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Posts Tagged ‘Interpol’

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

I Love You But You're Dead

Mark Eitzel at The Rivoli in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s less accurate to say that Mark Eitzel was/is/ever shall be the frontman for American Music Club than it is to simply say Mark Eitzel is American Music Club. Over both of the band’s incarnations – their original run from 1982 to 1994 and the reunion from 2004 to 2009 – Eitzel released solo records whose songbooks intersected liberally with AMC but roamed more musically, most curiously on The Ugly American, which saw him arranging old songs for traditional Greek instruments, and Candy Ass, which took him electronic.

His latest Don’t Be A Stranger isn’t one of those sidebar releases, being both his first record for Merge and first since the book was formally closed on American Music Club for the second and probably final time. It also provided occasion for Eitzel’s first visit to Toronto since leading AMC through an excellent but lightly-attended show in Spring 2008. Despite Stranger being a fully-produced affair, Eitzel was touring light – just himself and a piano player, the same setup I saw him with during SXSW 2011.

Given that he was performing to his own, appreciative fans rather than drive-by hipster festival-goers, Eitzel was in a decidedly better mood than that show. Even though the dour dimension gave that performance a memorable intensity, it was nice to have him be able to show off his more jovial side instead with his humour thankfully stayed on the right side of the self-deprecating/self-loathing line. The set list was impressively career-spanning, offering four selections from the new record amongst old AMC favourites like show opener, “What Holds The World Together” off of San Francisco, and “Apology For An Accident” and “Hollywood 4-5-92” from personal favourite Mercury, all dramatically rearranged for the cabaret show configuration but still just as powerful as in their rock band format, thanks in no small part to Eitzel’s massive and emotive vocals – the mic often seemed more stage prop than necessary sound reinforcement. He may have only gotten through a baker’s dozen worth of songs in the hour-fifteen show, but most were accompanied by anecdotes that offered illuminating insights into the song. It was amazing how many of Eitzel’s songs are actually literal rather than allegorical; aspiring songwriters could do far worse than to study his works to learn how to transform daily experiences into compelling lyrical works.

Eitzel had to take a mulligan on the encore after a monologue hilariously derailed things, but wrapped up strongly with “We All Have To Find Our Own Way Out” off of Stranger, and closing with “Chanel No. 5”, a song that’s so much an essential part of the AMC canon that I’m astonished it was only released as a b-side. Mark Eitzel doesn’t come through town very often – he’d do well to take the advice of this album’s title – but when he does, it’s always special.

Back To The World also has an excellent review of the show. The Plain Dealer and Columbus Alive have interviews with Eitzel.

Photos: Mark Eitzel @ The Rivoli – November 28, 2012
MP3: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”
MP3: American Music Club – “Only Love Can Set You Free”
MP3: American Music Club – “All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco”
Video: American Music Club – “All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco”
Video: American Music Club – “Rise”
Video: American Music Club – “Wish The World Away”
Video: American Music Club – “Electric Light”

The new Memory Tapes album Grace/Confusion is available to stream in whole right now; it’s out on Tuesday.

MP3: Memory Tapes – “Shelia”
Stream: Memory Tapes / Grace/Confusion

Pitchfork compiles an oral history of Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights, the deluxe edition of which is out this Tuesday.

Nuvo has an interview with Jason Lytle, who’s just released a new video from Dept. Of Disappearance. He’s at Massey Hall on December 5 opening up for Band Of Horses.

Video: Jason Lytle – “Somewhere There’s A Someone”

The Fader talks to Christopher Owens about the end of Girls. His solo record Lysandre is out January 15 and he plays The Mod Club on January 18.

Eater talks food with Yo La Tengo. Their new album Fade is out January 15 and they play The Phoenix on February 9.

Spin talks to Ra Ra Riot, whose new album Beta Love is out January 22 and who are at Lee’s Palace on March 6.

Local Natives have released a video from their next album Hummingbird, due out January 29. They play The Opera House on March 28 and talk to NME about what it was like to make the record with Aaron Dessner of The National.

Video: Local Natives – “Breakers”

Ameri-Kiwi psych-rock outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Los Angeles’ Foxygen are teaming up for a North American tour in support of their new albums – UMO’s II is out February 5 and Foxygen’s We Are The 21st Century Ambassarors Of Peace & Magic is out January 22. They’re at Wrongbar on March 4, tickets $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “I’ll Come Back 4 U”
MP3: Foxygen – “Make It Known”

Jukebox The Ghost and Matt Pond are in town for a show at The Horseshoe on March 11. Jukebox released Safe Travels earlier this year and Pond has a new one in The Lives Inside The Lines Of Your Hand due out on February 15.

