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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Kiwanuka’

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Don't Stare At The Sun

Richard Hawley gets view of Mercury from Sky’s Edge

Photo By FacebookFacebookThe twelve album shortlist for the 2012 Mercury Prize, awarded to the best – by whatever standard the judges choose to use – British or Irish album of the past twelve months was announced yesterday, and I was pleased to see that Richard Hawley made the cut because I get to use the clever (by my standards, at least) post title above and use this sharp photo of Mr. Hawley adjusting his specs.

Truth be told, I’m a bit surprised that Standing at the Sky’s Edge made the cut. Hawley shortlisted before with 2006’s Cole’s Corner, which is as perfect example of what he’s come to be known for in his solo career – classically-styled and richly-adorned romantic pop showcasing his deep baritone and twanging guitarwork – so to recognize him again for a record that seeks to distance itself from that stereotype by way of psychedelic rock jams is a touch unexpected. I personally like the record as it really lets Hawley rip on guitar in a way that he doesn’t typically – it’s louder and rawer but still unimpeachably tasteful – but I do hope it’s more a stylistic sidebar rather than new direction because, well, everyone likes the croony Rich.

To hear both sides impeccably presented, I highly recommend cueing up this live performance at the BBC last weekend where Hawley, in his hometown of Sheffield, is accompanied for two career-spanning sets by the BBC Philharmonic. It’s as gorgeous sounding as it would appear on paper, and as BBC doesn’t like to archive their stuff indefinitely, it’s only available to stream for a couple more days. Hopefully eventually it’ll be given a live release because, well, it should. Hop to the 32 minute mark to hear Jarvis Cocker’s introduction – Jarvis should always be heard – or to the 35th minute for the start of the show. And while you’re at it, read these features interviews at Toast, The Sheffield Telegraph, and The Belfast Telegraph. Also, watch this studio session video for his new single.

Video: Richard Hawley – “Seek It” (live at Yellow Arch Studios)

As for the rest of the Mercury nominees, they line up as follows. And as has become a habit, more than a few of them are coming through town in the next few weeks – Alt-J at Wrongbar on September 19, Ben Howard at Sound Academy on September 24, and Django Django at Wrongbar on September 25. Not Hawley though – he hasn’t been back since December 2007, but hey – we can hope.

Billboard and The Quietus collect some nominee reactions. The winner of the 2012 Mercury Prize will be announced on November 1.

Alt-J / An Awesome Wave / MP3: “Tessalate”
Django Django / Django Django / MP3: “Default”
Field Music / Plumb / MP3: “A New Town”
Ben Howard / Every Kingdom / Video: “Keep Your Head Up”
Richard Hawley / Standing at the Sky’s Edge / MP3: “Down In The Woods”
Michael Kiwanuka / Home Again / MP3: “Tell Me A Tale”
Lianne La Havas / Is Your Love Big Enough? / Video: “Lost & Found”
Sam Lee / Ground of its Own / Stream: “George Collins”
The Maccabees / Given To The Wild / MP3: “Go”
Plan B / Ill Manors / Video: “Ill Manors”
Roller Trio / Roller Trio / Video: “R-O-R'”
Jessie Ware / Devotion / Video: “Wildest Moments”

The Guardian has an interview, MTV a bluffer’s guide, and Baeble Music a video session with Alt-J, who’ve just debuted a new video and are presently favoured to win the big prize.

Video: Alt-J – “Fitzpleasure”

Pitchfork has details on Field Music’s forthcoming covers mini-album Playm, due out later this Fall.

Mumford & Sons have released a video from their new album Babel, due out September 25.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”

Rolling Stone has premiered a track from Tim Burgess of The Charlatans’ new solo record Oh No I Love You, out October 1 in the UK. The Independent also has an interview with Burgess, who reveals that a new Charlatans album will be on the way sometime next year.

MP3: Tim Burgess – “A Case For Vinyl”
Video: Tim Burgess – “White”

Neil Halstead has released a video from his new album Palindrome Hunches, and it gives you a pretty good idea of what his show at The Dakota on October 8 will look like.

