Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘CocoRosie’

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Amanaemonesia

Chairlift at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAs mentioned when this show was originally announced in May, I was quite pleased to see that New York’s Chairlift were coming back to town as part of Harbourfront Centre’s Soundclash festival because I didn’t realize how much I liked their second album Something until they had finished touring it. And that’s largely because I found their 2008 debut Does You Inspire You? intermittently entertaining but largely uninteresting, the overall quality not matching their iTunes advert-elevated profile. I didn’t appreciate how much better they got after founding member Aaron Pfenning left, leaving the duo of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly to regroup and realize ditching the cutesy/goofy songwriting o the debut for an approach that understood Polachek’s remarkable vocals were better cast in a more soulful, yet more synthesized context, would produce much stronger work.

So of course they opened up with an opera number. Or operatic, at the least. I’m not sure if it was an original composition, but if the intention was to grab the attention of passers-by out for walk along the waterfront with a riveting vocal performance, it did the job. “Sidewalk Safari” immediately followed to reassure fans they weren’t, in fact, at the wrong show, and the next song, a slinky slow-burner, was one of a few new songs in that vein. Compared to the recent and new material, the simple singalong pop of “Bruises” sounded almost quaint and emphasized how much more sophisticated of a band they had become, but there was no disputing its crowd-pleasingess, hence its inclusion though rather earlier in the show than one might have thought. And though they cited “I Belong In Your Arms” as a request, I can’t believe it’d have been omitted from the show otherwise – surely there’s consensus that it’s one of the best songs in their repertoire?

Chairlift on this evening were a three-piece, with a guitarist/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist augmenting the core duo. Apparently they’ve toured as a larger live band in the past, allowing Polachek to focus on frontwoman duties rather than anchor herself to a keyboard for parts of the set, but even so she was still a presence on stage, all tassels and shampoo commercial hair – to say nothing of her remarkable vocals, even rangier and more expressive live than on record – as she roamed the stage and danced. The audience, in typically polite Toronto fashion, was appreciative but it took a direct invitation from Polachek to dance to get up out of their seats. I’d like to think, however, that they’d have done so on their own by the time the show closed with “Amanaemonesia”. A terrific way to spend a Summer’s evening, and cement my appreciation for the band, if somewhat late to the party.

Photos: Chairlift @ Harbourfront Centre – July 12, 2013
MP3: Chairlift – “I Belong In Your Arms”
MP3: Chairlift – “Lift Cool As A Fire”
MP3: Chairlift – “Garbage”
Video: Chairlift – “Met Before”
Video: Chairlift – “Amanaemonesia”
Video: Chairlift – “Bruises”
Video: Chairlift – “Evident Utensil”

American experi-folk collective Akron/Family are coming to southern Ontario for some Hillside Festival action, but aren’t forgetting their Toronto fans – they’ll play a free in-store at Sonic Boom on July 26 at 8PM.

MP3: Akron/Family – “So It Goes”

eMusic and Pitchfork have features on Northampton, Massachusetts’ Speedy Ortiz, who’ve been making a lot of noise – literal and figurative – with their wonderfully ’90s-vintage jagged-edge melodic rock on Major Arcana; they’ve just been confirmed as support for Thurston Moore’s Chelsea Light Moving at The Horseshoe on September 15 so that’s gone from can’t miss to CAN’T MISS.

MP3: Speedy Ortiz – “No Below”
MP3: Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”

Though they’re down a number of members since becoming band du jour in 2005, Philadelphia’s Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are still a going concern and will be at Lee’s Palace on September 28 to prove it. Tickets for the show are $22.50 in advance.

MP3: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Same Mistake”

Brooklyn surf-punk-garage quartet Obits have readied a new long-player in Beds & Bugs, given it a September 10 release date and will be at The Horseshoe on October 4 as part of a North American tour, tickets $13.50. Hear one of the songs from the new record below.

MP3: Obits – “Taste The Diff”

Unclassifiable Ameri-Parisian sister act CocoRosie have assembled a North American tour behind their latest album Tales Of A GrassWidow and will be at The Phoenix on October 15. Exclaim has the full tour itinerary.

