Search Results - "Howe Gelb "
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
CONTEST – Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan CD giveaway
MySpaceThough it’s Isobel Campbell who gets top billing on Sunday At Devil Dirt, just released in North America after coming out in the UK this Spring, it’s her co-conspirator who permeates and defines the second album from herself and Mark Lanegan.
Lanegan’s presence is inescapable throughout. His gravelly voice takes lead on the majority of the songs with Campbell sticking mainly to harmonies or duet duties, and even when he’s not audible, he’s definitely felt, like a shadow falling over the land. It’s a bit cliche to talk about Lanegan in terms of his dark and brooding persona, but it’s really true. The man does what he does, and does it utterly convincingly, no surprises there. What is something of a surprise is that the vehicles Lanegan is given to drive, in all their raw folk-noir glory, were written and orchestrated entirely by Campbell.
Though she also claimed the bulk of the songwriting credits on their first collaboration Ballad Of The Broken Seas, that record still kept one foot in the more wispy folkish styles to which Campbell was accustomed. This time out, she’s more confidently embraced the possibilities offered by the talents at hand and has produced a more varied and convincing record. Guided by Campbell’s ghostly voice and hand, Lanegan’s desolate soul wanders through simple pastorals, country-blues and orchestrated ’60s spy-soundtracks, eternally seeking something – perhaps salvation, or perhaps just a stiff drink.
You can currently stream Sunday At Devil Dirt at Spinner, or you can win it on CD along with Ballad Of the Broken Seas. Courtesy of Vagrant Records, I’ve got a copy of both albums to give away to one lucky winner. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want the Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan CDs” in the subject line and your full mailing address in the body. Contest is open to residents of North America and will close in a week at midnight, November 26.
NOTE – the Spinner streams, both this one and the B&S one below, appear to currently be busted. Try hitting them back later. Sorry. Blame AOL. And the economic downturn. Update: Stream links fixed.
MP3: Isobel Campbell & Mark Langean – “Trouble”
Stream: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan / Sunday At Devil Dirt
NME reports that Lanegan’s other ongoing gig – The Gutter Twins – will be hanging it up after their European tour in January. He’ll then go to work on a new Soulsavers album and a new solo record.
Belle & Sebastian released their BBC Sessions collection this week, and it’s presently streaming at Spinner. A clarification should be made about the bonus disc that comes in the deluxe edition – many, including myself, assumed that since this is a BBC Sessions collection and the live disc was recorded at Christmas, that the extra CD is of the BBC Christmas show that has been bootlegged ad nauseum every year since it was recorded in 2002. It is not. It is a regular gig, recorded in Belfast in 2001. As for the main disc, I don’t know that I’d call it essential. The live versions of most songs don’t vary too much from the album cuts and the one that does the most, “Lazy Line Painter Jane” (which is tellingly retitled “Lazy Jane” here), differs larger for the worse for the absence of vocalist Monica Queen and the dialing down of its northern soul though the final minute does rescue it in grand fashion. None of the four unreleased songs is particularly exceptional though they do provide a fitting coda to Isobel Cambpell’s tenure in the band. But as a reminder of how wonderful this band was, particularly in their early years (the later years were wonderful in a completely different way), it’s a triumph. And most of their fans are so obsessive that they’ve already gone out and bought it already, anyways though if you’re on the fence, Paste has compiled a list of 15 reasons you need to own this.
Stream: Belle & Sebastian / The BBC Sessions
Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb discusses their new record proVisions (on which Isobel Campbell guests) with The Sun.
Pitchfork interviews Fleet Foxes.
altsounds chats with Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison. They’ve got a US tour coming together for January, but no Toronto date yet nor is there an obvious gap in the itinerary where I’d guess one would go. Still, fingers crossed.
Daytrotter sessions up with Film School.
Opting not to wait for Black Friday, Hard To Find A Friend has declared the holiday season as begun and has released a lovely charity Christmas compilation. Featuring artists such as American Analog Set, Oxford Collapse and Jason Collett, whose contribution can be sampled below. The mix costs $7.50 USD and all proceeds go to support The Children Of Uganda Foundation. Check it out – it’s the right thing to do and the easy way to do it.
