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Posts Tagged ‘R.E.M.’

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Tomorrow Is Yesterday

An introduction to Field Mouse

Photo By Shervin LainezShervin LainezIf it were as recently as last year, I would be spending this post – hell, yesterday’s post – talking about how after arriving in Chicago last Saturday, I went almost straight to Beat Kitchen to see Laura Stevenson and Field Mouse play, on account of missing the Toronto show of their tour this past Tuesday because of this little vacation. But because I’ve grown as a person and am no longer spending all my time and energy trying to make it to shows and write about them, I have nothing to say about that show because I didn’t make it anywhere near the club, though I can’t say that I didn’t look up where it was and write it in my calendar. Just in case.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the acquaintance of either of the acts. Stevenson I wrote about way in August 2010 – her new album Wheel is plenty solid, by the way, fans of country-pop would do well to check it out – but Brooklyn duo Field Mouse have had but a passing mention here, and I’d like to give them a little bit more because if your musical tastes align with mine – and why would you be here otherwise – they’re worth a listen.

Their name brings to mind – or is maybe confused for – English twee-pop forebears Field Mice, but while there are some points of intersection, particularly in their facility with melody and dreamy texture, the singular edition of Rachel Browne (vocals, guitar) and Andrew Futral (guitars) is much less navel-gazing and their shoegazey roots give their sound some wonderfully shimmering bite without overwhelming their tunefulness. It’s a formula that’s all about balance, and Field Mouse get it right. With a discography limited to just a few singles right now, they’re prepping their full-length debut for release later this year and have released a new video – presumably from said full-length – via Spin and recorded a video session for BrooklynVegan; as always, don’t read the comments. But do, however, hope they keep touring and make their way back to town soon, ideally when I’m also in town.

MP3: Field Mouse – “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”
MP3: Field Mouse – “Glass”
Stream: Field Mouse – “You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom”
Stream: Field Mouse – “Happy”
Video: Field Mouse – “Revenge Is Yesterday”

WNYC has a stream of one of the new Savoir Adore songs that will appear on the wide-release edition of their latest Our Nature when it comes out on June 4.

Stream: Savoir Adore – “Beating Hearts

Pitchfork has rightly devoted one of their fancily-presented cover story in-depth features to The National, and The Irish Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and 680 News also have features. They play Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

Spin has premiered a new song from Florida’s Beach Day, whose debut Trip Trap Attack is out June 18 and who are here for NXNE on June 15 with a show at Handlebar in Kensington Market. DIY has a feature.

Stream: Beach Day – “Stay”

Exclaim has details on the new full-length from Crocodiles; Crimes of Passion is out August 20 and there’s a first track to hear courtesy of Stereogum. They’ll preview the album at the Adelaide Music Hall on June 17 when they support Japandroids.

MP3: Crocodiles – “Cockroach”

Chicago talks to Smith Westerns, who are streaming another new song from their forthcoming Soft Will. It’s out June 25 and they play Lee’s Palace on July 29.

Stream: Smith Westerns – “3AM Spiritual”

She & Him keep up the cutesy on the new video from Volume 3. They headline the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 4.

Video: She & Him – “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”

Beatroute and The Georgia Straight have interviews and NPR a session with Yo La Tengo, playing the final day of TURF at Garrison Commons on July 7. DIY also has an interview with bassist James McNew about the reissue series for his Dump side-project.

Loud & Quiet and The Fly have features on Kurt Vile, also here for TURF day four at Garrison Common on July 7.

Merge has announced a deluxe reissue of the last, great lo-fi Mountain Goats album All Hail West Texas on July 23, which is great new if for no other reason as it gives these imaginary liner notes by comics scribe a reason to exist, if only online.

Because he never needs to rest, Ty Segall has announced an August 20 release of his next album, entitled Sleeper. Details on the release at Consequence Of Sound, trailer below.

Trailer: Ty Segall / Sleeper

Pitchfork has details on the new record from The Dodos, entitled Carrier and out August 27.

