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Posts Tagged ‘Scud Mountain Boys’

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer

The Dismemberment Plan still have a plan to dismember you. And a new record.

Photo By Shervin Lainez Shervin Lainez 2013 has been a pretty great year for reunited/formerly retired acts releasing good to excellent new albums after many, many years – hat tip to David Bowie and My Bloody Valentine – and now it’s time to hope that Washington DC’s Dismemberment Plan keeps that streak going. This isn’t to suggest that the D-Plan are or ever were of the status of those others; a unique and spazzy/funky amalgam of post-punk, hardcore, and experimental art-pop, they were never fated to be more than a cult act but those who liked them, liked them a lot.

Still, they disbanded in 2003 and after frontman Travis Morrison’s solo debut Travistan was Pitchfork-ed through the heart, the odds of hearing from him again in any context seemed unlikely. There was a one-off D-Plan reunion show in 2007, sure, but in 2009 Morrison, after one more solo album in All Y’All, declared himself retired from music. Of course that proved to be untrue, and the Plan reunited for sporadic shows in 2011, continuing into 2012 with some new material thrown in the mix.

Which brings us to Uncanney Valley, the band’s fifth album and first in 12 years since 2001’s Change, out October 15. The Dismemberment Plan was always so unique and no one ever replicated what they did so well – or even tried – that a new record might well prove to simultaneously be a very welcome breath of fresh air and a blast from the past. Pitchfork has details on the new record as well as an interview with Morrison – nice to see no grudges are held – and while no samples of the new record have been released, we can still dig up some classic tunes and tilt the expectation-o-meter a little more towards excitement than trepidation.

And one can only hope that the new album will result in more touring – the band’s final Toronto show at Rockit in July 2003 and the “Death & Dismemberment” tour with Death Cab For Cutie at The Reverb in early 2002 were off-the-charts fun. Would love the opportunity to see them again (without hopping on a plane).

MP3: The Dismemberment Plan – “It’s So You”
MP3: The Dismemberment Plan – “You Are Invited”
MP3: The Dismemberment Plan – “The Things That Matter”
MP3: The Dismemberment Plan – “Superpowers”

Calexico has released a new EP led by a track from last year’s Algiers and intended for physical sale – at least for the moment – on their European tour only, though they promise a North American release is to come and you can get it digitally as of June 29. But you can stream Maybe On Monday right now, including its covers of Elvis Costello’s “Shabby Doll” and The Replacements’ “Unsatisfied”.

Stream: Calexico / Maybe On Monday

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have become the first band to record a video atop the Empire State Building and proven that the only thing you can really do atop the Empire State Building is run around it. The song is the latest single from Mosquito and the band are at Echo Beach on July 1.

Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Despair”

Spin has got a stream of Iron & Wine’s contribution to the soundtrack to The Lone Ranger. The soundtrack is out July 2, the movie July 3, and Iron & Wine play The Sound Academy on September 28.

Stream: Iron & Wine – “Rattling Bone”

You can now hear a couple songs from the new Scud Mountain Boys record Do You Love The Sun? courtesy of BrooklynVegan. The record is out July 9.

MP3: Scud Mountain Boys – “Double Bed”
Stream: Scud Mountain Boys – “Do You Love The Sun?”

NYC Taper has got a recording of Wilco’s amazing all-request, mostly-covers set at their Solid Sound festival last weekend. Look at that set list and tell me you don’t want to spend the time it’ll take to download it. I imagine we’ll get a more conventional show when they play The Molson Amphitheatre supporting Bob Dylan on July 15.

The next record from Explosions In The Sky won’t be a proper follow-up to 2011’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, but the soundtrack to the Paul Rudd film Prince Avalanche. The film is out August 9, the soundtrack August 6, and one of the songs – written with composer David Wingo – has a video. Explosions In The Sky play The Air Canada Centre on October 4 opening for Nine Inch Nails.

Video: Explosions In The Sky w David Wingo – “Wading”

Under The Radar has more specifics on Okkervil River’s new full-length The Silver Gymnasium, out September 3. They play The Phoenix on September 28.

