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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Pernice’

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Yours, Mine and Ours

Joe Pernice & Norman Blake at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI don’t think Toronto necessarily has an international reputation as a destination for expatriate pop geniuses, but apparently Canadian women hold a certain appeal for them. Joe Pernice of Pernice Brothers has been up here for the better part of eight years while Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub moved to Kitchener a couple years ago – both on account of their Canadian wives – and on Friday night, they were on stage together at The Dakota Tavern for a low-key show together. It had been advertised as a Joe Pernice show with the promise of a “special guest”, and while a show from Joe alone would be worth pencilling into the calendar, once the faintly-veiled clues as to who said guest would be got out, it turned into a must-see.

Anyone expecting a high-falutin’ musical summit between two of the finest pop songwriters around would have done well to dial down their expectations, though. The show was much more of a back porch strumalong between two old friends who just happened to have one hell of a songbook to draw from and though it had its share of sloppy moments, that arguably made it even more special and memorable than if it had been meticulously rehearsed. Pernice started out with a short solo set that drew from his many projects – Pernice Brothers, Joe solo, Scud Mountain Boys – and included a new song entitled “Surf’s Up” that he revealed was from a new, just-completed Scuds record. Scoop!

Blake was then invited onstage and the two spent the rest of the show playing each other’s songs – Pernice on a standard acoustic, Blake on a Nashville-strung parlour-body – and reminding the gathered that they were two of the funniest stage banterers in the business with some great repartee. There was plenty of time for banter as Blake’s guitar required plenty of tuning and retuning – their first run through of “Baby Lee” went further out of tune with each strum and forced a do-over – but when they were able to get onto a song, it was grand if clearly not overly rehearsed. Even with a music stand overflowing with notes onto the floor between them, they were happy to do things off the cuff – Blake had to teach Pernice the chords to “You Was Me” from his Jonny side-project with Euros Childs on the fly (it turned out fine) and even though their take on Fanclub’s “I Don’t Want Control Of You” was a bit of a comedy of errors, they still made it tremendously entertaining.

The stuff that was more properly arranged, however, was nothing sort of sublime. Hearing them trade verses on “Everything Flows” was easily the highlight of the night and their finale of “Alcoholiday” not far behind. You obviously didn’t have the wall of harmonies that Teenage Fanclub proper can offer, but Pernice’s falsetto was a pretty good stand-in. It wasn’t just about the Fanclub material, mind, as their work on “Loving Kind” off the last Pernice Brothers album Goodbye Killer was stirring and their cover of The Zombies’ “The Butcher’s Tale” darkly affecting. Though they obviously could have kept going all night, a hard curfew forced them to cap things at 90 minutes though they were permitted an encore of Fanclub’s “Start Again” that was a divine finale.

It’s not clear if this tweet is a joke or a promise, but an actual collaboration between the two – or even some more of these casual-vibe shows – would be a great treat and a far better way to enjoy having these talents as locals than going through their trash.

The Calgary Herald has an interview with Joe Pernice about his plans to release two albums this year – the aforementioned new Scuds record and the long-promised new Pernice Brothers album.

Photos: Joe Pernice & Norman Blake @ The Dakota Tavern – June 22, 2012
MP3: Pernice Brothers – “Somerville”
MP3: Scud Mountain Boys – “Grudge Fuck”
MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “Baby Lee”
MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “It’s All In My Mind”
MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “Everything Flows”
MP3: Jonny – “Candyfloss”
MP3: Jonny – “Gloria”

Dirty Projectors are giving away a couple tracks from their forthcoming Swing Lo Magellan, out July 10. They play The Music Hall on July 6.

MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Dance For You”
MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”
Video: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”

The Alternate Side has a session and Clash, Houston Press, and Indy Week have interviews with Lower Dens. They play Lee’s Palace on July 17.

Beirut has released a video for the title track of last year’s The Rip Tide. They are at The Sound Academy on July 19.

