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Posts Tagged ‘Lucero’

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Fade

Happy holidays from Yo La Tengo and also me but mostly Yo La Tengo

Photo By Carlie ArmstrongCarlie ArmstrongSo here’s one last housecleaning post before basically winding down for the holidays. Which isn’t to say I won’t pop back next week, but let’s not assume so.

Happily, Yo La Tengo have made it easy to wrap things up – whereas most quiet down in December, the trio traditionally have their busiest run of the year thanks to their eight-night run of Hannukah shows at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. The combination of a tiny room and ridiculously cool opening acts and special guests have made the events instant sellouts, so those of us who don’t reside in or around the New Jersey area can thank NYC Taper for doing their best to document and share the proceedings.

This year, they captured seven of the eight shows and have made them all available to download, so when you’re sick of Christmas carols, pick one and turn it up. And if you want more, Matablog reports that special mix CDs compiled by the band from their own record collections and made available at the shows will be put on sale online today and tomorrow with all proceeds going to Norton Records, whose Brooklyn warehouse was basically destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Update: And night six is up. Collect them all!

Looking ahead to the January 15 release of their new album Fade, a new video from the record was just released – yes, it’s a time-lapse of a tree not entirely dissimilar to the one on the album cover; it serves as a nice companion piece to the “Before We Run” clip released last month. There’s also a short interview with Ira Kaplan about the new record at DIY, and a gentle reminder that the band are in town at The Phoenix on February 9.

And to keep it seasonal, here’s the Jan Terri cover that led off their 2002 Merry Christmas From Yo La Tengo EP. Because it’s fun.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Rock’N’Roll Santa”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Ohm”

Exclaim has some details on the new Guided By Voices EP coming in the new year. It’s called Down By The Racetrack and will be available as of January 22.

Fast Company Create talks to J Mascis and mixer John Agnello and Village Voice to Lou Barlow about why the Dinosaur Jr reunion has been so successful.

Earlier this week, Bob Mould stopped by Reddit for an “Ask Me Anything” session. On March 1, he stops by The Horseshoe for face-tearing rock session.

Some show announcements before people stop paying attention entirely… American lo-fi soul saviour Cody ChesnuTT brings his 2012 release Landing On A Hundred to Wrongbar on February 10, tickets $19.50 in advance.

Video: Cody ChesnuTT – “Till I Met Thee”

Nashville’s Caitlin Rose is at The Garrison on April 5 as part of a Spring tour in support of her new album The Stand-In, due out February 25. A couple of tracks from the record are available to stream.

Stream: Caitlin Rose – “No One To Call”
Stream: Caitlin Rose – “I Was Cruel”

Brooklyn’s Caveman aren’t saying much about their follow-up to last year’s debut Coco Beware besides that it will be out this Spring, but they’ve already announced a tour to promote it. Look for them at Lee’s Palace on March 1, tickets $10.50.

MP3: Caveman – “Easy Water”
MP3: Caveman – “Thankful”

Memphis’ Lucero have graduated to the big rooms – the March 26 date of their Spring tour, still in support of this year’s Women & Work, will have them at The Phoenix. Tickets for that are $20.

Video: Lucero – “Women & Work”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Sharon Van Etten’s secret show in Brooklyn last week and The Sydney Morning Herald a short interview. She’s here at Massey Hall on March 23 opening up for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

She & Him get animated in a video for last year’s A Very She & Him Christmas, confirming that releasing a Christmas album is one of the best business decisions – if also one of the worst artistic decisions – a musician can make.

Video: She & Him – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

The 405 talks to Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing.

It shouldn’t be a point of surprise – they were due – but it’s still exciting that Yeah Yeah Yeahs have confirmed a new album will be out in the Spring via Twitter.

Bat For Lashes have released a third video from The Haunted Man. The Guardian talks to Natasha Khan about her 2012.

Video: Bat For Lashes – “A Wall”

Interview and The Village Voice talk to METZ.

Not sure why it took so long, but Modern Superstitions’ solidly garage-rocking self-titled debut is now available to stream. And buy.

MP3: Modern Superstitions – “Bad Habit”
Stream: Modern Superstitions / Modern Superstitions

Stereogum goes record-listening with John O’Regan of Diamond Rings. The Calgary Herald also has an interview.

That’s it, hopper’s about empty. Have a happy and safe holiday season everyone.

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Champagne Year

St. Vincent and Cold Specks at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIn discussing the latest St. Vincent album Strange Mercy, I mentioned that Annie Clark’s greatest strength as a songwriter was her creative restlessness; a trait which has over the course of her relatively short career already taken her to more interesting places than some artists even conceive of visiting. If we turn our attention to her live show, that title of “most appropriate single adjective” would probably have to be “control”.

