Posts Tagged ‘Rae Spoon’

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Half Light II

2011 Polaris Music Prize long list is long

Photo By Anton CorbijnAnton CorbijnIt only took about six minutes via Twitter to announce the forty albums long-listed for the sixth edition of the Polaris Music Prize, we’ll have the next three weeks to argue over their relative merits and come July 6, when the ten record-strong short list is announced, another couple months to hash those out before the September 19 gala in Toronto when a yet-to-be-determined grand jury declares their pick for the best Canadian album of the past year. And there’s more at stake this year than in the past, literally-speaking – the grand prize purse has been increased from $20000 to $30000 and for the first time, the other short listed artists will go home with more than a poster and an understanding of how Shad feels; they’ll all take home $2000 prizes.

I’ve no doubt that much of the aforementioned debate will center around a certain record from a certain Montreal outfit that’s cleaned up at major awards worldwide. It almost seems like a foregone conclusion that they’ll do the same here, but if there’s one thing that past Polaris winners have shown, it’s that the jury likes the underdog and the more successful you are, the less likely you are to add this particular statuette to your mantle. If there was a statuette, that is. Having served my grand juror duty back in 2008, I’m happy that I won’t have to be part of the decision-making process on this one, but I would love to be a fly on the wall of the creepy jury room in the Masonic Temple that Monday evening in September, you bet your sweet bippy.

As for my part in this process, it’s just about done – four of my five picks made the long list, which means that I have to revisit my ballot and pick a longlisted record to replace the one that failed to garner quite enough journo love country-wide. And without going back over past ballot posts to see if this is redundant or not, I’ll quickly outline my personal criteria for my picks. Beyond the obvious, “do I like it a lot?”, I ask myself if the record is or feels “important”, whether for music, Canadian music or just the artist’s own narrative. If that sounds nebulous, that’s because it is. I know some people agonize over these sorts of lists, but honestly I find them pretty simple – I don’t pick the records I think are worthy, they tell me if they are. And so, without further ado, here was my Polaris long list ballot for 2011 with some explanations.

1. Arcade Fire / The Suburbs
Even though this wasn’t even amongst my favourite albums of 2010, taking into the Polaris mandate of rewarding the album with the greatest artistic merit I accepted that this had to be at the top of my list. It’s an album with thematic and musical ambitions that you simply don’t see much of or often enough. And while its reach does exceed its grasp at a few points, said grasp is still higher than most would even consider aspiring to, and the end result strikes a universal chord you can’t deny.
Video: Arcade Fire – “We Used To Wait”

2. Destroyer / Kaputt
Destroyer has always made excellent records, so that the most un-Destroyer record yet would also be maybe the best one is something not many saw coming. But by going lounge and trading (some) guitars for smooth synths and saxes, Dan Bejar has created an immersive sonic world that’s sleek, sad and sexy.
MP3: Destroyer – “Chinatown”

3. Miracle Fortress / Was I The Wave?
By the time I heard this record in early March, the Polaris-judging part of my brain was just about full and most of my ballot complete – or so I thought. Graham Van Pelt’s retro-futuristic sophomore effort refused release my attention though, holding it like some irresistibly shiny object dancing hypnotically in front of my eyes/ears. Which it essentially is.
MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Raw Spectacle”

4. Olenka & The Autumn Lovers / And Now We Sing
About as small and local a release as you’re likely to find discussed in Polaris circles, I didn’t really expect this one to make the long list, but certainly not because it’s not as good or better than the albums that did. Time has proven that my last-minute, gut-instinct inclusion of Sing on my 2010 year-end list was justified; it’s a special record, more people simply need to hear it.
MP3: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – “Odessa”

5. Sloan / The Double Cross
If the Polaris was awarded to the the best first three songs on a record, then everyone else could just go home – Sloan would take it in a cake walk. The pop veterans celebrated their twentieth anniversary by making their strongest record in a decade and reminding anyone who’s taken them for granted – which is to say everyone – just how good they could be.
MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”

I have a little while to rejig my ballot to replace the Olenka record with something else off the long list. I have a few options I’m weighing. Maybe I’ll fill you in when a decision is made. Maybe.