Stream: The Dodos – “Confidence”

Noisey talks to Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing, who have a date at The Kool Haus on September 21 supporting Local Natives.

The Journal News chats with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, in town at The Sound Academy on September 28.

Kevin Barnes talks to Rolling Stone about the next of Montreal record Lousy with Sylvianbriar, due out sometime this Fall.

Jim James tells Rolling Stone that My Morning Jacket plan to return to the studio to record their next record in October.

Rolling Stone Q&As Thurston Moore of Chelsea Light Moving, who’ve released a new video from their self-titled debut.

Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Lip”

The 405 talks to Jon Ehrens and eMusic and City Paper to Jenn Wasner, who together are Dungeonesse.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has an interview and Rolling Stone an acoustic video session with The Thermals, who’ve just released a video for the decidedly non-acoustic new single from their latest, Desperate Ground.

Video: The Thermals – “The Sunset”

Spin has an oral history of The Breeders’ Last Splash on the occasion of the record’s 20th anniversary.

And Mike Mills uses the occasion of the Green quarter-century reissue to tell Rolling Stone that when R.E.M. said no reunion, they meant no reunion. So no reunion.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Silver Age

Bob Mould and Now, Now at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangUnderstand that I am in no way, shape, or form complaining, but I was pretty surprised when it was announced that Bob Mould would be playing The Horseshoe this past Friday night. Not that one legendary artist doesn’t deserve a legendary venue, but considering that his profile arguably higher than its been in years thanks to a 2012 that included the 20th anniversary Sugar reissues and tour, the publication of his memoirs, and his best-received new album in some time with Silver Age, to say nothing of the fact that he hadn’t played Toronto in almost half a decade, I thought he’d have been booked into a larger room. At least something on the scale of Lee’s or The Mod Club, where he played the last two times through including the last time I saw him here at home in Fall 2005. But no, it was to be The Horseshoe and so unsurprisingly it was sold out and jammed and primed to go off.

Amidst the… older demographic that was gathered to see Mould celebrate his 30-plus year career, were a smattering of decidedly younger attendees who you could reasonably assume were here to see the opener. Minneapolis trio Now, Now – formerly Now, Now Every Children – have been through town a number of times, but usually attached to bills of a more pop-punk-emo persuasion. That’s why, despite having liked them for a few years, I’d only finally gotten to see them live at SXSW 2011 where I wouldn’t have to sit a half-dozen sets of tattoos and asymmetrical haircuts. Which is not to say that that’s not their natural scene – their thoughtful grunge-pop with downcast lyrics but delivered with big smiles is definitely of a genre – but thanks to Cacie Dalager’s terrifically emotive vocals and their sharp sense of melody, they’re also better than most of that genre and can definitely break to broader appeal. Their latest album Threads was both produced and released by Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla, and his band’s path is one that, with a few lucky breaks and soundtrack placements, Now, Now could reasonably follow them down.

Local fans might have felt disappointed that last year’s Copper Blue tour, wherein Mould, bassist Jason Narducy, and drummer Jon Wurster played the whole of 1992’s seminal Sugar debut in its entirety, didn’t come to town – I was lucky enough to catch one of those shows at SXSW 2012 – but if anyone thought that meant he wouldn’t continue to lean heavily on one of his most-loved records… well they’d have been dead wrong. Mould could have exulted in the roaring response from the audience as he took the stage – it’d have been well-earned – but instead he and his band got straight to work, tearing through side A of Copper Blue in sequence with brutal efficiency. This accomplished two things – it got the audience further worked up into a sweaty lather and got those songs out of the way.

The next block of songs focused on Silver Age and confirmed that these compositions were, as many have pointed out, Mould’s most Sugar-like in years, their balance of melody and white noise existing quite comfortably alongside the older numbers. The new material also elicited more furious guitar soloing from Mould, perhaps him feeling these songs still had room to improvise whereas the Sugar songs were fixed for the ages. Silver Age properly serviced, Sugar material began creeping back into the set, first with a couple of unexpected songs from Beaster – I don’t know that I’ve ever heard any Beaster material live – and then “Your Favorite Thing” from the underrated File Under: Easy Listening.

