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Posts Tagged ‘Magic’

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Walking On The Streets

Live every day of NXNE like it’s Beach Day

Photo By Scott WitterScott WitterOh hey, it’s that time of year again where I realize it’s NXNE week and I try to throw together some sort of list of recommendations of acts to go see starting next Wednesday and through the weekend at Toronto’s many clubs and club-like venues. And probably because I’m just not as good at keeping up with what’s new and interesting as perhaps I once was, it’s not escaped my notice that a lot of the recommendations are pretty familiar names hereabouts. Sorry about that.

But maybe Beach Day will be a new name to you; they certainly have been to me. Their sound is kind of old – the surf/girl-group/garage sounds they mine are pretty vintage and even the indie rock revival of said genres probably peaked a few years ago – but the Florida trio justifies themselves quite well with sharp, concise songwriting and s/punky attitude. Their debut album Trip Trap Attack comes out next Tuesday, June 18, and they’ll be spending the weekend leading up to it gigging all around Toronto. In addition to their official showcase at Handlebar on Saturday, June 15 at 11PM, they’re also playing an afternoon in-store at Urban Outfitters on Yonge St. on Friday, June 14, at 2PM and another the Sunday evening of June 16 at Kops Records on Queen St West at 6:30PM.

Austin Town Hall, Donkey Jaw, and The G-Man have interviews with the band.

MP3: Beach Day – “Love Is Strange”
Video: Beach Day – “Beach Day”
Video: Beach Day – “Boys”

And now, the day-by-day recommends:

Wednesday, June 12

Bernice @ The Piston, 8PM – Dreamy, jazzy pop from Toronto singer Robin Dann with assistance from Owen Pallett collaborator Thom Gill. Not often mentioned as part of the new wave of R&B, but really should be.
Stream: Bernice / When I Know How To Climb

Calexico @ The Mod Club, 10PM – One of the gimmes of the fest, Tejano-infused desert-rockers Calexico never put on a bad show. This will mark their first Toronto visit in support of last year’s Algeirs and first time back in town since 2010.
MP3: Calexico – “Para”

Golden Bloom @ The Painted Lady, 11PM – For times when only singalong melodies and fuzzy guitars will do, there are bands like Golden Bloom. Their latest No Day Like Today is classic power-pop at its finest.
MP3: Golden Bloom – “Flying Mountain”

Thursday, June 13

KASHKA @ Wrongbar, 9PM – New electronic and all-caps incarnation of former Forest City Lovers frontwoman Kat Burns. Guitars may have been traded in for synths, but the songwriting remains as strong as ever.
Video: KASHKA – “Winter Light”

Moon King @ The Horseshoe, 9PM – One of Toronto’s most exciting new acts, the Spiral Beach alumnus are releasing their psych-pop debut Obsession as a series of three EPs, with two out and the third still to come. They also play Wrongbar on Friday at 9PM and Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday at 5PM.
MP3: Moon King – “Appel”

William Tyler @ The Garrison, 9PM – Solo instrumental guitarist whose new album Impossible Truth remembers that it’s about songs and feeling over virtuosity, though there’s plenty of the latter as well.
Stream: William Tyler – “Cadillac Desert”

Camera @ The Drake Underground, 10PM – Big, emotive Brit-rock out of Wales that should push all the right buttons for those partial to big, emotive Brit-rock. Their second album is For When You Wake.
Video: Camera – “Happiness”

Diana @ The Horseshoe, 11PM – Ascendant synth-pop outfit assembled from pieces of Destroyer, Army Girls, Bonjay, and a dozen other Toronto stalwarts. Their debut Perpetual Surrender will be coming out on August 20.
MP3: Diana – “Born Again”

Cœur de pirate @ The Great Hall, 11PM – Having taken some time off since last Fall to focus on motherhood, Beatrice Martin is back on the road with songs from 2011’s Blonde and perhaps some new material as well.
Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Place de la République”

Valleys @ Handlebar, 11PM – Montreal duo whose debut Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night? is a solid and occasionally sublime piece of cinematic synth-pop. May as well put them on your radar now because they’re going to get there eventually. They’re also playing The Garrison on Friday night at 10.
Video: Valleys – “Undream A Year”

