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Posts Tagged ‘Said The Whale’

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

CONTEST – Said The Whale @ The Great Hall – April 13, 2012

Photo By Jonathan TaggartJonathan TaggartWho: Said The Whale
What: Vancouver pop band and one of the rare winners of the “Best New Group” Juno award that were actually a new group– oh wait, that was 2011 and they already had two albums out at that point. NEVER MIND.
Why: They released album number three – Little Mountain – at the start of March and while they’ve been touring it all around North America since then, they’re only just making it to Toronto now.
When: Friday, April 13, 2012
Where: The Great Hall in Toronto (All-ages)
Who else: Support comes from coast to coast, as in Chains Of Love from Vancouver and Boxer The Horse from PEI.
How: Tickets for the show were $20 in advance but note the past tense – this gig is sold out, so this contest (and others like it) are your only way in, as courtesy of Union Events, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want Said The Whale” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, April 11.
What else: Spinner talks to the band, who commissioned videos for every track on the new album; 9 of the 15 are out now.

MP3: Said The Whale – “Heavy Ceiling”
Video: Said The Whale – “Seasons”
Video: Said The Whale – “Jesse, AR”
Video: Said The Whale – “Big Wave Goodbye”
Video: Said The Whale – “Hurricane Ada”
Video: Said The Whale – “Lover/Friend”
Video: Said The Whale – “Heavy Ceiling”
Video: Said The Whale – “Oh Alexandra”
Video: Said The Whale – “Big Sky, MT”
Video: Said The Whale – “We Are 1980”
Stream: Said The Whale / Little Mountain

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Come Home

Review of Ryan Adams’ Ashes & Fire and giveaway

Photo By David BlackDavid BlackThat Ryan Adams’ retirement from music – declared at the start of 2009 as a result of personal, medical, and industry factors – wouldn’t last was never in question. You don’t go from being as prolific as he had been over the past decade and a half to radio silence without a relapse or two. That said, he made a pretty good go of it for a while, busying himself with writing and being Mr. Mandy Moore. By early 2010, however, he was clearly ready to get back to making music and soft-launched his post-Cardinals career with the limited, vinyl-only release of a metal album that had been sitting in the vaults for a few years, and then before the year was out, a final Cardinals record – also shelved for a few years – was released via his website.

So while it’s his third release in under two years, Ashes & Fire is notable for being the first in some time to contain newly-written and recorded material without The Cardinals and get a wide release. And for anyone expecting Adams to make his return with a grand, rock’n’roll statement, Ashes may come as a bit of a puzzle – it’s slow, understated and primarily acoustic, sounding more of a denouement than a declaration, but most of all it sounds peaceful. An unexpected place for alt.country’s one-time enfant terrible and someone known for being creatively and personally mercurial, but considering that Adams has basically grown up in public – that first Whiskeytown record came out when he was 21 – it’s rather comforting to know that he’s feeling more settled and contented now.

If approached without the weight of expectation, without hoping for another Heartbreaker as I’ll admit I have for a decade now, Ashes has much to recommend it. Adams is in fine voice, his raspy croon having aged nicely and perfectly suiting the material, and though it initially sounds quite skeletally-arranged, there’s a full band in there playing with delicacy and restraint. It’s easy to wish that maybe there was a little more of the fire that the album’s title promises, but even a token rocker would probably detract more from the atmosphere of the album as a whole than it would add. And anyways, the guy just put out a metal album – maybe hit that up if you need some volume. Ashes & Fire comes with a very specific sound and purpose and it fulfills that most effectively.

Though Ashes & Fire came out digitally and on CD last month, the vinyl edition won’t be out until next week and courtesy of EMI Music Canada, I’ve got three copies of the LP edition to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want Ashes & Fire” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body, and have that to me by midnight, November 11. And sorry, contest only open to residents of Canada.

Adams plays the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto on December 10. Paste, Adelaide Now and The Quietus have interviews and NPR an interview and session with WFUV.

