Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Crystal Castles’

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Hero Brother

Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld Hero-ically goes it alone

Photo By Nick BostickNick BostickThat Arcade Fire will release a new record this year – possibly/probably produced by or at least involving James Murphy – is pretty much a given. But also a given is that it won’t be out until Fall, at the earliest, because a) it’s already Spring and it’s not done, and b) Fall is still when all the big records come out and this is about as big as they get.

It would be nice to be able to say that Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld will be able to help fill that gap, what with the announcement that the instrumental solo endeavours that had her playing live shows since late last year have coalesced into her debut album – produced by German composer Nils Frahm – but the fact is that Hero Brother – said debut album – isn’t scheduled to come out until August 20, which is almost Fall anyways. But until then, there’s a preview MP3, an album trailer, a brace of Summer tour dates (nothing local yet but be patient), and a promise that she’ll continue to promote the record even while Arcade Fire is doing the same for album number four. Pitchfork has all the salient details on the record.

And while on the topic of things Arcade-y and Fire-y, congratulations to Win and Regine on the birth of their baby boy.

MP3: Sarah Neufeld – “Hero Brother”
Trailer: Sarah Neufeld / Hero Brother

If ever there was a reason to not rely on this site for your timely music news, this is it. Earlier this week Sloan released a limited-edition 7″ with two new hardcore songs on it, and by the time you read this they will have completely sold out. But you can still read details on it and the companion album of hardcore covers at Exclaim, and stream the two sides of the single below. Because that’s almost as good, right?

Stream: Sloan – “Jenny”
Stream: Sloan – “It’s In You, It’s In Me”

Along with a new video that surfaced last week, Exclaim has an advance stream of Jim Guthrie’s first new record in seemingly forever – Takes Time – ahead of its release on May 7. And spoiler alert – it’s terrific.

Stream: Jim Guthrie / Takes Time
Video: Jim Guthrie – “Bring On The Night”

Dallas Good talks to Exclaim about recording The Good Family Album with his family as The Good Family, and also about the next Sadies record. The Good Family play The Dakota Tavern on May 9 and 10 and The Sadies are part of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

aux.tv chats with Airick Woodhead of Doldrums, back in town for a show at The Horseshoe on May 11.

Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz talks to DIY about his debut album Impersonator, out May 21 and from which a new MP3 has just been made available. He opens up for Youth Lagoon at The Great Hall on May 13 and will be back for NXNE on June 15.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Bugs Don’t Buzz”

Stereogum has premiered a stream of a new Hooded Fang tune, taken from Gravez. It’s out May 28 and they play The Horseshoe on May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang – “Ode To Subterrania”

Beatroute have put Vancouver’s Gold & Youth on this month’s cover in tribute to the May 14 release of their debut album, Beyond Wilderness.

Le Blogotheque has a striking Take-Away Show with Colin Stetson, and Exclaim, Consequence Of Sound, eMusic, and Rolling Stone have feature interviews. His new record New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light came out this week and he plays The Great Hall on May 19.

The 405 meets Young Galaxy.

CBC Music graphically maps the Broken Social Scene extended family, a map which will get even messier come May 28 with the release of X, a special album which teams up Arts & Crafts artists to record new songs, Judgement Night-style. Exclaim has details, and Clash a profile piece on the label. Broken Social Scene headline the Field Trip festival at Garrison Commons on June 8.

The Georgia Straight chats with Snowblink, who will also be playing Field Trip on June 8.

Crystal Castles have released a new video from III. They’re at The Sound Academy on June 8.

Video: Crystal Castles – “Affection”

NYLON meets Moon King, who will be all over NXNE playing June 13 at The Garrison, June 14 at The Drake, and June 15 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Austra have released the first video from their second album Olympia, due out June 18.

Video: Austra – “Home”

She Knows and College Times interview Born Ruffians, playing for free as part of Sound Clash at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

No Joy have released a new/first video from their second album, Wait To Pleasure.

Video: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”

For her visit to The AV Club’s Undercover studio, Basia Bulat takes a swing at Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days”.

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Strangers On The Street

It’s a veritable Two Hours Traffic jam of concert announcements. Yeah, that was bad. I know.

Photo By David BastedoDavid BastedoSo at this point I may as well just earmark Tuesday posts as concert announcement roundups, Mondays being the busiest day for tour-related press releases and also being the easiest to put together as I wait for a torrent of Bunheads to surface. Shut up, it’s a great show.

