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Archive for September, 2009

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Wake

The Antlers at Criminal Records in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangEverything I have to say about The Antlers’ record Hospice has already been said, so I’ll focus squarely on their live performance which I was able to witness yesterday evening despite opting to see Joe Pernice at the Dakota rather than their show at the Horseshoe, thanks to their booking an in-store at Criminal Records before either got underway.

While they could easily have gotten away with doing something simple, short and stripped-down, the fairly packed store was instead treated to something akin to a full and proper set, fully plugged-in and running 40 minutes plus. And it’s just as well, because that extra volume and amplification was crucial to the impact of the set (not to mention allowing keyboardist Darby Cicci to be heard at all). Where the recorded versions of the songs were built on foundation of tension and delicacy, the live renderings were much grandiose in scale – bigger and bolder without compromising the fragile atmospherics so integral to the songs. Rather than evoking images of hospitals, they felt like cathedrals, and perhaps most importantly, felt more uplifting than despairing. The lyrical content of the songs didn’t come across so pointedly, instead taking a back seat to the rawer, more visceral impact of the sound.

So while sorry to have missed their show proper, I’m thankful to have caught close to a proper show and still got to see Joe Pernice, all before the cold which has been stalking me the last couple weeks finally took me victim. Achoo.

Photos: The Antlers @ Criminal Records – September 24, 2009
MP3: The Antlers – “Two”
MP3: The Antlers – “Two” (remastered)
MP3: The Antlers – “Bear”
MP3: The Antlers – “The Universe Is Going To Catch You”
MP3: The Antlers – “On the Roof”
MP3: The Antlers – “Stairs To The Attic”
MP3: The Antlers – “Cold War”
MP3: The Antlers – “Keys”
Video: The Antlers – “Two”
MySpace: The Antlers

And if you opted to see The Antlers last night rather than Pernice, know that Joe will be making an appearance at Word On The Street this Sunday at Queen’s Park. Not performing, but being interviewed at 4PM – though there’s nothing to say he won’t spontaneously break out into song. Details in his cover feature from this week’s eye.

SFAppeal, The Dallas Observer and The Arizona Daily Star talk to The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

School Of Seven Bells’ Alpinisms, a highlight of 2008, will be getting a re-release with a second disc of remixes and alternate takes on October 13 – almost just in time for their Fall tour which brings them to Lee’s Palace in Toronto on October 15. Pitchfork has one of the tracks from the bonus disc available to download. The Diamondback and Austinist have interviews with the band.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Iamundernodisguise” (alternate version)

The Hook questions Decemberist Chris Funk.

Spin questions. Monsters Of Folk answer. On November 2, they perform at Massey Hall.

Austinst talks to John Vanderslice, who’s made a demo MP3 from Romanian Names available to download in support of an upcoming 7″ single for “Too Much Time” due out October 6.

MP3: John Vanderslice – “Too Much Time” (demo)

Good news – Ted Leo & The Pharmacists will have a new record out in the early part of next year. Better news – it’s coming out on Matador.

To anyone thinking about attending the October 24 White Rabbits show – note that it has been moved from the Drake to the Horseshoe, and rather than an early show it’s now a regular/late show. Adjust your plans accordingly. You have a month to do so.

Soundproof talks to Reverie Sound Revue.

There’s a new MP3 available from The Wooden Sky’s new album If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone – they’re at Lee’s Palace on November 13. The Sudbury Star talks to frontman Gavin Gardiner.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Bit Part”

Spinner gets to know Dog Day and suggests you do the same. They’re at the Horseshoe on November 5.

Young Galaxy have set a date at the Horseshoe for November 13, tickets $10.

MP3: Young Galaxy – “Long Live The Fallen World”

Mew have released a new video from No More Stories.

Video: Mew – “Repeaterbeater”

Filter chats in two parts with Mum, who’ve also made Magnet a mix tape. They’re at the Phoenix on October 27.

