Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 20 Albums of 2010 (a Tasty Ears production)

I'm back to finish the list I started on the last edition of Beard About Town. The Tasty Ears Top 20 of 2010 is finally here. Go!

20. Wavves - King of the Beach
19. The Morning Benders - Big Echo
18. No Age - Everything In Between
17. Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart
16. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
15. How To Dress Well - Love Remains
14. Girls - Broken Dreams Club
13. Broken Bells - self-titled
12. Twin Shadow - Forget
11. Beach House - Teen Dream
10. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
09. The National - High Violet
08. The Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
07. The Drums - self-titled
06. Vampire Weekend - Contra
05. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
04. Free Energy - Stuck On Nothing
03. The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt
02. The Black Keys - Brothers
01. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

Disagree? Let me known where I went wrong and leave a comment below.

It goes without saying that not everyone can be in the Top 40 but there are a few bands that deserve a shout out none the less. A band I listened to a lot this year is Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, there self-titled album is very well conceived. In particularly the track called Home is a favourite. The album was actually released in 2009 so I did not consider it this year but it sure got a ton of play around here. They also put on one of the best shows I saw this year down at The Gorge. It was a beautiful day at the Sasquatch Festival mid-afternoon when they took the stage and stole the show. Hit play on the mixtape now!

Another band (or I guess more of an ensemble really) called Gayngs put together an amazing album titled Relayted. Featuring members of Solid Gold, Bon Iver, Megafaun, Rosebuds, Doomtree, and more Gayngs have the soft-rock genre dialed. They have a very groovy video for my favourite track The Gaudy Side of Town too so look for that. They did a small tour in the U.S. this year ending in Texas where there bus was unfortunately stolen. Kenny G stole the soprano sax from music, Gayngs is stealing it back.

Music Playlist at

Finally, a little what, what for the hip sounds of local band Watasun. Check out the video below for there song Let's Go Shopping. A cool video of them playing in downtown Vancouver where anything can happen (like bubble guy). Keep posted to them on Facebook for many more videos from them soon. Keep 'er goin' boys.

Don't forget to subscribe. See you next year. Go!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blog of Lists

"T'was the morning after a long night and I was trying to think of something to write." A little shout out to the "Season". A time when we all look back and look ahead and speaking of "a head" (what? am I supposed to apologize for liking puns); I'm sure many of you have heard about the girl below. Her name is Ann Kirstin Kennis and she is most recently famous for donning the cover of Vampire Weekends Album Contra (she was a busy model in the 80's). She claims that she never gave permission for her photo to be used (despite her signature on the release form). She is now suing for $2 million. What I want to know is did she illegally download the album? I could go on about about artists rights and how musicians get a raw deal but... instead I'll just encourage you to tell me what YOU think in todays reader's poll.

Now for the lists

Top 3 Local Record Shops

3.Red Cat
2. Scratch
1. Zulu

Top 5 Local Venues for Live Music

5. The Media Club
4. Venue
3. The Rickshaw Theatre
2. The Commodore
1. The Biltmore

Top 10 Concerts of the Year

10. The Cave Singers
9. Matt & Kim
8. Broken Bells (The Morning Benders opened)
7. The Drums and Surfer Blood
6. The Tallest Man on Earth (S. Carey opened)
5. Bear in Heaven and Cymbals Eat Guitars (Freelance Whales opened)
4. The Black Keys
3. J Roddy Walston and the Business, Phosphorescent and Deer Tick
2. Free Energy and Titus Andronicus
1. Sasquatch (I know this is technically not a concert but a festival and it's not local but it's the best)

Top 40 Albums of the Year (40-21) (Stay tuned for the top 20 soon)

40. Woods - At Echo Lake
39. She & Him - Volume 2
38. LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening
37. Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts
36. Joanna Newsome - Have One On Me
35. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
34. Warpaint - the Fool
33. The Roots - How I Got Over
32. Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
31. Surfer Blood - Astrocoast
30. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
29. The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards
28. Spoon - Transference
27. Yeasayer - Odd Blood
26. Best Coast - Crazy for You
25. J Roddy Walston and the Business - Self Titled
24. Diamond Rings - Special Affectations
23. Sleigh Bells - Treats
22. MGMT - Congratulations
21. Crystal Castles - Self Titled

Check out Joanna Newsome here and Tame Impala here

All other bands should be on the  Tasty Top 40 (40-21) playlist below

Check out the video from local band Zoomafloome. Go!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kanye West Hates Tasty Ears

Hot 100 tracks (updated daily)    
 Check the Tasty Ears Channel on YouTube (or click the pictures at the top of the page).

