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Posts Tagged ‘Roky Erikson’

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

FME 2012 Day Two

Feist, Louis-Jean Cormier, and more at Festival de musique émergente 2012

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo yesterday I talked about where and what Rouyn-Noranda was; today I will do the same for FME. You don’t need to be bilingual to discern that “Festival de musique émergente” implies a mandate of focusing on new and upcoming artists, primarily but not exclusively from Québec, with a few relatively big names to bring in the less musically adventurous. It was started ten years ago when the organizers were tired of driving to Montréal eight hours away to see shows and so they started a festival as a pretence to bring bands to them.

From drawing around 3000 people in its first year to an estimated 20,000 this year, it’s concentrated on growing in scale while maintaining its intimate and sometimes impromptu vibe and also become an important showcase for European festival bookers to discover Francophone talent. It’s definitely a grassroots/boutique-type festival – think Hillside meets Iceland Airwaves, but much smaller – that brings a few days of great music and arts to a community that has an immense appetite for it but is well away from conventional touring routes and for Anglophones like myself, provide a fascinating window into the often opaque world of Québec popular music.

After a Friday morning spent ziplining in a forest a little out of town – no broken bones! A triumph! – it was into town to catch some of their “5 á 7” series of free day shows. Well, one of them – they were all at 5PM so conflicts were going to happen. I hit up Avec pas d’casque at Salle Evolu-Son on account of their latest Astronomie having made the Polaris long list this year, giving them more name recognition than anyone else playing. Lost list benefits in action! But while I knew who they were, I didn’t actually know what they sounded like so their slightly creaky country-pop was a total surprise to me. Of course, if they’d been a straightahead rock band or metal-reggae group, I’d have been just as surprised so whatever. Their down-home songwriting was augmented by some interesting instrument choices – steel and bowed guitars, a euphonium, autoharp, and kazoo were all drafted into service at some point in their set and while they demonstrated the ability to make their sound swell dramatically if they wanted to, they mostly kept it pretty mellow.

Photos: Avec pas d’casque @ Salle Evolu-Son – August 31, 2012
Video: Avec pas d’casque – “En attendant que ça paye”
Video: Avec pas d’casque – “Talent”
Video: Avec pas d’casque – “Dans les bras de la femme bionique”
Video: Avec pas d’casque – “Dans la nature jusqu’au cou”

For the evening programme, there wasn’t really anywhere else to be than the outdoor stage erected on 7e rue – this was where the festival’s headliner, save the special Sunday night performance, was going to be. Louis-Jean Cormier would have known what it was to be one of FME’s main draws – his band Karkwa had played the fest a number of times (their manager being the founder), most recently in 2010 – the year they won the Polaris Prize. With the band on the backburner for the foreseeable future, Cormier was using this occasion to showcase material which would appear on his solo debut, out on September 18, and while I’d seen him perform a number of times, it was always in the context of trying to introduce himself to unfamiliar audiences and win them over; it was quite different to see him in front of those who were already won over. Playing in a light, steady rain and fronting a five-piece band, Cormier gave ample proof that he was the melodic, pop heart of Karkwa. His stuff was more immediate and the fussier elements, while still present, were dialed down significantly. It was guitar pop of the sort that you didn’t need to understand the lyrics to enjoy, though the closing number’s chorus of “Goodbye Charest” made its sentiment pretty clear, along with Cormier’s political leanings and from the shouts of approval, the audience’s as well.

Photos: Louis-Jean Cormier @ Scène extérieur desjardins 7e rue – August 31, 2012
Stream: Louis-Jean Cormier – “L’ascenseur”

Being an international star, Feist has played a lot of places in Canada and abroad but it was probably safe to say she’d never played Rouyn-Noranda before. That, plus the fact that it was a festival headlining set towards the end of the touring cycle for Metals made me wonder if she might deviate from the consistent (read: same) set she’d been performing for most of the past year and maybe acquiesce to playing a few more of the hits? Not that I’d seen the set in question; I’d caught a bit of her at Osheaga but the last time I saw her perform was last October at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio, and that was a decidedly unique and guest star-laden show.

One look at the stage showed at least one way in which this would be different; Mountain Man, the trio who had been Feist’s backing singers for the entirety of the Metals tours, were absent and instead it was a four-piece band who would be playing tonight, though both Brian LeBarton and Charles Spearin’s musical workstations flanking Feist’s spot centre-stage were loaded with gear. They may have been small, but they were hardly unequipped.

