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Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Peninsula’

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Appel

Moon King lead this week’s cross-Canada wrap-up

Photo By Jonathon BernsteinJonathon BernsteinAs I mentioned back in October, in a few years – or even sooner – the late Spiral Beach could well be regarded as an important touchstone in the recent history of the Toronto independent scene. Bassist Dorian Wolf now holds down those same duties in internationally-noted electronic act Austra, guitarist Airick Woodhead is garnering heaps of attention as the circuit-bending Doldrums, and the remaining two members – keyboardist/vocalist Maddy Wilde and drummer Daniel Woodhead – have slowly but surely been turning heads as the dreampop-peddling Moon King.

Their debut EP Obsession I came out last Summer and offered them the pretence to start gigging and making a (new) name for themselves, and Exclaim reports the follow-up EP – Obsession II, of course – will arrive April 16. That’s just in time for their North American tour supporting Born Ruffians; a tour which doesn’t currently have a Toronto date, but if you think these two acts aren’t doing a hometown show shortly after that last official date in Detroit in late May, you’re nuts.

A track from the new EP has been made available to download, and you can still stream the first Obsession as well as watch/download the lead single from it.

MP3: Moon King – “Appel”
MP3: Moon King – “Only Child”
Video: Moon King – “Only Child”
Stream: Moon King / Obsession I

All that said, Doldrums is unquestionably the Beach alumnus of the hour: CBC Music, The Montreal Gazette, and Interview have interviews with Woodhead and they’ve just put out a new video from the just-released Lesser Evil.

Video: Doldrums – “She Is The Wave”

Bruce Peninsula are known for trotting big lineups – like double-digit head counts – onstage for their live shows, but it will be the core trio of Neil Haverty, Misha Bower, and Matt Cully who will represent at a special show on March 10 at the Campbell House Museum in Toronto, tickets $20 at the door.

MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “In Your Light”

As promised, the Fucked Up-curated Long Winter series will return for a fifth instalment this month and feature a twang-tacular lineup led by The Sadies and Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. That goes down March 23 at The Great Hall.

MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”
MP3: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “13”

DIY has an interview with Suuns, whose new album Images du Futur is streaming over at CBC Music ahead of its official release next Tuesday, March 5. They play Lee’s Palace on March 23 for Canadian Musicfest.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”
Stream: Suuns / Images du Futur

The Coast talks to Two Hours Traffic about their new album Foolish Blood. Their Canadian Musicfest appearance is March 21 at Lee’s Palace.

Exclaim has the new video from Woodpigeon’s just-released Thumbtacks & Glue.

Video: Woodpigeon – “Red Rover, Red Rover”

Kathleen Edwards has released a new video from last year’s Voyageur.

Video: Kathleen Edwards – “Chameleon/Comedian”

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan talk to Spinner about what they’ve got planned for their next album.

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Of Songs

Songs to see and hear from Bruce Peninsula, Army Girls, Purity Ring and more

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongWe’re going to close out the week with some new and hopefully interesting stuff to listen to, domestic-style. Unless you’re not Canadian in which case this will all be strange and foreign and exotic. Whoooooo!

Last week, Bruce Peninsula were teasing on their website that something big was coming as of April 24 and they weren’t kidding. And it’s literally big – an epic-sized, three-part, almost 14-minute song cycle entitled “Of Songs” that takes the band’s choral gospel-blues sound in unexpectedly experimental directions. It’s available to stream – as below – or buy. It would be interesting to see them try and recreate this live when they play The Great Hall on May 24, but it’s probably a safer bet that you’ll just hear a lot of last year’s Open Flames. Which is also just fine.

Stream: Bruce Peninsula – “Of Songs”

Also out of Toronto but with a lineup the fraction of the size, Army Girls have debuted a new single over at Exclaim which will be made available for free at their Bandcamp starting May 1. And while you’re there, stream (and buy) their excellent debut EP Close To The Bone. They’re at The Garrison tonight supporting Hot Kid and there again the evening of May 15 opening up for PS I Love You.

