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Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Another Sunny Day

Belle & Sebastian ready to show off their urban, rootsy side at Toronto Urban Roots Festival

Photo By Reuben CoxReuben CoxThe Toronto Urban Roots Festival has existed under a shroud of mystery since its existence emerged late last month, and even with its grand unveiling last week, it still only had two acts on its opening night – She & Him and Camera Obscura – to its roster. A promising start, but still eliciting more questions than excitement.

That balance has arguably skewed in the other direction considerably with yesterday’s announcement of Belle & Sebastian as the headlining act on the festival’s closing night, July 7. That they’re coming to town isn’t a big surprise – their presence at the Montreal Jazz Festival a few days earlier was a matter of public record since the start of the year and the idea of their not playing Toronto was absurd – but it’s nice to be able to put a date and place to it. It will be quite a different setting from Massey Hall, which has hosted their finest moments in the city, but considering that without a new album to promote and a Summer itinerary of only big festivals, a set list packed with fan favourites from throughout their career seems likely – plus there’s something to be said for being able to get up and dance without worrying about venue security descending upon you. People, this will be great. And to further whet your Scots-pop appetites, PitchforkTV has created a documentary feature/oral history on the making If You’re Feeling Sinister.

On top of the Belle & Sebastian add, TURF will also feature Neko Case, The Joel Plaskett Emergency, and Flogging Molly amongst their performers. Neko – who could well have a new record out by then because goodness knows it’s been long enough – will also be playing on July 7, while Plaskett and Flogging Molly (Flogging? The Flogs?) have yet to confirm which of the four days they’ll be slotted on. In any case, all this – plus the promise of another 25+ acts – makes the $99.50 early bird, four-day pass seem like a pretty good deal when it goes on sale in mid-March.

MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “The Boy With The Arab Strap”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Another Sunny Day”
MP3: Neko Case – “People Got A Lotta Nerve”
MP3: Joel Plaskett – “When I Go”
Video: Belle & Sebastian: If You’re Feeling Sinister

Those concerned about being able to get into UK post-punk buzz-band Savages’ March 23 Canadian Musicfest showcase at Lee’s Palace on March 23 should take note that they’ve added a second showcase the night before, March 22, at The Horseshoe. Not that Horseshoe shoes are any easier to get into during CMF, but still.

Stream: Savages – “Flying To Berlin”

Jenn Grant is at The Horseshoe on April 13, still touring last year’s The Beautiful Wild. Tickets for that show are $15 in advance.

Video: Jenn Grant – “The Fighter”

Widowspeak have finally plotted out a North American tour in support of their excellent second album Almanac; catch them at The Garrison on April 14, tickets $10.50 in advance.

MP3: Widowspeak – “Ballad Of The Golden Hour”

Marnie Stern will be at Parts & Labour on April 16 behind her new record The Chronicles Of Marnia. Hit up Pitchfork for full dates and a stream of a new track.

MP3: Marnie Stern – “Transparency Is The New Mystery”

EmptyMansions, aka the solo project of Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino, will release their debut album snakes/vultures/sulfate on April 2 and be at Garrison on April 30 in support. Toneluster has an interview with Fogarino about the project and Rolling Stone has premiered the first video from the record.

Video: EmptyMansions – “ThatMan”

Booking two shows three months apart isn’t usually considered prudent – they just played The Phoenix at the start of February – but arguably Purity Ring still have the demand to do it. Plus, they’re bringing along Blue Hawaii – side-project of Braids frontwoman Raphaelle Standell-Preston – to sweeten the bill. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on May 5, tickets $22.50 for floors and $20.00 for balcony.

MP3: Purity Ring – “Belispeak”
MP3: Blue Hawaii – “In Two II”

And in long-awaited – as in ten years or so – news, The Postal Service are finally coming to Toronto. To mark the 10th anniversary of the release of Give Up – a decade ago this past Monday, to be exact – they’ve announced a massive North American tour that brings them to the Air Canada Centre on June 11, tickets $49.50 to $59.50, on sale February 25 (presale) and 28 (general onsale). And to the FAQ section: yes, it will be in theatre configuration but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that expand if demand outstrips the 6000 or so seats that allows – remember, they sold out the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn in a heartbeat; yes, Jenny Lewis will be along for the ride to sing her parts and presumably cover Jen Wood’s parts for “Nothing Better”; yes, the album is only 45 minutes long but think of all the extra material that the April 9 deluxe edition of Give Up will bring. It’ll run an hour at least.

MP3: The Postal Service – “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”
MP3: The Postal Service – “Such Great Heights”

By : Frank Yang at 8:29 am
Category: General

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