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Posts Tagged ‘Redd Kross’

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Subway

Yeah Yeah Yeahs set Toronto show; win a date with the night

Photo By Dan MartensenDan MartensenThe new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record Mosquito has proven to be somewhat divisive. Some are finding it a terrific fourth long-player in their discography, summing together all that’s come before for a record quintessentially them, others finding it a disappointing water-treading exercise that captures neither the fiery anarchy of their early work or the gleaming excellence of their last effort, 2009’s It’s Blitz!. Personally, I fall more towards the latter camp, finding it just alright but decidedly forgettable, which may well be worse than being especially bad.

In any case, one thing most everyone with an interest in the topic can agree on – besides that the album art is atrocious – is that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs remain an incredible live act and that the four years since they last visited – two nights at The Kool Haus in August 2009m if you’ll recall – is far too long. So I’m happy to announce that the band’s somewhat erratic touring schedule – a consequence of being almost-headliner status during festival season, I guess – now has a Toronto date, with them coming to celebrate Canada Day – July 1 – at Echo Beach. And I’m even happier to announce that courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away before the $39.50 tickets go on sale this Friday morning at 10AM. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I I I want want want Yeah Yeah Yeahs” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that to me by midnight, May 30. The winner will be notified before the on-sale goes live.

MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

If you’d have otherwise been keen on seeing next week’s The xx and Grizzly Bear double-bill but didn’t much fancy the trek out to Downsview Park to do it, congratulations – your laziness has been rewarded. The June 6 show has been moved from the former airbase to the much more urban Echo Beach; all previously sold tickets are still valid and all remaining – of which there are now considerably fewer – are still $59.50 general admission and $99 VIP. The Vancouver Sun, Vue Weekly, and Georgia Straight have profiles of The xx.

MP3: The xx – “Reconsider”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Scottish folkster Alasdair Roberts will be at The Drake Underground on July 17 as part of a tour in support of his latest album A Wonder Working Stone, released earlier this year. For Folk’s Sake has an interview with Mr. Roberts.

MP3: Alasdair Roberts – “The Merry Wake”

If you’re looking for something to do Labour Day long weekend, you could do far worse than heading out Hamilton way for the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, taking place at Christie Lake in Dundas, Ontario on August 31. It was conceived by Daniel Lanois, who will be performing, and features a couple huge names drawn from his producing CV – specifically, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Emmylou Harris. Not bad, eh? Tickets are $139.50 in advance and go on sale June 1.

Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”
Video: Emmylou Harris – “Wrecking Ball” (live)

Not quite ready to return to being Bon Iver, Justin Vernon and his Wisconsin brethren have announced the September 3 release of a second Volcano Choir album – Repave – and a supporting Fall tour that brings them to The Phoenix on September 8, tickets $22.50 in advance. A trailer for the new record has been released, but rather than annoyingly tease, it actually almost acts as a complete video for one of the new songs.

MP3: Volcano Choir – “Island, Is”
Trailer: Volcano Choir / Repave

Portland electro-pop outfit STRFKR – whose name stands for what you think it does – have made a September 14 date at The Opera House in support of their third album Miracle Mile, released back in February. Tickets for the show are $15.

MP3: STRFKR – “Bury Us Alive”

Scout Niblett, who’s just released a new record in It’s Up To Emma, will be at The Silver Dollar on September 17.

MP3: Scout Niblett – “Dance Of Sulphur”
Video: Scout Niblett – “Gun”

English-born, Germany-based electronic act Gold Panda has a new album in Half Of Where You Live coming out on June 11 and has just announced a Fall tour behind it that brings him to Lee’s Palace on October 8, tickets $15. A new song from the new record has also been made available to stream and Noisey has an interview.

Stream: Gold Panda – “We Work Nights”

There’s still no follow-up to 2010’s Passive Me, Aggressive You, but Australia’s The Naked & Famous are coming back to North America for a Fall tour anyways; look for them at the Sound Academy on October 14, tickets $28.50 general admission and $38.50 VIP.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Girls Like You”

Two Door Cinema Club are keeping last year’s Beacon an active concern with another North American tour that brings them to the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Next Year”

Stereogum talks to Matt Berninger of The National. They’re headlining Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

With their new record Nightingale Floors due out next week on June 4 and streaming now at Pitchfork, Rogue Wave frontman Zach Rogue chats about the new record with Billboard. They’ll be at The Mod Club on June 25.

