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Posts Tagged ‘MS MR’

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

One For The Road

Arctic Monkeys announce new album of Arctic Monkey songs, tour of Arctic Monkey shows

Photo By Zackery MichaelZackery MichaelWhen Arctic Monkeys went off and unveiled the video for a new single last week, it was just a matter of time until the specifics around the follow-up to their 2011 album Suck It And See would come to light. And now they have. The Line Of Best Fit has details about the new record, which will be simply titled AM – whether it’s in reference to the band or the half of the day is anyone’s guess – and will be out in North America on September 10.

And to further get their legions of Monkeys fans on this side of the Atlantic excited, following the European festival season -which includes a headlining slot at Glastonbury this weekend – they’ll be commencing a North American tour which kicks off in Toronto on September 15 at The Kool Haus. Tickets for the all-ages gig are $33.50 and go on sale this Friday.

The London Evening Standard has some words from frontman Alex Turner about the new record.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know?”

Though original frontman Stuart Adamson passed away back in 2001, ’80s Scottish guitars-that-sound-like-bagpipes maestros Big Country have been reunited since 2010 with period-correct new frontman Mike Peters of The Alarm, and with the release of The Journey, their first new album in 14 years, are doing some North American tour dates – they’re in Toronto at Lee’s Palace on August 4, tickets $22.50.

Video: Big Country – “In A Big Country”

Despite being an avowed classic shoegazing fan – or maybe because I am – I don’t cotton to a lot of the current crop of purveyors of the style. Oakland’s Whirr, however, seem to do it right from the onomatopoeic monosyllabic handle through their sometimes hazy, sometimes pummelling, but always melodic sound. They’re heading out on tour in support of their latest album Pipe Dreams, and will be at the Silver Dollar on August 17, tickets just $8.50. I daresay you won’t find anything better to do that evening at that price.

Stream: Whirr – “Swoon”
Stream: Whirr / Pipe Dreams

Toronto-based Mumford & Sons fans who bought tickets to their Gentlemen Of The Road mini-fest in Simcoe, Ontario on August 23 and 24 expecting it would be their only local show might be a bit miffed to learn that the band have announced an August 26 show at The Molson Amphitheatre. Mind you, only The Vaccines and Bear’s Den are also joining them at this show, so if you were just as keen on seeing any of the other bands playing or just camping out in south-central Ontario, you’re still good. Or look at it as an opportunity to see them twice in a week. Or don’t, I dunno, I’ve lost interest. The band are doing some invite/presale thing to manage demand.

And for Vaccines fans, NME is streaming a new song from the band so have at it.

MP3: The Vaccines – “Norgaard”
Video: Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”
Stream: The Vaccines – “Melody Calling”

You won’t find a better legend-to-intimacy ratio than this – as he did back in 2010, Robyn Hitchcock will be camped out at the Drake Underground on the evenings of September 3 and 4, telling tales and playing songs from his latest album Love From London and probably a few more. Tickets for each show are $21.50.

Video: Robyn Hitchcock – “Be Still” (rehearsal video)

It’s not being billed as anything as reductive as a Constellation Records roadshow, but fans of the Montreal label would be ill-advised to be anywhere but The Great Hall on September 5; that’s when Esmerine, Colin Stetson, Sandro Perri and Craig Dunsmuir, who despite working together before as Glissandro 70 are billing themselves as Dudasa 80, and Jerusalem In My Heart. Tickets for that are $15.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”
MP3: Esmerine – “A Dog River”
MP3: Jerusalem In My Heart – “Yudaghdegh Al-Ra3ey Aala Al-Ghanam”

I may have been wrong about Charleston roots-rock duo Shovels & Rope being added to the TURF lineup – they’re touring with Dawes, after all – but they are still coming to town. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on September 7 for their first-ever headlining show in support of O’ Be Joyful, tickets $16.50. Relix has a feature on the band.

Video: Shovels & Rope – “Birmingham”

New York synth-pop duo MS MR have to be pretty happy with their career trajectory, as represented by their touring history in Toronto – from supporting Jessie Ware at The Opera House in early April through a small club show of their own at Wrongbar in late May, and now a headlining date at The Phoenix on September 16, all behind their debut album Secondhand Rapture; tickets are $16.50, Danish singer opens. Full tour routing can be found at Exclaim and an interview with the duo at Glamour.

