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Posts Tagged ‘Mirah’

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Canadian Musicfest Day Three

Janelle Monáe, Shad, Bombay Bicycle Club and more at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor as many years as I’ve been attending and covering Canadian Music Week and/or Canadian Musicfest, which is now quite a few, I’ve never hit up what is ostensibly it’s big gala show, the Independent Music Awards or, more unfortunately, the INDIES. Usually this was because the lineup of performers wasn’t as interesting as hitting up the clubs and because the awards themselves, being fan-voted, seemed odd and arbitrary. But this year, the combination of a weaker-than-normal Saturday night schedule and a very appealing one-two finale of Janelle Monáe and Shad convinced me that the ballroom at the Royal York hotel was the place to finish the festival off.

Due to some logistics and the fact that their sets were maybe ten minutes long, I missed the first couple performers but arrived in time to see London’s Bombay Bicycle Club, who despite being only moderately successful back home were treated as nigh on royalty over here across their several festival appearances. And it’s not that they’re unlikeable – they ply a sort of scrappy but earnest Brit-rock that’s thankfully not of the snotty post-Libertines/Arctic Monkeys variety, but isn’t especially memorable, either. Though from the cheers that met them and the stories that I’ve heard from the rabid fans at their other shows, I’m in the minority with that opinion, and that’s fine. The Brit-kids need their fix and this week, Bombay Bicycle Club was it.

The National Post and Spinner have chats with the band.

Photos: Bombay Bicycle Club @ The Fairmont Royal York – March 12, 2011
Video: Bombay Bicycle Club – “My God”
Video: Bombay Bicycle Club – “Always Like This”
Video: Bombay Bicycle Club – “Evening/Morning”
Video: Bombay Bicycle Club – “Dust On The Ground”
Video: Bombay Bicycle Club – “Magnet”

Similar can be said for the next act, Ottawa-area natives Hollerado. There’s no doubt the band has earned all the success they’ve achieved so far, what with touring constantly, giving away their album Record In A Bag for free (grab it off their website), making creative videos and generally working their asses off – but while I find their collegiate riff-rock material decent enough from a melodic/catchiness perspective, it just doesn’t come off as all that interesting to me. But even so, they do put on an entertaining show and elicit a tremendous response from their fanbase who were out on this evening in force and by way of saying hello and thanks for their support, frontman Menno Versteeg lept into the crowd for their set’s finale.

The National Post has a Q&A with Versteeg.

Photos: Hollerado @ The Fairmont Royal York – March 12, 2011
MP3: Hollerado – “Juliette”
MP3: Hollerado – “Fake Drugs”
MP3: Hollerado – “Americanarama”
Video: Hollerado – “Juliette”
Video: Hollerado – “Americanarama”

At this point, I’ll talk a bit about the awards themselves which were kind of fascinating to behold. First, there was a disconnect between the performers and the nominees in that half of the former had nothing to do with the awards being given out, they were just there to play a show and accordingly, much of the audience seemed indifferent to the ceremonies being held on the side stage. And since the Indies don’t really rate as a major award, many/most of the winners didn’t show up or send a representative, resulting in a stretch where a bunch of ostensibly big winners were announced in rapid fire succession with the audience cheering a name and an image on the video screen for a second or two. Just odd.

But back to the show. Even though Shad was himself an Indie winner (for Favourite Urban Artist), his set seemed less a part of the awards show and more the start of a separate event altogether, where he was the warm up, Janelle Monáe the headliner and that was it. Now I have never seen Shad in the context of his own headlining show – festivals, in-stores and awards ceremonies yes, and now as support, but his own show? Not yet. But considering that none of the above are what you’d call ideal circumstances for a performer, that he’s been fantastic in every one makes me think that there’s no way Shad ever puts on a bad show. Goodness knows he didn’t on this evening, with a compact but totally entertaining set drawing from his two Polaris shortlisted records TSOL and The Old Prince while backed by a DJ and bassist/keyboardist while he delivered smart, snappy rhymes overtop. He might be a perpetual Polaris bridesmaid, at least so far, but there’s no denying he’s one of if not the top hip-hop artist in the country right now.

eye and The National Post have feature pieces on Shad.

