3 Female Buzzbands I Don’t “Get”

Sometimes the greater music blogosphere and I have a difference of opinion.

As a writer of a music blog, I’ve often felt like there’s an unwritten expectation to pander to the tastes of the Pitchforks, the Stereogums, or Gorilla vs Bears of the world, instead of writing about what makes me feel good.

I want to be able to say “this is bad” without being concerned that the musician is going to sic their Twitter army on me.

I guess what I’m asking is this:

Why aren’t there more music CRITICS out there?

It’s like the entire music industry is asking bloggers to give them one big hand job.

And so, here are some female Buzzbands I Don’t “Get”.

Lana Del Rey Desperate Housewives meets desperate songwriting

"This is me smiling."

The Twitter-verse has already ripped into this poor puffy-lipped crooner for her weak performance on SNL last night, so I’ll go easy on her about that. Nobody sounds good on live television.

I also don’t have a problem with the fact that she created an alter-ego to sell her music. Tons of musicians have done it. The problem I have is with her inability to create anything that excites or moves me. That, and the fact that she likes to perpetuate the mystique of growing up in a trailer park – when in reality, her dad is a domain-name millionaire. I’ve seen the photos from when she was still Lizzie Grant, and they’re just as yawn-inducing, except with fewer insipid flower bouquets.

Sometimes her voice sounds pleasant, dipping down to caramel-toned low notes (Video Games) before swooping up to Kate Bush-heights (Blue Jeans). Other times, I wonder if I’m listening to songs that were written by someone heavily dosed with Ambien. When I hear a Lana Del Rey song, I don’t get the same “woah, bro, check it out, super chill, deep ‘n’ inspiring, stoned hottie, Florence and the Machine” vibe that everyone else does. I get bored out of my freaking mind.

The only reason that I keep an eye on her is because I’m convinced that one of her lip injections is going to explode one day. That, and her nails terrify the fuck out of me. At any moment, I have to be prepared for her to reach through my computer screen and scratch my eyes out.

Grimes – Canada’s Favourite Kelpie

"Okay, Grimes, you can do it. The power button on your synth is marked ON. All you have to do is press play."

I first heard about this Grimes character when she opened for Lykke Li’s 2011 North American Tour. I thought it was pretty cool that this young Montreal unknown was opening for a substantial Swedish export. And then I watched a performance.

Make no mistake, Grimes does fit the bill for those interested in post-internet “DIY bedroom recordings”. But her live performances are simply underwhelming. Ladies, (Lana Del Rey, take note) you cannot simply rely on your looks to get you through a song.

I actually don’t have that much to say about Grimes, because listening to her music bores me. I appreciate that she’s trying hard to be artsy with her choppy black bangs and music videos that don’t make any sense. I understand that she doesn’t know how to play any real instruments, so she plays up her looks. And yeah, I get that she was probably subjected to too many Donna Summers recordings while in utero. But I certainly don’t have to buy into the hype. I don’t think my ears could stomach it.

Tickets for Grimes’s next show at Horseshoe Tavern are only eight dollars, so in this case, you’re getting exactly what you pay for.

Dum Dum Girls – The Poor Man’s Best Coast

"We're so alt, we're the alternative to alternative."

There’s a fine line between appreciating music of the past.. and repackaging it, revamping its sex appeal, and rendering it sterile. Dum Dum Girls is the perfect example of an all-girl summer fun band that should have stayed in the dark of their garage, smoking cigarettes and complaining about men.

Maybe the charm of their music comes from the subtlety in their songwriting, as in “don’t all of these songs sound the same?”

Maybe some genius record exec thought: “Hey, hot chicks in skirts playing fuzzy, distorted rhythm guitars… we’re gonna turn the music industry on its head!”

The next time I need a garage band fix, I’ll listen to Shannon and the Clams or Smith Westerns instead.

———–

Alright folks, I’m going to crawl back under my troll bridge and wait for the next passerby.

