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Friday, December 6th, 2013

CONTEST – The Kills @ The Danforth Music Hall – December 11, 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWho: The Kills
What: Trans-Atlantic rock’n’roll duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince who, together, embody the spirit of rock’n’roll’n’sex’sweat, though not necessarily in that order.
Why: They haven’t released a new record since 2011’s Blood Pressures – which they toured through town twice, last in February 2012 – but an invitation to open up for Queens Of The Stone Age in New York was enough to get the band out of the studio.
When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Where: The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto (19+)
Who else: American-born, Toronto based Meghan Remy – aka U.S. Girls – opens up.
How: Tickets for the show are $24.50 to $29.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to Kill” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, December 9.
What else: Mosshart talks to The Detroit News about how the new record is coming along, and if you missed it, their Live At L’Olympia live film is available to watch below.

MP3: The Kills – “DNA”
MP3: The Kills – “Future Starts Slow”
Video: The Kills – Live At L’Olympia

By : Frank Yang at 8:35 am No Comments facebook
Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Before Us

The Dog Day(s) of December are here

Photo By Seth SmithSeth SmithI’m not entirely sure when or why Halifax’s Dog Day fell off my radar; I was very much on board circa their 2007 debut Night Group and the 2009 follow-up Concentration, but missed out on 2011’s Deformer – which saw the quartet reconfigure themselves as just the duo of Seth Smith and Nancy Urich – completely.

But I’m on the ball with their new album Fade Out – which incidentally finds themselves a quartet again – and it’s nice to know that despite the personnel shuffles, out of the speakers not a lot has changed. Their roughly-hewn and downcast yet unfailingly melodic still evokes the spirit of their ’90s Maritime Can-rock forebears but those ingredients have also underpinned great rock music from many eras and locales. Dog Day sound very much like where they’re from but don’t confuse that with having only a regional appeal.

Fade Out is out December 10 and their eastern Canadian tour brings them to Toronto’s Cinecycle on December 14. Exclaim, The Halifax Chronicle Herald, and The Coast have interviews with Smith about the new album, which you can stream below.

MP3: Dog Day – “Wasted”
Stream: Dog Day / Fade Out

NOW gets to know No Joy, in town at The Garrison tomorrow night, December 5.

Rolling Stone has an advance stream of the new Neil Young archival release Live At The Cellar Door, which captures two acoustic shows in 1970. The album is out December 10.

Stream: Neil Young / Live At The Cellar Door

Pitchfork has surfaced a new song from Doldrums, currently without context but perhaps pointing towards a new release in 2014. Doldrums is at The Great Hall on December 13 for the second Long Winter.

Stream: Doldrums – “Dive Deep Pt 1”

The Drake Hotel has announced the lineup for this year’s What’s In The Box? mini-fest, which fills the Underground with the sounds of local bands and DJs for the five nights following Christmas at the non-inflationary price of $5. As always, there’s all sorts of up-and-coming talent on the bill, but readers of this site will want to circle December 27, when Alvvays take the stage, and December 30, when Rich Aucoin does his thing in a room he’s far too big to play in anymore.

MP3: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”
MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”

And speaking of musical holiday traditions, The Wooden Sky have announced details of their fourth annual holiday revue fundraiser to benefit the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank. It goes December 29 at 918 Bathurst and tickets will run $20, plus a donation of a canned good.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”

Stars are helping local radio station Indie88 celebrate their increased signal strength – which means I can now finally hear them in my car in downtown Toronto – with a rare club show at Lee’s Palace on January 18. Tickets are $8.81 and go on sale Friday.

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

After touring their self-titled debut around North America straight though to the year’s final days, local punks PUP will take a little breather and come right back for a hometown show at The Garrison on January 31.

MP3: PUP – “Reservoir”

Toronto synth-goth artist Trust has announced a March 4 release date for his second album Joyland. Exclaim has details, inevitable trailer is below.

