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Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Black Ice

Random SxSW and CMW bits with Ohbijou, Jenn Grant, Gentleman Reg and more

Photo via ohbijou.comOhbijouA bit short on time today, so just a quick one with a Canadian focus.

The release of Ohbijou’s second album Beacons is still over a month away – April 14 is the date to circle – but thanks to the deluge of MP3s that accompanies the official SxSW lineup and schedule, a sample is now available to download. I’ve had the privilege of living with a copy of Beacons for a little while now, and can say that “Black Ice” very much captures the feel of the record – taking everything that made Swift Feet For Troubling Times such a cozy orch-pop gem and makes it more expansive without losing the intimacy. A more proper review will be forthcoming, but for now enjoy the tune and remember they have a CD release show at the Opera House on April 18. And for anyone heading down to SxSW, do make an effort to catch them – in addition to their official showcase at The Ranch on the Thursday, they play the AV Club’s party on the Friday and the M4MTL vs. T4TO party at El Sol (formerly Emo’s IV at the corner of 6th and Red River) on the Saturday.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Black Ice”

Also found via the SxSW schedule – a sample of Jenn Grant’s new record Echoes. In case I don’t get around to doing a full review of the record anytime soon – entirely likely – I’ll first point you my review of her 2007 record Orchestra For The Moon and say that Echoes is almost the record that I was hoping Grant would make. She’s said in interviews that it’s a break-up record, and that emotionality is definitely reflected in the sparer, darker sound which I think suits her quite well. There’s still a bit more vocal acrobatics than I’d like but that’s a minor complaint when held against the strengths of the album. Grant plays the Reverb at midnight on March 14 for CMW and her SxSW itinerary currently consists of a couple performances on the Thursday – a 2PM afternoon performance in the Convention Centre and a 9PM official evening showcase at the Velveeta Room. Belletristic Impressions has an interview with Grant.

MP3: Jenn Grant – “Sailing By Silverships”

Another artist doing the CMW/SxSW thing – the former finds him at the Horseshoe on March 12 at 11:10PM, the latter at Beauty Bar at 9PM on March 21 – is Gentleman Reg. The SxSW site is also offering up another track from his just-released Jet Black. Interviews with Reg abound at Exclaim, The Toronto Sun, Chart, Dose.ca and Black Book, and though I couldn’t make his in-store at Soundscapes on Tuesday, videographer Colin Medley did and has a really nice HD clip of one of the songs performed.

MP3: Gentleman Reg – “How We Exit”

Human Highway will also be hitting the highway between Toronto and Austin next month. They’ll be at the Horseshoe at 11PM on Friday, March 13 and then for SxSW at Red-Eyed Fly at 11PM on Wednesday, March 18. Also look for them at Red 7 on the afternoon Thursday and Urban Outfitters’ parking lot on the Friday at 1PM. And Stereogum has what they call the premiere of the video for Human Highway’s “The Sound”, which means that the stuffed animal version which surfaced a little while back isn’t actually “official”. Which is too bad, because I prefer it to the new one.

MP3: Human Highway – “The Sound”
Video: Human Highway – “The Sound”
Video: Human Highway – “The Sound” (unofficial)

The Daily Growl has a handful of new Woodpigeon songs which they took the trouble of ripping from a BBC Radio 6 session.

There’s a number of excellent Bruce Peninsula live videos up over at aux.tv as part of their “Camera Music” series, though the song recorded at the Soundscapes in-store is conspicuously absent. Still forthcoming or didn’t make the cut?

Exclaim‘s cover story this month is Montreal’s Malajube, thanks to the recent release of their new record Labyrinthes. Their CMW showcase finds them at the El Mocambo at midnight, Thursday March 12.

MP3: Malajube – “Porte Disparu”

Spinner talks to Metric’s Emily Haines about their new album Fantasies, due out April 14. They’re slated to play Edgefest on June 20 at Downsview Park.

Okay, that wasn’t so quick. I have no idea why I ever say that.

By : Frank Yang at 8:09 am
Category: General

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  1. genpark says:

    The stuffed animal Human Highway video is gone! So sad.