Archive for March, 2010

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

SxSW 2010 Night One A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFull writeup of the evening over here.

– Seattle-based power-pop outfit fronted by the awesome Rachel Flotard released Message To Garcia last year. Spinner has an interview.
Photos: Visqueen @ Stubb’s – March 17, 2010
MP3: Visqueen – “Hand Me Down”
MP3: Visqueen – “Beautiful Amnesia”
Video: Visqueen – “Crush On Radio”
Video: Visqueen – “Mrs. Elder”
MySpace: Visqueen

Trespassers William
– Seattle duo released The Natural Order Of Things EP last year and are currently working on their third full-length album while their cover of “The Rainbow Connection” from Sing Me To Sleep: Indie Lullabies is streaming over here. Spinner has a chat with the band.
Photos: Trespassers William @ 18th Floor at Hilton Garden – March 17, 2010
MP3: Trespassers William – “Sparrow”
MP3: Trespassers William – “Lie In The Sound”
MySpace: Trespassers William

– Swede-fronted London-based pop orchestra still riding high on last year’s glorious Reservoir are currently on tour in North America and will make their Toronto debut on April 9 at Lee’s Palace. They’re also giving away a free live EP on their website in exchange for an email address.
Photos: Fanfarlo @ The Galaxy Room Backyard – March 17, 2010
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Harold T Wilkins”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “I’m A Pilot”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Luna”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Finish Line”
Video: Fanfarlo – “The Walls Are Coming Down”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Harold T Wilkins”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Fire Escape”
MySpace: Fanfarlo

The Megaphonic Thrift
– Norwegian sonic anarchists released their debut full-length Decay Decoy at the start of March. Spinner has an interview.
Photos: The Megaphonic Thrift @ Habana Calle 6 – March 17, 2010
Video: The Megaphonic Thrift – “Acid Blues”

Rose Elinor Dougall
– Former Pipette who will release her solo debut Without Why in the Fall talks to Under The Radar.
Photos: Rose Elinor Dougall @ The Galaxy Room – March 17, 2010
MP3: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Fallen Over”
Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Start/Stop/Synchro”
MySpace: Rose Elinor Dougall

The Invisible
– London-based three-piece whose 2009 self-titled debut was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize begin a North American tour this week that stops at The Opera House in Toronto on Friday, April 2.
Photos: The Invisible @ Latitude 30 – March 17, 2010
MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”
Video: The Invisible – “Jacob & The Angel”
Video: The Invisible – “London Girl”
MySpace: The Invisible

Monday, March 29th, 2010

SxSW 2010 Day One A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFull writeup of the day over here.

Basia Bulat
– Toronto-based singer-songwriter released her sophomore album Heart Of My Own back in January. Prefix has an interview, she recorded a Camera Music video session for and she plays the Phoenix on June 4.
Photos: Basia Bulat @ The Galaxy Room – March 17, 2010
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Go On”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Snakes & Ladders”
Video: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MySpace: Basia Bulat

A Sunny Day In Glasgow
– Philadelphian dreampop sextet currently touring behind last year’s Ashes Grammar and this year’s companion Nighttime Rainbows EP will stop in at the Garrison on Friday, April 2.
Photos: A Sunny Day In Glasgow @ Emo’s Annex – March 17, 2010
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Sigh Inhibitionist”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Ashes Grammar/Ashes Math”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Best Summer Ever”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)”
Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “A Mundane Phone Call To Jack Parsons”
Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “So Bloody Tight”
MySpace: A Sunny Day In Glasgow

Yukon Blonde
– Classic rockily-inclined Vancouver outfit released their self-titled debut in February. Spinner has a chat and Souther Souls a session. They’ll be at The Garrison on April 23.
Photos: Yukon Blonde @ The Mohawk Patio – March 17, 2010
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Wind Blows”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Rather Be With You”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Blood Cops”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Streets”
MySpace: Yukon Blonde

Anni Rossi
Spinner talks to the Chicago Viola prodigy, who released her full-length debut Rockwell last year
Photos: Anni Rossi @ The Mohawk – March 17, 2010
MP3: Anni Rossi – “Ecology”
MP3: Anni Rossi – “Wheelpusher”
Video: Anni Rossi – “The West Coast”
MySpace: Anni Rossi

