All the Rage no. 84, May 19, 2020: The Future is Uncomfortable

As always, the best in left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond! This week it’s left-field pop maestros Spars who set the stage, Melbourne’s Time For Dreams live up to their name, muscular dreampop (aka shoegaze) from Montreal’s No Joy while Toronto punkers OBGMs make a triumphant return. Also, powerpop from Perth’s Flossy and so, so much more.

The show

The setlist

Sparks
Left Out in the Cold

Simona Castricum
The Present

Poliça
Trickylovers

Time For Dreams
Death of a Disco Dancer

No Joy
Birthmark

Seafog
Centre of the Heart

The OBGMs
Cash

The Shiverettes
Trust

Flossy
The Mess You Made

Eliza & The Delusionals
Swimming Pool

Jade Imagine
Coastal Pines

Heart Beach
Other Side

Marlaena Moore
I Miss You

The Eclipse
Maybe I’m The Problem

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Falling Thunder

Halfheads
Bird Food

 

All the Rage no. 83, May 4, 2020: It’s always new to someone

As always, 60ish minutes of the best in new (and new to me) left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond! This week we get loud with Welland’s Daniel Romano, Calgary’s The Shiverettes, Melbourne’s Slush, Freo’s Grunge Barbie. New Donny Benét! New New Fries! Delightful mellowness from New Zealand’s Floating Island. Also, a whole bunch of tunes from the past couple of years from bands that I’m only discovering now, like Edmonton’s Midnight Crisis. So much excellent music out there, just waiting to be discovered, so dive on in.

The setlist:

 Daniel Romano
I’m Afraid Of Elevators

Slush
Bleed

R.M.F.C.
Reader

Grunge Barbie
St. James St

Midnight Crisis
Hecubus (evil!)

The Shiverettes
Hard Bitch

Baby Band
Skeptics & Chill

Switches
Saurkraut

Jon Mckiel
Private Eye

New Fries
Ploce

Donny Benet
Mr Experience

Floating Island
Discontinuation

Punko
Plants Singing

Key Out
Chorus

Hussy
Gatorade

Sachet
Holes In One

Hippy Stamps
All I Can Remember Is Your Blue Eyes

All the Rage no. 81, April 20, 2020: From Inside the House

As always, 60 minutes (or thereabouts) of the best in new indie music from Canada, Australia and beyond (plus a John Prine cover). This week: Melbourne’s Mystery Guest hit us with a song that’s sure to be on my year-end best-of list,  while compatriots Baby Shower go dark, tasty shoegazy stuff from Washed Out, Hamilton’s Sunnsetter and Toronto’s Lacquer. And so, so much more (Pet Shop Boys!).

The show:

The setlist:

 Leslie Spit Tree-O
Angel from Montgomery

Mystery Guest
Get Up

Jade Hairpins
(Don’t Break My) Devotion

Knitted Abyss
Attention

Baby Shower
Everything sucks and it’s everyone’s fault but mine

Primo!
Best and Fairest

Pet Shop Boys
Monkey business

the band whose name is a symbol
From Düsseldorf To Cologne

Hannah Cameron
Backsliding

Sunnsetter
Sauble

Washed Out
Too Late

Lacquer
Rent to Own

Gum Country
Somewhere

 

All the Rage no. 80, April 13, 2020: Spring Sounds

As always, 60 minutes of the best in left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: shoegaze from Australia’s Flyying Colours and Kodiak Galaxy and Canda’s Zoon; Montreal pop and hip-hop from Le Couleur and Petite Papa (respectively), Mark Lanegan, Claire Birchall, EWAH & The Vision of Paradise; sunny guitar pop from Penny Diving, Port Juvee and Vim, and so much more.

The show:

The setlist:

Flyying Colours
Big Mess

Kodiak Galaxy
Ghosts

Le Couleur
Concorde

Petite Papa
Boogie

Mark Lanegan
Skeleton Key

Claire Birchall
Running in Slow Motion

EWAH & The Vision of Paradise
Play Hard

Zoon
Vibrant Colours

Penny Diving
Shotgun, She Said

The Great Divides
Face the World

Port Juvee
Motion Control

Muncie Girls
Idolise

Rhysics
Holding Yourself Hostage

Vim
Way Away

Romero
Honey

Tropical Fuck Storm
Suburbiopia

All the Rage no. 77, March 22, 2020: Anthropocene Dream

As always, the best in new and indie music from Canada, Australia and beyond. There’s no better way to enjoy your social isolation, right?

