Posts Tagged ‘Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions’

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Okay

Venice Is Sinking doing alright with new EP, video

Photo By Ian DarkenIan DarkenSomething I learned yesterday – I wasn’t able to get by on three hours of sleep when I was young, I sure as hell can’t do it now. Blogging isn’t so easy when your brain has the consistency of porridge, so I’m thankful that there’s been a pile of new videos, sessions and streams amassing in my drafts folder which I can hopefully distill into some sort of post.

And we’ll begin with Athens, Georgia’s Venice Is Sinking, who’ve got a new video, stream AND MP3 to share, all in honour of their just-released EP Okay. As previously reported, it’s a single, a tribute and outtakes record, all in one. The title track comes from their lovely AZAR album from earlier this year, two tracks are covers of San Francisco artist Okay and the final two are alternate versions of AZAR tracks. Like the parent album, Okay is wistfully orchestrated ambient pop, forlorn even when it’s trying to be cheery. Venice Is Sinking does glumness exceedingly well. They do have a playful side, however, as the boot camp-themed video for “Okay” demonstrates. And a penchant for gunplay.

In addition to the new EP, the band have completed album number three – a mostly live recording due out sooner rather than later – and have begun writing album number four. Considering how this band seems to get better with every new thing they put out, their newfound prolificness can only bring good things.

MP3: Venice Is Sinking – “Okay”
MP3: Venice Is Sinking – “Compass”
Video: Venice Is Sinking – “Okay”
Stream: Venice Is Sinking / Okay

Yo La Tengo have also done the “rock band boot camp” thing in video before – witness the classic “Sugarcube” clip – but have just put out an awesome video of another sort – a Takeaway Show. Yo La Tengo are at the Opera House on October 3.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “Sugarcube”

A Place To Bury Strangers have released a video from their new album Exploding Head, due out October 6. They have a date at the Mod Club for October 27.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “In Your Heart”

They Shoot Music recorded an acoustic performance from The Dodos, who released Time To Die last week and will be at Lee’s Palace on October 17. There’s interviews with the band at Austinist and Click Music.

Telekinesis have finally gotten themselves a proper website and play a Tiny Desk Session for NPR to mark the occasion. Okay, the two probably have nothing to do with each other. Or this video of them performing at the Merge XX festival this Summer.

St Vincent has released a new video from Actor.

Video: St Vincent – “Marrow”

Paste, Taipei Times and The Los Angeles Times interview Monsters Of Folk, whose self-titled debut was released this week and a new video to go along with it. They play Massey Hall on November 2.

Video: Monsters of Folk – “The Right Place”

BrooklynVegan interviews Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, who have a new video from Embryonic, out October 13. The response to the new recordseems pretty split between a return to genius form and further evidence of their irrevocable decline. Which is it?

Video: The Flaming Lips – “I Can Be A Frog”

This week was pretty crazy for new releases, and so there’s plenty to stream over at Spinner – or at least there is if you’re not in Canada. Hereabouts, their Polaris promotion is still up so all the links shunt to streams of the short list but I’ve been told that’s going to change sometime today so Canucks, check back. Assuming that’s accurate – you’ve got Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions’ second album Through The Devil Softly which they’ll bring to the Mod Club on October 7 – she gives an interview to The Georgia Straight, White Water, White Bloom from Sea Wolf, who’re at Sneaky Dee’s on October 9 and Amy Millan’s second solo record Masters Of The Burial, for which she has a date at the Mod Club on October 14 – ChartAttack also has an interview.

Also out, streaming and coming to town this Fall are Girls whose debut album Album will receive an airing at the El Mocambo on November 10 and who are featured in a “Don’t Look Down” video session at PitchforkTV, J Tillman’s new one Year In The Kingdom which brings him to the Horseshoe on November 11 and Origin: Orphan from The Hidden Cameras – their hometown show will take place at the Opera House on December 5.

Stream: Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions / Through The Devil Softly
Stream: Sea Wolf / White Water, White Bloom
Stream: Amy Millan / Masters Of The Burial
Stream: Girls / Album
Stream: J. Tillman / Year in the Kingdom
Stream: The Hidden Cameras / Origin: Orphan

Also with a new record out this wee but sadly not coming to town any time soon are Early Day Miners, whose latest is The Treatment. There’s a feature piece on the band at Blurt.

Stream: Early Day Miners / The Treatment

In And Out Of Control isn’t out until October 6 but The Raveonettes are already streaming it for all to hear at their MySpace. They’re at the Phoenix on October 22 and there’s interviews with the band at Paper and Billboard.

Stream: The Raveonettes / In And Out Of Control

City Sonic talks to Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers about how his daily commute influenced some of his early songs.

