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Posts Tagged ‘Soundtrack Of Our Lives’

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Black White & Blue

Ladyhawke and Computer Magic at The Hoxton in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt would have been nice to think that the many well-dressed folks milling about on King West Saturday evening were winding their way to The Hoxton, where New Zealand’s Pip Browne – aka Ladyhawke – was set to make her first Toronto appearance in almost three years exactly. But no, they were probably just out taking in the final night of TIFF, because The Hoxton was basically empty when I got there.

Being an early show with a curfew, waiting around for the more fashionably late wasn’t an option to Computer Magic got to play for a mere handful of people. The project of Brooklyite Danielle Johnson, they played as a two-piece with Johnson on keys and vox and a drummer. It wasn’t much and their on-stage mobility was decidedly limited, but they more than made do. Johnson’s synth-pop melodies were both hooky and interesting, and while her drummer favoured the pads on his hybrid acoustic/electronic drum kit, the fact that he could hit the conventional drums and hit them hard gave it all a lot more power and presence than you would have expected. My understanding is that some live versions of the band have guitar and bass to fill things out, and while I don’t doubt the extra bodies make for a more compelling live show, Computer Magic as a duo had all they really needed to make a good impression – namely, solid tunes.

For reasons entirely not her fault, Ladyhawke’s first Toronto show in September 2009 was something of a clusterfuck. It was part of a seemingly-cursed tour presented by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, beset by low attendance, a patchwork bill, and a self-destructing headliner in Ida Maria who bailed from the tour entirely the day of the Toronto show. Ladyhawke’s first set as the de facto sole headliner of the tour was actually fine, showcasing the ridiculously catchy ’80s-styled pop of her self-titled debut, but it’s hard to separate the performance in memory from the circus that surrounded it.

This outing came without the sideshow, thankfully, but also without the degree of buzz that was there the first time around. Her second album Anxiety has been rather unjustly dismissed for being built more on guitars than synths, but the electro-pop movement that she was lumped into back in 2009 was no longer fashionable anyways and if she’d stuck with the same formula, the complaints would probably be that she was sounding dated. Fact is, the change in instrumentation is more cosmetic than fundamental; the songs on Anxiety are less immediate than those on Ladyhawke, but also less obvious. Pip Browne’s melodic instincts are still more than intact, though, and it’s a solid work that will age quite nicely.

It also meant that the couple hundred people in attendance – the room had thankfully filled in some – were genuine fans, else three years behind on hearing what was supposed to be hip. Fronting a five-piece band where, perhaps fittingly given their shift in direction, the massive drum sounds and big, fuzzy guitars often drowned out the keyboardist, the Ladyhawke live experience hadn’t necessarily become more exciting. Though friendly, they’re still very businesslike on stage, having evidently drawn on plenty of glittery/glammy ’80s sonic influence but not the excess of presentation. Browne’s vintage Bryan Adams t-shirt got the most audience approval and the guitarist Danny Blanco provided most of the on-stage animation, which wasn’t really much. But the low-key presentation meant that they were able to power through an extensive set list, cramming eighteen songs into an hour and change including an unexpected cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” to open the encore. See, she knows her ’60s as well! And she knows how to write great songs that don’t need the benefit of a gossip blogger patron or fleeting musical fashionability to impress.

Computer Magic has a bunch of EPs available for free download.

Photos: Ladyhawke, Computer Magic @ The Hoxton – September 15, 2012
MP3: Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive”
MP3: Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive” (acoustic)
MP3: Ladyhawke – “Black White & Blue” (acoustic)
MP3: Computer Magic – “Grand Junction”
MP3: Computer Magic – “Electric Fences”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Blue Eyes”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Black White & Blue”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Magic”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Paris Is Burning”
Video: Ladyhawke – “My Delirium”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Dusk Till Dawn”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Back Of The Van”
Video: Computer Magic – “Trinity”
Video: Computer Magic – “The End Of Time”

Evidently with a little time to kill before hitting the stage at The Great Hall on the evening of September 18, DIIV will be setting up at Sonic Boom’s Kensington location for an in-store on Tuesday afternoon at 5PM. They just released a new video from their debut Oshin last week.

MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”
Video: DIIV – “Doused”

Australian folkies Husky have a date at The Drake Underground on November 12 in support of their debut Forever So. They were here back during Canadian Musicfest, if you think you might had seen or heard them before. A Daytrotter session with the band also just went up.

MP3: Husky – “Tidal Wave”
MP3: Husky – “History’s Door”

NPR’s big-deal advance album stream this week is Piramida, the latest from Denmark’s Efterklang. It’s out September 25.

MP3: Efterklang – “Apples”
Stream: Efterklang / Pirmada

Even though their latest Observator just came out, Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes tells Paste he’s already compiling ideas for their next album. They’re at The Phoenix on October 2.

Interview has an interview and I Love Sweden a video session with Amanda Mair.

The Quietus has an exit interview with the retiring Soundtrack Of Our Lives.

Interview talks to ascendent Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop.

PopMatters poses twenty questions to múm.

Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from Of Monsters & Men’s debut My Head Is An Animal.

Video: Of Monsters & Men – “Mountain Sound”

Dash Shaw and John Cameron Mitchell offer more a short film than video as their contribution to Sigur Rós’ Valtari “Mystery Film Experiment”, using both “Rembihnútur” and “Ekki múkk” as a soundtrack to their clip.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Seraph”

Laetitia Sadier has premiered a new video from Silencio. She plays The Drake on September 18 and Laetitia Sadier – “Find Me The Pulse Of The Universe”

NPR is streaming M83’s recent concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Hear It Is

Oh my gawd!!! …The Flaming Lips are free for NXNE!

Photo By J. Michelle Martin-CoyneJ. Michelle Martin-CoyneSo what are you doing June 16? Are you one of those so conditioned by years of Toronto Radiohead shows selling out in a heartbeat that you tripped over yourself getting tickets for their Downsview gig as soon as they went on sale, even though the new venue was over twice the size of the Amphitheatre and general admission? Or are you one of those conscious of the fact that this is a King Of Limbs tour and realistically speaking, they probably won’t be playing the stuff you like most and anyways that’s the day the reunited Archers Of Loaf are finally coming to town and there’s no place you’d rather be that night than The Phoenix? Or were you waiting to hear what NXNE had up their sleeves since that’s when the Yonge-Dundas Square mainstage traditionally hosts the biggest name of the fest playing for free? If you chose option c), then congratulations on wanting to make an informed decision. And I’m sorry to say that Radiohead is now sold out so all your strategizing was for naught.

But you’ve hardly lost out as NXNE finally announced their first batch of acts playing the festival this year, and the Saturday night mainstage headliners will be none other than The Flaming Lips. The Oklahoman psychedelic-rockers, last here in July 2010, will endeavour to transform Yonge-Dundas Square into a garish, technicolor assault on the senses… so pretty much what it is every day, but with a bubble walk. Kidding aside, it will be pretty exciting to see a lot of people who’ve presumably never seen the Lips perform (or even know who they are) witness one of the most ridiculous and entertaining live shows going. Laser hands! And hey – since Yonge-Dundas isn’t far from The Phoenix, you can technically do both The Lips and Archers Of Loaf. I will, anyways.

