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Posts Tagged ‘Emmy the Great’

Friday, October 11th, 2013

In The Meantime

Happy Thanksgiving; have a serving of Spacehog

Photo By Lee ClowerLee ClowerThere’s nothing like going into the long weekend with a healthy dose of WTF, so we’ll run with this – a concert announcement either torn from the playlists of Alternative Nation circa 2005 or the dollar bins of CD stores for pretty much every year after that. That’d be the double-bill of Leeds-born, New York-based glam-rock revivalists Spacehog and Detroit’s post-grunge champions Sponge, who will take the stage at Lee’s Palace on December 11, tickets $23 (that’s about $15 in 1995 dollars, if you were wondering).

Also, if you were wondering, they do both have new material that they’re ostensibly promoting. Though they basically split in 2001, Spacehog reunited in 2008 and released a new record in As It Is On Earth at the start of this year. Sponge, remarkably, never actually broke up and have been chugging along since their commercial peak with Wax Estatic and put out and Stop The Bleeding last month. But it’s okay if you don’t care; they probably know you don’t. But they know you wanna hear those old singles so you’re just going to have to deal.

The Nottingham Post has a quick interview with one of Spacehog’s Langdon brothers. It’s not really clear which one.

Stream: Spacehog – “Try To Remember”
Stream: Spacehog – “Glad To Know”
Video: Spacehog – “In The Meantime”
Video: Sponge – “Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina)”

While it’s disappointing that Keep Shelly In Athens had to cancel their Toronto date at Wrongbar next week due to visa issues, their co-headliner Chad Valley will still be coming to town and be playing for free at The Horseshoe on October 15, set time 11:40PM.

MP3: Chad Valley – “I Want Your Love”

English producer Darren Williams has already toured through a couple times in the past two years as Star Slinger, will release his debut album next year – he’s offered a taste to stream below – but not before he puts together another tour that will bring him to the Drake Underground on November 16, tickets $15.

Stream: Star Slinger – “Free”

English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg may have to wait until the end of the month to learn if he’s going to win the Mercury Prize, but he’s already thinking big, following up this past August’s local debut at The Mod Club with a new date at The Sound Academy on January 14, tickets $29.50. Though the fact that his second album Shangri La will be out on November 19 might also have something to do with the tour.

Video: Jake Bugg – “What Doesn’t Kill You”

With a new album in Mug Museum due out on November 12, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon has announced a North American tour that brings her to The Drake Underground on January 21 of the new year, tickets $12.50 in advance.

Stream: Cate Le Bon with Perfume Genius – “I Think I Knew”
Stream: Cate Le Bon – “Are You With Me Now”

The Line Of Best Fit, The Fly, and DIY have interviews with Anna Calvi about her new record One Breath, which came out this week.

If you missed the album stream that went with the UK release of Summer Camp’s second album back in September, Interview is hosting another preview of Summer Camp ahead of its US release next week on October 15.

Stream: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

The Neil Halstead-fronted Black Hearted Brother have released a new video from their debut Stars Are Our Home, due out October 22.

Video: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”

Los Campesinos! have made available a stream of a new song from No Blues, their forthcoming album due out October 29.

Stream: Los Campesinos! – “Avocado, Baby”

Posting of remixes is usually verboten around here but when it involves David Bowie, exceptions can be made. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy’s remix of “Love Is Lost” is one of the main selling points of The Next Day Extra, being released November 4, and it was premiered yesterday via Pitchfork but if you have the inclination, the rip of the BBC premiere is worth hearing for the short interview with Murphy that precedes it. And the version of “Sound & Vision” that soundtracked a cellphone commercial earlier this year is also available to hear (and buy, if you like) – Exclaim explains that one.

Stream: David Bowie – “Love Is Lost” (Hello Steve Reich mix)
Stream: David Bowie – “Sound & Vision” (Sonjay prabhakar mix)

There didn’t end up being a local Stone Roses date this year as I’d prophesied – sorry to anyone who believed me – but the Made Of Stone documentary film about their legacy and reunion definitely is. It’ll screen at The Bloor Cinema on November 22, so circle that one if you’re interested.