Video: Ryan Adams – “Lucky Now”
Video: Ryan Adams – “Ashes & Fire”
Stream: Ryan Adams / Ashes & Fire

NPR welcomes Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks to the World Cafe for a session.

Rochester City Newspaper, The Portland Press Herald and Yes! Weekly talk to Joey Santiago of Pixies.

NPR has a six-song session with Wild Flag up to stream while The San Francisco Examiner talks to Carrie Brownstein.

Spin has posted a nice gallery that gets the likes of Justin Vernon and Johnny Marr to talk about their instruments.

Let’s play three – Tokyo Police Club have added a December 10 date to their run at The Phoenix in December, making it a three-night residency. As with the other two shows, Born Ruffians and Said The Whale will support. Tickets are $25.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Party In The USA”
MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”
MP3: Said The Whale – “Camilo (The Magician)”

Pitchfork are on board with Vancouver garage-soul outfit Chains Of Love, offering up the A-side of their new 7″, out December 13, and reporting that the band’s debut EP will be coming in early 2012. They’re at The Horseshoe on Tuesday night, November 8, for a free show. Go. Show appears to have been nixed. Sorry.

MP3: Chains Of Love – “Breaking My Heart”

The Edmonton Journal, Saskatoon Star Phoenix and Calgary Herald interview Dan Mangan.

Paste has a quick video session with Stars.

Toronto post-rockers Old World Vulture have released an MP3 as a teaser for their forthcoming album, due out in early 2012. Hear it live when they play Rancho Relaxo on November 12.

MP3: Old World Vulture – “Trophy Lovers”

Paste declares PS I Love You amongst the best of what’s next.

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

How Darwinian

Review of Dan Mangan’s Oh Fortune

Photo By Jonathan TaggartJonathan TaggartAs one of the most social media-savvy musicians in the country, it’s not unreasonable to say that Dan Mangan reads his own press and so he’s probably seen the phrases “everyman”, “coffee shop”, “roots-rock” and variants thereof in regards to his breakout 2009 record Nice, Nice, Very Nice many, many times. And while these descriptors were usually meant in most complimentary ways – one does’t make the Polaris shortlist on the back of negative press – his just-released follow-up Oh Fortune gives you the impression that he didn’t take those writeups as incentive to stay the course.

From the very first heavily-reverbed piano chords which open leadoff track “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All” before giving way to strings, it’s clear that this record is built on a different game plan than its predecessor. Throughout, there’s plenty of elegantly orchestrated horns and woodwinds, but also feedbacking, layered, wall-of-noise guitars – often all side-by-side or on top of one another – and if that sounds like the complete opposite of what you’d have expected a Dan Mangan record to sound like, well I suspect that’s the point. This is not a record that can be pigeonholed as the work of a singer-songwriter or folkie; it’s brimming with full-on pop ambition and if Mangan had kept such lofty musical aspirations in check before, he’s certainly enjoying the artistic freedom that success engenders now.

But for all of that, as soon as the vocals come in it’s unmistakably a Dan Mangan record. Not having the most elastic voice becomes an pro rather than a con as it remains warm and comforting like a woollen blanket, delivering poignant and poetic lyrics that; another Mangan trademark still intact, if perhaps darker in tone this time out. And it’s Mangan’s voice and the words it carries that act as a sturdy, reliable centre amidst the swirling sonic proceedings; it’s as if between Very Nice and Fortune, Mangan was transplanted from the setting of a comfortable stool in his local into… well, it’s hard to say, exactly. The atmosphere of Fortune is consistent but difficult to pin down, also certainly part of the overarching strategy to head off preconceptions and expectations and forces the listener to consider the record on its own merits rather than what they figured a new Dan Mangan record would sound like.

