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Archive for January, 2013

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

War On Holiday

The Black Angels lead this week’s salvo of concert announcements

Photo via theblackangels.comtheblackangels.comAnother week, another batch of show announcements to cobble into a blog post, another band with “black” in their name hitting the road.

This time, it’s Austin psych-rock veterans The Black Angels, who’ve announced a trans-continental tour this April in support of their fourth full-length album, Indigo Meadow, out April 2. A preview track has been made available to stream, and while it doesn’t stray far from formula – you don’t make it as far in the drugged-out, trippy drone-rock game by changing it up too much – it’s still got some jump and some teeth to it, to say nothing of being sadly topical of late.

The Toronto show goes April 23 at the Danforth Music Hall, tickets $23.50 for floors and $33.50 for mezzanine. The Allah-Las and Elephant Stone support.

MP3: The Black Angels – “Telephone”
Stream: The Black Angels – “Don’t Play With Guns”

U.S. Girls – which is actually just one girl, Meghan Remy, and a distinctive cut-and-paste sonic aesthetic – will be at The Shop Under Parts & Labour on March 13 in support of last year’s Gem.

Video: U.S. Girls – “Work From Home”

I don’t know either act that well, but enough to know that the pairing of mournful Minneapolis electro-R&B act How To Dress Well and Los Angeles singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira is a bit of an unusual one. Regardless, they’re hitting the road together this Spring – the former in support of last year’s Total Loss and the latter for the Everything Is Embarrassing EP, out March 25 in advance of her full-length debut I’m Not Alright; Pitchfork has the full dates, which includes a March 27 date at Wrongbar.

MP3: How To Dress Well – “Us In The Sense Of Forever”
Video: Sky Ferreira – “Sad Dream”

The Joy Formidable have taken the occasion of yesterday’s release of Wolf’s Law to confirm a North American tour that brings them back to Toronto for, like, the millionth time, for a show at The Phoenix on April 12, tickets $18.50, support from Team Spirit and Ribs. There’s interviews with frontwoman Ritzy Bryan at Spin and DIY.

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

American experimental folk outfit of no fixed address Akron/Family have announced a new album in Sub Verses, and while the record isn’t out until April 30 they’ll be on the road in support well before then. Look for them at Lee’s Palace on April 19, tickets $15, and listen to one of the new songs below.

MP3: Akron/Family – “Silly Bears”
Stream: Akron/Family – “No-Room”

Clinic are bringing their latest album Free Reign and their surgical masks for a show at The Garrison on April 23. Under The Radar also reports that they’ll have a companion/remix album entitled Free Reign II available digitally starting March 5.

MP3: Clinic – “The Second Line”

Los Angeles-based family act He’s My Brother She’s My Sister are here for a show at the Horseshoe on April 28 in support of their 2012 debut, Nobody Dances In This Town.

Video: He’s My Brother She’s My Sister – “Touch The Lightning”

English electronic artist Gold Panda will be at The Horseshoe on May 8, tickets $15. He released his new Trust EP digitally earlier this year and will put out the vinyl 12″ on March 4. You can stream it all courtesy of Pitchfork.

Stream: Gold Panda / Trust

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Statues

Old new Hüsker Dü for you

Photo By Mark PetersonMark PetersonIt’s not often you see the words “new” and “Hüsker Dü” together – unless they’re followed, perhaps, but the word “lawsuit” – but that’s what we’re getting as part of the salvo of limited edition releases for this year’s Record Store Day. Okay, it’s not like Bob Mould, Greg Norton, and Grant Hart have secretly buried their many hatchets to follow the lead of fellow Minneapolis legends The Replacements and recorded new material, but they – or those who operate on their behalf – have unearthed some of their very earliest recordings circa 1980, originally released as their first 7″ and decades out of print, and will release them as a limited edition double-7″ on April 20.

Rolling Stone is currently streaming one of the tracks – a Grant Hart vocal which predates their discovery of hardcore and/or methamphetamines, and a far cry from the fury captured on their 1982 debut album Land Speed Record. It’s not an essential document by any means, but one that’s a hell of a lot more interesting than the twice-the-price coloured vinyl edition of a current album you already own that makes up most of the RSD exclusives.

Stream: Hüsker Dü – “Statues”

Dinosaur Jr have rolled out a new video from last year’s I Bet On Sky. And yes, that is Henry Rollins.

Video: Dinosaur Jr – “Pierce The Morning Rain”

Bad Religion have a new album in True North, out today and streamable below, and not one but two local shows coming up in support. They’re at The Horseshoe on January 27 for a private performance to which you can win tickets from CFNY, and then they’re back on March 31 for a date at The Kool Haus as part of the North American tour. Rolling Stone and Billboard have interviews with Brett Gurewitz about the new record and CBC Music with Jay Bentley.

