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Posts Tagged ‘Great Lake Swimmers’

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

She Is The Wave

Wavelength to shake you out of your Winter doldrums with, well, Doldrums and more

Photo By Ali BiddellAli BiddellIt hadn’t occurred to me until just now, but there’s a bit of a parallel between this site, right here, and Wavelength. They got a couple years’ head start on me, but both of us spent a solid decade servicing the Toronto independent music community – Wavelength with a weekly concert series that helped introduce the city and the world to much of the amazing music being produced in the 416 and 905, and chromewaves by, um, going to shows and taking pictures. Okay, perhaps the scale is a little different, but both of us also had the good sense to call it after a decade and trade the grind of a regular, regimented schedule for something a little more intermittent but hopefully just as meaningful.

Wavelength events are a bit fewer and far between than my posts – though hey, did you notice me posting just four times over the past fortnight? And not that this is my third post in 24 hours? – but one thing you can still set your watch to is their anniversary series, which always make the dark days of mid-February a little or a lot more musical. This year’s edition – the thirteenth birthday and thus the first entry in its awkward teen years – will take place from February 14 to 17 at venues around town, and while many of the headliners are familiar faces to Wavelength-goers and the Toronto scene in general, it’s notable that former Spiral Beach vocalist/guitarist Airick Woodhead’s new electro incarnation as Doldrums – already making waves internationally and one of the country’s more hotly-tipped new acts for the past year or so. He’s relocated from Toronto to Montreal, but will be back to close the Friday night showcase at the lower Great Hall, less than two weeks before his debut full-length Lesser Evil is released on February 26. Will it deliver on the long-simmering buzz? Dunno, but you can bet that the show will be sold out by people looking to find out.

The rest of the weekend shapes up as follows; hit up Wavelength for descriptions of each act. Advance tickets for each show will be available or you can get an all-access festival pass for $39.

Thursday, February 14 @ The Shop under Parts & Labour ($10 advance)
Lullabye Arkestra / Ell V Gore / Fresh Snow / This Mess / Slow-Pitch

Friday, February 15 @ Black Box Theatre/The Great Hall Downstairs ($15 advance)
Doldrums / Cadence Weapon / Blue Hawaii / Blonde Elvis / Thighs

Saturday, February 16 @ The Great Hall Upstairs ($15 advance)
Do Make Say Think / Evening Hymns / Sarah Neufeld / Doom Squad / Bernice

Sunday, February 17 @ The Garrison ($10 advance)
Cookie Duster / The Magic / Henri Fabergé & the Adorables / Cell Memory & Castle If / Legato Vipers

MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”
MP3: Do Make Say Think – “Greed Waltz”
MP3: Doldrums – “She Is The Wave”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”
MP3: The Magic – “Door To Door”

A few years on from his last album, Hayden is gearing up for the release of his new record Us Alone on February 5 with the announcement of a North American tour that will manage the rare feat of staging a three-night stand that will almost certainly leave most of his fans shut out. A more properly-sized hometown show will almost certainly follow, but for now local fans have the choice between seeing him on February 20 at the tiny Dakota Tavern, February 21 at the even tinier Cameron House, or February 22 at the not-that-tiny-but-certainly-not-large Rivoli. Advance tickets – you’ll want those – are available at Arts & Crafts. You can download one of the songs from his new record and stream another.

MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”
Stream: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”

Stars gives aux.tv a behind-the-scenes look at their video from “Backlines”. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on March 20 and 21.

aux.tv interviews Grimes, whom they declared their artist of the year. Last year.

Filter gets some touring thoughts from Patrick Watson.

Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers plays clotheshorse and also a video session for British designer Mr Porter.

Toro interviews The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

Hot on the heels of their holiday edition, The Line Of Best Fit has another Oh! Canada compilation of Canuck artists available to download. No holiday songs, guaranteed!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Suuns set to rise to face the Futur

Photo By Joseph YarmushJoseph YarmushIt’s been interesting to keep up with Montreal’s Suuns over the last few years, starting from back in January 2009 when they were still a mostly-unknown outfit calling themselves Zeroes, opening up for Land Of Talk, through their rebranding and 2010 debut Zeroes QC. From the get-go, their intention of melding post-punk, new wave, krautrock, psychedelia, and really any other sound they could conceive of into an occasionally serene but more often discomfitingly danceable brew was clear but the progress they’ve made at realizing it, measured at various checkpoints over the last few years has been impressive.

So it’s not unreasonable to think that their just-announced second album, Images Du Futur, will see the band take a big leap forwards; it’s just velocity, really. The first taste of the new record, available to stream, finds the band plumbing the gentler side of things but I’m pretty confident that at least some of the other nine songs on the record will pick up the freaky slack. We’ll know for sure when it’s out on March 5, but those heading to see Plants & Animals at The Great Hall tonight will have an idea sooner than that – Suuns are one of the openers.

