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Posts Tagged ‘La Sera’

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Happy Days

Blouse continue to tailor sound on Imperium

Photo By Anna IgnatenkoAnna IgnatenkoPortland-based trio Blouse made a pretty positive impression with their 2011 self-titled debut and its alluring balance of mechanical post-punk rhythms and shoegazey textures, be they synth- or guitar-created. Advance word on their just-announced second album Imperium, however, makes it sound as though they’ve elected to up the organic quotient, entering the studio with an “instruments that don’t plug into the wall” mandate.

Based on the first single from Imperium, this hasn’t drastically changed the band’s aesthetic – Charlie Hilton’s vocals are still entrancingly Nico-icy and melancholic – but the greater emphasis on live instrumentation certainly makes them sound more like a proper rock band than a “project”, as they initially referenced themselves. Some may bemoan their tilt towards the conventional, but if the end result is more and better songs, then I’m all for it.

Imperium is out September 17 and as a sort of press release, label Captured Tracks has a Q&A with the band about the new album.

MP3: Blouse – “No Shelter”

Spin has a feature interview with Kurt Vile, who’s in town to play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 7.

NYC Taper has a recording of Yo La Tengo’s final show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey. They play TURF on July 7 at Garrison Common.

Stereogum asks Jeff Tweedy what’s going on with the new Wilco record. Answer – not much; writing, no recording. So expect to hear stuff you know when they play The Molson Amphitheatre on July 15 opening for Bob Dylan. And don’t pretend that bothers you.

Interview talks to electronic/ambient artist Julianna Barwick about her new album Nepenthe, due out on August 20 and with a new song available to stream. She’s in town at Double Double Land on September 26.

Stream: Julianna Barwick – “One Half”

Stereogum talks to Laura Ballance and The Calgary Herald to Jim Wilbur of Superchunk; Ballance is probably thankful she no longer tours with the band as they’re having a hell of a time in flooded Calgary for Sled Island this weekend. Their new album I Hate Music is out August 20.

Under The Radar has details on the new record from Lissie; Back To Forever will be out September 10. The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with the roots-rocker.

The Thurston Moore-powered Chelsea Light Moving are bringing their self-titled debut back to town for a show at The Horseshoe on September 15.

MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Burroughs”

Local Natives have rolled out a new video from this year’s Hummingbird. They play The Kool Haus on September 21.

Video: Local Natives – “You & I”

Chicago’s Disappears and San Francisco’s Weekend have paired up for an Autumn co-headlining tour that’s sure to be loud and abrasive in all the right places and wraps up in Toronto at The Garrison on October 25. Disappears released Pre-Language last year; Weekend’s new album Jinx comes out July 23.

MP3: Disappears – “New Fast”
MP3: Weekend – “Coma Summer”

La Sera have been announced as support for Kate Nash’s upcoming show at The Phoenix on November 5. Their last release was 2012’s Sees The Light

MP3: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”

Noisey, The Citizen-Times, and Interview get to know Beach Day, whose debut Trip Trap Attack came out this week.

Interview has an interview with Alan Sparhawk of Low.

The Postal Service has released a video for one of the new songs on the anniversary edition of Give Up.

Video: The Postal Service – “A Tattered Piece Of String”

aux.tv talks to Titus Andronicus.

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Movement

New Order get ready for live return to North America

Photo By Kevin CumminsKevin CumminsThere are two points about New Order that are difficult to dispute.

a) They were one of the greatest bands of the ’80s, whose run of albums from 1983’s Power, Corruption & Lies through 1989’s Technique and including 1987’s singles collection Substance templated and led that which we’d call indie, New Wave, post-punk, dance-rock, electronica, and were massively commercially successful at the same time. Their legacy is deep and far-reaching and even after their heyday, when roster changes and internal bickering overshadowed their music, they still managed to include at least one amazing song per otherwise uneven record that reminded you of why they mattered.

b) They were lousy live. Okay, that’s a deliberately polemic statement, especially for someone who’s never seen them live, but any live footage I’ve seen or heard has been some degree of cringe-worthy and in my years of being a fan, that’s always seemed the consensus opinion. Their official BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert album, which captured their 1087 Glastonbury set – which is to say the recording that they deemed good enough to release and sell – shone a bright light on Bernard Sumner’s inability to sing live. His voice is thin, off-key, and on this recording at least, punctuated with whoops and yelps that also manage to be way out of pitch. His shortcomings as a vocalist are evident on the albums as well, but what’s passable in a studio is decidedly less so amplified to stadium levels. Some of this was certainly due to some of the chemical accouterments of the era, but online footage from more recent shows don’t demonstrate much improvement.

