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Posts Tagged ‘1975’

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Show Me Your Loves

NXNE 2014 comes with blessings from St. Vincent

Photo By Renata RakshaRenata RakshaIt may not technically be Winter out there yet, but it certainly feels it and so you can’t be blamed for wanting to look ahead to Summer – particularly when NXNE is getting out there months earlier than in the past with artist announcements for next year’s festival, which will run June 13 to 22 – this means the main weekend of shows is a week later than past years and thus will NOT be happening concurrently with LuminaTO, Taste Of Little Italy, the MMVAs… all of which is to say you will actually be able to get around the city that weekend.

Leading announcements off in the biggest font is Ms Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. Yesterday, she confirmed details of her fourth album – a self-titled effort coming out February 25 – and today announced a Spring tour behind the record. NXNE isn’t scheduled contiguously with those dates, though, so either Annie’s getting on a plane just to come see us or more dates are happening this Summer – good news for those in markets not included in the itinerary, though to be fair, there aren’t that many. There’s no details on where she’s playing, but the show looks to be happening on June 20. It’s questionable if she’s big enough to anchor Yonge-Dundas Square that night, but considering her trajectory of local shows has gone from opener at Lee’s in 2007 through packing The Horseshoe in 2009 and then The Phoenix in 2011, it’s not unreasonable – after all, you know how you become a festival headliner? You headline a festival. You can stream a track from St. Vincent below and The Quietus has an interview with Annie Clark.

St. Vincent wasn’t the only notable name amongst those announced yesterday; you also had Danny Brown, Mac DeMarco, Speedy Ortiz, Rhye, Snowmine, and Until The Ribbon Breaks. A pretty good start and six more months to make it even better. Wristbands are on sale now and the early bird price of $75 is good until the end of the year – and 2-for-$75 until December 24; then it goes up to $99 until May and finally $150. Do with that information what you will.

MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Annie”
MP3: Snowmine – “Beast In Air, Beast In Water”
MP3: Danny Brown – “Die Like A Rockstar”
Stream: St. Vincent – “Birth In Reverse”
Video: Rhye – “Open”
Video: Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”
Video: Until The Ribbon Breaks – “Back To the Stars”

And oh yeah, Canadian Music Week also announced the first batch of bands playing their festival next year during its new dates of May 6 to 10. It’s okay if you don’t recognize any of the names. Not many people do.

Neil Young has announced a special benefit show in support of Aboriginal peoples fighting oil sands development in their territories. That’s happening January 12 at Massey Hall where he’ll be supported by Diana Krall and tickets range from $95 to $250, going on sale Friday. Information on the cause can be found at Treaty 8 and Honor the Treaties. Young’s new archival release Live At The Cellar Door came out this week.

Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”

Solo Stroke Albert Hammond Jr was just here last month promoting his new EP AHJ, but will return on January 14 for a date at the Sound Academy supporting Jake Bugg. Which I’m sure he’s totally cool with. Scotland On Sunday, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Pitch have interviews.

Video: Albert Hammond Jr – “Carnal Cruise”

One of the more talked-about bands of the latter part of this year – Syracuse’s punky Perfect Pussy – have put together an extensive tour behind their debut cassette EP I have lost all desire for feeling that wraps through the end of this year straight through to next, and wraps up in Canada, a January 25 date at The Silver Dollar being the second-to-last of the jaunt. Tickets for that show are $10.50 and their full-length debut is due out next year on Captured Tracks.

MP3: Perfect Pussy – “I”

Making up for the date he had to cancel in September because of a hand injury, Colin Stetson has announced two dates at the Workman Arts Theatre on February 14 and 15 behind his Polaris-shortlisted New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”

San Fermin, the Brooklyn musical collective headed by keyboardist Ellis Ludwig-Leone, will be at The Garrison on February 15 behind this year’s self-titled debut. Advance tickets are $11.50. DIY and Under The Radar have features.

Video: San Fermin – “Sonsick”

Nicole Atkins has given her crowdfunded new album Slow Phaser a February 4 release date – check out the album art and stream a new song at Paste and read an interview at Speak Into My Good Eye – and while full dates to support it are still forthcoming, it’s confirmed she’ll be at The Horseshoe on February 18, tickets $12.50.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Girl You Look Amazing”

North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees will be on the road and at The Garrison on February 23 in support of their new album Past Life, which comes out just a few days before on February 18. It’s the follow-up to 2012’s A Church That Fits Our Needs. Tickets for that show will run $13.50 in advance.

