Monthly Archives: October 2016

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: October 11, 2016

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Hi friends,

Hope all the Canadians reading this had a good long weekend. I managed to squeeze in a couple friends-giving dinner parties and spent a good part of yesterday painting the interior of a beloved local DIY space. Forget those old-school colonial celebrations and give thanks for things that are meaningful in yr community – and give back if you can. :)

xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Every Wednesday in October from 12-2pm tune into If You Got Ears for a very special residency curated by local audio/visual artist Estraven Lupino-Smith. Using a variety of angles to explore the intersections between nature and technology, they’ll be crafting soundscapes from long form drones, field recordings, and everything in between. In Lupino-Smith’s own words:

This residency will focus on drone/doom/experimental work and feature samples from animals that I have recorded or that are part of the Macauley Library. Expect some guests and live performances, where we will be drawing from this public archive for inspiration. The sound work I present will engage with the ideas of nature and technology, the way our interactions with the so-called “natural world” are technologically mediated, and that there are many amazing, wonderful and awe inspiring sounds made in nature.

Stream it live via ckut.ca every Wednesday afternoon, and download full episodes from our audio archives.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – october 11, 2016

1. v/a – no. 2 – oh hi CC *
2. un blonde – good will come to you – egg paper factory CC *
3. best fern – s/t – self-released CC *
4. ylangylang – life without structure – self-released CC *
5. bon iver – 22, a million – jagjaguwar Continue reading

porches

Concert Review: Porches, Japanese Breakfast, and Rivergazer @ Bar le Ritz PDB

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This summer, I became acquainted with the music of Porches in a big way. Their most recent album, Pool, came into my life at a time when I really needed some new stuff to listen to, and ever since,  I’ve had Porches’ music on pretty much constant repeat. On Monday, October 3rd, I got the chance to see them play alongside Rivergazer and Japanese Breakfast at Bar Le Ritz PDB, a show that sold out early on in the night and did not disappoint.

Rivergazer kicked the show off at 9:30 – though usually a trio, they performed as a duo with synth and bass fronted by Kevin Farrant, the guitarist from Porches. Rivergazer’s music is mostly synth-heavy love ballads accented with extreme auto-tuned vocals, with the members trading off as lead vocalist accompanied by tight backing harmonies from the other. As someone in the crowd described, they sound “kind of like a sad Porches”, in terms of the kind of heavy emotional stuff found in their lyrics, especially in songs like “Only 4 U”. They were a great opener in terms of setting the mood as a fun-but-not-over-the-top night.

The next group, Japanese Breakfast, is a four-piece rock group from Philadelphia fronted by high-energy vocalist/guitarist, Michelle Zauner. Their vibe was a lot different than the two other bands, playing more straight-up fun rock with an non-self-conscious attitude towards enjoying themselves on stage. I found their music to be a little one-dimensional, and the mixing of the band made it so everything blended together into a muddled wall of sound. Zauner, though, was a powerful presence, driving the show forward despite poor sound quality.

Finally, Porches took the stage around 11:15, and played a tighter set than I’ve seen in a long time. Admittedly, the songs weren’t new to the band – their latest release, Pool (not including the EP, Water), came out in February, so they’ve had plenty of time to get the material down to a science. However, the performance still felt fresh, and the whole crowd seemed to get swept up in the clean grooves they were laying down. Aaron Maine, the band’s frontman, interacted with the audience a little between numbers, mostly to deadpan sarcastically or comment on how much he liked the venue. He seemed to really like Bar Le Ritz. A lot.

Towards the end of the set, the band had to drastically lower their volume due to police complaints, but the turn of events played almost to Porches’ favour. The set ended with two solo numbers by Maine, one being the classic “Xanny Bar”, a melancholy tune he often ends shows with. The other was a new song, which he introduced by saying he’d never played it live before and he was pretty nervous about it. By the end of the tune, the whole audience was singing along.

Loitering outside the venue after the show, the general sentiment was the same: Wow. Porches put on a show that was, on the one hand, entertaining and quirky, with quips from Maine in between songs and coordinated dance moves within the band. On the other hand, some moments were incredibly emotive, particularly in those quiet moments with just Aaron Maine on stage and a whole crowd of fans eating it all up. Overall, an amazing show from a band that came into my life far, far too recently.

– Review by Nora Duffy

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Album Review: 22, A Million – Bon Iver

JV1In Bon Iver’s latest release, 22, A Million, Justin Vernon is inviting you inside his head. However, the difference of five years has changed many a thing for Vernon, including the way he approaches music. The inward, contemplative soul-searching of For Emma, Forever Ago and Bon Iver has been shed for an extrospective, existential outlook; Vernon is examining human existence through the lens of personal experiences. He has described the album title as such: the 22 stands for him, as “the number’s recurrence in his life has become a meaningful pattern through encounter and recognition.” The “a million” represents the rest of humanity, and “everything outside ones’ self that makes you who you are.” He speaks of searching for self-understanding through love and life, and the sentiment is truly reflected through his music.

