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Posts Tagged ‘Kasabian’

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Dalliance

The Wedding Present ride Seamonsters on tour

Photo via FacebookFacebookThey’d announced some time ago that these were coming, but to actually see the dates and have something on the calendar to circle is still pretty exciting. I am referring, of course, to The Wedding Present’s just-announced North American tour wherein they will not only preview material from their forthcoming eighth album – title and release date still to come – but mark the twentieth anniversary of their third full-length Seamonsters by performing it live, in its entirety.

They did this on their last visit in April 2010, celebrating Bizarro turning 20 with a recital, but this show is extra-special because Seamonsters is, quite simply, the band’s best record. It took the romantic casualty archetype that populated David Gedge’s earlier compositions and rather than make him hapless again, it took the jilt and turned it into anger. At the same time, producer Steve Albini – who’d worked with the band on some EPs – was brought in to give the record a correspondingly dry, rough and muscular sonic signature; whereas the band’s signature churning guitars had previously been more effective as bludgeons, now they carried blades and weren’t afraid to use them. The result was the band’s most aurally and emotionally dynamic album and it’s going to be amazing to see and hear live.

Of course, it won’t be the same lineup performing it as who recorded it – Gedge has long been the only constant in The Wedding Present and his bandmates all many years his junior, but it will be odd to not see Terry de Castro on bass for the first time. She left the band in August of last year, ending a 12-year run as Gedge’s bassist and backing vocalist, dating back to his tenure as Cinerama. The new girl is one Pepe le Moko. I am guessing that’s not her real name but it’d be awesome if it was.

The Toronto date goes March 25 at The Horseshoe. Tickets are $18.50 in advance and as it comes at the tail end of Canadian Music Week, a limited number of wristbands will be admitted.

Video: The Wedding Present – “Dalliance”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Crawl”

Los Campesinos! will kick off 2012 with a North American tour in support of Hello Sadness that includes a two-night stand at Lee’s Palace, January 21 and 22. Tickets for each show are $20 in advance. DIY has an interview with the band.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “By Your Hand”
Video: Los Campesinos! – “By Your Hand”

Hey, remember The Darkness? They had a huge hit in 2003, kind of broke up amidst drugs and booze abuse, had some unremarkable side projects and then reunited earlier this year? Yeah, that Darkness. Well they’re crossing the pond next year and will kick off their tour at The Phoenix on February 1, tickets $29. I’m not sure why I posted this bit of news – maybe just to have an excuse to listen to that song. You know the one.

Video: The Darkness – “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”

Bombay Bicycle Club have slated an enormous North American tour in support of their third album A Different Kind Of Fix; the Toronto date is March 1 at the Mod Club and tickets are $18.50 in advance.

Video: Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle”

And because the karmic balance of concert announcements must be maintained, take note that Still Corners have had to cancel their upcoming North American tour in support of The War On Drugs, including the December 9 show at The Horseshoe. Similarly, those looking forward to a (relatively) intimate club show from Kasabian on March 29 may be disappointed to know that it’s been moved to the twice-as-large Kool Haus. Those who missed out on tickets when they sold out in hours, however, will be pleased. See? Karma.

Loud & Quiet interview Veronica Falls, in town at The Garrison on February 14. They’ve also put together a mixtape for your listening pleasure over at Clash.

Summer Camp has a sit-down with Loud & Quiet.

Clash checks in with Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit, hard at work on album number four.

Loud & Quiet talk to Mogwai, a band who knows a thing or two about both loud and quiet.

LA Weekly solicits some choice quotes from Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye.

And while most people are still busy listifying 2011, BBC has their eyes squarely on the future with the long list of their annual Sound Of 2012 poll. Guaranteed that at least some of the artists listed, you will be hearing about in the near future. If just in the context of not winning the BBC Sound Of 2012 poll.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Through The Dirt And The Gravel

Review of We Were Promised Jetpacks’ In The Pit Of The Stomach

Photo By Nic ShonfeldNic ShonfeldAlongside labelmates and countrymen The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit, Glasgow-via-Edinburgh’s We Were Promised Jetpacks should have formed a 21st century dream team of new Scottish acts, dispensing their peoples’ distinctive brand of angst through their respective brands of rock. And yet while those other two won and maintain places in my heart, Jetpacks’ 2009 debut These Four Walls did’t quite win me over.

