Photograph by Christopher Nelson

Though not the first of the major summer festivals, Sasquatch! sure felt like early summer. The Gorge Amphitheatre is nestled in the eastern foothills of the Cascades just outside George, Washington (really), the mountains to the west managed to keep the coastal rains at bay, but the altitude and dry air made for some sunburnt days and brisk nights. We were woefully unprepared for these climatic factors, not to mention the sheer scope of this year’s lineup. Festivals like this one lure you in with a laundry list of bands you would love to see, and then dash those dreams when the schedule is announced and you realize you will only be able to see approximately a third of them – given you’re still standing at the end of the day.

Some tough choices were made to give you the best coverage we could, that is we made game-time decisions and saw whatever we felt like. It would have been lovely to have seen more up and comers but schedule conflicts and the occasional sleep-in (see Day Three) conspired against that notion. Sasquatch!, despite its laid-back west coast feel, is still a commercial festival. If you want cutting edge, beg one of our Toronto writers to cover NXNE, you probably won’t have to beg too hard. What follows is our take on the best of Sasquatch! Music Festival 2010, day by day.

Continue Reading ‘Sasquatch! Music Festival’ Concert Feature »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

— , June 9, 2010    3 Comments

Passion Pit

In the fall of 2007 Brooklyn-natives were privy to the exciting new synth-filled sounds of the duo now known as MGMT. The Management, as they were then known, were so unabashedly open about their hipsterness that they quickly began to fill the void that the Steve Aokis and Ed Bangers were losing ability to (because of their newly found mass appeal).  MGMT found its way into obscurest playlists, 2007 year-end lists, every festival on the face of the planet and lemon-flavored-soda commercials, all within months. By the time their debut album Oracular Spectacular actually came out in 2008, it was already being given the “2000 and late” seal by hip youth-gangs who were “into them last year”.

In early 2008 word started spreading like wildfire that the year’s best album had already arrived in Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut. Music blogs, including our very own, all lit up with excitement about the fresh afro-boho-indie-pop-rock from 4 kids pretentious enough to make any prep-schooler feel like they went to Boston Public and kicked it with the hard knocks – it was just so smashingly original. The tremendous hype was followed quite closely by a backlash strong enough to make it fetch, much like in MGMT’s case, to dislike VW before their album actually came out just weeks later. As this backlash was given time to marinate in music consumers’ minds for months, it was now only socially acceptable to like Vampire Weekend as a guilty pleasure – like these guys were a post-sex tape R. Kelly or something – which resulted in an otherwise great album being left off many year-end best lists, ours notwithstanding.

This brings me to our latest potential victims. Since sometime last Fall, the blogosphere has been atweet about Passion Pit, mostly because of the infectious single ‘Sleepyhead’ off their debut, dorm room-recorded EP, Chunk of Change. Originally recorded by Michael Angelakos as a Valentine’s Day gift for his girlfriend, the disc made its way around the Emerson College campus pretty quickly. Soon enough, Passion Pit had landed a record deal at Frenchkiss, a spot in several “bands to watch” lists in respected publications, and a track feature on a MTV show soundtrack and in an electronics commercial. Since then, they’ve readied their full-length debut, Manners.

Passion Pit – Eyes As Candles
Passion Pit – Little Secrets
Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings

Continue reading ‘Manners’ review >

Tags: , ,

— , June 3, 2009    13 Comments

This year’s mixtape is ready for you to download. The two disc set is packed with 2008 favourites from all of our writers.

Download: The Ca Va Cool Mixtape 2008 – Disc 1

01. She & Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
02. Hot Chip – Ready for the Floor
03. Chad VanGaalen – TMNT Mask
04. Bloc Party – Signs
05. Mystery Jets – Young Love feat. Laura Marling
06. TV on the Radio – Family Tree
07. DeVotchKa – Transliterator
08. Wilco w/ Fleet Foxes – I Shall Be Released
09. Wolf Parade – Soldier’s Grin
10. M83 – Graveyard Girl
11. Albert Hammond, Jr. – GfC
12. Vampire Weekend – Walcott
13. Brendan Canning – Churches Under the Stairs
14. Cut Copy – Lights and Music
15. Los Campesinos! – This Is How You Spell…

Download: The Ca Va Cool Mixtape 2008 – Disc 2

01. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
02. Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
03. Born Ruffians – Little Garçon
04. The Clips – Space Kidz
05. The Radio Dept. – Freddie and the Trojan Horse
06. Bon Iver – Re: Stacks
07. Lykke Li – Dance Dance Dance
08. Portishead – Machine Gun
09. No Age – Eraser
10. Plants and Animals – New Kind of Love
11. Bodies of Water – Gold, Tan, Peach, and Grey
12. Fleet Foxes – Oliver James
13. Deerhunter – Never Stops
14. Santogold – Creator
15. Beast – Ashtray

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

— , December 24, 2008    4 Comments

Lykke Li

The year isn’t even done and already I want to make ammendments to my list. For instance, no Air France. What gives? It’s not perfect, not even close, but hopefully the rest of the albums will please the ears. There’s a lot of obvious albums here which you don’t need me to tell you to listen to, but they have to be included because they’re amazing. If you missed the first half of the list, you can check it out here. Without further ado, I give you the conclusion of my Top 20 releases of 2008:

10 | Lykke LiYouth Novels

Sweden’s newest indie starlet/semi-superstar, Lykke Li, starts off the top 10. I had a taste of how this album was going to be at the end of last year with the single “Little Bit” and she really delivered. Equal parts easy listening and indie dance, this album manages to be accessible pop and adventurous at the same time. This had to come from Sweden.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

— , December 19, 2008    6 Comments

When I saw the V-Fest line-up for Day 1, I was pretty pleased, these were all bands that I’ve seen before and I knew rocked. So I figured why not, it rocked the first time, why wouldn’t it rock the second? So instead of checking out more novel bands throughout the day, I stuck with the tried and true.

After waiting to get on the ferry for who knows how long, I was fortunate to get to the Virgin Mobile stage just as the Constantines were opening with Nighttime/Anytime. They played a solid, but short set. To be honest I’m not that familiar with most of the Cons’ material, but I enjoyed them headlining LOLAfest last year, and enjoyed them again this time.

After they finished up, I pushed my way up before MGMT‘s set, since I hadn’t seen them yet. I’ve heard contrasting opinions of their live show. While they weren’t particularly outstanding, there was a palpable energy that hit the crowd when the band played the three best songs from Oracular Spectacular: Time to Pretend, Electric Feel, and ending with Kids. The performance of Kids struck me as particularly odd, as it played out as bad karaoke with the duo singing while dancing around the stage, but it somehow worked. Perhaps the hokey passing of the water bottle in tune with the lyrics got me. But hey, the kids were dancing so I guess they did their job.

Continue Reading >

Tags: , , , ,

— , September 7, 2008    Comments Off on Toronto Virgin Festival 2008