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Posts Tagged ‘6 Day Riot’

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

The Big Roar

The Joy Formidable and The Lonely Forest at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI wasn’t even intending to be at this show. The plan had been to catch The Joy Formidable at one of their many SxSW shows and thus free up this evening for something else or nothing else. A good plan, on paper, but one scuppered by the fact that the Welsh trio, who released their debut album The Big Roar Stateside on the eve of the festival, would turn out to be one of the buzz bands of the fest and any of the showcases I tried to get into were jammed to the point that getting a decent line of sight, let alone a good vantage point to shoot from, was nigh impossible. I guess what with the band having come through Toronto twice already in the past year and a third visit on the horizon, I was taking them a bit for granted. Lesson learned.

And so it was a third go-around for The Joy Formidable at The Horseshoe on Saturday night, though at least this time The Dig, who’d opened up the last two shows, had been swapped for labelmates The Lonely Forest. Clearly this quartet from the Pacific northwest, who just released their debut Arrows, is getting some attention from the powers that be, what with their being attached both to this tour and the upcoming Death Cab For Cutie jaunt later in the Spring. And that latter pairing makes a lot of sense, considering The Lonely Forest’s facility with energetic if slightly generic post-emo punk-pop. Still, what they lacked in originality they made up for in energy and on-stage pogoing and as one fellow in the audience called out, “I came for The Joy Formidable but you guys rock!”. That’s pretty much all they could ask for.

The Joy Formidable’s independently-released A Balloon Called Moaning was a nearly perfect introduction to the band’s fiery arena rock-meets-shoegaze sound, long enough to confirm that they were for real and short enough to leave you hungry for more. So when it came out that the band was re-recording half the EP for inclusion on their major label debut, there were some concerns that they might polish out some of its more delightful roughness in favour of a more radio-friendly sound. Concerns that proved to be unfounded as if anything, the new versions were even bigger, louder and spikier than before – almost the point of excess. And really, that applies to The Big Roar as a whole – it’s an utterly massive-sounding record and almost exhausting to get through, but the key word is almost. Unless you’re simply not in the mood for rock action on this scale, it’s an invigorating listen.

The principle of “more is better” also applied to their live show, though in this case it meant bigger, not longer. Despite having a pretty good wealth of material to draw on at this point, The Joy Formidable kept their set lean and mean, and still very very similar to the ones they brought through previously. It really only differed in a couple of song selections and the fact that they’d somehow gotten even more explosive as a live act. Frontwoman Ritzy Bryan has further perfected her psycho guitar-pixie persona and added in a dose of crazy eye, bassist Rhydian Dafydd now takes on more vocal duties and has added a Hulk Hogan ear-cup to his stage moves and drummer Matt Thomas, well he kept up which basically means he beat the shit out of his kit. The Joy Formidable ethos seems to be to make each song its own standalone epic and so while the show only ran ten songs with two-song encore and maybe an hour in length, it had more musical detonations than other bands pack into shows twice the length. All that said, I do hope that the next time they come through town which may well be sooner rather than later based on past history, they’ve mixed the set up a bit. Just a little.

Inland SoCal and Wall Street Journal have interviews with The Joy Formidable while Chart also has a review of the show.

Photos: The Joy Formidable, The Lonely Forest @ The Horseshoe – April 2, 2011
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Greyhounds In The Slips”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Cradle”
MP3: The Lonely Forest – “Coyote”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring” (new)
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “I Don’t Want To See You Like This”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Popinjay”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring” (original)
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Austere” (original)
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Cradle”

PJ Harvey has released another couple videos from Let England Shake. She said one for each song on the record, and she meant it. The Sydney Morning Herald has an interview with Harvey.

Video: PJ Harvey – “Written On The Forehead”
Video: PJ Harvey – “Hanging In The Wire”

The Independent interviews Anna Calvi, who will be at The El Mocambo on May 27. I shan’t be there.

Clientele/Pipas side-project Amor de Días will team up with Damon & Naomi for a Spring tour that hits The Horseshoe on May 25. Yup, missing that one too. Both bands have new albums – Amore de Días’ debut Street Of The Love Of Days and Damon & Naomi’s False Beats and True Hearts – out on May 17.

MP3: Damon & Naomi – “Cruel Queen”
MP3: Amor de Días – “Bunhill Fields”

Pulp – who are the reason I’m missing the aforementioned shows – has relaunched their website, loading it with videos of people – both famous and not – covering their songs. Many of them terribly.

