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Posts Tagged ‘Breeze’

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Autobahn

“Wir fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der Autobahn”, or, “I’m going to Germany, bye bye.”

Art by Emil SchultEmil SchultWhy yes, it is another deck-clearing, pre-vacation post. Bit of a Euro theme to this one because I am headed over to the Old World tonight, spending the next week and a bit in Berlin and Stockholm – so no, I won’t be anywhere near the autobahn, but I may fly over them en route and anyways as part of my cultural preparation for the trip, I’ve discovered the wonder of Kraftwerk. Anyways, let’s get to it – I still have to pack.

Video: Kraftwerk – “Autobahn” (live)

The Guardian are advance streaming the Belle & Sebastian b-sides compilation The Third Eye Centre ahead of its release next week, and to go along with the listening Under The Radar has a track-by-track commentary from the band.

Stream: Belle & Sebastian / The Third Eye Centre

Spin talks to Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand. Their new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is out next week and they’re at The Kool Haus on October 24.

Stereogum sets up a Turntable Interview with Empire Of The Sun. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 9.

Drowned In Sound talks to Emiliana Torrini about her new record Tookah, due out September 10.

Gorilla Vs Bear is streaming a new track from London Grammar’s debut album If You Wait. It’s out September 10 and their October 4 show at BLK BOX has been moved upstairs to The Great Hall.

Stream: London Grammar – “Interlude”

Frightened Rabbit will release a different, North American version of their Late March, Death March EP on September 10 with a different track listing from the European version which came out back in June; Stereogum has a stream of one of the new songs and Paste an acoustic performance video of the same tune. Frightened Rabbit play The Kool Haus on October 17.

Stream: Frightened Rabbit – “Radio Silence”

Savages have announced their third local show in six months, coming back to town for a date at The Opera House on September 12 – tickets for that are $20.

Video: Savages – “Shut Up”

The Darcys list off five of the albums that influenced their studio time in making their new record Warring for CBC Music. It’s out September 17.

The resuscitated The Dismemberment Plan are streaming another tune from their new record Uncanney Valley, due out October 15.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan – “Invisible”

Emotive Irish newcomers Kodaline – one of the longlisted bands for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list way back in January – are staging a North American tour around a CMJ appearance and behind their debut album In A Perfect World; they’ll be at The Garrison on October 20.

Video: Kodaline – “All I Want”

Los Angeles synth-rock trio Sir Sly have made a date at The Horseshoe for October 21.

MP3: Sir Sly – “Ghost”

The Dumbing Of America talks to Mark Van Hoen, one of Neil Halstead’s collaborators in Black Hearted Brother. Their debut Stars Are Our Home is out October 22.

The National Post interviews Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Braids. They play The Great Hall on November 10.

Spin has got the latest video from English psych-rock newcomers Temples as well as confirmation that their debut album won’t be out until 2014, not that that’s stopping them from being here to play The Horseshoe on November 20.

Video: Temples – “Keep It In The Dark”

Under The Radar talks to former Ride frontman Mark Gardener about a new collaborative project he’s working on with former Cocteau Twin guitarist Robin Guthrie. The swirly swirly fruits of that project could see the light of day before the year is out.

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans remembers their late drummer Jon Brookes in a blog post at NME.

Montreal’s Valleys have released a new video from their debut Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night?.

Video: Valleys – “Absolutely Everything All The Time”

Toronto’s shoegazing Breeze, whose live show helped kick off this week, have a new video.

Video: Breeze – “Dolls”

Phoenix drop in on NPR to record a World Cafe session, while Pitchfork talks to both Thomas Mars and R. Kelly about their unlikely collaborations.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Shout Out Louds.

Beatroute talks to Icona Pop.

Billboard examines Annie’s impact on Norwegian pop.

Okay, bye for now.

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Drain

Whirr, Nothing, Breeze, and Dilly Dally at The Silver Dollar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangA glance at the sandwich board outside the Silver Dollar on Saturday night would shown a bill of bands with largely vague and generic names, yet if one were to have stepped inside and takn in the bill, they’d have found the appellations remarkably descriptive and appropriate.

I’d seen locals Dilly Dally a few years ago at Halifax Pop Explosion 2010, and despite the rough edges – or maybe because of them – I liked what I heard and was happy to have the opportunity to check in with them again, what with their not having especially blown up in the interim. What had transpired between then and now, however, was a dialing down of the early ’00s garage rock snottiness in favour of a heavier, jerkier Pixies-esque sound and songwriting style. So while still rather on the nose with their influences, their material was definitely more distinctive and, should a record finally emerge, it should be interesting and an aural salve for anyone who feared sullenly tuneful indifference was a thing of the past.

I don’t know if Toronto really had a former great shoegazing hope amongst all the bands operating, but they’ve certainly got a next one in Breeze. Looking and sounding the part of the first wave of the genre – Jazzmasters, check; shaggy curly hair and striped shirts, check – their songs were simply structured, unfailingly melodic, and struck the right balance of soft, dreamy vocals and churning guitars that wisely saved their really noisy moments for the instrumental breaks. There wasn’t any specific aspect of them that marked them as burgeoning superstars but as a unit they were really strong on fundamentals, their drummer as solid as he wasn’t flashy. Signed to local label Hand Drawn Dracula, they’ve only got a couple singles out at the moment but a debut album is forthcoming and for fans of the genre, worth keep an eye out for.

