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Posts Tagged ‘Mogwai’

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

No Medicine For Regret

Mogwai affirm promise of no more extensive touring by announcing extensive tour

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickI’m sure they meant it at the time, what with keeping up a heavy slate of performances worldwide for as long as anyone can remember and the added complications of drummer Martin Bulloch’s health issues and visa problems forcing cancellations in the past few years, but when Mogwai prefaced their second round of touring in support of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will last year with a promise/warning that it would be “the last extensive touring we do for some time”, some who might have fallen into a habit of taking them for granted were spurred into getting off their asses and having their eardrums blasted by the Scottish post-rock masters (maybe) one last time – myself included.

Well, apparently “for some time” actually means “as long as it takes us to record a new record”, because hot on the heels of last week’s announcement of their eighth studio album Rave Tapes – coming out January 21 – they’ve announced a month-plus long North American tour for next Spring. And perhaps it was the promise of playing a different room that enticed them, because the Toronto date on May 13 will take place at the Danforth Music Hall – tickets $25.50 to $29.50 – instead of The Phoenix where they’ve played (I believe) every local show since a face-melting detour to Lee’s Palace in May 2002. They were supposed to play The Kool Haus in Fall 2008 circa The Hawk Is Howling but that show was one of the casualties of Bulloch’s medical issues, and the make-up show the following May was scheduled for – you got it – The Phoenix.

To be clear, there’s no word of complaint in the band NOT taking a proper hiatus from touring. Their shows may not surprise much, but they never disappoint. And hey, maybe getting to eat somewhere new pre-show will inspire them to even greater heights? It could happen.

MP3: Mogwai – “Remurdered”

With her new album finally out this week, M.I.A. has made Matangi available to stream via Consequence Of Sound; she’s also interviewed by Billboard and NPR about it.

Stream: M.I.A. / Matangi

Noisey chats with Charli XCX, in town November 5 at Wrongbar.

NPR has an advance stream of Cate Le Bon’s forthcoming album Mug Museum, out November 12. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21 in the new year.

Stream: Cate Le Bon / Mug Museum

Rolling Stone are offering one of the tracks off Stornoway’s new EP You Don’t Know Anything for free download. The whole thing comes out on November 12.

MP3: Stornoway – “Tumbling Bay”

Peggy Sue have made a new EP available to download for free via Noisetrade, leading up to the release of their new album Choir of Echoes on January 27

White Lies have announced a return date in support of their latest Big TV – they’ll be at The Mod Club on February 27, tickets $35. Opening up will be Frankie Rose, who released Herein Wild earlier this Fall.

MP3: Frankie Rose – “Know Me”
Video: White Lies – “There Goes Our Love”

NME have premiered a new, self-described David Lynch-inspired video from Fanfarlo’s The Sea EP; a full-length will follow in the new year.

Video: Fanfarlo – “A Distance”

DIY has details on how you can hear Metronomy’s new song, which is a convoluted process involving smartphones, apps, credit cards, and outer space.

CHVRCHES have released a new video from their debug The Bones Of What You Believe.

Video: CHVRCHES – “Lies”

BrooklynVegan has videos from the recent Neil Halstead solo shows where he was joined by Rachel Goswell, sending the hearts of Slowdive and Mojave 3 fans a-flutter. And over at Under The Radar, Halstead and his Black Hearted Brother compadres offer a track-by-track guide to their debut Stars Are Our Home… which they’ve technically already done with MusicOmh but who’s counting?

Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin takes Drowned In Sound on a guided tour of her pedalboard.

NPR has a World Cafe session and The Georgia Straight an interview with Laura Marling.

Under The Radar got some Hallowe’en-themed questions answered by Still Corners.

