Tag Archives: vocals

Modest Mouse/764-HERO – 15 minutes in heaven

One thing you, our beloved readers, may not know about the wolf and the sheep is that we are addicted to long songs (Best Music of 2009 – check out Bay of Pigs and you’ll understand everything). The longer the better. This craze that we are currently in exploded with a one month obsession with Pink Floyd’s Dogs. We seriously just can not get enough of long songs! It takes a skilled group of artists to put together a sound that goes on and on and on, and not everyone can do it so well.

So, what happens when you combine Modest Mouse and 764-HERO? The result is this 15 minute single, Whenever You See Fit which was released in 2004. Modest Mouse is pretty mainstream but this song appears to have remained under the covers – a hidden gem, if you will. 764-HERO is a whole other (wonderful) story which may or may not be explored in the future of this blog. Together, these two bands have created two hauntingly distant vocals that seem to be fighting against each other throughout the whole song.

This song explores the lows of a seriously dragged out relationship that seems to never have the potential to come to a definite end. The only thing that this couple is addicted to more than each other is messing things up between them. The mistakes in any relationship are inevitable, nothing is ever perfect (at least, not for long) and sometimes its hard to call it quits. Once you get so comfortable with someone, the only thing harder than living through a bickering hell is moving on. That person is always there, always on your mind, always in your head, and always in your life even when they’re not.

Yeah, we’re talking on the phone again
Acting like we are our own best friend
And everything you ever said
Every thought I ever meant, I ever did
You’ll wake up early and you’ll live to regret

The ending of the song is a disappointment – just not in artistry:

Now and then, whenever you see fit
Nothing is clear
Tell the truth
Whenever you go wrong
Everything’s fine

Even though they know that “nothing is clear” and that no one is telling the truth, they convince themselves that, after all, everything is fine, everything will be okay in the end. A wonderful little (okay – not so little) song that sums up the drowning agony that is often associated with many relationships. But that’s just the way it is.

Okay, enough analysis for the day week month. We just love to analyze, have you noticed? What do you guys think? Personally, I love this song and I have been able to casually go back to it since I heard it about 3 years ago. Today I decided to take it more seriously and hopefully the result is not you reading this with a giant question mark floating above your head… hopefully.

until next time,
your neighborhood friendly man eater/grass grazer

buy the single here
read the lyrics here
Modest Mouse’s Myspace
764-HERO’s Myspace

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The Balconies; show some spunk

This week, we introduced the “Song of the Week” section, and the first band to be featured is The Balconies. They are a band that formed in Ottawa, and are currently rocking the Toronto scene.

The Balconies are currently unsigned (probably/hopefully not for long) and consist of Jacquie Neville (guitar, vocals), Liam Jaeger (drums, vocals), and Stephen Neville (bass, vocals).

Now, my friends usually think that I only listen to sad/slow/mellow/depressing music… BUT I am here today to prove them wrong!! My latest obsession is The Balconies; It took me literally WEEKS to find their full album, so I had been living off of the 6 songs found on their myspace for a while. According to their myspace page, this group of three formed when Jacquie and Liam met while studying classical music at the University of Ottawa (that’s right; Beethoven, Mozart, all that.. great stuff). Stephen, the brother of Jacquie, was then stolen from home to become a rockstar (Okay, not really but you get the point). But the music they make and the music they studied is far from similar. The catchy vocals are shared between all three members, backed up with a popping bass line and speedy drums which lure you into a world of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows (To all my dear friends: take that!!). With that being said, the female vocals for this band are one of the most powerful and controlling ones I’ve ever heard.

Check it out (along with The Slo at our Song of the Week section):

in my heart,
you seem to love me in the dark

300 pages

If you like what you hear, you’ve GOT the check out this live video of them: Live in Ottawa.

They’ve only got one full length out (self-titled, and recorded!) But look out Canada, look out world! With this much spunk, these guys are gonna be big someday! They have some shows coming up (which are likely to be intimate), so be sure to get out and show some love and support!

28 Jan- Clark Hall Pub (Kingston, Ontario)
30 Jan 2010 – L’Absynthe w/ The Darcys and Jane’s Party (Montreal, Quebec)
2 Feb 2010 -Babas Lounge (Charlottetown, Prince Edward)
3 Feb 2010 – Mount Allison Tantramarch Pub w/ By Divine Right (Sackville, New Brunswick)
5 Feb 2010 – The Capitol (Fredericton, New Brunswick)
6 Feb 2010 – The Pavilion – EARLY ALL AGES SHOW (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
6 Feb 2010 – The Seahorse Tavern w/ Soaking Up Jagged and Bad Vibrations and Cold Warp (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
10 Feb 2010 – The Drake Hotel w/ By Divine Right and Gentlemen Reg (Toronto, Ontario)
26 Feb 2010 – The Black Sheep Inn w/ The Golden Dogs (Wakefield, Quebec)
27 Feb 2010 – Legendary Red Dog – w/ The Golden Dogs (Peterborough, Ontario)
16 Mar 2010 – The Casbah (Hamilton, Ontario)