Spin has got a 30-minute Arcade Fire video feature from MuchMusic’s The Wedge, wherein the band are interviewed by Damian Abraham, frontman for 2009 Polaris champs Fucked Up. Fucked Up are also featured in Blare, Spin, NOW and Spinner. Their two NXNE appearances now done, their next local show will be on August 9 at the Air Canada Centre opening up for Foo Fighters.

While on the topic of former Polaris recipients, since they’ll be in town to hand over the title of “reigning Polaris Music Prize winner” on the 19th of September, Karkwa have scheduled a Canadian tour that includes show at Lee’s Palace for September 17, tickets $12.

MP3: Karkwa – “Dors Dans Mon Sang”

Though they’ve got two NXNE showcases this week – tonight at The Garrison, tomorrow at The Great Hall, long-listers Braids have scheduled another as part of a Fall tour – they’ll be at The Horseshoe on October 14. Spinner has an interview.

MP3: Braids – “Lemonade”

The Quietus and Sydney Morning Herald interview Dan Bejar of Destroyer.

NOW talks NXNE with PS I Love You, whose debut Meet Me At The Muster Station made the long list cut.

All three acts playing the free show at Yonge-Dundas Square tonight made the 2011 long list; The National Post talks to Stars, Spinner and The National Post chat with Land Of Talk’s Liz Powell and The Grid profiles John O’Reagan of Diamond Rings. The Diamond Rings remix rainbow project has also just released a reimagining of a NOW Handsome Furs tune. Stars have a new video.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “What About Us” (Diamond Rings remix)
Video: Stars – “We Don’t Want Your Body”

The Grid has an interview with the aforementioned NOW Handsome Furs, who are at The Garrison on Saturday night and The Horseshoe on August 1.

All three acts who played The Music Gallery last night also got some NXNE media attention; NOW profiled Snowblink, Blare got Evening Hymns’ Jonas Bonetta to give Tom Petty’s Wildflowers some love and The National Post and Post-City talked to Forest City Lovers’ Kat Burns.

Spinner talks to No Joy.

Spinner and NOW have interviews with Chad VanGaalen, who is playing The Great Hall on Saturday night.

Friday nights at Yonge-Dundas Square have been declared as “Indie Friday” and will host a weekly series of free shows to earn the title; particularly notable are shows from The Sadies on July 22 and the double-bill of Zeus and Jason Collett on September 9. All shows are free free free.

MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”
MP3: Jason Collett – “Bitter Beauty”
MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”

On July 28, The Tranzac will host the pretty terrific double-bill of Gentleman Reg and Rae Spoon; tickets for the show just $10.

MP3: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “Death By Elektro”

And just in time for Summer/Polaris/NXNE/whatever June 17 means to you, The Line Of Best Fit have released their seventeenth (!!!) Oh! Canada downloadable mix.

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Honeymoon Punch

Jenn Grant, Rae Spoon and Olenka & The Autumn Lovers at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangYou would think that my appreciation of a triple-bill of artists familiar and favoured would be of the “comfort food” variety more than anything else, but Saturday night’s lineup at the Horseshoe featuring Jenn Grant, Rae Spoon and Olenka & The Autumn Lovers offered up more than its share of pleasant surprises.

By rights, Olenka’s superb second album And Now We Sing should have gotten a proper writeup hereabouts by now, but having stuck it on my 2010 year-end list without having uttered a word about it beforehand, it felt like that was the more compelling endorsement. I’ll expand a bit now, though, and say that with this record, the London, Ontario outfit has gone from a Balkan-inflected orchestral folk collective to an astonishingly ambitious and versatile band – the core of their sound remains, but their songs are richer, more melodic and dynamic and able to include heretofore foreign elements like a big rock guitar solo or countrified steel twang and make it feel like the most natural thing in the world. Each song on Sing is its own distinct and fully-realized work but fit perfectly alongside each other, strung together on Olenka Krakus’ rich and rangy voice, to make a whole even greater than the sum of its impressive parts. And this, very briefly, is why And Now We Sing was one of my favourite listens to come out of 2010.