Stream: Army Girls – “Twice”

The Elwins released a limited edition CD for Record Store Day containing a remix and their cover of Beyonce’s “Countdown” with Born Ruffians singer Luke Lalonde, and for those who didn’t get one of the copies they also promised to make it available for free online – which they have. Dorkshelf has an interview with Feurd from the band.

MP3: The Elwins with Luke Lalonde – “Countdown” (Beyonce cover)
Video: The Elwins with Luke Lalonde – “Countdown” (Beyonce cover)

Edmonton’s Purity Ring dominated the internet this week with the announcement that their debut album Shrines would be out on July 24 and giving away the first MP3 from it. Exclaim has details on it, including Summer tour dates which include two Toronto dates – June 14 at Wrongbar as part of NXNE and July 6 at The Music Hall opening for Dirty Projectors (Exclaim doesn’t actually note that date but it’s legit).

MP3: Purity Ring – “Obedear”

Speaking of PS I Love You (we were earlier, try to pay attention), Chart has posted a video session, a second Paper Bag Sessions vid has been released and a stream of another new song from Death Dreams, out May 8. And as mentioned, they kick off their Summer tour in support of it May 15 at The Garrison.

Stream: PS I Love You – “Don’t Go”
Video: PS I Love You – “Sentimental Dishes” (Paper Bag Sessions)

Rose Cousins has released a first video from her excellent We Have Made A Spark; she’s at The Rivoli on May 3.

Video: Rose Cousins – “Go First”

Patrick Watson talks to CBC Radio 3 about his new album Adventures In Your Own Backyard, from which he’s just released a video. He plays the Music Hall on May 29.

Video: Patrick Watson – “Into Giants”

Cold Specks has released a new video from I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, out May 22, and the Swans cover she had on a Record Store Day release is up to stream. She plays the Music Hall on June 2 opening up for Great Lake Swimmers.

Stream: Cold Specks – “Reeling The Liars In” (Swans cover)
Video: Cold Specks – “Blank Maps”

NYC Taper has shared a recording of Plants & Animals’ show in New York last week. They’ll be back in Toronto for NXNE on June 15 at Yonge-Dundas Square

It seems to be all about the side-project for Toronto musicians of late; Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija is the latest to do a little moonlighting, adopting the name of Warm Myth for her collaboration with Keiran Adams of Everything All The Time; they’ve got some songs up at Soundcloud. Also keeping Mecija busy of late has been The Blot, a monthly collaborative art-music project that pairs images – see the Tumblr above – with sounds – see the Bandcamp. And Ohbijou is still being tended to; they play a free show at Pecault Square on June 17 for LuminaTO.

Stream: Warm Myth – “Working”

The Star-Tribune and The Republic have interviews with Kathleen Edwards, who is also doing a free LuminaTO show at Pecault Square; she’s there the afternoon of June 16.

Her show is part of a double-bill with Dan Mangan, who has a Daytrotter session that’s just gone live as well as an interview at The Oxford Student.

The National Post and Ottawa Citizen chat with Joel Plaskett, coming to town for two shows at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 18 and 19.

New York Magazine profiles Grimes.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Adventures In Your Own Backyard

Patrick Watson at The Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you were to plot out my appreciation for Patrick Watson on a graph versus time and geography, the salient data points would read something like this:

September 2007, Toronto, Ontario – Watson wins the second Polaris Music Prize with his second album Close To Paradise, an album I was almost wholly unfamiliar with despite the fact that, as a juror, I probably should have been. I generally resent him for this because I was sure that Feist was going to take it with The Reminder and now I felt kid of dumb.

September 2009, Toronto, Ontario – Watson is now riding a two-album Polaris shortlist streak although odds of Wooden Arms repeating are long. And while my interest in his music hasn’t really grown over the past couple years, I admit to being won over some by his performance at the gala as he and his band opt to wander through the audience like steampunk troubadours rather than play on the stage.

October 2011, Reykjavik, Iceland – Even though he’s not even performing at the festival, Watson shows up for Esmerine’s set at the Canadian Blast day show for Iceland Airwaves and sings on a couple of songs from their album La Lechuza, dedicated to the memory of Montreal singer Lhasa de Sela. He sounded great, and geez – who the hell just happens to show up in Iceland?

