Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Dawes’

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Toronto Urban Roots Fest Day Three

The Hold Steady, Frank Turner, Dawes, and more at TURF 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWait, what happened to Toronto Urban Roots Fest day two? Exhaustion and a backlog of Hannibal happened, but I was mostly recharged and ready to go for the full-day programmes down at Fort York over this past weekend; Saturday, in particular, was not to be missed as it would be the day that the “R” in “TURF” would stop standing for “roots” and most definitely stand for “rock”.

Los Angeles’ Dawes straddled those two solitudes quite nicely, mind, with their sweet Laurel Canyon-inspired harmonies and songwriting and edge-of-jam-band – yet always totally tasteful – guitar solos courtesy of frontman Taylor Goldsmith; it was an ideal balance of crunchy and smooth, if you’re given to peanut butter analogies. But as solid a frontman as Taylor was, the band’s secret weapon was his brother Griffin, who contributed astonishing backing vocals from behind the kit along with some killer drummer face for good measure. They didn’t draw the biggest mid-afternoon crowd – possibly because they had another headlining show slated for Lee’s Palace later that night – but when those who were there were called on to sing along in “When My Time Comes”, they sounded legion. Very impressive.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has an interview with Dawes.

Photos: Dawes @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 6, 2013
MP3: Dawes – “If I Wanted Someone”
Video: Dawes – “From A Window Seat”
Video: Dawes – “When My Time Comes”
Video: Dawes – “Time Spent In Los Angeles”
Video: Dawes – “Love Is All I Am”

You could arguably file Dartmouth’s Matt Mays alongside Dawes in record stores where “roots-rock” is a distinct thing, but he definitely dwells far more toward the rock end of that spectrum – those who found Dawes a bit sedate or polite was probably delighted by the balls-out approach favoured by Mays and his crew. Though undoubtedly still shaken by the sudden passing of guitarist Jay Smith barely a month earlier, from a performance point of view they were firing on all cylinders with a stock of tunes tailor-made for playing loud in the Summer sun. Theirs was a set of dueling guitars and whipping sweaty hair, and I think my favourite part of their set was after a a particularly energetic number, Mays mouthed “how long?” to the stagehand and incredulously repeated, “Twenty-five minutes?!?” – they were not pacing themselves, and the show was all the better for it.

Photos: Matt Mays @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 6, 2013
Video: Matt Mays – “Indio”
Video: Matt Mays – “Take It On Faith”
Video: Matt Mays – “City Of Lakes”
Video: Matt Mays – “Cocaine Cowgirl”
Video: Matt Mays & El Torpedo – “On The Hood”
Video: Matt Mays & El Torpedo – “Tall Trees”

Though as I understand it, he’s a pretty big star in the UK now, I’d somehow managed to never hear Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls before their set, and all I had to go on was that apparently he gets compared to Billy Bragg a lot. Which is cool, because I like Billy Bragg. As it turns out, that’s not the best reference point because Turner really doesn’t sound like Billy Bragg. Handsome and poshly-accented, his songs sound political but are far vaguer than anything Bragg has ever penned, favouring pub-friendly anthemicism to fiery activism and commentary; more Pogues than Clash. But while it’s unlikely to incite a revolution, that everyman approach makes for some rousing music and there’s no debating his ability to stir up a crowd. Energetic and charismatic, he was quick with the banter and expressing his appreciation for the city – he’s no stranger to Toronto stages – and curried some domestic favour with a sharp cover of The Weakerthans’ “A Plea From A Cat Named Virtue”; a canny move, as everyone loves a cat song.

RTE has an interview with Turner.

