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Posts Tagged ‘Basia Bulat’

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Show Me Your Loves

NXNE 2014 comes with blessings from St. Vincent

Photo By Renata RakshaRenata RakshaIt may not technically be Winter out there yet, but it certainly feels it and so you can’t be blamed for wanting to look ahead to Summer – particularly when NXNE is getting out there months earlier than in the past with artist announcements for next year’s festival, which will run June 13 to 22 – this means the main weekend of shows is a week later than past years and thus will NOT be happening concurrently with LuminaTO, Taste Of Little Italy, the MMVAs… all of which is to say you will actually be able to get around the city that weekend.

Leading announcements off in the biggest font is Ms Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. Yesterday, she confirmed details of her fourth album – a self-titled effort coming out February 25 – and today announced a Spring tour behind the record. NXNE isn’t scheduled contiguously with those dates, though, so either Annie’s getting on a plane just to come see us or more dates are happening this Summer – good news for those in markets not included in the itinerary, though to be fair, there aren’t that many. There’s no details on where she’s playing, but the show looks to be happening on June 20. It’s questionable if she’s big enough to anchor Yonge-Dundas Square that night, but considering her trajectory of local shows has gone from opener at Lee’s in 2007 through packing The Horseshoe in 2009 and then The Phoenix in 2011, it’s not unreasonable – after all, you know how you become a festival headliner? You headline a festival. You can stream a track from St. Vincent below and The Quietus has an interview with Annie Clark.

St. Vincent wasn’t the only notable name amongst those announced yesterday; you also had Danny Brown, Mac DeMarco, Speedy Ortiz, Rhye, Snowmine, and Until The Ribbon Breaks. A pretty good start and six more months to make it even better. Wristbands are on sale now and the early bird price of $75 is good until the end of the year – and 2-for-$75 until December 24; then it goes up to $99 until May and finally $150. Do with that information what you will.

MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Annie”
MP3: Snowmine – “Beast In Air, Beast In Water”
MP3: Danny Brown – “Die Like A Rockstar”
Stream: St. Vincent – “Birth In Reverse”
Video: Rhye – “Open”
Video: Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”
Video: Until The Ribbon Breaks – “Back To the Stars”

And oh yeah, Canadian Music Week also announced the first batch of bands playing their festival next year during its new dates of May 6 to 10. It’s okay if you don’t recognize any of the names. Not many people do.

Neil Young has announced a special benefit show in support of Aboriginal peoples fighting oil sands development in their territories. That’s happening January 12 at Massey Hall where he’ll be supported by Diana Krall and tickets range from $95 to $250, going on sale Friday. Information on the cause can be found at Treaty 8 and Honor the Treaties. Young’s new archival release Live At The Cellar Door came out this week.

Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”

Solo Stroke Albert Hammond Jr was just here last month promoting his new EP AHJ, but will return on January 14 for a date at the Sound Academy supporting Jake Bugg. Which I’m sure he’s totally cool with. Scotland On Sunday, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Pitch have interviews.

Video: Albert Hammond Jr – “Carnal Cruise”

One of the more talked-about bands of the latter part of this year – Syracuse’s punky Perfect Pussy – have put together an extensive tour behind their debut cassette EP I have lost all desire for feeling that wraps through the end of this year straight through to next, and wraps up in Canada, a January 25 date at The Silver Dollar being the second-to-last of the jaunt. Tickets for that show are $10.50 and their full-length debut is due out next year on Captured Tracks.

MP3: Perfect Pussy – “I”

Making up for the date he had to cancel in September because of a hand injury, Colin Stetson has announced two dates at the Workman Arts Theatre on February 14 and 15 behind his Polaris-shortlisted New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”

San Fermin, the Brooklyn musical collective headed by keyboardist Ellis Ludwig-Leone, will be at The Garrison on February 15 behind this year’s self-titled debut. Advance tickets are $11.50. DIY and Under The Radar have features.

Video: San Fermin – “Sonsick”

Nicole Atkins has given her crowdfunded new album Slow Phaser a February 4 release date – check out the album art and stream a new song at Paste and read an interview at Speak Into My Good Eye – and while full dates to support it are still forthcoming, it’s confirmed she’ll be at The Horseshoe on February 18, tickets $12.50.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Girl You Look Amazing”

North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees will be on the road and at The Garrison on February 23 in support of their new album Past Life, which comes out just a few days before on February 18. It’s the follow-up to 2012’s A Church That Fits Our Needs. Tickets for that show will run $13.50 in advance.

