Posts Tagged ‘Doves’

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

A Coming Of Age

Review of Lucky Soul’s A Coming Of Age

Photo via Lucky SoulLucky SoulHere’s a little bit of trivia for you. Of the 66 artists who’ve either placed in my year-end lists since I began recording them in 2003 or made my “favourite records of the past seven years” list, 18 of them have or are about to release new records this year, eight more were due to put one out this year, eight have put out solo records or collaborations and five more are currently in the studio. Which is to say that if past history is any indicator, 2010 is going to be an exceptional year for music.

While it’s presumptuous to assume that many or even any of those acts will be making repeat appearances on any list of this year’s favourites, one follow-up that’s pretty much a shoo-in is A Coming Of Age, the sophomore effort from London’s Lucky Soul. Their 2007 debut The Great Unwanted was and remains one of my favourite releases of this century, a pretty much perfect collection of classically-styled, throwback pop built on Andrew Laidlaw’s songwriting and Ali Howard’s sun-kissed vocals. So while I was clearly going to be favourably inclined towards the follow-up, it also had some huge footsteps to follow in – footsteps which it uses not so much as a starting line but a launching pad.

It was already clear from the new material previewed when I went to see Lucky Soul make their live US debut in October 2008 that the band had ambitions beyond the northern soul/girl-group vibe that they had pretty much perfected their first time out, but I was still more than surprised by the range of influences that come into play on A Coming Of Age. There are the disco inflections of the irresistible leadoff track, “Whoa Billy!”, the ’80s indie jangle of “White Russian Doll”, the classic Motown stylings of “Love 3”, the light country twang of “Upon Hilly Fields”… and that’s just the first third of the record. Of course, such ranginess wouldn’t be something to laud if they weren’t able to pull it all off but they certainly do, all without losing any of their own distinct personality – quite the opposite, in fact.

The more they push outwards from what The Great Unwanted defined Lucky Soul as, the more they prove they’re so much more than what that implied. It certainly reinforces their ability to craft a pop hook for the ages, and addition to the greater blend of styles, the material also covers a greater emotional spectrum. The charming girlishness of Ali Howard’s presence, which so perfectly captured the spirit of their debut, has matured and grown more experienced on the follow-up with Howard’s stronger voice proving up to the task of expressing those emotions. The best examples of what Lucky Soul are capable of now come at what would logically be the final tracks of sides A and B – the title track and “Could It Be I Don’t Belong Anywhere” – both of which ride sweeping string sections to dramatic effect but stay just on the right side of tasteful, evoking grandeur rather than excess. The latter, in particular, deftly runs the gamut from daydreamy wistfulness to swirling tumult so naturally, you don’t even notice the storm clouds gather until they’re upon you and it does it in under three-and-a-half minutes, providing a remarkable finale to a remarkable record from a most remarkable band.

Lucky Soul have just released a new puppet-powered video for “Whoa Billy!” which was written, shot, edited entirely by the band. A Coming Of Age is out next Monday in the UK, with no domestic release at the moment but and both have it listed as imports. The Von Pip Musical Express talks to songwriter Andrew Laidlaw, who has also taken to the band’s blog to annotate a song from the new record each day over the next twelve days or so. Touring over here is probably far too much to hope for, but if they manage to make it over here for a date or two again, you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be there.

MP3: Lucky Soul – “A Coming Of Age”
MP3: Lucky Soul – “Whoa Billy!”
Video: Lucky Soul – “Whoa Billy!”
Video: Lucky Soul – “White Russian Doll”
MySpace: Lucky Soul

The New York Times gets a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion and styling of Florence & The Machine; NPR and Blare also have interviews with Florence Welch.

Spinner talks to Doves about their new best-of collection The Places Between, from which they’ve released a video for the one new song.

Video: Doves – “Andalucia”

There’s also a new Lightspeed Champion clip from Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You. NME reports that Dev Hynes recently had a bad time with some medical issues, but is feeling better now.

Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Madame Van Damme”

And also one from Emma Pollock, taken from her second solo record The Law Of Large Numbers.

Video: Emma Pollock – “Red Orange Green”

Metro and Love Shack Baby have interviews with members of Fanfarlo.

The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, The Province and The Vancouver Sun have features on and MPR a streaming radio session with The xx. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20.

Song By Toad has a lovely session with Mumford & Sons available to download.

A first sample of Been Listening, the second album from Johnny Flynn, is now available to download. The record is out June 7.

MP3: Johnny Flynn – “Kentucky Flynn”

The Quietus has details on The Boxer, the debut solo effort from (former?) Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke. It’s out June 21.

NME reports that Richard Hawley will release a new digital EP on June 8 entitled False Lights From The Land, featuring “Remorse Code” from last year’s Truelove’s Gutter, one new song and two covers.

Fyfe Dangerfield will be playing a handful of North American dates in support of his solo record Fly Yellow Moon, including a May 23 date at the El Mocambo. Leeds Music Scene and The Linc have interviews with the lead singer of The Guillemots.

MP3: Fyfe Dangerfield – “She Needs Me”
Video: Fyfe Dangerfield – “She Needs Me”

Athlete will bring their new record Black Swan to Lee’s PAlace on June 7 – full North American dates at The Music Slut.

Video: Athlete – “Black Swan Song”

The June 1 release of The Futureheads’ new record The Chaos will be accompanied by a North American tour, including a June 10 date at the Mod Club. There’s a feature piece on the band at News Of The World.

MP3: The Futureheads – “Struck Dumb”

The Guardian reports that Supergrass will be calling it a day this Summer, after 17 years of power-pop.

Video: Supergrass – “Richard III”

If you’ve got 90 minutes to kill, then this episode of BBC6’s The Record Producers on Bernard Butler is well worth a listen – it examines his works from Suede through his solo career to his role today as one of the most in-demand producers in the UK, complete with interviews and exclusive audio samples.

The Sun reports that Blur will release their first new single in seven years this Saturday for Record Store Day in the UK. The head of their label Parlophone tells BBC6 he hopes this is just the start of more new music from the band. Of course he does.

Spinner talks to Bernard Sumner about both Bad Lieutenant and New Order.

Drowned In Sound gets to know Chapterhouse, whose May 1 show at the Horseshoe has unfortunately been cancelled.

Roger Waters will kick off the 30th anniversary tour for Pink Floyd’s The Wall on September 15 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The Toronto Star talks to Waters about the tour, which he says will likely be his last.

Eardrums talks to the makers of a documentary currently being made about legendary Sarah Records label. The Story Of Sarah Records isn’t due out until the end of the year, but a teaser trailer is up now and call for stories and memorabilia about the label open.

Trailer: The Story Of Sarah Records

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

A More Perfect Union

Review of Titus Andronicus’ The Monitor

Photo By Bao NguyenBao NguyenEver since I first saw Fanfarlo during SxSW last year – even before, actually – I’ve been waiting for them to come to Toronto. And though a mid-December date was cancelled due to a stolen passport, it appears all systems are go for their debut this Friday night at Lee’s Palace… so why won’t I be there? Well, blame New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus.

After seeing more than a few glowing reviews of their new album The Monitor, I dug up my copy, popped it in the CD player and proceeded to have my ass kicked for the next 60-plus minutes. The American Civil War themes that run through the record and offer context to the spoken word clips that appear throughout make for good talking points, but what’s really important about The Monitor is that it’s an uncompromising rock record that’s as tuneful and honest as it is intense and aggressive and so booze-soaked, you can almost see the fumes coming out of the speakers. And while on paper, that’s what all rock music should be, in reality it’s quite a rare thing and so when you hear it done right – and The Monitor does it right – it’s an eye-opener.

