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Archive for May, 2013

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Amends

End the week with new Braids (by attrition)

Photo By Victoria MastersVictoria MastersSo I’m sitting here with a handful of bits and bobs to string together into a blog post, and find that most of the artists have already been featured hereabouts in recent months. So what’s that mean? Braids, you’re up.

I’m not a tremendous fan of the Montreal-based trio, the things I liked about their 2011 debut Native Speaker outweighed by the things I didn’t – that a frequent reference point for the band is Animal Collective is really all you need to know about that. But that it garnered them a sizeable fanbase, as well as a place on that year’s Polaris shortlist, is not up for debate so when they finally announce details of their sophomore album, it’s newsworthy.

First, there’s the new stream of the flipside of their new 12″ “In Kind//Amends” due out June 11, both songs of which will be appearing on the full-length Flourish//Perish. Exclaim has all the specifics of the new record, which will be coming out August 20 and finds the band trading their guitars for keyboards for an electronically-driven sound. And while it’s hardly a ringing endorsement, I will say these new songs aren’t annoying me. Whether that’ll still hold over a complete album remains to be seen, but it’s a positive step.

It remains to be seen if they’ll be rearranging all the old material to work guitar-less live, or if they’ll just travel with a whole lot of gear. People who attend their NXNE showcase at The Comfort Zone on June 15 will be able to report back on that.

Stream: Braids – “In Kind”
Stream: Braids – “Amends”

NOW and Exclaim talk to Hooded Fang, who are holding the record release party for their new album Gravez at The Horseshoe tonight.

NOW also previews Young Galaxy’s show at Lee’s Palace tonight.

Get your Murderrecords t-shirts out of storage! The Great Hall will turn warp both time and space to become Halifax in the mid-’90s for NXNE, proffering a lineup of Sloan, The Super Friendz, and former Inbred Mike O’Neill on June 14. Admission by festival wristband only.

MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
Video: The Super Friendz – “Up And Running”
Stream: Mike O’Neill – “This Is Who I Am”

Aritzia has an interview, Pitchfork a guest list and Le Blogotheque a Takeaway Show with Majical Cloudz, whose NXNE showcase goes June 15 at BLK BOX.

Though he probably could have just called it a Dears record and no one would have thought anything of it, Under The Radar reports that Murray Lightburn will release his first solo record Mass:Light on June 16, and that it’ll be available on vinyl only via mail order. And there’s also a new Dears record in the works.

Austra is streaming a second – and arguably more characteristic – sample from Olympia, due out June 18.

Stream: Austra – “Painful Like”

I Like Music has an interview with Born Ruffians, who’re streaming a new track not found on their latest Birthmarks, just because. They play a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

Stream: Born Ruffians – “With An Ax”

Beatroute talks to Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage.

Loud & Quiet interviews Suuns.

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Subway

Yeah Yeah Yeahs set Toronto show; win a date with the night

Photo By Dan MartensenDan MartensenThe new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record Mosquito has proven to be somewhat divisive. Some are finding it a terrific fourth long-player in their discography, summing together all that’s come before for a record quintessentially them, others finding it a disappointing water-treading exercise that captures neither the fiery anarchy of their early work or the gleaming excellence of their last effort, 2009’s It’s Blitz!. Personally, I fall more towards the latter camp, finding it just alright but decidedly forgettable, which may well be worse than being especially bad.

In any case, one thing most everyone with an interest in the topic can agree on – besides that the album art is atrocious – is that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs remain an incredible live act and that the four years since they last visited – two nights at The Kool Haus in August 2009m if you’ll recall – is far too long. So I’m happy to announce that the band’s somewhat erratic touring schedule – a consequence of being almost-headliner status during festival season, I guess – now has a Toronto date, with them coming to celebrate Canada Day – July 1 – at Echo Beach. And I’m even happier to announce that courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away before the $39.50 tickets go on sale this Friday morning at 10AM. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I I I want want want Yeah Yeah Yeahs” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that to me by midnight, May 30. The winner will be notified before the on-sale goes live.

MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

If you’d have otherwise been keen on seeing next week’s The xx and Grizzly Bear double-bill but didn’t much fancy the trek out to Downsview Park to do it, congratulations – your laziness has been rewarded. The June 6 show has been moved from the former airbase to the much more urban Echo Beach; all previously sold tickets are still valid and all remaining – of which there are now considerably fewer – are still $59.50 general admission and $99 VIP. The Vancouver Sun, Vue Weekly, and Georgia Straight have profiles of The xx.

MP3: The xx – “Reconsider”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Scottish folkster Alasdair Roberts will be at The Drake Underground on July 17 as part of a tour in support of his latest album A Wonder Working Stone, released earlier this year. For Folk’s Sake has an interview with Mr. Roberts.

MP3: Alasdair Roberts – “The Merry Wake”

If you’re looking for something to do Labour Day long weekend, you could do far worse than heading out Hamilton way for the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, taking place at Christie Lake in Dundas, Ontario on August 31. It was conceived by Daniel Lanois, who will be performing, and features a couple huge names drawn from his producing CV – specifically, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Emmylou Harris. Not bad, eh? Tickets are $139.50 in advance and go on sale June 1.

Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”
Video: Emmylou Harris – “Wrecking Ball” (live)

Not quite ready to return to being Bon Iver, Justin Vernon and his Wisconsin brethren have announced the September 3 release of a second Volcano Choir album – Repave – and a supporting Fall tour that brings them to The Phoenix on September 8, tickets $22.50 in advance. A trailer for the new record has been released, but rather than annoyingly tease, it actually almost acts as a complete video for one of the new songs.

MP3: Volcano Choir – “Island, Is”
Trailer: Volcano Choir / Repave

Portland electro-pop outfit STRFKR – whose name stands for what you think it does – have made a September 14 date at The Opera House in support of their third album Miracle Mile, released back in February. Tickets for the show are $15.

MP3: STRFKR – “Bury Us Alive”

Scout Niblett, who’s just released a new record in It’s Up To Emma, will be at The Silver Dollar on September 17.

MP3: Scout Niblett – “Dance Of Sulphur”
Video: Scout Niblett – “Gun”

English-born, Germany-based electronic act Gold Panda has a new album in Half Of Where You Live coming out on June 11 and has just announced a Fall tour behind it that brings him to Lee’s Palace on October 8, tickets $15. A new song from the new record has also been made available to stream and Noisey has an interview.

Stream: Gold Panda – “We Work Nights”

There’s still no follow-up to 2010’s Passive Me, Aggressive You, but Australia’s The Naked & Famous are coming back to North America for a Fall tour anyways; look for them at the Sound Academy on October 14, tickets $28.50 general admission and $38.50 VIP.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Girls Like You”

Two Door Cinema Club are keeping last year’s Beacon an active concern with another North American tour that brings them to the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Next Year”

Stereogum talks to Matt Berninger of The National. They’re headlining Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

With their new record Nightingale Floors due out next week on June 4 and streaming now at Pitchfork, Rogue Wave frontman Zach Rogue chats about the new record with Billboard. They’ll be at The Mod Club on June 25.

Stream: Rogue Wave / Nightingale Floors

Partygoing, the new album from Future Bible Heroes and one-quarter of the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing. box set – both out next Tuesday, June 4 – is now streaming courtesy of Pitchfork. Chickfactor talks to Stephin Merritt, Christopher Ewen, and Claudia Gonson of the band about the new record; they’ll be at Lee’s Palace – well, Ewen and Gonson, anyways – on July 22.

Stream: Future Bible Heroes / Partygoing

Guitar World sits down with Redd Kross guitarist Jeff McDonald to talk about guitars.

The Line Of Best Fit, TNT, and The Herald Scotland have interviews with Bob Mould.

The Guardian and USA Today profile punk rock legend Patti Smith.

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Every Weekday

Camera Obscura defeats the slow news day with Desire Lines stream

Photo By Anna Isola CrollaAnna Isola CrollaWith yesterday being both Memorial Day in the US and a Bank Holiday in the UK, the internet was understandably reasonably quiet, at least from a music news perspective. If you covered, say, municipal affairs in Toronto, then it was far from it. But I digress.

If you were to have only one noteworthy item to lead off a post, however, you could do far worse than to announce that Scotland’s Camera Obscura have made their new long-player of elegant indie-pop Desire Lines – the first since 2009’s My Maudlin Career – available to stream in whole via NPR before its formal release date of next Tuesday, June 4. And the perfect accompaniment for that listening session would be these feature pieces on the band in The Scotsman and The List, and the knowledge that in just over a month’s time – July 4 – they’ll be in town opening up for She & Him on the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons.

MP3: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”
Stream: Camera Obscura / Desire Lines

Consequence Of Sound interviews Laura Marling as her new record Once I Was An Eagle is officially out in North America as of today.

Beady Eye have released a second video from their second album BE, due out in the UK on June 10.

Video: Beady Eye – “Second Bite Of The Apple”

CHVRCHES have rolled out another track that will presumably appear on their forthcoming debut album when it comes out this Fall. Which also means you will recognize one more song they play at The Hoxton on June 12. Counteract has an interview with the band.

Stream: CHVRCHES – “Gun”

Iceage explains to aux.tv why they’re not fascists, which really, is exactly what a fascist would say. They’re at The Horseshoe on June 15 for NXNE.

Spin, The Scotsman, and Liverpool Echo talk to Bobby Gillespie about the new Primal Scream album More Light – out now abroad and June 18 in North America – while The Guardian welcomes the band for an acoustic video session.

MTV Hive chats with Palma Violets, who’ve released a new video from their debut 180. They make their third local appearance of the year on August 3 at Garrison Commons as part of The Grove Fest.

Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends”

Thomas Mars of Phoenix – who are headlining The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3 – recounts the soundtrack of his life for The Guardian.

Consequence Of Sound and The Boston Globe talk to James Blake, who has been announced as one of the featured acts at this year’s Drake-assembled OVO Fest at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4. NPR is also streaming a complete concert in HD from DC recently.

