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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Contests:: Win tix to see Dinosaur Bones @ Gus' Pub

Toronto's Dinosaur Bones are no strangers to the road, but c'maaan! Just back from SXSW and opening for Thrush Hermit in TO, the quintet is hitting the road East and certainly making the most of their time. They are turning their upcoming Halifax visit into one of those "do-all-you-can-in-48 hours" type of deals you see on the travel network.

In 48 hours, they are doing a free in-store @ Taz on April 9th, playing an all-ages show @ The Pavilion that same night and then proceeding to hit Gus' Pub for a night cap on April 10th. Well video lottery players, get ready because we have a guest list spot for you and a friend to the Gus' Pub show. To enter, just email us (HEROHILL [AT] GMAIL DOT COM) or leave your info in the comments below. Easy peezy.

The band is touring on the strength of a 7" from Hi-Scores Recordings, but they are also road-testing the tracks from their much awaited debut LP. With the impact they've made touring with some of the biggest indie bands in Canada, I'd advise seeing them now (I already gushed about their debut EP - review) before they are playing to much bigger crowds for much bigger ticket prices.

MP3:: Dinosaur Bones - Royalty
MYSPACE:: http://myspace.com/dinosaurbonesband
BUY:: http://hiscoresrecordinglibrary.com/

Labels: , Dinosaur Bones, , ,

Posted at 10:19 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Contest:: Thrush Hermit Box Set!

Oh you thought that because we went and saw the Hermit turn back the clock at the Paragon here in Halifax last Friday that we were through with Thrush Hermit posts? Think again. I realized that we were halfway through the week and we had yet to mention on the hill how excellent the show was. The building was appropriately packed (the mix of drunken kids and old dudes, with some happily drunk and some disapprovingly sober like ourselves, made for an interesting crowd), and from the time that the bands classic neon "Rock & Roll" sign flicked on, it was go time. I'm speaking for myself here of course, but I think the Ack would agree that they sounded pretty amazing considering how much time has gone by since TH went kaput, and how relatively little rehearsal time they had prior to these shows.

They also played a pretty long set, that featured enough Hermit classics to please all but the most diehard TH complete-ist. it was also great to see that the band seemed to have as much fun as the crowd - which makes sense, the guys are all old friends, who keep in touch on pretty regular basis, as far as I know, so I'm sure it was great to be back up there with each other.

So then, if you're hitting any of these remaining Ontario shows, get ready to have your socks rocked off nostalgically:

March 24, 2010 Peterborough, ON @ Historic Red Dog
March 25, 2010 Ottawa, ON @ New Capital Music Hall
March 26, 2010 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace
March 27, 2010 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace
March 28, 2010 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace (all ages)

But I'm sure you've had enough of my blathering on, what of the box set contest? The excellent folks at Maple Music are offering our lucky readers the chance to win a copy of the impressive Thrush Hermit box set. And I do mean impressive - go check the full deets on Maple's website (they are taking pre-orders now, as it's available on March 29th), but 6 CD's and 2 DVD's? That's pretty awesome.

To win the box set: simply send us an email (herohill AT gmail dot com), or leave a comment on this post with your name, email address, and your favorite Thrush Hermit song. We'll pick a winner at the end of next week, and Maple will ship them their box of Hermit goodness. Eazy peezy. Now some music to celebrate: Two Hermit classics (The Day We Hit The Coast was bon-kares on Friday night), and a song from young TO upstarts Dinosaur Bones, who are opening one of the TO shows.

MP3:: Thrush Hermit - French Inhale

MP3:: Thrush Hermit - The Day We Hit the Coast

MP3:: Dinosaur Bones - Royalty

VIDEO:: Thrush Hermit - The Day We Hit the Coast

Labels: , Dinosaur Bones, , ,

Posted at 12:59 PM by naedoo :: 14 comments

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Contest:: Win 2tix to see Metric + CD

After winning the hearts of fans and critics with the release of the Polaris shortlisted Fantasies, Metric hasn't exactly slowed down. They are touring the shit out of the record, about to drop a collection of B-sides and pulling down awards like Moses Malone pulled down rebounds. I know the band is divisive. Ican't think of another indie rock band (that is still indie) that causes more debate among music lovers; "they are too popular", "they are overrated", "they are my favorite band". Nothing you hear about the quartet seems shocking, but I'll be honest, Fantasies is as solid a collection of singles as I've heard in a long time, and the band dares to be great and is willing to accept the backlash that comes with trying to be more than just another band.

Anyway, they are bringing their dynamic show to Halifax with the The Arkells, the scruffy, Hamilton outfit that has been known to burn stage after stage to the ground. The show is April 14th @ The Cunard Centre and even though you can still get tickets here, at $39.50 a pop, taking advantage of the chance to get two tix and a copy of Fantasies just makes sense.

We will draw the (3) - that's right, three - winners on March 26, so enter now by sending us an email (HEROHILL AT GMAIL DOT COM) or leaving the details in the comments section down below. Good luck, and here's Metric busting through a cover of The Strokes track, The End Has No End, just to get you excited.

MP3:: Metric - The End Has No End
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/metric
WEB:: http://www.ilovemetric.com

Labels: , , ,

Posted at 8:15 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Contest:: Win 2 tix and limited edition Daniel, Fred & Julie poster

I'm not sure there is much more I can say about the lovely record Daniel, Fred & Julie created last summer in Sackville. Their stripped down take on folk classics has dominated my listening patterns for the last 6 months, and in that time I've given you a review, a track by track breakdown from Daniel Romano (Attack in Black), dubbed the LP as the #2 in Canada last year and earmarked it for my Polaris ballot. And truthfully... part of me still feels like I haven't given the record enough praise and face time here on herohill.

