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Archive for August, 2013

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Autobahn

“Wir fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der Autobahn”, or, “I’m going to Germany, bye bye.”

Art by Emil SchultEmil SchultWhy yes, it is another deck-clearing, pre-vacation post. Bit of a Euro theme to this one because I am headed over to the Old World tonight, spending the next week and a bit in Berlin and Stockholm – so no, I won’t be anywhere near the autobahn, but I may fly over them en route and anyways as part of my cultural preparation for the trip, I’ve discovered the wonder of Kraftwerk. Anyways, let’s get to it – I still have to pack.

Video: Kraftwerk – “Autobahn” (live)

The Guardian are advance streaming the Belle & Sebastian b-sides compilation The Third Eye Centre ahead of its release next week, and to go along with the listening Under The Radar has a track-by-track commentary from the band.

Stream: Belle & Sebastian / The Third Eye Centre

Spin talks to Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand. Their new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is out next week and they’re at The Kool Haus on October 24.

Stereogum sets up a Turntable Interview with Empire Of The Sun. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 9.

Drowned In Sound talks to Emiliana Torrini about her new record Tookah, due out September 10.

Gorilla Vs Bear is streaming a new track from London Grammar’s debut album If You Wait. It’s out September 10 and their October 4 show at BLK BOX has been moved upstairs to The Great Hall.

Stream: London Grammar – “Interlude”

Frightened Rabbit will release a different, North American version of their Late March, Death March EP on September 10 with a different track listing from the European version which came out back in June; Stereogum has a stream of one of the new songs and Paste an acoustic performance video of the same tune. Frightened Rabbit play The Kool Haus on October 17.

Stream: Frightened Rabbit – “Radio Silence”

Savages have announced their third local show in six months, coming back to town for a date at The Opera House on September 12 – tickets for that are $20.

Video: Savages – “Shut Up”

The Darcys list off five of the albums that influenced their studio time in making their new record Warring for CBC Music. It’s out September 17.

The resuscitated The Dismemberment Plan are streaming another tune from their new record Uncanney Valley, due out October 15.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan – “Invisible”

Emotive Irish newcomers Kodaline – one of the longlisted bands for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list way back in January – are staging a North American tour around a CMJ appearance and behind their debut album In A Perfect World; they’ll be at The Garrison on October 20.

Video: Kodaline – “All I Want”

Los Angeles synth-rock trio Sir Sly have made a date at The Horseshoe for October 21.

MP3: Sir Sly – “Ghost”

The Dumbing Of America talks to Mark Van Hoen, one of Neil Halstead’s collaborators in Black Hearted Brother. Their debut Stars Are Our Home is out October 22.

The National Post interviews Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Braids. They play The Great Hall on November 10.

Spin has got the latest video from English psych-rock newcomers Temples as well as confirmation that their debut album won’t be out until 2014, not that that’s stopping them from being here to play The Horseshoe on November 20.

Video: Temples – “Keep It In The Dark”

Under The Radar talks to former Ride frontman Mark Gardener about a new collaborative project he’s working on with former Cocteau Twin guitarist Robin Guthrie. The swirly swirly fruits of that project could see the light of day before the year is out.

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans remembers their late drummer Jon Brookes in a blog post at NME.

Montreal’s Valleys have released a new video from their debut Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night?.

Video: Valleys – “Absolutely Everything All The Time”

Toronto’s shoegazing Breeze, whose live show helped kick off this week, have a new video.

Video: Breeze – “Dolls”

Phoenix drop in on NPR to record a World Cafe session, while Pitchfork talks to both Thomas Mars and R. Kelly about their unlikely collaborations.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Shout Out Louds.

Beatroute talks to Icona Pop.

Billboard examines Annie’s impact on Norwegian pop.

Okay, bye for now.

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

CONTEST – Patti Smith @ Massey Hall – September 6, 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWho: Patti Smith
What: Legendary punk rocker/poet/photographer/author/artist… Patti Smith. Come on.
Why: Because apparently it’s all about wish fulfillment: wish for Patti Smith to play a Toronto show, she does two super-intimate 1st Thursday shows at the Art Gallery of Ontario; wish for Patti Smith to play a Toronto show that doesn’t sell out in half a heartbeat, she plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in March; wish for Patti Smith to play a Toronto show with her full rock band, she comes back to do Massey Hall next month. AREN’T YOU SATISFIED YET?
When: Friday, September 6, 2013
Where: Massey Hall in Toronto
How: Tickets for the show are $79.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got prize pack consisting of a pair of passes for the show, a deluxe hardcover edition of her last album Banga and a special photo of some description (I have no description of this) to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Patti Smith” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, September 2.

