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Posts Tagged ‘Graham Coxon’

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Angels

Just in case you don’t frequent any other music site on the internet, here’s that new song from The xx

Photo via FacebookFacebookLook guys, some nights you’d rather just toss something together quickly and get back to watching TV rather than hunker down and come up with some original content that hasn’t already been blogged/tumblred/tweeted/Facebooked into irrelevance over the past 12 hours. Last night was one of those nights.

And so I invite you to 150,000th or so person to check out the stream of the first complete and official sample of Coexist, the second album from London’s The xx, out September 11. For those who like the band’s minimalist electro-soul, it’s like manna from heaven; for those who don’t, there’s nothing to hear here. Certainly the band’s formula – which extends to their album art, viewable over at The 405 – will have the legs to get them through the ‘difficult’ second album, and after that? Well that’s their problem, not ours.

In any case, it’s a bit of a taste of what to expect when they hit The Phoenix on July 28 for a sold-out show and for those not lucky enough to get tickets, one can’t help notice that the just-announced Fall tour still has some conspicuous gaps in it… this is not to say that they’ll be announcing another show in a more appropriately-sized venue after The Phoenix show is past, but they totally could.

MP3: The xx – “Angels”

Also dominating one’s RSS feed yesterday was official details on the second album from Mumford & Sons. Rolling Stone has all the specifics as well as notes from bassist Ted Dwane, but the salient points are that it will be called Babel, be out September 25, and probably further annoy a whole lot of people.

The Sun talks to The Vaccines about their forthcoming second album No Hope For The Vaccines Come of Age, out September 3.

DIY tries to pry some info on album number two out of Little Boots, but all she’ll offer is that it will be out this Fall. Clash settles for asking her about her book collection.

NPR has a Tiny Desk Concert with Laura Marling.

Hot Chip have released a new video from In Our Heads.

Video: Hot Chip – “Look At Where We Are”

The B-side of the new Blur single is available to download. The 7″ single on which it appears is out August 6.

MP3: Blur – “The Puritan”

Blur also comes up in this interview with Graham Coxon at Loud & Quiet, but it’s mainly about his latest solo record A+E, whereas this piece with The Guardian, also featuring a conversation with producer Stephen Street, is entirely about Blur and the making of Parklife.

Norman Blake has announced via Twitter that Teenage Fanclub are making a new album this Fall and Joe Pernice has confirmed that the collaboration between he and Blake, premiered at The Dakota last month will indeed be a real thing with recording and touring happening under the name of The New Mendicants.

DIY talks pop with Amelia Fletcher of Tender Trap, whose new album 10 Songs About Girls is due out in September.

DIY also chats with Elizabeth Morris and Bill Botting of Allo Darlin’, the former of whom used to be in Tender Trap. Trivia!

Rolling Stone gets Of Monsters & Men’s thoughts on being remix targets, amongst other topics.

Sigur Rós have premiered another new video from Valtari, and good for you if you noticed it’s a song that they’ve already released a video for. No, they don’t care. They play Echo Beach on August 1.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Ég Anda”

She’s still being coy on details like, oh, a release date, but the lead single from El Perro Del Mar’s new record Pale Fire is available to download. The record is due out in the Fall because, well, it kind of has to be.

MP3: El Perro Del Mar – “Innocence Is Sense”

Niki & The Dove have released a new video – not from Instinct, but for a song that appeared on their mixtape back in April. Someone explain to me what a mixtape is? No actually, don’t. Instinct gets a North American release on August 7 and they’re at The Drake Underground on October 2.

Video: Niki & The Dove – “Dance Floor”

Daytrotter has posted a session with We Are Serenades.

So wait, this is what a post that I am throwing together to go watch TV looks like? Dammit people why has no one staged an intervention yet. Clearly I need help.

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

"That's When I Reach For My Revolver"

Graham Coxon covers Mission Of Burma

Photo via WikipediaWikipediaWhen you look at the breathless, “will they/won’t they/are they/aren’t they” drama surrounding the Blur reunion after the end of that initial round of touring in 2009, it’s hard not to wish they’d just stop the hand-wringing and get on with it; maybe take a cue from a far more improbable reunion than theirs – that of Boston’s Mission Of Burma – and just get on with it.

