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Posts Tagged ‘Future Islands’

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

1000 Answers

The Hives and object lessons in venue relativism

Photo By Tobias SutterTobias SutterThings that are true about live music rooms in Toronto: 1) Everyone hates the Sound Academy, for reasons that don’t really need to be expounded on; 2) a lot of people hate The Phoenix when it represents a tipping point for ascendant acts moving out of clubs and into bigger rooms; 3) a lot of people love The Phoenix when it offers a relatively intimate setting for who might normally play larger rooms but for whatever reason – choice or circumstance – are downsizing.

It’s that third category that I was front of mind yesterday as a batch of concert announcements rolled in. Already scheduled for two dates at The Air Canada Centre supporting Pink on November 30 and December 2, Swedish garage rock heroes The Hives have decided days off are for chumps and have scheduled their own show at The Phoenix for December 1, tickets $29.50. Their last headlining show in support of last year’s Lex Hives was in July 2012 and at The Sound Academy, so their playing a room one-third the size is rather a boon for their fans, at least those who didn’t rush out to buy Pink tickets to see them. Which I would think would include all of them.

Video: The Hives – “Wait A Minute”

New Zealand electro-poppers The Naked & Famous, on the other hand, may be finding out that they’re neither sufficiently naked or famous to fill the Sound Academy as they’ve downgraded their October 14 show in support of their just-released second album In Rolling Waves from there to The Phoenix. Playing the room wasn’t overreaching as their last show in support of their hit debut Passive Me, Aggressive You was there and was their fourth local performance in a year, no less, but kids these days have short attention spans. Remaining tickets for the show are $28.50 in advance. BBC has an interview with the band as does Noisey, along with a stream of the new record.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”
Stream: The Naked & Famous / In Rolling Waves

When British soul singer Jessie Ware made her local debut at The Opera House in April, it seemed a foregone conclusion that her next visit would be in a much bigger room. And while I won’t suggest that her upwards trajectory has stalled – she and Devotion are just too good to be denied – I was surprised to see that her November 6 show at The Sound Academy had also been downsized to The Phoenix. On the plus side, I already know a few people for whom this show has gone from “ugh” to “ooh”, so it should still be a good and full house when she and The Invisible return to town. Whatever tickets remain for that one are $25 in advance. Interestingly, one of her New York shows on this tour was also downsized from a 3000+ room to a 1000 but a Brooklyn show was also added, so maybe this is as much about the experience as soft sales. Or not. Anyways, if you were on the fence then it’s time to get to a ticket outlet.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have been fairly quiet of late, presumably working on a follow-up to 2011’s Departing – their last local show was last Fall with Dan Mangan at The Danforth Music Hall – but they’ll be taking the stage at the Adelaide Music Hall on October 18 as part of Indie Week, which is apparently a thing. You can get in with a festival wristband or paying $25 for an advance ticket.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Widowspeak fans dismayed that their only opportunity to see them this Fall was as support for Iron & Wine at The Sound Academy – that place again! – on September 28 will be pleased to know that they’ll be back soon enough in support of their new EP The Swamps, out October 29, for a show at The Silver Dollar on November 2 with Pure Bathing Culture and tickets running a very reasonable $12.50.

MP3: Widowspeak – “The Devil Knows”

Baltimore’s Future Islands haven’t announced anything about a follow-up to 2011’s On The Water, but they’re still hitting the road and will be at The Drake Underground on November 10, tickets $15.50.

MP3: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

At some point, the release of Illinois roots-pop artist Lissie’s second album got pushed back a few weeks, but they’ve now committed to both an October 8 street date for Back To Forever as well as a Fall tour to support it. Ms Maurus will be at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21, tickets for the show $22.50 in advance.

