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Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

NXNE 2013 Day Two

The National, Still Corners, Hayden, and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWish as we might, the day show still hasn’t quite taken hold of NXNE the way it has its heavyweight south by southwestern cousin, but there are things worth seeing and doing in the daylight hours if you look. And sometimes those things will take you to places like Urban Outfitters, who were hosting a honey of an in-store on the Friday of the festival. And sometimes, if you take the time to actually look at the address of the Urban Outfitters in question, you’ll get there on the first try, rather than use process of elimination, which is what I did. Aside: there are too many Urban Outfitters in this city.

Still, I made it to the correct Queen West UO location in time to see Florida’s Beach Day – cover boys and girls of my NXNE preview – setting up for the first of four shows they’d play in town this weekend. With their debut album Trip Trap Attack due the the following week – today, actually – they were primed to show off what they had to whomever would listen. And what they had was a fun and infectious retro-garage/surf pop sound that fit their name perfectly, though if you were to call them “Dum Dum Girls’ Little Archies”, you wouldn’t be wrong either. Besides the visual and stylistic similarities, singer-guitarist Kimmy Drake also has a Chrissie Hynde-like delivery not unlike Dee Dee Penny’s, and while their music doesn’t have the New Wave sophistication that elevates Dum Dum Girls above their peers, they do have a lot of youthful exuberance that also goes a long way. They play in an old style but do it like it’s brand new.

Photos: Beach Day @ Urban Outfitters – June 14, 2013
MP3: Beach Day – “Love Is Strange”
Video: Beach Day – “Beach Day”
Video: Beach Day – “Boys”

Following them from about as far as you could get, geographically and stylistically, were London’s Still Corners whose presence on the bill is what got me to take the day off work so as to be able to see them. It had been a long time since their local debut in October 2011 and neither their show a couple nights earlier opening for CHVRCHES nor their showcase that evening at The Horseshoe was logistically workable for me, so this was my best chance to hear Strange Pleasures live. Though the record’s ’80s-beholden, synth-heavy sound was quite a shift from the ’60s atmosphere of their debut Creatures Of An Hour, I’ve found myself liking it as much if not more. The band opted to not try and recreate their standard live show for the in-store setup, however, pre-apologizing if their messing with the set structure didn’t work as well as they hoped when they thought it up. They opened with three selections from Strange Pleasures with just band principals Tessa Murray on vocals and sequencer and Greg Hughes on guitar overtop some canned beats, the lushness of the new material’s recorded versions being traded in for some of the barer beauty more akin to the aesthetic of their debut, even when the rest of the band joined them for the remainder of the set. While they quite obviously weren’t unplugged, the performance had a similar intent with a greater emphasis put on Murray’s lovely vocals and allowing Hughes to show off some of his guitar chops. I do still wish I’d been able to hear the bigger, louder version of the show that those who saw their evening shows caught, but this was pretty special too.

The Boston Globe has an interview with Still Corners.

Photos: Still Corners @ Urban Outfitters – June 14, 2013
MP3: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”
MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”
MP3: Still Corners – “Eyes”
MP3: Still Corners – “Into The Woods”
MP3: Still Corners – “Cuckoo”
MP3: Still Corners – “Endless Summer”
Video: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”
Video: Still Corners – “Cuckoo”
Video: Still Corners – “Into The Trees”
Video: Still Corners – “Endless Summer”

