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Posts Tagged ‘Cut Off Your Hands’

Friday, July 15th, 2011

You Should Do Better

Cut Off Your Hands notice that hands have not been cut off, plot return

Photo By VCPVCPNew Zealand’s Cut Off Your Hands made some noise a couple years ago with their debut You And I, an enjoyable if not especially original collection of hepped-up, post-punk pop tunes intended to incite pogoing. And they worked that record pretty hard in North America, eventually losing both founding guitarist Mikey Ramirez to the rigours of touring and drummer Brent Harris to damaged hearing.

A couple years on and both are back in the fold to some degree and the band is back with a new album in Hollow, out in North America August 16, and they really want you to hear some of it. There’s a download of the more-Bunnymen-than-Bunnymen “Hollowed Out” along with some commentary at Spin, a video has been released for the first single and over at Facebook, a Like will get you another download from the new record. And oh hell, the whole thing is available to stream at Soundcloud. It’s definitely a more jangly/shimmery/classically Kiwi-pop record than the debut, more romantic-sounding and less in-your-face – still not breaking any new ground but it’s kind of nice to know that they’ve got a broader record collection to steal from than the first album implied.

Under The Radar has an interview with frontman Nick Johnson.

MP3: Cut Off Your Hands – “Hollowed Out”
Video: Cut Off Your Hands – “Fooling No One”
Stream: Cut Off Your Hands / Hollow

DIY and The Irish Independent with New Zealand’s current top musical export, The Naked & Famous. They play Lee’s Palace on August 9.

Billy Bragg has done what all good protest singers do and written a song about the News International phone hacking scandal currently unfolding in the UK – download the song for free, watch the video, read an op-ed by Billy in The Guardian and do what the man says – same applies in Toronto, by the way.

MP3: Billy Bragg – “Never Buy The Sun”
Video: Billy Bragg – “Never Buy The Sun”

The Guardian has premiered another new video from Cat’s Eyes’s self-titled debut.

Video: Cat’s Eyes – “Over You”

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with James Blake while inthemix and Time Out have feature pieces. He plays The Phoenix on September 30.

A public service announcement: The Two Door Cinema Club show originally scheduled to take place at The Phoenix on September 17 has been moved to Kool Haus. Also, Metro discovers frontman Alex Trimble listens to Lady Gaga.

Blood Orange has released a video from his debut Coastal Grooves, which is now set for an August 30 release.

Video: Blood Orange – “Sutphin Boulevard”

One of the new tracks from Ladytron’s forthcoming Gravity The Seducer, out September 13, is now available to download. They’re at The Phoenix October 5.

MP3: Ladytron – “White Elephant”

NPR are streaming a KCRW session with Friendly Fires, in town at The Phoenix on October 23.

Veronica Falls have supplemented the recent audio preview of their debut album, out in October, with a video.

MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”

Allo Darlin’ will release a new non-album single in “Darren”, named for and inspired by Darren Hayman, former frontman of Hefner and featuring as a b-side a cover of “Wu Tang Clan”, originally by his project The French. Stream the a-side at Bandcamp.

The Daily Star chats with Florence Welch about some of the studio shenanigans that have gone into recording the second Florence & The Machine album.

PopMatters uses the occasion of the recent reissues as an excuse to reexamine the legacy of Suede. BBC also has an audio interview with Brett Anderson about getting the band back together; his new solo record Black Rainbows is out September 26. And regarding those Suede reissues; just noticed that eMusic has both Suede and Dog Man Star listed under “London Suede”. If you have an account and wanted to cherry pick the bonus material without re-buying everything a third time (like I do/don’t).

And alas, Gomez have cancelled the remainder of their North American tour due to illness, including Sunday’s show at The Phoenix.

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Prelude To A Debut

An introduction to Reverie Sound Revue

Illustration by Amber AlbrechtAmber AlbrechtIt seems almost appropriate that there don’t exist any current photographs of Reverie Sound Revue – like a unicorn or your mythical creature of choice, many have never heard of them, those who have probably don’t believe they exist (anymore) and even those who believe will probably never get to bear witness with their own eyes, the odds of seeing them together and out in the wild ranging from slim to none.

Originally formed way back in 2002 in Calgary, the quintet released a self-titled EP in 2003 that largely flew under the radar but ensorcelled those fortunate enough to have heard its shimmery charms. Built on a bed of dreamy, delay-laden guitars and led by the vocals of Lisa Lobsinger – inflected by jazz but dedicated to pop – the outfit captured the sound of morning in the city, filled with the promise of the day. And, of course, they then split.

