Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
Hi, How Are You?
NxNE and CMW have the fancy acronyms, but it’s the grassroots Over The Top Festival (which you could call OTT if you really wanted but it hardly rolls off the tongue) that’s arguably the best or at least most interesting week of music in Toronto every year. Now in its sixth year, the festival has always brought in interesting, unexpected and eclectic lineups, from both Toronto and abroad, and making a point of catering to all-ages crowds – in other words, a fest that’s for the fans first, not the industry.
While this year will see incorporate for the first time film, theatre and art components, the meat of it is still music and the first batch of performers who’ll be in town from May 3 to 6 has just been announced. The big name would be Austin singer-songwriter legend Daniel Johnston who closes things out on the 6th with Mount Eerie, but also coming to town (or already here) that week will be Michael Gira, Matt & Kim, Japanther, The Explorer’s Club, Julie Doiron,The Hylozoists, The Meligrove Band, Clipd Beaks, Ecstatic Sunshine and Peter & The Wolf with more, as well as the actual schedule, still to come.
The Los Angeles Times talks to Peter Moren of Peter, Bjorn & John. The domestic edition of Writer’s Block is out today with a bonus disc to punish the import buyers and AOL has got the whole thing up to stream. Not sure if that includes the bonus stuff, though.
They’re also streaming the new Bloc Party, if that’s more your speed. It’s also in store today.
So Billboard is reporting that Apple and Apple have buried the hatchet and are making nice, possibly paving the way for the Beatles catalog to find its way into the iTunes store. I have a question. Who cares? I mean, all respect to The Beatles – the best band I never listen to – but is there really a market for the Beatles catalog online? Surely everyone who wants Revolver on their iPod could have found a CD copy to rip sometime in the past five years, probably at higher quality than the 128kbps version that Steve Jobs would like to sell them at a buck a pop. The bitrate, by the way, is why I laugh when I hear that the digital versions will be remastered versions of the original albums – that’s all well and good, but if you’re going to compress it that much before you sell it, why even bother? I’m not saying they’re not going to sell, surely they will. I’m just wondering who the hell is buying it.
And speaking of reissues, Pitchfork reports that Okkervil River will be putting out a double-disc “definitive edition” of 2005’s Black Sheep Boy which will contain both the original album, the Appendix EP, a b-side from the “For Real” single and a couple of videos, one of an alternate version of “No Key No Plan”. I’ve got all this material in various formats but the promise of an expanded liner note booklet and a fancy-pants gold-embossed sleeve has my attention. I like shiny objects. Look for it in stores March 6. The band are currently working on their new album, due out later this year, but are taking a break while Will Sheff re-finds his voice. They’ve also confirmed a couple of SxSW appearances, one day show on March 15 at Bourbon Rocks and that night at Mohawk.
So the Concert Photography Show at the Embassy on Sunday night went off really well, if you discount the subarctic temperatures. The kids still came out and all the photos really looked great, though I kind of wish I’d gotten some nicer frames for mine. But anyways, they’re up so if you’re in Kensington in the next couple months, stop by and have a look – The Embassy is on Augusta just south of Baldwin. You can buy the prints as well – either the ones on display or I can make prints of anything I’ve got in my own galleries. Never done that before a couple weeks ago and dang if they don’t look nice in physical form. And oh – I got photos of the musical performances from Woodhands, The Rural Alberta Advantage and dd/mm/yyyy because what’s a concert photography show without some concert photography? The Rural Alberta Advantage really impressed me – will definitely be investigating them further in the future.
24: I’m noting a pattern here in regards to the fates of the men who get involved with CTU women – Kim’s boyfriends lost limbs, Chloe’s have relatives die of radiation poisoning. But this week was all about the Bauers. “Josh doesn’t know anything and he doesn’t need to know” – methinks Marilyn wasn’t talking about what Graem has been up to… nudge nudge, wink wink. It amuses me that people still get aken back to CTU for protection because as history has shown, it’s pretty much the least safe person in Los Angeles for, well, anyone. But really, all the familial subtext in the dialogue is a bit thick – I’m rather doubting that Jack and Graem’s childhood was as interesting as they hope to make it sound, though it was nice to see Dad stop Jack’s torture session with a stern, “go to your room” glare. But really, who was surprised that Papa Bauer would be the big bad? And that it would be revealed through an awkward, overly expository exchange between he and Lobot? Yeah, me neither.