So a few weeks back, Belsito got to ’sit in’ with Chromeo. Well, maybe not not exactly ’sit in’ but rather, ’sit with.’ Ok, not really ’sit with’ either, but more accurately ’sit across from’. And we guess it wasn’t exactly Chromeo, but really just Dave 1 (real name David Macklovitch), lead singer and guitarist for electrofunk duo Chromeo. Both were spending time in the Maple Leaf Lounge at Toronto Pearson Airport. Macklovitch was taller than Belsito expected but did in fact enjoy the same soup (editor’s note: there were only two soup options in the lounge). We can proudly announce that Belsito neither stalked or creeped out the singer, nor stood beside him at the urinal (like Belsito did with Canada’s 16th Prime Minister Joe Clark). Belsito did begin to obsessively hum Chromeo’s best-loved tune “Needy Girl” for at least 2 day and a half days after the encounter. For the record, this chance meeting now brings Belsito to only 1 degree of separation from Hall and Oates.Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 by MBM Staff
Welcome to 2011, the Year of the Rabbit. For Chinese Zodiac followers, the rabbit is the fourth animal in the 12-year cycle. According to the Chinese Zodiac, it is expected to be a much needed placid year following the chaotic Year of the Tiger. It is a year to rest and recover, and is defined by good taste and refinement. It is also a year to enjoy luxuries (without becoming too indulgent) and to entertain and enjoy ourselves. Rules and laws should be more lax, and one should not have to work so hard for money. It is a year to not fuss with unpleasant realities and put off disagreeable tasks as long as possible. Then there is the whole fertility, rebirth and pregnancy connotation, but we feel uncomfortable talking about that right now. Let’s wait until Easter for that discussion.
It seems the Aztecs had it right when it came to the rabbit. In their mythology, there were four hundred rabbit gods known as Centzon Totochtin who represented fertility, parties and drunkenness. What does this all have to do with Belsito? First, he likes the concept of rabbit gods (only second to the concept of robot gods); he owns a single stuffed toy rabbit named Twinkle (that he has had from birth and will likely have until death); he likes to watch and re-watch Bugs Bunny to obsession; enjoys both the white rabbit and the march hare in Alice’s world; once owned a rabbit’s foot for which he felt both guilt (that it was not still with the original owner) and pride (for the luck he felt it brought him); he gets misty when reading or watching Watership Down; and envies the rabbit for it’s reputation as a notorious nasal breather (something he himself is not). Belsito is also a big sci-fi fan – and interestingly in Japanese and Korean mythology – rabbits are said to live on the moon where they make a popular snack out of rice (thus explaining the markings on the globe’s surface). Besides, more than half the world’s population of rabbits reside in North America and guess what? So does Belsito.
So the Year of the Rabbit seems promising and to be a much better fit for Belsito than the past several years have been. In fact, with its quiet, carefree and leisurely pace, the Year of the Rabbit should be a good year for most people, unless of course you reside on the Isle of Portland (UK). There, the rabbit is said to be so unlucky that speaking its name can upset older residents. On this Isle, the word “rabbit” is substituted with phrases like “long ears” so as not to have to utter the actual word and set about bad luck.
Despite the unlikely coincidence of Belsito’s first schoolyard fight coming about after being called “pointy ears,” all things point to 2011 being a much better year than last. Make the most of the 12 months to come and try to avoid rabbit stew if at all possible. Happy New Year! (Bugs Bunny image improperly borrowed from Warner Brothers…this is the year for rules and regulations to be lax right?)Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 by MBM Staff
Keeping in the same vein as our last post, here are Belsito’s Top 20 picks for songs of last year. It is just a good excuse for him to spout off about music that he likes and thinks you should like as well. So, here it goes:
20) Fixed – Stars. Montreal band Stars has been a hit or miss enterprise for the past half decade keeping them from the Top 20 album lists. But when they are doing it right, they do it brilliantly. “Fixed” is prime example of the band’s simple pop prowess, prompting repeated listens to take in all the syrupy 3 minutes, 31 seconds of sing-along goodness has to offer.
19) Rulers, Ruling All Things – Midlake. Low key, somewhat depressed and dark, Midlake created a perfect mix of King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Radiohead in this understated folk-rock masterpiece. Flutes haven’t sounded this fun since the middle ages.
18) Dancing on My Own – Robyn. Ok, so Belsito likes some some pop. He admits it. But it has to be a step above (at least that’s how he justifies it to himself). Robyn managed to pull off a straight forward pop song with that ’special something,’ raising it far above the average radio hit. This is what made her one of the more unusual choices for alt-rock festivals across the country during the summer of 2010. A pleasure to listen to…without feeling too guilty.
