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Posts Tagged ‘Doldrums’

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Before Us

The Dog Day(s) of December are here

Photo By Seth SmithSeth SmithI’m not entirely sure when or why Halifax’s Dog Day fell off my radar; I was very much on board circa their 2007 debut Night Group and the 2009 follow-up Concentration, but missed out on 2011’s Deformer – which saw the quartet reconfigure themselves as just the duo of Seth Smith and Nancy Urich – completely.

But I’m on the ball with their new album Fade Out – which incidentally finds themselves a quartet again – and it’s nice to know that despite the personnel shuffles, out of the speakers not a lot has changed. Their roughly-hewn and downcast yet unfailingly melodic still evokes the spirit of their ’90s Maritime Can-rock forebears but those ingredients have also underpinned great rock music from many eras and locales. Dog Day sound very much like where they’re from but don’t confuse that with having only a regional appeal.

Fade Out is out December 10 and their eastern Canadian tour brings them to Toronto’s Cinecycle on December 14. Exclaim, The Halifax Chronicle Herald, and The Coast have interviews with Smith about the new album, which you can stream below.

MP3: Dog Day – “Wasted”
Stream: Dog Day / Fade Out

NOW gets to know No Joy, in town at The Garrison tomorrow night, December 5.

Rolling Stone has an advance stream of the new Neil Young archival release Live At The Cellar Door, which captures two acoustic shows in 1970. The album is out December 10.

Stream: Neil Young / Live At The Cellar Door

Pitchfork has surfaced a new song from Doldrums, currently without context but perhaps pointing towards a new release in 2014. Doldrums is at The Great Hall on December 13 for the second Long Winter.

Stream: Doldrums – “Dive Deep Pt 1”

The Drake Hotel has announced the lineup for this year’s What’s In The Box? mini-fest, which fills the Underground with the sounds of local bands and DJs for the five nights following Christmas at the non-inflationary price of $5. As always, there’s all sorts of up-and-coming talent on the bill, but readers of this site will want to circle December 27, when Alvvays take the stage, and December 30, when Rich Aucoin does his thing in a room he’s far too big to play in anymore.

MP3: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”
MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”

And speaking of musical holiday traditions, The Wooden Sky have announced details of their fourth annual holiday revue fundraiser to benefit the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank. It goes December 29 at 918 Bathurst and tickets will run $20, plus a donation of a canned good.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”

Stars are helping local radio station Indie88 celebrate their increased signal strength – which means I can now finally hear them in my car in downtown Toronto – with a rare club show at Lee’s Palace on January 18. Tickets are $8.81 and go on sale Friday.

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

After touring their self-titled debut around North America straight though to the year’s final days, local punks PUP will take a little breather and come right back for a hometown show at The Garrison on January 31.

MP3: PUP – “Reservoir”

Toronto synth-goth artist Trust has announced a March 4 release date for his second album Joyland. Exclaim has details, inevitable trailer is below.

Trailer: Trust / Joyland

If you were holding off on going to see Arcade Fire at the Air Canada Centre on March 13 because the only costumes or formalwear you have are for warm weather, then rejoice – the band have announced a return engagement as part of some late Summer tour dates at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 29. Tickets range from $30.50 to $70.50 and go on sale December 13 at noon.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

Young Galaxy look set to run away with the record for most videos from an album that’s not really an album, namely the bonus disc of the Ultramarine Deluxe edition. They premiered the latest clip via Stereogum.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Hard To Tell”

Tone Deaf and The New Zealand Herald interview Metric, who’ve released another new video from Synthetica.

Video: Metric – “Lost Kitten”

A Music Blog, Yea has an interview with The Darcys while The Toronto Star finds out why their recent gigs have been at area high schools.

Beatroute, The Montreal Gazette, Seattle Weekly, The Georgia Straight, and Victoria News talk to Basia Bulat.

