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Posts Tagged ‘La Roux’

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Sense

Review of Amanda Mair’s Amanda Mair

Photo By Kjell B PerssonKjell B PerssonIt’s not unfair to say that Labrador Records has something of a “house sound”, and not just for the Swedish accents. With acts like The Radio Dept., Acid House Kings, and Sambassadeur on their roster, they’re a reliable source for warm, fuzzy, indie pop-ish sounds and so when they announce a new signing, it’s usually worth paying some attention – even when on paper the artist doesn’t seem have much in common with the rest of their roster. Or in the case of Amanda Mair, especially when. Not many labels would sign a 15-year old singer-pianist on the strength of her raw talent – there weren’t even any demos – but Labrador did just that in 2010. And having given her a couple years to hone her craft before sending her into the studio with Philip Ekström of The Mary Onettes and the result – her self-titled debut, released in Sweden in February and in North America this week – has proven worth the wait.

It’s hard not to want to use Mair’s youth as a qualifier for offering praise, but the fact is that Amanda Mair would be an accomplished collection of polished pop and piano balladry from an artist of any age. Mair does just fine on the latter with a direct, unadorned presentation – her voice is innately suited to tugging at the heartstrings – but Ekström deserves credit for making the former so sonically dense and interesting without overwhelming her. The choice of a lightly but distinctly ’80s production style is an interesting one, considering those years were a distant memory before Mair was born, but it really does work – for those old enough to remember the era, the sounds are familiar but Mair’s presence is so fresh that it never feels deliberately retro or nostalgic.

Her lyrics may come across a bit vague – one would hope she doesn’t yet have the sort of life experience that would allow her to pen truly pointed, emotional songs – but that gives them a sort of universality that serves her well and the delivery is well-balanced between earnest open-heartedness and knowing wisdom. I suspect every review of this record closes with some sentiment along the lines of how good she already is and how much better she’ll surely get as she gains more experience, but it really is true. And while Mair’s upside is astonishing, don’t assume that Amanda Mair is all about potential – she’s already arrived.

There’s a stream of the album available at MTV, but it’s geoblocked to the US. Americans, have at it. Everyone else, just trust me.

MP3: Amanda Mair – “House”
MP3: Amanda Mair – “Sense”
MP3: Amanda Mair – “Doubt”
Video: Amanda Mair – “House”
Video: Amanda Mair – “Sense”
Stream: Amanda Mair / Amanda Mair (US only)

Anna Ternheim released her new album The Night Visitor this week, and it’s available to stream in whole at Spinner.

MP3: Anna Ternheim – “Walking Aimlessly”
MP3: Anna Ternheim – “The Longer The Waiting (The Sweeter The Kiss)”
Stream: Anna Ternheim / The Night Visitor

NPR is streaming The Tallest Man On Earth’s new album There’s No Leaving Now ahead of its release next Tuesday. Kristian Matsson hits the stage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 15.

MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “1904”
Stream: The Tallest Man On Earth / There’s No Leaving Now

Interview, The Music, and The Herald Sun talk to The Hives, in town at The Sound Academy on June 26.

Rolling Stone talks to Sigur Rós’ Georg Holm about their new album Valtari, from which they’ve released another video from their “Mystery Film Experiment” series. They play Echo Beach on August 1

Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð”

Denmark’s Efterklang premiered songs from their forthcoming album Piramida in performance with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the end of May, and a video of one of them has been released to get people excited for the new set of songs, due out this Fall.

Video: Efterklang – “The Ghost” (live)

The Guardian wonders what’s up with the women who helped define the synthy sound of 2009: La Roux is supposed to have a second album out this year but there’s been nary a peep out of Elly Jackson in ages; Ladyhawke traded a lot of the keys for guitars on her just-released second album Anxiety – there’s interviews with Pip Browne at The New Zealand Herald and The Music; and Little Boots just debuted a new video taken from her second album which, while it clearly exists, has yet to have any specifics revealed.

Video: Little Boots – “Headphones”

NPR is streaming Hot Chip’s latest In Our Heads, due out next Tuesday. The Music talks to singer Alexis Taylor and they play The Sound Academy on July 15.

Stream: Hot Chip / In Our Heads

Pitchfork checks in with The xx, who’ve announced their second album Coexist will be released on September 11. They’ll preview the new material when they play a sold-out show at The Phoenix on July 28.

