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Posts Tagged ‘FIDLAR’

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Let's Just Go To The Dogs Tonight

Review of The Dismemberment Plan’s Uncanney Valley

Photo By Shervin Lainez Shervin LainezI will admit, first impressions of Uncanney Valley – the first album from Washington, DC’s Dismemberment Plan since 2001’s Change – was disappointment. And it’s not that I came to it with excessive expectations. I counted myself a fan of the band at the end run of their existence, but mostly of their tremendously entertaining live performances with 2002’s Death & Dismemberment tour with a then-unknown Death Cab For Cutie and their 2003 farewell show being very fond memories. But in the years of their absence, I came to appreciate how singular their blend of post-pop-hardcore-math-punk-art-rock was, and how no one ever really stepped into their oddly-shaped void in indie rock, or even tried. So comeback album? Yes, please.

So why disappointment? I’m not sure. Valley seemed to lack the manic energy, unpredictable creativity, and general weirdness that made the other records unique. It sounded like the Plan, but not the Plan I remembered. But it also still didn’t sound like anything else out there, so it stayed in rotation and before long, its own merits – and not those of its predecessors – became what I focused on, and those merits were many. Yeah the tempos were a little slower and the energy probably measured at a few less joules, but top to bottom Valley was the work of a more mature and tuneful Dismemberment Plan.

Everything that makes the Plan the Plan – Travis Morrison’s mile-a-minute delivery and off-kilter lyrical imagery, Eric Axelson’s oddly funky basslines, Jason Caddell’s creatively jagged guitarwork, and Joe Easley’s heavily nimble drumming – are in place and show no signs of rust, though if I were in charge of the mix said drums would be higher in the mix. While the likes of “Mexico City Christmas” and “White Collar White Trash” tap into their darker sides, it’s the more chipper “Waiting” and “Let’s Just Go To The Dogs Tonight” that set the tone for the record. There’s a relaxedness to the proceedings that might seem contrary to the nervous energy that infused their earlier work, but they wear it well. I as much as anyone should be able to appreciate that you in your 40s is not, cannot be, and should not be you in your 20s and Uncanney Valley is the sound of a band that knows that and is fine with it. The Dismemberment Plan circa 2013 might not be the same Dismemberment Plan circa 2001, but there’s still no one like either of them.

NPR has posted an advance stream of the record, which is out officially next week on October 15. Wired, Filter, and What’s On Tap have interviews with the band, and for the bonus round, the Plan stops in at The AV Club to cover Heart’s “Barracuda”, done straight but great because you do not fuck with “Barracuda”.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan / Uncanney Valley

Under The Radar and Yahoo! Canada talk to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal about their new album lousy with sylvianbriar, out this week.

Elle has premiered the new video from Lissie’s just-released new album Back To Forever, which is still streaming at Rolling Stone; she’s at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21.

Video: Lissie – “Sleepwalking”
Stream: Lissie / Back To Forever

Interview talks to Lee Ranaldo about his just-released new record Last Night On Earth; he and The Dust are at The Horseshoe on October 11.

With a week to go before the October 15 release of Emancipated Hearts, Dean Wareham has made the mini-album available to stream via Spin.

Stream: Dean Wareham / Emancipated Hearts

Refinery 29 talks to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser, whose new album Interiors came out this week. She plays The Drake Underground on October 13.

Pitchfork has an advance stream of Campfire Songs, the new acoustic EP from The Men, out October 15. They play The Horseshoe on October 20.

Stream: The Men / Campfire Songs

The Head & The Heart have given Rolling Stone the nod to stream their new album Let’s Be Still, before it comes out October 15. Mother Jones has an interview with the band, who’re at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Stream: The Head & The Heart / Let’s Be Still

Also out next week and streaming at NPR is Static, the second album from Cults. It brings them to Lee’s Palace on November 25.

Stream: Cults / Static

Pitchfork checks in with Fiona Apple, whose tour with Blake Mills brings her to The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 17.

