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Nick Urata, frontman of the band DeVotchKa, is best known for composing the soundtrack to Little Miss Sunshine.  If you have yet to listen to DeVotchKa, I highly recommend them.

I started listening to Nick Urata’s solo work when he created the score and a series of incredible original songs for the indie movie Fling (released in 2008).  He plays an array of instruments including: piano, guitar, trumpet, theremin (I don’t know what this is), bouzouki (not to be associated with the bazuka family), etc.  Check him out!

Nick Urata ‘Anonymous’

Nick Urata ‘The Escape Artist’

Nick Urata ‘All is Forgotten’

ALSO…

This is a theremin (associated with eerie sounds…creepy)

This is a bouzouki (definitely recognizable)

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So, I realize that it’s been a little over a month since my last blog post.  Let’s face it, I don’t blog nearly as often as I should and am therefore letting down the entire bloggosphere (because we all know everybody is waiting on the edge of their seats for a new musicinfusion post….yes?  Definitely not).  Regardless, I’ve made it my 4-months-after-New-Years-resolution to blog about music that I think is worth sharing, at least twice a week.

James Irwin ‘Blue Dust’

The Cave Singers ‘Haller Lake’

Francois Peglau ‘Who Wants to Go?’

Enjoy!

Armistice is a Canadian indie band that has recently released their first self-titled EP. The duo consists of singer/songwriter Beatrice Martin, otherwise known as Coeur de pirate (meaning ‘pirate heart’, en francais), and Bedouin Soundclash frontman, Jay Malinowski.  In addition, several members of the American rock band, The Bronx, also collaborated on this 5-track EP.

Jay Malinowski’s voice is so distinctive and complements that of Martin’s in a beautiful, yet understated manner.  This is a refreshing collaboration that has great potential down the road, so give it a listen!!

Armistice EP:

  1. Mission Bells
  2. City Lights Cry
  3. Jeb Rand
  4. Neon Lights
  5. God Will Get His Man

Here’s a taste of the EP.  Click on the songs to give it a full listen.

1. Satellite-The Kills (new album ‘Blood Pressures’ available April 4th, 2011)

2. Lions in Cages-Wolf Gang (not as new, but still a good one)

3. Yer Spring-Hey Rosetta (indie rock band from St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada.  New album ‘Seed s’ available Fed. 15th 2011)

4. Sixteen Shades of Black and BlueFujiya & Miyagi (off their new album ‘Ventriloquizzing’.  I love this band)

5. Helplessness Blues-Fleet Foxes (new album ‘Helplessness Blues’ available May 3rd, 2011.  As usual, interesting album art)

Download them, stream them, buy them, as long as you enjoy them!

Cold War Kids released their third album ‘Mine Is Yours’ last week and it’s fairly average.  The band has taken an enormous step in the play it safe direction, and as much as it pains me to say this, it’s hard to believe that this is the same group that produced songs like ‘Hospital Beds’, ‘Mexican Dogs’ or ‘Red Wine, Success!’.  The raw, under-produced sounds of their previous albums seem to have been replaced with more polished melodies that can’t help but remind me of the band that I love to hate; a band that hasn’t produced a decent album since ‘Because of the Times’ in 2007; a band called Kings of Leon.  Mind you, my dislike for KOL is also due to a personal experience had at one of their concerts, but still, they’ve lost touch with their roots and are just not that good anymore.

Back to Cold War Kids.  Having set the bar high with their previous work,  ‘Mine is Yours’ is simply a mediocre release from a band that is highly capable of producing success without borrowed ideas.

Side note: I say all of this as a concerned fan.  Regardless of the recent album fail, the Cold War Kids will forever hold a special place in my heart.

The King is Dead is the new album released by The Decemberists and ‘Down By the Water’ is hands  down my favourite song.  The  harmonica and the combination of both female/male vocal harmony at certain points of the song make this track a little special.  Added bonus: R.E.M.’s guitarist, Peter Buck, collaborated on this album and you can definitely hear the R.E.M influence in this song.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  I can understand how this album may be a little too country for some Decemberists fans, but it’s certainly worth a listen-I love it!! Highlights also include: ‘Rox In The Box’ and ‘This Is Why We Fight’.

Wolf Parade is probably the 100,000th amazing band to come from Montreal, Que.  I don’t know what it is about that city, but it seems to be producing some great Canadian talent.  Off the top of my head, or better yet, off the screen on my ipod: Arcade Fire, Sam Roberts Band, The Stills, Malajube, Chromeo, etc. etc. come to mind when I think of music from Montreal.  Edit: Leonard Cohen also came up, so I’ll give him an honourable mention for all you poets out there.

Expo 86 is the name of the third album by these Montreal natives, and while the name of the album has no real bearing on the content, it may have some significance when it comes to the youthful and energetic vibes of the songs. In a simple twist of fate (que Bob Dylan song now) in 1986, the various members that came to form Wolf Parade attended the World’s Fair held in Vancouver, BC. None of them knew each other at the time, but in a nostalgic moment that they all shared, the name Expo 86 was chosen.

Something that’s always been noticeable to me (and I’m sure to many other Wolf Parade fans) is the clear distinction between Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner’s song styles.  When it comes to this album, however, the two seem united creating what is arguably the bands liveliest CD.

What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way) is my favourite song on the album.  It’s a Krug track that has a bit of a Bowie sound to it!

I also thought I should include a Boeckner song to be fair!  Give Ghost Pressure a listen!

As a side note: Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner have some side projects going on, so check them out if you’re interested.

Spencer Krug: Sunset Rubdown

Dan Boeckner: Handsome Furs

Wolf Parade is playing in Toronto on November 26th, 2010 at Sound Academy.