It’s my 25th birthday. Here are my favourite 25 songs of 2013!

25ohno

i’ll never be this kewt again

In no particular order, here are my favourite 25 tracks from 2013. You may have heard some of them on my radio show or seen them featured on the blog. These songs make me so happy to belong to the musical community of the Y generation – such wonderfully multi-faceted, dynamic, creative, hardworking individuals who deserve so much credit for what they’ve accomplished with limited resources and heavy competition. It’s so easy to sit back and press play and make a judgement call about a track without thinking about the hours of songwriting, recording, mixing, merchandising, marketing, social media maintenance, negotiations, legalities, and frugalities associated with the entire process. I’m guilty of doing that all the time. Judging art is a by-product of cultural over-saturation – there’s so much creative content available on the internet that music consumers are required to flip through files quickly as per our taste preferences to see what we want to sink our teeth into. Sometimes great tracks can pass you by.

It’s incredible to think that the music we listen to at vulnerable moments translates into an immeasurable, significant impact on the person you grow up to become. Thank god for cool roommates, good friends, and weird boyfriends who turned me onto new bands when I was in the midst of post-teenage angst and university study sessions. All of these tracks are all a part of me – they’re my birthday gift to you, dear reader. If you find a new favourite track, that will make me the happiest birthday girl in the world.

1. Ode To Subterrania by Hooded Fang (May 2013 / Full Time Hobby / Toronto) Twitter

 

2. Holy Fool by O Emperor (June 2013 / Self-Released / Waterford) Twitter

 

3. I Want What’s Best by Outfit (May 2013 / Double Denim Records / Liverpool) Twitter

 

4. Put a Light On by Generationals (April 2013 / Polyvinyl Records / Louisiana) Twitter

 

5. Stars by Javelin (March 2013 / Luaka Bop / Brooklyn) Twitter

 

6. Marijuana by Chrome Sparks (March 2013 / Self-Released / Brooklyn) Twitter

 

7. Two Prongs by Lion Bark (June 2013 / Self-Released / Brighton) Twitter

 

8. Pennie Lane by The BB Guns (May 2013 / Marineville Records / Toronto) Twitter

 

9. Waiting by Alice Boman (May 2013 / Adrian Recordings / Malmö) Facebook

 

10. Flashed Junk Mind by Milky Chance (April 2013 / Lichtdicht Records / Germany) Facebook

 

11. Painful Like by Austra (May 2013 / Paper Bag Records / Toronto) Twitter

 

12. Shout It Out by Mikal Cronin (May 2013 / Merge Records / San Francisco) Twitter

 

13. Pretty Boy by Young Galaxy (April 2013 / Paper Bag Records / Vancouver) Twitter

 

14. Thousand Year Old Child by Pure X (May 2013 / Acéphale / Austin) Twitter

 

15. Emma by Ponctuation (March 2013 / Bonsound / Québec) Bandcamp

 

16. Demon Dance by Surfer Blood (March 2013 / Warner Bros Records / West Palm Beach) Twitter

 

17. A Dancing Shell by Wild Nothing (May 2013 / Captured Tracks / Blacksburg) Twitter

 

18. Bros by Wolf Alice (May 2013 / Chess Club Records / North London) Twitter

 

19. Dropla by Youth Lagoon (January 2013 / Fat Possum / Boise) Twitter

 

20. Cut To Black by Lemâitre (April 2013 / Substellar / Olso) Twitter

 

21. Berlin Lovers by Still Corners (February 2013 / Subpop / London) Twitter

 

22. Kemosabe by Everything Everything (January 2013 / RCA Victor / Manchester) Twitter

 

23. Lucky Ones by Wynter Gordon (January 2013 / The Flying Unicorn / Los Angeles) Twitter

 

24. Varsity by Smith Westerns (March 2013 / Mom+Pop / Chicago) Twitter

 

