Preview: Suuns at Black Cat in D.C., April 16

Preview: Suuns at Black Cat in D.C., April 16

Montreal rock band, Suuns, were formed in 2006 when vocalist/guitarist Ben Shemie and guitarist/bassist Joe Yarmush got together to make some beats which quickly evolved into a few songs. The duo was soon joined by drummer Liam O’Neill and bassist/keyboardist Max Henry. Suuns signed to Secretly Canadian records in 2010. The same year, Suuns released […]

CD Review: The War on Drugs — Slave Ambient; Playing The Red Palace, September 2 and The EARL, October 13

CD Review: The War on Drugs — Slave Ambient; Playing The Red Palace, September 2 and The EARL, October 13

The War on Drugs
Slave Ambient
Secretly Canadian

By Al Kaufman

Much like Beck is essentially a folk rocker with ambient tendencies, so too are Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs.

The band’s 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues, was more of a straight ahead rock and roots affair. Then Kurt Vile left the group for his rather promising solo career and Adam Granduciel became the heart and soul of the now trio. Read more about CD Review: The War on Drugs — Slave Ambient; Playing The Red Palace, September 2 and The EARL, October 13

CD Review: Little Scream — The Golden Record; Playing Black Cat in D.C., May 17

CD Review: Little Scream — The Golden Record; Playing Black Cat in D.C., May 17

Little Scream
The Golden Record
Secretly Canadian

By Al Kaufman

Laurel Sprengelmeyer, a native Iowan who now calls Montreal home, has a voice powerful enough that members of Arcade Fire and The National wanted to chip in on her debut CD. It is a voice that can feels at home with a number of styles. The Golden Record skips around with everything from dirges to power pop, to some experimental something or rather, yet it all sounds cohesive. Read more about CD Review: Little Scream — The Golden Record; Playing Black Cat in D.C., May 17

CD Review: Here We Go Magic — Pigeons; Playing The EARL, August 6 and Black Cat, August 8

CD Review: Here We Go Magic — Pigeons; Playing The EARL, August 6 and Black Cat, August 8

Here We Go Magic

Pigeons

Secretly Canadian

By David Courtright

I saw Here We Go Magic at The EARL around this time last year. I had listened to a few of their songs on MySpace, and though none of them hooked me into a mad dash for the box office, it was good – it was agreeable to listen to. While the show was fun, the songs went on an average of five minutes too long, and turned what were tidy hooks and segues on their first album into drawn-out, over-acted jams. It felt like the band was playing only for themselves – which sometimes is just what you want from a band. Perhaps the immediacy of internet music culture and our attention-deficit culture pushed me to wish for a “next” button. What I came away with from that show is essentially the same way I feel about this album: that the songwriting is solid, the hooks are memorable, but just when you want it all to shift up a notch, it fades and dissolves; or adversely, draws itself out just when it should fade away. What I really adore about the new album Pigeons though is exactly that restraint: it listlessly coaxes you through it, building slowly and backing down just before you want it to climax. As a whole, it evokes and inspires just what this kind of humid mid-June weather demands: languor. Read more about CD Review: Here We Go Magic — Pigeons; Playing The EARL, August 6 and Black Cat, August 8

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