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Posts Tagged ‘okkervil river’

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Sunspots

Bob Mould revisits Workbook

Photo By Marc NorbergMarc NorbergI first got into Bob Mould in the early ’90s via Sugar, but quickly found myself seeking out his older works; obviously this included Hüsker Dü, but also his two late ’80s solo records Workbook and Black Sheets Of Rain which preceded his return to a band format. At the time they seemed like oddities, sounding neither like the hardcore-punk-pop evolution of the Dü years, nor the Alternative Nation-signifying roar of Sugar.

Rain was more characteristic of what people expected from Mould, built on layers of electric guitar and Mould’s angst-filled roar and probably not as well-regarded as it should be today because of some dated production values. Workbook, on the other hand, was filled with jangling 12-string acoustic guitar, cello and mandolin adornments, and major key melodies (though raging electric guitar and throat-shredding vocals also featured) – elements that would inform the next two and a half decades of his work, but as his first post-Hüsker Dü release, it must have been a head-scratcher. I took to it immediately – remember, for me 1991 was far more about Out Of Time than Nevermind – and Mould’s contribution to the seminal No Alternative AIDS benefit album in 1993 was also along those lines and one of my very favourites off that album.

All of which is to say as much as I love Bob when he’s perforating eardrums, as he’s been lately, I also totally dig his quieter stuff and I’m glad to see that Workbook is getting the respect that it deserves. It had already been announced that Mould would be marking the 25th anniversary of the release with a performance at Noise Pop next February where he’ll presumably – but not confirmedly – play it in its entirety. But Under The Radar now reports that the milestone is getting commemorated in somewhat larger fashion. A deluxe edition of the record – Workbook 25 – will be coming out on February 25 with the original album being accompanied by a second disc containing a b-side and a complete live show from the era. Granted, many of those bonus tracks appeared on the 1994 Poison Years compilation, but there’s still some unreleased goodies in there and isn’t it the thought that counts?

It’s a shame that the expanded slate of tour dates around its release don’t make it up here, but don’t forget that those Copper Blue recitals were only supposed to be a limited engagement and he toured that everywhere. So fingers crossed.

Video: Bob Mould – “See A Little Light”
Stream: Bob Mould / Workbook
Stream: Bob Mould – “Can’t Fight It”

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have a new video from Wig Out At Jagbags, out January 7. Look for them at Lee’s Palace on February 22.

Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Cinnamon & Lesbians”

Broken Bells have a new video from their next album After The Disco, out January 14. They play The Danforth Music Hall on March 3.

Video: Broken Bells – “Holding On For Life”

Pixies have put out a fourth video from their EP1, which should be the last because there are no more songs but then they’ve already released multiple videos for one of the songs so who knows, maybe they’ll milk it another decade before putting out EP2. They’ll be at Massey Hall on January 15 with their new bassist – no, newer – Paz Lenchantin, whom you may remember from A Perfect Circle and Zwan. Or not.

Video: Pixies – “Another Toe In The Ocean”

Rolling Stone talks to Robert Pollard about matters Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices. The new GBV record Motivational Jumpsuit comes out February 18.

Phantogram have come clean with details on their second full-length album, entitled Voices and coming out February 18. Pitchfork has details and a stream of a new song while Metro and AMNY have interviews with the band.

Stream: Phantogram – “Fall In Love”

NPR welcomes Superchunk to their World Cafe for a session.

Speedy Ortiz have released a new video from this year’s debut, Major Arcana.

Video: Speedy Ortiz – “No Below”

NPR has a KCRW session with Glasser.

Magnet talks to Will Sheff of Okkervil River about how he feels about having The Silver Gymnasium named their album of the year. What’s he gonna say? Maybe, “thanks – how about contributing to my Kickstarter to fund a short film video for ‘Down Down The Deep River’?” Maybe. Also, at Salon, Sheff talks about how he wish he knew as a kid that being nerdy would eventually be cool. Nerdy, yes, though being a touring musician, also helps.

Dazed and Confused has premiered the new video from Blouse’s second album, Imperium.

Video: Blouse – “A Feeling Like This”

Billboard Q&As Janelle Monáe, whom they have declared as Rising Star of 2013.

NPR has a World Cafe session with The Head & The Heart.

The Skinny talks to Janet Weiss about her current work with Quasi, the fact that Wild Flag is no more, and that a Sleater-Kinney reunion might be inevitable – as proven by the fact that they reunited to play “Rockin’ In The Free World” with Pearl Jam a few nights later in Portland.

Stereogum tracks the final days of the now-defunct Walkmen.

