Posts Tagged ‘Josh Ritter’

Friday, May 21st, 2010


Versus return

Photo By Frank YangMySpaceToday’s a day off from the real job, but not the fake job – this job – and the start of a four-day weekend, so you’ll excuse me if this post is a touch… random. I’ve got a stack of links including a bunch of new videos for your viewing pleasure, but no particular focus so I’ll just wade in with what is, to me at least, the most important of them all.

Which is the first MP3 from the first new Versus album in a decade – hell, the last time there was a new Versus album, there wasn’t such a phrase as “the first MP3 from”. I only twigged onto the New York outfit after their last record, 2000’s Hurrah, had run its course and their decade-long hiatus was just underway. Collecting their back catalog kept me occupied for a good while – turning up their super-rare debut EP Let’s Electrify! in the bins of Sonic Boom is a particularly fond memory – as did their various side-projects, but I couldn’t help feeling like I’d missed the boat on a great band, mainly because I had.

But sporadic shows over the past decade kept the hopes that they’d be back eventually alive, and those hopes will become reality on August 3 with the release of On The Ones and Threes, available on CD and as a double-LP with a different running order and two extra tracks. For full details and pre-order information, head over to Merge Records, for the first taste of the new album, click below and for tour dates, stay tuned. Because they’re coming.

MP3: Versus – “Invincible Hero”

Dean & Britta’s contribution to the just-released Sing Me To Sleep compilation of “indie lullabies” is now available to download. Despite the questionable concept, the record has brought together a pretty impressive lineup of talent.

MP3: Dean & Britta – “Making Me Smile”

Filter thinks you should already know Ted Leo. He and his Pharmacists are at Lee’s Palace on June 26.

Matt Berninger of The National talks politics and High Violet with The Huffington Post.

NOW, Time Out New York and The Fly have features on LCD Soundsystem, who play The Kool Haus on May 25. They’ve also just released a video for a non-album track (and cover).

Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Bye Bye Bayou”

North County Times talks to Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws, who offers Spinner some advice for up-and-coming bands: get a day job. They’ve got a new video for their Bill Fox cover from if i had a hi fi, out June 8.

Video: Nada Surf – “Electrocution”

Which seques nicely into the new video from Drive-By Truckers, which offers a less positive take on the idea of punching the clock.

Video: Drive-By Truckers – “Working This Job”

James Mercer tells Billboard that he’s about ready to get back to work on The Shins but that Broken Bells wasn’t necessarily a one-off effort. They (Broken Bells) will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 2.

Spinner talks to Josh Ritter.

The National Post, Vancouver Sun, Metro and Clash talk to Ben Bridwell of Band Of Horses, while Spinner spends some time with guitarist Tyler Ramsey. They are at the Toronto Islands on June 19.

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down have released a new video/Oxfam PSA. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on June 26.

Video: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Body”

Eels will release their new record Tomorrow Morning on August 24 and tour it to through the Mod Club on September 29.

Exclaim has the details on the deluxe reissue edition of R.E.M.’s Fables Of The Reconstruction, due out July 13. In addition to the remastered 1985 album, there’ll be a second CD of unreleased period-correct demos and goodies.

The Drums reveal to Exclaim that their self-titled debut will be out on June 14 in digital and vinyl form, and then CD come September.

Video: The Drums – “Forever & Ever Amen”

The Colorado Springs Independent profiles Laura Marling, who will be back in the southern Ontario area on July 23, performing in Guelph on the first night of Hillside.

Prefix has an interview with Kate Nash.

Mogwai have announced that the DVD of their live concert film Burning will come accompanied with a live record entitled Special Moves, and both will be available on August 24. Head over to the Special Moves website for more information.

eye, NOW, Uptown and Vue talk to The Sadies about their new record Darker Circles, from which they’ve just released a new video and for which they’ll be playing a record release show at Lee’s Palace on Saturday. They’re also at Harbourfront Centre on Canada Day, July 1.

Video: The Sadies – “Postcards”

Also with a new video are Tokyo Police Club, whose Champ hits stores on June 8. They are opening up for Spoon and The Flaming Lips at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 8.

Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Breakneck Speed”

Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning talk to Exclaim about why Pavement was the perfect choice to join them at the Toronto Island Concert on June 19, and Canning gives Toronto Life a list of his favourite things. Spinner has also posted up an Interface session with the band.

Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham talks influences with Spinner, and just generally talks to The Georgia Straight, Vue and See. They play a free show at the Toronto Reference Library next Friday, May 28. It’s unticketed and doors are at 7:30, so plan accordingly.