The members then drifted apart to various locales around Canada, seeking their various fortunes. Lobsinger, most notably, took the daunting role of being the first to step into the lady vocalist role in Broken Social Scene not named Amy, Emily or Leslie. And while immense geographic distances usually do a good job of keeping things that are broken apart, the band decided that it would be the perfect time to get things going again and officially re-formed in 2005, utilizing the wonders of modern technology to craft an album together, each from their own respective home bases.

But even with technology, things can only move so quickly under such circumstances so its taken four years to reach today, or more accurately six weeks and a bit from today – June 23 – when Reverie Sound Revue will finally release their self-titled debut. A bit of a wait for those who’d discovered, forgotten and re-discovered the band in the past six years or so but somehow still worth it. Their sound was distinctive and fresh, while still classic and timeless, the first time around and listening to the new record it’s remarkable that there’s still not really anyone that’s done what they do. There are shades of Ivy, Phoenix and Saint Etienne but without the overt Euro-ness that those reference points probably imply. Instead, the Reverie sounds slightly removed from time and place – the perfect soundtrack for anywhere you might find weekends, sidewalks and early morning dew.

In advance of the album’s release, the band’s 2003 EP will be getting released digitally on May 26. And there’s no plans for the band to re-commence playing live so if you’re smitten with them – and you will be – you’d do well to gather up as much of their recorded output as possible and just put it on repeat.

MP3: Reverie Sound Revue – “Rip The Universe”
MP3: Reverie Sound Revue – “An Anniversary Away”
MP3: Reverie Sound Revue – “Arrows”
Video: Reverie Sound Revue – “An Anniversary Away”
MySpace: Reverie Sound Revue

Laundromatinee has a session with Great Lake Swimmers, available in video and downloadable audio form. Chart talks to Tony Dekker about the band’s upcoming Summer tour itinerary.

NXEW interviews Two Hours Traffic.

I’m not sure when this got released but Land Of Talk have made a video for the title track of their album Some Are Lakes. A smattering of live dates have shown up on their MySpace, which gives hope that Liz Powell has recovered from the throat surgery that sidelined the band through most of the year so far. I also wonder if that means she’ll be with Broken Social Scene at their Olympic Island gig on July 11.

Video: Land Of Talk – “Some Are Lakes”

When I was able to premiere the new Lucky Soul single back in March, hopes were that the new album (tentatively titled Dark Times Ahead) would be out by June. As it’s now May and apparently October is looking more likely. Ack. I guess I’ll just have to keep playing “Whoa Billy” over and over and over again until then. Okay. Soundproof and Sweeping The Nation have interviews with the band.

MP3: Lucky Soul – “Whoa, Billy”

Also highly anticipated and targeted for an October release is Bonfires On The Heath, the new album from The Clientele. Alasdair Maclean talks to Pitchfork about how the next one might be their last. Noooooo.

You Ain’t No Picasso interviews Noah & The Whale.

Fever Ray, aka Karin Dreijer Andersson and the she-half of Swedish electro duo The Knife, was originally slated to play The Phoenix on May 25 but the Spring tour is now a Fall tour and instead, look for her at the Kool Haus on October 2.

Video: Fever Ray – “When I Grow Up”
Video: Fever Ray – “If I Had A Heart”

Jason Lytle has released a new video from his debut Yours Truly, The Commuter, out May 19.

Video: Jason Lytle – “I Am Lost (and the Moment Cannot Last)”

Adelaide Now and Interview interview Chairlift.

Sigur Ros’ live film We Play Endlessly is streaming this week over at PitchforkTV. Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi Birgisson will release the self-titled debut from this side-project Riceboy Sleeps on July 20.

Video: Sigur Ros / We Play Endlessly
Video: Riceboy Sleeps – “All The Big Trees”
Video: Riceboy Sleeps – “Daniell In The Sea”

Spinner has an Interface session and The Boston Globe an interview with Cut Off Your Hands.

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Queen Of The World

Review of Ida Maria's Fortress 'Round My Heart

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceIf I were a more paranoid person, I’d say that Norway’s Ida Maria was deliberately avoiding me. Back in March, she was a no-show for both her official SxSW showcases showcases and at almost the same time, she cut her stint as opener for Glasvegas to just a handful of dates, dropping off the tour just a couple shows before she’d have played Toronto. Maddening, right?

