ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
We all float on...
the single guy
by brian wong
With an almost completely revamped band, Toronto’s Tangiers is prepping
for the release of its sophomore disc Never Bring You Pleasure (out Apr. 27
on Sonic Unyon). Although this group of indie rock boys has been compared to
The Strokes since last year’s Hot New Spirits album, their new single
might be the most Strokes thing they’ve done. Grounded in wiry organ,
the jangle-y number wrestles with a twitchy rhythm section — headed by
ex-Guided By Voices member John McCann and his blasts of machine-gun drumming — and
vocalist Josh Reichmann’s thin, yet loose, melodies. Another fine retro-rock
entry, as visions of skinny ties dance in your head.
“I Believe I Can Fly”
Gazette file photo
SO WELL HUNG.
William Hung, an iconic figure of our time, releases his debut disc Inspiration
later this month.
I’m not sure what to say. But listening to some of the songs from this
American Idol reject’s debut disc, especially on this butchering of R.
Kelly’s inspirational hit, I’m filled with mixed emotions. Yes,
emotions. First there’s anger: those savvy marketers that sat in a room
and thought, “Hey, let’s cash in on someone’s foreignness
and ineptitude!” Then sadness: Hung is led to believe he can fly, believe
he can soar, but when he runs through that open door, he’ll realize the
joke’s on him. Then fear: Hung’s terrible off-key singing. Then
laughter: off-key singing that only Hollywood directors could dream up for
karaoke scenes. Then endearment: the innocent Hung is trying so hard... or
not at all. Most emotional song of the year? Er, maybe. Radio morning show
Let the mainstream versus underground war begin again. This new round won’t
have the same fervour that surrounded the release of the last Liz Phair disc,
but the snootiest Modest Mouse fans are already up-in-arms over the Washington
alt-indie rockers’ new single that’s — gasp! — actually
receiving radio airplay. Or maybe they object to the song’s appearance
on a recent episode of The O.C.. But whatever their expectations of the Mouse
may be, “Float On” (from Good News For People Who Love Bad News)
is a glorious retro-new-wave song, inspired by the islands and the people who
run to them to drown their sorrows. Vocalist Isaac Brock’s impassioned
loose-cannon performance (think a crazed Robert Smith) is the gold here, conveying
both frustration and reassurance in this guitar-pop gem that’s a good
contender for summer song of 2004.