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Posts Tagged ‘School Of Seven Bells’

Friday, March 15th, 2013

What We Done?

Austra album news and giveaway lead weekly wrap-up

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongIncreasingly, Friday posts are for clearing off the decks of whatever hasn’t gone out earlier in the week, but that doesn’t mean the content isn’t quality – this ain’t no fire sale, son. But it also doesn’t mean I’m not giving some stuff away. Because I am.

Earlier this week, Toronto electro-operatic sensation Austra announced details of their second album, to be entitled Olympia and due out June 18. And because they believe in deeds, not words, they also made the first single from the new record available to stream. And if you want to hear more new material – or are now in the mood to hear some Feel It Break material – you’ll probably want to be at The Danforth Music Hall next Saturday night, March 23, for their late-add Canadian Musicfest performance.

Though a limited number of festival wristbands and passes will be admitted, lineups and attendant stresses can be eliminated with advance tickets. Those are going for $24 in advance, but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got four pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Austra” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that me by midnight, March 20.

Stream: Austra – “Home”

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Alan Sparhawk of Low, who are in town at The Great Hall on Saturday night and release their new record The Invisible Way on Tuesday.

Brett Anderson of Suede chats with DIY. Their new record Bloodsports is out on March 18.

Brightest Young Things has an interview with Philip Ekstrom of The Mary Onettes about their new album Hit The Waves, due out next Tuesday, March 19. Ekstrom also proves game for mini Swede-pop summits, with The Line Of Best Fit having Sambassadeur’s Joachim Läckberg interview Ekstrom and vice-versa – Sambassadeur’s new record is due out later this year – and Q gets his label boss – Johan Angergård of Labrador – to ask him some questions.

Southern Souls has a video session with July Talk, taking part in Canandian Musicfest at Lee’s Palace on March 21.

The National Post has a feature interview with Nick Cave; he leads The Bad Seeds into Massey Hall on March 23.

The Strokes have rolled out the first video from their forthcoming Comedown Machine, out March 26.

Video: The Strokes – “All The Time”

The first video from The House Of Love’s forthcoming She Paints Words In Red – the one that went up last month and was almost immediately pulled – is back up, hopefully for good. The album is out April 1.

Video: The House Of Love – “A Baby Got Back On Its Feet”

In addition to announcing a local tour that includes a free show at the Parkdale Library on April 27, Dusted have made an unreleased track available to download and another rarity available to stream.

MP3: Dusted – “No Trouble”
Stream: Dusted – “In Yr Skull”

Exclaim and MTV Hive have interviews with Rachel Zeffira, coming to town as part of a two-date North American tour on May 2 at The Drake Underground.

MTV Hive talks to Airick Wooded of Doldrums. He’ll be at The Horseshoe on May 11.

I don’t know that a musical from the pens of Stephen King and John Mellencamp is something that I’d necessarily want to know existed, let alone hear, but that the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County soundtrack features performances from the likes of Neko Case and Elvis Costello, I can’t not pay a little attention. The album is out June 4 and a couple tracks are available to stream now. Neko Case is in town at the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

Stream: Neko Case – “That’s Who I Am”
Stream: Elvis Costello – “That’s Me”

The 405 meets Ra Ra Riot, coming back to town on June 8 for Field Trip at Garrison Commons.

Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo compiles a list of his favourite albums for The Quietus. They’ll be at Garrison Commons for TURF on July 7.

The Von Pip Musical Express brings the good news that Nicole Atkins has just about completed her third album, entitled Slow Phaser, and while specific release details are still forthcoming, a first track from it is available to stream.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Red Ropes”

The AV Club is running a series of video session musical tributes to various states, and have kicked off in Texas – of course – with Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam offering an unreleased Texas-themed song in the first one and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg covering Roy Orbison in another.

Also in interesting covers: Joanna Newsom tackling a Sandy Denny song in a performance for a Los Angeles clothing designer; watch the video at Spin and get a little background on the session at Style.com.

Exclaim talks to Mark Perro of The Men.

If you hadn’t heard, School Of Seven Bells guitarist Benjamin Curtis was recently diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. While treatable, they have set up a website through which they are soliciting support and donations to help cover the costs. Help out if you can.

Robyn Hitchcock discusses his new album Love From London with Spinner.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

You're A Sign

Review of Ken Stringfellow’s Danzig In The Moonlight and giveaway

Photo By Cecil MathieuCecil MathieuThere are few musicians out there with a more impressive alt.rock resume than Ken Stringfellow. Starting out as co-frontman of the criminally under-appreciated Bellingham power-pop outfit The Posies, he was part of the final incarnation of the legendary Big Star, he was an unofficial member of R.E.M. both on stage and in the studio for a number of years in the post-Berry era, is part of the massive rotating cast of The Minus 5, he fronts a Norwegian garage rock band called The Disciplines, and oh yeah when he’s not doing all of that, he puts out gorgeous solo records.

