Wednesday, July 25th, 2007
Stuck For The Summer
I always find it a bit tough previewing a show or reviewing an album just days before I see said act live, and then have to write up a review. After all, I’d have surely used up all my good material in the first go-around, leaving me with… what for the follow-up? Just a review of the show, I guess.
Case in point, PEI’s Two Hours Traffic, whose new record Little Jabs I gave the once-over on Sunday and in celebration of the record’s release yesterday, they played a free show at the Horseshoe last night before a pretty full and enthusiastic room. And anyone who wasn’t paying attention at first was before long, their perfect pop is just that irresistible. As a live act, Two Hours Traffic aren’t going to win any awards for on-stage antics or excess charisma. Instead, the quartet concentrated intently on playing their songs and playing them well and in this, for thirty-plus hook-filled, harmony-laden minutes, they succeeded. They sounded exceptionally tight, yet played with just enough looseness to offer some extra bounce relative to the studio recordings.
And what this show did more than anything was give me an even deeper appreciation for Little Jabs‘ perfect blend of breeziness and earnestness, and I already liked this record quite a bit. Songs that were stuck in my head from listening to the record repeatedly last week came even more alive and I’m actually a bit worried that they won’t be leaving anytime soon (I went to bed with “Nighthawks” in my head and woke up with “Heroes of the Sidewalk”), though there’s far worse cranial soundtracks one could have. It’s always exciting to see a band as young and fresh-faced as these guys are achieve as much as they already have. It’ll be fun to watch where they go from here (I mean that figuratively – literally, they’re going to play continuing to tour Southern Ontario including a Saturday afternoon set at Hillside in Guelph).
The band talks to Exclaim! about the origins of their band name (Shakespeare!) and life in the littlest province (expensive but relaxed!) while Durham Region News asks them about recording the album. Director Ron Mann talks to Chart about making the band’s video for “Jezebel”. They’re also featured this week at I Heart Music.
Photos: Two Hours Traffic @ The Horseshoe – July 24, 2007
MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Stuck For The Summer”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic / Little Jabs
Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Stuck For The Summer” (YouTube)
Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Jezebel” (YouTube)
MySpace: Two Hours Traffic
Drowned In Sound has info on Land Of Talk’s new album… except it’s their old album. Except not. The band will re-release Applause Cheer Boo Hiss in the UK on October 22 – by my count the fourth release of this album – but with three extra tracks, thus bumping it up from mini-album status to official full-length. But where are these tracks from? Freshly recorded and a preview of the next record? Cast-offs from same? Dug out of the vaults? Ask them when they play the El Mocambo on September 4.
Some digging has revealed that Nicole Atkins & The Sea will indeed be on the bill with The Raveonettes at Lee’s Palace on October 14 – this comes from tour dates posted by Gliss, who themselves are also on the tour. Indisputable proof? Not really, but enough that I’ve added it to my calendar. And so should you.
Ohbijou will be playing a free show at Harbourfront Centre on August 10 as part of the Hot’N’Spicy Food Festival. Because if there’s two adjectives I think of when I think of Ohbijou, it’s “hot” and “spicy”.
Exclaim offers a quick guide to all of this year’s Polaris Music Prize nominees including The Dears, who tell Chart that after this weekend’s festival double-header at Hillside on Saturday and the Rogers Picnic on Sunday, they’re done playing live for the year and are working on their next album.