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Archive for April, 2013

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Rolling Thunder

Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and Richard Thompson team up for shenanigans and misadventures

Photo By John ShearerJohn ShearerThe era of the touring festival has by and large given way to massive destination and regional festivals – it seemingly being easier to bring a bunch of bands and tens of thousands of fans to one place than it is to bring a bunch of bands to hundreds of thousands of fans in a bunch of places – but sometimes a touring bill is so impressive that it warrants a fancy name of its own. And the bill of Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and Richard Thompson which will be hitting amphitheatres across North America this Summer is one of those bills; ergo “AmericanaramA”.

Even though he’s the headliner and by far the biggest act – though if there was justice in the world, Thompson wouldn’t be far behind – Dylan is also the biggest question mark on the lineup. As I mentioned last Summer when the Fall tour in support of his latest album Tempest, Dylan is not someone who suffers nostalgiasts lightly and based on the tweets I saw the night of that Air Canada Show about people walking out after just a few songs, his penchant for rendering his songs nigh unrecognizable live remains undiminished. So caveat emptor, but also know that each of Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and Richard Thompson are also absolute known quantities at the other end of the spectrum – they’re incapable of putting on a bad show, even if they’ll most likely be allotted much less than their usual marathon set times.

So whether that math is persuasive enough to convince you to shell out the $49.50, $69.50, or $89.50 for reserved seats or $35.50 for lawns to see them at The Molson Amphitheatre on July 15 is between you and your accountant. But don’t forget to factor in the cost of an “AmericanaramA” t-shirt. The presale goes Saturday, April 27 Tuesday, April 30, at 10AM, with the regular onsale following on Friday, May 3, at 10AM.

MP3: Bob Dylan – “The Times They Are A-Changin'”
MP3: Wilco – “Whole Love”
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Heartbreakin’ Man”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “The Sights & Sounds Of London Town”

Austin shoegaze aficionados Ringo Deathstarr have made a date at The Shop Under Parts & Labour for June 3 in support of their second album, last year’s Mauve. Tickets for the show are $7 in advance.

MP3: Ringo Deathstarr – “Imagine Hearts”

Aussie-fronted Swedish electro-pop up-and-comers Kate Boy have slated a short North American tour that includes a Toronto stop at Wrongbar on June 9. Tickets are $12.50 and if you need to catch up on some of the buzz behind them, there are these features at Pitchfork and Billboard.

MP3: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”
Video: Kate Boy – “In Your Eyes”
Video: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”

There was both curiosity and concern when London’s Still Corners canceled their North American tour in support of the forthcoming Strange Pleasures, out May 7, and the reasons for the itinerary change was made clear yesterday – instead of headlining their own Summer tour, they will supporting CHVRCHES on theirs. Exclaim has the new dates, which still include a Toronto date – June 12 at The Hoxton – but raises questions about their participation in NXNE. On one hand, even though that CHVRCHES date falls on the first night of the festival, there’s no sign that it will be associated with it at all – get your $16 ticket while you can – but on the other hand, they’ve got two off days before they need to be in Montreal so there’s technically no reason that their previously-announced June 14 NXNE showcase can’t still happen. Anyways.

MP3: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”

With a new album out in Change Becomes Us, British post-punk legends Wire will be at Lee’s Palace on July 10, tickets $25. There’s interviews with the band at Rolling Stone, PopMatters, and Rock Cellar.

MP3: Wire – “Dot Dash” (live)

Born Ruffians will be playing a presumably free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 13 as part of their Sound Clash festival thing.

MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”

Guelph’s Hillside Festival announced their 2013 lineup this year, and if you were interested in seeing the likes of Fucked Up, Colin Stetson, Diamond Rings, Hayden, Jim Guthrie, Lee Ranaldo, METZ, The Sadies, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, or World Party (!) with easy access to swimming, camping, and drum circles, then Guelph Lake the weekend of July 26 to 28 is probably where you want to be. If you hate hippies, you may want to reconsider.

Further cementing the possibility that he might just be homeless, Josh Tillman will bring Father John Misty back to town for his fifth show in 15 months, this time headlining the Danforth Music Hall on August 3 with Minneapolis’ Night Moves as support. Tickets will run from $15.50 to $19.50, depending on floors or balcony.

MP3: Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”
MP3: Night Moves – “Headlights”

With the new Guided By Voices album English Little League out next week, April 30, the five lead-up 7″ singles have been conveniently collected into a single Soundcloud playlist, and while The Quietus has collected all of the b-sides, as well.

