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Posts Tagged ‘Daredevil Christopher Wright’

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

We Fold Inside Of Us

Review of The Daredevil Christopher Wright’s The Nature Of Things and giveaway

Photo via File Under: MusicFile Under: MusicPrior to a few years ago, the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin wasn’t widely known for very much besides being a convenient stopping point between Madison and Minneapolis. That has largely changed, at least amongst certain circles, thanks to the success of favourite son Justin Vernon of Bon Iver who rather than decamp for the bright lights of the big city with the onset of success has instead further entrenched himself in his hometown, building his April Base Studios just outside of the city and helping bring international attention to the city’s music scene which consists largely of friends and collaborators.

The Daredevil Christopher Wright can count themselves amongst them, what with Vernon having worked on their 2009 debut In Deference To A Broken Back and taken the trio on tour with him, but those looking to their just-released second album The Nature Of Things for that sort of forlorn, epic wilderness spirit will only find it partially satisfying. There are traces of that to be found, certainly, but The Daredevil Christopher Wright are more playful in personality, both musically and lyrically, though one can’t help notice a bit more sombreness around the edges than on their debut. Their impressive three-part harmonies might encourage some to draw Fleet Foxes parallels, but their best reference point, at least to these ears, is the throwback folk-rock of Texas’ Midlake, albeit again with more lightness to their approach. Gentle and genteel but delivered with a sly wink, The Nature Of Things is a record that may not strive to be the life of the party but will also never overstay its welcome.

No strangers to Canadian roads – they opened up for Dan Mangan across the country last November – the band are about to embark on a North American tour that brings them through Toronto to the Horseshoe on August 7 en route to the Maritimes before returning back to the US. It’s a free show and an early show – they’re on at 8:40PM – and since I can’t give away passes, I’ll give away albums. Courtesy of Webster Media Consulting, I’ve got four copies of The Nature Of Things to give away – one on vinyl, three on CD – so if you want one, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want The Daredevil Christopher Wright” in the subject line and your full name, mailing address, and preference of LP or CD in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, August 6. And because I don’t get to do this that often, the contest is open to anyone in Canada.

There’s an interview with the band at CBC Music and the stream of the new album posted at Exclaim when it came out last month is still working.

MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “Divorce”
Stream: The Daredevil Christopher Wright / The Nature Of Things

The Gossip are touring North America in support of their latest album A Joyful Noise, and will be in Toronto at The Phoenix on September 29. Singer Beth Ditto is interviewed over at The Guardian and The Independent.

Video: The Gossip – “Perfect World”
Video: The Gossip – “Move In The Right Direction”

Matt & Kim are also back on the road with a massive tour in support of their new one Lightning; they’ll be at The Phoenix on October 5. Matt Johnson talks to Spin about the new record.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”

Chicago’s The Sea & Cake are back with a new album in Runner and a tour that brings them to Lee’s Palace on October 18, tickets $16.50. Full dates are available at Pitchfork and a preview of the new record is available below.

MP3: The Sea & Cake – “Harps”

JAM and Altsounds have interviews and Drowned In Sound a video session with Sharon Van Etten; she’s at The Phoenix tonight.

Stereogum talks to Steven McDonald of Redd Kross about Researching The Blues, their really really really excellent new album, out next week. Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself at NPR.

MP3: Redd Kross – “Researching The Blues”
Stream: Redd Kross / Researching The Blues

The Sugar reissues are now out and awesome, and if you’re unconvinced then read the Pitchfork review don’t give me that look for excellent explanations of why. Bob Mould’s next solo album The Silver Age is out September 4.

A second track from Love This Giant, the collaboration between David Byrne and St. Vincent, is now available to stream. The album is out September 11 and the pair are at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on September 20.

Stream: David Byrne & St. Vincent – “Weekend In The Dust”

Stereogum is streaming a new song from the forthcoming Calexico record Algiers, out September 11. They’ve also got a video of a live performance of the same song.