MP3: Patti Smith – “Wing”

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Crying My Heart Out

Young Galaxy offer up deluxe shade of Ultramarine

Photo By Vanessa HeinsVanessa HeinsI’m going to resist the urge to rail against the whole idea of the “deluxe edition” of an album being issued just months after the original issue. The reasons of why it’s a shitty-ass trend are self-evident and the quite clearly, it’s not going away anytime soon as labels keep doing it, meaning the fans keep buying it. Perhaps the correct perspective to look at it is that since physical singles and EPs are basically relics of a bygone age, the avenues to release b-sides and unreleased stuff are far fewer than they once were so maybe, mathematically speaking, buying the same record twice is about on par with buying all those singles and more space-efficient, to boot. I don’t know if I actually believe it, but I’ll go with that for now and move on.

At the least, the bonus materials should be worthwhile and from the looks of the expanded, double-disc edition of Young Galaxy’s Polaris-shortlisted Ultramarine, they are. There’s two edits of their new single, streamable below, both sides of last year’s sold out “Shoreless Kid” 7″, a couple more unreleased original songs and the requisite remixes, and perhaps most importantly, it’s reasonably priced. It’s coming out on September 24, the day after it could conceivably be crowned as Polaris champ. Not saying it’s going to happen, but it could. Exclaim has specifics on the reissue and CBC Music has a quick chat with Young Galaxy keyboardist/guitarist Matthew Shapiro.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Crying My Heart Out”

The National Post and Exclaim talk with Diana songwriters Joseph Shabason and Kieran Adams. They play The Great Hall on September 26.

Exclaim has posted this month’s cover story on Braids online, and there’s further writeups at The Montreal Gazette and The Halifax Chronicle-Herald. They play The Great Hall in support of the just-released Flourish//Perish on November 10.

And tangentially and unexpectedly, Diana frontwoman Carmen Elle, as well as Braids’ Raphaelle Standell-Preston, are featured in a New York Times fashion spread. So that’s unexpected.

CBC Music and The Montreal Gazette talk to Murray Lightburn about going solo on Mass:Light.

The 405, Victoria Times-Colonist, NOW, and Interview get to know Sarah Neufeld; she’s at The Drake Underground on August 22.

Though they’ve already shown off all kinds of ingenious promotional ideas to lead up to the September 3 release of The Silver Gymnasium, Okkervil River have topped themselves with an 8-bit video game that lets you explore Will Sheff’s youth while assembling the Triforce, pursuing the Death Angel, and knocking out Piston Honda. See a higher-res and more grown-up version of Sheff when he leads his band into The Phoenix on September 28.

PopMatters has an interview with Colin Stetson, who has had to drop off the Constellation Records showcase at The Great Hall on September 5 on account of a hand injury. He’s not just a pair of lungs, you know.

BrooklynVegan has an interview with Mike Haliechuk of Fucked Up, who’ve finally traded in their Blogspot account for a proper website and filled it with all kinds of streamable rarities. They play 1st Thursday at the AGO on September 5.

The Darcys are streaming another new track from their forthcoming Warring, out September 17, via The AV Club and drummer Wes Marskell gives Thrillist a list of his favourite Toronto eateries. And oh, they’ve offered up the stems of their new song “The River” so you can make and submit remixes. So go to that, if it’s your bag, just don’t send them to me.

Stream: The Darcys – “Muzzle Blast”

Black Book interviews Nick Thorburn of Islands about their new record Ski Mask. It’s out September 17 and they play The Garrison on October 10.

Basia Bulat has used footage from her AGO 1st Thursday performance in January for the first video from Tall Tall Shadow. Paste has the premiere, the album is out October 1, and she plays at the Polish Combatants Hall on October 10 and 11.

Video: Basia Bulat – “It Can’t Be You”

Though her September 10 date at The Drake supporting Lightning Dust is still a couple weeks away, Louise Burns has been announced as support for Hannah Georgas at The Great Hall on November 2.