Mean, lean Colleen Green

Colleen Green’s Rabid Love is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard all year. It’s a sweet’N’sassy mix of grungy guitar riffs, angelically breathy female vocals, and the canned beats of a drum machine. (Who knew a drum machine could sound so catchy? Well, Diamond Rings…)

Her music is the perfect blend of homemade aesthetic, throwback sound, and a penchance for excellent songwriting hooks. I’ve loved every Colleen Green I’ve laid my ears on and I’d strongly recommend her music to fans of Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls, Sleigh Bells, Vivian Girls and Plumtree.

Check out her Bandcamp where you can grab her 2010 album. After that, take a peek at her adorable blog, where she writes tour updates, tells stories, and curses like a sailorette.

Right now, she’s touring the States, but she’ll be heading up to our neck of the woods to play a concert Lee’s Palace in October:

Colleen Green w/ Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles @ Lee’s, 19+
Sun Oct 16, 2011 – $17.50

For more Toronto Concert Updates, view our listings.

Her music video for Y Do You Call Me from Green One (Hardly Art) uses footage from Archive.org that shows long-haired college kids lounging on white fur rugs, flicking cigarettes and sloshing around drinks. Makes me want to slap on a pair of bellbottoms and join them.

Toronto Concert Update: September, October, November

I’ve been anticipating a bumper crop of concerts in Toronto this fall, and what a harvest it’s going to be! Tune-yards, Lykke Li, Peter Bjorn and John, Ra Ra Riot… my wallet’s going to be as empty and cold as my ex-boyfriend’s parents. And so, Music Between Friends presents our fall edition of the Toronto Concert Update.

SEPTEMBER

Peter Bjorn & John @ Lee’s, 19+
Fri Sept 2, 2011 and Sat Sept 3, 2011 – $20.00

Harlan Pepper @ Rivoli, 19+
Thurs Sept 8, 2011 – $10.00

Said The Whale @ Mod Club, All Ages
Thurs Sept 8, 2011 – $16.00

Empire of the Sun @ Echo Beach, All Ages
Tues Sept 13, 2011 – $41.00

Kid CuDi @ Molson Amphitheatre, All Ages
Thurs Sept 15, 2011 – $29.50-55.00

Olivia Tremor Control @ Lee’s, 19+
Fri Sept 16, 2011 – $18.50

Vivian Girls @ The Shop, 19+
Fri Sept 16, 2011 – $15.00

Mother Mother @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Sat Sept 17, 2011 – $26.50

Two Door Cinema Club @ Kool Haus, All Ages
Sat Sept 17, 2011 – $21.00

Toro Y Moi @ Opera House, 19+
Sun Sept 18, 2011 – $20.00

Starfucker @ Lee’s, 19+
Tues Sept 20, 2011 – $13.50

The Shins @ Phoenix, 19+
Thurs Sept 22, 2011 – $31.00

Tahiti 80 @ Horseshoe, 19+
Thurs Sept 22, 2011 – $13.50

Kid Sister @ Wrongbar, 19+
Sat Sept 24, 2011 – $15.00

Tune-Yards @ Lee’s, 19+
Mon Sept 26, 2011 – $16.50

Girls @ Mod Club, 19+
Tues Sept 27, 2011 – $16.50

Mates of State @ Phoenix, 19+
Wed Sept 28, 2011 – $16.00

Ohbijou @ Trinity St. Paul’s, All Ages
Fri Sept 30, 2011 – $20.00

OCTOBER

Foster The People @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Sat Oct 1, 2011 – SOLD OUT

Naked and Famous @ Phoenix, 19+
Thurs Oct 6, 2011 – $21.00

Ra Ra Riot @ Lee’s, 19+
Thurs Oct 6, 2011 – $17.50

Portishead @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Mon Oct 10, 2011 – $59.50