MOB’s career was initially cut short in 1983 by not by interpersonal strife or creative differences, but by guitarist Roger Miller’s debilitating tinnitus. This stalled their output at just a single EP and album, but both would prove to be hugely influential on the burgeoning American college rock scene and by extension, the British artists who drew inspiration from them. Blur guitarist Graham Coxon was one of these, as shown by the decidedly American slant of his solo records and the inclusion of this cover of MOB’s most-famous song on his second album, The Golden D, in 2002 (his eighth solo release A+E came out earlier this year).

But I digress. The point is that Miller got his tinnitus to a manageable state and Mission Of Burma returned in 2002, first with live shows and then four studio albums – the latest of which, Unsound, is out this week – that more than fulfilled the promise of their early works. Blur have proved that they can still turn out great tunes as their new single release earlier this week can attest; just record ten more, put out an album and everyone will leave you alone. Promise.

MP3: Graham Coxon – “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”
Stream: Mission Of Burma – “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

God Of Loneliness

Emmy The Great gets even more Virtue-ous

Photo By Gabriel BruceGabriel BruceI’m no fan of the deluxe reissue trend – at least not with respect to an album that came out less than a year ago – as it tends to punish the biggest fans, those who would have bought the original issue and most want whatever bonus materials are applied to the reissue. So while I don’t greet the news that Emmy The Great is doing this with last year’s Virtue – one of my faves of 2011 – I at least appreciate that some of the bonus material will be made available separately.

The fancy edition of Virtue will be out on May 7 and include three unreleased songs from the sessions for the album and a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”. One of those songs – “God Of Loneliness” – will also be released that day as a single with the Mazzy Star cover as a b-side so if you don’t want to repurchase Virtue, there’s that option. Though you know those other two tracks will indeed taunt you with their very existence. To also go along with the occasion, they’ve also commissioned four comic strips to go with it all – the first is up at The Line Of Best Fit – and four remixes that are being made available to download for free. And oh, there’s a video/black comedy mini-movie for the single.

MP3: Emmy The Great – “Exit Night” (Banjo or Freakout remix)
Video: Emmy The Great – “God Of Loneliness”

Already out in the UK but now getting a proper North American release is Dry The River’s own debut Shallow Bed. Spinner has an interview with the band and a stream of the album.

MP3: Dry The River – “New Ceremony”
Stream: Dry The River / Shallow Bed

Clock Opera’s debut album Ways To Forget is now streaming in whole at Hype Machine; it’s out April 23 in the UK and The Line Of Best Fit talks to the band about it.

MP3: Clock Opera – “Once And For All”
Stream: Clock Opera / Ways To Forget

Radio Free Canuckistan has posted the complete transcript of the interview with Nick Lowe that went into the Macleans piece; The Star-Tribune also has an interview. Lowe plays The Phoenix on April 23.

The Guardian, Spinner, and NPR talk to Jason Pierce of Spiritualized, whose Sweet Heart Sweet Light is finally out. They’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

Interview talks to Anthony Gonzalez of M83, who’re in town not once but twice this Summer – May 6 for a headlining show at the Sound Academy and August 4 at Historic Fort York co-headlining the HARD festival with Justice.

Pitchfork reports that jj have commissioned a video to go with their latest release jj n° 4, out on May 8.

Video: jj – “Beautiful Life”

Prefix is streaming the whole of We Are Serenades’ debut Criminal Heaven, out now. They’re at The Garrison on May 14.

MP3: We Are Serenades – “Birds”
MP3: We Are Serenades – “Oceans”
Stream: We Are Serenades / Criminal Heaven

Anglo-Basque electro-rock outfit Crystal Fighters have made a date at Wrongbar on May 26 in support of their debut album Star Of Love, out April 24. Examiner.com has an interview with the band.

Video: Crystal Fighters – “Plage”

Hot Chip are streaming a second single from their new record In Our Heads, It’s out June 12 and they’re at the Sound Academy on July 15.

Stream: Hot Chip – “Night & Day”

Blurt talks to Laura Marling, in town for a show at The Phoenix on June 17.

Le Blogotheque has posted a Take-Away Show with Michael Kiwanuka and The Express has an interview. He plays The Great Hall on June 19.

Graham Coxon has released a new video from A+E.

Video: Graham Coxon – “Ooh, Yeh Yeh”

Le Sigh chats with Veronica Falls.

Stereogum has dug up an interview conducted with The Twilight Sad just before the release of their latest, No One Can Ever Know. Better late than never, yeah?

