Posts Tagged ‘Heavy’

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Dart In The Map

Review of The Futureheads’ The Chaos and giveaway

Photo via Goldest EggGoldest EggIf there’s a rule that bands are supposed to mellow and get more introspective as they age, no one told Sunderland, England’s Futureheads. After briefly making Newcastle the next epicentre of Brit-rock with their 2004 self-titled debutMaximo Park and Field Music would emerge from the same scene – the quartet would release two more records of their distinctive, harmony-laden jerky New Wave with less success than their debut, some complaining that the breakneck rhythms and energy that made The Futureheads so infectious were lacking on the follow-ups.

I can’t comment on the veracity of those comments, as I don’t think I heard either News & Tributes or This Is Not The World though I did see them on tour for the former in Summer of 2006, and they certainly had as much energy as I could have expected. And having made the acquaintance of their newest record The Chaos – out today – I think I can say that if the last couple records were indeed a bit soft, then this can be considered a return to form as sonically, it’s pretty much monolithic. The four-part harmonies, with their clipped phrasing and sharp accents, are still exceptionally tight and as far from a barber shop quartet as you can get and the guitars, if aptly described as “wiry” circa their debut are now akin to electrical transmission lines in girth. Coupled with songs that are maybe a notch or two less immediate than their earlier material but still eminently catchy and performed at a pace that only a bona fide speed freak would call anything but barrelling, The Chaos has all the manic energy promised by its title, encapsulated in compact 3-minute pop packages. Some more dynamics – or just an opportunity to catch one’s breath – over the course of the record would have been welcome, but there’ll be time enough for that when they’re older.

The Futureheads are kicking off a North American tour tonight in New York and will be rolling through Toronto on June 10 for date at the Mod Club. Advance tickets are $18.50 in advance but courtesy of Goldest Egg, i’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to have a Futurehead” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and get that in to me before midnight, June 7.

Futurehead guitarist Ross Millard talks to Spinner about some of the political themes that have worked their way into the new record.

MP3: The Futureheads – “Struck Dumb”
Video: The Futureheads – “Heartbeat Song”
Stream: The Futureheads / The Chaos
MySpace: The Futureheads

Drowned In Sound reports the new Manic Street Preachers record – the one Nicky Wire compared to Aerosmith’s Pump – will be entitled Postcards From A Young Man and be out in the UK on September 20. Was not expecting new MSP so soon; very happy.

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes talks to Billboard about some of the ideas she’s kicking around for album number three, including working with Beck. have premiered a new video from Vampire Weekend, who are at the Molson Amphitheatre on September 7.

Video: Vampire Weekend – “Holiday”

Flagpole and The Daily Record have interviews with The Hold Steady while NPR has the band in for a World Cafe session. There’s an MP3 now available to download from Heaven Is Whenever, which they’ll be performing at the Kool Haus on July 17.

MP3: The Hold Steady – “Hurricane J”

Chart talked to LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy before their show in Toronto last week. The Vancouver Sun and The New York Times also have interviews.

The National’s Aaron Dessner talks to The Boston Herald. They’re at Massey Hall next week on June 8 and 9.

The Guardian chats with Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste.

NYC Taper has a recording of Holly Miranda’s homecoming show in New York City last week available to share while has a video session recorded on the University of Toronto campus which includes a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Hundreds Of Sparrows”. If one good thing comes out of the passing of Mark Linkous, let it be more and more beautiful Sparklehorse covers. The Sydney Morning Herald also has an interview with Ms Miranda.

Uncensored has an extensive video interview with Nicole Atkins.

The Times-Union profiles Phantogram.

NPR talks to Josh Ritter and premieres the new video from So The World Runs Away.

Video: Josh Ritter – “The Curse”

Chart, The Windsor Star, Chart, The Colorado Springs Independent and NOW profile Broken Bells, in town at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre tomorrow night.

The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle gets sombre with The Georgia Straight.

