Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Rachael Yamagata’

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

CONTEST – Rachael Yamagata @ The Mod Club – June 4, 2013

Photo By Laura CrostaLaura CrostaWho: Rachael Yamagata
What: American singer-songwriter who has been mining topics of heartbreak and, well, heartbreak for three albums and numerous EPs over the past decade.
Why: Having given her 2012 Heavyweight EP a physical release this year, she’s embarking on the “Dealbreaker Heart” tour to promote it.
When: Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Where: The Mod Club in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Mississippi neo-soul artist Sanders Bohlke supports
How: Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Rachael Yamagata” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, June 1.
What else: Ithaca.com has an interview with Yamagata.

MP3: Rachael Yamagata – “You Won’t Let Me”

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Mutual Core

It’s the return of Björk to Toronto, starring Björk. And maybe you. But definitely Björk.

Photo By Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinInez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinIt might seem like Björk doesn’t tour much anymore – after all, it’s been nearly five years since she was last here headlining V Fest 2007 in support of Volta, but that was actually her last album before 2011’s Biophilia. So besides the fact that she’s been working at a slower pace than when the ’90s triumvirate of Debut/Post/Homogenic made her one of the most unconventional pop stars of Alternative Nation, there’s also the demands of raising a family, and anyways – if you could live here just watching TED talks or in hotels on the road watching ESPN, where would you rather hang out?

In any case, Biophilia initially came with an ambitious slate of live shows, but the preference for more intimate, in-the-round, month-long residencies over conventional shows limited the cities that could host her to the likes of New York, Paris, and Manchester and even if there were intentions of adding more cities, the need for vocal polyp surgery last Fall would have probably ixnayed those. All of which is to say, yes Björk has been away for a while but she’s not forgotten us – as I speculated last month, she is indeed making a stop between already-announced engagements at Ottawa Bluesfest and Pitchfork Festival, and will be at Echo Beach on July 16 with whatever wild, weird, and wonderful show she’s put together for this North American jaunt.

Tickets for the show are $64.50 and $85.00 for VIP, but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got one pair of passes to the show to give away before the regular onsale happens this Thursday morning at 10AM. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Bjork” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, April 3. Yes, that’s tomorrow night. Winners will be informed before the general on-sale goes live.

MP3: Björk – “Verandi”
MP3: Björk – “It’s In Our Hands”
MP3: Björk – “Cosmogony”
Video: Björk – “Mutual Core” (in Times Square)

Titus Andronicus have announced a May 2 date at Lee’s Palace in support of last year’s Local Business. Yes they’ve already been through for that one and yes, they’ll probably be back yet again before all is said and done. And you know why? Because people keep going. Tickets for this show are $18.50 in advance.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Ecce Homo”

Australia’s Presets are coming back to town behind last year’s Pacifica with a date at The Danforth Music Hall on May 10, tickets $25 plus attendant fees.

Video: The Presets – “Promises”

A PSA that the Marina & The Diamonds/Charli XCX show originally scheduled for May 23 at the Sound Academy has been moved to Echo Beach, a development that will probably be welcomed by everyone unless it rains, in which case it will be cursed. Noisey talks to Charli XCX about her debut album True Romance, due out April 15, and Consequence Of Sound has a stream of one of the new songs off of it.

Video: Marina & The Diamonds – “How To Be A Heartbreaker”
Stream: Charli XCX – “What I Like”

British rockers The Boxer Rebellion have announced a North American tour in support of their new album Promises, out May 14, and will be at The Opera House in Toronto on May 24, tickets $18.50. They talked to Billboard about what to expect from the new album.

MP3: The Boxer Rebellion – “No Harm”
Video: The Boxer Rebellion – “Diamonds”

With their new album Ultramarine ready for an April 16 release, Young Galaxy have made a May 31 date at Lee’s Palace to celebrate its release, tickets $15. The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with the band.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

Marking the physical release of last Fall’s Heavyweight EP, Rachael Yamagata will be in town at The Mod Club on June 4 as part of her Dealbreaker Tour, tickets $16.50 in advance.

Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Even If I Don’t”

Perhaps realizing that the royalties from the Veronica Mars movie won’t start rolling in for a while, The Dandy Warhols have announced a lace anniversary tour for the only record of theirs anyone ever really cared about and will play Thirteen Tales Of Urban Bohemia in its entirety at The Phoenix on June 5, tickets $32.50.