March 2012, Austin, Texas – Failure to get into The Jesus & Mary Chain’s set at SXSW meant that I needed a fallback plan and thanks to a confluence of timing and geography, I ended up at Watson’s show in a small church where he was showcasing his third album Adventures In Your Own Backyard, still not due out for a month at that point. It was beautiful, and I think I began to finally, properly get Patrick Watson.

It’s strange that it should have taken me so long – after all, it’s not as thought what he does is outside of my wheelhouse at all. Pretty, ornate, classical/jazz-pop that doesn’t go out of its way to be difficult or anything besides what it is, you’d be hard-pressed to find an artist more comfortable in his skin and his sound than Watson. It also helps that Adventures is a beautiful record; sonically dense, intimate in feel, thematically opaque enough to intrigue and with a sly sense of playfulness running throughout. There are points where I do wish it were a little less… airy, but those complaints are as minor as they are irrelevant.

One of the things that made that aforementioned SXSW show so great was how Patrick Watson was able to infuse that Austin church sanctuary with the spirit of an impromptu carnival and its attendant sense of wonder. It wasn’t reasonable to expect them to to do the same with the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio last Wednesday night where they performed for a radio broadcast to go with Adventures‘ release this week, but that didn’t mean they weren’t going to try. The show opened in pitch blackness with the band playing the new record’s opening track “Lighthouse” guided only by small flashlights affixed to their hands before being lit up by the stage lights at the song’s crescendo. It was a dramatic moment, certainly, but notable in being exactly the sort of grand gesture that they don’t need to make to impress.

What I’ve found in my re-examination of what it is that Patrick Watson (the band) excels at is that they’re at their best when making music on a micro scale. The exquisite detail of their compositions seems best appreciated under a magnifying glass, where you can really take in and appreciate how intricately it’s all assembled. You definitely get a sense of that watching the five-piece band onstage, where the meticulous orchestration and sequencing of the performance – to say nothing of their collective musicianship – is astonishing to behold despite the sort of casual, lassiez faire vibe they like to affect. Along those same lines, Patrick Watson (the man) interjected many amusing and occasionally rambling asides and anecdotes into the hour-long set that were both charming and disarming.

They played almost all of the new record and a couple from Wooden Arms that offered a little more punch amidst Adventures‘ dreamier tone, and really if there were any more reservations I had about coming around on Patrick Watson, they were gone by the time they were done. Will this earn them a place on my Polaris ballot? Hard to say, but I also get the feeling that they won’t need my help making a third shortlist appearance.

The entire concert is already available to stream at CBC Music and the whole of Adventures In Your Own Backyard is also available to stream, along with some videos of the performance. If that’s not enough, there’s a studio session for Q available to stream at and “Blackwind” from the new record is available to download for free at iTunes.

The Globe & Mail, hour.ca, The National Post, The Edmonton Journal, JAM, The Ottawa Citizen, The Montreal Mirror, and CBC Radio 3 have interviews with Watson.

Adventures In Your Own Backyard is out today in Canada, April 30 in most other territories and May 1 in the USA. They’ll be back in Toronto for a show at the Music Hall on May 29.

Photos: Patrick Watson @ The Glenn Gould Studio – April 11, 2012
MP3: Patrick Watson – “Into Giants”
Video: Patrick Watson – “Fireweed”
Video: Patrick Watson – “The Storm”
Video: Patrick Watson – “Drifters”
Video: Patrick Watson – “The Great Escape”
Stream: Patrick Watson / Adventures In Your Own Backyard

Paste has premiered the new, Strangeglove-saluting video from Dan Mangan’s Oh Fortune. He’s doing a free show the afternoon of June 16 at Pecault Square as part of Luminato.

Video: Dan Mangan – “Post-War Blues”

McGill Tribune talks to Cold Specks, whose debut I Predict A Graceful Expulsion is out May 22; i-D also has a video session and interview. They play June 2 at the Music Hall opening up for Great Lake Swimmers.