Which brings us back to Saturday night; whereas she played her last show at The Horseshoe last November solo, this time Krakus brought along the Autumn Lover ladies string section – Sara Froese on violin, Kelly Wallraff on cello and both on vocals – and a non-lady (read: guy) on upright bass. Yes indeed, there were a lot of f-holes on stage and accordingly, the song selection leaned towards their more old world eastern European roots both in sound and lyrical theme. Now Krakus is a strong solo performer, but it can’t be overstated how much the strings and more crucially, Froese and Wallraff’s harmonies brought to their sound, nor the fact that even though the band configuration meant that most of my favourite songs from Sing were left out of the set, it was still a wholly satisfying performance. Think about that.

Seeing as how Rae Spoon performs solo, it’s more difficult for him to mix things up but even so, it wasn’t the same show as I saw when he play The Rivoli in November 2009. For starters, that show was in support of his mostly-folky and wholly-beautiful Superioryouareinferior and since then, he’s put out the decidedly more electro-dance Love Is A Hunter and picked up an electric guitar. But even plugged in and backed by a laptop, Spoon couldn’t hide his countrified roots and even made the relative failure to completely reinvent himself as a disco maven a recurring joke throughout the set, amongst many other jokes – he had some top-notch comedic material at the ready. That, and a voice of heart-breaking clarity and a brace of great songs were really all he needed for a successful set.

I had been more than a few years since I saw Halifax’s Jenn Grant, celebrating the release of her third album Honeymoon Punch, in a live setting so it’s entirely possible that she’s grown from fronting a basic four-piece band to leading a six-piece keyboard-loaded musical army… but I am guessing not. Nevertheless, she and her bandmates clearly came set to do full justice to the bouncy, synth-heavy pop of her latest effort – a sound which to these ears, at least, suits her the best of the singer-songwriter/adult-contemporary/folk-jazz styles that she’s touched on over the years. The sophisticated flourishes in her singing and songwriting couldn’t be suppressed if you tried, so having them accent big, hooky tunes that match her own natural effervescence sounds like a no-brainer and make for a pretty terrific record.

The show was front-ended with a mix of older and newer material, keeping the dynamic at a fairly steady keel and if anyone in the packed house had not yet heard the new record, it probably would have felt perfectly familiar for the first while. But a solo turn on Punch‘s gentlest moment, the Sarah Harmer-ish “Paradise Mountain”, marked the start of what was basically a recital of the new record; all of it ended up getting aired and that was absolutely fine with me and, it seemed, the rest of the packed house. Care was taken to reproduce as many of the album’s tones and textures as possible – hence the five-part synth orchestra on “Walk Away” and the marching band tom which Grant took great delight in banging around stage for the outro of main set closer “Stars To Waves”. For the encore, there was a cover of Ron Sexsmith’s “Dragonfly On Bay St” and finally her first single “Dreamer”, before calling it a night and capping a performance that affirmed that if Honeymoon Punch makes Jenn Grant a star – as it rightly should – she’s more than ready to take the call.

The Autumn ringers, which is to say local Torontonian musicians, will sit in with Olenka when she opens up for Mark Berube at The Garrison on March 3 and the full and proper Autumn Lovers will be on hand for their Canadian Musicfest showcases, Friday March 11 at 4PM at a venue to be announced and then 8PM that same night at The Drake Underground. The Vancouver Sun, Northern Life and The Georgia Straight have interviews with Rae Spoon. The Waterloo Record and NOW have features on Jenn Grant.

Photos: Jenn Grant, Rae Spoon, Olenka & The Autumn Lovers @ The Horseshoe – February 19, 2011
MP3: Jenn Grant – “Dreamer”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “Death By Elektro”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “You Can Dance”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “Come On Forest Fire” (CPI Remix)
MP3: Rae Spoon – “There Is A Light”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “Come On Forest Fire Burn The Disco Down”
MP3: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – “Odessa”
Video: Jenn Grant – “Getcha Good”
Video: Jenn Grant – “You’ll Go Far”
Video: Jenn Grant – “Heartbreaker”
Video: Jenn Grant – “Dreamer”
Video: Rae Spoon – “There is a Light (But It’s Not For Everyone)”
Video: Rae Spoon – “Joan”
Video: Rae Spoon – “Love Is A Hunter”

PS I Love You have released a new MP3 that features a little vocal help from compadre Diamond Rings. PS I Love You is at The Garrison on April 7.

