Snow Day

Victoria is once again in the icy grip of winter.  Almost a foot of the stuff fell overnight, leaving the city in a blind panic.  It's on the front page of all the papers, and the first thing to leave everyone's lips.  Facebook is aflutter with crazed comments about snowmen, traffic jams, and icy weather. 

As Victorians, we really aren't used to snow - while we logically understand that yes, water can freeze in the sky and when it's cold enough, fall to the ground as frozen rain, we just don't believe in the core of our being that it can, in fact, happen here.  Sure, it can snow everywhere else in Canada.  But in Victoria?  It's impossible.

And then it does snow, and everyone goes batshit mental.  Victorian natives inevitably act in one of the following two ways:

The first group, who I dub "The Victoria Spazzes", go into a panic the second water that is even in the act of freezing first touches soil.  These are the people who go into the grocery stores and stock up on toilet paper, canned soup, bread, and lemons (so they don't get scurvy, you see).  They call in sick for work, close the blinds, and huddle in their basements praying for the vile vile snow to go away.  While these people are annoying (if only because they make it harder to buy toilet paper), they really aren't the worst faction of Victorians - at least they're out of the way. 

The second group are what I called "The Precipitation Deniers".  They see the snow, and decide to go about their day to day lives, acting as if it doesn't exist at all.  These people believe, simply, that if they refuse to acknowledge the presence of snow, it will promptly disappear.  While this may sound like a great and optimistic philosophy to live by, it's really not that great when these people are, say, driving.  On icy roads.  And don't feel as if they should, you know, slow down. These are the same people who wear mini skirts and sandals in sub zero temperatures and have the gall to complain about being cold.

Sadly, in Victoria, there's no such  thing as a happy medium.  If you're from here, you're pretty much bound to one of the two camps described above.

And if you're not from here, and somewhere else in Canada that regularly has to deal with weather like this?  You look on, not sure if what you're seeing is true - as if part of you wonders if you're being punk'd by, say, God. 

Overheard by Mayfair Mall:

Two teenage girls, waiting for the bus on wednesday afternoon.  They were making their way through a huge snowdrift.

GIRL #1:  I'm going to see Tom tonight, and we're gonna smoke a huge fatty.
GIRL #2:  Sweet.
GIRL #1:  He's made a bong out of a snowball, and we're going to smoke it out of that.
GIRL #2:  Out of a snowball?  How does that work?
GIRL #1:  Haven't you ever smoked out of an apple core?
GIRL #2:  (embarrassed)  Yeah.  Of course.  Lots of times.
GIRL #1:  Well, it's like that.  Only, snow.
GIRL #2:  Have you done it before?
GIRL #1:  Well, no.  But Tom has.  At least, he said he did.  And why would you lie about a thing like that?

The Dodos - Don't Stop

There's nothing quite like coming home from a walk in the freezing Victoria snow (since when does it snow in february in Victoria?  Seriously, people!) and finding a notification on your facebook that The Dodos, my favourite band of 2010, have put a new song up for direct download on their site.  And the song, called "Don't Stop", is one of the best Dodos songs I've ever heard.  And it's not just me - it's Neko Case's favourite song off the new album! 

High praise, indeed.

I'm putting the song up here, so you guys can fully appreciate the frenetic guitar playing and energetic drum beats, backed up by surprisingly mellow lyrics.  After listening to it a bajillion times over the last hour, I am so incredibly excited for The Dodos' new album, No Color (due March 15th) to release... and I'm just as excited to see them play Victoria, come April 1st (make sure you get your tickets!).

Also, if you want to download the song, check out The Dodos' facebook page.  They update it fairly frequently, with all sorts of fun freebies. 

