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Posts Tagged ‘She & Him’

Friday, September 20th, 2013

H2O

Hall & Oates at Casino Rama in Orillia

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo, yeah, a few people have asked if I really drove all the way up to Casino Rama (a 90-minute drive north of Toronto that never takes less than two-plus hours, for those not local) to see Hall & Oates on Wednesday night. To which I answer, “you’re damn right I did”. Not that it requires any justification, but having grown up in the ’80s and spent most of that decade glued to MuchMusic/MTV, I have a massive soft spot for the pop music of the era, and while a lot of it has not aged well, to say the least, the works of Darryl Hall and John Oates remains pretty effin’ great; had they ever toured any closer to Toronto I’d have surely seen them by now but since they basically stick to the lucrative casino circuit, it would take a perfect convergence of opportunity and company to make it happen. Which it did.

And if you equated working the casino circuit with phoning it in – which to be honest I sort of did – I’m happy to say that it was not the case. With an enthusiastic audience of around 5000 filling the theatre, Hall & Oates and their six-piece backing band opened up with “Maneater”; give the people what they want, right? But within a few songs were busting out the deep cuts, including their first-ever live performance, if they were to be believed, of “Alone Too Long” from their eponymous 1975 record. It was interesting that they’d include so many deep cuts, but perhaps that was the best way to remind folks of their old-school Philly soul credentials in addition to being pop stars.

But let’s be honest, we were there to hear the hits and they weren’t not going to play them. They emerged from the depths of their set book with the slow jams – “She’s Gone”, “One On One”, and “Sara Smile” thank you very much – before closing things out with the big guns; a jazzy “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” with extended sax solo and two chart-topping encores comprised of “Rich Girl”, “You Make My Dreams Come True”, “Kiss On My List”, and “Private Eyes” as the finale. Yeah of course that was how it was going to go, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Performance-wise, both Hall and Oates sounded great, particularly when backed by the multi-part harmonies of their band, and were still looking pretty trim for their years and with Oates wisely sporting facial hair again. The band was loud and tight and although I’d have traded some of the extended jamming for, oh, “Method Of Modern Love”, they did a good job of playing according to score while Hall went off on vocal and keyboard ad libs – too bad they couldn’t cover up Hall’s Live From Daryl’s House-advertising guitar strap and t-shirt. Ah well. A fun show despite the amount of travel time – next time I’ll take one of those Chinatown buses – but not one I’m likely to make a habit of. Unless that Huey Lewis & The News Sports 30th anniversary tour makes a date…

Photos: Hall & Oates @ Casino Rama – September 18, 2013
Video: Hall & Oates – “Promise Ain’t Enough”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Don’t Hold Back Your Love”
Video: Hall & Oates – “So Close”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Love Train”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Downtown Life”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Missed Opportunity”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Everything Your Heart Desires”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Possession Obsession”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Method Of Modern Love”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Out Of Touch”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Adult Education”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Say It Isn’t So”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Family Man”
Video: Hall & Oates – “One On One”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Maneater”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Your Imagination”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Did It In A Minute”
Video: Hall & Oates – “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Private Eyes”
Video: Hall & Oates – “You Make My Dreams Come True”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Kiss Is On My List”
Video: Hall & Oates – “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”
Video: Hall & Oates – “How Does It Feel To Be Back?”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Portable Radio”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Wait For Me”
Video: Hall & Oates – “Intravino”
Video: Hall & Oates – “She’s Gone”

Spin, The Daily Beast, and The Guardian talk to Mazzy Star about their new album Seasons Of Your Day, out on Tuesday. They play The Danforth Music Hall on November 16.

Exclaim have posted this month’s cover story on the one, the only, Janelle Monáe. She does her thing at The Kool Haus on October 19.

Pitchfork talks to Explosions In The Sky and director David Gordon Green about working on the soundtrack to Prince Avalanche. They play The Air Canada Centre on October 4 in support of Nine Inch Nails.