Video: Lost In The Trees – “Rites”

London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting, who blend archival educational film soundtracks and footage with driving, Kraut-derived instrumental rock to bracing effect on their debut Inform Educate Entertain are setting out on a North American tour with a stop at The Drake Underground on February 26. And if you think that a band playing along with visuals is inherently kind of boring, do check out this live performance video at Noisey and also read this interview at The National Student.

Video: Public Service Broadcasting – “Signal 30”
Video: Public Service Broadcasting – “If War Should Come”

Not only have Warpaint offered up a second taste of their forthcoming self-titled effort, out January 25, but they’ve announced a North American tour that brings them back to Toronto for a show at the Danforth Music Hall on March 25.

Stream: Warpaint – “Biggy”

Dum Dum Girls have announced dates in support of their new album Too True, coming out January 28, and it will feature support from Portland’s Blouse, who released their second album Imperium this year. They will be at Lee’s Palace on March 29, tickets $20.

MP3: Blouse – “No Shelter”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Lost Boys And Girls Club”

The Head & The Heart and Basia Bulat will team up for a pretty folk-ing great Spring tour that stops at The Kool Haus on March 30; both released acclaimed new albums this Fall – The Head & The Heart with Let’s Be Still and Bulat with Tall Tall Shadow – read an interview with The Head & The Heart at The Georgia Straight and watch a video session with Bulat at Public Radio International. Tickets for the show are $26.50 in advance.

Video: The Head & The Heart – “Shake”
Video: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

Demand for The 1975 has bumped their May 6 date at The Danforth Music Hall up to The Kool Haus. You have five months to remember this.

Video: The 1975 – “Head.Cars.Bending”

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

After The Disco

Broken Bells top the list of yesterday’s concert announcements because it comes with a giveaway

Photo By James MinchinJames MinchinConfirming the status of Broken Bells as actual band and not just project, James Mercer of The Shins and Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse have announced the follow-up to their 2010 self-titled debut, excellent news for those who like their indie-pop with a slice of hip-hop and vice-versa.

The new album, After The Disco, will be out on January 14 and the efforts to get people excited about it are well underway. The teaser trailer unveiled last month gave way to the first episode of a Hollywood-flavoured science fiction serial watchable at Rolling Stone, a first preview track from the new album at Pitchfork, and an interview with the duo at NPR.

And now there’s tour dates. Broken Bells have made a date at The Danforth Music Hall for March 3 with Au Revoir Simone supporting, tickets for which are $39.50 before fees and go on sale Friday at 10AM. But for those looking to take care of business before that and save some money, courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to the show before they go on sale this Friday. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Broken Bells” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, November 21. Winners will be notified before the on-sale goes live.

Stream: Broken Bells – “Holding On For Life”
Video: Broken Bells: After The Disco

Sweden-based Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun will return for a show at The Rivoli on February 14, part of a North American tour. Her last album of new material was 2011’s It All Starts With One, but she also released a compilation album and rarities collection this year. Metro has an interview.

MP3: Ane Brun – “Do You Remember”

Though they’re not nearly the stars they were tipped to be when they first emerged in 2008, anthemically melancholic Scots Glasvegas still have the fanbase to justify a North American tour in support of their third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static; full dates aren’t up yet, but one imagines they’re not coming all the way over here to only play The Mod Club on February 22 at $20 a head.

MP3: Glasvegas – “Later… When The TV Turns To Static”

One of 2013’s breakout bands from the UK on the back of their self-titled debut, The 1975 still have a short North American tour on the calendar for December, but will return in the Spring for a much more extensive intinerary, including a stop in at The Danforth Music Hall on May 6; tickets for that are $23.50 plus fees. There’s interviews with the band at The Guardian and KROQ, and a list of potentially life-changing records at MTV Hive.

Video: The 1975 – “Head.Cars.Bending”

There was a time when moving from a venue the size of The Great Hall to one more than twice that would be a remarkable feat – nowadays, it seems to simply be what happens. And so it’s no great shock that London Grammar will follow up their local debut last month with a return engagement at The Phoenix on April 7, part of a Spring tour following SXSW. Tickets for that are $22.50 in advance and NPR is streaming a KEXP session with the band.

