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Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte Gainsbourg’

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Nobody Knows You

Summer Camp set to open in time for Fall

Photo via AltsoundsAltsoundsLondon’s Summer Camp are clearly believers in the long game. Since emerging in the Fall of 2009 with their identities shrouded in mystery – they were originally thought to be a Swedish collective – they’ve gradually revealed more and more about themselves while keeping up a steady stream of ’80s-worshipping, in both sound and theme, infectious electro-pop.

Now, almost two years since first causing a fuss, the duo of Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey are ready to release their full-length debut which they’ve christened Welcome To Condale and set for a decidedly un-Summery October 31 release. Financed via Pledgemusic fan support and produced by Pulp’s Steve Mackey, the 12-track long-player only carries over one track from last year’s Young EP and that most likely re-recorded. And that’s probably just as well – as delectable as that release was, they’ve certainly had enough time to write all-new material and goodness we want some new tunes.

Clash has details on the release and you can stream the first single over at long-time band supporter Gorilla Vs Bear; some of the older material is available to hear and watch below. And while it’s probably a bit much to hope for any touring on this side of the Atlantic, it’s worth pointing out that despite their two-piece, heavily programmed configuration not seeming like it’d lend itself to a compelling live show, they were one of the uncontested highlights of SXSW this year.

MP3: Summer Camp – “I Want You”
MP3: Summer Camp – “Ghost Train”
MP3: Summer Camp – “Veronica Sawyer”
Stream: Summer Camp – “Better Off Without You”
Video: Summer Camp – “Ghost Train”
Video: Summer Camp – “Round The Moon”

Also announcing album release details this week was Florence & The Machine. Clearly hoping to find its way under Christmas trees, Ms Welch and company’s second album will be out on November 8, and while it still doesn’t have a title, it does have a video for the first single. Check it out and read an interview with Welch about the new record at Pitchfork.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “What The Water Gave Me”

If you, like me, are thinking about going to see Londonites Male Bonding at The Horseshoe next Friday night – September 2 – but want a head start on hearing their new record Endless Now before it’s officially out on August 30, head over to Punk News as it’s streaming in whole right now, while Spin has a chat and a tune available to download. And if you can’t make the show or it’s not enough, the band are also playing an instore at Kops that evening at 6PM.

MP3: Male Bonding – “Tame The Sun”
Stream: Male Bonding / Endless Now

One of the more hilariously reviled British guitar bands of recent memory – Viva Brother (formerly just Brother) – will put Toronto’s Anglophilia to the test when they bring their debut Famous First Words to the Horseshoe on October 13, tickets $13. There’s interviews at The Belfast Telegraph and BBC.

Video: Viva Brother – “Darling Buds Of May”

You cannot understand how happy I was to hear that Anna Calvi – whose Toronto debut in May I missed due to being in Spain – was coming back for a show at Lee’s Palace on December 8, tickets $15. I was, like, super-happy. Also making me super-happy is this set of videos of Calvi performing on the rooftop at Spin.

MP3: Anna Calvi – “Blackout”

NPR has a World Cafe session with James Blake, who will be at The Phoenix on September 30. And if you’re curious about the Fall Creek Boys Choir project he’s working on with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, The Quietus has a stream of the first taste of the collaboration.

Stereogum checks in with Ladytron on the status of their new record Gravity The Seducer, due out September 13. They play The Phoenix on October 5.

Lucky talks sartorial style with Emmy The Great.

Via a blog post, Billy Bragg responds to the London riots by declaring it high time that people started making political music again.

The Alternate Side has a video session with Art Brut while The San Francisco Examiner talks comics with Eddie Argos.

Sweden’s Little Dragon will bring their acclaimed third album Ritual Union to town for a show at the somewhat less acclaimed Hoxton venue – nee 69 Bathurst – on October 12. Many are hoping that demand for this show forces it into a larger venue… There’s a session with Little Dragon over at NPR.

MP3: Little Dragon – “Feather”
Video: Little Dragon – “When I Go Out”

Back to the mysterious duo meme for a moment, jj continue to disregard conventions of album cycles, getting paid for their work or song title length by posting a new MP3 on their blog this week for free download.

MP3: jj – “You Don’t Know How Much It Would Hurt Me If You Said That You Were In Love With Me”

NPR have posted a KEXP session with Peter Bjorn & John, in town at Lee’s Palace on September 2 and 3. Cleveland.com also has an interview.

France’s Revolver appear set to make a return to Toronto, having scheduled a show at The Horseshoe for October 16.

MP3: Revolver – “Get Around Town”

Jane Birkin will be performing the songs of Serge Gainsbourg at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 7, tickets $34.50 in advance.

