbus is the indie kids’ darling right now.  She’s eclectic, she wears makeup on-stage, she uses odd instrumentation in making her music, and she speaks righteously in her lyrics.  So, yeah, it’s kinda obvious why.  Tune-Yards is the collaborative project between Garbus and Nate Brenner, and their new album is blowing up.  And, I can see why.  Tune-Yards have existed on the periphery of my attention span for a few years now, my nieces (who all have most excellent taste in music) have talked of them.  And,...

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Wrong Creatures

Black Rebel Motorcycle Clu Wrong Creatures Vagrant Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are named for Marlon Brando’s gang in The Wild One.  It’s not their original name; forming in San Francisco in 1998, they were originally called The Elements.  But the discovery of another so-called band caused the name change.  BRMC were a trio, originally comprised of Peter Hayes (vocals/guitar), Robert Been (bass/vocals) and Nick Jago (drums).  Jago left in 2008 and was replaced by Leah Shapiro.  Hayes had been a member of the Brian Jonestown Massacre before forming BMRC, and maybe it’s for this reason, I have always associated the...

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The (Sort of) End of Chief Wahoo

The Cleveland baseball team took a positive step this week.  It announced on Monday that it was going to remove the deeply offensive Chief Wahoo from its caps and jerseys for the 2019 season.  This is an important start.  Chief Wahoo is an offensive caricature of an indigenous chief, drawn in a cartoonish, stereotypical manner. Note that not only is he grinning, he is actually red.  Like, you know, ‘redskin’.  (The Washington football team is a whole other problem, for another day). Chief Wahoo. Chief Wahoo has a long genesis.  The Cleveland baseball team was originally founded in Grand...

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