Quantcast

Archive for July, 2013

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Anything We Want

Fiona Apple to do whatever she wants, including more touring

Photo By Dan MonickDan MonickFiona Apple did pretty much all anyone could have asked in 2012. Starting with a tense but triumphant comeback show at SXSW, she proceeded to release a stellar new record with The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do last June and toured reasonably extensively behind it, though by late Fall she was cancelling dates to tend to her ailing dog. If that was the end of the promotional cycle for The Idler Wheel and the beginning of another hiatus, then so be it. Her inclusion on the initial lineup for the 2013 edition Primavera Sound in Barcelona was an encouraging sign that she wasn’t done yet, but that didn’t last.

Then last week – more than a year after the first single and video from Idler Wheel was released – a new video emerged for the album’s closing track, directed by auteur and former partner Paul Thomas Anderson, and that was followed up earlier this week with the announcement of a new Fall tour. But not a conventional tour. For starters, Apple will be touring and performing with Los Angeles singer-songwriter Blake Mills, and as per the name of the tour – Anything We Want – the format of it promises to be free-form and unpredictable. One would assume that with the not-cheap ticket prices, they’re acknowledging that Apple’s exponentially-larger fanbase will make up the bulk of the audience and will be played to accordingly, but then again, maybe not. They don’t know, so how can we?

In any case, Toronto is probably lucky that the October 17 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre comes a couple weeks into the tour, so folks should have an idea of what to expect by that point. Of course, if they’ve already shelled out their $49.50 or $69.50 for a seat, it’s kind of academic. But still.

Video: Fiona Apple – “Hot Knife”

Portland’s Blitzen Trapper have announced details of the follow-up to 2011’s American Goldwing as well as accompanying tour dates. VII will be out on October 1 on their new home at Vagrant Records, and the accompanying tour hits Lee’s Palace a few days later on October 5, tickets $18.50. You can stream one of the new songs via Rolling Stone.

Stream: Blitzen Trapper – “Ever Loved Once”

Providence’s Deer Tick are also putting out a new record of their brand of Americana this Fall in the form of Negativity, due out September 24, and will also be hitting the road in support, kicking that tour off in Toronto at Lee’s Palace on October 10 – tickets for that are $22. They released a video for one of their new songs a couple weeks ago and are streaming another new tune via Rolling Stone.

Video: Deer Tick – “The Rock”
Stream: Deer Tick – “The Dream’s In The Ditch”

Pennsylvania psych-folkers Dr. Dog are also readying a new album for Fall release, with B-Room coming out October 1 – stream a new song below – and their touring itinerary in support of it runs pretty much the entire Fall, with the November 8 date at The Phoenix being one of the last. Tickets for that will be $22.

Stream: Dr. Dog – “The Truth”

Entertainment Weekly are streaming the whole of Explosions In The Sky’s soundtrack to the Prince Avalanche film ahead of its August 6 release date, just before the film opens on August 9. They play The Air Canada Centre on October 4, opening for Nine Inch Nails.

Stream: Explosions In The Sky w David Wingo / Prince Avalanche original motion picture soundtrack

Though you could be forgiven for assuming that we’d lost Tanya Donelly to the world of motherhood and domesticity – I certainly did – you would in fact be wrong. The former Belly/Breeder/Throwing Muse has been recording new music and will begin releasing it to the world in a series of monthly EP’s that she’s calling the Swan Song Series; the first volume will be available next Tuesday, August 6, via Bandcamp though those in the US with access to Pandora can apparently stream the songs in advance now. Lucky ducks.

The Justin Vernon-powered Volcano Choir have released a new video from their forthcoming Repave, which is out September 3 and brings them to The Phoenix on September 8.

Video: Volcano Choir – “Byegone”

Billboard talks to Neko Case about her forthcoming record The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, out September 3.

Stereogum chats with Lou Barlow about the return of Sebadoh, while The San Francisco Appeal talks to drummer Bob D’Amico and The San Francisco Bay Guardian to bassist Jason Lowenstein. They’ve released a stream of one of the new tracks and a video of another, both from Defend Yourself which comes out September 17.

