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Posts Tagged ‘Janelle Monae’

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Sunspots

Bob Mould revisits Workbook

Photo By Marc NorbergMarc NorbergI first got into Bob Mould in the early ’90s via Sugar, but quickly found myself seeking out his older works; obviously this included Hüsker Dü, but also his two late ’80s solo records Workbook and Black Sheets Of Rain which preceded his return to a band format. At the time they seemed like oddities, sounding neither like the hardcore-punk-pop evolution of the Dü years, nor the Alternative Nation-signifying roar of Sugar.

Rain was more characteristic of what people expected from Mould, built on layers of electric guitar and Mould’s angst-filled roar and probably not as well-regarded as it should be today because of some dated production values. Workbook, on the other hand, was filled with jangling 12-string acoustic guitar, cello and mandolin adornments, and major key melodies (though raging electric guitar and throat-shredding vocals also featured) – elements that would inform the next two and a half decades of his work, but as his first post-Hüsker Dü release, it must have been a head-scratcher. I took to it immediately – remember, for me 1991 was far more about Out Of Time than Nevermind – and Mould’s contribution to the seminal No Alternative AIDS benefit album in 1993 was also along those lines and one of my very favourites off that album.

All of which is to say as much as I love Bob when he’s perforating eardrums, as he’s been lately, I also totally dig his quieter stuff and I’m glad to see that Workbook is getting the respect that it deserves. It had already been announced that Mould would be marking the 25th anniversary of the release with a performance at Noise Pop next February where he’ll presumably – but not confirmedly – play it in its entirety. But Under The Radar now reports that the milestone is getting commemorated in somewhat larger fashion. A deluxe edition of the record – Workbook 25 – will be coming out on February 25 with the original album being accompanied by a second disc containing a b-side and a complete live show from the era. Granted, many of those bonus tracks appeared on the 1994 Poison Years compilation, but there’s still some unreleased goodies in there and isn’t it the thought that counts?

It’s a shame that the expanded slate of tour dates around its release don’t make it up here, but don’t forget that those Copper Blue recitals were only supposed to be a limited engagement and he toured that everywhere. So fingers crossed.

Video: Bob Mould – “See A Little Light”
Stream: Bob Mould / Workbook
Stream: Bob Mould – “Can’t Fight It”

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have a new video from Wig Out At Jagbags, out January 7. Look for them at Lee’s Palace on February 22.

Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Cinnamon & Lesbians”

Broken Bells have a new video from their next album After The Disco, out January 14. They play The Danforth Music Hall on March 3.

Video: Broken Bells – “Holding On For Life”

Pixies have put out a fourth video from their EP1, which should be the last because there are no more songs but then they’ve already released multiple videos for one of the songs so who knows, maybe they’ll milk it another decade before putting out EP2. They’ll be at Massey Hall on January 15 with their new bassist – no, newer – Paz Lenchantin, whom you may remember from A Perfect Circle and Zwan. Or not.

Video: Pixies – “Another Toe In The Ocean”

Rolling Stone talks to Robert Pollard about matters Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices. The new GBV record Motivational Jumpsuit comes out February 18.

Phantogram have come clean with details on their second full-length album, entitled Voices and coming out February 18. Pitchfork has details and a stream of a new song while Metro and AMNY have interviews with the band.

Stream: Phantogram – “Fall In Love”

NPR welcomes Superchunk to their World Cafe for a session.

Speedy Ortiz have released a new video from this year’s debut, Major Arcana.

Video: Speedy Ortiz – “No Below”

NPR has a KCRW session with Glasser.

Magnet talks to Will Sheff of Okkervil River about how he feels about having The Silver Gymnasium named their album of the year. What’s he gonna say? Maybe, “thanks – how about contributing to my Kickstarter to fund a short film video for ‘Down Down The Deep River’?” Maybe. Also, at Salon, Sheff talks about how he wish he knew as a kid that being nerdy would eventually be cool. Nerdy, yes, though being a touring musician, also helps.

Dazed and Confused has premiered the new video from Blouse’s second album, Imperium.

Video: Blouse – “A Feeling Like This”

Billboard Q&As Janelle Monáe, whom they have declared as Rising Star of 2013.

NPR has a World Cafe session with The Head & The Heart.

