All the Rage no. 39, Dec. 18, 2017: Best of 2017, 15-1!

It’s countdown time! Who will win the coveted number one spot? Where’s Whalehouse going to chart? Take a listen or read below!

Your setlist…

15. Donny Benét, Konichiwa

One of the reasons I run this podcast is that it forces me to seek out new music, and if the only new artist I’d discovered over the past few years was Donny Benét, well, it would’ve been more than worth it. Konichiwa is classic Benét: slinky, smooth, funny, and just a tad creepy. And the video is an all-time classic that will haunt your every-so-sexy nightmares.

14. PONY, I Don’t Know

Rock and roll! Much more, please.

13. Mark Lanegan, Beehive

Another solid entry into the catalogue of grunge survivor Mark Lanegan.

12. The Shiverettes, Dead Men Can’t Cat Call

Between The Shiverettes and Leather Jacuzzi, Calgary’s producing some high-quality female-fronted punk bands (strike that, punk bands, period). Fierce and socially relevant. Yes.

11. Kaptur, Future Proof

In which local St. Catharines band play completely out of their fucking heads. What an epic tune. Alan Cross, I believe, on the Twitters said he heard something of Radiohead in this song. He’s not wrong. Angular and fierce.

10. Pale Lips, Hiding from the Moon

Much of the musical enjoyment I received this year came from Montreal’s Pale Lips. Anybody can be serious: it’s the default setting of rock music. Straight-up, uncomplicated rock and roll with a sense of humour is much harder to pull off, and Pale Lips do it with panache, and make it look it easy.

9. Whalehouse, Sexy Whale Beach Party

Abrasive, the lowest of lo fi that sounds like it was recorded on the first take, Sexy Whale Beach Party is everything that’s good about music and the world in general. It’s a song full of energy, joy and absurdity. Nobody’s having as much fun as Whalehouse, but the good news is, you’re invited to join them for their, well, you get the idea.

8. Cable Ties, Say What You Mean

A six-minute righteously angry anti-corporate manifesto, and a mezmerizing debut from this talented Melbourne band. Think Sleater Kinney taking on the capitalism. You know it’s good.

7. A.B. Original, 2 Black 2 Strong

I’ve been listeningto the Youtube version of this song, and January 26, all year, and now the album, Reclaim Australia, is finally (finally!) out in Canada. The music is 90s US West Coast hiphop. It fits perfectly with Briggs’ and Trials’ witty, proud, angry and confrontational take on living as Aboriginal men in a racist white Australia. The revolution is coming, and it can’t get here soon enough.

6. Heart Beach, Summer

Nobody does melancholy like Heart Beach. The most wistful song of the year.

5. Fog Lake, novocaine

Quiet, meditative beauty.

4. Gorillaz, She’s My Collar

I’m not quite sure what this song is about – a relationship that may or may not be on the level, and may or may not be working out for our two protagonists — but it’s definitely in the key of sultry. Kali Uchis has a siren-song voice. It’s a keeper.

3. Batpiss, Weatherboard Man

Working-class, slow-burn punk (produced by The Drones’ Gareth Liddiard) that has a keen feel for what it means to grow up on the wrong side of the tracks. A standout on an excellent album.

2. Run the Jewels, Talk to Me

This was the first song I played on All the Rage in 2017. It perfectly captures the sense of desperation we’ve all been facing down this past year, while rallying enough bravado to maybe – just maybe – get us through.

1. Alvvays, In Undertow

A three-minute, exquisitely rendered short story of love, regret and loss. Pure pop perfection.

All the Rage no. 38 – December 17, 2017: Best of 2017, 30-16

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

It’s list-making time! Here are my 30 favourite songs of 2017. First up, Numbers 30-16.
Your setlist:

30. Tapas (feat. Jeepz, G. Grand & Hyf), Havana Nights

Tasty hiphop from my hometown of Ottawa. Been following Jeepz for a while, and his effortlessly cool beats here don’t disappoint. MCs G. Grand and Hyf bring it as well. Solid beginning to the 2017 top 30, right?

