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Posts Tagged ‘Mazzy Star’

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The Silver Gymnasium

Okkervil River and Torres at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangEveryone’s heard the old adage about how life is like a river, ever-changing, and in the case of Austin’s Okkervil River, it’s especially apt. The faces that make up the band have changed repeatedly over the years – singer-songwriter Will Sheff being the only real constant over their 14-year existence – and they’ve had their share of stylistic and thematic shifts over that time, albeit while hewing closely to the path marked folk-rock. And so it’s fitting that following their most rangy and experimental album in 2011’s aptly-titled I Am Very Far, they’d return to their roots – or the river to its source – with The Silver Gymnasium.

After Far‘s short story songbook, Gymnasium returns to the overarching album theme with a literary angle built around the memoir, focusing on Sheff’s ’80s youth in the small town of Meriden, New Hampshire. With that shift comes a musical realignment of sorts, with the more darker, exploratory sonics of Far put aside for a strummier sound with synth accents, perhaps meant to reflect the radio pop of the era or just draw in more listeners; in either case, these are the most accessible-sounding tunes Okkervil has turned out, right alongside the Stage Names/Stand-Ins set. The material may not be of the strata – at this point, time may well show that the years spanning Black Sheep Boy and The Stage Names to be the band’s creative pinnacle – it’s a solid collection that reflects the Okkervil River that most of their fans know and love best. And with it, Okkervil returned to town on Saturday night for their first Toronto show since June 2011.

The support slot for the tour marked another achievement in a year of highlights for 22-year old Nashville-based newcomer Mackenzie Scott who, when onstage, answers to Torres. She self-released her self-titled debut in January and since then, with the help of endorsements from the likes of Sharon Van Etten, has gotten to the point where her presence on the bill constituted an actual draw. Fronting a powerful yet tasteful rhythm section, Scott’s set was built around distorted fingerpicking and raw, snarled vocals that reared up to feedback-laden, combat boot-stomping rock heights in the opening and closing numbers. Those who like their confessional singer-songwriter material with some teeth, both lyrically and musically, would be impressed.

A consequence of the earlier comment that Okkervil may have already hit their creative and critical peak a few albums back was the fact that this show was decidedly not sold out, but not being a buzz band doesn’t mean that your real fanbase is any less solid or devoted; so while those in attendance might have had a little more elbow room than in the past, their enthusiasm was hardly diminished. The Silver Gymnasium‘s one-two of “It Was My Season” and “On A Balcony” opened things up before giving way to a Black Sheep Boy‘s still-powerful “For Real” and “Black”, setting the tone for the rest of the set – a solid showing from the new record but plenty of attention to the back catalog, with only Down The River Of Golden Dreams being omitted entirely and with The Stage Names being leaned on for the show-stopping moments.

The current lineup of Okkervil, which underwent a sea change with the last record, sounded more cohesive than on the Far tour. Lead guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo’s style of guitar now better integrated into the songs in the way that it took Nels Cline a little bit to properly sound part of Wilco, and the sound of the band has adjusted accordingly with the focus alternating between Sheff’s vocals to Gurgiolo’s leads rather than the Okkervil orchestra as a whole, or maybe it just seemed this was as I was parked directly in Gurgiolo’s amp’s line of fire. Also in the “things that are different” department was Sheff’s taking the stage not in one of his signature sport coats but a leather jacket, now looking more the part of student than professor. The glasses still only lasted half the energetic and sweaty set, though, so reality wasn’t that altered. And though Jonathan Meiburg officially left the band five years ago, his vocal presence is still missed – particularly since his harmonies still appear on the records. It was a nice nod to the Okkervil of old, though, when mid-show the band left just Sheff and bassist Patrick Pestorius, the other longest-serving member of the band, to play “No Key, No Plan” acoustically.

The thing that struck me the most over the course of the show was how I’d forgotten how much I loved this band not that long ago. From 2005 to 2008 or so, they were one of the outfits in the heaviest rotation possible and somehow, unnoticed, they or I drifted away. And while those days probably aren’t coming back – despite said I would be thrilled if there was another masterpiece rattling around in Will Sheff’s head – this show was an hour-forty reminder of those times. And isn’t The Silver Gymnasium all about remembering days past?