Thankfully they are playing a show in Halifax at The North Street Church on April 9th (the day after one blogger's birthday) with some opening support from Laura Peek and Baby Eagle.

To get everyone excited we are giving one lucky winner two tickets to the show and one of the limited edition posters (100 printed) that Daniel designed for the tour. It's rare in today's music that music is made strictly for the love of the songs, and this project was born out of that love and sends it to anyone that listens. This show is one you shouldn't miss. All you have to do is send an email to HEROHILL AT GMAIL DOT COM or leave your details in the comments section. Good luck!

For those that are afraid of missing out if they don't win, tickets are on sale now @ Heartwood, Lost & Found and Taz Records for $10.

MP3:: Daniel, Fred & Julie - The Gambler and His Bride
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/danielfredandjulie
FACEBOOK EVENT:: Daniel, Fred & Julie

Labels: , ,

Posted at 7:15 AM by ack :: 5 comments

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Contests:: Win 2tix to Basia Bulat and Owen Pallett

So, you felt bad about missing Wednesday's show at St. Matthew's Church with Owen Pallett and chanteuse Basia Bulat? Well, how's your Thursday looking. The duo added a second show thanks to huge demand, and our friends at Secret City record are giving away two tickets to see the festivities.

All you have to do is send us an email with your contact info or leave the info in the comments below. Winner will be picked Tuesday night.

Good luck!

MP3:: Owen Pallett - Lewis Take Action
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/ffinalffantasy
WEB:: http://www.finalfantasyeternal.com/

MP3:: Basia Bulat - Gold Rush
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/basiabulat
WEB:: http://www.basiabulat.com

Labels: Basia Bulat, , Halifa,

Posted at 1:55 PM by ack :: 9 comments

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Contests:: Win 2tix and CD from The Balconies

The Balconies are an Ontario band - recently moving from Ottawa to Toronto - that are building quite the buzz in the Canadian scene. Their debut self-titled record (review) caught our ear, and has already been featured in the Globe and Mail as an upcoming Canadian act whose stock you should purchase.

Well folks, The Balconies are coming to Halifax and playing with three stellar local acts:

* Soaking Up Jagged
* Bad Vibrations (Dog Day, Husband & Knife and The Hold)
* Cold Warps

Herohill has a copy of their CD and two tickets to give to one lucky winner. The show is Feb. 6th @ The Seahorse and should be a fantastical way to spend your evening. To enter, just leave your email in the comments below or email us the info - HEROHILL @ GMAIL DOT COM.

MP3:: The Balconies - Ghost Fever
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/thebalconies

Labels: , , ,

Posted at 1:14 PM by ack :: 5 comments

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Contest:: Holy Fuck, it's New Year's Eve

Chances are if you are as old as the writers of herohill, the idea of spending your New Year's Eve at the Palace (new or old) is about as inviting as spending your NYE in a line at the DMV. Luckily, thanks to Holy Fuck, the New Palace might just be the spot to be when the ball drops on 2010. The sonic collage and energy the Polaris nominated band brings will be matched by the joy filled performance we've come to expect from Rich Aucoin - since the man gives 110% on a normal night, I'm thinking on NYE he might actually find Al Capone's vault - and it's hard to imagine even the most sadsack-en-it cool kid not enjoying themselves. Here are the details of the show
Dec 31st @ 10PM. Holy Fuck, Rich Aucoin and DJ Loukas Stilldrunk. Open till 3:30AM. $40adv, $50 door.

In case 50 duckets is too much for you, your pals at herohill are here to help. We have two tickets to the show and all you have to do is send us an email with the subject - "Holy Fuck, It's New Year's Eve" - or leave your details in the comments section below. We will pick a winner late tomorrow night.

Good luck.

Oh, and just because it's awesome, I'm also sharing the remix of the Said the Whale track, Gentleman. The remix uses some of Lovely Allen, some classic Who and Shad raps on it and drops New Edition, Ralph Tresvant, BBD and bumpin' Poison (which I'm sure both members of herohill did the electric slide or running man to, and I also did for a lip sync in Grade 10 - wait, did I share too much?).

MP3:: Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen

MP3:: Gentleman - Said the Whale & Shad (Remix ft. Holy Fuck, MGMT, The Who)

MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/holyfuck

Labels: , , , ,

Posted at 8:45 AM by ack :: 8 comments

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Contest:: Win 2tix to Hey Rosetta! and Jon Mckiel

That's right folks. We're still in the giving mood over here at herohill, so we are giving you the chance to spend this Friday night rocking out with the Newfoundland Polaris shortlisters, Hey Rosetta! and Halifax's own Jon Mckiel. Chances are by now you know what Hey Rosetta! brings to the table - if you are new to the game, you can read Naedoo's gushing review here - but honestly, the epic orchestral pop translates well on stage, and the crowd tends to freak the fack out around these parts.

Jon Mckiel on the other hand is someone you might not be as familiar with. His last record was an indie rock gem, but he's kind of reinvented himself for the better. Jon's exploring a more sludge filled existence, but instead of lo-fi, off kilter vocals, Mckiel lets harmonies and energy power through the sludge. His new record is slated for early next year, and it's going to be unreal. So, take this chance to get on the bandwagon while there's still room.