The Skinny talks to Janet Weiss about her current work with Quasi, the fact that Wild Flag is no more, and that a Sleater-Kinney reunion might be inevitable – as proven by the fact that they reunited to play “Rockin’ In The Free World” with Pearl Jam a few nights later in Portland.

Stereogum tracks the final days of the now-defunct Walkmen.

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Golden Arrow

Don’t underestimate the power of the Darkside

Photo By Jed DeMossJed DeMossYou’ll probably hear a lot about how cool Psychic – the debut album from Darkside, project of electronic artist Nicolas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington – before long, if you haven’t already. Probably about how it moves from baroque classicism to ambient electronica to modern blues to fractured R&B with cinematic pans and wipes, improbably cohesive and unquestionably immersive.

But the coolest thing, by my measure, is how the CD is completely flat black on both sides, even the playing side. You know, the one that’s typically all shiny so as to reflect the laser and which, if you get a fingerprint or heavens forfend a scratch on it, will adversely affect playback. Completely black. No idea how that works. Science, people! Also, yes compact discs are still a thing. And also, yes, I know records are also completely black on both sides. Smart guy.

Darkside have just announced a North American tour for the very start of next year that brings them to Lee’s Palace on January 15; tickets are $25.00 in advance. If you’re not sure of what the live Darkside experience will be like, check out this live video at Resident Advisor and this writeup of a recent London show at DIY. Maybe also grok interviews at Dummy, NPR, New York Times, and Black Book.

MP3: Darkside – “Paper Trails”
MP3: Darkside – “Golden Arrow”

With this week’s release of of Montreal’s latest album Lousy With Sylvianbriar, Rolling Stone and Clash have interviews with Kevin Barnes, Under The Radar gets a track-by-track walkthrough of the record and Aquarium Drunkard has a couple covers recorded in session available to download. Oh, and there’s a new video from the record.

Video: Of Montreal – “Fugitive Air”

With the release this week of their reunion album Uncanney Valley, The Dismemberment Plan is featured in pieces at Consequence Of Sound, Rolling Stone, NPR, Washington City Paper, The Line Of Best Fit, and Spin. They also released a new video from the record but it’s restricted to the US for the time being. If you live there, hit up MTVU. If not, suck it.

Video: The Dismemberment Plan – “Waiting”

MTV Hive interviews The Head & The Heart, whose new record Let’s Be Still dropped this week. They’re here at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Janelle Monáe has released a new Miguel-featuring video for the Miguel-featuring song from The Electric Lady. She plays and almost-certainly non-Miguel-featuring show at The Kool Haus on October 19.

Video: Janelle Monáe – “PrimeTime”

Spin grabbed Widowspeak for a video session during Austin City Limits; they release their new EP The Swamps on October 29 and will be in town at The Silver Dollar on November 2.

Washington DC outfit Deleted Scenes – written about a couple years back – are coming back to town for a show at Sneaky Dee’s on November 7 in advance of a new album coming out in 2014. Exclaim has some specifics and there’s a new song available to stream.

Stream: Deleted Scenes – “Stutter”

Beatroute, Drowned In Sound, Stereogum, and DIY talk to Sleigh Bells. They play The Phoenix on November 13.

The 405 and Yahoo! Australia chat with Lissie; she’s at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21.

The Quietus has premiered the next preview of Shearwater’s forthcoming covers compilation Fellow Travellers November 25, a song originally by labelmated and former tourmates The Baptist Generals.

MP3: Shearwater – “Fucked Up Life”

The Alternate Side welcomes Okkervil River for an interview and session, while NPR puts them behind their Tiny Desk and gets them to play. The Phoenix New Times and The Austin American-Statesman also have interviews.

The 405 talks to Doug Martsch of Built To Spill.

The Fly and Spin talk to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

Pitchfork solicits a list of albums that milestoned her life from Neko Case, while The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Refinery 29 are happy with regular old interviews.

Paste has a history of the Elephant 6 collective.

Friday, September 20th, 2013

H2O

Hall & Oates at Casino Rama in Orillia

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo, yeah, a few people have asked if I really drove all the way up to Casino Rama (a 90-minute drive north of Toronto that never takes less than two-plus hours, for those not local) to see Hall & Oates on Wednesday night. To which I answer, “you’re damn right I did”. Not that it requires any justification, but having grown up in the ’80s and spent most of that decade glued to MuchMusic/MTV, I have a massive soft spot for the pop music of the era, and while a lot of it has not aged well, to say the least, the works of Darryl Hall and John Oates remains pretty effin’ great; had they ever toured any closer to Toronto I’d have surely seen them by now but since they basically stick to the lucrative casino circuit, it would take a perfect convergence of opportunity and company to make it happen. Which it did.