Photos: Okkervil River, Torres @ The Phoenix – September 28, 2013
MP3: Okkervil River – “Wake And Be Fine”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Mermaid”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Lost Coastlines”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe”
MP3: Okkervil River – “The President’s Dead”
MP3: Okkervil River – “No Key, No Plan”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Black”
MP3: Okkervil River – “It Ends With A Fall”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Kansas City”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Listening To Otis Redding At Home During Christmas”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Red”
MP3: Okkervil River – “Westfall”
Stream: Torres – “Honey”
Video: Okkervil River – “Your Past Life As A Blast”
Video: Okkervil River – “Wake And Be Fine”
Video: Okkervil River – “Lost Coastlines”
Video: Okkervil River – “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe”
Video: Okkervil River – “Girl In Port”
Video: Okkervil River – “For Real”

Stereogum have premiered a stream of a new Phantogram song, taken – as they’ve just revealed – from a new self-titled EP that will be out on September 30, which is to say today. Their second full-length is coming next year.

Stream: Phnatogram – “Celebrating Nothing”

Polar and Billboard have interviews with Cameron Mesirow of Glasser, whose new album Interiors comes out October 8 and is streaming at The Guardian. She plays The Drake Underground come October 13.

Stream: Glasser / Interiors

Billboard and Vulture talk to Sleigh Bells about their new record Bitter Rivals. It’s out October 8 and they play The Phoenix on November 13.

Dean Wareham has made available for preorder his new solo mini-album Emancipated Hearts, which will be out as a 10″ LP on October 15.

Interview talks to Mazzy Star, who have marked the release this week of their new record Seasons Of Your Day with a new video. They play The Danforth Music Hall on November 16.

Video: Mazzy Star – “California”

Though rumours that the current Guided By Voices reunion will be winding down have been floating basically since it began, they’ve confirmed that they’ll be releasing a fourth studio album in Motivational Jumpsuit late next February, amidst a slew of other Bob Pollard-related releases. Stereogum has all the details.

Rolling Stone reports that Television have had a new studio album in the can since 2007 – presumably after Richard Lloyd left and Jimmy Rip replaced him – but that it won’t see the light of day until Tom Verlaine decides he wants to, if ever. So do with that information what you will.

Modern Farmer talks to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats about goats.

Magnet turns their website over to Superchunk/Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster with a Q&A, while Washington City Paper chats with Mac McCaughan.

The National discusses their inclusion on the soundtrack of the new Hunger Games soundtrack with NME.

The Quietus reflects on the 20th anniversary of The Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen.

Gaper’s Block, Des Moines Register, and NOW chat with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.

aux.tv has an interview with Kurt Vile.

Friday, September 20th, 2013

H2O

Hall & Oates at Casino Rama in Orillia

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo, yeah, a few people have asked if I really drove all the way up to Casino Rama (a 90-minute drive north of Toronto that never takes less than two-plus hours, for those not local) to see Hall & Oates on Wednesday night. To which I answer, “you’re damn right I did”. Not that it requires any justification, but having grown up in the ’80s and spent most of that decade glued to MuchMusic/MTV, I have a massive soft spot for the pop music of the era, and while a lot of it has not aged well, to say the least, the works of Darryl Hall and John Oates remains pretty effin’ great; had they ever toured any closer to Toronto I’d have surely seen them by now but since they basically stick to the lucrative casino circuit, it would take a perfect convergence of opportunity and company to make it happen. Which it did.

And if you equated working the casino circuit with phoning it in – which to be honest I sort of did – I’m happy to say that it was not the case. With an enthusiastic audience of around 5000 filling the theatre, Hall & Oates and their six-piece backing band opened up with “Maneater”; give the people what they want, right? But within a few songs were busting out the deep cuts, including their first-ever live performance, if they were to be believed, of “Alone Too Long” from their eponymous 1975 record. It was interesting that they’d include so many deep cuts, but perhaps that was the best way to remind folks of their old-school Philly soul credentials in addition to being pop stars.