MP3: Matt Pond PA – “The Hollows”
Video: Jukebox The Ghost – “Don’t Let Me Fall Behind”

Low have announced details about their next album – The Invisible Way was produced by Jeff Tweedy and will be out on March 19. Check out the trailer below and inspect details – and also exchange your email for a live six-song set – over at Pitchfork.

Trailer: Low / The Invisible Way

Spinner talks to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

That song The National recorded for Boardwalk Empire last week is now available to download.

MP3: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

Rolling Stone has premiered another James Franco-directed – and starring – video from R.E.M.’s final album Collapse Into Now, and if you prefer your Stipe & co a little more vintage, Slicing Up Eyeballs has video of a complete R.E.M. live show from Atlanta circa 1981 available to stream.

Video: R.E.M. – “That Someone Is You”

DIY chats with Sharon Van Etten about her exceptionally good year.

Under The Radar has an interview with Oliver Ackerman of A Place To Bury Strangers.

Nashville Scene and The Arizona Daily Wildcat talk to John Darnielle and Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats, respectively.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

These Streets Will Never Look the Same

Review of Chromatics’ Kill For Love

Photo By Richard BernardinRichard BernardinAs someone who is ostensibly in the business of finding and sharing new music, it’s a bit embarrassing that I’m just getting around to covering Portland’s Chromatics now. And I didn’t just miss out on their latest effort, Kill For Love, since it was released back in March. The whole Johnny Jewel extended family of Glass Candy, Desire, what have you, the extensive Italians Do It Better catalog, the fact that “Tick Of The Clock” from 2007’s Night Drive is apparently omnipresent in film soundtracks and ads. No idea of any of it. All I knew was that people around the internets really seemed to like Kill For Love, that it sounded like the sort of thing I might like, and so a few months ago I finally got around to giving the Soundcloud stream a spin.

Damn, son.

I’ve seen Kill For Love described as disco, noir, electro, retro, indie, post-punk, and dream-pop, amongst other descriptors – almost always coupled with “cinematic” and “widescreen” – and it is all of these things and more, but what gets me about it is how it manages to be so impossibly slick and synthetic, yet raw and resonant in a way that I can’t pinpoint. It operates under its own laws of emotional physics, simultaneously unending neon, urban sprawl and intense, almost smothering intimacy. Sometimes making its 77 minute running time feel like an eternity, other times a half a blink, all depending on how you’re feeling.

It works its magic through Jewel’s impossibly glamorous production, all perfectly textured keyboards and sculpted waveforms, gleaming guitars, and layered atmosphere, and singer/guitarist Ruth Radelet’s voice. In keeping with the music, it’s a study in contradictions – superficially simple in both timbre and the melodies it carries, and yet so rich and evocative, it can’t help but make a body shiver; it sounds like sex but tastes like love with the scent of regret. And while singling out specifics, I should mention that I don’t often get obsessed with individual guitar tones anymore, there’s a high probability that I’ll be breaking into the band’s studio sometime in the near future just to see what the hell Adam Miller is playing through. I probably shouldn’t have admitted that in public. Each full listen of Kill For Love is a pretty major commitment, but always worth it and offering up something new each time out.

Most likely, none of this is news to anyone who’s been following the music zeitgeist this year; the only reason I’m putting this down as a matter of record now is so that I don’t find myself justifying the appearance of a record on my year-end list (ooh, spoilers!) that I’ve never so much as mentioned. Though maybe that’d be kind of fun, too. So yes, late to the party but it’s been ongoing all year – just recently, a new mixtape entitled Running From The Sun containing alternate versions of Kill For Love tracks and unreleased tracks was made available to download, and just this week they released a new MP3 and video from the forthcoming Italians Do It Better label sampler After Dark 2, due out before the end of the year. And it’s also a small comfort to know that I didn’t miss a local live date, since there hasn’t been one. Maybe next year.

Johnny Jewel is a pretty interesting interview, as well. I’ve been catching up on his and the band’s background via these pieces from over the year at The Quietus, Self-Titled, Pitchfork, and about.com. There was also a recent interview with Radelet at The Huffington Post.

MP3: Chromatics – “Cherry”
MP3: Chromatics – “Kill For Love”
MP3: Chromatics / Running From The Sun
Video: Chromatics – “Cherry”
Video: Chromatics – “After Dark”
Stream: Chromatics / Kill For Love

New York post-hardcore outfit Quicksand are the latest ’90s act to pull a reunion together, heading out on a North American tour that comes to The Phoenix on January 9, tickets $29.