MP3: Mum – “Illuminated”

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Ashes On The Fire

Review of Richard Hawley's Truelove's Gutter

Photo via richardhawley.co.ukrichardhawley.co.ukRichard Hawley is one of those rare artists for whom when I’m in the mood to hear their stuff, I can reach for pretty much any one of their records and it will hit the spot. It helps that there’s not really anyone else out there doing what he does these days – lush, romantic pop drawn from a pre-Beatles era, deeply beholden to the early days of American rock and rockabilly and yet undeniably English, all delivered with his rich baritone and incomparable guitarwork. At his best, Hawley is heart-rendingly beautiful and luckily for his fans, he’s rarely not at his best.

Don’t take my earlier comment about not caring which Hawley record I hear as meaning they’re indistinct or interchangeable, though. For while he has remained largely consistent in style throughout his solo career (early jobs included stints with The Longpigs and Pulp), each album has its own definite character and his sixth record, Truelove’s Gutter, is no exception. While 2007’s Lady’s Bridge was a more extroverted affair – string-laden, infused with a sense of whimsy and containing a couple of romping singles – Gutter steps off the streets and into the parlour, an altogether more intimate record and at the same time, even bigger than its predecessor.

Though the record continues Hawley’s tradition of naming his records for landmarks in his hometown of Sheffield, the imagery it evokes is also appropriate to the emotional content within. Love is the album’s running theme, but not necessarily in the glossy romantic sense – instead it looks at the reality of it, fraught with rejection and regret, weariness and wariness, melancholic without giving way to cynicism and still given to moments of tenderness. Hawley (or his characters, at least) has been through the wringer and yet still believes enough to get back up. The record’s production and arrangement contributes to this darker, more introspective mood. Each of the eight songs flows effortlessly into the next and it largely eschews the big-band approach in favour of a more atmospheric one, suffused with esoteric instruments you may not necessarily hear but certainly feel. It’s a thing of beauty, but then it’s a Richard Hawley record. Of course it is.

The California Chronicle, The Sheffield Telegraph, The Guardian and The Scotland Herald all have features on Hawley while Magnet solicited a Q&A with the artist in exchange for making him guest editor for the week – already their website has been privy to Hawley’s musings on topics such as The Velvet Underground, The 13th Floor Elevators and John Steinbeck.

Video: Richard Hawley – “For Your Lover, Take Some Time”
Stream: Richard Hawley / Truelove’s Gutter
MySpace: Richard Hawley

One of the best bits of news I’ve heard in a while came yesterday in the form of a dispatch from Leeds’ Sky Larkin – namely that they were giving away a new digital single entitled “Smarts” and that they were embarking on a North American tour this Fall – that includes a Toronto date! They’ll be at the Cameron House on October 28 with Peggy Sue and while I missed their Toronto debut supporting Los Campesinos! in April, I did see them at SxSW so I know what I speak of when I say they will destroy the place. In the very best sense.

MP3: Sky Larkin – “Fossil, I”
MP3: Sky Larkin – “Molten”
MP3: Peggy Sue – “Lover Gone”

And speaking of Los Campesinos!, with Aleks Campsinos! returned to civilian life and college, they’ve enlisted the younger sister of frontman Gareth to take her place. They made a fun little video introducing Kim Campesinos! to the world.

Ear Farm talks to The Clientele, whose new album Bonfires On The Heath is out October 6 but is streaming in its entirety now at Merge. There’s also a new video of the band performing this Summer at Merge XX and bassist James Hornsey assembled a mixtape for NYLON.

Stream: The Clientele / Bonfires On The Heath

Hull Daily Mail chats with Mumford & Sons, whose debut Sigh No More is out October 5 in the UK.

Anyone who enjoyed the God Help The Girl album be aware – a 5-song EP of all new material was quietly released at the end of last month. You can find Stills as a 10″ single or as a download.