Trailer: The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone

Bowlegs has a video session with Lanterns On The Lake, whose wonderful new record Until The Colours Run doesn’t get a North American release until January 14.

The 405 have got a stream of the new Peggy Sue album Choir of Echoes, due out on January 27 of the new year.

Stream: Peggy Sue – “Idle”

The Fly checks in with The Horrors, at work in the studio on their next album.

Filter talks to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream.

Manic Street Preachers have released a poignant new video from their latest, Rewind The Film.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Anthem For A Lost Cause”

Camera Obscura have released a new old-school sci-fi video from Desire Lines.

Video: Camera Obscura – “Troublemaker”

Noisey chats up London Grammar about their current North American tour

Under The Radar has an interview with Savages.

A Music Blog, Yea grabbed an interview with Daughter when they were in town a couple weeks back.

In excerpting the book Isle Of Noises: Conversations With Great British Songwriters, Clash gets some insights into the processes of Laura Marling and Johnny Marr.

Noisey sends Emmy The Great to find out how much it would cost to be A$AP Rocky’s girlfriend a la the prerequisites in “Fashion Killa”; hilarity ensues.

Anyone who had “founding a company dedicated to building and restoring early 1990s Porches” in the, “What has former Catherine Wheel frontman Rob Dickinson been doing since releasing his first and only solo record Fresh Wine For The Horses way back in 2005″ pool, congratulations – you win. Hypebeast has a video interview with Dickinson, who sadly doesn’t sound like a man who misses strapping on a Stratocaster and singing “Black Metallic”.

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

My Beautiful Friend

RIP, Jon Brookes of The Charlatans

Photo via thecharlatans.netthecharlatans.netSad, sad news out of the UK yesterday when it was announced that Jon Brookes, drummer and founding member of The Charlatans, had passed away of brain cancer. The condition first surfaced during a 2010 North American tour that forced the cancellation of a number of dates, but until recently appeared to have been successfully treated, allowing Brookes to continue playing and recording with the band as recently as this Summer, with the band working on new material. Brookes was 44.

It’s not the first tragedy to befall the band – original keyboardist Rob Collins was killed in a car crash in 1996 – but in the almost 25 years of the band’s existence they’ve proven to be amazingly resilient, outlasting pretty much all of their Madchester and Britpop peers while building a really remarkable catalog of albums and singles. If any outfit could find the strength to carry on after such a loss – should they choose to – it’d be The Charlatans.

I feel fortunate to have caught them live at The Kool Haus in early 2002 circa Wonderland, their second-to-last visit (I believe) before a 2006 show at The Phoenix for Simpatico. It wasn’t supposed to be so, but the band were snakebit in their attempts to come back to support 2008’s You Cross My Path and 2010’s Who We Touch; for the former, they scheduled, cancelled, rescheduled, and re-cancelled a date at The Mod Club in Fall of 2009, eventually nixing the tour to allow Brookes to have shoulder surgery and their last attempt in September 2010 – which would have brought them to Lee’s Palace – was scrubbed after Brookes had a seizure in Philadelphia two nights before the show.

I’d been largely nonplussed about the band’s output this century, but those last couple records were genuinely solid and I had been quite excited to see them live again – especially in such small rooms – so those cancellations were extra disappointing. For that last Lee’s show, I’d already gone ahead and done the legwork of linking up their entire videography as I try to do for live reviews, and have actually had all of that HTML saved in a draft post for the past three years in hopes that they’d finally return and I could use it. Whatever happens with the future of the band, that return seems unlikely in the near term so I’ll instead post them as a tribute to Brookes and the band. Rest in peace, sir, and thanks for the music.

