Posts Tagged ‘Oasis’

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Black Balloon

The Kills not done killing, seek to kill some more

Photo by Kenneth CapelloKenneth CapelloThough Midnight Boom came out almost a year ago, The Kills aren’t done with it yet – not even close. The sultry “Black Balloon” will be released as the lead track on an EP due out March 23 in most of the world but April 14 in North America, and be backed up with a selection of acoustic tracks.

They’ve also cut a video for the song, the fifth from the album – that’s almost half the songs on the record with their own promo clips, if you’re counting. Sure, their cheap and cheerful aesthetic makes knocking them out easier than it’d be for acts beholden to higher production values, but it’s still a testament to the top-to-bottom excellence of the album. And the scary part is, almost all the remaining tracks could realistically be worked as singles as well.

And with a new release, of course there needs to be touring. The duo will be taking their ridiculously potent live show right across North America this Spring including a May 7 stop at The Phoenix. Support will be The Horrors and Magic Wands, neither of whom I know but who can’t possibly be worse than the band they brought with them last time, Telepathe. They simply cant. Music Snobbery, however, suggests The Horrors might be just as awful for other reasons and doesn’t give good odds on them even making it far enough along in the tour to visit Toronto.

And anyone worrying about rumours that he-Kill Jamie Hince’s fiancee Kate Moss was going to start recording with the band, fear not. She-Kill Alison Mosshart told The Daily Mail that was simply not going to happen.

MP3: The Kills – “U.R.A. Fever”
MP3: The Kills – “Cheap & Cheerful”
Video: The Kills – “Black Balloon”
Video: The Kills – “Tape Song”
Video: The Kills – “The Last Day Of Magic”
Video: The Kills – “Cheap & Cheerful”
Video: The Kills – “U.R.A. Fever”
MySpace: The Kills

Exclaim talks to Bishop Allen about new album Grr…, which will be out March 10 but which has two tracks available to enjoy now.

MP3: Bishop Allen – “Dimmer”
MP3: Bishop Allen – “The Ancient Commonsense Of Things”

A Place To Bury Strangers have a new video.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “My Weakness”

With Christmas On Mars finally done with, CMJ asks Wayne Coyne what’s next for The Flaming Lips – back in the studio this Spring, hoping to have an album out by Summer. XFM are also running a video interview/documentary series on the band.

SFist talks to Dean Wareham about the 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests project for which Dean & Britta are doing live scores for at screenings across the US. The film will be coming out on DVD on March 24. And no, Dean and Britta will not come to your house to play for you while you watch it.

For those of you in the UK, BBC is streaming the video of Elbow’s performance of The Seldom Seen Kid alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra from last December. For the rest of us, well, we’ll have to wait for the CD/DVD package. Though the DVD will almost certainly be region 2 and PAL. Which means those of us in North America will never see it. Hrmm…?

MusoGuide finds out what’s up with The Twilight Sad, currently at work at album number two. And did you know their limited-edition Killed My Parents and Hit the Road tour album of odds, sods and covers was now available on eMusic? Me neither, until now. Depressed Scots make me happy.

Another new video, this one from Oasis.

Video: Oasis – “Falling Down”

Pitchfork has got an MP3 from Bruce Peninsula’s A Mountain Is A Mouth, finally out in physical form. Don’t forget their in-store at Soundscapes this evening starting at 7PM, though if you want to get in and/or see, I recommend being there considerably earlier. The band alone will take up half the store.

MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “Crabapples”

Spinner talks to Gary Louris about Ready For The Flood, the album that brings he and Mark Olson to the Mod Club tonight. He also reveals that an extensive Jayhawks reissue project is underway.

Thursday, January 15th, 2009


Review of Cut Off Your Hands' You And I

Photo By Brad FafejtaBrad FafejtaLast Summer I started getting hit up via IM by someone – associate, friend, fan, I don’t know – eagerly extolling the virtues of one New Zealand outfit named Cut Off Your Hands. Now getting ambushed out of the blue like that isn’t really the way to endear yourself – or whomever you’re promoting – to me, but I was feeling magnanimous and went and gave their MySpace a listen. And wasn’t impressed. It sounded like the sort of hepped up, jerk-and-stab New Wave/post-punk that seemed inescapable a couple years ago and now just seemed dated. I told anonymous PR dude it wasn’t turning the crank, he said he understood but also mentioned that the tracks I’d heard were demos, and that the band were working on the proper album with producer Bernard Butler… so yeah, that got my attention and I filed it away for future reference.