Video: Lissie – “Further Away (Romance Police)”

They may not have been crowned Polaris champs on Monday night, but Young Galaxy can still announce themselves as 2013 shortlisters when they take the stage at The Hoxton on November 22. Not that they would or should; that’s kind of gauche. Tickets for that one are $18 in advance.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

If you missed fantastical Swedish synth-pop duo The Deer Tracks when they were here in March – and mathematically, most all of you did – then you can rectify that when they bring their opus The Archer Trilogy back to North America for a victory lap. They’ll be back at The Silver Dollar on November 28.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”

His Toronto debut a couple weeks ago having completely sold out even after being upgraded from The Drake to Wrongbar, Archy Marshall – aka King Krule – will bring his album Six Feet Beneath The Moon back as part of a larger tour and will be at Lee’s Palace on December 9, tickets $20. The New York Times has a feature piece on the artist.

Video: King Krule – “Octopus”

Interview, MTV, and Rolling Stone have features on Swedish electro-pop sensations Icona Pop, whose North American debut This Is… Icona Pop is out this week.

MTV Hive, Elle, and Interview chat with Nanna Øland Fabricius of Oh Land, whose new album Wish Bone is also out this week and is available to stream courtesy of The Line Of Best Fit. Esquire also has a video session with the artist, who plays The Great Hall on September 30.

Stream: Oh Land / Wish Bone

Indians have rolled out a new video from their/his debut Somewhere Else.

Video: Indians – “La Femme”

The New Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Electronic Musician have interviews with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.

Le Blogotheque serves up an Empty Spaces session with Sigur Rós filmed in the catacombs of Paris.

A Heart Is A Spade interviews Kate Boy.

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

All Our Summer Songs

Saturday Looks Good To Me decides Saturday still looks pretty good, reforms for new album and tour

Photo via PolyvinylPolyvinylUsually when an interesting press release shows up in my inbox, the contents show up ad nauseum in my RSS, Twitter, Facebook, whatever over the next few hours – such is the nature of the press cycle in the digital age. But one of the best pieces of news over the last few days, at least for me, hasn’t yet found its way into the internet echo chamber, and that’s the anouncement of the return of Saturday Looks Good To Me.

Not that I’m entirely surprised; the Ann Arbor, Michigan outfit never quite set the world on fire despite producing two nearly perfect records of Motown/Northern Soul revivalist pop in 2003’s All Your Summer Songs and 2004’s Every Night and had been basically in drydock since the release of 2007’s Fill Up The Room. Songwriter Fred Thomas and vocalist Betty Marie Barnes regrouped in 2010 as Mighty Clouds and released one decent self-titled effort but remained largely under the radar.

But anyways – back to the presser. Basically, it announced that Thomas had reconvened a new version of the band with long-time bassist Scott DeRoche, Ryan Howard (with whom he formed City Center in SLGTM’s downtime) and new singer Carol Gray for a Spring tour (though no local date), a re-release of All Your Summer Songs on heavy vinyl for Record Store Day and a new album due out in the Fall. There’s no guarantee that it will reach the greatness of their earlier records – the constantly shifting lineup doesn’t always gel and sometimes Thomas’ more experimental urges can be to the detriment of the songs, but I’m optimistic nonetheless. If you’re unfamiliar with them, do get acquainted – there’s MP3s and full album streams below, and a sampler mix over at Soundcloud.

MP3: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “Make A Plan”
MP3: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “The Girl’s Distracted”
MP3: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “Until The World Stops Spinning”
MP3: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “The Sun Doesn’t Want To Shine”
MP3: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “Meet Me By The Water”
Stream: Saturday Looks Good To Me / Every Night
Stream: Saturday Looks Good To Me / All Your Summer Songs
Stream: Mighty Clouds / Mighty Clouds

The Drums, with Brooklyn’s Craft Spells in tow, will make a return engagement on April 27 at The Phoenix – tickets $17.50 in advance – part of another tour in support of last year’s Portamento. They’ve also just released a new video from said record and sat for an interview with The Daily Record.

MP3: The Drums – “Down By The Water”
MP3: Craft Spells – “You Should Close The Door”
Video: The Drums – “Days”

Baltimore’s Future Islands will bring last year’s On The Water to The Horseshoe on May 3, tickets $11.50 in advance.

