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. 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. 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. 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. 49 – June 23, 2018: Feel-good hits of the year

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Good music equals good mood. The proof is streaming below.

Your setlist:

Shirley & the Pyrmaids, One Life

Expanda Fuzz, Check Your Watch

Moaning Lisa, Good

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7137071

VOIID, Not For You

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7135436

White Blanks, Go Right Now

Georgia June, Pressure

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/6529526

Muncie Girls, Picture of Health

Wax Mannequin, Boring

Fritz, Biggest Fool in the World

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7119326

Loose Tooth, Keep Up

Seaside, Golden Girl

Stars, One Day Left

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xXW1BB6N1gg?rel=0

Single Tear, in your arms, in my arms

Chromeo, Room Service

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

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. 45 – April 8, 2018: The Don

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Donny Benét’s new album is finally out, and it’s fantastic. Let’s start with that. New Primitive Calculators! Birdz & Omar Musa! Dakk’One! So much more! Listen up!

Your setlist:

Donny Benét, Love Online

Birdz & Omar Musa, About Me

Dakk’one, Lullaby

White Hex, Gold

Primitive Calculators, Power

Preoccupations, Antidote

Candy, Apartment in the City

Flowertruck, Come Across

Soft Wounds, Story

Wild Meadows, Fever

 Hit Bargain, Capitulate

Talk Show Host, We’re Not Here to Make Friends

So Young, Sixteen

All the Rage no. 43 – March 3, 2018: Working through the issues

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Using music to process a bad month for the concept of justice for Indigenous Canadians. As Superchunk (also on this week’s show) ironically put it, What a Time to Be Alive.

Your setlist:

Tropical Fuck Storm, Back to the Wall
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/05HLtkxNPaKGrs0nHYmNPe

Tram Cops, stolen land

US Girls, Incidental Boogie
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5DZBl18zByeRXwRotKcVvF

A.B. Original, Dead in A Minute (f. Caiti Baker)
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/19i9XNvAlpkudulpAHuEHo

Cable Ties, Tell them Where to Go
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/2OHVppPPqySVNEWQ99iDfV

Sook, I’m Not Your Woman

Boat Show, Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Booji Boys, Mr. Nazis on the Beat

Quick Fix, Always Was

Donny Benét, Santorini

Zoë Fox and the Rocket Clocks, Fists

bedside., Get it Right

Deafcult, Secret Wisdom

No Museums, The Twin Tone Market

Wax Chattels, Stay Disappointed

Superchunk, Reagan Youth

Jess Locke, Border Security