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Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Marr’

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

It Is What It Is

Review of Blood Orange’s Cupid Deluxe

Photo By Stacey MarkStacey MarkTo say that following the musical career of Dev Hynes is an adventure is rather an understatement. Starting out with the deliberately sophomoric art-punk Test Icicles, he recast himself as an orch-folk troubadour on Falling Off The Lavender Bridge, his 2008 solo album under the Lightspeed Champion name. It was an identity he quickly found himself outgrowing, his second and last record in that guise – 2010’s Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You – had its share of high points but felt unfocused, like at a creative crossroads. Focus came with another new identity, Blood Orange, and 2011’s Coastal Grooves – a stripped-down and decidedly solo soul/disco record that sounded made in and for the bedroom that was criminally overlooked.

But crucially, while refining and redefining his own artistic identity, Hynes was becoming a highly sought-after producer, particularly after becoming Solange Knowles’ co-writer, producer, and sideman. That all-consuming role through most of this year, not to mention his other production duties, made it unclear if he’d be able to return to his own work anytime soon but somehow he still found time to not only record and release his second Blood Orange album Cupid Deluxe, out this week.

The most marked difference between Cupid and its predecessor is the sheer number of hands on deck. Coastal Grooves was entirely Hynes’ show, a fact emphatically made by his live shows – but Cupid finds Hynes more than happy to be allowing the likes of Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek, Friends’ Samantha Urbani, Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth from his indie rock world and Despot, Skepta, and Clams Casino from his hip-hop world take centre stage while he remains the producer and songwriter running the show. And that show is akin to a dazzlingly diverse r&b revue built around themes of both alienation and community in New York City, coupling heartfelt sentiment to slick grooves.

Dev Hynes has been making music now for almost a decade, and what in isolation might seem like random and disparate creative shifts, when viewed as a whole, paint the picture of an impressively complex and immensely talented artist. Cupid Deluxe is, thus far, the most cohesive assemblage of his gifts – ironic, since it overtly showcases him the least. I personally would have liked to have his guitarwork given a little more prominence – the man can shred, as anyone who’s ever seen him live can attest – but for the time being, the brilliant missed riff key change at 2:43 of “Uncle ACE” will keep me going.

Hynes talks influences with The New York Times and is the cover feature of The Fader, for whom he’s also assembled hour-long mixtape containing new material. But if you’re waiting on tour dates to support the new record, don’t hold your breath.

Video: Blood Orange – “Time Will Tell”
Video: Blood Orange – “Chamakay”

Noisey has premiered the video for the title track of Rose Elinor Dougall’s new EP Future Vanishes, out officially this week.

Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Future”

NME has got the new video from Beady Eye, taken from their second album BE which is apparently getting a North American release this week because North Americans have been clamouring for it…?

Video: Beady Eye – “Soul Love”

Rolling Stone is streaming another new song from Kele’s forthcoming Heartbreaker solo EP, out November 25.

Stream: Kele – “God Has A Way”

The Guardian and Drowned In Sound talk to Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon; she’s in town at The Drake Underground on January 21.

NME has details on the new album from Maxïmo Park, entitled Too Much Information and due out February 3. They’ve released a video for the first single, which you can also download in exchange for an email address from their website.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “Brain Cells”

Fanfarlo have announced details of their third studio album: Let’s Go Extinct will be out February 10, and of course there’s a trailer.

Trailer: Fanfarlo / Let’s Go Extinct

The Guardian talks to Lily Allen about her impending return to music with a separate piece about the brouhaha surrounding her comeback video.

Anna Calvi lists off ten life-changing albums for MusicRadar.

Metro has an interview with M.I.A., who has released a new video from her latest, Matangi.

Video: M.I.A. – “Y.A.L.A.”

Consequence Of Sound interviews Charli XCX.

Little Boots has made a couple of extended edits of songs from Nocturnes available to download via HungerTV.

