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Posts Tagged ‘Oasis’

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Keep In The Dark

Temples, Invasions, and The Auras at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAsk around and some may tell you there’s a bit of a psych-rock renaissance happening in the UK right now, pointing to the emergence of London’s Toy, Leeds’ Hookworms, and Kettering’s Temples as examples of new bands embracing the grand tradition of droning, swirling, and tripping out. And while they’ve yet to stage any sort of full-bore, acid-drenched incursion onto North American shores, Wednesday night’s visit from Temples made a good case that we’re ripe for the picking.

And if they needed sympathizers amongst the local populace, the openers on this evening would be a good place to start. I’d seen local sextet The Auras back in April and as youngsters are wont to do, they’ve improved immeasurably in that time. If they were looking to shake the very obvious Black Angels reference point, they’ve failed; but if they were aiming to sound more cohesive in aspiring to it, more a tribute band than mixtape, they’ve done well. The songs were tighter, the swapping between lead vocalists and just managing their members and the sounds they make more seamless, and the performance just that much better. They recorded and released a new EP earlier this year; stream it below.

It wasn’t hard to guess where Toronto’s Invasions got their name; they probably dispensed with the “British” because it would have been a little too on-the-nose although they serve their fish & chips with a distinctively t(w)angy American southwest flavour. The five-piece, who just released their self-titled debut, offered compact, punchy tunes with good hooks and swagger given an extra dose of distinctiveness by a saxophone who was sitting in for their usual trumpet. And though the excursions weren’t their raison d’être, there were enough forays into trippiness that those looking to tune in and drop out for the entirety of the evening weren’t jarred.

I always consider it a risky move for bands from abroad to undertake a North American tours before they’ve even released a record – not an inexpensive move even for established bands, let alone one trying to convert that unquantifiable thing they call “buzz” into actual asses in seats (or feet on linoleum, in club cases). So with just three singles out in the past year and a full-length debut in Sun Structures just announced as coming out on February 11, Temples’ debut Canadian show was far from a sure success but you wouldn’t have known that if you were there.

Even adjusted for the fact that British bands do disproportionately well in Toronto, the club was impressively full with those looking to preview one of the sounds of 2014 and Temples showed up dressed to impress, all fringes, ‘fros, velvet jackets, and glitter, and one pendent just a few millimeters diameter short of a medallion. Based on all this you’d be right to expect a ’60s-vintage hippie-psych soundtrack and Temples do indeed root themselves in the retro, but also allow themselves the gift of ’70s prognostication and imbue their sound with glammy stomps and hard rock riffs. Their set was short at eight songs drawn out over a respectable 45 minutes, and while the already-released material got the biggest cheers, the new songs that previewed their album were the most impressive and exciting because they implied there was more to the band than their fans might be expecting.

NOW also has a review of the show, and Wicked Local has a conversation with Temples bassist Thomas Warmsley.

Photos: Temples, Invasions, The Auras @ The Horseshoe – November 20, 2013
MP3: Invasions – “Ballad Of The Faithful”
Video: Temples – “Keep In The Dark”
Video: Temples – “Colours To Life”
Video: Temples – “Shelter Song”
Video: Invasions – “Black Fuzz”
Video: Invasions – “Black Fuzz”
Stream: Ivasions / Invasions
Stream: The Auras / EP2
Stream: The Auras / EP

Yahoo has premiered the video to the title track of Glasvegas’ third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static; the Scots are in town at The Mod Club on February 22.

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

NPR has a World Cafe session with London Grammar while over at The London Evening Standard, frontwoman Hannah Reid comments on sexism in the music industry. The band will return to Toronto for a show at The Phoenix on April 7.

Clash talks to M.I.A..

Tone Deaf interviews Kate Nash, who lists her favourite television for The Guardian.

NPR is streaming a complete live concert from Savages.

NPR talks synesthesia with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange.

PureVolume has a video featurette from Stornoway documenting the making of their second album Tales From Terra Firma.