After taking a few hours to tend to this and that – which is to say napping – it was off to Yonge-Dundas Square for the festival’s ostensible headlining act, and said act’s ostensible opener. That would be Hayden, a last-minute reveal given his appearance at Arts & Crafts’ Field Trip festival the weekend before, but not really a surprise considering their history together – Hayden Desser joined The National for a cover of his “Dynamite Walls” when they played The Phoenix in October 2007 and he also interviewed frontman Matt Berninger earlier this Spring. My own history with Hayden is pretty long as well – I first saw him at the Humanities Theatre in Waterloo back in 1996, and again opening for Juliana Hatfield at Guelph’s Trasheteria in 1998… but not since. To be honest, while I’ve always appreciated what Hayden did, I was never the biggest fan – his simple and genial brand folk-pop never quite resonated with me the way it did some, and this year’s Us Alone was the first of his releases I’ve listened to in almost forever (and I like it fine). But hearing those songs played out in the open air as the sun just began to set was really an ideal way to be reminded of the power of simplicity. Leading a trio and starting out on keyboards, he worked through an unhurried set of new tunes and old favourites – occasionally punctuated by a Crazy Horse-esque noise flourish lest you start to nod off – but mostly just comfortable and enjoyable. And hearing the songs with which he first garnered attention – Everything I Long For‘s “Bad As They Seem” and “In September” took be back the nearly 20 years since I first heard them, as well as appreciate how far his songwriting has evolved while staying in the same mould. And also that the throat-shredding gruffness he needs to affect for “In September” must really hurt.

Post-City has a feature piece on Hayden.

Photos: Hayden @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 14, 2013
MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”
Video: Hayden – “Oh Memory”
Video: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”
Video: Hayden – “Barely Friends”
Video: Hayden – “Where & When”
Video: Hayden – “All In One Move”
Video: Hayden – “Carried Away”
Video: Hayden – “Dynamite Walls”
Video: Hayden – “The Closer I Get”
Video: Hayden – “Bad As They Seem”

While the Yonge-Dundas Square mainstage of NXNE is fantastic in theory – free shows in the heart of the city with big names that help give a club-level festival a little major-league cachet – in practice it’s… less than fantastic. The built-in stage offers poor sightlines, made worse by the number of sponsors tents and beer cordons so that many in attendance are lucky to get some line of sight to one of the two video screens, never mind the stage. Add in massive crowds, many of whom are only there for something to do rather than actual fans and will think nothing of talking loudly through the whole set, and, well, maybe you’d be better off at the clubs. Unless, of course, the big-name headliner for this evening is one of your favourite bands of the past decade, in which case you suck up whatever complaints you might otherwise have and you see The National.

And if I thought that seeing them play an arena – albeit theatre-configured – in December 2011 was a headtrip, then seeing them in such a setting was just mental considering I still clearly remember our first meeting in March 2006 at The Horseshoe. Their environs were a touch amusing to the band, as well, with Matt Berninger commenting on the giant Beyonce H&M ads directly in his line of sight on the Eaton Centre, and Aaron Dessner noting the Blue Jays game was playing on another giant screen behind them. But they were here to do a job and do it they did.

Trouble Will Find Me lead track “I Should Live In Salt” set the tone for the evening, all stately melancholia, and certainly a far cry from the merry bedlam The Flaming Lips brought to the same stage the year prior. Even as their stages have gotten bigger, their show has remained pretty consistent – Berninger anchored centre stage, microphone gripped tightly, Dessner twins flanking him on guitars and the Devendorff rhythm section laying back and tending to business. The Dessners did alternately step out towards the audience whilst powering the band’s crescendos, but Berninger didn’t venture out to meet the audience until “England”. And while the public square is arguably the least acoustically favourable place they’ve played in the city, there was something special about hearing the likes of “Apartment Story” and “Fake Empire” ring out and off of the steel and glass surroundings.

The set naturally favoured Trouble and High Violet, but long-time fans were treated with “About Today” off of 2005’s Cherry Tree EP. Alligator has sadly gotten to the point of only being represented by the obvious “Abel” and “Mr. November”, though I will admit the latter takes on some new life when Berninger is now able to actually plunge into the crowd and be carried on the arms of, if not cheerleaders, then festival-goers. Having missed the end of their Air Canada Centre performance, their show-closing “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” was unexpected and powerful – pulling off an unplugged singalong can be difficult in a club or theatre setting; doing it on an outdoor urban stage? Nearly impossible. So of course they did, and with ease.

