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Posts Tagged ‘Rich Aucoin’

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Before Us

The Dog Day(s) of December are here

Photo By Seth SmithSeth SmithI’m not entirely sure when or why Halifax’s Dog Day fell off my radar; I was very much on board circa their 2007 debut Night Group and the 2009 follow-up Concentration, but missed out on 2011’s Deformer – which saw the quartet reconfigure themselves as just the duo of Seth Smith and Nancy Urich – completely.

But I’m on the ball with their new album Fade Out – which incidentally finds themselves a quartet again – and it’s nice to know that despite the personnel shuffles, out of the speakers not a lot has changed. Their roughly-hewn and downcast yet unfailingly melodic still evokes the spirit of their ’90s Maritime Can-rock forebears but those ingredients have also underpinned great rock music from many eras and locales. Dog Day sound very much like where they’re from but don’t confuse that with having only a regional appeal.

Fade Out is out December 10 and their eastern Canadian tour brings them to Toronto’s Cinecycle on December 14. Exclaim, The Halifax Chronicle Herald, and The Coast have interviews with Smith about the new album, which you can stream below.

MP3: Dog Day – “Wasted”
Stream: Dog Day / Fade Out

NOW gets to know No Joy, in town at The Garrison tomorrow night, December 5.

Rolling Stone has an advance stream of the new Neil Young archival release Live At The Cellar Door, which captures two acoustic shows in 1970. The album is out December 10.

Stream: Neil Young / Live At The Cellar Door

Pitchfork has surfaced a new song from Doldrums, currently without context but perhaps pointing towards a new release in 2014. Doldrums is at The Great Hall on December 13 for the second Long Winter.

Stream: Doldrums – “Dive Deep Pt 1”

The Drake Hotel has announced the lineup for this year’s What’s In The Box? mini-fest, which fills the Underground with the sounds of local bands and DJs for the five nights following Christmas at the non-inflationary price of $5. As always, there’s all sorts of up-and-coming talent on the bill, but readers of this site will want to circle December 27, when Alvvays take the stage, and December 30, when Rich Aucoin does his thing in a room he’s far too big to play in anymore.

MP3: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”
MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”

And speaking of musical holiday traditions, The Wooden Sky have announced details of their fourth annual holiday revue fundraiser to benefit the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank. It goes December 29 at 918 Bathurst and tickets will run $20, plus a donation of a canned good.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”

Stars are helping local radio station Indie88 celebrate their increased signal strength – which means I can now finally hear them in my car in downtown Toronto – with a rare club show at Lee’s Palace on January 18. Tickets are $8.81 and go on sale Friday.

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

After touring their self-titled debut around North America straight though to the year’s final days, local punks PUP will take a little breather and come right back for a hometown show at The Garrison on January 31.

MP3: PUP – “Reservoir”

Toronto synth-goth artist Trust has announced a March 4 release date for his second album Joyland. Exclaim has details, inevitable trailer is below.

Trailer: Trust / Joyland

If you were holding off on going to see Arcade Fire at the Air Canada Centre on March 13 because the only costumes or formalwear you have are for warm weather, then rejoice – the band have announced a return engagement as part of some late Summer tour dates at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 29. Tickets range from $30.50 to $70.50 and go on sale December 13 at noon.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

Young Galaxy look set to run away with the record for most videos from an album that’s not really an album, namely the bonus disc of the Ultramarine Deluxe edition. They premiered the latest clip via Stereogum.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Hard To Tell”

Tone Deaf and The New Zealand Herald interview Metric, who’ve released another new video from Synthetica.

Video: Metric – “Lost Kitten”

A Music Blog, Yea has an interview with The Darcys while The Toronto Star finds out why their recent gigs have been at area high schools.

Beatroute, The Montreal Gazette, Seattle Weekly, The Georgia Straight, and Victoria News talk to Basia Bulat.

Dan Bejar of Destroyer tells The Line Of Best Fit why he decided to make a record in Spanish. There’s also a video session with Destroyer at Dutch radio station 3voor12.