The specifics of why aren’t entirely clear, but I suspect that it was just a little too shouty, too unrelenting. Granted, those are the band’s key strengths – guitarist/vocalist Adam Thompson’s bellows overtop the breakneck musical churn – but I found Walls a bit exhausting to get through. That hardly warranted writing the band off, however, so I was more than happy to give their sophomore effort In The Pit Of The Stomach, released last month, a few spins and it’s almost as though the band heard about my complaints and decided to meet me partway. Which is awful gracious of them.

To either casual followers or die-hard fans of the band, Stomach probably sounds perfectly familiar and satisfying. It’s still loud and punishing – album closer “Pear Tree” is a six-and-a-half minute flurry of face punches – but those crescendos are now better tempered with quieter passages and a greater emphasis on melody, both vocally and instrumentally. By reining things in a bit and singing rather than shouting while the drums and guitars steadily build, “Act On Impulse” comes across far more dynamically and interesting than anything I can recall on Walls. Similarly, the instrumental front half of “Sore Thumb” is evocative of Mogwai in their gentler moods before bringing the hammer down like Mogwai in their angrier moods; which is to say it’s kind of Mogwai-ish, in a good way.

In The Pit Of The Stomach evidences the sort of artistic growth and sophistication you’d hope a young band who’re probably not given to turning their sound upside down would develop. It certainly won’t lose them any fans but it may well sway some who had been on the fence onto their side. Trust me on this.

The Dallas Observer talks to the band about guitarist Michael Palmer’s cancer scare between albums one and two.

MP3: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Act On Impulse”
Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Human Error”

I now have a Valentine and her/their name is Veronica Falls. The London quartet will be back in town for a show at The Garrison on February 14, tickets $10.50 in advance. DIY has an A-to-Z with/of the band.

MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”

Arena-sized in the UK, club-sized in North America, Kasabian will bring their latest album Velociraptor to The Phoenix on March 29, tickets $24.50 in advance. Perhaps they’ll be able to commiserate with Toronto about the (lack of) wisdom in naming things after dinosaurs that were briefly in fashion 20 years ago.

Video: Kasabian – “Switchblade Smiles”

Drowned In Sound gets their turn in the Los Campesinos! media-go-round.

Clash checks in with Milo Cordell of The Big Pink as they put the finishing touches on their new record Future This, out January 17.

Slow Club have a new video from Paradise.

Video: Slow Club – “If We’re Still Alive”

Similarly, Noah & The Whale have released a new clip from Last Night On Earth

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Give It All Back”

Two videos – or animations, as they’re being called – from the new Kate Bush album 50 Words For Snow have been released. It’s reasonable to expect more.

Video: Kate Bush – “Misty”
Video: Kate Bush – “Wild Man”

The New York Times Q&A’s Noel Gallagher, who has just released a short film that uses three of the songs from his solo debut as accompaniment.

Video: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Ride The Tiger”

NME reports that Liam Gallagher has declared Oasis material may be on the table for future Beady Eye live performances.

The Guardian proxies questions from readers to Jarvis Cocker. The Jarv answers.

The Alternate Side has posted an Elbow studio session to watch and interview to read while Under The Radar reports that the band has been tapped to record the soundtrack to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

Adele is capping off what’s been a pretty good year for her (except for all those canceled shows and throat surgery) with the release of the Live At The Royal Albert Hall DVD/BR today – Spin is streaming the audio from the document while you can watch 25 minutes of the thing at Vevo.

Stream: Adele / Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Video: Adele / Live At The Royal Albert Hall (excerpt)

Kate Jackson talks to NME about her post-Long Blondes solo ambitions.

State chats with Clock Opera, whose debut album should be out in the new year.

NME follows Wild Beasts around on tour for a while.

The Stool Pigeon chats with Robyn Hitchcock.