So it’s all well and good to focus on point a) with the news yesterday that the band – who were supposed to have broken up for good back in 2009 but who’ve turned a handful of one-off gigs into a proper ongoing concern that now includes a North American tour that wraps in Toronto on October 23 at the Sony Centre, their first time here since Summer 2001, when they were part of Moby’s Area One tour at The Docks. Purists will rightly point out that it’s not really New Order without Peter Hook – he quit the band in decidedly acrimonious fashion in 2007 – but they’ve got keyboardist Gillian Gilbert, who quit circa 2005’s Waiting For The Siren’s Call, back in the fold so they’ve still got three out of four original members – better than many bands out on the nostalgia circuit.

Ticket information is still forthcoming, but considering it won’t be cheap, it may be worth giving some thought to point b) before putting your cash on the barrelhead. But then, of course, you’ll imagine hearing “Blue Monday” live and it’ll be a done deal. That’s fine, nothing wrong with celebrating the songs more than the performance. I’ll probably be there too.

Video: New Order – “Blue Monday”
Video: New Order – “Bizarre Love Triangle”
Video: New Order – “Regret”

When Don Pyle of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet mentioned at their Lee’s Palace show a couple weeks ago that they were going to be playing at The Cameron House in August, I wasn’t sure if he was being serious or making a joke. turns out he was serious. Exclaim reports that the band will play a benefit double-header at the tiny Queen West venue on August 12 with proceeds from the early show going to Mindfulness Without Borders and the late show benefitting Hospice Toronto. Tickets are $20 and go on sale July 28 at the Cameron House – and maybe this time they’ll have copies of Savvy Show Stoppers to sell.

MP3: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “13”

Boston post-rock veterans Caspian will be at The Horseshoe on September 10 in support of their new record Waking Season, out later this Fall. Tickets are $10.50 in advance.

Trailer: Caspian / Waking Season

With a new record in Nocturne out on August 28 and now more a proper band than a pseudonym for Jack Tatum’s solo project, Wild Nothing are teaming up with New York’s DIIV – themselves no strangers to the art of being buzzy – for a Fall tour that brings them to The Great Hall on September 18, tickets $15.50 in advance. Alibi talks to Wild Nothing’s Tatum while Spin talks favourite things with DIIV leader Zachary Cole Smith.

MP3: Wild Nothing – “Nowhere”
MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”

Leeds’ Alt-J will release their debut album An Awesome Wave Stateside on September 18 and as part of their Fall tour to support it, will be in town at Wrongbar on September 19; tickets are $13 in advance. Gigwise has an interview with the band.

MP3: Alt-J – “Tessalate”
MP3: Alt-J – “Matilda”

The Antlers are marking the release today of their new Undersea EP with the announcement of a show at The Great Hall on September 25, tickets $21.50 in advance. It’s almost certainly part of a full tour, but the rest of the dates are still forthcoming. While you wait, you can hear the whole mini-album on their Facebook for the price of a ‘like’.

MP3: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”
Stream: The Antlers / Undersea

Not that they should need any help selling out The Phoenix, but Crocodiles have been announced as support for The Afghan Whigs’ October 3 show at The Phoenix. Their Endless Flowers came out last month. Remaining tickets for the show are $35.

MP3: Crocodiles – “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)”

The powers that be won’t say what or when with regards to head New Pornographer Carl Newman putting his A.C. Newman solo cap back on, but they have confirmed a third solo record exists, will be out this Fall, and he’ll be touring in support. That kicks off October 21 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $16.50.

