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Posts Tagged ‘Bon Iver’

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Breakers

Local Natives floating fast like a Hummingbird

Photo By Bryan SheffieldBryan SheffieldIf you thought you heard the sound of dense, nimble percussion, shimmering guitars, and intricate harmonies coming from the vicinity of New York on Wednesday night, you weren’t hearing things. That was the sound of Los Angeles’ Local Natives making their live return at The Bowery Ballroom as part of CMJ, a performance announced only a couple days prior. The show was their first this calendar year, and they used the opportunity to preview material from the follow-up to their 2009 breakout debut Gorilla Manor, video footage of which has been collected by Consequence Of Sound.

Of more interest to their fans who weren’t amongst the 500 or so in attendance, though, was the announcement yesterday of the release of their second album, which they discussed with Pitchfork early last month. Entitled Hummingbird, it will be out on January 29 of the new year and acknowledging that that’s still a little ways off, they also offered up a stream of one of the new songs from the record as well as a first batch of North American tour dates. There’s no Toronto date on the itinerary yet, but I use the word “yet” because as you can see, there’s three days off between Columbus and Boston at the end of March and what’s between point C and point B? Not a whole lot, unless you hang a left at Buffalo and cross the border. So, without actually knowing anything and assuming they’d rather play a show than go factory outlet shopping, I’d suggest keeping an eye on their calendar.

Stream: Local Natives – “Breakers”

Rolling Stone, MTV Hive, Spin, and Pitchfork all want to get down to Local Business with Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus. They play Lee’s Palace on November 27.

The Ithaca Times talk to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, whose live performance has been captured in concert and session, respectively, by NYC Taper and Daytrotter. They play The Phoenix tomorrow night.

Also animal-themed and in town tomorrow is Cat Power; she’s at The Kool Haus and Chan Marshall gives an interview to Ocean Drive.

Everyone who thought that 2011 being the year of Bon Iver meant that we wouldn’t have to hear much from him in 2012… sorry. Austin City Limits is streaming the entirety of his episode of the show and they’ve squeezed another video out of last year’s self-title.

Video: Bon Iver – “Beth/Rest”

The Line Of Best Fit and Spin talk to Paul Banks about his new solo record Banks, out next Tuesday, and the tenth anniversary reissue of Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights, out November 19.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Cincinnati CityBeat, and Detroit News check in with Greg Dulli and John Curley as the Afghan Whigs reunion continues.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Jason Lytle, in town opening for Band Of Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

Clash gets a look inside the Beachwood Sparks library.

School Of Seven Bells have announced the release of a new EP entitled Put Your Sad Down, due out November 13.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Reappear

Review of School Of Seven Bells’ Ghostory

Photo By Justin HollarJustin HollarI had actually forgotten how weird Alpinisms, the 2008 debut from New York’s School Of Seven Bells was. It basically inverted the balance of pop-to-experimentalism of the Deheza sisters’ former outfit On! Air! Library! and made itself it much more accessible than O!A!L!’s self-titled effort but was still willing to forgo the pop in parts to play with textures, exotic sounds and the interesting harmonies that their twin frontwomen could create.

2010’s Disconnect From Desire was decidedly slicker, dancier and more straight-ahead in comparison – at least relatively speaking in a dream-pop/post-shoegaze frame of reference. It successfully grew their audience but not without cost – keyboardist/vocalist Claudia Deheza left the band in the middle of a Fall tour that year, leaving the official band lineup as just sister Alejandra and guitarist Ben Curtis, replacing the musical chemistry between the two with another singer being pretty much impossible.

You would think that losing a third of the band would have more dramatic impact on their sound, but had you no knowledge of the personnel changes and just came to their just-released third album Ghostory with a familiarity of their previous efforts, you would be forgiven for assuming that everything was business as usual. Losing their keyboardist hasn’t meant losing the keys as the album still leans heavily on sequenced rhythms and synthetic atmosphere and through the magic of overdubs the band’s signature harmonies are superficially intact if less inherently magical. In fact, though the band is officially now a pair of guitarists, Ghostory is arguably less guitar-driven than before, instead favouring a more ’80s-era 4AD sheen than any overt ’90s shoegaze aesthetic; anyone who still wants to pigeonhole them as such is working with outdated information.

