Posts Tagged ‘Peter Bjorn & John’

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Four Letter Word

My laptop died last night so as karmic retribution, you get Beady Eye

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickSo good times, my laptop died last night after 3.5 years of service due to a failed hard drive. I had planned on replacing it this year anyways, but hoped to squeeze a little more out of it – like a week. Fittingly, it died just as I was looking at the new upgraded Macbook Pros on the Apple site so… yeah. Anyways. Just some stuff from the old world to clear out before the weekend, so…

Beady Eye. Their debut Different Gear, Still Speeding is out over here on March 1 and kind of surprisingly, advance word seems to be that it’s not terrible. Not any kind of groundbreaking, being mostly bog-standard retro-styled Brit rock, but pretty alright for what it is. I haven’t heard it, this is just what I’m hearing. Anyways, I do hope it does okay if just for Andy Bell’s sake, and I get the sense that they’ll be doing a proper North American promotional push and that should include touring, perhaps come Fall. Anyways. The Guardian, BBC, Spinner and Exclaim all have features on the band.

MP3: Beady Eye – “The Roller”

Under The Radar talks to Andy Bell’s former compatriot Mark Gardener on the occasion of Ride’s 20th anniversary and yes, the reunion question comes up and no, there are not plans for it but as the Bieb says – never say never.

Captain’s Dead has rounded up a bunch of Lush’s Black Sessions MP3s for your shoegazing nostalgia purposes. Another band highly unlikely to ever get back together.

Drowned In Sound talks to Yan of British Sea Power. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 24.

Spinner talks to Norman Blake of Jonny, whose self-titled debut is due out in North America on April 12.

Spinner has an interview with Ellie Goulding, whose debut Lights gets a US release on March 8 and who is at The Phoenix on March 27.

The Mirror reports that Duffy, disappointed in the disappointment surrounding her disappointing second record Endlessly, is considering ending her music career.

Exclaim has made PJ Harvey their cover story for the month.

The Independent and Tour Dates chat with Patrick Wolf, whose new record Lupercalia is out May 23.

The Quietus, Irish Independent and Irish Times interview Guy Garvey of Elbow, whose build a rocket boys! is out March 8 in the UK but not until April 12 in North America.

Glasvegas have released a new video from their second album Euphoric Heartbreak, due out April 4. Guitarist Rab Allan talks to The Scotsman while James Allan offers a track-by-track overview of the record to The Daily Record.

Video: Glasvegas – “Euphoria, Take My Hand”

Also with a new clip are White Lies, taken from Ritual. Dose has an interview with the band.

Video: White Lies – “Strangers”

The Quietus reports that Wild Beasts have given their new record a title of Smother and release date of May 10.

Secret Sessions has a solo acoustic video session and interview with Tim Compton of The High Wire.

PitchforkTV has a Tunnelvision session with Yuck, who also have their self-title up to stream at Soundcloud. They play The Phoenix on May 1 and Gigwise has an interview.

Stream: Yuck / Yuck

Lykke Li talks to Spinner and Billboard and names off her dream band to The Independent. Her new record Wounded Rhymes is out on Tuesday and she plays The Phoenix on May 22.

Shockhound, Consequence Of Sound and Spinner chat with The Radio Dept, who just picked up their second Best New Whatevs in less than a year from Pitchfork. They’re at The Horseshoe on May 29.

Peter Bjorn & John have a new vid from Gimme Some, out March 29. They play Lee’s Palace on May 6.

Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Second Chance”

The Megaphonic Thrift have rolled out a new vid from Decay Decoy, out March 8.

Video: The Megaphonic Thrift – “Talks Like A Weed King”

Keren Ann’s new record 101 is now streamable in advance of its March 22 release. She plays The Drake Underground on June 28.

Stream: Keren Ann / 101

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Where You Are

The Snowtorious B.I.G. is coming. So are The Submarines.

Photo By Autumn De WildeAutumn De WildeWith a massive-ass snowstorm bearing down on most of the eastern half of the continent last night, the smart thing to do would probably have been to stay home and hunker down. I opted for option b), trying to beat the storm to the Sound Academy and back for The Decemberists, so today’s post is weather-shortened and consists of just show announcements.