MP3: A.C. Newman – “Submarines Of Stockholm”

Josh Tillman must like life on the road – having just made his Father John Misty debut here back in May and returning in support of Youth Lagoon last week, he’s announced an extensive Fall tour what brings him back for the third show in five months, hitting Lee’s Palace on October 27 with La Sera opening up. Tickets are $14.50 in advance. There’s a Father John Misty interview and session at The Alternate Side and a short interview at Melbourne Times Weekly.

MP3: Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”
MP3: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”

Their support duties for Best Coast done with, Those Darlins are free to announce another return to town, hitting The Garrison on October 30, tickets $12.50 in advance. They’re featured in pieces at Miami New Times and The Augusta Chronicle.

MP3: Those Darlins – “Red Light Love”

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

CONTEST – La Sera @ The Shop Under Parts & Labour – May 13, 2012

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWho: La Sera
What: (Relatively) shinier but just as poppy side-project from Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman.
Why: She’s touring in support of her second album Sees The Light, which was just released in March.
When: Sunday, May 13, 2012
Where: The Shop Under Parts & Labour (19+)
Who else: Not sure yet, to be honest.
How: Tickets for the show are $10.50 in advance but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want La Sera” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that to me before midnight, May 9.
What else: Fuse, Clash, and Toro have interviews with Goodman.

MP3: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”
MP3: La Sera – “Never Come Around”
MP3: La Sera – “Break My Heart”
MP3: La Sera – “Devil’s Hearts Grow Gold”
Video: La Sera – “Real Boy/Drive On”
Video: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”
Video: La Sera – “Never Come Around”
Video: La Sera – “Devil’s Hearts Grow Cold”

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Jesus Of Cool

Nick Lowe at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangMaybe listening to Jesus Of Cool and Labour Of Lust weren’t the best warm-ups for Nick Lowe’s show at The Phoenix on Monday night. After all, he was many many years removed from being the young pub-rock firebrand who recorded those first two records, having settled comfortably into the role of professorial pop singer-songwriter – a guise that’s suited his still-potent pen quite nicely, as last year’s The Old Magic proved. But if you assumed this meant that his shows would be sedate, sit-down affairs, then you were mistaken. Somewhat.

Though the show was billed as Lowe with band, the man took the stage solo to open things up with something old and something new – “Stoplight Roses” from Magic and “Heart” from 1982’s Nick The Knife – before he took some time to chat up the crowd. He apologized if anyone was confused about the venue, since his recent shows had typically been at The Mod Club but with the positive reception that Magic has gotten and the increase in profile he got opening up for Wilco back in September, an upgrade in venue was not overreaching although what with the Phoenix floor being set up with chairs, the increase in capacity was probably only a couple hundred more at best.

Also in his opening monologue, Lowe mentioned that despite the new record being received quite favourably, it wouldn’t be one of “those” shows and that the set list had been optimized for “quality entertainment,” and the man wasn’t lying. After bringing his band out, he led them through a set that went from jazzy on the slower end of things to rollicking rockabilly at the other and both established the strength of his career’s body of work and affirmed that his recent records were as good as his old ones, in their way. After all, Lowe’s talents have always been his way with words and melodies, not in the fashions they were dressed in. I was a bit surprised how that Jesus Of Cool and Labour Of Lust didn’t get a bit more attention – besides being arguably his most famous records, they were also the ones recently reissued – but Lust was only represented by “Without Love” and “Cruel To Be Kind” and Jesus ignored completely.

No one was complaining, though. The audience was dead silent when they needed to be and whooped it up when appropriate, to say nothing of the sounds of female swooning that periodically punctuated the show; indeed, Lowe was a study in songwriting, charm and aging well. It wasn’t until the finale of the main set – “I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock ‘n’ Roll)” – that they finally got up out of their seats – well, five of them at least – to turn the space at the front of the stage into a dance floor. They were joined by many more for the encores, the first of which was highlighted by a hymnal version of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” and the second which found Lowe, again alone onstage, performing a song by the other iconic British artist to whom he’ll be forever tied – Elvis Costello and “Alison”, and that he missed a chord change while singing “My aim is true” only made the whole thing that much more perfect.

The Toronto Sun and NOW also have reviews of the show; Interview has an interview.