Once they got started – the skies had cleared and a full moon shone – another benefit to the smaller band became evident: it gave them space. It’s difficult to be spontaneous with a big band but a lean unit – particularly one that’s been playing countless show for months – can turn on a dime and given this freedom and the casual vibe of the festival, Feist turned in an energized, exuberant set that proved that she stil knew where her indie rock roots were. Unsurprisingly, Metals material made up the bulk of the set, some of the selections had already mutated into new forms from the past year of live interpretations. I would have expected her French to be better given the time spent in Paris, but Feist was still able to engage the audience and invite them to act as choral vocalists on a few songs. The outro of “How Come You Never Go There” went alright – “whoa whoa” isn’t too hard to do – but the multi-octave harmonies on “So Sorry” were well beyond their abilities and were a kind of charming disaster.

It was the older material that really stood out, though, and not just because it was more familiar. “My Moon My Man” was a near-rager, replete with healthy guitar abuse, and “Feel It All” was a veritable punk rock number. The encore kept this up, with Feist and LeBarton – swapping keys for drums – turning “When I Was A Young Girl” into a garage rock-y White Stripes tribute and, with the rest of the band back on stage, making “Sea Lion Woman” a free-form jam before ending with an impressively big, “Let It Die”. It will probably be a while before Feist ever returns to Rouyn, but until then she left the town with a lot of lasting musical memories.

Spinner grabbed an interview with Feist prior to the show.

Photos: Feist @ Scène extérieur desjardins 7e rue – August 31, 2012
Video: Feist – “Anti-Pioneer”
Video: Feist – “Cicadas & Gulls”
Video: Feist – “The Bad In Each Other”
Video: Feist – “I Feel It All”
Video: Feist – “Honey Honey”
Video: Feist – “My Moon My Man”
Video: Feist – “Mushaboom”
Video: Feist – “1, 2, 3, 4”
Video: Feist – “One Evening”
Video: Feist – “It’s Cool To Love Your Family”

It would be hard to top that show, so Kandle’s midnight set at Agora des arts was doomed to pale by comparison, but even if that hadn’t been the context it probably still would have underwhelmed. The offspring of 54-40 frontman Neil Osbourne, Kandle Osborne should be commended for trying something completely different musically, but the moody, country-noir sound she’s going for is, for now at least, beyond her reach. Her voice may have the right smoky timbre but she didn’t demonstrate any of the range necessary to imbue it with emotion and her songwriting also lacked the maturity and sophistication needed to sell it. Maybe with time and experience, both musical and life, she’ll get more convincing but for now she comes across as an ingenue trying to play the femme fatale role and it’s not working.

And then we went for poutine.

Photos: Kandle @ Agora des arts – August 31, 2012
Video: Kandle – “Small”
Video: Kandle – “Knew You’d Never”
Video: Kandle – “Know My Name”

A brace of concert announcements following the long weekend yesterday. Starting with the quick and free, know that Bloc Party will augment their two-night stand at the Danforth Music Hall with a free show at Sugar Beach – that’s down at the Corus/CFNY/Edge building on Lakeshore – on September 11 at 7:30PM. Details at Arts & Crafts.

Video: Bloc Party – “Octopus”

West coast lo-fi fellows Craft Spells have a date at The Shop under Parts & Labour on September 23, tickets $12.50 for those who plan ahead.

MP3: Craft Spells – “You Should Close The Door”
MP3: Craft Spells – “Party Talk”

Aussies enamoured of their Kiwi neighbours’ jangle-pop traditions – read: Flying Nun et al – The Twerps will be at The Silver Dollar on October 22. Don’t know who they are? eMusic finds out.

Video: The Twerps – “Through The Day”

Portland’s Blitzen Trapper will find some time amidst their tour with Brandi Carlile to play a headlining show of their own at Lee’s Palace on October 22. Tickets $17.50.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Black River Killer”
MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Love The Way You Walk Away”

Texas psych-rock pioneer Roky Erickson is at Lee’s Palace on November 3, tickets $29.50. His last release was 2010’s Will Sheff-produced, Okkervil River-backed True Love Cast Out All Evil. The Advocate talks to Sheff about working with Erickson and what’s next for Okkervil.

