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Posts Tagged ‘Alabama Shakes’

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Welcome to My World

Depeche Mode announce North American tour to show off new album, sunglasses

Photo via FacebookFacebookMost bands of a certain vintage these days have at least one of a break-up, extended hiatus, reunion, core lineup turnover, artistic irrelevance, diminishing fanbase, or becoming a nostalgia act in their narrative. Depeche Mode, however, largely bucks that trend. At it – it being one of the most influential electronic/alternative bands going – for more than three decades now, their output may have slowed a bit following their opening pace of six albums in seven years, but since 1987′s massive Music For The Masses, they’ve kept a remarkably steady cycle of releasing a new record every three or four years – all critically well-received – with attendant world tours of impressively consistent (large) scale. And the core trio of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher has stayed intact since the departure of Alan Wilder in 1995.

All of which is to say that no one should be at all surprised that following last Autumn’s announcement of their thirteenth studio album Delta Machine, due out March 26, and corresponding Spring European dates, that there would be a North American tour to follow in the Fall. Not that fans shouldn’t be excited that the band are returning for their first dates on this side of the pond since 2009; Pitchfork has the full itinerary, which includes a return to the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1. Ticketing info is appropriately confusing, but even though the public onsale is officially April 4, there is a plethora of presale options to try and make sense of. So I leave you to that.

Exclaim talks to Andy Fletcher and Billboard to Dave Gahan about the new record, and the first single has a video to go with it.

Video: Depeche Mode – “Heaven”

If I’d waited a few days to post my writeup of Rachel Zeffira’s debut album The Deserters – out today – then I could have included the fact that she’ll be playing a show at The Drake Underground on May 2, tickets $15.50, but no – now I have to make a separate item for it. Alas.

Video: Rachel Zeffira – “The Deserters”

London-based dramatists The Veils have announced a North American tour in support of their new record Time Stays, We Go, due out on April 23. Look for them at The Drake Underground on May 4, tickets $15.

MP3: The Veils – “The Wishbone”
Stream: The Veils – “Through The Deep Dark Wood”

Having reaped the benefits of being on one of the most stacked buzz bills of the year a couple weeks ago with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Wampire, Los Angeles’ Foxygen have already made a return date in support of their debut We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic – they’re at Wrongbar again on May 9. The Oklahoman has a feature piece.

MP3: Foxygen – “Waitin’ 4 U”

Flying Lotus has announced another leg of touring behind last year’s Until The Quiet Comes; see him at The Sound Academy on May 15. Tickets for that will run $24.

MP3: Flying Lotus – “Between Friends”
MP3: Flying Lotus – “Such A Square”

While the “TBA” Of Monsters & Men date revealed earlier this month clearly hinted at being part of something bigger, it didn’t tip off that they’d be the sole international act on the bill for the inaugural CBCMusic.ca Festival, happening May 25 at Echo Beach. They’ll co-headline with The Sam Roberts Band, and be joined by Kathleen Edwards, Sloan, and a pile more CBC-approved Canadian artists; your tax dollars at work! Tickets are $59.50 and go on sale Saturday. So continue to complain, if you will, about the absence of a top-tier music festival in the GTA but don’t say you don’t have ample options for standing around all day in the sun watching a bunch of bands play short sets.

MP3: Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”
MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
Video: Sam Roberts – “Bridge To Nowhere”
Video: Kathleen Edwards – “Chameleon/Comedian”

Jose Gonzalez-led Swedes Junip have announced a North American tour in support of their self-titled new record, due out April 22. Look for them at The Great Hall on June 10, tickets $16.50. The first single from the record is also now available to download courtesy of Boing Boing.

MP3: Junip – “Line Of Fire”

That same night – June 10, if you don’t read these posts sequentially – San Francisco dance-punk unpronounceables !!! will be down the street at The Horseshoe, tickets also $16.50. They were here last July, yes, but this time they’ll have a new record in the wonderfully-titled Thr!!!er to push; it’s out April 30.

MP3: !!! – “Hello? Is This Thing On?”

If you were wondering who the big hip-hop NXNE closing act this year was going to be, wonder no more – Big Boi will play the free, Sunday night show at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 16 this year as part of his “Shoes For Running” tour with Killer Mike.

MP3: Killer Mike – “Go!”
Video: Big Boi – “In The A”

Alabama Shakes have done gone put together a Summer tour which brings them to Echo Beach on June 20, tickets for which are $37.50 in advance.