Paste catches up with the boys of Noah & The Whale.

With their best-of compilation out and out of the way, Ladytron have announced their next studio album will be entitled Gravity The Seducer and out September 13. Details at Pitchfork.

6 Day Riot have crafted a video for their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk”.

Video: 6 Day Riot – “Tusk”

DIY talks to Roddy Woomble about his new solo record Impossible Song & Other Songs and the fate of Idlewild.

The Daily Record talks to James Allan of Glasvegas, who are streaming their new album Euphoric Heartbreak for those who opt to “Like” it on their Facebook. Everyone else gets the first three songs. The album is out now.

Stream: Glasvegas / Euphoric Heartbreak

Clash talks to Mica Levi of Micachu.

Daytrotter has served up a session with Junip, who will be at Lee’s Palace on April 20.

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Mandatory Holiday-themed Covers Post

A bunch of people cover a bunch of Christmas tunes

Photo via ICHCICHCI’m not really a Christmas person. I’m certainly not against it or a conscientious abstainer, at least not from its secular aspects, I just do my best to ignore it for the first couple weeks of December until denial gives way to blind panic when I realize I still have too much to do to the degree in which I do participate. Things end up so hectic that actually enjoying the season, whatever that means, is mostly out of the question.

One thing the holidays are good for, though, are covers as everyone and their mother seems inspired to track a seasonal standard or two. The potential downside of this is that the same tunes crop up, year after year, but I think I’ve collected a bunch of more recent/less ubiquitous tunes that will hopefully come across as a little fresher to your ears. Happy statutory holidays, everyone!

Billy Bragg and Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine teamed up for the BBC last year in taking on the Pogues holiday classic. I’ve mixed feelings about Welch’s parts, and not just because Kirsty MacColl can’t be touched – while it’s nice to hear her not overpower things with her voice for a change, the restrained Flo sounds kind of bored. Billy, however, is wonderful as always.

MP3: Billy Bragg and Florence & The Machine – “Fairytale Of New York”
Video: Billy Bragg and Florence & The Machine – “Fairytale Of New York”
Video: The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl – “Fairytale Of New York”

British duo Slow Club gave their debut album Yeah, So? a North American release this year and followed it up with the holiday-themed Christmas, Thanks For Nothing EP last week, which included this terrific cover this Phil Spector tune (performed by Darlene Love) which allows Rebecca Taylor to show off her pipes in a way she doesn’t get to nearly enough.

MP3: Slow Club – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
Stream: Darlene Love – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

Another British duo making noise this year was Summer Camp, first thanks to the mysteriousness of their identities and then the retro-pop excellence of their debut EP Young. They got into the Christmas spirit with a cover of the beloved Waitresses tune.

MP3: Summer Camp – “Christmas Wrapping”
Stream: Summer Camp – “Christmas Wrapping”

London’s 6 Day Riot, who released their third record On This Island earlier in the year, wished their fans a merry Christmas with this cover of this Pretenders song which, for my money, is always overlooked/underappreciated when it comes to seasonal songs. It’s one of my very favourites.

MP3: 6 Day Riot – “2000 Miles”
Video: The Pretenders – “2000 Miles” (live)

Bostoninans Wheat are working on their next album, the follow-up to last year’s White Ink, Black Ink, but still found the time to record a couple of Christmas tunes to give away – the b-side is an original composition and the a-side is the song made famous by Judy Garland in Meet Me In St. Louis.

MP3: Wheat – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
MP3: Wheat – “It’s Snowing – I Love You”
Video: Judy Garland – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Toronto’s Ohbijou covered Wham!‘s “Last Christmas” as a special treat last year about this time, and yet in the interim it hasn’t been added to the not-quite-definitive index of covers of that song over at www.last-christmas.com. Someone get on that! The band would, but they’re busy making album number three.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Last Christmas”
Video: Wham! – “Last Christmas”

The Rural Alberta Advantage only played this song – which I thought was traditional but actually only dates back to 1941 and was written by Katherine Davis (thanks Wikipedia – this past Thursday night at their hometown show at Lee’s Palace, but it was captured for posterity thanks to Joe at Mechanical Forest Sound. The RAA are set to release album number two in Departing come March 1 and have just been announced as playing the New Year’s Eve show at The Tranzac on, um, New Year’s Eve. Tickets were going fast and will now be going faster.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Little Drummer Boy” (live)

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Raise Your Head

Review of 6 Day Riot’s On This Island

Photo via FacebookFacebookI took to watching the British TV show Skins a little while back and in keeping with popular opinion, found the first two seasons to be compellingly done and only mildly ridiculous overall whereas the next generation was rather astoundingly charisma-free and so over the top that even the most outrageous soap opera writers would have gone, “really? You did that?”.