Video: Beirut – “The Rip Tide”

The Antlers are streaming a track from their forthcoming EP Undersea, due out July 24.

Stream: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

The Shins have rolled out a new video from Port Of Morrow; they’re in town August 4 opening up for The Black Keys at The Molson Amphitheatre.

Video: The Shins – “No Way Down”

Pitchfork talks to Cat Power about her new record Sun, due for release on September 4.

Aimee Mann has given Rolling Stone the title track of her new record Charmer to stream. It’s out September 18.

Stream: Aimee Mann – “Charmer”

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has taken their reunion from the stage into the studio and are set to release their first new album since 2004’s Damage in Meat & Bone, out September 18. Then they’ll take in back to the stage with a series of live dates that includes an October 18 appearance at The Horseshoe in Toronto. Stream one of the new songs below.

Stream: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Black Mold”

San Fransciso goth-gazers The Soft Moon will be at The Drake Underground on September 22, tickets $11.50 in advance.

MP3: The Soft Moon – “Tiny Spiders”
MP3: The Soft Moon – “Breathe The Fire”

Michael Gira’s Swans will make an appearance at Lee’s Palace on October 25 in support of their new double-record We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head, tickets for that $26.50 in advance.

MP3: Swans – “Sex God Sex”

Matt & Kim are preparing for the Fall release of their new record Let’s Go with a video for the title track.

Video: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”

Boulder Weekly has a tete-a-tete with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco while The Daily Herald and Missoulian chat with Nels Cline.

Interview talks to Munaf Rayani of Explosions In The Sky.

Spinner documents a typical day in the life of The Flaming Lips, assuming that playing a free show in downtown Toronto as part of NXNE counts as typical for these guys. Maybe it does. You don’t know.

Okay, gotta go. San Francisco beckons.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

This Summer

Summer is here; so says Superchunk

Photo By Jason ArthursJason ArthursWe’re still over a week out from the official Summer solstice, but Superchunk don’t need no druidic approval to declare the season of sun and fun officially here. After following up 2010’s Majesty Shredding with a series of reissues, they’ve just released a new 7″ single for the song “This Summer” and if that wasn’t enough seasonal thematicness for one release, the b-side is a cover of Bananarama’s 1983 Summer anthem.

The single is limited to an edition of 1300 pieces worldwide, pressed on white vinyl, and comes with a download code for an acoustic version of the a-side. And as a little bonus, they’ve released a video of the band recording the handclaps that appear on the tune.

“This Summer” is available to stream now. Update: Stereogum has the Bananarama cover up to stream now, as well.

Stream: Superchunk – “This Summer”

Some noteworthy concert announcements came down the pipe yesterday. Chicago’s heavy post-rock trio Russian Circles have made a date at Lee’s Palace on August 21 in support of last year’s Empros. Tickets are $14.50 in advance.

MP3: Russian Circles – “Mladek”

Chicago’s Riotfest has made a name for itself over the past few years as a festival catering to those with louder/punkier tastes, and they’ll be expanding beyond the Windy City this year, touching down at Toronto’s Garrison Commons at Fort York on September 9 with a lineup featuring The Descendents, NOFX, Fucked Up, and more. Tickets are $39.50 and go on sale Friday.

MP3: Fucked Up – “I Hate Summer”
Video: The Descendents – “I’m The One”
Video: NOFX – “Cokie The Clown”

Dinosaur Jr have announced a September 18 release for their next album I Bet On Sky; details and album art at Pitchfork. They’ll celebrate its release with a three-night stand at Lee’s Palace from September 24 to 26.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “Almost Ready”

Ty Segall never seems to wear out his welcome in these parts, but just to make sure you stay interested he’s teaming up with Thee Oh Sees for a Fall tour that hits The Hoxton on September 26, tickets $18.50. Segall’s follow-up to last year’s Goodbye Bread should be out by then; Thee Oh Sees’ new one Putrifiers II definitely will – it has a release date of September 11 already set.

