Tag Archives: Stereolab

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.

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?

Criminal Records

Dear Criminal Records,
When you first opened, there wasn’t any gap in the Toronto record store scene. We had Rotate This, Soundscapes, Sonic Boom, we might have even had Sam’s still. Toronto’s music nerds were happy. Then you opened, I remember seeing your sign on Queen Street and being excited for this new record store, even though I had no use for ANOTHER one. Then one day, I went in, I was greeted with incredible prices, fantastic selection, wonderful staff/owners, and a lot of vinyl. Though we didn’t need another record store, we learned we needed a great record store, and you showed Toronto how amazing one can be.

It’s been years now, and today you close your doors for good. As I entered the store I immediately saw friends, all gathering around with their purchases saying goodbye to a Toronto institution. It was bittersweet flipping through the racks, seeing many albums that I wanted, it reminded me of the first time Sam The Record Man closed.

Some good did come out of today’s sad affair, I did walk away with a handful of records. I’m now going to listen to them and weep.



For those interested, records acquired are:

  • Paul McCartney – “We All Stand Together” 7″
  • Fran Healy – “Wreckorder”
  • Little Scream – “The Golden Record”
  • Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
  • Mount Eerie – “Black Wooden”
  • Papercuts – “Fading Parade”
  • R.E.M. – “Chronic Town”
  • Stereolab – “Not Music”

Stephin Merritt is amazing

Stephin Merritt at one point wrote for Time Out New York. They recently posted all his works online.

Aluminum Tunes is not a new Stereolab album but two CDs of B-sides and outtakes and such. Three or four years ago, Stereolab was an indie-rock group with intentionally unintelligible singing, obscure words drawn from Marxist tracts, really long songs consisting of one chord, Velvet Underground shtick, lackluster playing skills and plenty of charm. Nowadays, it still has the charm part, but indie rock is dead—Stereolab helped kill it. Now its music is much better.

Stephin reviews Stereolab.

That has to be the greatest summary of Stereolab I’ve ever read.1 Merritt also sums up McCartney’s classic Flaming Pie with “All around, this album is better than most.” Straight forward, to the point, and brutally honest. Or when reviewing McCartney’s former bandmate, Ringo Starr, Merritt says “his version of Lennon-McCartney’s “Love Me Do” only points up the insipid lyrics.”

Among my favourite is his biting review of a ’90s Joni Mitchell album, in which he says “she’s still doing that jazz thing and wondering why she doesn’t get enough respect while working in a combination of two contradictory dead languages: Singer-Songwriter and Jazz.”

Check it out. Laughs are to be had.

  1. I love Stereolab. []

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Music Monday