Consequence Of Sound has got a stream of a new Yo La Tengo song which will be released as a 7″ single on November 5 and also appear as one of the bonus tracks on Fade Deluxe when it comes out on November 19.

Stream: Yo La Tengo – “Super Kiwi”

Rolling Stone talks to Frank Black of Pixies about their plans to stay relevant ten years into their reunion. They’ve already had cast changes with the Roseanne-esque swapping of Kims on bass, are finally releasing new if underwhelming new material via a series of EPs complete with new video, and now another North American tour that kicks off in Toronto at Massey Hall on January 15, tickets ranging from $44.50 to $79.50, FIDLAR supporting.

MP3: Pixies – “Bagboy”
MP3: FIDLAR – “Got No Money”
Video: Pixies – “Andro Queen”

Those who like a little more Danger Mouse in their Shins will be happy to know a second Broken Bells album is on the way; they just released a trailer for After The Disco, which is due out in January.

Trailer: Broken Bells / After The Disco

After releasing her debut Neptune City on a major and the follow-up Mondo Amore on an indie, it just makes sense that for her third album Slow Phaser, Nicole Atkins would start her own label and release it via PledgeMusic. She’s soliciting donations now and with the two-month window, it stands to reason that the new album will be out sometime in early 2014.

NPR puts Superchunk behind a Tiny Desk and demands a concert.

NPR has a KCRW session with Jim James available to stream.

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Singers And The Endless Song

Iron & Wine & Local & Natives & NXNE & TURF & shows & stuff

Photo By Craig KiefCraig KiefSpring is only barely here – the past few days’ weather notwithstanding – but the concert announcement machine is already making eyes at Autumn with the unveiling of a couple of pretty high profile tours coming through town when the leaves start to change and the days get shorter.

Sam Beam, the walking epitome of bearded folk music, released Ghost On Ghost – his fifth album as Iron & Wine – last month, but until now only had Spring dates in the northeast and Europe confirmed on the itinerary. Come Fall, however, he and his band will traverse much of the middle of North America – the USA and Canada both – before wrapping things up in Toronto at The Sound Academy on September 28, advance tickets $30 for general admission and $40 for VIP balcony.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and New York Times have interviews with Sam Beam.

MP3: Iron & Wine – “Belated Promise Ring”
Video: Iron & Wine – “Joy”

Los Angeles’ Local Natives have already come through town once this year in support of their second album Hummingbird, but even a venue upgrade from The Opera House to The Phoenix wasn’t enough to meet demand. Hence, they’ve added a slew of dates that will take them around the planet and then some, stopping in Toronto at The Kool Haus on September 21, tickets $26.50. And if you’re thinking that you already saw them in March, know that they’ll have the quite excellent Wild Nothing along as support, touring behind last year’s Nocturne full-length and the just-released Empty Estate EP. There’s Local Natives feature pieces at The Huffington Post, Seattle Weekly, and Georgia Straight.

MP3: Local Natives – “You & I”
MP3: Wild Nothing – “Paradise”

Dialing things back to the Summer – and the festival circuit in particular – there were some updates of note over the last couple days. If you thought the otherwise comprehensive Arts & Crafts lineup for Field Trip had a conspicuous Dan Mangan-shaped hole in the lineup, you were right. And now it’s been filled by Dan Mangan himself; not just a similarly-bearded impersonator. That all goes down June 8 at Garrison Commons, and yes he’s still on the lineup for the Mumford-y “Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover” on August 23 out in Simcoe, Ontario.

MP3: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”

NXNE revealed a bunch more acts for this year’s festival, descending on Toronto’s clubs from June 12 to 16, including Dan Deacon (despite his coming back a few weeks later to support Animal Collective’s make-up show), Still Corners (confirming they’re still doing festival dates in addition to the June 12 date supporting CHVRCHES at The Hoxton), and a slew of Canadian acts including Wintersleep, No Joy, The Super Friendz, Gold & Youth, and more – check out the artists page for a full list of current confirmed acts. I’ve also collated some of the where and when information, but there’s no point in sharing that ever-changing information until the official schedule is posted, which won’t be long because hey – the festival is less than a month away.

