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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Arise, Watch

Buffalo Tom arise again

Photo via MyspaceMyspaceI don’t really participate in Twitter memes, but if I were to ride the one currently trending for #why90srocked, one of my contributions might be Boston’s Buffalo Tom. One of my favourite bands of that decade, their Let Me Come Over and Big Red Letter Day were two of the gateways that led me to the world of college rock (what the kids now mostly call indie) – jangly guitars, raspy vocals, big hooks all around, what’s not to like? Unfortunately they, like many of the acts of that era, didn’t find the underground to be especially profitable and eventually called it a day at the end of the 20th century when the responsibilities of real life came calling (frontman Bill Janovitz became and continues to be a realtor).

But like many of their peers, Buffalo Tom found a second act years later when they discovered their fans from back in the day were still there and so was their appetite for their music. I for one was thrilled to finally see them live not once but twice in 2007, both terrifically high energy performances with just the right amount of slop, and their comeback album Three Easy Pieces also stood tall alongside their past works. There were no disappointments here.

And I don’t expect any on their second post-reunion album, Skins. The Buffalo Tom formula isn’t necessarily a broad one, but it is deep enough to expect the veteran songwriters to be able to pull a dozen or so good tunes out of it every few years. Stereogum has the first MP3 from the album available to download, and though it starts out favouring the band’s more pensive side it builds quickly to a big rock breakdown, and Janovitz’s voice is unmistakeable. Consider the appetite whetted. Skins is out on February 15 of next year and The Alternate Side has an interview with Janovitz.

Grab the title track from their last record for a taste of their more pop-oriented side. Update: The new track is now available for anyone to disseminate. Yay!

MP3: Buffalo Tom – “Arise, Watch”
MP3: Buffalo Tom – “Three Easy Pieces”

Chunklet interviews Andy Earles, biographer of Husker Du and author of Husker Du: The Story of the Noise-Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock.

Creative Loafing talks to Jon Wurster and City Pages to Mac McCaughan of Superchunk. They’re playing an in-store at Sonic Boom on December 9 at 3PM before hitting up the Sound Academy that evening opening up for Broken Social Scene.

The Vine interviews Doug Martsch of Built To Spill.

Rolling Stone reports that in addition to the reissues of Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow The Green Grass on January 18, the same day that a short tour kicks off at The Phoenix in Toronto, The Jayhawks will be releasing a new album under their proper name – previously a stumbling point – in the Spring of next year.

Magnet has gone archive-digging and come up with their 2002 feature piece on Wilco circa Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, arguably the most interesting period of their career.

Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller talks to Spinner about his love of hockey while bassist Murry Hammond chats with Metromix.

Conor Oberst will return to Bright Eyes for the first time since 2007 for The People’s Key, due February 15. Details at American Songwriter.

Interpol heads to Europe and does the press circuit with Metro, The Guardian and Drowned In Sound.

Spoon has collected the demos and alternate takes of songs that were posted to their website over the past couple years and are offering it for sale as the digital compilation Bonus Songs 2008-2009.

Yours Truly has a video session with S. Carey, in town at The Horseshoe on December 19.

The Fly has an acoustic session with Local Natives.

Spinner talks to Warpaint bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg while the band talks about and performs the song “Warpaint” in session for The Guardian.

The Besnard Lakes have set a date at Lee’s Palace for January 29, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross”

Scots Biffy Clyro will bring their Mercury-shortlisted Only Revolutions to The Garrison on February 16, tickets $15 in advance.

Video: Biffy Clyro – “God and Satan”

Asobi Seksu will hit the road following the the February 11 release of their new record Fluorescence and stop in at The Horseshoe on February 27.

MP3: Asobi Seksu – “Trails”

Cold War Kids will be at Lee’s Palace on March 18 in support of their new record Mine Is Yours, out January 25. Tickets $20 in advance. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Spinner and The Hook have features on the band.

The Whig and Edmonton Journal interview Dan Mangan, who just recorded a World Cafe session for NPR.

San Francisco Weekly and Exclaim chat with The Sadies, who will be holding their annual New Year’s Eve throwdown at The Horseshoe on December 31.

Wolf Parade discuss their decision to take an indefinite hiatus with aux.tv.

Exclaim declares Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs as their pop/rock album of the year and talk to Win Butler about it.

The Dears are giving away a track from their forthcoming Degeneration Street over at Dangerbird. The record is out February 15.

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

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  1. William says:

    That Magnet article was a hatchet job. Who cares if Tweedy is a control freak or a notoriously bad communicator? The music stands for itself, and let me tell y’all—it’s amongst the best that’s out there.