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Posts Tagged ‘Miles Kurosky’

Monday, December 27th, 2010

The World Won't Last The Night

Review of Miles Kurosky’s The Desert Of Shallow Effects

Photo By Brandon ShowersBrandon ShowersThe final week of the year – a time for reminiscences, reflections and regrets. And leading the pack in the regrets department, at least as far as the blog goes, is not giving more attention to Miles Kurosky’s solo debut The Desert Of Shallow Effects, even though Kurosky’s set was a highlight at SxSW. It’s an album that should have gotten a lot more facetime hereabouts, considering I’d been waiting for it for nigh on seven years, ever since Kurosky’s band Beulah called it a day.

Since Kurosky hasn’t really made an effort to distance himself from Beulah’s legacy with his solo work, I probably shouldn’t have to. After all, if Desert had come out under the Beulah marque, no one would have batted an eye. Indeed, no less than four of his former bandmates appear on this record, amongst the 30-plus players who are credited in the liner notes contributing horns, woodwinds and all manner of unconventional percussion instruments in addition to the mandatory guitars, keys and whatnot. Clearly, anyone thinking that a Kurosky solo record would just be him and a guitar has got another thing coming. Even after all the time away, his artistic ambitions remain as loft as ever and Desert is a pretty terrific record of lyrically sharp and sonically dense, yet wholly immediate pop tunes, the likes of which the world hasn’t been graced with since, well, Yoko. It’s a void in the cosmic musical continuum you didn’t know was there until something steps in to fill it; it had best not be another seven years before the next record.

Daytrotter just posted a session with Kurosky.

MP3: Miles Kurosky – “Apple For An Apple”
Video: Miles Kurosky – “The World Won’t Last The Night”
Video: Miles Kurosky – “Dog In The Burning Building”

Robert Pollard talks to Spinner about potential future Guided By Voices projects beyond the final handful of scheduled dates running through next February.

Spin quizzes Conor Oberst about the new Bright Eyes record The People’s Key, due out February 15. They play the Sound Academy on March 13.

The Dumbing Of America interviews Sharon Van Etten.

The New York Daily News checks in with Daniel Roesen of Grizzly Bear.

Woodpigeon, en route to Europe for an extensive tour, have scheduled a stopover in Toronto to play The Tranzac with Sandro Perri on January 12.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Winter Song”

This year’s Hillside Inside festival in Guelph will bring Sarah Harmer and The Rural Alberta Advantage together at the River Run Centre on February 4 – tickets $39.50, on sale now and I’d say this is worth the drive to Guelph. And if you’re already in Guelph, well duh.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”
Video: Sarah Harmer – “Captive”

Daytrotter’s session with Stars is now up for the grabbing.

BBC talks to Will Butler of Arcade Fire.

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Wake Up, Sleepyhead

Azure Ray return from hiatus with album, tour

Photo via Saddle CreekSaddle CreekMany little bits and pieces to get through before I head out to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival, and any randomness in this post was compounded by the fact that I became an uncle for the first time last night. Yay babies.

With seven years past since their last album and numerous solo projects and albums between them in the interim, you’d be forgiven for assuming that Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink had gone their separate ways for good. But their hiatus has turned out to be just that, as Georgia’s Azure Ray is back in action – or at least as much action as can be expected from a band known for languid, hazy pop – and will release their first album since Hold On Love with Drawing Down the Moon on September 14. Exclaim has some details on the record, which was produced by Crooked Fingers’ Eric Bachmann.

They’ve also put together a Fall tour in support – their first in six years or so – and it includes a date at the Horseshoe on November 10 with Tim Fite as support. There’s no samples from the new record as of yet, but odds are they’ll pick up approximately where they left off and not stray too far from their older material.

MP3: Azure Ray – “If You Fall”
MP3: Azure Ray – “Sea Of Doubts”
MP3: Azure Ray – “November”

Amongst other shows announced yesterday – The Airborne Toxic Event will have some fancy digs on their next visit to town, as they’ll be playing Trinity-St. Paul’s on September 13 and they’re bringing a string section along with them. This is insupport of their concert film with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, All I Ever Wanted, which is out September 7.