And if you equated working the casino circuit with phoning it in – which to be honest I sort of did – I’m happy to say that it was not the case. With an enthusiastic audience of around 5000 filling the theatre, Hall & Oates and their six-piece backing band opened up with “Maneater”; give the people what they want, right? But within a few songs were busting out the deep cuts, including their first-ever live performance, if they were to be believed, of “Alone Too Long” from their eponymous 1975 record. It was interesting that they’d include so many deep cuts, but perhaps that was the best way to remind folks of their old-school Philly soul credentials in addition to being pop stars.

But let’s be honest, we were there to hear the hits and they weren’t not going to play them. They emerged from the depths of their set book with the slow jams – “She’s Gone”, “One On One”, and “Sara Smile” thank you very much – before closing things out with the big guns; a jazzy “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” with extended sax solo and two chart-topping encores comprised of “Rich Girl”, “You Make My Dreams Come True”, “Kiss On My List”, and “Private Eyes” as the finale. Yeah of course that was how it was going to go, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Performance-wise, both Hall and Oates sounded great, particularly when backed by the multi-part harmonies of their band, and were still looking pretty trim for their years and with Oates wisely sporting facial hair again. The band was loud and tight and although I’d have traded some of the extended jamming for, oh, “Method Of Modern Love”, they did a good job of playing according to score while Hall went off on vocal and keyboard ad libs – too bad they couldn’t cover up Hall’s Live From Daryl’s House-advertising guitar strap and t-shirt. Ah well. A fun show despite the amount of travel time – next time I’ll take one of those Chinatown buses – but not one I’m likely to make a habit of. Unless that Huey Lewis & The News Sports 30th anniversary tour makes a date…

Photos: Hall & Oates @ Casino Rama – September 18, 2013
Video: Hall & Oates – “Promise Ain’t Enough”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Don’t Hold Back Your Love”
Video: Hall & Oates – “So Close”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Love Train”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Downtown Life”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Missed Opportunity”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Everything Your Heart Desires”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Possession Obsession”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Method Of Modern Love”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Out Of Touch”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Adult Education”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Say It Isn’t So”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Family Man”
Video: Hall & Oates – “One On One”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Maneater”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Your Imagination”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Did It In A Minute”
Video: Hall & Oates – “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Private Eyes”
Video: Hall & Oates – “You Make My Dreams Come True”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Kiss Is On My List”
Video: Hall & Oates – “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”
Video: Hall & Oates – “How Does It Feel To Be Back?”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Portable Radio”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Wait For Me”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Intravino”
Video: Hall & Oates – “She’s Gone”

Spin, The Daily Beast, and The Guardian talk to Mazzy Star about their new album Seasons Of Your Day, out on Tuesday. They play The Danforth Music Hall on November 16.

Exclaim have posted this month’s cover story on the one, the only, Janelle Monáe. She does her thing at The Kool Haus on October 19.

Pitchfork talks to Explosions In The Sky and director David Gordon Green about working on the soundtrack to Prince Avalanche. They play The Air Canada Centre on October 4 in support of Nine Inch Nails.

Drowned In Sound chats with Midlake v2.0 about their forthcoming album Antiphon, which is out November 5 and from which they’ve just premiered a new song at NPR.

Stream: Midlake – “Provider”

Sebadoh talks about their new album Defend Yourself to DIY, LA Magazine, and Drowned In Sound. They’re at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Matador has details on the forthcoming deluxe edition of Yo La Tengo’s latest album Fade, which will be coming out November 18 and contain a second disc of b-sides and rarities and the like. PandoDaily has a chat with Ira Kaplan about integrity and whatnot.

Having released their first new album in many years with last year’s The Tarnished Gold, Californian psych-country-pop mavens Beachwood Sparks are getting in the wayback machine to give their recorded-in-1996-but-never-released first album Desert Skies on November 20; you can download the first time capsule of a song below.

MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Make It Together”

Jim James gives Billboard an update on the in-progress new record from My Morning Jacket.

Pitchfork celebrates the longevity – if not prolificness – of The Wrens.

