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Posts Tagged ‘Everything All The Time’

Monday, January 25th, 2010

CONTEST – Everything All The Time, Lioness and Rich Aucoin @ The Horseshoe – January 30, 2010

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangBig-voiced frontwomen. Loads of synths. No guitars. This Saturday night at the Horseshoe will come two examples of how differently that same musical recipe can come out. On one hand, you’ve got Everything All The Time, led by Alanna Stuart, and their breezy, vintage-y feel-good synth-pop. On the other, the decidedly heavier and darker Lioness, who back Vanessa Fischer with sounds and attitude befitting their disco-punk roots. And rounding things out is Halifax’s Rich Aucoin, whose keyboard-first, big orchestral dance-pop actually fits quite nicely between the two of them, but being a dude he didn’t really fit into the preceding argument.

Anyways. The takeaway from all this is that it’s a solid, eclectic bill at the ‘Shoe this Saturday night – January 30 – and while admission is $8 at the door, courtesy of contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Everything All The Time” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and get that in to me before midnight, January 28.

MP3: Everything All The Time – “Lazy Days”
MP3: Rich Aucoin – “10,342 Cuts For the US”
Video: Lioness – “What You Do Will Come Back To You”

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Ratify The New

Review of The Hidden Cameras’ Origin: Orphan and giveaway

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongEven though he coined it himself, I often wonder if Joel Gibb regrets encouraging the use of “gay church folk music” as a description for the music of The Hidden Cameras. Certainly they got a lot of mileage out of it in the band’s earlier days, as it was both attention grabbing and accurate, but now, four albums in, it probably deserves to be retired.

It’s not that it’s no longer descriptive – Gibb is still gay (one assumes), it’s still music and it’s still built on foundations of folk and church traditions – but it doesn’t give them due credit for evolving from record to record and shedding some of the Cameras’ more titillating/explicit facets in exchange for more musical and lyrical sophistication. Case in point, their latest album Origin: Orphan. It remains unmistakeably a Hidden Cameras record – Joel Gibb’s muse is simply too distinctive for it to be anything else – but there’s a clear effort to broaden the definition of exactly what a Hidden Cameras record is. I’ve always found past albums to feel a bit static, so the ranginess Origin: Orphan is a real eye-opener.

There’s also a heaviness to the record that’s new, and maybe it’s just the excitement of being surprised by a Hidden Cameras album, but I think they wear it well. While the signature whimsy remains, it’s accented by sounds and textures that give them a real weight – the shrieking outro of “Do I Belong?”, the insistent descending riff of the title track, and the glorious foreboding of orchestral centerpiece “Walk On” – and end up the most memorable moments. And it’s the contrast of those dark pieces that give the brighter pop numbers even more jump, like the giddy almost-closing pairing of “Underage” and “The Little Bit” which sound as buoyant as anything they’ve ever recorded. Having reached a point in their existence where they seemed to be faced with the choice of sticking to the tried and true and becoming predictable or trying something new and risking not playing to their strengths, The Hidden Cameras have somehow managed to not only do both, but turn in maybe their best record yet in the process.

The Hidden Cameras are currently in the midst of an extensive North American tour with Gentleman Reg that will wrap with a homecoming show at the Opera House in Toronto on December 5. Tickets for the show are $15 in advance but courtesy of Rootmeansquare, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see The Hidden Cameras” in the subject line and your full name in the body and get that in to me before midnight, November 25.

Gibb talks to Spinner about how a trip to Berlin inspired the direction of the new album.

MP3: The Hidden Cameras – “Walk On”
Video: The Hidden Cameras – “In The NA”
MySpace: The Hidden Cameras

The Magnetic Fields will take the theme of their next album Realism to heart by playing songs from it in the flesh on a North American tour that kicks off shortly after the album’s January 26, 2010 release date. That includes a February 8 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theater in Toronto, their first visit since a two-night stand at Trinity-St. Paul’s in July 2004. Tickets are $30.50 plus fees, onsale this Saturday though a presale started yesterday – I got second row centre tickets, so they had good ones blocked off.

