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Posts Tagged ‘Kestrels’

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Canadian Musicfest 2013 Day Three

Savages, Limblifter, and more at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you’re ever debating what to do on a given evening of either Canadian Musicfest or NXNE, you can always do far worse than to simply post up at either The Horseshoe or Lee’s Palace for the entire evening. These Toronto anchors always host a solid bill of bands, both local and international, buzzy and unheralded, covering a swath of genres that will surely have something to delight the ears. Granted, I was there with a more specific mandate than to just take in some music – I wanted to see Savages – but still opted to spend the whole night there and see some other acts I’d not seen before. Because isn’t that the point of these things?

Vancouver’s Zolas drew the opening slot and my immediate impression of their lanky, piano-heavy and slightly funky rock was that they sounded like Spoon, but those comparisons became less valid as the set progressed. The ingredients were similar, but their recipe drew more from laid-back, ’70s pop-rock than the tense, ’80s post-punk influences of the Austinites. This didn’t make their set any less enjoyable, but I can’t say I wasn’t a bit disappointed that they weren’t a more adventurous outfit. Still, their sound was a crowd-pleasing one and when frontman Zachary Gray left the stage to sing the final song from the audience, it felt like he had been invited rather than invaded.

Photos: The Zolas @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
Video: The Zolas – “Escape Artist”
Video: The Zolas – “Cab Driver”
Video: The Zolas – “Knot In My Heart”
Video: The Zolas – “No Talking”
Video: The Zolas – “The Great Collapse”

There’s almost no chance I’d have ever seen Dustin Bentall & The Smokes perform if not for the inherent eclecticism of club festival lineups. Not because I’d have gone out of my to avoid them, but because their brand of unaffected roots-rock ceased being the sort of thing that piqued my curiosity some time ago. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining, because it absolutely was – Bentall has an easy charm and his songs a friendly familiarity that helps compensate for the rather pedestrian songwriting, to say nothing of the live show – Kendel Carson’s aggressively virtuosic lead fiddle playing could make anything sound amazing.

Photos: Dustin Bentall & The Smokes @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
MP3: Dustin Bentall & The Smokes – “Railroad”
Video: Dustin Bentall & The Smokes – “Streets With No Name”

Hamilton’s Young Rival have been kicking around for a while now – six years and two albums, says Wikipedia – but our paths had yet to cross, or at least until last month when one of their clips was shortlisted for the Prism Prize. In any case, I was advised just before their set to expect something between garage rock and power pop, and while this was true, their set tilted much more towards the former. They offered great guitarwork and a solid rhythm section and songwriting which while not the most memorable, was more than serviceable for rock’n’roll. I would have expected more showmanship from a power trio as tight as they were, but while they weren’t disinterested, they also didn’t seem especially fussed about wowing the audience.

Photos: Young Rival @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
Video: Young Rival – “Two Reasons”
Video: Young Rival – “Nothing You Know Well”
Video: Young Rival – “The Ocean”
Video: Young Rival – “Authentic”
Video: Young Rival – “Your Island”

It was good to see that each of the acts on the bill had their own fanbase turn out, based on the enthusiasm of varying percentages of the audience and the constant turnover of the folks gathered up front, but for me it was London four-piece Savages who were the reason for being here this night. Not because I’m a huge fan, but because I’m not. Or more accurately, I was curious to see if the hype around a band with hardly any recorded output and yet just signed to one of the most respected labels around was justified. And for the record, their “they’re amazing live” reputation actually counted as something of a strike in my books, since talking about the performance before establishing the songs are there raises flags with me.

In any case, Savages took the stage certainly looking as you’d expect – lights dimmed, faces stern, and dressed all in black save for frontwoman Jehny Beth, who in addition to looking an uncanny hybrid of Ian Curtis and Sinead O’Connor, also wore a pair of bright red heels. And for the next 40 minutes, it was all business – that business being a relentless, sonic pummeling of the post-punk variety, all hard edges and not so much interested in hooks as stabs. Each song had a distinct musical angle to distinguish it from the others without compromising their aesthetic consistency, but this wasn’t always enough to make them memorable, particularly measured against the standard of their two best songs and set closers, “She Will” – which was highlighted by drummer Fay Milton absolutely destroying her splash cymbal – and “Husbands”. No question Savages put on a good show, but I will still reserve judgement until the May 7 release of Silence Yourself when I can hear if they’ve got the songs to back up the performance.

