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Posts Tagged ‘James Murphy’

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Costume Characters Face Dangers In The Workplace

Mark Eitzel doesn’t want to be a Stranger

Photo By Cynthia WoodCynthia WoodA lot’s happened with Mark Eitzel since he last set foot on a Toronto stage. That would have been back in April 2008, when he was leading the reunited American Music Club on tour in support of their second album of the 21st century, The Golden Age. The American Music Club machine slowly wound down again and was officially declared on indefinite hiatus again by Eitzel last Fall, and he also released a couple more solo records in that time: Klamath in 2009 and Brannan Street the following year, both low-key in both presentation and distribution. Oh, and last Spring he had a heart attack (but is okay now).

But as has been the pattern over a career that has swung from the cultiest of cult artists to getting a modicum of the respect that his songwriting talent deserves, Eitzel again appears ready to step a little more into the spotlight. His new solo record Don’t Be A Stranger is coming out on Merge, who rightly believed those two AMC reunion albums deserved to be shepherded into the world, and Eitzel is undertaking what he’s dubbed “The Warm Gentle Rain Tour”, which will traverse North America and bring him to the Rivoli in Toronto on November 28, tickets for that $15.50 in advance. It’s hard to say what form the show will take, be it solo or with a band, but when I last saw Eitzel at SXSW 2011, it was just him and a keyboardist and he was singing AMC songs lounge/cabaret-style, so it could really be anything. What is certain is that it will be hilarious, depressing, and excellent.

After all – the promotional campaign for the record involves Eitzel getting career and performance advice from the experts on video; there’s clips of him consulting with Lady Gaga’s make-up artist Billy B. and at Gawker, you can watch him discuss his lyrics with comedienne Nadya Ginsburg. Yes, hilarity ensues.

Stream: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”

GQ, The Chicago Tribune, and Spinner talk to Bob Mould about what has turned out to be the year of the resurgence of Bob Mould.

Gothamist and Newsday talk to Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, finally bringing their reunion tour to The Phoenix on October 3.

Consequence Of Sound, DIY, NOW, and Clash all talk to members of Dinosaur Jr about their new record I Bet On Sky. They’re at Lee’s Palace on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.

Exclaim has specifics on the third Guided By Voices album of 2012, The Bears For Lunch, out November 13.

Salon, NPR, and Stereogum talk to Aimee Mann about hew new record Charmer, from which she’s just released a new video that has a few guest stars you might recognize and is a shot-for-shot remake of a video you might recognize if you’ve been following Aimee’s career from the outset… Don’t worry, I’ll help you out. You’re welcome. Aimee Mann is at The Danforth Music Hall on November 6.

Video: Aimee Mann – “Labrador”
Video: ‘Til Tuesday – “Voices Carry”

DIY, NOW, The Quietus, and Billboard all want to talk Shields with Grizzly Bear. They’re at Massey Hall on September 26.

Cat Power goes blonde zombie-fighting road warrior in the first video from Sun. Of course. She’s at The Kool Haus on October 20.

Video: Cat Power – “Cherokee”

The 405, DIY has a feature and The Line Of Best Fit a video session wtih Band Of Horses.

The Lab sends Saturday Night Live and Portlandia‘s Fred Armisen to interview St. Vincent, while The Montreal Gazette talks to both her and David Byrne. They’re at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre tomorrow night.

The AV Club talks to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, and his right-hand guitarist Nels Cline will be at The Great Hall on November 2 as part of this year’s Sleepwalk Guitar Festival.

MP3: Nels Cline – “Don’t Threaten Me With Your Threats”

Dum Dum Girls are streaming their new EP End Of Daze over at Stereogum. It’s out next week, and Houston Press talks to Dee Dee about it.

MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”
Stream: Dum Dum Girls / End Of Daze

Titus Andronicus have unveiled the album art and first lyric video from their new record Local Business, coming October 22. See the art at Pitchfork and hear the first song from the new record below.

