Friday, May 11th, 2007
I was initially excited to hear about the double-disc Mendoza Line release, 30 Year Low, that’s been scheduled for release on August 21 – there had been talk around the end of last year about the band releasing an EP of new material as well as a compilation of rarities, and this release will be made up of both of those records. But the excitement was tempered with sadness when I saw this Catbirdseat dispatch implying that this release would essentially be the final word from the band.
I only just discovered the band with their last proper album, 2005’s Full Of Light And Full Of Fire, and as much as I enjoyed that release, I’ll fall in line with the others who declare its predecessor, Fortune, as the band’s high point. The last record with singer/songwriter Peter Hoffman in the fold, it was a masterful piece of folk rock that found Hoffman and fellow frontpersons Shannon McArdle and Tim Bracy at the top of their game. The variety in their songs and styles complimented and contrasted each other perfectly. Full Of Light put Bracy and McArdle’s dynamic front and centre and their chemistry as musical collaborators and husband-and-wife worked just as well. But now that their marriage is over and McArdle has left the band, Bracy’s intentions to continue to front the band on his own just don’t seem like a good idea. Even if he writes some amazing songs for the next record, it just won’t be The Mendoza Line to me.
The preview MP3 from this final release is an alternate version of the song featuring vocals from Bracy and McArdle but the version on the album will instead feature the velvet throat of Okkervil River’s Will Sheff.
And speaking of Okkervil, their next album has a name – look for The Stage Names on August 7. Pitchfork has the tracklisting and artwork for the new record.
Much Emily Haines and Metric info to dispense. Quiet Color has an interview with Emily while Pitchfork gets some info on the Grow Up And Blow Away reissue (can you call it a reissue if it was never released in the first place?) on June 28 as well as her new solo EP What Is Free To A Good Home on July 24. In addition to her Harbourfront show on July 25th, she’s been added to the lineup for the Hillside Festival on the Saturday, July 28. MuchMusic has a video interview with Emily from earlier this week and a two-track preview of the Grow Up album. And I’ve got one track from both the EP and reissue for you to save for your very own.
Interesting note in the NxNE press release from earlier this week – they’re now associated with the Voxtrot show at Sneaky Dee’s on June 8th saying that 50 badges or wristbands will be admitted, but also note that the show is sold out and say a second one will be added. That’s all well and good, but with no open dates before or after the 8th, the only thing I can imagine is adding an early show, maybe without opening sets from Au Revoir Simone or Favourite Sons? Very curious to see how this shakes out since I’m planning on hitting that show after Dinosaur Jr at the Phoenix.
Stream: The National / Boxer
Patrick Wolf plays the El Mocambo tonight and both eye and NOW have features on him. Remember, early show – doors at 7, tickets only at the door. And original opener Bishi is off the bill – Cuff The Duke’s Wayne Petti will open instead. Check out this Village Voice review of this week’s NYC show to get an idea of what we might be in store for tonight.
NME has details on the new Rilo Kiley album while Pitchfork has corrections to NME‘s details. But at least this much appears to be correct – Under The Blacklight will be out in the UK on August 20 and presumably August 21 in North America.
It figures that with every band and their mother reuniting these days, this is the one that has to be completely disavowed. Le sigh. But man, if that happened I would never say anything ill of NxNE again. NEXT YEAR, GUYS. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Also happening Monday night is the Fields show, but it’s now going to be at the Drake Underground rather than the Amp’d Mobile Studio. It’s free to all though if you went to the trouble of getting tickets to the Amp’d thing, those will still be honoured. What that exactly means, I don’t know. Doors are at 9, show at 10. Spinner talked to the band about drinking martinis at Frank Sinatra’s old Palm Springs pad. For serious.
Some shows of note – Hawksley Workman and Ohbijou will be playing a free show at Harbourfront Centre on June 4 as part of the Luminato arts festival, The Airfields have a show scheduled for The Silver Dollar on June 21 and Vancouverites The Awkward Stage are there a month later on July 21. And finally, looking waaaaay ahead, Do Make Say Think appear to have a date scheduled at the Phoenix for October 20. And if you’re looking to get out of the city the weekend of June 2 and 3, Track & Field out on Tantramar Farm near Guelph, could be just the ticket. The lineup is crazy solid and by all accounts past editions have been a great time. Admission hankerchiefs go on sale the week of the 24th starting at a launch party/fundraiser at the Tranzac. More info on their website.
And oh yeah, it’s my birthday. Yay me.