Though she should probably be concentrating on her new album, Solange has gone ahead and released a new video from her True EP; that’s the sound of no one really complaining.

Video: Solange – “Lovers In The Parking Lot”

Esquire has premiered the latest video from Ra Ra Riot’s Beta Love.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “I Shut Off”

NPR has posted up a World Cafe session with She & Him.

The Georgia Straight profiles The National.

NPR welcomes Neko Case for a World Cafe session.

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Sleeping Where I Fall

Chelsea Light Moving and Speedy Ortiz at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor two bands touring behind their debut albums, you don’t get much further apart in terms of backstory than Speedy Ortiz and Chelsea Light Moving. The former being a loud and brash quartet from Northampton, Massachusetts whose Major Arcana demonstrates an overt and emphatic appreciation for the sounds of American college rock in the 1990s, and the latter being the new outfit of Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, a man who in large part architected the styles which Speedy Ortiz are disciples of and whose self-titled debut affirms that whatever name he’s trading under, he’s not done building on them. Together at The Horseshoe on Sunday night – Speedy Ortiz’s first visit to Toronto and Chelsea Light Moving’s second, following a visit to Lee’s Palace in March – they were something of a dream double-bill for those who like their guitars to sound like jagged, angry weapons doing their damage in serrated melodies.

And they don’t especially need much time to do it. While it was a touch disappointing that Speedy Ortiz wrapped up their set after barely 20 minutes – 25 tops – but there was no complaint about how they utilized the time they did have. I didn’t think it possible, but their stage show made the Archers Of Pavement-saluting stylings of Major Arcana sound positively polite by comparison. Guitarist Matt Robidoux must have felt undermixed on the album because live he was turned up extra-loud, though not to the point of overpowering frontwoman Sadie Dupuis because she was just as loud and with Darl Ferm on bass their equal in the mix, the complexity and contrasts of their respective parts became impressively clear. Together, they replicated the sound of three different songs falling off a cliff into one another and somehow, implausibly, gelling into something lurchingly, chaotically greater yet still given a friendly, accessible face by Dupuis’ urgently laid-back vocals and off-kilter melodies. It’s not easy to satisfy completely while leaving them wanting more, but Speedy Ortiz did it – and efficiently, no less.

After spending over 30 years pushing musical boundaries and indulging his creative impulses in Sonic Youth, it’s unlikely anyone was really expecting Thurston Moore sound like anyone besides Thurston Moore with his new band. So while over the course of their hour-long set, Moore edged into the shadows at stage left as if to more equally share the stage with his bandmates, there really wasn’t hiding someone of his stature, both literally and figuratively. Chelsea Light Moving sound immediately familiar from the sinewy guitar lines to Moore’s languid vocals, but closer inspection reveals key differences with Sonic Youth. Chelsea are more direct – Moore’s melodic instincts are give full play – and also heavier, with Keith Wood not attempting to replicate any Lee Ranaldo-esque guitar interplay but instead often doubling Moore’s rumbling low-string riffs and washes of feedback; you might say Chelsea come across like Sonic Youth gone garage rock – less hypnotic or avant-garde, perhaps, but more visceral and primal.

Over the course of their hour-fifteen set – which Show opened and closed with a collage of pick scrapes and the string noises of Jazzmasters being played where they weren’t meant to be and included a song based on 16th-century poet John Donne’s “The Ecstasy” as well as a dedication of “Lips” to the “Toronto chapter of the Pussy Riot movement”, Chelsea Light Moving turned in a pummelling set that simultaneously scratched the itch that Sonic Youth fans had for the on-hiatus legends and rubbed salt in the wound that given the personal issues that underpin said hiatus, their return is no sure thing.

The Huffington Post and Artvoice have interviews with Thurston Moore and Lancaster Online with John Moloney of Chelsea Light Moving. Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis gives MTV Hive a guide to being a vegan on the road, Village Voice does some urban exploration with the band, and Epitonic has got a Saki Session available to download.

Photos: Chelsea Light Moving, Speedy Ortiz @ The Horseshoe – September 15, 2013
MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Burroughs”
MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Frank O’Hara Hit”
MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Empire Of Time”
MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Groovy & Linda”
Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Lip”
Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Groovy & Linda”
Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Burroughs”
Video: Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”

As for the other half of the Sonic Youth schism, Rolling Stone, San Diego City Beat, Stereogum, and Slate talk to Kim Gordon about her new musical project Body/Head and their new record Coming Apart, which was released last week.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Blouse’s set at the Captured Tracks fifth anniversary show last month. Their new album Imperium is out today.