Fanfarlo are interviewed by Music Snobbery and declared “ones to watch” by Clash. They’ve just wrapped a short US tour but will be back – to New York at least – for CMJ. Hopefully they’ll do some more dates while they’re over here.

NOW profiles Arctic Monkeys. They’re at the Kool Haus on September 29.

Drowned In Sound has a two-part interview with Editors. In This Light & On This Evening is out October 12.

In talking to NME, Doves reveal that they don’t expect to have a new album out before 2012, but will be releasing a best-of compilation sometime between now and then.

Spin and Pitchfork talk to Bernard Sumner of Bad Lieutenant, who have released the first video from their debut Don’t Cry Another Tear, out October 12.

Video: Bad Lieutenant – “Sink Or Swim”

Clash and Express & Star have features on Ian Brown, who will release My Way on Monday. There’s a video for the lead single which he tells BBC was originally intended for Rihanna.

Video: Ian Brown – “Stellify”

Artrocker talks to Ian McCulloch and The Dumbing Of America to Will Sargent about Echo & The Bunnymen’s new album The Fountain, out October 12. They’ll be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre performing Ocean Rain orchestrally on October 20. Update: Just got an MP3 of the first single from the new record!

MP3: Echo & The Bunnymen – “I Think I Need It Too”

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Okay

Venice Is Sinking doing alright with new EP, video

Photo By Ian DarkenIan DarkenSomething I learned yesterday – I wasn’t able to get by on three hours of sleep when I was young, I sure as hell can’t do it now. Blogging isn’t so easy when your brain has the consistency of porridge, so I’m thankful that there’s been a pile of new videos, sessions and streams amassing in my drafts folder which I can hopefully distill into some sort of post.

And we’ll begin with Athens, Georgia’s Venice Is Sinking, who’ve got a new video, stream AND MP3 to share, all in honour of their just-released EP Okay. As previously reported, it’s a single, a tribute and outtakes record, all in one. The title track comes from their lovely AZAR album from earlier this year, two tracks are covers of San Francisco artist Okay and the final two are alternate versions of AZAR tracks. Like the parent album, Okay is wistfully orchestrated ambient pop, forlorn even when it’s trying to be cheery. Venice Is Sinking does glumness exceedingly well. They do have a playful side, however, as the boot camp-themed video for “Okay” demonstrates. And a penchant for gunplay.

In addition to the new EP, the band have completed album number three – a mostly live recording due out sooner rather than later – and have begun writing album number four. Considering how this band seems to get better with every new thing they put out, their newfound prolificness can only bring good things.

MP3: Venice Is Sinking – “Okay”
MP3: Venice Is Sinking – “Compass”
Video: Venice Is Sinking – “Okay”
Stream: Venice Is Sinking / Okay

Yo La Tengo have also done the “rock band boot camp” thing in video before – witness the classic “Sugarcube” clip – but have just put out an awesome video of another sort – a Takeaway Show. Yo La Tengo are at the Opera House on October 3.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “Sugarcube”

A Place To Bury Strangers have released a video from their new album Exploding Head, due out October 6. They have a date at the Mod Club for October 27.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “In Your Heart”

They Shoot Music recorded an acoustic performance from The Dodos, who released Time To Die last week and will be at Lee’s Palace on October 17. There’s interviews with the band at Austinist and Click Music.

Telekinesis have finally gotten themselves a proper website and play a Tiny Desk Session for NPR to mark the occasion. Okay, the two probably have nothing to do with each other. Or this video of them performing at the Merge XX festival this Summer.

St Vincent has released a new video from Actor.

Video: St Vincent – “Marrow”

Paste, Taipei Times and The Los Angeles Times interview Monsters Of Folk, whose self-titled debut was released this week and a new video to go along with it. They play Massey Hall on November 2.

Video: Monsters of Folk – “The Right Place”

BrooklynVegan interviews Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, who have a new video from Embryonic, out October 13. The response to the new recordseems pretty split between a return to genius form and further evidence of their irrevocable decline. Which is it?