Some may grouse about the aforementioned problems of shows such as this and even used them as excuses to skip it, particularly knowing that the band will certainly return before long to do a proper ticketed show in a more personable venue. I took that as an extra reason to go to this show and appreciate its uniqueness, niggles aside. After all – R.E.M.’s free noon-hour show at the very same intersection in 2001 was also hardly an ideal concert setting, but it’s not one I’ll ever forget. I can’t say this one will be as indelible, all said and done, but for what it was, it was still great.

CBC Music and aux.tv have interviews with The National and NPR a World Cafe session.

Photos: The National @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 14, 2013
MP3: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”
MP3: The National – “Twenty Miles To NH (Part 2)”
MP3: The National – “Exile Vilify”
MP3: The National – “Think You Can Wait”
MP3: The National – “Afraid Of Everyone”
MP3: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
MP3: The National – “So Far Around The Bend”
MP3: The National – “Fake Empire”
MP3: The National – “90 Mile Water Wall”
MP3: The National – “Cold Girl Fever”
MP3: The National – “Son”
MP3: The National – “Beautiful Head”
Video: The National – “Sea Of Love”
Video: The National – “Demons”
Video: The National – “Exile Vilify”
Video: The National – “Think You Can Wait”
Video: The National – “Conversation 16”
Video: The National – “Terrible Love”
Video: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
Video: The National – “So Far Around The Bend” (live)
Video: The National – “Mistaken For Strangers”
Video: The National – “Apartment Story”
Video: The National – “Abel”
Video: The National – “Lit Up”
Video: The National – “Daughters Of The Soho Riots”
Video: The National – “Sugar Wife”
Video: The National – “Son”

Exclaim has details on the new Scud Mountain Boys album, entitled Do You Love the Sun and out July 9 digitally and August 6 on vinyl.

Esquire talks the festival life with Father John Misty. He plays a non-festival at The Danforth Music Hall on August 3.

Rolling Stone talks to Tommy Stinson about the Replacements reunion which kicks off August 25 at Riot Fest in Toronto at Garrison Common.

The first song from the new Okkervil River album The Silver Gymnasium is now available to stream via lyric video. The record is out September 3 and they play The Phoenix on September 28.

Stream: Okkervil River – “It Was My Season”

The Quietus gets to know former Okkervil River-er and current Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg in his capacity as an ornithologist.

Beatroute chats with Explosions In The Sky, in town supporting Nine Inch Nails at The Air Canada Centre on October 4.

NPR has premiered the new video from Low’s latest, The Invisible Way, while Drowned In Sound has posted a video session and interview with the Minnesotans.

Video: Low – “Plastic Cup”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of The Mountain Goats show at the soon-to-be-late Maxwell’s in Hoboken a couple weeks ago.

NPR and SF Weekly talk to John Vanderslice about making his latest record Dagger Beach.

NYC Taper has a recording of an Antlers show in New York last week.

Beatroute gets to know The Thermals.

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, November 7th, 2012

All Through The Night

Win an evening with Escort! No, not like that.

Photo By Jody KivortJody KivortI’m not diversifying into the adult entertainment industry, despite what some ads that occasionally get served here might imply, but am instead talking about New York’s Escort. Sometimes a lean five-piece band, sometimes a proper orchestra numbering as many as 17 – but always fronted by diva Adeline Michele – Escort have been busting out old-school yet thoroughly contemporary dancefloor disco electro-soul since 2006 but only just released their full-length debut Escort earlier this year and are now taking their legendarily slick and irresistibly fun live show on the road.

They’re hitting The Horseshoe this Saturday night, November 10, and if you’re thinking there’s no way they’d fit 17 people on that stage, you’re right – it’s going to be a smaller-form Escort that rolls into town, but if you think that means it’ll somehow be a smaller party… no. Just no. Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance, but courtesy of Webster Media Consulting, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want an Escort” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, November 8.

