Category Archives: music

On Record – Repartee’s All Lit Up

Last time I wrote about Repartee, I was waiting on their newest album. And when the album was released in April, my word, was it ever worth the wait.

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Source: Soundcloud

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On Record – Jerry Stamp’s Rogue Doubt

Not long after the release of Rogue Doubt, George Stroumboulopoulos chose the album’s third track, Embers as the top track for his weekly countdown. “Write down his name,” George said. And one listen to this album will show you exactly why Strombo thinks Jerry Stamp is the bee’s knees.

 

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On Record – Repartee

Most nights, I’m content to be kicked back under a blanket on the couch, working on crafts and watching whatever episode of Criminal Minds is replaying that evening. But there’s one thing that is guaranteed to get me to put down those knitting needles, get all jazzed up, and get my arse down to George Street.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when Repartee comes to town.

Repartee

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on record – sherman downey and the ambiguous case’s The Sun In Your Eyes

Last week, St. John’s had a beautiful day. It was one of those days where even though you knew spring started ages ago, it was the first day of spring in your heart. The sun was shining, it was nice and warm, and when I drove around with my windows rolled down, there was only one album that fit the day just right.

Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case‘s The Sun In Your Eyes.

(Image source) Buy this ray of sunshine here!

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hugs, on record – Fortunate Ones’ The Bliss

Last summer on one of my trips to beloved Bonavista, Liam and I were lucky enough to catch the duo Fortunate Ones at the Garrick Theatre. And let me tell you something: there is nothing in the world like hearing two voices who fell in love, with hearts and minds that followed suit.

Earlier this month Fortunate Ones, aka Andrew James O’Brien and Catherine Allan, released their debut album The Bliss. And I am here to tell you that you need this album in your life. I got an advanced copy at the aforementioned show, and it’s been in prominent rotation ever since.

Buy the album here!

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Big Tom Forever

I’ve learned that the saddest thing for a girl to ever experience is watching her dad; the man who is her rock, holding her through heartache and happiness; hurting and heartbroken.

Yesterday he lost a very good friend of his – a fellow radio dj – and his heart is breaking along with so many others. And it feels like you just can’t offer enough to make things okay, like he would be able to do for you when you needed that shoulder to cry on and hand to hold. I’ve offered to bring him food and coffee as he and his brave coworkers not only power through their work, but as radio djs they’re bearing their hearts to everyone.

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I Throw My Hands Up In The Air More Often Lately

Yesterday I came to a realization. And by realization, I absolutely mean that I finally admitted to myself something that, deep down, I’ve known all along. I love pop music. I really do. As much as I honestly hate most of the crap that they play on the radio, there are some real gems out there, and I can’t stop myself from fully immersing myself in how awesome they are.
As a kid, I was exclusively a pop fan. The radio was God, there weren’t enough BSB posters in the world (or space on my walls) and I wanted to be the next Britney Spears (despite my complete lack of dance skills). My dad’s music—oldies of course—was laughable, and my mom’s love for Vince Gill and Garth Brooks was ridiculous. But once I hit junior high, I slowly let go of Nick Carter and the pop world. I started listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to impress a boy. (I started watching the Toronto Maple Leafs for the same boy, but that’s a story for another day). Eventually, I was introduced to bands like Radiohead and The Beatles. My pop posters came down, and in their place was Pink Floyd and Kurt Cobain. By high school, I was too good for pop. It wasn’t real music.
Even then, however, it would slip into my life. My friends would find a song they loved (like Usher’s “Yeah”) and I would roll my eyes and dance (badly) purely for their amusement. At least that’s the excuse I gave myself. And that is the relationship that pop music and I had for years. I was either putting up with it, or mocking it with my best friend. But it’s slowly crept back into my life.
It started with a break-up. At the end of last year, I needed to keep my spirits up. So I burned a “Get Happy” cd. This cd included Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” and Katy Perry’s “Firework.” The dancability of the first, and the inspiring words of the second (I’m lame, I know) would always make me grin. But whenever someone would get in the car with me, my first words would be “don’t judge me.” But late one night, while driving home from a show with my best friend, we took the long way, cranked the volume, and sang those songs at the top of our lungs. I thought that maybe they weren’t so bad.
Next, I found myself defending Lady Gaga‘s (pre-Born This Way) music. I discussed my love for Taio Cruz’s song with a guy friend, only to discover that he loves Britney Spears’ “Till The World Ends.” A huge amount of my friends became obsessed with LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” and I did too. A couple of my friends got into Kanye and Jay-z’s “Monster,” causing it to get stuck in my head. Nicki Minaj’s song “Super Bass” was suddenly all I could listen to. Yesterday, I compiled most of these songs for a walking playlist, but it hit me: walking playlist or not, I love every last one of these songs.
To make it clear, I like good pop. I like it when the music is tightly constructed, the arrangement is well written, the effects and instrumentation are intelligent, and Justin Bieber is as far away as possible. Songs that are mindlessly repetitive or just badly written and performed (I’m looking at you, new Beyonce, Mariana’s Trench singer, and the hundreds of others like you) I will continue to hate. That’s right Pitbull, I will mock you forever.
But rest assured, if you ever see me strutting along the sidewalk, I am most definitely listening to Monster.

Dancing With The Stars

Not too long ago, I danced next to Tim Baker.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with that name, Tim Baker is the naturally handsome front man of the Newfoundland based rock band Hey Rosetta. After years of indifference to all but a couple of their songs, this past February I bought the album Seeds on a whim. I was completely won over after my first listen, and the CD was on constant play in my car for months. Even still, it is a prominent player in my CD rotation.
Listening to this band has a significance to me because they prove that being a success is possible. In the small city of St. John’s, it’s easy to see a hundred bands roll on to the music scene, and quickly fade into the distance; or see the same bands play the same venues, never getting bigger or smaller, for years on end. It’s the curse of our location: being seen and getting places can be hard.
I’m one of the many people dealing with this curse. At least I will be eventually. I am in a band that is still relatively new. We’re still finding our sound, learning what works on an interpersonal level, and have even experience line-up changes in our few months of existence. When it was first started, it was just myself and one talented friend. We were excited and enthusiastic, and we had a sort of mantra: “Hey Rosetta did it! If they can do it, why can’t we?”
The longing to be like Hey Rosetta increased recently when I came to see the band in their off time. Romesh Thavanathan was at a show I played last week (though he left early into our set). I have seen him strolling down the road. And like I said when I began this article so long ago, I danced next to Tim Baker. I left a house party with three drunken friends; walked to the Ship to see the Pathological Lovers; and found that these famous, successful musicians were doing the same thing. Just loving St. John’s and living like all its twenty-somethings do.
And that is exactly what I aspire to be.
Who wouldn’t want to spend their summer touring Canada, playing festivals, and then coming home to a place you love; just jamming new songs and living an otherwise every day life. And maybe some day, a musician will be downtown, find themselves dancing next to me, and feel the same excitement and optimism.
Just like I felt on the night I danced next to Tim Baker.
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