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Posts Tagged ‘Feist’

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

'Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Godspeed You! Black Emperor win 2013 Polaris Music Prize; speechless seems an appropriate reaction

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWell I certainly didn’t expect that.

Even though Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s surprise comeback record‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! was high on my own ballot and certainly a worthy record by any standard – refer back to my review last October – I had expected that some combination of the band’s own refusal to interact with the media (and thus any of the jury), the relative bleakness/impenetrableness of their music, and just their lack of profile outside of old-school indie circles to stack the odds against them. Apparently not. Proving that predicting the Polaris Music Prize is a tricky, tricky pastime, the name that last year’s winner Leslie Feist read from winner’s envelope wasn’t Zaki Ibrahim or A Tribe Called Red or any of the other acts who were widely expected to walk away with the $30,000 in this unusually wide-open year, but Godspeed.

No one was sure if they’d even acknowledge the nomination though it was a pretty sure thing they wouldn’t show up to the ceremony, and indeed they didn’t. American music journalist Jessica Hopper said a few short words at the gala to acknowledge their nomination and Ian Ilavsky of Constellation Records, Godspeed’s label, said a few words after their win, thanking the jurors and announcing that the winnings would be donated to a program to bring music and instruments to Quebec prisons. There was no giant novelty cheque. And this morning, the band made their own official statement on the win and manage to be entirely gracious while remaining entirely Godspeed.

As to the rest of the gala, it was an eminently enjoyable affair in its fancy new home at The Carlu. Shad and Kathleen Edwards were fine hosts, with the requisite costume skits and making light of the fact that they were both two-time Polaris losers (including both of them in 2008 when my Grand Jury gave the prize to Caribou), as well as leveraging Edwards’ renowned potty mouth towards collecting money for charity via a swear jar on each guest table whenever she cussed. Which was often.

The performances opened with Purity Ring bringing their trademark cocoon lantern stage show to accompany their squelchy electro-pop, followed by and impressive set by R&B artist Zaki Ibrahim with costumes and dancers that was probably revelatory for most in attendance, since she’s hardly if ever performed live in Canada. As they did in 2009, Metric opted to perform acoustic as just the core duo of Emily and James but bringing in a grand piano to fancy things up a bit helped avoid the coffee house vibe of that previous showing.

What with having been sidelined very recently with a broken hand, solo saxophonist Colin Stetson was a surprise performer on the night but showed no ill effects fresh off the DL, turning in the most raw, elemental performance of the night and maybe the history of the Polaris Prize. Tegan & Sara also surprised, not by showing up and performing but by having Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! sub in with a brilliant and buoyant version of “Closer”.

Whitehorse only played one song when they could have easily done two in their allotted time, but that one more than ably showcased their abilities and appeal, with Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland’s intricately choreographed instrument swapping and looping an impressive demonstration of musicality and chemistry. And it speaks to the diversity of nominees on this year’s short list that Young Galaxy’s set would come across as unusual, what with them being a conventional rock band simply performing a couple of their songs.

A fancy-dress gala might have been an odd first time to see local punk heroes METZ, but their loud and loud and awesome and loud set successfully transformed the Carlu from a storied concert hall that once hosted Frank Sinatra and Glenn Gould into every dirty, grungy basement venue in the world, albeit a really well-lit one. And finally, to wrap the night, A Tribe Called Red added some visual interest to their three-DJ performance with a native break/hoop dancer who, while no Gary the pole dancer, certainly put on a memorable and unique performance.

And then they gave the prize to Godspeed. It’s funny – of all the years the Polaris has been a thing, this was the year I felt least invested in. The couple of records I would have really loved to see make the final round having not, I had a lot of difficulty getting interested in this year’s edition beyond an academic level. And of course, it turns out the album I was pulling for but had basically assumed was out of contention wins, and the gala features some of the very best performances I’ve seen at these things. The Polaris – you just never know. Photos from the gala and a reminder of who the shortlist was below.