Video: Lost In The Trees – “Rites”

London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting, who blend archival educational film soundtracks and footage with driving, Kraut-derived instrumental rock to bracing effect on their debut Inform Educate Entertain are setting out on a North American tour with a stop at The Drake Underground on February 26. And if you think that a band playing along with visuals is inherently kind of boring, do check out this live performance video at Noisey and also read this interview at The National Student.

Video: Public Service Broadcasting – “Signal 30″
Video: Public Service Broadcasting – “If War Should Come”

Not only have Warpaint offered up a second taste of their forthcoming self-titled effort, out January 25, but they’ve announced a North American tour that brings them back to Toronto for a show at the Danforth Music Hall on March 25.

Stream: Warpaint – “Biggy”

Dum Dum Girls have announced dates in support of their new album Too True, coming out January 28, and it will feature support from Portland’s Blouse, who released their second album Imperium this year. They will be at Lee’s Palace on March 29, tickets $20.

MP3: Blouse – “No Shelter”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Lost Boys And Girls Club”

The Head & The Heart and Basia Bulat will team up for a pretty folk-ing great Spring tour that stops at The Kool Haus on March 30; both released acclaimed new albums this Fall – The Head & The Heart with Let’s Be Still and Bulat with Tall Tall Shadow – read an interview with The Head & The Heart at The Georgia Straight and watch a video session with Bulat at Public Radio International. Tickets for the show are $26.50 in advance.

Video: The Head & The Heart – “Shake”
Video: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

Demand for The 1975 has bumped their May 6 date at The Danforth Music Hall up to The Kool Haus. You have five months to remember this.

Video: The 1975 – “Head.Cars.Bending”

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Before Us

The Dog Day(s) of December are here

Photo By Seth SmithSeth SmithI’m not entirely sure when or why Halifax’s Dog Day fell off my radar; I was very much on board circa their 2007 debut Night Group and the 2009 follow-up Concentration, but missed out on 2011’s Deformer – which saw the quartet reconfigure themselves as just the duo of Seth Smith and Nancy Urich – completely.

But I’m on the ball with their new album Fade Out – which incidentally finds themselves a quartet again – and it’s nice to know that despite the personnel shuffles, out of the speakers not a lot has changed. Their roughly-hewn and downcast yet unfailingly melodic still evokes the spirit of their ’90s Maritime Can-rock forebears but those ingredients have also underpinned great rock music from many eras and locales. Dog Day sound very much like where they’re from but don’t confuse that with having only a regional appeal.

Fade Out is out December 10 and their eastern Canadian tour brings them to Toronto’s Cinecycle on December 14. Exclaim, The Halifax Chronicle Herald, and The Coast have interviews with Smith about the new album, which you can stream below.

MP3: Dog Day – “Wasted”
Stream: Dog Day / Fade Out

NOW gets to know No Joy, in town at The Garrison tomorrow night, December 5.

Rolling Stone has an advance stream of the new Neil Young archival release Live At The Cellar Door, which captures two acoustic shows in 1970. The album is out December 10.

Stream: Neil Young / Live At The Cellar Door

Pitchfork has surfaced a new song from Doldrums, currently without context but perhaps pointing towards a new release in 2014. Doldrums is at The Great Hall on December 13 for the second Long Winter.

Stream: Doldrums – “Dive Deep Pt 1″

The Drake Hotel has announced the lineup for this year’s What’s In The Box? mini-fest, which fills the Underground with the sounds of local bands and DJs for the five nights following Christmas at the non-inflationary price of $5. As always, there’s all sorts of up-and-coming talent on the bill, but readers of this site will want to circle December 27, when Alvvays take the stage, and December 30, when Rich Aucoin does his thing in a room he’s far too big to play in anymore.