Drowned In Sound chats with Midlake v2.0 about their forthcoming album Antiphon, which is out November 5 and from which they’ve just premiered a new song at NPR.

Stream: Midlake – “Provider”

Sebadoh talks about their new album Defend Yourself to DIY, LA Magazine, and Drowned In Sound. They’re at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Matador has details on the forthcoming deluxe edition of Yo La Tengo’s latest album Fade, which will be coming out November 18 and contain a second disc of b-sides and rarities and the like. PandoDaily has a chat with Ira Kaplan about integrity and whatnot.

Having released their first new album in many years with last year’s The Tarnished Gold, Californian psych-country-pop mavens Beachwood Sparks are getting in the wayback machine to give their recorded-in-1996-but-never-released first album Desert Skies on November 20; you can download the first time capsule of a song below.

MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Make It Together”

Jim James gives Billboard an update on the in-progress new record from My Morning Jacket.

Pitchfork celebrates the longevity – if not prolificness – of The Wrens.

Though she should probably be concentrating on her new album, Solange has gone ahead and released a new video from her True EP; that’s the sound of no one really complaining.

Video: Solange – “Lovers In The Parking Lot”

Esquire has premiered the latest video from Ra Ra Riot’s Beta Love.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “I Shut Off”

NPR has posted up a World Cafe session with She & Him.

The Georgia Straight profiles The National.

NPR welcomes Neko Case for a World Cafe session.

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Toronto Urban Roots Fest Day One

She & Him, Camera Obscura, Joel Plaskett, and more at TURF 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI don’t know if the troops who manned Fort York in the 18th and 19th centuries necessarily knew that they were potentially laying their lives on the line so that future generations could wander the grounds, tall boy in hand and Ray-Bans on head whilst listening to live music, but if they did, they’d be proud. After serving intermittent duty as an outdoor venue over the past few years, Fort York and Garrison Commons has become the go-to site for music festivals in downtown Toronto, effectively replacing the picturesque but logistically problematic Olympic Island. And while it’s not large enough to host something on the scale of Lollapalooza or Osheaga, or even necessarily our own late and qualifiedly-lamented V Fest, it’s a convenient, scenic, and effective space for events like the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest this past weekend.

Unlike the Arts & Crafts anniversary Field Trip in June, the Lolla-Osheagea-drafting Grove Fest in early August, or the Replacements-reuniting Riot Fest later that month, TURF comes out of the gate homegrown – put on by local promoters Collective Concerts – and extra-ambitious, stretching over four nights and two full days plus club shows at The Horseshoe and Lee’s Palace, and with a definite eye towards becoming an annual Summer tradition in the city, filling a glaring need in a town that’s otherwise pretty generous for its live music-going patrons (for more background on the festival, check out interviews with founder Jeff Cohen at The Toronto Standard, The Grid, The National Post, The Toronto Star, and The Toronto Sun).

And it all got underway last Thursday evening, under sunny and sweltering skies, with Barr Brothers, the multi-instrumentalised, harp-enhanced quartet from Montreal ably represented the “roots” end of things. Being largely unfamiliar with the band, their musical personality felt somewhat broad, but as the set progressed, settled into an enjoyable range, dwelling largely in the intricate and lovely folk end of things but with confident forays into rougher, bluesy territory, all of it elegantly and impeccably executed.

Photos: The Barr Brothers @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 4, 2013
MP3: The Barr Brothers – “Beggar In The Morning”
Video: The Barr Brothers – “Old Mythologies”
Video: The Barr Brothers – “Beggar In The Morning”

No such stylistic figuring out was needed for Scotland’s Camera Obscura, up next at the other end of the park. I’d seen them what seems like a million times – most recently their second-last visit in June 2009 behind My Maudlin Career (they circled back for another show that November) – but it had still been far too long. But now they were back with a charming new record in Desire Lines and back on the road. And, had there been any doubt, they confirmed that in addition to being top-class purveyors of indie-pop tunes, they could still look unsmiling and dour even on a beautiful Summer’s evening. That’s just them, though, and with a couple touring players utility filling things out on percussion, horns, and steel guitar, they were able to string together all the bright and jaunty pop numbers in their catalog – with a few of the slow burners dropped in for variety – for an ideal smile-inducing, hand-clapping festival show.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Boston Globe have features on the band.