Video: Neil Halstead – “Digging Shelters”

Frightened Rabbit are previewing their new State Hospital EP every which way ahead of its release on September 25. The video for the title track was revealed a couple weeks back and now Drowned In Sound has an acoustic video performance of that same tune and DIY has an acoustic demo video of the song, “Boxing Night”. The band are at The Mod Club on October 10 and Mark Grainger writes and Clash have interviews with Scott Hutchison.

Billboard and State talk to Two Door Cinema Club, in town at the Sound Academy on October 11.

The Guardian talks to Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes. Her new album The Haunted Man is out October 23.

Consequence Of Sound has the full routing of the Saint Etienne Fall North American tour, which kicks off October 24 in Toronto at the Opera House, and adds an interview with singer Sarah Cracknell for good measure.

The Joy Formidable have offered the first video from their new album Wolf’s Law, due out in January. That’s right – the song of the same name for which they released a video last month won’t actually appear on the album.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “Cholla”

Clash meets Hot Chip. Pretty sure they’ve met before, but whatever. Exclaim and The Georgia Straight also have chats.

DIY and Uncut celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ride’s seminal Going Blank Again by talk to Mark Gardener and Andy Bell, respectively.

The Quietus gets an update from Brett Anderson about how recording sessions for that new Suede album are going. How well? Well enough that Brett Anderson is willing to talk about it.

Noel Gallagher gives NME some odds for an Oasis reunion – not good.

Spinner talks to Stevie Jackson about going it solo for a bit.

Wild Peace, the dreampoppy debut from London’s Echo Lake has been out for a while but due to tragic circumstances – drummer Pete Hayes passed away days before it was released in June – so they’re just getting back to doing press for it now. Drowned In Sound has a complete stream of the album along with song-by-song annotations by the band.

Video: Echo Lake – “Wild Peace”
Video: Echo Lake – “In Dreams”
Stream: Echo Lake / Wild Peace

Spinner chats with Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine.

NPR welcomes Bloc Party for a KCRW session.

Elbow bassist Pete Turner talks to NME about their just-released Dead In The Boot b-sides comp, as well as their plans for their next proper studio album.

Under The Radar presents a video session with Anna Calvi comprised of original instrumentals recorded at and inspired by works in the Tate Modern in London.

NPR, The Los Angeles Times, Digital Spy, and PopMatters interview Pet Shop Boys about their new album Elysium.

There’s a video for the first new Dubstar song in forever – it was originally released in time for Record Store Day in the Spring. A new album is allegedly in the works.

Video: Dubstar – “Circle Turns”

State chats with The Futureheads.

The Grid and The National Post talk to The xx.

DIY and Spinner have features on The Vaccines.

Spinner has an interview and The Line Of Best Fit a video session with Charli XCX.

Clash and The Quietus have features on TOY, but don’t use the all-caps presentation so since I presume they’d know better than I, henceforth neither shall I. Toy. There you still. Still a rubbish name.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

NXNE 2012 Day Two

The Men, The Black Belles, The Seedy Seeds, and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWith most club-level festivals, some intense venue-hopping is par for the course and in a city with a downtown as spread out as Toronto, the logistics of getting from point A to point B in the allotted time can be an art form all its own. Unless you do things as I did on the Thursday night of NXNE and basically plant yourself at one intersection and let the bands come to you. This wasn’t an arbitrary decision, mind. Dundas-Ossington has gone from borderland outpost to hot spot in the past few years and between The Dakota, Painted Lady and Garrison, you can generally count on a good number of live music options on a regular night, never mind during a festival.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that every option will turn out to be a good one. I feel like there’s some rule that says every time I got to a multi-band bill at The Garrison, one of them will be a solo guy with a keyboard and pedals who will try my patience. This time out it was Kentucky native James Friley, who operates as Idiot Glee, and while it wasn’t necessarily terrible, the Animal Collective-ish aesthetic of effected vocals, looped rhythms, and triggered noises doesn’t do anything for me when it’s done well – Idiot Glee wasn’t even interesting enough to be annoying. It just goes to show – what maybe works in a studio or even on record doesn’t necessarily do so live. Some things just aren’t meant for the stage.