MP3: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”
MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”

And speaking of musical holiday traditions, The Wooden Sky have announced details of their fourth annual holiday revue fundraiser to benefit the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank. It goes December 29 at 918 Bathurst and tickets will run $20, plus a donation of a canned good.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”

Stars are helping local radio station Indie88 celebrate their increased signal strength – which means I can now finally hear them in my car in downtown Toronto – with a rare club show at Lee’s Palace on January 18. Tickets are $8.81 and go on sale Friday.

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

After touring their self-titled debut around North America straight though to the year’s final days, local punks PUP will take a little breather and come right back for a hometown show at The Garrison on January 31.

MP3: PUP – “Reservoir”

Toronto synth-goth artist Trust has announced a March 4 release date for his second album Joyland. Exclaim has details, inevitable trailer is below.

Trailer: Trust / Joyland

If you were holding off on going to see Arcade Fire at the Air Canada Centre on March 13 because the only costumes or formalwear you have are for warm weather, then rejoice – the band have announced a return engagement as part of some late Summer tour dates at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 29. Tickets range from $30.50 to $70.50 and go on sale December 13 at noon.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

Young Galaxy look set to run away with the record for most videos from an album that’s not really an album, namely the bonus disc of the Ultramarine Deluxe edition. They premiered the latest clip via Stereogum.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Hard To Tell”

Tone Deaf and The New Zealand Herald interview Metric, who’ve released another new video from Synthetica.

Video: Metric – “Lost Kitten”

A Music Blog, Yea has an interview with The Darcys while The Toronto Star finds out why their recent gigs have been at area high schools.

Beatroute, The Montreal Gazette, Seattle Weekly, The Georgia Straight, and Victoria News talk to Basia Bulat.

Dan Bejar of Destroyer tells The Line Of Best Fit why he decided to make a record in Spanish. There’s also a video session with Destroyer at Dutch radio station 3voor12.

Beatroute checks in with Amber Webber of Lightning Dust.

CBC Music has video of Fucked Up’s tribute to the legendary Teenage Head show known as The Last Pogo, recorded at a very punk rock 9AM on a Saturday morning at The Horseshoe Tavern, scene of the original show in 1978.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

We Let The Shadow In

Review of Kashka’s Bound and giveaway

Photo By Jason GordonJason GordonFans disappointed by the disbanding of Toronto folk-pop stalwarts Forest City Lovers last Spring didn’t have long to mourn; frontwoman Kat Burns stepped out of one project and straight into another, assuming a new identity as Kashka and coining the term “folkpoptronica” in describing her debut album Vichada, released mere weeks later. It was a decidedly synthetic and dance-friendly offering, transporting Burns’ warm vocals and songwriting strengths into a sleekly futuristic landscape like a musical version of Tron.

Her second album Bound, released earlier this month, continues to spend quality time immersed in 0s and 1s with a more overt New Wave flavour, but also returns to its forest and city roots in incorporating more organic instrumentation into the mix. But the semantics of genre are secondary to the fact that the evolution of Burns’ pop instincts over the course of three Forest City Lovers album and the Kashka debut continues unabated here. The likes of “Never Had It” and “Lamplight” boast some of the finest melodies Burns has written to date, and their buoyancy coexists with the shadowy, introspective numbers she’s always been strong at. It’s far too early in her career to declare a record a summation of all that’s come before… but Bound rather is. It sparkles and smoulders and is a strong reminder that, whatever name she trades under, Burns is one of this city’s brightest talents.

Kashka plays a record release show for Bound at The Great Hall on December 5, supported by Warm Myth and Kelly McMichael & The Gloss and courtesy of the artist, I’ve got a pair of passes to the show to give away, along with a copy of the new album on your choice of CD or vinyl. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Kashka” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, December 3. And as a bonus, I’ve also got a pair of passes to give away for the Ottawa show at Raw Sugar on December 6, so if you’re reading from the nation’s capitol and want to go, same deal as above but put “I want to see Kashka in Ottawa” in the subject line.

Video: Kashka – “Never Had It”

It was as much a given as the new year itself, but The Sadies have confirmed their annual New Year’s Eve soirée at The Horseshoe on December 31; tickets $25.

Stream: The Sadies / Internal Sounds

They’ve been teasing its existence for a while, but The Hidden Cameras have finally announced details of their new album Age, which will be out on January 21. And to make up for the wait, they’ve announced a hometown record release show at Lee’s Palace on February 15, tickets $15.

