All the Rage, no. 67 June 9, 2019: Soft Loud Soft

As always, your biweeklyish 60 minutes of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. On the show: Heart Attack Kids, Noughts, Necking and Metz sonically pulverize the house, Jess Ribeiro and Sun Sets West get languid, IV League do the anthem thing, Ali Barter gets real, Kenora and Jade imagine do pop their own ways, and Wordburglar celebrates Ontario’s capital city. Also a 2014 Black Cab superhit, just because it rocks. And so much more.

Your setlist:

Sun Sets West
Soft Touch

Jess Ribeiro
Young Love

Kenora
Living in L.A.

Wordburglar
Torontaun (prod. By Diagnostik 80 w Fresh Kils, cuts by More or Les)

Noughts
The Antithesis

Necking
Big Mouth

METZ
Pure Auto

Heart Attack Kids
Do What You Do

Ali Barter
Ur a Piece of Shit

No Museums
Did You Land Your Mark Upon the Sun?

The Plastic Fangs
Kickback

Big Supermarket
SuperHwy

Atom
Parasite

Jade Imagine
Big Old House

IV Leauge
Comedown Sensation

Brutal Poodle
Crowd Control

Black Cab
Sexy Polezi

Nice Biscuit
Goodbye Luya

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. 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. 50 – July 15, 2018: The Half-Century Show

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Episode Number 50! Spotlight on the songs that have made ATR: Martina Topley-Bird, Girls Against Boys and Metric finally get their due. Also: the three quintessential ATR bands. And! As always, plenty of the best new music from Canada and Australia.

Your setlist:

Martina Topley Bird, Too Tough to Die

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/0N3DUVHC7gAgVnzfPfmpAY

Girls Against Boys, All the Rage

Heart Beach, Underwater

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

Murray Darling, Don’t Say You’re Moving to Melbourne

Moody Beaches, Guns

Dark Fair, Off Into My Head

Ramon Chicharron, Los Monos Están Berracos

Fingerless, Out There

Little Ugly Girls, Tractor

New War, Get in the Boot

Rebel Yell, Toxic

Johnny Headband, Hot Button Topic

Metric, Lost Kitten

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/6fNr1CSeK84DIW932nV3c3

All the Rage no. 48 – June 17, 2018: Soft, loud, melancholic

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: We get mellow with Future States, punch with Lié and Surf Dads, and end with a Tropical Fuck Storm of despair. Let’s go.

Your setlist:

Shaun Carlo & Jeepz, Earn

Future States, Heaven

Phantastic Ferniture, Fuckin’ and Rollin’

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

Chromatics, Black Walls

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

Smaller Hearts, Summertime III

Asta Rangu, Plastiscine

Lié, Country Boys

Surf Dads, Hold Onto Me

The Dollar Bill Murrays, The Shape You Take

Squaring Circles, Anima

 

Tropical Fuck Storm, Rubber Bullies

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

All the Rage no. 47 – May 27, 2018: A great indie compilation and so much more

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Multiple songs from Hamilton’s Haolin Monks and Grey Records’ excellent Grey Matter compilation. Also, the answer to the question, if someone pitches me a band that sounds like “Pet Shop Boys meets My Bloody Valentine at a Stereolab concert,” am I going to play it. Spoiler alert: Yes. Yes, I will.

Bonus spoiler: The band in question (Smaller Hearts) delivers.

Yer setlist:

Ubik, Lost and Later

Cold Meat, Love in a Void

Heart Beach, Need

Smaller Hearts, Chipper

Zöe Fox and the Rocket Clocks, Warrior Princess

Spiral Perm, Santa at NASA

Eekwol feat. Boogey the Beat

Haolin Munk, Deep Space Float (f. Lee Reed)

Navy Gangs, Housekeeping

Speedy Ortiz, Lucky 88

Shirley & the Pyramids, More than the Sun

Great Earthquake, Learn to Love the Ordinary

Orlando Furious, Rage

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

The Garrys, Swamp Stomp

Nylex, Fascinate

Haolin Monk, Astro’s Revenge (f. Emay)

Sightlines, Love Ethic

IV League, Superstar

All the Rage no. 46 – April 16, 2018: Sonic Productivity/Sonic Procrastination

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: So I recorded this back in mid-April and thought I’d be able to get around to polishing and posting it while in Brazil. That didn’t happen, but better late than never. Anyway, for your listening pleasure, I present to you the sounds of Le Plaisir, Suss Cunts, Primitive Calculators, and a super-stunning piece of musical genius by Rebel Yell. And more. Wow.

Your setlist:

Rebel Yell, Stains (ft. Gussy)

Confidence Man, Don’t You Know I’m in a Band

Tim & the Boys, White Guys

Civic, Burning Steel

Sloan, Spin Our Wheels

Blush Response, Cruel

Choses Sauvages, Ariane

Midlife, The Gloves Don’t Bite

Kwame, Wow

Le Plaisir, Chilblains

BBQT, High Wasted

Suss Cunts, Tempter

Amya Laucirica, Under the Tide

Stella Donnelly, Mechanical Bull