Photos: Camera Obscura @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 4, 2013
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “My Maudlin Career”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “If Looks Could Kill”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Suspended From Class”
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Come Back Margaret”
Video: Camera Obscura – “The Sweetest Thing”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Honey In The Sun”
Video: Camera Obscura – “French Navy”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken”
Video: Camera Obscura – “If Looks Could Kill”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Let’s Get Out Of This Country”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Tears For Affairs”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Teenager”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Keep It Clean”
Video: Camera Obscura – “Eighties Fan”

It stands to reason that if you open up something of local importance, like say a shopping mall, you’d have the mayor on hand to cut the ribbon (maybe not Toronto’s mayor, but I digress). So if you’re inaugurating a new music festival in Canada, you bring out the de facto mayor of Canadian music, which is to say Joel Plaskett. Following an introduction from fellow sort-of Canuck icon, sportscaster Dave Hodge, Plaskett and the Emergency got to work with a set not too different from the one I saw at The Horseshoe in December, with a solo acoustic set sandwiched between classic rock-outs, but angled more for broad crowd-pleasing than just the die-hards. It’s pretty safe to say there’s no size stage that Plaskett doesn’t feel right at home at, whether playing the rocker or troubadour. And it seemed fitting that having largely missed Canada Day earlier this week because I was in the US, I was now marking Independence Day with as concentrated a dose of Canadiana as you could hope to find.

The Gate has an interview with Plaskett.

Photos: Joel Plaskett Emergency @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 4, 2013
MP3: Joel Plaskett – “When I Go”
MP3: Joel Plaskett – “Deny Deny Deny”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Somewhere Else”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “Through & Through & Through”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “You Let Me Down”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Fashionable People”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “Happen Now”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “Natural Disaster”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “Paralyzed”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Work Out Fine”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Come On Teacher”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “True Patriot Love”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Maybe We Should Just Go Home”
Video: Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Clueless Wonder”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “She Made A Wreck Outta Me”
Video: Joel Plaskett – “News Of Your Son”

On an evening of TURF firsts, She & Him had the distinction of not only being the first headliner, but the first ones to reveal the very existence of the festival to the world when it was listed in their tour itinerary in support of Volume 3 back in January. It was a personal first for me, as well, seeing them for the first time outside of SXSW where I caught one of their earliest shows in 2008 and again in more seasoned form in 2010. It looked to be Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel’s same six-piece backing band in place as at that second show – nice to see they’ve kept the unit together over the years – and also in place was their strict “no photos” policy, applied to the entire audience and most of the media. This was a source of some grousing from those hoping to leverage the star power on display into more Instagram likes, but for those who accepted it and watched the show with their eyeballs, it was a pretty enjoyable show.

It may be an overstatement to say that had She & Him been exactly what they are musically but without the principals being who they are, they wouldn’t be where they are now – okay, any outfit with someone of Matt Ward’s guitar and arrangement skills would demand to be heard – but you can’t argue that having someone of Deschanel’s profile fronting them offered a pretty big leg up. She’s not an astonishing talent as a singer or a songwriter, but she’s certainly good enough to pull off the uncomplex but endearing retro-pop songs that she writes, particularly when surrounded with the players that she is. And considering that between the release of their first record in 2008 and now, she’s gone from an indie film darling to legit network sitcom star, the her commitment to She & Him remains as strong as it is actually pretty impressive.

