All the Rage, no. 66 May 20, 2019: What’s the theme?

As always, your biweekly hit of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week, though, with a couple of thematically appropriate non-new tunes, one from ATR all-timers Pet Shop Boys and another from Toronto’s Leslie Spit Tree-o. I’ll never understand why these guys weren’t so much huger than they were. They sound as good in 2019 as they did when this song came out, what, almost 30 years ago. #thatcantberight

What’s new? How about some punk energy courtesy of White Dog and Batpiss? And Danko Jones! Pop-wise, Gold Fields and Yothu Yinki and the Treaty Project establish a nice groove. Also in here: BBQT! Fritz! Holiday Sidewinder! Just go listen.

Your setlist:

Gold Fields
Solar

Yothu Yindi & the Treaty Project
Mabo

Pet Shop Boys
In the Night

Gauci
In the Night

Bleached
Hard to Kill

Holiday Sidewinder
Forever/Whatever

Danko Jones
I’m In a Band

MUM
Luka

White Dog
Storm the Streets

Batpiss
Nothing

Eagles of Death Metal
Long Slow Goodbye

Eaglemont
Hound

Fritz
Ghost Poke

BBQT
Flinch

Local Authority
Oil Rigs

Syrup, Go On
Don’t Go (Riding Down the Cosmic Drain)

Leslie Spit Tree-O
One Thought Too Long

All the Rage, no. 64, April 15, 2019: Still biweeklyish, honest!

As (almost) always, your biweekly(ish) hit of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. It’s been busy. True biweekly service to resume once I’m back from Australia next month.

This week: I think this mix turned out particularly well. Then again, that’s easy when you Tropical Fuck Storm, The Sex Geckos and Greys providing the noise, Bronswick, Skinnyfish Soundsystem and Errhun providing the beats, and JuliaWhy?, Skydeck, and Rey Pila providing the indie rock cred. And that’s just scraping the surface of this 18-song smorgasbord. Dig in!

Your setlist:

The Sex Geckos
Black Dots

Ausmuteants
Forever Cops

Sauna
Felt

Tropical Fuck Storm
The Planet of Straw Men

Greys
These Things Happen

Errunhrd
Atbp2

Skinnyfish Sound System
Smoking Ceremony (feat. B2M, Birdz & Tasman Keith)
triple j Unearthed Embedded Player

Slumber
Salty

Skydeck
Solid State

Raave Tapes
Stabs
triple j Unearthed Embedded Player

Australia
Get My Shit Together

Rey Pila
Flames

JuliaWhy?
Starman

Bronswick
La dérape

Scary Bear Soundtrack
Investment Plan

Polycool
Polywood

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete
Lineas En Hojas

Hannah Georgas
No Need to Argue (feat. Lucius)

 

All the Rage no. 62, March 1, 2019: From punk to pop and back again

As always, your biweekly hit of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond.

This week: some lovely noise from Shit Bitch, Nestter Donuts and Pale Lips! Saw the latter two in Münster and they were loads of fun. And if you saw them, you know which Pale Lips song I’m gonna play. Also, ominous synths from Leathers and Cry Club, Mexico represents with MexFutura, wonderful pop from Seaside and Rolling Blackouts CF, and a lovely tune from Hobart’s Quivers. And so, so much more. Dive on in.

Your setlist:

Shit Bitch, One More Pint

Wine Lips, Shark Eyes

Bleu Nuit, Trou Noir

Nestter Donuts, Neowww del Gato

Pale Lips, Hanky Panky Franky

Seaside, Habits
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7892476

Married Man, May As Well

Enola Gay, Running

Saxsyndrum, Let Go

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, In the Capital

Low Life, Lust Forevermore

Sunbeam Sound Machine, Talking Distance

MexFutura, La Cabeza

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/e7Y5-5oBAcA

Leathers, Phantom Heart

Cry Club, DFTM

Quivers, You’re Not Always On My Mind

All the rage no. 61 – February 14, 2019: Why yes, I do believe I will “bring the noise”

As always, your biweekly hit of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week we go heavy on the “beyond,” with new tracks from Ladytron, Bob Mould and (be still my heart) Pet Shop Boys. We also go heavy on the noise courtesy on Perspex, Danko Jones, Alien Boys without forgetting the value of straight up pop, from Fatamorgana and so, so many more.

