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Posts Tagged ‘Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Oblique City

Phoenix rises with new festival and cross-border shopping opportunities

Photo By Arnaud PotierArnaud PotierAs It’s been kind of funny to see the incredulity that has that has met the announcement of Phoenix as a top-billed act as the Summer’s festival lineups are rolled out in the US and Europe, with people scoffing “since when are Phoenix festival headliners?”. The answer, of course, being “since they began headlining festivals” – which is to say this year, following the massive success of 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and in anticipation of the April 23 release of Bankrupt!.

This elevation is obviously good news for those headed to Coachella, Primavera, or what have you – as well as for the French band, who are finding themselves in the enviable position of being able to gold plate anything they like – but is less good news for cities who don’t host big A-list Summer festivals… which includes Toronto. And while the return of something even on the scale of Virgin Fest seems unlikely – though you may recall Phoenix played the first one way back in 2006 with a decidedly non-headlining, early afternoon slot – we’re actually doing pretty well with somewhat smaller to-dos, particularly ones that are in a position to align with more established festivals relatively nearby. This year’s inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest is drafting quite nicely off of Ottawa Bluesfest and Montreal Jazz Fest, and yesterday’s announcement of The Grove Fest, taking place August 3 at The Commons at Butler’s Barracks in Niagara-On-The-Lake – looks to take full advantage of being located midway between Montreal and Chicago on Osheaga/Lollapalooza weekend.

Phoenix will headline this event – if that wasn’t obvious from the opening paragraph – and be joined by a diverse bill including Girl Talk, Hot Chip, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pretty Lights, The Gaslight Anthem, Bob Mould, Earl Sweatshirt, Wavves, Icona Pop, Palma Violets, Young Empires, and Nightbox. It’s a lineup that spans the globe, is heavy on the dance party vibe but with a decent dollop of guitar angst. The bill actually feels like those Rogers Picnics that ran for a few years down at Fort York in that there’s something to satisfy everyone and something to annoy everyone – mostly Macklemore, I would imagine.

Early bird tickets go on sale today at 10AM for $74.50, and after those are gone regular passes are $79.50; VIP tickets are available for $140. And no, Niagara-On-The-Lake is NOT in Toronto, but a 90-minute straight shot down the QEW isn’t bad, and if you want to make a long weekend getaway out of it, Buffalo is just across the border. And you know you’ve been looking for an excuse to go to Buffalo.

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Phoenix.

Video: Phoenix – “Lisztomania”
Video: Girl Talk – “All Day”
Video: Hot Chip – “Night & Day”
Video: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Thrift Shop”
Video: Pretty Lights – “So Bright” (live)
Video: The Gaslight Anthem – “45”
Video: Bob Mould – “The Descent”
Video: Earl Sweatshirt – “Chum”
Video: Wavves – “Sail To The Sun”
Video: Icona Pop – “I Love It”
Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends
Video: Young Empires – “White Doves”
Video: Nightbox – “Relocate You”

And just as the likes of Field Trip and TURF further entrench Garrison Commons at Fort York as one of Toronto’s go-to Summer concert venues and former War Of 1812 battlegrounds as great places to throw parties – if only Olympic Island had seen bloodshed, perhaps it would have remaind in favour – southern Ontario concertgoers may want to keep Niagara-On-The-Lake’s Butler’s Barracks in their GPS. On June 29, it will also hosting a one-day mini-fest headlined by City & Colour and supported by Metric, Jimmy Eat World, Serena Ryder, and Yukon Blonde. Tickets for that are $64.75 and on sale now.

MP3: Metric – “Gimme Sympathy”
MP3: Jimmy Eat World – “Bleed American”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Fire”
Video: City & Colour – “Comin’ Home”
Video: Serena Ryder – “Stomps”

And back to TURF, another batch of acts has been announced for the four-day event running July 4 to 7. We’ve got Yo La Tengo, who will be playing on the 7th since they will follow headliners Belle & Sebastian on tour after that, and also JD McPherson, The Barr Brothers, and Larry and his Flask. Each week finds the lineup getting stronger and more eclectic; by the time the schedule and ticket information is released later this month, it should be a doozy.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Stupid Things”
Video: JD McPherson – “Fire Bug”
Video: Larry & His Flask – “Call It What You Will”
Video: The Barr Brothers – “Beggar In The Morning”

And in club show announcements – no, not everything is happening at a national historic site: Peter Murphy will mark the 35th anniversary of Bauhaus with a set comprised entirely of material of his old band. That happens May 10 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $29.50 in advance.

Video: Bauhaus – “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”

Doldrums will play his first show in town since last week’s release of Lesser Evil at The Horseshoe on May 11 – you know, in case there wasn’t enough going on that night with Foals, Charles Bradley, and The Breeders elsewhere in town. Tickets are $10 in advance.