Beatroute checks in with Amber Webber of Lightning Dust.

CBC Music has video of Fucked Up’s tribute to the legendary Teenage Head show known as The Last Pogo, recorded at a very punk rock 9AM on a Saturday morning at The Horseshoe Tavern, scene of the original show in 1978.

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

NXNE 2013 Day Three

Fresh Snow, Data Romance, Del Bel, and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’m sure some would look at the last full day/night of a music festival as an opportunity to go hard or go home, I took NXNE’s Saturday schedule as an opportunity to go small and go (relatively) local. I’d kept a pretty conservative schedule through the festival this far, after all, why stop now?

I started out at Supermarket in Kensington to see Vancouver’s Data Romance. I wasn’t really familiar with them before stumbling across their stuff in the NXNE listings, and liking what I heard, gave them a shot. And indeed, armed with a healthy array of drum pads, synths, and laptops, duo Ajay Bhattacharyya and Amy Kirkpatrick, put on a very likeable set of electro-pop drawn from their debut album Other, the former playing electronic drums live to keep things organic and the latter adorably charismatic, her voice expressive without being excessively showy. They specialized in soulful, synthy ballads that would feel like part of the zeitgeist had it come out of the UK right now, but coming from western Canada, sounds rather unique. Accessible, interesting, and well-crafted, Data Romance could and should find a broad audience.

Photos: Data Romance @ Supermarket – June 15, 2013
MP3: Data Romance – “Spark”
Video: Data Romance – “Can’t Keep Your Mind Off”
Video: Data Romance – “The Deep”
Video: Data Romance – “She’s Been High”

Next it was to the Creatures Creating studio space – or more accurately, the tinfoil and lightshow-adorned basement of the studio space – where Toronto music and arts institution Wavelength was holding the final night of their NXNE showcases and previewing their upcoming Roadshow tour which would send three Toronto bands on the road to do their thing across Ontario and Quebec over the next couple weekends. The first of these, Most People, comprised just two people and a whole lot of musical gear of the guitar, bass, percussion, and electronic persuasion which they alternated between tag team-style while building sound-on-sound pop songs that seemed to fold in on themselves but straightened themselves out when needed, being sure to leave the hooks exposed. While their yelpy vocal stylings weren’t to my taste and the songs could stand to be more concise, there’s no denying they were fun to watch. And I’m not just saying that because they’re the only band I’ve ever seen with the same guitar amp as I have. Solidarity!

Photos: Most People @ Creatures Creating – June 15, 2013
Stream: Most People / Most People

I’d seen local jazz-noir collective Del Bel a couple times last year, but never with as lean a lineup as they had on this night – just five pieces, though I would imagine the logistics of getting any larger a group than that together and able to tour would be nigh on impossible. Even stripped down, though, they were able to both do the dark, evocative sounds of their debut Oneiric justice and give them a fresh angle that suited the boozecan feel of the room. Some new material from their forthcoming second album was also showcased, and affirmed that they’re still one of the most interesting and promising new acts bubbling under in Toronto.

Photos: Del Bel @ Creatures Creating – June 15, 2013
MP3: Del Bel with Bry Webb – “No Cure For Loneliness”

I feel as though I should offer a disclaimer about Fresh Snow – I used to be in a band with guitarist Brad Davis and have been friends for many years – but even without the personal angle, I would be excited to be writing about the band. What started as an interesting Krautrock-jam project has become a genuinely exciting psych-rock experience that exists at intersection of calculated and cacophonous. They can shift from Godspeed to Kraftwerk to Mogwai within the same song, and then segue to eminently danceable synth-led disco a few minutes later with some pleasantly woozy violin lines offering a decidedly human counterpoint to the mechanical rhythms driving things. And they might also blow the power in the venue a couple times, but nothing worthwhile comes without some cost. Their debut album i is due out in late July.

