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Thursday, March 25th, 2010

When I Still Have Thee

Middle-aged cult heroes Teenage Fanclub return with new album

Photo via MergeMergeSo much to catch up on. Where to begin? How about Scotland? That Teenage Fanclub had completed a new record in the last while is no secret. Even the title has been kicking around since last year. But the lack of news on the actual release of the record has been tough to find, at least until now. Merge, who put out their last album Man-Made in 2005, will release Shadows on June 8 to the delight of power pop connoisseurs everywhere.

To stir up anticipation, they’ve released the first MP3 from the record. It’s a Norman Blake composition but like most everything they’ve done since 1997’s Songs From Northern Britain, regardless of who the specific songwriter is, it’s a master class in mid-tempo, ultra-melodic jangle-pop. One of the wonderful things about this band – besides the music, of course – is how each of the three principals has their own distinct songwriting personality, and yet they fit together seamlessly. I’ll admit that in the past half decade, I hadn’t really been chomping at the bit for a new Fannies record but knowing that one is coming and that it’s almost certain to be of the same high level of quality as they’ve maintained pretty much forever is a comforting thought. The Fannies will never really surprise, but they’ll never disappoint either.

Also worth looking forward to is the fact that there are plans for North American touring this Fall. Their last tour was also five years ago so another visit is long overdue. Tracklisting and cover art for Shadows can be had over at Pitchfork.

MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “Baby Lee”

After a goodly amount of teasing, the first official taste of High Violet, the new record from The National, is available to download and it is, in a word, amazing. I’d been joking that this was going to be my album of the year before I heard a note, but I don’t think I’m joking anymore. The National are at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

MP3: The National – “Blood Buzz Ohio”

The Acorn have set a June 1 release date for their new album No Ghost – details on the release at Exclaim.

Exclaim talks to Wolf Parade about their still-untitled new album, which has a release date of June 29. They’ll preview it at the Phoenix on April 7.

BBC6 talks to Thomas Mars of Phoenix, who are celebrating a pretty good year by giving away a free live album. Go and get it.

ZIP: Phoenix / Live In Sydney

And speaking of live, let’s talk show announcements. With their new album The Five Ghosts set to come out on June 22, Stars are looking to get back into game shape with a short Canadian tour that will find the band playing rooms much smaller than they normally would, including the Mod Club in Toronto on May 5. And you’ll be paying for the privilege of pretending its December 2004… tickets are a rather dear $34.75, on sale Friday morning. But you know that even at that price, they’ll be gone lickety split.

They entertained the hell out of me just a few days ago, and now Man Man are coming to do the same to you – they’ve got a date at Lee’s Palace on May 9 as part of a short tour, tickets $15.

MP3: Man Man – “Top Drawer”

UK electro outfit Fuck Buttons have made a date at the Horseshoe for May 19.

MP3: Fuck Buttons – “Bright Tomorrow”

Holly Miranda will finally be bringing her solo effort The Magician’s Private Library to town for a show at the El Mocambo on May 20.

MP3: Holly Miranda – “Waves”

The Avett Brothers will bring their latest album I And Love And You back to town for a show at The Phoenix on June 1. Tickets are $25.50 and on sale now.

MP3: The Avett Brothers – “I And Love And You”

Though they were just here in October, The Psychedelic Furs are back for a much cozier show at Lee’s Palace on June 8.

Video: The Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”

His date at the Mod Club last April was cancelled due to illness, but Robyn Hitchcock is finally making that up in intimate style with two shows at the Drake Underground on June 11 and 12. Of course that show was supposed to be with the Venus 3 – no word yet what the touring configuration for these appearances are going to be, but it’ll be entertaining regardless.

MP3: Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 – “Goodnight Oslo” (live)

The New Pornographers have announced their extensive North American touring plans in support of Together, out May 4. For their June 15 date at the Sound Academy, they’ll be joined by The Dodos and The Dutchess & The Duke – tickets $26.50 general admission and $40 VIP balcony, on sale Friday. And since it’s a question that always gets asked when tour dates are announced, yes – Dan and Neko are going to be there.

MP3: The New Pornographers – “Your Hands (Together)”
MP3: The Dodos – “Fables”
MP3: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Living This Life”

And if you like your west coast pop a little more bent, Frog Eyes will be at the Music Gallery that same evening, June 15, accompanied by Seattle’s Pearly Gate Music.

