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Posts Tagged ‘Big Pink’

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Motorway

Little Boots takes scenic route to second album

Photo By Jack Featherstone and Max ParsonsJack Featherstone, Max ParsonsAt long last, Little Boots is finally ready to let the follow-up to 2009’s Hands out of the studio and into the world. I don’t think anyone – not even Victoria Hesketh – expected it to be almost four years between debut and follow-up, but according to Spin, it took her that long to find the sweet spot between being the “proper songs” she wanted to write and the disco dance floor bangers she was expected to.

Still, her fans have been able to accompany her on that journey of discovery as she’s been releasing new songs intermittently since late 2011 as sort of signposts of the journey; two of those three already-previewed tracks will appear on the new record – entitled Nocturnes – when it’s released on May 7. Details on the release can be had at Billboard and the first official single from it is available to hear via free download or watch via video.

Some might argue – and perhaps correctly – that Little Boots didn’t deliver on the massive hype that accompanied her BBC Sound of 2009 win, but there’s no arguing that Hands was a very solid album of catchy electro-pop and if Nocturnes offers more of the same, then we’re all better off.

MP3: Little Boots – “Motorway”
MP3: Little Boots – “Every Night I Say A Prayer”
Stream: Little Boots – “Superstitious Heart”
Stream: Little Boots – “Shake”
Video: Little Boots – “Motorway”

Drowned In Sound, Billboard, MTV Hive, Consequence Of Sound, and NPR talk to Johnny Marr about going solo; The Messenger came out this week and he brings The Healers to The Phoenix on April 27.

CBC Music has an interview and The Alternate Side a session with Palma Violets, whose debut 180 is out this week and streamable at NME. They play Lee’s Palace on May 3.

Stream: Palma Violets / 180

Spin is streaming the whole of Mogwai’s just-released soundtrack for French zombie television series Les Revenants, and keeping on topic, Stuart Braithwaite offers The Guardian his five favourite undead bits of cinema.

Stream: Mogwai / Les Revenants

The Guardian interviews Thom Yorke about Atoms For Peace, whose debut AMOK is out this week.

Spin and CBC Music talk to Kate Nash about her latest Girl Talk, which is also streaming in whole at the CBC and from which a new vide was just released. The album is out March 5 and she brings it to The Horseshoe on March 15.

Video: Kate Nash – “3AM”
Stream: Kate Nash / Girl Talk

The Line Of Best Fit, The Quietus, and Stereogum talk to Robyn Hitchcock about his new record Love From London, out March 5.

Today in David Bowie: The Guardian compiles a profile of the Thin White Duke based on the recollections of those who’ve known him from childhood through today, Mr. Porter offers a guide to Bowie style through the years, NME crows about getting an exclusive cover photo, and Rolling Stone learns more about the Next Day sessions from drummer Zack Alford and guitarist Gerry Leonard. The album arrives March 12 and oh yeah the video for the second single from it is out now.

Video: David Bowie – “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”

eMusic solicits a list of favourite sophomore albums from Veronica Falls, who are too modest to include their own Waiting For Something To Happen on the list. They play The Garrison on March 12.

Crack has a feature piece on Daughter, whose debut If You Leave is out March 18 in the UK and April 30 in North America. They play The Great Hall on May 7.

The Telegraph has not one but two interviews and NPR a World Cafe session with Richard Thompson, who opens for Emmylou Harris at Massey Hall on March 22.

eMusic and The Scottish Sun interview Frightened Rabbit, who’ve a new video from Pedestrian Verse to show off. They play The Phoenix on March 31.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Backyard Skulls”

Spinner and The Independent have features and Yours Truly a video session with Jessie Ware, whose Devotion gets a North American release on April 2 and plays The Opera House on April 6.

DIY has the details of Charli XCX’s long-overdue debut album; True Romance is due out on April 15. MTV Hive also has an interview with the artist, who will be in town at the Sound Academy on May 23 opening for Marina & The Diamonds.

Art Brut will sum up their career thus far with the release of a double-disc best-of/rarities compilation entitled – of course – Top Of The Pops. It’s out April 16.

