Monday, 27 June 2011

The Boxer Rebellion - BRILLIANT new album!

The first time I saw them was when I watched Going The Distance. I was intrigued and decided to find out more about this band. Who were the faces behind this catchy song?

I found out they had already released a couple of albums. So, thanks Hollywood, good job introducing them to me :)

I have recently been listening to their latest release, The Cold Still. The Boxer Rebellion is one of my favourite bands right now and their songs never get tiring. I’ve listened to the album a few times now, and every time there's something new for me to discover. You know what I'm talking about, right?

The Boxer Rebellion consists of Tennessee’s Nathan Nicholson (vox, guitar, keyboard), Australia’s Todd Howe (guitar), and England’s Adam Harrison (bass) and Piers Hewitt (drums). They have released 3 records, and I highly recommend you check them out.   If you enjoy bands like The Cinematics, Editors, The Airborne Toxic Event, and The Dears, buy The Boxer Rebellion’s new album.

No Harm (4:02) - The opening track to the album, maybe not the strongest song of the album, but gives a good build-up to the rest of the album. A  pretty slow song, it starts off with some nice acoustic-sounding drums. Sounds exactly like their old stuff.  The lyrics are simple, and the choruses get kind of repetitive after a while. But still a good song to just listen to with your eyes closed, and make your own story around the lyrics.

Step Out of the Car (3:07) - Starting with bass and drums, this song has a very strong start to it. This song doesn’t have the simple 4-chord progression like the first track, and that gives this song a bit more depth. The chorus is really catchy, and makes you want to sing along. Check the live performance on The Late Show with David Letterman. They nailed it!

Locked in the Basement (3:42) - With more of an acoustic and folk feel, this song is also very strong, with your typical folk pattern, but with a little rock feel to it as well. It uses a simple progression, but the vocal melodies make it sound like it changes, even though it doesn’t. This song is for sure one of my favourite songs on the record. The video above, an acoustic performance. What can I say? These guys SO know what they're doing!

Cause For Alarm (3:34) - A very acoustic, soft rock-sounding song. I like it. It sounds simple, but is very complex in its own ways. A slow jam, this song showcases the band’s musical knowledge and talent. The drummer shows this by making a complicated, but strong rhythm. The guitars mainly follow the vocal melody, which I like, but can sometimes take away depth from the song. This is probably the most meaningful track on this album to me, and I give this song a 5 out of 5.

Caught by the Light (4:51) - With a shuffle feel, this song brings a lot to the table. I like it because of its simplicity, and the power it has to make the simplicity sound AMAZING. This track reminds me of winter, and I would consider this song the title track because of that (hence ‘The Cold Still’). Although everybody would have a different opinion of which song best suits the name of the record, I’m pretty sure that this song would get a lot of votes. The piano in this song is so defining, and the heavy drums closer to the end make this song just even better, and its a nice little surprise to hear heaviness in this soft and quiet song. I like that about the song.

Organ Song (3:28) - A happier song, I think the placement of this song in the record is incorrect. I think this should be the last track, with an uplifting feel to it, after a few ballads. I could see this song in a movie a few years from now. I wouldn’t be surprised. This song just makes me happy, and it’s a good change from the past few songs on the track. It has a different feel than the rest of the songs, and shows us that the band doesn’t just have one system that they use to write their songs.

Memo (3:05) - This song is a mixture of Organ Song, and the others. It brings the album together, makes it a whole. It has that deep and mellow feel of Locked in the Basement, but brings that happy and light feel of Organ Song along with it. A great track, it tells you just how talented the band is, and all of the music they have yet to write.

Both Sides Are Even (5:05) - Again, sounding like Locked in the Basement, but a little bit different, I like this one. For some reason it reminds me of Metric’s ‘Empty’, but I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why. The ‘orchestra’ in the background sounds like a computer or keyboard generated tone, which I could’ve lived without. This is a nice buildup to the end of the record, but this song is kind of lengthy. I would’ve liked to see it shortened up a bit, but it’s such a good song that it doesn’t matter that much.

The Runner (3:39) - This song has a completely different feel than the other songs on this album in my opinion. It’s a bit heavier, faster and brings out another quality of the band. This is one of my favourite songs of this album. I just think that the guitar could’ve harmonized with the vocal melodies instead of just copying the vocal melodies, but I’ll live. Overall, a defining track of the record.

Doubt (4:57) - To be honest, this isn’t my favourite song of the record, and it shouldn’t have been placed as the last song of the record, because it doesn’t leave you amazed or end with a bang. It’s just there, if you know what I mean. It’s a good song though, a simple, slow, progression, using just keyboards, and a little bit of guitars. I like the buildup to the end, leaving you with a bit of sadness that the album is over. What I think they’re trying to get at is that the record is over, and you should want to listen to it again. I will.

As a whole, this album is truly wonderful. If I were you, I would buy The Cold Still, and listen to it 70,000 times. Or until I knew every little part of every song :)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Burlington Sound of Music 2011

What I love the most about this festival is the always great selection of bands. Not sure what goes on, but for some reason, Canada has a lot of good bands!

