Posts Tagged ‘Oasis’

Monday, October 24th, 2011


CANT, Luke Temple and Blood Orange at The Garrison in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangOne of the shifts in the music industry over the last few years has been the evolution of bands as brands (google it, it’s a phrase) with as much, or more, equity being place in an artist’s name and identity as with their work. So it was interesting to hit up The Garrison on Friday night for a triple bill of acts who were quite consciously not trading under their more successful brands – there was one side project, one solo project and one complete re-brand.

First up and most enticing to me was Blood Orange, the new project from one Devonté Hynes. Though only 26, he’s already established a track record for building up projects and then walking away, disbanding the NME-championed punk rock Test Icicles in 2006 then putting out two records of ambitious, Americana-influenced pop as Lightspeed Champion before deciding to make his funk-soul side-project his main gig. Coastal Grooves, his debut as Blood Orange, came out earlier this Fall and as much as I was sad to see Lightspeed Champion retired, it’s hard to argue that Blood Orange is as good a showcase for Hynes’ talents as there’s ever been. The irresistible melodies of Lavender Bridge and to a slightly lesser degree, Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You are largely intact but they’re now driven by deep, slow jam grooves and ripping guitar solos and more mature songwriting themes.

It’s the sort of record that could and perhaps should be done justice live with a full band, but instead Hynes stayed true to the home studio aesthetic of the project and took the stage with just himself, a sequencer and his guitar. It wasn’t much but it was more than enough as two songs into the set, Hynes moved the mic stand into the audience and played most of the rest of his set in the round, only interrupting the sequence of souful vocals and guitar shredding to hop back on stage to adjust his pedals and/or sequencer and right back to getting down. Maybe the best thing about it was how nonchalantly Hynes went about his business, as though a solo set that surely required considerable thought and preparation to sound to full was no big deal at all, and occasionally throwing in a bit of flash like a knee slide or tossing his guitar in the air and catching it without missing a beat. He capped it off with an extended, Prince-worthy guitar solo back onstage complete with behind-the-head riffing and once the backing track ended, he was up and out, at least for now. No big deal.

Luke Temple, best known for fronting Brookyln’s Here We Go Magic but recently returned to his solo roots for this year’s Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care wasn’t even going to try and top the Blood Orange show. Performing as a two-piece with Natalie Bergen on bass and keys, his set had a casual, almost ad-libbed vibe and the material more country-ish overtones and certainly not as refined as Here We Go Magic’s prog-pop. You got the sense that Temple wasn’t especially impressed with the lack of attention being paid by the chatty audience but to be fair, his low-key approach and material didn’t offer a lot of reason to.

Audience attention was no problem for CANT, the side-project from Grizzly Bear bassist Chris Taylor. Now I’m more of a Grizzly Bear respecter than admirer, but I was surprised how much I genuinely enjoyed Dreams Come True, the CANT debut which came out last month. It still has the meticulousness that marks his main band’s work, but its R&B angle feels looser, more dynamic and more immediately soulful. Live, Taylor led a four-piece band that included Dev Hynes on guitar and the two would spend the set swapping instruments and enduring electric shocks as they did so due to bad grounds. But no pain, no gain and for the better part of an hour, Taylor and co ran through an enjoyable set of Dreams material, offering Taylor a chance to show off his pipes and Hynes to further showboat on guitar a little more. Grizzly Bear has always gotten a great reception in Toronto and this show proved that Bear cub projects were also wholly welcome, with Taylor telling the wildly applauding fans at the show’s end that this had been the best show of the tour. I’m inclined to believe him.

The Pitch, Metro, The Daily Cardinal and The Dossier Journal have interviews with Chris Taylor while NOW talks to Dev Hynes.