Photos: The Polaris Music Prize 2013 Gala @ The Carlu – September 23, 2013

A Tribe Called Red / Nation II Nation (Pirate’s Blend)
Video: A Tribe Called Red – “Electric Pow Wow Drum”

Godspeed You! Black Emperor / ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)
Stream: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – “Mladic”

Zaki Ibrahim / Every Opposite (Motif)
Video: Zaki Ibrahim – “Go Widdit”

Metric / Synthetica (Metric Music International)
MP3: Metric – “Clone”

METZ / METZ (Sub Pop)
MP3: METZ – “Wet Blanket”

Purity Ring / Shrines (Last Gang)
MP3: Purity Ring – “Obedear”

Colin Stetson / New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light (Constellation)
MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”

Tegan & Sara / Heartthrob (Warner Music)
Video: Tegan & Sara – “Closer”

Whitehorse / The Fate of the World Depends On This Kiss (Six Shooter)
Video: Whitehorse – “Achilles’ Desire”

Young Galaxy / Ultramarine (Paper Bag)
Video: Young Galaxy – “New Summer”

Young Galaxy have premiered a stream of another of the new tracks on their Ultramarine deluxe edition, out today, at Stereogum. The Edmonton Journal and Metro have interviews with the band.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Talk To Her”

The Lab interviews Katie Stelmanis of Austra, who brings their 2014 Polaris-likely second album Olympia to The Phoenix on September 27.

The AV Club is offering an advance stream of Basia Bulat’s new album Tall Tall Shadow before its release next Tuesday, October 1. She plays three nights at the Polish Combatants Hall on October 10 through 12.

Stream: Basia Bulat / Tall Tall Shadow

Beatroute, The Montreal Gazette and CBC Music talk to Nick Thorburn of Islands about their new album Ski Mask. They play The Garrison on October 10.

Noisey have premiered the new video from The Darcys’ new record Warring, while B-Insider has an interview. They play the Adelaide Music Hall on October 11.

Video: The Darcys – “Muzzle Blast”

Shad discusses his new album Flying Colours with Respect. It’s out October 15 and he’s at The Opera House on October 19.

The Weeknd has premiered another video from Kiss Land; his three-night stand at Massey Hall begins October 17.

Video: The Weeknd – “Pretty”

NOW talks to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, who’ve released a first video from their new record Uzu, coming out October 29.

Video: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “One”

Consequence Of Sound reports that Arcade Fire will follow-up their September 27 appearance on Saturday Night Live with a 30-minute concert performance to be shown on NBC – so that’s 1AM EDT, if it was unclear. Elsewhere, Richard Reed Perry tells NME how David Bowie ended up on “Reflektor” and Under The Radar has got a stream of their cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Games Without Frontiers”, appearing on the forthcoming All I’ll Scratch Yours tribute album, out this week. Arcade Fire’s own Reflektor is in stores October 29.

Stream: Arcade Fire – “Games Without Frontiers”

Also streaming from the Peter Gabriel tribute is this track from Feist featuring Timber Timbre; whether you choose to imagine a video featuring Leslie and Taylor clinging to each other for warmth for four minutes is your business.

Stream: Feist with Timber Timbre – “Don’t Give Up”

Destroyer has announced the release of Five Spanish Songs, an EP of songs by Spanish musician Antonio Luque of the band Sr. Chinarro, due out November 29. You may hear some of these songs when Dan Bejar plays The Great Hall solo on November 9. Or you may not.

Stereogum are streaming a new song from Odonis Odonis, presumably from a new album in the works or coming soon or something. They’ve not said.

Stream: Odonis Odonis – “Are We Friends”

Pitchfork welcomes Majical Cloudz for a City Of Music video session.

No Joy have released a new video from their latest, Wait To Pleasure.

Video: No Joy – “Blue Neck Riviera”

aux.tv has an interview with METZ.

Exclaim reports that the limited edition vinyl pressing of the first Super Friendz record Mock Up Scale Down is now a little less limited but more easy to buy, being on sale via murderrecords directly.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Take Them On, On Your Own

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club lead a pack of concert announcements

Photo By James MinchinJames MinchinYesterday was one of those wonderful inbox-bursting days of press releases that, rather than having to try to figure out what to write about for a post, I had to choose what to save for later. Today we’ll cover all the concert announcements that will be bringing acts from near and far through town in the next few months.

We’ll start with California’s goth-garage rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club because, well, they haven’t been here since Spring 2010 and they give good – or at least smoky – photo. The details of their sixth album Specter At The Feast – coming March 18 – were revealed last week, but they’ve quickly followed that up with a full slate of tour dates that bring them back to Toronto for a show at The Kool Haus on May 9, tickets $25 in advance.

And as is the custom these days, they’re drumming up anticipation for the new record with a series of teaser videos.