That future turned out to be late last month, when a copy of the finished product – You And I, in stores on Tuesday – showed up, and out of my deep respect for Butler and his work, I gave it a spin. And another. And another. To my surprise, I found if not addictive then quite enjoyable – even though the observations I’d made some months previous were still correct, I didn’t mind so much. In fact, the fact that they were mining a sound that was no longer so fashionable was part of the appeal – they sounded less like an outfit chasing a trend than one simply doing what they do. After all, before it was done to death it sounded pretty good, didn’t it? And Butler’s touch has also helped, buffing out some but not all of the edges and giving it just the right amount of sheen. Judging from the string of successes he’s had lately, the man has become a master of pop conciseness and brevity, ironic considering how grandiose and sprawling his vision was in his Suede days.

While it’s the uptempo songs that make the most immediate impression – Nick Johnston’s strained vocals and the band’s taut, musical gallop rather punch you in the face with danceable hooks – it’s the slower moments, where things retreat to an austere croon, that stood out for me. Not because they’re the best songs, but because they speak to a musical vision broader than the variations on a single theme that they’re currently best at. It’s easy to be dismissive of them – goodness knows I was – but I find I’m quite liking them regardless, and think they’ve got some significant upside above and beyond what they’ve already shown. And even if I’m wrong, they’re still turning out some catchy party pop songs and that’s alright with me as well.

The band are going to be on this continent and conducting a west coast tour in February supporting Ra Ra Riot, and more dates are forthcoming. And for some reason, they’ve cut three videos for one single and also one for the title track of the album, which does not appear on the album.

MP3: Cut Off Your Hands – “Turn Cold”
Video: Cut Off Your Hands – “Expectations” (version 1)
Video: Cut Off Your Hands – “Expectations” (version 2)
Video: Cut Off Your Hands – “Expectations” (version 3)
Video: Cut Off Your Hands – “Oh Girl”
Video: Cut Off Your Hands – “You And I”
MySpace: Cut Off Your Hands

Howling Bells have released a new and rather awful video from their sophomore album Radio Wars, which had been set for a February 9 release, but which I’m thinking is now unlikely. It’s almost still certainly going to be a late Winter/Spring release, but probably not quite so soon.

Video: Howling Bells – “Cities Burning Down”

Land Of Talk’s Liz Powell makes use of her voice while she still has it, talking to The National Post, The Toronto Sun, NOW and eye in advance of tonight’s show at the Horseshoe.

Oasis have turned their “let’s have buskers play songs from our new album” PR stunt in New York City last Fall into a little documentary. This took place just after the assault on Noel Gallagher in Toronto, hence his conspicuous absence from the proceedings.

Video: Dig Out Your Soul In The Streets

The Quietus reports that British Sea Power’s next album will be a soundtrack for the 1934 documentary Man Of Aran and consist of new and reworked old material. It is due out in the Spring. It will probably be odd.

Chart, The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph and The Age talk to Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce.

Pitchfork has details on the next stage in EMI’s neverending Radiohead back catalog exploitation campaign. It includes releasing all their past singles on 7″ 12″ vinyl and putting out deluxe CD/DVD editions of their first three albums, each of which will include the period-correct b-sides and promo clips. I’d be lying if I said that the idea of getting those b-sides in CD-quality wasn’t a tempting one, but the whole thing is just a bit too unsavory for my tastes. The CDs are out March 24, the 7″s 12″s on April 21.

The Bay Bridged and Black Book have interviews with The Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner. They’re looking to release a new album for September.

The Quietus reports that Sonic Youth should be done their next album, currently entitled The Eternal, in time for a June release. This will be their first for Matador.

Peter Bjorn & John will release Living Thing on March 30.

Pitchfork has the first MP3 from Asobi Seksu’s new record Hush, out February 17.

MP3: Asobi Seksu – “Familiar Light”

Handsome Furs have released an MP3 from their new album Face Control. It’s out March 10 and they play the Horseshoe on March 13.

MP3: Handsome Furs – “I’m Confused”

eye has posted the results of their annual music critics poll, and going over the results, I’m wondering why I even bothered participating. Exactly one of my picks in any category made the final tallies.

