Oh maaan... It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks. But, I have got to take some time to wish you a prosperous and exciting Chinese new year. May happiness comes to your door in the year of the boar. Gong Hei Fat Choy! I can already smell the roasted pigs coming... (oh, how ironic...)
MP3 for your listening pleasure:
1. Gorillaz - Hong Kong
2. No Luck Club - Chinese Head Tax Meshup
May 23, 1958: Mao Tse Tung initiates the Great Leap Forward, his second five-year plan for the People's Republic of China. In addition to imposing impossibly high quotas on mainland farmers (to produce both grain in their fields and shoddy steel in their backyard furnaces) the Chairman insists that the countrys four greatest evilsrats, mosquitoes, flies and sparrowsmust be exterminated in order to maximize production. Villagers are instructed to scream and bang pots and pans to keep the sparrows in flight until the birds die of exhaustion. Soon, the sparrow population is drastically reduced, leaving no natural predator for the countrys locustswhich proceed to decimate Chinas crops. The result is possibly the worst famine in human history. Between 1958 and 1961, as many as 43 million Chinese die of starvation. Meanwhile, local government authorities falsify agricultural reports in order to avoid Maos often senseless wrath. Soldiers are dispatched to villages to find grain that the peasants are accused of hiding. Thousands of villagers are tortured and murdered in the search for grain stores that never existed. When they run out of bark and grass to eat, peasants in some provinces resort to cannibalism.
The Chairman: Where is the grain? The people deceive their country. Relieve them of the ravages of the sparrow, and they welcome the havoc of the locust. What guidance will they accept, if not Mine? What punishment shall I mete out, if not everything at My disposal?
The Proletariat: How is it that our Leader cannot see us starving? Why do we continue to toil in vain? Is not revolution in the hearts and minds of the people? If political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, perhaps we are harvesting the wrong crops.
This is an exact quote I found from the myspace page of the L.A.-based post rock/atmospheric/metal band Red Sparowes (formed by members of heavy metal bigwigs Isis, Neurosis, etc.) The band debuted in 2005 with an astounding release "At the Soundless Dawn" and is now on tour in support of their sophomore album "Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun". The album is said to follow the story of Great Leap Forward 大躍進, a fanatic period of rapid industrialization led by Chairman Mao that has been told on many movies and books. Regardless what your sentiments are towards the Cultural Revolution, I highly recommend you catch this band live. They will be playing at the Pat's Pub in Vancouver on March 20. Trust me... this time you might want to bring your ear plug.
"Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun" (2006) Tracklist:
1. The Great Leap Forward Poured Down Upon Us One Day Like a Mighty Storm, Suddenly and Furiously Blinding Our Senses
2. We Stood Transfixed in Blank Devotion as Our Leader Spoke to Us, Looking Down On Our Mute Faces With a Great, Raging, and Unseeing Eye
3. Like the Howling Glory of the Darkest Winds, This Voice Was Thunderous and the Words Holy, Tangling Their Way Around Our Hearts and Clutching Our Innocent Awe
4. A Message of Avarice Rained Down Upon Us and Carried Us Away Into False Dreams of Endless Riches.
5. 'Annihilate the Sparrow, That Stealer of Seed, and Our Harvests Will Abound; We Will Watch Our Wealth Flood In.'
6. And by Our Own Hand Did Every Last Bird Lie Silent in Their Puddles, the Air Barren of Song as the Clouds Drifted Away. For Killing Their Greatest Enemy, the Locusts Noisily Thanked Us and Turned Their Jaws Toward Our Crops, Swallowing Our Greed Whole
7. Millions Starved and Became Skinnier and Skinnier, While Our Leaders Became Fatter and Fatter
8. Finally, as That Blazing Sun Shone Down Upon Us, Did We Know That True Enemy Was the Voice of Blind Idolatry; and Only Then Did We Begin to Think for Ourselves
um... i guess they are trying to show off their literary prowess with these titles. :)
樂團官方網頁: Red Sparowes
樂團 Myspace: Red Sparowes
Released by Portuguese label Pedal Records, here's the latest offering from heavy rocker Boris - a collaborated effort with Michio Kurihara. Some pretty wild guitar riffs I must say.