Video: The Flaming Lips – “I Can Be A Frog”

This week was pretty crazy for new releases, and so there’s plenty to stream over at Spinner – or at least there is if you’re not in Canada. Hereabouts, their Polaris promotion is still up so all the links shunt to streams of the short list but I’ve been told that’s going to change sometime today so Canucks, check back. Assuming that’s accurate – you’ve got Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions’ second album Through The Devil Softly which they’ll bring to the Mod Club on October 7 – she gives an interview to The Georgia Straight, White Water, White Bloom from Sea Wolf, who’re at Sneaky Dee’s on October 9 and Amy Millan’s second solo record Masters Of The Burial, for which she has a date at the Mod Club on October 14 – ChartAttack also has an interview.

Also out, streaming and coming to town this Fall are Girls whose debut album Album will receive an airing at the El Mocambo on November 10 and who are featured in a “Don’t Look Down” video session at PitchforkTV, J Tillman’s new one Year In The Kingdom which brings him to the Horseshoe on November 11 and Origin: Orphan from The Hidden Cameras – their hometown show will take place at the Opera House on December 5.

Stream: Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions / Through The Devil Softly
Stream: Sea Wolf / White Water, White Bloom
Stream: Amy Millan / Masters Of The Burial
Stream: Girls / Album
Stream: J. Tillman / Year in the Kingdom
Stream: The Hidden Cameras / Origin: Orphan

Also with a new record out this wee but sadly not coming to town any time soon are Early Day Miners, whose latest is The Treatment. There’s a feature piece on the band at Blurt.

Stream: Early Day Miners / The Treatment

In And Out Of Control isn’t out until October 6 but The Raveonettes are already streaming it for all to hear at their MySpace. They’re at the Phoenix on October 22 and there’s interviews with the band at Paper and Billboard.

Stream: The Raveonettes / In And Out Of Control

City Sonic talks to Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers about how his daily commute influenced some of his early songs.

A couple of days before she takes the Horseshoe stage – Thursday, September 24 in support of The Antlers – it’s been announced that Holly Miranda has signed with XL Recordings to release her debut solo album early next year. I’ve been tracking her solo career since early this year and am pleased to see that her record will not only be coming out but will be properly promoted, but I wonder what to make of the fact that the press release mentions nothing about her band The Jealous Girlfriends… hopefully nothing. A video session with said band went up at FreqControl earlier this Summer.

Exclaim reports The Weakerthans will be releasing a series of 7″ singles saluting their home province on Manitoba starting on October 30.

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

The Chemistry Of Common Life

Fucked Up win 2009 Polaris Music Prize to delight of critics and dismay of censors

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThroughout this year’s process for the Polaris Music Prize, I’ve been saying that I’m thankful that I was on the Grand Jury last year – when there were no shortage of albums on the short list that I could get behind and the one I felt most deserving, Caribou’s Andorra, won – rather than this year, where the nominees by and large leave me feeling cold. That’s not saying that they’re not good or great albums worthy of the prize, just that I don’t think that I could come up with a real heartfelt advocacy for any of them. So while I’m glad I wasn’t sequestered in the jury room, I do sort of wish I had been a fly on the wall to see just how they decided to award this year’s prize to Fucked Up’s The Chemistry Of Common Life.

Make no mistake – I am thrilled that they won. Not necessarily because I’m a fan – hardcore is not my thing – but because if I were to have a horse in this race, it’d either have been them or K’Naan for no other reason than they would be the most surprising and interesting winners (though also, somehow, the least controversial). Both represent genres that most would have thought would be too niche to actually win the big prize, too outlier to win over a jury (theoretically) representing a broad cross-section of a diverse country. And yet here we are – a band with a name that can’t be printed or pronounced in most media outlets and a record that has more screaming than singing – has been declared the best this country has to offer. Fun-fucking-tastic.

