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Posts Tagged ‘Craig Finn’

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Hear It Is

Oh my gawd!!! …The Flaming Lips are free for NXNE!

Photo By J. Michelle Martin-CoyneJ. Michelle Martin-CoyneSo what are you doing June 16? Are you one of those so conditioned by years of Toronto Radiohead shows selling out in a heartbeat that you tripped over yourself getting tickets for their Downsview gig as soon as they went on sale, even though the new venue was over twice the size of the Amphitheatre and general admission? Or are you one of those conscious of the fact that this is a King Of Limbs tour and realistically speaking, they probably won’t be playing the stuff you like most and anyways that’s the day the reunited Archers Of Loaf are finally coming to town and there’s no place you’d rather be that night than The Phoenix? Or were you waiting to hear what NXNE had up their sleeves since that’s when the Yonge-Dundas Square mainstage traditionally hosts the biggest name of the fest playing for free? If you chose option c), then congratulations on wanting to make an informed decision. And I’m sorry to say that Radiohead is now sold out so all your strategizing was for naught.

But you’ve hardly lost out as NXNE finally announced their first batch of acts playing the festival this year, and the Saturday night mainstage headliners will be none other than The Flaming Lips. The Oklahoman psychedelic-rockers, last here in July 2010, will endeavour to transform Yonge-Dundas Square into a garish, technicolor assault on the senses… so pretty much what it is every day, but with a bubble walk. Kidding aside, it will be pretty exciting to see a lot of people who’ve presumably never seen the Lips perform (or even know who they are) witness one of the most ridiculous and entertaining live shows going. Laser hands! And hey – since Yonge-Dundas isn’t far from The Phoenix, you can technically do both The Lips and Archers Of Loaf. I will, anyways.

As for the other confirmed acts, there’s a pretty impressive collection of both buzz bands and veterans coming to Toronto the weekend of June 14 to 17 – certainly more than a few that I’ve either been waiting to see come to town or are quite curious about. And because I’m a big dork, as I’ve done the past couple years, I’ve tried to discern the when and where of as many showcases as possible based on tour routing, previous announcements, what have you. There’s not quite as much info floating around right now as in past years, but if you wanted to get a jump start on trying to resolve inevitable scheduling conflicts, it’s something. Of course, all of this is unconfirmed until the official schedule is unveiled and certainly subject to change – I’ll probably keep updating it until that happens, if just for my own reference – but my sources are credible.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Hayes Carll, July Talk @ The Horseshoe
Eternal Summers @ The Drake Underground

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Bad Religion, No Use For A Name, Good Riddance @ Yonge-Dundas Square
White Rabbits, Vacationer, Nash @ The Mod Club
Bran Van 3000, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Violens, Hooded Fang @ The Horseshoe
The Men, Grass Widow, The Black Belles, Mac DeMarco, Gap Dream @ The Garrison
Young Magic, Purity Ring, Moon King, Exitmusic, The Hundreds in The Hands @ Wrongbar
The Danks, Vinyl Williams @ The Drake Underground
Bleached @ The Silver Dollar
Mean Jeans @ The Shop Under Parts & Labour
The Seedy Seeds @ The Painted Lady
Larry & His Flask, The Schomberg Fair @ Sneaky Dee’s

Friday, June 15, 2012
Matthew Good, Plants & Animals, Eight And A Half @ Yonge-Dundas Square
2:54, Friends, Oberhofer @ Lee’s Palace
The Smoking Popes @ The Great Hall
The Sadies & Andre Williams, Reigning Sound, The Black Belles, The Coppertone @ The Horseshoe
Widowspeak, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Art Vs. Science @ The Garrison
The Men, Bass Drum Of Death, DZ Deathrays, The Death Set, Metz @ Wrongbar
Bleached, Parlovr, Hooded Fang, Goose Hut @ The Silver Dollar
Rah Rah @ The Dakota Tavern
Phèdre, Odonis Odonis, Beta Frontiers, Cartoons, Hellaluya, Hussy, Times Neue Roman @ Sneaky Dee’s
Brasstronaut, Útidúr @ TBA