25. In A Dream by High Highs (January 2013 / Fine Time / Sydney) Twitter

Indie-licious Tues July 2nd 2013

1. I Feel Dizzy – RCRDS
2. Phone Call – Jon Brion
3. Pairs – Daphni
4. Dark Age – First Rate People
5. In The Future – Architecture In Helsinki
6. When Will You Go – The Dodos
7. Sandy – Jackson Scott
8. Chameleon – Ruby Pins
9. Zombie Eyed – The Dirty Nil
10. l’Ocean – Javelin
11. Woof Woof – Dan Deacon
12. Mute – Youth Lagoon
13. Planet – Anamanaguchi
14. Terminally Chill – Neon Indian

DOWNLOAD

Canadian Music Fest 2013 – Katie’s Picks

CMF 2013 Lineup

Find the full list of artists here.

If you’re like me, and have anything whatsoever to do with the Toronto media, music, and arts scene, you’ve probably been pelted with press releases for Canadian Music Fest for the last few months. Finally, it’s March and I can peel the electronic whitesheets from my virtual windshield and attend some fine concerts.

What are my picks? Great question. Because there’s nothing that gives a pretentious twenty-something more sickeningly satisfying pleasure than telling other people what to like. These are great bands and you should definitely check them out. Or, wait until you hear them at Urban Outfitters and pretend you knew about them all along while you’re shopping for shredded Sesame Street t-shirts and pink-bleached jeans with three types of non-functional zipper. It’s really your choice.

These bands have been vetted for quality. They’re “sure things.” All that’s left is for you to go out and enjoy them.

WEDNESDAY
Yukon Blonde (Kelowna, BC)
Wed March 20 @ 8pm, The Danforth Music Hall
RIYL: The Sheepdogs, Zeus

CHVRCHES (Glasgow, Scotland)
Wed March 20 @ 10pm, Mod Club
RIYL: Purity Ring, The Knife, The Good Natured

THURSDAY
Chloe Charles (Toronto, ON)
Thurs March 21 @ 8pm, Tattoo Rock Parlour
Sat March 23 @ 10pm, El Mocambo (Upstairs)
RIYL:  Regina Spektor, Coffee shop pleasantries

Turtle Giant (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Thurs March 21 @ 8pm, Rancho Relaxo
RIYL: Vacationer

The Breezes (Montreal, QC)
Thurs March 21 @ 8:30pm, Horseshoe Tavern
RIYL: Luscious beach rock

First Rate People (Toronto, ON)
Thurs March 21 @ 9pm, Annex Live
RIYL: Teenage dreams

Efterklang (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Thurs March 21, 10pm, Virgin Mobile Mod Club
RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Tunng

Raleigh Moncrief (Sacramento, California)
Thurs March 21, 11:30pm, Parts & Labour
RIYL: The sound of a thousand exploding suns

Wildlife (Toronto, ON)
Thurs March 21 @ 12am, The Great Hall
RIYL: Collegiate life

Javelin (Providence, NY)
Thurs March 21, 1:00am, Parts & Labour
RIYL: Bibio, TV Girl, Toro Y Moi
***KATIE’S TOP PICK FOR MAXIMUM CONCERT ENJOYMENT***

FRIDAY
Cold Specks (London, UK)
Fri March 22 @ 9:20pm, Kool Haus
RIYL: Macy Gray without the smoker’s throat

Diamond Rings (Toronto, ON)
Fri March 22 @ 10:00pm, Kool Haus
RIYL: The eyeshadow counter at Sephora and drum machines

Young Rival (Hamilton, ON)
Fri March 22 @ 10:10pm, Horseshoe Tavern
RIYL: Smith Westerns, Black Lips, Dirty Fences

The Dirty Nil (Hamilton, ON)
Fri March 22 @ 11pm, Bovine Sex Club
RIYL: Cracking beer bottles over your friends’ heads

SATURDAY
Cookie Duster (Toronto, ON)
Sat March 23 @ 11:10pm, Horseshoe Tavern
RIYL: Broken Social Scene, the “original” Toronto music scene

The Dirty Nil (Hamilton, ON)
Sat March 23 @ 2:30am, Horseshoe Tavern
RIYL: Public urination, leftover pizza