Stream: Guided By Voices / English Little League sampler
Stream: Guided By Voices / English Little League b-sides

Deerhunter have put their new album Monomania up on NPR to stream before it comes out May 7.

Stream: Deerhunter / Monomania

MTV Hive talks to Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club about his relationship with his late father. BRMC are at The Kool Haus on May 9.

Exclaim, Creative Loafing, The Island Packet, and Charleston City Paper interview Charles Bradley, in town at The Phoenix on May 11.

Mudkiss checks in with Nicole Atkins, who continues work on her third album Slow Phaser, due out later this year.

Janelle Monáe has made the first track from her new album The Electric Lady available to stream, and Erykah Badu has helped her do it. The record is due out later this year.

Stream: Janelle Monáe (featuring Erykah Badu) – “Q.U.E.E.N.”

CBC Music and Exclaim have interviews with Steve Earle about his new album, The Low Highway.

Sam Beam of Iron & Wine discusses his new album Ghost On Ghost with Clash.

Elle profiles Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, covering topics including her brush with breast cancer, the end of her marriage to Thurston Moore, and what’s next.

Chan Marshall of Cat Power discusses her personal style with MTV Style.

As much as I love Galaxie 500, they’ve never struck me as a band that required multiple books to be written about them. Of course, Dean Wareham’s Black Postcards obviously had its bias, so maybe Temperature’s Rising – Galaxie 500: an oral and visual history – released last week and featuring input from all three members – will be more balanced and accurate. And if not, it will at least be larger and offer more pictures.

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Emeralds Shatter

Louise Burns continues to be Louise Burns despite not sounding as much like Louise Burns as you might expect

Photo By Renata RakshaRenata RakshaLouise Burns must not have gotten the memo. You know, the one that stated that any Canadian artist who sought to change up their sound by trading guitars for synths had to adopt a new stage persona to go with it. Or maybe it’s just a Toronto thing? In any case, anyone expecting The Midnight Mass – the follow-up to her 2011 Polaris long-listed debut Mellow Drama – to stick to the same template on account of her name appearing on both records might be a touch surprised.

On the surface, Mellow Drama sounded like a slice of throwback country-pop, but to pigeonhole it as such was to ignore the lead guitar lines which sounded as though they’d been lifted from an early Pretenders session, all jangle and chorus and belying an affection and affinity for ’80s New Wave. If the first sample from Midnight Mass, due out July 9, is any indication, album number two will flip that equation on its head, bringing those ’80s Brit-accented sounds and textures to the fore and running any residual twang through layers of period-correct reverb. What should remain unchanged, though, is Burns’ stellar vocals and songwriting, and her continued ascension as one of the country’s most exciting new talents, whatever name she chooses to operate under.

Of course, it’s possible Burns was able to check off “new band name” on her Can-indie Bingo card when she became a full member of Vancouver’s Gold & Youth between releasing her debut and recording the new record. And it’s not unreasonable to think that her time touring and recording their debut full-length Beyond Wilderness, coming May 14, influenced the direction of Midnight Mass. It also proudly displays its ’80s roots, equally sleek and gloomy and danceable if your preferred dance move is a downcast shuffle or some varient thereof. Anticipation for this full-length has been building for some time – their “Time To Kill / City of Quartz” came out back in November but The Guardian was singing their praises almost a year ago. If both Beyond Wilderness and Midnight Mass take off this Summer, Burns won’t need a new identity as much as clones to help promote them both to the extent they deserve. Not a bad problem to have.

Exclaim has some more details on the new record and We’re A Big Deal has a quick chat with her about her tenure in Gold & Youth.

Stream: Louise Burns – “Emeralds Shatter”
Stream: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”

No Joy discuss their new record Wait To Pleasure, out this week, with Exclaim. They’re at The Garrison tomorrow night supporting Clinic.

That music runs through The Sadies’ veins goes without saying, and anyone who’s seen them live knows not to be surprised if either of Dallas and Travis’ parents or uncle from The Good Brothers joined them on stage. But it is a bit of a surprise that it’s taken this long to officially make a record together. That day has come, however, and on April 30 The Good Family will release The Good Family Album and beyond that, they’ll be playing a couple of shows on May 9 and 10 at The Dakota Tavern. And if you’re thinking that the room is small enough capacity-wise before having to factor in their family-heavy guest list, then you also know not to dawdle on tickets – $15 in advance and on sale now.

