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Posts Tagged ‘London Grammar’

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

And In Truth

Colin Stetson leads lineup for Wavelength 14

Photo By Scott IrvineScott IrvineWhen I listed off a couple of Colin Stetson shows slated for February last week, it was a bit reluctantly as I had a hunch that I was missing some crucial information about the context of the performance – the unconventional venue and absence of formal press release or ticket information, in particular, were flags. But I went with it anyways and now, a week later, I’m amending the info with lots of context – which I should have guessed, given the timing. The twice-Polaris-shortlisted saxophone maestro will be performing as part of Wavelength’s 14th anniversary festival, taking place around Toronto from February 13 to 16 of next year with his show – just one, now – happening February 15 at the Polish Combatants Hall on a bill that includes US Girls amongst others, tickets $20 in advance.

Other festival showcases include Hooded Fang spin-off Phedre and friends at The Silver Dollar on February 13 ($10), American guitar goddess Marnie Stern with local synth-pop heroes Diana and post-punkers Odonis Odonis at The Adelaide Music Hall on February 14 ($17), and Haligonian two-headed rock machine Cousins bring things to a close with an eclectic bill at The Garrison on February 16 ($10). Plus, there’s some in-store talks and events happening at local record stores through the weekend. Wavelength the music series and especially the anniversary festivals have always done a great job of showcasing new and established talent from at home and abroad, and this year’s lineup is no exception.

Tickets are available for individual shows or a four-day festival pass can be had for just $49.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”
MP3: Marnie Stern – “Transparency Is The New Mystery”
MP3: Diana – “Born Again”
Video: U.S. Girls – “Work From Home”
Video: Odonis Odonis – “Better”
Stream: Cousins – “River”

Even though they were just here in November, New York’s Holy Ghost! are pretty sure people want more of their new album Dynamics and so they’re coming back for another show at The Hoxton on February 14.

Video: Holy Ghost! – “Okay”

When she announced her Toronto debut back in August, I had to ask, “who is Lorde?” Not asking that anymore. The Kiwi teen is bringing her massively massive debut Pure Heroine back to town for a show at Sound Academy on March 15 as part of a North American tour, tickets the appropriately massive $44.50 to $55.

Video: Lorde – “Royals”

Synth/New Wave legend Gary Numan has announced a North American tour in support of his latest album Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind). He’ll be at The Phoenix on March 27, tickets $29.50. The National Student has an interview.

Video: Gary Numan – “Cars”

Another of José González’s contributions to the Secret Life Of Walter Mitty soundtrack has been released, this time with a video. The film is out December 25, aka Christmas Day.

Video: José González – “Stay Alive”

The Quietus has an interview with TOY, who will be in town at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Black Francis discusses the departure of Kim Shattuck from Pixies with Yahooo!. He really sounds torn up about it; hopefully he’ll be able to pull it together for their show at Massey Hall on January 15.

DIY talks to Yuck, who’ve rolled out a new video from their latest Glow & Behold. They’re in town at The Garrison on January 17.

Video: Yuck – “Lose My Breath”

Clash talks to Efrim Menuck of Thee Silver Mount Zion and Godspeed You! Black Emperor about the new Mount Zion record Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything, due out January 21.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Warpaint, who will release their second full-length Warpaint on January 21 and play The Danforth Music Hall on March 25.

The New Mendicants – that’s Joe Pernice, Norman Blake, and Mike Belitsky if you’ve not been keeping up – have made a few tracks from their debut album Into The Lime available to stream. It’s out January 28.

Stream: The New Mendicants – “A Very Sorry Christmas”
Stream: The New Mendicants – “Sarasota”
Stream: The New Mendicants – “If You Only Knew Her”

The Fly talks to Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls about their new record Too True, out January 28. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 29.

The Fly talks to Joe Jonas of Metronomy, who release their new album Love Letters on March 10. Watch the just-released first video from it below.

Video: Metronomy – “I’m Aquarius”

NPR has posted a KCRW video session and Filter an Ernie Ball session with The Head & The Heart; they’re at The Kool Haus on March 30.

Pretty Much Amazing have an interview with London Grammar have released a stream of an old, unreleased track via Rolling Stone. They’ll be back in Toronto at The Phoenix on April 7.