Yer setlist:

Soft Science
Undone

Perspex
Cheap Gossip (demo)

Danko Jones
Burn in Hell
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/XDjZEFje79Y

DZ Deathrays
Shred for Summer

Pale Lips
Show Me Another Way to Your Heart

Fatamorgana
La Altlántida

The Eclipse
When You Say You Want More, I Want Less

Pet Shop Boys
Give Stupidity a Chance
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/P9jEuHbB0GQ

Ladytron
Far From Home
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/H3TqaBxmevQ

Heart Beach
Better Than This

Bob Mould
I Fought

Alien Boys
Night Danger

Jackie
New at Drugs

Antonia & The Lazy Susans
R U OK?
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/6167581

Soviet X-Ray Record Club
Weekend

Anemone
Sunshine (Back to the Start)

Monnone Alone
Do it Twice

All the Rage no. 60 – January 29, 2019: A nice, round number

Show 60! Second show of 2019! As always, the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Triple J Hottest 100 heroes Hilltop Hoods and Hockey Dad! The heartbreakingly beautiful Ripe Music (ripemusic.com.au) #1 song of 2018, from Laura Jean! Invigorating noise from Gloin, Babyfats and Vintage Corp! And so, so much more.

Yer setlist:

Jeepz, Tune.In[Tro]

Gloin, Cha Cha

Omar Musa, Assimilate (feat. Tasman Keith)

FM Attack, Frozen (feat. Mnynms)

FLUIR, Feeling for You
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7588466

Lastlings, Stellar

Scary Bear Soundtrack, pyongyang

EWAH, Black Horse

Nice Biscuit, Captain
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/6832751

Actors, L’appel du vide

Vintage Corp, Guarantees

Babyfats, AAH! AAH!

Hilltop Hoods, Leave Me Lonely
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/yKifJ4Q5ph0

Hockey Dad, Join the Club

Soft Science, I Don’t Know Why I Love You

Laura Jean, Girls on the TV

All the Rage no. 59, December 6, 2019: Batting cleanup on 2018

Your biweekly source of the best left-field indie pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond.

This week: Some great tuneage from the back end of 2018, from the cool hiphop of Okenyo and the smooth electropop of Gauci to the compelling drone of Negative Nancies and the joyous guitar pop of faves Pale Lips. And so much more.

Yer setlist:

Okenyo, Hang Your Hat

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/6IyttRCxu3bChKYCUt8kP2

Gauci, Paradise

Rackett, I Please Myself

Sweater Curse, Mon’s Song
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/6613086

Slag Queens, Waterfall

Negative Nancies, The Dogs

Bloods, No Fun (feat. Girls Rock!)
https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3VOjrUNhPVDtiyYw4EP1MT

Pale Lips, You’re A Doll

RAT!Hammock, June

Little Desert, Happy

Blessed, Thought

Hexdebt, Covenant

WLMRT, Dark Dollars

Milk Buttons, Some Impression

Sarsaparilla, Postcard
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7477881

Charlie Collins, Mexico
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7612901

Contrast, Black Hole
https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2951354323/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=4247329356/transparent=true/

Julia Jacklin, Head Alone
https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=171742989/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/license_id=407/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=308383436/transparent=true/

All the Rage no. 58, December 12, 2018: My favourite songs of 2018

In which I look back at my favourite left-field pop songs of 2018, from Canada, Australia and beyond. So many excellent songs, so many excellent bands came our way in 2018 that this list only scrapes the surface. Let’s get to it! Your setlist and song-by-song reviews below.

 

  1. Rebel Yell, Stains (feat. Gussy)

So many great songs passed over the All the Rage airwaves in 2018 that it was incredibly difficult to choose the cut-off song, as it were: my “Rest of 2018” list is 33 songs long. That said, isn’t this a great piece of menacing electronic tuneage? I think my first exposure to Rebel Yell, a.k.a. Brisbane’s Grace Stevenson, was via a remix of a Lovely Head song. So when Hired Muscle, her debut album arrived last June, I was definitely on board. All in all, not a bad way to begin the countdown.

  1. Smaller Hearts, Chipper

Pet Shop Boys meets Stereolab, with hints of Depeche Mode? Yes, please. “Chipper,” and their whole album, hint at greatness to come from these Nova Scotians.

  1. Würst Nürse, Hot Doctor

I like to think my musical tastes are pretty eclectic, but if there’s anything that I’ve learned in putting together this show and podcast for the past three-plus years it’s that I definitely have a type, or a few types. And one type is definitely loud, aggressive, melodic punk with a social conscience and a sense of humor. Which is to say that I’ve got all of the time in the world for “the world’s first and best nurse punk band.” Being serious is easy; writing a straight-up Rawk song about sexism that includes the line, “I want your hot beef injection,” is something else. And that something else is Satirical Feminist Transcendent Rock Awesomeness.

  1. IV League, Superstar

Pure, anthemic pop. A glittering fight song.

  1. Civic, New Vietnam

Punk as fuck.

  1. Haolin Munk, Deep Space Float (feat. Lee Reed)

Chill as all get-out. And from just down the road in Hamilton. And it’s part of an odd concept album about aliens and space or some such. Check it out.