Dog Day have released a new vid from last year’s Concentration. And why not grab the MP3 while you’re at it.

MP3: Dog Day – “Rome”
Video: Dog Day – “Rome”

Pitchfork gets a guest list from The New Pornographers’ Carl Newman. They’re at the Sound Academy on June 15.

eye talks to The Weakerthans, who play the Horseshoe as a benefit for Library Voices on Tuesday and then the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Wednesday.

The Chicago Tribune talks to Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes; they’re at the Mod Club on June 17 for NXNE.

BaebleMusic has a Guest Apartment session and The Daily Growl a quick word with Woodpigeon.

Chart talks to Dan Mangan about his song “Robots”, which they declare the “best song ever” for the moment.

Comic Book Resources talks to Bryan Lee-O’Malley about Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, the final book in the Scott Pilgrim saga coming July 20, and the Scott Pilgrim vs The World film, out August 13.

And that’s the link hopper cleared out for today. I am going back to sleep.

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Little Faith

Review of The National’s High Violet

Photo By Keith KlenowskiKeith KlenowskiTo suggest I’m a little bit biased when it comes to The National is something of an understatement. The Cincinnati by way of Brooklyn band has put out two of my favourite records of the century in Alligator and Boxer, and when word came that their next record would arrive in 2010, I reserved a spot for it in my year-end list. That’s about as big a declaration of faith in the greatness of a record as a blogger can make.

The flipside of this, however, is the probably unrealistic expectations that accompany that faith. Boxer was almost exactly the record I needed at that point in my life, and the odds of that sort of synchronicity happening again with its successor is probably about nil. This understanding did allow me some perspective in contemplating High Violet, but didn’t change the fact that it had some enormous footsteps to follow in. After all, Boxer was widely considered to be a watershed album. How do you follow up a career peak?

By turning it into a plateau. If there were a way to actually quantify such things, High Violet would rate as almost as good or even better than Boxer, with the plus-minus determined only by one’s personal resonance with the material and the tone of the record. Whereas Boxer felt like a lightening of philosophy after the noir-ish Alligator, its elegiac mood has darkened again on High Violet. The glimmers of hopefulness that punctuated Boxer seem to have been muted and the angst and anxiety is again creeping in around the edges. This doesn’t, however, herald a return to the cathartic rock moves of Alligator; much to the dismay of fist-pumpers everywhere, it’s clear the band is well past its days of writing tracks like “Abel” and “Mr. November”. Instead, it manifests itself in a lyrical clarity that’s a ways removed from Matt Berninger’s typical obliqueness and his delivery, which finds him not necessarily expanding his range – I don’t think anyone expects him to find another octave anytime soon – but songs like “Anyone’s Ghost” and “Conversation 16” find him pushing it in unfamiliar directions or dwelling in parts of his voice that he might have only passed through fleetingly in the past en route to more comfortable territory.

Though longtime collaborator Peter Katis is still credited as providing additional production and mixing, High Violet notably lists the primary recording site as guitarist Aaron Dessner’s garage and the band as sole producers; it’s evident that the studio was heavily utilized as an instrument on this outing, which represents an aural shift from the cleaner textures of Boxer towards something denser and sometimes hazier. Album opener “Terrible Love” sounds almost filthy with its base of fuzzy, tremoloed guitars and I’m still not sure what the oscillating tones that bookend “Little Faith” are. More familiarly, the orchestral accents and choral vocals that embellished Boxer have returned, but feel more like integral parts of their sound.

Ultimately, High Violet triumphs by not trying to eclipse Boxer, but stand alongside it. The band offers growth without abandoning its strengths – hell, “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “England” are two of the most National songs they’ve ever recorded. It’s thoughtful, sad and stately and, for all the shadows it casts, is downright luminous. The National are incapable of disappointing.

There are features on the band at The Wall Street Journal, Spinner, The Fly, Canadian Press and The AV Club. Their live-to-web show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in support of the Red Hot Organization is still available to stream at YouTube and you’ll probably get a lot higher quality stream watching it after the fact than in real time.

The National play Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

MP3: The National – “Afraid Of Everyone”
MP3: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
Video: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
MySpace: The National

The Antlers, who are opening both of those National dates and others on the tour, are interviewed by Beatroute and The Guardian.

Pitchfork interviews Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady; they’re at the Kool Haus on July 18.

