Artists inspiring other artists: Belle and Sebastian

"Ooh baby, this grass makes me feel so... inspirational. Why don't we go back to my place and work on generating some creative input?"

There are certain people that bring out your most creative side.

The side that busts out the kindergarten craft supplies or decides to whip up a quick rosée sauce, or decides to paint the living room couch with abstract flower patterns (fact: my grandmother did this a lot).

These people are crucial for bringing out the things we don’t usually get to express in our day-to-day lives.

Many people have jobs that are rather stifling in terms of imaginative output, so it’s important to find someone who brings out the weirdest, wackiest side of your personality just to balance things out.

And hey, musicians need inspiration too. Today’s spotlight is directed at Glasgwegian chamber pop seven-piece Belle and Sebastian, who took inspiration in the classic guitar licks of Thin Lizzy and wound up inspiring Mates of State and The Avalanches.

Sleep The Clock AroundBelle and Sebastian

The originalBelle and Sebastian from The Boy With The Arab Strap, 1998

The coverMates of State from Crushes (The Covers Mixtape), 2010

The cover and the original don’t sound too different, though the Mates of State’s version is certainly livelier. There’s a stronger female harmonization, undoubtedly attributable to the powerful voice of Kori Gardner, which completely upstages the shadowy, breathy vocals of Belle and Sebastian’s Sarah Martin.

Onto the next! Up next we have another Belle and Sebastian original followed by a remix executed by the most unlikely of remixers: The Avalanches!

I’m A Cuckoo by Belle and Sebastian

The original – Belle and Sebastian from Dear Catastrophe Waitress, 2004

Fun fact: the guitar samples used in this track were taken from The Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy, and you can hear Belle and Sebastian mention them in I’m A Cuckoo’s lyrics.

The Boys Are Back In TownThin Lizzy from Jailbreak, 1976

Onto the remix.

More of a myth than a reality, The Avalanches have long whispered rumours of putting out a second album. However, just like the parent that promises ice cream if we can just be good, The Avalanches have probably deemed us all to be not good enough for another scoop of their trademark smooth, creamy, sample-rich tunes.

Ted Greenwald of Wired put out a brilliantly informative article on the production that went into this remix, and I strongly suggest that you check it out.

The remix – I’m A CuckooBelle and Sebastian (The Avalanches Remix), 2007

African pan flute and ten thousand variations of bongo? Check. Chorus of smiling tribal villagers? Check. Sunset on the horizon silhouetting a gazelle leaping past a baobob tree? Check.

So, my message to you? Find the person that inspires you and stick to them like glue.

Travel Time – The July Playlist

It isn’t July just yet, but I wanted to get a head start since I will be out of the country come Canada Day (how ironic).  I am going on an exciting adventure to Italy and Greece for the whole month and may not get a chance to post as much.  So, I figured a nostalgic/loosely themed playlist could be a second-rate consolation prize.

I tried to fit all my recent favourites on this playlist  (Foster the People, Wild Nothing etc.) as well as some consistent favourites.  So on that note, here is my parting gift for the month if I don’t get an opportunity to post what I’m listening to.

 Track Listing
01 Send Me On My Way - Rusted Roots
 02 Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win - Beastie Boys ft. Santogold
 03 Home - LCD Soundsystems
 04 Call It What You Want - Foster the People
 05 Gamme Ray - Beck
 06 Churches Under The Stairs - BSS presents...Brendan Canning
 07 Summer Holiday - Wild Nothing
 08 Abducted - Cults
 09 Set 'em Free pt.1 - Akron/Family
 10 Speaking In Tongues - Arcade Fire ft. David Byrne
 11 Like I Needed - Rogue Wave
 12 Minnesota, WI - Bon Iver
 13 When I Come Home - The Drums
 14 Wrapped Up In Books - Belle & Sebastian


Toronto Concert Update! Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov 2010

Image by Francis Chung



    MGMT @ Kool Haus
    Aug 5, 2010
    Sold Out! (Scalp?)

    Arcade Fire @ Olympic Island
    Aug 14, 2010


    Chromeo @ Phoenix
    Aug 3, 2010

    Blitzen Trapper @ Opera House
    Aug 3, 2010


    Diamond Rings @ Lower Ossington Theatre
    Aug 1, 2010

    Javelin @ Wrong Bar
    Aug 11, 2010

    Forest City Lovers and Gentleman Reg @ The Great Hall
    Aug 12, 2010



    Vampire Weekend @ Molson Ampitheatre
    Sept 7, 2010

    The xx @ Massey Hall
    Sept 22, 2010


    Ratatat @ Sound Academy
    Sept 8, 2010

    Dirty Projectors @ Opera House
    Sep 15, 2010

    School of Seven Bells @ Mod Club
    Sept 15, 2010

    Rogue Wave @ Opera House
    Sept 24, 2010

    Foals @ Lee’s
    Sept 27, 2010


    Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ El Mocambo
    Sept 4, 2010



    Belle & Sebastian @ Massey Hall
    Oct 12, 2010


    Deerhoof @ Lee’s
    Oct 3, 2010

    Temper Trap @ Phoenix
    Oct 5, 2010

    Miike Snow @ Kool Haus
    Oct 10, 2010

    Dr. Dog @ Phoenix
    Oct 16, 2010



    Tunng @ Rivoli
    Nov 16, 2010