Archive for November, 2011

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

CONTEST – White Rabbits @ The Horseshoe – November 30, 2011

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWho: White Rabbits
What: Brooklyn indie-rockers who made a splash a few years back with their Britt Daniel-produced and -influenced album It’s Frightening
Why: That album title might also reflect their state of mind in trying to follow it up, hence their opting to tour rather than put out a new record. Maybe they’re road-testing new material. Yeah, that’s it.
When: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Where: The Horseshoe Tavern (19+)
Who else: Fellow New Yorkers Arms are along for the ride.
How: Tickets for the show are $15 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see White Rabbits” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, November 28.

MP3: White Rabbits – “Percussion Gun”
Video: White Rabbits – “Percussion Gun”

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

CONTEST – Find The Others @ Hugh’s Room – November 30, 2011

Photo via FacebookFacebookWho: Find The Others
What: Musical project built around CBC radio personality Andy Sheppard’s virtuostic acoustic guitar that incorporates sound collage and contributions from guest artists ranging from Snowblink to Isabella Rossellini. Yes, that Isabella Rossellini.
Why: Their self-titled debut was released at the start of the month and the multi-sensory live experience has been touring eastern Canada.
When: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Where: Hugh’s Room in Toronto (all-ages)
How: Tickets for the show are $17 in advance but courtesy of Webster Media Consulting, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to Find The Others” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, November 28.
What else: Uptown, The StarPhoenix, and The Montreal Gazette talk to Sheppard about the project

Video: Find The Others – “In Time”
Video: Find The Others – “And The Bells They Rang”
Video: Find The Others – “Sons And Daughters”
Stream: Find The Others / Find The Others

Friday, November 25th, 2011


The Antlers thankful for new EP, sessions a-plenty

Photo By Shervin LainezShervin LainezYou know how the internet basically shuts down when the US goes on holiday? Well it does, and that’s why today’s post is a bit slight to say the least.

And we’ll kick it off with a couple of sessions to listen to, watch and download from The Antlers to mark the release this week of their (together) EP. It’s a companion to this year’s Burst Apart long-player, which contains the remixes and covers that are standard for these sorts of releases but also re-recordings of selections from the record with the assistance of artists such as Nicole Atkins and Neon Indian. It vacillates between interesting and meandering and if you’re trying to decide between hearing it or Burst Apart, by all means go with the full-length – it’s gorgeous – but if you’re needing an Antlers fix, this may do ya.

It also provides an occasion for Daytrotter and Paste to post up sessions with the band, the former downloadable and purchaseable and the latter watchable. And just because, here’s that xx cover that also appears on (together).

MP3: The Antlers – “VCR”

Pitchfork has premiered the first sample of Sharon Van Etten’s forthcoming Tramp, out February 7. She plays Lee’s Palace on February 21.

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”

Pennsylvanian punks Pissed Jeans have made a date at Sneaky Dee’s for January 20 of the new year, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Pissed Jeans – “Dream Smotherer”
MP3: Pissed Jeans – “False Jesii Part 2”

NPR has a World CafetUnE-yArDs.

Ivy have released a new video from this year’s All Hours.

Video: Ivy – “Fascinated”

Matthew Sweet talks about and performes his Girlfriend-era gem “I’ve Been Waiting” for The AV Club.

Paste has an extensive career-spanning retrospective piece on R.E.M..

The Jayhawks play a set for NPR’s World Cafe and give an interview to Country Standard Time.

For Folk’s Sake points to session at Abbey Road for Channel 4 (watchable only from the UK, unfortunately) wherein Laura Marling plays Emmylou to Ryan Adams on a performance of “Oh My Sweet Carolina”… and it’s very good. Marling is in town for two sold-out shows at Camera Bar on December 7 and Adams is at the Winter Garden Theatre on December 10.

NOW and The Victoria Times-Colonist talk to Kathryn Calder, in town for a free show at The Horseshoe on Tuesday night.

