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Posts Tagged ‘Lullabye Arkestra’

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

She Is The Wave

Wavelength to shake you out of your Winter doldrums with, well, Doldrums and more

Photo By Ali BiddellAli BiddellIt hadn’t occurred to me until just now, but there’s a bit of a parallel between this site, right here, and Wavelength. They got a couple years’ head start on me, but both of us spent a solid decade servicing the Toronto independent music community – Wavelength with a weekly concert series that helped introduce the city and the world to much of the amazing music being produced in the 416 and 905, and chromewaves by, um, going to shows and taking pictures. Okay, perhaps the scale is a little different, but both of us also had the good sense to call it after a decade and trade the grind of a regular, regimented schedule for something a little more intermittent but hopefully just as meaningful.

Wavelength events are a bit fewer and far between than my posts – though hey, did you notice me posting just four times over the past fortnight? And not that this is my third post in 24 hours? – but one thing you can still set your watch to is their anniversary series, which always make the dark days of mid-February a little or a lot more musical. This year’s edition – the thirteenth birthday and thus the first entry in its awkward teen years – will take place from February 14 to 17 at venues around town, and while many of the headliners are familiar faces to Wavelength-goers and the Toronto scene in general, it’s notable that former Spiral Beach vocalist/guitarist Airick Woodhead’s new electro incarnation as Doldrums – already making waves internationally and one of the country’s more hotly-tipped new acts for the past year or so. He’s relocated from Toronto to Montreal, but will be back to close the Friday night showcase at the lower Great Hall, less than two weeks before his debut full-length Lesser Evil is released on February 26. Will it deliver on the long-simmering buzz? Dunno, but you can bet that the show will be sold out by people looking to find out.

The rest of the weekend shapes up as follows; hit up Wavelength for descriptions of each act. Advance tickets for each show will be available or you can get an all-access festival pass for $39.

Thursday, February 14 @ The Shop under Parts & Labour ($10 advance)
Lullabye Arkestra / Ell V Gore / Fresh Snow / This Mess / Slow-Pitch

Friday, February 15 @ Black Box Theatre/The Great Hall Downstairs ($15 advance)
Doldrums / Cadence Weapon / Blue Hawaii / Blonde Elvis / Thighs

Saturday, February 16 @ The Great Hall Upstairs ($15 advance)
Do Make Say Think / Evening Hymns / Sarah Neufeld / Doom Squad / Bernice

Sunday, February 17 @ The Garrison ($10 advance)
Cookie Duster / The Magic / Henri Fabergé & the Adorables / Cell Memory & Castle If / Legato Vipers

MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”
MP3: Do Make Say Think – “Greed Waltz”
MP3: Doldrums – “She Is The Wave”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”
MP3: The Magic – “Door To Door”

A few years on from his last album, Hayden is gearing up for the release of his new record Us Alone on February 5 with the announcement of a North American tour that will manage the rare feat of staging a three-night stand that will almost certainly leave most of his fans shut out. A more properly-sized hometown show will almost certainly follow, but for now local fans have the choice between seeing him on February 20 at the tiny Dakota Tavern, February 21 at the even tinier Cameron House, or February 22 at the not-that-tiny-but-certainly-not-large Rivoli. Advance tickets – you’ll want those – are available at Arts & Crafts. You can download one of the songs from his new record and stream another.

MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”
Stream: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”

Stars gives aux.tv a behind-the-scenes look at their video from “Backlines”. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on March 20 and 21.

aux.tv interviews Grimes, whom they declared their artist of the year. Last year.

Filter gets some touring thoughts from Patrick Watson.

Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers plays clotheshorse and also a video session for British designer Mr Porter.

Toro interviews The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

Hot on the heels of their holiday edition, The Line Of Best Fit has another Oh! Canada compilation of Canuck artists available to download. No holiday songs, guaranteed!

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Bizarro

The Wedding Present and Girl In A Coma at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI would say that a band that’s been around as long, as influential and as consistently excellent as The Wedding Present has been over their quarter-century existence is entitled to a little indulgence, and what better occasion than the 21st anniversary of one of your most beloved albums? But indulgence isn’t the Wedding Present’s style, so rather than make a big production of it, they rolled into town on Wednesday night to do their thing, same as they’ve done a number of times since David Gedge put the Cinerama name on the shelf and brought The Wedding Present out of mothballs.