"Rainbow" (2007) Tracklist:
3. Starship Narrator
4. My Rain
6. You Laughed Like a Water Mark
7. Fuzzy Reactor
8. No_1 Sweet No _1
9. ...and, I Want
When I saw these couple days ago, my jaw dropped. Têtes à claques is an internet-based tv show from French Canada (more precisely... Quebec). It sure looks pretty funny. Watch and you'll see what I mean. It's about time we mortals learn some Français!
官方網頁: Têtes à claques
For almost a year, I used to ride the 160 bus to work five times a week. Everytime the bus go pass the intersection between East Hastings and Main St. (and continues on to a nice little bank called Pigeon Park Savings), there are always rolls of street people lining up at the return-it depot waiting to cash in on the empty bottles they've salvaged from the dumpsters. Reflecting on this poverty-riden neighbourhood, Germaine Koh has created an art installation, currently on display at Centre A until Feb 16.
藝人官方網頁: Germaine Koh
展館官方網頁: Centre A
For more details, please visit Lona Records
Toronto's five-piece The Bicycles are Matt Beckett, Drew Smith, Randy Lee, Dana Snell, and Andrew Scott. Their musical influences largely draw from the 80s from the Beach Boys to the Monkees. Their debut album "The Good The Band and The Cuddly" proves that catchy songs always have a place in our hearts (...or on the dance floor). Check out some their tunes, and you can feel the hugs and kisses coming through.
"The Good The Band and The Cuddly" (2006) Tracklist:
03. I will Appear for you
04. Gotta Get Out
05. All Over Again
06. Ghost Town
07. Touques & Longjohns
08. The Defeat
09. Luck of Love
10. Paris Be Mine
11. Cuddly Toy
12. Randy's Song
13. Please Don't Go
14. Sure Was Great
16. Pomp & Circumstance
17. 2 Girls From Montreal
Bonus. I Know We Have To Be Apart
藝人/樂團官方網頁: The Bicycles
藝人/樂團 Myspace: www.myspace.com/thebicycles
D:ve aka Clive is, all in all, a minimalist. Since 2005, he has released a string of EPs. The most recent memory was "Deconstructed Piano", a 3-inch CD-R issued by Hong Kong's Lona Records in 2006. Judging just by the title, I swore I could have guessed that it was a John Cage tribute album. But I digress. His latest release comes in the form of a free online album that is named "O". The entire ablum is available for download at Rain Music (the label is also responsible for bringing us the Japan electronic minimalist Cake on Cake). Listen for yourself.
"O" (2006) Tracklist:
1. Plunge 1
3. E:ne Kle:ne Nachm:ttagmus:k
6. Bend:ng Shadow
7. Plunge 2
8. Ocean mot:on
You can download ALL the tracks at: Rain Music
藝人/樂團 Myspace: www.myspace.com/yixi
Yesterday was dramatic. Today is ok. What's that white stuff at burnaby mountain you asked? That's 20 cm of snowfall! (most of it probably melted away in the sunshine this morning). And I think it's -16C outside with the windchill. OooKeee... I was off work last night and as usual I waited at the bus loop for the bus that normally comes every 8 minutes. I waited for an hour (silly enough...) in a lineup that eventually circled into an absolute tangled mess. I don't think the people know they are lining up at the right line or perhaps what they are lining up for. Anyhoo. It took me a total of 4 hours to get home from work. Today... much better.
