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Posts Tagged ‘Jose Gonzalez’

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

And In Truth

Colin Stetson leads lineup for Wavelength 14

Photo By Scott IrvineScott IrvineWhen I listed off a couple of Colin Stetson shows slated for February last week, it was a bit reluctantly as I had a hunch that I was missing some crucial information about the context of the performance – the unconventional venue and absence of formal press release or ticket information, in particular, were flags. But I went with it anyways and now, a week later, I’m amending the info with lots of context – which I should have guessed, given the timing. The twice-Polaris-shortlisted saxophone maestro will be performing as part of Wavelength’s 14th anniversary festival, taking place around Toronto from February 13 to 16 of next year with his show – just one, now – happening February 15 at the Polish Combatants Hall on a bill that includes US Girls amongst others, tickets $20 in advance.

Other festival showcases include Hooded Fang spin-off Phedre and friends at The Silver Dollar on February 13 ($10), American guitar goddess Marnie Stern with local synth-pop heroes Diana and post-punkers Odonis Odonis at The Adelaide Music Hall on February 14 ($17), and Haligonian two-headed rock machine Cousins bring things to a close with an eclectic bill at The Garrison on February 16 ($10). Plus, there’s some in-store talks and events happening at local record stores through the weekend. Wavelength the music series and especially the anniversary festivals have always done a great job of showcasing new and established talent from at home and abroad, and this year’s lineup is no exception.

Tickets are available for individual shows or a four-day festival pass can be had for just $49.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”
MP3: Marnie Stern – “Transparency Is The New Mystery”
MP3: Diana – “Born Again”
Video: U.S. Girls – “Work From Home”
Video: Odonis Odonis – “Better”
Stream: Cousins – “River”

Even though they were just here in November, New York’s Holy Ghost! are pretty sure people want more of their new album Dynamics and so they’re coming back for another show at The Hoxton on February 14.

Video: Holy Ghost! – “Okay”

When she announced her Toronto debut back in August, I had to ask, “who is Lorde?” Not asking that anymore. The Kiwi teen is bringing her massively massive debut Pure Heroine back to town for a show at Sound Academy on March 15 as part of a North American tour, tickets the appropriately massive $44.50 to $55.

Video: Lorde – “Royals”

Synth/New Wave legend Gary Numan has announced a North American tour in support of his latest album Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind). He’ll be at The Phoenix on March 27, tickets $29.50. The National Student has an interview.

Video: Gary Numan – “Cars”

Another of José González’s contributions to the Secret Life Of Walter Mitty soundtrack has been released, this time with a video. The film is out December 25, aka Christmas Day.

Video: José González – “Stay Alive”

The Quietus has an interview with TOY, who will be in town at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Black Francis discusses the departure of Kim Shattuck from Pixies with Yahooo!. He really sounds torn up about it; hopefully he’ll be able to pull it together for their show at Massey Hall on January 15.

DIY talks to Yuck, who’ve rolled out a new video from their latest Glow & Behold. They’re in town at The Garrison on January 17.

Video: Yuck – “Lose My Breath”

Clash talks to Efrim Menuck of Thee Silver Mount Zion and Godspeed You! Black Emperor about the new Mount Zion record Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything, due out January 21.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Warpaint, who will release their second full-length Warpaint on January 21 and play The Danforth Music Hall on March 25.

The New Mendicants – that’s Joe Pernice, Norman Blake, and Mike Belitsky if you’ve not been keeping up – have made a few tracks from their debut album Into The Lime available to stream. It’s out January 28.

Stream: The New Mendicants – “A Very Sorry Christmas”
Stream: The New Mendicants – “Sarasota”
Stream: The New Mendicants – “If You Only Knew Her”

The Fly talks to Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls about their new record Too True, out January 28. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 29.

The Fly talks to Joe Jonas of Metronomy, who release their new album Love Letters on March 10. Watch the just-released first video from it below.

