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Posts Tagged ‘July Talk’

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Catch My Breath

You, Me, NPR, and everyone we know

Photo By Laura Lynn PetrickLaura Lynn PetrickYou may recall last week that I mentioned that this week, an interview I gave NPR’s World Cafe as part of their “Sense Of Place” series on Toronto would be airing this week. And that it did on Wednesday – and let me tell you it’s goddamn weird seeing your own name and face show up in your RSS feed – though I haven’t actually listened to it yet… Nor am I likely to. I saw the hot dogs being made, y’know?

To recap – the theme of the interview was to list off five up and coming Toronto acts for NPR listeners to discover, and bits of the interview have been excerpted over the week for their blog along with a download from the band. So far, they’ve run pieces on Fresh Snow, PUP, The Elwins, and Beliefs – all of whom I think exemplify very different aspects of what’s going on, musically, in this city – and today we will have either Alvvays or Del Bel… hopefully both, though that’s out of my hands. We recorded bits on six bands as a safety in case there were any unforeseen issues. I’ll update with today’s post when it goes up later today. Update: Alvvays piece is up; Del Bel should be up tomorrow.

In any case, all six are worth your time whether you’re into psych-kraut, power-pop, punk, cinematic noir, jangle-indie, or shoegaze. Fresh Snow and Beliefs – pictured above – are both on the bill for the next installment of Long Winter, happening December 13 at The Great Hall, and Fresh Snow are also playing the next Steam Whistle Unsigned showcase at the Steam Whistle Roundhouse on November 29. PUP are finishing up an epic North American tour this weekend, the CMJ show of which is available to hear at NYC Taper; there’s also an interview at The Regina Leader=Post. The Elwins have a couple Ontario dates to close out the month but are gearing up to release their second album next year, as are Del Bel. Alvvays’ self-titled debut will finally be out early next year, and they’re opening up for Young Galaxy at The Hoxton tonight.

Just a few of the many, many, great sounds coming out of Toronto right now. I do hope you dig.

MP3: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”
MP3: The Elwins – “Stuck In The Middle”
MP3: PUP – “Reservoir”
MP3: Beliefs – “Catch My Breath”
MP3: Del Bel – “Dusk Light”
MP3: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”

Also recorded while they were in town, World Cafe has an acoustic session with James and Emily from Metric.

July Talk, who’ll be at the Sound Academy on December 3 opening up for Frank Turner, also recorded a World Cafe session and are interviewed in The Edmonton Journal, Georgia Straight, and Pique.

Young Galaxy have released yet another video from their Ultramarine Deluxe edition; that’s a remarkable amount of singles from material that didn’t make the original album. As mentioned, they’re at The Hoxton on November 22.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Crying My Heart Out”

The Quietus has a stream of Destroyer’s new Five Spanish Songs EP, coming out on Tuesday. Dan Bejar talks about the record with Reverb.

Stream: Destroyer / Five Spanish Songs

Thee Silver Mount Zion have announced a January 21 release date for their new album, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything; details at Constellation Records, excerpt of one of the new songs and trailer for the record below.

Stream: Thee Silver Mount Zion – “Austerity Blues” (excerpt)
Trailer: Thee Silver Mount Zion / Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

The Winnipeg Free Press, Metro, and aux.tv make with the chit-chat with Shad. He’s back in town January 31 at The Danforth Music Hall.

The Creators Project has revealed the actual official video for Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife”, taken from Reflektor – that live, Spike Jonze-directed YouTube Awards thing from a few weeks back was just a live, Spike Jonze-directed YouTube Awards thing. And because you apparently can’t get enough Arcade Fire, NME has video from a three-song French television performance. They play The Air Canada Centre on March 13.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

The Grid, The Toronto Star, and BlogTO chat with Owen Pallett, who talks a bit about his new album In Conflict, due early next year, amongst other topics including his new ballet. Exclaim has a helpful round up of everything that’s currently known about the follow-up to Heartland.

The Globe and Mail, San Francisco Examiner, and PopMatters talk to Spencer Krug of Moonface.

Majical Cloudz have made a studio version of a live favourite available to stream; Matablog has some background on the track.

Stream: Majical Cloudz – “Savage”

Oh Comely has a chat with Diana.

Exclaim has details in the next installment in Sloan’s vinyl bootleg series – the 500-piece limited edition of Tokyo Japan 2002 went on sale on Wednesday, so if you wanted one but were counting on me to let you know about it, then you need to re-evaluate your news-gathering strategies.

aux.tv takes a fascinating look at Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook’s career as a child actor.

