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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Born’

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

CONTEST – Foreign Born and Free Energy @ The El Mocambo – March 9, 2010

Photo via MySpace MySpaceWe’d gotten off pretty clean so far here in Toronto with respect to Winter weather, but while it’s hardly a snowpocalypse out there the last couple of days, it seems our run of clean sidewalks and dry feet is finally done – with less than a month left, formally, of Winter. Help, however, is on the way. Not in the form of a renegade chinook somehow making it across the entire continent, but in the a pair of bands whose brand of upbeat, good times guitar pop could be just the thing to chase away the winter blahs – at least for an evening.

I’m talking about the double-bill of Los Angeles’ Foreign Born and Philadelphia’s Free Energy, who are traversing the continent on tour and will be at the El Mocambo in Toronto on March 9. Free Energy’s debut Stuck On Nothing will be available digitally as of that date with a physical release coming May 4. Foreign Born’s Person To Person hit the streets last year.

Tickets for the show are $12.50 in advance but courtesy of Live Nation, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to be Foreign Born” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, March 5.

For more Free Energy, head over to Daytrotter for a downloadable session and RCRDLBL for another album track.

MP3: Foreign Born – “Vacationing People”
MP3: Foreign Born – “Early Warnings”
MP3: Free Energy – “Free Energy”
MP3: Free Energy – “Hope Child”
Video: Foreign Born – “Early Warnings”
Video: Foreign Born – “Winter Games”
Video: Free Energy – “Free Energy”
MySpace: Foreign Born
MySpace: Free Energy

Friday, December 11th, 2009

All Yr Songs Are Belong To Us

Sony stages Diamond Rings heist

Photo By David WaldmanDavid WaldmanThe tale of Toronto’s Diamond Rings was one of the unexpected little Toronto triumphs of the Summer, what with the electro-glam alter-ego of D’Urbervilles frontman Jon O’Regan releasing a fun video to go with his debut 7″ single, “All Yr Songs”, and having it quickly get not only catch the ear of Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber, but also garner title of “Best New Music” by the same tastemaking site, leading to plenty of attention, singles sales and plum opening slots.

The happy tale took an unfortunate turn Wednesday, however, as the YouTube clip – at 50,000 plays and counting – was unceremoniously pulled because of “a copyright claim by Sony BMG Music Entertainment”. This was especially odd considering that the song is an original, sample-free composition and the video, while paying tribute to the aesthetic of early hip-hop videos, was also wholly original. Exactly what the basis for Sony-BMG’s DMCA claim on the clip is unknown, as neither they nor Google are talking, but perhaps they’ve enlisted Gollum as their new head of A&R? Get it? Gollum? Wants the ring? His precious? No? Never mind.

But in all seriousness, this is a lousy situation not only for O’Regan but for video director Colin Medley who, for being the one to have uploaded the clip, has had is account essentially put on notice, being informed that as a YouTube user, he is “not in good standing” and further “strikes may result in the termination of your
account”. That the situation is bullshit is clear; what can be done about it is muddier, though some would advocate a Sony boycott. There are processes in place for appealing DMCA notices and those wheels have been put into motion, but as any music blogger who’s held a Blogspot account – also a Google property – knows, the would-be, presumably benign overlords of the internet aren’t big on communication. Here’s hoping it all gets sorted out sooner rather than later.

Even with this setback, Diamond Rings is still full steam ahead – a new single will be out in the new year, followed but a full-length album, he’s playing the Tranzac New Year’s Eve bender (taking place New Year’s Eve at the Tranzac – duh), opening up for Final Fantasy at the Mod Club on January 12 and will be heading down to Austin for SxSW in March. Sony will have to hire a team of interns to stop him.

NOW talked to O’Regan about the YouTube kerfuffle. You can still watch the video at Vimeo and listen to the tune in both its original form and remixed, if it suits your fancy, and if you see/hear anything that sounds like a crib from a Sony-BMG artist, do speak up. I’m sure the creators would love to find out exactly who they ripped off and how.

