Search Results - "The Magnolia Electric Co,"
Monday, March 25th, 2013
CHVRCHES and Diana at Canadian Musicfest
Frank YangI went into this year’s Canadian Musicfest with a pretty basic plan – see as little as possible. Okay, that’s not really accurate since that would have easily been accomplished by staying home and I was still out four nights in a row, but rather than engage in the club-hopping that the fest usually demands, I opted to choose one thing a night that I was genuinely interested in seeing rather than trek around the city hoping to shake something worthwhile out of the lineup. Wednesday night, that honour went to a show that was one of the more hotly-tipped of the festival, despite being able to count both bands on the bill’s officially-released songs on one hand.
Diana may have been a relatively new name on the Toronto scene, but the faces were quite familiar, featuring players whose CVs include Everything All The Time, Donlands & Mortimer, Bonjay, and Warm Myth, to name but a few, but the elevator pitch was that this was the sax player from Destroyer’s new synth-pop project with Carmen Elle of Army Girls on vocals and they’d already arguably gotten more buzz abroad than any of their past projects combined (Destroyer excepted, of course).
As someone who came to the band mainly through Army Girls – and was a bit resentful at them for taking Elle’s attention away from her rock project – it was unusual to hear her voice in such a context, surrounded by smooth synth tones and saxophone lines rather than her spiky guitarwork, her voice was more bruised than sultry. Whether by design or happenstance, it created an odd tension between the image she presented as frontwoman; as charming and charismatic as usual, but interestingly at odds with the music would have conventionally presumed. And that applied to Diana as a whole – slinky, soulful synth-pop, yes, but with something else going on in there and it’s that je ne sais quoi that will, unfortunately for me but great for Diana, probably keep Army Girls fans waiting for those albums a little longer.
Photos: Diana @ The Mod Club – March 20, 2013
MP3: Diana – “Born Again”
Stream: Diana – “Perpetual Surrender”
The hype around Scottish trio CHVRCHES has probably put some off of them entirely already, some six months from the release of their debut album, and that’s a shame. Because as far as I can tell, they’re not being posited as saviours of anything, just a new band with some really good songs. Or maybe that new – none of them are rookies in the music biz, with keyboardists Iain Cook and Martin Doherty having done duty in Aerogramme and Twilight Sad, respectively, and singer Lauren Mayberry formerly doing time in Blue Sky Archives. That past experience might explain why despite being a heavily-feted band on their first tour abroad, CHVRCHES were remarkably confident and assured in their Canadian debut. Taking the stage to the strains of an oddly pitch-shifted version of “Let’s Go Crazy”, they opened with last year’s debut single “Lies” and laid out very clearly what they were about – big synth sounds from the fellows and beguiling vocals from Mayberry.
CHRVCHES haven’t solved the the inherent problem of how to put on a compelling live show when you’re two blokes tethered to keyboards and girl singer who’s not Sarah Cracknell, but when you’ve got the songs, everything else becomes somewhat trivial. While a fairly static performer, Mayberry wasn’t a wallflower and offered up some charming banter – Ryan Gosling topped her list of things to thank Canada for – the best part of the show was the fact that it proved that their songwriting chops were equal to the hype. “Recover”, with its irresistible chorus, remained the high point of their works so far but everything was fairly bursting with hooks and melodies, led by Mayberry’s youthful and yearning vocals. It’s refreshing that at a time when synth acts are a dime a dozen, one can still stand out by sticking to the time-tested rules of pop music. After closing with “The Mother We Share”, they returned for a one-song encore that bookended the set with Prince salutations and their totally straight but still fun cover of “I Would Die 4 U”. And then they doused everyone with a bubble machine.
CBC Music and DIY have interviews with CHVRCHES while NPR has video of one of their sets at SXSW earlier this month. Update: And, just announced, CHVRCHES are back on June 12 at The Hoxton, possibly/probably a NXNE show.
