Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
Dart In The Map
Review of The Futureheads’ The Chaos and giveaway
Goldest EggIf there’s a rule that bands are supposed to mellow and get more introspective as they age, no one told Sunderland, England’s Futureheads. After briefly making Newcastle the next epicentre of Brit-rock with their 2004 self-titled debut – Maximo Park and Field Music would emerge from the same scene – the quartet would release two more records of their distinctive, harmony-laden jerky New Wave with less success than their debut, some complaining that the breakneck rhythms and energy that made The Futureheads so infectious were lacking on the follow-ups.
I can’t comment on the veracity of those comments, as I don’t think I heard either News & Tributes or This Is Not The World though I did see them on tour for the former in Summer of 2006, and they certainly had as much energy as I could have expected. And having made the acquaintance of their newest record The Chaos – out today – I think I can say that if the last couple records were indeed a bit soft, then this can be considered a return to form as sonically, it’s pretty much monolithic. The four-part harmonies, with their clipped phrasing and sharp accents, are still exceptionally tight and as far from a barber shop quartet as you can get and the guitars, if aptly described as “wiry” circa their debut are now akin to electrical transmission lines in girth. Coupled with songs that are maybe a notch or two less immediate than their earlier material but still eminently catchy and performed at a pace that only a bona fide speed freak would call anything but barrelling, The Chaos has all the manic energy promised by its title, encapsulated in compact 3-minute pop packages. Some more dynamics – or just an opportunity to catch one’s breath – over the course of the record would have been welcome, but there’ll be time enough for that when they’re older.
The Futureheads are kicking off a North American tour tonight in New York and will be rolling through Toronto on June 10 for date at the Mod Club. Advance tickets are $18.50 in advance but courtesy of Goldest Egg, i’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to have a Futurehead” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and get that in to me before midnight, June 7.
Futurehead guitarist Ross Millard talks to Spinner about some of the political themes that have worked their way into the new record.
Drowned In Sound reports the new Manic Street Preachers record – the one Nicky Wire compared to Aerosmith’s Pump – will be entitled Postcards From A Young Man and be out in the UK on September 20. Was not expecting new MSP so soon; very happy.
Video: Vampire Weekend – “Holiday”
Flagpole and The Daily Record have interviews with The Hold Steady while NPR has the band in for a World Cafe session. There’s an MP3 now available to download from Heaven Is Whenever, which they’ll be performing at the Kool Haus on July 17.
NYC Taper has a recording of Holly Miranda’s homecoming show in New York City last week available to share while Aux.tv has a video session recorded on the University of Toronto campus which includes a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Hundreds Of Sparrows”. If one good thing comes out of the passing of Mark Linkous, let it be more and more beautiful Sparklehorse covers. The Sydney Morning Herald also has an interview with Ms Miranda.
Video: Josh Ritter – “The Curse”
The Brother Kite’s Isolation has finally been granted a release date – look for the CD on September 14 and a vinyl edition to follow in November. Preview a few tracks at their website and count the days.
Before playing the Horseshoe that evening, tUnE-yArDs will do an in-store at Soundscpaes on June 13 at 3PM in the afternoon, perfect for those – like myself – who are curious but not ready to commit an evening to see her.
Fresh off opening up for Sharon Jones at the Sound Academy last week, UK funk-soul brothers The Heavy will play a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 9 at 8PM as part of this year’s edition of Beats, Breaks & Culture.
It’s being billed as “Disco Lemonade”, but other appropriate names might be “You Got Your Sensitive Singer-Songwriter In My Dance Party”, “When Disparate Tours Collide”, “I Want The Venue No *I* Want The Venue” or just plain “WTF”. I speak of the show taking place at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 30, which will feature Keane, Robyn, Ingrid Michaelson, Kelis, Fran Healy, Dan Black and Far East Movement. Tickets range from $29.50 to $49.50, the show begins at 3:30PM – yes, that’s on a Friday – and it’s reasonably safe to say that everyone who goes to this show will see something they probably would never have gone to see otherwise. I actually saw this bill on Pollstar a couple weeks ago and assumed it was a typo. Silly me.
Video: Keane – “Clear Skies”
Video: Robyn – “With Every Heartbeat”
Video: Ingrid Michaelson – “The Way I Am”
Video: Kelis – “Milkshake”
Video: Travis – “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?”
Video: Dan Black – “Symphonies”
Video: Far East Movement – “Fetish”
Goth godfather Peter Murphy has a date at Lee’s Palace on August 10, tickets $29.50 in advance.
Video: Peter Murphy – “Cuts You Up”
Mice Parade have a date at the El Mocambo on September 29.
Tags: Bat For Lashes, Blitzen Trapper, Broken Bells, Brother Kite, Dan Black, Far East Movement, Fran Healy, Futureheads, Grizzly Bear, Heavy, Hold Steady, Holly Miranda, Ingrid Michaelson, Josh Ritter, Keane, Langhorne Slim, LCD Soundsystem, Manic Street Preachers, Mountain Goats, National, Nicole Atkins, Phantogram, Robyn, tUnE-yArDs, Vampire Weekend