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Posts Tagged ‘Slowdive’

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

No Medicine For Regret

Mogwai affirm promise of no more extensive touring by announcing extensive tour

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickI’m sure they meant it at the time, what with keeping up a heavy slate of performances worldwide for as long as anyone can remember and the added complications of drummer Martin Bulloch’s health issues and visa problems forcing cancellations in the past few years, but when Mogwai prefaced their second round of touring in support of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will last year with a promise/warning that it would be “the last extensive touring we do for some time”, some who might have fallen into a habit of taking them for granted were spurred into getting off their asses and having their eardrums blasted by the Scottish post-rock masters (maybe) one last time – myself included.

Well, apparently “for some time” actually means “as long as it takes us to record a new record”, because hot on the heels of last week’s announcement of their eighth studio album Rave Tapes – coming out January 21 – they’ve announced a month-plus long North American tour for next Spring. And perhaps it was the promise of playing a different room that enticed them, because the Toronto date on May 13 will take place at the Danforth Music Hall – tickets $25.50 to $29.50 – instead of The Phoenix where they’ve played (I believe) every local show since a face-melting detour to Lee’s Palace in May 2002. They were supposed to play The Kool Haus in Fall 2008 circa The Hawk Is Howling but that show was one of the casualties of Bulloch’s medical issues, and the make-up show the following May was scheduled for – you got it – The Phoenix.

To be clear, there’s no word of complaint in the band NOT taking a proper hiatus from touring. Their shows may not surprise much, but they never disappoint. And hey, maybe getting to eat somewhere new pre-show will inspire them to even greater heights? It could happen.

MP3: Mogwai – “Remurdered”

With her new album finally out this week, M.I.A. has made Matangi available to stream via Consequence Of Sound; she’s also interviewed by Billboard and NPR about it.

Stream: M.I.A. / Matangi

Noisey chats with Charli XCX, in town November 5 at Wrongbar.

NPR has an advance stream of Cate Le Bon’s forthcoming album Mug Museum, out November 12. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21 in the new year.

Stream: Cate Le Bon / Mug Museum

Rolling Stone are offering one of the tracks off Stornoway’s new EP You Don’t Know Anything for free download. The whole thing comes out on November 12.

MP3: Stornoway – “Tumbling Bay”

Peggy Sue have made a new EP available to download for free via Noisetrade, leading up to the release of their new album Choir of Echoes on January 27

White Lies have announced a return date in support of their latest Big TV – they’ll be at The Mod Club on February 27, tickets $35. Opening up will be Frankie Rose, who released Herein Wild earlier this Fall.

MP3: Frankie Rose – “Know Me”
Video: White Lies – “There Goes Our Love”

NME have premiered a new, self-described David Lynch-inspired video from Fanfarlo’s The Sea EP; a full-length will follow in the new year.

Video: Fanfarlo – “A Distance”

DIY has details on how you can hear Metronomy’s new song, which is a convoluted process involving smartphones, apps, credit cards, and outer space.

CHVRCHES have released a new video from their debug The Bones Of What You Believe.

Video: CHVRCHES – “Lies”

BrooklynVegan has videos from the recent Neil Halstead solo shows where he was joined by Rachel Goswell, sending the hearts of Slowdive and Mojave 3 fans a-flutter. And over at Under The Radar, Halstead and his Black Hearted Brother compadres offer a track-by-track guide to their debut Stars Are Our Home… which they’ve technically already done with MusicOmh but who’s counting?

Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin takes Drowned In Sound on a guided tour of her pedalboard.

NPR has a World Cafe session and The Georgia Straight an interview with Laura Marling.

Under The Radar got some Hallowe’en-themed questions answered by Still Corners.

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Time In The Machine

Review of Black Hearted Brother’s Stars Are Our Home

Photo By Frank YangSabine ScheckelWith all due respect to Mark Van Hoen and Nick Holton and their works with Seefeel and Holton’s Opulant Oog, respectively, it’s entirely reasonable to discuss Stars Are Our Home, the debut album from England’s Black Hearted Brother, almost entirely in terms of Neil Halstead. Because not only is it Halstead’s work in Slowdive, Mojave 3, and as a solo artist that’s going to sell this record, it’s his past work which offers the strongest reference points. And yet what fans of the aforementioned will get out of this record depends entirely on the expectations they come into it with, for despite a return to electric instruments, a band context, and the unapologetically cosmic allusions of the record, Stars occupies an orbit all its own that promises no return to Souvlaki Space Station.