Stream: The Good Family – “Coal Black Hills”

NPR has the advance stream of the new Colin Stetson album New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light, coming out April 30. He performs songs from it at The Great Hall on May 19.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”
Stream: Colin Stetson / New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of METZ’s show at The Bowery Ballroom in New York last week. They play Lee’s Palace on May 17.

The last time The Besnard Lakes were in town, it was for CMF and they were previewing their new record Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO, which was still a couple weeks away from release. The next time they’re in town will again be for a festival – though the date was redacted from the Canadian tour itinerary announced by Exclaim – presumably to allow the festival to make the announcement themselves – the band should be playing NXNE on June 13 with Toronto’s July Talk before hitting the road together. And tangentially, Spinner gets head Besnard Jace Lasek to talk about how he came to host an Arcade Fire secret show at his studio last December while The 405 solicits his thoughts on why the Canadian music industry is turning out so much interesting work (The 405 are British so they’re curious).

Exclaim and Teen Vogue get to know Born Ruffians.

Billboard and Rolling Stone both tracked Grimes down at Coachella to ask about how her next album is coming. It’s expected either late this year or early next.

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Do It Again

This, that, and the new Camera Obscura single thing

Photo By Anna Isola CrollaAnna Isola CrollaIf you were thinking that Friday meant another housecleaning, link-aggregating post – this time from all points abroad – then you are correct. You get a cookie. From someone else. I have no cookies to give.

Nor do I technically have the new single from Camera Obscura to give, since it’s not mine to allocate, but since it was rolled out in streamable form to the internet earlier this week, I can certainly point you to it. It comes from their forthcoming fifth album Desire Lines, and while it’s been four years since My Maudlin Career, that time hasn’t been spent reinventing their sound. “Do It Again” is very much in keeping with the big, buoyant pop side of their skill set, but if you have a problem with more singles along the lines of “French Navy” or “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken”, well God, Jed, I don’t even wanna know you.

Desire Lines is out June 4, and while the band had to cancel a brace of North American dates in March around SXSW, their Summer tour supporting She & Him is all systems go and will bring them to Garrison Commons at Fort York on July 4 to open the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest.

Stream: Camera Obscura – “Do It Again”

Consequence Of Sound, Pretty Much Amazing, Gigwise, and DIY have interviews with Charli XCX, whose debut True Romance hit the shelves earlier this week. She opens for Marina & The Diamonds at Echo Beach on May 23.

Under The Radar and Billboard talk to Jessie Ware on the occasion of the North American release of Devotion earlier this week.

Pitchfork checks in with Anthony Gonzalez of M83 about the experience of scoring a big Hollywood film. Said film – Oblivion – is out today.

Sweden’s Junip have been streaming their forthcoming self-titled album over at Pitchfork ahead of its formal release on April 23. They’re in town at The Great Hall on May 10.

MP3: Junip – “Your Life Your Call”
MP3: Junip – “Line Of Fire”
Stream: Junip / Junip

Pitchfork and Stuff have feature interviews with Phoenix, who’ve gotten around to making their new album Bankrupt! available to stream via iTunes before it comes out on Tuesday, April 23. They headline the Grove Fest at Fort York on August 3.

Stream: Phoenix / Bankrupt!

Johnny Marr answers questions about Skrillex, Margaret Thatcher, and his solo record from Noisey, Rolling Stone, and The Chicago Tribune, respectively. He plays The Phoenix on April 27.

The Georgia Straight and Filter chat with Palma Violets, coming to town for a headline gig at Lee’s Palace on May 3 and again as part of The Grove Fest at Fort York on August 3.

The 405 interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots about her new album Nocturnes, coming May 7.

Savages have released a new video from their forthcoming debut album Silence Yourself, coming May 7.

Video: Savages – “Shut Up”

Florence & The Machine’s contribution to The Great Gatsby soundtrack has been made available to stream. The album is out May 7, a few days before the film’s release on May 10.

Stream: Florence & The Machine – “Over The Love”

Swede-pop vetereans Club 8 have released the first video from their next record Above The City, coming out May 21.

Video: Club 8 – “Stop Taking My Time”

Spin points out a stream of another new song from Laura Marling’s next record Once I Was An Eagle, out May 28.

