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Posts Tagged ‘Lioness’

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

CONTEST – The ALL CAPS! Island Festival @ Gibraltar Point – August 11 & 12, 2012

Illustration by Derek MaDerek MaWhat: The fourth annual ALL CAPS! Island Festival – if this is a new thing to you, read this and come back after.
Who: Day one features Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, Maylee Todd, Choir! Choir! Choir!, Tyvek, Wet Hair, Esther Grey, and Triple Gangers. Day two welcomes A Place To Bury Strangers, Lioness, Absolutely Free, OG Melody, Young Mother, Canadian Winter, and Ivy Mairi. Plus artists. Plus workshops.
When: August 11 and 12, 2012
Where: Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands (all ages)
How: Two-day non-camping passes for the festival are $30 in advance but courtesy of Webster Media Consulting, I’ve got one pair of festival passes (good for both days but no camping) to give away for the event. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I WANT ALL CAPS” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, August 6.
What else: Yes, even festivals have trailers now.

Trailer: ALL CAPS!
MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – “You Are The One”
MP3: Lioness – “The Night”
MP3: Choir! Choir! Choir! – “I Want It That Way”
MP3: Ivy Mairi – “I Can See You”
Video: Yamanta//Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”
Video: Maylee Todd – “Heart Throb”
Video: OG Melody – “Change Gon Come”

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Drill It Up

ALL CAPS! island fest lines up A Place To Bury Strangers and Yamantaka//Sonic Titan; cares not one whit for your noise regulation bylaws

Photo By Emily BergerEmily BergerWhile it’s true that Toronto’s days of having a BIG annual music festival out on the islands appear to be over – the locally-grown, Wavelength-affiliated ALL CAPS fest has been more then happy to step in for those needing to combine a ferry crossing with live music to make their Summer worthwhile.

Since their inaugural edition in 2009, they’ve put together bills that have showcased a lot of local and a little bit of imported talent, combined with art and film components and as of last year, overnight camping but this year’s lineup – set to take place on August 11 and 12 at Gibraltar Point – has quite surprised me with its all-out aggressiveness.

The first night is headlined by Montreal’s Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, whom I’m not going to try and find new words to describe but were a real highlight of NXNE, with an eclectic undercard consisting of Maylee Todd, Choir! Choir! Choir!, Tyvek, Wet Hair, and Esther Grey. The Sunday night will be closed out by Brooklyn noise-and-strobe freaks A Place To Bury Strangers, following sets from Lioness, OG Melody, Young Mother, and Canadian Winter. Many/most of these acts are only peripherally known to me – if that – so I suggest checking out the Wavelength site for capsule descriptions, but I will say that they won’t be boring. Unless you’re bored of interesting things.

A limited number of two-day passes including camping on the island are available for $65, two-day passes that force you to go home and sleep in your own bed on Saturday night will run you $30 and single-day tickets are a very reasonable $17; ferry tickets are not included in the price. They go on sale on July 12 but you can also get them now via the IndieGogo fundraising site. And while Gibraltar Point is way on the other end of the islands from the residences at Ward’s Island and faces out into the lake, I can’t help but hope that there’s a southwesterly wind that wafts just a little bit of Oliver Ackermann’s sonic armageddon over their cottages. Just a little.

Guitar World, The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, and CultureMob talk to Ackermann about the new APTBS album Worship.

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – “You Are The One”
MP3: Lioness – “The Night”
MP3: Choir! Choir! Choir! – “I Want It That Way”
Video: Yamanta//Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”
Video: Maylee Todd – “Heart Throb”
Video: OG Melody – “Change Gon Come”

Interview and The Georgia Straight profile Japandroids, who’ve made another couple track from Celebration Rock available to download.

MP3: Japandroids – “The Nights Of Wine And Roses”
MP3: Japandroids – “Younger Us”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Memoryhouse.

Rolling Stone and NPR profile Metric, bringing it home to the Air Canada Centre on November 14.

Brightest Young Things and The AV Club talk to Spencer Krug of Moonface.

Exclaim gets Brian Borcherdt to discuss the state of Holy Fuck even as he focuses on his new project Dusted, whose debut Total Dust is out on Tuesday, is available to stream now at Chart, and they open up for Chad VanGaalen at The Mod Club on July 26.