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Lady Toronto

Fucked Up almanac predicts another Long Winter with high probability of King Cobb Steelie

Photo via FacebookFacebookHaving found their prescription of music, art, film, dance, food, and community to have been wholly effective at warding off the Winter blues, local hardcore heroes and good citizens Fucked Up have announced a second edition of the Long Winter arts series, set to take place monthly from November 2013 through March 2014.

Though Fucked Up themselves headlined three of the five shows of 2012-13, they’re ceding centre stage for the season opener – set to take place November 8 at The Great Hall – to Guelph’s electronic-jazz-funk pioneers King Cobb Steelie, their on-again/off-again status again in the “on” position following the re-release of their 1994 album Project Twinkle last Fall. They’re joined on the musical portion of the bill by Rheostatics spin-off Bidiniband, local post-punkers Ell V Gore, and many more. Admission to the event is pay-what-you-can.

Stream: King Cobb Steelie – “Mano Ponderosa”
Stream: King Cobb Steelie – “Deadbeat”
Stream: King Cobb Steelie – “Home”
Video: King Cobb Steelie – “Rational”

As mentioned, Fucked Up aren’t playing the first edition of this year’s series – although it’s a certainty they will before Spring arrives – but they are playing a local show that same weekend. Those willing to make the trek to Scarborough can see them at Rockpile East on November 9.

MP3: Fucked Up – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

The National Post and Vancouver Sun talk Flying Colours with Shad, out now and behind which he has two local area shows scheduled – a sold out gig at The Opera House tomorrow night, October 19, and another at The Danforth Music Hall on January 31.

JAM has an interview with Will Butler of Arcade Fire, whose Reflektor will finally be out on October 29. And if album trailers wasn’t annoying enough, now we’ve got song trailers. Arcade Fire – groundbreaking as ever.

Trailer: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

July Talk will be at the Sound Academy on December 3 as support for Frank Turner. Exclaim is streaming their just re-released debut album with the four bonus tracks, so if you haven’t heard it or even if you have, you should probably give a listen.

Stream: July Talk / July Talk

No Joy have made a date at The Garrison for December 6, ostensibly in support of their Pastel And Pass Out EP which is due out November 4, but probably mostly just because.

MP3: No Joy – “Heedless”

Local psych-pop upstarts Moon King will be at The Drake on December 12, perhaps in expectation that the third and final part of their Obsession EP series will finally be out, though they did just release a video from part II so maybe they’re not quite done with that one yet. Either way, hope they don’t burn the place down.

MP3: Moon King – “Appel”
Video: Moon King – “Almost Blue”

Exclaim has details on and a stream from a new tour cassette EP from Austra-adjuncts Tasseomancy, as they spool up for a European tour and a new album next year.

Stream: Tasseomancy – “Braid. Wind Is Coming”

The Winnipeg Free Press, Georgia Straight, and Edmonton Journal talk to Katie Stelmanis of Austra.

Basia Bulat plays a Take-Away Show for Le Blogothèque.

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Yall Know Me

Lo, the Shad event horizon draws nigh

Photo By Justin BroadbentJustin BroadbentOkay, so maybe the build-up hasn’t been that long. The specifics of Shadrach Kobango’s – that’s Shad’s given name, if you didn’t know – new record Flying Colours were only made official two months ago, but since then it’s reasonable to say that anticipation levels have gotten pretty high.

And not that there should have been any doubt, but Flying Colours is pretty great. Like his breakout 2007 album The Old Prince and its equally Polaris-shortlisted 2010 follow-up TSOL, Colours is chock full of fast rhymes, smooth beats, brilliant wordplay, and undeniable fun. One of Shad’s many gifts is how he’s able to rap so specifically about his own personal experiences as a Kenyan-born Rwandan immigrant and make them so universally inclusive. It doesn’t necessarily break any new ground relative to his other albums – at least not one that this not-especially-attuned-to-hip-hop ear can detect – but it’s just as good if not better, and that’s plenty.