MP3: Little Boots – “Broken Record” (Nocturnal version)
MP3: Little Boots – “Strangers” (Nocturnal version)

Franz Ferdinand salute Australia with a cover of The Go-Betweens in a video session for Triple J. They’ve also released a new official video from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Bullet”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Was There Anything I Could Do?” (live)

Black Book interviews CHVRCHES and The Alternate Side welcomes them for a session.

Drowned In Sound gets a look at Summer Camp’s tools of the trade (read: their musical gear).

The Huffington Post gets some EDM smack talk of out reigning Mercury Prize champ James Blake.

A Music Blog, Yea? talks to drummer Rick McMurray of Ash.

BrooklynVegan interviews Johnny Marr.

The Quietus revisits the first House Of Love album on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Under The Radar talks to Mark Gardener and Andy Bell of Ride about the enduring legacy of their debut album Nowhere.

Friday, October 11th, 2013

In The Meantime

Happy Thanksgiving; have a serving of Spacehog

Photo By Lee ClowerLee ClowerThere’s nothing like going into the long weekend with a healthy dose of WTF, so we’ll run with this – a concert announcement either torn from the playlists of Alternative Nation circa 2005 or the dollar bins of CD stores for pretty much every year after that. That’d be the double-bill of Leeds-born, New York-based glam-rock revivalists Spacehog and Detroit’s post-grunge champions Sponge, who will take the stage at Lee’s Palace on December 11, tickets $23 (that’s about $15 in 1995 dollars, if you were wondering).

Also, if you were wondering, they do both have new material that they’re ostensibly promoting. Though they basically split in 2001, Spacehog reunited in 2008 and released a new record in As It Is On Earth at the start of this year. Sponge, remarkably, never actually broke up and have been chugging along since their commercial peak with Wax Estatic and put out and Stop The Bleeding last month. But it’s okay if you don’t care; they probably know you don’t. But they know you wanna hear those old singles so you’re just going to have to deal.

The Nottingham Post has a quick interview with one of Spacehog’s Langdon brothers. It’s not really clear which one.

Stream: Spacehog – “Try To Remember”
Stream: Spacehog – “Glad To Know”
Video: Spacehog – “In The Meantime”
Video: Sponge – “Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina)”

While it’s disappointing that Keep Shelly In Athens had to cancel their Toronto date at Wrongbar next week due to visa issues, their co-headliner Chad Valley will still be coming to town and be playing for free at The Horseshoe on October 15, set time 11:40PM.

MP3: Chad Valley – “I Want Your Love”

English producer Darren Williams has already toured through a couple times in the past two years as Star Slinger, will release his debut album next year – he’s offered a taste to stream below – but not before he puts together another tour that will bring him to the Drake Underground on November 16, tickets $15.

Stream: Star Slinger – “Free”

English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg may have to wait until the end of the month to learn if he’s going to win the Mercury Prize, but he’s already thinking big, following up this past August’s local debut at The Mod Club with a new date at The Sound Academy on January 14, tickets $29.50. Though the fact that his second album Shangri La will be out on November 19 might also have something to do with the tour.

Video: Jake Bugg – “What Doesn’t Kill You”

With a new album in Mug Museum due out on November 12, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon has announced a North American tour that brings her to The Drake Underground on January 21 of the new year, tickets $12.50 in advance.

Stream: Cate Le Bon with Perfume Genius – “I Think I Knew”
Stream: Cate Le Bon – “Are You With Me Now”

The Line Of Best Fit, The Fly, and DIY have interviews with Anna Calvi about her new record One Breath, which came out this week.

If you missed the album stream that went with the UK release of Summer Camp’s second album back in September, Interview is hosting another preview of Summer Camp ahead of its US release next week on October 15.

Stream: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

The Neil Halstead-fronted Black Hearted Brother have released a new video from their debut Stars Are Our Home, due out October 22.

Video: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”

Los Campesinos! have made available a stream of a new song from No Blues, their forthcoming album due out October 29.

