Concert Review: Odonis Odonis At Velvet Underground

Published on June 28th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Music, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

Post Plague Record Release Show
June 24, 2016
Toronto, ON

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At last year’s NXNE, Odonis Odonis played a show with A Place To Bury Strangers and Iceage and despite both of those bands having huge reputations of being incredible live, the Toronto trio more than held their own. This past Friday’s show was even better. The band has an impressive light show to accompany their newer material and this time, they weren’t plagued with the technical issues that threatened to overpower last year’s Opera House performance. In fact, they almost literally blew me away. But more on that in a minute.

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Exclusive: New B-Side From Close Lobsters “Wander Epic Part II”

Published on June 27th, 2016 in: Exclusive, Music, New Music, New Single, Streaming |

By Less Lee Moore

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Back in the days of MTV’s 120 Minutes, C86 darlings Close Lobsters were a fave. “Let’s Make Some Plans” reminded me of the heady days of when I first got into college radio. Granted, those days were just a few years earlier, but when you’re a teenager, that stuff matters. I listened to their ’88 releases Headache Rhetoric and What Is There To Smile About? fairly obsessively well into the early ‘90s.

After a hiatus of almost 20 years, the Scottish band returned briefly in 2009 with a retrospective singles collection, but reformed for real in 2012 for a few live shows, releasing the EP Kunstwerk In Spacetime in 2014. On June 3, the band’s newest EP, Desire and Signs, was released by Shelflife Records.

“Wander Epic Part II” is the B-side to the latest single “Under London Skies” and here’s what the band has to say about it:

“’Wander Epic’ is a yarn/yearn of disorientation in the spirit of Close Lobsters. Saudade for the vast and endless sea. Who are we and what do we need to do to be part of the world? If you listen to all three parts as a continuous (w)hole the streams that run down to the sea are revealed.”

Music Review: Bloody Knives, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This

Published on June 22nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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I heard a voice, a whisper in the dark
And I followed it until I couldn’t see anything anymore.
–Bloody Knives, “Poison Halo”

When your band is named Bloody Knives, you’d better have the tunes to back it up. Fortunately, the Austin four-piece deliver the gory goods on their latest release, the viscerally titled I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This.

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Music Review: Odonis Odonis, Post Plague

Published on June 20th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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Has there ever been a greater musical misnomer than “industrial”? Initially coined as a response to the music being released by Genesis P-Orridge’s Industrial Records and the phrase “industrial music for industrial people” on the first Throbbing Gristle album (at least according to Wikipedia), it’s become a catch-all for any dissonant music that uses drum machines. What is great about drum machines, though, is that they provide such a perfectly sterile template for compelling melodies, the kind that you can either thrash or dance to.

While Odonis Odonis’s latest album, Post Plague, was inspired by industrial bands like Nitzer Ebb and Front 242, it also owes a debt to films like Ex Machina and Beyond The Black Rainbow, as well as of-the-minute ideas about transhumanism and virtual reality.

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Exclusive: Third Single From Popincourt, “Happy Town”

Published on June 3rd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Exclusive, Music, New Music, New Single, Streaming, Upcoming Releases |

By Less Lee Moore

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The third single from Popincourt, “Happy Town,” provides an answer to what might have happened if Paul Weller had been French instead of English.

Check out our exclusive stream of Popincourt’s latest single from their upcoming album A New Dimension To Modern Love, released on June 17 from Jigsaw Records.

Popincourt says of the track:

On this one, I really wanted to have an up tempo beat, mixing Soul and Pop. I had “Dancing In the Streets” by Martha and the Vandellas in mind, but as well “The Gift” by the Jam. Then came the first terrorist attack in Paris early 2015: I was at this Unity March in Paris on January 11. Something you cannot forget: great sadness but at the same time this massive feeling of fraternity. People were even kissing cops!

I finalized the lyrics having this in mind, in a very naïve and optimistic way: the power of the street, the music that could change the world, the fact to live any minute “now”! Sadly enough, I received the master of the album two days after the second terrorist attack where 130 people were shot dead, some of them at this rock venue, le Bataclan, in November 2015.

