Run4yoLyfe “Ain’t Shit Changed”

Combining merely two things that I enjoy can be a task, but somehow three of my favorite things are all dropped in one simple package with this track by Run4yoLyfe; the song finding a balanced level between mood-altering synth, faux-post punk guitar and the strictest of gangsta mic skills. “Ain’t Shit Changed” is beautiful all unto itself, the brooding melody slowly developing before rising into a flustering peak…but when he starts spittin’, “That’s the one that make you go and pop that Cris, that’s the shit that’ll make you go and smoke that spliff, holla at your mother fuckin’ boy and shit,” that’s when I really begin to identify with this beast.

NOFX play “Half-FX” at SXSW Video

One of the more enjoyable parts of not actually physically going to SXSW is that you don’t have to travel hundreds of miles to stand amongst inflated audiences to see bands that will probably play in your area within the next year…or so…especially when the typical set length for the bands you do end up seeing probably won’t come close to what you’d expect. We’re not talking P-Funk here, but a half hour just doesn’t cut it sometimes.

Presenting “Half-FX,” a set performed by NOFX consisting of, at most, the first verse and chorus of each song. So not only do you get to travel to see a short set amongst way too many people, but son…you don’t even get to see a full song.

And proving that print media is alive and well is Alternative Press who provide for us this video…of half of the set. I mean, we all know that the print-media thing is having a bit of a hard time these days, but only affording a camera man a half-set’s worth of battery time could be indicitive of the state of the zine. Ah well, half of half of half ain’t bad.

Clark: The Canadian Hockey Goalie

A 3-time MVP of the Saskatchewan Moose Lodge Hockey League (SMLHL), Clark wanted to try something new for the off-season…

Moby "Last Night" Review

“Disco Lies” reads a picture included as an insert with Moby’s latest album Last Night. The announcement is a bit misleading as many fans have felt quite the opposite since Moby’s departure from his role as an almost strictly club DJ following 1995′s Everything is Wrong — as for the albums that followed it almost seemed that disco wasn’t as dishonest as were Moby’s diversions. Now returning to the sound that first helped him find mainstream popularity, Last Night initially leads the listener towards the belief that Moby is either attempting to reclaim a musical presence he once had, or is attempting to blow off the criticism of his past few releases by dropping an album of oh-so-Moby songs. As it turns out however, Last Night is neither.

If only judging the album by one song, it might very well best be represented as a whole by “Ooh Yeah,” Last Night‘s opening club-hymn. The harmonizing between Erin Marszalek and Luci Butler over Moby’s synth, guitar, and flat-beat produce a culmination of what one would expect to hear from the man at this stage in his career. Once drifting through clubland only to find solace in the sounds of cringe-worthy industrial, the track settles Moby where he may be most comfortable, in an ambiguous genre heavily influenced by dance music. Introducing what is to come with the much of the album is the second track, “I Love to Move Here.” Sounding akin to a page out of Leftfield’s notebook circa 1995 it introduces a gentle female presence timed accordingly with with Grandmaster Caz’s intermittent toasting. And from there on out, one may very well think that Last Night could have been released in 1996… mostly.

“257 Zero” uses a staggered countdown-themed audio track looped over an elastic synthesizer break to fuel the similarities to a decade gone by. Following is “Everyday it’s 1989″ which could very well double as a slower version of 1995′s “Everytime You Touch Me,” and “Live For Tomorrow” which is a Play-influenced remedy to Everything is Wrong‘s “First Cool Hive.” The main difference in direction comes with the following track — the album’s lead single — “Alice.”

Though it becomes desensitized with increased listens “Alice” changes the pace of the record by drumming bass-heavy feedback into a weave between Moby’s best digital croon and the driving verses of S.O. Simple and Smokey from the Nigeria-based 419 Squad. The song isn’t as much of a stretch as it is an interesting mashup in styles, proving far stronger than anything hinted at with Moby’s 2004 Public Enemy collaboration. The balance between what listeners expect from Moby at this point in time and what is realized begins to then weave its way in and out of the remaining tracks. The low tempo “Hyenas” is seductively narrated by the French singer Nabila Benladghem, while Wendy Starland leads the club-ready “I’m in Love” and Shayna Steel does the same with “Disco Lies.”

Speaking of the album Moby details in Last Night‘s liner notes, “It’s also trying to condense an eight hour night into just over an hour of music. A night can ideally contain a multitude of experiences… to me this record sounds like a night out in New York with all the sex and the weirdness and the disorientation and the celebration and the compelling chaos.” And following a bit of silence on the album’s title track comes a breezy jazz-whispering finale. Therein is the realization that Last Night is a culmination of twenty-some years within the club scene with Moby now winding up with the urge to just live in the moment, even if that moment feels roughly a decade old at times.

Aaron Booth "Same Thing After All” (Influenza)

Approach Influenza as a series which serves to help give insight as to where music is born; these are the thoughts, influences and the inspirations directly from the mind of the artists. In this, the second with Aaron Booth, the Calgary-based singer discusses his change from a cognitive musician into that of an artist. After describing the transformation he took through his adolescent years Booth concludes by relating his process to a child who seemingly learns to talk a moment after muttering unintelligible nonsense.

On “Same Thing After All”:

I’ve always struggled to reconcile a dual identity between my scientist brain and artist heart, but somehow they have managed to be friends. Even though I’ve played music since I was seven years old, it took until I was well into my adulthood for me to discover my own voice. I loved playing and listening to music as a kid and teenager but to me, the idea of “making” music was something that other people did and so rather than make music, I approached music like a scientist when I was young. Understanding its structure and rules was my main concern. I felt I wasn’t worthy of making music without developing this knowledge first. Most of my time was spent listening to pop, rock and classical songs to figure out what made them tick.

The epiphany to cross the psychological threshold from music “scientist” to “artist” came one afternoon while working a labour job in my late teens. A switch went off in my head and I heard a voice saying “go and buy a guitar.” I hadn’t played guitar since I was a child, having rather messed around with piano most of my life. At the end of my shift, I bought a guitar, went home and then played without stopping for 18 hours. Then I played it for another 18 hours the next day. And the next… I was possessed (and soon lost my job). I felt a big world opening up through this new instrument: a world of songs. Soon came the 4-track recorder and the ensuing flood of writing and recording that’s carried me to this day. I don’t know what created the moment of realization. Perhaps after a lifetime of absorbing sound and musical information my subconscious was just ready to make sense of it all and start “talking.” Like a child can switch from babbling to speaking full sentences in a single day. It was like that. “Same Thing After All” tells the story of my life long battle of scientist brain and artist heart. Annalea Sordi of Woodpigeon wonderfully sings the harmonies.