Photos: CANT, Luke Temple, Blood Orange @ The Garrison – October 21, 2011
MP3: CANT – “Be Around (Rough Cutz)”
MP3: Luke Temple – “Ophelia”
MP3: Luke Temple – “More Than Muscle”
MP3: Blood Orange – “Dinner”
MP3: Blood Orange – “Sutphin Boulevard”
MP3: Blood Orange – “Champagne Coast”
Video: CANT – “Believe”
Video: Luke Temple – “More Than Muscle”
Video: Blood Orange – “Sutphin Boulevard”
Video: Blood Orange – “Dinner”
Video: Blood Orange – “S’Cooled”
Video: Blood Orange – “I’m Sorry We Lied”

The Sun and Newsweek talk to Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine, whose new record Ceremonials is streaming over at Pretty Much Amazing in advance of its release on November 1.

Stream: Florence & The Machine / Ceremonials

Drowned In Sound are streaming the cryptically-titled A Frightened Rabbit EP, which is in fact a free EP from Frightened Rabbit, available to download over at Grabtrax. Quad News also has a chat with Scott Hutchinson.

MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Scottish Winds”
Stream: Frightened Rabbit / A Frightened Rabbit EP

The Fly sets up a Summer Camp in their courtyard and records a video session. The duo’s debut Welcome To Condale arrives November 8.

Billy Bragg tells The Sabotage Times it’s time for bands to get political again. He also weighs in on matters political with The Scotsman and The Irish Times.

James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers talks to NME about the band’s plans following the release of their National Treasures compilation next week; look for a break and then a reinvention.

Pitchfork, The Telegraph, Shortlist and Billboard talk to Noel Gallagher about his High Flying Birds, which come to roost at Massey Hall on November 7 and 8 and at record stores November 8.

Meanwhile, little brother Liam is sounding a bit conciliatory in talking to Rolling Stone, telling them that he’d be open to an Oasis reunion in 2015 or so. Uh huh.

The Sabotage Times talks to Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris about the transition from being Joy Division to New Order.

The Irish Independent talks to Annie Clark of St. Vincent, in town at The Phoenix on December 15.

New Wild Flag video!

Video: Wild Flag – “Electric Band”

The New York Times profiles Tom Waits ahead of the release of Bad As Me on Tuesday.

The Pittsburgh Tribune, Red & Black and American Songwriter talk to Matthew Sweet on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Girlfriend and the release of his new record Modern Art.

And sadly, Titus Andronicus just got a little less awesome with the announcement that Amy Klein, aka Amy Andronicus, aka the most ass-kicking embodiment of rock’n’roll going, announced that the shows at Halifax Pop Explosion this weekend were her last with the band, as she’s going to be concentrating on other projects from here on. Update: Patrick Stickles has posted his own thanks and farewell to Amy.

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Down Is The New Up

Hey it’s Radiohead! And they’re doing stuff!

Photo By Kevin WestenbergKevin WestenbergClearly unconvinced that Arcade Fire’s Grammy win Sunday night had sufficiently broken the internet – at least as far as my Twitter and RSS feeds were concerned – Radiohead decided to apply a fatality-class finishing move on Monday morning, announcing that their eighth album was not only done, but would be called The King Of Limbs and be available for digital sale as of this coming Saturday, February 19.

Rather than repeat the pay-what-you-can model that accompanied their last sneak album release In Rainbows in 2007, the band are going the more traditional pay-what-we-say route this time out, offering digital-only pre-orders in MP3 or WAV format which will be fulfilled on Saturday or MP3/WAV plus fancy-pants physical package which they’re calling their “Newspaper Album” and includes the record on two 10″ LPs, a CD and craploads of packaging and artwork and due for delivery around May 9. For those who still dig physical product but don’t need all the bells and whistles, the regular CD and LP editions will be available on March 29.

It was well known that a new Radiohead record was coming this year, but beyond that it was anyone’s guess as to what, when, how, etc. and so in an age where albums are often “over” before they’re even officially out, it’s nice to still be able to experience that sense of surprise and anticipation. And considering the band have only played one show in the past 13 months – the Haiti benefit last January – almost none of the new material has been road-tested, making those first listens come Saturday that much more exciting.

So…. touring?

Video: Radiohead – “Lotus Flower” (live)

Elbow have released the first proper video from build a rocket boys!, and in the process remind me that the record is out in just three weeks on March 7. So very looking forward to hearing this one. So… touring?