Photos: Savages @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
Stream: Savages – “She Will”

There’s probably a rule somewhere that you can’t call it a festival without some ’90s-vintage reunion act, and that’s where the night’s ostensible headliners Limblifter came in. I wouldn’t say I had any particular affection or enmity towards the Vancouver band, having liked some of their hits back in the day and been indifferent to others, but I could think of worse things than to hear “Vicious” live. It’s worth noting that just as frontman Ryan Dahle has aged remarkably well over the past 15 years, Limblifter’s sound has also held up pretty well. Their slightly strangled, angsty grunge-pop is still very much of an era – on hearing “Screwed Up” I half-expected a space-time wormhole to open up and drag me back to my sophomore year (this would not have been a good thing) – but enough of their repertoire is strong enough melodically to still impress so many years hence; to wit, “Tinfoil” still sounded great. And as evidence that Limblifter was still a going concern in 2013, they introduced some new material that didn’t feel out of place with the old. Whether the folks in attendance were actually interested in adding to their Limblifter collection rather than just hearing the old tunes remains to be seen, but for this night, at least, they were loving it.

The KW Record has an interview with Limblifter.

Photos: Limblifter @ The Horseshoe – March 22, 2013
Video: Limblifter – “Perfect Day To Disappear”
Video: Limblifter – “Wake Up To The Sun”
Video: Limblifter – “Cordova”
Video: Limblifter – “Vicious”
Video: Limblifter – “On The Moon”
Video: Limblifter – “Ariel Vs Lotus”
Video: Limblifter – “Tinfoil”

NOW and The Montreal Gazette talk to The Besnard Lakes about their new album Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO, out April 2. And if you were thinking that it was about time an advance stream of the album surfaced, you would be correct – CBC Music has it (for Canadians).

Stream: The Besnard Lakes / Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO

Beatroute, The Leader-Post, The Province, Metro, and The Times-Colonist chat with Born Ruffians about their new album Birthmarks, out April 16.

Exclaim has premiered the first video from Gentleman Reg’s latest album Leisure Life. He’ll play songs from it at an in-store at Sunrise Records on Yonge St on April 19.

Video: Gentleman Reg – “Waiting Around For Gold”

Consequence Of Sound reports that Caribou will celebrate Record Store Day with vinyl reissues of his first three albums. That’s April 20 for those not keeping track.

Portals talks to Stephen Ramsay of Young Galaxy about the story behind their new single “Pretty Boy”. Their new album Ultramarine is out April 23 and another track from it is available to stream:

Stream: Young Galaxy – “New Summer”

Exclaim talks to Rachel Zeffira, who is in town for a rare show at The Drake on May 2.

NPR has video of one of METZ’s performances at SXSW this year. They play Lee’s Palace on May 17 and then Downsview Park opening up for Weezer on July 12.

The Toronto Sun, Black Book, and amNY chat with Stars, BlogTO with The Darcys, and The Georgia Straight, Vue, Playback, and FFWD with Hayden – all of whom are part of the Field Trip festival at Garrison Common on June 8.

A Heart Is A Spade and Noisey grabbed interviews with Diamond Rings at SXSW; he opens up both of OMD’s shows at the Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.

Exclaim rounds up some details on Shad’s next album, Flying Colours.

Kestrels have released a new video from A Ghost History.

Video: Kestrels – “Drowning Girl”

Suuns answers questions from Spinner, Noisey, The 405, All The Write Notes, and Ca Va Cool.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Burn Baby Burn

Ash and Kestrals at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf there’s any lessons a band can take from Ash, first and foremost would be a) to never mind fashion and stick to what you do well, and b) to get started young. The benefits of both of these points were on display Saturday night when the Northern Irish trio rolled into Lee’s Palace for their first Toronto show in seven years. To the former, they had a massive and impressive repertoire of high-energy, ultra-melodic punk/metal-laced pop to draw from and to the former, well if you’re so fortunate to be celebrating your twentieth anniversary as a band then you would probably want to be has as young and spry as the 35-year old Tim Wheeler, even with the flecks of grey in his beard.