Trailer: Trust / Joyland

If you were holding off on going to see Arcade Fire at the Air Canada Centre on March 13 because the only costumes or formalwear you have are for warm weather, then rejoice – the band have announced a return engagement as part of some late Summer tour dates at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 29. Tickets range from $30.50 to $70.50 and go on sale December 13 at noon.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

Young Galaxy look set to run away with the record for most videos from an album that’s not really an album, namely the bonus disc of the Ultramarine Deluxe edition. They premiered the latest clip via Stereogum.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Hard To Tell”

Tone Deaf and The New Zealand Herald interview Metric, who’ve released another new video from Synthetica.

Video: Metric – “Lost Kitten”

A Music Blog, Yea has an interview with The Darcys while The Toronto Star finds out why their recent gigs have been at area high schools.

Beatroute, The Montreal Gazette, Seattle Weekly, The Georgia Straight, and Victoria News talk to Basia Bulat.

Dan Bejar of Destroyer tells The Line Of Best Fit why he decided to make a record in Spanish. There’s also a video session with Destroyer at Dutch radio station 3voor12.

Beatroute checks in with Amber Webber of Lightning Dust.

CBC Music has video of Fucked Up’s tribute to the legendary Teenage Head show known as The Last Pogo, recorded at a very punk rock 9AM on a Saturday morning at The Horseshoe Tavern, scene of the original show in 1978.

By : Frank Yang at 8:34 am No Comments facebook
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Echo Locate

Swearin’ are tourin’ and comin’ to town

Photo By Lance NelsonLance NelsonI won’t presume to have any insight into the relationship between Crutchfield sisters Katie and Allison, but it’s hard to imagine there isn’t at least a little competitiveness between the twins since they disbanded P.S. Eliot, the band they were in together, back in 2011 and re-emerged fronting Waxahatchee out of Philadelphia and Swearin’ in Brooklyn, respectively.

And while Katie pulled well ahead in the critical acclaim department earlier this year with the electrified folk sounds of Cerulean Salt, Allison is making a late-year run with Surfing Strange – a heady, hyper, and hooky slice of melodic punk-rock fuzz that recalls the likes of early Superchunk. Two excellent records that are similar enough to be “RIYL” for one another, but different enough to not have to choose sides.

In the battle of who’s coming to play Toronto first, though, Swearin’ wins. Though both acts spent most of the year on the road criss-crossing America and Europe – often together – a local date for Waxahatchee still hasn’t come together. Swearin’, however, have just announced a Winter tour that will bring them and their tunes to the cozy Parkdale basement we like to call The Shop Under Parts & Labour on March 14; ticket info still forthcoming.

Stereogum has an interview with Swearin’ while The San Francisco Examiner and Dots & Dashes profile Waxahatchee, who also play a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.

And also worth noting is Great Thunder, a new project that brings Waxahatchee and Swearin’ together, but not in the sisterly way – instead, it pairs Katie Crutchfield with Swearin’ bassist Keith Spencer (who also plays in her band and is her boyfriend). They’ll release a double album in Groovy Kinda Love on December 10 and you can stream it below. As for the Crutchfield sisters together, they covered Grimes for Rookie back in May.

Stream: Swearin’ – “Watered Down”
Video: Swearin’ – “Gold In The Dust Sack”
Stream: Great Thunder / Groovy Kinda Love
Stream: Katie & Allison Crutchfield – “Oblivion”

A whole pile of other shows were announced yesterday, starting with Phosphorescent, who are taking advantage of the fact that their latest album Muchacho is popping up on – and topping – no shortage of year-end lists and have announced more Winter dates; they’ll be at The Mod Club on February 1, tickets $17.50. The Guardian also has an interview with Matthew Houck.

MP3: Phosphorescent – “Song For Zula”

It’s a trans-generational dose of Austin psychedelia as The Black Angels, who released Indigo Meadow back in April, team up with 13th Floor Elevator mastermind Roky Erickson, whose last album was the 2010 Okkervil River collab True Love Cast Out All Evil, for a Winter tour that stops in at The Phoenix on February 11. Tickets for that are $27.50.