In fact, for all the echoes of Halstead’s past work that inhabit Stars, there’s little that’s reminiscent of Slowdive at their most beloved. The downbeat “Take Heart” comes closest to recreating a Souvlaki-esque sigh, but for the most part guitars have more psych and bite than swell and bloom, and the electronics at play leave little of the space that defined Pygmalion. The songwriting at its best captures the brighter, poppier side of Mojave 3 as well as the laid-back melodicism of solo Halstead – both “This Is How it Feels” and “UFO” combine these marvellously – and even when it’s not quite as refined – some of it feels jammier than you’d have ever found on a M3 or Slowdive record – the palpable enjoyment these long-time mates get out of playing together still carries it through.

As I mentioned the last time he came through town, Halstead’s gift for musical reinvention while remaining wholly himself is quite remarkable, and with Black Hearted Brother – who use their own past as influences, but still create something all-new – this continues.

Stars Are Our Home is out today, and MusicOmh gets a track-by-track walkthrough of the album from the band. Meanwhile, Exclaim! has an extensive interview with Halstead about not just Black Hearted Brother, but the plausibility of a Slowdive reunion (the door he opened last year remains reluctantly wide open) and the upcoming solo gigs at which Rachel Goswell will guest on vocals for a planned live record.

And further to the Halstead singularity in which we now find ourselves, a limited-edition 7″ featuring solo versions of “Alison” and “Yer Feet” will be made available for sale online this Friday, providing they don’t sell out at the London gigs. Which they really should.

Update: Also fun – the band have put out an introduction video for those not familiar with the principals.

MP3: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”
Video: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”

The Boston Herald, Boston Globe, and Metro profile Franz Ferdinand, coming to town for a show at The Kool Haus on October 24.

The 405 talks to Los Campesinos! about their new record No Blues, coming out next wek on October 29.

With the November 5 release of her new album Matangi a couple weeks away, Pitchfork, The Fader, and The Guardian all want to talk to M.I.A..

Clash has a stream of another new tune from Rose Elinor Dougall, who will release the Future Vanishes EP on November 18.

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Poison Ivy”

Toy have released a video for the title track of their new record Join The Dots, coming out December 9.

Video: Toy – “Join The Dots”

Slate The Disco and Leeds Music Scene talk to Lanterns On The Lake about their new album Until The Colours Run, which gets a North American release on January 14.

Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace has rolled out another video from AMOK and a making-of video for said video, viewable at Pitchfork.

Video: Atoms For Peace – “Before Your Very Eyes”

When Scottish rockers Idlewild announced a hiatus following 2010’s Post-Electric Blues, it certainly seemed like the permanent sort but this photo posted yesterday to their Facebook implies that they’re feeling it again, which is good news. Or they’re just messing around with the emotions of their Facebook page fans.

Guitar World talks to Noah & The Whale guitarist Tom Hobden about his world of guitars.

The Line Of Best Fit reports that Manic Street Preachers have unearthed some new Holy Bible-era material – not music, but archival material – and may include it in a 20th anniversary release.

Editors have a new video from The Weight Of Your Love.

Video: Editors – “Honesty”

The Fly chats with Yuck 2.0.

David Gedge of The Wedding Present discusses the return to Hit Parade with The Glasgow Evening Times and lists off the soundtrack of his life for High 50

NPR welcomes Daughter for a Tiny Desk Concert, while The List and Refinery 29 have interviews with frontwoman Elena Tonra.

Arctic Monkeys describe to Rolling Stone how they went reinvented themselves from being a chart-topping rock band to a chart-topping rock band.

And since this is where my head has been at lately, know that the 1993 Suede live concert film Love and Poison is available to watch in its entirety on YouTube; the VHS-transfered visuals aren’t amazing but the soundtrack is quite acceptable.

Video: Suede / Love And Pain

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Nightcall

London Grammar and Jaymes Young at The Great Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAs noted in my review of their debut album If You Wait, London Grammar should be commended for countering any cynicism about their sound being a little too of-the-moment – add one part Florence and one part Daughter to two parts xx, bake for 45 minutes, serve smouldering – by applying it to solid, affecting songs that should resonate with the lovelorn for years to come while still leaving plenty of room to grow. It wasn’t quite enough to make them the Mercury Prize favourites that their champions expected – they didn’t even make the shortlist – but even without that accolade, their inaugural North American tour was doing quite well, thank you very much, with Friday night’s Toronto date quickly getting the upgrade from the originally booked BLK BOX to the more spacious and appropriately elegant Great Hall upstairs.

Support came from Seattle’s Jaymes Young, who for his well-crafted and performed songs, didn’t quite manage to transcend his reference points to the same degree. The vaguely yearning vocals over echoey guitar tones with electronic flourishes sounded like a distillation of 2013 indie, and as such remained largely anonymous. And using a slow, soulful cover of Haddaway’s “What Is Love” as an audience-rallying moment was an odd move, considering that most in attendance weren’t allowed to stay up until 11:30 when The Roxbury Guys were a thing on Saturday Night Live. But maybe that was to his advantage as undoubtedly some in the audience thought the song was his own and were impressed.

New bands get a bit of leeway with regards to their effectiveness as a live act, particularly when they’ve potentially gotten swept up in a wave of buzz that might short circuit their normal development curve as performers. Happily for all involved, London Grammar didn’t need to be cut this slack. I was pleasantly surprised they didn’t bring any additional players with them as the trio of guitarist Dan Rothman, vocalist Hannah Reid, and multi-instrumentalist Dot Major set up across the front of the stage and set to recreating the space and texture of their debut with just the tools at hand – guitar, keys, and loops while occasionally turning to bongos or a drum kit for extra dynamics. The de facto visual and aural focal point of the band, Reid would get a bit showier with her vocals in pushing the melodies around – somewhat surprising given how the album seemed to make an effort to keep things in check, but such excursions were relatively modest and didn’t detract from the proceedings; if anything, they demonstrated the impressive degree of confidence with which the band were operating.

And if they didn’t come to the stage with that confidence, the audience would have given it to them. In one of their many between-song asides to the crowd, they commented on their willingness to cheer at everything – an observation which was, of course, met with cheers. Their 45-minute set encompassed most of, but not all, of If You Stay, with the pairing of “Strong” and “Metal & Dust” as a powerful closing couplet, followed by a on-the-mark cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” as an encore. A solid performance that decidedly increased my appreciation for the band.

Metro, The Sydney Morning Herald, and entertainment.ie have interviews with London Grammar.

Photos: London Grammar, Jaymes Young @ The Great Hall – October 4, 2013
Video: London Grammar – “Strong”
Video: London Grammar – “Wasting My Young Years”
ZIP: Jaymes Young / Dark Star

The Guardian and MusicOhm talk to Anna Calvi about her new album One Breath, which is out on Tuesday and from which she’s just put out a new video.

Video: Anna Calvi – “Sing To Me”

Drowned In Sound meets Peace, who have two local dates next week on October 14 at The Mod Club and October 15 at The Danforth Music Hall, both in support of Two Door Cinema Club.

The Quietus has a stream of Tindersticks’ forthcoming anniversary album Across Six Leap Years, coming out next week on October 14.

Stream: Tindersticks / Across Six Leap Years

It’s a touch late to actually act on the information, but Consequence Of Sound reports that Neil Halstead will be recording a couple of shows in London later this month on October 23 and 24 for release as a live record, and amongst the promised “special guests” will be Rachel Goswell, which means that both Slowdive and Mojave 3 move ever-so-slightly into the “active” column” but more importantly, that Goswell is healthy enough again to perform again – even if it is just for a few songs.

DIY goes behind the scenes of the new Los Campesinos! video, set to debut later this week. It’s taken from their new album No Blues, out October 29.

The Guardian has an extensive interview with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, who return for a show at The Kool Haus on November 5.

Stornoway will release a companion EP to this year’s Tales From Terra Firma – from which they’ve just released a new video – with the five-song You Don’t Know Anything, out November 12.

Video: Stornoway – “Farewell Appalachia”

DIY has confirmed details of Working Out, the debut album from London’s Arthur Beatrice. It’s out February 3 and they’ve released a first official video from the long-player.

Video: Arthur Beatrice – “Grand Union”

David Gedge has dusted off the Cinerama monicker under which he traded for several years between Wedding Present incarnations for occasional recent live shows, but has just issued the project’s first new release since 2002’s Torino with a tour-only 7″ with a new song and a live Disco Volante track recorded in 2012 – you can stream it and order the single below.

Stream: Cinerama – “I Wake Up Screaming”
Stream: Cinerama – “Unzip” (live)

Noisey talks to Yuck’s new frontman Max Bloom about having to become Yuck’s new frontman. DIY also has a feature interview.

Johnny Flynn lists off some of the influences that went into the making of his new album Country Mile for The Line Of Best Fit.

Billboard has an interview and video session with CHVRCHES.

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Palma Violets’ debut 180.

Video: Palma Violets – “Rattlesnake Highway”

Clash chats with Kele Okerke of Bloc Party.

The Skinny talks to Elena Tonra of Daughter.

Paste has an interview with Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys.

The Quietus talks about the history and state of pop music with Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne, who incidentally has a new book on the topic in Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story Of Modern Pop.

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Tied To You

Neil Halstead makes offhand Slowdive reunion comment, throws internet into a tizzy

Photo By Andy WhiteAndy WhiteOkay not the whole internet – Obama’s AMA probably did more to clog those tubes yesterday – but for a certain demographic, an interview Neil Halstead gave to MTV Hive certainly registered as a major event. Not because Neil doesn’t talk – he’s got a new solo record in Palindrome Hunches coming out on September 11, of course he’s talking – but because he addressed the topic of a potential Slowdive reunion not with denials or dismissals, but with a rather positive-sounding “It’s definitely possible at some point”.

He goes on to point out that there’s no bad blood to be overcome – three-fifths of the shoegazing/ambient trailblazers went on to a long and fruitful career as Mojave 3 following Slowdive’s dissolution in 1995 – and presumably if the stars aligned and the offer was right, it could happen. Obviously this is far from definite, but considering it seemed a non-starter for as long as Mojave 3 and his solo career have been going concerns – he’s always declined to even play Slowdive songs live in either of those contexts – it’s certainly a more open door than we’ve seen, and seeing as how he’s playing a few M3 gigs (in China!) before beginning the Palindrome Hunches promo circuit, the man can multi-task and keep his musical identities straight.

Of course, the current Mojave 3 lineup doesn’t include bassist Rachel Goswell, who largely retired from music after fighting a debilitating ear ailment a few years back. I’d be happy enough to see her back in Mojave 3, but if we’re dreaming, why not go all the way? Further, it’s been pointed out to me that Halstead has begun playing Slowdive songs live… someone call out “Alison” when he’s at The Dakota on October 8, please? Toronto was the site of the final live Slowdive show; maybe we can talk Neil into the symbolic value of making it the site of the first reunion show… Or not. Anyways. It’s something to dream about. Ideally while Souvlaki plays in the background.

There’s another, less momentous interview with Haltead at LA Music Blog and another track from Palindrome Hunches has been made available to download.

MP3: Neil Halstead – “Digging Shelters”
Video: Slowdive – “Alison”

Richard Hawley chats with State and Worksop Guardian; his latest Standing At The Sky’s Edge came out in North America this week.

Two Door Cinema Club have made their new album Beacon available to stream at NME ahead of its September 4 release date. They play The Sound Academy on October 11.

Stream: Two Door Cinema Club / Beacon

The Guardian, NPR, MTV.ca, and JAM talk to Kele Okereke of Bloc Party. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and 11.

The xx are streaming another new song from Coexist, out September 11, and aux.tv have made the cover feature on the band from their iPad magazine available online.

Stream: The xx – “Sunset”

Django Django’s self-titled debut still isn’t out in North America until September 25, but the band have got a new EP in Hail Bop ready to release back in the UK on September 4, and have made it available to stream. They play Wrongbar on September 29.

Stream: Django Django / Hail Bop

Dramatic atmospheric rock sister act 2:54, who made their local debut at NXNE, return for a date at The Horseshoe on October 22 – tickets are $14.50 in advance.

MP3: 2:54 – “The March”

That Saint Etienne show I was so excited about last week will still be happening on October 24, but has been moved from The Mod Club to The Opera House. Tickets are $28.50, go on sale today at 10AM, and sorry – still no sign of the other North American dates.

The Guardian has got some new music from Anna Calvi – not as a precursor to a new album, but a cover she recorded of a song by The Invisible from their latest album Rispah – but hey, new music from Anna Calvi.

MP3: Anna Calvi – “The Wall”

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite walks The Quietus through some of his favourite albums.

DIY interviews Charli XCX.

And Pluck Your Strings has an interview with Maxïmo Park.

Clash and The Limerick Leader grab a quick word with Metronomy.

NPR welcomes Spiritualized for a World Cafe session.

DIY catches up with The Cribs at Reading & Leeds Festival.

State talks to Faris Badwan of The Horrors ahead of their appearance at Electric Picnic in Ireland.

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Headphone Space

An introduction to A Sunny Day In Glasgow and giveaway

Photo By Ever NalensEver NalensThis isn’t quite an introduction as I first said hello to A Sunny Day In Glasgow back in December 2006, but considering they’re far from the same band they were at the time of their first EP, I think we can let it slide. When I first took notice of the Philadelphia outfit, they were a family unit – Ben Daniels on songwriting and instrumentation with twin sisters Robin and Lauren on vocals – with some clear genetic predilection for blending wispy melodies with fuzzy, clattering programming and cut-and-paste production, the net result sounding like a proud standard-bearer for electro-twee-gaze, if such a genre ever existed.