MP3: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll (Punk Song)” (live)
Trailer: Specter At The Feast Part 1

The fourth and final installment of the Fucked Up-curated Long Winter concert series has announced their lineup, and addition to Toronto’s hardcore heroes once again headlining the affair, they’ll be joined by Holy Fuck, The Sadies, and more music, art, food, and whatsit. That goes down February 8 at The Great Hall, admission pay-what-you-can.

MP3: Fucked Up – “I Hate Summer”
MP3: Holy Fuck – “Lovely Allen”
MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”

American electronic duo Matmos have announced a North American tour in support of their new record The Marriage Of Two Minds, out February 18. They haven’t settled on a venue yet, but they’ll be in Toronto on February 14. Update: It’s The Garrison.

MP3: Matmos – “Sun On 5 at 152″

It’s been known for a while that punk-poet legend Patti Smith would be in town at some point as part of her Camera Solo exhibition running February 9 to May 13 at the Art Gallery Of Ontario, but NOW finally has details – and they’re pretty swell. She’ll be performing both music and poetry at the March edition of their 1st Thursday events, with two shows on the night of March 8, one early and one late. Tickets are $15, limited to two per person, and go on sale February 8 at 10AM.

MP3: Patti Smith – “Wing”

Having failed to make it over here to support Centipede Hz when it came out last year, Animal Collective will seek to remedy this with a March 9 show at the Danforth Music Hall, and perhaps by way of making up for the delay, will be bringing Dan Deacon along as support, even though he was here just in November in support of his latest America. Tickets for that are $27.50 for floors, $25 for balcony seats, all general admission.

MP3: Animal Collective – “Today’s Supernatural”
MP3: Dan Deacon – “Lots”

Pennsylvania punk-asses Pissed Jeans will be at Lee’s Palace on April 16 to play you songs from their new record Honey’s, coming for your ears February 12. Tickets for the show are $15 in advance.

MP3: Pissed Jeans – “Bathroom Laughter”

Having had to cancel their last scheduled appearance back in November, Vancouver punks White Lung have announced a make-up date as part of a Spring tour with Brooklyn’s Hunters, who made a favourable impression last Winter opening up for The Kills. That bill is at The Hard Luck on April 22, tickets $10.

MP3: Hunters – “Headache”
Video: White Lung – “Deadbeat”

We may have to wait an extra six weeks for North American release of Daughter’s debut If You Leave – it’s out in Europe March 18 but not here until April 30 – but at least we’re getting a North American tour immediately thereafter. They’ll be at The Great Hall on May 7, tickets $16.50. Somewhat bigger than The Drake down the street where they made their debut in October, but still pretty cozy.

MP3: Daughter – “Love”

And last but certainly not least, there’s a festival date to keep you warm until, well, it’s actually warm. To mark their tenth anniversary, local label Arts & Crafts have coerced flagship act Broken Social Scene to break their long-standing retirement – inactive since November 2011! – for a one-off show that will probably be one of those “all hands on deck” affairs that sets Toronto hearts a-fluttering. The two-stage, all-day event – dubbed Field Trip and happening on June 8 at Fort York’s Garrison Commons – will see them be joined by a goodly portion of the label’s active roster – both domestic and international – including Feist, Bloc Party, Hayden, Cold Specks, Timber Timbre, Ra Ra Riot, and more. Early bird tickets go for $55, regular tickets for $75, and kids get in free.

MP3: Broken Social Scene – “World Sick”
MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”
MP3: Timber Timbre – “Black Water”
MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Dying Is Fine”
Video: Feist – “Graveyard”
Video: Bloc Party – “Kettling”
Video: Cold Specks – “Hector”

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Tangled

Spinoffs, videos, and other Can-Con miscellany, featuring L Con

Photo By Andréa de KeijzerAndréa de KeijzerShaking out the “Made in Canada” box to kick off the week.

L Con is the sort-of but not-really pseudonym for Lisa Conway, perhaps better known as the voice of Toronto’s moody, art-orch ensemble Del Bel, who’ve been wholly endorsed in these parts. Conway just released her solo debut as L Con in The Ballad Project and while it doesn’t necessarily put a lot of sonic distance between itself and Del Bel’s Oneiric, as the name implies it’s less atmospheric and more song-centric, specifically with string- and horn-laden, torchy ballads that are perfectly suited to Conway’s smoky, forlorn, and strategically soaring vocals.

