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Posts Tagged ‘Dodos’

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Different Days

Jason Isbell charts Southeastern route across North America

Photo By Michael WilsonMichael WilsonWith all respect to the albums that came before and those that came after – Southern Rock Opera included – history will probably hold the Drive-By Truckers albums recorded between 2003 and 2006 with Jason Isbell in the lineup – Decoration Day, The Dirty South, and A Blessing And A Curse – as the band’s finest, at least on a song for song basis. Isbell’s more personal, human-scale songs were the perfect foil to Messers Hood and Cooley’s Southern mythology epics, and his melodic contributions – his songs were arguably the most pop the Truckers ever put out – are still missed years after he left the band to go it solo.

A solo career that’s turned out a goodly number of albums, both live and studio, and whose number will increase by one with the release next week of Southeastern, the first record to be credited to Isbell without his band The 400 Unit since his 2007 debut, Sirens Of The Ditch. Which isn’t to say that it represents a dramatic shift from its predecessors, but being a little less plugged-in and more thoughtful in pace, it’s different enough that the change in branding probably makes sense to those involved.

The 400 Unit will be on hand when Isbell takes to the road in support of the record, though, an itinerary which brings them to Lee’s Palace on August 2, tickets $17.50 in advance. There’s a feature interview and advance stream of the new record at MTV Hive, and extensive profiles at both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

M4A: Jason Isbell – “Traveling Alone”
Stream: Jason Isbell / Southeastern

Though he’s proven he can sell out four nights at The Sound Academy, Toronto R&B star The Weeknd is keeping things small to preview material from his new record Kiss Land, due sometime this year; he’ll be at The Mod Club on June 13, tickets $40 in advance and probably sold out already.

MP3: The Weeknd – “Heaven Or Las Vegas”

So the good news is that Still Corners’ NXNE showcase has been confirmed, their continued absence from the schedule until now being a bit of a concern. The bad news is they’re on at the exact same time as The National – 10PM on June 14 at The Horseshoe. Which may not be bad news for you if you weren’t planning on being at The National or were going to see them a couple nights earlier on June 12 supporting CHVRCHES at The Hoxton, but we’re not talking about you, here. Try to keep up.

MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”

Lemonheads leader Evan Dando has been added to this year’s NXNE lineup; he’ll be anchoring the showcase at The Rivoli on the Saturday night, June 15.

Video: The Lemonheads – “Into Your Arms”

If you were wondering who’d step in for the injured Big Boi at NXNE’s closing Sunday night gala at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 16, wonder now more – it’s Ludacris. Who, apparently, has a bunch of chart-topping platinum albums and a starring role in the Fast & Furious films. I had no idea. Still don’t.

Video: Ludacris – “Stand Up”

Because sometimes you just can’t look away – Courtney Love will be playing solo and Hole-less at The Danforth Music Hall on July 20. Expect to pay $35 to $50 for the experience. Bust has an interview with Love wherein she insist she’s sane. Because that’s necessary.

Video: Hole – “Celebrity Skin”

With their new record Stills set for a July 16 release, Chicago noisemaker duo Gauntlet Hair have made a date at The Drake Underground on August 5. Consequence Of Sound has the full tour itinerary and the new video from the new record.

MP3: Gauntlet Hair – “Human Nature”
Video: Gauntlet Hair – “Human Nature”

Chicago indie-rock veterans Joan Of Arc are coming back to town for a show at The Garrison on August 22, tickets $12.50, as part of a tour behind their new record Testimonium Songs, which is out July 11.

MP3: Joan Of Arc – “White Out”

Washed Out – whose Ernest Greene would probably prefer not to be known as the guy who did the Portlandia theme but whom you probably know best as the guy who did the Portlandia theme – will release his second album Paracosm on August 13 – there’s a trailer below – and who will be touring behind it, the Toronto date coming September 15 at The Opera House, tickets $20 in advance.

MP3: Washed Out – “Eyes Be Closed”
Trailer: Washed Out / Paracosm

Veteran Anglo-Dutch experimental rock outfit The Legendary Pink Dots are coming to town, ostensibly in support of their new album The Gethsemane Option – out June 25 – but more likely to explore many corners of their 30-plus year history. They’re at Lee’s Palace on September 23, tickets $20. The Jerusalem Post has an interview with the band.