Stream: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”

CBC Music has compiled an oral history of Mock Up Scale Down, the 1995 debut from beloved Halifax power-poppers The Super Friendz; NOW also has a feature piece on the reunited outfit, who will be at Lee’s Palace tomorrow night, November 16.

Spinner is streaming Great Lake Swimmers’ contribution to the forthcoming Nettwerk Christmas album, Isn’t This World Enough, out November 20. They also recently released a new video from their own latest album, New Wild Everywhere.

Stream: Great Lake Swimmers – “Hang A String Of Lights”
Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “The Great Exhale”

CBC Music and The Ottawa Citizen talk to Metric about graduating to the arena circuit which brings them to The Air Canada Centre on November 24. There’s also interviews at Metro, The Province, and The Winnipeg Free Press. They’ve just released a new, tour-sourced video from Synthetica.

Video: Metric – “Breathing Underwater”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse have released another epic-length video from Psychedelic Pill. They’ll be at The Air Canada Centre next week, on November 19, and if they focus on the new record they might get through four or five songs before curfew. Maybe.

Video: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Driftin’ Back”

JAM, The Georgia Straight, The Tyee, and Victoria Times-Colonist talk to John O’Regan of Diamond Rings. They play The Mod Club on November 29.

Beatroute, The Vancouver Sun, Oregon Live, and The Victoria Times-Colonist have features on Patrick Watson, who is at Massey Hall on December 6.

where has an interview and Secret Sessions a session (duh) with Evening Hymns. They’re at the Church Of The Redeemer on December 15.

Purity Ring have a new video from their debut Shrines. They are at The Phoenix on February 1.

Video: Purity Ring – “Loftcries”

Spinner talks to Damian Abraham of Fucked Up about where they’re at with writing their next record.

The Elwins have released a new video from their debut, And I Thank You. They bewilderingly have no upcoming local shows booked.

Video: The Elwins – “Helpful Assistance”

Billboard talks to Crystal Castles.

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Waging Heavy Peace

It’s Polaris day. Here’s a bunch of Canadian stuff.

Photo ByPenguinThe 2012 Polaris Music Prize gets awarded tonight, so in honour of the occasion, here’s a bunch of maple-flavoured content led off by a Canadian icon who hasn’t lived in Canada in some 40-plus years. Yeah!

If you have some time to kill and an interest in who Neil Young is circa 2012, you could do worse than to spend it with this feature piece at The New York Times. It covers his current relationship with alcohol and drugs – there is none – as well as his new record with Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill, his new digital audio format Pono, and why he decided to write an autobiography after insisting that he never would. Those memoirs, Waging Heavy Peace, comes out tomorrow – September 25 – and Psychedelic Pill is due out a month later on October 30. Neil leads the band into the Air Canada Centre on November 19.

Following up with news blips from some shortlisters, both this year and past… Feist may be ramping down the touring in support of last year’s Metals, but she’s ramping up the session videos – there’s a Les soiree de poches set at Le Blogotheque and From The Basement

CBC Music talks to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, who also have some new music to hear in the form of their soundtrack contributions to the Mark Of The Ninja video game. They play The Great Hall this Friday night for PBR10.

Stream: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan / Mark & Blade

Spinner talks to Kathleen Edwards about her Polaris odds.

NPR has a w World Cafe session and BlogTO an interview with Cold Specks.

Fucked Up tells Spinner they’d like to have Drake up there with them for tonight’s Polaris performance. They won’t, but they’d like it.

Metro talks to Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers.

The Boston Globe profiles Metric.

Julie Doiron has announced a new studio album in So Many Days, due out October 23. She’s released a first MP3 from the record and will be playing live on October 14, opening for Ben Gibbard at the Danforth Music Hall, and then October 30 at The Mod club supporting Grapes Of Wrath.

MP3: Julie Doiron – “By The Lake”

Spinner talks to The Sadies about backing Neil Young on their contribution to 2010’s Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of The Band. Yeah, two years ago. Whatevs.

You Say Party! talk to Exclaim and The Vancouver Sun about their return to active duty, starting this Saturday night at The Great Hall for PBR10.

Olenka & The Autumn Lovers have readied a new mini-album entitled Hard Times, and given it an October 2 release date. You can stream one of the new songs now.

Stream: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – “Don’t Make Sense”

The Bomber Jacket talks to Kat Burns of Kashka, playing a record release show for her debut Vichada at The Drake on October 5.

BrooklynVegan has an interview with METZ, who’ve released a second MP3 from their self-titled debut. It’s out October 9 and they’re at The Horseshoe to mark its release on October 12.

