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Friday, June 14th, 2013
Jim Guthrie Takes his Time making it onto the 2013 Polaris Prize long list
Colin MedleyThe 2013 Polaris Prize long list was announced yesterday, and unlike past years where there were a number of obvious frontrunners for inclusion, whether because they were by the biggest artists or had the biggest buzz over the preceding twelve months, there actually didn’t seem to be a lot of “gimmes” amongst the records eligible this year. Rather than the field having a few standouts and a lot of dark horses, it instead felt very wide and flat, which meant that guessing who’d be amongst the forty longlisted records was anyone’s guess.
And now, even with the pool of candidates narrowed from every Canadian album released in the past year down to forty, it’s difficult to speculate at who will survive onto the short list of ten albums when it’s announced on July 16; the only thing that’s certain is that this year’s Polaris – the eighth – could be the most exciting one yet, at least if you’re the sort of person who derives excitement from music awards-spotting. I’m going to refrain from any sort of guessing until at least then because truly I have no idea what the temperature of the jury at large is. But I can tell you what my ballot was, besides four-for-five at making the long list. And so I’ve got one more longlisted album to insert into my ballot before my Polaris duties for this year are done, and to be honest I have no idea what it’s going to be. Guess I’ve got some more homework to do.
The Polaris Prize will be awarded at a gala at the Carlu in Toronto on September 23.
1) Evening Hymns / Spectral Dusk (Shuffling Feet)
My connection to this record is well-documented, but even without that personal angle, it’s still a gorgeously written, performed, and recorded piece of folk-rock that succeeds at being both intensely personal, and yet universally relatable. I can usually say that from one Polaris to the next, that I don’t really have a dog in the fight, but not this year. This is my dog.
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”
Video: Evening Hymns – “Family Tree”
2) Godspeed You! Black Emperor / ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)
Despite being the act that least likely to even acknowledge being nominated, Godspeed’s unexpected comeback record was maybe the closest thing to a sure thing I could think of. Besides the engaging narrative around the band’s return to active duty and their sneak release of the album, there’s the simple fact that the Godspeed formula still works amazingly well, particularly when they’ve got something to be angry about. Which they do.
Stream: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – “Mladic”
Jim Guthrie / Takes Time (Static Clang)
Another unexpected record but a wholly welcome one was Jim Guthrie’s first proper singer-songwriter record in a decade, and one that affirmed his status as one of this country’s greatest melodicists. While it seems like just a collection of pop songs, pretty much every song is a master class in arrangement and songwriting efficiency; Guthrie knows exactly how much to give and when and makes it look and sound effortless. Whether it shortlists or wins or not, the best prize would be not having to wait another ten years for its follow-up. The Huffington Post has an interview with Guthrie about the record.
Video: Jim Guthrie – “Bring On The Night”
Video: Jim Guthrie – “The Rest Is Yet To Come”
Rachel Zeffira / The Deserters (Paper Bag)
My one selection that didn’t make the long list, and I’m not really surprised it didn’t. While I think its classical-operatic-indie hybrid is as good as anything else on the list, and arguably more interesting, London-based Zeffira’s distance from the Canadian scene at large and lack of wide promotion – one lightly-attended North American show to date – probably doomed it.
Video: Rachel Zeffira – “Here On In”
Video: Rachel Zeffira – “The Deserters”
Young Galaxy / Ultramarine (Paper Bag)
It may have been the last record to make my ballot, but the fact that it’s here at all considering that for the longest time, I had no time for Young Galaxy, says a lot. I often bemoan the general lack of stylistic or artistic revolution amongst Canadian bands – more often it seems they prefer to continue refining what’s been proven to work – but Young Galaxy have successfully reinvented themselves and that impresses me. The record’s pretty damn good as well. They’ve just released a new, Bruckheimer-esque video from it.
Video: Young Galaxy – “New Summer”
Video: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”
NOW meets the band formerly known as Always but now know as Alvvays; they show off their new official name tonight, June 14, at 10PM at The Silver Dollar.