Throw in the fact Brooklyn's La Strada are making the trip up and we have a must see show in my humble opinion. The show is this Friday @ The Paragon. To enter, just email herohill (herohill AT gmail DOT COM) or leave your contact info in the comments section.

Hey Rosetta! - Yes! Yes! Yes!

Jon Mckiel - Fistfight (courtesy of Southern Souls)

JON MCKIEL - Fist Fight from Mitch Fillion on Vimeo.

MP3:: Hey Rosetta! - I've Been Asleep For a Long, Long Time
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/heyrosetta

MP3:: Jon Mckiel - Fistfight (Live @ Gus')
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/jonmckiel

Labels: , , ,

Posted at 7:54 AM by ack :: 3 comments

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Contest:: Win 2tix to see Final Fantasy & Basia Bulat

Talk about a show folks. Seeing Basia Bulat and Final Fantasy perform new material from the charming, cozy sonic confines of St. Matthew's Church will be something magical. If you haven't got your tickets yet, you should hurry because I'm sure they will sell out soon... or maybe you could win a pair of tix from your friends at herohill and the good people that run HPX.

Final Fantasy - aka Owen Pallett - won the first Polaris Prize, and Basia's debut LP made the short list in 2008. The fact that both are releasing new records - Owen on Domino (Heartland) and Basia on Secret City (Heart of My Own) - means that more than likely they could be in the hunt for the title next year as well and definitely means this show will be littered with new material.

Here are the details:
When: Feb 10th/2010
Where: St. Matthew's Church, Halifax
Tix: $20 adv/$25 door

So all you have to do is enter your email in the comments section below, or drop us an email (herohill AT gmail DOT COM). We will pick the winner on Dec 24th, as our little holiday treat to you the readers. As another treat, here's a sneak preview from each artist; a b-side from FF and the lead single from Basia.

MP3:: Final Fantasy - Lewis Take Action
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/ffinalffantasy
WEB:: http://www.finalfantasyeternal.com/

MP3:: Basia Bulat - Gold Rush
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/basiabulat
WEB:: http://www.basiabulat.com

Labels: Basia Bulat, , , , ,

Posted at 7:57 AM by ack :: 9 comments

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Contest:: Win a Vinyl Package from Paper Bag Records

Seeing as how this is merely an average Monday morning in November, I'm guessing many of you weren't overly psyched to greet the day. Well, let us turn that around quick fast: with a simple email to us you could win yourself 6 beautiful vinyl albums from Paper Bag Records. Yes friend, you read that correctly, not 1, not 2, and not even 3, but 6 lovely vinyl albums. And I do mean lovely (and somewhat rare):

All Paper Bag Records vinyl releases are produced in limited quantities on 180 gram vinyl, and feature unique silk screened covers and additional artwork. 300 copies - once they’re gone – they’re gone!

To recap, that's Josh Reichmann Oracle Band - Crazy Power, Little Girls - Concepts, Slim Twig - Contempt!, Winter Gloves - About a Girl, Woodhands - Heart Attack Rock Plaza - Central Are We Not Horses? and YSPWSD - XXXX. That's a whole lot of awesome right there. I mean, we've been fortunate to be able to run quite a few contests on the hill, but I think this one might just take the cake - so huge thanks to the kind folks at Paper Bag for letting us run it (and thanks to Darryl from StageFright for helping to hook it up).

So now, for the important info, how to win this rather excellent prize package. Simply drop us an email (herohill AT gmail DOT COM) with your name, details and the answer to this question: "Name the best thing you could hope to find in a mystery paper bag left on your doorstep" (we had to make you do a little work for a prize this good!). Feel free to leave the pertinent info in the comments as well. What are you waiting for, enter now!

Done! Congrats to Michael Elves and thanks to all who entered.

MP3:: Little Girls - Concepts

MP3:: You Say Party! We Say Die! - Laura Palmer's Prom

MP3:: Woodhands - Electric Ave

MP3:: Winter Gloves - Invisible (ease v Remix)
MYSPACE:: www.myspace.com/paperbagrecords

Labels: , , , , , ,

Posted at 8:45 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Video Hits:: Share - Fish Out Of Water - Live in a Tunnel

The latest promo for Share's excellent new album Slumping in Your Murals features an assist from the talented Matt Charlton and is shot in a tunnel. That's two things that make any live musical performance video much better. I should also remind everyone that we're still giving away 5 tickets to Share's Halifax album release show, but as the show is tomorrow, today will be the last day to enter. Here's Andrew Sisk's take on the video:

Matt Charlton is a man of many talents. He uses some of those talents as the songwriter and lead man for two excellent Halifax Bands: The Prospector's Union and Bloodsport. Matt is the sort of guy who doesn't say much but whatever he does say is either the funniest thing you've ever heard or pure wisdom.

We met up at this tunnel. I hope you can hear the reverb. There is something magical about places that echo. Not that a tunnel with a sewage pipe is very magical.


VIDEO:: Share - Fish Out of Water - Live in a Tunnel

So, to get a spot on the guest list for tomorrow night's show, all you have to do is email us your name & mailing address (herohill AT gmail DOT COM).

