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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Sun Hits

Review of Memory Tapes’ Player Piano and giveaway

Photo via Windish AgencyWindish AgencyI’ve no doubt that Dayve Hawk loathes the term/scene/epithet “chillwave” that was attached to his musical identity of Memory Tapes when he emerged last year, and fairly so – its connotations were rarely positive, or at least applied without some snark, and many of the acts who would been considered his peers were kind of terrible. But if I hadn’t done the cursory, “so what the hell is this all about” investigation, I might not have ever heard his debut Seek Magic and that would have been a shame.

Though it technically passed the chillwave checklist test – homemade dreamy textures made with burbling synths and ’80s electropop echoes – Seek Magic possessed a degree of craftsmanship and songwriting that lifted it well above the also-rans. And the fact that he made it compelling in live performance, as I saw at SXSW 2010, confirmed that while it was probably safe to ignore anything bearing the aforementioned metatag, Memory Tapes deserved to stay on my radar.

The just-released second Memory Tapes record Player Piano takes everything that was good about Seek Magic and reinforces it, offering stronger songs, sharper hooks and less instrumental haze. The guitars still shimmer and echo and Hawke’s voice remains high and pleasantly pinched, but the overall experience is just bigger, in both dynamics and sonic scope – some of Player Piano is M83-scale ambitious. I do find myself wishing there was a little more weight in the low end, be it in the drums or bass, to give it that extra bit of presence but that’s a minor complaint and weighed against Player Piano‘s many merits, a negligible one. File under one of the best dream-pop records you’ll likely hear this year.

Memory Tapes is currently on tour and will be at Wrongbar in Toronto on August 13. Tickets for the show are $12 in advance but courtesy of Embrace, I have two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want Memory Tapes” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, August 10.

SF Weekly has an interview with Dayve Hawk.

MP3: Memory Tapes – “Wait In The Dark”
MP3: Memory Tapes – “Today Is Our Life”
Video: Memory Tapes – “Yes We Know”

After some time off turned into a hiatus turned into a disbandment, James Mercer and a new passel of bandmates have reconvened as The Shins and while a new record won’t be out until next year, there will be some Fall tour dates to get folks reacquainted and one of them is September 22 at The Phoenix in Toronto. Ticket prices still TBA but they’ll go on sale Friday.

MP3: The Shins – “So Says I”
MP3: The Shins – “Kissing The Lipless”

Everyone’s favourite family-friendly hip-hop collective Odd Future are coming back to town as part of a massive Fall tour that will allow them to get up close and personal with their fans, and possibly kick them in the faces. The Toronto date comes October 16 at the Sound Academy. Interview has a talk with Wolf Gang leader Tyler The Creator and the collective are featured on the cover of this month’s Exclaim

Video: Tyler The Creator – “Yonkers”

The Black Angels will be back in town at Lee’s Palace on October 24 with Dead Meadow; both are continuing to work 2010 releases – the former with Phosphene Dream and the latter with Three Kings.

MP3: The Black Angels – “Telephone”
MP3: Dead Meadow – “Good Moanin'”

New York DFA-affiliated electro-poppers Holy Ghost! will be at 69 Bathurst on November 1 in support of their self-titled debut.

MP3: Holy Ghost! – “Do It Again”
MP3: Holy Ghost! – “I Will Come Back”
MP3: Holy Ghost! – “Wait & See”

Wears The Trousers interviews Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. She plays Lee’s Palace on September 24.

Spin finds out some of Mates Of State’s favourite things. The indie-pop duo are readying their latest album Mountaintops for a September 13 release and will be at The Phoenix on September 28.

They Shoot Music has a video session with Wye Oak, who will be at The Sound Academy on October 7 opening up for Explosions In The Sky.

My Morning Jacket have released a video from their latest record Circuital.

Video: My Morning Jacket – “Holdin’ On To Black Metal”

Pitchfork has got a nice Yours Truly-shot video of EMA at the recent Pitchfork Festival.

Magnet Q&As Richard Buckner in advance of making him their website guest editor for the week.

The Montreal Gazette, Boston Herald, Detroit Free Press and Tourisme Montreal talk to members of Death Cab For Cutie.

By : Frank Yang at 8:17 am
Category: Contests

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RSS Feed for this post2 Responses.
  1. ScienceKiller says:

    Was there any mention of Spindrift also playing with Dead Meadow and The Black Angels that night on the press release? I think they are for some dates, but unsure of Toronto. Thanks.

  2. Frank Yang says:

    just checked the PR and yes, Spindrift are listed on that bill as well.