Video: The Dandy Warhols – “Bohemian Like You”

Rancid will headline the Avenues and Alleways Fest at Echo Beach on June 12, featuring all manner of Rancid-approved punk bands. Tickets for that are $35 in advance.

Video: Rancid – “Ruby Soho”

British soul-funk saviours The Heavy have made a return engagement in support of last year’s The Glorious Dead; they’ll be at The Phoenix on June 19, tickets $17.50.

Video: The Heavy – “What Makes A Good Man”

Barely making himself scarce after being pretty much everywhere during Canadian Musicfest, Mac DeMarco will be at The Hoxton on June 30, tickets $14.

MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Freaking Out The Neighbourhood”

A second official batch of NXNE acts was announced last week, with notable names including punk vets Social Distortion, who will be headlining the free Yonge-Dundas Square show on the Thursday night, confirmation of Big Boi doing the same on the Sunday, Coeur de Pirate making her first appearance post-motherhood, and Fucked Up doing their thing at The Horseshoe on the Saturday night. Also likely to be a hot ticket is Montreal’s Majical Cloudz, recently signed to Matador for the May 21 release of Impersonator. In addition to the NXNE appearance, he/they’ll be at The Great Hall on May 13 supporting Youth Lagoon. And if you’re interested in all the artists officially announced for NXNE thus far, hit the artists page.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”
MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Turns Turns Turns”

Some more additions to Toronto Urban Roots Fest of a decidedly domestic nature; joining a host of others at Garrison Common from July 4 to 7 will be Toronto twang-duo Whitehorse and ascendant Vancouver singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas. The former is playing on the Sunday, July 7, the latter on the Saturday, July 6.

Video: Whitehorse – “Achilles’ Desire”
Video: Hannah Georgas – “Somebody”

Noel Gallagher-approved, One Direction-baiting, Olympic-soundtracking, chart-topping English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg will make his Toronto debut at The Mod Club on August 3, tickets $15.

Video: Jake Bugg – “Lightning Bolt”

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Osheaga 2012 Day One

Florence & The Machine, Sigur Rós, The Weeknd, and more at Osheaga

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI had decided a little while ago that I was done with big, outdoor music festivals. My last go-around was Pitchfork 2010 – not even what could be considered a “big” festival in the grand scheme of things – and even then, I was really feeling the “I am too old for this”-ness of the experience. But two years is a long time, or at least long enough to forget those aches and pains, and so when the opportunity arose at the last minute to hit Montrél’s Osheaga – Canada’ biggest and last multi-day, all-day outdoor music fest – I said, “why not”. After all, I’ve done fests all over the US and even in Europe – to not have been to the one closest to home (aside from the late Toronto V’s) seemed silly, and this year they’d assembled a pretty impressive lineup by drafting off of Lollapalooza. And so I went.

When I first saw Londoner Charli XCX back at SXSW, the buzz around here was very much in the embryonic stage – people were talking about her but with very little actual music released, it wasn’t entirely clear why they were talking about her. Her short, low-key, afternoon set in the front room of Red Eyed Fly didn’t do much to clarify that either though to be fair, it clearly wasn’t her ideal setting. Which isn’t to say that opening up a festival under the blazing sun and smothering humidity was her element, but it was certainly closer. With a drummer, keyboardist, and no shortage of backing tracks behind her, she led things off with an energized set of clubby electro-pop that went over well with the smattering of early birds gathering in front of the Parc Jean-Drapeau mainstage. Sometimes said backing tracks were more audible than the live instrumentation, but the balance of things eventually settled down and that Charli XCX had a strong voice, capable of conveying both playfulness and drama, was evident – she was no ingenue up there, and though her sound is very much for the kids, her respectable cover of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon” went some way to endearing her to the oldsters in the audience.

Digital Spy and Paper have interviews with Charli XCX.

