Friday, March 30, 2007

More bands added to P4K Fest!

Good news for Chicagians on the weekend of July 13-15 (or ambitious Londoners), the New Pornographers, Stephen Malkmus (genius behind Pavement) and De La Soul have been added to the bill. FYI a full weekend pass is $50, a refreshing sum compared to the Virgin Music Festival's $115 ticket price. Here's the bill:

Friday, July 13:

Sonic Youth performs Daydream Nation

Saturday, July 14:

Cat Power
Iron and Wine
Girl Talk
Grizzly Bear
Professor Murder

Sunday, July 15:

New Pornographers
Stephen Malkmus
De La Soul
Of Montreal
Jamie Lidell
The Ponys
Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound

Thursday, March 29, 2007

1 Week, 5 new CD's

This week, over two days, I bought Deerhoof's Friend Opportunity, Peter Bjorn & John's Writer's Block, The Sugarcubes Life's Too Good, Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, and The Blow's Paper Television. The Blow I bought only because it was used and only $10 from Grooves and I have heard very good things about it, but I haven't been able to stop listening to it. I love the quirky beats laid down by YACHT keeping time for the beautiful vocals. I haven't thoroughly listened to the Deerhoof or Modest Mouse albums, but the Peter Bjorn and John and Sugarcubes albums are also really impressing me (unsurprisingly). I reccomend all 5.

MP3: The Blow - "Pile Of Gold"
MP3: Peter Bjorn & John - "Young Folks"
MP3: Deerhoof - "The Perfect Me"
MP3: Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mixtape: People Don't Dance No More...

It's true folks, people don't dance no more, so my mission last night when I should have been doing my homework, was to compile a list of songs so groovy, you'll want to shake it like your ass has the hiccups. Party Hardy!

MP3: !!! - "Heart Of Hearts"
MP3: Amy Winehouse - "Rehab (Hot Chip Remix)"
MP3: Asobi Seksu - "And Then He Kissed Me"
MP3: The Blow - "Pile Of Gold"
MP3: Brazillian Girls - "Jique"
MP3: Busdriver - "Casting Agents And Cowgirls"
MP3: Gnarls Barkley - "Smiley Faces"
MP3: Hot Chip - "And I Was A Boy From School"
MP3: Love Is All - "Busy Doing Nothing"
MP3: The Klaxons - "Golden Skans"
MP3: Matt & Kim - "Yea Yeah"
MP3: Muscles - "Ice Cream"
MP3: Of Montreal - "A Sentence Sorts In Kongsvinger"
MP3: The Rapture - "WAYUH"
MP3: Teddy Bears - "Cobrastyle ft. Mad Cobra"
MP3: You Say Party! We Say Die! - "The Gap (Between The Rich And The Poor)"

Monday, March 26, 2007

Jill Barber @ London Music Club

Yesterday afternoon I caught Jill Barber and her brother, Matthew Barber at the London Music Club. I was especially excited to be seeing Jill Barber after my dad introduced me to her pretty folk music and I scored her EP Oh, Heart from a friend. Needless to say, it was a fantastic EP, but quite basic. So when I heard her latest LP For All time released on Dependant Records, the production value surprised me. I liked her when it was just her and a guitar strumming away, but I guess I haven't given it a good enough listen yet as I forgot the CD in my dads car on the way to my bus. I'm sure it'll grow on me.
But back to the live show, which was pretty impressive. Matthew Barber didn't really impress me as his music was mellow, coffee shop kind of tunes, very basically played on the acoustic guitar and piano. I thought his name sounded familiar, so it didn't surprise me when he said he plays Call The Office pretty often with his band. I'm not sure if I'd pay to see him again, perhaps only to see if he sounds better with a band.
Jill was fantastic, though. She brought along Les Cooper, who played guitar on the album, and the two of them played some of my old favourites from the EP and a heap of new ones from the LP which were quite impressive. If you have a thing for Jenny Lewis, Neko Case or more notably Basia Bulat, then you'll love Jill Barber's pretty folk/alt-country music.

You can also read a review of the show she played in Kingston by fellow Barber fan B(oot)log.

