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Posts Tagged ‘Raveonettes’

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Wonder 2

My Bloody Valentine at The Kool Haus in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangMy Bloody Valentine’s last visit to Toronto in September 2008 was a singular event on a few levels. Besides being their first visit in over a decade and a half, it was in-the-flesh proof that one of the most improbable returns to active duty in recent years was actually happening; considering that the seemingly simple task of reissuing Isn’t Anything and Loveless was already months overdue at the time and would actually take another three and half years to come out, only the most optimistic would have expected them to get their act together enough to pull off a North American tour. But they did, and it was glorious.

And so Tuesday night’s show – again at the Kool Haus – in support of their long-promised third album mbv came without some of that weight of expectation that surrounded their previous visit, but was still cause for excitement – these were still legends, after all… But even legends are still human. Unexpected for a band as epically amplified as they, both Kevin Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig started off with acoustic guitars and Belinda Butcher on keyboards for a reading of “Sometimes” that kept drifting out of synch with itself, the basic click track underpinning it not quite up to the job of keeping everyone in time. Shields would comment, “We really fucked that up” when it was over and he wasn’t wrong.

But a few more missteps aside – most notably “Thorn” getting two false starts before being abandoned midway through a third shot, Shields blaming a guitar “in the wrong key” – it was another immensely satisfying show. For being expectedly and incredibly loud, the mix was surprisingly clear with drums, keys, and most importantly vocals being sufficiently audible over the six-string din (a third guitarist beefed things up even further when not covering on keys). That they achieved this in a room that can be unforgiving to less proficient sound techs was remarkable, and it allowed the beauty of their softer moments – like mbv‘s “New You” – to come through and allowed the more violent numbers to do their work with surgical elegance rather than just as blunt instruments.

The set list drew fairly evenly from their three albums and b-sides, showcasing both their elegant and aggressive sides, with highlights including a deliciously bent “Only Shallow”, an impressive “Wonder 2” that again brought Ó Cíosóig from behind the kit to add a guitar while a drum track kept time, and the still-irresistibly dancey “Soon”, to say nothing of the endless parade of offset-body Fender guitars. The usually silent Shields was a bit chattier than normal, if just to explain and apologize for their technical hiccups, with Butcher adding a polite “thank you” before their closing salvo of “Feed Me With Your Kiss” and the scorched-earth “You Made Me Realize”, though rather than try to top the 23-minute ‘holocaust’ section from 2008, they capped it at a reasonable nine. There’s not many bands that you’d actually feel some disappointment that they didn’t apply the aural equivalent of a dental cleaning with a space shuttle booster rocket for the length of a network sitcom, but there’s not many bands like My Bloody Valentine. Or any.

The Toronto Star, National Post, NOW, and Exclaim also have reviews of the show. The attached photo is from the 2008 photoset; no photography was permitted this time around.

Video: My Bloody Valentine – “Only Shallow”
Video: My Bloody Valentine- “Soon”
Video: My Bloody Valentine – “To Here Knows When”
Video: My Bloody Valentine – “Swallow”
Video: My Bloody Valentine – “You Made Me Realise”
Video: My Bloody Valentine – “Feed Me With Your Kiss”
Stream: My Bloody Valentine / mbv

DIY, Consequence Of Sound, Paper, and FasterLouder talk to Cut Copy about their just-released new album, Free Your Mind. They’re in town November 15 at The Danforth Music Hall.

Blood Orange is streaming the whole of his new album Cupid Deluxe, which will be available digitally next week on November 12 before coming out in physical formats on November 19.

Stream: Blood Orange / Cupid Deluxe

Artist Direct, The Telegraph, and Yahoo talk to Shane Meadows about directing the Made Of Stone documentary on The Stone Roses. It gets a Toronto premiere at both The Bloor and Cineplex Yonge-Dundas on November 22, and continues screening at YDS from November 24 to 28.

Drowned In Sound talks to Cate Le Bon about her new record Mug Museum, out November 12. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21.

