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Posts Tagged ‘Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet’

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Appel

Moon King lead this week’s cross-Canada wrap-up

Photo By Jonathon BernsteinJonathon BernsteinAs I mentioned back in October, in a few years – or even sooner – the late Spiral Beach could well be regarded as an important touchstone in the recent history of the Toronto independent scene. Bassist Dorian Wolf now holds down those same duties in internationally-noted electronic act Austra, guitarist Airick Woodhead is garnering heaps of attention as the circuit-bending Doldrums, and the remaining two members – keyboardist/vocalist Maddy Wilde and drummer Daniel Woodhead – have slowly but surely been turning heads as the dreampop-peddling Moon King.

Their debut EP Obsession I came out last Summer and offered them the pretence to start gigging and making a (new) name for themselves, and Exclaim reports the follow-up EP – Obsession II, of course – will arrive April 16. That’s just in time for their North American tour supporting Born Ruffians; a tour which doesn’t currently have a Toronto date, but if you think these two acts aren’t doing a hometown show shortly after that last official date in Detroit in late May, you’re nuts.

A track from the new EP has been made available to download, and you can still stream the first Obsession as well as watch/download the lead single from it.

MP3: Moon King – “Appel”
MP3: Moon King – “Only Child”
Video: Moon King – “Only Child”
Stream: Moon King / Obsession I

All that said, Doldrums is unquestionably the Beach alumnus of the hour: CBC Music, The Montreal Gazette, and Interview have interviews with Woodhead and they’ve just put out a new video from the just-released Lesser Evil.

Video: Doldrums – “She Is The Wave”

Bruce Peninsula are known for trotting big lineups – like double-digit head counts – onstage for their live shows, but it will be the core trio of Neil Haverty, Misha Bower, and Matt Cully who will represent at a special show on March 10 at the Campbell House Museum in Toronto, tickets $20 at the door.

MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “In Your Light”

As promised, the Fucked Up-curated Long Winter series will return for a fifth instalment this month and feature a twang-tacular lineup led by The Sadies and Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. That goes down March 23 at The Great Hall.

MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”
MP3: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “13”

DIY has an interview with Suuns, whose new album Images du Futur is streaming over at CBC Music ahead of its official release next Tuesday, March 5. They play Lee’s Palace on March 23 for Canadian Musicfest.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”
Stream: Suuns / Images du Futur

The Coast talks to Two Hours Traffic about their new album Foolish Blood. Their Canadian Musicfest appearance is March 21 at Lee’s Palace.

Exclaim has the new video from Woodpigeon’s just-released Thumbtacks & Glue.

Video: Woodpigeon – “Red Rover, Red Rover”

Kathleen Edwards has released a new video from last year’s Voyageur.

Video: Kathleen Edwards – “Chameleon/Comedian”

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan talk to Spinner about what they’ve got planned for their next album.

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Movement

New Order get ready for live return to North America

Photo By Kevin CumminsKevin CumminsThere are two points about New Order that are difficult to dispute.

a) They were one of the greatest bands of the ’80s, whose run of albums from 1983’s Power, Corruption & Lies through 1989’s Technique and including 1987’s singles collection Substance templated and led that which we’d call indie, New Wave, post-punk, dance-rock, electronica, and were massively commercially successful at the same time. Their legacy is deep and far-reaching and even after their heyday, when roster changes and internal bickering overshadowed their music, they still managed to include at least one amazing song per otherwise uneven record that reminded you of why they mattered.

b) They were lousy live. Okay, that’s a deliberately polemic statement, especially for someone who’s never seen them live, but any live footage I’ve seen or heard has been some degree of cringe-worthy and in my years of being a fan, that’s always seemed the consensus opinion. Their official BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert album, which captured their 1087 Glastonbury set – which is to say the recording that they deemed good enough to release and sell – shone a bright light on Bernard Sumner’s inability to sing live. His voice is thin, off-key, and on this recording at least, punctuated with whoops and yelps that also manage to be way out of pitch. His shortcomings as a vocalist are evident on the albums as well, but what’s passable in a studio is decidedly less so amplified to stadium levels. Some of this was certainly due to some of the chemical accouterments of the era, but online footage from more recent shows don’t demonstrate much improvement.