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

See You Later

Field Music to tour with The Clientele

Photo By Ian WestIan WestLet’s be honest here. It’s a couple of days before Christmas and a four-day weekend – something that people of all faiths can agree is a good thing – and you’re probably not reading this. Goodness knows why I’m writing this. I mean, I could be watching Lost right now – after years of holding out, I’ve picked up all five seasons on DVD and am ploughing through them like a fat kid on Smarties. But seeing as how I’ll be enjoying said upcoming long weekend almost certainly sans blog, I should probably clear out whatever little bits and bobs I’ve still got on the plate today and tomorrow.

And we’ll start with the Brewis boys of Field Music. Done with their respective side projects of The Week That Was, whom I liked, and School Of Language, whom I didn’t like as much, David and Peter Brewis have reconvened their original band and will release a new double album on February 16 entitled (Measure). And it will be followed up with North American dates as support on the final third of The Clientele’s upcoming Winter tour, which includes the March 19 show at the Horseshoe in Toronto. You know, the one I’ve been kvetching about missing. I won’t harp on that anymore, but even though I never liked Field Music nearly as much as some, the first samples from (Measure) sound pretty damn good and I’d have liked to have caught this bill. Alas. Tickets for the show are $14.

MP3: Field Music – “Measure”
Video: Field Music – “Them That Do Nothing”

Fact talks to director Saam Farahmand about his plans to make an audio-visual sculpture from The xx’s debut album while the band tells Spinner that they loves them some Beyonce. Hey, who doesn’t. The xx are back on April 20 at the Kool Haus in support of Hot Chip.

Black Book solicits some random facts about the band from Fanfarlo frontman Simon Balthazar. The band also put up a video of themselves covering Low’s “Just Like Christmas”, recorded in their tour van whilst en route to a radio session for NPR.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Just Like Christmas” (Low cover)

Editors have released a second video from In This Light And On This Evening, which will have a North American release on January 19. They play The Phoenix on February 16.

Video: Editors – “You Don’t Know Love”

Frightened Rabbit drummer Grant Hutchison offers The Scotsman a holiday-themed poem. Frightened Rabbit’s The Winter Of Mixed Drinks is out March 16.

Rolling Stone talks to Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien about the decade that was.

Clash solicits some Christmas memories from The Horrors’ Faris Badwan.

The Big Issue has a quick chat with Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine.

Filter has a three-part conversation with Bad Lieutenant frontman Bernard Sumner. Congratulations go out to Heather, Caroline, Andrea, Brian and Jo who won copies of Never Cry Another Tear on vinyl.

The AV Club interviews Ray Davies.

The Times contemplates the future of the album as an artistic statement, looking to Bat For Lashes, Kasabian and Mastadon for input.

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Who Can Say

Bat For Lashes, Florence & The Machine and The Horrors among 2009 Mercury Prize nominees

Photo via BeggarsBeggarsSince I went to the trouble last week of making my generally meaningless predictions for the 2009 Mercury Prize nominees, it only makes sense that I take a look at the actual shortlist – announced this morning – and compare. And the first thing that I find is that the UK’s bookies, who ostensibly do this sort of thing for living, don’t have any more clue than I do. While only one of my picks made the actual list – and really the only one I expeted to – neither of the oddmsakers’ two favourites – Doves’ Kingdom Of Rust or Little Boots’ Hands – were to be found in to this morning’s announcements, whereas perennial critical kicking bags Kasabian did. Of course, if The Horrors can put out a career-salvaging album and garner a nod, why not Kasabian? I haven’t heard it – maybe it’s brilliant. Maybe. Also surprised that La Roux made the list while Little Boots did not because, well, I much prefer Little Boots to La Roux. Go figure.

Anyways, the nominees for this year are as follows:

Bat For Lashes / Two Suns / MP3: “Glass” (live)
Speech Debelle / Speech Therapy / Video: “Go Then Bye”
Florence & The Machine / Lungs / MP3: “Kiss With A Fist”
Friendly Fires / Friendly Fires / MP3: “Jump In The Pool”
Glasvegas / Glasvegas / Video: “Geraldine”
Lisa Hannigan / Sea Sew / MP3: “Lille”
The Horrors / Primary Colours / MP3: “Sea Within A Sea”
The Invisible / The Invisible / Video: “London Girl”
Kasabian / West Rider Lunatic Pauper Asylum / Video: “Vlad The Impaler”
La Roux / La Roux / MP3: “Bulletproof” (Joe & Will Ask remix)
Led Bib / Sensible Shoes / MP3: “Yes, Again”
Sweet Billy Pilgrim / Twice Born Men / MP3: “Truth Only Smiles”

I’m sure there’ll be complaints and criticisms galore, but with almost half the list being female artists the Mercury will at least avoid the “solo white male” complaints leveled at the Polaris Prize shortlist this year, and similarly you’d never find something like contemporary jazzers Led Bib on a nomination list open to 140 critics. I don’t necessarily advocate the exclusive jury approach over the inclusive, but it does yield some interesting results.

