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Archive for January, 2012

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

CONTEST – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour @ Wrongbar – February 6, 2012

Photo By Sigurd GrunbergerSigurd GrunbërgerWho: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
What: A six-piece cosmic-electro-jazz-disco-psych-pop party-time ensemble from Copenhagen. Yeah, another one of those.
Why: Their second album Out Of Frequency is coming out this Tuesday, January 31, and they’re touring it across the asteroid galaxy we call North America.
When: Monday, February 6, 2012
Where: The Hoxton in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Vacationer open things up.
How: Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to take the Asteroids Galaxy Tour” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that in to me before midnight, February 1.
What else: Go Pride interviews vocalist Mette Lingberg.

MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Major”
MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Around The Bend”

Friday, January 27th, 2012

All My Great Designs

The Walkmen extend 10th anniversary tour to Toronto

Photo By Billy PavoneBilly PavoneTraditionally, the gift for tenth anniversaries is tin. I don’t really know what you can buy these days that’s made of tin. I suppose the modern equivalent of aluminum offers more options, but New York’s Walkmen have got their own idea that I can get behind. They’ve been staging a handful of one-off (okay, two-off for San Francisco) shows where they showcase material drawn from across all of their ten years and five albums of original material – though maybe the Harry Nillson covers album Pussy Cats gets some time, who knows – as well as showcasing some new material from their forthcoming sixth studio album.

And while a hometown NYC show still hasn’t been formalized, they’e just added Toronto to the list of cities who’ll get to spend “An evening with The Walkmen”, as the shows are being billed. That’ll be happening at The Phoenix on March 2, with tickets $25 in advance and going on sale today. There’s a feature interview with the band at The San Francisco Chronicle and a live video of one of the aforementioned new tunes has already surfaced.

MP3: The Walkmen – “Stranded”
MP3: The Walkmen – “Four Provinces”
Video: The Walkmen – “Heartbreaker”

DIY serves up a video session with Nada Surf. They’re at The Opera House on April 4.

Spinner and The Washington Post get to know Chairlift. They’re at The Horseshoe on March 28.

Craig Finn basically wins the zeitgeist this week as the press cycle for his new solo record Clear Heart Full Eyes gets him features in The AV Club, Prefix, Billboard, Dallas Observer, New York Magazine, Spinner, and Paste – but Clash wins if for no other reason than they sent Bob Mould to do the talking for them.

NPR has premiered the first video from White Rabbits’ forthcoming album Milk Famous, due out March 6.

MP3: White Rabbits – “Heavy Metal”
Video: White Rabbits – “Heavy Metal”

Austin’s White Denim have scheduled a show at The Horseshoe for April 16. DIY and College Times have chats with the band, who followed up last year’s D full-length with the Takes Place In Your Work Space LP late last year.

MP3: White Denim – “Anvil Everything”

Wilco have released an animated, Popeye-powered video from The Whole Love.

Video: Wilco – “Dawned On Me”

PopMatters has a sit-down with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. A video from the band’s New Year’s Eve 2011 gig of them playing a 17-minute version of The Beatles’ “I Want You” with Wilco’s Nels Cline on guitar has surfaced. Dig it.

Video: The Flaming Lips w Nels Cline – “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

The St. Augustine Record talks words with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats while The Charlotte Observer asks him about moving to North Carolina.

Spin are offering a complete stream of the new Of Montreal album Paralytic Stalks as well as annotations for each song from Kevin Barnes. It’s out February 7.

MP3: Of Montreal – “Dour Percentage”
MP3: Of Montreal – “Wintered Debts”
Stream: Of Montreal / Paralytic Stalks

Sleigh Bells have released a first video from Reign Of Terror. They’re at The Phoenix on February 18 and the album is out February 21.

Video: Sleigh Bells – “Comeback Kid”

Also with a new video is The War On Drugs, taken from last year’s Slave Ambient.

Video: The War On Drugs – “Brothers”

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Circles And Squares

We Were Promised Jetpacks tour North America; may not be powered by jetpack

Photo By Neil Thomas DouglasNeil Thomas DouglasAs I understand it, yesterday was Robbie Burns Day and while I may have missed out on my annual tradition of posting something suitably Scottish to mark the day – a tradition I’ve marked exactly zero times in the past forever years – I’m going to make up for it a little bit by leading with some Scots-related content.