  1. Savour the Rations, Thank the Lord (feat. Domba, Kwame, Raj Mahal & Gibrillah)

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/5738271

Hard, heavy, profane Australian hip hop. Um, yes, I’m in.

  1. Choses Sauvages, Ariane

Mellow Québécois pop. I’ve already used the word “chill” to describe another song on this list, but it definitely applies here, and I’m too lazy to check a thesaurus.

  1. Donny Benét, Love Online

Finally seeing Donny Benét live (in Paris, no less. On a boat, no less) was a personal highlight of 2018. (I have no doubt that his January concert in Cologne will feature similarly in my 2019.) So was the release of his latest album, The Don. 80s-style synth-based pop combined with sexy-adjacent lyrics is his stock in trade. Think Chromeo-style come-ons delivered by someone posing as a gone-to-seed Lothario who, despite outward appearances, still has It. His secret is that the music is tight and his lyrics are clever without ever descending into parody. Being serious and sincere is easy, being funny and clever is difficult. Anyway, yeah, “Love Online” is a great song, but I could’ve picked any song from The Don. Treat yourself. Check him out. You deserve it.

  1. Flowertruck, Come Across

But just because it’s easier to be sincere than funny and clever doesn’t mean there’s no place for sincerity in my favourite songs, “Come Across” being a prime example. It leans heavy on the melancholy and angst and hits those feels like a pro, ably assisted by a chorus that’s been lodged in my mind for months.

  1. Speedy Ortiz, Lucky 88

See above re emotional heft, which Speedy Ortiz has become expert at delivering. They’re fast becoming one of the United States’ most dependable and exciting rock bands.

  1. Paupière, Défunte Lune de Miel

And now for some bouncy Québécois pop. Still disappointed that I missed them when they came through Toronto earlier this year.

  1. Babygirl, Over in No Time

Sad, beautiful dreampop from Toronto. Wonderful delicateness.

  1. Tram Cops, stolen land

A moody and haunting track out of Melbourne. Yeah. It sticks with you.

  1. Constant Mongrel, 600 Pounds

Heavy, in tone and content. A song from the soundtrack of a world in a bad spot and spiralling.

  1. Orlando Furious, Rage

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/arD_5YGJdQ0?rel=0

Stream of consciousness unlike anything else I heard this year. Discordant, dissonant, unsettling. 

  1. Tim & the Boys, Hey

Driving, straight-ahead rock and roll with a nice aggressive edge…. Geez. I feel like I’m trying to write about wine. You can use words like “mouthfeel” all you want, but it basically comes down to, do you like it? Yeah, I like this song. I like it a lot. It’s my 14th-favourite song of the year. It rocks. It annoyed me to no end that I couldn’t buy these Sydneysiders’ album in Canada until months after it was released Down Under.

  1. Confidence Man, Don’t You Know I’m In a Band

In 2018, Confidence Man followed up on a couple of ridiculously enjoyable singles with a ridiculously enjoyable debut album. Case in point, this tongue-in-cheek assertion of pop star entitlement that is itself a near-perfect pop song. I want Confidence Man to be around forever, please.

  1. BBQT, High Wasted

Charming, off-kilter indie pop from Montreal. One of my two go-to summer songs on this list.

  1. Muncie Girls, Picture of Health

So, Muncie Girls is one of only three non-Canadian or -Australian bands that made my top 30, which should give you a good idea of how much I like this song. “Picture of Health” is pop-punk done right, and I’m particularly taken with their stuttered repetition of words in the song’s earwormy chorus. I’ve never heard that done before, and it Sounds. So. Cool.

  1. Little Ugly Girls, Tractor

Australian (from Hobart) riot grrrl band with tracks preserved in amber since the 1990s and whose album was only released this year. “Tractor” roars.

  1. Chromeo, Room Service

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/B-_xw6lf9T8?rel=0

We’re all running low on energy. Chromeo makes the case against going out, and for staying in and getting down. I’m convinced.

  1. JuliaWhy?, Pocket

More proof that the future of rock and roll is female.

  1. Metric, Now or Never Now

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/4Eh6mc993AIHTEpj3LFIlp

The live version of this song was a standout when I saw Metric in Utrecht in November, leading me to revisit it on the album. Verdict: It’s among Metric’s best.

  1. Petra Glynt, Surveillance

Probably the most epic tune on this list, “Surveillance” is an uncompromising and abrasive piece of artpop that had me thinking of U.S. Girls or an unvarnished Grimes. Bonus points for making a danceable song about living in a surveillance society.

  1. Sunscreen, Tide

My choice for 2018 summer song. A gentle pop tune that nails that end-of-summer feeling. 