Photos: Charli XCX @ Scène de la montagne – August 3, 2012
MP3: Charli XCX – “I’ll Never Know”
MP3: Charli XCX – “Valentine”
MP3: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”
Video: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”
Video: Charli XCX – “You’re The One”

Typically, bands playing festivals have to agree to a radius clause that prevents them from playing any other local shows for a certain amount of time. Australia’s Jezabels, on the other hand, were playing their second Montrél show in less than 24 hours having played a club show the night before for MMOI, an event running parallel/in conjunction with Osheaga tasked with putting a spotlight on specific acts from around the world. But if they were feeling the effects of the hectic schedule, it didn’t show. Already rising stars down under, they’ve been working hard at making a similar dent in North America on the back of their debut album Prisoner and though their set started over 10 minutes late due to soundchecking issues, they used the remaining time to showcase their stadium rock ambitions with frontwoman Hayley Mary’s soaring vocals and arm-waving choruses.

Zimbio has a feature interview with the band, and they’ve just announced a date at The Mod Club on October 24.

Photos: The Jezabels @ Scène des arbes – August 3, 2012
MP3: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”
MP3: The Jezabels – “Endless Summer”
MP3: The Jezabels – “Mace Spray”
Video: The Jezabels – “Rosebud”
Video: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”
Video: The Jezabels – “Endless Summer”
Video: The Jezabels – “Mace Spray”
Video: The Jezabels – “Easy To Love”
Video: The Jezabels – “Hurt Me”

Following up on the same stage were California’s Dum Dum Girls, who were also plagued with technical problems – the first big cheer of the day went not for their retro garage pop, but when they were finally able to get bassist Malia James’ mic working. Still on the road for last year’s Only In Dreams but also in advance of their new EP End Of Daze, out September 25, they put on an energetic set that wasn’t too different from the times I saw them last year at NXNE and at SXSW – right down to the sweltering heat making their make-up run – but their harmonies sounded more up front this time and, oh – both Dee Dee and Malia changed their hair colours, if that’s the sort of thing you’re keeping track of. Though the myriad technical issues persisted through their set – at times there were as many techs on stage as band members – they soldiered through for a solid set.

Photos: Dum Dum Girls @ Scène des arbes – August 3, 2012
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “He Gets Me High”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Bhang Bhang I’m A Burnout”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “D.A.L.”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Jail La La”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “He Gets Me High”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Bhang Bhang I’m A Burnout”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Jail La La”

It seems I only see Franz Ferdinand at festivals – the last time being Toronto’s final V Fest in 2009 – but that’s okay, as they’re a fantastic festival band. The timing was a bit odd as there’s been no official word on a follow-up to 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, though a release sometime this year has been promised for a while and new songs have been trickling out in live sets. In any case, it’s probably safe to say that no one cared that there wasn’t a new record out because they wanted to hear the old stuff, which Franz delivered with gusto. Opening with “Dark Of The Matinée” and powering through basically non-stop disco-rock anthems before closing with, “This Fire”, theirs was the first set that made the day feel like it was entering prime time. There was one new song, thrown in for good measure and sounding for lack of a better description very Franz. Also new was Alex Kapranos’ moustache which, even with his formidable swagger, I don’t think he pulled off. Can’t win ’em all, guys.

Photos: Franz Ferdinand @ Scène de la rivière – August 3, 2012
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Can’t Stop Feeling”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “No You Girls”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Ulysses”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Jeremy Fraser”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Wine In The Afternoon”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “L. Wells”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Fallen”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Walk Away”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Do You Want To”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “This Fire”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Michael”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “The Dark Of The Matinee”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Darts Of Pleasure”

Abel Tesfaye – the Toronto-based R&B singer known professionally as The Weeknd – spent most of 2011 shrouded in mystery, eschewing interviews and overt publicity and riding his trilogy of mixtapes – House Of Balloons/Thursday/Echoes Of Silence – to huge acclaim and a place on that year’s Polaris Prize shortlist. But seeing as how internet acclaim doesn’t put food on the table, it was only a matter of time before Tesfaye stepped out of the shadows and onto the stage. Specifically, big festival stages like at Osheaga. Fronting a five-piece band and facing a massive crowd of enthusiastic fans, Tesfaye certainly didn’t come across as someone who would shy away from attention. Though he wasn’t a showy performer, he was charismatic and in great voice. It was interesting to see how big a smile he wore considering how dark a perspective he frequently writes from, but I suppose it’s hard to be glum when you’ve got thousands of people – many of them young women – screaming for you. His set went overtime with a drawn-out, vocally acrobatic version of “Wicked Games” and was one of the many points in the weekend when the tag-team setup of the Osheaga mainstages made for an interesting contrast, with half the crowd swooning and the other half, waiting for Florence & The Machine’s set to begin, stewing.