Stream: Sebadoh – “I Will”
Video: Sebadoh – “All Kinds”

Pitchfork has some specifics about the new Cults record Static, which will be out October 15.

Trailer: Cults / Static

Rolling Stone has premiered the second video for the first new Pixies song in ages, because if any band has mastered the art of miking it, it’s Pixies. Trivia: that’s not actually Kim Deal on the recording, it’s her replacement Kim Shattuck.

Video: Pixies – “Bagboy” (version 2)

Huffington Post has premiered a stream of the first new TV On The Radio music since 2011’s Nine Types Of Light. No info on the new album, but this is a start.

Stream: TV On The Radio – “Mercy”

Chicago Grid has a feature story on Wilco (the business).

Beatroute and The Edmonton Journal chat with M Ward.

The Creator’s Project have posted their mini-documentary on The Postal Service’s 10th anniversary tour.

Consequence Of Sound talks to Superchunk and Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster about his recent commitment to sobriety.

Airship Daily and The Huffington Post have interviews with Stephin Merritt about his work with Future Bible Heroes.

NPR has a video session with Yo La Tengo.

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Hold On

Annie streams comeback EP

Photo By Maxime BallesterosMaxime BallesterosI don’t know that Norwegians are especially renowned for their senses of irony, but it’s pretty funny that following the 2009 release of her second album of sassy, sugary, and on occasion, delightfully smack-talking electro-pop Don’t Stop, Anne Lilia Berge Strand – that’s Annie to her public – seemingly did just that. Okay, that’s not entirely fair; after touring behind the album, she was reportedly back in the studio in 2010 working on the follow-up, but the results from those sessions didn’t surface until earlier this year in the form of the “Tube Stops And Lonely Hearts” single, which was certainly welcome but didn’t necessarily come with a promise of more material to follow.

That promise finally came earlier this month with the announcement of a new EP – The A’NR EP, named for Strand and her producer Richard X and slated for release as of yesterday – and a steady stream of stream premieres, such that you could reasonably wonder why not just stream the whole thing in one place? As it turns out you can just below.

The Fader, The Line Of Best Fit, and DIY have interviews with Strand where she explains her absence and her return, but doesn’t tip her hat as to when a proper third album will be out. So with that in mind, you can also get your Annie fix via a recent single from Norwegian electronic artist Ralph Myerz, to which she contributed lead vocals.

Video: Annie – “Tube Stops And Lonely Hearts”
Video: Ralph Myerz featuring Annie – “Take A Look At The World”
Stream: Annie / The A&R EP

Pitchfork has the details about the new Icona Pop record they’d like you to think is their debut but really isn’t, really – according to the tracklist at DIY, This Is… – out September 24 – overlaps with their Swedish debut by only their already-released singles but is otherwise all-new. They’re streaming one of those new songs and have released a video for another, and are featured in an interview in Instinct. And while they were supposed to play Garrison Commons as part of The Grove Fest this coming Saturday, one can’t help but notice they’re no longer listed on the website. You do the math (hint: it’s subtraction).

Stream: Icona Pop – “All Night”
Video: Icona Pop – “Girlfriend”

Experimental Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson will be at The Music Gallery on September 8, bolstered by the ACME String Quartet; tickets are $20 in advance.

MP3: Jóhann Jóhannson – “Odi Et Amo”

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered the official video to accompany the new I Break Horses single released a few weeks ago and which precedes their second album, due out in October-ish.

Video: I Break Horses – “Denial”

Noisey talks to Elias Ronnenfelt and Loke Rahbek of Vår.

Under The Radar interviews the gentlemen of Junip.

Channel 4 is streaming the meeting of Björk and Sir David Attenborough.

Video: When Björk Met Attenborough

Raggi Thórhallsson of Of Monsters & Men answers some questions from MusicOmh and Gigwise (in two parts).