Video: The Charlatans – “My Foolish Pride”
Video: The Charlatans – “Love Is Ending”
Video: The Charlatans – “Mis-Takes”
Video: The Charlatans – “The Misbegotten”
Video: The Charlatans – “Oh Vanity”
Video: The Charlatans – “You Cross My Path”
Video: The Charlatans – “You’re So Pretty, We’re So Pretty”
Video: The Charlatans – “NYC (There’s No Need To Stop)”
Video: The Charlatans – “Blackened Blue Eyes”
Video: The Charlatans – “Try Again Today”
Video: The Charlatans – “Up At The Lake”
Video: The Charlatans – “A Man Needs To Be Told”
Video: The Charlatans – “Love Is The Key”
Video: The Charlatans – “Impossible”
Video: The Charlatans – “How High”
Video: The Charlatans – “North Country Boy”
Video: The Charlatans – “One To Another”
Video: The Charlatans – “Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over”
Video: The Charlatans – “Just Lookin'”
Video: The Charlatans – “Crashin’ In”
Video: The Charlatans – “Jesus Hairdo”
Video: The Charlatans – “I Never Want an Easy Life If Me and He Were Ever to Get There”
Video: The Charlatans – “Cant Get Out Of Bed”
Video: The Charlatans – “Tremolo Song”
Video: The Charlatans – “Weirdo”
Video: The Charlatans – “Me. In Time”
Video: The Charlatans – “Over Rising”
Video: The Charlatans – “Then”
Video: The Charlatans – “Sproston Green”
Video: The Charlatans – “The Only One I Know”

Travis have let Rolling Stone host the advance stream of their new record Where You Stand, which comes out August 19. Fran Healy talks to Metro, The Daily Mail, The Daily Record, and The Arbroath Herald about the new album, which they bring to The Sound Academy on September 25.

Stream: Travis / Where You Stand

DIY has both an album stream and track-by-track walkthrough of Absolute Zero, the debut album from Dublin’s Little Green Cars. It came out in North America back in the Spring but is only getting a European release next week, if you were wondering why they’re only getting around to it now.

Stream: Little Green Cars / Absolute Zero

The Fly and The Belfast Telegraph interview members of The Vaccines, who are streaming one of the tracks from their just-released Melody Calling EP via NME. They open up for Mumford & Sons at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 26.

Stream: The Vaccines – “Do You Want A Man” (John Hill + Rich Costey Remix)

Premier Guitar sits down with Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand to talk about their new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action with particular interest in – wait for it – their guitars, while The Age settles for a broader-interest feature piece. The record is out August 27 and they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Stereogum has premiered the lead video for Summer Camp’s self-titled second album, due out September 9.

Video: Summer Camp – “Fresh”

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys talks to Rolling Stone about the new single and video from their forthcoming AM, which comes out September 10. They’re at The Kool Haus on September 15.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

DIY have premiered the first video from Motto, the forthcoming record from Sky Larkin and Oxford Student also has an interview with the band. The new album is out September 16.

Video: Sky Larkin – “Loom”

Even though you’ve already seen her play it live at an in-store, The AV Club has posted the “proper” version of Charli XCX’s cover of The Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way”, as she learned the song for her contribution to their Undercover series. She also lists her five favourites songs for The Week. Charli XCX plays The Hoxton on September 16.

Peter Hook recounts to The Guardian what he sees when he looks in the mirror, which includes a guy who’s going to play Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies at The Hoxton on September 18; he talks to This Is Nottingham about how the live performance will work. And if you want to see what he looks like when he’s trying to teach you to play “Ceremony”, head over to Slicing Up Eyeballs for the video lesson.

Spin is streaming another new track from Johnny Flynn’s forthcoming Country Mile, due out September 30.

Stream: Johnny Flynn – “After Eliot”

Billboard has a video session and interview with Kate Nash. She plays The Phoenix on November 5.

After threatening to leak it herself, M.I.A. has been given a November 5 release date for her eternally-delayed new record Matangi.

Over at Noisey, Emmy The Great explains how she came to write the soundtrack for the film Austenland.

Editors have released another video from their latest album The Weight Of Your Love; Artrocker also has a quick interview with the band.