Stream: Rogue Wave / Nightingale Floors

Partygoing, the new album from Future Bible Heroes and one-quarter of the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing. box set – both out next Tuesday, June 4 – is now streaming courtesy of Pitchfork. Chickfactor talks to Stephin Merritt, Christopher Ewen, and Claudia Gonson of the band about the new record; they’ll be at Lee’s Palace – well, Ewen and Gonson, anyways – on July 22.

Stream: Future Bible Heroes / Partygoing

Guitar World sits down with Redd Kross guitarist Jeff McDonald to talk about guitars.

The Line Of Best Fit, TNT, and The Herald Scotland have interviews with Bob Mould.

The Guardian and USA Today profile punk rock legend Patti Smith.

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Born Innocent

Redd Kross and B-17 at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe weather may have been nigh-on dreadful last Thursday night, but it was going to take more than Winter’s last gasp to keep Toronto from venturing out to catch the long-awaited return of some colourfully-named Californians been pioneers at melding punk energy and pop sensibilities since adolescence. No, not Green Day at the Air Canada Centre, silly. I’m talking about Redd Kross at The Horseshoe.

Though they returned to active duty in 2006 following a decade’s hiatus, the Los Angeles-based band’s activity has been somewhat sporadic, though it did include a somewhat random but wholly welcome appearance at NXNE 2008. Only with last Summer’s release of the excellent Researching The Blues – their first album since 1997’s Show World – did the fully commit to being an active, creative concern and even then, thanks to Steve McDonald’s touring commitments as a member of OFF!, it took them this long to put together an east coast tour to support it. Though considering that a tour was never a foregone conclusion, complaining about the wait just seems petty.

Their lead-in act was locals B-17, a relatively new outfit whose members have been fighting the good fight in the Toronto club scene for years now. And while I never really kept up with any of those other acts – Action Makes, The Hoa Hoas, The Easy Targets – if they were anything up to the level of B-17, then I was missing out. B-17 offered an inspired mix of garage rock rawness, a steady Krautrock-hewn drone of a groove, and psychedelic trippiness. They were simultaneously relentlessly steady, thanks to Nick Kervin’s rock-solid drumming, and unpredictably explosive, usually detonated by Calvin Brown’s lead guitar, with guitarist Richard Gibson and bassist Clint Rogerson keeping things tuneful while trading lead vocal duties. It’s probably overly optimistic to think that their debut EP Wishing Won’t Make It So will break the band to any wider audiences than their previous projects reached, but for those for dig on what’s in B-17’s payload, it’s right on target.

When Redd Kross were here in 2008, I only had 1993’s power-pop masterpiece Phaseshifter as a reference point, but an unfamiliarity with the rest of the material didn’t prevent me from thoroughly enjoying the show, so immediate and infectious is the riff-powered, glammy bubblegum rock they’ve perfected over a 30+ year career. This time out I also had Blues and 1987’s Neurotica in my system, though relative to the hardcore Redd Kross fans that made up most of the audience, I was still a newb in relative terms. Which was fine; we weren’t there to compare cred – at least I hope not – but to just have a good time. And if there’s one thing Redd Kross are about, it’s a good time. For all the descriptors and adjectives that get attached to rock’n’roll, “fun” isn’t one that gets used nearly enough, but there’s probably no better word to describe what’s being had both on stage and off at one of their shows.

The McDonald brothers’ devotion to an ideal of rock’n’roll of big riffs, hooks, and showmanship has been unwavering since they started the band at the ages of 15 (Jeff) and 11 (Steve), and is still evident in the look of glee on their faces as they perform. I was a bit surprised that guitarist Robert Hecker – a… distinctive visual presence in the band last time out and still part of the band when Blues was recorded – was absent (he no longer tours with them) but his replacement Jason Shapiro was more than up to the task of trading riffs with the elder McDonald and keeping the energy levels elevated.

Kicking off with “Linda Blair” – the first song from their first album, Born Innocent – the band paid fairly equal due to the breadth of their catalog, personal highlights being Blues standout “Stay Away From Downtown”, non-album single “Switchblade Sister”, and a deliciously pummelling “Jimmy’s Fantasy” from Phaseshifter – one could easily forget that for as bubblegummy/poppy as Red Kross can be, they could also be as heavy as hell. Though the main se only clocked in at 50 minutes, the encore basically constituted a second set, running nearly another half hour and including a run-through of their original debut EP Red Cross, or so I was told. it was denoted as “E.P.” on the set list and though I didn’t recognize any of it, being fast, furious, and dedicated to the memory of Annette Funicello, it felt perfect regardless – kind of like the entire show.