Getting a handle on her debut album Fortress ‘Round My Heart really isn’t any simpler. It was originally released in the UK in the Summer of 2008 on Sony and though a goodly amount of buzz was generated, the relationship between artist and label didn’t work out and she was cut loose. The record was re-released in February of this year independently with rejigged track listing and artwork and it was expected this indie version would be the one to trickle over to North America but it was instead picked up by Mercury Records and pushed back until April, when it came out over here with yet another track listing and different cover art.

It’s ironic that things should be so complicated around Ms Borli Sivertsen, because what she does is about as simple as it gets. Raw, irresistible guitar-rock with whiffs of garage and bubblegum, simultaneously anchored and buoyed by Sivertsen’s rough and giddy vocals. “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” might seem like a gimmicky tune with limited shelf life, but has hooks that go far beyond the titillating title. The rest of the album barrels along with tales of booze and bawdiness, all recounted with reckless glee only pausing for breath a couple of times. It has remarkably high re-play value, helped along by the fact that the whole thing clocks in at barely 32 minutes and offering a super sugar buzz without being saccharine-sweet.

Having already made some late-night TV appearances, garnering all kinds of attention of the right kind and now set to play Lollapalooza in August, more North American touring seems like a given. Perhaps late Summer is a reasonable assumption for her first Toronto date? After all, she can’t evade me forever.

There’s features on Ida Maria at Interview, Black Book, Elle and Canadian Press.

Video: Ida Maria – “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked”
Video: Ida Maria – “Oh My God”
Video: Ida Maria – “Stella”
MySpace: Ida Maria

This week also marks the North American release of A Camp’s second album, the strangely polarizing Colonia. Some really like it, some really dislike it. I opted for “sorta like” when I reviewed it back in February. There’s interviews with head Camp counselor Nina Persson at The Glaswegian, State, Prefix and Birmingham Mail while Black Book asks her about her favourite NYC hangouts. A Camp are at the Mod Club on June 1 and the album is streaming this week at Spinner.

MP3: A Camp – “Stronger Than Jesus” (Harlem session)
Video: A Camp – “Stronger Than Jesus”
Stream: A Camp / Colonia

Uncensored Interview has a chat on video with Emil Svanangen of Loney Dear. They’re at the Rivoli next Friday night, May 8.

Daytrotter offers up a session with Cut Off Your Hands.

There’s a couple new videos from little blonde English girls with debut albums coming out soon. Little Boots’ Hands is out June 9, Polly Scattergood’s debut self-title gets a North American release on May 19.

Video: Little Boots – “New In Town”
Video: Polly Scattergood – “Please Don’t Touch”

The Globe & Mail talks to Adele, who plays Massey Hall tonight. It was also announced that she’ll be the first artists to perform on the new incarnation of MTV Unplugged – wow, it’ll be such a relief to be able to finally hear her sing without the wall of electric guitars drowning her out.

The Sun quotes Graham Coxon as saying that the Blur reunion should cover all the band’s material – even the stuff he wasn’t a part of.

Interview talks to Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie.

Clash talks to Super Furry Animals drummer Dafydd Ieuan, Wales Online to frontman Gruff Rhys.

The Daily Growl gets Mumford & Sons to pick seven songs.

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The Water

Watch "The Water", starring Feist and Cillian Murphy

Photo via PitchforkPitchforkDirected by Kevin Drew and filmed over two days in Toronto this past January, The Water had its genesis as a music video for Feist’s song of the same name but eventually grew into a mostly silent and very wintry 15-minute short film starring some bona fide Hollywood talent in Cillian Murphy.

The film will be available to watch online for one week starting today at PitchforkTV, and for some background on the piece, check out the video interview with Feist and Drew at PitchforkTV and another with Murphy at IFC. Paste also talked to Feist and Drew a bit back in February when word of the project first came to light. And if you’re really jonesing for more info, there’s a feature in this month’s Filter (that’s the physical magazine) that has Drew being interviewed by actor Zach Galifianakis about the project.

Video: The Water

Metric have released another video from Fantasies, Jimmy Shaw and Emily Haines gave an interview and acoustic performance to Rolling Stone and Haines and Shaw gave interviews to Dose and Fazer respectively. Metric play the Mod Club on Tuesday, April 14.