Stream: Calexico – “Spitter”

Those hoping that those Grandaddy reunion shows and reissues would lead to new material will have to make do with a new Jason Lytle solo record. Dept. Of Disappearance will be out on October 16 and Pitchfork has details and a stream of the title track.

Stream: Jason Lytle – “Dept. Of Disappearance”

October 16 will also be the release date for the long-awaited second album from Savoir Adore. They released the first video from it last month.

Video: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”

Tobin Spout talks to Rolling Stone about Bears For Lunch, the third Guided By Voices album of 2012 due out in November, and their plans to release a new one every six months or so after that.

Creative Loafing talks to Eric Bachmann of Archers Of Loaf.

The Guardian tries to get into the head of The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne.

NYC Taper has a recording of one of Wilco’s recent New York-area shows available for download.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Oh Fortune

Dan Mangan and The Daredevil Christopher Wright at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangMuch of Dan Mangan’s appeal comes from his everyman-ness – and his beard, if you ask certain friends of mine – so when he was playing the back rooms of bars, as at The Rivoli in October 2009 or The Horseshoe in April 2010, it felt perfectly natural. Those shows also felt utterly jam-packed – because they were – making it unlikely that the club circuit would be able to serve his ever-growing audience for very long. And so when he played Trinity-St. Paul’s in his last proper Toronto show last October, it felt like he’d made a significant step up.. or so I’d imagine – I missed that show, making this past Friday night’s performance at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre in support of Oh Fortune the first time I’d be seeing Mangan in such a formal setting. Or as formal as you could get with a Hallowe’en theme park located around the corner.

Openers The Daredevil Christopher Wright were certainly impressed with the venue. The Madison, Wisconsin trio said as much during their set, between showing off songs from their new EP, The Longsuffering Song. Their whimsical, carnival-like musical sensibilities and endearing presence was easy to enjoy, but with the instrument swapping and impeccable harmonies, it was impossible to not notice the formidable musicianship and sophisticated songwriting underneath. It was no stretch to say that while they’re not nearly at a point in their career to be headlining theatres like this, they’ve got the talent to get there. Or to a big top. Whichever.

Dan Mangan, on the other hand, had already grown comfortably into the posher surroundings. Fronting a seven-piece flannel orchestra, he opened with Oh Fortune‘s “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All” – complete with wall of noise introduction – and over the next hour and fifteen, took full advantage of the room’s acoustics and the capabilities of his band to reproduce the complex textures of the new record. I was sorry I missed The Crackling, who’d opened up the night, as they were made up of some members of Mangan’s band and really stood out in bringing his songs to life and in many cases, eclipsing the recorded versions. In particular, the effected/delayed trumpet of JP Carter was used as a ghostly sonic backdrop for much of the show and the barber shop harmonies that opened up “Some People”, to say nothing of the big instrumental jam in the bridge, were remarkable enhancements.

But just as I described Mangan’s steady presence in the sonic swirl of Oh Fortune, so too was he a rock of solidity throughout the show with his mostly-acoustic guitar, gravelly voice and thoughtful, empathic songs. Interestingly, even with so much going on sonically I found myself compelled to pay even more attention to Mangan’s lyrics in this live setting and more fully appreciating the way he balances simplicity and depth in his songs. A particular standout was “Basket”, from Nice, Nice, Very Nice, which Mangan said was a birthday request though its ruminations on aging make it kind of a grim birthday tune.

Though the set was relatively short, Mangan managed to fit an impressive number of tunes into his allotted time and also a goodly amount of banter; this may have been physically the furthest he’s been from his audience, but he was still able to reach out and connect with them and make it feel intimate. After ending the main set with an aptly-named “Jeopardy” – his amp was making unhappy noises and threatened to blow up at any moment – he returned for the encore solo at first, inviting the audience to sub in for Veda Hille on “The Indie Queens Are Waiting”, offering a faithful reading of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” and then closing out with a full band “Robots” – of course” – and placing his mic facing out into the crowd to play chorus while he went for a wander in their midst. A fitting end to a show that was eminently satisfying, with Mangan proving that his charms easily translate into larger rooms and larger audiences. There weren’t any surprises, but then that’s not his game – he wasn’t here to argue or debate or make bold declarations; simply to play his songs and strike up a conversation with friends. We were all friends here.

