Archive for the ‘Crystal Castles’ Category

AWmusic’s Top Songs of 2008 pt4: #1-25

I know I’m one day late but I’m finallllly done. I hope you enjoy it.
Part 3 #26-50
Part 2 #51-75
Part 1 #76-100

Numbers 1 through 25:
#1 Ready For The Floor by Hot Chip (myspace/video)
Best dance song of the year? Best song too.
#2 Crimewave – Crystal Castles vs Health (Crystal Castles’ myspace/Health’s Myspace/video)
This version is miles better then the original.
#3 Little Bit by Lykke Li (myspace/live)
I’m not only a little bit in love with this.
#4 L.E.S. Artists by Santogold (myspace/video)
Santogold’s least creative but most accessible track.
#5 Hearts On Fire by Cut Copy (myspace/video)
Cut Copy has a ton of great tracks.
#6 Head Rolls Off by Frightened Rabbit (myspace/video)
“Jesus is just a Spanish boy’s name”
#7 White Winter Hymnal by The Fleet Foxes (myspace/video)
#26 on my top songs of 2007 list.
#8 M79 by Vampire Weekend(myspace/live)
The better of the two new songs.
#9 Graveyard Girl by M83 (myspace/video)
Without the poem, this could very well be #1.
#10 Unforgettable Season by Cut Copy (live)
Not the most danceable but my favorite.
#11 You Me Dancing by Los Campesinos! (myspace/video -ep version)
It takes long to get started but worth the wait.
#12 Magic Spells by Crystal Castles
This song is their most artistic/creative venture.
#13 Kim & Jessie by M83 (video)
Another great track off Saturdays=Youth.
#14 Skeng by The Bug ft. Killa P and Flowdan(myspace/video)
Best track off the amazing London Zoo.
#15 Machine Gun by Portishead (homepage/video)
Even if the song is simple, Beth Gibbons does wonders.
#16 Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend (video)
Number 4 of my 2007 list.
#17 These Few Presidents by Why? (myspace/live)
“Even if I haven’t seen you in years, yours is a funeral I’d fly to from anywhere” – had to break my rule for that line.
#18 Time To Pretend by MGMT (myspace/video)
It’ll be ironic if they have a coke habit.
#19 Kids by MGMT (video)
They do know how to make a decent pop song.
#20 The Twist by Frightened Rabbit (live)
Emotions of a simple dance, captured perfectly.
#21 Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk by Lightspeed Champion (myspace/live)
Everybody I know IS listening to crunk.
#22 Teenagers by Department of Eagles (myspace)
My favorite song off In Ear Park.
#23 Furr by Blitzen Trapper (myspace/live)
One of the better folk songs of the year.
#24 Lost Coastlines by Okkervil River (myspace/video)
Jonathan Meiburg vocals puts on the perfect touch.
#25 Street Flash by Animal Collective (myspace)
Anyone excited for Merriweather Post Pavilion? (We’ve heard the leaks)

Canada’s Hottest Bands of 2008

I contributed to last month’s blogger compilation to vote for the Canada’s Hottest Bands of 2008 edition on I Heart Music. In brackets is where the band was placed. I only contributed the top 10 as well and I included 5 more bands that should be at least considered.

1. Crystal Castles (11th)
Crystal Castles were ones of the hottest bands of the year after their debut release and at times the most controversial e.g the Chiptunes controversy and the “stolen” artwork on old EP. They seem to have survived the criticism and are stronger then ever putting on crowded live events all while laying low in the media. I think they were easily the big winners when it comes to Canadian artists.

Magic Spells by Crystal Castles

2. Fucked Up (8th)
Fucked Up’s Common Chemistry of Life has been receiving good reviews from most places. From a critical standpoint the album has been Canada’s most successful artist in terms of being liked critically. They also played a cover of Blitzkrieg Bop with Moby…. Even if we didn’t think too highly of Fucked Up ourselves doesn’t change the fact that they have taken some people by storm.
Looking for God by Fucked Up

3. Black Mountain (T13)
Black Mountain released In The Future at the start of the year and was on the shortlist for the Polaris Prize. Bloggers and publications lauded the band calling it one of the year’s best despite the year just kicking off. They definitely kicked things off with a bang.

