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Posts Tagged ‘Lambchop’

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Myth

Review of Beach House’s Bloom

Photo By Liz FlyntzLiz FlyntzIf we can regard Beach House literally as their namesake, which is to say as a holiday getaway, a reliably stolid place to escape from the real world, then the amount of adoration they’ve gotten for largely sticking to their skeletal formula through four albums now is understandable. Their fans don’t want them to reinvent themselves with each outing; they want that comforting blanket of Victoria Legrand’s narcoleptic vocals and whirring keyboard interwoven with Alex Scally’s languid slide guitar, and across their first two records – their 2006 self-titled debut and 2007’s Devotion – that’s almost exactly what they got, seasoned with some rudimentary percussion both electronic and organic.

The closest thing they’re ever likely to come to a revolution was with 2010’s Teen Dream, which managed to take a relatively huge leap forward with the production and songwriting, making interesting rhythms and pop hooks a front burner concern without compromising their core sound. A risk, perhaps, but one that paid off immensely in the form of their strongest and most critically and commercially successful work. So with that in mind, it’s not surprising that Bloom – out next Tuesday – opts to stay the course laid out by its predecessor. Surprises simply aren’t Beach House’s style.

Gorgeousness is, however. It took the aforementioned embrace of bigger sounds on Teen Dream to really make me appreciate Beach House – prior to that, I had to be in a very particular mood to listen to them for any period of time – and now they’re a band for all occasions. Having touring drummer Daniel Franz play on the whole of the record, a third member of the band even if he’s not formerly acknowledged as such, helps both ground and propel Bloom while Legrand and Scally do their thing in crafting the haunting textures and melodies that are the foundation of Beach House. And while we’re being literal about things, Bloom is an exceptionally appropriate name for this collection as there’s moments that simply burst outwards. To even suggest that the band be capable of this sort of dynamicism circa their debut would have seemed absurd, and yet just six years later, here we are – and without compromising their identity, no less.

It’s too early to say if Bloom is better than Teen Dream, but by the quantitative measure of how many times I’ve felt compelled to listen to it, it’s already well ahead. At worst, it’s as good as its predecessor and at best, its even better. In either case, it’s hard to imagine liking one and not the other and regardless of where you rank it relative to Beach House’s earlier output, despite really just being more of the same – or perhaps because of it – it’s excellent.

NPR has an advance stream of the new record and DIY, The Line Of Best Fit, The Orlando Sentinel, and Pitchfork have interviews with the band.

MP3: Beach House – “Myth”
Stream: Beach House / Bloom

Also streaming at NPR but two weeks ahead of release are The Only Place, the second album from Best Coast, and Passage, the debut from Exitmusic. Best Coast are at The Phoenix on July 21 and Exitmusic have a NXNE showcase at Wrongbar on June 14.

Stream: Best Coast / The Only Place
Stream: Exitmusic / Passage

S. Carey’s new EP Hoyas came out this week – stream it at Stereogum and read interviews with Sean Carey about the record at The Leader Telegram and Volume One.

MP3: S. Carey – “Two Angles”
Stream: S. Carey / Hoyas

In concert announcements, Joe Pernice will stretch his legs and take a mosey to The Dakota Tavern on June 22, maybe play some songs.

MP3: Pernice Brothers – “Somerville”

Having sold out Lee’s Palace their last time through, Youth Lagoon will be at The Opera House on July 12 with Father John Misty, who still has to get through Monday night’s show at the Horseshoe before he can make a return engagement. Tickets are $15.50 in advance.

MP3: Youth Lagoon – “July”
MP3: Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”

If part of Liars’ to-do list in preparation for the June 5 release of WIXIW was slate a North American tour, they can cross it off – they’ll be at Lee’s Palace on July 21, tickets $15. They can also check off releasing the first video from the new album.

MP3: Liars – “Scissor”
Video: Liars – “No. 1 Against The Rush”

Twin Shadow is also hitting the road in support of a new record – with Confess due out July 9, George Lewis Jr will be at Lee’s Palace on July 30 and 31, tickets $20.

MP3: Twin Shadow – “Five Seconds”
MP3: Twin Shadow – “Slow”

Merge has released a companion album to Crooked Fingers’ 2011 album Breaks In The Armor comprised of acoustic demos of the album. It’s out now and you can stream one of the tracks at Donewaiting.

Stream: Crooked Fingers – “Bad Blood” (acoustic)

Exclaim reports that some of The Mountain Goats’ early cassette releases from the early ’90s – The Hound Chronicles and Hot Garden Stomp, specifically – will be released on a single CD on June 26.

Fang Island have announced that their second album Major will be out on July 12; details at Spin.

Pop Etc have released a video from their self-titled debut, out June 12.

Video: Pop Etc – “Live It Up”

Explosions In The Sky have released a second video from last year’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.

