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Posts Tagged ‘Lissie’

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Golden Arrow

Don’t underestimate the power of the Darkside

Photo By Jed DeMossJed DeMossYou’ll probably hear a lot about how cool Psychic – the debut album from Darkside, project of electronic artist Nicolas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington – before long, if you haven’t already. Probably about how it moves from baroque classicism to ambient electronica to modern blues to fractured R&B with cinematic pans and wipes, improbably cohesive and unquestionably immersive.

But the coolest thing, by my measure, is how the CD is completely flat black on both sides, even the playing side. You know, the one that’s typically all shiny so as to reflect the laser and which, if you get a fingerprint or heavens forfend a scratch on it, will adversely affect playback. Completely black. No idea how that works. Science, people! Also, yes compact discs are still a thing. And also, yes, I know records are also completely black on both sides. Smart guy.

Darkside have just announced a North American tour for the very start of next year that brings them to Lee’s Palace on January 15; tickets are $25.00 in advance. If you’re not sure of what the live Darkside experience will be like, check out this live video at Resident Advisor and this writeup of a recent London show at DIY. Maybe also grok interviews at Dummy, NPR, New York Times, and Black Book.

MP3: Darkside – “Paper Trails”
MP3: Darkside – “Golden Arrow”

With this week’s release of of Montreal’s latest album Lousy With Sylvianbriar, Rolling Stone and Clash have interviews with Kevin Barnes, Under The Radar gets a track-by-track walkthrough of the record and Aquarium Drunkard has a couple covers recorded in session available to download. Oh, and there’s a new video from the record.

Video: Of Montreal – “Fugitive Air”

With the release this week of their reunion album Uncanney Valley, The Dismemberment Plan is featured in pieces at Consequence Of Sound, Rolling Stone, NPR, Washington City Paper, The Line Of Best Fit, and Spin. They also released a new video from the record but it’s restricted to the US for the time being. If you live there, hit up MTVU. If not, suck it.

Video: The Dismemberment Plan – “Waiting”

MTV Hive interviews The Head & The Heart, whose new record Let’s Be Still dropped this week. They’re here at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Janelle Monáe has released a new Miguel-featuring video for the Miguel-featuring song from The Electric Lady. She plays and almost-certainly non-Miguel-featuring show at The Kool Haus on October 19.

Video: Janelle Monáe – “PrimeTime”

Spin grabbed Widowspeak for a video session during Austin City Limits; they release their new EP The Swamps on October 29 and will be in town at The Silver Dollar on November 2.

Washington DC outfit Deleted Scenes – written about a couple years back – are coming back to town for a show at Sneaky Dee’s on November 7 in advance of a new album coming out in 2014. Exclaim has some specifics and there’s a new song available to stream.

Stream: Deleted Scenes – “Stutter”

Beatroute, Drowned In Sound, Stereogum, and DIY talk to Sleigh Bells. They play The Phoenix on November 13.

The 405 and Yahoo! Australia chat with Lissie; she’s at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21.

The Quietus has premiered the next preview of Shearwater’s forthcoming covers compilation Fellow Travellers November 25, a song originally by labelmated and former tourmates The Baptist Generals.

MP3: Shearwater – “Fucked Up Life”

The Alternate Side welcomes Okkervil River for an interview and session, while NPR puts them behind their Tiny Desk and gets them to play. The Phoenix New Times and The Austin American-Statesman also have interviews.

The 405 talks to Doug Martsch of Built To Spill.

The Fly and Spin talk to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

Pitchfork solicits a list of albums that milestoned her life from Neko Case, while The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Refinery 29 are happy with regular old interviews.

Paste has a history of the Elephant 6 collective.

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Let's Just Go To The Dogs Tonight

Review of The Dismemberment Plan’s Uncanney Valley

Photo By Shervin Lainez Shervin LainezI will admit, first impressions of Uncanney Valley – the first album from Washington, DC’s Dismemberment Plan since 2001’s Change – was disappointment. And it’s not that I came to it with excessive expectations. I counted myself a fan of the band at the end run of their existence, but mostly of their tremendously entertaining live performances with 2002’s Death & Dismemberment tour with a then-unknown Death Cab For Cutie and their 2003 farewell show being very fond memories. But in the years of their absence, I came to appreciate how singular their blend of post-pop-hardcore-math-punk-art-rock was, and how no one ever really stepped into their oddly-shaped void in indie rock, or even tried. So comeback album? Yes, please.