NPR is streaming Blitzen Trapper’s new album Destroyer Of The Void in advance of its release next week. Learn all the words and sing along when they play the Opera House on August 3.

Stream: Blitzen Trapper / Destroyer Of The Void

The Brother Kite’s Isolation has finally been granted a release date – look for the CD on September 14 and a vinyl edition to follow in November. Preview a few tracks at their website and count the days.

Before playing the Horseshoe that evening, tUnE-yArDs will do an in-store at Soundscpaes on June 13 at 3PM in the afternoon, perfect for those – like myself – who are curious but not ready to commit an evening to see her.

MP3: tUnE-yArDs – “Sunlight”
Video: tUnE-yArDs – “Real Live Flesh”

Fresh off opening up for Sharon Jones at the Sound Academy last week, UK funk-soul brothers The Heavy will play a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 9 at 8PM as part of this year’s edition of Beats, Breaks & Culture.

MP3: The Heavy – “Colleen”

Langhorne Slim, who was great supporting Drive-By Truckers back in April has his own date at the Horseshoe on July 21, tickets $12.50 in advance.

MP3: Langhorne Slim – “I Love You But Goodbye”

It’s being billed as “Disco Lemonade”, but other appropriate names might be “You Got Your Sensitive Singer-Songwriter In My Dance Party”, “When Disparate Tours Collide”, “I Want The Venue No *I* Want The Venue” or just plain “WTF”. I speak of the show taking place at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 30, which will feature Keane, Robyn, Ingrid Michaelson, Kelis, Fran Healy, Dan Black and Far East Movement. Tickets range from $29.50 to $49.50, the show begins at 3:30PM – yes, that’s on a Friday – and it’s reasonably safe to say that everyone who goes to this show will see something they probably would never have gone to see otherwise. I actually saw this bill on Pollstar a couple weeks ago and assumed it was a typo. Silly me.

Video: Keane – “Clear Skies”
Video: Robyn – “With Every Heartbeat”
Video: Ingrid Michaelson – “The Way I Am”
Video: Kelis – “Milkshake”
Video: Travis – “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?”
Video: Dan Black – “Symphonies”
Video: Far East Movement – “Fetish”

Goth godfather Peter Murphy has a date at Lee’s Palace on August 10, tickets $29.50 in advance.

Video: Peter Murphy – “Cuts You Up”

Mice Parade have a date at the El Mocambo on September 29.

Friday, May 1st, 2009

In The Summertime

The Rural Alberta Advantage sign with Saddle Creek, no longer our little secret

Photo By Patrick LeducPatrick LeducFor the longest time now, the phrase, “best unsigned band in Toronto/Canada/the world” has been used so often in conjunction with The Rural Alberta Advantage that they may as well have incorporated it into their name. But no longer. As hinted at a couple weeks ago and confirmed yesterday at Pitchfork, the trio’s long, slow build to critical mass – beginning with the eMusic Selects feature last Fall and culminating in their triumphant SxSW appearances in March – has now resulted in their signing to highly-regarded US label Saddle Creek. A fact which sent me digging for this piece in eye last Fall when the Omaha-based label insisted there was no master plan to snap up as much Canadian talent as possible (at that point, they’d added Tokyo Police Club, Sebastien Grainger and Land Of Talk to their roster in rapid succession). Now the truth becomes clear – we’re being annexed by Nebraska, one band at a time.

But seriously, It’s been such a treat to watch their star so deservedly ascend over the last couple years, and would like to offer the band a very hearty congratulations on the start of the next phase of their career. That will begin with a reissue of their debut album Hometowns on July 7 in the US and probably up here as well. I, for one, can’t wait to get a copy of the record in a physical form with a spine so that it doesn’t disappear on my CD shelves as soon as I file it, not that I’d likely ever forget that it was there. And I also envy those of you who’ll be getting to hear them for the first time with this wide release of the album and experience that feeling of discovery. You are in for such a treat.