As for the other confirmed acts, there’s a pretty impressive collection of both buzz bands and veterans coming to Toronto the weekend of June 14 to 17 – certainly more than a few that I’ve either been waiting to see come to town or are quite curious about. And because I’m a big dork, as I’ve done the past couple years, I’ve tried to discern the when and where of as many showcases as possible based on tour routing, previous announcements, what have you. There’s not quite as much info floating around right now as in past years, but if you wanted to get a jump start on trying to resolve inevitable scheduling conflicts, it’s something. Of course, all of this is unconfirmed until the official schedule is unveiled and certainly subject to change – I’ll probably keep updating it until that happens, if just for my own reference – but my sources are credible.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Hayes Carll, July Talk @ The Horseshoe
Eternal Summers @ The Drake Underground

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Bad Religion, No Use For A Name, Good Riddance @ Yonge-Dundas Square
White Rabbits, Vacationer, Nash @ The Mod Club
Bran Van 3000, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Violens, Hooded Fang @ The Horseshoe
The Men, Grass Widow, The Black Belles, Mac DeMarco, Gap Dream @ The Garrison
Young Magic, Purity Ring, Moon King, Exitmusic, The Hundreds in The Hands @ Wrongbar
The Danks, Vinyl Williams @ The Drake Underground
Bleached @ The Silver Dollar
Mean Jeans @ The Shop Under Parts & Labour
The Seedy Seeds @ The Painted Lady
Larry & His Flask, The Schomberg Fair @ Sneaky Dee’s

Friday, June 15, 2012
Matthew Good, Plants & Animals, Eight And A Half @ Yonge-Dundas Square
2:54, Friends, Oberhofer @ Lee’s Palace
The Smoking Popes @ The Great Hall
The Sadies & Andre Williams, Reigning Sound, The Black Belles, The Coppertone @ The Horseshoe
Widowspeak, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Art Vs. Science @ The Garrison
The Men, Bass Drum Of Death, DZ Deathrays, The Death Set, Metz @ Wrongbar
Bleached, Parlovr, Hooded Fang, Goose Hut @ The Silver Dollar
Rah Rah @ The Dakota Tavern
Phèdre, Odonis Odonis, Beta Frontiers, Cartoons, Hellaluya, Hussy, Times Neue Roman @ Sneaky Dee’s
Brasstronaut, Útidúr @ TBA

Saturday, June 16, 2012
The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Ceremony, Art Vs. Science, Oberhofer, Parlovr, Hollerado @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Archers Of Loaf, Metz @ The Phoenix
Catl, Young Empires @ The Horseshoe
Killer Mike, Death Grips, Ceremony, Doldrums, Trae Tha Truth @ Wrongbar
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan @ Sneaky Dee’s
Holly McNarland, The Deer Tracks @ The Rivoli
Limblifter, Shellshag, Our Brother The Native, Neon Windbreaker, International Zombies OF Love @ El Mocambo
Kontravoid, Automelodi, Bleached, Prince Innocence, Ell V Gore, Mac DeMarco, Cellphone, Dutch Toko @ The Silver Dollar
Sean Rowe @ The Dakota Tavern
WAZU @ The Painted Lady
Carnival Moon @ Czehoski
DJ Jonathan Toubin @ TBA

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Raekwon & Ghostface Killah @ Yonge-Dundas Square

The full list of announced acts – including those without a venue or exact date that I can pin down – can be grokked over here but definitely catching my eye are Rival Schools and Porcelain Raft (June 14 or 15). Not a bad start at all, lots more to come.

MP3: Archers Of Loaf – “Harnessed In Slums”
MP3: Ceremony – “Hysteria”
MP3: Death Grips – “Spread Eagle Cross The Block”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Dark Passenger”
MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Baby’s Wearin’ Blue Jeans”
MP3: Doldrums – “I’m Homesick Sittin’ Up Here In My Satellite”
MP3: Hollerado – “Americanarama”
MP3: The Men – “Ex-Dreams”
MP3: Oberhofer – “Away Frm U”
MP3: Of Montreal – “Coquet Coquette”
MP3: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – “Karmageddon”
MP3: Widowspeak – “Harsh Realm”
MP3: Andrew Williams – “Dirt”
Video: Bad Religion – “21st Century Digital Boy”
Video: The Black Belles – “What Can I Do”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Fight Test”
Video: Friends – “Friend Crush”
Video: Ghostface Killah – “2getha Baby”
Video: Matthew Good – “Everything Is Automatic”
Video: Raekwon – “House Of Flying Daggers”
Video: 2:54 – “You’re Early”

And speaking of The Flaming Lips, their Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends album is out this Saturday for Record Store Day – if you can get your hands on one – and Wayne Coyne talks about it to The Huffington Post. They’ve also released a video from it – NSFW, of course. Lips don’t do clothes.

