Indier Than Thou

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


  1. Our dear friends the Lava Lamps are kicking ass and taking names! Nicely done!

    94.9 CHRW Top 30

    TW Artist Title Label
    1 Lava Lamps Yellow Umbrellas Independent
    2 The Black Keys Attack & Release Nonesuch
    3 -- Portishead Third Island
    4 -- Tokyo Police Club Elephant Shell Saddle Creek
    5 -- Jason Collett Here's To Being HereArts & Crafts
    6 Olenka Warsaw Girl Independent
    7 The Pack A.D. Tintype Mint
    8 CPC Gangbangs Mutilation Nation Swami
    9 Teenage Head With Marky Ramone Teenage Head With Marky Ramone Sonic Unyon
    10 Born Ruffians Red, Yellow And Blue Warp

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Year List Things Pt 2: The Days of Yore

This actually has nothing to do with anything, basically, but I thought I'd put together a list of things that SHOULD have been on the list last year. Because, you know, they should've been on the list, last year. By last year, I mean '06, not '07 which is technically already the REAL last-year. My little Best of '07 thing will probably only be finished years from now. That's okay though, because no one reads this and because... because there's a writer's strike, yeah. Yeah.

Please click the link in the title of this post, by the way.

And now without further ado...

5. Paris Hilton - Paris
It reggae...! No, this isn't actually on this list because I want to make fun of it. I've nothing to make fun of here... it's great. I don't really like hearing everybody's bull about "oh she's famous for nothing and she's such a bad influence and she's a lazy rich whore and she's disgusting and everything she stands for is repulsive and - " well, shut up, assassinate her if it bugs you so much. Also, I can't remember if I put the Charlotte Gainsbourg album on last year's list (but I remember in any case that I was close to doing so) and people are allowed to genuinely like her without getting stuff thrown at them. Why's that? It's the same deal. Rich and successful daddy, lots of arguably undeserved cash, thriving or once-thriving-not-so-much-anymore supermodel career, unimpressive voice that's doctored quite a bit, most likely they don't write their own songs (I know Charchar doesn't and I doubt Paris does)... the only thing different is the sex tape. Or so you might think. Maybe that link's not quite as extreme as whatever Paris did, but still. The other difference is Charlotte being Eurotrash which is not as frowned-upon as it should be... instead, people seem to respect it. But really. Ew. Europe. Anyway, this album achieves everything it sets out to achieve (it's catchy, poppy, dancey, etc.) which is more than can be said for a lot of albums by all those Respectable Artists that seem to be all the rage lately.

4. Elton John/Lee Hall/Liam Mower/etc. - Billy Elliot: The Musical, Original Cast Recording
This is beautiful. Here, this speaks for itself:

Watch the whole thing! That's an order. If it doesn't give you the shivers then you have a heart of stone.

3. Tool - 10 000 Days
Admittedly this album had to be forced on me, practically at gunpoint, really. But something very good that can be said about it is that even when I was trying my very hardest to dislike it (I just don't want to look like one of those Bret-Easton-Ellis-obsessed, Bill-Hicks-teeshirt-wearing, drug-doing Edgy types, okay? Gosh!), I ended up... loving it. The guy's got a really good voice, really flexible, haunting, too - I mean, once you get past how annoying he probably is in person. The drums on this album are, you know? I usually don't give a shit about whoever's drumming, it's usually just some angry young man hitting things and that, but on this album...shiiit. According to a friend of mine this is "polyrhythmic drumming". No idea what the hell that means. But it sounds, um, exciting? Like lots of running horses! The lyrics can be lame though; so, so lame.

(But kind of funny, too! I was going read the whole list of comments looking for someone who responded to "try pulling your foot out of your mouth asshole!" with "what's a mouth asshole?" but it really just wasn't worth the trouble. But then like... is it your mouth's asshole?)

2. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
The number one reason this made the list was that I like Beirut a lot, but don't feel like Flying Club Cup is going to be on my list for '07 just because, I dunno, this stuff is a little repetitive. I like it a lot but there's stuff I like more, so. So I'm putting this here just to prove I'm not ignoring it (and to tell all two people that read this blog that I think Zach Condon is the most attractive man alive).