Still Corners have announced details of their second album, entitled Strange Pleasures, out May 7, and based on the second sample – “Fireflies” was released as a single last Fall – it will not be Creatures On An Hour part two. At all.

MP3: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”

Spin has an interview and The Line Of Best Fit an acoustic session with Foals. They are at The Kool Haus on May 11.

The Wedding Present might be getting attention mostly for their Hit Parade recital tour, but they’ve also just put out a new video from last year’s Valentina. There’s also an interview at The New Zealand Herald.

Video: The Wedding Present – “Mystery Date”

Pitchfork has premiered the new video from Bat For Lashes, taken from The Haunted Man.

Video: Bat For Lashes – “Lillies”

The Line Of Best Fit reports that The Big Pink is now officially a solo project for Robbie Furze, with Milo Cordell opting to leave the band. If you’re not sure which was which, if you’ve ever seen The Big Pink live then Cordell was the one you never noticed.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Two Halves

My Morning Jacket and Band Of Horses team up for tour, beard-growing competition

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s been a long time since you could accurately describe My Morning Jacket as a southern rock kind of band – yes they’re southern and they rock, but they’ve long since chased their country/psych/soul-inspired muses into uncharted corners of the musical cosmos and are really rather their own genre entirely now. Similarly, it’s been a long time since you could call Band Of Horses “My Morning Jacket, Jr” as they were often referred – equally affectionately and derisively, I think – on account of Ben Bridwell’s own southern accents, sky-reaching field holler of a voice, and impressive hirsuteness. They’ve not reinvented themselves to quite the same degree but three albums in, they’re very much their own band now and follow in no one’s footsteps.

All that said, there’s plenty of natural synchronicity between the two acts so even though neither will have a new record to push – MMJ’s last release was 2011’s Circuital and BOH’s follow-up to 2010’s Infinite Arms isn’t due out until the Fall at earliest – it’s nice to see that they’re teaming up for a string of Summer dates that will see Band Of Horses set ‘em up and My Morning Jacket knock ‘em down, all while bringing smiles to the faces of those who dig on big guitar jams, soaring vocals, and luxurious facial hair. Toronto gets the double-bill on August 15 when they play Echo Beach at Ontario Place, tickets $49.50 in advance and going on sale Friday at 10AM – that’ll be just over a year since My Morning Jacket’s last visit in July 2011 and some time since Band Of Horses last headlined here in October 2010 (I wasn’t there but hit their free surprise show at The Horseshoe in May).

This isn’t the first time that My Morning Jacket and Band Of Horses teamed up; they were out on the road for a spell last Fall, and a recording from that tour – with Ben Bridwell guesting with My Morning Jacket at Madison Square Garden in New York – has been released to offer a taste of what this new tour will have to offer.

MP3: My Morning Jacket with Ben Bridwell – “Wondeful (The Way I Feel)” (live at MSG)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Holdin’ Onto Black Metal”
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Circuital”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “Factory”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”

Plenty more concert news from yesterday to get through. Those hoping to see Japandroids destroy a sold-out Horseshoe on June 23 in honour of their new record Celebration Rock should know that it has been moved to Lee’s Palace with that many more tickets available for sale. And speaking of moving, the release date of Celebration Rock has been moved from June 5 to May 29. And the first single is available to download.

MP3: Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”

Matador-signed Austin-based young punks The Young have set a date at The Shop Under Parts & Labour for July 4; their new record Dub Egg is out June 12.

MP3: The Young – “Livin’ Free”

If you can’t fit New York-based, every corner of the world-bred Young Magic into your NXNE schedule – they’re at Wrongbar on June 14 – know that they’ll be back much sooner rather than later in support of Melt with a date at The Garrison on July 5 with Boston’s Quilt. Tickets for that will be $12.50 in advance.