Toro gets to know Toronto country-pop newcomers Beams. Their NXNE showcase is at 11PM tonight, June 14, at The Central.
Spin talks to Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz. They play BLK BOX for NXNE on June 15 at midnight.
The National Post catches up with Gentleman Reg, who did his NXNE duties Wednesday night.
YOUNXT hada pre-NXNE interview with Olenka & The Autumn Lovers, who played a couple of shows yesterday.
aux.tv interviews No Joy, who played NXNE last night.
Exclaim talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra, whose new record Olympia comes out June 18. They play The Phoenix on September 27.
Hooded Fang have released a new video from their latest, Gravez.
Video: Hooded Fang – “Bye Bye Land”
Thursday, June 13th, 2013
The Postal Service and Mates Of State at The Air Canada Centre in Toronto
Frank YangThough generally referred to as a reunion, the return this year of The Postal Service to active duty is unlike most others in that it’s to mark a very specific occasion – the 10th anniversary and reissue of their only album Give Up – and comes with absolutely no promise or expectation of carrying on after the occasion is past. And as much as people might think they want a second Postal Service record, I suspect that the truth is they don’t.
Much of the magic of Give Up is that it exists as a single specific point in space and time, and not just as the album where indie, emo, and electronica converged and created a template for countless artists to follow. It’s also special because it was the soundtrack for so many lives in 2003, and by not releasing a follow-up or even having The Postal Service really exist outside of the recordings, remained a snapshot of a moment trapped in amber. No one grew up with this band, or risked being disappointed by a subsequent effort that didn’t make them feel the way Give Up did. And by that same token, it’s a safe bet that no one who piled into the Air Canada Centre a decade later to finally hear these songs played live were remotely the same person they were when they fell in love with the band. And yet they came – not in nearly enough number to fill the theatre-configured arena, but enough to create a time-warped sense of community fuelled by excitement and nostalgia.
It would have been pretty funny and entertaining had Toronto drawn the Big Freedia card in the opening band rotation – the looks on passers by’s faces as they were introduced to the Sissy Bounce when she played Yonge-Dundas at NXNE 2010 is a fond memory – but I was more than happy to get Mates Of State’s first date of the tour. I hadn’t seen them since they kicked off Virgin Fest 2009, and while it’s unfortunate that there were about as many people on hand to see them this time as then – which is to say not a lot – they still put on a wholly enjoyable set, at least after getting over the shock of them playing as a four-piece, though there’s no denying that the extra dimension added by the supporting keys and guitar sounded nice, particularly the trumpet on “Rearrange Us” and “My Only Offer”. But the heart of Mates Of State remain Kori Gardner and Jason Hammell’s keys-and-drums-and-harmonies-and-adorableness, and though their recent work isn’t quite as sugar-giddy as the early stuff, it’s still got plenty of sweetness and remains delightful. I mean, how can you not love banter like, “That’s Kori, isn’t she hot?”. You can’t.
Given that The Postal Service didn’t even record Give Up as a proper band – their name refers to how Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello traded musical ideas via physical DAT – getting a guy on a laptop and another on guitar to translate live in as large a venue as an arena was surely no small task. So to fill things out, they promoted Jenny Lewis from backing vocalist to almost co-frontperson with guitar and keyboard duties, and enlisted Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds on glock and vox – certainly a fine ensemble, augmented by an acoustic drum kit on the stage for those moments when canned beats just wouldn’t do. And as to the problem of having only two sides of material to draw from, they naturally played the whole of Give Up, opening with “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”, as well as the four new/unreleased tracks from the anniversary edition, a Beat Happening cover, and the proto-Postal Dntel track “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan” – making for a respectable-length set, all things considered.
