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Posts Tagged ‘Mission Of Burma’

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Long And Wasted Years

Bob Dylan plans new album and tour to make material from new album incomprehensible

Photo via GothamistGothamistYesterday’s news cycle brought not one but two treats for the baby boomers or those with boomer-like musical tastes. First, hot on the heels of the news that Bob Dylan would be releasing his 35th studio album, entitled Tempest, on September 11, came an extensive touring itinerary in support of the record that would bring the legendary artist – along with Mark Knopfler, himself not a no one – to the Air Canada Centre on November 14.

Or course, as anyone who’s seen Dylan live in recent years will tell you, his shows come with a caveat. Though his artistic bona fides are beyond reproach and he is to be commended for maintaining as intense a touring schedule as he does at age 71, those expecting anything resembling an oldies show or revue had best think again. His reputation for being a difficult live performer – often rearranging classic songs and melodies beyond recognizability and speak-singing in a way that even if he were playing them as you remember, you still probably wouldn’t know what they were – is well-earned. And it’s not that he can’t do things straight – he’s mostly choosing not to.

Still, he’s Bob Dylan and if anyone’s earned the right to do what he wants, it’s probably him. Ticket info for the Toronto show is still forthcoming but it probably won’t be cheap. He’s earned that right too.

Video: Bob Dylan – “Things Have Changed”

You can expect The Who – or The Two, if you don’t think it’s the same band without mssrs Moon and Entswistle – to stick to canon when they tour the arenas of North America this Fall and Winter, hitting the Air Canada Centre not long after Dylan clears out on November 23. That’s because they’re going to be performing their 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia in its entirety for these shows, in addition to their other songs you know and love. Tickets for that range from $37 to $127 and fan presales begin on Friday.

Video: The Who – “Love Reign O’er Me” (live 2006)

Getting just a touch more contemporary with the concert announcements, San Francisco duo Two Gallants will be at Lee’s Palace on September 29 in support of their fourth album, The Bloom And The Blight, out September 4. Tickets for that are $17.50 in advance.

MP3: Two Gallants – “Las Cruces Jail”

I genuinely thought that Two Door Cinema Club would soundtrack the Summer of 2010 and then quietly disappear, but clearly not – their fanbase has continued to grow and Rolling Stone reports that their second album Beacon will arrive on September 4 accompanied by an extensive North American tour that brings them to the Sound Academy on October 5 with Brooklyn party crew Friends supporting. Tickets range from $29.50 to $36.50.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work”
Video: Friends – “Mind Control”

With his show opening up for Sigur Rós at Echo Beach on August 1 well and truly sold out, Perfume Genius can safely announce a return date on October 5 at 918 Bathurst. This show will be dry, all ages, and cost $22.50 in admission.

MP3: Perfume Genius – “All Waters”

Los Angeles producer Flying Lotus, who has folks such as Radiohead and Erykah Badu on speed dial, will release his new record Until The Quiet Comes on October 2 and follow it up with a Fall tour that brings him to The Hoxton on October 15. Tickets for that are $23.50 in advance.

MP3: Flying Lotus – “Tea Leaf Dancers”

Oklahoma’s Other Lives, who have their own Radiohead connection in that they were tapped to open up their Spring tour dates earlier this year, will be at The Horseshoe on November 23, tickets $15.

MP3: Other Lives – “For 12”

The lead single from Dinosaur Jr’s new one I Bet On Sky is now available to download. It’s out September 18 and they settle in for a three-night stand at Lee’s Palace starting September 24.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “Watch The Corners”

The Afghan Whigs have released their second piece of post-reunion music, and it’s another cover – this time of R&B man of the moment Frank Ocean. They’re at The Phoenix on October 3 and seeing as how this tune has been a fixture of their live shows in 2012, expect to hear it.

MP3: The Afghan Whigs – “Lovecrimes”

Guided By Voices have released a video from their second reunion album of 2012, Class Clown Spots A UFO.

Video: Guided By Voices – “Keep It In Motion”

Paste talks to Mission Of Burma drummer Peter Prescott about the quality of the band’s post-reunion albums.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel has an interview with Beachwood Sparks, who’ve released a new video from their new record The Tarnished Gold.

Video: Beachwood Sparks – “Forget The Song”

Beatroute, The Georgia Straight, and Tone Deaf chat with Josh Tillman of Father John Misty.

Ben Gibbard is stepping out of Death Cab For Cutie for a moment to release his solo debut in Former Lives, out October 16. Details at Stereogum.