September 24th - Halifax, NS @ North St Church
w/ Mike O'Neill, Laura Peek, Jon McKiel, David Myles, Jason MacIsaac, Matt Charlton, Matt MacDonald, AA Wallace, Gianna Lauren and Tim Crabtree.
8pm, 5657 North St, tickets - $10 in advance, $12 at the door

MP3:: Share - Maybe Always f. Jenn Grant
MYSPACE:: www.myspace.com/andrewsisk

Labels: , Live in a Tunnel, ,

Posted at 11:59 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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Contest:: Win 2 Tix to see The Avetts in Toronto

The title kind of says it all. The Avett Brothers are fixing to make a big jump in popularity thanks t the release of their major label debut, I and Love and You. With Rick Rubin lending a guiding hand, their new sound is a bit bigger and cleaner, but their raw emotion and ability to tug on your heart strings still wins you over.

So the deal? Two tix to the September 30th show in Toronto at the Horseshoe. All you have to do is email us your contact info or leave a comment below with the details.

Here's the first single and title track from the new record. For more info and tour dates, head over to the band's web site - http://www.theavettbrothers.com/

MP3:: The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
WEB:: http://www.theavettbrothers.com/

Labels: , ,

Posted at 9:10 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Contest:: Win TIX & CDs from Jon McKiel & Dan Ledwell

Pretty well says it all doesn't it? Your good friends at herohill want to give you the chance to see two terrific artists in one terrific spot. Jon is putting the finishing touches on his new record (and his last effort was nothing to scoff at)and if you are a fan of herohill, you've no doubt read about how much we loved Dan's stripped down folk release, Two Over Seven (review).

On September 16th, Jon and Dan are playing @ The Carleton and the chance to see both artists in a hushed quiet venue with great sound, food and wine for free is one you might want to jump on fast. Chances are Jon will be working out the kinks from his new songs, getting ready for the release date so it should be a pretty terrific night and Dan's charming persona will be a nice warm up for the headline act.

We will also throw in a CD from both artist and all you have to do is email us (herohill AT gmail DOT COM) or leave a comment with your info.

MP3:: Dan Ledwell - One Day (Superfriendz cover)
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/jonmckiel
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/danielledwellmusic

Labels: , Dan Ledwell, ,

Posted at 10:30 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

News:: In-Flight Safety & Library Voices Tour

Now we're always going to be on-board with a cross-country (truly cross-country I should add, none of this "we're going across the country...but stopping in Quebec!") tour that features acts the quality of In-Flight Safety and Library Voices, but throw in a sweet contest to boot, and there's a lot to like there. The two bands are teaming up to give away a Les Paul Studio guitar, so head over to Exclaim and get to entering, you rock star you.

If you aren't familiar with either IFS (a band we've long been proponents of) or Library Voices, you can check our reviews for either band (here and here respectively). Those two are being joined at some shows by Julie Fader (of GLS fame, amongst other things) who has a buzzed-about solo album coming out next month, and at others by Milks & Rectangles, who are signed to IFS' Night Danger records. So what are you waiting for, find your city below and start getting excited.

September 25    Victoria, BC    Element
September 27    Vancouver, BC     Media Club*
September 28    Kelowna, BC     Habitat*
September 30    Canmore, AB     Communitea*
October 02     Edmonton, AB    Flow*
October 03     Calgary, AB     The Legion
October 04     Lethbridge, AB    Henotic
October 06     Regina, SK     Exchange
October 07     Saskatoon, SK     Amigo's
October 09     Winnipeg, MB     The Lo Pub
October 10     Thunder Bay, ON     Jack's
October 11     Sault Ste Marie, ON     Loplops
October 14     Charlottetown, PE     Hunter's+
October 15     Fredericton, NB     The Capitol+
October 16     Moncton, NB     Paramount+
October 17     Halifax, NS     The Seahorse+
October 20     Montreal, PQ     Le Petit Campus*
October 21     Kingston, ON     Mansion*
October 27     Hamilton, ON     The Casbah*
October 28     Guelph, ON     E-Bar*
October 29     Toronto, ON     El Mocambo*
October 30     Ottawa, ON     The Live Lounge*

all dates w/ Library Voices
* w/ Julie Fader
+ w/ Milks & Rectangles

MP3:: In-Flight Safety - Big White Elephant

MP3:: Library Voices - Kundera On The Dance Floor

Labels: Canadian Tour, , Inflight Safety, Library Voices, Tour

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

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Contest:: Kestrels Tix + Vinyl

It's Friday and Shane is taking another day off so the concert listings post might not be coming. Instead, I'm putting up a terrific contest for locals.

Kestrels - not much else I can say about them really.They were the herohill/Music Nova Scotia band of the month. We invited them to play our herohill showcase last year (sure, Chad rejected us like we asked him to prom, but still... we asked and still recommended you go see them play because we don't hold grudges) and we've gushed about almost every song they've released.

Next week - July 9th to be precise - marks their CD release @ The Paragon and we are giving two lucky winners some sweet schwag. You get a vinyl copy of Primary Colours and guest list (+1) for the show. Throw in the fact that Doug Mason is opening, and that my friends is a fairly solid gift basket. All you have to do is drop us an email (herohill AT gmail DOT COM) or leave a comment with your contact info.

Take a listen to their latest single - Our Velocity - and enjoy.