MP3s for your listening pleasure again:
1. Lo-Fi-Fnk - "What's On My Mind"
2. The Radio Dept. - "The Worst Taste In Music (Extended)"
3. Swan Lake - "The Freedom"
4. Swan Lake - "All Fires"
5. Holy Fuck - "Safari" (live)
6. Cake on Cake - "My Melody"
7. Final Fantasy - "I'm Afraid of Japan"
8. Kama Aina - "Hotaru"
9. Cacoy - "Piracle Pa"
10. Bicycles - "Gotta Get Out"
Finally some canadian content! :P
The familiar name My Dad Vs. Yours (oddly enough... some referred to them as My Dad) has been floating in the back of my mind for quite some time now, but it wasn't until now that I discover that they are indeed an instrumental (or post-rock, the operative words that I have been so accustomed to saying nowadays) band. Hailed from the capital of Canada, My Dad Vs. Yours' self-released sophomore album "After Winter Must Come Spring" was recorded in Montreal's legendary Hotel2Tengo studio.
"After Winter Must Come Spring" (2006) Tracklist:
1. Habla Paisano
3. The Harder We Work…
4. …The Behinder We Get
5. Tanz Mit Uns
6. No Farms No Food No Future
7. In My Arms We Shall Begin
1. The Good, the Bad and the Queen
No. This is not the title of the next instalment of the People Mountain People Sea compilation. The Good, the Bad and the Queen combines the talent and experience of drummer Tony Allen (Fela Kuti), bassist Paul Simonon (Clash), guitarist Simon Tong (Verve) and Blur singer Damon Albarn. A lineup like that invites high expectations, but the first two singles, Herculean and Kingdom of Doom, are sublime. (The album is out Jan. 23.)
2. Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Strike a pose: This comprehensive overview of the art of the staged photograph includes the work of Cindy Sherman, Lewis Carroll, Man Ray, Jeff Wall, Yasumasa Morimura and Wang Quingsong. Opens Feb. 3.
3. Blank is Beautiful: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein
Also in March, Canada’s premier rabble-rouser will follow up No Logo, her bible for the planet’s anti-globalization movement, with a scathing critique of the international free market .
4. Do Make Say Think, Trans Am, Acid Mother's Temple @ Richard's on Richard (too bad not on the same date)
After a series of delays, Toronto's Do Make Say Think has finally decided to reschedule their long-awaited tour. They will (or at least scheduled to) be strolling through town on Mar. 5, after the release of their fifth full-length You, You're a History in Rust on the famed Constellation Records. Following closely is Washington, DC's post rock pioneer Trans Am, who will be appearing on stage on Apr. 24 supporting their latest Thrill Jockey release Sex Change. To top it all off, the latest incarnation of Japan's finest space/noise-rocker collective Acid Mother's Temple will be gracing our presence on May 9 to play us some tunes from their new album Have You Seen The Other Side Of The Sky?. I sure hope they can all make their scheduled appearance.
MP3s for your listening pleasure:
1. Trans Am - "Uninvited Guest"
2. Trans Am - "Outmoder"
And here are some of my music picks for 2006:
- The Yours "Abraham" Myspace
- Tizzy Bac "我想你會變成這樣都是我害的" Official Site
- Selfkill "雨停了之後" Official Site
- Lighthead - "No 3" Myspace
- Les Breastfeeders "Les matins de grands soirs" Official Site
- Swan Lake "Beast Moans" Myspace
- Hylozoists "La Fin Du Monde" Myspace
If you're interested, here's a roundup of almost all the "Best of" lists for 2006: Largeheartedboy
and this is not post rock, but i thought i throw it up here...
Some of you would have already heard of this band from the song "I Chose Horses" on Mogwai's most recent full length "Mr. Beast". Envy is a Japanese atmospheric hardcore/metal/punk band. Their latest effort titled "Insomniac Dose" is released on Temporary Residency.
"Insomniac Dose" (2006) Tracklist:
1. Further Ahead of Warp
2. Shield of Selflessness
5. The Unknown Glow
6. Night In Winter
7. A Warm Room