MP3: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

With a new album in Always ready for release next Tuesday, Xiu Xiu have announced a Spring tour with Vancouver’s Dirty Beaches that brings them to Lee’s Palace on May 12, tickets $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Xiu Xiu – “Hi”
MP3: Xiu Xiu – “Hi” (acoustic)
MP3: Dirty Beaches – “Lord Knows Best”

If you’re thinking, “wait – their March 14 show at The Air Canada Centre doesn’t happen for another two weeks”, you are correct – but that hasn’t stopped The Black Keys from announcing another Toronto date for August 4 at the Molson Amphitheatre, this time with The Shins. Tickets for that will be $35 and $60 in advance. What can you say – their El Camino just keeps going and going; The Shins can only hope Port Of Morrow has remotely the same momentum when it arrives on March 20 – The Quietus has an interview with James Mercer about the new record.

MP3: The Shins – “Know Your Onion!”
Video: The Black Keys – “Gold On The Ceiling”

DIY and The Daily Tar Heel interview Bowerbirds, whose new album The Clearing, is out next week. They play The Garrison on March 27.

Paste and The Quietus profile Andrew Bird, whose new album Break It Yourself is out Tuesday. You can watch a video performance of one of the new songs at PitchforkTV.

In conversation with DIY, Howler reveal they’ve already begun work on the follow-up to America Give Up; they’ll showcase that first album at The Drake on April 5.

The AV Club has got the artwork and tracklist for the Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions box from Billy Bragg and Wilco, as well as the official release date of April 21.

Ben Curtis of School Of Seven Bells talks to Spinner and picks some of his favourite records for The Skinny. They’re at The Hoxton on May 2.

The Retribution Gospel Choir is in a giving mood, offering a new EP entitled The Revolution for free download from their website in exchange for an email address.

MP3: Retribution Gospel Choir – “The Stone (Revolution!)”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Sharon Van Etten’s New York show this past weekend, while Blare and The Calgary Herald have interviews.

Clash has a feature piece on Real Estate.

Toronto Standard has an interview with yours truly about the topic of blogging in advance of a panel I’m on this Friday evening for the Toronto Music Industry Association, also on the topic of blogging. I will be fielding any questions about anything except blogging.

Monday, June 13th, 2011

I Am Very Far

Okkervil River, Titus Andronicus and Future Islands at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangOkkervil River are probably pretty comfortable at the Phoenix now, this past Friday marking the band’s third straight show at the Toronto venue. But each visit was in a slightly different context – Spring 2008 as support for The New Pornographers, that same October marking their first swing at headlining the 1000-capacity room – and this show would be the gauge as to whether they had outgrown that scale venue and would be moving onto bigger stages. And indeed, the did sell it out but not without the help of a pretty impressive undercard.

Leading off was Baltimore trio Future Islands, who’d been getting attention at a pretty steady rate since the release of their second album In Evening Air last Spring. I can’t comment on the “post-wave” scene of which they’re apparently a part of, but what I saw was three regular joe-looking dudes taking the stage in a synth/bass/vocals configuration and while the former two went about their business in an understated manner, vocalist Sam Herring turned into a fascinating model of a frontman. Stalking and/or prowling the stage like a jungle gorilla, hes was all chest-slapping, arm-flailing and face-grabbing antics and yet carried himself with an odd sort of stateliness. The musical side was just as odd/interesting, coupling a distinctly glammy take on early ’80s post-punk vibe with vocals that were at times gutteral and others almost theatrically dramatic. I can’t say how much I really liked it but it was definitely interesting, and these days interesting goes a long way.

I’ll go see Okkervil River each and every time they come to town, whatever the room, but I won’t lie – having Titus Andronicus on the bill made this show extra exciting, being one of the bands that could easily steal a show out from anyone. Their show at Sneaky Dee’s in April 2010 still goes down in my books as one of the most intense and chaotic live music experiences in recent memory, and while it was slightly more controlled when I saw them later that summer at Pitchfork, it was clear that of all the club-level bands getting their moment on a big festival stage that weekend, Titus Andronicus were one of the few ready to deserve it.