MP3: Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”

And in this week’s Toronto Urban Roots Fest lineup additions, we’ve got Kurt Vile & The Violators, with Vile’s new record Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze due out April 9. Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys in support of last year’s Big Station, The Felice Brothers still working 2011′s Celebration, Florida, and our very own Sadies, because it’s not physically possible to erect a stage anywhere in the 416 without The Sadies showing up to play it within 48 hours. It’s like boxes and cats. And with that, we’ve got almost 2/3 of the complete lineup announced – theoretically enough to convince people to buy a four-day pass? Those go on sale this Thursday at 1PM, with general admission passes going for $99.50 and VIP passes $299.50.

MP3: Kurt Vile – “In My Time”
MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”
Video: The Felice Brothers – “Celebration, Florida”
Video: Alejandro Escovedo – “Sally Was A Cop” (live)

If you were one of those disappointed by the abrupt cancellation of Animal Collective’s show at The Danforth Music Hall last Saturday night – attributed to a “sudden illness” that also claimed the next four shows, know that a make-up date has already been announced – your tickets are good for the new show on July 9, same venue, and if you can’t make it you can get a refund at the point of purchase.

MP3: Animal Collective – “Peacebone”
MP3: Animal Collective – “Water Curses”

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Montreal’s Osheaga announced this year’s lineup last night, both for Torontonians who might want to make the road trip up the 401 the weekend of August 2 to 4 for Canada’s only top-tier outdoor festival, and for people engaged in the noble sport of Lollapalooza-spotting, since the two fests traditionally share a goodly percentage of their lineups. Headlining this year are The Cure and Mumford & Sons, New Order, and Phoenix, followed by a solid lineup of usual suspects for the season. Some of the acts are already making an area stop at The Grove Fest in Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3, but I’m hoping some of the others have a Toronto date on their itinerary between Montreal and Chicago. The Cure, in particular, I’ve never seen live and I wouldn’t mind getting the opportunity to rectify that – I expect a Molson Amphitheatre date would make sense?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Until I Am Whole

New album news from (Mountain) Goats, and (Band Of) Horses, and (Grizzly) Bear(s) – oh my!

Photo By DL AndersonD.L. AndersonA veritable deluge of new album information came across the desk in the last day or so, though it could well have been delivered in a box of animal crackers.

First and least expectedly – at least I wasn’t expecting one – is a new Mountain Goats album entitled Transcendental Youth due out on October 2. There’s no sample track yet – not even one of those album trailers that are de rigeur these days – but instead and arguably better are a couple of essays about the album, one by John Darnielle, and another by way of the official bio by John Hodgman.

You can see the full album art over at Exclaim and, as something to listen to and keeping with the animal theme, a track from their 2000 album The Coroner’s Gambit.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Baboon”

Having teased that it was coming but not offering much in the way of specifics, Band Of Horses have spilled the beans on album number four, to be entitled Mirage Rock and due out on September 18; it certainly gives some context to their show at Echo Beach on August 15 opening up for My Morning Jacket. Pitchfork has some specifics and the first video from the album is available below.

Video: Band Of Horses – “Knock Knock”

And while Grizzly Bear had gone so far as to not only confirm a release date for their next record – also September 18 – and book a tour – Massey Hall on September 26 – they’d been coy about the actual title of the record until now. It’s going to be called Shields and you can see the album art and track listing over at Gigwise.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Sleeping Ute”

And while I’m not a fan, it’d be kind of ridiculous to not note that Animal Collective have a new one entitled Centipede Hz; it’s out September 4 and the first single is available to stream.

Stream: Animal Collective – “Honeycomb”

Ty Segall isn’t named for any kind of animal but he works like a mule; Pitchfork has details on his third album of the year – Twins is out October 9, giving some context to his show with Thee Oh Sees at The Hoxton on September 26.

San Diego garage-poppers The Soft Pack have announced a couple dates at The Garrison on October 9 and 10 as part of a tour in support of their second full-length Strapped, due out September 25. The first single is available to stream.

Stream: The Soft Pack – “Saratoga”

And shifting gears to some more concert announcements: After selling the hell out of Lee’s Palace back in April before their debut Boys & Girls was even out – the show was a week after the release date but every ticket was gone weeks before then – Alabama Shakes are coming back for a gig at the much more spacious Kool Haus on October 2, tickets for that $26.50 in advance. Full Fall dates over at Pollstar.

MP3: Alabama Shakes – “I Found You”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”

Of all the band hats that he has to choose from, Conor Oberst has decided to hit the road as Conor Oberst for a show at Massey Hall on December 8. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10AM and run from $39.50 to $60.50.

