Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Walk In The Park
Beach House lead additions to Toronto Island Concert
Jason NocitoFolks were justifiably disappointed when last year’s Broken Social Scene/Explosions In The Sky mini-festival on the Toronto Islands were Molson Indy-ed out, but in hindsight it seems to have worked out for the best. First Broken made up for it in July with a free show at Harbourfront that’s pretty much legendary now (or so I’ve been told – I missed it), and now they’ve bolstered this year’s edition of the Toronto Island Concert – already a must-see thanks to the presence of BSS, who will be able to showcase their new record Forgiveness Rock Record after its May 4 release, the reunited Pavement and Band Of Horses – with Beach House.
The Baltimore duo were part of last year’s ill-fated lineup as well, but at the time were positioned in the lineup largely in a supporting role rather than as a big draw. But now coming off the release of Teen Dream this past January and the pretty much universally acclaim that’s followed, Beach House has been elevated from a band to watch to a band that’s arrived. Like most, I’m of the opinion that Teen Dream represents a big leap forward for the duo – it’s far more engaged, awake and interesting a record than either of their previous releases, which I appreciated but only when I was in the mood for something dozy. If this record was a conscious effort by Beach House to reach for the brass ring, then congratulations to them – it worked.
Beach House’s March 30 date at the Opera House is now sold out, so if you procrastinated, your only option is now to head out to the lovely Toronto Islands on June 19 and enjoy their hazy dream-pop under the Summer sun (or torrential rain, one never knows). Life is so hard, I know. Still, quite a difference from their first visit to Toronto back in November 2006 where they played in front of maybe 20 people in the front room of the Tranzac by a roaring fire. I’ll freely admit I fell asleep during the show – I think that was entirely the point. Anyways, tickets for the Island show are $49.50 plus attendant fees and looking at prices for all the other Pavement shows announced so far, I daresay this is the best value of any of them, save for maybe Pitchfork Festival. And that one doesn’t let you ride a BOAT.
Spin and The Irish Times have feature pieces on Beach House and vinylphiles rejoice – not only has their self-titled debut been remastered and reissued on fancy heavy vinyl, they’re releasing a limited-edition 7″ EP for Record Store Day 2010 on April 17. Be the envy of all your friends with a copy of either/each on your phonograph.
Also added to the Toronto Islands show yesterday were Timber Timbre, whom I hope will recruit a band of some sort to make his blues-folk ruminations audible on the big stage, and local stalwarts Zeus, Flash Lightnin’ and The Beauties, under the collective banner of “Toronto Revue”. What’s that mean, exactly? I’ll tell you on June 20.
As for the Island festival headliners, Pavement kicked off their much-anticipated reunion tour the other night in New Zealand. Spin has a report from the show including career-spanning set list, Matablog checks in with Spiral Stairs on how rehearsals for the tour went and GQ sent pop culture essayist Chuck Klosterman to interview Stephen Malkmus. Quarantine The Past, the Pavement best-of, is out next week and let me tell you – hearing songs which had always been presented in the context of their respective albums in a mish-mash running order is weird. Unless you’ve always made Pavement mixes in which case it’ll probably seem perfectly natural.
Elsewhere in the wonderful world of concert announcements, Fucked Up have been announced as one of the kick-off bands for this year’s Canadian Musicfest – they will play the El Mocambo on March 10. Tickets are $15 with limited wristbands admitted. Chaos guaranteed.
Former Dead Kennedy leader Jello Biafra will be coming to town with his new musical (not spoken word) project The Guantanamo School Of Medicine for a show at the Opera House on April 4. They released their debut album The Audacity Of Hype last year. This will be Biafra’s first appearance with band in Toronto in some 25-plus years; tickets are $22.50 in advance.
Everybody Was In The French Resistance… Now!, the new project from Art Brut leader Eddie Argos, has set a date for the El Mocambo on May 8, tickets $10. Their debut album Fixin’ The Charts, Volume One, came out late last year.
With their just-announced show a the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 26, The Weakerthans will be undertaking that most curious of musical events: a live show in support of a live album. Their CD/DVD set Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre is due out March 23. Tickets for the show are $35.