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Retrograde

James Blake wins Mercury Prize, hopes people will now stop asking him about tennis

Photo By Nabil ElderkinNabil ElderkinJames Blake is hardly an unknown in certain circles, but it’s understandable if he has some identity issues. He’s often mixed up with the American tennis player of the same name, and just last night at a gathering of British music industry types who ought to know better, he was introduced by BBC presenter Lauren Laverne as treacle-singing countryman James Blunt. It’s a good thing they got it right a few minutes later when he was announced winner of the 2013 Mercury Music Prize for his album Overgrown.

In doing so, he bested not only the heavily favoured (Laura Mvula), buzz bands (Disclosure), stars (Arctic Monkeys), legends (David Bowie), and underdogs (Jon Hopkins ), but allowed the genres of indie, pop, R&B, electronic, dubstep, and whatever else he might have been described as to claim victory. For a prize that inevitably leaves people crying unfair or out of touch for whatever reason, not a bad compromise. I only wish that he’d named the album after the first single so that we could make the easy – and accurate – joke about the Mercury being in Retrograde. Ah, opportunities missed.

And it makes Blake’s decision to cancel a few dates of his current North American tour to attend the Mercury ceremony look like a pretty smart move. He’s back across the pond after some celebrations, I’m sure, and will be taking the stage at The Kool Haus in Toronto on November 10. Under The Radar and Clash have conveniently-timed features on Blake

Video: Video: James Blake – “Retrograde”
Video: Video: James Blake – “Overgrown”

And though they didn’t win, some of the nominees were using the occasion and extra attention to unveil some goodies. David Bowie premiered a video for the James Murphy remix of “Love Is Lost” that appears on The Next Day Extra deluxe edition of his new record which comes out November 5; watch it below and read a little of the making-of for the clip via The Mirror. And five of the new songs that also appear on the Extra release are available to stream – for Canadians only – at CBC Music, although some enterprising internet-user has already ripped four of them to non-geoblocked YouTube; “God Bless The Girl” appeared on the Japanese release of The Next Day, so that doesn’t technically count as new, but you may as well stream that too.

Video: David Bowie – “Love Is Lost” (Hello Steve Reich Mix)
Stream: David Bowie – “Atomica”
Stream: David Bowie – “The Informer”
Stream: David Bowie – “Like A Rocket Man”
Stream: David Bowie – “Born In A UFO”
Stream: David Bowie – “God Bless The Girl”

Though surely relieved to have not won something they were clearly uncomfortable with, Savages still timed the release of a new video from Silence Yourself to coincide with the ceremony. Guitarist Gemma Thompson took to Tumblr to discuss the new Vonnegut-inspired clip and DIY has a cover story on the band.

Video: Savages – “Marshal Dear”

Although not Mercury-recognized, Frightened Rabbit also released a new clip from Pedestrian Verse via DIY.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Holy”

Los Campesinos! have put out a new video from their latest No Blues, which is out now in the UK but doesn’t get North American release until November 12. A Heart Is A Spade, Pitchfork, and Interview talk to the band about the new record.

Video: Los Campesinos! – “Avocado, Baby”

Daughter are using tour footage/their tour diary as the new video from If You Leave

Video: Daughter – “Amsterdam”

BrooklynVegan interviews Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, though the subject of his Mercury Prize conspiracy theories don’t come up. Shields leads MBV into the Kool Haus on November 5.

Blood Orange has released a lyric video for the second preview of his next record Cupid Deluxe, coming out November 19.

Lyric Video: Blood Orange – “You’re Not Good Enough”

Veronica Falls are now streaming the b-side of their new Australia/Japan tour 7″, being released to those not seeing them on said tour come December 9.

Stream: Veronica Falls – “Ned You Around”

Yuck v2.0 makes their Toronto debut behind their second album Glow & Behold at The Garrison on January 17, part of a full North American tour.

Video: Yuck – “Middle Sea”

Mogwai have announced a January 21 release date for their new studio album Rave Tapes; stream the first song from it below.

