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Posts Tagged ‘Patti Smith’

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Horses

Patti Smith and Her Band at Massey Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIn normal circumstances, seeing an artist live twice in a six-month span will yield pretty similar shows. Sure, set lists can change to some degree, but to be able to completely change the context and experience in such short order is a rare thing – but then Patti Smith is a rare artist. Her show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in March – her first proper Toronto show in 13 years – was presented as “An evening of words and music, in memory of Robert Mapplethorpe” and while the song selection covered all the bases one could hope for, with Smith backed by her children on guitar and piano and songs interspersed with readings and anecdotes, it felt intimate and informal though no less powerful for it. Friday night’s show at Massey Hall, by comparison, was billed as “Patti Smith and Her Band” and while for other artists, the crediting of a full band might seem an unnecessary and presumptive detail, for Smith it made a world of difference; it meant that she’d be performing with drummer Jay Dee Daugherty and guitarist Lenny Kaye, and it meant that she was going to rock.

If you assumed the assemblage of the bandmates who’d been with her since her landmark debut album Horses almost 40 years ago – bassist Tony Shanahan, who’d also been along in March, and guitarist Jack Petruzzelli rounded out the ensemble – meant that there’d be more vintage material on offer, then you’d have been correct. Though the kick drum said “Banga” and the show could have been considered the Toronto stop of the tour for Smith’s last album, the set list tilted very heavily towards Smith’s ’70s output. They opened the show with “Dancing Barefoot” and “Redondo Beach”, and and though their collective influence on punk and garage rock can’t be overstated, Smith’s band performed with plenty of polish and refinement; even restraint. But it was pretty punk when towards the end of a sprawling “Birdland” – and not for the last time – Smith turned and spit onstage; not sure how many times that’s happened at Massey Hall.

But it should not have been taken as any mark of disrespect for the hallowed venue. Indeed, Smith was most excited to be playing the room again for the first time in 37 years, mentioning how excited she was in 1976 to be playing on the same stage that Maria Callas had once sang on. Hers was one of many ghosts evoked throughout the show, alongside Jim Morrison (“Break It Up”), Amy Winehouse (“This Is The Girl”), John Lennon (an unplanned cover of “Beautiful Boy”), and Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith (“Because The Night”). Still, unlike the Queen Elizabeth show, the theme of the show would be rebellion rather than remembrances, the tone more electrifying than elegiac.

Though the front half of the show had many highlights – an impromptu ode to Nicole Kidman as a nod to the TIFF festivities going on around the city prefaced “My Blakean Year” – it was after Smith left the band in Kaye’s hands for a medley saluting Toronto’s garage rock roots to dance in the audience that things really kicked into high gear. A smouldering “Ain’t It Strange” lit the match, a Television/CBGBs-saluting “We Three” fanned the flames, and “Because The Night”, “Pissing In A River”, and raging “Horses”/”Gloria” absolutely blew the place up, punctuated by Smith’s declaration, “This is not a movie – this is real life!”. The encore kept the intensity up, with Smith passing guitar duties on “Banga” to an audience member (he was basically tasked with playing a D chord ad infinitum) but taking possession of a Strat at the tail end of a searing, show-closing “Rock’n’Roll Nigger” for the express purpose of feeding back and then tearing off every one of the strings. A majestic finish to the show and to a year where Smith more than made up for years of 416 neglect.

NOW, Radio Free Canuckistan, and Digital Journal also have reviews of the show.

Photos: Patti Smith @ Massey Hall – September 6, 2013
MP3: Patti Smith – “Wing”
Video: Patti Smith – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Video: Patti Smith – “People Have The Power”
Video: Patti Smith – “Summer Cannibals”
Video: Patti Smith – “Rock’N’Roll Nigger”

With The Electric Lady finally out tomorrow, Pitchfork, Stereogum, and Spin all have feature pieces on the inimitable Janelle Monáe. Advance streams of the album have been pretty tightly geoblocked, but Canadians can hear it via Exclaim; Americans can try VH1. She plays The Kool Haus on October 19.

Stream: Janelle Monáe / The Electric Lady

Portland’s Blouse are streaming their new record Imperium at Hype Machine until it officially comes out on September 17. Noisey also has an interview with the band.