MP3: Jill Barber - "Measures and Scales [Live]"
MP3: Jill Barber - "In Perfect Time [Live]"

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dr. Dog preaches...

Scott McMicken from Dr. Dog talked to JamBase:

"With the Beatles, I honestly think they are underrated" says co-founder, guitarist and singer Scott McMicken. "They've been established as great so firmly that people don't think about them enough. I'm nowhere near done being mystified by how incredible their songwriting was. I think any songwriter interested in the craft ought to be just flipping their lid about the Beatles every minute of every day."

Clearly Dr. Dog takes this proclaimation to heart because the one song I've heard off the new Dr. Dog album, We All Belong (released Febuary) is the spitting audio of many songs in the Beatles early career. Perfect example:

MP3: Dr. Dog - "My Old Ways"

- - -

By the way, check out the awesome artwork for Bjork's upcoming album, Volta

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woo hoo hoooo
White Stripes release Icky Thump details and tracklist

Yes, okay so I failed to mention that the White Stripes were putting out another album and going on tour when I heard about it because I felt that I finally got over my White Stripes phase. However, after watching the video preview for the band's upcoming album, Icky Thump at Pitchfork Media I felt that this is one phase that should be revisited.

The album is reportedly 48 minutes long and is to have no piano on any of the tracks. However, there will be bagpipes and synthesizers on some of the tracks. Tourwise, the band hasn't released any tour dates yet for North America but promises that "all 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada, as well as the remaining 16 states of the United States the band have yet to play," will be visited.

  • Icky Thump

  • You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do as You're Told)

  • 300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues

  • Conquest

  • Bone Broke

  • Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn

  • St. Andrew (This Battle Is in the Air) 

  • Little Cream Soda

  • Rag and Bone

  • I'm Slowly Turning Into You

  • A Martyr for My Love for You

  • Catch Hell Blues

  • Effect and Cause
  • Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Peter Bjorn and John + Fujiya & Miyagi

    You know how I just said how I love when two things I'm really digging end up merging? Well 2 minutes after posting that Souvenir Of Canada review, I headed on over to Pitchfork media and saw that Peter Bjorn and John and Fujiya & Miyagi (and Au Revoir Simone) are touring and coming to Toronto May 6th! Someone loves me up there, I know it!

    Here are the dates:
    04-13 Reykjavik, Iceland - NASA
    04-14 Dublin, Ireland - Tripod
    04-15 London, England - KOKO
    04-16 Paris, France - Trabendo
    04-17 Bourges, France - Le Printemps de Bourges Festival
    04-28 Indio, CA - Empire Polo Field (Coachella)
    04-30 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
    05-01 New York, NY - Webster Hall *
    05-02 New York, NY - Webster Hall *
    05-03 Philadelphia, PA - Theater of Living Arts *
    05-04 Boston, MA - Paradise *#
    05-05 Montreal, Quebec - Le National *#
    05-06 Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix *#
    05-07 Columbus, OH - Wexner Center *#
    05-08 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle *#
    05-09 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *#
    05-12 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore *
    05-13 Seattle, WA - Neumos *
    05-14 Portland, OR - Doug Fir *
    05-15 San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's *
    05-16 San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's *

    * with Fujiya & Miyagi
    # with Au Revoir Simone

    MP3: Fujiya & Miyagi - "Collarbone"
    MP3: Peter Bjorn and John - "Young Folks"
    Souvenir Of Canada

