Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Something's Going To Break
Retribution Gospel Choir at The Drake Underground in Toronto
Frank YangIf Alan Sparhawk is looking to avoid Neil Young comparisons with his Retribution Gospel Choir work, you wouldn’t know it. Taking the stage at the Drake Underground on Monday night, the Low frontman was almost a tribute to Shakey boasting an impressive pair of muttonchop sideburns complimenting his black, P90-equipped, Bigsby-ed Les Paul. Okay, you’d probably never catch Neil dressed as classically dapper as Sparhawk and his bandmates, but sartorial concerns aside, you don’t have to look to hard for at least one source of inspiration.
And, of course, you could hear it. Their new album 2 – which they would technically be able to sell as of midnight – is a fiery document of rock filled with the sort of extended solos that Sparhawk only occasionally gets to showcase in Low. Not as all-out chaotic as the sort that Young wrings out of Old Black – Sparhawk’s technique is decidedly more precise if no less furious – but of the same spirit. And though their set was relatively compact at an hour including encore, there were plenty of epic guitar excursions to astonish the modest-sized Monday night crowd not to mention their intensely focused songs. The fittingly titled “Electric Guitar” was a particular standout, a sonic atom bomb in a set filled with explosive numbers.
In between aural assaults, there was an almost reverent silence from the audience, almost as though they thought were at a Low gig and chatting was verboten. The band took the opportunity to engage in some hockey banter, Sparhawk mentioning he’d recently fallen on his ass while skating and drummer Eric Pollard pre-emptively congratulating us on winning the Olympic gold. “Who’ve you got in net? Luongo? Aubin? You’ve got Aubin? Fuck.”
The News-Herald has an interview with Alan Sparhawk and 2 is currently streaming over at Spinner.
Photos: Retribution Gospel Choir @ The Drake Underground – January 25, 2010
MP3: Retribution Gospel Choir – “Hide It Away”
Video: Retribution Gospel Choir – “Hide It Away”
Stream: Retribution Gospel Choir / 2
MySpace: Retribution Gospel Choir
Drive-By Truckers will be hitting the road in support of the March 16 release of The Big To-Do, and are opting to do multi-night stands in smaller rooms this time around – case in point, their April 6 and 7 dates at Lee’s Palace with Langhorne Slim opening. They’ve also let loose the first MP3 from the new album and will be the subject of a new documentary film entitled The Secret To A Happy Ending, which will begin screening at festivals starting next month.
Wolf Parade will return to active duty with a short eastern Canadian tour accompanied by We Are Wolves, possibly timed around the release of their third album which is rumoured to be complete. The Toronto date is April 7 at the Phoenix, with tickets $20 going on sale January 29.
Though yesterday’s pre-sale for the June 8 National show at Massey Hall sold out lickety-split, another block of pre-sale tickets goes on sale today at 10AM – same link and password as yesterday and, sadly, same big-ass service charges.
Holly Miranda is featured in video sessions at Yours Truly and PitchforkTV, while The Guardian declares her their “New band of the day”. The Magician’s Private Library is out February 23; here’s another track from it.
Clash labels The Antlers “one to watch for 2010”, which is interesting considering they’d have a pretty hard time topping their breakout 2009. They’re in town on February 16 at the Phoenix opening up for Editors.
And Editors have offered up a track from their latest album In This Light And On This Evening to download.
MP3: Editors – “Papillon”
Despite what was promised just last week, The Radio Dept.’s third album Clinging To A Scheme will NOT be coming out in March. Instead it will be out in April. The 21st of April, to be precise. That’s right, an actual firm date. Firm until they move it, anyways.
And Jonsi tells Spinner that contrary to previous reports, there will be no new Sigur Ros record out this year, or in the foreseeable future. So enjoy his solo record Go when it hits on March 23, because that’s all there’s going to be for a while.