Video: Editors – “Formaldehyde”

MTV Iggy interviews Camera Obscura.

Mat Osman of Suede tells The Quietus what he’s been listening to lately.

In conversation with The Daily Star Alex James is simultaneously optimistic and hazy about the future of Blur.

Pitchfork has what I believe is the first extensive post-m b v interview with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, including outtakes.

In conversation with The Japan Times, Johnny Marr dumps a whole load of cold, harsh reality on those holding out hope for a Smiths reunion.

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Step Up For The Cool Cats

Palma Violets, Decades, and Always at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor those not in the business of keeping up with the buzz bands of the moment, Palma Violets may not yet have appeared on your radar. Though the release of their debut album 180 is still a month out, they’ve already been heralded as the vanguard of the return of guitar rock – I didn’t realize it had ever gone away – and various permutations of This Year’s Model. A title which, while a tremendously helpful leg up as far as getting people interested goes, is also a decidedly two-edged thing as by its very definition, it means that next year it’ll be someone else. Perhaps this is was why they opted to stage a North American tour before their record was out or the buzz had necessarily carried over the Atlantic except to the most devout Anglophiles; they built their name in the UK based on their live show, so why not do the same over here? And so, motivated by curiosity and an urge to get the first show of 2013 in the books, even in the tail end of a frigid cold snap, it was to the Horseshoe I went last Thursday night.

Opening up were some familiar faces in Always – very familiar, as they’d also supported the last few shows I caught at the end of 2012; such ubiquity from an act that had done its best to keep as low a profile online as possible. Each time out had been a little different, however – the full five-piece lineup that opened for The Joy Formidable was back following the stripped-down trio configuration that supported Joel Plaskett, and superficially frontwoman Molly Rankin was now very blonde. The tunes, as always, were indie-pop gems and with the full band back in place, it was a chance to again appreciate how well-arranged and fully-formed the songs were and their selection of The Primitives’ 1988 UK hit “Crash” as a cover was perfectly suited. Perhaps best of all, the online demos that went AWOL shortly after my first writeup on the band have now been replaced with properly-recorded versions that are meant for public ears to hear, so you don’t have to take my word for anything anymore – just go listen.

I’d spent the weeks leading up to the show assuming that the middle band on the will was this Decades – a metal band from Albany, New York – and not this Decades from right here in Toronto. Bands, let this be a warning for you and your generic names. Even when the five-piece took the stage and clearly weren’t metal-punk bros, their wildly-mixed aesthetic – flowery shirts, fedoras, medallions, hoodies, eyeliner – didn’t offer much guidance as to what to expect. When they started playing, however, it all came together as a well-studied blend of goth and New Wave that struck a good balance between concise and atmospheric and was over and done in under 30 minutes. They’d have benefitted from a cleaner mix – particular on the vocals and guitar – and a decision to either commit to or dispense with a look, but were enjoyable well beyond simply not being what I feared/expected.

The problem, as Palma Violets are likely to find as their coming-out party progresses through 2013, is the question that will be asked will not simply be “are they good?” but “do they live up to the hype?”. And based on the three singles they’ve released to date and this show, the answer from this quarter to the former will be “not bad,” but to the latter, “no”. Frontmen Sam Fryer and Chilli Jesson have a great energy and chemistry onstage and do a good job of engaging a favourably disposed audience, but they don’t have the same facility for melody or anthemicism as the band they’re most frequently compared to, The Libertines. Their approach is punkier and more willing to descend into noisier, thuggish territory which goes to the band’s good live reputation but ultimately and most importantly, the songs aren’t very memorable. Their biggest single to date – “Best Of Friends” – succeeded in inciting a bit of laddish dancing and singalongs, but there wasn’t much sense that they brought anything more to the game than all the bands that held their place in the spotlight in years past. This isn’t to say that 180 won’t still surprise and reveal new depths, but whether their career trajectory will go more the way of The Vaccines or Brother remains unclear.