Saturday, June 16, 2012
The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Ceremony, Art Vs. Science, Oberhofer, Parlovr, Hollerado @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Archers Of Loaf, Metz @ The Phoenix
Catl, Young Empires @ The Horseshoe
Killer Mike, Death Grips, Ceremony, Doldrums, Trae Tha Truth @ Wrongbar
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan @ Sneaky Dee’s
Holly McNarland, The Deer Tracks @ The Rivoli
Limblifter, Shellshag, Our Brother The Native, Neon Windbreaker, International Zombies OF Love @ El Mocambo
Kontravoid, Automelodi, Bleached, Prince Innocence, Ell V Gore, Mac DeMarco, Cellphone, Dutch Toko @ The Silver Dollar
Sean Rowe @ The Dakota Tavern
WAZU @ The Painted Lady
Carnival Moon @ Czehoski
DJ Jonathan Toubin @ TBA

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Raekwon & Ghostface Killah @ Yonge-Dundas Square

The full list of announced acts – including those without a venue or exact date that I can pin down – can be grokked over here but definitely catching my eye are Rival Schools and Porcelain Raft (June 14 or 15). Not a bad start at all, lots more to come.

MP3: Archers Of Loaf – “Harnessed In Slums”
MP3: Ceremony – “Hysteria”
MP3: Death Grips – “Spread Eagle Cross The Block”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Dark Passenger”
MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Baby’s Wearin’ Blue Jeans”
MP3: Doldrums – “I’m Homesick Sittin’ Up Here In My Satellite”
MP3: Hollerado – “Americanarama”
MP3: The Men – “Ex-Dreams”
MP3: Oberhofer – “Away Frm U”
MP3: Of Montreal – “Coquet Coquette”
MP3: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – “Karmageddon”
MP3: Widowspeak – “Harsh Realm”
MP3: Andrew Williams – “Dirt”
Video: Bad Religion – “21st Century Digital Boy”
Video: The Black Belles – “What Can I Do”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Fight Test”
Video: Friends – “Friend Crush”
Video: Ghostface Killah – “2getha Baby”
Video: Matthew Good – “Everything Is Automatic”
Video: Raekwon – “House Of Flying Daggers”
Video: 2:54 – “You’re Early”

And speaking of The Flaming Lips, their Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends album is out this Saturday for Record Store Day – if you can get your hands on one – and Wayne Coyne talks about it to The Huffington Post. They’ve also released a video from it – NSFW, of course. Lips don’t do clothes.

Video: The Flaming Lips and New Fumes – “Girl, You’re So Weird”

Electronic Anthology Project is the brainchild of Built To Spill’s Brett Netson wherein he takes songs from artists who aren’t especially electronic – like, say, Dinosaur Jr – and recreates them in synth-y, new wave style and actually makes it work. Of course it helps when you can get the likes of J Mascis to re-record some vocals for the project… The Electronic Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jr will be released on CD for Record Store Day but you can stream the whole thing right now at Stereogum.

Stream: Electronic Anthology Project – “Tarpit”
Stream: Electronic Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jr

Stereogum checks in with Jana Hunter of Lower Dens to see how things are coming on their next album Nootropics, out May 1.

Beach House are streaming another new song from Bloom, out May 15. It’ll be available on 7″ for Record Store Day this Saturday.

Stream: Beach House – “Lazuli”

Spin interviews Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, whose new record The Only Place is out on May 15. They play The Phoenix on July 21.

Though Mark Kozelek has a habit of booking and then cancelling shows, he’s planning to be in Toronto at The Great Hall on October 3 to promote the new Sun Kil Moon record Among The Leaves, out May 29. Tickets are $20 in advance and refunds will be available at the point of purchase.

MP3: Sun Kil Moon – “UK Blues”
MP3: Sun Kil Moon – “Carry Me Ohio”
MP3: Sun Kil Moon – “Sunshine In Chicago”

Exclaim reports that the second Guided By Voices album of 2012 – Class Clown Spots a UFO – will be out on June 21 and a third GBV album entitled Bears For Lunch should be out in November. Most prolific reunion ever?

That Nintendo-premiered new video from The Shins is finally available to watch online. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4 supporting The Black Keys.

Video: The Shins – “The Rifle’s Spiral”

Craig Finn tells Rolling Stone that The Hold Steady will begin work on a new record this Summer, but he’s not quite done with the solo thing yet – Paste has premiered a new video as part of a fundraising campaign for Big Brother/Big Sisters of America.

Video: Craig Finn – “Respective Coasts”

Spin chats with M. Ward.

Chart talks to Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws.