    Don't you just love when coincidentially things you're really into merge to create an incredible union? Like when Tim Curry signed on to be King Arthur in the Broadway production of Spamalot? As was my reaction when I heard that A.C. Newman (of New Pornographers fame) was doing all the music for the 2006 movie Souvenir Of Canada created by one of my favourite authors Douglas Coupland. Douglas Coupland's witty cynicism over A.C. Newmans incredible Canadian-bred indie-pop? Count me in!
    And the pair sure delivered. The movie was about Douglas Coupland creating "Canada House", a sort of museum full of Canadian inside jokes that only we would understand (Windsor salt packages, Dad's cookies, plenty of Canadian geese and beer cans). The movie also bios parts of his career and talks about his relationship with his parents, the "most Canadian people he knows". It makes you feel really great to be Canadian, I gotta say, and have to giggle at all the Canadian souvenirs that apply directly to your life (for me, the most relevant are the Dad's cookies). He admits to being obsessed with mass media and advertising campaigns in the movie which is easily regarded as the 'souvenirs' in Canada house are about half Canadian artifacts or symbols, and half Canadian products, represented by their packaging or advertisements. Although I wouldn't say Canada is as much of a consumer's society as USA, which a foreigner might gather from watching the movie, the media symbols do effectively portray Canada and what we know ourselves, and others know us for.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Still love Peter Bjorn and John like I do? You'll hate this guy.

    Some guy hiding behind some blog persona is calling upon indie rock fans to stop Peter, Bjorn and John from becoming this years newest "buzz band" and planned on rallying them at last weeks SXSW (I'm a little late with this one but bear with me). He called upon bloggers to write about his cause, so I'm just following orders...

    This is probably the stupidest shit I've ever heard. This proves the point of every one who classifies indie rock lovers as "snobs" or that the moment one of our bands gets popular, we discard them, calling them 'yesterday's news'. Just because PB&J are becoming popular does not mean the entire indie population must band together to shun them and leave them to white bread, mainstream kids. Frankly, they still rock whether they're top of the pops or not.
    Also, one of his points is that mainstream corporations with regard PB&J as this years SXSW breakout band and welcome them as this years "buzz band" (his term, not mine), making them 2007's indie rock poster band. His argument is that PB&J are not significant enough to represent the indie rock community. All I'm hearing, though, is that maybe the mainstream will think that's all indie rock has got these days and maybe it'll go out of style again. Who cares what everyone thinks about us?! If they wanted to listen to indie, they would. And as for the whole "PB&J aren't significant enough" shit, if you care so much if the corporations think our bands aren't "significant", then listen to theirs. If we can still embrace Modest Mouse and the Arcade Fire as successful and talented indie bands, then we'll accept PB&J in the future, whether they become an indie poster band or not.

    Want to leave an angry comment too? Here's his blog.
    What's all this about, then?

    Well this is sort of weird..

    Birmingham ska purveyors The Beat...join the ever-swelling ranks of bands reunited by announcing their first U.K. tour in over 20 years (via SPIN). That's great news for fans of the Two Tone pioneers, who parted ways in '83 (with members going on to form General Public and Fine Young Cannibals)...via Stereogum

    Now if this is all true, then how did I score the incredible (and apparently impossible) chance to see the English Beat back in October of 2005 at Call The Office? Well I didn't do my research because it didn't really irk me then; hell, I was seeing the English Beat! But did they go one tour back then, break up, and now they're getting back together. I don't really think so. But that bad was definitley the English Beat, well at least it had Dave Wakeling in it, that's certain. Maybe it was Dave Wakeling and one of his many other ska projects singing English Beat (kinda like Axl Rose called himself and 4 strangers Guns N Roses).
    Ah, well. So we beat on.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Up and Comer: Richard Swift

    I scored this catchy tune over at You Ain't No Picasso after they saw him perfrom at SXSW and called him a "musician's musician" after the Apples in Stereo along with other bands showed up to watch his set. To me, it sounds a lot like David Vandervelde's "Jacket", which I also love. You decide.

    MP3: Richard Swift - "Paisley Park"
    MP3: David Vandervelde - "Jacket"
    Good News and Bad News

    The good news? Plenty of awesome album released today (today actually rivals the sensation that was January 23rd). They include Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, LCD Soundsystem's Sound Of Silver, Panda Bear's Person Pitch, Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Living with the Living. Too bad I can't keep up because I'm so incredibly broke (I don't even own last year's Joanna Newsom yet, oh the horror!).

    The bad news? Jurassic 5 has broken up.

    Yeah the good news out ways the bad news, but isn't that how it's supposed to me anyhow?

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    David Bowie Covers!