Photos: The Weeknd @ Scène de la montagnes – August 3, 2012
MP3: The Weeknd – “Loft Music”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Life Of The Party”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Zone”
MP3: The Weeknd – “House Of Balloons – Glass Table Girls”
MP3: The Weeknd – “What Do You Need”
MP3: The Weeknd – “D.D.”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Fall”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Birds (Part 1)”
MP3: The Weeknd – “High For This”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Initiation”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Wicked Games”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Montreal”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Outside”
MP3: The Weeknd – “XO/The Host”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Same Old Song”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Morning”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Rolling Stone”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Birds (Part 2)”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Heaven Or Las Vegas”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Knowing”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Coming Down”
Video: The Weeknd – “The Knowing”

Florence & The Machine could only been delayed, however, not denied. I regard it as a statement of fact rather than boast that I was on board with Florence Welch way early on, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Her first releases painted her as a sort of crazy art-rock eccentric with prodigious vocal gifts but seemingly no inclination to use them conventionally or consistently – which may and well have been the plan at first, but at some point it became evident that big, roof-rattling anthems would be better use for her talents to say nothing of more marketable. Her debut Lungs somewhat split the difference between the two directions, albeit with the older material polished up so as to not embarrass their siblings, but her second album Ceremonials was all bombastic singles with little use for variety or restraint, and it’s hard to argue with the success of that direction – fully half the album has been released as singles and she’s a massive star worldwide, as her marquee billing at festivals like this testified.

Though not the Friday closer, Florence certainly drew the largest crowd of the day and taking the ornately-decorated stage in a billowing blue dress, she was certainly up for the occasion. Sweeping from one side of the stage to other so as to not neglect anyone, the dramatic flourishes and stage moves I commented on at her Toronto debut in November 2009 have only gotten bigger in the interim (I’ve missed all her local shows since) but she tempers the grandiosity of the presentation with appreciation and affection for her fans and playful moves like leaping up and down onstage, heels be damned. It’s possible that it’s all rehearsed and routine, but from my vantage point up front, her huge smile was genuine. It was nice. And it may seem odd to say, but losing her voice as she did a couple weeks ago may have been good for Welch – a complaint I’ve had about her live performance before was that her vocal power would come at the expense of pitch – read: she was flat a lot – but this time out, she was demonstrating more restraint in her delivery, perhaps intending to save her voice but reaping the benefits of being more controlled, more in key, and more dynamic as a result. Whatever it was, even though I don’t necessarily count myself a big fan anymore, I thoroughly enjoyed her set. Some artists are made for festivals.

The National Post, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, and The Globe & Mail have interviews with Welch.

Photos: Florence & The Machine @ Scène de la rivière – August 3, 2012
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Breaking Down”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Spectrum (Say My Name)”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Breath Of Life”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Never Let Me Go”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “No Light, No Light”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Shake It Out”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “What The Water Gave Me”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Heavy In Your Arms”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Cosmic Love”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “You’ve Got The Love”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Drumming Song”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Kiss With A Fist”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”

To paraphrase Winston Zeddemore, when someone asks you if you want to see Sigur Rós twice in 72 hours, you say YES. So a couple days after seeing their blissful set at Echo Beach in Toronto, I was lucky enough to see Iceland’s finest once again. And as great as their Osheaga set was, it really made me thankful that I saw that Toronto show as it was nearly twice as long and far better-paced to allow the beauty of what they do to come through. In a festival setting and limited to a set time of just an hour, they had to dispense with most of the slower, more ambient parts of their show in favour of a more compressed, impactful set list. I appreciated that it wasn’t necessarily their own audience they were playing in front of – I’m sure many didn’t even know who they were – but I did hope that for those unfamiliar, their set would be a gateway of sorts to something magical and otherworldly. Judging from the chants of, “Justice! Justice” that grew from the other half of the mainstage area as their set drew to a close, that probably wasn’t the case. Alas.

The National Post has an interview.

