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June 5th, 2010

Saturday, June 5th, 2010 12:37 pm
Welcome to the Canadiana free-for-all. Both [personal profile] calystarose and I will be posting 3 times this week. We never could do things in moderation.

Let's get started.




This is J Englishman, a wonderful artist from Toronto. His album, Poor Li'l Rock Star has pretty much been my soundtrack for the last ten years. I'm going to take the lazy way out and plagiarize myself for a minute. I reviewed the album last year at my music blog (which I have, sadly, neglected the last six months or so. I need to get back to it). I don't see the need to do a completely different intro, especially when there isn't much information to be had.

So, the following is cribbed from my review of the album:

J Englishman is a Canadian artist who released a really stellar album in 2000. It was probably the first album I bought after hearing only one single, and it was way before I started downloading and doing the "try before you buy" type of thing, which goes to show how sure I was of the purchase. This was his only release, unfortunately. When last I heard, he was tending bar at The Tap in Toronto, though his Wiki article says that over the years, he's been working as a freelance music writer for Chart magazine, Production Manager for a John Legend tour, Festival Programmer and Production Manager for "Rock the Wake" festival, and is currently working as an audio engineer. He also has album producer credits (two of them) for the band G-13. He's also done sound engineering at a lounge in Toronto.

This is a lot of info for someone so obscure, so I'm guessing that someone connected to him or his sister (Canadian singer Esthero*) has edited the article. I don't know if that makes it more or less trustworthy, but I'm just happy to know that the man might still be somewhere in the music industry, just waiting for a chance to put out more music.

I'm pretty attached to this album, and I'm always up for trying to tempt someone else into listening to J's stuff. The problem is... it's really hard to find. It's not available at iTunes, and J's website is woefully out of date. The last listed tour dates were in 2004. There are some free MP3s available in the Sounds section, though. Download Breaking Down, Flowers For Ophelia (my favourite!), and Tripwires. To hear the album in its entirety, click the cut below. I cannot tell you how shocked I am that Grooveshark has the files streaming. I've included a playlist.

Click to listen! )

Four songs hit the Top 40 and one went as far as the Top 10 (Abused, Staring at the Sun, The One Thing, and More). I've been able to find a couple of videos on YouTube that use his music, but only one actual music video. It's below. Kind of silly that it was banned by Much Music.





He has a MySpace, which indicates that he (or someone else) logged into the account in March 2010, but the last blog post is dated 2009. I've friended it anyway just in case.

If this ends up being his only album it'll be a damn shame, but at least he put out a good one.




*Fun Fact, J's sister helped to co-write Love Lockdown with Kanye West


Links:
- LastFM
Saturday, June 5th, 2010 02:17 pm


This is Tegan & Sara, immensely talented twins from the great land of Canadia, I mean Canada. They've been making music since they were fifteen and they've been touring almost as long.

You can read a detailed History of Tegan & Sara over on Wikipedia, so I won't replicate that here. I found them because I heard one of their songs played on a tv show, but for the life of me I can't recall which one. Obviously their music was superior to the show using it.

I promptly looked them up and was thrilled to find a female-lead band (two queer females even!) that made songs that were both musically and lyrically satisfying to me. All too often I find the best female bands/singers have songs that, while amazingly well done, are also fucking suicide-inducing. And I understand why that is. Women, even now, have a lot of shit poured on them. It's only natural to write about that, work through it, protest against it via art. I applaud that even. But as someone who honestly can't handle my own shitty life, I am unable to take on the additional burden of other women's pain. So with Tegan & Sara I was pleased to find songs that resonated strongly on an emotional level but that did not overwhelm me with pain and despair.

Looking through their discography I realize that I basically really love every other album they do and am just kind of meh about the others. Not sure why, just one of those things. Still, with six studio albums to their names, there is plenty to enjoy even for weirdos like me. FYI: my faves are This Business of Art (2000), So Jealous (2004), and Sainthood (2009).

And here's a sampling of songs off those records (though I love the full albums so):
on Grooveshark
or embedded here )

So go buy their music!
at Amazon
on iTunes


Vital Links:
Official Site
MySpace
Facebook
Twitter
Youtube
Vimeo
Merch