Search Results - "Land Of Talk, Cloud Cult El Mocambo Toronto September 4, 2007"
Thursday, September 6th, 2007
I was a bit astonished on Tuesday night to realize that it had been almost six months since I last saw Land Of Talk live – their Hot Freaks performance during SxSW way back in March. Considering that was the fourth time in five months (including a Liz Powell solo show), the half year in between seemed like an eternity and in the interim, the band had gone through some changes – mainly the departure of drummer Bucky Wheaton back in May and the addition of Eric Thibodeau in his place. And any time you change 1/3 of a band’s lineup, the band is going to be different.
Also different on this night was Powell’s hair – it was cropped really short and when combined with the red bandana around her head and the sleeveless shirt, she looked more than a bit like Loverboy’s Mike Reno and I mean that with all possible affection. But superficialities aside, Land Of Talk definitely sounded different with Thibodeau behind the kit – the material from Applause, Cheer, Boo, Hiss was a bit slower and heavier, Thibodeau playing with more power but less nimbleness than his predecessor. The set also seemed to be half comprised of new material which seemed less immediate and visceral than the Applause songs but fit nicely alongside those songs, collectively demonstrating the depth and breadth of the band’s songwriting chops. Some of the songs will appear on the European release of Applause, its mini-album-ness being padded to proper full-length status. The rest will presumably show up on their next record, due out sometime in 2008.
Also surprising was that this was technically the first show I’d seen where Land Of Talk was headlining – it was good to see them graduate from perpetual opener status, though it seemed like the audience was denser for the premiere Canadian premiere of Minnesota’s Cloud Cult. Another band I’d seen at SxSW but hadn’t been especially blown away by, they nonetheless seemed to have a sizable Toronto fanbase that was thrilled to see them visit. I appreciated them more this time around – perhaps not seeing them sandwiched amongst 50 other bands helped my focus. Blending electronic and orchestral instrumentation into songs that approach the anthemic but deliberately hold back, perhaps reluctant to take things over the top.
That said, lead Cloud Cultist Craig Minowa doesn’t necessarily specialize in understatement or lack of sonic ambition – he’s not afraid to push his voice to emotive cracking and lyrics like “I’m moving to Canada”, which he said he wrote while watching the 2000 US election returns, aren’t really shrouded in metaphor or subtlety. I enjoyed their set well enough and having two band members as painters working canvases through their set certainly lends a unique visual aspect to their show (I think the finished pieces sold for a decent price afterwards) but I didn’t get in line to pick up a copy of their record The Meaning Of 8 after the show.
The Montreal Mirror put local heroes Land Of Talk on their last week’s cover with the accompanying article covering topics like the new album’s moving target of a release date, landing a tour with The Decemberists and the band’s perceived personnel revolving door.
Photos: Land Of Talk, Cloud Cult @ The El Mocambo – September 4, 2007
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Speak To Me Bones”
Video: Land Of Talk – “Speak To Me Bones” (YouTube)
Video: Cloud Cult – “Chemicals Collide” (YouTube)
MySpace: Land Of Talk
MySpace: Cloud Cult
Land Of Talk are back at the El Mocambo on October 29 with Film School, though who’s headlining that one is unclear. Their new one Hideout is out next Tuesday and Spin, who’ve got a short feature on the band, are also offering an exclusive track from the album to download:
MP3: Film School – “Two Kinds”
So yeah, this weekend is going to be all about V Fest and the local weeklies are doing their bit to cover it. NOW makes some suggestions about who to see – both obvious and not so obvious – while eye talks to Jacob Smid of Emerge, the festival organizers, about what went wrong last year and what they hope will go right this year. Good news about the additional foot bridge for getting around the islands, bad news that despite trying, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are NOT taking that “TBA” slot on Saturday. And while both NOW have interviews with Saturday headliner Bjork, only NOW talks to Interpol.
And if you’re not V-Festing this weekend, maybe stop by The Drake on Sunday night to see The Diableros, set to release their new record Aren’t Ready For The Country October 16, as they play a show with Kill The Lights, Five Blank Pages, The Cansecos and Grassy Knoll & The Magic Bullit. The Diableros also have a CD release show at the Horseshoe on October 26.
Furthermore – Chad Van Gaalen will be at the Drake on September 29, Stars and Miracle Fortress play the Phoenix on November 27 and Elvis Perkins stops in at the Horseshoe the following night, November 28.
Also, the RSVP process for The Hot Freaks Part Deux in Austin next weekend is now open. Go here to go through the motions.
Okay, techie types, riddle me this. Got an Apple Airport Extreme base station yesterday, partly cause my old router was dying a slow death, partly because I wanted to take advantage of the theoretical benefits of having wireless N on my machine and largely because I wanted to be able to access my external hard drive upon which resides my music collection – from wherever in the apartment. So I got online painlessly and got the drive working after much more hassle. Apple doesn’t tell you that it doesn’t work with Fat32-partitioned drives so I had to (somehow, not sure how I did it) create a new folder in the file system it does use, which thankfully didn’t seem to require reformatting the drive, and moved my music directory into that one. I had to completely re-index my iTunes library but by late last night, everything seemed to be working.
