Archive for the music journalism Category

SXSW 2014 Top 10 Must-See Artists

Posted in looking ahead, music journalism, playlist, rock & roll, sneak peak with tags , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2014 by bex0r

So it’s been a few weeks of combing Soundcloud, Pandora and Spotify playlists for what I consider to be the “must see” bands of South By Southwest this year. As it’s the first year I’ll be attending (after wanting to go for about eight) I think the pressure is even greater to make it count, get the most out of my free ticket as possible. Who knows when I’ll be able to afford to go again? (wishful thinking/potential goal: every year!)

Even if you’re not going it’s a great opportunity to find out about stellar up and coming acts you might not have heard yet. For me, it’s a 50/50 mix of never-before-heards and dear friends 🙂 I’ve put together a playlist of my favorite tracks from this year’s roster of talent announced so far –  so let it stream while you browse my list! If you like what you hear, please return the favor with a follow on Soundcloud or a comment.

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The Echo Friendly – Same Mistakes

Posted in daily, femme, music journalism on May 7, 2012 by bex0r

you know how sometimes a song just fits perfectly with a certain moment, memory or movie scene? last night’s episode of Girls summed up with this incredible piece of John Hughes’ inflected 80’s shoegaze mastery and it just worked.

the thrumming guitar, repetitive melody, shuffling rhythm and unrepentantly girlish confessional lyrics all make it the perfect placement for a series like Girls, and one that made total sense for this episode in particular. I wonder if Lena Dunham or Judd Apatow chose it or if she has a person doing supervision for the series? (hint hint artists!)

This is *the* show for 2012, and I can only imagine how fast this relatively unknown boy-girl duo are going to blow up because of this tidy little placement. With no full album release and just a handful of catchy alt-pop singles, they join a healthy number of artists who are getting major exposure through internet/TV placements and making it big right out the gate still relatively early in their careers.

check out the echo friendly on tumblr, bandcamp, or tweet @theechofriendly

Your Weekly Playlist – Vol. 5

Posted in music journalism, playlist with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by bex0r

excuse my absence as of late — tings been poppin!
last week I took a few days and visited the city of Portland and blogged all about it here:
but I’m back this week with more choice picks for your listening pleasure 😉
without further adieu.. here is

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Your Weekly Playlist

Posted in electronic music, journal, music journalism, reviews, rock & roll with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by bex0r

Due to the nature of my job and proximity to music all day, every day, all year long- I’m constantly coming across new indie acts and great songs you should be listening to.

I think it would be rude not to share the wealth, no?

so from now on I’m going to be posting a new feature, “Your Weekly Playlist” every Wednesday. It won’t be genre specific, but just anything that is good and current that I think people should know about.

Have a listen and if you think your stuff compares, you can submit your tunes to me in my Soundcloud dropbox.

Send me your sounds

so here’s what’s stuck in my earholes this week:

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quitters never win

Posted in drama, music journalism, rock & roll, writing with tags , , on February 22, 2012 by bex0r

If you have been following my writing, you might have noticed that I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from music journo/blogging. It’s really nothing to do with the wonderful sites/publications I was writing for, or the great quality of artists I’ve gotten to review in Vancouver, but more to do with the fact that I’ve come to view music criticism (in the professional voice) as a bit of a sham.

No one really cares what I (or anyone else, for that matter) thinks about a show.  As Dan Bern said, “The age of specialization is over”. Meaning, we all have our own opinions and ability to assess talent and quality, and what’s more-through the democratization of media (like, the interwebs and da blawgs and da twitters and such) we all have a medium through which to amplify and broadcast those opinions. So why would anyone care about what I think? You have the power and creativity to put down your thoughts in a cohesive and engaging manner, all the more power to you! Go for it! (confession: I pretty much only read music reviews for the pictures anyway…)

Not to knock anyone who is currently writing professional music critique/reviews, but I’m just SO OVER IT.

I’m returning to my roots, which is self-indulgent, navel-gazing, confession-based blogging. If you’re curious as to what I’m up to now, or would like to read about my social experiment (complete with highly personal, exploratory musings) they can be found at .

peace out wiggas!



Portishead at PNE Forum, Vancouver, Oct 24 2011

Posted in music journalism, reviews, rock & roll, writing with tags , , , , on October 24, 2011 by bex0r

Last night, Portishead reminded all music fans to never stop carrying a torch for your favorite artists – long after you’ve given them up for dead they can always surprise you.

Vocalist Beth Gibbon’s public battle with alcoholism, depression and paranoia kept her from touring North America for years and many PH fans on this side of the pond had completely given up hope. But a big surprise was in store for all who attended the PNE Forum Oct 24; even the cavernous smelly barn couldn’t kill the vibe that emanated from this timelessly classic three-piece British ensemble (who performed with a few back-up musicians).

With a polish that only comes from years of playing, writing and recording together and a sensitivity that can only come from age, experience and a truly creative spirit, this group impressed with both their vivacity and soul. Beth Gibbon’s strikingly melancholy voice and her visible emotional and physical fragility were set in sharp relief by her large band of energetic and strong male accomplices. Like having your heart wrenched from your body and ground into the dirty sidewalk, Portishead killed Vancouver Monday night, but it felt so good.

Credit: Ashley Tanasiychuk for The Snipe News

Sia at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Aug 19 2011

Posted in music journalism, rock & roll, writing with tags , , , , , on August 20, 2011 by bex0r

Credit: Ash Tanasiychuk for The Snipe News

Aussie songstress Sia (not to be confused with American drumstep artist Ana Sia) along with two pals, Ximena Sarinana and Oh Land, impressed the sold-out Commodore Ballroom crowd Friday night with a show featuring all aspects of the feminine. From the cute and petite Spanish soul stylings of Ximena, to the waifish avant-garde posturing of Oh Land to the gutsy barroom growls and toilet bowl humor of Sia Furler, each female brought a distinctly different character and a sound for every palate.

Definitely the black-horse up ‘n’ comer Ximena stole the award for straight-up star quality, charisma and talent. Putting the insubstantial and at times inane Oh Land to shame, Ximena had a solid crowd gathered to worship her powerful voice and exotic lyrical stylings.  Seeing her on stage you would never guess the petite singer/songwriter was barely 5’2 – her voice projected in a manner of operatic divas three times her size.

Next up the theatrical Oh Land took the stage to treat the audiences to her latest rehash of late 2000’s electro-clash meets ’90s Euro house. This reviewer admired her costume, but that was about it.

Finally, the performer everyone had been waiting for appeared before us in a ruffled cape (which she joked was covered in vaginas) and cascading tiered skirt. “Quirky, extroverted and fun” pretty much sums up Sia’s onstage presence. Her stage set was decorated with custom carpets, crocheted blankets and every other stand and boom had been yarn-bombed in true East Van style.

Her witty, infectious banter won the crowd over in between her trademark gut-wrenching, pitch-perfect vocal performances. Bringing out material from all three of her major label releases, she also performed her crowd-pleasing cover of Madonna’s “You Can’t Hurt Me Now” – her unique homage to an ’80s pop inspiration and not ironic in the slightest. She left her two biggest hits, “Breathe Me” and “Clap Your Hands”, for the encore, which seemed fine with everyone. “And now for the two songs you all paid to see,” she snidely quipped. We didn’t mind at all.