  1. Phantastic Ferniture, Fuckin ‘n’ Rollin

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/00F5GpqtjDr750q3M2Bkfm

Reminds me of Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phonenix in that all of the guitar pop songs on this Sydney band’s debut album sound timeless, like they always existed. Perfection.

  1. Sahara Beck, Here We Go Again

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5s2JcXMkuhkEF8MYeWFrW1

I’ve been a fan of Sahara Beck since coming across her song “Brother Sister” on triplejunearthed.com. After a 2016 debut album on which she seemed to be trying to do everything at once, Beck comes through in 2018 with the superb “Here We Go Again,” a song built on the same emotional depth that characterized her previous work. I’m very excited to see where she goes next.

  1. Superchunk, Reagan Youth

Who would’ve thought that a 30-year-old band would deliver the year’s most insightful take on how everything went wrong in the United States. A song that is as musically vital as it is emotionally necessary.

  1. U.S. Girls, Incidental Boogie

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5DZBl18zByeRXwRotKcVvF

From the first time I heard U.S. Girls’ “Incidental Boogie” in 2015 (on the Free Advice Column EP), it was clear that Meg Remy was someone to watch. Fast forward three years later, and U.S. Girls’ latest album, In A Poem Unlimited, is deservedly topping best-of lists. The whole album is great: rage at social injustices mediated by elaborate, sultry (and sometimes menacing) pop arrangements. In writing and performing a pop album of great substance, Remy (working with myriad conspirators) is performing at pop’s highest difficulty setting and succeeding brilliantly. Easily the best album, with the best songs, of the year. And the re-recorded “Incidental Boogie” is just harrowing in its bleakness.

So there you go. See you in 2019!

All the Rage no. 53 – September 15, 2018: Hello, Duisburg!

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: I’ve relocated to Duisburg, Germany. 45 minutes from Cologne. Home to the world’s largest inland port. The cycling is fantastic. I’ve managed to tear myself away from it to gift you 52 minutes or so of tasty tuneage, from the thrilling experimentalism of Petra Glynt to the sombre beauty of Molly Drag (lots of Montrealers on the show this week). And so much more.

Yer tracklist:

Petra Glynt
Surveillance

U2
The Blackout
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/AWeYqbUzyF0

Marie Davidson
So Right

Erthlings
Bridges

White Blanks
I Don’t Wanna (Die)
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7455706

Noughts
Skew

Straight Arrows
Out and Down

La URSS
Cristal

Danny Michel
Purgatory Cove

Molly Drag
Last Words

FRTIZ
Summer Holiday

Plum
Cool 2 Start
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/3732961

Black Springs
Slinky Day

Choses Sauvages
Damoclès

All the Rage no. 52 – August 30, 2018: Goodbye to the Garden City

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: My last show in Canada before crossing the ocean … to Germany! And what better way to mark the occasion than with JuliaWhy?’s garagey sensibility, Nun’s ominous electronic foreboding, Babygirl’s dreampop, Würst Nürse’s punkiness, and so much more.

Your setlist:

Sahara Beck
Here We Go Again
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5s2JcXMkuhkEF8MYeWFrW1

JuliaWhy?
Pocket

Loose Tooth
All the Colours Gone

Phantastic Ferniture
Uncomfortable Teenager

Brian Tamaki and the Kool-Aid Kids
Tunnel Vision

Baby Cages
All U Want

Leathers
Day for Night

Youngblood
Dark Place
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/1hMoML8Dc9H1KuZODcUb2L

Sam Taylor-Wood & Pet Shop Boys
I’m In Love With a German Film Star (Radio Edit)
https://embed.music.apple.com/ca/album/im-in-love-with-a-german-filmstar-radio-edit-single/293317675

Nun
Pick Up the Phone

Heathers
Black Moon

Babygirl
Over in No Time

Primo!
A City Stair

Würst Nürse
Hot Doctor

Briggs
Here (feat. Caiti Baker)

All the Rage no. 51 – August 23, 2018: I’m going nowhere

Back from vacation with another edition of your biweekly(ish) source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Some mellowness, some hip hop, some punk-inflected pop from Nooky, Tropical Fuck Storm, Billy Moon, Fog Lake, Okin Osan and others. And! The triumphant return of ATR favourite Hello Seahorse!

Your setlist:

Nooky
Black Future

Tropical Fuck Storm
Stayin’ Alive

Metric
Dark Saturday
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/0xJRUArUCDBb0tGwo1Std2

Petra Glynt
New Growth

Dilly Dally
I Feel Free

Billy Moon
Dingus
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Ol_9QyNRL3g?rel=0

Slowfish
Stringy Bits

Exposure
Erase

Squaring Ciricles
Movement

A Lily
Paint Me With Your Blood Again

Fog Lake
talk

Hello Seahorse!
Son

Okin Osan
I Wanna Be That Girl