March 7th show rundown and SONG OF THE WEEK: Bravestation, “Signs of the Civilized”

Our latest show was a rather simple one, folks, as I took the opportunity to spin some tracks I’ve personally been lovin’ for the last few weeks. These included:

Phedre – In Decay
Plants & Animals – Why & Why
Kalle Mattson – Covered It All
Sound of Lions – Enders (Fevers Evil Mix)
John K. Samson – When I Write My Master’s Thesis
Little City – Arms Around A Picture
Grimes – Be a Body
The Glass Chain – Still Lives
Erin Passmore – Downtown
Bravestation – Signs of the Civilized
The Abbreviations – The Waiting Game
The Wooden Sky – Child of the Valley
ALX – I Will Love You More
Moon King – Theme From Moon King
Folly and the Hunter – Leaving Town

The next couple of weeks are going to be jam-packed with awesomeness as the CHUO funding drive is coming up, there are a couple of terrific Toronto bands playing Ottawa soon, and of course Canadian Music Week and JunoFest are just around the corner. And all of this is happening before April 1st! Madness. Sheer madness.

And to help get you excited about all of this madness, our latest song of the week is a sleek track from Toronto’s Bravestation, who we actually had on Now Playing Radio for a live session around this time last year. The indie-rock/pop quartet explores a terrific new tribal-pop sound that even harkens back to the ’80s with “Signs of the Civilized,” which they recently released in advance of their upcoming debut LP, expected later this year. Highly recommended for those who like to listen to Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” every so often but won’t ever admit to it.

Bravestation – Signs of the Civilized

Listen if you like: smooth tribal pop; the idea of far-from-outdated, fresh ’80s soft rock; Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” but updated, generally more cool, and with more electric guitar.

If you’re in Toronto, you can catch them next during Canadian Music Week on March 24th at the Horseshoe Tavern with Two Hours Traffic, Wintersleep, and more. You can also help support their efforts to create a music video for Signs of the Civilized here (and damn does it sound like they have a rad idea for it).

New feature on Now Playing! SONG OF THE DAY – Little City, “Sperry”

To shake off our post-holiday blues, we’re starting up a new feature we hope will bring some audial awesomeness into your day — every day. You won’t have to wait until every Wednesday to hear sweet new spins as our new SONG OF THE DAY daily post will deliver fresh new Canadian music right to your virtual doorstep.

We’re kicking off the second day of 2012 with a new track from Toronto’s Little City (you may have heard them on the show previously) who will be releasing a new 7″ on January 24th. “Sperry” is the A-side of the record, which you can stream via the link to their website below (though they’ve also set it up so you can download it on their Facebook page).

Little City – Sperry

Listen if you like: Ohbijou, swelling violins, powerful female vocals, majestic images of ships.

And hey: if you happen to be in Toronto on January 21st, they’re having a release party with Rival Boys and fellow pals of the show The Elwins!

Also: many thanks to all of you who tuned in for our four-hour mega-show last Wednesday. We’ll be replaying some highlights this week and next, and will also absolutely be podcasting/posting some of said highlights right here very soon. Show playlist also to come (and if you won something, don’t worry — we haven’t forgotten and will be in touch soon!).

Backlog #2! “There’s a shoutout if I ever heard one” – our [also overdue] July 6th show rundown

As our June 29th show was yet another repeat show (but a good one, hey?), we were psyched to put together a lovely show for July 6th featuring fantastic Toronto folk-pop group Little City, who – you may remember – joined us live in studio last summer for an awesome live performance (you can relive that magic over on our “Live at CHUO” page). These guys were back with another fantastic track from their debut EP and took some time off from spending Canada Day in the capital to chat about Twitter, “Web 3.0” and what they’ve been up to over the last year.

Little City – Bright Glow

Interview with Little City

And of course, the tracks we spun:

Wildlife – Move to the City
The Deep Dark Woods – Westside Street
The Express – Nobody Knows
Belgrave – Six Minutes
The Details – Weightless in the Dark
Graham Wright – Leftovers
Little City – Bright Glow (Live at CHUO)
Matt Pond PA – Spring Fawn [WEEKLY IMPORT]
Rival Boys – No Selfish Love

Many thanks again to Little City – and if you happen to be in Toronto, make sure to check ’em out at the El Mocambo on July 22nd!

Last show of 2010! Dec. 29th show rundown

Many thanks to the awesome Jon Cohen of The Jon Cohen Experimental for phoning in for a chat on today’s show — we should hopefully get the audio from that soon and post ‘er here. Don’t forget, you can check him out when he comes to Ottawa early in the new year — he’s hitting up the Avant Garde Bar on Thursday, January 6th, only $6 cover. Check out his site for more info. Update: Jon also tells me the first 20 people in the door will also get a free copy of their sophomore album, Behold. Definitely another awesome reason to go check out the show.

But yes, today’s show was also dedicated to some of my own favourite + top tracks of 2010 — but with a twist. My list focuses more on Canadian artists who may have been neglected from other best-of-2010 lists, and also spotlights some fantastic local acts who released some killer full-length albums and EPs this year. You can’t deny it: 2010 has been the best year yet for Ottawa’s music scene.