When it was announced that Until The Colours Run – the new record from Lanterns On The Lake – wasn’t getting a North American release until January 14 despite coming out in the UK in October, I hoped it meant that the record would get a much-deserved proper promotional push over here. And indeed, they’ve announced a North American tour for next year that brings them to the Drake Underground on February 1. Under The Radar has the full itinerary as well as a stream of a new song, but you can hear the whole thing via a link in my review of the record last month.

Stream: Lanterns On The Lake – “The Buffalo Days”

Johnny Flynn has released a new video from Country Mile as well as some North American tour dates in the first part of next year. Interestingly, there’s no Toronto date but there is a Montreal one on January 21 and several days off around it, so I’m guessing it will be announced sooner or later.

Video: Johnny Flynn – “Gypsy Hymn”

Drowned In Sound, The Jakarta Post, and The Star find out what Danish prog-rockers Mew are up to, besides working on a new album.

The Line Of Best Fit checks in with The Raveonettes, who will begin recording a new record in the new year.

The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Anna Calvi, who has released a video for the opening track of her new record, One Breath.

Video: Anna Calvi – “Suddenly”

Patrick Wolf has released a new video for the Sundark & Riverlight version of “The Libertine”, premiered at artforfreedom.com in support of LGBT rights at the Sochi Olympics.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “The Libertine”

Exclaim talks to Neil Halstead about Black Hearted Brother and the band, as a unit, list some of their most influential albums for MusicOmh.

DIY talks to Foals.

PopMatters has an interview with Los Campesinos!.

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Every Weekday

Camera Obscura defeats the slow news day with Desire Lines stream

Photo By Anna Isola CrollaAnna Isola CrollaWith yesterday being both Memorial Day in the US and a Bank Holiday in the UK, the internet was understandably reasonably quiet, at least from a music news perspective. If you covered, say, municipal affairs in Toronto, then it was far from it. But I digress.

If you were to have only one noteworthy item to lead off a post, however, you could do far worse than to announce that Scotland’s Camera Obscura have made their new long-player of elegant indie-pop Desire Lines – the first since 2009’s My Maudlin Career – available to stream in whole via NPR before its formal release date of next Tuesday, June 4. And the perfect accompaniment for that listening session would be these feature pieces on the band in The Scotsman and The List, and the knowledge that in just over a month’s time – July 4 – they’ll be in town opening up for She & Him on the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons.

MP3: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”
Stream: Camera Obscura / Desire Lines

Consequence Of Sound interviews Laura Marling as her new record Once I Was An Eagle is officially out in North America as of today.

Beady Eye have released a second video from their second album BE, due out in the UK on June 10.

Video: Beady Eye – “Second Bite Of The Apple”

CHVRCHES have rolled out another track that will presumably appear on their forthcoming debut album when it comes out this Fall. Which also means you will recognize one more song they play at The Hoxton on June 12. Counteract has an interview with the band.

Stream: CHVRCHES – “Gun”

Iceage explains to aux.tv why they’re not fascists, which really, is exactly what a fascist would say. They’re at The Horseshoe on June 15 for NXNE.

Spin, The Scotsman, and Liverpool Echo talk to Bobby Gillespie about the new Primal Scream album More Light – out now abroad and June 18 in North America – while The Guardian welcomes the band for an acoustic video session.

MTV Hive chats with Palma Violets, who’ve released a new video from their debut 180. They make their third local appearance of the year on August 3 at Garrison Commons as part of The Grove Fest.

Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends”

Thomas Mars of Phoenix – who are headlining The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3 – recounts the soundtrack of his life for The Guardian.

Consequence Of Sound and The Boston Globe talk to James Blake, who has been announced as one of the featured acts at this year’s Drake-assembled OVO Fest at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4. NPR is also streaming a complete concert in HD from DC recently.

By way of Elizabeth Sankey’s blog, Summer Camp report that their second album is done, with release details still to come.