MP3: Conor Oberst – “Danny Callahan”
MP3: Bright Eyes – “Lover I Don’t Have To Love”
MP3: Desaparecidos – “The Happiest Place On Earth”

Major, the second album from Fang Island, is streaming over at NPR ahead of its official release on July 24.

MP3: Fang Island – “Sisterly”
MP3: Fang Island – “Asunder”
Stream: Fang Island / Major

The title track of Matt & Kim’s next album Let’s Go – release date still to be determined – is now available to download.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”

NPR and The New York Times have interviews with James Murphy, who reveals that LCD Soundsystem may not be quite completely dead just yet. But close. And then, luggage. The LCD doc Shut Up And Play The Hits is back in Toronto for a couple screenings next week at The Bloor Cinema, on July 18 and 19.

As promised, Luna’s seminal 1992 album Bewitched is getting its first-ever pressing on vinyl this Summer. It’s out August 21 and is limited to an edition of 2000, so it’s a good thing you can pre-order it now.

MP3: Luna – “Tiger Lily”

A Heart Is A Spade asks a few quick questions of Peggy from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

The Shins have a new video from Port Of Morrow. They open up for The Black Keys at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4.

Video: The Shins – “It’s Only Life”

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with Sharon Van Etten, who’s in town at the Phoenix on July 31.

PopMatters talks to Ira Elliot of Nada Surf.

Rolling Stone and The Boston Globe talk to Mission Of Burma about their new record Unsound, out now and streaming in full at Spinner.

MP3: Mission Of Burma – “Second Television”
Stream: Mission of Burma / Unsound

The Village Voice talks to Eric Bachmann of Archers Of Loaf.

PopMatters interviews Eisley.

Spin has posted their latest cover story on Cali power couple Best Coast and Wavves and thrown in a photo shoot gallery for good measure. Best Coast are at The Phoenix on July 21.

Monday, March 26th, 2012

SXSW 2012 Day Two A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangNotes from amidst the party-hopping and barbecue on the Thursday of SXSW are located over here.

Big Deal
- Ameri-English he-she duo armed with guitars, voices and sleepy, intimate songs who released their debut Lights Out came out in January.

Photos: Big Deal @ Jackalope – March 15, 2012
MP3: Big Deal – “Chair”
Video: Big Deal – “Talk”
Video: Big Deal – “Distant Neighbourhood”
Video: Big Deal – “Chair”
Video: Big Deal – “Homework”

Alabama Shakes
- Alabama-based southern rock & soul outfit who came into the festival with a tonne of buzz that only got louder with each performance. It should be just about deafening by the time their debut Boys And Girls comes out on April 10. Their April 17 show at Lee’s Palace is already sold right out. with NPR is streaming their performance at Stubb’s from the Wednesday night of the fest and Rolling Stone recorded a video session with the band at a Guitar Center and AL.com has an interview with frontwoman Brittany Howard.

Photos: Alabama Shakes @ Stubb’s – March 15, 2012
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “I Found You”

Savoir Adore
- New York outfit led by Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer who, since the release of their delicious 2009 debut In The Wooded Forest, appear to have decided that power pop is as much if not more fun than synth-pop. A second album can’t come soon enough.

MP3: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”
MP3: Savoir Adore – “Sparrow”
MP3: Savoir Adore – “Loveliest Creature”
MP3: Savoir Adore – “Bodies”
MP3: Savoir Adore – “We Talk Like Machines”
MP3: Savoir Adore – “The Garden”
Video: Savoir Adore – “The Scientific Findings of Dr. Rousseau”
Video: Savoir Adore – “Bodies”

Photos: Savoir Adore @ Red Eyed Fly – March 15, 2012

Charli XCX
- The London-based electro-pop artist who may have gotten to Austin before her wave of hype, but only just. If all goes according to plan, it will be cresting when her debut EP is released in May. Rolling Stone and The Austin Chronicle have interviews with the girl born Charlotte Aitchinson.

Photos: Charli XCX @ Red Eyed Fly – March 15, 2012
MP3: Charli XCX – “I’ll Never Know”
MP3: Charli XCX – “Valentine”
MP3: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”
Video: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

SXSW 2012 Day Two

Savoir Adore, Alabama Shakes, Big Deal and more at SXSW

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangKnow what makes it a bit difficult to concentrate on covering stuff in the afternoon? Finding out in the morning that you’ve won a ticket to see Bruce Springsteen in an intimate theatre show that night. Not bragging – okay, a little – just adding some context. And bragging. Yeah.