Photos: Shad @ The Fairmont Royal York – March 12, 2011
MP3: Shad – “Rose Garden”
MP3: Shad – “Yaa I Get It”
Video: Shad – “Keep Shining”
Video: Shad – “We Myself & I”
Video: Shad – “Rose Garden”
Video: Shad – “Yaa I Get It”
Video: Shad – “The Old Prince Still Lives At Home”
Video: Shad – “I Don’t Really Like To”
Video: Shad – “Brother (Watching)”

Ultimately, though, the night was about Janelle Monáe. If you were able to exact spot where the best of R&B, soul, funk, rock, pop, singer, songwriter, dancer and out-and-out visionary artistry intersected, it would be in the shape of a tiny pompadoured woman in a tuxedo. Though only on the scene for a few years, her live shows are already legendary spectacles, and not in the all flash no substance way of many pop stars, but in the jaw-dropping musicianship and entertainer sense. Toronto got their first taste of Monáe last Summer when she opened up for Arcade Fire on the Islands, and while for many she nearly stole the show, it was still very much not her audience.

This evening, however, it was and though some might have wished that she’d played a normal show unattached to any awards or festivals, she still delivered a full-length set that bore out her reputation as one of the most electrifying performers going today. Using the futuristic concepts laid out in her ArchAndroid album as a framing device, she and her ridiculously tight band put on a dazzling hour-long show replete with costume changes, extraordinary dancing and just great songs that refuse to be pigeonholed into any specific genre. And unlike the Island show, which curiously put show-stoppers “Cold War” and “Tightrope” mid-set, this time they saved them for a perfect one-two punch finale, and yet still managed to top it with an extended “Come Alive (War of the Roses)” where the stage was first invaded by dancers cast as androids and then the audience was invaded by Monáe, who went for a venue-spanning crowd surf. Awards? What awards? All I know is that Janelle Monáe won. At everything.

Spinner has a wrap up of the entire night, start to finish.

Photos: Janelle Monáe @ The Fairmont Royal York – March 12, 2011
Video: Janelle Monáe – “Cold War”
Video: Janelle Monáe – “Tightrope”
Video: Janelle Monáe – “Many Moons”

Spinner talks to TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone about their new record Nine Types Of Light, due out April 12. They’ll be at the Sound Academy on April 18 but Pitchfork reports that bassist/keyboardist Gerard Smith won’t be joining them on the road as he’s being treated for lung cancer – best wishes to Smith for a speedy recovery.

Spin and Interview have feature pieces on The Kills, who’ve made a track from their new record Blood Pressures available to download. It’s out April 5 and they play The Sound Academy on May 1.

MP3: The Kills – “DNA”

A week before its release, The Strokes have posted their new record Angles on their website for all to stream, and you can follow along with the song-by-song commentary Julian Casablancas has give to NME.

Stream: The Strokes / Angles

Drive-By Truckers will bring their new record Go Go Boots to The Phoenix on June 15, tickets $29.50 in advance. The Georgia Straight chats with guitarist Mike Cooley.

MP3: Drive-By Truckers – “Used To Be A Cop”

A couple of ladies for whom one name is enough – Thao & Mirah – have teamed up for an album they’ve called Thao & Mirah and will be in town for a show at Lee’s Palace on June 5. That’s just short of a year after their last visit was cancelled on account of a little incident we locals like to call the G20 clusterfuck.

MP3: Thao & Mirah – “Eleven [featuring tUnE-yaRds]”

NXNE is still a ways off but some of the performers at this year’s fest are getting out – the Thursday night, June 16, will find Deerhoof and The Dodos at The Phoenix. Both acts have new records out, Deerhoof Vs Evil and No Color, respectively. Paste talks to The Dodos about their new record.

MP3: Deerhoof – “The Merry Barracks”
MP3: The Dodos – “Don’t Stop”

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

I Could Be Dreaming

Belle & Sebastian announce North American tour, return to Massey Hall

Photo By Reuben CoxReuben CoxI’d have gone to see them at the Sound Academy, where they last played in February 2006, even though they swore never to return there. I’d have gone to see them again at the Kool Haus, where they made their first Toronto appearance in May 2002, finally making good on their cancelled debut at the Opera House way back in 1998. I’d have even gone to see them at an Arrow Hall filled with angry hornets. But Belle & Sebastian are finally returning to play the only room in the city where they belong – Massey Hall, site of their glorious beyond words show in October 2003.

Yes, the North American tour hinted at just last week has been announced, and it contains an October 12 date at the Grand Old Lady of Shuter Street, and noting the day off between that show and Washington DC and the fact that they sold out the larger Docks in a heartbeat last time, perhaps a two-fer could be in the offing? Plausible, but let’s not get greedy – most markets on the continent aren’t even getting one show, though considering their last news update implied these shows were being squeezed in between other commitments, you have to think that a proper tour in support of their new record is still to come.