Video: Elbow – “Neat Little Rows”

Rolling Stone talks to Liam Gallagher and Andy Bell of Beady Eye. Their debut Different Gear, Still Speeding is out March 1. As for brother Noel, he’s talking a lot but hasn’t started working on his own post-Oasis project.

Manic Street Preachers have released a new video for the title track from their latest Postcards From A Young Man.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Postcards From A Young Man”

Interview interviews Dominic Aitchison of Mogwai, The Quietus Stuart Braithwaite and Martin Bulloch also documents a day in the life for The Quietus. Their new record Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is out today and they’ve a gig at The Phoenix come April 26.

Music Snobbery interviews Blood Red Shoes.

The AV Club, NPR, Exclaim and Newsweek talk to PJ Harvey, whose war-themed latest Let England Shake may lead to an appointment as “official war song correspondent”.

NPR solicits a Tiny Desk Concert from Adele; Adele obliges. Her new record 21 is out next week and she plays The Kool Haus on May 18.

The Guardian interviews Anna Calvi, who follows the March 1 release of her self-titled debut with a show at Wrongbar on March 11 as part of Canadian Musicfest.

The first MP3 from The Raveonettes’ forthcoming Raven In The Grave, out March 22, is now available to download. They’ll be at The Phoenix on April 2.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “Forget That You’re Young”

Clash and The Scotsman talk to Lykke Li, who releases Wounded Rhymes on March 1 and plays The Phoenix on May 22.

So… touring? Here’s some of the stuff that got announced in the last few days. We already knew that J Mascis was headlining The Great Hall on the Friday, March 11, of Canadian Musicfest, but he’ll also be doing an in-store at Sonic Boom that afternoon at 5PM. You may recall he did the same with Dinosaur Jr last January – hopefully this time he won’t be running a half hour late. His new solo record Several Shades Of Why arrives March 15.

MP3: J Mascis – “Not Enough”

To mark the March 1 reissue of their 1998 self-titled debut, Queens Of The Stone Age will hit the road to play it in its entirety, a tour which stops in at the Sound Academy on March 29, tickets $47 and $57 in advance.

I certainly thought that last week’s Lee’s Palace show would be the one and only time Toronto got a visit from the touring-averse Radio Dept., but it looks like those who kept clapping for a second encore will get their wish – their touring itinerary shows them with an overnight layover in Toronto after appearing at Sasquatch and will pass the time with a May 29 date at The Horseshoe – good news for those who snoozed and losed on getting tickets for the Lee’s gig. and Ca Va Cool have interviews with the band.

MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Why Won’t You Talk About It?”

Yeasayer released an aural valentine yesterday in the form of a free EP and a North American tour – look for them June 7 at The Phoenix.

MP3: Yeasayer – “Ambling Alp”

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Here And Now

Ride going Nowhere again

Photo via MyspaceMyspaceThough I suspect they fall just on the wrong side of the bands reuniting vs profitability equation for them to ever get back together – if Radiohead couldn’t convince them to do it a few years back and open for them in their mutual hometown of Oxford, no one can – there’s still just enough going on with shoegaze godheads Ride that I can justify leading a post with this website’s namesake once in a while.

And in this case, it’s that Under The Radar reports their debut album Nowhere will be getting (another) reissue on December 21 via Rhino in commemoration of the record’s 20th anniversary. In addition to the eight tracks that appeared on the original LP, the three tracks from the Fall EP that were appended onto the original CD version and the four tracks from the brilliant Today Forever EP that were added to the 2001 reissue, in order to encourage those who already own one or more of the previous editions, this version will come with a second five-track CD featuring a 1991-vintage live show in Los Angeles. Can’t say as that I’ll be rushing out to pick this up, but it pleases me that there’s still enough interest and respect in the band and their music to justify packages like this. Update: Blurt has more details on the set, including the fact that the live disc will be a full 12 tracks and a heavyweight vinyl edition of the original eight-song Nowhere will also be released. Sweet.