Sharon Van Etten (Brooklyn, NY)
Sat March 23 @ 8pm, Massey Hall
RIYL: First Aid Kit

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

Image by Francis Chung

AUGUST

BIG VENUE

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

    Arcade Fire @ Olympic Island
    Aug 14, 2010
    $56.00

MEDIUM VENUE

    Chromeo @ Phoenix
    Aug 3, 2010
    $31.00

    Blitzen Trapper @ Opera House
    Aug 3, 2010
    $15.50

SMALL VENUE

    Diamond Rings @ Lower Ossington Theatre
    Aug 1, 2010
    $10.00

    Javelin @ Wrong Bar
    Aug 11, 2010
    $12.50

    Forest City Lovers and Gentleman Reg @ The Great Hall
    Aug 12, 2010
    $12.00

SEPTEMBER

BIG VENUE

    Vampire Weekend @ Molson Ampitheatre
    Sept 7, 2010
    $48.75

    The xx @ Massey Hall
    Sept 22, 2010
    $34-54

MEDIUM VENUE

    Ratatat @ Sound Academy
    Sept 8, 2010
    $21.50

    Dirty Projectors @ Opera House
    Sep 15, 2010
    $30.25

    School of Seven Bells @ Mod Club
    Sept 15, 2010
    $20.00

    Rogue Wave @ Opera House
    Sept 24, 2010
    $19.50

    Foals @ Lee’s
    Sept 27, 2010
    $15.00

SMALL VENUE

    Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ El Mocambo
    Sept 4, 2010
    $12.00

OCTOBER

LARGE VENUE

    Belle & Sebastian @ Massey Hall
    Oct 12, 2010
    $50-68

MEDIUM VENUE

    Deerhoof @ Lee’s
    Oct 3, 2010
    $15.50

    Temper Trap @ Phoenix
    Oct 5, 2010
    $22.50

    Miike Snow @ Kool Haus
    Oct 10, 2010
    $26.00

    Dr. Dog @ Phoenix
    Oct 16, 2010
    $20.50

NOVEMBER

SMALL VENUE

    Tunng @ Rivoli
    Nov 16, 2010
    $13.50

Indie-licious 93.3 FM Sampler

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m the host of a weekly radio show called Indie-licious on CFMU 93.3. As a special treat, and since I have absolutely nothing to do on this long bus ride home, I’ve decided to post the links to as many free mp3s from my show playlist as I can cram into this blog post! Think of it as my apology for neglecting SFLN of late.

Less Unless – Civil Civic
I couldn’t be happier to start my show off with this great track this week. It sounds like a less Ratatat-y version of Ratatat. Very stoked to check out more of this band, and I really liked where it got fuzzy, messy, and hectic in the middle. Wasn’t expecting that the first time I listened to it.
Download it!

On the beach, lookin' all badass

Friday Night in Butch Heaven – T H O M A S
T H O M A S sports a sweet mustache and even sweeter tunes. When I think of Butch Heaven, I definitely don’t think of funky guitar riffs and a crooning male voice. This track could be straight out of the playlist for a 70’s dentist’s waiting room, if that waiting room were TOTALLY AWESOME. Unfortunately, I can’t include any mp3s of Thomas for the blog, because he has yet to become widely known yet. However, if you like what you hear, and you know me, I will lovingly give you a digital copy.

Check out Thomas’s Myspace!

S E L F H E L P

Ambergris – Snowblink
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Daniela from Snowblink (she signed my cd!). Although I found that Snowblink were much better live (as in, put me in a trance live), this track is still really pretty. The cool thing about Snowblink is that during their live show, Daniela has a guitar with antlers, a headset, and gives the audience a long, frayed rope with dozens of bells. Huge bells, tiny bells, pretty ones, and creepy ones – all for the front-row audience to use at the right time. Some audience members were a bit too enthusiastic at some points, but overall, it was a fantastic use of audience participation that made me envious that I wasn’t sitting in the front row. This is one band that I would definitely see again live. Ambergris is delicate, breezy, and strong at the same time. CBC Radio 3 describes it as surf folk. Check out the CBC Radio 3 page for Snowblink and stream Ambergris!