Stream: Los Campesinos! – “Avocado, Baby”

Posting of remixes is usually verboten around here but when it involves David Bowie, exceptions can be made. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy’s remix of “Love Is Lost” is one of the main selling points of The Next Day Extra, being released November 4, and it was premiered yesterday via Pitchfork but if you have the inclination, the rip of the BBC premiere is worth hearing for the short interview with Murphy that precedes it. And the version of “Sound & Vision” that soundtracked a cellphone commercial earlier this year is also available to hear (and buy, if you like) – Exclaim explains that one.

Stream: David Bowie – “Love Is Lost” (Hello Steve Reich mix)
Stream: David Bowie – “Sound & Vision” (Sonjay prabhakar mix)

There didn’t end up being a local Stone Roses date this year as I’d prophesied – sorry to anyone who believed me – but the Made Of Stone documentary film about their legacy and reunion definitely is. It’ll screen at The Bloor Cinema on November 22, so circle that one if you’re interested.

Trailer: The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone

Bowlegs has a video session with Lanterns On The Lake, whose wonderful new record Until The Colours Run doesn’t get a North American release until January 14.

The 405 have got a stream of the new Peggy Sue album Choir of Echoes, due out on January 27 of the new year.

Stream: Peggy Sue – “Idle”

The Fly checks in with The Horrors, at work in the studio on their next album.

Filter talks to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream.

Manic Street Preachers have released a poignant new video from their latest, Rewind The Film.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Anthem For A Lost Cause”

Camera Obscura have released a new old-school sci-fi video from Desire Lines.

Video: Camera Obscura – “Troublemaker”

Noisey chats up London Grammar about their current North American tour

Under The Radar has an interview with Savages.

A Music Blog, Yea grabbed an interview with Daughter when they were in town a couple weeks back.

In excerpting the book Isle Of Noises: Conversations With Great British Songwriters, Clash gets some insights into the processes of Laura Marling and Johnny Marr.

Noisey sends Emmy The Great to find out how much it would cost to be A$AP Rocky’s girlfriend a la the prerequisites in “Fashion Killa”; hilarity ensues.

Anyone who had “founding a company dedicated to building and restoring early 1990s Porches” in the, “What has former Catherine Wheel frontman Rob Dickinson been doing since releasing his first and only solo record Fresh Wine For The Horses way back in 2005″ pool, congratulations – you win. Hypebeast has a video interview with Dickinson, who sadly doesn’t sound like a man who misses strapping on a Stratocaster and singing “Black Metallic”.

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

You Caught The Light

Review of CHVRCHES’ The Bones Of What You Believe

Photo By Eliot Lee HazelEliot Lee HazelIf hype were actual currency, you could trade in copies of Scottish trio CHVRCHES’ debut album The Bones Of What You Believe for bars of gold, their buzz-versus-time graph having steadily grown over the last year, successfully buoying them through three North American tours of increasing stature and scale before their first full-length was in stores.

These heightened expectations might seem to demand a big record, but those who were in attendance at the band’s first Toronto show in March – hardly a powerhouse live show with two-thirds of the band anchored to their keyboard stations and frontwoman Lauren Mayberry personable but not exactly owning the stage with her presence – can attest that it’s the small aspects of the band that give them their charm, an opinion borne out by Bones.

The karaoke versions of these songs might easily be mistaken for M83 numbers, with their big synth textures and singalong melodies reaching unashamedly skywards, Mayberry’s sweet voice and the melancholic-to-miserable sentiments it delivers keeps things grounded and resonant at a human scale. It’s understandable if the lyrics aren’t the first things that the listener notices – the big gleaming hooks around them, both instrumental and vocal, do tend to grab one’s attention – but they do offer welcome substance to the proceedings and add an extra dimension that helps them exceed expectations. To be clear: even if Mayberry was singing nonsensical verses about squirrels and tapioca these songs would be earworms of the highest order, but that there’s heart and intelligence here as well makes Bones a record that will merit plays well after the hype machine has moved onto the next big thing.