MP3: Ride – “Vapour Trail”
Video: Ride – “Vapour Trail”

Some good, Ride-related news is that Andy Bell is again playing guitar. Bad news is that it’s in Beady Eye, Liam Gallagher’s new band with the bits of Oasis he’s not related to. They just made their first single available for download from their website and… well, it’s not going to make anyone forget that Noel was the songwriting talent of the band. Not even a little. The full-length is due next year Tangentially, Alan McGee tells BBC6 that he expects the Gallagher brothers to make up and re-form Oasis within a few years. I believe him.

Band Of Horses have announced Mojave 3 as support on their upcoming UK tour – this is exciting not because I will be attending any of those shows, but because it confirms Mojave 3 as an ongoing concern for Neil Halstead and hopefully Rachel Goswell. The band’s status post-Puzzles Of You has not been very clear, what with Goswell’s health concerns and Halstead’s solo career, but they’re still here! Huzzah.

MP3: Mojave 3 – “Some Kinda Angel” (live @ KCRW)

The Guardian and Vanity Fair look at the just-announced Pulp reunion and why it feels a little different/better than most other reunions despite it almost certainly just being done for the money. Elsewhere, 33revolutionsperminute dissects “Common People”.

Clash sends Kele to interview Gary Numan

Under The Radar reports that the recordings Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons made with The Dharohar Project while on tour in India earlier this year will be getting digitally released as an EP on December 7 entitled Laura Marling & Mumford & Sons & The Dharohar Project. Pitchfork is also streaming both sides of Marling’s just-released 7″ featuring Jackson C Frank and Neil Young covers. Mumford & Sons play a sold-out show at the Sound Academy on Saturday.

English post-punk godfathers Gang Of Four have slated a North American tour in support of their new album Content, due January 25. The tour begins on February 4 at the Phoenix in Toronto; tickets $30 in advance.

MP3: Gang Of Four – “Never Pay For The Farm”

Both Spin and Rolling Stone wonder, “where have you gone, David Bowie?” and come up with no answers that imply a return to music anytime soon, if ever. Coincidentally, The AV Club has assembled a primer on the works and phases of the Thin White Duke.

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Swim Until You Can't See Land

Frightened Rabbit to flee in terror across North America

Photo By Jannica HoneyJannica HoneyIt’s probably over-pedantic to point out that by the time Frightened Rabbit’s third album, the marvelously-titled The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, is released on March 9, there’ll be only 12 days left in Winter. Certainly enough time for a a righteous bender or four with it as a soundtrack, but before you know it we’ll be into a Springtime of body shots and that just doesn’t sound quite as epically melancholic, though possibly more fun.

Even so, the Scottish quintet will be doing their best to make it a season to remember for North American fans, first with a commando strike trip to SxSW in March and then a massive cross-continental tour that will start at Coachella and go from west to east then west again, including a May 4 stop at the Opera House in Toronto – tickets are $15 and go on sale this Thursday. I had to miss their July 2009 show at the Horseshoe because of an unfortunate incidence of real life, so this show – a week prior to my birthday – is ranking pretty highly on things I’m looking forward to in the next few months. And the album, too – Frightened Rabbit just released a second video from the album, this confirming that at least two songs from the record will be nigh-on brilliant.

Quarter-Life Crisis has an interview with drummer Grant Hutchinson while Spin questions frontman Scott Hutchinson about the origins of the band’s name.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”

Tom Campesinos! takes point on press duties for Los Campesinos!, talking to The AV Club and MusicOmh while giving The Line Of Best Fit a list of 12 albums that influenced their latest Romance Is Boring. Metro talks to frontman Gareth Campesinios! and Drowned In Sound chats with the other members of the band about a myriad other topics. Los Campesinos! have a date at the Phoenix on April 20.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “There Are Listed Buildings”

Spin checks in with Kate Nash on the status of her second album, recorded with Bernard Butler. The record is due out sometime this Spring, and she’s one of the artists supposed to appear on this year’s Lilith Fair.

Muse bassist Chris Wolstenholme tells BBC6 the trio are hoping to put together a live documentary film covering life on the road in addition to performance footage in the near future. They’re at the Air Canada Centre on March 8.

