Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Dears’

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Amends

End the week with new Braids (by attrition)

Photo By Victoria MastersVictoria MastersSo I’m sitting here with a handful of bits and bobs to string together into a blog post, and find that most of the artists have already been featured hereabouts in recent months. So what’s that mean? Braids, you’re up.

I’m not a tremendous fan of the Montreal-based trio, the things I liked about their 2011 debut Native Speaker outweighed by the things I didn’t – that a frequent reference point for the band is Animal Collective is really all you need to know about that. But that it garnered them a sizeable fanbase, as well as a place on that year’s Polaris shortlist, is not up for debate so when they finally announce details of their sophomore album, it’s newsworthy.

First, there’s the new stream of the flipside of their new 12″ “In Kind//Amends” due out June 11, both songs of which will be appearing on the full-length Flourish//Perish. Exclaim has all the specifics of the new record, which will be coming out August 20 and finds the band trading their guitars for keyboards for an electronically-driven sound. And while it’s hardly a ringing endorsement, I will say these new songs aren’t annoying me. Whether that’ll still hold over a complete album remains to be seen, but it’s a positive step.

It remains to be seen if they’ll be rearranging all the old material to work guitar-less live, or if they’ll just travel with a whole lot of gear. People who attend their NXNE showcase at The Comfort Zone on June 15 will be able to report back on that.

Stream: Braids – “In Kind”
Stream: Braids – “Amends”

NOW and Exclaim talk to Hooded Fang, who are holding the record release party for their new album Gravez at The Horseshoe tonight.

NOW also previews Young Galaxy’s show at Lee’s Palace tonight.

Get your Murderrecords t-shirts out of storage! The Great Hall will turn warp both time and space to become Halifax in the mid-’90s for NXNE, proffering a lineup of Sloan, The Super Friendz, and former Inbred Mike O’Neill on June 14. Admission by festival wristband only.

MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
Video: The Super Friendz – “Up And Running”
Stream: Mike O’Neill – “This Is Who I Am”

Aritzia has an interview, Pitchfork a guest list and Le Blogotheque a Takeaway Show with Majical Cloudz, whose NXNE showcase goes June 15 at BLK BOX.

Though he probably could have just called it a Dears record and no one would have thought anything of it, Under The Radar reports that Murray Lightburn will release his first solo record Mass:Light on June 16, and that it’ll be available on vinyl only via mail order. And there’s also a new Dears record in the works.

Austra is streaming a second – and arguably more characteristic – sample from Olympia, due out June 18.

Stream: Austra – “Painful Like”

I Like Music has an interview with Born Ruffians, who’re streaming a new track not found on their latest Birthmarks, just because. They play a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

Stream: Born Ruffians – “With An Ax”

Beatroute talks to Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage.

Loud & Quiet interviews Suuns.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

This Time

New Mendicants welcome the new year new the welcome Mendicants New

Photo via Time OutTime OutHappy New Year, everyone; hope 2013 has been good to you so far and if not, geez. It’s only been 36 hours or so. What the hell.

We’ll kick off the new year with some old faces under a new name; The New Mendicants. So new they don’t even have a website or Facebook page, but if you need some background maybe look up Pernice Brothers, Teenage Fanclub, and The Sadies, and cross-reference with my writeup of last June’s wonderful Joe Pernice/Norman Blake show at the Dakota Tavern. Because what began that night as a possibly one-off pop summit has become a proper international supergroup with the addition of current Sadies and former Pernice Brothers drummer Mike Belitsky to the fold, providing some genuine Toronto content to American Pernice and Scot Blake, both immigrants to the southern Ontario region.

This year will see the first formal activity from the band, starting with a brace of Australian tour dates later this month featuring just Blake and Pernice and the release of their first EP. It’s a six-songer featuring three new songs, one of each of Pernice and Blake’s compositions from their other bands, and an INXS cover – stream it below – and while it’s a limited edition intended for sale down under, it’s available to preorder for North American fans for an approximate February 1 release.

A full-length with the working title of The Book Of Norman is also in the works, and while there’s no extensive touring in the cards, it’s hard to imagine that they won’t play at least an (adopted) hometown show whenever that happens. And presumably the new Pernice Brothers album will come out eventually and we’re about due a new Fanclub record, but until those become somewhat less than myth, we have this to look forward to.

Stream: The New Mendicants – “This Time”

And in a nice little bit of synchronicity, NYC Taper just posted a recording of Norman Blake’s set opening up the final Yo La Tengo Hannukah show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken last month.