Stream: Blouse / Imperium

NPR has got the new Sebadoh record Defend Yourself on stream before it comes out September 17. They’ll play it at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Stream: Sebadoh / Defend Yourself

The New York Times has a feature on Okkervil River while Interview sends frontman Will Sheff to talk to their album cover artist William Schaff and co.create finds out about the thinking behind the marketing campaign for the album. Okkervil River plays The Phoenix on September 28.

Clash talks to Explosions In The Sky. They play The Air Canada Centre on October 4 in support of Nine Inch Nails.

Still no album info, but Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from TV On The Radio.

Video: TV On The Radio – “Mercy”

Patrick Stickles details to The Missoulian his plans for the next Titus Andronicus album, which of course will be a rock opera.

Salon, The Chicago Tribune, Metro, and Noisey chat with Mac McCaughan of Superchunk.

Elle talks to Caitlin Rose about her wonderful cover of The National’s “Pink Rabbits”; State just talks to her about whatever.

Video: Caitlin Rose – “Pink Rabbits”

The National Post, NOW, and The AV Club have interviews with Neko Case.

The Fly interviews Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV.

The New York Times talks to Black Francis about the post-Kim Deal Pixies v2.0.

Yo La Tengo stops in at Daytrotter for a session.

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

CONTEST – Patti Smith @ Massey Hall – September 6, 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWho: Patti Smith
What: Legendary punk rocker/poet/photographer/author/artist… Patti Smith. Come on.
Why: Because apparently it’s all about wish fulfillment: wish for Patti Smith to play a Toronto show, she does two super-intimate 1st Thursday shows at the Art Gallery of Ontario; wish for Patti Smith to play a Toronto show that doesn’t sell out in half a heartbeat, she plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in March; wish for Patti Smith to play a Toronto show with her full rock band, she comes back to do Massey Hall next month. AREN’T YOU SATISFIED YET?
When: Friday, September 6, 2013
Where: Massey Hall in Toronto
How: Tickets for the show are $79.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got prize pack consisting of a pair of passes for the show, a deluxe hardcover edition of her last album Banga and a special photo of some description (I have no description of this) to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Patti Smith” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, September 2.

MP3: Patti Smith – “Wing”

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Blame The Muse

Tanya Donelly’s Swan Song is anything but

Illustration By Louisa BertmanLouisa BertmanIt’s understandable if you’d thought we’d heard the last in the way of new music from Tanya Donelly. Output from the former Throwing Muse/Breeder/Belly frontwoman gone solo basically stopped with 2006’s recorded-live This Hungry Life, and when Spin went knocking in 2010, she revealed that following the birth of her second child, she’d embarked on a new career as a postpartum doula because, well, pretty much anything pays better than professional musician – even one with a CV as impressive as hers.

She didn’t go completely silent, though. Besides intermittently appearing on American Laundromat’s endless stream of tribute albums and compilations, she was heard in lovely form on in duet with Bill Janovitz on Buffalo Tom’s 2011 effort Skins, and this past May was seen as well as heard when she made an appearance on stage with The Breeders in Boston to sing on a couple songs. So pleasant surprises but hardly evidence of any sort of full-fledged return to making music.

But she has been making music; oh how she’s been making music. This week saw the release of the first volume in what she’s calling the Swan Song Series – a series of EPs being released every month for at least the next three months. The songs – which may or may not all be available to stream via Soundcloud right now – aren’t just home-recorded sketches, either; they’re fully-arranged and -produced songs with a host of guest contributors including Janovitz and The Magnetic Fields’ Claudia Gonson. They’re very much keeping in tone with her last couple solo records – lightly jazzy and sophisticated but immediately and directly melodic – and all impeccably lovely. Tanya Donelly is back and the world is a better place for it.

Video: Tanya Donelly – “Mass Ave”
Stream: Tanya Donelly / Swan Song Series

Vue Weekly has a cover story on Neko Case, who has made another song from The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You available to preview via lyric video. It’s out September 3.