MP3: PS I Love You – “Leftovers” (featuring Diamond Rings)

I don’t recall having seen either of these videos by The Besnard Lakes from The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night – maybe you haven’t either.

Video: The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross”
Video: The Besnard Lakes – “And This Is What We Call Progress”

China Shop talks to Stephen Ramsay of Young Galaxy, who are at Lee’s Palace on March 10 and have made a new remix EP available to download for free.

ZIP: Young Galaxy / Cover Your Tracks

The National Post and JAM caught up with members of Arcade Fire in the immediate wake of last week’s big Grammy win, while New York Magazine addresses the whole “never heard of them” reaction that also occurred in the wake of the big Grammy win. The National Post also has an interview with the band about their collaborative short film with Spike Jonze.

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Getcha Good

Jenn Grant plans splendid Honeymoon

Photo via jenngrant.comjenngrant.comJust to be clear – Haligonian songstress Jenn Grant’s upcoming Toronto show would have been pretty much a must-see regardless. Her latest album Honeymoon Punch is just about the record I’ve been hoping she’d make since she arrived with her debut Orchestra For The Moon in 2007. It sheds some of the overly tasteful production choices that held it and 2009’s Echoes back and gets both breezy and scrappy, pushing the electric guitars up, and introducing synths and nimble rhythms to accompany Grant’s splendid voice and accentuate its playful qualities.

In short, it’s a treat and the opportunity to hear these songs live would have made for a great evening unto itself, but Grant’s gone off and stacked the bill meaning that if you’re anywhere but the Horseshoe Tavern from doors to last call on February 19, it can only be because you are crazy. Opening up the evening will be Calgary’s Rae Spoon, whose 2010 hybrid electro-folk effort Love Is A Hunter surprised and impressed and then you’ll have London’s Olenka & The Autumn Lovers, whose second full-length And Now We Sing may have been an 11th hour add to my year-end list but has more than proven that it belongs in the weeks since. Folks, this will be a superb show and there’s not much else to say besides that tickets are $15 in advance and you should get one.

The Chronicle Herald and Chart have interviews with Jenn Grant while Here chats with Rae Spoon.

MP3: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – “Odessa”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “Death By Elektro”
Video: Jenn Grant – “Getcha Good”

Earlier that day – 5:30PM to be exact – you can see another Canadian buzz band in Braids as they play an in-store at Sonic Boom in advance of their show at the El Mocambo later that evening in support of Baths. They do pretty much nothing for me but their just-released debut Native Speaker is garnering all kinds of praise so I’m betting people will be interested in seeing them for free (well, for the price of a canned good donation). There’s interviews with the band at Culture Bully and Midnight Poutine, and they just released a new video.

MP3: Braids – “Plath Heart”
Video: Braids – “Plath Heart”

It’s a combination of words that I just can’t reconcile – “The Lowest Of The Low” and “Massey Hall” – and yet those two very things will come together when the Low, whose 2007 dissolution clearly hasn’t taken, play the fanciest stage the city has to offer. Tickets are $29.50 and $49.50 plus fees. The Low. Massey Hall. Crazy-pants.

MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “Bleed A Little While Tonight”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “Subversives”

Basia Bulat performs a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.

QRO talks to Greg Alsop of Tokyo Police Club. They play Edgefest 2011 at Downsview Park on July 9.

The Sadies have released a new video from Darker Circles, made with a little help from The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.

Video: The Sadies – “Another Day Again”

Also with a new video are Born Ruffians, who’ve just announced a cross-Canada tour that at present doesn’t include a Toronto date. But there’ll be one. They live here for goodness’ sake. They have to come back eventually.

Video: Born Ruffians – “The Ballad Of Moose Bruce”

Gentleman Reg checks in with NOW from the road and discusses how writing is going for his next album.

NPR, The AV Club, Exclaim, American Songwriter and The Vancouver Sun all have interviews with Dan Bejar of Destroyer about his new record Kaputt. He plays Lee’s Palace on March 31.

The Line Of Best Fit has got another “Oh! Canada” compilation of Can-con goodies available to download. That’s fourteen, if you’re counting.