Likewise, my suggestion for the CBC Radio 2 “Playlist For Obama”Destroyer’s “My Favourite Year” – also doesn’t appear to have made the cut. My original suggestion was actually anything by Godspeed You! Black Emperor but it was decided that a 20-minute instrumental was probably too long to use. More like too AWESOME.

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Yea Yeah

Matt & Kim, The Lemurs, The Canvas Waiting at The Mohawk in Austin, Texas

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAs those of you who have nothing better to do than monitor my Facebook status or Twitter feed know, I was far from home this past weekend. Texas far, to be precise. Thanks to Philips and their UnDiscovered Austin program, I was whisked away to the Tejas capitol along with a handful of other blog folk for an evening at no cost to me, save the physical toll of being flying halfway across the continent and back in a 30-hour period. And that there is my corporate whore disclaimer. Moving on.

The purpose of the trip was essentially to attend a “secret” show at the Mohawk featuring Matt & Kim. This was fortuitous as I’d actually wanted to see them when they came through Toronto last month, but I opted to go see Neil Halstead that night instead. I had absolutely no regrets about that on my part, but was glad for the opportunity to make that up. Getting out of town for a weekend while picking up around 30 degrees centigrade in ambient temperature was just gravy.

Opening the show up were winners of a contest sponsored by the aforementioned UnDiscovered Austin initiative, ostensibly dedicated to discovering the best unsigned acts in Austin. For a city that’s turned out as many sublime acts as ATX has, however, I have to think they could have done better than The Canvas Waiting. Their earnest and rote pop-rock was almost offensively inoffensive and sounded not unlike the Goo Goo Dolls, which you can interpret as either praise or damnation depending on your affection for the Goo Goo Dolls. In the battle for my attention, they quickly lost to an open bar.

Faring decidedly better were middle act The Lemurs and their taut, Anglo-friendly new wave stylings. Though I’d be hard-pressed to pick out a standout song, they put on a good show – equally danceable and rocking – and definitely elevated the energy level for the night and got those in attendance engaged. Or at least me. Their latest release is the Million Little Bits EP.

I can’t say as that I’m that familiar with Matt & Kim’s recorded output, but the one time I saw them last year made me a definite fan of their live show. I can’t think of any other band that seem to be having quite as much pure, unadulterated fun when they play, and this show did nothing to change that impression of the band. At one point, singer/keyboardist Matt Johnson said that they hated being called “cute”, so I’ll go with “adorable”, and there’s naught they can do about it. He’s like a hyperactive kid overdosed on happy pills on stage and drummer Kim Schifino sports a perma-grin as if the last drum hit was the greatest thing in the world, at least until the next one. Their joy is so real and pure, it’s contagious. And the songs are pretty damn catchy too.

Their set was breakneck fast and fun, drawing on their debut self-title and presumably the forthcoming follow-up Grand, due out January 20 of next year. I can’t say for sure as I don’t know the old material well enough to distinguish it from the new, and let’s be fair – a two-piece like them is only capable of so much sonic variety. But what they lack in range, they more than make up for in pop savvy and glee.

And that was the trip. Probably not the most efficient way to see Matt & Kim – they’re setting out on tour this Spring with Cut Copy including a Toronto date at Circa on March 20 – but certainly a fun, if exhausting, one. And I got to have breakfast tacos. I love me some breakfast tacos.

You can download an MP3 of the first single from Grand at Green Label Sound.

Photos: Matt & Kim, The Lemurs, The Canvas Waiting @ The Mohawk, Austin TX – December 13, 2008
MP3: Matt & Kim – “No More Long Years”
MP3: Matt & Kim – “Yea Yeah”
MP3: The Lemurs – “Yours, Mine, Ours”
MP3: The Lemurs – “They Do What They Want”
Video: Matt & Kim – “Daylight”
Video: Matt & Kim – “Yea Yeah”
Video: Matt & Kim – “5K”
MySpace: Matt & Kim
MySpace: The Lemurs
MySpace: The Canvas Waiting

The Globe & Mail has just run an interview conducted with Oasis’ Noel Gallagher pre-assault, while Detroit News got a word with him more recently, prior to their current North American tour. And apparently the dude who used Noel as a tackling dummy at V Fest skipped out on a court appearance yesterday and there’s now an arrest warrant out for him. What a sparkling example of humanity. Oasis fans, I believe you’re now allowed to go all vigilante on his ass.

Stereogum kicks off their new Decomposed video sessions series with School Of Seven Bells.