While I can think of some acts I’d have rather seen open for Ash – former guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, say, or Wheeler’s girlfriend Emmy The Great – Halifax’s Kestrels were more than fine as well. As I wrote in July, their debut A Ghost History has more than enough ’90s-vintage college rock/shoegaze DNA in it to be a good fit, and there was even a formal connection what with Wheeler making a guest guitar appearance on the record. As is not unusual for bands of their ilk, their live show was exceedingly loud, and many of the pop-friendly nuances on the record were smothered with distortion and volume. The rhythm section, with its thick, fuzzy bass chords and nimble, 16th-note drumming, was an effective balance of heavy and agile and Chad Peck’s guitar leads were less melodic lines than bursts of noise run through a wah pedal. They probably could have done themselves a favour by turning down just a bit, but their enthusiasm was warranted – it was their last show of the year after touring heavily in support of their album and as Peck noted, Ash was his favourite band since forever so getting to open for them – and then take over Wheeler’s guitar roadie duties later – made for a pretty unique experience. If ever there was a night to leave it all on stage, it was this. And they did. Loudly.

Though chronologically, Ash fit right into the first wave of Britpop, I never really thought of them as such – and not just because Northern Ireland isn’t technically part of Britain, so the genre was a misnomer anyways. No, it was more their youthful energy and punkier inclinations didn’t really fit with the sort of Anglo sophistication that I wanted from the likes of Blur or Pulp, and so while I appreciated the singles I heard over the years, I didn’t start making up the lost time until recently. Definitely in time to thoroughly enjoy their show, though. Obviously feeling no inclination to be difficult, the set was wall-to-wall hits – both actual and should have beens – drawn from throughout their career but focusing largely on their 1996 debut 1977 with appropriate consideration given to 2001’s Free All Angels and 2004’s Meltdown, and ranging from the relatively gentle “Shining Light” to the positively raging “Clones”. And while not sold out, the show was well-attended with no small number of Irish fans and not singing along with anthems such as “Goldfinger” or “Girl From Mars” was simply not an option. They also drew heavily from their recent ambitious A-Z singles series – the triple vinyl North American release ostensibly the reason for the tour – and tracks like “Arcadia” and “Binary” proving that even after twenty years, their simple formula of riff and melody – and recently, the occasional electronic flourish – still pays tremendous dividends.

As you would expect a band with as many years and miles under their belts as Ash, they were unbelievably polished and powerful, bassist Mark Hamilton not missing a not while striking body-contorting rock poses through the whole night and Wheeler, when not singing, was bounding around the stage and confirming that the road case oddly placed front and centre stage was indeed for jumping on and rocking out. And after nineteen songs and 90 minutes, it was also the place for the trio to stand up and take a well-earned bow.

Oh, one more lesson bands can take from Ash? Flying Vs rawk.

Exclaim also has a review of the show and A Music Blog, Yea has an interview with Tim Wheeler.

Photos: Ash, Kestrels @ Lee’s Palace – November 17, 2012
MP3: Ash – “Return Of White Rabbit”
MP3: Ash – “Burn Baby Burn”
Video: Ash – “Carnal Love”
Video: Ash – “Binary”
Video: Ash – “Kamakura”
Video: Ash – “The Creeps”
Video: Ash – “War With Me”
Video: Ash – “Neon”
Video: Ash – “Ichiban”
Video: Ash – “Space Shot”
Video: Ash – “Pripyat”
Video: Ash – “Tracers”
Video: Ash – “Arcadia”
Video: Ash – “Joy Kicks Darkness”
Video: Ash – “True Love 1980”
Video: Ash – “Return Of White “
Video: Ash – “End Of The World”
Video: Ash – “Polaris”
Video: Ash – “You Can’t Have It All”
Video: Ash – “I Started A Fire”
Video: Ash – “Renegade Cavalcade”
Video: Ash – “Starcrossed”
Video: Ash – “Orpheus”
Video: Ash – “Clones”
Video: Ash – “There’s A Star”
Video: Ash – “Candy”
Video: Ash – “Sometimes”
Video: Ash – “Burn Baby Burn”
Video: Ash – “Shining Light”
Video: Ash – “Warmer Than Fire”
Video: Ash – “Wildsurf”
Video: Ash – “A Life Less Ordinary”
Video: Ash – “Oh Yeah”
Video: Ash – “Goldfinger”
Video: Ash – “Angel Interceptor”
Video: Ash – “Girl From Mars” (US)
Video: Ash – “Girl From Mars” (UK)
Video: Ash – “Kung Fu”
Video: Ash – “Uncle Pat”
Video: Kestrels – “The Past Rests”
Video: Kestrels – “There All The Time Without You”