Dan Bejar of Destroyer tells The Line Of Best Fit why he decided to make a record in Spanish. There’s also a video session with Destroyer at Dutch radio station 3voor12.

Beatroute checks in with Amber Webber of Lightning Dust.

CBC Music has video of Fucked Up’s tribute to the legendary Teenage Head show known as The Last Pogo, recorded at a very punk rock 9AM on a Saturday morning at The Horseshoe Tavern, scene of the original show in 1978.

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Reservoir

Review of PUP’s PUP

Photo By Frank YangAmanda FotesSo a few weekends ago, the good folks from NPR’s World Cafe programme were in town exploring Toronto for their Sense Of Place series, and one of their stops was my dining room. They had somehow gotten it into their heads that I was the right person to recommend some up and coming 416/905 bands and I didn’t have the heart to tell them that my days of being out in the trenches (read: clubs) seeing fresh-faced new acts were long behind me. But I think I still managed to put together a solid list of recommendations, most of whom are familiar to the pages of this blog; one who was not, however, was PUP. So before my segment airs (next Wednesday around 5PM, I think), let’s rectify that.

I think in my elevator pitch for PUP, I described as something akin to pop-punk without the shopping mall baggage of that genre. Emphasis on “I think”, because I was blathering pretty badly throughout the interview. What I meant was that the band and their debut album PUP was loud, brash, and melodic, but without the disaffected ennui or sophomoric snottiness that I’d otherwise associate with the label. Powered by the friction of disappointment and defiance that’s the territory of youth, PUP balances snarling vocals with singalong choruses and bristling with riffs metallic without being quite metal. PUP may not have made it into these pages before this because, well, big loud rock is young people music but man, if I were some years younger, this would be the shit.

There’s features on the band at Exclaim, The Edmonton Sun, and Planet S; Exclaim also has a video session with the band.

Video: PUP – “Reservoir
Stream: PUP / PUP

It’s not entirely clear what the just-announced Fucked Up, S.H.I.T, and Odonis Odonis show at The Garrison on November 20 is about, but from the looks of this RSVP form, it’s sponsored by Vice, possibly free, and as cuss-worthy as you can get. If only “odonis” were a swear.

MP3: Fucked Up – “A Little Death”
Video: Odonis Odonis – “Better”
Stream: S.H.I.T. / Equalizing Distort Radio Session

And speaking of Fucked Up things, the lineup for the December edition of Long Winter – taking place December 13 at The Great Hall – has just been announced, and while the event’s patrons are again not on the bill, it is still pretty stacked with performances by Doldrums, Hooded Fang, Fresh Snow, and Beliefs (the last two – spoiler alert! – also making an appearance in my NPR segment) amongst many, many others. As always, the event will be pay-what-you-can, multi-disciplinary, and wonderful.

MP3: Doldrums – “I’m Homesick Sittin’ Up Here In My Satellite”
MP3: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”
Video: Hooded Fang – “Ode To Subterrania”
Video: Beliefs – “Catch My Breath”

Great Lake Swimmers leader Tony Dekker will be at Yorkville’s Heliconian Hall for two shows on January 24 in support of his solo album Prayer Of The Woods; tickets for each performance are $20.

Video: Tony Dekker – “Prayer Of The Woods”

Vancouver’s Belle Game – just in town a couple weeks back – have already set a return date behind their debut Ritual Tradition Habit; they’ll be at The Horseshoe on February 8, tickets $13.50 in advance. There’s features on the band at The Vancouver Sun and The Province.

MP3: The Belle Game – “River”

And I guess people have been waiting for this one for a while; Arcade Fire have revealed the dates for their North American tour in support of Reflektor. Toronto gets to put on their mandatory costumes and fancy dress to file into the Air Canada Centre on March 13, tickets ranging from $30.50 to $70.50 plus fees.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

Austra have released a new video from Olympia.

Video: Austra – “Forgive Me”

Noisey has premiered the new video from Louise Burns’ latest album The Midnight Mass.