MP3: Dan Deacon – “Lots”
MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”
MP3: Wintersleep – “Resuscitate”

The Toronto Urban Roots Fest is mostly making waves as a multi-day, outdoor festival the likes of which Toronto hasn’t seen in some time, but its club-level happenings are turning out to be just as impressive, particularly if you’ve no love of multi-day, outdoor festivals. Running concurrently with the main festival, the club series will see the likes of Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys, The Wooden Sky, Dawes, and The Felice Brothers amongst others playing The Horseshoe and Lee’s Palace from July 4 to 7, tickets ranging from $20 to $30 including surcharges, on sale May 23. Some who where and when information is available at the TURF website.

MP3: Frank Turner – “The Roads”
MP3: Dawes – “If I Wanted Someone”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”
Video: The Felice Brothers – “Ponzi”
Video: Alejandro Escovedo – “Sally Was A Cop” (live)

With their new record Planta set for a June 11 release and a new video from it just out, Brazil’s CSS have put together a North American tour that brings them to The Opera House on July 4, tickets $25.

MP3: CSS – “Hits Me Like A Rock”
Video: CSS – “Hangover”

There’s good news and bad news from the House Of Tomorrow: the good is that, with their new record Partygoing set to come out on June 4 (as well as the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing. discography-collecting box set), Future Bible Heroes are undertaking a rare tour. The bad news is is that chief songwriter and personality Stephin Merritt will not be participating, though key members Claudia Gonson, Christopher Ewen, Shirley Simms, and Anthony Kaczynski will. So even without Merritt’s delicious dourness, a wonderful time should be had by all at Lee’s Palace on July 22. Tickets for that are $15.50.

Stream: Future Bible Heroes – “Living, Loving, Partygoing”

The Fly talks to Chicago’s Smith Westerns about their new record Soft Will, which will be out June 25. They’ve released the first video and rolled out a batch of tour dates via Pitchfork; the Toronto date comes July 29 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $17.

MP3: Smith Westerns – “Still New”
Video: Smith Westerns – “Varsity”

With a new album in Pura Vida Conspiracy due out July 23, everyone’s favourite – and probably only – Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello have announced a massive tour that comes to Toronto for not one but two nights – August 19 and 20 at The Danforth Music Hall. Rolling Stone has a conversation with frontman Eugene Hutz.

Stream: Gogol Bordello – “Malandrino”

Pinback are back for a date at Lee’s Palace on September 7 in support of last year’s Information Retrieved; tickets for that are $17.50 in advance.

MP3: Pinback – “Proceed To Memory”

FIDLAR – whose name stands for “Fuck It Dog Life’s A Risk”, if you were wondering – are teaming up with fellow Los Angelenos The Orwells for a Fall tour that hits The Hard Luck on October 18, tickets $13. FIDLAR released their self-titled debut earlier this year whereas The Orwells’ debut Remember When came out last year. DIY and The Clock have themselves FIDLAR features.

MP3: FIDLAR – “Cheap Beer”
MP3: The Orwells – “Other Voices”

Grantland and MusicOmh profile The National, whose new album Trouble Will Find Me is out on May 21 and who play Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

It won’t be out in time for her July 13 date at The Kool Haus, but Spin has some info on Solange’s new album, which will be out this year on her own label under Sony.

Exitmusic have premiered a new video from last year’s debut Passage at NPR.

Video: Exitmusic – “White Noise”

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Strangers On The Street

It’s a veritable Two Hours Traffic jam of concert announcements. Yeah, that was bad. I know.

Photo By David BastedoDavid BastedoSo at this point I may as well just earmark Tuesday posts as concert announcement roundups, Mondays being the busiest day for tour-related press releases and also being the easiest to put together as I wait for a torrent of Bunheads to surface. Shut up, it’s a great show.

