Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Kate Nash taking Girl Talk on the road; boys also welcome but they have to sit quietly.
Christopher DadeyConsidering that touring North American is an expensive proposition for a British artist, it’s pretty commendable that for her first two albums – her 2007 debut Made Of Bricks and 2010’s My Best Friend Is You – Kate Nash managed to not only come through town twice, but first play a relatively intimate club show for her devoted fanbase before stepping up to a bigger room the second time around (Mod Club then Phoenix, both times).
Considering that she no longer has major label dollars backing her – she bought herself out of her record contract after finishing up with Friend in favour of crowdfunding and self-releasing future efforts – it might not be reasonable to expect the pattern to continue, but apparently it might. Hot on the heels of announcing the March 5 release of her third album Girl Talk, Nash has scheduled a North American tour that brings her to town on March 15 to play her smallest stage yet, The Horseshoe Tavern. Tickets for that show are $18.50, on sale this Friday, and interpreting the cozier room as an indication her fanbase is shrinking is probably a mistake – that Best Friend Mod Club show in April 2010 was jammed, and not by folks who seemed like an uneven sophomore effort would diminish their devotion.
It will be interesting to see where Girl Talk takes Nash. Best Friend found her torn between the sassy-catchy piano-pop that she excels at, and the riot grrrl-inspired punk that she’s rather less good at but also clearly determined to stick to. Last Fall’s Death Proof EP had far more guitars than piano, but checked the abrasiveness for melody so the optimist might see this as evidence that a happy balance could still be found. A speculative track listing for Girl Talk doesn’t make it seem like her pen has gotten any less pointed, but hopefully there’ll be more singing that shrieking. The first single from the new record, made available to stream last week, is certainly promising.
Canadian Musicfest is usually all filled up with – wait for it – Canadian music, but the ever-expanding list of showcasing artists has got a pretty strong international flavour this year; certainly more than recent years… assuming that there isn’t a spate of last-minute cancellations like last year. There’s a solid Scandinavian bloc of acts that I’ll talk about at a later date, but also a couple of BBC Sound of 2013 finalists coming to town. Scottish electro-pop trio CHVRCHES – who came in fifth in the BBC polling – will headline The Mod Club on March 20, and post-punk stabby-guitar quintet Savages are at Lee’s Palace on March 23. Advance tickets will be available for both, and festival wristbands will also get you in. If they don’t sell out via tickets first. Clash and DIY have introductory features on CHVRCHES.
If you were thinking that with The Joy Formidable’s new album Wolf’s Law due out next week that an advance stream should be showing up soon, then you would be correct, and Rolling Stone has it. Mancunian Matters has an interview with frontwoman Ritzy Bryan.
Stream: The Joy Formidable / Wolf’s Law
Video: Bloc Party – “Truth”
The Stool Pigeon has an interview with Veronica Falls, whose new album Waiting For Something To Happen is out February 12. They’re also releasing a limited-edition covers EP on or around the same day, and I warn you – of the 300 copies being made, at most only 299 remain. They’re at The Garrison on March 12.
Video: Johnny Marr – “Upstarts”
Stream: New Order / Lost Sirens
And if you like your Marr and Sumner together in one convenient package – perhaps with a side of Pet Shop Boys – then Slicing Up Eyeballs is pleased to report that the 1991 debut from Electronic will be getting a double-disc reissue on April 8, enhanced with bonus tracks.
Finally, because there’s no shortage of interesting David Bowie surfacing every day, there’s interviews with producer Tony Visconti and guitarist Earl Slick about the recording sessions for The Next Day at The Guardian and Rolling Stone. Bowie himself may not be interested in talking about the new album, out March 12, but his collaborators certainly are. And additionally, The Quietus challenges the myth that Bowie had turned into a recluse over the past 10 years while The Line Of Best Fit has helpfully compiled clips of Bowie’s best musical moments over the past 20 years – because despite conventional wisdom, there were more than a few.