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Posts Tagged ‘Camper Van Beethoven’

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Waiting For The Sun

The Jayhawks reunite, reissue, return (to Toronto)

Photo By Steven CohenSteven CohenIt didn’t take a lot of digging to find this San Francisco Chronicle interview circa 2006 wherein Gary Louris definitively closed the book on Minneapolis alt.country heroes The Jayhawks, the band he’d fronted for over 20 years, the first decade with Mark Olson and after his departure, on his own. Of course, by the time he declared The Jayhawks done, he and Olson were again performing together not as The Jayhawks but as those guys from The Jayhawks. So even though the band’s principal creative forces were playing together again for the first time in nearly 10 years, the band itself was being put on the shelf.

Post-Jayhawks, Olson worked with with wife Victoria Williams in The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers and began releasing solo works in 2007 while Louris finally put out a record under his own name in 2008 with Vagabonds. They kept playing together, though, and in 2008 gathered the 1995-era Jayhawks lineup for a show in Spain, followed by a couple more last year and left the door wide open for more. At the same time, they began digging through the vaults and put out a career-spanning best-of in 2009 and this year, reissued their long out-of-print self-titled debut as The Bunkhouse Album. But when Olson and Louris inevitably went back into the studio together, the fruits of those sessions – Ready For The Flood – came out under the name Mark Olson & Gary Louris, because as it stands – or at least as it did in 2008 – the name “The Jayhawks” was still under contract to American Recordings.

So while lawyers will keep any new recordings from coming out under The Jayhawks moniker for the time being – and you know that the urge to bring the whole band back into the studio has to be there – they’re still able to perform as The Jayhawks. And surely as a precursor to more consistent touring in 2011, eye reports that it’s as The Jayhawks that Olson, Louris and company will be returning to Toronto for the first time with any lineup since January 2004. We got the Louris and Olson sit-down acoustic show at the Mod Club last year, but The Jayhawks are country-rockers and you really do need the rock in there to go along with those unmistakable harmonies. This will be happening on January 18 at The Phoenix and the occasion is the release of deluxe edition reissues of their most seminal records, Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow The Green Grass, that same day and I’ll tell you, I’ve spent the evening revisiting both of those albums on disc, and its been grand. I can’t imagine doing the same live could be anything less.

PopMatters has reviews of the reissues and tallies up some of the bonus material included therein.

Video: The Jayhawks – “Blue”

Almost a year to the day since they were there this year, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven will roll into Lee’s Palace on January 15 of next year, tickets $24.50.

Video: Cracker – “Low”
Video: Camper Van Beethoven – “Pictures Of Matchstick Men”

Frankie Rose & The Outs, whose namesake served time behind the kit in Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls before going solo, have set a date at Parts & Labour on January 21 behind their self-titled debut.

MP3: Frankie Rose & The Outs – “Candy”

Rolling Stone has a brief chat with Colin Meloy of The Decemberists about their new record The King Is Dead, out January 18 and according to the aforementioned eye piece, will be followed almost immediately by a tour which includes a February 1 date in Toronto at a venue to be announced. You’d think they’d be ready to graduate to Massey Hall with this record, but a little digging reveals that Wynton Marsalis is booked into the hallowed hall that night. Maybe back to the less-hallowed Kool Haus one more time?

MP3: The Decemberists – “Down By The Water”

Iron & Wine have assigned a release date to their new record Kiss Each Other Clean and further confirmed January 25 as the first big new album day of 2011.

January 25 has also been set as the release date for The Radio Dept.’s 2-CD Passive Aggressive compilation while the Never Follow Suit EP is out now. They’re at Lee’s Palace on February 7, tickets just $12.50, on sale tomorrow.

MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Never Follow Suit”

Exclaim has details on Asobi Seksu’s new record Fluorescence, which sees them over their acoustic phase and back into the glorious noise. A first MP3 from the album, due February 15, is available at Polyvinyl.

Pitchfork reports that J Mascis will be stepping away from Dinosaur Jr for a bit to release a solo acoustic record entitled Several Shades Of Why on March 15.

The 4AD Sessions with Blonde Redhead are now up.

While I commend MTV for helping create interesting videos as they did for LCD Soundsystem, geoblocking them so as to only be viewable in the US is a pure bullshit move – took me a while but I finally found a ripped version that those of us outside Fortress America can enjoy. MusicOMH has an interview with James Murphy and Pitchfork has details on their live-in-studio album The London Sessions which was made available on iTunes as of today and hopefully through other outlets eventually.

Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Pow Pow”

PitchforkTV has video of the acoustic performance Mac McCaughan and Jim Wilbur of Superchunk did at the Toronto screening of Passenger Side at The Royal back in April. Mac and Jim will be back with Laura and Jon on December 9 at Sound Academy with Broken Social Scene – rest assured, it will be plugged in, loud and awesome.

San Diego City Beat and The San Francisco Chronicle talk to Dean Wareham.

Interview interviews Local Natives.

Aquarium Drunkard sessions up with Lissie. She’s at The Opera House on January 24.