MP3:: Kestrels - Our Velocity

MYSPACE:: www.myspace.com/kestrelskestrels
BUY:: http://kestrels.ca

Labels: , , ,

Posted at 10:33 AM by ack :: 6 comments

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Contest:: Win tix to Sunparlour Players CD release party

File under - for one night I wish I still lived in TO. The Sunparlour Players are celebrating the release of their new record - Wave North (review) - with a killer show. If you ask anyone, they will probably start raving about the Ontario band's live show, so I would think this night will be pretty special. Needless to say, if we both were still in TO, these tickets might have been won by us, but since we don't, we are happy to give two lucky readers two tickets to check this show out.

So the details:
June 26th - @ The Horseshoe Tavern with special guests The Hylozoists & Wayne Petti. To enter, just send us an email (herohill[AT]gmail[DOTCOM]) or drop us a comment with your email address.

MP3:: Sunparlour Players - Battle of '77

MP3:: Sunparlour Players - If the Creeks Don't Rise
MYSPACE:: www.myspace.com/thesunparlour

Labels: , ,

Posted at 8:21 AM by ack :: 2 comments

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Contest:: Win 2TIX to see Jose Gonzalez in Halifax

Short and sweet. Finger picking good, Jose Gonzalez is coming back to Halifax as part of his brief North American tour. He's playing another show at St. Matthew's Church, but this time around he's traveling with a band and letting The Got To Get Got warm the stage with an acoustic set.

All you need to do is drop us an email (herohill[at]gmail[dotcom]) or leave your email in the comments. We will pick a winner on June 17th. Sound easy?

Here are the specifics:
Thursday, June 25, all ages, 7:30pm, $20/$25, at St. Matthew’s Church

MP3:: Jose Gonzalez - In the Shade (live)

MP3:: Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature (live)
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/josegonzalez

Labels: , ,

Posted at 12:56 PM by ack :: 5 comments

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Contest:: Win 2TIX to see Arietta in Halifax

It's summer and the patios are finally packed. Time to get out and start doing things again. A suggestion? Spend next Saturday with the energy packed rockers, Arietta. We are giving one lucky winner the chance to "bro out" with a friend @ Coconut Grove on June 13th with Arietta, Kestrels and Owl.

Admittedly, when I first heard of the band, I was a bit concernicus. I mean, I don't really get down with the heavy rock these days - I leave that to Little Daddy Shane - and when I saw them dropping Smells Like Teen Spirit in the opening paragraph of the bio and the neon hat with the brim pointing North? Shudder. I was ready to pass.

In reality though, Migration - their new LP - has more to offer than played out cliches and hipster fashion. The band - especially for being so young - is remarkably tight. The guitar and rapid fire drums are for lack of a better word, crisp. They have some strong builds and experiment with some more emotional tracks, using textures that are common to new school indie bands (violin, steel and of course piano), but Arietta doesn't seem to be going through the motions or sticking to a formula. It's straight ahead, heavy indie rock.

So, how do you win? Simple. Leave your email address in the comments section or drop us an email (herohill[AT]GMAIL[DOTCOM]). And please... show up early. Kestrels will make it worth your while! And you can jump start your Friday with the catchy as hell jam, Into the Deep.

MP3:: Arietta - Into the Deep
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/arietta

Labels: , ,

Posted at 7:05 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Contest:: Dog Day 2 - Concentrationboogalo (vinyl + tix)

That's right folks... another Dog Day contest, which we shall cleverly dub, Concentrationboogalo. Unlike Breakin' II though, this one involves no dancing on the ceiling and we not break hard enough to save the rec centre from closing. Instead of raising cash, we're just here to give shit away.

Two lucky winners the chance to win a copy of the freshly printed vinyl edish of Concentration and tickets to a show in any city on their cross-Canada tour. Not only that, the band was nice enough to send over another legal MP3 for us to give away. Not too shabby for a Friday AM y'all.

Concentration has been picking up speed and grabbing some great reviews along the way, so don't miss out our your chance to see a great band and get a nice piece of acetate for your collection. All you have to do is email us (herohill AT gmail DOTCOM) or drop a comment telling us how nice we are for giving away free stuff. Like Black Sheep told us, the choice is yours.

Here are the dates:
8 May Hunter’s Charlottetown, Prince Edward
9 May Akhord Saint John, New Brunswick
10 May Struts Gallery Sackville, New Brunswick
24 May North Street Church Halifax, Nova Scotia
27 May Casbah Hamilton, Ontario
28 May Lee’s Palace Toronto, Ontario
29 May the Green Room Montreal, Quebec
30 May Zaphod Beeblebrox Ottawa, Ontario
4 Jun the Apollo Thunder Bay, Ontario
5 Jun Royal Albert Winnipeg, Manitoba
6 Jun Amigo’s Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
10 Jun Pawn Shop Edmonton, Alberta
11 Jun Broken City Calgary, Alberta
12 Jun Habitat Kelowna, British Columbia
13 Jun Lucky Bar Victoria, British Columbia
14 Jun Biltmore Vancouver, British Columbia

MP3:: Dog Day - Stray
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/dogdaytheband
WEB:: http://www.dogdaymusic.com/

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Posted at 7:50 AM by ack :: 8 comments

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Contests:: Tix (and CD) Weather Station & Timber Timbre

If you read my little prelim post on the Polaris this year, you'll know I'm a huge fan of the new Timber Timbre record (review). I actually never thought the Taylor would show up here in Halifax, let alone with a quality supporting act like The Weather Station - aka Tamara from Entire Cities. Tamara finally released her debut full length this year - The Line (review) - which is a powerful, chaotic folk record chock o block full of sadness and beauty.

