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Posts Tagged ‘Broken Social Scene’

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Tall Tall Shadow

Basia Bulat steps into the Shadow for third record

Photo By Anna Groth-ShiveAnna Groth-ShiveOver the course of her first two records, Toronto’s Basia Bulat has crafted a musical persona built around folk-pop that can be as bare and affecting with the best of them, but really wins hearts when it’s upbeat and joyous and feels like a warm ray of aural sunshine. Assuming that her just-announced third album Tall Tall Shadow will simply offer more of the same, however, may be premature.

She’s not going electronic or anything – well, maybe a bit but not so much that the Canadian indie-rock rulebook demands she assume a new identity – but advance word is that Shadow still represents a significant change in modus operandi. Howard Bilerman, who produced the first two records, has stepped aside for Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury and Mark Lawson, who engineered The Suburbs; the piano was adopted as a primary composition instrument alongside or even over the guitar; a personal tragedy altered and informed the songwriting; and most importantly, Bulat challenged her own expectations about what she should or could sound like.

The fruits of this creative process can be heard in full when Tall Tall Shadow is released October 1, but the first of the new songs – the album’s title track – is available to stream now. Exclaim has more album details and an expanded Fall itinerary, with more North American dates being added to the already-announced hometown show at the Polish Combatants Hall on October 10.

Stream: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

CBC Music has premiered the new video from Two Hours Traffic’s latest Foolish Blood. They have an in-store at Sonic Boom in The Annex tomorrow afternoon, July 27, at 5PM.

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Magic”

NOW and CBC talk to the Peter Dreimanis half of July Talk while The Halifax Chronicle-Herald gets a word with creative foil Leah Fay. Their next local show is up at Downsview Park as part of Edgefest next week, on July 31.

Fractured Air interviews Tim Condon of Toronto’s new (neu?) Krautrock heroes Fresh Snow, who hold a record release show for their debut LP I at The Boat on August 8.

In conversation with Billboard, Neko Case offers an update on the next New Pornographers record, which is apparently almost done. You probably shouldn’t expect either her or Dan Bejar to be on hand when they play a show at the CNE Bandshell on August 17, though. Just in case you were.

American Songwriter has premiered the stream of another new track from the new Sadies record Internal Sounds, out September 17.

Stream: The Sadies – “Another Tomorrow Again”

The Daily Swarm and Sydney Morning Herald talk to Devon Walsh of Majical Cloudz, back in town on September 17 at Wrongbar.

Having made their mark over the last couple of years with one album far too long in the can before being let loose and another covering a ’70s prog-rock classic, Toronto’s Darcys are finally able to announce the release of an album that might actually represent where they are today. That record will be called Warring, it will be out on September 17, and courtesy of Spin, you can stream the first track from it right now or get it to download from the band’s website in exchange for a little social media juice.

Stream: The Darcys – “The River”

In conversation with Billboard, James Murphy offers his thoughts, as sorta producer, on the new Arcade Fire record. It’s out October 29 and Murphy, incidentally, is doing a DJ set at The Hoxton on September 6. If watching guys DJ is your bag.

Chris Murphy tells Exclaim that the next Sloan record will be that long-awaited, presumed-inevitable thing – a double-album with each side essentially a solo record for each member. There’s no firm release plans yet, but what is known is that Jay Ferguson’s side will be getting worn out first. No question.

Bronson Island have posted a video session dating to who knows when with the now on-hiatus Broken Social Scene performing a previously-unreleased song.

Video: Broken Social Scene – “Where’s Your Heart, Where’s Your Mind” (live on Bronson Island)

Damian Abraham of Fucked Up talks to Clash about his approach to performing live.

CBC Music has a Summer check-in chat with Sarah Harmer.

