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Posts Tagged ‘Dirty Projectors’

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Drill It Up

ALL CAPS! island fest lines up A Place To Bury Strangers and Yamantaka//Sonic Titan; cares not one whit for your noise regulation bylaws

Photo By Emily BergerEmily BergerWhile it’s true that Toronto’s days of having a BIG annual music festival out on the islands appear to be over – the locally-grown, Wavelength-affiliated ALL CAPS fest has been more then happy to step in for those needing to combine a ferry crossing with live music to make their Summer worthwhile.

Since their inaugural edition in 2009, they’ve put together bills that have showcased a lot of local and a little bit of imported talent, combined with art and film components and as of last year, overnight camping but this year’s lineup – set to take place on August 11 and 12 at Gibraltar Point – has quite surprised me with its all-out aggressiveness.

The first night is headlined by Montreal’s Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, whom I’m not going to try and find new words to describe but were a real highlight of NXNE, with an eclectic undercard consisting of Maylee Todd, Choir! Choir! Choir!, Tyvek, Wet Hair, and Esther Grey. The Sunday night will be closed out by Brooklyn noise-and-strobe freaks A Place To Bury Strangers, following sets from Lioness, OG Melody, Young Mother, and Canadian Winter. Many/most of these acts are only peripherally known to me – if that – so I suggest checking out the Wavelength site for capsule descriptions, but I will say that they won’t be boring. Unless you’re bored of interesting things.

A limited number of two-day passes including camping on the island are available for $65, two-day passes that force you to go home and sleep in your own bed on Saturday night will run you $30 and single-day tickets are a very reasonable $17; ferry tickets are not included in the price. They go on sale on July 12 but you can also get them now via the IndieGogo fundraising site. And while Gibraltar Point is way on the other end of the islands from the residences at Ward’s Island and faces out into the lake, I can’t help but hope that there’s a southwesterly wind that wafts just a little bit of Oliver Ackermann’s sonic armageddon over their cottages. Just a little.

Guitar World, The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, and CultureMob talk to Ackermann about the new APTBS album Worship.

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – “You Are The One”
MP3: Lioness – “The Night”
MP3: Choir! Choir! Choir! – “I Want It That Way”
Video: Yamanta//Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”
Video: Maylee Todd – “Heart Throb”
Video: OG Melody – “Change Gon Come”

Interview and The Georgia Straight profile Japandroids, who’ve made another couple track from Celebration Rock available to download.

MP3: Japandroids – “The Nights Of Wine And Roses”
MP3: Japandroids – “Younger Us”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Memoryhouse.

Rolling Stone and NPR profile Metric, bringing it home to the Air Canada Centre on November 14.

Brightest Young Things and The AV Club talk to Spencer Krug of Moonface.

Exclaim gets Brian Borcherdt to discuss the state of Holy Fuck even as he focuses on his new project Dusted, whose debut Total Dust is out on Tuesday, is available to stream now at Chart, and they open up for Chad VanGaalen at The Mod Club on July 26.

MP3: Dusted – “(Into The) Atmosphere”
Stream: Dusted / Total Dust

Beatroute and Chart have interviews with Vancouver’s Chains Of Love.

NPR gets into Americana with Neil Young, adding a World Cafe session on top of the Fresh Air interview.

The Mountain Goats celebrate their 40,000th Twitter follower by giving away an old demo track.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “All Devils All Devils”

That first preview of the new Antlers EP Undersea is now available to download. It’s out July 24.

MP3: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

DIY and Prefix have features on Dirty Projectors, in town tonight at the Danforth Music Hall.

Spinner talks to Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells.

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Maybe That Was It

Dirty Projectors streams, stumps, Swing

Photo By Jason Frank RothenbergJason Frank RothenbergIt’s a matter of public record – or at the very least Google index – that I was no fan of Dirty Projectors’ last record Bitte Orca, even though objectively speaking it was obviously one of the albums of 2009. However, one of the nice things about a band as obviously talented – no way am I arguing that point – and creatively restless as they is that each new album is akin to a blank slate.