The first Paper Bag Session video for PS I Love You’s forthcoming Death Dreams is now up to watch. They’re at The Garrison on May 15.

Video: PS I Love You – “Princess Towers” (Paper Bag Sessions)

I’d speculated that following his show in support of Metronomy earlier this month that Sandro Perri would be announced as support for Destroyer at The Opera House on June 23 since he was doing so for the other Canadian dates on the tour. That might yet happen, but not before Perri plays a couple shows of his own – he’s at The Tranzac on May 14 and 15.

MP3: Sandro Perri – “Love And Light”

The countdown timer on the Bruce Peninsula website implies that something is coming on April 24 – their Facebook also confirms as much – but it’s not a concert announcement; that’s already here. They’ve slated a May 24 show at The Great Hall, tickets $12 in advance.

MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “In Your Light”

There’s still no precise details on the second Wilderness Of Manitoba record besides that it exists and should be out this Summer, but their next local show will be June 30 on the Toronto Islands as part of the New Traditions Festival… no precise details on that, either.

MP3: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Hermit”

Local artist Maggie MacDonald may be better known for her tenure in The Hidden Cameras and fronting Betty Burke, but she also works in theatre and her latest endeavour is a musical collaboration with Stevie Jackson of Belle & Sebastian, and he’ll be on hand – along with a number of other local artists – for their performance of Paper Laced with Gold at Harbourfront Centre on April 28; tickets $15.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Provincial

John K. Samson at Soundscapes in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThough his punk credentials are beyond reproach thans to his tenure in Propagandhi, John K. Samson has always cut a bit of a curious figure in front of The Weakerthans. While his bandmates are more than willing and able to play the part of rockers in turning out muscular guitar riffs and solos, Samson by comparison has always been a bit slight of stature, reedy of voice, sheepish of grin; the thoughtful and verbose folksinger who somehow ended up fronting a rock band. I don’t know if the contrast between he and his mates has especially struck anyone else, but it’s always been one of those things I’ve noticed – particularly live – and been one of the key facets to The Weakerthans’ collective charms.

So the idea of Samson taking a solo sidebar, as he does for the first time on the just-released Provincial, is an interesting one. His songwriting style – photographically-detailed and emotionally evocative vignettes of everyday life in distinctly Canadian settings – is a well-established and well-loved one by this point, but what it would sound like without the extra sonic heft that the rest of The Weakerthans could be counted on to bring to the table? Not too different, as it turns out. Although it still has a lot of range amidst its dozen compositions and “Longitudinal Centre” comes wrapped in some nasty fuzztone, Provincial doesn’t get as punchy as a proper Weakerthans record might. It lays back some and moves at a more casual pace that feels different, but also entirely natural; it might be heretical to say, but Samson solo seems to suit Samson better than Samson as bandleader does. This is in no way a wish for the end of The Weakerthans, but if Samson wants to be himself for a little while longer, it’s alright with me.

It was Samson himself and alone who was marking the release day for Provincial with an acoustic in-store performance at Soundscapes last night, following up a reading from his also just-released Lyrics and Poems: 1997-2012 at Type the night before. It wasn’t a long set, as the clock ticked, but Samson still managed to showcase half his new record and reaffirm himself as a special kind of performer whose show you can go into knowing exactly what you’re going to get, get exactly that, and still somehow find yourself marvelling at how it was still somehow better than you expected. I’d listened to “Heart Of The Continent” and “The Last And” through the album quite a lot in the past month or so, and yet hearing it straight from his mouth still revealed unknown details. The album might be called Provincial but there’s no question that Samson is a national treasure.

There’s features on Samson and Provincial at Uptown, The Winnipeg Free Press, and Spinner while Exclaim and CBC talk to him about his lyrics book. Mechanical Forest Sound is sharing a recording of one of the songs from the in-store. Samson returns with a full band for a show at the Great Hall on March 22.