Phawker has an interview with Jeff McDonald while The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, NOW, and Philadelphia Inquirer talk with Steve.

Photos: Redd Kross, B-17 @ The Horseshoe – April 11, 2013
MP3: Redd Kross – “Stay Away From Downtown”
MP3: Redd Kross – “Researching The Blues”
MP3: Redd Kross – “Ballad Of A Lovedoll”
Video: Redd Kross – “Stay Away From Downtown”
Video: Redd Kross – “Yesterday Once More”
Video: Redd Kross – “Jimmy’s Fantasy”
Video: Redd Kross – “Lady In The Front Row”
Video: Redd Kross – “Annie’s Gone”
Video: Redd Kross – “1976”
Video: Redd Kross – “Ballad Of A Lovedoll”
Video: Redd Kross – “Deuce”
Video: Redd Kross – “Blow You A Kiss In The Wind”
Stream: B-17 / Wishing Won’t Make It So

DIY talk to Hutch Harris of The Thermals about their new album Desperate Ground, out tomorrow, Apri l6. They play The Horseshoe on May 21.

The Guardian and NPR have feature interviews with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, whose new album Mosquito arrives tomorrow, April 16.

Pitchfork, Consequence Of Sound, Rolling Stone, Interview, and eMusic get into the heads of The Flaming Lips, whose new record The Terror comes out on April 16.

Sam Beam of Iron & Wine talks to Spin about their new album Ghost On Ghost, from which they’ve premiered a new video at NPR. The record is out tomorrow.

Video: Iron & Wine – “Joy”

Canadians can now stream The Low Highway – the new album from Steve Earle – at CBC Music. Non-Canadadians can now wait for a non-geoblocked stream to surface. Or just buy it when it comes out tomorrow. In the meantime, read these feature pieces at The Wall Street Journal and The Arts Desk.

Stream: Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses) / The Low Highway

Stereogum has a stream of The Men’s contribution to Sacred Bones’ Todo Muere Vol. 3 compilation, their contribution to this year’s Record Store Day exclusives going on sale this Saturday, April 20.

Stream: The Men – “B-Minor”

Following Titus Andronicus on on Twitter can be exhausting – Patrick Stickles does like to tweet – but also informative. For example, last week they tweeted what the album art for Local Business was actually supposed to look like as well as why it doesn’t, and also offered up a free download of out-of-print live album The Innocents Abroad. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace on May 2.

The Wall Street Journal has premiered a stream of another new track from the forthcoming She & Him album Volume 3, coming May 7. They play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest (TURF) at Garrison Commons on July 4.

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

The Guardian gets to know Dungeonesse, side/solo project of Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, whose self-titled debut comes out May 14. A new track from it is now available to stream.

Stream: Dungeonesse – “Nightlight”

Rolling Stone talks to The National about their new record Trouble Will Fine Me, which is out May 21 and from which they’re now streaming a second new song. They headline Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

Stream: The National – “Don’t Swallow The Caps”

Bazan/Johnson/Kadane2-powered Overseas have premiered the first video from their self-titled debut at Paste. The album is out June 13.

Video: Overseas – “Ghost To Be”

Billboard finds out what’s going on with The Hold Steady, who will be at TURF at Garrison Common on July 6.

DIY interviews Kurt Vile, one of the acts closing out TURF at Garrison Common on July 7.

With the Afghan Whigs taking a breather, Greg Dulli talks to Billboard about the projects he’ll be tackling next, including a collaborative album with Steve Kilbey of The Church.

NPR has posted a video session with Caitlin Rose.

The Fly talks to Local Natives.

The Line Of Best Fit and Billboard have interviews with The Black Angels.

Soem reading for those of us whose hobbies include festival lineup-spotting: pieces on how Phoenix became this year’s go-to festival headlining act at Grantland and Stereogum, and Billboard speculates what Coachella was thinking making The Stone Roses one of the headliners for their opening night.

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Heard The News

Guards, Mates Of State, and other support acts elevated to blog post headline status

Photo By Olivia MaloneOlivia MaloneSome weeks, the inbox is a veritable cornucopia of interesting concert announcements for acts big and small. Compiling the blog posts that collect those up is a genuine delight. And easy. Generally so easy. This was not one of those weeks. Indeed, most of the news was of the “support announced” variety, which isn’t necessarily uninteresting – sometimes it’s more interesting than the headliner – but it is less easy.