But let’s be honest, we were there to hear the hits and they weren’t not going to play them. They emerged from the depths of their set book with the slow jams – “She’s Gone”, “One On One”, and “Sara Smile” thank you very much – before closing things out with the big guns; a jazzy “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” with extended sax solo and two chart-topping encores comprised of “Rich Girl”, “You Make My Dreams Come True”, “Kiss On My List”, and “Private Eyes” as the finale. Yeah of course that was how it was going to go, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Performance-wise, both Hall and Oates sounded great, particularly when backed by the multi-part harmonies of their band, and were still looking pretty trim for their years and with Oates wisely sporting facial hair again. The band was loud and tight and although I’d have traded some of the extended jamming for, oh, “Method Of Modern Love”, they did a good job of playing according to score while Hall went off on vocal and keyboard ad libs – too bad they couldn’t cover up Hall’s Live From Daryl’s House-advertising guitar strap and t-shirt. Ah well. A fun show despite the amount of travel time – next time I’ll take one of those Chinatown buses – but not one I’m likely to make a habit of. Unless that Huey Lewis & The News Sports 30th anniversary tour makes a date…

Photos: Hall & Oates @ Casino Rama – September 18, 2013
Video: Hall & Oates – “Promise Ain’t Enough”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Don’t Hold Back Your Love”
Video: Hall & Oates – “So Close”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Love Train”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Downtown Life”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Missed Opportunity”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Everything Your Heart Desires”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Possession Obsession”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Method Of Modern Love”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Out Of Touch”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Adult Education”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Say It Isn’t So”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Family Man”
Video: Hall & Oates – “One On One”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Maneater”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Your Imagination”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Did It In A Minute”
Video: Hall & Oates – “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Private Eyes”
Video: Hall & Oates – “You Make My Dreams Come True”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Kiss Is On My List”
Video: Hall & Oates – “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”
Video: Hall & Oates – “How Does It Feel To Be Back?”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Portable Radio”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Wait For Me”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Intravino”
Video: Hall & Oates – “She’s Gone”

Spin, The Daily Beast, and The Guardian talk to Mazzy Star about their new album Seasons Of Your Day, out on Tuesday. They play The Danforth Music Hall on November 16.

Exclaim have posted this month’s cover story on the one, the only, Janelle Monáe. She does her thing at The Kool Haus on October 19.

Pitchfork talks to Explosions In The Sky and director David Gordon Green about working on the soundtrack to Prince Avalanche. They play The Air Canada Centre on October 4 in support of Nine Inch Nails.

Drowned In Sound chats with Midlake v2.0 about their forthcoming album Antiphon, which is out November 5 and from which they’ve just premiered a new song at NPR.

Stream: Midlake – “Provider”

Sebadoh talks about their new album Defend Yourself to DIY, LA Magazine, and Drowned In Sound. They’re at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Matador has details on the forthcoming deluxe edition of Yo La Tengo’s latest album Fade, which will be coming out November 18 and contain a second disc of b-sides and rarities and the like. PandoDaily has a chat with Ira Kaplan about integrity and whatnot.

Having released their first new album in many years with last year’s The Tarnished Gold, Californian psych-country-pop mavens Beachwood Sparks are getting in the wayback machine to give their recorded-in-1996-but-never-released first album Desert Skies on November 20; you can download the first time capsule of a song below.

MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Make It Together”

Jim James gives Billboard an update on the in-progress new record from My Morning Jacket.

Pitchfork celebrates the longevity – if not prolificness – of The Wrens.

Though she should probably be concentrating on her new album, Solange has gone ahead and released a new video from her True EP; that’s the sound of no one really complaining.

Video: Solange – “Lovers In The Parking Lot”

Esquire has premiered the latest video from Ra Ra Riot’s Beta Love.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “I Shut Off”

NPR has posted up a World Cafe session with She & Him.