In conversation with Rolling Stone, Noel Gallagher stomps on, kicks down the stairs, stabs, and pees on any prospect of an Oasis reunion to mark the 20th anniversary of Definitely Maybe next Summer.

Friday, September 28th, 2012

In Other Words

Taken By Trees reveals Other Worlds

Photo By Amanda MarsalisAmanda MarsalisCognizant, perhaps, of the fact that Other Worlds, her third album as Taken By Trees, comes out the exact same day that her North American tour supporting both it and Jens Lekman begins – that’d be next Tuesday, October 2 – Victoria Bergsman has thoughtfully made the album available to stream in its entirety; you can hear it over at Prefix.

It’s a record that keeps the wanderlust feel of its predecessor, East Of Eden, as filtered through Bergsman’s signature shy, sleepy vocals. But where that album immersed itself in the sounds and spirit of Pakistan, Worlds draws influences from a variety of places, from the Mediterranean to Caribbean to South Pacific, to create a gentle, yet danceable aural vacation.

Taken By Trees are at The Phoenix on October 4. Work has a brief Q&A with Bergsman.

Stream: Taken By Trees / Other Worlds

Room 205 has poste the third and final video from their session with I Break Horses. You can also just stream the audio of the session via Soundcloud if you don’t want to deal with the… interesting camera work.

Video: I Break Horses – “Load Your Eyes”
Stream: I Break Horses @ Room 205

Stereogum and The Toronto Star have interviews with First Aid Kit.

DIY gets to know Icona Pop.

Sigur Rós have released another instalment from their Valtari “Mystery Film Experiment” series.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Ekki múkk”

In conversation with Drowned In Sound, Andy Bell discusses what’s next for Beady Eye, what was for Ride and Oasis, and what probably should never have been with Hurricane #1.

DIY, Cool Hunting, and Drowned In Sound talk to Efterklang.

Still Corners have released a new single to precede a Fall European tour. It’s pretty.

MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”

CBC Music talks to Beth Orton, in town at the Mod Club on Sunday night in support of Sugaring Season, out Tuesday.

Paste is streaming Don’t Be A Stranger, the new album from Mark Eitzel, ahead of its official release date next Tuesday. He’s at The Rivoli on November 28 and another career advice video is up at SF Weekly.

MP3: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”
Stream: Mark Eitzel / Don’t Be A Stranger

Exclaim and The National Post have features on Grizzly Bear, who’ve released a new video and download from Shields.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Speak In Rounds”
Video: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Annie Clark of St. Vincent submits to an Exclaim questionnaire.

CBC Music and SF Weekly talk to Victoria Legrand and The Georgia Straight to Alex Scally of Beach House; they’re at The Kool Haus on October 13.

A couple of noteworthy support acts announced this week – Jason Lytle will be peddling his new solo record Dept. Of Disappearance at Massey Hall on December 5 before Band Of Horses take the stage. The album is out October 16, and a new song is available to stream.

Stream: Jason Lytle – “Get Up And Go”

And DIIV are back again, warming up for Japandroids at The Phoenix on December 11.

MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Through The Dirt And The Gravel

Review of We Were Promised Jetpacks’ In The Pit Of The Stomach

Photo By Nic ShonfeldNic ShonfeldAlongside labelmates and countrymen The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit, Glasgow-via-Edinburgh’s We Were Promised Jetpacks should have formed a 21st century dream team of new Scottish acts, dispensing their peoples’ distinctive brand of angst through their respective brands of rock. And yet while those other two won and maintain places in my heart, Jetpacks’ 2009 debut These Four Walls did’t quite win me over.

The specifics of why aren’t entirely clear, but I suspect that it was just a little too shouty, too unrelenting. Granted, those are the band’s key strengths – guitarist/vocalist Adam Thompson’s bellows overtop the breakneck musical churn – but I found Walls a bit exhausting to get through. That hardly warranted writing the band off, however, so I was more than happy to give their sophomore effort In The Pit Of The Stomach, released last month, a few spins and it’s almost as though the band heard about my complaints and decided to meet me partway. Which is awful gracious of them.