There’s a complete Clock Opera show from Amsterdam in May available to watch at 3voor12.

The Line Of Best Fit says hello to Mystery Jets, themselves saying hello when they open up for Keane at The Sound Academy on June 19.

Most pleased to hear that Richard Hawley’s latest Standing At The Sky’s Edge will be getting a North American physical release on August 28 – it’ll be available digitally next week – because I was getting close to biting the bullet and paying the $40+ for the import vinyl. Yay procrastination! And yay for a sample track from the album to download. Now let’s just get some touring happening over here…

MP3: Richard Hawley – “Leave Your Body Behind You”

Neil Halstead’s new solo record Palindrome Hunches – originally targeted for an August release – will now be out come September 11, but to make up for the delay a first MP3 has been made available for listening.

MP3: Neil Halstead – “Full Moon Rising”

Jarvis Cocker talks to The Guardian about his work raising awareness for Arctic environmental concerns.

MusicOmh chats with Supergrass frontman gone solo Gaz Coombes.

Muse have announced a September 17 release date for their new record The 2nd Law. The accompanying trailer does not inspire confidence, as it would appear to be a bombastic concept album about peak oil.

Trailer: Muse / The 2nd Law

The AV Club takes the occasion of the recent reissues to examine the career and importance of My Bloody Valentine.

Interview and NME both mark the 40th anniversary of David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust; the former with an interview originally published in March 1973 and the latter with an interactive look at the album cover.

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

After Glow

Foals giddy-up back to America

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickThe last time Oxford’s Foals were in town back in September, guitarist Jimmy Smith’s constantly malfunctioning amp and pedals provided frontman Yann Philippakis with enough rage-fuel to transform a technical disaster into a seething, edge-of-violent triumph, much to the delight of the completely jam-packed Lee’s Palace.

One expects they’ll have the state of their gear checked and double-checked before their return engagement on April 30 at the Phoenix (tickets $16.50), though. And that’s fine because as memorable as that last show was, it’ll be nice to hear them showcase their Mercury Prize-shortlisted record Total Life Forever with two fully functioning guitars.

The date is part of a Spring tour that is presumably built around a Coachella appearance and will feature a rather odd bill of Foals, Brooklyn twee-poppers Freelance Whales, still touring last year’s Weathervanes, and hotly-tipped New Zealanders The Naked & Famous, whose debut Passive Me, Aggressive You will be out on March 15.

MP3: Foals – “Spanish Sahara”
MP3: Freelance Whales – “Generator Second Floor”
Video: The Naked & Famous – “Young Blood”

Other Mercury Prize alumni coming back to town are Friendly Fires, who’ve made a May 30 date at The Phoenix, tickets $20. There’s been no official announcement about the release of their second album but one assumes that it will be out before they head over here. Update: Full North American dates are up, album has working title of Pala.

MP3: Friendly Fires – “Jump In The Pool”

Australia’s Cut Copy have slated a North American tour in support of their new record Zonoscope, due out February 8. Look for them at The Sound Academy on April 7 and download a track from the new record over here.

MP3: Cut Copy – “Lights & Music”

Last week they announced the April 4 release of their new record Blood Pressures and now, via NME are this Spring’s world tour dates for The Kills; Toronto gets them May 1 at the Sound Academy. That’s right, groan away. I’ll wait.

MP3: The Kills – “URA Fever”

Milo Cordell of The Big Pink tells NME they’re considering a hip-hop direction for their second album.

The Scotland Herald talks to Stuart Braithwaite ofMogwai in Japan. Their new record Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will arrives February 15 and there’s a new MP3 and video from said record available to download. Mogwai play The Phoenix on April 26.

MP3: Mogwai – “San Pedro”
Video: Mogwai – “Pano Rano”

The Guardian has a feature piece on British Sea Power. They play Lee’s Palace on March 30.

“The World Is Yours”, the lead track from Glasvegas’ Euphoric Heartbreak, is currently available to stream – the record is out April 4.

Music For Kids Who Can’t Read Good wins today’s Patrick Wolf news prize – they’ve got the name of Wolf’s new record – Lupercalia – and a download of the first single from the record, “Time Of My Life”. A quick look on the Twitter indicates that said album has been given a May 23 release date in the UK and a stream of the second single, “The City”, is available on Soundcloud. I daresay that if these songs are indicative of what the album will be like, Mr. Wolf has managed to outdo himself yet again.

