Thursday, June 28th, 2012
An Argument With Myself
Jens Lekman to tour, finally acknowledge he’s got more than a couple hundred fans
Kristin LidellIt may sound a bit heretical at first but there’ve been genuine problems with Jens Lekman’s visits to Toronto. These aren’t to do with the performances themselves, which have more than ably showcased the droll with and songcraft that have earned the Swedish troubadour legions of fans worldwide, or even a comment on the fact that they’ve been so few and far between, with just three shows in the past seven years.
No, the real problem is that despite having no shortage of those aforementioned legions of fans located in Hogtown, he’s always chosen to play rooms that can’t possibly hold them all and while the lucky ones who get tickets are treated to a lovely and intimate evening, many more are left out in the cold (perhaps literally, given his penchant for playing encores out on the street). His March 2005 Wavelength show packed Sneaky Dee’s and when he returned as promised for a show the following Summer, it was at the even-smaller Music Gallery. His return in April 2008 in support of Night Falls On Kortedala was originally supposed to be two nights at the Music Gallery but was condensed into a single night at The Great Hall; better, but still not nearly capable of meeting demand – especially with no less than Owen Pallett opening up.
All of which is to say that even though I like the cozy shows as much as anyone, it’s a relief that the Fall tour that he’s just announced to coincide with the September 4 release of his new record I Know What Love Isn’t will be at The Phoenix on October 4. Yeah, it’s a room bigger than the other three he’s played here combined and probably no one’s favourite venue in the city but at least you’ll probably be able to get a ticket.
Though don’t take that for granted. Supporting him on this tour is an artist with no small amount of cachet herself, country(wo)man and new labelmate Victoria Bergsmann, aka Taken By Trees, who will have her own new record in Other Worlds to promote. She was last here in February 2010 so you know her own not-inconsiderable fanbase will be itching to get a spot.
All of which is to say when the $20 tickets go on sale this morning, don’t dilly-dally. But if you take a few minutes to watch the first video from Love – premiered at Spin and featuring Jens fully embracing his inevitable baldness to say nothing of some “Careless Whisper”-level sax stylings – that’s probably okay.
It won’t end well if you don’t hurry to get tickets for Bloc Party’s own return to town on September 10 at The Music Hall. Their own hiatus – which ends with the release of Four on August 21 – hasn’t been so long that their fanbase has diminished much if at all and they were playing much bigger rooms than this before. Tickets are $25 and $35, on sale tomorrow at 10AM.
Australian electronic duo The Presets are also back with a new record entitled Pacifica on September 14 and it comes with its own promotional website – youthintrouble.com – and a North American tour that hits the Music Hall on October 23.
Stream: The Raveonettes – “Observations”
Trailer: Efterklang / Piramida