FacebookMost bands of a certain vintage these days have at least one of a break-up, extended hiatus, reunion, core lineup turnover, artistic irrelevance, diminishing fanbase, or becoming a nostalgia act in their narrative. Depeche Mode, however, largely bucks that trend. At it – it being one of the most influential electronic/alternative bands going – for more than three decades now, their output may have slowed a bit following their opening pace of six albums in seven years, but since 1987’s massive Music For The Masses, they’ve kept a remarkably steady cycle of releasing a new record every three or four years – all critically well-received – with attendant world tours of impressively consistent (large) scale. And the core trio of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher has stayed intact since the departure of Alan Wilder in 1995.
All of which is to say that no one should be at all surprised that following last Autumn’s announcement of their thirteenth studio album Delta Machine, due out March 26, and corresponding Spring European dates, that there would be a North American tour to follow in the Fall. Not that fans shouldn’t be excited that the band are returning for their first dates on this side of the pond since 2009; Pitchfork has the full itinerary, which includes a return to the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1. Ticketing info is appropriately confusing, but even though the public onsale is officially April 4, there is a plethora of presale options to try and make sense of. So I leave you to that.
Exclaim talks to Andy Fletcher and Billboard to Dave Gahan about the new record, and the first single has a video to go with it.
Video: Depeche Mode – “Heaven”
If I’d waited a few days to post my writeup of Rachel Zeffira’s debut album The Deserters – out today – then I could have included the fact that she’ll be playing a show at The Drake Underground on May 2, tickets $15.50, but no – now I have to make a separate item for it. Alas.
Video: Rachel Zeffira – “The Deserters”
London-based dramatists The Veils have announced a North American tour in support of their new record Time Stays, We Go, due out on April 23. Look for them at The Drake Underground on May 4, tickets $15.
MP3: The Veils – “The Wishbone”
Stream: The Veils – “Through The Deep Dark Wood”
Having reaped the benefits of being on one of the most stacked buzz bills of the year a couple weeks ago with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Wampire, Los Angeles’ Foxygen have already made a return date in support of their debut We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic – they’re at Wrongbar again on May 9. The Oklahoman has a feature piece.
MP3: Foxygen – “Waitin’ 4 U”
Flying Lotus has announced another leg of touring behind last year’s Until The Quiet Comes; see him at The Sound Academy on May 15. Tickets for that will run $24.
MP3: Flying Lotus – “Between Friends”
MP3: Flying Lotus – “Such A Square”
While the “TBA” Of Monsters & Men date revealed earlier this month clearly hinted at being part of something bigger, it didn’t tip off that they’d be the sole international act on the bill for the inaugural CBCMusic.ca Festival, happening May 25 at Echo Beach. They’ll co-headline with The Sam Roberts Band, and be joined by Kathleen Edwards, Sloan, and a pile more CBC-approved Canadian artists; your tax dollars at work! Tickets are $59.50 and go on sale Saturday. So continue to complain, if you will, about the absence of a top-tier music festival in the GTA but don’t say you don’t have ample options for standing around all day in the sun watching a bunch of bands play short sets.
MP3: Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”
MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
Video: Sam Roberts – “Bridge To Nowhere”
Video: Kathleen Edwards – “Chameleon/Comedian”
Jose Gonzalez-led Swedes Junip have announced a North American tour in support of their self-titled new record, due out April 22. Look for them at The Great Hall on June 10, tickets $16.50. The first single from the record is also now available to download courtesy of Boing Boing.
MP3: Junip – “Line Of Fire”
That same night – June 10, if you don’t read these posts sequentially – San Francisco dance-punk unpronounceables !!! will be down the street at The Horseshoe, tickets also $16.50. They were here last July, yes, but this time they’ll have a new record in the wonderfully-titled Thr!!!er to push; it’s out April 30.
MP3: !!! – “Hello? Is This Thing On?”
If you were wondering who the big hip-hop NXNE closing act this year was going to be, wonder no more – Big Boi will play the free, Sunday night show at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 16 this year as part of his “Shoes For Running” tour with Killer Mike.
MP3: Killer Mike – “Go!”
Video: Big Boi – “In The A”
Alabama Shakes have done gone put together a Summer tour which brings them to Echo Beach on June 20, tickets for which are $37.50 in advance.
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”
And in this week’s Toronto Urban Roots Fest lineup additions, we’ve got Kurt Vile & The Violators, with Vile’s new record Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze due out April 9. Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys in support of last year’s Big Station, The Felice Brothers still working 2011’s Celebration, Florida, and our very own Sadies, because it’s not physically possible to erect a stage anywhere in the 416 without The Sadies showing up to play it within 48 hours. It’s like boxes and cats. And with that, we’ve got almost 2/3 of the complete lineup announced – theoretically enough to convince people to buy a four-day pass? Those go on sale this Thursday at 1PM, with general admission passes going for $99.50 and VIP passes $299.50.
MP3: Kurt Vile – “In My Time”
MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”
Video: The Felice Brothers – “Celebration, Florida”
Video: Alejandro Escovedo – “Sally Was A Cop” (live)
If you were one of those disappointed by the abrupt cancellation of Animal Collective’s show at The Danforth Music Hall last Saturday night – attributed to a “sudden illness” that also claimed the next four shows, know that a make-up date has already been announced – your tickets are good for the new show on July 9, same venue, and if you can’t make it you can get a refund at the point of purchase.
MP3: Animal Collective – “Peacebone”
MP3: Animal Collective – “Water Curses”
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Montreal’s Osheaga announced this year’s lineup last night, both for Torontonians who might want to make the road trip up the 401 the weekend of August 2 to 4 for Canada’s only top-tier outdoor festival, and for people engaged in the noble sport of Lollapalooza-spotting, since the two fests traditionally share a goodly percentage of their lineups. Headlining this year are The Cure and Mumford & Sons, New Order, and Phoenix, followed by a solid lineup of usual suspects for the season. Some of the acts are already making an area stop at The Grove Fest in Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3, but I’m hoping some of the others have a Toronto date on their itinerary between Montreal and Chicago. The Cure, in particular, I’ve never seen live and I wouldn’t mind getting the opportunity to rectify that – I expect a Molson Amphitheatre date would make sense?