Wednesday, October 1st, 2008
At Constant Speed
Photo by Frank Yang
So technically, I was correct a few weeks ago about there being a surprise appearance involving My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields and Gemma Hayes while the two were in town last week. Except instead of Shields sitting in on Hayes’ show at Supermarket on Friday, it was Hayes making an unannounced appearance as support at the My Bloody Valentine show at the Kool Haus the night before. A set I missed because I was elsewhere.
Friday’s was a much more suitable setting, however, even with the usual chatty crowds in the restaurant area of the venue. Shortly after taking the stage, Hayes asked the audience, “so what are you all doing here?” in reference to the fact that she’d never been to Toronto before, even though that was exactly why we were there. And it was a surprisingly large crowd that showed up to welcome her – maybe no more than fifty, but considering the short notice of the show’s announcement and her general low profile in North America, still impressive.
For her part, Hayes played acoustically but accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Joe Chester who added much-welcome electric guitar and keyboard accents to the songs, reproducing some of the depth and texture of the studio versions. Even so, the setup kept her more in her singer-songwriter guise than the rock side that evidences itself far too rarely, opting to stick to the quieter material of her last two records though the fact that her voice cracked a couple times in the set perhaps indicated that there was some exhaustion involved as well. The set was a bit on the short side – forty-five minutes or so – but she largely sounded wonderful in that time and I felt fortunate that she was even playing a show of her own at all. With her new record The Hollow Of Morning getting a domestic release this week, perhaps it’ll get a proper push and she’ll be back to play some more before long.
Photos: Gemma Hayes @ Supermarket – September 26, 2008
MP3: Gemma Hayes – “Happy Sad”
Video: Gemma Hayes – “Back Of My Hand”
Video: Gemma Hayes – “Hanging Around”
Video: Gemma Hayes – “Let A Good Thing Go”
Video: Gemma Hayes – “Happy Sad”
MySpace: Gemma Hayes
Ah the best laid plans… part of my intention for going to New York City during CMJ was to catch Emmy The Great in addition to Lucky Soul – I was hoping that she’d be playing one of the three days of the festival that i was in town but alas, she’s playing the BrooklynVegan showcase on the 21st, fully two days before I arrive, so unless she’s got more shows lined up there will be no Emmy for me. As a consolation, The Brother Kite have a show on the 23rd, when I arrive, so that’s something. Anyways, though the targeted September release date for Emmy’s debut First Love has come and gone with no new date announced, there’s a single for “We Almost Had A Baby” coming out on November 10 and hopefully the album will be out this calendar year. You can stream a few new tracks, presumably from the new record, at her MySpace and there’s a new video for the single.
The new Okkervil River vid was actually released to the internets last week, but only in the US. It now belongs to the world. They’re at the Phoenix on October 12.
And via Matablog, information about a forthcoming Shearwater digital-only release in the form of an EP for “The Snow Leopard” from Rook. It will be released October 14 and in addition to the album track (which you can hear below), it will contain some b-sides and live recordings.
Blurt chats with Kurt Wagner of Lambchop, whose OH (ohio) hits the streets on October 7. And at the same time Wagner hits the road for a solo tour which brings him to the Drake Underground on October 6.
Norwegian crooner Sonde Lerche has a date at the Mod Club on November 14. Tickets $18.50.