Video: Metronomy – “I’m Aquarius”

NPR has posted a KCRW video session and Filter an Ernie Ball session with The Head & The Heart; they’re at The Kool Haus on March 30.

Pretty Much Amazing have an interview with London Grammar have released a stream of an old, unreleased track via Rolling Stone. They’ll be back in Toronto at The Phoenix on April 7.

Stream: London Grammar – “Everywhere You Go”

Noisey has premiered the latest video from The Vaccines, taken from last year’s Come Of Age.

Video: The Vaccines – “If I Was A Girl”

Interview talks to Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, whose apartment in New York tragically burned down Monday night, taking with it all his belonging and his new puppy. Fundraising efforts are underway to help Dev get back on his feet and while they’ve already well past their original modest goal of $5000, every bit will help.

Kate Nash has released a new video from her seasonal EP Have Faith This Christmas.

Video: Kate Nash – “I Hate You This Christmas”

Under The Radar has an interview with Summer Camp.

Esquire and The Huffington Post chat with Elvis Costello.

Islands have made a brand-new song available to stream. Islands. Stream. Hmm.

Stream: Islands – “Hawaii”

Filter gets to know Braids.

Noisey talks sex and politics with Austra.

Tone Deaf has an interview with Born Ruffians.

Majical Cloudz have released a video for the non-album track made available to stream last month.

Video: Majical Cloudz – “Savage”

The Line Of Best Fit just beat the Christmas shipping deadline with the release of their fifth holiday-themed Ho! Ho! Ho! compilation of Canadian indie artists, along with a promise to be more frequent in the new year.

Tone Deaf chats with Ken Stringfellow.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of one of Yo La Tengo’s shows at Brooklyn’s Bell House last week.

Under The Radar talks to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

The Life Of Best Fit has an interview with Midlake.

Stereogum spends some time with Titus Andronicus‘ Patrick Stickles.

And that, I guess, will just about do it.

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Last Christmas

Summer Camp wish you a very Moshi Moshi Christmas

Photo By Ollie EvansOllie EvansBecause apparently there is a law of some sort that each year, at least one indie band must add another version of Wham!’s “Last Christmas” to the already-massive pile of indie versions of Wham!’s “Last Christmas”; this year it’s Summer Camp, though at least this follows in their own tradition of releasing a Christmas covers – back in 2010, they left their version of The Waitresses’ contemporary classic “Christmas Wrapping” under the tree and last year, offered what I will take Consequence Of Sound’s word was a Mariah Carey/Paul McCartney hybrid of some sort.

The track appears on a free downloadable EP of holiday tunes from their label Moshi Moshi which you can get for the price of a Facebook like or stream below and amongst the other artists offering contributions for your holiday party mix are Slow Club with their version – another one of many – of Phil Spector’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, which they originally released on their 2009 EP Christmas, Thanks For Nothing.

Stream: Summer Camp – “Last Christmas”
MP3: Summer Camp – “Christmas Wrapping”
Stream: Summer Camp – “All I Wonderful Christmas Is You”
Stream: A Christmas Gift For You From Moshi Moshi Records

The Wall Street Journal has premiered another of José González’s songs from the soundtrack of Secret Life Of Walter Mitty while Rolling Stone shows off one of his other contributions with Junip. It opens Christmas Day.

Stream: José González – “#9 Dream”
Stream: Junip – “Far Away”

The Fly has an interview with Tom Dougall of TOY, who will be in town at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Shout4Music has a video session with Lanterns On The Lake. Their new album Until The Colours Run gets a North American release on January 14 and they’ll be The Drake Underground on February 1.

Noisey has premiered the new stream from Bombay Bicycle Club, taken from their forthcoming album So Long, See You Tomorrow. It’s out February 3.

Stream: Bombay Bicycle Club – “It’s Alright Now”

Arthur Beatrice have released a stream of another song from their debut album Working Out, which while out on February 3 in the UK will not get a domestic North American release until March 4.