MP3: Ty Segall – “You Make The Sun Fry”
Video: Thee Oh Sees – “I Need Seed”

Dr. Dog will be at The Opera House on October 13 in support of their latest, Be The Void. Tickets are $20 in advance.

Video: Dr. Dog – “That Old Black Hole”

Portland’s Menomena have made a date at The Horseshoe on October 17, which kind of implies they’ll have a new record out by then. Tickets to that are $15 in advance. Update: Said new record will be called Moms and be out September 18.

MP3: Menomena – “Taos”

Apparently not a man to hold a grudge, Dan Deacon has made plans to return to Toronto for a show at Lee’s Palace on November 9 – tickets $13.50 – but please, leave his skull alone. His new record America is out August 27.

MP3: Dan Deacon – “Lots”

If you were planning on seeing A Place To Bury Strangers at The El Mocambo tomorrow night for NXNE but were worried about not knowing any of the new songs from Worship, what with it not being out for another couple weeks (June 26), fear not – The Quietus has an advance stream of the album for you. But let’s be honest, it’s all going to sound like “KKKKKKCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” anyways.

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – “You Are The One”
Stream: A Place To Bury Strangers / Worship

Joe Pernice has offered a clue as to who will be opening up for him at The Dakota Tavern on June 22, and if you still don’t get it – and understand why you should be in line well before doors open at 6PM (there are no advance tickets) – then clearly you are on the wrong website. Good day to you.

Fang Island have made another track from their forthcoming Major available to download; the album is out July 12.

MP3: Fang Island – “Sisterly”

Cat Power talks to The Stool Pigeon about her new album The Sun, due out on September 11.

The lead single from Calexico’s new record Algiers – due out September 11 – is now available to download.

MP3: Calexico – “Para”

Pitchfork and The Fly have features on Grizzly Bear, currently trying to come up with a title for their new album before it’s released on September 18. They’re at Massey Hall on September 26.

In a Facebook post, Anna-Lynne Williams updates fans and friends about her various musical projects and notes that the Trespassers William forthcoming career-wrapping compilation has a name – Cast – and should be out in September.

The Music has two separate interviews with Mark Kozelek while Filter only has one. His October 3 date at The Great Hall still hasn’t been canceled.

Daytrotter has a session with Nada Surf, who’ve just released a new video from their latest The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy.

Video: Nada Surf – “Waiting For Something”

With the release yesterday of Class Clown Spots A UFO, Consequence Of Sound decides now is the perfect time to take an album-by-album look at the discography of Guided By Voices, though they’ll have to expand it in November when Bears For Lunch, the band’s third album of the year, is released.

School Of Seven Bells have selected a winner in their competition to make a video for their song “The Night” off of Ghostory.

Video: School Of Seven Bells – “The Night”

Bowerbirds have new video out from The Clearing.

Video: Bowerbirds – “Overcome By Light”

Rolling Stone has an excerpt from Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and The Rise of Indie Rock – the just-released book about Yo La Tengo and the rise of indie rock – and The Washington Post has an interview with author Jesse Jarnow about the volume.

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Myth

Review of Beach House’s Bloom

Photo By Liz FlyntzLiz FlyntzIf we can regard Beach House literally as their namesake, which is to say as a holiday getaway, a reliably stolid place to escape from the real world, then the amount of adoration they’ve gotten for largely sticking to their skeletal formula through four albums now is understandable. Their fans don’t want them to reinvent themselves with each outing; they want that comforting blanket of Victoria Legrand’s narcoleptic vocals and whirring keyboard interwoven with Alex Scally’s languid slide guitar, and across their first two records – their 2006 self-titled debut and 2007’s Devotion – that’s almost exactly what they got, seasoned with some rudimentary percussion both electronic and organic.