MP3: The Legendary Pink Dots – “Puppets Apocalypse”

With the August 27 release of Carrier creeping ever-closer – okay, not THAT close yet – The Dodos have made a date at Lee’s Palace for September 24, tickets $17.50 in advance.

MP3: The Dodos – “Don’t Stop”

Welsh meat-and-potatos rockers Stereophonics have figured their latest album Graffiti On The Train has done well enough at home to justify a North American release – it’s out August 20 over here – as well as a tour; look for them at The Danforth Music Hall on September 25, tickets $36.50 in advance.

Video: Stereophonics – “Graffiti On The Train”

Completing what I will call the live music hat-trick – which for these purposes is playing three shows in a year in ever-larger venues – Britain’s Daughter are coming back to build on last October’s debut at The Drake and this past May’s show at The Great Hall with a performance at The Phoenix on September 29. Tickets for that are $20.50 in advance.

MP3: Daughter – “Love”

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of their third album Big TV coming out August 21, White Lies have announced a North American tour that brings them to The Opera House on October 1, tickets $25.

MP3: White Lies – “Getting Even”

Anyone wondering why UK buzz band Peace abruptly disappeared from the NXNE listings now has their answer – they’ll be supporting Two Door Cinema Club on their just-announced tour, which puts them at The Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

MP3: Peace – “California Daze”

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Tomorrow Is Yesterday

An introduction to Field Mouse

Photo By Shervin LainezShervin LainezIf it were as recently as last year, I would be spending this post – hell, yesterday’s post – talking about how after arriving in Chicago last Saturday, I went almost straight to Beat Kitchen to see Laura Stevenson and Field Mouse play, on account of missing the Toronto show of their tour this past Tuesday because of this little vacation. But because I’ve grown as a person and am no longer spending all my time and energy trying to make it to shows and write about them, I have nothing to say about that show because I didn’t make it anywhere near the club, though I can’t say that I didn’t look up where it was and write it in my calendar. Just in case.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the acquaintance of either of the acts. Stevenson I wrote about way in August 2010 – her new album Wheel is plenty solid, by the way, fans of country-pop would do well to check it out – but Brooklyn duo Field Mouse have had but a passing mention here, and I’d like to give them a little bit more because if your musical tastes align with mine – and why would you be here otherwise – they’re worth a listen.

Their name brings to mind – or is maybe confused for – English twee-pop forebears Field Mice, but while there are some points of intersection, particularly in their facility with melody and dreamy texture, the singular edition of Rachel Browne (vocals, guitar) and Andrew Futral (guitars) is much less navel-gazing and their shoegazey roots give their sound some wonderfully shimmering bite without overwhelming their tunefulness. It’s a formula that’s all about balance, and Field Mouse get it right. With a discography limited to just a few singles right now, they’re prepping their full-length debut for release later this year and have released a new video – presumably from said full-length – via Spin and recorded a video session for BrooklynVegan; as always, don’t read the comments. But do, however, hope they keep touring and make their way back to town soon, ideally when I’m also in town.

MP3: Field Mouse – “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”
MP3: Field Mouse – “Glass”
Stream: Field Mouse – “You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom”
Stream: Field Mouse – “Happy”
Video: Field Mouse – “Revenge Is Yesterday”

WNYC has a stream of one of the new Savoir Adore songs that will appear on the wide-release edition of their latest Our Nature when it comes out on June 4.

Stream: Savoir Adore – “Beating Hearts

Pitchfork has rightly devoted one of their fancily-presented cover story in-depth features to The National, and The Irish Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and 680 News also have features. They play Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

Spin has premiered a new song from Florida’s Beach Day, whose debut Trip Trap Attack is out June 18 and who are here for NXNE on June 15 with a show at Handlebar in Kensington Market. DIY has a feature.

Stream: Beach Day – “Stay”

Exclaim has details on the new full-length from Crocodiles; Crimes of Passion is out August 20 and there’s a first track to hear courtesy of Stereogum. They’ll preview the album at the Adelaide Music Hall on June 17 when they support Japandroids.