Video: Louse Burns – “Jasper”

Tokyo Police Club gives Exclaim an update on their next album, targeted for an early 2014 release.

Southern Souls chats with Chad VanGaalen.

Spencer Krug of Moonface lists off some favourite albums for Chart; he also gives an interview to Exclaim.

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Show Yourself

Okkervil River invite you to climb the rope in The Silver Gymnasium

Photo By Ben SklarBen SklarIt’s rather de rigueur these days to sneak-announce the existence of new albums of note, eschewing the traditional long lead for the immediacy allowed by the internet and social media or whatnot, but in revealing the existence of a new Okkervil River record, Will Sheff went with the teasing route, playing a guessing game through last week in revealing a few letters of their new album’s title each day, eventually announcing The Silver Gymnasium this past Monday.

Not that the announcement didn’t come with its share of surprise. Firstly, that it existed and would be out as soon as September 3 – to the casual observer, it seemed that Sheff was more occupied with his Lovestreams side project than recording the follow-up to Okkervil’s 2011 album I Am Very Far, and secondly, that the record sees the band leaving their longtime label of Jagjaguar for the Dave Matthews-founded ATO Records. But the new record is done and however it’s delivered, it’s good news.

More specifics are still forthcoming, but the album announcement also came with the itinerary for a Fall North America tour, which will bring the band back to town for the first time in over three years. They’ll be at The Phoenix on September 28 and tickets are $23.50 in advance.

MP3: Okkervil River – “Your Past Life As A Blast”

Elsewhere on the concert announcement circuit, Doldrums and Absolutely Free have been named as the Art Gallery of Ontario’s First Thursday performers next month on the evening of July 4. Tickets are $12 in advance.

MP3: Doldrums – “Jump Up”
MP3: Absolutely Free – “UFO”

Memoryhouse have announced a July 19 appearance at The Drake Underground, part of a very small handful of Canadian dates this Summer. Tickets for the Drake show are $10.25 in advance.

MP3: Memoryhouse – “Quiet America”

German ambient-electronic artist Ulrich Schnauss will be at The Drake on August 10; his latest A Long Way To Fall came out back in January. Advance tickets are $20.

Video: Ulrich Schnauss – “A Long Way To Fall”

With her solo debut Hero Brother coming out August 20, Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld has scheduled a live date at The Drake for August 22, tickets $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Sarah Neufeld – “Hero Brother”

Up-and-coming British soul singer Laura Mvula makes a return to town on September 7 at The Mod Club behind her debut album, Sing To The Moon. Tickets for the show are $20.

Video: Laura Mvula – “Green Garden”

They may have gone indie for their latest album Like Clockwork, but make no mistake – Queens Of The Stone Age are still a big-ass band. To wit – they’ll be at The Air Canada Center on September 10, tickets running at the $34.50, $49.50, and $59.50 price points. Full tour details can be had at Pitchfork.

Video: Queens Of The Stone Age – “I Appear Missing”

Jenn Grant is coming back to town play more songs from last year’s The Beautiful Wild, this time at Lee’s Palace on September 21. Tickets for that show are $15 in advance.

Video: Jenn Grant – “The Fighter”

With Austra’s new album Olympia coming next Tuesday, June 18, it’s high time for an advance stream courtesy of Exclaim, interviews with Katie Stelmanis at MusicOmh and Clash, and a Fall tour that includes a hometown show at The Phoenix on September 27, tickets $25.

Video: Austra – “Home”
Stream: Austra / Olympia

Norwegian singer-songwriter Jenny Havl has made a date at The Rivoli for September 27 in support of her latest album Innocence Is Kinky.

Stream: Jenny Havl – “Mephisto In The Water”

It may have been disappointing to many that Tricky had to cancel his Summer dates in support of his latest False Idols due to visa issues, but Toronto fans will be happy to know that the rescheduled dates now include a local date – October 6 at a venue to be announced. In the meantime, FasterLouder has an interview with Tricky.