Rolling Stone talks to Andrew Bird, in town tonight at Echo Beach.

The Toronto Star, Winnipeg Free Press, and Uptown talk to members of Beirut. They’re at The Sound Academy tonight.

NOW talks to Best Coast ahead of Saturday night’s show at The Phoenix; their show in DC earlier this week is available to stream over at NPR.

Another track from A Place To Bury Strangers’ latest Worship is available to download. Creative Loafing has an interview with the band, who’re back in town on August 12 closing out the second day of ALL CAPS! on Toronto Islands.

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – “And I’m Up”

The Phoenix New Times talk to Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater, who have a new video from Animal Joy.

Video: Shearwater – “Immaculate”

Beatroute and Zimbio interview Phantogram.

DIY chats with School Of Seven Bells.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Until I Am Whole

New album news from (Mountain) Goats, and (Band Of) Horses, and (Grizzly) Bear(s) – oh my!

Photo By DL AndersonD.L. AndersonA veritable deluge of new album information came across the desk in the last day or so, though it could well have been delivered in a box of animal crackers.

First and least expectedly – at least I wasn’t expecting one – is a new Mountain Goats album entitled Transcendental Youth due out on October 2. There’s no sample track yet – not even one of those album trailers that are de rigeur these days – but instead and arguably better are a couple of essays about the album, one by John Darnielle, and another by way of the official bio by John Hodgman.

You can see the full album art over at Exclaim and, as something to listen to and keeping with the animal theme, a track from their 2000 album The Coroner’s Gambit.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Baboon”

Having teased that it was coming but not offering much in the way of specifics, Band Of Horses have spilled the beans on album number four, to be entitled Mirage Rock and due out on September 18; it certainly gives some context to their show at Echo Beach on August 15 opening up for My Morning Jacket. Pitchfork has some specifics and the first video from the album is available below.

Video: Band Of Horses – “Knock Knock”

And while Grizzly Bear had gone so far as to not only confirm a release date for their next record – also September 18 – and book a tour – Massey Hall on September 26 – they’d been coy about the actual title of the record until now. It’s going to be called Shields and you can see the album art and track listing over at Gigwise.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Sleeping Ute”

And while I’m not a fan, it’d be kind of ridiculous to not note that Animal Collective have a new one entitled Centipede Hz; it’s out September 4 and the first single is available to stream.

Stream: Animal Collective – “Honeycomb”

Ty Segall isn’t named for any kind of animal but he works like a mule; Pitchfork has details on his third album of the year – Twins is out October 9, giving some context to his show with Thee Oh Sees at The Hoxton on September 26.

San Diego garage-poppers The Soft Pack have announced a couple dates at The Garrison on October 9 and 10 as part of a tour in support of their second full-length Strapped, due out September 25. The first single is available to stream.

Stream: The Soft Pack – “Saratoga”

And shifting gears to some more concert announcements: After selling the hell out of Lee’s Palace back in April before their debut Boys & Girls was even out – the show was a week after the release date but every ticket was gone weeks before then – Alabama Shakes are coming back for a gig at the much more spacious Kool Haus on October 2, tickets for that $26.50 in advance. Full Fall dates over at Pollstar.

MP3: Alabama Shakes – “I Found You”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”

Of all the band hats that he has to choose from, Conor Oberst has decided to hit the road as Conor Oberst for a show at Massey Hall on December 8. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10AM and run from $39.50 to $60.50.

MP3: Conor Oberst – “Danny Callahan”
MP3: Bright Eyes – “Lover I Don’t Have To Love”
MP3: Desaparecidos – “The Happiest Place On Earth”

Major, the second album from Fang Island, is streaming over at NPR ahead of its official release on July 24.

MP3: Fang Island – “Sisterly”
MP3: Fang Island – “Asunder”
Stream: Fang Island / Major

The title track of Matt & Kim’s next album Let’s Go – release date still to be determined – is now available to download.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”

NPR and The New York Times have interviews with James Murphy, who reveals that LCD Soundsystem may not be quite completely dead just yet. But close. And then, luggage. The LCD doc Shut Up And Play The Hits is back in Toronto for a couple screenings next week at The Bloor Cinema, on July 18 and 19.

As promised, Luna’s seminal 1992 album Bewitched is getting its first-ever pressing on vinyl this Summer. It’s out August 21 and is limited to an edition of 2000, so it’s a good thing you can pre-order it now.

MP3: Luna – “Tiger Lily”

A Heart Is A Spade asks a few quick questions of Peggy from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

The Shins have a new video from Port Of Morrow. They open up for The Black Keys at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4.

Video: The Shins – “It’s Only Life”

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with Sharon Van Etten, who’s in town at the Phoenix on July 31.

PopMatters talks to Ira Elliot of Nada Surf.

Rolling Stone and The Boston Globe talk to Mission Of Burma about their new record Unsound, out now and streaming in full at Spinner.

MP3: Mission Of Burma – “Second Television”
Stream: Mission of Burma / Unsound

The Village Voice talks to Eric Bachmann of Archers Of Loaf.

PopMatters interviews Eisley.

Spin has posted their latest cover story on Cali power couple Best Coast and Wavves and thrown in a photo shoot gallery for good measure. Best Coast are at The Phoenix on July 21.

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

"That's When I Reach For My Revolver"

Graham Coxon covers Mission Of Burma

Photo via WikipediaWikipediaWhen you look at the breathless, “will they/won’t they/are they/aren’t they” drama surrounding the Blur reunion after the end of that initial round of touring in 2009, it’s hard not to wish they’d just stop the hand-wringing and get on with it; maybe take a cue from a far more improbable reunion than theirs – that of Boston’s Mission Of Burma – and just get on with it.

MOB’s career was initially cut short in 1983 by not by interpersonal strife or creative differences, but by guitarist Roger Miller’s debilitating tinnitus. This stalled their output at just a single EP and album, but both would prove to be hugely influential on the burgeoning American college rock scene and by extension, the British artists who drew inspiration from them. Blur guitarist Graham Coxon was one of these, as shown by the decidedly American slant of his solo records and the inclusion of this cover of MOB’s most-famous song on his second album, The Golden D, in 2002 (his eighth solo release A+E came out earlier this year).

But I digress. The point is that Miller got his tinnitus to a manageable state and Mission Of Burma returned in 2002, first with live shows and then four studio albums – the latest of which, Unsound, is out this week – that more than fulfilled the promise of their early works. Blur have proved that they can still turn out great tunes as their new single release earlier this week can attest; just record ten more, put out an album and everyone will leave you alone. Promise.

MP3: Graham Coxon – “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”
Stream: Mission Of Burma – “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Vs The Greatest Of All Time

Archers Of Loaf at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen we left off yesterday, I was biking furiously across town to get from The Rivoli to The Phoenix for Archers Of Loaf. So why not roll this show into the festival coverage? Well, although some wristbands were granted admission and the premiere of the What Did You Expect? live Archers doc was one of the big gets of the NXNE film festival, this show wasn’t technically part of the festival and I am, if nothing else, a stickler for these sorts of things. And having waited this long for the show, delaying it just that much longer seemed appropriate.

Since the Archers reunited in early 2011 and were willing to make it a long-term thing, I’ve been waiting for a local date – a wait exacerbated by the fact that real life commitments for most of the band kept touring restricted to weekends. Hell, Eric Bachmann brought Crooked Fingers through town twice in 2012 without an Archers sighting; certainly not a complaint as I love me some Crooked Fingers, but one couldn’t help wondering if we were being slighted. And of course we weren’t, it just took this long to get the proverbial ducks in a row, and on this night – the busiest night of music in the city in recent memory – it was happening.

And happening early, as it turned out. If they’d stuck to the posted set times there’d have been no problem but as I got into the venue, I could already hear the rumble of “Audiowhore” through the doors. Early? Who goes on early on a Saturday night? Well Archers did, clearly, though only just. The Vs The Greatest Of All Time selection was an unlikely opener, but it segued straight into arguably one of the best songs of the ’90s – “Harnessed In Slums” and we were off. A benefit of still being a sort of cult band was that most everyone in attendance was surely some degree of die hard fan and singles and deep cuts alike would be greeted with roaring enthusiasm, though obviously the likes of college rock classics as “Slums” and “Web In Front” got the mostly middle-aged crowd most rowdy.

After years of seeing Eric Bachmann fronting Crooked Fingers and only offering Archers material via stripped down, Finger-y arrangements, it was astonishing to see him cut loose in full rock fury; he’s a big guy who plays at a sort of gentle giant figure with Crooked Fingers but here, he came out swinging. Despite wanting to distance himself from his old band in the years that it was in mothballs and concentrate on what he was actively working on, it was obvious he was having a blast playing these songs the way they were meant to be played and with the guys he’d written them with. It was great to see, and his bandmates were still having a great time of it as well, even almost a year and a half into their second act. Matt Gentling in particular – who’d incidentally come through town in the Dignity & Shame incarnation of Crooked Fingers in 2005 – was a maniac onstage, striking poses while attacking his bass, contributing vocals, or just bantering with the crowd. Though I’m not sure what his “Sixteen Sixty Four” Maple Leafs-esque shirt was about…

The Archers were loud, tight, and relentless, inciting the audience to behaviour most probably hadn’t engaged in in oh, fifteen years or so, like moshing, stage diving, and crowd surfing though I have to question if it’s really crowd surfing if it’s just the same group of people carrying the guy around? Bachmann applauded the effort, anyways. And after the band closed out their encore with “Plumbline”, the audience did their best to coax them back out for a second encore – I’ve not seen a crowd so insistent that a show not end in forever – but alas, that would be it this time and possibly for all time.

The band have not made any commitment to carrying on after the final two albums in their reissue series – All The Nation’s Airports and White Trash Heroes – come out on August 7. It’s interesting that though their stature in the annals of ’90s indie rock is enormous, their influence is not so easily traced. Not many bands have managed to or even tried to replicate their particular balance of heavy and abstract yet visceral rock, so if they were to put out something new, it’d probably still sound singular and distinct. But that’s getting ahead of things – for now, I was just thankful that Archers were here, that they were great, and that Bachmann had deigned to play “Chumming The Ocean” in the encore of the last Crooked Fingers show since it wasn’t being heard on this night.

BlogTO, Radio Free Canuckistan, and NOW also have reviews of the show, while CBC Music, Beatroute, and Torontoist welcome the band back to Canada for the first time this century.

Photos: Archers Of Loaf @ The Phoenix – June 16, 2012
MP3: Archers Of Loaf – “Dead Red Eyes”
MP3: Archers Of Loaf – “What Did You Expect”
MP3: Archers Of Loaf – “Wrong”
MP3: Archers Of Loaf – “Harnessed In Slums”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Harnessed In Slums”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Underachievers March & Fight Song”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Wrong”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “What Did You Expect”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Lowest Part Is Free!”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Might”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Web In Front”

Paste has video of a Crooked Fingers set from SXSW back in March.

Mission Of Burma have made a second MP3 from their forthcoming album Unsound, out July 10.

MP3: Mission Of Burma – “Second Television”

Spin talks to Greg Dulli about the Afghan Whigs which makes its only Canadian stop on October 3 at The Phoenix. Stereogum has also taken it on themselves to enumerate the bands 13 “most vicious” songs.

DIY talks to Tobin Sprout about the already so-prolific Guided By Voices reunion, which yields its third album Bears For Lunch around November.

Consequence Of Sound, Philly Burbs, and Metro talk to Doug Martsch of Built To Spill.

Sun Kil Moon has released a new video from Among The Leaves; Mark Kozelek plays these songs and more at The Great Hall on October 3. Boxing Scene also has an interview with the man about the pugilist themes of his songwriting.

Video: Sun Kil Moon – “Black Kite”

Wayne Coyne talks about the new Flaming Lips record to Paste and Rolling Stone. It’s due out later this year.

Paste checks in with Ira Elliot of Nada Surf.

Pitchfork talks to author Jesse Jarnow about his book Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and The Rise of Indie Rock, the new book about Yo La TengoYo La Tengo and the rise of indie rock.

Stereogum gets into a turntable.fm session with Ted Leo and talks tunes.

JAM and Beatroute get a moment of Craig Finn of The Hold Steady’s time for some questions.

Stereogum and The Los Angeles Times check in to see what Liz Phair is up to.

Paste has premiered a new video from Mates Of State; it’s a Guided By Voices cover taken from the Science Fair charity compilation coming out July 3.

Video: Mates Of State – “I Am A Scientist”

Interview has premiered the new video from Savoir Adore, whose new album Our Nature will be out this Fall.

Video: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”

Bowerbirds have released another new video from The Clearing.

Video: Bowerbirds – “Sweet Moment”

Spin have premiered a new video from and Interview has a chat with Best Coast. They’re at The Phoenix on July 21.

Video: Best Coast – “The Only Place”

Consequence Of Sound talks to Munaf Rayani and Nashville Scene and Red And Black to Michael James of Explosions In The Sky.

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

New Ceremony

Dry The River at The Garrison in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangTwo points. One, I am rather smitten with Dry The River’s debut album Shallow Bed, out now in the UK and coming out in North America on April 17. Two, I am somewhat suspicious of how smitten I am with said record as history shows that my infatuation with British bands who trade in big, emotive rock can be short-lived, either for overexposure or for having a shelf life that’s shorter than one would hope. As such, I went into seeing them at SXSW something of a skeptic and came out a believer – their performance was one of the most stirring I saw all week by a band not hailing from E Street – and as much as seeing them make their Toronto debut less than a fortnight later might have seemed redundant, it was also not to be missed. After all, if things played out for the band as they certainly seemed like they might, the next time they visited would be in a much bigger room.

I wasn’t the only one with that idea, evidently, as The Garrison was decidedly full before they took the stage. With all respect to Bowerbirds and their fanbase, I suspect the support was as much of a draw on this tour as the headliners if not moreso. Still, the five-piece took the stage humbly and a bit taken aback by the turnout – reasonable, as apparently their show the night before in Montreal had been downgraded to an impromptu coffee shop show after Bowerbirds’ van broke down and the main show had to be cancelled – and opened with “No Rest”, whose soaring chorus couldn’t help but win over everyone and anyone within earshot. The band’s ability to build from quiet to crescendo was a potent weapon, but one they used judiciously – if anything, they played things quieter than on record, emphasizing the folkier aspects of their sound and keeping the big guns in reserve for when they’d be most effective, like the crashing intro to “Bible Belt” and the grand, heart-stopping finale of “Lion’s Den”.

As I mentioned in that SXSW writeup, from a strictly musical point of view, there’s no reason that Dry The River can’t follow the trail laid by the likes of Mumford & Sons to mass success. If anything holds them back, it’s their lack of pre-packaged marketability, Dry The River being decidedly scruffier and less ready for the cover of Non-Threatening Boys than their tweed-clad countrymen. But if that keeps their star from ascending quite so quickly and we early adopters can keep them to ourselves a bit longer, I’m all for that.

Alas, something came up and I couldn’t stick around to see Bowerbirds’ set, but I’m sure they were lovely. Next time.

Panic Manual and Syncopated Sound also have reviews of the show. NPR and Toro have interviews with the band, Clash asks guitarist Matthew Taylor to curate his dream festival lineup and The Alternate Side and Daytrotter have posted sessions with the band.

Photos: Dry The River @ The Garrison – March 27, 2012
MP3: Dry The River – “New Ceremony”
Video: Dry The River – “No Rest”
Video: Dry The River – “Chambers & The Valves”
Video: Dry The River – “Weights & Measures”

Ascendent British soul singer Michael Kiwanuka will make his proper Toronto debut – he played an invite-only thing during CMW – at The Great Hall on June 19, tickets $15 in advance. Rolling Stone has all the North American dates and a chat with the singer while Chart antes up with a video session.

MP3: Michael Kiwanuka – “Tell Me A Tale”

M. Ward is gearing up for the release of his new album A Wasteland Companion next week with a Daytrotter session and New York Times interview; you can also now download the lead single from said record if you like.

MP3: M. Ward – “Primitive Girl”

The Quietus interviews Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low and also get Sparhawk to list off his favourite albums. They’re at Massey Hall in support of Death Cab For Cutie on April 19.

Jana Hunter of Lower Dens talks to Spin about their new record Nootropics, out May 1.

Their tour having wrapped up last night right here in Toronto, A Place To Bury Strangers have announced the June 26 release of their next full-length album Worship, and the first single is now available to download courtesy of Spin. The AV Club and The Phoenix have interviews with guitarist Oliver Ackermann.

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – “You Are The One”

The Riverfront Times talks to Roger Miller of Mission Of Burma; their new one Unsound is due out on July 9.

NPR serves up a World Cafe session with tUnE-yArDs, in town at The Phoenix on August 1.

Dum Dum Girls has released a new video from last year’s Only In Dreams.

Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”

Interview interviews Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal. The Star-Ledger, LA Weekly, Boise Weekly, and What’s Up also have features.

Aquarium Drunkard grabs an interview with Dean Wareham.

Bryce Dessner of The National talks to You Ain’t No Picasso.

CBC, The Awl, The Toronto Star, and Exclaim all ran features on The Magnetic Fields in advance of last week’s show at The Sound Academy.

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Andrew Bird.

NPR is streaming a recording of a collaboration between The Mountain Goats, Owen Pallett, and vocal group Anonymous 4 at the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York.