Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beard About Town Exclusive!

Despite the rainy weather forecast the members of SSRIs convinced us to shoot outside. Not just outside mind you but deep in the woods. We scouted out an undisclosed location near Vancouver and started the laborious task of trekking in all the gear. Once the band and recording gear were set up the clouds parted and the forest got rocked. The performance was well worth a few mosquito bites and risk of soaking all our gear. Had too much fun with these guys. Thanks SSRIs. Note: my apologies to Georges Couling of Knuckleduster Music Inc. (not knockleduster, sorry bud).

There is another local band bursting onto the scene right now that I want to give some Big Ups to and that is Portage and Main. Portage and Main are long time friends John Sponarski and Harold Donnelly. Sponarski has said that they wanted their songs to fit "like his favourite pair of Levi's jeans" and let me tell you these are very cozy songs. I must confess, I have never tried on his jeans but... I was fortunate enough to catch up with Sponarski in a short online interview where I asked "How did two Vancouverites end up calling themselves Portage and Main?"

 He had this to say: "The name is basically.. We thought it was funny that us two city kids were writing a pretty country-ish record... So we wanted a name that juxtaposed something urban and rural.. In conversation we accidentally discover that we both have roots in portage la prairie manitoba.. As soon as we figured this out I was immediately reminded of when I was a kid and I was in Winnipeg for the first time walking around with my aunts and my nana and we came to the corner of portage and main. We stood there for a second and they told me the tale of portage and main and how it was thought to be the coldest street corner in Canada. I said we should name the band portage and main! we have portage (portage la prairie = rural) and main (a street you would find in any major urban area). So that was kinda that....

Ummm yeah I dunno what else you'd wanna say, the release is Friday march 18th at the anza with the sumner brothers...

Also we would totally love to do a tasty ears vid! I've been keeping up with what you guys are doing and it's great! 

Keep it locked here for more on the upcoming Tasty ears On Location with Portage and Main. In the meantime check out their website  here and have a listen to the track Rocky Mountain Wanderer in the player 

Music Playlist at

Where to Beard About Town upcoming shows (check past blogs for more shows):

Smith Westerns Feb 16 at Biltmore
Godspeed You Black Emporer Feb 16 at Vogue
Wild Nothing Feb 28 at Biltmore
Born Ruffians March 12 at Rickshaw
Warpaint w/  PVT March 19 at Biltmore
Dodos March 31 at Rickshaw
Pixies performing Doolittle May 3 at The Orpheum

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tasty Ears Mixtape

On Location with Tasty Ears
(Video coming soon)

If someone had asked me a week ago, "What are you up to for the next seven days?", I don't think I would have answered,   "Listening to a shit ton of new music, buying a bunch of concert tickets and having a silly time with the SSRIs on Sunday out in the woods, of course. But, that is what I did.

This last Sunday we connected with Vancouver punk rockers the SSRIs at an undisclosed location in the forest. We trucked in all the band gear and a generator plus recording gear and a camera, to shoot an upcoming episode of Tasty Ears On Location. Stayed tuned music fans! For more photos and a review of the shoot check Shaine Jones Photography .

Tuesday was like my birthday, with releases from Cold War Kids, Destroyer, Iron & Wine, and Cloud Nothings (please understand it was not my actual b-day). I'll start with a few words on the new Cloud Nothings album. A fun, fresh, pop-punk, full length debut from Cleveland's Dylan Baldi and co. Watch the video below. Spoiler Alert! Just when I thought it was just another "innocent teenagers,  through the lens of 8mm video cameras" it gets  fun.

Iron & Wine's new album "Kiss Each Other Clean" is another solid album from the indie veterans (gone major label). Sam Beam is back with the full band again this time only bigger. The first single Walking Far From Home is good example of what Iron & Wine do best.

Amazeballs new album from Destroyer titled Kaputt. Go buy it. This new album from Vancouver's own Dan Bejar is easily my favourite Destroyer so far. The style is, what I believe would have fallen into, Adult Contemporary in the late eighties/early nineties record shops (whatever those are). Lots of reverb and trumpets, what more do you want? Bejar is cool, I read somewhere that he recorded some of the vocals while lying on the couch. I know right? Give it a listen on today's mixtape.