Firstly, We Were Promised Jetpacks have finally scheduled a second North American tour in support of last year’s In The Pit Of The Stomach; they did a leg of touring Stateside in the later part of the year but routing didn’t bring them up through town that time. This time, they’ve got an April 27 date at Lee’s Palace, with advance tickets running you $15 in advance. I wasn’t quite bowled over with their 2009 debut These Four Walls, but am on record as saying that Stomach shows some pretty significant artistic growth. And their live shows have always been good, loud and intense so yeah. Mark this one down.

MP3: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Act On Impulse”
Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Human Error”

Meanwhile, labelmates and countrymen The Twilight Sad continue to ramp up to the February 7 release of their new record No One Can Ever Know. They’ve released a second video from the record and there’s also an interview with frontman James Graham and guitarist Andy MacFarlane at The Spill. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace on February 29.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “Another Bed”

Exclaim reports that Belle & Sebastian are will be curating a second Late Night Tales compilation which, in addition to including tracks selected by the band, will include a cover of the Scots covering The Primitives’ “Crash”. That’s one to file under, “worth the price of admission”. It’s out March 26 and will hopefully keep fans appeased while Stuart Murdoch continues to round up funding for his God Help The Girl film project.

No Ripcord interviews Allo Darlin’, whose second album Europe will be out in April.

Florence & The Machine has released another new video from Ceremonials. Florence Welch talked to MTV about her staging plans for their just-announced US tour, which doesn’t have a local date. I’m genuinely curious where she’ll play (and how much it’ll cost) when she eventually winds her way up to Canada – I’m guessing Air Canada Centre, even if just theatre mode, but wouldn’t be shocked if they went for the whole hog. Anyways.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Lover To Lover”

There’s a new Laura Marling video taken from A Creature I Don’t Know, and a clip for a live reading of “Night After Night” has also surfaced.

Video: Laura Marling – “I Was Just A Card”
Video: Laura Marling – “Night After Night” (live)

They Shoot Music goes hunting for Wild Beasts and finally corner them in a Copenhagen freight elevator. Video ensues.

Drowned In Sound meets Metronomy, who have a date at The Hoxton on April 2.

DIY reports that Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes have set a March 26 release date for their new record In Time To Voices. Steve Ansell – the non-guitar half of the duo – penned a piece for Drowned In Sound about the state of guitar music in the UK right now.

If it seemed like Arctic Monkeys have been releasing a tonne of videos from Suck It And See, well they have. And now they’ve released a clip for the b-side from the forthcoming “Black Treacle” single, a tune which features vocals from the inimitable Richard Hawley.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “You & I” (featuring Richard Hawley)

The Guardian reports that Saint Etienne are giving away a track from their first new album in seven years via their website in exchange for your personal details. Word is the album will be entitled Words and Music by Saint Etienne, no word on release date.

Stream: Saint Etienne – “Tonight”

Richard Thompson talks to Billboard about his plans for his next album, which will be electric, recorded in a trio format and probably be out before the end of the year.

Kate Bush has released a new animated video from 50 Words For Snow.

Video: Kate Bush – “Elder Falls At Lake Tahoe”

The Psychedelic Furs have made a date at Lee’s Palace for March 29, tickets $36.50 in advance.

Video: The Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”

Fanfarlo are paving the road to the February 28 release of Rooms Filled With Light with the release of a series of live session videos of songs from the record. The first is for the lead single from the record. They’re at The Mod Club on March 24.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Shiny Things” (live session)

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered a track from The Mary Onettes’ forthcoming Love Forever EP, due out February 28.

MP3: The Mary Onettes – “Love’s Taking Strange Ways”

Australians The Jezabels have made a headlining date for The Mod Club on April 18; tickets are $15.50 in advance.

MP3: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”

Just a week after wondering when that first single would show up, DIY points to a stream of the first taste of Ladyhawke’s Anxiety. The US release date for the record has now been pushed back a week to March 27.

Stream: Ladyhawke – “Black, White & Blue”

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Provincial

John K. Samson at Soundscapes in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThough his punk credentials are beyond reproach thans to his tenure in Propagandhi, John K. Samson has always cut a bit of a curious figure in front of The Weakerthans. While his bandmates are more than willing and able to play the part of rockers in turning out muscular guitar riffs and solos, Samson by comparison has always been a bit slight of stature, reedy of voice, sheepish of grin; the thoughtful and verbose folksinger who somehow ended up fronting a rock band. I don’t know if the contrast between he and his mates has especially struck anyone else, but it’s always been one of those things I’ve noticed – particularly live – and been one of the key facets to The Weakerthans’ collective charms.