Photos: CHVRCHES @ The Mod Club – March 20, 2013
MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Stream: CHVRCHES – “Lies”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Recover”
Peace takes DIY on a walkthrough of their debut album In Love, out in the UK today. They’ll bring it to NXNE on June 15.
CBC Music has an interview with Charles Bradley and an advance stream of his new record Victim Of Love, out April 2, while Clash excerpts an interview with the man. He’ll be at the Phoenix on May 11.
Stream: Charles Bradley / Victim Of Love
Stereogum has an interview with Benjamin Michael Lerner of Telekinesis. Their new album Domarion is out April 2 but streaming now in whole at NPR. They’re at The Horseshoe on May 12.
MP3: Telekinesis – “Ghosts & Creatures”
Stream: Telekinesis / Domarion
A new Jessie Ware track taken from the inevitable deluxe edition of Devotion – the “Gold Edition” – is now available to stream. It’s out in the UK on April 15, the day before the regular (yet slightly enhanced) version of Devotion gets a North American release. She plays The Opera House on April 6.
Stream: Jessie Ware – “Imagine It Was Us”
A track from Kurt Vile’s new record Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze is now available to download. It’s out April 9 and he plays the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Never Run Away”
The Postal Service has made another of the unreleased tracks from the 10th anniversary edition of Give Up available to stream. It’s out April 9 and they play The Air Canada Centre on June 11.
Stream: The Postal Service – “Turn Around”
Room 205 has posted the first of three video sessions with Redd Kross; they’re in town at The Horseshoe on April 11.
Loud & Quiet talks to Palma Violets, in town at Lee’s Palace on May 3.
Primal Scream are streaming the second single from their new album More Light, out May 6.
Stream: Primal Scream – “It’s Alright, It’s OK”
Deerhunter have announced the May 7 release of their new album Monomania. Typically cryptic details on the release can be found at 4AD.
Having let the dust settle from the announcement that their new album would be out in May and be followed by extensive touring, The National have revealed some more pertinent details – specifically that it’ll be called Trouble Will Find Me, that it will be out May 21, and the artwork and tracklisting look something like this. And additionally, in conversation with Gothamist, drummer Bryan Devendorf offers some insight into the recording sessions and what guest artists you’ll hear on the record. The National will headline Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14, and the tour documentary on the band Mistaken For Strangers will screen at Hot Docs on April 30, May 2, and May 5.
Stephin Merritt has turned his attention to his Future Bible Heroes project, announcing the June 4 release of their first album in over a decade, Partygoing. It’s available either on its own or part of the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth and Partygoing set which includes reissues of their first two albums as well as a bonus disc of rarities. Details on all that at Merge, first track from Partygoing to stream below.
Stream: Future Bible Heroes – “Living, Loving, Partygoing”
Flavorwire is streaming another track from John Vanderslice’s cover album of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, which will accompany the June 11 release of his new album of original material, Dagger Beach.
Stream: John Vanderslice – “Diamanthunde”
The Quietus have confirmed a new Echo & The Bunnymen album is on the way. Ian McCulloch says that it’ll be called The Garden Of Meedlin’ and will be out before the year is out.
The Line Of Best Fit has a video session and The Georgia Straight an interview with Veronica Falls.
To mark the passing of Jason Molina last week, all of his recorded output as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co, or Jason Molina is available to stream. The best way to remember him.
NYC Taper is sharing recordings of a Low show in New York last week while Drowned In Sound has a video session and interview with the band.
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co. passes away at 39
Steve GullickSad news out of Indianapolis yesterday morning, as word got out that Jason Molina, had died. Unbelievably prolific from the late ’90s through the mid ’00s first as the skeletal Songs: Ohia and then the lushly-arranged Magnolia Electric Co., as well under his own name, he helped craft the template of raw yet elegant, emotionally bare and beautifully sad songwriting within the folk, blues, and roots-rock idioms.