Olenka & The Autumn Lovers @ The Great Hall, 12AM – London folk-pop collective who’ve yet to properly follow-up 2010’s And Now We Sing, but whose two recent EPs Hard Times and It’s Alright make fine stopgaps until it comes. As do their shows. They also play an acoustic set that afternoon in Bellwoods at 4PM.
Stream: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers / It’s Alright

Mikal Cronin @ The Silver Dollar, 12AM – This year’s rock’n’roll residency goes to San the Francisco-based singer-songwriter who accents his gleaming pop compositions with just the right amount of garage-harvested fuzz, as evidenced by his second album MCII. He also plays June 14 at 12AM and June 15 at 1AM. Catch one or all; you won’t regret it. Missoulian, SF Weekly, and Red Eye have features.
Video: Mikal Cronin – “Change”

No Joy @ BLK BOX, 12AM – Montreal trio who infuse their shoegaze roots with a healthy dose of punk rock aggression; be glad they’re looking at their shoes because eye contact probably means they’re gonna fight you. Their second album Wait To Pleasure came out a couple months ago.
Video: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”

Del Bel @ The Great Hall, 1AM – Local film noir-inspired collective who should have some new material to show off; they’ve been working on the follow-up to 2011’s Oneiric for a while now.
Stream: Del Bel / Oneiric

Friday, June 14

Decades @ Urban Outfitters, 12PM – Toronto glam/New Wave newcomers who’ve got a really solid self-titled debut to show off will kick off a great day show lineup ahead of their set at The Silver Dollar that night at 11PM.
Video: Decades – “In Sequins”

Still Corners @ Urban Outfitters, 3PM – English dreampop outfit who’ve recast their band lineup and sound between 2011’s Creatures Of An Hour and this year’s Strange Pleasures and somehow come out out just as good, if not better. Their official showcase goes later this night at The Horseshoe at 10PM.
MP3: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”

Hayden @ Yonge-Dundas Square, 8:30PM – Announced as the opener for The National during his set at Field Trip this past Saturday, it looks like NXNE is doubling down on gravel-voiced melancholy as what the fans are after.
MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”

The National @ Yonge-Dundas Square, 9:30PM – Oh yeah, these guys. They’re alright. May as well see them – it’s free, after all.
MP3: The National – “Fake Empire”

July Talk @ The Mod Club, 10PM – Torontonians whose country-punk with a dash of New Wave formula makes for a great live show and, as their self-titled debut proves, a great record as well.
Video: July Talk – “Guns & Ammunition”

Always @ The Silver Dollar, 10PM – It’s not entirely clear whether these transplanted Maritimers are going by Always or Alwaayz or Alvvays, but that question is less important than when we’ll finally get an official release from these relative newcomers. Some of the finest indie-pop to come out of the 416 in some time.
Stream: Always – “Next Of Kin”

The Magic @ BLK BOX, 11PM – Whether it’s because they took so long to finally release their debut Ragged Gold or the general un-searchability of their name, it is a damn shame that more people are not hot to this Guelph outfit’s smooth and sexy disco-pop. ‘Cause it’s smooth and sexy.
MP3: The Magic – “Door To Door”

The Super Friendz @ The Great Hall, 11PM – Sloan’s Peppermint recital set might be the big draw at the Murderrecords showcase, but miss seeing these intermittently-reunited power-pop mavens at your peril. Matt Murphy is still a hell of a frontman and the songs oh so hold up.
Video: The Super Friendz – “10 Lbs”

The Soft Moon @ The Garrison, 12AM – Bay Area band whose brand of icy post-punk comes with the “darkwave” hashtag. This show’s mandatory for those seeking some gloomy quarters in the warm, June night.
MP3: The Soft Moon – “Breathe The Fire”

Brazos @ Sneaky Dee’s, 12AM – Elegant and melodic indie pop hailing from and named for a street in Austin, Texas; they just released their second album Saltwater. Also playing at the St. James Gazebo on Saturday at 6PM and supporting Villagers at The Great Hall that night at 11PM.
MP3: Brazos – “How The Ranks Was Won”

Gold & Youth @ BLK BOX, 1AM – Vancouver synth-pop band whose debut Beyond Wilderness delivers on a lot of promise and still promises more. This show offers solid, “I saw them when” bragging rights potential.
Video: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”