BlogTO also has a review of the show and NOW, Uptown, View, The Manitoban, The Cord, and The Toronto Star all have interviews with Mangan.

Photos: Dan Mangan, The Daredevil Christopher Wright @ The Queen Elizabeth Theatre – October 28, 2011
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Oh Fortune”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Robots”
MP3: Dan Mangan w Shane Kyczan – “Tragic Turn Of Events”
MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “The Animal Of Choice”
MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “The East Coast”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Rows Of Houses”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Sold”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Robots”
Video: Dan Mangan – “The Indie Queens are Waiting”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”
Video: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “Stewardess”
Stream: The Daredevil Christopher Wright / The Longsuffering Song

Feist talks to HitFix and has also released a video taken from her show at the Glenn Gould Studio in early October, which will be broadcast on CBC Radio 2 tomorrow night – November 2 – at 7PM. She is at Massey Hall on December 1.

Video: Feist – “Caught A Long Wind” (live at Glenn Gould Studio)

The Washington Post talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra, who are at The Phoenix on December 1 and whose set at Moogfest this past weekend is streaming over at NPR. Both support acts for that show – Young Galaxy and Tasseomancy – have also just released new videos.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Phantoms”
Video: Tasseomancy – “Black Milk”

Heavy Weather has posted a video performance by Bruce Peninsula recorded atop Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland. And while there, they also chatted with The Telegram.

The Ottawa Sun talks to Chad VanGaalen.

Daytrotter has posted a session with The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

The Darcys have announced they’ll play an in-store at Kops Records on Queen West on November 7 starting around 1PM for a sort of teaser of their full show at The Horseshoe on November 18.

MP3: The Darcys – “Shaking Down The Old Bones”

Pitchfork have inaugurated their new Frames animated feature by turning Fucked Up into a cartoon with Damian Abraham narrating the story of his first stitches.

And finally, how much does Toronto love My Bloody Valentine? Enough to stage not one but two concert events honouring the twentieth anniversary of Loveless, that’s how much. The first, Toronto’s Loveless, goes this Friday, November 4, at the Toronto Underground Theatre and will feature performances from Ruby Coast, Volcano Playground and others – admission $10 at the door. And as a bonus, event organizers Gold Soundz have assembled a Loveless tribute album comprised of Toronto artists – many of whom are playing the event – as well as Memoryhouse and Silver Dapple.

The other event is a Wavelength joint called Lovel(in)ess which will feature a complete reading of Loveless by an assemblage of local players calling themselves So Much Sorry as well as a set from Flowers Of Hell and MBV covers from a variety of other acts. That one takes place November 18 at The Garrison, admission $10 or pay what you can.

MP3: Heartbeat Hotel – “To Here Knows When”
MP3: Memoryhouse – “When You Sleep”
MP3: Volcano Playground – “Come In Alone”

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Hug The Harbour

Emma Pollock prepares second solo release

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickI’m not quite at the point where I can refer to Emma Pollock without adding “former Delgados frontwoman”, but it’s getting there and with the release of her second solo album The Law Of Large Numbers, we’re getting there. Her 2007 debut Watch The Fireworks was a wholly enjoyable balance of intimate folkishness and scrappy rock, a recipe familiar to Delgados fans, but more immediate and accessible than her more idiosyncratic former band. If the first taste of the new record is any indication, it’s still quite direct but perhaps more ambitious, sonically speaking.

Either way, the new record is due out March 1 and one thing that’s certain is it’s certainly good to hear her voice again.