Video: The Airborne Toxic Event – “Neda”

2007 Mercury Prize winners Klaxons are releasing the follow-up Surfing The Void on August 23 and are coming to North America to support it, including a date at the Mod Club on September 27.

MP3: Klaxons – “Atlantis To Interzone”

I’m not sure if Neon Indian ever became the soundtrack to Summer they seemed tipped to be back in the Winter, but after paying a visit back in the Spring, they’re hitting the road come Fall and the itinerary includes an October 12 date at Lee’s Palace.

MP3: Neon Indian – “Deadbeat Summer”

Irish stars Bell X1 are coming to North America this Fall for an acoustic tour that includes a stop at the Drake Underground on October 12.

MP3: Bell X1 – “How Your Heart Is Wired”

The Vaselines, who are releasing their first new album in forever with Sex With An X on September 14, have slated a North American tour that wraps in Canada, the second-to-last date being at the Horseshoe on October 30.

MP3: The Vaselines – “I Hate The ’80s”
MP3: The Vaselines – “Son Of A Gun”

U2 has rescheduled their canceled Summer 2010 tour for Summer 2011 – the Toronto make-up date will be July 11, again at the Rogers Centre.

Video: U2 – “Cedars Of Lebanon”

Paste reports that R.E.M. have completed work on a new album, and are aiming to have it out in early 2011.

Superchunk have released the MP3 for the first single from Majesty Shredding, out September 14.

MP3: Superchunk – “Digging For Something”

The Village Voice talks to Ted Leo about his retirement plans or lack thereof.

Check out the new video from Miles Kurosky, taken from his album The Desert Of Shallow Effects.

Video: Miles Kurosky – “The Night Won’t Last”

Judging from the new Gayngs video from Relayted, the question is not, “will there be a disco ball when Gayngs play The Phoenix on October 1”, but “how big will it be”.

Video: Gayngs – “The Gaudy Side Of Town”

Each Note Secure has an interview with Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent conducted after $40,000 worth of gear and merch was stolen but before it was all improbably recovered a few days ago. Their tour continues on with the only net casualties being the Toronto and Buffalo dates, and they aim to make those up around the end of the Summer.

The Quietus gets a track-by-track breakdown of the new Autolux album Transit Transit from guitarist Greg Edwards. The record is out August 3 and they play Lee’s Palace on August 24.

eMusic, The Line Of Best Fit and The Music Slut interview School Of Seven Bells about their just-released Disconnect From Desire. They’re at the Mod Club on September 15.

Pitchfork talks to Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce about the decision to play Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space in its entirety before retiring it.

Sky Larkin are giving away an MP3 of the title track from their new record Kaleide. It’s out August 9 but is available to pre-order now with downloads available immediately.

MP3: Sky Larkin – “Kaleide”

Bandstand Busking welcomes The Clientele for a session. Their Minotaur mini-album – eight tracks is too many to just call it an EP – is out August 31.

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The Big To-Do

Drive-By Truckers and Langhorne Slim at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe word around The Big To-Do – the latest album from Drive-By Truckers – is that it’s the band’s best since their generally-acknowledged high-water mark, Southern Rock Opera. I have trouble subscribing to this because in my mind, that double-album opus is head, shoulders and torso above anything else the band has done not just because it kicks ass, but because of the ambition, concept and scope behind it, and the Truckers have had the good sense to not even try to top it on its terms. It simply stands alone.

But it is true that The Big To-Do deserves to be celebrated as the Truckers’ most solid effort in a while. It achieves that distinction largely by being the most up and consistently rocking of their records in recent memory, but particularly when compared to 2008’s Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. That record was the sound of the band finding its feet after the departure of one third of their songwriters in Jason Isbell, and having found steady footing (and another guitarist in John Neff and a capable singer/songwriter in bassist Shonna Tucker), The Big To-Do has them again moving forward, pedal to the metal.

That trajectory brought the band to Toronto for the better part of this week for two nights at Lee’s Palace (as well as an in-store performance). My general philosophy towards multi-night stands is that given the choices, the closing show is the one to hit and so it was that I piled into the hot and sweaty room with hundreds of other rowdy Truckers fans – is there any other kind? – this past Wednesday night. Pennsylvania’s Langhorne Slim was tapped to open both nights and was exceptional in the warm-up role, leading his band through a set of energetic country-blues that offered both solid tunes and exceptional showmanship and striking the right balance between acting out and staying cool.