Perhaps the most notable thing about Ghostory is how steady on it finds the band in what they do despite the upheavals. Parsing the lyrics, which ostensibly center around a young girl literally haunted by ghosts, you can find traces of deeper, more personal emotions – loss, regret, what have you – but this is not music meant for soundtracking deep introspection. It’s for drifting, dreaming, dancing. No more, no less. The school may experience staff turnover but the lesson plan remains the same.

Ghostory is out today and available to stream in full at Spinner. After a jaunt in Europe, their North American tour brings the band to The Hoxton in Toronto on May 2. Alejandra Deheza talks to Spin about her interest in tarot cards and to Rolling Stone about the just-released first video from the album.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Lafaye”
MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “The Night”
Video: School Of Seven Bells – “Lafaye”
Stream: School Of Seven Bells / Ghostory

Blurt chats with Amber Papini of Hospitality, in town at The Horseshoe on February 29 and The Garrison on May 4 in support of Tennis and Eleanor Friedberger, respectively.

Stereogum is streaming in whole The Clearing, the new album from Bowerbirds, out next Tuesday. They play The Garrison on March 27.

MP3: Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In”
MP3: Bowerbirds – “In The Yard”
Stream: Bowerbirds / The Clearing

NPR is streaming the whole of Milk Famous, the new one from White Rabbits, a week ahead of its March 6 release date.

MP3: White Rabbits – “Heavy Metal”
Stream: White Rabbits / Milk Famous

Young Prisms will warm up for their March 10 show at The Drake Underground with an in-store at the Kensington location of Sonic Boom that afternoon at 5PM. Their second album In Between is out March 27 and Stereogum just premiered the first video.

MP3: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”
Video: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”

James Mercer of The Shins stops in at The Alternate Side for an interview and video session. Port Of Morrow comes out March 20.

Spin has posted online the Sleigh Bells cover story from the all-new, redesigned magazine, and dang is it pretty. The magazine, not the story, but if Alexis Krauss does it for you, then it’s both. There’s also features at eMusic, AltSounds, The Guardian, and The Stool Pigeon. Sleigh Bells are at The Phoenix on March 26 and The Air Canada Centre on April 27 and 28 with Red Hot Chili Peppers.

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session and The Fly has an interview with with Chairlift, who are at The Horseshoe on March 28.

Pitchfork has a +1 interview and video session with Perfume Genius while Stereogum gets Mike Hadreas on the phone for an interview about Put Your Back N 2 It. He plays The Drake Underground on April 8.

Maps & Atlases have made a May 16 date at The Horseshoe in support of their forthcoming album Beware And Be Grateful; the album is out April 17, tickets for the show are $11.50 and the first MP3 is available to download courtesy of Rolling Stone.

MP3: Maps & Atlases – “Winter”

It’s happy news that the Luna back catalog is finally going to be reissued on vinyl, at least some of it. Record Store Day will see their last two albums, Romantica and Rendezvous, come out on wax (that’s April 21) and there’s plans to press my personal favourite Bewitched in early Summer and Penthouse will eventually follow. I said I was largely done re-buying albums I already owned on LP, but this is an exception. Oh yes. And coincidentally, the band played their final show seven years ago today. Sigh.

MP3: Luna – “Black Postcards”

Lower Dens have released a video for the first single from their forthcoming album Nootropics; it’s out May 1.

Video: Lower Dens – “Brains”

A visit to France has yielded some live Blouse videos worth watching; a full show at arte.tv and a session for Faits Divers; there’s also one recorded stateside at Yours Truly and an interview with the band at Drowned In Sound. Blouse are at The Garrison on May 5.

The original release has since been redacted – someone broke embargo, apparently – but it seems likely that the new Beach House album will be out on May 15 and be called Bloom. Unless, of course, it’s not – in which case, it’s another case of “oh, internet!”.

Girls have gone to Conan O’Brien to premiere the new video from Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

Video: Girls – “My Ma”

Bon Iver has released a new video from Bon Iver.

Video: Bon Iver – “Towers”

NPR has got a World Cafe session with Real Estate.

Daytrotter has posted a session with CANT.

CBC Radio 3 and CNN have conversations with The Kills, who are streaming the Velvet Underground cover that appears on the “Last Goodbye” 10″.

Stream: The Kills – “Pale Blue Eyes”

Annie Clark of St. Vincent talks to The New Zealand Herald, The Guardian, and Drowned In Sound while the director for her “Cheerleader” video explains the clip to Pitchfork.