As far as reference points go, Titus Andronicus beats the music writer to the punch via their own bio, pre-emptively stating, “Blah blah blah Springsteen blah blah blah beer blah blah blah beard blah blah blah Shakespeare yadda yadda yadda Seinfeld blah blah blah Conor Oberst in a vat of acid blah blah blah books”. Clever, but if they were being thorough there’d be a few more “blahs” separating references to The Replacements, Whiskeytown and The Hold Steady and truly, The Monitor finds Titus Andronicus following in their same dense, wordy, angst-ridden, despondent and triumphant footsteps. It sprawls and staggers, it stands up and falls down. And gets back up again.

So what’s this got to do with Fanfarlo and their delightful orchestral pop? Well, Titus Andronicus are going to be at Sneaky Dee’s on Friday night as well, and as much as I enjoy the Londoners and hope they have a great show, I kind of want/need to see Titus Andronicus and, if their live reputation is accurate, get my face torn off. Figuratively speaking.

Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles tells Spinner how he recruited the likes of Craig Finn and Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls) to provide the dramatic readings interspersed throughout the album. Pitchfork solicits a guest list from the band and Exclaim, eMusic and The Georgia Straight have interviews.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part One)
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part Two)
Video: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
MySpace: Titus Andronicus

The Weekender talks to Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn about their new album Heaven Is Whenever, due out May 4.

Philadelphia Daily News, The Patriot Ledger, Victoria Advocate and JAM talk to Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers, who are in town this week for two nights at Lee’s Palace – April 6 and 7 – as well as an in-store at Sonic Boom at PM on Wednesday night. NYC Taper has a recording of their recent show in New York available to download.

White Rabbits have released a new video from last year’s It’s Frightening. They’re at Lee’s Palace on April 27.

Video: White Rabbits – “They Done Wrong, We Done Wrong”

Beatroute and Spinner talk to Spoon. The band stopped in at CBC last week to record a session for QTV.

Video: Spoon – “The Mystery Zone” (live on QTV)

The Quietus talks to The National’s Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner about the making of High Violet, due out in just over a month on May 11. They play Massey Hall on June 8 and 9. And I really have to go pick up my tickets for that.

The Line Of Best Fit and Georgia Straight talk to Retribution Gospel Choir’s Alan Sparhawk.

LCD Soundsystem have scheduled a North American tour in support of their new record This Is Happening, out May 18, and it includes a May 25 date at the Kool Haus. Tickets $35 in advance, on sale Friday.

Stream: LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”

The Music Slut asks eight questions of Steve Drozdt of The Flaming Lips. They’ve announced a July 7 date in Montreal, so can a Toronto date – their first in almost four years – be far off? I imagine not.

Chart, eye and Metro talk to Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan about their contributions to the film Passenger Side, which premieres at the Royal tomorrow night and will be followed by an acoustic set from half of the ‘Chunk – Mac and Jim.

Interview and Under The Radar interview The Drums, whose debut album is due out June 7.

NPR interviews Sam Coomes of Quasi, who are in town at the Horseshoe on April 18.

Sounds Good Ink has a feature on Let’s Wrestle, who will be supporting Quasi on the aforementioned date (and tour).

Broward-Palm Beach New Times and Athens Banner-Herald have conversations with Arctic Monkeys bassist Nick O’Malley while News-Observer chats with guitarist Jamie Cook.

Doves’ guitarist Jez Williams talks to The Guardian about using the moon as a delay pedal and that the band have no plans to split, despite being in the career retrospective phase with the upcoming release of The Places Between: The Best Of Doves, due out April 20. Williams also tells BBC6 that he feels for new bands trying to get their careers started in this day and age.

Spinner and The Times chat with The Futureheads – their new record The Chaos is out in North America on June 1.

eGigs talks to Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit, who are at the Opera House on May 4.

The first single from The Pipettes’ new record Earth Vs Pipettes, out June 28, is now available to download. Wouldn’t it be great if one of the choruses in the song went, “Our love was saved by Dr. Leo Spaceman“? Yes? No? Sorry, been watching a lot of 30 Rock.

MP3: The Pipettes – “Our Love Was Saved By Spacemen”

OPB Music has a video session with The Clientele, The Montreal Miror an interview.