Stream: Arthur Beatrice – “Midland”

As they promised following the release of 2009’s Kingdom Of Rust and the 2010 best-of compilation The Places Between, Doves have been on a proper hiatus but frontman Jimi Goodwin has finally surfaced with some solo work. Under The Radar reports that his first solo record Odludek will be coming out next year on March 24, and have a stream of the decidedly strummily acoustic first single from it.

Stream: Jimi Goodwin – “Oh! Whisky”

English singer-songwriter Sam Smith – who I’m led to believe is being tipped to be one of the big things of 2014 – has put together a North American tour to capitalize and build on this buzz before dropping his debut album next Summer. He’ll be at The Mod Club on March 28.

Video: Sam Smith – “Lay Me Down”

Primal Scream have announced a North American tour behind their latest album, More Light. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on May 16.

Video: Primal Scream – “2013”

Wild Beasts talk to DIY about their forthcoming new album, which little is known about except that it exists and will be out early in the new year.

Vogue and Under The Radar talk to Anna Calvi, who has put together a mixtape for Dummy which features, amongst other things, a brand new track from Charlotte Hatherley’s Sylver Tongue project. Her debut album is done and mixed and release information will be forthcoming.

DIY, BBC, and Digital Spy have interviews with Charli XCX, who is already working on her second album, targeted for release some time next year.

The Toronto Sun chats with Icona Pop

Exclaim has an interview with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, who’s made a new track that didn’t make it onto Cupid Deluxe available to stream.

Stream: Blood Orange – “West Drive” (Profit Vocal dub 2)

The Alternate Side has a session with Two Door Cinema Club.

Daytrotter welcomes The Joy Formidable to their studio for a session.

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Divine Light

The Deer Tracks, Falls, and deVah Quartet at The Silver Dollar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI had planned to lead off by saying that if there was one silver lining to Apple’s completely FUBAR-ed redo of their Music app in iOS7, it was that its insistence on playing all albums by an artist in sequence, ignoring the end of one album and the start of another, it was that I’d be able to listen to The Deer TracksArcher Trilogy as a single entity, uninterrupted by flipping vinyl discs and sides. But as it turns out, for whatever reason, my iPhone insists on sorting them in order of volume 1, 3, and 2, so that doesn’t work. Screw you, Apple.

But even if it takes a few more clicks or flips than ideal, it’s something to be able to experience the work as a whole. The expansive, uplifting moments crafted by the Swedish duo of David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors that initially hooked me have lost none of their impact, but the spaces in between really do pull the over 100-minutes of grandiose synth-pop together and even if you don’t fully understand what it’s about – though there is a narrative – you certainly feel it. And though it’s not reasonable to expect the full scope of the work to come across in a live show, as evidenced by their local debut last June and their return visit nine months to the day before this last one, they certainly make a go of it.

There was some interesting local support on the bill for the visiting Swedes, starting with the deVah Quartet – a modern take on the classical string quartet combining electric instruments run through serious pedalboards and amplification, backed by a hard-hitting drummer, and boasting Varvatos-approved rock’n’roll style. So by the criteria of not sounding like every other band, they’d already won. And while not the most convincing rock singers or songwriters, they more than compensated with top-notch performance chops and arrangements. I couldn’t say who their audience is going to be – the connections between classical and rock are hardly unexplored but not often from this direction – but if and when they find them, they’ll be golden.

Swinging way back on the conventional side of things were Falls, who wanted nothing more than to be a radio-ready alternative rock band, and in that, they were successful. They were solid players and a tight unit – impressive considering their bassist was a substitute – but those positives were undermined by the general over-emoting and other such tropes of radio-ready alternative rock, perhaps best captured in their unnecessary and un-nuanced cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. But unlike deVah, I know exactly who their audience is and they’re out and are legion. And so it goes.

