Slipknot – Top 10 Songs by NMFTW

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The first time I watched Slipknot destroy a stage, I was a thirteen year old prepubescent boy, a mere teenager wanting nothing more but to witness the brutality that is Slipknot. The masks, the convulsions of anger, head banging, greasy long hair, pyrotechnics, moshpits, I wanted it all. Yet I was too young to go alone, none of my friends understood my affection for the knot, and I didn’t want to put my parents through 2 hours of hell (I was already a 24 hour nuisance). Therefore, my sister’s, now ex-boyfriend was kind enough to conjure up the courage to bring this rambunctious bundle of joy to a Slipknot show on his own…what people do for love. Now strength or intimidation wasn’t the issue here. The ex was at least 6’4, 250Ibs African Canadian basketball player, along side a 5’4, 180Ibs asian kid waiting in line for a heavy metal show; talk about out of place.

slipknot Stage

Finally walking through the doors of Ricoh Coliseum, chest pounding and excitement over whelming; I see the all so familiar “S” of the Slipknot symbol protruding from every corner of the stage. Lights Dim, screeching guitars blare and fans go freaking ballistic; which is when it hits me…Shits. About. To. Go. Down. The opening track destroys my entirety before I could even regain my balance; same goes for my trustee. Bodies are flying, spit, sweat and blood are intertwining and i’d like to point out that a boot hit me square in the face…needless to say, it was one of the best moments of my life.

Gray Chapter

In preparation for Slipknot‘s fifth studio album entitled .5: The Gray Chapter, I’ve decided to share my take on Slipknot‘s top 10 songs of all time. Again, this is just my opinion, my thoughts and my favourites; picking just 10 was near impossible. I’ll go through one by one periodically, explaining why I think it fits to the standing, I would love to know your opinion and share the experience with my fellow “Maggots”. Knot on my friends, knot on…

# 10

Indians – Oblivion

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I was heading over to the Toronto Islands to take part in the NXNE festival as a stage hand, and in doing so I had to take a ferry. Now I haven’t taken a ferry in quite some time, let alone a ferry to the Toronto Island, but I must say, it was a beautiful scenario, which calls for beautiful music to match. Que “Oblivion” by Danish singer-songwriter Søren Løkke Juul, who goes by the name of Indians. Odd name I agree, but his musical proust exemplifies what I call a Romantic Horror Story.

 

From this years teen summer flick, full of prepubescents sobs and tissue boxes, the “Fault In Our Stars” had one of the best soundtracks of the year. With a line up that includes Ed Sheeran, Birdy, Lykke Li & Ray LaMontagne, little known Indians stuck out like a sore thumb for me. Immensely emotional, magically layered with guitar effects and vocal reverb, and a solid progression throughout; I wouldn’t change a thing.

As I boarded the ferry and tucked my earbuds in place, the serenity I felt while looking out to the water and listening to “Oblivion” was kind of surreal. It took fifteen minutes to get from one dock to the next, but within those fifteen minutes, I knew I was excited for the ferry ride back.

For Fans Of: Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Daughter

PS: Aint gonna lie, Fault In Our Stars was a fantastic movie, so much so I took the book from my girlfriend and couldn’t help but quote the novel. Great Book, Great Movie, Even Better Soundtrack.

A Love Letter to the 2013/14 Toronto Raptors

I share the exact feelings my friend. Proud to be a part of something that was growing in front of our eyes. This team will never be forgotten by Toronto, by Canada and by the NBA!

6th Man Collective: MONDAY NIGHTS

Today, I received this shirt in the mail.

playoff tee

I ordered it after Game 1 but due to an error (that they handled AMAZINGLY. Thanks Since 95!) I only received it today. I saw the package and immediately felt a wave sadness wash over me. I thought, “Great. What do I do with this now?” But then I stuck with that feeling a bit and thought: What am I actually sad about? And let me be clear, it was sadness not anger. I wasn’t mad over bad officiating, players who supposedly under-performed, or that we were a single play away from facing the Heat in round two. There was zero anger. Why was I sad?