Rolling Stone and examiner.com get a moment of Noel Gallagher’s time.

If you’re one of the unlucky many who haven’t gotten to see Pulp on their reunion tour, here’s the next best thing – a couple of complete, professionally-shot videos of their sets at Reading Festival last Summer and Coachella this past weekend.

Video: Pulp @ Reading Festival – August 27, 2011
Video: Pulp @ Coachella – April 13, 2012

And while we’re at it, here’s Coachella sets from Radiohead and Wild Beasts. Just like being there, but without the heat stroke.

Video: Radiohead @ Coachella – April 14, 2012
Video: Wild Beasts @ Coachella – April 15, 2012

Friday, April 13th, 2012

White Rune

Iceage coming, Iceage coming / Throw him in the fire

Photo via FacebookFacebookOr perhaps that should read, “Vikings coming, Vikings coming”, seeing as how the last few days have seen a flurry of excellent concert announcements from Scandinavian bands.

Not the biggest but certainly of interest is the return of barely out of their teens if even that Danish post-punks Iceage. Their debut New Brigade was as intense as it was brief – not even 25 minutes to get through a dozen tracks – but with enough melodic sensibility to appeal to those who need a little melodicism to make this much angular aggression palatable. Like myself. In any case, their live shows are infamously raucous affairs so it’ll be interesting to see what they do to The Horseshoe when they roll in on July 18, part of a North American tour to get them to Pitchfork Fest; tickets for the show are $12.50 in advance.

MP3: Iceage – “White Rune”
MP3: Iceage – “Broken Bone”
MP3: Iceage – “New Brigade”

With the announcement of his second album There’s No Leaving Now, out June 12, Kristian Matsson – aka The Tallest Man On Earth – is back for a show at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 15. Tickets for that one are $27.50 in advance, on sale today at 10AM and there’s a two-per-customer limit on those so if you’re travelling in a group, you probably won’t be sitting together. Sorry.

MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “King Of Spain”
MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “Burden Of Tomorrow”
MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “Like The Wheel”

And perhaps most excitingly, Sigur Rós make their first return to Toronto since September 2008, though surprisingly it will be their first show in a decade to not happen at Massey Hall; this time, they’ll take advantage of the fact that their show is being geared towards festival season and take things to the outdoors, playing at Echo Beach down at Ontario Place on August 1 before heading to Osheaga and Lollapalooza. Tickets are general admission and go on sale April 19 for $49.50 plus fees. Their new album Valtari is out on May 28.

MP3: Sigur Rós – “Starálfur”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Svefn-G-Englar”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Gobbledigook”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Hoppípolla”

If only a Norwegian band could have announced some dates this week, I’d have had the full set. They’ll have to settle for representation from Ane Brun, who’s now based in Sweden, and has made a track from her new album It All Starts With One available to download; it’s out May 1 and she’s at The Great Hall on May 10. Contact Music also has an interview.

MP3: Ane Brun – “Do You Remember”

The Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and Georgia Straight welcome First Aid Kit to the west coast with questions. So many questions.

Londonist interviews Amanda Mair, whose self-titled debut is out in North America on June 5.

Niki & The Dove’s debut album Instinct now has a North American release date and it’s three months after the European one – it will be out via Sub Pop on August 7 over here. Until then, you can hear five tracks from it via a YouTube stream.

Stream: Niki & The Dove / Instinct sampler

NPR welcomes Fanfarlo for a World Cafe session.

The Amelia Fletcher-fronted Tender Trap returns with Ten Songs About Girls, aka ten songs of indie-pop goodness, this July and the first single is now available to stream. Clash has more details on the release.

Stream: Tender Trap – “Love Is Hard Enough”

Also making a return – Neil Halstead with his third solo record Palindrome Hunches, due out in August.

The Joy Formidable may have wrapped up their North American tour and gone back to the UK, but they’ve left parting gifts in the form of a live mini-concert recorded for YouTube Presents.

Video: The Joy Formidable @ YouTube Presents

New Twilight Sad video.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “Dead City”

Summer Camp are put in front of the camera for video sessions with Gold Flake Paint and All Saints.

Charlotte Hatherley’s Sylver Tongue electro-pop persona has premiered a new video via The Guardian.

Video: Sylver Tongue – “Creatures”

Yuck has a new song; let them stream it for you.

Stream: Yuck – “Chew”

Justin Young of The Vaccines updates BBC on the recording of album number two.