Photos: Nick Lowe @ The Phoenix – April 23, 2012
Video: Nick Lowe – “Sensitive Man”
Video: Nick Lowe – “All Men Are Liars”
Video: Nick Lowe – “I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock And Roll)”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Half A Boy And Half A Man”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Cruel To Be Kind”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Crackin’ Up”

The Line Of Best Fit revisits Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Woody Guthrie-saluting Mermaid Avenue releases; Mermaid Avenue: Volume III would appear to only be available in physical form in the Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions. Alas. Maybe take it up with Billy when his North American tour brings him through the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia on July 8? It looks like that’s as close as he’s getting to Hogtown this time out.

Tiny Mix Tapes interviews Sleigh Bells, back in Toronto next week on April 27 and 28 at the Air Canada Centre opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers.

With Lower Dens’ new album Nootropics due out next week – May 1 – DIY has both a stream of the whole thing and song-by-song annotations from the band.

MP3: Lower Dens – “Brains”
MP3: Lower Dens – “Propagation”
Stream: Lower Dens / Nootropics

La Sera – aka Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls – brings her new record Sees The Light to The Shop Under Parts & Labour on May 13, part of a North American tour.

MP3: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”

The AV Club has got a stream of Fear Fun – the debut album from Father John Misty, aka J. Tillman ex of Fleet Foxes – ahead of its May 1 release date as well as an interview with the man. He plays The Horseshoe on May 14.

MP3: Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”
MP3: Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”
Stream: Father John Misty / Fear Fun

Billboard has a feature piece on Beach House, whose new album Bloom is out May 15.

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips talks to Forbes about why the band has been so dedicated to making weird records/releases over the last couple of years; basically, just to see if they could. Another of the tracks from their Record Store Day Heady Fwends has just been made into a video. The Flaming Lips play a free show for NXNE at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 16.

Video: The Flaming Lips with Prefuse 73 – “The Supermoon Made Me Want To Pee”

And going on before the Lips and doubling the insane live show quotient will be Of Montreal. They’ve just released a new video from this year’s Paralytic Stalks and NPR is streaming last night’s show in Washington DC. And if you’re curious about some of the other NXNE scheduling that I’ve sussed out, last week’s post is in a constant state of update.

Video: Of Montreal – “Spiteful Intervention”

These United States – whose last attempted visit was derailed, I believe, by something we Torontonians like to call the G20 riots, will give it another go with a show at The Horseshoe on June 22. Update: okay, so they were actually here just a couple weeks ago opening for Trampled By Turtles. Fine.

MP3: These United States – “The Great Rivers”
MP3: These United States – “Water & Wheat”

Their fourth album Magic Hour due out on May 28, New York’s Scissor Sisters have set a date at the Sound Academy for June 28 – tickets are $32.50 for general admission and $42.50 for VIP.

Video: Scissor Sisters – “Only The Horses”

Andrew Bird has extended his Summer tour in support of Break It Yourself to include a July 19 date at Echo Beach in Toronto. Tickets are $35 in advance, full itinerary at Under The Radar.

MP3: Andrew Bird – “Eyeoneye”
MP3: Andrew Bird – “Give It Away”

Rolling Stone talks to Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. She’s at The Phoenix on August 1.

To everyone reporting that Cat Power had named her new record, Sun – it’s not really news. She named announced it as the name of her next studio album following The Greatest as early as 2007, reported that the album was done in 2008 and then said that she’d shelved it in 2009. The more pertinent question is did she change her mind about those sessions and is releasing five-year old recordings or was she so attached to the album title that she’s using it for a whole new set of songs. In any case, it is news – assuming it’s true – that the record will be out on September 11. I’ll wait for Matador to chime in.

Exclaim solicits an acoustic video session with Nada Surf.

The Blue Indian chats with Bowerbirds.

The Mountain Goats play a video session for Paste and bassist Peter Hughes chats with Tone Deaf.

The Village Voice talks to Kurt Wagner of Lambchop, and if you missed last week’s guest editor run at Magnet, check it out – they discuss the origins of each song on Mr. M.

State talks to Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields.

Clash sends Crispin Glover to interview J. Mascis. Stranger things have happened, but not much.

Proxart talks to Anna-Lynne Williams of Trespassers William; on Facebook this week, she reported that the final Trespassers release – a double-disc cupboard clearing compilation – had gone off for mastering. Details on that release soon, one hopes.