Following the release of Molina and Johnson, his 2009 collaboration with Will Johnson of Centro-Matic, Molina seemed to disappear from sight – most unusual for someone whose release and touring schedule rarely let up. An update finally came in September 2011, revealing that Molina’s battle with substance abuse had kept him creatively sidelined but positive steps were occurring; another update in May of last year from Molina himself was even more encouraging and some new music in the form of Autumn Bird Songs, a 10″ accompanying a book of artwork from William Shaff. And then, yesterday, the sad announcement that despite these positive signs, Molina had passed.
I was fortunate to have caught Molina live twice, in Fall 2004 and again in August 2005, right around the switchover in identity from Songs: Ohia to Magnolia Electric Co. Re-reading my writeups, it was clear that while I liked some of what he did, it didn’t connect with me fully. Now, reading over the many, many tributes from fans and other musicians for whom Molina’s work resonated at a deep, fundamental frequency, I feel like I need to revisit his work and be thankful for those shows, even if I didn’t wholly appreciate it at the time.
Secretly Canadian, the label for whom Molina recorded his entire career and who put out his “One Pronunciation Of Glory” 7″ as their second-ever release, has a fond remembrance of the man; Chunklet and NPR also have tributes. As their memorial, Drowned In Sound has offered up a beginner’s guide to Molina’s expansive catalog, though if you want to, you could just hit play down below.
MP3: Molina & Johnson – “Almost Let You In”
MP3: Molina & Johnson – “Twenty Cycles To The Ground”
MP3: Jason Molina – “Get Out Get Out Get Out”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Josephine”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Little Sad Eyes”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Lonesome Valley”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “The Dark Don’t Hide It”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Farewell Transmission”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Two Blue Lights”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Steve Albini’s Blues”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Untitled 2″
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Untitled 1″
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Body Burned Away”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Lightning Risked It All”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Lioness”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Tigress”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “How To Be Perfect Men”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Captain Badass”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “East Heart Divided”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “East’s Last Heart”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Cabwaylingo”
Clash and DIY mark today’s release of The Invisible Way with feature pieces on Low while The Line Of Best Fit and The AV Club do their part with video sessions; note that the rest of the videos for the AV Club session are linked the bottom of the post.
With a week to go before the release of Comedown Machine, Pitchfork has drawn the “advance album stream” card for the new Strokes record.
MP3: The Strokes – “One Way Trigger”
Stream: The Strokes / Comedown Machine
NPR has a World Cafe session with Local Natives. They play The Phoenix on March 28.
One of those new Telekinesis tracks from Domarion, out April 2, is now available to download. They hit The Horseshoe on May 12.
MP3 Telekinesis – “Ghosts & Creatures”
The Flaming Lips used one of their SXSW appearances to perform their new album The Terror in its entirety, which must have been great for those in attendance since it’s not even out until April 16 – yeah, it has been pushed back a fortnight – and everyone knows there’s nothing better than a complete album recital of a record you’ve never heard. Regardless, the whole performance is available to hear/watch over at Stereogum.
Yo La Tengo have a feature in Clash and turn in a World Cafe session for NPR and kick off the new season of The AV Club’s Undercover series, covering The Supremes’ “Come See About Me” – the “core emotion” they get out of it is decidedly different from the one The Afghan Whigs squeezed out of their version. Yo La Tengo play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 7 at Garrison Commons.
Tangentially, a track from the first of James McNew’s Dump vinyl reissues – Superpowerless is out today – is available to download. I Can Hear Music follows April 16.
MP3: Dump – “Superpowerless”
A Music Blog, Yea checks in with Texas’ Midlake, who should have a new record out sometime this year.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Wilco and Nick Lowe at Massey Hall in Toronto
Frank YangBands are always compared to other bands. For new acts, it can be helpful for targeting a sympathetic audience but can also be a hinderance, providing an excuse to be ignored should someone not care for some arbitrary reference point. And should they be so fortunate to endure long enough to define their own identity, a new risk arises – being compared to yourself. That comes in a few flavours – there’s “it sounds like all their other stuff” or “it doesn’t sound as good as their older stuff”, and I’d go so far as to say the former is the more damning as it comes with the distinct whiff of indifference.
