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Posts Tagged ‘Neutral Milk Hotel’

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Stylin'

Shad comes back with Flying Colours

Photo By Justin BroadbentJustin BroadbentThe sneak release has become something of a trend this year – “what this? Oh, it’s nothing, JUST MY NEW ALBUM HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT IT” – but that’s just not Shad’s style. Yeah, it’s been a while – over three years – since his last record of TSOL came out, but he’s done his best to keep his ever-growing fanbase satiated, releasing the excellent Melancholy & The Infinite Shadness mixtape last Summer and revealing the title of his next LP as Flying Colours via newsletter this past Spring. He’s all about keeping you in the loop.

And so while last week’s announcement of the Toronto release show got ahead of the actual album announcement a bit, Exclaim now has all the information you need to know. Flying Colours will be out on October 15, providing proper context for the aforementioned October 19 date at The Opera House, and there’s a handful more Canadian dates to go along with that. He’s also opening up for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis across Canada over the next week, including tomorrow at Echo Beach, and will be co-hosting the Polaris Music Prize gala at The Carlu on September 23 with Kathleen Edwards, as long as we’re being thorough. And oh, the first video from the new record – guest-starring Saukretes – also just premiered at Mass Appeal. Shad it up.

Video: Shad featuring Saukrates – “Stylin'”

NOW welcomes Father John Misty back to town (for like the millionth time) with an interview. He plays the Danforth Music Hall on August 3.

Sarah Neufeld is streaming another track from her forthcoming solo debut Hero Brother, out August 20. She plays The Drake Undergound on August 22.

Stream: Sarah Neufeld – “Forcelessness”

Chart has a video session with Diana; their debut Perpetual Surrender is out August 20 and they play The Great Hall on September 26.

Braids are streaming another new track from their forthcoming Flourish//Perish, set for release on August 20. Further, they’ve just announced an extensive North American tour that brings them back to town on November 1 for a show at BLK BOX with Gainesville, Florida’s Hundred Waters supporting.

Stream: Braids – “Hossack”
Video: Hundred Waters – “Thistle”

Stereogum has premiered the next performance video leading up to the September 3 release of Okkervil River’s next record The Silver Gymnasium; in this one, Will Sheff plays some songs in his former high school cafeteria. He’ll do the same – with his band – on September 28 at The Phoenix.

The Weeknd continues to build up to the September 10 release of Kiss Land and a trio of dates at Massey Hall on October 17, 19, and 20 with the release of a new video.

Video: The Weeknd – “Love In The Sky”

Filter gets to know Speedy Ortiz, who play The Horseshoe on September 15 supporting Chelsea Light Moving.

Macleans and Under The Radar talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra. They play The Phoenix on September 27.

Billboard gets some more info from Solange on her forthcoming record, though nothing as particular as a title or release date. The Fader, however, has a pretty sweet session video of Solange performing in a Brooklyn laundromat.

Britt Daniel dishes to CBC Music about festival life and what’s up with the new records from both Spoon and Divine Fits; The Georgia Straight also has a talk with Dan Boeckner about Divine Fits.

Tone Deaf interviews Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

And because I made something of a deal of it when the reunion was originally announced back in April, I’ll just mention that Neutral Milk Hotel’s North American itinerary has been announced and Toronto comes early in the routing with two nights at The Kool Haus on January 19 and 20. Tickets are $35.50 – $1 of which goes to the Children Of The Blue Sky charity – and go on sale Friday, August 2, at 1PM. And just as for Jeff Mangum’s solo shows at Trinity-St. Paul’s in 2011, there will be no cameras or recording devices allowed – cellphones included – so you may as well get the righteous indignation that you won’t get to Instagram “Two-Headed Boy” out of your systems now. That’s it. Let it alllllll out.

MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland 1945”

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Someone Is Waiting

Because there is a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion, I don’t even need to try today.

Photo By Will WestbrookWill WestbrookGuys, in case it wasn’t obvious, running a music blog that tries to update daily is hard work. So when something comes down the wire like, oh, a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion, it’s not the sort of low-hanging fruit one passes up, even if everyone and their mother is reporting it. And so even though you’ve surely already heard, Jeff Mangum – having confirmed via his 2011 solo tour that people do indeed still care about his old band – has gotten Scott Spillane, Julian Koster, and Jeremy Barnes to reform the In The Aeroplane Over The Sea lineup and commit to tour dates this Fall.

Presently, those tour dates number only five – two predictably at the 40 Watt Club in the band’s hometown of Athens, Georgia, one reasonably in Asheville, North Carolina, and two more bizarrely in Tokyo and Taipei. More will surely follow – one doesn’t open the door to something of this magnitude to just immediately shut it – but certainly not before those Athens dates in late October. And might this be paving the way for some new recordings…? Hey, one internet-breaking announcement at a time, alright?

MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland 1945”
MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Song Against Sex”

PopMatters talks to Tobin Sprout of Guided By Voices about their fourth post-reunion full-length English Little League, out as of today.

She & Him have let NPR stream their new album, the cryptically-titled Volume 3, a week before it comes out on May 7. They kick off the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 4.

Stream: She & Him / Volume 3

Spinner has a feature interview with Charles Bradley, who leads his Extraordinaires into The Phoenix on May 11.

Consequence Of Sound has details on a new Wild Nothing EP entitled Empty Estate due out May 14, a video from which has been made and released into the wild.

Video: Wild Nothing – “A Dancing Shell”

Spinner talks to the Berninger family about the Mistaken For Strangers documentary about The National, which features and was directed by brothers Matt and Tom. The new National album Trouble Will Find Me is out May 21 and they play Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

Though he’s mainly focusing on his new record The Low Highway, as in this interview with Spinner, Steve Earle talks to Billboard about revisiting his past with the release of a box set collecting Train A Comin’, I Feel Alright, and El Corazon – the albums that got me obsessed with Earle in the first place – as well as a live album in Live at the Polk Theater and a live DVD in To Hell and Back, circa 1995 and 1996 respectively. The five-disc Steve Earle: The Warner Bros. Years set will be out June 25 and you can stream one of the Polk Theatre tracks below.

Stream: Steve Earle – “The Devil’s Right Hand”

The Fly has a feature interview with Parquet Courts, coming to town for a gig at The Horseshoe on July 17.

Of Montreal took to Kevin Barnes’ Tumblr to announce the completion of their new album Lousy With Sylvainbriar, scheduled for release this Fall.

Janelle Monáe talks fashion with MTV Hive. Her new album The Electric Lady is due out sometime this year.

In conversation with Spin, TV On The Radio reveal they’re working on a new album and it won’t be for Interscope.

NPR has a video stream of The Flaming Lips performing Yoshimi live, in its entirety, back at SXSW in March.

Yours Truly has a video session with Caitlin Rose.

The Black Angels stop in at The Alternate Side for a video session and interview.

NPR chats with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Easy Water

Review of Caveman’s Coco Beware and giveaway

Photo via Dine Alone RecordsFrank YangMost bands that name themselves for prehistoric entities – your Mastadons, your Dinosaur Jrs – seem to do so at least a little for the heavy and/or primal connotations that come with it. Not so much for Brooklyn’s Caveman, who seem to have chosen the name ironically as there’s nothing raw or neolithic about their smooth and polished debut album Coco Beware.

Rather than club you about the head with a bone, Caveman makes an impression with shimmering guitars, floaty synths and tight harmonies delivering genial, mid-tempo pop that’s reminiscent of a less annoying Vampire Weekend sans Afropop influences. Another reference point is Local Natives thanks to their vocal interplay and creative percussion though Caveman never gets nearly as frantic as that outfit when they’re in gear. Granted, atmosphere and mood are much more Caveman’s mandate than overt dynamicism but you can sense that they’ve got the goods to amp things up a bit if they wanted, they’ve simply opted not to. As a result, Coco Beware succeeds at being an interesting listen, but not a very exciting one. They can do better.

Caveman are in town at The Horseshoe on January 11 along with Oklahoma’s Hospitality, chattered about here. Tickets are $10 in advance but courtesy of Embrace I’ve got a pair of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Caveman” in the subject line and your full name in the body, contest closes at midnight, January 8.

MP3: Caveman – “Thankful”
MP3: Caveman – “Easy Water”
MP3: Caveman – “Old Friend”
MP3: Caveman – “Decide”
MP3: Caveman – “My Room”
Video: Caveman – “Easy Water”

Anyone hoping that the Cat Power Christmas Eve release would be a new song rather than a cover might be a little disappointed that it’s not – but to be fair, it’s a cover of herself. Her redo of “King Rides By” sounds very much like the confident Cat Power of today than rather than the one who originally recorded it for her third album What Would The Community Think in 1996 – great for those who have been waiting to hear her voice wrapped around anything new but not necessarily offering much insight into where her songwriting is as she prepares her first release of new material since 2006’s The Greatest. An MP3 of the track is available to download from Cat Power’s website in exchange for a charitable donation and the video, featuring boxer Manny Pacquiao and directed by actor/director Giovanni Ribisi, is available to watch below.