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Now We Hurry On

Bowerbird/Andrew Bird-watching season is here

Photo By D.L. AndersonD.L. AndersonIt’s unlikely bird videos will ever achieve the same degree of online adoration as, say, cat videos, but when said clips come courtesy of artists who push the boundaries of what can be called folk music the way that North Carolina’s Bowerbirds and Chicago’s Andrew Bird do, a little more attention should be paid. Both artists released their new albums this week – The Clearing and Break It Yourself, respectively – and both have marked the occasion with the release of a new video.

Both are also streaming the new records in whole – not new news, but always good to be reminded of – and are doing quite a bit of press to promote their records. Bowerbirds are featured in The Quietus, The 405, Consequence Of Sound, Interview, Paste, and NPR while Mr. Bird has chats with each of Interview, PopMatters, The Stool Pigeon, The Guardian, Spinner, and The AV Club.

Where they differ is in their migratory patterns – Bowerbirds have long had a March 27 date at The Garrison in Toronto booked as part of their Spring tour, whereas Andrew Bird’s tour dates come as close as Detroit, but no closer – at least for now. I don’t think he’s been here since Spring 2009 so it’s reasonable to say he owes us a visit.

MP3: Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In”
MP3: Bowerbirds – “In The Yard”
Stream: Andrew Bird – “Eyeoneye”
Stream: Andrew Bird – “The Crown Salesman”
Video: Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In”
Video: Andrew Bird – “Eyeoneye”
Stream: Bowerbirds / The Clearing
Stream: Andrew Bird / Break It Yourself

Shearwater is named for a kind of bird, so they’re up next. Rolling Stone talks to frontman Jonathan Meiburg about their new record Animal Joy.

Mother Jones chats with Sharon Van Etten, who just premiered a new video from Tramp at The Los Angeles Times.

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Leonard”

Perhaps hoping to get people talking about something besides their collaboration with a corporation as ethically vile as Urban Outfitters, Best Coast have announced the May 15 release of their second album The Only Place and accompanying tour which hits The Phoenix on July 21, tickets $18.50. Details on the record and full tour dates over at Tiny Mix Tapes.

MP3: Best Coast – “Boyfriend”

The Decemberists are spreading the love around, streaming both discs of their forthcoming live set We All Raise Our Voices at two different sites – Rolling Stone and Paste.

Stream: The Decemberists / We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11) disc one
Stream: The Decemberists / We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11) disc two

They haven’t fessed up to the accuracy of reports that their new album would be called Bloom and released on May 15, but the fact that a new Beach House song showed up to stream on their website the other night certainly makes it seem to be the case. The track is called “Myth” and it sounds like Beach House. Update: Okay, the above new album info is officially official.

Stream: Beach House – “Myth”

NOW welcomes EMA back to town; she’s at The Garrison on March 13. The Chicago Sun-Times, Montreal Mirror, and Playback:STL also have interviews.

Death & Taxes, Clash, and DIY have interviews with Sleigh Bells, making up a cancelled date at The Phoenix on March 26 and supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers at The Air Canada Centre on April 27 and 28.

For a guy with a reputation for being a tough interview, Stephin Merritt sure is entertaining a lot of inquiries. The Magnetic Fields mastermind chats Love At The Bottom Of The Sea with PopMatters, Rolling Stone, Clash, Beatroute, Salon, and Vulture. They will play The Sound Academy on March 30.

They Shoot Music has a video session and Magnet and Beatroute interviews with Nada Surf. They play The Opera House on April 4.

co.create looks at the marketing campaign being organized to help make Minneapolis’ Howler your new favourite band. They may or may not include this video session and interview at The Alternate Side or this interview about their already in-process second album at Paste, and if they work, you may find yourself seeing them at The Drake Underground on April 5.

Also courtesy of The Alternate Side is a session and interview with Perfume Genius, and also worth reading is an interview with Mike Hadreas at Slutever. Perfume Genius is at The Drake on April 8.

If you ever need a reminder of how gorgeous Low can be, this performance recorded in a Duluth church for a new television programme called Audio-Files should do the trick. They’re here on April 19 at Massey Hall opening for Death Cab For Cutie.

Video: Low – “Point Of Disgust” (live for Audio-Files)

Interview gets to know Hospitality, in town at The Garrison on May 5.

The Fly talks to James Mercer of The Shins, whose Port Of Morrow arrives March 20. They are at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4.

Clash talks to Jay Farrar about the Woody Guthrie tribute project New Multitudes, of which he’s a part.

Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline discuss the guitar (read: gear) side of Wilco’s The Whole Love with Guitar World.

Also talking the gear: St. Vincent’s Annie Clark with Guitar Player.

