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Posts Tagged ‘Parenthetical Girls’

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”

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Put Your Back N 2 It

Perfume Genius and Parenthetical Girls at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you thought that any combination of it being a Sunday night and Easter would result in a lightly-attended Perfume Genius show at The Drake on Sunday night, you’d have been wrong. Which is to say that I was wrong; the handful of tickets remaining were snatched up when doors opened and by the time I got there, it was officially sold out. And with good cause – Mike Hadreas’ second album under as Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It – is a stunning record, giving his emotionally stark songwriting with just enough sonic adornment to make it not just palatable, but delicious.

Perfume Genius weren’t the only draw; supporting them on this tour were fellow Pacific northwesterners Parenthetical Girls from Portland, who’ve garnered their own loyal fanbase over the past decade and added to it locally having been here for two nights in January supporting Los Campesinos. While there were enough similarities that this bill made sense in some ways, in others you couldn’t imagine a more disparate pairing. Fronted by the magnetic Zac Pennington, their set was more musical theatre than conventional concert with his flamboyant yet dry delivery leading the band through what felt like selections from a synth-rock opera, enhanced by some great audience repartee and a few forays into the crowd. Importantly though, for all the theatrics, they still had immediate and hummable tunes underneath it all and their sincerity was never obscured by camp or irony. Even if it had, it’d still have been fun but that it wasn’t was even better.

Irony wasn’t any kind of risk with Perfume Genius; Hadreas is all about raw, unvarnished honesty. Seeing him at Matador 21 in 2010, circa his debut Learning, it was impossible to not be impressed how he silenced the theatre with just two keyboards and his voice. This time, he was again accompanied by Alan Wyffels on synths but also a third player alternating on guitar and drums, and while the extra instrumentation went a long way to filling things out and pushing them forward, the live readings of the Back material still felt more immediate and stripped down than the record, yet still dramatic in their content and often abrupt in their finish – when the songs were done, they were just done.

He played for barely 45 minutes, drawing mainly from Put Your Back N 2 It, including a faux encore that Hadreas distinguished from the main set by ducking under his piano for a few seconds before re-emerging. He commented that the last time he played this room, back in the Fall of 2010, there was maybe a tenth of the people who were here this time but even so, the packed house remained dead silent and respectful throughout the set. Considering how personal and intimate Hadreas’ music is, it’s hard to imagine him having to establish the sort of connection with the audience that was so evident here on a larger scale, but considering how powerful that connection is it’s hard to imagine it not reaching and resonating with more people. What happens next is for the future to tell, I suppose, but this night was near perfect.

The Republican and NOW have interviews with Mike Hadreas while The Montreal Mirror profiles Parenthetical Girls.

Photos: Perfume Genius, Parenthetical Girls @ The Drake Underground – April 8, 2012
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Dark Parts”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “All Waters”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Learning”
MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”
MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “A Note To Self”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Lookout, Lookout”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Privilege”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Careful Who You Dance With”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “The Common Touch”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Young Throats”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “Evelyn McHale”
Video: Parenthetical Girls – “A Song For Ellie Greenwich”

I suppose credit where credit is due; The Dandy Warhols have somehow maintained a fanbase that allows them to continue to play a room the size of The Phoenix and collect $30 for the privilege of hearing “Bohemian Like You”; they’re there on June 3 in support of their new record This Machine, which comes out April 24.

MP3: The Dandy Warhols – “Country Leaver”
MP3: The Dandy Warhols – “Sad Vacation”

Also straight out of Portland – Blind Pilot are going to be at The Opera House on July 25, continuing to tour last Fall’s We Are The Tide. Tickets for that are $17.50 in advance.

MP3: Blind Pilot – “Keep You Right”

Straight off of announcing a July 10 release for their new record Swing Lo Magellan, Dirty Projectors have slated an extensive tour that brings them to the Music Hall on July 6 with recent 4AD-signees Purity Ring as support; their own debut album will be out on July 24.

Stream: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”
Stream: Purity Ring – “Belispeak”

The Head & The Heart stops in at The AV Club to participate in their Undercover series with a Fleetwood Mac cover.

Exclaim, The Georgia Straight, and The National Post talk to Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells, who are back in town on April 27 and 28 at the Air Canada Centre warming up for Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Pitchfork talks to the boys of POP ETC – née The Morning Benders – who inaugurate their new identity on June 12 with a self-titled album. I guess the all caps is mandatory, eh? Feh.

Spin and The Daily Texan chat with Bowerbirds.

Kurt Wagner of Lambchop reviews his musical upbringing with Pitchfork.

NPR, The Line Of Best Fit, and The National Post all talk to M. Ward on the occasion of the release of his new record A Wasteland Companion.

The AV Club has posted the second part of their extensive history/salute to R.E.M..