Posts Tagged ‘Quasi’

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

A More Perfect Union

Review of Titus Andronicus’ The Monitor

Photo By Bao NguyenBao NguyenEver since I first saw Fanfarlo during SxSW last year – even before, actually – I’ve been waiting for them to come to Toronto. And though a mid-December date was cancelled due to a stolen passport, it appears all systems are go for their debut this Friday night at Lee’s Palace… so why won’t I be there? Well, blame New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus.

After seeing more than a few glowing reviews of their new album The Monitor, I dug up my copy, popped it in the CD player and proceeded to have my ass kicked for the next 60-plus minutes. The American Civil War themes that run through the record and offer context to the spoken word clips that appear throughout make for good talking points, but what’s really important about The Monitor is that it’s an uncompromising rock record that’s as tuneful and honest as it is intense and aggressive and so booze-soaked, you can almost see the fumes coming out of the speakers. And while on paper, that’s what all rock music should be, in reality it’s quite a rare thing and so when you hear it done right – and The Monitor does it right – it’s an eye-opener.

As far as reference points go, Titus Andronicus beats the music writer to the punch via their own bio, pre-emptively stating, “Blah blah blah Springsteen blah blah blah beer blah blah blah beard blah blah blah Shakespeare yadda yadda yadda Seinfeld blah blah blah Conor Oberst in a vat of acid blah blah blah books”. Clever, but if they were being thorough there’d be a few more “blahs” separating references to The Replacements, Whiskeytown and The Hold Steady and truly, The Monitor finds Titus Andronicus following in their same dense, wordy, angst-ridden, despondent and triumphant footsteps. It sprawls and staggers, it stands up and falls down. And gets back up again.

So what’s this got to do with Fanfarlo and their delightful orchestral pop? Well, Titus Andronicus are going to be at Sneaky Dee’s on Friday night as well, and as much as I enjoy the Londoners and hope they have a great show, I kind of want/need to see Titus Andronicus and, if their live reputation is accurate, get my face torn off. Figuratively speaking.

Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles tells Spinner how he recruited the likes of Craig Finn and Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls) to provide the dramatic readings interspersed throughout the album. Pitchfork solicits a guest list from the band and Exclaim, eMusic and The Georgia Straight have interviews.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part One)
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part Two)
Video: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
MySpace: Titus Andronicus

The Weekender talks to Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn about their new album Heaven Is Whenever, due out May 4.

Philadelphia Daily News, The Patriot Ledger, Victoria Advocate and JAM talk to Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers, who are in town this week for two nights at Lee’s Palace – April 6 and 7 – as well as an in-store at Sonic Boom at PM on Wednesday night. NYC Taper has a recording of their recent show in New York available to download.

White Rabbits have released a new video from last year’s It’s Frightening. They’re at Lee’s Palace on April 27.

Video: White Rabbits – “They Done Wrong, We Done Wrong”

Beatroute and Spinner talk to Spoon. The band stopped in at CBC last week to record a session for QTV.

Video: Spoon – “The Mystery Zone” (live on QTV)

The Quietus talks to The National’s Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner about the making of High Violet, due out in just over a month on May 11. They play Massey Hall on June 8 and 9. And I really have to go pick up my tickets for that.

The Line Of Best Fit and Georgia Straight talk to Retribution Gospel Choir’s Alan Sparhawk.

LCD Soundsystem have scheduled a North American tour in support of their new record This Is Happening, out May 18, and it includes a May 25 date at the Kool Haus. Tickets $35 in advance, on sale Friday.

Stream: LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”

The Music Slut asks eight questions of Steve Drozdt of The Flaming Lips. They’ve announced a July 7 date in Montreal, so can a Toronto date – their first in almost four years – be far off? I imagine not.

Chart, eye and Metro talk to Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan about their contributions to the film Passenger Side, which premieres at the Royal tomorrow night and will be followed by an acoustic set from half of the ‘Chunk – Mac and Jim.

Interview and Under The Radar interview The Drums, whose debut album is due out June 7.

NPR interviews Sam Coomes of Quasi, who are in town at the Horseshoe on April 18.

Sounds Good Ink has a feature on Let’s Wrestle, who will be supporting Quasi on the aforementioned date (and tour).