Video: Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg – “Je t’aime”

And coincidentally – or maybe not so – their daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg has released a new video for the title track of her forthcoming Terrible Angels EP, out September 6 – details on the release at Pitchfork. A new double-album, Stage Whisper, will follow on November 8.

Video: Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Terrible Angels”

And once more with the Euro duos. Disco-pop outfit Keep Shelly In Athens, who actually hail from the Athens in Greece and not Georgia – usually a no-brainer except when you’re talking indie-centric music – will be embarking on their first North American tour this Fall, including a November 16 date at Wrongbar in Toronto. Tickets are $15 in advance but you can win some by posting when and where you’d like to see them on their Facebook.

MP3: Keep Shelly In Athens – “Running Out On You”
MP3: Keep Shelly In Athens – “Fokionos Negri Street”

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Remains Of The Day

Mono and The Twilight Sad at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe curious pairing of Japan’s Mono and Scotland’s Twilight Sad probably hasn’t yielded many tour stories as they trek across North America – after all, the former can barely speak English, if at all, and the latter might speak English but it’s delivered in such a thick brogue that even native Anglophones would have trouble deciphering it. I imagine there’s been a lot of nodding and pointing. But what they lack in linguistic common ground, they make up for in their mutual affinity and expertise in sonic devastation and those skills were put on display on Wednesday night at Lee’s Palace.

Though they’d finally earned headlining honours their last time through town in October of last year, The Twilight Sad were again in the support slot this time. Now I’m never one to complain about venues leaving the stage lights up, but seeing a band whose music tends towards a certain mood – darkness and melancholy – it was odd seeing the Glasgow five-piece so well lit… at least for a song. Singer James Graham asked for them to be dimmed, not for ambience but because it was hot enough in Lee’s without a bank of incandescent stage lights pointed at you.

None of which is really meaningful except to say that it started their set off on a strange note that seemed to carry over into their performance. Part of the joys of The Twilight Sad live has always been the sheer, visceral impact of their sound and though it was plenty loud – I pulled the earplugs out a couple times to verify – it still didn’t seem quite loud enough. Certainly Andy MacFarlane had his amps turned up and James Graham was hardly taking it easy on the mic, but it took them a while – almost the whole set – to get the momentum going sufficiently to create what I’d call a proper Twilight Sad experience. They got there, though, and by Fourteen Autumns, Fifteen Winters “I Am Taking The Train Home”, I was feeling the magic and pulverizing set closer “Cold Days From The Birdhouse” sealed the deal.

I’d never seen Mono before, and my experience with their recorded works only went so far as their EP collection Gone. Even so, instrumental post-rock isn’t really the sort of genre where you have to be intimately familiar with a band’s compositions to appreciate the show – it’s more about the impact and emotiveness of the performance as it happens rather than the hearing of a favourite tunes. And in the case of Mono, the performance is in reference primarily to the music and not the band’s showmanship. The four members are rather the epitome of staying in the background and letting the music speak for them, for not only did they not utter a word, they set up a ways back into the stage and only bassist Tamaki Kunishi played standing up – both Takaakira Goto and Yasunori Takada played primarily seated and hunched over their guitars, hair obscuring their faces, though they occasionally stood and still managed to strike some impressive rock poses at various points in the night.

Trying to describe Mono invites some obvious comparisons, at least in my frame of reference, but really, in this style you’ve only got a certain number of tools to work with. The clean, intertwining guitar lines, the deafening riffage, the quiet-loud dynamic shifts… what sets the artists apart is the emotional quotient of their work; what they’re trying to convey to the listener. And where the likes of Mogwai evoke tension and anxiety and Explosions In The Sky trade in uplift and anthem, Mono’s prevailing mood is of elegant, elegiac sadness. The way their set unfolded was like an alternately hypnotic and crushing epic, wordless tragedy – surprisingly western in classical musical influence but wholly eastern in its solemn dignity. As previously noted, I couldn’t tell you what songs they played but I can say that whatever the individual components were, the sum of it was nearly two hours of breathtaking, bludgeoning beauty. Astonishing.

The Twilight Sad will release a new EP entitled The Wrong Side Of The Car on July 26.

Photos: Mono, The Twilight Sad @ Lee’s Palace – May 26, 2010
MP3: Mono – “Ashes In The Snow”
MP3: Mono – “Follow The Map”
MP3: Mono – “Gone”
MP3: Mono – “The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain”
MP3: Mono – “Halcyon (Beautiful Days)”
MP3: The Twilight Sad – “Reflection Of The Television”
MP3: The Twilight Sad – “Cold Days From The Birdhouse”
MP3: The Twilight Sad – “That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy”
Video: Mono – “Follow The Map”
Video: The Twilight Sad – “The Room”
Video: The Twilight Sad – “Seven Years Of Letters”
Video: The Twilight Sad – “I Became A Prostitute”
Video: The Twilight Sad – “And She Would Darken The Memory”
MySpace: Mono
MySpace: The Twilight Sad

Drowned In Sound meets Charlotte Gainsbourg, who has released a new video from IRM.

