Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
Bob Mould revisits Workbook
Marc NorbergI first got into Bob Mould in the early ’90s via Sugar, but quickly found myself seeking out his older works; obviously this included Hüsker Dü, but also his two late ’80s solo records Workbook and Black Sheets Of Rain which preceded his return to a band format. At the time they seemed like oddities, sounding neither like the hardcore-punk-pop evolution of the Dü years, nor the Alternative Nation-signifying roar of Sugar.
Rain was more characteristic of what people expected from Mould, built on layers of electric guitar and Mould’s angst-filled roar and probably not as well-regarded as it should be today because of some dated production values. Workbook, on the other hand, was filled with jangling 12-string acoustic guitar, cello and mandolin adornments, and major key melodies (though raging electric guitar and throat-shredding vocals also featured) – elements that would inform the next two and a half decades of his work, but as his first post-Hüsker Dü release, it must have been a head-scratcher. I took to it immediately – remember, for me 1991 was far more about Out Of Time than Nevermind – and Mould’s contribution to the seminal No Alternative AIDS benefit album in 1993 was also along those lines and one of my very favourites off that album.
All of which is to say as much as I love Bob when he’s perforating eardrums, as he’s been lately, I also totally dig his quieter stuff and I’m glad to see that Workbook is getting the respect that it deserves. It had already been announced that Mould would be marking the 25th anniversary of the release with a performance at Noise Pop next February where he’ll presumably – but not confirmedly – play it in its entirety. But Under The Radar now reports that the milestone is getting commemorated in somewhat larger fashion. A deluxe edition of the record – Workbook 25 – will be coming out on February 25 with the original album being accompanied by a second disc containing a b-side and a complete live show from the era. Granted, many of those bonus tracks appeared on the 1994 Poison Years compilation, but there’s still some unreleased goodies in there and isn’t it the thought that counts?
It’s a shame that the expanded slate of tour dates around its release don’t make it up here, but don’t forget that those Copper Blue recitals were only supposed to be a limited engagement and he toured that everywhere. So fingers crossed.
Stream: Bob Mould / Workbook
Stream: Bob Mould – “Can’t Fight It”
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have a new video from Wig Out At Jagbags, out January 7. Look for them at Lee’s Palace on February 22.
Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Cinnamon & Lesbians”
Broken Bells have a new video from their next album After The Disco, out January 14. They play The Danforth Music Hall on March 3.
Video: Broken Bells – “Holding On For Life”
Pixies have put out a fourth video from their EP1, which should be the last because there are no more songs but then they’ve already released multiple videos for one of the songs so who knows, maybe they’ll milk it another decade before putting out EP2. They’ll be at Massey Hall on January 15 with their new bassist – no, newer – Paz Lenchantin, whom you may remember from A Perfect Circle and Zwan. Or not.
Video: Pixies – “Another Toe In The Ocean”
Rolling Stone talks to Robert Pollard about matters Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices. The new GBV record Motivational Jumpsuit comes out February 18.
Phantogram have come clean with details on their second full-length album, entitled Voices and coming out February 18. Pitchfork has details and a stream of a new song while Metro and AMNY have interviews with the band.
Stream: Phantogram – “Fall In Love”
NPR welcomes Superchunk to their World Cafe for a session.
Speedy Ortiz have released a new video from this year’s debut, Major Arcana.
Video: Speedy Ortiz – “No Below”
NPR has a KCRW session with Glasser.
Magnet talks to Will Sheff of Okkervil River about how he feels about having The Silver Gymnasium named their album of the year. What’s he gonna say? Maybe, “thanks – how about contributing to my Kickstarter to fund a short film video for ‘Down Down The Deep River’?” Maybe. Also, at Salon, Sheff talks about how he wish he knew as a kid that being nerdy would eventually be cool. Nerdy, yes, though being a touring musician, also helps.
Dazed and Confused has premiered the new video from Blouse’s second album, Imperium.
Video: Blouse – “A Feeling Like This”
Billboard Q&As Janelle Monáe, whom they have declared as Rising Star of 2013.
NPR has a World Cafe session with The Head & The Heart.
The Skinny talks to Janet Weiss about her current work with Quasi, the fact that Wild Flag is no more, and that a Sleater-Kinney reunion might be inevitable – as proven by the fact that they reunited to play “Rockin’ In The Free World” with Pearl Jam a few nights later in Portland.
Stereogum tracks the final days of the now-defunct Walkmen.
Monday, December 9th, 2013
Swervedriver veer back into fast lane with new album
Gaz FailFor a band that’s so intrinsically connected to the idea of powerful cars barrelling down the highway, Oxford’s Swervedriver have taken a pretty leisurely path since they reunited in 2008, touring fairly regularly behind old material but seeming to focus their creative energies on non-Swervies work; frontman Adam Franklin releasing three full-length albums with his Bolts Of Melody solo project including this year’s Black Horses, as well as one with Magnetic Morning, his project with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino. And while Toshack Highway hasn’t released anything since 2006, don’t discount Franklin returning to the project at some point in the future.
