Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘2:54’

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Zumm Zumm

Django Django are are coming coming to to town town

Photo By Pavla KopecnaPavla KopecnaIn mentioning yesterday that winning the Mercury Prize allowed Alt-J to graduate from playing Wrongbar in September to playing The Phoenix in March, we can also scientifically see what only getting nominated to the shortlist gets you. Django Django, who were shortlisted on the strength of their self-titled debut, also played Wrongbar in late September and have also just scheduled a Spring tour that brings them back to town in March – March 12, specifically, and at The Opera House. So based on the capacities of these two rooms, what can we discern? Winning the Mercury lets you play to about 200 more people. QED. Tickets are $17.50.

DIY has an interview with Django Django, who’ve just released a new video from the aforementioned Mercury-nominated album. There’s also a World Cafe session up at NPR.

MP3: Django Django – “Default”
Video: Django Django – “Life’s A Beach”

Also just announced – Ken Stringfellow of The Posies, R.E.M., and Big Star will be in town as just Ken Stringfellow – solo artist who released Danzig In The Moonlight in October – for a date at The Drake Underground on February 19. Tickets for that are $15, and God Is In The TV has an interview.

MP3: Ken Stringfellow – “Doesn’t It Remind You Of Something”

Chapel Hill’s rootsy Mount Moriah – recently signed to Merge and getting a lot of good press – will release their second album Miracle Temple on February 26 and be in town at The Drake on March 20 to celebrate; that’ll be part of Canadian Music Week, if you were wondering.

Stream: Mount Moriah – “Lament”

The Get Down Stay Down are at Lee’s Palace on March 27 in support of their new album We The Common, due out February 5. Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside support, tickets are $17.50 in advance. Full tour dates at Exclaim.

MP3: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Know Better Learn Faster”

And if you hadn’t heard and were interested, the reunited but still Christine McVie-less Fleetwod Mac will be at the Air Canada Centre on April 16. Stevie Nicks talks to The Los Angeles Times about the upcoming tour, while Rolling Stone also loops in Lindsey Buckingham for a Q&A.

Video: Fleetwood Mac – “Go Your Own Way”

Pitchfork and Rolling Stone talk to ex-Girls frontman Christopher Owens about his solo debut Lysandre, out January 15. He plays The Mod Club on January 18.

DIY has an interview and The Alternate Side a session with The Antlers.

The AV Club have premiered a new video from Crooked Fingers’ 2011 effort Breaks In The Armor and The Line Of Best Fit also has a video session on offer.

Video: Crooked Fingers – “Bad Blood”

DIY talks to Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius.

Stereogum has an interview with Dayve Hawk of Memory Tapes.

DIY talks to Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum.

The Austin Chronicle, Phoenix New Times, and Dallas Observer interview John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Stars.

Spin, ABC News, The New Zealand Herald, DIY, and The Daily Swarm talk to Claire Boucher of Grimes.

The Grid and NOW preview Joel Plaskett’s upcoming five-night stand at The Horseshoe next week. That’s December 12 to 16.

Spinner finds out why a Raveonettes-mixed new No Joy album won’t be winding its way to you anytime soon. Or ever.

Modern Superstitions talk to aux.tv about their self-titled debut.

DIY has a quick chat with Wild Beasts.

The Fly has a video session with 2:54.

TOY are interviewed as part of DIY‘s year-end wrap.

Pitchfork reports that Phoenix are planning to rise again with a new album in or around April. That there’s the sound of Two Door Cinema Club’s business model collapsing.

M83 have released the fourth video from Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

Video: M83 – “Wait”

DIY interviews Tame Impala, in town at The Kool Haus on March 9.

Sigur Rós have released the final installment of their Valtari Mystery Film Experiment – just in time for the screenings happening worldwide and at The Bloor Cinema on Saturday. This one’s another short film rather than conventional video, and is directed by Floria Sigismondi and stars Elle Fanning and John Hawkes. Save the best – or at least biggest-named – for last, yeah? Sigur Rós are at The Air Canada Centre on March 30.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Leaning Towards Solace”

And with that, everything I’ve had in my blog drafts hopper is gone. It’s empty! There’s nothing left! You know what that means? Me neither. I’m scared.

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

All In Vain

The Vaccines Come Of Age, come around

Photo By Christiaan FelberChristiaan FelberThe answer from many to the question posed by the title of The Vaccines’ debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines was, “great things”. That may have been overreaching – What Did You Expect was a solid bit of guitar rock that didn’t necessarily pin them down in any one stylistic cul de sac, ranging from punky throwaways to stadium-ambition anthems – but there’s no arguing they built up a pretty good head of steam on it before it all crashed to a halt at the end of the Summer when frontman Justin Young’s voice was shut down for vocal cord surgery.