The Daily Star reports that Manic Street Preachers will break their hiatus which began after 2010’s Postcards From a Young Man with two new albums, being recorded simultaneously – one mostly acoustic, the other mostly not.

Brett Anderson discusses the success of the Suede reunion with Drowned In Sound.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Frightened Rabbit.

MusicOmh interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

NOW previewed Charli XCX’s visit last week with an interview, while Stereogum captured a Backstreet Boys cover in a video session. She also just released a new video from her debut True Romance.

Video: Charli XCX – “Take My Hand”

Rolling Stone grabbed a wide-ranging Q&A with Damon Albarn before Blur’s Coachella appearances last month where he reflects on projects past and future, including a new Blur record and his first solo album.

British Sea Power have rolled out a new video from their latest album, Machineries Of Joy.

Video: British Sea Power – “Hail Holy Queen”

Allo Darlin’ unveil a new song via a video session for BalconyTV.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with and The Georgia Straight a feature piece on Daughter.

Daytrotter has a session with Billy Bragg.

CBC Music got to know Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men before they played their festival this past weekend.

The 405 meets The Raveonettes.

The Fly has a feature piece on Denmark’s Vår.

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Shaker Hymns

Dry The River dry the Shallow Bed

Photo via Dry The RiverDry The RiverLondon’s Dry The River may not have had quite the world-conquering 2012 that I’d predicted for them back in the Spring, but they’ve still had a very good year, their debut album Shallow Bed delivering on the buzz that they’d built up at home and also translating trans-Atlantically, justifying a couple of North American tours. Not quite Mumford-level triumphs for the folk-rockers, but pretty damn good for a first outing.

So good, that they’ve recorded the album all over again. They’ve released an all-acoustic version of Shallow Bed entitled Shallow Bed Acoustic, and it may be just the thing for those who found the dramatically-produced original version a touch over the top, or maybe just want to be able to focus on the band’s impressive multi-part harmonies without all those crashing guitars. Either way, it’s a thing, you can buy it digitally, and it’s streaming in whole right now over at Clash. Give a listen, and maybe read this interview with frontman Peter Liddle at Nuvo.

Stream: Dry The River / Shallow The Bed Acoustic

London’s Citizens! – making a name for themselves amongst those who like their pop electro and dancey are making good on the title of their debut album Here We Are by being here – at Wrongbar, specifically – on March 7. Tickets $15 in advance.

Video: Citizens! – “True Romance”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the debut album from the hotly-tipped British newcomers Palma Violets. Entitled 180, it will be out on 25 February of next year, so it’s unlikely there’ll be copies for sale when they play The Horseshoe on January 24… and yet somehow, I’m betting everyone there will have heard it. Magic!

The Quietus has some more details on the new House Of Love album She Paints Words In Red, direct from Guy Chadwick’s mouth. They’ve also got the release date – April 1.

Express Milwaukee talks to The Joy Formidable. Their new record Wolf’s Law is out January 22.

Pitchfork has got a three-part documentary video on The xx streaming on their site. If that’s your thing.

Time Out asks Emmy The Great how to write a great Christmas song. Because, if you’ll recall, last year she – with Ash’s Tim Wheeler – released an album’s worth. And they’ve just released a video from it – any resemblance between it and an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer are purely intentional, I’m sure.

Video: Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Zombie Christmas”

Of Monsters & Men talk to Rolling Stone about their plans for album number two.

The Raveonettes, on the other hand, tell The Von Pip Musical Express they may be done with the album form entirely despite being one of the more prolific bands of recent memory.

Artrocker talks to Swedish post-punks Holograms.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Candles

Daughter, Choir Of Young Believers, and Little Green Cars at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI guess I should blame Letterman. When it was announced that English trio Daughter were doing a short North American tour around their CMJ appearance, I was quite excited as I figured with their full-length debut not due out until the new year, and only a couple of low profile EPs in The Wild Youth and His Young Heart to their name, their Monday night showcase at The Drake would be a intimate, even secret, occasion for those of us in the know. After all – what’s the point of going all the way to Texas to be wowed by them at SXSW if not to be able to be ahead of the curve if just by one show? But then Letterman goes off and has them on The Late Show a couple weeks ago and then, all of a sudden, the show is not only sold out but people are being told very explicitly that there are no more tickets, anywhere, so stop asking. Somehow my little low-key performance has become the hot ticket in town.