Spin, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Wall Street Journal talk to Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce about their new record Sweet Heart Sweet Light, out next week. They’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

The Fly and Edinburgh Evening News chat with Graham Coxon.

Both Rolling Stone and Spin talk The Smiths with Johnny Marr.

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Seamonsters

The Wedding Present, The Jet Age, Toquiwa and Zarigani $ at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSomewhere over the last few weeks Sunday night’s Wedding Present show at The Horseshoe got co-opted as the “closing party” for Canadian Musicfest, an appellation I personally refused to acknowledge. The 21st anniversary show for Seamonsters? Absolutely. The tour in support of their just-released new record Valentina? Certainly. Closing party for a festival that at no point acknowledged the band as part of their programme or acknowledged they were exponentially greater than most everyone else who played? Not so much. But I suppose if you got in for free on account of having a CMW wristband, then you probably weren’t complaining.

And if you got there in time to see the openers, you were probably a little confused. Which is fair. Of the two bands listed as accompanying The Wedding Present on this Spring tour – Washington D.C.’s Jet Age or Tokyo’s Pinky Piglets – it was never clear which was going to be at the Toronto show, which was right at the changeover point of the routing. As it turned out we were getting both but even so, there was some further confusion as Pinky Piglets no longer existed having opted to change their name to the more cryptic Toquiwa and even then, they weren’t the band that took the stage first – that was the drum and bass duo called Zarigani $, who were also Toquiwa’s rhythm section and completely unbilled; I wouldn’t have even known what they were called had it not been for the helpful sign hanging off a keyboard stand. Got all that? No? That’s okay. They played some cartoon version of punk-prog for about 15 minutes – far too short a set to try and bridge the cultural divide and understand it – and then brought out two more members and transformed, Voltron-style, into Toquiwa.

And though no less bizarre to behold, they were at least somewhat easier to get a handle on. The addition of a guitarist and lead singer solidified a kind of punk/rockabilliy aesthetic, though still totally cartoon-like. The quartet looked like they were plucked straight off the playground of the Tokyo chapter of The School Of Rock, though the ease with which singer Asuja pounded back a beer adorably solicited from the audience was a hint that they were a bit older than they looked. In any case, it was energetic, ridiculous, gobs of fun and the band thanked The Wedding Present for taking them out on tour by covering “Kennedy” in their own unique manner.

The Jet Age, on the other hand, were about as opposite a band as you were likely to find, comprised of three guys who appeared to have lived through and learned from the days of ’90s college rock. They were a pretty straight power trio playing pretty straight rock with hints of hardcore in their DNA, each player clearly proficient with their instrument but having a fair bit of trouble sounding like they were actually playing with one another instead of overtop, falling out of time with each other on more than few occasions. Their monitors may have had something to do with it – their timing seemed to improve after some adjustments to their mixes – but that didn’t do anything to address the fact that their songs were, at best, unmemorable.

It sounds a bit perverse, but I actually had to make every effort to avoid seeing The Wedding Present at SXSW. They were playing a number of shows there but only one was a Seamonsters recital – I was actually there right before they went on and fled – so I would have had to catch at least two of them to equal this one and festival burnout notwithstanding, seeing them back in Toronto seemed the most logical thing to do. And kudos to The Wedding Present for being clever enough to keep me coming back; this would be my seventh time seeing David Gedge and company in the past decade or so, most recently in April 2010 doing Bizarro. So you’d think that I could skip one, but not seeing/hearing them play Seamonsters wasn’t even on the table – it’s easily my favourite Wedding Present record, marking the point at which they really evolved beyond being a clever singles band with a distinctive sound to an outfit capable of creating complete albums that were both emotionally and sonically rich.

Which is not to say that just hearing them showcase Valentina wouldn’t have been sufficient draw. Whatever he’s called his project, Gedge has been a remarkably consistent songwriter over the past quarter-century and even with the four-year layoff from El Rey, he’s not lost a step. It doesn’t break new ground – at this point, that’s not something to be expected – but does prove that the failures and foibles of romance will always be fertile ground for someone like Gedge to till and Valentina confirms that his lyrical edge is sharp as ever and musically, well loud guitars really never go out of style.

