Sometimes, there’s too much good music. Mixtapes are a chance to pick and choose from the spectrum of too muchness and bring friends and readers some of the best of what I’ve heard recently. But sometimes there’s still too much, which is why I decided to split this mix into 2 parts, or ‘sides’, if you will. Part 1 is California Sunrise, because as you’ll learn quickly in the captions below, California has inadvertently become a major theme in my listening choices as of late. Like past mixes, this one’s heavily influenced by how I feel with the on-set of my favourite time of year, and is an effort to share a soundtrack perfect for your sun-kissed days and sweaty nights. Stay tuned for part 2 next week.

Download | California Sunrise Mixtape

Blackbird Blackbird – Sunspray

As promised, this mix comes chock-full of Californian inspiration. ‘Sunspray’ starts the trend, with band Blackbird Blackbird hailing from San Francisco. Since March of last year, they’ve steadily released a series of EPs leading to this March’s Summer Heart full-length. My favourite track by the band comes from their second EP Let’s Move on Together. The unintelligibly faint vocals layered overtop synths create a delicate yet danceable tune, seemingly made for an intimate slow dance in a sea of raging fast-dancers.

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— , July 11, 2011    3 Comments

Death Cab for Cutie

April 5, 2009, Toronto, Canada – After missing out on their headlining show on Toronto Island last summer to watch the Evil Dead musical instead, I decided that if I was ever going to see Death Cab for Cutie, it might as well be now.

Coming into the show, I heard that Sound Academy was basically the worst venue in the city for numerous reasons. While the sound wasn’t as bad as I’ve heard, all complaints about location are completely valid. It truly is located in the middle of nowhere; without a ride I would’ve been pretty screwed for getting there. I was really taken aback at how cavernous it was, hardly a comparison to the intimate venues I’m used to frequenting, and hardly the crowd I’m used to. Many jokes were made about the 14-year old girl content of the crowd.

I probably wouldn’t have made the trip if Ra Ra Riot wasn’t opening. I’ve had The Rhumb Line on repeat for the last few months, one of the most overlooked albums of 2008 in my opinion. The  band seemed a little nervous to be playing in front of a crowd that size, but they performed admirably in an all-too-brief set. Cellist Alexandra Lawn’s vocals on ‘Too Too Too Fast’ were sadly drowned out by the rest of the band, somewhat spoiling my favourite song off the album. Still, I’d jump at the chance to see them at a smaller venue. They showed some great energy.

I didn’t care for Cold War Kids. Prior to the show my only exposure was the song ‘We Used to Vacation’, which I didn’t mind, and which didn’t get played. Their performance didn’t impress me at all. It was very classic rock-influenced, and the music was fine, if a little bland, but what got me were the vocals. I really couldn’t stand their singer. If I had any chance of getting to the merch table and back during their set, I probably would’ve done that, but instead I sipped my Moosehead and quietly waited for them to finish.

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— , April 17, 2009    10 Comments

Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids, definitely one of the better bands and band names of recent years, will be releasing their sophomore album Loyalty to Loyalty on September 23. Fans and fans-to-be should definitely check out their website, which is chock full of new videos and music. They’ve made a low quality version of the song “Something Is Not Right With Me” from the new album available for download on their homepage, check it out below:

The low quality version of “Something Is Not Right With Me”

And if you missed the first Cold War, then click on the [more…] link below for some videos from 2006’s Robbers & Cowards.



— , August 12, 2008    Comments Off on Cold War Kids Release New Low Quality Recording