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Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014
Grab a scotch, light up a cigar, and cozy yourself in the corner booth: James Apollo's "Ho Ho, Ho Hum" is the kind of holiday tune best suited for a '50s noir bar.

There’s a certain artificiality that comes with much Christmas music, due in large part to the over-commercialization of the holiday. After hearing the umpteenth muzak rendition of “Jingle Bells” while shopping for rum to spike your eggnog with, the supposed joviality of the holiday is bound to fade into background noise. For that reason, songs like “Ho Ho, Ho Hum” by the Seattle-based singer/songwriter James Apollo are all the more refreshing. The song’s lounge mood and barroom piano evoke the cigarette smoke and loneliness of a film noir, a feeling that Apollo no doubt intended, given the song’s music video is shot in a melancholy black and white. “Ho Ho, Ho Hum” isn’t the song to play when trying to liven up a holiday party, but it does genuinely capture a feeling that many people experience during the holiday season.


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Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014
With their debut LP Sings for You soon to get its vinyl release, Pinecones have prepared a droll video for the album cut "Sleep is Forget".

While Pinecones vocalist and guitarist Bo Orr also plays in the straightedge grindcore band Dead in the Dirt, one best not go into the music of the former group expecting anything like the latter. As LPs like 2013’s The Blind Hole attest, Orr is more than capable of bludgeoning the ears with brutal riffs. By contrast, with Pinecones Orr, along with bandmates Ben Salie (drums), Brain Atoms (guitar), and Ryan Evers (bass), is writing guitar-centric rock that’s far friendlier to the ear canals.


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Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014
Pandora's Second Holiday Discovery Den lineup originally included Charli XCX but when she dropped out Kiesza stepped up to entertain.

The free Pandora Holiday Discovery Den event was a fun party for the young crowd that managed to get in and escape the deluge outside. The original bill for the event included Rudimental, the Neighbourhood and Charli XCX, just a week or two ahead of the release of her second album Sucker. However, because of some apparent conflict, the British Charli XCX had to drop off. So the organizers tapped Canadian singer Kiesza to fill in, though they did bump up the Neighbourhood to be the headliner.


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Thursday, Dec 11, 2014
This clip for "The Ride", from Lewis & Clarke's excellent Triumvirate, feels almost cinematic in scope, but the story it tells is personal, intimate, and beautiful.

This fall, Lewis & Clarke, the musical project from singer-songwriter Lou Rogai, released the excellent and expansive Triumvirate. It was Rogai’s first new release in five years. A short documentary, titled The Silver Sea, portrayed the album as a document of closure, of moving on from a tumultuous chapter in Rogai’s life. Now, Rogai presents the next chapter in that story with a new video for “The Ride”, perhaps the best song on Triumvirate, an album full of them.


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Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014
Catchy and upbeat with unmissable hand-claps, Chuck Prophet's "The Left Hand and the Right Hand" answers the question: what is the sound of two hands clapping?

The video for Chuck Prophet’s “The Left Hand and the Right Hand” is weirdly surreal by taking the song literally, with two separate disembodied hands floating around to illustrate the story. Chuck Prophet appears in a cartoon bubble as an all-seeing narrator in an alternative universe. It’s kind of trippy and fun.


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