So that was the what it was; what about the how it was? In all, pretty good. They certainly did all they could to make it a visually engaging show, with Gibbard dipping into his Death Cab dance moves, Lewis strutting around like she owned the stage – and really, she did, in front of some slickly-lit stage sets and glowing backdrops. And even though he was restricted to his podium at the back of the stage dropping beats, Tamborello got to contribute vocals to “Sleeping In” – not great vocals, but whatever – and again Daft Punk vocoder-styled at the end of “Recycled Air”. The showiness of the performance worked on the upbeat numbers, but for my personal Give Up high point – the Ben Gibbard-Jen Wood duet “Nothing Better” – it felt to its detriment and out of character. On record, the singalong melody belies the dark sentiments of the lyrics, and the whole feels like a incredibly personal conversation you can’t help be eavesdrop in. Live though, with Lewis’ big sassy vocals in place of Wood’s weary originals, it felt more like a work of broad theatre rather than the intimate moment it should have been. This may be my complaint alone, but there it is.
Still, one down point amongst many high points isn’t bad at all. High points like Lewis’ big rock guitar solo to close out “This Place Is A Prison”, the nearly-deafening shoegaze treatment of “Natural Anthem” to close out the main set, the being reminded that the simple guitar line in “Such Great Heights” may well be one of the riffs of the century so far. By the time the show’s hour and fifteen running time was up, it was clear that this wasn’t a reunion meant to help you recapture your youth, or wherever you were in 2003 the first time you first heard “District” or “Heights”; it was intended to celebrate where you’ve gone in the ten years that have followed. Not for nothing, I think, was “Brand New Colony” the show closer and the final lyrics uttered, “Everything will change”. Because you can’t go back, but you can remember.
The Toronto Star, Huffington Post, and Exclaim also have reviews of the show, and The Toronto Star also has a show previewing interview.
Photos: The Postal Service, Mates Of State @ The Air Canada Centre – June 11, 2013
MP3: The Postal Service – “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”
MP3: The Postal Service – “Such Great Heights”
MP3: Dntel – “(This Is) The Dream Of Evan And Chan”
MP3: Mates Of State – “Palomino”
MP3: Mates Of State – “Maracas”
MP3: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”
MP3: Mates Of State – “Think Long”
MP3: Mates Of State – “Hoarding It For Home”
Video: The Postal Service – “Against All Odds”
Video: The Postal Service – “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”
Video: The Postal Service – “Such Great Heights”
Video: The Postal Service – “We Will Become Silhouettes”
Video: Mates Of State – “Unless I’m Led”
Video: Mates Of State – “Palomino”
Video: Mates Of State – “Sway”
Video: Mates Of State – “Maracas”
Video: Mates Of State – “True Love Will Find You In The End”
Video: Mates Of State – “I Am A Scientist”
Video: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”
Video: Mates Of State – “Get Better”
Video: Mates Of State – “Like U Crazy”
Video: Mates Of State – “Fraud In The 80s”
Video: Mates Of State – “Goods (All In Your Head)”
Video: Mates Of State – “Fluke”
Video: Mates Of State – “Gotta Get A Problem”
NPR has an interview and a Tiny Desk Concert with The National, who are at Yonge-Dundas Square for a free show tomorrow night, June 14. The Globe & Mail also has an interview with Matt Berninger.
Nylon is streaming Beach Day’s debut album Trip Trap Attack ahead of its release next Tuesday. As mentioned earlier this week, Beach Day are all over NXNE, playing Urban Outfitters Friday afternoon at 2, Handlebar Saturday night at 11, and a Kops instore Sunday at 6:30.
Stream: Beach Day / Trip Trap Attack
Kurt Vile has released a new video from Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze. He and his Violators play the final day of TURF at Garrison Common on July 4.
Video: Kurt Vile – “KV Crimes”
Neko Case has confirmed details of her new ew “title=”The Worse Things Get”>Pitchfork. She also plays the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 4.
