Thursday, July 11th, 2013
Islands, island festivals, theatre festivals, etc, etc.
Todd WeaverHere are some things I didn’t know about Islands. That though their history is pretty firmly tied to the early aughts Montreal scene that spawned The Unicorns and from whose ashes the first of many incarnations of the band were based, Wikipedia now says they’re based in Los Angeles. Of course, this is probably based on the fact that where Nick Thorburn, the only constant in the band since its inception, lays his hat is where they’re based, and circa their last record – last year’s A Sleep & A Forgetting – Thorburn was indeed working out of the city of angels. I also didn’t know that Evan and Geordie Gordon, principals of Guelph’s disco-tastic The Magic, had been members since 2009. Who knew?
But what I do know is that the stylistically eclectic pop outfit already have a new record ready to go, that they’ve called it Ski Mask, that it’s about being angry – the next logical step from Forgetting‘s prevailing themes of heartbreak, I guess – and that it will be out on September 17, and the first sample from it is available to stream below. Also confirmed is a North American tour that brings them to The Garrison in Toronto on October 10 for a ticket price of $12.50. And if you don’t believe me, consult Pitchfork – surely they’re a reliable source?
Stream: Islands – “Wave Forms”
While there’s no local Two Hours Traffic show per se, the band will be in the area to play Hillside over in Guelph and so are throwing their local fans a bone by playing a free in-store at Sonic Boom’s Annex location on July 27 at 5PM.
Summerworks added a musical component to their established theatre festival starting back in 2008, and while the showcase they provided to many of the area’s local on-the-verge talents was a great one – The Rural Alberta Advantage, Diamond Rings, Evening Hymns, the aforementioned Magic, Miracle Fortress, Hooded Fang, and Hidden Cameras to name but a few – they’ve only in the last couple years begun realizing the potential of really connecting the musical acts with their theatre roots. With this year’s programme, it seems they’ve finally figured out a way to make the music series really distinct and have enlisted The Wooden Sky, Snowblink, The Bicycles, and Maylee Todd to participate in some unique collaborations with other multi-disciplinary artists, and really, it’s just easier if you go and read about them than me try to explain. Oh, and there’s also more conventional live music performances at the Performance Bar. Summerworks runs August 8 to 18 in and around the Lower Ossington Theatre and Great Hall; tickets for the musical series shows will be $15 a piece.
It’s unfortunate that Summerworks overlaps the fifth and final ALL CAPS! festival taking place at Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands the weekend of August 10 and 11 because they’re really catering to the same audience. In fact, Summerworks alumnis Hooded Fang were just added to the lineup, along with Magneta Lane. Torontoist talked festival organizers at Wavelength about why they’re calling it after five years and what will come next.
You may recall at the end of last Summer, I decamped to the wilds of northern Quebec for Festival de music émergent, a fun and fascinating little festival in the town of Rouyn-Noranda. They’ve just announced this year’s lineup, and while it’s not the Feist-Godspeed! one-two punch they got for their tenth anniversary, it’s a solidly trippy bill headlined by Montreal space-cadets The Besnard Lakes, New York art-rockers Blonde Redhead, and Quebec prog-metal legends Voivod, amongst many others of both Francophone and Anglophone persuasion. It’s off the beaten path, to be sure, but it’s a unique experience if you’re looking for something along those lines for the Labour Day long weekend. And if the music isn’t enough to persuade you, the words 24-hour poutinerie might. Exclaim has more details on this year’s FME, as the locals call it.
Somewhat closer to home, local emergent synth-pop heroes Diana have scheduled a hometown record release show for their debut album Perpetual Surrender; the record is out August 20, they’re at The Great Hall on September 26, and there’s a brand-new video from said record to win your hearts and minds and eyeballs.
Remember when The Weeknd was all shy and would play shows or give interviews and stuff? Well no more. With his first proper – as in you pay for it – album due out this fall in Kiss Land, Abel Tesfaye has booked not one, not two, but three nights at Massey Hall to sing you some songs. He’s there on October 17, 19, and 20 and tickets run from $45 to $75 in advance. A video for the title track of the new record was released earlier this Summer.
Kat Burns of Kashka – and formerly of Forest City Lovers – talks to NOW about her new identity and direction. She plays Harbourfront’s Soundclash festival this Saturday afternoon, July 13, at 1:30PM; that’s free.