MP3: Young Magic – “Night In The Ocean”
MP3: Quilt – “Penobska-Oakwalk”

When Loney Dear brought Hall Music to the Drake Underground last November, it was just Emil Svanängen performing solo and while I was a bit wary of whether he could do it justice on his own, he succeeded in putting on one of my favourite shows of last year to go with one of my favourite albums of last year. I’ve no idea if he’ll be bringing a band with him on July 8 when he plays The Horseshoe – tickets $15 in advance – but you’re damn right I’ll be there to find out. Already one of my most-anticipated shows of the Summer and folks – it’s not a lean Summer for shows.

MP3: Loney Dear – “My Heart”
MP3: Loney Dear – “What Have I Become?”

Lower Dens will be at Lee’s Palace on July 17 in support of their new record Nootropics, out today. To mark the occasion, they’ve released a new video and another new MP3 to download.

MP3: Lower Dens – “Lamb”
Video: Lower Dens – “Propagation”

It took longer than I expected but The Big Pink have finally made a local date in support of this year’s Future This; they and their smoke machines will be at The Hoxton on August 1, tickets $18 in advance.

MP3: The Big Pink – “Stay Gold”
MP3: The Big Pink – “Give It Up”

Last week’s Jesus & Mary Chain rumours are now fact. The Reid brothers will be at The Phoenix on August 3 and the $59.50 tickets go on sale Thursday at 10AM. Of course it’s not cheap – you think they’re doing this for love?

Video: The Jesus & Mary Chain – “Just Like Honey”

Technically, Steve Earle has been through town already in support of last year’s I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive, but that was at the Molson Amphitheatre opening for Blue Rodeo. August 14 sees him coming back with The Dukes for his own show at Massey Hall; tickets are $49.50 and go on sale Friday at 10AM.

Video: Steve Earle – “Waitin’ On The Sky”

The Swedish sisters of First Aid Kit will ride the success of their sophomore effort The Lion’s Roar through a Fall North American tour that brings them back to town for a September 26 show at The Danforth Music Hall. Which they prefer you now just call The Music Hall but I do what I want.

Video: First Aid Kit – “Emmylou”

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

To The End

Blur turn 21, clearly believe adage about leaving a beautiful corpse. In a box.

Photo via FacebookFacebookIf you accept that Damon Albarn is speaking truth and that these are the end times for Blur, you have to admit they’re doing it right. They’ve got their August 12 date at Hyde Park in London earmarked as the swan song, a lovely new (final) single in “Under The Westway” in the can and ready to surely top the charts one last time, and before they go, they’re clearing out the archival cupboards well and proper.

On July 31, to mark the 21st anniversary of their debut album Leisure and presumably the end of their career, they’ll release Blur 21 – a massive, career-spanning box set that will be made available in two formats. The digital box will contain all seven studio albums in remastered and expanded double-CD format, four discs of rarities not redundant to the material on each album’s bonus disc, three DVDs of live performances and videos, a 7″ of a Seymour-era single, and a fancy hardbound book about the band. The vinyl box will contain all seven albums on vinyl. And for the fans who aren’t insane collectors, each gussied-up album will be available individually in both CD and LP formats.

Yes that is a lot of Blur, but if you’re any degree of fan, try watching the trailer for the set and not thinking, “man I want that set”. If you’re curious, the pricing in Canada comes in at around $320 for either the vinyl box or the digital.

Trailer: Blur 21

If you’re interested in what Albarn will do with himself since he’s bringing the curtain down on both Blur and Gorillaz, then this stream at NPR of his Dr. Dee solo album/opera might offer some idea of his direction.

Stream: Damon Albarn / Dr. Dee

And while on the topic of reissues from seminal British bands from the ’90s, Exclaim points out that Ride are marking the 20th anniversary of Going Blank Again with a deluxe reissue consisting of a remaster of the album and a DVD of their 1992 show at the Brixton Academy (though probably in Region 1 and PAL format). It was also just pointed out to me that Going Blank Again got a vinyl reissue in February of this year thanks to Japanese archival label Obscure Alternatives.