Stream: Neko Case – “Man”
Trailer: Neko Case / The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
The Village Voice talks to Yo La Tengo about the imminent closing of their Hoboken home away from home, Maxwell’s; The Province and Denver Post also have features. They’re here for TURF on July 4 as well.
PopMatters and NPR talk to Jason Isbell, in town at Lee’s Palace on August 2.
Beatroute has a quick word with Superchunk, whose new record I Hate Music is out August 20.
Stereogum has a video session with Wild Nothing. They open up for Local Natives at The Kool Haus on September 21.
Billboard gets some more info from Janelle Monáe about her new album The Electric Lady, coming in September.
Tiny Mix Tapes has an interview with Charles Bradley.
Dungeonesse have a new video from Dungeonesse; it is not called “Dungeonesse”.
Video: Dungeonesse – “Nightlight”
Sharon Van Etten has released a stream of a new old song, originally released as part of a compilation CD for Esopus magazine in 2010.
Stream: Sharon Van Etten – “Esao Andrews”
Tiny Mix Tapes gets to know Caitlin Rose.
The National Post talks NXNE with Calexico; they were here last night.
And a couple noteworthy show announcements that missed yesterday’s cutoff – first, Blonde Redhead may not have the follow-up to 2010′s Penny Sparkle ready for release until early 2014, but they’re still doing some touring this year. They’ll be at The Adelaide Music Hall on July 15, tickets $22.50 in advance.
MP3: Blonde Redhead – “Here Sometimes”
And also, Riot Fest announced their 2013 lineup last night, and it’s a doozy. We’ll ignore the August 24 acts for the moment because I have no idea who any of them are, but Sunday, August 25 will be headlined by the first Replacements show in 22 years. That’s right – Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson back together again as The Mats. And if that wasn’t worth your $50 ticket, the lineup ALSO includes Iggy & The Stooges, The Weakerthans, Rocket From The Crypt, Dinosaur Jr, Best Coast, and more. That goes down at, of course, Garrison Common. The Replacements, people. The Replacements.
MP3: The Weakerthans – “Night Windows”
MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “Freak Scene”
Video: The Replacements – “Bastards Of Young”
Video: Iggy & The Stooges – “Search & Destroy”
Video: Rocket From The Crypt – “On A Rope”
Video: Best Coast – “When I’m With You”
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Jason Isbell charts Southeastern route across North America
Michael WilsonWith all respect to the albums that came before and those that came after – Southern Rock Opera included – history will probably hold the Drive-By Truckers albums recorded between 2003 and 2006 with Jason Isbell in the lineup – Decoration Day, The Dirty South, and A Blessing And A Curse – as the band’s finest, at least on a song for song basis. Isbell’s more personal, human-scale songs were the perfect foil to Messers Hood and Cooley’s Southern mythology epics, and his melodic contributions – his songs were arguably the most pop the Truckers ever put out – are still missed years after he left the band to go it solo.
A solo career that’s turned out a goodly number of albums, both live and studio, and whose number will increase by one with the release next week of Southeastern, the first record to be credited to Isbell without his band The 400 Unit since his 2007 debut, Sirens Of The Ditch. Which isn’t to say that it represents a dramatic shift from its predecessors, but being a little less plugged-in and more thoughtful in pace, it’s different enough that the change in branding probably makes sense to those involved.
The 400 Unit will be on hand when Isbell takes to the road in support of the record, though, an itinerary which brings them to Lee’s Palace on August 2, tickets $17.50 in advance. There’s a feature interview and advance stream of the new record at MTV Hive, and extensive profiles at both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
M4A: Jason Isbell – “Traveling Alone”
Stream: Jason Isbell / Southeastern
Though he’s proven he can sell out four nights at The Sound Academy, Toronto R&B star The Weeknd is keeping things small to preview material from his new record Kiss Land, due sometime this year; he’ll be at The Mod Club on June 13, tickets $40 in advance and probably sold out already.