Beach House have released the first MP3 from their third album Teen Dream, due out January 26. I kinda think I like this song better than anything they’ve done yet.

MP3: Beach House – “Norway”

Ever wish you could make your birthday last forever? Constantines do – their tenth anniversary celebrations have extended from a two-night stand at Lee’s Palace to a three night engagement, the third night taking place a full week after the second. So that’s December 11, 12 and 19 and with different support each night. The 11th will feature Attack In Black and Weakerthan John K Samson doing a solo set, the 12th has Oneida and Metz warming things up and the 19th has Julie Doiron and Ladyhawk on the bill.

Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija talks to Spinner, The Canmore Leader and See.

A slew of in-stores have been announced by Sonic Boom. You’ve got Koushik on November 19 at 7:30PM, Lullabye Arkestra on November 21 at 7PM, Malajube on November 25 at 7PM, The Schomberg Fair on November 28 at 4PM and Everything All The Time on December 2 at 7PM. All shows are free, though a donation of canned food is encouraged and appreciated.

MP3: Lullabye Arkestra – “We Fuck The Night”
MP3: Malajube – “Porte Disparu”
MP3: Everything All The Time – “Lazy Days”

The Toronto Public Library’s Make Some Noise series continues through this month, with a number of performances and discussions of interest to, well, probably anyone reading this site. Katie Stelmanis will give a performance at the Bloor/Gladstone branch this Friday, November 20, at 8PM, Colin Medley of Morning Noon Night will discuss the finer points of videography and “Documenting the Local Music Scene” at the Kennedy/Eglinton branch on November 24 at 7PM and Steve Jordan, grand poo-bah of the Polaris Music Prize, will get into the nitty-gritty of just how much of a bribe it takes to make the long list, short list and win the whole she-bang, respectively. Kidding – he’ll be talking about the Prize and Canadian music industry in general at the Northern District branch on December 1 at 7PM.

Paper Bag Records is celebrating seven years of not going under with a special covers compilation featuring their artists entitled 7 Year Itch and available to grab for free.

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Love Love

Everything All The Time, The Magic and The Balconies at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangYou need only look as far as Monday’s post to see what I was doing at the Horseshoe on Wednesday night. What I hadn’t mentioned in the writeup of The Balconies’ debut album – out officially September 15 – was that I had been trying to catch the band live for some months now, based on numerous rave reviews, but while they’d played no shortage of shows in the 416 I’d not been able to make any of them until now. The fact that I’d been able to familiarize myself with their album was just a happy coincidence.

And to everyone who’d offered those rave live reviews and perhaps set up unreasonable expectations… you were right. The trio, playing their first gig as a Toronto-based band, performed with an energy and tightness that belied their relatively short existence together. Songs that I wasn’t sure about on the album sounded great, as really their whole set did from start to finish. As impressive as the recorded document is – it really does manage to reproduce their on-stage sound – The Balconies live came off with a certain swagger that wasn’t quite captured in the studio. Blessed with an abundance of tunes, talent and charisma, The Balconies may be new in town but if you haven’t made their acquaintance yet, just wait – they’re too good to stay any kind of secret. They play a free show on Saturday night at The Recording Arts Academy and will be at Lee’s Palace for a CD release show on September 25.

I’d seen middle act The Magic back in June during NxNE and they turned out to be one of the best new things I saw during the festival. While that show put the spotlight on their disco-fied side, this time they played things a little cooler and damn if they didn’t sound even better for it – less with the camp and kitsch, more with the deep groove and the slow burn. These are relative statements, mind you – it was still all about the party, but this time the lights were turned down a little more. The band, who released an EP last year that doesn’t nearly do the fullness of their sound justice, continue to work on their full-length debut. Mirror balls twinkle in anticipation.