Unlike their past few visits, however, this show was booked into the cozier Horseshoe rather than their usual digs at Lee’s Palace – a greater than normal number of hot tickets in the city that evening meant that the Toronto concert-going public would be split amongst any number of venues, but another benefit of longevity is a loyal fanbase – for many, when the Wedding Present comes to town and promises to play Bizarro in its entirety, there is no plan B.

Support for this leg of the tour seemed a curious choice on paper – Girl In A Coma hail from San Antonio, are named for a Smiths song and are signed to Joan Jett’s label. What woud you expect them to sound like? If you said a catchy blend of punk aggression and rockabilly twang, you’d be correct. Frontwoman Nina Diaz was petite but had a big presence, both with her guitar and voice – the latter, in particular, was an elastic and expressive instrument that she mostly chose to utilize via snarling but was obviously capable of more. I hadn’t gone in expecting a lot, but was pleasantly surprised and entertained.

My past reviews of Wedding Present shows tended to focus on how consistently good they were and, with the exception of incorporating material from the latest record, how fairly the song selection covered all eras of The Wedding Present’s career. That held true on this night, even with 3/5 of the set fixed in stone 21 years ago. The front bit of the show covered the non-Bizarro material – three new songs and four more strategically picked from key points of their career and which, if presented to someone who’d never heard the band before, would have provided a pretty accurate picture of what they were all about. At any other Wedding Present show, selections like “Corduroy” and “Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft” would have been more than a meal, but at this one they were just the appetizer.

The beginning of the main course was heralded by the PA, through which came an audio collage of the late, great John Peel intoning the band’s name over and over again – it went on a little while as the Wedding Present were one of Peel’s very favourite acts and were fixtures on his radio show, and as soon as it ended, the wonderful descending riff of “Brassneck” began and they were off. Bizarro might now be old enough to drink in all 50 states, but it’s aged amazingly well, as the live renderings would attest. The dry, dueling guitars with their combination of jangle and pummel have lost none of their vitality and the tales of romantic frustration and futility that David Gedge has been mining and pointedly articulating for a quarter-century will never cease being topical. And they certainly still inspire fervor amongst the faithful, a fact borne out by the enthusiastic middle-aged mosh pit that frequently broke out throughout the night, particularly for the heavier moments of “Kennedy” and the nine minute-plus centerpiece, “Take Me!”. The relatively gentle “Be Honest” provided the denouement to a run-through of a classic album that’s sadly not really appreciated as such – just as The Wedding Present aren’t properly appreciated for all they’ve done. But that’s those who don’t get it’s loss. For the rest of us, well, Seamonsters turns 20 next year. See you there.

And oh yeah, early on in the show I got hit in the head with a semi-inflated sex doll. Why someone had that with them and not a beach ball, I will never know. But I’m over it.

Exclaim was also in attendance and has some thoughts on the show.

Photos: The Wedding Present, Girl In A Coma @ The Horseshoe – April 14, 2010
MP3: The Wedding Present – “The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girl Friend”
MP3: Girl In A Coma – “Clumsy Sky”
MP3: Girl In A Coma – “Static Mind”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Don’t Take Me Home Until I’m Drunk”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Ringway To Seatac”
Video: The Wedding Present – “I’m From Further North Than You”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Don’t Touch That Dial”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Interstate 5”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family”
Video: The Wedding Present – “No Christmas”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Loveslave”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Boing!”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Come Play With Me”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Silver Shorts”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Three”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Go Go Dancer”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Blue Eyes”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Dalliance”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Crawl”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Brassneck”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?”
Video: The Wedding Present – “Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm”
Video: Girl In A Coma – “Static Mind”
Video: Girl In A Coma – “El Monte”
Video: Girl In A Coma – “Their Cell”
Video: Girl In A Coma – “Clumsy Mind”
Video: Girl In A Coma – “Say”
Video: Girl In A Coma – “Road To Home”
MySpace: The Wedding Present
MySpace: Girls In A Coma

Kate Nash tells Spinner that people seeing her on her upcoming North American tour – which begins April 26 at the Mod Club in Toronto – shouldn’t automatically assume they’ll hear “Foundations”. But they will hear her new record My Best Friend Is You, which comes out next week. One assumes.

So Much Silence talks to Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison.

Gareth Keenan investigates the new video from Slow Club.

Video: Slow Club – “Giving Up On Love”

CBC and Spinner talk to Handsome Furs about how it feels to be Juno Award nominees.

