Thursday, November 5, 2009

Video Hits:: Dan Mangan, Great Bloomers, Minto, Winter Gloves & Matt Epp

Great Bloomers
Ok folks, it's Thursday, and so I'm going to skip the foreplay and get straight to the hot Canadian music video action. Well, not right to it, as it's in the hill's bylaws that we must give some preamble for even the simplest of posts.

I'm sure many of you have already seen the video we're leading off with today, but that's too bad, because if Snoop picked this guy up, he'd immediately drop him, because, you know, he's hot. I speak, of course, of friend of the hill Dan Mangan, who released the video for Robots this past week, and it's a lot of fun. So enjoy if you haven't seen it yet. The Great Bloomers are a hard working young outfit from Toronto whose last album Speak Of Trouble, is highly thought of around these parts, and their fall harvest-inspired video for This Ain't You is rather beautiful. Out west we head next for a heaping slice of fun with Minto, whose 80's instructional video-inspired clip for the infectiously rebellious Burnt Down Trainbridge Blues (Lawyers) should make you smile unless you are a very unhappy person. Why not keep the old school party vibe going with the 60's vibe of Winter Gloves's Party People? There is no reason not to, so we shall. We'll go in the complete opposite direction to wrap things up with Matt Epp's chilling video for the serious-as-a-heart-attack They Won't Find The Bodies. Watch that video once and you'll know you do not mess with Matt Epp. Enjoy!

Dan Mangan - Robots

MP3:: Dan Mangan - Robots (Live @ HPX 09)

Great Bloomers - This Ain't You

MP3:: Great Bloomers - The Young Ones Slept

MINTO - Burnt Down Trainbridge Blues (Lawyers)

MP3:: Minto - Train Bridge Blues

Winter Gloves - Party People

MP3:: Winter Gloves - Invisible (ease v Remix)

Matt Epp - They Won't Find The Bodies

MP3:: Matt Epp - This Old House

Labels: Dan Gallagher, , Matt Epp, Minto, , , Winter Gloves

Posted at 1:51 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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Monday, October 26, 2009

HPX 09:: The Aftermath

Well friends, HPX 09 came to an end, and due to our downright busy-ness, we could do the kind of day-by-day recaps we might have liked, but we did capture some of our classic grainy pics (now with 30% more grain, thanks iPhone!) and poorly recorded bootlegs, and so we wanted to share them.

The Ack called it prefectly this AM, as my brain is also "happily existing as musical oatmeal right now", and so there shant be a ton of verbiage here, just some sweet bullets and then the pics and songs. So, some brief HPX 09 highlights from the hill:

- As previously discussed, the herohill showcase was stellar from top to bottom, so thanks to the kind folks at HPX for having us back again

- Yukon Blonde were great: fun, polished set - they seem like they've been playing together for decades

- Dan Mangan's set was way too much fun. Arriving in town after battling the flu all week, the only thing warmer than Dan's temperature was the reception given to him by a packed Company House.

- Cadence Weapon joining Think About Life onstage for a communal version of Sweet Sixteen was pretty crazy, people were pretty hyped.

- Speaking of CW, he and his DJ and easily the most animated MC-DJ combo I've seen in a while - dude was leaving the turntables and busting out some k-razy dance-moves.

- We figured Timber Timbre in St. Matthew's church would be good, but his set, which was equal parts spooky and stirring, exceeded our expectations.

- Here's a hot tip: Oh No Forest Fires are fast & fun live. Oh, and Rajiv is a super-nice fella - but many of you already know this.

- Another nice fella? Ricardo from Old Folks Home who made hill history by asking to get a pic with us (first artist to do so, we were flattered)

- Best dance moves we saw? Perhaps Josh from Little Girls.

- ZEUS, the almighty ZEUS. Nuff said.

- every band we saw was terrific, but the fest in general had some killer moments (ie - Jenn Grant acting out Ghostbusters????) so hats off to the organizers/bands/volunteers.

- kudos to Dan Mangan for playing "his hardest song" specifically for my wife. We were both happy you did that.

- Zeus. Honestly, not sure there is a better band in Canada right now. They are that good (plus they tear up that Genesis cover).