The closest thing they’re ever likely to come to a revolution was with 2010’s Teen Dream, which managed to take a relatively huge leap forward with the production and songwriting, making interesting rhythms and pop hooks a front burner concern without compromising their core sound. A risk, perhaps, but one that paid off immensely in the form of their strongest and most critically and commercially successful work. So with that in mind, it’s not surprising that Bloom – out next Tuesday – opts to stay the course laid out by its predecessor. Surprises simply aren’t Beach House’s style.

Gorgeousness is, however. It took the aforementioned embrace of bigger sounds on Teen Dream to really make me appreciate Beach House – prior to that, I had to be in a very particular mood to listen to them for any period of time – and now they’re a band for all occasions. Having touring drummer Daniel Franz play on the whole of the record, a third member of the band even if he’s not formerly acknowledged as such, helps both ground and propel Bloom while Legrand and Scally do their thing in crafting the haunting textures and melodies that are the foundation of Beach House. And while we’re being literal about things, Bloom is an exceptionally appropriate name for this collection as there’s moments that simply burst outwards. To even suggest that the band be capable of this sort of dynamicism circa their debut would have seemed absurd, and yet just six years later, here we are – and without compromising their identity, no less.

It’s too early to say if Bloom is better than Teen Dream, but by the quantitative measure of how many times I’ve felt compelled to listen to it, it’s already well ahead. At worst, it’s as good as its predecessor and at best, its even better. In either case, it’s hard to imagine liking one and not the other and regardless of where you rank it relative to Beach House’s earlier output, despite really just being more of the same – or perhaps because of it – it’s excellent.

NPR has an advance stream of the new record and DIY, The Line Of Best Fit, The Orlando Sentinel, and Pitchfork have interviews with the band.

MP3: Beach House – “Myth”
Stream: Beach House / Bloom

Also streaming at NPR but two weeks ahead of release are The Only Place, the second album from Best Coast, and Passage, the debut from Exitmusic. Best Coast are at The Phoenix on July 21 and Exitmusic have a NXNE showcase at Wrongbar on June 14.

Stream: Best Coast / The Only Place
Stream: Exitmusic / Passage

S. Carey’s new EP Hoyas came out this week – stream it at Stereogum and read interviews with Sean Carey about the record at The Leader Telegram and Volume One.

MP3: S. Carey – “Two Angles”
Stream: S. Carey / Hoyas

In concert announcements, Joe Pernice will stretch his legs and take a mosey to The Dakota Tavern on June 22, maybe play some songs.

MP3: Pernice Brothers – “Somerville”

Having sold out Lee’s Palace their last time through, Youth Lagoon will be at The Opera House on July 12 with Father John Misty, who still has to get through Monday night’s show at the Horseshoe before he can make a return engagement. Tickets are $15.50 in advance.

MP3: Youth Lagoon – “July”
MP3: Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”

If part of Liars’ to-do list in preparation for the June 5 release of WIXIW was slate a North American tour, they can cross it off – they’ll be at Lee’s Palace on July 21, tickets $15. They can also check off releasing the first video from the new album.

MP3: Liars – “Scissor”
Video: Liars – “No. 1 Against The Rush”

Twin Shadow is also hitting the road in support of a new record – with Confess due out July 9, George Lewis Jr will be at Lee’s Palace on July 30 and 31, tickets $20.

MP3: Twin Shadow – “Five Seconds”
MP3: Twin Shadow – “Slow”

Merge has released a companion album to Crooked Fingers’ 2011 album Breaks In The Armor comprised of acoustic demos of the album. It’s out now and you can stream one of the tracks at Donewaiting.

Stream: Crooked Fingers – “Bad Blood” (acoustic)

Exclaim reports that some of The Mountain Goats’ early cassette releases from the early ’90s – The Hound Chronicles and Hot Garden Stomp, specifically – will be released on a single CD on June 26.

Fang Island have announced that their second album Major will be out on July 12; details at Spin.

Pop Etc have released a video from their self-titled debut, out June 12.

Video: Pop Etc – “Live It Up”

Explosions In The Sky have released a second video from last year’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.