MP3: Jason Collett – “A Beguiled Christmas in Sales”
Seattlest has an interview with Kathleen Edwards, The Oregon Daily Emerald talks to her and tourmate John Doe.
The Skinny gets some face time with Mick Harvey and Jim Sclavunos of Nick Cave & Bad Seeds.
Drowned In Sound engages Okkervil River’s Will Sheff in the first of a two-part feature.
Friday, September 12th, 2008
I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On, the 2006 debut from The Broken West, was a perfect example of a band breaking no new ground whatsoever, but being so good at it that criticisms like that are irrelevant. Go On was a splendid bit of ’70s SoCal, Big Star meets Byrds power-pop revival that proudly wore its influences on its pearl-buttoned sleeves and if they’d opted to follow it up with more of the same, few would have complained.
But instead, with the just-released Now Or Heaven, they’ve managed to pull off the rare feat of displaying marked growth without giving up any of what made them noteworthy in the first place. Still abundant are the sun-kissed harmonies, jangle-riffic guitars and hooks upon hooks, but things are less overtly paisley and plaid – there’s some cloud cover over the valley now, and within those cast shadows things are more rhythmic and textured. The production is more adventurous and a greater reliance on keyboards to stir up the sonic stew and while things might be a touch more sedate this time out, the subtle but significant evolution is most welcome.
The Broken West are currently on the road and will be at the Horseshoe next Wednesday night, September 17, along with The French Kicks. They’re the subject of features at An Aquarium Drunkard, Reveille and The Hartford Courant.
MP3: The Broken West – “Perfect Games”
MP3: The Broken West – “Auctioneer”
MySpace: The Broken West
Okkervil River’s new record Stand Ins was finally released this week, and with it came the final intallment of the covers project – this one featuring their tourmates for this upcoming Fall jaunt, including the October 12 date at the Phoenix, Crooked Fingers. There’s also an MP3 available from their forthcoming new album Forfeit/Fortune, out October 7. Pitchfork solicited a guest list from Okkervil frontman Will Sheff – usually when asked, most artists give them a laundry list. Sheff gives them a series of essays. Isthmus Q&A’s drummer Travis Nelson.
MP3: Crooked Fingers – “Phony Revolutions”
Video: Crooked Fingers – “Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979″
Daytrotter sessions up with Frightened Rabbit. They’re at Lee’s Palace on October 21, the same day their live acoustic record Liver! Lung! FR! is released.
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Old Old Fashioned” (live)
Toronto’s FemBots return with a new album in Calling Out, out next Tuesday, and will follow up with a number of shows – there’s an in-store at Soundscapes on September 25 at 6PM, a proper gig at the Music Gallery on September 26 and looking ahead a bit, another show at the Dakota Tavern on November 7.
MP3: FemBots – “Good Days”
Edmonton double-drummered dance-rock crew Shout Out Out Out Out are at Lee’s Palace on October 30, tickets $15.
It’s a double double-shot of Montreal rock when Sam Roberts and The Stills roll into the Danforth Music Hall on November 13 and 14.
Calexico’s new record Carried To Dust was released this week and the tour dates in support have been announced. Look for them at the Phoenix on November 18 along with Bowerbirds, tickets $18.50. Caliente has an interview with Joey Burns, The Independent has a feature and Spinner is currently streaming the whole record, which is rightly being hailed as a return to form.
Stream: Calexico / Carried To Dust
Brooklynites Parts & Labour are turning out a new record in Receivers on October 21 and will be in town at Sneaky Dee’s a month later on November 21. Since their last visit last Summer in support of Mapmaker, they’ve rotated drummers yet again – which is a shame because Christopher Weingarten was an absolute beast on the kit – but they seem to have gotten even more pop which to me, anyway, isn’t a bad thing at all. Tickets $8.
MP3: Parts & Labour – “Nowhere’s Nigh”
With the December 4 show sold out, a second Neil Young and Wilco show has been announced for December 5. Having already shelled out $100 for the 4th, I will have to reluctantly let this one pass me by, marking the first local Wilco show that I will have missed in nine years. A moment, please. Paste talks to Neil and Glide to one of the US Marines featured in the CSNY documentary Living With War.