If there was some solace to be taken as I endured the later episodes (once I start watching something it’s very difficult to stop, no matter how bad), it was that the show’s reputation for excellent music direction didn’t waver over the show’s run. A fact which helped remind me that I hadn’t yet written up On This Island, the latest effort from London’s 6 Day Riot, when I heard soundtracking various scenes of English adolescent angst during season four.

Not that there’s anything particularly angsty about On This Island. Like its predecessors Folie a Deux and 6 Day Riot Have A Plan, it’s a frequently jubilant collection of songs that fully exploit the uptempo potential of their ukulele/violin/horn-led folk-klezmer musical recipe book. It’s a sound that’s become more in fashion in recent years, but 6 Day Riot have been at it since their inception and topping it all off with Tamara Schlesinger’s sweet vocals, they’ve crafted their own distinct personality from it. There are moments on the record when they stray from their strengths – some of the slower numbers don’t have the necessary momentum to get them where they need to be – but when on top of their game, as they are on cracking album opener “Take Me” and the sweeping “I Am You, You Are Me”, the results are terrific.

Video: 6 Day Riot – “Take Me”
Myspace: 6 Day Riot

Noah & The Whale are giving away the lead track from their third record Last Night On Earth, due out in March of next year, and a another new song is streaming over at Soundcloud. If these are a good indicator of what the album has to offer, then that nu-folk tag is going to be a thing of the past and that’s fine with me. These tunes are good. They play the Mod Club on March 24.

MP3: Noah & The Whale – “Wild Thing”

Spin presents an acoustic video session with The Joy Formidable, whose full-length debut The Big Roar is out January 24 in the UK and March 15 in North America.

The Futureheads have released a video for their new holiday single. The Surrey Comet chats with guitarist Ross Millard.

Video: The Futureheads – “Christmas Was Better In The ’80s”

The Pipettes are also feeling festive, giving away an MP3 of “Santa’s On His Way” in exchange for your email.

Sky Larkin are giving away another track from their latest Kaleide. The trio also check in with The Daily Growl for their Seven Songs feature.

MP3: Sky Larkin – “Year Dot”

Patrick Wolf gives Clash a glimpse into his state of mind going into the recording of his next record, due out in the early part of next year.

Twin Shadow, whose presence very nearly overshadowed Glasser when he opened for her here last month, will have his own show at The Horseshoe on January 12, tickets $10.

MP3: Twin Shadow – “Castles In The Snow”

Seattle’s Moondoggies – who will do nothing to undermine Seattle’s reputation as a factory for plaid-clad harmony-loving beard-folk – will make an appearance at The Horseshoe on February 2 in support of their debut Tidelands, tickets $10. The Standard-Examiner interviews Kevin Murphy from the band.

MP3: The Moondoggies – “It’s A Shame, It’s a Pity”

The Love Language will be opening for Telekinesis at The Horseshoe on March 6, making the bill doubly pop-tacular. Tickets for that one are $11.

MP3: The Love Language – “Heart To Tell”

The short list for the BBC Sound Of 2011 is up and if nothing else, should offer a bluffers guide to the acts you might be getting sick of hearing about next year. NME has done you the service of assembling download links for each act.

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Whirlpool

Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss and Fjord Rowboat at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangOne might think that after last weekend’s three-day salute to the ’90s I’d be ready to get back to the 21st century, musically-speaking, but instead last Wednesday night turned the dial on the wayback-machine even further – Chapterhouse was in town. The North American leg of their reunion tour, which began in late 2009, was delayed from May until this Fall due to volcanic ash though the Toronto show was cancelled earlier for reasons unknown. Hogtown was back on for the new dates, however, and at a larger venue no less that was respectably filled. Clearly whatever reason nixed the original date wasn’t lack of interest.

For anyone with even a passing affection for the British shoegazing movement of the early ’90s, it was hard not to be interested – My Bloody Valentine aside, this was the only first-wave shoegaze band in recent memory to reunite, let alone play shows in North America, in well over a decade (if anyone wants to fact-check that statement, feel free). And while Chapterhouse weren’t as seminal – in my eyes/ears, anyways – as the likes of Ride, Slowdive or Lush, their credentials are indisputable and their debut Whirlpool an essential listen for the genre. Which is basically another way of saying, “if you are a shoegaze fan and Chapterhouse come to your town, you go”.