This, arguably, is the territory that Wilco have been treading towards over their last couple records. Both Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album) were perfectly fine albums but were more pretty and pleasant than exciting – I argued their merits with those who dismissed the band as “dad-rock” but didn’t explicitly disagree with them. And to be fair, Jeff Tweedy’s had a long career that’s covered a lot of bases and volume levels, and if his muse just wants to sit back and strum the guitar then that’s his prerogative. But one of the downsides of being a successful band, I suppose, is the fact that instead of being able to just bang out a record to document where your head’s at and move on, you have to spend a couple of years touring it around the world before you can try something else.
Trying something new isn’t quite accurate with respect to their new record The Whole Love, out next Tuesday but streaming now at NPR, but that its closest reference point in their catalog is Summerteeth should be enough to get the attention of anyone who’d assumed they were set on cruise control down the middle of the road. It’s certainly their most sonically interesting record in some time, and not in the found-sound Jim O’Rourke sense, as well as containing some of their most pop and experimental efforts in a while. With only a handful of listens from advance streams it’s clearly too early to say where it will eventually settle in the hierarchy of Wilco discography greatness, but it certainly has a good start right out of the blocks.
The band also got a head start on their touring cycle, hitting the road over a week before the new album was released and settling into their now-customary two-night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto last weekend for the second stop of the tour. It’d been almost two years since the last visit but Jeff Tweedy stopped by for a couple solo nights back in March so fans had at least had a fix of hearing their favourite songs live recently, not that that stopped them from packing the theatre again, and twice.
And early. Wilco has toured with a number of acts over the years, both established and not, but I’d never seen so many people in their seats for the opener before… but they’ve never had an opener as legendary as Nick Lowe. Performing solo and acoustic in support of his just-released new album The Old Magic, the former power-pop architect turned professor of sophisticated pop had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand as he charmed with both his banter and songs. His newer material showed his talent for turning a memorable phrase and melody hasn’t dimmed a bit with age, in fact his wit may be even more incisive now with the benefit of wisdom of his years to back it up. But even so, it was his classic material that everyone wanted to hear and he graciously obliged, offering up a run of hits from “All Men Are Liars” and its still somehow timely Rick Astley dig through the irresistible “Cruel To Be Kind” and then an unexpected and gorgeous cover of Elvis Costello’s “Alison”, sounding more poignant with Lowe’s middle-aged vocals than Costello has maybe ever managed. From that highlight he ended even stronger with “When I Write The Book” and finally a plaintive “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding” that had the audience on their feet, allowing him to depart with a standing ovation, each and every clap deserved.
Being on hand for the first three songs of Friday night (photos are from the first show but writeup from the second), I got to witness the mind-bending greatness of their opening with The Whole Love‘s lead track “Art Of Almost”. It’s a song that, had it set the template for the entire album, might well have forced a complete redefinition of what Wilco are about. Whereas in recent records they seemed content to let Nels Cline’s guitar leads contribute any and all weirdness to their songs, “Almost” finds all six members pushing boundaries in different directions, simultaneously and reminding me of early ’00s Radiohead – remember when Wilco were “America’s Radiohead”? – in the best way. Even from the very first listen, it’s a stunning declaration of what Wilco can do, and live it’s exponentially heavier than on album. It’s a hell of a thing. And for Saturday night, we had to wait until song two.
Reports from Friday night were that the band had to cut The Whole Love‘s closing song, the meditative “One Sunday Morning”, on account of curfew restrictions and so it seems they simply decided to roll it over to open the following night’s set. And it’s a beautiful song – one of the album’s highlights even though it dwells at the completely opposite end of the world of music from “Almost”, but certainly doesn’t pack the same visceral impact. But as said, that only had to wait until song two and then it was off to the races. Past Wilco setlists have been relatively predictable things; always entertainingly performed but I have to admit that recently, the notion of maybe not needing to see them every time through town had entered my mind. Perhaps anticipating this, they served up an unexpected set list that in addition to the new material, leaned more to the turn of the century material – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Summerteeth – than any in recent memory with Sky Blue Sky only contributed one song, albeit a jaw-dropping even by Nels’ standards “Impossible Germany”, and Wilco (The Album) was ignored completely.