It was announced last week that bassist Carlos Dengler, upon completion of their new record, has left Interpol. Expect to see a new face – and perhaps moustache – holding down the low end when they open for U2 at the Rogers Centre on July 3. No release date for album number four has been confirmed.

PopMatters talks to The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt. Strange Powers, the documentary about he and his band, will be getting a limited theatrical release on October 27.

Trailer: Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields

Acoustic Guitar interviews M Ward, who will be in town on June 9 at the Sound Academy as the “him” in She & Him.

Reuters and The State profile Band Of Horses, whose Infinite Arms is out tomorrow. They play the Toronto Islands on June 19.

Nada Surf busts out the covers for NPR’s World Cafe.

Also paying a visit to the World Cafe is Josh Ritter, who plays a few songs from his new record So The World Runs Away.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have released a video for the title track of last year’s Higher Than The Stars EP.

Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Higher Than The Stars”

Pitchfork reports that some industrious fans have compiled an album’s worth of Titus Andronicus rarities and made them available for download as Feats Of Strength. Odds of them busting out any of this material when they play The Horseshoe on July 14 are poor.

A couple of big shows have just gotten attached to NXNEEagles Of Death Metal at The Phoenix on June 16 and Girl Talk at the Sound Academy on June 18. Expect their names to show up in advertising all over the place and for a modest number of wristbands to get into each show (50 for Girl Talk). And speaking of NXNE, the schedule for this year’s festival is now online and yes, just like every other year, it’s impossible to use/navigate/save/do anything with. It’s called a grid, people – look into it.

Video: Eagles Of Death Metal – “Cherry Cola”
Video: Girl Talk – “Feed The Animals”

Au Revoir Simone have scheduled a date at the Great Hall for July 15. Their last release was 2009’s Still Night Still Light but they were recently featured in session at Daytrotter.

MP3: Au Revoir Simone – “Shadows”
MP3: Au Revoir Simone – “All Or Nothing”

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is back and will be exploding blues all over the Horseshoe Lee’s Palace on July 31. There’s no new material coming out of this short reunion, but there is a best-of comp in Dirty Shirt Rock ‘N’ Roll: The First Ten Years and reissues of the studio albums proper are imminent. Magnet has a Q&A with Spencer, who will be playing guest editor on their site this week.

Video: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Talk About The Blues”

I’m really not sure what you could expect from a Van Dyke Parks live show, but Toronto will find out on September 29 when the arranger to the likes of The Beach Boys and Joanna Newsom, along with Clare & The Reasons, plays the Music Gallery.

MP3: Clare & The Reasons – “Ooh You Hurt Me So”

Friday, May 14th, 2010


Band Of Horses at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangPeople seemed generally disappointed on Tuesday when I answered their queries of, “so what are you doing for your birthday?” with “having sushi, watching TV and editing photos”. Apparently the correct answer was some permutation of “getting loaded and causing shit” but fact was, I had been out a lot in the past few days and a quiet night at home getting caught up on whatever sounded like a great plan. It would have taken a lot to get me to abandon that plan.

Something like a last-minute, surprise show from Band Of Horses.

The band were in town, enjoying a day off from their tour supporting Pearl Jam in Buffalo the night before and doing press for their forthcoming album Infinite Arms when the opportunity arose to insert themselves into the weekly free Nu Music Nite series at the ‘Shoe. After the decision was made and thanks to the marvels of modern mobile and social technology, I got word of the show around 7:45PM, a decision that those two episodes of The Pacific would keep at least another night was made by 7:47PM and I was one of just a few people at the Horseshoe by 8:30PM when the doors opened. This guaranteed a front-row spot but also meant waiting through the other bands on the bill, an experience that’s not really worth recounting. Band Of Horses were due to start at or around 11:15PM and by 10:30 or so, coincidentally just about the time that people who’d opted to stay home and watch Lost would have been able to get in gear, the ‘Shoe was full to an extent befitting the specialness of the occasion.

I’d only seen Band Of Horses live twice before, circa their debut Everything All The Time at SxSW 2006 and again a few months later at Lee’s Palace. What I remembered most about the Lee’s show was that while the show sounded marvelous, it wasn’t the most energetic affair what with frontman Ben Bridwell spending most of the show seated at the pedal steel. Well with no steel guitar on hand this night – all of their equipment was begged and borrowed – Bridwell would have to stand on his own legs and this would have to be a more physically engaging show. To say the least. Bridwell and bandmates rolled out on stage around 11:30, greeted by a packed house – congratulations Toronto, you’re capable of hustling when you need to – and, after prefacing their set with the disclaimer of, “we never do this”, put on as tremendous a display of flying by the seat of your pants as you’ll ever see.