Video: Explosions In The Sky – “Postcard From 1952″

America Give Up has yielded another video from Minneapolis’ Howler.

Video: Howler – “This One’s Different”

Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from Mates Of State, off of last year’s Mountaintops.

Video: Mates Of State – “Unless I’m Led”

The Magnetic Fields have released a second video from Love At The Bottom Of The Sea.

Video: The Magnetic Fields – “Quick!”

Interview talks to Molly Hamilton of Widowspeak, in town at The Garrison on June 15 for NXNE.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Of Montreal, in town for NXNE on June 16 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Artrocker and Drowned In Sound talk to A Place To Bury Strangers about their forthcoming album Worship, out June 26.

Red Eye and The Detroit Free Press talk to Andrew Bird, in town at Echo Beach on July 19.

Sharon Van Etten plays a video session for WBEZ; she’s at The Phoenix on July 31.

Pitchfork talks to Merrill Garbus and the director of the recent tUnE-yArDs video for “My Country”. She plays The Phoenix on August 1.

SF Weekly chats with John Vanderslice.

Reverb interviews Kurt Wagner of Lambchop.

NPR is streaming a KCRW radio session with M. Ward.

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Savoir Adore.

Ra Ra Riot talks to Spin about what they’ve got planned for album number three and to Grantland about their appreciation for hockey.

NPR has a WFUV session with Shearwater.

Spin gets a progress report on the next Dinosaur Jr album, due out later this Summer.

Greg Dulli takes The Skinny on a guided tour of The Afghan Whigs’ catalog.

Spin talks to Bob Mould about the 20th anniversary of Sugar’s Copper Blue and the single, “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” in particular. Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that two of Mould’s ’90s albums – Bob Mould and The Last Dog & Pony Show – will be getting released as a three-disc set in the UK on June 18 with the third disc consisting of a live 1998 show.

The Atlantic reflects on the significance of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on the occasion of its tenth anniversary.

The AV Club has posted the fourth part of their look at the history of R.E.M..

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..

Monday, April 16th, 2012

It's Only Life

Review of The Shins’ Port Of Morrow and giveaway

Photo By Annie BeedyAnnie BeedyI’d like to, if I could, refer you back to my writeup of The Shins on the occasion of their visit to Toronto last September. In it, I mused about how this band had a Forrest Gump-like knack for getting pulled into conversations bigger than themselves and how all of that seemed out of scale with James Mercer’s desire to simply write pop songs. That hasn’t necessarily subsided as some of the pieces I’ve read surrounding last month’s release of Port Of Morrow were built around the very questionable thesis that The Shins are already a reunion or nostalgia act (four albums over eleven years is hardly a snail’s pace these days, people).

Having already gotten that end of things out of my system with the aforementioned live review, I’m going to try and just talk about Port Of Morrow in the context of being a new Shins record, and nothing else. And it’s actually not too difficult to do because even with all that’s happened between this record and 2007’s Wincing The Night Away – namely the sacking of the band and shelving the whole thing in favour of Broken Bells – Port makes it feel like nothing has transpired and no time has elapsed.

The sonic aesthetic seems a bit shinier than before, more distinctly in line with ’70s studio pop but still following the path laid out by the albums that came before. Mercer’s distinctive, reedy voice manages to keep up – sometimes barely – with the looping melodies he writes for his cryptically evocative lyrics, accompanied by some ratio of jangly guitars to moody synths. The songwriting is also as solid as before, peaking with lead single “Simple Song” – it easily belongs on any post-career best-of compilation – and while it doesn’t again reach those heights, there’s an admirable lack of filler across the other nine tracks. It seems that it really doesn’t matter who’s along for the ride with James Mercer, The Shins remain as The Shins ever were. It’s funny that a band that was sold to so many as being life-changing should find their greatest strength in their constancy.

The Shins premiered their new video for “The Rifle’s Spiral” on the Nintendo DS platform last week, because they’re cool/annoying like that – it should be available for those of us without portable video game systems this week. They open up for The Black Keys at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4.

Also, courtesy of With A Bullet, I have several copies of Port Of Morrow to give away – one on LP and three on CD. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want The Shins” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body, and indicate if you’d like to be eligible for the vinyl, digital or both. Contest is only open to residents of Canada – sorry, rest of the world – and closes at midnight, April 29. Update: The prizing has been upgraded to four LPs; if you’re CD-only, sorry, can no longer oblige. Maybe buy a turntable?

Video: The Shins – “Simple Song”
Video: The Shins – “Bait & Switch”

I still have fond memories of seeing The Shins for the first time back in Summer 2002 – just before this blog came into existence – at The Rivoli in Toronto, opening up for Los Angeles’ psychedelic-country outfit Beachwood Sparks. The Shins would eventually go on to great things while the Sparks went on hiatus shortly afterwards… a hiatus that is now over. Pitchfork reports the reconvened band will return with their third album The Tarnished Gold on June 26. One of the new tracks and a couple of old ones are posted below.

MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Forget The Song”
MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Confusion Is Nothing New”
MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Drinkswater”

The Fly talks to Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast. Her new record The Only Place is out on May 15 and they’re at The Phoenix on July 21.

Wears The Trousers has an interview with Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls.

School Of Seven Bells have a new video from Ghostory. They’re at The Hoxton on May 2 and are the subject of interviews at The Star-Telegram, The Citizen-Times, The Pitch, and The National.

Video: School Of Seven Bells – “Reappear”

tUnE-yArDs has released a new video from WHOKILL, featuring some face that may be familiar if you’ve seen the old videos from WHOKILL. There’s also interviews with Merril Garbus at OC Weekly and The Santa Barbara Independent; she plays The Phoenix on August 1.

Video: tUnE-yArDs – “My Country”

Lambchop have squeezed a new video out of Mr. M. Indy Week, Magnet, and The Washington Post have chats with Kurt Wagner.

Video: Lambchop – “2B2″

M. Ward is the subject of feature pieces at Spinner, Paste, The Vancouver Sun, Clash, American Songwriter, Ventura County Star, and Flagstaff Live.

NPR welcomes Perfume Genius to WFUV for a radio session featuring a new song. There’s also features at The Georgia Straight and Dazed, and the second part of the interview between Michael Stipe and Mike Hadreas is now up at East Village Boys.

NPR has made The Magnetic Fields’ day show at SXSW available to stream, and also have a radio interview with Stephin Merritt available. There’s also pieces at The Guelph Mercury and Creative Loafing.

Rolling Stone caught up with Annie Clark of St. Vincent to talk about her next album – a collaboration with David Byrne that should be out in the Fall. Pitchfork also points out that her entire Coachella set is available to watch online and a new song which appears on her Record Store Day 7″ makes its live premiere and scorches.

Video: St. Vincent @ Coachella 2012

QRO talks to Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater.

Greg Dulli talks to DIY about the Afghan Whigs reunion.

New York electro-rock/soul/funk acts Penguin Prison and Class Actress are teaming up for a co-headline tour which brings them to Wrongbar on June 7;

Video: Penguin Prison – “Don’t Fuck With My Money”
Video: Class Actress – “Weekend”

You have the Toronto Jazz Festival to thank for bringing Janelle Monáe back to Toronto for the first time since CMW 2011; she’ll be playing the outdoor stage at Nathan Phillips Square on June 22, and hopefully you can find a spot to watch from the unticketed area because admission is a rather dear $62.50.

Video: Janelle Monáe – “Tightrope”

Also in town for the Jazz Festival is Nellie McKay, whose boycott of Canada in protest of the seal hunts is apparently over. She’ll be at The Horseshoe on June 30, tickets $20 in advance.

Video: Nellie McKay – “Real Life”

San Francisco electronic artist Tycho is back in town on July 10 for a date at The Hoxton.

MP3: Tycho – “Hours”
MP3: Tycho – “Coastal Brake”

And Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – perhaps you’ve heard of them – have finally added a Toronto date for their Wrecking Ball tour. They’ll be at The Rogers Centre on August 24 with tickets going on sale April 20; no pricing as yet but you can bet it won’t be cheap and that it’ll still be worth it. They’ve also released a new video from Wrecking Ball recorded at the Moody Theater show at SXSW in March. If you look really closely, you can see me in the stands! Okay, no you can’t. Update: Tickets are $35 and $115. Nicely done, Bruce.

Video: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – “Death To My Hometown”

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Put Your Back N 2 It

Perfume Genius and Parenthetical Girls at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you thought that any combination of it being a Sunday night and Easter would result in a lightly-attended Perfume Genius show at The Drake on Sunday night, you’d have been wrong. Which is to say that I was wrong; the handful of tickets remaining were snatched up when doors opened and by the time I got there, it was officially sold out. And with good cause – Mike Hadreas’ second album under as Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It – is a stunning record, giving his emotionally stark songwriting with just enough sonic adornment to make it not just palatable, but delicious.

Perfume Genius weren’t the only draw; supporting them on this tour were fellow Pacific northwesterners Parenthetical Girls from Portland, who’ve garnered their own loyal fanbase over the past decade and added to it locally having been here for two nights in January supporting Los Campesinos. While there were enough similarities that this bill made sense in some ways, in others you couldn’t imagine a more disparate pairing. Fronted by the magnetic Zac Pennington, their set was more musical theatre than conventional concert with his flamboyant yet dry delivery leading the band through what felt like selections from a synth-rock opera, enhanced by some great audience repartee and a few forays into the crowd. Importantly though, for all the theatrics, they still had immediate and hummable tunes underneath it all and their sincerity was never obscured by camp or irony. Even if it had, it’d still have been fun but that it wasn’t was even better.