Odonis Odonis @ The Garrison, 1AM – The growth of these Torontonians from curiousity to compelling has been pretty remarkable to see. I’m still not entirely sure how to describe their particular post-punk niche, but it is definitely getting more and more interesting.
Video: Odonis Odonis – “New World”

Saturday, June 15

Villagers @ Side Door, 8PM – Irish Mercury Prize nominees who’ve got a fresh new album out in {Awayland}. This showcase is an acoustic set; if you want the full band experience, be sure to catch their Great Hall show that same night at midnight.
Video: Villagers – “Passing A Message”

Data Romance @ Supermarket, 10PM – West coast duo that likes to inject a little sexy somethin’ somethin’ into their electro-pop, with sexy results.
MP3: Data Romance – “Spark”

The Sour Notes @ Sneaky Dee’s, 12AM – I’d not heard of this Austin band until a friend said that their co-ed harmonies overtop richly-arranged, yet effortlessly light pop tunes was exactly the sort of thing I’d like. And it was, and so maybe it is for you as well. They’ve also got a NXNE warm-up show at the Horseshoe tomorrow night; it’s free and they’re on at 12:20AM.
MP3: The Sour Notes – “Two Hands Wait”

Majical Cloudz @ The Great Hall, 12AM – On the strength of the confessional electronica of Impersonator, the Montreal duo of Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto have become one of Canada’s most talked-about new acts. So of course this showcase will be hard to get into and yet worth trying anyways.
MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”

Iceage @ The Horseshoe, 12AM – These Danes barely out of their teens will be declaring their propensity for taut, angular post-punk and inciting sweaty, rowdy, and occasionally violent live shows at customs. And I have no information that they will be the Special Guest at The Garrison on Sunday night at midnight, but…
MP3: Iceage – “New Brigade”

Fresh Snow @ Creatures Creating, 1AM – This show kicks off the Wavelength Road Show which takes Toronto’s new krautrock hopes, as well as Del Bel and Most People, around Ontario and Quebec.
Video: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”

Fucked Up @ The Horseshoe, 1AM – It’s Fucked Up in the Horseshoe. What else do you need to know?
MP3: Fucked Up – “Queen Of Hearts”

Lower @ Cherry Cola’s, 2AM – Iceage’s countrymen and tourmates also do the Scandi-post-punk thing, but are less fury, more menace. They also play The Garrison on Sunday night, June 16, at 11PM.
Stream: Lower – “Someone’s Got It In For Me”

Sunday, June 16

Mickey Avalon @ Yonge-Dundas Square, 3PM – Alls I know is that I couldn’t stop laughing at the scene in Harold & Kumar Go To Guantanamo Bay soundtracked by this song, and the prospect that it might be blasting out of the YDS PA at all the Eaton Centre shoppers is kind of great.
Video: Mickey Avalon – “My Dick”

And as befits a proper citywide festival, there’s a number of day shows and whatnot happening this week: The Arts & Crafts pop-up shop at Queen and Dovercourt which coincided with this past weekend’s Field Trip fest will remain popped up with shows and DJ sets every night; there’s the aforementioned Urban Outfitters day show on the 14th; the now-annual Bruise Cruise which takes you, a bunch of other festival-goers and a few choice bands on a tour around the islands; they’ve not yet announced details but it seems implausible that Sonic Boom won’t have at least a day of in-stores. And if you like records and buying records and watching other people buy records, do hit up the Independent Label Market going on at the Ryerson campus all day Saturday.

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Genesis

Prism Prize refracts spotlight on Canadian videos

Photo By Claire BoucherClaire BoucherWhereas the Polaris Music Prize already has a seven year track record of honouring the top Canadian album, the Prism Prize is new on the scene – unaffiliated but sharing a similar mandate, but focused on the art of the music video rather than the album.

And while some may have assumed the art form was on the decline due to the fact that their traditional medium – broadcast television – no longer plays them, the internet as well as the low cost of entry to powerful high-definition recording equipment and editing software has given creators unprecedented means to make some seriously impressive shorts. And the Prism Prize aims to reward them with both recognition and a $5000 prize to be split between the artist and the video production team.