The Bones Of What You Believe is out this week on September 24 and NPR has a stream of the album. Consequence Of Sound, Billboard, The Wall Street Journal, and The Scotsman have features on the band and their ascent and CBC Music has a video session.

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Video: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Gun”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Recover”
Stream: CHVRCHES / The Bones Of What You Believe

The Independent gets to know Daughter, in town for a show at The Phoenix on September 29.

MusicOmh talks to Johnny Flynn, who is streaming a new song from his forthcoming album Country Mile, hitting stores September 30.

Stream: Johnny Flynn – “Fol-De-Rol”

Yuck have released a new video from their forthcoming second record Glow & Behold, out September 30.

Video: Yuck – “Middle Sea”

Rolling Stone has made another song from the Neil Hasltead-fronted Black Hearted Brother available to download; their debut Stars Are Our Home comes out October 22.

MP3: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”

Under The Radar has posted the excerpts of the interview with Charli XCX that went into last issue’s cover story. She plays Wrongbar on November 9.

The Fader is streaming a new song from London’s Arthur Beatrice – introduced back in July – taken from their full-length debut, due out early next year.

Stream: Arthur Beatrice – “Grand Union”

Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin talks to DIY and The Yorkshire Evening Post about their new album Motto.

The Guardian, Exclaim, The National Post, and Stereogum talk to Elvis Costello and The Roots about their just-released collaborative album Wise Up Ghost.

Summer Camp takes The Quietus on a track-by-track tour of their new record Summer Camp.

JAM and Pitchfork have feature interviews with Arctic Monkeys.

The Wall Street Journal has a video session with Laura Marling, who has just released a new video from her latest album Once I Was An Eagle.

Video: Laura Marling – “Devil’s Resting Place”

Noisey, The Georgia Straight, and City Pages interview Savages.

PopMatters talks to Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura, who just gave birth to her first child. Congratulations!

Metro finds out what Johnny Marr thinks of Queen.

The Toronto Star caught up with Peter Hook before his visit to town last week.

Berlin Beat talks to David Lewis Gedge of The Wedding Present.

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

My Beautiful Friend

RIP, Jon Brookes of The Charlatans

Photo via thecharlatans.netthecharlatans.netSad, sad news out of the UK yesterday when it was announced that Jon Brookes, drummer and founding member of The Charlatans, had passed away of brain cancer. The condition first surfaced during a 2010 North American tour that forced the cancellation of a number of dates, but until recently appeared to have been successfully treated, allowing Brookes to continue playing and recording with the band as recently as this Summer, with the band working on new material. Brookes was 44.

It’s not the first tragedy to befall the band – original keyboardist Rob Collins was killed in a car crash in 1996 – but in the almost 25 years of the band’s existence they’ve proven to be amazingly resilient, outlasting pretty much all of their Madchester and Britpop peers while building a really remarkable catalog of albums and singles. If any outfit could find the strength to carry on after such a loss – should they choose to – it’d be The Charlatans.

I feel fortunate to have caught them live at The Kool Haus in early 2002 circa Wonderland, their second-to-last visit (I believe) before a 2006 show at The Phoenix for Simpatico. It wasn’t supposed to be so, but the band were snakebit in their attempts to come back to support 2008’s You Cross My Path and 2010’s Who We Touch; for the former, they scheduled, cancelled, rescheduled, and re-cancelled a date at The Mod Club in Fall of 2009, eventually nixing the tour to allow Brookes to have shoulder surgery and their last attempt in September 2010 – which would have brought them to Lee’s Palace – was scrubbed after Brookes had a seizure in Philadelphia two nights before the show.

I’d been largely nonplussed about the band’s output this century, but those last couple records were genuinely solid and I had been quite excited to see them live again – especially in such small rooms – so those cancellations were extra disappointing. For that last Lee’s show, I’d already gone ahead and done the legwork of linking up their entire videography as I try to do for live reviews, and have actually had all of that HTML saved in a draft post for the past three years in hopes that they’d finally return and I could use it. Whatever happens with the future of the band, that return seems unlikely in the near term so I’ll instead post them as a tribute to Brookes and the band. Rest in peace, sir, and thanks for the music.