Video: The Flaming Lips and New Fumes – “Girl, You’re So Weird”

Electronic Anthology Project is the brainchild of Built To Spill’s Brett Netson wherein he takes songs from artists who aren’t especially electronic – like, say, Dinosaur Jr – and recreates them in synth-y, new wave style and actually makes it work. Of course it helps when you can get the likes of J Mascis to re-record some vocals for the project… The Electronic Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jr will be released on CD for Record Store Day but you can stream the whole thing right now at Stereogum.

Stream: Electronic Anthology Project – “Tarpit”
Stream: Electronic Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jr

Stereogum checks in with Jana Hunter of Lower Dens to see how things are coming on their next album Nootropics, out May 1.

Beach House are streaming another new song from Bloom, out May 15. It’ll be available on 7″ for Record Store Day this Saturday.

Stream: Beach House – “Lazuli”

Spin interviews Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, whose new record The Only Place is out on May 15. They play The Phoenix on July 21.

Though Mark Kozelek has a habit of booking and then cancelling shows, he’s planning to be in Toronto at The Great Hall on October 3 to promote the new Sun Kil Moon record Among The Leaves, out May 29. Tickets are $20 in advance and refunds will be available at the point of purchase.

MP3: Sun Kil Moon – “UK Blues”
MP3: Sun Kil Moon – “Carry Me Ohio”
MP3: Sun Kil Moon – “Sunshine In Chicago”

Exclaim reports that the second Guided By Voices album of 2012 – Class Clown Spots a UFO – will be out on June 21 and a third GBV album entitled Bears For Lunch should be out in November. Most prolific reunion ever?

That Nintendo-premiered new video from The Shins is finally available to watch online. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4 supporting The Black Keys.

Video: The Shins – “The Rifle’s Spiral”

Craig Finn tells Rolling Stone that The Hold Steady will begin work on a new record this Summer, but he’s not quite done with the solo thing yet – Paste has premiered a new video as part of a fundraising campaign for Big Brother/Big Sisters of America.

Video: Craig Finn – “Respective Coasts”

Spin chats with M. Ward.

Chart talks to Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws.

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

White Material

Tindersticks get box se(a)t at the movies

Photo By Richard DumasRichard DumasA number of words serve as accurate descriptors of Nottingham’s Tindersticks – “smoky”, “noirish”, “soulful” all work – but if you had to narrow it down to just one, then “cinematic” would be as good as any. Their ability to create, define and enhance an atmosphere or mood makes them an ideal choice to provide the sounds to moving pictures, and for French director Claire Denis, that’s what they’ve done. Tindersticks, either as a group or as individuals, have scored six of Denis’ films and now those soundtracks have been collected in a box set entitled, most descriptively, Claire Denis Film Scores 1996-2009 and was released this week.

The lavishly appointed box consists of five discs (shiny plastic or black vinyl), some of the contents of which have never been released. And while I’ve not heard the whole set, the selections that I have heard are largely instrumental, though Stuart Staples’ distinctive croon does make some appearances, and lush, dark and gorgeous throughout; in other words, vintage Tindersticks. For most bands, a collection of film scores might seem like a fans-only curiosity but this set feels like as necessary a part of their discography as any studio record.

Filter and The Quietus talk to Stuart Staples about the art of scoring.

MP3: Tindersticks – “The Black Mountain” (from Lintrus)
MP3: Tindersticks – “The Children’s Theme” (from White Material)
MP3: Tindersticks – “La Rallye” (from Vendredi Soir)
MP3: Tindersticks – “Opening 35” (from Rhums)
Video: Tindersticks – scenes from Lintrus
Video: Tindersticks – scenes from White Material
Video: Tindersticks – scenes from Nénette et Boni
Video: Tindersticks – scenes from Rhums

The Aquarian and The AV Club talk to Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai.