Photos: John K. Samson @ Soundscapes – January 24, 2012
Stream: John K. Samson – “Letter In Icelandic From The Ninette San”
Stream: John K Samson – “When I Write My Master’s Thesis”

Ohbijou are helping The Drake Hotel mark its eighth anniversary by playing a special, intimate show at The Underground on February 8 – tickets for the super-intimate show are $20 in advance.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”

The Elwins will celebrate the February 21 self-release of their debut full-length And We Thank You with a release show on February 24 at The Burroghes Building at Queen and Bathurst (no, not the new CB2 – beside it), with support from The Meligrove Band and The Bicycles. Tickets $8 in advance.

MP3: The Elwins – “Stuck In The Middle”
MP3: The Meligrove Band – “Halflight”

And down the street the same night, Hooded Fang will be at The Great Hall; if you think that’s a bit of an ambitiously-sized room for them to try and fill, note that they’re bringing a lot of friends and only charging $10 in advance.

MP3: Hooded Fang – “ESP”
MP3: Hooded Fang – “Den Of Love”

Treble Charger aren’t the only band from my college years getting back together for Canadian Musicfest; The Inbreds are digging their bass and drums out of the attic for a reunion show at Lee’s Palace on March 24.

Video: The Inbreds – “Any Sense Of Time”

Montreal’s Plants & Animals will follow up the February 28 release of The End Of That with an immense Spring tour; the April 21 show at Lee’s Palace will be the end of that. Tickets are $15 in advance and oh, there’s a cover they did of a Wolf Parade tune that’s making the rounds, have a boo.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “Lightshow”
Video: Plants & Animals – “I’ll Believe In Anything”

Clearly, it was all the saxophone on Kaputt that did it; Destroyer is coming back to town for a show at The Opera House on June 23 as part of The Toronto Jazz Festival – tickets are $22.50 in advance.

MP3: Destroyer – “Chinatown”

Exclaim has some details on a show at The Horseshoe on February 4 as part of Junofest 2012. I’m not really sure what it is but it involves people who play in bands like Sloan, Fucked Up and Broken Social Scene doing stuff together. I dunno, read the piece and you tell me.

Kathleen Edwards continues to rack up the press clippings with Voyageur – there’s pieces on her at Paste, aux.tv, The Grid, NPR, eMusic, and The Globe & Mail. With this kind of momentum, her February 11 show at The Phoenix will be sold out right soon.

The Balconies have released a video for the title track of their Kill Count EP, which will get a physical release on February 28.

Video: The Balconies – “Kill Count”

Islands are streaming another new track from A Sleep & A Forgetting. It’s out February 14 and they’re at The Music Gallery on February 28.

Stream: Islands – “Hallways”

The Boston Globe has a feature piece on The Darcys, whose cover album of Steely Dan’s Aja is, like their self-titled debut, available to download for free from their website – or stream if you don’t want to commit – and to buy on LP. Consequence Of Sound has also premiered an alternate version of “Josie” for your listening pleasure. They’re at The Phoenix on March 1 opening for Bombay Bicycle Club and are also part of Edgefest at Downsview Park on July 12.

MP3: The Darcys – “Josie”
MP3: The Darcys – “Josie (Vol 2)”
Stream: The Darcys / Aja

CBC Radio 3 talks writing method with Dan Mangan. He’s at The Royal York on March 24 as part of the CMW Indie Awards.

Paste has premiered the first video from Great Lake Swimmers’ new album New Wild Everywhere. It’s out April 3 and they’re at The Music Hall June 2.

Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “Easy Come Easy Go”

The Line Of Best Fit has a feature interview with Bruce Peninsula, and also premiere a new video from Open Flames and are offering a mixtape of all the artists who’ve been part of the band.

Video: Bruce Peninsula – “In Your Light”

Xtra and Calgary Herald talk to Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon on the occasion of the release of their new EP For Paolo.

Mike Haliechuk of Fucked Up talks to Eater about eating.

The Guardian talks to Leonard Cohen and Drowned In Sound reports on a tete-a-tete between he and Jarvis Cocker about his new record Old Ideas, out next Tuesday and streaming in whole now at NPR.