Magnet prepares to hand over the editor’s desk to David Gedge of The Wedding Present for a week with a Q&A. They kicked off their Bizarro 20th anniversary tour last week and will be at the Horseshoe on April 14. The Aquarian Weekly also has an interview.

PopMatters interviews Bernard Sumner of Bad Lieutenant.

Clash lists 12 things you didn’t know about Pet Shop Boys.

The Quietus celebrates the 20th anniversary and defends the legacy of Lush.

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

In Retrograde

An introduction to The Invisible

Photo By Mads PerchMads PerchI kind of hate for the most apt reference point for a band to be the most obvious one, but if you have to offer an elevator pitch on London trio The Invisible, it’s hard not to want to use the letters T, V, O, T and R. The comparison goes beyond the superficial multi-racial composition of the band, though.

It also applies to their collective musical ability and creativity, both clearly on display but not ostentatiously so, and their aesthetic, which filters rock, rhythm and blues and soul influences through a thoroughly contemporary and frequently electronically-enhanced filter. Where they differ from the Brooklyn outfit is in their approach, which dials down – but doesn’t eliminate – the post-millennial tension and angst that informs much of TV On The Radio’s work in favour of a more chilled-out vibe. There’s still fire beneath the surface, but The Invisible opt to deliver it in a smoother, more soulful and dance-friendly sound.

Their 2009 self-titled debut, still only available in Europe, was a heady enough brew to garner the band a place on last year’s Mercury Prize shortlist, and after a short visit to New York for CMJ last Fall, they’re returning to North America this Spring; first for SxSW and then a proper tour that will allow music writers on this side of the Atlantic to make all kinds of bad puns about the seeing (or not seeing) the band and includes an April 2 date at the Opera House in Toronto. So if you, like me, were having trouble deciding between Serena-Maneesh at the Great Hall and A Sunny Day In Glasgow at The Garrison… your life just got a little more complicated.

MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”
Video: The Invisible – “Jacob & The Angel”
Video: The Invisible – “London Girl”
MySpace: The Invisible

The Vinyl District gets The Joy Formidable frontwoman Ritzy Bryan to reminisce about her favourite records. They’ve released a new video as a preview of their debut full-length, due out sometime this Summer.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “Popinjay”

Music Snobbery and Spinner have interviews with Kate Nash, whose new record arrives on April 20 and now has a name – Crayon Full Of Color. Pitchfork likes the first giveaway track “I Just Love You More” more than I do. Spin has a stream of the more agreeable first official single, “Do Wah Do”, complete with obnoxious marketing voiceover. Update: The Music Slut says the new record is actually called My Best Friend Is You. I don’t know who to believe anymore.

MP3: Kate Nash – “I Just Love You More”

What better way to celebrate the North American release of Little Boots’ debut Hands than by canceling one of the dates on her North American tour? The April 30 Toronto date at the Phoenix is no longer showing up at either Ticketmaster or Ticketweb and there’s no trace of it on the promoter’s website. Still looking for an official word or reason, but none of the above are good signs. But on the bright side, it does make the question of whether to go see Jonsi at the Sound Academy that much easier to answer. Artist Direct has an interview with Victoria Hesketh.

Spinner talks to Rose Elinor Dougall about making her post-Pipette North American debut at SxSW. Her solo debut Without Why is due out this year. The Pipettes’ new one Earth Vs Pipettes is also due out in 2010.

Drowned In Sound, BBC and Pitchfork have words with Los Campesinos!. They’re at the Phoenix on April 20.

Horrors bassist Rhys Webb talks to Spinner about the band’s preparations for recording album number three.

NPR has an interview with Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion.

Doves have announced they’ll release a best-of collection entitled The Places Between: The Best of Doves on April 6, consisting of a CD of their singles, a second disc of rarities and a DVD of their videos. Specifics on the set available at Pitchfork, and if you were wondering only about half the material on Lost Sides is repeated here and there are three all-new songs scattered amongst the two discs.

