In Reflection...My Top Songs Of 2K10

>> Saturday, 25 December 2010

My top songs of 2K10 are pasted below, in playlist order.

Los Campesinos! – In Medias Res
Small Sins – Why Don’t You Believe Me?
Arcade Fire – Empty Room
PS I Love You – Meet Me At The Muster Station
Basia Bulat – The Shore
Broken Bells – Your Head Is On Fire
ceo – Illuminata
Beach House – Norway
The Besnard Lakes – Albatross
The National – Runaway
Kanye West – Monster
Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill
LCD Soundsystem – All I Want
Spoon – Who Makes Your Money
The New Pornographers – What Turns Up In The Dark
Vampire Weekend – Cousins
Broken Social Scene – Meet Me In The Basement

Your turn: what are some of your favourite songs from the past 365?


In Reflection...My Top Ten Shows Of 2010

>> Wednesday, 22 December 2010

1. The Flaming Lips w/ Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
The Burton Cummings Theatre
Winnipeg, MB
September 21, 2010

2. NXNE - Saturday Night Edition
Caught Live: Iggy Pop, Les Savy Fav (above photo)
Various Venues
Toronto, ON
June 18, 2010

3. Toronto Island Festival
Caught Live: Beach House (above), Band of Horses, Broken Social Scene (above), Pavement
Toronto Island
Toronto, ON 
June 18, 2010

4. The National
First Avenue
Minneapolis, MN
August 6, 2010

5. Arcade Fire w/ Calexico
The MTS Centre
Winnipeg, MB
September 23, 2010

6. Vampire Weekend w/ The Blow
Edmonton Events Centre
Edmonton, AB
March 14, 2010

7. The Rural Alberta Advantage w/ The Wooden Sky, Great Bloomers
The West End Cultural Centre
Winnipeg, MB 
February 10, 2010

8. Bahamas
The Park Theatre
Winnipeg, MB 
November 30, 2010

9. Greg MacPherson w/ The Playing Cards
The West End Cultural Centre
Winnipeg, MB
Saturday, April 11th

10. NXNE – Friday Night Edition
Caught Live: Avi Buffalo, Timber Timbre, Wavves (above), Japandroids, Turbogeist
Various Venues
Toronto, ON
June 17, 2010


Now that I've shared, it's your turn. What were some of your favourite shows of 2010?


In Reflection...The Top Ten Records Of 2010, In My Opinion

>> Tuesday, 21 December 2010

1. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is ineffably great: rhythmically and melodically compelling, endlessly replayable, and features many, many jaw-dropping guest performances (see: Jay-Z on "So Appalled" and Nicki Minaj on "Monster"). 

Here, enormous talent matches a massive ego. And I kinda hate Kanye for that until I remember that, for Mr. West, ego and talent are not and can never be mutually exclusive. 

2. Beach House – Teen Dream

Hypnotic and alluring dream-pop at its best; worst album cover of the year (highlight to see it). 

3. Broken Bells – Broken Bells

With the exception of a few obvious tracks, I’ve never really felt that sonically gratifying connection with James Mercer’s work alongside the Shins. But sometimes, all it takes is the right musical partner. Here Mercer hooks up with white-hot producer Danger Mouse and firmly makes me a fan. After 50 or so listens, I’m still narcotically addicted to “Your Head is on Fire.”

4. Spoon – Transference

Possibly the most aurally challenging Spoon release today. Challenging, you know, in a good way. 

5. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

Purportedly the last LCD Soundsystem record. Which is criminal.

6. The National – High Violet

A moodier, darker, more brooding offering from these Brooklyn-via-Ohio quintet that doesn’t quite match the songwriting brilliance housed throughout Boxer. But it sure comes close.  

7. Besnard Lakes – Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night

I still contend this should’ve won the Polaris. 

8. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

I still contend this should’ve been runner-up for the Polaris. 

9. PS I Love You – Meet Me At Muster Station

Proof positive that an economical drums ‘n’ guitar setup can still pack a visceral wallop. Plus, there are lots of dazzling guitar fireworks (aka solos). And you don’t really hear those in indie-rock. 

10. Small Sins – Pot Calls Kettle Black

A top regret of 2010: missing these guys at the Albert last month. Thomas D’Arcy is one of Canada's most gifted songwriters.


