Yessir! The end is nigh… so we thought we’d reveal what made our musical year worthwhile. In these internet-fueled times, tastes are so disparate & splintered, it’s always remarkable to see titles pop up on more than one list… it kind of galvanizes an album’s value amidst all the chatter.
So yeah, have a gander. We’ll post on our Facebook as well, please feel free to leave comments or your own lists!
Tickets just went on sale for this mammoth Victoria event & we are super excited to see Rifflandia stretch its legs a little bit. This year, the 4 day event will include Royal Athletic Park, a massive addition that is sure to really hammer home the true spirit of a festival.
This year’s lineup *isn’t finished yet*, but already it’s a fantastic cross section of all genres & styles. Mother Mother, Broken Social Scene, Cold War Kids, Daniel Wesley, City & Colour, Awolnation, De La Soul, Cave Singers, J Mascis, Nosaj Thing, Besnard Lakes, AraabMuzik, Blackalicious, Machinedrum, Sage Francis, Tokimonsta, Ra Ra Riot & MOOOOORE will pack Athletic Park & the regular Rifflandia night time venues over four days/nights of amazing music.
This year there are more ticket options than previous years – we strongly encourage you to visit the Rifflandia website’s ticket page to help decide which option best suits you. Couple of points of note:
- individual day passes for Fri/Sat/Sun are only available via Rifflandia.com. These passes will get you into Royal Athletic Park for one day only.
- There is a limited amount of SUPERPASSES. The Rifflandia Super Pass gets you into the park during the day AND all of the evening events as well – these passes are going quick, so have a good look at THIS PAGE: if there bands playing during the day AND night that you really want to see (ie/ you REEEEAALLY want to see both Sage Francis & Mother Mother), then we strongly advise you snatch up a Super Pass pronto to save you the hassle down the line. Honestly, it’s an amazing $165 value.
Click here for some of the bands that we’re excited about & that some of you might not be familiar with…
Midway through this year & we’re already saddled with a hefty amount of big’uns. The National, LCD Soundsystem, The Black Keys, Caribou & Broken Social Scene have all released stellar efforts over the last 6 months. But as always, mid-year is a great time to assess some of the not-so-hyped nook-&-cranny-type albums that you might not have heard or maybe just glazed over while reading a blog. So here thems is…
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Before Today
(4AD) CD & LP
Ariel Pink has had a huge impact on DIY music over the last 3 years. The legend of his apparently vast vault of unheard music recorded to cassette from 1998-2002 is enough to hook the average music geek, but then there’s the tunes themselves; half-reimagined echoes of AM-radio pop & tuner dial errors. 80s new wave, lo-fi electro blippery, arm-in-arm feel good vibes & utter weirdness all blend together in a haze of modern tape-warped genius. Before Today bares a little more sheen than his historic swath of 7“s & cassettes but that’s fine, these tunes still retain the nostalgia & energy that keeps Ariel Pink one of indie music’s most enigmatic & magnetic fixtures.
Ariel Pink on the myspace
The Roots How I Got Over
(Def Jam) CD & 2LP
One of the great things about The Roots’ residency on Jimmy Fallon has been the affect it seems to be having on how they’re going to be remembered. Instead of “retiring” on the show (something the bad was apparently contemplating after a tough couple of years of slim sales & meek reviews), their creative fire has been reignited & the public’s perception of where they sit within the lineage of important hip-hop acts is being appropriately revised. THESE GUYS ARE LEGENDS. They’ve co-wrote, produced, collaborated & played live with virtually every important hip-hop artist of the last 15 years, seriously. Not to mention Tariq aka Black Thought (along with Pharoahe Monch) seems destined to go down in history as one of Hip-hop’s most underrated MCs… ANYWAY, How I Got Over – new album, chock full of emotionally grounded, mature, grown-ass hip-hop that sees The Roots collab with Jim James (of MMJ), Joanna Newsom, Dirty Projectors plus old haunts like John Legend & Dice Raw. Man, it’s nice to see some of hip-hop’s elder statesmen (Wu-Tang, Big Boi as well) reclaiming this bewildered genre.
The Roots on the myspace
Born Ruffians Say It
(Warp) CD & LP
Toronto-bred experimental poppers. Red, Blue & Yellow was a great post-Beach Boy vocal/guitar workout & Say it retains the agitated quirk & pep of that debut. Surf guitar, vox harmonies, neurotic wailing, spindly structures… in a world where Dirty Projectors are so highly regarded, Born Ruffians are certainly deserving of a second glance from fans of left-field, caterwauling indie-rock. “Sole Brother” fuses many disparate styles, but cohesively & fluidly; dry-as-bone guitar figures pin down otherwise sprawling ideas – it’s a great melange of what the fringes of pop has to offer at the moment.
Born Ruffians on the myspace
Blitzen Trapper Destroyer Of The Void
(Sub Pop) CD & 2LP
Another Portland band with serious chops, returning with another opus of 70s-inflected new classic rock. Eric Earley & crew straight up KNOW classic rock. From Laurel Canyon folkism to Band-era Dylan to Tom petty guitaring, they wrap all that’s good into one satisfying package that makes many plunderers of 70s lineage look silly. And that sums up Destroyer Of The Void. A great blend of everything that made 70s rock what it was: folk, prog, riffs, harmonies, saloon piano & killer harmonica. Plus relatable narratives that shimmy in cute aphorisms & ideas.
