Dan Mangan: What comes after Nice

There was something nice about being a completely honest and absolutely unknown artist a couple years ago. But these are the things that you dream and ask for, you can’t really be all of a sudden upset when they start happening…

#MoNM Day 12: The Cape May’s Central City May Rise Again

A.K.A. It’s shameful that I haven’t heard this yet: Calgary edition. To be sure, I have heard The Cape May. I wouldn’t even hesitate in citing Glass Mountain Roads as one of the best albums to come out of this city. It’s one of those albums that comes across as almost unprecedented, so crisp, so … Continue reading

#MoNM Day 11: The Talking Heads’ More Songs About Buildings and Food

Part of this #MoNM thing is, I guess, admitting to albums that I should have listened to but somehow never got around to. That could be sidestepped by only listening to brand new discs, but I’m just going to suck it up and admit – despite Remain in Light being one of my all-time favourite … Continue reading

#MoNM Day 10: Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Caution: Nerdiness to follow. I was five years old and living in suburban Winnipeg when It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back was released. Suffice to say, the album didn’t make much of an impact on me at the time. My tastes were still largely dictated by my parents, so if I … Continue reading

#MoNM Day 9 – Untied States’ Instant Everything, Constant Nothing

From the little reading I’ve done on Untied States online, the Atlanta band’s sound is something of a musical Rorschach test. Reviews have cited prog, post-hardcore, screamo, Archers of Loaf, Radiohead, The Jesus Lizard, noise-rock and just about any other genre and band that have “avant” connotations. None of which gives any real sense of … Continue reading

Pulp reunion tour

Something to add to the list of the things I am kind of excited about — Jarvis Cocker says that Pulp is set to reunite for a tour this summer. So far, the only two shows booked are European festivals, but more will eventually be announced, and if it comes anywhere near my neck o’ … Continue reading

#MoNM Day 8: Bran Van 3000’s The Garden

When I was asked to take part in a survey to name the 100 best Canadian singles ever, the first song that came to mind was “Drinking in L.A.”. There’s some weird bottled-lightning magic in Bran Van 3000’s breakthrough single that was irresistible even to my then-punk-rock-loving self. Naturally, the song didn’t even make the … Continue reading

#MoNM Day 7: Al Green’s I’m Still in Love With You

Al Green – I’m Still in Love With You As smooth and sensual a slab of soul as you could ever hope for. Green’s voice is a powerhouse, but he doesn’t oversing a single line. In fact, restraint might just be his greatest strength – the quietest song on I’m Still in Love With You, … Continue reading

#MoNM Day 6: C.A. Quintet’s Trip Thru Hell

C.A. Quintet – Trip Thru Hell A forgotten psych-rock opus from 1968, Trip Thru Hell has made a name for itself in crate-digger circles despite selling fewer than 1,000 copies the first time around, with two unofficial reissues in the ’80s and ’90s and a more comprehensive release on Sundazed in 1996. That’s version the … Continue reading

#MoNM Day 5: Elliott Smith’s From a Basement on the Hill

Even having never listened to it before, there’s something comfortably familiar about From a Basement on the Hill. As an Elliott Smith album, it fits. The melodies have the same minor-key melancholy that he perfected a decade before this album was released. The arrangements, while on the whole more restrained than XO or Figure 8, … Continue reading