And then this morning I get up and discover that my base station has disappeared from my Airport Utility and cannot be discovered. The router has a happy green light and tells me nothing. I unplug, plug back in, nothing. I reboot my laptop and it won’t restart, I just get a grey screen after the Apple gong sounds. And again. Then I unhook my USB hub (which had my iPod and keyboard/mouse dongle) and remove the power and reboot, THEN it starts up. Whatever. Still no router detected. So I hard reset the router – losing all my settings – and then my machine finds it again and I have to reconfigure the whole thing. So I’m back online and my disk is detected again and it’s working again, but now I’m afraid that when I get home from work this afternoon my router will again have disappeared and I’ll have to go through this whole rigamarole again.
So to all the Apple techie people out there, and I know you’re legion, I ask. What up the fuck?
Update: …and not five minutes after I make the post, the base station disappears again. Right in the middle of me doing whatever. I’m back on my D-Link now. W. T. F.
Friday, August 31st, 2007
If there was such a thing as the sound of a bird made of honey, it would sound like Jenn Grant. The Haligonian songstress, who I first discovered way back last December, released her debut album Orchestra For The Moon in May and while most everyone I know who’s heard her has been beguiled, the numbers that seems to amount to are far less than she deserves.
Possessed of a marvelous voice that’s sweet, supple and dexterous, Grant has crafted a record that deftly combines pop, folk, jazz and country styles into something that could easily fit into any of those genres yet resists such pigeonholing. But what isn’t up for debate is that Orchestra is a terrific showcase for both Grant’s vocal and songwriting talents that goes down real nice and easy – and therein lies my only complaint, and it’s a minor one. Orchestra is so smooth that it can make one yearn for just a little bit of grit or earthiness. Grant sounds like she’s gliding through the whole record and it might be nice to have her touch the ground now and again, get her feet dirty a bit. The way the best angels do.
Grant has been through town innumerable times since that show at the Drake in December and I’ve, sadly, missed them all – and I’ll probably miss the next one when she plays the El Mocambo this Wednesday, September 5 opening for The Veils, here all the way from Australia. After that, her next date is at the Phoenix on November 8, opening for The Weakerthans. Tickets for that show are $25 and go on sale next Saturday, September 8.
MP3: Jenn Grant – “Dreamer”
Video: Jenn Grant – “Dreamer” (YouTube)
MySpace: Jenn Grant
And if you’re not familiar with The Veils, here’s a single and video from their current album Nux Vormica.
MP3: The Veils – “Advice For Young Mothers To Be”
Video: The Veils – “Advice For Young Mothers To Be” (YouTube)
And if that’s not your speed but you’re still looking for something to do next Wednesday, The Bruce Peninsula, who so impressed at Dog Day Afternoon a few weekends ago, have a show at the Tranzac along with Tusks and Snailhouse. eye has an interview with head Bruce Peninsulan Neil Haverty while NOW talks Tusks.
Nicole Atkins & The Sea’s debut full-length Neptune City finally has a release date of October 30 and she’ll be celebrating that night with David Letterman. She’s at Lee’s Palace two weeks prior on October 14 with The Raveonettes. Thanks to For The Records for the info.
NOW five questions Craig Minowa of Cloud Cult, opening up for Land Of Talk at the El Mocambo on Tuesday. The Boston Globe and The Portland Mercury also have interviews.
John Vanderslice’s October 1 show has undergone a change of venue and picked up some support acts. It will now go down at the El Mocambo and feature Two Gallants and Blitzen Trapper. Horseshoe tickets will be honoured at the ElMo.
Also October 1 – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Kool Haus. Tickets $24.50, on sale this morning.
Good news – Patrick Wolf returns to Toronto for a show at Lee’s Palace on October 6. Bad news – I’m in Montreal. Well, bad news for me. Everything else is good news. Tickets are $17.50 and go on sale Saturday.
Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova – aka “the guy” and “the girl” from Once – bring the musical component of that film, The Swell Season, to the Danforth Music Hall on November 23. Hopefully the DVD will be out sometime around then as well – I still have to see it. Tickets are $28.50, on sale September 6.
Longwave, who I’m rather pleasantly surprised to see are still active, will be supporting Robbers On High Street at the Horseshoe on September 24.
Chart has details on the gala ceremony for this year’s Polaris Music Prize. It’s happening September 24 at the Phoenix, is invite-only (sorry) and will feature performances from half the nominees, namely Miracle Fortress, Julie Doiron (in Eric’s Trip band configuration), Patrick Watson, Joel Plaskett and Chad Van Gaalen. And in regards to the Arcade Fire kerfuffle reported on earlier this week, apparently the band did eventually give permission for a song to be used on the Polaris compilation CD but the disc was already at the manufacturers by the time they did so.