MP3: Emma Pollock – “Hug the Harbour”

And I was going to add a little bit asking what happened to Pollock’s co-lead in The Delgados, Alun Woodward, but it turns out he didn’t disappear so much as I just didn’t look. Some cursory digging reveals he released his self-titled solo debut under the name of Lord Cut-Glass this past Summer, so that’s both Delgados voices accounted for, and the drums as well, as Paul Savage appears on Woodward’s effort as well as on Pollock’s first record – though not, apparently, the second. Which only leaves bassist Stewart Henderson as MIA, but considering his wanting to retire is what caused the band to dissolve in the first place, that’s not surprising.

MP3: Lord Cut-Glass – “Even Jesus Couldn’t Love You”
Video: Lord Cut-Glass – “Look After Your Wife”

Decoding Static interviews Polly Scattergood.

Muse drummer Dominic Howard tells Spinner that touring as support for U2 earlier this year was an educational experience. Look for some of those lessons to be put on display when they play the Air Canada Centre on March 8.

The Quietus interviews Hope Sandoval.

Wears The Trousers has a conversation with Sharon Van Etten, who is in town on February 6 opening up for Great Lake Swimmers at Trinity-St. Paul’s.

Daytrotter is closing out the year with a session with The Daredevil Christopher Wright.

Interview does their thing with Kurt Wagner of Lambchop.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talks to Spoon frontman Britt Daniel. Their new album Transference is out January 19.

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips names off some of this favourite records of the decade to Spinner. He also gives an interview to BBC6.

Their 20th anniversary year might officially end tonight, but Merge has at least one more goodie for the faithful – a new Portastatic digital EP featuring covers of other Merge artists, with proceeds going to charity.

And that’s it for this year. Have a safe New Years, everyone and – once more with feeling – fuck you 2009.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

No Brakes

Little Boots and Yes Giantess at Wrongbar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt could be inferred from last week’s review of Little Boots’ debut Hands that I felt that she’d failed to deliver on the immense expectations foisted on her at the start of the year, what with everyone in the media ready to crown Ms Victoria Hesketh the queen of pop for 2009 and so her failure to utterly dominate every aspect of the music industry could only be viewed as a disappointment. This is, in fact, not necessarily my view – I think Hands is a tremendously fun and catchy record. I was just interpreting the general tenor of the press, which had been ready to attend her coronation just months ago.

Well it may have come a little later than expected but Monday night’s show at Wrongbar in Toronto – the first of her North American tour – could well have been mistaken for one. You’d have had trouble finding anyone in the packed, sweaty club who wasn’t ready to declare the pint-sized electro-pop artist the greatest thing to happen to music since the invention of the Victrola. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of an overstatement but people were indeed excited and anxious. And as the wait dragged on, restless and bored.

Openers Yes Giantess from Boston had done a decent job of warming things up. Collegiate-looking and casually dressed in t-shirts and plaid shirts, the quartet looked like they should be strapping on guitars and playing disaffected garage rock but instead, they were three keyboards and a drummer and turned out punchy, catchy synth-pop that offered more enthusiasm than sophistication but was enjoyable nonetheless. Over the course of their short set – barely a half hour if even that – the club had begun to fill in nicely and as they loaded out, the room began to pack in.

Exactly why it took an hour to set up the stage for a three-piece band, two-thirds of which were synths, is unclear, but as the clock ticked past 11:30 – half an hour past the scheduled start time – the anxiousness was palpable. Surely it wasn’t some ploy to build more anticipation? Does that actually work? Apparently it does. When her band finally took their places and they opened up with “Meddle”, the place went nuts, and didn’t stop for pretty much the duration of her set. Unsurprisingly, she stayed away from the slower numbers from Hands and stuck to the big, anthemic dancefloor bangers and while that made for a shorter set than you may have wanted for the price of admission, there was no skimping on the energy of the show.