Love,
the wolf & the sheep
*photo credit

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The National; You know you have a permanent piece of my medium sized American/Canadian heart

Some people are just suckers for bands that have a distinct vocalist. With these bands, you usually love them right away, or you need to listen to them and “get used” to the sound to really love them. Either way, if you are one of those people, then you are sure to enjoy/love/get a tattoo of The National. Matt Berning sings in a sombre voice which makes even explosive songs (instrumentally) sound mellowed out. He takes his time to get each word out with absolute confidence and seriousness in what he is saying (even when it sounds something like: Karen put me in a chair/fuck me and make me drink). And why shouldn’t he? His amazing lyrics are worthy of such a strong voice. And trust me, they will make you feel like you could have written these words about someone you’ve been missing. One of my very favourite lyrics is:

Build a room for your love
Take your time when you tell her
How she lives in your blood
You should’ve looked after her better
You should’ve looked after her more
You should’ve locked the door

Val Jester

Val Jester is a beautiful song that is about taking things for granted. This is something we all do with things in our life, and also more severely with people in our life. We don’t appreciate them and what they do for us. We do not take the time to think about how our lives would be different if this person were not in it. Then, when they are gone, all we can do is live in regret and miss them to death and feel like you don’t deserve them. (At least, that’s my take on this song… Listen to it and tell me what you think!)

If you are new to this band, we recommend that you start with Alligator because… well it is the one we started with, and there are several outstanding tracks such as Daughters of the Soho Riots(!!!), Val Jester, All the Wine, and The Geese of Beverly Road( just to name a few). The key feelings that are expressed in the album are those of guilt, regret, and desperation; feeling like everything in your life is not right and was maybe better at another point.

Having said all of this, something tells me that this may be one of those albums where every song is about the same girl (uh… Karen?). It is usually boring and repetitive to listen to albums that revolve around one girl. But even though Alligator may very well be about the same girl or the same relationship, it explores many points where things went wrong in a relationship that has been dragged out. There are so many of these levels that you could literally write a whole album/book/great American screenplay about it..

The guys have a new CD they’ve been working on, which is hopefully coming out sometime this year! In the meantime, we will all just hold ourselves over with Alligator (or any of their other albums!) which is definitely music that everyone who has feelings can connect with, so give it a listen! (Unless you’re a robot.. or an animal… like a zebra.. in that case, we’d really like it if you said hi to us!).

Happy Listening!
Love,
the wolf & the sheep

myspace
official site
tumblr (because who doesn’t have one these days..)

Tigers on Trains; new demo on myspace

Tigers on Trains. Simply put, we love this band.

We fell in love with them fast and hard.

Their latest full length album, Grandfather came out this past August, as their fan-base increased at a rate which was probably exponential. This is due to the youtube-brand new-fiasco (Google it?). At least, that’s how we shamelessly discovered them (Ok, maybe there’s a little bit of shame considering we didn’t discover them earlier .. But whatever, it’s great music). The two guys, Mason Maggio and Christian Van Deurs, have also started a new project, called The Republic of Wolves. Their first EP (His Old Branches – check it out if you know whats good for you and your ears) dropped last month with a beyond smooth landing.

Along with the simplicity of our love for this band, so is the strumming of their guitars – which must be endowed with magical powers  – in practically all their songs. All of their songs, new and old, have a serious folk sound – so much damn strumming and nothing else! No piano, no drums, just strumming along. For someone like me who is tone/pitch deaf and overall musically retarded (what am I doing writing a music blog?), their songs do not tend to differ from each other musically. But this simplicity  just WORKS for Tigers on Trains. That is because the beauty of their music lies within the lyrics and the simple raw transition of emotion into instrumental sound. These men have the ability to isolate a moment so beautifully that the music is all you care to hear.

There is now a new demo on their myspace, Canossa:

And sure enough we spent the day

Dreaming of ways to make the past come back

We drew the sky up on the wall

You drew the sun and I drew the clouds

That’s when I realized I was casting all this shade

Or listen to Canossa on their myspace .

As for us, we are still trying to wrap our heads around how two guys that are this young (they must be at least under 25), are capable of thinking such complex thoughts and creating such beautiful words and music; It is at the level of someone who has gone through life and figured out all of the great questions of what it means to be alive. They must have a hell of a life filled with a mountain of heartache!

My last thoughts for you; trust me when I say that that best way to spend a lonesome snowy day is in bed under a warm blanket while listening to Tigers on Trains.

Tigers on Trains – Interview
www.myspace.com/tigersontrains

– the wolf & the sheep