Understand that Band Of Horses, by indie rock standards, are getting pretty big – and with Infinite Arms as their major label debut, can probably expect to just get bigger – so performing in a small bar setting is probably a rare opportunity for them, and as far as cutting loose and having a good time goes, they didn’t squander it – it was hard to gauge who had the bigger grins on their faces, the audience or the band. Unequipped to properly recreate their more atmospheric side – as stated, Bridwell was steel-less and, after breaking a number of strings, more often than not guitar-less, and Ryan Monroe was on six-string duty rather than keyboards – they opted to indulge their more raucous side, which doesn’t get to rear its head on record all that often. And any concerns about Bridwell’s willingness to move around and play frontman were wholly unfounded – the man was all over the stage, singing to the audience, singing to the sky (or ceiling, whatever), and proving without a doubt that there was nothing wrong with his legs.

Unsurprisingly, a number of tunes from Infinite Arms were previewed and while some have fairly criticized the album as being overly soft around the edges, they certainly toughened them up this time out. A few more familiar songs from Cease To Begin and handful of well-chosen covers – Gram Parsons’ “Song For You” and head-spinning encore of The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait” among them – filled out the hour-long set. They even thoughfully snuck in a “Happy birthday” into the set – ostensibly for drummer Creighton Barrett, but I just imagined it was for me. Not that they needed to – simply showing up and playing a fantastic set for my impromptu 35th birthday party was plenty. Though handing out the beer from their rider to the audience at show’s end was a nice touch. There should always be loot bags.

NOW, eye and Panic Manual all made it to the ‘Shoe in time for the show but the weeklies didn’t seem to have a great time, for some reason. Band Of Horses return for the show at the Toronto Island Concert on June 19 – expect them to play the “majestic” angle at that show. Infinite Arms is out on Tuesday.

Photos: Band Of Horses @ The Horseshoe – May 11, 2010
MP3: Band Of Horses – “Factory”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “Is There A Ghost”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “The Great Salt Lake”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “The Funeral”
Video: Band Of Horses – “NW Apartment”
Video: Band Of Horses – “Compliments”
Video: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”
Video: Band Of Horses – “Is There A Ghost”
Video: Band Of Horses – “The Great Salt Lake”
Video: Band Of Horses – “The Funeral”
Stream: Band Of Horses / Infinite Arms
MySpace: Band Of Horses

Also playing Toronto Islands that day are Beach House; the DVD they made to accompany Teen Dream, comprising a video for each song on the album, is streaming this week at PitchforkTV.

Video: Beach House / Teen Dream

Spin investigates how Blitzen Trapper got their name. Their new record Destroyer Of The Void is out June 8 and they bring it to the Opera House on August 3.

Crooked Fingers have managed to fan-fund Reservoir Songs 2 in its entirety via Kickstarter, and as a thank-you, are offering an MP3 of the John Hartford cover. The 12″ EP will be out on July 6; a new Crooked Fingers full-length will follow later this year.

MP3: Crooked Fingers – “Gentle On My Mind”

NPR has a World Cafe session and Drowned In Sound an interview with She & Him. They’re at the Sound Academy on June 9.

Josh Ritter talks to Spinner about his new record So The World Runs Away.

Joanna Newsom trash talks some Lady Gaga in an interview with The Guardian, while her chat with The Quietus stays much more focused on Have One On Me. She’s also the cover girl on the current issue of Under The Radar; the piece isn’t online but Stereogum has a bit of a precis.

BrooklynVegan interviews Laura Marling.

Music Snobbery talks to Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons.

Sky Larkin have announced their sophomore album will be entitled Kaleide and be available in August; you can download a mini-EP consisting of the title track and a couple of b-sides from their website right now.

The Georgia Straight and Twin Cities Daily Planet profile Shout Out Louds.

For Folk’s Sake has an interview with Basia Bulat, who will be at the Phoenix on June 3.

Chart talks to Hannah Georgas.

Broken Social Scene is featured in Clash, Spinner and The Independent. They play the Toronto Islands on June 19.

