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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Adams’

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

"Black Sheets Of Rain"

Ryan Adams covers Bob Mould

Photo via iTunesiTunesI never drew the parallels until just now, really, but the career arcs of Bob Mould and Ryan Adams really do have a lot in common, not least of all that they’ve not really been arcs so much as strange and interesting twisty patterns with all kinds of full stops and hard lefts.

Both started out fronting influential and relatively successful bands that eventually imploded (Hüsker Dü and Whiskeytown), embarked on solo careers that would be interrupted with runs with new bands, (Sugar and The Cardinals), puzzling and questionable detours in creative direction )Modulate and Orion), and even very public retirements from music (Mould in 1999 following The Last Dog & Pony Show, Adams in 2009 post-Cardinology). And both have made impressive comebacks in the past year by playing to their strengths – Adams with the relatively low-key Ashes & Fire last Fall and Mould by using the Sugar reissues as an excuse to return to loud, hooky rock music on his next album The Silver Age, out September 4.

And so I really shouldn’t have been surprised Adams – a man with a penchant for unexpected covers – made the title track from Mould’s second solo album Black Sheets Of Rain a staple of his live sets recently, including for an iTunes session this Spring. As Adams is in acoustic mode, there’s no attempt to reproduce the nearly eight minutes of soul- and guitar-shredding catharsis of the original instead transforming it into a smouldering, ruminative number. It works, too.

MP3: Ryan Adams – “Black Sheets Of Rain”
Video: Ryan Adams – “Black Sheets Of Rain” (live on Letterman)
Stream: Bob Mould – “Black Sheets Of Rain”

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Hair

Ty Segall and White Fence to get Hair-y

Photo By Ruth SwansonRuth SwansonSeeing San Francisco’s Ty Segall at Halifax Pop Explosion 2010 was one of the most unexpectedly rowdy/violent shows I’ve ever been in the middle of, which was a bit surprising considering that as rough and garage-y as his stuff is, it’s not all that heavy. Certainly not the obvious soundtrack for the bedlam that ensued that evening. Maybe it was just Halifax. Anyways, despite enjoying his music well enough, I’ve made a point of avoiding his shows as the odds of me getting kicked in the head seem to increase exponentially when we’re in the same room.

So you won’t be finding me at The Horseshoe on May 12, as that’s the day that Segall and Tim Presley, who plays in Los Angeles’s Darker My Love but also operates solo as the mellow if trippy ’60s psych-rock act White Fence, roll into town. The show will be in support of their forthcoming California garage rock summit LP Hair, as well as their respective latest releases. Segall put out Goodbye Bread last Summer, White Fence will release the two-volume Family Perfume set in April and Hair is due out in late April.

Spin talks to Segall about the collaborative record. Tickets for the show – which also feature Austin’s Strange Boys on the bill – are $16.50 in advance, and do not cover first aid costs for if you get kicked in the head. Update: Full tour dates now up at Pitchfork.

MP3: Ty Segall – “You Make The Sun Fry”
MP3: White Fence – “It Will Never Be”
MP3: The Strange Boys – “Me And You”

And if the garage rock isn’t your speed, that same evening will find Justin Townes Earle at The Opera House to play songs from his new record Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now, out March 27. It’s part of a massive world tour and will cost you $18.50 to get in.

MP3: Justin Townes Earle – “Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now”

Good news! Portland’s Blouse, who were featured in the first post of this year, are coming to town on May 5 as support for Bear In Heaven at The Garrison. Bad news! It’s the same night as Spiritualized at The Phoenix. I will be making catching them at SXSW a priority, but if you’re free that evening I’d highly recommend this bill.

MP3: Blouse – “Into Black”

And speaking of Bear In Heaven, they released a regular-speed preview of their new record I Love You, It’s Cool a few weeks ago. It’s out April 3.

MP3: Bear In Heaven – “The Reflection Of You”

NPR has premiered the first video from The Magnetic Fields’ forthcoming long-player Love At The Bottom Of The Sea, due out March 6. They play The Sound Academy on March 30.

Video: The Magnetic Fields – “Andrew In Drag”

The first taste of M. Ward’s new one A Wasteland Companion comes by way of a video. The record is out April 10.

Video: M. Ward – “The First Time I Ran Away”

NOW, The Boston Globe, Metro, The Montreal Mirror and Washington Examiner interview The Kills, in town at The Kool Haus on February 7. And if you want a preview of it, NPR will have a stream of last night’s show in Washington DC up in the next few hours.

