Posts Tagged ‘Acorn’

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Where You Are

The Snowtorious B.I.G. is coming. So are The Submarines.

Photo By Autumn De WildeAutumn De WildeWith a massive-ass snowstorm bearing down on most of the eastern half of the continent last night, the smart thing to do would probably have been to stay home and hunker down. I opted for option b), trying to beat the storm to the Sound Academy and back for The Decemberists, so today’s post is weather-shortened and consists of just show announcements.

Starting with adorable duo The Submarines from sunny California. They’re going to be releasing a new record in Love Notes/Letter Bombs come April 5 – their first since 2008’s Honeysuckle Weeks – and while the full tour itinerary to support it hasn’t been released yet, it starts in Austin, Texas in mid-March during SxSW and makes it up to Toronto for a show at The Horseshoe on April 22, tickets $12.50. Assume that any points in between there and here is fair game over the intervening month. Check out the first MP3 from the new record.

MP3: The Submarines – “Birds”

I’ve never fully understood what the deal was with the Verge Music Awards, sponsored by XM station The Verge, but the awards ceremonies usually feature a pretty solid lineup of acts. And so it is this year that on March 1, the Mod Club will host Gord Downie, Tokyo Police Club and The Acorn – tickets for the show are $20 in advance at Rotate This down on Queen St.

MP3: The Acorn – “Restoration”
Video: Gord Downie – “The East Wind”
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Wait Up (Boots Of Danger)”

Born Ruffians’s previously-announced cross-Canada tour now has a hometown finale – they’ll be at The Opera House on April 16, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have also announced a homecoming date for their Spring tour in support of Departing, out on March 1. They’ll be at The Phoenix on April 29, tickets $18.50. Hey, remember when you could see these guys at a half-filled Boat? Yeah, those days are GONE.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Montreal’s Malajube have set an April 30 date for the Horsesehoe, tickets $15. Their new record La Caverne is out April 19 and there’s a video trailer thing for it.

MP3: Malajbue – “Porte Disparu”
Trailer: Malajube / La Caverne

Peter Bjorn & John have assembled a world tour to support their new record Gimme Some when it comes out March 29. Look for them on May 6 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $20.

Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Breaker Breaker”

tUnE-yArDs has announced an April 18 release date for her new record w h o k i l l and talks to Pitchfork about it. They also have the tour dates, which includes May 12 at The Horseshoe.

MP3: tUnE-yArDs – “Sunlight”

And finally, that Sleigh Bells/CSS show which looked like it was going to be two jammed night at the Mod Club has congealed into a single evening at the Sound Academy, so stow that excitement. It goes down on May 17 and tickets are $20. And oh yeah, Sleigh Bells just put out a new vid.

MP3: Sleigh Bells – “Crown On The Ground”
MP3: CSS – “Alala”
Video: Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill”

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada

Godspeed You! Black Emperor make appointment to lay waste to Toronto

Photo by Eva VermandelEva VermandelAt first, no one even believed it was happening. Apocalyptic Montreal post-rock godheads Godspeed You! Black Emperor, basically inactive since touring behind 2002’s Yanqui u.x.o. ceased and presumed defunct, out of nowhere announced they were reconvening to curate an All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK in December 2010. And in typically cryptic Godspeed fashion, the accompanying press release mentioned that there would be additional dates in the UK and Europe and “9 American towns” but offered no further details.

Of course, it was that last bit that threw everyone into simultaneous euphoria and panic. Euphoria that those who missed out on their legendary live experiences would possibly get a chance to have their minds expanded/exploded, and panic that their own town might not be one of the lucky nine. Why nine? Did Manhattan and Brooklyn count as one or two? And the whole “America” thing was also alarming – North? United States of? The idea that the band would leave their home and native land out of the loop was unthinkable, but where Godspeed is concerned, nothing could be taken for granted. So a collective sigh was heard when the first set of dates was finally revealed a couple weeks ago, and there were decidedly more than nine municipalities covered and on both sides of the 49th.