Video: London Grammar – “Strong”

Also making a return to a Toronto stage – much sooner than I think anyone expected since they were here just in March – are Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I’m not sure if this is meant to be a second leg behind Push The Sky Away or maybe a tie-in to the Live At KCRW live document coming out December 2, but it really doesn’t matter – Cave and company are coming back. They’ll wrap the Summer tour in Toronto on July 31 with a show at The Sony Centre; ticket pricing isn’t available yet but the presale will go tomorrow morning at 10AM – sign up for details. And since you’re already giving them your email, you may as well get the two free downloads from the aforementioned KCRW live album they’re giving away in exchange for your personal information.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Jubilee Street”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the debut album from UK psych-rockers Temples, just in time for their local debut show at The Horseshoe tomorrow night. It’s called Sun Structures, will be out February 11, and one of the tracks on it will sound like this. There’s also an interview at XFM.

Stream: Temples – “Mesmerise”

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Toronto Urban Roots Fest Day Four

Belle & Sebastian, Neko Case, Yo La Tengo, and more at TURF 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWith the first three days of the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest having gone swimmingly, certainly the fourth and final day – boasting inarguably the strongest lineup of them all – would be the best? Well it turns out “swimmingly” would be kind of the wrong word to use, but everything started out enough.

Though as per usual I missed the first few acts of the day, I was there in time to see Kurt Vile make his first local appearance in support of his new record Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze, which has garnered pretty much universal acclaim, though I only go as far as saying I like it more than his last one. I’ve always found Vile’s stuff to be pretty same-y in that lightly psychedelic laid-back drone-pop way – an impression confirmed and amplified when I saw him at Pitchfork 2010 – but if you’re in the right mindset, it’s pretty pleasantly trippy. As with that show, this performance mainly had Vile in two modes – huge rug of hair draped over the mic stand while he sang, or huge rug of hair draped over his guitar while he soloed. His bandmates in the Violators did mix things up somewhat by adding mandolins and 6-string basses into the mix, and Vile was equally comfortable ripping leads on electric or acoustic, but a few noisey bursts aside, Vile was pretty content to just let the set mosey along at its pace and his fans were content to mosey right alongside him.

Photos: Kurt Vile @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 7, 2013
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Never Run Away”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Wakin’ On A Pretty Day”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Jesus Fever”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Baby’s Arms”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “In My Time”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “The Creature”
Video: Kurt Vile – “KV Crimes”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Never Run Away”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Jesus Fever”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Baby’s Arms”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Runner Ups”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Freak Train”

It was with some regret that I skipped Yo La Tengo’s stop at The Phoenix back in February in support of their latest Fade, but the confidence they’d put on a solid show couldn’t win out over the fact that I’d seen them play said solid show many times before – most recently in 2010 in Vegas at Matador at 21 – that I gave it a pass. Happily, their return for this festival meant that I’d still get to hear the new tunes, and not have to make any special effort to do so. Win! And as nice as it can be to hear Yo La Tengo stretch out live, there’s really something to be said for imposing strict time constraints on them; though they sounded quite the opposite of rushed, the blend of new songs – which sounded really terrific live, perfectly suited to the hazy afternoon – and old favourites done perfectly and without the excesses the band sometimes fall prey to, in some cases twice as “Autumn Sweater” came unravelled early on in the set with a blown amp fuse and had to be returned to later on.

NYC Taper has got the Yo La Tengo’s set from the Wilco-run Solid Sound fest a few weekends ago available to download. The Boston Globe, Metro, and Cincinnati CityBeat have interviews.