MP3: Dusted – “(Into The) Atmosphere”
Stream: Dusted / Total Dust

Beatroute and Chart have interviews with Vancouver’s Chains Of Love.

NPR gets into Americana with Neil Young, adding a World Cafe session on top of the Fresh Air interview.

The Mountain Goats celebrate their 40,000th Twitter follower by giving away an old demo track.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “All Devils All Devils”

That first preview of the new Antlers EP Undersea is now available to download. It’s out July 24.

MP3: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

DIY and Prefix have features on Dirty Projectors, in town tonight at the Danforth Music Hall.

Spinner talks to Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells.

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The Darkness

Review of Rose Cousins’ We Have Made A Spark

Photo By Shervin IainezShervin IainezRose Cousins is not a new artist. The Charlottetown by way of Halifax artist has been releasing music for the better part of a decade and I’ve technically heard her before as she’s guested on any number of Maritime-born records including Joel Plaskett’s, but I’d not heard any of her own material until her third full-length album We Have Made A Spark, released at the end of February. And clearly that’s been my loss.

It’s not a record that stops you in your tracks – describe it as singer-songwriter that’d be comfortable at an adult contemporary party and lists towards the rootsy end of things and you wouldn’t be wrong – but that wouldn’t give credit to the emotional richness that Cousins infuses her work with. Her voice has that special blend of wistfulness and resignation that’s put to good use throughout Spark and ably supported by the lean and tasteful arrangements. But the sense of something ineffably special about this record really emerges on the record’s back half, with “For The Best” and “This Light” acting as a particularly powerful one-two punch and the cover of Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind” finishing the listener off. Predominantly slow and sad, yet still standing tall, Spark articulates the sorts of feelings and experiences that everyone has either known or will know soon enough.

Uptown and The Edmonton Journal have feature pieces on Cousins and Southern Souls recently posted a video session with her. She plays The Rivoli on May 3.

MP3: Rose Cousins – “The Darkness”

The Elwins are helping celebrate Record Store Day with an in-store at Soundscapes on the evening of April 21 at 7PM; details over at Facebook. They’ve also been added to the support bill for Zeus at The Phoenix on June 9.

MP3: The Elwins – “Stuck In The Middle”

Sonic Boom is also once again celebrating Record Store Day with their own in-store mini-festival; this year they’ll have Army Girls, The Darcys, Born Ruffians, Plants & Animals, Bloodshot Bill, Fresh Snow, Lioness, Eight And A Half, and Diemonds. Now that’s a lineup and the schedule for the day looks like this.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “Song For Love”
MP3: The Darcys – “Shaking Down The Old Bones”
Video: Diemonds – “Take On The Night”
Video: Eight And A Half – “Scissors”
Video: Lioness – “You’re My Heart”

Though she figures to be around six months pregnant by that time, Coeur de Pirate has made a date at The Opera House for June 1, tickets $22.50 in advance. Rock!

Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Golden Baby”

The 2012 LuminaTO arts festival schedule is out, and from the music end of things, it’s got quite a bit to offer, mostly for free. Highlights include a Rufus Wainwright show on June 10, a Dan Mangan/Kathleen Edwards double-bill on the afternoon of June 16 (hopefully Ms. Edwards’ voice will be back) and an Ohbijou show on the afternoon of June 17; all of these are at David Pecault Square and are free. And yes, that second weekend is the same time as NXNE. So much culture you’re going to choke. The Line Of Best Fit has a video session and interview and Black Cab Sessions do their thing with Wainwright and NPR has a Tiny Desk Concert and Beatroute and The Calgary Herald have feature stories on Kathleen Edwards.

MP3: Kathleen Edwards – “Change The Sheets”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Oh Fortune”
MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”
Video: Rufus Wainwright – “Out Of The Game”

The Great Hall gets dark and synthy on July 13 when it hosts a show featuring Toronto’s Trust and New York’s Light Asylum; tickets for that are $12.50 in advance.

MP3: Light Asylum – “A Certain Person”
Video: Trust – “Bulbform”

I don’t remember the last time Little Scream played her own headlining show hereabouts – has she ever? – but she has great luck with opening gigs, having been added as warm-up for Beirut at The Sound Academy on July 19.