Music Review: Big Black Delta, Trágame Tierra

Published on April 22nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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“It’s a saying here in Chile when something terrible happens and you want to disappear from the face of the earth. Is there a similar sentence in English?”
–Username kiesha, regarding the phrase “trágame tierra” on WordReference.com

Sometimes upbeat, happy music doesn’t cut it. Sometimes there needs to be that murky undercurrent of melancholy or it just feels fraudulent. So much of modern pop music is missing that yearning quality; there is not enough darkness to temper the glittering, brittle, and frequently hollow light.

Big Black Delta, the musical alter ego of one Jonathan Bates, knows this. Big Black Delta exploded into my musical consciousness in 2012 with an EP that was like nothing I’d ever heard before or since. The self-titled full-length release that followed it was a tour de force of varying sonic landscapes: ridiculously, almost hysterically hooky, while at other times shockingly contemplative, or even sinister. It was one of my Top Ten favorites of 2013.

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In Case You Missed It: April 10 – 16, 2016–Bloody Knives and The Boob Tube

Published on April 16th, 2016 in: Blu-Ray, Feminism, Gaming, LGBTQ, Magick, Movies, Music, TV |

By Less Lee Moore

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Congratulations to Rue Morgue Magazine for winning the RONDO AWARD for Best Magazine. What are the Rondo Hatton Awards?

“The Rondo awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, recognize the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation. This year’s e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, an 18-year old online community, drew a record of more than 3,400 votes as fans chose among 35 categories.”

Well done, Rue Morgue!

If you’re looking for some new music this week, might we suggest checking out Popshifter’s exclusive stream of Bloody Knives’ I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This, which dropped on April 15? It’s shoegaze, it’s goth, it’s got gorgeous vocals, and it’s loud as hell.

Also on the new music list is a live album from Professor Longhair recorded in 1976, the Nigerian music compilation Wake You Up! Volume 1, and eccentric pop singer Dinner’s Psychic Lovers. Meanwhile, on the Everything Is Scary blog, I discuss how Manchester duo Demdike Stare’s collages of sound and imagery provoke responses akin to nightmares.

Have you ever heard of Clela Rorex? She issued the first gay marriage license in Boulder, CO in 1975, thus helping to chip away at bigotry and homophobia.

Matt Keeley at Unicorn Booty discusses, in detail, how the recent trans episode of Powerpuff Girls is actually transphobic. But on the other hand, there’s also a heartwarming post about how Rihanna helped one of her gay fans come out. With all the news of homophobic celebs, it’s nice to read something positive.

In further TV news, Tyler Hodg has finished Season 10 of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix. Despite being mostly disappointed with this season, he thinks that the finale was excellent and might even make you cry, in addition to paving the way for an even better Season 11.

Laury Scarbro is equally smitten with the most recent episodes of Outsiders and Sachin Hingoo feels much the same about Broad City. Speaking of Broad City, Sachin has a preview of the upcoming mini-series Time Traveling Bong, starring Ilana Glazer and Paul W. Downs. Rue Morgue gives Tom Noonan, who stars in the SyFy TV version of 12 Monkeys, the “Sinister Seven” and Biff Bam Pop recaps the premiere episode of Season 4 of Orphan Black!

In the mood for gaming? Although Tim Ford at Everything As Scary thinks Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked is less scary than its predecessor, he still gives it a fair shake.

There is much to discuss on the movie front. The casting of Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming film adaptation of Japanese Manga Ghost in the Shell has many crying “whitewashing” (and for good reason). Jeffery X Martin looks at the Death Walks Twice Giallo box set from Arrow, I am gravely disappointed in new horror flick 13 Cameras, and Women and Hollywood has a list of women-centric films playing near you this week.

Finally, if you haven’t heard of Doreen Valiente, that should change. This VICE article points out that this mother of modern witchcraft was also a pro-choice spy.