MP3: The Black Angels – “Telephone”
Stream: Roky Erickson – “I Walked With A Zombie”

New Jersey electro-artist/producer Com Truise has announced the February 18 release of a new mini-album entitled Wave 1 – stream one of the songs below – and a Winter tour that comes to Wrongbar on February 12. Exclaim has full dates and release details.

Stream: Com Truise – “Declination”

Band Of Horses are setting out on an acoustic tour to coincide with the February 11 release of their unplugged Acoustic At The Ryman set, and will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 21, tickets $37.50 and $44.50 in advance.

MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”

With their first new album in three years – Wig Out At Jagbags – ready for release on January 7, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks are hitting the road with Philadelphia’s Disappears and will be at Lee’s Palace on February 22, tickets $26.50.

MP3: Disappears – “New Fast”
Lyric Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Lariat”

Xiu Xiu released their Nina Simone covers record Nina this week – stream it at USA Today – and have put together some Spring dates to support it. Look for them at The Garrison on March 9, tickets $10.

Video: Xiu Xiu – “You’d Be So Nice”
Stream: Xiu Xiu / Nina

Shearwater – who cover Xiu Xiu on their own new covers record Fellow Travelers – have announced their tourmates for their upcoming tour: On March 27 at The Horseshoe, they’ll be joined by Death Vessel, who are finally releasing a follow-up to 2008’s Nothing Is Precious Enough For Us in Island Intervals on February 25 – and Jesca Hoop, whose The House That Jack Built came out last year. Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater penned piece about the covers album for The Talkhouse.

Video: Jesca Hoop – “Ode To Banksy”
Stream: Death Vessel – “Ilsa Drown”

The War On Drugs have come clean on their new album, entitled Lost In The Dream and out March 18. You can stream a new song below, read an interview with Adam Granduciel at The Line Of Best Fit, and make plans around their Spring tour dates which include April 14 at The Horseshoe and/or April 15 at Lee’s Palace; probably not both. The band’s own website and PR says 14th at The ‘Shoe, so let’s circle that one. Update: It’s the Horseshoe, April 14, tickets $16.50.

Stream: The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes”

NPR has a video session with Darkside, who’re at Lee’s Palace on January 15.

Details are still vague, but The Line of Best Fit reports that the new St. Vincent album will be out on February 25.

Pitchfork has details on a new record from Brooklyn’s The Men; the optimistically-titled Tomorrow’s Hits comes out March 4.

Rolling Stone gets insight into the new Drive-By Truckers record, entitled English Oceans and coming March 4.

With this Fall’s Emancipated Hearts expressly called a mini-album, it’s technically accurate to call Dean Wareham’s forthcoming self-titled, Jim James-produced full-length his solo debut. It’s out March 11 and Consequence Of Sound has specifics.

Stereogum points out that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have quietly rolled out a video for the title track of 2011’s Belong, serving as a pointed reminder that we’re well overdue for new material from them.

Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Belong”

Kurt Vile chats with Tone Deaf, Houston Press, and FasterLouder, and reacts to being named one of GQ‘s “Men Of The Year”.

The 405 and Metro Active have interviews with Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo.

NPR has a Tiny Desk Concert and Daytrotter a “stand behind whatever piece of furniture you like” session with The Dismemberment Plan.

Drowned In Sound meets Local Natives.

The AV Club gets a little more information from The Walkmen about their “extreme hiatus”, which begins after their show in Philadelphia tonight.

By : Frank Yang at 8:33 am No Comments facebook
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Frozen Atmosphere

‘Tis the season for TOY(s), and streams thereof

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickOkay, since it’s now December I can grudgingly accept that it’s the holiday season and, helping that mental shift along are London’s TOY. I had thought it odd that the band, who built up a good bit of attention with last year’s self-titled debut and its mandate of filling deep, Kraut-y grooves with space-psych songcraft, had opted to release their second album Join The Dots on the exceedingly late date of December 9. Most music writers are in full retrospective mode by this point in the year and incapable of processing anything new, and it effectively eliminated them from any year-end list consideration.

