Radio Cannon

Hey there

I should have written this update months ago, but I now write for

My most recent article is an interview with Kyle Shutt of the awesome Austin, TX band The Sword. Check it out here.

I’ve just written an incredibly indulgent 2300 word essay on Lana Del Rey in Montreal too. Let’s see what happens with that. I’m not sure where it will be posted yet, but I guess if you mail me I can let you know once it happens, my young padawan.

I’ll be covering the Montreal Fringe Fest again this year, so check out the content on Radio Cannon for all music-related shows of the Fest, beginning June 2nd!

I may be covering extra shows on this website here, but for now I invite you to visit, which was birthed as an offshoot of the now defunct music section of Midnight Poutine, which I used to write for. Same staff and we still love you.

Email: for any questions/requests




Them Blue Midnights’ 20 Best Albums of 2013

A lot of good stuff came out this year, so let me add myself to a seemingly interminable amount of best-of 2013 lists appearing on our information superhighway.

What you’ll see, and you’ve seen in many lists, is the amount of great comeback records this year has produced. From Queens Of The Stone Age to Paul McCartney, there was something in the water this year.

Click on the band name/album title for a worthy youtube track. 

The list, in alphabetical order:

ASG – Blood Drive


This band sounds like Jane’s Addiction meeting Kyuss, and I got hooked. At once atmospheric and driving, heavy and melodic, this is one of the best hard rock releases of the year.

Babyshambles – Sequel To The Prequel


This was a breath of fresh air.  Pete Doherty wisely gave much space to his bandmates for the songwriting on this album, which carries none of the missteps of 2007’s darker ‘Shotter’s Nation’. So that was my summer album this year.

Bad Rabbits – American Love


Now these dudes know how to do it. They remind you of Prince & The NPG without ever sounding nostalgic about it. While the album is a bit overproduced for my taste, I’ll take it: At the foundation is a band that plays their instruments like few bands do now and succulent songs lie underneath some of the synth-heavy moments. Also, check out their amazing cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ 1979

Black Sabbath – 13


Black Sabbath returns with an album worthy of closing its legendary career, but get it on vinyl if you can: the cd/mp3 versions are over-compressed and miss the organic flow of some of the jams.

Bombino – Nomad


The Niger-born guitarist employs The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach as a producer and the result is a great jam record with nice touches on the instrumentation. Another definite summer record.

Charles Bradley – Victim Of Love


The dude’s got soul. Released his first album at the age of 63, this, his second is simply the best soul album of the year, and is even produced like a 60s record: the drums are even channeled in 1-ear/mono! From the hurtin’ in ”Cryin’ In The Chapel” to what sounds like what would happen if James Brown were coked out of his mind writing about the state of the world in ”Confusion”, the guy’s got the sound, but most importantly, he’s got the songs.

Clutch – Earth Rocker


Clutch returns and rocks your face off with rock. You can’t really ask for more out of life, and this album in particular finds the band more focused and heavy than it has been in years.

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories


Everything has already been written about this record and I’m sure you’ve already read everything you need to know about except this: At a certain point, I drank beer and started dancing while tipsy in front of my cat while listening to this. I use the word dancing very, very loosely.

David Bowie – The Next Day


Best album cover of all time or the worst? Better than Heathen? Will he ever tour again? Dunno, don’t care, this is pure Bowie and a very, very consistent album.

Ghost – Infestissumam


One of my favourite bands of all time already, I think. Get the vinyl, it’s red and it’s real pretty. Check out the video I linked, it’s my contender for best video of the year, actually. It’s KISS if KISS was Mercyful Fate with an evil pope as a frontman and nameless ghouls as, shall we say, sidekicks. If you like your metal and you like a good pop song too, this band will more than do it for you. Show review can be found here.

Imaginary Cities – Fall Of Romance


I don’t want to repeat myself and re-write an existing post, but this release is ridiculously under the radar and may actually be my favourite album of the year. If you haven’t heard this, please check it out and tell your friends/start a revolution. Check out my feature on this band here.

In Solitude – Sister


This band sounds like mid 80s The Cult + Mother-era Danzig but then with some of the atmospherics of Sisters Of Mercy. In my ears at least. So there isn’t anything really not to like. Big drum sound + echo in voice makes you feel like this was actually released in 1985, without ever being tacky, so points for that. Another awesome metal release.

My Bloody Valentine – m b v


Everything has already been written about this record and I’m sure you’ve already read everything you need to know about except this: At a certain point, I drank beer and started gazing at my shoes very intensely while this album played. Except I wasn’t wearing shoes, just socks.

