by Dan Bolles
In today's installment of belated musings on some of my favorite finds of 2009, we'll be traveling north of the border to explore two Canadian artists that turned up continually my music rotation.
First up is California ex-pat Patrick Watson, whom I discovered thanks to a series of excellent videos he taped for La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows. Every time I watch them, or listen to the Montreal-based tunesmith's otherworldly 2009 album Wooden Arms, I curse Homeland Security for making it so damn difficult for musicians to cross borders to work. Dude literally lives an hour-and-a-half away. Yet as far as I know, he's never played here. I'm guessing if you take a gander at the video below, you might share my frustration.
Traveling west to Toronto we have Human Highway, a band I've mentioned a few times here in the last year or so, and one that became a cornerstone of my summer soundtrack. To refresh your memory, the duo is a side project of Islands front man Nick Diamonds (also from Montreal) and Jim Guthrie, who may or may not be Woody's grandson. Come to think of it, I really wish I had thought to ask Sarah Lee Guthrie about that when I spoke with her a couple of months ago. That's been bugging me for months. Dammit.
Anyway, their 2008 debut Moody Motorcycle — again, not all of this stuff was necessarily made this year — has possibly earned more spins than any other album I found in 2009. In particular, this song, "The Sound."
Human Highway | MySpace Music Videos
Oh, and speaking of Islands, I would be remiss if I didn't pass along this vid of "No You Don't" from their killer 2009 album Vapours. And check back in tomorrow when we discuss how AutoTune finally broke me down and won me over in 2009.