Starting with adorable duo The Submarines from sunny California. They’re going to be releasing a new record in Love Notes/Letter Bombs come April 5 – their first since 2008’s Honeysuckle Weeks – and while the full tour itinerary to support it hasn’t been released yet, it starts in Austin, Texas in mid-March during SxSW and makes it up to Toronto for a show at The Horseshoe on April 22, tickets $12.50. Assume that any points in between there and here is fair game over the intervening month. Check out the first MP3 from the new record.

MP3: The Submarines – “Birds”

I’ve never fully understood what the deal was with the Verge Music Awards, sponsored by XM station The Verge, but the awards ceremonies usually feature a pretty solid lineup of acts. And so it is this year that on March 1, the Mod Club will host Gord Downie, Tokyo Police Club and The Acorn – tickets for the show are $20 in advance at Rotate This down on Queen St.

MP3: The Acorn – “Restoration”
Video: Gord Downie – “The East Wind”
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Wait Up (Boots Of Danger)”

Born Ruffians’s previously-announced cross-Canada tour now has a hometown finale – they’ll be at The Opera House on April 16, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have also announced a homecoming date for their Spring tour in support of Departing, out on March 1. They’ll be at The Phoenix on April 29, tickets $18.50. Hey, remember when you could see these guys at a half-filled Boat? Yeah, those days are GONE.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Montreal’s Malajube have set an April 30 date for the Horsesehoe, tickets $15. Their new record La Caverne is out April 19 and there’s a video trailer thing for it.

MP3: Malajbue – “Porte Disparu”
Trailer: Malajube / La Caverne

Peter Bjorn & John have assembled a world tour to support their new record Gimme Some when it comes out March 29. Look for them on May 6 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $20.

Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Breaker Breaker”

tUnE-yArDs has announced an April 18 release date for her new record w h o k i l l and talks to Pitchfork about it. They also have the tour dates, which includes May 12 at The Horseshoe.

MP3: tUnE-yArDs – “Sunlight”

And finally, that Sleigh Bells/CSS show which looked like it was going to be two jammed night at the Mod Club has congealed into a single evening at the Sound Academy, so stow that excitement. It goes down on May 17 and tickets are $20. And oh yeah, Sleigh Bells just put out a new vid.

MP3: Sleigh Bells – “Crown On The Ground”
MP3: CSS – “Alala”
Video: Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill”

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Good Evening

The Concretes and Hooray For Earth at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAfter a much-needed break from live music with a month spent watching television instead of bands, it was back out to the clubs on Monday night for the first gig of 2011, and it was one that as recently as a couple weeks ago I hadn’t planned on attending – The Concretes at The Horseshoe. From passing listens to the singles, I didn’t expect much of their latest WYWH but a proper sit-down with their second post-Victoria Bergsman album happily proved me wrong. And so I went.

Helping that decision along was the presence of New York’s Hooray For Earth as support. I’d meant to investigate their 2010 debut EP Momo further but never did, so seeing them live in advance of their full-length debut True Loves‘ release on May 3 seemed like a good way to make up for that. Unfortunately, and perhaps as a result of a traumatic border-crossing experience alluded to by singer Noel Heroux, the band didn’t seem to be at the top of their game, seeming distracted or even disinterested as they ran through their half-hour set. The quality of their songs – catchy New Waved numbers marked by big ’80s synths and (over)-effected vocals – was evident despite that, but the pep of their recorded sound was decided muted.

I was there the last the the sandwich board outside The ‘Shoe declared, “The Concretes” back in May 2006, but a half-decade one, it was a completely different band who took the stage. Singer Victoria Bergsman departed shortly after that show – that’s been well-documented – and rather than call it a day, drummer Lisa Milberg moved into the role of frontwoman but what was surprising was that Maria Erikson – guitarist, vocalist and co-founder of the band with Milberg and Bergsman – was not amongst the half-dozen Concretes who’d crossed the Atlantic. Or maybe not so surprising considering her credits on the new record amount to “backing vocals”. But either way, this was now Milberg’s show.

And as WYWH would dictate, it was a disco show, but without much dancing. Despite the dancefloor grooves and textures of the new record, it’s still a downbeat record and accordingly, a rather restrained performance. The live renderings were actually sped up some from the album version, perhaps to give them a little more zip or perhaps to help them sit alongside the older material better. Yes, they still did the older material – fair game considering Milberg co-wrote most of it – but what was more surprising than that it wasn’t verboten was how natural those songs still sounded without Bergsman’s distinctively sleepy vocals. And if you think about it, Milberg’s voice might have a different timbre from her former bandmate but it has a similar wounded quality about it that helps maintain the songs’ spirit.

