Archive for October, 2014

THE INTERRUPTERS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Wicked lively rockin’ riotous jumpy friendly freakin’ sweet The Interrupters are such pure perfect poppy ska punk I have no need for commas.

I saw them open for Rancid one (two?) year(s?) ago, downloaded a few songs, and left it at that. Yet those four songs off their eponymous album (Liberty, Take Back the Power, Family– featuring Tim Armstrong, and A Friend Like Me) have deftly manoeuvered themselves onto my favourite playlists. I got to thinking, What if the rest of the album’s this good?

Spoiler: it is. They have that ska beat bounce down so well it guides the groove in every tune, no matter if the melody itself is more mellow (which it rarely is). Ideal for jogging, toking, talking, pogoing, dancing, living!

Not only that, but they take the time to write about important, honest issues, everywhere from human rights to human relationships.

I hope they get the attention they deserve.

BORSCHT

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I saw Borscht live: they opened for Audio/Rocketry at Wunderbar, one of the better venues along Whyte Ave, not that this means anything to anyone reading this on the internet, `cause the chances of you being from Edmonton are slim. Regardless. They were the first opening act, and even though I didn`t get on the floor because I was sitting with my friend (who paid for the tickets, the sweetheart), they did what I always wish bands (and writers) would do.

They made me feel.

Girl, guy: voice, guitar, drums: more than enough. They had a quick wit and confident, humble presence and their set lasted as long as I needed.

Their album DAZER is available on Bandcamp. First props: the album has no set cost; they chose the Name Your Price option. Smiley face.

As for the music, it was just as good as I remembered, and expected. The obvious hits –Boys Who Make Out, Candy– are the obvious favourites, but Jet Stream too packs a guttural punch, leaving Tipton and BFF to taser loitering soundwaves.

They`re smart and hard, slow and strong, one of the best quiet riots to scream from an Edmonton rooftop.

I dunno what it is, but they`ve got it.

Borscht – Boys Who Make Out (Audio)

NEHEDAR

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I hear an honest streak: pulses of pain, plashes of rapture, intelligence, openness, aching optimism.

Bravery. Struggle. Joy.

Nehedar is the project of NYC-based singer-songwriter Emilia Cataldo, a character as complicated as she is poignant. There aren’t enough genres in the world to keep her creative curiosity satisfied. The Warming House (released this summer) is a lively, cultural event, sometimes weird, always magical.

I’m most impressed by her unabashed philosophies. It’s ridiculous that a feminist lean remains a dangerous stance for musicians to take, but Emilia proudly declares her ideals. (Take Is It Annoying, a feminist anthem all about ‘wanting out of the gilded cage’.) Some songs she even reminds me of a less abrasive -but equally brazen- Kathleen Hanna (see her delivery of Don’t Look for comparison, or how she belts it in Loshon Hara Barbie). There’s a lot of punk in her funky folk- if not in timbre, then attitude. Then, when she softens (as with Flying and Come Into The Light), it’s deep and sweet.

I leave you with the last song mentioned, not ‘cause it’s my favourite, but ‘cause it’s the one with a video. (Practical, no?)

MICHAEL LEONARD WITHAM

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Michael Leonard Witham has a voice like an angel on whiskey.

Associations: Connor Oberst, Bob Dylan, the Violent Femmes guy… anyone with a bloody punch in their throat.

I was tired when I turned it on, and I wanted the night over, but as soon as he started singing, I had to stop. It`s all rusty, strung-out, sick-sweet, raw-rubble folk and it only makes me wonder, What the hell does he feel, that he can make those sorts of sounds?

Michael Leonard Witham: John’s Old Lady from Actual Cats on Vimeo.

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