CBC Music talks to Conway about the new record, which is available to stream in whole, and aux.tv premiered the first video from the release a little while ago. A set of tour dates was just announced and includes a November 24 date at Cinecycle in Toronto.

Video: L Con – “Oh How Love”
Stream: L CON / The Ballad Project

BlogTO talks to emergent disco-pop outfit Diana, whose impressive collective resume includes Army Girls, Destroyer, The Hidden Cameras, and Bonjay. They play the first installment of Fucked Up’s Long Winter series at The Great Hall on November 9.

The Magic, who count Evening Hymns’ Sylvie Smith amongst their members, have released a new video from their debut Ragged Gold. OTM has an interview with the bandleading Gordon brothers.

Video: The Magic – “Call Me Up”

Little bit of trivia – once upon a time, Smith played in a band with John O’Regan of The D’Urbervilles called Habitat; I saw them back in in 2007. That project didn’t last too long but O’Regan has found a little more success with a new non-D’Urbs project he calls Diamond Rings. NOW talks to him about being voted “Toronto’s best male vocalist” in this year’s reader’s poll. He shows off those pipes at The Mod Club on November 29. The Horn also has an interview previewing this past weekend’s appearance at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin.

The Quietus talks to Dan Snaith about what separates his Daphni project from his Caribou project.

Evening Hymns have a new video from Spectral Dusk, directed by Bruce Peninsula’s Neil Haverty. Evening Hymns play the Church Of The Redeemer on December 15.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Spirit In The Sky”

Consequence Of Sound has premiered the latest video from Shad’s ’90s-saluting Melancholy & The Infinite Shadness mixtape.

Video: Shad – “It Ain’t Over”

CBC Music has premiered the new video from Cold Specks’ I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, and the b-side from the single release of the song is also available to stream. And if that’s not enough, DIY has a video session with Al Spx and The Coast a short interview. Cold Specks support Conor Oberst at Massey Hall on December 8.

Video: Cold Specks – “Hector”
Stream: Cold Specks – “Post-Operative #8″

Feist has squeezed another video out of Metals.

Video: Feist – “Graveyard”

The Wilderness Of Manitoba have put out a second video from their new record Island Of Echoes.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Echoes”

The 1st Thursday monthly series at The Art Gallery of Ontario will have Yamantaka//Sonic Titan as their musical performer at next month’s edition, happening December 6. The Coast also has an interview.

Video: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”

Stereogum interviews Damian Abraham of Fucked Up. They’re also playing the aforementioned Long Winter at The Great Hall on Friday night.

Crystal Castles weren’t able to get their new album III ready for release this Tuesday as originally intended, but they have made another song from it available to stream before its officially out next Tuesday, November 13.

Stream: Crystal Castles – “Affection”

Woodpigeon has announced a February 25 release date for his new record Thumbtacks & Glue, and to hold you over until then, this Fall’s Diamonds tour-only album is now available to mail order.

DIY interviews Grimes.

A.C. Newman chats with DIY.

DIY has written up their visit to the Polaris Music Prize gala in September and in a bit of fun, have rated the respective winners of the Polaris and Mercury Prizes over the last seven years head-to-head.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Metals

Feist wins 2012 Polaris Music Prize to almost universal, “yeah, okay”

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangA day later than I would have liked – but some things like after parties, gin and tonics, and going to bed way too late can’t be helped – here’s my official writeup of Monday night’s Polaris Music Prize gala, in convenient short and long versions.

The short: Feist won the $30,000 prize for Metals. This pleased some people, displeased others. Eventually, everyone got on with their lives. Some got drunk first. Not naming names.

The long: Despite telling anyone who asked – or who’d listen – that I could see perfectly reasonable scenarios wherein six or seven of this year’s shortlist could walk off with the prize, I was more than a little surprised that in the end, it was Feist. This despite the fact that I become more convinced as time goes by that history will hold her as one of the most creative Canadian artists of this decade. I just thought that for all its artfulness, subtle merits, and general grower-ness, it hadn’t seemed to generate the sort of passion amongst listeners that would allow it to come out on top of such a strong pack of albums through what was surely a rough-and-tumble critical throw-down. Shows what I know.