(Thanks go out, by the way, to Happy Apple, whose knowledge of HTML is much better than mine.  Not only did she help me figure out how to embed this, but she also helped set up a hosting page so I can do more music posts like this in the future.  And she did it all via MSN, with yours truly being rather thick-headed the whole time.  Seriously, the woman has the patience of a saint.  )


I was hanging out with my friend Happy Apple a few weeks ago.   Now, Happy Apple is definitely a bit of a nerd, which is probably why I get along with her so well.  She knows all about japanese manga, is a whedonphile, and knows all about obscure electronic bands. 

She also used to be into DDR, which is something I know absolutely nothing about.  In fact, when she found out just how in the dark I was about DDR, she raised her eyebrows in shock. 

"How could you have never played DDR?" She asked, increduously.

"Well, I have this thing."

She waited for a second, and when she realized I wasn't going to elaborate, said "What?"

"A Penis."

She groaned, shook her head in mock disgust, and lead me to one of the few arcads left in Victoria to "pop my DDR cherry". 

Turns out that DDR, or Dance-Dance Revolution for those not in the know, is actually primarily enjoyed by men (who knew?)  It consists of dancing on coloured squares to a beat displayed on the screen while loud and annoying japanese music blares at you.  It's like guitar hero, with more physical exercise and fewer idiots who think "this is what it's really like". 

Our first round, Happy Apple went nuts doing all the moves.  She was jogging place, pretty much, spinning in small circles, making energetic punches, and flying over the play mat.  She had it on the "hard" difficulty.

Meanwhile, I had it on the "holy fuck, this is easy" difficulty, and I was having a bit of trouble.  See, I get embarrassed in situations like this, so I sort of defensively had my arms on my hips in a classic "disinterested cool guy" pose that made me look like a huge wad.    I'd follow the directions - take a step to the left, okay, now forward, step right, right, back, and forward again, hands on my hips the whole time.

This is when I learned that there's a hazy line between DDR on easy mode and square dancing.  Really, had I been wearing a cowboy hat and a plaid shirt, I'm pretty sure I'd be two heinekins away from beating my wife and alienating my gay son. 

But then a crowd formed.  They were the DDR elite - and by "elite", I actually mean "Scrawny white dudes with no muscles who wear muscle shirts who spend their saturdays alone in an arcade".  They formed, and patiently watched us play.  One particularly brazen guy who smelled like Axe body spray even placed a coin on our machine to "reserve" the next play.

I've done this at bars for the pool table.  But somehow, it seems much lamer when it's a johnny zee's token to reserve a DDR machine.  Maybe it's me.

It's kind of a good feeling to know that you're the coolest guy in the room.  It doesn't happen to me that often, which is probably understandable.  But I was feeling damn cool at that moment.  I felt even cooler when I realized they were mocking me

Why?  Because I lacked DDR skills.  They were chuckling to themselves at just how weak I was at stepping to the left.  And then they'd look over, and see Happy Apple burning through the songs on a much harder difficulty, making her little karate chops as she burned through Japanese Annie's version of "Caffeine Ferret Tango".  I could hear them checking out her ass.  It had a smell not at all dissimilar to the smell of morning dew.  You know what I mean.

Now, Happy Apple and I are not a couple.  We have never been a couple.  She is, in fact, engaged to someone who is most definitely not me.  However, these guys watching us play didn't know any of that.  They had to make the assumption that it was likely for a male and female together in an arcade to be an item of some sort.  But it didn't stop them.

Within a few minutes, a bunch of rather dweebish men were all competing for Happy Apple's affections, right in front of me.  At first, I just kind of laughed at it, but after a few minutes, I began to feel just a little insulted.  I mean, sure, I'm not dating Happy Apple.  But they didn't know that, and they were still making moves... in that sort of situation, isn't it natural I'd take it as an affront to myself?  And I could tell, normally, they would never do something like this - but in DDR land, I wasn't a threat. 

"I see you play without speed mods," one of them said, with Don Juan poise, completely speaking through me.

Another decided to "help" me when I couldn't figure out how to change the difficulty, the whole time looking at Happy Apple and rolling his eyes as if to say "why are you here with this loser?"

