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Archive for August, 2012

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

"Black Sheets Of Rain"

Ryan Adams covers Bob Mould

Photo via iTunesiTunesI never drew the parallels until just now, really, but the career arcs of Bob Mould and Ryan Adams really do have a lot in common, not least of all that they’ve not really been arcs so much as strange and interesting twisty patterns with all kinds of full stops and hard lefts.

Both started out fronting influential and relatively successful bands that eventually imploded (Hüsker Dü and Whiskeytown), embarked on solo careers that would be interrupted with runs with new bands, (Sugar and The Cardinals), puzzling and questionable detours in creative direction )Modulate and Orion), and even very public retirements from music (Mould in 1999 following The Last Dog & Pony Show, Adams in 2009 post-Cardinology). And both have made impressive comebacks in the past year by playing to their strengths – Adams with the relatively low-key Ashes & Fire last Fall and Mould by using the Sugar reissues as an excuse to return to loud, hooky rock music on his next album The Silver Age, out September 4.

And so I really shouldn’t have been surprised Adams – a man with a penchant for unexpected covers – made the title track from Mould’s second solo album Black Sheets Of Rain a staple of his live sets recently, including for an iTunes session this Spring. As Adams is in acoustic mode, there’s no attempt to reproduce the nearly eight minutes of soul- and guitar-shredding catharsis of the original instead transforming it into a smouldering, ruminative number. It works, too.

MP3: Ryan Adams – “Black Sheets Of Rain”
Video: Ryan Adams – “Black Sheets Of Rain” (live on Letterman)
Stream: Bob Mould – “Black Sheets Of Rain”

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

CONTEST – Duchess Says @ Lee’s Palace – August 28, 2012

Photo By Dominique ClementDominique ClementWho: Duchess Says
What: Montreal-based purveyors of aggressive New Wave/post-punk that they like to call, “Moog rock”.
Why: They released their second album, In A Fung Day T! last Fall. They would like to play it for you.
When: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Where: Lee’s Palace in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Opening up are The Blind Shake and Dirty Inputs.
How: Tickets for the show are $10 at the door but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want Duchess Says” in the subject and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by 5PM, August 27.
What else: They were in New York this week; BrooklynVegan was there.

Video: Duchess Says – “Black Flag”

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Wolf's Law

The Joy Formidable lay down the Law

Photo via FacebookFacebookLet it never be said that The Joy Formidable are lacking in work ethic. Having toured endlessly and constantly behind their 2011 debut The Big Roar as late as the end of April this year – they hit Toronto alone four times in the preceding two years – it’s an understatement to say that the Welsh trio were due a break. But instead they headed straight back into the studio, put lie to the old adage that you have a lifetime to write your first record and a year to write your second and have apparently already banged out the so-called “difficult” second album.

And further, they’re already sharing some of it. Well, sort of. The new track “Wolf’s Law” may be the title track of the new record – it’s also called Wolf’s Law – it won’t actually appear on the album. Of course, the record isn’t due out until early next year so there’s plenty of time to change their minds about that. But even so, the relatively somber, piano-led arrangement points to an interesting direction for a band who’d made their name with massive, aggressive, guitar heroics. It certainly intrigues, and while it’s nice they’ve given their fans such a treat – in both video and downloadable form, no less – it also makes the likely half-year wait for the rest of the new record that much more difficult. Thanks?

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”

Billboard, LAist, The National Post, and Interview all want to talk to Bloc Party about their just-released new album Four. They bring it to the Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and 11.

Rolling Stone, MTV, and Pitchfork talk to The xx about their forthcoming album Coexist, out September 11. They’ve just released a video of them playing the lead track in a hotel room in Japan.

Video: The xx – “Angels” (live in Tokyo)

TOY is a hotly-tipped new British outfit whose self-titled debut gets a North American release on September 11; think a sunnier, more psychedelic Horrors. At least that’s what I think. Check out a couple of their videos, listen to their Daytrotter session, and read a feature at DIY whilst you decide for yourself.

Video: TOY – “Lose My Way”
Video: TOY – “Left Myself Behind”
Video: TOY – “Motoring”

Interview talks to The Heavy. They play Lee’s on September 23.

Patrick Wolf has released the first video from his forthcoming Sundark & Riverlight, an acoustic reworking of the lead track from The Magic Position. The album is out September 25, the same day he plays The Music Gallery, and The Sydney Morning Herald has an interview.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “Overture”

Blood Red Shoes have released a video for the title track from their latest, In Time To Voices. That record brings them to the Drake Underground on September 26.

Video: Blood Red Shoes – “In Time To Voices”

New Order have added a second show at The Sony Centre on October 24. Just like the one on the 23rd, tickets range from $55.50 to $99.50 and go on sale Monday at 10AM.

Video: New Order – “Blue Monday”

Darren Hayman is offering up a second track to preview his forthcoming album The Violence, out November 5.

Stream: Darren Hayman & The Long Parliament – “How Long Have You Been Fighting For?”

Drowned In Sound examines the tools of and i-D has a video session with Little Boots.

