It’s very clear that the world misses The Unicorns. In fact every day I wake up and shed a tear of regret for missing the opportunity of seeing them play live years ago at The Black Cat. However, I never gave up hope on Nick “Neil” Diamonds and Alden “Ginger” Penner and J’aime Tambeur. If there are any other fans of The Unicorns, or any of Alden’s and or Neil’s side project work reading this, you all know how painfully hard it is to find their music. For example, Islands never actually released their album “Return to the Sea” in the good ol’ USA. Instead thanks to Rough Trade Records (who have supported other Canadian Acts such as The Arcade Fire, and Metric) Islands recorded a wonderful CD, and in my opinion “Return to the Sea” is in many ways better than “Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? ” Although The Unicorns gained some serious success in their quirky lo-fi (or “gay” according to itunes at one point) genre, Islands brings the unicorns to another level. An array of instruments (think face melting saxophone and violin solos…ya I know crazy) join the beeps, whines, and all around lively keyboard/organ/synth work that was already established in “Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?” Also Islands have opened for many fellow Canadian artists/friends/indie gods, most notably Broken Social Scene, Metric, The Arcade Fire (who have collaborated with some of Alden’s other smaller side projects), Wolf Parade, Of Montreal, etc., Unfortunately Islands will not be playing a show in the D.C. area anytime soon thanks to The Pogues who stole away their tour date. This is very sad in my opinion. I know there are a lot of crazy Pogues fans out there, but I guess I’m just selfish and don’t see the appeal in seeing some washed up heroin addicts take another crack at it. Besides they didn’t have to add a second show just because the first Pogues show sold out.
Then there is Th’ Corn Gangg, yet another amazing product of the Unicorns break up. The Unicorns always claimed that hip-hop influenced their music, and Th’ Corn Gangg shows just how serious they are about it. Th’ Corn Gangg adds some amazing hip hop to the Unicorns lo-fi equation. Featuring L.A. hip-hop gods Subtitle, Busdriver, Vick Booz, and Ontario’s own Noah23, Th’ Corn Gangg is clearly legit. I always knew there was a reason why The Unicorns had rappers to open their shows.
Anyway enough of my ranting and disappointment. Now your thinking…what’s the point? We’ve known about Islands for months! The point of this post (besides it being an excuse for me pour some out for my homies who aint with us no more, The Unicorns) is, I am going to create a torrent that consists of all the Islands, Th’ Corn Gangg, and other side projects/songs featured with Alden, Neil, and J’aime. Putting a very thorough torrent archive of all this music is no easy task, and because I want it to be as complete of an archive as possible, the whole process may take some time. So look for the archive coming within the next month or so.
Here’s a little taste.
Islands – Rough Gem [download or die]
Islands – Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby [download or die]
Islands – Abominable Snow [download or die]
P.S. I Derek my bad