Photograph by Yasmeen Ghebari

Photograph by Yasmeen Ghebari

Amidst all of this holiday season craziness, here is a list of favourite things that happened at the Halifax Pop Explosion 2012, the twentieth anniversary of the festival, for you to ponder how awesome the festival is and why you should probably attend it next year.

of Montreal

Not sure if you guys all know (you probably do) but of Montreal is fantastic live. Hands down one of the more entertaining shows I’ve ever been to. I found myself giggling uncontrollably a number of times throughout their concert, which included body suits, pretend action fights, and lots and lots of balloons. When two guys in bodysuits unleashed long, tied-together balloons from between their legs (resembling a number of things…) I was quite taken aback at first, but it was absolutely hilarious and the balloons created some unbelievable fun in the crowd. More magic was added with Kevin Barnes adorning the stage in lace and vibrant make-up, which, when paired with the psychedelic lights and their funky pop music, made for a lively and delightful show.

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— , December 24, 2012    2 Comments

The National

So, I read Pitchfork a lot.  And by a lot I of course mean daily.  And by daily I of course mean whenever my Profs become less than adequately engaging.  Thus, I get a lot of my musical stylings from Pitchfork recommendations, especially the ‘Best New Music’ list.  However, on occasion, it’s difficult to cut through the hype to see which records are actually worth spinning and which records are simply getting positive reviews because the writer knows a guy who knows a guy who robs a guy who plays in, say, Vampire Weekend (although I’m really getting into their demos).  As Ca Va Cool Contributor / Headmaster / Generalissimo Dan suggested, I will be attempting today to cut through the hype with a clear head, open ears, and biting satirical wit.  I will be giving you guys the top three records from 2007 that deserved the Pitchfork hype, and the top three records from 2007 that did not deserve the Pitchfork hype.

Records that Deserved the Hype:

The National – Boxer

Put simply, I think that this is one of the great records of this decade, taking a place alongside Is This It?, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Elephant, Turn On The Bright Lights, etc. etc. (you can insert your record of choice here to avoid argument).  On Boxer, Matt Berninger crafts intensely personal stories in a more understated manner than on Alligator.  However, what Berninger loses in ‘jaw drop factor’ he makes up for in understated beauty and one of the most accurate accounts of modern American life yet put to vinyl.  Further, Boxer features beautiful orchestral arrangements that complement the band’s instrumentation while never overshadowing it.  I could continue on for pages upon pages, but I won’t.  I will simply ask you to pick up this record as soon as possible (get yourself a Christmas gift, you deserve it).

The National – Brainy

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— , December 16, 2007    7 Comments