29. Mezko, Trust

Sydney’s Mezko bring the 90s alternative dance to the second decade of the 21st century. Cool.

28. She-Devils, The World Laughs

Slinky, dreamy music that sounds like it was beamed here from one of the lusher lounges of the 1960s. These Montreal women bring it.

27. Alex Lahey, Every Day’s the Weekend

Ladies and gentlemen, the future of rock and roll.

26. Foxy Morons, Ex

From Hobart, a plaintive bit of relationship wisdom. Sadly, after one glorious EP, Foxy Morons are no more, a victim of the pull of the mainland, in their words. Oh, well. The world is a better place for their brief time together.

25. Kashka, New Moon Blues

I saw Kat Burns, aka Kashka, at the Heartbeat Festival, held in a house and backyard of a Toronto townhouse. There couldn’t have been more than 25 of us in attendance. She and her backing string quartet (trio? I’m blanking) set up in the living room, which was the perfect venue for her intimate, mesmerising, gentle tunes. New Moon Blues was a particular standout. I’m a fan.

24. The Afghan Whigs, Arabian Heights

Greg Dulli’s been churning out soul-infused rock in the Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers for almost 30 years, and Arabian Heights continues his winning streak. One of the most consistently rewarding American rock musicians of his generation.

23. Moody Beach, Vanilla

In a perfect world, this song would be a Top 10 worldwide pop juggernaut.

22. The Courtneys, Tour

Optimism’s been a hard thing to come by in 2017, so we can thank our lucky stars that The Courtneys have stepped up to deliver some of that pure power pop. Perfect, joyous driving music.

21. Birdz, Crown Thieves

Public Enemy once described a previous generation of political hiphop as the Black CNN. On his debut album, which counts this song as a standout, it’s clear that Birdz, from Australia’s Northern Territory is continuing the tradition of politically aware hiphop, alongside Australians like Briggs, Trials, and Lucky Luke (coming right up). Call it Black CNN International. I’m not steeped in the intricacies of hiphop by any stretch of the imagination, but there seems to be a definite 90s tinge to the music. And did I mention that it sounds great? Cuz it does.

20. Laura Sauvage, Alien (Anything Like It, Have You?)

80s inspired synthpop that would make the Pet Shop Boys stand up and take notice. Given that PSB are at the very top of my personal pantheon of rock gods, there is no higher praise.

19. Lucky Luke, Jacks

On this one, there’s a definite 90s West Coast hiphop thing going on, all in service of a cool song about an abandoned Australian mining community. Socially conscious hiphop that grows your brain.

18. Leather Jacuzzi, Leatherette Spa

For the first punk rock entry into my top 30, it’s Calgary’s Leather Jacuzzi. Loud, ferocious, with a wicked sense of humour, these ladies are doing it right.

17. La Fièvre, La Chienne

Dreamy, resigned feminist pop from one of my new Canadian favourites.

16. The OBGMs, Beat Up Kidz

This is why you shouldn’t skip the opening act. Saw these Toronto punkers open up for Danko Jones a couple of years ago and they blew me away. High-octane punk rock. Yes. Here’s hoping their just-released debut album garners them the attention they so richly deserve.

All the Rage no. 37 – December 7, 2017: Slowly clawing our way out of 2017

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

Your setlist:

Smokes, Iodine
Tropical Fuck Storm, Soft Power
Laura Sauvage, Monkeys in Space
Contrast, The Cure
Fritz, YUK!
Blush Response, Without You
Hello Seahorse!, Dónde Estabas (Azul)
Tapas (feat. Jeepz, G. Grand & Hyf), Havana Nights
Land of Talk, This Time
Hatchie, Sure
Brutal Poodle, Amateurs of the Universe
Family Video, Year Without at Summer
Camp Cope, The Opener