Locals Fjord Rowboat know how that goes, but for them it was “if Chapterhouse comes to your town, you lend them your gear and open for them”. Which they did, and in return got to play an impressive show for probably a more receptive audience than they’ve ever had. I used Chapterhouse as a reference point their 2007 debut Saved The Compliments For Morning and that still holds for the just-released follow-up Under Cover Of Brightness, the band remaining faithful to the spirit of shoegazing while remembering, unlike many modern-day purveyors of the style, that what made the greats great was that underneath the layers of sound, there were solid songs. And in the interests of disclosure, I should mention that Fjord has two former bandmates in their number. High five!

I’d lived the Ulrich Schnauss experience twice before and thought I’d figured out the secret to appreciating his electro-ambient stuff – close your eyes. Then you don’t notice that the entire “live” set consists of Schnauss playing preprogrammed tracks off his laptop while adding keyboards overtop or mixing things in real-time, or at least I assume that’s what he was doing – I couldn’t actually hear anything changing in the mix as he clicked and fiddled. This time his set came with its own visual component – projections of European urban scenes, mostly looking as though they’d been filmed from a moving car, which held ones interest for a while but after they began to loop, one’s attention began to wander. By the end, I had a new way to enjoy Schnauss’ set – as a particularly cosmic soundtrack to a game of iPhone Civilization.

One of the first thing you notice about Chapterhouse is how young they all still look – all five are barely 40 (if even) and frontmen Andrew Sherriff and Stephen Patman still look remarkably boyish. This is less a comment on their skin care regimen than the fact that they were barely into their twenties (if even) when Whirlpool was released and so, returning to Toronto for the first time in nearly 20 years, they still seemed younger than many acts making their debuts. Also setting them apart from many other acts on the road today was the fact that they weren’t out trying to win over new fans or make a name for themselves – if you were there, you knew why and what you were going to get and were just happy to be there. This isn’t to suggest that the bar for performance was lowered at all, but any mistakes or less-than-perfection – and there was some, in the way of feedback (the bad kind, not the good kind), some awkward re-learning of songs onstage and a “Crystal” that wasn’t as tight or together as you’d want – were quickly and easily forgiven.

Instead, it was much easier to focus on the good. There was the seemingly endless rotation of my favourite guitars and the massive sounds the three guitarists coaxed out of them, including Simon Rowe whose status in Mojave 3 is as unclear as the band’s itself and who missed their last tour. There was their cover of The Beatles’ “Rain”, which got a pass on my usual “no Beatles covers please” rule, their pretty much perfect rendering of “Pearl” – more than making up for “Crystal” – and a set list that, while curiously light on their second album Blood Music, delivered almost all of Whirlpool and a selection of b-sides and rarities that they must have known would be appreciated by an audience of the faithful.

While they were hardly monsters of rock onstage, it was hard to imagine that their performances inspired the originally-derisive “shoegaze” label – sure, Rowe stood pretty much stock-still through the set but Sherriff and Patman moved around and hardly glanced at their feet. Of course, unlike many of their peers Chapterhouse have always been as much about the groove as the wall of sound, sometimes referred to as “baggy-gaze” and moving further towards dance and electronic sounds with Blood Music. None of which makes them sound any more contemporary, but no one was here for contemporary. We were here for 1990 and Chapterhouse brought it.

Prefix and The Faster Times have Chapterhouse interviews and Jess Barnett a conversation with Ulrich Schnauss. Exclaim and Panic Manual have reviews of the Toronto show.

Photos: Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, Fjord Rowboat @ Lee’s Palace – October 6, 2010
MP3: Chapterhouse – “Pearl”
MP3: Ulrich Schnauss – “Passing By”
MP3: Fjord Rowboat – “Carried Away”
MP3: Fjord Rowboat – “Paragon”
Video: Chapterhouse – “Breather”
Video: Chapterhouse – “April”
Video: Ulrich Schnauss – “Medusa”
Video: Fjord Rowboat – “Carried Away”
MySpace: Chapterhouse
MySpace: Fjord Rowboat

Beatroute and The Boston Globe talk to The Vaselines; they’re in town on October 30 for a show at The Horseshoe.

The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Record and DCist have feature pieces on Teenage Fanclub.

