Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Glenn Kotche

So i've got out of my Canadian music funk and am making my first post about a non-Canuck artist! I'm glad, cuz this guy rocks. Glenn Kotche for those of you who may not be familiar with the name, is the drummer for Wilco. However, his music sounds pretty much nothing like Wilco, which is a good thing (not that i hate Wilco, but i enjoy Kotche's solo material much more).

In essence, his second album "Mobile" is very experimental in nature. Drawing from his talent as a drummer, Kotche has made a complex album of various percussionary elements, mixed in with electronic blip, and a few select other instruments like piano. But otherwise, it's all pretty glitchy and percussion-y. This is awesome. The first track "Clapping Music Variations" opens with a light cymbal sequence, then segues into a great vibraphone sequence. I absolutely LOVE vibes, (especially in jazz... mmm), so i like this track a lot. For those of you who enjoy the cuttiness of micro-house techno, you'll like "Projections of (What) Might". With a firmer back beat it would make a great Richie Hawtin track. Overall, the album has a nice flow to it, because Kotche never picks up the pace too much to throw the listener off. "Reductions or Imitations" is a very laid-back piano piece, "Individual Trains" will make you feel like you're in a helicopter or something (very spacey), and the finishing track "Fantasy On A Shona Theme" is a fabulous closer with, yes you guessed it, vibes! Kotche leaves us with a smooth exit, and boy is it good.

I love this album, (someone told me it even sounds "Balinese"??). I clearly need to listen to more Balinese music. Even if you don't traditionally like/think you'll like experimenetal music, i highly recommend it!

"Mobile" Track Listing:
Clapping Music Variations
Mobile Parts 1 & 2
Mobile Part 3
Projections of (What) Might
Monkey Chant
Reductions or Imitations
Individual Trains
Fantasy On a Shona Theme

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Raising The Fawn

Don't you love it when you hear about bands for a while and think, why didn't i get into them sooner? This is how i feel about Raising the Fawn, cuz i rather like their music. And thankfully, i'll get to see them live soon!

Another good Canadian band... yeah yeah jumping on the bandwagon you might say, but give them a listen and you'll see they're worth it. And they're from Toronto... not your typical indie-powerhouse city like Montreal or Vancouver or Ottawa. Hahah, ok i was joking about Ottawa :P But i digress.

Unfortunately i have yet to hear their latest album "The Maginot Line", it was released last month. But I gave their first full-length "The North Sea" one spin and i liked it instantly! It's very accessible, (that might make some of you happy, and some of you cringe). Don't worry, it's accessible in an original kind of way. The first couple of songs are slow and mellow, with lead singer John Crossingham (who is also a contributing member of Broken Social Scene) sticking with the falsetto mostly (he enjoys the falsetto throughout most of the album), giving the songs an almost earie (sp?) tone. Oooh, spooky. Then comes track 3 "Gwendolyn", definitely the single of the album, and things pick up. It actually sounds very reminiscent of The Stills' early stuff (hey, didn't we just talk about them?? what goes around comes around i guess...). Following this track we have "July 23rd", which is the country-twang addition to the pack. Hey i don't know about you, but i can enjoy a little twang with my indie once in a while. Lastly, the title track has parts that are very similar to Uncut, and the rest has some very Dears-esque guitar picking. I don't know if my comparisons make any sense, but i'm notoriously bad at this kind of thing. Just listen and you'll figure it out.

Please note that the songs are in .wma format, and also please note that you'll just have to deal with it. It's free music, don't complain.

"The North Sea"

If you like what you hear at all, Raising the Fawn will be performing in Ottawa @ Zaphod's on May 5th w/ another cool band called In-Flight Safety!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Stills

The Stills have become a happy piano band! No really, look at them in that picture... the Lebanese drummer guy (i can't remember his name) is actually smiling. And one of the members has gone the dreadful beard-route. The tides, they are a changin'.

Their new album "Without Feathers" will be released on May 9th, but you can get a sneak peak here. My above description is attributed to the fact that at least 9 out of the 12 tracks on their sophomore effort has a heavy piano portion. They definitely sound more "British" on this album. Could their first single "In The Beginning" even be appropriate for Irish pub fun? I think that's a fair assessment. And that's a good thing folks, don't get me wrong. It's just a little strange from a band that I've traditionally thought of as being kinda morose. I mean, check out the bop-boppin' trumpet on "Destroyer"! I mean, trumpet?? Wtf. It almost sounds like a foray into Broken Social Scene bombast. And check out "Oh Shoplifter" where they rock a cowbell, rivalling fellow Canuckster AC Newman.

If you're looking for a direct descendent of "Logic Will Break Your Heart" you're not gonna find it here. Perhaps "Helicopters" and "Baby Blues" will satisfy your nostalgia a bit, but it ends there. In short, "Without Feathers" seems like The Stills are taking bits here and there from their country-mates - a some dreamy piano a la Stars, the occasional bombast a la BSS, and a little quirkyness from.. well, most of those fabulous Canadian indie bands we love.

Here is "Without Feathers" for your aural pleasure. Yeah that's right you heard me, i said AURAL. :D

Check out The Stills when they perform in Ottawa at the New Capital Music Hall on May 10th!

The Stills - Without Feathers

Monday, April 17, 2006


Oh, the music blog has been born! I don't actually know how to do this yet.... i will see if blogger is more user-friendly than Livejournal. Ahh yes, the feud... blogger vs. livejournal, livejournal vs. blogger... oh when will it end! *sigh*. My point is basically if this thing is ugly right now, hopefully it won't remain like that for too long!

You're probably wondering where the name came from, (or maybe not). Either way, i don't care, i'll explain it to you anyway. I love 2 things: music and food. So, thus, we have - Stirfry of Sound! Clever, huh? Yeah, i thought so too. I figure i can't pretend how to cook... but i can pretend to have good taste in music.

I don't know how often this will be updated, or how "fresh" it will be. But the point behind it is to mostly have a space for me to talk about music i like, rant about/discuss music-related issues, and share my musical interests with others! Cuz really, it's all about sharing.

I will try to make this blog as nice as possible. What i mean by that is i'll try my best not to sound pretentious. I don't want to be an annoying hipster-snob-indier_than_thou-asymetrical_haircutted-loser like most people who have a diverse taste in music are. Whether i succeed in this or not has yet to be seen. Ya feel me? Aight.

That is all for now. Look out for my first official music post, coming soon! Thanks for visiting! :)