But it’s entirely possible the band doesn’t care, and just want to get the record out into the world. Which is great for those who’ve been waiting to hear it, but I do hope it doesn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle because after a few initial listens, it certainly feels a lot better than their first one. The debut had a lot of pieces I liked but didn’t put them together in an engrossing-enough fashion to win me over the way it did many, but this one is bigger, deeper, broader, and just does it.

But don’t take my word for it – The Guardian has an advance stream of the record before it comes out next week, and their North American tour announced last week will bring them to Toronto for a show at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Stream: TOY / Join The Dots

Kate Nash has a new Christmas EP out called Have Faith This Christmas and is streaming one of the tracks from it to get you in the holiday spirit.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Faith”

Rolling Stone talks to Matt Bellamy of Muse about making the Live At Rome Olympic Stadium DVD/CD set coming out this week.

Video: Muse – “Madness” (live at Rome Olympic Stadium)

Spin has premiered a new video from Lanterns On The Lake’s second album Until The Colours Run, which gets a North American release on January 14 and brings them to The Drake Underground on February 1.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Buffalo Days”

Yuck takes Clash through their second album Glow and Behold, track-by-track. They’re in town at The Garrison on January 17.

Noisey have premiered the new video and second sample of Mogwai’s forthcoming Rave Tapes. It’s out January 21 and they’ll be on tour for it at The Danforth Music Hall on May 13.

Video: Mogwai – “The Lord Is Out Of Control”

Paste gets to know Temples, whose debut Sun Structures is out February 11.

NME has details on the new album from Band Of Skulls, entitled Himalayan and due out March 31. They’ve just released a first video from the record.

Video: Band Of Skulls – “Asleep At The Wheel”

Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes are currently working on a new record – which Live4Ever reports will be self-titled and out in March – but have taken the time to stream a new song for their fans via their website.

Stream: Blood Red Shoes – “The Perfect Mess”

The Guardian profiles one of 2013’s new band success stories, London Grammar. They’re at The Phoenix on April 7.

Stereogum have got the new video from Primal Scream’s latest album More Light.

Video: Primal Scream – “Goodbye Johnny”

The Guardian gets to know Charli XCX.

Everything Is Chemical has an interview with Black Hearted Brother, and gets Neil Halstead to pin the chances of a Slowdive reunion at a qualified “improbable”.

TYCI talks to Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin.

And finally, a moment for Andrew Youssef, Los Angeles-based music photographer for Stereogum and OC Weekly, who succumbed to colon cancer this weekend. He documented his fight in the “Last Shot” column at OC Weekly, and it was as inspiring as it was saddening to read as he kept going to shows and shooting, refusing to let the cancer get the better of him until it did. I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging with Andrew back in 2010 at Matador at 21 in Las Vegas, and chatting with him via Twitter over the past few years and was pleased to learn he’d grown up – for a few years, at least – in Toronto, not far from where I did (though a few years apart). I wish I’d been able to know him better and my condolences to those who did and will miss him. OC Weekly has a fine memoriam for their photographer, as well as a slideshow of his best work. Godspeed, Andrew.

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am No Comments facebook
Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Divine Light

The Deer Tracks, Falls, and deVah Quartet at The Silver Dollar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI had planned to lead off by saying that if there was one silver lining to Apple’s completely FUBAR-ed redo of their Music app in iOS7, it was that its insistence on playing all albums by an artist in sequence, ignoring the end of one album and the start of another, it was that I’d be able to listen to The Deer TracksArcher Trilogy as a single entity, uninterrupted by flipping vinyl discs and sides. But as it turns out, for whatever reason, my iPhone insists on sorting them in order of volume 1, 3, and 2, so that doesn’t work. Screw you, Apple.