Just as she has a very specific idea of how her compositions should sound on record, she hits the road with a very specific idea of how they should be presented on stage, such that each time I’ve seen her its been not only with a different set of musicians, but a different configuration of instruments and sounds. Not that you need much more than Clark, her voice and her guitar to spellbind; that’s all she brought on her first visit back in February 2007 before her debut Marry Me was released and it was far more memorable than Midlake’s headlining set. Her last time through Toronto in August 2009, the more complex orchestration of Actor necessitated a multi-instrumentalist, multi-tasking five-piece St. Vincent. So who and what would they be for the leaner and more snarling Strange Mercy?

First, opening up were Cold Specks who had to make waves in Europe with her debut 7″ release before getting some attention back home; though Cold Specks is now based in London, Al Spx originally hails from the borough of Etobicoke. Performing seated as a two-piece with an accompanying guitarist/vocalist, Cold Specks tried to win over the packed, talkative room without a lot of success. Her meditative gospel-folk songs and their low-key deliver was designed more to haunt than command, and this wasn’t really the environment for that approach to succeed. Those of us up front were able to appreciate its subtleties and the way the weight of the material built slowly as the set progressed, but even from in close it was very gradual. Getting the opportunity to make her debut on a big stage like this may have been an impressive achievement, but Cold Specks is probably better suited to smaller rooms and more attentive audiences for now.

St. Vincent, on the other hand, has well and properly graduated to rooms of this size. Backed by a drummer manning a kit the size of which seemed physically impossible for an individual to manage and two keyboard/synth players, Annie Clark delivered a set that was configured for and leaned heavily on Strange Mercy – no horns or second effected vocal mic this time – only dipping slightly into Actor and not even acknowledging Marry Me until the finale of the show. The new material was delivered with gusto, Clark shifting from siren to shredder with the shake of her head and unleashing the squalling guitar breaks that so happily punctuate the record, unleashing chaos but in a totally precise manner (though having the strobe lights continually synched with the solos seemed a bit on the nose over the course of the night). The intensity of her performance was an interesting counterpoint to her poise between songs, where she would graciously acknowledge the shouts of, “we love you!” and “you’re so pretty!” from the audience while tuning or offer up some charming anecdote to make everyone fall in love with her just a little bit more.

This isn’t to suggest that it was an operation of military precision; “Dilettante” took three tries to get right, with Clark having to stop herself twice on account of forgetting the lyrics though she made the exercise of soliciting cues from the audience one of the most endearing moments of the night. It was with the late-set cover of The Pop Group’s “She Is Beyond Good & Evil” – rendered far more aggressively than any of her own material – that the show seemed to allow more anarchy to seep in. Shortly thereafter, Clark appeared to break the theremin during its solo on “Northern Lights” and though the encore opened with a lovely keyboard-vocal arrangement of “The Party”, it closed with a riff-heavy, almost metal-derived version of “Your Lips Are Red” which saw Clark turn an edge-of-stage guitar solo into an impromptu crowd surf – while sustaining both the soloing and her perfect posture – before getting back on stage and basically attacking her roadie with her guitar (in what I presume was a playful manner). It was a fantastic finale to an impressive show and showed that maybe the best thing about Annie Clark’s being in control is her ability to lose it.

NOW, The National Post, and The Globe & Mail also have reviews of the show while The Grid has a quick interview. The Toronto Star has a profile of Cold Specks.

Photos: St. Vincent, Cold Specks @ The Phoenix – December 15, 2011
MP3: St. Vincent – “Surgeon”
MP3: St. Vincent – “Actor Out Of Work”
MP3: St. Vincent – “The Strangers”
MP3: St. Vincent – “Now Now”
Stream: Cold Specks – “Holland”
Video: St. Vincent – “Cruel”
Video: St. Vincent – “Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood”
Video: St. Vincent – “Actor Out Of Work”
Video: St. Vincent – “Jesus Saves I Spend”

NYC Taper has got one of The National’s homecoming High Violet finale shows available to download, including the two new songs – “Rylan” and “I Need My Girl” – that the band has been premiering on this tour.

Also at NYC TaperMy Morning Jacket’s Madison Square Garden show from last week.

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Nicole Atkins’ Mondo Amore.

Video: Nicole Atkins – “Hotel Plaster”

Exclaim reports that Cat Power will be releasing some new material in the form of a charity single on Christmas Eve. Details are still forthcoming but it’s confirmation that Chan Marshall has been doing stuff. Musical stuff.

That new Guided By Voices album, Let’s Go Eat The Factory? NPR has got that up to stream, two weeks before its January 1 digital release and a full month before its January 17 physical release.

Stream: Guided By Voices – “Let’s Go Eat The Factory”

Their visit in the Fall a casualty of the cancelled Vaccines tour, Tennis have made a date at The Horseshoe for February 29, just a couple weeks after their second album Young And Old is released on February 14.

