Friday
Oct242014

Willie Mason "Carry On"


If we could only use two words to describe Willie Mason’s Carry On they would be “Lyrically 
Stunning”. The 29 year old son of song writers Jemima James and Michael Mason exerts infinite wisdom 
all the way through, beginning with the lyrics “What is this?  Evergreens are dying, are they even trying.  
What is this?  All the money’s dying is it worth trying” with a voice eerily similar to a cross between 
Johnny Cash with a higher voice, and an older Colin Hay.  

We were unfamiliar with Willie Mason before listening to this, but after we read the musical experience 
on his resume we understood why it was so good.  Carry On certainly explores different sounds and 
genres for example:  “Talk me down” and “Restless Fugitive” almost have a sound of old dub in the 
beginning while on “Carry On” and “Show Me The Way To Go Home” his guitar has a very 
blues/grassroots feel to it and we suspect it could be tuned in drop D, but that’s our best guess.  
“Into tomorrow” is a ray of sunshine with a certain sense of hope for the future singing “forget about 
the past, shut your eyes and hope this lasts and let out all the demons from your face”.  If there’s any 
song that’s worth a campfire sing along, surely it’s “I Got Gold” where he belts out “I Got Gold 
underneath the ground”.  “Painted Glass” and “Shadows in the DK” have more synthetic sounds then 
the rest of the album but for the most part is organic.

The album closes with “If It’s The End” which certainly has the most addictive guitar strumming pattern 
and a balancing and grounding chorus “If it’s the end, it’s not the only end, let it begin, let it unfold 
again”.  We leave this with one final word:  MORE!!!


Monday
Oct062014

Octave Minds "Octave Minds"


Canadian legend Chilly Gonzalez and the praised German DJ/Producer Boys Noize are 
collaborating again on one of the best albums we will hear all year. The album begins with 
“Symmetry slice” which has the ambient feeling of a Brian Eno record with soft natural piano 
chords and ponderous electronic sounds as they echo into the unknown regions of your brain 
nerves. If you listen with good quality headphones you’re sure to catch a goose bump or two, 
which can be said for most of the album. 

 “Anthem” is just that, and has an incredible feel to it with proud horns, energetic percussion and 
magical piano riffs to take you away from your day to day stressors. “Together” Easily comes 
as our favourite track especially at about the 2:20 mark when it turns into a dance track with 
a catchy bass line a funky beat a fluttering flute and a crescendo of synth strings. “In Silence” 
paints a sad picture with the sounds of rain water and an altered vocal sample of the words “In 
silence” it reminds of a Clams Casino beat whom usually paints a similar picture. 

The overall cinematic experience of this album is overwhelming and it remains abundantly 
clear why these 2 mega talents continue to get the worldwide attention that they deserve. 
Do yourself a favour, get this album and when the house is empty, dim the lights, light some 
candles and take a truly unique trip through Octave Minds.

More info, and pick up the album here.

Friday
Sep262014

The Wooden Sky "Let's Be Ready" 


Toronto’s The Wooden Sky have released their fourth LP and it screams magnetizing Canadian folk rock.  Its earthy textures, travelling lyrics and elemental sounds remind us of the vast beauty of this great place.  Right down to its people, it’s resources and the heavenly beauty that surrounds it. With the “Saturday Night” chorus lyrics “White smoke rising up off the coast, Heaven surrounds me now, it ain’t no joke now that everyone knows, you’ve got something to live for now”.  “Saturday Night” Introduces the album with a wavering tone followed by an upbeat heavy rock beat and a string of guitars with happy tones which has us flying over the beauty while Gavin Gardiner sings his praises.  


The bands The Tragically Hip and Blue Rodeo come to mind with the song “Baby, Hold On”.  It’s light guitar melody, steady beat and unmistakably Canadian tone has us comforted while we picture ourselves on a remote highway most likely on our way to a remote job that we don’t enjoy, but feel like there’s no other way.  If you’re looking for a sing along, surely “When the Day is Fresh, and the Light is New” is the jam for you.  There’s just something so familiar about the lyrics and the way they’re delivered.  The title track winds things down with some complex acoustic guitar work and is sung like a lullaby about a woman named Sarah whom cannot be stopped from going to Memphis, Tennessee.  “Let’s Be Ready” is out now the band’s own imprint Chelsea records, and you need to hear it for yourself right now.

 http://chelsea-records.com/


Thursday
Sep252014

The Sign Painters Documentary


When we caught wind that this was film was in production, we got our hopes up.  This is a documentary about a lost art, a culture filled with beautiful colours, perfect curves, eye catching letters and eccentric personalities. From the trailer, it's made clear that this is going to be an inspiring look at advertisings unsung heroes, and their beautiful work that commands your attention and creates a lasting impression on you.  

One thing we loved right away was the opening titles.  From the beginning and throughout, the titles are all hand painted, and add so much character and dimension to the film.   The subject matter is also part of the presentation, which makes for a very effective and engaging documentary.  

This film starts at the beginning, and interviews a number of sign painters, either still alive or still working.  Of course, the industry has seen a massive decline, due to the advent of vinyl sign printing and digital design.  The inspiring element are the artists and technicians who are still at it.  The ones who advocate sign painting as a much more aesthetically pleasing, much more effective method of advertising your business, are absolutely right in our opinion.  The history, and the current state of sign painting in America is a fascinating tale.

It's said during the film that when a vinyl sign has served its' purpose, it becomes trash.  When a hand painted sign has served its' purpose, it becomes art.  We, along with everyone involved in this film, prefer art.

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