17) Like The Ocean, Like the Innocent Pt. 1 & 2 – The Besnard Lakes. Unusual, spacey, and strangely, very Canadian. This Quebec-based band has one of the most unique sounds of recent years. This may sound odd, but they are like film noir for the ears.
16) Helicopter – Deerhunter. Fun with harpsichords, sweet vocals and deceptively complex pop melodies.
15) Rattling Cage – Forest Swords. Interesting electronics, the occasional vocal squeal and lots of reverb. Rattling Cage is like a song by The XX, coomunicated through a distored Kraftwerk, stripped of any ability to vocally communicate. We don’t really know what that means, so you’ll have to just listen to it.
14) In the Dirt – S. Carey. Led by Bon Iver drummer, S. Carey picks up from the Sigur Ros school of thinking, with a touch of Red House Painters. Interesting rhythms, silky melodies and a whopping dose of nostalgia and child-like wonder.
13) ‘81 – Joanna Newsom. Kate Bush-like, harp playing, imp woman creates quirky pop for the thinker. She has the distinction of being a creator of “love it” or “hate it” music. Either you are on board, or not at all. Not much room for any opinion in between. One does not usually sorta like Joanna Newsom. And that’s a good thing.
12) I Wanna Go To Marz – John Grant. A song that uses a familiar repetitive piano pattern, a listing of various names of candy in the place of storyline lyrics, and the voice of former Czars front-man, make for an intriguing track that is innocent as it is creepy. Midlake are the backing band for those who are counting.
11) I Can Change – LCD Soundsystem. One part Gary Numan, one part Bronski Beat and a bit of Bowie with electronic drums, this was a track that almost escaped Belsito. Play it once and sing it for the remainder of the day.
10) Bloodbuzz, Ohio – The National. Simply put, The National are great. Just listen to them. Who wouldn’t want to be carried away by a swarm of bees?
9) Fresh – Devo. It’s Devo and it’s fresh. What else should we say? Some bands stay the same, just the way we like them.
8) Next Girl – Black Keys. Sexy white boy blues rock. A bit gritty, a bit retro and a whole lotta fun.
7) Factory – Band of Horses. It’s that voice and the sentimentally-orchestrated, Sunday afternoon swagger that give this song it’s legs.
6) Go Do – Jonsi. Less atmosphere than Sigur Ros, but all the fairy-dusted magic remains intact. I don’t think I ever want to know what these songs are about. I like the place my imagination tucked them away in.
5) Not in Love – Crystal Castles. Proving Belsito’s firm belief that Platinum Blonde is in fact very cool. Bedroom techno with The Cure’s Robert Smith lending his unique vocal to this lost Canadian classic of the new wave era.
4) Little Lion Man – Mumford and Sons. Powerful, singable and never the least bit boring. Makes you want to run out and start a band, if only we had a banjo. Deserved of repeated plays.
3) Ready to Start – Arcade Fire. The Arcade Fire have created a pump up summer song for the alt-rock sect. The hidden Springsteen-isms of the Arcade Fire make us want to move, make us want to be sad, make us want to have a good time. Oh, those art-school kids….
2) Norway – Beach House. A song that can make you dizzy if you listen too closely. Deceptively simple. There is a little Lindsay Buckingham in the music, a little Mazzy Star in the approach, and a lot of those ‘oh so deep’, sexy lady vocals. Just plain catchy.
1) Afraid of Everyone – The National. These guys again. Amazing drum riffs, cool back-up vocals and a simple focus of the unique vocal stylings of Matt Berninger. Really, and who isn’t afraid of everyone? The song builds and builds and builds until it becomes your favorite track of the year.