But it was the first encore that really truly sealed this as one of the great Toronto Wilco shows; opening up with a epically crashing “Misunderstood” – anyone count the “NOTHINGS!”? – and followed with a “Jesus Etc” that Tweedy allowed the audience to sing most of and then a “California Stars” that everyone sang along to. And then. THEN. A one-two Being There punch of “Monday” and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” which basically laid me out flat. This lineup, those songs, holy shit. It wasn’t quite the songbook romp that they pulled out the second night opening for Neil Young back in 2008, but that show was also without – and thanks to – Glenn Kotche (their rotation of substitute drummers got to pick the set list for that show). The one-song, second encore of “I’m A Wheel” was almost pointless – there was no topping what had just happened – but at least Pat Sansone got to do his windmills.
In the fifteen or sixteen times I’ve seen them, over all the different lineups, Wilco have never been anything less than consummate professionals on stage. But there was definitely an extra bit of something in this show, even beyond the song selection, that seemed special. The band were extra energized and invigorated – whether because it was early on in the tour or the excitement of playing new material, I don’t know – but if you thought that the band’s best days were behind them or they were getting too settled in, do yourself a favour and see them on this tour and stay at least as long as “Art Of Almost”. Then tell me they’re done.
The Toronto Sun and National Post were on hand for Friday night’s show while Buffalo News, Spin and NOW were also on hand for Saturday’s show. The Wall Street Journal has an interview with Jeff Tweedy, Drowned In Sound with Mikael Jorgensen and The Los Angeles Times with Pat Sansone while Spinner has a chat and NPR a World Cafe session with Nick Lowe. And Wilcoworld has a talk with Bob Ludwig, the mastering engineer who worked on The Whole Love.
Photos: Wilco @ Massey Hall – September 16, 2011
MP3: Wilco – “What Light”
Video: Wilco – “Born Alone”
Video: Wilco – “I Love My Label”
Video: Wilco – “What Light”
Video: Wilco – “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
Video: Wilco – “Box Full Of Letters”
Video: Wilco – “I Must Be High”
Video: Nick Lowe – “All Men Are Liars”
Video: Nick Lowe – “I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock And Roll)”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Half A Boy And Half A Man”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Cruel To Be Kind”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Crackin’ Up”
Stream: Wilco / The Whole Love
Mojo reports that the classic Guided By Voices lineup has found time to record a new album amidst the past year of touring and will release Let’s Go Eat The Factory on January 1 (which is a Sunday?). Good thing Bob had some songs lying around!
Paste puts The Jayhawks on their electronic edition cover in honour of their new album Mockingbird Time; they’ve also just released a video from it.
Video: The Jayhawks – “She Walks In So Many Ways”
NYC Taper has a set from The Hold Steady in New York last weekend available to download.
Just this weekend, some friends and I were wondering what the usually prolific Magnolia Electric Co were up to; Secretly Canadian has the answer, and it’s not a great one – if you’re a fan of Jason Molina and his work, do help him out with a donation.
Interview talks to Christopher Owens of Girls, who have a new video from Father Son Holy Ghost and will be at The Mod Club on September 27.
Video: Girls – “Honey Bunny”
Paste has a feature piece on Mates Of State while NPR has premiered the latest video from Mountaintops. They’re at The Phoenix on September 28.
Video: Mates Of State – “Palomino”
Daytrotter have posted a session with Low.
EMA has also had their Daytrotter session posted, and up the ante with a new video as well.
Video: EMA – “Marked”
The AV Club has got a stream of the new Dum Dum Girls record Only In Dreams ahead of its September 27 release. They are at Lee’s Palace on October 16.
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”
Stream: Dum Dum Girls – “Only In Dreams”
The Financial Times have a feature piece on Warpaint, whose beautifully-shot and performed Rough Trade Sessions is available to watch over at The Fader.