Lyric Video: Neko Case – “Night Still Comes”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the release of the second Boardwalk Empire soundtrack album, which will find the likes of The National and Patti Smith, amongst others, covering prohibition-era songs which will appear in the HBO series. The National’s contribution has been available to download for a while and Rolling Stone has a stream of Smith’s contribution. The album is out September 3, the new season of Boardwalk Empire begins September 8. Patti Smith plays Massey Hall on September 6. City Pages and Rolling Stone have interviews with The National, who have made one of the performances from their upcoming episode of The Artist’s Den available to watch.

MP3: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”
Stream: Patti Smith – “I Ain’t Got Nobody”

Esquire has premiered a stream of the new song from Okkervil River’s forthcoming The Silver Gymnasium. It’s out September 3 and they play The Phoenix on September 28.

Stream: Okkervil River – “Stay Young”

My Daily, BBC News, and Clash have interviews and NPR has a World Cafe session with Lissie, whose new record Return To Forever comes out September 10.

Creative Loafing and Consequence Of Sound talk to Speedy Ortiz, who’re in town at The Horseshoe on September 15 supporting Chelsea Light Moving.

Panic Manual talks to a pre-meltdown Father John Misty; a post-meltdown FJM returns for a solo show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 15.

Also at Esquire is a stream of the first sample of the new Head & The Heart record Let’s Be Still, due out October 15. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Stream: The Head & The Heart – “Shake”

The Line Of Best Fit has good news and bad news for Midlake fans. The good news is their first album since 2010’s The Courage Of Others will be called Antiphon and is out November 5. The bad news is that singer and songwriter Tim Smith isn’t on it, having left the band. Guitarist Eric Pulido has stepped up as frontman and you can hear Midlake mk2 on the title track of the new album, which is available to stream.

Stream: Midlake – “Antiphon”

Savoir Adore have released a new video from their reissued Our Nature.

Video: Savoir Adore – “Regalia”

Pitchfork gets behind the scenes of Yo La Tengo’s last video from Fade and premieres the next one.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “Is That Enough”

John Vanderslice is streaming the A-side of a new 7″ single released earlier this week. On topic, Engadget gets a tour of his Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco.

Stream: John Vanderslice – “Song For Clay Miller”

Our Scattered Words and The Calgary Herald have interviews with Sharon Van Etten.

NPR are streaming The Mountain Goats’ set from the Newport Folk Festival last month.

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists visit The AV Club to cover The Ramones for their AV Club Undercover series.

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Gung Ho

Patti Smith is coming back to Toronto and this time, she wants our electricity

Photo By Angelo CricchiAngelo CricchiAfter the longest time without a proper concert – 2000, if the internet is to be believed – 2013 has turned out to be quite the boon for Toronto-area Patti Smith fans. First there was the Camera Solo exhibition of her photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario which began running in February and just wrapped this past weekend, then the super-intimate, super-sold out 1st Thursday shows in March which begat the almost last-minute Queen Elizabeth Theatre show shortly thereafter. And while no one in attendance would argue that show was anything less than spectacular, I’m sure some wished that the primarily acoustic performance had evoked a little more of the punk pioneer’s rock’n’roll spirit.

Well those people have gotten their wish. On September 6, Smith will return for a show at Massey Hall and be backed by her long-time electric band of Lenny Kaye, Tony Shanahan, Jay Dee Daugherty, and Jack Petruzzelli. Tickets will run from $49.50 to $79.50, and a presale will go today at 2PM; hit up Collective Concerts and their attendant social media avenues for details. Regular on-sale goes Thursday at 10AM via Massey Hall’s website.

MP3: Patti Smith – “Wing”

Counting one of the most ridiculously fierce guitarists in the indie rock world right now – that’d be diminutive frontwoman Marissa Paternoster – New Jersey’s Screaming Females are coming to town for a show at Parts & Labour on August 22, tickets $10 in advance. Their last full-length Ugly came out last year but they put out the Chalk Tape EP back in February of this year; I think their last visit to town was in June 2010 supporting Ted Leo & The Pharmacists.

Video: Screaming Females – “Poison Arrow”

Atmospheric Los Angeles duo Houses released their A Quiet Darkness back in April – stream it and read an interview at Huffington Post – and they’re undertaking a North American tour behind it, hitting The Garrison on September 17.