Monday, November 18th, 2013

A Wake For The Minotaur

Shearwater stream, set travels for Fellow Travelers

Photo By James HamiltonJames HamiltonFor some artists, an album of covers would be an afterthought, a stopgap between albums of original work. And that was what Shearwater’s new album Fellow Travelers was supposed to be – a quick and dirty collection of versions of songs by the many bands, big and small, that they’ve toured with over the years.

But as it happens with these things, it became something more – a fully-produced and fascinating expansion of the Shearwater sound, channeled through songs by Folk Implosion, Coldplay, and St. Vincent amongst others, as well as one original composition recorded with Sharon Van Etten, with whom they toured last year; one might wonder why they didn’t cover one of her songs, but let’s be honest – they’re not going to top the Tom Petty cover they collaborated on for The AV Club Undercover last Summer.

Fellow Travelers is out next week, but available to stream now via NPR. Further, they’ve announced that they’ll properly support the record by taking time out from recording their next (original) album for a will be embarking on a North American tour which will bring them to The Horseshoe on March 27 – those tickets are $13.50. And to round out the “we’re taking this one seriously, guys” announcements, they’ve released a video for their Xiu Xiu record from said album.

MP3: Shearwater – “Fucked Up Life”
MP3: Shearwater – “I Luv The Valley Oh!”
Video: Shearwater – “I Luv The Valley OH!”
Stream: Shearwater / Fellow Travelers

PopMatters has a stream of Model Rocket, the new album from Rhode Island’s The Brother Kite which I had an inkling was in the works but had no idea was already out (as of last week). As much as I complain about being carpet-bombed by press releases, I wish someone had told me about this!

Stream: The Brother Kite / Model Rocket

Paste has premiered a new video from Beachwood Sparks’ forthcoming release of their previously unreleased debut album Desert Skies. It’s out November 26 and Los Angeles Magazine finds out how and why their next album is 16 years old.

Video: Beachwood Sparks – “Make It Together”

Rolling Stone reports that The Flaming Lips will be releasing their cover of The Stone Roses’ debut album for Record Store Day: Black Friday edition on November 29.

Spectrum Culture gets Tanya Donelly to reflect on her time in Belly; the next and final (?) instalment in her Swan Song Series should be out in early December.

Pernice-Blake-Belitsky supergroup The New Mendicants – at least a supergroup if you’re a fan of Pernice Brothers, Teenage Fanclub, or The Sadies – will release their debut full-length Into The Lime on January 14.

Manchester Evening News, State, Reuters, and entertainment.ie all interview various Pixies; they’ll be kicking off a new North American tour at Massey Hall in Toronto on January 15.

Rolling Stone reports that Uncle Tupelo’s debut album will be getting a double-disc reissue as No Depression: Legacy Edition on January 28, the bulk of the bonus goods coming in the form of the Not Forever, Just for Now demos bootleg that has been kicking around forever; stream one of the new old tracks below.

Stream: Uncle Tupelo – “I Got Drunk” (demo)

Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from Rilo Kiley, taken from their attic-clearing compilation RKives.

Video: Rilo Kiley – “Emotional”

Interview talks to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

NPR welcomes Okkervil River for a World Cafe session.

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Widowspeak.

The Cleveland Plains Dealer talks to Chan Marshall of Cat Power.

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Lost Boys And Girls Club

Rumours of a third Dum Dum Girls album are Too True

Photo By James OrlandoJames OrlandoOf all the throwback, garage-rock bands that surfaced over the last few years, it’s been Los Angeles’ Dum Dum Girls who’ve been most likely to both break away from the pack and out of the stylistic pigeonhole. Besides having by far the best visual aesthetic, formidable melodic sensibilities, and Dee Dee Penny’s uncanny Chrissie Hynde-alike vocals, they had songs that were more sophisticated than their peers’ by half. Penny made no efforts to hide her fondness for classic British indie rock or prevent their influence from imbuing her own compositions, and by doing so her slow, melancholic numbers are as stirring as the rockers.

As a result, the breadth of the Dum Dum Girls sound has grown immensely over the course of two full-lengths and a handful of EPs without ever abandoning their girl group in a garage roots and so the announcement of their third album, alluded to in a Stereogum interview last week, is exciting news to those curious what they’ll do next. The new full-length will be called Too True and be released on January 28 of the new year. Pitchfork has all the specifics that there are to be had right now, and there’s a first video available to watch.

Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Lost Boys And Girls Club”

Stereogum and NPR talk to Eric Pulido about stepping up to become Midlake’s new frontman. Their new album Antiphon is out this week and they’ve got a new video for the title track.

Video: Midlake – “Antiphon”

Wall Street Journal is streaming The Coincidentalist, the latest album from king of the desert Howe Gelb, which is out as of this week.

