Posts Tagged ‘Delorean’

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Gather, Form & Fly

Megafaun and Sharon Van Etten at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAnd to think, I almost stayed home to watch The Pacific. What can I say? Some nights I’m just lazy. But thankfully, I managed to haul my ass out of the apartment on Monday night to head down to the Horseshoe for what would turn out to be a pretty special show from Megafaun and Sharon Van Etten.

It was Van Etten who was the main draw for me – her 2009 debut Because I Was In Love is more beguiling with every listen and my first attempt to see her live at SxSW wasn’t satisfactory thanks to an overly chatty crowd and uncooperative guitar amp. Background chatter wasn’t an issue on this night, though, as the crowd at the ‘Shoe was decidedly sparse when Van Etten took the stage armed only with her Gibson ES-135, her songs and her voice.

And oh, what a voice. So powerful and yet so fragile, overtop her fingerpicked guitarwork and wrapped around her sad songs, it pulled everyone in the house – hell, it probably pulled bystanders in off the street – closer and closer, until most were seated on the floor around the stage, enraptured. They’d have had to be under the influence of something to be willing to sit on the Horseshoe floor – have you ever seen that thing under house lights? But kidding aside, Van Etten’s set – her last of this short tour and for the next while as she works on her second album – was a stunner, including both songs from Love and new material, capped off with a finale of “Tornado”, backed up be Megafaun. And as perfectly suited as her material is to solo performance – sadness is a solitary thing, after all – it sounded as good if not better with a band behind it.

Said band also sounded pretty good on their own, as it turned out. I wasn’t especially familiar with Megafaun coming into the night – I think I’d spun their latest album Gather, Form & Fly once or twice – but went in with an open mind and proceeded to have it blown, just a little. As befit their North Carolina roots, the impressively-bearded trio – two brothers and their drummer – crafted folk-rock with a distinctively southern drawl, but beneath that genial, harmony-laden surface there was so much more going on. There was jazz virtuosity in their musicianship, proggish ambitions in the frequently twisty song structures and a jam band’s delight in simply playing. That delight was shared in full by the small but devoted audience, and that gave the show less the feel of a concert than an intimate get-together of friends. Nowhere was this more evident than the encore, which Megafaun seemed almost embarrassed to be taking – climbing down off the stage and playing three more songs amongst their fans. All throughout the night, the band emphasized how much they were enjoying the evening and how exceptionally special this show was. For some acts, this is boilerplate stage banter but it was obvious from the looks on their faces and the hugs exchanged with fans afterwards, that they meant every word and every note. Just marvelous.

The Concordian talks to Megafaun’s Phil Cook and Daytrotter has posted a session with the band. Their North American tour continues through the end of April – do see them if you can. They’re also releasing a new mini-album entitled Heretofore later this Summer – info at Pitchfork.

Photos: Megafaun, Sharon Van Etten @ The Horseshoe – April 5, 2010
MP3: Megafaun – “Volunteers”
MP3: Megafaun – “The Fade”
MP3: Megafaun – “Kaufman’s Ballad”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Consolation Prize”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”
Video: Megafaun – “Impressions Of The Past”
Video: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MySpace: Megafaun
MySpace: Sharon Van Etten

The Boston Globe, Nashville Scene, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Interview sits down with Midlake, who will be a the Mod Club on May 21.

Delusions Of Adequacy talk to Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Wilco’s epic three-hour set in Montclair, New Jersey from last weekend. The band just announced they will curate their own festival – the Solid Sound Festival – from August 13 to 15 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams Massachusetts, which if you were wondering is at the border of Mass and New York, about 7 hours from Toronto. The bill will feature Wilco, natch, and most/all of their spin-off acts and other artists to be announced later.

Rawkblog, SF Weekly and CMJ have interviews with Miles Kurosky while The Bay Bridged gets Kurosky back together with some of his Beulah bandmates to play songs from his solo record The Desert Of Shallow Effects, which are available to download.

MP3: Miles Kurosky – “The World Won’t Last The Night” (live at The Bay Bridged)
MP3: Miles Kurosky – “Dead Language Blues” (live at The Bay Bridged)

NOW talks to Liz Powell of Land Of Talk about losing and finding her voice. They’re at Lee’s Palace tonight and their new record is targeted for an August release.

Filter gets to know Mumford & Sons.

For Folks Sake and The New York Times talk to Laura Marling, while La Blogotheque is offering a live track for download. Her new album I Speak Because I Can gets a North American release as of this week.