First up is Prince Edward Island’s finest power-pop band Two Hours Traffic, now with a slightly altered lineup – guitarist Alec O’Hanley left after 2009’s Territory and can now be found in Always, who’ve gotten a fair bit of ink around here – and a new album in Foolish Blood coming out February 19. Touring machines that they are, they hit the road almost immediately afterwards for a Spring tour that takes them from the Maritimes down to Austin for SXSW, then back up through Toronto for a Canadian Musicfest headlining showcase at Lee’s Palace on March 21, and then across the rest of Canada. Saskatchewan’s Rah Rah will accompany them for most dates of the tour.

Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Last Star”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”

Montreal’s The Besnard Lakes step in as the big draw at Lee’s Palace for the Friday night of CMF – March 21 – previewing their new album Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO before it comes out April 2.

MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross”

March 22 is also the day The Indies – the festival’s bizarro mish-mash of awards ceremony no one really understands and musical bill of some of the fest’s biggest names playing abbreviated sets – goes down, but this year it’s at the Kool Haus rather than the ballroom of the Royal York hotel and the lineup is somewhat more coherent. Metric will headline and the undercard contains the likes of Diamond Rings, Yukon Blonde, The Wooden Sky, and Cadence Weapon. Tickets for that are $49.50. Yup.

MP3: Metric – “Artificial Nocturne”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Fire”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”

When Portland’s Parenthetical Girls were last here in April, their series of Privilege EPs had yet to be completed, only getting compiled into 21-song box set form last Fall. On February 19, it gets recompiled into a concise, 12-track album of the same name and gives them an excuse to tour again, this time coming to Double Double Land on March 28.

MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”

Scottish indie-rock heroes The View will give their new record Cheeky For A Reason – out last Summer in the UK – a North American release on February 13 and have a date at Lee’s Palace on March 29 to promote it. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

Stream: The View – “How Long”

Pitchfork brings Wavves news; specifically a new album in Afraid Of Heights coming March 26, a stream of a song from said new record, and tour dates in support of it including an April 5 date at The Horseshoe. Accompanying them on this tour are FIDLAR and Cheatahs, both of whom come with their own head of buzzy steam and equal facility for mangling the English language.

MP3: FIDLAR – “Got No Money”
Stream: Wavves – “Demon To Lean On”
Stream: Cheatahs – “The Swan”

The release of Jim James’ solo debut Regions Of Light And Sound Of God is upon us next Tuesday – February 5 – and with that comes and advance stream courtesy of NPR,interviews courtesy of Rolling Stone, CBC Music, and Exclaim, and a North American tour – dates courtesy Pollstar – that includes an April 24 stop at The Phoenix, tickets $26 in advance.

Stream: Jim James / Regions Of Light And Sound Of God

British “can we not call it dubstep” electronic artist James Blake will have a new album out later this year, but first comes a Spring tour built around Coachella that brings him to the Danforth Music Hall on May 4. Tickets $25 in advance.

MP3: James Blake – “To Care (Like You)”

Even though they were here just in December, Marina & The Diamonds have made a return engagement in support of second album Electra Hart and will be at the Sound Academy on May 23 as part of a Spring tour with support coming from next big thing Charli XCX. Tickets for that show are $28.50.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Glow”
Video: Marina & The Diamonds – “How To Be A Heartbreaker”

Crystal Castles also aren’t waiting long to play another local show, but they live here so it’s a little less of an undertaking. Following their release show for III back in November – from which they just released a new video – they’re back at the Sound Academy on June 8 and those tickets are $28.

MP3: Crystal Castles – “Wrath Of God”
Video: Crystal Castles – “Sad Eyes”

Washington DC punk/hardcore legends Bad Brains put out a new record in Into The Future late last year, and will be here on June 13 at The Phoenix to play some songs from it. And probably some old ones. Almost certainly some old ones. Tickets $30.50.

MP3: Bad Brains – “Pay To Cum”

The Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark reunion continues apace, with a second 21st century album – English Electric – due out April 8 and an accompanying North American tour confirmed. They’ll be at the Danforth Music Hall on July 11, advance tickets $35.

Video: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – “If You Leave”

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Negative Space

This is a bunch of stuff of a Canadian nature. And this is METZ.