Photos: Palma Violets, Decades, Always @ The Horseshoe – January 24, 2013
Video: Palma Violets – “Step Up For The Cool Cats”
Video: Palma Violets – “Last Of The Summer Wine”
Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends”
Stream: Decades – “Celebrate”
Stream: Decades – “Can You Love Me Now”
Stream: Always – “Next Of Kin”
Stream: Always – “The Ones Who Love You”

DIY gets to know The History Of Apple Pie, whose debut Out Of View is out this week.

The Guardian, Clash, and Spin profile Frightened Rabbit and their new album Pedestrian Verse. It’s out next week on February 5, but is available to stream at The Guardian right now. They’re at The Phoenix on March 31.

Stream: Frightened Rabbit / Pedestrian Verse

NME reports that British Sea Power have completed work on their next album and will release Machineries Of Joy on April 1.

If you’d been hoping that the new old Pulp song that surfaced at the very end of last year might become available to purchase legitimately, rejoice – Artrocker reports that it should be available for iTunes download as of today (though not there at the moment, as far as I can tell). But if you’re happy with the stream, that’s cool too. Jarv ain’t fussed.

Stream: Pulp – “After You”

DIY and Elle interview The Joy Formidable. They’re at The Phoenix on April 12.

Rolling Stone talks to guitarist Earl Slick about the secret recording sessions that produced the new David Bowie record The Next Day, out March 12.

Richard Thompson’s new Electric album is up to stream at NPR; it’s out next week and he plays Massey Hall supporting Emmylou Harris on March 22.

Stream: Richard Thompson / Electric

Clash and The Quietus talk to Esben & The Witch.

SF Weekly interviews Patrick Wolf.

Interview catches up with Emmy The Great at the Sundance Film Festival, where the film Austenland – which she scored – premiered.

And normally I wouldn’t file a single tweet as news, but when it recounts Kevin Shields saying at last night’s My Bloody Valentine show as saying their new album would be available in “two to three days”… that’s news. You missed your 2012 deadline, Kev, but come through on this promise and all is forgiven.

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Shaker Hymns

Dry The River dry the Shallow Bed

Photo via Dry The RiverDry The RiverLondon’s Dry The River may not have had quite the world-conquering 2012 that I’d predicted for them back in the Spring, but they’ve still had a very good year, their debut album Shallow Bed delivering on the buzz that they’d built up at home and also translating trans-Atlantically, justifying a couple of North American tours. Not quite Mumford-level triumphs for the folk-rockers, but pretty damn good for a first outing.

So good, that they’ve recorded the album all over again. They’ve released an all-acoustic version of Shallow Bed entitled Shallow Bed Acoustic, and it may be just the thing for those who found the dramatically-produced original version a touch over the top, or maybe just want to be able to focus on the band’s impressive multi-part harmonies without all those crashing guitars. Either way, it’s a thing, you can buy it digitally, and it’s streaming in whole right now over at Clash. Give a listen, and maybe read this interview with frontman Peter Liddle at Nuvo.

Stream: Dry The River / Shallow The Bed Acoustic

London’s Citizens! – making a name for themselves amongst those who like their pop electro and dancey are making good on the title of their debut album Here We Are by being here – at Wrongbar, specifically – on March 7. Tickets $15 in advance.

Video: Citizens! – “True Romance”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the debut album from the hotly-tipped British newcomers Palma Violets. Entitled 180, it will be out on 25 February of next year, so it’s unlikely there’ll be copies for sale when they play The Horseshoe on January 24… and yet somehow, I’m betting everyone there will have heard it. Magic!

The Quietus has some more details on the new House Of Love album She Paints Words In Red, direct from Guy Chadwick’s mouth. They’ve also got the release date – April 1.

Express Milwaukee talks to The Joy Formidable. Their new record Wolf’s Law is out January 22.

Pitchfork has got a three-part documentary video on The xx streaming on their site. If that’s your thing.

Time Out asks Emmy The Great how to write a great Christmas song. Because, if you’ll recall, last year she – with Ash’s Tim Wheeler – released an album’s worth. And they’ve just released a video from it – any resemblance between it and an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer are purely intentional, I’m sure.