Tone Deaf has and interview with Sebadoh on the occasion of the release of their new album Defend Yourself. It’s out today, they’ve got a new video from it, and they’ll be at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Video: Sebadoh – “I Will”

Stereogum talks to Mazzy Star about their new album Seasons Of Your Day, due out next week on September 24 but available to stream now at NPR. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on November 16.

Stream: Mazzy Star / Seasons Of Your Day

Filter, eMusic, and The Austin Chronicle talk to Will Sheff of Okkervil River. They play The Phoenix on September 27.

Rolling Stone and eMusic talk to Derek Miller and Alison Krauss of Sleigh Bells about their new record Bitter Rivals, which comes out October 8 and from which they’ve made a new song available to stream. They play The Phoenix on November 13.

Stream: Sleigh Bells – “You Don’t Get Me Twice”

of Montreal are streaming another new song from their forthcoming album lousy with sylvianbriar, out October 8.

Stream: of Montreal – “Belle Glade Missionaries”

Father John Misty has released a new video from last year’s Fear Fun; he’s in town solo-like at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 15.

Video: Father John Misty – “I’m Writing A Novel”

NPR has a World Cafe session with The Head & The Heart, whose new album Let’s Be Still comes out October 15. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

The Dismemberment Plan are streaming another new song from their reunion record Uncanney Valley, coming October 15.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan – “Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer”

Janelle Monáe and The Electric Lady are the subject of features at Paste, Rolling Stone, The AV Club, Billboard, and Interview. Oh, and because it’s an awesome thing, stream her cover of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” below. She plays The Kool Haus on October 19.

Stream: Janelle Monáe – “I Want You Back”

Grizzly Bear are seeking to help out those with Grizzly Bear fans on their Christmas list with the release of expanded and b-sides versions of last year’s Shields on November 12. Warp has details on the editions, the former of which includes the original edition of the album and the latter of which is just the extras, comprised of b-sides, remixes, and demos – one of which you can stream below.

Stream: Grizzly Bear – “Will Calls” (Marfa demo)

Though they’re not saying anything about a new record, Phantogram have made a new song available to stream.

Stream: Phantogram – “Black Out Days”

Stereogum offers an oral history of The Wrens’ The Meadowlands on the occasion of its tenth anniversary.

Q interviews Mac McCaughan of Superchunk, who’ve premiered a new video from I Hate Music along with interview at Blouin Artinfo.

Video: Superchunk – “Staying Home”

Deerhunter have released a new video from Monomania.

Video: Deerhunter – “Back To The Middle”

Low are streaming their Rihanna cover, which you can also buy with proceeds going to charity. Details at Pitchfork.

Stream: Low – “Stay”

Waxahatchee has released a new video from this year’s Cerulean Salt.

Video: Waxahatchee – “Misery Over Dispute”

NPR has a KEXP session with Sharon Van Etten.

The Guardian chats with Joey Burns of Calexico.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Caitlin Rose, recorded at End Of The Road fest in England.

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Horses

Patti Smith and Her Band at Massey Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIn normal circumstances, seeing an artist live twice in a six-month span will yield pretty similar shows. Sure, set lists can change to some degree, but to be able to completely change the context and experience in such short order is a rare thing – but then Patti Smith is a rare artist. Her show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in March – her first proper Toronto show in 13 years – was presented as “An evening of words and music, in memory of Robert Mapplethorpe” and while the song selection covered all the bases one could hope for, with Smith backed by her children on guitar and piano and songs interspersed with readings and anecdotes, it felt intimate and informal though no less powerful for it. Friday night’s show at Massey Hall, by comparison, was billed as “Patti Smith and Her Band” and while for other artists, the crediting of a full band might seem an unnecessary and presumptive detail, for Smith it made a world of difference; it meant that she’d be performing with drummer Jay Dee Daugherty and guitarist Lenny Kaye, and it meant that she was going to rock.

