Category Archives: Matt

Everything written by Matt McMillan

Hipsters with Pabst Blue Ribbon: Kishi Bashi Live at the Great Hall Theatre

promo_kishibashi6

Watching Kishi Bashi live is usually an underwhelming experience because his performances never seem to recapture the beauty of the recordings. So when I went to the Great Hall Music Theatre on February 11th to see his show, I was prepared for it to be a letdown. The ticket said “with special guests” on the bottom, leaving me curious as to what that actually meant in context. I found myself hesitantly walking into a lavishly decorated hall, with red carpet and high ceilings. The room was surprisingly empty, only filling to its capacity with hipsters holding Pabst Blue Ribbon cans within the last minutes before show time. Continue reading

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Matt Vs. “Airbrushed” by Anamanaguchi

“Airbrushed” was the song I lost 80 pounds to.

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Best Debut Album of 2010

2010 seems to be the year for new artists coming out and rocking all of our faces. We had Baths come out with “Cerulean,” and while not rocking our faces off, it showed us that Trip-hop is still a thing that’s awesome. Sleigh Bells released “Treats” and has been acquainted to a love it or hate it reaction, but nonetheless still known. So who was it that we thought had the strongest debut album of 2010?

Best Coast! Nah, just kidding. Continue reading

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NOT Best Album of 2010

For every best there’s always a worst to accompany it. Let’s be honest here, it’s been a pretty good year for music. We here at the FOWR offices have been saying that for a while. But that still doesn’t change the fact that there’s a lot of shit floating around out there. In turn, we decided to give an award to the the worst album of the year.

Can you guess what it is?

It’s totally not what you’re thinking.

I think. Continue reading

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Matt Vs. “My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky” by Swans

Music’s never been an emotional escape for me. In most cases, creating music has taken over that role instead, while listening to it is more recreational. What I seek in music, usually, ends up being simple, catchy pop songs. That’s how I’ve always been, really. People will tell me about the inner rolercoasters that “Album A” put them on and I more often than not find myself unable to reciprocate those feelings. So what am I supposed to say when an album finally does that to me — makes me have a real emotional response? Continue reading

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Matt Vs. “Man On the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager” by Kid Cudi

When you’re working with samples, loops and hooks you run a fine line. On one hand, a repeating hook serves a lot of purpose. It’s something simple, but catchy enough to keep you entertained. But working with a looping hook is a double-edged sword – if you let it run on for too long, eventually you begin to cross the threshold from being catchy into being monotonous. “Man On the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager” is a prime example of what happens when you let your hooks take up too much of the heavy lifting: You inevitably end up with a droning, soulless, boring product. Continue reading

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Matt Vs. “Cerulean” by Baths

Baths’ “Cerulean” is probably my favourite album of 2010. Actually, it’s up for the running as one of my favourite albums ever – it being a strong contender with Phoenix’s 2009 “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.” But, the odd thing about this is, if you’ve listened to the Podcast? Episode #4 where we talked about Baths, you’ll know that the release of “Cerulean,” or at least what’s out there on the interwebs of it, is extremely disjointed and mixed up. The short of it is, I’m not 100% sure how to review this since some of my favourite songs from my version of the album aren’t actually on the album. So in my hardest effort to give our readers — Ben, Ryan — the true, informed assessment of this thing here, I’ll have to ignore stuff like “Palatial Disappointment.”

Tragedy.

Now, “Cerulean.” Possibly the best set of dreamy, electronic music I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. I say dreamy. Yes, this is one of those albums that can actually help you sleep – or rather, it’s one of those albums that will lull you to sleep; not out of boredom. This is an album that feels like it’s a collection of songs by a man stuck in a forever dream-like state (I’m a hippie). “Cerulean” is actually what sparked the idea of our new feature, the Fermixtapes, Baths being on a playlist of “songs to sleep to.”

The cloudy, trance sound isn’t the only thing that Baths is capable of pulling off; this is a brilliantly done pop album too. Songs like “Lovely Bloodflow” feature a bizarre set of falsetto vocals and catchy, crunchy drum lines that damn well beat any mainstream hip-hop song you’ve heard. Then you have stuff like “Animals,” that manages to combine both euphoric, fantasy and poppy hip-hop elements.

If you had trouble listening to bands like Passion Pit because of their unique vocal style, then “Cerulean” will most likely run you up a wall. Baths guy sounds, well, exactly like Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos. There are some tracks that have layers upon layers of vocals, which, if you already hate that kind of stuff, wont enhance your experience.

But you’ll like “Cerulean.” Trust me. It’s playful, energetic, and even emotional at times – everything you need to hit the right nerves in your brain. While the lyrics can slightly be on the immature side, the actual components of the music make up for whatever childish inklings you may notice.

Winner: “Cerulean” by Baths

Why: The catchy, out-of-this-world sound of “Cerulean” is calm and peaceful, but still manages to sound enthusiastic.

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