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Fun House

NXNE announces 2010 lineup; even skeptics admit it’s a little bit of alright

Photo By Mick RockMick RockFor those of us who’ve become accustomed to the all-encompassing scale, splendour and chaos of that grandaddy of all club-level music festivals – that’s SxSW, in case you were wondering – It can be kind of fun to pick on the Toronto versions CMW/CMF and NXNE for, essentially, not being South-by. It’s not a fair comparison by any means, but it’s inevitable. We’ve had to check those darts and break out some laurels in recent years, however, as both fests have made significant improvements in terms of organization, public relations and most importantly, bookings. NxNE, in particular, has been wise in making use of the public space at Yonge-Dundas Square to get right in the faces of Toronto for the middle of June and make it feel like much more of a major city event, instead of one of many things going on in the Big Smoke at a given time. They started out with modestly interesting day shows but as of a couple years ago, began booking some of the biggest names of the fest there for shows that were completely open to the public. That is how you build good will.

And with the initial announcement of artists coming to town from June 17 to 20, they’ve really kind of outdone themselves. The big coup is clearly Iggy & The Stooges, who will play for free at Yonge-Dundas Square on the evening of June 19, and the punk legends set the tone for many of the other names announced yesterday, many of whom come from the big, loud and sloppy side of the tracks. Obviously the actual schedule is still a ways away, but some digging has revealed at least some of the when and where of some of the acts playing the festival – just to give you a taste of some of the tough choices that the Toronto club-hopper will have to make (besides the obvious one of Iggy vs Pavement/Broken Social Scene). These are not complete and are subject to change, but do come from legitimate sources.

Thursday, June 17 2010
X, Mudhoney @ Yonge-Dundas Square (free)
Warpaint, Free Energy, Elliott Brood @ The Horseshoe
The Besnard Lakes, Young Galaxy @ The Mod Club
HEALTH, Gold Panda, Indian Jewelry @ Sneaky Dee’s

Friday, June 18 2010
Sloan @ Yonge-Dundas Square (free)
Man… Or Astro-Man?, Mudhoney @ The Horseshoe
AA Bondy, Simone Felice, Avi Buffalo @ The Great Hall
Japandroids, Wavves @ Lee’s Palace
Inlets @ TBA

Saturday, June 19 2010
Iggy & The Stooges, Wavves @ Yonge-Dundas Square (free)
Quintron & Miss Pussycat, JEFF The Brotherhood @ The Garrison
Cold Cave, Avi Buffalo @ Lee’s Palace

Sunday, June 20 2010
De La Soul, Kid Sister, Phenomenal Handclap Band @ Yonge-Dundas Square (free)

And playing free shows at Yonge-Dundas at some point during the week will be The Raveonettes and Surfer Blood, while confirmed but still without a date or venue are Les Savvy Fav, Thee Oh Sees, The Soft Pack and The Strange Boys, amongst many, many others. And these are just the “bigger” names – by June, surely there’ll be a whole new batch of buzz bands to complain about being booked into undersized venues. Such is the joy of NXNE. But at least it will be warm.

Elsewhere and/or elsewhen. Rae Spoon has just released the thereisafire EP as a preview of his new record Love is A Hunter, due out in August. The EP is available to download for free and he will be at the Holy Oak in Toronto on Friday night, April 16, for a show.

MP3: Rae Spoon – “Come On Forest Fire” (CPI Remix)
MP3: Rae Spoon – “There Is A Light”
ZIP: Rae Spoon / thereisafire

Her time as a Decemberist at an end, at least for now, Shara Worden is returning to work as My Brightest Diamond and will be at the El Mocambo on May 4, presumably to showcase material from the follow-up to 2008’s A Thousand Shark’s Teeth. Tickets for that show are $10.50 in advance.

MP3: My Brightest Diamond – “Inside A Boy”
MP3: My Brightest Diamond – “The Diamond”

Local heroes-in-waiting Zeus have set a date at the Mod Club for May 27. Tickets for that will be $12 in advance.

MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”

Blitzen Trapper have added a Toronto date to the end of their North American tour in support of their new record Destroyer Of The Void, due out June 8. Look for them on August 3 at the Opera House, accompanied by Avi Buffalo who – with their two NxNE shows – are going to be hanging around Toronto a lot this Summer.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Heaven & Earth”
MP3: Avi Buffalo – “Remember Last Time”
MP3: Avi Buffalo – “What’s In It For?”

Dan Snaith of Caribou talks to Chart about new album Swim, out April 20. Caribou play the Phoenix on May 3.

MySpace Transmissions has a watchable/listenable/downloadable session with Broken Bells. They are at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 2.

A second MP3 from The National’s High Violet is now available. The record is out May 11. They play Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

MP3: The National – “Afraid Of Everyone”

Filter gets to know She & Him; they have a sold-out show at The Phoenix on June 9.