Video: MS MR – “Hurricane”

Portland instrumentalists Grails have set a date at The Drake Underground for September 18, tickets $12.50. Their last release was 2012’s vinyl-only Black Tar Prophecies Volume 5 split-12″ with Pharaoh Overlord.

MP3: Grails – “Almost Grew My Hair”

London-based Bastille, who topped the UK charts back in March with the release of their debut Bad Blood, will be looking to repeat some of that success stateside as they hit North America this Fall, including The Opera House in Toronto on September, tickets $16. Tone Deaf has an interview with frontman Dan Smith.

Video: Bastille – “Pompeii”

Australians Atlas Genius have already announced a return date for the Danforth Music Hall on October 4, tickets $22.50, even though their local debut at the Opera House just wrapped the other night. I guess their debut When It Was Now is doing pretty well. Support for that show will be Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

MP3: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Skeletons”
Video: Atlas Genius – “Trojans”

Speaking of return engagements, British soulstress Jessie Ware has finally announced her follow-up to her local debut at The Opera House in April, and of course it’s at the much bigger and more reviled Sound Academy. She’s there November 6, tickets $25.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

Given that his star was already on the rise when I saw him at SXSW 2012, I’m surprised it’s taken Austin’s Gary Clark, Jr. this long to make it up here in support of his debut Blak And Blu, but when you’re as bona fide a singer-guitarist-songwriter as this guy – those “next Hendrix” compliments aren’t hot air – you’re in demand. In any case, he’s at The Danforth Music Hall on November 18, tickets $29.50.

Video: Gary Clark, Jr. – “Numb”

And from the upstart to the legend, Mavis Staples will be in town at Koerner Hall on February 7 behind her new album One True Vine, out this week and streamable in whole below, which sees the gospel singer tackle songs by Low, Funkadelic, Nick Lowe, and three Jeff Tweedy originals. Tickets for the show range from $40 to $95.

Video: Mavis Staples – “I Like The Things About Me”
Stream: Mavis Staples / One True Vine

And while my beat is mainly Toronto, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Hamilton’s Supercrawl has announced its musical lineup for the weekend of September 13 and 14, and it will bring the likes of Yo La Tengo, Chelsea Light Moving, Fucked Up, Joel Plaskett, METZ, and many more to the streets of Steeltown. And oh, it’s free.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Devotion

Jessie Ware and MS MR at The Opera House in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you want to be technical about it, territories and their associated release dates being what they are, Jessie Ware doesn’t actually have any music released in North America besides the If You’re Never Gonna Move EP, but if you think she sold out The Opera House on Saturday night on the back of that… Well it’d have been plausible, since it cherry picks three superb cuts from her debut Devotion, plus a cover and a remix, but in reality the massive success of the album in her native UK last year has already made her a genuine rising star on this side of the pond, even if the domestic edition of Devotion doesn’t come out until April 16 – essentially a meaningless date unless you’re looking to not pay import prices for an LP or something.

In any case, it was a packed house and if Ware alone wasn’t enough draw, New York-based duo MS MR took the opening slot on the tour with their own respectable head of buzz. Pronounced “Miss Mister” – Lizzy Plapinger, the “miss” in question to keyboardist/vocalist Max Hershenow’s “mister” – cleared that up early on, they brought energy levels to match their day-glo streetwear aesthetic (and Plapinger’s impressively rainbow-hued hair). Under normal circumstances, MS MR would be easily filed under synth-pop, but given the way the live drums dominated the sound, that epithet felt inadequate to their heavy, earthy sound. Further, Plapinger’s vocals wasn’t the sort of light, rangy instrument you’d usually find in the genre, instead having a texture ore suited to blues or classic rock tropes – and yet here she was. The soulful set-closer “Hurricane” was probably the best synthesis of what they could and should do with the tools at hand, and while it provided a clear-cut high point, it also showed their other material wasn’t up that level yet. Maybe someday, but not yet. Their debut album Secondhand Rapture is out May 14 and they’re back for a show at Wrongbar on May 22.

Everything about Jessie Ware – from her rich, emotive voice through the sleek, 21st-century electro-soul that makes Devotion so delicious to the black-and-white jacket and pants ensemble she wore onstage Saturday night – is elegant. She sounded divine, taking up at the front of the stage alone while her three-piece backing band all set up along the back, spending the next hour delivering heart-rending and hip-moving numbers from Devotion – all but “Something Inside” made the set list – as well as the Bobby Caldwell cover from If You’re Never Gonna Move and reprising her “Valentine” single with drummer Dornik Leigh cover Sampha’s original parts. Not that there should have been any doubt that she could sound as good live as on record, the relatively stripped-down live band arrangements gave the material a different dimension and feel, but it was still gratifying to see and experience. And yet for as good as she was musically, the trait that was most on display this evening was just how wonderfully goofy she was.

If there’s any kind of manual about how an ascendant soul diva should behave onstage, Jessie Ware didn’t get a copy. Or perhaps she threw it out and instead subscribed to the Adele school of thought, which is simply “be yourself”. Ware had no airs about her whatsoever, and when not singing – and even sometimes while – was clearly having a great time bantering and interacting with the audience, posing for photos, comparing outfits, and cracking jokes; goofing with the crowd did cause a couple of flubs in the performance, but she recovered perfectly and the moments only added to the show. An argument could be made that she was more delighted to be there, for her first Canadian show, than her fans were – and they were plenty delighted.

The arguable show-stopper of the night was a breathtaking “Wildest Moments”, but it wasn’t the final word as they wrapped with “Running”; there was no encore, but the job was well and truly done. At one point in the show, Ware mentioned that though this was her first Canadian performance, she had actually been in Toronto a couple years ago as a backup singer. This was probably in reference to the 2011 SBTRKT show at Wrongbar which presently gives attendees bragging rights because of a surprise Drake appearance, but in the not-too-distant future, it might be most notable as the first time superstar Jessie Ware set foot on a Toronto stage.

Exclaim and BlogTO also have reviews of the show. The Georgia Straight, Stereogum, and Exclaim have interviews with Ware, and NPR has a World Cafe session. Both Ware and MS MR have just released new videos.

Photos: Jessie Ware, MS MR @ The Opera House – April 6, 2013
Video: Jessie Ware – “Imagine It Was Us”
Video: Jessie Ware – “Sweet Talk”
Video: Jessie Ware – “Night Light”
Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”
Video: Jessie Ware – “110%”
Video: Jessie Ware – “Running”
Video: Jessie Ware & Sampha – “Valentine”
Video: MS MR – “Hurricane” (version two)
Video: MS MR – “Hurricane” (version one)
Video: MS MR – “Fantasy”

The San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner talk to Johnny Marr about going solo. He’s at The Phoenix on April 27.

The Guardian, Village Voice, Filter, and Clash talk to James Blake about his new album Overgrown, out now. He plays The Danforth Music Hall on May 4.

Clash profiles Daughter, whose debut If You Leave gets a North American release on April 30. They play The Great Hall on May 7.

Beady Eye appear ready to drop their Dave Sitek-produced second album on June 10. A first, horn-infused, sample from the album has been made available to stream.

Stream: Beady Eye – “Flick Of The Finger”

In conversation with DIY, Katie Harkin offers updates on what’s been happening with Sky Larkin – including lineup changes – and confirms that their third album will be coming out this Summer.

Spinner and Black Book interview head Frightened Rabbit Scott Hutchison.

British Sea Power discuss their latest Machineries Of Joy with DIY and New Statesman.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Echo Or Encore

Eleanor Friedberger leads this week’s batch of concert announcements

Photo By Roger KisbyRoger KisbyYou can probably blame the entire music industry’s post-SXSW hangover for this week’s roundup of concert announcements being a little late and a little lean. But there were still some. And here they are.

While I believe the official status of The Fiery Furnaces is that they’re a going concern, it’s pretty clear that the burner that they’re on is pretty far back. Since they finished touring 2009’s presciently-titled I’m Going Away, both Friedberger siblings have busied themselves in solo form. Matthew Friedberger released six full-lengths as part of his Solos series in 2011 and followed that with Matricidal Sons Of Bitches last Fall. Eleanor Friedberger, on the other hand, has worked at a relative snail’s pace, with only 2011’s Last Summer to her name, at least until now.

Her second solo venture will be out June 4 and entitled Personal Record, and while complete dates in support of it haven’t yet surfaced, it is confirmed that they’ll include a June 5 date at The Horseshoe, tickets $15 in advance. Exclaim has details on the record, for which there is a trailer and a first single to stream. You can also download a live version of the song, which was part of an Epitonic Saki Session a couple years ago.

MP3: Eleanor Friedberger – “Stare At The Sun” (live at Saki sessions)
Stream: Eleanor Friedberger – “Stare At The Sun”
Trailer: Eleanor Friedberger / Personal Record

I can’t that I’ve ever heard of On An On, but that they’ll have New York electro-pop sweeties Savoir Adore as support when they come to town for a show at The Drake on April 12 – tickets $14 – puts them on my radar. Savoir Adore will be re-releasing last year’s Dreamers on June 4 through their new home at Nettwerk Records with some bonus goodies

MP3: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”
Video: On An On – “The Hunter”

With his new album Mala out now, Devendra Banhart has put together a North American tour to support. He’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on June 3, tickets $29.50 in advance. Banhart is profiled by The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, The Independent, and Magnet.

MP3: Devendra Banhart – “Baby”
Stream: Devendra Banhart – “Never Seen Such Good Things”

His last scheduled show in December 2010 was canceled at the last minute, but former Beta Band-er Steve Mason is trying again; with his new album Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time due out April 9, Mason has put together a North American tour that brings him to the Drake Underground on May 1, tickets $13.50. The Quietus and The Guardian have feature pieces on Mason.

MP3: Steve Mason – “All Come Down”

New York electro duo MS MR might be making their local debut on April 6 at the Opera House as support for Jessie Ware, but with their new record Secondhand Rapture coming out May 14, they’ve already booked their first headlining show. They’re back for a gig at Wrongbar on May 22.

Video: MS MR – “Hurricane”

British punk veterans The Stranglers are back with a new record in Giants on May 28, and will be in town at the Danforth Music Hall on May 31 to support.

Video: The Stranglers – “Mercury Rising”

Los Angeles electronic artist Baths will be in town at The Horseshoe on June 9 in support of his new album Obsidian, due out May 28. Tickets for that are $15 and you can stream a track from the new record below.

MP3: Baths – “Exit The Mine”
Stream: Baths – “Miasma Sky”

This week’s additions to the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest, running July 4 to 7 at Garrison Commons, are Dawes, Arkells, and Fitz & The Tantrums. And while Shovels & Rope aren’t in that list, they’ll be supporting Dawes on their Summer tour and will probably be officially added after their local date supporting Lucero at The Phoenix next week is in the books. One more round of major acts will be announced next week but if you’re planning to attend the fest a la carte, you should know the day-by-day breakdown of who’s playing when is already up. Single day tickets go on sale March 28.

MP3: Dawes – “If I Wanted Someone”
Video: Arkells – “On Paper”
Video: Fitz & The Tantrums – “Don’t Gotta Work It Out”
Video: Shovels & Rope – “Birmingham”

Another addition to the Summer of mini-fests in Toronto – July 12 at Downsview Park, you can get your bro on with a bill of Weezer, performing The Blue Album in its entirety along with other hits and favourites, Passion Pit doing those two songs that everyone likes as well as some others, and METZ confusing and frightening the early birds. Tickets for that are $82.50 in advance.

MP3: METZ – “Wet Blanket”
Video: Weezer – “Buddy Holly”
Video: Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”

Telekinesis have released a new video from their forthcoming Domarion, out April 2, and Benjamin Michael Lerner lists off some of his favourite things for Spin before playing an acoustic video session. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on May 12.

Video: Telekinesis – “Ghosts & Creatures”

Rilo Kiley have gone the home movie route for the video from their forthcoming rkives rarities comp, due out April 2.

Video: Rilo Kiley – “Let Me Back In”

The Black Angels talk to The Dumbing Of America about their new album Indigo Meadow. It’s out April 2 and they’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on April 13.

I don’t know why they called this a remix, because if it was a remix, I wouldn’t care. But what it is is a cover of the new Phoenix single by Dinosaur Jr, and it’s great. Thomas Mars talks to Spin a bit about why it exists. Bankrupt! is out April 23 and Phoenix are at The Grove Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “Entertainment”

Flavorwire talks to John Vanderslice about his crowdfunded new record Dagger Beach, which has been given a June 11 release date, and Rolling Stone has premiered a stream of one of the new songs.

Stream: John Vanderslice – “Raw Wood”

The Men have rolled out the first video from their new record New Moon. The Fly also has an interview with the band.

Video: The Men – “I Saw Her Face”

eMusic has an interview with Low.

Over at FasterLouder, Henry Wagons interviews Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

Ben Bridwell updates Rolling Stone on the status of the new Band Of Horses.