Photos: Fresh Snow @ Creatures Creating – June 15, 2013
Video: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”

And that was my NXNE for 2013. Not nearly as intense as past years, but just about the right pace to keep me interested and alive. Trust me on that last point.

Unsurprisingly, with this year’s festival in the books, some of the buzzier bands who had undersized showcases have already announced bigger/proper shows for the not-too-distant future. Braids spin-off Blue Hawaii will be at Wrongbar on July 28 in support of their debut Untogether, released earlier this year and from which they’ve just released a new video.

MP3: Blue Hawaii – “In Two II”
Video: Blue Hawaii – “Reaction II”

And Majical Cloudz, who by all accounts was pretty intense in their showcases, continue to promote their debut Impersonator with a show at Wrongbar on September 17, tickets $12. The Toronto Star has an interview with frontman Devon Welsh.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Bugs Don’t Buzz”

The ALL CAPS! music festival has decided that five is enough and that this year’s edition, taking place at Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands across August 10 and 11, will be the final one. And who better to send it off with a fitting party than Rich Aucoin, who will headline the Sunday night alongside Brooklyn’s The Blow – closing out Saturday – and a lineup that also includes catl, Shotgun Jimmie, Elfin Saddle, and more, not to mention a whole lot of other arty stuff. A very limited number of camping passes go on sale June 25 for $52 early bird and $69 lollygagger, and festival passes where you have to go home for $24 going up to $30. Single-day tickets are $17 in advance.

MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”
MP3: The Blow – “Hock It”

With a new double-album in Drifters/Love Is The Devil just out, Taiwan-born Montreal-based no-fi rockabilly act Dirty Beaches has announced Fall tour that hits The Garrison on September 11, tickets $13 in advance. Exclaim and Stereogum talk to Alex Zhang-Hungtai – he who is Dirty Beaches – about his latest opus.

Video: Dirty Beaches – “Casino Lisboa”

Interview, DIY, and Noisey talk to Katie Stelmanis of Austra, whose new record Olympia came out this week. They play The Phoenix on September 27.

Dears frontman Murray Lightburn has release the first MP3 and video from his forthcoming solo album Mass:Light; contrary to what I reported last month, the album itself has no announced release date yet.

MP3: Murray A. Lightburn – “Motherfuckers”
Video: Murray A. Lightburn – “Motherfuckers”

Beatroute has an interview with Toronto’s July Talk.

The Besnard Lakes talk to Beatroute.

The Georgia Straight and Beatroute check in with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan.

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Genesis

Prism Prize refracts spotlight on Canadian videos

Photo By Claire BoucherClaire BoucherWhereas the Polaris Music Prize already has a seven year track record of honouring the top Canadian album, the Prism Prize is new on the scene – unaffiliated but sharing a similar mandate, but focused on the art of the music video rather than the album.

And while some may have assumed the art form was on the decline due to the fact that their traditional medium – broadcast television – no longer plays them, the internet as well as the low cost of entry to powerful high-definition recording equipment and editing software has given creators unprecedented means to make some seriously impressive shorts. And the Prism Prize aims to reward them with both recognition and a $5000 prize to be split between the artist and the video production team.

A jury of Canadian music media types have been voting on any video created in the 2012 calendar year and as of yesterday, the short list of ten finalists was announced. It’s not an unfamiliar set of names for those who keep up with the Can-indie – congratulations to Rich Aucoin, Drake, Grimes (twice), METZ, Mother Mother, Maylee Todd, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, and Young Rival – but what’s nice about this sort of prize is a) even if you don’t care for the artist or the song, you can still find the video worthy, and b) it takes well under an hour to get through every candidate. Handy if you’re a juror. Which I am, I should mention, and I should probably get started on my ballot.