So it’s all well and good to focus on point a) with the news yesterday that the band – who were supposed to have broken up for good back in 2009 but who’ve turned a handful of one-off gigs into a proper ongoing concern that now includes a North American tour that wraps in Toronto on October 23 at the Sony Centre, their first time here since Summer 2001, when they were part of Moby’s Area One tour at The Docks. Purists will rightly point out that it’s not really New Order without Peter Hook – he quit the band in decidedly acrimonious fashion in 2007 – but they’ve got keyboardist Gillian Gilbert, who quit circa 2005’s Waiting For The Siren’s Call, back in the fold so they’ve still got three out of four original members – better than many bands out on the nostalgia circuit.

Ticket information is still forthcoming, but considering it won’t be cheap, it may be worth giving some thought to point b) before putting your cash on the barrelhead. But then, of course, you’ll imagine hearing “Blue Monday” live and it’ll be a done deal. That’s fine, nothing wrong with celebrating the songs more than the performance. I’ll probably be there too.

Video: New Order – “Blue Monday”
Video: New Order – “Bizarre Love Triangle”
Video: New Order – “Regret”

When Don Pyle of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet mentioned at their Lee’s Palace show a couple weeks ago that they were going to be playing at The Cameron House in August, I wasn’t sure if he was being serious or making a joke. turns out he was serious. Exclaim reports that the band will play a benefit double-header at the tiny Queen West venue on August 12 with proceeds from the early show going to Mindfulness Without Borders and the late show benefitting Hospice Toronto. Tickets are $20 and go on sale July 28 at the Cameron House – and maybe this time they’ll have copies of Savvy Show Stoppers to sell.

MP3: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “13”

Boston post-rock veterans Caspian will be at The Horseshoe on September 10 in support of their new record Waking Season, out later this Fall. Tickets are $10.50 in advance.

Trailer: Caspian / Waking Season

With a new record in Nocturne out on August 28 and now more a proper band than a pseudonym for Jack Tatum’s solo project, Wild Nothing are teaming up with New York’s DIIV – themselves no strangers to the art of being buzzy – for a Fall tour that brings them to The Great Hall on September 18, tickets $15.50 in advance. Alibi talks to Wild Nothing’s Tatum while Spin talks favourite things with DIIV leader Zachary Cole Smith.

MP3: Wild Nothing – “Nowhere”
MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”

Leeds’ Alt-J will release their debut album An Awesome Wave Stateside on September 18 and as part of their Fall tour to support it, will be in town at Wrongbar on September 19; tickets are $13 in advance. Gigwise has an interview with the band.

MP3: Alt-J – “Tessalate”
MP3: Alt-J – “Matilda”

The Antlers are marking the release today of their new Undersea EP with the announcement of a show at The Great Hall on September 25, tickets $21.50 in advance. It’s almost certainly part of a full tour, but the rest of the dates are still forthcoming. While you wait, you can hear the whole mini-album on their Facebook for the price of a ‘like’.

MP3: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”
Stream: The Antlers / Undersea

Not that they should need any help selling out The Phoenix, but Crocodiles have been announced as support for The Afghan Whigs’ October 3 show at The Phoenix. Their Endless Flowers came out last month. Remaining tickets for the show are $35.

MP3: Crocodiles – “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)”

The powers that be won’t say what or when with regards to head New Pornographer Carl Newman putting his A.C. Newman solo cap back on, but they have confirmed a third solo record exists, will be out this Fall, and he’ll be touring in support. That kicks off October 21 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $16.50.