Finally, inevitably, it was time to reach into the Hüsker Dü songbook for “I Apologize” and “Chartered Trips” before wrapping back in the 21st century with Silver Age standout “Keep Believing”. The first encore contained the only non-Silver Age selection from his solo repertoire – “Egoverride” from his 1996 eponymous effort – and one more Copper Blue selection in “If I Can’t Change Your Mind”, while the second encore deviated from their regular set by inviting local music scribe Sam Sutherland onstage to lead a quick and furious cover of The Viletones’ “Screaming Fist” before closing for good with another trifecta of Hüsker songs.

It was a pulverizing set start to finish – the 15 songs of the main set clocked in at under an hour – but with Mould’s glasses fogged and shirt soaked from the sweat and steam of the crowd and Narducy and Wurster somehow managing to match his energy joule for joule, there was no question they’d given their all. And it answered the question of why they played a smaller room than they probably could have – small space, huge pressure, massive explosion. Legendary.

NOW and Backstage Rider also have reviews of the show and The Sydney Morning Herald an interview. Mould is back in the region on August 3 as part of The Grove Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake.

Photos: Bob Mould, Now, Now @ The Horseshoe – March 1, 2013
MP3: Bob Mould – “The Silence Between Us”
MP3: Now, Now – “Dead Oaks”
MP3: Now, Now – “Thread”
MP3: Now, Now – “School Friend”
MP3: Now, Now – “Neighbors”
MP3: Now, Now – “Roommates”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Everyone You Know”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Sleep Through Summer”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Cars”
Video: Bob Mould – “Star Machine”
Video: Bob Mould – “The Descent”
Video: Bob Mould – “Egoverride”
Video: Bob Mould – “Slay/Sway”
Video: Bob Mould – “It’s Too Late”
Video: Sugar – “Gee Angel”
Video: Sugar – “Believe What You’re Saying”
Video: Sugar – “Tilted”
Video: Sugar – “Helpless”
Video: Sugar – “Changes”
Video: Sugar – “If I Can’t Change Your Mind”
Video: Hüsker Dü – “Could You Be The One”
Video: Hüsker Dü – “Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely”
Video: Hüsker Dü – “Makes No Sense At All”
Video: Hüsker Dü – “Love Is All Around”
Video: Now, Now – “Dead Oaks”
Video: Now, Now – “Thread”
Video: Now, Now Every Children – “Friends With My Sister”

Caitlin Rose has marked the release this week of her new record The Stand-In with a new video, premiered over at Billboard. She plays The Garrison on April 5.

Video: Caitlin Rose – “Only A Clown”

Brooklyn’s The Men are the topic of conversations at Consequence Of Sound, The Village Voice, Spin, and Interview what with their new record New Moon coming out this week.

The new Son Volt album Honky Tonk, out this week, is available to stream in whole over at American Songwriter. Blurt, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, and The Riverfront Times have feature pieces on the band.

Stream: Son Volt / Honky Tonk

Ra Ra Riot have premiered a new video from their latest Beta Love. They play Lee’s Palace tonight – March 6 – and are back on June 8 as part of the Field Trip fest at Fort York.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”

Drowned In Sound talks to Alan Sparkhawk of Low. They play The Great Hall on March 16 and The Invisible Way is out March 19.

The Dumbing Of America has an interview with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, who are prepping for the March 19 release of their new album Specter Af The Feast by giving away an EP for the first single from their website. They play The Kool Haus on May 9.

Also at Dumbing Of America – an interview with Local Natives, who’re at The Phoenix on March 28.

The Black Angels are streaming a new song off their forthcoming Indigo Meadow, out April 2, with some supporting words at Rolling Stone. The new album brings them to The Danforth Music Hall on April 13.