Video: Quicksand – “Delusional”

With a new album in Wonderful, Glorious due out on February 5, Eels have announced a North American tour that brings them to The Phoenix on February 25.

Stream: Eels – “Peach Blossom”

City Pages and Reverb interview Paul Banks in the capacity of both solo artist and Interpol frontman. The 10th anniversary Turn On The Bright Lights deluxe set is out December 4.

NPR welcomes Calexico to the World Cafe.

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

"Kill The Turkey"

The National watches TV. They’re just like us!

Photo via FoxFoxSunday night’s television lineup got a healthy injection of The National this week, both directly and indirectly. In the Thanksgiving episode of Bob’s Burgers, viewers were treated to a holiday-themed song by Linda in abbreviated form and in full over the closing credits, and shortly thereafter The Vulture surfaced with a version of the song rendered in Matt Berninger’s distinctive baritone over appropriately tasteful backing. They had to take it down, unfortunately, but this is the internet – nothing ever dies.

Boardwalk Empire viewers didn’t have to do nearly as much legwork to hear the band’s contribution to this week’s episode – they just had to sit through the credits. As has been the custom for the Steve Buscemi vehicle, the band – assisted by Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks – covered a period-correct song to play while the best boys and gaffers got their due; this one was a 1924 song originally recorded by Isham Jones and The Ray Miller Orchestra. I didn’t know that – full credit goes to Fuck Yeah The National for pulling the background together on that one.

Stream: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”
Stream: The National – “Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving Song”

Freelance Whales, who just released their second album in Diluvia, and Hundred Waters, whose self-titled debut came out in September, will be at The Mod Club on January 17, tickets $16. Spinner and The Daily Tar Heel have Freelance Whales features.

Video: Freelance Whales – “Spitting Image”
Video: Hundred Waters – “Thistle”

Christopher Owens – aka the guy from Girls who was basically the entirety of Girls and who recently left Girls – will be at The Mod Club on January 18 as part of a North American tour in support of his solo debut Lysandre, out January 14.

Stream: Christopher Owens – “Lysandre’s Theme / Here We Go”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Titus Andronicus, and The Chicago Tribune, Denver Westword, and 77 Square have features. They’re at Lee’s Palace next Tuesday, November 27.

A new track from Memory Tapes’ forthcoming Grace/Confusion is now available to stream, as is a mish-mash of b-sides, unreleased material, and whatnot in mixtape form. The album is out December 4.

Stream: Memory Tapes – “Neighbourhood Watch”
Stream: Memory Tapes – “Displaced Mix”

Spinner talks to Paul Banks about Interpol turning ten. The decade-anniversary edition of Turn On The Bright Lights is out December 4 and one of the bonus tracks is now available to download. Las Vegas Weekly and Denver Post also talk to Paul Banks about his solo thing.

MP3: Interpol – “Roland” (first demo)

Yo La Tengo have released a video from their next record Fade, due out January 15. They play The Phoenix on February 9.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “Before We Run”

NPR welcomes Father John Misty to the World Cafe; MTV Hive also has an interview. He’s at The Danforth Music Hall supporting The Walkmen on January 16.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a Widowspeak show from earlier this month. There’s some new Almanac material to hear before the album is released on January 22.

Rolling Stone talks to Jim James about his forthcoming solo debut, Regions of Light and Sound of God. It’s out February 5.

Beach House have released a new video from Bloom.

Video: Beach House – “Wild”

R.E.M. may be gone, but they’re still able to remind you they’ve got some Hollywood-type friends, such as with this video for the final song from their final album, Collapse Into Now, directed by James Franco and starring Lindsay Lohan.

Video: R.E.M. – “Blue”

American Songwriter talks to Britt Daniel of Divine Fits.

The Fly and MusicOmh have interviews with Sharon Van Etten.

Stereogum talks to Steve Drozd of The Flaming Lips about how work is coming on their new album, at last check entitled The Terror and earmarked for release this Fall though that’s probably not happening. They could have asked Wayne Coyne, but he was otherwise occupied being detained by the TSA.

Happy Thanksgiving, America. Happy Thursday, rest of the world.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

All Through The Night

Win an evening with Escort! No, not like that.

Photo By Jody KivortJody KivortI’m not diversifying into the adult entertainment industry, despite what some ads that occasionally get served here might imply, but am instead talking about New York’s Escort. Sometimes a lean five-piece band, sometimes a proper orchestra numbering as many as 17 – but always fronted by diva Adeline Michele – Escort have been busting out old-school yet thoroughly contemporary dancefloor disco electro-soul since 2006 but only just released their full-length debut Escort earlier this year and are now taking their legendarily slick and irresistibly fun live show on the road.