The winner will be announced on March 24.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Sprawl II” (Vincent Morriset)
Video: Rich Aucoin – “Brian Wilson Is A.L.I.V.E.” (Noah Pink)
Video: Drake – “HYFR” (X)
Video: Grimes – “Genesis” (Claire Boucher)
Video: Grimes – “Oblivion” (Emily Kai Bock)
Video: METZ – “Wet Blanket” (Scott Cudmore)
Video: Mother Mother – “The Sticks” (Chad VanGaalen)
Video: Maylee Todd – “Baby’s Got It” (Reynard Li)
Video: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko” (Emily Pelstring & Ruby Kato Attwood)
Video: Young Rival – “Two Reasons” (John Smith)

And this seems a good time to point out some recent domestic video released. Hayden just put out one to coincide with the release of Us Alone. There’s conversations with Mr. Desser at The National Post, NOW, Exclaim, and Spinner. He plays The Dakota, Cameron House, and Rivoli next week on February 20, 21, and 22 respectively.

Video: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”

Two Hours Traffic have put out the first video from their new record Foolish Blood as well as making a stream of the whole thing available at Exclaim. It’s out next Tuesday, February 19, and they’re at Lee’s Palace on March 21 for Canadian Musicfest.

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic / Foolish Blood

This would be the second video from the second Suuns record Images du Futur. It’s out March 5 and they headline Lee’s Palace on March 23, the Saturday night of Canadian Musicfest.

Video: Suuns – “2020”

Brasstronaut have a new clip from last year’s Mean Sun.

Video: Brasstronaut – “Bounce”

It’s not an official video, but this live clip of Evening Hymns covering Big Star in France (I think) is well worth watching. They play The Great Hall on Saturday night as part of Wavelength’s thirteenth anniversary series, which is underway now and is the subject of features in NOW and BlogTO. And tangentially, Wavelength talks to The Magic – also featuring Evening Hymns’ Sylvie Smith and playing Wavelength’s Sunday night showcase at The Garrison.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Thirteen” (live)

Spinner talks to Rachel Zeffira about her solo debut The Deserters, which is out March 12. A new, non-album bonus track is streamable at Chart.

Stream: Rachel Zeffira – “Wintertime”

Consequence Of Sound has premiered a new song from the forthcoming Chains Of Love album Misery Makers, due out this Summer. Surely I can’t be the only one to notice that singer/guitarist Rebecca Marie Law Gray is no longer in the promo photos, or audible on this recording…?

Stream: Chains Of Love – “Come And Play”

Daytrotter has posted a studio session with Destroyer.

A.C. Newman records a World Cafe session for NPR.

Beatroute talks to Purity Ring, who’ve made a new Soulja Boy cover available to download. Because apparently there exists someone called Soulja Boy and he writes songs.

MP3: Purity Ring – “Grammy”

Canadian University Press has a sit-down with Jay Ferguson of Sloan.

aux.tv talks to some of the artists who contributed rarities to the Have Not Been The Same compilation of ’90s Can-rock that soundtracked the book of the same name.

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Waging Heavy Peace

It’s Polaris day. Here’s a bunch of Canadian stuff.

Photo ByPenguinThe 2012 Polaris Music Prize gets awarded tonight, so in honour of the occasion, here’s a bunch of maple-flavoured content led off by a Canadian icon who hasn’t lived in Canada in some 40-plus years. Yeah!

If you have some time to kill and an interest in who Neil Young is circa 2012, you could do worse than to spend it with this feature piece at The New York Times. It covers his current relationship with alcohol and drugs – there is none – as well as his new record with Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill, his new digital audio format Pono, and why he decided to write an autobiography after insisting that he never would. Those memoirs, Waging Heavy Peace, comes out tomorrow – September 25 – and Psychedelic Pill is due out a month later on October 30. Neil leads the band into the Air Canada Centre on November 19.

Following up with news blips from some shortlisters, both this year and past… Feist may be ramping down the touring in support of last year’s Metals, but she’s ramping up the session videos – there’s a Les soiree de poches set at Le Blogotheque and From The Basement

CBC Music talks to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, who also have some new music to hear in the form of their soundtrack contributions to the Mark Of The Ninja video game. They play The Great Hall this Friday night for PBR10.

