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Friday, June 24th, 2005

Spirit Flags

Hamilton’s A Northern Chorus has been keeping the shoegaze/space rock flame alive in Ontario for some years now, and they are celebrating the release of their third album Bitter Hands Resign (out earlier this year in Canada, out this past week in the US) with a special CD release show tomorrow night at Lee’s Palace. They will be playing as an expanded lineup, with former members Erin Aurich (violin) and Graham Walsh (keys) rejoining the band for the occasion. ANC has always been something of a revolving door, I bet if they got every one of their former members out they’d be falling off the stage, but it’d sound HUGE. Tickets for the show are $7 at the door.

Splendid talks to the band and gets a Hamilton-Wentworth/Halton geography lesson while NOW, who probably already know where Hamilton is, finds out they’re not really a political band no matter what Thunder Bay thinks (I guarantee that Splendid doesn’t know where Thunder Bay is).

I’ve never been able to get into ANC as much as I’d like – their sound is lush and beautiful, but resides a little too much on the ethereal side for me. It doesn’t have quite enough substance to really get its hooks into me, and the same goes double for the vocals. They drift overtop like a gentle breeze, pleasant and refreshing but ultimately unable to properly billow the sails. I’ve only got Spirit Flags, however. Maybe I should keep working at it or give Bitter Hands Resign a shot (it’s streamable in its entirety over at Sonic Unyon). The folks at 75 Or Less were all about it earlier this Spring.

MP3: A Northern Chorus – “The Shepherd & The Chauffeur”

Here’s something I never expected to see – PopMatters sent a couple of correspondants up to NxNE earlier this month to see what the deal was. I’ve never seen the festival considered from a non-local, non-cynical perspective and it’s quite interesting. They also give big props to The Frontier Index, who coincidentally are playing a CD release show for their debut self-titled album tonight at the Horseshoe. Go and have a similar epiphany. The second part of the feature should be up today. What other wonderful things will they have to say about a weekend in Hogtown? We wait with bated breath. Update: The second part of the feature is up with more festival reviews. To reiterate, it’s really interesting to get the unbiased outsider perspective on some of these acts, without the filter of the local hype/backlash machine. Good reading.

Billboard also gets the inside scoop on the first new Posies record in seven years, Every Kind Of Light, out Tuesday. Filter has an MP3 of the first single, “Conversations”, available to download. And the Posies-powered new Big Star album has an August 23 release date, though it remains untitled. You can pre-order it at Not Lame.

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats explains to The East Bay Express why he can’t play “Cubs In Five” anymore.

The New York Times wonders why The Believer‘s music issue this year (which just hit stores this week) is so indie/alt-centric. Good question, I’m not complaining though (obvs). I do admit that the complete lack of ads in the magazine is a little unnerving to me for some reason. It’s like reading PBS. This link (and the last one) from Largehearted Boy.

Here are my photos from Eisley’s Lee’s Palace show on Wednesday. There’s lots of them – good lighting + cute subjects = many photos. Simple math.

np – Luna / Rendezvous

By : Frank Yang at 8:29 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. tsp says:

    Kelefa Sanneh is a fool. Since when does whining count as music criticism?

  2. Denis - são paulo/Brasil says:

    uau!!!his blog/site is great! I knew only yesterday… and forever.sorry my poor english write, i’m a brazilian guy!

    see you more…

    by!

  3. Andrew says:

    That PopMatters writer got lucky: skipping Magneta Lane to see the Frontier Index is the smartest thing anyone can do. I’ve got their CD and it’s amazing beyond words, so you should DEFINITELY go tonight…

  4. matt says:

    i know i just posted this in the new porno thread a bit down but just in case no one scrolls down there here it is again. the toronto new porno show is going to be at The Docks.

  5. Frank says:

    The Docks? THE DOCKS?!? Okay, that is officially the worst thing I’ve ever heard. Now I don’t know if I want to go. Seriously.

  6. Five Seventeen says:

    I absolutely love that The Believer has no ads. I end up reading the entire magazine cover-to-cover as if I were reading a book.

  7. Jason says:

    I am finishing up a review for ANC right now. I liked this album better than their prior album and think that this album is going to be hard to beat by similar bands.