MP3: Little Scream – “Cannons”

Kind of an mish-mash of a bill, both in terms of genre and geography, but you’ve got The Sam Roberts Band, Bombay Bicycle Club, and The Jezabels at Echo Beach on July 26 – tickets $39.50 for general admission and $55.00 for VIP.

MP3: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”
Video: Sam Roberts – “I Feel You”
Video: Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle”

Beatroute, The Georgia Straight, and here profile Chains Of Love, who’re in town at The Great Hall opening up for Said The Whale on April 14.

With the release of the new Moonface record With Sinai: Heartbreaking Bravery nigh – it’s out April 17 – it’s time for some premieres; a new video over at Spin and a stream of the whole record at The AV Club.

MP3: Moonface – “Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips”
Video: Moonface – “Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips”
Stream: Moonface / With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery

The fourth part of The Wooden Sky’s Grace On A Hill video series has premiered at IFC. They’re at The Opera House on April 20.

Still no specifics on the “why”, if there are any, surrounding the Fucked Up show at The Power Plant on May 1, but the band have announced that it’ll be free. So the “why” now matters that much less than “when do we line up”, yes?

CBC Music has got a video session with PS I Love You wherein they preview material from Death Dreams ahead of its May 8 release. They’re at The Garrison on May 15.

JAM, The Victoria Times-Colonist, Banff Cragg & Canyon, and Beatroute talk to Joel Plaskett. He’s at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 18 and 19.

Spinner and The Globe & Mail chat with Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers, who’ve made a track from New Wild Everywhere available to download and also released a new video. There’s also clips from their performance at the Glenn Gould Studio last month at CBC Music. They play The Music Hall on June 2.

MP3: Great Lake Swimmers – “The Great Exhale”
Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “New Wild Everywhere”

Guelph disco-pop ensemble The Magic are streaming the first single from their debut Ragged Gold, due out June 25.

Stream: The Magic – “Mr. Hollywood”

Feist has released a new video from Metals.

Video: Feist – “Bittersweet Melodies”

NPR serves up a World Cafe session and Planet S an interview with John K Samson.

Daytrotter has posted a new session with Timber Timbre.

Monday, August 1st, 2011

CONTEST – Summerworks Music Series 2011 – August 5 to 13, 2011

Image via SummerworksSummerworks
What: Summerworks
Why: Celebrated long-running theatre festival that added a musical component four years ago.
Who: In its short run, Summerworks already counts some of the cream of the current Canadian musical crop as its alumnus – this year’s class seems certain to add to that list. For specifics, keep reading.
When: There will be six nights of live music double-headers running over the course of the festival’s week-and-a-bit duration, with the night-by-night breaking down as follows – there’s also opening and closing parties on the 4th and the 14th.

Friday, August 5 – Hooded Fang, Steven McKay
Saturday August 6 – Bonjay, Lioness
Wednesday August 10 – Great Bloomers, House League (featuring members of Forest City Lovers, Matters, Evening Hymns and more)
Thursday August 11 – Bruce Peninsula, Jennifer Castle
Friday August 12 – Miracle Fortress, Ruby Coast
Saturday August 13 – Green Go, Powers
Where: The Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto (19+)
How: Tickets for each show are $10 in advance but courtesy of the festival, I’ve got three pairs of passes to a show of your choice to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want the Summerworks” in the subject line and your full name and the show you’d like to attend in the body. Contest closes at midnight, August 4.
What else: BlogTO has previewed some of the acts performing at this year’s festival.

MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “Light Flight”
MP3: Hooded Fang – “ESP”
MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Miscalculations”
MP3: Jennifer Castle – “Neverride”

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

NXNE 2011 Day Two

Fucked Up, Crocodiles, Chains Of Love and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangHands down, the best thing to happen to NXNE in recent years is the designation of Yonge-Dundas Square as the festival’s main stage and making the shows staged there – usually featuring the lineup’s biggest names – free for everyone. And what’s better is that despite being located in pretty much the most central and public place in the city, there’s been no signs that they festival has been concerned about diluting the quality of the performances to be a little more family-friendly; witness last year’s near-carnage of Iggy & The Stooges or the mid-day ass-shaking sissy bounce clinic put on by Big Freedia. Passers-by were offended by the latter – and to be honest I don’t blame them – but that it happened was great.

