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Posts Tagged ‘Pet Shop Boys’

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Another Tale From Another English Town

Review of Lanterns On The Lake’s Until The Colours Run

Photo via Bella UnionBella UnionNewcastle-upon-tyne’s Lanterns On The Lake were one of the more luminous discoveries of SXSW 2011, their intimate yet expansive sounds filling the space-folk void left in my heart by the likes of Mojave 3. Their 2011 debut Gracious Tide, Take Me Home focused more on the folk than the space, the more dynamic elements evident in their live show muted in favour of elegance, but was still a strong debut that promised even more to come.

That “more” is impressively realized on their second effort, Until The Colours Run, with the crashing electric guitars of opening track “Elodie” immediately signalling that this record will not be a retread of the first. Remarkably, as much as Colours pushes their sound to massive-sounding heights, be it by distortion pedals or string swells, it never comes at the expense of the fragile heart of their music. To extend the aquatic theme that runs through the band’s work, if Tides situated the listener on the shore where they could marvel at the band’s seemingly still and deep beauty, Colours takes them out onto the open water where that placidity is proven to be just an illusion, but Hazel Wilde’s soothing vocals act as a lifeboat against the tumult from which one can safely marvel at it all. A marvellous work.

Until The Colours Run will be out on October 7 in the UK and January 14 in North America; a long way off to be sure, but hopefully a sign that it will be properly promoted – like with a tour. In the meantime, Clash has an advance stream of the record with track-by-track annotations from Wilde, and Bristol 247 has an interview with the band.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Until The Colours Run”
Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Another Tale From Another English Town”
Stream: Lanterns On The Lake / Until The Colours Run

Johnny Flynn takes Drowned In Sound on a track-by-track walkthrough of his new long-player Country Mile, out this week.

Dummy has premiered a stream of Laura Groves’ – née Blue Roses – new EP Thinking About Thinking, available to purchase as of today.

Stream: Laura Groves / Thinking About Thinking

Canada wins as CBC Music has a stream – accessible from north of the 49th only – of Anna Calvi’s new album One Breath ahead of its release next week on October 8. Don’t worry, non-Canucks, I’m sure a less geoblocked stream will be available soon, and you can at least read this interview at The Irish Times. But in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy this record while I wait four hours for my free doctor’s appointment. Update: Spin has a Spotify stream for US readers/listeners/existers.

Stream: Anna Calvi / One Breath

If you were wondering if and when all those extra songs that were recorded alongside that which would become David Bowie’s The Next Day would come out – allegedly they had enough for a second album – wonder no more. The Line Of Best Fit reports that an expanded, three-disc version of Bowie’s comeback album will be released on November 4 and in addition to a DVD containing the album’s videos, there’ll be a bonus disc of eight new tracks – although four have already appeared on deluxe and international editions – and two remixes, including one by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. And oh yeah, if you haven’t been to see David Bowie Is at the Art Gallery of Ontario, definitely do so – it’s amazing. And while he didn’t do anything so obvious as show up to mark its opening last week, he has participated by offering a reading list of his favourite books to Open Book Toronto.

Nylon checks in with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, whose second album is meant to be out before the end of the year. Update: Cupid Deluxe is out November 18; details at DIY.

NME talks to Guy Garvey about the new record from Elbow, which they’ve just announced will be coming out on March 10 under a title to be announced later. And, as The Guardian reports, those who preorder the record and buy tickets for their just-announced UK tour next Spring will get the option of purchasing a previously-unreleased live CD/DVD set; information which really doesn’t do their North American fans any good, but there you go.

The Guardian gets to know Arthur Beatrice, whose full-length debut will be out early next year.

They’re still not saying anything about a new record but The Blue Walrus has just premiered a third new song from Anglo-Canadian trio The High Wire and yeah it makes us want that new record whatever/whenever it’s coming. Update: The album is due out in early 2014.

Stream: The High Wire – “Under A Spell”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Pet Shop Boys, who’ve just released a video for the next single from Electric.

Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Thursday”

The Scotsman talks to James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers.

NPR and Pitchfork have interviews with CHVRCHES, while over at The Guardian frontwoman Lauren Mayberry pens a powerful editorial about fighting the culture of online misogyny.

Peter Hook updates Rolling Stone on the legal status of those dumpster-dived Joy Division masters from a little while back.

And while the website doesn’t really tell you anything useful, it should be known that Trans – who made their live debut at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia this past weekend as per NME – is one half Jackie McKeown of Scottish bands Yummy Fur and 1990s, and one half Bernard Butler, the former Suede guitarist who had previously sworn off live performance in favour of studio work and production. Their debut single is out next week and self-described as, “A cross between Can and Television, a freeform guitar-sparring extension along the path trodden by Quicksilver Messenger Service. Two era-defining guitarists, free from restrictions, undertaking new sonic explorations, this is a project of pure, glorious artistic impulse” and GUYS BERNARD BUTLER PLAYED LIVE OMG.

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Electric

Pet Shop Boys at The Sony Centre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI can pinpoint the exact date, time, and place that I became a Pet Shop Boys fan – 8PM on August 30, 2009 at the Molson Amphitheatre. That was when they took the stage – the penultimate act of the final V Fest in Toronto and part of the “Pandemonium” tour in support of that year’s Yes – to the sampled voices of “Heart” and kicked off one of the most ridiculously entertaining hours of live music I can remember. I’d known the songs, of course – everyone knows many of those songs even if they don’t – but the marriage of their perfect pop and over-the-top, technicoloured building block visuals was impossible to resist, and since that too-short festival-length performance, I’ve been waiting for them to come back for their own full-length show.

It didn’t happen for last year’s Elysium, but for its strengths – maybe I liked it more than most because it was the first new PSB record to come out with me as a card-carrying member of their fanbase – its relatively low-key presentation may not have been the strongest foot to launch a world tour from. So thank goodness for this year’s unexpectedly fast follow-up Electric, a far more danceable and banging companion album that would get the Boys back on the road with the festival circuit in the Summer, and North America this Fall, stopping in at The Sony Centre in Toronto on Wednesday night.

With no opening act, the sold-out house waited and chattered patiently until the house lights dropped and screaming (the good kind) commenced. With projections of geometric abstractions and speeding tunnels on the giant scrim covering front of the stage, Messrs Tennant and Lowe took the stage behind giant glowing silhouettes, and ping-ponged from present to past with Electric opener “Axis”, Actually‘s “One More Chance”, and Elysium – all obscured behind trippy visuals – before dropping the scrim for “Opportunities” and bidding the crowd a proper “hello” with the first of many, many shouts of, “Toronto!”.

Even though the visuals of this tour were completely different from the Pandemonium tour – the Lego-esque aesthetic put aside for lasers, strobes, and the aforementioned giant projections, all tied together by a printed circuit board aesthetic – the structure was quite similar. Visually, you had Chris Lowe expressionless at his keyboard station handling the music, Neil Tennant roaming the stage in excellent voice, sometimes accompanied by a pair of dancers, and all in a dazzling and nonsensical array of costumes involving but certainly not limited to giant antlered animal masks, finely-tailored suits, disco ball helmets, and tinsel bodysuits on pogo sticks.

Musically, they tied songs together into suites with corresponding choreography, and as per the opening numbers, they focused mainly on their last two albums and their platinum-selling early records, although Behaviour was curiously left out completely. Also curious was the omission of two of Electric‘s highlights – new single “Love Is a Bourgeois Construct” and Springsteen cover “The Last To Die”. But you can’t have everything, I suppose, so wishing that some more of their ’90s singles had also made the cut in lieu of the early ’00s tracks is really besides the point. Even with a near two-hour show, a band with a catalog of classic songs as deep as Pet Shop Boys as well as very worthy current records to promote is going to leave someone’s favourites out. Probably best to focus on the fact that even so, no one was having anything but a great time and even though the Sony Centre’s seats weren’t the most conducive to dancing, we did what we could.

