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Posts Tagged ‘Fuck Buttons’

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Concert Pitch

Empire Of The Sun are bringing their intimate, stripped down live show to a stage near you

Photo via empireofthesun.comempireofthesun.comConsidering how much trouble it took epic Australian synth-pop duo Empire Of The Sun to make it to Toronto the first time – an August 2010 appearance at Echo Beach around their Lollapalooza set was nixed because of logistics and when the make-up show finally happened in September 2011, it was at the significantly smaller Sound Academy and still not especially well-attended – I didn’t really expect a return engagement if indeed a North American tour behind their second album Ice On The Dune even happened. After all, as big stars as they are back home, their profile in the northern hemisphere isn’t really on the same scale. But returning to North America they are, and the itinerary does indeed include a return to Toronto on September 9 at the probably much more appropriately-sized Danforth Music Hall, tickets running $30 to $35.

Given the almost five years since their debut Walking On A Dream came out and the fact that in The Sleepy Jackson, Luke Steele demonstrated an almost pathological stylistic restlessness, it’s somewhat surprising that Ice On The Dune treads much of the same ground as its predecessor. On a surface level, that’s all well and good as if you’re an Empire Of The Sun fan, you’re all about grandiose, danceable tunes with soaring choruses mated to astonishing visuals. But the similarities will naturally elicit direct comparison and you can’t help but feel that the formula is returning fewer dividends this time out. If they don’t mix it up a bit for album number three, it could become and issue but for now, it’s still enough to get the swordfish dancers out on the road and that’s all that really matters.

The Age has an interview with Luke Steele, while Wired reports that the collaboration with JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot studios that produced the extravagant, three-minute Ice On The Dune trailer, is just a prelude to a larger feature. And oh yeah, don’t forget they’re scoring Dumb & Dumber 2.

Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Alive”
Trailer: Empire Of The Sun / Ice On The Dune

Northampton, Massachusetts pop-punk – in the sense that they’re both poppy and punky, not that they belong on the Warped tour – quartet Potty Mouth will be at The Shop Under Parts & Labour on August 5, topping an $8, six-band bill that may well entice you underground to close out the August long weekend. Their debut Hell Bent is out September 17 and there’s features on them at Noisey and CMJ.

Video: Potty Mouth – “Damage”

Her duties supporting second album The Midnight Mass will bring Louise Burns to The Drake Underground on September 10 where she’ll also be supporting Lightning Dust. Tickets for that are still $12.50.

Video: Louise Burns – “Emeralds Shatter”

English newcomer and BBC Sound of 2013 longlister King Krule will be at The Drake on September 11 in support of his debut Six Feet Beneath The Moon, out August 24. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

Video: King Krule – “Octopus”

Anyone who thinks that the garage-friendly triple bill of Wavves, Jacuzzi Boys, and King Tuff won’t be extra loud and unruly when it hits the Opera House on September 29 is probably wrong. But that’s kind of the point. Tickets are $19 and the full touring itinerary can be had over at Pitchfork.

MP3: Wavves – “Hippies Is Punks”
MP3: Jacuzzi Boys – “Automatic Jail”
MP3: King Tuff – “Anthem”

New York gloomy gusses Crystal Stilts have a new album in Nature Noir coming out September 17 – stream a new song below – and will be at The Horseshoe on October 8 to play you songs from it. Tickets for that are $12.50.

Stream: Crystal Stilts – “Star Crawl”

With his once and maybe future Sonic Youth bandmate Thurston Moore there a little less than a month earlier with Chelsea Light Moving, Lee Ranaldo and his new band The Dust will be at The Horseshoe on October 11, tickets $16.50. Matablog says that the tour is in support of his new solo record, the follow up to 2011’s Between The Times & The Tides, but isn’t saying any more about that for the moment.

MP3: Lee Ranaldo – “Off The Wall”

English electronic duo Fuck Buttons celebrated yesterday’s release of their new album Slow Focus with the announcement of a North American tour that brings them to Wrongbar on October 16, tickets $12. Interview, The Guardian, Clash, The Fly, and The Quietus have feature pieces on the band.

Video: Fuck Buttons – “The Red Wing”

With a new album in On Oni Pond ready for a September 10 release, Philadelphia weirdos – meant in the most complimentary sense – Man Man have slated a Fall tour that brings them to The Horseshoe on October 18, tickets $18.50.

MP3: Man Man – “Knuckle Down”

English folk-poppers Noah & The Whale have announced the dates for their Fall tour in support of album number four, Heart Of Nowhere. They’re at The Phoenix in Toronto on October 19, tickets $25.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Lifetime”

Two good things about the announcement of a Shad show at The Opera House on October 19. One, it means that his next album Flying Colours will be out sooner rather than later, and two, it means that anyone who wants to see him perform no longer needs to go see him open up for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Echo Beach on August 2. CBC has a check-in with the rapper.

