Posts Tagged ‘D’Urbervilles’

Monday, December 28th, 2009

New Asian Cinema

Things to sit and watch, featuring The Mountain Goats

Photo via Grand CrewGrand CrewSo everybody’s holidays going well? Been catching up with friends and family, perhaps indulging in a little post-holiday retail therapy? That’s largely been my last few days, and in between all that, watching lots and Lost and lots of television. So in the spirit of that sloth, here’s some stuff for y’all to watch – particularly if you, like me, are stuck at work this week.

Grand Crew is a site based out of France that I hadn’t heard of until last week, when they began spreading the word that they had a beautifully-shot, wonderfully recorded and intelligently-presented – check out the timeline/song-selector at the bottom – multi-camera concert of a solo Mountain Goats show in Paris from October of this year. John Darnielle and company have yet to tour The Life Of The World To Come up this way – hopefully in the new year – so until then, this recording will have to suffice. And wholly impressed by this show, some digging through the archives revealed similarly high-quality performances from The Big Pink, The xx and Micachu, amongst others. Worth taking some time out to enjoy, and that club looks beautiful to shot in – tasteful smoke machine, front-lighting… my shutter button-finger is getting twitchy.

The Big Pink are at the Mod Club on March 24. The xx are at the Kool Haus on April 20.

Video: The Mountain Goats @ Point Ephémère, Paris – October 13, 2009
Video: The xx @ Point Ephémère, Paris – April 29, 2009
Video: The Big Pink @ Point Ephémère, Paris – April 29, 2009
Video: Micachu & The Shapes @ Point Ephémère, Paris – April 21, 2009

Also coming out of Paris are a couple more noteworthy performance courtesy of La Blogotheque – a Take-Away Show from The Antlers and a Soiree de poche (pocket evening?) from The Dodos.

A bit closer to home, Southern Souls have posted a new performance from Diamond Rings, who you have no shortage of opportunities to see live over the next while – he’s performing at the big Tranzac New Year’s Eve throwdown happening, um, New Year’s Eve at the Tranzac, then opening up for Owen Pallett at the Mod Club on January 12 then at the Roundhouse on February 11 as part of Wavelength 500. And now’s as good a time as any to remind you that The D’Urbervilles, aka Diamond Rings’ rock’n’roll outfit, are playing The Drake Underground tonight as part of What’s In The Box. Spinner talks to John O’Regan about how things are coming with The D’Urbs’ next record.

And finally, Ohbijou stopped in at Toro Magazine’s studios for a video performance of “Jailbird Blues”.

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

I Gotta Tell Ya Fellas, This Is Pretty Terrific

Oh No Forest Fires, Make Your Exit, Clothes Make The Man and The Balconies at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangPeople traditionally go to great lengths to avoid getting a lump of coal for Christmas but there’s something to be said for getting a big pile of rock for the holidays. And it was rock – and lots of it – on offer Saturday night at the Horseshoe for Jingle Bell Rock, an evening presented by promotions company Audio Blood Media and media partners and Exclaim. The lineup featured four bands from the Audio Blood roster – Oh No Forest Fires, Make Your Exit, Clothes Make The Man and The Balconies. The opener and closer were personal live favourites so even though I didn’t know the middle acts at all, odds were pretty good that it’d be a great show.

I’d seen The Balconies a couple times since they moved to Toronto from Ottawa and began gigging their asses off, and they’ve yet to deliver anything but a cracking good set. As always, the power pop of their self-titled debut was lean and lethal and the trio had energy and charisma to spare, rewarding those who’d had the foresight to show up early with a terrific set. I was recently asked in a sort-of poll for a UK website what my Canuck tip for 2010 was – I went with The Balconies, calling them “an inevitability” (do I need quotes to quote myself?). This show was a reminder of why. Their next local gig is January 6 at Supermarket.

From there it was into the, “…and you are?” portion of the night. Clothes Make The Man were certainly keeping in the rock theme of the night, perhaps moreso than any of the others. You had to feel for frontman Ryan McLennan’s vocal cords, so throat-shredding and raw was his delivery but even so, was still able to carry a melody and even convey some gentleness when called for. Which, honestly, wasn’t that often – the quartet was here to be loud and heavy and just tuneful enough. Mission accomplished.