Broward-Palm Beach New Times and Athens Banner-Herald have conversations with Arctic Monkeys bassist Nick O’Malley while News-Observer chats with guitarist Jamie Cook.

Doves’ guitarist Jez Williams talks to The Guardian about using the moon as a delay pedal and that the band have no plans to split, despite being in the career retrospective phase with the upcoming release of The Places Between: The Best Of Doves, due out April 20. Williams also tells BBC6 that he feels for new bands trying to get their careers started in this day and age.

Spinner and The Times chat with The Futureheads – their new record The Chaos is out in North America on June 1.

eGigs talks to Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit, who are at the Opera House on May 4.

The first single from The Pipettes’ new record Earth Vs Pipettes, out June 28, is now available to download. Wouldn’t it be great if one of the choruses in the song went, “Our love was saved by Dr. Leo Spaceman“? Yes? No? Sorry, been watching a lot of 30 Rock.

MP3: The Pipettes – “Our Love Was Saved By Spacemen”

OPB Music has a video session with The Clientele, The Montreal Miror an interview.

Magnet prepares to hand over the editor’s desk to David Gedge of The Wedding Present for a week with a Q&A. They kicked off their Bizarro 20th anniversary tour last week and will be at the Horseshoe on April 14. The Aquarian Weekly also has an interview.

PopMatters interviews Bernard Sumner of Bad Lieutenant.

Clash lists 12 things you didn’t know about Pet Shop Boys.

The Quietus celebrates the 20th anniversary and defends the legacy of Lush.

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Blow Yr Brains In The Morning Rain

Review of Serena-Maneesh’s S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor and giveaway

Photo By Alex John BeckAlex John BeckI headed into SxSW last week with a list of artists I wanted to see at the festival and I actually did quite well at crossing names off of it – the only two really notable misses were Los Angeles’ Local Natives and Norwegian ragna-rockers Serena-Maneesh. I had experienced the Norwegians in Austin before – their gleefully insane set was one of the highlights of the 2006 festival – but this time out, their schedules and mine just didn’t gel.

Though our last encounter was four years ago at a short but destructive (see a trend?) show at Lee’s Palace in September 2006, I haven’t missed much with the band in the interim. It’s taken them that long to follow up their self-titled debut, which they finally did this week with the release of S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor, and if you think they’ve spent the time away learning new tricks… think again.

Quantitatively, Abyss is probably more sophisticated and melodic than its predecessor, but the underlying template remains very much the same, and it’s easily summed up as My Bloody Velvet Underground, all dreamy vocals overtop unrelenting rhythms and swirling aural chaos, divided into concise pop jewels and sprawling jams. And while the potency of the formula isn’t necessarily diminished on a visceral level – that’d be like saying that being punched in the face doesn’t hurt as much the second time – it doesn’t feel as fresh this time out, even if it may well be a better record.

It certainly contains their finest moment to date in “I Just Want To See Your Face”, a divine-sounding lost MBV track if ever there was one with vocalist Lina Wallinder channeling Belinda Butcher more than a little. And perhaps it’s telling that they’re at their best when sounding their most derivative? These, however, are considerations that are only likely to arise when you’re not actually listening to the album and have time to think objectively. When immersed in it, you’ll likely be too busy exalting in the sonic bedlam to worry if it’s really bringing anything new to the table – and that goes double for their live show, which though I haven’t seen it in some years I can’t imagine being any less chaotic.

To prove that point, Serena-Maneesh returns to Toronto on April 2 for a show at the Great Hall; tickets are $14 in advance but courtesy of Union Events, I’ve got five pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see Serena-Maneesh” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Obviously this giveaway is only good for folks in the Toronto area – to all residents of North America, including locals who enter the concert giveaway, and courtesy of 4AD, I’ve also got a limited-edition 12″ single of “Ayisha Abyss” up for grabs. If you’d like that, email me again at contests AT with “I want 12″ of Serena-Maneesh” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest for both closes at midnight, March 31.

The Georgia Straight interviews Serena-Maneesh frontman Emil Nikolaisen.

