Monday, April 23, 2007

Dragonette Feature

National Post today gave a page 2 feature to Canada/Brit band Dragonette. The theme of the article is on Martina Sorbara, lead singer and daughter of Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara:

Meet the pop-star daughter of Ontario's buttoned-down Finance Minister: Martina Sorbara prowls the stage in a latex bodysuit and sings blithe numbers about one night stands.

Dragonette, the band she started with her husband, is gaining momentum, largely thanks to the provocative video for their single I Get Around, shot at Wicked, a swingers club on Toronto's Queen Street West. After a nod from Internet gossip columnist Perez Hilton, I Get Around received close to five million views on YouTube.

We will be watching for Dragonette, meanwhile here's the video in question: I Get Around.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sapphire City CD release

Fergus based Indie band Sapphire City is having a CD release party for their debut CD, All We Are. The release is on April 27th, 2007 at the Five O'Clock Bar and Grill - 30 Glamis Road, Cambridge, Ontario N1R 7H5. Admission is free.

Some samples can be heard at the bands myspace site, and I must confess to being impressed. I wish I could make it out to the release party, but that's also my anniversary so sorry guys. I won't be reviewing the show for you.

I will try, however, to get a copy of the CD to review.

CD Review: Avril Lavigne: The Best Damn Thing

I should start this reviewing by pointing out I'm in my mid-40's; in other words, this album was not made with me in mind. I'm 25 years beyond the target audience, probably the wrong sex and not supposed to like it.

That out of the way, I don't mind this CD. Or rather, I can understand others who do like it. If I was in my teenage years, I could see me liking Girlfriend, which reminds me a lot of Kim Wilde's 1980 bopper anthem, Kids in America.

That said, it's kid music. Avril Lavigne is a young married woman, and is still writing stuff like :

Hey! Hey! You! You!
I don’t like your girlfriend!
No way! No way!
I think you need a new one
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I could be your girlfriend.
She needs to grow up musically soon, or be left behind.

Another influence that keeps popping up, especially the title track The Best Damn Thing, is the Spice Girls. This should serve as a warning to Avril and her people. While fine for the teenage audience, if Avril plans on having a career down the road, she is going to have to mature with her audience. She has already surpassed the Spice Girls in longevity, but pushing out songs that sound like them is not good for the long haul.

I also note that the production team double track her voice in most of the album, and when they don't her voice comes across as weak, as it does for the verses of When You're Gone.

Overall, this is a decent collection, and should be a successful CD for Avril Lavigne. However, she is at a career stage where many careers begin to stumble. This CD is not such a stumble, but neither does it raise her to the next level of performance.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

CD Review: Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Montreal's Arcade Fire's second CD, Neon Bible released to much fanfare and acclaim about three weeks ago, is every bit as good as the hype suggests. The follow up to 2004's Funeral, Arcade Fire have produced a collection of songs varying in style and influence.

Influence, it's the word you think of most when listening to Arcade Fire. Their work is dripping with influence, with Neon Bible offering hints of Bruce Springsteen, The Go-Go's , The Band, U2, The Police, Fee Waybill and the Tubes as well as some 18th century church music sprinkled in.

These influences, however, aren't in the form of rip-off or blatant attempts to sound like someone, more so flavours, like a chef sprinkling spices over a dish. A quick flavour of the Go-Go's here, a guitar part that sounds like The Edge, a heart wrenching Rick Danko like vocal part. Hints, spices and flavours of others combine to create interesting music.

The songwriting is also mature and professional. No formula here, but clear storylined lyrics, music that drives the song forward and arrangements that solidify the whole into complete music.

Highlights include Keep The Car (U2 meets Eddie and the Cruisers, with mandolin), Intervention, Black Wave/Bad Vibration, with it's very Go-Go's beginning and the very Band like No Cars Go. That's just teh tip of the iceburg, however. Neon Bible is a solid collection, from a band that hopefully, will have a lot to say in the future.