Friday, December 3rd, 2010


Review of Now, Now’s Neighbors

Photo via Big HassleBig HassleLast year, I wrote up a duo out of Minnesota called Now, Now Every Children who impressed with their debut album Cars, a no-frills chunk of indie rock made special by Cacie Dalager’s winsome vocals, simultaneously sweet and sullen. I had been looking forward to experiencing that specialness live in August of ’09, when they were slated to play the El Mocambo, but that show was cancelled when their van broke down for not the first time on that tour and given that apparently not many tickets had been sold, it wasn’t rescheduled.

But even without conquering Canada, they rode Cars to some pretty impressive success, touring the US and Europe before enjoying some well-deserved burnout and disappearing from view. And in that time off, they retooled, ditched half of their name and gained a member (or three, depending on what promo photos you look at) and have now re-emerged as Now, Now. Though less grammatically awkward, it’s still far from great as names go but complaints like that are quickly forgotten thanks to the first release it’s attached to, the forthcoming Neighbors EP. And while I don’t know that the differences between it and Cars necessarily required an identity change, they’ve experienced a pretty remarkable artistic growth spurt in the past year.

Dalager’s voice is still as beguiling an instrument as ever, but the growth in their songwriting and musicianship is what really stands out – the arrangements are more sophisticated and dynamic, yet leaner. It’s as though they’ve figured out how to do much more with less, and while the EP only really numbers four proper songs – two are acoustic versions and one an instrumental introduction – and clocks in at barely 20 minutes, it feels rangier and more satisfying than many bands’ can muster in twice the length. It might be just a teaser for a full-length that won’t be out for a while yet (it’s not being recorded until the new year), but it’s a strong reminder that Now, Now, or whatever they’re calling themselves a few months from now, are an outfit worth hearing.

Spin has a chat with the band and Filter is streaming the whole of Neighbors, which is out next Tuesday, December 7.

MP3: Now, Now – “Neighbors”
MP3: Now, Now – “Roommates”
Stream: Now, Now / Neighbors

The Fly has an acoustic video session with Warpaint.

Lucinda Williams will release a new album in Blessed on March 1, just in time for her dates at Massey Hall on March 4 and 5 opening up for Levon Helm. Paste has details.

Bandstand Busking hearkens back to warmer days (read: the Summer) with this session featuring Forest City Lovers.

Rae Spoon returns to Toronto sor a show at the Gladstone on December 12.

MP3: Rae Spoon – “Death By Elektro”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “You Can Dance”

Exclaim is streaming four of the songs to be found on the CD component of Feist’s forthcoming Look At What The Light Did Now doc, out on Tuesday.

JAM and talk to The Lowest Of The Low, celebrating the 20th anniversary reissue of Shakespeare… My Butt with two sold-out shows at Lee’s Palace tonight and tomorrow and an in-store at Sonic Boom on Saturday afternoon at 3PM.

Drowned In Sound has unearthed the transcript of an interview with Efrim Manuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, just in time for their return to active duty via All Tomorrow’s Parties. They’ve got four sold-out shows set for Lee’s Palace next April.

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Halifax Pop Explosion 2010 Day Three

Basia Bulat with Symphony Nova Scotia at Halifax Pop Explosion

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe “see something new” mandate largely fell apart on the third night of Halifax Pop Explosion, but with good reason; when you get the opportunity to see Basia Bulat perform with a symphony, you take it. Bulat was the third artist to be brought together with Symphony Nova Scotia as part of the Pop Explosion, Ron Sexsmith and Owen Pallett had done so in past years, and it was Pallett who crafted the orchestral arrangements of Bulat’s songs for this performance which took place in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on the Dalhousie campus.

The evening was structured more like a symphony concert than a pop one, split into two halves and opening with the symphony performing a piece by Toronto composer Jordan Pal before being joined by Bulat and bandmates Holly Coish on vocals and taropatch and Bobby Bulat on drums. Bulat’s songs have often been called orchestral-pop and often come out of the box lovingly adorned with strings, brass and woodwinds, but the strength of her work comes from the emotional directness of their simple folk hearts. So to hear them with their sonic dressings increased tenfold (or so) was fascinating to witness. Pallett’s treatments took those supporting elements and gave them a new level of animation, sometimes taking hues that were muted and enhancing them to technocolour levels or simply adding all-new shapes and colours and in doing so, inverting the tone of the song completely. The symphony emphasized the shadows lurking on “Heart Of My Own” and practically inverted the usually-joyous “I Was A Daughter” into an elegiac sort of farewell.