To either casual followers or die-hard fans of the band, Stomach probably sounds perfectly familiar and satisfying. It’s still loud and punishing – album closer “Pear Tree” is a six-and-a-half minute flurry of face punches – but those crescendos are now better tempered with quieter passages and a greater emphasis on melody, both vocally and instrumentally. By reining things in a bit and singing rather than shouting while the drums and guitars steadily build, “Act On Impulse” comes across far more dynamically and interesting than anything I can recall on Walls. Similarly, the instrumental front half of “Sore Thumb” is evocative of Mogwai in their gentler moods before bringing the hammer down like Mogwai in their angrier moods; which is to say it’s kind of Mogwai-ish, in a good way.

In The Pit Of The Stomach evidences the sort of artistic growth and sophistication you’d hope a young band who’re probably not given to turning their sound upside down would develop. It certainly won’t lose them any fans but it may well sway some who had been on the fence onto their side. Trust me on this.

The Dallas Observer talks to the band about guitarist Michael Palmer’s cancer scare between albums one and two.

MP3: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Act On Impulse”
Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Human Error”

I now have a Valentine and her/their name is Veronica Falls. The London quartet will be back in town for a show at The Garrison on February 14, tickets $10.50 in advance. DIY has an A-to-Z with/of the band.

MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”

Arena-sized in the UK, club-sized in North America, Kasabian will bring their latest album Velociraptor to The Phoenix on March 29, tickets $24.50 in advance. Perhaps they’ll be able to commiserate with Toronto about the (lack of) wisdom in naming things after dinosaurs that were briefly in fashion 20 years ago.

Video: Kasabian – “Switchblade Smiles”

Drowned In Sound gets their turn in the Los Campesinos! media-go-round.

Clash checks in with Milo Cordell of The Big Pink as they put the finishing touches on their new record Future This, out January 17.

Slow Club have a new video from Paradise.

Video: Slow Club – “If We’re Still Alive”

Similarly, Noah & The Whale have released a new clip from Last Night On Earth

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Give It All Back”

Two videos – or animations, as they’re being called – from the new Kate Bush album 50 Words For Snow have been released. It’s reasonable to expect more.

Video: Kate Bush – “Misty”
Video: Kate Bush – “Wild Man”

The New York Times Q&A’s Noel Gallagher, who has just released a short film that uses three of the songs from his solo debut as accompaniment.

Video: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Ride The Tiger”

NME reports that Liam Gallagher has declared Oasis material may be on the table for future Beady Eye live performances.

The Guardian proxies questions from readers to Jarvis Cocker. The Jarv answers.

The Alternate Side has posted an Elbow studio session to watch and interview to read while Under The Radar reports that the band has been tapped to record the soundtrack to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

Adele is capping off what’s been a pretty good year for her (except for all those canceled shows and throat surgery) with the release of the Live At The Royal Albert Hall DVD/BR today – Spin is streaming the audio from the document while you can watch 25 minutes of the thing at Vevo.

Stream: Adele / Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Video: Adele / Live At The Royal Albert Hall (excerpt)

Kate Jackson talks to NME about her post-Long Blondes solo ambitions.

State chats with Clock Opera, whose debut album should be out in the new year.

NME follows Wild Beasts around on tour for a while.

The Stool Pigeon chats with Robyn Hitchcock.

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

"Wonderwall"

Ryan Adams covers Oasis

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangOasis had more than a few hits back in the day, but if you were to have to pick a signature tune – for all the rock and bombast in their repertoire – you’d probably have to pick their acoustic 1995 single, “Wonderwall”. And yet its been a rather mutable song; never mind the million versions that’ve graced coffee houses and open mics around the world, even Oasis fans would be split between favouring the original (What’s The Story) Morning Glory version with Liam Gallagher on vocals or the Noel-sung version that was frequently performed live.