Paul McCartney – NEW


I was expecting a really generic album, to be honest, and instead McCartney writes a few songs that may actually be solo-career standouts. I guess I should have known better. He is Paul McCartney after all. A really fun album that finds some nice introspective lyrics at times from him. Not a dull track on there.

Philip H Anselmo & The Illegals – Walk Through Exits Only


Phil Anselmo made an album of what can only be described as anti-music. In his mid-40s, the guy is still pushing the envolope for metal, because nothing I know of sounds like this. I think that for the metal genre, this is one of the most important releases of the year. Check out my show review here.

Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork


Like every QOTSA release, I didn’t really like it at first. But then, like every QOTSA release, after a few spins you start to get it, and you becoming gradually more and more obsessed with it. Worth all the praise and attention it got.

Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time


Sky Ferreira‘s album will put you in the mood to have a night out as much as it will be the perfect soundtrack to going back home. It’s dancy, poppy, druggy, hazy and it has a style all of its own. She’s a great singer, a great songwriter, stylistically all over the place and I’m looking forward to hearing her next album because I have no idea what she’ll do next.

The Bronx – The Bronx (IV)


The Bronx  started out more like a hardcore band, but every subsquent release finds them getting better at what they do without losing the initial edge and hunger they started out with, with an increased focus on songwriting.

The Growlers – Hung At Heart


I looooove the Growlers. I think I saw them twice this year. An early 2013 release will not be an excuse of forgetfulness on my end, for the mighty Growlers have made their best album so far and deserve mighty mighty praise. They’re being written about in the same vein as bands like the Black Lips/nu-psychedelia, but there is much more than meets the eye with these guys.

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Mind Control


A lot of bands are currently trying to replicate the early-70s feel of Sabbath, but this band isn’t trying to do anything, this is just who they are. I dunno how you label this though: post proto-metal? No clue. You must give this album a listen. You must. MMMkay??

2013: The Year That Rock Fought Back?

Through many polls and surveys, it is conducted that 1994 was perhaps the last (as of yet) important year for music.

An industry poll made for Rolling Stone magazine showed that 1994 may indeed have been the best year for music. Whether or not we like these albums, I think, is irrelvant. We are talking about their relevance in musical history.

Jeff Buckley  Grace

Lagwagon- Trashed

Dogman – King’s X

Whiskey For The Holy Ghost – Mark Lanegan

Cleansing – Prong

Jar Of Flies – Alice In Chains

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain – Pavement

Troublegum – Therapy?

The Donward Spiral – Nine Inch Nails

Superunknown – Soundgarden

Far Byond Driven – Pantera

The Division Bell – Pink Floyd

Smash – The Offspring

Live Through This – Hole

Illmatic – Nas

Parklife – Blur

Johnny Cash – American Recordings (I)

Live – Throwing Copper

Diary – Sunny Day Real Estate

Weezer – Weezer

Ill Communication – Beastie Boys

Purple – Stone Temple Pilots

Split – Lush

Let’s Go – Rancid

Viva Zapata – 7 Year Bitch

Welcome To Sky Valley – Kyuss

Music for The Jilted Generation – The Prodigy

Hungry For Stink – L7

Burn My Eyes – Machine Head

Dummy – Portishead

The Holy Bible – Manic Street Preachers

Stranger Than Fiction – Bad Religion

Ready To Die – Notorious B.I.G.

Monster – REM

No Need To Argue – The Cranberries

Korn – Korn

Nirvana – MTV Unplugged In New York

TLC – CrazySexyCool

Vitalogy – Pearl Jam

With this list (and there are more), I think it’s objectively possible to combine all these different albums and realize that pretty much everything that came after them, to this day (in their respective genres) might owe something to them, whether the artists were conscious of it or not.

One thing is sure: as far as rock music was concerned, this may have been the last great year to this day.

Sure, there have been landmark albums since then.

In 1994, Radiohead has released neither OK Computer or Kid A (two great albums that I sometimes wish did not exist if only for the very high amount of attemped bullshit copies made by musicians who, it seems, could only transpose this to the same 4 chords).

My purpose here is not an attempt to revisit the past and say that music as we know it is dead and blah blah blah in my days we used to ride the horse to school.

What I’m interested in is what contemporary music means.

When I started this website, I thought it’d be cool to review shows, meet the bands, and write about it. And it was. But man was it a disillusion.

It’s a known fact that anyone who can hit Enter on their keyboard now has the capacity to make an album (yes, I am exaggerating) . But what does that mean for live music? How do you present yourself in front of the people that really want to hear you play? Usually, it’s pretty fucking dull. Records don’t sell, so people try to do anything they can in a live show to stick out.