Video: Ride – “Twisterella”

The Guardian and The Independent talk to Tim Burgess of The Charlatans about his forthcoming memoirs Tellin’ Stories, due out May 29. Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that their 1997 album of the same name will get its own 15th anniversary reissue on May 28 in double-disc format.

Video: The Charlatans – “North Country Boy”

Exclaim talks to Jason Pierce of Spiritualized. They’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

Austin City Limits is offering a tease of their recent Radiohead performance which was recorded in March but won’t air until the Fall. They’re at Downsview Park on June 16.

Video: Radiohead – “Lotus Flower” (live on Austin City Limits)

Pitchfork gets Jonny Marr to recount his musical influences through the years.

Clash talks literary influences with Gerard Love of Lightships.

Pitchfork talks to Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne about their new album Words And Music By Saint Etienne, due out on May 21; they’ve also got a stream of a new song from the album.

Stream: Saint Etienne – “Answer Song”

Pitchfork reports that Field Music will be collecting all the covers they’ve recorded over the years and releasing them in album form this Fall. I like Field Music covers. This pleases me.

State and Metro talk to Mystery Jets about their new record Radlands, out May 1, while NME has a stream of the whole thing. They’re at The Sound Academy on June 19 opening up for Keane.

Stream: Mystery Jets / Radlands

The Big Pink have released a new video from Future This.

Video: The Big Pink – “Lose Your Mind”

DIY has both a stream of Europe, the lovely new record from Allo Darlin’, and song-by-song commentary by the band. It’s out on May 1 over here but if you were to get it in the UK via Rough Trade, you could get it with a limited edition bonus CD containing six cover songs including this Go-Betweens tune, which they’re also offering as a stream.

Stream: Allo Darlin’ – “Dive For Your Memory”
Stream: Allo Darlin’ / Europe

We don’t have details on her second album yet, but Little Boots has released a second MP3 from it (“Shake” was offered up as a stream last November).

MP3: Little Boots – “Every Night I Say A Prayer”

Emmy The Great has released the second of her “God Of Loneliess” comics at Drowned In Sound along with another remix; that’s the third, another came out late last week. The Virtue deluxe edition and “God Of Loneliness” single are both out May 7.

MP3: Emmy The Great – “God Of Loneliness” (Dems remix)

Glide has a chat with Dry The River, who’ve released a new video from their debut Shallow Bed.

Video: Dry The River – “No Rest”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Johnny Flynn and The Guardian has an interview.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

SXSW Day Three A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you were to ask me what the daylight portion of SXSW Friday, I’d just point you over here.

Shearwater
– Austin art-rock band led by Jonathan Meiburg whose latest album Animal Joy is their most visceral and possibly best release to date. Clash talks to Meiburg about his literary influences and Stereogum has premiered a new video.

Photos: Shearwater @ The ACC Radio Day Stage – March 16, 2012
MP3: Shearwater – “You As You Were”
MP3: Shearwater – “Breaking The Yearlings”
MP3: Shearwater – “Black Eyes”
MP3: Shearwater – “God Made Me”
MP3: Shearwater – “Castaways”
MP3: Shearwater – “South Col”
MP3: Shearwater – “The Snow Leopard”
MP3: Shearwater – “Rooks”
MP3: Shearwater – “Red Sea, Black Sea”
MP3: Shearwater – “Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five”
MP3: Shearwater – “White Waves”
MP3: Shearwater – “Whipping Boy”
Video: Shearwater – “You As You Were”
Video: Shearwater – “Breaking The Yearlings”

Fanfarlo
– Anglo-Swedish collective who’ve just released their difficult second album in Rooms Filled With Light. The Boston Globe has an interview and NYC Taper is sharing a recording of another of their SXSW showcases.

Photos: Fanfarlo @ The ACC Radio Day Stage – March 16, 2012
Video: Fanfarlo – “Shiny Things”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Replicate”
Video: Fanfarlo – “De.Con.Struc.Tion”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Atlas”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Fire Escape”
Video: Fanfarlo – “The Walls Are Coming Down”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Harold T Wilkins”

The Big Pink
– London electro-rock duo who followed up their breakout 2009 debut A Brief History Of Love earlier this year with the bigger-reaching Future This.