There’s not that many ways to re-configure a duo, but somehow The Deer Tracks have managed to bring a different markedly different show to town three times now, in the past year and a half. After performing as a four-piece with touring keyboardist and drummer the previous two times, they were now a three-piece set up amidst a jungle of cables, stands, and LED lights, with Lehnberg assuming drum and percussion duties; this was after doing guitar/keys/vocals duties the first time and focusing on synths last time.

The net result of this reconfiguration, plus the necessary translation of the recorded work into a condensed live show of highlights, was a more percussive, visceral, and dramatic reading of The Archer Trilogy than one might have expected. Yet it did this without compromising the whimsy and delicacy of the material – this end of things remained well intact thanks to Lindfors’ vocals, as well her work on keys, saw, and melodica. The band’s resolutely DIY ethos is well-known to anyone who’s followed the band; the same drive and passion that compels them to create multi-part musical epics and undertake extensive international tours to slowly but steadily grow their fanbase also allows them to imbue something genuinely transformative into their performance. As in February, there weren’t a whole lot of people there but those that were got to experience something special.

Photos: The Deer Tracks, Falls, deVah Quartet @ The Silver Dollar – November 28, 2013
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Okta Crash”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Dark Passenger”
Stream: Falls – “Rain Turn To Snow”
Stream: deVah Quartet – “Tell Me How You Really Feel”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Divine Light”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Lazarus”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Meant To Be”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Tiger”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Fall With Me”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Fra Ro Raa / Ro Ra Fraa”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Ram Ram”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Slow Collision”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “12sxfrya”

AlbumStreams have a stream of the new live Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds record Live From KCRW, which gets a proper physical release as of today. They’re in town at The Sony Centre on July 31.

Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Live At KCRW

Holograms have released a new video from Forever; they’re at The Garrison on December 8.

Video: Holograms – “Luminous”

TwentyFourBit has got a stream of José González’s contribution to the soundtrack of the new Secret Life Of Walter Mitty film, which opens Christmas Day.

Stream: José González – “Step Out”

Exclaim has details on Sigur Rós’ attempt to make Christmas shopping easy for the Sigur Rós fan in your life – a nine-disc vinyl box set of their last album Kveikur, which features each track of their album on an individual 45RPM 12″ with an instrumental mix of the same song as the b-side. And the set is now sold out, so this entire paragraph is moot.

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Recover

A veritable conclave of updates from CHVRCHES and abroad

Photo By Windish AgencyWindish AgencyAnd we wrap the week with (again) some link housecleaning from overseas, led by the next great Scottish synth-pop – if not spelling – hope, CHVRCHES. The trio, who placed a commendable fifth in the BBC’s Sound Of 2013 poll, don’t offer a groundbreaking sound but inviting electronic textures, sweetly earnest vocals, and big pop hooks really don’t ever go out of style.

They recently told an audience that their full-length debut shouldn’t be expected until the Fall, but they’re hoping to keep the excitement that started building around the band last Autumn going until then. Following a string of singles, they’ll issue the Recover EP digitally on March 25, and the title track from it will A-side a 12″ release for Record Store Day on April 20; a video for that tune was just released. Additionally, they’re headed down to Austin next week as one of SXSW’s buzz bands, and though they’re only doing a few select North American dates around the festival, Wednesday March 20 at Toronto’s Mod Club as part of Canadian Musicfest is one of them.

Billboard and Pitchfork both have feature interviews with the band.

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Recover”

NOW talks to Tame Impala ahead of tomorrow night’s show at the Kool Haus.

Premier Guitar talks to David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick about making The Next Day, which is out next Tuesday but available to stream right now at iTunes.

Stream: David Bowie / The Next Day

DIY, Clash, and The Toronto Sun chat with Kate Nash, in town at The Horseshoe on March 15.

7Digital, The Guardian, and The Quietus talk to Brett Anderson of Suede about their new album Bloodsports, due out March 18. NME, on the other hand, wants to talk about making the video for “Animal Nitrate” circa Suede, all those years ago.

