Sam JonesShe & Him are not a band given to mystery. Despite the anonymous name, everyone knows it’s Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel and their sugar-sweet old-timey country-pop sound is pretty well-established at this point. And if you’re at all surprised that their third album, announced yesterday as coming May 7, is called Volume 3, then you really haven’t been paying attention. But residents of the Greater Toronto Area looking at the tour dates that accompanied the announcement can be forgiven for scratching their heads about the local date on the itinerary. Toronto Urban Roots Festival what?
With a lineup comprised so far of She & Him and Scottish pop darlings Camera Obscura – and presumably there’ll be more, else it’s not much of a festival – we also know it’s happening July 4 at a venue that Pollstar not-so-helpfully lists as “Toronto Urban Roots Festival Grounds”. Possibilities include an Olympic Island concert – it’s been a few years since we’ve had one of those though the Thursday date makes it unlikely to be the full-day event that would probably be necessary to justify the logistics – or maybe an evening-into-night to-do at the new go-to outdoor venue of Garrison Commons at Fort York? Surely it’s something besides an indoor venue show, else why the fancy name? The trail of online bread crumbs also tells us who’s running it, but they’re not talking right now. Next week, perhaps. Until then, we’ve got us a little mystery to chew on.
MP3: She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “My Maudlin Career”
Far less ambiguous is the return of “The Screaming Eagle of Soul” – Mr. Charles Bradley – in support of his second album Victim Of Love, out April 2. BrooklynVegan has all the tour dates but all Toronto needs to know is that he and his Extraordinaires will be at The Phoenix on May 11, tickets will be $22.50 in advance, his last visit was incredible, and a song from the new record is available to stream below. See how easy it is, Zooey?
Stream: Charles Bradley – “Strictly Reserved For You”
Austin country-rockers Phosphorescent will release their new one Muchacho – stream a song from it below – on March 19, and the subsequent tour dates bring them to The Horseshoe on April 15. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.
Stream: Phosphorescent – “Song For Zula”
With the release of We The Common less than a week out, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down are streaming the new record over at NPR; there’s also an interview with Thao at Exclaim. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace on March 27.
MP3: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Holy Roller”
Stream: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down / We The Common
The 405 and Express Milwaukee talk to Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, and if you’re more of a James McNew fan you’ll be pleased to know his first two records as Dump are getting reissued on vinyl for the first time ever. Superpowerless is out March 19 and I Can Hear Music on April 16; stream a track from each below.
Stream: Dump – “Secret Blood”
Stream: Dump – “Slow Down”
Mount Moriah are streaming a song from their new album Miracle Temple, out February 26. They play a Canadian Musicfest showcase at The Drake on March 20.
Stream: Mount Moriah – “Bright Light”
Whole lotta Bob Mould on your TV (or the computer you use as your TV). His performance from last weekend’s episode of Austin City Limits is now available to stream, and a new video from Silver Age – premiered via Late Night With Jimmy Fallon – was just released. See Bob in person at The Horseshoe on March 1.
Video: Bob Mould – “Star Machine”
Brooklyn’s The Men have gone the live performance route for the first video from their forthcoming New Moon, out March 5.
Video: The Men – “Electric”
Interview has an interview with Ra Ra Riot, who have made the title track of their new album Beta Love available to download. They play Lee’s Palace on March 6 and are part of the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest at Fort York on June 8.
MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Beta Love”
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are streaming the first track from their forthcoming Specter At The Feast. It’s a sentimental choice, being a cover of The Call’s biggest hit; Call frontman Michael Been – father of BRMC frontman Robert Levon Been – passed away in 2010. The album is out March 18 and they play The Kool Haus on May 9.
Stream: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Let The Day Begin”
With their new album Hummingbird out this week – and a new MP3 from it available to download – Local Natives are the subject of features at The Line Of Best Fit, The Daily Beast, BBC, Consequence Of Sound, and The 405. They play a sold-out show at The Opera House on March 28.
MP3: Local Natives – “You & I”
The Flaming Lips have confirmed an April 2 release for their new album The Terror and have put out a lyric video for the first single. Details on the release over at The AV Club.
Lyric Video: The Flaming Lips – “Sun Blows Up Today”
The Strokes have released a new single which pretty much guarantees that a new album isn’t far off, but they’re not offering any other details for now. You can download it from their website in exchange for an email address and a promise not to make any a-ha jokes. Update: It’s called Comedown Machine and out March 26.
Stream: The Strokes – “One Way Trigger”
Spin and Washington City Paper have conversations with Widowspeak, who’ve released a new video from their excellent new record Almanac. It’s really excellent.
Video: Widowspeak – “Locusts”
Also with a new video are Grizzly Bear, taken from last year’s Shields. They’ve also offered some director’s notes on the clip via their Tumblr.
Video: Grizzly Bear – “gun-shy”
NPR welcomes Dinosaur Jr for a World Cafe session.
Billboard finds out what Jenny Lewis has been up to – finishing up a new solo record, putting in time on that Rilo Kiley rarities comp, and maybe taking part in the Postal Service tour?
LA Record chat with Redd Kross.
Wears The Trousers and The Telegraph have interviews with Aimee Mann.
NPR are streaming a World Cafe session with Father John Misty.