Warning: after waiting 22 long years, this will surely break your brain.
Every year I keep saying that it will be my last, and then the lineup is revealed and I lose my kind. Okay, this will be my last year.
Favourite Shows of 2012
25) Nicholas Jaar @ The Revival
24) Spiritualized @ Phoenix
23) Bahamas @ The Mod Club
22 Tie: Youth Lagoon @ Lee’s Palace, Real Estate @ Lee’s
21) My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses @ Echo Beach
20) Tie: Twin Shadow @ Lee’s Palace, Alabama Shakes @ Lee’s
19) Charles Bradley @ Lee’s Palace
18) The Jesus and Mary Chain @ Osheaga, Montreal
17) Evening Hymns @ Music Gallery
16) The Beach Boys feat. Brian Wilson @ Molson Amphitheatre
15) Chairlift @ The Horseshoe
14) Hot Chip, Chromatics @ House of Blues
13) The Magnetic Fields @ Sound Academy
12) St. Vincent & David Byrne @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
11) Sigur Ros @ Echo Beach
10) Dirty Projectors @ Danforth Music Hall
9) New Order @ Sony Performing Arts Center
8) Tie: Divine Fits @ Motore, Montreal, Jens Lekman @ Phoenix
7) Jack White @ Sony Performing Arts Center
6) Frank Ocean @ Kool Haus
5) Grizzly Bear @ Massey Hall
4) Beach House @ Kool Haus
3) Fiona Apple @ The Sound Academy
2) Morrissey @ Rapid Theatre, Niagara Falls, NY
1) R Kelly @ Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY
Honourable Mention: Solange - True EP
40) David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant
39) Taken by Trees - Other Worlds
38) The Babies - Our House on the Hill
37) G.O.O.D Music - Cruel Summer
36) Cody ChesnuTT - Landing On a Hundred
35) La Sera - Sees the Light
34) Jack White - Blunderbuss
33) Cold Specks - I Predict A Graceful Expulsion
32) The xx - Coexist
31) Nas - Life is Good
30) Jack White - Blunderbuss
29) Moonface - With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery There’s No Leaving Now
28) Sigur Ros - Valtari
27) Wild Nothing - Nocturn
26) Big Boi - Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
25) Porcelain Raft - Strange Waves
24) Purity Ring - Shrines
23) Cat Power - Sun
22) Dirty Projectors - Swing Low Megallen
21) Patrick Watson - Adventures in Your Own Backyard
20) Grimes - Visions
19) Alabama Shakes - Boys and Girls
18) The Walkmen - Heaven
17) The Shins - Port of Morrow
16) Grizzly Bear - Shields
15) Miguel - Kaledioscope Dream
14) Divine Fits - This Thing Called Divine Fits
13) Beach House - Myth
12) Japandroids - Celebration Rock
11) Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn’t
10) Bahamas - Barchords
9) Evening Hymns - Spectral Dusk
8) Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
7) Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
6) Twin Shadow - Confess
5) Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel
4) Chairlift - Something
3) Chromatics - Kill for Love
2) Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
1) Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE
Favourite Singles of 2012
40) Mama Told Me - Big Boi f/ Kelly Rowland
39) Wildest Moments - Jessica Ware
38) Girl - Das Racist
37) Tides - The xx
36) Paradise - Wild Nothing
35) New God Flow - Ghostface Killah, Kanye West & Pusha T
34) It’s Only Life - The Shins
33) Break My Heart - La Sera
32) The Bluff- Wiz Khalifa f/ Cam’Ron
31) Anything Can Happen - Ellie Goulding
30) Ungirthed - Purity Ring
29) Get Free - Major Lazer f/ Amber Coffman
28) I Know What Love Isn’t - Jens Lekman
27) Myth - Beach House
26) Speak in Rounds - Grizzly Bear
25) Laura - Bat for Lashes
24) The House That Heaven Built - Japandroids
23) Alligator - The Babies
22) Under the Westway - Blur
21) On Your Way - Alabama Shakes
20) Gun Has No Trigger - Dirty Projectors
19) Bad Thing - King Tuff
18) Your Drums Your Love - AlunaGeorge
17) Heartbreaker - The Walkmen
16) The Mother We Share - Chvrches
15) Northern Lights - Kate Boy