Stream: London Grammar – “Everywhere You Go”

Noisey has premiered the latest video from The Vaccines, taken from last year’s Come Of Age.

Video: The Vaccines – “If I Was A Girl”

Interview talks to Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, whose apartment in New York tragically burned down Monday night, taking with it all his belonging and his new puppy. Fundraising efforts are underway to help Dev get back on his feet and while they’ve already well past their original modest goal of $5000, every bit will help.

Kate Nash has released a new video from her seasonal EP Have Faith This Christmas.

Video: Kate Nash – “I Hate You This Christmas”

Under The Radar has an interview with Summer Camp.

Esquire and The Huffington Post chat with Elvis Costello.

Islands have made a brand-new song available to stream. Islands. Stream. Hmm.

Stream: Islands – “Hawaii”

Filter gets to know Braids.

Noisey talks sex and politics with Austra.

Tone Deaf has an interview with Born Ruffians.

Majical Cloudz have released a video for the non-album track made available to stream last month.

Video: Majical Cloudz – “Savage”

The Line Of Best Fit just beat the Christmas shipping deadline with the release of their fifth holiday-themed Ho! Ho! Ho! compilation of Canadian indie artists, along with a promise to be more frequent in the new year.

Tone Deaf chats with Ken Stringfellow.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of one of Yo La Tengo’s shows at Brooklyn’s Bell House last week.

Under The Radar talks to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

The Life Of Best Fit has an interview with Midlake.

Stereogum spends some time with Titus Andronicus‘ Patrick Stickles.

And that, I guess, will just about do it.

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Frozen Atmosphere

‘Tis the season for TOY(s), and streams thereof

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickOkay, since it’s now December I can grudgingly accept that it’s the holiday season and, helping that mental shift along are London’s TOY. I had thought it odd that the band, who built up a good bit of attention with last year’s self-titled debut and its mandate of filling deep, Kraut-y grooves with space-psych songcraft, had opted to release their second album Join The Dots on the exceedingly late date of December 9. Most music writers are in full retrospective mode by this point in the year and incapable of processing anything new, and it effectively eliminated them from any year-end list consideration.

But it’s entirely possible the band doesn’t care, and just want to get the record out into the world. Which is great for those who’ve been waiting to hear it, but I do hope it doesn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle because after a few initial listens, it certainly feels a lot better than their first one. The debut had a lot of pieces I liked but didn’t put them together in an engrossing-enough fashion to win me over the way it did many, but this one is bigger, deeper, broader, and just does it.

But don’t take my word for it – The Guardian has an advance stream of the record before it comes out next week, and their North American tour announced last week will bring them to Toronto for a show at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Stream: TOY / Join The Dots

Kate Nash has a new Christmas EP out called Have Faith This Christmas and is streaming one of the tracks from it to get you in the holiday spirit.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Faith”

Rolling Stone talks to Matt Bellamy of Muse about making the Live At Rome Olympic Stadium DVD/CD set coming out this week.

Video: Muse – “Madness” (live at Rome Olympic Stadium)

Spin has premiered a new video from Lanterns On The Lake’s second album Until The Colours Run, which gets a North American release on January 14 and brings them to The Drake Underground on February 1.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Buffalo Days”

Yuck takes Clash through their second album Glow and Behold, track-by-track. They’re in town at The Garrison on January 17.

Noisey have premiered the new video and second sample of Mogwai’s forthcoming Rave Tapes. It’s out January 21 and they’ll be on tour for it at The Danforth Music Hall on May 13.

Video: Mogwai – “The Lord Is Out Of Control”

Paste gets to know Temples, whose debut Sun Structures is out February 11.

NME has details on the new album from Band Of Skulls, entitled Himalayan and due out March 31. They’ve just released a first video from the record.

Video: Band Of Skulls – “Asleep At The Wheel”

Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes are currently working on a new record – which Live4Ever reports will be self-titled and out in March – but have taken the time to stream a new song for their fans via their website.

Stream: Blood Red Shoes – “The Perfect Mess”

The Guardian profiles one of 2013’s new band success stories, London Grammar. They’re at The Phoenix on April 7.

Stereogum have got the new video from Primal Scream’s latest album More Light.

Video: Primal Scream – “Goodbye Johnny”

The Guardian gets to know Charli XCX.