Metro has an interview with Michele about the genesis of the band, and the band’s just-released remix album – Escort Remixed – is available to stream in full.

MP3: Escort – “Love In Indigo”
MP3: Escort – “Make Over”
Video: Escort – “Why Oh Why”
Video: Escort – “All Through The Night”
Stream: Escort / Escort Remixed

School Of Seven Bells have made a track from their new EP, Put Your Sad Down, available to download. It’s out November 13.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Secret Days”

The Antlers have released a new video from their last EP, Undersea.

Video: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

Ahead of their appearance warming up for Titus Andronicus at Lee’s Palace later that night, Ceremony will play an in-store at Sonic Boom’s Kensington location on November 27 at 6:00PM.

MP3: Ceremony – “Hysteria”

And speaking of Titus Andronicus, The Village Voice has a profile piece on the band. As mentioned – Lee’s Palace, November 27. Them.

Passion Pit will team up with Matt & Kim for a Winter tour that stops in at The Kool Haus on February 16; tickets for that are $32.50 in advance.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”
Video: Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”

Denver Westword and The Seattle Times have interviews with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, who also just recorded a World Cafe session with NPR.

Benjamin Gibbard submits to a questionnaire from Exclaim and answers some more questions beyond that. He also performs video sessions for The Fly and NPR, and has released a video from his solo joint Former Lives.

Video: Benjamin Gibbard – “Teardrop Windows”

MTV Hive talks to Jason Lytle, opening up for Band Of Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

Nicole Atkins talks to The Village Voice about the damage that Hurricane Sandy did to her beloved New Jersey shore. She’s re-recorded the title track of her 2007 debut album, Neptune City, and re-released it to raise funds to rebuild the shore.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Neptune City (For The Shore)”

Bob Mould plays a video session for NPR.

Sam Fogarino reflects on Interpol’s past ten years to Spin. The Turn On The Bright Lights anniversary edition is out November 19. They’ve also shared a live video taken from their first Los Angeles show in 2002.

Video: Interpol – “Obstacle 1” (live at The Troubdaour, 2002)

Congratulations on doing several right things last night, America. First time I haven’t been bitterly disappointed by the outcome of an election in, oh, four years. I’ll be down there later this week to give some of you a big hug.

Friday, October 12th, 2012

I Am Haunted

Go to my co-presented CMJ show because, well, I can’t

Photo By Piper FergusonPiper FergusonI suspect most of your inboxes aren’t reminding you of it quite as insistently as mine is, but the fact is that the CMJ Music Marathon kicks off in New York next week. Retirement or no, heading down is always on the table because hey – week/end in New York that I can write off. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, that’s not happening this year because of work and other logistics, and it’s especially unfortunate because this year I’ve teamed up with the good folks at Hype Machine and some other blogger types from YVYNL, All Things Go, and No Fear Of Pop to put on a couple nights of free shows.

My night is Wednesday, October 17, at Brooklyn Bowl where you can, indeed, bowl as well as see live music – what will they think of next – and the impressively international bill stacks up as follows: New York’s own Virgins, who had no small amount of buzz circa their 2008 party-friendly self-titled debut and are looking to recapture that with a new lineup and a second album, due out in early 2013. Ameri-Kiwi psych-pop trio Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who’ve been turning heads whilst opening for Grizzly Bear on their Fall tour and have just announced they’ve signed to Jagjaguwar for the February 5 release of their second album II. From Los Angeles, The Neighbourhood do a kind of dark, neo-soul writ rock and have been making an impression with their debut EP …I’m Sorry. Copenhagen’s Indians, who recently found the perfect home for their dream-induced folk-pop with legendary label 4AD; their debut full-length is due out in 2013 and they’re opening up for Other Lives on tour this Fall – which is good, because it means I can catch them at The Horseshoe on November 23. And finally, there’s JJAMZ, the improbable West Coast electro-pop supergroup drawing DNA from Rilo Kiley, Phantom Planet, The Like, and, um, Maroon 5. Hey, it’s eclectic!