1. Anathallo - Floating World
Pitchfork gave this a pretty nasty review. Like...really nasty. The Sufjan Stevens comparison and the comments about the lyrics are accurate enough that they sting... but seriously? Given what that stupid site says about Animal Collective, they should... well, they should shut up. I'll save the Pitchfork rant for another day (or maybe never, basically: the people working for Pitchfork Media all suck! Bah!), but hey, go ahead and read the review up there but imagine that everything they say about the album was meant in a good way. Then buy or download the album, and like it, because it takes a lot less effort to enjoy than "Marc Hogan" would have you think. It's great. Or if it isn't I'm just young, dumb and easily impressed. Both options are equally possible but I like the first better and because of the first two thirds of the second one (try and work that math out, whheeeeee) I think that you should agree with me.

And, Bonus!

Best of 2008 (maybe, who knows): The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride
(oho! oho! such a hacker i am!)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Year List Things Pt 1: The Bottom Five

Just for the record, this used to be a bottom ten, not five. The list was padded by things that were actually genuinely awful, because, though I wanted space to complain about the five below, I didn't want them all so high up on the list, really. They weren't even BAD per se, I just love to whine. But then I realised I didn't really care enough to go beyond one word ("sucked") with the other five actual-bad ones and, I dunno, some of them I didn't want to admit having listened to. Oh, but just because I wanted to avoid being told I'm wrong becausethatmakesmeuncomfortableANYWAY, I gave Positive Polly her say against all the Negative Nancy stuff.

And here it is then. Sorry in advance.

5. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Guys. The emperor isn't wearing any clothes. I can't stand how many people are completely smitten with this album...I think it's just noise. Just like getting punched in the ear repeatedly for much, much too long. Punched rhythmically, but still. Then that semimelodic highpitched tweedliness on I think every single track is kind of just like the ringing of your ears after you've been punched for too damn long. This punching motif thing is well-suited to the fact that of course my brother loves this album more than he's ever loved anything which is doubtlessly not very much, but still. This album is as much of a gruesome mess as its cover art.

But Positive Polly Says: Certain snippets of it are great. A lot of "Chores" is fine, most of "#1" and "Winter Wonderland" are bearable, and I really rather like all of "Derek".

4. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
They just stole the essence of some of the more second-rate Arcade Fire stuff and then made it greasier, a lot greasier (literally and beginning with the hair). For some unkown reason I actually expected really good things from The Stage Names and all it turned out to be was straight-up Boring to listen to. Apperently the lyrics are supposed to be "powerful" or some other such crap, but I don't care and can't find a way to make myself care. I still consider Okkervil River an incomprehensibly over-respected version of... The Spill Canvas or something.

Positive Polly: Good in-the-car-with-your-friends music, I suppose. Also my father loves Okkervil River, says they're good to listen to while running, and I kind of agree. SO what I mean is, this album does have a very nice energy to it...or...something...

3. The Bird and the Bee - The Bird and the Bee
Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again... Where Nelly went wrong, The Bird and the Bee COULD have gone right: by shutting up.

Positive Polly: That's a completely invalid critique. It means...nothing. The "again and again"s weren't even typed out, they were COPIED AND PASTED. Per-THETic.

2. Feist - The Reminder
While typing that title, a particularly gruesome image popped into my head: a dozen crazy leering middle-aged valium-addicted hyenas pouncing on and tearing apart the young unsteady-legged antelope that's lagging behind the rest of the pack. I find Feist fans are viciously, viciously obsessed with this album and with defending it at all costs. But hear me out! First off I'll apologise for the fact that Feist fans aren't really all middle-aged valium addicts. In fact, the Big Deal with Feist is that she's supposed to appeal to everyone from my Rihanna-obsessed younger sister to the crotchety old guidance counselor at school who likes to limp about tearing down hallway decorations...and she does, she appeals to everyone. Why? Because her little ditties are so goddam playground-melodic, all conchord and no dischord, all perfectly and sweetly likeable with nothing intriguing to propel The Reminder forward past its overaccessible prettiness. Like Belle and Sebastian, but even simpler (if that's possible) and with less heart. It's like she TRIED to write the most hypermarketable, ipod-commercial-tailored album ever. Yawn.