A couple of days before she takes the Horseshoe stage – Thursday, September 24 in support of The Antlers – it’s been announced that Holly Miranda has signed with XL Recordings to release her debut solo album early next year. I’ve been tracking her solo career since early this year and am pleased to see that her record will not only be coming out but will be properly promoted, but I wonder what to make of the fact that the press release mentions nothing about her band The Jealous Girlfriends… hopefully nothing. A video session with said band went up at FreqControl earlier this Summer.

Exclaim reports The Weakerthans will be releasing a series of 7″ singles saluting their home province on Manitoba starting on October 30.

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

There's A Window

Hope Sandoval, Monotonix, Avett Brothers and The Rakes coming to town, though not together – that would be crazy

Photo via hopesandoval.comhopesandoval.comIt’s been over a month since word came that the reclusive Hope Sandoval was returning to active duty – she had not only completed a new Warm Intentions album with My Bloody Valentine’s Colm O CĂ­osoig, but was also putting finishing touches on a new record from Mazzy Star. Now there’s been no further word on what would be her and David Roback’s first album since 1996, but the new Warm Inventions album Through The Devil Softly is definitely happening, albeit with a September 29 release date instead of the originally announced September 15.

Also promised at the time was a tour to support the new record, and Under The Radar has a goodly number of the North American dates, though the gaps in the schedule imply there might be some more to come. Locals will be pleased to see she’s got a Toronto date at the Mod Club on October 7, her first appearance in these parts since an August 2002 date at Lee’s Palace which got some mixed reviews but of which a recording exists.

And speaking of recordings, Entertainment Weekly is streaming a new song from Through The Devil Softly to go along with the MP3 which was previously released. Update: Actually that EW track is also now available to download.

MP3: Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions – “Trouble”
MP3: Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions – “Blanchard”

Also with a new album out on September 29 are The Avett Brothers, who will be releasing their latest I And Love And You. They’ll be in town at the Horseshoe the next night, September 30, to support – tickets $17.50 – but what has me doing a double-take is their tour routing thereabouts. They’re in Dallas on September 27, Toronto on September 30, and then New Orleans on October 1? Those two cities are 20 hours apart. If this schedule is correct, I have no idea how they’re going to pull that off, nor why you’d even try. Anyways, The Boston Globe has a feature and Rolling Stone declares the trio, who’ve been putting out records since 2000, an “artist to watch”.

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

And also in town on October 7 – referencing back to the Hope Sandoval bit here – are Israeli nutjobs Monotonix, famous for their absurd and insane live shows. Their Fall North American tour includes an October 7 date at the Velvet Underground, tickets $10. Their debut full-length Where Were You When It Happened is out August 31 – details at Strange Glue.

MP3: Monotonix – “Ride”
MP3: Monotonix – “Body Language”

Presumably part of a larger North American tour and presumably implying their latest album Klang, out since March in the UK, is getting a release over here, The Rakes will be at the Mod Club on November 9.

Video: The Rakes – “1989”

The Sadies have made a date at the Horseshoe for September 12, tickets $15. It’s not part of any particular tour but the Sadies need as much excuse to play the ‘Shoe as you need to breathe.

MP3: The Sadies – “Anna Leigh”

Both They Shoot Music and aux.tv have posted up video sessions with Malajube, who are this week’s featured Polaris Prize nominee, which basically means you can download an MP3 for free via the Polaris website. And speaking of free, you can also enter this contest to win a trip to Toronto for the September 21 Polaris Prize awards gala – all ten nominees will be performing this year!

Exclaim has details on the new Do Make Say Think record Other Truths, out October 20, while Stereogum is steaming a first preview track from it. Do Make Say Think are at the Polish Combatants Hall tonight for the Bicycle Film Festival launch party – congrats to Evan for winning my contest for passes.

Time Out and The Sydney Morning Herald talk to Aimee Mann.

The first MP3 from Headlights’ new album Wildlife, out October 6, is now available over at RCRDLBL.

Elvis Perkins In Dearland will release a new EP on October 20 entitled Doomsday, featuring five new tracks in addition to the title track taken from their self-titled album.

MP3: Elvis Perkins In Dearland – “Slow Doomsday”

Yet another video from Yo La Tengo’s new album Popular Songs has emerged. The record is out September 8 and they play The Opera House on October 3.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “Nothing To Hide”

Pitchfork has details on the new R.E.M. live album Live At The Olympia, which will feature 39 songs across two CDs recorded in Dublin in 2007. Look for it October 26.

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

A United Theory

Review of Stuart Murdoch's God Help The Girl

Photo via godhelpthegirl.comGod Help The GirlI’ll not presume to speak for other Belle & Sebastian fans, but when word came out that Stuart Murdoch was putting the Scottish septet on hiatus to work on a film/stage/musical project, I couldn’t help but be concerned. After all, hiatuses, solo projects and retrospective compilations – last year’s BBC Sessions – don’t usually augur well for the future of a band going forwards.