Anyways, we’ll kick off with New York’s Guards, who will be supporting Palma Violets at Lee’s Palace on May 3. They’re fronted by one Richie Follin, whose did time in Cults with sister Madelin and also worked with Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, and while either of those reference points are probably enough to garner attention, the sun-kissed, retro-styled power pop of their debut album In Guards We Trust, released in February, are far more in line with the former than the latter. It’s not revolutionary by any measure, but it is well-executed and likeable.

The Bay Bridged has an interview with Richie Follin.

MP3: Guards – “Silver Lining”
MP3: Guards – “Crystal Truth”
Video: Guards – “Ready To Go”
Video: Guards – “Silver Lining”

It’s a bit of an odd pairing, but throwback jangle-poppers DIIV will be supporting Trent Reznor’s How To Destroy Angels at The Sound Academy on April 25. They were also here in December supporting Japandroids, but I’m sure there’s enough fans of Oshin that a headlining show – which they last did in September – would also be welcome.

MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”

Not that Titus Andronicus need any help drawing a crowd, but their May 2 date at Lee’s Palace announced last week just got a boost regardless with the announcement that they’re being joined by Brooklyn’s So So Glos for what they’re calling the “Bring Back The Dudes” tour – which will be a pretty apt description of the demographic at the show. Their new record Blowout is out April 23 and there’s an interview at The L.

Video: So So Glos – “My Block”

Some bands worry about announcing multiple upcoming dates in a given market out of fear that one show may cannibalize ticket sales from the other; Ra Ra Riot clearly do not. They spent most of the lead up to their early March headlining show for Beta Love with their name also on posters for the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Garrison Common on June 8, and now they’ve also announced that they’ll also be in town a couple weeks prior to that supporting The Shins at The Sound Academy on May 22. I don’t know if there are Ra Ra Riot fans so dedicated to hit up every one of their local shows, but if so, they’re probably pretty happy.

MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Beta Love”
MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”

Ra Ra Riot will also be opening up some of the dates on the upcoming Postal Service tour, but not Toronto – according to the itinerary released yesterday, we’ll have Mates Of State opening up at the Air Canada Centre on June 11 and that’s a-ok with me, though I can’t say I wouldn’t love to see peoples’ faces when Big Freedia shakes what she’s got on those west coast dates.

MP3: Mates Of State – “Maracas”
MP3: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”

And in headlining announcements – Spencer Krug will appear as Moonface in a solo piano context on May 12 at The Great Hall in something called The Conversation Room. I don’t know what/where that is, but I kind of hope it’s like The Champagne Room. Tickets are $16.50 and there is probably no sex.

MP3: Moonface – “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips”
MP3: Moonface – “Headed For The Door”

One of the buzzier bads at CMF this year were German electro-pop duo BOY, and those who missed out on their shows will be pleased to know they’re back in town at The Great Hall on May 16 in support of their debut Mutual Friend. Tickets for that are $17.50.

Video: BOY – “Little Numbers”

I could be wrong but I don’t think Richard Buckner has been to Toronto since the “two really big dudes with gravelly voices” tour with Eric Bachmann in September 2006. In any case, the upcoming release of Surrounded – about which there’s no other information besides that it exists and will be called Surrounded – will bring him back to The Horseshoe on May 23, tickets $13.50.

MP3: Richard Buckner – “Escape”

One of the unfortunate casualties of the canceled Efterklang show during CMF last month was the local debut of Philadelphia’s Nightlands, who were supposed to open up. They’ll make that show up at The Drake Underground on June 3, playing songs from their debut Oak Island, from which they’ve just released a new video. The Concordian also has an interview with band principal Dave Hartley.

MP3: Nightlands – “300 Clouds”
MP3: Nightlands – “Suzerain (A Letter To The Judge)”
Video: Nightlands – “Born To Love”

Brooklyn’s Yeasayer will circle back behind their third album Fragrant World with a show at The Phoenix on July 2.

MP3: Yeasayer – “Henrietta”
MP3: Yeasayer – “Longevity”

Two-tone legends The Specials are coming back to town, slating a July 9 date at The Kool Haus, tickets $39.50.