Video: Houses – “The Beauty Surrounds”
Stream: Houses / A Quiet Darkness

Chart-topping, BRIT-winning, fresh-faced English singer-songwriter Tom Odell, whose debut album Long Way Down was released last month, will be hitting North America this Fall to try to replicate his success on this side of the pond. Full dates are still forthcoming, but he’s in Toronto at The Great Hall on September 25 and tickets are $16.50 in advance. The Daily Mail has an extensive interview with Odell.

Video: Tom Odell – “Another Love”

That Odell show happens to be on the same day that fellow Brits Bastille, who themselves had a #1 record in the UK with their debut Bad Blood, are in town and they’ve just upgraded said September 25 show from The Opera House to The Phoenix and put out a new video to boot. What oh what will the Anglophiles do.

Video: Bastille – “Things We Lost In The Fire”

Widowspeak have scored themselves a pretty plumb spot opening up for Iron & Wine for a leg of their Fall tour, including the September 28 date at The Sound Academy. Their new EP The Swamps comes out October 29.

MP3: Widowspeak – “The Devil Knows”

Japanese garage rock heroes Guitar Wolf are coming back to North America behind their latest album Beast Vibrator. They play Toronto’s Hard Luck on October 1.

Video: Guitar Wolf – “Fighting Rock”

Having managed to not come to town at all behind their debut album Give You The Ghost, Minneapolis synth-soul outfit Poliça have thoughtfully included Toronto as one of the very first dates behind their second album, Shulamith. It’s out October 22 and they’re here at The Mod Club on November 1 – tickets will run $16.50 in advance.

Video: Poliça – “Tiff”

Veteran – as in a 40-year career in counting – Los Angeles avant-power-pop duo Sparks have scheduled a rare local date at Lee’s Palace on November 2, tickets $30.

MP3: Sparks – “The Rhythm Thief”

Rolling Stone reports that Bob Dylan will focus on the era surrounding his much-maligned Self-Portrait album, circa 1969 to 1971, for The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 – Another Self Portrait (1969-1971), due out August 27.

NPR has premiered an interactive stream of another song from the new Okkervil River album The Silver Gymnasium, coming out September 3. They play The Phoenix on September 28.

Stream: Okkervil River – “Down Down The Deep River”

Pitchfork has details on and a first stream from the new Elf Power record Sunlight On The Moon, due out October 1.

Stream: Elf Power – “Sunlight On The Moon”

Rolling Stone reports that you can hear a new track from The Dismemberment Plan’s forthcoming Uncanney Valley – out October 15 – by calling them on the phone at 252-64-DPLAN. That number again is 252-64-DPLAN. Operators are standing by.

The Flaming Lips have released a new video from their last album, The Terror.

Video: The Flaming Lips – “Turning Violent”

Clearly Dinosaur Jr don’t have an issue with cross-promotion. According to Consequence Of Sound and Pitchfork, unreleased songs – including a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” – are being made available to folks to buy or think about buying Keep shoes or Skullcandy headphones.

Stream: Dinosaur Jr – “Fade Into You”

Noisetrade has a live Caitlin Rose EP available for purchase or free download, depending on how generous you feel.

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Subway

Yeah Yeah Yeahs set Toronto show; win a date with the night

Photo By Dan MartensenDan MartensenThe new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record Mosquito has proven to be somewhat divisive. Some are finding it a terrific fourth long-player in their discography, summing together all that’s come before for a record quintessentially them, others finding it a disappointing water-treading exercise that captures neither the fiery anarchy of their early work or the gleaming excellence of their last effort, 2009’s It’s Blitz!. Personally, I fall more towards the latter camp, finding it just alright but decidedly forgettable, which may well be worse than being especially bad.

In any case, one thing most everyone with an interest in the topic can agree on – besides that the album art is atrocious – is that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs remain an incredible live act and that the four years since they last visited – two nights at The Kool Haus in August 2009m if you’ll recall – is far too long. So I’m happy to announce that the band’s somewhat erratic touring schedule – a consequence of being almost-headliner status during festival season, I guess – now has a Toronto date, with them coming to celebrate Canada Day – July 1 – at Echo Beach. And I’m even happier to announce that courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away before the $39.50 tickets go on sale this Friday morning at 10AM. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I I I want want want Yeah Yeah Yeahs” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that to me by midnight, May 30. The winner will be notified before the on-sale goes live.

MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

If you’d have otherwise been keen on seeing next week’s The xx and Grizzly Bear double-bill but didn’t much fancy the trek out to Downsview Park to do it, congratulations – your laziness has been rewarded. The June 6 show has been moved from the former airbase to the much more urban Echo Beach; all previously sold tickets are still valid and all remaining – of which there are now considerably fewer – are still $59.50 general admission and $99 VIP. The Vancouver Sun, Vue Weekly, and Georgia Straight have profiles of The xx.

MP3: The xx – “Reconsider”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Scottish folkster Alasdair Roberts will be at The Drake Underground on July 17 as part of a tour in support of his latest album A Wonder Working Stone, released earlier this year. For Folk’s Sake has an interview with Mr. Roberts.

MP3: Alasdair Roberts – “The Merry Wake”

If you’re looking for something to do Labour Day long weekend, you could do far worse than heading out Hamilton way for the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, taking place at Christie Lake in Dundas, Ontario on August 31. It was conceived by Daniel Lanois, who will be performing, and features a couple huge names drawn from his producing CV – specifically, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Emmylou Harris. Not bad, eh? Tickets are $139.50 in advance and go on sale June 1.

Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”
Video: Emmylou Harris – “Wrecking Ball” (live)

Not quite ready to return to being Bon Iver, Justin Vernon and his Wisconsin brethren have announced the September 3 release of a second Volcano Choir album – Repave – and a supporting Fall tour that brings them to The Phoenix on September 8, tickets $22.50 in advance. A trailer for the new record has been released, but rather than annoyingly tease, it actually almost acts as a complete video for one of the new songs.

MP3: Volcano Choir – “Island, Is”
Trailer: Volcano Choir / Repave

Portland electro-pop outfit STRFKR – whose name stands for what you think it does – have made a September 14 date at The Opera House in support of their third album Miracle Mile, released back in February. Tickets for the show are $15.

MP3: STRFKR – “Bury Us Alive”

Scout Niblett, who’s just released a new record in It’s Up To Emma, will be at The Silver Dollar on September 17.

MP3: Scout Niblett – “Dance Of Sulphur”
Video: Scout Niblett – “Gun”

English-born, Germany-based electronic act Gold Panda has a new album in Half Of Where You Live coming out on June 11 and has just announced a Fall tour behind it that brings him to Lee’s Palace on October 8, tickets $15. A new song from the new record has also been made available to stream and Noisey has an interview.

Stream: Gold Panda – “We Work Nights”

There’s still no follow-up to 2010’s Passive Me, Aggressive You, but Australia’s The Naked & Famous are coming back to North America for a Fall tour anyways; look for them at the Sound Academy on October 14, tickets $28.50 general admission and $38.50 VIP.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Girls Like You”

Two Door Cinema Club are keeping last year’s Beacon an active concern with another North American tour that brings them to the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Next Year”

Stereogum talks to Matt Berninger of The National. They’re headlining Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

With their new record Nightingale Floors due out next week on June 4 and streaming now at Pitchfork, Rogue Wave frontman Zach Rogue chats about the new record with Billboard. They’ll be at The Mod Club on June 25.

Stream: Rogue Wave / Nightingale Floors

Partygoing, the new album from Future Bible Heroes and one-quarter of the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing. box set – both out next Tuesday, June 4 – is now streaming courtesy of Pitchfork. Chickfactor talks to Stephin Merritt, Christopher Ewen, and Claudia Gonson of the band about the new record; they’ll be at Lee’s Palace – well, Ewen and Gonson, anyways – on July 22.

Stream: Future Bible Heroes / Partygoing

Guitar World sits down with Redd Kross guitarist Jeff McDonald to talk about guitars.

The Line Of Best Fit, TNT, and The Herald Scotland have interviews with Bob Mould.

The Guardian and USA Today profile punk rock legend Patti Smith.