The Cold War Kids have long been a favourite of mine. There new album Mine Is Yours is what I was hoping their last album was going to be. And I liked the last album so... The song writing has matured nicely, Royal Blue (hear it on the mixtape) being a fine example. I don't care for the producers choice to "over produce" this album, like every song is coming over the airwaves of some Top 40 radio station. I can't wait to see these songs performed live. Go!

It was pointed out to me that I forgot to mention the upcoming release from Middle Brother. Made up of the lead singers from Deer Tick, Delta Spirit, and Dawes. Check out a track from there upcoming album on the mixtape.

Jack White's Third Man Records is about to release an album from Sweden's First Aid Kit. The B-side of the single is a cover of Buffy St. Marie's Universal Soldier. It rounds out this weeks mixtape.

Upcoming shows
Diamond Rings is coming back March 11 at The Biltmore
Sharon Van Etten March 29 at the Media Club
The Foals April 10 at the Commodore

Music Playlist at

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tasty Ears Win!

Yes, dear readers (all 5 of you) we were right. Stereogum (one of the blogs that gave Kanye West album of the year) has started a new column called Double Take where they re-review an album and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is up first. Here is the link to the story but I'll save you the trouble with a quick redux, as I don't want to give this album any more attention. Basically they decide that upon further consideration it wouldn't have made the top 50 and that maybe Kanye just has the biggest promotional budget etc.  If you remember 3 out of 3 readers agreed that it was not The Best album. Go team!

Moving on, 2011 is upon us and the new releases started this week with a great full length album from Tennis. I really enjoyed the EP they put out last year and although all the songs from the EP are also on the "new" album Cape Dory is still worth picking up. If you don't have time to do this sooner, I recommend buying it at their show Jan 31st at The Media Club.

Another early year release is Tapes n' Tapes' Outside. Not quite the impact of 2008's Walk It Off but I dig it.

One more album I should mention, this one doesn't officially drop till February but James Blake's self-titled album is hotly anticipated. So much so that it was leaked to the internet. Tinymixtapes is already suggesting a possible album of the year. It's a piano driven sort of Soul/R&B kind of thing. I'm sure you'll hear a lot of James Blake this year (for better or for worse, you have been warned). I don't see it making the top of my list but... check it out.

Here is a list of other albums I'm looking forward to.

The Decemberists - The King is Dead (out next week) The single is awesome
Ducktails: Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics (next week)
First Aid Kit "Universal Soldier" (next week)
Smith Westerns "Dye it Blonde" (also next week)

Cloud Nothings -self-titled (loving this band right now) (Jan 25)
Cold War Kids - Mine is Yours (Also playing Mar 5 at the Vogue, see you there. So good live).
Destroyer - Kaputt (local indie darling)
Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Young Galaxy -Shapeshifting (not sure yet but good potential)
Bright Eyes - The People's Key
Dom - Sun Bronzed Greek Gods (re-released with a proper label, loved it the first time)
La Sera - self-titled (of Vivian Girls fame)
Beach Fossils - What Pleasure EP
The Cave Singers - No Witch (can't wait)

Devotchka -100 Lovers
Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes (So curious, what's she going to do next)
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Boys and Diamonds
Dodo's - TBA
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
The Death Set - Michel Poiccard

Surfer Blood -I'm Not Ready EP

Unsure of when but...
Fleet Foxes
Okkervil River
Aphex Twin
Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee (Keep 'er going Adam)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
Panda Bear (from Animal Collective)
Radiohead (finally)
The Shins (yes, that's right there coming back)
Mister Heavenly

Upcoming shows
Local artist Vince Vaccaro is at The Vogue on Jan 27
Local rocker's The Pack A.D. at The Biltmore Jan 28
Wavves/Best Coast/ No Joy at The Rickshaw Feb 17
Devotchka at The Commodore Mar. 4
Crystal Castles at the Commodore Mar 7
Born Ruffians at The Rickshaw Mar 12
Destroyer/ War on Drugs at The Commodore Mar 17
Bright Eyes at The Commodore Apr. 8 (tickets went on sale today)
The Cave Singers at The Biltmore Apr 21
Lykke Li at the Vogue May 27

Not exactly a show but...
Record Store Day Apr 16 (Many artist make exclusive releases for indie record stores available only for this one day. It's pretty epic so check it out.)

Next week no lists.


Music Playlist at