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Listen if you like: smooth tribal pop; the idea of far-from-outdated, fresh ’80s soft rock; Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” but updated, generally more cool, and with more electric guitar.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

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Catch-up! Our Feb. 1st show rundown with Fevers, and belated SONG OF THE WEEK: Sound Of Lions, “Enders (Fevers Evil Mix)”

We here at Now Playing Radio can’t get enough of the sweet synth/dance/electro-pop beats comin’ out of the capital over the last while. Silkken Laumann, who had a song of the week on here just recently. The Glass Chain, who we’ve had on the show previously. Fire and Neon, who’ll be playing CMW in Toronto at the end of the month. Loon Choir, who was one of our first guests on the show and will be releasing a brand-new full-length album in the coming months. And Fevers, who we only caught wind of a couple months ago, but have totally fallen in love with already.

Jim, Colin and Martin of Fevers just happened to be in Toronto a little while ago, so we took the opportunity to meet for some patriotic pints of Beau’s and to chat about how they’ve been successfully creating buzz in Ottawa. (They also chat about their upcoming music video — which they actually just shot yesterday! We can’t wait to see the final product, you guys.)

(Right-click to download, stream below)

And of course, many sweet tracks were spun, hand-picked by the guys themselves:

Fevers – Passion Is Dead (Long Live Fashion)
The Stills – Killer Bees
Misteur Vallaire – Dan Dan
controller.controller – History
Wintersleep – Insomnia
Fevers – End Of Love Song

And just last week, the band remixed another terrific Ottawa act (and more great friends of the show), Sound of Lions — the Enders (Fevers Evil Mix) is our belated Song of the Week, which you can stream and download below.

Sound of Lions – Enders (Fevers Evil Mix)

Listen if you like: Sound of Lions and Fevers, naturally; rad Ottawa music love; strong, female-fronted slow jams; remixes that are a little more dark than dance-y.

And for Ottawa listeners, Fevers will be playing a couple of hometown shows this month — one with Minus the Tiger at Mercury Lounge, which is guaranteed to be awesome. More info about upcoming dates can be found over on our Ottawa Listings page.

Oct. 12 show rundown!

Thanks for tuning in today, lads and lassies. All that we spun:

We Are The City – Morning Song
Sound of Lions – Enders
Acres of Lions – Forgive and Forget
Ohbijou – Scalpel Blade
Graham Wright – Canadian Thanksgiving
Jenn Grant – Walk Away
Faraway Neighbours – Between Lakes
Matthew Barber – Blue Forever
The Glass Chain – Bad Teenagers
A.C. Newman – Take On Me (A-ha cover)
LOOM – Around Again (Island Mix)
Lykke Li – Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers cover) [WEEKLY IMPORT]
Library Voices – Book of Love

Don’t forget: Library Voices & Graham Wright are at the Black Sheep this weekend, and The Glass Chain and Faraway Neighbours have separate shows early next week. Get out there and support fantastic local and Canadian music.

It accidentally aired an hour earlier, but… our Feb. 23 show rundown

Don’t worry, I was surprised too! A small scheduling glitch forced this week’s episode of Now Playing to be aired an hour earlier, at noon instead of 1pm this past Wednesday, the 23rd. Nevertheless, this is what we spun:

The Love Machine – We Are Squirrels, And This Is Nuts
Eve Hell & The Razors – Zombie Love
Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – No Coins
Sound of Lions – One
Great Bloomers – Honey Blanket
Dave Norris and Local Ivan – Goodbye Michelle
Jenn Grant – Parliament of Owls
Giant Hand – Another Step Down
Brad Kells – Let It Go Girl
The Head and the Heart – Down In The Valley [WEEKLY IMPORT]
Doctor Ew – Let’s Make It Legitimate
Hey Rosetta! – Yer Fall
Rebekah Higgs – Wilderness Girls (A.A. Wallace Remix) [Mix/Mash of the Month]

And next week? Oh boy, next week. Next week’s show is going to be just incredible. It’s going to feature TWO LIVE INTERVIEWS + SESSIONS, if you can believe it. No, I can’t believe it either. Toronto’s Hooded Fang just dropped by the studios a few hours ago to record some killer new tracks from their upcoming EP-that-will-actually-probably-be-an-album, and Ottawa’s very own hotshotcasino will be stopping by CHUO on Tuesday to jam and chat before they play Cafe Nostalgica next weekend.

All in all, it’s a show you won’t want to miss.

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!

As promised.

If you were payin’ attention to Twitter or Facebook today, you’d’ve seen that — unfortunately! — we didn’t have a new show up today. BUT — we had indeed promised a treat, just because. The lovely, local Sound of Lions has allowed us to share one of their tracks with you (yes, you can download it!). You can also check out the video for Passive Attack over on YouTube.