MP3: Frog Eyes – “Bushels”
MP3: Pearly Gate Music – “Big Escape”

And oh yeah, Montreal’s Osheaga festival announced their lineup this week and it’s a pretty big pile of holy shit. With a top-five bill of Arcade Fire, Weezer, Pavement, Metric and The National and a pretty solid undercard, it’s pretty much a must-attend for any indie-rocking type who isn’t averse to standing around in a field for two days. The fest goes July 31 and August 1 in Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal; weekend passes go for $110/$120 depending on how soon you’re willing to commit.

By : Frank Yang at 8:06 am
Category: General

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post10 Responses.
  1. stalevar says:

    Tickets for Stars are on sale today at Ticket master with password “Guitar”. I just got mine.

  2. Bruce says:

    Lots of great announcements, not least of which – TFC! Always look forward to anything they do. The news of Alex Chilton’s death last week led to hearing September Girls, and being (re)struck by how closely TFC have hewed to that blueprint on many of their tunes. I second your description of their three-songwriter dynamic being such a defining quality (much like Sloan, I’ve always thought, but perhaps not so much of a seamless blend with Sloan. Anyway.), and on that note, how about a little game? From the tracklisting for Shadows, try to guess from the song titles which is the responsible songwriter. Baby Lee is the known quantity, but otherwise, here’s my shot at it:

    01 Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything – Gerry
    02 Baby Lee – Norman
    03 The Fall – Norman
    04 Into the City – Gerry
    05 Dark Clouds – Ray
    06 The Past – Gerry
    07 Shock and Awe – Norman
    08 When I Still Have Thee – Ray
    09 Live With the Seasons – Gerry
    10 Sweet Days Waiting – Norman
    11 The Back of My Mind – Ray
    12 Today Never Ends – Gerry

    Time will tell. Anyone?

  3. stu says:

    Lovin’ Bloodbuzz Ohio. Those drums sound effing amazing. Can’t wait for that massey hall show. I’ve been waiting years to see these guys.
    he’s got some of the wierdest lyrics out there, but they somehow seem to really resonate.

  4. thomaus says:

    lickety-split = less than a minute?

    Sadness in Starsville.

  5. Frank Yang says:

    yes, that’s approximately my measure of “lickety-split”

    stay tuned to this space. I may be able to help some people out.

  6. Leif says:

    hey bruce,

    the running order in terms of authorship is the same as on “howdy”. to specify, it’s gerry, norman, ray then gerry again and so on.

    so credits go like this:

    01 Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything – Gerry
    02 Baby Lee – Norman
    03 The Fall – Ray
    04 Into the City – Gerry
    05 Dark Clouds – Norman
    06 The Past – Ray
    07 Shock and Awe – Gerry
    08 When I Still Have Thee – Norman
    09 Live With the Seasons – Ray
    10 Sweet Days Waiting – Gerry
    11 The Back of My Mind – Norman
    12 Today Never Ends – Ray

    a few songs have already been played on various bbc radio stations, you can find links on the teenage fanclub message board (via their website). so far these included:

    “sometimes i don’t need to believe in anything”
    “baby lee”
    “the fall”
    “into the city”
    “shock and awe”

    live recordings on youtube include:
    “sometimes…”
    “baby lee”
    “the fall”
    “if i still have thee” (norman blake with two non-clubbers)

    that said, i’m really excited for the new record!

  7. Leif says:

    *”when i still have thee” it is, sorry for the mispelling.

  8. Leif says:

    …”shock and awe” is especially beautiful!

  9. Bruce says:

    Hey Leif,

    I just stumbled onto your post, as a result of having picked up Shadows this week. Well, looks like my Fan-ometer was more than a little off! Leave it to them to have perfectly equal and regular distribution of songwriting duties (keeps everyone happy). It was worth a shot to guess by title, but a mug’s game, I suppose. In any case, another solid album, and I agree, Shock and Awe is an immediate standout.

  10. Stephen Frost says:

    Frank–yes, Jangle Pop…it doesn’t sound contemporary, it sounds like it’s always been there. I don’t know if I can ‘get’ it, maybe I need to listen to their older records to come to love them first?