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Capture The Flag

Break a leg, Broken Social Scene

Photo By Danielle St. LaurentDanielle St. LaurentI suspect that I will be one of the only people in any way related to the Toronto music scene not on hand at Garrison Common tomorrow for Field Trip, the day-long festival marking the 10th anniversary of the Arts & Crafts label, headlined by the “reunited” (having only been inactive for less than two years, they get the air quotes) Broken Social Scene playing in full their watershed 2002 album You Forgot It In People.

It’s not that I wasn’t tempted. This blog was in existence barely a month before People was released, and there’s no denying that it – and the emergence of Toronto and Canada on the indie rock world stage in its wake – made the 416 beat an infinitely more interesting place to cover. But you know, you see a band as many times as I did in those early years and you can get a bit burnt out – their headlining slot to close out the first Virgin Fest in 2006 was pretty much the last time I would make any kind of effort to see the band, and with Amy, Emily, and Leslie all singing “Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” together, it was really the right note to go out on. Not that our paths wouldn’t cross again – there was one stop of their 2010 in-store tour and then again that December – mainly to see Superchunk, but also to affirm that hey, we had some good times but I think we’re done. There’s just not enough nostalgia in my tank to spend a day seeing a lineup of bands I’ve seen a million times already. So everyone else in the city, have a great time tomorrow, happy anniversary Arts & Crafts, have a great show Broken Social Scene. I’ll be at home installing some blinds.

But if you’re in the spirit of the occasion, do read this piece in Rolling Stone about the BSS “reunion” and A&C anniversary, another in Huffington Post, as well as this one in Interview with Brendan Canning about those same topics as well as what he’s up to at the moment. And also this week’s cover story in The Grid about the evolution of the independent music scene in Toronto over the past decades – not just post-BSS – and the companion piece by author Michael Barclay at his own Radio Free Canuckistan. And you can watch last night’s “reunion” warm-up performances of “Almost Crimes” and “7/4 Shoreline” on Jimmy Fallon at Pitchfork. Update: A full transcript of the interview with Kevin Drew that went into the Rolling Stone piece is up courtesy of the author.

MP3: Broken Social Scene – “Deathcock”
MP3: Broken Social Scene – “World Sick”

The Music Nerd Chronicles and The Independent talk to Hayden, who’s also playing Field Trip and got in touch with his crafty side in a video feature for Etsy.

Pitchfork are streaming the new Braids EP “In Kind//Amends”, out June 11. They play The Comfort Zone for NXNE on June 15 and the new full-length Flourish//Perish is out August 20.

Stream: Braids / In Kind//Amends

DIY gets to know Diana; they’re at The Horseshoe on June 13 for NXNE, opening for Tegan & Sara and fun. at Downsview Park on July 6, and will release their debut full-length Perpetual Surrender on August 20.

Exclaim gets a bit of context to that Halifax-heavy showcase happening at The Great Hall on the Friday night of NXNE, June 14; it’s to mark the 21st anniversary of Murderrecords, and will feature Sloan performing their debut Peppermint EP in its entirety (plus some other songs because the EP is only like 23 minutes long), and will also have the first-ever vinyl pressing of The Super Friendz’s debut Mock Up, Scale Down available for sale – I may prevail upon someone to grab me a copy since I probably won’t make it to the show – and the release of a commemorative book about the label. For those not rocking NXNE wristbands, advance tickets are $23 and available now.

Nylon has a feature piece on Majical Cloudz, doing the NXNE thing on June 15 at BLK BOX.

Lightning Dust are streaming another new song from their forthcoming Fantasy, out June 25.

Stream: Lightning Dust – “Loaded Gun”

Exclaim is streaming another new song from Louise Burns’ forthcoming solo record The Midnight Mass, out July 9.

Stream: Louise Burns – “Jasper”

The Grid and Huffington Post check in with Tokyo Police Club about the status of their next album, possibly/probably due out in the Fall.

Muso’s Guide interviews Hooded Fang.

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Hero Brother

Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld Hero-ically goes it alone

Photo By Nick BostickNick BostickThat Arcade Fire will release a new record this year – possibly/probably produced by or at least involving James Murphy – is pretty much a given. But also a given is that it won’t be out until Fall, at the earliest, because a) it’s already Spring and it’s not done, and b) Fall is still when all the big records come out and this is about as big as they get.