    Well I worked all day today so how about a couple of fun David Bowie covers to cheer you up after all your friends brag about seeing a zillion incredible bands at SXSW? Glad I could help.

    MP3: Of Montreal - "Moonage Daydream"
    MP3: Of Montreal - "Hang Onto Yourself"
    MP3: Rilo Kiley - "Rock N' Roll Suicide"
    MP3: Arcade Fire - "Five Years"

    Hungry for more David Bowie covers? Have a thing for Portuguese and the acoustic guitar also? Check out Seu Jorge who covers David Bowie songs acoustically and in Portuguese in the movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (one of my favourite films and directors, Wes Anderson) or his release The Life Aquatic Studio Session with Seu Jorge

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Dawn Tyler Watson @ London Music Club

    This afternoon at the London Music Club, I enjoyed the musical stylings of London-raised, Montreal-dwelling Dawn Tyler Watson, a fantastic jazz singer. I saw her last February in Montreal at this jazz bar called Upstairs with a three piece jazz outfit and she was really fantastic. Little did I know then that she a) was from my hometown or b) also sang folk, motown, blues, and rock with an acoustic guitar accompaniment, which today's show was. Frankly, I enjoyed her more as a jazz singer as her voice really shines scatting over the popular jazz songs she sang back in February such as "Ain't I Good To You" and "Route 66", but her powerhouse vocals did do a number over that acoustic guitar also so I can't complain. She played to a very receptive audience (filled with family and friends of hers) and was particularly interactive. I even won a free copy of their EP, and had a little chat with Dawn after the show. Overall I would say it was a good show, and definitley worth hauling your ass off the couch on a Sunday afternoon for.
    Next week at the London Music Club is one of my personal favourite female folk singer/songwriter Jill Barber playing a set with her brother Matthew Barber, so I'm definitley looking forward to that. Unfortunately I cannot see the Great Lake Swimmers (maybe with Basia Bulat) that night because I'll be on a bus heading back to school. Once again, I hate boarding school.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Holy Kissability, Thurston Moore!

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    At the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer, joining other artists such as Cat Power, Clipse, Of Montreal, Iron & Wine, Girl Talk, Jamie Lydell, Grizzly Bear, Professor Murder, and Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound (and then some), Sonic Youth will be performing Daydream Nation in its entirety! THIS IS HUGE!!!

    On July 13, at Chicago's Union Park, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, and Steve Shelley will perform their landmark 1988 album in its entirety, from "Teenage Riot" all the way through "Eliminator Jr.". Imagine the chaos of "Silver Rocket", the majesty of "Candle", the rollercoaster-ride of "Eric's Trip", up close and personal, exploding beneath the starry sky. Will Thurston and Lee break out the screwdrivers for "Rain King"? Will Mike Watt show up to do the answering machine message in "Providence"? Will Kim look incredibly sexy singing "The Sprawl"?

    See y'all there!
    Elvis Costello & The Imposters Tour Dates

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    That's right folks, Elvis is at it again, going on tour with The Imposters (unfortunately not in Canada though). Does this mean there's a new album in the new works? One can only hope, but if there is, it appears Elvis is probably the hardest working man in this business seeing that he released a studio album and a live album last year alone. We appreciate it, Mr. Costello!

    Elvis Costello - 2007 Tour Dates
    May 2 - Los Angeles, House of Blues May 2
    May 3 - San Francisco, The Warfield May 3
    May 6 - Denver, The Fillmore May 6
    May 8 - Minneapolis, Myth May 8
    May 9 - Chicago, House of Blues May 9
    May 11 - Detroit, State Theatre May 11
    May 15 - Boston, Avalon May 15
    May 16 - New York, Nokia Theatre May 16
    May 18 - Washington, D.C., Nightclub 9:30 May 18
    May 19 - Philadelphia, Electric Factory May 19
    Of Montreal @ La Tulipe

    Sorry I haven't posted in 10 days but i've been in Montreal and couldn't get internet anywhere, which makes it all the more exciting to finally get back home.
    Opening for OM were two MC's who called themselves the Grand Buffet. Although it wasn't a particularly musical set, the group was hilarious while interacting with the audience and in their lyrics (talking about such things as chlorophyll supplements, ghost managers and citrus fear). Finally, to a less than enthusiastic audience, OM blasted onto the stage opening with "Suffer For Fashion". The band was all clad in typical OM fashion, meaning lots of feathers, fishnets and glittery makeup with a couple of costume changes to keep things moving. Kevin Barnes didn't seem to me to be that much of a very electric performer like I would have suspected. He danced around and shook his money maker and whatnot but he didn't really seem to be into it. There also wasn't any audience interaction, which I also definitley expected. Although the costumes and theatrical tone of the music did make it a worthwhile show and colourful spectacle, the performance lacked electricity.

    There also wasn't any full frontal which discouraged me a bit.

    MP3: Of Montreal - "Suffer For Fashion"

    Unfortunatley last night I missed the Great Lake Swimmers and Basia Bulat in Montreal, but I think they're coming to Centienall Hall sometime this week so hopefully I can catch them there. Also the Most Serene Republic was at the Salt Lounge last night but I missed them. Hopefully I can salvage myself at the Dawn Tyler Watson show at the London Music Club tomorrow night.
    Oh and Jill Barber is coming to the London Music Club next Sunday and I can't go because I have to go back to school!

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Basia Bulat

    Basia Bulat, London ON sweetheart, is an incredible folk/alt-country/pop artist who finally is releasing an album this year in the UK. Rough Trade singed her after she released a couple of singles recorded in Montreal and they're absolutley beautiful! Her album Oh My Darling is due out in Europe and the UK in late April BUT she is still in search of a North American label (which is ridiculous!). If Leslie Feist, Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell gave birth, the baby would have Basia's incredible, tumbling voice. If you have any record company connections, please send along these singles.

    MP3: Basia Bulat - "Snakes And Ladders"
    MP3:Basia Bulat - "The Pilgrimming Vine"

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Mixtape Miserablé

    Time for another mixtape! The mixtape is becoming a regular feature on my blog where I gather together a compilation of songs to express a feeling, a theme or that the songs just fit right.

    This week I've chosen to do a downcast version of the mixtape. I'm not having a particular bad weekend, actually its been in quite high spirits actually, but sometimes it just feels great to lie in bed and listen to incredibly melancholic music. If you find yourself spiralling down further and further into depression please pause and resume later when you're feeling a little less sadistic.

    1. Raising The Fawn - Eta

    This song isn't necesarily sad, it's actually quite hopeful, but if you're lying in bed on a particularly dreary day, it will make you cry long and hard. Plus it sounds so damn good at the beginning of a mix.

    2. Cat Power - The Greatest

    Like it or not, Cat Power can come off being very depressing. Especially this song which simply oozes all over your happiness and suffocates it.

    3. David Bowie - Rock 'N' Roll Suicide
    Well he's not typically who one thinks of when they think of sadness but in his more passionate moments, such as in this song he can really make you feel pretty shitty.

    4. Elvis Costello - Tramp The Dirt Down
    You know the songs you know you're one day going to want to play at your wedding or something. Well this song is the one I want played at my funeral (heck I could play this entire mix at my funeral). Mr. Macmanus wrote this one for the late Margaret Thatcher shortly after her death and included it on his album Spike and has unusual instrumentation (for Elvis anyhow) like the piccolo and perhaps the bagpipes too. Nonetheless, it's beautiful.

    5. Tom Waits - Alice
    This isn't the only time I've had a Tom Waits song in a mix, but the man does sing the blues well. I could listen to this song all day, if I didn't value my happiness that is.

    6. The Constantines - Goodbye And Amen
    This tune has a very slow start and takes a while for us to get started but once that lead singer starts, you're feelin' it. That heavy-stomached pitted feeling that is the only thing that holds down the tears.

    7. The Dears - 22: The Death Of All Romance
    At the risk of sounding like a sap, I can't tell you how many times I've cried to this song. Again, it's one that exudes so much passion in the vocals and string arrangement near the end of the song that breaks your heart.

    8. Feist - Lonely Lonely
    This isn't necessarily a depressing song but the soft, tiptoeing guitar line and Feists infamous voice creeping along turns out to be very downcast if you're in the mood to recieve it that way (which you will be in after you listen to all the songs previous to it)

    9. Radiohead - Talk Show Host
    This song was one of those songs you just can't stop playing for days straight, which explains why I was practically depressed those few days. It's hard when you find a song you like so much but it makes you feel so shitty.

    10. Seu Jorge - Rock 'N' Roll Suicide
    So yeah, I have two different versions of the same song on this mix (hey I could've also put the Rilo Kiley cover, couldn't I?) but it is a very sad song, especially when you take it back to basics like Seu does with his acoustic guitar and Portuguese vocals.

    11. Neutral Milk Hotel - Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
    This song I put near the end because although it is very sad, it also has tones of hope laced in which hopefully will pull you out of your depression before you stop listening to this mix. Everyone should listen to Neutral Milk Hotel.

    12. Elvis Costello - God Give Me Strength
    Again, I wanted to restore some of your hope with this last one which, also is pretty miserable because he cries about a woman who left him, it still is called "God Give Me Strength" (which is pretty evident when he passionately screams it nearing the end). This is a Costello favourite and usually wraps up the end of his albums, so I decided to follow his example and have it end mine.


    The Reminder continues to leak

    Feist's 2007 release The Reminder continues to leak out into the web. Here are two more tracks:

    "The Limit To Your Love" - via Counting Stars On The Ceiling
    "I Feel It All" - via Faronheit

    What can I say about them? They're both quite catchy, just like the other leak "My Moon, My Man" so I think we should all start to oberve that pattern here. "I Feel It All" is on the jangly side for Feist and I feel like it doesn't really show how great her voice is, but it is still a great song. Fortunately, "The Limit To Your Love" does include Feist's signature quirky swings and squeaks. Overall, I gotta say I'm pretty pschyed for this new album.


    Dan Bejar and I are kindred souls (and I didn't even know it until I bought a Swan Lake album)

    It's true, ya'll, we're meant to be together and i'll tell you why.
    His music alone threatens my virginity.
    Before yesterday I had only heard two Swan Lake songs: "All Fires" and "The Freedom".
    When I first heard "All Fires" I thought it was Modest Mouse. But that's completely irrelevant.
    What's relevant is that when I heard "The Freedom" I thought "Man this bands lead singer sounds just like Dan Bejar!". Isn't it so embarrassing when people do that? Tell me about it!
    In case you're wondering, Dan Bejar is in Swan Lake, and Destroyer, and the New Pornographers (I now have all three of their albums. Yee haw!)

    I also bought Peter & The Wolf's The Lightness which once I heard "Safe Travels" I had to own.

    MP3: Swan Lake - "The Freedom"
    MP3: Peter & The Wolf - "Safe Travels"


    Saturday, March 03, 2007

    Yoko Dunnit (and takes the blame)

    Yoko Ono, after years of being at the top of Beatles' fan's hit lists, has finally owned up to having a lot to do with the Beatles split.

    In a way, both John and I ruined our careers by getting together, though we weren't aware of it at the time. My initial reaction to rock music was, "Oh dear, how simple can you get?" At first I thought John would carry on with The Beatles and I would do my own things, but he felt it wasn't right that we were working separately, that the union we had might not last, because of the pressure of the world.

    It's all bollocks that your career was ruined, Yoko, but you're not John freakin' Lennon.
    On the other hand, this single called "Toy Boat" from her latest collabo-proj Yes, I'm A Witch is pretty rad. You can get it via Music Slut.

    In other news, Amp Camp and Pitchfork end a long and successful friendship resulting in cheaper prices over at Amp Camp and no more shitty album obligatory sales. I say it's a good thing, and i'm siding with Amp Camp. You can the full story from Amp Camp reviewer and all around righteous dude Walter Pillman

    ...our days of giving Pitchfork a cut of your sales are gone. Watch for the best prices on the net to go even lower. Watch for Califone vinyl re-pressings. Watch for us to have hard-to-find imports long before Insound.