J. Francis

J. Francis is a freelance music critic that sprouted like an unsightly growth from the suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area and eventually ended up in Kingston, Ontario. He is a man of deliriously firm, contradictory convictions, with a life-long dream of dismantling high-art/low-art hierarchies. He loves pop music with a passion that many find unsettling and is often mistaken as being somehow ironic or insincere (nothing could be further from the truth). His favourite album is Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell. He knows that you think that's ridiculous. Regardless, he hopes you have a good day.

Web Site: http://www.musicvice.com

NXNE 2012 Preview

June 5, 2012
Hooded Fang

North By North East, Toronto’s biggest and best music fest is nearly here! It all starts next week from 11-17 June. There are a LOT of bands on the bill for NXNE. 650, apparently. That’s a lot of bands! Who is going to be able to see all of those bands?...
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Album Review: Stone Iris – Illuminations EP

May 29, 2012
Stone Iris - Illuminations

Title: Illuminations Artist: Stone Iris Label: Self-released Released: 15 May 2012 In One Word: Transcendent It might not be clear upon first listen, but Stone Iris’ new EP, Illumination, is actually an incredibly important record. In fact, it may prove to be the single most influential hallmark of cruise ship-rock since...
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Album review: Japandroids – Celebration Rock

May 22, 2012
Japandroids - Celebration Rock

Title: Celebration Rock Artist: Japandroids Label: Polyvinyl Record Co. Released: 5 June 2012 In One Word: Exhilarating Japandroids have little use for subtlety; simple straight-forwardness is their ideological foundation. Hence, their uniform black-and-white single and album cover art, their one guitar/drums/vocals/nothing else instrumentation, the unabashed attempts at crafting earnest, nostalgic rock...
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Album Review: PS I Love You – Death Dreams

May 10, 2012
PS I Love You - Death Dreams

Title: Death Dreams Artist: PS I Love You Label: Paper Bag Records Released: 8 May 2012 In One Word: Refined With their 2010 debut, Meet Me At The Muster Station, Kingston, Ontario’s PS I Love You established themselves as the kind of band that you knew wasn’t in the game to...
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Album review: Death Grips – The Money Store

May 3, 2012
Death Grips - The Money Store

Title: The Money Store Artist: Death Grips Label: Epic Released: 24 April 2012 In One Word: BAMPOPSKRZZZZCHSSSHAYEAYE Aggressive music kind of reigns supreme right now. I’ve always thought that looking at whatever people are dancing to serves as a pretty failsafe social barometer; if people are feeling something on such a...
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Album review: Rooftop Runners – We Are Here EP

April 26, 2012
Rooftop Runners - We Are Here EP

Title: We Are Here EP Artist: Rooftop Runners Label: Independently released Released: 3 April 2012 In One Word: Almost Rooftop Runners is a Berlin-via-Canada sibling duo that seemingly aims to specialize in a very specific kind of tense, slinky, mournful night-pop that lands somewhere in the neighbourhood of The xx. The...
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Levon Helm, 1940-2012

April 20, 2012
Levon Helm - photo Ahron R. Foster, from LevonHelm.com

Everybody has their favourite member of The Band. Mine was always Levon Helm. “Levon Helm” always seems like a cheap answer to the question of “Who’s your favourite member”; there’s something about saying that the guy who sang lead on a group’s three undeniably most famous songs is your favourite that...
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Album review: The Black String Theory – Remission

April 6, 2012
The Black String Theory - Remission

Title: Remission Artist: The Black String Theory Label: Self-Released Released: 16 April 2012 In One Word: Derivative I’m very new to the music journalism game. I’ve only been writing for Music Vice for about two weeks now, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely so far. But in the back of my mind,...
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Album review: Zeus – Busting Visions

March 30, 2012
Zeus - Busting Visions

Title: Busting Visions Artist: Zeus Label: Arts & Crafts Released: 27 March 2012 In One Word: Harmony Sometimes, I wonder why I like Zeus. Now, I don’t love Zeus. I don’t dislike Zeus, and they certainly don’t stand for anything polarizing enough that it’s plausible for someone to hate them. I...
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Album Review: Madonna – MDNA

March 28, 2012
Madonna - MDNA

Title: MDNA Artist: Madonna Label: Interscope/Live Nation/Universal Music Canada Released: 26 March 2012 In One Word: Madonna I think about Madonna a lot. Just last month, I had a dream where I was eating dinner with Ray Wise at the Waldorf-Astoria. I was looking very good in a suit, and we...
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