Well, in the last year, the real musicians that I met that were tried and true limited themselves to being Davila 666, Wooden Shjips, Frank Turner, And also Future Islands, because the singer made his indie-rock-electronic project turn into a total shambolic mess, and you can blame the drugs – but seriously, when you can turn a soft song’s vocals into cocaine-fueled death metal…there’s just something very rock n roll about it. Blame the drugs or don’t, whatever, I’m not criticizing, I’m pointing out that at least they provided a live experience worth remembering.

I could say the same about Deer Tick. That’s honest-to-God rock n roll. It felt like what I read about Neil Young‘s early to mid seventies period was presenting itself in front of me.

Enough name-dropping.

My point, dear reader, is that I think we’re onto something good this year. Music as product is a cliche I am tired of hearing because quite honestly, some of the so-called product music I actually really like. Yup, I like Rihanna.

A good song is a good song. Label it what you will.

Yet, the music that first spoke to me as a kid was rock n roll. I dare to put a label on this type of music that can regroup at once…, soul, r&b, etc….

The expression of musicians just doing what they do best: playing music. That’s rock n roll. Oh, they have different labels for it now – and quite honestly looking at the current musical landscape, the scene that currently best represents what rock n roll stood for, I think, is electronic music.

In the last 15 years, is there no style of music that could have given less of a shit about how it presented itself, while being self-conscious (that’s rock n roll, aint it? Spend an hour making yourself look like you just got out of bed) than electronic music? Makes sense, the way technology has evolved, makes you not have to hit the same guitar pedal over again.

Ok, so there is still interesting music out there, rock isn’t dead and punk did not lie to us.

We are left with a very basic principle?

What about rock ‘n roll?

You know, not the style, but the 4 guys playing guitars, bass and drums?

What about them?

Rock n roll for the last 15 years has been a rehash of 1994, hasn’t it?

More and more, record labels see that the way they can survive is by repressing originals, remastering them, throwing in a bonus dvd, sticker, pin, sample of blood, used condom, WHATEVER MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE THE REAL EXPERIENCE.

What started out as an apparent cash grab through hipsters is apparently paying off? Been to an HMV lately? Nope, they all closed down and the music section could easily be renamed to ”HERE’S WHAT WE USED TO SELL”.

Instead, your local mom and pop store stocking vinyls which were at first just a way to get by, became popular again. Now, people seem to actually care about how their music sounds and want it in the best possible format possible to be able to *gasp* fucking listen to it the way it was meant to be heard as opposed to background music.


Ok, so what does this mean for current music, what does this means for 2013, and how the hell does this relate to 1994?

Well, for one, 2012 was the first year since the year 1999 that music sales went up. Rock N Roll is dwelling in nostalgia in a way that makes me very excited. With bands as diverse as The Gaslight Anthem, and more recently what Dave Grohl has done with Sound City, there is finally, after a long absence, a thirst for rock n roll.

It seems like an invitation with open arms to bands new and old, to jump back on this musical ship of fools, and learn to once again, have fun through music. Fun, something that  most music has not been in a very long time.

Queens Of The Stone Age, David Bowie, My Bloody Valentine, Black Sabbath... (at this point, I think we can include QOTSA in this) are only part of the handful of bands set to release new material this year – with some already released.

10 years ago, every bar you went to was playing ironic 80s music. Look what happened, we have synth-pop, folk-dance, cabaret-ham, electro-indie-in E minor”… We’re rehashing the 80s though most bands apparently have never heard of Ultravox and still base their findings on the dynamic of Kid A.

1994 turned into a joke, it was a great year that only has its own greatness to blame: pale imitators came along and made this great music seem typical.

2013 may be the year where 1994 becomes fresh again. The wealth of bands coming back , working hard on new material seem, at the very least, to be a sort of call with open arms any new bands that can follow.

5 More Awesome Albums For 2012

I’m already disagreeing with some of my choices. So without further ado, here are 5 albums that you should most definitely listen to and love.



I think I prefer this to his band The Black Crowes. Just listen to the awesomeness of this jam.



They took a much more Black Keys turn with this album, but hey, that’s what you get when The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach produces your album. They remain one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.



Unable to write a bad song, APTBS keeps making the most beautiful and loudest noise out there.



I think Ty Segall released 3 albums this year alone. Not everything works, but this album is incredible. Listen to the T. Rex-ness of this song. And he’s playing in Montreal on my birthday. Awwwww.



Chuck Ragan & co. have made one hell of a punk rock comeback album. It may also be their best, though I’ll probably be shot for saying this.