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Posts Tagged ‘Mercury Rev’

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Chords I've Known

Tribute to Sparklehorse seeks tributes from fans

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSparklehorse were never an especially commercially successful band during their lifetime, their heartbroken transistor radio cosmic country finding only a cult audience, but a lot of that cult audience were other artists. And so almost four years after Mark Linkous took his own life, the Box Of Stars organization, which seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues through music, has gathered together an impressive roster of those fans for Last Box Of Sparklers: A Tribute To Mark Linkous.

Amongst the contributors you’ll find Sparklehorse forebears, contemporaries, and followers including The Flaming Lips, Dinosaur Jr, Cowboy Junkies, Phantogram, and The Joy Formidable. Financing for the release is currently being sourced through Indiegogo and with nine days to go, they’re 40% of the way to their $50,000 goal. It would be a shame on so many levels if this project didn’t happen so if you were a fan of Sparklehorse – or are a fan of any of the contributing artists and would like to be introduced to the sad and beautiful world of Sparklehorse – see about contributing.

Pitchfork has more details on the project and a stream of Mercury Rev’s track.

Stream: Mercury Rev – “Sea Of Teeth”
Trailer: Last Box Of Sparkers: A Tribute To Mark Linkous

The National have made their contribution to the new The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack – due out November 19 – available to stream and guitarist Aaron Dessner gives NME some insight into their plans for their next album.

Stream: The National – “Lean”

Unofficial ambassador of Arizona to the world – never mind that Walter White fellow – Howe Gelb has made a date at The Drake Underground on December 7 to play songs from his new solo record The Coincidentalist, his first visit since bringing the ‘Sno Angel Like You gospel project to Lee’s Palace in December 2006. Tickets for that will be $17.50.

Stream: Howe Gelb – “Vortexas”

Pitchfork and Rolling Stone talk to Stephen Malkmus about his new album with The Jicks, entitled Wig Out at Jagbags and due in January 7; details at Matablog, lyric video for a new song below. Sing along!

Lyric Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Lariat”

The whole of Warpaint’s set at the Pitchfork Paris festival earlier this month is available to watch online; I would expect some tracks from their new album Warpaint, out January 21, are included in the set.

Video: Warpaint live at Pitchfork Paris 2014

Though just here last last month, San Francisco’s Weekend are coming back to town and bringing Philadelphia’s unbelievably loud Nothing – themselves just here in August – for a show at The Garrison on January 21; tickets are $10.50 in advance.

MP3: Weekend – “Coma Summer”
Video: Nothing – “Downward Years To Come”

Le Tigre alumnus JD Samson & MEN are touring behind their new record Labor and will be at The Garrison on January 26. Noisey has an interview with Samson.

Video: JD Samson & MEN – “Making Art”

Rolling Stone has premiered a stream of the new song by Hospitality, taken from their sophomore album Trouble, coming out January 27.

Stream: Hospitality – “I Miss Your Bones”

Austin’s White Denim have announced Winter dates behind their new, Jeff Tweedy-produced album Corsicana Lemonade; dates and a stream of the album can be had at Exclaim, and they include a March 3 date at The Horseshoe, tickets $15.50. The Irish Examiner has an interview with the band and NPR a video session.

Stream: White Denim / Corsicana Lemonade
Video: White Denim – “Pretty Green”

Billboard talks to Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers about their new album, recorded in a fortnight and set for release in March of the new year.

We Are Scientists have slated a Spring tour behind their new EP Business Casual – which includes a cover of Berlin’s love theme from Top Gun which itself has a video – and they’ll be at Lee’s Palace on April 22.

Video: We Are Scientists – “Take My Breath Away”

Innocent Words has an interview with Tanya Donelly.

Superchunk have made the latest edition of their Clambake live album series – a 1996 vintage show in Melbourne – available to stream for free.

Stream: Superchunk / Clambakes Volume 7: Shut the F*ck Up!…No, We Love You – Live at the Corner Hotel 1996

NYC Taper is sharing a record of Built To Spill’s visit to Irving Plaza in New York last week.

PopMatters, The Georgia Straight, and San Francisco Examiner talk to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

The Alternate Side has a session with The Dismemberment Plan.

eMusic, Paste, and Filter have interviews with Midlake, who also offer instructions on how to make an old-fashioned.