In Reflection...The Top Ten Records Of 2010, As Voted Upon By Painting Over Silence Readers

>> Monday, 20 December 2010

First of all, much thanks to everyone who cobbled together lists and sent them in. As was the case with previous years', your picks were a veritable pleasure to read and sort through, and I discovered many new and exciting sounds that I somehow missed or overlooked (like The Black Keys).

Second, the ten records listed below were chosen by readers only and does not include my person picks. These should come tomorrow, baring an untimely bout of procrastination.

Third, the winning, and therefore most favoured, album received two first place votes, three second place, and a heckuva lot of 3-10 votes. As much as the second place finisher tried to keep pace, it could not overcome the torrents of love PoS readers showered on the first place finisher.

Four, for the first time since I began conducting this poll, there were no ties. It certainly helps that I received a record number of lists this year, so thanks again.

Fifth, while I won't be publishing individual lists, please feel free to share your picks in the comments.

Without further delay, I present the top ten album of voted by Painting Over Silence Readers (in descending order):

10. Tokyo Police Club – Champ

9. Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans – The Falcon Lake Incident

8. Caribou – Swim

7. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

6. Vampire Weekend – Contra
5. The Black Keys – Brothers

4. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

3. Spoon – Transference

2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

1. The National – High Violet 


In The Future...The Sadies @ The WECC; Dodos @ The WECC; Hey Rosetta! @ The Pyramid

>> Saturday, 18 December 2010

Three mightily tantalizing show announcements to pass along:

Polaris-short-list makers The Sadies (above) return to town for a gig at the West End Cultural Centre on February 11th. Ticket sale commence this Monday.

Charming indie-folk trio Dodos play the WECC on March 25th.

And, last, St.John’s finest exclamation-worthy act Hey Rosetta! have booked a February 27th date at the Pyramid.


In The Future...The Weakerthans To Perform All Albums This Saturday

>> Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Editor's note: I'm now told this is old news. Whoops. 

If you’re sitting on the fence about attending Saturday night’s Weakerthans show at the Burton Cummings Theatre, this should shove you onto to the “going” side: the resident troubadours are now playing all four albums in reverse order starting with Reunion Tour.

No word yet on what they’re doing for an encore...


In The Future...Connie Kaldor @ The WECC; Electric Six @ The Pyramid; And More!

>> Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Show announcements have certainly dried up this month, but a few have begun trickling in:

Juno-award winning singer Connie Kaldor returns to Winnipeg on January 26th for a live show at the West End Cultural Centre.

Vancouver’s Geoff Berner will be out and about this spring, touring in support of his fifth release, Victory Party (street date: March 8th, 2011). Catch the songsmith live at the WECC on April 30th w/ Jason Webley.

Guitar virtuoso Henry Kaiser drops by there on January 29th. Kaiser, if you’re unfamiliar, has worked with Herbie Hancock, Michael Stipe, Richard Thompson, Nels Cline, and many other luminaries.

French composer/musician Yann Tiersen (Amelie, Goodbye Lenin) has booked a cross Canada tour in support of this North American debut album, Dust Lane. This includes a performance at the WECC on February 27th.

Cyclist is part of the January 29th bill at the Pyramid also featuring Magnum K.I. and DJ Co-op.

Electric Six rock the joint on March 16th w/ Birthday Boys.

And finally, a reminder: only four days until your top ten records of 2K10 lists are due! I've just whittled my personal list down from 40 to 20. Home stretch!

Thanks to those who’ve already emailed their lists.


In Reflection...The Painting Over Silence Blog Readers' Poll - 2K10 Edition

>> Tuesday, 7 December 2010

It’s that time again, Dear Readers.

Time for yours truly to start compiling and listening to the intimidating number of 2010 releases I've amassed over the past 365 or so (over 100+ new albums), then whittling down the albums into a tidy, easy-on-the-eyes, and (hopefully) conversation-starting "Top Ten Records of 2K10 List". And then pen a few comments about why I simply lived for each pick.