Video: Explosions In The Sky – “Postcard From 1952”

America Give Up has yielded another video from Minneapolis’ Howler.

Video: Howler – “This One’s Different”

Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from Mates Of State, off of last year’s Mountaintops.

Video: Mates Of State – “Unless I’m Led”

The Magnetic Fields have released a second video from Love At The Bottom Of The Sea.

Video: The Magnetic Fields – “Quick!”

Interview talks to Molly Hamilton of Widowspeak, in town at The Garrison on June 15 for NXNE.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Of Montreal, in town for NXNE on June 16 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Artrocker and Drowned In Sound talk to A Place To Bury Strangers about their forthcoming album Worship, out June 26.

Red Eye and The Detroit Free Press talk to Andrew Bird, in town at Echo Beach on July 19.

Sharon Van Etten plays a video session for WBEZ; she’s at The Phoenix on July 31.

Pitchfork talks to Merrill Garbus and the director of the recent tUnE-yArDs video for “My Country”. She plays The Phoenix on August 1.

SF Weekly chats with John Vanderslice.

Reverb interviews Kurt Wagner of Lambchop.

NPR is streaming a KCRW radio session with M. Ward.

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Savoir Adore.

Ra Ra Riot talks to Spin about what they’ve got planned for album number three and to Grantland about their appreciation for hockey.

NPR has a WFUV session with Shearwater.

Spin gets a progress report on the next Dinosaur Jr album, due out later this Summer.

Greg Dulli takes The Skinny on a guided tour of The Afghan Whigs’ catalog.

Spin talks to Bob Mould about the 20th anniversary of Sugar’s Copper Blue and the single, “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” in particular. Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that two of Mould’s ’90s albums – Bob Mould and The Last Dog & Pony Show – will be getting released as a three-disc set in the UK on June 18 with the third disc consisting of a live 1998 show.

The Atlantic reflects on the significance of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on the occasion of its tenth anniversary.

The AV Club has posted the fourth part of their look at the history of R.E.M..

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Never Know

The Wooden Birds release second album, migrate across continent

Photo By Leslie SissonLeslie SissonIt was a sad day in late 2005 when Austin’s American Analog Set called it a day, or it would have been if they had bothered to officially do so. They announced prior to touring their last (as in most recent, not final) record Set Free that it would be their final tour before a hiatus, and that while they didn’t have any plans to do anything else together, be it recording or playing or whatever, they weren’t ruling out the possibility. And they invoked the “not dead, only sleeping” clause at SXSW 2009 when they reconvened to mark the 10th anniversary of The Golden Band by playing the whole album at a day show I had the privilege of helping present.

But that special occasion aside, the band’s signature blend of shimmering vibraphone, humming Farfisa and dreamy guitarwork has been silent with frontman Andrew Kenny trading his Jazzmaster in for an acoustic guitar and lending his gentle vocals to a new band, The Wooden Birds. AmAnSet had been extremely consistent in sound and vision throughout their existence, so it’s not surprising that despite the change-up in instrumentation and addition of female vocals from sometime AmAnSet member Leslie Sisson, The Wooden Birds’ 2009 debut Magnolia could easily have passed as a new Analog Set record. It’s more earthy than ethereal, thanks to its simpler presentation, and less drifitly droning but if you were an AmAnSet fan, it’s hard to imagine not finding much to like about The Wooden Birds. Unless, of course, you were all about the vibes, in which case you may want to keep walking.

The Wooden Birds have set a June 7 release date for their second album Two Matchsticks and having passed us by on all tour dates in support of the debut, it’s exciting to see that the first North American dates finally include a Toronto date at The Drake Underground on July 10 – the first time back as bandleader for Kenny since November 2005 (he may well have been here as a member of Kevin Drew’s “Presents…” band). And while you might not guess it from listening to the records, The American Analog Set were always a fantastic live show thanks to the mesmerizing and hypnotic nature of their sound. I expect similar head trips from The Wooden Birds. Tickets for the show are just $12.00 in advance.