An advance stream of the album intertwined with commentary from both Shadrach and CBC’s George Strombolopolous went up available to Canadian audiences at CBC Music, and if you’re not fond of the conversational podcast format a straight stream with accompanying text Q&A went live today. I believe both are geoblocked to Canada, though, so if you live outside the ten provinces and three territories, there had been some talk of a Soundcloud stream so be patient. Maybe read this feature piece at Exclaim in the meantime. Further, with his previously-announced October 19 show at The Opera House well and properly sold out, he’s announced a couple more Toronto-area live appearances in both the near- and long-term; to the former, there’s an in-store at Sonic Boom’s Annex location on the day of release – October 15 – at 7PM, and to the latter, he’s announced his biggest headlining show to date at The Danforth Music Hall on January 31, 2014, tickets ranging from $18.50 to $23.50 in advance. Shad’s going to be everywhere with this record – you may as well join him.

Video: Shad – “Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)”
Video: Shad featuring Saukrates – “Stylin'”
Stream: Shad / Flying Colours

NOW spends some time with Nick Thorburn of Islands, in town at The Garrison tonight, October 10.

The band themselves still aren’t saying much, but Rolling Stone has gathered quotes from others involved with the recording of Arcade Fire’s new album Reflektor, which comes out October 29.

October 29 will also see the release of Moonface’s new album Julia with Blue Jeans On and so The Quietus is happy to host the first in a series of video sessions with Spencer Krug and a piano.

Bound, the debut from Ex-Forest City Lover leader Kat Burns’ new incarnation as Kashka, is coming November 5 and in addition to sharing an excellent first track from the album, she’s plotted out a Fall tour that has two Toronto dates; a solo record release show at The Dakota Tavern on November 6 and a (presumably) full band affair at BLK BOX come December 5. Update: As Ms Kat Kashka mentions in the comments, the Dakota show is as support for Sunparlour Players; the December 5 gig is the actual coming-out party. Plan accordingly.

Stream: Kashka – “Never Had It”

Pitchfork has a stream of the first sample from Destroyer’s forthcoming Five Spanish Songs and, indeed, it’s a song in Spanish; one of five that will be released on November 29. A solo Dan Bejar plays The Great Hall on November 9.

Stream: Destroyer – “El Rito”

Wes Marskell of The Darcys talks to Exclaim and NOW about their new album Warring and to Impose about having to deal with an unlicensed soundtrack appearance of the pornographic kind. They’re at The Adelaide Music Hall on October 11.

Exclaim has a video session with Basia Bulat, who plays three shows behind her new album Tall Tall Shadow at The Polish Combatants Hall this week, October 10 through 12.

July Talk explains to Exclaim why they’re re-releasing their just-released debut self-titled album on October 15 with four extra bonus tracks inserted into the original running order.

The Hidden Cameras have offered a taste of their new album AGE, due out early 2014, with a new video.

Video: The Hidden Cameras – “Gay Goth Scene”

Sarah Harmer talks activism and a new album with Exclaim while penning an op-ed about the her fight against the line 9 oil pipeline in The Grid.

Noisey has premiered the new video from Odonis Odonis.

Video: Odonis Odonis – “Are We Friends”

The Lowest Of The Low have announced the departure of founding guitarist/vocalist Stephen Stanley; it’s assumed by their not declaring the band is breaking up again that they’ll soldier on with guitarist Ron Hawkins and drummer David Alexander as the remaining original members; original bassist John Arnott left the band back in 2007 or so.

The Georgia Straight talks to Tony Dekker about his new solo record Prayer Of The Woods.

In hounour of the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s In Utero, Toronto’s Hand Drawn Dracula has compiled a tribute album to the record featuring some of the best and brightest of the local indie scene, including Fresh Snow, Odonis Odonis, Hooded Fang, and more. Stream it or download it in exchange for an email.

Stream: various artists / Milkin’ It

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Tall Tall Shadow

Basia Bulat steps into the Shadow for third record

Photo By Anna Groth-ShiveAnna Groth-ShiveOver the course of her first two records, Toronto’s Basia Bulat has crafted a musical persona built around folk-pop that can be as bare and affecting with the best of them, but really wins hearts when it’s upbeat and joyous and feels like a warm ray of aural sunshine. Assuming that her just-announced third album Tall Tall Shadow will simply offer more of the same, however, may be premature.

She’s not going electronic or anything – well, maybe a bit but not so much that the Canadian indie-rock rulebook demands she assume a new identity – but advance word is that Shadow still represents a significant change in modus operandi. Howard Bilerman, who produced the first two records, has stepped aside for Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury and Mark Lawson, who engineered The Suburbs; the piano was adopted as a primary composition instrument alongside or even over the guitar; a personal tragedy altered and informed the songwriting; and most importantly, Bulat challenged her own expectations about what she should or could sound like.