So the idea of Samson taking a solo sidebar, as he does for the first time on the just-released Provincial, is an interesting one. His songwriting style – photographically-detailed and emotionally evocative vignettes of everyday life in distinctly Canadian settings – is a well-established and well-loved one by this point, but what it would sound like without the extra sonic heft that the rest of The Weakerthans could be counted on to bring to the table? Not too different, as it turns out. Although it still has a lot of range amidst its dozen compositions and “Longitudinal Centre” comes wrapped in some nasty fuzztone, Provincial doesn’t get as punchy as a proper Weakerthans record might. It lays back some and moves at a more casual pace that feels different, but also entirely natural; it might be heretical to say, but Samson solo seems to suit Samson better than Samson as bandleader does. This is in no way a wish for the end of The Weakerthans, but if Samson wants to be himself for a little while longer, it’s alright with me.

It was Samson himself and alone who was marking the release day for Provincial with an acoustic in-store performance at Soundscapes last night, following up a reading from his also just-released Lyrics and Poems: 1997-2012 at Type the night before. It wasn’t a long set, as the clock ticked, but Samson still managed to showcase half his new record and reaffirm himself as a special kind of performer whose show you can go into knowing exactly what you’re going to get, get exactly that, and still somehow find yourself marvelling at how it was still somehow better than you expected. I’d listened to “Heart Of The Continent” and “The Last And” through the album quite a lot in the past month or so, and yet hearing it straight from his mouth still revealed unknown details. The album might be called Provincial but there’s no question that Samson is a national treasure.

There’s features on Samson and Provincial at Uptown, The Winnipeg Free Press, and Spinner while Exclaim and CBC talk to him about his lyrics book. Mechanical Forest Sound is sharing a recording of one of the songs from the in-store. Samson returns with a full band for a show at the Great Hall on March 22.

Photos: John K. Samson @ Soundscapes – January 24, 2012
Stream: John K. Samson – “Letter In Icelandic From The Ninette San”
Stream: John K Samson – “When I Write My Master’s Thesis”

Ohbijou are helping The Drake Hotel mark its eighth anniversary by playing a special, intimate show at The Underground on February 8 – tickets for the super-intimate show are $20 in advance.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”

The Elwins will celebrate the February 21 self-release of their debut full-length And We Thank You with a release show on February 24 at The Burroghes Building at Queen and Bathurst (no, not the new CB2 – beside it), with support from The Meligrove Band and The Bicycles. Tickets $8 in advance.

MP3: The Elwins – “Stuck In The Middle”
MP3: The Meligrove Band – “Halflight”

And down the street the same night, Hooded Fang will be at The Great Hall; if you think that’s a bit of an ambitiously-sized room for them to try and fill, note that they’re bringing a lot of friends and only charging $10 in advance.

MP3: Hooded Fang – “ESP”
MP3: Hooded Fang – “Den Of Love”

Treble Charger aren’t the only band from my college years getting back together for Canadian Musicfest; The Inbreds are digging their bass and drums out of the attic for a reunion show at Lee’s Palace on March 24.

Video: The Inbreds – “Any Sense Of Time”

Montreal’s Plants & Animals will follow up the February 28 release of The End Of That with an immense Spring tour; the April 21 show at Lee’s Palace will be the end of that. Tickets are $15 in advance and oh, there’s a cover they did of a Wolf Parade tune that’s making the rounds, have a boo.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “Lightshow”
Video: Plants & Animals – “I’ll Believe In Anything”

Clearly, it was all the saxophone on Kaputt that did it; Destroyer is coming back to town for a show at The Opera House on June 23 as part of The Toronto Jazz Festival – tickets are $22.50 in advance.

MP3: Destroyer – “Chinatown”

Exclaim has some details on a show at The Horseshoe on February 4 as part of Junofest 2012. I’m not really sure what it is but it involves people who play in bands like Sloan, Fucked Up and Broken Social Scene doing stuff together. I dunno, read the piece and you tell me.

Kathleen Edwards continues to rack up the press clippings with Voyageur – there’s pieces on her at Paste, aux.tv, The Grid, NPR, eMusic, and The Globe & Mail. With this kind of momentum, her February 11 show at The Phoenix will be sold out right soon.

The Balconies have released a video for the title track of their Kill Count EP, which will get a physical release on February 28.

Video: The Balconies – “Kill Count”

Islands are streaming another new track from A Sleep & A Forgetting. It’s out February 14 and they’re at The Music Gallery on February 28.

Stream: Islands – “Hallways”

The Boston Globe has a feature piece on The Darcys, whose cover album of Steely Dan’s Aja is, like their self-titled debut, available to download for free from their website – or stream if you don’t want to commit – and to buy on LP. Consequence Of Sound has also premiered an alternate version of “Josie” for your listening pleasure. They’re at The Phoenix on March 1 opening for Bombay Bicycle Club and are also part of Edgefest at Downsview Park on July 12.