Make Your Exit had a decidedly different mandate, playing the role of sensitive, jam-friendly collective for the evening. Their set was all grand arrangements, emotive melodies and layered harmonies – enough to put most of those around me into a collective swoon but leaving me largely umoved. Certainly I was able to appreciate the musical ability on display, objectively, but any grab for the heartstrings missed the target. Hey, win some, lose some.

Oh No Forest Fires were, as the kids say, made of win and provided just the jolt of energy I needed to make it through the remainder of the night. Led by frontman and human superball Rajiv Thavanathan, their gleeful, ADD-addled prog-punk had the band bouncing around the stage as the blew through material from their debut mini-album The War On Geometry which, in the spirit of the season, they were offering for free to anyone who asked for a copy. Also festive was their set’s finale, which saw the Horseshoe stage being swarmed by most/all the other bands and those who put on the show for a madcap Christmas medley of “Silent Night” and “Feliz Navidad” that would have made Jose Feliciano proud… assuming he’s secretly a musical anarchist. A fitting cap to a holiday celebration the way they all ought to be – sweaty and ear-bleeding.

Photos: Oh No Forest Fires, Make Your Exit, Clothes Make The Man, The Balconies @ The Horseshoe – December 12, 2009
MP3: Oh No Forest Fires – “Robin The Boy Wonders”
MP3: Oh No Forest Fires – “It’s Not Fun And Games Until Someone Loses An Eye”
MP3: Make Your Exit – “Through The Winter”
MP3: Clothes Make The Man – “Telescopes”
MP3: The Balconies – “Serious Bedtime”
MP3: The Balconies – “300 Pages”
MP3: The Balconies – “Smells Like Secrets”
Video: Clothes Make The Man – “Privy”
Video: Clothes Make The Man – “Singles Only”
MySpace: Clothes Make The Man

Since this has started out as a sort of holiday post, now’s as good a time as any to round up some of the many, many, many seasonal musical giveaways that seems to be popular right now. Lucky Soul have gathered all the artists on their own Ruffa Lane label to give away a Christmas tune. They’ve themselves done a cover of Mud’s “Lonely This Christmas”, Montt Mardié has discoed up Wham!’s “Last Christmas” while Swedish glammers Napoleon and London folkies Grantura offer original compositions. Lucky Soul’s second album A Coming Of Age is currently on target for a March 2010 release.

MP3: Lucky Soul – “Lonely This Christmas”
MP3: Montt Mardié featuring Le Sport & Mr Suitcase – “Last Christmas”
MP3: Napoleon featuring Ali Howard – “Midnight Train to Arhus”
MP3: Grantura – “Holly”

Dean & Britta are giving away both sides of their 2008 Christmas single, a cover of Roger Miller’s “Old Toy Trains” and “(S)He’s Coming Home” by The Wailers. And as an early Christmas gift to longtime fans, The Line Of Best Fit reports that all three Galaxie 500 albums will be reissued on March 22 of next year by Domino Records in deluxe CD format, each album featuring a bonus disc previously released by Rykodisc on its own, and on heavy 180-gram vinyl. More immediately gratifying these interviews with Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips at Ladygunn.

Anni Rossi is offering a special gift to those who sign up to her mailing list; Future Sounds reports said gift is an EP of Christmas tunes, one of which is “Silver Bells”.

MP3: Anni Rossi – “Silver Bells”

Jason Lytle is celebrating the holidays by giving away a free EP at his Bandcamp site.

Ear Farm has curated a terrific album of holiday tunes featuring artists such as Asobi Seksu, Sharon Van Etten and Julie Doiron, and is selling it for a paltry $5 with all proceeds going to benefit the Association to Benefit Children.

Looking past Christmas – as in the day after – the Drake Hotel has released the lineup for their annual “What’s In The Box?” Boxing Week concert series. As always, cover is $5 and some of the performers helping make sure those of us still working through the last week of December are bleary-eyed and unproductive are The D’Urbervilles, By Divine Right, Pick A Piper and many more.