Video: Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Zombie Christmas”

Of Monsters & Men talk to Rolling Stone about their plans for album number two.

The Raveonettes, on the other hand, tell The Von Pip Musical Express they may be done with the album form entirely despite being one of the more prolific bands of recent memory.

Artrocker talks to Swedish post-punks Holograms.

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Valtari

Sigur Rós present Valtari hour, which is like Earth Hour but with Valtari

Photo By Lilja BirgisdottirLilja BirgisdottirAdvance album streams are pretty par for the course these days, but if anyone can make it a special occasion, it’s Sigur Rós. And they’re certainly trying to. Though their new record and first in four years Valtari isn’t out until May 29, the band will be offering an advance stream of the record on May 17 – that’s today, people – but for only one hour.

Dubbed Valtari Hour”, it will roll across the globe at 7PM local time for every time zone – those Samoans get everything first – until everyone has had a chance to hear the record. Terrestrial radio stations will be playing the album and select record stores hosting listening parties, but the band’s own website is the place to go to hear it online. Until our turn comes around – at this writing, they’re currently in India – you can follow along with things via the #ValtariHour tag on Twitter.

I can’t imagine the event-ness of this will preclude an on-demand advance stream as per usual starting on or around next Tuesday, but it’s neat regardless. Hear Valtari live – and other smash hits – when Sigur Rós play Echo Beach on August 1.

Video: Sigur Ros – “Ekki Mukk”

Spinner and Gigwise converse with Of Monsters & Men.

Virgin Music and Holly Rubenstein interview Niki & The Dove, who also give Gigwise a track-by-track commentary on their debut Instinct. IT gets a physical release on August 7 in North America.

Sweden’s The Deer Tracks have released a new video from their The Archer Trilogy, Part 2 mini-album. Their tour itinerary puts them at The Rivoli on June 16, but the NXNE schedule – yes, that finally went live yesterday – makes no mention of them though there’s still openings in the Riv lineup for that evening that they could fit. In any case, hope it happens because I’m really quite enjoying their stuff.

Video: The Deer Tracks – “Tiger”

Rolling Stone has premiered a new MP3 from The Tallest Man On Earth’s forthcoming There’s No Leaving Now, out June 12. He plays a sold-out Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 16.

MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “1904”

The Line Of Best Fit, Spinner, and Drowned In Sound meet The Hives, that DIS piece happening in two parts. Their Lex Hives is out June 5 and they’re at The Sound Academy on June 26.

The Line Of Best Fit points out that Norway’s Team Me have made their new single from To The Treetops available for free download.

MP3: Team Me – “Weathervanes & Chemicals”

Rolling Stone talks to Hot Chip about their new album In Our Heads. It’s out June 12 and they’re at The Sound Academy on July 15.

I Like Music solicits a guest editorial (read: list of things) from Emmy The Great.

Summer Camp will release a new EP entitled Always on July 10 and are streaming the first single from it right now.

Stream: Summer Camp – “Life”

The Guardian is streaming Gaz Coombes’ solo debut Here Come The Bombs ahead of its release in the UK next Monday, May 21. The Fly also has a video session.

Stream: Gaz Coombes / Here Come The Bombs

Q talks to Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots about her second album, still untitled but definitely out before the year is out.

Florence & The Machine has released a new video, taken not from Ceremonials but from the soundtrack for Snow White & The Huntsman; there’s also an interview at Rolling Stone. Florence is at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 2.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Breath Of Life”

Squarepusher, better known as electronic artist Tom Jenkinson or the act that got namechecked a thousand times when Radiohead released Kid A, will be at The Music Hall on November 2 in support of his new album Ufabulum; tickets are $27.50 in advance. Exclaim has an interview with Jenkinson and the full North American itinerary and Spin also has a chat.

Video: Squarepusher – “Dark Steering”

Spin and The National talk to Pip Browne of Ladyhawke about her new record Anxiety, out May 25.