MP3: Doldrums – “Jump Up”

If you’ve been waiting for Los Angeles buzz band Haim to come to town and are a Vampire Weekend fan, congratulations – the sister act have been named as support for their May 16 show at The Sony Centre. And if you’re not a Vampire Weekend fan… sorry, but you can at least take comfort in the knowledge that you’re not a Vampire Weekend fan.

Video: Haim – “Falling”

While it’s all well and good that Laura Stevenson is coming back to town – I enjoyed her set opening for Maps & Atlases back in August 2010 – I’m more excited that Brooklyn’s Field Mouse will be opening up for her at The Drake on May 21; verily do they hit my indie-pop sweet spot. Tickets for that are $12.50 in advance.

Video: Laura Stevenson – “Master Of Art”
Video: Field Mouse – “Glass”

The Shins have decided to take last year’s Port Of Morrow for another spin – they’ll be at The Sound Academy on May 22, tickets $34.50 general admission and $44.50 VIP.

MP3: The Shins – “Know Your Onion!”

It’s like a cross-generational synth-pop summit; Diamond Rings will open up for Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark at the Danforth Music Hall, both on the previously announced July 11 date and the just-announced July 19 second date. Tickets for both are $35 in advance.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Strangers On The Street

It’s a veritable Two Hours Traffic jam of concert announcements. Yeah, that was bad. I know.

Photo By David BastedoDavid BastedoSo at this point I may as well just earmark Tuesday posts as concert announcement roundups, Mondays being the busiest day for tour-related press releases and also being the easiest to put together as I wait for a torrent of Bunheads to surface. Shut up, it’s a great show.

First up is Prince Edward Island’s finest power-pop band Two Hours Traffic, now with a slightly altered lineup – guitarist Alec O’Hanley left after 2009’s Territory and can now be found in Always, who’ve gotten a fair bit of ink around here – and a new album in Foolish Blood coming out February 19. Touring machines that they are, they hit the road almost immediately afterwards for a Spring tour that takes them from the Maritimes down to Austin for SXSW, then back up through Toronto for a Canadian Musicfest headlining showcase at Lee’s Palace on March 21, and then across the rest of Canada. Saskatchewan’s Rah Rah will accompany them for most dates of the tour.

Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Last Star”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”

Montreal’s The Besnard Lakes step in as the big draw at Lee’s Palace for the Friday night of CMF – March 21 – previewing their new album Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO before it comes out April 2.

MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross”

March 22 is also the day The Indies – the festival’s bizarro mish-mash of awards ceremony no one really understands and musical bill of some of the fest’s biggest names playing abbreviated sets – goes down, but this year it’s at the Kool Haus rather than the ballroom of the Royal York hotel and the lineup is somewhat more coherent. Metric will headline and the undercard contains the likes of Diamond Rings, Yukon Blonde, The Wooden Sky, and Cadence Weapon. Tickets for that are $49.50. Yup.

MP3: Metric – “Artificial Nocturne”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Fire”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”

When Portland’s Parenthetical Girls were last here in April, their series of Privilege EPs had yet to be completed, only getting compiled into 21-song box set form last Fall. On February 19, it gets recompiled into a concise, 12-track album of the same name and gives them an excuse to tour again, this time coming to Double Double Land on March 28.

MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”

Scottish indie-rock heroes The View will give their new record Cheeky For A Reason – out last Summer in the UK – a North American release on February 13 and have a date at Lee’s Palace on March 29 to promote it. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

Stream: The View – “How Long”

Pitchfork brings Wavves news; specifically a new album in Afraid Of Heights coming March 26, a stream of a song from said new record, and tour dates in support of it including an April 5 date at The Horseshoe. Accompanying them on this tour are FIDLAR and Cheatahs, both of whom come with their own head of buzzy steam and equal facility for mangling the English language.

MP3: FIDLAR – “Got No Money”
Stream: Wavves – “Demon To Lean On”
Stream: Cheatahs – “The Swan”

The release of Jim James’ solo debut Regions Of Light And Sound Of God is upon us next Tuesday – February 5 – and with that comes and advance stream courtesy of NPR,interviews courtesy of Rolling Stone, CBC Music, and Exclaim, and a North American tour – dates courtesy Pollstar – that includes an April 24 stop at The Phoenix, tickets $26 in advance.

Stream: Jim James / Regions Of Light And Sound Of God

British “can we not call it dubstep” electronic artist James Blake will have a new album out later this year, but first comes a Spring tour built around Coachella that brings him to the Danforth Music Hall on May 4. Tickets $25 in advance.

