Category Archives: Music

YouTube find: Postmodern Jukebox

Zevi’s always browsing The Awesomer finding cool things to check out, and last night he came across this YouTube channel called Postmodern Jukebox. Have you heard of them? They do jazz-infused covers of all sorts of songs, from boy band hits, to old school cartoon themes, to modern hits. I love the totally unique spin that they put on these well known tunes. Some of them are so completely unexpected!

Here are a few of my favourites. Check out their YouTube channel for more!

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Mike Edel and Towers and Trees at the Ironwood

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Watching live music fills my soul in a way that nothing else can. I haven’t been to many concerts this year, so I was excited when my lovely sister Julia invited me and Zevi to a show at the Ironwood. Between Julia and her friend they’d gathered a pretty large group so we had quite the contingent out to see some great bands!

Mike Edel

The Ironwood is one of my favourite places in Calgary to see bands play. Shows generally start at a reasonable hour, the environment is relaxed, the sound quality is top notch, and it’s not earsplittingly loud. Can you tell I’m getting old? We had great seats almost as close to the stage as you can get, and while I initially worried I’d walk out completely deaf, our vantage point turned out to be just perfect.

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The bands on the bill that night were both from Victoria. First up was Towers and Trees, a six piece fronted by the dynamic Adrian Chalifour. I was really impressed by their energy and by how tight their set was – they sounded like veterans rather than a band on their first Canadian tour! With beautiful harmonies on the slower ballads and frenetic bluesy spirit on the up tempo numbers, the set was a great mix of feeling and showmanship. They were great at interacting with the audience, unplugging and playing a song in the crowd and encouraging lots of clapping and snapping along. I’d never heard their music before that night, but I came away a big fan! They’ve got a record coming out in the next few months, and the first song off of it more than lives up to their live performance. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!

While Towers and Trees were a new discovery for me, I’d been listening to Mike Edel for quite some time. I saw him a couple of years ago when he came through Calgary and enjoyed his set so much that I picked up his album, The Last Of Our Mountains, which has been on heavy rotation ever since. Mike’s voices is powerful but also very raw and real, and it has an almost whispery quality that makes you believe that everything he’s saying is coming from an honest place. He played a lot of material from his new album, which is coming out in a few weeks, and I was happy to hear that the new songs were just as gorgeous as the ones I’ve listened to so many times. It turns out Mike is a storyteller too, and we were treated to the stories behind some of the songs he was playing. It’s always fun to hear about the inspiration behind the lyrics!

It was a great night of music, and the perfect combination of a new discovery and an old favourite. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the upcoming releases from both Towers and Trees and Mike Edel, and you should be too!

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My Five: Favourite Albums Right Now

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’ve got some exciting things in store for the weekend. Since I am currently unemployed every day is pretty much a weekend, but Friday and Saturday seem to be when everyone else is in the mood to have fun, so they’re still exciting for me ;).

I always like hearing about what other people are in to, so I thought it would be fun to talk about some of my favourites from time to time. So today, let’s talk about five albums I’m really enjoying right now. Some of these are new and some have been out for a while, but they’ve all been getting quite a bit of play recently.

1. Let’s Be Ready – The Wooden Sky

I still love this Ontario band’s 2008 release If I Don’t Come Home You Know I’m Gone, and Let’s Be Ready is another home run. Lead singer Gavin Gardiner’s voice keeps its rough growl, and the songs retain their folky charm, but the addition of some heavier electric guitar kicks things up a notch.

Favourite Track: Our Hearts Were Young

2. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith

This guy’s one of the most popular artists out there these days, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m firmly on the bandwagon. Sam Smith’s warbly falsetto get’s me every time. Whether you’re in the mood for a dance party or you want to wallow in sadness over your failed relationship, there’s a little something here for every occasion. This is without a doubt my most listened to album over the last six-plus months. I just can’t quit!

Favourite Track(s): Restart and Make It To Me (because there’s no way I could pick just one)

3. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Soundtrack – Various Artists

I heard some of the songs from this soundtrack through Google Play Music radio (my favourite way to discover new music these days) and I was inspired to check out the entire album. I’m usually not one to seek out soundtracks, and I haven’t even seen the movie, but this one is top notch. Featuring some artists I was already a fan of (Bahamas, Jose Gonzalez) and some that were new to me (Rogue Wave, Rogue Valley), this is the perfect thing to listen to on a relaxing Sunday morning.

Favourite Track: Stay Alive by Jose Gonzalez

4. High Noon – Arkells

This Hamilton group has been a favourite of mine for a while, and I’m glad to see that everyone else is catching on to their infectious pop-rock sounds.  High Noon retains the band’s driving enthusiasm and provides more catchy hooks than ever.

Favourite Track: Leather Jacket (I’ve listened to this song more than any other in the past few months)

5. Club Meds – Dan Mangan and Blacksmith

Dan Mangan lost me a little bit with his 2011 release, but 2015’s Club Meds has once again made me a believer. Brooding and dark, but very listenable, Dan’s earnest growl draws me in and the unique instrumentation and fuzzy guitars keeps me interested.

Favourite Track: Offred

So that’s what’s in heavy rotation for me right now. Are you listening to anything good these days? I’d love to know!

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