This would be the band’s fourth show in Toronto in just over a year, each one was a sell out and rowdy as hell, but this was their first in a room larger than The Horseshoe and I’m sure Patrick Stickles was happy to finally be on stage high enough that he wouldn’t have to worry about fans falling or getting flung onto his pedalboard. And I was happy that there’d probably be less of a concentration of their own fans and I might get to enjoy their set without worrying quite as much about getting kicked in the head. And indeed, their set had less of the bedlam of past performances but it’s important to note that as their show went on and converts to the unrelenting lessons in history, rock and rage as documented on The Monitor were made, the chaos steadily increased – thankfully mostly on the other side of the room from me. This allowed me to note that the sonic mix had shifted somewhat from when I saw them last, working a little more piano into the mix and coming across with less punk fury and more rock’n’roll fun. Goodness knows guitarist/violinist Amy Klein was having fun up there – whether pogoing around the stage or going foot-on-monitor for some riffing, she was a ridiculous amount of fun to watch, and it’s not hard to imagine that before too long it will be her and her bandmates headlining rooms this size.

But for this night, the stage still belonged to Okkervil River. I noted in my review of their latest effort I Am Very Far that the band had shed some of the refinement that marked The Stage Names/The Stand Ins in favour of a more sonically adventurous approach and indeed, that aesthetic shift carried over to the live show. I’d commented in my writeup of their last Phoenix show that the band were simply too good now to recapture the anarchic spirit that marked some of thier earlier shows and while that’s still technically true, they took a pretty good shot at it.

Whereas the last few shows had been about how in control of their formidable musical powers Okkervil River now were, this time out there was again the sense of overreaching just enough to feel unpredictable. Sure there was the fact that Will Sheff was knocking over mic stands while roaming around the stage, but he’s always done that; what was new were some noisier indulgences like a mic dedicated to heavy echo effects for him to randomly sing into, the introduction of synths for extra aural chaos, extra-ripping guitar solos from Lauren Gurgiolo, to say nothing of the synchronized hand clap/finger snap dance moves with her and Sheff in “Piratess”. Rather than simply play a show, there was a sense that they wanted to put on a show.

Whichever it was, the net result was a terrific show drawing from all their records from Black Sheep Boy forward in the expected proportions and with power substituted for some of the precision. The enthused – and tone-deaf, judging from the singalongs – audience may have helped contribute to the atmosphere, but proved to be a bit of a problem when Sheff went solo and acoustic for “A Stone”, proving you can’t rowdy up a crowd and then ask them to hush up when you need it. Old school fans got their fix with the encore as they went all the way back to Don’t Fall In Love With Everyone You See for “Westfall” before closing with the raucous, everyone-pleasing “Unless It Kicks”. Without a breakthrough hit or some other trajectory-altering event, it’s unlikely that Okkervil River’s next return to Toronto will see them graduating to the next tier of venue – that’d be the twice as large Kool Haus – but as long as they continue to play the Phoenix stage, they will continue to own it.

Will Sheff shares some thoughts on lyrics with Magnet in his capacity as producer for Bird Of Youth, who were playing guest editor of their website last week. The Wall Street Journal also has a talk with him about his current digs of Brooklyn, New York.

Photos: Okkervil River, Titus Andronicus, Future Islands @ The Phoenix – June 10, 2011
MP3: Okkervil River – “Wake And Be Fine”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Mermaid”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Lost Coastlines”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe”
MP3: Okkervil River – “The President’s Dead”
MP3: Okkervil River – “No Key, No Plan”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Black”
MP3: Okkervil River – “It Ends With A Fall”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Kansas City”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Listening To Otis Redding At Home During Christmas”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Red”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Westfall”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part One)
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part Two)
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”
MP3: Future Islands – “Tin Man”
MP3: Future Islands – “Walking Through That Door”
Video: Okkervil River – “Wake And Be Fine”
Video: Okkervil River – “Lost Coastlines”
Video: Okkervil River – “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe”
Video: Okkervil River – “Girl In Port”
Video: Okkervil River – “For Real”
Video: Titus Andronicus – “No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future”
Video: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
Video: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”
Video: Future Islands – “Tin Man”

After a couple years apart, Two Gallants are back together and will be at The Drake Underground on September 9, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Two Gallants – “Las Cruces Jail”

Active Child – aka Los Angeleno Pat Grossi – will release his debut album You Are All I See on August 23 and follow it up with touring which includes a September 14 date at The Garrison. Tickets for the show are $12 in advance.