Photo By Colin MedleyColin MedleyThis here is another of those posts that, were it a category on Jeopardy, would be called “Potpourri” on account of it being a whole lot of this and that with only the passports of the artists mentioned in common.

And I’ll start with Toronto’s METZ because, well, I haven’t used one of their photos yet and my posting process is really that random. The trio has been making a lot of noise – literally and figuratively – on the back of their self-titled debut, and while it wouldn’t normally be my particular sack of hammers, there’s a clarity to their attack and just enough underlying melody for me to get behind. I’d like to experience one of their legendarily… energetic live shows, but we’ll probably have to wait until at least the Spring as they’re taking their show through Europe for pretty all of the first quarter of 2013. In the meantime, there’s a recording of their show at the Knitting Factory in New York last month over at NYC Taper, NPR has just posted video of a KEXP radio session, and the a-side of their new, non-album single is available to stream.

Stream: METZ – “Dirty Shirt”

Exclaim gets a look inside Yamataka//Sonic Titan’s home studio/headquarters and also asks them what they’ve got in mind for their second album. They play 1st Thursday at the Art Gallery Of Ontario this Thursday night, December 6.

The Line Of Best Fit, The Lantern, and The Marquette Tribune interview Patrick Watson, headlining Massey Hall on December 6.

The Line Of Best Fit and The 405 have interviews with Do Make Say Think, who’ve made a track from their live soundtrack to the 1924 film´╗┐ Greed available to download via CBC Music. They’re at The Opera House on December 7.

MP3: Do Make Say Think – “Greed Waltz”

Fucked Up have announced the lineup for the second installment of their Long Winter series, taking place December 14 at The Great Hall. They will again headline the event, and be joined by Dusted, Laura Barrett, and many more. Admission is pay what you can.

MP3: Fucked Up – “I Hate Summer”
MP3: Dusted – “(Into The) Atmosphere”

The Wooden Sky have announced details of their third annual Holiday Revue charity show, scheduled for December 17 at The Music Gallery. Tickets for the show are $20 and all proceeds from the event will go to the Daily Bread Food Bank. Support will be announced later this week. Metro talks to frontman Gavin Gardiner.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”

If you were wondering why it’s not been possible to get tickets for the Evening Hymns show at the Church Of The Redeemer on December 15 announced in October, it’s because that show is no longer happening. It has been replaced by one at The Music Gallery on December 20, tickets $17 and available right now via Kelp Records. So the room is still appropriately church-y but it’s also smaller, so if you wanted to go, best get on that. Neil Haverty of Bruce Peninsula will open up.

MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”

Julie Doiron has scheduled a show at The Horseshoe for January 25 in support of her new album So Many Days. Tickets are $15 in advance. The Vancouver Sun and The Province have profiles.

MP3: Julie Doiron – “By The Lake”

The lead single from Suuns’ new album Images Du Futur is now available to download. It’s out March 5.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”

AC Newman has a new video from his latest solo record Shut Down The Streets.

Video: AC Newman – “I’m Not Talking”

The Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, and MTV have feature pieces on Diamond Rings, who’s released a live route for an alternate version video from Free Dimensional.

Video: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

Martin Tielli has taken to Facebook to explain his withdrawal from the Rheostatics reunion shows which were to have taken place this week; Radio Free Canuckistan has reposted the message for those who are just fans but maybe not friends of Tielli.

The National Post has an interview with The Dears.

CBC Music gets to know Shad. Again. Some more.

Exclaim has some videos from Bry Webb’s recent Toronto Public Library performance available to watch.

Hooded Fang stops in at DIY for a video session.

Spin interviews Alice Glass of Crystal Castles.

Exclaim asks Chains Of Love about their plans for album number two.

BlogTO chats with Gentleman Reg.

Spinner talks to Neil Young about last night’s Hurricane Sandy benefit in New York.

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Twice Removed

Sloan at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s probably a reach to think that Sloan had some sort of master plan for the past couple years that would pull their career from the respectable but not overly remarkable holding pattern that it’d been in for the past few albums and make them both exciting and relevant again, but that’s pretty much what they’ve managed to do. Their twentieth anniversary as a band last year was kept from being a one-way trip down memory lane thanks to The Double Cross, arguably their best album this century (those arguing otherwise would generally be arguing for 2006’s Never Hear The End Of It). Further, their partaking in the “Don’t Look Back”-style album recital shows – Once Chord To Another for a local show last December and Twice Removed for this Fall tour – was an attractive hook for getting old fans who might have lost interest in recent years to be reminded of why they loved the band in the first place and that despite ups and downs in their discography, they’re still one of the best acts this country has produced in the past two decades.