But even if it takes a few more clicks or flips than ideal, it’s something to be able to experience the work as a whole. The expansive, uplifting moments crafted by the Swedish duo of David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors that initially hooked me have lost none of their impact, but the spaces in between really do pull the over 100-minutes of grandiose synth-pop together and even if you don’t fully understand what it’s about – though there is a narrative – you certainly feel it. And though it’s not reasonable to expect the full scope of the work to come across in a live show, as evidenced by their local debut last June and their return visit nine months to the day before this last one, they certainly make a go of it.

There was some interesting local support on the bill for the visiting Swedes, starting with the deVah Quartet – a modern take on the classical string quartet combining electric instruments run through serious pedalboards and amplification, backed by a hard-hitting drummer, and boasting Varvatos-approved rock’n’roll style. So by the criteria of not sounding like every other band, they’d already won. And while not the most convincing rock singers or songwriters, they more than compensated with top-notch performance chops and arrangements. I couldn’t say who their audience is going to be – the connections between classical and rock are hardly unexplored but not often from this direction – but if and when they find them, they’ll be golden.

Swinging way back on the conventional side of things were Falls, who wanted nothing more than to be a radio-ready alternative rock band, and in that, they were successful. They were solid players and a tight unit – impressive considering their bassist was a substitute – but those positives were undermined by the general over-emoting and other such tropes of radio-ready alternative rock, perhaps best captured in their unnecessary and un-nuanced cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. But unlike deVah, I know exactly who their audience is and they’re out and are legion. And so it goes.

There’s not that many ways to re-configure a duo, but somehow The Deer Tracks have managed to bring a different markedly different show to town three times now, in the past year and a half. After performing as a four-piece with touring keyboardist and drummer the previous two times, they were now a three-piece set up amidst a jungle of cables, stands, and LED lights, with Lehnberg assuming drum and percussion duties; this was after doing guitar/keys/vocals duties the first time and focusing on synths last time.

The net result of this reconfiguration, plus the necessary translation of the recorded work into a condensed live show of highlights, was a more percussive, visceral, and dramatic reading of The Archer Trilogy than one might have expected. Yet it did this without compromising the whimsy and delicacy of the material – this end of things remained well intact thanks to Lindfors’ vocals, as well her work on keys, saw, and melodica. The band’s resolutely DIY ethos is well-known to anyone who’s followed the band; the same drive and passion that compels them to create multi-part musical epics and undertake extensive international tours to slowly but steadily grow their fanbase also allows them to imbue something genuinely transformative into their performance. As in February, there weren’t a whole lot of people there but those that were got to experience something special.

Photos: The Deer Tracks, Falls, deVah Quartet @ The Silver Dollar – November 28, 2013
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Okta Crash”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Dark Passenger”
Stream: Falls – “Rain Turn To Snow”
Stream: deVah Quartet – “Tell Me How You Really Feel”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Divine Light”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Lazarus”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Meant To Be”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Tiger”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Fall With Me”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Fra Ro Raa / Ro Ra Fraa”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Ram Ram”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Slow Collision”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “12sxfrya”

AlbumStreams have a stream of the new live Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds record Live From KCRW, which gets a proper physical release as of today. They’re in town at The Sony Centre on July 31.

Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Live At KCRW

Holograms have released a new video from Forever; they’re at The Garrison on December 8.

Video: Holograms – “Luminous”

TwentyFourBit has got a stream of José González’s contribution to the soundtrack of the new Secret Life Of Walter Mitty film, which opens Christmas Day.

Stream: José González – “Step Out”

Exclaim has details on Sigur Rós’ attempt to make Christmas shopping easy for the Sigur Rós fan in your life – a nine-disc vinyl box set of their last album Kveikur, which features each track of their album on an individual 45RPM 12″ with an instrumental mix of the same song as the b-side. And the set is now sold out, so this entire paragraph is moot.

By : Frank Yang at 8:33 am No Comments facebook