Friday, November 14th, 2008
Human Highway home for the holidays
Jaime 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”.
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).
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.
Drowned In Sound prognosticates about what 2009 will bring for music.