Stream: The Black Angels – “Evil Things”

Even though The Flaming Lips have a new record in The Terror coming out April 2, Pitchfork wants to talk about their old albums, offering up a video oral history of The Soft Bulletin.

Steve Earle has released the first video from his forthcoming album The Low Highway, due out April 16.

Video: Steve Earle – “Invisible”

CBC Music talks to The Thermals, whose have a bunch of reissues out this week and a new record in Desperate Ground out April 16.

Billboard and Rolling Stone have features on Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their new record Mosquito, which comes out April 16.

Exclaim and Men’s Journal has questions for Jim James. He is at The Phoenix on April 24.

Saturday Looks Good To Me have announced details of their comeback album One Kiss Ends It All, out May 21, and made the first song from it available to stream.

Stream: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “Invisible Friend”

Consequence Of Sound has details on the 25th anniversary reissue of R.E.M.’s Green, which will come with the requisite remastering and second disc of period-correct live show. It’s out May 14.

Entertainment Weekly reports The Hold Steady will contribute a new song to the soundtrack of the upcoming season of Game Of Thrones. The show premieres March 31 and they play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Fort York on July 4.

NPR has a video session with Yo La Tengo, back in town at the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 7.

Spinner interviews Ted Leo on the occasion of Hearts Of Oak‘s tenth anniversary.

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

I Love You But You're Dead

Mark Eitzel at The Rivoli in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s less accurate to say that Mark Eitzel was/is/ever shall be the frontman for American Music Club than it is to simply say Mark Eitzel is American Music Club. Over both of the band’s incarnations – their original run from 1982 to 1994 and the reunion from 2004 to 2009 – Eitzel released solo records whose songbooks intersected liberally with AMC but roamed more musically, most curiously on The Ugly American, which saw him arranging old songs for traditional Greek instruments, and Candy Ass, which took him electronic.

His latest Don’t Be A Stranger isn’t one of those sidebar releases, being both his first record for Merge and first since the book was formally closed on American Music Club for the second and probably final time. It also provided occasion for Eitzel’s first visit to Toronto since leading AMC through an excellent but lightly-attended show in Spring 2008. Despite Stranger being a fully-produced affair, Eitzel was touring light – just himself and a piano player, the same setup I saw him with during SXSW 2011.

Given that he was performing to his own, appreciative fans rather than drive-by hipster festival-goers, Eitzel was in a decidedly better mood than that show. Even though the dour dimension gave that performance a memorable intensity, it was nice to have him be able to show off his more jovial side instead with his humour thankfully stayed on the right side of the self-deprecating/self-loathing line. The set list was impressively career-spanning, offering four selections from the new record amongst old AMC favourites like show opener, “What Holds The World Together” off of San Francisco, and “Apology For An Accident” and “Hollywood 4-5-92” from personal favourite Mercury, all dramatically rearranged for the cabaret show configuration but still just as powerful as in their rock band format, thanks in no small part to Eitzel’s massive and emotive vocals – the mic often seemed more stage prop than necessary sound reinforcement. He may have only gotten through a baker’s dozen worth of songs in the hour-fifteen show, but most were accompanied by anecdotes that offered illuminating insights into the song. It was amazing how many of Eitzel’s songs are actually literal rather than allegorical; aspiring songwriters could do far worse than to study his works to learn how to transform daily experiences into compelling lyrical works.

Eitzel had to take a mulligan on the encore after a monologue hilariously derailed things, but wrapped up strongly with “We All Have To Find Our Own Way Out” off of Stranger, and closing with “Chanel No. 5”, a song that’s so much an essential part of the AMC canon that I’m astonished it was only released as a b-side. Mark Eitzel doesn’t come through town very often – he’d do well to take the advice of this album’s title – but when he does, it’s always special.

Back To The World also has an excellent review of the show. The Plain Dealer and Columbus Alive have interviews with Eitzel.