Toronto, however, was conspicuously absent from the itinerary despite their routing coming oh-so close, wrapping in Detroit at the end of March. That there wouldn’t be shows here was unthinkable, but the when and the where… showed up last night. Though their shows at the Palais Royale at the start of the decade are nigh mythical (at least to hear it from those who were there, which doesn’t include me), their return will come at the decidedly cozier environs of Lee’s Palace over three nights next Spring – April 22, 23 and 24, the last of those being a dry, all-ages matinee show – you know, for kids! You’d think that would mean that 1500 people would get the chance to see them, but you can expect more than a few three-peat attendees. It might be almost seven months away, but when the $20 advance tickets go on sale this Thursday, hesitate at your peril.

MySpace: Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Chart talks to The Coast about their new album Queen Cities. It’s streamable at their Facebook (each track is embedded on their wall) and the lead track is available to take home for your very own.

MP3: The Coast – “Heartbreak City”
Stream: The Coast / Queen Cities

Soundproof profiles The Acorn.

As expected, here’s another video from Neil Young’s new record Le Noise, due out today. There’s a video interview with both Young and producer Daniel Lanois over at QTV.

Video: Neil Young – “Walk With Me”

Suuns have rolled out a new video from their forthcoming debut Zeroes QC. It’s out October 12.

Video: Suuns – “Up Past The Nursery”

Olenka & The Autumn Lovers have completed their new album and given it the title of And Now We Sing; it will be available for sale on their upcoming Fall tour which includes an October 17 date at The Garrison. Their show there last year was so good, I’m sad I won’t be able to make this one. One of you out there make it for me.

MP3: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – “Eggshells”

The Chicago Tribune has an interview with and Baeble Music solicits a mix tape from Basia Bulat. She’s at the Phoenix on October 26 opening up for Josh Ritter.

Pitchfork has got another new track from Diamond Rings’ forthcoming debut Special Affections in advance of its October 26 release. He plays a free show at the Parkdale Branch of the Toronto Public Library on October 8 at 8PM and a record release show at The Garrison on October 26.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “Something Else”

Impact 89 has a chat with and NPR a World Cafe session with Dan Mangan, in town at Trinity-St. Paul’s on October 28.

Woodhands are back for a show at Lee’s Palace on November 19, advance tickets $13.50.

MP3: Woodhands – “Dissembler”

The Line Of Best Fit has assembled a thirteenth Oh! Canada download mix of Canadian artists.

And not quite fitting in with the Can-con meme of the rest of the post but time-sensitive, North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees – introduced and endorsed back in June – have announced a last-minute in-store performance at Soundscapes today – as in today – at 5:30PM. I haven’t yet had the privilege of seeing them live but I’m pretty sure it’ll be great. You should totally go.

MP3: Lost In The Trees – “All Alone In An Empty House”

And less good, tonight’s Bettie Serveert show at the Drake has been cancelled due to passport issues. Le boo.

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Eight Miles High

Music blog turns eight, pauses, gets on with it

Photo via CBCCBCHere we are – another September 2, another blogiversary and another year in the books of doing… whatever this is. I have to tell you, there’s a great temptation on my end to use this occasion to get into some existential angst about where this site has been, where it might go and what on earth I’m going to do when it all inevitably ends (I’ve no idea and that’s terrifying), instead I’m just going to say fuck it, I’ll cross or fall off that bridge when I come to it.

For now, I’ll take some satisfaction in the fact that eight years is a long time in the real world – some of my blogging peers today weren’t even in high school when I started, for goodness sake – and a veritable eternity in internet time and extend my thanks to all of my readers who’ve been along for the ride at any point along this journey. This is nearly as much fun when no one reads it. Besides that… hell, I don’t know. Every year I tell myself I’m going to prepare something special post-wise or even event-wise for the anniversary but instead, it ends up being a case of, “oh shit, what day is it again?”. I actually did manage to put something proper together last year. All you get this year is a cover of this post’s namesake by this blog’s namesake.

MP3: Ride – “Eight Miles High”

And in other news. The Toronto International Film Festival opens up next week and coinciding with it is the grand opening of the festival’s new headquarters, the Bell Lightbox, down at King and John. Which in and of itself isn’t that significant hereabouts (though a functional building is always nicer than a construction site) but to mark the occasion, they’re throwing a block party on September 12 from 11AM to 4PM with all manner of goings-on, including performances from three of the ten Polaris shortlisters – Karkwa, The Sadies and Radio Radio. They’ll be playing from 12:20PM to 2PM and at 3PM, they’re promising another musical act who is one of “Canada‚Äôs hottest global superstars”… guesses, anyone?