MP3: Active Child – “Body Heat (So Far Away)”

The South Carolina Times talks to Gary Louris of The Jayhawks; their new record Mockingbird Time arrives September 20.

Pitchfork, The New Zealand Herald and The Australian have interviews with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, whose new album Bon Iver, Bon Iver – making it technically not self-titled, just redundant – is out June 20. They play The Sound Academy on August 9.

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats chats with The Georgia Straight and Seattle Times.

Clash interviews Jim James of My Morning Jacket, in town at The Kool Haus on July 11.

Paste checks in with Darby Cicci of The Antlers, who are in town at The Mod Club tomorrow night.

Over at The Quietus, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips names off his top 13 albums of all time.

Colin Meloy clarifies rumours on the end of The Decemberists to The New York Times.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Rumour Has It

Adele at The Masonic Temple in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAdele has been a big deal for a while, her 2008 debut 19 having picked up all kinds of accolades and awards. And that’s kind of a shame because with that level of acclaim as a floor, it’s difficult to express just how much better the follow-up 21 is. I appreciated the debut as a showcase for Ms Adkin’s talents as a singer and songwriter, but the follow up bests it in pretty much every way.

Her voice is still as formidable a presence as ever, with so much inherent strength and character that the acrobatics and oversinging that those who would aspire to be her peers inevitably resort to are wholly unnecessary. But 21‘s songs themselves are more sophisticated, melodic and dynamic and so effortlessly cross genres like soul, gospel, folk, pop and even a couple commendable forays into rock that they make the idea of genres kind of pointless. Whereas on 19 some of the songs were there to serve the voice, on 21 everything is in service to the songs. In other words, it’s a hell of a record.

And in support of it, Adele was in town last night for a taping of MTV Live which included an intimate mini-concert at the Masonic Temple. Having not seen her perform before – I think her Toronto appearances took her directly from The Rivoli to Massey Hall – I felt fortunate that I was invited to attend this show. Following a sort-of late-night talk show format segment that wasn’t as terrible as a feared and certainly featured more on-camera raunch and swearing than I’d expected, Adele came out delivered a set that was brief but also would have convinced anyone that she was the real deal.

Backed by a full six-piece band, she opened with “Rolling In The Deep” and then stripped (and sat) down with just a pianist and cup of tea for the ballady portion of the show, delivering “Someone Like You”, “Turning Tables” and 19 Dylan cover “Feel My Love” with astonishing presence despite not having much in the way of stage moves. Between songs, she took the time to banter and joke with the adoring audience – there was certainly no sign of the stage fright that she’s said to suffer from – and after inviting her band back, closed with “Chasing Pavements”. A short but completely stirring set that proved that having the lungs and the voice is only meaningful if they’re connected directly to the heart.

Adele plays a sold-out show at The Kool Haus on May 18. The Daily Record has an interview.

Video: Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”
Video: Adele – “Make You Feel My Love”
Video: Adele – “Chasing Pavements”
Video: Adele – “Cold Shoulder”

Spinner, BBC and The Guardian talk to Noah & The Whale, whose new record Last Night On Earth is available to stream at NME in advance of its March 15 release date. If their goal with this record was to no longer be lumped in with the English anti-folk movement… well I think they’ve done it. Noah & The Whale and their synths will be at The Mod Club on March 24.

Stream: Noah & The Whale / Last Night On Earth

The “director’s cut” for one of Mumford & Sons’ videos from Sigh No More is now online, though curiously it’s about 9 seconds shorter than the official version.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “Winter Winds” (director’s cut)
Video: Mumford & Sons – “Winter Winds”

Spinner talks to Esben & The Witch, in town at Wrongbar next Friday night for Canadian Musicfest.

