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The Weakerthans win Verge artist of the year

September 28, 2008

Speaking of the Weakerthans and awards, they just won the Verge Award for artist of the year. Verge is XM Radio’s Canadian alternative/indie station, and this is a fan-based award (something like 45 000 people voted for their favourites of the bands ‘in regular rotation’ on the channel). Like the Polaris Music Prize, the glory […]

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Coverage: Sarah Harmer and the Weakerthans, “Islands in the Stream”

June 5, 2008

Sarah Harmer and the Weakerthans do the Bee Gees by way of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. What’s not to like? MP3: Sarah Harmer and the Weakerthans – Islands in the Stream

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John Darnielle plays with the Weakerthans

April 29, 2008

[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t see it, click here] John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats, in case you haven’t been paying attention) made a guest appearance at the Weakerthans concert in Carrboro, NC a few weeks ago. He and John K Samson sang “Anchorless,” originally recorded by Samson’s previous band, Propagandhi. Probably a good […]

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2007 in review: The Weakerthans

January 19, 2008

One of my most-anticipated albums of 2007 was Reunion Tour, from Winnipeg-based The Weakerthans, and it turned out to be worth the wait. Each song is a beautifully-crafted short story, marrying narrative, emotion, and music into a memorable package. The tales range from the fall of a high-flying executive, to the heartrending continuing saga of […]

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Crowdsourcing the “I Hate [City]” playlist

February 3, 2010

Despite being dedicated urban dwellers, a couple of my friends and I started talking about songs that express an antipathy toward cities; in particular, songs that expressed a dislike for a specific city. We have a starter set (see below), but I thought I’d crowdsource it a bit – can you think of songs that […]

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Off-topic: Cross-Canada road trip #3

July 27, 2009

Day 3 of the road trip: Swift Current, SK to Kenora, ON …which means crossing the Hundredth Meridian and heading through Winnipeg, the hometown of z=z fave The Weakerthans, who played a great set at Neumos in Seattle last Saturday night. The MP3 below is their backhanded paean to that city, from 2003’s Reconstruction Site. […]

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Musicians to follow on Twitter

April 2, 2009

Following musicians on Twitter is a fun way to get a peek into the life and minds of some of my favorite artists. If you haven’t seen it  yet, there is a gigantic spreadsheet of musicians on Twitter. But it’s (increasingly) hard to find artists who are interesting to follow. In general, my criteria for […]

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Canadian music for Obama

January 16, 2009

Like pretty much the rest of the world, Canadians are excited about the new US president, and apparently they get to convey this excitement by collectively making a mixtape.  CBC Radio 2 is soliciting votes for a 49-song playlist, to showcase Canadian music for President-Elect Barack Obama. You can go here and vote for your […]

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Cruisin’ with the Mountain Goats

December 31, 2008

Go on a cruise with the Mountain Goats, the Weakerthans, Sloan, and many more. The Barenaked Ladies have organized a six-day trip, Ships & Dip V, on the Norwegian Jewel [pictured], with you and whole slew of artists. It’s the first week of February, starting from Miami and going to Cozumel and the Grand Stirrup […]

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Upcoming: Rolling Tundra Revue 2009

December 17, 2008

The Constantines and the Weakerthans are teaming up again to reprise their 2005 Rolling Tundra Revue tour. As the name suggests, they’ll be touring all across Canada, starting in St Johns, Newfoundland in March 2009 and ending with a show in Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territory. They won’t be crossing into the US on this […]

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Neophile: The Waking Eyes

December 4, 2008

[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t watch it, click here] Some music from above the 49th parallel as a soundtrack to the currently-unfolding constitutional crisis. The video is of Winnipeg-based The Waking Eyes—paying homage to their fellow Manitobans The Weakerthans—busking for charity in front of the El Mo in Toronto, ON, filmed earlier this year. […]

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Pre-election playlist

November 1, 2008

Like most progressives in the US, I’m rapidly oscillating between giddy optimism and fear. Naturally, I had to find a set of songs that reflects this. For best effect, set your iTunes playlist to ‘shuffle.’ Hope: MP3: The National – Mr November (National/Obama t-shirt, more National) MP3: Bad Religion – You Are (the Government) (more […]

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The Mountain Goats: Satanic Messiah EP

October 10, 2008

Woo! The Mountain Goats (and by ‘Mountain Goats,’ we mean ‘John Darnielle’) just recorded a four-song EP, Satanic Messiah. It’s available for download here; donations via PayPal or Google Checkout are encouraged ($3 for the ‘congregant’ level, $6.66 for the ‘disciple’ level, and $10 for the ‘acolyte’ level). Despite the title and Darnielle’s well-known obsession […]

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Upcoming: Bumbershoot 2008

August 29, 2008

Labor Day weekend is upon us, and that means it’s time for the annual party under the Space Needle. The lineup for Bumbershoot 2008 features a number of zed equals zee faves, including The Weakerthans, !!!, Battles, Dan Deacon, Tapes ‘n Tapes, Band of Horses, and Death Cab for Cutie. After a few years of […]

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Wrap-up: guest DJing on WMBR

March 6, 2008

Well, I had a terrific time guest-DJ’ing on WMBR this morning. Emphasis on the ‘guest’ – I got to do all the fun parts, like choosing all the songs and talking. Keith handled the control panel with gracious professionalism, and made me feel very welcome and less like the total newbie I am. I decided […]

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Tracklisting: Heartbreak, Unrequited Love, and Clever Lyrics

December 29, 2007

[November 2006] The Format: Dog Problems The Hidden Cameras: Learning the Lie Crooked Fingers: You Threw a Spark The Weakerthans: Plea From A Cat Named Virtute The Hold Steady: You Can Make Him Like You Dresden Dolls: Shores of California The Mountain Goats: No Children Dan Bern: One Dance Arab Strap: Stink The National: Karen […]