Video: Shad – “It Ain’t Over”

Seattle folkies The Head & The Heart have completed their second album, entitled Let’s Be Still and set for an October 15 release, and have put together a pretty extensive tour covering the eastern half of the continent. They’re celebrating Hallowe’en in Toronto with an October 31 date at The Danforth Music Hall – tickets $20 to $25.50 – and the very worthy Thao & The Get Down Stay Down will support.

MP3: The Head & The Heart – “Down In The Valley”
MP3: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Holy Roller”

New York synth-pop duo Holy Ghost! will release their second album Dynamics on September 10, and to get people stoked – as the kids say – they’ve put out a video for a track already made available to download and will be hitting the road later this Fall, rolling into The Hoxton on November 6, tickets $16.

MP3: Holy Ghost! – “Teenagers In Heat”
Video: Holy Ghost! – “Teenagers In Heat”

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

When I Still Have Thee

Middle-aged cult heroes Teenage Fanclub return with new album

Photo via MergeMergeSo much to catch up on. Where to begin? How about Scotland? That Teenage Fanclub had completed a new record in the last while is no secret. Even the title has been kicking around since last year. But the lack of news on the actual release of the record has been tough to find, at least until now. Merge, who put out their last album Man-Made in 2005, will release Shadows on June 8 to the delight of power pop connoisseurs everywhere.

To stir up anticipation, they’ve released the first MP3 from the record. It’s a Norman Blake composition but like most everything they’ve done since 1997’s Songs From Northern Britain, regardless of who the specific songwriter is, it’s a master class in mid-tempo, ultra-melodic jangle-pop. One of the wonderful things about this band – besides the music, of course – is how each of the three principals has their own distinct songwriting personality, and yet they fit together seamlessly. I’ll admit that in the past half decade, I hadn’t really been chomping at the bit for a new Fannies record but knowing that one is coming and that it’s almost certain to be of the same high level of quality as they’ve maintained pretty much forever is a comforting thought. The Fannies will never really surprise, but they’ll never disappoint either.

Also worth looking forward to is the fact that there are plans for North American touring this Fall. Their last tour was also five years ago so another visit is long overdue. Tracklisting and cover art for Shadows can be had over at Pitchfork.

MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “Baby Lee”

After a goodly amount of teasing, the first official taste of High Violet, the new record from The National, is available to download and it is, in a word, amazing. I’d been joking that this was going to be my album of the year before I heard a note, but I don’t think I’m joking anymore. The National are at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

MP3: The National – “Blood Buzz Ohio”

The Acorn have set a June 1 release date for their new album No Ghost – details on the release at Exclaim.

Exclaim talks to Wolf Parade about their still-untitled new album, which has a release date of June 29. They’ll preview it at the Phoenix on April 7.

BBC6 talks to Thomas Mars of Phoenix, who are celebrating a pretty good year by giving away a free live album. Go and get it.

ZIP: Phoenix / Live In Sydney

And speaking of live, let’s talk show announcements. With their new album The Five Ghosts set to come out on June 22, Stars are looking to get back into game shape with a short Canadian tour that will find the band playing rooms much smaller than they normally would, including the Mod Club in Toronto on May 5. And you’ll be paying for the privilege of pretending its December 2004… tickets are a rather dear $34.75, on sale Friday morning. But you know that even at that price, they’ll be gone lickety split.

They entertained the hell out of me just a few days ago, and now Man Man are coming to do the same to you – they’ve got a date at Lee’s Palace on May 9 as part of a short tour, tickets $15.

MP3: Man Man – “Top Drawer”

UK electro outfit Fuck Buttons have made a date at the Horseshoe for May 19.

MP3: Fuck Buttons – “Bright Tomorrow”

Holly Miranda will finally be bringing her solo effort The Magician’s Private Library to town for a show at the El Mocambo on May 20.

MP3: Holly Miranda – “Waves”

The Avett Brothers will bring their latest album I And Love And You back to town for a show at The Phoenix on June 1. Tickets are $25.50 and on sale now.

MP3: The Avett Brothers – “I And Love And You”

Though they were just here in October, The Psychedelic Furs are back for a much cozier show at Lee’s Palace on June 8.

Video: The Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”

His date at the Mod Club last April was cancelled due to illness, but Robyn Hitchcock is finally making that up in intimate style with two shows at the Drake Underground on June 11 and 12. Of course that show was supposed to be with the Venus 3 – no word yet what the touring configuration for these appearances are going to be, but it’ll be entertaining regardless.

MP3: Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 – “Goodnight Oslo” (live)

The New Pornographers have announced their extensive North American touring plans in support of Together, out May 4. For their June 15 date at the Sound Academy, they’ll be joined by The Dodos and The Dutchess & The Duke – tickets $26.50 general admission and $40 VIP balcony, on sale Friday. And since it’s a question that always gets asked when tour dates are announced, yes – Dan and Neko are going to be there.

MP3: The New Pornographers – “Your Hands (Together)”
MP3: The Dodos – “Fables”
MP3: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Living This Life”

And if you like your west coast pop a little more bent, Frog Eyes will be at the Music Gallery that same evening, June 15, accompanied by Seattle’s Pearly Gate Music.