Hurricane Bells – the new project from Longwave frontman Steve Schlitz – will be at the El Mocambo on May 19. Their debut album, Tonight Is The Ghost, is due out next week.

Video: Hurricane Bells – “This Year”
Video: Hurricane Bells – “Monsters”

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel, who impressed whilst opening for Laura Marling back in February, has a date scheduled for the Drake Underground on May 30. His new record In Memory Of Loss is out April 27.

MP3: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel – “Early Spring Till”

Delta Spirit and Ezra Furman & The Harpoons will be at the Mod Club on June 26. Paste has details on Delta Spirit’s new record, History From Below, due out June 8.

MP3: Delta Spirit – “People C’Mon”
MP3: Ezra Furman & The Harpoons – “Take Off Your Sunglasses”

Fresh off their sold-out gig opening for Miike Snow at The Phoenix, Delorean will be back in town at Wrongbar on July 14.

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

SxSW 2010 Day Two A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFull writeup of the day over here.

Freelance Whales
– New York twee-popsters whose debut Weathervanes is being re-released on April 13, will be in town twice over the next while; at the El Mocambo on April 6 with Cymbals Eat Guitars and May 8 at the Mod Club with Shout Out Louds. NPR has a World Cafe session with the band, The San Francisco Examiner an interview and they’re keeping a tour diary over at Spinner.
Photos: Freelance Whales @ Eastbound & Found North Stage – March 18, 2010
MP3: Freelance Whales – “Generator 2nd Floor”
MySpace: Freelance Whales

Diamond Rings
– Toronto electro-glam solo artist is prepping his debut full-length Special Affections for release later this year.
Photos: Diamond Rings @ Eastbound & Found South Stage – March 18, 2010
MP3: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”
Video: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”
Video: Diamond Rings – “Wait & See”
MySpace: Diamond Rings

– Austin power trio continue to spread the word of last year’s Sunshower EP while working on a full-length follow-up.
Photos: Ume @ Eastbound & Found North Stage – March 18, 2010
MP3: Ume – “The Conductor”
MP3: Ume – “Pendulum”
MP3: Ume – “Wake”
Video: Ume – “The Conductor”
MySpace: Ume

– Los Angeles quartet will follow up last year’s Exquisite Corpse with a debut full-length due out later this year. Spinner has an interview.
Photos: Warpaint @ Eastbound & Found North Stage – March 18, 2010
MP3: Warpaint – “Elephants”
Video: Warpaint – “Stars”
Video: Warpaint – “Elephants”

Slow Club
– Sheffield duo whose giddy folk-pop debut Yeah, So? just got a North American release after coming out last Summer in the UK.
Photos: Slow Club @ Eastbound & Found South Stage – March 18, 2010
MP3: Slow Club – “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful”
Video: Slow Club – “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful”
Video: Slow Club – “Because We Are Dead”
Video: Slow Club – “Me & You”
Video: Slow Club – “Trophy Room”

The Morning Benders
– San Francisco quartet whose latest Big Echo shows they’ve discovered the joys of noise and drama to go with their unerring pop sensibility. They play the Drake Underground on April 14; Express Night Out and The San Francisco Examiner have conversations with the band.
Photos: The Morning Benders @ Eastbound & Found North Stage – March 18, 2010
MP3: The Morning Benders – “Promises”
MP3: The Morning Benders – “Waiting For A War”
Video: The Morning Benders – “Waiting For A War”
Video: The Morning Benders – “Damnit Anna”
Video: The Morning Benders – “Boarded Doors”
MySpace: The Morning Benders

Here We Go Magic
– New York outfit led by Luke Temple will release their new album Pigeons on June 8; download the first MP3 from Secretly Canadian. They play Lee’s Palace on April 27.
Photos: Here We Go Magic @ Eastbound & Found North Stage – March 18, 2010
Video: Here We Go Magic – “Fangela”

– Spanish electro-poppers bring their Summer-y new record Subiza – out already in the UK and out in North America on June 8 – to the Phoenix on April 3 in support of Miike Snow.
Photos: Delorean @ Eastbound & Found South Stage – March 18, 2010
Video: Delorean – “Stay Close”

Friday, March 19th, 2010

SxSW 2010 Day Two

Slow Club, The Morning Benders, Ume and more at SxSW

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangBeyond the pleasure of being able to attach one’s name to a lineup of great acts that you can (mostly) whole-heartedly endorse, one of the big perks of presenting a day show at SxSW is that it gives you an excuse to NOT run around the city all day from showcase to showcase. If you’ve done your job in curating well enough, there’s no real reason you’d want to be anywhere but your own show. And so most all of yesterday afternoon was spent at a parking lot just on the wrong side of I35 where Eastbound & Found, the party put together by myself and esteemed bloggers and sponsors.