Video: The Hidden Cameras – “Gay Goth Scene”

Their self-titled debut came out so long ago (2009) that it appears to be out of print, but Ottawa by way of Toronto rock machine The Balconies have finally gotten their second album together while expanding from a trio to a quartet; it’s called Fast Motions and will be out on January 28. Exclaim has details as well as some tour dates, including a February 1 local date at Lee’s Palace on February 1, tickets $10.50 in advance. They’re interviewed in the Victoria Times-Colonist and The Ottawa Citizen.

Video: The Balconies – “The Slo”

Chart takes Shad dollar bin-diving at Toronto’s Sonic Boom; The Winnipeg Sun also has an interview. He plays The Danforth Music Hall on January 31.

Interview gets to know Alvvays, whose debut self-titled album will be out in the new year.

Born Ruffians have premiered another new video from Birthmarks via Indie88.

Video: Born Ruffians – “6-5000″

Evening Hymns have released another video from last year’s Spectral Dusk.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Cabin In The Burn”

The Edmonton Journal, Metro, 77 Square, The Daily Tarheel, and 85-26 all talk to Basia Bulat.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Memoryhouse.

Friday, November 8th, 2013

UZU

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan and Jef Barbara at The Garrison in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangEven though I was able to wax effusive about UZU, the second album from Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, a few weeks ago, the fact is that was only half the story. Because for Yamantaka, arguably more than most bands, the live presentation is as much a part of what they do as the music itself. It’s one thing to hear the confluence of opera, prog, punk, and metal influences in their music, but it’s another to see them in Japanese Noh costume and face paint, with their stage dressings and lighting effects; it may not be a lavish production, but adds an invaluable dimension to the experience. And so I was pleased to be back at The Garrison on Wednesday night, in the same room where I first saw the Montreal-Toronto collective during NXNE 2012, just as their debut YT//ST was really catching fire and put them on a trajectory that landed them on the 2012 Polaris Prize short list.

Support on this night came from Jef Barbara, who despite coming from a decidedly different place musically with his latest album Soft To The Touch, also understood the value of visuals – hence the impressively sequin-laden jumpsuit and sneakers and flamboyant stage moves the Montrealer wore and executed onstage. Sonically, he and his band offered a very considered and finely-crafted sound akin to early ’80s Bowie/Smiths/Cure trying their hand at R&B and funk and having it come out glam; ingredients you’ve heard before but combined in a way that sounded as fresh as it did familiar. Not everything worked equally well – the extended jam that closed out the eight-song set wasn’t interesting enough to be either a set closer or extended jam – but when it came together, which was frequently, it was quite impressive.

Anyone looking for a material example of how success had changed Yamantaka needed look no further than their stage dressing; rather than the handmade cardboard cut-outs that flanked them for the YT//ST shows, they now had sturdy corrugated plastic sheets with the UZU artwork professionally affixed. But aside from that indulgence, their show was largely unchanged; which is to say it was still great. Vocalists Ruby Kato Attwood and Ange Loft started out circulating in the packed room while their bandmates played an extended overture of “Atalanta”, before taking the stage and kicking off an impressive, straight-through reading of their new album.

And though I wasn’t expecting a full-album recital, it really is the only thing that makes sense. UZU is such a cohesive, integrated work that picking individual songs would be not only difficult, it’d be a disservice to the whole. Only once, early on, did they break the fourth wall and chat with the audience and that was to allow Attwood to warn us that she was feeling ill and would be nursing on 7-11 tea through the show. And while she did audibly pull back with her voice at a few points, it wasn’t at all to the detriment of the show and the power of Loft’s voice more than made up for it. Though it’s Attwood and drummer Alaska B who are the band’s principals, Loft is their secret weapon both vocally and visually.

They could have called it a job well done after the final notes of album and set closer “Saturn’s Return” rang out, the dust from the thundering “One” that preceded it still hanging in the air. But they returned for a four-song encore of YT//ST material that was appropriately more primal-sounding and acted as further confirmation that even though the band had grown immensely on the new record, they still started from a place of remarkable assuredness and achievement. And just as it’s hard to separate the band’s sound and visuals, it’s hard to say if it would be harder to capture their live sound on record or reproduce their recordings on stage. It’s probably a good thing they’re astonishing at both.