So why disappointment? I’m not sure. Valley seemed to lack the manic energy, unpredictable creativity, and general weirdness that made the other records unique. It sounded like the Plan, but not the Plan I remembered. But it also still didn’t sound like anything else out there, so it stayed in rotation and before long, its own merits – and not those of its predecessors – became what I focused on, and those merits were many. Yeah the tempos were a little slower and the energy probably measured at a few less joules, but top to bottom Valley was the work of a more mature and tuneful Dismemberment Plan.

Everything that makes the Plan the Plan – Travis Morrison’s mile-a-minute delivery and off-kilter lyrical imagery, Eric Axelson’s oddly funky basslines, Jason Caddell’s creatively jagged guitarwork, and Joe Easley’s heavily nimble drumming – are in place and show no signs of rust, though if I were in charge of the mix said drums would be higher in the mix. While the likes of “Mexico City Christmas” and “White Collar White Trash” tap into their darker sides, it’s the more chipper “Waiting” and “Let’s Just Go To The Dogs Tonight” that set the tone for the record. There’s a relaxedness to the proceedings that might seem contrary to the nervous energy that infused their earlier work, but they wear it well. I as much as anyone should be able to appreciate that you in your 40s is not, cannot be, and should not be you in your 20s and Uncanney Valley is the sound of a band that knows that and is fine with it. The Dismemberment Plan circa 2013 might not be the same Dismemberment Plan circa 2001, but there’s still no one like either of them.

NPR has posted an advance stream of the record, which is out officially next week on October 15. Wired, Filter, and What’s On Tap have interviews with the band, and for the bonus round, the Plan stops in at The AV Club to cover Heart’s “Barracuda”, done straight but great because you do not fuck with “Barracuda”.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan / Uncanney Valley

Under The Radar and Yahoo! Canada talk to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal about their new album lousy with sylvianbriar, out this week.

Elle has premiered the new video from Lissie’s just-released new album Back To Forever, which is still streaming at Rolling Stone; she’s at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21.

Video: Lissie – “Sleepwalking”
Stream: Lissie / Back To Forever

Interview talks to Lee Ranaldo about his just-released new record Last Night On Earth; he and The Dust are at The Horseshoe on October 11.

With a week to go before the October 15 release of Emancipated Hearts, Dean Wareham has made the mini-album available to stream via Spin.

Stream: Dean Wareham / Emancipated Hearts

Refinery 29 talks to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser, whose new album Interiors came out this week. She plays The Drake Underground on October 13.

Pitchfork has an advance stream of Campfire Songs, the new acoustic EP from The Men, out October 15. They play The Horseshoe on October 20.

Stream: The Men / Campfire Songs

The Head & The Heart have given Rolling Stone the nod to stream their new album Let’s Be Still, before it comes out October 15. Mother Jones has an interview with the band, who’re at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Stream: The Head & The Heart / Let’s Be Still

Also out next week and streaming at NPR is Static, the second album from Cults. It brings them to Lee’s Palace on November 25.

Stream: Cults / Static

Pitchfork checks in with Fiona Apple, whose tour with Blake Mills brings her to The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 17.

Consequence Of Sound has got a stream of a new Yo La Tengo song which will be released as a 7″ single on November 5 and also appear as one of the bonus tracks on Fade Deluxe when it comes out on November 19.

Stream: Yo La Tengo – “Super Kiwi”

Rolling Stone talks to Frank Black of Pixies about their plans to stay relevant ten years into their reunion. They’ve already had cast changes with the Roseanne-esque swapping of Kims on bass, are finally releasing new if underwhelming new material via a series of EPs complete with new video, and now another North American tour that kicks off in Toronto at Massey Hall on January 15, tickets ranging from $44.50 to $79.50, FIDLAR supporting.

MP3: Pixies – “Bagboy”
MP3: FIDLAR – “Got No Money”
Video: Pixies – “Andro Queen”

Those who like a little more Danger Mouse in their Shins will be happy to know a second Broken Bells album is on the way; they just released a trailer for After The Disco, which is due out in January.

Trailer: Broken Bells / After The Disco

After releasing her debut Neptune City on a major and the follow-up Mondo Amore on an indie, it just makes sense that for her third album Slow Phaser, Nicole Atkins would start her own label and release it via PledgeMusic. She’s soliciting donations now and with the two-month window, it stands to reason that the new album will be out sometime in early 2014.