Noisey talks to Josh Tillman of Father John Misty.

Spin and The Fly talk to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

The 405 interviews The Men.

Rolling Stone has a eulogy for Lou Reed by his wife Laurie Anderson, as well as video of his final interview.

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Walking On A Wire

Richard Thompson at Koerner Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’ve been mentally composing my writeup for Richard Thompson’s visit to Toronto last week, as I do, and went digging through my archives for past pieces on the artist to perhaps link to as relevant, also standard procedure, which brought this piece I wrote back in 2005. And it’s helpful, as it actually covers a lot of the preface that I was preparing, but also mortifying as I didn’t realize that I’d already written – sometimes verbatim – what I was planning to write with regards to my personal history with Thompson’s music. You know you’ve been doing this too long when you’re recycling material without even knowing it. So go back and read that, if you please. I’ll wait here. And if you can’t be bothered, I’ll simply sum up with the fact that Thompson is one of the world’s greatest living singer/songwriter/guitarists and this isn’t up for debate.

Finding that entry was also notable because it reminded me that I hadn’t done a very good job of keeping up with Thompson’s work since then, missing both Front Parlour Ballads and last year’s Dream Attic; and while I do have 2007’s Sweet Warrior, I haven’t exactly worn it out. Similarly, I missed both of Thompson’s last visits – in 2008 at the Danforth Music Hall and 2005 at Trinity-St. Paul’s – my only live experience being back in 2003 at the Toronto Star Bluesfest at Exhibition Place, a jaw-dropping experience despite the less than auspicious setting. There would be no complaints about the venue last Thursday night, with Thompson being booked into the jaw-droppingly gorgeous – both visually and acoustically – Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music – a fitting room for a recently-honoured Officer of the Order of the British Empire, methinks. This was to be a solo show in all regards, just Thompson with a single acoustic guitar – no band, no opener, not even an amplifier (though he was mic-ed – the acoustics of the room weren’t THAT good) – truly as simple as you could get, but also all that he’d need.

Well, that and his immense, almost 40-year deep songbook. For over an hour and a half, Thompson explored the breadth of his repertoire including a nod back to his early days with Fairport Convention by way of a cover of Sandy Denny’s “Who Knows Where The Time Goes” and a couple of selections from Shoot Out The Lights though not the title track, which I grudgingly accept as an electric song. Much of the set, however, focused on his ’90s material – well-documented on the Action Packed compilation – indicating that I wasn’t the only one who was most familiar with his works from that era. Highlights were plentiful, with any fears that an unplugged set would mean less guitar heroics put well to rest early on with astonishing excursions on Mock Tudor‘s “Crawl Back (Under My Stone)”, his one-man, six-string Zydeco band impersonation on “Valerie” or even how his down-tuning segued perfectly into the intro of his tour de force “Vincent Black Lightning 1952”.

If anything, playing acoustic didn’t mean fewer solos, only more astonishing ones. Understand that Thompson doesn’t solo like anyone else – for someone of his instrumental repute, he’s one of the least-copied because, well, it’s damn near impossible to ape his unique blend of folk, Celtic, and rock moves. And while you might reasonably question why a player would want to make his axe sound like bagpipes, hearing how Thompson works it into his music – making leads less about being showy as adding intense instrumental conversations to the topic at hand – you’d get it. The 1100 or so people on hand this night certainly did.

While it’s all well and good to focus on Thompson’s instrumental prowess, it’s crucial to note that on his songwriting scoreboard, each unearthly bend and riff is matched by a lyric of deliciously black English humour or a character either wronged or doing the wronging in love. Perhaps it was the setting and his having my undivided attention, but even songs that I didn’t like so much on record like Sweet Warrior‘s cruse ship comedy “Johnny’s Far Away” was considerably more entertaining live, thanks in no small part to the humorous intros Thompson prepended onto it and others. A bevy of charmingly corny jokes also got Thompson through a patch of having to change a string on his guitar; to reiterate – the man restrung his own guitar. He only brought the one.

It doesn’t seem right to register complaints for such a stunning show, but I was disappointed that neither of Mirror Blue‘s finest acoustic moments – “King Of Bohemia” and “Beeswing” – were left out. But for the encores we did get his cover of Britney Spears’ “Oops, I Did It Again” which engendered an audience singalong – hilarious if you consider the age demographic of most in attendance – as well as the wonderfully dark “I Misunderstood” and a gorgeous reading of “Walking On A Wire”. The standard line on Richard Thompson is that he’s one of the world’s most under-recognized and underappreciated musicians – which may well be true – but you wouldn’t have known it from this performance and the reception it got.