Photos: Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 6, 2013
MP3: Frank Turner – “The Roads”
Stream: Frank Turner – “Plea From A Cat Named Virtue”
Video: Frank Turner – “The Way I Tend To Be”
Video: Frank Turner – “Recovery”
Video: Frank Turner – “Four Simple Words”
Video: Frank Turner – “Sailor’s Boots”
Video: Frank Turner – “Wessex Boy”
Video: Frank Turner – “If I Ever Stray”
Video: Frank Turner – “Peggy Sang The Blues”
Video: Frank Turner – “I Still Believe”
Video: Frank Turner – “Try This At Home”
Video: Frank Turner – “Isabel”
Video: Frank Turner – “Poetry Of The Deed”
Video: Frank Turner – “The Road”
Video: Frank Turner – “Long Live The Queen”
Video: Frank Turner – “I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous”
Video: Frank Turner – “Reasons Not To Be An Idiot”
Video: Frank Turner – “Photosynthesis”
Video: Frank Turner – “The Real Damage”
Video: Frank Turner – “Vital Signs”
Video: Frank Turner – “Casanova Lament”

My relationship with Toronto’s own Lowest of The Low is a long one. Anyone who knew me in my late teens/early twenties – or read this post from 2007 knew that they were easily my favourite band going and hugely important to me, and so when they announced that after their 2000 reunion turned into a going concern, they were again hanging it up for good with a final hometown show that December, it stirred all kinds of memories and nostalgia and whatever, and I bid them farewell. Well, of course they didn’t actually split up, as some 2010 one-off shows turned into tours and more shows and though I probably wouldn’t have gone to them anyways, I felt that I needed to boycott them on principle. Happily, I’ve gotten over myself and allowed that the band is allowed to do whatever the hell they want, and thankfully was able to actually enjoy their TURF set rather than grumble about it.

Interestingly, they were back down to a four-piece – founding bassist David Alexander remained absent, but utility player Lawrence Nichols was no longer in the fold – and while they did roll out some new songs, noting that they were going back into the studio to record a fourth album, it was the old tunes that made the day. I still know all the words to “Eternal Fatalist”, “Bleed A Little While Tonight”, and “Rosy & Grey” and probably will until the day I die – and even though Stephen Stanley’s guitar was nearly inaudible in the mix for the first half of the set, I was able to hum every solo as well. They weren’t that tight up there, certainly not compared to the full-time touring outfits sharing the bill with them, but were good enough for rock’n’roll and Hawkins is still a sharp and funny frontman. Not sure about that hair, though, Ron.

Photos: The Lowest Of The Low @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 6, 2013
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “Gamble”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “The Dogs Of February”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “Bleed A Little While Tonight”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “Subversives”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “The Unbearable Lightness Of Jean” (live)
Video: The Lowest Of The Low – “Rosy & Grey” (live)
Video: The Lowest Of The Low – “The Last Recidivist”
Video: The Lowest Of The Low – “Eternal Fatalist”

And then The Hold Steady. Because I’d seen them so so so many times in a three-year span, I didn’t realize that it had actually been over four years since I saw Craig Finn and the boys do their thing. The upside of this is that it made our reunion at TURF all that more joyous, though anything Hold Steady is bound to be joyous regardless.

After a series of introductions – festival organizer intro-ed sportscaster Dave Hodge who intro-ed superfan Frank Turner who finally intro-ed the band before running down into the pit to rock out to the show – The Hold Steady took the stage to the biggest cheers of the day and put on a clinic about the power and celebratory spirit of rock’n’roll. Powering through a seventeen-song set that gave about equal time to all their records including the new one they’d be going into the studio to record this week, the band were in excellent form with Finn in extra-good spirits from seeing his Minnesota Twins shut out the hometown Blue Jays down the street earlier in the afternoon. Having missed the Heaven Is Whenever tour entirely, it was my first time seeing them without keyboardist Franz Nicolay, and while his keyboard flourishes and sartorial flair were missed, new guitarist Steve Selvidge endeared himself with some Thin Lizzy-esque lead lines with Tad Kubler. And even after it was done, it wasn’t as the roaring audience demanded that rarest of beasts – an encore from anyone but the last act of the night, they rip-roared through “Stay Positive”; Frank Turner leapt onstage to add vocals, but we all knew the “whoa-oh-oh”s. Exhausting and exhilarating.