Freelance Whales were generous enough to take one of the earliest spots, their peppy co-ed indie-pop almost the perfect thing to rouse the keeners who were on site at the break of noon. At times I find them almost a bit too chirpy but there’s usually a hook or melody waiting just around to corner to get me back onside. Their show at the El Mocambo with Cymbals Eat Guitars on April 6 is probably a bit too soon for me to need to see them again, but I’m perfectly happy to have them opening for Shout Out Louds at the Mod Club on May 8.

Down the hill at the south stage, Toronto’s Diamond Rings was letting his unicorn flag unfurl, dishing out electro beats perfectly suited to the bright, sunny weather – same songs but somehow different vibe from his Canadian Musicfest gig last week. The crowd was pretty sparse to begin with but as Freelance Whales’ set ended and people discovered there was a second stage (not the easiest to locate without signage), they filled in and danced. And there was even some celeb-spotting, as Little Boots – who’s even littler in person/off stage than you’d think – was in attendance and tweeted her approval.

Back at the mainstage, Austin’s own Ume were setting up to shred some faces – they were one of my top discoveries of last year’s fest so I was very pleased to have them playing our show, and not just because a daytime performance meant I’d have enough light to try and capture Lauren Larsen’s guitar heroics on film (well, digital sensor). As they’ve done every time I’ve seen them, they played a demolishing set of pure rock drawn from their Sunshower EP as well as new material that will hopefully be out sooner rather than later. The only difference from past shows was that Larsen’s axe-mangling didn’t end with her on her knees, strangling notes out of her Fender – the painful-looking skin marks on her legs made it clear that there’d already been a little too much of that before this show.

Next up were Los Angeles’ Warpaint, who despite taking a kind of meandering approach to their set – were they soundchecking? Jamming? Playing songs? – walked a very appealing line of musical experimentation and pop sensibilities. I was only able to stick around for a couple of songs, but was intrigued enough that their remaining shows for the week – and there were a lot of them still – all stayed on my schedule so I could hear some more. Odds are I won’t, but it won’t be for lack of trying. Or wanting to try.

Back down at the second stage was one of my picks for the party, Sheffield’s Slow Club, whose debut Yeah, So? has been one of my favourite debuts of the year (in North America, anyways – it came out in the UK last Summer). Evidently I wasn’t the only one won over by the drum-and-guitar duo, as there was a small but very enthused audience gathered for their set of wonderfully hepped-up folk-pop. Charles and Rebecca are maybe the most adorable pairing since Matt & Kim, and after simultaneously destroying their guitar amp and kick pedal respectively, took to the edge of the stage with acoustic guitars to sing out to their fans unamplified. Giddy and glorious.

I’d seen The Morning Benders back in February of last year and while I found their indie-pop stylings pleasant, with the requisite jangles and hooks, but not especially distinctive. With their new one Big Echo, however, they’ve not only raised the ante but bet the house – it’s a much more massive and interesting record; noisier and moodier than I’d have thought them capable of but still immensely pop at its core. Correspondingly, the live show was much more intense and volume-abusing than I’d expected. Most impressive. They are at the Drake on April 14.

As Here We Go Magic got started on the main stage, I could feel myself hitting a wall in terms of being able to concentrate on new music, or even stand up for any period of time. Their stuff required a little too much attention to properly appreciate, so after a few songs I wandered back down to the south stage where Spain’s Delorean were kicking up a mostly-instrumental electro-pop dance party. That held my interest for a little while, but the need to not be where I was became overwhelming and I had to hoof it back to the hotel to get my head together. Which, sadly, meant missing our headlining set with GZA AND the fact that Bill Murray apparently accepted my invitation and showed up. For serious, people.

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Eastbound & Found

Bloggers congregate in Austin, throw a party

Photo via Araba FilmsAraba FilmsIf there’s one thing Austin, Texas needs during Spring Break, it’s some live music. Particularly in the form of a day party. The past few years I’ve been very lucky to have been able to help put on some fantastic parties with some of my favourite blogger buds. And while the Hot Freaks marque has been put to bed for the time being, I’m very happy to be able to announce that You Ain’t No Picasso, My Old Kentucky Blog, Ultra 8201, Yours Truly and, uh, yours truly, will be presenting Eastbound & Found, a one-day, two-stage to-do that will be held on Thursday, March 18 at 1001 East 6th St – a location that’s a parking lot for 51 weeks of the year but on this occasion will be an epicenter of awesome.