Now I am aware that my musical tastes don't tend towards top 40, or even "pop" music (whatever that means) but recently I feel a bit like I passed into some "Bizarro World" (more Seinfeld than DC Comics). The Grammy Awards announced their nominees (which is generally a list of all the albums I would never listen to) but this year Arcade Fire's The Suburbs is up for Album of the Year (personally I wouldn't say album of the year but top 10 sure) and Florence and the Machine are up for Best New Artist (a year too late but non the less an excellent choice). Ray Lamontagne is up for Song of the Year with Beg, Steal or Borrow (not all that surprising due to his more adult contemporary vibe lately) but best of all is The Black Keys up for Best Rock Performance. The Black Keys=amazeballs live, so tight. The Grammy's actually choosing a few deserving artists is just the beginning of Bizarro world though, enter Pitchfork, generally a site I strongly agree with. They call 'em like they see (hear) 'em and aren't afraid of calling a turd a turd. As taste makers Pitchfork is often ahead of their time (I'm sure they would agree that Florence and the Machine should have been nominated a year ago) and perhaps it is me who is behind but.... Pitchfork just gave Kanye West's new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy a perfect 10. That's the only album this year that Pitchfork gave this distinction to. WT f@$k? I've tried to get my head around how this could be but I can't. I've listened to the album several times but.... I don't get it. Someone please explain this to me. The best moments of the album aren't his music or his "rapping" (he samples Black Sabbath, Smokey Robinson, Aphex Twin, etc. and borrows Justin Vernon's (among others) voice on several tracks). Kanye takes Bon Iver's beautiful Woods (how Autotune should be used) and immediately ruins it with a beat that probably came with his 808. Everywhere I turn somebody else (Tiny Mixtapes I'm pointing at you) is stoked on this album. Why are all of these reviewers so quick to s@$k Kanye's d@$k? -end rant

Upcoming local highlights:

Tonight at The Media Club is Miami Device
                  Blim has Synthcake
Sunday night at The Vogue is Books w/ Black Heart Procession (should be epic)
Dec. 8 at The Biltmore is Tame Impala (I wish I wasn't out of town)
Dec. 9 at The Railway Club is Aunts and Uncles
Dec. 10 The Media Club has Bloody Wilma (rockers from Vic)
and The Biltmore has Bison
Dec. 16 is local band Topless Gay Love Tekno Party at The Biltmore
Dec. 18 Local's Mariana's Trench is at The Orpheum
Dec. 20-21 at The Biltmore is Kid Koala


Today's mix tape is actually just one new song by local's Mimi, Me called Reckless. Check it.

Music Playlist at

Friday, November 19, 2010

Drugs and Diamond Rings

Free Energy's Scott and Paul (left to right)
First up a new Tasty Ears video of the hot new band Miami Device playing their song Drugs.

Miami Device plays tonight at The Forum. Go! Check them out. And don't forget to check out all the Tasty Ears videos on the Tasty Ears YouTube channel or in the pop-out player at the top of the screen. Check back for upcoming videos with bands the SSRIs, Pineapple, Synthcake, Sunny Pompeii, and more. Like...

Also tonight are Shimmering Stars at The Cobalt. These guys are awesome and just got back from recording some new material. This could easily be one of those I saw them before they were big shows. I hope to make a little video wth them in the next three weeks.

Tomorrow night I highly recommend checking out Diamond Rings at The Biltmore Cabaret. Love the new album from the front man for Ontario band D'Ubervilles. I'm off to Montreal tomorrow so I can't check it out so someone please tell me all about it. Check out the new single on the mixtape down the bottom. Added bonus of this show is that not only are tickets only $13 at Scratch, Red Cat and my favourite record store Zulu but one of the opening bands Teen Daze is getting a lot of hype right now.