It would be nice to be able to say that Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld will be able to help fill that gap, what with the announcement that the instrumental solo endeavours that had her playing live shows since late last year have coalesced into her debut album – produced by German composer Nils Frahm – but the fact is that Hero Brother – said debut album – isn’t scheduled to come out until August 20, which is almost Fall anyways. But until then, there’s a preview MP3, an album trailer, a brace of Summer tour dates (nothing local yet but be patient), and a promise that she’ll continue to promote the record even while Arcade Fire is doing the same for album number four. Pitchfork has all the salient details on the record.

And while on the topic of things Arcade-y and Fire-y, congratulations to Win and Regine on the birth of their baby boy.

MP3: Sarah Neufeld – “Hero Brother”
Trailer: Sarah Neufeld / Hero Brother

If ever there was a reason to not rely on this site for your timely music news, this is it. Earlier this week Sloan released a limited-edition 7″ with two new hardcore songs on it, and by the time you read this they will have completely sold out. But you can still read details on it and the companion album of hardcore covers at Exclaim, and stream the two sides of the single below. Because that’s almost as good, right?

Stream: Sloan – “Jenny”
Stream: Sloan – “It’s In You, It’s In Me”

Along with a new video that surfaced last week, Exclaim has an advance stream of Jim Guthrie’s first new record in seemingly forever – Takes Time – ahead of its release on May 7. And spoiler alert – it’s terrific.

Stream: Jim Guthrie / Takes Time
Video: Jim Guthrie – “Bring On The Night”

Dallas Good talks to Exclaim about recording The Good Family Album with his family as The Good Family, and also about the next Sadies record. The Good Family play The Dakota Tavern on May 9 and 10 and The Sadies are part of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

aux.tv chats with Airick Woodhead of Doldrums, back in town for a show at The Horseshoe on May 11.

Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz talks to DIY about his debut album Impersonator, out May 21 and from which a new MP3 has just been made available. He opens up for Youth Lagoon at The Great Hall on May 13 and will be back for NXNE on June 15.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Bugs Don’t Buzz”

Stereogum has premiered a stream of a new Hooded Fang tune, taken from Gravez. It’s out May 28 and they play The Horseshoe on May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang – “Ode To Subterrania”

Beatroute have put Vancouver’s Gold & Youth on this month’s cover in tribute to the May 14 release of their debut album, Beyond Wilderness.

Le Blogotheque has a striking Take-Away Show with Colin Stetson, and Exclaim, Consequence Of Sound, eMusic, and Rolling Stone have feature interviews. His new record New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light came out this week and he plays The Great Hall on May 19.

The 405 meets Young Galaxy.

CBC Music graphically maps the Broken Social Scene extended family, a map which will get even messier come May 28 with the release of X, a special album which teams up Arts & Crafts artists to record new songs, Judgement Night-style. Exclaim has details, and Clash a profile piece on the label. Broken Social Scene headline the Field Trip festival at Garrison Commons on June 8.

The Georgia Straight chats with Snowblink, who will also be playing Field Trip on June 8.

Crystal Castles have released a new video from III. They’re at The Sound Academy on June 8.

Video: Crystal Castles – “Affection”

NYLON meets Moon King, who will be all over NXNE playing June 13 at The Garrison, June 14 at The Drake, and June 15 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Austra have released the first video from their second album Olympia, due out June 18.

Video: Austra – “Home”

She Knows and College Times interview Born Ruffians, playing for free as part of Sound Clash at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

No Joy have released a new/first video from their second album, Wait To Pleasure.

Video: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”

For her visit to The AV Club’s Undercover studio, Basia Bulat takes a swing at Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days”.