One of the casualties of that bit of misfortune was the entirety of their Fall North American tour, including a date at The Phoenix last October, but on the bright side being put into dry dock meant they could get down to writing their second album when they would have normally kept at touring the first. As a result, they’ve put out Come Of Age – which is less rangy but maybe hookier, finding the Londoners happily settling into a simpler, garage-rock vein. And they’ve finally gone ahead and made up those North American dates – if a year and a quarter later – planning to again hit The Phoenix on February 4. Tickets for that are $18 in advance.

Video: The Vaccines – “Teenage Icon”
Video: The Vaccines – “No Hope”

Marina & The Diamonds, who’s enjoyed chart-topping success back home in the UK with her second album Electra Heart will be looking to see how much that – and her stint this Summer supporting Coldplay – has translated into in North American success. She’s coming across the pond this December and bringing Swedish duo Icona Pop – themselves riding a pretty good buzz – and will be at The Phoenix on December 3, tickets $25.

Video: Marina & The Diamonds – “How To Be A Heartbreaker”
Video: Icona Pop – “Nights Like This”

Maxïmo Park have released a new video from their latest, The National Health and The Sun talks football with frontman Paul Smith.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “The Undercurrents”

The Dumbing Of America talks to Claudette Thurlow of 2:54, in town at The Horseshoe on October 22.

Bat For Lashes has released a new video from The Haunted Man, due out October 22. The Line Of Best Fit and Loud & Quiet have interviews with Natasha Khan.

Video: Bat For Lashes – “All Your Gold”

Bat For Lashes bandmate – or at least she was the last time out – Charlotte Hatherley continues with her Sylver Tongue electro-pop project by scheduling the release of her debut EP in that guise – Something Big – for November 6. Altsounds has some details.

Black Cab Sessions has a session in a black cab with Hot Chip; eGigs also has an interview.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Richard Hawley.

Pet Shop Boys have a new video from their latest, Elysium. There’s also a feature at BBC.

Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Leaving”

eMusic and The Telegraph have interviews with Beth Orton.

Mumford & Sons stop in at Daytrotter and NPR for studio sessions and also offer The National Post and New York Times interviews.

DIY has a feature on Tame Impala, who are streaming their new record Lonerism over at NPR. It’s out next Tuesday, October 9, and they are at The Phoenix on November 12.

Stream: Tame Impala / Lonerism

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Tied To You

Neil Halstead makes offhand Slowdive reunion comment, throws internet into a tizzy

Photo By Andy WhiteAndy WhiteOkay not the whole internet – Obama’s AMA probably did more to clog those tubes yesterday – but for a certain demographic, an interview Neil Halstead gave to MTV Hive certainly registered as a major event. Not because Neil doesn’t talk – he’s got a new solo record in Palindrome Hunches coming out on September 11, of course he’s talking – but because he addressed the topic of a potential Slowdive reunion not with denials or dismissals, but with a rather positive-sounding “It’s definitely possible at some point”.

He goes on to point out that there’s no bad blood to be overcome – three-fifths of the shoegazing/ambient trailblazers went on to a long and fruitful career as Mojave 3 following Slowdive’s dissolution in 1995 – and presumably if the stars aligned and the offer was right, it could happen. Obviously this is far from definite, but considering it seemed a non-starter for as long as Mojave 3 and his solo career have been going concerns – he’s always declined to even play Slowdive songs live in either of those contexts – it’s certainly a more open door than we’ve seen, and seeing as how he’s playing a few M3 gigs (in China!) before beginning the Palindrome Hunches promo circuit, the man can multi-task and keep his musical identities straight.

Of course, the current Mojave 3 lineup doesn’t include bassist Rachel Goswell, who largely retired from music after fighting a debilitating ear ailment a few years back. I’d be happy enough to see her back in Mojave 3, but if we’re dreaming, why not go all the way? Further, it’s been pointed out to me that Halstead has begun playing Slowdive songs live… someone call out “Alison” when he’s at The Dakota on October 8, please? Toronto was the site of the final live Slowdive show; maybe we can talk Neil into the symbolic value of making it the site of the first reunion show… Or not. Anyways. It’s something to dream about. Ideally while Souvlaki plays in the background.

There’s another, less momentous interview with Haltead at LA Music Blog and another track from Palindrome Hunches has been made available to download.

MP3: Neil Halstead – “Digging Shelters”
Video: Slowdive – “Alison”

Richard Hawley chats with State and Worksop Guardian; his latest Standing At The Sky’s Edge came out in North America this week.

Two Door Cinema Club have made their new album Beacon available to stream at NME ahead of its September 4 release date. They play The Sound Academy on October 11.

Stream: Two Door Cinema Club / Beacon

The Guardian, NPR, MTV.ca, and JAM talk to Kele Okereke of Bloc Party. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and 11.

The xx are streaming another new song from Coexist, out September 11, and aux.tv have made the cover feature on the band from their iPad magazine available online.

Stream: The xx – “Sunset”

Django Django’s self-titled debut still isn’t out in North America until September 25, but the band have got a new EP in Hail Bop ready to release back in the UK on September 4, and have made it available to stream. They play Wrongbar on September 29.

Stream: Django Django / Hail Bop

Dramatic atmospheric rock sister act 2:54, who made their local debut at NXNE, return for a date at The Horseshoe on October 22 – tickets are $14.50 in advance.

MP3: 2:54 – “The March”

That Saint Etienne show I was so excited about last week will still be happening on October 24, but has been moved from The Mod Club to The Opera House. Tickets are $28.50, go on sale today at 10AM, and sorry – still no sign of the other North American dates.

The Guardian has got some new music from Anna Calvi – not as a precursor to a new album, but a cover she recorded of a song by The Invisible from their latest album Rispah – but hey, new music from Anna Calvi.

MP3: Anna Calvi – “The Wall”

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite walks The Quietus through some of his favourite albums.

DIY interviews Charli XCX.

And Pluck Your Strings has an interview with Maxïmo Park.

Clash and The Limerick Leader grab a quick word with Metronomy.

NPR welcomes Spiritualized for a World Cafe session.

DIY catches up with The Cribs at Reading & Leeds Festival.

State talks to Faris Badwan of The Horrors ahead of their appearance at Electric Picnic in Ireland.

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

The Wild Youth

Daughter breaks curfew, sneaks out of studio for adventures across the pond

Photo By Stacey HatfieldStacey HatfieldAs performing names go, Daughter certainly exists pretty far on the “not very” end of the Google-ability scale, but they’re worth the effort. Originally a pseudonym for London’s Elena Tonra, its scope eventually expanded to include guitarist Igor Haefeli and now, with drummer Remi Aguilella in the fold, represents the trio and is a proper band – one whose dark, quietly dramatic, atmospheric folk turned out to be one of the highlights of this year’s SXSW.

Considering that hot on the heels of their festival appearances came the word that they’d signed on with 4AD worldwide – but on the less legendary but still impressive Glassnote in North America – I expected there’d be much more news and music from them before long. And indeed, their earliest but still fully-realized recordings were released via a couple of EPs – The Wild Youth and His Young Heart – were released in late March, but since then it’s been radio silence.

A silence that is now happily breaking. Though it’s not a debut album – that’ll have to wait until next year as it’s currently in the process of being created – they will release a 7″ single on October 1, the A-side of which has been made available to stream and does an excellent job of taking me right back to that evening in March when I got so very excited by this outfit. And more importantly, it’s enough pretence for the band to embark on a short North American tour which includes an October 22 date at The Drake Underground, tickets $13.50. This will be very good.

Their His Young Heart EP is available to stream in whole below, and three-quarters of The Wild Youth can be heard at the band’s Soundcloud. Oh, for me the correct Daughter comes up in spots two through five in Google, so maybe it’s not such an unworkable name after all.

MP3: Daughter – “Love”
Stream: Daughter – “Smother”
Stream: Daughter / His Young Heart

Bloc Party have made their new record Four ahead of its formal release next Tuesday, August 21. Life And Times and Montreal Gazette have feature interviews with the band and The Guardian solicits six songs of specific purpose from Kele Okereke. Bloc Party play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and 11.

Stream: Bloc Party / Four

Billboard has an interview with The Heavy and a stream of their new record The Glorious Dead, due out next week. They play Lee’s Palace on September 23.

Stream: The Heavy / The Glorious Dead

NME and BBC chat with Two Door Cinema Club frontman Alex Trimble. Their new record Beacon – from which they’ve just released a video – is out September 4 and they play The Sound Academy on October 5.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Sleep Alone”

The Fader, Tone Deaf, FasterLouder, Exclaim, and Spin all have features on The xx as the September 11 release of Coexist draws nearer. A second track from the album has been made available to hear via stream.

Stream: The xx – “Chained”

Rolling Stone talks to Mumford & Sons bassist Ted Dwane about their new record Babel, out September 25 and from which they’ve made the first track available to stream.