MusicOmh interviews David Brewis of Field Music. Their new record (Measure) is out February 16 and they’re at the Horseshoe on March 19.

There’s a new video from Mumford & Sons’ debut Sigh No More, filmed during their recent tour of India. The album gets a North American release on February 16 – one day after their Toronto show at Lee’s Palace. The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Marcus Johnstone, aka Marcus Mumford.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard talks to Spinner about the possibility of the band putting out a live album while Al Doyle chats with The Yorkshire Evening Post and The Times talks to Alexis Taylor and solicits a list of his favourite things. Their new studio album One Life Stand is out February 9 and is currently streaming at the band’s MySpace. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20.

Stream: Hot Chip / One Life Stand

Tindersticks’ new album Falling Down A Mountain isn’t out until February 16 but is currently available to stream. There’s also a new video to go with the first available MP3.

MP3: Tindersticks – “Black Smoke”
Video: Tindersticks – “Black Smoke”
Stream: Tindersticks / Falling Down A Mountain

They Shoot Music has an acoustic video session with Editors frontman Tom Smith, wherein he reinterprets “Papillon” from the In This Light And On This Evening on acoustic guitar.

Ladytron’s Reuben Wu talks to Clash about his love of photography – ironic, considering his outfit seems to take extra care to make life hell for photographers…

Never Enough Notes talks to Tim Crompton of The High Wire. Their debut The Sleep Tape is out in March.

NME reports that Liam Gallagher and the other refugees from the wreck of Oasis hope to have a new record out by July.

And rather out of left field comes the news that first-generation shoegazers Chapterhouse will be reuniting for a North American tour this Spring. I can’t imagine anyone has been waiting for this to happen, but if the tour comes around this way I’ll certainly check it out – Whirlpool was a pretty good record. But really, of all the original shoegaze bands to get back together and cross the Atlantic… Chapterhouse?

Video: Chapterhouse – “Pearl”

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Ex(x) Lover

Friendly Fires and The XX at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen I caught Friendly Fires at Lee’s Palace back at the end of March, they were here as support for White Lies and their high-energy disco party easily stole the show from the angst-ridden headliners. And while their profile has since grown to the point that they were able to play their fourth local show in just over a year on Wednesday night at the Phoenix, buzz-wise the shoe was on the other foot – the gig was sold out, but that was largely because the show also marked the Toronto debut of the astonishingly-hyped (including in these parts, yes) London outfit, The xx.

The band’s narrative had taken a turn over the past month, gone from focusing on their slinky and skeletal blend of R&B and indie rock to the departure of guitarist Baria Qureshi and their subsequent reconfiguration as a trio, not that any of the off-stage drama had dampened anyone’s enthusiasm for the performance. Very few were playing the “show up late, nuts to the opener” game this evening and when The xx strode onstage, you’d be forgiven if you thought, from the response that they were the main attraction. Coming in, I’d heard that the band were both extremely dull and amazing live – and I can see how both points of view could be reached. To the former, they don’t really do much. Jamie Smith perches behind a DJ booth emblazoned with glowing band logos working the sampler and drum machine while Romy Croft and Oliver Sim stand on either side with guitar and bass, respectively, and do their sleepy, seductive thing. The thing is, what should they be doing? Their music isn’t the sort that requires a lot of visual accompaniment, and if either of them were to act out, it would be completely at odds with their aesthetic. No, gentle swaying and the occasional sideways glance was pretty much what was demanded of them and their performance matches the atmosphere of the music perfectly.

Musically, they struck a perfect balance between reproducing the spaces and textures of XX and stretching out a bit – when you’re working with structures as minimalist as they, moving something around a little makes a big difference. Obviously I’ve no point of comparison, but it was hard to imagine where Qureshi’s contributions would have gone – Croft seemed able to cover all the necessary guitar parts with no problem, and intertwined seamlessly with Sim’s basslines and Smith’s real-time drum machining (is there a word for that?). Playing the triggers live rather than relying on loops or samples kept things from feeling overly mechanical, for as much as technology underpins their sound, the net result is wholly organic. Their set ran just over half an hour – short and efficient, but not unreasonable considering the amount of material they had to draw on – but most importantly, it established that they could weave the same magic live as they do on record. Definitely looking forward to their April 20 return engagement at the Kool Haus in support of Hot Chip.