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Wait Up For You

The Belle Game done playing games with debut album

Photo By Rachel PickRachel PickThose with their ears to the ground with respect to Canadian independent music might have been hearing good things about Vancouver’s Belle Game for a few years now; they might have even heard their debut album was done and supposed to be out as long ago as last October. So they’d probably be wonder why, with it now being April, they hadn’t actually heard it yet. The whys and wherefores of the delay are really known only to the band and their label(s), but what’s important is that Ritual Tradition Habit is finally coming out next week on April 16.

I don’t fully buy the “dark noise pop” self-description – to ears accustomed to things both dark and noisy, it’s not that much of either – but it is very much the sound of a band who knows who they are and what they want to do. The sonic parameters drawn around Ritual are fairly rigid – I guess if you find a reverb setting you like, why not stick to it? – but within those lines the band have crafted a well-realized world centered around Andrea Lo’s yearning vocals and Adam Nanji’s roughly echoed guitars, tastefully bolstered by orchestral flourishes and all in support of some terrific songs of the sophistication you’d expect from a much more veteran outfit. It’s a record that may have taken longer than it should have to come out, but still manages to have been worth the wait.

The album is currently streaming in whole along with an interview at CBC Music and there’s another feature on the band at Ladywood.

MP3: The Belle Game – “River”
Stream: The Belle Game / Ritual Tradition Habit

Noisey interviews Moon King, whose are streaming a couple tracks from their new Obsession II EP, which is out on Tuesday. They played their hometown release show for it at the Drake last night, but will be back in June for NXNE.

Stream: Moon King – “Icarus”
Stream: Moon King – “Dreamtrap”

CBC Music also has a stream of the new Odonis Odonis EP Better ahead of its release April 16.

Stream: Odonis Odonis / Better

Spinner has made available to download Broken Social Scene’s contribution to the Arts & Crafts: 2003-2013 anniversary compilation due out April 16; a new recording of their very first song they recorded way back who knows when. Maybe they’ll play it when they headline the Field Trip festival at Garrison Common on June 8.

MP3: Broken Social Scene – “Deathcock”

Exclaim talks to Born Ruffians about their new album Birthmarks, out April 16, which they helpfully also have an advance stream of.

Stream: Born Ruffians / Birthmarks

The Irish Times and Irish Independent talk to Rachel Zeffira. She plays The Drake Underground on May 2

Paste have premiered a stream of a new Jim Guthrie song, taken from his new record Takes Time, out May 7.

Stream: Jim Guthrie – “What A Difference A Day Makes”

Local Krautrocking instrumentalists Fresh Snow have released a new video for the title (and only) track of their “Saturation Complete” single. They’ll play the May edition of Feast In The East at Polyhaus on May 10.

Video: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”

The Fader has premeired a new video from Doldrums, taken from Lesser Evil. He plays The Horseshoe on May 11.

Video: Doldrums – “Lost In Everyone”

Exclaim has details on Gravez, the new album Hooded Fang. It’s due out May 28, a song from it is available to stream right now and they’ll play songs from it at The Horseshoe on May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang – “Graves”

Exclaim has the results of the Red Bull Hometown Tour concert series, which I didn’t tell you about but which will be bringing Tokyo Police Club to Sugar Beach – that’s Sugar, on the east end, not Echo at Ontario Place – for a free show on June 2. RSVP for admission.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “All My Friends”

Black Mountain spinoff Lightning Dust have announced a June 25 release for their new album Fantasy and are streaming a song from it.

Stream: Lightning Dust – “Diamond”

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Take Them On, On Your Own

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club lead a pack of concert announcements

Photo By James MinchinJames MinchinYesterday was one of those wonderful inbox-bursting days of press releases that, rather than having to try to figure out what to write about for a post, I had to choose what to save for later. Today we’ll cover all the concert announcements that will be bringing acts from near and far through town in the next few months.