But for all of those releases’ merits, they’ve not been Swervedriver so it’s pretty exciting news that 2014 will finally see the band putting into gear with the release of a new Swervedriver album, their first since 1998′s 99th Dream. Now reunion albums are rightly regarded with suspicion – sometimes they’re great, a la My Bloody Valentine, but usually they’re passable at best and embarrassing at worst, but from just-released the first single – which they’re streaming along with the alternate version b-side, remixed by Ride’s Mark Gardener – their ability to meld great guitar riffs with catchy melodies remains wholly intact, and excitingly reminiscent of Raise, their 22-year old debut; it’s like dream-pop where the dream is of a muscle car going full tilt down the open road. Bring it.
The Feedback Society has an interview with Adam Franklin about both the new Bolts Of Melody record and the return of Swervedriver. And if you’re new to the band or haven’t been paying attention, a slew of live rarities – including complete on-stage versions of their first four albums – are available to download, gratis. Update: And now there’s a video.
Stream: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”
Stream: Swervedriver – “Dub Wound”
Video: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”
DIY talks to TOY about their new album Join The Dots, the title track of which they play in session for The Guardian. The album is out this week and they’ll be at The Horseshoe on January 14.
The Fly corners Cate Le Bon to play a video session for them. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21.
Maxïmo Park have rolled out a second video from their new album Too Much Information, out February 3.
Video: Maxïmo Park – “Leave This Island”
The Fly has details on the new album from Bombay Bicycle Club, which will be called So Long, See You Tomorrow and be out in the UK on February 3.
Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Fanfarlo, taken from their forthcoming album Let’s Go Extinct, coming out February 11.
Video: Fanfarlo – “Landlocked”
London’s Let’s Wrestle return with their third album – a self-titled effort – on February 11 and they’ve permiered the first video from it at Noisey.
Video: Let’s Wrestle – “Codeine and Marshmallows”
Even though his latest album was the rather definitively-titled full-band affair Electric, It’ll be Richard Thompson solo and acoustic at Koerner Hall on March 6, just as when he dazzled there in September 2011. This time, though, he’ll have an opener with him and that’s none other than his son, Teddy Thompson.
Stream: Richard Thompson – “Good Things Happen To Bad People”
Intelligent Life hangs out with Guy Garvey of Elbow; their new album Carry Her Carry Me is out March 10.
What do you do if you’re releasing a single that appears in two different versions on your two current albums, one live and one studio? if you’re Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the albums are Live At KCRW and Push The Sky Away, you record a third version. And then you premiere it at Rolling Stone. Cave and company are at The Sony Centre on July 31.
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Higgs Boson Blues”
DIY have premiered a stream from Kate Nash’s new holiday EP Have Faith This Christmas. You probably know the song.
Stream: Kate Nash – “Silent Night”
Laura Groves has a new video for a Paul McCartney cover contributed to the Pun For Cover cover album; check it out via DIY.
Video: Laura Groves – “Waterfalls”
The Toronto Sun has an interview with and Stereogum a streaming b-side from Arctic Monkeys.
Stream: Arctic Monkeys – “You’re So Dark”
David Bowie has released another video from the bonus material on The Next Day Extra, though not for one of the new songs but again a remix – or an edit of a remix, to be precise, whatever that means.
Video: David Bowie – “I’d Rather Be High” Venetian Mix (Wasted Edit)
Rolling Stone asks Noel Gallagher how his year was. He answers as only Noel Gallagher can.
Saturday, December 7th, 2013
Frank YangWho: Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
What: “The Screaming Eagle of Soul”, whose remarkable story is captured in film and whose career renaissance of bringing old-school funk and soul plays out on stages around the world
Why: Bradley basically lives on the road, and is on a second North American leg in support of his second album No Time For Dreaming, released in the Spring. “He comes to town too often”, complained no one, ever.
When: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Where: The Kool Haus in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Brooklyn rock’n'soul combo The Jay Vons open up
How: Tickets for the show are $25.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got one pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Charles Bradley” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, December 10.
What else: Bradley released a 7″ for Record Store Day, which teamed Bradley up with his old backing band The Bullets and which Spin has to stream. The Isthmus also has an interview.
Video: Charles Bradley – “Strictly Reserved For You”
Video: Charles Bradley & The Bullets – “Ain’t It A Sin”
Friday, December 6th, 2013
Frank YangWho: The Kills
What: Trans-Atlantic rock’n'roll duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince who, together, embody the spirit of rock’n'roll’n'sex’sweat, though not necessarily in that order.
Why: They haven’t released a new record since 2011′s Blood Pressures – which they toured through town twice, last in February 2012 – but an invitation to open up for Queens Of The Stone Age in New York was enough to get the band out of the studio.