Stream: Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”

Beth Orton has made a new track from her next record Sugaring Season available to stream at Rolling Stone; NPR also has a Tiny Desk Concert from the singer-songwriter. She plays The Mod Club on September 30 and the album is out on October 2.

Stream: Beth Orton – “Magpie”

The Vaccines are hoping to make the wait for the October 2 North American release of Come Of Age a little more bearable by giving away a free EP of covers and whatnot entitled Please Do Not Disturb in exchange for your email address. The Daily Record has a conversation with singer Justin Young.

The Fly has a feature on Ellie Goulding, who has made the first single from Halcyon available to stream at Billboard. The album is out October 9, and though the released clip is technically just a “lyric video”, its audience-sourced Instagram visuals are more entertaining than many peoples’ official videos.

Lyric Video: Ellie Goulding – “Anything Could Happen”

Scotland folk-pop outfit Admiral Fallow will be at The Drake on October 13 in support of their second album Tree Bursts In Snow. Tickets are $13.50 and Filter has their full North American tour itinerary.

Video: Admiral Fallow – “Guest Of The Government”

In indie-pop news, Allo Darlin’ are streaming the b-side of “Northern Lights”, their next single from Europe, while Tender Trap are doing the same for the first single from their next album Ten Songs About Girls, out September 10. And Darren Hayman continues to be prolific in his post-Hefner years, releasing an instrumental album in Lido as a tribute to Britain’s open-air swimming pools and on November 5, will release The Violence, an album about the witch trials of during the 17th century English civil war. Yeah, another one. Exclaim has some details.

Stream: Allo Darlin’ – “Golden Age”
Stream: Tender Trap – “Step One”
Stream: Darren Hayman & The Long Parliament – “We Are Not Evil”

Their possibly last-ever show in the books, Blur have announced plans to release the live set from Hyde Park as a double-live album entitled Parklive in November; Consequence Of Sound has specifics and there’s pre-final show interviews with Graham Coxon at Shortlist and Damon Albarn at The Sun.

Exclaim collects some information on the next M.I.A. album, which will be called Matangi and should be out in December.

This Music Is Love talks to Alisdair Mclean of The Clientele and Amor de Días, whose second album is due out in or around January of 2013.

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with London’s Spector, whose debut Enjoy It While It Lasts was released in the UK this week and is pretty great in that tailored-trousered, arched-eyebrow, steal-your-girlfriend, throwback Britpop sort of way. I’ve heard nothing about a North American release, but at one point they were supposed to open up some of Florence & The Machine’s Summer dates over here – including Toronto – and while that didn’t end up happening, at least it shows they’ve an eye on us.

Video: Spector – “Chevy Thunder”
Video: Spector – “Never Fade Away”
Video: Spector – “Grey Shirt & Tie”
Video: Spector – “What You Wanted”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Wild Beasts.

2:54 have released a new video from their self-titled debut.

Video: 2:54 – “Sugar”

Summer Camp have made a video for the lead track of their recent Always EP.

Video: Summer Camp – “Life”

The Fader interviews Mica Levi of Micachu & The Shapes.

Clash finds out how Primal Scream has been doing since Mani left the band to rejoin The Stone Roses.

The Space has a lovely video session with Lanterns On The Lake recorded in a disused shipyard.

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Coexist

The xx and Jacques Greene at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe arc around The xx’s 2009 debut xx was a narratively perfect one, rich with mystery, sex, and drama as the London trio vaulted from obscurity to Mercury and, most prestigiously, a place on my year-end list. And perhaps most crucially for a perfect story, they ended. Or at least went away for a while.

Real life differs from stories, however, in that it generally doesn’t let you just ride off into the sunset, and so after some deserved downtime – okay, Jamie Smith, aka Jamie xx, continued to establish himself as a highly sought-after DJ, remixer, and producer but his bandmates Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim did a pretty good job of staying out of sight – the trio announced their second album would be entitled Coexist and be out on September 11. But before that and between a slew of European festival appearances, a compact tour of the new world to refresh their fans’ memories, if it was needed. And if you don’t feel like reading the rest of the review, I’ll offer a spoiler – it wasn’t.

Support for the tour came from Montreal’s Jacques Greene, and while he’s done a job of establishing his name as both a producer and artist, live he was a two-man operation, accompanied by labelmate Ango on working the samplers and sequencers to create solid grooves of electronic, R&B beats. He was also the de facto frontman when the pair shifted gears a couple times for some slow jams that didn’t astonish, but did offer a nice change of pace from the rest of their set. If you came to The xx from their indie guitar-based side, it might have been a bit unexpected as an opener but if you focused on their dancier side and turned the BPM up a bit, it made perfect sense. And both Greene and Ango looked like they could be stunt doubles for Oliver Sim, so there was that too.