With such disparate-sounding material rubbing elbows on the set list, the flow of the show was a little odd at times but the balance of new material and key singles from The Concretes and In Colour made for a solid batch of songs. And while it was hard to not recall the glorious rotating lead vocals from Bergsman, Milberg and Erikson the last time they played main set closer “Song For The Songs”, these new Concretes had already established their 2011 bona fides. And for that, bravo.

Photos: The Concretes, Hooray For Earth @ The Horseshoe – January 17, 2010
MP3: The Concretes – “All Day”
MP3: The Concretes – “Good Evening”
MP3: Hooray For Earth – “Surrounded By Your Friends”
Video: The Concretes – “Kids”
Video: The Concretes – “All Day”
Video: The Concretes – “Keep Yours”
Video: The Concretes – “Seems Fine”
Video: The Concretes – “Oh Boy”
Video: The Concretes – “Chosen One”
Video: The Concretes – “On The Radio”
Video: The Concretes – “Say Something New”
Video: The Concretes – “You Can’t Hurry Love”
Video: The Concretes – “Warm Night”
Video: Hooray For Earth – “Surrounded By Your Friends”
Video: Hooray For Earth – “Form”
Video: Hooray For Earth – “Rolling/Nectarine”
Video: Hooray For Earth – “Get Home”
Myspace: The Concretes
Myspace: Hooray For Earth

Lykke Li has released a new video from her forthcoming record Wounded Rhymes, out on March 1 – BBC has an interview with her about the new record. She will be at The Phoenix on May 22.

Video: Lykke Li – “I Follow Rivers”

Also straight outta Sweden with a new vid are Peter Bjorn & John – it’s the first sample of their forthcoming Gimme Some, due out March 29, which you can also download over here. They have a talk with Spinner about the new record.

Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Breaker Breaker”

There were a crapload of show announcements yesterday… and a crapload today. Starting with Suuns, who’ll be playing an in-store at Sonic Boom on January 29 at 4PM. As always, it’s a free show but food bank donations are encouraged.

MP3: Suuns – “Up Past The Nursery”

Ty Segall will be anchoring the Wrongbar lineup for Canadian Musicfest on the Saturday night, March 12.

MP3: Ty Segall – “Girlfriend”

I would have thought that they’d be playing bigger rooms by now, but that just means that Warpaint’s show at Wrongbar on March 26 – which they packed last August well before their debut The Fool came out and got all those rave reviews – will be that much more of a hot ticket. You’ve been warned. Full tour dates up at Beggars USA and support for the show will be Australia’s PVT.

MP3: Warpaint – “Undertow”
MP3: PVT – “Quick Mile”

After a too-long absence – I’m not counting their set opening for Gogol Bordello last Spring because a) it was at The Sound Academy and b) I couldn’t go – DeVotchKa are coming back to town. Their last headlining show was way back in June 2006, so that they’ll bring their new record 100 Lovers to the Mod Club on March 30 is welcome news indeed; tickets $19 in advance.

MP3: DeVotchKa – “Along The Way”

Luke Temple’s Here We Go Magic have made a date at the El Mocambo for April 2, tickets $13.50. Their last record Pigeons came out last Summer.

MP3: Here We Go Magic – “Casual”
MP3: Here We Go Magic – “Collector”

I don’t know if John Darnielle thought Toronto wouldn’t notice that The Mountain Goats skipped us over entirely whilst touring their last record The Life Of The World To Come, but it’s good to know we won’t be slighted when All Eternals Deck comes out on March 29 – they’ll be here just five days later, April 3, with Megafaun in tow, for a show at the Opera Hosue – tickets $17.50 in advance. Pitchfork has a chat with Darnielle about the new album and there’s a campaign to get The Mountain Goats on Law & Order: SVU so obviously you should go and get behind that.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Tyler Lambert’s Grave”

Following an extensive North American tour, Kingston’s PS I Love You will play an almost-hometown show at The Garrison on April 7.

MP3: PS I Love You – “Get Over”

And looking waaaaay ahead, Keren Ann will follow up the March 22 release of her new record 101 with Summer dates that include an appearance at the Drake Underground on June 28, tickets $16.50. She’s just released a video from said record.