The Montreal Gazette has an interview with Jef Barbara.

Photos: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, Jef Barbara @ The Garrison – November 6, 2013
Video: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “One”
Video: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”
Video: Jef Barbara – “Song For The Loveshy”
Video: Jef Barbara – “I Know I’m Late”
Video: Jef Barbara – “Sébastien”
Video: Jef Barbara – “Wild Boys”
Video: Jef Barbara – “Les Homosexuelles”
Video: Jef Barbara – “Cocaïne Love”
Video: Jef Barbara – “Larmes de Crocodiles”
Video: Jef Barbara – “Flight 777″

I’ve been waiting most of this year for news of Toronto indie-pop outfit Alvvays’ debut album, and it’s finally here. Well, the news – not the album. Exclaim reports that their self-titled, Chad VanGaalen-produced debut will be out next year, but they’re sharing the first single from it with a video premiered at Nylon. They’ll play it and other lovely songs at The Hoxton when they open for Young Galaxy on November 22.

Video: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”

Stereogum has premiered the new video from Born Ruffians, taken from their latest album Birthmarks. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on November 22.

Video: Born Ruffians – “Permanent Hesitation”

A little late to this one but I think this Spike Jonze-directed, live thing from the YouTube Music Awards last weekend is counting as the new video from Arcade Fire’s Reflektor. And if it’s not, oh well.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Basia Bulat.

Exclaim and The 405 talk to Spencer Krug of Moonface.

The Georgia Straight talks inspiration with The Darcys.

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Bye Bye

A CanCon post, since there’s absolutely nothing newsworthy happening in Canada or Toronto right now

Photo By Ted BoisTed BoisYup, quiet as hell up here. Though I heard from somewhere that people have been waiting for a video of some kind to surface…? Well here’s five new ones.

Stereogum has premiered the new chicken farm-set clip from Destroyer, taken from Dan Bejar’s forthcoming Five Spanish Songs EP which will be out on November 25. He’ll be on stage at The Opera House – not The Great Hall, as originally scheduled – all by his Bejar-ness, on November 9.

Video: Destroyer – “Bye Bye”

Or there’s the new video from Metric, for the title track of last year’s Synthetica, which got unveiled to the world via Rolling Stone.

Video: Metric – “Synthetica”

Young Galaxy also have a new video, squeezed out of the new tracks on the Ultramarine Deluxe reissue. They play The Hoxton on November 22.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Privileged Poor”

Islands have a new video from their latest release Ski Mask. There’s also interviews at The Coast, The Chronicle-Herald, and The Aquarian.

Video: Islands – “Wave Forms”

And Vancouver’s Brasstronaut have a new clip from last year’s Mean Sun.

Video: Brasstronaut – “The Grove”

And in non-video/crack-related news, Kashka is marking the release of Bound – her debut album as Kashka – by streaming the whole thing, and it’s lovely. Anyone who was sad about the end of Forest City Lovers will have reason to be happy again. There’ll be a record release show at The Great Hall on December 5.

Stream: Kashka / Bound

No Joy have just released their Pastel And Pass Out EP and are streaming another song from it for your enjoyment. They’ll play The Garrison on December 6.

Stream: No Joy – “Second Spine”

Exclaim has an advance stream of the new Misery Makers Vol. 1 EP from Chains Of Love, out as of this week.

Stream: Chains Of Love / Misery Makers Vol. 1

Exclaim talks to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, whose Alaska B lists off her favourite video game soundtracks for Chart. They’re celebrating the release of Uzu tonight at The Garrison.

Beatroute talks to Shad; he’s back in town at The Danforth Music Hall on January 31.

Vancouver electronic-industrial pioneers Skinny Puppy have announced a date at The Sound Academy on February 18 in support of their latest release, Weapon, released earlier this year.

Stream: Skinny Puppy / Weeapon

The Quietus, aux.tv, and Beatroute talk to Spencer Krug of Moonface.

NOW has an interview with Braids.

Vue profiles The Darcys.

Magnet interviews Basia Bulat as a precursor to her taking over their website for the week.

Altar TV has a video session and The Calgary Herald an interview with The Belle Game.