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Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

CONTEST – Maria Taylor @ The Horseshoe – March 21, 2007

Last time I ran a contest for passes to see Maria Taylor play here in Toronto, the show was canceled at the last minute because they were stuck in traffic and couldn’t make it. Hopefully her show next Wednesday at the Horseshoe goes off a little better, hmm? She’ll be here promoting her new album Lynn Teeter Flower which is really quite a good record, maintaining the forlorn atmosphere of her work with Azure Ray but rendered with more forthright, organic and even upbeat instrumentation. And I hear that live, she plays with a full band and actually rocks out some. As a bonus, opening will be Basia Bulat who’d be entirely worth seeing on her own and pretty much guarantees this’ll be a terrific show.

Anyway, to the contest bit – courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away to this show and this one’s straightforward – just email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with your full name in the body and “I want to see Maria Taylor” in the subject line. The contest will close at midnight, March 18. Thanks, and drive careful.

MP3: Maria Taylor – “A Good Start”
MP3: Maria Taylor – “Lost Time”

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Your Rocky Spine

Very tired. Long week. Short post. Grammar optional.

Was a little surprised to see the sudden outpouring of Great Lake Swimmers love around the blogosphere this week – it seems the first promos of their new album Ongiara have started going out (and I can only hope I’ve got one en route). Gorilla Vs Bear and You Ain’t No Picasso have both got audio to go along with their first impressions and they’re immensely positive, though I’d expect no less – Great Lake Swimmers are a tremendous and tremendously underrated act, Tony Dekker being one of the finest songwriting voices to come out of Toronto in a long time. The album is out on March 27 via their new label Nettwerk though their old home of Weewerk will still be releasing the vinyl version.

And make no mistake, Great Lake Swimmers sound amazing on vinyl – analog perfectly suits the warmth and richness of the music. Case in point, the Hands In Dirty Ground EP that I picked up on 12″ earlier this week – it was originally only available for sale in CD form on tour, but they made it available in limited-edition analog form and as a digital download at the end of last year. Consisting of a mix of covers, new material, live recordings and alternate versions, it’s a great example of Dekker and co managing to expand on their sound without straying from what makes them special – far easier said than done. An Aquarium Drunkard has some thoughts on and a couple tracks from this EP (which you can supposedly buy from Magwheel.com though I can’t find it there or at Rotate This in Toronto, where I did find it).

And as a final GLS mention, it’s worth noting that their two shows at the Church Of The Redeemer on April 14 (one early show at 6PM, another at 9PM) are on sale and selling well so if you were thinking about going – and come on, Great Lake Swimmers + church acoustics = wonderful, they you’d best get in gear.

Pitchfork talks to Okkervil River’s Will Sheff about losing his voice and what to expect from the new album, which they’ll get right back on recording once he can speak again.

Unexpected Grammy nominee Nick Urata of DeVotchKa talks to The Tripwire about how they ended up scoring Little Miss Sunshine, for which they’re nominated in the “Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or other Visual Media” category. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Your daily dose of Shins press clippings – Pulse Of The Twin Cities, The AV Club, PopMatters, The Independent and New City Chicago. I have to say how disappointed I am in the collective music journalists of the world that they have, by and large, been unable to resist the temptation of riffing on the whole “Shins will change your life” angle when composing their pieces. Lazy lazy lazy.

Dark But Shining finds out what Mountain Goat John Darnielle likes most about horror.

I Heart Music has posted a show The Hidden Cameras recorded for KEXP last December and a CBCR3 session from ages ago by the dearly departed Royal City. And back to the Cameras, Prefix points us at their new video. Thanks!

Video: The Hidden Cameras – “Death Of A Tune” (YouTube)

The Straight chats lyrical content with Portastatic’s Mac McCaughan.

Show news – LCD Soundsystem will be playing the Phoenix on May 8 though James Murphy will be doing a DJ thing somewhere in town on May 5. Final Fantasy is playing a couple shows at and as a fundraiser for The Tranzac on February 23 and 24 – the former an evening show, the latter an all-ages matinee. Tickets are $8 in advance and on sale now.

And some notable support announcements – Ohbijou get to win over a packed house of Conor-ites opening for Bright Eyes at the Opera House on February 27, The Submarines will warm up for El Perro Del Mar at the Mod Club on March 5, Basia Bulat will be a tough act for Maria Taylor to follow at the Horseshoe March 21 (odds of my no longer being dead from Sx in time for that one? Not good) and Australia’s Love Of Diagrams open for Ted Leo at Mod on May 2.

Okay, maybe not so short. But I swear that I was careless.