After releasing two albums in Snowflake Midnight and Strange Attractor on September 30, Mercury Rev will strike out on tour and as an added bonus, support for a few of dates including the December 9 stop at the Opera House in Toronto will be Dean & Britta. You think they’ll encore with a little “Car Wash Hair”? How could they not? The New York Times has a feature piece on the band.
Also currently spinning at Spinner – Soft Airplane from Chad Van Gaalen, in town at the Mod Club on October 4 and the cover story on this month’s BeatRoute and The New Year’s new self-title. They’re at Lee’s Palace on October 15.
Stream: Chad VanGaalen / Soft Airplane
Stream: The New Year / The New Year
The Baltimore Sun chats with Aimee Mann.
New York Times profiles TV On The Radio, whose new record Dear Science hits the street on September 23.
Howe Gelb discusses Giant Sand’s new record proVisions with Blurt.
Matthew Sweet talks to both Paste and Jambase.
The Riverfront Times has an interview with Tift Merritt.
JAM talks to Sloan’s Chris Murphy.
Friday, August 29th, 2008
Photo by Carolyn Desislets
For alt.country-inclined female artists, the shadow of Lucinda Williams looms large, and justifiably so – an artist could do far worse than to forge a career like hers, channeling toughness and tenderness through a world-worn rasp and masterfully evocative songwriting. No, being compared to Lucinda is no faint praise, assuming it’s justified. So it’s interesting that not one but two such artists would emerge from Canada in the last few years. The first would be Ottawa’s Kathleen Edwards, who has gone on to some considerable success evoking the rockier side of Lucinda, and the other is Montreal-based Angela Desveaux, who takes a more pop-oriented approach to things.
Like her 2006 debut Wandering Eyes, Desveaux’s new record The Mighty Ship is a well-considered balance of jangling, upbeat melodicism and pensive, downcast weepers, perhaps heavier on the atmospherics and with some welcome orchestral embellishments but hardly light years away. Though the recipe at work is a well-used one, it’s made exceptional by the six-string accentuation Snailhouse and Wooden Stars guitarist Mike Feuerstack (another parallel with Edwards is the savvy move of building her band around a shit-hot guitarist) and Desveaux’s own voice – a heartbreaking combination of sugar, twang and sigh – and her pen. Her songs manage to simultaneously emphasize her wide-eyed and optimistic youthful side as well as the experience of one who’s endured her own share of wear, weariness and heartbreak.
Leading up to the release of the record on September 9, Desveaux and band are playing a series of release shows in Ontario and Quebec and courtesy of Sonic Unyon I’ve got some stuff and passes to give away – three copies of the new record on CD and two pairs of passes to give away to either of the September 4 show at the Boat in Toronto or the September 5 show at the Black Sheep Inn in Ottawa. We’re talking three winners – one CD only, two CD and passes. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with either “I want the Angela Desveaux CD” or “I want to see Angela Desveaux in (name of city)” in the subject line and your full mailing address in the body. Contest is open to anyone in Canada, though obviously for the shows you should be in the greater Toronto/Ottawa regions. Or really hardcore. Whichever. Contest closes at midnight, September 2.
Desveaux will also be opening up for The New Year on their Montreal and Toronto dates on October 14 and 15 respectively. Exclaim has an interview with her about her band and eating healthy.
MP3: Angela Desveaux – “Sure Enough”
MySpace: Angela Desveaux
Both eye and NOW get psyched for Tuesday night’s Silver Jews show at Lee’s Palace with interviews with David Berman. The Montreal Mirror also has a piece.
Paste catches up with Calexico’s John Convertino. Their new one Carried To Dust is out September 9.
An Aquarium Drunkard talks to Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb. proVisions is out on Tuesdsay.
Great Lake Swimmers will play a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square at 6PM on September 11 as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. They have a non-free show at Lee’s Palace on October 25.
There’s more installments in Okkervil River’s covers project for The Stand-Ins, these ones featuring Jack Ladder, Bon Iver and Bird Of Youth. That’s more than half of them! The record is out September 9, they play the Phoenix on October 12.
Video: Bird Of Youth – “Pop Lie”
Video: Bon Iver – “Blue Tulip”
Video: Jack Ladder – “Starry Stairs”
Jolie Holland has a date at the Horseshoe on October 29. Her new record The Living and The Dead is out October 7.