Video: The Specials – “Message To You Rudy”

“Edge” certainly doesn’t mean what it used to. Traditionally the region’s premier bro-fest, the CFNY-sponsored Edgefest has gone acoustic and plaid for 2013, taking advantage of Lollapalooza weekend to present a lineup headlined by The Lumineers and Band Of Horses at Downsview Park on July 31. Quite an about face from past editions of the festival, which has in the past been closed out by the likes of Billy Talent, A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, and Our Lady Peace. Tickets for the day are $49.50 plus fees.

MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”
Video: The Lumineers – “Hey Ho”

Okay, so as it turns out there was more announced this week than I thought. Elsewhere…

Philly.com talks to Redd Kross’ Steve McDonald, who will tear things up at The Horseshoe tomorrow night, April 11.

The Thermals are streaming their new super-short but super-intense new album Desperate Ground at Pitchfork before its out on Apri l6. They play The Horseshoe on May 21.

Stream: The Thermals / Desperate Ground

Another new track from Steve Earle’s Low Highway – out April 16 – has been made available to stream.

Stream: Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses) – “Calico County”

DIY talks to Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne ahead of next week’s release of The Terror.

Under The Radar interviews Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, in town at The Kool Haus on May 9.

NPR has a Mountain Stage session with Calexico, coming to Toronto for a NXNE show at the Mod Club on June 12.

Exclaim, The Village Voice, Pitchfork, and Consequence Of Sound all want to talk to Kurt Vile about his latest album Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze, out now. He plays the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 7.

Lissie has rolled out a lyric video fro the first sample of her second album, due out this September.

Lyric Video: Lissie – “Shameless”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Caitlin Rose.

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Canadian Musicfest 2013 Day One

CHVRCHES and Diana at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI went into this year’s Canadian Musicfest with a pretty basic plan – see as little as possible. Okay, that’s not really accurate since that would have easily been accomplished by staying home and I was still out four nights in a row, but rather than engage in the club-hopping that the fest usually demands, I opted to choose one thing a night that I was genuinely interested in seeing rather than trek around the city hoping to shake something worthwhile out of the lineup. Wednesday night, that honour went to a show that was one of the more hotly-tipped of the festival, despite being able to count both bands on the bill’s officially-released songs on one hand.

Diana may have been a relatively new name on the Toronto scene, but the faces were quite familiar, featuring players whose CVs include Everything All The Time, Donlands & Mortimer, Bonjay, and Warm Myth, to name but a few, but the elevator pitch was that this was the sax player from Destroyer’s new synth-pop project with Carmen Elle of Army Girls on vocals and they’d already arguably gotten more buzz abroad than any of their past projects combined (Destroyer excepted, of course).

As someone who came to the band mainly through Army Girls – and was a bit resentful at them for taking Elle’s attention away from her rock project – it was unusual to hear her voice in such a context, surrounded by smooth synth tones and saxophone lines rather than her spiky guitarwork, her voice was more bruised than sultry. Whether by design or happenstance, it created an odd tension between the image she presented as frontwoman; as charming and charismatic as usual, but interestingly at odds with the music would have conventionally presumed. And that applied to Diana as a whole – slinky, soulful synth-pop, yes, but with something else going on in there and it’s that je ne sais quoi that will, unfortunately for me but great for Diana, probably keep Army Girls fans waiting for those albums a little longer.

Photos: Diana @ The Mod Club – March 20, 2013
MP3: Diana – “Born Again”
Stream: Diana – “Perpetual Surrender”

The hype around Scottish trio CHVRCHES has probably put some off of them entirely already, some six months from the release of their debut album, and that’s a shame. Because as far as I can tell, they’re not being posited as saviours of anything, just a new band with some really good songs. Or maybe that new – none of them are rookies in the music biz, with keyboardists Iain Cook and Martin Doherty having done duty in Aerogramme and Twilight Sad, respectively, and singer Lauren Mayberry formerly doing time in Blue Sky Archives. That past experience might explain why despite being a heavily-feted band on their first tour abroad, CHVRCHES were remarkably confident and assured in their Canadian debut. Taking the stage to the strains of an oddly pitch-shifted version of “Let’s Go Crazy”, they opened with last year’s debut single “Lies” and laid out very clearly what they were about – big synth sounds from the fellows and beguiling vocals from Mayberry.