Music Review: Dinner, Psychic Lovers

Published on April 15th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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“Dinner’s music is about parties. And women. Late nights and early mornings in strange cities. But mainly it’s about magic and the communion with spirits,” Dinner says. “It’s like sexual Christian rock, really. But with out all the Christianity.”
–From Dinner’s press release for Psychic Lovers

How do you write a review of Dinner? How do you accurately convey the exciting idiosyncrasies of his musical and vocal style?

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Concert Review: Iggy Pop in Toronto

Published on April 10th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Concert Reviews, Current Faves, Music, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

April 9, 2016
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

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Photo credit: Angry Jeff

Last night still doesn’t feel real.

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In Case You Missed It: March 20 – April 2, 2016–The Site That Wouldn’t Die

Published on April 2nd, 2016 in: Comedy, Comics, Current Faves, Film Festivals, Horror, ICYMI, Interviews, Movies, Music, Netflix Reviews, Reviews, TV |

By Less Lee Moore

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You can’t kill us; we’re already undead.

At Popshifter, sometimes shit happens. And when it does, we soldier on.

We’re sad to lose one of our favorite writers, Laury Scarbro, this week. She’s just got too much going on in her non-Internet life and must take a hiatus.

We’re also sad to see another one of our fave writers take a hiatus: Jeffery X Martin has a new writing job (Yay! Congratulations!) that’s taking up most of his time these days and so he won’t be around as much as he used to.

These two departures mean that some of our content will be disappearing: the daily Today In Pop Culture column and our weekly recaps of Outsiders. I thought it best to let you know what was going on in case you wondered why they suddenly disappeared.

That said, if anyone would like to pick up the mantle of Today In Pop Culture or finish the rest of the season of Outsiders (four more episodes), I would gladly welcome your contributions.

And now, to the news!

Brad Henderson went to SXSW and all he got was a case of food poisoning. OK, he also saw some good movies, too, one of them being the Hicksploitation throwback My Father, Die. Not so good was recent home video release Intruders, which was a missed opportunity that I wish I had missed. You can always go back to 1977 and watch Count Dracula, the BBC production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Louis Jourdan, though, which I revisted in this month’s Frightful Flashback on Rue Morgue. You can also read my examination of the nature of evil as told through three different interpretations of witches on Everything Is Scary, those being Penny Dreadful, The Witch, and The Devils. By the way, happy one-year anniversary to Everything Is Scary where we do the responsible thing and contemplate the void every week.

The small screen is exploding these days! Besides new episodes of The Walking Dead, Broad City, and WGN’s Outsiders, Netflix has just premiered the second season of Daredevil, which Tim gives high marks, and Trailer Park Boystenth season, which Tyler will be covering over the next week or so.

Whenever someone complains that there isn’t any good music these days, you just send them over to Popshifter, OK?

Besides the latest (and hopefully not the last) Iggy Pop album Post Pop Depression (which is awesome); there’s also Robbie Fulks’s Upland Stories, which Melissa describes as “exquisite;” West Of Here, the sophomore release from The Currys; and a trio of excellent—and very different—albums from women-fronted bands: Davina and the Vagabonds, Margo Price, and Bleached.

HHBTM has been putting out some quality music lately, including the punky Versus album from Eureka California and the retro yet timeless Crystal Café from Witching Waves. But if you enjoy “kick-ass, groove-heavy, instrumental synth-rock unit inspired by 1970s and ’80s horror movie soundtracks,” you might enjoy Wolfmen of Mars’ latest, DANGER! PERIL! THREAT!

Tim takes a look back at Sepultura’s Roots album, while I take a look forward at a couple of new videos: “Phantom Freighter” from the sci-fi, industrial-influenced Pop. 1280 and “Hey Girl (I Wanna Be Your Man)” from shoegazers Dirty Sidewalks.

Finally, Brian Baker chatted with actress Karen Allen at the recent Toronto ComiCon and she had some things to say about that upcoming Indiana Jones movie.

Until next week, Popshifter fans!