Vanity Fair and University Observer Q&A Anna Calvi, who was also supposed to be on that Wrongbar CMF bill but who has cancelled all dates prior to that one and the one after due to an arm/hand injury. So while I await the official word, it’s safe to say that the Toronto show is off as well.

The Quietus interviews Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye.

Drowned In Sound meets Gruff Rhys, who follows up the May 3 release of Hotel Shampoo with a date at The Horseshoe on June 11.

Ladytron have released a video for one of the new tracks that will appear on the Best of Ladytron: 00-10 compilation, due out March 29.

Video: Ladytron – “Age Of Hz”

Digital Spy talks to Patrick Wolf about his forthcoming new record Lupercalia, out May 31, while Spinner grabs an interview video-style.

A new Loney Dear video has surfaced. Let’s hope this means the new full-length Hall Music isn’t far behind.

Video: Loney Dear – “Young Hearts”

The Line Of Best Fit, Pitchfork, Blurt and Exclaim all have interviews with Lykke Li about her spanking new record Wounded Rhymes. She is at The Phoenix on May 22.

The Line Of Best Fit points out a new video from The Concretes and a complete live show from Paris available to stream at Grand Crew.

Video: The Concretes – “Crack In The Paint”

Blurt reports that the third salvo of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds reissues will arrive on May 17 and cover his ’90s output with bonus-loaded editions of Let Love In, Murder Ballads, The Boatman’s Call and No More Shall We Part.

R.E.M.’s new record Collapse Into Now is available to stream all over the place leading up to its release next week. Check it out at Exclaim

Stream: R.E.M. / Collapse Into Now

And here are some of the new(ish) concert announcements for this week; Joe Pug and Strand Of Oaks have a date at The Horseshoe on April 20, tickets $10.

MP3: Strand Of Oaks – “Bonfire”

Joan As Police Woman, whom I don’t think has been to Toronto in the past four years if ever – a Summer 2007 show was cancelled – will be at The Drake on April 21 as part of a tour in support of her new record The Deep Field, which comes out on April 11, tickets $12. After Ellen has a feature.

MP3: Joan As Police Woman – “The Magic”
MP3: Joan As Police Woman – “To Be Loved”

Guitar Wolf have a date at Lee’s Palace for May 17, extending their previously-announced North American tour, tickets $18.50. They released Uchusenkan Love last Fall.

MP3: Guitar Wolf – “After School Thunder”

Anti reports that Man Man are almost done work on their new record and are setting out on tour, presumably to promote. They’re in Toronto on May 26 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $17.50.

MP3: Man Man – “Top Drawer”

Sondre Lerche gives New York Magazine the scoop on his new self-titled record, due out June 7. He’ll be playing songs from it – presumably – when he hits The Mod Club on May 31, tickets $18.50.

Here’s a tour filled with more win than Charlie Sheen – Okkervil River, Titus Andronicus and Future Islands stopping in at The Phoenix on June 10, tickets $18.50 in advance. Okkervil will release their new record I Am Very Far on May 10, Titus are still working last year’s glorious The Monitor (and will still be at The Horseshoe for their own headlining show April 1) and Future Islands released In Evening Air last year.

MP3: Okkervil River – “Wake And Be Fine” (live on Jimmy Fallon)
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
MP3: Future Islands – “Tin Man”

That same night but costing $18.50 less than the Okkervil show – that’s free, if you don’t feel like doing the math – is The Joel Plaskett Emergency performing at Metro Hall as part of this year’s Luminato arts festival. Their set time is 9:20PM.

MP3: The Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Deny Deny Deny”

And finally, some fellow with Britpop love in his heart and too much time on his hands has begun digitizing archives of Select Magazine. I bought so many mediocre records based on their boundless enthusiasm, but also some awesome ones. Ah, nostalgia.