The Depreciation Guild
– Brooklyn 8-bit dream-pop trio will release their new record Spirit Youth on May 18. Currently on tour with Serena-Maneesh, they will be at the Great Hall on April 2.
Photos: The Depreciation Guild @ Peckerheads – March 17, 2010
MP3: The Depreciation Guild – “Dream About Me”
Video: The Depreciation Guild – “Dream About Me”
Video: The Depreciation Guild – “Nautilus”
MySpace: The Depreciation Guild

Miles Kurosky
– Former Beulah leader just released his long-awatited solo debut The Desert Of Shallow Effects. New York Press, The New Haven Register and The AV Club have interviews.
Photos: Miles Kurosky @ Red-Eyed Fly – March 17, 2010
MP3: Miles Kurosky – “Apple For An Apple”
Video: Miles Kurosky – “Dog In The Burning Building”
MySpace: Miles Kurosky

Frightened Rabbit
– Scots released their third album The Winter Of Mixed Drinks earlier this month. STV and eMusic talk to Scott Hutchinson, who lists the reasons “Why I Wish I Could Be A Professional Rapper” for Clash. They play the Opera House on May 4.
Photos: Frightened Rabbit @ The Galaxy Room – March 17, 2010
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “The Modern Leper”
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Head Rolls Off”
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Old Old Fashioned” (live)
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You” (alternate version)
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Heads Roll Off”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “The Greys”

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Headphone Space

An introduction to A Sunny Day In Glasgow and giveaway

Photo By Ever NalensEver NalensThis isn’t quite an introduction as I first said hello to A Sunny Day In Glasgow back in December 2006, but considering they’re far from the same band they were at the time of their first EP, I think we can let it slide. When I first took notice of the Philadelphia outfit, they were a family unit – Ben Daniels on songwriting and instrumentation with twin sisters Robin and Lauren on vocals – with some clear genetic predilection for blending wispy melodies with fuzzy, clattering programming and cut-and-paste production, the net result sounding like a proud standard-bearer for electro-twee-gaze, if such a genre ever existed.

And while that sounds like the sort of thing that would be target-marketed to my musical sensibilities, I found their 2007 debut Scribble Mural Comic Journal a little too much of a head trip to really fall in love with. The melodies, while present, were buried under reverb and white noise and the song structures deliberately bent into disorienting shapes. Clearly this was deliberate aesthetic and musical choice on their part, and points should probably be given and not taken away for not doing the easy “pop” thing, but I never found myself wanting to listen to it much.

The follow-up, last year’s Ashes Grammar, continued along the path forged by the debut but with enough added clarity and growth to make it a far superior effort, at least by my standards. The aural gauze that swaddled all of Comic Journal has been thinned out enough that it’s easier and more enjoyable to pick out the many tones and textures at play. The vocals are still deliberately ghost-like, but given stronger melodies to wrap themselves around, they can’t help but make their presence more strongly felt. It’s a record that manages to be much more what I wanted to hear from them and yet remaining very much what they envision for themselves – win-win.

So of course as soon as the record came out, the band went off and reinvented themselves, personnel-wise. Through a series of circumstances, both sisters left the band and a new lineup more suited to touring was assembled around the one constant of Ben Daniels. It was this ASDG Mk2 that I saw a couple weeks ago at SxSW and who surprised me just how direct-sounding the live renderings of their songs are. Granted, reproducing the records verbatim would be as difficult as it is pointless, but it was still a bit of a shock – pleasantly so – how willing and able they were reinvent themselves as a relatively straight pop band on stage.

Due to an inability to tell time, I only caught the tail end of their performance but it was enough that for all the live music options in Toronto this coming Friday night, April 2, I’ve committed to catching their local debut at the Garrison. Tickets for the show are $10 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to spend A Sunny Day In Glasgow” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, March 31., The Daily Free Press and Spinner have interviews with ASDG leader Ben Daniels.

MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Sigh Inhibitionist”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Ashes Grammar/Ashes Math”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Best Summer Ever”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)”
Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “A Mundane Phone Call To Jack Parsons”
Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “So Bloody Tight”
MySpace: A Sunny Day In Glasgow

NOW and The Boston Herald have feature pieces on Beach House, playing a sold-out show at the Opera House tomorrow night and then returning for the Toronto Island Concert on June 19.