The Clientele’s Alasdair MacLean submits five recommended hallucinatory children’s books to Owl & Bear, while Baeble Music gets a Guest Apartment video session and video interview. The AV Club also has a chat. The Clientele are at The Horseshoe on March 19.

The Georgia Straight talks to We Were Promised Jetpacks, who will release a new EP on March 9 entitled The Last Place You’ll Look. Head over to Stereogum to grab an MP3 from the short-player.

Get Hampshire talks to Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison about their new record The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, due out March 9. They’re at the Opera House on May 4.

The Line Of Best Fit have premiered the new video from The Twilight Sad, who will be at Lee’s Palace on May 26.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “The Room”

JAM talks to Gary Jarman of The Cribs about adding legend Johnny Marr to their lineup.

Clash excerpts their feature piece on Tindersticks, getting guitarist David Boulter to recount tales of his early days.

Blurt has a twopart interview with Andy Partridge of XTC. Okay, technically that should be “formerly of”, but I can’t bring myself to say that. Or type that.

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Ashes On The Fire

Review of Richard Hawley's Truelove's Gutter

Photo via Hawley is one of those rare artists for whom when I’m in the mood to hear their stuff, I can reach for pretty much any one of their records and it will hit the spot. It helps that there’s not really anyone else out there doing what he does these days – lush, romantic pop drawn from a pre-Beatles era, deeply beholden to the early days of American rock and rockabilly and yet undeniably English, all delivered with his rich baritone and incomparable guitarwork. At his best, Hawley is heart-rendingly beautiful and luckily for his fans, he’s rarely not at his best.

Don’t take my earlier comment about not caring which Hawley record I hear as meaning they’re indistinct or interchangeable, though. For while he has remained largely consistent in style throughout his solo career (early jobs included stints with The Longpigs and Pulp), each album has its own definite character and his sixth record, Truelove’s Gutter, is no exception. While 2007’s Lady’s Bridge was a more extroverted affair – string-laden, infused with a sense of whimsy and containing a couple of romping singles – Gutter steps off the streets and into the parlour, an altogether more intimate record and at the same time, even bigger than its predecessor.

Though the record continues Hawley’s tradition of naming his records for landmarks in his hometown of Sheffield, the imagery it evokes is also appropriate to the emotional content within. Love is the album’s running theme, but not necessarily in the glossy romantic sense – instead it looks at the reality of it, fraught with rejection and regret, weariness and wariness, melancholic without giving way to cynicism and still given to moments of tenderness. Hawley (or his characters, at least) has been through the wringer and yet still believes enough to get back up. The record’s production and arrangement contributes to this darker, more introspective mood. Each of the eight songs flows effortlessly into the next and it largely eschews the big-band approach in favour of a more atmospheric one, suffused with esoteric instruments you may not necessarily hear but certainly feel. It’s a thing of beauty, but then it’s a Richard Hawley record. Of course it is.

The California Chronicle, The Sheffield Telegraph, The Guardian and The Scotland Herald all have features on Hawley while Magnet solicited a Q&A with the artist in exchange for making him guest editor for the week – already their website has been privy to Hawley’s musings on topics such as The Velvet Underground, The 13th Floor Elevators and John Steinbeck.

Video: Richard Hawley – “For Your Lover, Take Some Time”
Stream: Richard Hawley / Truelove’s Gutter
MySpace: Richard Hawley

One of the best bits of news I’ve heard in a while came yesterday in the form of a dispatch from Leeds’ Sky Larkin – namely that they were giving away a new digital single entitled “Smarts” and that they were embarking on a North American tour this Fall – that includes a Toronto date! They’ll be at the Cameron House on October 28 with Peggy Sue and while I missed their Toronto debut supporting Los Campesinos! in April, I did see them at SxSW so I know what I speak of when I say they will destroy the place. In the very best sense.

MP3: Sky Larkin – “Fossil, I”
MP3: Sky Larkin – “Molten”
MP3: Peggy Sue – “Lover Gone”

And speaking of Los Campesinos!, with Aleks Campsinos! returned to civilian life and college, they’ve enlisted the younger sister of frontman Gareth to take her place. They made a fun little video introducing Kim Campesinos! to the world.