Said record, their first since 2006’s The Life Pursuit is still in the mixing stages, and is without title or release date but Fall of this year – say September-ish – seems reasonable. Either way, speculation will become fact soon enough but all that really matters right now is Belle & Sebastian are coming to town and another sunny day just got a little brighter.

MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Funny Little Frog”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Another Sunny Day”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Take Your Carriage Clock And Shove It”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Storytelling”

eMusic and The Edinburgh Evening News talks to Norman Blake and California Chronicle to Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub about their new album Shadows, which is out next week. It’s kind of impossible to look at the fact that the Fannies are supposed to tour North America this Fall and are already teaming up with Belle & Sebastian for at least one show in Brooklyn and not hope that they’ll be supporting the Massey show. Such a bill would surely make more than one pop afficianado’s heart melt and head explode…

And because it apparently remains impossible for Isobel Campbell to fully escape the shadow of her former bandmates, it was announced today in the NME that a third album with Mark Langean, entitled Hawk, would be coming out on August 16.

Modern English, whom you may remember from the song below or perhaps the Burger King commercial that utilized said song, are back – or maybe they never went away but were just very quiet for a while – and will be at Lee’s Palace on July 15.

Video: Modern English – “I Melt With You”

Sleigh Bells – whose just-released, sugar-high/sugar-headache inducing debut Treats looks like it’s going to be one of the jams of the Summer, has set a date at the Phoenix on July 20 with Die Antwood as support. ABC News has a feature on the band.

Dirty Projectors are hitting the road this Fall and their itinerary includes a date at the Opera House on September 15.

MP3: Dirty Projectors – “Stillness Is The Move”

Elle is offering a download of She & Him covering Rick Nelson for Levi’s Pioneer Sessions while The Bay Area Tribune talks to Matt Ward. They’re at the Sound academy next Wednesday night, June 9.

MP3: She & Him – “Fools Rush In”

Anyone wondering what it’s going to sound like when Thao and Mirah team up on tour as Thao and Mirah With The Most of All starting next week should check out this video session at Yours Truly, where the pair tackle one of Thao’s new songs. The tour hits the Horseshoe on June 26; These United States will support.

MP3: These United States – “I Want You To Keep Everything”

The AV Club interviews James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.

Spoon’s Britt Daniel hijacks the Matablog to big up Ted Leo and make their new single “Bottled In Cork” available as a download, complete with demo version. Spoon is at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 7, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists are at Lee’s Palace on June 26.

ZIP: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists / Bottled In Cork

Jonsi talks to MusicOmh and gives The Guardian a list of the music he grew up with, including Sloan’s Smeared.

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Set The Sails

Dan Mangan and Aidan Knight at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangDan Mangan has come through town a few times since his show at the Rivoli last October, but for my purposes that show and the one this past Thursday night at the Horseshoe make for very good comparison points. At that show, I noted he seemed “on the cusp of bigger things” and while the ‘Shoe is physically bigger than the Rivoli by a fair margin, selling it out as fully as Mangan did also represents a sort of watershed moment for a Canadian artist. Dan Mangan isn’t just rising; he’s risen.

And along for the ride (and this tour) was Victoria’s Aidan Knight, who himself has been getting some attention for his debut mini-album Versicolour… though not from me. Though I knew I had a copy, I hadn’t gotten around to checking it out before the show and so basically went into his opening set cold. What I found was an artist possessed of a voice that was simultaneously wearily aged yet earnestly youthful and with a timbre not unlike Tony Dekker’s and armed with a brace of songs whose tones ranged from quirky to weighty. Decent stuff made more entertaining thanks to Knight’s charmingly awkward stage presence and band arrangements that were more intricate and interesting than they probably needed to be. And I did finally give Versicolour a listen afterwards, and must say it’s a much more impressive document of Knight’s abilities than his live set was – well-crafted, musically ambitious and with just the right amount of downbeat mood, it definitely marks Knight as a talent to keep an eye on.

Which, really, is what people were probably saying about Dan Mangan a year or so ago, when his Roboteering EP was released and foreshadowed what was to come later last Summer with his second full-length Nice, Nice, Very Nice. And as much as credit must be given to that record for being excellent and one of my favourites of last year, I think it’s largely Mangan’s work ethic and relentless cross-country touring that was responsible for packing the Horseshoe on this night – the vibe in the room wasn’t so much of fans seeing a favourite performer but of friends visiting with one another, and that sort of rapport is really only built in the live setting.