Positive Polly says: But so CATCHY, and suuuuch good latte background music. Nice job, Starbucks!

And my idea of the worst thing to happen musically in two-double-oh-seven:
1. Corneille - The Birth Of Cornelius
Why? Why does this exist? There is no reason or justification for this monstrosity. None.

Positive Polly is in tears and thus currently unavailable for comment.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back In Several Colours Including But Not Limited To Blackish

So as October draws to a Close, a couple very not magical things begin to happen. Leaves fall, and stuff. Homeowners offer you petty change to rake said leaves. Non-homeowners rake up those last bits of petty change they can panhandle before retreating into their Men’s Shelter treeholes for the colder months. Smashed pumpkins decorate the streets to pave the way for the garish Christmas lights to come. All the tech companies start hawking the next big craze for you shell out for in honour of the particular religious holiday you’ve chosen as justification for your pre-winter splurging. The rain of homework starts to pour in and I start using this blog for the procrastinatory umbrella that it is. Oye seasons.

Yeah, all of these things are kind of annoying but I think you’ll survive it. The reason for this banal little return of mine is mostly actually due to my love of 1. Lists, 2. Lists, and 3. Lists. Specifically, the kind that come at the end of the year – Top Ten Albums, Tracks, Annoying Things About Amy Winehouse, etc. I realize that there’s a good 2.25ish months’ worth of eartickling yet to come our way but the early bird gets the worm. That is to say, the person who starts doing this sort of thing before other people, is a person who…started doing this too early and will probably miss some stuff.


In summation, I’m going to start listing shit soon and I thought I’d warn you so you could get some good running distance in there or something. Also the title contains a link to the sleek and delicious revamped Hype Machine, and lastly here is this really wonderful video:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm so tired of America

"I'm going to a town that has already been burnt down."
Hey, this kinda sounds like a radiohead kid a or something?
(click on title, sit back and enjoy.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This Is Awesome!

All summer I've been working at the campus radio station here in London (CHRW 94.9). Part of my job is to decide which albums will go into the on-air studio for the DJ's to play and which go in the garbage. See, 20-30 albums are sent to the station each day and most of them are crap. Yesterday I put on this band I'd never heard called "The Coathangers". Most of the record was ok until the song called "Nestle In My Boobies" came on. This song is awesome.
(directions: click title for link, then rock out!)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Go Ga Ga For Spoon

First, I would like to apologize for the title of this post. I am sure that a million music journalists have used this lame type of pun for the new Spoon record entitled "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" but...I just couldn't help myself. And I wanted in or something. I've had second thoughts about writing a post about Spoon, because, I mean....are they really that indie? They are on MERGE-technically an independant label started by the band members of Superchunk in 1989, but, aren't they sort of common knowledge?? possibly not.
Obviously I decided to write the review due to the FACT that the record is soooooAMAZING.
I LOVE "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga". It's like "Summerteeth" era Wilco but Better. Lots of super strummy acoustic guitars and horns galore! I'm not sure about the second track-it doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the ga ga...kinda spacy and pointless...but the rest are GEMs! "Don't You Evah" is sooooo groovy. Kinda Dandy-Warhols esque and WOW the drums and WOW the bass and WOW the guitar and they all come in at different times and fit so well together like a stunningly executed square dance on a Saturday night in some rural small town Ontario. The real ga ga moment, however, is the Jon Brion produced "The Underdog". Did you need a reminder of how awesome 70's era Billy Joel is? This will remind you. But it's new, I mean it sounds cool, not too 70's....jeez, just buy the record already.
p.s. click on the lame title for the link!

Coming Soon...

ok, so it's been awhile but I've been busy. Soon I will get my act together and you will see posts about SPOON and THE RUSSIAN FUTURISTS. I know these aren't the newest of new releases, but the M.I.A. kinda sucks and I don't want to listen to it again to figure out why (well, it's club music and I guess it's supposed to be repetitive...).
Maybe I'll throw in THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS as well.