Beatroute interviews Win Butler of Arcade Fire.

Shout Out Out Out Out have a date at Wrongbar on November 4. Their last album was 2009’s Reintegration Time.

Video: Shout Out Out Out Out – “Coming Home”

A bunch of new videos released today that up the Can-con quotient of the internet. First there’s a clip for “Quarry Hymns” from Land Of Talk’s new album Cloak & Cipher. Exclaim has posted some more of their interview with Liz Powell than appeared in this month’s cover story. Land Of Talk play Lee’s Palace on September 16.

Video: Land Of Talk – “Quarry Hymns”

The Acorn has a wonderful new stop-action clip from No Ghost. They’re releasing a remix album entitled Make The Least Of The Day on September 14 – details at Exclaim.

Video: The Acorn – “Restoration”

Black Mountain have released a second vid from Wilderness Heart, which will be out September 14. Beatroute has an interview with the band, who will be at the Phoenix on October 31.

Video: Black Mountain – “The Hair Song”

PitchforkTV has a Tunnelvision feature on Diamond Rings, whose debut Special Affections will be out on October 26.

Tokyo Police Club’s David Monks talks to Beatroute. They’re at the Ricoh Coliseum on October 22 in support of Phoenix.

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Quarry Hymns

Review of Land Of Talk’s Cloak And Cipher

Photo via Saddle CreekSaddle CreekWhen their debut mini-album Applause Cheer Boo Hiss arrived in 2006, Land Of Talk appeared as though Canada had a new hard rock heroine in Liz Powell, her white-hot guitar work matched only by her distinctive vocals, equal parts angst and yearning. It wasn’t a title – or pigeonhole – that Powell seemed interested in, however, and their 2008 proper debut album Some Are Lakes surprised not only by dialing down the white-knuckle rock in favour of a somewhat softer and more spacious sound, but by making it sound as good, if not in some ways better, than the big, brash document that many had been imagining it would be.

Last year’s Fun & Laughter EP reignited those expectations, though, as producer Jace Lasek coaxed back some of the rough edges that Lakes producer Justin Vernon had smoothed out and with Lasek also helming album number two, perhaps expectations that we now lived in a kinder, gentler Land Of Talk were premature. Instead, Cloak And Cipher – out next week – again confounds expectations by splitting the difference and proving, perhaps, that it doesn’t really matter who’s producing or what the balance of heavy and light songs across the record are – it’s the quality of the songs that matters and in that department, Cloak And Cipher delivers.

It’s been suggested that Land Of Talk are one big song away from breaking out in a major way and if that’s true, then Cloak And Cipher is probably not the record that will do it. It holds no anthem or ballad that stops you in your tracks or burrows deep into your skull on a single listen – what it does have is ten compositions that showcase the breadth of Powell’s talents, each sounding fully self-realized and yet for all the shifts in tones, textures and players, hang together marvelously. Album standout “Quarry Hymns” sounds deceptively simple but is just about perfect in how it’s assembled, showcasing Powell’s ability to mate her distinctive voice with just the right melody and phrasing and her unconventional, spidery guitar playing while the blistering “The Hate I Won’t Commit” aptly demonstrates her punk edge is still well intact but even then, is exceptionally layered and sophisticated. No breakout hit? No bangers? No jams? That’s fine, I’ll take a rich, solid from top to bottom album every day of the week.

The National Post is currently streaming the whole of the new record with accompanying song-by-song commentary from Liz Powell. In addition to the one download below, you can get “Quarry Hymns” over here in exchange for your email address. Land Of Talk play Lee’s Palace on September 16.

MP3: Land Of Talk – “Quarry Hymns”
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Swift Coin”
MySpace: Land Of Talk

Dan Mangan is staging a cross-country tour this Fall that includes a stop at Trinity-St. Paul’s in Toronto on October 28, tickets $22.50, with Bry Webb (formerly?) of Constantines supporting in his Harbourcoats guise. The Polaris-nominated Nice, Nice, Very Nice was just released in the US.

MP3: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Robots”

Also coming from out west and graduating on to bigger rooms is Hannah Georgas, who is teaming up with Royal Wood for a cross-country tour that will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on November 26.

