New Neko Case Album Middle Cyclone Featurette

Take a look at this mini-documentary about the new Neko Case album.  The record in question, Middle Cyclone, is out now!

I’ve made it pretty clear that I think Neko Case’s voice is one the best ones out there as far as active, very active, singer-songwriters are concerned.  And it’s nice to get to see inside of her process a bit as we do here in this clip.  One of the things that struck me about this little featurette is the point she makes about taking old technology and using it to make a modern sound, which I think is a fascinating approach. Given that she’s pulling from so many influences down the decades, there is a certain propriety in it.


And is that a glimpse of Garth Hudson formerly of the Band I caught?  Garth played on her last record Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.  Given that Case has holed herself up in an old barn with her band to bring this record about, perhaps the propriety of Hudson’s presence can be appreciated on more than just one level.

For more information on the new music, and to hear the music itself, check out


The Handsome Furs Perform ‘I’m Confused’

Listen to this storming bit of post-punk from Montreal’s The Handsome Furs.  It’s their song “I’m confused” as taken from their upcoming Face Control album, released next month.

You can hear the Joy Divison in this a little bit, in the best way, particularly the earlier incarnation of that band, when the abrasiveness of punk rock was still a major textural element.  I love the roaring guitar against the synth lines, and the yelping vocals which harken back to a certain period in pop history, yet also sounds fresh.

It’s a generalization, but music out of Montreal always sounds more European than music made in any other region of the country.  And now, the scene there is getting international attention as well, with Broken Social Scene, Stars, and the Dears having paved the way.

This is a new track for me, and it’s been delivered by CBC Radio 3, who seem to really understand the power of non-targeted programming and social media in modern radio.  There is life beyond Clear Channel, at least up here in Canada, good people.  This is our tax dollars put to work, in the best sense.

This is the first in a series, in which I will attempt to feature at least one cool band from Canada every week, so that you non-Canucks out there can hear the music, buy the music, and get that we’re one of the most talented nations on earth for vital rock and pop music.

Enjoy, eh!

Norah Jones Acting Debut in My Blueberry Nights

Norah JonesTake a read of this interview with singer-songwriter Norah Jones. The article focuses on her debut lead role in the new movie by Hong Kong director Wong-Kar Wai called My Blueberry Nights. This is a debut for the director too – it’s his first movie in English. Thanks to the guys at Rotten Tomatoes who alerted me to this.

Are you dubious when musicians try to branch out into acting? Well, so is Norah apparently. Yet, for whatever reason I personally find the idea intriguing nearly every time, and I’m always optimistic. We’ll see how she does, I guess. To contrast, I tend to bristle with waves of pessimism when actors release albums.

Tell me what you think of the interview, good people. And if you’ve already seen the movie, tell me about that too.