Video: CocoRosie – “Gravedigress”

If you were concerned because Ty Segall hasn’t been through town in a few months, don’t worry – he’s coming back as part of his psychedelic FUZZ project for a date at Parts & Labour on October 16 following the October 1 release of their self-titled debut album; Exclaim has all the dates. And don’t worry, the August 20 release of Sleeper, his next album under his own name, is still on track so expect some dates behind that sooner rather than later.

MP3: FUZZ – “Loose Sutres”

Brooklyn rock machine The Men have finally set a local date behind this year’s surprisingly Americana-ish but still fierce New Moon. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on October 20 and the rest of their Fall dates are up at Consequence Of Sound.

MP3: The Men – “Open Your Heart”

You don’t often see bands play support in rooms smaller than they headline, but with their date at Lee’s Palace opening for Wire in the books, NEVER MIND THAT PART. Minus The Bear have announced a show at The Opera House on October 20, tickets $25. This is partly but not really in support of their crowdfunded acoustic-versions record Acoustics II – they’re promising to play an acoustic mini-set as part of a fully-plugged in show.

MP3: Minus The Bear – “Hooray”

If you chose either Foals or The Breeders over Charles Bradley in this past May’s show-mageddon with the expectation that he’d be back before the others, congratulations – Bradley and his Extraordinaires are bringing No Time For Dreaming to The Kool Haus on December 12, tickets $25.50. As a bonus, you get this video session from NPR as well as a World Cafe session.

Video: Charles Bradley – “Strictly Reserved For You”

Superchunk are streaming a new tune from their new record, I Hate Music, due out August 20.

Stream: Superchunk – “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo”

Pitchfork have details of the new record from Of Montreallousy with sylvianbriar is out October 8, and the first single sounds like this.

Stream: Of Montreal – “fugitive air”

Widowspeak have announced the release of a new EP entitled The Swamps on October 29. Details at Pitchfork, lead track from said EP below.

Stream: Widowspeak – “True Believer”

NPR has premiered the new video from John Vanderslice’s latest album, Dagger Beach.

Video: John Vanderslice – “How The West Was Won”

Sterophile interviews Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Blow Yr Brains In The Morning Rain

Review of Serena-Maneesh’s S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor and giveaway

Photo By Alex John BeckAlex John BeckI headed into SxSW last week with a list of artists I wanted to see at the festival and I actually did quite well at crossing names off of it – the only two really notable misses were Los Angeles’ Local Natives and Norwegian ragna-rockers Serena-Maneesh. I had experienced the Norwegians in Austin before – their gleefully insane set was one of the highlights of the 2006 festival – but this time out, their schedules and mine just didn’t gel.

Though our last encounter was four years ago at a short but destructive (see a trend?) show at Lee’s Palace in September 2006, I haven’t missed much with the band in the interim. It’s taken them that long to follow up their self-titled debut, which they finally did this week with the release of S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor, and if you think they’ve spent the time away learning new tricks… think again.

Quantitatively, Abyss is probably more sophisticated and melodic than its predecessor, but the underlying template remains very much the same, and it’s easily summed up as My Bloody Velvet Underground, all dreamy vocals overtop unrelenting rhythms and swirling aural chaos, divided into concise pop jewels and sprawling jams. And while the potency of the formula isn’t necessarily diminished on a visceral level – that’d be like saying that being punched in the face doesn’t hurt as much the second time – it doesn’t feel as fresh this time out, even if it may well be a better record.

It certainly contains their finest moment to date in “I Just Want To See Your Face”, a divine-sounding lost MBV track if ever there was one with vocalist Lina Wallinder channeling Belinda Butcher more than a little. And perhaps it’s telling that they’re at their best when sounding their most derivative? These, however, are considerations that are only likely to arise when you’re not actually listening to the album and have time to think objectively. When immersed in it, you’ll likely be too busy exalting in the sonic bedlam to worry if it’s really bringing anything new to the table – and that goes double for their live show, which though I haven’t seen it in some years I can’t imagine being any less chaotic.