Unlike the Bizarro show where they had no new record to push and were thus able to preface the main event with a random selection of material drawn from throughout their career, this night’s first act leaned heavily on Valentina but the back catalog sprinkles – particularly “Quick Before It Melts” from the Cinerama years and Take Fountain closer “Perfect Blue” – were unexpected but tasty. That’s an upside of a band with a signature sound – with nothing ever sounding out of place in the set, you never know what they’ll pull out of their hats.

Well with the Seamonsters set, I suppose you knew exactly what they were going to do, and even though this was far from the same band that recorded that record – all the non-Gedge members were long gone and even this 2012 lineup was different from the one here last time, longtime bassist Terry de Castro having retired at the end of 2010 – they still attacked the material with the intensity you might expect from those who originally crafted it. I’d heard many of the songs included in sets before – and they were usually highlights – but played end to end they were able to recreate that crucial dimension of its flow, with all the churn, drone and lurch of the recording. It didn’t reproduce the gut-punch I felt when I heard it the first time, but it recalled it and that’s really all you could ask for. And while the band stuck to their tradition of not playing encores, that they played two more songs after the final note of “Octopussy” died out – not the bonus tracks from the US edition, that’d have been too much to hope – felt just as good.

And so what’s next? It’s still a few years before the 20th anniversary of Watusi; maybe the band will have gotten the right back and the album back in print by then? Be kind of an odd anniversary show otherwise. Or maybe a return to Cinerama! I’d be there. And possibly the only one.

BlogTO also has a review of the show and The Japan Times talks to Toquiwa about how they ended up touring with The Wedding Present.

Photos: The Wedding Present, The Jet Age, Toquiwa, Zarigani$ @ The Horseshoe – March 25, 2012
MP3: The Wedding Present – “You’re Dead”
MP3: The Wedding Present – “The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girl Friend”
Video: The Wedding Present – “You Jane”
Video: The Wedding Present – “You’re Dead”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Don’t Take Me Home Until I’m Drunk”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Ringway To Seatac”
Video: The Wedding Present – “I’m From Further North Than You”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Don’t Touch That Dial”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Interstate 5”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family”
Video: The Wedding Present – “No Christmas”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Loveslave”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Boing!”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Come Play With Me”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Silver Shorts”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Three”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Go Go Dancer”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Blue Eyes”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Dalliance”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Crawl”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Brassneck”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm”
Video: The Jet Age – “I Want You”
Video: The Jet Age – “I’m Starting To Wonder”
Video: Toquiwa – “Tokyo Merry Go Round”

Having taken an extended break following 2009’s disappointing Quicken The Heart, Maximo Park return on June 11 with album number four, The National Health. The title track is available to stream and initial impressions are that the time off has done them a world of good. Hope that’s the case.

Stream: Maximo Park – “The National Health”

DIY talks to The Futureheads about their new a capella record Rant, out this week, from which they’ve just released a video and there’s another “no instruments, please” video performance over at Digital Spy.

Video: The Futureheads – “The Old Dun Cow”

The Herald has a feature interview with Gerard Love, while The Guardian is streaming the whole of Electric Cables, the Teenage Fanclub songwriter’s gorgeous x1000 solo debut as Lightships, out this week.

Stream: Lightships / Electric Cables

The Fly check in with Hot Chip as they prepare for the June 12 release of In Our Heads and subsequent live date at The Sound Academy on July 15.

The Line Of Best Fit gets to know Fanfarlo.

Stereogum talks to Jason Pierce of Spiritualized about their new album Sweet Heart Sweet Light, out April 17. They play The Phoenix on May 5.

NPR talks to Noel Gallagher.

Clash interviews Graham Coxon.

The AV Club offers a Gateway To Geekery for Britpop, suggesting entry points for the works of Suede, Blur, and Pulp amongst others. I can offer a more concise guide: all of them. You’re welcome.

The Tallest Man On Earth has announced a new album entitled There’s No Leaving Now, due out June 12. Exclaim has details as well as some – not all – North American tour dates.

Niki & The Dove have released a new video from their forthcoming debut Instinct, out May 14 in Europe; a North American release date has not yet been confirmed.

Video: Niki & The Dove – “Tomorrow”

The Boston Globe and NOW talk to First Aid Kit while NPR puts them behind a Tiny Desk and makes them play a show. They do the same though from a regular old stage on April 4 at The Great Hall.

Daytrotter has posted a session with The Raveonettes.

MusicOmh chats with Pip Browne of Ladyhawke, whose new album Anxiety is out May 25.