So while Fucked Up improbably took the competition portion of the evening, the almost three hours of celebration leading up to it belonged to pretty much everyone. For the first time in the four-year history of the gala, all ten nominees were slated to perform – which made the scheduled allotment of two hours pretty absurd. Things were definitely going to go to overtime. Things started off with Metric – at least the James and Emily half of the band – performing acoustic renditions of “Help, I’m Alive” and “Gimme Sympathy”, trading the slick synth-powered album arrangements for something simpler and prettier, a side of the band not often seen. Great Lake Swimmers and Malajube followed up with solid but fairly typical two-song sets that were enjoyable and certainly reaffirmed that they belonged on the short list, but were not revelatory – especially not after being followed by Patrick Watson. The 2007 Polaris winner is a bit of a punching bag in some quarters precisely because he won the 2007 prize, but stunts like the one he pulled on this evening – leading his band into the hall like a marching band while decked out in a harness of megaphones and lights, all weird and wonderful – can’t help but generate good will. You’re winning me over, Watson, though it’s got little to do with your music.

If there was a prize to be awarded by the audience based on the performances, though, the Polaris would have gone to K’Naan. The man had an irresistible charisma onstage and his selections from Troubadour so powerful and anthemic, you wanted to give him the award – hell, every award – right then and there. Joel Plaskett followed up by taking things down a few notches, his first selection a downbeat and mellow piece performed with his father and then inviting Three collaborators Ana Egge and Rose Cousins out for a more upbeat “Deny Deny Deny”, and in the process reaffirming the fact that it’s impossible to dislike Joel Plaskett. It’s also impossible to keep a straight face whenever Chad Van Gaalen gets near a microphone. Though his set showcasing the noisy and delicate sides of Soft Airplane – which are often the same side – was fine, it was the introduction from Radio Free Canuckistan’s Michael Barclay and Van Gaalen’s own demented and rambling thank-you speech – both paying tribute to Leonard Cohen in the process – that were the real highlights of his moment in the spotlight. If you’re inclined to think that someone who makes the sort of animations that he does isn’t quite right in the head… you’re probably right.

Windsor’s Elliott Brood ratcheted up the audience participation quotient, handing out metal baking trays and wooden spoons and encouraging the house to clatter along, making for a righteous racket and turning the gala into a hoe-down. As the band gave shout-outs to the other nine nominees, it seemed clear they weren’t here to win – just to have a good time. Newfoundland’s Hey Rosetta! were pretty much an unknown quantity to me, but did their part to reaffirm as a land that likes big bands. They numbered 14, and I’m not sure if they played one song or two, but the first half was a down, piano-led dirge that thankfully blossomed into a grander, orchestral sort of thing. Maybe it was the lateness of the hour, but my attention was starting to wander. Hey Rosetta made little impression.

And then Fucked Up. The fact that they were scheduled to play last had less to do with their impending coronation – no one knew about that – but for the fact that they would be an impossible act to follow. Mayhem is to be expected at their shows and mayhem is what they brought. With inaugural Polaris winner Final Fantasy and Lullabye Arkestra along for the ride, they turned the heretofore genteel gala into something, well, fucked up. Frontman Damian Abraham wasted no time in stripping down to his underwear while performing and even gave himself a wedgie. They played just one song – I believe Chemistry lead track “Son The Father” – but that was all they needed to basically blow everyone away. Though I’d heard tale of their live energy, I’d never seen it before and wow. That’s all.

It was ironic that that this performance and this achievement would come at the Masonic Temple, a room they’d been been previously banned from by MTV.ca for causing a couple thousand dollars of damage. I think they can afford to pay that off now. During their acceptance speech, Abraham mentioned that the band had been frisked by security every time they came into the building for the gala. If they get searched on the way out, they’d better have an explanation for why Abraham’s got that giant cheque shoved into his pants (assuming he’s wearing pants). Because I don’t really have an explanation for how they won, just a hearty congratulations that they did.