Anyways, after doing my victory dance (don’t pretend you don’t have a victory dance) I did get out into the world to check out a day show at Jackalope run by fellow blogger Rawkblog that featured one of the bands I was set on catching this week, trans-Atlantic duo Big Deal, whose debut Lights Out I enjoyed back in January. And as much as their combo of loud and soft was a nice way to start the day, they were a bit of a case study in what works well on record doesn’t necessarily work live. As on record, Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe strummed their guitars and sang their songs but what came across as intimate in the headphones was just underwhelming on stage, not helped by the duo’s general lack of charisma. Underwood tried to engage the audience by making some drummer jokes – the meta-joke perhaps being that they didn’t have a drummer – but considering how much their cover of Big Star’s “Thirteen” sped up and slowed down, maybe they should have considered getting one.

You’ll have to fast-forward a couple hours for the day’s next act as I spent some time catching up with friends and just hanging out, but things pick up at Stubb’s for Alabama Shakes. They were one of the festival’s busiest and buzziest bands and based on the half of their set I caught, all the attention was deserved and they were seizing the moment with two hands. Brittany Howard was a dynamic frontwoman and with her cohorts, turned out big, brassy southern-fried rock richly informed by gospel, soul and attitude. Their debut Boys & Girls is out April 10 and they’re at Lee’s Palace on April 17.

Since missing their NXNE show in June of 2010, I’ve been patiently waiting for New York’s Savior Adore to come back to town; that hasn’t happened so seeing them in Texas was the next best thing. Showing up a little late to their set at Red Eyed Fly, the band – ostensibly the duo of Deirdre Muro and Paul Hammer but operating as a five-piece – were already in top gear and quite surprised me with how big and polished their performance was. I expected something a little more studio-y based on the sheen of their debut In The Wooded Forest, but they were like a full-on power pop band up there, complete with dance moves echoed by the audience. Good times all around, and I can’t wait for a second album, local show or ideally both.

I can’t exactly say why I decided to see London’s Charli XCX – probably a combination of her only other show being at the sure-to-be-jammed Pitchfork showcase, her having just signed to Los Angeles label IAMSOUND, who’d incubated the likes of Florence & The Machine and Little Boots, or simply the fact that I was already there. Probably mostly that last one but definitely some of the first two as well. Having not had much time to do my homework on her, I didn’t really know what to expect and after her short set was done, I wasn’t really sure what I just saw. Her gothy/glammy electro pop didn’t necessarily have enough charisma, voice, songs or creativity alone to propel her to stardom but a savvy combination of all of the above could well do it… and then I could say I saw her when. Until then, though, it was just something random to keep me busy until my date with Bruce later that night.

So hey that new Shins record Port Of Morrow is out today and it’s up to stream at Spinner. To mark the occasion, James Mercer has been chatting with a media outlet or two as evidenced by features at The New York Times, NPR (who also have a World Cafe session), Clash, The Sydney Morning Herald, The National Post, and Spinner. The Shins are at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4.

Stream: The Shins / Port Of Morrow

The new Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s album Rot Gut, Domestic is out today and available to stream at Spinner, who’ve also premiered the new video from said record. They’re at The Garrison on April 5.

MP3: Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s – “Shannon”
Video: Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s – “Shannon”
Stream: Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s / Rot Gut, Domestic

The second part of the video feature at Dirty Laundry with Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers is now up. And over at Austinist, Crooked Fingers drummer Jeremy Wheatley gets a chance to speak his mind.

Interview, The Portland Press Herald, am New York, and The Detroit Free Press spend some time with The Head & The Heart.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Andrew Bird as well as a stream of his set at Stubb’s at SXSW last week.

Spinner welcomes Sharon Van Etten for an Interface session and NPR is also streaming her SXSW show at Stubb’s last week.

Tiny Mix Tapes chats with Doug Martsch of Built To Spill. I walked right past Doug Martsch on Red River St last week. True story.

Titus Andronicus have assembled a mixtape consisting of live material, covers, demos and a new song from a forthcoming 7″ in “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape with the Flood of Detritus”. And you can download it for free, because they’re just that generous.

Louisville’s Young Widows will be at Sneaky Dee’s on April 19 in support of last year’s In And Out Of Youth And Lightness.

MP3: Young Widows – “Future Heart”
MP3: Young Widows – “Old Skin”

Gogol Bordello return for a date at The Sound Academy on May 27, part of a North American tour. Tickets are $28.50 in advance.

Video: Gogol Bordello – “Trans-Continental Shuffle”

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Dark Parts

Review of Perfume Genius’ Put Your Back N 2 It

Photo By Angel CeballosAngel CeballosI’ll say up front that I never got around to listening to Learning, the first album from Seattle’s Mike Hadreas who performs as Perfume Genius, when it came out in 2010. While his short set of voice and piano didn’t get drowned out in the lineup of guitar-heavy rock at Matador 21 but rather impressively managed to silence it, at least for the duration of his short set, it didn’t manage to do the same against all the stuff I had to listen to at that time. And so it slipped by.