I covered the landmark-ness of Twice Removed back in September, and as you’d expect given its iconic status, The Phoenix was sold out for Thursday night’s (adopted) hometown performance, the second-last show of their cross-country tour. Not as many people as who’d shown up for their epic show at Echo Beach last August, but that was a free show – hardly a fair point of comparison by numbers, but you could probably make a case for this show’s crowd winning on enthusiasm and anticipation. Despite promising to be on at the stroke of 8 – as with many shows on this tour, there was no opening act – the stage remained empty until quarter-to-nine, perhaps all a ploy to get some old-school “Slooo-aaaaan” changes going. If so, it worked.

When they finally took the stage, it was straight into “Penpals” and the first of many boisterous, singalong moments. And here’s where I’ll make a point about Twice Removed that I didn’t mention last time – for all the love laid at its doorstep, it’s really quite an odd record. Catching the band in the process of transitioning from a noise- to power-pop outfit and before each of the four songwriters had settled into the roles and styles that’d define them henceforth, it’s high on quirk and creative forays that they’d not repeat later in their career. In practical terms, it also meant that fewer Twice Removed songs made it into live sets than their more chart-friendly peers. Why play “Bells On” rather than “She Means What She Says”? “I Hate My Generation” instead of “The Rest Of My Life”? Maybe the Twice Removed recital was largely fan service and a nostalgia exercise, but it’s also true that its songs don’t get nearly the live attention that they deserve, and was as much of a treat as anyone could have hoped.

Even though the band took a decidedly businesslike approach to getting through the material – little talking, straight onto the next song – they still created no shortage of magical little moments; fitting for an album defined more by its magical little moments than any big, rousing singles. Patrick Pentland’s “Loosens” reminding everyone that he was the sensitive pop guy in the band before he decided to become the classic rock guy, Chris Murphy and Andrew Scott going it alone for the guitar-and-drum highlight “Deeper Than Beauty”, the irresistible chorus of Jay Ferguson’s “Snowsuit Sound”, and perhaps most of all, their bringing out jale’s Jennifer Pierce to reprise her harmonies with Pentland on too-sweet-for-words album closer “I Can Feel It”.

Sloan left the stage on that high for an extended intermission, but returned for a second 45-minute set of career-spanning material that offered a good balance of hits and deep cuts, an extra bit of focus on Double Cross and a four-song mini-set of Andrew Scott tunes in the middle of it all. It may not have been formulated to keep a packed house packed – people began peeling off throughout the second set as it became clear that it wouldn’t be a greatest hits revue – but I have to respect the band for keeping it unpredictable (though thankfully not as unpredictable as their all b-sides set at Sonic Boom for Record Store Day 2010. And I can only hope that those who left early got a good night’s sleep, because it meant they missed hearing Jennifer Pierce return for the encore to cover her parts on Smeared‘s rarely-played “I Am The Cancer”, didn’t get to see Chris Murphy’s one scissor-kick of the night during “Losing California”, and didn’t get to sing along with “Underwhelmed” for the set closer.

It’s no easy thing to work both the nostalgia circuit and maintain your status as a creative, active band simultaneously – I can only think of The Wedding Present as far as acts who are even really trying over the long term – but Sloan are doing a fine job of it. During the show, they promised a new studio album in 2013 and a One Chord To Another deluxe reissue set after that. What’s next, Navy Blues live? Bring it. I’ll stay interested until Pretty Together.

NOW, BlogTO, and The Record talk to Jay Ferguson about revisiting Twice Removed. The National Post also has a writeup of the show.

Photos: Sloan @ The Phoenix – November 22, 2012
MP3: Sloan – “Follow The Leader”
MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
MP3: Sloan – “Unkind”
MP3: Sloan – “I’m Not A Kid Anymore”
Video: Sloan – “Unkind”
Video: Sloan – “Witch’s Wand”
Video: Sloan – “Emergency 911”
Video: Sloan – “All Used Up”
Video: Sloan – “The Rest Of My Life”
Video: Sloan – “The Other Man”
Video: Sloan – “Friendship”
Video: Sloan – “Losing California”
Video: Sloan – “She Says What She Means”
Video: Sloan – “Money City Maniacs”
Video: Sloan – “The Lines You Amend”
Video: Sloan – “Everything You’ve Done Wrong”
Video: Sloan – “The Good In Everyone”
Video: Sloan – “People Of The Sky”
Video: Sloan – “Coax Me”
Video: Sloan – “500 Up”
Video: Sloan – “Underwhelmed”

Another track from Crystal Castles’ new album (III) has been made available to download.

