Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Mouthful Of Diamonds
An introduction to Phantogram
Doron GildThere’s a lot of New York in Eyelid Movies, the debut album from the duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel known as Phantogram, and while the pair do indeed have Empire State license plates on their cars, they don’t hail from a Brooklyn bedsit or East Village walk-up, but the town of Greenwich way upstate – as close to Montreal as it is to Manhattan.
But you couldn’t tell that from just listening to the record – Its synthetic dream-pop owes a lot to bands who hail from Gotham, recalling in particular recent Blonde Redhead, though poppier and dancier than that trio. The similarities lie in their borrowing ideas liberally from a wide range of styles, incorporating meaty synth textures, cut-and-paste sampled hip-hop beats and guitars that are as inclined to jangle as drone and tying them together with a devotion to melody and Barthel and Carter’s contrasting vocals – hers dulcet and emotive, his rougher and anguished. It’s a combination that makes for an interesting yet accessible listen that’s honest in its influences while crafting its own identity.
Eyelid Movies is out February 9, and is currently streaming in its entirety at NPR. They set out on an east coast tour this week that stops at the Drake Underground in Toronto on February 20. Bloginity.com has an interview with Josh Carter.
PitchforkTV has a fancy video session with Beach House while Daytrotter has posted an audio session you can download for your very own. Not wanting to feel left out, Grand Crew points out they’ve got a complete show from last Summer in Paris to watch. The San Francisco Chronicle also has an interview with the duo, whom you can see at the Opera House on March 30.
Filter has a two-part interview with The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, while Exclaim reveals that one of his upcoming projects will be performing a live score to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea – the 1916 silent film, not the Kirk Douglas-powered Disney version. Also newsworthy is the fact that 69 Love Songs is being reissued as a set of six 10″ LPs limited to only 3000 editions. You can pre-order it now with delivery coming around the April 20 release date. The Magnetic Fields are at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre next Monday evening.
MTV gets The Shins’ James Mercer to clarify statements made to NME about the band’s hiatus and his current involvement in Broken Bells with Danger Mouse, whose self-titled debut comes out March 9. Short version – Broken Bells now, Shins next year. Probably. Here’s their first video.
If you missed the free download of The Denton Sessions from The Guardian this weekend, it’s up for grabs at the Midlake website and the interview at The Guardian is still up. Their new album The Courage Of Others is out today.
It’s ladies’ night at the Phoenix on April 9, when Girls and Dum Dum Girls roll in as part of a Spring tour. Girls are still riding last year’s Album while Dum Dum Girls’ debut I Will Be arrives March 30.
The Album Leaf will set out this Winter and Spring on a North American tour in support of their new album A Chorus Of Storytellers, out today, and stop in at Lee’s Palace on April 28 – tickets $12.50, Sea Wolf support.
Let’s Wrestle – discussed previously – have been added as support for Quasi’s upcoming east coast tour, including the April 18 date at the Horseshoe. Let’s Wrestle’s debut In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s gets a North American release on March 23 while Quasi’s American Gong is out February 23.
Anyone who’s ever asked exactly what is meant by “gypsy punk” would do well to be at the Sound Academy on April 20 when Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa come to town. Gogol’s live Live From Axis Mundi came out last year while DeVotchKa’s last release was 2008’s A Mad And Faithful Telling, though they haven’t been to Toronto since June 2006 – far, far too long.
Sigur Ros can easily sell out Massey Hall, but for frontman gone solo Jonsi to schedule two (2) nights at the Sound Academy – April 30 and May 1 – to perform numbers from his solo album Go… well it’s ambitious. To say the least. The album is out March 23. Either they’re expecting it to be a hit or want their fans to have lots of elbow room.