The Toronto Star talked to Abraham post-win about their plans for the $20,000 prize. Spinner also reports back from the post-show press conference.

Here’s some photos from the night and after the jump, a recap of all the short list nominees, with attendant A/V materials.

Photos: 2009 Polaris Music Prize Gala @ The Masonic Temple – September 21, 2009

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Monday, September 21st, 2009

Another Runaway

Ladyhawke, Semi Precious Weapons, Woodhands and Anjulie at the Opera House in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangOne can’t help but feel some satisfaction that the gossip king’s much-ballyhooed tour should be undone so quickly by the sort of offstage drama that’s typically the bread and butter of gossip bloggers. Not even a week into the tour and co-headliner Ida Maria was already generating the wrong sort of buzz, playing gigs drunk and disinterestedly, then walking off the stage in Boston and cancelling New York due to “illness”, to say nothing of weak attendance throughout. So it wasn’t much surprise that on Thursday, the day of the Toronto show, it was announced that Ida Maria had left the tour due to that same “illness” and substitute acts would be added to the bills of the next few dates.

Any degree of schadenfreude, however, was tempered by the fact that the lineup was now down one good headliner – I’ll just add this to the ongoing list of Ida Maria near misses (two cancelled SxSW appearances in March due to visa issues and her dropping off the Glasvegas tour early in April – and it was really the people who were going to show who were losing out. I was still committed to attend thanks to the continued presence of Ladyhawke on the bill. Semi Precious Weapons also remained in the lineup and the Toronto bill was rounded by a couple of hometown acts, Woodhands and Anjulie.

Anjulie I knew from the posters for V Fest, where she’d been one of the Radio stage performers, and that was enough to make me think I wasn’t going to be particularly interested in her. And no, while urban/r&b pop is not my thing, there’s no discounting that this girl is good at it – great voice, great look and thankfully not given to oversinging or the diva hand, and a #1 Billboard single to boot. Playing with a tight band and backing singers, she delivered a short but varied set covering a good range of styles and had enough old-school Motown and soul nods to please, which still sounding wholly contemporary. Hometown girl done good, indeed.

So while I kind of suspect Anjulie would have been a special guest whether Ida Maria had been on the bill or not, Woodhands were almost certainly an eleventh-hour addition to fill out the bill. And while a Perez Hilton show might seem a weird place for the local indie synth-rock heroes to show up, sonically they actually fit in quite well with the sort of dancey pop theme of the evening/tour – big beats, fat synths and frantic and fun delivery from Dan Werb. Though they’ve got a reputation as one of the most enjoyable live acts in the city, I’d never actually seen them in full, plugged-in fashion before and now that I have? I’ll give ’em the thumbs up.

The audience had been slowly filling in through the evening and while not nearly sold-out – I would put attendance at around 450 tops, and that includes the local acts’ probably-sizeable guest lists – it was pretty jammed up near the front for Semi Precious Weapons and why not? This was the first act of the night that the people would have actually paid to come and see (besides Hilton himself, who was not in attendance. Instead, we got weird little video-screen introductions with him looking like Max Headroom). Which went well with the Perez-curated video clips that constituted the between set music, giving me a look at top-40 music that I really didn’t need. Anyways.

I’d been told that if nothing else, Semi Precious Weapons were fun to photograph and yeah, they would have been if the entire night hadn’t been defined by horrid backlighting that made getting anything decent pretty much impossible. Which meant that I head to enjoy them on their musical merits which, I have to saw, were few. They offer transgressive glam-rock for the mall-punk set, which basically means a lot of swearing and sophomoric pottymouth banter about boobs, sex and general self-aggrandizing interspersed with high-energy if unremarkable rock songs and shout-along choruses, all delivered with over the top costumes and on-stage antics. If that sounds specifically formulated to get a response, that’s because it is and it does. This isn’t to say it wasn’t entertaining and the excitement elicited from the crowd a real boost to the evening’s energy, but not necessarily something I need to see or hear again.

