Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Next New Video! "Hope is Fleeting"

I didn't lie, here is the next video off "Let's Celebrate With Blood" for a song called "Hope is Fleeting". I worked on this thing on and off for a few months, I wanted to try my hand at some animation. For some reason. I'd frigged around with the animation tool in photoshop a few times in my "Crutches" video a couple years ago but this is the first time I used it to animate something frame by frame instead just selectively adding filters and crap to some footage. That being said; this is really basic animation stuff, I pretty much used the smudge tool exclusively for 90%  of it. But I think it's got an interesting atmosphere to it. I was watching a lot of old NFB classics when I got the idea to start this project and I'd like to think some of it rubbed off on me a bit. "Hope is Fleeting" is kinda a weird track and it's not at all what you would call a break away hit or even slightly indicative of what the rest of the album sounds like, but I made the  visuals first and none of the other songs came even close to synchronizing as well as that one. Anyway, here it is.

I know I said I didn't lie at the beginning of this post, but I did lie a bit last week when I said three videos in a row. Due to some shitty personal shit going on in my life right now I don't think I'm going to have a video ready for next week. In fact I don't think you'll see a new video from me until the end of February when I debut my dvd that I will be filming and scoring for the rpm challenge next year. So look forward to that, when that happens.
I hope you enjoy my video, spread the fucker around if you got a chance, I need some viral action working for me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Video! "These Hands" from my new album "Let's Celebrate With Blood"

The album is at the printers right now getting all printed up, I got a CD release show booked at CBTG's for January 1st and I'll somehow get my band, who haven't played together in almost a year, on the stage playing with me. I am excited!
So to hopefully get some other people excited I'm gonna release a music video every Monday for the next three weeks until I have to leave Kingston and do some Christmas stuff.
This here is the first of the three, a video I made for the song "These Hands" off the upcoming album.  The video is the first time I tried any kind of lip syncing, I thought it would be interesting to take all the different takes and layer them over top one another and then find an effect that would make the differences between them really pop out and become dynamic. The end product is a little ridiculous and my Bono poses might give people the wrong idea about me (or maybe the right idea!) but I think it does a pretty good job bringing out the mood of the song.
Anyway, next weeks video is way stranger, and loads more labour intensive. Stayed tuned!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vicar - Moment

If you're looking for proof that I'm biased in my blog content you might want to pay attention here since that's my painting on the cover of Vicar's new album "Moment". And to be fair I am biased as all hell, but I also don't do album art for bands I don't think are absolutely awesome. Vicar are absolutely awesome.
The brain child of Tyler Lovell bass player for one of my favorite bands going AE Bridger, the guys are real  young but they know what they're doing. Vicar are easily the most experimental and sonically confrontational band that can also call themselves "rock" on the east coast. The sound is DENSE, the drums and vocals march like the gestapo and the guitars perform fine needlework on your brain. Listening to the album is like watching a Max Ernst collage violently destroy a car park. There is not much tranquility on this release, Orwellian death marches are broken up only by the voice of Tron-like demon gods operatically pummeling a theatrical Einst├╝rzende Neubauten chorus into your chest plate. Look at me, the hyperbole is spilling from me like tropical geyser. Anyway, it's real good. 
It got nominated on The Scope's long list for the Atlantis music prize, it's not gonna win, but give this album some friggin' attention anyway.   

Giv'er a listen in the player below.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hunting Winter

Before I start flooding this blog with vile self promotional nonsense I should talk about some of the cool stuff my friends have been doing since I went on blogging hiatus.

Justin Mahoney is one of my oldest friends/most talented musicians I know. He's the first of a few of my Corner Brook friends who went from playing BRUTAL technical death metal in highschool and naturally transitioned into jazz and then of course to country music. For the last few years he's been working as a genuine, fer reals professional musician in Toronto backing up mainstream acts such as Brian Byrne and Tara Oram while also working the underground in acts like North Amorica, The Evelyn Room and The Coastguard. Over the years we have been bugging the crap out of him to get on the go recording his own material and this year he is relenting in a big way.

Under the moniker "Hunting Winter" Justin has come up with a haunting and dramatic short player with bare boned but exquisite guitar playing and aching close knit vocal harmonies. The songs express a certain kind of sorrow with a simple poetic understatement that doesn't beat you over the head with any trite sentimentality. If you are the type who needs a list of similar artists to compare to before you listen to anything, I'd say you wouldn't be too far off comparing Hunting Winter to Bon Iver mixed with a bit of the more polite John Frusciante. The songs are a more direct and a little less "precious" then a Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes but have a similar direction towards the transcendental despite the homespun quality of the recordings.

Anyway, give the EP a listen to yourself in the player down below if you're curious. And if you like it GO BUY IT.

Friday, November 19, 2010

ZOMBIE BLOG COMING BACK FROM THE DEAD SOON!! as soon as my new album is done...