Photos: Sigur Rós @ Scène de la montagne – August 3, 2012
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Gobbledigook”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Hoppípolla”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Popplagio / The Pop Song”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Staralfur”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Svefn-G-Englar”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Nýja lagið”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Rembihnútur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Fjögur Píanó”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð” (version two)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð” (version one)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ég anda” (version two)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ég anda” (version one)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ekki Múkk”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Við Spilum Endalaust “
Video: Sigur Rós – “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Gobbledigook”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Sæglópur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Hoppípolla”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Glósóli”
Video: Sigur Rós – “(Vaka)”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Viðrar vel til loftárása”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Svefn-G-Englar”

And finally, there was Justice for all. At least all who were left. Though the ostensible headliners, the French disco-rock duo had a markedly smaller audience than Florence did but they were still legion and really, that just meant more room to dance. The pair set up atop/behind their signature wall of electronic consoles and wings of Marshall stacks – and giant glowing cross, yes – but from the angle up close it looked more ridiculous than impressive, with Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay looking like little more than severed heads sitting atop their setup. Certainly there was no way to see what they were actually doing up there, whether DJing records or playing Pac-Man, but no one seemed to care. They had a raging dance party to engage in, and rage they did. Justice provided an excellent soundtrack to ending a long, hot day of great music and also for walking to the subway.

The Montreal Gazette and NOW have interviews.

Photos: Justice @ Scène de la rivière – August 3, 2012
MP3: Justice – “On’N’On”
Video: Justice – “New Lands”
Video: Justice – “On’N’On”
Video: Justice – “Audio, Video, Disco”
Video: Justice – “Civilization”
Video: Justice – “Phantom Pt. II”
Video: Justice – “Stress”
Video: Justice – “DVNO”
Video: Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.”

And a few concert announcements that may be relevant to your interests. Just here in May, LA’s Grouplove are back in support of Never Trust A Happy Song for a show at The Phoenix on November 5, tickets $24 in advance.

Video: Grouplove – “Colours”

Aimee Mann has announced a Fall tour behind her new album Charmer, out September 18, and is bringing an expected tourmate with her – Ted Leo. I assume he’s leaving the Pharmacists at home for this outing and will be dialing down the punk a bit so as to not scare Mann’s audience, but it’s an interesting pairing. The Toronto show is November 6 at the Danforth Music Hall, tickets $27.50 and $32.50.

MP3: Aimee Mann – “Charmer”
MP3: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – “Bottled In Cork”

After expressing surprise that Yeasayer were big enough to play the Sound Academy, as they were meant to on August 21, it appears that they in fact aren’t. On either count. Their new album Fragrant World is still out that day, but they’ll not be in Toronto until November 9 and it will be at the markedly smaller Danforth Music Hall. Anyone who says they are upset about the change in venue is lying and should not be allowed near small children.

Rachael Yamagata has made a date at The Mod Club for December 1, tickets $15. Her latest album Chesapeake came out last Fall.

Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Even If I Don’t”

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Coco Beware

Caveman, Hospitality, and Volcano Playground at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s quite possible that people headed out to the Horseshoe on Wednesday night because both halves of the touring bill consisted of New York-based bands with a good head of steam and impressive record label behind them – Caveman, having just signed to Fat Possum and Hospitality preparing to release their debut record very shortly on Merge. Either or both could reasonably emerge as one of the year’s rookie success stories, and who wouldn’t want the bragging rights to say they saw them early on at a little club show? Or it could have been that this was one of the first tours of the young year and folks wanted to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to take in a little live music. In any case, there were a surprising number of folks were out to see a couple of mostly-unknown acts.

Locals Volcano Playground opened things up and some may recall that I’ve felt the space-rock outfit had potential based on a couple live shows. I was pleased to see that their rate of growth as a band between those two shows had continued on – though it had apparently cost them a guitarist at some point along the line – and the style-hopping that marked my earlier impressions had settled into a rhythmically strong and ominously atmospheric aesthetic. Unfortunately, refining their strengths put their weaknesses into starker contrast and their distracted, mumbled vocals and general lack of any kind of stage presence felt more frustrating than they’d been in the past – especially when they prove they can do better, evidenced by the set highlight wherein guitarist/bassist Jackie Game managed to channel Rachel Goswell in a decidedly Souvlaki-esque number. A full-length debut is due out this Spring; fingers are still crossed that it’s a good one.