Video: Metric – “Help, I’m Alive”

It’s a double-shot of Neko Case at NPR, with a KUT radio session from earlier this week and last night’s show in Washington DC both available to stream. The DC show includes the opening set from Okkervil River’s Will Sheff and some absolutely classic stage banter – “Vas deferens!” – with Case and Kelly Hogan. And if that’s not enough Neko multimedia, there’s a video interview online between her and ABC News. Case is in town for two nights at Trinity-St Paul’s next Friday and Saturday.

Opening up both of those shows is Crooked Fingers, who are keeping a Tumblr tour blog whilst on the road.

MP3: Crooked Fingers – “Phony Revolutions”

NPR also has a World Cafe session with Alela Diane. Diane is also featured on The Silence Of Love, a covers album from Headless Heroes for which Diane was the voice. That record will be out May 19, some of it sounds like this.

MP3: Headless Heroes – “True Love Will Find You In The End”
Video: Headless Heroes – “The North Wind Blew South”

The star-studded SCORE! 20 Years of Merge Records: THE COVERS! covers compilation is now available to stream.

Stream: various artists / SCORE! 20 Years of Merge Records: THE COVERS!

Cryptacize and Casiotone For The Painfully Alone have a date at The Boat on July 8. Cryptacize’s new album Mythomania is out April 21 while Casiotone just released two records – the retrospective Advance Base Battery Life and all-new Vs Children.

MP3: Cryptacize – “Blue Tears”
MP3: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – “Optimist vs. The Silent Alarm (When The Saints Go Marching In)”
MP3: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – “Old Panda Days”
Video: Cryptacize – “Blue Tears”

Headlights are opening for Loney Dear on their Spring tour, including the May 8 date at the Rivoli. Nice! They’re almost done their third album and are aiming for an early Fall release.

MP3: Headlights – “Cherry Tulips” (TJ Lipple Remix)

Soundproof features Malajube.

Entertainment Weekly is hosting a video clip from Wilco’s forthcoming DVD Ashes Of American Flags, which will be out next Saturday as part of Record Store Day but which I will be seeing theatrically in May as part of Hot Docs. Because I’ve realized that the only way I’ll ever watch a music film is if I’m a captive audience in a theatre – DVDs will simply never get played.

Video: Wilco – “Side With The Seeds” (live)

Stay Thirsty talks to Jason Lytle. His new album Yours Truly, The Commuter is out May 19.

Sacramento News & Review and Honolulu Weekly talk to Jenny Lewis.

Fazer interviews Cut Off Your Hands.

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Versus

Ladytron and The Faint at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo ByFrank YangI’m all for the egalitarian spirit of alternating closing slots when it comes to co-headline tours, but even as someone who’s a fan of Ladytron and who hadn’t heard a note from The Faint before Monday’s show at the Phoenix, I’d have to say that the evening would have been better served if the Nebraskans had been last up.

Which isn’t a slight on the Liverpool outfit in the least – as their appearance at Harbourfront last July proved, they can put on a terrific show even without being especially animated but following a set as hyper-kinetic and anarchic as The Faint’s? That’s tough. As mentioned, they were an unknown quantity but made a hell of an impression, and quickly – their laser-guided light show and frontman Todd Fink’s manic antics made for a level of spectacle and showmanship that I’m not really used to seeing, and soundtracked by the band’s deep and thundering synth-dug grooves, it wasn’t a little gleefully apocalyptic. And helping that impression along were the audience – all I can say is that if you’re going to be standing in the all-ages portion of a Faint show, you’d best be prepared. Starting from a sway and quickly building to a near-riot, it became very clear that the front half of the Phoenix was no place for the faint of heart or aged of back. I can’t say that I’ll remember a single song The Faint played during that hour on Monday night, but I’ll certainly remember the effect it had on their fans. That shit was crazy.

And crazy is not what Ladytron are about – sleek, stylish and Euro-cool synth-pop is – so it seemed a bit unfair that they’d have to follow that up even if, by most measures, they’re the bigger band. The kids had some time to cool off as the roadies filled the stage with keyboards and it almost seemed as if they’d be sedate for the second half of the show. Almost. I’d gone into the show last year only knowing Ladytron’s latest record, Velocifero, and was inspired to pick up their equally if not more excellent previous release Witching Hour shortly thereafter and this would be about all the background I’d need to be familiar with their set. Like last time, frontwomen Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo remained mainly stationary behind their banks of keyboards, alternately stepping out to handle vocals, and bathed in dim, red backlighting. Except for the occasional flash of blinding stage light or strobe, these were the visuals for the evening – about as far removed from The Faint’s setup as you could get.