MP3: A.C. Newman – “Submarines Of Stockholm”

Josh Tillman must like life on the road – having just made his Father John Misty debut here back in May and returning in support of Youth Lagoon last week, he’s announced an extensive Fall tour what brings him back for the third show in five months, hitting Lee’s Palace on October 27 with La Sera opening up. Tickets are $14.50 in advance. There’s a Father John Misty interview and session at The Alternate Side and a short interview at Melbourne Times Weekly.

MP3: Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”
MP3: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”

Their support duties for Best Coast done with, Those Darlins are free to announce another return to town, hitting The Garrison on October 30, tickets $12.50 in advance. They’re featured in pieces at Miami New Times and The Augusta Chronicle.

MP3: Those Darlins – “Red Light Love”

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Having An Average Weekend

Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, catl., and Daniel Romano at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSaturday night was pretty flush with options for Toronto music fans – Edgefest for the kids up at Downsview, the Sarah Harmer-led free War Of 1812 celebrations at Fort York for the CBC Radio 3 crowd – but for those of a certain generation, there was nowhere else to be but Lee’s Palace. Because for one night only, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet were back.

Thanks to being the house band for the Kids In The Hall comedy troupe in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Shadowy Men were arguably the most widely-heard independent Toronto band of that era; remember, this was a time when being an independent Canadian artist didn’t have the same cachet that it does today – it basically meant that you toiled away in obscurity or something close to it. The sort of reach that their distinctive surf-a-billy instrumentals got was rare and impressive, and their accomplishments over the course of three albums and many singles frequently overlooked (though a small panel I was on tried to mitigate that somewhat by electing them to the Zunior Independent Music Hall Of Fame in 2010).

The trio disbanded to pursue other projects in 1996 and when bassist Reid Diamond passed away in 2001, it looked as though that would be it for the Shadowy Men legacy; thankfully it wasn’t. Whether the start of a reissue series for their shamefully out of print catalog precipitated the decision to play some live shows with Dallas Good of The Sadies standing in for Diamond or vice-versa, what matters is that Shadowy Men were again an active concern in 2012, first with a show at Calgary’s Sled Island festival in late June and then this sold-out and sweaty hometown show on Saturday.

The last time I’d seen Daniel Romano was right here at Lee’s Palace, but that was five years ago and he was fronting Welland rock act Attack In Black and opening up for Built To Spill. I knew that he’d gone solo in a different direction since then, but it was still something to see him take the stage in full cowboy regalia – okay, no spurs or chaps – with the songs to match. Johnny Cash and Gram Parsons were obvious reference points and while formidable ones, Romano’s slow, hurting songs didn’t pale for the comparison. He wasn’t quite able to win the full attention of the audience at first, but as their performance went on, the floor steadily filled up and by the time a couple began slow dancing at the foot of the stage, their set could be marked in the ‘win’ column.

catl.’s Twitter bio doesn’t even need 140 characters to accurately describe them – “dirty. sweaty. fun.”. Though something of a Toronto fixture, I’d never actually gotten to see the trio live before and indeed their set was loud, dirty, sweaty, and fun. Their greasy blues-rock shuffles were a combination of John Lee Hooker and Tom Waits – thanks to the guitar and voice of Jamie Fleming – happy to grind along in their groove and then periodically detonating with gloriously grimy energy, often in the form of Sarah Kirkpatrick’s maraca shake (mostly not a metaphor). I generally don’t care for the blues or things directly derived from them, but this was more than alright; disinterest was not an option.

Though I counted myself a fan in their initial run – dubbed cassettes of all their albums and their songs were the perfect length for filling in the ends of sides on mix tapes – I never saw them live. I didn’t go to shows because, well, I was still underage and concert-going wasn’t part of my lifestyle – something I’ve spent the past 15 years making up for, I suppose. All of which is to say that it was pretty exciting to get a chance to see something that I’d never thought about having missed, and for it to be as great as I’d never imagined. Obviously Reid Diamond is irreplaceable, but if you had to get a stand-in, you couldn’t do much better than Dallas Good and equipping him with the man’s original Gibson Thunderbird bass – the perfect instrumental counterpoint to guitarist Brian Connelly’s Gretsch White Falcon if ever there was one.