MP3: Crocodiles – “Cockroach”

Chicago talks to Smith Westerns, who are streaming another new song from their forthcoming Soft Will. It’s out June 25 and they play Lee’s Palace on July 29.

Stream: Smith Westerns – “3AM Spiritual”

She & Him keep up the cutesy on the new video from Volume 3. They headline the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 4.

Video: She & Him – “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”

Beatroute and The Georgia Straight have interviews and NPR a session with Yo La Tengo, playing the final day of TURF at Garrison Commons on July 7. DIY also has an interview with bassist James McNew about the reissue series for his Dump side-project.

Loud & Quiet and The Fly have features on Kurt Vile, also here for TURF day four at Garrison Common on July 7.

Merge has announced a deluxe reissue of the last, great lo-fi Mountain Goats album All Hail West Texas on July 23, which is great new if for no other reason as it gives these imaginary liner notes by comics scribe a reason to exist, if only online.

Because he never needs to rest, Ty Segall has announced an August 20 release of his next album, entitled Sleeper. Details on the release at Consequence Of Sound, trailer below.

Trailer: Ty Segall / Sleeper

Pitchfork has details on the new record from The Dodos, entitled Carrier and out August 27.

Stream: The Dodos – “Confidence”

Noisey talks to Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing, who have a date at The Kool Haus on September 21 supporting Local Natives.

The Journal News chats with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, in town at The Sound Academy on September 28.

Kevin Barnes talks to Rolling Stone about the next of Montreal record Lousy with Sylvianbriar, due out sometime this Fall.

Jim James tells Rolling Stone that My Morning Jacket plan to return to the studio to record their next record in October.

Rolling Stone Q&As Thurston Moore of Chelsea Light Moving, who’ve released a new video from their self-titled debut.

Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Lip”

The 405 talks to Jon Ehrens and eMusic and City Paper to Jenn Wasner, who together are Dungeonesse.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has an interview and Rolling Stone an acoustic video session with The Thermals, who’ve just released a video for the decidedly non-acoustic new single from their latest, Desperate Ground.

Video: The Thermals – “The Sunset”

Spin has an oral history of The Breeders’ Last Splash on the occasion of the record’s 20th anniversary.

And Mike Mills uses the occasion of the Green quarter-century reissue to tell Rolling Stone that when R.E.M. said no reunion, they meant no reunion. So no reunion.

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Freedom Of Choice

Are we not men? We are the NXNE 2011 lineup

Photo via WBWarner Bros.Or at least we are the first batch of acts officially announced on Tuesday for this year’s NXNE festival, running June 16 through 19 around Toronto. It’s certainly not all of them, but there’s some moderate to big names in there and perhaps most key, the headliners for the free shows at Yonge-Dundas Square that have become the centrepiece of the fest have been revealed.

While there’s no one quite of the stature of last year’s Saturday night marquee of Iggy & The Stooges, New Wave legends Devo have certainly got the pedigree to act as a worthy centrepiece for this year’s event. They and their energy domes and jumpsuits will be headlining the YDS Stage on the Saturday night, closing off what will likely be a full day’s slate of acts. They were here in Fall 2009 offering full-album performances of Q: Are We Not Men and Freedom Of Choice, but have since released their first new album in forever with last year’s Something For Everybody. Which, I’m sure, the masses will want to hear lots of material from at this show. Mm hmm.

And while there’s enough tapped for the free stage that you could have a fine weekend just camped out in front of the Eaton Centre, NXNE is still a club-level fest and there’ll be hundreds more artists from near and far vying for your attention. The schedule won’t be out for a while yet but I’ve managed to cobble together a very early list of who will be playing where and when – obviously all subject to change – and while some of this was previously announced, a lot of it is new:

Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Descendents, OFF!, Rusty, Metz @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield, The Luyas @ Lee’s Palace
Snowblink, Forest City Lovers, Evening Hymns @ The Music Gallery
The Dodos, Deerhoof, Gauntlet Hair @ The Phoenix
Ty Segall, The Dig @ The Garrison
Woodsman @ The El Mocambo