Matablog offers details on Kim Gordon’s first post/side-Sonic Youth project, entitled Body/Head and releasing their first album Coming Apart on September 10.

Janelle Monáe’s new album finally has a release date; The Electric Lady will be in stores on September 10. And damn, is her handwriting nice.

Willis Earl Beal has announced details of his second album, Nobody Knows. It’s out September 10 and a first track is available to stream below. More details at Under The Radar.

Stream: Willis Earl Beal – “Everything Unwinds”

Spin has compiled an oral history of Liz Phair’s landmark Exile In Guyville on the occasion of the record’s 20th anniversary.

I’ve been meaning to give Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee and her second album Cerulean Salt a proper write-up for a little while now, but just haven’t gotten around to it. But given that with the record’s European release, it’s available to stream in whole at NME right now, you may as well just go and listen to it and not worry about what I have to say about it save that it’s really terrific. There’s feature interviews with Crutchfield at The Guardian, The Line Of Best Fit, NPR, and Time.

Video: Waxahatchee – “Coast To Coast”
Stream: Waxahatchee / Cerulean Salt

Also from NYC Taper and Solid Sound is Low’s set from the festival, as well as one from Brooklyn a few days earlier.

Chart talks to Fred Thomas of Saturday Looks Good To Me.

It was more shrugs than tears when it was announced Kim Deal was leaving Pixies earlier this month, what with the band having been more nostalgia profiteers than trailblazing artists since their reunion in 2004, but with the surprise drop of a new song – with Deal on it – this morning, we are reminded of how great they still could have been in the 21st century had they wanted to, and yes, a tear. Unless, of course, this isn’t the end but some sort of beginning…?

MP3: Pixies – “Bagboy”
Video: Pixies – “Bagboy”

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

NXNE 2013 Day Two

The National, Still Corners, Hayden, and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWish as we might, the day show still hasn’t quite taken hold of NXNE the way it has its heavyweight south by southwestern cousin, but there are things worth seeing and doing in the daylight hours if you look. And sometimes those things will take you to places like Urban Outfitters, who were hosting a honey of an in-store on the Friday of the festival. And sometimes, if you take the time to actually look at the address of the Urban Outfitters in question, you’ll get there on the first try, rather than use process of elimination, which is what I did. Aside: there are too many Urban Outfitters in this city.

Still, I made it to the correct Queen West UO location in time to see Florida’s Beach Day – cover boys and girls of my NXNE preview – setting up for the first of four shows they’d play in town this weekend. With their debut album Trip Trap Attack due the the following week – today, actually – they were primed to show off what they had to whomever would listen. And what they had was a fun and infectious retro-garage/surf pop sound that fit their name perfectly, though if you were to call them “Dum Dum Girls’ Little Archies”, you wouldn’t be wrong either. Besides the visual and stylistic similarities, singer-guitarist Kimmy Drake also has a Chrissie Hynde-like delivery not unlike Dee Dee Penny’s, and while their music doesn’t have the New Wave sophistication that elevates Dum Dum Girls above their peers, they do have a lot of youthful exuberance that also goes a long way. They play in an old style but do it like it’s brand new.

Photos: Beach Day @ Urban Outfitters – June 14, 2013
MP3: Beach Day – “Love Is Strange”
Video: Beach Day – “Beach Day”
Video: Beach Day – “Boys”

Following them from about as far as you could get, geographically and stylistically, were London’s Still Corners whose presence on the bill is what got me to take the day off work so as to be able to see them. It had been a long time since their local debut in October 2011 and neither their show a couple nights earlier opening for CHVRCHES nor their showcase that evening at The Horseshoe was logistically workable for me, so this was my best chance to hear Strange Pleasures live. Though the record’s ’80s-beholden, synth-heavy sound was quite a shift from the ’60s atmosphere of their debut Creatures Of An Hour, I’ve found myself liking it as much if not more. The band opted to not try and recreate their standard live show for the in-store setup, however, pre-apologizing if their messing with the set structure didn’t work as well as they hoped when they thought it up. They opened with three selections from Strange Pleasures with just band principals Tessa Murray on vocals and sequencer and Greg Hughes on guitar overtop some canned beats, the lushness of the new material’s recorded versions being traded in for some of the barer beauty more akin to the aesthetic of their debut, even when the rest of the band joined them for the remainder of the set. While they quite obviously weren’t unplugged, the performance had a similar intent with a greater emphasis put on Murray’s lovely vocals and allowing Hughes to show off some of his guitar chops. I do still wish I’d been able to hear the bigger, louder version of the show that those who saw their evening shows caught, but this was pretty special too.

