Posts Tagged ‘Mark Kozelek’

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

In The Dirt

Review of S. Carey’s All We Grow and giveaway

Photo By Cameron WittingCameron WittingIt doesn’t seem like much of a selling point to be the drummer in the band that’s generally held to be a pseudonym for the songwriter and frontman. But for Sean Carey, who works under the name of S. Carey, the Bon Iver connection is much more than a marketing angle.

While Carey’s debut solo effort All We Grow wasn’t recorded in solitude, ensconced in a rural Wisconsin cabin – it was assembled piecemeal over time between tours – it taps into a similar emotional wellspring as For Emma, Forever Ago. Built on layers of Carey’s gentle vocals and wrapped in gently insistent piano motifs, stark yet complex percussion and raw guitar work, All We Grow is hypnotic, meditative and suffused with a serene sort of longing. It’s the sort of record that could simultaneously lull you to sleep while reminding you of an unshakeable ache in your heart.

Many found For Emma an unbearably beautiful record – I wasn’t one of them. I liked it and certainly understood what people found so emotionally resonant about it, but it didn’t strike that chord in me like it did others. All We Grow, on the other hand, hits much closer to the mark. If Justin Vernon makes the next Bon Iver record into more of a band-crafted affair and Carey can contribute some of the depth that he’s infused his own work with, the results could be devastating.

The Daily Iowan talks to Sean Carey, who is currently on tour and will be at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto this Sunday, December 19. Tickets for the show are $11.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see S Carey” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, December 16.

MP3: S. Carey – “In The Dirt”
MP3: S. Carey – “In The Stream”
Myspace: S.Carey

Mark Kozelek finally returns to Toronto – he cancelled his last scheduled visit in June of 2008. This time, he’s scheduled to play Lee’s Palace on March 22 as part of a solo tour supporting Sun Kil Moon’s latest Admiral Fell Promises.

Le Tigre spinoff MEN have assembled a North American tour in support of their next record Talk About Body, due out February 1. Look for them at Wrongbar in Toronto on March 21.

The Los Angeles Times finds out just how close Warpaint came to calling it quits before breaking out with their debut The Fool.

The Daily Yomiuri chats with Owen Pallett and eye gets some insight into the scoring of the New York Times’ “14 Actors Acting” videos that made the rounds last week.

Prefix talks to drummer Arlen Thompson of Wolf Parade.

OMG Blog has an interview with Liz Phair.

Stereogum gets a status report on the next Death Cab For Cutie record, which will carry the name Codes And Keys and be due out in the Spring of next year.

Not content to be known for records, rock operas and possibly plays, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists talks to Spinner about his literary ambitions – his novel Wildwood is currently in the editing stage. The new Decemberists record The King Is Dead is out on January 18 and they’ll be at The Sound Academy on February 1.

Pitchfork talks to Belle & Sebastian leader Stuart Murdoch about his upcoming book/memoir The Celestial Cafe, due out in early 2011.

James Allan of Glasvegas talks to NME about their old drummer’s departure, their new drummer’s arrival and their second album, which is targeted for a late 2011 release.

There was some disappointment when it was revealed that The Radio Dept.’s forthcoming Passive Aggressive compilation wouldn’t be a total rarity treasure trove as originally hoped, but a mix of singles and b-sides that would be of limited value to people who’d collected the band’s one-offs over the years. That disappointment has been allayed some with the announcement that the collection will be released on double vinyl in an edition limited to 2000 pieces and available for pre-order exclusively from Insound. I will leave you all to claim the other 1999 yourselves. The set is out January 25 and they play Lee’s Palace on February 7. And they have a new video.

Video: The Radio Dept. – “Never Follow Suit”

The Dø have put out a video from their new EP Dust It Off.

Video: The Dø – “Slippery Slope”

Spin hangs out with Grinderman during their North American tour.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

In Spades

Review of Key Witness' Seven Across The Sea

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceIt takes a lot to get me past my aversion to slap bass. I have no fondness for the technique, in fact it’s pretty much anathema to me – so it’s no small thing when I say that on Seven Across the Sea, the second album from Toronto’s Key Witness, it works. The lead track, “Brother John”, kicks off with a pretty intense slap attack before segueing into a barnstorming country rock number, and that approach – the melding of seemingly incongruous styles onto a raw, roots-rock core – is what makes Key Witness unique.

In theory, what makes roots-inflected music such is a no frills approach, but Key Witness’ creative restlessness never compromises the underlying simplicity of it all. Even when shifting from genre to genre within each song – at various points throughout the record, atmospheric, prog, funk, post and chamber are all appropriate descriptors – things remain impressively focused, anchored by J.M. McNabb’s authentically hoary rasp, the band’s taut musical prowess and their rollicking yet hook-laden songwriting.

There’s never the sense of experimentation for experimentation’s sake – Sea may take an unexpected route to get where they’re going, but considering the intense and frequently exhilarating record that results, there’s no doubt that they’ve got the map and know exactly where they’re going.

Seven Across The Sea was released back in March, but doesn’t seem to have made its way into any online outlets I can find, but I’m sure the band would be happy to hook you up with a CD copy and it’s lovely, wax-sealed (!) packaging. Or, pick one up when Key Witness play the Drake Underground tomorrow evening, May 28, as part of the Pitter Patter Festival.

MP3: Key Witness – “First Wave”
MP3: Key Witness – “Overnight”
MP3: Key Witness – “Pinebox”
MP3: Key Witness – “Seeing Things”
MySpace: Key Witness

Drowned In Sound interviews Jason Lytle, who will be opening up for Neko Case at Massey Hall on July 14.

Explosions In The sky talk to Spinner about the state of their new album and confess that they still haven’t seen Friday Night Lights, the show that’s no doubt bankrolling at least some of the new record.

Perhaps Mark Kolzelek can fill them in on what they’ve been missing – he tells Pitchfork that Friday Night Lights is his favourite TV show.

State interviews Friendly Fires, in town at Lee’s Palace on August 10.

Words that do not belong together: “Patrick Wolf“, “video” and “boring”. Wolf has released the second video from The Bachelor, out June 1 or August 11 depending what side of the Atlantic you reside on, and while it’s not as NSFW as the first one for “Vulture”, it’s still pretty trippy. Can’t wait to see what sort of visuals Wolf has in store for his North American tour – he’s at the Mod Club on June 15. Maybe he’ll drop some hints on Twitter.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “Hard Times”

Spinner Canada talks to Metric.

Adam Franklin has a solo date at the El Mocambo on July 6.

Exclaim has a feature piece on Grizzly Bear. They have a sold-out show at the Phoenix on June 5.

Check out the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs video.

Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Heads Will Roll”

The Independent talks to Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. The Eternal is out June 9 and they play Massey Hall on June 30.

Quiet day, yes.