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Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Heaven's Gonna Happen Now

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart at Sonic Boom in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhat happens when The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart meet the pains of being busted up in shoulder? You take advantage of the fact that said band used an off day on their touring itinerary to play an in-store a day before their official show, so as to avoid having to stand around The Opera House for three hours, possibly/probably looped on meds. Which is basically what happened on Monday night at Sonic Boom.

Despite the fact that Pains’ self-titled debut was one of my favourites of 2009, I hadn’t seen the New York outfit since their local debut that February, when their buzz was just building and their packed Lee’s Palace show was one of their largest audiences to date. I missed their next two local shows that same year, but obviously the past two and a half years of steady touring through bigger and bigger stages has served the band well, honing them from a group of adorable wide-eyed kids at the start of a great adventure to a pretty damn tight rock band… who are still adorable. Their second album Belong captured this evolution pretty well, keeping the Sarah-referencing winsome pop core that made their debut so delicious but dressing it up in bigger, thicker production that added a little or a lot of roar to their guitar jangle.

It’s interesting to re-read my comments on the live Pains experience circa that Lee’s show and contrast them with the show they put on Monday night. That band was a shy four-piece, light on presence but charming nonetheless and had barely enough material to fill out 45 minutes including encore. This time out they numbered five, with second guitarist Christoph Hochheim along to fill out the sound, and played with the confidence of a band who’s no longer just happy to be there – they were there to play and play well and loud, even if it was just a freebie in the basement of a record store. And to that end, they played a full and sweaty 45-minute set – presumably the same one they delivered the day before to thousands at Osheaga – the the delight of those who opted to wind out their long weekend there instead of clutching a beer on some patio. I’m sure the hundreds who filled the Opera House last night got just as good if not better of a show, but for me this was an ideal opportunity to catch up with the band and still rest up the arm.

Chart and Paste have feature pieces on the band.

Photos: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart @ Sonic Boom – August 1, 2011
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Young Adult Friction”
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Come Saturday”
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “The Body”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Say No To Love”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Heart In Your Heartbreak”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Higher Than The Stars”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Young Adult Friction”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”

Pitchfork solicits a guest list from American ambient-pop artist John Maus, who has a date at The Drake Underground on September 30 in support of We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves. The Los Angeles Times also has a feature piece.

MP3: John Maus – “Believer”

I am going to assume that The Naked & Famous’ show at Lee’s Palace next week is well and proper sold out because otherwise, they wouldn’t have already announced a return engagement – October 6 at The Phoenix, tickets $20.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Girls Like You”

Fans of all things rootsy and rocking will want to keep October 30 open, as that’s the day the double-header of Blitzen Trapper and Dawes hit the Opera House. Blitzen Trapper will be promoting their latest American Goldwing, out September 13, while Dawes released their second album Nothing Is Wrong back in June. And to whet your appetite, they’re giving away a six-track sampler EP in exchange for an email at either of their official websites. Playback, Illinois Entertainer and Boulder Weekly have interviews with Blitzen Trapper.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “American Goldwing”
MP3: Dawes – “Love Is All I Am”

Having played pretty much every major festival on the circuit, the Death From Above 1979 reunion finally comes home for a show at the Sound Academy on October 28, tickets $36 in advance.

Video: Death From Above 1979 – “Blood On Our Hands”
Video: Death From Above 1979 – “Romantic Rights”

Also in the finally department, those Feist tour dates announced last week have been enhanced with some Canadian dates, including a December 1 stop at Massey Hall. Exclaim has the complete itinerary as of right now, as well as the cover art and tracklisting for her new record Metals, out October 4 and a third vignette preview of the new record is up on her website.

Video: Feist – “Mushaboom”

And for those who’ve gone to put the above two dates in their calendars only to find prior commitments pencilled in, I offer these options – rather than try to choose between DFA1979’s sweaty shirtlessness at the Sound Academy and Dan Mangan’s bearded sensitivity at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, catch Dan either the night before in Hamilton or the night after in Guelph. And as for choosing between Feist and Austra’s homecoming gig at The Phoenix that same night, note that the December 2 slot on her itinerary is currently vacant and the last times she played Massey back in 2007 and 2008, she did two nights and in ’08, there was also that Air Canada Centre nightcap. You do the math.

PopMatters has an interview with Austra’s Katie Stelmanis.

Daytrotter has got a session with Zeus, who’re playing a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square on September 9.

NOW talks to Owen Pallett about getting the band back together, in this case Les Mouches. Pallett and company are at the Phoenix tomorrow night warming things up for Beirut.

The Huffington Post talks to Torq Campbell and Amy Millan of Stars about their ten-year anniversary as a band.

Handsome Furs talk the touring life with The National Post and Georgia Straight.

By : Frank Yang at 8:17 am
Category: Concert Reviews

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