CHRVCHES haven’t solved the the inherent problem of how to put on a compelling live show when you’re two blokes tethered to keyboards and girl singer who’s not Sarah Cracknell, but when you’ve got the songs, everything else becomes somewhat trivial. While a fairly static performer, Mayberry wasn’t a wallflower and offered up some charming banter – Ryan Gosling topped her list of things to thank Canada for – the best part of the show was the fact that it proved that their songwriting chops were equal to the hype. “Recover”, with its irresistible chorus, remained the high point of their works so far but everything was fairly bursting with hooks and melodies, led by Mayberry’s youthful and yearning vocals. It’s refreshing that at a time when synth acts are a dime a dozen, one can still stand out by sticking to the time-tested rules of pop music. After closing with “The Mother We Share”, they returned for a one-song encore that bookended the set with Prince salutations and their totally straight but still fun cover of “I Would Die 4 U”. And then they doused everyone with a bubble machine.

CBC Music and DIY have interviews with CHVRCHES while NPR has video of one of their sets at SXSW earlier this month. Update: And, just announced, CHVRCHES are back on June 12 at The Hoxton, possibly/probably a NXNE show.

Photos: CHVRCHES @ The Mod Club – March 20, 2013
MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Stream: CHVRCHES – “Lies”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Recover”

Peace takes DIY on a walkthrough of their debut album In Love, out in the UK today. They’ll bring it to NXNE on June 15.

CBC Music has an interview with Charles Bradley and an advance stream of his new record Victim Of Love, out April 2, while Clash excerpts an interview with the man. He’ll be at the Phoenix on May 11.

Stream: Charles Bradley / Victim Of Love

Stereogum has an interview with Benjamin Michael Lerner of Telekinesis. Their new album Domarion is out April 2 but streaming now in whole at NPR. They’re at The Horseshoe on May 12.

MP3: Telekinesis – “Ghosts & Creatures”
Stream: Telekinesis / Domarion

A new Jessie Ware track taken from the inevitable deluxe edition of Devotion – the “Gold Edition” – is now available to stream. It’s out in the UK on April 15, the day before the regular (yet slightly enhanced) version of Devotion gets a North American release. She plays The Opera House on April 6.

Stream: Jessie Ware – “Imagine It Was Us”

A track from Kurt Vile’s new record Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze is now available to download. It’s out April 9 and he plays the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

MP3: Kurt Vile – “Never Run Away”

The Postal Service has made another of the unreleased tracks from the 10th anniversary edition of Give Up available to stream. It’s out April 9 and they play The Air Canada Centre on June 11.

Stream: The Postal Service – “Turn Around”

Room 205 has posted the first of three video sessions with Redd Kross; they’re in town at The Horseshoe on April 11.

Loud & Quiet talks to Palma Violets, in town at Lee’s Palace on May 3.

Primal Scream are streaming the second single from their new album More Light, out May 6.

Stream: Primal Scream – “It’s Alright, It’s OK”

Deerhunter have announced the May 7 release of their new album Monomania. Typically cryptic details on the release can be found at 4AD.

Having let the dust settle from the announcement that their new album would be out in May and be followed by extensive touring, The National have revealed some more pertinent details – specifically that it’ll be called Trouble Will Find Me, that it will be out May 21, and the artwork and tracklisting look something like this. And additionally, in conversation with Gothamist, drummer Bryan Devendorf offers some insight into the recording sessions and what guest artists you’ll hear on the record. The National will headline Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14, and the tour documentary on the band Mistaken For Strangers will screen at Hot Docs on April 30, May 2, and May 5.

Stephin Merritt has turned his attention to his Future Bible Heroes project, announcing the June 4 release of their first album in over a decade, Partygoing. It’s available either on its own or part of the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth and Partygoing set which includes reissues of their first two albums as well as a bonus disc of rarities. Details on all that at Merge, first track from Partygoing to stream below.

Stream: Future Bible Heroes – “Living, Loving, Partygoing”

Flavorwire is streaming another track from John Vanderslice’s cover album of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, which will accompany the June 11 release of his new album of original material, Dagger Beach.

Stream: John Vanderslice – “Diamanthunde”

The Quietus have confirmed a new Echo & The Bunnymen album is on the way. Ian McCulloch says that it’ll be called The Garden Of Meedlin’ and will be out before the year is out.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session and The Georgia Straight an interview with Veronica Falls.

To mark the passing of Jason Molina last week, all of his recorded output as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co, or Jason Molina is available to stream. The best way to remember him.

