2013-04-imcolumn

iM News: April Update / Bringing Back The Columns

iM back with a new basestation and new columns!

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Ep. 122: 2012-04-08 – Indie Love

iM: Episode #122 features 23 tracks including new music from JAPANDROIDS, PS I LOVE YOU, BANQUET, CHAMPION LOVER, and OLD ENGLISH.

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Column: [Listen Queer] THE CLIKS – Black Tie Elevator

iM’s Julia Stead explores the musical career of THE CLIKS’ Lucas Silveria and the band’s new 2013 release.

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Skyline: 02 – FACTS

iM catches up with the Vancouver synth-heavy rockers on the roof during their first visit to The Big Smoke.

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Featured Artist: PONY GIRL

Get to know iM’s October 2013 Featured Artist ahead of a stacked Toronto bill on October 24th.

Editor Picks:

The Weekend Sequence Vol. 6 – THE DARCYS

March 25, 2011
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When I asked Toronto’s The Darcys to curate the latest installment of The Weekend Sequence, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from their mix. Let’s just say, I was more than pleased with their choices and I think you will be too. Something different, two band members (Jason & Wes) picked 5 songs each, so the result is a little different than usual. You know what they say….two heads are better than one. What are you waiting for? Download or stream it below! The band plays The Garrison tonight and SteamWhistle Brewery on April 29th. For more on The Darcys, visit them at any of the websites below.


Website / Bandcamp / Myspace / Twitter

DOWNLOAD THE MIX

1. Fela Kuti – Expensive Shit

There is a beautiful patience in this music, with no rush to move to a new break, chorus, or refrain. It feels effortless. Kuti locks us into the experience of the groove, feeding us a simple horn riff until we forget about how much time has passed. This song provides a foundation for the structural elements that have been popularized in contemporary electronic music, but differs in the way the song breathes (withholding, then providing) forcing the listener to find comfort in repetition and atmosphere, instead of waiting for an ultimate payoff. JC

2. Wu Tang Clan – Shame On A Nigga
I am not sure if it is accidental fame, mental insanity or media-induced-turned-self fulfilling prophesy, but when I was growing up, ODB was one of the most enigmatic figures in music. The allure of his insanity, and how often it bordered on (and sometimes embraced) genius could only increased ODB’s sensationalism and celebrity. By the time he died in 2004, he was a mythological folk hero. He was arrested, seemingly every other day, if not for crack possession, then for stealing $50 sneakers with $500 burning a hole in his pocket. How quickly we forget that Kanye wasn’t the first to rush the Grammy stage and 50 Cent didn’t pioneer the bulletproof vest as a fashion statement. As Wu-Tang made more records, ODB’s presence receded and with that, so did their quality. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) has become an unbridled classic and I often think that is largely to do with ODB. What he possessed was untouchable and more importantly, unteachable. His career was pure, unadulterated insanity; so raw and so bat shit crazy that he quickly transcended the Wu, their music and his solo records. ODB’s character spilled out all over his music and listeners can feel that. For all his gonzo verses, illegal antics and his teeth (those teeth?!), he felt real—and that realness is what makes a good record. ”Oooh baby I like it raw / Yeah baby I like it rawww” goes the intro of “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”, and with 13 children, he did. WM

3. TV On The Radio – Caffeinated Consciousness
Much like Dave Fridmann’s work with The Flaming Lips, TV On The Radio has become a public forum for Dave Sitek’s assault on the conventional opinions of mixing and recording. Though “Staring At The Sun” is still one of my favourite songs, I often wonder if the strength of the last TV On The Radio record was a product Sitek’s production faculty, not the band’s song writing. WM

4. U.N.K.L.E. – Guns Blazing (Drums of Death Pt. 1.) (Feat. Kool G. Rap)

Kool G. Rap was New York’s original answer to the mid80s street rap bursting out of Los Angeles. On the surface this rap appears no different—heavy with vivid imagery of violence and death—yet more lyrical and literate than most, making extensive pop culture references that are buoyed by lines like “down with the parmesan.” Dense Mafioso content has become his calling card, and while he may glorify the mafia’s characteristic ultra-violence, he breaks from the metaphor long enough to show a clarity rot with remorse. WM