MP3: Hannah Georgas – “Chit Chat”

Prefix interviews The Acorn

NPR is streaming a full session with Laura Marling.

The Daily Mail has a feature piece on Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine. She’s at the Sound Academy on November 3.

Just Played chats with Rose Elinor Dougall; her solo debut Without Why is out August 30.

This week, Exclaim is streaming the whole of Mogwai’s live album Special Moves, due out next week.

Stream: Mogwai / Special Moves

Rolling Stone talks to Nick Cave and Exclaim to Jim Sclavunos of Grinderman, whose Grinderman 2 is due out September 14 and whom the Huffington Post is calling the “first great band of the Anthropocene epoch”. Well duh. Grinderman play the Phoenix on November 11.

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Basement Scene

Deerhunter hit the road; deer everywhere on notice

Photo By Barry KlippBarry KlippBradford Cox’s Deerhunter first began marketing their forthcoming album Halcyon Digest earlier this Summer via unconventional means, initiating a campaign wherein fans would download and print off old-school, xerox-styled flyers promoting the record and submit pictures of them posted up in and around their neighbourhoods in exchange for MP3 goodies, both from the new record and the Deerhunter archives. I can’t say as that I’ve seen any around my own hood, but clearly people have been participating.

As the September 28 release date for the new record draws near, the Atlanta-based band are gearing up for a more conventional but proven effective means of record promotion – touring their asses off. Pitchfork has the full itinerary, which includes a handful of northeast US dates this month before kicking off in earnest come October. Toronto welcomes them back – they were just here in March opening up for Spoon – on October 19 for a date at the Opera House, where they’ll be supported by Real Estate and Casino Vs Japan.

MP3: Deerhunter – “Revival”

A Place To Bury Strangers have released a new video from Exploding Head.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “I Lived My Life To Stand In The Shadow Of Your Heart”

Antony & The Johnsons have released an MP3 for the title track from their forthcoming EP Thank You For Your Love, out August 24, as a teaser both for the short-player and the full-length it’s taken from, Swanlights, which will follow on October 12.

MP3: Antony & The Johnsons – “Thank You For Your Love”

The AV Club interviews Dean & Britta.

Nashville Scene talks to Josh Ritter. He’s at the Phoenix on October 26.

Jim James tells Rolling Stone that My Morning Jacket have been back in the studio and a new record is targeted for mid-2011.

Spin talks to Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies about their new record Blood/Candy, out September 28, and has a stream of the song “Licenses to Hide”, which features vocals from Lisa Lobsinger of Broken Social Scene and Reverie Sound Revue.

The Tripwire gets in the back of a van with The Acorn. For a video session. Get your mind out of the gutter.

The Toronto Star has a feature piece on Arcade Fire. They’re at the Toronto Islands next Saturday and last night’s MSG show is available to stream on YouTube.

As proof that their gig at the Phoenix in April actually did count as an intimate club show, Wolf Parade will be back for the finale of their Fall tour in support of Expo 86 at the Sound Academy on November 26.

MP3: Wolf Parade – “Ghost Pressure”
MP3: Wolf Parade – “What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)

The Line Of Best Fit has released a new Oh! Canada compilation of Canadian MP3s as assembled by Brits.

Dublin’s Villagers, whose Becoming A Jackal has been shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, has a date at the Drake Underground on September 27. Tickets $10 in advance.

MP3: Villagers – “Becoming A Jackal”

Spinner talks to Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite about the band’s new studio album which is targeted for a February 2011 release. Their Burning/Special Moves live set is due on August 24.

NME talks to Paul Smith of Maximo Park about releasing his first solo album Margins, due out October 11.

MP3: Paul Smith – “North Atlantic Drift”

Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers gives BBC6 some details on their forthcoming record Postcards From A Young Man, coming September 27.

Nick Cave discusses Grinderman with Rolling Stone. Grinderman 2 is out September 14 and the North American tour kicks of November 11 at the Phoenix in Toronto. I don’t think people are sufficiently excited about this show because it’s not possible to be sufficiently excited about this show.

Brooklyn Paper talks to Jack Rabid, publisher of The Big Takeover which has just celebrated 30 years of being one of the finest and most dedicated music magazines out there. Salut.