Pitch, The Daily Nebraskan, and SXSW interview Lauren Larsen of Ume.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Telekinesis.

NYC Taper has shared a recording of one of Craig Finn’s recent performances in New York while Allentown Morning Call shares an interview.

The Quietus talks reunion with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs.

Dirty Laundry hangs out in a laundromat with Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers and Archers Of Loaf.

Loud & Quiet talks to Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices.

PopDose talks to Bill Janovitz about the 20th anniversary of Buffalo Tom’s excellent Let Me Come Over.

Monday, February 13th, 2012

No Time For Dreaming

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires and Little Barrie at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangA better writer might be able to come up with some angle that relates the sudden one-day cold snap that hit Toronto on Saturday and the long-awaited, much-anticipated local debut by Mr Charles Bradley at Lee’s Palace, but sadly, all I can come up with is something like how it was cold outside but hot inside and that’s pretty weaksauce, so I’ll just move on.

A little surprisingly, support for this tour came from across the Atlantic in the form of English power trio Little Barrie, who were familiar to me as I’d written them up way back in 2005 and generally dismissed them but in a “not my thing” way rather than “this is terrible”. And while I don’t necessarily get the sense their sound has changed much over the years, seeing them play it became clear that what fails to impress on record can really wow in a live setting. Offering a pleasantly modern take on punk-infused blues-rock with a good, heavy groove and the right amount of guitar heroics delivered with what I think the kids call, “swag”, their set was loud, energetic and an ideal warm-up. If you’re seeking the future of rock, you’d be well-advised to look elsewhere; just fixing for a good time? Stick around. Their third album King Of The Waves hits February 25.

Even though he only released his debut album No Time For Dreaming last year and has been on most peoples’ radars for only about that long, Charles Bradley’s live shows are already something of legend, and what kind of legend doesn’t deserve a little build up? And so it was that before taking the stage, his 7-piece band The Extraordinaires got up and got down for a couple of instrumental tunes that showed off the band’s ability to groove – exceptional, if you wondering – and work the crowd up just a little more. Goodness knows the full house didn’t have to be asked to give a warm welcome to “The Screaming Eagle of Soul”, but we were and we did as he strode onstage resplendent in a shiny red satin jacket.

Bradley is a fascinating performer. On the one hand, he had a deep bag of crowd-pleasing stage moves to draw on including some loverman disco dancing and impressive mic stand tricks. But on the other, his songs are filled with pain and hurt informed by a long, hard life that was only now giving him his due and all of that was etched onto every line of his face, every grimace, every bead of sweat and in every impassioned rasp of his voice. Dressing up emotional rawness in showy raiments created a strange balance of sorrow, spirituality and sex all infused with deep, old soul. And so of course the only rational response was to dance.

Amidst the selections from Dreaming, they included a couple covers which were highlights of the set – a sublime reading of Clarence Carter’s soul standard “Slip Away” and a deliciously funked up version of Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold”. After an hour-long set, Bradley returned with his third costume change of the night and a stirring encore of “Why Is It So Hard?”, during which Bradley went into preacher mode and earnestly proclaimed his love for the audience, which was returned back to him five hundred-fold. As the band played him off into the audience for hugs and handshakes, that should have been the perfect finale but after a few minutes, Bradley returned to the stage looking deeply and genuinely grieved and offering some words having just been informed of the death of Whitney Houston earlier that evening. It was a sad postscript on a great night and a reminder that in this life, there will always be heartaches and pain.

The Globe & Mail, NOW, 77 Square, Isthmus, The Boston Globe, and hour.ca all have feature pieces on Charles Bradley. The Globe & Mail and NOW also have reviews of Saturday night’s show.

Photos: Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Little Barrie @ Lee’s Palace – February 11, 2012
MP3: Charles Bradley – “Heartaches & Pain”
MP3: Charles Bradley – “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)”
MP3: Charles Bradley – “Now That I’m Gone”
Video: Charles Bradley – “Heartaches And Pain”
Video: Charles Bradley – “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)”
Video: Little Barrie – “How Come”
Video: Little Barrie – “Surf Hell”
Video: Little Barrie – “Pay To Join”
Video: Little Barrie – “Love You”
Video: Little Barrie – “Long Hair”
Video: Little Barrie – “Free Salute”

NPR goes Craig Finn-crazy, posting both a Tiny Desk Concert where he plays two non-album songs and a World Cafe session. The Riverfront Times also has an interview and The Quietus solicits a list of his favourite albums.