The Georgia Straight profiles The National.

NPR welcomes Neko Case for a World Cafe session.

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Sleeping Where I Fall

Chelsea Light Moving and Speedy Ortiz at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor two bands touring behind their debut albums, you don’t get much further apart in terms of backstory than Speedy Ortiz and Chelsea Light Moving. The former being a loud and brash quartet from Northampton, Massachusetts whose Major Arcana demonstrates an overt and emphatic appreciation for the sounds of American college rock in the 1990s, and the latter being the new outfit of Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, a man who in large part architected the styles which Speedy Ortiz are disciples of and whose self-titled debut affirms that whatever name he’s trading under, he’s not done building on them. Together at The Horseshoe on Sunday night – Speedy Ortiz’s first visit to Toronto and Chelsea Light Moving’s second, following a visit to Lee’s Palace in March – they were something of a dream double-bill for those who like their guitars to sound like jagged, angry weapons doing their damage in serrated melodies.

And they don’t especially need much time to do it. While it was a touch disappointing that Speedy Ortiz wrapped up their set after barely 20 minutes – 25 tops – but there was no complaint about how they utilized the time they did have. I didn’t think it possible, but their stage show made the Archers Of Pavement-saluting stylings of Major Arcana sound positively polite by comparison. Guitarist Matt Robidoux must have felt undermixed on the album because live he was turned up extra-loud, though not to the point of overpowering frontwoman Sadie Dupuis because she was just as loud and with Darl Ferm on bass their equal in the mix, the complexity and contrasts of their respective parts became impressively clear. Together, they replicated the sound of three different songs falling off a cliff into one another and somehow, implausibly, gelling into something lurchingly, chaotically greater yet still given a friendly, accessible face by Dupuis’ urgently laid-back vocals and off-kilter melodies. It’s not easy to satisfy completely while leaving them wanting more, but Speedy Ortiz did it – and efficiently, no less.

After spending over 30 years pushing musical boundaries and indulging his creative impulses in Sonic Youth, it’s unlikely anyone was really expecting Thurston Moore sound like anyone besides Thurston Moore with his new band. So while over the course of their hour-long set, Moore edged into the shadows at stage left as if to more equally share the stage with his bandmates, there really wasn’t hiding someone of his stature, both literally and figuratively. Chelsea Light Moving sound immediately familiar from the sinewy guitar lines to Moore’s languid vocals, but closer inspection reveals key differences with Sonic Youth. Chelsea are more direct – Moore’s melodic instincts are give full play – and also heavier, with Keith Wood not attempting to replicate any Lee Ranaldo-esque guitar interplay but instead often doubling Moore’s rumbling low-string riffs and washes of feedback; you might say Chelsea come across like Sonic Youth gone garage rock – less hypnotic or avant-garde, perhaps, but more visceral and primal.

Over the course of their hour-fifteen set – which Show opened and closed with a collage of pick scrapes and the string noises of Jazzmasters being played where they weren’t meant to be and included a song based on 16th-century poet John Donne’s “The Ecstasy” as well as a dedication of “Lips” to the “Toronto chapter of the Pussy Riot movement”, Chelsea Light Moving turned in a pummelling set that simultaneously scratched the itch that Sonic Youth fans had for the on-hiatus legends and rubbed salt in the wound that given the personal issues that underpin said hiatus, their return is no sure thing.

The Huffington Post and Artvoice have interviews with Thurston Moore and Lancaster Online with John Moloney of Chelsea Light Moving. Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis gives MTV Hive a guide to being a vegan on the road, Village Voice does some urban exploration with the band, and Epitonic has got a Saki Session available to download.

Photos: Chelsea Light Moving, Speedy Ortiz @ The Horseshoe – September 15, 2013
MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Burroughs”
MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Frank O’Hara Hit”
MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Empire Of Time”
MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Groovy & Linda”
Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Lip”
Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Groovy & Linda”
Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Burroughs”
Video: Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”

As for the other half of the Sonic Youth schism, Rolling Stone, San Diego City Beat, Stereogum, and Slate talk to Kim Gordon about her new musical project Body/Head and their new record Coming Apart, which was released last week.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Blouse’s set at the Captured Tracks fifth anniversary show last month. Their new album Imperium is out today.