I was a loser, because I lacked the practice and skill to put my right foot on the right pad to the beat of some jap-pop band.  Of course, Happy Apple was completely oblivious to their plays for her heart, and got annoyed with them rather quickly.  After calling them all "losers", she grabbed her jacket and said "Come on Dave, let's go".

I wish I could say I was the bigger man, here.  But who are we kidding? 

On the way out, I totally glanced back at them and gave a smug "Look who I'm taking home tonight" look. 

Random (dirty) sports joke I heard today:

I was sitting at a bar, minding my own business when I saw the most gorgeous woman come in.  She had long brown hair, pouty lips, and, best of all, she was wearing a hockey jersey.  Those who know me remember that women in hockey jerseys are my number-one turn on.  Who cares that she was wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey?  I had to have her.

I walked up to her.  "Hey.  My name is three goal lead."

She frowned.  "You name is not three goal lead."

"Okay, you caught me.  It's not Three Goal Lead, it's Dave."

Puzzled, she said "Okay, I just have to ask.  Why would you say your name is Three Goal Lead?"

"Well, I figured that any girl wearing a leafs jersey would just have to blow a three goal lead."

Weekly Haiku #44: More fridge haiku

Not Addictive, MY ASS

Sunday night, I finished the last of a 2L bottle of diet coke.  It was around ten pm or so, and I threw on some shoes to head down to the corner store to pick up a new bottle.  I stopped at the door, looked at myself in the mirror that I hang my keys on, and said, "Why the hell am I doing this?"

I decided, then and there, to cut out the diet coke in my life.  Kind of a late new year's resolution.  In hindsight, though, it was kind of a weak resolution - sort of like a heroin addict saying "you know what?  I'm never gonna do smack again!" when the the needle is still sticking out of his arm. 

Yes.  I just compared diet coke to heroin.  I'm not sure why.

My abstinence from diet coke lasted all of twelve hours, when, on monday afternoon, I had the worst withdrawal headache of all time.  My brain was pounding to a beat only it could hear, saying to me "you're an asshole, I'm niccing out, gimme some diet coke!"

My brain was a junkie needing its fix. 

I caved, consciously bought a can (not a bottle, and how sad is it that this reduction seemed like a triumph to me?), and smiled contentedly as I drank.  The headache disappeared.  As I finished it, I looked at it and said "you're the last can I'll ever drink."

Ha, right.

Tuesday rolls around, and I'm doing pretty well on my vow - almost twenty four hours since I've touched the stuff.  And then, somehow, I wind up in a corner store, handing over money to the cashier for a can.  And I have no idea how I wound up here, and I don't even realize I'm trying to quit until I'm already halfway through the can.  Yes - buying diet coke has become such a common part of my life that my brain often doesn't process doing it anymore. 

This is common to chain smokers.  Guess you didn't know it's also common to diet coke addicts, eh?  Which leads me to a conclusion of sorts, a sure-fire way to finally quit.

I'm thinking of taking up smoking.... at least until I'm weaned off the diet coke. 

I'm not very good at meeting new people...

Last night, I said to myself "I'm tired of sitting at home, I want to go out and do something".  So, I went to my friend's Swing Dancing night, held every Saturday.  I've learned a bit of dancing (not much), and I knew it'd be a halfway decent way to meet some new people. 

Oh, I met some new people.  And promptly proceeded to show them my best trick - putting my foot in my mouth. 

Within an hour of showing up, I was at a table, talking about anthropology with a rather cute woman.  She seemed interested, and we were having a good conversation.  It was intelligent, insightful, and all that fun stuff. 

And then, somehow, I started talking about how both chimps and humans use sex as a form of social glue, how the male penis is a deliberately inefficient design, why humans are one of the few species that have face-to-face copulation, and all sorts of other things along that line.

Yes.  I actually said to a woman I barely know that the male penis is inefficient.  Probably the world's worse pickup line, eh? 