So if you’re going to be in New York next week – be it visiting or residing – do RSVP and show up, knock down some pins, cut a rug, whatever being in Williamsburg compels you to do. And if you do go, let me know how it is, yeah?

MP3: The Virgins – “Venus In Chains”
MP3: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “I’ll Come Back 4 U”
MP3: Indians – “I Am Haunted”
Video: The Neighbourhood – “Female Robbery”
Video: JJAMZ – “Heartbeat”

Closer to home, it really doesn’t seem like there’s been a time in the past few years when Ty Segall didn’t have an album coming out and/or a show coming up. His third record of 2012, Twins, just came out this week and even though he was just here at The Hoxton a few weeks ago, he’s already scheduled a return engagement – and this time the show will be Phoenix-sized. He’s back on February 6, tickets $16.50 in advance.

MP3: Ty Segall – “Don’t Talk To Me”
Video: Ty Segall – “The Hill”

Savoir Adore gets some blog love as BrooklynVegan has premiered a new video and My Old Kentucky Blog has a stream of their new album Our Nature, out next Tuesday. They’re at Rancho Relaxo tomorrow night.

MP3: Savoir Adore – “Sparrow”
MP3: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”
Video: Savoir Adore – “Empire Of Light”
Stream: Savoir Adore / Our Nature

Spinner talks to Benjamin Gibbard about his solo debut Former Lives, out next Tuesday but available to stream in whole now. He’s at the Danforth Music Hall on Sunday, October 14.

MP3: Benjamin Gibbard – “Teardrop Windows”
Stream: Benjamin Gibbard / Former Lives

The Aquarian, amNY, and PopMatters talk to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats while The AV Club solicits a goth playlist and The Fader a reading list. The Mountain Goats are at The Phoenix next Saturday, October 20, and they’ve just released both a new video and download from Transcendental Youth.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1”
Video: The Mountain Goats – “Cry For Judas”

There’s been a flurry of Sharon Van Etten goodness over the last few days – a new video from Tramp, a Black Cab Session, and a stream of a duet with Rufus Wainwright taken from a forthcoming Starbucks-assembled holiday compilation called Holidays Rule, available where you buy coffee come October 30.

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Magic Chords”
Stream: Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Spin reports that Dinosaur Jr will release a vintage live recording on vinyl come November 19; Chocomel Daze (Live 1987) is available to preorder now and a sample from it is streamable below.

Stream: Dinosaur Jr – “The Lung” (live 1987)

DIY talks to Jason Lytle, in town opening for Band Of Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

A new video from M. Ward’s A Wasteland Companion has premiered over at Team Coco.

Video: M. Ward – “Me And My Shadow”

Paul Westerberg talks to Rolling Stone about the covers benefit EP that will eventually be coming out credited to The Replacements.

Toro has an interview and Chart a video session with The Antlers.

The Alternate Side welcomes Bob Mould to their studios for a video session.

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Someone Great

Review of LCD Soundsystem’s Shut Up And Play The Hits

Photo via FacebookFacebookHaving only gotten around to discovering the genius of LCD Soundsystem with their third and final album This Is Happening, I feel immensely fortunate to have caught them live twice on their farewell tour – their final Toronto show in May 2010 and then in Chicago headlining that year’s Pitchfork Festival – probably more than someone as late to the part as I deserved.

But watching Shut Up And Play The Hits, the concert documentary covering their final ever concert at Madison Square Garden in New York in April 2011, I felt no small amount of regret that I didn’t move heaven and earth to be there. Not that I would have gotten a ticket, and not that I had even seriously considered it, but the film does such a great job of making it seem like it was much more than just a concert, but the a genuinely historic (at least from a musical perspective) passing of a band who so embodied their city for the decade that they were active. Even constrained to limited camera angles from the amount of gear and players on stage, the live footage captures both how great a live band they were – remarkable considering they were originally intended to be strictly a studio-bound concern – and just how much their fans loved them.