Last Friday I had the honour of interviewing Free Energy members Paul Sprangers (lead singer) and Scott Wells (lead guitar) before their rock your sox show at The Media Club. Listen to the interview on the mixtape at the bottom as well as a track from their Tasty Ears top 5 albums of the year Stuck On Nothing. I saw them last time they were in town opening for Titus Andronicus and they were great. Hear what they have to say about that tour in the interview. At The Media Club last Friday they had even more energy as Scott jumped up on the monitors during many dazzling guitar solos. Headliners Hollerado joined them on stage in a frenzy for my favourite song Bang Pop. Yes!

Free Energy joined by Hollerado

Last Saturday night at the Rickshaw Theatre was Seattle The Cave Singers performing their latest album Welcome Joy. Easing into their set the crowd was pumped and the band was having fun. Finally at about the midway point they broke out the best song off their first album Seeds of Night and just kept it going from their doing awesome versions of Beach House, Leap, Summer Light, At The Cut and a few song encore. The band really seemed to enjoy this night as much as the fans.

                                                           The Cave Singers

Local artist Zoe Pawlak will be showing during this years East Sise Culture Crawl and has a rock and roll time lapse video of her creating one of the pieces. Watch the vid and check out the Crawl.

Zoe Pawlak creating a Stampede from Zoe Pawlak on Vimeo.

I get back from Montreal just in time to catch the Freelance Whales at The Biltmore on Wednesday. Check out one of their songs in todays mixtape down the bottom of the page. These guys just did a Daytrotter session and are "so hot right now" see for yourself. Go!

This Saturday for one day only Sasquatch Festival 10 year anniversary presale tickets go up for grabs. This is the best festival going and this year should be its best year ever. Just go. Quit you day job.

Download a free copy of Girl Talk's new album All Day from the label here. More goodness from the number one mash up DJ in the world.

Finally, don't forget to check out my Hot 100 over at Hype Machine. I update it daily for new tracks for you to check out. Last but not least don't forget to subscribe to the blog for Tasty updates.

The last track on todays mixtape is Jenny O. from LA. Hit it!

Music Playlist at

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's All Happening

Leading up to last weekend was a Thursday night show at the wonderfully intimate Media Club featuring headliners The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. And speaking of the weekend it was the band Weekend who opened for them. Weekend has a new album out now called Sports that just received a glowing review today on Pitchfork Weekend review, they also have a very cool new video which you can check out further down the page. One of my favourite bands of last year The Pains of Being Pure at Heart played an epic show at The Biltmore last year and certainly did not disappoint last week either. Check out there amazeballs new song further down the page as well. Check out some photos (provided by a fellow Beard About Town on assignment subbing in for yours truly) here.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

In local news the Shimmering Stars are currently recording new material in the Okanagan to return for a show at the Cobalt Friday Nov. 19 that is surely not to be missed. I will be there dudes I don't leave for Montreal till the next day (in the meantime check them out on todays mix tape). The SSRIs have hit the road to tour western Canada for the next little while and I look forward to getting some time with them on their return. Afro-beat orchestra  Miami Device have an upcoming show at The Media Club Dec. 4 and I'm hoping to get a little time with them next week at their rehearsal space. Another local band Pineapple was just up for  a Bucky award for Best New Band Name but are better known for some very catchy tunes check em out next month at The Rickshaw on the 10th. I was fortunate enough to be a part of local (via Ontario) band Watasun 's new video campaign yesterday. Watch for that starting January. Also in local news Dan Mangan returns home for a couple of shows at The Vogue theatre tonight and again on Saturday. Check out one of my favourite songs from him on today's mix tape.

Speaking of upcoming shows we are lucky enough to have Free Energy back in town tomorrow night at The Media Club (go! Media Club) with Foxy Shazam and Hollerado. Free Energy absolutely rocked The Biltmore Cabaret a few months ago with my favourite band of 2010 Titus Andronicus. I have kept in touch with Free Energy ever since that show and hope to get a few words with them tomorrow. I'm equally stoked for The Cave Singers on Saturday night at The Rickshaw on Saturday (see you there). Check out a track from each of these bands on todays mix tape.