Video: Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Time Of The Assassins”

Nicky Wire resorts to Aerosmith analogies in describing to XFM how the Manic Street Preachers’ new record is shaping up.

PitchforkTV has a Tunnelvision session with The Clientele.

Elvis Costello will have at least two new releases this year: an album of new material entitled American Ransom on October 3 and a best-of covering the past 20 years called Pomp & Pout: The Universal Years, due on June 29.

Mumford & Sons have a new video from Sigh No More; City Pages has an interview.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “Roll Your Stone Away”

Spinner continues their conversation with Tender Trap’s Amelia Fletcher.

The New York Times has a profile of M.I.A. which has ignited a bit of a brouhaha – details at Exclaim. M.I.A.’s new record /\/\/\Y/\ is out July 13.

Fucked Up have posted some details and thoughts on tonight’s free show at the Toronto Reference Library. Doors are at 7:30, things start at 8 and while the library atrium is big, you’d best get there early if you’re planning on attending. Forewarned.

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Gold Rush

Review of Basia Bulat’s Heart Of My Own and giveaway

Photo By Jenna WakaniJenna WakaniSince first seeing her in a little basement pub at Pop Montreal 2006, it’s been a real treat watching Basia Bulat’s career blossom. 2007 saw her gig relentlessly – I saw her a half-dozen times and wasn’t even really trying – and release her debut Oh, My Darling to much acclaim both at home and abroad and earn a place both in my favourites of the year and the almost-as-prestigious 2008 Polaris Music Prize shortlist. As debuts go, it yielded a pretty good narrative and so it’s not surprising that the follow-up, Heart Of My Own, takes what worked best and builds on that.

Whereas Darling has it’s share of bigger, more orchestrated numbers, it was evident that the songs had started out more homespun, and a few of them simply grew into something more grandiose. it’s notable that rollicking single “In The Night” didn’t appear on the initial European tracklisting but would be regularly held up as a high point in reviews of the North American edition. Heart follows that trajectory, clearly benefiting from the constant touring as a full band, with all the instruments, voices and ideas that came with it.

Utilizing many of the same players and again recorded under producer Howard Billerman’s auspices, Heart maintains the sweetness of Darling, but delivers it with considerably more sophistication, exuberance and sass. The rhythms, arrangements and textures at play are all considerably more complex without sacrificing any of the simplicity that’s at the heart of Bulat’s appeal. That sense of growth also applies lyrically – where Darling‘s protagonist was very much the ingenue, Heart finds her older and wiser; not necessarily more cynical, but certainly more experienced. Oh, My Darling was the first, impressive step from an artist with a clear vision of the sort of folk-pop she wanted to create; Heart Of My Own offers no creative left turns, just a determined, confident stride forward. It’s simply what comes next.

Bulat talks to Spinner about finding inspiration in the Canadian north and gives an in-studio interview and performance for The National Post.

Heart Of My Own is out on January 26 and Basia Bulat has a show at Trinity-St. Paul’s this Saturday night, January 16. Tickets are $20 in advance but courtesy of Secret City, I have a pair of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Basia Bulat” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, January 13.

MP3: Basia Bulat – “Go On”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”
MySpace: Basia Bulat

Suitcase Orchestra and Chart talk to Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon. Die Stadt Muzikanten is out tomorrow and they play the Drake Underground on February 11.

Great Lake Swimmers are keeping a tour blog of their ongoing trip to China at Spinner. They play Trinity-St. Paul’s on February 6.

Beatroute chats with An Horse. They play an in-store at Criminal Records on January 20 at 6PM.

Sadly, the Charlotte Gainsbourg show at the Phoenix January 26 announced just last week has been cancelled. No reason has been given and other dates on her North American tour still appear to be a go, so one can only surmise that there’s a conflict with something else, or she has a hate-on for Toronto. Her new record IRM is still out that day and The Guardian has an interview.

The Mountain Goats are featured in PitchforkTV’s “Cemetery Gates” video session this week.

Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs talks to Variety about her soundtrack work on Where The Wild Things Are.

Shout Out Louds singer Adam Olenius discusses their new album Work, out February 23, with Spinner.

Bjork’s recent concert film Voltaic, documenting shows in Paris and Reykjavik, will be getting a theatrical screening in Toronto on January 22 at the Acacia Centre, formerly the Golden Classics Cinema in Chinatown. Tickets are $10 in advance at Soundscapes, Queen Video and online.