What I like most about these blogger-assembled shows is how random the final results end up being. Without teaming up with a specific label, PR company or booking agency and just pursuing acts based on little more than a “what we like” mandate, we get shows that can veer from the sunny indie-pop of Freelance Whales to the insane guitar heroics of Austin’s own Ume, from the electro-glam of Diamond Rings (Toronto represent!) to giddy Anglo-folk duo Slow Club, right through to our headliner – GZA of the motherflipping Wu-Tang Clan. Eclectic? Yeah, a little.

This party is free and all-ages, though you do have to RSVP – information on that at the Sweet Leaf blog. Many many thanks go out to our sponsors Sweet Leaf Tea, Ziegenbock, Dos Lunas Tequila, Knuckle Rumbler and Car Toys for helping make this happen. And despite what the attached image from Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee & Cigarettes might imply, Bill Murray will NOT be making an appearance at the show. Unless he wants to. If any of you know Bill Murray, do let him know he’s invited?

The (almost) full lineup and set times are as follows:

Stage one:
12:15PM Ragen Fykes
1:10PM Freelance Whales
2:05PM Ume
3:00PM Warpaint
3:55PM The Morning Benders
4:50PM Here We Go Magic
5:45PM Maluca
7:00PM GZA

Stage two:
12:30PM Burnt Ones
1:25PM Diamond Rings
2:20PM Kid Sister
3:15PM Slow Club
4:10PM Danielson
5:05PM Delorean
6:00PM White Denim

MP3: Danielson – “Animal In Every Corner”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”
MP3: Freelance Whales – “Generator 2nd Floor”
MP3: The Morning Benders – “Promises”
MP3: Slow Club – “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful”
MP3: Ume – “The Conductor”
MP3: Warpaint – “Elephants”
Video: GZA – “Liquid Swords”
Video: Here We Go Magic – “Fangela”
Video: Kid Sister – “Right Hand Hi”

And some concert news for Toronto folk NOT heading down to Texas next week – not content with playing two nights at The Horseshoe, The Black Lips have added a third local appearance during their visit. They’ll be doing an in-store at Sonic Boom on March 28 at 4PM; admission free with a canned good.

MP3: Black Lips – “Short Fuse”

Jakob Dylan has put together a new band to help perform his new solo record Women & Country, out April 10. They’re called Three Legs and you might know them better as a couple of women in country – Neko Case and Kelly Hogan. That got your attention, eh? Jacob Dylan & Three Legs will be at the Phoenix on April 25.

She & Him – yes, Zooey and Matt – will be hitting the road in support of Volume Two and are going to be at The Phoenix in Toronto on June 9. Tickets are $26.50, the album is out March 23 and the new video is just about the most adorable thing ever.

Video: She & Him – “In The Sun”

Stars have announced they will release their fifth studio album The Five Ghosts on June 22 – details at Chart.

Spinner talks to Metric in advance of their appearance at SxSW where they’ll be opening up for Muse at Stubb’s on the Friday night.

Broken Social Scene also talk to Spinner; they’re doing a couple of shows at SxSW and of course have that Toronto Islands show on June 19. Their new album Forgiveness Rock Record is out May 4.

Continuing on with the Spinner-SxSW interviews (there’s lots of them) – they chat with Venice Is Sinking, whose new album Sand & Lines will be out June 15.

Kunstlicher, The Georgia Straight, The Huffington Post and Spinner have interviews with Midlake. They’re at the Mod Club on May 25.

Spinner talks to The Uglysuit. They’re playing Lee’s Palace at 2AM on Friday night as part of Canadian Musicfest and their MySpace implies they’re making the most of their visit to Toronto with a bunch of other unofficial performances.

Spinner asks some pretty banal questions of Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Holly Miranda.

Filter takes all of the fun out of The Bird & The Bee’s internet scavenger hunt for streams of their new Hall & Oates tribute album Guiltless Pleasures Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates , out March 23.

Spinner and NME have collected a number of tributes from musicians for the fallen Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. And a couple of worthy reads and listens from the Boston area – Buffalo Tom frontman Bill Janovitz has an essay and Sparklehorse cover at his blog Part-Time Man Of Rock while Bradley’s Almanac is sharing some thoughts and a recording of Sparklehorse’s last show in Boston from 2007.

MP3: Bill Janovitz – “Gold Day”