The show’s finale was heralded by a string of the biggest tunes – “It’s A Sin”, “Domino Dancing”, “Always On My Mind”, and “Go West” are the very definition of show stoppers – but the final number was Electric closing number “Vocal”; not a classic like the others – at least not yet – but certainly a banger and if you wanted to send a giddy crowd into the night understanding that even after more than a quarter century, you’re still writing and releasing great, great songs to go with your great, great shows, you could do far worse.

Global News, Panic Manual, and Live In Limbo also have reviews of the show, and Philly.com and The New Statesman interviews.

Photos: Pet Shop Boys @ The Sony Centre For The Performing Arts – September 25, 2013
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Vocal”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Axis”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Leaving”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Winner”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Invisible”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Together”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “All Over The World”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Did You See Me Coming?”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Love Etc.”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Numb”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Minimal”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “I’m With Stupid”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Flamboyant”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Miracles”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “London”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “I Get Along”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Home and Dry”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “New York City Boy”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Anymore”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Somewhere”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “A Red Letter Day”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Single-Bilingual”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Se a vida ´ (That’s the Way Life Is)”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Before”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Paninaro 95″
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Yesterday, When I Was Mad”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Liberation”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind of Thing”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Go West”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Can You Forgive Her?”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “DJ Culture”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Jealousy”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can’t Take My Eyes off You)”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Being Boring”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “So Hard”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “It’s Alright”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Left To My Own Devices”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Domino Dancing”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Heart”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Always On My Mind”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Rent”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “What Have I Done To Deserve This?”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “It’s A Sin”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Paninaro”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Suburbia”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Love Comes Quickly”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” (version 2)
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” (version 1)
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “West End Girls”

The New York Times has the advance stream of Yuck’s second album Glow & Behold, being released September 30.

Stream: Yuck / Glow & Behold

Also out next week is Johnny Flynn’s new long-player Country Mile, which is available to preview at For Folks Sake. And if that’s not enough, there’s the sampler A Recapitulation Of Johnny Flynn EP which is available to download for free (or a donation).

Stream: Johnny Flynn / Country Mile

Clash, MIPro, and New Statesman talk to Anna Calvi about her new album One Breath, which is out October 7 and from which a new song is available to stream.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Suddenly”

The History Of Apple Pie are streaming the a-side of a new 7″-single, out October 14 to coincide with their hop across the Atlantic to play CMJ.

Stream: The History Of Apple Pie – “Don’t You Wanna Be Mine”

Clash premiered a stream of the first new Fanfarlo music in a while; it comes from their new EP The Sea, which will be released on October 14.

Stream: Fanfarlo – “A Distance”

Daytrotter has a session with Kate Nash, who plays The Phoenix on November 5.

Though her debut album True Romance is still only a few months old, Charli XCX has released a video for a new song from her next album, which she obviously hopes will be out sooner rather than later. She plays Wrongbar on November 9.

Video: Charli XCX – “Superlove”

The Guardian examines the new wave of psych-rock bands coming out of the UK including Temples, who are at The Horseshoe on November 20 ahead of releasing their full-length debut next year.

Foals have a new clip from their latest, Holy Fire.

Video: Foals – “Out Of The Woods”

Savages have released a new video from Silence Yourself.

Video: Savages – “Husbands”

Sky Larkin share their favourite mottos with Clash, while ZME Music settles for a regular old interview.

NPR has a video session and Exclaim an interview with CHVRCHES.

Spin talks to Elvis Costello and Questlove of The Roots about their collaborative record Wise Up Ghost.

Wild Honey Pie have posted a video session with Camera Obscura.

As part of their ongoing 4AD week – marking the release of Facing The Other Way, a new book about the legendary label, Drowned In Sound talks to Vaughan Oliver, the graphic artist responsible for the 4AD’s signature visual style.