Samples from Two Matchsticks aren’t available yet, but there’s no reason to believe the new material strays too far from what surfaced on Magnolia. Update: One of the new songs is streaming at MTV Hive.

MP3: The Wooden Birds – “False Alarm”
Video: The Wooden Birds – “Hometown Fantasy”

There’s been no word of a follow-up to last year’s Goodbye Killer nor would I expect one, given the pace at which Joe Pernice works, but he’s taking the time out of whatever it he’s doing to play a show at The Dakota on May 6, tickets $20.

MP3: Pernice Brothers – “Jacqueline Susann”

That same evening, Peter Bjorn & John will warm up for their show at Lee’s Palace with an in-store at Sonic Boom at 7PM. Admission is free with the donation of canned goods.

Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Second Chance”

With a new greatest hits compilation in Golden Greats, No. 1 just released, Sweden’s The Soundtrack Of Our Lives have made a date at Lee’s Palace for June 4. Tickets for the guaranteed rock spectacle are $18.50 in advance.

MP3: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – “Karmageddon”

His show at Lee’s last month apparently a roaring (or dead silent) success, Mark Kozelek is coming back for a pair of even more intimate shows – he’s at The Drake Underground on July 8 and 9, tickets for each show $24.50 in advance.

Video: Red House Painters – “24”

The National Post Q&As Joey Santiago of Pixies; they close out their two-night stand at Massey Hall tonight.

The Antlers are giving away an MP3 from Burst Apart, out May 10. They’re at The Mod Club on June 14.

MP3: The Antlers – “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out”

Daytrotter has posted a session from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, in town at The Opera House on August 2.

I Am A Mermaid questions Stephin and Claudia of The Magnetic Fields about mermaids.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Sharon Van Etten’s homecoming show in Brooklyn this past weekend and Express Night Out has an interview.

Pitchfork has a feature interview with TV On The Radio.

The Baltimore Sun and Philly Burbs talk to Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, who have a new video from their new record Civilian. NYC Taper is also sharing a recording of their show in New York last week.

Video: Wye Oak – “Fish”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a recent Mountain Goats show while The Sound Of Young America has an interview with John Darnielle.

Hear Ya, Madison Eagle, Jam Bands, Blurt and Paste talk to Jason Isbell, whose new record Here We Rest is out now and who leads The 400 Unit into The Horseshoe on May 22.

Want to hear some of the new My Morning Jacket record, Circuital? You can download the title track below, hear it played live on VH1 Storytellers via Pitchfork and stream another new tune over at Antiquiet. The record is out May 31 and they play The Kool Haus on July 11.

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Circuital”

Pitchfork 3D – which is exactly what you think it is – has launched with a video session featuring Deerhunter.

BBC talks to Michael Stipe of R.E.M..

NPR is streaming the whole of Steve Earle’s new album I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive a week ahead of its April 26 release. Earle plays The Molson Amphitheatre opening up for Blue Rodeo on August 20.

Stream: Steve Earle / I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive

Spinner caught up with Rhett Miller of Old 97’s before their show in Toronto a couple weeks ago.

Spin, Clash and The Line Of Best Fit have features on Explosions In The Sky, whose new album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care comes out next week and is streaming in whole right now at Exclaim.

Stream: Explosions In The Sky / Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

The Line Of Best Fit reports that Memory Tapes will release a new album in Player Piano on July 4.

Crawdaddy interviews Liz Phair.

aux.tv has a video session with Warpaint while Relix offers an interview.

Spinner talks to Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes. Their new record Helplessness Blues arrives May 3 and they’re at Massey Hall on July 14.