The Fly reports that the Franz Ferdinand covers 10″ EP, wherein the Scots were reinterpreted by the likes of LCD Soundsystem and The Magnetic Fields and was one of the hot items for Record Store Day in the UK, will be getting a proper CD release on May 2. Probably still only in the UK but people can at least hear the whole thing, regardless of where they live, via Soundcloud.

Stream: various artists / Franz Ferdinand Covers

Clash interviews Roddy Woomble.

Interview talks to Guy Garvey and Music Radar to Mark Potter of Elbow.

The Music Magazine reports that former Oasis songwriter/guitarist Noel Gallagher is finished his solo debut and is targeting an October release. Meanwhile, The Irish Times talks to little brother Liam about his new outfit Beady Eye, which is at The Sound Academy on June 20.

NPR has got PJ Harvey’s pre-Coachella show in San Francisco available to stream or download while The Guardian has an extensive feature piece and video session. Two more video from Let England Shake has been released, with Spinner talking to director Seamus Murphy about the “Bitter Branches” clip.

Video: PJ Harvey – “Bitter Branches”
Video: PJ Harvey – “In The Dark Places”

Clash talks to Noah & The Whale.

Notion has one of those annoying Flash-based “ooh look it’s like a real magazine” interfaces but their feature on Patrick Wolf makes it kind of worth enduring. Wolf’s new record Lupercalia is due out June 20.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of the finale of British Sea Power’s recent North American tour while For No One has got a video session with the band up.

DIY converses with Those Dancing Days.

Ever wonder how long Daytrotter keeps sessions in the can? They just posted one with A Camp, who haven’t toured in almost two years.

PopMatters interviews the members of Junip.

Mashable has a video documentary and interview with Peter Bjorn & John, who’ve got a show at Lee’s Palace on May 6 and an in-store at Sonic Boom earlier that same evening.

Magnet Q&As The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, who are running roughshod over their website this week. They will do the same to Lee’s Palace on June 4.

NPR serves up a World Cafe session with Phoenix.

Tiny Mix Tapes contemplates the theological aspects of Nick Cave.

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Never Know

The Wooden Birds release second album, migrate across continent

Photo By Leslie SissonLeslie SissonIt was a sad day in late 2005 when Austin’s American Analog Set called it a day, or it would have been if they had bothered to officially do so. They announced prior to touring their last (as in most recent, not final) record Set Free that it would be their final tour before a hiatus, and that while they didn’t have any plans to do anything else together, be it recording or playing or whatever, they weren’t ruling out the possibility. And they invoked the “not dead, only sleeping” clause at SXSW 2009 when they reconvened to mark the 10th anniversary of The Golden Band by playing the whole album at a day show I had the privilege of helping present.

But that special occasion aside, the band’s signature blend of shimmering vibraphone, humming Farfisa and dreamy guitarwork has been silent with frontman Andrew Kenny trading his Jazzmaster in for an acoustic guitar and lending his gentle vocals to a new band, The Wooden Birds. AmAnSet had been extremely consistent in sound and vision throughout their existence, so it’s not surprising that despite the change-up in instrumentation and addition of female vocals from sometime AmAnSet member Leslie Sisson, The Wooden Birds’ 2009 debut Magnolia could easily have passed as a new Analog Set record. It’s more earthy than ethereal, thanks to its simpler presentation, and less drifitly droning but if you were an AmAnSet fan, it’s hard to imagine not finding much to like about The Wooden Birds. Unless, of course, you were all about the vibes, in which case you may want to keep walking.