Stream: Laura Marling – “Master Hunter”

Spinner has an interview with Stone Roses biographer Simon Spence about researching his book The Stone Roses: War and Peace, while The Guardian has got a trailer for the Made Of Stone documentary coming out June 5 in the UK

Trailer: The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone

Billboard talks to Oliver Sim of The xx about the writing of their third album, Huffington Post to Romy Madley Croft about the band’s success, and Rolling Stone and MTV Hive have some words with Jamie Smith about his projects. They’re at Downsview Park with Grizzly Bear on June 6.

Empire Of The Sun are streaming the first complete sample of their new album Ice On The Dune, out June 17.

Stream: Empire Of The Sun – “Alive”

New Order details their strategy of releasing EPs of new material to justify their continued existence to Billboard.

The Quietus has an interview with Richard Thompson.

The AV Club gets Frightened Rabbit to step into their studio to cover Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”.

Veronica Falls have rolled out a new video from Waiting For Something To Happen.

Video: Veronica Falls – “Waiting For Something To Happen”

Rolling Stone checks in with the lads of Two Door Cinema Club, getting ready to work on album number three.

Filter has a conversation with Nick Cave.

Billboard has a video session and interview with Little Green Cars.

The Knife put out a new video from their latest, Shaking The Habitual.

Video: The Knife – “A Cherry On Top”

Very sad to hear about the passing of Storm Thorgerson, graphic designer of album art for the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Catherine Wheel. This was always my favourite of his pieces. For purely artistic reasons, of course.

And finally, noting that tomorrow is indeed Record Store Day, The Fly interviewed record collecting geeks in British Sea Power, The Joy Formidable, and TOY, amongst others.

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Thick As Thieves

Widowspeak and The Auras at The Garrison in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangObjectively speaking, there’s not a world of difference between Widowspeak’s 2011 self-titled debut or the follow-up Almanac, released in January of this year. You can file them both quite comfortably under “the soundtrack to dreams of dusty country roads”, not too far from lazy but not inaccurate reference points Mazzy Star and Cat Power, but something about Almanac grabs me the way that Widowspeak, as much as I dug it, didn’t. And it’s not something as simple as they’re getting more dynamic or rocking out harder, as refresher listens to their debut confirm there’s no shortage of volume spikes amidst the sleepiness. There’s just something more present, more assured, in Almanac‘s grooves – like lucid dreaming versus wake-walking. Whatever it is, I love it, and so their show at The Garrison on Monday night – their first non-festival headline date in Toronto – was a must-go on my calendar.

Local support came from The Auras, signed to Toronto’s Optical Sounds and labelmates with B-17, whom I’d just seen just a few days earlier; if there’s some sort of shadow conspiracy to get me more attuned with the city’s psych-pop scene… then it’s working. Mind you, The Auras didn’t impress the same way that B-17 did, but they’re not really built to. Comprised of fresh-faced youngsters rather than scene veterans, they were a bit of a mish-mash visually – a mass of paisley, headbands, shaggy hair, tassels, and with half the six-piece band in sunglasses, all bathed in their a bring-your-own light show. Sonically, they felt more like a a psychedelic jam session, rotating through four lead vocalists and possessing more of vague mandate to sound like a more shambolic, polite Black Angels than a firm mission statement. Understand that this is not a complaint, but actually more a point of envy. Having a group of like-minded players to jam, gig, and record with sounds like the best thing ever, actually.

I saw Widowspeak twice last year – in the same room at NXNE and a few months earlier at SXSW – but this time there was a new rhythm section in place and a fifth member in the fold on guitar and keys. The heart of the band, however – Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas – were still there, ever front and centre. Opening with Almanac leadoff “Perennials”, the template for the show was quickly established – Hamilton serenely cooing into the mic while Thomas got to play the role of guitar hero, although he would have been more effective at it had his guitar not been the quietest of the three on stage; a little more volume would have helped his leads achieve the prominence they deserved and might also have quieted the reasonably-sized if disproportionately chatty crowd audience.

As the show progressed, the chatter either diminished or the genuinely interested moved up to the front – in either case, they were drawn in by the performance, which maintained the same basic rhythm through the better part of an hour, offering a good mix of Almanac and Widowspeak material though sadly omitting two of my favourite new songs, “Devil Knows” and “Spirit Is Willing”. They did shift gears slightly towards the end with a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” – yeah, having Hamilton wrap her voice around it is a bit on the nose, but still gorgeous – and a keyboard-led “Thick As Thieves”, before closing with a relatively raucous “Ballad Of The Golden Hour” and “Harsh Realm”. An encore wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but Hamilton was enticed to come back out for a final number, a reading of “Limbs” done solo because the rest of the band didn’t know how to play it, and were also busy selling merch off to the side. A modest finale to a modest yet wholly enjoyable show.