Just to get it out of the way, there is no such thing as a bad Drive-By Trucker show. Road warriors and rock monsters both, I think it’s physically impossible for them to not give their all every time they set foot on a stage. That said, not all evenings are equal and as good as this show was, it didn’t quite measure up to the last couple times I’d seen them – their Rock’N’Roll Means Well tour with The Hold Steady in November 2008 made for a uniquely epic double bill, but it was their October 2006 show at the Phoenix that set the standard for what a Truckers show should be, clocking in at two and a half hours of reckless abandon and with Isbell still in the band.

This time out they leaned even heavier on the new material than I’d expected with 11 of The Big To-Do‘s 14 tracks showcased and the Isbell era – which includes most of my favourite Truckers tunes – completely ignored save for two numbers from Decoration Day. I’d also go so far as to say that they didn’t quite get up to the same musical velocity that I’d seen them achieve before, instead settling into a slightly lower cruising altitude than expected for the two-plus hours.

Even so, as I said earlier, there’s no such thing as a bad Truckers show and this wasn’t anything like a bad Truckers show. I’d never expected to see them in such cozy quarters again, and that extra degree of intimacy ensured that regardless of anything else, it would be a memorable show. The two-night engagement allowed the band to make themselves at home a little bit more than they normally would, with the stage decked out in their signature Wes Freed artwork including a giant marching band bass drum with “Drive-By Truckers” emblazoned across it behind Brad Morgan’s drum kit. There was plenty of sweat and guitar solos, and both Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley were in fine voice throughout, though only half of Tucker’s leads sounded great; “Home Field Advantage” didn’t work out too well thanks to either forgotten lyrics, a poor mix or some combination thereof. They capped things off with a raging cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World”, being maybe the only band today who can still play that song and elicit fist pumps rather than eye rolls. No, it wasn’t the longest or most intense Truckers show I’d ever seen, but it was still a hell of a thing. Let there be rock.

Photos: Drive-By Truckers, Langhorne Slim @ Lee’s Palace – April 7, 2010
MP3: Drive-By Truckers – “This Fucking Job”
MP3: Drive-By Truckers – “Birthday Boy”
MP3: Drive-By Truckers – “Zip City”
MP3: Langhorne Slim – “I Love You But Goodbye”
Video: Drive-By Truckers – “Never Gonna Change”
Video: Langhorne Slim – “Be Set Free”
Video: Langhorne Slim – “Restless”
Video: Langhorne Slim – “In The Midnight”
Video: Langhorne Slim – “Rebel Side Of Heaven”
MySpace: Drive-By Truckers
MySpace: Langhorne Slim

Seattle Weekly talks to Britt Daniel of Spoon.

Aversion and eye have interviews and MPR a session with Titus Andronicus, in town to do some damage to Sneaky Dee’s tonight.

Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan talks to Spinner about the band’s first new album in almost a decade, due out sometime this year.

Philadelphia Weekly interviews Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, in town on Sunday for a 4PM 3PM in-store at Sunrise records and a show at the Phoenix later that evening. Note that there are no openers so BRMC go on at 8PM sharp.

PopMatters has a feature on The Antlers, in town opening up for The National at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

MPR is streaming a session with Beach House, while The San Jose Mercury News has an interview; they play the Toronto Island Concert on June 19.

Pitchfork has details on the forthcoming Mates Of State covers record Crushes (The Covers Mixtape), due out this Summer – head over to their website to download their version of Girls’ “Laura”.

Spinner gets a look at Phantogram’s secret subterranean headquarters.

Aquarium Drunkard is sharing the audio of a session with Miles Kurosky.

Under The Radar gets to know John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

MOG chats with Broken Bells’ James Mercer. They’ll be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 2.

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Gather, Form & Fly

Megafaun and Sharon Van Etten at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAnd to think, I almost stayed home to watch The Pacific. What can I say? Some nights I’m just lazy. But thankfully, I managed to haul my ass out of the apartment on Monday night to head down to the Horseshoe for what would turn out to be a pretty special show from Megafaun and Sharon Van Etten.

