[Videos] As much as it pains me to admit it, the time has come to do away with the album review as a singular piece of criticism.
These days, a good number of musical acts are lucky to have even one solid song on their full-length, let alone a handful. If their creative focus has shifted, ours should, too.
Judging from the success of songs like Gangnam Style, the biggest hit of the Internet era, there’s more value in committing column space to the best (or worst, should those need a good tsk-tsking) songs of the moment.
That’s how music is traded these days: through email, with a link to a website for further reading and listening. So that’s what we’ll do here in the first instalment of a new column we’ve called Singles Going Steady, aptly named in honour of the singles compilation by British band Buzzcocks from 1979.
For maximum enjoyment, be sure to watch the videos online at timescolonist.com/entertainment.
1. Tegan and Sara, Closer.
Calgary-bred sisters Tegan and Sara Quin had quite a week for themselves. On the strength of Closer, their addictive synth-pop hit, Heartthrob debuted Tuesday on the album charts at No. 2 in Canada and No. 3 in the U.S. Both are career bests for the pop act, who are managed by Nick Blasko and Piers Henwood of Victoria (Ted Gowans, also of Victoria, leads Tegan and Sara’s backing band). Better still, the sisters will be at the Grammy Awards tonight competing for their first Grammy, which — in the event they win Best Long Form Music Video — will be shared with fellow nominees Henwood and Blasko. Tegan and Sara will likely be in town to perform in the coming months, their first show on local soil since 2009.
2. Lenny Kravtiz, Fly Away.
Lenny Kravitz makes for an appealing tour guide, so when a video surfaced on Wednesday showing the rocker running through the streets of New Orleans, in search of the source behind music of his playing far off in the distance, you can’t not watch further. When Kravitz arrives to find the teens in the Voice of Praise Choir getting funky on a version of his song Fly Away, he can’t help himself. He sits behind the drum kit before eventually taking the microphone — to the delight of the now-sizable street crowd gathered before him.
3. Gramatik, So Much For Love.
Brooklyn beatmaker Gramatik (a.k.a. Denis Jasarevic) is not to be missed in concert, which is good news for Victoria music fans who have an open spot on their social calendar this weekend. The native of Portoroz, Slovenia, will appear at Sugar on Saturday for what should be a block-rocking dance party tailor-made for the loose and limber. With opening sets by DJ Generic and Georgia Murray, missing this shouldn’t be an option.
4. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Third Stone from the Sun.
Stevie Ray came back to record stores last week in the form of a lovingly remastered version of his 1983 classic, Texas Flood. The real treat for diehards of the late guitar slinger is a second disc of extras — an unreleased 1983 concert, a standout from which is this Jimi Hendrix gem.
5. This Hisses, Blacksmith.
There’s plenty of darkness to be found on Anhedonia, the forthcoming second effort from Winnipeg punk trio This Hisses. The album’s first single is this revved-up rocker, which shoves the haunting vocals of singer Julia Ryckman directly in your face — and right down your throat. A national tour is reportedly in the works, which would bring the group to Victoria in the coming months.
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