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Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The Hunt

Grizzly Bear attack! Shields Up! Win tickets! Rahhhr!

Photo By Barbara AnastacioBarbara AnastacioFor a band that’s made their name on stately, carefully crafted chamber pop, Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear are surprisingly polarizing. Their proponents find the intricacy of their harmonies, arrangements, and musicianship exquisite while their naysayers just find them dull. I actually lean more towards the latter than the former, but temper it with a healthy amount of respect for what they do and how they do it.

So with that frame of reference established, take it for what it’s worth when I say their new album Shields is surprisingly raw and raucous. They haven’t changed up what they do or how they do it significantly – okay, maybe the multi-part harmonies are dialed down some – but the songs themselves have more punch and presence than past efforts, and it’s a pleasant surprise. It’s unlikely to change anyone’s opinion on Grizzly Bear dramatically, but if you’re a fence-sitter it’s reasonable to think this effort will fall rather definitively on the “favoured” side.

But don’t take my word for it – hear for yourself. In a week leading up to some pretty major releases, and thus meaning a week of some pretty major pre-release streams, Shields is the main attraction of NPR’s First Listen feature right now. To go along with that, there’s features on the band – surely the first of many this Fall – at Clash and Stereogum, and they’re a central pillar in this Spin feature about the ongoing gentrification of indie rock.

Shields is out next Tuesday and the band are at at Massey Hall on September 26. Tickets for the show range from $29.50 to $42.50 plus fees, but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got a pair of tickets to the show to give away. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Grizzly Bear” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, September 19.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Sleeping Ute”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”
Stream: Grizzly Bear / Shields

Also with a new record out next week and in town shortly thereafter is Dinosaur Jr, with I Bet On Sky – their third post-reunion album. It’s doing the stream thing at NPR right now, giving you enough time to learn all the songs so as to be able to sing along with the guitar solos when they hit Lee’s Palace for three nights from September 24 to 26. Don’t pretend you don’t.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “Watch The Corners”
Stream: Dinosaur Jr / I Bet On Sky

Not likely to be a whole lot of guitar solos on Charmer, the latest from Aimee Mann, but more superb songwriting is a given. NPR has also got that stream and she’s at the Danforth Music Hall November 6.

MP3: Aimee Mann – “Charmer”
Stream: Aimee Mann / Charmer

Out next week but not streaming at NPR – the band has posted it themselves on Soundcloud – is Band Of Horses’ latest Mirage Rock. Ben Bridwell details the recording of the song “Slow Cruel Hands of Time” to Billboard and also talks to Contactmusic about the new record.

Stream: Band Of Horses / Mirage Rock

New York’s Savoir Adore have already completed their second album Our Nature and given it an October 16 release date, but they’ve turned to Kickstarter to enlist fans’ help to give the record the promotional push they think it deserves. And to help demonstrate what you’re supporting, they’ve made another track from the album available to stream. They’ve also announced their Fall tour in support of the record, and as happy as I am that they’re coming back to Toronto – look for them October 13 at Rancho Relaxo – was it really necessary to schedule the show the same night as Beach House? Le sigh.

MP3: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”
Stream: Savoir Adore – “Regalia”

Speaking of Beach House, Beatroute and Vice have interviews with the duo. As stated, they’re at The Kool Haus on October 13.

Interview talks to Anna-Lynne Williams about the end of Trespassers William and their final release, the double-disc rarities compilation Cast.

Of Montreal is releasing a rarities compilation covering the last five years in Daughter Of Cloud on October 23. Pitchfork has details, stream one of the rarities below.

Stream: Of Montreal – “Sails, Hermaphroditic”

Spinner talks to Oliver Ackermann of A Place To Bury Strangers.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have made the a-side of a new 7″ due out in October available to stream; it’s a cover of The Magnetic Fields circa The Wayward Bus, if you were wondering.

Stream: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Jeremy”

eMusic talks to Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing. They’re at The Great Hall on September 18.

Daytrotter has a session with Widowspeak.

Howler have released a new video from their debut America Give Up

Video: Howler – “Told You Once”

Yo La Tengo is doing stuff. A new single entitled “Stupid Things” is coming September 25 and a new full-length will be out in late January, presumably January 28 since the last week of that month is when all the big releases come out. And a new Yo La Tengo album counts as a big release, methinks.

Consequence Of Sound, City Pages, and Blurt talk to Bob Mould about his ongoing career renaissance and Silver Age.

Consequence Of Sound chats with Joey Burns of Calexico and oh yeah, if you’ve always wanted to hear them cover Kenny Loggins, The AV Club is your best friend.

NPR, The Los Angeles Times, and Consequence Of Sound have interviews with Cat Power about her latest album Sun. She’s at The Kool Haus on October 20.

MP3: Cat Power – “Manhattan”

The Broward-Palm Beach New Times and Sun-Sentinel grab a minute with Doug Martsch of Built To Spill.

Greg Dulli tells Billboard he’s non-committal about The Afghan Whigs’ future beyond their Fall North American tour, which hits The Phoenix on October 3.

Beatroute, The Los Angeles Times, and Seattle Weekly profile Redd Kross.

Drowned In Sound talks to James Murphy about life post-LCD Soundsystem.

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am
Category: Contests

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