Not that it was necessarily all thanks to Daughter. The bill featured two other acts from abroad, both with their own momentum coming out of CMJ, and both also making their Toronto/Canadian debuts. Dublin’s Little Green Cars curiously don’t have much of an online footprint, despite having signed to Glassnote (their debut is out early next year) and having been on tour across America for the last few weeks; this show was their last in the New World – and the first where they were legally allowed to drink, all being of the tender ago of 20 – so it was reasonable to expect they’d make it a good one. And maybe a drunk one. Coming out a cute pre-show, side-stage huddle, they went not for their instruments but straight to their mics to open with an impressive a capella number showcasing their five-part harmonies. Now the more cynical might say that we’re all full up with boisterously earnest folk-rock bands from the British Isles, thanks very much – and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong – but Little Green Cars won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Their roots show, no doubt, but there’s also enough ’50s-vintage rock’n’roll, gospel soul, and jangle-pop in the mix to make it stand out without becoming pastiche. Their sound hasn’t fully cohered yet, but as mentioned they’re crazy young. It’ll get there.

Copenhagen’s Choir Of Young Believers were talked about hereabouts last week, and having spent a moderate amount of time with their latest Rhine Gold, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. A precise idea, as it turned out, as the five-piece lineup did a pretty remarkable job of recreating the tones and textures of the album almost note-perfectly – and only almost because the cello was way low in the mix and the keys up, leaving the sonic balance tilted in favour of their New Wave tendencies, and Jannis Noya Makrigiannis took some more extended and free-form guitar excursions. It sounded quite good – the sadness and yearning of the material was more keenly felt live – but I didn’t detect it quite connecting with the audience, who responded more politely than passionately. If they’d gotten the crowd fully behind them, I suspect it could have felt epic but as it was, it was just alright.

It was genuine excitement that rippled through the packed Drake Underground by the time Daughter came out to set up for their set. They may not have had the personnel numbers of the preceding acts, but they did have some impressively complex pedalboards to help balance that out. You wouldn’t think so much technology would be needed for their dark folk-pop, but as with all aspects of the band, still waters run deep. Daughter may have initially been a pseudonym for frontwoman Elena Tonra, but it’s impossible to imagine how they’d sound without Igor Haefeli’s intricately layers of guitar atmosphere or Remi Aguilella’s spare but creatively treated drums and percussion.

And yet, it still all comes down to Tonra. Demure and hiding under her fringe, a shy girl with a sly smile, she seemed flustered by the attention yet her songs – elegant and reserved on the surface, yet clearly roiling just underneath with regrets, confessions, and accusations – are not the work of someone who prefers to stay silent or play things close to the vest. I was wholly impressed with the first impressions back in March, but having had time to get to know the songs and then see them performed, it took things to another level. Tonra did an exceptional job of tempering the intensity with charm, modestly introducing a solo reading of “The Woods” by saying that if it didn’t go well, to pretend it didn’t happen and then of course absolutely destroying it, and at the set’s close, thanking everyone for letting them in the building. The correct response, of course, was to thank her for letting us into her songs.

Photos: Daughter, Choir Of Young Believers, Little Green Cars @ The Drake Underground – October 22, 2012
MP3: Daughter – “Love”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Sedated”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Patricia’s Thirst”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Nye Nummber Et”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Paint New Horrors”
MP3: Little Green Cars – “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary”
Stream: Daughter – “Run”
Stream: Daughter – “Smother”
Video: Little Green Cars – “The John Wayne”

Dazed, Pitchfork, Planet Notion, eMusic, Interview, and Consequence Of Sound all want to talk to Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan with the release of her third album The Haunted Man. She also goes through the album track-by-track in a video piece for Billboard.