Culture Mob talks to Ume.

Pitchfork talks to James Murphy about his life post-LCD Soundsystem.

Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs talks to Spin about the band’s reunion. No word of lie, there is no show announcement I await more eagerly than this one.

Billboard talks to Bob Mould about Sugar’s Copper Blue, which he’s taken to performing in its entirety for a handful of mostly European shows.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Tramp

Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangTwo records is not really a lot of data from which to plot a creative trajectory, but based on Sharon Van Etten’s first couple records, you could make some projections. Her 2009 debut Because I Was In Love was simple and spare, elevated above your standard singer-songwriter fare by Van Etten’s gorgeous bruise of a voice and her correspondingly confessional songwriting; 2010’s mini-album epic showed what she could do with backing players, offering a perfect set of songs that arced from the darkness, both in tone and theme, of “A Crime” to the aching and even hopeful “Love More” in just over half an hour. So when word came that she was working with The National’s Aaron Dessner on her third effort, one could reasonably assume that it would be even more polished – in the best sense of the word – than its predecessors.

Which is why, I think, that it’s taken me longer than expected to wrap my head around Tramp. It’s not immediately more focused than epic, instead retreating back into the sprawl and thematic shadows of Because I Was In Love; the album shifts gears from song to song, for instance bouncing from the rocking “Serpents” through the drifting “Kevin’s” into the sprightly “Leonard” and within the songs, she favours more elliptical than direct melodies. Anyone fearing that Van Etten would be going pop the third time out can rest easy. Once personal expectations are checked in favour of what’s actually been delivered, Tramp affirms itself as a solid showcase of Van Etten’s talents; muscular where strength is called for and gentle when all it needs is to softly support. As a record to break Van Etten out to a broader audience, I still think epic was better suited, but Tramp is clearly doing the job just fine. Lee’s Palace, where she played Tuesday night, is a good deal larger than The Drake which hosted her first/last headlining visit in April 2011, and it was well and truly sold out.

It was gratifying to see that the room was comfortably full for Shearwater, who despite having finally graduated to headliner status for their last visit in April 2010 and having just released their own exceptional record in Animal Joy, were back in the supporting role on this tour. Now I had seen Shearwater a dozen times or so in various incarnations over the years since first seeing them in this very room in May 2005, but had never seen them like this – quite literally. Despite having commented on how the rawness of Animal Joy could be attributed to stripping things down to the core trio of Jonathan Meiburg, Kim Burke and Thor Harris, neither Burke nor Harris were to be seen on this night – instead, Shearwater was Meiburg and four all-new faces; clearly, even long-time fans were going to have to check their expectations.

And even the longest-term Shearwater fan couldn’t have been prepared for what this incarnation of the band would be about. Past writeups of both their albums and live shows inevitably centered around the sense of mystery and atmosphere that they created, led by Meiburg’s soaring vocals. Now, that voice was more banshee than choirboy and the band – all electric guitars, keys and drums – was unrelentingly urgent and visceral. No two ways about it, Shearwater 2012 is a rock band and a great one – “You As You Were” was jaw-dropping and set-closer “Star Of The Age” was stirringly anthemic in a way that the album version only hinted at. The bulk of the nearly hour-long set drew from Animal Joy, but “Rooks” from Rook and “The Snow Leopard” and “Castaways” represented The Golden Archipelago well, coming even more alive with this band configuration. Make no mistake, both Harris and Burke were missed but at the same time, I couldn’t imagine wanting to hear the new songs played any other way than they had. If the night had ended here, it’d have been a triumph.

But it wasn’t the end; this was still Sharon Van Etten’s night, even if her performance was more of a gentle, hour-long come-down following Shearwater’s bracing set. She also fronted a different band from the one she brought through last Spring; Doug Keith remained a fixture on bass but the drummer – whose name eluded me – was new, I think, and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Heather Woods Broderick was definitely new. What remained the same was the disarming charm that Van Etten brought to the stage with her smile and light banter, which helped balance out the emotional weightiness of her material.