Nowhere was this more clearly evident than early in the set for “The Indie Queens Are Waiting” – whereas at the Rivoli show, Mangan had a female band member cover Veda Hille’s vocals on the studio version, this time Mangan’s crew were all men so it seemed he was prepared to let the responses to his calls go unmade. The audience, however, would have none of it and quietly and chorally filled in that space, in particular one girl standing just behind me who nearly nailed Hille’s timbre and phrasing. Also unlike the Rivoli show, this time out Mangan had a full-time drummer behind him, giving the set a bit more meat and propulsion than in October but the overall pacing was kept at a fairly even keel and interspersed with corny jokes and anecdotes, such that the evening had less the feel of a performance than a friendly conversation. And for the quality of his songwriting and records, it’s that resonance and relatability that may be Mangan’s greatest talents – you can go far by just making great music, but there are some heights that can only be reached if you’re lifted up on the shoulders of your fans.

BlogTO, The Globe & Mail and Music Vice also have reviews of the show (though the Globe piece is really more of an extended, “I don’t get it”) while NOW and The Toronto Star chime in with feature pieces on Mangan.

Photos: Dan Mangan, Aidan Knight @ The Horseshoe – April 22, 2010
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Robots”
MP3: Dan Mangan with Shane Koyzcan – “Tragic Turn Of Events/Move Pen Move”
MP3: Aidan Knight – “Jasper”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Robots”
Video: Dan Mangan – “The Indie Queens Are Waiting”
Video: Aidan Knight – “Jasper”
Stream: Dan Mangan / Roboteering
Stream: Dan Mangan / Nice, Nice, Very Nice
MySpace: Dan Mangan
MySpace: Aidan Knight

Pitchfork talks to Caribou’s Dan Snaith; they play The Phoenix on May 3.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Owen Pallett’s show in New York last week. Dallas Voice also has an interview.

Under The Radar talks to Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine.

Fresh off announcing the release date of her new record – June 29 – M.I.A. has released the first decidedly NSFW video and leaked the corresponding MP3 from the record herself. Clearly, motherhood has mellowed her out. Yeah, right. Update: YouTube has moved the video behind the adults-only curtain. Kids of all ages can watch it and it’s ultra-violence at her website, though.

MP3: M.I.A. – “Born Free”
Video: M.I.A. – “Born Free”

The Hot Chip/xx show from Washington DC this past weekend is now available to stream at NPR, and if you want some visuals to go with the audio, check out the photos over at Photokyle. There’s also a Hot Chip feature at The Independent.

Slow Club are giving away a free EP – head over here and swap your email for their Let’s Fall Back In Love EP.

Idlewild have chosen to call it a day – I guess that rumoured North American tour for the Fall isn’t happening.

An Horse have released a new video from Rearrange Beds. They play the Garrison tonight.

Video: An Horse – “Postcards”

MBV Music reports that the long-awaited new Versus album – their first in ten years – has a title of On The Ones And Threes and will be out this August on Merge and Teenbeat.

It seems I jumped the gun a bit on announcing that Mirah show at the Horseshoe last week. Not because the show’s not happening – it is, on June 26 – but because it’s part of a massive co-headline tour with Thao with The Get Down Stay Down. I can’t speak for the live Mirah experience – or the recorded one, really – but Thao live is terrific. I suspect this show – and tour – is wholly worth your time.

MP3: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Know Better Learn Faster”

Billboard has an extensive feature piece on The National, whose High Violet is just a fortnight from release and who are at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

PitchforkTV has a video session with The Antlers; they open up both of those National shows at Massey Hall.

NPR interviews Midlake. They play the Mod Club on May 22.

The Georgia Straight and Tuscon Weekly talk to Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Band Of Horses’ Creighton Barrett. Infinite Arms is out May 18 and they play Toronto Islands on June 19.

Crooked Fingers has taken to Kickstarter to solicit financing for a most worthy of projects – a follow-up to their 2002 covers EP Reservoir Songs. Pledges can be for as little as $1, but starting at the $6 point you’re entitled to a download of the finished product, while $15 or $25 gets you a limited-edition LP and if you get into the four-figure territory, you can get to pick a song for them to cover or have them come to your living room to perform. For serious. They’re targeting an early Summer release for the EP and a new Crooked Fingers full-length before the year is out.