Update: Okay, the YouTube clip has been un-banned though no explanation as to why has been given. My completely baseless theory is that it may have mistakenly gotten caught up in some Vevo-related dragnet of material that the labels were seeking to clean up/seize control of. I’ll relay anything else I learn, but the important thing is you can now watch Jon bust a move on the online streaming video platform of your choice.
Update 2: NOW has updated their piece, saying Sony is claiming it was a case of mistaken identity with a Sony artist named Chipmunk who had a song called “Diamond Rings”. Uh-huh.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs” ((GOBBLE GOBBLE’s Wings for Eyeliner remix)
Video: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”

The Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Torontoist, NOW and eye salute Constantines on the occasion of their tenth anniversary as one of Canada’s foremost rock bands. Their series of southern Ontario anniversary shows hits Toronto tonight at Lee’s Palace and continue on there tomorrow and December 19.

Ohbijou are capping off their own terrific year by giving away a free cover of Wham!’s holiday classic, “Last Christmas”. Head over here to grab it.

Woodpigeon have shared the MP3 of a Pink Floyd cover they recorded for a Mojo compilation. I had suggested they do “Run Like Hell”, but no one ever listens to me. Their new record Die Stadt Muzikanten is out January 12.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Mother” (Pink Floyd cover)

The Besnard Lakes’ identity crisis continues – apparently they no longer believe themselves to be The Dark Horse for as of March 9, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night. The new album will be preceded a month earlier with the release of a new single “Albatross” on 12″.

College Times and Austin360 talk to the Rural Alberta Advantage.

The Joy Formidable, who had me scrambling to check airfare prices upon seeing they’re playing four shows in New York at the start of next January (no I’m not going), are getting into the holiday spirit by giving away a free MP3 of a new song just crackling with festive cheer – “My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees”. Now that’s my kind of Christmas carol. I love this band – someone give them tonnes of money so they can tour over here, or give me tonnes of money so I can go see them wherever they play. Actually, let’s just pursue scenario two.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees”

eye has a video interview and The New York Observer a print one with The xx. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20 with Hot Chip, who’ve released a video for the title track from their next album One Life Stand, out February 9.

Video: Hot Chip – “One Life Stand”

Rogue Wave will be at the Mod Club on February 26 to promote their new album Permalight, which will be in stores on March 2.

Electro duo YACHT have set a port of call for Wrongbar on March 4 as part of a cross-Canada tour. Their latest album See Mystery Lights was released earlier this year.

Video: YACHT – “Psychic City (Voodoo City)”

Los Angeles’ Foreign Born and Philadelphia’s Free Energy will be at the El Mocambo on March 9. The former released Person To Person earlier this year, the latter has nothing in tangible form but a nifty digital EP you can get on the interwebs. No, it’s not free. The energy is free, the music is not.

MP3: Foreign Born – “Vacationing People”
MP3: Foreign Born – “Early Warnings”
MP3: Free Energy – “Free Energy”
MP3: Free Energy – “Something In Common”
Video: Foreign Born – “Early Warnings”
Video: Foreign Born – “Winter Games”
Video: Free Energy – “Free Energy”

Exclaim has details of the second She & Him record, entitled Volume Two (it’s the second volume, y’see?) and out March 23.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

Review of Joel Plaskett's Three and giveaway

Photo By Ingram BarssIngram BarssWhen it comes to rock music, there’s few things that can be said to be asking to fail more than the double album and the concept album. To the former, most artists have trouble coming up with enough quality material to pad out a conventional 10-song set and to the latter… well, I don’t think there’s any explanation needed there. And let’s not even get started on the double- concept album. So the fact that Joel Plaskett’s latest is a triple-album with a running theme should be a recipe for glorious catastrophe… and yet it’s not. Far from it, actually.

But let’s be clear – Three may be ambitious, but it doesn’t overreach. The only real “concept” at work is the number three, which applies to the number of CDs in the set, manifests itself in a number of song titles (“Pine, Pine, Pine”, “Run, Run, Run” for example) and crops up in the lyrics from time to time – hardly a rock opera. And all 27 songs could have easily fit on two compact discs, but that would have spoiled the fun. And besides the numeral three, fun is the prevailing theme of this set – proceedings are dominated by an easy, laid-back vibe that finds Plaskett knocking off the sort of genial, unpretentious roots-pop/rock that has earned him the mantle of one of this country’s most reliable songsmiths.