Wears The Trousers interviews Annie Clark of St. Vincent.
The whole of Ivy’s new record All Hours is available to stream.
MP3: Ivy – “Distant Lights”
Stream: Ivy / All Hours
Asobi Seksu have a new video from Fluorescence; they’re at Lee’s Palace opening up for Boris on October 23.
Video: Asobi Seksu – “Perfectly Crystal”
Monday, July 11th, 2011
The Wooden Birds and Heartbeat Hotel at The Drake Underground in Toronto
Frank YangYou might not have guessed it to listen to their records, as laid-back and fuzzy blanket-like as they were, but the American Analog Set were an amazing live act. Not through on-stage antics or pyrotechnics or the like, but by how unbelievably tight they were as a unit. The sound of Andrew Kenny’s soft voice and echoing guitar overtop the bed of vibraphone and Farfisa was the very definition of hypnotic and each of the two Toronto shows I saw prior to their disbanding in 2006 were magical. So given that Kenny’s new outfit The Wooden Birds shares many stylistic attributes with AmAnSet, it wasn’t unreasonable to hope that their first visit in support of their new record Two Matchsticks last night at The Drake would recreate some of that magic.
Support for the evening came from locals Heartbeat Hotel, whose psych-pop-laden Fetus Dreams I’d recommended picking up (for free) and who’d made a decent live impression back in December. They’d played out a fair bit since then, though, and some growth was to be expected. Even so, I didn’t expect that the echoey, slow burn that opened their set would be more the rule than the exception. The freewheeling sonic experimentation that marked Fetus Dreams seems to have been reined in, or the approach of flinging everything against the wall has served its purpose and they’ve now identified what stuck and what works; either way, Heartbeat Hotel circa Summer 2011 is a much more controlled, groove-oriented entity, yet still capable of getting noisy when needed. They’ve learned a lesson in musical economics that some bands take albums to master, if ever, and though it’d be nice if some of the energy of the LP could find its way back into their sound, based on the new material showcased – due for release in EP or album form this Fall – they’ll do well on the exam.
Even before The Wooden Birds played a note, it was pretty clear that this wasn’t going to be American Analog Set unplugged. For starters, Leslie Sisson was handling the acoustic guitar duties I’d assumed were Andrew Kenny’s on record, Kenny had no six-string of any kind, instead holding down the low end with a Thunderbird bass and whereas on the recordings electric guitar was used for texture or the occasional lead, the two electric setup implied that live, it would be decidedly otherwise. And indeed, it didn’t take very long to understand and appreciate that The Wooden Birds were no extension of anyone’s old band, but their own thing entirely; whereas AmAnSet shows were like exercises in hypnosis, this performance was wide-eyed and fully awake.
As the band showcased material from Two Matchsticks and its predecessor Magnolia, I couldn’t help think how someone for whom their first impression of the band was this show might find those decidedly mellower-sounding records. Because the live presentation of The Wooden Birds was definitely a much louder and more sprightly and widescreen-sounding affair. Tempos were stepped up appreciably, and rhythms given an almost country-western shuffle which would prove especially complimentary to the subtle twang of Sisson’s vocals. Those vocals were more than complimentary to Kenny’s voice – they sounded as lovely together as any two voices could – and for an hour or so, they led the band through a set of splendid pop. And for the AmAnSet fans in the audience – which I would assume to be most of them – they did Toronto the pleasure of honouring a request made the last time AmAnSet was in town, which is to say half a decade ago, and offered a reading of “Aaron & Maria” which they segued into a cover of Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby”. I went into this show hoping to relive a little AmAnSet magic but The Wooden Birds would have none of that; as stated they’ve got their own thing going on and that thing is simply lovely. If they’re coming through your town on their way back down to Austin, do go see them.
The Fort Worth Weekly and Sloucher have interviews with Andrew Kenny. There’s also a writeup and recording of much of the show over at Hater High.