Everything Is Chemical has an interview with Black Hearted Brother, and gets Neil Halstead to pin the chances of a Slowdive reunion at a qualified “improbable”.

TYCI talks to Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin.

And finally, a moment for Andrew Youssef, Los Angeles-based music photographer for Stereogum and OC Weekly, who succumbed to colon cancer this weekend. He documented his fight in the “Last Shot” column at OC Weekly, and it was as inspiring as it was saddening to read as he kept going to shows and shooting, refusing to let the cancer get the better of him until it did. I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging with Andrew back in 2010 at Matador at 21 in Las Vegas, and chatting with him via Twitter over the past few years and was pleased to learn he’d grown up – for a few years, at least – in Toronto, not far from where I did (though a few years apart). I wish I’d been able to know him better and my condolences to those who did and will miss him. OC Weekly has a fine memoriam for their photographer, as well as a slideshow of his best work. Godspeed, Andrew.

Friday, November 29th, 2013

I Wanna Be Adored

Review of The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone

Photo By Shane MeadowsShane MeadowsI didn’t respond terribly enthusiastically when The Stone Roses announced their equally inevitable and improbable reunion in October 2011, my fixation on their reputation as a patchy live band and general cynicism about its prospects of lasting long enough to come to North America overriding any fanboy enthusiasm about maybe getting to see the creators of one of the greatest albums of the past quarter-century in the flesh. And indeed, though the reunion has lasted long enough to traverse the globe and reported new material earmarked for a third album, they’ve still not come any closer to Toronto than Indio, California so short of getting on a plane to some far-flung destination to see them, the second coming of The Stone Roses has remained something of an abstraction.

But a viewing of Made Of Stone, the film by Shane Meadows about the first days of their reunion, make me rather regret that. It’s not really accurate to call it either a documentary or a concert film, because there’s little to no talking head footage or insights into the hows or whys of the reunion – and if there was, it’d probably be incomprehensible without subtitles – and there’s not enough complete live performances to qualify it as the latter.

Instead, it captures Meadows’ perspective as a mega-fan with a video camera invited into follow the band around from their initial press conference confirming the reunion, through their secret rehearsal sessions and their first secret show at Parr Hall in Warrington, England, their European tour, and culminating in their homecoming shows at Heaton Park in Manchester, along with some historical footage. And while frustrating for those looking for inside dirt – though you do get the skinny on Reni’s walking out on the Amsterdam show that many feared was the derailing of the reunion before it’d barely begun – it more than captures the excitement of it all, both within the band and amongst their fans. The scenes of those to get tickets for that first secret show after it was announced that morning are genuinely heart-warming.

And while I’m sure the business end of things was key to getting the band back together, the excitement within The Stone Roses about playing together again is tangible. Okay, John Squire is as stoic as he probably ever was, but Mani and Reni and Ian Brown all seem positively giddy about it. And if there was any question if they still clicked musically, the rehearsal run through of “Waterfall” answers it definitively and unequivocally. Reni’s backing vocals are divine and even Brown stays remarkably in key; he’s not quite as good in the actual live performances where he resorts to shouting, but given the right circumstances – or maybe just some really good monitors – he’s still got it.

For all the things that Made Of Stone isn’t, what matters most is what it is and that’s a love letter to the band from a fan that gets as much love in return. A must-see for fans of the Roses, even those skeptical about the reunion. I’m hoping that 2014 is the year that the Roses finally makes proper landfall in North America, but if not… maybe I’ll get on a plane.

The DVD got a North American release this week. Shane Meadows penned a piece at The Huffington Post about what it meant to be able to make this film.

Trailer: The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone
Video: The Stone Roses – “Waterfall” (from Made Of Stone)

Following in the well-received footsteps of their UK labelmates Temples, London psych-kraut outfit TOY will be undertaking a North American tour behind their second album Join The Dots, due out December 9. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on January 14, tickets a most post-holiday friendly $11.50.

Video: TOY – “Join The Dots”

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Lanterns On The Lake, whose Until The Colours Run gets a North American release on January 14. They’re at The Drake Underground on February 1.

Peggy Sue have released a new video from their forthcoming album Choir Of Echoes, due out January 28.