Beth Jeans Houghton has released a new video from her debut, Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose. It already had a video, but now it has a new one. She also chooses six meaningful songs for The Guardian.

Video: Beth Jeans Houghton – “Dodecahedron”

Spinner has a chat with Charli XCX.

Stevie Jackson talks to PopMatters about his solo forays.

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

No Can Do

Ladyhawk are back. No, the other Ladyhawk.

Photo via KillbeatKillbeatIt was pretty fun times to be an artist named for (or almost named for) a Matthew Broderick vehicle back circa 2007/2008. Pip Browne was turning heads with her hooky, ’80s synthpop-referencing tunes from all the way in New Zealand as Ladyhawke and in Canada, four guys were making a name for themselves with hooky, ’70s bar rock-referencing tunes from all the way in Kelowna. Hard to confuse the two (unless you were the guys in this story), but it was interesting that both were active at the same time and then basically disappeared around the same time in 2009, neither taking advantage of the other’s inactivity to increase their Ladyhawk/e identity mindshare.

But while Ladyhawke’s disappearance was because of a prolonged process of recording album number two, Ladyhawk went on a proper hiatus after finishing with their second album Shots, with frontman Duffy Driediger putting together a new outfit in Duffy & The Doubters, bassist Sean Hawryluk pulling time in Baptists, and drummer Ryan Peters and guitarist Darcy Hancock recording as SPORTS. Fast-forward to 2012, though, and they’re back. Both of them.

Ladyhawke released Anxiety back in May, and Ladyhawk will let their third album No Can Do out of the pen on October 9. Note how the two records look nothing alike and most certainly don’t sound anything alike (a track from the new record is available below for reference). Possibly creating some genuine confusion is the fact that both artists are touring North America this Fall, though fully a month apart. Toronto gets Ladyhawke (the feminine article) September 15 at The Hoxton, and Ladyhawk (the band of bros) on October 25 at The Horseshoe ($15 in advance). I suppose it’s conceivable that you could get those two venues mixed up, but I really hope you don’t. Unless you’re the guys from London.

MP3: Ladyhawk – “You Read My Mind”

It’s a little bit of Montreal in Toronto on November 15 when Plants & Animals and Parlovr play The Great Hall, tickets $15.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “The End Of That”
MP3: Parlovr – “Pen To The Paper”

The Weeknd are making it a three-day weekend stand at The Sound Academy, adding a third show for November 4 to go with the November 2 and 3 ones that are presumably just about sold out.

MP3: The Weeknd – “Life Of The Party”

Pitchfork has got a new song from Yamantaka/Sonic Titan, recorded for Adult Swim’s Singles Series, available to download. And if you’ve had trouble finding their YT/ST album in stores – despite it being Polaris shortlisted, they’ve been label-less since March – fear not; they’ve just signed to Paper Bag Records, who will be reissuing it and making it available pretty much everywhere on September 11.

MP3: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “Lamia”

Torq Campbell of Stars gets all fired up about topics political with The Huffington Post. Their new record The North is out September 4 and they open up for Metric at the Air Canada Centre on November 24.

Claire Boucher – aka Grimes – also has some thoughts on politics of the Russian variety, which she shares with NME. She has two nights booked at Lee’s Palace on September 21 and 22 and has just released another wacky-ass video from the Polaris shortlisted and heavily-favoured Visions.

Video: Grimes – “Genesis”

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns.

Talk Rock To Me chats with You Say Party, who will be back in action at The Great Hall on September 29.

Also playing that Paper Bag anniversary show at the Great Hall on the 29th are Young Galaxy; Stephen Ramsay discusses with Spinner the changes of direction that will come with their next album when it comes out next year.

Exclaim has details on the second of Gentleman Reg’s digital Leisure Life EPs, the second of which will be out on September 4. A track from it is available to stream courtesy of Ion.

Stream: Gentleman Reg – “Make It Better”

CBC Music gets some tips on eating on the road from Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker.

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Through The Grass

Wild Nothing streams Nocturnes; clever headline eludes blogger

Photo By Shawn BrackbillShawn BrackbillWhen I first started playing guitar in high school, I spent an inordinate amount of time in music and pawn shops looking for pedals – they were (relatively) cheap, fun, and would obviously make me a far better player than, oh, practice. And one thing that these shops’ stock had in common were chorus pedals. So many chorus pedals. Some shops were like a veritably baby blue sea of Boss chorus pedals. Because this was the early ’90s, when grunge was king and everyone wanted distortions and no one wanted to sound like Andy Summers.

If I’d only known that in about 20 years, that shiny, shimmery guitar tone would be back in style courtesy of bands like Real Estate and DIIV, I’d have grabbed a few. Jack Tatum certainly did, and you can hear it all over his recordings as Wild Nothing, the second album of which – Nocturne – comes out next Tuesday. I actually rate Wild Nothing ahead of most of his stylistic peers as in addition to having great melodic chops, Tatum is able to give his songs some tension to go with the pretty.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, the album is available to stream in whole right now at Death & Taxes; take it for a spin. They’ve also got a stream at Dazed but their interface is kind of terrible so maybe just go there for their interview with Tatum, and if you want more there’s also features at Under The Radar and Stereogum. And if you agree and want to see them live, be reminded that Wild Nothing is on tour with the aforementioned DIIV this Fall, stopping in at The Great Hall in Toronto on September 18.

