Thursday, August 31st, 2006
Hailing from Connecticuit via New York, singer-songwriter Jennifer O’Connor released her third album and first for Matador. Over The Mountain, Across The Valley And Back To The Stars last Tuesday. I haven’t heard the whole record but from what I have sampled, her stuff has a definite, mid-90s college rock vibe to it whether it’s an strummy acoustic folk song or an electrified full-band rocker. Whichever way she goes it’s consistently rather spare and downbeat, though with just cause as this New York Press interview reveals. That sorrow and heartbreak from her personal life definitely informs her work but in more of a “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” way than a morose, “woe is me” sort of way. Both hearbreaking and heartening at the same time.
Daytrotter has an interview and exclusive session available for download and Matador has made a couple tracks from the record available to download. She’s scored some choice opening slots in the past for the likes of The Silver Jews and Jeff Tweedy, but her latest tour takes her on the road with Mason Jennings, including a stop at the Drake Underground on September 12, before heading back out on the road with Portastatic in October. It’s kind of a shame about the timing as I’m already booked for that night, otherwise I’d probably have liked to check this show out, but that’s the Fall calendar for you.
Bradley’s Alamanc has an almost complete live Ted Leo show available to download. “Almost” because Brad has courteously excised new material that Ted prefers not to be passed around the internet before he’s ready for them to be.
Everyone’s all agog about Sufjan Stevens’ new moustache, but Pause & Play is listing a new release from him on November 21 – the Songs For Christmas set which has become a holiday staple for the blogger crowd. Will this be a three-disc set as the uploaders generally (and unnecessarily from a space efficiency viewpoint) divvy it up into or a single disc stocking stuffer?
Gothamist reports that some lowlife ripped off Dinosaur Jr’s gear the other night, including J’s vintage Jazzmasters. That just makes me sick. The Ottawa Sun talked to Lou Barlow about the Dino Jr reunion in happier, better-equipped times.
TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone tells Chart he was, “sick to my stomach” when an early, incomplete version of Return To Cookie Mountain leaked to the internet while Tunde Adebimpe discusses the album’s political undertones with Harp. MTV has the scoop on what to expect from the band’s first video from the album for “Wolf Like Me” – werewolves and supermodels. The album is out in North America September 12.
Misha4Music has made some very early Galaxie 500 demos available to download, more than half of which do not appear on the Uncollected Galaxie 500 comp. Full Of Wishes also points out that Rhino has some limited edition prints of the Best Of Luna artwork available for sale. I’m not much of a fan of Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve stuff, but I do like his album art for the disc. Not $175 US worth of like, though.
I’ve been trying to make my picks for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which you’d think would be easier considering I’ve only got to choose two films and only have four evenings and one day available to try and see something. The immediate temptation is to want to see the films I’d likely see in regular release, which sort of defeats the purpose of the festival, so reading through the descriptions of the other available films – primarily foreign – is an interesting adventure unto itself. So far the most interesting pick would be Jade Warrior – a Finnish/Chinese kung-fu flick. Kind of cliche, I know, but they might just do something interesting with the genre this time.
And not a TIFF film but one I’m really looking forward to anyways is The Science Of Sleep, the new film from Michel Gondry. It opens in limited release September 22 but until then, you can read this interview with the director at Filter, listen to another at Salon or just watch the trailer.