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Friday, August 25th, 2006

Distorted Ghost

It has been five long years since we got a new full-length from Sparklehorse. Now if you’re going to go away for a half decade, then It’s A Wonderful Life is certainly an album to do it with. Sublimely creaky, crackly and otherworldy (to say nothing of Nina Persson and PJ Harvey-enhanced), it was pretty much a masterpiece of the genre that can really only be called “Sparklehorse”.

But lo, Mark Linkhous has returned and will release Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain on September 26. I haven’t heard it yet but based on the two new tracks they’ve made available via stream, it sounds like, well, Sparklehorse. Which is to say it sounds great. Like the last record, this one features a host of guest stars including Danger Mouse, Flaming Lip Steve Drozd and Tom Waits in an outtake from Wonderful Life. Let’s hope it’s better than “Dog Door”. Regardless, I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while and do hope it’ll be one of the musical highlights of the year.

Junkmedia has a nice interview with Linkous that asks where he’s been for the past five years (“really depressed”), why he creates music (“so I can pay the rent again”) and why he’s historically had more success in the UK and Europe than at home (“it seems like in the past as a rule you had to knock American audiences over the head”). As evidence, GigWise reports on the three limited edition 7″s that will be released in the UK in advance of Belly Of A Mountain‘s release over there. And also celebrating Sparklehorse’s return, this fansite has given itself a facelift and is now overflowing with audio snippets and video goodies. I had no idea that there were so many Sparklehorse videos out there.

The ‘Horse will embark on a brief US tour next month to be followed by a European jaunt that will take them through October. They were last in Toronto back in 2003 opening for R.E.M. at the Air Canada Centre – not really my ideal venue for seeing them. It sounds like Linkous is down with going the whole promo nine yards for this record, so I would expect there’ll be a local date sooner or later.

Stream: Sparklehorse – “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away” (ASX)
Stream: Sparklehorse – “Shade And Honey” (ASX)
MySpace: Sparklehorse

The Hold Steady have made some rare old tracks available to download via MySpace. Boys And Girls In America is out October 3 and they’re at the Horseshoe October 28.

MP3: The Hold Steady – “Milkcrate Mosh”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Hot Fries”

Bob Dylan’s tour in support of Modern Times, out Tuesday, will hit Toronto on November 7 with a show at the Air Canada Centre, unplugged Foo Fighters will support. I very much want to see Dylan live but don’t much fancy the idea of an arena show. I still kick myself for missing his intimate show at the Phoenix a few years back. LiveDaily has full tour dates.

Bloc Party and Panic! At The Disco are teaming up for a Fall tour that will hit the Ricoh Coliseum on November 16. Full tour dates at The Tripwire.

Good news – Mew are coming to town! Bad news – they’re doing so with Kasabian. That show is at the Phoenix on September 27.

The local press covers this weekend’s Indie Unlimited festival at Harbourfront. eye, NOW and The National Post chat with The Hidden Cameras, on Saturday at 9:30PM, while The Toronto Star and eye profile The Hylozoists, on Sunday at 2:30PM.

Exclaim! talks to TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone. Those of you who waited for the domestic release of Return To Cookie Mountain were wise to do so – the domestic edition will have three extra tracks not available on the UK edition. And Pitchfork has an audio clip of Tunde Adebimpe explaining those funny/weird little promo clips they’ve been runnin on their website to promote the record (in lieu of having a proper website). Their tour brings them to the Opera House on October 12.

Rather than finish recording their new album, Billboard reports that Wilco will instead be heading out on tour this October. But as a holdover, Nonesuch will release a Jeff Tweedy solo tour DVD, Sunken Treasure, on October 24 and as a bonus, all the songs performed will be made available to download as MP3s to those who purchase the DVD. Very nice. Now finish that damned record.

Also well-versed in the art of album procrastination, The Shins tell Billboard that their new album Wincing the Night Away will totally be worth the delays.

Harmonium interviews Bryce Dessner of The National and asks him what the lyrics at the end of “Secret Meeting” are. Bryce ain’t talking.

np – The Grates / Gravity Won’t Get You High

By : Frank Yang at 8:34 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. uwmryan says:

    Thanks for the info on that Jeff Tweedy DVD, that’s great that you get the MP3’s as well. I agree = FINISH the ALBUM! We don’t need another AGIB tour.

  2. Dan says:

    I saw Dylan several years ago at the 10,000-seat Halifax Metro Centre. It wasn’t ideal, but it’s still absolutely worthwhile.

  3. Frank says:

    Ryan – I’m sure those in Latrobe, Pennsylvania think the tour is a great idea… but seriously. They better have gotten a lot done between August and October though I don’t imagine they’re targeting anything earlier than Spring 2007 for a release anyway. so lots of time. Pfft.

    Dan – I am considering doing the ACC. Will have to see what ticket prices are like.

  4. kat says:

    >> Good news – Mew are coming to town! Bad news – they’re doing so with Kasabian. That show is at the Phoenix on September 27.

    YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH FRANK! I just bought my ticket. WEEEEEEEEEEE….

  5. Wendy says:

    Thanks for the Sparklehorse info… I’ve been looking forward to this album for ages :)