They Might Be Giants – “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” (Tiny Toons version)

Plucky Duck can’t catch a break. Even when he’s trying to do some good, he ends up smothered by Elmyra.

“Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” comes from They Might Be Giants’ 1990 album, Flood. That record’s “Particle Man” also appeared on Tiny Toon Adventures.

-Telescope Staff

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Tame Impala – “’Cause I’m A Man”

Enter the 16-bit Matrix. The Agents appear to be melting.

Tired of your head? Make it a wedding ring! How about a disco ball? Anything is possible once you believe that it is (go headless, even, for a dive down the stairs into a room full of bottles).

“’Cause I’m A Man” comes from Tame Impala’s new Currents album, out next month.

-Scott Bryson

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Husky – “Drunk”

What a tremendous waste of wine. This constitutes alcohol abuse.

Husky at least look suitably depressed over the spill, though they’re doing little to try and salvage the remnants of the bottle or chalice. They should be dunking their faces in that wine river and lapping it up.

The Australian duo’s second album, Ruckers Hill, comes out on June 2.

-Telescope Staff

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Absolutely Free – “Vision’s”

We’re clearly dealing with a krautrock vibe, here, but this also feels like a Stella Artois commercial.

It’s a little Lynchian as well: the old dude singing Willie Nelson tunes, the forlorn woman and man in a leisure suit that stroll around like they’re window shopping—what does it all mean?

Oh, the band released a statement describing the video; it should be helpful: “‘Vision’s’ was written as a song about losing focus. The video suggests a distorted environment/context that plays on the musical aesthetic of the song and reinforces Absolutely Free’s ethos.”

Perhaps not. “Vision’s”—we’ll assume the extraneous apostrophe was deliberate—comes from Absolutely Free’s debut full-length of 2014 (it wasn’t quite self-titled; they added a period: Absolutely Free.).

-Scott Bryson

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CMW 2015: Elephant Stone at Hard Luck

Make an album, tour. Make an album, tour. This is all Elephant Stone does, and they’re becoming exceedingly skilled at both.

They were in the right place at the right time, then, on Friday night. It took a superhuman effort to win over the few onlookers that stuck it out until their midnight slot—Hard Luck’s A/C was non-functional, it was the hottest day of the year thus far, and the bar is on the third (fourth?) floor of a building with no windows. The furniture was sweating, in this place.

The Montreal quartet stuck to their typical festival set: tried and true tunes from their self-titled album and last year’s The Three Poisons that provided Rishi Dhir with a handful of opportunities to wail on the sitar (I haven’t given up home that some day, I may get hear “Strangers” live). Check out “Knock You From Yr Mountain,” above, for a taste.

Nothing new in this performance, but rumour has it that work on the next album is underway.

-Scott Bryson

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CMW 2015: Hot Panda at The Rivoli

Hot Panda shows have always been bracing, and this CMW performance was no exception. They’ve shrunk from a quartet to a trio (and changed drummers) since their last album—in fact, only one original band member remains—but it hasn’t curbed their enthusiasm in the least.

There was little need to see what the night’s other bands had to offer, after witnessing Hot Panda’s blistering rendition of Mclusky’s “To Hell With Good Intentions”—there’s no chance another festival act could top it. Impressive as well, was bassist Catherine Hiltz’s stint on bass and trumpet at the same time. Most other bands look lazy by comparison.

There appears to be a new Hot Panda album on the way, this year; we’ll see if this reinvigoration translates to disc. “Linda Ronstadt,” performed live up above (and at The Rivoli), may be on it.

-Scott Bryson

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CMW 2015: The Dying Arts at Parts & Labour

I caught the first half of the CMW showcase at Parts & Labour on Wednesday. The night listed a “Special Guest” at 11:00 and my curiosity was sparked.

After a tremendous keytar and drum-pop explosion, delivered by Techromancer, it was time for the big reveal: the special guest was none other than Toronto’s The Dying Arts. They’re playing two scheduled shows this CMW, but this was a great chance to see them in an intimate setting.

The Dying Arts are tight ensemble, and ride a line between atmospheric rock and punk. The rhythm section is remarkably in-gear, and the two guitarists had this audience member begging for more after their short set. The crowd almost wasn’t expecting to see something this good.

One of the many highlights from the night was The Dying Arts’ rendition of Crystal Castles’ “Alice Practice.” Toronto’s NOW magazine asks local bands to cover songs from amazing Toronto albums, and the clip above is The Dying Arts at the Now Lounge, showing off this unusual full-band cover of the highly electronic Crystal Castles original.

-Johnnysomebody

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