Ábrete De Orejas interviews David Gedge of The Wedding Present, and if you thought that this year’s Seamonsters recitals mean that it was time for Watusi to take centre stage… nope. They’ve announced a handful of 2013 dates in the US and will be playing George Best and their Hit Parade A-sides. Those of us waiting for the return of Cinerama material will have to keep waiting.

NPR has a KCRW session with Hot Chip.

DIY reports that Foals have given their third album, due out next year, a name – Holy Fire.

A Music Blog, Yea? has some questions for The Twilight Sad, in town at The Horseshoe on November 18.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable, whose new album Wolf’s Law comes out January 23. They play The Sound Academy on November 25 supporting The Gaslight Anthem.

Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts talks to The New Statesman about starting work on their new album.

Fab talks to Patrick Wolf.

Loud & Quiet have got a full, marvelously-shot and sounding Horrors show from their hometown of Southend-on-Sea available to watch.

State gets to know Clock Opera, who perform a video session for They Shoot Music and have released a new video from their album Ways To Forget.

Video: Clock Opera – “The Lost Buoys”

Beth Orton lists off some of her favourite albums for The Quietus.

The Village Voice and NOW have features on The xx.

Interview and Billboard talk to Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner of New Order, while The Quietus talks to Peter Hook – formerly of New Order. Do you think the subject of one another comes up? Noew Order plays the second of two nights at The Sony Centre tonight.

Clash asks Guy Garvey of Elbow what he’d do with the last day of his life.

The Daily Mail offers an update on David Bowie’s ongoing retirement. And that is he’s still retired.

That Marina & The Diamonds/Icona Pop show originally scheduled for December 3 at The Phoenix has been moved to The Kool Haus. Adjust your bus schedules accordingly.

The Capilano Courier talks to Søen Løkke Juul of Indians; their debut Somewhere Else is out January 29 and they’re at The Horseshoe on November 23 supporting Other Lives.

The Raveonettes have released a new video from Observator. Stereogum has some thoughts from directors about the clip.

Video: The Raveonettes – “Curse The Night”

The Alternate Side has a session with The Tallest Man On Earth.

The Fader has a video session with Jens Lekman recorded in a New York bakery.

Sambassadeur is teasing a new album due out in 2013 with a new limited edition 7″ out on November 20.

MP3: Sambassadeur – “Memories”

Sigur Rós have rolled out a couple more videos from their Valtari “Mystery Film Experiment”.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Fjögur píanó”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Varðeldur”

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

I Know What Love Isn't

Jens Lekman and Taken By Trees at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangTechnically, the Swedish consulate in Toronto is in the office tower on the northeast corner of Yonge and Bloor, but on Thursday night it was unofficially relocated to the Phoenix Concert Theatre, and their ambassadors for the evening were Jens Lekman and Victoria Bergsman of Taken By Trees, both with acclaimed new records just out – Lekman with I Know What Love Isn’t and Bergsman with Other Worlds.

As mentioned when this show was originally announced, it was exciting on a number of levels beyond Lekman’s first return to Toronto since April 2008; it would also be the first time he’d be performing with his own band rather than a collection of local players assembled for the occasion. Make no mistake, it’s fun and unique to see him playing with, say, The Hidden Cameras in a little room, but you’re not going to get a better actual performance than with the band with whom he’s been rehearsing and touring.

Taken By Trees were already a four-piece when they last visited in 2010 (supporting another Swede in El Perro Del Mar), and whereas for that show the band succeeded in giving the East Of Eden material some extra kick, this time they took the marginally more energetic Other Worlds and toned it down for a more languid and low key presentation. The arrangements felt more stripped down, the world music flavours still detectable but not as strong. Perhaps aware that her charms weren’t the same as charisma, Bergsman had the 1970 film A Swedish Love Story projected onto a side screen while they played, perhaps to offer something more visual to pay attention to while they played. Their set closer of “Dreams”, off the new record, was the most energized of the set and offered a taste of what they were capable of but for the most part, they were just kind of inertly pretty.