Ryan Adams has done a pretty good job of making it his own as well. He included it on his 2003 Love Is Hell, Part 1 EP and it became a staple of live sets, both solo and with The Cardinals, for years to come. His reading didn’t differ wildly from the original – mainly a looser, more boozy phrasing and tempo – but it was enough to make it feel his own and influence Noel Gallagher to adjust his own performance style to mirror it, at least for a while. Two live Adams recordings – one in-studio at BBC Radio 1 in 2004 and one at the Telluride Blues Festival in Colorado with The Cardinals circa 2008 – demonstrate his take on the tune and a stream of a Noel Gallagher & Gem Archer performance in a 2005 radio session show how it affected the original.

Ryan Adams released Ashes & Fire earlier this month and will be at the Winter Garden Theatre on December 10. Noel Gallagher has two dates at Massey Hall next week on November 7 and 8 and though his solo debut Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is ostensibly the reason for the visit, there’s pretty much no way you won’t be hearing the elder Gallagher play this song at the shows. No way at all.

MP3: Ryan Adams – “Wonderwall” (live at BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, January 15, 2004)
MP3: Ryan Adams – “Wonderwall” (live at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, June 19, 2008)
Video: Oasis – “Wonderwall”
Stream: Noel Gallagher & Gem Archer – “Wonderwall” (Ryan Adams arrangement)

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

The Twilight Hour

Still Corners, Mausoleum and Foxes In Fiction at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI spent an inordinate amount of time at this year’s SXSW chasing around London’s Still Corners, my attempts to catch one of their many sets foiled by things like not noting the difference between AM and PM on set times, showcases falling three hours behind despite having only been running for two hours and the like. I eventually caught them at a day show in an Austin Convention Centre meeting room where the room setup didn’t even allow them to perform underneath their projected lightshow, instead playing in the dark while the movies ran on another wall, and even though it was about as un-vibey a setting as you could imagine, I was still totally smitten by their retro-cinematic dreampop, making their debut Creatures Of An Hour one of my more anticipated releases of the Fall.

With that past history, and even though I didn’t have any rational reason to be worried, I still half-expected some sort of calamity to befall their Toronto debut at The Drake Underground on Tuesday night. As it turned out there was a hiccup in the evening but it affected their tourmates Ganglians, who were apparently refused entry to the country and necessitated a couple of pinch-hitters to sub in. Personally, I’d have been happy if they just dispensed with the openers and let Still Corners play – and let me get home early – but no. I was actually fine with Foxes In Fiction opening things up; I’d seen Warren Hildebrand do his thing – which is fiddling with a table covered with samplers and keys while singing and playing guitar – at the Wintergaze show in December and while the presentation options of a one-man band are limited at best, his songs were solid enough to allow it. I guess I was feeling a little less generous this evening because while the music sounded fine – even the opening ambient sample-driven piece which he described as a “pretentious experiment composed today, won’t do anything like it again” – the slow-motion electro-pop failed to come across as any more than just pleasant, largely because of the static presentation. I appreciate that to change the live formula is to change all that is Foxes In Fiction and it certainly seems to be working for him, but… yeah. Could have used a little more engagement.

But I’d have rather had another half-hour of Foxes In Fiction than have to hear Mausoleum. The trio came across as amateurish Joy Division acolytes but any cues they took from that band were made to sound awful, mostly thanks to the singer’s barked, tuneless vocals. The only upside to their set was that it was short.

Thankfully there was enough time for the air and ears to clear before Still Corners took the stage, this time with the projections directed not only squarely at the stage but the two side walls as well, creating an extra-enveloping effect. Interestingly, the band started playing with frontwoman Tessa Murry standing out on the floor, facing the stage, for an extended moment before stepping onstage – an unexpected little bit of showiness from an outfit who otherwise seemed to prefer to stay in the shadows. And though Murray’s presence was largely as demure and ghostly as her atmospheric vocals would imply, they were also stronger live than you’d expect live and her heretofore unknown crooner side was given the spotlight on a couple of stripped down numbers including a cover of Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”. It’s as though they’ve realized they have a bona fide frontwoman in her rather than just another instrument and are beginning to utilize that strength, even though she’s already so much the centre of the band’s sound. It’s hard to imagine that they already existed before she joined, seeing how much of their identity her vocals comprise.

