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Friday, November 14th, 2008

Moody Motorcycle

Human Highway home for the holidays

Photo By Jaime HoggeJaime HoggeI don’t know if a duo can really be called a “supergroup”, but if so then the combined resumes of Nick Thorburn and Jim Guthrie, they who go by Human Highway, would certainly qualify them. Guthrie cut his teeth in the dearly departed and wholly underappreciated Royal City before a fruitful solo career that included a stint in Thorburn’s Islands, the band which followed his first outfit – the much beloved by people other than me Unicorns.

Though I reserve the right to be entirely wrong about this, I don’t believe that Guthrie’s stint in Islands went beyond live duties. So Moody Motorcycle, the debut album from Human Highway released back in August, constitutes the first recorded collaboration between these two artists. And fittingly, it sounds exactly as you’d think a collaboration between the two – and named for a Neil Young film – should. It’s simple and homespun-sounding, unsurprising considering it was knocked off in a week, rich in melody and harmony and faithful to the pair’s folk and pop roots. It’s a bit understated in delivery, but there’s a definite bounce to it.

While most humans of Canadian persuasion know that traversing the country’s highways in December can be a bit risky, Human Highway are setting out on a short Canadian tour in the middle of next month. Only four dates, though, including a December 16 date at the Tranzac – tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the door, though I am guessing there won’t be too many of the latter. Chart and Exclaim! talk to Guthrie about the project’s origins, while NPR declares Moody Motorcycle one of the year’s “overlooked gems”.

MP3: Human Highway – “Sleep Talking”

Exclaim has details on the next Handsome Furs record Take Control, out February 3.

Asobi Seksu’s next album has a release date to go with the previously announced title. Look for Hush on February 17.

The Quietus speculates about the possibility of a Condo Fucks record entitled Fuckbook appearing on the Matador release calendar as really being a new Yo La Tengo record. Because goodness knows that Matador/Beggars have no record of signing bands with “Fuck” in their name (though Condo Fucks don’t appear to hail from Toronto, so that’s a strike against).

The Rice Thresher talks to Matt Berninger from The National.

am/fm and Metro talk New Jersey with Nicole Atkins.

There’s much Calexico in the newswires – check out features on the band at Express Night Out, Metro, The Montreal Gazette, Chart and eye. They’re at the Phoenix on Tuesday, and congratulations go out to Fotis and Marius for winning passes to the show.

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips chats with PopMatters and JAM.

The best part of this twopart video interview with Nick Cave at PitchforkTV is the “I will eviscerate you” look on Nick’s face at the very beginning. Though I suspect he always looks like that.

Pitchfork reports that The Pipettes are once again down a Pipette.

Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke talks to The Sun, complains about John Lydon being a meanie.

Drowned In Sound gets a new album status report from Maximo Park’s Paul Smith.

Pitchfork has got an MP3 from Los Campesinos’ new record We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “Miserabilia”

Paste offers up the complete transcript of their recent interview with Of Montreal mastermind Kevin Barnes.

MySpace Transmissions offers up a downloadable session with Bon Iver.

Le Blogotheque takes away a show with Fleet Foxes.

Daytrotter sessions up with The Dutchess & The Duke.

PopMatters interviews The Secret Machines.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette catches up with Robyn Hitchcock.

The Santa Barbara Independent sees how Jason Isbell is doing out on his own.

Mates Of State discuss the balance between rocking out and bringing up baby with Nashville Scene.

Drowned In Sound prognosticates about what 2009 will bring for music.

By : Frank Yang at 8:15 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post3 Responses.
  1. Dennis says:

    Just a heads up…his name is Nick Thorburn. Jamie is the name of the former drummer of Islands/The Unicorns.

    Moody Motorcycle is a great record that suffered from all the mixed reviews. Its great to finally see Jim Guthrie back and recording/touring again. ‘Now, More than Ever’ is such a phenomenal work.

  2. Frank Yang says:

    thanks – had “Jaime” in my head from putting in the photog credits…

  3. Marius says:

    Agreed on two counts here, Royal City never did get its just dues or popularity it deserved and that Now,More than Ever is a great record. Time to revisit both me thinks.

    Like Frank I too think it’s funny with the growing family of Toronto bands with ” Fuck” based monikers. I guess there’s something to be said for this town becoming the progressive crude band naming capital of the world. Personally if I was choosing a buzzworthy T.O band name I would go with “The Flying Fucks” as it has a cool bad ass tone to it and promotes great visuals for the mind. Of course if it was a snarly rock n’ roll quartet it could be ” The Flying Fucks Four” alternatively. Success in securing a government arts grant to fund your first video may be problematic with either though.

    Thanks again for the Calexico passes Frank you totally rock man !