With the exception of “Save Yourself” early on, the main set was made up exclusively of Tramp material, with Van Etten resisting requests for “Tornado” to rep Because I Was In Love but she did offer up a searing “Serpents” as a dedication to one audience member, being sure to clarify that “this is not about you but for you”. It has to be said that live, the material hung together better for me than it did on record – the blend of omnichord and harmonium on “Magic Chords” was, well, magical and using a triple guitar setup not for aggression but atmosphere on “I’m Wrong” and allowing that to bloom and gently settle into the set-closing “Joke Or A Lie” was pretty special. For the encore, it as back to the harmonium for a reading of “Love More” that made you really grateful that Broderick and her harmonies were now part of the band and then, to close out on an up note, they invited Shearwater back onstage for a cover of The Soft Boys’ “I Wanna Destroy You” that was raucous, sloppy and a great if unexpected way to finish the night.

The National Post also has a review of the show and the Toronto media welcomed Van Etten to town with interviews in Chart, The Toronto Standard, The Grid, The National Post, The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Toro, and NOW and out of town, The Boston Phoenix says hello. Meanwhile, Blurt has a feature on Shearwater and Meiburg gives The Montreal Gazette a list of what he’s listening to these days and pens an essay on Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock for adequacy.net.

Photos: Sharon Van Etten, Shearwater @ Lee’s Palace – February 21, 2012
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Don’t Do It”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “I Couldn’t Save You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Consolation Prize”
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: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
Video: Shearwater – “Breaking The Yearlings”

Peppy Los Angeles soundtrack fodder outfit Grouplove have made a date at Wrongbar for May 9, tickets $18. It’s part of a Spring tourNever Trust A Happy Song.

Video: Grouplove – “Colours”

Mark Lanegan has taken a break from being a grim, gravelly voice for hire to release a new solo record in Blues Funeral that’s, well, probably grim and gravelly. He and band will be taking it on tour and stop in at The Mod Club on May 15, tickets $15 in advance, and there’s features at The Quietus and Exclaim.

MP3: Mark Lanegan Band – “The Gravedigger’s Song”
Video: Mark Lanegan Band – “The Gravedigger’s Song”

tUnE-yArDs is pretty sure people are still discovering and being wowed by last year’s WHOKILL, and so she’s going to give them another chance to hear it live – Toronto gets its third show for the album on August 1 at The Phoenix, tickets $20.

MP3: tUnE-yArDs – “Powa”
MP3: tUnE-yArDs – “Bizness”

Bon Iver has released a full 25-minute video session recorded for their European label wherein Justin Vernon and Sean Carey do Bon Iver-y things. And incidentally, Carey will release a new EP entitled Hoyas on May 8; his 2010 solo debut All We Grow was a gem, so if you dig what he does in the session, check his work out.

Video: Bon Iver / 4AD Sessions

Paste talks to Beth and Philip of Bowerbirds while Eater has some food-talk with violinist Mark Paulson. Their new record The Clearing comes out March 6 and they’re at The Garrison on March 27.

Kurt Wagner of Lambchop discusses the song, “If Not I’ll Just Die” with NPR; he also talks Mr. M with No Depression and The Telegraph.

Rolling Stone reports that the long-rumoured Mermaid Avenue, Vol III from Billy Bragg and Wilco will finally be coming out this year, just in time for the centenary of Woody Guthrie’s birth. It’ll be available either as part of the four-disc Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions with the first two albums and the Man In The Sand documentary film or on its own. More details on the release are available at Billy Bragg’s blog.

A second sample of M. Ward’s forthcoming A Wasteland Companion is now available to stream; it’s out April 10.

Stream: M. Ward – “Primitive Girl”

James Mercer of The Shins talks to Exclaim about their new album Port Of Morrow, due out March 20. The first video from said record was released a couple days ago and you can finally watch it online, after originally only being available as an iTunes download – free, sure, but annoying and I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come, PR-speaking.

Video: The Shins – “Simple Song”

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Blood Bank

Bon Iver and Lianne La Havas at Massey Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor a guy who made his name on being sad and lonely, Justin Vernon sure has a lot of friends. The first Bon Iver record, For Emma, Forever Ago, became the soundtrack for broken hearts when it was released in 2008 and with this year’s self-titled letting some sun into his secluded musical cabin, so to speak, his legion of followers continued to swell. As of this past Tuesday night, he could list two sold-out shows at Massey Hall (approximately 5500 people), four Grammy nominations and high rankings on countless year-end reviews amongst his accomplishments – not bad for someone specializing in writing anthems of being one.