Stream: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan / Mark & Blade

Spinner talks to Kathleen Edwards about her Polaris odds.

NPR has a w World Cafe session and BlogTO an interview with Cold Specks.

Fucked Up tells Spinner they’d like to have Drake up there with them for tonight’s Polaris performance. They won’t, but they’d like it.

Metro talks to Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers.

The Boston Globe profiles Metric.

Julie Doiron has announced a new studio album in So Many Days, due out October 23. She’s released a first MP3 from the record and will be playing live on October 14, opening for Ben Gibbard at the Danforth Music Hall, and then October 30 at The Mod club supporting Grapes Of Wrath.

MP3: Julie Doiron – “By The Lake”

Spinner talks to The Sadies about backing Neil Young on their contribution to 2010’s Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of The Band. Yeah, two years ago. Whatevs.

You Say Party! talk to Exclaim and The Vancouver Sun about their return to active duty, starting this Saturday night at The Great Hall for PBR10.

Olenka & The Autumn Lovers have readied a new mini-album entitled Hard Times, and given it an October 2 release date. You can stream one of the new songs now.

Stream: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – “Don’t Make Sense”

The Bomber Jacket talks to Kat Burns of Kashka, playing a record release show for her debut Vichada at The Drake on October 5.

BrooklynVegan has an interview with METZ, who’ve released a second MP3 from their self-titled debut. It’s out October 9 and they’re at The Horseshoe to mark its release on October 12.

MP3: METZ – “Wet Blanket”

A second MP3 from A.C. Newman’s forthcoming Shut Down The Streets is available to download. It’s out October 9 and he kicks off the tour in support of it October 21 at Lee’s Palace.

MP3: A.C. Newman – “Encyclopedia Of Classic Takedowns”

Toronto’s July Talk – whom you may recall impressing me at at CMF earlier this year – have put out a video from their self-titled debut album, due October 16.

Video: July Talk – “Paper Girl”

Both Spinner and A Heart Is A Spade have feature interviews with Diamond Rings, who’s just announced a cross-Canada tour in support of Free Dimensional, out October 22. The Toronto date comes November 29 at The Mod Club, tickets $18.50.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

The Wooden Sky offers a feature piece on The Wooden Sky, who will be at The Phoenix on December 1.

Rich Aucoin has a fancy new Beach Boys-saluting video from his album We’re All Dying To Live. Toro and The Halifax Chronicle-Herald also have interviews.

Video: Rich Aucoin – “Brian Wilson is A.L.i.V.E.”

Loud & Quiet, The Calgary Herald, and aux.tv have interviews with Purity Ring.

aux.tv investigates the new “weird Canada” music scene bubbling up around the country.

The Globe & Mail examines how far the Polaris Prize has come in the past seven years, and what it now means for Canadian music

And a moment of silence for Sam “The Record Man” Sniderman, who passed away yesterday at 92. I spent much of my youth and my youthful allowance in his stores. Wait, did I say silence? I mean LOUDNESS.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The Sky Is A Harpsichord Canvas

Bill Doss of The Olivia Tremor Control, The Sunshine Fix, and Elephant 6 (1968-2012)

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangTerrible news yesterday out of Athens, Georgia as it was announced that Bill Doss, co-founder of The Olivia Tremor Control and The Sunshine Fix and one of the original members of the Elephant 6 movement, had passed away at the too-young age of 43. Details on the cause of death have not been revealed, but it must have come as a shock considering that Doss had been playing with The Olivia Tremor Control as recently as last week at a hometown show in Athens.

I feel extra-fortunate to have caught the recently reunited Olivia Tremor Control when they came through Toronto last September but had really hoped that the vague intentions Doss and Will Cullen Hart had for new recordings would come through and bring them back again and again with new material. Alas, it was not to be but there is some comfort to be found in the two masterpieces of psychedelic-pop he made with the OTC – Dusk At Cubist Castle and Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol. 1 – and the more classically pop work he did with The Sunshine Fix is also worth hearing.