Uptown and The Winnipeg Free Press profile Austra, who is at The Phoenix on December 1.

Dreamland Apparel and The AV Club hang out with The Rural Alberta Advantage.

Clash enumerates ten things they think you didn’t know about Jarvis Cocker.

You know that fancy Elvis Costello The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook!!! collector live set that was announced a little while back? Well Elvis doesn’t want you to buy it. Seriously.

Thursday, November 24th, 2011


Review of Summer Camp’s Welcome To Condale

Photo via BeatBeatLondon’s Summer Camp likes them some make-believe, that much is clear. Their first appearance on the musical radar was in the guise of a Swedish septet with a taste for vintage photographs who’d met at a Summer retreat – hence their name. It didn’t take too long for them to be outed as the English duo of Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey, which may have disappointed fans of elaborate back stories but should have done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of those who like enthusiastic boy-girl indie-pop.

Not that they were going to be content to trade just on their musical merits. Their 2010 debut EP Young was peppered with ’80s references both within and without, from the song titles (“Veronica Sawyer”, “Jake Ryan”) to intro samples (a John Cusack quote from Say Anything opens up “Ghost Train”) and their retro-fixations – despite the fact that neither was old enough to appreciably remember the eighties – went from aesthetic to full-blown concept on their full-length debut Welcome To Condale.

In an attempt to live the American adolescence sold to them via a steady diet of John Hughes movies and the like, the duo created a fictional California town called Condale with which to set the album. In addition, album pre-release activities included crafting a zine which gave insights to the teen angst and drama that filled the halls of the local high school and acted as a vehicle for their songs’ meticulously-crafted backstory. All of which deserves and “A” for effort, but is ultimately unnecessary.

The songs on Condale are immediate, effervescent and come in a sugary package to mask the slightly bitter sentiments contained therein – they require no dressing up, no framing, no period-correct movie dialogue samples acting as prefaces but don’t really add much in the way of meaning or context. It’s worth noting that Summer Camp’s performance at SXSW was one of my favourites of the festival and showed the duo had no shortage of charisma or chemistry to compensate for, being far more engaging as a two-piece with backing tracks than many full bands. Similarly, Condale crackles with energy thanks to Sankey’s brassy vocals – ably supported by Warmsley, who occasionally tags in to take lead – and a punchy brand of gritty, lo-fi guitar-driven synth-pop that’s honestly way more ’90s than ’80s.

I appreciate and certainly do not begrudge Summer Camp’s desire to have as much fun with their band/album/concept as possible, to provide an angle or a hook with which to get people talking. I just feel it’s necessary to point out that they didn’t need to; great songs should always be enough.

Bands In Transit and DIY both have video sessions with Summer Camp.

MP3: Summer Camp – “I Want You”
MP3: Summer Camp – “Ghost Train”
Video: Summer Camp – “Down”
Video: Summer Camp – “Better Off Without You”
Video: Summer Camp – “Ghost Train”

Londonist talks to Emmy The Great about her This Is Christmas album with Tim Wheeler while The Whiteboard Project gets both of them to take part in a whiteboard-powered interview and iol has regular-style chat.

Los Campesinos! interviews are the order of the day at The Quietus and The Line Of Best Fit, the latter of which is split into two parts.

Insound has a video session with Veronica Falls.

Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from The Vaccines for the b-side from their new “Wetsuit” 7″ single, out in limited edition – as in 50 pieces – on December 12. The Daily Record talks to frontman Justin Young about the throat surgery that sidelined the band this Fall but which now in the past – the band are back to performing live this Winter, hopefully set to make up the cancelled North American dates before too long.

Video: The Vaccines – “Tiger Blood”

NME reports that Mystery Jets will release their fourth album – the cryptically titled LP4 – in April of next year.

Pitchfork has posted a Take-Away Show with Stornoway recorded at the Parisian edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival last month.

