Friday, September 25, 2009

Five Funky Stories:: Ricardo from Oldfolks Home

Now that the countdown for HPX '09 is on, we've been trying to pit our magical random question machine against as many of this year's performers as possible in the hopes that hilarity and/or insight would ensue. So who's our latest contestant? Why it's Ricardo Lopez of Winnipeg's Oldfolks Home.

Ricardo and OFH is a natural choice for us, considering he's been featured on our Manitoba mixtape, done a fantastic take on a BSS song for our sporadic Word On The Beat section, and seems to be by all accounts a very nice dude. Ricardo & OFH are part of a great HPX show, playing The Paragon on Thursday, October 22nd with Jenocide, Think About Life, and mr. Roland Pemberton - so read his answers below, and then get out and see him next month.

Name: Ricardo
Band: Oldfolks Home

1. Super tight pants on dudes: Yes! or Noooooooooooooooo!

It depends on how hot the weather is. Although my yoga shorts are pretty tight, but I am expecting to sweat and they're shorts. Does that count? I guess my real answer is no. I don't have the right kind of legs.

2. What's the best band name you can think of in the next 15 seconds?

I can't say on the internet for fear of insulting too many people and ruining my bands good name.

3. Name your all-time favorite Canadian album.

You Forgot it in People by BSS

4. Mr. Dressup or The Friendly Giant? (or neither because you're too young and have no idea who they are)

Because I don't remember either (although I watched both), The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.

5. Patio Lanterns, Go For Soda, or WFT does that mean?

Patio Lanterns because he complains too much in Go For A Soda.

MP3:: Oldfolks Home - Letter To Kerri

MP3:: Oldfolks Home - I Hate Dell (Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees RMX)

Labels: Five Funky Stories, , Oldfolks Home,

Posted at 3:00 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reviews:: Grand Analog - Metropolis Is Burning

Not too long ago, mentioning "hip hop" and "live instruments" in the same sentence was kind of like using "baseball" and "steroids" together in the late 90's - it was a bit of a taboo. But these days hip hop has changed a bit, and just like steroids in baseball, (yes, I know you saw this coming) everyone is doing it. This move towards mainstream hip hop embracing live sounds, and even gravitating somewhat towards the indie rock scene, has been going on for a while, but things have already changed a great deal since Grand Analog came on the scene in 2006.

So it seems appropriate that GA, the hip hop band/collective helmed by Odario Williams, has evolved their sounds since their last release. I was a big fan of their '07 release, Calligraffitti, but right from the first paragraph of that review, I was classifying it as experimental. And with good reason, I mean the name suggests as much, and upon reflection, the songs, despite many being really rather catchy, maintained a rather eclectic, yet serious, tone (something like Touch Your Toes being an exception). This time out, it seems that Odario & Co. are content to just make music they enjoy, and not feel like they have to justify the inclusion of guitars and such in their sound.

At least that's my take on their new album, Metropolis Is Burning, and that shift seems apparent from the get-go, with chunky guitar riffs and sweet horn sounds taking the lead on "be yourself" anthem I Play My Kazoo. Not sure if it says more about me, or hip hop in general, that the kazoo solo outro doesn't seem as novel as it once would have. Whereas the reggae sounds on Calligraffitti seemed to have been mixed down into a number of other influences, they are out in front on the feel good city-escape endorsing Take It Slow (Spaces & Places), and the radio-ready song (well, if your radio station starts & ends with "C" and has a "B" in the middle) is better for it I would say.

The radio-friendly vibes continue on the bouncy I'm On Fire, which features guest vocals from Maiko Watson (ex-...ahem...Sugar Jones) and a scene-stealing guest verse from Winnipeg MC Len Bowen. I'm a big fan of this jam, really catchy stuff, good use of the female vocals on the hook. I'm afraid the same cannot be said of Stir Crazy, which also features vocals from Maiko, but feels like something is missing - not even the Nice & Smooth homage in Odario's opening verse can get it over the hump for me. However, the K-Solo homage found on the raucous Her Daddy (Don't Like Me) is certainly welcome, and had me hooked before the harmonica outro reeled me in for good.

Electric City features the always-solid Shad, and that alone pretty much guarantees my approval, but it also happens to be a pretty great song. The latter half of the album feels a little subdued, as it's dominated by more bottom-heavy, hip hop oriented tracks like Not Enough Mondays/Crunch and Videogames (which incidentally, isn't the best title if one were worried about being perceived as a nerdy/intellectual, not that Odario cares about that, purely an observation on my part). Everyday Always and Brothers Gotta Eat bring the reggae vibes back again, and the shifty Light So Bright unfortunately doesn't sample Corey Hart, but it does feature a cameo from Edmonton's new Poet Laureate.

So the verdict on Metropolis Is Burning? It's certainly a solid album, with a number of songs that stand out as singles (well, they would if Canada's hip hop industry wasn't so barren), and it strikes me as an album that would appeal to a wide-range of musical tastes. For me, I think the first GA album hit with a bit more impact, but really, what act can't you say that about? If you're new to Grand Analog, get this album and play it loud the rest of the summer. Or better still, check the dates below and catch Odario & Co on tour with Toronto electro outfit Lioness in Various Canadian cities over the next month.

MP3:: Grand Analog - Electric City f. Shad

Jul 23: The Montreal House - Peterborough, ON
Jul 24: The Ford Plant - Brantford, ON
Jul 25: Toronto Day Show @ Dundas Square - Toronto, ON
Jul 25: Club Absinthe - Hamilton, ON
Aug  2: Cutting Edge Music Festival - Kitchener, ON
Aug  6: Media Club - Vancouver, BC
Aug  7: Habitat - Kelowna, BC
Aug  9: Shambhala Music Fest - Salmo, BC
Aug 11: Henotic Resto Lounge - Lethbridge, AB
Aug 12: The Hi Fi - Calgary, AB
Aug 13: Pawn Shop - Edmonton, AB
Aug 14: Amigo’s - Saskatoon, SK
Aug 15: The Pyramid - Winnipeg, MB

VIDEO:: Grand Analog - Her Daddy (Don't Like Me)

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Posted at 12:00 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quick Hitters:: Crosstown Rivals

Well the rain has been coming down in buckets here in Halifax today, so if there's ever a hump-day in need of a boost, it's this one. Luckily, Winnipeg's Crosstown Rivals has provided just such a boost. The four-man indie dance rock force has released a new single on the new digital label Better Swimmers. The digital single for Exits contains the original version, plus remixes from Vitaminsforyou, Get Famous! and DJ Co-op.

You might remember Crosstown Rivals from our Manitoba mixtape, where Hold Tight, from their last EP added some pep to the halfway point of the mix. Exits certainly remains in the same fuzzy, urgent vein, but perhaps with a bit more of an electronic bent provided by the modulated bassline that runs through the track. It's perfect to get the kids up and shaking - perhaps Bones should bring this one to Gus' this Friday night. The remixes certainly keep the spirit of the track intact, and while I enjoy the 80's goodness of the Vitaminsforyou remix, the stadium guitar lick & 808 combo of the Get Famous! remix is my preference.

Oh, and did I mention this is a free download? Well go get it, and call yourself Parker Lewis while you're at it, cause you can't lose.

MP3:: Crosstown Rivals - Exits

MP3:: Crosstown Rivals - Exits (Get Famous! Remix)

Labels: Crosstown Rivals, Free.99,

Posted at 12:00 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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