NPR puts Superchunk behind a Tiny Desk and demands a concert.

NPR has a KCRW session with Jim James available to stream.

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

1000 Answers

The Hives and object lessons in venue relativism

Photo By Tobias SutterTobias SutterThings that are true about live music rooms in Toronto: 1) Everyone hates the Sound Academy, for reasons that don’t really need to be expounded on; 2) a lot of people hate The Phoenix when it represents a tipping point for ascendant acts moving out of clubs and into bigger rooms; 3) a lot of people love The Phoenix when it offers a relatively intimate setting for who might normally play larger rooms but for whatever reason – choice or circumstance – are downsizing.

It’s that third category that I was front of mind yesterday as a batch of concert announcements rolled in. Already scheduled for two dates at The Air Canada Centre supporting Pink on November 30 and December 2, Swedish garage rock heroes The Hives have decided days off are for chumps and have scheduled their own show at The Phoenix for December 1, tickets $29.50. Their last headlining show in support of last year’s Lex Hives was in July 2012 and at The Sound Academy, so their playing a room one-third the size is rather a boon for their fans, at least those who didn’t rush out to buy Pink tickets to see them. Which I would think would include all of them.

Video: The Hives – “Wait A Minute”

New Zealand electro-poppers The Naked & Famous, on the other hand, may be finding out that they’re neither sufficiently naked or famous to fill the Sound Academy as they’ve downgraded their October 14 show in support of their just-released second album In Rolling Waves from there to The Phoenix. Playing the room wasn’t overreaching as their last show in support of their hit debut Passive Me, Aggressive You was there and was their fourth local performance in a year, no less, but kids these days have short attention spans. Remaining tickets for the show are $28.50 in advance. BBC has an interview with the band as does Noisey, along with a stream of the new record.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”
Stream: The Naked & Famous / In Rolling Waves

When British soul singer Jessie Ware made her local debut at The Opera House in April, it seemed a foregone conclusion that her next visit would be in a much bigger room. And while I won’t suggest that her upwards trajectory has stalled – she and Devotion are just too good to be denied – I was surprised to see that her November 6 show at The Sound Academy had also been downsized to The Phoenix. On the plus side, I already know a few people for whom this show has gone from “ugh” to “ooh”, so it should still be a good and full house when she and The Invisible return to town. Whatever tickets remain for that one are $25 in advance. Interestingly, one of her New York shows on this tour was also downsized from a 3000+ room to a 1000 but a Brooklyn show was also added, so maybe this is as much about the experience as soft sales. Or not. Anyways, if you were on the fence then it’s time to get to a ticket outlet.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have been fairly quiet of late, presumably working on a follow-up to 2011’s Departing – their last local show was last Fall with Dan Mangan at The Danforth Music Hall – but they’ll be taking the stage at the Adelaide Music Hall on October 18 as part of Indie Week, which is apparently a thing. You can get in with a festival wristband or paying $25 for an advance ticket.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Widowspeak fans dismayed that their only opportunity to see them this Fall was as support for Iron & Wine at The Sound Academy – that place again! – on September 28 will be pleased to know that they’ll be back soon enough in support of their new EP The Swamps, out October 29, for a show at The Silver Dollar on November 2 with Pure Bathing Culture and tickets running a very reasonable $12.50.

MP3: Widowspeak – “The Devil Knows”

Baltimore’s Future Islands haven’t announced anything about a follow-up to 2011’s On The Water, but they’re still hitting the road and will be at The Drake Underground on November 10, tickets $15.50.

MP3: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

At some point, the release of Illinois roots-pop artist Lissie’s second album got pushed back a few weeks, but they’ve now committed to both an October 8 street date for Back To Forever as well as a Fall tour to support it. Ms Maurus will be at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21, tickets for the show $22.50 in advance.

Video: Lissie – “Further Away (Romance Police)”

They may not have been crowned Polaris champs on Monday night, but Young Galaxy can still announce themselves as 2013 shortlisters when they take the stage at The Hoxton on November 22. Not that they would or should; that’s kind of gauche. Tickets for that one are $18 in advance.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

If you missed fantastical Swedish synth-pop duo The Deer Tracks when they were here in March – and mathematically, most all of you did – then you can rectify that when they bring their opus The Archer Trilogy back to North America for a victory lap. They’ll be back at The Silver Dollar on November 28.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”

His Toronto debut a couple weeks ago having completely sold out even after being upgraded from The Drake to Wrongbar, Archy Marshall – aka King Krule – will bring his album Six Feet Beneath The Moon back as part of a larger tour and will be at Lee’s Palace on December 9, tickets $20. The New York Times has a feature piece on the artist.