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Denial

I Break Horses break silence with new single

Photo By Force Field PRForce Field PRIf there was any bright side to be gleaned from I Break Horses abruptly cancelling their North American tour last Fall, it’s that the Swedish duo of Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck would be able to get to work on the follow-up to their debut Hearts, hands-down my favourite record of 2011. And unsurprisingly, given their reclusive natures, there’s been little in the way of status update since the went off the road and fans have had to take it on faith that they were hard at work. Encouragement came by way of Twitter with a, “Mixing songs for the next album!” tweet in April, but there’s been nothing tangible to nourish our Scandi-synth-gaze appetites – until now.

A new song and remix b-side will appear on a limited edition 12″ for the Independent Label Market happening at London’s Spitalfields Market tomorrow and while one would hope that any leftover copies would be made available to the internet at wide… there almost certainly won’t be any copies left over. Instead, we’ll have to make do with a stream of the new song – which happily still pushes all my right buttons – via Pitchfork and anxiously await the October release of their second album. Which, while it seems like ages away, is actually sooner than I had expected to get new music from them so no complaints here.

Stream: I Break Horses – “Denial”

Under The Radar talks to the Dreijer siblings of The Knife.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with Junip.

Up-and-coming Swedish electro-pop artist Elliphant has released a new video for her latest single.

Video: Elliphant – “Music Is Life”

Kate Boy stop in at Daytrotter for a session.

Spanish Balearic-pop purveyors Delorean have announced the September 10 release of their second album Apar – along with a stream of a new song – and a corresponding North American tour that hits The Horseshoe on October 17.

Stream: Delorean – “Spirit”

German industrial-rock mainstays KMFDM will be at The Phoenix on October 28, tickets $27.50.

Video: KMFDM – “Juke Joint Jezebel”

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys run down their favourite dance music songs for The Guardian. Their new album of dance music – Electric – is out on Tuesday, July 16, and they play The Sony Centre on September 25.

Editors have offered up a stream of the next single from their latest, The Weight Of Your Love.

Stream: Editors – “Formaldehyde”

Consequence Of Sound welcomes The Joy Formidable for an Off The Avenue video session. The Huffington Post and Boston Globe also have interviews.

The Scotsman and Glasgow Evening Times chat with Norman Blake about his partnership with Joe Pernice as The New Mendicants, but that Scotsman headline about being “Ex”-Teenage Fanclub? Nope. Nope. Nope.

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Toronto Urban Roots Fest Day Four

Belle & Sebastian, Neko Case, Yo La Tengo, and more at TURF 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWith the first three days of the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest having gone swimmingly, certainly the fourth and final day – boasting inarguably the strongest lineup of them all – would be the best? Well it turns out “swimmingly” would be kind of the wrong word to use, but everything started out enough.

Though as per usual I missed the first few acts of the day, I was there in time to see Kurt Vile make his first local appearance in support of his new record Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze, which has garnered pretty much universal acclaim, though I only go as far as saying I like it more than his last one. I’ve always found Vile’s stuff to be pretty same-y in that lightly psychedelic laid-back drone-pop way – an impression confirmed and amplified when I saw him at Pitchfork 2010 – but if you’re in the right mindset, it’s pretty pleasantly trippy. As with that show, this performance mainly had Vile in two modes – huge rug of hair draped over the mic stand while he sang, or huge rug of hair draped over his guitar while he soloed. His bandmates in the Violators did mix things up somewhat by adding mandolins and 6-string basses into the mix, and Vile was equally comfortable ripping leads on electric or acoustic, but a few noisey bursts aside, Vile was pretty content to just let the set mosey along at its pace and his fans were content to mosey right alongside him.

