Tag Archives: Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett’s Social Justice

Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett

Happy-go-lucky hoser troubadour Joel Plaskett’s been getting more serious in his old age.

In fact, his latest album The Park Avenue Sobriety Test tickles the edges of protest singer territory.

I spoke to Joel about this evolution and more for The Bluegrass Situation.

To read the story go here.

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Aaron’s Top Albums Of 2007

Joel Plaskett Emergency's Ashtray Rock

Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Ashtray Rock

This is my official Top 10 album list for 2007:

10. Magnolia Electric Co. The Black Ram

Picking just The Black Ram was a bit of a technical cheat as this record was part of the three-album, one-EP Sojourner box set Magnolia Electric Co. released that year. That said, of the four discs it’s definitely the one I listened to the most. In fact, the title track, “Will-O-The-Wisp” and “A Little At A Time” all rank in my Top 25 most played songs in iTunes. What this all probably means is that because I was pretty deep in my Magnolia fandom at the time, as a conscious act to not look like such a fanatic I ranked this album lower than I felt it deserved in my heart. In truth it’s probably a top five record.

9. Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare

If I’m to be completely honest, I still don’t feel I know this album all that well. I was mostly enamored with the song “505” and had approached the band with more open ears on this album because the hype train for the Monkeys had receded to the point it where wasn’t annoying anymore.

8. Two Hours Traffic Little Jabs

I listened to this record a lot for a month or two and it fits solidly in a Can-Rockpop lineage that includes Sloan, By Divine Right, Limblifter, Zuckerbaby and their ilk. Since then, though, Two Hours Traffic have become extremely irritating to me. This is because of the disproportionate amount of times iTunes tries to play their songs when I’m listening in “random” mode. I have thousands upon thousands of songs. I’ve got the full Neil Young and Bob Dylan discographies. And yet, with peculiar frequency iTunes tries to serve me up songs from this album. The only reason I can guess for this is that one of the band members had a computer engineer cousin who worked at Apple and was in the department that developed the iTunes random algorithm. It’s the only explanation and it’s definitely tempered my enjoyment.

7. Buck 65 Situation

Buck 65 seems to suffer from a bit of Rodney Dangerfield can’t-get-no-respect-ism and Situation is a pretty good example of this. A concept album focused roughly around the year 1957, the songs on Situation deftly traverse topics like crooked cops, Bogart and obscenity trials. The fact that the subject matter is so unlikely — not just for a rapper, but for any type of modern music maker — just makes Situation all the more intriguing.

6. Neil Young Live At Massey Hall 1971

This show may represent the most perfect version of “solo Neil.” It’s a historic document and a brilliant setlist. In cold scrutiny, though, it’s probably not a best of 2007 album. This ranking probably says more about how much I’m willing to jockey parameters because of my Neil love than anything else.

5. Jens Lekman Night Falls Over Kortedala

Night Falls Over Kortedala is an entirely fine album, but this #5 rank is almost entirely attributable to one song, “And I Remember Every Kiss.” A soaring orchestral ballad, the song captures all the fire, all the intensity, all the passion of that nervous, electric first kiss.

4. Cuff The Duke Sidelines Of The City

Someone recently told me Wayne Petti basically tries to copy The Inbreds’ Mike O’Neill when he’s singing. Fascinating, right? And it explains why I like Cuff The Duke. I don’t listen to this album anymore, though, and I don’t remember why I had it ranked so high.

3. Feist The Reminder

The sort of person who can remain unmoved by “My Moon My Man” is the sort of person I would look upon with great suspicion.

2. Amy Winehouse Back To Black

“Me & Mr. Jones” was really what hooked me on Back To Black. Here was this jazz singer going on about Slick Rick, plus ones and “fuckery” (which has since become a core swear word for me), all with an air of stumbling, drunken tragic romance. I was won over immediately.

A lot of the songs and albums and artists I love have something I’ll define as “turbulence of the soul.” The world, for them, is just a bit tougher, a bit more painful and a bit more difficult than it is for the normals. It was clear from the first listen of Back To Black that Winehouse was one of these people and it reflects beautifully/uncomfortably in these songs.