I’m not even going to try and cite many specific songs performed over the course of their 90-minute, two-encore set, which they dove right into without much fanfare – no dimming of lights or chilling of ham. One of the perks of being an instrumental band is you get to come up with ridiculous names for your compositions – which Shadowy Men surely did – so being able to identify 1- to 2-minute songs after having not even heard any of their albums in many years was nigh on impossible. That said, I was surprised how many of their tunes were so immediately familiar – “You Spin Me Round”, “Theme From TV”, “Run Chicken Run”, “Shadowy Countdown”; in trying to describe their sound, any of surf, spaghetti western, spy themes, mariachi, and rockabilly would be appropriate but one musn’t forget pop – as complex as their stylistic melting pot got, memorable and immediate melodies were almost always the first ingredient, which is a large part of why they remain so beloved so many years on.

Though this should have been a record release show for the repressing of their first album Savvy Show Stoppers, drummer Don Pyle apologized for the lack of merch saying that the records were held up at the border… of Saskatchewan. Nonetheless, they’ll make it out eventually and when they do, hopefully a new generation of fans will be able to bask in the greatness that was Shadowy Men. Me, I’m just happy that I finally got to see Brian Connelly play, “Having An Average Weekend”, and be able to confirm after 20 years of wondering that I was indeed playing it right when my high school band covered it in high school – I just sucked at it.

BlogTO has an interview with Don Pyle about the makings of the Shadowy Men reunion and one fan in attendance managed to record their entire set on video in quite good quality and post it to YouTube, so if you weren’t there on Saturday and wished you were, make with the watching. And if you’re up for a road trip, they’ve announced another show on September 14 in Waterloo at the Starlight.

Photos: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, catl., Daniel Romano @ Lee’s Palace – July 14, 2012
MP3: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “13”
Video: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “They Don’t Call Them Chihuahuas Anymore”
Video: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “Rover And Rusty”
Video: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “Memories Of Gay Paree”
Video: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “Musical Interlude”
Video: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “Shadowy Countdown”
Video: catl. – “Gold Tooth Shine”
Video: catl. – “A Sun’s Grave”
Video: Daniel Romano – “Time Forgot (To Change My Heart)”

Toronto vibraphone ensemble The Hylozoists come out of hiding next week to play The Piston on July 18th.

Video: The Hylozoists – “Bras D’Or Lakes”

Purity Ring’s debut album Shrines is getting the NPR First Listen treatment, being available to stream a week before its July 24 official release.

MP3: Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”
MP3: Purity Ring – “Obedear”
Stream: Purity Ring / Shrines

I probably shouldn’t need a British newspaper to tip me off to new bands in my own backyard, but The Guardian deserves credit for alerting me to the existence of Diana, a new electro-pop band from the brain of Joseph Shabason – aka Destroyer’s go-to saxophonist – that features Carmen Elle of Army Girls on vocals. Seriously, is there any musician in Toronto without an electro-pop side-project/persona?

Stream: Diana – “Born Again”
Stream: Diana – “Perpetual Surrender”

Ion talks to Joel Plaskett.

Loud & Quiet has an interview with Japandroids.

Friday, July 13th, 2012

There All The Time Without You

Review of Kestrels’ A Ghost History

Photo via Sonic UnyonSonic UnyonWere the magical little elves in charge of categorizing music – be it in record store bins or the meta tags on MP3s – would like to take Halifax trio Kestrels and file them under “shoegaze”, pointing to the heyday of Creation Records in describing their second album A Ghost History. And I’m not necessarily going to argue the point – it definitely owes more than a debt to the sounds of the early ’90s, what with its roaring guitars and liberally reverbed vocals, but those expecting some Maritime take on sonic cathedral construction or hazy dream-pop had best check their expectations.