Also impressive is how much she’s grown as a frontperson and performer. She’s not Juliette Lewis, by any measure, but considering how deer-in-the-headlights terrified she was at that first SXSW show, the assuredness she’s got on stage now if nice to see. Ward, also, was more engaged with being the titular Him in the band, stepping out of the shadows for some showy guitar moves and to elicit swoons with his gravelly vocals on the duets. Together, Ward and Deschanel have a charming if decidedly PG sort of chemistry, perfectly suited to the chaste, sock hop-esque concepts of romance that they specialize in. High points were the Chapin Sisters-harmonized rendition of the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” against a backdrop of stars, a sweet version of Ward’s own “Magic Trick”, and a fiery guitar duel between Ward and Mike Coykendall to close out “In The Sun” and the main set. And also that the first day of the first TURF ever went off beautifully.

Photos: She & Him @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 4, 2013
MP3: She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”
Video: She & Him – “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”
Video: She & Him – “Don’t Look Back”
Video: She & Him – “Thieves”
Video: She & Him – “In The Sun”
Video: She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”

Exclaim has a conversation with Louise Burns about her new album The Midnight Mass as well as an advance stream of said record ahead of its July 9 release date.

Stream: Louise Burns / Midnight Mass

Exclaim gets Diamond Rings to play an acoustic video session. He’ll be fully plugged-in when opening up for OMD at the Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.

Exclaim talk changes in direction with Lightning Dust, in town at The Drake on September 10.

The Grid checks in with Dallas Good of The Sadies, whose new album Internal Sounds will be made external on September 17.

Exclaim has the first batch of live dates from Rae Spoon in support of his new record My Prairie Home, coming August 13, and they include a September 18 date at The Gladstone in Toronto.

MP3: Rae Spoon – “Crash Landing”

The Montreal Gazette and Spin have feature pieces on Austra, who play a hometown show at The Phoenix on September 27.

The Grid talks to Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras about their new 7″ “Gay Goth Scene” and the new album, Age, that it precedes. That is due out sometime this Fall.

Evening Hymns have released a new video from their Polaris-longlisted album Spectral Dusk.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Song To Sleep To”

Stars have premiered the newest video from The North at The Huffington Post.

Video: Stars – “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It”

Huffington Post talks to Al Spx of Cold Specks about collaborating with Moby on his new record and where she’s going with her own next album.

The Guardian has a video session with Rachel Zeffira, wherein she performs her version of The Beatles’ “Because”; she plays one of her own songs in session for Chart.

aux.tv has an interview with Odonis Odonis.

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

CONTEST – Toronto Urban Roots Fest @ Garrison Common – July 4-7, 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhat: Toronto Urban Roots Fest, the inaugural edition of a new multi-day festival that’s aiming to do what Bluesfest does for Ottawa and the Jazz Festival does for Montreal – namely bring in a lot of bands that have little to nothing to do with the festival’s titular genre but make great music. And let’s not get pedantic about the “urban” part, hey?
Who: Arkells, The Barr Brothers, Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Neko Case, The Cat Empire, Dawes, Justin Townes Earle, Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys, The Felice Brothers, Fitz & The Tantrums, Flogging Molly, Hannah Georgas, The Hold Steady, Larry and his Flask, The Lowest Of The Low, Matt Mays, JD McPherson, The Joel Plaskett Emergency, Xavier Rudd, The Sadies, She & Him, Skydiggers, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Whitehorse, The Wooden Sky, Yo La Tengo
When: July 4 to 7, 2013
Where: Garrison Common at Fort York, Toronto
How: Single-day tickets for the show range from $50 to $60 in advance, but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got one pairs of passes for each day of the festival to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to TURF” in the subject line and your full name in the body along with which days, in order of preference, you’d like to attend – consult the schedule for who’s playing when. Contest closes at midnight, July 2, 2013.