Photos: Kurt Vile @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 7, 2013
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Never Run Away”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Wakin’ On A Pretty Day”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Jesus Fever”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Baby’s Arms”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “In My Time”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “The Creature”
Video: Kurt Vile – “KV Crimes”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Never Run Away”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Jesus Fever”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Baby’s Arms”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Runner Ups”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Freak Train”

It was with some regret that I skipped Yo La Tengo’s stop at The Phoenix back in February in support of their latest Fade, but the confidence they’d put on a solid show couldn’t win out over the fact that I’d seen them play said solid show many times before – most recently in 2010 in Vegas at Matador at 21 – that I gave it a pass. Happily, their return for this festival meant that I’d still get to hear the new tunes, and not have to make any special effort to do so. Win! And as nice as it can be to hear Yo La Tengo stretch out live, there’s really something to be said for imposing strict time constraints on them; though they sounded quite the opposite of rushed, the blend of new songs – which sounded really terrific live, perfectly suited to the hazy afternoon – and old favourites done perfectly and without the excesses the band sometimes fall prey to, in some cases twice as “Autumn Sweater” came unravelled early on in the set with a blown amp fuse and had to be returned to later on.

NYC Taper has got the Yo La Tengo’s set from the Wilco-run Solid Sound fest a few weekends ago available to download. The Boston Globe, Metro, and Cincinnati CityBeat have interviews.

Photos: Yo La Tengo @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 7, 2013
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Stupid Things”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Nuclear War”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Don’t Have To Be So Sad”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Ohm”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Ohm” (tree)
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Before We Run”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “When It’s Dark”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Nothing To Hide”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Avalon Or Someone Very Similar”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Sugarcube”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Tom Courtenay”

I’d never given either Luke Doucet or Melissa McClelland much concern with their solo careers, so when they came together as Whitehorse I still didn’t pay any attention, at least until their second album The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss made it onto this year’s Polaris Prize long list. And while the adult contemporary-skewing roots-rock that’s the foundation of their sound isn’t normally what I’d be into (even if, phrased like that, you think it might) I found the record pretty enjoyable in a Steve Earle “chick song” sort of way, though rather slicker in execution; that’s why I expected that their live setup would involve a polished band comprised of session player types, not just the two of them and a garage sale’s worth of instruments and microphones. Okay, so the setup was meticulously arranged for exactly that DIY effect with telephone handsets and old-school shockmounted mics installed just so, but there was no faking the way the two built up the structures of each song by sampling acoustic instruments and looking stylish while doing it. They spent the first part of their set entrenched in their fortress of gear, but eventually strutted out to the front of the stage and sang together into a single mic armed just with guitar and bass. Straight, simple, and to their strengths.

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald has a feature piece on the band.

Photos: Whitehorse @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 7, 2013
Video: Whitehorse – “Achilles’ Desire”

If you’re looking for writeups of either The Cat Empire or Xavier Rudd, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. I spent their sets huddled under a leaky ATM tent hiding from the deluge that resulted when the skies opened up right around dinnertime. The rain eventually eased up, but not before turning the whole of the festival grounds into some manner of swamp. Not really an ideal setting for anything, let alone enjoying Neko Case’s set, but looked at another way, if there’s anything out there worth enduring this sort of weather for – after a short dry spell, the skies opened up even harder a couple songs in – it’s Neko Case.

When she was here last in December 2011 opening up for The National at the Air Canada Centre, the assumption seemed to be that if she was back on the road, then her new record – the long-awaited follow-up to 2009′s Middle Cyclone – must be close to being done. Not, as it turned out, so much. But nineteen months later, she was back and this time the new record – The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You – was done, locked, and loaded for a September 3 release. The set contained a few of those new songs, all of which sounded of the same high calibre of lead sample “Man”, and a solid tour of her repertoire – “Red Tide”, with its “I hate the rain” lyrics, was especially topical – and always-entertaining banter with backing singer Kelly Hogan. With the time she takes between records, it can be easy to forget just how amazing a talent Neko is; call her alt.country or folk-rock or jangle-pop or whatever you like, her voice and songwriting transcends all labels. And the only thing better than being reminded how good she is was the promise to return for another show sometime in the next six months. Ideally indoors.