Blurt talkst to guitarist Phil Wandscher and waxes nostalgic for Whiskeytown’s Strangers Almanac. In the present, Ryan Adams is releasing a novel as well as getting into blog-wars with Drowned In Sound.
The Miami New Times declares My Morning Jacket the best live band ever. Maybe.
Blurt goes record shopping with Jason Isbell.
Monday, November 26th, 2007
A quiet (read: inactive) weekend on the blog by no means implies a quiet weekend for me – quite the opposite, actually. Familial duties, houseguests and brewing cold kept me largely offline but I still ducked out of everything on Saturday night to catch Ottawans The Acorn’s sorta-CD release show for Glory Hope Mountain at the Horseshoe.
I’d like to say that I’m mentioning the fact that I used to be in a band with Laura Barrett in the interests of full journalistic disclosure but in truth, I’m just trying to catch a little bit of cool by associating myself with her. Since picking up the kalimba a few years ago (full story at Exclaim!), Laura has become something of a local hero and not for the more novel reasons one might initially expect but because no matter what her choice of instrument, she’s a terrifically clever and idiosyncratic songwriter and artist along the lines of Nellie McKay or St Vincent, if less precocious than the former and less dramatic than the latter. Occasionally augmented by glockenspiel or synth bass pedals, she and her kalimbas played a short set of material from her 2005 Earth Sciences EP which she mentioned was being dressed up for re-release. This was the first time I’d seen her perform and, like probably everyone who’s seen her play, was totally charmed. Bring on a proper record.
Bruce Peninsula’s set wasn’t too different from the one they put on a few weeks back at Lee’s Palace. But with this purported to be their last gig for a few months while they go a-recording, I detected a little more cutting loose from the eleven Bruce Peninsulans onstage. They may have bellowed a little louder, clapped a little harder, testified a little more vociferously. Whatever it was, had it been in a barn it would have been a barn-burner. Bring on a proper record.
Don’t know if anyone caught my plug for this show on CBC Radio 3 last week but if so, and if on the off chance you opted to catch the show on my recommendation, I want to apologize for two misleading points. One, though Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija was indeed in the house as a member of the Bruce, she didn’t take the stage to sing “Lullabye” with the Acorn as I’d assumed she would. Secondly, front-Acorn Rolf Klausener has indeed shaved the mighty beard he was sporting over the Summer so anyone hoping to marvel at his hirsuteness… sorry.
But if you were in attendance, I refuse to accept either of those as reasons for not enjoying the show – it was just too good. Taking the stage to the dual-drummer pounding of “The Flood, Pt 1″, The Acorn (currently operating as a six-piece) opened up by calling up all the members of the support acts – that’s a dozen strong – to supply the tribal backing vocals and start things off with a glorious bang. I’d heard that they were going to play the entirety of Glory Hope Mountain in order and while that’d have been cool – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a whole album performed live in sequence – they opted to include material from both their Blankets! and Tin Fist EPs and keep the set mostly uptempo. The textures of Glory Hope weren’t recreated verbatim but the spirit was definitely captured with the extra percussion, various stringed instruments and Central American rhythms , not to mention the rich imagery of the songs themselves. Klausener mentioned at one point that this was the best Toronto show they’d played and though I hadn’t seen all of them, based on the handful of times I’d seen the band perform, I’d be inclined to agree. Glory Hope Mountain has been deservedly accruing praise from all corners and as a result, the band has a much brighter spotlight shining on them than they’ve ever had before – it’s good to see that they’ve risen to the occasion.
The Globe & Mail talked to both Klausener and his mother about Glory Hope Mountain this past weekend.