Hesketh was pretty much always in motion, dancing and working both sides of the room when not tending to her keyboard, theremin and tambourine. Her signature Tenori-On and Stylophone were also on hand but as with the two previous times I’d seen her play, exactly what they did remained a mystery. She complained that the Tenori-On wasn’t working before the start of main set closer “Remedy” but they went on to play it exactly as I’d have expected it to sound if it was all systems go. Following a short break, they returned for their cover of Freddie Mercury and Giorgio Moroder’s “Love Kills” before going into an extended “Stuck On Repeat” which was as close to a jam as a largely synthesized and sequenced band could get. The only disappointment on the night was “Symmetry”, in which the absence of duet partner Philip Oakey was keenly felt. Both Hesketh’s drummer and keyboardist were mic-ed and tried to cover the boy parts, but were too low in the mix and un-Oakey-ish to properly compensate. But that’s a minor complaint, and was to be expected.

As they proved at SxSW, Little Boots sets a fine example for electro-pop acts hoping to succeed in the live setting – bring a live drummer, a willingness to keep the energy levels dimed for the duration of the show and oh yeah, have some terrific tunes. Worth the wait, and if the reception at the other stops on the tour come close to the one she got in Toronto, critics may want to reconsider writing Little Boots off.

Chartrigger, Time Out Chicago and Time Out Dubai have interviews with Hesketh.

Photos: Little Boots, Yes Giantess @ Wrongbar – September 14, 2009
MP3: Little Boots – “Love Kills” (Buffetlibre vs Sidechains remix)
MP3: Little Boots – “Meddle” (remix)
MP3: Little Boots – “Earthquake” (Yes Giantess remix)
MP3: Yes Giantess – “You Were Young”
Video: Little Boots – “Remedy”
Video: Little Boots – “New In Town”
MySpace: Little Boots
MySpace: Yes Giantess

The Star Observer talks to Elly Jackson of La Roux.

Check out the new video from Glasvegas, who are not making a stop in Toronto on this current Fall tour even though they totally could. There’s an interview with drummer Caroline McKay at JAM.

Video: Glasvegas – “It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry”

PitchforkTV visits DC Comics HQ with Eddie Argos of Art Brut.

The Globe & Mail talks to Nick Cave about his new novel The Death Of Bunny Munro. He’s at the Indigo in the Eaton Centre this evening for a Q&A and reading.

The Grates discus their new record Teeth Lost, Hearts Won – now out in North America – with Blurt.

Paste asks Karen O about her work on the soundtrack for Where The Wild Things Are, the new trailer for which was released this week. The movie is out October 16.

Trailer: Where The Wild Things Are

The Chicago Sun-Times chats with Ida Maria, who apparently had a breakdown of some kind in Boston the other night… here’s hoping she gets it together in time for tomorrow night’s show at the Opera House. Co-headlining that show is Ladyhawke, who is the subject of features at Flavorwire and The Independent. There’s also a remix contest going on over at Filter, where you can have your way with “My Delirium”

Check out the title track from Thao with The Get Down Stay Down’s forthcoming album Know Better Learn Faster, and note that pre-orders of the album – out October 13 – will come with a ticket to a show on their upcoming tour including the November 1 date at the El Mocambo in Toronto.

MP3: Thao With The Get Down Stay Down – “Know Better Learn Faster”

The Daredevil Christopher Wright, whom you may recall from this post, will return for a show at the Free Times Cafe on October 7.

MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “The East Coast”

Vampire Weekend – who just announced details of their second album Contra, due out January 12 of next year – will preview the new record with a pair of Canadian dates including an October 8 date at the Horseshoe. Word is tickets go on sale tomorrow morning via Ticketmaster only.

MP3: Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”

Also pending further details is Fucked Up’s fourth annual Fucked Up Fest, happening over Hallowe’en weekend – information on participants and dates at Exclaim.

Florence & The Machine will make their Toronto debut on November 2 at the Mod Club, thus scuppering my plans of seeing Monsters Of Folk make their Toronto debut at Massey Hall that same night. Tough call, but I think I have to go with Flo. And M Ward wouldn’t let me take pictures anyways. Tickets $15.

MP3: Florence & The Machine – “Kiss With A Fist”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have set a date for Lee’s Palace on November 4, tickets $15. Lee’s! They grow up so fast!