The Big Takeover and FasterLouder chat with Stornoway about their second album Tales From Terra Firma, due out March 19. They play The Horseshoe on May 9.

NPR talks to Richard Thompson about his latest album, Electric. He plays Massey Hall in support of Emmylou Harris on March 22.

Though the video disappeared as quickly as it appeared – presumably destined to resurface closer to the April 1 release date of She Paints Words In RedSlicing Up Eyeballs points out that the new single from The House Of Love is at least available to stream.

Stream: The House Of Love – “A Baby Got Back On Its Feet”

Drowned In Sound noses around Ólafur Arnalds’ Reykjavik studio. For Now I Am Winter gets a North American release on April 2.

NPR has a radio session and V and The Scottish Sun interviews with Jessie Ware, making her Toronto debut April 6 at The Opera House.

James Blake has come up with a novel way to share the next preview track from his forthcoming Overgrown, out April 8. Sure, you can just listen to the stream on the Tumblr, but you can also call the number and hear it over the phone. Though maybe the stream is easier. He plays The Danforth Music Hall on May 4.

Stream: James Blake – “Digital Lion”

The Line Of Best Fit asks The Joy Formidable where they look for inspiration. They play The Phoenix on April 12.

The first video from the new Phoenix record Bankrupt! has arrived; the video is mental and the song is Phoenix. The record is out April 23 and they headline the inaugural Grove Festival at Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3.

Video: Phoenix – “Entertainment”

Pitchfork checks in with Jose Gonzalez about the new Junip self-title coming April 23.

Reddit hosted an AMA with Johnny Marr while New Statesman mostly wanted to ask about politics and GQ about going solo. Marr is at The Phoenix on April 27.

Pitchfork interviews Foals. They’re at The Kool Haus on May 11.

Laura Marling has announced a May 28 release date for hew fourth album Once I Was An Eagle and is streaming the first single from it. Details on the record available at DIY.

Stream: Laura Marling – “Where Can I Go?”

4AD has details on the new album from Camera Obscura, entitled Desire Lines and due out June 4. They play The Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons a month later on July 4.

With a new album ready for release later this year, British electronic outfit Mount Kimbie have set a North American tour that brings them to The Hoxton on June 5.

Video: Mount Kimbie – “Carbonated”

NPR has a World Cafe session with The xx. They play Downsview Park on June 6.

Another of the up-and-coming bands that’s supposed to save British guitar music – Peace – have announced a North American tour that brings them to town on June 15 at a venue to be determined for NXNE.

MP3: Peace – “California Daze”
Video: Peace – “Bloodshake”

Paste checks in with Iceage, themselves checking in at NXNE on June 15 and 16.

GQ examines the sartorial considerations of Dancin’ Thom in the new Atoms For Peace video from AMOK.

Video: Atoms For Peace – “Ingenue”

Monday, November 8th, 2010

To The Grain

Junip and Sharon Van Etten at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWith a wealth of options on the Toronto social calendar last Friday night, I rather feared that posting up Lee’s Palace might draw the short end of the stick. I didn’t know how much draw Junip would have, but I needn’t have worried. With their main attraction – frontman José Gonzalez – having not released a new record under his own name in some three years, there was apparently a good amount of pent-up appetite to see and hear him in any configuration.

Happily, this resulted in a good-sized crowd already in place for opener Sharon Van Etten, whom I will freely admit was the main draw for me just as she was when I saw her open for Megafaun at The Horseshoe back in April. Unlike that show, however, this time Van Etten was operating in a three-piece band format rather than solo, a change necessary to recreate the broader sonic palette of her gorgeous second album Epic. And though the full band format sounded glorious when Megafaun backed her for one song at the Horseshoe show, that she was only a few shows into the tour with these players was evident at times – mainly in the bassist and drummer playing too loudly and at the expense of the delicacy and nuance that’s essential to Van Etten’s songs. It’s a sensitivity that will no doubt come with time, but on this night at least the comfort level wasn’t where one would have liked. That said, the beauty of the songs still came through, particularly on the harmonium-led “Love More”, and by choosing to close her set solo and with a couple of audience requests from Because I Was In Love, her set ended on a beautiful note.

