More Music Winks

As promised, here is another episode detailing my uncontrollable habit of preaching Canadian music to the world.

When last my neurosis took over, I told you about Feist, Limblifter, and Martina Sorbara.

This time it's again something of a mixed bag. I'm going to tread familiar waters (read: not new releases), browse the 'easy listening' section (Juuuuust wait, you'll like it.), and tell you a little more about something the cropped up in my Juno Awards post.

Diving in:

  1. The Watchmen - Let's not talk about them being defunct after producing five glorious albums. Instead, let's spread the word of the gift they imparted on Canadians while they were still together. Coming onto the scene in 1993, they were a hard-hitting band with gritty guitar and a tight, full sound. Lyrically challenging (not "challenged") songs, great harmonies, and an irresistibly charismatic lead singer begged the listener to rewind and re-play. With four full length albums and a double farewell album, the band progressed through various stages of rockdom, improving melodies and upholding their lyrical uniqueness. The band achieved moderate fame in Canada, mostly with successes from their In The Trees release, but I get the feeling they never did bust through the 49th parallel with any success. Those interested should try to locate the Silent Radar album, or their final double album, Slo Motion, which delved more into the electronic side of things but still produced something amazing. You can catch the animated video for Slo Motion here. Note: Danny Greaves went on to form Doctor (Website for that band also now missing. Think he's trying to lay low?) and now is contributing to Neverending White Lights.

  2. Tim Tamashiro - Here's where I make you all listen to old favourites sung sweetly and smoothly by a crooner from Calgary. The product of Japanese and Canadian parenting, Tim rode the lounge wave of the late 1990's, crooning through two full length albums, one promotional album (I can't remember which retail store marketed it), and now marketing himself as an "Executive Entertainer", doing gigs for important folk at their private parties. Hey, why not? I caught his Drive In video on Bravo shortly after the release of Wiseass Crooner (which features spectacular remakes of the "Theme from Spiderman" and Loverboy's "Turn Me Loose"), was instantly hooked. Bravo, indeed. Check out his Ai album for some choice dinner music, or something to listen to with your sweetheart in front of the fireplace, if you have access to either.

  3. Esthero - Yes, yes. I mentioned Esthero in the Junos post, and I've expressed remourse at not including her in my music meme. The fact remains that I just can't stop listening to her two releases. To be fair, the musical mead of her early work was a partnership with her producer. Now, however, she's on her own, and commanding attention like never before. From her website bio:
    Esthero was discovered within two years of meeting her manager and released her first LP in 1998. Breath From Another was categorically described as trip-hop, but the liquid beats ignited with Esthero’s fiery vocals reflected much more from the then 18-year old songstress. The most impressive factor that distinguished Esthero from most musicians was that her live sets were as flawless as the studio cuts.
    She has two full length albums and two EPs, but can be seen doing collaborative work all over the place (The Philosopher Kings' Jarvis Church, Black Eyed Peas, etc). The latest release, Wikkid Lil' Grrrls, builds on the techno trip-hop -inspired piano jazzy goodness of her previous work, with orchestral seasonings in just the right places. From Breath from Another, check out "Heaven Sent" and "Country Livin'." From Wikkid Lil' Grrrls, don't miss the strangely typeset "We R In Need Of A MusicalReVoLuTion", "Blanket Me in You", the irresistibly poppy "Everyday is a Holiday (with You)", and "If Tha Mood", a song about, uhh... borrowing one's ex-boyfriend. Oh, hell, just pick up the whole album -- it's that good. (Note: most tracks can be previewed on Amazon.) Deny your ipod's shuffle songs feature and listen to this album again and again.

Phew. That took a lot out of me. I hope I've not flooded you with recommendations this time around. Enjoy.

Thanks to Stacy at Jurgen Nation for refueling my interest in the CBC Radio 3 podcast. Though there are a few duds featured there, it's cool to hear about some of the up & comers.

Posted bythemikestand at 9:11 AM  

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