ANTI-blog has a video interview with Neko Case about the making of her new album Middle Cyclone, out March 3.

Also with the video preview – there may not be a release date for Neil Young’s Archives, Volume 1 but there is now a video trailer… and if you had any doubts before as to whether or not this set would be worth the wait and/or money, put those to rest. This thing looks unbelievable.

Trailer: Neil Young / Archives, Volume 1

Further to yesterday’s announcement of the Blitzen Trapper show at the Horseshoe on February 21, it’s been announced that support for the tour will be folksinger Alela Diane, who was recommended to me a number of times from independent sources in the last couple weeks. I’ll call that a sign. She’s releasing a new album in To Be Still on February 17th, from which you can check an MP3 and there’s also a session she recorded earlier this year for Songs By Toad and going way back to last year, a Daytrotter session.

MP3: Alela Diane – “White As Diamonds”

The lineup for this year’s What’s In The Box? music series taking place at the Drake Hotel the final week of December (five nights, five acts, five bucks) has been announced… and I don’t know who any of these acts are. The first two years had at least one or two performers whom I was excited to see – Mahogany in 2006 and A Place To Bury Strangers last year – but the five acts with top billing this time around leave me scratching my head. Skratch Bastid? Willy Joy? Kap Bambino? Slim Twig? Nosaj Thing? Okay, Slim Twig I know, but anyone care to testify on behalf of any of the others?

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Lipstick Traces

Manic Street Preachers to return to their roots, someone else's roots

Photo via This Is Yesterdaywww.thisisyesterday.comIt’s pretty typical for veteran bands who might be a little ways from their most creatively fertile periods to periodically come out and say that their next album will be a stripped-down affair, a return to their roots, what have you. And it’s generally all marketing-speak to try and convince their fans or former fans that they still have something left in the tank and that they’re still viable artistic entities.

For the Manic Street Preachers, it’s not that hard of a sell as their last album Send Away The Tigers was a very decent effort, certainly head and shoulders above the previous few records, and showed that the band wasn’t ready to be dismissed just yet. But with the posting of message on their website earlier this week, the Manics seem to be looking to simultaneously return to their roots without actually sounding anything like they ever did.

They announced they’re currently in the US recording with legendary producer Steve Albini, whose analog-only, ultra-dry aesthetic is light-years from the ’80s-era glam-gloss that defined their first few albums, not that any of their albums have ever been less than slick-sounding. And further, they’re using lyrics left behind by former Manic Richey Edwards who disappeared back in 1995. Though he’s turned in more than his share of clunkers, Nicky Wire has done a more than respectable job as lyricist for the Manics in the years since Edwards’ disappearance but there’s a reason that The Holy Bible is still held up as the band’s masterpiece after all these years. Edwards has been over-mythologized in the past decade plus, to be certain, but he was undoubtedly a compelling writer.

While I’m not thinking the above equals instant classic by any means, it is an interesting combination of factors that could make for one of the more compelling Manics records in recent years. I don’t, however, expect there’ll be anything as gloriously poppy as the Nina Persson duet from the last album (vid linked below) but you can’t have everything. The band are targeting an April or May 2009 release and are toying with typically sunny titles like Journal For Plague Lovers or I Know I Believe In Nothing But It Is My Nothing.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough”

BBC reports that The Kinks reunion is finally a go and that the writing of new material, with an eye towards a new album, has commenced.

Also at the BBC, Damon Albarn refuses to close the door on the possibility of a Blur reunion.

Oasis have released a second video from Dig Out Your Soul.

Video: Oasis – “I’m Outta Time”

Laundromatinee welcomes Supergrass to their studios for a video session.

The Tripwire interviews James Allan of Glasvegas and offers up a non-album MP3 that really doesn’t capture the sonic grandeur of the record. Their self-title is coming out in North America on January 6.

MP3: Glasvegas – “I’m Gonna Get Stabbed”

NME reports that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have released The Effect Of 333, an ambient/instrumental album, and are making it available online.

Paste catches up with Nick Cave on matters of novels, films and Grinderman.

Sigur Ros premiered their latest video from Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust, the deluxe version of which is out November 24.

Video: Sigur Ros – “Vio spilum endalaust”

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal.

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Don't Dumb Down

A while back – a long while – I got an email from a reader asking if I could perhaps help him identify a video he’d seen somewhere by an English band and which featured a single take of the singer riding a bicycle around London’s streets (or street – most of it’s a single circle). Not the most original idea for a vid, but apparently memorable enough to warrant hunting down. I’d never seen the clip, however, and was no help but he eventually tracked it down and let me know that the song was “Motorcycle” by a band called The Rumble Strips. Naturally my curiosity was piqued and I checked out the video myself and, indeed, it’s a fun little vid and a memorable song with jaunty horns, simple yet clever lyrics and a big-voiced singer who seemed to appreciate the proper balance between showiness and restraint.

Which eventually brought me to their debut album, Girls & Weather, released last year in the UK but only getting a North American release this Fall. Everything that made “Motorcycle” a good time is here in the proper doses, with a charming blend of working-class soul, ska and ’50s-era retro pop that in the wrong hands could wear out its welcome quickly, but in this case retains its appeal over extended listens – and this is from someone with very limited patience for horns in his pop music.

Credit for this goes to the band’s ability to tap into their innate flair for the dramatic judiciously while maintaining a boisterious sense of fun delivery throughout. Frontman Charlie Waller, in particular, has an engaging on-record charisma to go with his powerful pipes and demonstrates an equal lyrical facility for pathos and humour, with more depth to his words than you might initially guess. Girls & Weather is a rare record that succeeds no matter how closely you want to listen.

The Rumble Strips are currently undertaking their first North American tour and will roll into the the El Mocambo on October 29 with San Francisco’s Birdmonster. In addition to the tracks below, the band has a few more MP3s available to download over here. Waller talked to Clash about having UK uber-producer Mark Ronson helming their next album, targeted for a March 2009 release.

MP3: The Rumble Strips – “Time”
MP3: The Rumble Strips – “Motorcycle”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Girls And Boys In Love”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Alarm Clock”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Motorcycle”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Oh Creole”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Time”
MySpace: The Rumble Strips

According to this pre-order writeup from Rough Trade for the first single from Emmy The Great’s First Love, the album is now set for a January 2009 release. Obviously some months later than I’d like but at least it’s sorta firm.

Liam Gallagher talks to Spinner about the vibe in the studio whilst making Oasis’ Dig Out Your Soul and bitches about England. NME reports that Liam Gallagher would like to beat up the guy who beat up his brother. Tangentially, The Mirror has compiled a list of the best Noel Gallagher quotes from over the years, and yes there’ve been some doozies.

The Quietus talks to Jim Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain. And part two.

Peter Hook, formerly of New Order, discusses the process of going through the band’s back catalog for the forthcoming series of reissues – due November 11 – with Spinner.

The first three Swervedriver records will be remastered and re-released with bonus tracks on November 3 in the UK and January 6 in the US. Magnetic Morning, Adam Franklin’s project with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino, will release its debut album A.M. on October 21 and you can hear a sample over at Stereogum and read an interview with Fogarino at Plug In Music. They play the Horseshoe on October 23.

Pitchfork is streaming the first single from the as-yet untitled third album from Asobi Seksu, due sometime in the new year. They’re at the Horseshoe on October 20.

The Duke Spirit, whose tour with System Of A Down offshoot Scars On Broadway has apparently been cancelled, have found another tourmate in Eagles Of Death Metal – they’ll open up their November 13 show at the Mod Club.

NOW talks to Will Sheff of Okkervil River, who’re at the Phoenix on Sunday night.

The AV Club plays Random Rule with Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. NPR also has a video “Tiny Desk Concert” with the man.

Rolling Stone has a video session and interview with Gemma Hayes.

Even though the release date for Of Montreal’s new album Skeletal Lamping has been pushed back from this past Tuesday to October 21, Spinner is still streaming the thing in its entirety. There’s also a track to download. Rolling Stone has a profile of the band, who are at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 28. NPR are streaming last night’s performance in Washington DC.

MP3: Of Montreal – “Id Engager”
Stream: Of Montreal / Skeletal Lamping

QRO interviews The Jealous Girlfriends.

Jay Reatard has got an in-store scheduled at Sonic Boom on October 16 at 7PM. He’s at Sneaky Dee’s that night.

New Pornographer Carl Newman chats with The Sydney Morning Herald.

Liz Powell talks to Spinner and Blurt about being the newest part of Broken Social Scene and oh yeah, her other band too. The Star-Tribune has an interview with Brendan Canning. Broken Social and Land Of Talk are at the Sound Academy on November 27 and 28.