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Tall Tall Shadow

Basia Bulat steps into the Shadow for third record

Photo By Anna Groth-ShiveAnna Groth-ShiveOver the course of her first two records, Toronto’s Basia Bulat has crafted a musical persona built around folk-pop that can be as bare and affecting with the best of them, but really wins hearts when it’s upbeat and joyous and feels like a warm ray of aural sunshine. Assuming that her just-announced third album Tall Tall Shadow will simply offer more of the same, however, may be premature.

She’s not going electronic or anything – well, maybe a bit but not so much that the Canadian indie-rock rulebook demands she assume a new identity – but advance word is that Shadow still represents a significant change in modus operandi. Howard Bilerman, who produced the first two records, has stepped aside for Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury and Mark Lawson, who engineered The Suburbs; the piano was adopted as a primary composition instrument alongside or even over the guitar; a personal tragedy altered and informed the songwriting; and most importantly, Bulat challenged her own expectations about what she should or could sound like.

The fruits of this creative process can be heard in full when Tall Tall Shadow is released October 1, but the first of the new songs – the album’s title track – is available to stream now. Exclaim has more album details and an expanded Fall itinerary, with more North American dates being added to the already-announced hometown show at the Polish Combatants Hall on October 10.

Stream: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

CBC Music has premiered the new video from Two Hours Traffic’s latest Foolish Blood. They have an in-store at Sonic Boom in The Annex tomorrow afternoon, July 27, at 5PM.

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Magic”

NOW and CBC talk to the Peter Dreimanis half of July Talk while The Halifax Chronicle-Herald gets a word with creative foil Leah Fay. Their next local show is up at Downsview Park as part of Edgefest next week, on July 31.

Fractured Air interviews Tim Condon of Toronto’s new (neu?) Krautrock heroes Fresh Snow, who hold a record release show for their debut LP I at The Boat on August 8.

In conversation with Billboard, Neko Case offers an update on the next New Pornographers record, which is apparently almost done. You probably shouldn’t expect either her or Dan Bejar to be on hand when they play a show at the CNE Bandshell on August 17, though. Just in case you were.

American Songwriter has premiered the stream of another new track from the new Sadies record Internal Sounds, out September 17.

Stream: The Sadies – “Another Tomorrow Again”

The Daily Swarm and Sydney Morning Herald talk to Devon Walsh of Majical Cloudz, back in town on September 17 at Wrongbar.

Having made their mark over the last couple of years with one album far too long in the can before being let loose and another covering a ’70s prog-rock classic, Toronto’s Darcys are finally able to announce the release of an album that might actually represent where they are today. That record will be called Warring, it will be out on September 17, and courtesy of Spin, you can stream the first track from it right now or get it to download from the band’s website in exchange for a little social media juice.

Stream: The Darcys – “The River”

In conversation with Billboard, James Murphy offers his thoughts, as sorta producer, on the new Arcade Fire record. It’s out October 29 and Murphy, incidentally, is doing a DJ set at The Hoxton on September 6. If watching guys DJ is your bag.

Chris Murphy tells Exclaim that the next Sloan record will be that long-awaited, presumed-inevitable thing – a double-album with each side essentially a solo record for each member. There’s no firm release plans yet, but what is known is that Jay Ferguson’s side will be getting worn out first. No question.

Bronson Island have posted a video session dating to who knows when with the now on-hiatus Broken Social Scene performing a previously-unreleased song.

Video: Broken Social Scene – “Where’s Your Heart, Where’s Your Mind” (live on Bronson Island)

Damian Abraham of Fucked Up talks to Clash about his approach to performing live.

CBC Music has a Summer check-in chat with Sarah Harmer.

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Vandals

An introduction to Arthur Beatrice

Photo by Richard Round TurnerRichard Round TurnerYou know what’s awful? Even though London quartet Arthur Beatrice have been on my radar for a little while now, I didn’t make the connection between their name and the late, great Golden Girl until about half an hour before writing this sentence. Not that it’s relevant in any way, I’m just amazed that I didn’t see it earlier.