On the show: mellow chillness from Kashka and Molly Drag, tasty loudness from Montreal’s Double Date with Death, delicious power pop from NOBRO and Bloods, poppy confections from U.S. Girls and Hello Seahorse!, Heart Beach with a side dish of homesickness, a spiky punk punch from Cable Ties and Rata Negra.

I really need to get something to eat.

The show:

The setlist:

KASHKA
It’s Winter Now

NOBRO
Marianna

Double Date with Death
La princesse de l’au-delà (feat. Laurence Gauthier-Brown)

OPT/out
Holocene

Cable Ties
Sandcastles

Rata Negra
¿Qué Tendrá?

Bloods
U & M E

Spectres
Provincial Wake

U.S. Girls
Overtime (feat. James Baley & Jake Clemons)

Hello Seahorse!
Gratitud

Funeral Lakes
Anthropocene Dream

Victories at Sea
Ice Data Centre

Art d’Ecco
I’ll Never Give You Up

Diamondtown
The Voice

VIM
Waiting

Crystal Eyes
Wishes

Heart Beach
Together

Go Get Mum
Moving Day

Molly Drag
Walking Out

 

All the Rage no. 76, Jan. 19, 2020: The in-between period

The best in left-field pop from Canada, Australia & beyond! This week, some great tuneage to kickstart your new year: Dreamy pop from Melbourne (Flyying Colours, Spiral Perm), Sydney (The S-Bends) & Aukland (Na Noise) Canadian electronic tuneage from Smaller Hearts, Molly Drag & Lié. Alien Nosejob and Psychic Void get punky! Edmonton’s Brunch Club and Hobart’s Quivers deliver some exceptional guitar pop. And so much more!

Your setlist:

Greg Dulli
Pantomimia

Dead Little Penny
Talk Show Goth

Flyying Colours
Goodtimes

The S-Bends
Datsun

Molly Drag
Exist

Ramon Chicharrón
Apretao feat. Boogát

Smaller Hearts
Possible Futures

Salad Boys
This Issue

Heir Traffic
Is it to Clamber, to Climb?

Spiral Perm
No Bones

Alien Nosejob
Television Sets

Hockey Dad
I Missed Out

Psychic Void
Sweet Dreams

No Museums
An Engine Submerged

Brunch Club
Dandelion Dreams

Na Noise
Bad Dreams

Quivers
When it Breaks

All the Rage no. 74: Best tuneage of 2019

It’s the end of the year, which means it’s list time! First up, my 30 favourite left-field pop songs from Australia, Canada and beyond. Enjoy.

30. BBQT
Flinch

Delightfully bouncy guitar pop from Montreal. Not a bad way to kick off at top 30 list.

29. DZ Deathrays
Shred for Summer

A perfectly named song from this Brisebane trio. Definite Jane’s Addiction vibe going on here.

28. Moody Beach
Slave

Sydney sultriness.

27. Miesha & the Spanks
The Girls are OK

In a world of microgenres, it’s nice to know that straight-ahead rock and roll, in this case courtesy of this fine Calgary outfit, is still a glorious thing.

26. Booji Boys
New Repacement

Ditto for punk rock. No-frills, unadorned noisy perfection, straight out of Halifax.

25. The Vovos
Venus

This weird and wonderful tune, from Melbourne’s The Vovos, is the epitome of left-field pop. Probably the most purely delightful song on this entire list

24. Ausmuteants
Forever Cops

Melbourne’s Ausmuteants nail punk’s proud tradition of standing up to unjust authority. “Hands up; we’ll still shoot.” A harrowing glimpse of the nasty side of 2019.

23. Nooky
Blackfellas

A harrowing, desperate cover of a 2009 Steel Warriors song from this Yuri man from New South Wales’ South Coast, who also happens to be one of Australia’s most exciting rappers.

22. IV League
Comedown Sensation

Yet another soaring pop anthem from a Melbourne group that over the course of only a few songs has demonstrated an uncanny knack for soaring pop anthems.

21. Heart Attack Kids
Do What You Do

Two guys from London, Ontario, who know how to bring the noise, with a detonating sound you can hear from space.

20. The Double Happiness
No Place Nundah

A nostalgia-washed homage to a backwater town from this Brisbane band. I kind of love this song.

19. Quivers
You’re Not Always On My Mind

Exhibit A for the theory, which I am starting right now, that Hobart’s Quivers are time travellers from the late 1980s. A mellow tune that has classic Dad Rock written all over it.

18. Tram Cops
California Way

Jittery, wistful lo-fi goodness from a forward-looking Melbourne outfit.