When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Where: The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto (19+)
Who else: American-born, Toronto based Meghan Remy – aka U.S. Girls – opens up.
How: Tickets for the show are $24.50 to $29.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to Kill” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, December 9.
What else: Mosshart talks to The Detroit News about how the new record is coming along, and if you missed it, their Live At L’Olympia live film is available to watch below.
MP3: The Kills – “DNA”
MP3: The Kills – “Future Starts Slow”
Video: The Kills – Live At L’Olympia
Thursday, December 5th, 2013
The Dog Day(s) of December are here
Seth SmithI’m not entirely sure when or why Halifax’s Dog Day fell off my radar; I was very much on board circa their 2007 debut Night Group and the 2009 follow-up Concentration, but missed out on 2011′s Deformer – which saw the quartet reconfigure themselves as just the duo of Seth Smith and Nancy Urich – completely.
But I’m on the ball with their new album Fade Out – which incidentally finds themselves a quartet again – and it’s nice to know that despite the personnel shuffles, out of the speakers not a lot has changed. Their roughly-hewn and downcast yet unfailingly melodic still evokes the spirit of their ’90s Maritime Can-rock forebears but those ingredients have also underpinned great rock music from many eras and locales. Dog Day sound very much like where they’re from but don’t confuse that with having only a regional appeal.
Fade Out is out December 10 and their eastern Canadian tour brings them to Toronto’s Cinecycle on December 14. Exclaim, The Halifax Chronicle Herald, and The Coast have interviews with Smith about the new album, which you can stream below.
MP3: Dog Day – “Wasted”
Stream: Dog Day / Fade Out
NOW gets to know No Joy, in town at The Garrison tomorrow night, December 5.
Rolling Stone has an advance stream of the new Neil Young archival release Live At The Cellar Door, which captures two acoustic shows in 1970. The album is out December 10.
Stream: Neil Young / Live At The Cellar Door
Pitchfork has surfaced a new song from Doldrums, currently without context but perhaps pointing towards a new release in 2014. Doldrums is at The Great Hall on December 13 for the second Long Winter.
Stream: Doldrums – “Dive Deep Pt 1″
The Drake Hotel has announced the lineup for this year’s What’s In The Box? mini-fest, which fills the Underground with the sounds of local bands and DJs for the five nights following Christmas at the non-inflationary price of $5. As always, there’s all sorts of up-and-coming talent on the bill, but readers of this site will want to circle December 27, when Alvvays take the stage, and December 30, when Rich Aucoin does his thing in a room he’s far too big to play in anymore.
MP3: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”
MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”
And speaking of musical holiday traditions, The Wooden Sky have announced details of their fourth annual holiday revue fundraiser to benefit the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank. It goes December 29 at 918 Bathurst and tickets will run $20, plus a donation of a canned good.
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”
Stars are helping local radio station Indie88 celebrate their increased signal strength – which means I can now finally hear them in my car in downtown Toronto – with a rare club show at Lee’s Palace on January 18. Tickets are $8.81 and go on sale Friday.
MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”
After touring their self-titled debut around North America straight though to the year’s final days, local punks PUP will take a little breather and come right back for a hometown show at The Garrison on January 31.
MP3: PUP – “Reservoir”
Toronto synth-goth artist Trust has announced a March 4 release date for his second album Joyland. Exclaim has details, inevitable trailer is below.
Trailer: Trust / Joyland
If you were holding off on going to see Arcade Fire at the Air Canada Centre on March 13 because the only costumes or formalwear you have are for warm weather, then rejoice – the band have announced a return engagement as part of some late Summer tour dates at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 29. Tickets range from $30.50 to $70.50 and go on sale December 13 at noon.
Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”
Young Galaxy look set to run away with the record for most videos from an album that’s not really an album, namely the bonus disc of the Ultramarine Deluxe edition. They premiered the latest clip via Stereogum.
Video: Young Galaxy – “Hard To Tell”
Tone Deaf and The New Zealand Herald interview Metric, who’ve released another new video from Synthetica.
Video: Metric – “Lost Kitten”
A Music Blog, Yea has an interview with The Darcys while The Toronto Star finds out why their recent gigs have been at area high schools.
Beatroute, The Montreal Gazette, Seattle Weekly, The Georgia Straight, and Victoria News talk to Basia Bulat.
Dan Bejar of Destroyer tells The Line Of Best Fit why he decided to make a record in Spanish. There’s also a video session with Destroyer at Dutch radio station 3voor12.
Beatroute checks in with Amber Webber of Lightning Dust.
CBC Music has video of Fucked Up’s tribute to the legendary Teenage Head show known as The Last Pogo, recorded at a very punk rock 9AM on a Saturday morning at The Horseshoe Tavern, scene of the original show in 1978.