Photos: Idiot Glee @ The Garrison – June 14, 2012
MP3: Idiot Glee – “Don’t Go Out Tonight”
Video: Idiot Glee – “Let’s Get Down Together”
Video: Idiot Glee – “I Want The Night To Stay”

The avoid a second Mac DeMarco set in as many nights, I then hopped around the corner to The Painted Lady where Cincinnati trio The Seedy Seeds were setting up, and their set of unabashedly quirky, geeky power pop was just the thing to pick me back up. They were armed with a kitchen sink’s worth of synths, banjo, acoustic, percussion, accordion – and on-the-fly instrument changes between them – to say nothing of the harmonies, but rather than allow it to become sonic clutter, it was all in service to the song and the melody. It was fun and danceable, even though the close quarters in the bar meant the band was doing the most dancing – though the burlesque dancer on the bar seemed to be moving to her own soundtrack.

Photos: The Seedy Seeds @ The Painted Lady – June 14, 2012
Video: The Seedy Seeds – “Telephone The Constrictor”
Video: The Seedy Seeds – “Verb Noun”
Video: The Seedy Seeds – “I Am The Conductor”
Video: The Seedy Seeds – “Drive Me To The Center”

Back at The Garrison, Mac DeMarco fans were clearing out and Grass Widow fans were filing in. I was neither, having heard nothing of the latter besides seeing some of the kerfuffle about that heinous Vice review (no linkbait biting, sorry) of their third album Internal Logic which was enough to reaffirm that I will never read Vice but didn’t persuade me to give the album a listen. In fact, only when they took the stage did I know they were a three-piece (the aforementioned piece tipped me off that they were all female) and only when they said they were from San Francisco did I know they were from San Francisco. I probably could have guessed the garage pop thing, though. The were exceedingly sloppy at first but got within the parameters of acceptable within a few songs, even flirting with charming at points. That sweet spot remained a moving target through their sets but it a few of their jams landed it quite effectively. Still not feeling like checking out the album, though.

Epitonic and The Riverfront Times have feature pieces on Grass Widow.

Photos: Grass Widow @ The Garrison – June 14, 2012
MP3: Grass Widow – “Time Keeps Time”
Video: Grass Widow – “Fried Egg”
Video: Grass Widow – “Shadow”
Video: Grass Widow – “Milo Minute”
Video: Grass Widow – “Give Me Shapes”
Video: Grass Widow – “Tattoo”

Nashville’s The Black Belles may have been another female power trio (they’d recently contracted from a quartet), but they couldn’t be more different from the band before them. Being a Jack White production, it was a foregone conclusion that they’d have a) a strong aesthetic – sheer black dresses, witchy velvet hats, sexy-goth makeup, check – and b) a classic rock vibe. Unfortunately, the Third Man association also meant that hooks and melody were a secondary concern to a) and b) and so while they looked good and sounded heavy, the songs didn’t have a lot of staying power. I’ve no doubt that their label associations will take them a long ways, but at some point they’ll need some tunes to back it all up.

Interview, The National Post, Spinner, and The Chicago Tribune have interviews with the band.

Photos: The Black Belles @ The Garrison – June 14, 2012
Video: The Black Belles – “Wishing Well”
Video: The Black Belles – “Lies”
Video: The Black Belles – “What Can I Do?”

For a lesson in balancing out heavy with hooks, you needn’t look any further than the night’s headliner – New York’s The Men and their latest Open Your Heart. If you wanted to hear many of those hooks this night, however, you would have been best served going home and putting the album on the turntable because the live show was an electrifying dose of punk rock thunder. The songs were there, but just as launching pads for the pure, aural adrenaline delivered via riffs, solos, and hollered vocals from any and all of their three lead singers. It’s hard to pick one thing out of the tumult to focus on, but recent addition Ben Greenberg – prior to March they didn’t have a bassist at all – would be a good one; running his bass through a guitar amp and pummelling chords, he was more third (albeit baritone) guitar than traditional bass, but was still the anchor, the ragged, jagged pulse of the band. How they did it before he joined, I can’t imagine. Unsurprisingly, their set was like a call to action for the moshing-inclined so despite trying to stick it out up front for as long as possible, I retreated to the back for the last few songs. With a few shows on their NXNE schedule, there were other opportunities to see them in probably less rowdy environs, but really – a dark, sweaty bar was really the only correct setting for this. Invigorating.