For me, the real test would be “The Shore”, which was pretty much perfect in its austere presentation on Heart Of My Own and was even more stunning in its live solo arrangement. The rearranged version pretty much came out of it a draw, with the timpani and percussion giving it a stirring, tidal rumble but the trilling woodwinds distracting from the song’s emotional heft. And that would largely sum up how the collaborative pieces went – a lot of embellishment and some distraction. When they played together, it could feel trepidatious, particularly rhythmically, as though songs that were used to flitting freely in light Summer dresses were now having to move with heavy, fancy formal wear on. But even so, in the end the pieces were always made winners not by the massive orchestra or Pallett’s contributions, but by Bulat and her songs.

In addition to the eight orchestral pieces, Bulat played a number of selections either with Coish and her brother or solo, and those performances – aided by the theatre’s stunning acoustics – were just as much highlights of the night as those with the symphony. In particular, one of two new songs – “It Can’t Be You” – featured a vocal performance from Bulat that was just jaw-dropping, and the encore-closing unamplified stomp-and-clap of “Death Come Creeping” on the fancy auditorium stage in front of the orchestra, was as wonderful as it was incongruous. More, actually.

I won’t say that the symphonic treatments improved Bulat’s songs – I think they’re “right” the way they were originally conceived and presented – but that wasn’t the intention in the first place. Rather, it was an artistic and musical experiment for everyone involved that yielded interesting and frequently beautiful results, and one that I still feel privileged to have gotten to see. Here’s hoping that more orchestral collaborations are in the cards for the future so that others can share that privilege and the works can evolve further as their own entities.

This ended up being the only thing I attended on the third night of HPX – partly because Rebecca Cohn was far enough from any other venue that it would have required a whole lot of effort to get anywhere else, partly because the idea of going to a little club after this show and getting blasted in the face with some punk rock wasn’t very palatable and partly because it was going to be more fun to just kick back and hang out with friends afterwards. I’d make up for it the next night.

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald also has a review of the show. She now opens up a series of cross-Canada shows for Josh Ritter, including tomorrow night at The Phoenix.

Photos: Basia Bulat with Symphony Nova Scotia @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium – October 22, 2010
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Go On”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Snakes & Ladders”
Video: Basia Bulat – “The Pilgriming Vine”
Video: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MySpace: Basia Bulat

Rae Spoon rolled out a couple more videos from Love Is A Hunter over the last while.

Video: Rae Spoon – “There is a Light (but it’s not for everyone)”
Video: Rae Spoon – “Joan”

Sufjan Stevens talks about some of the personal issues that informed and delayed The Age Of Adz with Exclaim.

The Vancouver Sun talks to Matt Ward of She & Him.

The Asheville Citizen-Times chats with Band Of Horses’ Bill Reynolds and Tyler Ramsey.

NPR interviews School Of Seven Bells.

The video for Johnny Flynn’s new single is out, featuring a live performance in a garden with Laura Marling covering her parts as she does on the studio version on Been Listening. Flynn will be at Lee’s Palace on November 14.

Video: Johnny Flynn with Laura Marling – “The Water”

A couple of interesting international bands are on the Nu Music Nite bill at The Horseshoe tomorrow night (October 26). From the UK there’s folk singer Alessi’s Ark and all the way from Australia, The Jezebels. Easier for you to give the samples a listen, than for me to try and describe a couple of acts I’m only a little familiar with, but the combination of both on one bill and it being free makes it hard for me to stay cooped up at home, as much as I’d like to.

MP3: The Jezebels – “Mace Spray”
MP3: Alessi’s Ark – “Hands In The Sink”

The Dumbing Of America and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer interview Sky Larkin, who are in town at the Horseshoe on Wednesday night.

Under The Radar talks to Rose Elinor Dougall.

Lykke Li has put out a new single – mainly digital but also as a 7″ for collectors – and you can download the a-side below and the b-side at her website. A new album should be out in the early part of next year.

MP3: Lykke Li – “Get Some”