The Ottawa Citizen, The Toronto Star, NOW, Montreal Gazette and Morton Grove Champion have interviews with Richard Thompson.

Photos: Richard Thompson @ Koerner Hall – September 8, 2011
MP3: Richard Thompson – “Harlan’s Bounce”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “Treadwell No More”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “Uninhabited Man”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “Dear Janet Jackson”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “Banks Of The Nile”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “The Sights And Sounds Of London Town”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “I Agree With Pat Methany”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “Keep Your Distance”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “Vincent Black Lightning 1952”
MP3: Richard Thompson – “Hard On Me”

Zach Condon of Beirut is interviewed by NPR and given his run of Drowned In Sound to post whatever he and his bandmates like, but not before submitting to an interview. And oh, there’s a new video available from The Rip Tide.

Video: Beirut – “Santa Fe”

Drowned In Sound interviews Ringo Deathstarr about their new odds-and-sods album Sparkler, due out tomorrow.

The Line Of Best Fit has a feature interview and Billboard goes into St. Vincent’s Twitter PR strategy for Strange Mercy, out tomorrow.

Salon, New York Magazine and Slate have feature pieces on Wild Flag, whose self-titled debut is finally out tomorrow. They’re at Lee’s Palace on October 12.

Christopher Owens of Girls gets interviewed by The Guardian about their new record Father, Son, Holy Ghost, out tomorrow. They play The Mod Club on September 27.

Stereogum talks influences with The Drums, who are at The Mod Club on October 1 in support of new album Portamento, out tomorrow. There’s also an interview at Digital Spy.

Spin talks to Chris Taylor of CANT (and also Grizzly Bear, while Pitchfork has a stream of Dreams Come True, his solo debut in that identity. It’s out tomorrow and he plays The Garrison on October 21.

Stream: CANT / Dreams Come True

Explosions In The Sky have released another video from Take Care, Take Care, Take Care and are profiled in The Georgia Straight, Boise Weekly and LAist. They’re at the Sound Academy on October 7.

Video: Explosions In The Sky – “Be Comfortable, Creature”

Exclaim has details on the She & Him Christmas album A Very She & Him Christmas, which is due out October 25 and will exist whether you like it to or not.

Maria Taylor returns to town in support of her new record Overlook with a show at The Drake Underground on November 13.

MP3: Maria Taylor – “Matador”
MP3: Maria Taylor – “Bad Idea?”

Mastodon have made a date at the Kool Haus for November 25, tickets $29.50. Their new album The Hunter is out September 27; I’m gonna go ahead and guess that it’s heavy.

Video: Mastodon – “Black Tongue”

The Big Takeover has posted the second part of their interview with Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev.

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

In The Pines

Review of Widowspeak’s Widowspeak and giveaway

Photo By Sebastian SlayterSebastian SlayterI’ve read a few things about Pacific Northwest by way of New York trio Widowspeak that reference the darkness of their music; the haunting tones, yearning vocals and occasional forays into guitar squalls. Perfectly fair. And most everything written about them mentions the smoky vocals of Molly Hamilton and its immediate reference points of Hope Sandoval and Cat Power. Also totally valid.

And yet listening to their self-titled debut, despite the truth of those points and the fact that I like amounts of all of these things in my music, what stands out the most to me is how much more they have to offer beyond those talking points. Though her voice has that alluring eyes-half-closed quality, she sounds far more awake and engaged with the song and melodies than Sandoval ever has (save, perhaps, her turn on “Sometimes Always”) and evokes neither the suicide-watch despair of early Chan Marshall nor the soul-diva stylings of her now. And musically, though perfectly capable of evoking sadness, they’re much more familiar with the major keys than some would have you believe. There’s a distinct ’50s doo-wop winsomeness running throughout, the guitars are as likely to throw off a twangy spaghetti western lick as drone menacingly and tunes like “Puritan” and “Fir Coat” are downright bouncy. All of which is to say that the critical praise they’ve garnered based on those aforementioned qualities are wholly deserved – they’ve just got much more to offer than you might expect.

Widowspeak are currently touring with Vivian Girls and will be at Parts & Labour in Toronto on September 16. Tickets for the show are $15.00 in advance but courtesy of Embrace, 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 Widowspeak” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, September 13.

MP3: Widowspeak – “Harsh Realm”
Stream: Widowspeak – “Nightcrawlers”

The deluge of streams for September 13 releases mentioned earlier this week continues; Girls are offering a sneak preview of their sophomore effort Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Billboard talks to bandleader Christopher Owens, who leads his band into The Mod Club on September 27.

MP3: Girls – “Vomit”
Stream: Girls / Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Over at Rolling Stone, you’ve got a stream of Mountaintops, the latest from Mates Of State, a week before its release. They’ll be at The Phoenix on September 28 and Ology has an interview with band he-half Jason Hammell.

MP3: Mates Of State – “Maracas”
Stream: Mates Of State / Mountaintops

Wild Flag jumped the gun and put up a stream of their self-titled debut last week, but held a little something back for this week – their first video. Wild Flag are at Lee’s Palace on October 12.

Video: Wild Flag – “Romance”

Wilco offered up a stream of The Whole Love, out September 27, for a 24-hour period this past weekend and are prepping for next week’s kick-off of their tour with a fan video project wherein you can help them decorate their stage setup by submitting videos of the town in which they’re playing. And perhaps as a bit of inspiration, they’ve released a video from the new record and if that’s still not getting your juices flowing, dose has those video clips of Jeff Tweedy covering Black Eyed Peas last weekend that have been circulating. In any case, I’ll be interested to see what Toronto sends in for their September 16 and 17 shows at Massey Hall. And if you missed the stream, it’ll be back up on September 19.

Video: Wilco – “Born Alone”

Stephen Malkmus has put out a new video from Mirror Traffic and there’s an interview at The West Australian. He and The Jicks are at The Phoenix on September 21.

Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Tigers”

Wye Oak have a new video from their latest album Civilian. They’re at the Sound Academy on October 7 opening up for Explosions In The Sky, with whom Beatroute has an interview.

Video: Wye Oak – “Holy Holy”

Writers On Process gets into the creative space of Crooked Fingers mastermind Eric Bachmann. Their new record Breaks In The Armor is out October 11 and they play The Drake Underground on November 8.

The AV Club talks Archers Of Loaf reunion with bassist Matt Gentling.

The Baltimore Sun talks to National bassist Scott Devendorff.

Clash, Glide and Beatroute talk to Peter Silberman of The Antlers while The Georgia Straight chats with Darcy Cicci.

Salon and American Songwriter get some phone time with Zach Condon of Beirut.

NPR has a World Cafe session and CityPages an interview with Bon Iver.

Blurt documents two decades of the ups and downs of Superchunk.

The Big Takeover has posted the first part of an interview with Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev about their masterpiece Deserter’s Songs.

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Primavera Sound 2011 Day Four

PJ Harvey, John Cale, Fleet Foxes and more at Primavera Sound

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAt the entrance to Parc del Forum is a typically strange-looking piece of Barcelonan architecture, wedge-shaped and indigo-coloured, and within it is a series of stark white hallways leading to a huge auditorium. This is the L’Auditori and on the Saturday afternoon of Primavera Sound, it hosted the performance that I had been looking forward to only a little bit less than Pulp the night before: John Cale leading the BCN216 orchestra in a performance of his Paris 1919 album – a recipe for greatness if ever there was one.

The ingredients for said recipe were the kilt-clad Cale handling vocals and keyboards whilst leading the 19-piece orchestra and a three-piece rock band through a sumptuous reading of his 1973 album, with Cale’s huge voice carrying its musical riches, both joyous and melancholic, to the furthest corners of the packed concert hall. Also, I’m used to hearing the album with the clicks and crackles of the LP and its seventies-era studio fidelity – to behold it in such bold, rich and three-dimensional tones was really a revelation. Truly, this is an album that deserves to be ranked as one of the all-time greats, and anyone who disagrees simply hasn’t heard it.

It’d be nice if the same could be said about the material that Cale used to pad out the set; after the orchestra decamped, Cale strapped on a guitar to kick off a set that was both traditional and experimental rock. I won’t claim to be anything resembling an expert on Cale’s solo repertoire, but while some of it was interesting and there were indisputable moments of beauty contained therein, the strongest impression was that it was musically overcooked thanks to some excessive solos. It got better when the orchestra returned to fill things out, but the remainder of the set certainly didn’t measure up to the album recital that preceded it – that was just magical.

It’s a shame I didn’t sneak out of the theatre earlier because it would have meant catching more than a couple songs of Warpaint’s set over on the Llevant stage. I was surprised they were playing the second largest stage at the festival, but perhaps I underestimated the benefits of all their European touring. Our time together wasn’t long but a little bit of their intensely chilled-out space rock is better than none, and few bands look like they have as good a time on stage together as Warpaint does. Bonus points to Jenny Lee Lindberg for rocking the Rosie The Riveter livery up there.

It’s kind of a shame there’s so little grass at Parc del Forum, as lying on a patch of green watching the sun set behind the stage would have been the ideal setting for Fleet Foxes’ Spanish debut (according to them). After all of the big productions that the San Miguel stage had hosted thus far, their stripped down yet soaring folk-rock was a nice change of pace. Robin Pecknold’s voice not always able to soar past the dense instrumentation in the mix, but when needed, like on “White Winter Hymnal”, the extra lift from the band’s harmonies and audience singalong saved the day. It was also interesting to note that “Helplessness Blues”, the title track from their not-even a month-old new album, has already been elevated to set closer. Bold.

The original game plan had been to pop back to L’Auditori to see at least some of Mercury Rev’s live recreation of Deserters Songs, but an excessively long turnover between the audience for the last show and this one prompted me to bail and instead indulge my German industrial rock joneses with Einstürzende Neubauten back at the Ray-Ban stage. Except it turns out I don’t actually have and German industrial joneses and so after a couple times it was time to head back to the San Miguel stage and grab some pavement in anticipation of PJ Harvey.

As keen as I was to finally get to see Polly Jean Harvey live and as much as I liked her latest album Let England Shake, I was well aware that this latest release might not be the best album to see her perform live, particularly in a festival setting. And any hopes that she might revert to rocker form for just one evening were shelved when she took the stage, resplendent in white Victorian gown and armed with an autoharp, under intense spotlights at far stage right while her bandmates were set up at far stage left and opened up with the title track of the new record.

The stark, restrained performance was as theatrical in its own way as the Flaming Lips’ set a few nights earlier, with Harvey’s movements and positioning onstage extremely calculated and deliberate and interaction with the audience kept to an absolute minimum. The set comprised almost all of Let England Shake, with its meditations on war and history setting an odd tone against the Primavera backdrop – particularly for those in the crowd trying to dance to descriptions of the horrors of World War I battlefields, but also a fascinating one.

Even when Harvey delved into her varied back catalog, with the oppositely-themed To Bring You My Love the most visited, the songs were recast in Let England Shake dress, some even rearragned to be led on the autoharp. Trying to reconcile the chasteness of what I was seeing with the sensuality of Harvey’s persona circa 1995, from whence I remembered those songs, was an interesting exercise. Some of the old Harvey raucousness began to creep in later on with Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea‘s “Big Exit” and To Bring You My Love‘s “Meet Ze Monsta” proving that for all the white she could and would still get dirty, but rather than mark the mark the start of a fresher, rawer and more crowd-pleasing portion of the show, it was the end. There was no encore.

And there, at a little past midnight on Saturday evening, did my first Primavera Sound experience end – while there was still plenty to see, an early morning flight out dictated that getting out then to be the prudent thing to do. I won’t say it’ll be my last Primavera, though – besides the perks of getting to visit Barcelona, it was an impressively-run festival (I can say this because I didn’t partake in the cash-card fiasco that marred day one for beer-drinkers) with a ridiculous lineup.
Big but not too big, if they assemble another perfect storm of acts I want/need to see (Ride/Slowdive/Lush reunions in 2012 holla) then I can certainly see myself returning. And if you’re never been but have considered it, I heartily encourage you to do so. For the curious, all my set and atmosphere shots (from the crowd) are up on Flickr, as are all my pics from Barcelona and London over the last couple weeks. If you’re a holiday snaps kind of person.

And the wrap out the week…

The Quietus talks to Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue about Deserter’s Songs and also their new album plans.

Exclaim reports that New York Euro-poppers Ivy have completed a new album, their first in seven years since In The Clear. No title or release date as of yet but the first single will arrive next week.

Aquarium Drunkard interviews The Radio Dept. guitarist Martin Larsson.

The Line Of Best Fit meets I Break Horses, whose debut Hearts is out August 15.

DIY interviews Emmy The Great, whose second album Virtue is released on June 13. Any postal service strike had better be over before my copy arrives or there may be some… unpleasantness.

Video: Emmy The Great – “Iris”

Drowned In Sound talks Lupercalia with Patrick Wolf. The new record is out June 20 in the UK.

NPR is streaming a KCRW session with Hot Chip.

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Submarine Symphonika

Review of The Submarines' Honeysuckle Weeks and concert giveaway

Photo By Jon BergmanJon BergmanThe story surrounding The Submarines’ debut album Declare A New State was the stuff of romantic-comedy writer fantasy – boy musician meets girl musician, boy joins girl’s band, girl joins boy’s band. Boy and girl lose each other. Boy and girl write songs about each other. Boy and girl record songs together. Boy and girl get back together. Brings a tear to the eye, does it not?

The fact that State was also a sublime bit of pop that managed to capture and convey all the emotions surrounding its genesis just made it all that sweeter. But it also raised the question of how John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard (the aforementioned boy and girl, respectively) would follow it up? You certainly couldn’t ask them to go back to the creative wellspring that fueled the first record. There’s a reason rom-coms rarely have sequels. As it happens, The Submarines didn’t have too much trouble with the question, returning last year with Honeysuckle Weeks.

Though the backstory no doubt informed the specialness of State, one musn’t forget that both Dragonetti and Hazard were (and are) also seasoned songsmiths and were cranking out records before coming together as The Submarines and though the forlorn tenor of the debut is appropriately dialed down on Weeks, the pop smarts are certainly not. Beautifully overcast heartbreak has given way to a sprightlier approach, a broader, more colourful sonic palette, though it’d be going to far to say that things have gotten sunny. While The Submarines’ songs may have the spring in their step of those who’ve known love, they also tread with the caution of those who’ve lost it.

The Submarines are on tour alongside The Morning Benders and play the Drake Underground this coming Sunday, February 15 and even though it’s technically the day after Valentine’s Day, expect it to still be a heart-melting affair. And courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got a pair of passes to the sold-out show to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want The Submarines to be my Valentine” in the subject line with your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, February 12.

The OC Register and The Washington Post have features on the band.

MP3: The Submarines – “You, Me And The Bourgeoisie”
Video: The Submarines – “You, Me And The Bourgeoisie”
MySpace: The Submarines

There’s a new video from Fleet Foxes taken from their Sun Giant EP.

Video: Fleet Foxes – “Mykonos”

Ra Ra Riot have also released a new clip from The Rhumb Line. The Smith College Sophian has an interview with guitarist Milo Bonacci and bassist Matt Santos.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “Can You Tell?”

The new Sloan video features the band frolicking in the snow with pretty girls. But not in the way you might think. They appear to be playing two nights at the Mod Club on March 11 and 12 as part of CMW.

Video: Sloan – “Witch’s Wand”

Blurt profiles Mercury Rev.

NPR has an interview with Antony Hegarty of Antony & The Johnsons. They’re at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 17.

Scotland On Sunday talks to Asobi Seksu’s Yuki Cikudate about their forthcoming album Hush, due out next Tuesday. They play the El Mocambo on March 3.

Le Blogotheque discusses inspiration with Zach Condon of Beirut. Billboard also have an interview. Their March Of the Zapotec/Holland double-EP set is out on February 17.

Billboard reports that the forthcoming Wilco live DVD Ashes Of American Flags will get its release on April 18 to coincide with this year’s edition of Record Store Day, but only be available at independent retailers. Corporate outlets won’t get it until two weeks later.

Pitchfork interviews Stephen Malkmus.

MPR welcomes Mark Olson & Gary Louris to their studios for a session. The Boston Globe also has an interview.

Kind of an awful concept for a site, but Rock’N’Roll Dating redeems itself with a good interview with Mark Eitzel of American Music Club, where they talk about everything including his forthcoming solo EP and musical (!) but not dating, rock’n’roll or otherwise.

eMusic, however, has polled a great number of musicians about their first crushes. Extensive, sweet and kind of hilarious.