MP3: Crystal Castles – “Affection”

CBC Music talks to Gentleman Reg about his new album Leisure Life, which they’ve also got available to stream in whole. He plays a record release show at The Gladstone on December 2.

Stream: Gentleman Reg / Leisure Life

Also available to steam at CBC Music with attendant Q&A is The Dears’ new Live At Pasagüero live album, out digitally this week.

Stream: The Dears / Live At Pasagüero

Spinner has an interview and Bowery Presents an acoustic video session with Diamond Rings, coming home for a show at The Mod Club this week on November 29.

Pop This and The Vancouver Sun have interviews with Cold Specks, opening up for Conor Oberst at Massey Hall on December 8.

The Fly talks to Purity Ring, in town at The Phoenix on February 1.

The Grid Q&As Emily Haines of Metric.

Spinner and State have long and short interviews with Torq Campbell and Pat McGee of Stars, respectively.

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Suuns set to rise to face the Futur

Photo By Joseph YarmushJoseph YarmushIt’s been interesting to keep up with Montreal’s Suuns over the last few years, starting from back in January 2009 when they were still a mostly-unknown outfit calling themselves Zeroes, opening up for Land Of Talk, through their rebranding and 2010 debut Zeroes QC. From the get-go, their intention of melding post-punk, new wave, krautrock, psychedelia, and really any other sound they could conceive of into an occasionally serene but more often discomfitingly danceable brew was clear but the progress they’ve made at realizing it, measured at various checkpoints over the last few years has been impressive.

So it’s not unreasonable to think that their just-announced second album, Images Du Futur, will see the band take a big leap forwards; it’s just velocity, really. The first taste of the new record, available to stream, finds the band plumbing the gentler side of things but I’m pretty confident that at least some of the other nine songs on the record will pick up the freaky slack. We’ll know for sure when it’s out on March 5, but those heading to see Plants & Animals at The Great Hall tonight will have an idea sooner than that – Suuns are one of the openers.

Stream: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”

CBC Music has compiled an oral history of Mock Up Scale Down, the 1995 debut from beloved Halifax power-poppers The Super Friendz; NOW also has a feature piece on the reunited outfit, who will be at Lee’s Palace tomorrow night, November 16.

Spinner is streaming Great Lake Swimmers’ contribution to the forthcoming Nettwerk Christmas album, Isn’t This World Enough, out November 20. They also recently released a new video from their own latest album, New Wild Everywhere.

Stream: Great Lake Swimmers – “Hang A String Of Lights”
Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “The Great Exhale”

CBC Music and The Ottawa Citizen talk to Metric about graduating to the arena circuit which brings them to The Air Canada Centre on November 24. There’s also interviews at Metro, The Province, and The Winnipeg Free Press. They’ve just released a new, tour-sourced video from Synthetica.

Video: Metric – “Breathing Underwater”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse have released another epic-length video from Psychedelic Pill. They’ll be at The Air Canada Centre next week, on November 19, and if they focus on the new record they might get through four or five songs before curfew. Maybe.

Video: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Driftin’ Back”

JAM, The Georgia Straight, The Tyee, and Victoria Times-Colonist talk to John O’Regan of Diamond Rings. They play The Mod Club on November 29.

Beatroute, The Vancouver Sun, Oregon Live, and The Victoria Times-Colonist have features on Patrick Watson, who is at Massey Hall on December 6.

where has an interview and Secret Sessions a session (duh) with Evening Hymns. They’re at the Church Of The Redeemer on December 15.

Purity Ring have a new video from their debut Shrines. They are at The Phoenix on February 1.

Video: Purity Ring – “Loftcries”

Spinner talks to Damian Abraham of Fucked Up about where they’re at with writing their next record.

The Elwins have released a new video from their debut, And I Thank You. They bewilderingly have no upcoming local shows booked.

Video: The Elwins – “Helpful Assistance”

Billboard talks to Crystal Castles.