Kestrels’ record collections may have their shares of of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive records – “There All the Time Without You” is pretty damn Shields-y in a great way – but those records clearly share shelf space with plenty of college rock from this side of the Atlantic. And from those records, they learned valuable lessons – Superchunk taught them how to channel their energy into pogo-ready punk-pop anthems, Dinosaur Jr taught them how to rip a guitar solo like a mofo, and Sloan… well it might be a bit cliche to cite the proto-Halifax rock band, but there’s more than a little Smeared – both in its fuzzy textures and indelible hooks – in Kestrels’ DNA.

For those of us who grew up with these influences will find Ghost History familiar yet invigorating and those who didn’t, who are perhaps of the same generation as Kestrels themselves, well maybe we should consider this a gateway drug.

The Chronicle Herald and The Telegram have feature pieces on Kestrels, whose North American tour hits Rancho Relaxo in Toronto on July 20.

Stream: Kestrels – “Dumb Angel”
Video: Kestrels – “The Past Rests”
Video: Kestrels – “There All The Time Without You”

Spinner talks to Grimes ahead of her show at Historic Fort York tonight as part of the Full Flex train tour thing.

Radio Free Canuckistan continues to get excited for the Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet reunion show at Lee’s Palace on Saturday night by interviewing drummer Don Pyle as well as band patron/friend Bruce McCulloch of Kids In The Hall fame. NOW and The AV Club also have feature pieces and Exclaim also has another video session of the 2012 incarnation of the band playing a tune for St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club in Toronto.

It was a sad day when Forest City Lovers called it a day back in April, but frontwoman Kat Burns did promise that she’d still have a new record out soon – and indeed she does. Now recording as Kashka and exploring the electro-pop side of things, she’ll release her debut album Vichada on July 17 – stream a track below – and has already begun playing some shows but nothing of the hometown persuasion just yet.

Stream: Kashka – “This Machine”

Spin, Dazed, and The Line Of Best Fit talk to Purity Ring about their debut album Shrines, which is due out July 24 and from which they’ve just released a new video.

Video: Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”

CBC Music sends author Grace O’Connell to ask some questions of Great Lake Swimmers main man Tony Dekker. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 18 opening for Blue Rodeo.

Like bikes? Like music? Maybe you’ll like the Toronto Bicycle Music Fest which happens at Trinity Bellwoods on September 15. The music side of things will feature performances from Snowblink, Gentleman Reg, and Rae Spoon and the bicycle side of things… well I guess you’re encouraged to bring your bike? Snowblink will be presumably be playing material from their new album Inner Classics which comes out September 11, Reg will showcase his Leisure Life material which is being released incrementally through the Summer and collected into album form in the Fall and Spoon’s I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets came out at the start of 2012.

MP3: Snowblink – “Black & White Mountains”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MP3: Rae Spoon – “Crash Landing”

The Wilderness Of Manitoba have announced a September 18 release date for their second album, Island Of Echoes. Hear – and see – a new song that doesn’t actually appear on the new record in this video session filmed by Southern Souls.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Forest City Love” (live)

METZ has released the first taste of their self-titled debut, due out October 9.

MP3: METZ – “Headache”

DIY and Rolling Stone interview Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric, playing a show at The Air Canada Centre on November 14.

PopMatters, The Vancouver Sun, and The Georgia Straight profile Patrick Watson, doing his thing at Massey Hall on December 6.

Spin has the new video from PS I Love You, taken from Death Dreams and named for Hogtown!

Video: PS I Love You – “Toronto”

Artrocker has a short interview with and Pitchfork a short documentary film featuring Japandroids.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Celebration Rock

Japandroids and Cadence Weapon at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThere’s a point in the arc of the breakout band where long-time fans who’ve supported and encouraged the artist through those early days find themselves in the odd position of rubbing elbows not with the faithful but newbs and tourists, interested not in hearing the songs that soundtracked crucial points in their life but that one tune they heard on the radio. For fans of Vancouver duo Japandroids, that time has come and for those in Toronto, that specific moment was Saturday night where on the strength of their second album Celebration Rock, they not only proved they could play clubs the size of Lee’s Palace, but jam it to the gills. And I report on this not as one of those die-hards but one of the newbs.