Lyric Video: Titus Andronicus – “In A Big City”

Trespassers William have released a video from their farewell compilation Cast.

Video: Trespassers William – “Believe Me”

Hospitality has released a new video from their self-titled debut.

Video: Hospitality – “Eighth Avenue”

NPR and Spoonfed chat with Calexico.

Check out the latest video from The Kills’ Blood Pressures.

Video: The Kills – “Wild Charms”

I speculated that The Killers’ show at the Sound Academy this weekend was a precursor to something bigger, and I was right. Las Vegas’ favourite sons return for a show at the Air Canada Centre on December 15, tickets ranging from $39.50 to $65.00.

Video: The Killers – “Runaways”

A Place To Bury Strangers have a new video from Worship.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “Leaving Tomorrow”

Benjamin Gibbard – he’s only Ben when he’s in a band, apparently – discusses his solo album Other Lives with Stereogum. It’s out October 16 and he’s at The Danforth Music Hall a couple days earlier, on October 14.

Magnet welcomes Beachwood Sparks to their website editor’s chair with a Q&A.

You Me & Charlie interviews Josh Tillman of Father John Misty. He plays Lee’s Palace on October 27.

The Quietus interviews James Murphy.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Reappear

Review of School Of Seven Bells’ Ghostory

Photo By Justin HollarJustin HollarI had actually forgotten how weird Alpinisms, the 2008 debut from New York’s School Of Seven Bells was. It basically inverted the balance of pop-to-experimentalism of the Deheza sisters’ former outfit On! Air! Library! and made itself it much more accessible than O!A!L!’s self-titled effort but was still willing to forgo the pop in parts to play with textures, exotic sounds and the interesting harmonies that their twin frontwomen could create.

2010’s Disconnect From Desire was decidedly slicker, dancier and more straight-ahead in comparison – at least relatively speaking in a dream-pop/post-shoegaze frame of reference. It successfully grew their audience but not without cost – keyboardist/vocalist Claudia Deheza left the band in the middle of a Fall tour that year, leaving the official band lineup as just sister Alejandra and guitarist Ben Curtis, replacing the musical chemistry between the two with another singer being pretty much impossible.

You would think that losing a third of the band would have more dramatic impact on their sound, but had you no knowledge of the personnel changes and just came to their just-released third album Ghostory with a familiarity of their previous efforts, you would be forgiven for assuming that everything was business as usual. Losing their keyboardist hasn’t meant losing the keys as the album still leans heavily on sequenced rhythms and synthetic atmosphere and through the magic of overdubs the band’s signature harmonies are superficially intact if less inherently magical. In fact, though the band is officially now a pair of guitarists, Ghostory is arguably less guitar-driven than before, instead favouring a more ’80s-era 4AD sheen than any overt ’90s shoegaze aesthetic; anyone who still wants to pigeonhole them as such is working with outdated information.

Perhaps the most notable thing about Ghostory is how steady on it finds the band in what they do despite the upheavals. Parsing the lyrics, which ostensibly center around a young girl literally haunted by ghosts, you can find traces of deeper, more personal emotions – loss, regret, what have you – but this is not music meant for soundtracking deep introspection. It’s for drifting, dreaming, dancing. No more, no less. The school may experience staff turnover but the lesson plan remains the same.

Ghostory is out today and available to stream in full at Spinner. After a jaunt in Europe, their North American tour brings the band to The Hoxton in Toronto on May 2. Alejandra Deheza talks to Spin about her interest in tarot cards and to Rolling Stone about the just-released first video from the album.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Lafaye”
MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “The Night”
Video: School Of Seven Bells – “Lafaye”
Stream: School Of Seven Bells / Ghostory

Blurt chats with Amber Papini of Hospitality, in town at The Horseshoe on February 29 and The Garrison on May 4 in support of Tennis and Eleanor Friedberger, respectively.