Blitzen Trapper on the myspace
Autechre Move Of Ten
(Warp) CD & 2 X 12”
After their return to melodicism coup-d’etat earlier this year, Sean Booth & Rob Brown hammer us with another 2010 release, the mechanical counterpart to the classic IDM ambiance of Oversteps. Move Of Ten is a rhythmic beast, grounded in tangible loops & recognizable meters of dystopian dissonance. As always, succinct sound design is the order of the day, but man, some of this stuff just straight BANGS. Ten new abstractions of rhythm, texture & pseudo-melodic inclinations. Opener “Etchogon-S” freaks 808 drums down a k-hole of verbed-out synths while “pce Freeze 28i” lumbers along at broken-beat measures… quietly, but surely, these two are cementing their place in the lineage connecting Kraftwerk, Detroit, Warp & the future. Truly mesmerizing, unearthly imaginings.
Ae’s Warp page
(Warp) CD, LP soon
Stephen Ellison returns after the slow build of global hype that surrounded Los Angeles. Cosmagramma still bears the claustrophobic funk of L.A., but is less concerned with traditional ”beat” blueprints – instead, FlyLo branches out & spends a lot of time star gazing; psychedelia is the order here, yielding some catatonic head nod gems. In truth, Cosmagramma is an ALBUM, looking for “the hit” is pointless – take it all in at once to receive the fruits. Harps, noise blasts, disco & a massive dollop of jazz make this a rewarding trek. Let’s see everyone try & bite this.
Flying Lotus’ MySpace
WE WILL BE OPENING AT 10am!
April 17 is officially Record Store Day! Last year was a great success with a bunch of exclusive & cool releases on RSD & this year promises to be even crazier.
For details on RSD & cool artist quotes/interviews, wander over the RSD site …
Along with sweet exclusives & a crazy amount of new releases in general, there are a few nifty things we’ll be adding on to make Saturday radder than the raddest radness, such as…
- LIMITED PRIZE PACKS (including some of our sweet huge posters!)
CHECK OUT THE PRIZE PACKS The way the prize packs will work is on an “ask first” basis – basically, if there’s a prize pack that you want, ask us at the counter & if we’ve still got it, it’s yours! Obviously the idea here is to get down early!
- AWESOME INJECTION OF USED VINYL
Not just a normal used lot, we’ll be putting out some sweet rare records, filling up some key artist sections & adding an extra 2 bins of “NEW ARRIVALS”, giving you 3 bins of used LP glory to rummage around in.
Badu’s 4th World War was an amazing funk/hop/soul fusion record that expertly tapped the production talents of Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Madlib & The Roots. Madlib is on board here, but Badu herself steers the way for the most part, leading a killer cast of live players for a record that acts as a lush, organic counterpart to 4th World War‘s digi-soul beatscapes. One of the few remaining relevant holdovers from the neo-soul boom of the late 90’s, Badu is in fine form on Ankh – socio-politics, matters of the heart & mind, spitritual journeies; Badu is a bold female artist unafraid to tackle some meaty topics, with a grace & vision that is typically lacking in most post-soul. Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, Sharon Jones, Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder – Badu is like all of these proprietors of soul rolled up into one beautifully charged female, but with that extra-terrestrial yearning that keeps her quirky & unique; Ankh bears Badu’s amazing voice & some of her best tunes to date.
CD & LP (BlakRoc)
The Black Keys collab with a whole slew of proper MCs… from a distance, this definitely didn’t have “obviously awesome” written all over it. But after having Dangermouse produce Attack & Release, the Black Keys seem to have a tasteful sense of what works within the dangerous confines of the “ROCK vs. RAP” cagematch. BlakRoc is pleasantly thumping, with a great balance of classic 90’s-era cats spitting flows over some well-crafted arrangements from the amazing blues-rock duo. Rza, Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Jim Jones & others are framed with tracks that tap 60’s soul & 70’s rock (the type of shit that was sampled to death during the era that most of these MCs were dominant), with the occasional croon from Dan Auerbach adding that spice. And so yeh, this works.
BlakRoc on MySpace
Here’s our annual breakdown of what turned our cranks in 2009. An interesting year, with arguably the biggest album of the year (Merriweather Post Pavilion) released within the the first 30 days of the year’s start! Many were swooned by the Dirty Projectors’ r&b alt-pop; few could deny Grizzly Bear’s charms; and who didn’t sing along to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll”. Thanks for all the fun 2009…
(Hyperdub) 2CD & 5X12”
No label has pushed the envelope as much as Hyperdub over the last 12 months. Kode9’s ear for the “next level” – be it dubstep, purple, wonky or funky – is seeming unparalleled at this point. 5 Years Of Hyperdub is a 2-disc affair that celebrates the past, present & future of the label & in fine form. Disc 1 is wrought with new exclusive heavy hitters; Flying Lotus drops “Disco Balls”, his most club friendly affair yet; Burial sneaks in with “Fostercare”, another great addition to his canon of sleek, sensually melancholic sound; but the trophy goes to the closing “Stash” from Joker & Ginz, the next definitive statement in the mandate of the Purple City sound. Disc 2 features the “hits”; Burial’s “South London Boroughs”, Kode9’s “Ghost Town”, Joker’s “Digidesign” & Rustie’s sick remix of Zomby’s “Spliff Dub” are all here. Wow, electronic music is fun AND interesting in 2009.