Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
For Almost Ever
Bill Fox to help Kelp Records celebrate 16th birthday
Last.fmSo apparently there’s this guy – based in Ohio but sings with an affected British accent, played in a band with his brother for a while, has a habit of writing amazing pop songs and recording them onto 4-track cassette and is worshipped by those in the know. I’m talking, of course, about Bill Fox. Why, who were you thinking of?
I actually can’t pretend to be one of those aforementioned “in the know”, however. Prior to a few weeks ago, the first I’d heard of Bill Fox was via the first sample of Nada Surf’s forthcoming covers record, if i had a hi-fi, and “Electrocution” offered a terrific first impression – both of the Nada Surf record and the songwriting talent behind that song. And then a copy of his 1998 record Transit Byzantium was forwarded on to me by the folks at Ottawa-based Kelp Records, both for my own musical edification and by way of invitation to help them celebrate their 16th anniversary.
Apparently the traditional 16th anniversary gift is silver holloware, but who doesn’t have enough of that cluttering up their homes? Instead, Kelp – who has been and still is home to such acts as The Acorn, Hilotrons and Jim Bryson, is marking their 16th by throwing a series of parties in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, featuring Mr Bill Fox and a variety of Kelp friends and family. For my part, I’m pleased to be co-presenting the Toronto show which will take place on Wednesday, May 12, and feature sets by Andrew Vincent, Chris Page, Leif Vollebekk and of course, Bill Fox.
Obviously I cannot pretend that I’m anything resembling an old-school fan of Bill Fox or his old band The Mice, but my crash course in his story and works has been a wholly enjoyable one: The Mice are terrific scrappy power pop and Fox’s solo works more folkish and thoughtful but just as melodic. And so I’m happy to be able to associate my name with a Canadian label that’s been fighting the good fight for so long and a show that is no doubt bringing much happiness to those out there who ARE old-school Bill Fox fans. For a while Fox had dropped almost completely out of sight – his Wikipedia page more or less tells the tale – and while he’s now playing live more and his catalog is slowly being reissued courtesy of Scat Records, the man doesn’t really tour so this is, as they say, an opportunity.
Tickets for the Toronto show are $10 in advance. Grab a free sampler of Kelp artists at Bandcamp.
Stream: The New Pornographers / Together
The Fly interviews James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, whose This Is Happening is out May 18 and who are at the Kool Haus on May 25. Slowly, but surely, I am starting to get LCD. It’s fun like parties, right? I get that.
Video: Mew – “Beach”
In concert news, the June 9 She & Him show has been moved from the Phoenix to the Sound Academy. I’m somewhat surprised at this, as the show has been sold out for well over a month and I figured if a move was in the offing, it’d have happened sooner. But so it is that Matt and Zooey will now be visiting in the most despised room in the city, but look on the bright side – it’s now all-ages so at least some of the 2000 more people who can attend won’t be very tall. And no, there’s no info on getting refunds because you have the new room. Sorry.
Their free record release show last week having been a huge (crushing) success, Plants & Animals will be returning for a June 24 show at the Opera House; unfortunately this one you have to pay for. They’re featured in The Montreal Mirror, The Montreal Gazette, Chart and The Toronto Sun.
Could one band who hasn’t been here in ages and another who just visited make up the bill of the Summer? When it’s The Flaming Lips and Spoon, maybe so. The pair will be at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 8 and considering the show starts at 6:45 and curfew is 11PM, it seems the Lips will finally be making up for their 15-minute V Fest set in 2006. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10AM and range from $52.50 for GA floors (and the privilege of being in Wayne Coyne’s bubble walk route) to $29.50 for lawns (unlikely he’ll make it up there but you never know).
The Swell Season will be coming back to town on July 12 for a show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, tickets $39.50 to $42.50. It sounds as though Glen Hansard is getting The Frames out of mothballs for their 20th anniversary, so this could be your last chance to see him in a quieter headspace, not to mention Marketa Irglova.