Photos: The Big Pink @ Stubb’s – March 16, 2012
MP3: The Big Pink – “Stay Gold”
MP3: The Big Pink – “Give It Up”
MP3: The Big Pink – “Dominos”
MP3: The Big Pink – “Velvet”
Video: The Big Pink – “Hit The Ground (Superman)”
Video: The Big Pink – “Dominos”
Video: The Big Pink – “Velvet”
Video: The Big Pink – “Too Young To Love”

Best Coast
– California guitar-pop duo with the most famous cat in indie rock will release their second album The Only Place on May 15 with a date at The Phoenix to follow on July 21. Fuse has an interview with frontwoman Bethany Cosentino.

Photos: Best Coast @ Stubb’s – March 16, 2012
MP3: Best Coast – “The Only Place”
MP3: Best Coast – “Boyfriend”
MP3: Best Coast – “Something In The Way”
Video: Best Coast – “When I’m With You”
Video: Best Coast – “Our Deal”
Video: Best Coast – “Boyfriend”
Video: Best Coast – “Crazy For You”

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

SXSW 2012 Day Three

The Big Pink, Fanfarlo, Shearwater and more at SXSW

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhat day was this? Friday? Only? If one thing was becoming clear to me as my eighth SXSW ploughed forwards, it was that I was not as young as I once was and the physical grind of the festival was taking more of a toll than it had in years past – even with the previous night’s itinerary consisting only of sitting in a padded chair for four hours, standing in line for 90 minutes and then sitting cross-legged in a church for a bit. Hardly a triathlon.

Even so, I was glad that my day’s programme was relatively easy, both from a running around town point of view and writing the bands up that I was planning to see – after all, I was quite familiar with them all. Particularly Shearwater, whom I’d seen back in Toronto less than a month ago – maybe it was unnecessary to see them again so soon, but their Animal Joy remains one of my favourite releases of the year and seeing them in their hometown has become something of a SXSW tradition – this would the fifth year I’d done so. They were up early for a radio session in the Austin Convention Center – maybe not the most rocking venue on paper, but a room with great light, sound and sightlines and to hear Jonathan Meiburg tell it, a far better venue than the show they’d played late the previous night; a show where glow sticks abounded, their lead-in act was a rapper and which he described as the wrongest show of his life as a musician. Ah, SouthBy. Their set was compact, comprising just “The Snow Leopard” leading into side A of Animal Joy, and while not the fieriest performance one could have imagined it was still plenty elegant and satisfying.

An hour or so later, which I spent exploring the exhibition portion of the conference, the same room played host to Anglo-Swedish combo Fanfarlo. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I’d completely forgotten that I’d originally discovered the band at SXSW 2009 – hell, at the time I was calling them one of the highlights of the fest. Sigh. Anyways, this time they weren’t the unknown band from overseas winning over the unsuspecting, but the established act who’d achieved a goodly amount of success with their debut Reservoir and had just released the follow-up, Rooms Filled With Light. It couldn’t have been an easy record to make, with the band surely aware that repeating the moves that made Reservoir such a joy would also basically doom them to be regarded as Arcade Fire-alikes forevermore, but turning their back on those strengths would potentially cost them their hard-earned fanbase.

So the band can and should be proud that with Rooms, they’ve managed to strike just about the right balance between the two and establish a sound that’s marginally less immediate but arguably as rewarding but more importantly, more definitively their own. Live, they shed some of the gloss of the new record – it’s sonically shiny, but not excessively so – and reined in the old material a bit so as to stand more uniformly in line, though they could still pull out the dramatics and exuberance when they needed that extra bit of punctuation. It’s funny; though I loved Reservoir when it was new, it didn’t have the shelf life I would have liked. Though Rooms took a while for me to warm to, I suspect I’ll be listening to it longer. Fanfarlo bring their new record to town for a show at The Mod Club on Saturday, March 24.