Seeing as how they initially reported on its existence, it seems fitting that Torontoist have an update of sorts on the Imagine Concert, which is still supposed to usher in a new Age of Aquarius (aren’t we already in one?) emanating from Downsview Park in Toronto starting the weekend of July 10 and 11. It seems the city still hasn’t signed off, never mind provincial or federal authorities and the promoter is tilting at windmills and trying to pay artists fees with peace and love. I also apparently gave them too much credit in assuming they’d secured The Flaming Lips as part of the “Pink Floyd tribute” portion of the show as updated touring itineraries show the Lips as being at Ottawa Bluesfest on the 10th and in Louisville, Kentucky on the 11th. That does, however, leave two days open between Montreal on the 7th and Ottawa on the 10th where the Lips could conceivably make their first Toronto appearance in three and a half years. Presumably at a show that would pay them in actual money, and not just good vibes. Now don’t get me wrong – I still hope this thing happens and that it’s wonderful or at least interesting (in a good way or a train wreck way, whichever) – but it doesn’t look too good right now.

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Round And Round

Ariel Pink to spread Haunted Graffiti all over North America

Photo via 4AD4ADWhat do you get when you combine a slowish news day with the last post of the week and a compulsive inability to take a day off? A post led with stuff I don’t really know anything about! Yay!

Specifically, Californian outfit Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, whom I understand are both credited and blamed for what the kids are now calling “chillwave”. I don’t know what that is, particularly, but what I’ve heard of Mr. Pink is about half interesting trippy pop and about half aimless meandering; “Round & Round”, the first promo track from 4AD debut Before Today, due out June 8, is much more the former – if it sets the tone for the album, I’d certainly be interested in hearing more. That release will be followed by a North American tour that will bring them and tourmates The Magic Kids and Pearl Harbour to the Mod Club on July 22; tickets are $15 and go on sale Saturday.

MP3: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Round & Round”
Video: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Video Demo 2010”

When incredibly prolific bands suddenly go silent, it’s rarely good news but Pitchfork has confirmed what many of us suspected – Voxtrot is calling it quits. One more short US tour and that’s all she wrote; thanks guys, it was a good run.

The Pacific Northwest Inlander talks to Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater, who are currently on a western tour and need some pants.

MusicOmh has an interview with Spoon bassist Rob Pope.

Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard tells MTV that their next album is on track for an early 2011 release.

Tea Party Boston – no relation to the dumbass tea parties – interviews Hutch Harris of The Thermals. Their new record, tentatively entitled Personal Life, is set for a September 7 release.

Marah hit the Horseshoe on May 29; their new record Life Is A Problem arrives June 22 – sample some of it at Soundcloud.

Mirah is at the Horseshoe on June 26.

MP3: Mirah – “Don’t Die In Me”

Under The Radar reports that Dark Night Of The Soul, the album and project from Danger Mouse, the late Mark Linkous and David Lynch, will get an official release on July 13.

The Depreciation Guild’s new album Spirit Youth isn’t out until May 18, but you can stream it now over at Spinner.

Stream: The Depreciation Guild / Spirit Youth

It’s dueling tour diaries as Phantogram and The Antlers both prepare to take notes of their upcoming west coast tour together for Spinner. The Antlers will hook up with The National before coming back to Toronto for two nights at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

The Guardian talks to that The National’s Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner, Hit Fix to Dessner alone, while The New York Times has both a massive feature on the band and a stream of their new record High Violet, well in advance of its May 11 release.

Stream: The National / High Violet

Great Lake Swimmers have released a new video from Lost Channels and have added a number of live dates through the Spring and Summer. That includes two unusual hometown shows: a May 1 performance at the Legion Hall at King and Niagara to tie in with their new Legion Sessions release, and another at the Hot House Cafe on May 3 as part of the Panty Schmooze benefit for women’s shelters.

Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “Stealing Tomorrow”

Also one to file under “unconventional locales”, on May 28 the Toronto Reference Library will host a free show with Fucked Up and $100, intended “for kids and families and punks and book nerds”no tickets, just show up.

MP3: Fucked Up – “No Epiphany”

JAM talks to Caribou’s Dan Snaith; they play The Phoenix on May 3.

SF Station has an interview with Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff about their new record Forgiveness Rock Record, coming out May 4. They play the Toronto Islands on June 19.

Mines Advisory Group (MAG) is a global charity dedicated to the elimination of land mines, and to that end have started up monthly newsletter called the Plug Five Project wherein bands and bloggers submit lists of new music they’re digging – in packs of five – and they’re delivered to your inbox. The first issue comes out next week and will feature recommendations from folks like John Vanderslice, Wavves, The Tallest Man On Earth, Gorilla Vs Bear, Largehearted Boy and, um, me. A subscription is available for a one-time fee of $2 (or 2 quid in the UK) and does directly to MAG’s work of clearing land mines.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Milk And Honey

Review of Wye Oak's The Knot

Photo By Dan StackDan StackI quite literally swooned when I first heard Baltimore duo Wye Oak via “Warning”, the first promo MP3 from their debut album If Children in January 2008 – for a completely unknown band to hit all the right buttons for me at first listen was a pretty remarkable thing. And yet the album itself failed to build on that excitement for no one particular reason.

Best I can reason is that while the ingredients of their sound – plaintive country-folking hurt mixed with crashing, ‘gazey guitars and droning synth tones, topped with Jenn Wasser’s aching vocals – seem tailor-made to trigger my endorphin receptors, the record seemed too hesitant to really connect. It was like the band felt like a couple of kids suddenly invited to the grown-up’s table, and were a bit overwhelmed by it all. Which, for a pair of musicians barely into their twenties suddenly signed to one of America’s top independent labels, they essentially were.

And so when I heard “Take It In”, the achingly gorgeous promo MP3 from their second album and again swooned, I wasn’t sure whether that would carry over to The Knot, out this week, as a whole. Short answer – it does, and quite heartily. The Knot is a much bigger album than its predecessor. Sonically, the louds are much louder, the quiets much quieter and the textures richer and more varied – and emotionally, the highs more ecstatic and the lows more despairing. The reluctance that permeated If Children has largely been replaced with a greater confidence, and while it may be true that The Knot still drifts in points towards the monochromatic, there’s no question that it marks a big step forward for the band and begins to deliver on their immense promise. Wye Oak are at the grown-ups table because they belong there.

The Baltimore Sun has a feature piece on the band. There’s no local date at the moment but their tour itinerary takes them through the US, across to Europe and back again in the Fall. I saw them >at SxSW last year and while they don’t have immense onstage charisma, it’s amazing to watch Andy Stack work both the drums and keyboards simultaneously. I recommend catching them if they’re in your neck of the woods.

MP3: Wye Oak – “Take It In”
Stream: Wye Oak / The Knot
MySpace: Wye Oak

Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, who probably quite sensibly records simply as Mirah, will be at the Mod Club on October 6 in support of her new record (a)spera with ex-Decemberists Norfolk & Western.

Here’s an odd pairing – the stately folk-rock of Grand Archives and the ADD-prog hijinks of The Most Serene Republic. But paired they are for a North American tour that will be at the Mod Club in Toronto on October 15. Grand Archives’ new album Keep In Mind Frankenstein is out September 8, The Most Serene Republic’s …And The Ever-Expanding Universe is out now. The National Post has an interview with Milton’s finest.

MP3: Grand Archives – “Silver Among The Gold”
Video: The Most Serene Republic – “The Old Forever New Things”

Metric have set a live date on October 20 at Massey Hall with The Stills as support. That is a looooong way from their September 2003 show at the Horseshoe where they didn’t even bother with advance tickets.

A Place To Bury Strangers are making their musical manifesto very clear with the title of their second album – Exploding Head is due out October 6 and will be their first for Mute Records. They’ve already lined up a Fall tour to promote, including an October 27 date at the Mod Club in Toronto. They’re changing up dance partners all the while they’re on the road, but that show will feature Dead Confederate and All The Saints as support.

The Phoenix has a feature piece on Wheat, who have released a new video from White Ink Black Ink. I’m still giving a copy of the album away – come and get it.

Video: Wheat – “Changes Is”

Beatroute talks to Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo.

Frank Black tells Music Radar that “As far as any new Pixies records, I’m literally in the dark,” so anyone flocking to Virgin Festival at Burl’s Creek on August 29 had best be prepared to only hear the classics. Try to contain your disappointment.

Magnet does the over-under with The Velvet Underground’s catalog.

And oh yeah, this was news to me so it might be news to you; that free Dears show at Harbourfront this Sunday is a matinee show – they’re on the Sirius Stage at 3PM. And Laura Barrett is on the Redpath Stage at 4:30PM, since you’ll already be there.