I went on a bit about Hospitality back in December and as one of the perks of doing what I do, have been enjoying the sprightly, ’80s-echoing but freshly-brewed guitar pop of their self-titled debut for a while even though it’s not out until January 31; had they not been playing, I’d have probably stayed home and slept. What with Amber Papini’s sweetly quirky vocals being such a key facet of their sound, it was a little dismaying that they were buried for the first bit of their set but on the bright side, it did allow one to appreciate the intricacies of their musical arrangements and the twisty guitar interplay between Papini and Nathan Michel as well as bassist Brian Betancourt’s Clean t-shirt – talk about wearing one’s influences. In any case, the mix was sorted out within a few songs, Papini’s voice was again front and centre and balance was restored to the universe and the rest of their spirited set.

My first impressions of Caveman in a live setting was that the complaints I’d had about their debut Coco Beware had been alleviated thanks to the judicious application of volume – it’s hard to fault something for being overly floaty when it’s pounding your eardrums. But while their combination of heavy percussion and echo-driven blooms of guitar were impressive at first, it quickly became formulaic and didn’t do as good a job of distracting from the largely mid-tempo monotony of their material and overall shallowness of their sonic stylings. As with on the record, a few of the songs managed to stand out from their peers, but many of the subtle touches were overpowered by the loud and all told it wasn’t enough to keep me interested. It should be noted that my opinion seemed to be in the minority – the band clearly already had a fanbase hereabouts – but by the time their hour-long set was done, I was mostly just patting myself on the back for having enough self-restraint to not jump onstage and turn off the guitarist’s delay pedal, if only for a moment.

BlogTO was also on hand and has some thoughts.

Photos: Caveman, Hospitality, Volcano Playground @ The Horseshoe – January 11, 2012
MP3: Caveman – “Thankful”
MP3: Caveman – “Easy Water”
MP3: Caveman – “Old Friend”
MP3: Caveman – “Decide”
MP3: Caveman – “My Room”
MP3: Hospitality – “Betty Wang”
MP3: Hospitality – “Friends Of Friends”
MP3: Volcano Playground – “Waiting”
MP3: Volcano Playground – “Anywhere”
Video: Caveman – “Easy Water”

It’s in support of Adam Cohen, sure, but it’s worth noting that Rachael Yamagata will be in town on February 11 for a show at the Mod Club. Her new record Chesapeake came out last Fall and Spinner had an interview in December.

MP3: Rachael Yamagata – “Starlight”

Sleigh Bells may have pushed back the release of Reign Of Terror a week to February 21, but they’re still going ahead with the tour in support of it, and that now includes a February 18 date at The Phoenix, tickets $25 in advance.

MP3: Sleigh Bells – “Infinity Guitars”

YACHT have set course for a North American tour that brings them and last year’s Shangri-La to Wrongbar on February 23.

MP3: YACHT – “Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire)”

Another new song from Craig Finn’s solo debut Clear Heart Full Eyes is available to stream at Stereogum; the record is out January 24. He also talks food with eater.com.

Stream: Craig Finn – “New Friend Jesus”

A second song from School Of Seven Bells’ third record Ghoststory is available to hear ahead of the record’s February 28 release date.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Lafaye”

The first taste of The Magnetic Fields’ return to synthesizers – Love At The Bottom Of The Sea, out March 6 – is now available to stream. They’re at The Sound Academy on March 30.

Stream: The Magnetic Fields – “Andrew In Drag”

Black Cab Sessions takes Chairlift for a ride while Pitchfork sits them down for a chat. Their Something is out January 24 and they’re at The Horseshoe on March 28.

I-D has a video session with Sharon Van Etten. Her new record Tramp is in stores February 7 and she’s at Lee’s Palace on February 14.

Exclaim reports that The Kills will release a new EP led with Blood Pressures track “Last Goodbye” – for which they’ve just released a video – and b-sided with a trio of covers. The EP is out February 14 and the band is at The Kool Haus on February 7.

Video: The Kills – “Last Goodbye”

LCD Soundsystem hasn’t been in the past tense for very long now, but long enough for there to be a documentary film on the band that will be premiering at Sundance in a couple weeks. It’s called Shut Up And Play The Hits and there’s a trailer.

Trailer: Shut Up And Play The Hits

Friday, August 5th, 2011

What Did You Expect

This is not an Archers Of Loaf review

Photo By Jason SummersJason SummersThis isn’t a review of the double-disc edition of Icky Mettle, released earlier this week and the first of four Archers Of Loaf reissues to come over the next year and a bit – for that, hit up the excellent Pitchfork writeup. I’ve had Icky Mettle for years but it hasn’t become such a part of me that I can offer any sort of explanation as to why it’s such a great record – in fact, I’ve only really come to that realization recently. So go read Matt LeMay’s writeup.

This also isn’t a broader discussion of why Archers were such a great and important band, and why their reunion is so exciting, even for those who are super-jaded about reunions in general. For that, check out this The Village Voice piece that gets The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, Band Of Horses’ Ben Bridwell and members of Les Savy Fav to articulate their love for and influence of the band.

No, this is just me trying to clear out some links and make it to the weekend while listening to All The Nation’s Airports. So if you’re looking for some Archers content, check out the interviews with the band at The Village Voice and Washington Post and hope that the promises that Eric Bachmann made last month while here with Crooked Fingers to bring Archers through town sometime next March prove to be true.

MP3: Archers Of Loaf – “What Did You Expect”
Video: Archers Of Loaf – “Web In Front”

Also being reissued with bonuses is Superchunk’s 1994 album Foolish, out on September 13. Full details available at Exclaim.

Video: Superchunk – “Driveway To Driveway”

Pitchfork reveals that super-deluxe, super-limited remastered reissues of Olivia Tremor Control’s two albums – Dusk At Cubist Castle and Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One – are coming on November 15. That’s too late to grace the merch table on their upcoming Fall tour, including the September 16 show at Lee’s Palace, but considering there’s only going to be 1000 of each made, it’s doubtful they’d make it past the first few cities on the itinerary anyways.

Not a reissue, but Old 97s are revisiting their past by giving away MP3s of all the demos for their 1997 album Too Far To Care.

MP3: Old 97’s – “Daybed” (demo)
MP3: Old 97’s – “Timebomb” (demo)

The Chicago Daily Herald talks to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

The Awl has an interview with Amy Klein of Titus Andronicus.

My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan discusses the band’s approach to playing live with Billboard. The Indianapolis Star also chats with guitarist Carl Broemel.

Writers On Process and Blurt go under the creative hood with Richard Buckner. Both are two-parters though the back half of the Writers piece is still forthcoming.

Drowned In Sound talks to Ra Ra Riot bassist Mathieu Santos. They play Lee’s Palace on October 6.

Exclaim reports that Ryan Adams – who apparently ended his retirement last year and has already released like fifteen albums – will put out his first proper solo record in some time with Ashes & Fire, due out October 11.

Rachael Yamagata will release a new album in Chesapeake on October 11; grab the first MP3 below.

MP3: Rachael Yamagata – “Starlight”

Spin has premiered the video for EMA’s contribution to their Nirvana tribute album Newermind.

Video: EMA – “Endless Nameless”

Decemberists bassist Nate Query confirms the band’s upcoming hiatus to Billboard but assures them it’s just a break, nothing permanent. The Arizona Republic and Cincinnati Citybeat also get to query Query (oh come on).

Brooklyn rockers Obits have set an October 25 date at The Rivoli in support of their second record Moody Standard & Poor. Tickets are $13 in advance.

MP3: Obits – “Shift Operator”
MP3: Obits – “You Gotta Lose”

San Francisco’s Wooden Shjips will release their latest West on September 15 and follow up with a show at The Horseshoe on November 7.

MP3: Wooden Shjips – “Lazy Bones”

NOW has put Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon on their cover with accompanying interview, while NPR is streaming their show in DC from earlier this week. Bon Iver play The Sound Academy on Monday night, August 8.

NOW also checks in with Kathleen Edwards, whose next album will be produced by Vernon. And who’s also his girlfriend. Not that that matters.

The Toronto Star and NOW welcome The Doughboys back to active duty – they’ll play a free show at the Bovine Sex Club on Monday night as a warm-up to opening up for Foo Fighters at the Air Canada Centre the next night.

Emily Haines gives The Grid a status report on the next Metric record.

MTV gets Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew to respond to comments made by guitarist Andrew Whiteman about the band’s last video for “The Sweetest Kill”.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Dan Mangan, whose next record Oh Fortune is out September 27 and who plays The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 28.

The Thrill Is Back got Rural Alberta Advantage into the back of their van at Hillside a few weeks ago and videotaped him playing a couple songs, including one new one.

Metro chats with The Wilderness Of Manitoba.