It was Van Etten who was the main draw for me – her 2009 debut Because I Was In Love is more beguiling with every listen and my first attempt to see her live at SxSW wasn’t satisfactory thanks to an overly chatty crowd and uncooperative guitar amp. Background chatter wasn’t an issue on this night, though, as the crowd at the ‘Shoe was decidedly sparse when Van Etten took the stage armed only with her Gibson ES-135, her songs and her voice.

And oh, what a voice. So powerful and yet so fragile, overtop her fingerpicked guitarwork and wrapped around her sad songs, it pulled everyone in the house – hell, it probably pulled bystanders in off the street – closer and closer, until most were seated on the floor around the stage, enraptured. They’d have had to be under the influence of something to be willing to sit on the Horseshoe floor – have you ever seen that thing under house lights? But kidding aside, Van Etten’s set – her last of this short tour and for the next while as she works on her second album – was a stunner, including both songs from Love and new material, capped off with a finale of “Tornado”, backed up be Megafaun. And as perfectly suited as her material is to solo performance – sadness is a solitary thing, after all – it sounded as good if not better with a band behind it.

Said band also sounded pretty good on their own, as it turned out. I wasn’t especially familiar with Megafaun coming into the night – I think I’d spun their latest album Gather, Form & Fly once or twice – but went in with an open mind and proceeded to have it blown, just a little. As befit their North Carolina roots, the impressively-bearded trio – two brothers and their drummer – crafted folk-rock with a distinctively southern drawl, but beneath that genial, harmony-laden surface there was so much more going on. There was jazz virtuosity in their musicianship, proggish ambitions in the frequently twisty song structures and a jam band’s delight in simply playing. That delight was shared in full by the small but devoted audience, and that gave the show less the feel of a concert than an intimate get-together of friends. Nowhere was this more evident than the encore, which Megafaun seemed almost embarrassed to be taking – climbing down off the stage and playing three more songs amongst their fans. All throughout the night, the band emphasized how much they were enjoying the evening and how exceptionally special this show was. For some acts, this is boilerplate stage banter but it was obvious from the looks on their faces and the hugs exchanged with fans afterwards, that they meant every word and every note. Just marvelous.

The Concordian talks to Megafaun’s Phil Cook and Daytrotter has posted a session with the band. Their North American tour continues through the end of April – do see them if you can. They’re also releasing a new mini-album entitled Heretofore later this Summer – info at Pitchfork.

Photos: Megafaun, Sharon Van Etten @ The Horseshoe – April 5, 2010
MP3: Megafaun – “Volunteers”
MP3: Megafaun – “The Fade”
MP3: Megafaun – “Kaufman’s Ballad”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Consolation Prize”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”
Video: Megafaun – “Impressions Of The Past”
Video: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MySpace: Megafaun
MySpace: Sharon Van Etten

The Boston Globe, Nashville Scene, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Interview sits down with Midlake, who will be a the Mod Club on May 21.

Delusions Of Adequacy talk to Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Wilco’s epic three-hour set in Montclair, New Jersey from last weekend. The band just announced they will curate their own festival – the Solid Sound Festival – from August 13 to 15 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams Massachusetts, which if you were wondering is at the border of Mass and New York, about 7 hours from Toronto. The bill will feature Wilco, natch, and most/all of their spin-off acts and other artists to be announced later.

Rawkblog, SF Weekly and CMJ have interviews with Miles Kurosky while The Bay Bridged gets Kurosky back together with some of his Beulah bandmates to play songs from his solo record The Desert Of Shallow Effects, which are available to download.

MP3: Miles Kurosky – “The World Won’t Last The Night” (live at The Bay Bridged)
MP3: Miles Kurosky – “Dead Language Blues” (live at The Bay Bridged)

NOW talks to Liz Powell of Land Of Talk about losing and finding her voice. They’re at Lee’s Palace tonight and their new record is targeted for an August release.

Filter gets to know Mumford & Sons.

