My new personal chart is taking a backseat to my Canadian Music Week update. Despite lots and lots and lots of walking as well as shifting my regular body clock a few times to accommodate some shows, I was really glad I decided to purchase a Canadian Music Week wristband this year. I had been to shows during CMW in the past but I really had the urge to get out and see some shows, since my winter months were pretty concert-deprived.
As much as I love the dance music that takes regular residence on my chart, getting away from autotune and seeing mainly raw live performances was well worth it. I got to meet a lot of great people which shows me that the people making music out there are still the ones I enjoy most. There are many talented people behind the scenes, but too much of a requisite amount of a-holes. I used to find that with performers, too, but not in recent years.
So here are my highlights – if you follow me on Twitter, you pretty much realized that I needed to be cloned 😉
THE TEMPER TRAP: The Aussie quintet is back with its self-titled follow up to Conditions due this Spring. The group provided an entertaining mix of savvy pop, rock and dance music, capped with its big hit “Sweet Disposition”. The new songs sound very gripping and I can’t wait to hear them. Dougy Mandagi is an engaging front man. Check out the video for new single “Need Your Love” below.
MARTHA WAINWRIGHT: It was way too long since I last saw Martha open up for her brother Rufus in one of his shows about 7 or 8 years ago. I saw an in-store 20 minute acoustic set, and she was very inspiring and in fantastic voice. Another upcoming album that will be well worth the wait.
AERIALS UP: The first of my pop collectives, as I blogged about last week, the 7 piece Scottish unit led by Alan Kemlo offered up one of the very best shows I saw with a perfect balance of instrumentation. The band was totally wrapped up and in the moment on stage, and the songs from their upcoming album due in April sounded fabulous. Despite an effort to see them a second time that was screwed up from wrong information I received from the venue, I will look forward when Aerials Up return to Toronto. I think they made a whole lot of fans here.
GENTLEMEN HALL: Despite mediocre and sometimes distorted sound, the 6 piece Boston rock band led by Gavin Merlot and Cobi Mike who were my second pop collective stirred up a tempest on stage. With synthesizers prominently in the mix, the band did not hesitate to add heavy guitars or some lovely melodies for a diverse set. I got new appreciation for their song “Gravity Will Break Our Bones”.
IN MY COMA: Though I didn’t get to see their CMW show, I did catch a set by the three piece Toronto band led by Jasper James that I wrote about recently a few days before CMW. The band is tight with a rich contemporary take on post-grunge rock that is presented in their finely crafted CD package Magnets And Miracles.
BIG SCARY: Big Scary is a duo from Australia comprising Tom Iansek and Jo Syme. Lest you think that a the market for a two piece band with a female drummer comprised The (now defunct) White Stripes and Matt & Kim, we’ll you’re wrong. Big Scary indeed does have a big rock sound (guitar/keyboards/drums) that takes inspiration from post 80’s new wave. There seems to be lots of room for anything in their mix so I’ll look forward to hearing songs from their recent album Vacation.
THE SLAKADELIQS: I’ve written about this Toronto outfit led by Slakah the Beatchild twice now, and was fortunate to catch their premiere public show. Despite being sabotaged by poor sound, the band invited guest vocalists up on stage, to give their show a real community vibe. This in turn was enhanced with their guitar players alternating with some fantastic dual cello work! Best of all at the end came Justin Nozuka, who lifted the set into an entirely different game with his vocals for “Keep Breathing” and “Love Controls The Sun”.
RIVER TIBER: It was very cool for me to actually meet Tommy Paxton-Beesley at The Slakadeliqs show, before I saw his band play their own set in a well-attended graveyard shift (3:00 a.m.) the next night. River Tiber delivered the goods in performance especially on “Someday”, “These Are Centuries”, and a well-chosen rendition of The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun”. As I wrote a few weeks back, River Tiber’s From Now On is one of the few Must Hear records of 2012 thus far.
With that having been said, let’s move into chart mode 🙂
I could not leave Eric Saade stranded at #2 with “Backseat” after 10 weeks. The last song I remember in a similar situation was “Crush (1980 Me)” by Darren Hayes, which got one appearance at #1 in 2002, but became one of my 10 favourite songs of the last decade! I love the rock flavour and sexual undertones in “Backseat”. If you haven’t heard it yet, listen below. His other song on the rise on the chart, “Fingerprints”, slides up to #3 too.
Then back we go to Tommy Paxton-Beesley and River Tiber. “Someday” is currently taking over my iTouch and it climbs 11-2 to challenge for #1 in two weeks. Not only that, but another River Tiber song “Symmetry” will grab you when you’re not looking. It debuts at #12.
The rest of the Top 10 shapes up with single point gains with songs by Graffiti6, JMSN, and Joe Jonas. M83 enters at #10 with “Midnight City”, but it’s The Wanted that unexpectedly storm the Top 10 with “Glad You Came” at #9. Oh, and boy bands are NOT back. They never went away.
As the release of his Promising Promises album arrives in May, the stirring duo of Jon McLaughlin with Sara Bareilles on “Summer Is Over” inches towards the Top 10 at #11. On a different bent, Colin Munroe’s inspiring “The Fight Of My Life” draws me in listen after listen and moves up to #13. Last week’s other debuts all fare well. The Knocks’ take on “Midnight City” rises to #19; “Could It Be Magic” is transformed by Elouise and climbs to #20; “Happiness” by the ever-talented Sam Sparro jumps to #22 (video is below); Kaya and Pierre Lewis take “When I Was Blind” to #23; and “Call It What You Want” is at #24 for Foster The People.
It’s been almost 5 years since Tyler Hilton appeared in my chart with “You’ll Ask For Me”, but in the interim he’s been busy performing both on stage and on camera in film and on TV (“One Tree Hill”). It’s hard to believe that Forget The Storm will only be his sophomore full album release, his first being 2004’s The Tracks Of Tyler Hilton. But if the pensive and laid back “Prince Of Nothing Charming” (debuting at #26 – his 7th entry on my chart though!) proves anything it’s that Tyler Hilton is on his way to continuing to please his many fans and expand worldwide. Watch for the release of Forget The Storm on April 3.
You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.