Stream: Leonard Cohen / Old Ideas

Neil Young in the news – MTV reports that he still hates digital music but likes Mumford & Sons, while Rolling Stone reveals that he’s been working on a new album with Crazy Horse.

If you enjoyed last year’s video session collaboration between Southern Souls and Paper Bag Records, you’ll be pleased to know that the recordings have been collected into a compilation entitled Paper Bag Sessions and it’s available to download and keep for free.

And because that’s what the CBC is for, CBC Radio 3 has compiled a list of all the notable Canadian releases due out in the first half of 2012.

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Turn A Light On

Kathryn Calder and JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThere’s many great things about the long-running Toronto institution of Nu Music Nites at the Horseshoe – not least of all the fact that they’re free – but the fact that they often feature such random assemblages of acts that each set can feel like its own standalone show and not part of a larger bill is certainly a big part of the fun. Such was the case on Tuesday night when rather than one headline-calibre act, as you’d normally be fortunate to have, they had two – and quite markedly different ones at that.

First you had Kathryn Calder, whom you may remember from her old band Immaculate Machine or know from her current band The New Pornographers but whom you should know for her solo work. Her 2010 debut Are You My Mother? was an unexpected gem displaying a pop acumen that was astonishing, even if she had been apprenticing with some of the country’s finest songwriters for the past half decade and this year’s follow-up Bright & Vivid proved not only that Mother was no fluke, but that Calder was still growing as a songwriter and had even better works in her. Which is to say that it’s as good, if not better, than the first record – and that’s saying quite a lot.

While Calder’s strengths as a singer, songwriter and arranger are self-evident from her records, having missed her solo debut here back in the Summer I still couldn’t comment on her skills as a frontwoman. After all, it’s one thing to do your thing with all eyes on Carl Newman, Neko Case and/or Dan Bejar, quite another to be front and centre yourself. And while she seemed perfectly comfortable in the role, switching off between electric and acoustic guitar and keyboards and offering plenty of low-key charm, you wouldn’t say she’s a riveting performer, at least not yet. But that’s a minor complaint against what she and her band brought to the table.

First off there were the songs, with selections split about evenly between the two albums and well showcasing the range and complexity of her work. It’s no mean feat to fill so many songs with both indelible melodies and emotional depth, but delivering them with her crystalline and dexterous voice – she didn’t miss a move or a note – Calder made it look easy. Points must also go to her band, who were fully equipped with both the tools and talent to recreate the many sonic nuances of the record. They could have easily made it sound good while stripping the arrangements down, but the care they took to make sure all the bits and pieces were there was appreciated.

This show kicked off a three-week North American tour for Calder and company but I almost wish that this was coming at the tail end if just because I’ve no doubt the road-testing would make them sound even better. Make no mistake, they sounded terrific already but if there’s one thing her records have shown, it’s that as good as you think Calder is or can be, she can and will be better.

But wait! There’s more!

It’s probably not fair to expect any kind of funk-soul-rock band to show up and impress when one has just seen Prince a few nights earlier, but for their first visit to Toronto, Chicagoans JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound were sure as spit going to try. Besuited and with Brooks sporting an impressinve Little Richer coif, the five-piece – accompanied by a camera crew – put on a barn-burner of a show. Having just released their second album Want More, they showed off their prowess at classically-styled yet modern-feeling soul – mostly Chicago-flavoured but with forays to Philly to show off Brooks’ ability to slow burn and kill the high notes.

They were at their best when in high gear, though, with the rest of the band being dapper, animated and showing off their impressive chops when called on, all without drawing attention away from their frontman – not that that would have really been possible. Brooks has mastered the fine art of great showmanship without going over the top, engaging the audience without pandering and just basically setting the tone for a wholly impressive show. And while their covers of “Tainted Love” and “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” were set highlights, their original compositions stood tall alongside them – not something you can always say in a genre that’s often more concerned with style and delivery than creation. It’s a shame the audience numbers had thinned from their peak during Calder’s set, but the few dozen that remained got a hell of a show.

Chart and The Calgary Herald have interviews with Kathryn Calder while The Lantern and The Phoenix New Times has features on Brooks.