MP3: METZ – “Wet Blanket”

A second MP3 from A.C. Newman’s forthcoming Shut Down The Streets is available to download. It’s out October 9 and he kicks off the tour in support of it October 21 at Lee’s Palace.

MP3: A.C. Newman – “Encyclopedia Of Classic Takedowns”

Toronto’s July Talk – whom you may recall impressing me at at CMF earlier this year – have put out a video from their self-titled debut album, due October 16.

Video: July Talk – “Paper Girl”

Both Spinner and A Heart Is A Spade have feature interviews with Diamond Rings, who’s just announced a cross-Canada tour in support of Free Dimensional, out October 22. The Toronto date comes November 29 at The Mod Club, tickets $18.50.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

The Wooden Sky offers a feature piece on The Wooden Sky, who will be at The Phoenix on December 1.

Rich Aucoin has a fancy new Beach Boys-saluting video from his album We’re All Dying To Live. Toro and The Halifax Chronicle-Herald also have interviews.

Video: Rich Aucoin – “Brian Wilson is A.L.i.V.E.”

Loud & Quiet, The Calgary Herald, and aux.tv have interviews with Purity Ring.

aux.tv investigates the new “weird Canada” music scene bubbling up around the country.

The Globe & Mail examines how far the Polaris Prize has come in the past seven years, and what it now means for Canadian music

And a moment of silence for Sam “The Record Man” Sniderman, who passed away yesterday at 92. I spent much of my youth and my youthful allowance in his stores. Wait, did I say silence? I mean LOUDNESS.

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

No Can Do

Ladyhawk are back. No, the other Ladyhawk.

Photo via KillbeatKillbeatIt was pretty fun times to be an artist named for (or almost named for) a Matthew Broderick vehicle back circa 2007/2008. Pip Browne was turning heads with her hooky, ’80s synthpop-referencing tunes from all the way in New Zealand as Ladyhawke and in Canada, four guys were making a name for themselves with hooky, ’70s bar rock-referencing tunes from all the way in Kelowna. Hard to confuse the two (unless you were the guys in this story), but it was interesting that both were active at the same time and then basically disappeared around the same time in 2009, neither taking advantage of the other’s inactivity to increase their Ladyhawk/e identity mindshare.

But while Ladyhawke’s disappearance was because of a prolonged process of recording album number two, Ladyhawk went on a proper hiatus after finishing with their second album Shots, with frontman Duffy Driediger putting together a new outfit in Duffy & The Doubters, bassist Sean Hawryluk pulling time in Baptists, and drummer Ryan Peters and guitarist Darcy Hancock recording as SPORTS. Fast-forward to 2012, though, and they’re back. Both of them.

Ladyhawke released Anxiety back in May, and Ladyhawk will let their third album No Can Do out of the pen on October 9. Note how the two records look nothing alike and most certainly don’t sound anything alike (a track from the new record is available below for reference). Possibly creating some genuine confusion is the fact that both artists are touring North America this Fall, though fully a month apart. Toronto gets Ladyhawke (the feminine article) September 15 at The Hoxton, and Ladyhawk (the band of bros) on October 25 at The Horseshoe ($15 in advance). I suppose it’s conceivable that you could get those two venues mixed up, but I really hope you don’t. Unless you’re the guys from London.

MP3: Ladyhawk – “You Read My Mind”

It’s a little bit of Montreal in Toronto on November 15 when Plants & Animals and Parlovr play The Great Hall, tickets $15.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “The End Of That”
MP3: Parlovr – “Pen To The Paper”

The Weeknd are making it a three-day weekend stand at The Sound Academy, adding a third show for November 4 to go with the November 2 and 3 ones that are presumably just about sold out.

MP3: The Weeknd – “Life Of The Party”

Pitchfork has got a new song from Yamantaka/Sonic Titan, recorded for Adult Swim’s Singles Series, available to download. And if you’ve had trouble finding their YT/ST album in stores – despite it being Polaris shortlisted, they’ve been label-less since March – fear not; they’ve just signed to Paper Bag Records, who will be reissuing it and making it available pretty much everywhere on September 11.

MP3: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “Lamia”

Torq Campbell of Stars gets all fired up about topics political with The Huffington Post. Their new record The North is out September 4 and they open up for Metric at the Air Canada Centre on November 24.

Claire Boucher – aka Grimes – also has some thoughts on politics of the Russian variety, which she shares with NME. She has two nights booked at Lee’s Palace on September 21 and 22 and has just released another wacky-ass video from the Polaris shortlisted and heavily-favoured Visions.

Video: Grimes – “Genesis”

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns.