So yeah, I’m giving their new one Swing Lo Magellan – which is out next Tuesday but now available to stream a week early – a fair shake, and happily it doesn’t sound nearly as fussy or overthought as Orca did. No, that’s not nearly an endorsement, but it’s a start. Give it a listen for yourself, and while you’re at it maybe read some of the feature interviews that bandleader Dave Longstreth has been giving out in advance of the record’s release. They’re on the cover of this month’s Exclaim with an additional feature, a Q&A to go with an album stream at The New York Times, back-and-forths at ArtInfo, NOW, The Irish Times, and MTV Hive, and a long piece at Pitchfork. He also talks to Interview about the Hi Custodian short film which will be released later this Summer and is meant to thematically accompany the new record. Odds of it being incomprehensible are good to great.

Dirty Projectors are in town this week for a show at the Danforth Music Hall on July 6.

MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Dance For You”
MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”
Video: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”
Stream: Dirty Projectors / Swing Lo Magellan
Trailer: Hi Custodian

Eternal Summers were just here for NXNE, it’s true, but their new album Correct Behavior wasn’t nearly out then – July 24 is still a ways off – so it’s eminently logical that they’d schedule a return engagement after it was out, which is what they’ve done. They’re at The Garrison on August 7, tickets $11.

MP3: Eternal Summers – “Millions”

Phil Elverum isn’t a guy who seems to like to spend a lot of time on the road, at least not far from his Washington state home base. I could be mistaken but I don’t think he’s been through town since Fall 2008 in support of Lost Wisdom, his collaboration with Julie Doiron and Frederick Squire; his last time through as as Mount Eerie solo was May 2007 and he’s not been back since, despite having released a couple records since then. But if promoting one album isn’t quite enough incentive, apparently promoting two is – having put out Clear Moon back in May and with a companion album Ocean Roar set to come out September 4, he’s finally coming back to town – he’ll be at The Great Hall on September 10 with a full band in tow, tickets $15 in advance.

Stream: Mount Eerie – “Pale Lights” (excerpt)
Stream: Mount Eerie – “Lone Bell”
Stream: Mount Eerie – “House Shape”

You might think that with no less than four visits in 2011 – one headlining show in the Spring and three others supporting The Decemberists in February, Explosions In The Sky in October, and The National in December – that Wye Oak would have had their fill of Toronto for a while. Well apparently nine months is as long as they could wait because they’ve scheduled a show here at The Horseshoe for September 17, tickets $12.50. One assumes that with all that touring, they’ve not had time to write let alone record a follow up to last year’s Civilian, but if you’re hankering to hear something new there is a track they’ve recorded for an Adult Swim compilation that’s available to stream.

MP3: Wye Oak – “Holy, Holy”
Stream: Wye Oak – “Spiral”

Over at The AV Club, Father John Misty record a lovely cover of The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize?” for their Undercover series. Father John Misty are at The Opera House opening for Youth Lagoon on July 12.

Spin is streaming another tune from Fang Island’s new record Major, due out July 24.

Stream: Fang Island – “Seek It Out”

NPR has a World Cafe session from The Shins. They open up for The Black Keys at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 3.

Divine Fits – the new band from Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner and New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown – have announced that their debut album A Thing Called Divine Fits will be out August 28; stream the first track from it below.

Stream: Divine Fits – “My Love Is Real”

Rolling Stone has an interview with J Mascis about the new Dinosaur Jr album I Bet On Sky, the first single from which is available to stream. The album is out September 18 and they kick off their Fall tour in support of it with a three-night stand at Lee’s Palace on September 24, 25, and 26.

Stream: Dinosaur Jr – “Watch The Corners”

Pitchfork has details on the new End Of Daze EP coming from Dum Dum Girls End Of Daze on September 25.