Like last year, I invite you to take part in all the zany fun that comes with list-making. Here’s how it’ll work:

Email me, by December 18th @ noon CST, a list of your favourite records released between January 1, 2010 and now. I will compile all the results and, on December 21st, publish the "Top 10 Albums of the Year…as Voted by Painting Over Silence Blog Readers" end-all results.

And if the sheer bliss that comes with list-making isn’t enough incentive, I’ve got further encouragement: those who submit a top-ten list to me will be entered to win $20 worth of gift certificates to our much-loved indie-music shop Music Trader.

A few things:

1. I realize not everyone will have ten favourite records released in 2010. That’s okay. The minimum number is one and the maximum is, of course, ten. So, if Spoon’s Transference is the only album you really liked this year, you may still email it in to me.

2. Order matters…to an extent. The top album on your list gets three points; the second best two; 3-10 are awarded one point. If you only liked one album this year, it gets three points.

3. Feel free to write something about that album, but please aim for brevity - a sentence or two. For example, say you worshipped Beach House’s Teen Dream. Your comment could be a pithy “Hypnotic…like watching a lava lamp or Homer Simpson on a treadmill” or longer “I played this album in my car, at the gym, at home…pretty much everywhere. It’s THAT good”. Write-ups are optional. If you just want to submit a list, that’s coolio with me.

4. If you do write a comment about an album AND it makes the final top 10 cut, I’ll be posting all comments about that record. However, out of respect to privacy, I’ll just write your first name. If you don’t want that, then PLMK and I’ll write Anonymous (or Anon for short).

5. Please do not send attachments. Simply paste your list and the optional comments in the body of an email.

6. EPs may be included.

7. No re-released/re-mastered/re-packaged/re-imagined albums.

8. My email is on the right side, under “About Me”.

Happy list constructin’!

Oh, and for last year's results click here.


In The Flesh...Bahamas @ The Park Theatre

>> Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Park Theatre
Winnipeg, MB
November 30, 2010


Outside: snowy, windy, and cold.

Inside: inviting, intimate, and warm.

But just a little too warm for Afie Jurvanen. And he calls himself Bahamas.

“So, uhh, I’m wearing long johns right now,” confessed the songsmith, halfway through the main set. “I’m not sure it’s a good idea.”

The discomforting heat source? A combination of an SRO crowd at the Park Theatre and the many new jaunty and upbeat songs he debuted throughout Tuesday night’s terrific double-encore-inducing performance.

From first note to the final acoustic strum, Jurvanen and his one-person touring band (Jason Tait, the man behind the Weakerthans’ kit) entertained a rapt, enthusiastic crowd with his unaffected songs, rumbling baritone, and off-beat charm.

What’s truly appealing about Jurvanen is his quirky stage presence and idiosyncratic personality. Many times he half-danced while playing guitar, and these playful moves brought fun and spontaneity to the intimate show. Many times he sparked big laughs during his candid song preambles (one story he told bordered on uncomfortable; ever the perfectionist, Jurvanen instantly admitted plans to edit the tale in the future).

And it’s this level of open honesty – whether preamble or instant self-evaluation – that lent a magical charm to the whole evening. A thunderous set of handclaps encouraged him out for an encore (after he shed the long johns somewhere backstage).

Then ecstatic clapping brought him out again.

And we all know it’s the double encore that’s truly special.


In The Future...Loudon Wainwright III @ The WECC, Les Jupes @ Plug In Gallery...

>> Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Photo: Paula Court

So…Martha was here in the summer. And…her brother, Rufus, is, well, currently here.

Finally...their Dad, Loudon, becomes the third Wainwright to play Winnipeg in less than 365 – he’ll materialize at the West End Cultural Centre on January 28th.

Two members from horror-metal act Gwar will appear at CD Plus (1630 Ness) this Saturday from 3 to 4. Over/under on cascading cd racks is at a generous five.

Erstwhile PoS interviewee / rising local hip hop star Magnum K.I. performs at the Pyramid on January 23rd.

Speaking of rising Peg City bands, Les Jupes are releasing their new record, Modern Myths, on January 11th and are celebrating the album release at the tres chic Plug In Gallery on January 15th.

Moses Mayes get their funk on at the Pyramid on January 22nd.

Electro Quarterstaff, Rebel Yell, and L’Viv comprise a triple-bill at the Albert on December 23rd.


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