The future of Belle & Sebastian aside, one can’t help but look on the results of Murdoch’s efforts, manifested as God Help The Girl (the band) and God Help The Girl (the album) – there’s also a “God Help The Girl” (the song) – and be impressed. In recruiting three new female voices to help him fulfill his dream of crafting a set of songs sung from a woman’s perspective and framed in a more orchestral, theatrical context, Murdoch has managed to create a record that’s as familiar and accessible to long-time fans as any new Belle & Sebastian record would have been, but also different enough from the day job to justify its completely separate identity. Though a couple of B&S songs appear here in reimagined form, it’s hard to imagine some of these tunes being done justice by the band. That’s no knock on Sarah Martin, but God Help The Girl demands a certain boldness and brassiness that’s simply not her forte.

Though recent Irish emigree Catherine Ireton takes lead vocals on the majority of tracks and does a lovely job, it’s the wide range of voices throughout the record – The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, Smoosh’s Asya and Murdoch himself contribute memorable turns – and the rich, string-laden arrangements, courtesy of B&S’ Mick Cooke, that make God Help The Girl such a success. The best songs soar to the same heights as anything Murdoch has ever done and the lesser moments drift amiably by, perhaps needing the visual narrative elements to which they were intended to work properly. That said, I’m not actually sure I’d want to see a filmic version of the record come to light – there’s something special about a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist and in a less fluffy sense, I worry that without a proper production budget it’d not look as good as it should and thus detract from the overall experience. They did a pretty nice job on the videos so far, though, so perhaps these concerns are unfounded. Either way, even if God Help The Girl doesn’t ever become the multi-platform, multimedia juggernaut that Murdoch envisions, it will remain the unexpectedly attractive second cousin in the Belle & Sebastian family portrait, itself a pretty good-looking clan to begin with.

In this interview with eMusic, Murdoch provides a rough outline of the album’s storyline and says that the film already has a big-time Hollywood producer attached but that work will probably not begin in earnest until the next Belle & Sebastian record is done, with the band coming off hiatus towards the end of this year. Paste has made this month’s cover feature on Stuart Murdoch available online, and Magnet plays over/under with the Belle & Sebastian song catalog.

MP3: God Help The Girl – “Come Monday Night”
MP3: God Help The Girl – “Funny Little Frog”
MP3: God Help The Girl – “Mary’s Market”
Video: God Help The Girl – “Funny Little Frog”
Video: God Help The Girl – “Come Monday Night”
MySpace: God Help The Girl

Asia One talks to Emmy The Great.

MP3: Emmy The Great – “We Almost Had A Baby” (Simon Raymonde mix)

Uncensored has an interview with Polly Scattergood.

State and The List talk to The Horrors, who will be at Lee’s Palace on October 14.

The National Post, hour.ca and The Singing Lamb get some time with Zach Condon of Beirut, while The Singing Lamb also says hello to tourmates The Dodos. Both are in town tonight for a mega-sold out show at the Phoenix.

Never one who could be accused of being a workaholic, Hope Sandoval will release her second album with The Warm Intentions, aka Colm O’Coisig of My Bloody Valentine, on September 1. Entitled Through The Devil Softly, it will be followed by North American touring this Fall and according to Rolling Stone, there’s another Mazzy Star album in the works.

MP3: Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions – “Blanchard”

I’m still waiting for Seattle’s Throw Me The Statue to name an album And I’ll Throw You The Whip, but it hasn’t happened yet. Their new one is called Creaturesque and will be released August 4 – look for them at a venue to be announced in Toronto on August 30.

MP3: Throw Me The Statue – “Ancestors”

Sondre Lerche is at the Mod Club on September 16 in support of his new record Heartbeat Radio, out September 8. Details and dates at Billboard.

Placebo have a new record in Battle For The Sun and are touring to support – look for them at the Sound Academy on October 6. The Star has a conversation with Brian Molko about making the new record.

Video: Placebo – “Battle For The Sun”

Echo & The Bunnymen will bring their orchestrally-enhanced live rendering of Ocean Rain to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 20. Tickets on sale Saturday for $65. Yowch.

Video: Echo & The Bunnymen – “The Killing Moon”

Jeremy Jay will be in town on November 8 at a venue to be announced.

MP3: Jeremy Jay – “Beautiful Rebel”

Billy Bragg, still touring on last year’s Mr Love & Justice, will be touring across Canada this Fall, including a date at the Phoenix on November 17.

MP3: Billy Bragg – “I Keep Faith”