I couldn’t count myself amongst his devoted followers, though. While I appreciated both records well enough, they never reached that crucial frequency of emotional resonance with me that they clearly had with so many others – one perk of not having gone through any kind of traumatic breakup in the last while, I suppose. But having not seen him/them perform since catching a bit of one of his sets at SXSW 2008 and being genuinely curious as to what the live experience was like now – particularly in one of the city’s hallowed venue filled with his devotees – I made sure I was at the first evening of the two-night stand.

Support on this tour came from London’s Lianne La Havas; a new artist but not an unknown, having already garnered much attention in the UK and a spot on the BBC Sound Of 2012 long list despite having only a 4-song 10″ EP in Lost & Found to her name (plus a free-to-download live EP). While she came out on stage solo with just a guitar, she immediately made friends by flashing a megawatt smile and asking to take a photo of the audience before playing a note, then being charmed turned into being impressed when she began to play. Singing with a calm, conversational delivery, she mined a jazz-pop sound with an immediacy that belied its sophistication and showcased her intricate, rhythmic guitarwork and rich, soulful voice. Though she’d come from London at Vernon’s behest, it wasn’t hard to imagine her back on this stage before too long based entirely on her own merits.

To recreate the solitary vibe of the recorded works, Bon Iver wouldn’t need to be anything more than Justin Vernon, a guitar and maybe some snow. So that Bon Iver was, instead, a nine-piece band armed with an orchestra’s worth of horns, percussion and guitars was the first sign that those expecting the show to be a celebration of sadness might be in for a surprise. Intimacy was not to be the tone of the evening, with the introverted nature of the songs checked in favour of grand, extroverted arrangements with big, jammy breakdowns, choral vocals and a constant trilling of horns and strings, all accented by a pulsing, occasionally strobing light show. No, no log cabin atmosphere here.

The way that opener “Perth” segued smoothly via instrumental breakdown into “Minnesota, WI” set the tone for the evening, with few breaks between songs or even much in the way of silence. Perhaps that responsibility was assigned to the audience, because they were pin-drop quiet throughout the show, utterly respectful and even reverent. It was notable that the devoted didn’t seem to mind at all that the songs that they had connected so directly and deeply to weren’t nearly as open-hearted as they were on record, the constant flurry of instrumentation effectively keeping the listener from getting too close. Some of the interludes worked, like Colin Stetson’s circular breathing clinic as his saxophone bridged “Holocene” and “Blood Bank”, but a lot of it felt overdone and unnecessary.

This was made especially clear when his bandmates left Vernon alone on stage for a tender solo electric reading of “Re: Stacks”, which he dedicated to Kathleen Edwards and was head and shoulders the highlight of the night. Even though it only lasted the one song, the moment of vulnerability echoed through the rest of the show which felt more open, more plaintive. Set closer “Skinny Love” pulled two-thirds of the band from their instrumental duties and cast them as a gospel chorus complete with hand claps and foot stomps and the show finale of “The Wolves (Act I and II)” struck the perfect balance of beauty and violence thanks to the room-shaking efforts of the dual drummers.

It’s odd that the person who went into the show demanding the least left as one of the few who expected more, but I’d have preferred more starkness, more of the sadness that I thought was what gave the Bon Iver records their power. But perhaps, given that things seem to be going pretty damn well for Vernon these days, trying to tap into that emotional well or act as though he had might have felt dishonest to him. Or maybe he just wanted to do something different. In any case, it’s completely and objectively true that Bon Iver, the live experience, was an impressive one and left the vast majority satisfied. And that on the way home, it began to snow.

The Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, and NOW have reviews of the show, while Paste has a feature piece on the artist who made their album of the year. Lianne La Havas is profiled in NOW, The Fader, and The Guardian and performed sessions for Le Blogotheque and Black Cab Sessions.

Photos: Bon Iver, Lianne La Havas @ Massey Hall – December 6, 2011
MP3: Bon Iver – “Holocene”
MP3: Bon Iver – “Calgary”
MP3: Bon Iver – “Blood Bank”
MP3: Bon Iver – “Skinny Love”
Stream: Lianne La Havas – “Don’t Wake Me Up” (live)
Video: Bon Iver – “Holocene”
Video: Bon Iver – “Calgary”
Video: Bon Iver – “Wolves (Act I & II)”
Video: Lianne La Havas – “No Room For Doubt”

Californian ambient-electronica artist Tycho will be at Wrongbar on January 14 as part of a tour to showcase his album Dive.