Here’s one to file under “happy coincidences”. Just yesterday morning, I was listening to The Joy Formidable and thinking that it had been too long since I saw them live, having skipped their show in April and also planning to give next Sunday night’s support slot for The Gaslight Anthem a pass. And then, lo and behold, they announce a last-minute headline gig at The Mod Club for next Monday, November 26. It’s a free show as part of CFNY’s holiday concert series, so head to theedge.ca for details on how to win tickets. Expect to hear material from their new album Wolf’s Law, out January 22.

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”

Kate Nash has announced her Death Proof EP will indeed be out this Fall as promised – as of right now, in fact. DIY has details on the release, which will be out on November 19, and Consequence Of Sound has some specifics on Nash’s third studio album, entitled Girl Talk and targeted for a March 2013 release. Spin talks to her about her new video for the title track of the new EP.

Video: Kate Nash – “Death Proof”

Florence & The Machine have squeezed another video out of Ceremonials and premiered it over at Nowness.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Lover To Lover”

Played the new Veronica Falls track to death already? Head over to They Shoot Music where the band play a live version for a video session in addition to an old song. The new album Waiting For Something To Happen is out February 12.

4AD has details on the second album from Stornoway, to be entitled Tales From Terra Firma and due out on March 11.

Pitchfork has a Takeaway Show with Jessie Ware, filmed last month in Paris.

Blurt talks to Beth Orton.

The first track from Foals’ new album Holy Fire, out February 12, is now available to download.

MP3: Foals – “Inhaler”

Esben & The Witch are also giving away the first teaser of their second album Wash The Sins Not Only The Face, out January 21.

MP3: Esben & The Witch – “Deathwaltz”

For Folks Sake and The Stool Pigeon talk to Neil Halstead.

The Guardian asks the question so many have wondered – how did Mumford & Sons get so damn big?

Wales Online reports that Manic Street Preachers have gotten to work on a new album, though it won’t be out until 2014 at least.

Blur have released a clip from their not-farewell Hyde Park concert, documented on the forthcoming CD/DVD Parklive set. It’s out December 3.

Video: Blur – “Under The Westway” (live at Hyde Park)

Wired reports that Beautiful Noise, the documentary film on the shoegazing movement featuring interviews with many principals of the scene that has seemingly been in production forever, is finally finished and turning to Kickstarter to fund its distribution. $25 gets you a copy of the DVD… and you know you want it.

Trailer: Beautiful Noise

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Through The Grass

Wild Nothing streams Nocturnes; clever headline eludes blogger

Photo By Shawn BrackbillShawn BrackbillWhen I first started playing guitar in high school, I spent an inordinate amount of time in music and pawn shops looking for pedals – they were (relatively) cheap, fun, and would obviously make me a far better player than, oh, practice. And one thing that these shops’ stock had in common were chorus pedals. So many chorus pedals. Some shops were like a veritably baby blue sea of Boss chorus pedals. Because this was the early ’90s, when grunge was king and everyone wanted distortions and no one wanted to sound like Andy Summers.

If I’d only known that in about 20 years, that shiny, shimmery guitar tone would be back in style courtesy of bands like Real Estate and DIIV, I’d have grabbed a few. Jack Tatum certainly did, and you can hear it all over his recordings as Wild Nothing, the second album of which – Nocturne – comes out next Tuesday. I actually rate Wild Nothing ahead of most of his stylistic peers as in addition to having great melodic chops, Tatum is able to give his songs some tension to go with the pretty.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, the album is available to stream in whole right now at Death & Taxes; take it for a spin. They’ve also got a stream at Dazed but their interface is kind of terrible so maybe just go there for their interview with Tatum, and if you want more there’s also features at Under The Radar and Stereogum. And if you agree and want to see them live, be reminded that Wild Nothing is on tour with the aforementioned DIIV this Fall, stopping in at The Great Hall in Toronto on September 18.

MP3: Wild Nothing – “Shadow”
MP3: Wild Nothing – “Paradise”
Stream: Wild Nothing / Nocturne

A whole brace of concert announcements to get through… Former emo kids – though I guess they’d be emo adults, now – rejoice. Movement forebears Mike Kinsella and Bob Nanna will be in town as Owen and Braid respectively for an acoustic evening at Wrongbar on September 20. Tickets $18.50 in advance, details at Facebook.

MP3: Owen – “Places To Go”
MP3: Owen – “Abandoned Bridges”
MP3: Braid – “Consolation Prizefighter”
MP3: Braid – “Eeyore And Easel”

Austin’s Ringo Deathstarr will release their second proper album Mauve on September 24 and follow it up with a world tour that brings them to The Garrison on October 13 with Halifax’s previously endorsed Kestrels. Fuzz pedals will be stomped, shoes will be gazed upon. Vice has an interview with Ringo Deathstarr.

MP3: Ringo Deathstarr – “Imagine Hearts”
Video: Kestrels – “The Past Rests”

If you remember Laura Burhenn from her tenure as half of Georgie James or have heard some of the praise for Generals, her new album under the name The Mynabirds, you may be interested to know she’ll be supporting AC Newman on most of his Fall tour dates including the kickoff at Lee’s Palace on October 21. Colorado Daily, The San Francisco Examiner, and College Times all have interviews with Burhenn.

MP3: The Mynabirds – “Generals”
MP3: The Mynabirds – “Body Of Work”
MP3: The Mynabirds – “Radiator Sister”

Because I’ve learned it’s not worth it to aggravate the still-legions of Corgan apologists, I offer this without comment. Smashing Pumpkins will be at the Air Canada Centre on October 25 as part of a cross-Canada tour, tickets available in $39.50, $49.50, and $79.50 brackets. They will perform their new album Oceania in its entirety and then delve into their back catalog for selections both obvious and not. It will be a half-arena configuration, not full, because not even Billy is that deluded. Oh damn, almost made it.

Video: Smashing Pumpkins – “Cherub Rock”

If that Ringo Deathstarr/Kestrels bill is the sort of thing that gets your juices flowing, take note of the bill hitting The Garrison on November 3, as a double-bill of Bay Area dreampop in the form of Tamaryn and Young Prisms will be taking the stage. The former release their new album Tender New Signs on October 16 and the latter are still riding their sophomore effort In Between, released back in March. Tickets for that show are $10.

MP3: Tamaryn – “Sandstone”
MP3: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”

Brookyln’s The Men, who tore the shit out of the Garrison during NXNE, return to do the same thing to The Hoxton on November 9, tickets $16.50 in advance.

MP3: The Men – “Ex-Dreams”
MP3: The Men – “Open Your Heart”
MP3: The Men – “A Minor”

Though he put the Pedro The Lion name to bed back in 2006, David Bazan will be revisiting their beloved 2002 album Control in its entirety on a Fall tour that hits The Horseshoe on November 11, tickets $14.50 in advance.

MP3: Pedro The Lion – “Rapture”
MP3: Pedro The Lion – “Penetration”

Austin’s …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead will be in town in support of last year’s Tao Of The Dead with a show at Lee’s Palace on November 20, tickets $18.50 in advance.

MP3: …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – “Mistakes And Regrets”
MP3: …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – “Crowning Of A Heart”

Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and Pitchfork both have feature interviews with Chan Marshall of Cat Power, while Exclaim offers a bullet point chaser to their cover piece. Cat Power’s excellent new record Sun arrives September 4 and the second sample from it is now available to download. She plays The Kool Haus on October 20.

MP3: Cat Power – “Cherokee”

Daytrotter has a session with Wye Oak, stopping in at the Horseshoe on September 17.

Dinosaur Jr has released the first video from I Bet On Sky, out September 18. They play three nights at Lee’s Palace from September 24 to 26.

Video: Dinosaur Jr – “Watch The Corners”

The first sample of Mark Eitzel’s new solo record Don’t Be A Stranger is now available to stream. It’s out October 2.

Stream: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”

Richard Avery talks to Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs. Their reunion tour hits The Phoenix on October 3.

The Skinny has an interview with Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius. He plays 918 Bathurst on October 5.

Wayne Coyne gives Rolling Stone a preview of the next Flaming Lips record, which might be called The Terror and might also be out as early as this Fall.

Interview talks to Jim James of My Morning Jacket.

The Hook interviews Will Sheff of Okkervil River.

Tom Tom hosts a drummer summit between Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo and Rachel Blumberg, formerly of The Decemberists and now of Norfolk & Western.