Also hosting a series of shows that week with a food drive angle is The Garrison – specifics are still forthcoming but a list of some of the bands participating has gone up over at Stille Post.

Toronto label Out Of This Spark will make the end of the holidays and return to the humdrum of the working week a little more bearable on January 22 when they hold their third anniversary bash at the Garrison. The bill will feature The D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers, Evening Hymns and Jenny Omnichord – a lot like this year’s lineup.

Looking a little further ahead, New York synth-pop duo Phantogram will be at the Drake on February 20, tickets $10. Their debut full-length Eyelid Movies will be out on February 9 of next year.

MP3: Phantogram – “When I’m Small”

The Morning Benders will return to the Drake Underground, where they played in February, on April 14 as part of a North American tour in support of their new album Big Echo, out March 9. Tickets for the show are $11.50.

MP3: The Morning Benders – “Waiting For A War”

Yeasayer, who are directing all their website traffic to the one specially set up for their new single “Ambling Alp”, will be at Lee’s Palace on May 1 in support of their new album Odd Blood, out February 9. Tickets $18. There’s an interview with singer Chris Keating at BBC Radio 1.

MP3: Yeasayer – “Ambling Alp”
Video: Yeasayer – “Ambling Alp”

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Spin The Bottle

The D'Urbervilles and Forest City Lovers at The Theatre Centre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen the Summerworks festival last year decided to incorporate a music program into its already-established showcase for independent theatre, it seemed an ambitious yet eminently logical way to introduce fans of one art to the other – see am up-and-coming play, stick around for a couple up-and-coming bands. Has it worked? One can only hope, though considering Thursday night’s show was the first one I’d made it to either last year or this and I didn’t come early for the play, I may not be the best sample group.

The bill that finally got me out to the Theatre Centre, the decidedly charming in-the-round performance space underneath The Great Hall, featured a couple acts I’d seen together back in January at the Out Of This Spark anniversary show – The D’Urbervilles and Forest City Lovers – who were and still are two of the finest acts yet to fully seep into the city’s collective unconsciousness. Both acts have been working on new recordings – the D’Urbs seeking to follow up their 2008 debut We Are The Hunters and Forest City Lovers crafting their third album after last year’s Haunting Moon Sinking – so I had expected to hear some new material showcased alongside old favourites. The bands, however, had different ideas.

The fact that the stage was set up to accommodate two bands side by side was the first sign that this wasn’t going to be a typical show, but Forest City Lovers started off typically enough with the quartet showcasing their charming and understated folk-pop, led by Kat Burns’ haunting vocals. Surprisingly, the excused themselves after only about four or five familiar selections with bassist Kyle Donnelly breaking into the deep groove of The D’Urbervilles’ “Spin The Bottle” and the rest of the band finger-snapped and shouted their way offstage, West Side Story style, as the D’Urbs came out and took over. Donnelly stayed put, since he was also the D’Urbervilles bassist and would the musical lynchpin for the evening. Like their labelmates, The D’Urbervilles set was short and comprised mainly known material, though delivered with enough gusto and enthusiasm to make up for some of the slop around the edges of their delivery. I’ve seen them tighter before, is all. They also wrapped after just five songs, but promised something special coming up after a short intermission.

And if anyone in the audience hadn’t figured it out yet, it because clear what that was when the drummers for both bands took their seats behind their respective kits and kicked into an adrenalized version of Forest City Lovers’ “Country Road”. Yep, for one night only, it was going to be a Forest D’Urberville supergroup or, as they called, the Out Of This Spark Family Band saluting their label boss on the occasion of his birthday. As they alternated between selections from each band’s catalog, it was somewhat revelatory how energized the usually more sedate Forest City Lovers material sounded with the D’Urbervilles’ big rock injection. I’m not suggesting they invest in the Marshall stacks, but that extra dimension could be something to explore. And as for The D’Urbs, their big sound just got bigger, but Burns’ harmonies were a nice if mixed-too-low addition. You couldn’t call the resultant seven-piece a study in musical precision – they’re stylistically a little to disparate to go together like chocolate and peanut butter and at points it wobbled as if one were literally sitting on the others’ shoulders whilst playing – but the sense of fun being had onstage was undeniable and irresistible and more than carried the night.