NPR talks to Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian. He and his band are at Massey Hall tonight and their new album Write About Love is also out today – the promo TV talk show put together for the record is streaming at PitchforkTV and the performance of “I Want The World To Stop” from said programme has been excerpted as the first official video from the record.

Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I Want The World To Stop”
Video: Belle & Sebastian Write About Love

A track from Idlewild’s latest (and final?) album Post-Electric Blues has been made available to download to mark the album’s North American release today.

MP3: Idlewild – “Younger Than America”

Drowned In Sound has gone a little British Sea Power-crazy, what with the release of the new Zeus EP in advance of next year’s new full-length – they’ve commissioned a number of features from the band, including their top five UK castles, ten things they wish they hadn’t done, the joy of knitting and a guide to keeping amused on the road.

Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes takes to the band’s blog to thank fans for their support as he convalesces from surgery for a brain tumour while Clash talks to frontman Tim Burgess. A track from their new record Who We Touch has been made available to download.

MP3: The Charlatans – “Love Is Ending”

Barry Hyde of The Futureheads tells Spinner they’re planning on releasing an a capella record early next year.

The Fly has a first listen to the new White Lies record Ritual, due out January 17 in the UK.

A whole slew of new videos in the past few days from the other side of the Atlantic – let’s start with Kele, who has a new clip from his solo record The Boxer.

Video: Kele – “On The Lam”

Foals have rolled out a new video from their second record Total Life Forever.

Video: Foals – “Blue Blood”

Mystery Jets have a new short from this year’s Serotonin. eFestivals and MusicOmh also have interviews.

Video: Mystery Jets – “Show Me The Light”

6 Day Riot have a video for the first single from their forthcoming record On This Island, available in the UK on November 1.

Video: 6 Day Riot – “Take Me Out”

Oxford University’s Cherwell talks to Kate Nash, who has a new single to coincide with her North American tour. It kicks off later this month and includes a date at The Phoenix on November 13.

Video: Kate Nash – “Later On”

For whatever reason, the powers that be have decided that the UK video for La Roux’s “In For The Kill”, out for over a year, just won’t cut it for American audiences and have commissioned a new one. I guess their focus groups demanded more snakes, less cars.

Video: La Roux – “In For The Kill” (US)
Video: La Roux – “In For The Kill” (UK)

The Telegraph talks to Duffy, who releases her second album Endlessly on November 30.

Word is Johnny Flynn’s October 18 show at Lee’s Palace has been postponed until mid-November; all other shows on the North American jaunt, including the 19th in Montreal, appear to still be on, so no idea what the problem with T.O. is. Anyone else hear “Kentucky Pill” on last week’s Weeds? Of course not, because no one with any dignity should admit to watching Weeds anymore. Me, I just heard about it. On the Twitter. Yeah.

Spinner talks to Elvis Costello about his new album National Ransom, out November 2. You can download a track from the record at his website.

Norway’s Serena-Maneesh have rolled out a new video from S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor.

Video: Serena-Maneesh – “D.I.W.S.W.T.T.D.”

NPR is streaming a complete show from The Tallest Man On Earth.

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Stuck On Repeat

Review of Little Boots' Hands

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceSo Speech Debelle’s Speech Therapy won the Mercury Prize. Guess that shows all the predictors, pundits and bookies who were all Florence this and Bat For that what’s what. After all, before the nominations were even announced back in July, one of the odds-on favourites to win was Little Boots, and she wasn’t even nominated. That’s sort of how 2009 has seemed to go for Blackpool’s Victoria Hesketh – filled with immense expectations that were probably impossible to meet, and thus she was destined to be considered a disappointment no matter what she actually delivered.

And that’s really not fair. Taken entirely on its own merits, without any of the attendant buzz, her debut album Hands is a deliciously catchy collection of slick synth-pop that’s not especially deep, but is also never as vacuous as it could probably get away with considering its primary purpose is encouraging butt moving, not chin scratching. And perhaps that’s where the disappointment comes into it. I suspect that at the start, when Hesketh was making her name with cute and quirky bedroom performances of covers and originals on her YouTube channel, there were some expectations that she could be the thinking indie kid’s diva, crafting soundtracks for the skinny jean set to move awkwardly to.