NOW, Paste, and 77 Square have features on The Men.

Photos: The Men @ The Garrison – June 14, 2012
MP3: The Men – “Ex-Dreams”
MP3: The Men – “Open Your Heart”
MP3: The Men – “A Minor”

The Toronto Star and NOW have features on A Place To Bury Strangers, themselves making a racket the Thursday night of NXNE although I wasn’t there.

Daytrotter has posted up a session with White Rabbits, who were also getting their NXNE on on Thursday night.

NPR is streaming the first new Beachwood Sparks album in over a decade – The Tarnished Gold – ahead of its release next week.

MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Sparks Fly Again”
MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Forget The Song”
Stream: Beachwood Sparks / The Tarnished Gold

Matador has finally confirmed details of the new Cat Power record, which will indeed be called Sun and be out on September 4, a week earlier than expected. The first track is available to download and The Stool Pigeon has posted up the full interview with Chan Marshall about the new record; it was only excerpted last week.

MP3: Cat Power – “Ruin”

A touch short notice but if you’re around the Soundscapes area at 6:30PM tonight, pop in to catch an in-store from Michael Kiwanuka before he heads over to The Phoenix for his headlining show. BBC America and The Winnipeg Free Press have interviews with the singer.

MP3: Michael Kiwanuka – “Tell Me A Tale”

Weezer has reached another career milestone; they’re now playing casinos. They’ll be in the area on September 14 with a date at Casino Rama. I’m certain this is actually in Rivers Cuomo’s master plan.

Video: Weezer – “The Good Life”

And folks, the show announcement I’ve been waiting on forever is here – The Afghan Whigs at The Phoenix on October 3. I daresay that there’s not a band I’ve listened to more this year. Tickets are $35 and the presale goes Wednesday morning at 10AM, link and password at Collective Concerts. This. Will be. So. Good.

Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Crazy”

And some interesting exchanges of ideas on the whole topic of illegal music downloads, first from a 20-year old at NPR, then a rebuttal/open letter from David Lowery (Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven) at The Trichordist, and some points at both from Laura Snapes of Pitchfork/NME. Really worthwhile reading if just to remind yourself that this is still a thing and it still affects artists.

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Good For You

Shoegazing under the microscope, starring My Bloody Valentine and Ride

Photo By Steve DoubleSteve DoubleWhenever an old/classic album is reissued these days – which is pretty much every day – it’s inevitably advertised as having been remastered, and it’s assumed that that’s a good thing. And not unreasonably – when a lot of these albums were originally released on compact disc, they were poorly converted from analog to digital and could generally sound thin/quiet/uninspiring. But remastering is no guarantee of improvement – at best, things will sound incredibly better (the 20th anniversary redo of The Stone Roses’ debut by original producer John Leckie is a revelation), at worst, they’ll be posthumous victims of The Loudness Wars and make those original pressings that much more valuable.

All of which is only salient because the specifics of remastering were brought to the fore this week thanks to a couple of coincidental analyses of some high-profile reissues of classic shoegazing albums; My Bloody Valentine’s seminal Loveless, finally being re-released next week, and Ride’s debut Nowhere, which was polished up and put out in November of 2010.

Loveless is an interesting case because rather than being half-album, half-outtakes and rarities as most double-disc reissues typically are, it comes as two complete versions of the album – one a remaster from “the original tapes”, the other a remaster from “the original 1/2-inch analogue tapes”. I use the quotes because, to be honest, I don’t know what the difference is in terms of origin or timeline; Spin also takes a close listen to the two versions and offers their thoughts on the curious release. An interview with Kevin Shields that went up at Pitchfork this week sheds a lot of light on all facets of the subject, but I guess I accept that I’m amongst those who don’t hear a difference between the two. You can see if you can hear a difference for yourself as The Guardian is streaming both remasters, though Soundcloud compression and computer speakers probably obliterate any subtle differences between the two. They’ve also dug up an interview with Shields circa 1992 that you can read while listening.