Last up was Everything All The Time, presumably named for neither the album by Band Of Horses or the song by Styx, but who were acting as hosts for the evening. The occasion was the release of their new EP, a follow-up to their 2008 self-titled debut but the first to properly capture their current incarnation as fronted by Alanna Stuart. With her impressive vocals up front, the keyboard-loaded sextet resided squarely at the intersection of synth-pop and soul-pop, circa the mid-1980s – utterly danceable and with lots of familiar sounds, but blended together in a decidedly fresh manner.

I saw the band play last August and while it was clear what they were going for, it didn’t sound like it had quite coalesced into what it was meant to be. A year on, that’s no longer a problem – their set was delivered with loads of confidence and as much energy as a band where 5/6 of the personnel are rooted to their instruments can possibly have, thanks largely to Stuart’s voice and presence, which was irresistible without being overbearing – a diva with only the positive connotations of the word. Their next gig is a CD release show on October 23 (I think that’s what they said) at the Drake Underground. Odds of it being a dance party are approximately one to one.

The Singing Lamb has an interview with Everything All The Time.

Photos: Everything All The Time, The Magic, The Balconies @ The Horseshoe – August 26, 2009
MP3: Everything All The Time – “Love Love”
MP3: The Balconies – “300 Pages”
MP3: The Balconies – “Smells Like Secrets”

Peaches has a date at the Phoenix on November 18.

MP3: Peaches – “Talk To Me”

Dirty Projectors are heading back on the road this Fall in support of Bitte Orca and will be at the Opera House in Toronto on November 14. Full dates at The Music Slut. The band will also be releasing a new EP in the UK on September 29 called Temecula Sunrise – details at Pitchfork.

MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Rise Above”
Video: Dirty Projectors – “Stillness Is The Move”

Chairlift have released a new video from Does You Inspire You. Last time I was in New York, I saw the health club poster with the phrase that the album title is lifted from. I’m actually back in New York next weekend – anything going on? Actually Chairlift is playing. Maybe it’s a sign. Or a poster. Aaaaah.

Video: Chairlift – “Ceiling Wax”

Pitchfork talks to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips about the edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties they’re curating in New York’s Catskills from September 11 to 13. There’s also interviews at The Fredericksburg Freelance-Star and The Washington Examiner. Their new album Embryonic is out October 13.

Richard Hawley talks to Spinner about getting into the necessary headspace to write his latest album Truelove’s Gutter, out September 22.

Pitchfork gets to know The xx, while The Quietus examines how the state of technology allowed the band to come to be. XX is out October 20 and they play The Phoenix on December 2.

Spin asks tough questions of Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. They play the Kool Haus on September 29.

Both eye and NOW talk to Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija and James Bunton about the Friends In Bellwoods project, the launch parties for which go tonight at Lee’s Palace and all day tomorrow at The Tranzac.

Canadian Interviews interviews Canadian Kat Burns of Forest City Lovers, who will be playing the Friday night edition of the aforementioned release parties. Look for a new 7″ this Fall and work continues apace on album number three.

V Fest is finally here this weekend and The Toronto Star examines some of the problems that have beset this year’s edition of the festival and NOW looks at some of the acts that will be playing this weekend at the Molson Amphitheatre.

eye talks to Trent Reznor of day two headliner Nine Inch Nails about his decision to hang it up after this final round of touring.

JAM has an interview with Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys. I’ve never even thought of myself as a Pet Shop Boys fan, but they may be the act I’m most excited about seeing this weekend. I don’t think there’s any way they won’t put on a great show.

Montreal Mirror, JAM and Uptown interview Franz Ferdinand, playing the festival on day one.

With Sloan’s Chris Murphy still recovering from a broken collarbone, NOW reports that the band will have a few ringers covering bass duties on Saturday afternoon. No word on a designated scissor-kicker.

NOW and The Toronto Sun talk to Datarock. They’re up early Sunday afternoon. “Up” as in playing. Not as in awake.

Spinner has posted up the next (and last?) in its series on the state of independent music in Canada, this piece looking towards the future with the likes of Fucked Up, Crystal Castles and some fresh-faced kids who go by Metric.