And it was just as great that Thursday evening’s programme featured an early evening slot from a band whose credentials were impeccable; a Polaris Prize-winning local act with mounds of international critical acclaim and fronted by a national television personality. Who just happened to be called Fucked Up. And the best part? No one cared. Actually, check that – it didn’t even matter that no one cared because it implies that there were concerns about people being offended. The best part was that the show was fantastic. I don’t think I’d have believed you if you told me a couple years ago that I’d become a Fucked Up fan – I figured that respect was as far as I’d get, but fact is I think their latest David Comes To Life is terrific and I can’t think of anyone I like more as Toronto’s musical and cultural ambassadors right now than them.

After being introduced by the festival emcee – a role that Damian Abraham played last year – the band tore into “Queen Of Hearts” from the new album and Abraham tore into the crowd, body surfing into the masses and largely disappearing into the circle pit and general tumult while somehow continuing to sing. The punk rock revelling continued through the first portion of the set as Abraham’s bandmates dutifully cranked out arena-sized rock from the safe confines of the stage, with Abraham eventually climbing out to bellow out the rest of the set from the edge of the barricade while the fans carried on moshing, surfing and generally carrying on. And through it all, the spirit was amazing and celebratory, quite a far cry from the dark vibe of last year’s Stooges show, though to the casual onlooker the mayhem might have appeared similar. For Fucked Up, it was a sort of warm-up to their more familiar club-sized show at Wrongbar later that night, but for everyone else, it was a pretty high bar set for the rest of the night.

Time Out New York has an interview with Damian Abraham and the brand-new video for “Queen Of Hearts” is linked below.

Photos: Fucked Up @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 16, 2011
MP3: Fucked Up – “The Other Shoe”
MP3: Fucked Up – “Ship Of Fools”
MP3: Fucked Up – “A Little Death”
MP3: Fucked Up – “Queen Of Hearts”
MP3: Fucked Up – “Neat Parts”
Video: Fucked Up – “Queen Of Hearts”
Video: Fucked Up – “Black Albino Bones”
Video: Fucked Up – “Crooked Head”

I was pretty proud of myself for getting from Yonge to Ossington on bike in less than 8 minutes, even if it meant being a sweaty mess for the Modern Superstitions set at The Garrison. I’ve liked to check in on the local quartet from time to time, happily seeing the potential obscured by awkwardness at V Fest 2009 be more fully-realized in a much more confident Halifax Pop Explosion set last Fall. And the upward trend continued on Thursday as the band sounded louder and punchier than ever before, with new material that sounded less immediate but more impressive in its ambitions. While they could have done pretty well simply being “The Strokes fronted by a cute girl”, they’re obviously looking to do something more and that they’re arriving at these conclusions before their debut full-length is released can only be taken as a good thing. The next time I see them, I expect they’ll be ready to take on the world.

Photos: Modern Superstitions @ The Garrison – June 16, 2011
MP3: Modern Superstitions – “Visions Of You”
Video: Modern Superstitions – “Mercy Line”
Video: Modern Superstitions – “Visions Of You”

Leaving The Garrison, my tour of the worst venues in the city to take photographs in continued at The Velvet Underground where The Two Koreas were set to perform. I’d seen them way back in 2007 and was impressed enough at the time, but not enough to keep up with what the quartet in the years since. A recommendation to give their latest Science Island a spin confirmed that they were still at it and their facility for combining big guitar riffs with shouty yet melodic vocals was even sharper than before. And live, with frontman Stuart Berman’s dance moves thrown in, it was a good way to spend a half hour or so. And then it was back out into the night.

Spinner gets Berman to write about the duality of being in a band and writing about bands for a living.

Photos: The Two Koreas @ The Velvet Underground – June 16, 2011
MP3: The Two Koreas – “Midnight Brown”
Video: The Two Koreas – “Midnight Brown”

Getting to The Silver Dollar for 11 was strictly a logistical move to make sure I got in but it turned out to be one of the most fortuitous of the weekend, as it allowed me to see Chains of Love. The Vancouver outfit don’t do anything new whatsoever, but that’s rather the point. They take the spirit of ’50s and ’60s girl-group pop and writing new – GOOD – songs in that style and deliver them with genuine rock energy and plenty of sass and style, thanks to the charisma of frontwoman Nathalia Pizarro. A couple of gear issues threatened to stall their momentum early on but when they got going, there was no stopping them. An unknown quantity with only a 7″ and handful of MP3s entering the fest, they left as one of the bands everyone was talking about.