Happy hunting. We hope you enjoy.Thursday, January 27th, 2011 by MBM Staff
It is the closing of 2010 and with that end, we must reflect on all that was good during the past year in the world of music. For those who are interested, here is Belsito’s Top Ten list of favourite albums of the year with a brief commentary after each: 10) Gaslight Anthem – American Slang. With a pinch of punk ethos, a walloping dose of Bruce Springsteen and his Jersey shore characterizations and enough sing-a-long anthems to keep a summer camp full of children happy, the Gaslight Anthem’s latest is another recipe for crossover success; 9) Jonsi – Go. He left a few of the magic spells behind at the Sigur Ros camp, but Jonsi’s voice and mystical approach can still give us the shivers; 8) Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me. Harps, pianos, and a sometimes shrill vocal all conjure up the best of early Kate Bush if she were a folkie; 7) Neil Young – Le Noise. Neil always get our vote, but Le Noise whips up a sonic frenzy that only Crazy Horse could muster, only he does it without the band. Strong songs and a sonic lushness help this album not only prevail, but conquer; 6) Beach House – Teen Dream. With an overall 4AD flavour, haunting vocals and dizzying, hypnotic music-scapes, Beach House create a sexy, if not at times, simplistic summertime album; 5) Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More. One of the surprise punches from this year’s batch o’ newcomers. English folk-rockers take a strong collection of songs with soaring vocals and pumped-up melodies, and deliver one of the year’s most memorable albums; 4) Black Keys – Brothers. The Keys fresh approach to off-centre, American blues rock, have brought them to the forefront of the indie music scene and made them a live attraction not to be missed; 3) Arcade Fire – The Suburbs. Sprawling, infectious and brilliant songs that worm into your subconscious, make The Suburbs, one of the year’s most anticipated releases, worthy of the hype; 2) Midlake – The Courage of Others. Jazz experimentations, pop sensibilities and folk harmonies spread over a pre-Sabbath canvas from the renaissance court. The love child of Fleetwood Mack and Fairport Convention as birthed in the home of Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson; and the number one album of the year in Belsito’s world is: 1) The National – High Violet. Melancholy harmonies, gigantic-yet-somehow-understated choruses, and enough lyrical quirks and ticks to provide one of the catchiest and most pleasantly depressed albums of this year. Runners-up: Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles: Melancholic lo-fi electronica for the bedroom and Accept – Blood of Nations: A strong return to form by German metallers (replete with a new singer who can stand up to Udo – figuratively and literally). Like or hate metal, there’s no denying it is exactly what it should be. Happy New Year and happy listening!Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 by MBM Staff
Chris Belsito’s much-delayed Revelation Come Late has finally been officially released, just in the nick of time for 2011. The 12-track CD is possibly one of the best and most diverse of this Canadian artist’s career. Produced by Miguel Gauthier at Stereo Soul Studios, the album features a wide array of sounds and styles. It features performances by stalwart Belsito players, Craig West, Ed Young, Jay Case, Lindsay Pugh, Frank Deresti, but also a number of new faces including Rachelle Risling, Dan Kreutzweiser, Brian Holmes and Miguel Gauthier. Belsito took a greater role in instrumentation himself, playing piano, the bulk of electric and acoustic guitars, as well as lead and background vocals. The CD is available for download on iTunes (or many of your other favorite download sites) and can be ordered online from IndiePool by clicking here. It is also available by order through HMV, Chapters, CDPlus and many other chains. In addition, if you live in Sault Ste. Marie, it is available at the Rad Zone and Case’s Music.Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 by MBM Staff
“Last night, my Facebook newsfeed informed me that 11 of my friends like Chris Belsito, which was helpful, because it made me realize that maybe I would like to delete these 11 people.” – Anthony Aiello, some-time Belsito associate who was recently banished to a tower for harming kittens.
“That would be a wise move. Clearly, they have no taste.” – Chris BelsitoWednesday, July 21st, 2010 by MBM Staff
Our good friends at Fuzed Notions have recently launched a shiny, brand-spanking new website (check it out: www.fuzednotions.com). As they were the designer of the Belsito’s new website, logo and CD cover, they have included a breakdown of the “whys” and “hows” of building a brand for the artist as part of their portfolio. Jessica, Justin and Sue (see them now by clicking here) all played a part in the development and execution and give an interesting look inside the development process. You even get to see a new combination of words used to describe the Belsito look – “Beauti-Grungy”. What does that mean, find out by clicking here.Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 by MBM Staff
A Belsito article on the subject of Ronnie James Dio has been dusted off and republished on the Dog Blog – the website of the Prairie Dog magazine. The article was republished after the sad news of the passing of metal legend Ronnie James Dio over the weekend. To read the Belsito-penned article, click here. The artwork of RJD was created by former Prairie Dog art director Nigel Hood and stolen directly from the Dog Blog – so go check them out.Monday, May 17th, 2010 by MBM Staff
“I don’t know if you have anything interesting on your band rider or not, but if it were me, I would reqauest to have a picture of a midget puching a cat at every show.” – Anthony Aiello, Collector of Calendars and Alleged Feline HaterSaturday, May 8th, 2010 by MBM Staff