Danzig In The Moonlight, out last Fall, is the latest of which and the first since 2004’s Soft Commands. And while that record was commendable for its stylistic ranginess, it lacked the coherence of the gorgeous, country-tinged Touched, which when all is said and done with Stringfellow’s impressive career may well stand as his masterpiece. Danzig does not even attempt to recapture that degree of aesthetic focus, but its forays into jangle-rock, prog, country, and R&B – to name but a few of the flavours that surface – don’t so much strive for authenticity than a reasonably convincing, “in the style of”. This allows Stringfellow’s sweet tenor and melodic gifts to tie it all together, which combined with the rich arrangements let Danzig sometimes feel more like the score to some ambitious musical production than a conventional album. In less deft hands, juggling this many ideas may have resulted in a grandly ambitious failure, but Stringfellow not only knows what he’s doing, he makes it look easy.

MyNorthwest.com and The Santa Barbara Independent have interviews with Stringfellow, who makes a rare Toronto appearance at The Drake Underground on February 19. Tickets are $15 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Ken Stringfellow” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that to me by midnight, February 14.

MP3: Ken Stringfellow – “Doesn’t It Remind You Of Something”
Video: Ken Stringfellow – “Superwise”

Because the ’90s are back and you know you love it, The Breeders have expanded their reunion tour in support of the 20th anniversary of Last Splash and will be playing the whole of the album at the Danforth Music Hall on May 11, tickets $22.50 for balconies and $25 for floors.

Video: The Breeders – “Divine Hammer”

Bon Appetit has an interview with Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan, which is fitting considering the culinary theme of the new video from Fade. They’re at The Phoenix this Saturday, February 9.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “I’ll Be Around”

Ra Ra Riot have released a video for the title track of Beta Love and Jambands has an interview with violinist Rebecca Zeller. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 6 and are back again for the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest at Fort York on June 8.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “Beta Love”

The Strokes have confirmed a March 26 release date for their fifth album, Comedown Machine. Advance word is that despite everyone complaining it sounds nothing like The Strokes, it will indeed sound like The Strokes.

DIY and Interview talk to Thao Nguyen, who leads The Get Down Stay Down into Lee’s Palace on March 27.

Rilo Kiley have come clean on their forthcoming rarities compilation, cleverly entitled RKives and due out on April 2. Further information on that release can be found at TwentyFourBit.

Pitchfork talks to Steve Drozdt about The Flaming Lips’ forthcoming full-length The Terror – out April 2 – while Exclaim uncovers evidence that the real terror may be the fact that the band are endeavouring to record their own version of The Stone Roses’ first album, which it goes without saying would be a TERRIBLE IDEA.

Steve Earle has announced a new album entitled The Low Highway for release on April 16, and it’ll be the first one since 1990’s The Hard Way to be credited to him and The Dukes, though this one also credits The Duchesses, albeit in parentheses. All of which is to say this ain’t no solo record.

Pitchfork has details on the new record from Iron & Wine, entitled Ghost On Ghost and out April 16. You can stream a new song from it below.

Stream: Iron & Wine – “Lovers Revolution”

The Thermals have also settled on April 16 as the release date for their first record for Saddle Creek, Desperate Ground. Pitchfork has specifics.

Consequence Of Sound, Pitchfork, The Fader, and The Quietus all talk to Jim James about going solo. He’s in town at The Phoenix on April 24.

Spinner talks about hair with Widowspeak, who’ve made another track from their latest Almanac available to download.

MP3: Widowspeak – “Sore Eyes”

Beach House have released their long-promised short film Forever Still, featuring a number of live performances of tracks off Bloom.

Video: Beach House: Forever Still

Trespassers William have released a video from one of the songs off their farewell rarities compilation, Cast.

Video: Trespassers William – “Believe Me”

Interview talks to School Of Seven Bells.

The Alternate Side has posted a video session with Wild Nothing.

Le Blogotheque has posted a Take-Away Show with Titus Andronicus, and PopMatters an interview.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Stupid Things

Yo La Tengo are coming to town and this photo is hilarious

Photo via TwitterTwitterYo La Tengo haven’t quite spilled the beans on their thirteenth studio album, besides to acknowledge it exists, that recent single “Stupid Things” will appear on it albeit in a different version, that it was produced by Tortoise’s John McEntire, that it’ll be out in late January – the smart money is on the 29th, since the last week of the month is typically when the year’s first big releases are slated – and that a North American tour – of which only a few dates have been revealed – would follow. And while a tweet yesterday implied that today was the day for revelations, details on the Toronto show came yesterday – and so here they are: Hoboken’s finest will be at The Phoenix on February 9 – their first visit since October 2009, not counting their “Sounds Of Science” performance here in April. Tickets for that are $25 in advance and go on sale Friday.

While on the topic, I just finished reading Big Day Coning: Yo La Tengo and The Rise of Indie Rock. You might wonder how interesting a bio of a band that has been rather resolutely drama-free over its career could be, but it’s the understatedness of their story – plus the greatness of their music – and how it intertwines with the transformation of the underground to college to alternative to indie rock scene that makes it an interesting read.

I had hoped to get up this morning and find all the salient new album info conveniently collected in a press release in my inbox, but instead there was an email from the library telling me that the aforementioned book was a week overdue. Not quite the same thing. So I’ll update this post with specifics about the tour and release when they surface today – assuming they do – but in the meantime, marvel at the photo up above, picked up via Matablog, of Yo La Tengo with a trio of Japanese lookalikes. Don’t ask why or how, just marvel.

Update: And Matablog has it: Fade, out January 15, and tour starts the 23rd.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Stupid Things”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Nuclear War”

Keeping with the New Jersey theme, Titus Andronicus are interviewed by Beatroute, Boise Weekly, and Pitchfork and a couple more tracks from their latest Local Business are available to download. They’re at Lee’s Palace on November 27.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “In A Big City”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Ecce Homo”

And if you were wondering what former Titus guitarist Amy Klein was up to, know that in addition to playing in Leda, she’s got a drum-and-guitar duo called Hilly Eye. Exclaim has some details on their debut album Reasons To Live, due January 22, and a couple of songs are available to stream.

Stream: Hilly Eye – “Jacob’s Ladder”
Stream: Hilly Eye – “Amnesia”

The Village Voice, Red Eye, and Seven Days have interviews with Sharon Van Etten.

Interview talks to Paul Banks about balancing the solo work with Interpol.

Nada Surf have released a video from their latest, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy.

Video: Nada Surf – “Jules & Jim”

Some feel it’s still to early for Christmas music, but Sufjan Stevens is hoping that doesn’t apply to him. He’s made the whole of his six-EP Silver & Gold box set – that’s 58 tracks worth – available to stream and also released a couple more videos for good measure. It’s available to buy as of yesterday.

MP3: Sufjan Stevens – “Ding-A-Ling-A-Ring-A-Ling”
Video: Sufjan Stevens – “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
Video: Sufjan Stevens – “Silver & Gold”
Stream: Sufjan Stevens / Silver & Gold

Pitchfork has details on the second album from Brooklyn’s Widowspeak; Almanac will be out on January 22 and the first MP3 from it is available to download.

MP3: Widowspeak – “Ballad Of The Golden Hour”

School Of Seven Bells are streaming the whole of their new EP Put Your Sad Down, released this week.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Secret Days”
Stream: School Of Seven Bells / Put Your Sad Down

Filter talks to Grizzly Bear.

Ra Ra Riot are streaming the first track from their new record Beta Love, out January 22. They bring it to Lee’s Palace on March 6. There’s also a feature on the band at syracuse.com.

Stream: Ra Ra Riot – “Beta Love”

Head over to RecordStoreDay.com to stream the whole of Chocomel Daze, the You’re Living All Over Me-vintage Dinosaur Jr live record being released on vinyl-only next week.

Stream: Dinoaur Jr / Chocomel Daze

SF Weekly talks to Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs.

Jim James is done hiding behind bands and pseudonyms; he’ll release his solo debut Regions of Light and Sound of God on February 5 – details at Pitchfork and the first taste is streamable below.

Stream: Jim James – “Know Til Now”

The Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and Newsday talk to Aimee Mann, who has released a new video from her latest Charmer.

Video: Aimee Mann – “Soon Enough”

DIY interviews Benjamin Gibbard.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

All Through The Night

Win an evening with Escort! No, not like that.

Photo By Jody KivortJody KivortI’m not diversifying into the adult entertainment industry, despite what some ads that occasionally get served here might imply, but am instead talking about New York’s Escort. Sometimes a lean five-piece band, sometimes a proper orchestra numbering as many as 17 – but always fronted by diva Adeline Michele – Escort have been busting out old-school yet thoroughly contemporary dancefloor disco electro-soul since 2006 but only just released their full-length debut Escort earlier this year and are now taking their legendarily slick and irresistibly fun live show on the road.

They’re hitting The Horseshoe this Saturday night, November 10, and if you’re thinking there’s no way they’d fit 17 people on that stage, you’re right – it’s going to be a smaller-form Escort that rolls into town, but if you think that means it’ll somehow be a smaller party… no. Just no. Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance, but courtesy of Webster Media Consulting, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want an Escort” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, November 8.