Unsurprisingly, the crowd did thin out some following Semi Precious Weapons but it was still a decent-sized and enthusiastic audience on hand to welcome Pip Brown for her first Toronto appearance – and hey, less people means more room on the floor to dance. I had seen her play at SxSW and while the quality of the tunes from her self-titled debut – recently re-released with more goodies – were unimpeachable (if you like hook-laden, ’80s-flavoured synth-rock), the performance itself was generally workmanlike and not especially noteworthy and as such, my expectations weren’t the highest. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to see that Brown has upped her game in the live setting or perhaps that night at Stubb’s had been an off one – either way, her show this time out was much better. It’s hard to quantify how or why, exactly – she’s still not the most animated or charismatic performer – but she seemed much more comfortable on stage and that looseness carried over into the music. Delivered by a five-piece band, the Ladyhawke material sounded much more guitar guitar-driven live than on album – all the necessary synth parts were accounted for, but the guitars were louder and rawer. They dished out all the singles and “up” tracks from the record plus an old b-side for about 50 minutes of pop bliss. Never mind the sponsor, never mind the circus, this show was Ladyhawke’s show and it was great.

There’s a review at ChartAttack. City Sonic has a video feature on Woodhands and the Don Valley Brickworks, site of one of their most memorable – and illegal – gigs. Long way from that to Perez Presents.

Photos: Ladyhawke, Semi Precious Weapons, Woodhands, Anjulie @ The Opera House – September 17, 2009
MP3: Ladyhawke – “My Delirium”
MP3: Semi Precious Weapons – “Semi Precious Weapons”
MP3: Woodhands – “Dancer”
MP3: Woodhands – “I Wasn’t Made For Fighting”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Paris Is Burning”
Video: Ladyhawke – “My Delirium”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Dusk Till Dawn”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Back Of The Van”
Video: Semi Precious Weapons – “Magnetic Baby”
Video: Semi Precious Weapons – “Rock N Roll Never Looked So Beautiful”
Video: Semi Precious Weapons – “Her Hair Is On Fire”
Video: Semi Precious Weapons – “Semi Precious Weapons”
Video: Woodhands – “I Wasn’t Made For Fighting”
Video: Anjulie – “Boom”
Video: Anjulie – “Love Songs”
Video: Anjulie – “Day Will Come Soon”
MySpace: Ladyhawke
MySpace: Semi Precious Weapons
MySpace: Woodhands
MySpace: Anjulie

Aussies The Temper Trap, finally turning some early-year buzz into success thanks to (500) Days Of Summer, will be in town for a free show at the Horseshoe on October 20.

Video: The Temper Trap – “Science Of Fear”
Video: The Temper Trap – “Sweet Disposition”

Also free at the ‘Shoe the following week – October 27 – is Seattle garage rock outfit The Blakes, whose new record Souvenir is out October 13. Check out a track from the new record courtesy of Under The Radar.

MP3: The Blakes – “Ramshackle Hearse”

It’ll be an east-meets-west thing at the Horsesehoe on November 5 as Victoria’s Immaculate Machine meet up with Halifax’s Dog Day, tickets $10.

MP3: Dog Day – “Rome”
MP3: Immaculate Machine – “Sound The Alarms”

Patrick Watson has a date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 12, where he probably hopes to be introduced as “two-time and current Polaris Music Prize winner”.

Which segues nicely into the fact that the Polaris Prize is being awarded tonight. Exclaim ran a feature last week wherein the examined the possible gender and geographic biases that exist within the jury, though I have to say that as a Toronto-based male, I don’t see what all the hubub is about. Har Har. Oh, I am also the latest (last?) subject of the “Better Know A Juror” feature on the Polaris website. Read it and know my most innermost thoughts and feelings. So let’s talk about your feelings. Who do you think will win? Should win?