The Wooden Birds have set a June 7 release date for their second album Two Matchsticks and having passed us by on all tour dates in support of the debut, it’s exciting to see that the first North American dates finally include a Toronto date at The Drake Underground on July 10 – the first time back as bandleader for Kenny since November 2005 (he may well have been here as a member of Kevin Drew’s “Presents…” band). And while you might not guess it from listening to the records, The American Analog Set were always a fantastic live show thanks to the mesmerizing and hypnotic nature of their sound. I expect similar head trips from The Wooden Birds. Tickets for the show are just $12.00 in advance.

Samples from Two Matchsticks aren’t available yet, but there’s no reason to believe the new material strays too far from what surfaced on Magnolia. Update: One of the new songs is streaming at MTV Hive.

MP3: The Wooden Birds – “False Alarm”
Video: The Wooden Birds – “Hometown Fantasy”

There’s been no word of a follow-up to last year’s Goodbye Killer nor would I expect one, given the pace at which Joe Pernice works, but he’s taking the time out of whatever it he’s doing to play a show at The Dakota on May 6, tickets $20.

MP3: Pernice Brothers – “Jacqueline Susann”

That same evening, Peter Bjorn & John will warm up for their show at Lee’s Palace with an in-store at Sonic Boom at 7PM. Admission is free with the donation of canned goods.

Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Second Chance”

With a new greatest hits compilation in Golden Greats, No. 1 just released, Sweden’s The Soundtrack Of Our Lives have made a date at Lee’s Palace for June 4. Tickets for the guaranteed rock spectacle are $18.50 in advance.

MP3: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – “Karmageddon”

His show at Lee’s last month apparently a roaring (or dead silent) success, Mark Kozelek is coming back for a pair of even more intimate shows – he’s at The Drake Underground on July 8 and 9, tickets for each show $24.50 in advance.

Video: Red House Painters – “24”

The National Post Q&As Joey Santiago of Pixies; they close out their two-night stand at Massey Hall tonight.

The Antlers are giving away an MP3 from Burst Apart, out May 10. They’re at The Mod Club on June 14.

MP3: The Antlers – “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out”

Daytrotter has posted a session from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, in town at The Opera House on August 2.

I Am A Mermaid questions Stephin and Claudia of The Magnetic Fields about mermaids.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Sharon Van Etten’s homecoming show in Brooklyn this past weekend and Express Night Out has an interview.

Pitchfork has a feature interview with TV On The Radio.

The Baltimore Sun and Philly Burbs talk to Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, who have a new video from their new record Civilian. NYC Taper is also sharing a recording of their show in New York last week.

Video: Wye Oak – “Fish”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a recent Mountain Goats show while The Sound Of Young America has an interview with John Darnielle.

Hear Ya, Madison Eagle, Jam Bands, Blurt and Paste talk to Jason Isbell, whose new record Here We Rest is out now and who leads The 400 Unit into The Horseshoe on May 22.

Want to hear some of the new My Morning Jacket record, Circuital? You can download the title track below, hear it played live on VH1 Storytellers via Pitchfork and stream another new tune over at Antiquiet. The record is out May 31 and they play The Kool Haus on July 11.

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Circuital”

Pitchfork 3D – which is exactly what you think it is – has launched with a video session featuring Deerhunter.

BBC talks to Michael Stipe of R.E.M..

NPR is streaming the whole of Steve Earle’s new album I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive a week ahead of its April 26 release. Earle plays The Molson Amphitheatre opening up for Blue Rodeo on August 20.

Stream: Steve Earle / I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive

Spinner caught up with Rhett Miller of Old 97’s before their show in Toronto a couple weeks ago.

Spin, Clash and The Line Of Best Fit have features on Explosions In The Sky, whose new album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care comes out next week and is streaming in whole right now at Exclaim.

Stream: Explosions In The Sky / Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

The Line Of Best Fit reports that Memory Tapes will release a new album in Player Piano on July 4.

Crawdaddy interviews Liz Phair.

aux.tv has a video session with Warpaint while Relix offers an interview.

Spinner talks to Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes. Their new record Helplessness Blues arrives May 3 and they’re at Massey Hall on July 14.