In Tasty Ears news I've started my own Hot 100 over on Hype Machine. To check out my 100 favourite songs of right now click here I keep updating daily so check back often. Also, I'm waiting to here back from the ever gracious Biltmore about perhaps getting a little footage of The Freelance Whales November 24th. They were great last time they came around as an opening act and have been attracting a lot of hype ever since. Check back Monday for a video we did with a local painter and another Tasty Ears Session. Check here or  here for these upcoming highlights.

In the meantime here is the video from Weekend that I promised as well as the song from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and todays mix tape. Finally watch for new artist Jenny O from LA whose release is coming out early next month. I just got a prerelease copy that I promise to post next time. Go!

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Heart In Your Heartbreak by morrisday

Music Playlist at

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Business

Let's get down to business. First order of business is J Roddy Walston and The Business. They were the opening band for the sold out Deer Tick/Phosphorescent co-headlining bill at (my favourite venue in Vancouver for live music) The Biltmore Cabaret (check out their schedule here biltmore sched ) on Friday October 22, 2010. J Roddy Walston and The Business rocked so hard they arguably stole the show. Watch for these guys from Baltimore and go see them live. They sound like the kind of pure rock and roll I'd expect to hear at a roadhouse bar down south somewhere and they are seriously, amazeballs live. They have that raw sound that The Kings of Leon had on their first album and are easily as good.

J Roddy Walston rockin' out at the piano

 They forced Phosphorescent (who were up next) to bring their "A" game as well. They played all the songs I wanted to hear opening with the first track "It's Hard to be Humble (When You're From Alabama)" off their latest album Here's to Taking it Easy. Eventually slowing it down for a mind-blowing rendition of "Wolves.

 Finally it's time for Deer Tick and they are ready. The bearded, plaid shirted, and tuque lidded crowd had been in a PBR fuelled frenzy from the start and they weren't about to stop now. The very young (so young they probably play here so often just so they can all drink legally) Deer Tick shut the place down with  a set that was representative of all three of their alt. country albums. The sold out show was really a testament to Deer Tick, I only hope they don't outgrow this venue next time they're in town.

Above: Phosphorescent
Below: Deer Tick

I am still very disappointed that I missed the Deerhunter show last night with Real Estate at another great Vancouver venue The Rickshaw Cabaret. If any of you got to this show please tell all about it. I haven't stopped listening to Deerhunter's latest album Halcyon Digest since its release Sept. 27 of this year. Another of my favourite albums of the year is Real Estate's self-titled album released Jan. 19th. They were supposed to play at the legendary Commodore Ballroom but ended up having to move the show. 

Meanwhile, in the local scene, the SSRIs and I got rained out on our video shoot and will do our best to reschedule that soon. In the meantime check them out this Friday at Brandiz. If it's Halloween you're after Vancouver's own Like Animals Again is playing a cover set down at The Railway Club on Friday night as well. Like Animals Again share a drummer with another local band that I'm very excited about Aunts and Uncles. I hope to get some time with them in the near future but in the meantime check them out on myspace here auntsanduncles . 

Here's a list of upcoming shows I'm stoked about. 

Sufjan Stevens Orpheum Thursday October 28, 2010 plays new material.

Biltmore Fri Oct 29 Avi Buffalo with Fences (very cool)

Brandiz -SSRIs Friday Oct. 29

Best Coast at the Strathcona this Friday

Railway club Like animals again Friday

Dr Dog Vogue Sat. Oct. 30 (check it out)

Pvt Media Club Sunday Oct 31 (Aussie rockers)

Go out and support your local live music venues and buy tickets, buy albums or merchandise from the artists at the show or buy albums or tickets for shows at local record stores like Zulu, Scratch or, Redcat. 