Spin also has a gander at one of the previously unreleased songs that makes the EPs 1988-1991 double-disc comp so necessary for fans. “Good For You” surfaced as a bootleg via YouTube a few years ago, but is finally going to be available – along with other goodies – in proper, high-fidelity form. The official version is available to stream via the aforementioned Pitchfork interview and the bootleg was found on YouTube.

Stream: My Bloody Valentine – “Good For You”
Stream: My Bloody Valentine – “Good For You” (bootleg)
Stream: My Bloody Valentine / Loveless (both remasters)

With respect to the Nowhere reissue put out by Rhino Handmade – generally a reliable and responsible archival outfit – Bradley’s Almanac has put “Vapour Trail” and “Paralysed” under the microscope – or oscilloscope – to see just what the remastering job by Rick Webb at Abbey Road Studios accomplished. Interesting and illuminating analysis over there that’s gotten me thinking maybe I do need to re-buy this album at least one more time.

And because Boston loves Ride – clearly – I direct you to another Beantown blog in Clicky Click, who’ve compiled a tribute album to Nowhere comprised of all-Boston bands entitled Nofuckingwhere. Download it and discover some new bands while listening to some classic tunes.

The AV Club talks to Johnny Marr about supervising the remastering of the entire Smiths catalog for their Complete reissue series last Fall and his feelings about the band, decades on.

Jason Pierce of Spiritualized talks to NOW and The AV Club in advance of Saturday’s sold-out show at The Phoenix.

2:54 are streaming a new track from their forthcoming self-titled/numbered debut, due out May 29. They’re at Lee’s Palace on June 15 for NXNE.

Stream: 2:54 – “Creeping”

Beatroute gets Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai on the horn. They play The Phoenix on June 18.

Interview and Musicfeeds talk to Mystery Jets about their new just-released new record Radlands; they’re at The Sound Academy on June 19 supporting Keane.

Michael Kiwanuka has released a new video from Home Again. Note that his June 19 date at The Great Hall has been moved to The Phoenix and a few hundred more tickets will be on sale shortly.

Video: Michael Kiwanuka – “I’ll Get Along”

Having had to cancel last Summer’s show at The Phoenix (and the attendant tour) in support of Whatever’s On Your Mind due to illness, Gomez are making things up intimate-style with a show at The Mod Club on July 23, tickets $25.50.

Video: Gomez – “Whatever’s On Your Mind”

Micachu & The Shapes have announced that the follow-up to their 2009 debut Jewellery will be entitled Never and be out on July 24.

Little Boots has released a video for her latest single, taken from an album that has not been announced yet but is surely coming sooner or later.

Video: Little Boots – “Every Night I Say A Prayer”

Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons tells NME that album number two is in the can, as they say.

Joshua Hayward of The Horrors opines to NME his thoughts on how big a room he thinks his band can play and their recording plans for the Fall.

Beatroute, The San Francisco Examiner, and Spinner all have interviews with Arctic Monkeys.

State interviews Friendly Fires.

The Skinny talks to Stephen Morris of New Order.

Lisa Hannigan and Joe Henry – who produced Hannigan’s latest album Passenger – will team up for a show at The Phoenix on June 10, general admission seated tickets $25 in advance.

Stream: Lisa Hannigan / Passenger

The Chicago Tribune interviews Anthony Gonzalez of M83, in Toronto at The Sound Academy this coming Sunday, May 6, and again at Historic Fort York on August 4.

Maria Linden of I Break Horses – who open up for M83 at Sound Academy on Sunday – talks to Denver Westword.

The Line Of Best Fit has an acoustic video session with Niki & The Dove recorded for Swedish site PSL while DIY is streaming two of the bonus songs that appears on the deluxe edition of their debut Instinct, out May 14 in the UK and in North America on August 7.

Stream: Niki & The Dove – “Taylor”/”All This Youth”

Spin has premiered the new video from Ane Brun, performing at The Great Hall on May 10.

Video: Ane Brun – “One”

DIY has a video session with First Aid Kit, back in town for a show at The Music Hall on September 26.

Drowned In Sound talks to Jonsi about returning to Sigur Rós after going solo. Valtari is out May 29 and they play Echo Beach on August 1.