Even though the initial singles that went onto her Arecibo EP were hardly lo-fi, they had a certain quality – like the slightly lurching, off-balanced throb to the beat in “Stuck On Repeat” – that seemed to imply that was a promise that she could deliver on. So for Hands to be as big and bold as it is could well have been something of a shock. I was certainly surprised at how unabashedly glammy and glossy it is – even after seeing her in full-on dance diva mode at SxSW – but it certainly hits my sugar tooth just right and has been in heavy rotation through most of the Summer. It may be a rather conventional dance-pop record but the hooks are still huge. Occasionally I wonder if I should be feeling guilty about enjoying it so much but if loving “Symmetry”, the duet with The Human League’s Philip Oakey, or the gorgeous shimmer of “Tune Into My Heart” is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

That said, it’s with the final, hidden track of Hands – the title track, no less – that you get a taste of what Hesketh sounds like away from the dance floor, and maybe what the album could have been. It’s a simple track, just voice and piano that contains more genuine personality than much of the rest of the album. It seems like a trifle, a little bit of Kate Nash flair, but somehow sticks long after the album is done. Don’t get me wrong – I have no complaints about Hands at all, but if the next record finds Hesketh stepping out of the disco and going for a contemplative wander through the quiet streets of the city, that might not be a bad thing at all.

In addition to Arecibo, Little Boots’ North American discography contains the Illuminations EP but not the full-length – it’s been given a vague “Fall 2009” target release date but the fact that it hasn’t hit the streets on the even of her first North American tour may be more evidence that some aren’t finding her to be the massive success they were expecting. Savages. Regardless, the jaunt begins this coming Monday night here in Toronto at Wrongbar and I am pretty certain that show will not disappoint in any way.

I Like Music and Portsmouth Today have interviews with Hesketh.

MP3: Little Boots – “Love Kills” (Buffetlibre vs Sidechains remix)
MP3: Little Boots – “Meddle” (remix)
Video: Little Boots – “Remedy”
Video: Little Boots – “New In Town”
MySpace: Little Boots

The Guardian talks to Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes, who I still maintain has the best of all the Mercury-nominated albums this year.

La Roux, who also didn’t win the Mercury, has a new video from the nominated self-titled album. Elly Jackson talks to The Daily Star and BBC and have a date at the Guvernment on October 23.

Video: La Roux – “I’m Not Your Toy”

Spinner talks to Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield about the problems that beset their last North American tour in 1999. Here’s hoping things go much better this time around, when they bring the ought-to-have-been-Mercury-nominated Journal For Plague Lovers, getting a domestic release come September 15, across the pond. They’re at the Phoenix on October 4.

Former Mercury nominee Richard Hawley will release his newest Truelove’s Gutter on September 22. There’s a video for the first single and the whole record is like a long, sustained swoon. Which is to say it’s lovely. Hawley chats with The Huddersfield Daily Examiner about the new record.

Video: Richard Hawley – “For Your Lover, Give Some Time”

Micachu & The Shapes have a new video. Look for them at the El Mocambo on September 29.

Video: Micachu & The Shapes – “Turn Me Well”

The Twilight Sad goes through Forget The Night Ahead track by track for The Skinny. The record is out September 22 and they play The El Mocambo on October 10.

The Sunday Mail has a quick chat with We Were Promised Jetpacks, also on that Twilight Sad tour and at the ElMo that night.

Noah & The Whale, whose new one First Days Of Spring is getting some solid praise, will be returning to North America including a Hallowe’en date at the Horseshoe in Toronto on October 31, tickets $15. Come dressed as your favourite Wes Anderson character! Actually, don’t – I am envisioning attending this gig surrounded by Richie and Margot Tenenbaum wannabes and it terrifies me. The album is out domestically on October 6.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Blue Skies”

6 Day Riot have rolled out a new video from 6 Day Riot Have A Plan. I have an interview conducted with the band back in March I still have to finish transcribing. I so suck.

Video: 6 Day Riot – “O, Those Kids”

Los Campesinos are giving away a free track. Just because.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future”
Video: Los Campesinos! – “The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future”

Massive Attack prepare for the release of a new EP entitled Splitting The Atom, out October 6, by talking to Spin, Under The Radar and Spinner, the last of whom also have a stream of a new song. There’s also streams of new stuff at Stereogum and The Guardian.

Clash interviews Milo Cordell of The Big Pink. A Brief History Of Love is out September 22, they’re at Lee’s Palace on November 29.

The Quietus and Drowned In Sound chat with Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne about the deluxe reissues of Foxbase Alpha and Continental and the Britpop days of yore.

Chuck Klosterman examines the Beatles reissues – out today, in case you hadn’t noticed the media saturation – for the AV Club.