Video: Peggy Sue – “Idle”

Maxïmo Park have announced details of the deluxe version of their new album Too Much Information, due out February 3. It will include a bonus disc including a handful of cover versions, including a Leonard Cohen song they’ve made available to stream. DIY has a quick chat with the band about making the new record.

Stream: Maxïmo Park – “Lover Lover Lover”

The Bernard Butler-powered Trans have released a new video from their debut Red EP – making that a 1:1 clip-to-song ratio – and have targeted a February release for their second volume.

Video: Trans – “Dancing Shoes”

London Grammar have released a new video from their debut, If You Wait for their cover of Kavinsky’s “Nightcall”. They’re at The Phoenix on April 7.

Video: London Grammar – “Nightcall”

Tim Burgess of Charlatans tells BBC that their new album will feature contributions from their late drummer Jon Brookes, who passed away back in August. The record is due out in the new year.
Camera Obscura are featured in the latest 4AD Session videos set.

eMusic gets some recommended listening suggestions from Black Hearted Brother.

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Keep In The Dark

Temples, Invasions, and The Auras at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAsk around and some may tell you there’s a bit of a psych-rock renaissance happening in the UK right now, pointing to the emergence of London’s Toy, Leeds’ Hookworms, and Kettering’s Temples as examples of new bands embracing the grand tradition of droning, swirling, and tripping out. And while they’ve yet to stage any sort of full-bore, acid-drenched incursion onto North American shores, Wednesday night’s visit from Temples made a good case that we’re ripe for the picking.

And if they needed sympathizers amongst the local populace, the openers on this evening would be a good place to start. I’d seen local sextet The Auras back in April and as youngsters are wont to do, they’ve improved immeasurably in that time. If they were looking to shake the very obvious Black Angels reference point, they’ve failed; but if they were aiming to sound more cohesive in aspiring to it, more a tribute band than mixtape, they’ve done well. The songs were tighter, the swapping between lead vocalists and just managing their members and the sounds they make more seamless, and the performance just that much better. They recorded and released a new EP earlier this year; stream it below.

It wasn’t hard to guess where Toronto’s Invasions got their name; they probably dispensed with the “British” because it would have been a little too on-the-nose although they serve their fish & chips with a distinctively t(w)angy American southwest flavour. The five-piece, who just released their self-titled debut, offered compact, punchy tunes with good hooks and swagger given an extra dose of distinctiveness by a saxophone who was sitting in for their usual trumpet. And though the excursions weren’t their raison d’être, there were enough forays into trippiness that those looking to tune in and drop out for the entirety of the evening weren’t jarred.

I always consider it a risky move for bands from abroad to undertake a North American tours before they’ve even released a record – not an inexpensive move even for established bands, let alone one trying to convert that unquantifiable thing they call “buzz” into actual asses in seats (or feet on linoleum, in club cases). So with just three singles out in the past year and a full-length debut in Sun Structures just announced as coming out on February 11, Temples’ debut Canadian show was far from a sure success but you wouldn’t have known that if you were there.

Even adjusted for the fact that British bands do disproportionately well in Toronto, the club was impressively full with those looking to preview one of the sounds of 2014 and Temples showed up dressed to impress, all fringes, ‘fros, velvet jackets, and glitter, and one pendent just a few millimeters diameter short of a medallion. Based on all this you’d be right to expect a ’60s-vintage hippie-psych soundtrack and Temples do indeed root themselves in the retro, but also allow themselves the gift of ’70s prognostication and imbue their sound with glammy stomps and hard rock riffs. Their set was short at eight songs drawn out over a respectable 45 minutes, and while the already-released material got the biggest cheers, the new songs that previewed their album were the most impressive and exciting because they implied there was more to the band than their fans might be expecting.

NOW also has a review of the show, and Wicked Local has a conversation with Temples bassist Thomas Warmsley.

Photos: Temples, Invasions, The Auras @ The Horseshoe – November 20, 2013
MP3: Invasions – “Ballad Of The Faithful”
Video: Temples – “Keep In The Dark”
Video: Temples – “Colours To Life”
Video: Temples – “Shelter Song”
Video: Invasions – “Black Fuzz”
Video: Invasions – “Black Fuzz”
Stream: Ivasions / Invasions
Stream: The Auras / EP2
Stream: The Auras / EP

Yahoo has premiered the video to the title track of Glasvegas’ third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static; the Scots are in town at The Mod Club on February 22.