MP3: Tricky – “Anti-Matter”

With a new album in Idle No More due out on September 3 via Merge, King Khan & The Shrines have announced a Fall tour that stops in at The Horseshoe on October 26 and offered a stream of one of the new songs via Stereogum.

Stream: King Khan & The Shrines – “Born To Die”

Continuing to stick to her habit of playing one small venue tour and one bigger venue tour per album, Kate Nash will bring Girl Talk back to Toronto for a night at The Phoenix on November 5, tickets $20 in advance.

Video: Kate Nash – “OHMYGOD!”

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Never Minding

Hooded Fang well past teething stage with Gravez

Photo By Sara Amroussi-GilissenSara Amroussi-GilissenWhen Toronto’s Hooded Fang first surfaced in early 2009, despite being over a year away from releasing their debut full-length Album, they seemed inescapable on the club circuit – I saw them thrice that year without trying at all. And because of that concentrated dose, and even though they were clearly still in the early stages of finding themselves, I assumed that sugary, ramshackle twee-pop would remain the bedrock of what they were about. Which was fine and fun, but not enough to hold my attention.

As it turns out, they were on an accelerated evolutionary track, with their second album Tosta Mista coming out barely a year after their first and pointing to a more focused and compact aesthetic that traded the “twee” modifier for “garage” and “surf”. Their third album Gravez, out tomorrow, brings even more changes as the band lineup has been whittled down from its original seven-piece collective to a lean quartet and in the process, getting louder, harder, and steering their sound towards more time-warped, psychedelic destinations. If you handed me this record four years ago and told me that this is what that instrument-swapping, glockenspiel-tapping, shambolically giddy outfit would become, I wouldn’t have believed you. And yet, here we are.

Exclaim and Cut From Steel have interviews and The Grid a video session with the band, who’ve just released a new video from Gravez. They play a hometown release show for the new record at The Horseshoe this Friday night, May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang / Gravez
Video: Hooded Fang – “Ode To Subterrania”

Artrocker has an interview with Young Galaxy, who make their first post-Ultramarine Toronto appearance at Lee’s Palace on May 31.

The Coast interviews Hayden, who is participating in the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Also playing that fest as well as NXNE at BLK BOX on June 14 are Vancouver’s Gold & Youth; VUE and The Province have feature pieces on the band.

Though not out until August 20, Diana’s debut album won’t be self-titled after all, but carry the title of Perpetual Surrender, the change intended to head of potential legal issues. Exclaim explains why. Diana are doing NXNE at The Horseshoe on June 13, and then opening for Tegan & Sara and fun. at Downsview Park on July 6.

CBC Music, Exclaim, Montreal Gazette, and Dummy have feature pieces on Majical Cloudz, whose NXNE showcase comes June 15 at BLK BOX.

The Fly interviews Katie Stelmanis of Austra, whose new album Olympia comes out June 18.

Vancouver’s Lightning Dust have released a video and download for the first song from their new album Fantasy, out June 25.

MP3: Lightning Dust – “Diamond”
Video: Lightning Dust – “Diamond”

Diamond Rings gives Exclaim some hints as to the direction of album number three, due out sooner than you might think. They open up for OMD at The Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.

Beatroute chats with The Belle Game, coming to town for the Soundclash Festival at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

The Line Of Best Fit asks some questions of Sarah Neufeld, whose solo debut Hero Brother comes out August 20.

Suuns have released a new video from their latest, Images du Futur; The Province also has an interview.

Video: Suuns – “Sunspot”

Doldrums also have a new video from their debut album Lesser Evil.

Video: Doldrums – “Holographic Sandcastle”

Exclaim talks to Jim Guthrie about his excellent new solo record Takes Time.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Grimes.