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

This Is Happening

LCD Soundsystem at The Kool Haus in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI was there. In 2010. On a Tuesday night in May at the Kool Haus in Toronto. I was there when LCD Soundsystem, here from New York City, played what might have been their last show in the city. I saw them support of their third album, This Is Happening. I was there when LCD Soundsystem took my recollection of the only other time I’ve seen them, at Austin City Limits in 2007 which I found, maybe because of the early afternoon set time, kind of passive and unengaging but still entertaining. I was there when they showed me how very wrong I was, except for the entertaining part. And even that was gross understatement. Because LCD Soundsystem, at least on this night, was nothing short of amazing.

I was there when despite being surrounded by a legion of players and a forest of gear and despite looking more like a high school gym teacher than a rock star, James Murphy made bellowing into an old-school, CB-style microphone with either his talk-singing or Bowie-crooning vocals the most riveting thing you’ve ever seen. Never mind working the drums or the cowbell. I saw the rock kids and the dance kids and the punkers and the ravers and the jocks and the hipsters came together for almost two hours of insanely tight and irresistibly rhythmic common ground and make it feel like this discofied union is how things should always be. I heard James Murphy make the case for LCD as music for moving the ass while stimulating the brain. I heard James Murphy make the case for LCD as music for deep thought while shaking the ass. I was there when he made the case for being old as being awesome. I saw LCD Soundsystem turn a concert into a party.

I heard Murphy touchingly dedicate a stirring rendition of “All My Friends” to legendary and beloved Toronto artist and impresario Will Munro, who passed away from cancer this weekend. I was there when they busted out the laser show. I was there during the encore when things got a little rough up front and Murphy had to stop “Losing My Edge” to let security do their thing. I saw him ask the audience, while emphasizing that he was coming from the most positive place, to bring their enthusiasm down just a notch so as to not hurt anyone. I was there when they closed out with “New York I Love You” and its “Empire State of Mind” coda and despite this being Toronto, we felt that love and returned it.

I was there. And it was awesome.

Panic Manual was there. Chart was there. eye was there. Exclaim was there. The Georgia Straight and Montreal Gazette weren’t there but they have interviews.

Photos: LCD Soundsystem @ The Kool Haus – May 25, 2010
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Someone Great”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “North American Scum”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Tribulations”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Daft Punk Is Playing”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Movement”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Losing My Edge”
MySpace: LCD Soundsystem

Baltimore-based but Anglo-influenced synth-pop trio Future Islands will be at Double Double Land (209 Augusta in Kensington Market – it’s okay, I had to look it up too) on June 7. Their debut album In The Air came out earlier this month. Apparently they’re quite good live, and are Guardian-approved. The Santa Barbara Independent has an interview.

MP3: Future Islands – “Tin Man”
MP3: Future Islands – “In The Fall”
Video: Future Islands – “Tin Man”

Philadelphia Weekly, The Sydney Star Observer and The Village Voice chat with Holly Miranda.

Pitchfork has details on The Orchard, the sophomore record from Ra Ra Riot, due August 24. They are at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 28 supporting Tegan & Sara and City & Colour.

The Daily Emerald talks to John Roderick of The Long Winters.

The AV Club talks to Ben Bridwell of Band Of Horses, who are playing the Toronto Islands on June 19.

Paste talks to Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff. BSS play the Toronto Islands on June 19. The trailer for the Bruce MacDonald-helmed Broken-themed/set/soundtracked-yet-fictional film This Movie Is Broken is now available to view; the movie opens on June 25, details over at Exclaim.

Trailer: This Movie Is Broken

Carl Newman of The New Pornographers may now reside in America, but he’s still Canadian enough to teach The New York Times a thing or two about maple syrup. The New Pornographers are at the Sound Academy on June 15.

NME reports that Arcade Fire’s third album will be entitled The Suburbs and be out on August 2 in the UK, presumably August 3 in North America. It looks like this. The single for the title track is out today. It is streaming at their website. They play the Toronto Islands on August 14.

Chromeo are at the Phoenix on August 3 with Holy Ghost! – who opened up for LCD on Tuesday – as support. Their new record Business Casual drops August 17.

Video: Chromeo – “Night By Night”

MusicOmh and Chart interview Holy Fuck. They are at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 9 opening up for Metric.

Tiny Mix Tapes, SEE and The Washington Post talk to Dan Snaith of Caribou.