Photos: Yo La Tengo @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 7, 2013
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Stupid Things”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Nuclear War”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Don’t Have To Be So Sad”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Ohm”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Ohm” (tree)
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Before We Run”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “When It’s Dark”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Nothing To Hide”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Avalon Or Someone Very Similar”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Sugarcube”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Tom Courtenay”

I’d never given either Luke Doucet or Melissa McClelland much concern with their solo careers, so when they came together as Whitehorse I still didn’t pay any attention, at least until their second album The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss made it onto this year’s Polaris Prize long list. And while the adult contemporary-skewing roots-rock that’s the foundation of their sound isn’t normally what I’d be into (even if, phrased like that, you think it might) I found the record pretty enjoyable in a Steve Earle “chick song” sort of way, though rather slicker in execution; that’s why I expected that their live setup would involve a polished band comprised of session player types, not just the two of them and a garage sale’s worth of instruments and microphones. Okay, so the setup was meticulously arranged for exactly that DIY effect with telephone handsets and old-school shockmounted mics installed just so, but there was no faking the way the two built up the structures of each song by sampling acoustic instruments and looking stylish while doing it. They spent the first part of their set entrenched in their fortress of gear, but eventually strutted out to the front of the stage and sang together into a single mic armed just with guitar and bass. Straight, simple, and to their strengths.

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald has a feature piece on the band.

Photos: Whitehorse @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 7, 2013
Video: Whitehorse – “Achilles’ Desire”

If you’re looking for writeups of either The Cat Empire or Xavier Rudd, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. I spent their sets huddled under a leaky ATM tent hiding from the deluge that resulted when the skies opened up right around dinnertime. The rain eventually eased up, but not before turning the whole of the festival grounds into some manner of swamp. Not really an ideal setting for anything, let alone enjoying Neko Case’s set, but looked at another way, if there’s anything out there worth enduring this sort of weather for – after a short dry spell, the skies opened up even harder a couple songs in – it’s Neko Case.

When she was here last in December 2011 opening up for The National at the Air Canada Centre, the assumption seemed to be that if she was back on the road, then her new record – the long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Middle Cyclone – must be close to being done. Not, as it turned out, so much. But nineteen months later, she was back and this time the new record – The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You – was done, locked, and loaded for a September 3 release. The set contained a few of those new songs, all of which sounded of the same high calibre of lead sample “Man”, and a solid tour of her repertoire – “Red Tide”, with its “I hate the rain” lyrics, was especially topical – and always-entertaining banter with backing singer Kelly Hogan. With the time she takes between records, it can be easy to forget just how amazing a talent Neko is; call her alt.country or folk-rock or jangle-pop or whatever you like, her voice and songwriting transcends all labels. And the only thing better than being reminded how good she is was the promise to return for another show sometime in the next six months. Ideally indoors.

Photos: Neko Case @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 7, 2013
MP3: Neko Case – “People Got A Lotta Nerve”
Video: Neko Case – “People Got A Lotta Nerve”
Video: Neko Case – “Maybe Sparrow”
Video: Neko Case – “Furnace Room Lullabye”

Finally, with the rain seemingly past though the resultant mud pits remained, it was time for Belle & Sebastian. It’s remarkable how the mysterious mystique the band cultivated in their early years still persists to some degree, and even though they’ve toured North America behind pretty much every album this century, their live shows are breathlessly anticipated like once-in-a-lifetime unicorn herd migrations. Of course, those studio albums are fewer and further between than most would like – their last visit was October 2010 behind Write About Love – so with no new record on the horizon, the fact that they were still coming to town to play a show apart from the usual promotional cycle was actually unicorn-rare, and as is often the case when the artist doesn’t have anything specific they need to push, offered the promise of being a much more unique show.

That this wouldn’t be a typical show was confirmed from the opening number, as instead of one of their obvious (but still beloved) songs, it was the electronic instrumental b-side “Judy Is A Dick Slap”. Anyone who says they had that in the “what’ll be the first song?” pool without consulting previous set lists is lying. “I’m A Cuckoo” then let Stuart Murdoch properly take centre stage and show off his dance moves, slippery stage be damned, “Another Sunny Day” was rolled out as a musical anodyne to the weather, and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win earlier in the day saluted with “Stars Of Track And Field”. The catalog-hopping trajectory of that first salvo of selections delightfully carried on through the show, and while hardcore fans might suggest they could have gone for deeper cuts, I was more than happy to hear “The Model” and “Loneliness Of A Middle Distance Runner” dug out of the archives.