Here’s what we spun on the show:

Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – Odessa
Meligrove Band – Really Want It
Little City – Lincoln Learning French
Tokyo Police Club – Favourite Colour
The Acorn – Misplaced
Diamond Rings – Something Else
The Jon Cohen Experimental – Hold the Fire
Broken Social Scene – All to All
Great Bloomers – Small Town Love
The Love Machine – Love is On Your Side
Old Crowns – Shaky Hands
Sound of Lions – Passive Attack
Gramercy Riffs – Dreaming

And man. Here’s my “had I more time, I would have also played” list:
Land of Talk – Quarry Hymns
Loon Choir – New Forewarnings
Basia Bulat – Heart of My Own
Promise Land – Hooded Fang
Rah Rah – Breaking Hearts
Kathryn Calder – If You Only Knew

Alas. An hour can be so restrictive.

And while I didn’t get a chance to mention it on-air, we’ll be extending the EP giveaway! Still the same set-up: tell me what your favourite Canadian album of 2010 is and you could win a copy of The Details’ The Original Mark EP. Comment below or shoot me an email at emma [at] nowplayingradio.com.

‘Til… the new year!

“I just love Ontario, I truly enjoy this province.” – The Mountains & The Trees LIVE at CHUO + Dec. 8th show rundown

On his last day of touring, the afternoon before his last show of the year at the Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield, Jon Janes — aka The Mountains & The Trees — hung out with some of us at the CHUO studios, chatted, performed a couple songs, chatted some more… he even played an impromptu cover of Bahamas’ “Already Yours” (also posted below, thanks to Lenny for the recording). Point is, Janes is a great guy and we were thrilled to host him in the studio for a few hours. (And many thanks to Ming, too, for snapping some photos.)

Check out the interview, plus some of the live songs below:

The Mountains & The Trees – interview

The Mountains & The Trees – More & More & More

The Mountains & The Trees – Goodbye Little Town

BONUS – The Mountains & The Trees – Already Yours (Bahamas cover. Yes, that’s me gushing a few seconds in — thanks again to Lenny for recording it in the hallway outside the CHUO studios!)

If you want to purchase the latest full-length release from The Mountains and the Trees, “I Made This For You” — named one of Exclaim’s top 10 folk albums of 2010 — check out the digital release on Bandcamp, where Jon is selling the album on a pay-what-you-can basis and will be donating all proceeds to the Children’s Wish Foundation. Awesome stuff.

And, of course, can’t forget all the tracks we played:

Modern Superstitions – Go-Between
Mathias Mental – Heart Attack
Winter Gloves – Invisible
Azure Ray – Make Your Heart [WEEKLY IMPORT]
The Record Holder – Perfect Drunk
Extra Happy Ghost!!! – Sympathy for the Moron
The Mountains and the Trees – Goodbye Little Town (Live at CHUO)
The Mountains and the Trees – More & More & More (Live at CHUO)
Little City – Hard to See
Jane Vain and the Dark Matter – That Night
The Golden Dogs – Underwater Goldmine
Flora Poste – In the Open
Jenocide – 2 Hot 2 Hold

Thanks again to Jon, Ming and Lenny, and especially Tom and the team at CHUO for helping to make this all happen. Stay tuned for some more awesomeness coming up next week!

Little City performs live in the studio: PART TWO of August 25th show recap

Take the Great Bloomers. Mix in some Forest City Lovers. Maybe a dash of Ohbijou and a little Kathleen Edwards, too. Somewhere, there, you have one of the best new bands coming out of Toronto, Little City: the perfect blend of upbeat folk-pop.

In town for a show at the Cajun Attic this evening (you know you’d better check it out), they swung by the CHUO studios to chat and play “Lincoln Learning French” off their debut EP, The Going and the Gone. Check it out:

And the live performance of “Lincoln Learning French”:

Find out more about the band (and check out some of their tracks) over at littlecityband.com. Oh, and fun fact: 2004 (season 2) Canadian Idol winner Kalan Porter occasionally adds his violin skills to the band… and did so in the studio today. Pretty gosh-darn-cool. Don’t forget to check out their show tonight at the Cajun Attic and if you’re in Toronto on Saturday, ’tis the day of their official album release — happening at the Bread and Circus in Kensington Market.

Tune in next week when we spin some more awesomeness, including a very special Weekly Import — an interview with New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus.

“Take your shirts off when you play. It feels good.” Interview with Miaou Miaou – PART ONE of August 25th show recap

I know I say this often, but really — today was an incredible show.

What we spun (apparently “ou”-heavy, it seems):

Caribou – Sun
Siskiyou – Hold It In
Miaou Miaou – North Memphis
Michou – Eavesdropping
Little City – Rise Up
Land of Talk – Swift Coin

Vancouver two-piece Miaou Miaou — composed of hilarious guys Raph and Sean — were in town playing at the Elmdale Tavern last week and I got the chance to sit down with them and talk west coast music, touring Canada, and, uh, taking your shirt off while playing the drums.

They’re playing at Rancho Relaxo tonight in Toronto — if you happen to be there, you should check ’em out! Why not sidle over to their myspace, too — they’ve got a great, self-described “grunge-pop” sound.

And just wait for our next post: Toronto’s Little City also joined us in the studio today to chat and perform…