Faster Louder talks to Neil Halstead about the legacy of Slowdive. A legacy which is being anthologized (again) in a new collection entitled Shining Breeze, out April 26 in the UK. There’s details on the collection over here – looks like it’s a mix of album and single/EP tracks, but nothing that wasn’t made available via the reissues in 2005 or the presumably out of print 2004 best-of Catch The Breeze.

California Chronicle interviews The Big Pink.

Field Music talks to eye.

The Pipettes have released a new video from their forthcoming record Earth vs Pipettes, due out on June 28.

Video: The Pipettes – “Stop The Music”

NME chats with Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine, who has released a new video for “The Dog Days Are Over” from Lungs. I thought the original one was fun and fine, but if you’ve got budget to spend I guess you may as well. Florence is at the Kool Haus on April 10.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “The Dog Days Are Over” (new version)
Video: Florence & The Machine – “The Dog Days Are Over” (old version)

The Music Magazine talks to Emmy The Great about how things are progressing on album number two. Answer: slowly.

BBC6 and Clash talk to Laura Marling about her new record I Speak Because I Can, out in North American on April 6. There’s a couple videos of the song “Rambling Man” now available – the official video and a Black Cab Session recorded at last year’s SxSW festival.

Video: Laura Marling – “Rambling Man”

Spinner talks to Mumford & Sons about their just-released Interface session.

Toro Y Moi has had to cancel Tuesday night’s appearance at the Drake Underground as a result of having his gear nicked in New York the other night. Headliners The Ruby Suns are still performing.

Sloan will be marking Record Store Day on April 17 with an in-store at Sonic Boom, time TBA. Blurt has a piece on why Record Store Day and record stores in general are awesome.

Rufus Wainwright will be performing at the Elgin-Winter Garden on June 15. His opera Prima Donna is running that week as part of LuminaTO, but it seems this date will be a concert from Rufus himself. Update: PR just confirmed the 15th is a solo Rufus show and a second show has been added for June 17.

Sunday, March 28th, 2010


Spoon covers Yo La Tengo

Photo via Rate Your MusicRate Your MusicNo big setup for this one this week; there shouldn’t be any needed. One of the finest, most consistent acts in indie rockdom covering another – pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Of course, when Spoon released their version of the opening track to Yo La Tengo’s Electr-O-Pura in 2001 as a b-side to “Anything You Want”, they had just put out Girls Can Tell, their first release for Merge following an embittering major label experience, and had no idea they were en route to becoming the artist of the decade that they’ve since been mathematically proven to be.

A decade capped by this year’s Transference, which despite the reservations of some is another absurdly solid addition to their canon. It’s this record that brings them back to Toronto tomorrow night to the Sound Academy for their first local appearance in a couple years and my first time catching them live in nearly five. No excuse why, but I’m most excited about taking care of that.

MP3: Spoon – “Decora”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Decora” (live)

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

CONTEST – Stars @ The Mod Club – May 5, 2010

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo that took, what – 30? 40 seconds? To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Toronto stop on Stars’ upcoming intimate cross-Canada tour – May 5 at the Mod Club – was sold out before you could set yourself on fire, even if you’d prepped by dousing yourself in kerosene with a Zippo at the ready.

But if you weren’t amongst the 500 or so lucky ones to get tickets to hear the band play their forthcoming album The Five Ghosts in its entirety well in advance of its June 22 street date, fear not – I’ve got your back. Courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got three (3) pairs of passes to give away to the show. No, they don’t come attached to a bar of Wonka chocolate but they may as well.

To enter, you need to take a look at the poll that the band have set up for fans to choose their four-song encore – presumably the only non-Ghosts material that will be heard that evening – and tell me what your perfect encore for the show would be. Leave your picks in a comment on this post and make sure your email is included; additional commentary is not necessary but always fun. Winners will be chosen at random from all entries submitted before midnight, April 28.

Video: Stars / The Making of The Five Ghosts part 1
Video: Stars / The Making of The Five Ghosts part 2