Baeble Music has a Guest Apartment session and The Herald-Sun an interview with Kate Nash.

The Fly has an acoustic video session with The Joy Formidable, whose debut The Big Roar is out in the UK next week and in North America March 15.

Elly Jackson of La Roux discusses collaboration plans for album number two with NME.

Clash interviews Adele, whose second record 21 arrives February 22.

MusicOMH talks to Anna Calvi, whose self-titled debut arrives March 1 and who plays Wrongbar on March 11.

NPR has a second video from PJ Harvey’s forthcoming Let England Shake, due out February 15.

Video: PJ Harvey – “The Words That Maketh Murder”

In talking to Gigwise, Blur’s Dave Rowntree confirms the band will do “something” this year, but offers no more information than that. And yes, as I was typing that out I realized how pointless a news item this was but whatever.

MusicOmh has words with Richard Thompson.

And do swing by the recently-launched Aggregation Magazine, whose mandate is simple but too long for me to recap here but whose latest issue includes contributions from yours truly on topics that have nothing to do with music. And the latest issue of Under The Radar – the Sufjan cover – has an interview with myself and other music bloggers on the topic of blog hype; the issue has been out since December but I only just got a copy so I made sure I didn’t sound like a total ass before mentioning it. Only a partial ass, as per usual. End self-promo/flagellation.

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Fire Like This

Blood Red Shoes and Sky Larkin at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIs it possible for a band to steal their own show? It is when you’re far more interested in the support act than the headliner, as I was Wednesday night at The Horseshoe. I had already planned to attend even when it was just Brighton, UK’s Blood Red Shoes on the bill – I liked their two albums, including their latest and first North American release Fire Like This, well enough – but when Sky Larkin were announced as support, well it became an absolute must-see.

I had loved the Leeds trio’s 2009 debut The Golden Spike and rate this year’s follow-up Kaleide only slightly behind it, though at only a few months old it’s got lots of time to curry more favour. The difference between the two is really just degrees, as both are packed with wiry, spiky pop whose melodic qualities make them immediate and yet whose quirkiness allows them to continue to grow and unfold with repeated listens. And while these traits are very much in evidence in the live setting, what you notice most about the band on stage is just how much fun they’re having and how effortless they make it all seem.

When they’re playing, you just have to watch frontwoman Katie Harkin and how she seems at one with her guitar whilst dancing, hopping and swaying around the stage without missing a beat or note, or maybe drummer Nestor Matthews as he gives some epic drummer face while punishing his kit for some heinous transgressions. And between songs, their bantering with the audience and each other was just as entertaining – bassist Doug Adams may have been generally more placid on stage than his bandmates, but he did offer some choice words about Toronto’s new mayor-elect (“I’ve been reading about this Rob Ford guy – he’s an asshole!”). Their set didn’t crackle quite and fiercely as their visit to the Cameron Houe down the street a year and a day earlier, but it was still plenty great and Matthews got to celebrate his birthday without bleeding all over his kit.

So even before the headliners even set foot on stage, the night was deemed a success but even if, on paper, you preferred Sky Larkin’s more classically indie guitar-pop, there wasn’t going to be any resisting of Blood Red Shoes’ blunt instrument, ’90s alt rock-saluting attack. With Laura-Mary Carter on guitar, Steven Ansell on drums and both on vocals, their musical approach may have been less nuanced than their openers, but they understood the effectiveness of coming on strong and not letting up for a moment. And so it was that their relentless set focused on the most aggressive moments of Fire Like This and their debut Box Of Secrets and the permutations of their simple musical recipe – thick riffs and spidery lines from Carter’s Telecaster and steady, heavy rhythms from Ansell’s kit. On record, the balance of the vocals seems to favour Ansell, his hollers coming across more forcefully than Carter’s dulcet singing style, but live, it was much more evenly split and it was for the better. There may have only the two of them but they roared like a much larger band and in response, the smallish but enthusiastic audience cheered like a packed stadium. Go for the Sky Larkin, stay for the Blood Red Shoes, leave dazed and satisfied.