MP3: Tycho – “Hours”
MP3: Tycho – “Coastal Brake”

The Heartless Bastards will be at The Horseshoe on February 20 in support of their new record Arrow, due out the week before on February 14, tickets $15.50 in advance. The first MP3 from the album comes courtesy of Rolling Stone.

MP3: The Heartless Bastards – “Parted Ways”

Just here in October, Neon Indian have set a return engagement for their latest Era Extraña at The Phoenix on May 8. Admission $20 in advance, full dates at Pitchfork.

Video: Neon Indian – “Polish Girl”

So apparently Toronto has a new outdoor venue up at Downsview Park, and it’s called The Meadows and may be an inland equivalent to Echo Beach at Ontario Place. In any case, it’ll be hosting at least one show next Summer – Foster The People on June 19. The Grid has a little more info on the space.

MP3: Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

Rolling Stone talks to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal about their new record Paralytic Stalks, out February 7. Pitchfork has a track from the album available to download.

MP3: Of Montreal – “Wintered Debts”

Spin has posted the first MP3 from the new Shearwater record Animal Joy and it sounds a damn sight tougher than anything off their last three records. Quite keen to hear the rest. It’s out February 14 and they’re at Lee’s Palace on February 21.

MP3: Shearwater – “Breaking The Yearlings”

Also in preview mode is School Of Seven Bells, showing off the first track from their new record Ghostory, out February 28. Ben Curtis and Ally Deheza talk to NBC New York about the new record.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “The Night”

JAM checks in with Matt Berninger of The National, who’ve begun work on their next record but make no guarantees about when it might be done. They play the Air Canada Centre tonight.

The Toronto Star and NOW profile The War On Drugs in advance of their show at The Horseshoe on Friday night.

Spinner chats with Annie Clark of St. Vincent. She’s at The Phoenix on December 15.

The Quietus talks to Real Estate. They’re at Lee’s Palace on January 20.

The Wooden Birds have released a new video from Two Matchsticks.

Video: The Wooden Birds – “Criminals Win”

How do you make Mates Of State even cuter? Put them behind a Tiny Desk. NPR did.

Daytrotter has posted up a session with The Submarines.

Having just confirmed the existence of their new record Reign Of Terror last week, Pitchfork reports that Sleigh Bells have given it a release date of February 14.

Andrew Bird has announced a March 6 release for his new record Break It Yourself; details at Exclaim.

The AV Club reports that bassist Shonna Tucker has amicably left Drive-By Truckers.

Quite a scare for Guided By Voices fans yesterday when word came that they had cancelled their European festival commitments for 2012 and had supposedly split up again. A clarification from the band’s PR confirmed that all live dates had been pulled due to “personal problems”, but that in addition to the January 1 release of Let’s Go Eat The Factory, the band were already working on a second album of new material entitled Class Clown Spots A UFO with a targeted release date in May.

But the silver lining of that cancellation was that it allowed The Afghan Whigs to confirm that they had reunited for their first shows in 13 years and would be taking GBV’s place at the May All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in May as well as curating their own event in New Jersey in September. Details at Spin.

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

"Love More"

Bon Iver covers Sharon Van Etten

Photo By D.L. AndersonD.L. AndersonIt’s all a little bit of serendipity. Justin Vernon brings Bon Iver to perform at the 2010 edition of the MusicNOW festival in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is the hometown of The National, in which one Aaron Dessner plays guitar. Dessner joins Vernon onstage for his set and together, they cover the song “Love More” by up-and-coming New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten. Van Etten hears (about) it and contacts Dessner and asks to work with him. With Dessner as producer and guest musician, Van Etten records her third album Tramp and readies it for a February 7 release as her debut for Jagjaguwar – which just happens to be Bon Iver’s label. Coincidence? Maybe. Probably not.

Bon Iver is at Massey Hall on December 6 and 7. The National are at The Air Canada Centre on December 8. It’d be kind of perfect if Sharon Van Etten were playing in town on December 8, but she’s not – you’ll have to wait until February 21 to see her at Lee’s Palace. Which you absolutely should.

MP3: Bon Iver – “Love More” (live at MusicNOW 2010)
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”
Video: Bon Iver – “Love More” (live at MusicNOW 2010)