First up is Prince Edward Island’s finest power-pop band Two Hours Traffic, now with a slightly altered lineup – guitarist Alec O’Hanley left after 2009’s Territory and can now be found in Always, who’ve gotten a fair bit of ink around here – and a new album in Foolish Blood coming out February 19. Touring machines that they are, they hit the road almost immediately afterwards for a Spring tour that takes them from the Maritimes down to Austin for SXSW, then back up through Toronto for a Canadian Musicfest headlining showcase at Lee’s Palace on March 21, and then across the rest of Canada. Saskatchewan’s Rah Rah will accompany them for most dates of the tour.

Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Last Star”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”

Montreal’s The Besnard Lakes step in as the big draw at Lee’s Palace for the Friday night of CMF – March 21 – previewing their new album Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO before it comes out April 2.

MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross”

March 22 is also the day The Indies – the festival’s bizarro mish-mash of awards ceremony no one really understands and musical bill of some of the fest’s biggest names playing abbreviated sets – goes down, but this year it’s at the Kool Haus rather than the ballroom of the Royal York hotel and the lineup is somewhat more coherent. Metric will headline and the undercard contains the likes of Diamond Rings, Yukon Blonde, The Wooden Sky, and Cadence Weapon. Tickets for that are $49.50. Yup.

MP3: Metric – “Artificial Nocturne”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Fire”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”

When Portland’s Parenthetical Girls were last here in April, their series of Privilege EPs had yet to be completed, only getting compiled into 21-song box set form last Fall. On February 19, it gets recompiled into a concise, 12-track album of the same name and gives them an excuse to tour again, this time coming to Double Double Land on March 28.

MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”

Scottish indie-rock heroes The View will give their new record Cheeky For A Reason – out last Summer in the UK – a North American release on February 13 and have a date at Lee’s Palace on March 29 to promote it. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

Stream: The View – “How Long”

Pitchfork brings Wavves news; specifically a new album in Afraid Of Heights coming March 26, a stream of a song from said new record, and tour dates in support of it including an April 5 date at The Horseshoe. Accompanying them on this tour are FIDLAR and Cheatahs, both of whom come with their own head of buzzy steam and equal facility for mangling the English language.

MP3: FIDLAR – “Got No Money”
Stream: Wavves – “Demon To Lean On”
Stream: Cheatahs – “The Swan”

The release of Jim James’ solo debut Regions Of Light And Sound Of God is upon us next Tuesday – February 5 – and with that comes and advance stream courtesy of NPR,interviews courtesy of Rolling Stone, CBC Music, and Exclaim, and a North American tour – dates courtesy Pollstar – that includes an April 24 stop at The Phoenix, tickets $26 in advance.

Stream: Jim James / Regions Of Light And Sound Of God

British “can we not call it dubstep” electronic artist James Blake will have a new album out later this year, but first comes a Spring tour built around Coachella that brings him to the Danforth Music Hall on May 4. Tickets $25 in advance.

MP3: James Blake – “To Care (Like You)”

Even though they were here just in December, Marina & The Diamonds have made a return engagement in support of second album Electra Hart and will be at the Sound Academy on May 23 as part of a Spring tour with support coming from next big thing Charli XCX. Tickets for that show are $28.50.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Glow”
Video: Marina & The Diamonds – “How To Be A Heartbreaker”

Crystal Castles also aren’t waiting long to play another local show, but they live here so it’s a little less of an undertaking. Following their release show for III back in November – from which they just released a new video – they’re back at the Sound Academy on June 8 and those tickets are $28.

MP3: Crystal Castles – “Wrath Of God”
Video: Crystal Castles – “Sad Eyes”

Washington DC punk/hardcore legends Bad Brains put out a new record in Into The Future late last year, and will be here on June 13 at The Phoenix to play some songs from it. And probably some old ones. Almost certainly some old ones. Tickets $30.50.

MP3: Bad Brains – “Pay To Cum”

The Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark reunion continues apace, with a second 21st century album – English Electric – due out April 8 and an accompanying North American tour confirmed. They’ll be at the Danforth Music Hall on July 11, advance tickets $35.

Video: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – “If You Leave”