Rolling Stone is offering a download of one of the songs Ladyhawke recorded for an All Saints session earlier this year. Her new record Anxiety is due out May 25 and I neglected to post the second video from it when it was released last month; let me rectify that.

MP3: Ladyhawke – “Black White & Blue” (acoustic All Saints version)
Video: Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive”

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Daydreaming

Review of We Are Serenades’ Criminal Heaven and giveaway

Photo by Carl von ArbinCarl von ArbinIf you require an introduction to We Are Serenades – which you probably do – then let it be known that they are the collaborative project of Swedes Adam Olenius, whom you may know as frontman of of Shout Out Louds, and Markus Krunegard, who led an outfit called Laakso. If the latter doesn’t mean that much to you, that’s reasonable as I don’t think they made it overseas at all, and really, Shout Out Louds is really the only reference point you really need for We Are Serenades’ (who were called just “Serenades” until earlier this year) debut Criminal Heaven.

Olenius and Krunegard make a point of singing together across most of the tracks, but Olenius’ faintly Robert Smith-y delivery largely defines the vocals and guest vocals from fellow Shout-er Out Loud Bebban Stenborg, most notably on “Daydreaming”, only serve to make proceedings that much more familiar for fans of the outfit. Musically, it’s more of a stylistic hodge-podge with nods to the electro-, orch-, acoustic-, and power- varietals of pop music but the pastiche largely works in favour of the greater whole. As it’s culled from across a few years of writing and recording sessions during the downtime from their main gigs, it was probably a better idea to simply pull together the strongest selections rather than craft a more cohesive statement. Yeah, it may listen more like a compilation than am album but it’s a good listen and will scratch that certain itch until the next Shout Out Louds record comes along.

We Are Serenades are bringing Criminal Heaven to North America for a Spring tour and will be at The Garrison in Toronto on Monday, May 14. Tickets are $10 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 Serenades” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that in to me before midnight, May 9.

MP3: We Are Serenades – “Birds”
MP3: We Are Serenades – “Oceans”
Video: We Are Serenades – “Birds”
Video: We Are Serenades – “Oceans”
Video: We Are Serenades – “Come Home”
Stream: We Are Serenades / Criminal Heaven

Reunions/hiatus-ends are usually trumpeted with press releases/press conferences so that the whole world knows, but I had no idea The Cardigans were back in action until seeing this interview with Nina Persson at The Guardian. It’s just some Scandinavian (and one Russian and two Japanese) festivals where they’ll be performing all of 1998’s Gran Turismo with no promises of further activity when it’s all done, but the idea of The Cardigans as an active concern, even in limited capacity, makes me happy.

The Quietus talks to Ane Brun; her record It All Starts With One is out tomorrow and she’s in town at The Great Hall on May 10.

A second taste of Sigur Rós’ forthcoming Valtari is available as a streamed BBC radio rip; the album is out May 29 and they play Echo Beach on August 1.

Stream: Sigur Rós – “Varúð”

The Guardian and Irish Times are doing their bit to get people excited about the new Richard Hawley record Standing At The Sky’s Edge, with The Guardian augmenting their feature interview with a stream of the album. It’s out May 7.

Stream: Richard Hawley / Standing At The Sky’s Edge

The Line Of Best Fit offers a precis of an interview with Kevin Shields in the pages of the latest Mojo wherein he offers more concrete information on the alleged new My Bloody Valentine album and EP which could be out before the end of the year. The Loveless, Isn’t Anything, and EP’s 1988-1991 remasters are out May 7.

DIY chats with The Cribs about their new record In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull, out May 15.

Maxïmo Park are streaming the new single from their forthcoming The National Health, out June 11.

Stream: Maxïmo Park – “Hips And Lips”

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with Michael Kiwanuka. He plays The Great Hall on June 19.

The New York Times talks to Dev Hynes about the new, first-person shooter Blood Orange video for “Champagne Coast” from Coastal Grooves.

Video: Blood Orange – “Champagne Coast”

DIY talks to Gerard Love of Lightships.