Friday, June 17, 2011
Stars, Land Of Talk, Diamond Rings @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Suuns, No Joy, PS I Love You @ The Horseshoe
Bouncing Souls, Anti-Flag, The Flatliners @ The Phoenix
Art Brut @ The Mod Club
Braids @ The Garrison
Dum Dum Girls, Cults, Superhumanoids, Writer @ Lee’s Palace
Ty Segall, Julianna Barwick, Daniel Pujol, Secret Cities @ Wrongbar

Saturday, June 18, 2011
Devo, Men Without Hats, Cults, Writer @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Twin Shadow, Wild Nothing @ Lee’s Palace
Foster The People @ The Mod Club
Hot Water Music, A Wilhelm Scream, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, Sharks @ The Opera House
Talk Normal, Prince Rama, AIDS Wolf, Grimes, Doldrums @ 918 Bathurst
Chad Van Gaalen, Braids, Jennifer Castle, Duzheknew, Grimes @ The Great Hall
The Balconies @ Sneaky Dee’s

Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wild Nothing @ The Garrison
The Pharcyde, Digable Planets @ Yonge-Dundas Square

And some of the acts who don’t have any more specific information available besides “they’ll be there” are Crocodiles and Lower Dens. Yeah, I think I can find enough to occupy myself for four evenings or so.

MP3: Art Brut – “Lost Weekend”
MP3: Julianna Barwick – “The Magic Place”
MP3: Braids – “Lemonade”
MP3: Jennifer Castle – “Neverride”
MP3: Cults – “Go Outside”
MP3: Deerhoof – “The Merry Barracks”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “Something Else”
MP3: The Dodos – “Don’t Stop”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Broken Rifle”
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Light You Up”
MP3: Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
MP3: Grimes – “Vanessa”
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Quarry Hymns”
MP3: The Luyas – “Tiny Head”
MP3: No Joy – “Hawaii”
MP3: OFF! – “I Don’t Belong”
MP3: Prince Rama – “Lightening Fossil”
MP3: PS I Love You (featuring Diamond Rings) – “Leftovers”
MP3: Ty Segall – “Girlfriend”
MP3: Snowblink – “Ambergris”
MP3: Stars – “We Don’t Want Your Body”
MP3: Suuns – “Up Past The Nursery”
MP3: Talk Normal – “In A Strangeland”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Sara”
MP3: Twin Shadow – “Castles In The Snow”
MP3: Woodsman – “Insects”
Video: Devo – “What We Do”
Video: The Descendents – “I’m The One”
Video: Digable Planets – “Rebirth Of Slick”
Video: Men Without Hats – “Safety Dance”
Video: The Pharcyde – “Drop”

If you prefer your festivals a little more rustically-set, Exclaim has the lineup announcement for this year’s Hillside Festival, happening in Guelph from July 22 to 24. The roster reads like a who’s who of up-and-coming Canadian talent, including The Rural Alberta Advantage, Dan Mangan, Karkwa, Little Scream and really too many more to list. Tickets go on sale May 7 at 10AM at $110 for a weekend pass and these sell out quickly every year so don’t dither too long if at all.

And while talking Canadian fests, it’s worth noting that Montreal’s Osheaga added a bunch more acts including Janelle Monae and Broken Social Scene among them, and broken things down day by day.

In other live music news, Steve Earle will be at the HMV at 333 Yonge for a signing and in-store on April 28 at 6PM – you’ll just have to buy a copy of I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive when it comes out next Tuesday for tickets. Or wait for his show opening up for Blue Rodeo at the Amphitheatre on August 20.

San Diego’s The Donkeys are in town at a venue to be determined Sneaky Dee’s on May 21 in support of their new record Born With Stripes, out on Tuesday.

MP3: The Donkeys – “Don’t Know Who We Are”

The Baseball Project – aka Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Peter Buck and Linda Pitmon celebrating America’s pastime in song – will bring their second album Volume 2: High & Inside to Lee’s Palace on June 1. And yeah, the Jays are at home that evening against Cleveland. Oregon Live has a feature on the band.