Stormy High by Black Mountain

4. Chad VanGaalen (1st)
He looks like the front runner for next year’s Polaris Prize. He’s released a top notch album which most bloggers have enjoyed. Other then Now Magazine which has delusionally given the album a poor score (and continues to call it a weak outing in subsequent mentionings), it’s been a general consensus that Soft Airplane should be making our year end lists. Other then some magazines liking his work and all around blogger praise, I felt like he could’ve been bigger and of course is much more deserving. I think it’s one of the first times I’ve been criticized for giving a 4.25 out of 5.
Bare Feet on Wet Grip Tape by Chad VanGaalen

5. Wolf Parade (22nd)
Wolf Parade’s At Mount Zoomer was released to a high level of anticipation as they made their followup to the great Apologies To The Queen Mary. While the press wasn’t as good for Wolf Parade, their newfound art-rock direction and the lack of hits still won over many critics and fans for a solid year by one of Canada’s top bands. I especially enjoyed the album.

The Grey Estates by Wolf Parade

6. Cadence Weapon (T27)
I personally thought Cadence Weapon’s Afterparty Babies would make it in the short list as the rap representative but then I was introduced to Shad’s The Old Prince. While Shad was soaking in a lot of the publicity, his album was still a success after years of anticipation..

Real Estate by Cadence Weapon

7. Chromeo (no rating – seriously?)
Though technically not fully Canadian. Chromeo had an awesome year despite Fancy Footwork being released last year. They had a breakthrough year with the release of the Double CD Deluxe Edition as well as stealing the spotlights from festivals by being one of the better live bands. They are planning to release some stuff and even now are creating some news by remixing some Vampire Weekend.

The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance (Chromeo Remix) by Vampire Weekend

8. Women (12th)
Women’s record was produced by Chad VanGaalen and enjoyed by many, including Christian. I personally wasn’t introduced in checking them out after hearing Black Rice and that may have been a major mistake because it isn’t so bad after another listen. From what I’ve heard from everyone it seems that their debut record is worthwhile and has blown people away.

Black Rice by Women

9. Tokyo Police Club (#6)
I actually kind of dislike TPC. They are quite famous though receiving mainstream radio and television airplay in addition to being loved by teens and being utterly annoyed by various fans during Rogers Picnic. It was our goal to stay objective by including TPC even if I dislike them.
Nature of the Experiment by Tokyo Police Club

10. Shad (9th)
Shad released The Old Prince last year however he really broke out with the video of The Old Prince Still Lives At Home. The parody of the Fresh Prince of Bel- Air Intro. He looked like the runner-up in the Polaris Prize sweepstakes (I thought he was going to win) and I was a little disappointed personally he didn’t take it.

The Old Prince Still Lives At Home by Shad

The honorable mentions:
11. Caribou (3rd)
12. Woodhands
13. Holy Fuck
14. Plants and Animals (even if I’m in the only one who hates Parc Avenue)
15. Feist – She didn’t really do anything…

Who’s on tour in Toronto fall 2008

I don’t know about you but school has decided to rape me with work this year and the only thing that’s keeping me from throwing myself into oncoming traffic is the pretty decent number of artists on tour this fall. So, I’ve decided to highlight some shows. The specific dates and locations are only useful if you live in Toronto (or are willing to travel) but chances are, if they’re coming here, they’re going to wherever you live – unless you live in the middle of nowhere in which case you already know Hot Chip won’t be going to Windsor (sorry, Windsorians).