Photos: JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Kathryn Calder @ The Horseshoe – November 29, 2011
MP3: Kathryn Calder – “Who Are You”
MP3: Kathryn Calder – “Arrow”
MP3: Kathryn Calder – “Slip Away”
MP3: JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound – “Everything Will Be Fine”
Video: Kathryn Calder – “Who Are You”
Video: Kathryn Calder – “Arrow”
Video: Kathryn Calder – “Slip Away”
Video: JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound – “Everything Will Be Fine”
Video: JC Brooks Uptown Sound – “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”

Paste talks with Kathleen Edwards about making her latest album Voyageur, out January 17. She plays The Phoenix on February 11.

The Diamond Rings b-side which saw the electro-glammer unexpectedly covering power-pop gods Teenage Fanclub is now available to download courtesy of Spinner.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “Mellow Doubt”

NOW marks Feist’s show at Massey Hall tonight by putting her on this week’s cover; Today Online also has an interview. Meanwhile, Under The Radar reports that she and Mastadon will pair up for a split-7″ single wherein each covers one of the others’ songs as a Record Store Day 2012 release.

Exclaim talks to Bry Webb, who is opening up the aforementioned Feist show tonight.

The Toronto Star, Star-Observer and X-Tra have features on Austra, playing tonight at The Phoenix and have announced that a deluxe edition of Feel It Break, featuring a second CD of covers, remixes and whatnot, will be available in mid-December. One of the new tracks, a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” which has been kicking around since Katie Stelmanis was still playing as Katie Stelmanis, is available to stream below and the third and final instalment of the unplugged Paper Bag Sessions has gone up at Disco Naivete.

Stream: Austra – “Crying”
Video: Austra – “Believe Me” (Paper Bag Sessions)

Young Galaxy, who are playing with Austra tonight, are also capping their very good year with a deluxe edition of Shapeshifting, though it’ll be an iTunes-only release and feature early versions of four songs before they were sent to producer Dan Lissvik for reinventing. That’ll be available on December 13 but as of right now, a remix album called Versus is available for free.

ZIP: Young Galaxy / Versus

Bruce Peninsula have released a new video from Open Flames.

Video: Bruce Peninsula – “Pull Me Under”

The videos for some studio sessions that Kat Burns of Forest City Lovers performed for Exclaim are now available to download as well as watch.

MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Keep The Kids Inside” (Rainy Day Version, live at Exclaim)
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Tell Me, Cancer” (live at Exclaim)
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Keep The Kids Inside” (Rainy Day Version, live at Exclaim)
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Tell Me, Cancer” (live at Exclaim)

Weakerthans frontman John K Samson will release his first solo album in Provincial on January 24; details at Anti, who are releasing the record.

Exclaim interviews Beatrice Martin of Coeur de Pirate.

There’s a new Fucked Up song available to download courtesy of Stereogum. They play a charity gig at The Great Hall on December 20.

MP3: Fucked Up – “I Hate Summer”

Toronto psych-poppers Heartbeat Hotel are streaming the whole of their new record Intae Woe, while Mechanical Forest Sound has a recording from their record release show for said record last week available to download.

Stream: Heartbeat Hotel / Inate Woe

Memoryhouse have announced a February 28 release date for their debut full-length, to be entitled The Slideshow Effect. Mechanical Forest Sound also has a recording of a show last week.

The Drake Hotel has announced most of the lineup for this year’s What’s In The Box holiday season music series, wherein they line up five acts for each of the five nights following Christmas with a five dollar cover. Still a few “special guest” spots to be filled but there’s at least a couple nights with some acts that I’ve been meaning to check out (Doldrums, Donlands & Mortimer) so I expect I’ll be there at least once that week. You may as well too – don’t pretend you’ve got better things to do.

And another end-of-year institution – New Year’s Eve at The Tranzac – has announced their live music lineup via Facebook and it features The Elwins, Maylee Todd and more. I went to last year’s, it was fun. Tickets are $13 in advance and believe them when they say it sells out every year.