A jury of Canadian music media types have been voting on any video created in the 2012 calendar year and as of yesterday, the short list of ten finalists was announced. It’s not an unfamiliar set of names for those who keep up with the Can-indie – congratulations to Rich Aucoin, Drake, Grimes (twice), METZ, Mother Mother, Maylee Todd, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, and Young Rival – but what’s nice about this sort of prize is a) even if you don’t care for the artist or the song, you can still find the video worthy, and b) it takes well under an hour to get through every candidate. Handy if you’re a juror. Which I am, I should mention, and I should probably get started on my ballot.

The winner will be announced on March 24.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Sprawl II” (Vincent Morriset)
Video: Rich Aucoin – “Brian Wilson Is A.L.I.V.E.” (Noah Pink)
Video: Drake – “HYFR” (X)
Video: Grimes – “Genesis” (Claire Boucher)
Video: Grimes – “Oblivion” (Emily Kai Bock)
Video: METZ – “Wet Blanket” (Scott Cudmore)
Video: Mother Mother – “The Sticks” (Chad VanGaalen)
Video: Maylee Todd – “Baby’s Got It” (Reynard Li)
Video: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko” (Emily Pelstring & Ruby Kato Attwood)
Video: Young Rival – “Two Reasons” (John Smith)

And this seems a good time to point out some recent domestic video released. Hayden just put out one to coincide with the release of Us Alone. There’s conversations with Mr. Desser at The National Post, NOW, Exclaim, and Spinner. He plays The Dakota, Cameron House, and Rivoli next week on February 20, 21, and 22 respectively.

Video: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”

Two Hours Traffic have put out the first video from their new record Foolish Blood as well as making a stream of the whole thing available at Exclaim. It’s out next Tuesday, February 19, and they’re at Lee’s Palace on March 21 for Canadian Musicfest.

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic / Foolish Blood

This would be the second video from the second Suuns record Images du Futur. It’s out March 5 and they headline Lee’s Palace on March 23, the Saturday night of Canadian Musicfest.

Video: Suuns – “2020”

Brasstronaut have a new clip from last year’s Mean Sun.

Video: Brasstronaut – “Bounce”

It’s not an official video, but this live clip of Evening Hymns covering Big Star in France (I think) is well worth watching. They play The Great Hall on Saturday night as part of Wavelength’s thirteenth anniversary series, which is underway now and is the subject of features in NOW and BlogTO. And tangentially, Wavelength talks to The Magic – also featuring Evening Hymns’ Sylvie Smith and playing Wavelength’s Sunday night showcase at The Garrison.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Thirteen” (live)

Spinner talks to Rachel Zeffira about her solo debut The Deserters, which is out March 12. A new, non-album bonus track is streamable at Chart.

Stream: Rachel Zeffira – “Wintertime”

Consequence Of Sound has premiered a new song from the forthcoming Chains Of Love album Misery Makers, due out this Summer. Surely I can’t be the only one to notice that singer/guitarist Rebecca Marie Law Gray is no longer in the promo photos, or audible on this recording…?

Stream: Chains Of Love – “Come And Play”

Daytrotter has posted a studio session with Destroyer.

A.C. Newman records a World Cafe session for NPR.

Beatroute talks to Purity Ring, who’ve made a new Soulja Boy cover available to download. Because apparently there exists someone called Soulja Boy and he writes songs.

MP3: Purity Ring – “Grammy”

Canadian University Press has a sit-down with Jay Ferguson of Sloan.

aux.tv talks to some of the artists who contributed rarities to the Have Not Been The Same compilation of ’90s Can-rock that soundtracked the book of the same name.

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!

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Tangled

Spinoffs, videos, and other Can-Con miscellany, featuring L Con

Photo By Andréa de KeijzerAndréa de KeijzerShaking out the “Made in Canada” box to kick off the week.

L Con is the sort-of but not-really pseudonym for Lisa Conway, perhaps better known as the voice of Toronto’s moody, art-orch ensemble Del Bel, who’ve been wholly endorsed in these parts. Conway just released her solo debut as L Con in The Ballad Project and while it doesn’t necessarily put a lot of sonic distance between itself and Del Bel’s Oneiric, as the name implies it’s less atmospheric and more song-centric, specifically with string- and horn-laden, torchy ballads that are perfectly suited to Conway’s smoky, forlorn, and strategically soaring vocals.