Stage presence would never be a problem for Jens Lekman, a real-life personality as charming and endearing as the characters in his songs. A late soundcheck meant the band was still scurrying around on stage come set time, but they still made a proper entrance of it with the keyboardist playing the instrumental “Every Little Hair Knows Your Name” as the all took the stage – Lekman last, of course – and started into “Become Someone Else’s”. The front third of the show was dedicated to the bigger numbers of I Know What Love Isn’t – totally fine with me as I love the record – and reinforced how great it was that it was a full-band Lekman here to play these songs; it’s hard to imagine hearing them without all the little touches that the piano, violin, bass, and drums added to Lekman’s supple voice and guitar.

Unreleased but Isn’t-era selection “Golden Key” marked the set’s pivot point, the sequenced backing track transmorgifying itself to lead into “The Opposite Of Hallelujah” and raising the enthusiasm of the crowd several more notches, particularly when Lekman finished the song at the edge of the stake playing some air glockenspiel. From there it was a string of highlights including the backstory of “Waiting For Kirsten” (about stalking Kirsten Dunst in Gothenburg), a big singalong “Black Cab”, and a “Maple Leaves” dance party – it’s funny that for all the sonic richness that playing as a five-piece band offered, the tone of the show would still be set by the sampler perched at Lekman’s right, cueing up one joyous pop song after another.

The encore gave us the title track of last year’s An Argument With Myself EP and Lekman song/story fixture “A Postcard To Nina” which somehow came with an almost entirely different story from when he was touring Night Falls Over Kortedala, though the plot itself remained the same. An unexpected twist came, however, when Lekman’s mic stand collapsed mid-song and he had to continue playing from his knees. I don’t think even he saw that one coming. A second encore brought Lekman out one more time to play “Every Little Hair Knows Your Name” solo, bringing the show full circle and to a close. The only way it could have been better is if the Swedish consulate had put out immigration forms by the door; I’m pretty sure everyone there would have taken one.

Panic Manual, Exclaim, and The National Post also have reviews of the show while Mechanical Forest Sound has some recordings. The Village Voice and The Philadelphia Inquirer have interviews with Lekman.

Photos: Jens Lekman, Taken By Trees @ The Phoenix – October 4, 2012
MP3: Jens Lekman – “Erica America”
MP3: Jens Lekman – “An Argument With Myself”
MP3: Jens Lekman – “A Higher Power”
MP3: Jens Lekman – “The Opposite Of Hallelujah”
MP3: Jens Lekman – “Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo”
MP3: Jens Lekman – “Black Cab”
MP3: Jens Lekman – “You Are The Light”
MP3: Jens Lekman – “A Sweet Summer’s Night On Hammer Hill”
MP3: Taken By Trees – “Dreams”
MP3: Taken By Trees – “Anna”
MP3: Taken By Trees – “My Boys”
MP3: Taken By Trees – “Watch The Waves”
MP3: Taken By Trees – “Lost & Found”
Video: Jens Lekman – “Become Someone Else’s”
Video: Jens Lekman – “I Know What Love Isn’t”
Video: Jens Lekman – “Erica America”
Video: Jens Lekman – “Sipping On The Sweet Nectar”
Video: Jens Lekman – “You Are The Light”
Video: Taken By Trees – “Large”
Video: Taken By Trees – “Dreams”
Video: Taken By Trees – “My Boys”
Video: Taken By Trees – “Lost And Found”

El Perro Del Mar has rolled out a new video from her forthcoming album Pale Fire, out November 13.

Video: El Perro Del Mar – “Walk On By”

The Skinny has an interview with Efterklang, who’ve released a new video from Piramada.

Video: Efterklang – “Apples”

Interview and The Boston Globe talk to The Raveonettes.

The Sigur Rós “Mystery Film Experiment” for Valtari has gotten another installment bigger.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Dauðalogn”

Daytrotter has a session with Ladyhawke, The San Francisco Examiner an interview.