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Posts Tagged ‘Mouse On Mars’

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Terribly Dark

Review of Frida Hyvönen’s The The Soul

Photo By KnotanKnotanArtists lose record deals; it happens all the time. But when it happens to an international artist and rather than find a new deal, they disappear off your radar entirely, well that’s just a shame. Swedish singer-songwriter Frida Hyvönen was represented by Secretly Canadian for her first two albums, 2005’s Until Death Comes and 2008’s Silence Is Wild, but after that they parted ways and as such, the release of her third pop album To The Soul back in April escaped my notice completely.

Which is a shame, because I quite liked both of Hyvönen’s other releases (the above ‘pop’ distinction is necessary because her two albums under the Frida Hyvönen gives you: marque are soundtracks for a poodle-inspired dance recital and photographic exhibition and outside the scope of my experience). Death was a more skeletal affair, built largely around Hyvönen’s voice, piano, and idiosyncratic worldview, but when she toured behind it in Spring 2007, it was perfectly suited for her to perform solo, showcasing both her musical talents and genuinely eccentric personality. Silence, in comparison, filled out her sound with both bigger pop numbers and more pointedly personal compositions and I’m genuinely disappointed that she didn’t come back on tour with it – I would have loved to hear “London!” and “Dirty Dancing” live.

That disappointment pales to having to not hearing the follow-up until some four months after it was released not just because I couldn’t find a copy, but because I didn’t even know it existed. To The Soul continues the trajectory marked by the previous two data points in Hyvönen’s discography, taking her songwriting into sonically and emotionally richer territory while she’s arguably never been in finer voice. There’s more variety between her jaunty pop and sweeping ballads, as she swaps piano for synth textures on the New Wave-y “Terribly Dark” and enlists orchestral assistance on the dramatic “In Every Crowd”. Most striking about Soul is how the sort of material which was presented as grandiose pop on Silence has evolved to become almost theatrical in scale; it’s no stretch to imagine “Saying Goodbye” or “Gold” as a show-stopper in a Broadway production, and it’s not just in the presentation – the songs are just that big. The only bigger shame than the fact that the album is only available in North America via iTunes is that people probably don’t even know that much. So if you’re any kind of Hyvönen fan, know that To The Soul is out there and that it’s worth the hunt.

PSL has a video session with Hyvönen. Yes, it’s in Swedish.

Video: Frida Hyvönen – “Terribly Dark”

Pitchfork has details on Pale Fire, the finally-confirmed new record from El Perro Del Mar Pale Fire. It’s out November 13, a new single is available to stream, and tour dates are apparently forthcoming. Huzzah.

Stream: El Perro Del Mar – “Walk On By”

For Folk’s Sake talks to Anna Ternheim about her new record The Night Visitor.

The Alternate Side has a session with Niki & The Dove, with whom DIY caught a word with at Reading & Leeds Festival. They play the slightly smaller Drake Underground on October 2.

Jens Lekman talks to MTV, Playground, and The Sydney Morning Herald about his glorious new album I Know What Love Isn’t, out September 4 and arguably his best record yet. Yes, better than those other ones you love so much. Don’t believe me? The Quietus is streaming the whole thing right now. He plays The Phoenix on October 4. And if you need a refresher as to why all of Lekman’s records are so good, Paste has compiled a list of his best lyrical turns of phrase.

MP3: Jens Lekman – “Erica America”
Stream: Jens Lekman / I Know What Love Isn’t

NPR has a World Cafe session with The Tallest Man On Earth.

The Hives have released a new video from Lex Hives.

Video: The Hives – “Wait A Minute”

Denmark’s Choir Of Young Believers will be at The Drake on October 22 supporting Daughter. Their latest Rhine Gold came out back in March. Full tour dates at BrooklynVegan.

MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Sedated”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Patricia’s Thirst”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Nye Nummber Et”

Danish disco outfit The Asteroids Galaxy Tour return to a North American orbit for a show at The Danforth Music Hall on November 5, tickets $20. Their second album Out Of Frequency came out back in January.

MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Major”
MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Around The Bend”

DIY has a video session with Of Monsters & Men, and DigitalSpy, The Bay Bridged, Tone Deaf, and The Guardian have interviews.

German ambient-electronic duo Mouse On Mars will be at Lee’s Palace on October 19 in support of their new EP Wow, even though it’s not out until November 2. Tickets for that are $15.

Video: Mouse On Mars – “They Know Your Name”

Daytrotter has a session with The Jezabels, in town at The Mod Club on October 24.

The Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone talk to Nick Cave about writing and scoring the film Lawless.

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

CONTEST – Mouse On Mars @ Wrongbar – June 1, 2010

Photo via sonigsonigGroundbreaking German electronic duo Mouse On Mars have been relatively quiet in recent years – their last release under their own name was 2006’s Varcharz, but then they were part of Von Sudenfed, who released Tromatic Reflexxions in 2007, and working with Mark E. Smith of The Fall is probably enough to send anyone into hiding for a few years.

They’re finally coming back, however – a website news update late last year announced that, ““Mouse On Mars are writing their most exciting new stuff for years – possibly decades” and perhaps as a sign that said material is ready to see the light of day, they’ve scheduled a handful of Canadian live dates leading up to the MUTEK festival in Montreal. Southern Ontarians can catch them on June 1 at Wrongbar in Toronto and June 2 at The Casbah in Hamilton, and Torontoians can possibly do so for free by entering this here contest.

Tickets for the show are $15 in advance but courtesy of The Union, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Mouse On Mars” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, May 27.

Video: Mouse On Mars – “Actionist Respoke”
Video: Mouse On Mars – “Wipe That Sound”

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Your Head Is On Fire

Broken Bells announce North American tour and a bunch of other stuff about stuff

Photo via Broken BellsBroken BellsSo I’m sitting here on Wednesday night with a headache and a pile of links and no particular idea what I’m going to do with them. Got some contests and the last of the SxSW stuff to dole out over the long weekend, but for today, it’s gonna be one of those housecleaning posts.

Starting with the announcement of Broken Bells’ first North American tour, which includes a June 2 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto. The collaboration between workaholic producer Danger Mouse and Shins frontman James Mercer yielded a self-titled debut last month and while the little bit I heard of it at SxSW – from the street while they played in a parking garage – didn’t especially wow me, it’s been reasonably well-received and I feel like I should, as a Shins fan, at least give it a fair shake. The band’s set at the NPR showcase from SxSW is available to stream for anyone wondering how it translates live. Support on this tour will come from The Morning Benders, who themselves are presently on tour and will be in town at The Drake on April 14.

Video: Broken Bells – “The High Road”

Moving on to stuff coming through town over the next few months – Serena-Maneesh’s appearance tomorrow night has been moved from The Great Hall to the Drake Underground; appropriate since the Norwegians’ new record S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor was recorded in a cave. Cave? Underground? Get it? Bah.

Rolling Stone declares Swedes Love Is All to be “breaking” and talks to frontwoman Josephine Olausson. They bring their new record Two Thousand and Ten Injuries to the Horseshoe on Saturday night, April 3.

MP3: Love Is All – “Bigger, Bolder”

NOW, hour.ca and The Chicago Tribune interview The xx, in town at the Phoenix on April 4 and again at the Kool Haus on April 20.

In addition to two shows at Lee’s Palace next week – April 6 and 7 – the Drive-By Truckers will be doing an in-store across the street at Sonic Boom on the 7th at 5PM in what’s being billed as “Patterson Hood & Members of Drive By Truckers”. In other words, expect to see Hood with an acoustic guitar and a passel of songs, and maybe some of his bandmates will show up if they feel so inclined. I warn you though, Cooley, that if you try to stand on the monitors while taking a solo you WILL hit your head on the ceiling – you can have that one for free. Spinner has a chat with Hood about his Southern roots.

State and Owen Pallett, who plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 8.

Donewaiting interviews Fanfarlo frontman Simon Balthazar. They play Lee’s Palace on April 9.

Plants & Animals are celebrating the April 20 release of their second album La La Land with a free show at the Horseshoe that night. Beatroute has an interview.

The Province and The Montreal Gazette profile Dan Mangan, in town at the Horseshoe on April 22.

The Fly and MOG talk to Jonsi about his new solo record Go, which is due out next Tuesday. The whole album is currently streaming at NPR and he has two dates at the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1.

Stream: Jonsi / Go

The Fly talks to Caribou main man Dan Snaith about his new record Swim. It’s out April 20 and he plays the Phoenix on May 3.

The Joy Formidable frontwoman Ritzy Bryan gives The Fly a sneak preview of their upcoming full-length follow-up to last year’s A Balloon Called Moaning; a record which is getting a North American release on May 4, the same day they play a free, sure to be awesome show at the Horseshoe. Strange Glue has the remainder of their North American tour dates.

Bad Veins have been added as support for Two Door Cinema Club’s show at Wrongbar on May 17. This will be their first time in Toronto, after their show with Now Now Every Children last Summer was snookered by a dead van. Spinner has an interview with the Cincinnati duo.

MP3: Bad Veins – “Gold & Warm”
MP3: Bad Veins – “Go Home”

The Sadies will celebrate the release of their new record Dark Circles with a show at Lee’s Palace on May 22; tickets $18 in advance. They’ll also be your Canada Day entertainment at Harbourfront Centre – July 1, yo.

Exclaim converses with John K Samson of The Weakerthans, who play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 26.

Spin has a stream of a new song from the second Born Ruffians record Say It, due June 1, and they also note that there’ll be a show at the Horseshoe in Toronto on May 28.

German electronica duo Mouse On Mars have a date at the Drake Underground on June 1, though their next record isn’t due out until next year. Sometimes you just have to get out of the house, I guess.

Video: Mouse On Mars – “Actionist Respoke”

His two nights at the Drake Underground on June 11 and 12 will be super-cozy, but Robyn Hitchcock takes intimate a step further in this Black Cab Session.

Tiger Weekly talks to Ted Leo, who brings his Pharmacists to Lee’s Palace on June 26.

And now to the stuff not coming through town in the next while – Black Mountain frontman Stephen McBean gives Exclaim a sneak preview of their next album, tentatively entitled Wilderness Heart and due out later in the Summer.

Soundproof and Spinner talk to Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon, who has offered a tribute to Alex Chilton in the form of a cover of “Thirteen”.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Thirteen”

Bad Panda Records Q&A’s Great Lake Swimmer Tony Dekker and offers up a free live track to download.

MP3: Great Lake Swimmers – “Gonna Make It Through This Year” (live)

Woodhands have released a new video for the best tune – in my humble opinion – from Remorsecapade.

Video: Woodhands – “Dissembler”

The Line Of Best Fit and Drowned In Sound talk to Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras.

Tokyo Police Club have set a June 8 release date for their second album Champ and are giving away the first MP3 from it on their website; The Brock Press talks to keyboardist Graham Wright about the new record.

An acoustic version of one of the tracks from Bettie Serveert’s new record Pharmacy Of Love is up for grabs.

MP3: Bettie Serveert – “Semaphore” (acoustic)

Yours Truly has a video session with Taken By Trees.

4AD reports that Camera Obscura and Richard Hawley will be releasing a split-7″ on May 17 wherein the former covers the latter’s “The Nights Are Cold” while the latter remixes the former’s “The Sweetest Thing”. Clearly, I must have this.

NME reports that Glasvegas drummer Caroline McKay has left the band.

The Line Of Best Fit and The Fly have interviews with Laura Marling, whose I Speak Because I Can is out next week in North America, though for now it doesn’t appear there’s any vinyl edition of said album on the horizon. Bah.

Editors bassist Russell Leetch talks to The Line Of Best Fit.