Stereogum is streaming in whole The Clearing, the new album from Bowerbirds, out next Tuesday. They play The Garrison on March 27.

MP3: Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In”
MP3: Bowerbirds – “In The Yard”
Stream: Bowerbirds / The Clearing

NPR is streaming the whole of Milk Famous, the new one from White Rabbits, a week ahead of its March 6 release date.

MP3: White Rabbits – “Heavy Metal”
Stream: White Rabbits / Milk Famous

Young Prisms will warm up for their March 10 show at The Drake Underground with an in-store at the Kensington location of Sonic Boom that afternoon at 5PM. Their second album In Between is out March 27 and Stereogum just premiered the first video.

MP3: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”
Video: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”

James Mercer of The Shins stops in at The Alternate Side for an interview and video session. Port Of Morrow comes out March 20.

Spin has posted online the Sleigh Bells cover story from the all-new, redesigned magazine, and dang is it pretty. The magazine, not the story, but if Alexis Krauss does it for you, then it’s both. There’s also features at eMusic, AltSounds, The Guardian, and The Stool Pigeon. Sleigh Bells are at The Phoenix on March 26 and The Air Canada Centre on April 27 and 28 with Red Hot Chili Peppers.

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session and The Fly has an interview with with Chairlift, who are at The Horseshoe on March 28.

Pitchfork has a +1 interview and video session with Perfume Genius while Stereogum gets Mike Hadreas on the phone for an interview about Put Your Back N 2 It. He plays The Drake Underground on April 8.

Maps & Atlases have made a May 16 date at The Horseshoe in support of their forthcoming album Beware And Be Grateful; the album is out April 17, tickets for the show are $11.50 and the first MP3 is available to download courtesy of Rolling Stone.

MP3: Maps & Atlases – “Winter”

It’s happy news that the Luna back catalog is finally going to be reissued on vinyl, at least some of it. Record Store Day will see their last two albums, Romantica and Rendezvous, come out on wax (that’s April 21) and there’s plans to press my personal favourite Bewitched in early Summer and Penthouse will eventually follow. I said I was largely done re-buying albums I already owned on LP, but this is an exception. Oh yes. And coincidentally, the band played their final show seven years ago today. Sigh.

MP3: Luna – “Black Postcards”

Lower Dens have released a video for the first single from their forthcoming album Nootropics; it’s out May 1.

Video: Lower Dens – “Brains”

A visit to France has yielded some live Blouse videos worth watching; a full show at arte.tv and a session for Faits Divers; there’s also one recorded stateside at Yours Truly and an interview with the band at Drowned In Sound. Blouse are at The Garrison on May 5.

The original release has since been redacted – someone broke embargo, apparently – but it seems likely that the new Beach House album will be out on May 15 and be called Bloom. Unless, of course, it’s not – in which case, it’s another case of “oh, internet!”.

Girls have gone to Conan O’Brien to premiere the new video from Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

Video: Girls – “My Ma”

Bon Iver has released a new video from Bon Iver.

Video: Bon Iver – “Towers”

NPR has got a World Cafe session with Real Estate.

Daytrotter has posted a session with CANT.

CBC Radio 3 and CNN have conversations with The Kills, who are streaming the Velvet Underground cover that appears on the “Last Goodbye” 10″.

Stream: The Kills – “Pale Blue Eyes”

Annie Clark of St. Vincent talks to The New Zealand Herald, The Guardian, and Drowned In Sound while the director for her “Cheerleader” video explains the clip to Pitchfork.

Culture Mob talks to Ume.

Pitchfork talks to James Murphy about his life post-LCD Soundsystem.

Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs talks to Spin about the band’s reunion. No word of lie, there is no show announcement I await more eagerly than this one.

Billboard talks to Bob Mould about Sugar’s Copper Blue, which he’s taken to performing in its entirety for a handful of mostly European shows.