MP3: The Weeknd – “Heaven Or Las Vegas”
So the good news is that Still Corners’ NXNE showcase has been confirmed, their continued absence from the schedule until now being a bit of a concern. The bad news is they’re on at the exact same time as The National – 10PM on June 14 at The Horseshoe. Which may not be bad news for you if you weren’t planning on being at The National or were going to see them a couple nights earlier on June 12 supporting CHVRCHES at The Hoxton, but we’re not talking about you, here. Try to keep up.
MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”
Lemonheads leader Evan Dando has been added to this year’s NXNE lineup; he’ll be anchoring the showcase at The Rivoli on the Saturday night, June 15.
Video: The Lemonheads – “Into Your Arms”
If you were wondering who’d step in for the injured Big Boi at NXNE’s closing Sunday night gala at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 16, wonder now more – it’s Ludacris. Who, apparently, has a bunch of chart-topping platinum albums and a starring role in the Fast & Furious films. I had no idea. Still don’t.
Video: Ludacris – “Stand Up”
Because sometimes you just can’t look away – Courtney Love will be playing solo and Hole-less at The Danforth Music Hall on July 20. Expect to pay $35 to $50 for the experience. Bust has an interview with Love wherein she insist she’s sane. Because that’s necessary.
Video: Hole – “Celebrity Skin”
With their new record Stills set for a July 16 release, Chicago noisemaker duo Gauntlet Hair have made a date at The Drake Underground on August 5. Consequence Of Sound has the full tour itinerary and the new video from the new record.
MP3: Gauntlet Hair – “Human Nature”
Video: Gauntlet Hair – “Human Nature”
Chicago indie-rock veterans Joan Of Arc are coming back to town for a show at The Garrison on August 22, tickets $12.50, as part of a tour behind their new record Testimonium Songs, which is out July 11.
MP3: Joan Of Arc – “White Out”
Washed Out – whose Ernest Greene would probably prefer not to be known as the guy who did the Portlandia theme but whom you probably know best as the guy who did the Portlandia theme – will release his second album Paracosm on August 13 – there’s a trailer below – and who will be touring behind it, the Toronto date coming September 15 at The Opera House, tickets $20 in advance.
MP3: Washed Out – “Eyes Be Closed”
Trailer: Washed Out / Paracosm
Veteran Anglo-Dutch experimental rock outfit The Legendary Pink Dots are coming to town, ostensibly in support of their new album The Gethsemane Option – out June 25 – but more likely to explore many corners of their 30-plus year history. They’re at Lee’s Palace on September 23, tickets $20. The Jerusalem Post has an interview with the band.
MP3: The Legendary Pink Dots – “Puppets Apocalypse”
With the August 27 release of Carrier creeping ever-closer – okay, not THAT close yet – The Dodos have made a date at Lee’s Palace for September 24, tickets $17.50 in advance.
MP3: The Dodos – “Don’t Stop”
Welsh meat-and-potatos rockers Stereophonics have figured their latest album Graffiti On The Train has done well enough at home to justify a North American release – it’s out August 20 over here – as well as a tour; look for them at The Danforth Music Hall on September 25, tickets $36.50 in advance.
Video: Stereophonics – “Graffiti On The Train”
Completing what I will call the live music hat-trick – which for these purposes is playing three shows in a year in ever-larger venues – Britain’s Daughter are coming back to build on last October’s debut at The Drake and this past May’s show at The Great Hall with a performance at The Phoenix on September 29. Tickets for that are $20.50 in advance.
MP3: Daughter – “Love”
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of their third album Big TV coming out August 21, White Lies have announced a North American tour that brings them to The Opera House on October 1, tickets $25.
MP3: White Lies – “Getting Even”
Anyone wondering why UK buzz band Peace abruptly disappeared from the NXNE listings now has their answer – they’ll be supporting Two Door Cinema Club on their just-announced tour, which puts them at The Danforth Music Hall on October 15.