Video: King Krule – “Octopus”

Interview, MTV, and Rolling Stone have features on Swedish electro-pop sensations Icona Pop, whose North American debut This Is… Icona Pop is out this week.

MTV Hive, Elle, and Interview chat with Nanna Øland Fabricius of Oh Land, whose new album Wish Bone is also out this week and is available to stream courtesy of The Line Of Best Fit. Esquire also has a video session with the artist, who plays The Great Hall on September 30.

Stream: Oh Land / Wish Bone

Indians have rolled out a new video from their/his debut Somewhere Else.

Video: Indians – “La Femme”

The New Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Electronic Musician have interviews with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.

Le Blogotheque serves up an Empty Spaces session with Sigur Rós filmed in the catacombs of Paris.

A Heart Is A Spade interviews Kate Boy.

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Blame The Muse

Tanya Donelly’s Swan Song is anything but

Illustration By Louisa BertmanLouisa BertmanIt’s understandable if you’d thought we’d heard the last in the way of new music from Tanya Donelly. Output from the former Throwing Muse/Breeder/Belly frontwoman gone solo basically stopped with 2006’s recorded-live This Hungry Life, and when Spin went knocking in 2010, she revealed that following the birth of her second child, she’d embarked on a new career as a postpartum doula because, well, pretty much anything pays better than professional musician – even one with a CV as impressive as hers.

She didn’t go completely silent, though. Besides intermittently appearing on American Laundromat’s endless stream of tribute albums and compilations, she was heard in lovely form on in duet with Bill Janovitz on Buffalo Tom’s 2011 effort Skins, and this past May was seen as well as heard when she made an appearance on stage with The Breeders in Boston to sing on a couple songs. So pleasant surprises but hardly evidence of any sort of full-fledged return to making music.

But she has been making music; oh how she’s been making music. This week saw the release of the first volume in what she’s calling the Swan Song Series – a series of EPs being released every month for at least the next three months. The songs – which may or may not all be available to stream via Soundcloud right now – aren’t just home-recorded sketches, either; they’re fully-arranged and -produced songs with a host of guest contributors including Janovitz and The Magnetic Fields’ Claudia Gonson. They’re very much keeping in tone with her last couple solo records – lightly jazzy and sophisticated but immediately and directly melodic – and all impeccably lovely. Tanya Donelly is back and the world is a better place for it.

Video: Tanya Donelly – “Mass Ave”
Stream: Tanya Donelly / Swan Song Series

Vue Weekly has a cover story on Neko Case, who has made another song from The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You available to preview via lyric video. It’s out September 3.

Lyric Video: Neko Case – “Night Still Comes”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the release of the second Boardwalk Empire soundtrack album, which will find the likes of The National and Patti Smith, amongst others, covering prohibition-era songs which will appear in the HBO series. The National’s contribution has been available to download for a while and Rolling Stone has a stream of Smith’s contribution. The album is out September 3, the new season of Boardwalk Empire begins September 8. Patti Smith plays Massey Hall on September 6. City Pages and Rolling Stone have interviews with The National, who have made one of the performances from their upcoming episode of The Artist’s Den available to watch.

MP3: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”
Stream: Patti Smith – “I Ain’t Got Nobody”

Esquire has premiered a stream of the new song from Okkervil River’s forthcoming The Silver Gymnasium. It’s out September 3 and they play The Phoenix on September 28.

Stream: Okkervil River – “Stay Young”

My Daily, BBC News, and Clash have interviews and NPR has a World Cafe session with Lissie, whose new record Return To Forever comes out September 10.

Creative Loafing and Consequence Of Sound talk to Speedy Ortiz, who’re in town at The Horseshoe on September 15 supporting Chelsea Light Moving.

Panic Manual talks to a pre-meltdown Father John Misty; a post-meltdown FJM returns for a solo show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 15.