Harp gets acquainted with Fionn Regan, in town on September 26 with a show at the Horseshoe.
Will Sheff of Okkervil River insists to The Arizona Daily Star that that’s his natural hair colour. Also check out Down The Oubliette, a new fansite for the band dedicated to cataloguing facts, figures and trivia about the band. Okkervil plays Lee’s Palace on September 21.
Matt Berninger tells The Washington Post the story of The National. They’re at the Phoenix on October 8.
Metro Pulse confers with Jason Isbell.
Spinner interviews Bjork. She headlines day one of V Fest next Saturday.
Thursday, August 30th, 2007
So late post today, but with good reason. With the stroke of 10AM EDT, an embargo has been lifted and I can happily announce to you a little something that An Aquarium Drunkard, La Blogothèque, Brooklynvegan, Gorilla vs Bear, My Old Kentucky Blog, You Ain’t No Picasso and I have been working on the last few months – The Hot Freaks!, part the second – a sequel to our wonderfully successful showcases during SxSW this past March, The Hot Freaks! part the first.
This time, we’re once again heading back to The Mohawk and Club DeVille in lovely (and sweltering) Austin, Texas to throw a couple of after parties in mid-September. It’s sponsored by the Dell Lounge and the lineup shakedown is as follows:
September 14 @ The Mohawk – Art Brut with Crazy Sexy Rainbow
September 14 @ Club DeVille – Grizzly Bear with Brazos
September 15 @ The Mohawk – St Vincent with Sparrow House
September 15 @ Club DeVille – The Rosebuds with Yellow Fever
Not bad, eh? Not bad at all. Admission will be free but involve a not-as-byzantine-as-it-sounds RSVP/wristband process that will be detailed on Wednesday. The first Hot Freaks! was one of the most fun and satisfying things I’ve ever had the pleasure to be involved with so I’m really looking forward to doing it all again, not to mention checking out all the great acts playing the ACL fest proper.
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “On A Neck, On A Spit”
MP3: St Vincent – “Now Now”
MP3: The Rosebuds – “Get Up Get Out”
MP3: Sparrow House – “When I Am Gone”
MP3: Yellow Fever – “Culver City”
MP3: Brazos – “Hands Up Little Gun”
Video: Art Brut – “Direct Hit” (YouTube)
Pitchfork reports that Grizzly Bear will release a new, 10-track EP entitled Friend on November 6. They’ll be in town at the Mod Club on September 20. Spinner’s Interface featured Art Brut a few days ago and The Torture Garden has an interview with St Vincent, Filter a feature and Pitchfork a guest list of this and that.
And looking to the Austin City Limits fest, transpiring the same weekend, Austinist wants to be your one stop for all things ACL-related, offering up interviews, previews and whatnot with the artists playing the fest. Check out conversations with The National, The Decemberists and Midlake. Wireless Bollinger also have an interview with Midlake, who’ll be releasing an iTunes-only EP on September 4 entitled Oak And Julian and The AV Club have a talk with The National’s Matt Berninger. And Spoon’s Britt Daniel plays “name that tune” with Harp. Love the comments about Ryan Adams.
Of course, getting to ACL requires me to survive V Fest next weekend, an event that just lost Peter Bjorn & John from its lineup as, according to their MySpace blog, they will instead be in Las Vegas hoping to catch a few seconds of screen time at the MTV Video Awards rather than play a gig to tens of thousands of festival-goers. Smart move, guys (thanks to Thierry for being the bearer of bad news). But their loss is offset by the addition of The Constantines to day two. It never ends! Whee.
Harp has a chat with Jose Gonzalez about his new record In Our Nature, which will be out on September 25. He recently recorded a Takeaway Show for La Blogotheque and will be in town for a dine-in performance at the Mod Club on December 7.
Amiina’s September 10 show at the Horseshoe has been cancelled due to illness in the band.
Back for a third time this year, The Pipettes will be in town at the Opera House on October 5. The domestic edition of We Are The Pipettes will be out a few days prior on October 2 and Pitchfork has the new cover art and info on bonus tracks. Dr Dog play the Mod Club on October 6 (tickets $13.50), The Besnard Lakes return for a show at the Horseshoe on October 12 and Ween are at The Docks on October 26. Film School will be in town on October 29 for a show at the El Mocambo with Land Of Talk (also playing there this coming Tuesday with Cloud Cult) and Eulogies. Film School’s Hideout is out September 11.
Have you seen this teaser for The Dark Knght already? I hadn’t. Interesting that Heath Ledger sounds like he’s trying to channel Jack Nicholson…
Trailer: The Dark Knight