While I enjoyed the non-concert footage – particularly the Klosterman interview which I think became this Guardian feature – the scenes meant to show James Murphy’s first day of the rest of his life didn’t quite achieve the suspension of disbelief necessary. I mean, it’s possible that he acquiesced to having a camera crew waiting in his apartment while he slept and certainly does a good job of ignoring them while he goes about his band post-mortem business, but I don’t know. It’s too well-captured to not have been at least somewhat staged. And if I’m wrong and it really was all real life, fly on the wall stuff, my hat’s off to directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace for getting it so right. Ultimately a trivial complaint and I’m always up for more loving shots of New York City streets, but it did bother me.

The film is currently making the screening rounds – kind of a final farewell tour – and if you missed its last two times through Toronto (Hot Docs back in the Spring and last week where I saw it), note that it’ll be back for a third encore with screenings at The Bloor on August 3 and 4. The DVD edition, which also includes the entirety of the four-hour farewell show, is out October 9 and available to pre-order now – I long ago decided I’d stop buying music DVDs since I rarely/never watch them, but I think I’ll be making an exception for this one. And there’s a little bit of bonus/fan footage available to watch at The Creator’s Project.

Trailer: Shut Up And Play The Hits

If you were at that Shut Up screening last week, you would have seen a trailer for Searching For Sugar Man, the documentary that tracked down lost ’60s folk singer Rodriguez. The film begins a two-week run at The Bloor on August 10 and Rodriguez himself will be in town for a concert at The Mod Club on October 25, tickets $20. There’s feature pieces on the man and the film at The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Wall Street Journal.

MP3: Rodriguez – “Sugar Man”
Trailer: Searching For Sugar Man

Time makes a good case for why the just-released reissues of Sugar’s Copper Blue/Beaster and File Under: Easy Listening are so essential.

eMusic talks to Eternal Summers about their new album Correct Behavior. They’re at The Garrison August 7.

Interview talks to Cat Power about her new album Sun, due out September 4.

Trespassers William nave announced a September 4 street date for their final release Cast; a double-disc set with collects an album’s worth of rarities and b-sides and a full-length version of their 2009 EP The Natural Order Of Things.

NME talks to J Mascis about I Bet On Sky, the new Dinosaur Jr album due out September 18. They play Lee’s Palace September 24, 25, and 26 in support.

Rolling Stone talks Undersea with The Antlers, in town September 25 at The Great Hall.

The Mountain Goats have released the first MP3 from their new record Transcendental Youth, out October 2.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Cry For Judas”

October 2 also marks the release of the new Mark Eitzel solo record Don’t Be A Stranger. Details on the release – his third since the last American Music Club album The Golden Age was released but the first since that band was officially retired (again) – are available at Exclaim.

Paste checks in with Ben Gibbard, who’s putting out his first solo record Former Lives on October 16. This ode to recently-traded Seattle Mariners outfield Ichiro Suzuki probably isn’t on it.

Stream: Ben Gibbard – “Ichiro’s Theme”

Terribly if accurately named Los Angeles outfit He’s My Brother She’s My Sister are in town for a show at Parts & Labour on October 19.

Video: He’s My Brother She’s My Sister – “Touch The Lightning”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Andrew Bird, who’s just released a new video from Break It Yourself.

Video: Andrew Bird – “Give It Away”

Yours Truly has a video session with Of Montreal.

The Village Voice talks to Dean Wareham about Galaxie 500 and the odds of a Luna reunion. Update: NYC Taper has a recording of last week’s Dean & Britta performance in New York where they were joined on guitar by Sean Eden. 3/4 of the way there!