CBC Music talks to Conway about the new record, which is available to stream in whole, and aux.tv premiered the first video from the release a little while ago. A set of tour dates was just announced and includes a November 24 date at Cinecycle in Toronto.

Video: L Con – “Oh How Love”
Stream: L CON / The Ballad Project

BlogTO talks to emergent disco-pop outfit Diana, whose impressive collective resume includes Army Girls, Destroyer, The Hidden Cameras, and Bonjay. They play the first installment of Fucked Up’s Long Winter series at The Great Hall on November 9.

The Magic, who count Evening Hymns’ Sylvie Smith amongst their members, have released a new video from their debut Ragged Gold. OTM has an interview with the bandleading Gordon brothers.

Video: The Magic – “Call Me Up”

Little bit of trivia – once upon a time, Smith played in a band with John O’Regan of The D’Urbervilles called Habitat; I saw them back in in 2007. That project didn’t last too long but O’Regan has found a little more success with a new non-D’Urbs project he calls Diamond Rings. NOW talks to him about being voted “Toronto’s best male vocalist” in this year’s reader’s poll. He shows off those pipes at The Mod Club on November 29. The Horn also has an interview previewing this past weekend’s appearance at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin.

The Quietus talks to Dan Snaith about what separates his Daphni project from his Caribou project.

Evening Hymns have a new video from Spectral Dusk, directed by Bruce Peninsula’s Neil Haverty. Evening Hymns play the Church Of The Redeemer on December 15.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Spirit In The Sky”

Consequence Of Sound has premiered the latest video from Shad’s ’90s-saluting Melancholy & The Infinite Shadness mixtape.

Video: Shad – “It Ain’t Over”

CBC Music has premiered the new video from Cold Specks’ I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, and the b-side from the single release of the song is also available to stream. And if that’s not enough, DIY has a video session with Al Spx and The Coast a short interview. Cold Specks support Conor Oberst at Massey Hall on December 8.

Video: Cold Specks – “Hector”
Stream: Cold Specks – “Post-Operative #8”

Feist has squeezed another video out of Metals.

Video: Feist – “Graveyard”

The Wilderness Of Manitoba have put out a second video from their new record Island Of Echoes.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Echoes”

The 1st Thursday monthly series at The Art Gallery of Ontario will have Yamantaka//Sonic Titan as their musical performer at next month’s edition, happening December 6. The Coast also has an interview.

Video: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”

Stereogum interviews Damian Abraham of Fucked Up. They’re also playing the aforementioned Long Winter at The Great Hall on Friday night.

Crystal Castles weren’t able to get their new album III ready for release this Tuesday as originally intended, but they have made another song from it available to stream before its officially out next Tuesday, November 13.

Stream: Crystal Castles – “Affection”

Woodpigeon has announced a February 25 release date for his new record Thumbtacks & Glue, and to hold you over until then, this Fall’s Diamonds tour-only album is now available to mail order.

DIY interviews Grimes.

A.C. Newman chats with DIY.

DIY has written up their visit to the Polaris Music Prize gala in September and in a bit of fun, have rated the respective winners of the Polaris and Mercury Prizes over the last seven years head-to-head.

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Side By Side

Cuff The Duke, Jenn Grant, Wintersleep, and Elliott Brood embrace double-feature touring

Photo By Zuzana HudackovaZuzana HudackovaIt’s shaping up to be an Autumn of Can-rock double bills high on value. Folks thought that it was a pretty impressive pairing of talent when it was announced last month that Dan Mangan and The Rural Alberta Advantage were teaming up to cross the country in October, or the June announcement that Metric and Stars were hitting the country’s arenas together, but that were just the first of a number of impressive double-bills looking to share driving duties across Canada this Fall.

First, you’ve got Toronto’s Cuff The Duke teaming up with Halifax’s Jenn Grant teaming up for a tour that stretches from BC out to Montreal, and while the Toronto venue isn’t officially announced, the date is confirmed as November 24 and the rumoured venue is the fancy-pants Winter Garden Theatre. Both artists have new records coming out, hence the road trip. Cuff The Duke will release Union October 2 and from the first taste of the new material via a live Paper Bag Session, it sounds like it’ll be more tuneful country-rock of the sort that they’ve built their following on. Grant, on the other hand, looks to be shifting gears again with The Beautiful Wild, out September 25. Following the effervescent pop of Honeymoon Punch, Exclaim reports that Wild will pursue a more mature and musically adventurous direction. The first single from said record is streamable below. Update: Winter Garden Theatre is confirmed, tickets on sale August 20.