Video: Cat Power – “King Rides By”

Wilco are streaming the opening night of their “Incredible Shrinking Tour Of Chicago” from earlier this month at Roadcase.

One of this year’s Record Store Day releases was an EP consisting of Franz Ferdinand covers; a video for the selection by Peaches came out back in the Spring but now, three more for the contributions by LCD Soundsystem, Stephin Merritt and ESG have come out. Still nothing for the collaboration between Franz Ferdinand themselves and Deborah Harry yet, but these other vids came out of nowhere as well. So.

Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Live Alone”
Video: ESG – “What She Came For”
Video: Stephin Merritt – “Dream Again”
Video: Peaches – “Turn It On”

Spinner talks to Matthew Sweet about celebrating his 20th anniversary with his Girlfriend, Laundromatinee welcomes the popsmith to their studios for a session, and NPR has a Mountain Stage session.

The AV Club gets Craig Finn to go all One-Track Mind with one of the songs from his solo debut Clear Heart Full Eyes, due out January 24.

DIY checks in with Of Montreal as they put the finishing touches on Paralytic Stalks, out February 7.

The Alternate Side serves up a session with Mates Of State.

Spin has a Moog Sound Lab video session with The Antlers.

Loud & Quiet interviews Erika Anderson of EMA, who has a date at The Garrison on March 13.

Merrell Garbus talks to Blurt about what’s been a pretty good year for tUnE-yArDs. Relix also has a chat.

NYC Taper – who narrowly avoided being hacked into oblivion earlier this week – has posted recordings of a couple of this year’s Yo La Tengo Hannukah shows at Maxwell’s in Hoboken.

Paste looks into the enduring appeal of Neutral Milk Hotel’s not-nearly-as-reclusive-as-he-used-to-be leader Jeff Mangum.

NPR talks to Tom Waits.

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The World (Is Going Up In Flames)

Charles Bradley has no time for dreaming; finally has time for Toronto

Photo By Kisha BariKisha BariIf you were to ask anyone at SXSW this past March what was the best thing they’d seen, odds are you’d have heard “Charles Bradley” in response; I certainly did. Like his Daptone labelmate Sharon Jones, the Florida-born, Brooklyn-based classic soul singer had travelled a long, hard road filled with false starts and personal tragedies, but with the release of his first full-length album No Time For Dreaming earlier this year and accompanying praise for both his recordings and performances, it seemed he was finally getting his due.

Or so I heard. I didn’t catch any of his sets in Austin and waiting for him to tour through Toronto – as I was certain he would considering he made appearances at Osheaga in Montreal and Sappyfest in Mount Allison in late July – proved fruitless. I had no doubt that the wide-eyed, breathless testimonials about the power of his shows was deserved, but I had yet to witness it for myself. Well as it turns out, I only had to wait the better part of a year – Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires have just announced a date at Lee’s Palace on February 11 of next year, tickets $22.50 in advance and on sale this Friday. Which is not to complain – after all, Bradley had to wait decades for his shot. A year’s not so bad. If you’re a fan of old-school soul – and everyone should be – you ought to be there.

MP3: Charles Bradley – “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)”
MP3: Charles Bradley – “Now That I’m Gone”
Video: Charles Bradley – “Heartaches And Pain”
Video: Charles Bradley – “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)”

The Smith Westerns are rolling into The Horseshoe on January 27, tickets $15 in advance. It’s unlikely they’ve got a new album finished and ready for sneak release, so assume this is continuing to support this year’s Dye It Blonde.

MP3: The Smith Westerns – “Still New”

Oklahoma’s Other Lives got a bit of a profile boost when they were announced as the openers for the first leg of Radiohead’s US tour this Spring, but seeing as how there’s no local date for that bill as yet, fans and the curious will be pleased to know that they’ll be in town at The Drake Underground on February 14, tickets $12.50. That’s a bit less than Radiohead tickets would cost, I think.

MP3: Other Lives – “For 12”
MP3: Other Lives – “Tamer Animals”
MP3: Other Lives – “Song Song”

With the final – presumably – R.E.M. release in Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011 now out, it’s exit interview time. Michael Stipe explains the band’s decision to disband in conversation with Salon and CNN while Mike Mills chats with Billboard, Time, Spin, Consequence Of Sound, and Scotland On Sunday – he also talks to Spinner about Occupy Wall Street – and USA Today gets some quotes from all three members. Blurt, meanwhile, solicits testimonials from a range of artists and fans.

It’s not an official Neutral Milk Hotel video or anything, but this clip put together by Naomi Yang of Galaxie 500/Damon & Naomi is noteworthy if for no other reason than the song was, apparently, written about her.

Video: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Naomi”

The Stool Pigeon and Spinner talk to Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls.

The Washington Post interviews Ted Leo.

Stereogum checks in with School Of Seven Bells to see how their first album as a duo is coming along. At least well enough to have a title – Ghostory – and ballpark release date of next Spring. Update: The record is out February 28.

Guitar Junkie, The Riverfront Times and Apes On Tape talk to Lauren Larsen of Ume.

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Boom

Wild Flag is pretty effin’ wild

Photo By John ClarkJohn ClarkEven before anyone heard a note, there was little doubt that Wild Flag would be fantastic. With two-thirds of Sleater-Kinney in Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony of Helium and Rebecca Cole of The Minders, they had about as unimpeachable a pedigree as any band really could. And yet, as history has shown many times, a lot of things look good on paper but don’t live up to expectations in reality. Wild Flag is not one of those things.

I was able to confirm their collective awesomeness at SXSW where their mid-afternoon set was a glorious flurry of duelling guitar solos, scissor kicks and general rock’n’roll fun, and even though pretty much every song was being heard for the first time, they were memorable and considerably more immediate and accessible than either much of Sleater-Kinney’s output and most of Helium’s ever was.

But hell, don’t take my word for it. A couple weeks ahead of the September 13 release of their self-titled debut, the entire album is now available to stream in its entirety at NPR. That, incidentally, is where Brownstein worked as a blogger for years following SK’s hiatus. Considering her focus on writing as well as comedy and acting in the last five years in lieu of music and the fact that Timony hasn’t put anything out since 2007’s The Shapes We Make, it’s no wonder that they collectively had so much rock pent up inside. Rock that they’ve now gifted to us. Fire it up, yo.

They toured through the Spring, but the Fall leg will finally bring them to Toronto for a show at Lee’s Palace on October 12… and alas I won’t be there. But don’t feel bad for me (not that you necessarily would) – I saw them at SXSW and I’ll be in Iceland at the time so… yeah, I’ll be okay. But if you’re here or in one of the other cities on the itinerary, don’t miss them.

MP3: Wild Flag – “Romance”
MP3: Wild Flag – “Glass Tambourine”
Stream: Wild Flag / Wild Flag

Phantoms, the long-awaited new album from Austin’s Ume, is out today and available to stream in whole over at Spinner. There’s also a streamable radio session with the band over at KDHX and an interview with frontwoman Lauren Larson at The Horn.

MP3: Ume – “Captive”
Stream: Ume / Phantoms

Billboard talks to Zach Condon of Beirut; The Rip Tide.

Stereogum checks in with Mates Of State about their new record Mountaintops, out September 13. They’re at The Phoenix on September 28.

The Drums’ new record Portamento is now up and streaming; the record is out September 13 and they play The Mod Club on October 1.

Stream: The Drums / Portamento

Paste has a stream of Blitzen Trapper’s new long-player American Goldwing, also due out September 13, as well as a new video. They play The Opera House on October 30.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Love The Way You Walk Away”
MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “American Goldwing”
Video: Blitzen Trapper – “Love The Way You Walk Away”
Stream: Blitzen Trapper / American Goldwing

NPR has premiered the first new Olivia Tremor Control song in nigh on a decade and has an interview with Will Cullen Hart. The OTC reunion hits Lee’s Palace on September 16.

Stereogum is sharing an MP3 from the new Ivy album All Hours, out September 20.

The Guardian has a feature piece on Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, in town at Lee’s Palace on September 24.

Check out another track from the new Dum Dum Girls record Only In Dreams, due out September 27. They play Lee’s on October 16.

MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”

Babelgum is hosting a US edition of Black Cab Sessions with Strand Of Oaks, who will be at The Drake Underground on November 8 opening up for Crooked Fingers.

Though best known as a country-noir crooner outfit, thanks to her recent dalliances with Sunn O))) Jesse Sykes of Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter has got some prog-metal cred. We’ll see if any of that has rubbed off on their latest Marble Son when they’re here on November 10 for a show at The Drake before hitting the road with The Sadies. There’s features on Sykes at Seattle Weekly and Willamette Week and you can stream a recent radio session at KEXP.

MP3: Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter – “Come To Mary”

Confirming that it is, indeed, time to get paid, Jeff Mangum has launched a new, official Neutral Milk Hotel website and will be releasing an elaborate vinyl-only box set including unreleased Neutral Milk material on November 22. Head over to Pitchfork for details and spend some time poking around walkingwallofwords.com as Mangum has loaded it down with content.

DIY has an interview with Dayve Hawk of Memory Tapes.

The Daily Star talks to Nikolai Fraiture of The Strokes.