By way of Elizabeth Sankey’s blog, Summer Camp report that their second album is done, with release details still to come.

The Daily Star reports that Manic Street Preachers will break their hiatus which began after 2010’s Postcards From a Young Man with two new albums, being recorded simultaneously – one mostly acoustic, the other mostly not.

Brett Anderson discusses the success of the Suede reunion with Drowned In Sound.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Frightened Rabbit.

MusicOmh interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

NOW previewed Charli XCX’s visit last week with an interview, while Stereogum captured a Backstreet Boys cover in a video session. She also just released a new video from her debut True Romance.

Video: Charli XCX – “Take My Hand”

Rolling Stone grabbed a wide-ranging Q&A with Damon Albarn before Blur’s Coachella appearances last month where he reflects on projects past and future, including a new Blur record and his first solo album.

British Sea Power have rolled out a new video from their latest album, Machineries Of Joy.

Video: British Sea Power – “Hail Holy Queen”

Allo Darlin’ unveil a new song via a video session for BalconyTV.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with and The Georgia Straight a feature piece on Daughter.

Daytrotter has a session with Billy Bragg.

CBC Music got to know Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men before they played their festival this past weekend.

The 405 meets The Raveonettes.

The Fly has a feature piece on Denmark’s Vår.

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Never Minding

Hooded Fang well past teething stage with Gravez

Photo By Sara Amroussi-GilissenSara Amroussi-GilissenWhen Toronto’s Hooded Fang first surfaced in early 2009, despite being over a year away from releasing their debut full-length Album, they seemed inescapable on the club circuit – I saw them thrice that year without trying at all. And because of that concentrated dose, and even though they were clearly still in the early stages of finding themselves, I assumed that sugary, ramshackle twee-pop would remain the bedrock of what they were about. Which was fine and fun, but not enough to hold my attention.

As it turns out, they were on an accelerated evolutionary track, with their second album Tosta Mista coming out barely a year after their first and pointing to a more focused and compact aesthetic that traded the “twee” modifier for “garage” and “surf”. Their third album Gravez, out tomorrow, brings even more changes as the band lineup has been whittled down from its original seven-piece collective to a lean quartet and in the process, getting louder, harder, and steering their sound towards more time-warped, psychedelic destinations. If you handed me this record four years ago and told me that this is what that instrument-swapping, glockenspiel-tapping, shambolically giddy outfit would become, I wouldn’t have believed you. And yet, here we are.

Exclaim and Cut From Steel have interviews and The Grid a video session with the band, who’ve just released a new video from Gravez. They play a hometown release show for the new record at The Horseshoe this Friday night, May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang / Gravez
Video: Hooded Fang – “Ode To Subterrania”

Artrocker has an interview with Young Galaxy, who make their first post-Ultramarine Toronto appearance at Lee’s Palace on May 31.

The Coast interviews Hayden, who is participating in the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Also playing that fest as well as NXNE at BLK BOX on June 14 are Vancouver’s Gold & Youth; VUE and The Province have feature pieces on the band.

Though not out until August 20, Diana’s debut album won’t be self-titled after all, but carry the title of Perpetual Surrender, the change intended to head of potential legal issues. Exclaim explains why. Diana are doing NXNE at The Horseshoe on June 13, and then opening for Tegan & Sara and fun. at Downsview Park on July 6.

CBC Music, Exclaim, Montreal Gazette, and Dummy have feature pieces on Majical Cloudz, whose NXNE showcase comes June 15 at BLK BOX.

The Fly interviews Katie Stelmanis of Austra, whose new album Olympia comes out June 18.

Vancouver’s Lightning Dust have released a video and download for the first song from their new album Fantasy, out June 25.

MP3: Lightning Dust – “Diamond”
Video: Lightning Dust – “Diamond”

Diamond Rings gives Exclaim some hints as to the direction of album number three, due out sooner than you might think. They open up for OMD at The Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.

Beatroute chats with The Belle Game, coming to town for the Soundclash Festival at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

The Line Of Best Fit asks some questions of Sarah Neufeld, whose solo debut Hero Brother comes out August 20.

Suuns have released a new video from their latest, Images du Futur; The Province also has an interview.

Video: Suuns – “Sunspot”

Doldrums also have a new video from their debut album Lesser Evil.

Video: Doldrums – “Holographic Sandcastle”

Exclaim talks to Jim Guthrie about his excellent new solo record Takes Time.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Grimes.

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

CONTEST – Rachael Yamagata @ The Mod Club – June 4, 2013

Photo By Laura CrostaLaura CrostaWho: Rachael Yamagata
What: American singer-songwriter who has been mining topics of heartbreak and, well, heartbreak for three albums and numerous EPs over the past decade.
Why: Having given her 2012 Heavyweight EP a physical release this year, she’s embarking on the “Dealbreaker Heart” tour to promote it.
When: Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Where: The Mod Club in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Mississippi neo-soul artist Sanders Bohlke supports
How: Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Rachael Yamagata” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, June 1.
What else: Ithaca.com has an interview with Yamagata.

MP3: Rachael Yamagata – “You Won’t Let Me”