Magnet Q&As The Twilight Sad as the Scots prepare to take the editorial reins of the magazine’s website this week and fill it with all kinds of doom, gloom, and comic books.

eMusic explores the discography of XTC.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

God Of Loneliness

Emmy The Great gets even more Virtue-ous

Photo By Gabriel BruceGabriel BruceI’m no fan of the deluxe reissue trend – at least not with respect to an album that came out less than a year ago – as it tends to punish the biggest fans, those who would have bought the original issue and most want whatever bonus materials are applied to the reissue. So while I don’t greet the news that Emmy The Great is doing this with last year’s Virtue – one of my faves of 2011 – I at least appreciate that some of the bonus material will be made available separately.

The fancy edition of Virtue will be out on May 7 and include three unreleased songs from the sessions for the album and a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”. One of those songs – “God Of Loneliness” – will also be released that day as a single with the Mazzy Star cover as a b-side so if you don’t want to repurchase Virtue, there’s that option. Though you know those other two tracks will indeed taunt you with their very existence. To also go along with the occasion, they’ve also commissioned four comic strips to go with it all – the first is up at The Line Of Best Fit – and four remixes that are being made available to download for free. And oh, there’s a video/black comedy mini-movie for the single.

MP3: Emmy The Great – “Exit Night” (Banjo or Freakout remix)
Video: Emmy The Great – “God Of Loneliness”

Already out in the UK but now getting a proper North American release is Dry The River’s own debut Shallow Bed. Spinner has an interview with the band and a stream of the album.

MP3: Dry The River – “New Ceremony”
Stream: Dry The River / Shallow Bed

Clock Opera’s debut album Ways To Forget is now streaming in whole at Hype Machine; it’s out April 23 in the UK and The Line Of Best Fit talks to the band about it.

MP3: Clock Opera – “Once And For All”
Stream: Clock Opera / Ways To Forget

Radio Free Canuckistan has posted the complete transcript of the interview with Nick Lowe that went into the Macleans piece; The Star-Tribune also has an interview. Lowe plays The Phoenix on April 23.

The Guardian, Spinner, and NPR talk to Jason Pierce of Spiritualized, whose Sweet Heart Sweet Light is finally out. They’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

Interview talks to Anthony Gonzalez of M83, who’re in town not once but twice this Summer – May 6 for a headlining show at the Sound Academy and August 4 at Historic Fort York co-headlining the HARD festival with Justice.

Pitchfork reports that jj have commissioned a video to go with their latest release jj n° 4, out on May 8.

Video: jj – “Beautiful Life”

Prefix is streaming the whole of We Are Serenades’ debut Criminal Heaven, out now. They’re at The Garrison on May 14.

MP3: We Are Serenades – “Birds”
MP3: We Are Serenades – “Oceans”
Stream: We Are Serenades / Criminal Heaven

Anglo-Basque electro-rock outfit Crystal Fighters have made a date at Wrongbar on May 26 in support of their debut album Star Of Love, out April 24. Examiner.com has an interview with the band.

Video: Crystal Fighters – “Plage”

Hot Chip are streaming a second single from their new record In Our Heads, It’s out June 12 and they’re at the Sound Academy on July 15.

Stream: Hot Chip – “Night & Day”

Blurt talks to Laura Marling, in town for a show at The Phoenix on June 17.

Le Blogotheque has posted a Take-Away Show with Michael Kiwanuka and The Express has an interview. He plays The Great Hall on June 19.

Graham Coxon has released a new video from A+E.

Video: Graham Coxon – “Ooh, Yeh Yeh”

Le Sigh chats with Veronica Falls.

Stereogum has dug up an interview conducted with The Twilight Sad just before the release of their latest, No One Can Ever Know. Better late than never, yeah?

Rolling Stone and examiner.com get a moment of Noel Gallagher’s time.

If you’re one of the unlucky many who haven’t gotten to see Pulp on their reunion tour, here’s the next best thing – a couple of complete, professionally-shot videos of their sets at Reading Festival last Summer and Coachella this past weekend.

Video: Pulp @ Reading Festival – August 27, 2011
Video: Pulp @ Coachella – April 13, 2012

And while we’re at it, here’s Coachella sets from Radiohead and Wild Beasts. Just like being there, but without the heat stroke.

Video: Radiohead @ Coachella – April 14, 2012
Video: Wild Beasts @ Coachella – April 15, 2012