There’s some video of the show at Morning Noon Night. Forest City Lovers play next at Lee’s Palace on August 28 – details on that show below. The D’Urbervilles are playing V Fest Ontario at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 29.

Photos: The D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers @ The Theatre Centre – August 13, 2009
MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Dragnet”
MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Spin The Bottle”
MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Hot Tips”
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Scared Of Time”
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Oh Humility” (live)
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Pirates”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Song For Morrie”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Please, Don’t Go”
MySpace: The D’Urbervilles
MySpace: Forest City Lovers

So while there wasn’t much (if any) new material from either band aired during the show, both Forest City Lovers and The D’Urbervilles contribute new tracks to the second Friends In Bellwoods double-CD charity compilation, those just two of 39 good reasons to pick this record when it comes out August 25. Like the first edition did back in early 2007, Friends acts as an excellent snapshot of everything musical and wonderful going on in Toronto and southern Ontario right now, boasting new tracks from established local heroes like Final Fantasy and Great Lake Swimmers, bands of the moment like The Rural Alberta Advantage, Basia Bulat and The Acorn and a slew more that will send you scrambling to Google in search of a MySpace so you can find out who the heck they are. And of course, there’s the charitable aspect – like the first comp, which raised over $11,000, all proceeds from the record and attendant shows will go to the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank.

And what of those shows? The launch party for the first edition at the Tranzac ended up beyond sold out, the lineup of those shut out stretching up and around the block (including yours truly) so they’re expanding the launch festivities this time around. The first event goes this Wednesday night, August 19, at the Gladstone and features performances from Gentleman Reg and Katie Sketch (formerly of The Organ), Diamond Rings, Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija and Emma McKenna, but the big to-dos will happen the weekend following the album’s release. First off on the 28th at Lee’s Palace you’ll have Ohbijou, Bocce, Forest City Lovers and Evening Hymns – tickets $12 in advance – and on Saturday, they take it back to the Tranzac for an all-day blow-out, starting at noon and featuring short sets from many of the bands on the record including The Acorn, Bruce Peninsula and Sebastien Grainger, amongst many others. Admission for that is $10 at the door or $8 with a non-perishable food item. That does not include broccoli.

And to whet your appetite, here’s three of the tracks from Friends In Bellwoods 2, courtesy The D’Urbs, The Phonemes and Tusks.

MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Magic Arrow”
MP3: The Phonemes – “April, Let’s Send His Colleagues An Email”
MP3: Tusks – “New To Old Money”

Mentioned above was Diamond Rings and mentioned throughout today’s post The D’Urbervilles – if you like the latter, you should check out the former. Not because the The D’Urbs’ post-punk and Diamond Rings’ DIY glam sound particularly alike – they don’t, really – but because Diamond Rings is the synth-happy, one-man-band alter-ego of D’Urbs frontman John O’Regan. His debut release is a split 7″ single with PS I Love You, his side of which has a new video. And courtesy of the band/man/experience, I’ve got a copy of the 7″ – which comes in decadent purple coloured vinyl – to give away. If you want it, email me at contests AT with “I want a Diamond Ring” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body, and get that to me before midnight, August 20. And note that in addition to the Friends In Bellwoods show on the 19th, there’s Diamond Rings shows in Hamilton at This Ain’t Hollywood on the 20th and in Guelph at Kazoo! 76 on the 21st. Also check out an interview from last month at Steel Bananas.

Video: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”

Also be sure to head over to Soundscapes’ YouTube channel, where they’ve posted videos from Ohbijou’s in-store there back in June. And check out interviews with the band over at Chart, ExclaimTV and The Line Of Best Fit.

And speaking of TLOBF, they continue to demonstrate their mad love of Canada by assembling a third compilation of Brit-approved Canadian content, free for the grabbing. So go grab.