MP3: Tennis – “Civic Halo”
MP3: Tennis – “Self-Seal Mishap”
Video: Tennis – “Deep In The Woods”

Youth Lagoon will bring his much year-ended debut album The Year Of Hibernation to Lee’s Palace on March 31. Blare has an interview.

MP3: Youth Lagoon – “July”

Memphis country-punk stalwarts Lucero are back at Lee’s Palace on April 14. Their new album Women & Work will be out in the Spring, presumably in time to sell at these shows.

Video: Lucero – “What Are You Willing To Lose?”

Spin has got the new Sleigh Bells single available to stream. Reign Of Terror is out February 14.

Stream: Sleigh Bells – “Born To Lose”

Paste has posted a video session with Centro-Matic.

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

So Slowly

Early Day Miners head inland for Treatment

Photo By Rebecca DrolenRebecca DrolenIt was a small bright spot and pleasant surprise last week when mail call brought a copy of the new Early Day Miners album, The Treatment. Pleasant because their last album, 2006’s Offshore, was an unexpected epic that turned out to be one of my favourites of the year and surprise because though the band had announced that The Treatment would be coming out this year back in late 2008, more specific information wasn’t forthcoming and I was beginning to assume that it would be pushed back indefinitely. But as it turned out, snail mail actually outpaced electronic mail and the CD got to me a day before the official press release.

Also to file under “surprise” what the CD held. Offshore won my heart and mind with its sprawling and often desolate sonic topology, all slow and brooding and beautiful. It’s a record where the vocals don’t enter until nearly 10 minutes into its running time, so imagine my surprise when I pressed “play” on The Treatment and was met with singing barely one second in. And the reinvention continues throughout the record, with the Bloomington, Indiana outfit having scaled their lineup down to a four-piece and focused on more compact, pop-structured songs. And though it takes some getting used to, initial listens reveal that they can indeed handle the tighter melodies – first MP3 “So Slowly” is a gem – and for those who preferred them for their mopier sentiments, don’t worry – even when you hear them smiling, it’s evident they’re still frowns turned upside down.

Early Day Miners gave a taste of their new direction via a Daytrotter session back in January of 2008, but that was over a year and a half ago. I’d forgotten what they were up to. The new album is due out September 22 and there will be some touring to follow, though mainly in the midwest and nothing up this way.

MP3: Early Day Miners – “So Slowly”
MySpace: Early Day Miners

Funnily, even when the world seems to stop, it doesn’t actually and so all last week local concert announcements kept piling up in my inbox and RSS. And here they are in chronological order.

Do Make Say Think will play the Polish Combatants Hall on August 19 as part of the kick off for the Bicycle Film Festival, which is indeed a clever name for a film festival celebrating bicycles. Tickets for that are $22.

After always playing the billing bridesmaid, New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus are setting out on their first headlining tour this September in support of their debut The Airing Of Grievances and will stop in at the Horseshoe on September 5, tickets $10.50.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”
Video: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”

A Hawk & A Hacksaw have a date at the Drake Underground on September 16, tickets $12.50. Damon & Naomi starting the very next night in Montreal.

That Wavves guy is probably disobeying some doctor’s orders in touring this Fall so catch him/them on September 22 at the El Mocambo and make it worth his/their while. Tickets $13.50.

MP3: Wavves – “So Bored”

And a week later, fellow garage-dwelling San Diegan buzz band The Soft Pack will be across the street for a show at The Silver Dollar on September 29 as part of a Fall tour that will not be in support of their debut full-length, since they’re only starting to record it this month.

MP3: The Soft Pack – “Nightlife”

Long unofficial, the two Built To Spill dates at Lee’s Palace have been confirmed – October 6 and 7, tickets $26.50 – as part of a massive Fall tour. One assumes that their next album There Is No Enemy will be out by then but there’s no release date yet. Doug Martsch talks to Spinner about what you might expect from the new record, though those attending the show may not want to expect to hear the new record.

Sea Wolf’s second album White Water, White Bloom is due out September 22 and, of course, touring will follow with the band accompanied by Port O’Brien and Sara Lov. The Toronto date is October 9 at Sneaky Dee’s. Grab bonus track from White Water, White Bloom at Dangerbird Records.

Mike Doughty is coming to town for three shows over two nights at the Drake Underground. One the eve of October 10 and two on the 11th, one early one late. $25 for each.

Video: Mike Doughty – “27 Jennifers”

The Gossip are hitting the road in support of their new album Music For Men, including an October 14 date at the Opera House in Toronto. Beth Ditto tells Spinner she’s a big nerd.

Video: The Gossip – “Heavy Cross”
Video: The Gossip – “Love Long Distance”

And if that’s not your speed, that same evening finds Alaska’s Portugal. The Man at the Horseshoe promoting their latest, The Satanic Satanist. Aquarium Drunkard talks to John Gourley about growing up in Alaska while The Minnesota Daily and Time Out New York also have interviews.