White Hinterland will follow up her show at the Drake on Sunday night, April 18, with an in-store at Soundscapes on April 19 at 6PM.

MP3: White Hinterland – “Icarus”
MP3: White Hinterland – “No Logic”

The Acorn will celebrate the June 1 release of No Ghost with a show at Lee’s Palace on June 11 and a handful of other dates around southern Ontario and Montreal.

All those who like their synth-pop slinky and ’80s-styled would do well to check out New York’s Class Actress at Wrongbar on June 12.

MP3: Class Actress – “All The Saints”

The folks at Buffet Libre have put together some impressive compilations in the last while, but they may have outdone themselves with Peace, a 180-song collection featuring artists from all over the world and assembled in conjunction with Amnesty International. They’re offering the collection for a minimum donation of 5 Euro to Amnesty and if you need further persuading, they’ve made a number of tracks available to download for free. Goodness knows that these ones – a Kate Bush cover by Patrick Wolf, a new Voxtrot song and – most excitingly – the first new Dubstar song in a decade. Dubstar! With Sarah Blackwood! Exclamation!

MP3: Patrick Wolf – “Army Dreamers” (Kate Bush cover)
MP3: Voxtrot – “Whiskey and Water”
MP3: Dubstar – “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”

Record Store Day hits tomorrow, April 17, and honestly the list of RSD exclusive goodies that will go on sale Saturday has reached ludicrous proportions. There’s a few digital items being made available but the emphasis is hugely on limited edition wax, which I find both exciting and bewildering. I mean, I know that vinyl continues to make a comeback – I myself decided to buy LPs whenever possible at the start of this year – but to see people who weren’t even alive the last time turntables were in vogue scrambling for 7″s is… neat. To do their part in marking the occasion, PitchforkTV is streaming I Need That Record, a documentary on record stores for one week, and if you miss it (or love it), it is one of the items that will go on sale tomorrow. Convenient! Spinner also talks to Flaming Lip Wayne Coyne about the phenomenon of Record Store Day.

Video: I Need That Record! The Death (Or Possible Survival) Of The Independent Record Store

NOW looks forward to Record Store Day by talking to some of the proprietors of Toronto shops taking part in the event – I’ve tried to round up as many of the specials and special happenings that people can look forward to at the various shops in the 416 in addition to random and unknowable quantities of the aforementioned RSD exclusive items (most of the store links have details on what they have going on), while eye has done the same in map format:

Criminal Records has been reporting arrivals of goods via Twitter and Facebook and will be offering discounts on regularly priced merchandise as well as door crashers.
Soundscapes will be offering 10% off all CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books
Sonic Boom is having giveaways and hosting an in-store festival starting at 3PM and featuring sets from Valery Gore, Buck 65, METZ, Meligrove Band, Adam Green and Sloan, who are slated to go on around 9. Admission free with donation of a canned good. Update: Lullabye Arkestra are now kicking things off at 2:30, Adam Green is on at 4:45, METZ at 7PM and Pink Eyes from Fucked Up is MC-ing all day.
Rotate This is having a sale
Vortex will have a day-long 25% off sale on used items and holding raffles of sweet prizes
Kops will be hosting an in-store with The Junction at 5PM and City Sweethearts at 6PM.
Sunrise Records at Yonge and Dundas will have in-store sets from Justin Nozuka, Moneen, Ash Koley, Fox Jaws and Hunter Valentine. Those get started at noon and run all afternoon.
Slinky Music is having a 10% off sale
Penguin Music, Neurotica and Hits & Misses are also all listed as participating stores, which means at the least there should be some sort of sale and/or RSD exclusives to be had.

And maybe the greatest record-related thing I’ve seen this week is the return of the Sound Burger, albeit under the less moniker of the Crosley Revolution. There’s probably no way this thing sounds anything but terrible, but the sheer cool points you’d get from having one of these hanging from your belt more than makes up for that. Right? It’s cool, right?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Ratify The New

Review of The Hidden Cameras’ Origin: Orphan and giveaway

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongEven though he coined it himself, I often wonder if Joel Gibb regrets encouraging the use of “gay church folk music” as a description for the music of The Hidden Cameras. Certainly they got a lot of mileage out of it in the band’s earlier days, as it was both attention grabbing and accurate, but now, four albums in, it probably deserves to be retired.

