Tag Archives: The Apples In Stereo

Send someone to fetch us, we’re in saskatchewan

On Friday after work, Joseph, Helen, Emily and I all piled into Caroline (my car), and headed east along to 401. From Toronto to Ottawa. Since Ottawa is approximately five hours away (though that’s not counting rush hour traffic), I divided that in four, and we each had 75 minutes to fill with music. Each way… here’s my play list for going east.

  1. Movin’ Right Along – The Muppets
    Had to start with this as soon as I saw it. Nothing says “road trip” better than this song.
  2. Maybellene – Chuck Berry
    Catchy, popular, and a song about driving a car. Thought this to be appropriate.
  3. Doris Daytheearthstoodstill – Future Bible Heroes
    Helen told me that most of her CDs are showtunes and Doris Day, so immediately my mind went to Doris Daytheearthstoodstill.
  4. You Turn Clear in the Sun – Telekinesis
    Overly catchy.
  5. The Ballad Of Poor John Henry – Cuff The Duke
    We need some country.
  6. Mystery Dance – Elvis Costello
    As Allegra would say, “Play the hits!” I mostly wanted catchy pop songs, and this is a great choice for that.
  7. Fast As You Can – Fiona Apple
    This is again, catchy, and was a huge hit when we were all teenagers. Perfect for this group, I hope.
  8. Cybele’s Reverie – Stereolab
    C’est en français, and we’re going to Ottawa, that seems appropriate.
  9. Carolina In My Mind – James Taylor
    Something a bit more mellow, and Taylor’s early material was quite Beatley, and who doesn’t love Beatley?
  10. My Girl June – The Ride Theory
    Speaking of Beatley, this song is SUPER-Beatley, and fuckin’ awesome.
  11. Back In The USSR – The Beatles
    And how about the Beatles? Again, playing the hits.
  12. Someone Who’s Cool – Odds
    And what bigger hit is there than “Someone Who’s Cool?”
  13. Jumpers – Sleater-Kinney
    Perfect example of pop-perfection
  14. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
    Again, hits… and this song is absolutely undeniably brilliant. I imagine everyone will dig it.
  15. Never Had To Fight – Local Rabbits
    Why not play the blog’s namesake? I’m sure Emily likes the Local Rabbits. I know she owns one of their 7″ records.
  16. Doubt – The Corin Tucker Band
    Probably the best song on her solo record, and it’s good enough to be a Sleater-Kinney track
  17. Cry Together – Hortense Ellis
    Bring us a bit down, but beautiful.
  18. Lord Only Knows – Beck
    Get back to the country, and back to 90s. I absolutely love the transition from Cry Together to this. Also, “Going back to Houston, do the hot dog dance, going back to Houston to get me some pants.”
  19. Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers
    Keeping it slow.
  20. Snowsuit Sound – Sloan
    Again, more hits. Though not a single, still a fan almost everyone of my generation is quite familiar with. We’re not getting much faster, but getting heavier after Cathy’s Clown. I know at least Emily will know the song.
  21. Where The Change Is – The Flashing Lights
    Speaking of Emily, when I first met her, we spent some time discussing our love for The Flashing Lights.  Now here’s a song with a quick beat.
  22. Radio Sweetheart – Elvis Costello
    I absolutely love the pedal steel on this song.
  23. Sunndal Song -The Apples In Stereo
    I have a strange love for Hilarie’s Apples in Stereo songs. She’s pretty good at writing good pop songs, and the band has lost something since she left the band.
  24. Tina’s Glorious Comeback – Dan Mangan
    I thought about going for one of Mangan’s more lively songs, but there’s just something about this tune that is unmatched by anything else he’s done.
  25. I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Amy Millan
    I think everyone by now knows the Death Cab For Cutie original. I never heard it until after I had heard Amy Millan’s cover, and absolutely love this version. While I don’t like Millan’s other outings, I absolutely adore her solo records. I thought this was a good way to end the mix.

