Friday, July 10th, 2009
WTF, V? Lineup speculation and goodies from Bowerbirds, Wrens, The Clientele and more
Nick HeldermanI’d honestly thought I’d have been able to build a post around the Torontontario V Fest announcement this week. All signs pointed to them finally coming clean about the when, where – already a poorly kept secret, sure – but more importantly the who. And yet here we are at Friday with no official word, just seven weeks out from when it’s all supposed to go down (August 29 and 30 at Burl’s Creek near Orillia, Ontario) and so instead of reporting facts, I will delve into the rumour mill for goodies. Though when it comes straight from the artist’s mouth, it probably counts as somewhat more than rumour. I refer, of course, to the fact that Nine Inch Nails has decided that Bonnaroo would not mark their final live North American appearance, as originally intended, and instead will do a few more dates including a headlining slot at the Ontario edition of V Fest. And in addition to NIN, a few other acts came to light this week though nothing major: Thunderheist, Trouble Andrew (does his presence imply Santigold? I can’t imagine anyone would want him on his own), and though not confirmed, I don’t think it’s any big secret what the August 30 “TBA” for Toronto on the Pet Shop Boys’ Fall itinerary means.
So yeah. Another week, another non-announcement. On the plus side, it’s evident that they’re trying to put together something really good and the last Canadian V of the Summer will have a bona fide, big-time headline act – I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Trent but there’s no arguing his stature – but on the downside, even a leak this size hasn’t been enough to prod them into announcing anything, which to my paranoid sensibilities doesn’t necessarily bode well for the rest of the bill. But it’ll come, and until then, I’m going to engage in more rampant and unfounded lineup speculation while clearing out a big old pile of links and stuff.
Paste talks to Bowerbirds about their second album Upper Air was released this week. Daytrotter and They Shoot Music have also released sessions with the band – audio and video respectively – who are on the road to support. They’re not doing anything August 29 or 30, but do have a date at Sneaky Dee’s next week on July 14 so it’s unlikely they’re playing V Fest.
Magnet’s “Wrens Watch” feature has coaxed another new song demo MP3 from Wrens, who continue to work on their follow-up to Meadowlands. It’s conceivable that they could make the trek up here for V – the calendar is clear – but probably haven’t been invited.
Pitchfork has the first taste of Bonfires On The Heath, the new album from The Clientele, out October 6. They played V Fest back in 2007 and while I’d love to see them again, they’re already making a short North American trek this month and probably won’t be back till the Fall.
Editors’ Tom Smith keeps up the sci-fi soundtrack talking points in discussing their new record In This Light And On This Evening, out September 21, with NME. The band also played V in 2007 and would certainly be welcomed back, but are probably going to stick to Europe for the Fall before coming to North America to promote.
The Line Of Best Fit talks to Yo La Tengo – their new record Popular Songs is out September 8. They’ve got a November European tour scheduled – they could do North America before that, but probably no dates before the record is released.
Ca Va Cool has an interview with Telekinesis’ Michael Benjamin Lerner. Their calendar is clear for late August but they’re far too small to be added to a festival bill when they’re not already touring through the region.
MP3: Wheat – “Changes Is”
The Bird & The Bee have a new video from Ray Guns Are Not Just For The Future. They have nothing on the schedule, and I’d personally love to see them again in any setting. But they are probably not playing V.
Video: Jenny Lewis – “See Fernando”
PitchforkTV is streaming the Townes Van Zandt documentary Be Here To Love Me for the next week. I saw this film at TIFF 2004 and it’s a lovely work. It’d be quite a coup if V got Townes to play, but I’m not holding my breath.
Video: Be Here To Love Me
The Denver Post interviews Son Volt’s Jay Farrar. They’re touring from July through early August, then picking up again second week of September. Don’t see them interrupting the downtime to trek up here to play in front of, well, people who probably aren’t fans. The NIN and Son Volt fanbase Venn diagrams don’t overlap much.
American Songwriter has excerpted a portion of their cover feature on Wilco, The Boston Globe has an interview with Jeff Tweedy and The Boston Herald talks to Nels Cline about his role in the band. They’re in Dublin on August 28. Probably not in Toronto on August 29 or 30.
Spinner gets Metric to recount their run-in with Spinal Tap at Stonehenge after Glastonbury this year. Metric are seemingly playing every other V in the country, I give them very good odds for being at the Toronto edition. Spinal Tap just did the “unwigged” thing at Massey Hall, but doing V – in character, of course – would be kinda great. Their new record is Back From The Dead.
Video: Malajube – “Luna”
Mew are releasing their new album No More Stories… on August 25 and have already been tapped to play some of Nine Inch Nails’ other “final” shows – why not this one? Spinner has an MP3 from the new record.
But for everyone who had tickets for that Fleet Foxes show and were crushed that it meant missing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show at the Kool Haus that same night, rejoice! A second Yeah Yeah Yeahs show has been added for August 5, same venue. Tickets $32.50, on sale today at 10AM. And yes, this pretty much guarantees that they won’t be at V – that is, if being at Reading/Leeds across the Atlantic wasn’t guarantee enough.
Decider and Austin360 have features on Spoon. Besides their own Spoon-fest in Austin this weekend and performance at the Wanderlust yoga/music festival in Lake Tahoe at the end of the month, they’re not doing much. They could be playing V.
Contact Music has an interview with Glasvegas – they’re one of many bands at Reading/Leeds the weekend of V, so are obviously not playing Toronto. What’s more curious is the routing of their mid-September tour supporting Kings Of Leon, which puts them in Long Island on the 14th, Montreal on the 16th, Ottawa on the 17th, Hamilton on the 19th, London on the 20th and Detroit on the 22nd. Obviously this leaves many opportunities to make a Toronto stop, and yet there currently is none. As I said, curious.
Daytrotter has a session with Ida Maria, who seems awfully reluctant to make her Toronto debut. She’s on tour in North America till early August and then will be back for Monolith in Denver in mid-September. Obviously a lot more dates would have to surface to keep her on the continent from late August till then, but I can see it happening.
NPR is streaming a radio session with Phoenix. They’re playing V in the UK the weekend before the Ontario edition, and are back in September for a string of dates including Monolith and ACL. Odds of them playing our V are slim to none.
And while I know it’ll never happen, I would love beyond words for Superchunk to come and play V Fest. Or play anywhere nearby. This acoustic version of “Detroit Has A Skyline Too” came from a recent radio session. Loverly.
The Boxer Rebellion, who made headlines by charting in the top 10 on iTunes’ charts with the wholly independent release of their second album Union, will be at the Mod Club on August 8 – tickets $11.50. Though they’d probably fit the V demographic, this show means they’re unlikely to be there.
Either of these bands – …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and The Secret Machines – would be a decent addition to a festival bill, but they won’t be to V because they’ve got a date at Lee’s Palace on September 22 – tickets $18.50.
You know, this little “who’s playing V” meme turned out a helluva lot more tiring than I expected. Whew.