Photos: The Wooden Birds, Heartbeat Hotel @ The Drake Underground – July 10, 2011
MP3: The Wooden Birds – “Two Matchsticks”
MP3: The Wooden Birds – “False Alarm”
MP3: Heartbeat Hotel – “Fins Of A Shark”
MP3: Heartbeat Hotel – “Walls Of Dry Clouds”
MP3: Heartbeat Hotel – “The Hello Barrel”
Video: The Wooden Birds – “Two Matchsticks”
Video: The Wooden Birds – “Hometown Fantasy”
Video: Heartbeat Hotel – “Windowsill #1″
Though just announced as support for The Vaccines show at The Phoenix on September 27, Young Buffalo will do a little advance work with a free show at The Horseshoe on July 26.
MP3: Young Buffalo – “Only We Can Keep You From Harm”
MP3: Young Buffalo – “Anthems For A 17-Year Old Girl”
On the NXNE schedule in June for like a nanosecond, Massachusetts’ Dom will be in town for real for a show at The Garrison on August 9, the same day their new Family Of Love EP is released.
MP3: Dom – “Living In America”
Marnie Stern and No Joy team up for a show at Wrongbar on September 23. The Riverfront Times has an interview with Ms Stern.
MP3: Marnie Stern – “Transparency Is The New Mystery”
MP3: No Joy – “Hawaii”
Suuns have slated a show at The Garrison for October 2 and there’s a new video session up over at For No One.
MP3: Suuns – “Up Past The Nursery”
Shonen Knife will be at The Horseshoe on October 20 to kick of a 30th anniversary tour and next week’s release of their new record Osaka Ramones, a Ramones tribute record. Tickets for the show are $14.50 in advance, full dates at Exclaim.
Video: Shonen Knife – “Ramones Forever” (live)
Spinner has the first sample of the first Ivy album in six years, All Hours due out September 20, and it seems that in the time away they’ve discovered their inner discotheque. They wear it well.
MP3: Ivy – “Distant Lights”
USA Today profiles The Head & The Heart.
Spin checks in with Stephen Malkmus about his new solo record Mirror Traffic, due out August 23. He and his Jicks play The Phoenix on September 21.
NBC San Diego, The Georgia Straight and San Diego City Beat chat with The Rosebuds, in town on August 9 at The Sound Academy opening up for Bon Iver.
Stereogum talks to the director of Handsome Furs’ racy new video. They’re at The Horseshoe on August 1 and 2.
Video: Handsome Furs – “What About Us”
Spin gets a guided tour of Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham’s domicile. Their next date is August 9 at the Air Canada Centre with Foo Fighters.
Sax-toting Polaris shortlister Colin Stetson has an interview in The Globe & Mail and a session up at Daytrotter. He plays The Drake Underground on August 26.
Loud & Quiet talks to Timber Timbre.
Southern Souls has posted a video session with Jenn Grant.
The Wilderness Of Manitoba are featured in an interview and video session with The Alternate Side.
The documentary film which led to a rather nasty exchange between filmmaker Vincent Moon and Arcade Fire management – Miroir Noir: Neon Bible Archives – will be getting a screening at the TIFF Lightbox on Wednesday evening at 7:30PM as part of Images Festival. Probably safe to say neither filmmaker nor subjects will be in attendance.
Trailer: Miroir Noir: Neon Bible Archives
Friday, October 30th, 2009
Sky Larkin and Peggy Sue at The Cameron House in Toronto
Frank YangThere are many things to like about Leeds trio Sky Larkin, not least among them their wonderfully sweet and spiky debut album The Golden Spike, but what I think I like most is how much of a good time they’re clearly having. On record, on stage, in their videos, everything Sky Larkin is permeated with a genuine, unaffected sense of fun – no brooding angst or overamped giddiness, just the natural reaction to three friends in their early 20s getting to travel around the world playing rock music without the massive weight of expectation that some of their peers are carrying (ahemxxahem). How could they not be having fun?