Considering that by the end of the xx cycle, The xx were selling out Massey Hall, returning to a room the size of The Phoenix where they made their Toronto debut opening for Friendly Fires in December 2009 should have been a great chance to recapture some of the intimacy that so suits their music before they’re lost forever to much larger venues, but one of the things that this show made quite clear is that it’s very difficult to create that sort of intense, minimalist vibe when you have a thousand people singing along – and that wasn’t only for the old material. The show opened with the first official taste of Coexist, the week-old “Angels”, and even on that Madley-Croft had an unofficial backing choir of hundreds who’d already committed its lyrics to heart.

The one-hour, ten-minute show gave the audience pretty much everything they could have wanted. There was xx in its entirety, but with a few tracks essentially remixed live – “Crystalised” was essentially transformed into an ambient piece and others were more subtly transformed for greater dynamics and dramatic effect – and a half dozen selections to preview Coexist. In broad strokes, the new material doesn’t sound too far removed from the old – certainly it will take a copy of the finished album and a good pair of speakers or headphones to fully appreciate the growth in their songwriting and production – but comments that Smith had made in the press about this record being more dance-influenced were not idle. While Madley-Croft and Sim’s roles as frontpersons remained as they ever were, Smith made it clear through how his beats – including some on acoustic drums – drove the show that he was their musical backbone, their man behind the curtain (or perspex ‘X’ DJ tables), and wherever he wanted to take them would be where they went. And circa Coexist, he’s feeling the dance – main set closer “Swept Away” was pretty much a rave.

While neither Madley-Croft or Sims have ever seemed particularly fussed about their onstage charisma – some complain about their understatedness but I’ve always found it to be perfectly suited to their music – they certainly seemed to have more presence this time than their past visits. Certainly part of this was the elaborate lighting effects, projections, and smoke machines that accompany them onstage, but also a result of their continued growth and comfort level as performers. And it’s a good thing they seem to be feeling comfortable up there – based on the strength of this preview of Coexist and the obvious appetite their fanbase still has for them, The xx are going to be on the road for a long time.

The Toronto Sun, The National Post, Exclaim, and NOW were also in attendance and has some thoughts.

Photos: The xx, Jacques Greene @ The Phoenix – July 28, 2012
MP3: The xx – “Angels”
MP3: The xx – “Open Eyes” (demo)
MP3: The xx – “Basic Space”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Motivation”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Sorted”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Arrow”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Another Girl”
Video: The xx – “Islands”
Video: The xx – “Basic Space”
Video: The xx – “Crystalised”
Video: Jacques Greene – “Another Girl”
Video: Jacques Greene – “Tell Me”

Bloc Party are streaming a new track from Four, out August 21. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10.

Stream: Bloc Party – “Day Four”

Japanese classical post-rock quartet Mono will release their new album For My Parents on September 4 and stage a massive North American tour with a stop at The Horseshoe on September 12; Chris Brokaw of Come/Codeine/The New Year fame will open up. Mono’s last visit in May 2010 was epic, and not in that hyperbolic way that the word is typically used nowadays. It was literally epic.

MP3: Mono – “Ashes In The Snow”
MP3: Chris Brokaw – “Bricks”

The Quietus has an interview with Lætitia Sadier, in town at The Drake on September 18.

Very disappointed to report that I Break Horses have cancelled the whole of their Fall North American tour, including September 19 at The Drake. They’re promising to make it up in 2013 though, so there’s that.

Daytrotter has a session with Blood Red Shoes, in town at The Drake Underground on September 26.

Taken By Trees have released the first video from Other Worlds, out October 2. She plays The Phoenix on October 4.

Video: Taken By Trees – “Dreams”

The first single from Bat For Lashes’ new album The Haunted Man is now available to download. It’s out October 23.

MP3: Bat For Lashes – “Laura”

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Ladyhawke’s Anxiety.

Video: Ladyhawke – “Blue Eyes”

The Sun talks to the members of Blur about their thoughts on the Olympics and the state of their reunion.

Loud & Quiet have an interview with Mica Levi of Micachu & The Shapes.

Gameological talks games with Elizabeth Morris of Allo Darlin’.

Uprooted Music Revue and Drowned In Sound talk to Stevie Jackson about his solo efforts.

Spinner has a feature on 2:54.