Assumptions that the cheekiness of their name would imply a jokey band are sorely misplaced, though. Although evidence of their first two singles – “Midland” and “Charity”, released last year – have curiously been stricken from the internet, their just-released debut EP Carter, which is available to stream via Under The Radar, makes a strong first impression. It offers just three songs and a remix but strongly establishes their aesthetic, which evokes the danceability of ’90s British house but rendered with the instruments of vintage soul and the sultry boy-girl vocals reminiscent of The xx, though forgoing their icy detachment for something much more warm-blooded. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed formula for success, but if you were to try and come up with one, you could do much worse than theirs.

One assumes that a full-length album is in the works. Maybe those two redacted songs will resurface there?

Video: Arthur Beatrice – “Carter”
Stream: Arthur Beatrice / Carter

Under The Radar talks to Palma Violets, who’re back in town August 3 as part of The Grove Festival lineup.

The Vaccines are streaming another new tune from their forthcoming Melody Calling EP over at NME. That comes out August 12 and they support Mumford & Sons at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 26.

Stream: The Vaccines – “Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down”

NME gets Bloc Party bassist Gordon Moakes to chime in on the whole hiatus/no hiatus thing following the release of their new EP Nextwave Sessions on August 13.

Stereogum have got the whole video of a show Franz Ferdinand played for David Letterman’s audience when they were on last week, and they’ve also released a new official video from the new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It’s out August 27 and they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Love Illumination”

Rolling Stone declares Scotland’s synth-pop heroes CHVRCHES a band to watch and offers a live performance video as proof, while Gigwise has a two-part interview with the band. Their debut The Bones of What You Believe is out September 24 and they play the Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

Manic Street Preachers have made another track from their forthcoming album Rewind The Film available to stream; it’s out September 16.

Stream: Manic Street Preachers – “Show Me The Wonder”

Filter gets to know English newcomers Peace, who will support Two Door Cinema Club at the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Elvis Costello and The Roots have offered up the first official sample of their collaborative album Wise Up Ghost by way of video; the record is out September 17.

Video: Elvis Costello & The Roots – “Walk Us Uptown”

Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that The House Of Love will be playing a couple of intimate London shows in November for the purpose of releasing a live CD/DVD set next year.

Tone Deaf talks to Tom Smith of Editors.

Beady Eye hope to sway some of the generally unfavourable response to their second album BE with a new video full of nudity. Because everyone likes nudity, right?

Video: Beady Eye – “Shine A Light”

Alphabet Pony chats with Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

Interview talks to Johnny Marr.

The Daily Swarm has words with Savages guitarist Gemma Thompson.

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Concert Pitch

Empire Of The Sun are bringing their intimate, stripped down live show to a stage near you

Photo via empireofthesun.comempireofthesun.comConsidering how much trouble it took epic Australian synth-pop duo Empire Of The Sun to make it to Toronto the first time – an August 2010 appearance at Echo Beach around their Lollapalooza set was nixed because of logistics and when the make-up show finally happened in September 2011, it was at the significantly smaller Sound Academy and still not especially well-attended – I didn’t really expect a return engagement if indeed a North American tour behind their second album Ice On The Dune even happened. After all, as big stars as they are back home, their profile in the northern hemisphere isn’t really on the same scale. But returning to North America they are, and the itinerary does indeed include a return to Toronto on September 9 at the probably much more appropriately-sized Danforth Music Hall, tickets running $30 to $35.

Given the almost five years since their debut Walking On A Dream came out and the fact that in The Sleepy Jackson, Luke Steele demonstrated an almost pathological stylistic restlessness, it’s somewhat surprising that Ice On The Dune treads much of the same ground as its predecessor. On a surface level, that’s all well and good as if you’re an Empire Of The Sun fan, you’re all about grandiose, danceable tunes with soaring choruses mated to astonishing visuals. But the similarities will naturally elicit direct comparison and you can’t help but feel that the formula is returning fewer dividends this time out. If they don’t mix it up a bit for album number three, it could become and issue but for now, it’s still enough to get the swordfish dancers out on the road and that’s all that really matters.

The Age has an interview with Luke Steele, while Wired reports that the collaboration with JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot studios that produced the extravagant, three-minute Ice On The Dune trailer, is just a prelude to a larger feature. And oh yeah, don’t forget they’re scoring Dumb & Dumber 2.

Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Alive”
Trailer: Empire Of The Sun / Ice On The Dune

Northampton, Massachusetts pop-punk – in the sense that they’re both poppy and punky, not that they belong on the Warped tour – quartet Potty Mouth will be at The Shop Under Parts & Labour on August 5, topping an $8, six-band bill that may well entice you underground to close out the August long weekend. Their debut Hell Bent is out September 17 and there’s features on them at Noisey and CMJ.

Video: Potty Mouth – “Damage”

Her duties supporting second album The Midnight Mass will bring Louise Burns to The Drake Underground on September 10 where she’ll also be supporting Lightning Dust. Tickets for that are still $12.50.

Video: Louise Burns – “Emeralds Shatter”

English newcomer and BBC Sound of 2013 longlister King Krule will be at The Drake on September 11 in support of his debut Six Feet Beneath The Moon, out August 24. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

Video: King Krule – “Octopus”

Anyone who thinks that the garage-friendly triple bill of Wavves, Jacuzzi Boys, and King Tuff won’t be extra loud and unruly when it hits the Opera House on September 29 is probably wrong. But that’s kind of the point. Tickets are $19 and the full touring itinerary can be had over at Pitchfork.

MP3: Wavves – “Hippies Is Punks”
MP3: Jacuzzi Boys – “Automatic Jail”
MP3: King Tuff – “Anthem”

New York gloomy gusses Crystal Stilts have a new album in Nature Noir coming out September 17 – stream a new song below – and will be at The Horseshoe on October 8 to play you songs from it. Tickets for that are $12.50.

Stream: Crystal Stilts – “Star Crawl”

With his once and maybe future Sonic Youth bandmate Thurston Moore there a little less than a month earlier with Chelsea Light Moving, Lee Ranaldo and his new band The Dust will be at The Horseshoe on October 11, tickets $16.50. Matablog says that the tour is in support of his new solo record, the follow up to 2011’s Between The Times & The Tides, but isn’t saying any more about that for the moment.

MP3: Lee Ranaldo – “Off The Wall”

English electronic duo Fuck Buttons celebrated yesterday’s release of their new album Slow Focus with the announcement of a North American tour that brings them to Wrongbar on October 16, tickets $12. Interview, The Guardian, Clash, The Fly, and The Quietus have feature pieces on the band.

Video: Fuck Buttons – “The Red Wing”

With a new album in On Oni Pond ready for a September 10 release, Philadelphia weirdos – meant in the most complimentary sense – Man Man have slated a Fall tour that brings them to The Horseshoe on October 18, tickets $18.50.

MP3: Man Man – “Knuckle Down”

English folk-poppers Noah & The Whale have announced the dates for their Fall tour in support of album number four, Heart Of Nowhere. They’re at The Phoenix in Toronto on October 19, tickets $25.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Lifetime”

Two good things about the announcement of a Shad show at The Opera House on October 19. One, it means that his next album Flying Colours will be out sooner rather than later, and two, it means that anyone who wants to see him perform no longer needs to go see him open up for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Echo Beach on August 2. CBC has a check-in with the rapper.

Video: Shad – “It Ain’t Over”

Seattle folkies The Head & The Heart have completed their second album, entitled Let’s Be Still and set for an October 15 release, and have put together a pretty extensive tour covering the eastern half of the continent. They’re celebrating Hallowe’en in Toronto with an October 31 date at The Danforth Music Hall – tickets $20 to $25.50 – and the very worthy Thao & The Get Down Stay Down will support.

MP3: The Head & The Heart – “Down In The Valley”
MP3: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Holy Roller”

New York synth-pop duo Holy Ghost! will release their second album Dynamics on September 10, and to get people stoked – as the kids say – they’ve put out a video for a track already made available to download and will be hitting the road later this Fall, rolling into The Hoxton on November 6, tickets $16.

MP3: Holy Ghost! – “Teenagers In Heat”
Video: Holy Ghost! – “Teenagers In Heat”