Spin has a video of Death Cab For Cutie playing “You Are A Tourist” on PBS’ Live from the Artists Den, the full episode of which is set to air February 17. Death Cab are at Massey Hall on April 19.

NPR welcomes Centro-Matic over for a World Cafe session. Pegasus News talks to Will Johnson about the Woody Guthrie tribute project with Anders Parker, Jay Farrar and Jim James called New Multitudes which will release an album of the same name on February 28.

NPR is streaming a KCRW session with Ryan Adams.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

When No One's Watching

Craig Finn lets Full Eyes stream

Photo By Jeremy BaldersonJeremy BaldersonAt first, it’s hard to imagine what need there is for a Craig Finn solo album. After all, he gets to run roughshod over The Hold Steady records with as many words as he can manage to pair with their classic rock attack – has he really got a backlog of ideas that don’t fit that broad and welcoming template? As Clear Heart, Full Eyes, out next Tuesday but now available to stream in whole at NPR demonstrates, yeah he does.

It’s not as though any of these songs couldn’t have easily been made into Hold Steady numbers; Finn’s character-driven songwriting style is still immediately recognizable. But the mood is more thoughtful and the musical accompaniments chosen are simpler and slower – though not acoustic and strummy, it should be made clear – and allow Finn to occupy enough of a different timbre and cadence to clearly distinguish him from the manic character who fronts The Hold Steady. It’s the sort of record that fans will enjoy for its own merits but also make them appreciate the next Hold Steady record even more.

Clash gets into the literary inspiration that goes into his work while Pitchfork and Hitfix talk to him about going solo and what’s next for The Hold Steady.

MP3: Craig Finn – “Honolulu Blues”
Stream: Craig Finn / Clear Heart Full Eyes

School Of Seven Bells have revealed details of a Spring tour in support of Ghostory, out February 28. The Toronto date is May 2 at The Hoxton.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Lafaye”
MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “The Night”

Hospitality were just here last week but they’ve already scheduled a return date for February 29 when they’ll be supporting Tennis at The Horseshoe. Their self-titled debut is out January 31.

MP3: Hospitality – “Friends Of Friends”

Beirut have announced a July 19 date at The Sound Academy, part of a Canadian tour in support of last year’s The Rip Tide. Tickets are $35 general admission, $50 VIP.

Video: Beirut – “Santa Fe”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Real Estate, who play a sold-out show at Lee’s Palace this Friday. The Boston Globe and Montreal Mirror have interviews.

Nada Surf has made their new record The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy available to stream ahead of its release next week over at NPR. They play the Opera House on April 4.

MP3: Nada Surf – “When I Was Young”
Stream: Nada Surf / The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy

Stuff like iTunes sessions don’t typically get my attention, but one coming out on January 24 does – because a) it’s by Wilco and b) it’s all of eight songs long, picked from all throughout their existence and featuring a cover of “Cruel To Be Kind” with Nick Lowe. So yeah, maybe I’ll buy that. Details on the release at Consequence Of Sound, and there’s interviews with Jeff Tweedy at The Denver Post and Glenn Kotche at The Los Angeles Times.

The Stool Pigeon talks to Chairlift about their new record Something, out January 24 and followed by a show at The Horseshoe on March 28.

Stereogum checks in with Sharon Van Etten about the state of her new album Tramp, out February 7. She plays Lee’s Palace on February 21.

Opening up that show are Shearwater, who’ve offered up another track from their new one Animal Joy. It’s out February 14.

MP3: Shearwater – “You As You Were”

The first official preview of Sleigh Bells’ forthcoming Reign Of Terror is now available to hear. It’s out February 21 and they play The Phoenix February 18.

Stream: Sleigh Bells – “Comeback Kid”

Another tune from the new Lambchop record Mr. M is available to download ahead of its February 21 release date.

MP3: Lambchop – “Gone Tomorrow”

The Boston Herald, Boston Phoenix, and Metro talk to Joe Pernice about the Scud Mountain Boys reunion tour, which kicked off this week in Boston and hits Lee’s Palace on February 25.

The Decemberists will be entering their hiatus in grand fashion, with the released of their first live album, the double-disc We All Raise Our Voices To The Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11). It will be out on March 13; Rolling Stone has specifics.

Rolling Stone has an MP3 from Threads, the new record for Minneapolis’ Now, Now. It’s out March 16 and they may or may not be opening for The Naked & Famous at The Sound Academy on April 5 – I’ve seen both that they are and aren’t.

MP3: Now, Now – “School Friends”

Rolling Stone has got an MP3 from the new Justin Townes Earle album Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now available to download. The record is out March 27.

MP3: Justin Townes Earle – “Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now”

DIY profiles Howler, who are at The Drake Underground on April 5. They’ve also released a live session video recorded at the Rough Trade store in London.

Video: Howler – “Back Of Your Neck” (live at Rough Trade)

Wayne Coyne talks to Rolling Stone about a new The Flaming Lips record that will be made up of collaborations with other artists such as Bon Iver (who, let’s be honest, would probably agree to collaborate with anyone who asked) and which may be out as soon as April.

Lower Dens have announced a new record – look for Nootropics on May 1 – and also released the first MP3 from it, which is kind of great.

MP3: Lower Dens – “Brains”

DIY has a feature piece on Guided By Voices, who aim to release their second reunion album Class Clown Spots A UFO in or around May.

Ryan Adams has released a new video from Ashes & Fire.

Video: Ryan Adams – “Chains Of Love”

There’s also a new video from Death Cab For Cutie’s Codes & Keys.

Video: Death Cab For Cutie – “Underneath The Sycamore”

aux.tv talks to Annie Clark of St. Vincent.

Dean Wareham gives an interview to Music Times Two and offers some thoughts on a Luna reunion (not likely, but not impossible).

Filter has a two-part feature piece on Tom Waits.

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Into Black

Review of Blouse’s Blouse

Photo By Amanda Leigh SmithAmanda Leigh SmithAnd we’re back. Gotta tell you, folks – actually taking a holiday during the holidays? I could get used to that. But if I stayed off the job, then I couldn’t write about Blouse and I kind of want to write about Blouse, considering I was listening to their self-titled debut an awful lot in the weeks leading up to and throughout the holidays.

The trio collects their mail in Portland, Oregon but draw their inspiration from the great English art-rock labels of the ’80s; their sound is steeped in the catalogs of 4AD, Factory and Fiction Records. That means mechanical rhythms, echoed guitars, roaming basslines, sweeping synths, all of that good stuff. But most essentially it means icy vocals with just enough English-accented affectation courtesy of lead singer Charlie Hilton – she sounds detached where she needs to but is also emotive and in touch with her inner romantic.

There’s nothing particularly unfamiliar in any of this, but what sets them apart from other era revivalists is that rather sound as though they’re a meticulously crafted tableau unearthed from a time capsule, Blouse has enough looseness, warmth and energy woven into it to come across as a wholly fresh and living thing. Blouse was released back at the start of November, probably just late enough to get lost in the shuffle of year-end shenanigans. So before turning your eyes and ears straight on ahead to 2012, take a moment to try Blouse on.

Spinner, DIY and Bow Legs all have conversations with the band.

MP3: Blouse – “Into Black”
Video: Blouse – “Videotapes”
Video: Blouse – “Into Black”

NPR has a Weekend Edition interview and session with Ryan Adams.

NYC Taper has posted recordings of another two of Yo La Tengo’s Hannukah shows last month.

And reaching back into the archives, NYC Taper has posted a show by Stars from back in October.

Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon writes at The Huffington Post about the art of the gay love song. The For Paolo EP is out January 24.

Loud & Quiet talks to Sandy Miranda and Mike Haliechuk of Fucked Up.

The Line Of Best Fit has a special year-end edition of Oh! Canada consisting not of downloads, but 2011 reminiscences from the likes of Woodpigeon, Great Lake Swimmers, and more.

Yeah that’s all for today. Hey, things don’t go from 0 to 100 at the drop of a hat.

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Hotel Plaster

Nicole Atkins at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangA little into her show at The Drake Underground on Saturday evening, Nicole Atkins mentioned that this was her first-ever solo show in Canada, and that performances of this format were usually reserved for more casual one-off performances back home in New Jersey during the holidays. Indeed, though Ms Atkins has been no stranger to Toronto stages since releasing her debut Neptune City back in 2007, she’s always been accompanied by some iteration of her band The (Black) Sea. I’d have to go back to SXSW 2007 to recall the last time I saw her in a stripped-down acoustic format (also the very first time overall), and even then she was backed by a hastily-recruited drummer and second guitarist because The Sea had gotten lost en route.