A wave of memories came flooding back: the Raptors improbable win in Brooklyn during the regular season, a road win in Oklahoma City, a franchise high number of wins, a second half of the season where we saw players mature exponentially…

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Augustana – Need A Little Sunshine

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It’s kind of a drab day here in Toronto, the sky is a little cloudy and the floor is a little wet, most importantly my home town Raptors are down one game in the playoffs. These can potentially be little pieces to a big disastrous day, but why be somber when you have so much to look forward to. My Raptors will bounce back in game two, the smell of wet cement is glorious (well according to my girlfriend *rotates finger at temple*) and from the words of Augustana, you just “Need A Little Sunshine” to wash away the clouds.

“Need A Little Sunshine” instantly woke me up from a palm to chin morning, to a straight back optimistic afternoon. Only a hand full of songs can do that to you; I would include John Mayers “Waiting on the World to Change” and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s “Home” to fit the bill. Optimism is hard to come by now a days, so when you get a chance to spread it, I would say what are you waiting for?

“…Got a little bit of faith in the hard times, oh
Got a little bit of shade in the moonlight, oh
Got a little bit of right in the wrong times, oh
Got you and me, we’re alright, oh”

For fans of: John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Joshua Radin

#NewMusicForTheWin

PS. My apologies for video quality, the audio hasn’t come out yet, though the acoustic version is quite amazing as well =)

Arkells – Never Thought That This Would Happen

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For the time being, graduating hasn’t hit me yet. I know this is a start of a new life, a new journey, and where ever I go, it’ll just be the beginning, but the boys from the Arkells said it best: “I Never Thought That This Would Happen“. When ever I speak about school, and about finishing my last exam ever *mind blown*, I always preach patience and if I gained anything from graduating, i’ve learnt that patience…well, it goes without saying.

 

The boys from the Arkells were kind enough to send me a link to their new song “Never Thought That This Would Happen“, right in the midst of my final exam. First off, I LOVE THE ARKELLS, secondly, there is no better way to describe how I feel while I count down my last few hours of education. “Never Thought That This Would Happen” was inspired by a summer festival in rural Ontario called Hillside, where they continue to say “beneath the moonlight, there’s drinking, dancing, and campfire sing-a-longs. This song takes place after all of that, sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning”. Well I can’t say there was much partying or drinking on my part, but the message still stands, after all the dust has cleared, man I never thought that this would happen.

So this is my chance to say thank you to all those people who’ve stuck by me, who reassured me that this is the right decision, and believed that I could do it. From the bottom of my heart I thank you and I promise you I won’t disappoint.

For fans of: Tokyo Police Club, Sam Roberts Band, Yukon Blonde

PS. Thank you Arkells for sending me this tune, and for everyone who is sending me their music, thank you and keep sending =)

 

Coldplay – Midnight

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It’s been a long time coming since Coldplay has released a song of their own, granted there was a teaser of new material via “Catching Fire OST”, but like any and all Coldplay fanatics, one would hope for news of new material of original Coldplay. The boys announced yesterday  that “something new at 0:00 Ulaanbaatar #midnight PH” on their Facebook page, meaning an exclusive premier of their new video/song for the country of Germany. With eerie images of forest, foxes, and familiar faces; all in black and white photo negatives, you can just imagine ones imagination would go haywire. So without further ado, here is the new song from one of my all time favourites:

To say that “Midnight” is different would be an understatement, though Coldplay has hardly shy’d away from being a little different, quirky, and flat out weird. They’re a band of few words, hardly in the spotlight for the wrong reason, and they let their music speak for itself. Coldplay is a mystery to many, and though their popularity and fandom are easy targets for the public to brand them as sellouts, Coldplay merely shrugs it off to play the music they love, fandom or not. I hope you enjoy “Midnight” as much as I did, here’s to new Coldplay in 2014.

For Fans of: Muse, Bon Iver, Keane, U2

#NewMusicForTheWin

Sam Roberts Band – Metal Skin

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Remembering back to grade nine, a young, handsome and much better built me went on stage wearing all black everything, holding a single acoustic guitar. I was taking part in the after school talent show where, despite my love for metal and rap music, I wanted to share a little softer side of myself. I took a deep breath and nervously strummed the C minor chord and played my rendition of Sam Roberts Band Bridge to Nowhere.