Tone Deaf has and interview with Sebadoh on the occasion of the release of their new album Defend Yourself. It’s out today, they’ve got a new video from it, and they’ll be at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Video: Sebadoh – “I Will”

Stereogum talks to Mazzy Star about their new album Seasons Of Your Day, due out next week on September 24 but available to stream now at NPR. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on November 16.

Stream: Mazzy Star / Seasons Of Your Day

Filter, eMusic, and The Austin Chronicle talk to Will Sheff of Okkervil River. They play The Phoenix on September 27.

Rolling Stone and eMusic talk to Derek Miller and Alison Krauss of Sleigh Bells about their new record Bitter Rivals, which comes out October 8 and from which they’ve made a new song available to stream. They play The Phoenix on November 13.

Stream: Sleigh Bells – “You Don’t Get Me Twice”

of Montreal are streaming another new song from their forthcoming album lousy with sylvianbriar, out October 8.

Stream: of Montreal – “Belle Glade Missionaries”

Father John Misty has released a new video from last year’s Fear Fun; he’s in town solo-like at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 15.

Video: Father John Misty – “I’m Writing A Novel”

NPR has a World Cafe session with The Head & The Heart, whose new album Let’s Be Still comes out October 15. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

The Dismemberment Plan are streaming another new song from their reunion record Uncanney Valley, coming October 15.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan – “Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer”

Janelle Monáe and The Electric Lady are the subject of features at Paste, Rolling Stone, The AV Club, Billboard, and Interview. Oh, and because it’s an awesome thing, stream her cover of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” below. She plays The Kool Haus on October 19.

Stream: Janelle Monáe – “I Want You Back”

Grizzly Bear are seeking to help out those with Grizzly Bear fans on their Christmas list with the release of expanded and b-sides versions of last year’s Shields on November 12. Warp has details on the editions, the former of which includes the original edition of the album and the latter of which is just the extras, comprised of b-sides, remixes, and demos – one of which you can stream below.

Stream: Grizzly Bear – “Will Calls” (Marfa demo)

Though they’re not saying anything about a new record, Phantogram have made a new song available to stream.

Stream: Phantogram – “Black Out Days”

Stereogum offers an oral history of The Wrens’ The Meadowlands on the occasion of its tenth anniversary.

Q interviews Mac McCaughan of Superchunk, who’ve premiered a new video from I Hate Music along with interview at Blouin Artinfo.

Video: Superchunk – “Staying Home”

Deerhunter have released a new video from Monomania.

Video: Deerhunter – “Back To The Middle”

Low are streaming their Rihanna cover, which you can also buy with proceeds going to charity. Details at Pitchfork.

Stream: Low – “Stay”

Waxahatchee has released a new video from this year’s Cerulean Salt.

Video: Waxahatchee – “Misery Over Dispute”

NPR has a KEXP session with Sharon Van Etten.

The Guardian chats with Joey Burns of Calexico.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Caitlin Rose, recorded at End Of The Road fest in England.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

New You

My Bloody Valentine decide your eardrums have had enough time to heal, thank you very much

Photo via FacebookFacebookWhile I as much as anyone appreciate that there remains an impulse to respond to news of My Bloody Valentine doing anything with an “oh my god!”, the fact is that circa late 2013, the shoegazing gods have successfully transitioned from myth back into a real, active band – albeit one that moves at their own leisurely pace – and are going to do things like release new record and tour.

Okay, that the former happened – you’ll recall the semi-sneak release of twenty years-in-the-making mbv back in February – is still remarkable, but this week’s announcement of east coast dates shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. This year has already seen the band hit Asia, Australia, Europe, and the west coast of North America – if they skipped the east altogether, that would have been a surprise. And so it is that they’ll be back in Toronto on November 5 – tickets $45 in advance – at the Kool Haus where they first made their local comeback appearance in September 2008. That show, if you’ll recall, had originally been slated for the 6000+ capacity Ricoh Coliseum before the reality of their legend-to-actual fanbase ratio hit home and they downsized the venue appropriately.