Friday, January 8th, 2010

White Russian Doll

Lucky Soul release and annotate new video

Photo By Glen WilkinsGlen WilkinsWhile most peoples’ “most anticipated albums of 2010” lists read something like “Arcade Fire Interpol Strokes Fleet Foxes etc”, damn near the top of my list you’ll find A Coming Of Age, the sophomore effort from London’s Lucky Soul. Their 2007 debut The Great Unwanted, an irresistible piece of Motown/Northern soul-channeling pop glory, remains one of my favourite records of the past decade, so the follow-up has some mighty big shoes to fill but judging from the first couple of tastes, it’ll manage that just fine.

Last March brought the first single in the disco-fied “Whoa Billy!”, which was as good as anything on Unwanted if not better, and they’ve just released a video for their new single “White Russian Doll” – out in the UK on Monday – which brings a little bit (ok a lot) of Smiths into the mix. The clip was filmed on location in Berlin and features frontwoman Ali Howard dancing and karaoke-ing her way through the city, and Lucky Soul guitarist Andrew Laidlaw has put up a blog post detailing the mostly commando-style filming of the clip. That’s commando as in run-and-gun, on-location, no-permit; not as in rescue pre-teen Alyssa Milano from Dan Hedaya with lots of gunplay. Though that’d make for an excellent follow-up video.

A Coming Of Age is due out in March.

MP3: Lucky Soul – “Whoa Billy!”
Video: Lucky Soul – “White Russian Doll”

Questions about whether The xx would be appearing with jj on the Toronto date of their North American tour – just two weeks before their already scheduled date supporting Hot Chip – have been answered by their booking agency and yes, indeed, Toronto gets a double-shot of The xx in just over a fortnight – April 4 at The Phoenix (apparently moved from the original venue of Lee’s Palace) with jj and again on April 20 at the Kool Haus with Hot Chip. Expect precise details on the show next week.

MP3: The xx – “Basic Space”

Paste talks to Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor about their new record One Life Stand, out February 2.

For Folks Sake has details on Laura Marling’s second album, entitled I Speak Because I Can and due out on March 1. Expect to hear lots of new stuff when she plays the Drake Underground on February 9.

Battery In Your Leg interviews The Joy Formidable, who are making their North American debut this weekend with a slew of shows in New York, none of which I will be at – a fact which saddens me. They are looking to have their first proper full-length out in the first part of 2010.

Beatroute and ABC News talk to Gareth Campesinos! of Los Campesinos!, whose Romance Is Boring comes out January 27.

Reigning Mercury Prize winner Speech Debelle will make her Toronto debut at Wrongbar Revival on March 10 as part of Canadian Music Fst. Tickets are $15 in advance.

MP3: Speech Debelle – “Better Days” revox featuring Wiley
Video: Speech Debelle – “Better Days” featuring Micachu

List talks to Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison about The Winter Of Mixed Drinks. The new album isn’t out till March 16 but Stereogum has both their new single and its b-side available to stream right now.

PitchforkTV has a Tunnelvision video session with A Sunny Day In Glasgow, who are at the Garrison on April 2.

Beatroute and SF Station talk to Asobi Seksu about going acoustic on Rewolf. It’s unplugged they’ll be when they play the Drake Underground on February 1.

Filter gets to know Yo La Tengo.

The New York Times has a feature piece on Spoon. Transference is out on January 19.

Joe Pernice appears to be making good on his promise to play around town more often, as he’s scheduled a date at the Dakota Tavern for February 16. His show there in September was terrific, but I think I’m going to miss it in favour of seeing Editors and The Antlers at the Phoenix that same night. Which is funny, because last time I skipped seeing The Antlers at the Horseshoe in favour of Joe Pernice. Full tour dates and a new album update can be found over here.

Not sure what’s greater – Mac McCaughan and a children’s choir (okay, maybe not quite a choir) channeling Dan Bejar on a Destroyer cover by Portastatic, taken from the Make It Sound In Tune digital EP for charity, or the accompanying image by Ryan Catbirdseat over at MBV Music, where you can download the track.

And also great – all the illustrations accompanying Hype Machine’s 2009 zeitgeist list of artists. Amazing, every one.