I’ve been intrigued by Sam Roberts and his band of brothers for a long time, and with the release of their fifth studio album Lo-Fantasy, they continue their stride of being one of the best Canadian bands of our generation. I was taken aback the first time I heard “Metal Skin”, with its jungle melody in the pre-chorus mixed with some funk and rock, it’s a very ambitious record but I’ve come to love it each time I replay it. I have yet to see this band live on stage, but to see “Metal Skin” or “Bridge to Nowhere” for that matter will definitely be worth it. 

For Fans Of: The Arkells, Bedouin SoundClash, The Tragically Hip

#NewMusicForTheWin

Gavin James – Remember Me

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While I was trying to write up another entry for New Music… I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the song I chose, it didn’t hit me like the others did and I started to write just for the sake of writing, instead of the sake of sharing. Then suddenly an email popped up from the folks at Focusrite, with a video recording of an artist named Gavin James. I was a little skeptical at first, but as soon as I heard the strings being plucked, and the mic picking up the voice, I knew there and then that I had to share this with you.

The whole point of this video is to promote the (freakishly cool) interface, but the voice of Gavin, matched with his electric guitar gave a surge of intimacy, even through a promotional video! I automatically began searching for more and more music from this man and each song was as beautiful as the next.

I realize that the whole point of this blog is not only to share great music with you, but also to share my realization that you shouldn’t do something because you have to, you should and must do what you do because you want to, it’ll make a world of a difference.

(Here is the original song)

For Fans Of: City & Colour, Mumford & Sons, Ben Howard

#NewMusicForTheWin

Tokyo Police Club – Hot Tonight

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Honestly, I must say, there is no debate when it comes to Tokyo Police Club. Their sophomore album entitled Champ was by far one of the best Alternative Rock/Canadian Music albums in 2010, and I think all TPC fans can attest. Classic’s like “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)”, “Bambi”, “Breakneck Speed”. Yes, Elephant Shell had it’s moments but when I heard “Hands Reversed” for the first time, with its slow haunting back beat, matched with wide mouthed (meant as a compliment I swear) raspy voice of David Monks, Champ became more then an album to me, it was the coming of age album for the NewMarket Ontario natives of Tokyo Police Club.

After 4 years in the making, including a nine-minute lyrical video of “Argentina (Pts. I, II, and III)“, Tokyo Police Club is back and set to release their third album entitled Forcefield, and to that I say…FINALFREAKINGLY! Tokyo Police Club automatically reminds me of the summer, and their new single “Hot Tonight” couldn’t come at a better time (damn Canadian weather). Answer and response guitar riffs, catchy ooh’s in chorus, that familiar Monk voice, “Hot Tonight” is a short but sweat teaser of what is yet to come.

For Fans Of: Hollerado, Ok Go, The Arkells

#NewMusicForTheWin

PS: ForceField set to release on March 25

Running Red Lights – Under The Wire

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Not too long ago, I remember walking into the Anthropology apparel store with my girlfriend, having a thorough conversation on our way in. All of a sudden, I hear a song through their speakers that caught my ear and I literally stop in my tracks, leaving my lovely girlfriend all alone talking to herself; looking like a crazy. Now I didn’t hear the fine folks of Running Red Lights at Anthropology (whom play wonderful music might I add), but the same event happened to me once I heard their song Under The Wire.

Lead by charismatic vocalist Kevin Howley, backed up my the warm hearted voice of Scarlett Flynn,  Running Red Lights takes a few pages from bands like Stars Of Monsters and Men, crumbles them in a heaping pile of awesomeness and starts a bonfire. With all members from the outskirts of Eastern Canada before migrating to Toronto, Running Red Lights is just another example of why Canadian music is at the top of it’s game. Look out for these guys in 2014 as they release their first LP entitled “There’s a Bluebird In My Heart” on January 14th.

For Fans Of: Rah Rah, Stars, Of Monsters and Men

#NewMusicForTheWin