I mean it! I am gonna start blogging again (eventually), and I won't stop for it awhile. I will do this as soon as I am finally finished this friggin' bloody album, which I have been slaving over since January of this year. It is just about at the stage where I can no longer make it sound any better without scrapping the whole thing and starting over again. I've been so deeply entrenched in the production of it I've basically forsaken all other aspects of my life such as this blog and my reviews for The Scope. It's gonna be friggin' good though. At least I hope it is, I listen to all the songs about 4 times a day and tweaked and re-tweaked them to the point that I have absolutely no idea if they are any good or not. Sometimes when I listen to it at night I fucking LOVE it and sometimes when I listen to it in the morning I fucking LOATHE it. I've heard other people talk about how they can only hear the flaws in their own work when they listen to it, and I definitely have a bit of that on the go (not that other people won't find flaws in it, they are plenty of obvious ones just littered all over the place). But I have got to get it done soon as I have a CD release show booked at CBTG's for January 1st (more details on that to come as I get shit organized).
The album will be under the name of my band "Patrick Canning & the Suffering Mothers" and will possibly be titled "Let's Celebrate, With Blood!". It will be 65 minutes long with 14 tracks which a lot of people will say is stupid because audiences barely have patience for a 4 song EP nowadays. But fuck those people, I still like my albums the way they're supposed to be: long and meandering with a ton of filler. You can listen to it in installments if you are too lazy or impatient to sit through the whole thing, but hopefully that shouldn't be a problem.
I've already made two fancy shmancy videos that are sure to shock ya eyelids but they won't get uploaded until I have the thing ready to sell. One of them is a fully hand animated thing I made frame by frame in photoshop that I think worked out pretty good, but you have to tell me what you think of it when I finally get it revealed.
Anyway, I gotta finish up and start the promotion train engine up to full throttle until I inevitably run it off the tracks in a few months. Make sure you got me on your RSS feed as new non-self-promotional posts are coming at you in the very near future.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review Round Up! ~ Puddle of Mudd, Bon Jovi, Slayer, Ke$ha, The Disengagement, Bob Dylan, am/fm dreams, Pathological Lovers, Dead Language,

Whoops! I haven't done this in awhile. Here's all The Scope music reviews I've done since the Last review Round-up. I'm starting with this review of Puddle Of Mudd's horrible new album: "Volume 4: Songs In The Key of Love and Hate". This was rejected by The Scope for being too obscene or something. Whatever! Pansies! Onward the reviews!

Puddle of Mudd
Volume 4: Songs In The Key of Love and Hate
Oh God... So it's come to this? This is what mainstream modern rock music has come to? This despicable 36 minute audio tumor? Puddle of Mudd have sold 7 million CDs! In this day and age that's equivalent to around 70 million 1980's albums. Their horrible song "Blurry" is one of the most played songs on the radio of the last 10 years! Wes Scantlin's voice is like shitting sandpaper. Listening to his strained nasal mewl spew out poetry like "Let’s get it over and just get naked with sweat dripping down your little back" is enough to make your genitals recede all the way back into your body. This album is like a hundred screaming colonoscopies in a building on fire. It's like having a catheter inserted in you and ripped out again over and over and over by a very angry orangutan, or maybe a very angry Fred Durst.

Bon Jovi
The Circle
Jon Bon Jovi is here to help you America! His grand ageing carapace keeps his hand on his heart (which is swaddled in the American flag) while he Rides into town on the back of a majestic unicorn soaring through the sky on clouds formed from the purest, gossamer nebula of cheese. Jon Bon Jovi woke up from his giant platinum bed in the sky and through the power of his magic douche goggles he saw that America was in trouble. Instantly he knew that only his retarded over produced power balladry could save the day for all the soccer moms out there in desperate need of his ridiculous, grandiloquent, throat-ripping choruses. With anthems like "Work for the Working man", "We weren't born to follow" and "Brokenpromiseland" he clearly is at heart a true working class hero and clearly not a vapid, ultra-processed, piece of auditory vomit with a thousand dollar hairdo and cadre of image consultants.

The Disengagement
Masters in Escapism
You ignore the west coast long enough and eventually they try to sneak some awesome albums by you without you noticing. The sophomore release "Masters in Escapism" from Stephenville native band The Disengagement is a tasty slab of guitar driven rock with a distinct 90's indie throwback edge to it. The album is busy with the sounds densely layered with great inventive guitar lines and rambunctious drum work throughout. The songs are full and rich but are thankfully left natural and unpolished with the just right level of murk present to ease your head in pillow of guitar fuzz as you listen through your headphones. If I had to be a boring music reviewer and compare them to other bands I'd say their kinda reminiscent to a poppier sounding Built to Spill with some "Washing Machine" era Sonic Youth thrown in for good measure. A thoroughly enjoyable hard plastic disc from out of left field.

