Friday, January 14th, 2005
Switching It Over To AM, Searching For A Truer Sound
Thanks to More Cowbell for directing me to this edition of NPR’s All Things Considered, which previews a number of albums due to come out in 2005, complete with commentary. There’s short clips linked directly from the page or you can listen to the whole show which has longer clips in many cases. The most noteworthy inclusion in their playlist is the new Son Volt album, which is still untitled but has an August release date.
As far as I know, this is the first look (listen) at the new Son Volt’s output anywhere, unless you were watching the in-studio webcam and reading lips (the one time I tuned in, Jay was sitting on a couch. Woo!). The two songs they feature, “Afterglow 61” and “Bandages and Scars”, sound good. It’s nice to hear Jay rocking again. On a related note, The San Diego Union-Tribune talks to Farrar about the reunion that never was and the new band that was. From Syntax Of Things.
That pic of the new Son Volt lineup is, like, the first one this week I’ve used that’s not either black and white or featuring people holding guns.
Some upheavals in Decemberists land – drummer Rachel Blumberg has left the band on the eve of the release of third album Picaresque to concentrate on her other band, Norfolk and Western. While this is unfortunate – one of the highlights of their show at the Horseshoe last year was Rachel running out from behind the kit to cover her vocal parts on “The Tain” before running back to pick up the sticks again – the void she’s leaving is being filled by a couple of very capable replacements. John Moen, who also plays with Stephen Malkmus’ Jicks, and Petra Haden, of That Dog and countless other bands, are the newest additions to the Decemberists lineup. Tour dates for Picaresque have been announced for the west coast and midwest – nothing for us Easterners yet. We will, however, get to see Norfolk and Western as they’re going on tour with M Ward and also doubling as his backing band. I assume this includes his February 27 show at the El Mocambo.
If I can be so inclined to go out tonight – and I may – there’s a couple local shows that have my interest, both of the dream-pop variety. Down at the Drake, Hamilton’s A Northern Chorus are holding a video fundraiser to support their new album Bitter Hands Resign, which is out April 12. They’re playing with Alive and Living and Mayor McCa. In the other corner, we have blueScreen, who also gaze at shoes but whose sound is a little more old-school. They’re playing with sludge rockers Nice Cat at Sneaky Dee’s.
ANC builds their wall of sound through orchestration, blueScreen through old 4AD records and chorus pedals. You can check out their respective New Music Canada pages (with song samples) here and here. I’ll let you know tomorrow what I decide on, or if I just stay home and read a book.
np – Ambulance Ltd / LP