Ear Farm talks to The Clientele, whose new album Bonfires On The Heath is out October 6 but is streaming in its entirety now at Merge. There’s also a new video of the band performing this Summer at Merge XX and bassist James Hornsey assembled a mixtape for NYLON.

Stream: The Clientele / Bonfires On The Heath

Hull Daily Mail chats with Mumford & Sons, whose debut Sigh No More is out October 5 in the UK.

Anyone who enjoyed the God Help The Girl album be aware – a 5-song EP of all new material was quietly released at the end of last month. You can find Stills as a 10″ single or as a download.

Fanfarlo are interviewed by Music Snobbery and declared “ones to watch” by Clash. They’ve just wrapped a short US tour but will be back – to New York at least – for CMJ. Hopefully they’ll do some more dates while they’re over here.

NOW profiles Arctic Monkeys. They’re at the Kool Haus on September 29.

Drowned In Sound has a two-part interview with Editors. In This Light & On This Evening is out October 12.

In talking to NME, Doves reveal that they don’t expect to have a new album out before 2012, but will be releasing a best-of compilation sometime between now and then.

Spin and Pitchfork talk to Bernard Sumner of Bad Lieutenant, who have released the first video from their debut Don’t Cry Another Tear, out October 12.

Video: Bad Lieutenant – “Sink Or Swim”

Clash and Express & Star have features on Ian Brown, who will release My Way on Monday. There’s a video for the lead single which he tells BBC was originally intended for Rihanna.

Video: Ian Brown – “Stellify”

Artrocker talks to Ian McCulloch and The Dumbing Of America to Will Sargent about Echo & The Bunnymen’s new album The Fountain, out October 12. They’ll be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre performing Ocean Rain orchestrally on October 20. Update: Just got an MP3 of the first single from the new record!

MP3: Echo & The Bunnymen – “I Think I Need It Too”

Friday, September 11th, 2009

More Stars Than There Are In Heaven

Review of Yo La Tengo's Popular Songs

Photo via FacebookFacebookThere’s a good run of albums, there’s career consistency and then there’s Yo La Tengo. The New Jersey outfit has been turning out full-length gems for almost a quarter-century now, and while some are held in higher regard than others, their consistently high standard has been nothing short of astonishing. And this isn’t a case of a band finding a style they excel in and working on variations of that theme, at least not unless you consider “restless creativity and experimentation in the realms of pop music” to be a single theme. So in sitting down with their twelfth proper album Popular Songs, you would have an excuse to not be surprised by what they have to offer, but none to not be delighted.

2006’s I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass was a welcome dose of energy for those afraid that the two preceding records were finding the band settling into a comfortable, somnambulant zone, bringing back not only the band’s noisier side but also their genre-hopping aesthetic. It wasn’t as many individually sublime moments as their previous highwater mark I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, but as a collection it was a more than worthy addition to their discography. If this was as good as Yo La Tengo could be 20 years in, then we should consider ourselves lucky. But if Ass was the luck equivalent of finding a $20 bill in the street Popular Songs is like winning the lottery.

Okay, that’s probably overstating it but Songs has a certain something that you didn’t even realize Ass lacked. It’s hard to articulate exactly what that is, but it’s the ineffable quality that distinguishes a classic Yo La record from just a great one. I’ll put it down as a sense of fun. Ass had the sense of the band exploring terrain that they hadn’t visited in a while (and tinged with the sense of looking for a way to stay interested) and that sense of curiosity yielded its own rewards, but now it sounds like they’re comfortable again and are having fun with it. Everything that makes Yo La Tengo wonderful is present in abundance – the quiet, extended meditations (“The Fireside”), the skronky garage pop (“Nothing To Hide”), the gentle folk of “When It’s Dark”, the jazzy grooves (“Periodically Double Or Triple”) – and all points in between. For most bands, it’s probably too much to expect them to turn in one of the best albums of their career after the 20-year mark. Once again Yo La Tengo have defied expectations.