The Valley Star, Georgia Straight and San Francisco Examiner have features on Blood Red Shoes.

Photos: Blood Red Shoes, Sky Larkin @ The Horseshoe – October 27, 2010
MP3: Blood Red Shoes – “Light It Up”
MP3: Sky Larkin – “Kaleide”
MP3: Sky Larkin – “Molten”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Heartsink”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Don’t Ask”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Colours Fade”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “This Is Not For You”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Say Something, Say Anything”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “I Wish I Was Someone Better”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “It’s Getting Boring By The Sea”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Still Windmills”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Antibodies”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Beeline”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Fossil, I”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Molten”
Video: Sky Larkin – “One Of Two”
MySpace: Blood Red Shoes
MySpace: Sky Larkin

Interview talks to Elly Jackson of La Roux.

Clash and Dallas Voice have feature interviews with Antony Hegarty of Antony & The Johnsons.

Prefix has an interview with The Drums, who’ve just released a new video from their self-titled debut.

Video: The Drums – “Me & The Moon”

The Daily Iowan and Interview discover Phantogram.

The Walrus and Consequence Of Sound catch up with Liz Phair, who tries to explain every song on her mostly awful new record Funstyle to New York Magazine.

The Lissie show originally scheduled for last Tuesday and then cancelled when she lost her voice has now been rescheduled for January 18 of next year, but moved from the relatively cozy confines of the El Mocambo to the more spacious Opera House. Tickets for the new show are $15 and tickets for the old one will still be honoured.

MP3: Lissie – “Everywhere I Go”

New York Magazine gets some choice words from Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. Strange Powers, the documentary on Merritt and his music, opens in Toronto next Thursday.

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Death Rays

Mogwai want to remind you of your own mortality and will do it in person

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickWith 2010 tasked largely to the production and promotion of Burning and Special Moves, their aural and visual live summation of their first decade and half of existence, Mogwai will enter 2011 with eyes pointed straight ahead. The Scots have released released details of their seventh studio album, which will carry the typically wonderful title of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. There really is something to be said for being a mostly-instrumental band who never has to sing their titles in a chorus or anything.

Their first record to be released in North America on their new label SubPop, it will be made available on February 15 over here while coming out the day before on their own Rock Action label in the UK. An extensive world tour will precede, coincide with and follow the record’s release, starting in the UK and Europe and making its way across the Atlantic for North American dates come April – Toronto gets our on April 26 when the band plays The Phoenix.

And apropos of nothing, besides the fact that it’s a Mogwai song, the new Batman movie has a title and it’s Hallowe’en this weekend … Batcat! LOL.

Video: Mogwai – “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead”

eMusic, PhillyBurbs and The Chicago Tribune have interviews with Teenage Fanclub.

Chart, eye and Clash talk to The Vaselines, who are coming to play The Horseshoe on October 30.

La Roux’s Elly Jackson tells Spinner she’s losing interest in the old synth-pop sound.

Matador has revealed details on and offered up the first MP3 from the forthcoming debut album from Brits Esben & The Witch; Violet Cries will be released in North America on February 7, a week after it’s out in the UK. I said after seeing them live in September that I’d wait to hear the record, when presumably they’d be operating with more structure, before deciding if I liked them or not. So here we will go.

MP3: Esben & The Witch – “Warpath”

NME has details on the inevitable forthcoming deluxe edition of Mumford & Sons’ debut Sigh No More, the “deluxe” referring to the new accompanying live CD and DVD. It will be out in the Spring but apparently those who’ve already shelled out for the non-deluxe version – which is to say most everyone who would have wanted it – can download the bonus material for free. Details on how that’ll work forthcoming, I assume. Mumford & Sons play a sold-out gig at the Sound Academy on November 13.

Spinner interviews Damon Albarn, presently of Gorillaz but for all time of Blur.

NME reports that Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes, felled by a brain tumour last month, has already recovered enough to have reclaimed his (drum) throne by playing the band’s encore in Birmingham last Saturday.

Under The Radar and The University Observer talk to Two Door Cinema Club, who offer Drowned In Sound a guide to bands on how to “make it”.

The Von Pip Musical Express chats with Lisa Milberg of The Concretes. Their new record WYWH is out November 8.

John Eriksson of Peter Bjorn & John (he’s the John) gives Spin a status update on their next record.