So here's the skinny. Tamara and Taylor are playing solo sets at The Company House on May 16th, and thanks to the good people at Killbeat Music, we have a guestlist spot (+1) and a copy of The Weather Station LP for you. The warm North End venue and intimate set up are perfect for these two, and honestly you won't want to miss this one. All you have to do is email us (herohill AT gmail DOT COM) or comment below. Please remember to include your email address so we can actually contact you when you win. Easy peezy.

The Weather Station
MP3:: Rind

The Weather Station's Tamara Lindeman - "Trying" - TV DESSERTS ep. 2 from Lenny Epstein on Vimeo.

Timber Timbre
MP3:: Will Find Out

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Posted at 8:30 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Contests:: Win Joel Plaskett's Three - Part Three

So, we’ve reach the final installment of our Joel Plaskett trivia/review effort for the release of Three. Remarkably, the third installment offers up yet another side of Joel, one with a more AM radio feel. The songs take on a more classic feel - avoiding the back beat and horns that push One and the homesickness and loneliness of Two - and showcase Joel’s Nova Scotia pride, but more so than the other collections of Three, this record pushes past the confines of New Scotland and starts to sound like the country we call home.

In theory, all three records can stand on their own, but the shared vocalists and guitar sound really let Joel tie them together nicely. And while they should be looked at as a complete package, I think the final record will be the one embraced by the most fans. Rewind, Rewind, Rewind starts the disk, and sets a playful tone. The bending steel helps Joel look back, but Ana’s vocals and a bouncy piano keep the nostalgic sepia tones from turn into regret and flow nicely into Precious, Precious, Precious. The song bounces along like the back seat of a car cruising down a long dirt road and a sun kissed sparkle starts to shine on the quick hitting ditty. Deny, Deny, Deny benefits from some nice fiddle and lets Joel expose some tried and true Maritime folk chops.

The album closer, On & On & On, offers up some of the most honest words I've heard on record in quite some time. The 12-minute epic shows Joel seeing parts of his parents and his hometown as crucial parts of who he is, missing the people who have come and gone, and as more and more high schoolers forge fake connections through facebook, it's refreshing to hear someone admit that spending two hours listening to him sing every couple of years isn't what a friendship is based on.

But for me, the standout number on the last disc is the Tom Petty/Traveling Wilbury’s feel he creates on One Look. You don’t set out on a 27 song collection without hoping to leave a mark - and the fact that Joel mentions his age a few times, makes you wonder if he's started to take stockof his life - and One Look (and to be fair, Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’ could be received just as well) is the type of song that people will be singing years from now, knowing that no matter how music changes, certain songs and certain sounds never go out of style.

So here are the three questions you need to answer to be entered to win a copy of Joel's record:
Q1) What is the name of Joel's new record label?
Q2) What is the name of the Halifax neighborhood Joel spent his teen years in?
Q3) Name two of the artists featured in the Joel Plaskett curated single series? Hint. They are listed on his label's webpage.

To enter, just send an email with your contact info and the answers to herohill AT gmail DOT COM


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Posted at 12:46 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Contest:: Win Joel Plaskett's Three - Part 2

When I jokingly suggested to the Ack that we split up Joel Plaskett's new triple opus, with he, the much, much more prolific hill-half, doing of the first and third discs, while I, of the glacial writing speed, would handle the second, there were three things I didn't take into account:

1) That he would agree to it
2) That disc two is the rather serious, "isolated and homesick Joel" one, and that is not usually in my wheelhouse
3) That the Ack would write a novel, which I would have to then follow up on

Well no matter, I really should have anticipated Numbers one and three, as us writing the verbose posts is like Joel bringing his Dad Bill out on stage during a Halifax show: it happens on the regular. But there is a plus side to following the Ack, as I think he's hit the nail square on the head in most of the things he's said about Joel and this ambitious project of his - so as a result, they don't need repeating from yours truly. Now I don't have to repeat them, but this wouldn't be the hill if I didn't do it to some extent.

The Ack opened his second paragraph with this statement: "I’m not sure any Canadian artist has finally tuned their style as well as Joel Plaskett." And I think he's right. When I think of Joel now, one of the main things that comes to mind now is just how comfortable he is in his artistic skin these days. In high school and after, Joel came across as the tall, somewhat shy, and perhaps a little awkward, fourth of Thrush Hermit. But while the height remains, the rest is gone. His vast experience as an artist has transformed him into a supremely confident and comfortable performer, one who is happy with his success, but is even more interested in pursuing art that he considers meaningful and satisfying. Three is the latest result of that pursuit.

Think about it: it takes a bit of chutzpah to release a triple album in today's record buying (cough...downloading) climate. Joel is a shrewd guy, he knows this is a bit of a gamble, but I think he also realizes that he's at a point in his career where the personal fulfillment he feels in doing something like this outweighs what he would stand to gain from trying to just put out one Nowhere With You after another.

But what of Disc 2 then, the reason for this here article (well I'm sure the reason you're here is for the second trivia question down below)? As I mentioned in my second point up above, the slower, more acoustic focused songs found in this portion of the album wouldn't normally be the ones I'd gravitate to. But these heartfelt songs of longing for home and for loved ones, those both far away and lost forever, have a simple honesty that drew me in after a couple listens. Joel has a knack for writing songs that people can relate to, no matter what the subject matter of the song may be. A perfect example of this is Shine On, Shine On, Shine On, which is undoubtably influenced by his time spent touring down under, but the theme of trying to enjoy where you are when you're missing someone is something many of us can relate to.