Spinner talks to the band about the secret of their longevity as well as the secrets of their songwriting. Paste also has a feature peice and also gets Ira Kaplan to offer up a recommended listening list.

Yo La Tengo are at the Opera House in Toronto on October 3.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “When It’s Dark”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Nothing To Hide”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Avalon Or Someone Very Similar”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
MySpace: Yo La Tengo

DCist salutes Velocity Girl’s wonderful Simpatico! record, talking to most of the band about the making of the album. I loved that record. Must put it back into rotation this weekend.

Video: Velocity Girl – “Sorry Again”
Video: Velocity Girl – “I Can’t Stop Smiling”

Decider talks to The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

Wye Oak have released a new video from their excellent second album The Knot.

Video: Wye Oak – “Sight, Flight”

Billboard talks to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Robert Been about the live CD/DVD set – creatively titled Live – due out November 10. Their new studio album is targeted for a Spring 2010 release.

The upcoming tour that pairs like-it-loud Asobi Seksu with like-it-low Loney Dear and Anna Ternheim was a bit of a head-scratcher until it was announced that Asobi would be releasing an acoustic album entitled Rewolf November 10, recasting old songs originally done loud in a quieter setting. The Village Voice confirms that the band is taking this setup live, so expect to see them as you’ve never seen them before when they play the Horseshoe on October 14 – no bad thing if you’ve already seen them many times before.

The Flaming Lips’ continues to talk smack about Arcade Fire to The Independent. Embryonic is due out October 13.

The Times Daily checks in with Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers. They just released a rarities and b-sides comp entitled The Fine Print last week and will have a new studio album out in February.

Under The Radar mind-melds with Telekinesis.

New Grizzly Bear video.

Video: Grizzly Bear – “While You Wait For The Others”

The endlessly prolific The Fiery Furnaces, whose latest album at the time of this writing is I’m Going Away but may well be something new by the time you read this, will be at the El Mocambo on November 7, tickets $20.

MP3: The Fiery Furnaces – “The End Is Near”

Obviously not ones for verbosity, San Francisco’s buzzy, fuzzy poppy Girls have set a September 22 release date for their debut album Album and Fall touring bring them to the El Mocambo on November 10.

MP3: Girls – “Lust For Life”
Video: Girls – “Lust For Life”

The Quietus talks to Warren Ellis about the second Grinderman album, which should be out sometime next year.

Doves have rolled out a new video from Kingdom Of Rust

Video: Doves – “Winter Hill”

Little Boots recorded a Black Cab Session in Austin during SxSW in March. So THAT’S what the Tenori-On does! And technically, Austin cabs are not uniformly black but that’s neither here nor there. Little Boots plays Wrongbar on Monday night.

Video: Little Boots – “Stuck On Repeat” (live on Black Cab Sessions)

BeatRoute talks to Arctic Monkeys. They’re at the Kool Haus on September 29.

Shanghaiist chats with Handsome Furs.

Blare grabbed an interview with Jay Ferguson of Sloan a couple weeks back at V Fest, where he revealed there were plans to release a new digital EP this Fall and that he’s done with making CDs. Not albums, just CDs. The band also just announced they’ll be playing a free show outside the Air Canada Centre next Wednesday night, September 16, before the Leafs-Bruins pre-season game. This may well be the highlight of the season for Leafs fans.

And speaking of free public shows, that Neil Young performance that was supposed to happen at Yonge-Dundas Square on Monday is off. You can stop lining up now. Why? The Toronto Star, who reported the event in the first place, got a hold of Young and he says he had no idea he was supposed to perform in the first place and was never going to be in town. Hmm. The Jonathan Demme concert film Neil Young Trunk Show is still coming to the Film Festival though, so you can try an line up for that.

Trailer: Neil Young Trunk Show

Pitchfork invites an array of indie-rock luminaries to make “best of” lists for the century so far.