And that reliability applies across the entire set. By sticking to what he does best and keeping the delivery simple and straightforward, Plaskett manages the remarkable feat of not including a single standout clunker. They’re certainly not all classics – many drift by with just an amiable nod – but anything that does catch jump out and grab the ear does so because it’s exceptional, and there’s no shortage of those, particularly on disc two. Generally, these are the quieter, more thoughtful compositions – a fact that may mark Plaskett’s transition from rocker to balladeer complete, but one that should be celebrated. Unless you still light a candle nightly in hopes of a Thrush Hermit reunion, in which case I cannot help you.

Plaskett has just begun a cross-Canada tour that will place him at Massey Hall on May 23, and courtesy of Maple Music I have a pair of tickets to give away to the show, along with an autographed copy of Three. To get in on this, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Joel Plaskett” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body, and get that to me by midnight, May 19.

There’s interviews with Plaskett about his reasonings behind crafting a triple-album at The Edmonton Journal, The Gateway, Vue, FFWD and The Vancouver Courier.

MySpace: Joel Plaskett

PopMatters and The Sun talk to Steve Earle about his new album Townes, which you can stream in its entirety right now at Spinner.

Stream: Steve Earle – “Townes”

The Arkansas Times checks in with Richard Buckner. He’s beginning work on his next album which will be out next year.

There’s a new MP3 available from Iron & Wine’s forthcoming rarities collection Around The Well, out next week. You can also stream the whole double-disc collection at their MySpace.

MP3: Iron and Wine – “Belated Promise Ring”
Stream: Iron & Wine / Around The Well

Blurt talks to Andrew Kenny of The Wooden Birds, whose debut Magnolia is out now. Imagine American Analog Set unplugged, sans vibraphone and Farfisa and you’re pretty much there. Check out a track from the album and also their WOXY Lounge Act session from SxSW in March. Muzzle Of Bees and Black Book have interviews.

MP3: The Wooden Birds – “False Alarm”
MP3: The Wooden Birds – “Sugar” (live at WOXY)
MP3: The Wooden Birds – “The Other One” (live at WOXY)
MP3: The Wooden Birds – “Believe In Love” (live at WOXY)

Bowerbirds have released the first MP3 from their new album Upper Air. It’s out July 7 and they’re at Sneaky Dee’s on July 14.

MP3: Bowerbirds – “Northern Lights”

NPR has a session with Vetiver, who will be at the Horseshoe on May 15.

Bob Dylan has a new video.

Video: Bob Dylan – “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'”

Beatroute and Canadian Press interview Grizzly Bear. Veckatimest is out May 26, they’re at the Phoenix June 5.

Wayne Coyne tells Billboard that the next Flaming Lips album, due out later this year and still untitled but possibly to be called Embryonic, is looking like it’ll be a double-album.

Metromix interviews Thao, whom I won’t be seeing in New York tomorrow night because I will instead be hoofing it to Connecticut to see Leonard Cohen. I’d like to think Thao would understand.

Drowned In Sound, Express Night Out and Charleston City Paper interview The Thermals’ Kathy Foster.

KEXP has a session with Telekinesis, in town at the Horseshoe on June 10.

The Bygone Bureau talks to John Vanderslice about Romanian Names, out next week. He plays the Horseshoe July 10.

Ohbijou, who are currently gallivanting around Europe, have set a CD release show for Beacons when it comes out on June 2. The party will be on June 25 at the Opera House, tickets $13.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Black Ice”

The Veils and Foreign Born will be at the Horseshoe on July 27, both with new albums to promote – Sun Gang for the former and Person To Person, out June 23, for the latter. Tickets for that are $13.50.

MP3: The Veils – “The Letter”
MP3: The Veils – “Killed By The Boom”
MP3: Foreign Born – “Vacationing People”

Lykke Li is coming back to town yet again on August 9, and this time she’s playing the Sound Academy. Tickets are $26.50.

Caribou are returning to live action this year and have something special planned for their September 10 show at the Opera House. They’ll be performing as The Caribou Vibration Ensemble and according to Exclaim, that means “Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden, Koushik, John Schmersal, Kathryn Bint and Ahmed Gallab, along with a choir, a horn section and a quartet of drummers”. Um, okay. Bring it.

MP3: Caribou – “Melody Day”