Photos: Neko Case @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 7, 2013
MP3: Neko Case – “People Got A Lotta Nerve”
Video: Neko Case – “People Got A Lotta Nerve”
Video: Neko Case – “Maybe Sparrow”
Video: Neko Case – “Furnace Room Lullabye”

Finally, with the rain seemingly past though the resultant mud pits remained, it was time for Belle & Sebastian. It’s remarkable how the mysterious mystique the band cultivated in their early years still persists to some degree, and even though they’ve toured North America behind pretty much every album this century, their live shows are breathlessly anticipated like once-in-a-lifetime unicorn herd migrations. Of course, those studio albums are fewer and further between than most would like – their last visit was October 2010 behind Write About Love – so with no new record on the horizon, the fact that they were still coming to town to play a show apart from the usual promotional cycle was actually unicorn-rare, and as is often the case when the artist doesn’t have anything specific they need to push, offered the promise of being a much more unique show.

That this wouldn’t be a typical show was confirmed from the opening number, as instead of one of their obvious (but still beloved) songs, it was the electronic instrumental b-side “Judy Is A Dick Slap”. Anyone who says they had that in the “what’ll be the first song?” pool without consulting previous set lists is lying. “I’m A Cuckoo” then let Stuart Murdoch properly take centre stage and show off his dance moves, slippery stage be damned, “Another Sunny Day” was rolled out as a musical anodyne to the weather, and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win earlier in the day saluted with “Stars Of Track And Field”. The catalog-hopping trajectory of that first salvo of selections delightfully carried on through the show, and while hardcore fans might suggest they could have gone for deeper cuts, I was more than happy to hear “The Model” and “Loneliness Of A Middle Distance Runner” dug out of the archives.

If it wasn’t quite a greatest hits set song-wise, it certainly was with their audience participation exercises. There was the girl brought onstage to read Isobel Campbell’s spoken word outro overtop “Dirty Dream Number Two” (she sang it, but whatever), the other girl who managed to fit a dance routine amidst playing Scrabble against the band onstage during “The Model”, the girl (sensing a trend? Oh, Stuart) who applied makeup to his face during “Lord Anthony”, the bevy of dancers brought onstage for “The Boy With The Arab Strap”… there was no lobbing of autographed footballs into the audience this time, but the rain probably would have washed the signatures off anyways. The between-song shenanigans might have taken up time that could have gone to another song or two, but you’d have had to be a serious grump to complain about the love-in vibe that they generated. And we should all count ourselves lucky that no one brought onstage insisted on singing one of her own songs. No, what we got was a joyous show that felt like a gift, wrapped a terrific inaugural TURF, and just about made you forget that you probably had trench foot. No mean feat.

The Huffington Post and Pittsburgh CityPaper have interviews with keyboardist Chris Geddes about the current tour and their plans to write their next record when it’s wrapped. The band’s new collection of b-sides and rarities, The Third Eye Centre, comes out August 27.

Photos: Belle & Sebastian @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 7, 2013
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Write About Love”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Another Sunny Day”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I Want The World To Stop”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “White Collar Boy”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “The Blues Are Still Blue”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Funny Little Frog”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Wrapped Up In Books”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I’m A Cuckoo”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Step Into My Office Baby”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Jonathan David”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Jonathan David” (70s version)
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “The Wrong Girl”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Legal Man”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “This Is Just A Modern Rock Song”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “A Century Of Fakers”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Is It Wicked Not To Care?”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Dirty Dream #2″
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Lazy Line Painter Jane”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Dog On Wheels”

CBC Music have got the Canada-only stream of the new Pet Shop Boys album Electric, out July 16. Americans can hit Pandora and Brits can use Rdio via The Guardian. They play The Sony Centre on September 25, and Spin, Huffington Post, and Metro have interviews with Neil Tennant about going indie on their latest record.

Stream: Pet Shop Boys / Electric

Fashion retailer Mr. Porter has an interview and fashion shoot with Kele Okereke of Bloc Party; their Nextwave Sessions EP is due out August 13.