MP3: Bad Religion – “True North”
Stream: Bad Religion / True North

As widely reported last week, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have confirmed the April 16 release of their fourth album Mosquito. Karen O talks to Pitchfork about what to expect from the new record and Rolling Stone talks to the artist responsible for the rather polarizing album art about what he was thinking.

NPR has a stream of II, the new album from Unknown Mortal Orchestra which comes out February 5. They’ll be at Wrongbar on March 3 to play it for you live.

Stream: Unknown Mortal Orchestra / II

Brooklyn-based Here We Go Magic spin-off TEEN – all caps mandatory – will bring their 2012 debut In Limbo to The Drake Underground on February 15.

MP3: TEEN – “Electric”

Divine Fits have a new video from A Thing Called Divine Fits.

Video: Divine Fits – “My Love Is Real”

Today marks the release of Ra Ra Riot’s third album – the rather less orchestral and more electronic Beta Love – and it’s available to stream in whole via YouTube, and there’s features on the band at Spin and Magnet. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 6 and back in town June 8 as part of the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Fort York.

Stream: Ra Ra Riot / Beta Love

The National Post, Rolling Stone, Consequence Of Sound, CBC Music, and Interview all have feature interviews with Yo La Tengo.

Been wondering what Will Sheff has been up to? Presumably writing the next Okkervil River record, sure, but also establishing a new electronic-y side-project as Lovestreams. The first fruits of that labour is now available in both MP3 and video form.

MP3: Lovestreams – “Shock Corridor”
Video: Lovestreams – “Shock Corridor”

The 405 has an interview with Benjamin Gibbard and boy I bet they’re wishing they’d pressed a little harder about the possibility of a Postal Service reunion.

Of course, maybe they could have just done as Drowned In Sound did and just get Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello, and Jen Wood to provide an oral history of The Postal Service’s watershed indie-pop opus Give Up on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. It’s pretty much assured that the duo will be reconvening for some live dates this year and a deluxe edition of Give Up is en route but no one should be expecting new material. Of course, no one was expecting live dates either, so who knows. Considering his solo album was mostly old material, Ben may have some recent stuff he’s been looking to get off his chest by way of song. Update: The Give Up anniversary edition is out April 9 and has two unreleased songs on it along with other stuff.

The Quietus interviews John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

Son Volt will release a new album entitled Honky Tonk on March 5. American Songwriter has details on the release, whose title is as much description of the contents as a name.

LA Music Blog, The Times-Picayune, Dallas Observer, and Blurt talk to Joey Burns of Calexico.

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Feel To Follow

Review of The Maccabees’ Given To The Wild and giveaway

Photo via themaccabees.co.ukthemaccabees.co.ukIt never seemed that Brighton’s Maccabees ever worked themselves into the position of British buzz band of the moment from a North American perspecitve, despite it seeming so easy to do so these days. Whether this was by design or misfortune isn’t really clear, but if idea was to make a proper first impression with their third album, last year’s Given To The Wild, then it was a bloody good idea.

The stylistic touchstones on Wild will be familiar to those who keep up with contemporary British indie – Foals-y tension, Wild Beasts-ish sensuality, Bloc Party-approved rhythms, Elbow-esque stateliness – but what it lacks in boundary-pushing, it makes up for with a remarkable balance of lush atmosphere, technical precision, and grand emotional evocations, all conveyed with impeccable classiness. Singer Orlando Weeks’ vocals, alternately shifting from choirboy falsetto to Win Butler-ish yelp, float above guitars that move from liquid placidity to dangerous churn, all impressively grand yet only going big – as in really big – when necessary. The Maccabees haven’t sought to redefine what Brit-rock is, but offer up an excellent representation of what it can be.

I had been concerned that last Fall’s North American dates supporting Florence & The Machine would represent the whole of the band’s North American agenda for this record, but they’re spending pretty much the entire month of February exploring our highways and byways. They’re at The Mod Club on Monday, February 11, and courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see The Maccabees” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, January 31.

MP3: The Maccabees – “Go”
Video: The Maccabees – “Ayla”
Video: The Maccabees – “Went Away”
Video: The Maccabees – “Feel To Follow”
Video: The Maccabees – “Feel To Follow” (alternate)
Video: The Maccabees – “Pelican”

Allo Darlin’ have made the whole of their Covers EP available to stream; it’s available for sale as a limited-edition 10″ or as, you know, MP3s. There’s only 300 copies of the vinyl, which collects their versions of tunes by The French, Bruce Springsteen, and AC/DC amongst others, but there’s at most 299 copies left for sale. FYI.