It’s no small thing to shift gears or change lanes immediately after a breakthrough record; the temptation to stick to what worked – at least for the follow-up – must be immense, particularly when what worked was a time-tested, meat-and-potatoes sort of approach. So Mangan should be praised for going as conceptually far afield as he has on Oh Fortune without abandoning his core strengths and lauded for making it work so well. If it wasn’t clear from any of the above, Oh Fortune is an excellent record, expansive in scope yet efficiently delivered and both musically and lyrically rich. No, there’s nothing as immediate as “Robots” but in lieu of that degree of immediacy, you get songs that continue to reveal themselves over repeated listens. Oh Fortune confirms Mangan as one of this country’s best new songwriters and, as a bonus, forces those who’d seek to dismiss him as too conventional to find a new line of criticism. Maybe that he’s too tall. Because he’s pretty tall.

Southern Souls, The Vancouver Sun, The Winnipeg Free Press and Exclaim have interviews with Mangan and he chats with Rolling Stone about his just-released new video; there’s also three four videos from a full-album performance Mangan gave at the CBC presently online, with more to come. His Fall tour brings him to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 28.

MP3: Dan Mangan – “Oh Fortune”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Rows Of Houses”
Video: Dan Mangan – “About as Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All” (live at CBC)
Video: Dan Mangan – “Rows Of Houses” (live at CBC)
Video: Dan Mangan – “Post-War Blues” (live at CBC)
Video: Dan Mangan – “Oh Fortune” (live at CBC)
Stream: Dan Mangan / Oh Fortune

Also out this week is Ohbijou’s Metal Meets. Exclaim and Toro talk to bandleader Casey Mecija about making the new record. They play a release show at Trinity-St. Paul’s on September 30.

Boasting a similar album title and gracing this month’s Exclaim cover is Feist; Pitchfork also has an interview. Metals is out October 4 and she plays Massey Hall on December 1. Update: And now the album is available to stream if you sign up for her mailing list. Preview the album AND get emails from Leslie!

Stream: Feist / Metals

Canadian Interviews is playing host to a tour diary from Bruce Peninsula. Open Flames is out October 4 but streamable now at Exclaim – they also have an interview and review – and they play an in-store at Soundscapes that evening, then a proper show at Lee’s Palace on October 27.

Stream: Bruce Peninsula / Open Flames

Their record release show for Tosta Mista safely in the books, Hooded Fang have announced they’ll play a free show at the Sanderson Branch of the Toronto Public Library (Bathurst and Dundas West) on October 1 at 2PM. They’ve also put out a new animated video.

MP3: Hooded Fang – “Den Of Love”
Video: Hooded Fang – “Brahma”

Dev Hynes’ Blood Orange has been announced as support on the upcoming tour for CANT, the solo project from Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, as well as being part of his band, all of which means that he’ll be at The Garrison on October 21. And to mark it, a new MP3 from Coastal Grooves is available to grab courtesy of Stereogum.

MP3: Blood Orange – “Champagne Coast”

J Mascis will be in town on November 4 as part of the Sleepwalk Guitar Festival taking place at The Great Hall all that weekend and ex-Television guitarist Richard Lloyd leads off the Saturday night bill followed by The Sadies. And if you were wondering just how “ex” Lloyd was with respect to Tom Verlaine and Television, this exchange documented at The Daily Swarm seems to indicate that bridges are pretty well burned. Tickets for each evening show are $25, all-day and weekend passes also available.

MP3: J Mascis – “Is It Done”
MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”

English songwriting legend Ray Davies has made a date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for November 25 in support of last year’s See My Friends though it’s unlikely any of his big-name collaborators will be joining him for these shows. Tickets are $49.50 and $69.50 plus fees.

Video: The Kinks – “Waterloo Sunset” (live)

Young Galaxy have been added to the Austra show at The Phoenix on December 1, as well as the rest that tour. They’ve also released a new video from Shapeshifting, an animated sequel to the clip for “We have Everything”.

MP3: Young Galaxy – “Peripheral Visionaries”
Video: Young Galaxy – “Peripheral Visionaries”

The War On Drugs are coming back to town, making a date for December 9 at The Horseshoe; tickets $13.50 in advance. The Washington Post and DCist have interviews and NPR a World Cafe session.