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Tomorrow Is Yesterday

An introduction to Field Mouse

Photo By Shervin LainezShervin LainezIf it were as recently as last year, I would be spending this post – hell, yesterday’s post – talking about how after arriving in Chicago last Saturday, I went almost straight to Beat Kitchen to see Laura Stevenson and Field Mouse play, on account of missing the Toronto show of their tour this past Tuesday because of this little vacation. But because I’ve grown as a person and am no longer spending all my time and energy trying to make it to shows and write about them, I have nothing to say about that show because I didn’t make it anywhere near the club, though I can’t say that I didn’t look up where it was and write it in my calendar. Just in case.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the acquaintance of either of the acts. Stevenson I wrote about way in August 2010 – her new album Wheel is plenty solid, by the way, fans of country-pop would do well to check it out – but Brooklyn duo Field Mouse have had but a passing mention here, and I’d like to give them a little bit more because if your musical tastes align with mine – and why would you be here otherwise – they’re worth a listen.

Their name brings to mind – or is maybe confused for – English twee-pop forebears Field Mice, but while there are some points of intersection, particularly in their facility with melody and dreamy texture, the singular edition of Rachel Browne (vocals, guitar) and Andrew Futral (guitars) is much less navel-gazing and their shoegazey roots give their sound some wonderfully shimmering bite without overwhelming their tunefulness. It’s a formula that’s all about balance, and Field Mouse get it right. With a discography limited to just a few singles right now, they’re prepping their full-length debut for release later this year and have released a new video – presumably from said full-length – via Spin and recorded a video session for BrooklynVegan; as always, don’t read the comments. But do, however, hope they keep touring and make their way back to town soon, ideally when I’m also in town.

MP3: Field Mouse – “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”
MP3: Field Mouse – “Glass”
Stream: Field Mouse – “You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom”
Stream: Field Mouse – “Happy”
Video: Field Mouse – “Revenge Is Yesterday”

WNYC has a stream of one of the new Savoir Adore songs that will appear on the wide-release edition of their latest Our Nature when it comes out on June 4.

Stream: Savoir Adore – “Beating Hearts

Pitchfork has rightly devoted one of their fancily-presented cover story in-depth features to The National, and The Irish Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and 680 News also have features. They play Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

Spin has premiered a new song from Florida’s Beach Day, whose debut Trip Trap Attack is out June 18 and who are here for NXNE on June 15 with a show at Handlebar in Kensington Market. DIY has a feature.

Stream: Beach Day – “Stay”

Exclaim has details on the new full-length from Crocodiles; Crimes of Passion is out August 20 and there’s a first track to hear courtesy of Stereogum. They’ll preview the album at the Adelaide Music Hall on June 17 when they support Japandroids.

MP3: Crocodiles – “Cockroach”

Chicago talks to Smith Westerns, who are streaming another new song from their forthcoming Soft Will. It’s out June 25 and they play Lee’s Palace on July 29.

Stream: Smith Westerns – “3AM Spiritual”

She & Him keep up the cutesy on the new video from Volume 3. They headline the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 4.

Video: She & Him – “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”

Beatroute and The Georgia Straight have interviews and NPR a session with Yo La Tengo, playing the final day of TURF at Garrison Commons on July 7. DIY also has an interview with bassist James McNew about the reissue series for his Dump side-project.

Loud & Quiet and The Fly have features on Kurt Vile, also here for TURF day four at Garrison Common on July 7.

Merge has announced a deluxe reissue of the last, great lo-fi Mountain Goats album All Hail West Texas on July 23, which is great new if for no other reason as it gives these imaginary liner notes by comics scribe a reason to exist, if only online.

Because he never needs to rest, Ty Segall has announced an August 20 release of his next album, entitled Sleeper. Details on the release at Consequence Of Sound, trailer below.

Trailer: Ty Segall / Sleeper

Pitchfork has details on the new record from The Dodos, entitled Carrier and out August 27.

Stream: The Dodos – “Confidence”

Noisey talks to Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing, who have a date at The Kool Haus on September 21 supporting Local Natives.

The Journal News chats with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, in town at The Sound Academy on September 28.

Kevin Barnes talks to Rolling Stone about the next of Montreal record Lousy with Sylvianbriar, due out sometime this Fall.

Jim James tells Rolling Stone that My Morning Jacket plan to return to the studio to record their next record in October.