Stream: Mogwai – “Remurdered”

Former Mercury Prize winners Elbow have given their new record – already locked in for a March 10 release – the title of Carry Her Carry Me; details at Exclaim.

Daytrotter has a session with Fanfarlo, who’ve just released their The Sea EP ahead of a new full-length due out next year.

The 405 has an interview with Kele Okereke of Bloc Party.

The Guardian has premiered a mini-documentary film of The Vaccines on the road.

Summer Camp share their top ten favourite horror films with Consequence Of Sound – just in time for American Thanksgiving!

And to bring it all around, Clash wonders if the Mercury Prize might be better if it were more like Canada’s Polaris Prize.

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Motorway

Little Boots takes scenic route to second album

Photo By Jack Featherstone and Max ParsonsJack Featherstone, Max ParsonsAt long last, Little Boots is finally ready to let the follow-up to 2009′s Hands out of the studio and into the world. I don’t think anyone – not even Victoria Hesketh – expected it to be almost four years between debut and follow-up, but according to Spin, it took her that long to find the sweet spot between being the “proper songs” she wanted to write and the disco dance floor bangers she was expected to.

Still, her fans have been able to accompany her on that journey of discovery as she’s been releasing new songs intermittently since late 2011 as sort of signposts of the journey; two of those three already-previewed tracks will appear on the new record – entitled Nocturnes – when it’s released on May 7. Details on the release can be had at Billboard and the first official single from it is available to hear via free download or watch via video.

Some might argue – and perhaps correctly – that Little Boots didn’t deliver on the massive hype that accompanied her BBC Sound of 2009 win, but there’s no arguing that Hands was a very solid album of catchy electro-pop and if Nocturnes offers more of the same, then we’re all better off.

MP3: Little Boots – “Motorway”
MP3: Little Boots – “Every Night I Say A Prayer”
Stream: Little Boots – “Superstitious Heart”
Stream: Little Boots – “Shake”
Video: Little Boots – “Motorway”

Drowned In Sound, Billboard, MTV Hive, Consequence Of Sound, and NPR talk to Johnny Marr about going solo; The Messenger came out this week and he brings The Healers to The Phoenix on April 27.

CBC Music has an interview and The Alternate Side a session with Palma Violets, whose debut 180 is out this week and streamable at NME. They play Lee’s Palace on May 3.

Stream: Palma Violets / 180

Spin is streaming the whole of Mogwai’s just-released soundtrack for French zombie television series Les Revenants, and keeping on topic, Stuart Braithwaite offers The Guardian his five favourite undead bits of cinema.

Stream: Mogwai / Les Revenants

The Guardian interviews Thom Yorke about Atoms For Peace, whose debut AMOK is out this week.

Spin and CBC Music talk to Kate Nash about her latest Girl Talk, which is also streaming in whole at the CBC and from which a new vide was just released. The album is out March 5 and she brings it to The Horseshoe on March 15.

Video: Kate Nash – “3AM”
Stream: Kate Nash / Girl Talk

The Line Of Best Fit, The Quietus, and Stereogum talk to Robyn Hitchcock about his new record Love From London, out March 5.

Today in David Bowie: The Guardian compiles a profile of the Thin White Duke based on the recollections of those who’ve known him from childhood through today, Mr. Porter offers a guide to Bowie style through the years, NME crows about getting an exclusive cover photo, and Rolling Stone learns more about the Next Day sessions from drummer Zack Alford and guitarist Gerry Leonard. The album arrives March 12 and oh yeah the video for the second single from it is out now.

Video: David Bowie – “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”

eMusic solicits a list of favourite sophomore albums from Veronica Falls, who are too modest to include their own Waiting For Something To Happen on the list. They play The Garrison on March 12.

Crack has a feature piece on Daughter, whose debut If You Leave is out March 18 in the UK and April 30 in North America. They play The Great Hall on May 7.