Video: Keren Ann – “My Name Is Trouble”

Aquarium Drunkard, Artinfo, The Fader and Prefix talk to Dan Bejar of Destroyer, whose new record Kaputt is out next week but streaming right now at Hype Machine. Destroyer plays Lee’s Palace on March 31.

Stream: Destroyer / Kaputt

The Line Of Best Fit and The AV Club interview Jenny Conlee and Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, respectively. The Polaroid portfolio which was a part of deluxe editions of The King Is Dead is available to peruse at New York Magazine with commentary from photographer Autumn de Wilde. Further, the band’s hometown show in Portland will be webcast tonight on NPR starting at 3PM EST. The Decemberists are at The Sound Academy on February 1.

And the only relevance that the Coachella lineup has to my life is the fact that Elbow and Suede are on this continent in April…

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.

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Hoop Dreams

Canadian Musicfest reveals first batch of acts for 2011

Photo via FacebookFacebookSeeing as how 2010 is basically over and done with – didn’t you see all the lists summing it all up? The next week and a half are just formality – it’s time to start turning our eyes ever so slightly to next year and Canadian Musicfest, one of the first big upcoming to-dos hereabouts, has given us something to focus on with the first batch of showcasing artists at the festival, which will run March 9 to 13 at clubs around downtown Toronto.

Some of the names that jump out at me are J Mascis, who will be showcasing his acoustic side as per his forthcoming solo record Several Shades Of Why out March 15, buzzy Brit band Bombay Bicycle Club, Canadian acts like Land Of Talk and Shad who will have graduated to marquee artist status and up and comers such as La Patère Rose and Olenka & The Autumn Lovers.

I was especially pleased to see Miracle Fortress in the lineup, as it means the long wait for a follow-up to 2007’s Five Roses could finally be coming to an end. At one point last year the word was the famine was going to become a feast with not one but two new albums being readied for release, but nothing came of them and Graham Van Pelt busied himself with Think About Life. A new record for 2011 seems like a certainty, although exactly what that record will be is anyone’s guess. The promotion cycle for Five Roses turned Miracle Fortrees from a solo endeavour into a band, but key members Jessie Stein and Adam Waito have their own projects – The Luyas and Adam & The Amethysts respectively – demanding their attention. I’ll bet that album number two will again be Van Pelt on his own and suspect that anyone hoping for another collection of sparklingly psychedelic Beach Boys-esque pop will be left scratching their heads. But my guess is as good as anyone else’s, and we’ll find out for sure come March.

MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Have You Seen In Your Dreams”

Diamond Rings has had a pretty impressive 2010, and his 2011 is looking to be shaping up nicely as well – it was announced yesterday that he would be opening up for Swedish pop superstar Robyn on all her upcoming North American dates, starting on January 26 at the Sound Academy in Toronto. Yes indeed, a hell of a thing.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “Something Else”

Paste asks Destroyer’s Dan Bejar to describe his new record Kaputt. Said album is out on January 25.

The first MP3 from Iron & Wine’s new record Kiss Each Other Clean is up for download at the band’s website in exchange for an email address.

Billboard talks to Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst about their new record The People’s Key, out February 15. They are at the Sound Academy on March 13.

Beach House are giving away a new song, just because they sound like Summer and it is currently, in no way shape or form, Summer. Except in the southern hemisphere.

MP3: Beach House – “I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun”

If you missed their sold-out show at the Drake last week, take heart – husband-and-wife duo Tennis will return on February 25 for a show at the Horseshoe. Their debut Cape Dory is due out January 18. The Denver Post profiles the band.

MP3: Tennis – “Take Me Somewhere”
MP3: Tennis – “Baltimore”

Bandwidth has an acoustic video session with Frightened Rabbit.

Matablog reveals that Belle & Sebastian’s hometown show at the Barrowland in Glasgow next Tuesday will be streamed live via a number of online outlets, including NPR, starting at 4PM EST.

The Dumbing Of America, Bloginity and Herald Scotland interview White Lies, whose second album Ritual will be out January 18. They’re at the Mod Club on January 29 and a live version of the first single is available to download at their Myspace.

Grinderman have a new video. It’s “Evil”. And evil.

Video: Grinderman – “Evil”

Pitchfork has details on Peter Bjorn & John’s next record, which will be entitled Gimme Some and be out on March 29.