The Toronto Star sits down with Joe Pernice in the Toronto coffee shop where he wrote most of his debut novel It Feels So Good When I Stop, located some 200 metres from the Dakota Tavern where he’ll be performing on September 24. Well you can’t say the man doesn’t support his own neighbourhood. Which is as good an excuse as any to point out these episodes Indie Rock Cribs that the man whipped up a few years back. Still hi-larious.

Chart took some time to talk to St Vincent’s Annie Clark when she was in town last week.

The Aspen Times has an interview with Steve Earle.

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Come On Pilgrim

Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, Grizzly Bear and Pet Shop Boys for Virgin Festival Toronto/Ontario 2009

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceSo here we go. Some four months after I’d originally expected to see it in my inbox and after much rumour-mongering, hand-wringing, bitching and moaning, it’s here. The lineup for Toronto’s – sorry, Ontario’sVirgin Festival 2009. It’s far and away the most mixed bag of nuts yet, with names guaranteed to both delight and confound, no matter what you’re into.

So really, the question is this; is this lineup enough to get you out to Burl’s Creek park near Orillia and camp for two or three nights with all the attendant logistical hassles? And perhaps more importantly… was this worth the wait? The fact that 2-day tickets this year are just $99 ($105 after fees) – I think that’s a full $30-$40 less than past years – may help sway your opinion towards the “yes” side, though that’s just admission – camping costs another $100 for two nights and $135 for three nights (note – prices are per campsite, not per person, to a maximum four people per site) and there’s various VIP options for those with low self esteem. There will also be information on commuting assistance forthcoming for those citygoers who are afraid to venture north of Dupont, let alone into cottage country.

But anyways. Here it is, with the standard “more to come!” note attached.

Saturday, August 29
Ben Harper & The Relentless7
Franz Ferdinand
Paolo Nutini
Grizzly Bear
Mates Of State
Plants & Animals
Down With Webster
The Rural Alberta Advantage
Iglu & Hartly

Sunday, August 30
Nine Inch Nails
Pet Shop Boys
Our Lady Peace
Cold War Kids
Coeur De Pirate
The Von Bondies
Trouble Andrew
Silver Starling
The D’Urbervilles

For myself, I have to say this is a pretty attractive lineup, and I love how acronym-heavy the Sunday is, should make for easy texting. Providing there’s no scheduling SNAFUs I see more than enough to keep me interested from start to finish, and if this were somewhere more accessible then it’d be a no-brainer to attend. I wonder if the Pixies will be doing their Doolittle show or if it’ll be a normal set? I assume they, like Pet Shop Boys, will be closing out the second stage rather than warming up for the wholly incompatible “headliners” on each night. The location does give me pause, though – as I think I’ve mentioned before, I have unfond memories of sitting on the 400 for hours while trying to get to Molson Park, and now you have to add in getting through/around Barrie and to an even more remote location. So yeah, this’ll take some thinking. And maybe a helicopter rental. And yourselves? Who’s already airing out their tents and stocking up on industrial-strength blackfly repellant, and who’s, well, not?

And here’s a by no means comprehensive but decent sampling of what you might be hearing waft across Lake Simcoe that last weekend of August.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Cheerleader”
MP3: Mew – “Repeaterbeater”
MP3: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”
MP3: Sloan – “I’m Not A Kid Anymore”
MP3: Thunderheist – “Jerk It”
MP3: Cold War Kids – “Hospital Beds”
MP3: The Von Bondies – “Pale Bride”
MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Frank, AB”
MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Dragnet”
Video: Pixies – “Here Comes Your Man”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Love Etc”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Can’t Stop Feeling”
Video: Mute Math – “Spotlight”
Video: Coeur De Pirate – “Comme Des Enfants”

Matablog has details on the new Mission Of Burma record The Sound The Speed The Light, due out October 6. They also have the first MP3, with a decidedly un-MOB title but a very MOB sound.

MP3: Mission Of Burma – “1, 2, 3, Partyy!”

Bandstand Busking has posted a show from Woodpigeon.

They’ve already got a show at the El Mocambo this Thursday, but Japandroids have already scheduled another one at the Horseshoe for September 19 with The Mt St Helen’s Vietnam Band. Tickets $10.