The fruits of this creative process can be heard in full when Tall Tall Shadow is released October 1, but the first of the new songs – the album’s title track – is available to stream now. Exclaim has more album details and an expanded Fall itinerary, with more North American dates being added to the already-announced hometown show at the Polish Combatants Hall on October 10.

Stream: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

CBC Music has premiered the new video from Two Hours Traffic’s latest Foolish Blood. They have an in-store at Sonic Boom in The Annex tomorrow afternoon, July 27, at 5PM.

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Magic”

NOW and CBC talk to the Peter Dreimanis half of July Talk while The Halifax Chronicle-Herald gets a word with creative foil Leah Fay. Their next local show is up at Downsview Park as part of Edgefest next week, on July 31.

Fractured Air interviews Tim Condon of Toronto’s new (neu?) Krautrock heroes Fresh Snow, who hold a record release show for their debut LP I at The Boat on August 8.

In conversation with Billboard, Neko Case offers an update on the next New Pornographers record, which is apparently almost done. You probably shouldn’t expect either her or Dan Bejar to be on hand when they play a show at the CNE Bandshell on August 17, though. Just in case you were.

American Songwriter has premiered the stream of another new track from the new Sadies record Internal Sounds, out September 17.

Stream: The Sadies – “Another Tomorrow Again”

The Daily Swarm and Sydney Morning Herald talk to Devon Walsh of Majical Cloudz, back in town on September 17 at Wrongbar.

Having made their mark over the last couple of years with one album far too long in the can before being let loose and another covering a ’70s prog-rock classic, Toronto’s Darcys are finally able to announce the release of an album that might actually represent where they are today. That record will be called Warring, it will be out on September 17, and courtesy of Spin, you can stream the first track from it right now or get it to download from the band’s website in exchange for a little social media juice.

Stream: The Darcys – “The River”

In conversation with Billboard, James Murphy offers his thoughts, as sorta producer, on the new Arcade Fire record. It’s out October 29 and Murphy, incidentally, is doing a DJ set at The Hoxton on September 6. If watching guys DJ is your bag.

Chris Murphy tells Exclaim that the next Sloan record will be that long-awaited, presumed-inevitable thing – a double-album with each side essentially a solo record for each member. There’s no firm release plans yet, but what is known is that Jay Ferguson’s side will be getting worn out first. No question.

Bronson Island have posted a video session dating to who knows when with the now on-hiatus Broken Social Scene performing a previously-unreleased song.

Video: Broken Social Scene – “Where’s Your Heart, Where’s Your Mind” (live on Bronson Island)

Damian Abraham of Fucked Up talks to Clash about his approach to performing live.

CBC Music has a Summer check-in chat with Sarah Harmer.

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

NXNE 2013 Day Three

Fresh Snow, Data Romance, Del Bel, and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’m sure some would look at the last full day/night of a music festival as an opportunity to go hard or go home, I took NXNE’s Saturday schedule as an opportunity to go small and go (relatively) local. I’d kept a pretty conservative schedule through the festival this far, after all, why stop now?

I started out at Supermarket in Kensington to see Vancouver’s Data Romance. I wasn’t really familiar with them before stumbling across their stuff in the NXNE listings, and liking what I heard, gave them a shot. And indeed, armed with a healthy array of drum pads, synths, and laptops, duo Ajay Bhattacharyya and Amy Kirkpatrick, put on a very likeable set of electro-pop drawn from their debut album Other, the former playing electronic drums live to keep things organic and the latter adorably charismatic, her voice expressive without being excessively showy. They specialized in soulful, synthy ballads that would feel like part of the zeitgeist had it come out of the UK right now, but coming from western Canada, sounds rather unique. Accessible, interesting, and well-crafted, Data Romance could and should find a broad audience.

Photos: Data Romance @ Supermarket – June 15, 2013
MP3: Data Romance – “Spark”
Video: Data Romance – “Can’t Keep Your Mind Off”
Video: Data Romance – “The Deep”
Video: Data Romance – “She’s Been High”

Next it was to the Creatures Creating studio space – or more accurately, the tinfoil and lightshow-adorned basement of the studio space – where Toronto music and arts institution Wavelength was holding the final night of their NXNE showcases and previewing their upcoming Roadshow tour which would send three Toronto bands on the road to do their thing across Ontario and Quebec over the next couple weekends. The first of these, Most People, comprised just two people and a whole lot of musical gear of the guitar, bass, percussion, and electronic persuasion which they alternated between tag team-style while building sound-on-sound pop songs that seemed to fold in on themselves but straightened themselves out when needed, being sure to leave the hooks exposed. While their yelpy vocal stylings weren’t to my taste and the songs could stand to be more concise, there’s no denying they were fun to watch. And I’m not just saying that because they’re the only band I’ve ever seen with the same guitar amp as I have. Solidarity!