His second album Put Your Back N 2 It, due out tomorrow, will not be so ignored. It grabs and holds your attention not through any kind of force, but by its starkly vulnerable beauty. There’s no cataloguing the range of emotions that seems to exist at the exact resonant frequency of Hadreas’ voice – though they all hum at the approximate pitch of the darker side of love – but it’s impossible not to feel them. It’s a fragile and intimate thing with a vibrato that echoes Antony Hegarty’s, but whereas Hegarty dresses up his vulnerability in the costume of the cabaret, Hadreas seems to prefer to bare his for all to see.

This is not to say that Put Your Back N 2 It is a stripped down affair or without affect. There’s some theatricality in Hadreas’ delivery, as well as cues lifted from modern R&B and gospel stylings, but the songs never become genre pieces. And though it’s quite exquisitely produced, incorporating electronics and ambience and extra instrumentation as needed to give it dynamics and weight, none of it distracts from Hadreas’ voice and words. I suspect that if you open your ears and your heart to what he’s offering, that’d be nigh on impossible. I think I just said that Back was exquisitely produced; I’d like to amend that and simply say that Put Your Back N 2 It is exquisite.

The Line Of Best Fit, The Guardian, Irish Times, Clash, Drowned In Sound, and Nowness have interviews with Hadreas while The Fader gets a look into his tote bag. No, that’s not a euphemism. Perfume Genius play The Drake Underground on April 8.

And I just noticed that I still have a copy of Learning on CD shrinkwrapped on my shelf; better late than never, yeah?

MP3: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “All Waters”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
Stream: Perfume Genius / Put Your Back N 2 It

Brooklyn buzz duo Tanlines – who will release their debut album Mixed Emotions on March 20 and have people all abuzz over their just-released fancy 360-degree video – will be at Wrongbar on April 17. Tickets for that are $10.50 in advance.

MP3: Tanlines – “Brothers”
Video: Tanlines – “Brothers”

Southern rock’n’soul combo Alabama Shakes will follow up the April 10 release of their debut album Boys & Girls with a slate of touring that includes a date at Lee’s Palace on April 17; tickets for that are $16.50 in advance.

MP3: Alabama Shakes – “I Found You”

Though she’d originally promised a Fall return after her solo visit in July of last year, it’s taken a little longer for Eleanor Friedberger to come back to town in support of her solo debut Last Summer – but she’s coming back. She’ll be at The Garrison on May 4 and to help whet your appetite, there’s a pretty big Saki Session available to download at Epitonic. She also talks to The Boston Globe about why she’s a fan of Portlandia and is making appearances on their ongoing live tour.

MP3: Eleanor Friedberger – “My Mistakes”
MP3: Eleanor Friedberger – “I Won’t Fall Apart On You Tonight” (live at Saki Sessions)

Supporting Friedberger on this tour will be Brooklyn’s Hospitality – yes, this will be their third visit in five months, they’re at the Horseshoe on February 29 supporting Tennis – but their self-titled debut is so good, no one should be complaining. They do a complete reading of the record for their own Epitonic Saki Session; “Betty Wang” isn’t listed but it’s tacked onto “The Birthday”. There’s also an interview at The Pitch and frontwoman Amber Papini writes about her affection for New York at The Huffington Post.

MP3: Hospitality – “Friends Of Friends”
MP3: Hospitality – “Sleepover” (live at Saki Sessions)

And as promised, The Beach Boys – with Brian Wilson and possibly John Stamos on board – are marking their 50th anniversary with a massive tour and it will include a stop at The Molson Amphitheatre on June 19. Tickets go on sale for that February 25 and yes, it will probably be expensive. They’re not doing this for love. Well, maybe Mike Love is doing it for Mike Love. Anyways, The New York Times talks to Brian Wilson and Mike Love about getting the band back together and the new album that’s come out of it.

Video: The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”

Drowned In Sound interviews Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. The new record Love At The Bottom Of The Sea comes out on March 6 and they play The Sound Academy March 30.

Exclaim The Shins talks to James Mercer of/who is The Shins about their/his comeback album Port Of Morrow, due out March 20, and Stereogum has a video of him performing one of the new songs acoustic-styles.

The AV Club tackles the unenviable task of providing a guide to the world of The Elephant 6; it’s a psych-pop rabbit hole of the best kind.