MP3: Frog Eyes – “Bushels”
MP3: Pearly Gate Music – “Big Escape”

And oh yeah, Montreal’s Osheaga festival announced their lineup this week and it’s a pretty big pile of holy shit. With a top-five bill of Arcade Fire, Weezer, Pavement, Metric and The National and a pretty solid undercard, it’s pretty much a must-attend for any indie-rocking type who isn’t averse to standing around in a field for two days. The fest goes July 31 and August 1 in Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal; weekend passes go for $110/$120 depending on how soon you’re willing to commit.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Bay Of Pigs

New Destroyer single confounds, delights

Photo via MergeMergeAlright, everyone who expected Dan Bejar to follow up Destroyer’s last record, 2008’s excellent but still underappreciated (hey, it took me months to “get”) Trouble In Dreams, with a 14-minute, absent-mindedly poetic, gently meandering yet almost-danceable synth-pop single ostensibly about the almost-US invasion of Cuba but probably about anything but, hands up? Yeah, uh huh. Liar.

Trying to predict where Bejar’s muse will take him is an exercise in folly that probably even he wouldn’t want to partake in, so it’s probably best to just try to keep up and enjoy the trip. The new tune, which is currently streaming at Stereogum, is the a-side of a limited edition 12″ single due out August 18. I find it quite pleasant and soothing, but I’ve learned to not try and comprehend Destroyer – just accept. eye doesn’t seem quite as zen about it, attempting to liveblog their first listen to it. Pitchfork, of course, loves it a lot.

Destroyer is doing a smattering of touring this Fall and my question is, considering his October 3 show at the Horseshoe in Toronto is billed as a solo performance, will he perform his latest opus? Conventional wisdom would imply that it’s impossible to recreate in that context which means, of course, that he’ll open with it and extend it out to nearly 30 minutes in length. And it will be glorious.

Stream: Destroyer – “Bay Of Pigs”

Your – and I mean my – other primary musical option that same evening of October 3 is Yo La Tengo, who will be down the street (though some distance) at the Opera House. They’re ramping up to the September 8 release of Popular Songs with a series of videos, so far one for each of the promo MP3s already let loose on the world.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”

Spin has excerpted a portion of their interview in this month’s issue with Jarvis Cocker.

Rolling Stone has, a mere eight months into the year, boldly named their artists to watch for 2009. Included amongst them are two British ladies with anatomically-oriented debut albums – first is Little Boots, whose Hands still awaits a North American release and whom you can watch in person on September 14 at Wrongbar, and also Florence The Machine, whose debut Lungs will be out here on October 13. They’re also offering up an MP3 from the album and The Yorkshire Evening Post has an interview with Florence Welch.

MP3: Florence & The Machine – “I’m Not Calling You A Liar”

Also deservedly getting a North American release is Fanfarlo, whose Reservoir will be out here on October 6. They’re doing a smattering of touring in September, but nothing up this way.

MP3: Fanfarlo – “Luna”

But a bunch of bands have just announced visits. Swedes The Sounds will be at the Phoenix on September 13 in support of their new record Crossing The Rubicon.

MP3: The Sounds – “Beatbox”
MP3: The Sounds – “Dorchester Hotel”

Born Ruffians and The Acorn are teaming up to fill the Opera House on September 19, tickets $15.

MP3: The Acorn – “The Flood, Pt 1”
MP3: The Acorn – “Crooked Legs”
Video: Born Ruffians – “Hummingbird”

Two Hours Traffic will mark the release of their new album Territory on September 8 with relentless touring – look for them on October 16 at Lee’s Palace.

MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Territory”

Having retired the Pedro The Lion pseudonym, David Bazan will set out on tour in support of his debut album under his own name Curse Your Branches, due out September 1. He and Say Hi will be at Lee’s Palace on October 22. There’s a feature piece on Bazan at The Chicago Reader and his struggles with spirituality.

MP3: David Bazan – “Bless This Mess”
MP3: Say Hi – “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh”

Dan Deacon is at Sneaky Dee’s on November 3. His latest album is Bromst, tickets to the party are $12. I suspect this will be bedlam.

MP3: Dan Deacon – “Crystal Cat”

Fuck Buttons and Growing seek to make a racket at the El Mocambo on November 23. Witness said racket for $10.

MP3: Fuck Buttons – “Bright Tomorrow”
MP3: Growing – “Swell”

Their show at Lee’s Palace on Monday night long sold out, Friendly Fires have made yet another date to visit Toronto, this one on December 2 at the Mod Club, tickets $16.50, and accompanying them on this trek are The XX.

MP3: Friendly Fires – “Jump In The Pool”
MP3: The XX – “Basic Space”

An immovable medical appointment has forced Dinosaur Jr to postpone their September 30 show at the Phoenix all the way into the new year, with the new date set for January 21, 2010. Seriously.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “I Want You To Know”

The Toronto Star looks at how the soon-to-wrap production of Scott Pilgrim has stayed faithful to the image of Toronto both in the comics and in real life.