Also more pronounced live were the band’s facility with the drone and the pulse, built around whirring organ, twangy guitar and dubby bass, coming across more Stereolabby than I’d have expected and giving the sound more muscle than Creatures necessarily implied. But what I found most exciting about the show – not that the intended response for their gorgeously hazy set was necessarily excitement in any conventional sense – was how much more there was to Still Corners than I’d necessarily expected. If they simply continued making more records in their clearly-defined Morricone-meets-Slowdive aesthetic, there’d be a built-in audience for that style and sound for it and everyone would be happy – but more than that was the sense that there were still many more places they could take it, be they more seductive, romantic, mysterious or even rocking. I am more than happy to have Still Corners for what they are, but hadn’t necessarily expected more from them on future outings. That is no longer the case.

Paste has a video session with Still Corners and also declares them “Best Of What’s Next”.

Photos: Still Corners, Mausoleum, Foxes In Fiction @ The Drake Underground – October 25, 2011
MP3: Still Corners – “Into The Trees”
MP3: Still Corners – “Cuckoo”
MP3: Still Corners – “Don’t Fall In Love”
MP3: Still Corners – “Endless Summer”
MP3: Foxes In Fiction – “School Night”
MP3: Foxes In Fiction – “Lately (Deuxieme)”
MP3: Foxes In Fiction – “Flashing Lights Have Ended Now”
MP3: Foxes In Fiction – “15 Ativan (Song For Erika)”
Video: Still Corners – “Cuckoo”
Video: Still Corners – “Wish”
Video: Still Corners – “Don’t Fall In Love”
Stream: Still Corners / Creatures Of An Hour

Spinner talks to The Horrors.

Belle & Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson is streaming his debut solo record (I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson for one week only. Starting earlier this week.

MP3: Stevie Jackson – “Man Of God”
Stream: Stevie Jackson / (I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson

The Guardian and MTV discuss Ceremonials with Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine. It’s out November 1.

What’s better than a new video from the new Summer Camp record Welcome To Condale? How about a stream of the whole thing courtesy of The Guardian? Yeah. The record is out November 1.

MP3: Summer Camp – “Ghost Train”
Video: Summer Camp – “Down”
Stream: Summer Camp / Welcome To Condale

Stereogum has premiered a new video from We Were Promised Jetpacks’ second album In The Pit Of The Stomach.

Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Human Error”

Also with a new video – Clock Opera. Their debut album is due out in March.

Video: Clock Opera – “Lesson No. 7”

The Line Of Best Fit has a two-part interview with Slow Club.

BBC discusses the art of pop songwriting with Jarvis Cocker, who just released a book of lyrics in Mother, Brother, Lover: Selected Lyrics.

BBC reports that despite Liam Gallagher’s olive branch of wanting to have an Oasis reunion in 2015, Noel is having none of it. Oh, those two.

Manic Street Preachers have put together a video archive to accompany the release of their National Treasures comp next week.

Rolling Stone solicits some thoughts on the legacy of R.E.M. from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

The Quietus talks protest with Billy Bragg.

I Break Horses have released a new video from Hearts, which got a North American release a couple weeks ago should you have had any problem finding copies at non-import prices hereabouts.

Video: I Break Horses – “Wired”

The Fader has a video session with Niki & The Dove

Paste is streaming the new Loney Dear album Hall Music, even though it came out some weeks ago. But it’s well-timed to remind you that they play The Drake Underground on November 5. And check out this interview with Emil Svanängen at Prospectus News.

MP3: Loney Dear – “My Heart”
Stream: Loney Dear / Hall Music

The Line Of Best Fit, Express Night Out, Exclaim, eMusic, 17 Dots and Spinner have interviews with Anthony Gonzalez of M83, in town at Lee’s Palace on November 18.

Prefix talks to Luke Steele of Empire Of The Sun.