Anyways, my money remains on Bat For Lashes – obvious, sure, but I stand by it – but I can also get behind Florence or The Horrors. Either way, I don’t really have a horse in this race, I’m just a curious bystander. BBC has launched their Mercury minisite complete with interviews with the nominees, The Guardian has already gotten fresh odds from a bookie on the shortlist, Clash comments on the list and NME‘s editors have also chimed in on who they think will take the big prize come September 8. NME has also provided a bluffer’s guide to the nominees so you can sound all knowledgeable and stuff at the water cooler (though you could probably say whatever the hell you want about any of them because your co-workers probably won’t know what the hell you’re talking about).

The Guardian talks to Friendly Fires – they’re at Lee’s Palace on August 10.

Paper declares Little Boots to be one of their sounds of Summer and Stuff New Zealand and The Mirror also have features. She’s in town at Wrongbar on September 14.

Oh, hello three unreleased songs from My Bloody Valentine. Did you get lost en route to the studio to be added onto those Isn’t Anything/Loveless reissues which never came out? That’s okay, leaking to the internet is probably best for everyone involved.

I had completely forgotten about the UK’s Engineers, purveyors of Pink Floyd-esque ambient rock on their self-titled debut back in 2005 but they’re still kicking and have just released their second album with Three Fact Fader, which is just as dreamy but with some more kick. The Quietus and The Line Of Best Fit have interviews with the band about their time away and their return.

Video: Engineers – “Clean Coloured Wire”

The Village Voice talks to Frightened Rabbit, who have a sold-out show at the Horseshoe on Wednesday night, July 22.

The Quietus has details on the new Editors album In This Light And On This Evening, which appears to have been pushed back a few weeks and is now set for an October 12 release.

Oasis were apparently (almost) attacked (hugged) onstage again. Hey guys, maybe it’s you.

Stepping back from life as a Raconteur, Brendan Benson will release a new solo album in My Old, Familiar Friend on August 18 and follow that up with a spot of touring, including an August 24 date at the Mod Club in Toronto – tickets $13.50.

Aussies An Horse must like it here – they’re back for their fourth Toronto show in six months on September 11 at the Drake Underground, tickets $10.

MP3: An Horse – “Postcards”

Brazilian psych legends Os Mutantes will release their first album in over 35 years in Haih, out September 7, and are at the Opera House on October 2, tickets $25.

Yo La Tengo are at the Opera House on October 3, meaning I have to choose between Yo La and Destroyer that same evening at the Horseshoe. I do not like these sorts of dilemmas. Their new album Popular Songs is out September 8.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”

Those who worship the drone and get unnerved by unnecessary key changes – hell, chord changes – will be thrilled to hear that The Raveonettes are hitting the road this Fall with The Black Angels. Full dates are still trickling out but the Toronto stop will be October 22 at the Phoenix, tickets $18.50. The Raveonettes talk to Spinner about their just-completed their new album In and Out of Control, which has a shiny release date of October 6. The Black Angels haven’t been up to much since last year’s Directions To See A Ghost. Billboard has full dates and words with Sharin Foo.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “Dead Sound”
MP3: The Black Angels – “The First Vietnamese War”

Peter Bjorn & John are back again on November 11 for another date at the Phoenix – tickets $20. They’re also at the Molson Amphitheatre this Friday, July 24, opening for Depeche Mode but if that’s news to you, you’re probably not going.

Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Nothing To Worry About”

Spinner.ca’s endless feature series on the history and future of Canada’s independent music scene turns its lonely eyes to Montreal in its latest installment, talking to members past and present of Arcade Fire, The Dears and The Stills.