And while that sounds like the sort of thing that would be target-marketed to my musical sensibilities, I found their 2007 debut Scribble Mural Comic Journal a little too much of a head trip to really fall in love with. The melodies, while present, were buried under reverb and white noise and the song structures deliberately bent into disorienting shapes. Clearly this was deliberate aesthetic and musical choice on their part, and points should probably be given and not taken away for not doing the easy “pop” thing, but I never found myself wanting to listen to it much.

The follow-up, last year’s Ashes Grammar, continued along the path forged by the debut but with enough added clarity and growth to make it a far superior effort, at least by my standards. The aural gauze that swaddled all of Comic Journal has been thinned out enough that it’s easier and more enjoyable to pick out the many tones and textures at play. The vocals are still deliberately ghost-like, but given stronger melodies to wrap themselves around, they can’t help but make their presence more strongly felt. It’s a record that manages to be much more what I wanted to hear from them and yet remaining very much what they envision for themselves – win-win.

So of course as soon as the record came out, the band went off and reinvented themselves, personnel-wise. Through a series of circumstances, both sisters left the band and a new lineup more suited to touring was assembled around the one constant of Ben Daniels. It was this ASDG Mk2 that I saw a couple weeks ago at SxSW and who surprised me just how direct-sounding the live renderings of their songs are. Granted, reproducing the records verbatim would be as difficult as it is pointless, but it was still a bit of a shock – pleasantly so – how willing and able they were reinvent themselves as a relatively straight pop band on stage.

Due to an inability to tell time, I only caught the tail end of their performance but it was enough that for all the live music options in Toronto this coming Friday night, April 2, I’ve committed to catching their local debut at the Garrison. Tickets for the show are $10 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to spend A Sunny Day In Glasgow” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, March 31.

aux.tv, The Daily Free Press and Spinner have interviews with ASDG leader Ben Daniels.

MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Sigh Inhibitionist”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Ashes Grammar/Ashes Math”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Best Summer Ever”
MP3: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)”
Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “A Mundane Phone Call To Jack Parsons”
Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “So Bloody Tight”
MySpace: A Sunny Day In Glasgow

NOW and The Boston Herald have feature pieces on Beach House, playing a sold-out show at the Opera House tomorrow night and then returning for the Toronto Island Concert on June 19.

Faster Louder talks to Neil Halstead about the legacy of Slowdive. A legacy which is being anthologized (again) in a new collection entitled Shining Breeze, out April 26 in the UK. There’s details on the collection over here – looks like it’s a mix of album and single/EP tracks, but nothing that wasn’t made available via the reissues in 2005 or the presumably out of print 2004 best-of Catch The Breeze.

California Chronicle interviews The Big Pink.

Field Music talks to eye.

The Pipettes have released a new video from their forthcoming record Earth vs Pipettes, due out on June 28.

Video: The Pipettes – “Stop The Music”

NME chats with Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine, who has released a new video for “The Dog Days Are Over” from Lungs. I thought the original one was fun and fine, but if you’ve got budget to spend I guess you may as well. Florence is at the Kool Haus on April 10.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “The Dog Days Are Over” (new version)
Video: Florence & The Machine – “The Dog Days Are Over” (old version)

The Music Magazine talks to Emmy The Great about how things are progressing on album number two. Answer: slowly.

BBC6 and Clash talk to Laura Marling about her new record I Speak Because I Can, out in North American on April 6. There’s a couple videos of the song “Rambling Man” now available – the official video and a Black Cab Session recorded at last year’s SxSW festival.

Video: Laura Marling – “Rambling Man”

Spinner talks to Mumford & Sons about their just-released Interface session.

Toro Y Moi has had to cancel Tuesday night’s appearance at the Drake Underground as a result of having his gear nicked in New York the other night. Headliners The Ruby Suns are still performing.

Sloan will be marking Record Store Day on April 17 with an in-store at Sonic Boom, time TBA. Blurt has a piece on why Record Store Day and record stores in general are awesome.

Rufus Wainwright will be performing at the Elgin-Winter Garden on June 15. His opera Prima Donna is running that week as part of LuminaTO, but it seems this date will be a concert from Rufus himself. Update: PR just confirmed the 15th is a solo Rufus show and a second show has been added for June 17.