The Boston Globe has an interview with Still Corners.

Photos: Still Corners @ Urban Outfitters – June 14, 2013
MP3: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”
MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”
MP3: Still Corners – “Eyes”
MP3: Still Corners – “Into The Woods”
MP3: Still Corners – “Cuckoo”
MP3: Still Corners – “Endless Summer”
Video: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”
Video: Still Corners – “Cuckoo”
Video: Still Corners – “Into The Trees”
Video: Still Corners – “Endless Summer”

After taking a few hours to tend to this and that – which is to say napping – it was off to Yonge-Dundas Square for the festival’s ostensible headlining act, and said act’s ostensible opener. That would be Hayden, a last-minute reveal given his appearance at Arts & Crafts’ Field Trip festival the weekend before, but not really a surprise considering their history together – Hayden Desser joined The National for a cover of his “Dynamite Walls” when they played The Phoenix in October 2007 and he also interviewed frontman Matt Berninger earlier this Spring. My own history with Hayden is pretty long as well – I first saw him at the Humanities Theatre in Waterloo back in 1996, and again opening for Juliana Hatfield at Guelph’s Trasheteria in 1998… but not since. To be honest, while I’ve always appreciated what Hayden did, I was never the biggest fan – his simple and genial brand folk-pop never quite resonated with me the way it did some, and this year’s Us Alone was the first of his releases I’ve listened to in almost forever (and I like it fine). But hearing those songs played out in the open air as the sun just began to set was really an ideal way to be reminded of the power of simplicity. Leading a trio and starting out on keyboards, he worked through an unhurried set of new tunes and old favourites – occasionally punctuated by a Crazy Horse-esque noise flourish lest you start to nod off – but mostly just comfortable and enjoyable. And hearing the songs with which he first garnered attention – Everything I Long For‘s “Bad As They Seem” and “In September” took be back the nearly 20 years since I first heard them, as well as appreciate how far his songwriting has evolved while staying in the same mould. And also that the throat-shredding gruffness he needs to affect for “In September” must really hurt.

Post-City has a feature piece on Hayden.

Photos: Hayden @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 14, 2013
MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”
Video: Hayden – “Oh Memory”
Video: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”
Video: Hayden – “Barely Friends”
Video: Hayden – “Where & When”
Video: Hayden – “All In One Move”
Video: Hayden – “Carried Away”
Video: Hayden – “Dynamite Walls”
Video: Hayden – “The Closer I Get”
Video: Hayden – “Bad As They Seem”

While the Yonge-Dundas Square mainstage of NXNE is fantastic in theory – free shows in the heart of the city with big names that help give a club-level festival a little major-league cachet – in practice it’s… less than fantastic. The built-in stage offers poor sightlines, made worse by the number of sponsors tents and beer cordons so that many in attendance are lucky to get some line of sight to one of the two video screens, never mind the stage. Add in massive crowds, many of whom are only there for something to do rather than actual fans and will think nothing of talking loudly through the whole set, and, well, maybe you’d be better off at the clubs. Unless, of course, the big-name headliner for this evening is one of your favourite bands of the past decade, in which case you suck up whatever complaints you might otherwise have and you see The National.

And if I thought that seeing them play an arena – albeit theatre-configured – in December 2011 was a headtrip, then seeing them in such a setting was just mental considering I still clearly remember our first meeting in March 2006 at The Horseshoe. Their environs were a touch amusing to the band, as well, with Matt Berninger commenting on the giant Beyonce H&M ads directly in his line of sight on the Eaton Centre, and Aaron Dessner noting the Blue Jays game was playing on another giant screen behind them. But they were here to do a job and do it they did.