Photos: The Hold Steady @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 6, 2013
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Hurricane J”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Sequestered In Memphis”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Stay Positive”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Chips Ahoy!”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Stuck Between Stations”
Video: The Hold Steady – “Stay Positive”
Video: The Hold Steady – “Chips Ahoy!”
Video: The Hold Steady – “Stuck Between Stations”
Video: The Hold Steady – “Your Little Hoodrat Friend”
Video: The Hold Steady – “The Swish”

Speaking of rock… Drive-By Truckers haven’t been through town in a while – not since November 2011 behind their last full-length Go-Go Boots, what with both Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley working on solo projects and the departures of bassist Shona Tucker and guitarist John Neff, but the Truckers are back on the road and will be at The Phoenix on November 2 with Old 97’s, who themselves haven’t been to town since Spring 2011, along as support. Not sure if this means there’s new records on the way from either of them, but I get the feeling folks will be perfectly happy to hear the old stuff. NYC Taper has posted a recording of an Old 97s show in Brooklyn last week, if you want to hear what Rhett and the boys are sounding like these days.

MP3: Drive-By Truckers – “Used To Be A Cop”
MP3: Old 97’s – “Brown-Haired Daughter”

Exclaim has specifics on the new double-album from Quasi, who are marking their twentieth anniversary as a band with Mole City, out October 1. There’s a trailer and advance MP3 to inspect.

MP3: Quasi – “You Can Stay But You Got To Go”
Trailer: Quasi / Mole City

Cincinnati CityBeat welcomes home native sons The National with a feature interview.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, who also just rolled out a new video from Specter At The Feast.

Video: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Hate The Taste”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Saturday Looks Good To Me.

Future Bible Heroes have released a new video from their latest album Partygoing, which will surely make up for the sting of knowing that their show at Lee’s Palace, originally set for later this month, has been canceled. But that happened ages ago, so you already knew that, right? Right.

Video: Future Bible Heroes – “Living, Loving, Partygoing”

Titus Andronicus have rolled out a new album from last year’s Local Business and are already taking preorders for their fourth album, due for release next year.

Video: Titus Andronicus – “Still Life With Hot Deuce And Silver Platter”

Under The Radar interviews Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

Consequence Of Sound has compiled and impressive oral history of Big Star.

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

CONTEST – Toronto Urban Roots Fest @ Garrison Common – July 4-7, 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhat: Toronto Urban Roots Fest, the inaugural edition of a new multi-day festival that’s aiming to do what Bluesfest does for Ottawa and the Jazz Festival does for Montreal – namely bring in a lot of bands that have little to nothing to do with the festival’s titular genre but make great music. And let’s not get pedantic about the “urban” part, hey?
Who: Arkells, The Barr Brothers, Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Neko Case, The Cat Empire, Dawes, Justin Townes Earle, Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys, The Felice Brothers, Fitz & The Tantrums, Flogging Molly, Hannah Georgas, The Hold Steady, Larry and his Flask, The Lowest Of The Low, Matt Mays, JD McPherson, The Joel Plaskett Emergency, Xavier Rudd, The Sadies, She & Him, Skydiggers, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Whitehorse, The Wooden Sky, Yo La Tengo
When: July 4 to 7, 2013
Where: Garrison Common at Fort York, Toronto
How: Single-day tickets for the show range from $50 to $60 in advance, but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got one pairs of passes for each day of the festival to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to TURF” in the subject line and your full name in the body along with which days, in order of preference, you’d like to attend – consult the schedule for who’s playing when. Contest closes at midnight, July 2, 2013.

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Singers And The Endless Song

Iron & Wine & Local & Natives & NXNE & TURF & shows & stuff

Photo By Craig KiefCraig KiefSpring is only barely here – the past few days’ weather notwithstanding – but the concert announcement machine is already making eyes at Autumn with the unveiling of a couple of pretty high profile tours coming through town when the leaves start to change and the days get shorter.

Sam Beam, the walking epitome of bearded folk music, released Ghost On Ghost – his fifth album as Iron & Wine – last month, but until now only had Spring dates in the northeast and Europe confirmed on the itinerary. Come Fall, however, he and his band will traverse much of the middle of North America – the USA and Canada both – before wrapping things up in Toronto at The Sound Academy on September 28, advance tickets $30 for general admission and $40 for VIP balcony.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and New York Times have interviews with Sam Beam.

MP3: Iron & Wine – “Belated Promise Ring”
Video: Iron & Wine – “Joy”

Los Angeles’ Local Natives have already come through town once this year in support of their second album Hummingbird, but even a venue upgrade from The Opera House to The Phoenix wasn’t enough to meet demand. Hence, they’ve added a slew of dates that will take them around the planet and then some, stopping in Toronto at The Kool Haus on September 21, tickets $26.50. And if you’re thinking that you already saw them in March, know that they’ll have the quite excellent Wild Nothing along as support, touring behind last year’s Nocturne full-length and the just-released Empty Estate EP. There’s Local Natives feature pieces at The Huffington Post, Seattle Weekly, and Georgia Straight.

MP3: Local Natives – “You & I”
MP3: Wild Nothing – “Paradise”

Dialing things back to the Summer – and the festival circuit in particular – there were some updates of note over the last couple days. If you thought the otherwise comprehensive Arts & Crafts lineup for Field Trip had a conspicuous Dan Mangan-shaped hole in the lineup, you were right. And now it’s been filled by Dan Mangan himself; not just a similarly-bearded impersonator. That all goes down June 8 at Garrison Commons, and yes he’s still on the lineup for the Mumford-y “Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover” on August 23 out in Simcoe, Ontario.

MP3: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”

NXNE revealed a bunch more acts for this year’s festival, descending on Toronto’s clubs from June 12 to 16, including Dan Deacon (despite his coming back a few weeks later to support Animal Collective’s make-up show), Still Corners (confirming they’re still doing festival dates in addition to the June 12 date supporting CHVRCHES at The Hoxton), and a slew of Canadian acts including Wintersleep, No Joy, The Super Friendz, Gold & Youth, and more – check out the artists page for a full list of current confirmed acts. I’ve also collated some of the where and when information, but there’s no point in sharing that ever-changing information until the official schedule is posted, which won’t be long because hey – the festival is less than a month away.

MP3: Dan Deacon – “Lots”
MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”
MP3: Wintersleep – “Resuscitate”

The Toronto Urban Roots Fest is mostly making waves as a multi-day, outdoor festival the likes of which Toronto hasn’t seen in some time, but its club-level happenings are turning out to be just as impressive, particularly if you’ve no love of multi-day, outdoor festivals. Running concurrently with the main festival, the club series will see the likes of Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys, The Wooden Sky, Dawes, and The Felice Brothers amongst others playing The Horseshoe and Lee’s Palace from July 4 to 7, tickets ranging from $20 to $30 including surcharges, on sale May 23. Some who where and when information is available at the TURF website.

MP3: Frank Turner – “The Roads”
MP3: Dawes – “If I Wanted Someone”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”
Video: The Felice Brothers – “Ponzi”
Video: Alejandro Escovedo – “Sally Was A Cop” (live)

With their new record Planta set for a June 11 release and a new video from it just out, Brazil’s CSS have put together a North American tour that brings them to The Opera House on July 4, tickets $25.

MP3: CSS – “Hits Me Like A Rock”
Video: CSS – “Hangover”

There’s good news and bad news from the House Of Tomorrow: the good is that, with their new record Partygoing set to come out on June 4 (as well as the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing. discography-collecting box set), Future Bible Heroes are undertaking a rare tour. The bad news is is that chief songwriter and personality Stephin Merritt will not be participating, though key members Claudia Gonson, Christopher Ewen, Shirley Simms, and Anthony Kaczynski will. So even without Merritt’s delicious dourness, a wonderful time should be had by all at Lee’s Palace on July 22. Tickets for that are $15.50.

Stream: Future Bible Heroes – “Living, Loving, Partygoing”

The Fly talks to Chicago’s Smith Westerns about their new record Soft Will, which will be out June 25. They’ve released the first video and rolled out a batch of tour dates via Pitchfork; the Toronto date comes July 29 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $17.

MP3: Smith Westerns – “Still New”
Video: Smith Westerns – “Varsity”

With a new album in Pura Vida Conspiracy due out July 23, everyone’s favourite – and probably only – Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello have announced a massive tour that comes to Toronto for not one but two nights – August 19 and 20 at The Danforth Music Hall. Rolling Stone has a conversation with frontman Eugene Hutz.

Stream: Gogol Bordello – “Malandrino”

Pinback are back for a date at Lee’s Palace on September 7 in support of last year’s Information Retrieved; tickets for that are $17.50 in advance.

MP3: Pinback – “Proceed To Memory”

FIDLAR – whose name stands for “Fuck It Dog Life’s A Risk”, if you were wondering – are teaming up with fellow Los Angelenos The Orwells for a Fall tour that hits The Hard Luck on October 18, tickets $13. FIDLAR released their self-titled debut earlier this year whereas The Orwells’ debut Remember When came out last year. DIY and The Clock have themselves FIDLAR features.

MP3: FIDLAR – “Cheap Beer”
MP3: The Orwells – “Other Voices”

Grantland and MusicOmh profile The National, whose new album Trouble Will Find Me is out on May 21 and who play Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

It won’t be out in time for her July 13 date at The Kool Haus, but Spin has some info on Solange’s new album, which will be out this year on her own label under Sony.

Exitmusic have premiered a new video from last year’s debut Passage at NPR.

Video: Exitmusic – “White Noise”

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Echo Or Encore

Eleanor Friedberger leads this week’s batch of concert announcements

Photo By Roger KisbyRoger KisbyYou can probably blame the entire music industry’s post-SXSW hangover for this week’s roundup of concert announcements being a little late and a little lean. But there were still some. And here they are.

While I believe the official status of The Fiery Furnaces is that they’re a going concern, it’s pretty clear that the burner that they’re on is pretty far back. Since they finished touring 2009’s presciently-titled I’m Going Away, both Friedberger siblings have busied themselves in solo form. Matthew Friedberger released six full-lengths as part of his Solos series in 2011 and followed that with Matricidal Sons Of Bitches last Fall. Eleanor Friedberger, on the other hand, has worked at a relative snail’s pace, with only 2011’s Last Summer to her name, at least until now.

Her second solo venture will be out June 4 and entitled Personal Record, and while complete dates in support of it haven’t yet surfaced, it is confirmed that they’ll include a June 5 date at The Horseshoe, tickets $15 in advance. Exclaim has details on the record, for which there is a trailer and a first single to stream. You can also download a live version of the song, which was part of an Epitonic Saki Session a couple years ago.

MP3: Eleanor Friedberger – “Stare At The Sun” (live at Saki sessions)
Stream: Eleanor Friedberger – “Stare At The Sun”
Trailer: Eleanor Friedberger / Personal Record

I can’t that I’ve ever heard of On An On, but that they’ll have New York electro-pop sweeties Savoir Adore as support when they come to town for a show at The Drake on April 12 – tickets $14 – puts them on my radar. Savoir Adore will be re-releasing last year’s Dreamers on June 4 through their new home at Nettwerk Records with some bonus goodies

MP3: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”
Video: On An On – “The Hunter”

With his new album Mala out now, Devendra Banhart has put together a North American tour to support. He’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on June 3, tickets $29.50 in advance. Banhart is profiled by The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, The Independent, and Magnet.

MP3: Devendra Banhart – “Baby”
Stream: Devendra Banhart – “Never Seen Such Good Things”

His last scheduled show in December 2010 was canceled at the last minute, but former Beta Band-er Steve Mason is trying again; with his new album Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time due out April 9, Mason has put together a North American tour that brings him to the Drake Underground on May 1, tickets $13.50. The Quietus and The Guardian have feature pieces on Mason.