Video: The Charlatans – “My Foolish Pride”
Video: The Charlatans – “Love Is Ending”
Video: The Charlatans – “Mis-Takes”
Video: The Charlatans – “The Misbegotten”
Video: The Charlatans – “Oh Vanity”
Video: The Charlatans – “You Cross My Path”
Video: The Charlatans – “You’re So Pretty, We’re So Pretty”
Video: The Charlatans – “NYC (There’s No Need To Stop)”
Video: The Charlatans – “Blackened Blue Eyes”
Video: The Charlatans – “Try Again Today”
Video: The Charlatans – “Up At The Lake”
Video: The Charlatans – “A Man Needs To Be Told”
Video: The Charlatans – “Love Is The Key”
Video: The Charlatans – “Impossible”
Video: The Charlatans – “How High”
Video: The Charlatans – “North Country Boy”
Video: The Charlatans – “One To Another”
Video: The Charlatans – “Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over”
Video: The Charlatans – “Just Lookin'”
Video: The Charlatans – “Crashin’ In”
Video: The Charlatans – “Jesus Hairdo”
Video: The Charlatans – “I Never Want an Easy Life If Me and He Were Ever to Get There”
Video: The Charlatans – “Cant Get Out Of Bed”
Video: The Charlatans – “Tremolo Song”
Video: The Charlatans – “Weirdo”
Video: The Charlatans – “Me. In Time”
Video: The Charlatans – “Over Rising”
Video: The Charlatans – “Then”
Video: The Charlatans – “Sproston Green”
Video: The Charlatans – “The Only One I Know”

Travis have let Rolling Stone host the advance stream of their new record Where You Stand, which comes out August 19. Fran Healy talks to Metro, The Daily Mail, The Daily Record, and The Arbroath Herald about the new album, which they bring to The Sound Academy on September 25.

Stream: Travis / Where You Stand

DIY has both an album stream and track-by-track walkthrough of Absolute Zero, the debut album from Dublin’s Little Green Cars. It came out in North America back in the Spring but is only getting a European release next week, if you were wondering why they’re only getting around to it now.

Stream: Little Green Cars / Absolute Zero

The Fly and The Belfast Telegraph interview members of The Vaccines, who are streaming one of the tracks from their just-released Melody Calling EP via NME. They open up for Mumford & Sons at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 26.

Stream: The Vaccines – “Do You Want A Man” (John Hill + Rich Costey Remix)

Premier Guitar sits down with Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand to talk about their new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action with particular interest in – wait for it – their guitars, while The Age settles for a broader-interest feature piece. The record is out August 27 and they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Stereogum has premiered the lead video for Summer Camp’s self-titled second album, due out September 9.

Video: Summer Camp – “Fresh”

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys talks to Rolling Stone about the new single and video from their forthcoming AM, which comes out September 10. They’re at The Kool Haus on September 15.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

DIY have premiered the first video from Motto, the forthcoming record from Sky Larkin and Oxford Student also has an interview with the band. The new album is out September 16.

Video: Sky Larkin – “Loom”

Even though you’ve already seen her play it live at an in-store, The AV Club has posted the “proper” version of Charli XCX’s cover of The Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way”, as she learned the song for her contribution to their Undercover series. She also lists her five favourites songs for The Week. Charli XCX plays The Hoxton on September 16.

Peter Hook recounts to The Guardian what he sees when he looks in the mirror, which includes a guy who’s going to play Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies at The Hoxton on September 18; he talks to This Is Nottingham about how the live performance will work. And if you want to see what he looks like when he’s trying to teach you to play “Ceremony”, head over to Slicing Up Eyeballs for the video lesson.

Spin is streaming another new track from Johnny Flynn’s forthcoming Country Mile, due out September 30.