Photos: The Acorn, Bruce Peninsula, Laura Barrett @ The Horseshoe – November 24, 2007
MP3: The Acorn – “The Flood, Pt 1″
MP3: The Acorn – “Crooked Legs”
MP3: Laura Barrett – “Robot Ponies”
MySpace: The Acorn
MySpace: Bruce Peninsula
The venerable (and legendary) Horseshoe Tavern is turning 60 next month and is hosting a slew of great shows to mark the occasion. I’ve already noted a number of them – Richard Hawley on the 5th, six nights of Joel Plaskett from the 10th through the 16th, Rhett Miller on the 19th – but there’s still some special announcements promised. A couple of these were revealed at the end of last week and both are pretty sweet – first, there’s the kick-off celebration on the 4th with a free show from The Lowest Of The Low. If you responded to that with, “who?” rather than “alright!”, then you’re probably under the age of 30 and live in Southern Ontario in the early ’90s. Read this for some background. And secondly, Justin Rutledge’s ‘Shoe show on the 8th now also features the inimitable Howe Gelb on the bill. More surprises are planned for the 17th and 18th and if this is where they’ve set the bar, they’re sure to be great. If you have an inkling of who it might be, let me know! I won’t tell. Promise.
Bradley’s Almanac has posted MP3s from a Kevin Drew/Broken Social Scene show in Boston from this past August. Pitchfork has an interview.
Sloan’s Jay Ferguson talks to JAM! about taking part in this past weekend’s Grey Cup festivities and plans for their next album.
Neil Young tonight! ‘Nuff said.
Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
Didn’t I tell you that Sunday night’s show with Howe Gelb and the ‘Sno Angel Project would be something special? You’re damn right I did. And I was right.
The third of three Canadian shows with Ottawa’s Voices Of Praise gospel choir with whom he collaborated on the ‘Sno Angel Like You album, there was a very laid back electricity in the club – like everyone knew it was going to be a great show, but there was no need to get all worked up about it beforehand. It’d come. And so it did when Gelb, his four-piece band (three Ottawans and one Torontonian) and the eight-piece choir ambled onstage and began performing.
As good as the material on ‘Sno Angel is, it was evident that the extra time spent between Gelb and the choir touring and playing since the album was recorded has paid off huge. The songs maintain their low-key, wise and weary resonance but the choir sounds richer and more powerful behind them, lifting them up without overwhelming. Particularly moving were the songs of Rainer Ptacek – they sounded marvelous and the obvious love Gelb had for his late Giant Sand collaborator, essentially dedicating the show to his memory, made them that much more poignant.
I kind of regret having used up all my good Gelb descriptors in my review of Giant Sand’s show at Pop Montreal in October. Allow me to reuse the “visiting, vagabond uncle with a twinkle in his eye” line again, as it was just as apt on this night as it was on that one. The biggest difference was that he seemed much more focused, which only makes sense as you can’t really meander when you’ve got a dozen other people onstage playing with you. Wry, warm and a wholly entertaining storyteller, Gelb mentioned that this – meaning the ‘Sno Angel project – was the best time he’s ever had and even as long and storied as his musical career has been, I totally believed him. Likewise, the Voices Of Praise seemed to be having an outstanding time, dancing, smiling and sounding simply marvelous and uplifting, their energy contagious. Though Gelb is confessedly non-religious, there was no denying the deep spirituality being manifested musically by those onstage.
They closed off the encore in charming fashion as well – wanting to dust off an old Giant Sand Christmas song for the season but not remembering the words, they played it karaoke style with the track coming over the PA and Gelb lip synching along and attempting to sing where possible. Goofy but utterly endearing. I know this wasn’t my last gig of the year, but if it was? What a perfect way to finish up.
Radio Free Canuckistan has posted the complete transcript of the interview with Gelb that yielded last week’s eye feature as well as a 2003 interview dug out of the archives. And Zoilus has a review of the show in yesterday’s Globe & Mail.
Photos: Howe Gelb & The ‘Sno Angel Project @ Lee’s Palace – December 17, 2006
Stream: Howe Gelb / ‘Sno Angel Like You
MySpace: Howe Gelb
Aimee Mann’s special holiday session for WOXY is now available to stream. She also talks to The Washington Times about her career choices and her Christmas album One More Drifter In The Snow.
And in happy news, I’ve been granted a photo pass for SxSW 2007 which, as the long time reader will recall, has been a holy grail of sorts for me for years now. And as much as fun as it’s been to smuggle the ol’ SLR and be able to say, “why yes – that IS a Canon in my pants”, this will be better.
np – Spacemen 3 / The Perfect Prescription