It wasn’t quite the top-40 scenario sketched out above, but it is true that while I didn’t care for the duo’s 2009 debut Post-Nothing, I was wholly and unexpectedly taken with Celebration Rock and its righteous classic rockism. And I was hardly the only one as the band’s story has turned from having almost called it quits prior to making this record into being one of the most talked-about rock bands of the moment, to say nothing of a spot on the 2012 Polaris Prize longlist with more than reasonable chances of making the short. Yeah, they’re having a pretty good year.

And if they needed someone to discuss the spotlight with, then they could do worse than their tourmate Rollie Pemberton, aka Cadence Weapon, who had himself made the Polaris long list with his third album Hope In Dirt City and who had previously shortlisted with his 2005 debut Breaking Kayfabe. The bill had just completed tours together in the UK and US and as Japandroids guitarist explained as he took the mic before their set, he’d taken to introducing Cadence Weapon to their audience as a way of explaining why a crowd who’d come to see a white noise rock band was about to be warmed up by a hip-hop artist. He did, however, also acknowledge that this was their first show together in Canada and that Cadence Weapon probably didn’t need any hype man in his home country; indeed, to hear Pemberton tell it on Dirt City, he “don’t need a fuckin’ hype man” at all.

In any case, Pemberton performed as though he was thrilled to be playing to audiences where he didn’t necessarily have to justify his presence. His set was part performance, part conversation where he would offer some backstory, some anecdote or otherwise just chat between songs – good for engagement, not so great for pacing or keeping the momentum going. It did get going though, thanks to the crowd getting more and more into it as the show progressed, and while the spartan beats that work well on the Dirt City recordings sounded a bit thin in the live setting, that was more than offset by the amount of energy and expression that Pemberton threw into the performance.

Building momentum wasn’t any kind of problem for Japandroids’ set. Though some have cited Celebration Rock‘s unrelenting pace as a shortcoming – not unreasonably – it was nothing but a positive for their live show, as after another short introduction by King, he and drummer David Prowse – not David Prowse – burst out of the gates with “The Boys Are Leaving Town” and basically didn’t let up with the fist pumping adrenaline or hand clapping anthemicism for the next 80 minutes or so. This was my first Japandroids show ever – see above about newbiness – and even though I’d seen two-piece acts before, the massiveness of their sound was really impressive. The dual Fender Twins/Marshall full stack/Ampeg SVT backline that King plugs his Telecaster into sound massive and also looks it – perfect for doing guitar hero poses in front of, particularly when you’ve got a fan situated sidestage providing windswept hair effects (and cooling things off, of course) to go with the Springsteen-approved white button-down and blue jeans look.

You couldn’t escape the Springsteen-ness of the music, either. Though the older material still sounded a bit generic to my ears, the Celebration Rock stuff translated as well from record to stage as impressively as you could hope, particularly with hundreds of fans singing along. Sweaty and rank fans, certainly – I had to flee their churning mosh pit after four songs – but absolutely devout and unquestionably enthusiastic. And young. Their new record may be a celebration of rock but it’s also a celebration of youth, and I can appreciate how while it just sounds like a great rock record to me, it can connect on a much deeper level to their demographic. It was quite something see; I just didn’t need to be in the middle of it anymore.

If his emcee role earlier in the evening wasn’t a hint, Brian King made it clear pretty quickly he liked to talk to the audience when he wasn’t rocking their faces off, explaining the songs, recounting tour stories, and thanking the fans. You definitely got the sense that he wasn’t taking their recent successes for granted and was genuinely grateful for it all; I’ve little doubt that this is going to be a momentous couple years for the duo as the record propels them forward – it’s good to see that they’re going into this with the right attitude.

It was amusing to hear him call album closer, “Continuous Thunder” a “slow jam” but I suppose that relative to most everything else in their repertoire, it was the thoughtful, contemplative mid-tempo number. They closed with their cover of The Gun Club’s “For The Love Of Ivy”, warning in advance that there would be no encore as they intended to give it their all. The same could have been said about their entire show and no, they weren’t kidding. Intense.