Stats:
7/25 songs feature lady vocalists, slightly poor showing.
Only one song features non-human vocalists (a frog and a bear).
8/25 songs are CanCon, again poor showing.
11/25 are from ’90s bands, or their future solo efforts… can you tell when I was a teenager?

Music Roundup

Hawk by Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan

This album can only be described as pure beauty. The insanely high and twee voice of Campbell’s matched with the gruff, deep, strained voice of Lanegan are perfectly matched. The album starts off with “We Die And See Beauty Reign,” a soft sober song, which brings the listener into this vocal pairing. Immediately after, it gets heavier with one of the highlights, “You Won’t Let Me Down Again.”

Campbell, who wrote all but two of the songs1, isn’t afraid to play around in genre. The soul song “Come Undone” could easily fit on a Sharon Jones record, and doesn’t sound out of place on this record at all. Then there’s the rockabilly “Get Behind Me,” and the folk “Cool Water” in which Campbell ditches Lanegan temporarily in favour of Willy Mason. Then there’s “To Hell & Back Again” which wouldn’t be out of place on a Gentle Waves2 record.

Fantastic record.

Travellers in Space and Time by The Apples in stereo

The Apples In Stereo have been around for a long time as the definitive pop band of the ’90s. Their sugary melodies have made a name of Robert Schneider’s songwriting. Travellers in Space and Time is their first record without Schneider’s ex-wife Hilarie Sidney, who would traditionally provide one or two songs per album. While her songs were never what defined the band’s sound, they were always a highlight, and it feels as if that’s missing from the record.

The album lifts heavily from the early disco sounds which Toronto’s new mayor is a big fan of. Unfortunately it’s not a song that can easily support a full album, let alone an hour long, sixteen track record.

There are definitely highlights, among them are “Hey Elevator” and “C.P.U.” but the record is too much of a rehashing of other things they’ve done. The aforementioned “C.P.U.” could have easily fit it with Her Wallpaper Reverie.

Give’r a pass.

The Shilohs by The Shilohs

I was in Vancouver, and my ex-sister-in-law, who was nice enough to show me around the city, took me to Zulu Records. I asked the employees there to recommend a few CDs. They gave me a few options, and this one stuck with me. Turns out he, along with his fellow employees were in the band. The EP is a a throwback to post-Gram Parsons 1970s country-rock, they do very well at emulating what those who once emulated Parsons himself, such as The Rolling Stones.

The EP’s a nice snack of six songs, easily taken in, and will be interesting to see where this band goes from here. If they come to Toronto, I’d certainly head out to see them.

  1. The others being Townes van Zandt covers. []
  2. The name Campbell released two albums under while still in Belle & Sebastian. []

Music Monday

Mix albums!

I recently reconnected with an old friend, from back in my high school days. We never went to school together, after all, she was, and still is far off in a foreign country. So I made Beth this mix, but I didn’t know what I might have sent her all those years ago, so I decided to limit myself to nothing older than 2000. I also didn’t know what she had been listening to since then, so I decided to limit the selection to Canadian music.