MP3: The Baseball Project – “1976”

Louisiana’s Givers, just here supporting Wye Oak a couple weeks ago, will return for their own show at The Garrison on June 21. Their album In Light is out June 7.

MP3: Givers – “Up Up Up”

With their new record D due out May 24, White Denim have announced a date at The El Mocambo for June 28.

MP3: White Denim – “Anvil Everything”

Antony & The Johnsons have released a new video from last year’s Swanlights

Video: Antony & The Johnsons – “Swanlights”

Spinner reports that one of The National’s next projects will be curating a Grateful Dead tribute album for charity. I can only hope that everyone involved covers “Touch Of Grey” because that’s about the only Dead song I know.

Exclaim talks to Explosions In The Sky guitarist Munaf Rayani about their new record Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, out on Tuesday.

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James goes over some of his influences for Spin. Their new record Circuital comes out May 31 and they play The Kool Haus on July 11.

Titus Andronicus discusses his love of Fucked Up and plans for following up The Monitor with Spinner.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Iron & Wine while The Washington Post and Boston Herald have interviews with Sam Beam.

Spectrum Culture and Spin interview Michael Benjamin Lerner of Telekinesis. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 27.

Bon Iver has declared their intention to make the Summer solstice a little more wintry by releasing their new self-titled album on June 21. Details at Pitchfork.

And finally, sympathies to family, friends and fans of TV On The Radio bassist Gerard Smith, who lost his battle with lung cancer yesterday morning. Fuck you, cancer. Just fuck you.

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

All Eternals Deck

The Mountain Goats and Megafaun at The Opera House in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’ve wondered a number of times in the past few years if John Darnielle even knew he was neglecting Toronto again. It took him more than a decade of operating as principal of The Mountain Goats to come to Toronto – his appearance at Lee’s Palace in May 2005 was his first visit ever – and after a few years of regular shows, neither his itinerary for 2008’s Heretic Pride nor 2009’s The Life Of The World To Come or last year’s Extra Lens side project saw fit to make their way up here. They did make it through twice in support of Get Lonely, but that was still three and a half years ago – four if, like me, you only went to the the first one.

A little ways into Sunday’s night’s show at The Opera House, he did indeed admit that he didn’t realize that it had been so long and while I don’t recall if he apologized outright, if his intention was to make it up to us in song… well, mission accomplished. The goodness started with the opening act, fellow North Carolinians Megafaun whom I’d been fortunate enough to see last year. The trio took their “warm up” duties seriously, doing their very best to get the audience roused and excited for the show to come with their spirited country-gospel-blues brew and genial down-home charm. Not many bands would offer their spare room to fans who come visit them in Raleigh and even fewer would actually mean it – but I’m pretty sure Brad Cook did. Want to see an immensely talented trio of musicians who just love what they do? Go see Megafaun.

The cult of Mountain Goats fans – who were out in force on this evening – have let me down as I’ve as yet been unable to track down a set list for the show. I’ve been a Goats fan since Tallahassee but don’t have nearly the encyclopaedic knowledge of John Darnielle’s body of work to try and compile a list of everything that was aired on Sunday night. But sufficed to say that their epic-length – we’re talking ninety minutes plus over a full set, six-song second set and single-song encore – set drew from all points of The Mountain Goats repertoire, from the just-released All Eternals Deck and back as far as 1995’s Sweden. Hell, maybe they went back as far as Darnielle’s 1994 debut Zopilote Machine; I don’t know, there was a good number of songs I didn’t recognize.

Even some of the songs I did know, I didn’t instantly recognize. For while The Mountain Goats have essentially been a full band since Jon Wurster joined Darnielle and bassist Peter Hughes for Heretic Pride in 2008, I had never seen them live as anything but an acoustic guitar-and-bass duo. And here they were as a quartet – keyboardist/guitarist Yuval Semo rounded out the live lineup – with a wealth of sounds and tempos and textures at their disposal; so very unlike the Mountain Goats I remember and so very very wonderful. Only the most steadfast purist would argue they sounded better as a duo or solo, and probably also wish that Darnielle would ditch the studio and go back to recording on a boom box. So when I say “steadfast purist”, I really mean “batshit looney”.

