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Friday, April 25th, 2008

Trouble In Dreams


Photo via Merge Records

I enjoyed reading this Catbirdseat piece about Destroyer and all the expectations that now seem to be following Dan Bejar around with the rise of The New Pornographers and the relative crossover success of Destroyer’s Rubies, not least of all because I am specifically one of those people who discovered Destroyer via The New Pornographers and Destroyer’s Rubies.

And while I actually do like “that nasal Bejar vocal delivery”, “his obtuse lyrics” and “his 7-minute compositions”, his latest Trouble In Dreams hasn’t quite grown on me to the degree I’d have liked, though it is making headway – one sinewy guitar line or flurry of dense lyricism at a time – and I’m giving it all the time it needs. I suspect that though they sort of sound like they should or even sometimes do, Destroyer records don’t really adhere to the standards by which I’m usually able to quickly form a personal judgment on whether I like a piece of music or not. Instead, I need to just listen and wait for themselves to reveal themselves. Rubies took me a good number of months, and it’s a more immediate listen than its successor, but when it finally clicked it was a pure delight. I’m still waiting on This Night, though I hear Your Blues is the pinnacle of the catalog. At this rate, I may be ready for it in a few years.

That Dreams still hasn’t fully integrated itself into my consciousness was one of the reasons I skipped last weekend’s tour stop at Lee’s Palace. That, and the fact that I saw them at SxSW and I had decided if I was going to go club hopping that night, it’d be to see Lucero at the Horseshoe (which I also didn’t do). I found that performance riveting, watching Bejar’s innate charisma doing battle with his obvious discomfort or disinterest at being on stage. But it sounds from Zoilus’ account of the show that the charisma is winning out, with the aid of great volume, and is effusive in his praise for the current touring edition of Destroyer. eye‘s review of the show is also positive, though I swear when I first saw it go online it only had one star rather than four… editorial error or intervention?

Anyway. Those are my random, ill-formed musings on Destroyer for this day. Those seeking more insightful materials are encouraged to check out Bejar interviews at The Independent Weekly and Express while eMusic has posted the results of their open Q&A between Bejar and his public. And head over to So Much Silence to grab an MP3 rip of the Destroyer side of the special, limited-edition Record Store Day 7″ that Merge released for last Saturday. Update: Radio Free Canuckistan has also weighed in with some Destroyer thoughts.

MP3: Destroyer – “Dark Leaves Form A Thread”
MP3: Destroyer – “Foam Hands”
Stream: Destroyer / Trouble In Dreams

Thanks to Melody for the note that Smoosh, in town opening both of Tokyo Police Club’s sold-out shows at the Opera House next weekend, will be playing an in-store at Sonic Boom on Friday, May 2. And that TPC in-store at Criminal Records the next day is no longer a solo acoustic set from David Monks, but the whole band plugged in.

These New Puritans and French Kicks will be at the Reverb on June 12 as part of NxNE. Via For The Records.

Reverb fetishists rejoice – The Besnard Lakes will be opening for My Morning Jacket on June 16 at the Kool Haus. They will also be warming things up for Swervedriver at Lee’s Palace a few days earlier on June 13.

Times New Viking are at the Horseshoe on July 1. They may be one of those bands that actually sounds quieter and clearer live, because lord knows they can’t possibly get any noisier or louder than they are on Rip It Off

MP3: Times New Viking – “DROP-OUT”
MP3: Times New Viking – “(My Head)/RIP Allegory “

That Kadane Brothers/Bottomless Pit show I was all agog about a couple weeks ago now has a venue – it’s going down July 14 at Sneaky Dee’s.

Filter features Sons & Daughters and WOXY has posted the Lounge Act session the band recorded for them at SxSW.

The AV Club offers a primer to the works of Elvis Costello.

NME reports that Howling Bells are in the studio working on album number two, hopefully to be released before the end of the year.

NPR has a World Cafe session from Tift Merritt available to stream.

The Black Angels tell Chart that they’re not so taken with games like Guitar Hero. Their new one Directions To See A Ghost is out May 13 and they play Lee’s Palace on June 26.

By : Frank Yang at 8:34 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. parallelliott says:

    the new black angels album is really dope.

  2. Jack says:

    I use and endorse Trouble In Dreams regularly. I think, overall, it is more consistent than Rubies, although it doesn’t have a track as shimmering as "European Oils". Pitchfork got it wrong this time.

  3. Damon says:

    Streethawk, Frank, Streethawk! It’s the one most people consider to be Destroyer’s best and I think you’d quite like it actually. Your Blues is outstanding as well, but the MIDI instrumentation is completely out of line with everything Bejar has ever done. This Night is the one I personally had the most difficulty warming up to. For a while I considered it to be unlistenable.

  4. Adam says:

    I’m with you all the way, hard to tell with my usual standards if I’ll like a Destroyer album, Rubies was the easiest listen, and the one that got me hooked, and my favourite album of 2006. The others I’m coming around to slowly, with Streethawk looking like my second favourite. Trouble sounds promising, but only time will tell.

  5. Adam K. says:

    Wolf Parade @ Kool Haus – August 9

  6. Adam K. says:

    Also, just found this on Ticketmaster: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks @ the Phoenix – July 16! He finally comes to Toronto!

  7. Chris says:

    That EYE rating was intended to be four stars, but if any band could inspire a loose-cannon editor to throw away the badge and take scoring into his own hands it’d be Destroyer..

  8. Jason says:

    Does anyone know what time of day Smoosh is playing Sonic Boom? I have to figure out how to see them AND Iron Man. ;)

  9. Frank says:

    Jason – the Facebook event for the in-store still says "time to be announced". I’m keeping an eye on that, for sure.

    http://www.facebook.com/eve

  10. Jason says:

    Thanks Frank! Was looking for that Facebook group last night and didn’t come across it for some reason…. I’ll see you there!