Don't get me wrong.  I think, from a cultural perspective, that this stuff is fascinating, and I believe many people would agree with me.  However, it's probably a bad conversation topic with someone you barely know.  If I wanted to talk anthropology, why not talk about tool use?  The development of language?  Hell, the importance of dance?  All valid topics.  But instead, I have to zero in on inefficient penises (penii?)

Like I said in the title, I suck at meeting new people.  I have a few theories why. 

More lyrics?

Okay, I realize I've been a little overboard with lyrics lately.  It's almost like this is turning into some sort of music blog or something. 

Oh, yeah.  Right.

But I really don't wanna be one of those guys who just posts depressing lyrics every few days and expects his few readers to absorb those lyrics with rapt attention.  I mean, geez - I'm pretty sure you guys can do that for yourself.  The internet is a vast place, and those lyrics do exist elsewhere, and I think it's safe to assume that you can, in fact, read.  And even if you cannot, you can still absorb lyrics the good ol' fashioned way (god forbid).

But sometimes, I get into lyric-posting moods.  Some may say it's writer's block.  I say it's because I've been playing a lot of guitar lately, and have taken a stab at writing songs lately.  And mostly, they're atrocious.

So I've been listening to a lot of lyrics, hearing what people say, and then saying to myself "Shit, I feel exactly that.  Why can't I write that?"   And then I write a song called "breakfast for dinner" about making myself an omelette at 5 pm, and stare in despair upon the paper and contemplate dancing in traffic.

But there's a good side about absorbing lyrics - you come across some great ones, and it helps you realize what to look for in your own lyrical writings.  Today, I found a perfect example of this.  I was listening to The Fleet Foxes' Helplessness Blues.  Really, the lyrics blew me away - particularly the first half.  The first half of this song, especially the bit about snowflakes and cogs in the machine, sum up my world view pretty nicely.

Okay, so the last bit, about the orchard, is a bit too hippy for me.  But whatever.  The first bit is perfect. 

And now, so you have an idea what the hell I'm talking about: 

i was raised believing
i was somehow unique
like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes
unique in each way you can see
and now after some thinking
i'd say i'd rather be
a functioning cog in some great machinery
serving something beyond me
but i don't i don't know what that will be.
i'll get back to you someday
soon you will see
what's my name
what's my station
oh just tell me what i should do
i don't need to be kind to the armies of night
that would do such injustice to you.
or bow down and be grateful
and say "sure take all that you see"
to the men who move only in dimly lit halls
and determine my future for me.
and i don't i don't know who to believe
i'll get back to you someday
soon you will see.
if i know only one thing
it's that everything that i see
of the world outside is so inconceivable
often i barely can speak
yeah i'm tongue tied and dizzy
and i can't keep it to myself
what good is it to sing helplessness blues
why should i wait for anyone else?
and i know i know you will keep me on the shelf
i'll come back to you someday
soon myself.
if i had an orchard
i'd work 'till i'm raw.
if i had an orchard
i'd work 'till i'm sore.
and you would wait tables
and soon run the store
gold hair in the sunlight
my light in the dawn
if i had an orchard
i'd work till i'm sore
if i had an orchard
i'd work till i'm sore
someday i'll be
like the man on the screen

My pick me up music

Sometimes, I find myself in a bit of a funk.  Nothing necessarily bad has happened, but for some reason, I just find myself with a rather heavy case of "blah".  And, minus a rather enjoyable saturday night hanging out with Happy Apple, it's definitely been a "blah" heavy weekend.

As a music nerd, it's probably to be expected that I like to play music to blast me out of the funk.  I'm sure most people would gravitate towards incredibly cheerful music when they're feeling down... but I'm not most people.  Instead, I tend to play super depressing music - radiohead, old school blues, and sombre Johnny Cash tunes.  You'd think this music would destroy me, but it always helps boil away the blahs.

This weekend, I've dusted off some of my go-to songs for "blah" weekends, and I figure I'll share some of them (as well as the downer lyrics) with you guys.  Enjoy!