Photos: Most People @ Creatures Creating – June 15, 2013
Stream: Most People / Most People

I’d seen local jazz-noir collective Del Bel a couple times last year, but never with as lean a lineup as they had on this night – just five pieces, though I would imagine the logistics of getting any larger a group than that together and able to tour would be nigh on impossible. Even stripped down, though, they were able to both do the dark, evocative sounds of their debut Oneiric justice and give them a fresh angle that suited the boozecan feel of the room. Some new material from their forthcoming second album was also showcased, and affirmed that they’re still one of the most interesting and promising new acts bubbling under in Toronto.

Photos: Del Bel @ Creatures Creating – June 15, 2013
MP3: Del Bel with Bry Webb – “No Cure For Loneliness”

I feel as though I should offer a disclaimer about Fresh Snow – I used to be in a band with guitarist Brad Davis and have been friends for many years – but even without the personal angle, I would be excited to be writing about the band. What started as an interesting Krautrock-jam project has become a genuinely exciting psych-rock experience that exists at intersection of calculated and cacophonous. They can shift from Godspeed to Kraftwerk to Mogwai within the same song, and then segue to eminently danceable synth-led disco a few minutes later with some pleasantly woozy violin lines offering a decidedly human counterpoint to the mechanical rhythms driving things. And they might also blow the power in the venue a couple times, but nothing worthwhile comes without some cost. Their debut album i is due out in late July.

Photos: Fresh Snow @ Creatures Creating – June 15, 2013
Video: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”

And that was my NXNE for 2013. Not nearly as intense as past years, but just about the right pace to keep me interested and alive. Trust me on that last point.

Unsurprisingly, with this year’s festival in the books, some of the buzzier bands who had undersized showcases have already announced bigger/proper shows for the not-too-distant future. Braids spin-off Blue Hawaii will be at Wrongbar on July 28 in support of their debut Untogether, released earlier this year and from which they’ve just released a new video.

MP3: Blue Hawaii – “In Two II”
Video: Blue Hawaii – “Reaction II”

And Majical Cloudz, who by all accounts was pretty intense in their showcases, continue to promote their debut Impersonator with a show at Wrongbar on September 17, tickets $12. The Toronto Star has an interview with frontman Devon Welsh.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Bugs Don’t Buzz”

The ALL CAPS! music festival has decided that five is enough and that this year’s edition, taking place at Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands across August 10 and 11, will be the final one. And who better to send it off with a fitting party than Rich Aucoin, who will headline the Sunday night alongside Brooklyn’s The Blow – closing out Saturday – and a lineup that also includes catl, Shotgun Jimmie, Elfin Saddle, and more, not to mention a whole lot of other arty stuff. A very limited number of camping passes go on sale June 25 for $52 early bird and $69 lollygagger, and festival passes where you have to go home for $24 going up to $30. Single-day tickets are $17 in advance.

MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”
MP3: The Blow – “Hock It”

With a new double-album in Drifters/Love Is The Devil just out, Taiwan-born Montreal-based no-fi rockabilly act Dirty Beaches has announced Fall tour that hits The Garrison on September 11, tickets $13 in advance. Exclaim and Stereogum talk to Alex Zhang-Hungtai – he who is Dirty Beaches – about his latest opus.

Video: Dirty Beaches – “Casino Lisboa”

Interview, DIY, and Noisey talk to Katie Stelmanis of Austra, whose new record Olympia came out this week. They play The Phoenix on September 27.

Dears frontman Murray Lightburn has release the first MP3 and video from his forthcoming solo album Mass:Light; contrary to what I reported last month, the album itself has no announced release date yet.

MP3: Murray A. Lightburn – “Motherfuckers”
Video: Murray A. Lightburn – “Motherfuckers”

Beatroute has an interview with Toronto’s July Talk.

The Besnard Lakes talk to Beatroute.

The Georgia Straight and Beatroute check in with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan.