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Posts Tagged ‘MGMT’

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Design

A whole bunch of concert announcements, featuring Glasser

Photo By Jonathan TurnerJonathan TurnerLots of concert announcements over the last few days, but nothing that demands to take the lead spot, so I shall go with news of Glasser – aka electronic-pop artist Cameron Mesirow – because it comes first chronologically and her promo photos are awesome. Yes folks, sometimes that’s all it takes. In any case, the Mesirow will release Interiors – the second Glasser album and follow-up to 2010’s Ring – on October 8. She’s already released two songs from the album – one with official video – and has also just rolled out a handful of North American dates which include an October 13 date at The Drake Underground – tickets for that are $15 in advance. Pitchfork has an interview with Mesirow about out what to expect with the new album.

Video: Glasser – “Design”
Stream: Glasser – “Shape”

Typically when a band adds a second show to meet demand, they do it at the same room so as to avoid moving all their gear around town – but in the case of Two Door Cinema Club, they’re satisfying overflow demand for their October 15 show at The Danforth Music Hall with a second show at the half-as-large Mod Club the night before, October 14, with both openers St. Lucia and Peace remaining as support. It’s actually pretty canny, since at least some of the fans who’ve already got tickets for the main show will be willing to drop another $25 to see the band in much more intimate environs.

MP3: Peace – “California Daze”
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Sleep Alone”
Stream: St. Lucia – “Elevate”

With a new album in Weekend coming out October 23, Swedish glam-rockers The Sounds have assembled a small North American tour that includes a stop at The Mod Club on October 17, tickets $20. They’ve released a lyric video for the first single from the new record, though you probably could have figured out the chorus on your own.

Lyric Video: The Sounds – “Shake Shake Shake”

With their new album Nothing Is Real set for an October 15 release, Californian psych-rockers Crystal Antlers have announced a North American tour which brings them to The Silver Dollar on November 1, tickets $10.50 in advance.

Video: Crystal Antlers – “Rattlesnake”

Californian psychedelic-western outfit Spindrift have used their explorations of American ghost towns as source material for their next album Ghost Of The West, due out October 22, and a documentary film that will follow next year. They’ll be touring behind it to some decidedly non-ghost town locales, including Lee’s Palace on November 11, tickets $10.50 in advance. There’s a trailer for the new record and film companion.

Trailer: Spindrift / Ghost Of The West

Evening Hymns will continue to bring life to last year’s Spectral Dusk with a Fall tour that includes a stop at the Drake Underground in Toronto on November 14.

MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”

With their new album Internal Sounds now out, The Sadies have announced a show at Lee’s Palace on November 15, tickets $20 in advance.

Stream: The Sadies – “Another Tomorrow Again”

English electronic singer-songwriter Daniel Woodhouse, who operates as Deptford Goth, has put together a string of dates behind his debut album Life After Defo and will be in town at The Drake on November 15.

Video: Deptford Goth – “Union”

Once – and future, let’s be honest – Broken Social Scenester Brendan Canning has announced some live dates behind his new solo record You Gots 2 Chill, coming out October 1. He’ll be in familiar environs on November 16 when he plays Lee’s Palace, tickets $15. You can stream a new track below as well as watch a video.

Stream: Brendan Canning – “Bullied Days”
Video: Brendan Canning – “Plugged In”

Taking advantage of the extra profile afforded by being a Mercury Prize shortlister for his album Immunity – okay, the tour was probably booked already regardless – English producer/electronic artist Jon Hopkins is going to be in town on November 21 for a show at The Hoxton. The Montreal Gazette and Red Bull have interviews.

Video: Jon Hopkins – “Open Eye Signal”

American singer-songwriter Cass McCombs has a new album in Big Wheel And Others coming out on October 15 and as such, has some Winter dates behind it including December 4 at The Great Hall, tickets $15.50. Stream a new song below.

Stream: Cass McCombs – “There Can Be Only One”

The inexplicably – to me, at least – popular MGMT have just released their new record – also called MGMT – and rolled out a new video starring Michael K. Williams of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire because when you’re popular – inexplicably or otherwise – you can do things like that. Pitchfork also has tour dates for this Fall, but while they’ve only got “TBA” for the venues, Pollstar appears to have the missing info so Toronto fans can look forward to trekking down to the Sound Academy on December 7 and paying $35 for general admission and $45 for VIP while waiting for them to play “Time To Pretend”. There’s interviews with the band at Digital Spy, Rolling Stone, and Blare.

Video: MGMT – “Cool Song No. 2”

While there’s been no word of a follow-up to 2012’s Blood Pressures – which brought them to town last February, The Kills are coming back to town for a show at The Danforth Music Hall on December 11, tickets $24.50 to $29.50 in advance.

MP3: The Kills – “Future Starts Slow”

Another Mercury Prize shortlister following up their nomination with a tour announcement are electronic duo Disclosure, whose feted album Settle will bring them to the Danforth Music Hall on January 14 of next year. Pitchfork has full dates as well as a 360-degree video recorded at a show in Central Park earlier this year so you’ll know what to expect from their tour, assuming you get up on stage with them.

Video: Disclosure – “When A Fire Starts To Burn”
Video: Disclosure – “Latch” (live in 360)

And because it can’t all be gain, a couple of show cancellations also came through yesterday – those with tickets for either Foxygen at The Hoxton on October 1 or How To Dress Well at The Garrison on November 2 should seek refunds at the point of purchase. Perhaps as an apology, Foxygen also released a new video for the title track of We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic; How To Dress Well, on the other hand, offer nothing – not even advice on how to dress well.

Video: Foxygen – “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic”

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

My Best Friend Is You

Kate Nash, Brett Alaimo and Supercute! at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhenever I see reviews of Kate Nash’s just-released sophomore effort My Best Friend Is You that put forward the tracks that represent her well-documented discovery of Riot Grrl as the standouts and bemoan the number of pure pop numbers on the record, I have to wonder if the writers of said pieces actually like Kate Nash. Because as commendable as it is that she’s seeking to branch out beyond her precocious piano girl image and explore her interest in louder, rawer sounds, the inescapable fact is is that she’s not very good at it.

In its finest moments, Best Friend finds Nash taking what made Made Of Bricks such a delight – the fast-talking sass and hooky piano-led melodies – and honing them further, exhibiting the growth you’d expect over three years without sounding too grown-up. Tracks like “Paris”, “Don’t You Want To Share The Guilt” and lead single “Do Wah Do” are immediate and indelibly catchy sugar bombs that hold up over repeat listens, and the like thankfully outnumber those where Nash attempts to get her punk on. While “Mansion Song” actually works better than you’d expect, segueing from profanity-laced spoken word intro into a clattering, stomping sing-along, other stylistic forays like “I Just Love You More” find Nash tries to sound angry and guttural but instead comes across as on the verge of laughing hysterically – probably not the desired effect – and the lo-fi “I’ve Got A Secret” just wobbles aimlessly. But missteps aside – Bricks had its share as well – Best Friend is a largely enjoyable listen that gives Nash fans what they want… and sometimes you have to take the crunchy with the smooth.

That said, the balance of the two wasn’t what many would have liked on Monday night at the Mod Club in Toronto. It marked the kickoff of her North American tour and in rounding up support acts, she didn’t have to look too far. Rachel Trachtenburg opened for Nash before – The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players opened up for her on a number of her 2008 dates – but this time, she was fronting her new band Supercute!, which teamed the 16-year old with 13- and 14-year old accomplices in shiny outfits and giant hair bows, playing Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd covers alongside self-penned songs about candy, hula-hooping and boys. It was short, sweet and strange. Considering that there would have been an hour wait between the end of Supercute!’s set and the start of Nash’s, the unbilled set by Nash guitarist Brett Alaimo was a welcome one. Playing mostly solo, except for one song where he was accompanied by the rest of Nash’s band, he was part Libertines, part Billy Bragg and part spoken-word poet/stand-up comic. Certainly a more enjoyable way to pass the time than constantly checking my mail (especially since I wasn’t getting much mail).

At this point it’s worth noting that this show was a) all-ages and b) sold-out, which is generally a recipe for a) feeling old and b) losing a few degrees of hearing from the squealing that inevitably occurs when the headlining act comes on stage. And so it was that the crowd went mad when Kate Nash finally followed her band onstage and seated herself at the keyboard with the empowering message, “A c*nt is a useful thing” emblazoned across a sheet draped off it (the message itself wasn’t censored, just my transcription). Grinning ear to ear at the enthusiasm of the crowd, she kicked off with Best Friend‘s “Paris”, which proved as excellent a set opener as it is an album opener, and straight into “Do Wah Do” and then Bricks’ “Mouthwash”, all sounding great and setting the tone for what was looking like a terrific show. She then surprised by moving over to guitar for the next song and remaining there for the next few numbers, all scrappy pop selections from the new record and all also sounding quite good.

The second half of the show was decidedly less triumphant, with the more questionable bits of her repertoire making appearances and Nash seemingly determined to redefine herself as guitar-wielding rocker chick right then and there. While some fans indulged her, even attempting to pogo or mosh a bit, most waited patiently for her to get back to doing what she did best. They were repaid with the likes of “Foundations” and “Very Merry”, but the show failed to end on a high note. Both main set closers “Mansion Song” and “I Just Love You More” came across more awkward live than on record – and as stated, the latter was pretty awkward to begin with – and the encore selection was b-side “Model Behaviour”, which gave Nash leave to do more shrieking and sent many heading for an early exit.

Poor finish aside, the night still went in the win column though only barely. This was my first time seeing Nash live and it was great to finally hear some of those songs done live – though more than three selections from Bricks would have been nice – and Nash’s rapport with her very devout fanbase was charming and fun to watch. But if she’s going to continue to try and be the second coming of Bikini Kill, she’s really going to have to work on her screaming.

The Toronto Sun, Spin, Exclaim, Chart and Panic Manual also have reviews of the show while The Daily Mail and Nylon have interviews with Nash.

Photos: Kate Nash, Brett Alaimo, Supercute! @ The Mod Club – April 26, 2010
MP3: Kate Nash – “I Just Love You More”
MP3: Kate Nash – “We Get On” (live at the BBC)
MP3: Supercute! – “Not To Write About Boys”
Video: Kate Nash – “Do Wah Doo”
Video: Kate Nash – “Foundations”
Video: Kate Nash – “Mouthwash”
Video: Kate Nash – “Pumpkin Soup”
Video: Supercute! – “Not To Write About Boys”
MySpace: Kate Nash

The San Francisco Examiner and The Portland Mercury interview The Wedding Present’s David Lewis Gedge.

Under The Radar talks to Ian McCulloch and The Centre Daily Times to Will Sargent, both of Echo & The Bunnymen.

The Music Slut asks eight questions of Los Campesinos!, who’ve finally beat the volcano and made it over to North America.

Camera Obscura, who were already on this side of the Atlantic when Iceland blew up, talked to Under The Radar at Coachella.

The Boston Herald interviews Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison. They’re at the Opera House on May 4.

Many – myself included – thought that two nights at the Sound Academy was overambitious for Jonsi, so it’s not surprising that the May 1 show has been canceled, leaving just this Friday’s April 30 performance. However the official reasons given aren’t ticket sales, but the logistics involved with tearing down the elaborate stage sets in time for a later event at the venue. Both nights were originally supposed to be with the venue in a theatre configuration, holding around 1200 if memory serves, but now the Friday show will be with the Sound Academy at full size. All Saturday tickets will be valid for Friday and refunds are also available. Unfortunate venue aside, all reports from the tour have been that the show is astonishing so if you can swallow the Sound Academy, it could be worth your while. Or even more disappointing.

The Summer concert season continues to shape up with a bunch more announcements to go with the slew that came yesterday. The Gaslight Anthem will be at the Sound Academy on July 14, presale already open. Their new album American Slang is due out June 14 and New Zealand City, Spinner and Gibson Guitars have features on the band.

Bear In Heaven and Twin Sister are teaming up for a Summer tour that stops in at the El Mocambo on July 15. Spoonfed interviews Bear In Heaven.

MP3: Bear In Heaven – “Bag Of Bags”
MP3: Twin Sister – “Dry Hump”

Their show at the Mod Club tomorrow having sold out in a hiccup, MGMT are playing a more appropriately-sized room in the Kool Haus when they return on August 5. Tickets are $35 in advance, on sale Friday.

I’m a little surprised that Australia’s Empire Of The Sun is fixing to do a few North American dates around their Lollapalooza appearance – 2008’s Walking On A Dream didn’t exactly do mad business over here. I still prefer The Sleepy Jackson to EOTS’ electro-disco-glam, but am intrigued by the Toronto date at the Sound Academy on August 8 as apparently the live show is a spectacle and a half.

Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Walking On A Dream”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “We Are The People”

And CBC Radio 3 has revealed the first wave of acts playing this year’s Hillside Festival in Guelph on July 23, 24 and 25. Lots of familiar names, but still immensely quality – you’ve got Los Lobos, The Hidden Cameras, Basia Bulat, Calexico and Sarah Harmer, to name but a few. Tickets go on sale this Saturday.

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

"Time To Pretend"

Jonsi and Little Boots cover MGMT (not together)

Photo By Lilja & Inga BirgisdottirLilja & Inga BirgisdottirThe first of these covers made the blog rounds not too long ago, but the timing is such that I can’t resist making it this week’s selection and the second, well, that would have been just as perfect if only…

Anyways. First, you’ve got the inexplicably (to me, anyways) popular MGMT, who released their second album Congratulations a couple of weeks ago. Despite a high chart showing, it’s gotten a pretty polarizing response for apparently not sounding much like their debut Oracular Spectacular, which by extension means that none of the songs is as immediate as “Time To Pretend” and might not inspire covers such as these ones by Jonsi or Little Boots. The Jonsi cover, recorded for BBC Radio 1, is the more transformative of the two what with being performed on sombre piano, shed of the fun-time synths of the original. Little Boots recorded hers cover for her YouTube channel and despite being armed with just her Tenori-On, does a pretty faithful rendering (the audio isn’t great as it’s ripped from said YouTube vid).

The big moment of synchronicity amongst these three versions is that MGMT are playing a tiny (for them) club show at the Mod Club this Thursday night – presumably something bigger is coming later this Summer – while Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi is playing the Sound Academy for two nights this Friday and Saturday night in support of his solo debut Go and Little Boots was supposed to play the Phoenix on Friday night but that, along with most of her North American tour dates, was canceled a couple months ago for no given reason. But still, if that hadn’t happened you could have seen all three in three nights. Whoo.

The Chicago Tribune has a feature on Jonsi while Clash talks to MGMT.

MP3: Jonsi – “Time To Pretend”
MP3: Little Boots – “Time To Pretend”
Video: Little Boots – “Time To Pretend”
Video: MGMT – “Time To Pretend”

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Blow Yr Brains In The Morning Rain

Review of Serena-Maneesh’s S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor and giveaway

Photo By Alex John BeckAlex John BeckI headed into SxSW last week with a list of artists I wanted to see at the festival and I actually did quite well at crossing names off of it – the only two really notable misses were Los Angeles’ Local Natives and Norwegian ragna-rockers Serena-Maneesh. I had experienced the Norwegians in Austin before – their gleefully insane set was one of the highlights of the 2006 festival – but this time out, their schedules and mine just didn’t gel.

Though our last encounter was four years ago at a short but destructive (see a trend?) show at Lee’s Palace in September 2006, I haven’t missed much with the band in the interim. It’s taken them that long to follow up their self-titled debut, which they finally did this week with the release of S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor, and if you think they’ve spent the time away learning new tricks… think again.

Quantitatively, Abyss is probably more sophisticated and melodic than its predecessor, but the underlying template remains very much the same, and it’s easily summed up as My Bloody Velvet Underground, all dreamy vocals overtop unrelenting rhythms and swirling aural chaos, divided into concise pop jewels and sprawling jams. And while the potency of the formula isn’t necessarily diminished on a visceral level – that’d be like saying that being punched in the face doesn’t hurt as much the second time – it doesn’t feel as fresh this time out, even if it may well be a better record.

It certainly contains their finest moment to date in “I Just Want To See Your Face”, a divine-sounding lost MBV track if ever there was one with vocalist Lina Wallinder channeling Belinda Butcher more than a little. And perhaps it’s telling that they’re at their best when sounding their most derivative? These, however, are considerations that are only likely to arise when you’re not actually listening to the album and have time to think objectively. When immersed in it, you’ll likely be too busy exalting in the sonic bedlam to worry if it’s really bringing anything new to the table – and that goes double for their live show, which though I haven’t seen it in some years I can’t imagine being any less chaotic.

To prove that point, Serena-Maneesh returns to Toronto on April 2 for a show at the Great Hall; tickets are $14 in advance but courtesy of Union Events, I’ve got five pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Serena-Maneesh” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Obviously this giveaway is only good for folks in the Toronto area – to all residents of North America, including locals who enter the concert giveaway, and courtesy of 4AD, I’ve also got a limited-edition 12″ single of “Ayisha Abyss” up for grabs. If you’d like that, email me again at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want 12″ of Serena-Maneesh” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest for both closes at midnight, March 31.

The Georgia Straight interviews Serena-Maneesh frontman Emil Nikolaisen.

MP3: Serena Maneesh – “I Just Want To See Your Face”
MP3: Serena-Maneesh – “Ayisha Abyss”
Video: Serena-Maneesh – “I Just Want To See Your Face”
Stream: Serena-Maneesh / S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor
MySpace: Serena-Maneesh

Exclaim talks to Jonsi, who has released a new video from his solo record Go, originally supposed to be out this week but now pushed back until April 6. He still plays the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1.

Video: Jonsi – “Kolnidur”

NPR’s World Cafe doubles up on the Swedes with one session featuring El Perro Del Mar and another with Taken By Trees. AndPop and Smile At Your Sister also have interviews with El Perro Del Mar’s Sarah Assbring.

The AV Club, hour.ca and The Boston Herald talk to The Big Pink.

Paste and Express Night Out talk to The xx. They are at the Phoenix on April 4 and the Kool Haus on April 20. Both shows are sold out.

Arctic Monkeys have rolled out a new video from Humbug.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “My Propeller”

The Quietus revisits Suede circa Coming Up.

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey discusses the importance of the album with BBC6.

Let’s Wrestle make a mixtape for Magnet. They’ll be at the Horseshoe on April 18 with Quasi, who’ve just released a new video from American Gong.

Video: Quasi – “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler”

Carrie Brownstein tells Pitchfork that a Sleater-Kinney reunion could happen in the next three to five years.

The Listener and Aquarium Drunkard talk to Dean Wareham. The new set of Galaxie 500 reissues came out this week.

Each Note Secure interviews A Place To Bury Strangers, who’ve just released a new video from Exploding Head.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “Ego Death”

MGMT, whose second album Congratulations arrives April 13, will be at the Mod Club on April 29 for an intimate-type show. Not as intimate as their surprise gig at Captain John’s Seafood Restaurant a couple weeks ago, but the Mod Club probably smells better. Tickets are $30 and go on sale Saturday at 10AM.

Though not currently listed on their tour itinerary, CocoRosie will be at the Phoenix on June 15 in support of their new album Grey Oceans, out May 11.

Whilst killing time during my accidental time off in Austin earlier this week, I happened up on the Yard Dog art gallery on South Congress where they were selling pieces by one Jon Langford, whom as it happens is in town tonight at the Horseshoe with The Sadies and in addition to the regular sort of merch, will have some of his artwork available for sale – this stuff is cool and better than a t-shirt. Check it – and the show – out tonight.

Spinner, JAM and NOW have features on the Thrush Hermit reunion which rolls into Lee’s Palace this weekend for shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

And oh yeah, the official trailer for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is now out and it’s onomatopoeiariffic. The film is released August 13 while the sixth and final book of the series, recently revealed to have the titled of Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, will be out July 20.

Trailer: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World