MP3: Japandroids – “Young Hearts Spark Fire”
MP3: The Mt St Helen’s Vietnam Band – “Cheer For Fate”

If you don’t catch her free show at Harbourfront on July 25, Amy Millan has booked a cross-Canada tour including an October 14 date at the Mod Club in support of Masters Of The Burial, out September 8. Tickets for that show are $15.

Black Key gone solo Dan Auerbach will bring his Keep It Hid to the Phoenix on November 7 with Justin Townes Earle and Jessica Lea Mayfield as support. Tickets $20.50.

MP3: Dan Auerbach – “I Want Some More”
MP3: Justin Townes Earle – “Midnight At The Movies”
Video: Jessica Lea Mayfield – “Kiss Me Again”

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Shine A Light

Constantines and Chad Van Gaalen at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor the last few years, Harbourfront Centre has been the go-to spot for Canada Day celebrations in Toronto. Each year, they put on a free show on the lake with some of the top domestic acts of the moment, but on a year-to-year basis they’ve also been doing a pretty great job of representing all the facets of what we’d call Canadian indie rock. Back in 2007 (I missed the 2006 show featuring The Dears), they showcased the more avant garde end of the spectrum with Final Fantasy and Do Make Say Think, and last year put the spotlight on the female and folky with Martha Wainwright and Basia Bulat. For 2009, they traded the estrogen for some testosterone, bringing in hometown heroes Constantines and Calgary’s Chad Van Gaalen.

Van Gaalen I’ve honestly done my best to get into his records in the past – after all, with the sheer amount of love he gets from all quarters, he must have something going for him – but have never really managed to do it. There’s just something about his particular DIY sonic aesthetic that doesn’t do it for me. And so it’s ironic that I’d find someone who’s generally regarded as a home studio auteur to be so much more enjoyable in a live setting. He started the evening in interesting form, first coming out with a broom and sweeping the stage clean, then saluting the national anthem by way of dropping his pants, and then finally making funny but probably family-inappropriate gestures with his finger and his fly. Yeah. Musically, he led his band through selections from all three of his albums and damn if they don’t just sound much fuller and more realized than they do in their studio incarnations? Maybe it’s the extra oomph of the live rhythm section (helped by the fact that I had planted my ass right in front of the PA bass bin) or the fact that his voice sounds less reedy and the guitars fatter, but it was just so much more satisfying an experience and allowed me to see and hear the artist that others do – I just prefer his more direct and less idiosyncratic side. Odds are I won’t care so much for his next studio record but if he puts out a live album, I may pay more attention.

Constantines, on the other hand, I’m fully guilty of not having paid enough attention to since day one. That was resolved somewhat last year, when I got my first Cons record in Kensington Heights and saw them live twice – the first time at a super-intimate club show and the second at the somewhat less-intimate but still awe-inspiring V Fest. Both shows, though quite different, certainly confirmed their long-standing reputation as an incredible and intense live act. I expected nothing less from them this time out.

My education hasn’t reached too far into their back catalog, however, so aside from the Kensington material their set was only familiar from past live experiences and so rather than comment on what was played, I’ll focus on how it was played – in a word, exceptionally. The Cons have been at it a long time and as such, are about as tight a rock machine as you’ll find anywhere. Their songs are lean, but not thin – within each hard-charging piece are myriad little songwriting and arrangement details that give their sound extra complexity. But really, live, what you’ll hear – or more correctly FEEL – is the swirl of the guitar and keyboard riffs, the unrelenting thump of the rhythm section and most importantly Bry Webb’s big, raw rasp, occasionally augmented by guest Jennifer Castle’s gentler backing vocals. It’s just rock, yeah, but it’s rock done right.

And while they started things out dressed up for the occasion – Webb’s white suit over tropical shirt ensemble was particularly inspired – the intensity of the performance and sweat generated quickly got them looking less natty and, consequently, more appropriate. Clean and proper just doesn’t suit them. And the greatness of their show was pretty much encapsulated by a moment in “Shine A Light”, towards the end of their set, where one by one the Cons pointed out across Lake Ontario and the audience clued in and turned around, just in time to see fireworks going off. A magical moment. If you’re looking for ambassadors for Canadian rock or, as it turns out, a soundtrack to Canada Day, you can’t do much better than Constantines.