The festival began on Thursday, June 16 and the first band I saw was Yukon Blonde from Vancouver.
They are super talented and really nice. I bought their CD (amazing) and got their autograph at the merch table.

I think it's ultra cool that you get to meet some of the bands after they play. AND get their t-shirts and CDs :)

Toronto's Bedouin Soundclash played right after and it was CROWDED!!!!

Friday I watched one of the best concerts ever by The Reason. They are another great band from Hamilton, Ontario. I don't know how to describe with words, but I'll try.  Have you ever been to a concert that was absolutely round with no rough edges. These guys work so well together that when they play, they create an amazing sense of musical depth. You get lost within their sound. It's not usual to see this kind of unison live. And they achieve this effortlessly. Check their Sloan cover and tell me if they're not awesome!

Crash Karma was next. It's a pretty high profile band since their members come from I Mother Earth, Our Lady Peace, The Tea Party and Zygote. So they were obviously very good.

I arrived early at the park around lunch time on Saturday and went straight to this great vegan cafe on John Street (yes, the street was closed for the festival - so cool). It was my first time at Kind Food and I liked it so much that I went back for dinner. It's a very cute place, really hip and nicely decorated and what's most important: the food is awesome. I totally recommend this restaurant, so if you're from Burlington, you should check their hours and go. Best cupcakes EVER!

 Back at the festival, I watched Toronto's The Wooden Sky. Another talented group of musicians. One thing I've been enjoying seeing is that a lot of these guys play more than one instrument. It's like finding lost siblings, so there are many of my kind haha.
Funny thing about this video. If you look on the right side, you can see me right at the front with my mom and dad. Cool.

Edmonton's Stereos was another really packed concert. It was hard to get close, so I didn't really try ;)

P.E.I.'s Paper Lions  were great! I enjoyed seeing them and bought their CD.

Hollerado was everything I expected and probably a little bit more. If you don't know them, you don't know what you're missing. Seriously. Click on the link and go. Yes do it! Go! I'll wait.

See, I told you so. They are good, aren't they?
It was hard to get their autograph, but I did it.

Tokyo Police Club closed the day. And it was packed!

It was a great day, but I was so tired I don't even remember falling asleep...

I had to miss Sunday at the festival. My friend got us some VIP tickets for the Hamilton Air Show and unfortunately I couldn't be at 2 places at the same time.
But here are some highlights:

The Salads:


Meanwhile that's what I was doing...

Happy Summer to you all!!!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

About my trip to Ottawa

There's nothing I enjoy more than spending quality time at a museum. Just ask anyone that knows me. So, when my dad announced that we were going to Ottawa, I got really excited and started planning my time there.
We got up early on Wednesday morning and hit the road. My mom prepared some snacks, so we didn't stop for food.

This is what a vegan sandwich looks like :)
On the way, we read Alicia Silverstone's book "The Kind Diet" that I totally recommend. It has lots of food ideas and tips for a healthy and yummy diet.
Super easy read and very inspiring too!

Almost there...
Ottawa is a beautiful city. What caught my attention was how easy it is to get around by bike. The moment we arrived I knew I HAD to go for a ride in the Rideau Canal! If you live in Ottawa, you are so LUCKY!!!

The following day, I got my morning fix and headed to the Art Gallery.
Soy mocha frappuccino.So.Good.

very cool inside the gallery

I couldn't take pictures of the art, but I did see some amazing paintings. Lawren Harris is a favorite of mine so I was totally over the top excited when I saw his art. So much depth and talent. I think I could have spent another week inside the gallery...
I had the Asian salad.
Mom had a curry.

Lunch at Peace Garden before going to the Aviation and Space Museum.

I really wanted to visit this museum and was glad I did. There are lots of cool airplanes and flight simulators that are awesome!

 The Canadian Museum of Civilization was another amazing experience. I visited it twice and watched the cutest movie at their Imax theatre.


By the time we finished seeing everything, it was dinner time and we went to a Thai restaurant right across the street from the museum.

The food was good too!

The bridge between Ottawa and Gatineau (where the Museum of Civilization is located) is pretty amazing and has a huge deck. It's windy, so when you cross make sure to take off your hat!

view of the museum of civilization

The ByWard Market is another great Ottawa attraction. There are tons of places to eat (okay not so many if you're vegetarian or vegan...) but you can just sit outside the Hard Rock Cafe and have a drink and watch people go by.

More pictures:
Parliament of Canada

How cute is that?

Now to the exciting stuff...
We were on our way back to the hotel when we realized  we were almost in the middle of a political protest. Our Prime Minister was at the Convention Centre that is right beside where we were staying, so there was a huge commotion.
When we got back to our room, we spotted a couple of snipers on the building across from us. Exciting!

Later on we decided to go on a ghost walk. Some of the stories were cool, but I still think Burlington has more ghosts :)

haunted house?