We’ll start with California’s goth-garage rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club because, well, they haven’t been here since Spring 2010 and they give good – or at least smoky – photo. The details of their sixth album Specter At The Feast – coming March 18 – were revealed last week, but they’ve quickly followed that up with a full slate of tour dates that bring them back to Toronto for a show at The Kool Haus on May 9, tickets $25 in advance.

And as is the custom these days, they’re drumming up anticipation for the new record with a series of teaser videos.

MP3: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll (Punk Song)” (live)
Trailer: Specter At The Feast Part 1

The fourth and final installment of the Fucked Up-curated Long Winter concert series has announced their lineup, and addition to Toronto’s hardcore heroes once again headlining the affair, they’ll be joined by Holy Fuck, The Sadies, and more music, art, food, and whatsit. That goes down February 8 at The Great Hall, admission pay-what-you-can.

MP3: Fucked Up – “I Hate Summer”
MP3: Holy Fuck – “Lovely Allen”
MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”

American electronic duo Matmos have announced a North American tour in support of their new record The Marriage Of Two Minds, out February 18. They haven’t settled on a venue yet, but they’ll be in Toronto on February 14. Update: It’s The Garrison.

MP3: Matmos – “Sun On 5 at 152″

It’s been known for a while that punk-poet legend Patti Smith would be in town at some point as part of her Camera Solo exhibition running February 9 to May 13 at the Art Gallery Of Ontario, but NOW finally has details – and they’re pretty swell. She’ll be performing both music and poetry at the March edition of their 1st Thursday events, with two shows on the night of March 8, one early and one late. Tickets are $15, limited to two per person, and go on sale February 8 at 10AM.

MP3: Patti Smith – “Wing”

Having failed to make it over here to support Centipede Hz when it came out last year, Animal Collective will seek to remedy this with a March 9 show at the Danforth Music Hall, and perhaps by way of making up for the delay, will be bringing Dan Deacon along as support, even though he was here just in November in support of his latest America. Tickets for that are $27.50 for floors, $25 for balcony seats, all general admission.

MP3: Animal Collective – “Today’s Supernatural”
MP3: Dan Deacon – “Lots”

Pennsylvania punk-asses Pissed Jeans will be at Lee’s Palace on April 16 to play you songs from their new record Honey’s, coming for your ears February 12. Tickets for the show are $15 in advance.

MP3: Pissed Jeans – “Bathroom Laughter”

Having had to cancel their last scheduled appearance back in November, Vancouver punks White Lung have announced a make-up date as part of a Spring tour with Brooklyn’s Hunters, who made a favourable impression last Winter opening up for The Kills. That bill is at The Hard Luck on April 22, tickets $10.

MP3: Hunters – “Headache”
Video: White Lung – “Deadbeat”

We may have to wait an extra six weeks for North American release of Daughter’s debut If You Leave – it’s out in Europe March 18 but not here until April 30 – but at least we’re getting a North American tour immediately thereafter. They’ll be at The Great Hall on May 7, tickets $16.50. Somewhat bigger than The Drake down the street where they made their debut in October, but still pretty cozy.

MP3: Daughter – “Love”

And last but certainly not least, there’s a festival date to keep you warm until, well, it’s actually warm. To mark their tenth anniversary, local label Arts & Crafts have coerced flagship act Broken Social Scene to break their long-standing retirement – inactive since November 2011! – for a one-off show that will probably be one of those “all hands on deck” affairs that sets Toronto hearts a-fluttering. The two-stage, all-day event – dubbed Field Trip and happening on June 8 at Fort York’s Garrison Commons – will see them be joined by a goodly portion of the label’s active roster – both domestic and international – including Feist, Bloc Party, Hayden, Cold Specks, Timber Timbre, Ra Ra Riot, and more. Early bird tickets go for $55, regular tickets for $75, and kids get in free.

MP3: Broken Social Scene – “World Sick”
MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”
MP3: Timber Timbre – “Black Water”
MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Dying Is Fine”
Video: Feist – “Graveyard”
Video: Bloc Party – “Kettling”
Video: Cold Specks – “Hector”