Stream: Roky Erickson – “Be And Bring Me Home”

More Portlanders coming to town in the form of ornate folk outfit Horse Feathers. Their latest Cynics New Year came out in the Spring and they’ll be playing selections from it at The Drake on November 8, tickets $15.

MP3: Horse Feathers – “Fit Against The Country”
MP3: Horse Feathers – “Cascades”

And again from Australia, Tame Impala have announced a local date in support of their new record Lonerism, out October 9. Look for them and their psychedelically jammy ways at The Phoenix on November 12, tickets $20. SF Weekly has an interview.

MP3: Tame Impala – “Runway, Houses, City, Clouds”

The Twilight Sad brought No One Can Ever Know to town back in March and they’ll do so again with fellow Scots Errors in tow for a show at The Horseshoe on November 18, tickets $13.50.

MP3: The Twilight Sad – “Another Bed”
Video: Errors – “Ammaboa Glass”

Spinner talks Lawless with Nick Cave, screenwriter.

The Vinyl District interviews Pip Browne of Ladyhawke. She’s at The Hoxton on September 15.

The National Post interviews Torq Campbell of Stars. They support Metric at The Air Canada Centre on November 24.

Daytrotter sessions up an a capella Futureheads.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I'll Never Live Up To You

John Vanderslice gives away EP, consolidates status as swell guy

Photo By Elizabeth WeibergElizabeth WeibergA note: I’m presently barely conscious after staying up way too late the other night doing the Polaris post-game, so I’m just going to start tossing up stuff that’s been collecting in the hopper over the last few days until I pass out.

And we’ll kick off with a new batch of fully realized, produced and presented songs from the inimitable John Vanderslice, collected under the title of Green Grow The Rushes. It’s being given away for exactly zero dollars in both high-quality MP3 and uncompressed WAV format over at his website. Why? Because he’s got these songs he wants you to hear and because he’s great. But if you want to thank the ‘Slice in some monetary way, perhaps pick up a copy of his last full-length Romanian Names? It’s not quite as free but still a great record.

MP3: John Vanderslice – “Thule Fog”
MP3: John Vanderslice – “I’ll Never Live Up To You”
ZIP: John Vanderslice / Green Grow The Rushes

Exclaim has some details on the new Iron & Wine album, entitled Kiss Each Other Clean and due out in early 2011.

Michael Benjamin Lerner of Telekinesis chats with The Washington Post.

The Thermals have released a new single from Personal Life which, in the parlance of our time, means that there’s a new MP3 to download.

MP3: The Thermals – “Never Listen To Me”

The Line Of Best Fit and Spinner talk to Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of The Posies. Their new record Blood/Candy is out September 28.

The Boston Herald talks to drummer Bob Nastanovich of Pavement. NYC Taper has also got a recording of their Williamsburg show to share.

Clash interviews Local Natives, in town at the Mod Club on October 19.

Spin declares Lissie to be “breaking out”. She’s at the El Mocambo on October 19.

Spin gets to the root of Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s name, while Filter has a track from their new record Buzzard available to download.

MP3: Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s – “Lunatic, Lunatic, Lunatic”

Spinner serves up an Interface session with Drive-By Truckers.

R.E.M. has completed work on album number 15 and are targeting a Spring 2011 release for it.

Drowned In Sound talks to Will Sheff of Okkervil River about working with Roky Erikson on this year’s True Love Casts Out All Evil.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Spoon’s show in the teeny tiny Cake Shop last week.

The new Deerhunter record Halcyon Digest is streaming at NPR in advance of its release next week. They’re at Lee’s Palace the Opera House on October 19.

Stream: Deerhunter / Halcyon Digest

The AV Club, American Songwriter, The Boston Herald, Pinnastorm, The Awl and NPR have interviews with Superchunk. NPR is also streaming their show in Washington DC last week and NYC Taper offering downloads of the Brooklyn show, giving you a taste of what to expect when they return to Toronto to play the Sound Academy on December 9 opening up for Broken Social Scene; you’ll just have to imagine the pogoing.

The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Interpol.

PitchforkTV has posted a POV session with The Hold Steady.

Clash declares Holly Miranda “One To Watch”.

New York Magazine talks to Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner.

Spin gets a live preview of Nicole Atkins’ new record Mondo Amore, due out on January 25 of next year, and you can download a new track from the record over at Nicole’s website.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Ra Ra Riot, who have made good on their promise to come back to town in December – they’ll be at the Mod Club on the first of that month, tickets $16.

MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Boy”

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Good Ol' Boredom

Built To Spill and Disco Doom at Lee's Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen it comes to bands doing multi-night stands, I’ve come to the wholly unscientific conclusion that given the choice (ie – all shows are announced simultaneously and not only after one has sold out) that the last night of the run is the one to hit. The band isn’t tired from travel, any sound issues will have been sorted out (one hopes) and the looseness is conducive, in theory, to a more exciting or unpredictable show. There’s more chance, in other words, of the band “leaving it all on stage”, as the kids say. And so for Built To Spill’s two-night engagement at Lee’s Palace this week, a repeat of their first-ever visit to Toronto in July 2007, I opted to hit the second night. It figures that everyone else I knew who was going went to the first.

The media as well, judging from the reviews that were circulating the day of my show. And though the verdict was generally positive, it seemed as though the thumbs up was a qualified one, which I could understand. Having seen them twice before, I knew they could offer up guitar-driven transcendence but were also at risk of extended, aimless jamming. But it’s exactly that fine balance of noodly meander and pop focus that makes Built To Spill so great, so I was looking forward to the show regardless.

Openers for the tour were a Swiss act – when was the last time I saw a Swiss band? – called Disco Doom and to the literal minded, no they did not sound like disco nor doom. What they did sound like was a band tailor-made to appeal to fans of Built To Spill who also have a fondness for fuzzy, early ’90s shoegaze influences. They had it all – whispery boy-girl vocals, fuzz-laden guitar lines and pretty much no stage presence at all. They also sort of had songs… nothing that sticks in the memory after the fact, but everything felt good, for what that’s worth. Their set-closing extenda-jam went over well with the rapidly filling audience, and of course it would. If you were looking for 500 people in Toronto who appreciate a good extenda-jam, this is where they’d be.

No one expects a lot of chit-chat from Built To Spill. Or at least they shouldn’t. These are guys who prefer to let their fingers do the talking, coaxing out insanely convoluted and intertwined yet unfailingly melodic lines out of their guitars, and so when what seemed like a final pre-show soundcheck with frontman Doug Martsch and drummer Scott Plouf turned into a jam of “Three Years Ago Today” from their 1993 debut Ultimate Alternative Wavers, well, that seemed perfectly natural. And though the band had just released their latest album – and best in some time – There Is No Enemy the day before, the set list would show it no favouritism, instead touching on every one of their records before it was all over. And comparing it to the previous night’s set, it’s obvious that choosing one night over the other was futile, at least as far as song selections went – only one tune, the Canada-saluting “Hindsight” from the new record, was repeated. If you’re a Built To Spill fan and want to be sure to hear your favourite song during a multi-night stand, be prepared to shell out.

Performance-wise, the first half of the show was a bit snoozy in delivery, the extended tuning breaks and set discussions between selections doing nothing to help maintain the modest energy generated during the actual songs. Guitarist Brett Netson tried engaging in a bit of banter, but mostly the band worked in silence, eyes on their tuners. With “Conventional Wisdom”, however, it seemed like the band spontaneously discovered another gear and gunned it – well, relatively speaking. It didn’t suddenly become a Metallica show, but someone or something definitely kicked them in the sun and made a pretty good show into one that was staring greatness in the face, so it felt like a disappointment when they closed out the set after just over an hour, following a wicked “Virginia Reel Around The Fountain”. Here they were just hitting their stride and they were calling it a night? Sure there was an encore, but how much can you do with the encore? A lot, as it turns out. Though Martsch initially promised just a couple songs, they kept going, ultimately trotting out four more tunes and extending to almost the two-hour mark, much of that an epic-length, appropriately named “Stop The Show” to wrap it up. Not quite the marathon 27-minute “Randy Described Eternity” they served up last time, but still dizzying. I now understand why they do the multi-night thing. It’s not necessarily because they want to do intimate shows or they’ve got the massive fanbase to justify it, but to play all the songs they want to would otherwise take upwards of four hours.

Flavorwire, The Maneater, The Boston Herald and The Cornell Sun have interviews with Doug Martsch.

Photos: Built To Spill, Disco Doom @ Lee’s Palace – October 7, 2009
MP3: Built To Spill – “Hindsight”
Video: Built To Spill – “Conventional Wisdom”
MySpace: Built To Spill
MySpace: Disco Doom

NPR is streaming last night’s Dinosaur Jr show in Washington DC – something to hold you over until they finally come to Toronto to play the Phoenix on January 21 of next year. The Washington Examiner talks to Dino drummer Murph.