MP3: Serena Maneesh – “I Just Want To See Your Face”
MP3: Serena-Maneesh – “Ayisha Abyss”
Video: Serena-Maneesh – “I Just Want To See Your Face”
Stream: Serena-Maneesh / S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor
MySpace: Serena-Maneesh

Exclaim talks to Jonsi, who has released a new video from his solo record Go, originally supposed to be out this week but now pushed back until April 6. He still plays the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1.

Video: Jonsi – “Kolnidur”

NPR’s World Cafe doubles up on the Swedes with one session featuring El Perro Del Mar and another with Taken By Trees. AndPop and Smile At Your Sister also have interviews with El Perro Del Mar’s Sarah Assbring.

The AV Club, and The Boston Herald talk to The Big Pink.

Paste and Express Night Out talk to The xx. They are at the Phoenix on April 4 and the Kool Haus on April 20. Both shows are sold out.

Arctic Monkeys have rolled out a new video from Humbug.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “My Propeller”

The Quietus revisits Suede circa Coming Up.

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey discusses the importance of the album with BBC6.

Let’s Wrestle make a mixtape for Magnet. They’ll be at the Horseshoe on April 18 with Quasi, who’ve just released a new video from American Gong.

Video: Quasi – “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler”

Carrie Brownstein tells Pitchfork that a Sleater-Kinney reunion could happen in the next three to five years.

The Listener and Aquarium Drunkard talk to Dean Wareham. The new set of Galaxie 500 reissues came out this week.

Each Note Secure interviews A Place To Bury Strangers, who’ve just released a new video from Exploding Head.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “Ego Death”

MGMT, whose second album Congratulations arrives April 13, will be at the Mod Club on April 29 for an intimate-type show. Not as intimate as their surprise gig at Captain John’s Seafood Restaurant a couple weeks ago, but the Mod Club probably smells better. Tickets are $30 and go on sale Saturday at 10AM.

Though not currently listed on their tour itinerary, CocoRosie will be at the Phoenix on June 15 in support of their new album Grey Oceans, out May 11.

Whilst killing time during my accidental time off in Austin earlier this week, I happened up on the Yard Dog art gallery on South Congress where they were selling pieces by one Jon Langford, whom as it happens is in town tonight at the Horseshoe with The Sadies and in addition to the regular sort of merch, will have some of his artwork available for sale – this stuff is cool and better than a t-shirt. Check it – and the show – out tonight.

Spinner, JAM and NOW have features on the Thrush Hermit reunion which rolls into Lee’s Palace this weekend for shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

And oh yeah, the official trailer for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is now out and it’s onomatopoeiariffic. The film is released August 13 while the sixth and final book of the series, recently revealed to have the titled of Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, will be out July 20.

Trailer: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Eyelid Movies

Phantogram at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor solo artists, it’s easy. Either play alone and keep things stripped down and simple (or, as is becoming more fashionable, looped) or gather up a band. Duos, however, are more and more inclined to try and make a go of it without hired help, particularly duos who’re already heavily reliant on technology for their studio efforts – after all, you don’t have to feed a laptop. And if the cost of that convenience is some energy and spontenaity in the live setting, then so be it.

So despite being quite taken with Eyelid Movies, the debut album from the great state of New York’s Phantogram, I went into their Toronto debut at the Drake Underground on Saturday night with modest expectations. But even if I’d gone in demanding to witness great things, I’d have still left feeling the same way – pretty damned impressed.

Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter don’t travel with much – she with a number of synths and laptop, he with a guitar and extensive but not excessive pedalboard – but armed with a brace of great songs and a genuine joy of playing them for people, it was all they’d need. Just as their idea of dream pop isn’t about hazy somnambulance, there was no de rigeur synth-pop iciness in their delivery – Barthel delivered her lines with emotion and whipped her head around to the rhythm when not, while Carter, whose vocals sounded even better live than on record, took advantage of the mobility afforded him by the guitar and wandered around the stage, adding some extra physicality to their performance. This, combined with the well-chosen projections that bathed the band during their set, made for a show that was more dynamic and engaging than some of their stylistic peers could achieve. They were having their own little dance party on stage and the rest of us were just lucky to be invited.

Phantogram will be back on March 12 for a show at Supermarket as part of Canadian Musicfest.