MP3: James Blake – “To Care (Like You)”

Even though they were here just in December, Marina & The Diamonds have made a return engagement in support of second album Electra Hart and will be at the Sound Academy on May 23 as part of a Spring tour with support coming from next big thing Charli XCX. Tickets for that show are $28.50.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Glow”
Video: Marina & The Diamonds – “How To Be A Heartbreaker”

Crystal Castles also aren’t waiting long to play another local show, but they live here so it’s a little less of an undertaking. Following their release show for III back in November – from which they just released a new video – they’re back at the Sound Academy on June 8 and those tickets are $28.

MP3: Crystal Castles – “Wrath Of God”
Video: Crystal Castles – “Sad Eyes”

Washington DC punk/hardcore legends Bad Brains put out a new record in Into The Future late last year, and will be here on June 13 at The Phoenix to play some songs from it. And probably some old ones. Almost certainly some old ones. Tickets $30.50.

MP3: Bad Brains – “Pay To Cum”

The Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark reunion continues apace, with a second 21st century album – English Electric – due out April 8 and an accompanying North American tour confirmed. They’ll be at the Danforth Music Hall on July 11, advance tickets $35.

Video: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – “If You Leave”

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Who's In Control?

Review of British Sea Power’s Valhalla Dancehall

Photo via FacebookFacebookHow do you like your British Sea Power? Abrasive and anarchic as on their debut The Decline Of British Sea Power? Slick and anthemic as on the follow-up Open Season? Or are you loathe to choose between the two and prefer the middle ground that album number three – Do You Like Rock Music? – treads upon?

If you raised your hand for option c), then the Brighton-based Brits’ fourth effort Valhalla Dancehall – out today – should be on your “to-buy” list because it confirms that BSP have established their own little musical kingdom between the aforementioned territorial extremes where their eccentricities and populist tendencies intermingle and coexist. And if you preferred either a) or b), then Dancehall still has much to offer because, let’s face it, they’re too inherently weird to ever be too conventional and their musical vision is too widescreen to ever allow them to go soft.

Though it treads familiar terrain, Dancehall still carves its own niche, distinct from its predecessors. While opener “Who’s In Control?” sets a frenzied tone, overall the titular qualities the defined Rock Music has been dialed down slightly with grandeur taking priority over bombast. There’s still plenty of the latter, make no mistake, but it’s delivered in a more polished manner with some of the white noise having resolved into more atmospheric qualities and they’re balanced with truly gentle moments such as “Baby” and plenty in between. If Valhalla‘s place in the BSP canon is to be summed up in one word, it’s “refinement” in that it takes all their by-now familiar touchstones and dresses them up in just the right amount of classy. To some that might sound like maturing and/or getting boring, but if it gives us more gems like album closer “Heavy Water”, with its subtle motorik pulse, then call it what you like – I’ll take it.

Clash has excerpted a portion of an interview with the band from their latest issue and The Fly also has a feature piece.

MP3: British Sea Power – “Who’s In Control?”
MP3: British Sea Power – “Living Is So Easy”
Video: British Sea Power – “Living Is So Easy”
Stream: British Sea Power / Valhalla Dancehall

The Line Of Best Fit and The Fly have feature pieces on Esben & The Witch, whose debut Violet Cries is out on February 8. I said after seeing them open for Foals back in September that I’d wait until I heard the album before passing judgement on whether they were worth paying attention to… and having heard it, I’m still paying attention.

The Quietus talks to PJ Harvey about her new record Let England Shake, due out February 15.

The first single from Noah & The Whale’s forthcoming Last Night On Earth has a video and the album itself has a proper release date – it will be out on March 8 and they’ll be at the Mod Club on March 24.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”

NME reports that Glasvegas have given their second album the title of Euphoric Heartbreak; sorry Glasvegas dudes, but I will not indulge you with including the “///” or “\\\” when writing the title because it is, how you say, bullshit. Only M.I.A. got away with that because she’s batshit. The first single from said record will be made available this weekend and the record is due out sometime in the Spring.

The Fly checks in with Patrick Wolf, who’s in the studio working on his next album – it’s still untitled but will be out in May. twentyfourbit has some live video of Wolf previewing new material at a recent London show.

Synth-pop pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark are back, both with a new album in History Of Modern (released last year) and their first North American tour in over two decades – it will kick off on March 5 at The Phoenix in Toronto, tickets $28.50. Between you and me and the internet, I played their best-of In The Dark a fair bit in high school. No I wasn’t cool. Is that just becoming clear now?

Video: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – “If You Leave”

The Radio Dept. talks to Spinner about some of the more political angles of their work. Their compilation album Passive Aggressive is out January 25 and they’re at Lee’s Palace on February 7.

Spin is streaming the new single from Lykke Li; her new record Wounded Rhymes will be out on March 1 and she plays The Phoenix on May 22.

Pitchfork has details on Peter Bjorn & John’s new record Gimme Some, due out March 29. Spin talks to Peter Moren about the record.

Jens Lekman has taken to his blog to announce that 2011 will, if the stars align, see him release a new album. And an EP. If the stars align.