Sloaning it Up North

Sloan, Sloan, Sloan

I’ll try to keep my discussion to music.  That’s what I’m here after all, meaning this blog and my hotel in Montreal. Still though, ever met an unfriendly Canadian?  I know they have to exist, but they’re a friendly bunch.

Montreal is a wonderful city.  Even more than I had expected, the bilingual culture is astounding.  You can hear two teenagers on the métro speaking while alternating haphazardly between French and English.   People smile too, a lot.


So, today’s conference events were fantastic.  Some really interesting discussion, and yet a reaffirmation that I know what’s going on in the business, so few statements really surprise me anymore.  That’s a good thing, even though it makes things less eye-opening at times.  Peter Jenner kicks ass.  Also, these folks really want you to visit their website since they managed to ask a question at every session nearly, basically as a self-promotional tool.  Any music producer/distributor from Central Virginia who describe themselves as a “social movement” is alright in my book.


So, I have to cut this short for now, since it’s late here, but the show tonight was very Canadian.  As in, a friendly crowd with even friendlier-seeming bands, playing almost pure power pop.  Sloan know how to put on a great show, and they also knew the opening act The Yoko Casionos (Best Unsigned Band at NXNW 2005), put on a great show, so they pulled out Cainonos’ Misty and Juice to join them for two songs during the encore.  Misty led a rousing rendition of the recent, but classic Sloan track, “The Rest of My Life.”  I later bought the Yoko Cainonos’ CD, and it wasn’t just because I wanted a personal thanks from Misty working the merch table, although that didn’t hurt.  A “cheers mate” from her upon seeing my selection of their debut album was appropriate, although for a sad, fleeting moment I imagined I was back in London.


Sloan love the strobe lights, and they love to rock in prototypical, power pop style with alternating synched guitars and vocals.  While never accused of being terribly original, it’s hard to deny the fact they write great songs and know how to win a crowd over. They’ve also carved out their own niche within power pop.  Speaking of which, apparently Sloan crowds like to repeatedly chant “Sloan, Sloan, Sloan” between songs. Again, isn’t that friendly?  It is clearly life-affirming to the sharply-cropped mops of Sloan, who don’t hide their enjoyment when “Sloan” is being repeatedly shouted from the rafters.


I frankly am more comfortable reviewing a CD than a show, so that’s about it, even though I coul offer more. I also need to lay myself down.


Also, do realize, this is my last post before I attend a session tomorrow called: “The New Deciders: Metafilters, Blogs, Podcasts.  AW YEAHHY.   Not only will Ryan Schreiber himself be on the panel, but he’s also signing copies of Pitchfork.  I hear too he’s throwing a bouquet into the crowd (or maybe it was a hidden golden ticket).  It’s mine, and what is mine, is Moving in Stereo’s–Chicago, Boulder, and Montreal today; the world tomorrow.


Enjoy some great pop from our friendly neighbors.


The Yoko Casionos: “The New Old Times”


Sloan: “The Rest of My Life”

The Yoko Casionos


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