Clash talks to Beach House, in town at the Kool Haus on October 18.

Spinner talks to Beachwood Sparks about getting back together for their first album in over a decade in the just-released The Tarnished Gold.

NPR welcomes M. Ward to their World Cafe for a session.

Drowned In Bells catches up with Sleigh Bells.

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Yours, Mine and Ours

Joe Pernice & Norman Blake at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI don’t think Toronto necessarily has an international reputation as a destination for expatriate pop geniuses, but apparently Canadian women hold a certain appeal for them. Joe Pernice of Pernice Brothers has been up here for the better part of eight years while Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub moved to Kitchener a couple years ago – both on account of their Canadian wives – and on Friday night, they were on stage together at The Dakota Tavern for a low-key show together. It had been advertised as a Joe Pernice show with the promise of a “special guest”, and while a show from Joe alone would be worth pencilling into the calendar, once the faintly-veiled clues as to who said guest would be got out, it turned into a must-see.

Anyone expecting a high-falutin’ musical summit between two of the finest pop songwriters around would have done well to dial down their expectations, though. The show was much more of a back porch strumalong between two old friends who just happened to have one hell of a songbook to draw from and though it had its share of sloppy moments, that arguably made it even more special and memorable than if it had been meticulously rehearsed. Pernice started out with a short solo set that drew from his many projects – Pernice Brothers, Joe solo, Scud Mountain Boys – and included a new song entitled “Surf’s Up” that he revealed was from a new, just-completed Scuds record. Scoop!

Blake was then invited onstage and the two spent the rest of the show playing each other’s songs – Pernice on a standard acoustic, Blake on a Nashville-strung parlour-body – and reminding the gathered that they were two of the funniest stage banterers in the business with some great repartee. There was plenty of time for banter as Blake’s guitar required plenty of tuning and retuning – their first run through of “Baby Lee” went further out of tune with each strum and forced a do-over – but when they were able to get onto a song, it was grand if clearly not overly rehearsed. Even with a music stand overflowing with notes onto the floor between them, they were happy to do things off the cuff – Blake had to teach Pernice the chords to “You Was Me” from his Jonny side-project with Euros Childs on the fly (it turned out fine) and even though their take on Fanclub’s “I Don’t Want Control Of You” was a bit of a comedy of errors, they still made it tremendously entertaining.

The stuff that was more properly arranged, however, was nothing sort of sublime. Hearing them trade verses on “Everything Flows” was easily the highlight of the night and their finale of “Alcoholiday” not far behind. You obviously didn’t have the wall of harmonies that Teenage Fanclub proper can offer, but Pernice’s falsetto was a pretty good stand-in. It wasn’t just about the Fanclub material, mind, as their work on “Loving Kind” off the last Pernice Brothers album Goodbye Killer was stirring and their cover of The Zombies’ “The Butcher’s Tale” darkly affecting. Though they obviously could have kept going all night, a hard curfew forced them to cap things at 90 minutes though they were permitted an encore of Fanclub’s “Start Again” that was a divine finale.

It’s not clear if this tweet is a joke or a promise, but an actual collaboration between the two – or even some more of these casual-vibe shows – would be a great treat and a far better way to enjoy having these talents as locals than going through their trash.

The Calgary Herald has an interview with Joe Pernice about his plans to release two albums this year – the aforementioned new Scuds record and the long-promised new Pernice Brothers album.

Photos: Joe Pernice & Norman Blake @ The Dakota Tavern – June 22, 2012
MP3: Pernice Brothers – “Somerville”
MP3: Scud Mountain Boys – “Grudge Fuck”
MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “Baby Lee”
MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “It’s All In My Mind”
MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “Everything Flows”
MP3: Jonny – “Candyfloss”
MP3: Jonny – “Gloria”

Dirty Projectors are giving away a couple tracks from their forthcoming Swing Lo Magellan, out July 10. They play The Music Hall on July 6.

MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Dance For You”
MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”
Video: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”

The Alternate Side has a session and Clash, Houston Press, and Indy Week have interviews with Lower Dens. They play Lee’s Palace on July 17.

Beirut has released a video for the title track of last year’s The Rip Tide. They are at The Sound Academy on July 19.

Video: Beirut – “The Rip Tide”

The Antlers are streaming a track from their forthcoming EP Undersea, due out July 24.

Stream: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

The Shins have rolled out a new video from Port Of Morrow; they’re in town August 4 opening up for The Black Keys at The Molson Amphitheatre.

Video: The Shins – “No Way Down”

Pitchfork talks to Cat Power about her new record Sun, due for release on September 4.

Aimee Mann has given Rolling Stone the title track of her new record Charmer to stream. It’s out September 18.

Stream: Aimee Mann – “Charmer”

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has taken their reunion from the stage into the studio and are set to release their first new album since 2004’s Damage in Meat & Bone, out September 18. Then they’ll take in back to the stage with a series of live dates that includes an October 18 appearance at The Horseshoe in Toronto. Stream one of the new songs below.

Stream: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Black Mold”

San Fransciso goth-gazers The Soft Moon will be at The Drake Underground on September 22, tickets $11.50 in advance.

MP3: The Soft Moon – “Tiny Spiders”
MP3: The Soft Moon – “Breathe The Fire”

Michael Gira’s Swans will make an appearance at Lee’s Palace on October 25 in support of their new double-record We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head, tickets for that $26.50 in advance.

MP3: Swans – “Sex God Sex”

Matt & Kim are preparing for the Fall release of their new record Let’s Go with a video for the title track.

Video: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”

Boulder Weekly has a tete-a-tete with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco while The Daily Herald and Missoulian chat with Nels Cline.

Interview talks to Munaf Rayani of Explosions In The Sky.

Spinner documents a typical day in the life of The Flaming Lips, assuming that playing a free show in downtown Toronto as part of NXNE counts as typical for these guys. Maybe it does. You don’t know.

Okay, gotta go. San Francisco beckons.

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Put Your Back N 2 It

Perfume Genius and Parenthetical Girls at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you thought that any combination of it being a Sunday night and Easter would result in a lightly-attended Perfume Genius show at The Drake on Sunday night, you’d have been wrong. Which is to say that I was wrong; the handful of tickets remaining were snatched up when doors opened and by the time I got there, it was officially sold out. And with good cause – Mike Hadreas’ second album under as Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It – is a stunning record, giving his emotionally stark songwriting with just enough sonic adornment to make it not just palatable, but delicious.

Perfume Genius weren’t the only draw; supporting them on this tour were fellow Pacific northwesterners Parenthetical Girls from Portland, who’ve garnered their own loyal fanbase over the past decade and added to it locally having been here for two nights in January supporting Los Campesinos. While there were enough similarities that this bill made sense in some ways, in others you couldn’t imagine a more disparate pairing. Fronted by the magnetic Zac Pennington, their set was more musical theatre than conventional concert with his flamboyant yet dry delivery leading the band through what felt like selections from a synth-rock opera, enhanced by some great audience repartee and a few forays into the crowd. Importantly though, for all the theatrics, they still had immediate and hummable tunes underneath it all and their sincerity was never obscured by camp or irony. Even if it had, it’d still have been fun but that it wasn’t was even better.

Irony wasn’t any kind of risk with Perfume Genius; Hadreas is all about raw, unvarnished honesty. Seeing him at Matador 21 in 2010, circa his debut Learning, it was impossible to not be impressed how he silenced the theatre with just two keyboards and his voice. This time, he was again accompanied by Alan Wyffels on synths but also a third player alternating on guitar and drums, and while the extra instrumentation went a long way to filling things out and pushing them forward, the live readings of the Back material still felt more immediate and stripped down than the record, yet still dramatic in their content and often abrupt in their finish – when the songs were done, they were just done.