The call for backing players is a reasonable one as both her records – Neptune City and this year’s Mondo Amore – are pretty produced affairs, but it’s key to remember at her core Atkins is a folk/blues-rooted singer-songwriter and has had more than her share of experience performing with just her guitar, voice and songs. That’s all she brought with her on this evening and it was more than enough. Well, those and some hilarious anecdotes; for serious, the evening could have just been her sitting there – no guitar – and telling stories and it would have been worth the price of admission. But yes, she sang too.

Brassy set opener “Maybe Tonight” set the tone for the night, which is to say it wouldn’t be a quiet, navel-gazey affair. She promised that the set would mostly be country versions of her songs – and indeed, “Cry Cry Cry” was extra honky-tonky-ish – but most songs retained their basic stylistic personalities and there were a fair number of what she called the “sad bastard” songs, but even those were delivered with energy and conviction thanks to her room-filling voice. The set was all over the place as far as where it drew from, covering both albums, the rarely-heard title track of her debut Bleeding Diamonds EP, a new song entitled “Call Me The Witch”, and covers of Leadbelly, Benji Hughes and Cotton Mather (about whom she spilled the beans regarding an upcoming reunion at SXSW). After complimenting the audience on how quiet and attentive they were all night, she invited all to join in on “The Way It Is” and for the show closer and in what’s becoming a bit of a Drake tradition, came offstage to play “Neptune City” in the audience with everyone singing along.

Make no mistake, I loved both the widescreen, ornate presentation of Neptune City and the rawer, rockier Mondo Amore but if for her third record Nicole Atkins decides to peel things back to little more than what we saw on Saturday night, I’ve no doubt it’d be just as sublime.

Hater High was also in attendance and has the whole show recorded and available to download; it all sounds great but the banter prior to “Hotel Plaster” is especially worth hearing. The Free Lance-Star also has an interview.

Photos: Nicole Atkins @ The Drake Underground – December 3, 2011
MP3: Nicole Atkins – “Vultures”
MP3: Nicole Atkins – “Vitamin C”
Video: Nicole Atkins – “Vultures”
Video: Nicole Atkins – “Maybe Tonight”
Video: Nicole Atkins – “The Way It Is”
Video: Nicole Atkins – “Neptune City”

The Quietus talks to Janet Weiss of Wild Flag.

NPR has a Tiny Desk Concert with tUnE-yArDs.

The Quietus interviews both Erika Anderson of EMA and Nika Roza Danilova of Zola Jesus.

Kind of an odd bill, but together The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys get to cross “go on an arena tour of North America” off their to-do lists. They’re at the Air Canada Centre on March 14 – presale goes December 6 at 10AM, public onsale on December 9. The Black Keys’ new album El Camino is out Tuesday.

Video: The Black Keys – “Tighten Up”
Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Suck It And See”

Austin 360 talks to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

The second Archers Of Loaf reissue – Vee Vee – has an official release date of February 21, and The AV Club has all the salient info. And they’ve also got Eric Bachmann doing a
One Track Mind performance and interview for “Web In Front”. Meanwhile, Bachmann puts his Crooked Fingers hat on to chat with Creative Loafing and The Phoenix New Times.

MP3: Archers Of Loaf – “Harnessed In Slums”

The first official single from Guided By Voices’ reunion record Let’s Go Eat The Factory is now available to download, all 1:44 of it. It will probably take you longer to read this interview with Bob Pollard at The AV Club than to listen to the song.

MP3: Guided By Voices – “Doughtnut For A Snowman”

Loud & Quiet interviews Ryan Adams, in town at the Winter Garden Theatre on December 10.

Blurt talks to Britta Phillips of Dean & Britta about being the voice of Jem (of Jem & The Holograms) back in the ’80s while Listgeeks chats with both her and Dean Wareham. And over at Captain’s Dead, they’ve got a downloadable recording of the “Plays Galaxie 500” set they did at Primavera in Barcelona back in May.

The Daily Beast talks to Michael Stipe and Mike Mills about the end of R.E.M..

Charles Bradley has released a new MP3 from No Time For Dreaming. He and his Extraordinaires are at Lee’s Palace on February 11.

MP3: Charles Bradley – “Heartaches & Pain”

Wye Oak stops in by Berlin Sessions for a video session. They open up for The National at The Air Canada Centre on Thursday night.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Dum Dum Girls.

Spin points out that Sleigh Bells’ website has been highjacked by a trailer for what is presumed to be their new album. It’s called Reign of Terror and it’ll be out when it’s out.