If it wasn’t quite a greatest hits set song-wise, it certainly was with their audience participation exercises. There was the girl brought onstage to read Isobel Campbell’s spoken word outro overtop “Dirty Dream Number Two” (she sang it, but whatever), the other girl who managed to fit a dance routine amidst playing Scrabble against the band onstage during “The Model”, the girl (sensing a trend? Oh, Stuart) who applied makeup to his face during “Lord Anthony”, the bevy of dancers brought onstage for “The Boy With The Arab Strap”… there was no lobbing of autographed footballs into the audience this time, but the rain probably would have washed the signatures off anyways. The between-song shenanigans might have taken up time that could have gone to another song or two, but you’d have had to be a serious grump to complain about the love-in vibe that they generated. And we should all count ourselves lucky that no one brought onstage insisted on singing one of her own songs. No, what we got was a joyous show that felt like a gift, wrapped a terrific inaugural TURF, and just about made you forget that you probably had trench foot. No mean feat.

The Huffington Post and Pittsburgh CityPaper have interviews with keyboardist Chris Geddes about the current tour and their plans to write their next record when it’s wrapped. The band’s new collection of b-sides and rarities, The Third Eye Centre, comes out August 27.

Photos: Belle & Sebastian @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 7, 2013
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Write About Love”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Another Sunny Day”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I Want The World To Stop”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “White Collar Boy”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “The Blues Are Still Blue”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Funny Little Frog”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Wrapped Up In Books”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I’m A Cuckoo”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Step Into My Office Baby”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Jonathan David”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Jonathan David” (70s version)
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “The Wrong Girl”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Legal Man”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “This Is Just A Modern Rock Song”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “A Century Of Fakers”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Is It Wicked Not To Care?”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Dirty Dream #2”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Lazy Line Painter Jane”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Dog On Wheels”

CBC Music have got the Canada-only stream of the new Pet Shop Boys album Electric, out July 16. Americans can hit Pandora and Brits can use Rdio via The Guardian. They play The Sony Centre on September 25, and Spin, Huffington Post, and Metro have interviews with Neil Tennant about going indie on their latest record.

Stream: Pet Shop Boys / Electric

Fashion retailer Mr. Porter has an interview and fashion shoot with Kele Okereke of Bloc Party; their Nextwave Sessions EP is due out August 13.

Mumford & Sons have released a video for the title track of last year’s Babel. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 24.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “Babel”

Hot on the heels of those advance streams, Franz Ferdinand have released the video for the sort-of title track of their new album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It’s out August 27 and they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Right Action”

Exclaim and The Daily Beast interview CHVRCHES about their forthcoming debut album The Bones of What You Believe, out September 24. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 15, and if you need something new and CHVRCH-y to listen to before then, there’s this Haim cover they recorded for BBC.

Stream: CHVRCHES – “Falling” (Haim cover)

Manic Street Preachers have announced details of one of the two new records they’ve got in the can. Based on the title track, largely sung by the inimitable Richard Hawley, Rewind The Film is the largely acoustic album that had been previously mentioned; it’s out September 16 and more specifics on it can be had at DIY. James Dean Bradfield also talks to NME about the other album that’s been recorded alongside it, due out in Spring of next year.

Video: Manic Street Preachers w Richard Hawley – “Rewind The Film”

Veteran British folk-rock outfit The Waterboys are making their first return to town in some years to kick off a major North American tour; they’ll be here on September 17 at a venue to be announced, but last time through in 2007 it was at The Danforth, so presumably it’ll be somewhere similar.

Video: The Waterboys – “The Whole Of The Moon”

With their self-titled debut due out in September, up-and-coming UK outfit The 1975 will be at The Mod Club on October 13 as part of their first major North American tour.

Video: The 1975 – “Sex”

Belfast post-rock firebrands And So I Watch You From Afar and Oxford math-rock trio TTNG – formerly This Town Needs Guns before they thought better of it – are teaming up for a co-headlining tour that hits The Horseshoe on November 9, tickets $15.50. ASIWYFA released their third album All Hail Bright Futures this past Spring, TTNG’s second long-player 13.0.0.0.0 came out in January.

Stream: And So I Watch You From Afar / All Hail Bright Futures
Stream: TTNG / 13.0.0.0.0

The Skinny talks to Yannis Philipakkis of Foals.

Tone Deaf and Clash have interviews with Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie.

DIY wonders aloud something I’ve periodically wondered to myself – whither The Rumble Strips?