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Andrew Franey

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The Shangs

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Alex Cuba

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Tri Nguyen

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Defend The Rhino

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Kiwi Jr.

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Black Suit Devil

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Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

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The Pack A.D.

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Chad VanGaalen

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Potengowski Anna Friederike

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Todd Rundgren

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Old 97's

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!earshot picks for 2007

Jeff Friesen

Jeff Friesen has been a DJ at the University of Manitoba’s campus and community radio station UMFM 101.5 for the past four years. He started at UMFM by co-hosting the show The Alberta Report with his good friend Kristen Braun in 2004, which airs every Sunday from 7-8pm. The Alberta Report focuses on straight-up folk/pop artists like Lucinda Williams, XTC or Jens Lekman. In 2005 Jeff started a second show called The New Decay, which airs every Friday from 2-3pm, also on UMFM. Named after a line from one of his favorite Destroyer songs, The New Decay is a more exploratory show than The Alberta Report, playing everything from early post-punk, hip-hop, noise, dubstep, and even the occasional jazz tune (especially the likes of Ornette Coleman, Rashaan Roland Kirk or William Parker). Through both of these shows, Jeff hopes to give fellow music lovers the space necessary to discover new and exciting artists.

Other Picks: The Alberta Report
Jazz Notes
Tell the Band to Go Home
Wednesday Evening Jazz
Meow Records


1. Burial – Untrue – (Hyperdub)
A stunning mix of distant R&B vocals, driving drum beats and soundscapes that would make Brian Eno envious, Untrue is one of the best electronic releases in years.

2. Frog Eyes Tears of the Valedictorian – (Absolutely Kosher)
Arguably the band’s best effort to date. Tears grabs you at its first notes and refuses to let go until the very end. “Bushels” is easily one of the best tracks of the year (along with Robyn’s “Handle Me” of course)

3. Sandro Perri Tiny Mirrors – (Constellation)
With its fragile aesthetic (always seeming to be on the verge of collapse), Tiny Mirrors is an absolutely beautiful and enjoyable listen. It’s a wonderful combination of Perri’s previous more exploratory endeavors (Polmo Polpo, Glissandro 70 etc…), and his newfound appreciation of traditional roots forms.


Himalayan Bear … Attacks the Brilliant Air – (Self Righteous Records)
How this record has remained under the radar this year is beyond me. …Attacks the Brilliant Air is a quiet and subtle record that is still able to carry enough punch with it to fit seamlessly with Frog Eye’s Tears of the Valedictorian. It’s full of space and time, but never once feels unfocused and meandering. Unlike … (See below)


Battles Mirrored – (Warp)
Bleh! No focus, no cohesion and downright boring. I know I’m a minority when I say this, but when listening to Mirrored,I was left with the feeling that Battles have attempted to compensate for a lack of good musical ideas with showing off their technical know-how. The end result was, while I really wanted to like the album, I just couldn’t get behind it.


Boats! Intercontinental Champion – (Independent)
With their first release, Winnipeg’s Boats! Have created a fun and exciting song cycle that harkens back to all things Neutral Milk Hotel and Vince McMahon. This is an album for those who love catchy harmonies, big and farty synth noises, and charming lyrics. Fortunately this appears to be just the beginning for the band.


Hello, Blue Roses Hello Blue Roses – (Loscust)
Destroyer meets Kate Bush. What’s not to like?

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