MP3: Peace – “California Daze”
Friday, May 31st, 2013
End the week with new Braids (by attrition)
Victoria MastersSo I’m sitting here with a handful of bits and bobs to string together into a blog post, and find that most of the artists have already been featured hereabouts in recent months. So what’s that mean? Braids, you’re up.
I’m not a tremendous fan of the Montreal-based trio, the things I liked about their 2011 debut Native Speaker outweighed by the things I didn’t – that a frequent reference point for the band is Animal Collective is really all you need to know about that. But that it garnered them a sizeable fanbase, as well as a place on that year’s Polaris shortlist, is not up for debate so when they finally announce details of their sophomore album, it’s newsworthy.
First, there’s the new stream of the flipside of their new 12″ “In Kind//Amends” due out June 11, both songs of which will be appearing on the full-length Flourish//Perish. Exclaim has all the specifics of the new record, which will be coming out August 20 and finds the band trading their guitars for keyboards for an electronically-driven sound. And while it’s hardly a ringing endorsement, I will say these new songs aren’t annoying me. Whether that’ll still hold over a complete album remains to be seen, but it’s a positive step.
It remains to be seen if they’ll be rearranging all the old material to work guitar-less live, or if they’ll just travel with a whole lot of gear. People who attend their NXNE showcase at The Comfort Zone on June 15 will be able to report back on that.
Stream: Braids – “In Kind”
Stream: Braids – “Amends”
NOW and Exclaim talk to Hooded Fang, who are holding the record release party for their new album Gravez at The Horseshoe tonight.
NOW also previews Young Galaxy’s show at Lee’s Palace tonight.
Get your Murderrecords t-shirts out of storage! The Great Hall will turn warp both time and space to become Halifax in the mid-’90s for NXNE, proffering a lineup of Sloan, The Super Friendz, and former Inbred Mike O’Neill on June 14. Admission by festival wristband only.
MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
Video: The Super Friendz – “Up And Running”
Stream: Mike O’Neill – “This Is Who I Am”
Aritzia has an interview, Pitchfork a guest list and Le Blogotheque a Takeaway Show with Majical Cloudz, whose NXNE showcase goes June 15 at BLK BOX.
Though he probably could have just called it a Dears record and no one would have thought anything of it, Under The Radar reports that Murray Lightburn will release his first solo record Mass:Light on June 16, and that it’ll be available on vinyl only via mail order. And there’s also a new Dears record in the works.
Austra is streaming a second – and arguably more characteristic – sample from Olympia, due out June 18.
Stream: Austra – “Painful Like”
I Like Music has an interview with Born Ruffians, who’re streaming a new track not found on their latest Birthmarks, just because. They play a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.
Stream: Born Ruffians – “With An Ax”
Beatroute talks to Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage.
Loud & Quiet interviews Suuns.
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Yeah Yeah Yeahs set Toronto show; win a date with the night
Dan MartensenThe new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record Mosquito has proven to be somewhat divisive. Some are finding it a terrific fourth long-player in their discography, summing together all that’s come before for a record quintessentially them, others finding it a disappointing water-treading exercise that captures neither the fiery anarchy of their early work or the gleaming excellence of their last effort, 2009′s It’s Blitz!. Personally, I fall more towards the latter camp, finding it just alright but decidedly forgettable, which may well be worse than being especially bad.
In any case, one thing most everyone with an interest in the topic can agree on – besides that the album art is atrocious – is that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs remain an incredible live act and that the four years since they last visited – two nights at The Kool Haus in August 2009m if you’ll recall – is far too long. So I’m happy to announce that the band’s somewhat erratic touring schedule – a consequence of being almost-headliner status during festival season, I guess – now has a Toronto date, with them coming to celebrate Canada Day – July 1 – at Echo Beach. And I’m even happier to announce that courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away before the $39.50 tickets go on sale this Friday morning at 10AM. To enter, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “I I I want want want Yeah Yeah Yeahs” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that to me by midnight, May 30. The winner will be notified before the on-sale goes live.
MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”
If you’d have otherwise been keen on seeing next week’s The xx and Grizzly Bear double-bill but didn’t much fancy the trek out to Downsview Park to do it, congratulations – your laziness has been rewarded. The June 6 show has been moved from the former airbase to the much more urban Echo Beach; all previously sold tickets are still valid and all remaining – of which there are now considerably fewer – are still $59.50 general admission and $99 VIP. The Vancouver Sun, Vue Weekly, and Georgia Straight have profiles of The xx.
MP3: The xx – “Reconsider”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”
Scottish folkster Alasdair Roberts will be at The Drake Underground on July 17 as part of a tour in support of his latest album A Wonder Working Stone, released earlier this year. For Folk’s Sake has an interview with Mr. Roberts.
MP3: Alasdair Roberts – “The Merry Wake”
If you’re looking for something to do Labour Day long weekend, you could do far worse than heading out Hamilton way for the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, taking place at Christie Lake in Dundas, Ontario on August 31. It was conceived by Daniel Lanois, who will be performing, and features a couple huge names drawn from his producing CV – specifically, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Emmylou Harris. Not bad, eh? Tickets are $139.50 in advance and go on sale June 1.
Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”
Video: Emmylou Harris – “Wrecking Ball” (live)
Not quite ready to return to being Bon Iver, Justin Vernon and his Wisconsin brethren have announced the September 3 release of a second Volcano Choir album – Repave – and a supporting Fall tour that brings them to The Phoenix on September 8, tickets $22.50 in advance. A trailer for the new record has been released, but rather than annoyingly tease, it actually almost acts as a complete video for one of the new songs.
MP3: Volcano Choir – “Island, Is”
Trailer: Volcano Choir / Repave
Portland electro-pop outfit STRFKR – whose name stands for what you think it does – have made a September 14 date at The Opera House in support of their third album Miracle Mile, released back in February. Tickets for the show are $15.
MP3: STRFKR – “Bury Us Alive”
Scout Niblett, who’s just released a new record in It’s Up To Emma, will be at The Silver Dollar on September 17.
MP3: Scout Niblett – “Dance Of Sulphur”
Video: Scout Niblett – “Gun”
English-born, Germany-based electronic act Gold Panda has a new album in Half Of Where You Live coming out on June 11 and has just announced a Fall tour behind it that brings him to Lee’s Palace on October 8, tickets $15. A new song from the new record has also been made available to stream and Noisey has an interview.
Stream: Gold Panda – “We Work Nights”
There’s still no follow-up to 2010′s Passive Me, Aggressive You, but Australia’s The Naked & Famous are coming back to North America for a Fall tour anyways; look for them at the Sound Academy on October 14, tickets $28.50 general admission and $38.50 VIP.
Video: The Naked & Famous – “Girls Like You”
Two Door Cinema Club are keeping last year’s Beacon an active concern with another North American tour that brings them to the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Next Year”
Stereogum talks to Matt Berninger of The National. They’re headlining Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.
With their new record Nightingale Floors due out next week on June 4 and streaming now at Pitchfork, Rogue Wave frontman Zach Rogue chats about the new record with Billboard. They’ll be at The Mod Club on June 25.
Stream: Rogue Wave / Nightingale Floors
Partygoing, the new album from Future Bible Heroes and one-quarter of the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing. box set – both out next Tuesday, June 4 – is now streaming courtesy of Pitchfork. Chickfactor talks to Stephin Merritt, Christopher Ewen, and Claudia Gonson of the band about the new record; they’ll be at Lee’s Palace – well, Ewen and Gonson, anyways – on July 22.
Stream: Future Bible Heroes / Partygoing
Guitar World sits down with Redd Kross guitarist Jeff McDonald to talk about guitars.
The Line Of Best Fit, TNT, and The Herald Scotland have interviews with Bob Mould.
The Guardian and USA Today profile punk rock legend Patti Smith.