Philadelphia’s Nothing were the front half of the touring bill that was anchoring this show, and though I hadn’t heard them before, their name was a pretty good indicator of where they were coming from. While you could technically argue they were in keeping with the shoegazing theme of the evening, they were less about having sound wash over you than hit you like a brickbat. Though punishingly loud, they avoided sonic incoherence and if you paid close attention, were fundamentally tuneful under it all – a trait which became clearer the few times they turned the distortion down. I’m kind of amazed how different they sound on their last release, the Downward Years To Come 12″ EP, which is much more classically shoegaze in conceit and execution. Though as it turned out, that Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon wasn’t isolated to them.

The first sign that this Whirr set might not be what I was expecting was that as Nothing tore down and they set up, the grinding feedback that closed the former’s performance continued to reverberate through the club until they began playing. The second was that there was no sign of singers Alexandra Morte, who appeared on their Pipe Dreams and Distressor albums, or Kristina Esfandiari who appeared on this year’s Around mini-LP. Considering the female vocals are a huge part of the band on record – their being the softness that buttresses against the band’s waves of sound – it was a pretty big absence. Not that they’d have necessarily been heard anyways, since the guitars and drums were so loud that the vocals were rendered completely inaudible. Seriously, they could have been lip-synching or singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and you wouldn’t have known; given this, that Nothing’s singer jumped on stage to sing one song was kind of hilarious.

This is not to suggest the show lacked presence or impact; Whirr had a physicality onstage not often seen at shows of this ilk, with all five moving as though jerked by marionette strings or being impacted by the notes they were playing, but given that their ability to capture on record that My Bloody Valentine-esque dichotomy of sonic brutality and aural beauty is a huge part of the band’s appeal, that they’d choose not to indulge that at all was rather frustrating. An guitar line would occasionally surface that gave some indication of what song it was they were playing, but the live renditions were so far removed from the recordings – if the album versions were watercolours, live they were huge swathes of jet-black paint – that experiencing the show on anything but a purely visceral level was largely futile. And while that approach was satisfying in its way, it also got tedious after a while. I found it curious that the band would go through the trouble of writing, recording, releasing, and touring these songs only to opt to bludgeon them to death every night, but I suppose that’s their prerogative. I do hope, however, that some of the people who were impressed enough to buy records after their set take them home, put them on, and are confused by all the actual songs.

The Aquarian has a short interview with Whirr.

Photos: Whirr, Nothing, Breeze, Dilly Dally @ The Silver Dollar – August 17, 2013
MP3: Dilly Dally – “Helen Hunt”
MP3: Dilly Dally – “Pretty Pretty Pictures”
Stream: Whirr – “Drain”
Stream: Whirr – “Swoon”
Stream: Nothing / Downward Years To Come
Stream: Breeze – “Paradise (In a While)”
Stream: Breeze – “Repent”
Stream: Dilly Dally – “Tip Toes”
Stream: Dilly Dally – “Green”
Stream: Dilly Dally – “Killing Time”
Stream: Dilly Dally – “Candy Mountain”

Grantland, The AV Club, and The Fly talk to Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan, whose new album I Hate Music is out this week.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has the low-down on the players replacing the missing Replacements at Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson’s side at Riot Fest at Garrison Commons on August 25.

Neko Case has made her new album The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You available to stream a full two weeks ahead of its September 3 release via NPR.

Stream: Neko Case / The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

USA Today has premiered the next performance video from Okkervil River’s forthcoming The Silver Gymnasium, this one of which finds Will Sheff playing in the titular gymnasium of his old grade school. The record comes out September 3 and they play The Phoenix on September 28.

Video: Okkervil River – “Lido Pier Suicide Car” (live in the Silver Gymnasium)

Consequence Of Sound have a stream of another track from the new of Montreal album lousy with sylvianbriar, out October 8.

Stream: of Montreal – “She Ain’t Speakin’ Now”

Matablog has details on Lee Ranaldo’s new solo record; credited to Lee Ranaldo & The Dust, Last Night On Earth will be out on October 8 and you can stream the first track from it below. This offers some context to Ranaldo’s previously-announced date at The Horseshoe on October 11.

Stream: Lee Ranaldo & The Dust – “Lecce, Leaving”

Magnet spends some (a lot) of time with Josh Tillman of Father John Misty. You can do the same when he plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre solo on October 15.

Pitchfork has a new sort-of performance video from Fiona Apple and Blake Mills, whose co-tour comes to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 17.

We Talk You Die interviews new Midlake frontman Eric Pulido about their new record Antiphon, coming November 5.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with Yo La Tengo.

KCRW is streaming an acoustic studio session with The National.

NPR welcomes Mikal Cronin for a World Cafe session; Spoonfed also has an interview.

MTV Hive and Glamour talk to Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee.