Posts Tagged ‘Portishead’

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

A Lack Of Understanding

Review of The Vaccines’ What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

Photo By Leon DiaperLeon DiaperLondon’s Vaccines were really asking for it with the title of their debut album, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, what with it sounding like equal parts challenge and excuse. For my part, I didn’t expect a hell of a lot. You see, as Anglophile as I am, I’m also hella suspicious of acts that arrive on a tidal wave of hype as I’ve owned too many CDs from British guitar bands that proved to have very little shelf life. And given The Vaccines arrived with a well-orchestrated, a major label-funded buzz blitz, I assumed they’d be all hat, no cattle.

Well I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. Rather than lose my interest with each listen, time spent with What Did You Expect‘s brief running time only made me want to hit repeat. They don’t pretend to be anything more than what they are, which is to say a quartet of kids playing rock music, but it’s uncanny the way they manage to evoke the best of British rock from over the last decade – the meat-and-potatoes simplicity of Arctic Monkeys, the scrappy snottiness of The Libertines, the open-hearted romanticism of Bloc Party – without actually sounding like any of them. Most key, however, is the fact that they’re able to write songs that are anthemic in scope yet punkish in packaging and catchy enough to warrant praise entirely on their own creative merits – “All In White” is downright stirring. It may well be that they’re just the next British guitar band of the moment, but it’s The Vaccines’ moment and they’re making the most of it.

And while this would normally be the point in the post where I tell you that The Vaccines are coming to town soon, an announcement yesterday actually instead pulled their entire Fall tour, including the September 27 date at The Phoenix – Justin Hayward-Young will need surgery on his throat for the third time this year, and doctor’s orders do not include gallivanting around the globe singing rock music. While I wasn’t going to be hitting that particular show, I was looking forward to seeing that at Iceland Airwaves in October and that show is also scotched. Here’s hoping Hayward-Young’s recovery is quick and the make-up date is a convenient one.

NME talked the band at Reading/Leeds this past weekend about their plans for album number two and Sabotage Times has an interview with guitarist Freddie Cowan.

MP3: The Vaccines – “Norgaard”
MP3: The Vaccines – “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)”
Video: The Vaccines – “Norgaard”
Video: The Vaccines – “All In White”

The Telegraph has an interview with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey. They’re at The Sound Academy on September 28 and the video of a session from this past Spring in the crypt at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral is available to stream for the next week at Absolute Radio.

The Gallagher brothers’ ongoing duel of one-upmanship has spilled over into their North American touring itinerary. Noel Gallagher has announced the first Stateside live dates in support of his solo debut Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, out November 8, and though it’s limited to major markets as the first Beady Eye jaunt was, it’s much more ambitious in scope. For example, while Beady Eye were able to fill if not quite sell out the Sound Academy back in June, Noel has booked not one but two nights at Massey Hall to open up the tour on November 7 and 8 – tickets $39.50 and $99.50 plus fees, on sale on September 9 at 10AM. Now I know that Oasis fans are devoted and Noel has said he’d play material from said band live, but still – that’s kind of… well that’s a lot of tickets to expect to sell. That’s all. Anyways, NME has another new song from the debut album available to stream.

Stream: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “If I Had A Gun”
Video: Noel Gallagher & The High Flying Birds – “The Death Of You And Me”

Meanwhile, over at BBC6, Liam Gallagher discusses the slander lawsuit that remains against his brother about comments surrounding the end of Oasis and the next Beady Eye record.

Paste has a feature piece on Laura Marling, whose new record A Creature I Don’t Know is out on September 13 and who plays The Great Hall on September 23.

BBC has a conversation with Charlie Fink of Noah & The Whale about their plans for album number four and the influences being applied to it.

Ladytron’s Reuben Wu talks Gravity The Seducer with DIY; the album is out September 13 and they play The Phoenix on October 5.

The Quietus gets Portishead to select thirteen of their favourite albums. They’re at The Sound Academy on October 9 and 10.

Sweden’s The Sounds have set a North American tour in support of their new album Something To Die For; look for them at The Opera House on October 26.

Video: The Sounds – “Something To Die For”

If anyone was wondering – as I was – if there was going to be a way to get hands on a vinyl copy of I Break Horses’ gorgeous debut Hearts on vinyl in Canada without paying crazy import prices, take, um, heart – apparently there is an October 18 street date for physical editions of the record.

DIY reports that Sweden’s Those Dancing Days have decided to go on hiatus to tend to things IRL for a while. This is disappointing as they were one of the bands who had to pull out of SXSW this year due to visa snafus and I was hoping they’d make it up next year. Guess not.

Video: Those Dancing Days – “Reaching Forward”

Danish punks Iceage have released a new video from their debut New Brigade.

Video: Iceage – “You’re Blessed”

The lead track from the forthcoming M83 double-album ridicu-epic Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is now available to stream. They’re at Lee’s Palace on November 18.

Stream: M83 – “Intro”

The Jezabels have released a video to go with the first MP3 from Prisoner, out September 16 in their native Australia but not until next Spring over here. They’re at The Phoenix opening up for Hey Rosetta! on November 24 and possibly the just-announced second show on November 23; still waiting on confirmation of that.

MP3: The Jezabels – “Endless Summer”
Video: The Jezabels – “Endless Summer”

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Where I'm Waking

Review of Slow Club’s Paradise

Photo By Laura PannackLaura PannackEven though I was very much a fan of Slow Club’s 2009 debut Yeah, So?, I don’t think I ever did a proper write-up for it – I guess I hoped that seeing them twice at SXSW as well as having them play our Eastbound & Found day show would be sufficient implied endorsement… but still, by way of compensation, here’s my thoughts on the Sheffield, UK duo of Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor’s follow-up Paradise a couple of weeks ahead of its September 13 release. Just in case I get distracted again.

Doing so still requires I talk a bit about Yeah, So?, though. If I were to distill what I liked about it down to a couple points, it’d be how they were able to take their fairly rudimentary setup of guitar and drums (and occasional piano) and make it sound deliriously fun, thanks to their tandem vocals, irresistibly hooky yet sardonic songcraft and the sense of giddy abandon they injected into much of it while still retaining their ability to get sad. It was like power-folk-pop and wonderful in its simplicity.

That the pair would seek to evolve sonically from their debut wasn’t in question – they couldn’t really go very far in the other direction – but the degree to which they’ve refined their sound on the second go-around is pretty significant. The old-school soul influence that lurked underneath Yeah, So? is brought to the fore on Paradise and bolstered with some richer arrangements and production values. The busker-y aesthetic that permeated their debut is largely kicked to the curb in favour of some unabashed Motown moves; it’s an ambitious move, but Taylor has raised her game as a vocalist to match and the results give Slow Club a bare, emotional depth that’s surprising. It comes at the cost of some of their immediacy and gleefulness, but that’s growing up for you. There’s a part of me that wishes they’d taken an extra album or two to get where they are, but kids these days. What are you gonna do… besides sit back, listen and appreciate?

Slow Club will be coming over to North America in November, but for now only dates in New York and Los Angeles have been confirmed. Here’s hoping the “more TBA” in the press release isn’t just a tease.

Stream: Slow Club – “Where I’m Waking”
Video: Slow Club – “Where I’m Waking”
Video: Slow Club – “Two Cousins”

Newcastle’s Lanterns On The Lake are offering another taste of their forthcoming debut Gracious Tide, Take Me Home, in audio and video forms, ahead of its September 19 UK release.

MP3: Lanterns On The Lake – “Keep On Trying”
Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Keep On Trying”

How much does The Line Of Best Fit like I Break Horses and their out-this-week debut album Hearts? In addition to streaming the whole thing, they went all the way to Sweden to record a video session with the band, the first installment of which – “Winter Beats” – is now online. And not to be left out, Clash has track-by-track notes on the album from songwriter Maria Linden.

Stream: I Break Horses / Hearts

NME is pointing to a stream the b-side from Anna Calvi’s next single, “Suzanne & I”. It’s a cover of The Shirelles’ “Baby It’s You”, which was also tackled by The Beatles way back when. And while you’re at it, stream the b-side of Calvi’s last b-side from the “Desire” single – another cover, this one of Leonard Cohen’s “Joan Of Arc”. Anna Calvi is at Lee’s Palace on December 8.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Baby It’s You”
Stream: Anna Calvi – “Joan Of Arc”

Gemma Hayes has released a video from her latest album Let It Break.

Video: Gemma Hayes – “Keep Running”

Portishead’s Geoff Barrow tells Spinner the band intends to put out new material following their upcoming North American tour, which sees them play two nights at The Sound Academy on October 10 and 11.

The Quietus gives Blur’s generally dismissed debut album Leisure a re-evaluation.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The It Girl

Review of Louise Wener’s Just For One Day: Adventures In Britpop

Photo via The IndependentThe IndependentOne thing that should have been well-established over the run of this blog is that I am an irredeemable Britpop kid, having come of musical age in the mid-’90s with my nose buried in issues of Select and spending too much money I really couldn’t spare on import CDs on their breathless recommendations. Many were pretty terribly, in retrospect, or even worse just wholly unremarkable, but one of my enduring favourites beyond the Oasis/Blur/Pulp triumvirate is Sleeper, whose three albums of scrappy pop have aged quite nicely, unlike some of their peers.

Since splitting just before the collapse of the scene, frontwoman Louise Wener has turned her pen from song lyrics to fiction and written some well-received novels – I’ve read a few, they’re pretty good – but her memoirs, released last year as Different For Girls: A Girl’s Own True-Life Adventures In Pop and re-released last month as the more descriptive Just For One Day: Adventures In Britpop is the tome that fans have been waiting for.

Rather than attempt to document the scene, it follows Wener from her seemingly well-adjusted suburban London adolescence of wanting more than anything to be a pop star to getting swept up in the Britpop wave and managing to actually become a pop star and then walking away when it became clear their time in the spotlight was done. Aside from the breaking up with the guitarist to go out with the drummer thing, it’s not particularly rife with scandal or gossip – Sleeper were never quite on the inside of the Britpop royal court and while there was plenty of drugs and alcohol, they didn’t become casualties of it. I do question the authenticity of all the quotes used in the text – either they’re liberally paraphrased or Wener has an astonishing memory – but nothing libelous is attributed to anyone and they work well with Wener’s writing style, which is brisk and fun with the right amount of self-deprecation. It’s almost too brisk and self-deprecating at points and all over too soon, but perhaps that’s befitting the whirlwind nature of their career – their three albums came out over the minuscule span of three years. But Wener’s perspective is clear-eyed and while she looks back on things fondly, it’s pretty obvious there won’t be a reunion any time soon or ever, and that’s just fine. We’ve got the records, we’ve got the videos and we’ve got the book.

And oh, I’ve got two copies of the book – accidentally bought it under both titles – so Different For Girls is an official lending copy since it’s pretty much impossible to find on this side of the pond. And if anyone has an MP3 of Elvis Costello covering “What Do I Do Now” from the All This Useless Beauty b-sides as a bit of quid pro quo or just a gift, I’d love to get a hold of it…

MP3: Sleeper – “Statuesque”
Video: Sleeper – “She’s A Good Girl”
Video: Sleeper – “Nice Guy Eddie”
Video: Sleeper – “Sale Of The Century”
Video: Sleeper – “What Do I Do Now”
Video: Sleeper – “Vegas”
Video: Sleeper – “Inbetweener”
Video: Sleeper – “Delicious”
Video: Sleeper – “Swallow”

One of my other favourite pieces of Britpop-related literature is the Phonogram comic series. They’re sticking to their guns of not doing any more than any more series beyond Rue Britannia and The Singles Club, but writer Kieron Gillen has released the complete script for the first issue of The Singles Club, the first issue of which is also available online in its entirety to compare and contrast. I don’t recall what the official Phonogram position on Sleeper was… hopefully kinder than to Echobelly.

The Fly has a courtyard video session with Slow Club, who’re prepping their second album Paradise for a September 12 release.

Clash are offering a taste of the new Peggy Sue album, entitled Acrobats and due out on September 12 in the UK.

MP3: Peggy Sue – “Cut My Teeth”

They made their local debut back in May as support for Tame Impala and tacked an in-store set onto the visit, but Yuck have taken a surprisingly long time to bring their more ’90s than ’90s fuzz-pop to town for a headlining show. That will be rectified as of September 25, when they play The Horseshoe – tickets $13.50 in advance. eMusic has an interview with the London outfit.

MP3: Yuck – “Get Away”
MP3: Yuck – “Georgia”

Laura Marling will follow the September 13 release of her third album A Creature I Don’t Know with what she’s calling the “When The Bell Tolls” tour; it includes a stop at The Great Hall on September 23, tickets $20 in advance on sale Friday. For a two-time Mercury shortlister, she’s had a habit of playing drastically undersized venues here – her 2008 debut was at the tiny Rivoli and her last visit last February at Lee’s Palace, a month before I Speak Because I Can was released, was originally supposed to be at the Drake. All of which is to say that tickets for this show will go quickly. NME has a track-by-track breakdown of her new record, one song of which is available to stream via the YouTubes.

MP3: Laura Marling – “Ghosts”
Stream: Laura Marling – “Sophia”

Stereogum and The Telegraph talk to The Horrors, who’ve released an MP3 from their new album Skying – it gets an August 9 release in North America. The Horrors are at Lee’s Palace on September 27.

MP3: The Horrors – “Moving Further Away”

Welsh singer Anika – protege of Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and Nico soundalike – will be at Wrongbar on October 8 in support of her 2010 self-titled debut, which is available to stream on her website. eMusic has an interview.

MP3: Anika – “Yang Yang”
Stream: Anika / Anika

And given that Barrow will be in town the next two nights at The Sound Academy with Portishead – October 9 and 10 – it’s not unreasonable to assume that he’ll be at Anika’s show. Pitchfork talks Geoff Barrow about the band’s upcoming North American tour.

NPR has a KCRW radio session with Friendly Fires, in town at The Phoenix on October 23.

Noel Gallagher has finally unveiled his debut solo single and listening to it and what Beady Eye have done, it’s really no wonder that Oasis fell apart. Even if the brothers Gallagher didn’t hate each other, their creative directions were pretty clearly on opposite trajectories. Think Liam would have stood for those horns? No, I don’t think so. Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds will be out on November 8 stateside.

Video: Noel Gallagher & The High Flying Birds – “The Death Of You And Me”

The Von Pip Musical Express chats with Emma-Lee Moss, aka Emmy The Great.

Gorilla Vs Bear is streaming one of the new songs from Summer Camp’s forthcoming debut album – due out whenever it’s fully funded via Pledge Music.

The first proper recording from The Kate Jackson Group – fronted by the former Long Blondes singer – is available to stream at God Is In The TV and it’s kind of fantastic. I had some concerns about Jackson’s solo output considering that Dorian Cox was the primary songwriter in that band, but if this is an indication of what Jackson can do on her own, those concerns are unfounded. Bring on the album.

The Sydney Morning Herald checks in with Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, who will be coming off hiatus later this Fall.

Fanfarlo frontman Simon Balthazar gives Paste an update on the progress of album number two, due out in the early part of next year.

I was happy enough to hear confirmed details on the new Loney Dear record Hall Music, out October 4, but to know that Emil Svanäaut;ngen and company will be back in town on November 5 for a show at the Drake Underground? That’s even better. Tickets are $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Loney Dear – “My Heart”

Lykke Li is coming back to town this Fall are part of a North American tour and she’ll be accompanied by fellow Swedes, sister act First Aid Kit. They’ll be at The Sound Academy on November 15, tickets $30 for general admission and $40 for VIP balcony. DIY talks to First Aid Kit about how work is coming on their second album.

MP3: Lykke Li – “Youth Knows No Pain”
MP3: First Aid Kit – “I Met Up With The King”

The Quietus and Billboard have feature interviews with Bjork while Billboard also chats with Michel Gondry, who directed her just-released new video. A track from her new album Biophilia is available to download; it’s out on September 27.

MP3: Bjork – “Cosmogony”
Video: Bjork – “Crystalline”

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Morning Light

2011 Mercury Music Prize shortlist is predictably unpredictable

Photo By Jean-Baptiste MondinoJean-Baptiste MondinoThanks to the fact that the United Kingdom exists five hours into the future, I woke up yesterday morning just in time to see the short list for this year’s Mercury Prize – awarded annually to the best album in the UK and Ireland – commandeer my Twitter feed for a short while. The process by which the shortlist and winner is selected isn’t entirely clear to me – it’s not as transparent as Canada’s Polaris Prize – but in a way that mysteriousness makes it more interesting.

Even though the “how” isn’t clear, a few years of Mercury-spotting has made the “what” pretty easy to peg, at least in a manner of speaking. History shows that about half the list is the cream of the Brit-indie pop/rock crop and the other half is pulled from all manner of other genres, from jazz to pop to hip-hop to what have you and the net result is eleven or twelve – interesting there’s no fixed size to the short list – albums that offer a good amount of grist for the conversational mill. The dozen records competing for the prize are:

Adele / 21 / Video: “Rolling In The Deep”
James Blake / James Blake / MP3: “To Care (Like You)”
Anna Calvi / Anna Calvi / MP3: “Blackout”
Elbow / build a rocket boys! / MP3: “Open Arms”
Everything Everything / Man Alive / Video: “Final Form”
Ghostpoet / Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam / Video: “Cash And Carry Me Home”
PJ Harvey / Let England Shake / MP3: “Written On The Forehead”
Katy B / On A Mission / Video: “Carry Me Home”
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins / Diamond Mine / Video: “Bubble”
Metronomy / The English Riviera / Video: “The Look”
Gwilym Simcock / Good Days at Schloss Elmau
Tinie Tempah / Disc-Overy / Video: “‘Til I’m Gone”

I can only speak to first-hand experience with about half the list, but it’s not unreasonable to think that the winning album will be amongst that subset. Indeed, many have already narrowed it down to a two-artist race between Adele and PJ Harvey, and if it’s down to those two I’d give the edge to Polly Jean if for no other reason than last year’s XX win was the eminently obvious choice. I don’t necessarily see them doing that again. And while I’d have no problem with either, both of their records being massive achievements by a number of standards, I’d be pretty happy to see Anna Calvi sneak up the middle to take it. I do love her self-titled debut and am sad that her appearance at Osheaga next week will not come with a stop down the 401. Perhaps a Mercury win would encourage her to do another North American tour and give me the opportunity to finally see her live. I also continue to love Elbow’s latest but think the odds of them winning for two albums in a row are pretty slim – they don’t have the underdog card to play anymore.

In any case, the winner will be announced on September 6.

Washington City Paper talks to Wild Beasts, whose Smother seems to be the consensus surprising omission from this year’s short list. They also do a couple video sessions for WNYC and The Fader and will be at The Mod Club on September 29.

Spin talks to Daniel Blumberg and The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to Max Bloom, both of Yuck.

Emmy The Great talks to Clash about her personal grassroots campaign against News International.

Interview and The Sydney Morning Herald talk to Patrick Wolf about his new record Lupercalia while The Independent finds out how he and Patti Smith became friends.

JAM has a feature on White Lies, in town at The Phoenix on August 3.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Beady Eye.

The Grid is starting rumours that Noel Gallagher will be in town for a show the week his solo debut Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds is released in North America, which is to say November 8. Bookie’s not one to just make stuff up, so keep an eye out. Also, in conversation with The List, Gallagher says he takes no joy in Beady Eye’s failure to tear up the charts.

The Guardian talks to Adrian Utley and Geoff Barrow of Portishead, who have two shows at The Sound Academy on October 9 and 10; word is the first night is sold out and the second not too far behind.

Artrocker chats with Tim Burgess of The Charlatans.

eMusic talks reunions and reissues with Brett Anderson and Mat Osman of Suede.

According to The Guardian, the New Order split is about as final and acrimonious as you imagined it to be.

French dance-pop veterans Tahiti 80 are back with a new record in The Past, The Present & The Possible and a tour which brings them to The Horseshoe on September 22, tickets $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Tahiti 80 – “Keys To The City”

M83 has finally revealed specifics on and an MP3 from their next album, which will be a double-set entitled Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Pitchfork has details on the record, which will be out on October 18. M83 plays Lee’s Palace on November 18, tickets $20 in advance.

MP3: M83 – “Midnight City”

DIY has a profile of I Break Horses, whose debut Hearts is out August 15.

Spinner talks to Lykke Li.

Adult Swim is giving away a new song from The Tallest Man On Earth. Just because, I guess.

MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “Weather Of A Killing Kind”

In a perfect world, this would be an item about a new Jens Lekman album and world tour including a local date. But it’s not a perfect world so instead, it’s an item about a new EP entitled An Argument With Myself, due out September 20, and a US tour that doesn’t cross the border. The Secretly Canadian press release consists of an interview with Jens.

Stereogum has the first MP3 from the new Loney Dear record, entitled Hall Music and out on October 4. There’s also rumours/promises of North American dates in November.

Labrador Records, purveyors of the finest in Swedish pop, have put out a free label sampler entitled Stockholm Belongs To Us which collects tracks from all their active roster. Needless to say, it’s wonderful.

Consequence Of Sound and Pitchfork both have more details on Bjork’s Biophilia project, the album of which will be out September 27 and the app of which was released today – The Guardian takes it for a spin.

And speaking of Bjork, guess who’s going to Iceland Airwaves this October? Lots of people. Me amongst them. It’s unlikely I’ll be able to swing tickets to Bjork’s Reykjav√≠k Concert Hall shows, but hey. Iceland!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

All Mine

Portishead are coming. Yes, that Portishead

Photo By Adam FaradayAdam FaradayTo be clear, Portishead simply like to take their time. The eleven-year gap between their self-titled sophomore effort and 2008’s Third? They weren’t broken up, just writing. And considering how scary good/just plain scary said record was, transcending the trip-hop genre they pioneered almost a decade and a half earlier, you couldn’t say it wasn’t time well spent. Similarly, just because they’ve only played one North American show this century – 2008’s Coachella – after returning to the stage in 2005 following a seven-year absence didn’t mean they don’t like us over here; they were just figuring out what to pack.

Baggage issues seem to have been all sorted out, however, as the band have announced their first North American tour in who knows how long – 14 years at minimum – with Thought Forms supporting and it includes not one but two Toronto dates, October 9 and 10 at The Sound Academy. Ticket presales are already live with ducats running $61.50 plus 10% service fees, charged in US dollars. Remember when that was a bad thing? At current exchange rates, that’ll bring your price of admission to like $20 and change. Approximately.

Portishead, people. Yes they spawned a million soundalike bands but go back and listen to those records – they’re still as unique and creepy as they ever were.

Video: Portishead – “Chase The Tear”
Video: Portishead – “Magic Doors”
Video: Portishead – “The Rip”
Video: Portishead – “Machine Gun”
Video: Portishead – “Glory Box”
Video: Portishead – “All Mine”
Video: Portishead – “Humming”

The other great British “head” band – Radiohead – remain oddly shy about hitting the road in any extended capacity but they’re still perfectly keen to play. The long-promised King Of Limbs recital for television programme From The Basement went down this weekend and the whole thing is available to stream at YouTube, at least for the moment – the BBC seems to have some objection to people posting their programming on the internets and are taking action, so hop to it.

DIY reports that Mogwai will release a new EP entitled Earth Division on September 13.

Arctic Monkeys have rolled out a new video from Suck It And See, though you do not have to suck anything to watch it. Unless you want to. Your call.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala”

BBC and Clash interview The Horrors. Their latest Skying is out August 9 in North America and they play The Mod Club on September 27.

The Fly checks in with Mystery Jets, hard at work in the studio on their next album, targeted for an early 2012 release.

London’s Male Bonding will be at The Horseshoe on September 2 in support of album number two, Endless Now, due out August 30. Tickets $10.50 in advance.

MP3: Male Bonding – “Bones”
MP3: Male Bonding – “Franklin”

Scots We Were Promised Jetpacks have announced an October 3 release of their second album In The Pit Of The Stomach, and you can hear the first track from it on their website. There’s also a passel of US live dates but nothing north of the border.

Band of Skulls are taking some time off from working on album number two to play some North American dates, including September 28 at The Garrison.

MP3: Band Of Skulls – “Blood”

What did you expect from The Vaccines? Maybe a new video from What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?? Well there you go. They’re at The Phoenix on September 27.

Video: The Vaccines – “Norgaard”

The Quietus has an interview and NPR a World Cafe session with Anna Calvi.

Throwback London pop quartet Veronica Falls, who charmed at SXSW, are giving away a track from their debut album due out October 17.

MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”

NME chats with Elizabeth Sankey of Summer Camp, who continue to raise funds for their debut album via Pledge Music.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Lykke Li, who has also released a new “live on the moon” video wherein she makes like she is performing live on the moon.

Video: Lykke Li – “Sadness Is A Blessing” (live on The Moon)

Spin talks to Bjork about her Biophilia project, the album part of which will be out September 27.

Japanese heavy rockers Boris will bring Japanese-fronted dream poppers Asobi Seksu with them to Lee’s Palace on October 23, part of a North American tour in support of their two simultaneous releases earlier this year, Heavy Rocks and Attention Please.

MP3: Boris – “Farewell”
MP3: Asobi Seksu – “Trails”
Video: Boris – “Hope/Riot Sugar”