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Thursday, July 14th, 2005

Looking For Astronauts

So Pitchfork is first out of the gates with tour dates for current hipster darlings Clap Your Hands Say Yeah which include a September 18 date at the Horseshoe. Incidentally, that is the date I will be living it up in Tallinn, Estonia. I’m not so upset about missing the CYHSY show – what I’ve heard is alright but hasn’t really set my world ablaze – but I am mighty sore about missing out on their tourmates The National.

Since taking a flyer on their Alligator album in the used bins last week, I’ve been absolutely LOVING the album. I don’t know if I’m as frothing at the mouth as Stylus (more reviews at Metacritic), but I am wholly impressed. It’s moody, haunting and weary but pulls itself up of its barstool for episodes of anthemic glory at just the right moments. I am reminded of a gentler Afghan Whigs or an American Music Club reared in Gotham instead of Frisco, maybe even a little bit of Interpol if they were beatniks. Singer Matt Berninger possesses a baritone like a parallel dimension Leonard Cohen and a charming lyrical fixation with girls named Karen. Safe money puts Alligator on my year-end list. God, I hope they keep touring this record, I really want to see them.

You can stream Alligator here, courtesy of Beggars. Maybe it’s a grower – I was pretty much hooked after two listens.

That weekend I’ll also be missing the The Ear To The Ground festival, which takes over the Exhibition Place grounds September 16 through 18. They’re holding a launch party at the Gladstone next Tuesday night and will feature musical performances from Frontier Index and The Old Soul. A limited number of early bird passes for the festival will also go on sale ($40 for the whole weekend).

Show news – The New Pornographers show on October 9 really is at The Docks, tickets $22.50. Hear that? That’s the sound of that show being taken off my calendar. Regretfully, yes, but definitely so. Docks my ass. Trinity-St Paul’s turns into a full-on cabaret on October 1 when it hosts Antony & The Johnsons and CocoRosie, tickets $21.50. And finally, Ted Leo and his Pharmacists return for a show at the Mod Club on September 29, tickets $15. Ted is always a great show, I will be in attendance for certain. Oh, and Built To Spill are coming… to Rochester. Too bad that’s a Tuesday night otherwise a jaunt on the resurrected ferry might be in order. But no. No BTS for us.

The Toronto Star previews Sunday night’s Dinosaur Jr show at the Phoenix.

Speaking of which… here’s the Torontoist week in shows. Whee. Don’t forget the Torontoist party this Friday at the Embassy in Kensington. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend but many other lovely -Ist people will be there to entertain you with their witticisms. Because everyone knows bloggers are FAR more charming and clever in real life than online. Ahem. Yeah, that’s going to be a train wreck.

Brian K Vaughan is feeling the love. The newest trade paperback for Y – The Last Man came out yesterday. Some people are wetting themselves for the new Harry Potter on Saturday – this is what I’ve been waiting for for months. Sooo good, but even at eight collected issues, too short! Need more! Nurrr nurrr.

Check out this Globe & Mail article on music blogs for a couple of quotes from yours truly. This interview was conducted about a month ago and was considerably longer than what they’ve used in the piece. I’d like to say that they excised all the really good and clever stuff, but they didn’t. Pretty much everything I had to say was inconsequential – perfectly in character. Globe staffer Zoilus seems to find great amusement in the fact that if I happened to miss a day’s post, there would probably be good cause to send out police dogs in search of my corpse. I actually found that fact rather comforting when I was living alone, actually. It was like my own personal Lifecall service – “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up (to blog)!”

np – Crooked Fingers / Dignity And Shame

By : Frank Yang at 8:33 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. suckingalemon says:

    agreed on clap your hands. don’t see what the big deal is.

    cheers

  2. Paul says:

    Why, oh why is the New Pornographers show at the Docks? I want to go so badly but I also refuse to ever go there again.

  3. J.A.L. says:

    "Ring of Truth" was an great story arc. Those trades seem to be coming out at a faster pace?

  4. cc says:

    Heard that New Pornographers is at Docks cause Koohhaus wasn’t available and other venues were too small seeing as Phoenix show sold out quick last time..

    worth going to since it’s the first time ever that the full line up with Dan/ Destroyer is playing

  5. fred says:

    BTS – missing out this time but they are planning a very long waited(try 10+ years!!!) date in TORONTO in the spring in support of the new record…there was talk of them playing in early October but since they are not – Bob Mould can be another option for you that week Frank.

  6. Frank says:

    fred, you better not be teasing… I can wait till Spring.

    As for Mouldy, I will absolutely be there, but haven’t seen any tour info for T.O. Do you have a date/venue?

  7. jealous guy says:

    i wouldn’t be able to wait until spring to see BTS.

    what the hell is wrong with the docks venue? whatever it is, surely you can overlook it to see THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS!!!!!!

  8. fred says:

    Bob Mould seems to be at the Mod Club either October 2 or 3…if I hear any updates I will let you know.

    also in case you didn’t know..don’t get TOO excited – he is playing with a full band..and doing HUSKER DU and SUGAR songs in the set…

  9. Ryan97ou says:

    just have to say, i have a couple songs from CYHSY (the most overused musical acronym in music bogs right now) and they are OK, but i got the national album a couple weeks ago…and last weekend it didn’;t leave my cd player, it went from home stereo, to car, to desk, to car, to home…listened through the album about 20 times. too bad they decided to skip DC…NOOOOO

  10. ohnonicole says:

    yeeeeah ted leo! I saw him in February and now he’s comin’ back to vancouver sept.2, where i will see him again, and then he’s off to bumbershoot, where i am also off to with a group of friends. I am now a certified Ted groupie. hells freakin yes.

  11. graig says:

    some more National goodness at the website for their old label, Brassland.

    http://…/

    pair of videos, pair of mp3s…

  12. david says:

    I don’t mind CYHSY, they sent me a nice note along with their album, thanking me for a mention on LHB last spring. The hype (in blogs, at least) is unwarranted, though, I agree.

    I wouldn’t miss Antony and the Johnsons, I saw them earlier this year and really enjoyed the show.

  13. St. John says:

    Dude, the National are wicked. I recommend you get yourself to the record store and pick up "Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers" and "Cherry Tree" as soon as possible. I’ve been waiting for them to do some Canadian dates for a loooong time.

  14. Shawn says:

    Other news for Brian K Vaughan – his Ex Machina series was just optioned for film by New Line! Guy’s probably a millionaire now!

  15. Sean says:

    Yes, if you haven’t read Ex Machina, check it out. I like it even better than Y The Last Man at this point. Y is starting to stretch a little thin for me. Something big needs to happen soon… bigger than monkey dung anyways.

  16. Frank says:

    oh yeah, I’ve been reading Ex Machina since day one. I heart BKV, what can I say. He hasn’t really blown me away with Ultimate X-Men, but that title in general hasn’t really thrilled me.

  17. Adam Z says:

    "Alligator" by the National is an incredible album. I have been playing it non-stop for 3 weeks. Album of the Year so far in my mind, just barely better than Gimme Fiction

  18. Hector says:

    If you liked Alligator try Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers or their supperb EP Cherry Tree… Amazing!