Video: Glasvegas – “Later… When The TV Turns To Static”

NPR has a World Cafe session with London Grammar while over at The London Evening Standard, frontwoman Hannah Reid comments on sexism in the music industry. The band will return to Toronto for a show at The Phoenix on April 7.

Clash talks to M.I.A..

Tone Deaf interviews Kate Nash, who lists her favourite television for The Guardian.

NPR is streaming a complete live concert from Savages.

NPR talks synesthesia with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange.

PureVolume has a video featurette from Stornoway documenting the making of their second album Tales From Terra Firma.

In conversation with Rolling Stone, Noel Gallagher stomps on, kicks down the stairs, stabs, and pees on any prospect of an Oasis reunion to mark the 20th anniversary of Definitely Maybe next Summer.

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

After The Disco

Broken Bells top the list of yesterday’s concert announcements because it comes with a giveaway

Photo By James MinchinJames MinchinConfirming the status of Broken Bells as actual band and not just project, James Mercer of The Shins and Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse have announced the follow-up to their 2010 self-titled debut, excellent news for those who like their indie-pop with a slice of hip-hop and vice-versa.

The new album, After The Disco, will be out on January 14 and the efforts to get people excited about it are well underway. The teaser trailer unveiled last month gave way to the first episode of a Hollywood-flavoured science fiction serial watchable at Rolling Stone, a first preview track from the new album at Pitchfork, and an interview with the duo at NPR.

And now there’s tour dates. Broken Bells have made a date at The Danforth Music Hall for March 3 with Au Revoir Simone supporting, tickets for which are $39.50 before fees and go on sale Friday at 10AM. But for those looking to take care of business before that and save some money, courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to the show before they go on sale this Friday. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Broken Bells” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, November 21. Winners will be notified before the on-sale goes live.

Stream: Broken Bells – “Holding On For Life”
Video: Broken Bells: After The Disco

Sweden-based Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun will return for a show at The Rivoli on February 14, part of a North American tour. Her last album of new material was 2011’s It All Starts With One, but she also released a compilation album and rarities collection this year. Metro has an interview.

MP3: Ane Brun – “Do You Remember”

Though they’re not nearly the stars they were tipped to be when they first emerged in 2008, anthemically melancholic Scots Glasvegas still have the fanbase to justify a North American tour in support of their third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static; full dates aren’t up yet, but one imagines they’re not coming all the way over here to only play The Mod Club on February 22 at $20 a head.

MP3: Glasvegas – “Later… When The TV Turns To Static”

One of 2013’s breakout bands from the UK on the back of their self-titled debut, The 1975 still have a short North American tour on the calendar for December, but will return in the Spring for a much more extensive intinerary, including a stop in at The Danforth Music Hall on May 6; tickets for that are $23.50 plus fees. There’s interviews with the band at The Guardian and KROQ, and a list of potentially life-changing records at MTV Hive.

Video: The 1975 – “Head.Cars.Bending”

There was a time when moving from a venue the size of The Great Hall to one more than twice that would be a remarkable feat – nowadays, it seems to simply be what happens. And so it’s no great shock that London Grammar will follow up their local debut last month with a return engagement at The Phoenix on April 7, part of a Spring tour following SXSW. Tickets for that are $22.50 in advance and NPR is streaming a KEXP session with the band.

Video: London Grammar – “Strong”

Also making a return to a Toronto stage – much sooner than I think anyone expected since they were here just in March – are Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I’m not sure if this is meant to be a second leg behind Push The Sky Away or maybe a tie-in to the Live At KCRW live document coming out December 2, but it really doesn’t matter – Cave and company are coming back. They’ll wrap the Summer tour in Toronto on July 31 with a show at The Sony Centre; ticket pricing isn’t available yet but the presale will go tomorrow morning at 10AM – sign up for details. And since you’re already giving them your email, you may as well get the two free downloads from the aforementioned KCRW live album they’re giving away in exchange for your personal information.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Jubilee Street”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the debut album from UK psych-rockers Temples, just in time for their local debut show at The Horseshoe tomorrow night. It’s called Sun Structures, will be out February 11, and one of the tracks on it will sound like this. There’s also an interview at XFM.

Stream: Temples – “Mesmerise”