The band were nearing the end of a North American tour when they rolled into the Cameron House in Toronto on Wednesday night, accompanied by fellow Brits Peggy Sue, who had the co-ed trio thing in common with their tourmates but not a lot else. Fronted by the wonderfully pseudonymed (presumably) Katy Klaw and Rosa Rex with Olly Olly Olly on drums, the outfit formerly known as Peggy Sue & The Pirates (perhaps the Pirates were taken by Pete) deal in a strain of folk that’s probably too off-kilter in instrumentation and arrangement for traditionalists yet not nearly weird enough for the 21st century hippie scene. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that both Klaw and Rex have the sorts of voices that you’d normally find in soul music, rich and emotive with the right amount of rasp – they’re not equipped to create conventional folk music, even if they were inclined to do so. Their Lover Gone EP intrigued but was really too brief to get a proper handle on what they were about and while their set went a ways towards filling in the blanks, it also expanded the canvas of what they were doing enough that their net inscrutability remains unchanged. I guess I’ll just have to hear more to figure them out. I’m okay with that.
Sky Larkin don’t require nearly as much contemplation to understand – the nature of their scrappy guitar pop will be familiar to anyone who’s ever heard Sleeper or Sleater-Kinney and satisfies on an immediate and visceral level. I’d gotten to take in their live show at SxSW so I knew that the energy of the record more than translated in the live setting with the extra bonus of the fact that the band were genuinely hilarious on stage in their between-song banter. The between-banter stuff was pretty good too, with the trio turning in an energetic if a bit short set of highlights from The Golden Spike as well as their new (and free) “SMARTS” single. As befit a band that tours as much as they, they were superbly tight with frontwoman Katie Harkin effortlessly tossing off sophisticated guitar riffs and drummer Nestor Matthews literally beating his drum kit to death. A destroyed cymbal got some licks in of its own, though, inflicting a nasty bloody gash on Matthews’ hand which he insisted on playing through, finishing off the set’s last two songs with equal – if not extra – vigor. That is dedication. Sky Larkin will bleed for you.
Photos: Sky Larkin, Peggy Sue @ The Cameron House – October 28, 2009
MP3: Sky Larkin – “Fossil, I”
MP3: Sky Larkin – “Molten”
MP3: Peggy Sue – “Lover Gone”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Antibodies”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Beeline”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Fossil, I”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Molten”
Video: Sky Larkin – “One Of Two”
Video: Peggy Sue – “Lover Gone”
MySpace: Sky Larkin
MySpace: Peggy Sue
Clash has a short interview The xx, whose exhaustion-induced show cancellations haven’t affected this Fall’s North American dates opening up for Friendly Fires… yet.
Frightened Rabbit have given their third album a name – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks – and a target release date of March 2010.
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
ChartAttack talks to Dog Day, who will be at the Horseshoe on November 5.
Great Lake Swimmers have released a new video from Lost Channels. They play a War Child benefit at the Dakota Tavern on November 5 and a show at Trinity-St. Paul’s on February 6 of next year.
Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “Palmistry”
Vue has a cover feature on Dan Mangan.
FFWD reports on exactly what goes on at the mysterious Banff Centre, where both Woodpigeon and Basia Bulat are currently sequestered away
being turned into unstoppable cybernetic killing machines honing their musical craft with an impressive team of mentors. CBC Radio 3 has also been checking in from the the Banff Centre and Woodpigeon has posted another song.
MP3: Woodpigeon – “For Norman Luxton”
Molina & Johnson (that’s Jason and Will) have released a second MP3 from Molina & Johnson, out November 3.
MP3: Molina & Johnson – “Almost Let You In”
Gigwise chats with Glenn Kotche of Wilco.
The Loyola Phoenix has an interview with Mountain Goats bassist Peter Hughes.
eye, The National Post, NPR, The Montreal Gazette, CNN and Spinner have conversations with The Swell Season, who have a date at Massey Hall on November 3.
The Raveonettes talk to The Georgia Straight.
Johnny Marr weights in on the subject of reunions with Spinner.