Stream: Howe Gelb / The Coincidentalist

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Sebadoh’s stop in New York last week; the band have also offered an interview to The Village Voice and made a new b-side available to stream via Stereogum. They’re going to be at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Stream: Sebadoh – “No Wound”

Albert Hammond Jr talks to PopMatters ahead of his solo show at The Phoenix on November 10. He’s also released a new video from the AHJ EP via Complex.

Video: Albert Hammond Jr – “Carnal Cruise”

Grizzly Bear are streaming another of the bonus tracks that will appear on the Shields: Expanded edition coming out November 12.

Stream: Grizzly Bear – “Listen and Wait”

Stereogum and Rolling Stone talk to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips about their new Peace Sword EP, out digitally now and physically on November 29. You can hear one of the new songs via Rolling Stone and check out an in-studio Tame Impala cover for good measure.

Stream: The Flaming Lips – “”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Elephant” (Tame Impala cover)

Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are coming back to town for a headlining show in support of their new record The Speed Of Things on March 14 at The Hoxton; English electronic artist Chad Valley will open up.

MP3: Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr – “Vocal Chords”
MP3: Chad Valley – “Fast Challenges”

Wye Oak talks to Spin about the directions their third album, coming in 2014, is taking. Apparently that includes less guitars, which makes perfect sense since Jenn Wasner is such a terrible guitarist </sarcasm>.

Neko Case and company got in the seasonal spirit when recording a Hallowe’en Tiny Desk Concert for NPR; she’s also interviewed by The Boston Globe.

Rhett Miller talks to Rolling Stone about keeping it loud and loose on the next Old 97’s record and teaming up with some Decemberists for his next solo record. He also chats with Jambands.

And as for The Decemberists, Colin Meloy tells Rolling Stone he’s been writing new material for the band while attending to his solo pursuits.

Will Sheff of Okkervil River chats with Drowned In Sound.

The Rumpus interviews Dean Wareham.

Merge Records has announced details of their 25th anniversary subscription series, which will run throughout 2014 as the Or Thousands Of Prizes box set. And to mark the occasion (as well as the occasion of Hallowe’en last week), Superchunk have released a new Misfits cover.

Stream: Superchunk – “Children In Heat”

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Love Is To Die

Warpaint put their warpaint back on with Warpaint

Photo by Chris CunninghamChris CunninghamConsidering how busy they were leading up to and around the release of their 2010 debut album The Foolfive Toronto shows in the span of 18 months, for example – it was eminently understandable that Los Angeles’ Warpaint would want to take some time off before getting back at it.

But three years is quite long enough, thanks, so news of their second album is welcome indeed. The record will be called Warpaint, but don’t look for any title track as the song “Warpaint” already showed up on The Fool, though I suppose there’s no rule that you can’t write more than one song of the same name. Hell, they could call every song on the album “Warpaint” if they like, so long as they’re as reality-bendingly mesmerizing as everything they’ve done so far, and from the first new song that’s been made available to stream – definitively not called “Warpaint” – they will be.

Pitchfork has details on the album – co-produced by the band and Flood and mixed by Flood and Nigel Godrich – which is out January 21 in the new year, while The Fly talked to drummer Stella Mozgawa about how the sessions went. In addition to the new song stream, there’s a trailer for something of the same name – the song, the album, a video, a documentary, it’s not clear – by director Chris Cunningham, who documented the band at work over the last two years.

Stream: Warpaint – “Love Is To Die”
Trailer: Warpaint – “Love Is To Die”

Clash and The Irish Examiner talk to Midlake v2.0, who are streaming their new album Antiphon at NPR ahead of its official release on November 5.

Stream: Midlake / Antiphon

PopDose talks to Tanya Donelly about her Swan Song Series of EPs, of which there are currently three volumes with a fourth on schedule for release in the next week or so.

Under The Radar interviews Sebadoh, coming to town for a show at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Albert Hammond Jr talks to Rolling Stone and Washington Square News about matters both solo and Strokes; he’s here in the former context at The Phoenix on November 10.

Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils have made a date at The Horseshoe for November 17 in support of their new album Clash The Truth, from which they’ve just released a new vid. Tickets for that are $14.50 in advance.

MP3: Beach Fossils – “Shallow”
Video: Beach Fossils – “Generational Synthetic”

Spin is streaming another song from the Beachwood Sparks issue of their previously unreleased debut album Desert Skies, coming November 20.

Stream: Beachwood Sparks – “Watery Moonlight”

Le Blogotheque has posted a Take-Away Show with Charles Bradley, who returns to town for a show at The Kool Haus on December 12.

Stereogum checks in with Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls about how their next record is coming along; it should be out early next year.

Rolling Stone talks to Josh Tillman about the next Father John Misty record.