For Folks Sake and The New York Times talk to Laura Marling, while La Blogotheque is offering a live track for download. Her new album I Speak Because I Can gets a North American release as of this week.

Hurricane Bells – the new project from Longwave frontman Steve Schlitz – will be at the El Mocambo on May 19. Their debut album, Tonight Is The Ghost, is due out next week.

Video: Hurricane Bells – “This Year”
Video: Hurricane Bells – “Monsters”

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel, who impressed whilst opening for Laura Marling back in February, has a date scheduled for the Drake Underground on May 30. His new record In Memory Of Loss is out April 27.

MP3: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel – “Early Spring Till”

Delta Spirit and Ezra Furman & The Harpoons will be at the Mod Club on June 26. Paste has details on Delta Spirit’s new record, History From Below, due out June 8.

MP3: Delta Spirit – “People C’Mon”
MP3: Ezra Furman & The Harpoons – “Take Off Your Sunglasses”

Fresh off their sold-out gig opening for Miike Snow at The Phoenix, Delorean will be back in town at Wrongbar on July 14.

Monday, March 29th, 2010

SxSW 2010 Day One A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFull writeup of the day over here.

Basia Bulat
– Toronto-based singer-songwriter released her sophomore album Heart Of My Own back in January. Prefix has an interview, she recorded a Camera Music video session for aux.tv and she plays the Phoenix on June 4.
Photos: Basia Bulat @ The Galaxy Room – March 17, 2010
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Go On”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Snakes & Ladders”
Video: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MySpace: Basia Bulat

A Sunny Day In Glasgow
– Philadelphian dreampop sextet currently touring behind last year’s Ashes Grammar and this year’s companion Nighttime Rainbows EP will stop in at the Garrison on Friday, April 2.
Photos: A Sunny Day In Glasgow @ Emo’s Annex – March 17, 2010
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Sigh Inhibitionist”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Ashes Grammar/Ashes Math”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Best Summer Ever”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)”
Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “A Mundane Phone Call To Jack Parsons”
Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “So Bloody Tight”
MySpace: A Sunny Day In Glasgow

Yukon Blonde
– Classic rockily-inclined Vancouver outfit released their self-titled debut in February. Spinner has a chat and Souther Souls a session. They’ll be at The Garrison on April 23.
Photos: Yukon Blonde @ The Mohawk Patio – March 17, 2010
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Wind Blows”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Rather Be With You”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Blood Cops”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Streets”
MySpace: Yukon Blonde

Anni Rossi
Spinner talks to the Chicago Viola prodigy, who released her full-length debut Rockwell last year
Photos: Anni Rossi @ The Mohawk – March 17, 2010
MP3: Anni Rossi – “Ecology”
MP3: Anni Rossi – “Wheelpusher”
Video: Anni Rossi – “The West Coast”
MySpace: Anni Rossi

The Depreciation Guild
– Brooklyn 8-bit dream-pop trio will release their new record Spirit Youth on May 18. Currently on tour with Serena-Maneesh, they will be at the Great Hall on April 2.
Photos: The Depreciation Guild @ Peckerheads – March 17, 2010
MP3: The Depreciation Guild – “Dream About Me”
Video: The Depreciation Guild – “Dream About Me”
Video: The Depreciation Guild – “Nautilus”
MySpace: The Depreciation Guild

Miles Kurosky
– Former Beulah leader just released his long-awatited solo debut The Desert Of Shallow Effects. New York Press, The New Haven Register and The AV Club have interviews.
Photos: Miles Kurosky @ Red-Eyed Fly – March 17, 2010
MP3: Miles Kurosky – “Apple For An Apple”
Video: Miles Kurosky – “Dog In The Burning Building”
MySpace: Miles Kurosky

Frightened Rabbit
– Scots released their third album The Winter Of Mixed Drinks earlier this month. STV and eMusic talk to Scott Hutchinson, who lists the reasons “Why I Wish I Could Be A Professional Rapper” for Clash. They play the Opera House on May 4.
Photos: Frightened Rabbit @ The Galaxy Room – March 17, 2010
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “The Modern Leper”
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Head Rolls Off”
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Old Old Fashioned” (live)
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You” (alternate version)
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Heads Roll Off”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “The Greys”