The AV Club has posted their third instalment documenting the history of R.E.M..

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

SXSW 2012 Day One A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWords to go with the first afternoon spent in sunny Austin can be found over here.

Blouse
– Portland dream-pop outfit indebted to the ’80s who released their self-titled debut last Fall and will be at The Garrison on May 5 opening for Bear In Heaven.

Photos: Blouse @ Shangri-La – March 14, 2012
MP3: Blouse – “Into Black”
Video: Blouse – “Ghost Dream”
Video: Blouse – “Videotapes”
Video: Blouse – “Into Black”
Stream: Blouse / Blouse

Niki & The Dove
– After months of buzz-building, the Swedish electro-pop duo who echo any and all of Kate Bush, The Knife and Lykke Li are ready to release their debut album Instinct on May 14. Daytrotter just posted a session with the band and another of their SXSW performances at the Hype Hotel can be watched in full at Livestream.

Photos: Niki & The Dove @ Flamingo Cantina – March 14, 2012
MP3: Niki & The Dove – “The Fox”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “The Fox”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “DJ Ease My Mind”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “Mother Protect”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “The Drummer”
Stream: Niki & The Dove / The Drummer

La Sera
– Side-project from Vivian Girls bassist Kickball Katy – aka Katy Goodman – that treads the same real estate but gets out of the garage and cleans itself up a bit; their second album Sees The Light was just released. Austinist has an interview.

Photos: La Sera @ Red 7 Patio – March 14, 2012
MP3: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”
MP3: La Sera – “Never Come Around”
MP3: La Sera – “Break My Heart”
Video: La Sera – “Real Boy/Drive On”
Video: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”
Video: La Sera – “Never Come Around”
Video: La Sera – “Devil Hearts Grow Cold”

Widowspeak
– Country-gaze that melts in your ears thanks to the vocals of Molly Hamilton; their self-titled debut almost makes the return of Mazzy Star unneecssary.

Photos: Widowspeak @ Red 7 Patio – March 14, 2012
MP3: Widowspeak – “Harsh Realm”
MP3: Widowspeak – “Gun Shy”

Korallreven
Radio Dept. offshoot that proves via their debut album An Album By Korallreven that chillwave from Sweden doesn’t sound too different from chillwave made domestically, just with better guest vocalists. There’s interviews at Gapers Block, Prefix, We Love DC, and The Village Voice.

Photos: Korallreven @ Red 7 – March 14, 2012
MP3: Korallreven -“Sa Sa Samoa” (featuring Julianna Barwick)
MP3: Korallreven – “As Young As Yesterday” (featuring Victoria Bergsman)
MP3: Korallreven – “Honey Mine” (featuring Victoria Bergsman)
Video: Korallreven – “The Truest Faith”
Video: Korallreven – “Sa Sa Samoa”
video: Korallreven – “As Young As Yesterday”

Blood Orange
– Former Lightspeed Champion making bedroom funk-soul for the masses via his debut album Coastal Grooves.

Photos: Blood Orange @ The Mohawk Patio – March 14, 2012
MP3: Blood Orange – “Dinner”
MP3: Blood Orange – “Sutphin Boulevard”
MP3: Blood Orange – “Champagne Coast”
Video: Blood Orange – “Forget It”
Video: Blood Orange – “Sutphin Boulevard”
Video: Blood Orange – “Dinner”
Video: Blood Orange – “S’Cooled”
Video: Blood Orange – “I’m Sorry We Lied”

Clock Opera
– London-based quartet who’ve moved from doing remixes for others to making arena-sized electro-rock for themselves. Their debut full-length Ways To Forget comes out April 23.

Photos: Clock Opera @ The Mohawk – March 14, 2012
MP3: Clock Opera – “Once And For All”
MP3: Clock Opera – “Belongings” (live at Maida Vale)
Video: Clock Opera – “Man Made”
Video: Clock Opera – “Once And For All” (2012)
Video: Clock Opera – “Lesson No. 7”
Video: Clock Opera – “Belongings”
Video: Clock Opera – “Once And For All”
Video: Clock Opera – “White Noise”