High fidelity Mountain Goats sound amazing and while Darnielle has always been an entertaining performer, seeing him really cut loose as a – dare I say – rock frontman is a revelation. And though (bare) feet did go up on the stage monitors at the show’s end, he’s hardly become a collection of cliched stage moves. As much a crucial part of the magic of the evening as the music was his between-song banter, delivered in his distinctive clipped cadence and covering topics such as why he wore no shoes on stage (inspired by Amy Grant), why he almost put rocks in his ears and his inability at age 15 to break up with his girlfriend honourably, amongst many others. Really, trying to summarize everything that made this show memorable would require pretty much a minute-by-minute accounting of the evening, and that’d be ridiculous. All I can say is that if you want to know what a live Mountain Goats show is like, see them the next time they come to town. And hope it’s not another three and a half years before that happens.

The Baltimore Sun has an interview with John Darnielle, NYC Taper is sharing recordings of two of the Mountain Goats shows in New York last week and Spin welcomed the band for an acoustic video session.

Photos: The Mountain Goats, Megafaun @ The Opera House – April 3, 2011
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “The Age Of Kings”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Damn Those Vampires”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Tyler Lambert’s Grave”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Genesis 3:23”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Sax Rohmer #1”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “New Monster Avenue”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Woke Up New”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Lion’s Teeth”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Palmcorder Yanja”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “No Children”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Baboon”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Family Happiness”
MP3: Megafaun – “Volunteers”
MP3: Megafaun – “The Fade”
MP3: Megafaun – “Kaufman’s Ballad”
MP3: Megafaun – “The Process”
Video: The Mountain Goats – “Ezekiel 7 and The Permanent Efficacy of Grace”
Video: The Mountain Goats – “Sax Rohmer #1”
Video: The Mountain Goats – “Woke Up New”
Video: The Mountain Goats – “This Year”
Video: Megafaun – “Carolina Days”
Video: Megafaun – “Impressions Of The Past”

Prefix, Square, The Lincoln Journal-Star and On Milwaukee have interviews with Sharon Van Etten, in town at the Drake Underground on April 12.

Prefix, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Gateway meet The Dodos, in town at The Phoenix on June 16.

Fleet Foxes have released a video from their forthcoming Helplessness Blues, due out May 3.

Video: Fleet Foxes – “Grown Ocean”

The Dumbing Of America has an interview with The Head & The Heart, whose self-titled debut should be in everyone’s shopping baskets when it comes out on Record Store Day next Saturday, April 16.

DIY and aux.tv have conversations with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes.

All five Terminal 5 recordings that My Morning Jacket are releasing leading up to the premiere of a new song from Circuital are up for grabs. A new song from Circuital will be revealed on April 12 and the album will be released on May 31. The band will be at The Kool Haus to play these songs for you and more on July 11.

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Butch Cassidy” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “The Way That He Sings” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “One Big Holiday” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “It Beats 4 U” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Smokin’ From Shootin'” (live at Terminal 5)

Will Johnson, following a stint as drummer for Monsters Of Folk, returns to his own works with the release of a new Centro-Matic record – Candidate Waltz will be out on June 21 and if you’re not familiar with Centro-Matic, Will Johnson has taken measures to address that via Twitter – namely a sampler compilation of tracks from every Centro-Matic album.

Paste catches up with Eisley, whose new album The Valley is out now. Check out two new songs – one live, one studio – below.

MP3: Eisley – “Ambulance” (live)
MP3: Eisley – “Smarter”

The Rosebuds have wrapped a new album and will release Loud Planes Fly Low on June 7 – check out the first MP3 from the record.

MP3: The Rosebuds – “Second Bird Of Paradise”

The Green Bay Press Gazette meets Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak while Magnet gives the kids the keys to the website for a week, starting with a Q&A. They play The El Mocambo on April 9.