What’s interesting about recent shows compared to that one is that the set lists from this year are nearly identical in composition and order to 2008, save for the insertion of four new songs and the excision of one rarity (“Slow”). Which means that this show will be at least 15 minutes longer than the last one, unless they trim the “holocaust” portion of “You Made Me Realise” which carved our brains like a sonic glacier for 24 minutes last time… I’m guessing they won’t.

Stream: My Bloody Valentine / mbv

Another one for the, “it’s happening, really” file – Mazzy Star making good on their promise to tour behind Seasons Of Your Day, their first record in 17 years, after it comes out September 24. Pitchfork has the complete itinerary for the Californian dream-pop duo of Hope Sandoval and David Roback, which stops in at the Danforth Music Hall on November 16 – tickets for that range from $32.50 to $47.50.

Stream: Mazzy Star – “California”

Soldiering on following the sudden passing of bassist Chris Friedrich last month, Boston post-rockers Caspian are teaming up with English spiritual and stylistic cousins 65daysofstatic for a Fall tour that hits Lee’s Palace on November 7, tickets $15.50. Caspian’s last album was 2012’s Waking Season, while 65daysofstatic’s new record Wild Light will be out October 29 – they talk to The Skinny about it.

MP3: 65daysofstatic – “Prisms”
Stream: Caspian / Waking Season

San Francisco psych-rockers Wooden Shjips will release a new album in Back to Land on November 12, about midway through their North American tour in support of it. They’re at The Horseshoe on November 10, tickets $15.50, and Spin has album and tour details.

MP3: Wooden Shjips – “Lazy Bones”

Australian electro-rock outfit Cut Copy have been teasing their new record Free Your Mind with billboards set up in a half-dozen locales around the world, but have now announced they’ll bring their new songs to their fans rather the other way round via a world tour. Free Your Mind is out November 5 – you can stream the title track below – and they’re at The Danforth Music Hall on November 15, tickets $30 to $40 in advance.

Stream: Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”

London-bred, Vienna-based, 4AD-signed electro-soul producer/artist SOHN will be making his Toronto debut at The Drake Underground on November 23, tickets $12. There’s no word of his debut album yet but presumably he’ll have more to perform than a 40-minute remix of his single.

Video: SOHN – “Bloodflows”

NME has an advance stream of Motto, the forthcoming record from Sky Larkin, out as of Monday September 16.

Stream: Sky Larkin / Motto

Greek don’t-call-them-chillwave duo Keep Shelly In Athens have given their full-length debut At Home an advance stream at Pitchfork before it comes out September 17. They play Wrongbar on October 15.

Stream: Keep Shelly In Athens / At Home

Interview talks to Spaniards Delorean, who bring their just-released new album Apar to The Horseshoe on October 17.

Anna Calvi is streaming another new song from her forthcoming One Breath, out October 7.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Sing To Me”

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand runs down the music that soundtracked his life for Pitchfork, and he tells The AV Club why “Kumbaya” is not on that list. They play The Kool Haus on October 24.

There’s not much in the way of information, but this teaser trailer says that Nina Persson will be releasing her first solo record – not a Cardigans or A Camp record – in January of next year. Which is, of course, exciting.

DIY interviews Summer Camp.

Under The Radar has an interview with Sigur Rós.

Le Blogotheque has posted their three-headed Take Away Show with Phoenix, recorded all over Paris.