Stream: Allo Darlin’ / Covers

The Dumbing Of America has an interview with London newcomers The History Of Apple Pie, whose debut album Out Of View – a winning blend of sugary pop vocals and abrasive guitarwork – is out next week but streaming now at Clash. Recommended for anyone who thinks on the ’90s fondly.

Video: The History Of Apple Pie – “Mallory”
Video: The History Of Apple Pie – “You’re So Cool”
Stream: The History Of Apple Pie / Out Of View

The Fader gets to know Scottish buzz(y synth) band CHVRCHES. They’re in town at Mod Club on March 20, and while details of their debut North American EP are still forthcoming, another track to preview has surfaced to stream.

Stream: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”

Ireland’s folk-pop outfit Little Green Cars, who along with CHVRCHES were on the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list, though unlike them they didn’t finish in the top 5. They are, however, still embarking on their own North American tour and will be at The Drake – where they opened for Daughter in October – on March 28, tickets $10.

Video: Little Green Cars – “The John Wayne”

The Scotland Herald and Gainsborough Standard profile Frightened Rabbit, and The Line Of Best Fit a video session. Their new record Pedestrian Verse is out February 5 and they play The Phoenix March 31.

The Joy Formidable talks to Under The Radar about their 2012, Filter about their new album Wolf’s Law, out this Tuesday, and give DIY a track-by-track walkthrough of it. All Saints also has a two-song video session with the band recorded in one of their stores’ basements.

Yannis Philippakis of Foals talks to Drowned In Sound about their new record Holy Fire, out February 12.

The 405 and DIY interview Esben & The Witch, whose second album Wash The Sins Not Only The Face is out January 22. That’s tomorrow.

The Line Of Best Fit reports that last week, Little Boots leaked a new song under the cryptic alias of LB. As in Little Boots. Okay, not that cryptic. She’s still not offering any specifics on her second album but speculation is that it’ll be out around March. Victoria Hesketh gave her hometown Blackpool Gazette an interview.

Stream: Little Boots – “Superstitious Heart”

Ladytron’s Helen Marnie talks to The Electricity Club about how things are progressing on her forthcoming solo record.

Slicing Up Eyeballs has details on Billy Bragg’s new album Tooth & Nail, out March 18, and an extensive North American tour which somehow doesn’t include Toronto at the moment, and given the routing I don’t think it will, at least this time around. Alas.

Richard Thompson’s new record is Electric in both title and execution, and will be out February 5. A song from it is available to stream, Exclaim has details, and he’s undertaking a North American tour supporting Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell which brings him to Massey Hall on March 22 for his first visit since September 2011. RT and Emmylou? Yeah, that’s a night of music. The St. Augustine Record also has an interview with the man.

Stream: Richard Thompson – “Good Things Happen To Bad People”

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Decorate

Get the weekend In Focus? with Shugo Tokumaru

Photo via FacebookFacebookI don’t know what you’ve got planned this weekend – me, I’m going to go buy a curtain rod – but if you think you’ll require a ray of musical sunshine to brighten up the proceedings or, conversely, need a soundtrack to an itinerary full up to the gills with fun, you could do far worse than to fire up the advance stream of Shugo Tokumaru’s new record In Focus?, available to stream now at Under The Radar.

It’s the Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist’s fifth album, and like its predecessors its overflowing with creative instrumentation, chock full of mesmerizingly intricate pop compositions, and imbued with a childlike whimsy designed to beguile and delight. Its melodicism transcends any language barrier, and really – do you know how to say, “la la la” in Japanese? It’s “la la la”.

MP3: Shugo Tokumaru – “Decorate”
Video: Shugo Tokumaru – “Decorate”
Stream: Shugo Tokumaru / In Focus?

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have made a second track from their forthcoming Push The Sky Away available to preview by way of a lyric video. The album is out February 19 and they play Massey Hall on March 23.

Lyric Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Jubilee Street”

Aquarium Drunkard has posted a session with Melody’s Echo Chamber that you can download for your listening pleasure, perhaps while you read this interview with Melody Prochet at Tonedeaf.

The 405 reports that Phoenix are getting ready to release the follow-up to 2009’s absurdly successful Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and the record will be called Bankrupt!. Which the band hopefully are not.

Pitchfork checks in with Denmark’s Iceage about their forthcoming album You’re Nothing, due out February 19.

Under The Radar talks to Maria Lindén of I Break Horses about the highs and lows of her 2012, the latter of which included having to cancel their Fall North American tour due to lack of funds. On the plus side, they’re recording a new record this year and will hopefully be making up those aborted dates with new material to play.