World Painted Blood
What's wrong with prepositions? Why couldn't they call the album "World Painted in Blood"? All their other album titles make sense grammatically. But I digress. Slayer, if they didn't invent the genre of thrash metal they certainly perfected it 23 years ago with 1986's Reign in Blood and their fans have pretty much looked disapprovingly at everything else they've put out since then. But metal fans are mostly assholes when you get down to it. Slayer's signature sound and quality haven't really changed at all in the 9 albums since "Reign" and when your catalogue is that consistent or in other words totally interchangeable, fans will always value the first album they got into above the others. Pretty much every Slayer fan starts out with "Reign in Blood". So is World Painted Blood heavy? Hell yes it's fuckin' Slayer! Is it identical to every other album they've put out? Hell yes it's fuckin' Slayer!

Bob Dylan
Christmas In The Heart
I'm pretty sure Bob Dylan could record himself raping a llama for 45 minutes and a certain ageing section of the population would hail it as "an amazing display of evocative and confrontational songwriting prowess". I know it's not really kosher to be overly critical of charity albums (all profits go to help the World Food Programme which sounds like a fine charity) and I know you gotta set the bar lower when criticizing Christmas records and I've had a long history of barely tolerating mister Dylan; but honestly, was anybody (not obsessed with irony) really begging for 45 minutes of Bob gargling his intestines through 15 ancient, cornball Christmas standards? Everything on the album is so syrupy and over produced Dylan's presence is like throwing a dying horse into thedebutante's ball. Hearing Dylan sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing is like listening to a pit-bull choke on a bag of marbles, it's totally hilarious.

am/fm dreams
Whistle and Sing
With this being their third full length release this year I don't think anyone will call am/fm dreams a lazy band anytime soon. Maybe lazy in terms of gigging and promotion but certainly not in terms of writing and recording. On Whistle and Sing am/fm dreams change stylistic gears again turning away from the retro grunge of last February's "Plaid Album" and the synth-pop of January's "Suburban Teenage Riot". This time around they opt for a stripped down, strictly acoustic sound with 17 short and sweet, banjo and harmony rich tunes all concerned with mortality and matters domestic. The recording and production is as tasteful and rich as always with delicately balanced arrangements that are simple but inventive and really help to highlight the songwriting which is some of their strongest yet. And Just think, the February RPM is just 2 months away, that ain't much time before they kick your ass with another full length!
listen to it here.

Pathological Lovers
Calling All Favours
The Pathological Lovers' debut album Calling All Favours is an hour long propulsive blast of high energy rock ambition. Jody Richardson with his miracle pipes (voted best local rockstar two years in a row don'tcha know) sounds as passionate and powerful as he ever has and the production sparkles and snaps as it should. The thing is The Lovers seem to be suffering from a bit of ADD nowadays. Very few songs are played straight. Big left turns, sudden change ups and complicated wordplay are paramount throughout a lot of the album and can make it a bit of a challenge to absorb at times. It would risk being too much to take if it weren't for the fact that everyone involved is givin' it their all and playing at the height of their game. But when Jody hits on the vocal hooks and keeps everything as direct as possible like on songs "Wednesday", "Change is Good" or the beautiful closer "Parking lot in life" the album really soars.

Dead Language
Local pickers and crooners the Dead Language's debut self-titled album proves a fine display of their spare and delicate arrangements and a showcase for singer/songwriter Katie Baggs rich and enchanting vocals. The songs have a direct rustic simplicity to them with a surprising amount of restraint shown in the guitar, banjo, mandolin and violin combinations with no one player dominating the spotlight, choosing instead to subtly fill in the empty space with their understated pluckings while Katie's voice seduces you. Obvious standouts are the ballads "Breath by Breath" and the album opener "The Dance" which are just total heart rippers. This is a CD that falls into the rare list of albums where the hidden end track is one of the most compelling on the record, the sprightly and energetic instrumental would've been better placed somewhere in the second half where the pace starts to drag. All in all a truly lovely set of ballads and lullabies.

Am I a 14 year old girl?
Not the last time I checked.
I have no business listening to this album. Mainstream pop music has always been run by an evil consortium of Hollywood Svengali, Freemasons and Swedish engineers but now in 2010 it's reached the point where I feel like I'm reviewing a Reebok sneaker. No there's definitely more honest artistic expression in a typical sneaker then what I hear here. The Milli Vanilli scandal would never have happened nowadays, why bother hiring nameless studio singers to cover up for your VH1 drone's total lack of talent when you can just drench a shit ton of autotune over every worthless syllable they drunkenly mutter? I guess all the stupid Hot Topic kids who grew up watching "The Hills" or "Paris Hiltons New BFF" looking for role models need something to reaffirm their worthless lives before the real world inevitably crushes their dreams. I've always hated teenagers and I always will.