Mumford & Sons have released a video for the title track of last year’s Babel. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 24.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “Babel”

Hot on the heels of those advance streams, Franz Ferdinand have released the video for the sort-of title track of their new album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It’s out August 27 and they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Right Action”

Exclaim and The Daily Beast interview CHVRCHES about their forthcoming debut album The Bones of What You Believe, out September 24. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 15, and if you need something new and CHVRCH-y to listen to before then, there’s this Haim cover they recorded for BBC.

Stream: CHVRCHES – “Falling” (Haim cover)

Manic Street Preachers have announced details of one of the two new records they’ve got in the can. Based on the title track, largely sung by the inimitable Richard Hawley, Rewind The Film is the largely acoustic album that had been previously mentioned; it’s out September 16 and more specifics on it can be had at DIY. James Dean Bradfield also talks to NME about the other album that’s been recorded alongside it, due out in Spring of next year.

Video: Manic Street Preachers w Richard Hawley – “Rewind The Film”

Veteran British folk-rock outfit The Waterboys are making their first return to town in some years to kick off a major North American tour; they’ll be here on September 17 at a venue to be announced, but last time through in 2007 it was at The Danforth, so presumably it’ll be somewhere similar.

Video: The Waterboys – “The Whole Of The Moon”

With their self-titled debut due out in September, up-and-coming UK outfit The 1975 will be at The Mod Club on October 13 as part of their first major North American tour.

Video: The 1975 – “Sex”

Belfast post-rock firebrands And So I Watch You From Afar and Oxford math-rock trio TTNG – formerly This Town Needs Guns before they thought better of it – are teaming up for a co-headlining tour that hits The Horseshoe on November 9, tickets $15.50. ASIWYFA released their third album All Hail Bright Futures this past Spring, TTNG’s second long-player 13.0.0.0.0 came out in January.

Stream: And So I Watch You From Afar / All Hail Bright Futures
Stream: TTNG / 13.0.0.0.0

The Skinny talks to Yannis Philipakkis of Foals.

Tone Deaf and Clash have interviews with Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie.

DIY wonders aloud something I’ve periodically wondered to myself – whither The Rumble Strips?

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Brief Encounters

Franz Ferdinand, Frightened Rabbit, and Travis lead an Autumn Scottish invasion

Photo By Andrew KnowlesAndrew KnowlesIt was amusing to me to hear portions of the internet get all worked up a few weeks ago when Franz Ferdinand announced the August 27 release of their fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, because those people most excited are almost certainly the same ones who will be first to declare it to be, for the third time, inferior to their 2004 self-titled debut. And it may well be true, but it’s strange that those who’d purport to be the Scottish quartet’s biggest fans are also the first to be disappointed by them. I feel for the band, I do.

But it could also be they’re less excited about the prospect of new songs than the band heaving an excuse to hit the road again – after all, whatever you think of their records, there’s no denying that the band remain a phenomenal live band – this I was reminded of last Summer when I saw them at Osheaga. And so fans will be pleased to know the band have announced a Fall tour that brings them back to Toronto for the first time since V Fest 2009; they’ll be at The Kool Haus on October 24, tickets $35 in advance.

The band have not offered an official taste of the new record, but they did just release a little behind-the-scenes video featurette to whet your appetite, assuming your appetite is whetted by things like this.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Walk Away”
Video: Franz Ferdinand’s A Weekend In Glasgow

Buzzy Scots CHVRCHES have just released details about their debut album. The Bones of What You Believe, as well as more North American dates including September 15 at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. The album is out on September 24 and this is the newest video from it. The Guardian also has an interview.

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Gun”

Veteran Scots Travis have also regrouped for a new album, their first since 2008′s Ode To J. Smith. Where You Stand will be released on August 19 and be accompanied by a North American tour; their first Toronto show in over four years will be on September 25 at the Sound Academy, tickets $30 general admission and $45 VIP.