MP3: The Darcys – “Josie”
MP3: The Darcys – “Josie (Vol 2)”
Stream: The Darcys / Aja

CBC Radio 3 talks writing method with Dan Mangan. He’s at The Royal York on March 24 as part of the CMW Indie Awards.

Paste has premiered the first video from Great Lake Swimmers’ new album New Wild Everywhere. It’s out April 3 and they’re at The Music Hall June 2.

Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “Easy Come Easy Go”

The Line Of Best Fit has a feature interview with Bruce Peninsula, and also premiere a new video from Open Flames and are offering a mixtape of all the artists who’ve been part of the band.

Video: Bruce Peninsula – “In Your Light”

Xtra and Calgary Herald talk to Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon on the occasion of the release of their new EP For Paolo.

Mike Haliechuk of Fucked Up talks to Eater about eating.

The Guardian talks to Leonard Cohen and Drowned In Sound reports on a tete-a-tete between he and Jarvis Cocker about his new record Old Ideas, out next Tuesday and streaming in whole now at NPR.

Stream: Leonard Cohen / Old Ideas

Neil Young in the news – MTV reports that he still hates digital music but likes Mumford & Sons, while Rolling Stone reveals that he’s been working on a new album with Crazy Horse.

If you enjoyed last year’s video session collaboration between Southern Souls and Paper Bag Records, you’ll be pleased to know that the recordings have been collected into a compilation entitled Paper Bag Sessions and it’s available to download and keep for free.

And because that’s what the CBC is for, CBC Radio 3 has compiled a list of all the notable Canadian releases due out in the first half of 2012.

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The First Time I Ran Away

M. Ward decides to try being M. Ward again for a while

Photo via FacebookFacebookMatt Ward has had a pretty good last few years thanks to his willingness to not be Matt Ward, or more specifically M. Ward. Yes, putting his solo endeavours largely on the backburner since 2009’s Hold Time has allowed him to put out two She & Him albums with Zooey Deschanel and one Monsters Of Folk record with Jim James and Conor Oberst, and certainly garner more popular success than he ever has on his own.

But apparently the time has come for Ward to stand on his own again, as it has been announced that his eighth solo record A Wasteland Companion will be released on April 10. “Solo” being a relative term, of course, as Exclaim points out there’s no shortage of high-profile guests (Deschanel, Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, Bright Eyes/Monsters Of Folk’s Mike Mogis) who’ll make appearances on the record. And as no one needs to point out, it’ll almost certainly be a timeless bit of rustic and rollicking Americana drawn straight from a golden age of music that probably never really existed but we’re perfectly willing to let Ward pretend did anyways.

That the record was coming wasn’t exactly a surprise as Spring tour dates had already been announced, but it’s nice to have some details. We’re still waiting on a local date and a first sample of the new record, so for now just listen to something off of Hold Time.

MP3: M. Ward – “Rave On”

The Alternate Side has posted a video session and interview with Chairlift, whose new record Something is out today. They’re at The Horseshoe on March 28.

As the January 31 release date of their self-titled debut draws nigh, Hospitality are building excitement by way of a Daytrotter session recorded last Fall at CMJ and a new video premiered at Stereogum. They play The Horseshoe on February 29 supporting Tennis.

Video: Hospitatality – “Friends Of Friends”

A Heart Is A Spade asks some quick questions of School Of Seven Bells. Ghostory is out February 28 and they’re at The Hoxton on May 2.

A track from Andrew Bird’s forthcoming Break It Yourself has been made available to stream. It’s out March 6.

Stream: Andrew Bird – “Eyeoneye”

The Young Prisms show at The Drake on March 10 announced last week now has some context – the outfit’s second album In Between will be out on March 27, and the leadoff track from it sounds like this. Tickets for the show are $10.

MP3: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”

MusicOmh has an interview with Howler while Paste declares them the best of what’s next; see if the title is deserved when they play The Drake Underground on April 5.

Low have been announced as opening up that Death Cab orchestral show at Massey Hall on April 19. Huh.

MP3: Low – “Especially Me”

The Fleet Foxes/Joanna Newsom episode of Austin City Limits is now available to watch in whole, or head over here for some sample clips.

Rolling Stone talks to John Darnielle about some of the new songs that The Mountain Goats will be road-testing on their current tour, which should eventually make their way onto a new record that may be called Transcendental Youth.

Clash checks in with Guided By Voices guitarist Mitch Mitchell.