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Okkervil River’s The Silver Gymnasium and Spin has a second video for a remix of the same song done by Will Sheff’s Lovestreams alter ego – you can also download said remix. There’s also an interview at The Province and over at Gawker, Sheff has penned a tribute to the late Lou Reed.

MP3: Okkervil River – “Stay Young” (Lovestreams remix)
Video: Okkervil River – “Stay Young”
Video: Okkervil River – “Stay Young” (Lovestreams remix)

Also with a Reed eulogy worth reading is Dean Wareham over at Salon; Wareham opened up for the Velvet Underground reunion in the ’90s while fronting Luna.

Drowned In Sound interviews of Montreal.

Under The Radar has posted an interview with Neko Case as well as an extra piece chock full of bonus material.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

We Looked Like Giants

Death Cab For Cutie celebrate Transatlanticism‘s 10th with naked baby photos

Photo By Peter EllenbyPeter Ellenby2013 marks the tenth anniversary of all kinds of things – the US invasion of Iraq, Lost In Translation, the passing of both Johnny and June Carter Cash – but also the debut of a television show called The O.C. which hand to god I have never watched but know of because it catapulted one of my then-favourite bands in Death Cab For Cutie from bubbling-under buzz band into bona fide (indie-scale) stars. Well their endorsement, plus the momentum of Ben Gibbard’s other project The Postal Service, and also the release of the band’s most beloved album in Transatlanticism. I personally preferred its predecessor The Photo Album, but a generation of indie kids came of age to this record and so its decade anniversary is almost certainly making a lot of people feel really old right now; my world and welcome to it.

In any case, it’s a milestone that merits commemoration and the band’s former and spiritual home of Barsuk Records is doing so with the re-release of the album on double vinyl, after several years out of print, and as a bonus have released the original demos for the record alongside it. The set of song sketches comes as a download with the LP or can be purchased on its own. Both versions of the record are available to stream right now at NPR before being officially released next week on October 29.

Entertainment Weekly and Consequence of Sound have pieces on why the album endures, and if you’re more about living in the now than the past, Billboard reports that they’re back in the studio working on their next record.

MP3: Death Cab For Cutie – “Title and Registration”
Stream: Death Cab For Cutie / Transatlanticism 10th Anniversary Edition

Another tenth anniversary of a much sadder note came to pass this week; the passing of Elliott Smith a decade ago this week. Tributes abound online, but Pitchfork has assembled an impressive oral history of the songwriter’s career.

Spin has an advance stream of Widowspeak’s new EP The Swamps, which sees official release on October 29. They’re in town at The Silver Dollar on November 2.

Stream: Widowspeak / The Swamps

Paste talks to The Head & The Heart, in town for a show at the Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Matablog has posted a new track from the forthcoming and inevitable deluxe edition of Kurt Vile’s last album Wakin’ On A Pretty Haze: Deluxe Edition (Post Haze), out November 19.

MP3: Kurt Vile – “Feel My Pain”

Tone Deaf chats with James McNew of Yo La Tengo. The deluxe edition of their latest album Fade comes out November 19.

Sub Pop is really emphasizing the “Pop” with the release of a Low/Shearwater split 7″ for Black Friday Record Store Day on November 29; the a-side will feature Low’s already-released Rihanna cover, while the b-side unveils Shearwater’s take on Frank Ocean. Proceeds go to charity, vinyl is limited to 3500 copies, and both tracks will be made available digitally.

Stream: Low – “Stay”

Pixies have released another video from their recent EP-1, which they’re using to justify their show at Massey Hall on January 15.

Video: Pixies – “Andro Queen”

Electronic duo Darkside have released a new video from Psychic; they’re at Lee’s Palace on January 15.

Video: Darkside – “Metatron”

Brooklyn’s Hospitality have announced a January 27 release date for their second album Trouble; check out a trailer for it and check out their 2012 self-titled debut if you don’t know why they’re a good band.

Trailer: Hospitality / Trouble

The reunited Dismemberment Plan continue to be a topic of discussion with MTV Hive, Stereogum, Paste, and The 405, and NYC Taper has posted a recording of their recent Terminal 5 show in New York.

Dean Wareham has released a video from his solo mini-album Emancipated Hearts.

Video: Dean Wareham – “Love Is Colder Than Death”

Jim James has put out another video from his solo record Regions Of Light and Sound Of God.

Video: Jim James – “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)”

DIY talks to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal.

Will Sheff of Okkervil River talks to The Guardian.

The Big Takeover and examiner.com interview Charlie Hilton of Blouse.

To celebrate their 20,000th Twitter follower, Superchunk have posted an acoustic version of “Breaking Down”, which appears fully electrified on their latest I Hate Music.

Stream: Superchunk – “Breaking Down” (acoustic)

Aquarium Drunkard interviews the Kadane/Johnson/Bazan-powered beast that is Overseas.