Photos: Mark Eitzel @ The Rivoli – November 28, 2012
MP3: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”
MP3: American Music Club – “Only Love Can Set You Free”
MP3: American Music Club – “All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco”
Video: American Music Club – “All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco”
Video: American Music Club – “Rise”
Video: American Music Club – “Wish The World Away”
Video: American Music Club – “Electric Light”

The new Memory Tapes album Grace/Confusion is available to stream in whole right now; it’s out on Tuesday.

MP3: Memory Tapes – “Shelia”
Stream: Memory Tapes / Grace/Confusion

Pitchfork compiles an oral history of Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights, the deluxe edition of which is out this Tuesday.

Nuvo has an interview with Jason Lytle, who’s just released a new video from Dept. Of Disappearance. He’s at Massey Hall on December 5 opening up for Band Of Horses.

Video: Jason Lytle – “Somewhere There’s A Someone”

The Fader talks to Christopher Owens about the end of Girls. His solo record Lysandre is out January 15 and he plays The Mod Club on January 18.

Eater talks food with Yo La Tengo. Their new album Fade is out January 15 and they play The Phoenix on February 9.

Spin talks to Ra Ra Riot, whose new album Beta Love is out January 22 and who are at Lee’s Palace on March 6.

Local Natives have released a video from their next album Hummingbird, due out January 29. They play The Opera House on March 28 and talk to NME about what it was like to make the record with Aaron Dessner of The National.

Video: Local Natives – “Breakers”

Ameri-Kiwi psych-rock outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Los Angeles’ Foxygen are teaming up for a North American tour in support of their new albums – UMO’s II is out February 5 and Foxygen’s We Are The 21st Century Ambassarors Of Peace & Magic is out January 22. They’re at Wrongbar on March 4, tickets $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “I’ll Come Back 4 U”
MP3: Foxygen – “Make It Known”

Jukebox The Ghost and Matt Pond are in town for a show at The Horseshoe on March 11. Jukebox released Safe Travels earlier this year and Pond has a new one in The Lives Inside The Lines Of Your Hand due out on February 15.

MP3: Matt Pond PA – “The Hollows”
Video: Jukebox The Ghost – “Don’t Let Me Fall Behind”

Low have announced details about their next album – The Invisible Way was produced by Jeff Tweedy and will be out on March 19. Check out the trailer below and inspect details – and also exchange your email for a live six-song set – over at Pitchfork.

Trailer: Low / The Invisible Way

Spinner talks to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

That song The National recorded for Boardwalk Empire last week is now available to download.

MP3: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

Rolling Stone has premiered another James Franco-directed – and starring – video from R.E.M.’s final album Collapse Into Now, and if you prefer your Stipe & co a little more vintage, Slicing Up Eyeballs has video of a complete R.E.M. live show from Atlanta circa 1981 available to stream.

Video: R.E.M. – “That Someone Is You”

DIY chats with Sharon Van Etten about her exceptionally good year.

Under The Radar has an interview with Oliver Ackerman of A Place To Bury Strangers.

Nashville Scene and The Arizona Daily Wildcat talk to John Darnielle and Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats, respectively.

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

"Kill The Turkey"

The National watches TV. They’re just like us!

Photo via FoxFoxSunday night’s television lineup got a healthy injection of The National this week, both directly and indirectly. In the Thanksgiving episode of Bob’s Burgers, viewers were treated to a holiday-themed song by Linda in abbreviated form and in full over the closing credits, and shortly thereafter The Vulture surfaced with a version of the song rendered in Matt Berninger’s distinctive baritone over appropriately tasteful backing. They had to take it down, unfortunately, but this is the internet – nothing ever dies.

Boardwalk Empire viewers didn’t have to do nearly as much legwork to hear the band’s contribution to this week’s episode – they just had to sit through the credits. As has been the custom for the Steve Buscemi vehicle, the band – assisted by Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks – covered a period-correct song to play while the best boys and gaffers got their due; this one was a 1924 song originally recorded by Isham Jones and The Ray Miller Orchestra. I didn’t know that – full credit goes to Fuck Yeah The National for pulling the background together on that one.

