Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Pet Shop Boys release new album, tour west (life is peaceful there)
John WrightThe last time that Pet Shop Boys were in town, it was for V Fest 2009 and while I was excited for their performance, it was more because I wanted to see their audience intersect with the Nine Inch Nails fans who were there to see Trent and company, who were playing immediately afterwards, than out of any real sort of fandom. Their show, however, blew me away with its technicolour visuals, elaborate choreography, and top-notch pop songcraft that they were easily the highlight of the weekend and, having since gotten to know their discography much better, I’ve been patiently waiting for them to return.
It didn’t happen for last year’s electro-orchestric Elysium, but apparently the duo decided to head back into the studio rather than stay on the road and record their just-announced new dance-centric album Electric, due out July 15, behind which they WILL be touring North America. Slicing Up Eyeballs has their full, worldwide, 2013 itinerary but Toronto can circle September 25 on their calendars as the date messrs Tennant and Lowe will be at The Sony Centre For The Performing ARts. Tickets will run $49.50, $69.50, or $99.50 and go on sale this Friday, May 3, at 10AM.
Stereogum has an interview with the band about the new record, and they’ve released a video for the album’s opening track (though it’s not an official single).
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Axis”
Lovelife – whom you may remember in a previous incarnation as Brit-rock also-rans Brother/Viva Brother though they’d prefer you didn’t – will bring their new synth-powered sound to The Mod Club on May 13, tickets $16. They’re interviewed by Noisey and will release the Stateless EP on June 11.
The Uncluded may not have much name recognition but their component parts of Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson rather do. They’ve got a show at The Black Box Theatre in The Great Hall on June 2, tickets $20, as part of a tour in support of their debut Hokey Fright which comes out May 7 but is streaming now at The Current.
Alaska’s Portugal. The Man are readying a new album in Evil Friends for June 4 and will be at The Phoenix shortly thereafter – June 11 – to promote it; tickets for the show are $18.50 in advance. Jambands.com has an interview and The Fader has premiered a video from the new record.
Montreal’s Braids talk to Exclaim about their new, more electronic direction which will be previewed on the “In Kinds/Amends” 12″ when it comes out June 11 as prep for the release of their second full-length album in the Fall. They’re streaming one of the new tracks and will be playing NXNE on June 13.
Stream: Braids – “Amends”
Video: Beach Day – “Beach Day”
San Diego’s Crocodiles will be supporting Japandroids at Adelaide Hall on June 17, just in case you needed a little more rock in the linuep; presumably they’ll be previewing material from the follow-up to last year’s Endless Flowers. Tickets for that are $25.
It might be the Toronto Jazz Festival, but things will get Motown-awesome on June 21 when Smokey Robinson and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas play Nathan Phillips Square – for free. You won’t find a better legend-to-dollar value than that.
Australian up-and-comers Atlas Genius have put their geographic know-how to work and booked a North American tour behind their debut When It Was Now; they’ll be at The Opera House on June 23. The Daily Cougar and Tonedeaf have interview with the band.
Though quiet for the last few years, Atlanta’s Snowden are back with a new album – their first in seven years – in No One In Control coming out May 14 and an accompanying tour which brings them to The Drake Underground on June 25.
Indiana’s not especially southern, but Houndmouth have got some pretty convincing twang to them; with their debut From The Hills Below The City coming June 4, they’ll be swinging through town a couple times shortly thereafter – on June 20 supporting Alabama Shakes at Echo Beach, and just a week later for a headlining show at The Garrison on June 28. Their session for The AV Club Undercover is also now up, featuring their take on Billy Bragg, Wilco, and Woody Guthrie.
California Wives – who are not, in fact, wives from California but indie rocker types from Chicago – will bring their carnival of lies and deception to The Drake on June 30, tickets $12. Their debut Art History came out last year.
Cayucas, on the other hand, do hail from California – Santa Monica to be precise – but their hearts lie in New York, specifically Brooklyn or wherever Vampire Weekend are hanging out. Their debut Bigfoot just came out – you can stream it at Stereogum – and their tour itinerary brings them to The Drake on July 1.
With their debut Tradition Ritual Habit finally out, Vancouver’s Belle Game will come east for some shows including a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 12, part of the Soundclash festival thing that Born Ruffians are also playing. Green Couch Sessions have also posted a video session with the band and The Georgia Straight an interview.
Chicago soul saviours JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound are back for a gig at the Horseshoe on July 12 in support of their new album Howl, out May 21. Tickets are $12.50 in advance, and MTV Hive has a quick band chat as well as a stream of a new song.
Though just here in March, New Zealand/American psych-rock outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be at Lee’s Palace on October 16 as part of a tour still in support of II. So if you’re into making plans half a year off, tickets are $15 in advance.