Anyway, enough ragging on other cities, here’s the breakdown:


Bad Religion
Sound Academy / $31.00

Bad Religon was a lot cooler in the 80s where punk rock wasn’t as big a sham as it is today but hey, music is music. This tour is still riding on 2007’s New Maps of Hell (they released a deluxe version a few months ago with some additional acoustic tracks). NMoH got okayish-pretty good reviews though I guess if you’re going to see Bad Religion, it’s not because you want to see them perform the latest thing they’ve done. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’re not tired of playing “Atomic Garden” over and over again yet.

Phoenix / 19+ / 27.50

Did you miss A Silver Mt. Zion in the summer? Not to worry, an arguably superior post-rock band is on tour and ready to blow to your mind. The Hawk Is Howling hits the shelves September 22nd but if you know how to use the internet, you’ll know that it’s heaaavvvy in a totally awesome expressive yet serene way. Oh, and if you ARE going to the show, please DON’T ENGAGE IN LOUD CONVERSATION DURING THE “LOW-KEY” PARTS! That shit is not background music at a cafĂ©, show some fucking respect.

Mogwai – The Sun Smells Too Loud

Guvernment / 19+ / $26.50

I know the majority of the blogosphere thinks Santogold is the poor man’s M.I.A. but I’m actually a big fan of Ms Santi White whilst not being too into M.I.A. (unless I’ve downed some tequila in which case I like everything!). Santi White used to front a punk band named Stiffed before she decided to fly solo. Her punk roots don’t shine through too much in her eponymous debut album but … they’re there. Just look for punk dressed up in glittery electronic beats and New Wave shoes.

Santogold – L.E.S. Artistes
Santogold – Creator (vs. Switch and FreQ Nasty)
Santogold (ft. Andrew Trouble) – I’m A Lady


Holy Fuck
Phoenix / $12.50

I first saw Holy Fuck a few years ago when they opened for Metric. I didn’t really appreciate them (probably because I was too infatuated with Emily Haines and anything that came in between us was instantly shunned) but I’ve grown to almost not dislike them. They don’t really have anything new aside from 2007’s LP appropriately titled LP but it’s a good one so check them out and support a Torontonian band.

Holy Fuck – Frenchy’s
Holy Fuck – Safari

My Bloody Valentine
Ricoh Coliseum / $48.75

Holy shit, I bought my MBV tickets MONTHS ago – I was that excited. This is seriously amazing because the last time they toured, I was like 6 years old. They haven’t released anything new but there is rumour of a new record (unless they die or something). Anyway, if you’re into dream pop/shoegaze at all, you better be attending this show. It will be epic. I’m not going to say much else but expect a concert review in a few weeks!

My Bloody Valentine – Only Shallow
My Bloody Valentine – Come In Alone


Hot Chip
Kool Haus / $26.50

Hot Chip played in Toronto in April and I guess they’ve made it all the way around the world and now they’re back. Okay, I won’t lie – the only album I actually like is The Warning. I would only really go to this show to get drunk and dance to “Over and Over”. But who says that’s not a valid reason?

Hot Chip – Ready For The Floor
Hot Chip – Over and Over

October 4

Phoenix / 19+ / $15.00

While their new album LP3 isn’t as strong as Classics or their self-titled, this is not a show I’d want to miss. Ratatat is a sweet mix of electronic video game-ish music and soothing instrumentals. The Montreal show is already sold out so go get your tickets soon!

Ratatat – Lex
Ratatat – Shiller

October 5

Black Kids
Mod Club / 19+ / $20.00

I’ve already talked about Black Kids in the Pop Montreal preview post but they deserve another mention just because I thought Partie Traumatic was an awesome album despite Allan’s harsh review. I am also obsessed with the Chromeo chant in I Wanna Be Your Limousine.

Black Kids – I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You
Black Kids – Hurricane Jane

October 6

Horseshoe / 19+ / $12.50

I’ve also already mentioned Dodos in the Pop Montreal post but I can’t say enough good things about this band. If I was someone important enough to pick a “band of the year”, it’d be Dodos. I would describe them as an acoustic Battles or Animal Collective with ear-bleeding. Visiteur is their crucial album but there are gems in Beware the Maniacs as well. These guys are going places, I’ll bet my new boots on it!