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Hero Brother

Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld Hero-ically goes it alone

Photo By Nick BostickNick BostickThat Arcade Fire will release a new record this year – possibly/probably produced by or at least involving James Murphy – is pretty much a given. But also a given is that it won’t be out until Fall, at the earliest, because a) it’s already Spring and it’s not done, and b) Fall is still when all the big records come out and this is about as big as they get.

It would be nice to be able to say that Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld will be able to help fill that gap, what with the announcement that the instrumental solo endeavours that had her playing live shows since late last year have coalesced into her debut album – produced by German composer Nils Frahm – but the fact is that Hero Brother – said debut album – isn’t scheduled to come out until August 20, which is almost Fall anyways. But until then, there’s a preview MP3, an album trailer, a brace of Summer tour dates (nothing local yet but be patient), and a promise that she’ll continue to promote the record even while Arcade Fire is doing the same for album number four. Pitchfork has all the salient details on the record.

And while on the topic of things Arcade-y and Fire-y, congratulations to Win and Regine on the birth of their baby boy.

MP3: Sarah Neufeld – “Hero Brother”
Trailer: Sarah Neufeld / Hero Brother

If ever there was a reason to not rely on this site for your timely music news, this is it. Earlier this week Sloan released a limited-edition 7″ with two new hardcore songs on it, and by the time you read this they will have completely sold out. But you can still read details on it and the companion album of hardcore covers at Exclaim, and stream the two sides of the single below. Because that’s almost as good, right?

Stream: Sloan – “Jenny”
Stream: Sloan – “It’s In You, It’s In Me”

Along with a new video that surfaced last week, Exclaim has an advance stream of Jim Guthrie’s first new record in seemingly forever – Takes Time – ahead of its release on May 7. And spoiler alert – it’s terrific.

Stream: Jim Guthrie / Takes Time
Video: Jim Guthrie – “Bring On The Night”

Dallas Good talks to Exclaim about recording The Good Family Album with his family as The Good Family, and also about the next Sadies record. The Good Family play The Dakota Tavern on May 9 and 10 and The Sadies are part of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

aux.tv chats with Airick Woodhead of Doldrums, back in town for a show at The Horseshoe on May 11.

Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz talks to DIY about his debut album Impersonator, out May 21 and from which a new MP3 has just been made available. He opens up for Youth Lagoon at The Great Hall on May 13 and will be back for NXNE on June 15.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Bugs Don’t Buzz”

Stereogum has premiered a stream of a new Hooded Fang tune, taken from Gravez. It’s out May 28 and they play The Horseshoe on May 31.

Stream: Hooded Fang – “Ode To Subterrania”

Beatroute have put Vancouver’s Gold & Youth on this month’s cover in tribute to the May 14 release of their debut album, Beyond Wilderness.

Le Blogotheque has a striking Take-Away Show with Colin Stetson, and Exclaim, Consequence Of Sound, eMusic, and Rolling Stone have feature interviews. His new record New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light came out this week and he plays The Great Hall on May 19.

The 405 meets Young Galaxy.

CBC Music graphically maps the Broken Social Scene extended family, a map which will get even messier come May 28 with the release of X, a special album which teams up Arts & Crafts artists to record new songs, Judgement Night-style. Exclaim has details, and Clash a profile piece on the label. Broken Social Scene headline the Field Trip festival at Garrison Commons on June 8.

The Georgia Straight chats with Snowblink, who will also be playing Field Trip on June 8.

Crystal Castles have released a new video from III. They’re at The Sound Academy on June 8.

Video: Crystal Castles – “Affection”

NYLON meets Moon King, who will be all over NXNE playing June 13 at The Garrison, June 14 at The Drake, and June 15 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Austra have released the first video from their second album Olympia, due out June 18.

Video: Austra – “Home”

She Knows and College Times interview Born Ruffians, playing for free as part of Sound Clash at Harbourfront Centre on July 13.

No Joy have released a new/first video from their second album, Wait To Pleasure.

Video: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”

For her visit to The AV Club’s Undercover studio, Basia Bulat takes a swing at Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days”.