Wouldn't it be nice to be in the mountains, fighting over a guitar?

Radar Detector – Darwin Deez
Darwin Deez is a Hipster. Darwin Deez makes great music. I’ve heard he can be off-key live, but this track is so fantastic that I just don’t give a damn. Kind of like an indie-electric version of Motion City Soundtrack without the alcohol addiction. Excited to get the rest of this album and dance away this dreadfully cold May weather.

Download it!
http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Darwin_Deez/track/Radar_Detector

A Real-Life Hipster

I Wanna Be Like You – Morning Benders
It should be mandatory for every up-and-coming indie-band to cover Disney songs as part of breaking into the scene. Think about how awesome it would have been if MGMT covered Kiss the Girl? If Vampire Weekend covered Just Can’t Wait to Be King? If Animal Collective covered The Circle of Life? Genius.
Download it!

Collector – Here We Go Magic
This song might be my favourite of today’s show. It’s got a wonderful, strong, pulsing beat to it, really catchy vocals, and it’s perfect for driving around to. I really wanna get my paws on the Secretly Canadian Spring Sampler 2010 as soon as I can because it has a few bands I’ve been curious about, as well as some I’m already in love with.
Download it!

Baby Boomer – Monsters of Folk
Monsters of Folk is a SUPERGROUP! Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, M. Ward, and Jim James from My Morning Jacket. This song has the exactly perfect combination of country-folk and rock which doesn’t sound twangy or tangy, just head bobbingly awesome.
Download it!

Told You Once – Apples in Stereo
I’ll always remember the Apples in Stereo as being the first band I had to HUNT for the cd for. This was before I had a credit card, so I wasn’t accustomed to purchasing online, and I was on a hunt in every HMV in the area code for New Magnetic Wonder. I finally found it in an HMV in Toronto and I’ve cherished it ever since. I’m very excited to see what else, other than Told You Once, is on their new album Travellers in Space and Time. Pitchfork gave it a 7.3, in case you’re curious.

ROCK ON, BALDY!

DLZ – TV On The Radio
My first few encounters with TV On The Radio were not exactly positive. However, playing and listening to this song is my final attempt to make peace with this band. I think it’s JUST harsh enough for me to like, and was perfectly moody enough for the bad weather we had this afternoon.
Download it!

New Theory – Washed Out
I’ve played Washed Out on my show before, but now’s the time to continue checking them out, now that I’ve also discovered Toro Y Moi and gotten more into Neon Indian. Washed Out definitely falls into the category of spacey, hazy, somewhat drugged summer music that has been shockingly popular with the under-30 set recently.
Download it!

I love this photo. Her hair is sexy.

Intervales Theme – Javelin
Found this band from the music blog The Life Signs Project, which, much like our beloved SONGSFROMLASTNIGHT, is a warm-and-fuzzy collaborative music blog between friends separated by their residence in far-flung cities. Now, going back to Javelin – I can’t get enough of this band, especially the NSFW-song STD Fury.
Intervales Theme is much safer for PG13 ears – it’s sweet – a groove that reminds me of an old-school cop chase scene.

Download it!

Just Impolite – Plushgun
Another song borrowed from The Life Signs Project. I did end up cutting it off with a minute and a half left, because it’s just TOO poppy to go on for so long. I think this was the sugariest I’ve ever gotten in a radio show before. I’m not sure I’ll reveal that much of my secret (embarrassing) taste again any time soon.
Download it!

Moonsoon – Delorean
I found this band while on iTunes one day. It was one of those winding “See What Others Have Bought” times when you just keep clicking on related artists until you find one that really piques your interest. I personally think that Delorean really sounds like Passion Pit (in a great way). My friend Maria did remark that they did sound a bit too technoey in some over their other tracks, which I am inclined to agree with. So as far as their album Subiza goes, I think it’s rather hit and miss.

WELL. That’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this post!