(You can download via the player or head on over here.)

They’ve also just re-vamped their website, where they’ve included some lovely photos of their full band (yep, that’s friend of the show and Old Crowns bassist Joel Soucy right there) where you can also purchase a copy of their debut EP, Good Night Bad Weather. These guys are seriously incredible — check it out.

Sound of Lions interview and Sept. 15th show recap

It feels good to be back in action. Well, half back in action — yes, today’s show was prerecorded. But that didn’t make it any less kickass. This week’s tracks:

Winter Gloves – Plastic Slides
The Balconies – Elephant Lamp
Caribou – Leave House
Rich Aucoin – Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.
Parlovr – Pen to the Paper
The Gallop – Evenings Over the Hills
Sound of Lions – Enders
Land of Talk – Cloak and Cipher
Free Energy – Dream City
Two Hours Traffic – Noisemaker
Tokyo Police Club – Not Sick

A couple weeks ago, I got to chat with Whitney and Christian (and their adorable kitty Mixtape) about their incredible project, Sound of Lions. A little trip-hop, a little lounge, and a whole lot of awesome, Sound of Lions has been in the works for over a year, but this Friday, the 17th, marks their first live show with a full band. Whitney and Christian have been recording a bunch of tracks themselves, in their ecclectic Centretown apartment, but have also been working on expanding their sound with some fantastic fellow local musicians. We talked about working on this new sound, the hip-hop scene in Ottawa, and where they came up with their majestic name:

Be sure to catch Sound of Lions this Friday, Sept. 17th, as they open for Skratch Bastid at Ritual Nightclub on Besserer St. More deets in our Local Listings section.

Speaking of listings… go check that shizz out. Let alone the next few weeks and months, there are actually some incredible shows happening TONIGHT, if you happen to read this in time. Get out of the house and check out at least one of the following:

– Caribou and the Russian Futurists at Babylon on Bank St. (though I hear tickets at the door are limited)

– The Anybody at the Cajun Attic on Dalhousie St. (1opm)

– The Golden Isles at the Avant Garde Bar on Besserer (I just interviewed these guys — they’re great — and will be airing the chat next week)

That should keep you occupied — ’til next week!

Last week’s Titus Andronicus interview — and an important announcement.

Hey y’all. As it so often happens, real life got in the way and made it harder to get to the computer to post an update from last week’s show.

Who am I kidding? This show is my life.

But that’s not the point. The point is, here’s the Titus Andronicus interview from a couple weeks ago when the Glen Rock, New Jersey indie-punk quintet were playing at Mavericks with Free Energy and Clothes Make the Man. While Free Energy was finishing up their sound check, we snuck into that awkward passageway/alleyway off Rideau Street to chat about their latest album and what they think about the Great White North.

And as for the announcement? Now Playing won’t be airing this week — that’s Wednesday the 8th — but have no fear, we’ll be back in action the week after (the 15th!) with a great interview from Ottawa’s own Sound of Lions.

And hey — to make up for it, I may just have to post some audial awesomeness over the next week. Stay tuned.

July 14th show recap

This week, I got the chance to knock back some Pepsi and nachos and chat with the four great guys from Ottawa’s on Right By Midnight, fresh off their first-ever tour. Listen to Charles, Kris, Alex, and Joey explain their love for strobe lights, among other things:

Charles, Kris, Alex, and Joey from Right By Midnight (click to listen, right-click to save file)

Some fantastic tracks were also spun, largely influenced by certain acts I’ve checked out at this year’s Bluesfest (DAN MANGAN) and certain records I’ve been playing on repeat on my iPod (FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE):

Dan Mangan – Basket
The Balconies – 300 Pages
Forest City Lovers – Phodilus + Tyto
Right By Midnight – Along The Way
Michou – Growing Younger
Young Galaxy – Firestruck
Florence and the Machine – Cosmic Love
Brasstronaut – Slow Knots
Sound of Lions – Passive Attack
Crystal Castles – Violent Dreams

Speaking of Florence and the Machine: she’s awesome. No, but actually, as much as I love to expose CHUO listeners to new local and Canadian music, I’d love to take the opportunity to play some artists who may not be from our home and native land. Now Playing will now feature a “Weekly Import,” a track from artists hailing from countries around the world.

I’m pretty excited. You should be excited, too. Mostly because the show now has a legit domain name (nowplayingradio.com) and it looks like we’ll be checking in with the incredible local duo Sound of Lions soon. Seriously: give them a spin here http://soundoflions.com/?p=music.

‘Til next week, fellow music fanatics.