Tuesday, January 8th, 2008
It’s a Cancon kinda day.
Jane Vain & The Dark Matter are so excited about their new record – Love Is Where The Smoke Is, out January 22 – that they’re embarking on possibly the most foolish thing a Canadian band can do: a cross-country tour in the dead of Winter. If they manage to make it to Ontario, they’ll play two shows in Toronto – February 7 at the Drake Underground and February 10 at Sneaky Dee’s which, being a Sunday, will be a Wavelength show.
I’ve spent some time with the record but haven’t quite managed a way to sum it up in a succinct manner. It’s hard to put a finger on. It’s definitely a smoky record, as the title alludes, with singer Jamie Fooks’ voice sounding not a little like Chan Marshall cast as a cabaret singer in a club somewhere on the wrong side of seedy and coupled with musical backing that hints at lounge, jazz, rock and anything that could use “noir” as an adjective. There’s darkness within these ten tracks but not much in the way of catharsis – instead it just burns slowly throughout, perhaps nearing the end of the fuse but not quite reaching it before the record ends. That makes it all a bit unsettling but is also what makes it compelling.
Fooks gave The Calgary Herald a song-by-song breakdown of the new record and earlier last year, talked to BeatRoute and Chart about the band’s origins. And BeatRoute just posted a brand new feature on the band.
And the band Jane Vain played with last time they were in town, Barrie’s Fox Jaws, have bid farewell to guitarist Derek McColeman and have a couple upcoming shows in their five-piece configuration – January 12 at the El Mocambo and February 1 at the Horseshoe.
Basia Bulat, having now conquered the hearts and minds of Canada and Europe, will set her sights on America for 2008 and release Oh My Darling Stateside on February 5. The first single will be “In The Night”, which didn’t even appear on the European edition but which now has a ridiculously fun one-take video. Following her January tour opening for Hayden, she’s setting out on a US tour of her own – dates at her MySpace. Bulat recently talked to the London Free Press about her whirlwind 2007.
Born Ruffians have completed their debut full-length, will release it on March 4 and have christened it Red, Yellow & Blue. To celebrate, they’re touring their asses off across the continent and wrap it up with a homecoming show at Lee’s Palace on April 26. The Toronto Star recently declared the trio one of “Ten To Watch in 2008” – sample the new record in aural and visual form below.
The Ruffians’ former tourmates from this Fall – Caribou – have a two-night stand scheduled for Lee’s Palace on March 20 and 21. Tickets for that will be $15.
Magneta Lane will showcase songs from their forthcoming record Gambling With God on January 16 at the Rivoli.
Kalimba queen Laura Barrett will be re-releasing her Earth Sciences EP via Paper Bag Records on February 25. Pitchfork gives us a taste. Barrett is playing at the Gladstone this Wednesday night but don’t expect to hear this… that night’s all about Celine.
The Airfields have got a quartet of tracks from their new album Up All Night available to stream at their MySpace. It’ll be available in time for their February 2 release show at Sneaky Dee’s, which will also feature Love Kills and Terror Lake. And I’ll just say that I expected the record to be good, and it’s better.
Also getting ready to put out a new record are The Constantines – it’s still untitled but is slated for an April 15 street date and word is they’re doing a couple of shows to celebrate it’s release around April 22 and 23. In the meantime, they’re releasing their first-ever 7″ for “Hard Feelings”, a track from the new album, next Tuesday.