Spinner has an Interface session with Deerhunter.

Warpaint serves up a World Cafe session for NPR.

Filter has a two-part Q&A Liz Phair.

Pitchfork is posting up video footage – performance and otherwise – from Matador at 21 in Vegas last month. Ah, memories.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Know Better Learn Faster

Thao With The Get Down Stay Down and The Portland Cello Project at The El Mocambo in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf I’d managed to get to the El Mocambo on Sunday night in time to catch first act David Schultz & The Skyline, I think I could legitimately lay claim to have seen the longest bill – in character count, at least – of all time. But it didn’t happen so I had to settle for just one of the longest in recent memory, thanks to Thao with The Get Down Stay Down and The Portland Cello Project.

As the more insightful might have discerned, The Portland Cello Project is indeed a cello-based musical project hailing from Rose City. Though infinitely scalable when at home, the touring edition of the PCP numbered four cellists who entertained a reasonably healthy-sized Sunday evening crowd with some great banter and mostly-instrumental covers of songs familiar and unfamiliar, including ones by Pantera and Elliott Smith. For one song they were joined by Justin Power for an original number taken from their latest record The Thao & Justin Power Sessions and closed with an audience participatory “Hey Ya!”, assisted by the Get Down Stay Down.

If nothing else, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down are taking home some great road stories from this tour. Both the Portland Cello Project and Thao seemed to be in a state of disbelief of the previous night’s Hallowe’en show in Detroit where they played next door to an Insane Clown Posse party and its attendant hordes of Juggalos, and while Toronto couldn’t compare with that degree of absurdity, the band – and particularly deathly allergic bassist Adam Thompson – was haunted by a phantom cat, who could be heard meowing throughout the between-song lulls, but was never found.

None of the above had anything to do with the show itself, but were still key facets of a terrific evening because Thao with The Get Down Stay Down were all about having and providing a good time through jokes, stories, banter, beatboxing and oh yeah, the music. Until this night, I’d missed Thao every time they’d come through town as well as a myriad of opportunities at the last two SxSW’s but now, finally, I can add my voice to the chorus of those who extol their live show – in short, it’s fantastic. Though both of their records, 2008’s We Brave Bee Stings And All and this year’s terrific Know Better Learn Faster, crackle with a giddy energy, seeing Thao Nguyen utterly dominate the fretboard of her giant hollowbody guitar while lurching around stage and hollering into the mic is something to behold. Similarly, the intense rhythmic aspect of the band doesn’t seem to be done justice by the albums because live, everything felt like a dance song or at least one that you wanted to dance to whether you had any moves or not. They put on an unrestrained, joyous show that was made me simultaneously glad I finally made it out to see them, angry that I had waited so long and determined that I wouldn’t miss them again. And also grateful that at no point did Adam Thompson go into anaphylactic shock. A night of win.

Blurt has a large feature and Metro a super-short one on Thao. And grab an MP3 of “When We Swam” at RCRDLBL.

Photos: Thao With The Get Down Stay Down, The Portland Cello Project @ The El Mocambo – November 1, 2009
MP3: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Know Better Learn Faster”
MP3: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Beat (Health, Life and Fire)”
MP3: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Swimming Pools”
MP3: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Bag Of Hammers”
MP3: The Portland Cello Project – “Travel”
MP3: The Portland Cello Project – “Tallymarks”
Video: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “When We Swam”
Video: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Cool Yourself”
Video: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Swimming Pools”
Video: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Bag Of Hammers”
Video: The Portland Cello Project – “Tallymarks”
MySpace: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down
MySpace: The Portland Cello Project

The AV Club gets the whys behind recent changes with Nicole Atkins and her band.

Spinner talks to J Tillman, who brings his new album Year In The Kingdom to the Horseshoe on November 11.

Bishop Allen have premiered a new video from Grr… over at Stereogum. The Omaha World-Herald has a short interview with Justin Rice.

Video: Bishop Allen – “True Or False”

Antlers’ Peter Silbeman talks to The San Antonio Current and Orange County Weekly.

PopMatters has an interview with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

John Vanderslice talks to State.

Daytrotter have got a session with White Rabbits available to download while LAist talks to frontman Stephen Patterson.

Paste reports that the release of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon-era live record Dreamin’ Man has been pushed back until December 8.

You Ain’t No Picasso has an interview with Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras. They play the Opera House on December 5.

Two Hours Traffic – who were just here last month, yes – have made another Toronto date for November 21 at The Garrison, but the difference is this one is an all-ages gig. Tickets are $10 in advance.

MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Territory”

Final Fantasy will mark the January 12 release of Heartland with a hometown show that evening at the Mod Club.

Seattle duo The Dutchess & The Duke have a new album out in Sunset/Sunrise and are touring it through the Winter including a just-announced date at Sneaky Dee’s on January 12.

MP3: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Living This Life”
MP3: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Hands”

It’s a double-shot of Dave Lowery when Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven hit the road together this Winter and stop in at Lee’s Palace on January 16. Cracker also have a new video out featuring one Patterson Hood.

Video: Cracker – “Friends”