The National Post was also on hand for a review. The double bill has rightfully been leaving quite a trail of press clippings in their wake. There’s Japandroids features at The Phoenix, Denver Westword, Post City, Vulture, The Montreal Mirror, Cleveland.com, and The New York Times while Pemberton talks to The AV Club, The Grid, The Winnipeg Free Press, The National Post (who also take him shopping in Toronto), The Montreal Gazette, and The Edmonton Journal.

Photos: Japandroids, Cadence Weapon @ Lee’s Palace – June 23, 2012
MP3: Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”
MP3: Japandroids – “Young Hearts Spark Fire”
MP3: Japandroids – “Wet Hair”
MP3: Japandroids – “Heavenward Grand Prix”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Real Estate”
Video: Cadence Weapon – “Get On Down”
Video: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”
Video: Cadence Weapon – “Real Estate”
Video: Cadence Weapon – “Sharks”

Billboard talks to Neil Young and director Jonathan Demme about the Neil Young: Journeys documentary that’s coming out June 29. Young leads Crazy Horse into the ACC on November 24.

And just announced as openers for that Neil Young show and others on the tour – ladies and gentlemen, The Sadies.

MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”

Over at The National Post, Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage explains why opening up for The Tragically Hip at Burl’s Creek on Canada Day next weekend is such a big deal for him. He also talks to The Barrie Advance about the show.

Ragged Gold, the debut album from Guelph disco-pop brother act The Magic is out this week and available to stream in its entirety, along with track-by-track band annotations at DIY. They’re opening up for Hot Chip at The Sound Academy on July 15 and will play their own show at The Theatre Centre on August 10 as part of Summerworks.

MP3: The Magic – “Door To Door”
Stream: The Magic / Ragged Gold

Edmonton’s Purity Ring have released another taste of their forthcoming debut Shrines. They’re at The Music Hall on July 6 supporting Dirty Projectors and are featured by The National Post and Spinner.

MP3: Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”

Macleans has posted the full Q&A of their interview with Don Pyle of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, whose reunion hits Lee’s Palace on July 14, and Exclaim has a video of one of their comeback gigs at St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club.

MP3: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “13”

DIY has a video session with and aux.tv some video commentary from Al Spx of Cold Specks. She leads her band into The Great Hall on August 8.

Opening up that show is Snowblink and they’ll be previewing material from their just-confirmed new album Inner Classics. It’s due out September 11 and details on the release can be found at Exclaim, and a first track can be downloaded below.

MP3: Snowblink – “Black & White Mountain”

Each Note Secure chats with Great Lake Swimmers, opening up for Blue Rodeo at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 20.

Stars have revealed details of their next album – it will be called The North, be out September 4, and at least one song will sound like this. As for details of their next tour…

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

…They will be hooking up with Metric for a cross-Canada tour that brings them to the Air Canada Centre on November 24. Not quite stadium love, but arena ain’t bad. The Globe & Mail and eMusic have feature pieces on the band and DIY and The Line Of Best Fit chip in video sessions. And another track from Synthetica has been made available to download.

MP3: Metric – “Clone”
MP3: Metric – “Artificial Nocturne”

Spinner gets a preview on the visual and audio direction that Diamond Rings will be taking with his second album; a video for the first single from it was just released.

Video: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

The Grid chatted with Dan Bejar of Destroyer ahead of last weekend’s show at The Opera House.

Chains Of Love have released a new video from Strange Grey Days and if you head over to Nylon, you can grab another track from the album to download. Note that it’s uncompressed so have some disk space open…

AIFF: Chains Of Love – “Mistake Lover”
Video: Chains Of Love – “He’s Leaving With Me”

Daytrotter has a session with Kathryn Calder.

CBC Music solicits PS I Love You frontman Paul Saulnier’s five favourite songs of the last 20 years.

The Take chats with The Elwins.