Trouble Will Find Me lead track “I Should Live In Salt” set the tone for the evening, all stately melancholia, and certainly a far cry from the merry bedlam The Flaming Lips brought to the same stage the year prior. Even as their stages have gotten bigger, their show has remained pretty consistent – Berninger anchored centre stage, microphone gripped tightly, Dessner twins flanking him on guitars and the Devendorff rhythm section laying back and tending to business. The Dessners did alternately step out towards the audience whilst powering the band’s crescendos, but Berninger didn’t venture out to meet the audience until “England”. And while the public square is arguably the least acoustically favourable place they’ve played in the city, there was something special about hearing the likes of “Apartment Story” and “Fake Empire” ring out and off of the steel and glass surroundings.

The set naturally favoured Trouble and High Violet, but long-time fans were treated with “About Today” off of 2005’s Cherry Tree EP. Alligator has sadly gotten to the point of only being represented by the obvious “Abel” and “Mr. November”, though I will admit the latter takes on some new life when Berninger is now able to actually plunge into the crowd and be carried on the arms of, if not cheerleaders, then festival-goers. Having missed the end of their Air Canada Centre performance, their show-closing “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” was unexpected and powerful – pulling off an unplugged singalong can be difficult in a club or theatre setting; doing it on an outdoor urban stage? Nearly impossible. So of course they did, and with ease.

Some may grouse about the aforementioned problems of shows such as this and even used them as excuses to skip it, particularly knowing that the band will certainly return before long to do a proper ticketed show in a more personable venue. I took that as an extra reason to go to this show and appreciate its uniqueness, niggles aside. After all – R.E.M.’s free noon-hour show at the very same intersection in 2001 was also hardly an ideal concert setting, but it’s not one I’ll ever forget. I can’t say this one will be as indelible, all said and done, but for what it was, it was still great.

CBC Music and aux.tv have interviews with The National and NPR a World Cafe session.

Photos: The National @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 14, 2013
MP3: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”
MP3: The National – “Twenty Miles To NH (Part 2)”
MP3: The National – “Exile Vilify”
MP3: The National – “Think You Can Wait”
MP3: The National – “Afraid Of Everyone”
MP3: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
MP3: The National – “So Far Around The Bend”
MP3: The National – “Fake Empire”
MP3: The National – “90 Mile Water Wall”
MP3: The National – “Cold Girl Fever”
MP3: The National – “Son”
MP3: The National – “Beautiful Head”
Video: The National – “Sea Of Love”
Video: The National – “Demons”
Video: The National – “Exile Vilify”
Video: The National – “Think You Can Wait”
Video: The National – “Conversation 16”
Video: The National – “Terrible Love”
Video: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
Video: The National – “So Far Around The Bend” (live)
Video: The National – “Mistaken For Strangers”
Video: The National – “Apartment Story”
Video: The National – “Abel”
Video: The National – “Lit Up”
Video: The National – “Daughters Of The Soho Riots”
Video: The National – “Sugar Wife”
Video: The National – “Son”

Exclaim has details on the new Scud Mountain Boys album, entitled Do You Love the Sun and out July 9 digitally and August 6 on vinyl.

Esquire talks the festival life with Father John Misty. He plays a non-festival at The Danforth Music Hall on August 3.

Rolling Stone talks to Tommy Stinson about the Replacements reunion which kicks off August 25 at Riot Fest in Toronto at Garrison Common.

The first song from the new Okkervil River album The Silver Gymnasium is now available to stream via lyric video. The record is out September 3 and they play The Phoenix on September 28.

Stream: Okkervil River – “It Was My Season”

The Quietus gets to know former Okkervil River-er and current Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg in his capacity as an ornithologist.

Beatroute chats with Explosions In The Sky, in town supporting Nine Inch Nails at The Air Canada Centre on October 4.

NPR has premiered the new video from Low’s latest, The Invisible Way, while Drowned In Sound has posted a video session and interview with the Minnesotans.

Video: Low – “Plastic Cup”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of The Mountain Goats show at the soon-to-be-late Maxwell’s in Hoboken a couple weeks ago.

NPR and SF Weekly talk to John Vanderslice about making his latest record Dagger Beach.

NYC Taper has a recording of an Antlers show in New York last week.