The Von Pip Musical Express chats with Nicole Atkins.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Sunken Treasure

Jeff Tweedy and Snowblink at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThis show was a week ago; I think this may actually be my longest delay between witness and writeup ever and, in fact, Jeff Tweedy’s solo tour is just about over. So if you were waiting on some kind of report from opening night at Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre to decide if it was worth picking up one of the few remaining tickets for a later date… I’m sorry. Sorry that you would allow anything I say or do to influence your decision-making – you know I’m drunk most of the time, right?

But if I had gotten this review up sooner, I could have exhorted everyone going to any of the shows to arrive early enough to catch Snowblink, as local duo had been tapped to open up every show on the tour – maybe those at Wilco HQ had seen my glowing review of their debut Long Live? Either way, even though it was a tremendous opportunity for them, as soon as the lights dimmed it was clear they weren’t just happy to be there. The pair of Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman took the stage carrying lanterns and eventually set up in their own, white cloth-strewn side of the stage – they were going to put on their show. And what a show it was – Gesundheit’s voice was strong and clear and sounded divine in the theatre’s acoustics, and their simple two-guitar arrangements – including an oustanding cover of Springsteen’s “State Trooper” – were subtly embellished with loops, percussion and electronic flourishes. Gesundheit might be a California native, but Toronto now proudly claims her as our own.

Wilco might have last been here as recently as October 2009, but it’s been much, much longer since Jeff Tweedy has come to town with just his acoustic guitars and songbook – so long that Tweedy himself didn’t remember ever having done so. In fact, it had been almost a decade exactly since he played Trinity-St. Paul’s on March 1, 2001, and when reminded of that by the audience he wryly referred to those as “the bad old days”. And while that may have been true for him from both a personal and professional sense, it’s impossible to deny that those were also some of Wilco’s most creatively fertile years, but also an era not often revisited with the full band.

And for about 90 minutes, alone on stage save for a circle of five acoustics and occasional visits from his guitar tech Steve (who was celebrating a birthday), Tweedy would revisit all eras of his career as well as some of his side-projects to air out some songs which would likely never otherwise be heard in these parts. Such as the original, non-Krautrock arrangement of “Spiders (Kidsmoke)”, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot b-side “Magazine Called Sunset” or Loose Fur selections “The Ruling Class” and “Chinese Apple”. And of course there were the couple of rare forays into the Uncle Tupelo canon – I know “Gun” would have been too much to hope for, but “Wait Up” was a most certainly welcome and the encore-closing, unamplified “Acuff-Rose” was for the ages. And from Wilco proper, there was a “Poor Places” which I thought turned out better than he seemed to, a rousing “Shot In The Arm” and a new song which has been unofficially dubbed “Open Up Your Mind”.

Considering who the Wilco dynamic has changed with the addition of virtuoso players like Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche, it was good to be reminded that without Tweedy’s songs at the core, beautiful and resonant even stripped down to their essences, it’d all be for naught. Tweedy on his own was also a different sort of performer, more inclined to engage and banter with the audience (and not berate us for not standing up this time), debate grammar, vocabulary and requests and crack more than few jokes, his best being that which accompanied the photographic evidence of his visit to local Wilco-themed sandwich shop Sky Blue Sky, and to which he added they “seemed a little safe – why not try some mulch, tinsel or fibreglass?”.

With a new Wilco album likely due out in the Summer, it’s a pretty safe bet that Tweedy will be back with his cohorts in tow for another couple nights at Massey Hall. And it’ll be expansive and filled with amazing musicianship, no doubt, but that just makes simple shows like this one all the more special.

The Toronto Sun, The National Post, The Globe & Mail and Chart were all in attendance; three out of four dentists agreed it was a great show.

Photos: Jeff Tweedy, Snowblink @ The Queen Elizabeth Theatre – March 22, 2011
MP3: Wilco – “What Light”
MP3: Wilco – “Spiders” (live)
MP3: Snowblink – “Ambergris”
MP3: Snowblink – “The Tired Bees”
Video: Wilco – “What Light”
Video: Wilco – “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
Video: Wilco – “Box Full Of Letters”
Video: Wilco – “I Must Be High”
Video: Snowblink – “Ambergris”
Video: Snowblink – “The Haunt”

From the ashes of The Broken West and to The Drake Underground comes Pasadena’s Apex Manor; Ross Flournoy’s new band will be opening up for Jonny on June 3 and 4. Their debut The Year Of Magical Drinking is out now.