That announcement came at the end of another largely entertaining Polaris gala, dedicated this year to the memory of Canadian music icon Sam ‘The Record Man’ Sniderman who’d passed away the day before.. Now that it’s in its seventh year, folks pretty much know what to expect: CBC’s Grant Lawrence hosting – this year with MuchMusic’s Lauren Toyota as co-host – cracking a few jokes but mainly passing things off to the journalists/jurors who would introduce each of the nominees and, if they were present, said artist would make an appearance or perform. This year’s live slate included seven of the ten shortlisters, with Japandroids bowing out on account of touring in Europe, Handsome Furs not performing on account of no longer existing, and Drake not showing up on account of being Drake.

The perennial question of, “who plays when?” had an extra angle this year in, “who plays after Fucked Up?” And since it would be unfair to make any one act follow their maniacal live show, the organizers probably did the smart thing in making everyone follow them while also kicking the show off with a bang. With the band laying down David Comes To Life, frontman Damian Abraham wandered onstage in a sweatshirt and backpack, looking like he just ducked out of class at Ryerson to attend to this, and got down to it. Having seen Fucked Up many times, this performance seemed a little more perfunctory than usual – not surprising given the setting, and unlike in 2009, they were here as former champions, not outsiders with something to prove. Still, they sounded good, Abraham still stripped down to his shorts and it was nice hearing Jennifer Castle on hand to reprise her vocals on “The Other Shoe”.

Handsome Furs had their moment next, with Alexei Perry offering an emotional and heartfelt thank you to all – Polaris and public – for their support over the band’s career. CBC has the full text of her acceptance speech, which no matter what came next would be the most moving part of the evening.

While some artists in the past have used the Polaris gala as an opportunity to do something different or fancy, Cold Specks opted to eschew performance frills and played to her strengths, letting her huge, emotive voice carry the songs from I Predict A Graceful Expulsion to the roof of the concert hall while her band played it spare and tasteful. Sticking with the “let the music do the talking” modus, Al Spx offered few words after performance, offering just, “cool” and “thanks”.

Cadence Weapon had the stage next, and playing with just his DJ as he always did, there was a lot of stage for him to work with. Taking advantage of the spotlight and working with efficiency, he got through three songs in his allotted time, rapping, dancing, and as on the nominated Hope In Dirt City, even trying a little actual singing. The beats were turned up loud but still sounded pretty tinny, though that’s less a flaw than a deliberate fidelity choice as on the record. One would hope.

Conversely, Kathleen Edwards only offered up one song, but decked it out with youth choir in addition to her full band. But rather than flirt with excess, “Soft Place To Land” from Voyageur was as vulnerable and bare a performance as the evening would offer. Edwards’ detractors – myself sometimes amongst them – often take issue with the traditionalness of her songwriting, but moments like this were a potent reminder that sometimes words, a voice, and a guitar are all you need. And a youth choir, if you’ve got access to one. Her acceptance speech was also solid and worth transcribing, or at least CBC Music thought so.

It’s possible that Grimes was conscious of how visually static her performance might seem, given that she wouldn’t have the time to deck the stage out in the way she would for her usual shows, so she did the only logical thing to spice it up: she hired a male pole dancer. And so as she went to work assembling the selections from the heavily-favoured Visions live, layering keyboards, triggering samples, and providing vocals, dancer Gary – whom she said she’d only met 10 minutes earlier – wowed the crowd with his moves up and down the stripper pole. It was all very tasteful and artistic, but not entirely PG – after messing up at one point an effected and very amplified, “fuck” rang out. Yup.

While acknowledging that Yamantaka//Sonic Titan might have a tough time recreating the dense and dynamic visual atmosphere of their typical live shows, I had still hoped that they’d be as much of a wild card on the evening’s performances as they were on the shortlist itself. That wasn’t to be, as they played without full costumes or stage props – the kabuki make-up was there, though – and chose the most prog and pop ends of YT//ST – “Reverse Crystal” and “Hoshi Neko” – to introduce themselves. It wasn’t as out there as some might have hoped for, but compared to Cold Specks, it still may as well have been from the furthest reaches of outer space.

Finally, there was Feist. She’d already begun slowly disassembling her Metals touring band when I saw her at FME earlier this month, so it wasn’t surprising that she had assembled a new band for the occasion. And while I didn’t recognize them at first, they were actually all familiar faces – Dan and Daniela from Snowblink on one side of her, AroarA (aka Andrew Whiteman from Broken Social Scene and Ariel Engle) on the other, forming a pretty formidable guitarmy with the added firepower of four-part harmonies. And this goes to what I’d said earlier about her creativity. No one would have said boo if Feist had just performed a couple songs from Metals solo – Feist solo is far from a simple, strummy affair – she instead went out and enlisted a new batch of players and rearranged the songs yet again for maybe a one-off performance. And while the other Metals shows were hardly polite, polished affairs, this was a raw, forceful performance that had the record had this kind of energy, even fewer people would be taking issue with its Polaris win.