Beatroute gets to know The Thermals.

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Dance the Night Away

Scud Mountain Boys at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangEven in this age of band reunions run amuck, the returns of some outfits to active duty seem highly unlikely. Maybe the animosity between the principals is too deep for even the biggest prospective paydays to put aside, or the prospect of being regarded as a nostalgia act rather than active, vital artist is too unpalatable, or maybe the band’s audience wasn’t all that big the first time around and their legend hasn’t necessarily grown enough in the interim to make it seem worthwhile.

Any and all of these could reasonably have applied to early ’90s alt.country outfit Scud Mountain Boys. A falling out, the specifics of which have grown vague, left it so that singer-guitarist Joe Pernice hadn’t spoken to the other three in some fourteen years, Pernice had since established himself as a successful bandleader via Pernice Brothers and solo artist, and though the Scuds certainly had their devotees, their name wasn’t exactly topping anyone’s list of dream Coachella headliner reunions. And yet last Summer, following the death of a close mutual friend, Pernice decided to reach out to his former bandmates and revisit the old material – net result, a string of live dates along the east coast in early 2012 that wrapped up, for the moment, this past Saturday night at Lee’s Palace in Pernice’s adopted hometown of Toronto.

Any question about the vibe of the night was answered with the band’s stage setup, carried over from their original incarnation – a kitchen table set up in the middle of the stage, adorned with a small lamp and surrounded with comfortable chairs. It was both symbolic, hearkening to the band’s beginnings sitting around a kitchen table playing music together, and practical, giving them a place to put their drinks. And with regards to my earlier comments that no one was waiting for this reunion – that’s not to say that it wasn’t welcome; a few hundred locals were out for the occasion, and some were louder and rowdier than the band themselves.

Being more a fan of the Pernice Brothers’ ornate pop than the Scuds’ country leanings – relatively speaking, just to be clear – I’ve always preferred the more produced third album Massachusetts to their sparser, earlier records Pine Box and Dance The Night Away (collected and rereleased as The Early Year) but hearing the earlier material was a great reminder that those simpler recordings still contained some great, great songs. And also that as much as history has framed the Scuds as Pernice’s old band – and he was great, having shaved for the occasion and looking a lot like Elvis Costello, and still a hilarious onstage personality who despite planning to become a Canadian citizen this year, hadn’t forgotten his Boston roots (“Pogge or Rask?”) – the others were far more than just a supporting cast. Drummer Tom Shea was deft on mandolin for the front half of the show before taking up behind the drum kit, bassist Stephen Desaulniers’ voice has more of an innate twang than Pernice’s honeyed vocals and guitarist Bruce Tull’s leads offered a great balance of emotion and melody.

The 90-minute set was actually more dynamic than a show anchored around a kitchen table might have implied, the Massachusetts material almost rocking out (thought still seated) and main set closer “Cigarette Sandwich” coming across particularly rollicking. But perhaps most importantly, given the history of the band, everyone onstage seemed to be having a grand time of it and that spirit carried over into the audience, including former Pernice Brothers and current Sadies drummer Mike Belitsky. He was texting taunts at Pernice during the encore, causing him to crack up whilst trying to sing the somber Cher cover of “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” (the table was also good for holding mobile phones). A hilarious end to a wholly entertaining show, and if that ends up being it for the Scuds reunion – there are no more dates on the sched and Joe will be turning his attention to the new Pernice Brothers record due out this year – then it went out on a high note.

The Washington Post has an interview with Pernice about getting the band back together.

Photos: Scud Mountain Boys @ Lee’s Palace – February 25, 2012
MP3: Scud Mountain Boys – “Grudge Fuck”
Stream: Scud Mountain Boys – “In A Ditch”
Stream: Scud Mountain Boys – “Sangre de Cristo”

Both The Line Of Best Fit and DIY crash Stephin Merritt’s hotel room to record Magnetic Fields video sessions, while NPR has new album Love At The Bottom Of The Sea streaming in full before it emerges next Tuesday. They’re at the Sound Academy on March 30.

Stream: The Magnetic Fields / Love At The Bottom Of The Sea

Spin solicits a list of Sharon Van Etten’s favourite things; The Ottawa Citizen also has a chat.