They’re hitting The Horseshoe this Saturday night, November 10, and if you’re thinking there’s no way they’d fit 17 people on that stage, you’re right – it’s going to be a smaller-form Escort that rolls into town, but if you think that means it’ll somehow be a smaller party… no. Just no. Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance, but courtesy of Webster Media Consulting, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want an Escort” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, November 8.

Metro has an interview with Michele about the genesis of the band, and the band’s just-released remix album – Escort Remixed – is available to stream in full.

MP3: Escort – “Love In Indigo”
MP3: Escort – “Make Over”
Video: Escort – “Why Oh Why”
Video: Escort – “All Through The Night”
Stream: Escort / Escort Remixed

School Of Seven Bells have made a track from their new EP, Put Your Sad Down, available to download. It’s out November 13.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Secret Days”

The Antlers have released a new video from their last EP, Undersea.

Video: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

Ahead of their appearance warming up for Titus Andronicus at Lee’s Palace later that night, Ceremony will play an in-store at Sonic Boom’s Kensington location on November 27 at 6:00PM.

MP3: Ceremony – “Hysteria”

And speaking of Titus Andronicus, The Village Voice has a profile piece on the band. As mentioned – Lee’s Palace, November 27. Them.

Passion Pit will team up with Matt & Kim for a Winter tour that stops in at The Kool Haus on February 16; tickets for that are $32.50 in advance.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”
Video: Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”

Denver Westword and The Seattle Times have interviews with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, who also just recorded a World Cafe session with NPR.

Benjamin Gibbard submits to a questionnaire from Exclaim and answers some more questions beyond that. He also performs video sessions for The Fly and NPR, and has released a video from his solo joint Former Lives.

Video: Benjamin Gibbard – “Teardrop Windows”

MTV Hive talks to Jason Lytle, opening up for Band Of Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

Nicole Atkins talks to The Village Voice about the damage that Hurricane Sandy did to her beloved New Jersey shore. She’s re-recorded the title track of her 2007 debut album, Neptune City, and re-released it to raise funds to rebuild the shore.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Neptune City (For The Shore)”

Bob Mould plays a video session for NPR.

Sam Fogarino reflects on Interpol’s past ten years to Spin. The Turn On The Bright Lights anniversary edition is out November 19. They’ve also shared a live video taken from their first Los Angeles show in 2002.

Video: Interpol – “Obstacle 1” (live at The Troubdaour, 2002)

Congratulations on doing several right things last night, America. First time I haven’t been bitterly disappointed by the outcome of an election in, oh, four years. I’ll be down there later this week to give some of you a big hug.

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Gentlemen

The Afghan Whigs and Crocodiles at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’m old enough to have lived through The Afghan Whigs in their heyday, but I still missed them completely. Okay, not completely – I had a copy of Gentlemen on cassette because, well, Spin and such told me that I should – but it never really spoke to high school me. In 1993, I was all R.E.M. and Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead, at the artier end of the guitar rock spectrum, and the Whigs’ inherent seediness, the blackness of their soul, didn’t resonate; it probably scared me.

Fast-forward to late last year when it was announced that the 2012 edition of the ’90s rock reunion renaissance would feature the Afghan Whigs and on a whim, I decided to revisit their back catalog. And apparently my life has gotten much seedier or my soul much blacker in the past 20 years because damned if they haven’t become my most listened-to artist this year; not a fact that will be reflected in the old year-end list, but certainly merits mention. And it also offers some context as to why last Wednesday night’s show at The Phoenix – their only Canadian stop on the reunion tour – was probably my most-anticipated show of the year. The list of bands that I’m super-into and whom I haven’t been able to see live by this point is a pretty short one and for the last while, The Afghan Whigs have been at the very top of it. And while I thought I’d have been far from the only one – the band’s return to active duty had been met with great enthusiasm at almost all their European and American dates so far – but The Phoenix was far from full to welcome the Whigs back to town for the first time this century. Surprising and disappointing, but mostly unfortunate for those who missed it.

San Diego’s Crocodiles were on their own headlining tour in support of their second album Endless Flowers but took the support slot for this show, making for a bill that was impressive on paper but maybe a bit mismatched in practice. Not stylistically, but demographically – the Whigs fans would be out for their band, and an act with their own following, as Crocodiles had, probably would have been better off in front of their own audience. Those out early were largely impassive to their performance, but to be fair it wasn’t their best foot forward. I had been much more impressed seeing them at NXNE 2011 in the close quarters of the Silver Dollar, but here they weren’t as snotty or explosive with their balance of melody and noise far from optimal; they were good and loud but came across more generic than they should have. As with that NXNE show, watching guitarist Charles Rowell work was still the highlight, particularly when he managed to berate an audience member up front mid-song for being on his phone rather than watching the show. Okay, maybe they were still a bit snotty.