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Write About Love

Belle & Sebastian and Zeus at Massey Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThere’s hiatuses and there’s hiatuses. The first being the sort where a group needs a break from one another to recharge their batteries, try out new things and eventually, return to one another refreshed and ready for another go; the latter being code for “we’ve split up but don’t want to field questions about so just leave us alone”. For whatever reason, though it was officially for reason the first, when Belle & Sebastian announced they were going on a break following 2006’s The Life Pursuit, I had the dread feeling that the truth was closer to reason the second. Why, I don’t know, but compilation albums and side-projects, however enjoyable on their own merits, don’t always bode well.

So joy was the best word to describe my reaction when word came this Spring that the band’s hiatus was as only as long as some band’s usual between-album gaps and were returning to the studio to record their eighth album. Clearly, I have some bias with regards to the fruits of those sessions – Write About Love, out this week – but I think that even the objective would admit that it’s as strong a record as any they band have released in the second phase (post-Fold Your Hands) of their career. For starters, it immediately adds two songs to any potential best-of career compilation; lead-off track “I Didn’t See It Coming” and first single “I Want The World To Stop”, both of which feature the band in absolute top form in terms of arrangement, musicianship, and the refinement of the Northern soul stylings that has defined their work since “twee” ceased being an appropriate descriptor.

Though those are the clear pinnacles of the record, there’s little in the way of weak spots or filler elsewhere – not something I’d say about any of their last few efforts. On the whole it sounds as though they’ve mellowed a bit and the token attempts to rock out – which never felt quite right – have been shelved in favour of more thoughtful moments that fit much better, not unlike a warm, worn cardigan. Stuart Murdoch’s experimenting with different female vocalists on God Help The Girl also carries over with the presence of Norah Jones on “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John” and actress Carey Mulligan on the album’s title track, both bringing something different from usual female vocalist Sarah Martin. Subjectivity demands that everyone has different things they’ll dislike or find wanting about Write About Love – too much of this, not enough of that, WTF Norah Jones – but what’s not up for debate is that eight albums on, Belle & Sebastian are finding ways to keep themselves sounding fresh and interested without tampering with their fundamental strengths and appeal and the world is a better place for it.

So with that out of the way, let’s get to Wednesday night at Massey Hall – the band’s first visit in four and a half years but my second time seeing them in under a fortnight. And while in Vegas their de facto openers were Spoon and Superchunk, and other cities on the tour have gotten Teenage Fanclub, The Vaselines or Dean & Britta, Toronto got Toronto’s Zeus. This isn’t a complaint, per se – though ubiquitous on city stages over the past year or so in support of their debut Say Us, I’ve managed to have never seen them live before so though it wasn’t Dean Wareham playing Galaxie 500, it was one thing to check off my to-do list. And I’ll have to see them again, not because they blew me away but because I think I need to give them a second chance to make a first impression. For whatever reason, they weren’t sounding great up there with vocals off-key and noticeable instrumental flubs, and for a band who you could tell is normally super-tight vocally and musically – their ’70s-indebted radio rock style of songwriting demands it – the flaws were particularly conspicuous. Not that the band let it rattle them, if they even noticed – they were totally chilled out on stage and didn’t appear intimidated by the setting in the slightest. When they were on, which was most of the time, they were fine. I just suspect they’re normally a fair bit better.

Unlike Belle & Sebastian’s Vegas show where the band came out of the blocks at full speed, Tuesday’s show started from a standing stop. Leading off with Write‘s quietest number, “Read The Blessed Pages”, they followed up with the title track of the new record delivered with less energy than it deserved, leading me to worry that this might turn out to be a rare off night for both the support and headliners. But as the adage goes, “slow and steady wins the race” so it’s fitting that it was with beloved b-side “The Loneliness Of A Middle Distance Runner”, egged on by the most polite stage rush ever, the show found another gear and set course for greatness. That greatness was realized just one song later with “I Want The World To Stop” which was met with an enthusiasm that one rarely hears for a brand-new song – enthusiasm and dancing. The mass at the foot of the stage was a steady mass of bouncing and swaying and on stage, Murdoch had found his groove and was doing a sort of faux-running man dance, henceforth called “The Stu”, that he’d keep up for pretty much the rest of the show.