NYC Taper is sharing recordings of a Low show in New York last week while Drowned In Sound has a video session and interview with the band.

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Sunset

The xx and Grizzly Bear will be out standing in their field; win a chance to join them

Photo By Jamie-James MedinaJamie-James MedinaBoth The xx and Grizzly Bear have pretty well established their bona fides as a couple of the biggest names in what we colloquially call “indie rock” circa 2013, and while neither are quite at the point where they could headline a top-tier festival, they can sure as heck team up for a pretty impressive standalone bill in a festival setting. En route to New York City to play the Governor’s Ball, the two acts – last seen hereabouts in the elegant setting of Massey Hall both – will show off their big outdoor stage chops with a show at Downsview Park the evening of June 6, in support of last year’s Coexist and Shields, respectively.

Tickets for the show are $59.50 in advance for general admission and $99.50 VIP, though a limited number of early bird GAs will be available this Friday for $49.50. Courtesy of Collective Concerts, however, I’ve got one pair of VIP passes plus a copy of Coexist on vinyl to give away ahead of the on-sale. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see The xx and Grizzly Bear” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that in to me before midnight, February 14 – winners will be notified before tickets go on And note that while the general admission area is all-ages, VIP is 19+ so you must be of age to enter.

And if you’re wondering what The xx would be like on a big outdoor stage, it’ll probably be the complete opposite of this Tiny Desk Concert they played for NPR.

And please note that management is not responsible for any sexytimes that may ensue in the grass, in the dark, during The xx’s set.

MP3: The xx – “Reconsider”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Ducktails – perhaps better known as the solo endeavour of Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile – will be hitting the road in support of the just-released The Flower Lane. Exclaim has all the tour dates, which include an April 3 date at The Garrison, tickets for which are $12.50. DIY has an interview with Mondanile.

Stream: Ducktails – “The Flower Lane”

Any way you look at it, whether counting off eight months from the release of their excellent Researching The Blues, the almost five years since they played a one-off NXNE appearance, or the who knows how long it’s been since an east coast tour – well over a decade – it’s great to be able to welcome Redd Kross back to town – they’ll be at The Horseshoe on April 11.

MP3: Redd Kross – “Stay Away From Downtown”

Brighton two-piece rock machine Blood Red Shoes are back again on April 23 – this time at The Horseshoe – again in support of last year’s In Time To Voices but also their new Water EP, which they give DIY a track-by-track guide through and which you can stream below. Tickets $11.50 in advance.

Video: Blood Red Shoes – “In Time To Voices”
Stream: Blood Red Shoes / Water

In today’s good news/bad news department, Foals have announced a North American tour in support of Holy Fire – out today – and will be at The Kool Haus on May 11, tickets $24. The bad news, besides it being the same night as Charles Bradley and The Breeders, is their support act will be Surfer Blood, who were terrible even before their singer’s predilection for domestica abuse came to light. Go see Foals, by all means, but feel free to turn around or talk right through Surfer Blood’s set, and if you find you have some litter with you, the stage is as good a place as any to discard it. Clash and Filter have feature pieces on Foals, the Filter one with a rather unfortunate headline all things considered.

MP3: Foals – “Inhaler”

Trevor Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, is prepping for the March 5 release of his new album Wondrous Bughouse and has announced a brace of North American dates – May 13 at The Great Hall, Toronto, $16.50 in advance – as well as made a couple new track from the album available to stream. CMJ also has an interview.

Stream: Youth Lagoon – “Mute”
Stream: Youth Lagoon – “Dropla”

Twin Shadow has announced a return engagement in support of last year’s Confess – he and his dad (really) will be at The Phoenix on June 7, tickets $26.50 in advance.

MP3: Twin Shadow – “Changes”

Buoyed by the success of the first four installments – and the fact that March is still mostly part of Winter – Fucked Up has extended their Long Winter concert series to include, well, March. No details on the who, what, or when, but if the scheduling pattern holds it will be on March 8 at The Great Hall. Update: Pattern schmattern – it’s March 23. Which is not Winter.

Speaking of scheduling, Canadian Musicfest – running March 19 to 23 – has published their first pass at the festival schedule and I’m excited to see that a handful of acts I’d been happy to see on the initial artist listings are now nowhere to be found. Way to keep with tradition, CMF! Still, there’s some good stuff in there and not all of it is opposite Nick Cave, so if you’re attending, have a look.