Dodos – Park Song
Dodos – Paint the Rust
Dodos – Trades & Tariffs

October 7

Lee’s / 19+ / $22.50

It blows my mind that a band that’s been around and has had as much influence as Wire is playing at Lee’s Palace. I don’t find Object 47 to be anything to write home about but I’d go see them just because it’s fucking WIRE. I mean, are you going to turn down a band whose fanbase includes Henry Rollins?

Wire – 12 X U
Wire – Practise Makes Perfect

October 9

Muzik / 19+ / $25.00

I saw Chromeo in March and I’ve concluded that they’re definitely one of those bands that are better in concert than on the album. Not because they’re musically superior live but because there’s a great energy in the crowd. P-Thugg and Dave 1 are also very engaging on stage (and do a mean aftershow). The Toronto show also features Calvin Harris and James Lidell – I’d say that’s worth 25 bucks.

Chromeo – Fancy Footwork
Chromeo – My Girl Is Calling Me (A Liar)

October 16

Lee’s / $22.50

I am heartbroken that my bff who is also a Horrorpops fanatic has moved across the country for school so we won’t be seeing this show together. Kiss Kiss Kill Kill isn’t as good as Hell Yeah! but much better than Bring It On! Maybe it was the sophomore slump, maybe it’s because I couldn’t stop thinking about that Kirsten Dunst movie. The point is this is a show I’d regret missing.

Horrorpops – Psychobitches Outta Hell
Horrorpops – Hitchcock Starlet

October 20

Asobi Seksu
Horseshoe / 19+ / $10.00

I suppose if you can’t make it to My Bloody Valentine for one reason or another (those tickets are pricy!) Asobi Seksu is not a poor consolation prize. They haven’t done anything new since Citrus two years ago but for $10.00, I’d much rather listen to playfully sexy dreampop than see some shitty movie.

Asobi Seksu – Walk on the Moon
Asobi Seksu – The Words Live Longer

October 22

Secret Machines
Lee’s / 19+ / $17.50

I was introduced to Secret Machines a few years ago at Dog Day Afternoon where they opened for Metric (are you sensing a pattern here?). Since then, Benjamin Curtis has left the band and they’ve released their third studio album. I actually haven’t heard their self-titled yet but I’d definitely see them again.

Secret Machines – Alone, Jealous and Stoned

October 24

Crystal Castles
CiRCA / 19+ / $15.00

Tsk tsk … Crystal Castles is the biggest thing to come out of Toronto since the SARS epidemic. I was initially completely turned off by them because of all their copyright scandals which I’m sure you’re all very familiar with. But I will admit, the music is catchy. Very catchy. I saw them play a short set at Harbourfront two months ago and well, what can I say? Not bad.

Crystal Castles – Untrust Us
Crystal Castles – xxzxcuzx Me

Well, this is getting a lot longer than I had planned. I’m going to end this here and there will likely be a new post like this for November/December shows. Happy gig-hopping!

Boycott Plagiarists? Crystal Castles?!

The Crystal Castles got into some trouble after stealing artwork claiming they didn’t know who the artists was and that they hoped he/she would come out of the woodwork. The image was of Madonna with a black eye and they sold that image on their EP and that the artist Trevor Brown was pissed. There has been a few war of words, with Trevor Brown saying he did not receive any payment as part of the agreement.

Anyway I am rehashing old news that nobody cares about, I think stealing music is much more sacred and a bigger news story. Apparently it’s been out there for about a little more then a month but has picked up ZERO media steam aside from Exclaim. Stealing music is like a pro-athlete taking steroids in my world…they are done for the same reasons. Anyway the big controversy was a song called “IntersectionInsecticon” they listed as one of their own songs but then switched it to a remix AFTER hearing complaints. The original song was done by Lo-Bat who had an open Creative Commons license meaning it was free to use without commercial use provided you gave credit where credit is due.