MP3: Steve Mason – “All Come Down”

New York electro duo MS MR might be making their local debut on April 6 at the Opera House as support for Jessie Ware, but with their new record Secondhand Rapture coming out May 14, they’ve already booked their first headlining show. They’re back for a gig at Wrongbar on May 22.

Video: MS MR – “Hurricane”

British punk veterans The Stranglers are back with a new record in Giants on May 28, and will be in town at the Danforth Music Hall on May 31 to support.

Video: The Stranglers – “Mercury Rising”

Los Angeles electronic artist Baths will be in town at The Horseshoe on June 9 in support of his new album Obsidian, due out May 28. Tickets for that are $15 and you can stream a track from the new record below.

MP3: Baths – “Exit The Mine”
Stream: Baths – “Miasma Sky”

This week’s additions to the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest, running July 4 to 7 at Garrison Commons, are Dawes, Arkells, and Fitz & The Tantrums. And while Shovels & Rope aren’t in that list, they’ll be supporting Dawes on their Summer tour and will probably be officially added after their local date supporting Lucero at The Phoenix next week is in the books. One more round of major acts will be announced next week but if you’re planning to attend the fest a la carte, you should know the day-by-day breakdown of who’s playing when is already up. Single day tickets go on sale March 28.

MP3: Dawes – “If I Wanted Someone”
Video: Arkells – “On Paper”
Video: Fitz & The Tantrums – “Don’t Gotta Work It Out”
Video: Shovels & Rope – “Birmingham”

Another addition to the Summer of mini-fests in Toronto – July 12 at Downsview Park, you can get your bro on with a bill of Weezer, performing The Blue Album in its entirety along with other hits and favourites, Passion Pit doing those two songs that everyone likes as well as some others, and METZ confusing and frightening the early birds. Tickets for that are $82.50 in advance.

MP3: METZ – “Wet Blanket”
Video: Weezer – “Buddy Holly”
Video: Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”

Telekinesis have released a new video from their forthcoming Domarion, out April 2, and Benjamin Michael Lerner lists off some of his favourite things for Spin before playing an acoustic video session. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on May 12.

Video: Telekinesis – “Ghosts & Creatures”

Rilo Kiley have gone the home movie route for the video from their forthcoming rkives rarities comp, due out April 2.

Video: Rilo Kiley – “Let Me Back In”

The Black Angels talk to The Dumbing Of America about their new album Indigo Meadow. It’s out April 2 and they’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on April 13.

I don’t know why they called this a remix, because if it was a remix, I wouldn’t care. But what it is is a cover of the new Phoenix single by Dinosaur Jr, and it’s great. Thomas Mars talks to Spin a bit about why it exists. Bankrupt! is out April 23 and Phoenix are at The Grove Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “Entertainment”

Flavorwire talks to John Vanderslice about his crowdfunded new record Dagger Beach, which has been given a June 11 release date, and Rolling Stone has premiered a stream of one of the new songs.

Stream: John Vanderslice – “Raw Wood”

The Men have rolled out the first video from their new record New Moon. The Fly also has an interview with the band.

Video: The Men – “I Saw Her Face”

eMusic has an interview with Low.

Over at FasterLouder, Henry Wagons interviews Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

Ben Bridwell updates Rolling Stone on the status of the new Band Of Horses.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Heaven's Gonna Happen Now

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart at Sonic Boom in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhat happens when The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart meet the pains of being busted up in shoulder? You take advantage of the fact that said band used an off day on their touring itinerary to play an in-store a day before their official show, so as to avoid having to stand around The Opera House for three hours, possibly/probably looped on meds. Which is basically what happened on Monday night at Sonic Boom.

Despite the fact that Pains’ self-titled debut was one of my favourites of 2009, I hadn’t seen the New York outfit since their local debut that February, when their buzz was just building and their packed Lee’s Palace show was one of their largest audiences to date. I missed their next two local shows that same year, but obviously the past two and a half years of steady touring through bigger and bigger stages has served the band well, honing them from a group of adorable wide-eyed kids at the start of a great adventure to a pretty damn tight rock band… who are still adorable. Their second album Belong captured this evolution pretty well, keeping the Sarah-referencing winsome pop core that made their debut so delicious but dressing it up in bigger, thicker production that added a little or a lot of roar to their guitar jangle.