To prove that point, Serena-Maneesh returns to Toronto on April 2 for a show at the Great Hall; tickets are $14 in advance but courtesy of Union Events, I’ve got five pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Serena-Maneesh” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Obviously this giveaway is only good for folks in the Toronto area – to all residents of North America, including locals who enter the concert giveaway, and courtesy of 4AD, I’ve also got a limited-edition 12″ single of “Ayisha Abyss” up for grabs. If you’d like that, email me again at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want 12″ of Serena-Maneesh” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest for both closes at midnight, March 31.

The Georgia Straight interviews Serena-Maneesh frontman Emil Nikolaisen.

MP3: Serena Maneesh – “I Just Want To See Your Face”
MP3: Serena-Maneesh – “Ayisha Abyss”
Video: Serena-Maneesh – “I Just Want To See Your Face”
Stream: Serena-Maneesh / S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor
MySpace: Serena-Maneesh

Exclaim talks to Jonsi, who has released a new video from his solo record Go, originally supposed to be out this week but now pushed back until April 6. He still plays the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1.

Video: Jonsi – “Kolnidur”

NPR’s World Cafe doubles up on the Swedes with one session featuring El Perro Del Mar and another with Taken By Trees. AndPop and Smile At Your Sister also have interviews with El Perro Del Mar’s Sarah Assbring.

The AV Club, hour.ca and The Boston Herald talk to The Big Pink.

Paste and Express Night Out talk to The xx. They are at the Phoenix on April 4 and the Kool Haus on April 20. Both shows are sold out.

Arctic Monkeys have rolled out a new video from Humbug.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “My Propeller”

The Quietus revisits Suede circa Coming Up.

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey discusses the importance of the album with BBC6.

Let’s Wrestle make a mixtape for Magnet. They’ll be at the Horseshoe on April 18 with Quasi, who’ve just released a new video from American Gong.

Video: Quasi – “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler”

Carrie Brownstein tells Pitchfork that a Sleater-Kinney reunion could happen in the next three to five years.

The Listener and Aquarium Drunkard talk to Dean Wareham. The new set of Galaxie 500 reissues came out this week.

Each Note Secure interviews A Place To Bury Strangers, who’ve just released a new video from Exploding Head.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “Ego Death”

MGMT, whose second album Congratulations arrives April 13, will be at the Mod Club on April 29 for an intimate-type show. Not as intimate as their surprise gig at Captain John’s Seafood Restaurant a couple weeks ago, but the Mod Club probably smells better. Tickets are $30 and go on sale Saturday at 10AM.

Though not currently listed on their tour itinerary, CocoRosie will be at the Phoenix on June 15 in support of their new album Grey Oceans, out May 11.

Whilst killing time during my accidental time off in Austin earlier this week, I happened up on the Yard Dog art gallery on South Congress where they were selling pieces by one Jon Langford, whom as it happens is in town tonight at the Horseshoe with The Sadies and in addition to the regular sort of merch, will have some of his artwork available for sale – this stuff is cool and better than a t-shirt. Check it – and the show – out tonight.

Spinner, JAM and NOW have features on the Thrush Hermit reunion which rolls into Lee’s Palace this weekend for shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

And oh yeah, the official trailer for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is now out and it’s onomatopoeiariffic. The film is released August 13 while the sixth and final book of the series, recently revealed to have the titled of Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, will be out July 20.

Trailer: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Wilco (The Blog Post Title)

Review of Wilco (The Album)

Photo By Autumn de WildeAutumn de WildeI can’t help think that if you were to drug each member of Wilco with a different and unique blend of psychotropic drugs mixed with a 40 of tequila, blindfolded them, spun them around three times and then handed them instruments they didn’t even know how to play, they’d still ungodly tight and be able to play off each other with the instincts of a sea turtle returning to the beach form which it was spawned. This is what you get when you assemble such prodigious talents and have them tour relentlessly. This is Wilco’s blessing, and also Wilco’s curse.

