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Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Looking Forward To Seeing You

Wilco obsessives – I’m looking at you, me – will have to wait till later in the year for the band’s new album but are going to get some serious fixes in the next couple months with new albums from Loose Fur and
Golden Smog. Billboard has details of the new Golden Smog record, Another Fine Day, which is due out on July 18 via Lost Highway and Drag City has the mighty morphin’ video for “Hey Chicken”, the first single from Born Again In The USA, which is out March 21. And The Indianapolis Star talks to Loose Fur/Wilco stickman Glenn Kotche about his new solo record Mobile, which is coming out March 7. Junkmedia also has a round-up of all the Wilco extra-cirricular activities going on right now.

I don’t hold out much hope of Golden Smog touring, at least not with the “dream” lineup – the logistics would probably be a nightmare to even consider. A fact that makes me even sadder that I missed out on their two-nights at the Horseshoe waaaaay back in 1998. THAT would have been a hell of a thing to see, let me tell you, but I was probably busy not studying for exams or something. And elsewhere in the Golden Smog extend family – Dan Murphy’s Soul Aslyum will release their first album in a dog’s age, Crazy Mixed Up World, on April 4 (Rolling Stone has more).

My favourite album of 2005, The National’s Alligator, was recently quietly reissued (so quietly that I can’t find any actual info about where/why/when) so that it now includes a bonus disc featuring all five of the Alligator b-sides as well as three music videos for the album. Now seeing as how I’ve already bought this album on LP and CD, does it seem fair that I should shell out a third time? I think not, and thankfully, neither does Beggars – they’ve made all the bonus disc material available to download to those already with a physical copy of the album. You have to punch in the UPC to access the goodies, but when you do, everything’s there to download. Awesomeness. If you iTunes-ed it or something… then I dunno. Ask Beggars. And a reminder – The National are in town for a show at the Horseshoe on March 22. Last I checked, tickets were going fast so if you’re snoozing, you’re losing. Also, unofficial National videographer Vincent Moon has uploaded a bunch of his work, including National live footage and videos, to YouTube. Check it out. And a final postscript – National sideproject Clogs are getting some good reviews. Worth checking out?

I’m a little dismayed that I didn’t hear about the release of Saturday Looks Good To Me’s Sound On Sound compilation CD before I got the flyer from Polyvinyl. It’s 30 tracks and almost 80 minutes of SLGTM b-sides, rarities and limited edition goodies, and it came out two weeks ago. Consider it the perfect dose of pop goodness to hold you over till their new (double?) album is out later this year. And they’ll be all over SxSW next month as well – don’t miss em.

And speaking of SxSW, would anyone happen to have an extra wristband kicking around? I thought I had all my ducks in a row with a press pass, but with two weeks to go before I leave, the publication who was going to send me hasn’t heard boo from the Sx people and I’m getting antsy. I suppose I could shell out the $300+ for one on eBay, but dammit I really don’t want to. There’s still a chance my press pass could come through, I guess – I have no idea what the notification procedure/schedule is, but considering my contingency plan right now is to hit all the day shows, then go back to my hotel and watch Soprano reruns at night… Sx veterans – what’re my options here? I’ve heard that sometimes wristbands are still available at certain clubs before the festival starts? I’ll be arriving Tuesday afternoon… And oh yeah, would anyone have a photo pass they’d be willing to donate/sell/trade? And if you think I’m begging now, man, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Update: Alas and alack, I have been officially turned down for a press pass. I am officially checking my dignity at the door…

Proof of Neko Case’s universal (magazine) appeal – both serious newsweekly Macleans and gay mag Fab are over the moon about Ms Case. Billboard is just kind of wishy-washy. Fox Confessor Brings The Flood is out next Tuesday and she will perform selections from the new platter on April 2 at the Danforth Music Hall.

Big shows, little shows – Depeche Mode return to Toronto on May 18 for a show at the Air Canada Centre, Aussies The Grates are at the Horseshoe March 11 and Isobel Campbell will be doing an in-store at Soundscapes this Saturday, March 4 at 3PM before her proper show at Revival, just down the street, that evening. She talks to Billboard about her first-ever North American tour.