Do You Realize?  the flaming lips 

This song has been on almost constant repeat all weekend.  I have no idea why it picks me up, because the lyrics are kind of a downer, but they really make me smile. 

do you realize that you have the most beautiful face
do you realize we're floating in space
do you realize that happiness makes you cry
do you realize that everyone you know someday will die
and instead of saying all of your goodbyes
let them know you realize that life goes fast
it's hard to make the good things last
you realize the sun don't go down
it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
do you realize
do you realize that everyone you know someday will die
and instead of saying all of your goodbyes
let them know you realize that life goes fast
it's hard to make the good things last
you realize the sun don't go down
it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
do you realize that you have the most beautiful face
do you realize?

Chill Out, ze frank

I also wish I could find a way to legally purchase this song, too.  The story is pretty sweet, too - a woman wrote Ze Frank saying she felt alone and stressed, and he penned the song.  Then he got something like a couple dozen people to sing the chorus ("hey, you're okay, you'll be fine, just breathe").  He sent it to her, and well, there's a reason Ze Frank is the man. 

right now it feels like i forgot to turn the light on
and things that looked so good yet sturdy are now shades of gray
and it seems like the world is spinning while I'm standing still
or maybe I am spinning I can't tell
and then you say hey, you're okay, you'll be fine, just breathe
and now the women sing hey, you're okay, you'll be fine, just breathe
now everybody sings hey, you're okay, you'll be fine, just breathe
hey you're okay you'll be fine, just breathe
hey, you're okay, you'll be fine, just breathe

Dinu Lipatti's Bones, the mountain goats

And then there's The Mountain Goats.  The most depressing band on the face of the earth (and I use the term "band" loosely, as 'they' consist of just one guy).  However, I guess for me, there's just something about depressing music that makes me happy.  My mother always said I listened to music you could hang yourself to.  I guess this song is a case in point, eh?

we stank of hair dye and ammonia
we sealed ourselves away from view
you were looking at the void and seldom blinking
the best that I could do 
was to train my eyes on you
we scaled the hidden hills beneath the surface
scraped our fingers bloody on the stones
and built a little house that we could live in
out of dinu lipatti's bones
we kept our friends at bay all summer long
treated the days as though they'd kill us if they could
wringing out the hours like blood drenched bedsheets
to keep winter time at bay
but december showed up anyway
there was no money it was money that you wanted
i went downtown sold off most of what i owned
and we raised a tower to broadcast all our dark dreams
from dinu lipatti's bones

So, that's my list.  What's your list of pick me ups?  Is it half as bleak as mine?

I have a new, foolproof way to pick up women at clubs:

DAVE:  Hey baby, come here often?
GIRL:  Um.  Ew.  Do me a favour - get a time machine and go back about thirty years, when that line was only "really old".
DAVE:  Ha ha.  Kitty's got claws.  Don't act like you can resist my charms, baby.  What's your sign?
GIRL:  Please don't call me 'baby' again.  I think I threw up a little. 
DAVE:  You know you like it, baby-doll. 
GIRL:  I said don't call me-
DAVE:  I said "baby-doll", not baby.  See, I'm sensitive to your needs and shit, baby.... doll.
GIRL:  Just, um, go away.  I don't want... anything.... wait, what's happening to me?
DAVE:  I'm wearing a suit.
GIRL:  But that's not... so... irresistable... what's... going.... on?
DAVE:  It's not just a suit.  I also have a shiny tie.
GIRL:  But, but...
DAVE:  And club girls, like common magpies, are unable to resist shiny objects.
GIRL:  Helpless... to... fight.....
DAVE:  So, do you like my suit?  Baby

a joke:

Ladies and gents, there are four kinds of female orgasms:
  1. The Religious Orgasm:  Oh God!  Oh God!  Ohhhhh Gooooooood!
  2. The Positive Orgasm:  Oh Yes!  Oh Yes!  Ohhhhhhh Yesss!
  3. The Negative Orgasm:  Oh No!  Oh No!  Ohhhhhh Nooo!
  4. The Fake Orgasm:  Oh Dave!  Oh Dave!  Ohhhhhh Daaaaave!
That is all.

decisions, decisions...

