Noise 101: CD Reviews for Mar. 8
Hamilton songwriter BA Johnston, famous for his wild onstage antics including performing in the girls’ bathroom, dancing atop the bar, and blasting snot-rockets all over the stage, will grace Calgary with his presence once again to celebrate the release of his eighth album Hi Dudes!
His songs are two-minute homages ’80s culture, backed with simple melodies, acoustic guitar and eight-bit beats. He sings of Donkey Kong, Tab soda, arcades, McDonalds pizza and Bob Barker. “We was raised by the wooden spoon,” Johnston sings, speaking to many of us on a personal level.
“Dirtbag Beach” and “Eye of the Douchestorm” are a tasty pair, portraying the people we love to hate. Jersey Shore’s The Situation makes a cameo in one of the tracks. Can you guess which one?
This album is definitely one to check out, his live show is even better. Make sure to come down to The Palomino on March 22 for a night you’ll never forget.
— Caitlin Clow
Let Toronto based alt-rock band The Midway State’s smooth vocals and catchy beats consume you. Paris or India is the band’s second full-length album and it sounds like they have found a sound that fits.
Obviously the band has grown a lot from their first album Holes, which was released in 2008. Anyone with a Rogers Wireless phone has heard these guys; their hit track “Never Again” from the first album has been used as the default ringback for the network.
Songs like “Atlantic,” “All Anew” and “St. Paul and the Wolf” are bound to make your toes tap, while title track “Paris or India” or “Hartley Salter’s Kite” will lull you to sleep like a classic Coldplay jam. Fans of Toronto’s babelicious Lights, We are Scientists, Foster the People, or MGMT are bound to find a spot on their iPod for this album.
— Caitlin Clow
Kellie Pickler’s 100 Proof takes you back to the small town girl she described herself as on the fifth season of American Idol. Raw and produced with just the right touches by country-music-magic-man Frank Liddell, 100 Proof feels real.
As Pickler’s third album, you can see her growth from her debut single “Red High Heels” to 100 Proof’s “Turn on the Radio And Dance.” Even the album’s lead single “Tough” has more grit than anything else Pickler has released.
It seems as though Pickler has finally come into her own after touring as opening acts with country superstar Brad Paisley and friend Taylor Swift.
And as would be expected, influences of Dolly Parton, her idol, can be felt throughout.
Yet it remains to be seen if Pickler can have the chart-topping success of Swift and her other friend Carrie Underwood. But, 100 Proof is a step in the right direction.
— Laura Lushington