Iamnosuperman and Good Times have interviews with Robert Earl Thomas and The Riverfront Times chats with Molly Hamilton while El Paso What’s Up talks to both.

Photos: Widowspeak, The Auras @ The Garrison – April 16, 2013
MP3: Widowspeak – “Ballad Of The Golden Hour”
MP3: Widowspeak – “Sore Eyes”
MP3: Widowspeak – “Gun Shy”
MP3: Widowspeak – “In The Pines”
MP3: Widowspeak – “Devil Knows”
MP3: Widowspeak – “Harsh Realm”
Video: Widowspeak – “Locusts”
Stream: The Auras / The Auras

Not necessarily enough show announcements this week to devote a post, but still a few things of note. Seattle’s Cave Singers will bring their new album Naomi – released last month – to town for a show at The Horseshoe on June 17, tickets $15. There’s a feature on the band at 85-26.

MP3: The Cave Singers – “Black Leaf”
MP3: The Cave Singers – “Swim Club”

California’s Rogue Wave are back with a new record in Nightingale Floors coming out on June 4, and are teaming up with Brooklyn’s Caveman, who just released their second self-titled album, for a Summer tour that hits The Mod Club on June 25, tickets $18.50/.

MP3: Caveman – “Easy Water”
Stream: Rogue Wave – “College”

Another bi-coastal bill will team Californian psych-pop outfit Woods, still working last Fall’s Bend Beyond, with New York ’90s indie rock revivalists Parquet Courts and their debut Light Up Gold for a date at The Horseshoe on July 17, tickets $15.50.

MP3: Woods – “Wind Was The Wine”
MP3: Parquet Courts – “Borrowed Time”

Los Angeles’ Julia Holter brings last year’s Ekstasis to The Drake on July 17, tickets $16.50.

MP3: Julia Holter – “In The Same Room”

Consequence Of Sound, Spinner, Vulture, and Spin talk to Thermals frontman Hutch Harris and PopMatters to drummer Westin Glass about their just-released new record Desperate Ground, and they also talk to The AV Club and Clash respectively about action movies. The Thermals are at The Horseshoe on May 21.

MTV Hive and Stereogum have features on The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, whose new record Mosquito arrived this week.

Interview and The Victoria Times-Colonist talk to Sam Beam about the new Iron & Wine album Ghost On Ghost.

PopMatters, eMusic, Forbes, and Spin have features on The Flaming Lips and their new album The Terror.

The National Post talks to Steve Earle about his latest The Low Highway.

Ra Ra Riot is streaming the single they’ll be releasing for Record Store Day this Saturday via T Magazine. The Alternate Side also has a session with the band, who are here on May 25 at The Sound Academy supporting The Shins, then back for the Field Trip fest at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Stream: Ra Ra Riot – “All I Fear”

Stereogum has a stream of The Hold Steady’s contribution to this week’s Game Of Thrones closing credits, while Wired examines the intersection of the kingdoms of Westeros and the world of indie rock. The Hold Steady are here as part of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 6 at Garrison Commons.

Stream: The Hold Steady – “The Bear & The Maiden Fair”

NPR has a Tiny Desk Concert concert with Yo La Tengo, one of the names at the final day of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

Kurt Vile is also playing TURF Sunday; Noisey has an interview with him about being a rocker parent rocker.

Janelle Monáe dishes a bit to Billboard about her long-awaited second album The Electric Lady, due out later this year.

Stereogum have premiered the new video from Low’s The Invisible Way.

Video: Low – “Just Make It Stop”

Okkervil River’s Will Sheff has squeezed another video out of his Lovestreams side-project.

Video: Lovestreams – “There’s Video”

NPR welcomes Local Natives for a World Cafe session.