MP3: Wild Nothing – “Shadow”
MP3: Wild Nothing – “Paradise”
Stream: Wild Nothing / Nocturne

A whole brace of concert announcements to get through… Former emo kids – though I guess they’d be emo adults, now – rejoice. Movement forebears Mike Kinsella and Bob Nanna will be in town as Owen and Braid respectively for an acoustic evening at Wrongbar on September 20. Tickets $18.50 in advance, details at Facebook.

MP3: Owen – “Places To Go”
MP3: Owen – “Abandoned Bridges”
MP3: Braid – “Consolation Prizefighter”
MP3: Braid – “Eeyore And Easel”

Austin’s Ringo Deathstarr will release their second proper album Mauve on September 24 and follow it up with a world tour that brings them to The Garrison on October 13 with Halifax’s previously endorsed Kestrels. Fuzz pedals will be stomped, shoes will be gazed upon. Vice has an interview with Ringo Deathstarr.

MP3: Ringo Deathstarr – “Imagine Hearts”
Video: Kestrels – “The Past Rests”

If you remember Laura Burhenn from her tenure as half of Georgie James or have heard some of the praise for Generals, her new album under the name The Mynabirds, you may be interested to know she’ll be supporting AC Newman on most of his Fall tour dates including the kickoff at Lee’s Palace on October 21. Colorado Daily, The San Francisco Examiner, and College Times all have interviews with Burhenn.

MP3: The Mynabirds – “Generals”
MP3: The Mynabirds – “Body Of Work”
MP3: The Mynabirds – “Radiator Sister”

Because I’ve learned it’s not worth it to aggravate the still-legions of Corgan apologists, I offer this without comment. Smashing Pumpkins will be at the Air Canada Centre on October 25 as part of a cross-Canada tour, tickets available in $39.50, $49.50, and $79.50 brackets. They will perform their new album Oceania in its entirety and then delve into their back catalog for selections both obvious and not. It will be a half-arena configuration, not full, because not even Billy is that deluded. Oh damn, almost made it.

Video: Smashing Pumpkins – “Cherub Rock”

If that Ringo Deathstarr/Kestrels bill is the sort of thing that gets your juices flowing, take note of the bill hitting The Garrison on November 3, as a double-bill of Bay Area dreampop in the form of Tamaryn and Young Prisms will be taking the stage. The former release their new album Tender New Signs on October 16 and the latter are still riding their sophomore effort In Between, released back in March. Tickets for that show are $10.

MP3: Tamaryn – “Sandstone”
MP3: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”

Brookyln’s The Men, who tore the shit out of the Garrison during NXNE, return to do the same thing to The Hoxton on November 9, tickets $16.50 in advance.

MP3: The Men – “Ex-Dreams”
MP3: The Men – “Open Your Heart”
MP3: The Men – “A Minor”

Though he put the Pedro The Lion name to bed back in 2006, David Bazan will be revisiting their beloved 2002 album Control in its entirety on a Fall tour that hits The Horseshoe on November 11, tickets $14.50 in advance.

MP3: Pedro The Lion – “Rapture”
MP3: Pedro The Lion – “Penetration”

Austin’s …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead will be in town in support of last year’s Tao Of The Dead with a show at Lee’s Palace on November 20, tickets $18.50 in advance.

MP3: …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – “Mistakes And Regrets”
MP3: …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – “Crowning Of A Heart”

Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and Pitchfork both have feature interviews with Chan Marshall of Cat Power, while Exclaim offers a bullet point chaser to their cover piece. Cat Power’s excellent new record Sun arrives September 4 and the second sample from it is now available to download. She plays The Kool Haus on October 20.

MP3: Cat Power – “Cherokee”

Daytrotter has a session with Wye Oak, stopping in at the Horseshoe on September 17.

Dinosaur Jr has released the first video from I Bet On Sky, out September 18. They play three nights at Lee’s Palace from September 24 to 26.

Video: Dinosaur Jr – “Watch The Corners”

The first sample of Mark Eitzel’s new solo record Don’t Be A Stranger is now available to stream. It’s out October 2.

Stream: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”

Richard Avery talks to Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs. Their reunion tour hits The Phoenix on October 3.

The Skinny has an interview with Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius. He plays 918 Bathurst on October 5.

Wayne Coyne gives Rolling Stone a preview of the next Flaming Lips record, which might be called The Terror and might also be out as early as this Fall.

Interview talks to Jim James of My Morning Jacket.

The Hook interviews Will Sheff of Okkervil River.

Tom Tom hosts a drummer summit between Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo and Rachel Blumberg, formerly of The Decemberists and now of Norfolk & Western.

Magnet has an interview with Steve McDonald of Redd Kross ahead of giving he and his bandmates control of their website for the week.