MP3: The War On Drugs – “Come To The City”

Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians and Said The Whale appear to be a winning combination as a second show has been added at The Phoenix for December 9, the one for the night before presumably just about sold out. Tickets are again $25 in advance.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Party In The USA”
MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”
MP3: Said The Whale – “Camilo (The Magician)”

Ryan Adams’ first show back in Toronto since Summer 2007 – he’s retired and come back out of retirement in the interim – will take place on December 10 at The Winter Garden Theatre; tickets are $45 plus fees, fan presale goes Thursday at 10AM and general onsale Friday, same time. His new record Ashes & Fire is out October 11; Exclaim takes a look back over his prolific career.

Video: Ryan Adams – “New York, New York”

Putting lie to my post in July when they announced it, The Radio Dept. have cancelled their entire Fall tour, which was to include a November 17 show at The Mod Club, “due to family related matters”. They hope to pick up again in 2012, perhaps even with some new material to share. Yeah, right.

Salon, Spinner, The Atlantic, Billboard, Paste, JAM, and aux.tv talk to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco while The Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks to Nels Cline and The Line Of Best Fit to Glenn Kotche. NYC Taper has a recording of their second of two Central Park shows available to download and CBC’s Q has a video studio session with the band.

Spinner talks to Ben Gibbard about the new Death Cab For Cutie video from Codes And Keys.

Video: Death Cab For Cutie – “Stay Young Go Dancing”

Filter, The National Post and NOW have features on Girls.

Spinner talks to The Drums, in town on October 1 with an in-store at Sonic Boom at 7PM and a show at The Mod Club a little later that evening.

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Racing Like A Pro

The National and Mumford & Sons officially graduate to arena rock status

Photo By Keith KlenowskiKeith KlenowskiJust to be clear: filling Massey Hall for two nights in a row is no mean feat. Not many bands can do it once, let alone twice, but when The National did just that last June in support of their breakout album High Violet, it felt like an arrival – the best and most natural setting for a band that had graduated from the bar circuit and were taking their rightful place in the city’s most hallowed room, hopefully for years to come.

Except clearly, they weren’t done. A year and a half on from their last album’s release, though a couple of high-profile singles released over this Summer as well as plenty of touring have kept them front of mind, The National have gotten big enough that their next North American tour will bring them to the Air Canada Centre on December 8. Granted, it will probably be the approximately 5200-capacity theatre configuration, which is about the same size as their Massey shows held, but still – it’s a remarkable thing (and a depressing thing for those who hate arena shows). The band are apparently conscious of the fact that their fanbase may not be especially keen on seeing them play such a large room, so they’ve sweetened the deal via the support acts – joining them for this show will be none other than Neko Case and Wye Oak. Yeah, that ACC isn’t looking so unappealing anymore, is it? Tickets range from $43.50 to $59.50 plus fees and presale goes Wednesday morning, public onsale Friday.

Express Night Out chats with bassist Scott Devendorff while NME gets the Dessner twins on camera talking about this and that, including their next record.

MP3: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
MP3: Neko Case – “Middle Cyclone”
MP3: Wye Oak – “Civilian”

By the same token, people were incredulous when Mumford & Sons sold the hell out of the Sound Academy last Fall – hadn’t they just played Lee’s Palace that February? – but indeed, they were really that popular and now it seems they’re even more popular. Again, it’s probably the theatre configuration, but that doesn’t change the fact that when Mumford & Sons hit the Air Canada Centre on October 25, they’ll have taken their bluegrass-pop anthems arena-scale. And just to prove it’s not a fluke, they’re doing the same thing down the 401 in Hamilton when they play Copp’s Coliseum the following night and then Montreal’s Bell Centre the night after that. Maybe their quickie Canadian tour is just them trying to catch some hockey games? Tickets for both Ontario shows are $34.50 and $49.50 plus fees.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

Certainly not on the same scale of “really” but still a bit surprising is Coeur de Pirate making what I think is her first regular and proper club show in Toronto at a room the size of The Mod Club on November 11. I assume this means that her new album Blonde, out November 8, will be getting a hefty push to get folks interested before then. Tickets for the show are $21 in advance and they’ve released a little trailer for the new record.