It was then time to hoof it from the Convention Center auditorium to Stubb’s outdoor amphitheatre where Spin was hosting their always-anticipated day show, just in time to see another London-based act who’d just followed up a successful 2009 debut, The Big Pink. In their case, it was A Brief History Of Love that had to be matched and unfortunately, Future This has not been up to the task. Granted, History was no monument in the annals of songwriting, but it had a big, electro-shoegaze sound that was immediately appealing and some mammoth hooks in the singles – more than enough to make a good impression. Future This tweaks the formula some, but doesn’t hit the sweet spot and it simultaneously feels more bombastic yet slighter in substance. It’s not a fatal miscalculation, but a disappointing one all the same.

Luckily for them, those shortcomings matter far less in a big festival setting, where bombast is your friend, than they do through the headphones. Unluckily for them, their set was in the middle of the afternoon where the light show and smoke machines that defined the aesthetic of the History tours were non-starters, leaving them fully exposed as a four-piece that’s really a two-piece, with Milo Cordell and Zan Lyons manning their laptops and leaving the actual performing to guitarist/vocalist Robbie Furze and drummer Victoria Smith. Furze gave it his best to be an engaging frontman but came across as enthusiastically awkward, particularly when he set down the guitar and busted out some dance moves. None of which mattered, of course, when they busted out “Dominos” – it must be nice to have a song in your back pocket that’s an instant party.

The appeal of Best Coast has always perplexed me some. I mean, I get why people like them; Bethany Cosentino writes some pleasant pop tunes, but there’s not a whole lot to them. But maybe it’s that simplicity that draws people in? I don’t know. All I know is that upon the announcement recently that it existed and would be out May 15, their second album The Only Place became one of the more anticipated records of 2012. And while the fact that it was produced by Jon Brion gives some hope that if nothing else, it will be more sonically interesting than Crazy For You, that growth wasn’t necessarily on display during their set.

Though they were now operating as a four-piece – they were but three when I saw them at Pitchfork 2010 – their sound wasn’t especially different, nor did the new material come across much differently from the old. From the stage banter, Cosentino seemed equally chipper and punchy, perhaps trying to get a rise out of the crowd who were enthused but also a bit lethargic; maybe it was the heat.

No, not a busy Friday day, but I would make up for it in the evening.

The new Spiritualized video comes with the requisite “NSFW” warning, but at least it’s for violence and overall grimness rather than just flashing a pair of ta-tas. Sweet Heart Sweet Light is out April 17 and they’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

Video: Spiritualized – “Hey Jane”

The Modfather Paul Weller is playing just three North American shows in support of his new album Sonik Kicks, and the only one not in New York is May 21 at The Sound Academy – tickets are $59.50 for general admission and $79.50 for VIP balcony.

MP3: Paul Weller – “Around The Lake”
Video: Paul Weller – “Green”
Video: Paul Weller – “That Dangerous Age”

The Cribs have rolled out a new video from The Brazen Bull, out May 8. They’ll preview it at Lee’s Palace on April 11.

Video: The Cribs – “Come On, Be A No-One”

Paste welcomes Wild Beasts for a video session.

Pretty heady days for Teenage Fanclub fans – first Norman Blake put out the Jonny collaboration with Euros Childs last year, next Gerard Love’s Lightships releases its debut Electric Cable on April 17 and now comes word that Ray McGinley, along with Fannies collaborator Dave McGowan, has a new project called Snowgoose that will release its debut album Harmony Springs on vinyl come April 21 for Record Store Day and with other formats to follow in May. Note that McGinley is not the vocalist in this project, but he can’t help but add some magic to it nonetheless.

Video: Snowgoose – “Sycamore”

Drowned In Sound gets a track-by-track walkthrough of Blood Red Shoes’ new album In Time To Voices, out next week in the UK. They also recently rolled out a video from the release.

Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Cold”

If you had to pick a band to play a concert at the Large Hadron Collider, who would it be? British Sea Power, of course. The Quietus talks to the band about the soundtrack they’re writing for the 1999 film Out Of The Present and which they’ll be performing at the CERN labs in Switzerland.