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Run

Slow news day pushes Vampire Weekend tour announcement to top of post

Photo By Soren Solkaer StarbirdSoren Solkaer StarbirdActually that’s not entirely true – it was indeed slow yesterday morning when I decided to lead with the Vampire Weekend tour info despite my general indifference and/or distaste for the band, but since then a number of notable concert announcements have shown up in the ol’ inbox and RSS feed. But since the release of their second album Contra next week is, arguably, the first big album release of 2010 – and I already had the picture cropped and uploaded – I’ll run with it.

And so here’s the 411 – the North American tour kicks off March 14 in Edmonton (!) and takes a leisurely route eastwards, eventually stopping in Toronto at the Sound Academy on March 30. That’s right, Vampire Weekend are playing a 3000-capacity venue, and they’re charging $27.50 a head to see them do so. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

Considerably less costly is the opportunity to hear their new record a week before release. It’s currently streaming on their MySpace and additionally, PitchforkTV has a “Juan’s Basement” live video session to watch. Also worth noting is that folks who buy Contra at their local indie store rather than, say, Wal-Mart, will receive the Vampire Weekend Meets Toy Selectah bonus CD for their conscientious consumerism. Details on the what and where here. Spinner talks to bassist Chris Baio about the new record.

MP3: Vampire Weekend – “Horchata”
Video: Vampire Weekend – “Cousins”
Stream: Vampire Weekend / Contra

Certainly the most intriguing announcement of the day yesterday was that Charlotte Gainsbourg would be coming to town. Gainsbourg has many claims to fame – daughter of Serge, actress (The Science Of Sleep, Antichrist), singer – and it’s as the last of these that she will be at the Phoenix on January 29. Her third album IRM, out January 26, was produced by Beck, who also duets on the first single, and it’s his band that will be backing Gainsbourg on this tour. Tickets for the Toronto show are $21.50.

Video: Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Heaven Can Wait”

Fans of the now-defunct Be Your Own Pet may be interested to know that a couple of spin-off acts (who are not Jemina Pearl) are hitting the road this Winter. JEFF The Brotherhood, featuring former BYOP guitar and drums Jake and Jamin Orrall, are out and about including a January 29 date at Sneaky Dee’s in support of their record Heavy Days while Turbo Fruits, which is led by the BYOP guitarist and drummer at the time of their dissolution, are hitting the road in support of Echo Kid with Surfer Blood and will be at Sneaky Dee’s on March 6.

MP3: Turbo Fruits – “Pocket Full Of Thistles”
MP3: Surfer Blood – “Swim”
Video: JEFF The Brotherhood – “The Tropics”
Video: JEFF The Brotherhood – “Bone Jam”

Fucked Up have a date at the Opera House on February 26 with Kurt Vile as support, as part of a North(eastern) America tour. Fucked Up’s new singles comp Couple Tracks is out January 26.

MP3: Fucked Up – “Neat Parts”
MP3: Fucked Up – “No Epiphany”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Overnite Religion”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Hunchback”

Cuff The Duke have a date at Lee’s Palace on March 20.

Video: Cuff The Duke – “Promises”

Nada Surf have yet to reveal full details of their forthcoming covers album but they have put a demo version of their redo of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence” on their MySpace and announced some live dates, including a March 29 date at Lee’s Palace – tickets $16.50. Update: Some details revealed – if i had a hi-fi will initially be available only at shows starting March 25. Regular retail info still to come.

MP3: Nada Surf – “See These Bones”

Philadelphia dream-pop outfit A Sunny Day In Glasgow will make their Toronto debut on April 2 at the Garrison; tickets $10. I didn’t take to their 2007 debut Scribble Mural Comic Journal nearly as much as I thought I would/should, but am willing to give last year’s follow-up Ashes Grammar a shot, especially with a live date in the offing. Anyone care to comment on the live Sunny Day In Glasgow experience? I would imagine that reproducing the cut-and-paste sonics of the records verbatim isn’t on the agenda. There’s interviews with the band circa their US tour last month at The Village Voice, Express Night Out and Washington City Paper.

MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Ashes Grammar/Ashes Math”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Best Summer Ever”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)”

Toronto’s Japandroids and Sweden’s Love Is All will make the Horseshoe loud and sweaty on April 3. Tickets $12.

MP3: Japandroids – “Young Hearts Spark Fire”
MP3: Love Is All – “Wishing Well”

With next Tuesday’s Mod Club show well and truly sold out, Owen Pallett has scheduled another hometown date for April 8 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre – tickets $25. XTRA and Reuters have interviews with Pallett, whose Heartland is out next week.

And though there’s no Toronto date to announce right now, Pitchfork’s list of Joanna Newsom tour dates has a very conspicuous three-day gap between Grand Rapids and Montreal. It does not take three days to drive from Grand Rapids to Montreal.