Drums @ Mod Club, 19+
Tues Oct 11, 2011 – $16.00

Braids @ Horseshoe, 19+
Fri Oct 14, 2011 – $12.00

Yukon Blonde @ Lee’s, 19+
Fri Oct 14, 2011 – $11.50

Iron & Wine @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Sat Oct 15, 2011 – $28.50

Dum Dum Girls w/ Crocodiles and Colleen Green @ Lee’s, 19+
Sun Oct 16, 2011 – $17.50

Neon Indian @ Lee’s, 19+
Tues Oct 18, 2011 – $15.00

GIVERS w/ Lord Huron @ Wrongbar, 19+
Wed Oct 26, 2011 – $13.00

Friendly Fires @ Phoenix, 19+
Sun Oct 23, 2011 – $21.00

Metronomy @ Mod Club, 19+
Wed Oct 26, 2011 – $16.00

Death From Above 1979 @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Thurs Oct 27, 2011 and Fri October 28, 2011 – $36.00

Chad Vangaalen @ Mod Club, 19+
Fri Oct 28, 2011 – $20.00

Blitzen Trapper w/ Dawes @ Opera House, 19+
Thurs Oct 30, 2011 – $18.50

NOVEMBER

Holy Ghost @ Hoxton, 19+
Tues Nov 1, 2011 – $17.00

Chromeo @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Wed Nov 2, 2011 – $31.50

Lykke Li @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Tues Nov 15, 2011 – $31.50

Radio Dept @ Mod Club, 19+
Thurs Nov 17, 2011 – $15.00

Elliott Brood @ Phoenix, 19+
Fri Nov 18, 2011 – $20.00

The Kooks @ Sound Academy, All Ages/19+ Area
Wed Nov 23, 2011 – $25.00-35.00

Timber Timbre @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre, All Ages
Sat Nov 26, 2011 – $27.50

Jay-Z & Kanye West @ Air Canada Centre, All Ages
Wed Nov 23, 2011 and Thurs Nov 24, 2011 – $59.50-250.00

That’s it for now, friends. Enjoy the concerts and make sure to grab a band tee for me.

Joel Plaskett & Best of the NXNE Line-up

Today, I have a few reasons to shake the dust off my two typing fingers.

First, Joel Plaskett is playing a free outdoor concert tonight that you should probably go to. I’ll be working at the merch table, so feel free to stop by and say hi!

Pheromone’s Beast and MapleMusic Recordings’ Joel Plaskett are opening The Luminato Festival with a free show on Friday June 10th (that’s tonight!) @ 8 PM.
The concert will take place in David Pecaut Square, conveniently located in the heart of the Entertainment District.

As a matter of fact, as I’m writing this, Joel Plaskett is saying “Hi!” to all of my co-workers. Yeah, he’s here in my office (if you will all care to remember, I work at MapleMusic) signing records to be later sold on our website.

Second, let’s talk about NXNE!

Here are a few of the concerts that I’ll be checking out at the upcoming Toronto NXNE Festival. Yet another job perk is that I get my NXNE wristband for frizzle. Check out the schedule yourself and make your own dream NXNE skedge! (that’s phonetic/abbreviation talk for schedule. But really, it sounds like something you’d find inside your underwear after a frightening experience).

    Thursday June 16th, 2011

    Snowblink @ The Music Gallery, 7pm
    The Dodos @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 9pm
    Deerhoof @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 10pm

    Friday June 17th, 2011

    Dirty Beaches @ Lee’s, 10pm
    Dum Dum Girls @ Lee’s, 10pm
    Cults @ Lee’s, 10pm

    Saturday June 18th, 2011

    Whale Tooth @ The Rivoli, 2pm
    Slow Hand Motem @ Wrong Bar, 9pm
    BRAIDS @ The Great Hall, 11pm
    Chad Vangaalen @ The Great Hall, 12am
    Grimes @ The Great Hall, 1am

Well, I’m off to go meet Joel Plaskett. Job perk!