Rolling Stone Q&As Thurston Moore of Chelsea Light Moving, who’ve released a new video from their self-titled debut.

Video: Chelsea Light Moving – “Lip”

The 405 talks to Jon Ehrens and eMusic and City Paper to Jenn Wasner, who together are Dungeonesse.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has an interview and Rolling Stone an acoustic video session with The Thermals, who’ve just released a video for the decidedly non-acoustic new single from their latest, Desperate Ground.

Video: The Thermals – “The Sunset”

Spin has an oral history of The Breeders’ Last Splash on the occasion of the record’s 20th anniversary.

And Mike Mills uses the occasion of the Green quarter-century reissue to tell Rolling Stone that when R.E.M. said no reunion, they meant no reunion. So no reunion.

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Someone Is Waiting

Because there is a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion, I don’t even need to try today.

Photo By Will WestbrookWill WestbrookGuys, in case it wasn’t obvious, running a music blog that tries to update daily is hard work. So when something comes down the wire like, oh, a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion, it’s not the sort of low-hanging fruit one passes up, even if everyone and their mother is reporting it. And so even though you’ve surely already heard, Jeff Mangum – having confirmed via his 2011 solo tour that people do indeed still care about his old band – has gotten Scott Spillane, Julian Koster, and Jeremy Barnes to reform the In The Aeroplane Over The Sea lineup and commit to tour dates this Fall.

Presently, those tour dates number only five – two predictably at the 40 Watt Club in the band’s hometown of Athens, Georgia, one reasonably in Asheville, North Carolina, and two more bizarrely in Tokyo and Taipei. More will surely follow – one doesn’t open the door to something of this magnitude to just immediately shut it – but certainly not before those Athens dates in late October. And might this be paving the way for some new recordings…? Hey, one internet-breaking announcement at a time, alright?

MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland 1945”
MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Song Against Sex”

PopMatters talks to Tobin Sprout of Guided By Voices about their fourth post-reunion full-length English Little League, out as of today.

She & Him have let NPR stream their new album, the cryptically-titled Volume 3, a week before it comes out on May 7. They kick off the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 4.

Stream: She & Him / Volume 3

Spinner has a feature interview with Charles Bradley, who leads his Extraordinaires into The Phoenix on May 11.

Consequence Of Sound has details on a new Wild Nothing EP entitled Empty Estate due out May 14, a video from which has been made and released into the wild.

Video: Wild Nothing – “A Dancing Shell”

Spinner talks to the Berninger family about the Mistaken For Strangers documentary about The National, which features and was directed by brothers Matt and Tom. The new National album Trouble Will Find Me is out May 21 and they play Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

Though he’s mainly focusing on his new record The Low Highway, as in this interview with Spinner, Steve Earle talks to Billboard about revisiting his past with the release of a box set collecting Train A Comin’, I Feel Alright, and El Corazon – the albums that got me obsessed with Earle in the first place – as well as a live album in Live at the Polk Theater and a live DVD in To Hell and Back, circa 1995 and 1996 respectively. The five-disc Steve Earle: The Warner Bros. Years set will be out June 25 and you can stream one of the Polk Theatre tracks below.

Stream: Steve Earle – “The Devil’s Right Hand”

The Fly has a feature interview with Parquet Courts, coming to town for a gig at The Horseshoe on July 17.

Of Montreal took to Kevin Barnes’ Tumblr to announce the completion of their new album Lousy With Sylvainbriar, scheduled for release this Fall.

Janelle Monáe talks fashion with MTV Hive. Her new album The Electric Lady is due out sometime this year.

In conversation with Spin, TV On The Radio reveal they’re working on a new album and it won’t be for Interscope.

NPR has a video stream of The Flaming Lips performing Yoshimi live, in its entirety, back at SXSW in March.

Yours Truly has a video session with Caitlin Rose.

The Black Angels stop in at The Alternate Side for a video session and interview.

NPR chats with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.