And the win. Feist may genuinely not have expected to win – she’d later say she, like so many others, expected Grimes to take it – she reacted pretty quickly to the announcement of her name by Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire, repping last year’s winners, and immediately ducked under her table.

Recovering gracefully, she accepted the giant novelty cheque and opened her acceptance speech with the pullquote-ready soundbite, “This was my worst fear”. It’s unclear if she meant public speaking – you’d think she’d be used to having an audience by now – or actually winning the Polaris. The latter would be understandable for as much as Feist is generally universally respected in Canadian music, she’s committed the cardinal-to-some sin of being successful and as soon as her name was announced, you know the “she doesn’t need the money” comments began to swirl. Which, of course, is absolutely no one’s business but hers, but in the post-gala press conference she mentioned that at least some of the winnings would go to support the fight against the Melanchthon mega-quarry north of Toronto. See, there’s an upside when someone who doesn’t necessarily need to pay off van repair bills and bar tabs comes into the prize money.

In any case, the Polaris win is a very nice punctuation point on Feist’s year of Metals, and I’ve no doubt she’ll wear the title of reigning Polaris champ well. And if you don’t like it, just wait twelve months – there’ll be a new musical injustice for you to rage about.

Canada.com, Exclaim, Torontoist, Rolling Stone, Spinner, and The Globe & Mail were all on hand to cover the proceedings, and The Grid has documented the evening in animated .gif form.

Photos from the evening are below, and if you needed a refresher as to the what of the shortlist, I’ve got that too.

Photos: The Polaris Music Prize 2012 Gala @ The Masonic Temple – September 24, 2012

Cadence Weapon / Hope In Dirt City (Upper Class Recordings)
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning

Cold Specks / I Predict A Graceful Expulsion (Arts & Crafts)
Video: Cold Specks – “Blank Maps”

Drake / Take Care (Universal Republic)
Video: Drake – “Marvin’s Room”

Kathleen Edwards / Voyageur (Maple Music)
MP3: Kathleen Edwards – “Change The Sheets”

Feist / Metals (Arts & Crafts)
Video: Feist – “The Bad In Each Other”

Fucked Up / David Comes To Life (Matador)
MP3: Fucked Up – “The Other Shoe”

Grimes / Visions (Artbus)
MP3: Grimes – “Oblivion”

Handsome Furs / Sound Kapital (Sub Pop)
MP3: Handsome Furs – “Repatriated”

Japandroids / Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
MP3: Japandroids – “Younger Us”

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan / YT//ST (Psychic Handshake)
Video: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”

BlogTO grabbed a pre-gala interview with Fucked Up.

DIY has a chat with Grimes.

Spinner talked to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan about the whirlwind of acclaim that brought them from obscurity to the Polaris shortlist, and Pitchfork points to a stream of the band covering David Bowie as a bonus track attached to a new compilation from Paper Bag Records. As part of their 10th anniversary celebrations (which kick off Thursday night at The Great Hall for three evenings and at which new signees Yamantaka//Sonic Titan play Friday), they’ve assembled a tribute album to David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars – itself turning 40 this year – and it’s available for free download. And while this comp would be noteworthy fun simply for existing, it’s actually really good. Like REALLY good. Listen to it while you read this piece at The National Post about the decade of Paper Bag.

Stream: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “John, I’m Only Dancing”

Crystal Castles have released a new video from their still-untitled third album, due out sometime in November. And speaking of November, their November 3 4 show at The Kool Haus is now happening on November 4 3; all tickets are still valid for the new date. And I’ve probably not helped the confusion at all. Sorries. Update 2: Pitchfork reports the album will be called (III) and will be out November 5.

Video: Crystal Castles – “Plague”

Spin has premiered a new video from Caribou extra-electronic side-project Daphni whose debut album Jialong arrives October 16.