Photos: Phantogram @ The Drake Underground – February 20, 2010
MP3: Phantogram – “When I’m Small”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Beach House. They’re at the Opera House on March 30.

The New York Times has a feature piece on Holly Miranda, and confirms that The Jealous Girlfriends are pretty much done. There’s also an interview at Miami New Times with Miranda, whose solo debut The Magician’s Private Library is out this week. Her former bandmates continue on in New Numbers.

Joanna Newsom is the subject of an extensive feature in The Times, just in time for the release of her new triple-album Have One On Me this week. I will have hopefully made it through the opus at least once before her March 13 show at the Phoenix.

The Guardian declares Spoon “the best band of the last 10 years”. Spoon modestly agrees. They are at the Sound Academy on March 29.

Clash has an interview and NPR a radio session with Midlake. They play The Mod Club on May 21.

The Wooden Birds are giving away a free EP of studio recordings at Insound.

ZIP: The Wooden Birds / Montague Street EP

Spinner talks to Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater, who’ve just released a new video – and live solo performance clip – from their new album The Golden Archipelago, out on Tuesday. They play Lee’s Palace on April 1.

Video: Shearwater – “Hidden Lake”
Video: Shearwater – “Hidden Lake” (solo)

The March 9 release date for Miles Kurosky’s solo debut The Desert Of Shallow Effects is drawing closer – check out the first video from the new record.

Video: Miles Kurosky – “Dog In The Burning Building”

Also out this week is American Gong, the new record from Quasi – it’s available to stream in its entirety. They’re at The Horseshoe on April 18.

Stream: Quasi / American Gong has compiled a list of the best contemporary shoegaze bands right now.

Torontoist reports that plans are afoot for Downsview Park to host Imagine on July 10 and 11, a two-day festival from the people who brought you Woodstock (but not the knockoff sequels) intended to resurrect the ideals of hippie peace and love through a big-ass concert at a former military base. No acts have been announced but they’ve already promised tributes to The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin so that should give you some notion as to what direction they’re looking in. But if they manage to a) actually stage this thing and b) have it be the biggest concert in 40 years as they say, it’ll be impossible to ignore and the law of averages states they’ll have at least SOME interesting performers. Even if they’re only invited to join the inevitable mass, on-stage “Give Peace A Chance” singalong.

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

In This Light And On This Evening

Editors and The Antlers at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangEditors are from Birmingham in the UK and are weathering criticism for daring to mess with their sonic formula on their latest effort In This Light And On This Evening. The Antlers are from Brooklyn in the USA and are basking in acclaim and ever-growing attention in the wake of last year’s Hospice. Two bands who wouldn’t appear to have a whole lot in common except for this – both steep their music deeply in dramatics for effect and both were at the Phoenix in Toronto on Tuesday night.

For The Antlers, the drama extended into their very arrival, having been held up at the border by some extra-conscientious immigration officers and only beginning to load in at their designated set time. Still, they were set up and ready to go just 10 minutes later than scheduled and immediately launched into a sprawling reading of “Kettering”, clearly not willing to be rushed for the sake of expediency. When I saw them in September 2009 at their Criminal Records in-store, what stood out most was how in a live context, they were able to transform the the anguish that permeates Hospice into something more cathartic, and in a large setting such as this, that was even more the case. Despite the late start, they were able to stretch out five songs over about 40 minutes, each filled with crescendos, false endings and emotion, and when they left the stage, it was to an ovation that you might have thought marked the end of the evening.

But no, as much as the crowd appreciated The Antlers, they were here for Editors, mixed reactions to In This Light be damned. Opening with the title track from the new album, it became clear how they’d be handling its synth-heavy sounds while maintaining the dynamicism of their live show – it began with Tom Smith seated at the piano and then midway through, getting up to grab his guitar while Chris Urbanowicz switched off from guitar to synth, a routine that would continue throughout the night as some or all would handle keyboard duties while the others kept it analog. Not a bad arrangement, allowing them to maintain the walls of keyboards while Smith did what he does best, and that’s lurch around stage and providing the kinetic energy necessary to get the show into gear. Though the rest of the band was more animated than the last time I saw them, it’s Smith’s presence and delivery that allows Editors to sell their songs to those, such as myself, who might otherwise have difficulty embracing the dubious lyricism of their grandly appointed anthems.

Clearly believing their new material is more worthy than the critics do, Editors played In This Light in its entirety, and to be fair, its shortcomings are less evident when interspersed with the stronger, more guitar-driven material from their first two records. Both An End Has A Start and The Back Room were well represented, with five tracks from each getting aired out. There were stretches where my attention began to wander but there was usually a big single strategically placed to pull it back in and keep me hanging around and my endurance was rewarded with pretty intense readings of “Munich” and “Papillon” in the encore. Critics of Editors like to point at the band’s over-emotive and unabashedly melodramatic approach, and yeah, they’re pretty well over the top in that department, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as good a show if they weren’t.

eye has a review of the whole show Panic Manual some thoughts on the Antlers’ set while Chart only has eyes for Editors. The Boston Herald and Metro have interviews with Editors and WOXY a Lounge Act session with Antlers, who were just announced as support for The National’s upcoming Spring tour, including the June 8 and 9 dates at Massey Hall.

Photos: Editors, The Antlers @ The Phoenix – February 16, 2010
MP3: Editors – “Papillon”
MP3: Editors – “Munich”
MP3: The Antlers – “Two”
MP3: The Antlers – “Two” (remastered)
MP3: The Antlers – “Bear”
MP3: The Antlers – “The Universe Is Going To Catch You”
MP3: The Antlers – “On the Roof”
MP3: The Antlers – “Stairs To The Attic”
MP3: The Antlers – “Cold War”
MP3: The Antlers – “Keys”
Video: Editors – “You Don’t Know Love”
Video: Editors – “Papillon”
Video: Editors – “An End Has A Start”
Video: Editors – “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors”
Video: Editors – “All Sparks”
Video: Editors – “Munich”
Video: The Antlers – “Bear”
Video: The Antlers – “Two”
MySpace: Editors
MySpace: The Antlers

Rolling Stone checks in with Aaron Dessner of The National, who still don’t have a title for the new record but should have one before it hits stores on May 11. As mentioned, they have two nights at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

There’s a second MP3 available from Ted Leo & The Pharmacists’ new record The Brutalist Bricks, out March 9. And Ted has excuses as to why there’s not Toronto date on the tour itinerary yet, but promises one is coming soon.

MP3: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – “The Mighty Sparrow”

The Calgary Herald has an interview with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields talks to Chart about Realism.

Quasi have released a second MP3 from American Gong, due out next Tuesday. They’re at The Horseshoe on April 18.

MP3: Quasi – “Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler”

Spinner has an Interface session with Beach House – look for them March 30 at the Opera House.

The Futureheads have rolled out a video from their new album The Chaos, due out April 26. Drowned In Sound has it and a making-of clip for the video.

Video: The Futureheads – “Heartbeat Song”

The Quietus interviews Field Music. They’re at The Horsesehoe on March 19.

The Dallas Observer profiles We Were Promised Jetpacks.

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Mouthful Of Diamonds

An introduction to Phantogram

Photo By Doron GildDoron GildThere’s a lot of New York in Eyelid Movies, the debut album from the duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel known as Phantogram, and while the pair do indeed have Empire State license plates on their cars, they don’t hail from a Brooklyn bedsit or East Village walk-up, but the town of Greenwich way upstate – as close to Montreal as it is to Manhattan.

But you couldn’t tell that from just listening to the record – Its synthetic dream-pop owes a lot to bands who hail from Gotham, recalling in particular recent Blonde Redhead, though poppier and dancier than that trio. The similarities lie in their borrowing ideas liberally from a wide range of styles, incorporating meaty synth textures, cut-and-paste sampled hip-hop beats and guitars that are as inclined to jangle as drone and tying them together with a devotion to melody and Barthel and Carter’s contrasting vocals – hers dulcet and emotive, his rougher and anguished. It’s a combination that makes for an interesting yet accessible listen that’s honest in its influences while crafting its own identity.

Eyelid Movies is out February 9, and is currently streaming in its entirety at NPR. They set out on an east coast tour this week that stops at the Drake Underground in Toronto on February 20. has an interview with Josh Carter.

MP3: Phantogram – “When I’m Small”
Stream: Phantogram / Eyelid Movies

PitchforkTV has a fancy video session with Beach House while Daytrotter has posted an audio session you can download for your very own. Not wanting to feel left out, Grand Crew points out they’ve got a complete show from last Summer in Paris to watch. The San Francisco Chronicle also has an interview with the duo, whom you can see at the Opera House on March 30.

Pitchfork talks to The National’s Matt Berninger about their new album, which is due out in May and has yet to be titled. They are at Massey Hall on June 8.

Filter has a two-part interview with The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, while Exclaim reveals that one of his upcoming projects will be performing a live score to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea – the 1916 silent film, not the Kirk Douglas-powered Disney version. Also newsworthy is the fact that 69 Love Songs is being reissued as a set of six 10″ LPs limited to only 3000 editions. You can pre-order it now with delivery coming around the April 20 release date. The Magnetic Fields are at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre next Monday evening.

MTV gets The Shins’ James Mercer to clarify statements made to NME about the band’s hiatus and his current involvement in Broken Bells with Danger Mouse, whose self-titled debut comes out March 9. Short version – Broken Bells now, Shins next year. Probably. Here’s their first video.

Video: Broken Bells – “The High Road”

JamBase converses with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

If you missed the free download of The Denton Sessions from The Guardian this weekend, it’s up for grabs at the Midlake website and the interview at The Guardian is still up. Their new album The Courage Of Others is out today.

Spinner talks to Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg about The Golden Dossier booklet which will accompany The Golden Archipelago on its release come February 23. They play Lee’s Palace on April 1.

NPR is streaming a live show by Ted Leo & The Pharmacists on the World Cafe last week. Their new album The Brutalist Bricks is out March 9.

And moving onto the concert announcements portion of the post – Snailhouse and Evening Hymns team up for a show at the Tranzac on March 25, admission $10 at the door.

MP3: Evening Hymns – “Broken Rifle”
Video: Snailhouse – “Salvation Army”

Jon Langford will team up with his Sadies for a show at the Horseshoe on March 26, tickets $13.50.

It’s ladies’ night at the Phoenix on April 9, when Girls and Dum Dum Girls roll in as part of a Spring tour. Girls are still riding last year’s Album while Dum Dum Girls’ debut I Will Be arrives March 30.

MP3: Girls – “Laura”
MP3: Girls – “Lust For Life””
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Jail La La”

The Album Leaf will set out this Winter and Spring on a North American tour in support of their new album A Chorus Of Storytellers, out today, and stop in at Lee’s Palace on April 28 – tickets $12.50, Sea Wolf support.

MP3: The Album Leaf – “Falling From The Sun”
MP3: Sea Wolf – “Wicked Blood”

Let’s Wrestlediscussed previously – have been added as support for Quasi’s upcoming east coast tour, including the April 18 date at the Horseshoe. Let’s Wrestle’s debut In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s gets a North American release on March 23 while Quasi’s American Gong is out February 23.

MP3: Quasi – “Repulsion”
MP3: Let’s Wrestle – “We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon”

Anyone who’s ever asked exactly what is meant by “gypsy punk” would do well to be at the Sound Academy on April 20 when Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa come to town. Gogol’s live Live From Axis Mundi came out last year while DeVotchKa’s last release was 2008’s A Mad And Faithful Telling, though they haven’t been to Toronto since June 2006 – far, far too long.

MP3: Gogol Bordello – “Wonderlust King” (BBC Sessions)
MP3: Gogol Bordello – “Troubled Friends” (Gypsy Punk Sessions)
MP3: DeVotchKa – “Transliterator”
MP3: DeVotchKa – “Along The Way”

Sigur Ros can easily sell out Massey Hall, but for frontman gone solo Jonsi to schedule two (2) nights at the Sound Academy – April 30 and May 1 – to perform numbers from his solo album Go… well it’s ambitious. To say the least. The album is out March 23. Either they’re expecting it to be a hit or want their fans to have lots of elbow room.

MP3: Jonsi – “Boy Lilikoi”