BBC6 talks to Ryan Monroe of Band Of Horses about their new record Infinite Arms, from which they’re previewing another new track on their website. The record is in stores on May 18 and they play the Toronto Island Concert on June 19.

Mother Jones and Spinner talk to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, who’ve just released a new video. Yeah, it’s weird.

Video: The Flaming Lips – “Powerless”

Josh Ritter previews his new record So Runs The World Away via Daytrotter session. The record is out May 4.

Le Blogotheque is hosting a Take-Away Show with Megafaun. Q&As Liz Powell from Land Of Talk, who also stopped in at Explore Music to perform a Big Star cover.

Video: Land Of Talk – “Thirteen” (live at Exploremusic)

Woodpigeon have a video for the title track of their new Spirehouse EP, which also appeared on Die Stadt Muzikanten. You can download the song for free in exchange for your email at Bandcamp.

Video: Woodpigeon – “Spirehouse”

OMG Blog has premiered a new video from Gentleman Reg for his cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Wild Heart” from his Heavy Head EP.

Video: Gentleman Reg – “Wild Heart”

Forest City Lovers have christened album number three as Carriage. Look for it around July.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Keep Quiet

A random collection of links featuring Hot Chip

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceWhy lead with Hot Chip? Well nothing else especially newsworthy came down the pipe yesterday and their new one One Life Stand came out this week. I’ve been spinning it moderately the last little while, though not enough to try and assemble a proper review. Sufficed to say that while I’ve never been a massive Hot Chip fan in the past and this effort doesn’t sound/feel too different from what I recall of their earlier records, I’m enjoying this one alright. Maybe I should revisit their earlier records – mayhap my ears are more attuned to their chilled-out electro-pop than before.

There’s feature pieces on the band at Dose, Spin, Spinner, The National Post and The Irish Times and there’s also an album making-of video streaming this week at PitchforkTV. They are scheduled to be at the Kool Haus in Toronto on April 20, but the date is not appearing on their website itinerary – not sure if that’s something to be concerned about or not…

Video: Hot Chip – “One Life Stand”
Stream: Hot Chip / One Life Stand

NPR has a World Cafe session with The xx, who are also playing that Kool Haus show with Hot Chip as well as their own headlining gig at the Phoenix on April 4.

Spinner talks to Victoria Hesketh, aka Little Boots, about the long delay between the UK release of her debut album Hands and the impending North American release on March 2. She plays the Phoenix on April 30.

JAM and The AV Club have interviews with Elly Jackson of La Roux.

Drowned In Sound has details on the new album from The FutureheadsThe Chaos is being released independently by the band and will be out in the UK on April 26.

Check out the first video from Jonsi’s Go. It’s out March 23 and he plays two nights at the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1.

Video: Jonsi – “Go Do”

Stereogum has the MP3 and video for the title track from Under Byen’s new record Alt Er Tabt, out April 6.

Video: Under Byen – “Alt Er Tabt”

Swede Kristian Matsson, who plies his musical trade as The Tallest Man On Earth, is staging a North American tour in support of his new record The Wild Hunt, out April 13, and will be at the El Mocambo in Toronto on April 17. Check out a track from the album and another song he recorded as a theme song for the Yellow Bird Project charity out of Montreal – details here.

MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “King Of Spain”
MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “A Field Of Birds”

Check out a couple tracks from Bettie Serveert’s new record Pharmacy Of Love, due out March 23.

MP3: Bettie Serveert – “Semaphore”
MP3: Bettie Serveert – “The Pharmacy”

Paste reports that Josh Ritter will release a new record entitled So Runs The World Away on May 4 – they’re giving away an MP3 from his website in exchange for your email.

Falls Church News-Press and SF Station interview The Antlers. They’re at the Phoenix on February 16.

Muzzle Of Bees has a video performance from Sharon Van Etten, who will be at the Horseshoe on April 5.

Paste talks to Phantogram as part of their “best of what’s next” series. They have a show at the Drake Underground on February 20.

Daytrotter has your first preview of new material from Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea, recorded in a session last Fall. Her new record is currently in production and will be out later this year.

Lara Meyerratken of El May talks to Spinner about nearly getting fired from Luna and her new self-titled solo record.

Dan Mangan has released a new video from Nice, Nice, Very Nice. He’s got two shows as part of Canadian Musicfest, March 11 at The Great Hall and March 12 at The Courthouse.

Video: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”