I think the problem I have with a lot of the media outlets is that they are making it a Creative Commons issue…while I think that is one path to take…a boring one though why not bash the perpetrators like they deserve to be? Apparently there has been a lot more theft of songs and after listening to the evidence, it’s pretty damn arguable that Crystal Castles isn’t as original or cool as they are leading on. The songs are similar that you can say that some tracks are at least sampled.

I will say that I believe theft in the music industry feels like it is going to get more common as the “indie” scene becomes even more massive then it already is. We have millions of bands across the world with tons of different styles and all that much more obscure bands…who probably can’t afford litigation and they just have to cause a “fuss”.

Crystals Castles stole, they changed their tune (switching the credits is not cool) and they are trying to brush it off as it’s okay. But it’s not. Their integrity is now compromised and even if you hear something new how would you know it’s not stolen? Other tracks are believed to be rip-offs as well but the least of what they did was steal one track.

Artists should have their ass handed to them if they are caught stealing, because athletes are ripped apart for doping but they only hurt themselves more then anything while artists who steal music from others hurts the fans even more (sport fans pay to watch the sport more then the individual athlete) and the artist(s) they steal from.

Thanks for Flight Test for bringing this up…totally missed it and I think ALL OF YOU music fans should be outraged. Fans or not. I think anyone accused of theft in the music world needs to be acted much more harshly upon as this can’t be tolerated!

I don’t know how I am going to approach the Crystal Castles anymore. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and it may affect my reviewing abilities of them but that’s their fault. They still have their millions of myspace fans so what do they care.

Untrust Us by Crystal Castles

Iron Man – Review and Playlist

Iron Man came out today and there have been some amazing reviews to say the least with a 94% approval rating on RottenTomatoes and a 78 on Metacritic.

I saw the film today with a few friends…more along the lines of doing something as I am admittedly never much of an Iron Man fan in my childhood. With the good reviews, I obviously did not protest seeing the movie at all. The movie itself was good but not great in my opinion. There are some funny moments and it the best part of the movie is the creation of Iron Man itself it follows the difficulties of Jason Stark to actually make a superhero. The graphic and special fxs are really cool and seeing the Iron Man itself is probably one of the cooler super hero moments. Robert Downey Jr. is a believable superhero unlike other superhero’s who are always looking to “serve and protect” and are stuck up bitches…Iron Man has much more personality. The problem that lies in this movie from making this “great” is that the plot is quite non-existant…nothing really happens in the movie. I can sum it all in a few sentences and there are certain points that take away from the movie like the sex with the reporter. An addition problem which my friends pointed out was that there wasn’t really a villian to make Iron Man that “super hero”. I secretly love villians and heels (in wrestling). The problem is that he had an enemy and was more against the destruction caused by war. By villian I mean someone you can feel for and can understand why he/she is evil…that duality is a key aspect I look for.

This movie seems to be more prepared for a sequel and like I said, it’s a good movie but not great. It’ll produce a few laughs and some cool action scenes but if you’re expecting “the great fucking thing ever” you’ll be disappointed.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I was not that keen on the soundtrack so like last week, I’ll make my own. (You can find the actual soundtrack here)

1. Iron Man by Black Sabbath (I have to put this up)
2. MX Missiles by Andrew Bird
3. Start A War by The National
4. Killing Armies by Wolf Parade
5. Put Us Back Together Right by Headlights
6. The Great Escape by We Are Scientists
7. Fire It Up by Modest Mouse
8. You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine by Death Above 1979
9. Know You’re Enemy by Rage Against The Machine
10. One Man Army by Our Lady Peace
11. Air War by Crystal Castles

       « Older Entries

  • Blog Search

  • Social Twitter Updates

      follow me on Twitter