He played for barely 45 minutes, drawing mainly from Put Your Back N 2 It, including a faux encore that Hadreas distinguished from the main set by ducking under his piano for a few seconds before re-emerging. He commented that the last time he played this room, back in the Fall of 2010, there was maybe a tenth of the people who were here this time but even so, the packed house remained dead silent and respectful throughout the set. Considering how personal and intimate Hadreas’ music is, it’s hard to imagine him having to establish the sort of connection with the audience that was so evident here on a larger scale, but considering how powerful that connection is it’s hard to imagine it not reaching and resonating with more people. What happens next is for the future to tell, I suppose, but this night was near perfect.

The Republican and NOW have interviews with Mike Hadreas while The Montreal Mirror profiles Parenthetical Girls.

Photos: Perfume Genius, Parenthetical Girls @ The Drake Underground – April 8, 2012
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Dark Parts”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “All Waters”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Learning”
MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”
MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “A Note To Self”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Lookout, Lookout”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Privilege”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Careful Who You Dance With”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Common Touch”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Young Throats”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Evelyn McHale”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “A Song For Ellie Greenwich”

I suppose credit where credit is due; The Dandy Warhols have somehow maintained a fanbase that allows them to continue to play a room the size of The Phoenix and collect $30 for the privilege of hearing “Bohemian Like You”; they’re there on June 3 in support of their new record This Machine, which comes out April 24.

MP3: The Dandy Warhols – “Country Leaver”
MP3: The Dandy Warhols – “Sad Vacation”

Also straight out of Portland – Blind Pilot are going to be at The Opera House on July 25, continuing to tour last Fall’s We Are The Tide. Tickets for that are $17.50 in advance.

MP3: Blind Pilot – “Keep You Right”

Straight off of announcing a July 10 release for their new record Swing Lo Magellan, Dirty Projectors have slated an extensive tour that brings them to the Music Hall on July 6 with recent 4AD-signees Purity Ring as support; their own debut album will be out on July 24.

Stream: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”
Stream: Purity Ring – “Belispeak”

The Head & The Heart stops in at The AV Club to participate in their Undercover series with a Fleetwood Mac cover.

Exclaim, The Georgia Straight, and The National Post talk to Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells, who are back in town on April 27 and 28 at the Air Canada Centre warming up for Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Pitchfork talks to the boys of POP ETC – née The Morning Benders – who inaugurate their new identity on June 12 with a self-titled album. I guess the all caps is mandatory, eh? Feh.

Spin and The Daily Texan chat with Bowerbirds.

Kurt Wagner of Lambchop reviews his musical upbringing with Pitchfork.

NPR, The Line Of Best Fit, and The National Post all talk to M. Ward on the occasion of the release of his new record A Wasteland Companion.

The AV Club has posted the second part of their extensive history/salute to R.E.M..

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

CONTEST – Dirty Projectors @ The Opera House – September 15, 2010

Photo via FacebookFacebookWho: Dirty Projectors
What: Critically-acclaimed but polarizing Brooklyn collective known for their musical and vocal prowess and willingness to show it off
Why: If the impending September 26 re-release of 2009’s Bitte Orca in double-disc deluxe form isn’t reason enough to tour, then I don’t know what is
When: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Where: The Opera House in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Vermont-based, Sub Pop-signed Happy Birthday support
How: Tickets for the show are $24.50 in advance but courtesy of Domino Records and Union Events, I have a grand prize consisting of a pair of passes to the show and a copy of the deluxe edition Bitte Orca on CD and two additional pairs of passes to the show to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to be a Dirty Projection” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest closes at midnight, September 12.
What else: The Washington Post talks to Dirty Projectors main man David Longstreth.

MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Stillness Is The Move”
MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Useful Chamber”