It was more the latter on their last effort, 2007’s Sky Blue Sky. On that album, the band’s effortless execution combined with the simple, strummy songwriting to create a record that, save for a few jolts of expeditionary guitarwork from Nels Cline, was laid back to the point of being asleep. Their latest, Wilco (The Album), thankfully finds Jeff Tweedy out of his hammock and feeling both musically restless and playful, and the band doing its best to stir things up a bit more. What it doesn’t find, however, is much sense of edge or the band wandering into uncomfortable territory – this isn’t because they’re not adventurous or are sticking to the tried and true, but because they’re just too good. Tracks like “Bull Black Nova” may want to sound unhinged, with its insistent drone and Tweedy’s rasping scream, but there’s never a sense that Wilco are in anything less than complete control. The songwriting on Wilco (The Album) delivers more emotional range than the genial sentiments of Sky Blue Sky and while the musical accompaniment soars and swoops alongside it, even occasionally squalling, it’s too confident to even consider the possibility of crashing. Not that you necessarily want things to fall apart, but that potential for self-destruction is a fundamental part of rock’n’roll.

On the other hand, Wilco have nearly self-destructed enough in their history and there’ll never be a shortage of bands out there that sound on the verge of collapse, either in a good sense or not. Their current stability is well-earned and deserved, and when they use it to deliver records as out and out enjoyable at this, complaining is just pointless. Consider the duet between Tweedy and Leslie Feist on “You And I” – when initially announced, many believed it would be the final step in Wilco’s transformation into MOR balladeers. And while it’s certainly not going to scare anyone away, the final tune is so well-crafted and just outright lovely, that it transcends any sort of cliche. It may seem a bit much to suggest that Wilco can do no wrong – the very fact that they can’t is a sort of flaw unto itself – but it’s certainly no mistake to say that they’re doing a hell of a lot right.

Wilco are spending the remainder of the Summer in Europe, but have just announced a jaunt through the midwest in October that includes an October 14 date at Massey Hall in Toronto. Ticket info is still forthcoming, but you may notice on their website that they’re taking requests. Requests, people. I, for one, would be thrilled to hear anything old done by the current lineup because if it’s anything as good as the Being There suite they pulled out when opening for Neil Young at the ACC last December – “Red Eyed and Blue”, “I Got You” and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” – well hell, that’s worth your price of admission right there.

Check out their readings of “Red Eyed and Blue” and “I Got You” from their 2008 five-night stand at the Riviera in Chicago with Andrew Bird guesting on whistle.

MP3: Wilco – “Red Eyed and Blue” (live in Chicago, February 2008)
MP3: Wilco – “I Got You” (live in Chicago, February 2008)
MySpace: Wilco

Nashville Scene talks to M Ward.

The Singing Lamb has an interview with Jenn Grant.

Arctic Monkeys have rolled out their first video from album number three, Humbug. It’s out August 25 and they’ve a date at the Kool Haus on September 29.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Crying Lightning”

Over at Bombsite, Dean Wareham details his process for creating the score to Andy Warhol’s …13 Most Beautiful films which Dean & Britta have been touring in support of the last while.

Artrocker talks to Amy Turrnidge, aka The Theoretical Girl, whose debut album Divided is due out August 17.

MP3: The Theoretical Girl – “Rivals”

Polarizing sister act CocoRosie will be at Lee’s Palace on September 9.

The first having sold out pretty much immediately, Metric have announced a second date at Massey Hall for October 21. And considering the following night on their calendar is still open, don’t be shocked if they announce a third.

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down have set a date at the El Mocambo for Sunday, November 1, tickets $12.00. This is exciting because it implies that I will be on a trip around then. There is a cosmic rule that I either cannot be in the city or am just leaving or returning from an exhausting trip whenever they visit. It’s true.

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”

Update: From Scott. Oh wow. Manic Street Preachers at The Phoenix, October 4, 2009. Wow.

Hey everyone who’s ever admired or complimented the artwork that graces my masthead, courtesy of illustrator Renee Nault, head on over to Design By Humans and vote for her art to grace a run of t-shirts and get a chance to wear a lovely anthropomorphic ram nattily besuited in waterfolours for your very own.