Music Quickspins

Bon Iver – 22, A Million

Bon Iver – 22, A Million (Jagjaguwar, 2016)

In one word, Bon Iver’s 22, A Million can be described as experimental. It’s a collection of electronic glitches and overly-processed synth-y voices, which are sometimes accompanied by a piano. Frontman and main songwriter, Justin Vernon, completely discards the typical verse-chorus-verse song structure—instead, the melodies are strangely arranged, unpredictable and, at times, borderline chaotic. While 22, A Million is musically distant from their previous release, the folksy For Emma, Forever Ago (2007), the lyrical essence of Bon Iver remains the same—you’ll hear the classic, emotional stories about heartbreak, existentialism and salvation. 22, A Million may sound too unusual the first time around but, with each subsequent listen, it becomes more of an intriguing musical journey you want to continue exploring.

Trial Track: “29 #Strafford APTS”



Music In The News

Blu-Ray Way

The Beatles’ 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour will be receiving the DVD/Blu ray treatment come Oct. 9, when it will be reissued by the same folks who handled the Yellow Submarine reissue earlier this year. The film includes a wealth of bonus features, including a making-of documentary, interviews with the band, deleted scenes and director commentary by Paul McCartney himself. In celebration of this re-release, the film will receive a limited theatrical release on Sept. 27. If that’s still not enough, consider the Boxed Edition, which includes a 60 page booklet and a 7 inch vinyl as well as the film in both digital formats.


More Faith No More?

In an interview with, Mike Patton, the man behind such acts as Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, and Faith No More, said that the band considered writing new material, but ultimately decided against it. “We’re pretty happy with just touring. There was talk, ‘Should we write new stuff?’ and we all looked at each other and said ‘Nahhh, fuck it.’ We did work up one new little thing and that was really energizing.” That “new little thing” is a song called “Matador,” which the band has played in live shows over the last few months, footage of which can be found on YouTube.


Do we hear wedding bells?

Canadian pop music has a new couple to contend with, as Avril Lavigne and Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger have announced their engagement after keeping their relationship under wraps for six months. The pair met in February when they collaborated on a song for Lavigne’s upcoming fifth studio album. “A romantic relationship blossomed as they spent time writing together,” a friend of Lavigne’s told People magazine. Kroeger popped the question on Aug. 8 with a 14K diamond ring, and the couple’s families “couldn’t be happier.” Sharing in the joy were the pairs many detractors, who used the opportunity to alight the twittersphere in sarcasm. Said comedian Morgan Murphy on her twitter: “Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger have requested that in lieu of wedding gifts, everyone stop laughing uncontrollably at them.”


Bad Iver

Indie darling Bon Iver topped LA Weekly’s Worst Hipster Bands of All Time list, beating out groups like Arcade fire and the Black Keys for the top spot. Said the LA Weekly of the group: “Bon Iver coos the celebratory ballads of hip poseurs who refuse to get their hands dirty, that is, unless that filth is quaint and photogenic.” They were also decried as the “sonic equivalent of an empty canvas tote bag.” I’m sure wherever Justin Vernon is, he is crying all about it over his Grammys.



Music in the News

For the very, very patient vinyl enthusiasts

In celebration of his Third Man Records’ third anniversary, Jack White hosted a big soirée with an unusual party favour for the guests. Following in the label’s tradition of unusual vinyl creations, each person present was given a special 3 RPM record containing all 56 singles from the 28 bands that have taken part in the label’s Blue Series. The label has called the record “easy to play but impossible to hear […] we estimate it would take 333 days of 33 hours training per day for your finger, hand and arm muscles to spin at a continuous speed of 3 rpm for X hours and X minutes.”

More like Ultra Music Feudstival

Madonna irked a number of prominent electronic dance music icons at the Ultra Music Festival last week when she asked “How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?” a slang term for the drug MDMA, which is similar to the name of the pop star’s latest album MDNA. Paul Van Dyk called the reference “the biggest mistake in her career” and prompted Deadmau5 to tweet “You’re a role model to 100’s of millions. You have a powerful voice, EDM [electronic dance music] could use your positive influence, not ‘molly’ talk.” Madonna claims she was unaware of the implications of her comment, and tweeted in reply “I don’t support drug use and I never have. I was referring to the song ‘Have You Seen Molly’ written by my friend Cedric Gervais who I almost worked with on my last album…” Deaudmau5 applauded her for clearing up the situation “personally,” but advised Madonna to “be a little more aware of what you should represent at EDM events.

Crashed and burned

Australian rockers Jet have officially called it quits, according to a post on the band’s official website. “After many successful years of writing, recording and touring we wish to announce our discontinuation as a group,” wrote the group. “From the many pubs, theatres, stadiums and festivals all across the world it was the fans that made our amazing story possible and we wish to thank them all.” Jet first came to prominence in 2003 with the release of their first album Get Born. It quickly went platinum in the U.S., U.K. and Australia and netted them their most recognizable song, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” The band’s last album was Shaka Rock in 2009.

‘Ke$ha bled all over my record!’

The Flaming Lips have decided there’s just not enough bodily fluids in records these days and they’ve decided to do something about it with their new collaborative effort The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. “What I’m going to try to do — and I’m collecting stuff for it as we speak — is I’m going to try to make a record that has every person’s blood in the record,” said frontman Wayne Coyne in an interview with MTV. “I don’t have everybody’s blood just yet, but I collected quite a few vials of blood and it’s actually sitting in my refrigerator as we speak.” The record itself will be a picture disk and be on a very limited run of five or six at the most. Though he wouldn’t divulge exactly whose blood he’d already taken, Coyne mentioned his favourite collaborators so far have been Bon Iver and Ke$ha, but with a long list of “fwends” helping out on the record, it’s anyone’s guess who will be bleeding for the band.

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