Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
New Order get ready for live return to North America
a) They were one of the greatest bands of the ’80s, whose run of albums from 1983’s Power, Corruption & Lies through 1989’s Technique and including 1987’s singles collection Substance templated and led that which we’d call indie, New Wave, post-punk, dance-rock, electronica, and were massively commercially successful at the same time. Their legacy is deep and far-reaching and even after their heyday, when roster changes and internal bickering overshadowed their music, they still managed to include at least one amazing song per otherwise uneven record that reminded you of why they mattered.
b) They were lousy live. Okay, that’s a deliberately polemic statement, especially for someone who’s never seen them live, but any live footage I’ve seen or heard has been some degree of cringe-worthy and in my years of being a fan, that’s always seemed the consensus opinion. Their official BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert album, which captured their 1087 Glastonbury set – which is to say the recording that they deemed good enough to release and sell – shone a bright light on Bernard Sumner’s inability to sing live. His voice is thin, off-key, and on this recording at least, punctuated with whoops and yelps that also manage to be way out of pitch. His shortcomings as a vocalist are evident on the albums as well, but what’s passable in a studio is decidedly less so amplified to stadium levels. Some of this was certainly due to some of the chemical accouterments of the era, but online footage from more recent shows don’t demonstrate much improvement.
So it’s all well and good to focus on point a) with the news yesterday that the band – who were supposed to have broken up for good back in 2009 but who’ve turned a handful of one-off gigs into a proper ongoing concern that now includes a North American tour that wraps in Toronto on October 23 at the Sony Centre, their first time here since Summer 2001, when they were part of Moby’s Area One tour at The Docks. Purists will rightly point out that it’s not really New Order without Peter Hook – he quit the band in decidedly acrimonious fashion in 2007 – but they’ve got keyboardist Gillian Gilbert, who quit circa 2005’s Waiting For The Siren’s Call, back in the fold so they’ve still got three out of four original members – better than many bands out on the nostalgia circuit.
Ticket information is still forthcoming, but considering it won’t be cheap, it may be worth giving some thought to point b) before putting your cash on the barrelhead. But then, of course, you’ll imagine hearing “Blue Monday” live and it’ll be a done deal. That’s fine, nothing wrong with celebrating the songs more than the performance. I’ll probably be there too.
When Don Pyle of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet mentioned at their Lee’s Palace show a couple weeks ago that they were going to be playing at The Cameron House in August, I wasn’t sure if he was being serious or making a joke. turns out he was serious. Exclaim reports that the band will play a benefit double-header at the tiny Queen West venue on August 12 with proceeds from the early show going to Mindfulness Without Borders and the late show benefitting Hospice Toronto. Tickets are $20 and go on sale July 28 at the Cameron House – and maybe this time they’ll have copies of Savvy Show Stoppers to sell.
Boston post-rock veterans Caspian will be at The Horseshoe on September 10 in support of their new record Waking Season, out later this Fall. Tickets are $10.50 in advance.
Trailer: Caspian / Waking Season
With a new record in Nocturne out on August 28 and now more a proper band than a pseudonym for Jack Tatum’s solo project, Wild Nothing are teaming up with New York’s DIIV – themselves no strangers to the art of being buzzy – for a Fall tour that brings them to The Great Hall on September 18, tickets $15.50 in advance. Alibi talks to Wild Nothing’s Tatum while Spin talks favourite things with DIIV leader Zachary Cole Smith.
Leeds’ Alt-J will release their debut album An Awesome Wave Stateside on September 18 and as part of their Fall tour to support it, will be in town at Wrongbar on September 19; tickets are $13 in advance. Gigwise has an interview with the band.
The Antlers are marking the release today of their new Undersea EP with the announcement of a show at The Great Hall on September 25, tickets $21.50 in advance. It’s almost certainly part of a full tour, but the rest of the dates are still forthcoming. While you wait, you can hear the whole mini-album on their Facebook for the price of a ‘like’.
Not that they should need any help selling out The Phoenix, but Crocodiles have been announced as support for The Afghan Whigs’ October 3 show at The Phoenix. Their Endless Flowers came out last month. Remaining tickets for the show are $35.
The powers that be won’t say what or when with regards to head New Pornographer Carl Newman putting his A.C. Newman solo cap back on, but they have confirmed a third solo record exists, will be out this Fall, and he’ll be touring in support. That kicks off October 21 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $16.50.
Josh Tillman must like life on the road – having just made his Father John Misty debut here back in May and returning in support of Youth Lagoon last week, he’s announced an extensive Fall tour what brings him back for the third show in five months, hitting Lee’s Palace on October 27 with La Sera opening up. Tickets are $14.50 in advance. There’s a Father John Misty interview and session at The Alternate Side and a short interview at Melbourne Times Weekly.
Their support duties for Best Coast done with, Those Darlins are free to announce another return to town, hitting The Garrison on October 30, tickets $12.50 in advance. They’re featured in pieces at Miami New Times and The Augusta Chronicle.