MP3: Apex Manor – “Under The Gun”

With the May 10 release date of their new record Burst Apart not really all that far off, The Antlers have put together a North American tour that includes a June 14 stop at The Mod Club with Little Scream supporting. She had to bail on the last few dates of her tour with Sharon Van Etten, including the April 12 date at The Drake, to go to Europe with Junip so this will be her next local date. Not that you needed the extra incentive to go see The Antlers, of course. The band performed the whole of the new record live at SxSW and NPR has the stream.

MP3: The Antlers – “Two”

There were here no less than four times last year, and they’re totally coming back for more – that’s Phantogram, and they’ll be at 69 Bathurst on July 28 in the company of The Glitch Mob.

MP3: Phantogram – “When I’m Small”

The Village Voice talks to Amy Klein of Titus Andronicus, who are in town for a show at The Horseshoe on April 1 and again on June 10 at The Phoenix supporting Okkervil River.

Exclaim, Billboard, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post and Mother Jones all have features on The Mountain Goats. Their new record All Eternals Deck is out now and they’re at The Opera House on April 3.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “The Age Of Kings”

Blurt, The Huffington Post, Fogged Clarity, Los Angeles Times and The Von Pip Musical Express have profiles of Wye Oak, in town at The El Mocambo on April 9.

Sharon Van Etten is featured in The Phoenix New Times, Spin and Georgia Straight while NPR is streaming one of her SxSW performances. She’s at The Drake Underground on April 12, and yes that’s her doing backing vocals on The National’s contribution to the soundtrack for the film Win Win, which is now available to download.

MP3: The National – “Think You Can Wait”

Spinner, Pedestrian TV and Vanity Fair have interviews with The Kills, whose new record Blood Pressures is out next week. NPR is streaming one of their SxSW performances so you know what to expect when they hit The Sound Academy on May 1. The new album is also streaming in whole at their website.

Stream: The Kills / Blood Pressures

Low have made available a new MP3 from their forthcoming C’Mon, which is out April 12. They’re at The Mod Club on May 2 with Memoryhouse supporting.

MP3: Low – “Especially Me”

CNN has an interview with Shonna Tucker of Drive-By Truckers, who have a date at The Phoenix on June 15.

PopMatters and Blurt have interviews with The Dodos, who’ve put out a new video from No Color. They’re at The Phoenix on June 16 for NXNE.

Video: The Dodos – “Black Night”

Exclaim reports that My Morning Jacket have assigned a May 31 release date for their new record Circuital. They will be at The Kool Haus on July 11 to support.

Metro Pulse talks high fidelity with Asobi Seksu.

Paste and Blurt have interviews with J Masics, who has released a new Chad Van Gaalen-directied video from Several Shades Of Why

Video: J Mascis – “Not Enough”

MTV Hive has an interview with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes while NPR is streaming their show from Auditorium Shores at SxSW.

NOW interviewed those involved with the Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour that rolled through town a few weeks back, while NYC Taper has a recording of one of the New York shows.

eye and The Georgia Straight check in with Warpaint.

The Los Angeles Times, Spinner, The Boot, The Telegraph and Publishers Weekly all talk to Steve Earle about I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive, which is both the name of his new record, out April 26, and first novel, out May 12.

Rolling Stone chats with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who has set a June target for their second record.

Spinner, The Phoenix and The Fly have interviews with Buffalo Tom.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart discuss their new record Belong with The Line Of Best Fit, The University Observer, Jambands and Exclaim. And oh hey new video.

Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Heart In Your Heartbreak”

Pitchfork pays tribute to the hanging-it-up LCD Soundsystem with an exhaustive analysis of the band’s catalog. Seriously, it’s exhausting.

Austinist and The Huffington Post interview Liz Phair.

NYC Taper has posted a recording of Yo La Tengo’s show at Maxwell’s in New Jersey last week.

NPR doubles up on The Head & The Heart, streaming both one of their SxSW sets and a World Cafe session. The Big Takeover has an interview with the band, whose self-titled debut gets a reissue on April 16.