1. Joel Plaskett Emergency Ashtray Rock

A teenage love triangle that breaks up the band and breaks up a friendship. It seems like such a small narrative to build a concept album around, but Ashtray Rock, like a less morbid Quadrophenia, works perfectly. You feel there when the drunk teenagers party down at the Ashtray Rock and when you’ve got nothing more to say to these people… well, it’s like a grayscale closing scene capturing the back of the jean-jacketed protagonist walking down a slushy sidestreet. Alone.

Other album lists…

2015 Top Ten — SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart is #1
2014 Top Ten — Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There is #1
2013 Top Ten — M.I.A.’s Matangi is #1
2012 Top Ten — Dirty Ghosts’ Metal Moon is #1
2011 Top Ten — Timber Timbre’s Creep On Creepin’ On is #1
2010 Top Ten — The Black Angels’ Phosphene Dream is #1
2009 Top Ten — Gallows’ Grey Britain is #1
2008 Top Ten — Portishead’s Third is #1
2007 Top Ten — Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Ashtray Rock is #1
2006 Top Ten — My Brightest Diamond’s Bring Me The Workhorse is #1
2005 Top Ten — Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Howl is #1
2004 Top Ten — Morrissey’s You Are The Quarry is #1
2003 Top Ten — The Dears’ No Cities Left is #1
2002 Top Ten — Archive’s You All Look The Same To Me is #1
2001 Top Ten — Gord Downie’s Coke Machine Glow is #1
2000 Top Ten — Songs: Ohia’s The Lioness is #1
1999 Top Ten — The Boo Radleys’ Kingsize is #1
1998 Top Ten — Baxter’s Baxter is #1
1996 Top Ten — Tricky’s Maxinquaye is #1

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Polaris People For The Week Of June 28 (Rhye! Jim Guthrie! Joel Plaskett!)

Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett

The latest edition of my Polaris People column is online over at the Polaris Music Prize website.

This week we marvel at the fact that Rhye are two dudes, make note of the suddenly prolific Jim Guthrie and ponder Joel Plaskett performing everywhere.

To read the column go here.

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Polaris People For The Week Of April 12 (Joel Plaskett! Broken Social Scene! Coachella!)

Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett

The latest edition of my Polaris People column is online over at the Polaris Music Prize website.

This week we tip the hat to tributes for Jay Smith and Stompin’ Tom Connors, contemplate the discomfort in encountering Broken Social Scene‘s “Deathcock” and consider all the Polaris acts who are playing Coachella.

To read the column, go here.

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Polaris People For The Week Of January 11 (Besnard Lakes! Joel Plaskett! John K. Samson!)

Caribou

Caribou

The latest edition of my Polaris People column is online over at the Polaris Music Prize website.

In this edition we celebrate The Besnard Lakes putting out new music, contemplate a royally-endorsed Joel Plaskett and support one of John K. Samson‘s initiatives.

To read this week’s column, go here.

P.S. for bonus Polaris content, check out the story I did last week which compiled the Top Ten album lists of 35 separate Polaris jurors. It’s pretty good insight into their minds.

 

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Polaris People For The Week Of Nov. 23 (Joel Plaskett! Metric! Julie Doiron!)

Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett

The latest edition of my Polaris People column is online over at the Polaris Music Prize website.

For this one we collect some of the latest Metric concert reviews, use a Joel Plaskett mention to justify talking about Clayton Park, and check in with Julie Doiron.

To read it, go here.

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Polaris People For The Week Of June 1 (Joel Plaskett! The Weeknd! Karkwa!)

Cadence Weapon

Cadence Weapon

The latest edition of the Polaris Music Prize weekly news roundup is now online.

Cadence Weapon is fully media deployed, Joel Plaskett could end up in your backyard, The Weeknd may become Week.Piddy and Karkwa have an album.

Go read the story over at Polaris Music Prize by clicking here.

 

 

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