The Afghan Whigs setlists for the reunion tour had commendably changed things up from show to show, incorporating requests and just keeping things interesting, but most times the shows had opened with cinematic Black Love leadoff track “Crime Scene, Part One” and why not? It was the perfect way to kick things off, from slow burning introduction to impassioned chorus and so as predictable as it might have been to start this show, it was no less thrilling. Any concerns that Greg Dulli’s voice wouldn’t be what it once was – in recordings of the earliest live performances from the Spring, he came across more ragged and raspy than he probably should have – proved to be unfounded as except for a little bit of ducking on the toughest parts, he sounded every bit of whiskey, cigarette, and sex-shredded fantastic.

Given the rotating drum throne of the ’90s-era Afghan Whigs, the 2012 reunion technically only meant Dulli, guitarist Rick McCollum, and bassist John Curley were there from the original records, but with the rest of the band made up of Dave Rosser (guitar), Rick Nelson (strings/keys), and Cully Symington (drums) – all of whom had played with Dulli in The Twilight Singers – this edition had plenty of legitimacy and more importantly, chemistry. The songs had been masterfully re-arranged for three guitars, sounding massive without any player ever stepping on the others’ parts, as well as tastefully incorporating violin and cello to make the Whigs an intricate and elegant sonic bludgeon.

After the Black Love opener, the set list moved through all points of their discography, giving due to early works Congregation and Up In It – “Turn On The Water” was used to accomodate a shouted request for a cover of, “Helter Skelter” complete with Dulli yelling, “I got blisters on my fingers!” at its close – but the bulk of the show was justly dedicated to the triumvirate of Gentlemen, Black Love, and 1965, kicking it into especially high-gear with a sublime mid-set run of “Gentlemen”, “Crazy”, “My Enemy”, and “Somethin’ Hot”, each sounding as fiercely swaggering as they did a decade and a half ago.

While his bandmates were mostly content to lay back and go about their business – McCollum and Rosser’s guitar kingdom was curiously set about halfway back on the stage – Dulli was engaging and chatty through the show, bantering with the audience and complimenting Toronto on our beautiful women, perhaps intending to add emphasis to this when he got into the crowd to go after them a couple songs later during, “See And Don’t See”, after which he got on the piano for the Frank Ocean cover of “Love Crimes”. This covered their officially-released new recordings since reuniting, but the eagle-eared would have noticed another new song – “Dead Body” – appended onto “We Two Parted”. Their main set ran for an hour twenty, capped by a searing “Fountain and Fairfax”, and while I can understand those calling out for “Miles Iz Dead” in the encore – it would have been great to hear, for sure – their decision to close things bookend-style out with the epic Black Love suite of “Bulletproof”, “Summer’s Kiss”, and “Faded” – complete with “Purple Rain” quote in the outro – was damned near perfect, as was the show.

Exclaim also has a review of the show.

Photos: The Afghan Whigs, Crocodiles @ The Phoenix – October 3, 2012
MP3: The Afghan Whigs – “Lovecrimes”
MP3: The Afghan Whigs – “See And Don’t See”
MP3: Crocodiles – “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)”
MP3: Crocodiles – “Sleep Forever”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Going To Town”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Somethin’ Hot”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Honky’s Ladder”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Gentlemen”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Debonair”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Come See About Me”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Conjure Me”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Turn On The Water”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “You My Flower”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Miles Iz Dead”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Sister, Brother”
Video: Crocodiles – “Endless Flowers”
Video: Crocodiles – “Hearts Of Love”
Video: Crocodiles – “Sleep Forever”

Ohio State University newspaper The Lantern talks to The National about their decision to actively support the Obama campaign, and some of the grief they’re taking for it.

Sadie chats with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

MTV Hive reports that even though they’re pretty busy with the Turn On The Bright Lights tenth anniversary edition and Paul Banks with his new solo record Banks on top of that, Interpol has started work on their fifth studio album. And over at DIY and Clash, Banks talks about Banks.

Filter and The Calgary Herald talk to Dean Wareham about the Galaxie 500 legacy and Andy Warhol, respectively.

Loud & Quiet talk to J. and Lou of Dinosaur Jr.

Stereogum talks to Mark Eitzel, in town at The Rivoli on November 28.

Jason Lytle has handed his new record Dept. Of Disappearance over to NPR to stream a week before its release on October 16 and offers an interview to The Irish Times. He opens up for Band OF Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

Stream: Jason Lytle / Dept. Of Disappearance