And for the rest of the night, it was highlight after highlight. The unexpected orchestral open to “Sukie In The Graveyard” where he pulled a dance partner out of the audience, the half-dozen dancers invited up for “Boy With The Arab Strap” including one girl who couldn’t have been more than 10 that invited herself onstage and stole the show, their well-intentioned butchering of a Kinks cover request, the tossing of Dollarama-sourced, forgot-to-be-autographed footballs into the audience, the wealth of non-album singles and b-sides in the set plus a half verse of “This Is Just A Modern Rock Song” in response to another request (until Stuart forgot the words)… it was simply bliss. Which is why it was strange to look around the balconies and galleries of Massey Hall and see people sitting placid and stony-faced through much of the show – the ovations that followed each song certainly made it sound like the sold-out house was loving it, but you wouldn’t know it by looking. Still, there’d be no staying in one’s seat when an unexpected read of “Simple Things” led into a glorious and technicolour “Sleep The Clock Around” – it was a blast of undiluted aural joy that carried over into the Sinister encore double-shot of “Judy and The Dream Of Horses” and “Me and The Major”. Any fears of a sub-par show from the slow start were beyond unfounded – anywhere Belle & Sebastian go, magic is sure to follow. It’s always nice to be reminded that one of the most important bands of your life are still vital and wonderful after almost 15 years at it. Did I already sort of say that? Well it bears repeating – Belle + Sebastian = love.

Panic Manual, Exclaim, BlogTO, Chart, NOW, The Globe & Mail and eye also have reviews of the show. San Francisco Weekly has an interview with Stuart Murdoch. With their Massey Hall appearance out of the way, Zeus have announced a show a little more their scale on December 3 at the Horseshoe.

Photos: Belle & Sebastian, Zeus @ Massey Hall – October 12, 2010
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Write About Love”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Funny Little Frog”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Another Sunny Day”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Take Your Carriage Clock And Shove It”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Storytelling”
MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I Want The World To Stop”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “White Collar Boy”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “The Blues Are Still Blue”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Funny Little Frog”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Wrapped Up In Books”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I’m A Cuckoo”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Step Into My Office Baby”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Jonathan David”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Jonathan David” (70s version)
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “The Wrong Girl”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Legal Man”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “This Is Just A Modern Rock Song”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Is It Wicked Not To Care?”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Dirty Dream #2”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Lazy Line Painter Jane”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Dog On Wheels”
Video: Zeus – “How Does It Feel”
Video: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”
MySpace: Belle & Sebastian
MySpace: Zeus

I really don’t mean to keep tying Isobel Campbell items with those of her former bandmates, but that just keeps happening. For example, halfway through the show last night I got word that she would be playing an in-store at Criminal Records on October 20 at 6PM, sans singing partner Mark Lanegan, before their show at Lee’s Palace that night. Washington City Paper has a short chat with Campbell.

Video: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – “You Won’t Let Me Down Again”

Clash and Houston Press talk to Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee of The Vaselines, respectively. They’re at The Horseshoe on October 30.

Johnny Flynn’s show at Lee’s Palace, originally scheduled for next Monday night, has been given a new date of November 14. Tickets for next week’s show are still good for the new date.

Travis frontman Fran Healy will bring his new solo record Wreckorder to the Mod Club on November 26, tickets $29.50.

Video: Fran Healy – “Buttercups”

British Sea Power have announced the title of their new record via YouTube. Look for Valhalla Dancehall – a BSP title if ever there was one – in January of next year.

Spinner talks to La Roux’s Elly Jackson about collaborations and Kanye.

The first video from Duffy’s new record Endlessly is out. The album hits stores November 30.

Video: Duffy – “Well Well Well”

Drowned In Sound meets The Concretes, whose new record WYWH is streaming at its own website in advance of its November 8 release.

Stream: The Concretes / WYWH

The Drums will warm up for their this Saturday’s (October 16) show at the Mod Club later that evening with an in-store down the street at Soundscapes at 7PM, possibly to give their still-new substitute guitarist as much practice as possible. eye has a list of five things you should know about the band and AM New York has a Q&A.

MP3: The Drums – “Down By The Water”

NPR is streaming a complete Deerhunter show from DC. They’re at The Opera House on October 19.

NOW talks to Blonde Redhead in advance of Sunday’s show at The Phoenix.