MP3: Portugal. The Man – “People Say”

Lucero were just here back in April – with Titus Andronicus, actually – but will be putting out their major-label debut 1372 Overton Park on October 6 and hitting the road to support, of course, including an October 20 date at Lee’s Palace. Tickets for that are $16.50.

MP3: Lucero – “What Else Would You Have Me Be”

El Perro Del Mar will release her new album Love Is Not Pop on October 20 and tour as support for Peter Bjorn & John, presumably including their November 11 date at the Phoenix. NME has album details.

Broadcast and Atlas Sound have opted to split gas money this Fall as co-headliners and will be at Lee’s Palace on October 24. The former will be putting out a split EP with The Focus Group on October 13 while the latter’s new album Logos is out October 20.

Julie Doiron has an October 27 date at Lee’s Palace and has invited Herman Dune along for the show. Tickets are $13.50.

MP3: Julie Doiron – “When Brakes Get Wet”
MP3: Julie Doiron – “Consolation Prize”

And finally, the Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop half of Travis are doing an acoustic tour this Fall, which includes an October 30 date at the Mod Club, tickets $29.50.

I think that’s enough for today – it’s a holiday after all. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who offered condolences and kind words last week in the wake of my father’s passing. I was more than a little floored by the support, and on behalf of myself and my family, say thanks for the well wishes. It was a tough, tough week but we’re doing alright.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

CONTEST – Lucero and Titus Andronicus @ The Horseshoe – April 12, 2009

Photo By Wes FrazerWes FrazerMemphis, Tennessee’s Lucero have earned themselves quite the reputation as the live act, leaving a trail of sweat and beer stains in their whiskey-soaked wake, and though they haven’t released a new record since 2006’s Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers – aside from frontman Ben Nichols’ solo mini-album The Last Pale Light in the West earlier this year – they’re back on the road again doing what they do best.

And they’re bringing along sons of New Jersey Titus Andronicus, named for one of Shakespeare’s more gruesome plays (the Julie Taymor adaptation left me more than a little slack-jawed, but I digress), who released their debut The Airing Of Grievances last year and had it re-released this past January.

This double-bill of undistilled rock will hit the Horseshoe next Sunday night, April 12, and courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to spend Easter with Lucero” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest will close at midnight tomorrow night, April 8, so if you want a piece of this get on it.

MP3: Lucero – “What Else Would You Have Me Be”
MP3: Lucero – “I Can Get Us Out Of Here”
MP3: Lucero – “The Mountain”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”
Video: Lucero – “Just That Kind Of Girl”
Video: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”
MySpace: Lucero
MySpace: Titus Andronicus

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Tomorrow

Ladytron hit the road, release new remix EP

Photo via NettwerkNettwerkA quick Saturday post to round up a bunch of concert announcements from the end of this week.

Liverpool’s Ladytron are continuing to celebrate the excellence of last year’s Velocifero by laying out a North American tour that kicks off in April and comes to the Phoenix on the 6th of that month. It’s a co-headlining jaunt with The Faint, who themselves are continuing to work their 2008 release Fasciination. Their free show at Harbourfront last July was a highlight of the Summer and I’m very much looking forward to knowing even more of their repertoire this time around, as I’ve had a half-year to devour their previous record, Witching Hour.

Ladytron are also bringing something new(ish) to the table with a new digital EP for forthcoming single “Tomorrow”, which will also feature a number of remixes including the one below. It’ll be available March 3. The band are also working with Christina Aguilera on her new record. Yes, really.

MP3: Ladytron – “Tomorrow” (Vector Lovers Lucky Remix)
Video: Ladytron – “Runaway”
Video: Ladytron – “Ghosts”

Los Campesinos! will bring the second of their two 2008 releases, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed to the Opera House on April 1, tickets $15. Their current US tour has yielded features on the band at 77 Square, The Tech, Wicked Local and The Houston Chronicle.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed”
MP3: Los Campesinos! – “Miserabilia”

The band Los Campesinos are currently touring with, Titus Andronicus, are also coming to town this Spring but it’ll be on April 12 at the Horseshoe as support to Lucero. Ben Nichols, singer for Lucero, just released a solo mini-album in The Last Pale Light in the West. Nichols talked to Nashville Scene about the band’s plans for 2009.

MP3: Lucero – “The Mountain”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”
Video: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”

Kings Of Leon have a date at the Air Canada Centre on April 21.

Coldplay have put together another North American tour but the Toronto date, set for July 29, is currently list as venue TBA. Of course, the fact that this is being advertised as an amphitheatre tour makes it likely that the venue will be the Molson Amphitheatre, but maybe they’re just trying to make themselves elusive for Joe Satriani’s lawyers.