A very simple question for the ladies and gentlemen out there:

Which band would you rather see live?  Hey Rosetta! or Born Ruffians

They're both playing in Victoria next month, on the same night, and I wanna catch a show cuz the tickets are cheap.  I've seen Hey Rosetta! before, and they're a great band, but I really like what I've heard of Born Ruffians, too.  So, I'm on the fence.

What can I say?  I'm an indecisive person sometimes.

A history lesson:

So, waaaaay back in the 1960s, some people got together and wrote a book.  It was a pretty groovy book, filled with all sorts of crazy and wild things:  magic, wizards, plagues, murders, crazy incestual love schemes, haircuts, and more baby murder than you could shake a stick at!  The whole thing centred around this bearded hippy who spoke about free love and shit, before he got killed and turned into a zombie.  It was a pretty trippy read - they called it "The Bible", although I have no idea where they got the name from.

It was turned into a movie in the 1980s, called Total Recall.

I loved this part where this guy named "God", who was like the king of the wizards or some shit, created the earth.  And he did it in only seven days.  I don't remember all the details, but in the first day he made the earth or something.  The second day he made the oceans, fish and stuff were day three, day four was animals, day five was more animals, day six was the human race, and day seven he cleverly buried dinosaur skeletons so that people would deduce that he didn't exist.

Because he was a very tricky wizard, you see, and wanted to cover his tracks.

Anyways, it's a little-known fact that on day eight, he completed his best creation:

Jalapeno Pringles.

Tasty, crunchy, and spicy like the pits of hell! 

...Which is probably where I'm going after making this post.

Laugh, but I'm only half joking here

About a month ago, I was really digging the song "The Light Is You" by Said The Whale, or as my friend Manga T.C. likes to call it, "the Happy Apple Song".  I think she came up with the name because she really likes apples... or because she was suffering from a head injury of some sort.   

I was looking for upbeat acoustic songs, and so I turned to another good friend of mine for music recommendations:  The good ol' itunes genius fairy.

Now, for those that don't know, the itunes genius fairy uses a very powerful tool I like to call "magic" to find songs similar to songs you like.  For example, if you really like the White Stripes' song "Seven Nation Army", the genius fairy will recommend you listen to The Libertines.  Amazing!  And if you like Jon Bon Jovi, the itunes genius fairy will teleport through the internet and kick you in the reproductive organs!  

I am a huge fan of the itunes genius fairy.  He needs to, like, rule the united states of america... but apparently they have a rule against fairies running for president.  (Yes, unintentional joke intended). 

Anyways, after I asked what I should be listening to, the genius fairy recommended an incredibly lovely band by the name of Apollo Sunshine.  The song suggested was "Singing to the earth (to thank her for you)" and within a few days, the song (and the associated album) were on near constant repeat on my ipod.

As a music snob, I needed to know more, so I utlized some super-secret research techniques on the band, and learned they were an up and coming group of musicians who had developed quite a cult following.

As I already said, I am a music snob.  You may not know this, but when music snobs hear about a band having a "cult following", they get this tingly feeling inside, sort of like how your sister feels when she sits on the washing machine during the spin cycle. 

Everything just felt.... right.  Until yesterday. 

You see, Wal-mart fucked it all up. 

I had dropped by on a walk home from TC's house to pick up some sugar-free ice cream.  While dodging arguing drunkards and avoiding eye contact with young moms upset that a pair of childrens' sneakers cost "a whole three dollars!", I found myself in my usual state of jungle-like readiness I reserve for box stores and buffet lines.  But then, in the frozen foods aisle, I let my guard down and soon found myself humming for some reason.  And that was when I realized - my song was playing over the intercom.  Wal-Mart, the intergalactic empire of evil, was playing my new music crush over their canned music intercom. 