Magnet has an interview with Steve McDonald of Redd Kross ahead of giving he and his bandmates control of their website for the week.

Friday, July 13th, 2012

There All The Time Without You

Review of Kestrels’ A Ghost History

Photo via Sonic UnyonSonic UnyonWere the magical little elves in charge of categorizing music – be it in record store bins or the meta tags on MP3s – would like to take Halifax trio Kestrels and file them under “shoegaze”, pointing to the heyday of Creation Records in describing their second album A Ghost History. And I’m not necessarily going to argue the point – it definitely owes more than a debt to the sounds of the early ’90s, what with its roaring guitars and liberally reverbed vocals, but those expecting some Maritime take on sonic cathedral construction or hazy dream-pop had best check their expectations.

Kestrels’ record collections may have their shares of of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive records – “There All the Time Without You” is pretty damn Shields-y in a great way – but those records clearly share shelf space with plenty of college rock from this side of the Atlantic. And from those records, they learned valuable lessons – Superchunk taught them how to channel their energy into pogo-ready punk-pop anthems, Dinosaur Jr taught them how to rip a guitar solo like a mofo, and Sloan… well it might be a bit cliche to cite the proto-Halifax rock band, but there’s more than a little Smeared – both in its fuzzy textures and indelible hooks – in Kestrels’ DNA.

For those of us who grew up with these influences will find Ghost History familiar yet invigorating and those who didn’t, who are perhaps of the same generation as Kestrels themselves, well maybe we should consider this a gateway drug.

The Chronicle Herald and The Telegram have feature pieces on Kestrels, whose North American tour hits Rancho Relaxo in Toronto on July 20.

Stream: Kestrels – “Dumb Angel”
Video: Kestrels – “The Past Rests”
Video: Kestrels – “There All The Time Without You”

Spinner talks to Grimes ahead of her show at Historic Fort York tonight as part of the Full Flex train tour thing.

Radio Free Canuckistan continues to get excited for the Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet reunion show at Lee’s Palace on Saturday night by interviewing drummer Don Pyle as well as band patron/friend Bruce McCulloch of Kids In The Hall fame. NOW and The AV Club also have feature pieces and Exclaim also has another video session of the 2012 incarnation of the band playing a tune for St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club in Toronto.

It was a sad day when Forest City Lovers called it a day back in April, but frontwoman Kat Burns did promise that she’d still have a new record out soon – and indeed she does. Now recording as Kashka and exploring the electro-pop side of things, she’ll release her debut album Vichada on July 17 – stream a track below – and has already begun playing some shows but nothing of the hometown persuasion just yet.

Stream: Kashka – “This Machine”

Spin, Dazed, and The Line Of Best Fit talk to Purity Ring about their debut album Shrines, which is due out July 24 and from which they’ve just released a new video.

Video: Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”

CBC Music sends author Grace O’Connell to ask some questions of Great Lake Swimmers main man Tony Dekker. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 18 opening for Blue Rodeo.

Like bikes? Like music? Maybe you’ll like the Toronto Bicycle Music Fest which happens at Trinity Bellwoods on September 15. The music side of things will feature performances from Snowblink, Gentleman Reg, and Rae Spoon and the bicycle side of things… well I guess you’re encouraged to bring your bike? Snowblink will be presumably be playing material from their new album Inner Classics which comes out September 11, Reg will showcase his Leisure Life material which is being released incrementally through the Summer and collected into album form in the Fall and Spoon’s I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets came out at the start of 2012.

MP3: Snowblink – “Black & White Mountains”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “Crash Landing”

The Wilderness Of Manitoba have announced a September 18 release date for their second album, Island Of Echoes. Hear – and see – a new song that doesn’t actually appear on the new record in this video session filmed by Southern Souls.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Forest City Love” (live)

METZ has released the first taste of their self-titled debut, due out October 9.

MP3: METZ – “Headache”

DIY and Rolling Stone interview Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric, playing a show at The Air Canada Centre on November 14.

PopMatters, The Vancouver Sun, and The Georgia Straight profile Patrick Watson, doing his thing at Massey Hall on December 6.

Spin has the new video from PS I Love You, taken from Death Dreams and named for Hogtown!

Video: PS I Love You – “Toronto”

Artrocker has a short interview with and Pitchfork a short documentary film featuring Japandroids.