Stream: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”
Stream: The National – “Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving Song”

Freelance Whales, who just released their second album in Diluvia, and Hundred Waters, whose self-titled debut came out in September, will be at The Mod Club on January 17, tickets $16. Spinner and The Daily Tar Heel have Freelance Whales features.

Video: Freelance Whales – “Spitting Image”
Video: Hundred Waters – “Thistle”

Christopher Owens – aka the guy from Girls who was basically the entirety of Girls and who recently left Girls – will be at The Mod Club on January 18 as part of a North American tour in support of his solo debut Lysandre, out January 14.

Stream: Christopher Owens – “Lysandre’s Theme / Here We Go”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Titus Andronicus, and The Chicago Tribune, Denver Westword, and 77 Square have features. They’re at Lee’s Palace next Tuesday, November 27.

A new track from Memory Tapes’ forthcoming Grace/Confusion is now available to stream, as is a mish-mash of b-sides, unreleased material, and whatnot in mixtape form. The album is out December 4.

Stream: Memory Tapes – “Neighbourhood Watch”
Stream: Memory Tapes – “Displaced Mix”

Spinner talks to Paul Banks about Interpol turning ten. The decade-anniversary edition of Turn On The Bright Lights is out December 4 and one of the bonus tracks is now available to download. Las Vegas Weekly and Denver Post also talk to Paul Banks about his solo thing.

MP3: Interpol – “Roland” (first demo)

Yo La Tengo have released a video from their next record Fade, due out January 15. They play The Phoenix on February 9.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “Before We Run”

NPR welcomes Father John Misty to the World Cafe; MTV Hive also has an interview. He’s at The Danforth Music Hall supporting The Walkmen on January 16.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a Widowspeak show from earlier this month. There’s some new Almanac material to hear before the album is released on January 22.

Rolling Stone talks to Jim James about his forthcoming solo debut, Regions of Light and Sound of God. It’s out February 5.

Beach House have released a new video from Bloom.

Video: Beach House – “Wild”

R.E.M. may be gone, but they’re still able to remind you they’ve got some Hollywood-type friends, such as with this video for the final song from their final album, Collapse Into Now, directed by James Franco and starring Lindsay Lohan.

Video: R.E.M. – “Blue”

American Songwriter talks to Britt Daniel of Divine Fits.

The Fly and MusicOmh have interviews with Sharon Van Etten.

Stereogum talks to Steve Drozd of The Flaming Lips about how work is coming on their new album, at last check entitled The Terror and earmarked for release this Fall though that’s probably not happening. They could have asked Wayne Coyne, but he was otherwise occupied being detained by the TSA.

Happy Thanksgiving, America. Happy Thursday, rest of the world.

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

"I Walked With A Zombie"

R.E.M. cover Roky Erickson

Image via AmazonAmazonI was going to make this the first Sunday in almost a decade I didn’t post a cover, but then I remembered that this selection from Where The Pyramid Meets Eye – the 1990 tribute album to Roky Erickson – existed and even though I used it three years ago, I don’t care. Hallowe’en-themed songs are tougher to find than you might think.

And in those three years, a lot has changed. R.E.M., who at that time were coming off their celebrated return to rock form Accelerate and prepping their Live At The Olympia. Now, they no longer exist having retired after one final album together in last year’s Collapse Into Now. Now, Peter Buck has just released his deliberately low-key debut self-titled solo record and Michael Stipe is judging an art exhibition of animated .gifs. Because… yeah.

Erickson, for his part, has continued to re-establish the psych-rock legacy he started with the 13th Floor Elevators, releasing the Okkervil River collaboration True Love Cast Out All Evil in 2010 and touring semi-regularly. In fact, he was coming to town the week I posted this last time, and is going to be at Lee’s Palace again this coming Saturday, November 3. How about that?

MP3: R.E.M. – “I Walked With A Zombie”
Stream: Roky Erickson – “I Walked With A Zombie”