The Deer Tracks are ready to mark the February 12 release of The Archer Trilogy Pt. 3 properly – which is to say with a North American tour that includes a February 28 date at The Silver Dollar. They were incredible at NXNE 2012 so you can be sure expectations are high for this show. They’ve also released the first video from the new album, premiering it along with the full routing of their Spring trek at All Things Go. Do catch them if it’s at all possible, and if you happen to make it over to their hometown of Gävle, Sweden, use this handy guide of bands to see they provided to CMJ.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Lazarus”

CBC Music talked to Gustaf Karlöf of Niki & The Dove ahead of their Canadian shows earlier this week.

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered the second video from the new Shout Out Louds album Optica, in stores February 26. They’re in town at The Opera House on May 14.

Video: Shout Out Louds – “Walking In Your Footsteps”

Junip have streamed the first track from their new self-titled album, due out April 23.

Stream: Junip – “Line Of Fire”

Ólafur Arnalds has premiered a sample from his next album For Now I Am Winter over at Drowned In Sound. The album is out February 25.

Stream: Ólafur Arnalds – “This Place Was A Shelter”

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Colour Yr Lights In

Dispatches from Canada’s space (rock) program with The Besnard Lakes and Young Galaxy

Photo By Richmond LamRichmond LamCanadian music is quite often equated with rootsier stylings – which to be fair we do a lot of and well – but we can also get downright trippy when the mood strikes and a couple of the country’s finest exemplars of this are back with new records this Spring.

Montreal’s Besnard Lakes have completed the follow-up to 2010’s The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night and if the title – Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO – is any indication, this album will be out there, maaaaan. And if you need something a little more substantial than that to get on board, they’ve made the first single from the record available to stream. That should do it. The album is out April 2 and details on the release can be had over at Exclaim.

Stream: The Besnard Lakes – “People Of The Sticks”

Also out of Montreal – Mount Royal must be a good spot for keeping an eye out for extra-terrestrial landings – come Young Galaxy with the follow-up to their 2011 breakout album Shapeshifting. Whereas that record only brought in Swedish super-producer Dan Lissvik to mix and still got game-changing results from his influence, Ultramarine was recorded in his Gothenburg studio with Lissvik assuming full production duties. No preview yet aside from the obligatory teaser trailer, but even the beats showcased there are enough to engender a tingle of anticipation. Expect more such teases before the album hits on April 23. More details on the release over at Pitchfork.

Trailer: Young Galaxy / Ultramarine

It’s probably not accurate to call Suuns – also from Montreal, what – spacey, but their arty post-punk/new wave is definitely trippy. Their second album Images Du Futur is out March 5, and they’ve just released the first video from it as well as a pile of tour dates that confirm a Toronto appearance during Canadian Musicfest at Lee’s Palace on March 23.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”
Video: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – who lay equal claim to Montreal and Toronto as hometowns – talk to Spinner about their video game and rock opera aspirations. They play The Garrison tomorrow night, January 18.

Cult Montreal has an interview with Purity Ring – guess where they’re based – who are in town at The Phoenix on February 1.

Cœur de pirate has released a new video from 2011’s Blonde.

Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Place de la République”

Rachel Zeffira doesn’t hail from Montreal – she doesn’t even live in Canada anymore, being now based in the UK – but she’s originally from the Kootenays in British Columbia and if Canada didn’t rush to claim her as a native daughter from her work in Cat’s Eyes with Faris Badwan of The Horrors, then we surely will when her solo debut The Deserters – a heady blend of opera, classical, and dreampop released late last year in Europe – gets a North American release on March 12. Nylon recently premiered a new video from the album with some words from Zeffira on its making, and do yourself a favour and check out her My Bloody Valentine cover which also appears on the record.

Stream: Rachel Zeffira – “To Here Knows When”
Video: Rachel Zeffira – “Here On In”
Video: Rachel Zeffira – “The Deserters”

Pitchfork talks to Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene, who reveals that he’s got two albums coming out in 2013 – one solo record and one collaboration with Archies songwriter Andy Kim. This in addition to the June 8 BSS one-off (yeah right) reunion show at Fort York to mark Arts & Crafts’ 10th anniversary.

Ion has premiered a stream of a new song from the next Woodpigeon album Thumbtacks & Glue, coming February 26.

Stream: Woodpigeon – “Edinburgh”

You Say Party have released their first new music since reforming last Fall, a tribute to their late drummer Devon Clifford. More new material will follow later this Spring.

Stream: You Say Party – “Friend”

PopMatters chats with A.C. Newman.

NPR has a video session with Rose Cousins.

CBC Music has compiled a list of release dates for Canadian release big and small this year. Mark your calendars!