The Flying Blackbyrds – No. 0

From the receding flood waters of Calgary comes a real rocker; Mike Tod straps on a roaring electric guitar and stomps into the studio with a bone-shaking din. Tod’s lo-fi sensibilities are instantly recognizable, bridge the transition between genres as he trades his storyteller’s enunciation for a sneering growl at the front of a loose band. The songs are steeped in increasing urgency, culminating in the devilish swell of “Break a Ghost pt. 3” — a frantic speed-up of the more considered “…pt. 2,” and the sudden end of Tod’s weatherbeaten voice. I can only imagine him dragged from the stage, swallowed by the dervish he has swept up, lost forever in the heated barroom swirl. In Tod’s absence, Jamey Lougheed grips the microphone like a racing baton, leads a triumphant denouement. This is a record for hot nights and long evenings. Drink it down before the end of the short, prairie summer.


With great difficulty I limited this list to only 20 Canadian entries, all of which have corresponding posts from sometime this year. It was another brilliant year for Canadian music. Thanks for reading, friends of our radio show, The Ongoing Argument, and friends of Argue Job the Blog.

The other contributors may put together their own lists too, which we will of course host here, so keep your eye out for that!

*Ordering by numbered rank is as obscene as it is arbitrary, in this writer’s opinion. These top 20 picks for 2012 are simply alphabetized. Click to be taken to the review and the full streaming album.

Balacade – Malaise Era


Christian Hansen – C’mon Arizona


Ghibli – Rare Pleasures


Jordan Klassen – Kindness EP


Khyber Compilation Volume II


Knots – White River of White Lies


Little Chords – Afterlife


Matthew A. Wilkinson – Post-Namers


Mike Tod & The Buffalo Lake Kid – Live


Needles//Pins – 12:34




Paul Stewart – Permanence


Renny Wilson – “Sugarglider


Teapot Hill – Night Night Rock


The Strumbellas – My Father, The Hunter


The Utilities – Flint


Tops – Tender Opposites


Travis Bretzer – Making Love


Tyler Butler – Violence


You’ll Never Get To Heaven – S/T


From Elsewhere:
Devon Sproule – I Love You, Go Easy
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
Little Wings – Black Grass
Mount Eerie – Clear Moon
Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It

Dog Day – Night Group


Mike Tod & The Buffalo Lake Kid – Live

Mike Tod is a cup of strong coffee. This short prosaic record was recorded live at Reuben Bullock‘s house by the prolific Scott Munro. Mike Tod & The Buffalo Lake Kid apply such a delightful variety of instrumentation, some of it hand made, some of it recklessly out of tune, all of it immersed in the romance of a bygone era of songwriting. Mike Tod’s wavering vocals stray, crack and quiver with impunity, lending each song a welcome honesty. What’s more, the selection of songs is distilled to an unbearable brevity, provoking the listener to replay this record again and again. I’ve asked Mike Tod to come play The Elevation Room on August 18th so keep your eyes peeled for that!

(this has disappeared from bandcamp for some strange unfortunate reason)

One post script: Until the vocals on ‘Goldmine’ come in, you could swear it was a cover of Bob Wiseman’s ‘Uranium‘.

Argue Job presents Loonie Bin no.1

Here on Argue Job we try to cover albums, specifically. That makes it very difficult to highlight individual singles that we can’t stop playing. For that reason we here introduce the Loonie Bin, a compilation of Canadian singles that we’re jamming right now. You can stream them below or download them as one zip file here.

Elsa – In Two
Monomyth – Anytime
Gold – Losing Your Hair
Horse Girls – Old Pressure
Topanga – Mabu
A.M. Overcast – Zebra
Man Legs – Take My Hand
Old and Weird – Doing the Things
Renny Wilson – By and By
Bleating Hearts – The Partisan
The Utilities – Eyelashes (My Mind, The Highway, & a Show)
Mike Tod – Ain’t Mad At Nobody
Joel Learoyd – Sluts
Christine Leakey – Here I Stand
Ghibli – Little Clique
Brock Tyler – Don’t Break Your Heart
Balacade – LA 3600
The Parish of Little Clifton – Light Handed
King Vulture – Maelstrom (Martyrs’ Oneiroi Remix)
Kuhrye-oo – Human Rights (Nadus Remix)
Matthew A. Wilkinson – Speak, Rainbow! (ft. Julie Le Gall)
Weird Party – Heart