Despite the serious subject matter found here, I think the collection definitely picks up some momentum in its centre section. Sailors Eyes is one of the few uptempo songs in this section, and it has an adventurous arrangement (what is that in the opening, a lute? I hope it's a lute) to match its tale of dangerous love. Anna Egge's vocals are put to great use on this as well. In contrast to the full sound of Sailors Eyes, the sparse guitar and drum machine jangle of In The Blue Moonlight is just effective, matching the loneliness of the lyrics. Beyond, Beyond, Beyond is an honest and affectionate look at the time Joel spent in Lunenburg before moving to Halifax - it's another one of those songs that tells a specific story, but many people have a similar story to tell. There's something about New Scotland Blues that makes me think it'll be a mainstay in many a Plaskett setlist in the future.

Now, to get to the important bit of this post, the next trivia question:

What is the name of the Halifax neighborhood Joel spent his teen years in?
1) There is a Thrush Hermit record named after it.
2) It is mentioned in Drunk Teenagers.

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Posted at 10:30 PM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Contest:: Win three signed copies of Joel Plaskett's Three

When it comes to the East Coast music scene, I'm not sure there is going to be a bigger release - in scope and anticipation - than Joel Plaskett's new record Three. Twenty-seven songs full of classic Joel and the Emergency sounds, but chock-o-block full of surprises and bigger, bolder arrangements. At the end of the day, Plaskett's biggest undertaking might end up being his most appreciated success.

To celebrate, we have three copies of Three - signed by Joel to giveaway. We are going to feature one record - (9 songs on each) for the next three days, and also include a trivia question. When you know all three answers, email us [herohill AT gmail DOT COM] to enter.


I know, I know. Right now all you haters are thinking, "Big deal. A review from herohill. You went to high school with the dude, of course you like him." Well, while that might be true, for a long time I actually leaned on the opposite side of that equation. I figured I listened to Joel because we used to head to class together and I watched him almost break his face trying a hand plant. It wasn’t until I started just listening to Joel simply as a song writer that I realized how talented he is.

I’m not sure any Canadian artist has finally tuned their style as well as Joel Plaskett. His unique palette of influence and inspiration blends an appreciation of the history of music – fiddle, vinyl, country, R & B, the constant themes of being home and traveling the world – but avoids any of the pitfalls that plague artists that rely on the past by keeping his songs upbeat and energetic. He splices tradition with drum machines beats, crunching indie inspired riffs and clever word poetry, and as a result he’s able to expose fans to musicians long since forgotten without alienating people who fell in love with his previous efforts.

Honestly, spend five minutes with the guy and you get the feeling that Joel is as happy to talk to you about the honor of recording in Willie Nelson’s studio as he is about crafting a hook for Classified. That love of music makes it impossible to question the sincerity of his songs, which is a good thing, because his latest opus – the appropriately titled Three – offers up 27 songs and on first glance you almost can't help but think about filler. Bands go a career without writing 27 good songs, let alone trying to package them for consumption in one sitting. Long story short though... Plaskett pulls it off, offering almost no tracks that you feel the need to skip over and tons that stand up against any of his catalog.

There are a few singers - Springsteen, John Mellancamp for example - that seem to find the exact words to represent their hometown, and Joel has crafted his voice to speak for Nova Scotia (and Canada really) and transport our ocean home to other locations. Normally you might stumble over lyrics like, “It’s a long long way to Winnipeg………. And I ain’t to proud to shake a leg, sing for my supper now crack me an egg” (Wishful Thoughts), but Plaskett makes those words just... fit... and forces you into the warming backing vocals, back beat and darting electric guitar of the road ready anthem.

Three explodes out of the gate with the country-fried electric guitar and a pulsing back beat of Every Time You Leave, but it’s when the backing vocals from Ana Egge and Rose Cousins (it must be said across the three LPs, they do a spectacular job – just listen to Gone, Gone, Gone for proof) kick in that you get hooked. Joel and the Emergency have always maintained a compact style, but the arrangements really bolster their sound and that energy continues into the lead single Through & Through & Through.

I always find Joel the most successful when he’s a bit playful on his records, and you can picture Joel and the girl’s smiling in the studio when they recorded this track. His salt of the earth comparisons hit the mark - “You be April Stevens, I’ll be April Wine” and “I will man my post, but I won’t do what I’m told” – and little things like how he bleeps out a curse with quick horns make it impossible to not like the track. But Disk One – as it is labeled – is not all horns and licks. Pine, Pine, Pine jumps into the Maritime folk driven sound Joel is so comfortable delivering, but this time around it’s bulked up by steel, drums, fiddle and some backing vocals. Wait, Wait, Wait adds more steel and horns to give the sleepy, country anthem a jump in its step, without taking away from the melancholic admissions Plaskett offers up.

It’s not surprising that Joel seems to focus on "leaving" for the majority of the first record. He’s reached the point where his life – well, as best as it can when he has to constantly hit the road – is settled here in Nova Scotia, but he’s also reached the age where you can’t help but wonder why worked out the way it did. When you call a different city home for half the year, constantly see your friends leaving and have to say goodbye before piling into the van night after night, you can’t help but feel the grind, miss the smells of home or wonder why you still spend so many hours watching the odometer turn. Luckily for fans, Plaskett channels the feeling of being lost perfectly and on the first 9 songs of Three he turns a lot of those road weary images into a collection of playful and poignant metaphors about love and loss.