It’s interesting to re-read my comments on the live Pains experience circa that Lee’s show and contrast them with the show they put on Monday night. That band was a shy four-piece, light on presence but charming nonetheless and had barely enough material to fill out 45 minutes including encore. This time out they numbered five, with second guitarist Christoph Hochheim along to fill out the sound, and played with the confidence of a band who’s no longer just happy to be there – they were there to play and play well and loud, even if it was just a freebie in the basement of a record store. And to that end, they played a full and sweaty 45-minute set – presumably the same one they delivered the day before to thousands at Osheaga – the the delight of those who opted to wind out their long weekend there instead of clutching a beer on some patio. I’m sure the hundreds who filled the Opera House last night got just as good if not better of a show, but for me this was an ideal opportunity to catch up with the band and still rest up the arm.

Chart and Paste have feature pieces on the band.

Photos: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart @ Sonic Boom – August 1, 2011
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Young Adult Friction”
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Come Saturday”
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “The Body”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Say No To Love”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Heart In Your Heartbreak”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Higher Than The Stars”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Young Adult Friction”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”

Pitchfork solicits a guest list from American ambient-pop artist John Maus, who has a date at The Drake Underground on September 30 in support of We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves. The Los Angeles Times also has a feature piece.

MP3: John Maus – “Believer”

I am going to assume that The Naked & Famous’ show at Lee’s Palace next week is well and proper sold out because otherwise, they wouldn’t have already announced a return engagement – October 6 at The Phoenix, tickets $20.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Girls Like You”

Fans of all things rootsy and rocking will want to keep October 30 open, as that’s the day the double-header of Blitzen Trapper and Dawes hit the Opera House. Blitzen Trapper will be promoting their latest American Goldwing, out September 13, while Dawes released their second album Nothing Is Wrong back in June. And to whet your appetite, they’re giving away a six-track sampler EP in exchange for an email at either of their official websites. Playback, Illinois Entertainer and Boulder Weekly have interviews with Blitzen Trapper.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “American Goldwing”
MP3: Dawes – “Love Is All I Am”

Having played pretty much every major festival on the circuit, the Death From Above 1979 reunion finally comes home for a show at the Sound Academy on October 28, tickets $36 in advance.

Video: Death From Above 1979 – “Blood On Our Hands”
Video: Death From Above 1979 – “Romantic Rights”

Also in the finally department, those Feist tour dates announced last week have been enhanced with some Canadian dates, including a December 1 stop at Massey Hall. Exclaim has the complete itinerary as of right now, as well as the cover art and tracklisting for her new record Metals, out October 4 and a third vignette preview of the new record is up on her website.

Video: Feist – “Mushaboom”

And for those who’ve gone to put the above two dates in their calendars only to find prior commitments pencilled in, I offer these options – rather than try to choose between DFA1979’s sweaty shirtlessness at the Sound Academy and Dan Mangan’s bearded sensitivity at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, catch Dan either the night before in Hamilton or the night after in Guelph. And as for choosing between Feist and Austra’s homecoming gig at The Phoenix that same night, note that the December 2 slot on her itinerary is currently vacant and the last times she played Massey back in 2007 and 2008, she did two nights and in ’08, there was also that Air Canada Centre nightcap. You do the math.

PopMatters has an interview with Austra’s Katie Stelmanis.

Daytrotter has got a session with Zeus, who’re playing a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square on September 9.

NOW talks to Owen Pallett about getting the band back together, in this case Les Mouches. Pallett and company are at the Phoenix tomorrow night warming things up for Beirut.

The Huffington Post talks to Torq Campbell and Amy Millan of Stars about their ten-year anniversary as a band.

Handsome Furs talk the touring life with The National Post and Georgia Straight.