Nada Mucho talks to Mitch Mitchell of Guided By Voices; note that though this was just posted last week, it apparently took place back in January right before the band cancelled their European festival dates, raising rumours that the band had again disbanded which were declared false. All of which is to say the drama at the end of the interview? Ignore it.

It’s video time with Eric Bachmann, in the form of a new one from Crooked Fingers taken from last year’s Breaks In The Armor and also a pile of vintage Archers Of Loaf clips, freshly digitized from VHS by Merge at YouTube. Vee Vee gets reissued next Tuesday.

Video: Crooked Fingers – “Our New Favourite”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Harnessed In Slums”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Underachievers March & Fight Song”

The new Lambchop record Mr. M is now available to stream at NPR ahead of its official release next Tuesday. The Guardian and Nashville Ledger have interviews with head ‘Chop Kurt Wagner.

MP3: Lambchop – “Gone Tomorrow”
MP3: Lambchop – “If Not I’ll Just Die”
Stream: Lambchop / Mr. M

The Guardian chats with Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, whose new album Love At The Bottom Of The Sea is out March 6. They play The Sound Academy on March 30.

The Telegraph sits down with Wild Flag’s Carrie Brownstein.

Paste talks to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal.

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

We Are Fine

Sharon Van Etten Tramp stamps the internet

Photo By Dusdin CondrenDusdin CondrenI’m not playing “firsties” here, but I’ve always known that Sharon Van Etten would go on to big things since writing up her debut Because I Was In Love back in October 2009, and following 2010’s excellent epic it seemed pretty clear that her third album Tramp – released yesterday – would be the one that would see her break out in a big way.

That said, I’m still surprised at just how much press coverage Van Etten has been getting with this album, beyond just record reviews – those have been pretty uniformly glowing, by the way. My own thoughts will have to wait as I’m still processing; you can expect impressions sometime around the writeup for her show at Lee’s Palace on February 21 – but for now, wade through feature interviews with the New Jersey native at and and all of The Washington Post, Nylon, Billboard, New York Magazine, eMusic, Spinner, Beatroute, Blurt, The AV Club, NPR – who also have a conversation with her specifically about the track, “We Are Fine” – and Pitchfork solicits a guest list.

And if you’d rather listen than read, check out a sampler of live and studio tracks collected over at Largehearted Boy, a stream of the album and new to download as of yesterday is a demo version of Tramp highlight “Serpents”.

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents” (demo)
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”
Stream: Sharon Van Etten / Tramp

Also on that February 21 bill at Lee’s is Shearwater and their new album Animal Joy is now streaming at NPR ahead of its release next Tuesday; there’s also a radio session with KDHX available to stream and an interview with Jonathan Meiburg at The Wesleyan Argus. And I’ll tell you this for free – you can file the show under, “gigs of the Winter” and the album under, “records of the year”.

MP3: Shearwater – “You As You Were”
MP3: Shearwater – “Breaking The Yearlings”
Stream: Shearwater / Animal Joy

Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s are prepping the March 20 release of their new record Rot Gut, Domestic and will be at The Garrison on April 5 to play some songs from it. Tickets are $11.50 in advance and you can preview the new material by way of the first video.

Video: Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s – “Prozac Rock”

Portland’s Horse Feathers – who were one of the unexpected highlights of NXNE 2011 – will be releasing a new album in Cynic’s New Year on April 17 and will be at The Horseshoe on April 29, tickets $10.50. If you like beautiful things, you should be there.

MP3: Horse Feathers – “Belly Of June”

Hospitality celebrated the release of their self-titled debut last week with a hometown show in Brooklyn and NYC Taper was there to record it. There’s also features on the band at The Village Voice and Capital, and a session and interview at The Alternate Side. They’re at The Horseshoe on February 29 opening up for Tennis.

And speaking of Tennis, their new record Young And Old is now available to stream at The Line Of Best Fit ahead of its official release next week.

Stream: Tennis / Young & Old

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a recent show by Blouse, who’re at The Garrison on May 5 opening up for Bear In Heaven.

DIY chats with Chairlift, hitting the Horseshoe on March 28.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Girls.

IFC is showing off a clip of St. Vincent’s recent appearance on Portlandia and also a performance from her 4AD Session, while Prefix points out a video session she recorded for CBC’s Q, presumably when visiting last December. And oh, there’s a new video from Strange Mercy to grok at. And speaking of Portlandia, CBC Radio 3 has an interview with Carrie Brownstein about working both Wild Flag and the show.