Video: Daphni – “Pairs”

Rolling Stone has premiered the first video from Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s new album Psychedelic Pill, and no – they’re still clearly not allotting much budget to their videos in Neil’s camp. We won’t be seeing anything of the calibre of “Wonderin’” anytime soon. The album is out October 30 and they’re at the Air Canada Centre on 19.

Video: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Walk Like A Giant”

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Waging Heavy Peace

It’s Polaris day. Here’s a bunch of Canadian stuff.

Photo ByPenguinThe 2012 Polaris Music Prize gets awarded tonight, so in honour of the occasion, here’s a bunch of maple-flavoured content led off by a Canadian icon who hasn’t lived in Canada in some 40-plus years. Yeah!

If you have some time to kill and an interest in who Neil Young is circa 2012, you could do worse than to spend it with this feature piece at The New York Times. It covers his current relationship with alcohol and drugs – there is none – as well as his new record with Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill, his new digital audio format Pono, and why he decided to write an autobiography after insisting that he never would. Those memoirs, Waging Heavy Peace, comes out tomorrow – September 25 – and Psychedelic Pill is due out a month later on October 30. Neil leads the band into the Air Canada Centre on November 19.

Following up with news blips from some shortlisters, both this year and past… Feist may be ramping down the touring in support of last year’s Metals, but she’s ramping up the session videos – there’s a Les soiree de poches set at Le Blogotheque and From The Basement

CBC Music talks to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, who also have some new music to hear in the form of their soundtrack contributions to the Mark Of The Ninja video game. They play The Great Hall this Friday night for PBR10.

Stream: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan / Mark & Blade

Spinner talks to Kathleen Edwards about her Polaris odds.

NPR has a w World Cafe session and BlogTO an interview with Cold Specks.

Fucked Up tells Spinner they’d like to have Drake up there with them for tonight’s Polaris performance. They won’t, but they’d like it.

Metro talks to Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers.

The Boston Globe profiles Metric.

Julie Doiron has announced a new studio album in So Many Days, due out October 23. She’s released a first MP3 from the record and will be playing live on October 14, opening for Ben Gibbard at the Danforth Music Hall, and then October 30 at The Mod club supporting Grapes Of Wrath.

MP3: Julie Doiron – “By The Lake”

Spinner talks to The Sadies about backing Neil Young on their contribution to 2010′s Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of The Band. Yeah, two years ago. Whatevs.

You Say Party! talk to Exclaim and The Vancouver Sun about their return to active duty, starting this Saturday night at The Great Hall for PBR10.

Olenka & The Autumn Lovers have readied a new mini-album entitled Hard Times, and given it an October 2 release date. You can stream one of the new songs now.

Stream: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – “Don’t Make Sense”

The Bomber Jacket talks to Kat Burns of Kashka, playing a record release show for her debut Vichada at The Drake on October 5.

BrooklynVegan has an interview with METZ, who’ve released a second MP3 from their self-titled debut. It’s out October 9 and they’re at The Horseshoe to mark its release on October 12.

MP3: METZ – “Wet Blanket”

A second MP3 from A.C. Newman’s forthcoming Shut Down The Streets is available to download. It’s out October 9 and he kicks off the tour in support of it October 21 at Lee’s Palace.

MP3: A.C. Newman – “Encyclopedia Of Classic Takedowns”

Toronto’s July Talk – whom you may recall impressing me at at CMF earlier this year – have put out a video from their self-titled debut album, due October 16.

Video: July Talk – “Paper Girl”

Both Spinner and A Heart Is A Spade have feature interviews with Diamond Rings, who’s just announced a cross-Canada tour in support of Free Dimensional, out October 22. The Toronto date comes November 29 at The Mod Club, tickets $18.50.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

The Wooden Sky offers a feature piece on The Wooden Sky, who will be at The Phoenix on December 1.

Rich Aucoin has a fancy new Beach Boys-saluting video from his album We’re All Dying To Live. Toro and The Halifax Chronicle-Herald also have interviews.

Video: Rich Aucoin – “Brian Wilson is A.L.i.V.E.”

Loud & Quiet, The Calgary Herald, and aux.tv have interviews with Purity Ring.

aux.tv investigates the new “weird Canada” music scene bubbling up around the country.

The Globe & Mail examines how far the Polaris Prize has come in the past seven years, and what it now means for Canadian music

And a moment of silence for Sam “The Record Man” Sniderman, who passed away yesterday at 92. I spent much of my youth and my youthful allowance in his stores. Wait, did I say silence? I mean LOUDNESS.