Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007
Accident And Emergency
English glam/pop/folk singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf recently made a slew of headlines when he declared he was giving up live performance in November, an announcement perfectly timed to coincide with a storm of critical acclaim for his new album The Magic Position (out yesterday, also available at iTunes). His fans let out a sigh of release when he later backpedaled on that declaration via an interview with Pitchfork, though it still doesn’t sound as though he’s going to become a road warrior anytime soon.
So that’s why his local fans’ excitement became alarm when it was announced that his two upcoming Toronto shows would be as opener for the already completely sold-out Amy Winehouse shows at the Mod Club on May 12 and 13. If they didn’t already have tickets, there was simply no way they were getting them. Well that alarm can turn back into excitement because it’s been announced that Wolf will be playing a third Toronto show – a headlining gig, no less, with Bishi opening – next Friday May 11 at the El Mocambo. But there’s still a catch – besides being an early show (doors at 7, show at 8, over by 10), there are no advance tickets. Just $15 cash money at the door. If you want in, you had best camp out in front, and such a lovely part of town to do so, no less. But there is a Popeye’s Fried Chicken across the street, so there is an upside. Mmm, biscuits.
I haven’t spent much time with The Magic Position yet but the few listens I have given it are pretty intriguing. I can see where and why the “next Bowie” parallels are being drawn – though it’s unfair and absurd to compare him, however talented he is, with a legend whose career is longer than he is old, there’s parallels to be drawn between them both superficially and artistically. I’m looking forward to seeing how the album translates live and also, if Wolf keeps his word, how his creativity will express itself in the future without having to worry about reproducing it in front of an audience. But I will say that judging from the two extra tracks I have on my promo copy, live performances of songs from his first two albums – one solo on piano and one with orchestral backing – Wolf is a riveting live artist and if he does retire from the stage, it’s a damn shame.
MP3: Patrick Wolf – “The Magic Position”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Accident And Emergency” (YouTube)
Video: Patrick Wolf – “The Magic Position” (YouTube)
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Bluebells” (YouTube)
Stream: Patrick Wolf / The Magic Position
MySpace: Patrick Wolf
Dinosaur Jr officially returned yesterday – at least as recording artists – with the release of Beyond, which also garnered a coveted “Recommended” rating from Pitchfork and generally good reviews from most everyone. Stream the whole thing below – and yes, Spinner has fixed their player so the links will actually work this time.
Stream: Dinosaur Jr – Beyond
And lets not forget Dinosaur Jr Jr, aka Buffalo Tom, who are similarly back from extinction. Their first album in nine years, Three Easy Pieces, is out July 10 and Stereogum has the title track available to download. And EXCITEMENT they’re going to be in town on June 7 for a NxNE showcase at the Horseshoe, the night before Dinosaur Jr Sr play the Phoenix. I saw them at SxSW and while the boys weren’t exactly tight, they were sure as hell enthusiastic. This’ll be great.
One for the calendar – The Hidden Cameras are playing an all-ages show at the Phoenix on June 15 in celebration of, well who cares? It’s a Cameras show – it’s a celebration, period. Tickets will be $13.
The AV Club talks to Adam Schlesinger about his soundtrack work and Fountains Of Wayne while The Examiner talks mental health with his bandmate Chris Collingwood. FoW are at Lee’s Palace June 11 with The Broken West, for whom So Much Silence points to a free live track from eMusic, another live track courtesy of the band and a recent KCRW radio session for download. Yes, So Much Silence likes The Broken West. It’s true.
Torontonians with some time to kill this afternoon are invited to appear in a music video shoot – and it’d help if you were a Joel Plaskett fan because it’s his video. It’s happening this evening from 5 to 8PM at St. Joseph’s Catholic School near Queen E and Leslie, full details on his website. Plaskett is playing two shows at the Opera House – coincidentally not far from Queen E and Leslie – on May 25 and 26.
Oh yeah – check out this week’s edition of Blog Fresh Radio. I’m on there around the nine-minute mark talking about The Airfields and I realize now I totally mixed up which track they were going to run, as “Nowhere Left To Go” is not a demo but a proper recording from the Laneways EP. I got it mixed up with “Prisoners Of Our Love”, which was the other song they were maybe going to play. Whoops.
The Yellow Bird Project is a new organization who’re selling t-shirts designed by indie rock luminaries (Rilo Kiley, Devandra Banhart and Stars, among others) with proceeds going to charities of the artist’s choosing. Most of the designs do reflect the artists who submitted them, except that Wolfmother one. I’m not sure what that’s about.