If you assumed the assemblage of the bandmates who’d been with her since her landmark debut album Horses almost 40 years ago – bassist Tony Shanahan, who’d also been along in March, and guitarist Jack Petruzzelli rounded out the ensemble – meant that there’d be more vintage material on offer, then you’d have been correct. Though the kick drum said “Banga” and the show could have been considered the Toronto stop of the tour for Smith’s last album, the set list tilted very heavily towards Smith’s ’70s output. They opened the show with “Dancing Barefoot” and “Redondo Beach”, and and though their collective influence on punk and garage rock can’t be overstated, Smith’s band performed with plenty of polish and refinement; even restraint. But it was pretty punk when towards the end of a sprawling “Birdland” – and not for the last time – Smith turned and spit onstage; not sure how many times that’s happened at Massey Hall.

But it should not have been taken as any mark of disrespect for the hallowed venue. Indeed, Smith was most excited to be playing the room again for the first time in 37 years, mentioning how excited she was in 1976 to be playing on the same stage that Maria Callas had once sang on. Hers was one of many ghosts evoked throughout the show, alongside Jim Morrison (“Break It Up”), Amy Winehouse (“This Is The Girl”), John Lennon (an unplanned cover of “Beautiful Boy”), and Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith (“Because The Night”). Still, unlike the Queen Elizabeth show, the theme of the show would be rebellion rather than remembrances, the tone more electrifying than elegiac.

Though the front half of the show had many highlights – an impromptu ode to Nicole Kidman as a nod to the TIFF festivities going on around the city prefaced “My Blakean Year” – it was after Smith left the band in Kaye’s hands for a medley saluting Toronto’s garage rock roots to dance in the audience that things really kicked into high gear. A smouldering “Ain’t It Strange” lit the match, a Television/CBGBs-saluting “We Three” fanned the flames, and “Because The Night”, “Pissing In A River”, and raging “Horses”/”Gloria” absolutely blew the place up, punctuated by Smith’s declaration, “This is not a movie – this is real life!”. The encore kept the intensity up, with Smith passing guitar duties on “Banga” to an audience member (he was basically tasked with playing a D chord ad infinitum) but taking possession of a Strat at the tail end of a searing, show-closing “Rock’n’Roll Nigger” for the express purpose of feeding back and then tearing off every one of the strings. A majestic finish to the show and to a year where Smith more than made up for years of 416 neglect.

NOW, Radio Free Canuckistan, and Digital Journal also have reviews of the show.

Photos: Patti Smith @ Massey Hall – September 6, 2013
MP3: Patti Smith – “Wing”
Video: Patti Smith – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Video: Patti Smith – “People Have The Power”
Video: Patti Smith – “Summer Cannibals”
Video: Patti Smith – “Rock’N’Roll Nigger”

With The Electric Lady finally out tomorrow, Pitchfork, Stereogum, and Spin all have feature pieces on the inimitable Janelle Monáe. Advance streams of the album have been pretty tightly geoblocked, but Canadians can hear it via Exclaim; Americans can try VH1. She plays The Kool Haus on October 19.

Stream: Janelle Monáe / The Electric Lady

Portland’s Blouse are streaming their new record Imperium at Hype Machine until it officially comes out on September 17. Noisey also has an interview with the band.

Stream: Blouse / Imperium

NPR has got the new Sebadoh record Defend Yourself on stream before it comes out September 17. They’ll play it at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Stream: Sebadoh / Defend Yourself

The New York Times has a feature on Okkervil River while Interview sends frontman Will Sheff to talk to their album cover artist William Schaff and co.create finds out about the thinking behind the marketing campaign for the album. Okkervil River plays The Phoenix on September 28.

Clash talks to Explosions In The Sky. They play The Air Canada Centre on October 4 in support of Nine Inch Nails.

Still no album info, but Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from TV On The Radio.

Video: TV On The Radio – “Mercy”

Patrick Stickles details to The Missoulian his plans for the next Titus Andronicus album, which of course will be a rock opera.

Salon, The Chicago Tribune, Metro, and Noisey chat with Mac McCaughan of Superchunk.

Elle talks to Caitlin Rose about her wonderful cover of The National’s “Pink Rabbits”; State just talks to her about whatever.

Video: Caitlin Rose – “Pink Rabbits”

The National Post, NOW, and The AV Club have interviews with Neko Case.

The Fly interviews Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV.

The New York Times talks to Black Francis about the post-Kim Deal Pixies v2.0.

Yo La Tengo stops in at Daytrotter for a session.