Frankie Rose – whose CV takes her through such acts as Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and The Outs – has released her acclaimed debut under her own name alone in Interstellar and will bring it to The Shop Under Parts & Labour on May 2.

MP3: Frankie Rose – “Little Brown Haired Girls”

Beirut has released a new video from last year’s delicious The Rip Tide. Hear it, and others like it, when the band are at The Sound Academy on July 19.

Video: Beirut – “Vagabond”

Baeble Music has premiered a new video from The Wooden Birds, taken from Two Matchsticks.

Video: The Wooden Birds – “Long Time To Lose It”

Drowned In Sound chats with Andrew Bird, whose new album Break It Yourself is out March 6 and now streaming in full at NPR.

Stream: Andrew Bird / Break It Yourself

NPR welcomes Nada Surf for a World Cafe session. They play The Opera House on April 4.

Spin interviews James Mercer of The Shins. Their new album Port Of Morrow comes out March 20.

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.

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Glass Jaw

Scud Mountain Boys route reunion tour to drop Joe Pernice off at home

Photo via Sub PopSub PopWhile far from the most earth-shattering reunion announcement by any popular measure, it was most pleasant and unexpected when word came last month that Scud Mountain Boys were getting back together for some shows in 2012. The Scud Mountain Boys, for those not in the know, were Joe Pernice’s first band of note, an alt-country foursome that evolved from the rockier Scuds and preceded the more pop-oriented and only slightly less sad-sack Pernice Brothers. Their tenure ran from 1991 to 1997 and three albums, the first two of which – Pine Box and Dance The Night Away – were collected as The Early Year and rounded out by the more fleshed-out production of Massachusetts, which pointed at the direction Pernice would follow in future endeavors.

Those records are set to be reissued by Pernice’s own Ashmont Records sometime around December, along with a new disc of Scud-era rarities. And though the initial run of reunion dates were limited to the American northeast, a February 25 date at Lee’s Palace in Toronto was just added – presumably to allow Joe a quick cab ride home as the Boston native has been a Hogtown resident for over half a decade now. Tickets for the show will be $16.50, on sale this Friday. The Hollywood Reporter checks in with Joe Pernice to find out how the reunion, which started with a 3-out-of-4 member performance in Connecticut in August, came to be.

And for those who prefer their Pernice in Brothers form, a new album is also in the works and should be out in 2012.

MP3: Scud Mountain Boys – “Grudge Fuck”

The Decemberists are previewing a few tracks from their new Long Live The King EP, out November 1, by streaming a couple songs at New York Magazine and Paste. Colin Meloy has also reflected on his love of R.E.M. for Mojo and finally, congratulations to keyboardist Jenny Conlee whose breast cancer is in remission.

Stream: The Decemberists – “Foregone”
Stream: The Decemberists – “E Watson”

Titus Andronicus have released a video for the Nirvana cover they released for Spin‘s Nevermind tribute album.

Video: Titus Andronicus – “Breed”

Pitchfork is streaming the b-side to the Mazzy Star comeback single “Common Burn” while pointing out the a-side is listenable over at Amazon.

Stream: Mazzy Star – “Common Burn”
Stream: Mazzy Star – “Lay Myself Down”

If anyone wasn’t sure what Wilco’s position on the whole Occupy Wall Street movement was, this stream of a Woody Guthrie song they’ve posted on their website should clarify matters.

Stream: Wilco – “The Jolly Banker”

Meanwhile, NPR goes digging through their World Cafe vaults for recordings of the Uncle Tupelo family tree.

Californian psych-pop outfit Woods have made a date at The Horseshoe for December 8. Why on earth Californians would decide to visit Canada in December is beyond me, but they are. Tickets are $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Woods – “To Clean”
MP3: Woods – “Rain On”
Video: Woods – “To Clean”

A first sample of the reunited Guided By Voices is now available to download courtesy of Matablog – and it’s kinda great. Let’s Go Eat The Factory arrives January 1.

MP3: Guided By Voices – “The Unsinkable Fats Domino”

NYC Taper is streaming Savoir Adore’s show at Cake Shop as part of CMJ from last week.