14) Baby Get Worse - Divine Fit
13) Everything is Embarrassing - Sky Ferreri
12) Do You… - Miguel
11) Oblivion - Grimes
10) Every Single Night - Fiona Apple
9) Disparate Youth - Santigold
8) Five Seconds - Twin Shadow
7) Kill for Love - Chromatics
6) Climax - Usher
5) Feeling Single, Share My Love - R Kelly
4) Money Trees; Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe - Kendrick Lamar
3) I Belong in Your Arms - Chairlift
2) Losing You - Solange
1) Pyramids, Bad Religion - Frank Ocean
Okay, it’s been a few hours and I think I’ve picked up the fragments of my shattered brain to articulate the interstellar spectacle that is R Kelly’s live show, Saturday night in Buffalo, which quite frankly is the only city I would ever want to see an R Kelly show. Though I can’t even begin to describe the entire show, here are just a few of the show’s highlights:
-His mic stand was prematurely covered in white panties, tightly wound around the shaft. (I’m struggling to say this in a less erotic way, but you try giving it a shot and tell me if it’s even possible.)
-Twenty minutes into the set with sweat dripping down his face, R breaks into his signature singing-narration and sings, “It’s muthafuckin’ hot up in here, will someone grab me a towel to wipe off my sweaaaaat!” A roadie hands him a towel, then he makes his way over the army of titillated women in the front row and sings, “Can you take a towel and wipe my face! Keep wipin’ it, keep wipin’ it!” The entire audience breaks into climax… er… laughter.
-He sing-challenges all the women in the audience, “Who got that gooooood seeeeeeex?” A woman in the front raises her hand and motions him to come closer. He crouches down and she whispers something in his ear. He jumps up abruptly, wide-eyed, and says, “Girl, I’m R Kelly and I ain’t even never heard some shit like that!”
-Halfway into the show, R turns to the side of the stage and says, “Man, I’m tired. I need to rest my feet. Can I get a chair or a stool or somethin’?” Two roadies immediately respond to his request by bringing out a throne that was more than likely stolen from Buckingham Palace.
-R cuts the music and tells us he’s been practicing some Opera song and he’d like to show it off. He then belts into a soprano solo in Italian, and for a second I’m convinced I’m watching one of the 3 Tenors (wait, I guess it’s just the 2 Tenors now. Too soon? Well, Pavarotti died 5 years ago so deal with it). Yes, it was beautiful, but that didn’t stop me from being deeply confused.
-Halfway through the show he has his first costume change. Fine. Understandable. This is pretty normal in high production concerts. But he comes out wearing the same white shirt and jeans, but now he’s put on a vest over top that resembles something I made in home-economics in grade 7. It’s covered in random letters and I can only guess it’s straight out of the JC Penny Fall ‘92 collection.
-The roadies move a giant white cage to the center of the stage. R brings up one lucky girl on stage and a roadie immediately hands her a clipboard and pen. We then realize that it’s a waiver, and judging by the girl’s reaction, I think the mystery of not knowing what will transpire in the next few minutes simultaneously terrifies and arouses her. After signing the waiver, the roadies handcuff her to the top bars of the cage. They closed the door and throw a white veil over top. The cage suddenly moves around, violently jerking from side to side. And for a second, my mind’s telling me, “Is R Kelly attempting some David Blaine shit?” But then the main house lights turn off to reveal the silhouette of the girl in the cage. We then see R’s silhouette. And they begin to engage in a serious X-rated shadow puppet show with their genitals on some bumpin’ n’ grindin’, keys in her ignition, 12-Play, fiesta fiesta type-action.