DIY gets to know Palma Violets, one of the presumed “next big things” of 2013. Their debut 180 is out February 25 and they play The Horseshoe on January 24.

Stereogum interviews Johnny Marr; his solo debut The Messenger is out February 26.

PopMatters profiles Django Django, back in town at the Opera House on March 12.

A Music Blog, Yea? chats with Rose Elinor Dougall, whose second album has been a while in coming but should be out this year.

Black Book talks to Dev Hynes of Blood Orange about everything he got up to in 2012 and what might be yet to come.

Pop Justice talks to Jessie Ware about what’s transpired since her debut was released back in June.

Efterklang have released a new video from Piramida. They’re at The Mod Club on March 21 as part of Canadian MusicFest.

Video: Efterklang – “Sedna”

Pitchfork rounds up what’s known about a new release from Rilo Kiley, almost certainly an already-promised b-sides and rarities collection.

Beach House have a new video from Bloom, the timing of which is kind of obvious.

Video: Beach House – “New Year”

Murray Lightburn talks to Spinner about what The Dears have planned for 2013, recording a new record being one of those things.

Put That Shit On The List interviews Alaska B of Yamantaka//Sonic Titan. They play The Garrison on January 18.

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.

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Laura Palmer's Prom

No one tell Paper Bag Records that the traditional 10th anniversary gift isn’t three nights of shows

Photo via FacebookFacebookCustom dictates that for tenth anniversaries, the traditional gift is something made from tin and the modern equivalent is aluminum. Or diamond. How on earth do you get from tin to diamond? Happily, Toronto’s Paper Bag Records pays no attention to such convention and to mark their tenth year of releasing great music from both Canada and abroad, they’ve opted to put together three nights of shows at The Great Hall from September 27 to 29 and featuring the best of their current roster as well as a surprise and welcome return – You Say Party.

The Vancouver dance-rock band were riding high on their third album, 2009’s XXXX, when their drummer Devon Clifford suddenly and tragically died onstage in April 2010. They soldiered on for another year and then, promotional duties done, went on indefinite hiatus – a hiatus that would last a year and a half, as they state on their website, “Over the course of the last year, we came to realize a simple truth: that the four of us missed making music together”. Their appearance on the third night of the PBR anniversary shows will mark their first step back and as a four-piece, reconfiguring their old songs to fit and presumably crafting new ones.

Their return will surely be a highlight of that third night, which also features Young Galaxy, The Luyas, and a special guest that you probably don’t need to do too much thinking to guess who it will but all three evenings are pretty stacked. Thursday night features Elliott Brood, Born Ruffians, Woodhands, and The Acorn and Friday brings in The Rural Alberta Advantage, Cuff The Duke, PS I Love You, and Slim Twig.

Tickets for each night are $25 and a three-day pass comes in at $60, on sale now. The Great Hall isn’t that big so if you’re thinking this is something you should be at, turning thought into action soon is recommended.

MP3: The Acorn – “Restoration”
MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”
MP3: Cuff The Duke – “Standing On The Edge”
MP3: Elliott Brood – “Northern Air”
MP3: The Luyas – “Too Beautiful To Work”
MP3: PS I Love You – “2012”
MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”
MP3: Slim Twig – “Young Hussies”
MP3: Woodhands – “Dissembler”
MP3: You Say Party! – “Laura Palmer’s Prom”
MP3: Young Galaxy – “Peripheral Visionaries”

Under The Radar chats with Torq Campbell of Stars, who released their first albums on Paper Bag and will put their sixth album North out on September 4. They’ve made a new track from said record available to stream and will be at the Air Canada Centre on November 14 supporting Metric.

Stream: Stars – “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It”

The New York Times has a feature piece on Purity Ring, whose much-anticipated debut Shrines is out this week and who’ve made another track from it available to download.

MP3: Purity Ring – “Belispeak”

Damian Abraham of Fucked Up rattles off his favourite records of the past two decades for CBC Music. They’re at Historic Fort York on September 9 as part of Riot Fest.

Melancholy & The Infinite Shadness is the name of a new mixtape from Shad that you need in your life. Get it for free.

ZIP: Shad / Melancholoy & The Infinite Shadness

The Georgia Straight and The Victoria Times-Colonist talks to Kathryn Calder.

CBC Music has five tracks to preview for the forthcoming live Dears album Never Destroy Us, due out this Fall.

Patrick Watson gives Spinner his thoughts on and ambitions for the music video medium; he also chats with Vermont’s Seven Days. He’s at Massey Hall on December 6.