5. Otis Redding – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)
It is incredible that a single artist could compose so many masterful songs in such a short career. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Otis Redding didn’t have decades to finesse his craft, yet his brief catalogue has managed to resonate profoundly. He seemed to have an intrinsic knack for sewing together heartbreaking lyrical content with musically equivalent chord changes to create a kind of total emotional experience. As the title suggests, this song seems to spool tighter and tighter without ever offering the listener any significant resolve. It is rare to find something so complete, considering both Redding’s life and career were cut short at the age of 26. 
JC

6. Steely Dan – Bad Sneakers
Maybe because it stokes daydreams of escapism or because it reminds me of the two months following my graduation—when I was hell-bent on hopping a train car from Halifax to Toronto—but I find this song intoxicating. The pseudo-rumba vibe, major chords and talk of Piña Colada give me a glimpse of summer in the offing. Steely Dan supplant their staple mu chords, whistles, and blazing saxophone solos with a more traditional verse/chorus structure and anchor that lighthearted chorus with an enchanting backup performance by Michael McDonald. Though ‘The Dan’ is not for everyone, the idea of exchanging contemplative thoughts on loneliness and death for a raucous night on the town is easy to relate to. Reality is always within arms reach, but this song allows you to substitute it for the sympathetic spirit of youth, even if only for three and a half minutes. WM

7. D’Angelo – The Line
If we fail to consider the massive external pressures, as well as the self induced and nearly paralyzing artistic expectations surrounding the making of Voodoo, D’Angelo may come across as a lazy lyricist. “The Line” is very literal, nothing more than a list of the things he has to do. If we attempt to acknowledge his reality as an artist and a commercial entity, this song becomes D’s self-motivational memoir. It turned out that his attempt to “put it on the line” was successful. Voodoo was a massive commercial success, and the ensuing attention he received as an artist (and even more so, as a sex symbol) eventually weighed so heavily on him that he slipped into obscurity (and alcoholism) in the years following its release and has yet to resurface. Voodoo is an absolutely masterful artifact of groove, soul, personal reflection, and candid vocal prowess. It is not surprising that he was unable to create a worthy follow-up. JC

8. DJ Shadow – This Time (Gonna Try it My Way)
Most of The Outsider sags. It is long, the “trip-hop” mantra felt like a buzz-inducing marketing plan, and most of what defined Shadow’s signature sound had already started to pack its bags towards the end of The Private Press. I think that with great expectations come the possibility of a great disappointment (See: The Strokes) and a solid track like “This Time” can easily be forgotten about amidst the shelling this record received from the press. “This Time” bursts out of your speakers as a fluid and three-dimensional take on early soul recordings. Shadow can effortlessly construct a day-glo soul band led by a sampler that could easily be mistaken for a hyphy drummer. This is a really great song that unfortunately is attached to a sub par record. WM

9. Lauryn Hill – I Used To Love Him
The train-wreck that has become Hill’s public image and career still hasn’t been able to overshadow the sustained glory of an album she released almost 14 years ago. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is one of the greatest records ever made, which makes it next to impossible to pick just one of the 16 tracks as the quintessential artifact. The deeply personal lyrical content, virtuosic performances, and inspiringly immaculate production make this record virtually untouchable. This serves as a testament to crippling perfectionism and utmost attention to detail. Whether or not you like R&B or neo-soul, the inherent quality of this record is undeniable. JC

10. Four Tet – And The Look Broken Hearted
Kieran Hebden’s music as Four Tet has an incomprehensible magic to it that is both humbling and therapeutic. Although he operates largely as an electronic artist, his work is unique in that the bulk of his samples are acoustic by nature. By using familiar textures like real drums, harp and vibraphone (as opposed to the mystery of synthesized sounds found in most other electronic music) he invites us to listen in on the arrangement with clarity. It sounds as though an ensemble could perform a song like this, but the subtle recurrences and repetitions in the samples make it technically impossible. Knowing this, one stops trying to constantly figure it out, and can just listen. JC

About The Author
David Marskell is the co-host/producer and founding father of The Indie Machine. When he is not working at The iM, he books bands at "Baltic Avenue" in downtown Toronto. He has strong feelings for mixtapes and enjoys laying down a good DJ set now and again. One day he hopes to make a living from the music industry... he also hopes to meet Tom Selleck.
Follow David on Twitter // iM Bio Page