Video: Louise Burns – “Emeralds Shatter”

Though they’ve yet to release any samples from their new record Static, coming October 15, Cults have announced a Fall tour that brings them to Lee’s Palace on November 25.

MP3: Cults – “Go Outside”

The Daily Swarm talks to Alex Edkins of METZ. The Ottawa Citizen also has a feature.

Noisey gets to know Los Angeles trio Tashaki Miyaki, who should really put some new music out.

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Givin Em What They Love

Janelle Monáe is ready for prime time with Fall tour

Photo By Marc BaptisteMarc BaptisteWhile the awesomeness of Janelle Monáe as a live performer is a matter of public record, she’s not necessarily been a road warrior in building that reputation, at least not from a Torontonian’s perspective. Yeah, the unclassifiable-but-let’s-say-R&B star was here twice last year, but the Toronto Jazz Festival show was a very dear $70 ticket and the Elton John-powered Fashion Cares event was inherently exclusive, so it’s not unreasonable to say that her fanbase didn’t have much chance to see her. And her two previous visits – Canadian Musicfest 2011 and as part of the Arcade Fire’s 2010 Olympic Island jamboree – were parts of festival bills, so also not exactly conventional shows. All of which is to say that it’s kind of impressive that Monáe has gotten where she is without having really ever played a conventional show here.

Until now, anyways. With the September 10 release of her hotly-anticipated new record The Electric Lady almost upon us, Monáe has put together what may be her most comprehensive North American tour to date and it includes a Toronto date at The Kool Haus on October 19. And while it can be argued that Monáe’s live show is worth it at any price, that tickets for this one are a most reasonable $25 is good news. Pitchfork has the full itinerary and another new track, this one featuring nu-R&B star Miguel, has been made available to stream.

Video: Janelle Monáe – “Dance Apocalyptic”
Stream: Janelle Monáe featuring Miguel – “Primetime”

Because sometimes advance notice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and even though their album probably won’t be out until next year, The New Mendicants – that’s Joe Pernice of Pernice Brothers, Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, and Mike Belitsky of The Sadies – have announced a show at The Dakota Tavern for next Monday, August 26, just because. Tickets are $12 in advance and it’s an early show – 8:15 start – because Joe wants to watch the Red Sox game that night. Yeah. Anyone who was at the first Pernice/Blake show at the same room last June knows that it will be fun and hilarious, so get on that.

Stream: The New Mendicants – “This Time”

Stars are headlining a free show at Nathan Philips Square on September 1 as part of Unifest, intended to inaugurate the formation of a new workers union, so if you’re a fan of romantic synth-pop but also a die-hard right-wing conservative, I feel for you. But not that much.

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

American electro-r&b artist How To Dress Well is in town at The Garrison on November 2 behind last year’s Total Loss; tickets for that are $15.

MP3: How To Dress Well – “Ready For The World”

Sebadoh have announced a Fall tour in support of Defend Yourself, their first new record in almost a decade and a half, coming September 17. Lou Barlow and company will be at The Horseshoe on November 8, tickets $20 in advance. Rolling Stone talks to Lou Barlow about the release.

Video: Sebadoh – “All Kinds”

While they’ve not yet completed the follow-up to last year’s For My Parents – epic Japanese post-rock doesn’t come quick, you know – Mono have announced a North American tour that brings them back to The Horseshoe on November 15. Tickets for that are $15.

MP3: Mono – “Dream Odyssey”

It’s kind of hit-or-miss which buzzy British independent acts choose to tour North America – no inexpensive proposition – but English retro-psychedelics Temples are taking the plunge, even without a debut album to push. Full dates are still to come but they will be at The Horseshoe on November 20, tickets $11.50. Drowned In Sound had a feature on the band back in the Spring.

Video: Temples – “Colours To Life”
Video: Temples – “Shelter Song”

And in the debits column of this week’s concert news, Charli XCX has cancelled her Fall North American tour in order to support Paramore in the UK. That includes her September 16 show at The Hoxton, which will be rescheduled with all the others.

Rolling Stone talks to Laura Ballance and Exclaim to Jon Wurster of Superchunk about their just-released new record I Hate Music, from which they’ve just released a new video. And over at Spin, there’s a piece about what Superchunk and Merge Records have meant for their hometown of Durham, North Carolina.