Stereogum gets a status update on Field Music’s new record Plumb, due out February 14, while The Chronicle chats briefly with Peter Brewis.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Nick Lowe.

Peter Hook tells NME he’s a bit sorry about how badly (and publicly) New Order broke up.

Press Play And Record is a new blog that’s essential for those who remember the compilation cassettes that used to come attached to the front of NME – because that’s what it’s all about. Digitized NME compilation cassettes. Yes.

Oh, and if you were looking for ticket information for the Fucked Up David Comes To Life benefit show at the Great Hall on December 20, look no further – $20 plus tax (so $22.60 total) on sale right here, right now. I assume the tickets for the Sloan show the following night will be the same price and be online shortly.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Rivers Of Gold

Review of Bry Webb’s Provider

Photo via idee fixeIdée FixeWhen you’ve spent much of your life doing one thing, and that one thing draws to a close, it’s not unreasonable to decide to do something completely the opposite next. So for Bry Webb to make his first post-Constantines record Provider a quiet, mainly acoustic affair only stands to reason – particularly for anyone who heard him operating as Harbourcoats before the Cons went on hiatus.

But to suggest that Provider is just the Cons frontman gone unplugged is a grave injustice – this is not a slapdash set of songs recorded on a single mic in his back room. Yes, Provider is quiet, slow, and spare but what elements are there – a persistent, ghostly steel guitar, a low and mournful chorus of horns, a foreboding tremoloed electric guitar- are meticulously arranged around Webb’s rough, resonant vocals to help carry the weight of the songs.

And weight, Provider has plenty of. Weight, meaning and purpose, all of which make the record feel so much bigger than it sounds on the surface. Webb writes from the perspective of one who has had experience in the world and the time to stop and consider it; there is wisdom in his words, rough-hewn and hard-won yet warm and comforting. Though Provider feels intensely personal, it’s not insular and is for its spareness, is welcoming in its own fashion. It may not fill the Constantines-shaped hole in their fanbase’s hearts, but does offer a glimpse directly into Webb’s own.

The Edmonton Journal has two feature pieces on Webb while Exclaim and The National Post talk to him about collaborating with Feist on her new record. He opens up for her at Massey Hall on December 1.

MP3: Bry Webb – “Rivers Of Gold”

In Toronto profiles Katie Stelmanis of Austra, while Quick Before It Melts has premiered the second video in her unplugged Paper Bag Sessions.

The Wooden Sky are making their Holiday Revue shows an annual thing, holding the second one at The Music Gallery on December 10 with special guest Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage; tickets are $20 in advance with proceeds going to support the Daily Bread Food Bank – details at Facebook.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”

And to make official two shows that are already Toronto institutions – New Year’s Eve with Elliott Brood at Lee’s Palace and The Sadies at The Horseshoe. Tickets for the former are $20 in advance, the latter $25.

MP3: Elliot Brood – “Northern Air”
MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”

Canadian Interviews talks to Neil Haverty and Matt Cully of Bruce Peninsula.

Rae Spoon discusses his new album I Can’t Keep All of Our Secrets with Exclaim and has also announced a Canadian tour that brings him to the Gladstone in Toronto on January 27. The record is out January 10 and the first MP3 is now available.

MP3: Rae Spoon – “Crash Landing”

Louise Burns submits to a Q&A from CBC Radio 3; she’s at The Horseshoe on Saturday night opening up for Cuff The Duke.

Exclaim welcomes Kat Burns of Forest City Lovers to their studio for a video session.

The Line Of Best Fit have posted a video session with Kathleen Edwards. Her Voyageur is out January 17 and she plays The Phoenix on February 11.

Pitchfork has details on Leonard Cohen’s new studio album Old Ideas, now officially scheduled for a January 31 release – you can stream the first single from it below.

Stream: Leonard Cohen – “Show Me The Place”

The Line Of Best Fit and Spinner talk to Michael Barclay, co-author of Have Not Been The Same and compiler of the companion Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die tribute compilation.