22, A Million is by far the most produced, and yet starkly bare, album put out by Bon Iver. Vernon’s interest with vocal and instrumental manipulation has been fully realized here with his extensive use of the Messina (a software-hardware amalgamation birthed by Vernon and his engineer, Chris Messina) and the OP-1. Vernon also takes the chance to heavily feature the saxophone, aided by the saxophone collective Sad Sax of Shit. Vernon’s voice is, at times, barely recognizable; he has left the corporeal body presented in For Emma and fully immersed himself in the music, rising up from under the surface occasionally to voice his inner thoughts. Thus, the listener is compelled to actively listen to the lyrics, flawlessly executed but at times submerged under the intense instrumental manipulations.

The tracks are hypnotizing, almost psychedelically so at times; for many, it is easy to get lost in the swirling, half-formed melodies and jagged interludes. The lyrics fluctuate from half-lucid utterances and cryptic messages (“22 (OVER S∞∞N)”) to bold statements and ragged pleas, almost shouted by Vernon in later tracks. More interesting is Vernon’s curious fascination with symbols and numbers that peppers the track titles. An active listener would be in want of a guidebook to follow the mysterious content Vernon has included in 22, A Million, or would need to reconcile the fact that we may never fully understand the methods behind the madness. 

22, A Million opens with “22 (OVER S∞∞N),” introduced by a ghostly monotone note and Vernon’s auto-tuned “It might be over soon,” played back on a distorted loop. Lush, layered melodies fade in and out of the track, giving it a decisive ebb and flow. Vernon has sampled Mahalia Jackson’s live version of “How I Got Over” at various points along with the saxophone. (If you’re feeling a slight “Ultralight Beam” vibe here, you’re not alone.) “33 ‘GOD'” features a plaintive, simple piano melody throughout, though by the end of the track it is almost indiscernible. Vernon is fond of the echo on this track; his own vocals are followed by a distorted chorus, and high-sung melodies swirl around a heavy, dark beat, providing an effective counter-balance. 

“29 #Strafford APTS” is a solitary return to an acoustic guitar; evidently Vernon cannot fully deny his roots. The track is resonant and familiar, with cryptically poetic lyrics hiding a message of lost love in plain sight. The instrumental manipulation has been stripped away, providing only a faint echo of reverb for punctuation. Vernon’s signature falsetto is haunting here, used sparingly for emphasis on repeated words such as “paramind” and “canonize.” “8 (circle)” begins with a dissonant, whimpering saxophone that fades into a lush synth with an gentle underlaid beat. Vernon’s voice is unadorned by any falsetto or manipulation here, and his lyrics resonate honestly. The saxophone fades in again, confident and slow this time as the instrumentals start to build upon one another and crescendo; Vernon’s voice takes on a new urgency. The track is positively hymnal in nature, and the use of rounds in the last verse only underscores this aspect.

22, A Million is, at first glance, an album for the ear and the brain, not an album for the heart. Yet with every take, the lyrics resonate and permeate; the album itself is forming as you listen. A word to the wise: before dismissing this album on the assumption that Vernon has forgotten his old ways, let yourself fall in and explore the lush musical landscape he has so painstakingly created for himself. Vernon may have released the preconceived notion of traditional “song-writing,” but by no means has he abandoned his need to communicate through song.

Album released: September 30, 2016

review by Juliana Van Amsterdam 

estraven ocean

Estraven Lupino-Smith Hosts CKUT’s If You Got Ears

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Every Wednesday in October from 12-2pm tune into If You Got Ears for a very special residency curated by local audio/visual artist Estraven Lupino-Smith. Using a variety of angles to explore the intersections between nature and technology, they’ll be crafting soundscapes from long form drones, field recordings, and everything in between. In Lupino-Smith’s own words:

This residency will focus on drone/doom/experimental work and feature samples from animals that I have recorded or that are part of the Macauley Library. Expect some guests and live performances, where we will be drawing from this public archive for inspiration. The sound work I present will engage with the ideas of nature and technology, the way our interactions with the so-called “natural world” are technologically mediated, and that there are many amazing, wonderful and awe inspiring sounds made in nature.

Stream it live via ckut.ca every Wednesday afternoon, and download full episodes from our audio archives.

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: October 4, 2016

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Hello radio,
Not too much to report this week – been taking a little breather after POP Montreal and gearing up for our upcoming existence referendum and our annual funding drive. I did manage to catch Gambletron (above), Drainolith, and a bunch of other CKUT hosts tear it up at anRBMA Drone Activity show over the weekend – so much bass, so many strobe lights. My senses are still recovering.
xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Oh Hi is a group of friends. We make art in Montreal. For the month of October, tune in to for a jubilant heist of The Montreal Sessions (every Tuesday 3-5pm) and indulge in an audacious smorgasbord of interviews, in-studio sessions and mythic M-U-S-I-C. Delectables include chit-chats with The Highest Order, L CON, Smokes, Justin Wright, Tamara Sandor, Year of Glad and an abundance of ‘special guests’. Stream it live every Tuesday on ckut.ca or download the audio archives here.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – october 4, 2016

1. the submissives – do you really love me? – fixture records CC *
2. tanya tagaq – retribution – six shooter CC
3. strange froots – blossom this froot for thought – self-released/CJLO CC *
4. v/a – no. 2 – oh hi CC *
5. un blonde – good will come to you – egg paper factory CC * Continue reading