  1. The Indie Queens Are Waiting” by Dan Mangan
    • This is my favourite Dan Mangan song, and I’ve been on a bit of a kick of listening to him endlessly.
  2. Hibernation Song” by Whale Tooth
    • This is not just my favourite Whale Tooth song, but everyone’s favourite Whale Tooth song. They’re a lot of fun, but this song specifically is addictively catchy.
  3. Oh, Alberta” by Elliott Brood
    • If you’re going to make a mix of mostly Canadian music, how can you ignore the most Canadian song ever written. “Ontario, that’s where I’m from.”
  4. Fourteen Hour Day” by $100
    • This is such a tragic tale of loss and heartache.
  5. The Ballad of Poor John Henry” by Cuff The Duke
    • Number two in the Cuff The Duke’s “Ballad of…” series, and definitely my favourite.
  6. Nowhere With You” by The Joel Plaskett Emergency
    • This song is just addictive and fun. I often forget about the Make A Little Noise EP, so I figured this was a good way to give it some love.
  7. “Morning Dove” by Greg Keelor
    • My favourite song from Keelor’s depressing, but beautiful Seven Songs for Jim album.
  8. The Nun’s Litany” by The Magnetic Fields
    • How can you not love a song with the lyric “I want to be a dominatrix, which isn’t like me, but I can dream. Learn S&M and all those gay tricks, and men would pay me to make them scream.” FYI, on the album Shirley sings the song, but in the video Stephin sings it. He did after all write it.
  9. The Gambler and His Bride” by Daniel, Fred & Julie
    • I never noticed how long this song was until Beth, the recipient of this playlist pointed out how bloody long it actually is. It’s a great song, DF&J played it both times I saw them live recently.
  10. Many Lives -> 49mp” by Final Fantasy
    • The violin is so pretty.
  11. Jumpers” by Sleater-Kinney
    • Not many better songs about killing yourself. “My falling shape will draw a line between the blue of sea and sky; I’m not a bird, I’m not a plane.”
  12. Sunndal Song” by The Apples In Stereo
    • Easy to forget that Hilarie Sidney was in The Apples In Stereo, but I think she added a much needed secondary voice to Robert Schneider’s.
  13. Step Off The Map and Float” by Library Voices
    • We’re all just pinpricks on a paper continent.
  14. Two Girls From Montreal” by The Bicycles
    • The first Bicycles song I got stuck in my head. After seeing them live for the first time (years before their first album was released), I left the venue singing this song.

So, yes, there are one item in there by an international artist, The Magnetic Fields, but not enough people know Stephin Merritt, and that’s just a sin.

A few nights ago, I saw my friend Emily, and somehow my enjoyment from making mix tapes/discs/playlists1 came up, and she asked me to make one for her, so this is what I came up with.

  1. Tina’s Glorious Comeback” by Dan Mangan
    • Dan Mangan started the previous one off so well, why not carry on. This one is another that I’ll happen to listen to days ago, and still be singing it. My coworkers must think I’m insane.
  2. “I’ll Have To Dance With Cassie” by God Help The Girl
    • My favourite God Help The Girl song, and I think Emily would understand the thoughts behind this one.
  3. Cop Song” by Entire Cities
    • One day I was walking down the street listening to this song, and a cop was slowing following me in their car.
  4. Snowsuit Sound” by Sloan
    • Though I’ve given up my love of Sloan, I still understand that they used to be awesome, and this is one of the songs which can perfectly capture it.
  5. Yelverton Hill” by The Inbreds
    • “A ring is an awful thing…”
  6. Great Lakes” by Valery Gore
    • The last mix had Valery’s doppelgänger, so this one should include the original.
  7. “Seduced And Abandoned” by The Magnetic Fields
    • This is the tale of an abandoned woman, left without her lover, but with a baby. It’s not the first time that Merritt has told this story, but I think it’s the best rendition of the tale. See: “The Night You Can’t Remember
  8. Highschool” by The Flashing Lights
    • This power pop anthem is as good as it gets.
  9. Girlfriend” by Eric’s Trip
    • Grunge!
  10. “Don’t Wannabe / Like By You” by Julie Doiron
    • Hehe, I put Julie Doiron right after Eric’s Trip! This is the song women sing when I get a crush on them.
  11. Glitter” by The Superfantastics
    • This two piece is just sugary fun.
  12. Your Island” by Young Rival
    • I like Young Rival, I think Emily would dig these Hamiltononians.
  13. “Scott Pilgrim” by Plumtree
    • With the new Scott Pilgrim film coming out soon, this song is a perfect piece.
  14. “We Are Being Reduced” by Thrush Hermit
    • My lord, this song is stunning.
  1. Any music nerd has this love. []