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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Never Been Good With Change

Stars show contempt for traditional promotional cycle

Photo via youarestars.comyouarestars.comUsually, the process goes that a band releases a record, then tours it, and then if it’s done well and seems like it can be squeezed a little longer, puts out a companion album of remixes and b-sides. Stars appear to be set on doing things, if not in reverse, then in an order of their own choosing, convention be damned.

Shortly after making public the June 22 release date for their fifth album The Five Ghosts, the band announced that they would tour said record extensively before it was out – first with a series of Canadian club dates wherein they performed the new album in its entirety as the main set before dipping into the back catalog for the encore, and then with a moderately-sized American tour running through June, where they would again be showcasing a record that no one had yet heard.

And this week, they announced that the remix portion of the album cycle would also be starting before the album was released. They’ve set up a website wherein fans can play with a real-time remixing widget for the new song “We Don’t Want Your Body” and also download the base tracks from which they could make their own remixes and submit them for harsh judgement by the band. The one found most worthy will be showcased on the band’s website along with whatever “it seemed clever at the time” internet handle it was submitted under.

But all this preamble aside, the record will actually be coming out in a few weeks and as such, a number of fancy pre-sale options are available, the fancy-pantsiest of which is a $100 boxed set that presents the album on six coloured 7″s in a handcrafted wooden box and with a bunch of digital goodies including a remix EP entitled The Séance with the new songs given a do-over by REAL remixers, like The Album Leaf and Of Montreal.

One thing the band are doing that’s typical is offering a pre-release MP3 and making videos, both of which you can hear and see below. And they’re giving interviews, as proven by this conversation with Amy Millan at Cleveland Scene. And they’ll be touring more through the Summer festival season and into the Fall, probably looking forward to seeing fans singing along with the songs instead of staring blankly.

MP3: Stars – “Fixed”
Video: Stars – “Fixed”

Tokyo Police Club are also putting out a new record soon – next week, to be exact – and they’re building anticipation the old fashioned way (old fashioned by 2010 standards, anyways) with an advance stream of Champ over at Exclaim until its release on June 8, though they’re also doing competitions (challenge to band at stuff) and fancy presale packages (get a hoodie!) – details on their website. They also talk to Exclaim about the new album which, I’m not too proud to admit, is much better than I had expected it to be – more mature-sounding, yet just as energetic and hooky. Not an easy balance to strike. Looking forward to hearing it live when they play the Molson Amphitheatre on July 8 supporting The Flaming Lips and Spoon.

Stream: Tokyo Police Club / Champ

Both aux and Grand Crew have acoustic video sessions with Born Ruffians – okay really just guitarist Luke Lalonde – in Toronto and Paris, respectively. Lalonde also gives an interview to Beatroute, teams up with bassist Mitch Derosier for their feature at I Like Music and prodigal drummer Steve Hamelin chats with Spinner.

Chart talks to Dallas Good of The Sadies. They play a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 1.

Carl Newman of The New Pornographers talks to Beatroute about Together while Kathryn Calder discusses the album art with Spinner. They play the Sound Academy on June 15 and have just released a fun new video.

Video: The New Pornographers – “Crash Years”

The New Current caught up with The Rural Alberta Advantage while they were in the UK to play The Great Escape.

Soundproof talks to Joel Plaskett about the now-over Thrush Hermit reunion.

By : Frank Yang at 8:25 am
Category: General

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  1. Chuck says:

    Totally with you re: new Tokyo Police Club. I honestly/unfairly set the bar a little low for this one before hearing it, but some songs are pleasant eye-openers.