Irony wasn’t any kind of risk with Perfume Genius; Hadreas is all about raw, unvarnished honesty. Seeing him at Matador 21 in 2010, circa his debut Learning, it was impossible to not be impressed how he silenced the theatre with just two keyboards and his voice. This time, he was again accompanied by Alan Wyffels on synths but also a third player alternating on guitar and drums, and while the extra instrumentation went a long way to filling things out and pushing them forward, the live readings of the Back material still felt more immediate and stripped down than the record, yet still dramatic in their content and often abrupt in their finish – when the songs were done, they were just done.

He played for barely 45 minutes, drawing mainly from Put Your Back N 2 It, including a faux encore that Hadreas distinguished from the main set by ducking under his piano for a few seconds before re-emerging. He commented that the last time he played this room, back in the Fall of 2010, there was maybe a tenth of the people who were here this time but even so, the packed house remained dead silent and respectful throughout the set. Considering how personal and intimate Hadreas’ music is, it’s hard to imagine him having to establish the sort of connection with the audience that was so evident here on a larger scale, but considering how powerful that connection is it’s hard to imagine it not reaching and resonating with more people. What happens next is for the future to tell, I suppose, but this night was near perfect.

The Republican and NOW have interviews with Mike Hadreas while The Montreal Mirror profiles Parenthetical Girls.

Photos: Perfume Genius, Parenthetical Girls @ The Drake Underground – April 8, 2012
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Dark Parts”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “All Waters”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Learning”
MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”
MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “A Note To Self”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Lookout, Lookout”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Privilege”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Careful Who You Dance With”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Common Touch”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Young Throats”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Evelyn McHale”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “A Song For Ellie Greenwich”

I suppose credit where credit is due; The Dandy Warhols have somehow maintained a fanbase that allows them to continue to play a room the size of The Phoenix and collect $30 for the privilege of hearing “Bohemian Like You”; they’re there on June 3 in support of their new record This Machine, which comes out April 24.

MP3: The Dandy Warhols – “Country Leaver”
MP3: The Dandy Warhols – “Sad Vacation”

Also straight out of Portland – Blind Pilot are going to be at The Opera House on July 25, continuing to tour last Fall’s We Are The Tide. Tickets for that are $17.50 in advance.

MP3: Blind Pilot – “Keep You Right”

Straight off of announcing a July 10 release for their new record Swing Lo Magellan, Dirty Projectors have slated an extensive tour that brings them to the Music Hall on July 6 with recent 4AD-signees Purity Ring as support; their own debut album will be out on July 24.

Stream: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”
Stream: Purity Ring – “Belispeak”

The Head & The Heart stops in at The AV Club to participate in their Undercover series with a Fleetwood Mac cover.

Exclaim, The Georgia Straight, and The National Post talk to Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells, who are back in town on April 27 and 28 at the Air Canada Centre warming up for Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Pitchfork talks to the boys of POP ETC – née The Morning Benders – who inaugurate their new identity on June 12 with a self-titled album. I guess the all caps is mandatory, eh? Feh.

Spin and The Daily Texan chat with Bowerbirds.

Kurt Wagner of Lambchop reviews his musical upbringing with Pitchfork.

NPR, The Line Of Best Fit, and The National Post all talk to M. Ward on the occasion of the release of his new record A Wasteland Companion.

The AV Club has posted the second part of their extensive history/salute to R.E.M..

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

"Why Won't You Stay"

Lambchop covers American Music Club

Photo via Rateyourmusic.comRateyourmusic.comA lot of folks were surprised when Nashville’s Lambchop returned with their new record Mr. M last week. Not because it was great – that’s pretty much the baseline for anything that Kurt Wagner and cohort release – but that it happened at all, many assuming they’d quietly called it a day after 2008’s OH (Ohio).

But as surprise comebacks go, it doesn’t hold a candle to the return of San Francisco’s American Music Club, who against all expectation reformed in 2003 after a decade apart and with frontman Mark Eitzel having cultivated a relatively fruitful solo career. The AMC reunion yielded two very good albums – Love Songs For Patriots and The Golden Age and a goodly amount of touring before apparently being put back into mothballs. Alas.

In the midst of their first hiatus, American Music Club got what all revered yet underappreciated bands get and that’s a tribute album – Come On Beautiful: The Songs Of American Music Club collected a bevy of artists who may have been small names circa 2001, but would go on to much larger things – including Lambchop. Kurt Wagner, on the band’s artist page on the compilation website (still up!) talks about how he initially didn’t care for AMC but came around on them. And in the present day, he talks to The AV Club about Mr. M.

MP3: Lambchop – “Why Won’t You Stay”
Video: American Music Club – “Why Won’t You Stay” (live in Ireland, 2004)