17. Big Mike & Gianni La Bamba
Bad Boys (Single Edit)

Seeing Big Mike & Gianni La Bamba open for Donny Benét (twice!) was one of the highlights of my year in Germany. Big Mike is a hulking, muscled blond dude from Cologne who looks like he’s either just come from or is going to the gym. He raps (in German) about working out and partying – he’s basically a Teutonic Andrew WK. And his music, courtesy of Mr. La Bamba, is a delightful throwback to hard-edged 80s dance music. One highlight of their live show (other than the very fit, shirtless men that seem to comprise 50% of their audience) is a rap that’s done to the tune of the Hall and Oates’ hit “Out of Touch” that kind of sneaks up on you (“Is… is he rapping in German to a Hall and Oates song?”) This song isn’t that one, but as a celebration of Kolsch Bad Boys, it’s almost as awesome (in the 80s sense of the word).

16. Ultra Magnus
Duck

Nice heaviness and great flow from this Toronto rapper. Yes, please!

15. Jackie
New at Drugs

Joyous power-pop from Toronto’s Jackie. I’m pretty sure I’ve never before heard a song about a mom (your mom) trying drugs for the first time. Jackie packs a lifetime of history and a staggering amount empathy into three minutes.

Fuck, what a great pop song.

14. Dead Little Penny
Honeycomb

Curve-y shoegaze from Auckland. Mmmmmmmm…..

13. Hello Seahorse!
Mujer

I’ve been a fan of Hello Seahorse! from the moment I saw them open for The Killers in Mexico City in 2009. Ten years later, they’re still delivering phenomenal tuneage, their secret weapon being Lo Blondo (Denise Gutierrez), who has one of the distinctive voices in all popular music – any language, any genre. Mujer, their latest, continues the winning streak.

12. Gold Fields
Glow

Ballarat heroes return with some dancey goodness that showcases Gold Fields’ growth as a band.

11. The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience (The Lonely Island)
Bikini Babe Workout

Few things brought me more joy in 2019 than The Lonely Island’s 30-minute ode to the Oakland A’s steroid addled heroes. There is no reason why The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience should exist – I’m pretty sure no one was clamouring for a 30-minute set of raps about/by Jose Canseco and Mark McGuire, but the world is a better place for its existence. It’s only a matter of time before The Lonely Island pull and Parker and Stone and stage a Broadway musical, right? Please say yes.

10. Donny Benét
Second Dinner

An 80s disco-style ode to the joys of four square meals a day, this is vintage Benét.

9. Smaller Hearts
Circuitry

The standout song from these Haligonians’ strong second album. Picture a warm Pet Shop Boys, or an optimistic Depeche Mode. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.

8. Tropical Fuck Storm
The Planet of Straw Men

Angry, righteous, off-kilter and noisy, with the best male-female vocal tradeoffs in the business, Tropical Fuck Storm is the 2019 band we both need and deserve.

7. Pale Lips
You’re A Doll

Another highlight of a year in Germany: Seeing Pale Lips play a small room in Münster in February, at a time when I was pretty much ready to head home but still had months to go. Tight, poppy, 60s-style rock and roll that I could listen to until the sun goes out.

6. Heart Beach
Cliffhanger

Hobart’s (now Footscray) Heart Beach somehow find another gear. Cliffhanger injects an already fully formed sound (deliberate drums backing Yo La Tengo-style dissonance) with an epic level of soulfulness courtesy of Claire McCarthy plaintive vocals. A song made for movies – you know the scene. There’s something special about this band.

5. JuliaWhy?
Starman

Sydney’s (now London, UK) JuliaWhy? take the next step. Muscular dreampop. Their new album is excellent. I can’t wait to see where they go next.

4. Sampa the Great
Final Form

“Young veteran; new classic.” Long may she rule.

3. Sahara Beck
I Haven’t Done a Thing Today
triple j Unearthed Embedded Player

Sahara Beck, the Brisbane artist who’s been recording since she was what, 15? (my goodness), gifts us with a wonderfully upbeat, Killers-esque tune in all the best ways. One of my 2019 go-to mood-lifters.

2. Sunscreen
High Over Love

Pure, joyous guitar pop from a Sydney four-piece. Seriously – just go listen to it. I’m running out of adjectives.

1. Calmly
Pet Tornado

This Perth four-piece (née Childsaint) has finally released their first album (huzzah!), and it doesn’t disappoint. Eight songs of heartbreak, regret, reseignation and resolve, capped by this quietly haunting acoustic tune. Beauty in despair.

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)