North American touring is in the works for this Summer with a few dates listed in the Pitchfork piece, as well as confirmation of a couple of local festivals – Hillside in Guelph in July and Wolfe Island up in Kingston on August 8. Their next local date will be June 18 at the Drake Underground as part of I Heart Music’s NxNE showcase. Just informed they’ve got other things in the works – stay tuned.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Don’t Haunt This Place”
MySpace: The Rural Alberta Advantage

In other “just signed” news, Billboard reports that Australia-by-way-of-the-UK’s Howling Bells have signed to Nettwerk for the July 28 North American release of their second album Radio Wars, which was released in the UK back in February. I was pretty down on the album after hearing it, particularly with all the promise displayed in their self-titled debut, but have warmed to it a bit since. It’s still not as good as the first, but it’s really only a couple of really BAD songs that drag down the overall experience, which is largely okay with moments of pretty good. Faint praise, I know. My main hopes are that with this deal in place, they’ll finally be able to tour North America properly and not just as support on big arena-scale tours (Killers, Coldplay) that I’d have no intention of seeing.

MP3: Howling Bells – “Into The Chaos”

The Pitchfork guest list from Camera Obscura which I linked last week but then promptly went all 404 on us is now back, and will hopefully remain so. They’re at Lee’s Palace on June 27.

Neil Halstead has released another video from last year’s Oh! Mighty Engine. Halstead will also apparently be featured in today’s Daytrotter session – those usually go up by 10AM ET or so – will link when it’s available. Update: It’s up! With two new songs!

Video: Neil Halstead – “Elevenses”

The Guardian and This Is Nottingham profile Doves, whose Kingdom Of Rust apparently missed being the #1 album in the UK… by four CDs. Ouch. They play the Kool Haus on June 1.

The Quietus and The Irish Times interview Manic Street Preachers about their new album Journal For Plague Lovers, out May 18, covering the main talking points of the record – Richey and Albini. The Quietus also has a track-by-track review of the record.

The Manics also big up The Horrors’ new record Primary Colours to The Quietus as the best of the year. Express Night Out talks to frontman Faris Badwan. They’ll be at the Phoenix next Thursday opening for The Kills.

MP3: The Horrors – “Sea Within A Sea”

Exclaim talks to Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines. The double-disc retrospective Enter The Vaselines will be out on Tuesday and they’re making a rare live appearance at Lee’s Palace on May 15.

MP3: The Vaselines – “Son Of A Gun”

John Vanderslice will take his Romanian Names out on tour immediately following its May 19 release and that includes a July 10 date at The Horseshoe.

Support for the ‘Slice for that show will be Cotton Jones, who essentially used to be Page France. Their debut album is Paranoid Cocoon. Rolling Stone has a feature on the band.

MP3: Cotton Jones – “Gotta Cheer Up”
MP3: Cotton Jones – “Blood Red Sentimental Blues”

British funk-soul outfit The Heavy have a date at Supermarket on June 26.

MP3: The Heavy – “Colleen”

Maximo Park will be coming to North America in support of Quicken The Heart, out May 12, for this Fall. Toronto, circle September 19 at Lee’s Palace on your calendar. Singer Paul Smith talks football and memories with BBC.

Video: Maximo Park – “The Kids Are Sick Again”

The first MP3 from Dinosaur Jr’s new album Farm, out June 23, is now available to grab. Bassist Lou Barlow talks about the new record with The Times Dispatch.

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

Metric’s Emily Haines gives Drowned In Sound a guide to Buenos Aires.

In case you missed it, Wilco have confirmed both the title (Wilco (The Album) and release date (June 30) for their next album. And to start the anticipation build-up, the band are giving away a non-album track – a Woody Guthrie tune – and asking that you make a donation to the Woody Guthrie Foundation & Archives in exchange. Honour system, yo.