I don’t think it’s untoward to use Jose Gonzalez’s solo output as a reference point for Junip; the differences lie not in him or his songwriting but in what he surrounds himself with. Solo, it’s just that – Gonzalez, classical guitar, space and silence. With Junip and their debut Fields, those elements remain the centre but the addition of drums and keys, courtesy of Elias Araya and Tobias Winterkorn respectively, do allow the band to be its own distinctive thing. Live, the sound was expanded even further with the addition of a percussionist and bassist and if you were to compare Junip to an acoustic Zero 7, the English electronic outfit that introduced Gonzalez to much of his fanbase, you wouldn’t be wrong. Their set lasted only an hour but it felt much longer – in a good way – as they held the audience with their rhythmic, droning take on folk music. Understated but hypnotic, it sounded like Gonzalez being remixed live, his distinctive meditative vocals being utilized like another instrument in the mix. While I expect that many/most came to the show as José Gonzalez fans, they left as Junip fans. And hopefully Sharon Van Etten fans.

City Pages talks to Junip drummer Elias Araya while The Georgia Straight has an interview with Sharon Van Etten.

Photos: Junip, Sharon Van Etten @ Lee’s Palace – November 5, 2010
MP3: Junip – “Rope & Summit
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Don’t Do It”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “I Couldn’t Save You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Consolation Prize”
Video: Junip – “Always”
Video: Junip – “Black Refuge”
Video: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MySpace: Junip
MySpace: Sharon Van Etten

Sorry to everyone excited about that Rhett Miller & Murry Hammond acoustic show at the El Mocambo announced a few weeks ago – its been cancelled.

Husband-and-wife retro pop duo Tennis have made a date at the Drake Underground for December 8 to build up anticipation for their debut Cape Dory, due out on January 18. Check out their Daytrotter session from earlier this Fall.

Phantogram return to town for their fourth and probably final Toronto show of the year, stopping in at Wrongbar on December 11 – tickets $15.50 in advance.

MP3: Phantogram – “When I’m Small”

The Music Tapes are putting together a North American “Lullabies and Bedsides” tour that is eschewing conventional venues in favour of house shows and sleepover parties – check out Merge for details on how it’ll work, but the itinerary calls for a Toronto date on January 2 of the new year.

MP3: The Music Tapes – “Majesty”

Call it some coincidence, call it prescience, but barely a day after posting about goings-on in The Radio Dept. camp, the full dates for their 2011 North American tour were revealed. There will be much rejoicing when the reclusive Swedes make their Toronto debut at Lee’s Palace on February 7, 2011. Update: Pitchfork has the tracklisting of the Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010 compilation coming out early next year.

MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Heaven’s On Fire”

The Tallest Man On Earth has released a video from his new Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird EP, out tomorrow.

Video: The Tallest Man On Earth “Love Is All”

Jonsi will release a live document of his 2010 solo tours on November 29; Go Live will include a CD and DVD and be available exclusively through his website. He talks to the Detroit News about creating his live show.

Trailer: Jonsi / Go Live

The Dumbing Of America and News Times chat with Bettie Serveert.

The Scotsman talks to Scotsman James Graham of The Twilight Sad.

Clash has an interview with White Lies, whose sophomore effort Ritual comes out January 18. They will be at the Mod Club on January 29 to promote – tickets $25.

Duffy discusses the dancier direction of her second album with Billboard. Endlessly arrives December 7.

Pulp are back. London or Barcelona. London or Barcelona. This must happen. Dates for both Wireless and Primavera are convenient as far as timing and holidays go, both are bloody expensive to get to, never mind accommodations, and either one might snooker my Japan plans for Autumn 2011… but, um, PULP. WWJCD?