I know it shouldn't matter.  But it does.

I know my anxiety over this is due entirely to my own music snobbery - I shouldn't care what music Wal-Mart plays! Isn't a good thing that Wal-Mart is playing music I like?  But this is how my mind works:
  1. Wal-mart makes money through mass-marketing items to its customer base.
  2. Wal-mart's customer base can be summarized as "the lowest common denominator"
  3. Wal-mart playing such a band indicates that the band is one that can easily be absorbed by said "lowest common denominator"
  4. Therefore, as a person who likes said band, I am part of the lowest common denominator.
Don't you see?  By liking a band that played over the speakers at wal-mart, I have become a person of wal-mart!  Next time you'll see me, I'll be three hundred pounds, wearing ratty track pants and a nascar t-shirt, buying toilet paper and cheeze whiz in bulk. 

May God have mercy on my soul. 

(PS, Yes, I realize the irony in being fine with using a mass-marketed music-finder app, but not being okay with hearing that music played in a mass-market setting... but I am a strange person.  Roll with me, here).

Weekly Haiku #42: weird haiku that just came to me....

coyote duster
summer storms and shattered dreams
dead synapse highway


Guh.  So sick lately.  I've had the flu pretty heavily since Saturday - coughing, sneezing, headaches, and all that fun stuff.  And it's not just Man Flu, either!

I have to say, the best part about being sick is that you are allowed to eat nothing but graham crackers, soup, and ice cream... and no one gets angry at you.  How awesome is that!?

On the downside, I'm pretty much immobile, meaning I can't engage in my favourite activity - listening to music.  I know what you're thinking - why do you need to be mobile to listen to music?  The thing is, for me to enjoy music, I have to be able to move - pace around the house with my headphones on, and all that jazz.  So I've been music-less for the last few days.  Which is kind of annoying. 

That is all. 

Albums to Look Forward To:

There are a few albums coming out in the next few months that I'm pretty excited for.  These are albums that I just can't wait to hear, because these bands have yet to disappoint me. 

The Dodos, No Color:  The fourth studio album by the Dodos releases on March 15th.  The album supposedly will feature a return to the heavier drum sound that was prevalent on Visiter, and roughly half the songs will feature the amazingly talented lady (and honourary Canadian), Neko Case.  The band has released their first single, "Black Night", and it's classic Dodos fare.  Life is good, my friends.  Life is good.

Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues:  The fleet foxes, a Seattle based band I'd tag as "diverse new-age folk hippy music", releases their new album on May 3rd.  I've heard the title track, and it's thie great acoustic bit that definitely is low-key and just a little sad. 

Hey Rosetta!, Seeds:  Canadian Maritime band Hey Rosetta! releases their new album on February 15th.  I've seen these guys live a few times, and I've never been disappointed - they are a large band, with a wide range of available sounds.  They can do introspective blues, angry rock, and cheerful pop... sometimes all at once.  I don't really know anything about this upcoming album, but that's not stopping me from being excited about it!

Mother Mother, Eureka:  I love Mother Mother.  I love them so very much.  They've released their first single for this album, called "The Stand", and it's bizarre in that lovingly original Mother Mother fashion.  I have to admit, I'm a bit grumpy that I have to wait until March 15th before I can listen to the rest of the album. 

We Are The City, High School:  a Kelowna-based band, We Are The City consists of a guitarist, a pianist/vocalist, and a drummer.  While they have a threadbare lineup, their sound is surprisingly layered and complex.  While I'm not a huge fan of the lead vocalist, I do find myself in love with the furious piano lines and frenetic guitar.  The album releases on March 22nd. 

Other Releases of Note:  While it's unconfirmed, there are talks that we'll see 2011 releases from Queens of the Stone Age, Tool (!), and Radiohead (though it'll probably be an EP).