Video: St. Vincent – “Cheerleader”

Drowned In Sound, The Kansas City Star and Chicago Reader meet Craig Finn.

The Line Of Best Fit, Clash, Consequence Of Sound, and eMusic profile Of Montreal and their new album Paralytic Stalks.

The Wilco episode of Austin City Limits is now available to stream in full.

A new installment of the Old Ideas With New Friends video series is now up, with Mountain Goats man John Darnielle covering Leonard Cohen’s “The Smokey Life” over at Consequence Of Sound.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Parallax

Atlas Sound to bring sound to very specific areas of the atlas

Photo By Mick RockMick RockI will be the first to admit to not really being able to tell where Bradford Cox’s Deerhunter ends and his Atlas Sound begins. I know that the former is ostensibly a band and the latter a solo project, but to my ears the hazy, psychedelic rock that each project produces isn’t exactly a world apart. Okay, Atlas Sound is more keys, less guitars, but they’re both critically adored and don’t really do a lot for me, despite on paper being the sort of thing I should totally dig. I just find it all overly meandering. Go figure.

I do know, however, that it’s Atlas Sound that’s just announced a North American tour in support of last year’s Parallax that covers a lot of geography if not a lot of markets. It does, however, include a March 6 date at Lee’s Palace in Toronto, whereas the original announcement did not, so that’s something for local fans. Tickets are $16.50 in advance.

MP3: Atlas Sound – “Te Amo”
MP3: Atlas Sound – “Terra Incognita”

Also just announced is a date from Los Angeles indie-harpist Active Child, who will be at Lee’s Palace on May 15 as part of a tour in support of his debut full-length You Are All I See. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

MP3: Active Child – “Diamond Heart”

If you weren’t able to catch Sleigh Bells at The Phoenix on February 14 or just wanted to see them in a much less enjoyable setting amidst a much less enjoyable crowd for a lot more money, they’re opening up both Red Hot Chili Peppers shows at the Air Canada Centre on April 27 and 28. Whoooo. Reign Of Terror is out February 21 and the first single is now available to download.

MP3: Sleigh Bells – “Comeback Kid”

A Place To Bury Strangers’ new EP Onwards To The Wall is available to stream over at Hype Machine ahead of its release next week. They’re at Lee’s Palace on April 2.

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – “So Far Away”
Stream: A Place To Bury Strangers / Onwards To The Wall

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has an interview with Craig Finn and also solicits some annotations of three songs from Clear Heart Full Eyes; Minneapolis City Pages and The Macon Telegraph also have chats. And shifting gears to The Hold Steady, Paste digs up some footage of the band at SXSW 2009 and I’m kind of glad they shot the show from the back of Club DeVille because if they were up front, there’d probably be a lot of embarrassing footage of me rocking out. And no one needs to see that.

The Stool Pigeon talks to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal about their new record Paralytic Stalks, out next week.

Also out next week is Sharon Van Etten’s new album Tramp, and you can hear the whole thing right now streaming over at NPR, perhaps while reading these interviews at The Line Of Best Fit and The L. She’s at Lee’s Palace on February 21.

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”
Stream: Sharon Van Etten / Tramp

February 14 is a big day for Shearwater as it marks the release of their excellent new record Animal Joy, but that day will also see the reissue of their 2004 album Winged Life on LP for the first time. That was the last album for the Shearwater that existed as a side-project for Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff compositions that didn’t fit in Okkervil River before becoming a more distinct creative entity driven wholly by Meiburg. But it’s also a gorgeous record, so that it’s going to find a home on some turntables is good news. Shearwater open up for Sharon Van Etten at Lee’s on February 21.

MP3: Shearwater – “Whipping Boy”

Pitchfork has premiered a second MP3 from the forthcoming Bowerbirds record The Clearing, ahead of its March 6 release date. They play The Garrison on March 27.

MP3: Bowerbirds – “In The Yard”

Mountain XPress talks to The Mountain Goats, but not about mountains.

Exclaim and Time interview Nada Surf, who’ve released a new video from The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy. They’re at The Opera House on April 4.

Video: Nada Surf – “When I Was Young”

If you enjoyed the Popeye-powered Wilco video that premiered last week, you may be pleased to know there’s an entire website at wilcospinach.com devoted to the production. And if you click around a bit, you may find a way to download a live version of “Dawned On Me” for keeps.

Drowned In Sound talks to Bryce Dessner about The National and his Long Count project.

PopMatters asks twenty questions of Phantogram.