Cuff The Duke have a couple of local shows before the Grant tour – there’s a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square the evening of August 31 and they’re part of the Paper Bag Records 10th anniversary show at The Great Hall on September 27.

Stream: Jenn Grant – “In The Belly Of A Dragon”
Video: Cuff The Duke – “Side By Side” (Paper Bag Sessions)

Elliott Brood are also playing that PBR10 show on September 27, but will be back on a Toronto stage on October 21 at The Danforth Music Hall as part of their Marvel Team-Up almost cross-Canada tour – no BC dates at the moment – with Halifax’s Wintersleep; tickets for that one are $25.50. Both released new records earlier this year – Days Into Years for the Brood, Hello Hum for the ‘Sleep. Chronicle Herald and The Montreal Gazette have Wintersleep features.

MP3: Elliott Brood – “Norther Air”
MP3: Wintersleep – “Resuscitate”

METZ will celebrate the release of the debut self-titled album with a hometown show at The Horseshoe on October 12, ticket $12 in advance.

MP3: METZ – “Headache”

After a couple visits in a supporting role, Cadence Weapon has scheduled a headlining gig of his own in support of the Polaris shortlisted Hope In Dirt City at Wrongbar for October 12, tickets $12.

MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”

CBC Music talked to The Magic ahead of their Summerworks record release show for Ragged Gold this past weekend. Counteract also has a short feature piece.

Evening Hymns have released the first official video from Spectral Dusk, which is out next Tuesday but gets its live public unveiling this Friday night at Summerworks. The album, however, is unveiled as of right now courtesy of the stream at The Line Of Best Fit, which also comes with song-by-song annotations from Jonas Bonnetta.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Family Tree”
Stream: Evening Hymns / Spectral Dusk

Bry Webb talks to NOW about his plans for his own Summerworks show on August 18.

Exclaim and Stereogum talk to Dan Boeckner about his new outfit Divine Fits, while Britt Daniel does the same for Mountain X-Press. A Thing Called Divine Fits is out August 28 – though it’s available to stream now – and they play Lee’s Palace on September 5.

Stream: Divine Fits / A Thing Called Divine Fits

And Boeckner’s former bandmate Spencer Krug talks to The Quietus about his current project, Moonface.

Two Hours Traffic have announced a new EP Siren Spell, due out September 11, which not only offers a sneak preview of what their new lineup sounds like, but also gives the band a chance to indulge in their favourite pastime – touring across the country. Dates are coming this week but in the meantime, check out a track from the new EP.

MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”

After a couple of non-album teases, The Wilderness Of Manitoba have finally offered an official first taste of their second album Island Of Echoes. It’s out September 18.

MP3: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Morning Sun”

NPR is streaming a new song from the forthcoming Stars album The North. It’s out September 4 and they support Metric at The Air Canada Centre on November 24. But I think I already said that.

Stream: Stars – “Backlines”

Hot on the heels of her Feistodon interactive clip, Feist has released a more conventional, less metal video from Metals.

Video: Feist – “Anti-Pioneer”

The Luyas have released a preview track from their new record Animator, out October 18. They’re at The Great Hall on September 29 for the PBR10 show.

MP3: The Luyas – “Fifty Fifty”

The AV Club welcomes Destroyer to AV Undercover and they choose to cover Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. Of course.

DIY interviews Purity Ring.

NOW and The Montreal Gazette talk to Al Spx of Cold Specks.

John O’Regan talks to Spin about the new Diamond Rings record Free Dimensional, due out October 23.

Sloan have announced their super-fancy Twice Removed 20th anniversary package will be out on September 4; Exclaim has rounded up exactly what your $90 plus shipping gets you besides a public declaration that you really like “Pen Pals”.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan drummer Alaska B lists her favourite albums of the last 20 years for CBC Music.

Beatroute checks in with Black Mountain.

Ben and Jonah of Fucked Up give Exclaim a progress report on their next album. They play Fort York on September 9 as part of Riot Fest.