Also at Esquire is a stream of the first sample of the new Head & The Heart record Let’s Be Still, due out October 15. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Stream: The Head & The Heart – “Shake”

The Line Of Best Fit has good news and bad news for Midlake fans. The good news is their first album since 2010’s The Courage Of Others will be called Antiphon and is out November 5. The bad news is that singer and songwriter Tim Smith isn’t on it, having left the band. Guitarist Eric Pulido has stepped up as frontman and you can hear Midlake mk2 on the title track of the new album, which is available to stream.

Stream: Midlake – “Antiphon”

Savoir Adore have released a new video from their reissued Our Nature.

Video: Savoir Adore – “Regalia”

Pitchfork gets behind the scenes of Yo La Tengo’s last video from Fade and premieres the next one.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “Is That Enough”

John Vanderslice is streaming the A-side of a new 7″ single released earlier this week. On topic, Engadget gets a tour of his Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco.

Stream: John Vanderslice – “Song For Clay Miller”

Our Scattered Words and The Calgary Herald have interviews with Sharon Van Etten.

NPR are streaming The Mountain Goats’ set from the Newport Folk Festival last month.

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists visit The AV Club to cover The Ramones for their AV Club Undercover series.

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Common Burn

Mazzy Star will release their new album when they’re good and ready. And they’re good and ready.

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWell you certainly can’t accuse Mazzy Star of rushing it. The California duo of David Roback and Hope Sandoval released their last studio album of narcoleptic dream-pop Among My Swan in 1996, and while they were actively touring as late as 2000, it was presumed that with Sandoval’s unveiling of her solo project with The Warm Intentions and Roback’s general staying off the radar that the band itself was no longer a going concern.

But then in 2009, while doing press behind the second Warm Intentions record Through The Devil Softly, Sandoval mentioned that she and Roback were working together on a fourth Mazzy Star record, proof of which would come fully two years later with the release of the “Common Burn” single, which featured not one but two new Mazzy Star songs. Surely more wouldn’t be far behind? Sure, if you operate in geological time. Though the band did return to the stage for some US dates around Coachella 2012 and a number of European dates that Summer, nary a word was breathed about the status of that fourth record… until now.

Acting like it’s no big deal, Mazzy Star have announced the September 24 release of Seasons Of Your Day as well as a preview of one of the new songs that will appear on it. Spin has more details and the track listing, which confirms that both sides of their 2012 single will also be on the record. Meaning that when their first album in 17 years finally comes out, you’ll have already heard almost a third of it. Oh well.

Stream: Mazzy Star – “California”
Stream: Mazzy Star – “Common Burn”
Stream: Mazzy Star – “Lay Myself Down”

With the reissue of The Mountain Goats’ All Hail West Texas today, John Darnielle has dug up an unreleased We Shall All Be Healed-era tune to stream. He took to Tumblr to explain the track.

Stream: The Mountain Goats – “You & Me On A High Balcony”

Also out today is the new “Chained To Love” 12″ from Divine Fits. Both sides are now available to stream via lyric videos.

Lyric Video: Divine Fits – “Ain’t That The Way”
Lyric Video: Divine Fits – “Chained To Love”

NPR and The Cleveland Plains Dealer talk with Jason Isbell. He’s in town at Lee’s Palace on August 2.

Pitchfork follows Will Sheff of Okkervil River to some open mic nights where he plays songs from The Silver Gymnasium with a childhood friend. The record is out September 3 and they – Okkervil River proper, not Will and bud – play The Phoenix on September 28.

Funny Or Die gets Neko Case to play one of their Dressing Room Sessions. No, that’s not a real thing. Her new record The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You is out September 3.

Paste have premiered the new video from Lissie’s forthcoming Return To Forever, out September 10.

Video: Lissie – “Further Away (Romance Police)”

Janelle Monáe discusses her new album The Electric Lady with The Fly. It’s out September 10.

NME gets to know Speedy Ortiz, who are in town in support of Chelsea Light Moving at The Horseshoe on September 15.

Rolling Stone talks to The Dismemberment Plan about their album Uncanney Valley, due out October 15. You can now stream the formerly telephone-only first preview of it without a phone.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan – “Waiting”

Noisey has an in-depth interview with Johnny Jewel of Chromatics, as well as a million other bands.

MTV Hive talks to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips about his forthcoming comic book endeavours and Stereogum has premiered a new video of a relatively old Devo cover because if you have videos of Devo covers lying around, you may as well release them.

Video: The Flaming Lips – “Gates Of Steel”

Low plays a video session for Pitchfork’s City Of Music series.