Stream: Johnny Flynn – “After Eliot”

Billboard has a video session and interview with Kate Nash. She plays The Phoenix on November 5.

After threatening to leak it herself, M.I.A. has been given a November 5 release date for her eternally-delayed new record Matangi.

Over at Noisey, Emmy The Great explains how she came to write the soundtrack for the film Austenland.

Editors have released another video from their latest album The Weight Of Your Love; Artrocker also has a quick interview with the band.

Video: Editors – “Formaldehyde”

MTV Iggy interviews Camera Obscura.

Mat Osman of Suede tells The Quietus what he’s been listening to lately.

In conversation with The Daily Star Alex James is simultaneously optimistic and hazy about the future of Blur.

Pitchfork has what I believe is the first extensive post-m b v interview with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, including outtakes.

In conversation with The Japan Times, Johnny Marr dumps a whole load of cold, harsh reality on those holding out hope for a Smiths reunion.

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Vandals

An introduction to Arthur Beatrice

Photo by Richard Round TurnerRichard Round TurnerYou know what’s awful? Even though London quartet Arthur Beatrice have been on my radar for a little while now, I didn’t make the connection between their name and the late, great Golden Girl until about half an hour before writing this sentence. Not that it’s relevant in any way, I’m just amazed that I didn’t see it earlier.

Assumptions that the cheekiness of their name would imply a jokey band are sorely misplaced, though. Although evidence of their first two singles – “Midland” and “Charity”, released last year – have curiously been stricken from the internet, their just-released debut EP Carter, which is available to stream via Under The Radar, makes a strong first impression. It offers just three songs and a remix but strongly establishes their aesthetic, which evokes the danceability of ’90s British house but rendered with the instruments of vintage soul and the sultry boy-girl vocals reminiscent of The xx, though forgoing their icy detachment for something much more warm-blooded. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed formula for success, but if you were to try and come up with one, you could do much worse than theirs.

One assumes that a full-length album is in the works. Maybe those two redacted songs will resurface there?

Video: Arthur Beatrice – “Carter”
Stream: Arthur Beatrice / Carter

Under The Radar talks to Palma Violets, who’re back in town August 3 as part of The Grove Festival lineup.

The Vaccines are streaming another new tune from their forthcoming Melody Calling EP over at NME. That comes out August 12 and they support Mumford & Sons at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 26.

Stream: The Vaccines – “Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down”

NME gets Bloc Party bassist Gordon Moakes to chime in on the whole hiatus/no hiatus thing following the release of their new EP Nextwave Sessions on August 13.

Stereogum have got the whole video of a show Franz Ferdinand played for David Letterman’s audience when they were on last week, and they’ve also released a new official video from the new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It’s out August 27 and they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Love Illumination”

Rolling Stone declares Scotland’s synth-pop heroes CHVRCHES a band to watch and offers a live performance video as proof, while Gigwise has a two-part interview with the band. Their debut The Bones of What You Believe is out September 24 and they play the Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

Manic Street Preachers have made another track from their forthcoming album Rewind The Film available to stream; it’s out September 16.

Stream: Manic Street Preachers – “Show Me The Wonder”

Filter gets to know English newcomers Peace, who will support Two Door Cinema Club at the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Elvis Costello and The Roots have offered up the first official sample of their collaborative album Wise Up Ghost by way of video; the record is out September 17.

Video: Elvis Costello & The Roots – “Walk Us Uptown”

Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that The House Of Love will be playing a couple of intimate London shows in November for the purpose of releasing a live CD/DVD set next year.

Tone Deaf talks to Tom Smith of Editors.

Beady Eye hope to sway some of the generally unfavourable response to their second album BE with a new video full of nudity. Because everyone likes nudity, right?

Video: Beady Eye – “Shine A Light”

Alphabet Pony chats with Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

Interview talks to Johnny Marr.

The Daily Swarm has words with Savages guitarist Gemma Thompson.