Oh, and everyone who was pissed off about The Docks for Belle & Sebastian on Saturday – and I think there were about 3000 of you? The band hated it too. Which raises the question of where can the band play next time they roll through town? Opt for the smaller, more opulant and more expensive Massey Hall again knowing it will sell out in a heartbeat and shut many fans out? Or take a chance on some place like the Ricoh Coliseum, which holds 3500 in its smallest configuration? I’ve never been to the Ricoh and wouldn’t expect an arena would be much better than the Docks (suckage in different ways), but that’s pretty much the extent of options in this town at that size. Someone needs to bulldoze something and build a nice sounding hall.

24 – come back tomorrow. I was out and totally misjudged the time-shifting thing with my TV. Long story short – had to tape it at 1AM last night, will watch later today.

np – Yo La Tengo / I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One

By : Frank Yang at 8:44 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. uwmryan says:

    I think you’d like the Clogs. They don’t sound much like the National at all, but still really good stuff.

  2. Paul says:

    What about the Hummingbird Centre for Belle & Sebastian? I’m pretty sure it holds more people than Massey Hall.

  3. karen says:

    i wish i could say i have an extra wristband. in lieu of that, though –

    clubs won’t have extra wristbands as such. after sxsw assesses how many more they have to sell there will be another batch march 9th (i think that’s the date). hard to say how many there will be and they’ll be pricier, but not ebay prices.

    if you never get a badge or a wristband you can still pay admission to specific shows. that could change your strategy a lot, but it beats the sopranos.

  4. Newman says:

    I was living in Vancouver when Golden Smog played the horseshoe in 98. This was a band that I needed to cross off the "list" so a few years later I drove the 20 hours in December to see them at First Avenue in Minneapolis. One of the best concert experiences ever.

  5. Mike says:

    I think it’s impossible to have a concert of 3,000 attendance and not have some people angry. There will always be someone at the back who can’t see and the intimacy of smaller gigs will always be lost. It seems the only option for bands who don’t want to play The Docks or Kool Haus but still keep prices affordable (Hummingbird Centre would be just as pricey as Massey Hall) is to do multiple nights at The Music Hall. It’s a crappy system, but for now it seems to be the only one that works.

  6. Matt says:

    any info on the stills show next week? pitchfork reported today that its now at the drake hotel? any info would be great, thanks.

  7. BWM says:

    A couple of tracks from Neko’s new album:

    http://thisisbenslist.blogs

    As well as reaction to the Maclean’s article:

    http://thisisbenslist.blogs

  8. kathryn says:

    In the past some wristbands are available at clubs when the music festival starts on Wednesday night, but all bets are off this year, given the huge numbers of people already planning to attend. Hopefully SXSW will release another batch of wristbands, who knows?

    Additionally, if there are wristbands when the conference starts, someone with a badge can usually purchase one for a friend/significant other at the convention center, but it depends if there’s any left by then.

    And you can’t really sell/trade a photo pass — last year you checked in at the press booth, showed your camera and ID, and then they attached the plastic photo pass to your camera. It’s pretty much like a wristband for your camera — you can’t take it off.

  9. kathryn says:

    …And as Karen mentioned above, you can try to pay admission to specific shows if you get there really early and pray, and then plan to stay there all night long.

    There are some free night events — I’d check the Austin Showlist for those.

  10. Frank says:

    Thanks, everyone. I will continue to hold out hope for my press pass, but guess I should be prepared to pay some scalper price for a wristband. Hate to do it but it makes no sense to shell out all the money I have so far to get down there, and then skimp out on an extra hundred or so for the markup.

    And so much for the photo pass… I will just have to bring my G3 along as well, and sneak that into the evening shows again. My poor DSLR.

    And I haven’t watched the Sopranos since season 3. I’d be completely lost.

  11. Chris says:

    Do you think there would be any chance that the new Opera House at Queen at University will be used to accomodate shows that aren’t…Opera? That would be fantastic!

  12. newpolluter says:

    Stevie’s comment re: the Docks feels extremely validating.

  13. Phil says:

    assuming it fits into their schedule, next time B&S are in town couldn’t they just do two or three shows at somewhere like the Phoenix? It’s small, but multiple shows would give more people a chance to see them. That seems to be the thing these days.