Photos: Chains Of Love @ The Silver Dollar – June 16, 2011
MP3: Chains Of Love – “You Got It”
MP3: Chains Of Love – “All The Time”

San Diego’s Crocodiles, on the other hand, came into NXNE with all the hype and lots to prove – not many bands get a three-night residency at a major festival for their Canadian debut. If they thought for a minute that they didn’t deserve the attention, however, you couldn’t tell from behind frontman Brandon Welchez’s Ray-Bans. Drenched in nothing but red light, they came off as cool as you could imagine and and as loud as you’d expect. On last year’s Sleep Forever, they found a good balance between the lo-fi psychedelic garage aesthetic of their scene and their fondness for big pop hooks but live, it was all about the drone and the volume. As such, guitarist Charles Rowell became the real star of the show as the amount of racket he was able to conjure out of his axe was most impressive, layering noise upon fuzz upon more noise, all delivered in riff form. Welchez gets points for simply being audible overtop of all that, but you couldn’t really hear anything more specific than that. Still, even so, a pretty bracing – and deafening – debut.

Spinner has an interview with Rowell, who post-gig also told them why they’ve never played in Canada before (hint: it’s what you think).

Photos: Crocodiles @ The Silver Dollar – June 16, 2011
MP3: Crocodiles – “Sleep Forever”
Video: Crocodiles – “Hearts Of Love”
Video: Crocodiles – “Sleep Forever”

I would have been happy to call it a night at that point but the fact that I was there, and Vancouver’s Dirty Beaches – whose debut Badlands was long-listed for this year’s Polaris Prize earlier that day – was up next was a pretty good argument for sticking around. And with regards to what Alex Zhang Hungtai – he who is Dirty Beaches – is about, all I can say is I don’t get it. I mean, I kind of do; his one-man, no-fi bedroom Elvis act certainly has a unique style to it and works on record in creating an atmosphere. But live, with Hungtai either shrieking or muttering into a plastic condensor mic or coaxing squalls of noise out of his guitar over simple looped beats, it was just kind of perplexing. The people around me went nuts, I went home. Dirty Beaches return on September 24 at the Phoenix as support for Peter Hook.

Photos: Dirty Beaches @ The Silver Dollar – June 16, 2011
MP3: Dirty Beaches – “Lord Knows Best”
Video: Dirty Beaches – “Shangri-La”

On a day where I would be seeing an Andy Bell and was writing up a band called Chains Of Love, how weird is it that an Erasure tour – including a September 11 date at the Sound Academy – be announced? Pretty weird. The show is in support of their new record Tomorrow’s World, due out this Fall, and tickets are $40.

Video: Erasure – “Chains Of Love”

As one festival ends, another begins. Or at least is announced. I speak of Summerworks, the annual convergence of theatre and music, and their 2011 music programme which was announced yesterday. Things kick off on August 4 with an all-day opening party and wrap on the 14th with same – details on performers for each are still forthcoming – but the evenings in between will shake out as follows, with all shows being held at the Lower Ossington Theatre with advance tickets $10 a night.

Friday, August 5 – Hooded Fang, Steven McKay
Saturday August 6 – Bonjay, Lioness
Wednesday August 10 – Great Bloomers, House League (featuring members of Forest City Lovers, Matters, Evening Hymns and more)
Thursday August 11 – Bruce Peninsula, Jennifer Castle
Friday August 12 – Miracle Fortress, Ruby Coast
Saturday August 13 – Green Go, Powers

The National Post talks to Shad, who will be playing a free show at Metro Square on July 1.

The Boston Globe has a visit with Chad VanGaalen.

The new Handsome Furs record Sound Kapital is streaming in whole over at Exclaim in advance of its release next week; Spin has an interview and a stream as well. They play The Horseshoe on August 1.

Stream: Handsome Furs / Sound Kapital

DIY has a pre-Glasto chat with Dan Mangan. His new record Oh, Fortune should be out in September.

Southern Souls has posted a video session with Little Scream.