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Givin Em What They Love

Janelle Monáe is ready for prime time with Fall tour

Photo By Marc BaptisteMarc BaptisteWhile the awesomeness of Janelle Monáe as a live performer is a matter of public record, she’s not necessarily been a road warrior in building that reputation, at least not from a Torontonian’s perspective. Yeah, the unclassifiable-but-let’s-say-R&B star was here twice last year, but the Toronto Jazz Festival show was a very dear $70 ticket and the Elton John-powered Fashion Cares event was inherently exclusive, so it’s not unreasonable to say that her fanbase didn’t have much chance to see her. And her two previous visits – Canadian Musicfest 2011 and as part of the Arcade Fire’s 2010 Olympic Island jamboree – were parts of festival bills, so also not exactly conventional shows. All of which is to say that it’s kind of impressive that Monáe has gotten where she is without having really ever played a conventional show here.

Until now, anyways. With the September 10 release of her hotly-anticipated new record The Electric Lady almost upon us, Monáe has put together what may be her most comprehensive North American tour to date and it includes a Toronto date at The Kool Haus on October 19. And while it can be argued that Monáe’s live show is worth it at any price, that tickets for this one are a most reasonable $25 is good news. Pitchfork has the full itinerary and another new track, this one featuring nu-R&B star Miguel, has been made available to stream.

Video: Janelle Monáe – “Dance Apocalyptic”
Stream: Janelle Monáe featuring Miguel – “Primetime”

Because sometimes advance notice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and even though their album probably won’t be out until next year, The New Mendicants – that’s Joe Pernice of Pernice Brothers, Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, and Mike Belitsky of The Sadies – have announced a show at The Dakota Tavern for next Monday, August 26, just because. Tickets are $12 in advance and it’s an early show – 8:15 start – because Joe wants to watch the Red Sox game that night. Yeah. Anyone who was at the first Pernice/Blake show at the same room last June knows that it will be fun and hilarious, so get on that.

Stream: The New Mendicants – “This Time”

Stars are headlining a free show at Nathan Philips Square on September 1 as part of Unifest, intended to inaugurate the formation of a new workers union, so if you’re a fan of romantic synth-pop but also a die-hard right-wing conservative, I feel for you. But not that much.

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

American electro-r&b artist How To Dress Well is in town at The Garrison on November 2 behind last year’s Total Loss; tickets for that are $15.

MP3: How To Dress Well – “Ready For The World”

Sebadoh have announced a Fall tour in support of Defend Yourself, their first new record in almost a decade and a half, coming September 17. Lou Barlow and company will be at The Horseshoe on November 8, tickets $20 in advance. Rolling Stone talks to Lou Barlow about the release.

Video: Sebadoh – “All Kinds”

While they’ve not yet completed the follow-up to last year’s For My Parents – epic Japanese post-rock doesn’t come quick, you know – Mono have announced a North American tour that brings them back to The Horseshoe on November 15. Tickets for that are $15.

MP3: Mono – “Dream Odyssey”

It’s kind of hit-or-miss which buzzy British independent acts choose to tour North America – no inexpensive proposition – but English retro-psychedelics Temples are taking the plunge, even without a debut album to push. Full dates are still to come but they will be at The Horseshoe on November 20, tickets $11.50. Drowned In Sound had a feature on the band back in the Spring.

Video: Temples – “Colours To Life”
Video: Temples – “Shelter Song”

And in the debits column of this week’s concert news, Charli XCX has cancelled her Fall North American tour in order to support Paramore in the UK. That includes her September 16 show at The Hoxton, which will be rescheduled with all the others.

Rolling Stone talks to Laura Ballance and Exclaim to Jon Wurster of Superchunk about their just-released new record I Hate Music, from which they’ve just released a new video. And over at Spin, there’s a piece about what Superchunk and Merge Records have meant for their hometown of Durham, North Carolina.

Video: Superchunk – “Me & You & Jackie Mitoo”

David Roback of Mazzy Star talks to Rolling Stone about their new record Seasons Of Your Day, out September 24, and others that may or may not have already been recorded and may or may not be released.

The Guitar Magazine talks shop with Steve Earle. He and The Dukes play Massey Hall on October 29.

Grantland gets Charles Bissell of The Wrens to update them on the state of their next record – a decade in coming – and comment on why its taking so damn long.

Pitchfork goes lightning round in questions for John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

DIY checks in with Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV.