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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Deep Wound

Swervedriver veer back into fast lane with new album

Photo by Gaz FailGaz FailFor a band that’s so intrinsically connected to the idea of powerful cars barrelling down the highway, Oxford’s Swervedriver have taken a pretty leisurely path since they reunited in 2008, touring fairly regularly behind old material but seeming to focus their creative energies on non-Swervies work; frontman Adam Franklin releasing three full-length albums with his Bolts Of Melody solo project including this year’s Black Horses, as well as one with Magnetic Morning, his project with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino. And while Toshack Highway hasn’t released anything since 2006, don’t discount Franklin returning to the project at some point in the future.

But for all of those releases’ merits, they’ve not been Swervedriver so it’s pretty exciting news that 2014 will finally see the band putting into gear with the release of a new Swervedriver album, their first since 1998’s 99th Dream. Now reunion albums are rightly regarded with suspicion – sometimes they’re great, a la My Bloody Valentine, but usually they’re passable at best and embarrassing at worst, but from just-released the first single – which they’re streaming along with the alternate version b-side, remixed by Ride’s Mark Gardener – their ability to meld great guitar riffs with catchy melodies remains wholly intact, and excitingly reminiscent of Raise, their 22-year old debut; it’s like dream-pop where the dream is of a muscle car going full tilt down the open road. Bring it.

The Feedback Society has an interview with Adam Franklin about both the new Bolts Of Melody record and the return of Swervedriver. And if you’re new to the band or haven’t been paying attention, a slew of live rarities – including complete on-stage versions of their first four albums – are available to download, gratis. Update: And now there’s a video.

Stream: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”
Stream: Swervedriver – “Dub Wound”
Video: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”

DIY talks to TOY about their new album Join The Dots, the title track of which they play in session for The Guardian. The album is out this week and they’ll be at The Horseshoe on January 14.

The Fly corners Cate Le Bon to play a video session for them. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21.

Maxïmo Park have rolled out a second video from their new album Too Much Information, out February 3.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “Leave This Island”

The Fly has details on the new album from Bombay Bicycle Club, which will be called So Long, See You Tomorrow and be out in the UK on February 3.

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Fanfarlo, taken from their forthcoming album Let’s Go Extinct, coming out February 11.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Landlocked”

London’s Let’s Wrestle return with their third album – a self-titled effort – on February 11 and they’ve permiered the first video from it at Noisey.

Video: Let’s Wrestle – “Codeine and Marshmallows”

Even though his latest album was the rather definitively-titled full-band affair Electric, It’ll be Richard Thompson solo and acoustic at Koerner Hall on March 6, just as when he dazzled there in September 2011. This time, though, he’ll have an opener with him and that’s none other than his son, Teddy Thompson.

Stream: Richard Thompson – “Good Things Happen To Bad People”

Intelligent Life hangs out with Guy Garvey of Elbow; their new album Carry Her Carry Me is out March 10.

What do you do if you’re releasing a single that appears in two different versions on your two current albums, one live and one studio? if you’re Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the albums are Live At KCRW and Push The Sky Away, you record a third version. And then you premiere it at Rolling Stone. Cave and company are at The Sony Centre on July 31.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Higgs Boson Blues”

DIY have premiered a stream from Kate Nash’s new holiday EP Have Faith This Christmas. You probably know the song.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Silent Night”

Laura Groves has a new video for a Paul McCartney cover contributed to the Pun For Cover cover album; check it out via DIY.

Video: Laura Groves – “Waterfalls”

The Toronto Sun has an interview with and Stereogum a streaming b-side from Arctic Monkeys.

Stream: Arctic Monkeys – “You’re So Dark”

David Bowie has released another video from the bonus material on The Next Day Extra, though not for one of the new songs but again a remix – or an edit of a remix, to be precise, whatever that means.

Video: David Bowie – “I’d Rather Be High” Venetian Mix (Wasted Edit)

Rolling Stone asks Noel Gallagher how his year was. He answers as only Noel Gallagher can.

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Divine Light

The Deer Tracks, Falls, and deVah Quartet at The Silver Dollar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI had planned to lead off by saying that if there was one silver lining to Apple’s completely FUBAR-ed redo of their Music app in iOS7, it was that its insistence on playing all albums by an artist in sequence, ignoring the end of one album and the start of another, it was that I’d be able to listen to The Deer TracksArcher Trilogy as a single entity, uninterrupted by flipping vinyl discs and sides. But as it turns out, for whatever reason, my iPhone insists on sorting them in order of volume 1, 3, and 2, so that doesn’t work. Screw you, Apple.

But even if it takes a few more clicks or flips than ideal, it’s something to be able to experience the work as a whole. The expansive, uplifting moments crafted by the Swedish duo of David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors that initially hooked me have lost none of their impact, but the spaces in between really do pull the over 100-minutes of grandiose synth-pop together and even if you don’t fully understand what it’s about – though there is a narrative – you certainly feel it. And though it’s not reasonable to expect the full scope of the work to come across in a live show, as evidenced by their local debut last June and their return visit nine months to the day before this last one, they certainly make a go of it.

There was some interesting local support on the bill for the visiting Swedes, starting with the deVah Quartet – a modern take on the classical string quartet combining electric instruments run through serious pedalboards and amplification, backed by a hard-hitting drummer, and boasting Varvatos-approved rock’n’roll style. So by the criteria of not sounding like every other band, they’d already won. And while not the most convincing rock singers or songwriters, they more than compensated with top-notch performance chops and arrangements. I couldn’t say who their audience is going to be – the connections between classical and rock are hardly unexplored but not often from this direction – but if and when they find them, they’ll be golden.

Swinging way back on the conventional side of things were Falls, who wanted nothing more than to be a radio-ready alternative rock band, and in that, they were successful. They were solid players and a tight unit – impressive considering their bassist was a substitute – but those positives were undermined by the general over-emoting and other such tropes of radio-ready alternative rock, perhaps best captured in their unnecessary and un-nuanced cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. But unlike deVah, I know exactly who their audience is and they’re out and are legion. And so it goes.

There’s not that many ways to re-configure a duo, but somehow The Deer Tracks have managed to bring a different markedly different show to town three times now, in the past year and a half. After performing as a four-piece with touring keyboardist and drummer the previous two times, they were now a three-piece set up amidst a jungle of cables, stands, and LED lights, with Lehnberg assuming drum and percussion duties; this was after doing guitar/keys/vocals duties the first time and focusing on synths last time.

The net result of this reconfiguration, plus the necessary translation of the recorded work into a condensed live show of highlights, was a more percussive, visceral, and dramatic reading of The Archer Trilogy than one might have expected. Yet it did this without compromising the whimsy and delicacy of the material – this end of things remained well intact thanks to Lindfors’ vocals, as well her work on keys, saw, and melodica. The band’s resolutely DIY ethos is well-known to anyone who’s followed the band; the same drive and passion that compels them to create multi-part musical epics and undertake extensive international tours to slowly but steadily grow their fanbase also allows them to imbue something genuinely transformative into their performance. As in February, there weren’t a whole lot of people there but those that were got to experience something special.

Photos: The Deer Tracks, Falls, deVah Quartet @ The Silver Dollar – November 28, 2013
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Okta Crash”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Dark Passenger”
Stream: Falls – “Rain Turn To Snow”
Stream: deVah Quartet – “Tell Me How You Really Feel”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Divine Light”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Lazarus”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Meant To Be”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Tiger”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Fall With Me”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Fra Ro Raa / Ro Ra Fraa”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Ram Ram”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Slow Collision”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “12sxfrya”

AlbumStreams have a stream of the new live Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds record Live From KCRW, which gets a proper physical release as of today. They’re in town at The Sony Centre on July 31.

Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Live At KCRW

Holograms have released a new video from Forever; they’re at The Garrison on December 8.

Video: Holograms – “Luminous”

TwentyFourBit has got a stream of José González’s contribution to the soundtrack of the new Secret Life Of Walter Mitty film, which opens Christmas Day.

Stream: José González – “Step Out”

Exclaim has details on Sigur Rós’ attempt to make Christmas shopping easy for the Sigur Rós fan in your life – a nine-disc vinyl box set of their last album Kveikur, which features each track of their album on an individual 45RPM 12″ with an instrumental mix of the same song as the b-side. And the set is now sold out, so this entire paragraph is moot.

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

After The Disco

Broken Bells top the list of yesterday’s concert announcements because it comes with a giveaway

Photo By James MinchinJames MinchinConfirming the status of Broken Bells as actual band and not just project, James Mercer of The Shins and Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse have announced the follow-up to their 2010 self-titled debut, excellent news for those who like their indie-pop with a slice of hip-hop and vice-versa.

The new album, After The Disco, will be out on January 14 and the efforts to get people excited about it are well underway. The teaser trailer unveiled last month gave way to the first episode of a Hollywood-flavoured science fiction serial watchable at Rolling Stone, a first preview track from the new album at Pitchfork, and an interview with the duo at NPR.

And now there’s tour dates. Broken Bells have made a date at The Danforth Music Hall for March 3 with Au Revoir Simone supporting, tickets for which are $39.50 before fees and go on sale Friday at 10AM. But for those looking to take care of business before that and save some money, courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to the show before they go on sale this Friday. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Broken Bells” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, November 21. Winners will be notified before the on-sale goes live.

Stream: Broken Bells – “Holding On For Life”
Video: Broken Bells: After The Disco

Sweden-based Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun will return for a show at The Rivoli on February 14, part of a North American tour. Her last album of new material was 2011’s It All Starts With One, but she also released a compilation album and rarities collection this year. Metro has an interview.

MP3: Ane Brun – “Do You Remember”

Though they’re not nearly the stars they were tipped to be when they first emerged in 2008, anthemically melancholic Scots Glasvegas still have the fanbase to justify a North American tour in support of their third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static; full dates aren’t up yet, but one imagines they’re not coming all the way over here to only play The Mod Club on February 22 at $20 a head.

MP3: Glasvegas – “Later… When The TV Turns To Static”

One of 2013’s breakout bands from the UK on the back of their self-titled debut, The 1975 still have a short North American tour on the calendar for December, but will return in the Spring for a much more extensive intinerary, including a stop in at The Danforth Music Hall on May 6; tickets for that are $23.50 plus fees. There’s interviews with the band at The Guardian and KROQ, and a list of potentially life-changing records at MTV Hive.

Video: The 1975 – “Head.Cars.Bending”

There was a time when moving from a venue the size of The Great Hall to one more than twice that would be a remarkable feat – nowadays, it seems to simply be what happens. And so it’s no great shock that London Grammar will follow up their local debut last month with a return engagement at The Phoenix on April 7, part of a Spring tour following SXSW. Tickets for that are $22.50 in advance and NPR is streaming a KEXP session with the band.

Video: London Grammar – “Strong”

Also making a return to a Toronto stage – much sooner than I think anyone expected since they were here just in March – are Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I’m not sure if this is meant to be a second leg behind Push The Sky Away or maybe a tie-in to the Live At KCRW live document coming out December 2, but it really doesn’t matter – Cave and company are coming back. They’ll wrap the Summer tour in Toronto on July 31 with a show at The Sony Centre; ticket pricing isn’t available yet but the presale will go tomorrow morning at 10AM – sign up for details. And since you’re already giving them your email, you may as well get the two free downloads from the aforementioned KCRW live album they’re giving away in exchange for your personal information.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Jubilee Street”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the debut album from UK psych-rockers Temples, just in time for their local debut show at The Horseshoe tomorrow night. It’s called Sun Structures, will be out February 11, and one of the tracks on it will sound like this. There’s also an interview at XFM.

Stream: Temples – “Mesmerise”

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Faith

I Break Horses keep the “Faith”

Photo By Magnus HardnerMagnus HärdnerSince offering up the first proof of its existence in July with a new stream, followed not long after by a video, I’ve been anxiously waiting on official information regarding the new album from Swedish electronic act I Break Horses. Pitchfork had previously reported an October release for the follow up to 2011’s Hearts, but as we’re into the final days of the month that seems pretty unlikely.

So in lieu of the new record, yesterday’s flurry of news about the new record will have to do. For starters, a second new song was premiered via beautifully shot video at Noisey, the title of the album – Chiaroscuro – was revealed, though to be fair if I’d seen this interview with Maria Lindén which ran on MTV Iggy at the start of September I’d have already known that, and with a little bit of sleuthing it would appear the general “early 2014” release window that Bella Union is offering will actually be January 20 in Europe and January 28 in North America. Obviously this is all subject to change, but I will take it for now. And the new song, too. Swoon.

Video: I Break Horses – “Faith”
Video: I Break Horses – “Denial”

It might seem a bit backwards, but Swedish glammers The Sounds have made their new record Weekend available to stream at Spin a few days before its release on October 29, but a full week after their North American tour brought them through town. In any case, We Love DC and The Bay Bridged also have interviews with the band.

Stream: The Sounds / Weekend

examiner.com talks to José González of Junip.

Drowned In Sound has some annotations from Efterklang on the two new – and final – videos they’ll be releasing from last year’s Piramida.

Video: Efterklang – “Between The Walls”
Video: Efterklang – “Black Summer”

The Wall Street Journal and San Francisco Examiner talk to Danish singer-songwriter Nanna Fabricius of Oh Land.

The Guardian has got video from one of the songs Sigur R&ocaute;s performed as part of a concert for the BBC at their Maida Vale Studios.

Le Blogothèque has a Still Room Session with Of Monsters & Men.

Redefine has an interview with composer Ólafur Arnalds and frequent collaborator and tourmate Nils Frahm; Bloomberg and The Daily Aztec talk to Arnalds on his own.

Australian electro-rockers Cut Copy have made a stream of their new record Free Your Mind available to stream before it comes out November 5; check it out via Pitchfork, and also the video for the title track if you like. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on November 15, tickets $30 to $40 in advance.

Video: Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”
Stream: Cut Copy / Free Your Mind

The Line Of Best Fit has details of Live From KCRW a new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds live record recorded earlier this year at the Los Angeles radio station that is being released in time for Record Store Day on November 29 before getting a wide release on December 2.

Monday, June 17th, 2013

NXNE 2013 Day One

Mikal Cronin, Diana, Moon King, and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI acknowledge that most coverage of NXNE referencing “night one” would be referring to the actual first night of the festival – that being last Wednesday night – but since instead of being out at the clubs, I spent that evening dealing with plumbing issues and catching up on Game Of Thrones, “night one” hereabouts will refer to the first night I got out of the house, which is to say Thursday, which is most others’ “night two”. None of which really matters to anyone; this I also acknowledge. So let’s move on. To The Horseshoe.

I’d flagged Moon King as one of the most interesting new acts in the city since seeing them open up for Niki & The Dove last Fall, a judgement confirmed by the first two thirds of their Obsession EP trilogy. The band is generally flagged as psych-pop – which is accurate – but the way they blend melody, texture, and innocence reminds me a lot of the early shoegaze bands and I’d rate them closer in spirit and execution than most because it’s clear they’re not even trying to be.

And so I was pretty happy to start the festival by seeing how far they’d come in the past nine months. Not that they were a green outfit by any means – band principals Maddy Wilde and Daniel Woodhead cut their teeth years ago as half of Spiral Beach – but Moon King still provided a new dynamic, with Woodhead moving from drums to frontman and Wilde putting the keyboards away to focus on guitar. Still, there was a perceptible difference in their performance this time out – they sounded heavier, yet more assured; their playful side now augmented by a sense of danger, which was a good look, at least in theory. The tail end of the show got a bit too literal with that as the shop lights – you know, the yellow ones with the “DANGER EXTREMELY HOT” warning stickers on them – they were using as stage lights got knocked over during an attempted stage dive, and those of us in the front row spent the remainder of the show trying to ensure that the various things that came in contact with them and started smoking – ie, mic cables and the Horseshoe stage carpeting – didn’t erupt into flame and Great White us all. Because that would have sucked and definitely would have garnered a more negative review.

Photos: Moon King @ The Horseshoe – June 13, 2013
MP3: Moon King – “Appel”
MP3: Moon King – “Only Child”
Video: Moon King – “Only Child”
Video: Moon King – “Sleeping In My Car”

Having just seen Diana back in March, I didn’t expect too much of a different show than last time, but considering in the interim they’d signed to Paper Bag at home and Jagjaguwar in the US for the August 20 release of their debut Perpetual Surrender, the attention they’ve been garnering has certainly increased. But if anyone was worried that their ascent has gotten to their heads, fear not – they may have started late, but it was because they were scrambling looking for a MIDI cable rather than trying to keep anyone waiting. And so while the set might have started a bit discombobulated, it was nice watching it all quickly fall into place and the band get their feet under them. And assuming a couple months didn’t make that big a difference in the live show proved to be wrong – Diana demonstrated some legitimate funk and disco moves to go with their smooth synth-pop soul stylings, and Carmen Elle seems much more at ease fronting the band and now more convincingly inhabits the character of the songs – not that that precludes her dropping to her knees and ripping an impressive guitar solo. Good to see you can take the girl out of the Army, but you can’t take the army out of the girl.

Photos: Diana @ The Horseshoe – June 13, 2013
MP3: Diana – “Born Again”
Video: Diana – “Born Again”

At this point I abandoned the sure-thing-ness offered by The Horseshoe, both room and lineup, and trekked up to Kensington to inspect a new venue called Handlebar and a new band called Valleys. Okay, not that new as I’ve commented on the solidity of their debut album Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night?, but still. Sadly, both were some degree of disappointment. Handlebar for being basically being pitch-black by photographic standards, and Valleys for just being a generally lacklustre live show. I appreciate that the difference in being a studio project and live band can be immense, but the disservice that Valleys did their really quite good debut was unfortunate. With Marc St. Louis on guitar and Matilda Perks on keys playing of backing tracks, it was the least interesting path from recording to stage one could take and both seemed decidedly disinterested in making even that sound compelling. Tempos were off, pitch was off, the mix was off… perhaps it was an off night, perhaps the problems with the venue extended to the sound and not just the light, but based on this showing, I’d still recommend hearing Talk Weird and its synthetically cinematic charms, but skipping the show.

Photos: Valleys @ Handlebar – June 13, 2013
Video: Valleys – “Undream A Year”

A list-minute decision to see if I could get into The Silver Dollar to see Californian Mikal Cronin start his three-night stand – it turned out I could – would still allow me to close the night on an up note -a VERY up note. I’d only just gotten around to hearing Cronin’s second album MCII a couple weeks ago, and its Big Muff-drenched power-pop was impossible not to fall for immediately. Not just for me, but for many – I was glad I’d gotten there just a little early, because by show time the Dollar was jammed with garage rock fans looking to blow off a little steam. And indeed, Cronin and his crew provided the perfect soundtrack for their mosh-pitting, beer-tossing, crowd-surfing tomfoolery. It did get rowdy, but stayed good-natured, just like Cronin’s music – plenty of fuzzy edges but warm and chewy inside. Loud, energetic, and fun, it was exactly the way to close out the night and Cronin’s promises of Limp Bizkit and Smash Mouth covers on the following nights was almost enough to get me to go back.

Photos: Mikal Cronin @ The Silver Dollar – June 13, 2013
MP3: Mikal Cronin – “Apathy”
MP3: Mikal Cronin – “Get Along”
Video: Mikal Cronin – “Change”

BlogTO has an interview with Japandroids, who inaugurate the new Adelaide Music Hall with a show tonight. And if you wanted to know more about Toronto’s newest venue – which is Opera House-sized, if you were wondering – The Grid is on it.

DIY, The Line Of Best Fit, and Spin have features on Sigur Rós in advance of the release of their new album Kveikur on June 18.

Exclaim has details on Smilewound, the new album from múm; it’s out September 17 and there’s a new video from it.

Video: múm – “Toothwheels”

Ólafur Arnalds has released a new video from his latest album For Now I Am Winter.

Video: Ólafur Arnalds – “Only The Winds”

Beatroute and Creative Loafing talk to Copenhagen’s Iceage.

The Guardian gets to know the ladies of Icona Pop, coming to town to play The Grove Fest at Garrison Common on August 3.

Interview gets to know Nick Cave.