Trailer: Coeur de Pirate / Blonde
Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Comme des enfants”

The Rural Alberta Advantage, on the other hand, seem to have settled quite comfortably into The Phoenix as their home away from home while at home – November 17 will be their third show in a row there, I think. Don’t think there’s any particular occasion for this show besides, well, why not? Tickets are $20 in advance.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “North Star”

Zeus will be at Lee’s Palace on November 24, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”

Formerly operating as Harbourcoats, former Constantines frontman Bry Webb has decided to go with his own name for his solo debut Provider, which will be out on November 15. And he’ll be introducing the songs live in a pretty daunting setting – he’s opening for Feist at Massey Hall on December 1.

And finally, as far as show announcements yesterday go, Tokyo Police Club will be rolling into The Phoenix on December 8 leading a Can-rocking bill that also features Born Ruffians and Said The Whale. Tickets for that are $25 in advance. Northern Star chats with TPC drummer Greg Alsop.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Party In The USA”
MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”
MP3: Said The Whale – “Camilo (The Magician)”

Pitchfork has an interview with Carl Newman of The New Pornographers, who’ve put out a new video from last year’s Together.

Video: The New Pornographers – “Up In The Dark”

Also with a new video is Diamond Rings, from Special Affections. He’s at The Mod Club on October 3.

Video: Diamond Rings – “You And Me”

Exclaim has got a new track from Ohbijou’s forthcoming Metal Meets, out September 27. They play Trinity-St. Paul’s in honour of its release on September 30 and PostCity chats with bandleader Casey Mecija about the new record.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”

Pitchfork has a stream of Kathleen Edwards’ first new material in a while which will be released on 7″ on September 27 and oh yeah, features contributions from some guy who goes by Bon Iver.

Stream: Kathleen Edwards – “Wapusk”

The Line Of Best Fit chats with the sisters of Tasseomancy, whose record release show for Ulalame happens at The Great Hall on October 20. They also open up for Austra at The Phoenix on December 1. And speaking of Austra, a new b-side is available to stream, which is noteworthy because it’s kind of as good as their a-sides, and Prague Post has an interview with Katie Stelmanis.

Stream: Austra – “Identity”

The new Memoryhouse EP The Years has been available to stream for a while before its release today, but Drowned In Sound has sweetened their stream with track-by-track commentary from the band.

Southern Souls has an interview with Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon.

Canadian Blast chats with The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

Le Blogotheque has a Take-Away Show filmed in Toronto with Little Scream.

Rockerzine chats with Sloan bassist Chris Murphy.

Under The Radar and The Victoria Times-Colonist interview Handsome Furs.

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

CONTEST – Said The Whale @ The Mod Club – September 8, 2011

Photo By Marcus JollyMarcus JollyWho: Said The Whale
What: Purveyors of effervescent pop with a distinctive west coast accent, which makes sense since the five-piece hail from Vancouver.
Why: Their last full-length Islands Disappear came out back in 2009 but they’ve been busy, touring relentlessly and being subjects of the mini-documentary Winning America, which followed them to SXSW this year in attempts to become the next big thing and captured such ups and downs as having all their gear stolen en route to Texas but also winning “New Group Of The Year” at the Juno awards a couple weeks later. KARMA!
When: Thursday, September 8, 2011
Where: The Mod Club in Toronto (All-ages)
Who else: Saskatchewan’s Rah Rah and English singer-songwriter Sara Lowes will be warming things up.
How: Tickets for the show are $15 in advance but courtesy of Union Events, I’ve got four pairs of passes to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to be winning Said The Whale” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, September 1.

MP3: Said The Whale – “Camilo (The Magician)”
Video: Said The Whale – “Camilo (The Magician)”
Trailer: Said The Whale: Winning America