- The Got to Get Got + energy - burnt hair = a set that won over tons of people

MP3:: Dan Mangan - Sold (Live @ HPX 09)

MP3:: Dan Mangan - Robots (Live @ HPX 09)

MP3:: Timber Timbre - Demon Host (Live @ HPX 09)

MP3:: Yukon Blonde - Wind Blows (Live @ HPX 09)

MP3:: You Say Party! We Say Die! - Lonely's Lunch (Live @ HPX 09)

MP3:: You Say Party! We Say Die! - She's Spoken For (Live @ HPX 09)

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Posted at 1:00 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Five Funky Stories:: Dan Mangan

photo courtesy of

The random question generator isn't afraid to ask the tough questions. Just ask Dan Mangan, as he was forced to deal with the heat of who he might boo on stage and what the best Canadian record of all time is. More importantly, it gives us another chance to talk about the young Vancouver singer. You might think his amazing EP, even better follow up, or the fact he won $25K for being the Verge Artist of the Year would be good enough reason, but you'd be wrong. It's because if pressed to cover one hip-hop track, Dan would choose one of the best hip-hop songs ever.

Dan will be here in Halifax playing two shows during Pop Explosion, including a headline slot on Friday night @ The Company House. Even if we weren't covering the HPX, I'd be waiting anxiously for this show, as Dan is a terrific performer and I love to sing about Robots.
Name: Dan Mangan

Band: currently addicted to the internet


1. Can you think of any band or singer you would boo if they came on-stage unexpectedly?

Donald Rumsfeld?

2. If you could only keep one instrument from your collection, what would it be?

May be typical.. But it's the guitar.. I've only got one decent one.. It's a Taylor

3. Name your all-time favorite Canadian album.

This question is frustratingly hard, and I can't answer it properly, but I will say that "Idols Of Exile" by Jason Collett didn't get the credit it deserved

4. What was the first moment you considered yourself a 'professional musician'?

When I had the opportunity to get back to even with debt and went ahead and spent the money on more gear

5. If forced to cover one hip hop song, what would it be?

93 Til Infinity by Souls Of Mischief

MP3:: Dan Mangan - Road Regrets

Labels: , Five Funky Stories, ,

Posted at 6:12 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reviews:: Dan Mangan Nice, Nice, Very Nice

It’s easy to forget that Vancouver native Dan Mangan has been touring most of the last four years on the strength of a single EP and LP. That’s because, no matter how much I enjoyed Postcards and Dreaming, it always seemed to be just the tip of the iceberg when it came to Dan’s potential. When you’d be lucky enough to see him live, he’d introduce a new tune or a new arrangement to an old classic, and undoubtedly those in attendance would leave discussing the next Mangan record and how the well traveled songwriter would finally have the catalog to convert the masses.

When the Roboteering EP (review) came out earlier this year, Mangan offered the perfect amuse bouche to start us salivating. Packaging three of the records most catchy tunes - Robots (which might just be the song of the year), the insecurity that dominates The Indie Queens are Waiting (a ballad about trying to fit in) and the whimsical, ramshackle style of Sold - he got everyone excited about Nice, Nice, Very Nice. Throw in the fact the lead single, Road Regrets, is a road trip anthem that crescendos for the opening four minutes of the record and you can see why Dan had people talking.

But Nice, Nice, Very Nice is more that catchy sing-alongs and ear pleasing guitar. Exposing a soul partially broken down by the relentless touring and the loneliness of the road, you are struck by the maturity and heart of the young singer. Fair Verona resists the urge to run, and lets Mangan play with bolder arrangements (horns, picked strings). The song about his girlfriend - You Silly Git - almost feels like an Ohbijou cover and shows a man happy for what he has instead of fixating on what could be. The heavy heart of Pine for Cedars is another heavy dose of melancholic beauty that reveals Dan’s soul to anyone willing to listen and lets us all know that another day away from all you love might not be the dream life we often assume musicians live.

But at the end of the day, it’s the honesty of Nice, Nice, Very Nice that wins you over. You can’t help but think Dan writes what he knows and plays music with and for his friends. Any Vancouver music lover will appreciate Tina’s Glorious Comeback (“playing at the Railway with another emo band”), but for me it’s how well Dan incorporates the musical relationships he’s formed over the years into these songs. Whether it’s the support of Veda Hille, the vocal interplay and dexterity he and Mark Berube demonstrate on Some People or just the willing contributions from some of Canada’s biggest names in the indie scene (Said the Whale, Justin Rutledge, Mother Mother and Elliott Brood), everyone seemed happy to help Dan get his vision recorded and out to the public.

Unfortunately for Dan, the heartache of toruing is one he'll have to get used to quickly. The Vancouver native admits he does, “like the road, but I’d be better at home”, but once Nice, Nice Very Nice is embraced by the masses, Dan will be even busier boarding planes and filing into vans, sound checking, playing shows and missing the comforts of home. Considering this is a man I once saw win over a hockey crowd simply by singing the National anthem, it’s hard to believe that this new collection of stellar songs won't help him leave each tour stop with countless new fans in his corner.

MP3:: Dan Mangan - Road Regrets


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Posted at 7:48 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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