Photos: Constantines, Chad Van Gaalen @ Harbourfront Centre – July 1, 2009
MP3: Constantines – “Hard Feelings”
MP3: Constantines – “Nighttime Anytime It’s Alright”
MP3: Constantines – “On To You”
MP3: Constantines – “Love In Fear”
MP3: Constantines – “Soon Enough”
MP3: Constantines – “Arizona”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Willow Tree”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “City Of Electric Light”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Graveyard”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Clinically Dead”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Somewhere I Know There’s Nothing”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Flower Gardens”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Echo Train”
Video: Constantines – “Credit River”
Video: Constantines – “Our Age”
Video: Constantines – “Hard Feelings”
Video: Constantines – “Working Full-Time”
Video: Chad Van Gaalen – “Flower Gardens”
Video: Chad Van Gaalen – “Clinically Dead”
Video: Chad Van Gaalen – “Red Hot Drops”
Video: Chad Van Gaalen – “Molten Light”
MySpace: Constantines
MySpace: Chad Van Gaalen

Summerworks has released the lineup to the music component of their annual theatre/performing arts festival, and with acts like Miracle Fortress, Think About Life, The D’Urbervilles and Forest City Lovers amongst the artists performing, you really should plan on spending much of the week from August 6 to the 15th at The Theatre Centre at The Great Hall. interviews Matt Cully and Vue talks to Neil Haverty, both of Bruce Peninsula, who are embarking on a western Canadian tour this week.

Arts & Crafts has released some official information on the next Hidden Cameras record – Origin:Orphan will be released on September 22 and they’re offering a free download of “Walk On” in exchange for your email.

Emily Haines of Metric tells The National Post about some of her favourite things about Toronto in the Summertime. Curiously, navigating piles of uncollected garbage on the city streets because of the city worker strike does not make the cut.

MBV Music has the second installment in the Reverie Sound Revue blog tour – a bit later than expected, but maybe they got held up at the border or something. This video is a stripped-down studio rendering of “Off Rooftops” from their just-released self-titled debut.

The results of those TARA Secret Sessions which have been taking place at The Audio Recording Academy – perhaps you’ve seen the ads somewhere online – are being made available online to download and enjoy, including some by Oh No Forest Fires and Great Bloomers. The sessions continue through the month of July and admission to all is free. Oh No Forest Fires have blogged a bit about their session. – née AOL Music Canada – has posted the first of a multi-part feature on the history, present and future of independent music in Canada, featuring conversations with journalist types and members of Sloan and The Stills.

Congratulations go out to Eric’s Trip and Rheostatics, the inaugural inductees to the Zunior Canadian Independent Music Hall of Fame, whose aim is to select and salute two trailblazing Canadian independent artists each year and for which I was honoured to be a juror for the 2009 edition.

If you missed or enjoyed Amazing Baby opening up for Phoenix last month, you will be pleased to know they have their own show scheduled for August 4 at the Drake Underground in support of their new album Rewild – tickets $13.

MP3: Amazing Baby – “Bayonets”

Modest Mouse have added as second Toronto date to their Summer tour – they’ll be at the Sound Academy on August 22 in addition to the 21. Tickets $30.

The Cave Singers and Lightning Dust have a date at the Horseshoe on September 14, tickets $12. Both have new albums coming soon – the former with Welcome Joy, out August 18, and the latter with Infinite Light, out August 4.

MP3: The Cave Singers – “Beach House”
MP3: Lightning Dust – “I Knew”
MP3: Lightning Dust – “Never Seen”

The Hold Steady are also rolling into town a little earlier than planned – there’s a second Lee’s Palace show set for September 26 to go with the September 27 one, so if you’d rather rock yourself into oblivion on a Saturday night, you’re all set. Tickets $21.50.

Icelandic electro-dream-poppers (is that still an accurate, if broad description?) Mum return with a new album due out on August 24 entitled Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know and will follow that up with a Fall North American tour that includes an October 27 date at The Phoenix in Toronto, tickets $20.