I’d heard that at other stops on the tour, much of the crowd cleared out after the opener and left no doubt who they were there to see. I was pleased to see that that wasn’t the case here, because really – even if you wanted to see The xx, you paid for the ticket, were already here and unless you were truly committed to the art of the mope, you couldn’t not enjoy Friendly Fires live. As they did in March, they delivered a set that was absurdly tight, pure discofied fun though this time they brought along a little extra in the form of a horn section to go with their manic percussion, synth and guitar maelstrom. In addition to extra players, another benefit of the larger tour was the real estate – frontman Ed Macfarlane took full advantage of the larger Phoenix stage in busting out his uniquely undulating dance moves, all shake and shimmy and equally awesome and ridiculous to behold.

Like the openers, their set was brief by conventional rock show standards – 50 minutes including encore – but in that span they put more sweat and kinetic energy they put into their performance than most bands do in twice the time. And anyways, they played the entirety of their Mercury-nominated self-titled debut plus latest single “Kiss Of Life” – pretty much their whole repertoire. I’d challenge anyone complaining about the length of the show to tell me what else they’d have expected to hear, but really, I don’t think I’d have been able to find anyone complaining. Come for The xx, stay for the Friendly Fires, leave completely satisfied.

Panic Manual, Exclaim and eye were both in attendance and have reviews. has an interview with Friendly Fires while AUX.TV has a video interview, eye, Metro, Time Out and Rolling Stone print features and MPR a streamable session.

Photos: Friendly Fires, The XX @ The Phoenix – December 2, 2009
MP3: Friendly Fires – “Jump In The Pool”
MP3: Friendly Fires – “Paris” (Aeroplane Remix)
MP3: The xx – “Basic Space”
Video: Friendly Fires – “Kiss Of Life”
Video: Friendly Fires – “Skeleton Boy”
Video: Friendly Fires – “Paris”
Video: Friendly Fires – “Jump In The Pool”
Video: Friendly Fires – “On Board”
Video: The xx – “Basic Space”
Video: The xx – “Crystalised”
MySpace: Friendly Fires
MySpace: The xx

The Village Voice talks to The Big Pink’s Robbie Furze.

AUX.TV has a video interview with Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine, The Irish Independent a profile.

Lots of new videos coming out of the UK – Richard Hawley has one from the second single off of Truelove’s Gutter

Video: Richard Hawley – “Open Up Your Door”

The Twilight Sad have released a new clip from Forget The Night Ahead.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “Seven Days Of Letters”

Have a first look and listen at Lightspeed Champion’s next album Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You, out February 16.

Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Marlene”

Good news – Fanfarlo has released a new video from Reservoir. Bad news – both Canadian dates have disappeared from their tour itinerary. Actually, make that “terrible news”. The only upside is that I can now go see Blue Roses at the Drake that night, but it’s small comfort. Boo. The Houston Chronicle interviews bassist Justin Finch.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Harold T. Wilkins”

Liam Gallagher tells This Is London that he may well continue on with Noel as Oasis. An album’s worth of Liam compositions. That can’t possibly go wrong.

The Age talks to Patrick Wolf.

They Shoot Music has a video session with Camera Obscura. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Jackson Free Press and St. Louis Today have interviews with various band members.

Despite having their Fall US tour scuppered by the IRS, Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch tells Spinner that they intend to return to this continent in the Spring and following the success of the Ocean Rain shows, perhaps play both Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here in their entirety. If you’re a fan of Porcupine, however, you are SOL. Sorry.

Adam Franklin & The Bolts Of Melody have scheduled a North American tour, including a January 31 date at the Drake Underground, that’ll probably cover their 2009 release Spent Bullets and their just-completed new record I Could Sleep For A Thousand Years, out sometime in 2010.