Apostle Of Hustle will also be doing a hometown show at Lee’s – look for them on November 19.

MP3: Apostle Of Hustle – “Perfect Fit”

And here’s an interesting/exciting announcement – DEVO is coming to town for the first time in a quarter-century. They’ll be at the Phoenix on November 23 and 24, playing Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO! and Freedom Of Choice in their entirety, respectively. And there’s no reason to believe the energy domes will not be along for the ride. Tickets will be $48.25 with premium tickets including a meet and greet with the band available for $99.75. Either price tier will get you a bundle of demo MP3s to download. Those will go on sale on September 18.

Video: DEVO – “Whip It!”

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros will be at the El Mocambo on November 24, tickets $12.50. There’s a session with the band at Daytrotter and a Q&A at Denver Westword.

MP3: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – “40 Day Dream”

Their last gig at the Phoenix being such a triumph, Phoenix will return for a show at the Sound Academy on December 5 and to make sure things go just as well as they did that show, they’re even bringing Amazing Baby back to open. Tickets for that are $28.

MP3: Amazing Baby – “Bayonets”
Video: Phoenix – “Lisztomania”

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The East Coast

The Daredevil Christopher Wright plans in-store derring-do and cross-border shopping

Photo ByColey Beekman & Jeremy NelsonYou might not think it – I certainly didn’t – but the shortest path between the exotic locales of DeKalb, Illinois and Winooski, Vermont runs directly through Toronto, Ontario. And that’s what brings Wisconsin-based trio The Daredevil Christopher Wright through town tomorrow evening, August 28, for a free in-store at Criminal Records on Queen West.

It’s not their first visit to the city – they were here in June during NXNE and made friends and fans as well as a fine impression at both at their official showcase and an in-store, also at Criminal Records, and it’s not hard to see why. Their debut In Deference To A Broken Back – steaming in full at their MySpace – is full of rich and whimsical orchestral-pop that’s eminently likeable, well-suited to spontaneous bouts of humming or clapping along or just soundtracking these last days of Summer (and don’t think I haven’t noticed we’ve lost about 10 degrees in ambient temperature these last few days. Nature, you’re on my list).

The show begins at 6PM and is free as our health care system. The band is just starting a massive tour so if you live anywhere in the eastern US or midwest, you’ll probably get a chance to check them. Probably not for free, though. On Milwaukee has an interview with the band, who were named “Band Of The Week” by Paste back in May and recorded a Daytrotter session last year.

MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “The East Coast”
MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “How To Get My Head Back On My Shoulders”
Stream: The Daredevil Christopher Wright / In Deference To A Broken Back
MySpace: The Daredevil Christopher Wright

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who produced much of the Daredevil Christopher Wright record, has a new project called Volcano Choir who will release their debut album Unmap on September 22. It kind of sounds like this.

MP3: The Volcano Choir – “Island Is”

Spinner welcomes Joe Pernice to their studios for an Interface session and The San Francisco Chronicle has an interview. Joe is at the Dakota Tavern on September 24.

Magnet Q&As Richard Thompson about his new box set, Walking On A Wire: 1968-2009

Islands will release their new record Vapours on September 22 and the first MP3 is available below. The second can be had at Stereogum. They’re at the Kool Haus on October 14 opening up for The Happy Mondays and The Psychedelic Furs.

MP3: Islands – “Vapours”

White Hinterland will be in town at a venue to be announced on October 10. Casey Deinel’s last release was last year’s Luniculaire EP.

MP3: White Hinterland – “Chante de Grillon”
MP3: White Hinterland – “Dreaming Of The Plum Trees”

Decider and The Boston Herald talks to members of Wheat.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Charlie Fink of Noah & The Whale, whose First Days Of Spring, is out on Monday in the UK and domestically on October 6.

Mumford & Sons have released the first video from their debut album Sigh No More, due out October 5. From this, I daresay the record will be worth the long, long wait.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “Little Lion Man”

Clash talks to Arctic Monkeys, in town at the Kool Haus on September 29.