Minnesota Public Radio is streaming a studio session with Yo La Tengo. There’s interviews with the band at AZ Central, The Denver Post, The Standard and Decider.

In honour of their reunion, which now includes a them-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in May in the UK to go with their four nights in Central Park in September, PitchforkTV is streaming the Pavement documentary/live film The Slow Century for a week.

Video: Pavement: The Slow Century

Okkervil River’s Will Sheff talks to The Golden Gate X-Press and mentions that an album they made with Roky Erikson will be out early next year. Erikson is playing Lee’s Palace on October 28, but don’t expect Okkervil to be along as his band for that – the fact that The Sadies are opening that show up pretty much guarantees they’ll be his band.

The Sadies will also be playing with R&B legend Andre Williams at the Horseshoe on November 19, tickets $15.

NOW talks to Amy Millan, who is playing the Mod Club next Wednesday, October 14. Congratulations to Patrick and Janice, who won the passes to the show.

QRO has an interview with Emil Svanagen of Loney Dear, who will be at the Horseshoe on Monday night. Congratulations to Thierry and Bruce, who won the passes to the show.

And speaking of winning passes, here’s a doozie of a contest though it’s not mine. The folks at Against The Grain and Rootmeansquare, who put on many/most of the awesome shows in the city and who are responsible for most of the ticket giveaways I have, are officially joining forces (in a corporate sense) starting next year and as such, are looking for a new name and are soliciting your help in coming up with one. In their words, “Think MUSIC, art, alternative, indie, new wave, cool but not retro, etc.” If your suggestion inspires them or is chosen as their new identity, you will win “ONE YEAR OF FREE CONCERT TICKETS (+ 1) to all ATG, RMS, H-Shoe Tavern, & Lees Palace shows (non-transferable)”. That, friends, is a shitload of concerts. The letterhead they write the guest lists on will essentially have your name printed on it. So put those thinking toques on and send you ideas to shows@atgconcerts.com with “BUSINESS NAME” in the subject line. Go!

Still not convinced my hosting isn’t going to go kack as soon as regular traffic loads ramp up. Not much I can do about it until I’ve gotten all my files and data backed up, which is hard to do when your site is inaccessible, let me tell you. Hoping to have this all sorted out within a week or so, though, so thanks for sticking around. Assuming you’re sticking around.

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

NY-San Anton

Cinema Red & Blue and The Ladybug Transistor at The Cake Shop in New York

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangJust to be clear: I had absolutely no intention of going to any shows this past weekend whilst in New York City. Yes, I checked to see what was playing over the long weekend and certainly would have hit something up if it were appealing, but taking a break from standing around in Toronto clubs till the wee hours of the morning by standing around in New York clubs till the wee hours of the morning is not my idea of a vacation. However, a chat with Soundbites on Saturday afternoon and the lack of anything more interesting to do on Saturday night found me – wait for it – standing around in a Lower East Side club till the wee hours of the morning.

The club was The Cake Shop, a venue I’d heard tale of for years but had not set foot in – and which like other fabled NYC clubs of which I’ve recently made the acquaintance of, was much smaller, darker and sweatier than I’d imagined. But they did indeed sell cake. So there’s that. The bill was four deep, the first half of which I missed, but I did arrive in time to see The Ladybug Transistor – a band not all that familiar to me but who came with a pedigree containing the keywords Elephant 6 (a scene with whom they were originally associated), Merge (the label to which they’re signed) and The Essex Green (the band with which they’ve shared many a member). And so while not being familiar with their material, per se, that was more than enough to make me confident that I’d enjoy what they had to offer and indeed I did – sharp, singalong-worthy and handclap-happy retro-styled indie-pop will never go out of style. With a big, lush sound that seemed a bit at odds with the decidedly non-lush environs, The Ladybug Transistor’s set certainly made for a better evening than watching basic cable back at the apartment where I was staying, which probably would have been the evening’s fallback activity.