-After performing for well over an hour, he tells us it’s time for Kells’ Karaoke — a chance for him to take a much-deserved break and have a drink and a cigar at the bar (and by bar, I mean one of the two all-white bars set up on either side of the stage, each complete with their own bartender). The roadies set up four mic stands at the front of the stage. I assume this means that he’ll invite people on stage to sing their favourites from his catalogue which I soon learn is an incredibly silly, rational assumption. No. For the next 10 minutes, they play snippets of more than 20 songs that span his entire career and everyone sings along — including R himself — while he drinks some pink-coloured drink (one lady beside me screamed “WHAT YOU DRAAAAANKIN?) at the bar and smokes a cigar. Whenever they play a song he really loves, he gets up and nods his head, thrusting his arm in the air. This was musical masturbation on a majestic level.
-And finally, after performing his hit, “I Wish”, he launches into a supposedly touching social commentary.
“I wish all this violence would end,” he says in a solemn hush.
“I wish my kids would turn off the television when I ask them to so we can open up a line of communication,” he confesses.
“I wish and pray for Obama to succeed,” he says with his fist in the air.
And then, the final statement. One that will really drive home his socially conscious diatribe. “I wish…”
“I wish I could get a hug right now.” And with that, he walks over to two scantily clad women in the front and hugs them both at the same time in some kind of G-rated version of a menage a toi.
Review those highlights. Jumble them around in your mortal brain. Don’t even attempt to make sense of the contents of what you just read. Now do you believe me when I say the R Kelly show was hands down the best show I’ve seen this year?
Do yourself a solid and download Frank Ocean’s debut, Channel Orange on iTunes now. And you’re welcome in advance.
The new Twin Shadow single “Five Seconds”, off the forthcoming sophomore album, Confess, has everything you would ever want in a music video: motorcycle stunts, a stuffed wolf, tag-team Double Dragon-esque brawling, chains used as weapons, and animal mask-wearing thugs.
If only all music videos could be this awesome. But then again, that might be too much awesome for the world to contain.
The Long List for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize — the highest critical award in Canadian music — was announced yesterday.
A jury comprised of more than 200 writers, editors, producers and media types will select their Top 5 albums from the Long List to determine which 10 albums will make the Short List, which will be announced in Toronto on July 17.
The Polaris Gala will then be held in Toronto on September 24 where the winner of the Polaris Music Prize will be announced.
If you already forgotten, last year’s winner was none other than Arcade Fire for The Suburbs, which depending on your perspective was a no-brainer.
Here’s the full 2012 Polaris Music Prize Long List in alphabetical order:
A Tribe Called Red – A Tribe Called Red
Marie-Pierre Arthur – Aux alentours
Rich Aucoin – We’re All Dying To Live
Avec pas d’casque – Astronomie
Azari & III – Azari & III
Bahamas – Barchords
The Barr Brothers – The Barr Brothers
Blackie And The Rodeo Kings – Kings And Queens
Cadence Weapon – Hope In Dirt City
Kathryn Calder – Bright And Vivid
Cannon Bros – Firecracker / Cloudglow
Coeur de pirate – Blonde
Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
Cold Specks – I Predict A Graceful Expulsion
Rose Cousins – We Have Made A Spark
Mark Davis – Eliminate The Toxins
Drake – Take Care
Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
Feist – Metals
Fucked Up – David Comes To Life
Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere
Grimes – Visions
Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Dan Mangan – Oh Fortune
Mares Of Thrace – The Pilgrimage
Ariane Moffatt – MA
Lindi Ortega – Little Red Boots
Parlovr – Kook Soul
Sandro Perri – Impossible Spaces
Joel Plaskett Emergency – Scrappy Happiness
PS I Love You – Death Dreams
John K. Samson – Provincial
Shooting Guns – Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976
The Slakadeliqs – The Other Side of Tomorrow
Patrick Watson – Adventures In Your Own Backyard
Bry Webb – Provider
The Weeknd – Echoes of Silence
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – YT//ST
Yukon Blonde – Tiger Talk
And if you ask me (and no one didn’t), my top 5 choices, in no particular order, would be Cold Specks’ I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, Grimes’ Visions, Patrick Watson’s Adventures In Your Own Backyard, Bry Webb’s Provider, and The Weeknd’s Echoes of Silence.