Trivia question I - What is the name of Joel's new record label?

**The second question can be found here**
**The third question can be found here**

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Posted at 7:06 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Contest:: Win DVD/CD from Dengue Fever

band myspace || movie site

Here’s a nice little mid week giveaway for you. Dengue Fever delivers a heavy 60’s inspired Cambodian psyche/surf rock vibe – complete with Cambodian mega star Chhom Nimo on lead vocals – but this little package is something different. Dengue Fever Sleepwalking Through The Mekong details the band's trip to Cambodia and the vivid portraits of the shanty towns, landscapes, and people after the Pol Pot regime are amazing.

Although the area is more popular among backpackers and tourists now, it wasn't too long ago that culture and musicians were erased. Dengue Fever was the first band Western rock band was able to play in the country and while that is a big part of this film, part of the best footage is how the band interacts with the people. Sure, the new songs sound great but the documentary – filmed by John Pirozzi - is really a must watch. It's easy to forget how powerfully music touches people and this film shows that the Cambodian people and Dengue Fever never lost site of that.

So, we have three DVD/CD combo packs to giveaway. Just drop us an email - herohill AT gmail DOT COM - or leave your info in the comments. Even if you aren't hip to the vibe Dengue Fever brings to the table, the documentary is great watching.

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Posted at 6:23 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Contest:: Win In-Flight Safety's New Album, Halifax Show Tickets

In-Flight Safety hold the distinction of being the first Halifax band the Ack wrote about here on the hill (that post also remains notable for being the lone recorded usage of the Keith Sweat crush, which is rather famous in it's own right, but I digress) whilst he was still living away from our beloved hometown.

This may or may not be true, I'm certainly not going to spend the five minutes it would take to prove or disprove it, but what I can say about IFS with more certainty is that they're one of the most successful bands to come out of the Halifax indie scene in the last few years. Their debut album, The Coast Is Clear garnered them three ECMA awards, MuchMusic rotation, as well as MMVA and Juno nominations. Not a bad outing I would say.

Well, after a busy hiatus of some three years since the release of their debut, IFS are back with their new album we are an empire, my dear, which drops Tuesday, January 27th. IFS have always had a bigger, broader sound than you'll find coming from your average Halifax indie band, but I've always been a fan of what they do. we are an empire, my dear certainly follows that same pattern, with plenty of soaring in the mix, but with perhaps a bit more sadness or isolation creeping into the songwriting this time out. Anyway, I'm very much on board with the album after a preliminary listen, but a full review shall certainly be forthcoming, so I'll save my remaining IFS science for that.

Now then, on to the business at hand. To celebrate their new album, IFS are holding a shindig at the famous, yet doomed, Marquee on Friday, February 6th. We're pleased to be able to offer you not only the chance to win a pair of tickets, but also a spanking new copy of we are an empire, my dear. So don't miss your chance to celebrate two Halifax musical institutions in one shot. We have two prize packages available, and all you have to do is leave your name and email address in the comments or send us an email [herohill AT gmail DOTCOM] with the same info. We'll run the contest until the week of the show, so get your entries in, and we'll see you there.

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Posted at 12:18 PM by naedoo :: 3 comments

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Contest:: Free t-shirt from Worn Free

Every so often, we get the opportunity to pass along something cool to our readers and honestly think this is one of those times. Thanks to some gorgeous PR work (see how I did that?), we have the chance to give away two vintage rock shirts from hipper than hip Worn Free.

If you are impressed by shit celebs wear, well, you will want to jump on this (Aniston, Hali-famous Ellen Page, Shane’s favorite country rocker Keith Urban and JOHN STAMOS are just a few of the people who have been spotted in these duds).

But more importantly, if you are a fan of rock and roll history, these tees are for you. The idea – while simple – is fantastic. Worn Free has made t-shirts from some of the iconic shirts rock heroes wore in the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s. Whether you want to pay tribute to super rock critic (and really, the inspiration to bloggers everywhere) Lester Bangs, The Ramones, Iggy Pop or Gram Parsons, these shirts are the way to do it.

The shirts are mad expensive (well, if you operate on a blogger’s salary) so getting one for free is where it's at. All you have to do is leave your email, shirt choice and size in the comments or send us an email [herohill AT gmail DOTCOM] with the same info and T-Shirt in the subject line. Personally… if I had to chose (just sayin’, if you want to send a freebie to the messenger we’d be ok with that), I’d be going with the Rumble in Jungle shirt Mick Ronson sported.

Contest closes in two weeks, so get your entries in quick and we will get in touch with the winners.

And to get you in the mood, here are a couple modern takes on the classic work these heroes created.


Posted at 12:53 PM by ack :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Contest:: Win David Bowie Re-Issues

Who doesn't love Bowie? I am not sure, but chances are if you don't like Bowie herohill doesn't like you. We kid, but these two new Bowie records are going to be sweet, so why not enter for a chance to win them?

We are giving one lucky reader a copy of The Best Of David Bowie 1980-1987: Sight & Sound and the re-issue of Young Americans. Young Americans is remastered, includes some bonus tracks and live video of David on the Dick Cavett show. Yes, I only included that because Dick Cavett is badass.

To win these CDs, just leave your email in the comments, or email us (herohill[at]gmail.com) with Bowie in the subject line.

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Posted at 11:09 AM by ack :: 2 comments

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