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Pete's Pick: Cage The Elephant / Cage The Elephant

02-Jun-2009 08:00 pm Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
Cage The Elephant / Cage The Elephant

11 Track CD
Released: May 19, 2009

Cage The Elephant was recommended to me from three different people in the course of four days. The music isn't quite what I expected, but I have to admit that every single one of them was right when they said "You'll like it". Although the band hails from Kentucky, they play happy, British-inspired, vigorous indie-rock, laced with slide guitars and backed by beats and guitar riffs that incite dancing. Uncomplex, catchy, with lot's of influences, but the real reason to listen to this album is just for good times. I can't say for sure, but I'm willing to bet my lunch that these guys put on a great concert. Favourite track: In One Ear. Other good listens: Ain't No Rest For The Wicked, Lotus, Brick Against The Wall, and Tiny Little Robots.

Info: Cage The Elephant | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Media: Tiny Little Robots (mp3), Ain't No Rest For The Wicked (video)

Pete's Pick: Hey Rosetta! / Into Your Lungs

17-Dec-2008 07:00 pm Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
Hey Rosetta! / Into Your Lungs

12 Track CD
© 2008 HR Music Inc.

I realize this is the time of year I'm supposed to be making Top 10 lists, but I refuse to do that until the year is over (simply because I include concerts, and my concert going schedule isn't done for the year). So I figured with all the last minute shopping going on, it was a good time to highlight the fact that Into Your Lungs by Hey Rosetta! would make a great present for anyone in your family, or even yourself. Produced by Hawksley Workman, this album contains brilliant guitar and piano-based rock laced with violin and cello used exactly right. This is definitely one of the best Canadian albums released this year.

Info: Hey Rosetta! | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

Pete's Pick: Arkells / Jackson Square

25-Nov-2008 10:00 pm Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
Arkells / Jackson Square

12 Track CD
© 2008 Dine Alone Music Inc.

If you've been reading my blog recently, this Pete's Pick probably goes without saying, but I still felt like I should say it: The Arkells are a great live act, and this debut full-length album backs it up. The album is [presumably] named after the Jackson Square mall in their hometown of Hamilton, which acts as a bit of a cultural hub, and has a connection to Copps Coliseum (often used as a concert venue). The tracks on the CD include re-recorded versions all five songs from their Deadlines EP, as well as seven more new tracks to fill it out. The newer and older material blend perfectly into an album that should be listened to in its entirety. My current favourites are The Choir and John Lennon, along side of all my other favourites Tragic Flaw, Oh The Boss Is Coming!, No Champagne Socialist, and Ballad Of Hugo Chavez. And Abigail. And Blueprint. You get the idea.

Info & Connect: Arkells on MySpace, Facebook
Media: Oh The Boss Is Coming! (video)

Pete's Pick: Vacuity

18-Aug-2008 11:10 pm Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
Vacuity / At The Command Of The Blanket Sky

13 Track CD
© 2008 Vacuity

This article contains free downloads.

Since the release of At The Command Of The Blanket Sky in March by Kitchener-based Vacuity, I've been listening to it with steadily increasing frequency, causing it to be in my top 10 weekly listening charts more than a few times over the past couple of months. Like any great album, there are some songs that caught me right away (e.g. Beckoning), but it was the more complex songs (e.g. Tamer Than Anything) that grew to be my favourites after repeated listens. Only time will tell, but I suspect this album will be part of my listening playlists for many years to come. read more (315 words)

Pete's Pick: Islands / Arm's Way

14-Jul-2008 06:57 pm Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
Islands / Arm's Way

12 Track CD
© 2008 Islands

As much as I liked Islands' debut album, Return To The Sea (which was a lot... it took my #1 spot in 2006), I think it's fair to say that I like their sophomore album even more, overall. Even though the hooks aren't quite as strong as in their earlier work, such as Rough Gem, its unique instrumentation and melodies make for a twelve song string of catchiness, all the way from The Arm to the eleven-minute closer Vertigo (If It's a Crime).

Info: Islands | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

Pete's Pick: The Kooks

04-Jun-2008 06:13 pm Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
The Kooks / Konk

12+1 Track CD
© 2008 Virgin Records Ltd.

I featured The Kooks as Pete's Pick in January 2007 for their debut album Inside In/Inside Out, and it should suffice to say that their recent release, Konk, is even better. Their debut album had a few songs that brought me back for more, but this album is pretty much the whole thing, including the highlights: Mr. Maker, Do You Wanna, Love It All, Sway, Shine On, and Down To Market. They are playing the Koolhaus in Toronto tonight (June 4th) in what looks to be a sold-out show.

Info: The Kooks | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

Pete's Pick: The Details

08-Apr-2008 12:28 am Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
The Details / Draw a Distance. Draw a Border.

12 Track CD
© 2007 The Details

The Details are a Winnipeg-based band that have only been together since 2005, but their debut full-length effort Draw A Distance. Draw A Border has the feel of a band that has been honing their skills together for many years. As this CD played, I went from sceptic, to interested listener, to fan. The album opens with six individually brilliant songs all in a row, peaking with the song A National Anthem which also marks the end of the first half of the album. If this was on vinyl, it probably would've taken me months to flip it over and listen to Side B just because I would've got stuck listening to Side A again and again. read more (97 words)

Pete's Pick: The Slip

26-Oct-2007 06:05 pm Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
The Slip is a band that was formed in Boston and has influences from groups such as U2, Wilco, and Built To Spill. It all comes together with a variety of melodic materpieces on Eisenhower, an album that was released in 2006. The opening song, Children Of December, is based on intriguing lyrics with vocals that combine addictively well with the guitar. Other serious gems are Airplane / Primitive, The Soft Machine, and Paper Birds. A great listen from start to finish. Info: The Slip | Connect: MySpace

Pete's Pick: Young Galaxy

22-Jul-2007 08:38 pm Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
I first found out about Young Galaxy when they opened for The Frames back in April. Since then I've picked up their CD (of off, where else?) and listened to it a number of times. I think they're getting some good airplay with Outside The City, which is good, but it's my least favourite song on the album. The song that I can't stop thinking about is Lazy Religion. It's a slow song, but the chorus just sticks with me. The other brilliant song is Swing Your Heartache. Info: Young Galaxy | Connect: MySpace

Pete's Pick: The Figgs

04-Jul-2007 12:01 am Contributed by: pete Pete's Picks
I found The Figgs on (are you surprised?) and their song I Won't Go To Miami has clean vocals that remind me of Bono, with musical hooks up the wazoo. Another great introduction to their music is Regional Hits that has more of a mild Lenny Kravitz vocal thing going on, but again with some groovy hooks. Love it. And the title track, Follow Jean Through the Sea, is happy guitar romp well worth the price of the album on its own. Add on City Loft Home, and you've got enough hot tracks to make you listen again and again. They've flown under my radar for 20 years now (formed in 1987), so now I'm wondering how far I should go in their back catalog. Info: The Figgs | Connect: MySpace