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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

For Almost Ever

Bill Fox to help Kelp Records celebrate 16th birthday

Photo via Last.FMLast.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.

MP3: The Mice – “Not Proud Of The USA”
MP3: The Mice – “More Than I Can Talk About”
MP3: Nada Surf – “Electrocution”

Stereogum has premiered the new video from Born Ruffians’ forthcoming Say It, due out June 1. They play The Horseshoe on May 28.

Video: Born Ruffians – “What To Say”

The New Pornographers are streaming Together in its entirety at Exclaim, a week ahead of its May 4 release. They will be at the Sound Academy on June 15.

Stream: The New Pornographers / Together

School Of Seven Bells have finally put a release date on their second album, Disconnect From Desire. Pitchfork has the vitals on the new record, which will out on July 13.

Alison Mosshart of The Kills tells BBC 6 that their new record is more than halfway complete.

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.

Shout Out Louds are taking over the editors desk at Magnet this week as they gear up for their North American tour which brings them to the Mod Club on May 8.

Mew have released a typically weird new video from No More Stories.

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.

MP3: She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”

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.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “Tom Cruz”

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).

Video: The Flaming Lips – “Powerless”
Video: Spoon – “Written In Reverse”

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.

MP3: The Swell Season – “In These Arms”

Ween are coming to town – look for them at the Kool Haus on July 20, tickets $35. Is it wrong that this is my favourite Ween composition?

MP3: Ween – “Where’d The Cheese Go?”

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am
Category: General

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  1. stalevar says:

    I got an e-mail from Ticketmaster offering a refund for She and Him. I can copy and paste here if someone will ask. I’m going to get a refund myself.