Metro has an interview with Michele about the genesis of the band, and the band’s just-released remix album – Escort Remixed – is available to stream in full.

MP3: Escort – “Love In Indigo”
MP3: Escort – “Make Over”
Video: Escort – “Why Oh Why”
Video: Escort – “All Through The Night”
Stream: Escort / Escort Remixed

School Of Seven Bells have made a track from their new EP, Put Your Sad Down, available to download. It’s out November 13.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Secret Days”

The Antlers have released a new video from their last EP, Undersea.

Video: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

Ahead of their appearance warming up for Titus Andronicus at Lee’s Palace later that night, Ceremony will play an in-store at Sonic Boom’s Kensington location on November 27 at 6:00PM.

MP3: Ceremony – “Hysteria”

And speaking of Titus Andronicus, The Village Voice has a profile piece on the band. As mentioned – Lee’s Palace, November 27. Them.

Passion Pit will team up with Matt & Kim for a Winter tour that stops in at The Kool Haus on February 16; tickets for that are $32.50 in advance.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”
Video: Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”

Denver Westword and The Seattle Times have interviews with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, who also just recorded a World Cafe session with NPR.

Benjamin Gibbard submits to a questionnaire from Exclaim and answers some more questions beyond that. He also performs video sessions for The Fly and NPR, and has released a video from his solo joint Former Lives.

Video: Benjamin Gibbard – “Teardrop Windows”

MTV Hive talks to Jason Lytle, opening up for Band Of Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

Nicole Atkins talks to The Village Voice about the damage that Hurricane Sandy did to her beloved New Jersey shore. She’s re-recorded the title track of her 2007 debut album, Neptune City, and re-released it to raise funds to rebuild the shore.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Neptune City (For The Shore)”

Bob Mould plays a video session for NPR.

Sam Fogarino reflects on Interpol’s past ten years to Spin. The Turn On The Bright Lights anniversary edition is out November 19. They’ve also shared a live video taken from their first Los Angeles show in 2002.

Video: Interpol – “Obstacle 1” (live at The Troubdaour, 2002)

Congratulations on doing several right things last night, America. First time I haven’t been bitterly disappointed by the outcome of an election in, oh, four years. I’ll be down there later this week to give some of you a big hug.

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Breakers

Local Natives floating fast like a Hummingbird

Photo By Bryan SheffieldBryan SheffieldIf you thought you heard the sound of dense, nimble percussion, shimmering guitars, and intricate harmonies coming from the vicinity of New York on Wednesday night, you weren’t hearing things. That was the sound of Los Angeles’ Local Natives making their live return at The Bowery Ballroom as part of CMJ, a performance announced only a couple days prior. The show was their first this calendar year, and they used the opportunity to preview material from the follow-up to their 2009 breakout debut Gorilla Manor, video footage of which has been collected by Consequence Of Sound.

Of more interest to their fans who weren’t amongst the 500 or so in attendance, though, was the announcement yesterday of the release of their second album, which they discussed with Pitchfork early last month. Entitled Hummingbird, it will be out on January 29 of the new year and acknowledging that that’s still a little ways off, they also offered up a stream of one of the new songs from the record as well as a first batch of North American tour dates. There’s no Toronto date on the itinerary yet, but I use the word “yet” because as you can see, there’s three days off between Columbus and Boston at the end of March and what’s between point C and point B? Not a whole lot, unless you hang a left at Buffalo and cross the border. So, without actually knowing anything and assuming they’d rather play a show than go factory outlet shopping, I’d suggest keeping an eye on their calendar.

Stream: Local Natives – “Breakers”

Rolling Stone, MTV Hive, Spin, and Pitchfork all want to get down to Local Business with Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus. They play Lee’s Palace on November 27.

The Ithaca Times talk to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, whose live performance has been captured in concert and session, respectively, by NYC Taper and Daytrotter. They play The Phoenix tomorrow night.

Also animal-themed and in town tomorrow is Cat Power; she’s at The Kool Haus and Chan Marshall gives an interview to Ocean Drive.

Everyone who thought that 2011 being the year of Bon Iver meant that we wouldn’t have to hear much from him in 2012… sorry. Austin City Limits is streaming the entirety of his episode of the show and they’ve squeezed another video out of last year’s self-title.

Video: Bon Iver – “Beth/Rest”

The Line Of Best Fit and Spin talk to Paul Banks about his new solo record Banks, out next Tuesday, and the tenth anniversary reissue of Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights, out November 19.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Cincinnati CityBeat, and Detroit News check in with Greg Dulli and John Curley as the Afghan Whigs reunion continues.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Jason Lytle, in town opening for Band Of Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

Clash gets a look inside the Beachwood Sparks library.

School Of Seven Bells have announced the release of a new EP entitled Put Your Sad Down, due out November 13.