The Telegraph has not one but two interviews and NPR a World Cafe session with Richard Thompson, who opens for Emmylou Harris at Massey Hall on March 22.

eMusic and The Scottish Sun interview Frightened Rabbit, who’ve a new video from Pedestrian Verse to show off. They play The Phoenix on March 31.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Backyard Skulls”

Spinner and The Independent have features and Yours Truly a video session with Jessie Ware, whose Devotion gets a North American release on April 2 and plays The Opera House on April 6.

DIY has the details of Charli XCX’s long-overdue debut album; True Romance is due out on April 15. MTV Hive also has an interview with the artist, who will be in town at the Sound Academy on May 23 opening for Marina & The Diamonds.

Art Brut will sum up their career thus far with the release of a double-disc best-of/rarities compilation entitled – of course – Top Of The Pops. It’s out April 16.

Still Corners have announced details of their second album, entitled Strange Pleasures, out May 7, and based on the second sample – “Fireflies” was released as a single last Fall – it will not be Creatures On An Hour part two. At all.

MP3: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”

Spin has an interview and The Line Of Best Fit an acoustic session with Foals. They are at The Kool Haus on May 11.

The Wedding Present might be getting attention mostly for their Hit Parade recital tour, but they’ve also just put out a new video from last year’s Valentina. There’s also an interview at The New Zealand Herald.

Video: The Wedding Present – “Mystery Date”

Pitchfork has premiered the new video from Bat For Lashes, taken from The Haunted Man.

Video: Bat For Lashes – “Lillies”

The Line Of Best Fit reports that The Big Pink is now officially a solo project for Robbie Furze, with Milo Cordell opting to leave the band. If you’re not sure which was which, if you’ve ever seen The Big Pink live then Cordell was the one you never noticed.

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

This Ladder Is Ours

The Joy Formidable and Always at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangEven since they were very small and giving away downloads of their debut mini-album A Balloon Called Moaning for free in February 2009, The Joy Formidable have been huge. Huge in ambition, both sound- and career-wise, as evidenced by their massive-sounding full-length debut The Big Roar and the relentless touring schedule that surrounded it. Since their local debut in May 2010, they’ve been through Toronto a half-dozen times, including two nights this past week – Sunday night opening for The Gaslight Anthem at The Sound Academy and then on Monday with at a last-minute showcase at The Mod Club.

Since I’d seen the Welsh trio at their first three local shows, I was alright with missing their April gig at Lee’s Palace and the Gaslight show, but was pretty excited about the Mod Club one – they’d finally be showcasing some new material, what with a second album in Wolf’s Law already done and due out on January 22, and I had a feeling that their days of playing rooms as small as Mod were quickly drawing to a close.

Local openers Always have done a pretty good job of keeping their internet presence the polar opposite of the ubiquity implied by their name, but they’re actually far from anonymous, particularly if you’ve an ear for east coast pop. Frontwoman Molly Rankin had/has a burgeoning solo career in addition to being part of Nova Scotia’s most famous musical family, and guitarist Alec O’Hanley toured across the country countless times as part of Two Hours Traffic before departing last year. Assuming that their sound would be some mathematical combination of their respective roots- and power-pop histories would be unimaginative, though. Their experience with writing hooks and melodies was well-evident, but it was delivered in a vintage indie jangle-pop form, striking a good balance between low-key and bubbly and taking full advantage of Rankin’s Victora Legrand-ish sleepy vocal timbre – someone call Slumberland A&R, stat. Over the course of their set, they went from complete mystery to one of my top bands to watch in the city. For warm-ups, you can’t do much better than that.

In the year or so since I saw them last, The Joy Formidable have had quite the apprenticeship in playing arena-scale venues opening for the likes of Foo Fighters and Muse, and when you take into consideration the fact that they were a pretty explosive live act to begin with, it was reasonable to expect some fireworks. And based on the physical evidence, at least, they were equipped to do so. Having once again taken an interest in inspecting/dissecting guitarist rigs, it was hard not to notice that frontwoman Ritzy Bryan had traded her lone, albeit overflowing, pedalboard and single combo amp for a sleek, space-age floorboard with touchscreen tablet controls and an amplification setup that powered some 18 speakers. Arenas, remember?

But what makes The Joy Formidable so, well, formidable, isn’t the hardware – it’s the massive rock it’s used to move. Shoegaze with the wallflower personality excised in favour of extroversion, given shape in Bryan’s diminutive form (and crazy eyes) and huge guitar chops, with rhythm section Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas doing commendable work in just keeping up. Their hour-fifteen set was split about evenly between Balloon/Roar material and previews of Wolf’s Law, although already being a couple singles deep into the album, they weren’t necessarily unfamiliar. And though the new stuff was arguably heavier and more indebted to classic British metal than the old, it all fit very nicely with the template that The Joy Formidable have been riding to success thus far. They might not necessarily be filling rooms much bigger than this normally, but they did an outstanding job of making the couple hundred in attendance feel like they were seeing something massive in an uncommonly intimate setting, and while I can’t say they’ll ever have the fanbase to fill a stadium, by god they already play like they do.

And if you didn’t manage to score tickets to this show, fear not – Bryan announced that they’d be back in April.

PureVolume has an interview with Ritzy Bryan.

Photos: The Joy Formidable, Always @ The Mod Club – November 26, 2012
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Greyhounds In The Slips”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Cradle”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “The Ladder Is Ours”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Cholla”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring” (new)
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “I Don’t Want To See You Like This”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Popinjay”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring” (original)
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Austere” (original)
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Cradle”

One of the early picks for UK buzz band 2013 – Palma Violets – are setting their sights on North America early; they’ll be at The Horseshoe on January 29 – tickets $12.50 – well before their debut album arrives on February 25. They’ve got kind of a Libertines thing going on, which I guess is about due to be fashionable again what with next year slated to be the “Year of the guitar” or some such nonsense.

Video: Palma Violets – “Last Of The Summer Wine”
Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends”

Veronica Falls are keeping the fires of anticipation stoked before their second album Waiting For Something To Happen is finally released on February 12 – they’ve announced a North American tour for next Winter – look for them March 12 at The Garrison – and released a video for the first single from the new record.

Video: Veronica Falls – “Teenage”

Hot Chip have rolled out a new clip from this year’s In Our Heads.

Video: Hot Chip – “Don’t Deny Your Heart”

Loud & Quiet have an interview with Elena Tonra of Daughter.

The Quietus talks to Charlotte Hatherley about Sylver Tongue.

The latest Charli XCX single from her Super Ultra Mixtape now comes with a video.

Video: Charli XCX – “Cloud Aura”

Guy Garvey talks to Metro just ahead of Elbow’s promised year-long hiatus.

The Quietus talks to Mogwai about their latest projects, including soundtracking a French zombie television show. Because someone has to.

Those hoping that that last couple years’ Pulp reunion might be an ongoing concern or even yield some new music, sorry – NME reports that Jarvis Cocker has basically declared it as having run its course. We’ll always have Spain.

But wait, Britpop fans refusing to stop reliving their youth cry out, what about Blur? They’re not breaking up! No, but as The Line Of Best Fit reports, Graham Coxon put the kibosh on a new Blur record; that’s fine – intermittent singles the quality of the last ones will do. Definitely coming out next week is Parklive, the live document of this Summer’s Hyde Park show in London, and they’ve released a video clip of the final song from that show; if they had indeed called it a day, well and forever, with this show, these would have been the perfect notes to finish up on.

Video: Blur – “The Universal” (live at Hyde Park)

The Quietus and Spin chat with Johnny Marr, who releases his solo debut The Messenger on February 26.

Consequence Of Sound interviews Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris of New Order.

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Tied To You

Neil Halstead makes offhand Slowdive reunion comment, throws internet into a tizzy

Photo By Andy WhiteAndy WhiteOkay not the whole internet – Obama’s AMA probably did more to clog those tubes yesterday – but for a certain demographic, an interview Neil Halstead gave to MTV Hive certainly registered as a major event. Not because Neil doesn’t talk – he’s got a new solo record in Palindrome Hunches coming out on September 11, of course he’s talking – but because he addressed the topic of a potential Slowdive reunion not with denials or dismissals, but with a rather positive-sounding “It’s definitely possible at some point”.

He goes on to point out that there’s no bad blood to be overcome – three-fifths of the shoegazing/ambient trailblazers went on to a long and fruitful career as Mojave 3 following Slowdive’s dissolution in 1995 – and presumably if the stars aligned and the offer was right, it could happen. Obviously this is far from definite, but considering it seemed a non-starter for as long as Mojave 3 and his solo career have been going concerns – he’s always declined to even play Slowdive songs live in either of those contexts – it’s certainly a more open door than we’ve seen, and seeing as how he’s playing a few M3 gigs (in China!) before beginning the Palindrome Hunches promo circuit, the man can multi-task and keep his musical identities straight.

Of course, the current Mojave 3 lineup doesn’t include bassist Rachel Goswell, who largely retired from music after fighting a debilitating ear ailment a few years back. I’d be happy enough to see her back in Mojave 3, but if we’re dreaming, why not go all the way? Further, it’s been pointed out to me that Halstead has begun playing Slowdive songs live… someone call out “Alison” when he’s at The Dakota on October 8, please? Toronto was the site of the final live Slowdive show; maybe we can talk Neil into the symbolic value of making it the site of the first reunion show… Or not. Anyways. It’s something to dream about. Ideally while Souvlaki plays in the background.

There’s another, less momentous interview with Haltead at LA Music Blog and another track from Palindrome Hunches has been made available to download.

MP3: Neil Halstead – “Digging Shelters”
Video: Slowdive – “Alison”

Richard Hawley chats with State and Worksop Guardian; his latest Standing At The Sky’s Edge came out in North America this week.

Two Door Cinema Club have made their new album Beacon available to stream at NME ahead of its September 4 release date. They play The Sound Academy on October 11.

Stream: Two Door Cinema Club / Beacon

The Guardian, NPR, MTV.ca, and JAM talk to Kele Okereke of Bloc Party. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and 11.

The xx are streaming another new song from Coexist, out September 11, and aux.tv have made the cover feature on the band from their iPad magazine available online.

Stream: The xx – “Sunset”

Django Django’s self-titled debut still isn’t out in North America until September 25, but the band have got a new EP in Hail Bop ready to release back in the UK on September 4, and have made it available to stream. They play Wrongbar on September 29.

Stream: Django Django / Hail Bop

Dramatic atmospheric rock sister act 2:54, who made their local debut at NXNE, return for a date at The Horseshoe on October 22 – tickets are $14.50 in advance.

MP3: 2:54 – “The March”

That Saint Etienne show I was so excited about last week will still be happening on October 24, but has been moved from The Mod Club to The Opera House. Tickets are $28.50, go on sale today at 10AM, and sorry – still no sign of the other North American dates.

The Guardian has got some new music from Anna Calvi – not as a precursor to a new album, but a cover she recorded of a song by The Invisible from their latest album Rispah – but hey, new music from Anna Calvi.

MP3: Anna Calvi – “The Wall”

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite walks The Quietus through some of his favourite albums.

DIY interviews Charli XCX.

And Pluck Your Strings has an interview with Maxïmo Park.

Clash and The Limerick Leader grab a quick word with Metronomy.

NPR welcomes Spiritualized for a World Cafe session.

DIY catches up with The Cribs at Reading & Leeds Festival.

State talks to Faris Badwan of The Horrors ahead of their appearance at Electric Picnic in Ireland.