Video: Superchunk – “Me & You & Jackie Mitoo”

David Roback of Mazzy Star talks to Rolling Stone about their new record Seasons Of Your Day, out September 24, and others that may or may not have already been recorded and may or may not be released.

The Guitar Magazine talks shop with Steve Earle. He and The Dukes play Massey Hall on October 29.

Grantland gets Charles Bissell of The Wrens to update them on the state of their next record – a decade in coming – and comment on why its taking so damn long.

Pitchfork goes lightning round in questions for John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

DIY checks in with Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV.

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Eliza

Breathe easy; the return of Anna Calvi is nigh

Photo By Roger DeckkerRoger DeckkerI’d like to say that I’ve been on tenterhooks waiting for new music from Anna Calvi, but the truth is that her 2011 self-titled debut – one of that year’s favourites – is still in fairly heavy rotation, the combination of her sensual vocals and searing guitarwork still eliciting swoons more than two and a half years on. But that’s not to say that the news of her second record isn’t tremendously welcome.

Said record – entitled One Breath – will be out on October 7, and Calvi tells NME that it’s a more personal album, the lyrics strongly informed by her battles with depression. This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a downcast affair – the first official single, which has been made available to stream, is as energized as anything she’s done, and the sample that soundtrack the album trailer might be more melancholic, but it still soars. One Breath may document a battle, but it certainly sounds like one that Calvi is triumphing over.

There’s only three North American dates currently on her Fall itinerary, but you know more are to come. Or they damn well better be – I’ve still yet to see a full show.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Eliza”
Trailer: Anna Calvi / One Breath

The Vaccines have released a new video for the title track of their just-released Melody Calling EP and also stopped in at USA Today for a video session. They open up for Mumford & Sons at the Molson Amphitheatre next week on August 26.

Video: The Vaccines – “Melody Calling”

The Guardian and Exclaim talk to Franz Ferdinand as they gear up for the August 27 release of their new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, a record which has just been made available to stream in advance at NPR. Franz Ferdinand play The Kool Haus on October 24.

Stream: Franz Ferdinand / Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

Fellow Scots Glasvegas are hoping their third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static, out September 3, is the one that turns their fortunes back towards the buzz that greeted their debut and not the shrugs that met the follow-up. Rolling Stone is offering a download of the title track for you to decide for yourself. Clash also has an interview.

MP3: Glasvegas – “Later… When The TV Turns To Static”

Lanterns Of The Lake are streaming – and offering to download in exchange for an email – an alternate take of a track from their new record Until The Colours Run, coming out September 9.

Stream: Lanterns On The Lake – “The Buffalo Days” (alternate)

Tone Deaf, LeftLion, and Gigwise have interviews with newcomers London Grammar, whose debut If You Wait is out on September 10 and who are in town to play BLK BOX on October 4.

The Quietus talks to Elvis Costello, whose new collaborative album with The Roots – Wise Up Ghost – is out September 17.

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the second Yuck record, their first without former frontman Daniel Blumberg. Glow & Behold will be out on September 30 and a second sample track from it is available to stream.

Stream: Yuck – “Middle Sea”

NPR has a World Cafe session, and Refinery29 and Stylecaster interviews with Jessie Ware; she is back in town to play The Sound Academy on November 6.

Laura Groves, whom some of you may remember from her lovely 2009 record Blue Roses whilst still performing under the alias of Blue Roses, finally has a new release – an EP – ready and will be releasing it this Fall under her own name. There’s a video for the first release from it and yup, still lovely whatever the name is.

Video: Laura Groves – “Inky Sea”

I was all excited about the prospect of hearing new Blood Orange material but as Pitchfork reports it, this is just a Drake cover. But it’s still better than Drake.

Stream: Blood Orange – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”

Dazed Digital have premiered the new video from Spiritualized’s Sweet Heart Sweet Light.

Video: Spiritualized – “I Am What I Am”

Camera Obscura have released a new vide from Desire Lines and are also featured in a World Cafe session at NPR. Further, Under The Radar has posted their feature from the current issue which puts Tracyanne Campbell in interview with Lloyd Cole – yes, that Lloyd – complete with appendices.

Video: Camera Obscura – “Break It To You Gently”

Denver Westword interviews Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine.