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Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Don't Know When But A Day Is Gonna Come

Bright Eyes have finally accepted that there is no more threat of SARS in Toronto and are stopping by to visit on January 21 at the Phoenix. If I go, it will be for the sole purpose of coughing on Conor Oberst and making him cry. An Asian guy in Toronto having a coughing fit? That’ll freak him right out, It’ll be great.

But seriously, I’m not sure if I want to go to this – I have Lifted, and like it alright, but it didn’t spur me to want to hear MORE of their stuff, collect the back catalog, etc., which is usually pretty easy to do. Similarly, I’m not sure how keen I am to hear either Digital Ash in a Digital Urn or I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (both out January 25). I’m guess I’m just incredibly dispassionate about Bright Eyes, which is probably just the cosmos’ way of keeping balance with their usual screaming/crying fanbase. Oh yeah, it appears the tour is only meant to promote the more traditional-sounding Morning. Maybe that means the Conor + iBook tour is still to come?

Emily Haines of Metric will be playing a solo show at the Church of the Redeemer at Bloor and Avenue on December 17… We all remember the minor shitstorm I stirred up when I reviewed her last solo show back in July, so let’s just say I expect to miss this one. But if you want to go, tickets are $17.50.

And looking waaaaay into the future, Keane are at the Kool Haus February 13 (tickets $26.75), Of Montreal return to town April 23 and Deerhoof are supposed to be here on May 18, venue TBA of course. Or at least that’s what their booking agency says. How they can plan that far into the future is beyond me. What if we’re struck by an asteroid? What then? There’ll be no Of Montreal, that’s what.

Ted Leo has given his website a fancy-pants do-over and there’s a slew more mp3s for your guilt-free downloading pleasure. So if you’ve not experienced the joy of rock that is Ted Leo, you no longer have an excuse. There’s nothing particularly rare but it’s a helluva good sampler for the unindoctrinated.

eye asks Frank Black Francis probing questions about both the Pixies reunion, which hits T.O. next Wednesday and Thursday, and his ongoing solo career. I bought my tickets for this show seven months ago. SEVEN. Back then, I was excited. Now I’m just, “I’m going to see who where now?”

Stereolab will be clearing out the vaults with a double-CD/single-DVD compilation of EPs and rarities. It should be out in mid-April on an indeterminate label, since Elektra dropped the band earlier this year.

More Cowbell has compiled an indie-riffic Christmas mp3 mix. Go download and be festive.

I’ve been making squeaky noises for some time about maybe going to SXSW next year – about when should I start translating talk into action and look into transport, accomodations, etc? I’ve never been (obvs) and aren’t really interested in being a formal ‘attendee’ (read: no badges or such nonsense), but don’t want to miss out on anything cool due to sloth (not the guy from The Goonies, thanks). Any veterans or folks who’ve been before have some advice? And who’s going next year?

Information Leafblower has compiled his annual ‘Top 40 Bands in America’, of which I was pleased to be a participant. For the record, my selections were:

1. Wilco

2. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists

3. Spoon

4. Drive-By Truckers

5. Centro-Matic

6. Luna

7. Steve Earle

8. The Shins

9. American Music Club

10. Yo La Tengo

I can’t say I spent a helluva lot of time thinking it over – I basically pulled out my ten favourite and (IMO) most artistically vital American artists, threw them into a rough ranking and sent it off to Kyle, and six of my selections made the cut. To anyone who’s followed this blog or knows my tastes, there’s not a surprise in the bunch. No point in pretending I’m hipper than I am, after all. But more fun than the list are the comments that follow – some folks get waaay too worked up about these sorts of things. Do people not realize the fundamental absurdity of trying to argue points like, “How can you say band X is good when it’s OBVIOUS that band Y is so much better”? Folks, everyone is equally full of shit, it’s really not worth getting into a lather about. Now let’s all go down to the corner store and have a malted. You’re buying.

np – The Flaming Lips / Clouds Taste Metallic

By : Frank Yang at 8:55 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. satellite says:

    Frank – How can you say Wilco is good when it’s OBVIOUS that Bright Eyes is so much better??????????

    Seriously though, very funny comment about freaking Conor out with a little coughing fit. But I probably find it funny because I also feel dispassionately about them.

    Good solid Top 10 list.

  2. kathryn says:

    I went last year and am planning on going this year as well, for pretty much the whole shebang (interactive, film, music). I assume you’re interested in only attending the music part, and purely for the showcases?

    Last year, I started planning for accomodations in mid-January. If you’re looking to save money, don’t stay in the official conference hotel, the Hilton. I’ve had friends who were happy with the Omni, the San Jose (the "cool" hotel, but it’s on the other side of the river), the Crown Plaza, the Hampton. I ended up at the Hilton for part of the conference, and on a friend’s couch for the remainder.

    http://…/

    Basically all of the shows you’re going to want to go to are on 6th street or Red River, so hotel downtown is going to be within walking distance.

    If you’re not planning on getting a badge, then you’ll need to work out getting a wristbad from a local. They go on sale in various Austin locations a few weeks before the conference. Last year they were a little over $100, and were they nice, big, plastic red wristbands with RFID tags in them. Put it on the first day, and don’t take it off under SXSW’s over.

    Basically, with a wristband you’ll get into shows after the people with badges but before the general crowd. Some shows are badges and wristbands only, in fact. The only exception would be really big names (Franz Ferdinand, etc.) where unless you show up really early with your wristband you might not get in. The wristband encourages you to go show-hopping, which is fine for the smaller acts. I would encourage you to join this Yahoo! Group:

    http://…/

    People who’ve been to SXSW have their tips and tricks, and oftentimes unofficial parties and such are announced there. Expect a flurry of activity as March nears.

    And make up a schedule with a backup plan (second choice, third choice) for the evening showcases and times. And remember that even if you don’t get into a show you’re dying to see, there are plenty of alternatives, and you’ll probably have fun regardless.

    Good luck and hopefully see you in the throbbing crowds!

  3. kathryn says:

    Nearly forgot about this:

    http://…/

    They hook up out-of-towners with wristbands as part of a hotel package.

  4. Frank says:

    wow, thanks for the tips Kathryn. Glad to see I can procrastinate until January. I figure I’m just going to do the music festival, and yeah, just to see some bands and hang out with the cool kids for a while.

  5. Carla says:

    Good luck rubbing shoulders with all the Connor-obssessed teens.

    Hurray for the (nth) return of Ted Leo to Toronto! You going to the show?

  6. Frank says:

    yep, still have to get tickets but I am definitely going to be at Ted Leo!

  7. Love nothing says:

    Give Conor another chance. :) Saw him in London on Wednesday and he was amazing. Have you heard "Take it easy"?

  8. david says:

    Thanks for reminding me I left Centro-matic off my list…

    We are planning yet another trip to SXSW next spring. One thing to do: you can save about 50% on wristbands by getting a local to pick one up for you. Also, book a room downtown as soon as possible. (Follow Kathryn’s advice)

    Bright Eyes tends to be a big target, but definitely see the band. Conor is pretty mesmerizing live, and you get to hear M. Ward play!

  9. Frank says:

    yeah, I talk a lotta smack but I’ll probably go – it’s a Friday, why not.

    Is M Ward in the band? I’d love to see him open things up.