Talk Rock To Me chats with You Say Party, who will be back in action at The Great Hall on September 29.

Also playing that Paper Bag anniversary show at the Great Hall on the 29th are Young Galaxy; Stephen Ramsay discusses with Spinner the changes of direction that will come with their next album when it comes out next year.

Exclaim has details on the second of Gentleman Reg’s digital Leisure Life EPs, the second of which will be out on September 4. A track from it is available to stream courtesy of Ion.

Stream: Gentleman Reg – “Make It Better”

CBC Music gets some tips on eating on the road from Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker.

Friday, July 13th, 2012

There All The Time Without You

Review of Kestrels’ A Ghost History

Photo via Sonic UnyonSonic UnyonWere the magical little elves in charge of categorizing music – be it in record store bins or the meta tags on MP3s – would like to take Halifax trio Kestrels and file them under “shoegaze”, pointing to the heyday of Creation Records in describing their second album A Ghost History. And I’m not necessarily going to argue the point – it definitely owes more than a debt to the sounds of the early ’90s, what with its roaring guitars and liberally reverbed vocals, but those expecting some Maritime take on sonic cathedral construction or hazy dream-pop had best check their expectations.

Kestrels’ record collections may have their shares of of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive records – “There All the Time Without You” is pretty damn Shields-y in a great way – but those records clearly share shelf space with plenty of college rock from this side of the Atlantic. And from those records, they learned valuable lessons – Superchunk taught them how to channel their energy into pogo-ready punk-pop anthems, Dinosaur Jr taught them how to rip a guitar solo like a mofo, and Sloan… well it might be a bit cliche to cite the proto-Halifax rock band, but there’s more than a little Smeared – both in its fuzzy textures and indelible hooks – in Kestrels’ DNA.

For those of us who grew up with these influences will find Ghost History familiar yet invigorating and those who didn’t, who are perhaps of the same generation as Kestrels themselves, well maybe we should consider this a gateway drug.

The Chronicle Herald and The Telegram have feature pieces on Kestrels, whose North American tour hits Rancho Relaxo in Toronto on July 20.

Stream: Kestrels – “Dumb Angel”
Video: Kestrels – “The Past Rests”
Video: Kestrels – “There All The Time Without You”

Spinner talks to Grimes ahead of her show at Historic Fort York tonight as part of the Full Flex train tour thing.

Radio Free Canuckistan continues to get excited for the Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet reunion show at Lee’s Palace on Saturday night by interviewing drummer Don Pyle as well as band patron/friend Bruce McCulloch of Kids In The Hall fame. NOW and The AV Club also have feature pieces and Exclaim also has another video session of the 2012 incarnation of the band playing a tune for St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club in Toronto.

It was a sad day when Forest City Lovers called it a day back in April, but frontwoman Kat Burns did promise that she’d still have a new record out soon – and indeed she does. Now recording as Kashka and exploring the electro-pop side of things, she’ll release her debut album Vichada on July 17 – stream a track below – and has already begun playing some shows but nothing of the hometown persuasion just yet.

Stream: Kashka – “This Machine”

Spin, Dazed, and The Line Of Best Fit talk to Purity Ring about their debut album Shrines, which is due out July 24 and from which they’ve just released a new video.

Video: Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”

CBC Music sends author Grace O’Connell to ask some questions of Great Lake Swimmers main man Tony Dekker. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 18 opening for Blue Rodeo.

Like bikes? Like music? Maybe you’ll like the Toronto Bicycle Music Fest which happens at Trinity Bellwoods on September 15. The music side of things will feature performances from Snowblink, Gentleman Reg, and Rae Spoon and the bicycle side of things… well I guess you’re encouraged to bring your bike? Snowblink will be presumably be playing material from their new album Inner Classics which comes out September 11, Reg will showcase his Leisure Life material which is being released incrementally through the Summer and collected into album form in the Fall and Spoon’s I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets came out at the start of 2012.

MP3: Snowblink – “Black & White Mountains”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “Crash Landing”

The Wilderness Of Manitoba have announced a September 18 release date for their second album, Island Of Echoes. Hear – and see – a new song that doesn’t actually appear on the new record in this video session filmed by Southern Souls.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Forest City Love” (live)

METZ has released the first taste of their self-titled debut, due out October 9.

MP3: METZ – “Headache”

DIY and Rolling Stone interview Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric, playing a show at The Air Canada Centre on November 14.

PopMatters, The Vancouver Sun, and The Georgia Straight profile Patrick Watson, doing his thing at Massey Hall on December 6.

Spin has the new video from PS I Love You, taken from Death Dreams and named for Hogtown!

Video: PS I Love You – “Toronto”

Artrocker has a short interview with and Pitchfork a short documentary film featuring Japandroids.