It’s not that it’s no longer descriptive – Gibb is still gay (one assumes), it’s still music and it’s still built on foundations of folk and church traditions – but it doesn’t give them due credit for evolving from record to record and shedding some of the Cameras’ more titillating/explicit facets in exchange for more musical and lyrical sophistication. Case in point, their latest album Origin: Orphan. It remains unmistakeably a Hidden Cameras record – Joel Gibb’s muse is simply too distinctive for it to be anything else – but there’s a clear effort to broaden the definition of exactly what a Hidden Cameras record is. I’ve always found past albums to feel a bit static, so the ranginess Origin: Orphan is a real eye-opener.

There’s also a heaviness to the record that’s new, and maybe it’s just the excitement of being surprised by a Hidden Cameras album, but I think they wear it well. While the signature whimsy remains, it’s accented by sounds and textures that give them a real weight – the shrieking outro of “Do I Belong?”, the insistent descending riff of the title track, and the glorious foreboding of orchestral centerpiece “Walk On” – and end up the most memorable moments. And it’s the contrast of those dark pieces that give the brighter pop numbers even more jump, like the giddy almost-closing pairing of “Underage” and “The Little Bit” which sound as buoyant as anything they’ve ever recorded. Having reached a point in their existence where they seemed to be faced with the choice of sticking to the tried and true and becoming predictable or trying something new and risking not playing to their strengths, The Hidden Cameras have somehow managed to not only do both, but turn in maybe their best record yet in the process.

The Hidden Cameras are currently in the midst of an extensive North American tour with Gentleman Reg that will wrap with a homecoming show at the Opera House in Toronto on December 5. Tickets for the show are $15 in advance but courtesy of Rootmeansquare, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see The Hidden Cameras” in the subject line and your full name in the body and get that in to me before midnight, November 25.

Gibb talks to Spinner about how a trip to Berlin inspired the direction of the new album.

MP3: The Hidden Cameras – “Walk On”
Video: The Hidden Cameras – “In The NA”
MySpace: The Hidden Cameras

The Magnetic Fields will take the theme of their next album Realism to heart by playing songs from it in the flesh on a North American tour that kicks off shortly after the album’s January 26, 2010 release date. That includes a February 8 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theater in Toronto, their first visit since a two-night stand at Trinity-St. Paul’s in July 2004. Tickets are $30.50 plus fees, onsale this Saturday though a presale started yesterday – I got second row centre tickets, so they had good ones blocked off.

Beach House have released the first MP3 from their third album Teen Dream, due out January 26. I kinda think I like this song better than anything they’ve done yet.

MP3: Beach House – “Norway”

Ever wish you could make your birthday last forever? Constantines do – their tenth anniversary celebrations have extended from a two-night stand at Lee’s Palace to a three night engagement, the third night taking place a full week after the second. So that’s December 11, 12 and 19 and with different support each night. The 11th will feature Attack In Black and Weakerthan John K Samson doing a solo set, the 12th has Oneida and Metz warming things up and the 19th has Julie Doiron and Ladyhawk on the bill.

Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija talks to Spinner, The Canmore Leader and See.

A slew of in-stores have been announced by Sonic Boom. You’ve got Koushik on November 19 at 7:30PM, Lullabye Arkestra on November 21 at 7PM, Malajube on November 25 at 7PM, The Schomberg Fair on November 28 at 4PM and Everything All The Time on December 2 at 7PM. All shows are free, though a donation of canned food is encouraged and appreciated.

MP3: Lullabye Arkestra – “We Fuck The Night”
MP3: Malajube – “Porte Disparu”
MP3: Everything All The Time – “Lazy Days”

The Toronto Public Library’s Make Some Noise series continues through this month, with a number of performances and discussions of interest to, well, probably anyone reading this site. Katie Stelmanis will give a performance at the Bloor/Gladstone branch this Friday, November 20, at 8PM, Colin Medley of Morning Noon Night will discuss the finer points of videography and “Documenting the Local Music Scene” at the Kennedy/Eglinton branch on November 24 at 7PM and Steve Jordan, grand poo-bah of the Polaris Music Prize, will get into the nitty-gritty of just how much of a bribe it takes to make the long list, short list and win the whole she-bang, respectively. Kidding – he’ll be talking about the Prize and Canadian music industry in general at the Northern District branch on December 1 at 7PM.

Paper Bag Records is celebrating seven years of not going under with a special covers compilation featuring their artists entitled 7 Year Itch and available to grab for free.