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

New Summer

Review of Young Galaxy’s Ultramarine

Photo By Vanessa HeinsVanessa HeinsThey couldn’t have known it at the time, but when naming their 2011 album Shapeshifting, Montreal’s Young Galaxy were describing not only their sonic shift from well-worn dream-pop to sleek, futuristic disco, but in their fortunes as well. Their first couple records had failed to launch them into an orbit commensurate with their band name but Shapeshifting would make them, if not stars, then an act who were genuinely doing something fresh and interesting and well worth watching. It was a fresh start that not many artists get.

It would also put whatever they did next under a next-level degree of scrutiny to see if Shapeshifting genuinely the start of a fruitful new direction for the band or just a lucky aberration. Doing everything they could to ensure the former and acknowledging that Swedish producer Dan Lissvik’s job mixing Shapeshifting was an essential part of the record’s magic and success, Young Galaxy doubled down on his input and traveled to Gothenburg to record with him fully-credited as producer, and it’s a gamble that has paid off handsomely. To say an album sounds like its predecessor is usually interpreted as a sign of creative stagnation, but for Ultramarine to be considered an equal to Shapeshifting is actually rather high praise.

The space-age, synthesized aesthetic that so surprised on its predecessor still feels fresh and more importantly, natural. It provides the perfect setting for now-sole vocalist Catherine McCandless’ vocals and their peripheral iciness, but also allows draws out some of her most affecting performances to date, particularly on album bookends “Pretty Boy” and “Sleepwalk With Me”. Also interestingly, Ultramarine doesn’t find the band venturing any further into dancey territory despite being tooled up for it, funky expedition “Out The Gate Backwards” being the notable exception but even that does its work by way of Madchester, rather than via any contemporary EDM affectations. Ultramarine is a strong record that cements Young Galaxy’s place in the Can-rock firmament, and if Shapeshifting posited the question of, “this is Young Galaxy?”, Ultramarine definitively answers it with “this is Young Galaxy”.

Exclaim talks to Catherine McCandless and The Advocate to drummer Andrea Silver about the making of Ultramarine. It’s out April 23 but streaming now in whole at Pitchfork. They play Lee’s Palace on May 31.

Stream: Young Galaxy / Ultramarine

Odonis Odonis have released a video for the title track of their just-out new EP Better. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 17 supporting METZ.

Video: Odonis Odonis – “Better”

PopMatters talks to Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Arts & Crafts about the label’s tenth anniversary. The corresponding compilation Arts & Crafts 2003-2013 is now available to stream in its two-CD entirety at CBC Music, and the festival to go along with the comp – Field Trip – hits Garrison Commons on June 8.

Stream: various artists / Arts & Crafts 2003-2013

Spin has posted a stream of Moon King’s new Obsession II EP, though the Soundcloud link below is a bit more reliable in performance. Speaking of in performance, their NXNE appearances have been confirmed – look for them on June 13 at The Garrison, June 14 at The Drake, and June 15 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

MP3: Moon King – “Appel”
Stream: Moon King / Obsession II

Paste gets to know Born Ruffians, whose new record Birthmarks came out this week.

The Belle Game are celebrating this week’s release of their debut Tradition Ritual Habit by giving away another download from the album via Rolling Stone.

MP3: The Belle Game – “Blame Fiction”

The Line Of Best Fit interviews No Joy, who are streaming their new album Wait To Pleasure ahead of its April 23 release date over at Pitchfork. They’re also at The Garrison that night opening for Clinic.

Stream: No Joy / Wait To Pleasure

Stereogum talks to Colin Stetson about his forthcoming New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, out April 30. He and his lungs are at The Great Hall on May 19.

Arts Journal and NPR talk to Rachel Zeffira, who makes her local debut at The Drake Underground on May 2.

NPR has posted a Mountain Stage video session with Kathleen Edwards, who is part of the CBC Music Fest at Echo Beach on May 25.

Japandroids are coming back to town for a show at the Adelaide Music Hall on June 17, tickets $25. What the hell is the Adelaide Music Hall, you ask? Don’t worry – The Grid is on it.

MP3: Japandroids – “Younger Us”
MP3: Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”

Patrick Watson will be playing a free show at Pecault Square on June 20 as part of this year’s LuminaTO festivities.

MP3: Patrick Watson – “Words In The Fire”
MP3: Patrick Watson – “Into Giants”

BrooklynVegan has premiered a Moog Sound Lab video with Diamond Rings, who’s opening up for OMD at the Danforth on July 11 and 19.

The Vancouver Sun and Georgia Straight have feature interviews with Two Hours Traffic.

DIY and Under The Radar talk to The Besnard Lakes.