A lack of details on what happened and an overall sense of shock have mostly limited coverage of Doss’ death to straight reportage, but expect heartfelt tributes from friends and fellow musicians in the coming days and weeks. A couple worth reading are already up at Chunklet, You Ain’t No Picasso, Pitchfork, and NOW. And if you’re new to or unfamiliar with the legacy of the Elephant 6, this primer at Spin is a good entry point; they’ve also assembled a playlist of some of his work. NPR still has the Olivia Tremor Control’s New York show from that Fall 2011 tour available to stream and a couple of clips from their appearance at Pitchfork Fest a couple weeks ago are up on YouTube; hopefully more will follow.

Rest in peace, Bill Doss.

MP3: The Olivia Tremor Control – “Love Athena”
MP3: The Olivia Tremor Control – “A Familiar Noise Called Train Director”
MP3: The Sunshine Fix – “Age Of The Sun”
Video: The Olivia Tremor Control – “Jumping Fences” (live at Pitchfork Festival 2012)
Video: The Olivia Tremor Control – “The Games You Play In Your Head” (live at Pitchfork Festival 2012)

For a while it seemed like Rich Aucoin was never going to play a regular, non-festival-type show in Toronto. Well now he is. He and presumably his crowd-surfing surfboard will be at Lee’s Palace on September 20, tickets $12.50.

MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”

If you thought that Lee’s Palace was an awful small a venue for an artist having as good a year as Grimes, you’d be right. She’s added a second show at Lee’s on September 22 to go with the one on the 21st, tickets again $20. The Globe & Mail has a feature piece on Ms Claire Boucher.

MP3: Grimes – “Circumambient”

John Lydon brings his Public Image Limited to The Opera House on October 18 in support of their first record in some twenty years, This Is PiL, tickets $39.50.

Video: Public Image Limited – “(This Is Not A) Love Song”

As the October 2 release date of Transcendental Youth draws lazily closer, The Mountain Goats have announced the first leg of North American touring in support, which includes a Toronto date at The Phoenix on October 20, tickets $21.50 in advance. Word is they’re bringing horns! And also in Goats news, they recorded the theme song for this week’s episode of Weeds so you can download that if you want to hear it but don’t want to watch the show. Which is totally reasonable.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Cry For Judas”
MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Little Boxes”

London’s Wolf Gang are at Wrongbar on October 22, part of an extensive North American tour in support of their debut album Suego Faults.

Video: Wolf Gang – “The King And All Of His Men”
Video: Wolf Gang – “Lions In Cages”

It’s been hard to say if this counts as a reunion or if they’ve been reunited for years but just not very active, but in any case The Super Friendz will be getting off their duffs for a show at Lee’s Palace on November 16, tickets $15. Power pop will ensue.

Video: The Super Friendz – “Up And Running”

Because some folks were asking – tickets for the New Order show at the Sony Centre on October 23 go on sale tomorrow. No they’re not remotely cheap. Why did you think they would be cheap?

Pitchfork and Spin talk to Jack Tatum about Nocturne, the new Wild Nothing album due out August 28. They’re at The Great Hall on September 18.

Bob Dylan discusses his new record Tempest, out September 11, with Rolling Stone. He brings it to the Air Canada Centre on November 14.

Pitchfork is has posted the first sample of the new Dum Dum Girls EP End Of Daze, out September 25.

MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”

The Phoenix New Times and Minnesota Daily talk to Sharon Van Etten.

Another of Wilco’s New York shows from this past week are up to download at NYC Taper.

That unexpected Feist/Mastodon split 7″ released for Record Store Day has yielded a cool interactive video that allows you to choose your preferred ratio of Feist-to-Mastodon. Check it out at Pitchfork.

Video: Feistodon – “A Commotion”

Kathleen Edwards picks her top five albums of the last two decades for CBC Music.

The 405 has a video interview and session with Memoryhouse.