But all this proved was that it wasn’t the stage show that got the kids amped up. It didn’t take long before they got rowdy again, each fat square wave out of the PA seemingly resonating with the reptilian parts of their brains. Though I’d managed to mostly hold my ground during The Faint, self-preservation instincts sent me to the sidelines for most of Ladytron’s set, not that that proved effective – about midway through the show, someone came hurtling across the room and slammed into myself, a barrier fence and a very large, heavy and presumably expensive cabinet of PA/stage equipment, knocking all of the above over. Amazingly, nothing was hurt or broken (either myself or the gear) and the show went on.

But even without the incidents of sorta violence, there was a darker vibe to this show than the one on the waterfront last Summer. The mix in the house wasn’t as balanced, frequently overloud and muddy, and it didn’t seem to be much better onstage if the occasional looks on the band’s faces and even a few missed cues were any indication. Throw in the hepped up audience in an enclosed space and my own personal exhaustion and it all just felt kind of tense. And as much as I enjoy Ladytron’s stuff and mostly enjoyed the show, as soon as the final note of “Destroy Everything You Touch” in the encore rang out, I was out of there.

Photos: Ladytron, The Faint @ The Phoenix – April 6, 2009
MP3: Ladytron – “Black Cat”
MP3: Ladytron – “Tomorrow” (Vector Lovers Lucky Remix)
MP3: The Faint – “I Disappear”
MP3: The Faint – “Birth”
MP3: The Faint – “Agenda Sucide”
MP3: The Faint – “Call Call”
MP3: The Faint – “Worked Up So Sexual”
MP3: The Faint – “Some Incriminating Photographs”
Video: Ladytron – “Runaway”
Video: Ladytron – “Ghosts”
Video: Ladytron – “Destroy Everything You Touch”
Video: Ladytron – “Sugar”
Video: Ladytron – “Evil”
Video: Ladytron – “Blue Jeans”
Video: Ladytron – “Seventeen”
Video: Ladytron – “Play Girl”
Video: The Faint – “The Geeks Were Right”
Video: The Faint – “I Disappear”
Video: The Faint – “Agenda Suicide”
MySpace: Ladytron
MySpace: The Faint

If you were one of the people disappointed that Telepathe dropped off the Ladytron/Faint bill at the last minute, well, you’ve obviously never heard/seen them live. But if you actually like them and want to see them, they’ll be here on June 4 for their own show at the El Mocambo in support of their new record Dance Mother, out next week. Full tour dates at altsounds.

MP3: Telepathe – “So Fine” (Lauren Flax remix)
Video: Telepathe – “So Fine”

Southern rock-punks Cage The Elephant, who were a very pleasant surprise at NxNE 2007, have a date at the El Mocambo on April 26, tickets $8. Their self-titled debut did quite well when it was released in Europe last year, and is getting a domestic release on April 21.

Video: Cage The Elephant – “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked”

Chart reports that Canada Day this year will be celebrated at Harbourfront by Constantines and Chad Van Gaalen. As with every year, this show will be a) free and b) awesome.

Coming just a day too late to be considered timely (by me), the self-titled debut album from La Roux has been given a release date of June 29.

The Music Slut asks eight questions of White Lies.

Maximo Park’s Paul Smith gives Drowned In Sound a track-by-track tour of their new album Quicken The Heart, out May 12.

Singing Lamb interviews Cut Off Your Hands.

Stereogum interviews Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Their new album The Eternal is out June 9.

Pitchfork tracks the musical development of Thermals frontman Hutch Harris and also premieres their new video. They’re at the Horseshoe on May 3.

Video: The Thermals – “Now We Can See”

MTV and Spinner talk to Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan. Her new record Two Suns came out yesterday and is streaming this week at Spinner. She’s at the Mod Club on April 25.

Stream: Bat For Lashes / Two Suns

Clash and Manchester Confidential interview Doves. Kingdom Of Rust is out now, streaming below, and they’re at the Kool Haus on June 1.

Stream: Doves / Kingdom of Rust

Paste plays catch up with Bob Mould. Life And Times came out yesterday – stream it below.

Stream: Bob Mould / Life and Times

Also out now and streaming for your consideration is The Hold Steady’s new live document A Positive Rage.

Stream: The Hold Steady / A Positive Rage