A few songs to play me out

Music Playlist at

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yesterday & Tomorrow

Last night was the Morning Benders show at The Venue (if you haven't checked out a show here yet you really should). Unfortunately I just missed the first band of the night Cults who I really wanted to see. They are sort of a throw back 60's pop band. The song writing is mainly done by the two front persons Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion but they are six on stage. Check out the Daytrotter session posted yesterday here daytrotter cults . Next up was Twin Sister also from New York. Touring their Color Your Life - EP (got to love the way they spell color here eh!). Then it was time for The Morning Benders. It's the second time I've seen them this year and the third time they've been to town in the last twelve months. They just keep getting better. Their album Big Echo is one of my favorites of 2010. They played almost all of it and their new single Go Grab a Stranger. They were very engaging with the crowd (especially with their final number Excuses where they had us all singing along (including a loud, drunken fan who just didn't want it to end)) and they hung out for a while after the show talking to the fans. Great show all, thank-you. For some music check the player at the bottom of this post.
Next up is Deer Tick w/ Phosphorescent tomorrow night at my new favorite place for live music in the city, The Biltmore Cabaret. I've seen Deer Tick once earlier this year and they played right around New Years as well I believe so they are no strangers to Vancouver. Deer Tick was a lot of fun last time they were here (I'm a huge fan) and they've been known to mingle (drink) with the audience after the show. Phosphorescent is touring their new awesome album Here's to Taking it Easy. Opening for them is J-Roddy Walston and the Business from Baltimore. I'm excited to check them out early as I've heard they can really rock. Hope to see some of you there. Go!

Finally, I'm stoked to announce that Tasty Ears will be filming a song or two with the SSRIs in an undisclosed location in Vancouver in the next couple of days so watch for that on the Tasty Ears YouTube channel soon. In the meantime here is their super cool DIY video.

SSRIs - Certain Set Configuration (Music Video) from The SSRIs on Vimeo.

Music Playlist at

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"I Need Some New Music."

A mix tape for a lazy music lover who is still listening to the same old thing.

Song:                                    Artist:                                           Album:                                                

01 The Tallest Man on Earth -The Dreamer -Sometime the Blues is Just a Passing Bird EP
02 Free Energy                    -Bang Pop                                    -Stuck On Nothing
03 Gayngs                           -The Gaudy Side of Town           -Relayted
04 Titus Andronicus           -Theme From "Cheers"                 -The Monitor
05 Bear in Heaven              -Lovesick Teenagers                     - Beast Rest Forth Mouth
06 Beirut                             -Elephant Gun                               -Lon Gisland EP
07 Wavves                          -Convertible Balloon                     -King of the Beach
08 Cults                               -Go Outside                                  -Cults 7"
09 Shimmering Stars            -I'm Gonna Try                            - It's Just As Well
10 Sleigh Bells                     -Rill Rill                                       -Treats
11 Drums                             -Down by the Water                     -The Drums
12 The Black Keys              -Everlasting Light                         -Brothers
13 Edward Sharp and The Magnetic Zeros -Home                   -Self-titled
14 Phosphorescent                                -Wolves                        -Pride
15 The Roots (feat. Joanna Newsome) -Right On                     -How I got Over
16 The Very Best (feat. Ezra Koenig) -Warm Heart of Africa  -Warm Heart of Africa
17 William Elliott Whitmore               -Hell or High Water       -Animals in the Dark
18 Surfer Blood                                  -Take It Easy                  -Astrocoast
19 Deer Tick                                      - Houston, TX                -Born on Flag Day
20 Local Natives                                -Wide Eyes                    -Gorilla Manor
21 Matt & Kim                                  -Cameras                        -Sidewalks
22 SSRIs      -Certain Set Configuration        -Effeminate Godzilla-Sized Wind Chimes
23 The Morning Benders                  -Cold War                       -Big Echo
24 Cave Singers                                -Leap                              -Welcome Joy
25 Girls                                             -Lust for Life                  -Album

There. Now I'll leave you with a live recording from The Tallest Man on Earth's Vancouver show Sept 8, 2010 at The Rickshaw Theatre. The song is The Dreamer from his EP that was released a day earlier. This will get you started. Don't forget to check out the Tasty Ears Channel on YouTube or at the top of this page. See you at The Morning Benders show on Oct. 20th at The Venue (Cults are opening). Go!