The night’s headliner was an outfit called Cinema Red & Blue, an offshoot of UK indie cult heroes The Comet Gain involving members of The Ladybug Transistor – for any more detail than that, I refer you to this preview piece at BrooklynVegan. I think I’d heard Comet Gain before and recall being generally unimpressed with their shambolic aesthetic, so it was probably too much to hope that a one-off gig from an under-rehearsed and probably drunk side-project would offer much in the revelation department. And no, it really didn’t. A late start due to a malfunctioning keyboard (always a good idea to wait until show time to discover that the power cord doesn’t work) pretty much set the tone and by the time they got started, they were as sloppy and wobbly as you’d expect. But while that wasn’t my thing, it seemed to be precisely what the fans in attendance wanted and so they all seemed pretty pleased. I stuck around for a little while and quietly excused myself. Sleep beckoned.

Photos: Cinema Red & Blue, The Ladybug Transistor @ The Cake Shop, New York – September 5, 2009
MP3: The Ladybug Transistor – “Three Days From Now”
MP3: The Ladybug Transistor – “Splendor In The Grass”
MP3: The Ladybug Transistor – “The Reclusive Hero”
MP3: The Ladybug Transistor – “A Burial At Sea”
MySpace: The Ladybug Transistor

As for the rest of the trip, it was intended to be a little bit shopping excursion, a little bit get the hell out of Toronto and it was a success on both counts. Some clothes and probably unnecessary photo gear to the former, some exploration of Brooklyn, culture at the MoMA and AMNH, excellent eating and hanging out with friends made it a great long weekend and a small but necessary act of salvaging a tiny bit of the Summer. Some photos are up at Flickr if you’re curious.

Apologies to anyone who stopped by Sunday to check out this week’s G’N’R cover only to find, instead of twee-ified Axel, a googly-eyed cat – in my rush to get posts written up and queued for my absence, I forgot to upload the MP3 file. So it’s live now and as a bit of mea culpa, also help yourself to this radio session version of Luna doing the same tune. Also check out the Taken By Trees features at Paste and The Guardian and stream the new album East Of Eden – out today – at Drowned In Sound.

MP3: Taken By Trees – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
MP3: Luna – “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (live)
Stream: Taken By Trees / East Of Eden

Anyone faced with a Joe Pernice-or-The Antlers dilemma for the evening of September 24, rejoice – The Antlers will be playing an in-store at Criminal Records that evening, time TBA. So you – and by “you” I mean “I” – can hit up the in-store first then trek over to the Dakota later that night to see Joe. Unless you had tickets for the Antlers’ show at the Horseshoe that night, in which case you’re on your own with a double-serving of Antlers. There’s a video session with them at LiveDaily while Pernice talks to Spinner about his new record.

Suckers have been added as support for the just-announced White Rabbits gig at the Drake on October 24. I’ve heard almost as many good things about them as I have the headliners – which is a considerable amount – so that gig is probably one not to miss. Check out an MP3 and video and also their Daytrotter session from earlier this Summer.

MP3: Suckers – “It Gets Your Body Movin'”
Video: Suckers – “Easy Chairs”

Former 13th Floor Elevators frontman and general psych-rock legend Roky Erickson has set a rare live date at Lee’s Palace in Toronto for October 28 – tickets $29.50. There’s an interview with Erickson at The Quietus.

Video: The 13th Floor Elevators – “You’re Gonna Miss Me”

The Swell Season, who continue on despite the end of Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s real-life romance, will release their second album Strict Joy on October 27 and follow it up with a Fall tour that includes a date at Massey Hall in Toronto on November 3 – tickets $29.50 to $42.50. Check out a new song from the record courtesy of Spinner and also a few more at a Tiny Desk Concert recorded for NPR.

MP3: The Swell Season – “In These Arms”

If you were wondering if/when The Wooden Sky would play a proper hometown gig rather than rooftop soirees or subterranean in-stores, wonder no longer – they’ll present their excellent new record If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone on a proper stage on November 13 at Lee’s Palace. Tickets $12.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Something Hiding For Us In The Night”

And if you’ve been wondering – as I have – what TV is worth downloading this Fall, it’s The AV Club to the rescue. They’ve listed off all the shows they’re going to be covering as the traditional new television season kicks off in the coming weeks, and not a moment too soon. With Weeds over last week and True Blood done this Sunday, I needs new stuff to watch. Though a closer look at their picks shows that our tastes align a little too closely – most of them I already watch or have decided not to watch. Will be following Glee and Bored To Death – anyone have any other suggestions that don’t require catching up on four or five past seasons worth of eps?