MP3: Travis – “Driftwood”
Video: Travis – “Where You Stand”

Frightened Rabbit aren’t as firm believers in absence making the heart grow fonder as their countrymen; Selkirk’s most famous rock band will be back for their third visit in a year with a show at The Kool Haus on October 17, still in support of this year’s Pedestrian Verse. Tickets for that are $25 in advance and Under The Radar has the rest of their tour itinerary. They culled through some live footage recorded on an Australian tour for their latest video.

MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Scottish Winds”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Late March, Death March”

M.I.A. may continue to have problems getting her fourth album Matangi released – Maya Arulpragasam talks to The Guardian about why she thinks that is – but she’s still released the first single to stream and is undertaking a small North American tour, including a stop at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on July 18; tickets $35 in advance.

Stream: M.I.A. – “Bring The Noize”

Up-and-coming British electronic duo AlunaGeorge have put together a North American tour in support of their debut album Body Music, which comes out July 29 and has just yielded a new video. Exclaim has the full dates, which include a September 9 stop at The Hoxton. Admission will be $20 in advance.

MP3: AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”
Video: AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”

After high-profile supporting slots for M83 last summer and Marina & The Diamonds last month, Charli XCX is finally ready for the spotlight – she’ll make her local headlining debut in support of True Romance on September 16 at The Hoxton, tickets $15. Exclaim has the complete dates and Billboard and Idolator have conversations with the singer.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Glow”

Editors have released a new video from their forthcoming The Weight Of Your Love, out July 2.

Video: Editors – “The Weight”

Aquarium Drunkard, Willamette Weekly, The Portland Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, and Santa Barbara Independent have interviews with Camera Obscura. They play Garrison Common for the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 4.

Guitar Player has an interview with Richard Thompson, who opens up the Bob Dylan/Wilco/My Morning Jacket tour that hits The Molson Amphitheatre on July 15.

Pet Shop Boys have released a new video from their forthcoming Electric, out July 16. They play The Sony Centre on September 25.

Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Vocal”

White Lies are streaming another song from their new record Big TV, out August 21. They play The Opera House on October 1.

Stream: White Lies – “There Goes Our Love”

Bella Union has offered details on the second album from orch-pop ensemble Lanterns On The Lake. Until The Colours Run will be out on September 9.

Also out September 9 will be Summer Camp, the second album from Summer Camp. The Line Of Best Fit have details on the release, or you can just watch the trailer.

Trailer: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

Daughter have released a new video from If You Leave; they play The Phoenix on September 29.

Video: Daughter – “Youth”

They’re not tipping their hat as to a new album that it be taken from, but Arctic Monkeys have released a video to go with a brand new new single.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know?”

Fans of top-notch dreampop in the Mojave 3 vein take note: Pigeons & Planes has premiered a new song from Anglo-Canadian dreampop outfit The High Wire, with details of a new full-length hopefully to come soon.

Stream: The High Wire – “LNOE”

Gigwise gets Richard Hawley to share his true feelings about festivals like Glastonbury – spoiler alert, not positively – and also about his contributions to the new Manic Street Preachers albums, whenever they come out.

And whilst on the topic of Manic Street Preachers, The Guardian talks to James Dean Bradfield and Tone Deaf to Sean Moore about rugby and music.

Despite being one of the busiest producers and sidemen going, DIY reports that Dev Hynes will release a second Blood Orange record this year, possibly with the title of Cupid Deluxe.

Noisey meets Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, whose latest More Light got a North American release this week.

Alex James confirms to Contact Music that Blur did, indeed, hit the studio in Hong Kong recently and that the sessions went “very well”.

Clash and GQ chat with the lads of Beady Eye about their new album BE.

The Guardian has premiered the new video from Foals, taken from this year’s Holy Fire.

Video: Foals – “Bad Habit”

NPR has posted a Tiny Desk Concert with Billy Bragg.

The Guardian chats with Stornoway frontman Brian Briggs.

Figure 8 chats with Dave Gedge of The Wedding Present.